WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR TRAVEL STYLE

I’ve been travelling since the age of 1. My first trip was to the Philippines; however, my mum and I had a stopover in Brunei which makes it the first country I’ve ever visited. As a child, my travel was limited and it was only between Lebanon and Philippines. Since being born and raised in Dubai, my parents did not want me to forget my roots.

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My first diverse route was to Syria where I visited historical places. Syria was only a 2 hour drive from where we stayed in Lebanon. Then in 2010 I’ve travelled to a new destination outside my comfort zone and that’s where I caught the travel bug. That destination was India, later I couldn’t stop travelling; I visited Oman, Brunei again, Spain, Germany and Malaysia. So from family travels, I diverted to visiting new destinations outside my culture to witness the other countries touristic attractions.

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Years later in 2014, I booked a last minute ticket to Singapore and ended up meeting my husband. Our trip included fun activities such as visiting Singapore Zoo and Universal Studios. In my blog ‘How We Met’ (https://belliontravels.com/2016/06/17/singapore/) , I’ve mentioned that we met every month in a new country to sustain our long distance relationship. Since they were short trips, we became travellers who squeezed a lot of touristic attractions and fun activities in a short period of time.

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Once we got married, our travel habit has changed. Since we both have full time jobs and have limited annual leave, we decided to visit as many places as we can and the trip ends up to be rapido rapido rapido……

After taking 2 weeks off of work, we managed to visit Japan, Philippines, Macau and Hong Kong. I was beyond content and especially that Japan affected me a lot. I thought I took really awesome pictures for the blog and social media accounts until 5 of my friends who visited Japan a week after me took similar pictures and that’s when I realised that Tim and I need to change our travel style.

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When I was having lunch with Tim and my brother ‘Mohammad’, I was telling them that something was missing in my travels. I want something different and unique. At this stage, I’ve decided to travel to new places and learn as much as I can until I find the right style. Where myself and others can benefit from.

So for now and hopefully not for long, we will be the kind of travellers who cram as much knowledge as we can but someday we will find what I’m searching for.

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Camping in Ras Al Khaimah

So for a change we thought instead of booking in a hotel located in the middle of the desert, why not save money and camp for the night.

We packed our supplies and drove to Ras Al Khaimah and spotted a nice location to camp.

All through the night, we BBQ-ed and told each other stories.

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In the middle of the night, we heard donkeys and camels pass our tent and were making weird noises. It was a creepy night but a story to tell. The whole night they kept going in circles around our tent. We managed to stay still and quiet so we wouldn’t allow them to go wild. The noises they were making sounded wild LOL.

With all the weird entertainment happening outside the tent, we got enough sleep and woke up at 5 AM to watch the sunrise together. We then packed our bags to head back to civilisation.

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Around the World in One (1) Day

1996 was the year when Dubai Shopping Festival began and it was a huge thing back then. People from around the world would visit just to go shopping. It was held from Feb – March however currently it’s being held for months. One of the concepts for Shopping Festival was to have ‘Global Village’.

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It’s one of my favourite places to go for food shopping. Why is that you say? Well because distributors and traders bring unique products from housewares, clothes, food, equipment’s etc. from all around the world.

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When Tim moved to Dubai, I recommended that we should go and check it out because he loves trying out  food from around the world. We bought Zaatar (dried thyme) from Palestine, teas from China, Lattes and Sweets from Japan, Nuts from Iran, Apple Tea and Coffee from Turkey and the list goes on and on…..

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Last year, we took my mother in law and my brothers around the world for 1 day. We had a great time, watching live performances and trying out food samples.

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Global Village opens in November and closes beginning of April. So visit anytime in between. February and March are the perfect months to visit because the weather won’t be cold and won’t be hot and doesn’t rain much.

Bon Voyage 🙂

A day in Ras Al Khaimah

Tim’s mum ‘Shirley’ visited us for Christmas and New Years. So I took a day off and we drove to Ras Al Khaimah to visit Dhayah Fort. On our way to the place, the GPS led me through a small town and narrow roads which got us a bit worried anyway after a bumpy ride and being cautious, we found our way to the Fort and it was located on a hill.

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When we arrived at our destination, I parked my car in front of a Guest House called ‘Qalat Dhayah’ which translates to Dhayah Castle, so I assumed that we would have to purchase a ticket so when Tim and I got out of the car, two boys in their early 20’s shouted the F’ Word for no reason. We just ignored and wanted to continue to the fort but unexpectedly an old man comes out of the balcony and asks me if someone swore and I replied in Arabic and said Yes but it’s okay. He then invited us in and explained that the Emirati culture is about welcoming guests and being hospitable and he called authorities and filed a complain. He served us Arabic coffee and dates from his farm and later told us he was the owner of the farm and gave us a history lesson of Ras Al Khaimah. He even gave us a free tour to show us his goats, bulls, cats and dogs.

