Another Weekend, Another Staycation! Why not play #TouristInMyCity Again?
If you love water adventures have a taste for navigating through different cities, Acacia Hotel, RAK is the place to go! This swanky new 4-star hotel under Bin Majid Resorts & Properties has the most amazing deals for a perfect weekend this summer. Our trip was in celebration of my brother’s 25th birthday, so taking pictures took a back seat (poor blogger me!).
Our stay was an all inclusive package, which I highly recommended because at the entrance we were greeted by a big envelope filled with different coupons & discounts.
1. All inclusive drinks: You can pamper your self and enjoy your entire time with a glass in one hand. From Hot Beverages (Coffee & Tea) to Cold Fizzy Drinks & various type of Alcohols, we had access to all 24/7. Pretty Cool!
2. Water adventures: With an all inclusive deal, you not only get to enjoy Acacia’s outdoor pool but also receive Beach access, Water slides & go Kakking coupons to use in Bin Majid’s Resort property – Beach Hotel, 10 minutes away from the hotel.
3. Sheesha fans: Acacia’s outdoor pool is the ideal perfect spot for you to soak up the sun, sip on the free amazing cocktails all day long & appreciate your holiday with a sheesha pipe. Though the setting is perfect for Sheesha lovers, unfortunately, only 3 flavors of Sheesha might annoy some (including, my brother!)
4. No Fights over Remote: I dunno about you, but I always end up fighting over TV in hotels (Ironically, I prefer laptops to watch stuff at home!) It was a nice surprise that our room had two set of TVs yet somewhat weird that we couldn’t find a flat Iron (That’s such a huge disappointment for someone like me, who is so particular about her perfectly ironed hijabs)
5: Affordable prices: A relatively new addition to RAK, the hotel offers super inexpensive all inclusive deals for adults & kids. You can find some great ones on Cobone or Groupon starting from only AED 250.
6. Free WiFi: What makes me furious is when luxury hotels for the sake for “Free WIFI” offer super crappy slow speed ones in return for your personal information (Emails & Mobile No, where they bombard you with useless deals over the next few months). Thankfully, Acacia (was different) facilitates decent WiFi speed without any privacy interruptions.
Any Drawbacks? All our meals were set at Al Nakhla Restaurant and honestly, the food was nothing to rave about or had anything new & exciting. Again, the pastry selection at Garden Brew Cafe was boring & similar to the desserts offered for lunch buffet at Al Nakhla. However, we did come across a promising Japenese Restaurant – Okura in the basement which we may try on our next visit. Plus, Hamra Mall is just 10 minutes away so food was not a major issue for us.
I always play the tourist card in Dubai, well duh! the city is full of wonders – Dubai doesn’t do small, it’s a place of extremes. This weekend I got the chance to experience the magical deep waters of world’s largest aquarium #DAUZ (Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo) located in world’s biggest shopping mall. Perhaps, it’s the city’s glitz and glam, superlatives, and passion of breaking records we love.
While shopping in Dubai Mall, I always enjoyed DAUZ from the outside. So there I was at the entrance ready to unveil the hidden secrets of this place with my Explorer Tag on (120 Dhs per person) which includes an aquarium tour and boat ride too. Surprisingly, the tickets price was decent. And if you use the Entertainer App: Enjoy a one buy get one free deal on the Researcher tag (100 Dhs per person).
Oh yes, the guest of honor for the day was my mom who is my biggest fan since day one (love you, mom!) Well, all my reviews are a joint collection of experience as I always take serious notes of my partner’s opinion (you never know what they might point out!)
You start off on the ground floor, with a complete panoramic experience of the aquatic life (mark your first encounter with sharks) while walking through the mystic blue tunnel. A perfect place to snap an insta-worthy moment!
After the tunnel, we proceeded to Underwater Zoo, on Level 2 of Dubai Mall which has EVERYTHING! (I mean in terms of marine animals, they even had Nemo & Dory). This is the part which is hidden from the public eye and worth every penny you pay. Quickly we joined others in a queue to our special stimulator submarine experience which was basically a major disappointment for any adult. (you don’t wanna follow a random looking turtle into the sea on the screen).
Unlocking more secrets of DAUZ, we made our way to the glass bottom boat ride (your boomerang game goes strong here). Our super cute guide informed us with real facts & figures (who knew world’s largest aquarium contains 10 million liters of water with 33k aquatic animals, well I had no clue!). The ride was so fascinating, I found myself giggling and going “Mom, look at this!” every few seconds.
