Tag Archives: Dubai Marina

Dubai Neighborhoods: The Marina

I love being in a good routine: I know that every morning I have a workout class from 9-10, teach a computer class each Monday from 6-7, Barr comes home on Wednesdays at 930, etc. Some would call it being a creature of habit, while some may call it anal retentive. (I prefer the former.)

So with this in mind, I thought that a weekly post (same day, of course) on the different neighborhoods/areas in Dubai would be a consistent way to keep this blog informative and interesting, while providing me with an opportunity to both learn more about the different areas of Dubai and honing my newly acquired/severely lacking practice DSLR skills. 🙂

 

Map of different areas of Dubai (via Mappery)

Because I was lazy this week, we’re going to keep it close to home and explore my current neighborhood: the Dubai Marina. It was a hazy morning today, hence the cloudy shots.

Outside the Marina Mall

Outside the Marina Mall

Cluster of boats at the Marina Yacht Club

Cluster of boats at the Marina Yacht Club

Where: South of downtown, right on the Arabian Gulf

The Dubai Maria (via World Floor Plans)

What: The marina is a relatively new area of Dubai. The marina itself is man-made and was carved out of the Arabian Gulf to create an additional waterfront. There is 8km of walkways along the marina front, full of pedestrians, shops, restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings

Water taxi

Water taxi

Highlights: The Marina Mall (love this mall as it isnt typically as crowded as Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Mall, but has tons of great shops and places to grab a bite), close to the gulf/beach!, quick access to the Dubai Metro, Infinity Tower (the infamous “twisty” building), and the Walk – great spot to run, walk, eat and people watch

Shaded playground for the youngins' beneath a bridge to shield them from the hot summer sun

Shaded playground for the youngins’ beneath a bridge to shield them from the hot summer sun – reminds me of parks/playgrounds on top of buildings in NYC

Fun facts: 

  • The marina is home to several of the world’s tallest residential buildings, including the Princess Tower, 23 Marina, and the soon to be completed Pentominium, which will be a whopping 122 stories!
  • It is unreal to me that the Dubai Marina did not exist until 10 years ago – it is now home to 400,000 people in 200 skyscrapers
  • The Marina is one of the few districts of Dubai where Westerners comprise the majority
The heart of the marina: the hardworking construction men

The heart of the marina: the hardworking construction men

The Infinity Tower (twisty) and to the right, the world's tallest residential building, the Princess Tower

The Infinity Tower (twisty) and to the right, the world’s tallest residential building, the Princess Tower

Stay tuned for these each Monday – I am going to hold myself accountable! Until next time…

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Sweet Potato Crust Mini Pizzas

Hope everyone is having a great weekend (as well as an extra hour of sleep)! To cap off the weekend, I thought I would share one of our dinnertime faves.

I love pizza and miss the real take away stuff – celiac is irritating like that. Not to mention, I *try* to cook things that are healthy and filling, so when a friend of mine pass along the recipe for Kale Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust (as adapted from Callie England), I had to try it – and it was a big hit in our little home, gluten free and all! I tweaked the toppings a bit, but the original kale combo is equally delish!

Sweet Potato Crust

2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes

2.5 cups of gluten free flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup of cold water

2 T of olive oil

dash of seat salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor (or stir incessantly until smooth a la Abby).

Stir! Stir! Stir!

Stir! Stir! Stir!

Once combined, place dough in bowl and use hands to form 2 balls. On a baking sheet (silicone, or pizza stone) roll dough into circular shape about .25 inch thick. Should yield 2 8″ crust. (I make a few different sizes for variety.)

Pizza crusts, ready for the oven

Pizza crusts, ready for the oven

In a preheated oven, bake crust at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Add desired toppings – we tried chicken sausage, rocket, tomatoes, parm, and red bell peppers last night – and bake for another 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until outer crust turns brown.

Topping ideas - get crazy!

Topping ideas – get crazy!

Once browned, remove from oven and allow to cool.

Finished products

Finished products

Ready to dig in

Ready to dig in!

Yummo! Give it a try – perfect for a cool fall dinner! Until next time…

Dubai Digs II

Here are the final few snaps of our apartment – the master bed and bathroom – exciting stuff over here 🙂

The bedroom is still a bit bare in my opinion: we need to hang some pictures/mirror and add a rug, but it’s a work in progress! Here is a little mood board of my psuedo inspiration for the room – Barr and I both love the colors and patterns of Ming and Delft pottery – it’s just so clean and classic! Here’s what we’re kind of working with…

General bedroom inspiration - love the colors and patterns!

General bedroom inspiration – love the colors and patterns!