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Anyway as we thanked him and continued to the Fort, the Athan’ Call for Prayer’ started and was being chanted beautifully and the view was surreal. Everything the light touched belong to the old man. LOL just wanted to sound like Mufasa from The Lion King. By the look of it all, he owned the majority of the farms that were surrounding the fort.

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It was a joyful trip, the weather was perfect, we met interesting people and we learned a lot. On the same day, we continued our journey to Ajman to have lunch with my brother Omar and my dad.

Under the Sea – Dubai Aquariums

Tim and I have seen the best two aquariums in Dubai. The first one we visited is located in Dubai Mall which is one of the top 5 biggest aquariums in the world and is located in the biggest mall in the world. The place is called ‘Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo’.

http://www.thedubaiaquarium.com/en/Default.aspx

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The second aquarium is called’The Lost Chambers’ and is located in the Atlantis. It’s one of the best resorts on the Palm Island. I PERSONALLY LOVE THAT PLACE. The aquarium has really awesome interiors and you’ll feel like you are in a Sci-Fi movie. The resort also has an amazing water park and offers an experience of a lifetime, swimming with dolphins which I will blog about separately.

https://www.atlantisthepalm.com/marine-water-park/lost-chambers-aquarium

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I highly recommend you visit both, there are activities such as diving with sharks, feeding fish and many many more…

There are other aquariums located in the UAE however those are the best ones so don’t miss it if you visit Dubai.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Spring in Dubai?

Miracle Garden is where you can find spring in Dubai. Every year they change the layout of the Garden and make it more creative than ever. Due to the hot weather in Dubai, Miracle Garden is only open from October till April then that’s when we live in HELL.

Tim and I visited Miracle Garden in the month of March and ate ice cream while strolling the Garden. The pictures says enough of the place, it is a wonderful place. It’s like being in the Queen’s Garden from Alice in Wonderland.

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Guns ‘n Roses in Dubai

Sept 2016, Dubai Calendar announced that Guns ‘n Roses will be performing in Dubai on March 3rd 2017 so that we can be prepared once they release the tickets online.

*scroll for videos 🙂

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At around November 2016, I read an ad on Instagram that said ‘Virgin Mega Store Australia are selling Guns ‘N Roses DUBAI LIVE Tickets’. I clicked on the ad to make sure it was legit. Once it was confirmed, of course I got thrilled and without any hesitation purchased the tickets for myself, Tim, my brother Omar and my best friend Mimi.

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Fast forward to March 3rd 2017, we arrived at the venue at 6PM to avoid the traffic. Generally concerts in Dubai have freebees, games, food and other entertainments around the stage to occupy the people before the show. I won a free t-shirt, Tim and Mimi won a cap and Omar won 20% off for any Hard Rock Merchandise.

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The first opening act was a Nepalese band called Point of View and they started their gig at 8PM which lasted half an hour. At around 9PM, Guns ‘N Roses took over the stage and the crowd went WILD all the way till midnight.

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It was hell of a night and till today, we still can’t get over how amazing it was. Great to witness the LEGENDS

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Here are the videos as promised 🙂

BellionTravels Update

Today’s Blog isn’t about Travel. Here’s the thing, I’ve been so caught up lately with lots of things:

  1. I had family and friends visiting from abroad.
  2. Took 5 days of sick leave due to a painful neck surgery to remove a lump.
  3. Because of the sick leave, I had lots of pending work to finish.
  4. I’m currently working with a lovable graphic designer named Sarah. She will be designing the blog’s logo and help me brand it.
  5. I’m also taking up online classes to be knowledgeable of the today’s Tech and Social Media world. And so far I have a degree in WordPress Web Build, Creative Travel Writing and Business Blogging. In addition, I attended a workshop about Blogging, the event was held by Emirates Literature Foundation in Dubai World Trade Centre. Currently I’m studying Travel Photography and Social Media.
  6. I’m considering Vlogging so I’m also working with my awesome youngest brother Omar to assist me with video editing.

I enjoy  blogging, it’s a fun activity to do but it also can be stressful. There are days where I have panic attacks because of time management. Work takes 10 hours of my day and that excludes the 1 hour commute each way. Plus, I need personal time for my hobbies so all of that led me to prepare a temporary schedule.