May be my Aquarius star sign took a toll on me but I spent the entire day admiring each session of their underwater zoo (completely forgot about dinner) which is divided into three zones – Rainforest, Rocky Shore, and Living Ocean. Well, my information about aquatic animals was limited to penguins, dolphins, and Nemo, so you can only imagine my smile when I spotted water rats, sea horses, giant squids, Veiled Chameleon and our tiny friends – Neon Tetra, glass catfish, white cloud mountain minnow.
Well, my information about aquatic animals was limited to penguins, dolphins, and Nemo, so you can only imagine my smile when I spotted water rats, sea horses, giant squids, Veiled Chameleon and our tiny friends – Neon Tetra, glass catfish, white cloud mountain minnow.
Though the main attraction is said to be the 40 year old King Croc from Australia, I couldn’t take my eyes away from those adorable penguins doing somersaults in the water. (Future husband, kindly note I may ask for a penguin on my birthday!)
Side Note: DAUZ did break my heart in one aspect, throughout the journey the photographers clicked us with random looking pose and asked us to collect them at the final counter. News flash! The photos cost double the ticket price, like are you kidding me? Not once, we were informed during the whole ‘say cheez’ extravaganza about the price (honestly, you do get a bit tempted but 300AED, No Never Nada!).
Overall, we very much enjoyed our experience at #DAUZ (you know a place is amazing when it has a hashtag) and finally, something I can strike it off from my bucket list. For more details about their prices please visit http://www.thedubaiaquarium.com
PS: This is a collaboration that I did with Ewaan Properties. Having said that, everything that I stated here comes from personal stories. I am just a Small Town Girl joining the glitz & glam army of Dubai every now and then. Sharing my genuine opinion to help pick out your next adventure without revealing many secrets about the place.
I was forever a daydreamer, hosting make-believe fancy tea parties for my soft toys and troubling my mom to bring down those elegant china dishes and order miniature cupcakes and cookies, pretending to be a royal princess. Though I’m a messy eater and surely not sophisticated enough for regal ballroom parties, I just had to jump on the chance to bring back those childhood memories with Palace Downtown’s BVLGARI Afternoon Garden Tea Party.
Relaxing and quiet, with live music accompaniment in the background. The lush Garden of Palace Downtown with a view of the waterfront and beautiful white aesthetics on the tables exudes an elegant sophisticated charm the moment you step in. My date for the afternoon was Momna from @mytasteperspective, a darling to share some of here travel stories with me while we munched on some truly satisfying pieces.
We began our high tea set with a choice of tea or coffee for each of us. After serving us our chosen beverages fruity green tea for me), we were then presented with the highlight of the afternoon – an ornate 3-tiered tray with colorful and delectable sweet and savory snacks. So what did we have? Take a deep breath and unbuckle your belt …
Overall, The Hi Tea Garden party is somewhere you could certainly impress your girlfriends at. Of course, this is perfect for a baby or bridal showers, nice catch-up with close friends, have a girly session or just to enjoy the water dance too. One thing to note is that there are relatively few tables, so we really loved the privacy too!
Details Day: Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday in March Timing: 1pm to 4pm Price: AED 200 per person inclusive of unlimited tea infusions and coffee; AED 300 per person inclusive of unlimited juniper beverages; AED 550 per person inclusive of unlimited premium bubbly.
If you are brought up in the wild desert life of UAE, you’ve been through the complicated dilemma of where exactly is home – your apartment here or Grannys comfortable house back in the country? We all are addicted exciting around the clock city life. Then again, around the wildness, I discovered peace in Ajman – my home for 22 years, usually, termed as the Backward Town by Dubai Folks.
Can’t deny how beautifully the landscape of Dubai has progressed in the past 10 years leaving behind its counterparts, but I would never give up the suburb feel of Ajman to metropolitan madhouse vibes of Dubai or restless crowds of Sharjah.
Ajman – a place which is more home to me than any house in India, following its brother’s step towards Development & Tourism, replicating areas of Dubai with personal traditional touches throughout. All my college life, I heard friend ridiculed my home for countless reasons, major city folks I guess.