And here’s our current reality – obviously we have a ways to go (I hate these lamps):

Part of the bed. Some notes: if I could monogram everything I would, yes we have a mini Dash, and yes I know that picture is probably too small for that wall but it matched my motif inspiration!

Part of the bed. Some notes: if I could monogram everything I would, yes we have a mini Dash, and yes I know that picture is probably too small for that wall but it matched my motif inspiration!

The dresser and entry way leading to the kitchen/living room - note the slam dunk of a lamp I found!

The dresser and entry way leading to the kitchen/living room – note the slam dunk of a lamp I found! Would love to find a statement mirror for over the dresser…

Bedroom - Barr will cringe when he sees that I left my bathroom and his hangers on the bed, but hey, this is real life here

Bedroom – Barr will cringe when he sees that I left my bathroom and his hangers on the bed, but hey, this is real life here

It’s also an interesting balance to strike in our apartment here as we of course want it to feel homey and comfortable, but at time same time, when we move back to the states (eventually), we’ll be limited on the furniture and knick knacks we can bring back – so it’s just deciding what and how to spend our money on those sorts of things! A silk rug and a local piece of art are on our wish list.

Here are the two areas of the apartment that we’ve really struggled with: the closet and bathroom as both are quite a bit smaller than we’ve previously had. It was initially an adjustment, but we’ve found that it’s really not as bad as we thought.

Where some of my shoes live. I dont have a problem; YOU have a problem! (Okay, I have a problem)

Where some of my shoes live. I dont have a problem; YOU have a problem! (Okay, I have a problem)

The closet is two sided, divided in half by a sliding mirror door.

The closet is two sided, divided in half by a sliding mirror door.

One side of the bathroom (note the toilet seat, David ;)

One side of the bathroom (note the toilet seat, David 😉

The shower - thrilling!

The shower – thrilling!

So there you have it! The whole kit and caboodle. It’s cozy and we’re really loving it so far. The one thing the pictures dont do is give justice to the location and view, which was the real selling point; we feel very blessed to have lucked into the building and location. Hope everyone is having a great hump day, is eating an absurd amount of candy ahead of trick or treaters arriving (I know I always had to wait until October 31 to actually buy the candy), and until next time….

Dubai Digs I

I have been in Dubai for 6 weeks, and our apartment for just shy of 4 – hard to believe! And I have a feeling time will just go by more quickly once the holiday and visiting season is in full swing. 🙂 So on the anniversary on our 4 weeks in our Dubai digs here in the marina, I give you part uno of our little (literally, approximately 900 square feet to put it in perspective) apartment. While the unit isnt as large as we were accustomed to in Charlotte, Atlanta, or Durham for that matter, I think it has and will be good for hoarder Barr and shopping fiend Abby in the long run – there just isnt any room for superfluous stuff! (And boy did we embarrassingly have a lot of stuff…) I actually want kind of waiting until we had managed to store most of our clothes, shoes, golf paraphernalia, etc  before taking pictures, hence the 4 week delay. Along these same lines, the bedroom pictures are going to be in part two because it’s currently a disaster!

That all being said, the apartment we selected has been fab – we are really pleased thus far! The location is ideal; with Barr’s work schedule being what it is, it’s been amazing to have a lot going on right outside our building as well as lots of shops and such nearby. Not to mention there is a great 10k running loop around the marina – get ready, Mom! Last, but certainly not least, the location is literally a 5 minute walk from the beach as well as the metro, which has been delightful given our lack of car situation.

Entry way & our makeshift Ikea closet/storage (say hi to our suitcases on top!)

Entry way & our makeshift Ikea closet/storage (say hi to our suitcases on top!)

Guest bathroom - please note the authentic African mask that we procured in Cape Town

Guest bathroom – please note the authentic African mask that we procured in Cape Town

The living room

The living room

The coffee table/linen closet

The coffee table/linen closet

Friends! Oh and the tv console/book shelf - Ikea furniture is so multipurpose!

Friends! Oh and the tv console/book shelf – Ikea furniture is so multipurpose!

The kitchen from the living room - BOO!

The kitchen from the living room – BOO!

Kitchen shot - I mopped the floor just for yall

Kitchen shot – I mopped the floor just for yall

Living room from the kitchen

Living room from the kitchen

Close up of our fridge

Close up of our fridge

So now a few questions for my loyal readers (hi Mom!) First, below are the two pictures that I had shipped from the states to be hung here – the walls are concrete, making hanging things a bit challenging as I need our maintenance men to help out (and the maintenance folks here, while helpful once theyre here in our unit, are exactly speedy). Now that youve seen the vast expanse of white walls, any recommendations/thoughts on where to hang them? (OR if you have any tips to hang pictures on concrete walls yourself, that would be equally helpful)…

Picture from the states #1 - beautiful needlepoint done by my talented Mema (she just started a Dubai one!)

