Hello! Welcome back to my expat diaries series posts where I write whatever I like without thinking about SEO or making sure my every word is helpful. It’s a place you’re likely to find out more about my life as an expat and all the behind the scenes stuff I forget to share otherwise.
This time I’m recapping back on November and December and some of the things I’ve been up to in that time. I’ll also add some links in to the blog posts I’ve written this month in case you missed any of them.
In the past few weeks I’ve had my first National Day celebrations in the UAE. As a city there were some pretty big celebrations going on and we got a 4 day weekend which was amazing. Of course all companies also celebrated the day at work and for me this meant dressing up in national dress and taking my class to the local police station to join in with the celebrations. It was certainly like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It was nice to feel so part of something.
Hatta Road Trip
As part of the National Day four day weekend we decided to head off on a little road trip to Hatta. A mountainous area of the UAE not far from the southern Oman border (which happens to be closed to tourists, GCC nationals only). We didn’t plan much for the trip and basically drove there and back in the space of an afternoon. Still it was nice to escape the city, see the mountains and enjoy Hatta which is famous for its sparkling emerald colour dam.
We took a picnic with us and enjoyed some down time just chilling in the not too hot sun and enjoying the views. Next time we visit we’ll be more organized and actually head out on the water. (Read there was no toilet at the dam so we had to leave so I could find a bathroom, small bladder problems)
Abu Dhabi F1
In November we spent several days driving back and forth between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to attend the F1. This was the last race of the season so is a pretty big event and it was my first time at this race so I was pretty excited. Unfortunately due to the working week here the actual race day was on a Sunday which is a working day for us so I had to rush out of work to the event but it was so worth it.
My first brunch
Brunch is a pretty big deal in Dubai and it’s pretty different to any image you have about brunch in the UK. First of all they do not have breakfast food and typically start at 12pm or later. Second they are all a boozy affair where you pay a set price for basically as much as you can eat and drink. Being someone who really doesn’t drink much I’d refused to go so far but the girls finally got me out and I have to say I enjoyed it.
We went to STK downtown and the atmosphere was brilliant. You were able to sit down and enjoy a three course meal while enjoy as many drinks as you want. Later on they dimmed the lights, the robot dancers came out and people were encouraged to get up on the sides and have a dance. If all brunches are like this then I might actually go to another.
Getting into the Christmas Spirit
It’s taken me a while but I think I might finally be feeling a little Christmassy. We’ve had a week or so of Christmas fun at work before breaking up for three weeks off, our Christmas tree is up and we’ve been to Après twice. Après is a bar that over looks Ski Dubai and serves a Christmas menu complete with mulled wine; delicious and festive.
Also in the spirit of giving I decided to treat myself to a brand new iPhone. Mine has been terrible for a while now with the battery not lasting, a crack in the screen and the camera quality seeming awful. I went into the shop with the plan of getting the iPhone XR but somehow walked out with the XS. All I can say is the camera is amazing. See the difference in the photos above, top 3 were taken using the 6S/7 and bottom two on the XS.
Dubai Creek Half-Marathon Run
I’ve been a running fan for several years now and as the cooler temperatures make running outside enjoyable we’re back to long distance running. It was a little bit of a hard slog getting through the warm temperatures during our October training but it was all worth it for this BEAUTIFUL half-marathon. We ran right alongside the creek and through the souks of Bur Dubai.
For those interested I completed the race in 1 hour and 57 minutes.
Leave me a comment below and let me know something new that’s been happening in your life.