Waking up to glorious Dubai winter weather

outside view

I know it’s already March and Dubai’s winter is long gone. That’s why this post. We are going to relive the lovely days of winter…just because we can. Right now, the weather is still kind to us desert dwellers these days. The mornings and afternoons are still cool and middays are still very forgiving. However, as sure as day comes after night, we know the dreaded desert summer is just around the corner!

We stayed at The Address Dubai Marina back in December, when Dubai offered the perfect weather: clear, blue skies and chilly temperatures. But the huge 50 meter pool was temperature controlled and it was awesome.

pool at The Address Dubai Marina

We woke up very excited for the weekend to start, I mean who doesn’t get excited of the possibility of all day relaxation and fun? But first, breakfast!

breakfast Collage

There are breakfasts and then there are breakfasts at Mazina restaurant! Breakfasts at Mazina is at a different level. The spread  was anything and everything you could want – all sorts of food, fresh cooked eggs in live cooking station, very fresh bread and pastries, the full English if wanted and even pork cold cuts. I could write hundreds of words how I love having breakfast here but a short, unbiased opinion would be: It might be difficult for you to appreciate breakfasts from other hotels once you’ve been to breakfast at Mazina. It’s that extensive, it’s that GOOD, period.

By the way, if you are a family with children, a lovely addition to Mazina’s lovely offerings is the Saturday Generation Creation Brunch every 3rd Saturday of the month. The best brunch for families.

After breakfast, it was time for the pool. The sun was also already up, making it not too scary to jump into the water. Although we know the water is temperature controlled (read: warm), there’s that notion that it might be cold because of the cool blue color!

ben ready for pool

Benjamin is more than ready to take a dip! And surely enough, he loved it!

ben edge of pool

Jumeirah Beach Residence behind us. We really loved our time in this infinity pool – the clearest pool water we’ve ever seen.  It has also a pool side lounge and restaurant called Shades that serve refreshing drinks and lovely food.

fam in pool

My sister was also with us that time. I brought my Catalyst waterproof case for my phone. This is a great investment if you love taking underwater photos!

ariane underwater shot

I can’t rave about the pool at The Address Dubai Marina enough – but I am not alone. Ahlan has ranked it as the best pool in Dubai!

For more information about The Address Dubai Marina and its latest offerings, please check out their website.

We were guests at The Address Dubai Marina, however, all opinions are mine.

It’s the tourist season again in Dubai

Dubai weather is perfect at this time of the year. It even rains – there is no tinge of irony in this. It’s actually a good thing because you’ll get to see something very rare. When it rains while you’re visiting Dubai, consider yourself lucky – you’ll see people actually celebrating rain outside. I believe it only happens here!

So, with the perfect weather comes the best season to spend time outside and enjoy unbroken blue skies and the weather that’s neither too hot nor too cold. And no snow! And this: beach time in December!

While taking the train last weekend and passed by Airport Terminal 1 and 3 stations, I saw a deluge of tourists coming out of the arrival building. Yes, it’s that time of the year when Dubai welcomes visitors from all over the world. Some are tourists on a group tour package, some are relatives and friends visiting expats living here. We’ve had friends who came in December for the past years and they all went back to their winter wonderlands wishing they packed Dubai’s sunshine and took it home!

We will be welcoming visitors again this month. That means time to get busy looking for Dubai hotels at the best price, I’ve been instructed! I have two groups of friends coming from Europe for a short visit in the next few days. With different hotel budgets and number of stays, I’ve been going through a lot of hotel reviews online which will suit them best.

So I have a question for all of you: If you are a traveler, would you rather choose a budget hotel to stay in (it’s only for sleep and your body is exhausted from all the touring anyway to distinguish a superior bed and a so-so) and spend money on something else or are you the type to never compromise hotel stays no matter how short, the sort of always choosing higher star hotels for comfort/luxury?

Clouds in November

I love Dubai in November. This is my 6th November and I love it, still. Dubai is hot – the kind of hot that sends people on exodus every summer. The kind of hot that wipes out all outdoor activities. But in November? Dubai redeems itself in November.

The summer heat and the gray, ugly hazy sky is gone, replaced with this. Dubai is beautiful now and in the coming winter months (until early March?). It follows the Goldilocks rule: not hot nor cold but just right!

Yesterday, the clouds were just beautiful. I wanted to go straight to the park, spread the mat and just lie down stare at the sky.

When afternoon came – the clouds got bigger and darker. A sign of rain coming soon?

Speaking of rain, we have not been lucky so far. Would you like to take a guess when we’ll have our first rain of the season? Leave your guess date here!

That part of Japan in mid-March

From today, April 29, Japan will be enjoying a week-long holiday called “Golden Week”. The Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays within seven days. In combination with well placed weekends, the Golden Week becomes one of Japan’s three busiest holiday seasons.

So speaking of Japan, I wanted to post some photos of my husband’s trip there last month (the one where I decided not to tag along) because it’s been quite a while since I posted anything about Japan.

I missed this:


There were so many food photos my husband came home with and I certainly do not want to risk any one of you salivating over it (like I did) so let’s all refrain from posting food, shall we?

Most of all, I miss my grandmother in-law who’s 95 now but still as sharp as ever.

Nita bachan

Here she is, looking at Pristine’s poses from a Babyshop catalog. She is mighty proud of her great-grand daughter. I remember when she told me before how it was rare to have photos taken during her time, how her precious  few pieces of photographs were destroyed during World War II – she must be so amazed how easy it is to take photos today and so easy to land in print. When Pristine was a baby, her great grandma told me Pristine would grow up to be a beautiful lady. I think she is right. (of course we are biased!)

