Here’s to more fun weekends with Privilee!


Nothing more timely than a treasure of information about Privilee flashing in front of me on a random day last week when I was scratching my head on where to take the kids for the weekend. The weather in Dubai is getting better and better and that means we’d like to go back to enjoying the outdoors! So happy with my new Privilee card – it’s more pool and beach time for us!



Privilee is an exclusive membership club giving you access to the most pristine private beaches and luxurious leisure facilities at fabulous resorts, hotels and beach clubs across Dubai.

Not only that, but also huge discounts at a wide selection of award-winning restaurants and preferential rates at the member hotels.

A membership with Privilee lets you enjoy unlimited access to beach clubs, spas, gyms and sports facilities at the following Dubai hotels and resorts (current list, many to be added in the future):

  • Conrad
  • Double Tree by Hilton
  • Dubai Polo Club
  • Fairmont The Palm
  • Habtoor Grand
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Kempinski HotelPalm Jumeirah
  • The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi
  • Le Meridien Dubai Mina Seyahi
  • Shangrila SZR
  • Sofitel
  • Riva Beach Club
  • The Address Dubai Marina

Newly added, in Abu Dhabi:

  • Saadiyat Beach Club 
  • St. Regis Abu Dhabi
  • Ritz Carlton Grand Canal

I think whoever thought of this brilliant idea is a genius! And so perfect for those who want to enjoy Dubai’s luxurious offers and not sacrifice family or personal budget.


We first used our Privilee card at the Grand Hyatt last weekend and the kids enjoyed the massive pool area with dedicated pool for kids, complete with mini slides and lots of facilities for fun water play (even I enjoyed it a little too much).

Considering that the access to enter the pool area on a weekend/public holiday is AED200/day for adults and AED100/day for each child (x 2 kids for me), we could’ve spent AED400 but got free access thanks to our Privilee card.

And that is only by visiting one of the hotels in one weekend! Another visit to a beach club next weekend and the card pays off by itself.

Didn’t I tell you this membership is awesome? In case you are wondering:

Are there any limitations on how often I can use my Privilee card?

No, you can visit the beach clubs, spas and gyms at all partner hotels all day, every day, on weekdays and weekends. Now you do the Math on how this gives value for money for your weekend getaways! Oh, and you can also go to the beach clubs, pools or gyms EVERYDAY if your schedule allows you to!


A Privilee membership is a single membership that starts at AED599. Each membership covers for one adult member and depending on the hotel, up to 2 children under the age of 15. You can contact Privilee directly to inquire about other membership plans that suits you (you’ll be surprised the prices are too good to be true).

There’s no affiliate link here – I just really want to spread information about this wonderful membership and together make our weekends a little luxurious!


  • Call first to check availability (the hotel can’t take reservations)
  • Come very early to get sun beds at the exact location you want to
  • Spots are limited for Privilee members in some resorts, so you might think of going early if it is the weekend or public holiday


Parting words about Privilee: I wish I’d known this sooner! But better late than never. I can’t wait to hang out at all these awesome and cool luxury places with the kids using our Privilee membership.

ALSO – Since Privilee gives you not only access to the beach clubs and pools at resorts but also gym access, I would recommend Privilee instead of a gym membership if you are not the type of person that commits to one gym – plus on top of that you get pool/beach access! How’s that for motivation?

So here’s to more cool hang-outs for lazy days in the sun, fine dining options and a rejuvenating break from the hustle and bustle of the city thanks to Privilee!

If you have any questions about how to be a member, you can contact them by email at or use the contact form at their website. You can also shoot me an email and I’ll try to answer as much as I can based on my experience being a Privilee member.

Daycation at the Ritz Carlton Dubai

ritz pool 1

What makes Dubai an exciting place is that we don’t have to go far and out of the country to enjoy resort type vacations. In this case, we don’t even need to be out of for a few days…enter “daycation” – a new term to add to the already trending “staycation”. We spent a daycation at the Ritz Carlton – one full day to sit back, relax and bask in the sun to enjoy the warm ocean water or the refreshing pools and waterfalls within their extensive gardens.

The resort sanctuary experience ideal for families who just simply need to unwind and relax without having to leave the city.

pool collage

It’s getting really hot in Dubai lately and cooling off at this pool is a great respite from the heat. They also have a mini slide and fountains, making the pool look like a small water park. The kids almost didn’t want to get out of it!

For young guests, the superb Ritz Kidz club, situated in close proximity to the sun-shaded children’s pool and play areas, allows parents the opportunity to unwind. This popular kids club is spacious, bright and clean.

ritz kids room

ben in ritz kids 2

I love that the staff at Ritz Kids are very friendly and professional. I wouldn’t worry a bit about leaving my kids here.

ben in ritz kids

The Ritz Kids program offers daily supervised activities for children, including magic, ballet and swimming lessons, story time, and even cooking activities. Here are the kids learning to make fruit smoothies. They get to choose which fruit combinations they like.

smoothie making

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? It was already lunch before we knew it. We had lunch at Caravan, an all day dining restaurant, serving Arabic, pasta and Indian dishes. The lunch was modest but hearty. But to be honest, I expected more variety because, Ritz. (Even the dessert section was very limited)

lunch 1

lunch 2

After lunch, there was a cookie making session for moms and cookie decorating session for kids. Someone was really serious about the task at hand…

cookie making ben

The other kids were also busy decorating their cookies.

cookie decorating 1

These are Pristine’s masterpieces. The one with G and T initials are for me and her dad. So sweet…the message and the cookies!

