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Showing posts from 2017

Surrounded by the Greens - A staycation at Bin Majd Mangrove

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When the working week comes to an end most of us like to just kick back and unwind. An ideal location to do this is just under two hours away. At Bin Majid Mangrove Hotel you can find comfort and relaxation in no short supply.   Who knew that an urban escape was so easy to find? After a short drive to Ras Al Khaimah, my family and I were pleasantly surprised to be surrounded by thick green mangroves. The hotel staff welcomed us with a chilled welcome drink and we soon made it to our room. A cozy Queen Suite, it had a separate living area, bathroom and two large TV screens. I was only interested in the view outdoors. A long line of mangroves stretched as far as the eye could see. Mangroves are shrub and tree species that live along shores and rivers and on muddy soil. In fact they live in water that is up to a 100 times saltier than other plants can tolerate.
The mangroves in Ras Al Khaimah were truly unique We explored the area which has a nice jogging track, a promenade and many eatin…

Rejuvenation redefined

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It has been a special summer but what made it even brighter was a staycation at Centro Barsha. After a particularly busy week, a relaxing hotel stay was a heaven sent. 
Centro Barsha is centrally located and about a six-minute walk from Sharaf DG metro station. It is just 8km from the Mall of the Emirates as well. The lobby of the hotel bears a stylish, uncluttered look. We were greeted by Faisan who was extremely efficient and kind. We could not wait to see our room.  Located on the 6th floor, our room had an attached suite. It truly felt like home. Not one, but two television sets spelt ‘excitement’ for my family. Finally, there would be no arguments on what we could watch on the telly.  Managed by the Rotana group, Centro Barsha pitches itself as a business hotel. The pricing is modest and there are 245 rooms in all. The hotel has a swimming pool which was the highlight of my stay. Situated on the rooftop, with a separate outdoor seating area, besides a few deck chairs, the pool had m…

Brunch with a view

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If you’ve lived in this region, a brunch is probably something you’ve been to. For the unacquainted, it is a combination of breakfast and a hearty lunch spread over approximately four hours. From noon till about 4pm. Most brunches are held on Fridays -- the weekend for residents here. There is no shortage of food and beverage in most venues. Some brunches organise activities for families with children.     
We visited the brunch held at Park Regis hotel in their restaurant called Kris with a View. True to its name, the view was certainly one of the best highlights. It is located on the 19th floor of the hotel. One can gaze at the heart of Dubai with its metro and iconic landmarks in the far distance. There are a lot of venues in this exciting city that have stood the test of time. For me, these are establishments that are worth visiting time and again. As the venue filled in, it didn’t take long to realise that this brunch is particularly popular with a lot of visitors. A live band …

Where the world comes to shop

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If you are used to getting all your grocery needs in one location, and you live in the Middle East, there's a high chance that you are shopping at Lulu.

I first came across the word hypermarket when associated with this group. Larger than life department stores with aisles and aisles of goods from around the world, all under one roof.

In February this year Deloitte, in its Annual Global Retailers Report, ranked the LuLu Group as the top retailer in the Middle East and 27th among the top 50 fastest growing retailers in the world. The group currently operates 136 stores across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, with more stores in the pipeline.

Products from pomegranate to electric kettles are sourced from 21 countries including UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil, apart from local sources. A select group of media were invited to the large warehouse located in Dubai Investment Park. We were offered a rare snea…

A dream drive

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Most people still use a car as a status symbol. Its an unwritten rule. Your car is an extension of your identity.

Well I wouldn't mind being associated with the all new Honda CR-V, as I was fortunate enough to test drive this beauty and boy was it exhilarating.

The new fifth Generation CR-V test drive in the UAE was recently hosted at the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E. The completely redesigned and re-engineered 2017 CR-V boasts of bold new styling, a more premium interior and a host of new features and technologies aimed at enhancing CR-V’s status as the benchmark in the highly popular compact SUV segment.