Nostalgia aside, I am glad I did not have to deal with this:

Tokamachi in mid-March

That, my friends is my husband’s hometown. This is where my father in-law’s rice farm is, just covered in snow for now.

And then this is right outside their house:

Kawanishi machi in mid-March

This was taken in mid-March people! Where is spring? Where are the famous cherry blossoms? When will it arrive? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’d know that my husband hails from snow country.

I miss Japan so much; the last time I was there was in October 2009 but with a small baby and that bunch of snow (and indoor temperature in my in-law’s house only at about 3C), it was best I did not go.


The Pacific side of Japan is already bright and sunny in March. Cherry blossoms bloom in late March in Tokyo and Yokohama but in the side facing the Sea of Japan, it’s still gray and snowing. Until around late May, it’s impossible to wear just a shirt.

More snow talk

I am not in a geographical position to talk or whine about snow unless I am inside Ski Dubai but since my father in-law called and brought the topic to light, I thought I’d further indulge. Here are some photos taken some years back when my brother, who has never seen snow all his life, came to Japan and had his first winter in 2005. Snow, snow, snow – every tropical guy or girl will get curious.

Is it soft?

What does it taste like?

Will it melt the minute you touch it?

He had too many questions that I had to send him off to my in-law’s place! To snow country! There he’ll have snow that’ll last him a lifetime. When he left Nagano, snow only looked like this:

Nagano winter

Here’s what greeted him in Niigata:

Snow in Niigata

That is my brother and the husband’s brother.  My brother stands at 5′ 10″ and the snow dump around him is well, ‘taller’ than him. This photo was taken in 2006. Both boys have since got rid of the ridiculous haircut, became men and recently, fathers. The pile of snow hasn’t move on, it’s still there year after year.

Snow in Niigata

Since it was the first day of the year, the Japanese people go to the Shinto shrines to wake up the Gods and wish for world peace (along with good health and prosperity of course). This was the way to the shrine. The torii or Japanese gate to the Shinto Shrine here is buried halfway.

How’s snow in your place right now? I read that there’s snow in 49 of 50 states in the US. Snowpocalypse!

We’re four years in Dubai

snow in Japan

On January 12, 2007, we left this. (The snow and winter, not the baby of course)

For this.

If you can’t see the embedded video, you can directly see it here.

Pristine just turned three and not aware what her parents were up to – selling house furniture, packing big boxes and bags and boarding a really huge plane. The travel was a long 12 hours but she sure wasn’t complaining when we took her to the beach just a few days after we landed in Dubai in January 13, 2007!

The no-jacket feeling is liberating!


From my archive: My Dubai anniversary posts on our first, second and third year.

We love Dubai in November


Just because Dubai is in the Middle East and very easily stereotyped as eternally hot, humid and undesirable, we do have a piece of heaven in terms of weather during November. In fact, if you visit Dubai in November, maybe you will want to stay here forever.

Just maybe.

The blue skies in November are worth watching day after day after day. There’s even no rain or snow. No gray clouds here!

I took the girl in the park early in the morning last Friday. Friday is my only day off but I was awake by 6 am. The girl didn’t plan to stay longer in bed so I admitted my defeat and took her to the park instead. The weather was so nice! Blue skies, cool at 24C, humidity that’s just right – if Dubai is like this everyday, I’ll be here for a long time.


“Come mom, catch me if you can!”


Pristine enjoyed picking up bird feathers in the park.


The sand was cold to the touch. It felt so nice, cool and silky that we eventually took off our slippers. No this isn’t the beach – the park’s play area has sand on it.


“Can we come here everyday, mom?”



On mornings like this, I don’t mind having to wake up early and spend time at the park. It was a good stress reliever – much, much better than spending longer time in bed.

hot blooded mammals are they

I received the following notice in my desk today:

Dear Customer,

As part of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) commitment towards electricity and water conservation, starting from 1st March 2008, DEWA will introduce a Slab Tariff System under which the charges are based on quantities consumed.

It is expected that the system will encourage consumers in the higher slabs to reduce their water and electricity consumption using simple conservation techniques.

The consumers in the higher slabs include companies. Now, why I think that this is just one of Dubai’s scheme to earn more money from non-tax paying consumers? Because in this part of the world, people are willing to pay than conserve Earth’s limited resources.

Last week when we transferred to a new office building, everybody was complaining that 22C (71F) room temperature is too hot. I thought it was just right but they looked at me like I was carrying a deadly virus! Everyone disagreed and now we are back to 15C (59F).

What to do? It’s always winter in Dubai’s offices. 


My friend Kailani of An Island Life is on vacation and has given me the chance to guest post at her blog. Please check out my first guest post at Kailani’s blog – one of my favorite family blogs around!

no delicious for today

It’s Saturday today and it’s almost 2 pm here. Any guess what’s missing on this blog today?

For a while now, I had been participating in Saturday Photo Hunt over at TNChick’s site. A theme is given every week and participants post a photo of their choice. This week’s theme is delicious. One can think of food so that should be easy, right? Wrong. I realized that I rarely take photos of food. Even if we go to a restaurant, I don’t have the courage to snap photos of food served in my table or maybe I am always too busy preparing for my first bite. Oh well, so today, I have no photo.

Totally unrelated to the photo hunt, here’s a recent picture taken outside of Pristine and her new bike, the one we gave her for her 4th birthday last month.


~the babe and her bike in the park~

Winter in Dubai is just amazing. We can go out without the fear of being rained on or be frozen. What we have now is perfect weather with cloudless blue skies, a temperature that is not too hot and never too cold and all the possibilities of a great day.