Staying home for Eid Al Adha 2016


Hello. Do you have friends in the UAE on Facebook posting their out of town trips lately? I’m seeing a lot of people on my timeline either in Barcelona, somewhere in Europe, New York or Maldives. Or even to the mountains of Hatta and the beaches of Jumeirah. There’s no traffic on the roads which means most have left town? It’s a very long weekend here in the UAE – 5 days for most and most are making the most out of it.


You never thought you’d read the word ‘most’ in one sentence, did you?

As of me and my family, we’re just staying home, to be with each other’s company, to sort out things in our luggages, take out clothes from the kids’ closet that the kids have outgrown and for me, personally, to recover from travel fatigue.

Travel can be fun, you all know how I love it but we can’t deny that it can be exhausting too. This time, I overdosed on plane rides, eleven flights in 60 days. The most I did in that span of time, so far in my life. Then I had to go back to work a few weeks in between, reporting only a few hours after landing.

Heard of that cliche, “you need a vacation after a vacation”? That my friends, is true.


The thing is – I got back from picking up the kids in the Philippines where they spent a very memorable and life changing summer vacation. Life changing because, being without any of your parents for five weeks is a big deal when you’re 12 and 4 right? Fortunately, they were with their wonderful grandparents who allows them to play in the rain whenever they get the chance so it was a fun vacation after all. We all know it almost rains everyday in that side of the world on July and August so that’s a lot of play time.


So these past 4 days or so, I had plans to blog a lot but instead, I spent so many hours in bed, catching up on sleep. Now’s probably the least exciting short vacation we had ever but when you live in a place you call your second home for almost ten years (and has seen almost everything outside), staying inside is actually a delicious luxury, too.

I actually just woken up from a nap. Ah, a good rest is one of life’s best, best things.

Do you live in the UAE? How did you spend the long weekend?

Beach time

Back to the everyday grind

happy happy

Hello again, friends! Sorry for the long blog hiatus – we had a few days of holidays for the Islamic celebration of Eid Al-Adha. Holidays would mean I am at home and when I am at home, it’s not a holiday. You know what I mean?

I had 4 days of off from work and with the husband having odd hours of work schedule for this busy season of shopping (he works at a mall), it’s just me and the kids. It’s a pity he has to work until 3 am. I could not imagine being able to do the same!

Anyway, the children are just too happy to be able to finally go out and play. Just feel the fresh grass under their little feet.

feet on grass

Or bask in the sun.

bask in the sun

Those simple joys.

We also went to the beach so we woke up early on the first day of Eid. Actually, someone was really excited and slept with her swimming costume on! We left the house at 8:00 am, even then I thought we were already ‘late’. This is not a regular Friday (our off here) but the first day of Eid holidays and ALL will be headed to the beach now that the Dubai weather is entering gorgeous on the thermometer. Jumeirah Beach Park opens at 8 am but at 8:30 when we arrived, there were already 6 or 7 vehicles queuing to enter the park.

run run at jbp

The children are just too happy to be roaming around free and they can run as much as they can.

And when we got to the beach? They don’t want to ever come out, especially Benjamin!

Beach time

We had a great family time at the beach and at the park, completely avoided the crowded malls, that were open for 24 hours, by the way for the two days of Eid. Now it’s back to work, school, traffic and our daily grind. When is the next long vacation?


Lastly, so sorry for waiting! The winner of the $50 towards a custom hand-drawn watercolor giveaway from Noomiedoodles is…entry #24 (drawn at random by Rafflecopter): Elizabeth H.! Congratulations, Elizabeth. Enjoy your prize! And thank you everyone for entering.

Visiting the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque, again

Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

This post was first published in 2011 but Abu Dhabi’s iconic Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been named among the world’s most talked about attractions by Trip Advisor so I thought I’d resurrect this post again so new readers can see the beautiful photos. If you’re a regular of this blog and have seen this one, it wouldn’t hurt to see this beauty again. Enjoy!


When we went to Abu Dhabi last Eid, my husband insisted that we drop by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The first time we went there was three years ago. We decided to go again last Eid holidays because it was rare that my aunt (my mom’s sister who also is in Dubai) and my two cousins had off from their respective work.

It was still hot and humid in September even after 3 pm but the sky was blue and it served as a beautiful backdrop to the giant minaret of the mosque.

For those who are curious what is inside the mosque, this one’s for you.

I see some people raising their eyebrows…”But isn’t this exclusive for Muslims?” Yes, it’s a place for worship for Muslims. But this mosque is special.

…special in the sense that it is open to the public.

Not only that – even non-Muslims can enter! Here is the husband curiously looking at the worshipers during their mid-afternoon prayers.

Now, I don’t know if there’s a rule that says it is prohibited to take photos (and post them online) of people who are praying. If there is, please let me know. There were so many people taking photos of these worshipers aside from myself inside the mosque, though.

Moving on…other intricate details of the mosque includes these very pretty doors.

A bright colored mosaic flower on the floor.

These two very exquisite chandeliers – which one do you like more?

The grandeur of the mosque against a small subject, my daughter Pristine.

The mosque is open to anyone wanting to know more about Islam, or simply want to see what’s inside a mosque (this was not an ordinary mosque, though). However, there are rules. Ladies have to wear an abaya (black robe and head dress – provided at the entrance) and slippers/shoes are not allowed inside. Here’s my mom, aunt and cousin with their flowing black robes.

These abayas (black robes) are available at the entrance for ALL ladies. Don’t worry, every one gets  a fresh piece. Once worn, it goes straight to a hamper and they only give out freshly washed abayas, packed in plastics. Men don’t have to wear the traditional Arabic costume of long white dishdasha unless they come in shorts. Then they have to cover their legs.

More facts about the Grand Mosque in my past (popular) post: Getting to know the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Malls in Dubai to open for 24 hours during Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Adha, also known as “the big Eid”, is expected to start on October 26 but festivities will not wait until that day. The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced on a few days ago that shopping malls would be open 24 hours and the Eid in Dubai shopping festival is expected to last from October 18-28, with Eid Al Adha on October 26.

Sheikh Mohammed, quoted from The National:

We welcome our brothers and sisters from the Gulf region and across the world to experience the hospitality and unique cultural experiences that Dubai will offer this Eid.

It’s a given fact that most of the local population and tourists from neighboring Gulf states usually prefer shopping at night,  with mall visits tend to be after 10pm. So yay for them, I guess.

{I secretly wish though that instead of declaring a 24 hour shopping marathon, we lowly workers get an extra day off? Just sayin’!}

So…what will shopping at 4am look like? I won’t know because surely, I won’t be there.

The Dubai Mall confirmed it will remain open for 24 hours on Thursdays and Fridays. But on weekdays, retail will open only until 1am, food and beverage until 3am, and cinemas until the last screenings.