Picture from the states #1 – beautiful needlepoint done by my talented Mema (she just started a Dubai one!)

Picture from the states #2 (to be framed) - artwork by uber fabulous KJane Studio

Picture from the states #2 (to be framed) – artwork by uber fabulous KJane Studio

Project number two: I have two pillows for the sofa that I want/need (?) to get covered. I’ve been visiting the textile souk looking for some fab local fabric to have made into pillow covers, but it’s been challenging to find fabric in a pattern and texture that I like and would match the “vibe” of the room as well as me and Barr’s taste. While I havent completely given up (I love a good challenge), I did find these awesome pillows from a local designer.

Aina is the local designer, and we were really drawn to the use of the “dalla” as well as the lovely embroidery; some favorites are below. From their Facebook page: Aina uses the “Dalla”(coffee pot) symbol as an icon to represent the Dirham coin of the U.A.E. Depicting history, roots and heritage, this embroidery is created with attention to design and detail in every piece, making each “Dalla” unique to its owner. 

The bare pillow :(

The bare pillow 😦

Pillows by Aina

Pillows by Aina

So there you have it: part 1 of the apartment tour. Tomorrow I’ll bring you the master bed and bathroom – I hope yall can get through the day waiting for that post 😉 Until next time…

(Long) Weekend Recap

Greetings! I have been a bit remiss in posting the past few days, but there is something very different about the Middle East that I have had to get used to: weekends are Friday and Saturday here in Dubai (and throughout the Middle East). Fridays are the Muslim Holy Days here, and the metro and many shops dont even open until later in the day. Given this adjusted schedule, Barr was “home” (as much as you can call the hotel home), and we took advantage of some exploring! What’s more, we found and secured an apartment for the year! Woo hoooooo! So, if you’ll indulge me, a bit of a long weekend recap:

Apartment Hunting: If you know Barr and I, we can be very different: he is indecisive to a fault, while I often (okay, always) tend to make decisions too quickly/without thinking them through – knowing ourselves, we were a bit nervous about our 1(!) day of house hunting here. BUT, if you can believe it (because I scarcely can), we found a place we both liked, within our budget, and in the area we had hoped for. The apartment will be a bit tight, but were ready for the challenge – besides, the views, tall ceilings, 2 bathrooms, and updated fixtures/appliances were too good to pass up! Here are some shaky IPhone shots (more to come once we move in and start furnishing!)

At the Top & Dubai Mall: Friday the mister and I had a little lay in, grabbed breakfast, and headed for some touristy stuff. Thanks to my wonderful father, we now have what I like to call the “big girl camera” (Barr, not so much). It’s an awesome Nikon, but it isnt as handy as an IPhone or point and shoot, though the results are MUCH better. So, as a result, you will notice my awesome camera strap and festive backpack (full of camera lenses and other photography goodies) – tourists written all over. Anyway, we took the big girl camera with us “to the top” – of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. I’m okay with heights, but the view can be dizzying…enjoy some shots from the top as well as at the Dubai Mall!
Super tourists at the top

Super tourists at the top

The Dubai Mall/fountain from above

The Dubai Mall/fountain from above

View of the Gulf from the top of the Burj Khalifa

Contemplating the view/trying not to get dizzy

Contemplating the view/trying not to get dizzy

Super tourist shot by Barr

Super tourist shot by Barr

Dubai Mall (by Barr)

Dubai Mall (by Barr)

Saturday: Friday night, we met up with a friend that I had been “introduced” to via email through some Charlotte girlfriends – she lives here in Dubai and is from Charlotte as well. Although I didnt take any pictures, I should have! It was great to meet her – she had a ton of good insights and it was fun to realize all of our mutual friends – crazy that we hadnt met before! 🙂 The next morning, Barr insisted on a trip to the pool while I insisted on a trip to Ikea. We hit the pool first thing in the morning to avoid the oppressive afternoon heat, and at about 1PM, headed back to the hotel and then Ikea. I was actually quite proud of us as we navigated the metro system from one end of the city to the other (not that hard considering that most of the city runs along 1 major thoroughfare), to the Swedish megastore, Ikea. It’s pretty much like any Ikea you would find in the states (or globally, I would assume) – and we managed to settle on some furniture that we both liked – the most important of which will probably be a wardrobe, given the size of our closets! Check out my Instagram (ASBlanton) for some snaps of our Ikea adventure.
So, now it’s Sunday and Barr is back to work (a weird mental adjustment), and I’m off to run some errands, do some research on future trips, check out the local Crossfit gym (!), and order some home goodies/furniture! Hope everyone has a great weekend, wherever you are and whatever days that may include. Until next time…