In Weekend Mode

20 Sep

After a crazy week of hectic coffee meetings, event- hopping and cross-continent Skype conferences with the most frustrating internet connection, I’ve finally found time to unwind this weekend. Sometimes, simply doing nothing is so much better than an action packed day off. This is what my weekend is looking like – Sleeping in late, strumming my guitar, gobbling up awesome biryani and making a quick trip to the mall… ah the small pleasures of life!

Weekend-ing with Sunglassjunkie.com

Weekend-ing with Sunglassjunkie.com

Oh and I found time for a mini photoshoot on my way out, sporting my new pair of sunnies from sunglassjunkie.com. I love the shape; a subtle cat-eye contour, but with angular edges that quite suits my square face. I’ve been looking for this shape for a while but all other brands, stores and sites have exaggerated cat-eye frames that are either too loud or too big, so the second I saw these on sunglassjunkie, I made a dash for it. Now that the 60s are back in vogue this season, these hotties couldn’t have come at a better time!

Weekend moods with sunglassjunkie.com

Weekend moods with sunglassjunkie.com

Happy weekend y’all xx

Out-Of-The-Box Gifting With Yougotagift.com

16 Sep

So the wedding/ holiday/ big expenses season is upon us and I, like many others find myself scurrying for gift ideas that are both, thoughtful, useful and economical. Personally, I’ve always liked to give (and receive) vouchers and luckily I just came across this service, yougotagift.com – an online/ mobile mall for gift cards, to make my life this much easier.

Instant gifting online and on mobile with yougotagift.com

Instant gifting online and on mobile with yougotagift.com

This holiday season, I'm going to use Yougotagift.com for all my friends and family!

This holiday season, I’m going to use Yougotagift.com for all my friends and family!

The concept is simple and super easy to execute – I’ve just received a gift from someone today, who used this service and I must say, it’s been a fun experience as a receiver. Here’s how it worked: I received an email from Yougotagift.com saying I have an eGift Card from the sender with a message attached. Now who wouldn’t like to see that in their inbox! Pleasantly surprised, I unraveled my virtual gift to find an AED 250 eGift card for one of my favorite beauty haunts and literally squealed! It was from L’Occitane en Provence, redeemable in any of their stores in the UAE. Oh happiness!

My own Yougotagift.com experience!

My own Yougotagift.com experience!

Apart from L’Occitane en Provence, Yougotagift eGift card services are available FOR 60+ stores/restaurants in the UAE including some of my top choices such as Jones The Grocer, Boutique 1, Virgin Megastore and NStyle Nail Lounge – even Ski Dubai and Vo Cinemas. I’ve already made a note of which eGift cards I’ll be sending for each of my friends for the holiday season!

I had an opportunity to chat with one of the co- founders of Yougotagift.com, Mr Husain Makiya who talks about what makes this service unique and different from the standard mall gift cards and store vouchers. He says, “This service is extremely unique as it helps in solving many of the expat’s problems residing in the UAE and the Middle East to gift their loved ones during the special occasions like Christmas, Eid, New Year, Diwali and Birthdays from abroad. In other words, You Got a Gift makes their gifting experience hassle-free, convenient and instant”.

More than 60 brands and stores to choose from!

More than 60 brands and stores to choose from!

Personalize your gift message and send your eGift Card via email, Facebook or Mobile SMS!

Personalize your gift message and send your eGift Card to friends and family in the UAE, KSA, Qatar and Lebanon via email, Facebook or Mobile SMS!

I think that’s the best part! Since it’s an online/ mobile gift service, one can now buy a gift for loved ones living in the UAE, Qatar, KSA and Lebanon from anywhere in the world, using the web or a mobile device. So basically, my family and friends in different parts of the world have absolutely no excuse to skip gifting me on my birthday!

Mr Makiya adds, “Our wedding registry is also proving to be a big hit and we are in process of revamping it. It is basically a Money Registry for weddings where friends and family can chip in for your BIG DAY. It is super convenient and avoids receiving unwanted gifts.  Who would say No to cash if they can ask for it tastefully.”

Wedding registry at Yougotagift.com- Brilliant idea!

Wedding registry at Yougotagift.com- Brilliant idea!

I, for one, think it’s a perfect way to avoid receiving or gifting those famous horrid flower vases as wedding gifts.