So my lovely readers, I’ll be posting blogs on Thursdays and Saturdays and the remaining days I’ll either be studying, working on the blog design & content and joining activities.

I guess things will work out efficiently.

Catch up with yall soon

xx

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Happy New Year : Our 2016 Highlights

Happy New Year : Our 2016 Highlights

By a blink of an eye here we are end of 2016 and ready to start our new adventure. 2016 was a year where we lost legends, especially my grandfather and Tim’s grandmother and it wasn’t a pleasant year for lots. 2016 was filled with negativity around the world however lets look at the positive side of things, sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.

Not much of travel happened for us in 2016 but Tim did some work travels. His been to Saudi Arabia, Texas, Bahrain, Oman, India and Kuwait. However on my side, things kinda got rough this year. With my dad’s preparation for retirement, reaching target at work and many things that I do not want to remember. Anyway I’d love to leave 2016 behind and start a new adventure and the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is the new season of Game of Thrones.

For 2017, Tim and I have planned quite few things so hopefully as we say InshAllah (Gods will) it will work out. So before starting our new journey. I’d like to blog and recap the great stuff that happened this year.

Below are the highlights of our year.

January: Tim and I spent a weekend in Al Aqah, Fujairah at one of the resorts called Rotana.

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February: We both pretended to be tourist in Downtown Dubai and wore matching outfits. We also attended ‘Eat the World’ which is a food truck event. It was expensive for what they were offering.

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March: Tim and I visited the Miracle Garden. Just so you know it’s only open from November till April. We also attended the Sikka Art Event where my friend Jessica Avedikian performed. Follow her on youtube 🙂

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April:  We travelled to the Philippines to visit the Familia Grande . Check out my Philippines blog

https://belliontravels.com/category/travel-blog/philippines/ 

May: Tim took my father and I to visit Musandam, Oman. We highly recommend it, it’s the best way to enjoy dry nature.

Oman – Swimming in Musandam

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June: Tim and I had a proper decent high tea at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi on the 74th floor. That trip continued at the Emirates Palace Hotel. June was also the Holy Month of Ramadan and we visited lots of restaurants to enjoy Iftar which is the meal you have after breaking your fast. Also the highlight of this month is that I decided to start a blog on wordpress.

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July: Tim learned Salsa at Sevilles, a Spanish restaurant in a place called Wafi. it was also the month my colleague and good friend Beth asked me to be her son’s godmother. The little cutie’s name is Bjorn and July was his christening at the St. Mary’s Church which of course we attended. I also passed the beginners ski class with my brother Mohammad in Ski Dubai. Although Tim was with us, he’s already an intermediate so he joined another group.

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August: We attended an indoor food truck which was located in a warehouse and it was for a temporary set up. The funny part, we knew about it through a friends brother who lives in Palestine. We attended my colleague and friend’s wedding and it was a mix of Iraqi Palestinian Lebanese traditions. Another highlight we also stayed at the Rove Hotel with my father and brother ‘Omar’. AND we also stayed at Tilal Liwa for our anniversary.

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September: We travelled to New York & UK. We watched Impossible at the Dubai Opera and  Tim got back into Scuba.

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October: We went Kayaking early morning in Sharjah. Also participated in a Treasure Hunt in an area called Bastakiya. We also attended SICFF event which my brother Mohammad works for. We also won best couple costume at a Halloween Party.

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November: We went to IMG World and attended Les Miserable at Dubai Opera.

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December: We attended the rugby Dubai 7’s on UAE’s national day and Tim took me to the Dolphin Bay at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. Celebrated Christmas with family in Fujairah.

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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book.
Write a good one.

Happy New Year, 2017.

May your year be filled with blessings

 

UAE – Christmas Meal on the Dhow

UAE – Christmas Meal on the Dhow

Christmas day was on a Sunday which is the first day of the week here in Dubai which means NO WEEKEND NO DAY OFF.

Since Tim’s mother is visiting us, we decided to plan something special for her. So we booked dinner dhow cruise in Dubai Marina. The cruise was 2 ½ hours around the palm island and marina. The buffet included Indian, Italian and Arabic cuisine and the desserts were French cakes and Arabic desserts. They offered dates, Arabic coffee and black coffee as well as complementary juices. This all costed AED 300 per person which is like approx. £ 66 per person.

The view and weather were just perfect for our Christmas evening meal. We booked with Tour Dubai however there are other Dhow cruise options you can book with.

I’ve attached the below map for your reference if ever you want to visit.

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Tour Dubai:

http://tour-dubai.com/

Tel: +971 4 3368407