The 2.4-liter engine generates 184-horsepower @ 6400rpm and a torque of 244NM @3900rpm. The fuel consumption statistics of the CR-V are 15.5km/L for the DX and LX grades and 14.7km/L for the EX and Touring grades. What that translates to in lay person's terms is a smooth and comfortable ride.




I couldn't contain my excitement on the day of the test drive. Being…

A home away from home

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Not every hotel can claim 5-star status. It comes after careful examination of amenities. Adherence to international standards must be met. A visit to preview the latest offering of Al Raha Beach Hotel’s Azur Restaurant, came my way. Since I’m based in the northern Emirates it was going to be a three-and-a-half-hour journey to Abu Dhabi. No distance is an obstacle when it comes to work and so I went to check out the property. 

Azur is a casual dining restaurant that has both outdoor and indoor seating options. The recently revamped menu harbours a homely Italian Trattoria. The turquoise-hued place is buzzing with people when I finally arrive. The first course is already over and done with and people are digging in to their Mushroom Risotto. A dish I thoroughly enjoyed. For anyone who favours Italian cuisine, there was a lot more headed our way. In came a succulent Lamb Shank or lamb ossobucco, which was served with its own beef sauce.
The music and the ambience added to the experience.…

Learning to say no

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Toddlers can do it with ease. In fact it is often times the first word they utter repeatedly. 

Would you like to eat, No. 
Want to sleep - no. 
Got to bed, no. 
Be quiet. NO!

There are a multitude of words in the English language but perhaps few are quite as brutal as this. And yet after a sufficient amount of my existence, I often find it hard to stand my ground. To say no and be okay with it.

It isn't easy to be a stay at home mom. Often times I wonder who conjured up the title. Besides running a home which usually includes the cooking, cleaning and running of errands, I also try to earn a living. Be that as it may I often find it hard to describe what I do to total strangers.   

One is regularly bombarded with requests to edit resumes, answer the door bell, fix someone's broken class project, baby sit the neigbours pet hamster for a few days, fix someone's mobile phone... you get the drift. 

The house help often think it is easy to cancel at the last hour because, 'Madam d…

Have we forgotten to be funny?

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An interview with Cyrus Broacha.
When April Fools’ Day ends most of us are back to being blue. Returning to mundane routines and pining for weekends. Some of world’s top comedians make it their business to be funny even when no one is laughing.  For Indian satirists, there’s enough fodder for humour with the twists and turns in the political landscape. Many miles away from my home town, a show that often cracks us up is ‘The Week That Wasn’t, with Cyrus Broacha.’ Hosted on News 18 (Formerly CNN IBN) it is a half hour run down of Indian politics and has ruffled feathers on more than one occasion. It might not be the funniest show on television but the anchors have the guts to make sure they have the last laugh. 
Catching up with the host, Cyrus, seems impossible at first. Like any anchor, he is writing and rehearsing in a Mumbai studio, juggling between events in Pune and even working on podcasts for a radio podcast show called ‘Cyrus Says.’
For well over two decades he’s got brickbats…

What's so funny?

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Can you keep a secret? I got an exclusive interview with a certain Cyrus.
Details very soon.
Keep an eye or two, on to this blog @aboriginal.
Get more people to subscribe and tell us what you do to make life fun and there could be a surprise waiting for you.


A shade of saffron

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Ab:original checks out the latest dining venue on Dubai Marina. 










When you don’t know anything about Persian cuisine you go with the flow. Luckily I am always willing to learn and I have a weakness for good food. It is why I love to travel and explore new countries and opportunities. On this occasion I got to meet what could arguably be the first man in Iranian cuisine in Dubai, Chef Ebrahim.
He is unobtrusive. Almost childlike when we first meet. Addresses my husband at first and I soon realise it is because most women he meets would never really dare to ask too many questions. There’s an air of respect that I admire and it is good to listen to the banter that ensues. The food that is laid on the table is all fresh. I can see a few drops of water on the crisp green grapes that are laid on the table. They are put right next to fresh cheese and walnuts all waiting to be eaten. If this isn’t sheer poetry, I don’t know what is.
Warm fresh loaves of bread are brought to our table by ladies …