P cookies

We did not stay at the Ritz Carlton but I already feel this is a great hotel for families travelling with kids because of their kids club. The staff are well trained and genuinely nice, and Ritz Kids has a lot to offer for kids: unending activities to keep them entertained and busy. It’s always a relief for parents to be able to have a place to leave the kids for a few hours – after all, even adults need child-free, me time!

More information about daycation at The Ritz Carlton:

  • Price: AED 500 per adult** / AED 300 per Ritz Kids (includes access to the resort, use of gym and spa facilities and Ritz Kids but excluding food) ** special rate of AED750 per couple
  • On Fridays, when guests book a Rotisserie Friday Brunch (with price starts from AED 450 for non-alcoholic package), a special half day pass rate of AED200 per adult & AED100 per child is available
  • Opening hours: 8.00am to 7.00pm

You can find more information at the Ritz Carlton main website or connect with them on Facebook

We truly enjoyed our day at the Ritz especially the children however, this is where I have to be transparent. I think it is very expensive (at least for me!). For a family of four (that’s us: 2 adults and 2 kids), that’s a whooping AED1,350 for one day only and excluding food and drinks (applying special couple rate of AED750). Unless they have a special (discounted) package for families with children, it could be smarter to just stay for the night.

* We were guest at The Ritz Carlton but all opinions are mine.

Oasis Pool and Bar

Pool time in November

oasis pool and bar

Thank you to all who read yesterday’s post about blogging and vulnerability. I got all of your emails of concern and I’ll reply to it one by one. Thank you, again.

Lately, I feel that I’m going through a bit of depression and I’m battling to find out why. Fatigue? Pressure at work? Weaning challenges with my son? Hormones? Maybe there was something I ate, I told my sister. She vehemently replied, NO! It was something you didn’t eat!

So I went out and bought my stash of Lindt.

It made me feel better.


Then I remember that last week I listened to someone venting out her marriage woes, the eventual separation and how she is coping up. When you’re married and hear about marital problems from others, it’s very easy to mirror it to your own. And you’ll think, everyone is putting up a brave front and fighting their own secret battles, even if they look very ok up front you wouldn’t even guess something was wrong.

Anyway, it was good that we were given a day off for the Islamic holiday. I usually work on Saturdays but not this week. Instead, I took the kids to the pool.

Oasis Pool and Bar

Nothing like a cold dip in the pool to shake things off, even temporarily. And hearing the laughter of my kids always, always cheer me up.

pool at mill

or a cold drink by the pool. I think I needed the break more than they did.

Oasis Pool and Bar

Dubai is teeming with beach clubs and pools (inside hotels you can access even without room reservations) – most are not cheap and others, overrated. The Oasis pool at Millennium Airport Hotel is honest to goodness worth your time and penny – great food at Gozo Garden restuurant + pool access. Gozo Garden is serving international buffet and the food is really good (I won’t say this if they’re not even if they offered me free stuff – this is an honest review) so with the price of food plus pool access, the place is perfect for families with kids, visitors and for you, the tired big city resident who needs an escape from the usual day to day hustle.

Will we go back? Now that we tried it, it’s a big YES! And you should go too!

You can find Oasis Pool and Bar at The Millennium Airport Hotel in Casablanca Street, Garhoud. Enjoy their great Friday Double Munch Brunch (especially if you’re fond of seafood) at only 149 dhs (50% off for kids 5-12 years old) includes access to the marvelous pool. Saturday lunch buffet is 99 dhs (50% off for kids 5-12 years old)

Pool access on weekends (Fri/Sat) is 115 dhs for adults and 85 dhs for children (but Friday brunchers don’t need to pay separate for pool). Weekday pool access is only 85 dhs for adults and 45 dhs for kids.

‘Like’ them on Facebook to know about the latest promotions or follow them on Twitter.

I have pool phobia

Not for myself, anyway. Well, unless it’s too deep.

It’s summer in Dubai, actually summer-ish here all year long but the time has come when finally, you would want to spend your body soaked in cool water for hours when you’re outside. Going to the pool is a fad, an addiction, a want!

My seven year old daughter Pristine loves to be in the water. She longs for the pool. She tugs my skirt on the weekends. I cringe. I don’t like going to the pool – not because I am not bikini worthy, or I hate the water with pee and chlorine in it. I don’t even mind the sun’s rays that pierce my skin like a thousand needles at this time of the year.

I’ve had my bouts about paranoia with regards to my child’s life but when I am at the pool? I morph into that ultra-paranoid, intense mother type.  I jump in with one and only mission – keep my child alive at the end of the day!

No one should ever take a photo of me while in the pool because I pass beyond that nervous wreck distorted face. Besides, I don’t have time to look at the camera because it will take my eyes off my child, remember? I freak out when the husband is there because like normal people, he feels like wanting to have the time of his life while on the pool. He talks. He laughs and he distances himself from the child that if ever she topples over, there is no way she’ll gonna be able to stand for at least 5 seconds.

And five seconds is too long.

I see mothers at the pool side chatting with other mothers; flipping gossip magazines and even worse, reading lengthy novels. How is that even possible!?

Whenever she asks for the pool, I secretly pray for thunderstorms and rain so we could not go but hey, this is Dubai where the sun shines 330 days a year so you see, I’m in constant fear. And it doesn’t help that we have a friend who’s son drowned and survived and now has to spend all his life in a wheel chair, can’t talk, walk or even look you straight in the eyes.

There I said it. I HATE the pool.

I don’t really mind if no one gets me or if you scream to my face “Crazy Lady” – if that would mean I could keep my daughter warm and alive in my arms everyday, I don’t really care.

Top Photo Credit