So I’m all set for the holiday and festival season, thanks to Yougotagift.com. Hello awesome and gifts and goodbye wasting time on thinking up gifts. Now what can I do with all that time I saved…..hmmm  use my own eGift cards ofcourse! Happy gifting xx

Travel Diary: 36 hours in Fujairah

14 Sep


A seasoned road-tripper will ask you to pack light, stock up on water and don’t forget your back-up printed maps, in case the GPS stops working . A style blogger, on the other hand will advice 3 pairs of sunglasses, spare swim suits and a compact blow-dryer as the absolute essentials. Well, I’m a bit of both, with a voracious appetite for travel so my packing list is… quirky, to put it mildly but handy nevertheless.

Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah

Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah

Here’s what you need to know for a fantastic roadtrip from Dubai to Fujairah:

Distance: 181.1 km
Time: From Jumeirah Lake Towers to Fujairah City Center Via Emirates Road took 2 hours including a gas station stop.

The Drive:

It’s a scenic, gorgeous drive alongside the cacti-strung yellow-red desert and rugged wadis (canyons)of Fujairah, passing several terrains of land. The winding roads in the mountains gradually descend into a beautiful seaside stretch with the ocean one side and the bare, rustic Hajjar Mountains on the other.

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Road tripping: Dubai to Fujairah 181.1 km, 2 hours

The destination:
Fujairah has this charming, small beach town vibe about it, which I loved. The city center has pretty much everything in terms of food and supplies, but there aren’t too many supermarkets apart from these in the Emirate, so make sure you stay very close to the city center for convenience.

For sightseeing, I passed by the Al Bidayah mosque, between Al Aqqa and Khor Fakkan – a mudbrick structure which happens to be one of the oldest mosques in the UAE, built in AD 1446. It’s not spectacular to look at, but it does have a quaint little desert garden and the mosque is steeped in history so it makes for an interesting visit.

The Al Bidayah Mosque in Fujairah- Don't miss it!

The Al Bidayah Mosque in Fujairah- Don’t miss it!

Another place of interest is the Fujairah Historic Fort, which I missed but would have loved to visit. Made from rocks, mortar, mud and plaster, the sand-colored fort actually changes color from between deep orange and light brown, depending on the location of the sun!

Stay:
We booked the Concorde Fujairah for a night, close to the city center However, we faced a few hiccups, as we found out that breakfast was not included in the rate and that there was no free WiFi in the room ( AED 60 per 24 hours). Also, someone had to come into the room to fix the router after we checked in. Although it did say it’s a 5 star rated hotel, it didn’t quite match up and I was a tad disappointed by the experience.

The Concorde Fujairah

The Concorde Fujairah

Another factor was that the hotel was 40 minutes away from our main destination for the next morning! So we eventually did skip the breakfast at the hotel and opted for a Subway sandwich on the way to Al Aqqa.

Top pick:
An absolute must-do in this gorgeous Emirate is snorkeling and diving While I’ve already gone diving before, I opted to snorkel this time in the shallower ( 5-10 meters) blue-green waters of Fujairah. I was delighted that atleast one of the two locations we snorkeled in, had excellent visibility and a very vibrant marine life to observe.

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

The Al Boom Diving Center at Al Aqqa, Fujairah took the two of us in a high speed motor boat shared with three other divers and two instructors onboard for AED 250 each. We left at 9 am for an expedition which took us to two dive sites (30-45 min at each site) – Dibba rock, which was okay in terms of visibility for snorkelers, although the divers reported spotting two Black-tip Reef Sharks and Sharm rocks, which was excellent for snorkelers (but again, the divers spotted turtles and we didn’t!). What we did see were porcupine fish, boxfish, moray eels, cuttlefish and other tropical reef species.

Snorkeling at Dibba Rock

Snorkeling at Dibba Rock

Few pleasures compare to that of jumping off a boat in an attempted canonball! Sharm rocks, Fujairah

Few pleasures compare to that of jumping off a boat in an attempted canonball! Sharm rocks, Fujairah

Im definitely coming back to dive. Fujairah, You've been amazing!

Im definitely coming back to dive. Fujairah, You’ve been amazing!

I can think of no better way to spend a birthday afternoon, than swimming alongside shoals of beautiful fish in the most dazzling colors and nature’s symmetry- an overwhelming experience for any nature lover and marine life enthusiast. In all, Fujairah is a must-do for residents of the UAE and even visitors. I’d love to take friends and family on this road trip- such a unique way to explore the country. Fujairah gets a thumbs-up – I cannot wait to come back for a dive!