But now is the time to showcase Ajman in all its glory. Last month, I embarked a 6hour #RoadTripAjman with 4 major stops around my hometown. Honoring the best of Ajman live on my Snapchat and InstaStories. However, if you did miss the fun, I got you covered on this post – a recap to my favorite spots of Ajman.
To my ‘City Folks’ Jurf is home to several Universities and of course plenty coffee shops – Tim Hortons, Filli Cafe, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks & Caribou, making it a cult favorite for youngsters. It is a much more sophisticated area capturing a beautiful array of cuisines with loads of super affordable dessert parlors. If you are a foodie, get down here & find some seriously economical delicious meals. I’ve lived here for 22 years and still, I discover hidden sweet gems buried in random corners every other week.
For the ultimate economical shopping experience, China Mall similar to Dragon Mart holds wonderful surprises including Splash Fashion’s Discounted Warehouse but has very limited food options.
Fun Fact* Intercity bus transport to Jurf cost only AED 3.
2. Ajman Marina District
What sets Ajman apart from the counter states is its stunning coastline. We all know, the hyped up Ajman Beach but the less than 5 minutes away drive from the main road stands a gorgeous miniature replica of Dubai Marina – a definite Instagram-Worthy spot with its #LoveAjman Block Letters and quirky food trucks including the trendy burger joint SALT.
It features a 1.5-kilometre-long esplanade that is popular with joggers, cyclists, and families out for an evening stroll, where you can rent cycles out too. I personally love this place at early mornings because of the crazy bunch of birds, it is so satisfying to feed 100s of birds, who literally eat up packets of popcorns within seconds. And if you forgot to get food for our furry friends, a small little cafe just around the corner has got you all covered up.
*Fun Fact: Soon a submarine shaped restaurant will be launched at Marina.
3. Safia Park
Though I’m not a huge fan of Parks, I love the fancy Mosaic Market, another miniature replica of Flea Market with loads of fun activities & cartoon characters to meet. Foodwise, there are a few stalls to choose from, but a better option is to take advantage of the public barbecue areas and create a picnic of your own. Click here for location.
Another reason to visit this area, is the gorgeously lit roundabouts, gardens & footpaths with vibrant flowers perfect for photo shoots. I found this wonderful garden tucked away behind one of the Sheikh’s Palace, yeah, I’m a little creepy when it comes to my shoots. But the stunning aesthetics of this plot could never be captured in a picture.
Al Zorah Golf Club
One of Ajman’s best natural features is Al Zorah Nature Reserve – a peaceful tidal mangrove creek towards the North of the city, and a striking stab of green in the otherwise sandy desert. Still, in its development stage, Zorah Resorts will be the most popular site of Ajman in the coming years. As for now, you can enjoy a Sheesha at Shakespeare & Co. with the outstanding natural beauty of the creek or savor some Japenese Sushi Dining experiences at Litchy Sushi Bar or play a Game of Golf at the Club.
Fun Fact* You get free Golf Cart Rides from the parking to the Club Entrance.
Despite recent developments, Ajman always retained its friendly Small town vibe throughout the years and greets all its visitors with open arms, which can be witnessed by the quirky traffics signals at each corner of Ajman either with a red smiling face or warm green heart.
As I sit here, writing this Blog I do regret skipping a few other spots, but I was running short on time for the Road Trip. Honestly, it was so much fun working on this Travel Post in collaboration with the Tourism Board and I would love to know your favorite Ajman spots, just use the #RoadTripAjman on any social media channel.
2016 was definitely a roller coaster ride, filled with happy highs and disappointing lows, special success and frustrating failures. I definitely came out of my little protective shell and got to meet so many incredible people in the industry & make new friends, work with some of my dream brands/companies, finally conquered on one of the most challenging hurdle ever – UAE Driving test and made my biggest investment so far with my little black beauty – Nissan Sentra 2016.
Looking back at 2016, I encountered lots of good and bad memories but enjoyed plenty of “I can’t believe I did that” moments. This year, I faced the worst of depression & stumbled upon nerve-racking anxiety, but I stood strong and kicked some serious ass. Read books on self-motivation, practices self-love and most importantly trained my mind to focus on positive thoughts only.
This little recap of my favourite 2016 milestones, got me crazy excited for what 2017 has in store for me.
Recently I was up for a shopping spree but a budget friendly one (I deserve some brownie points for being super careful) on a HongKong based website calledJollychic– famous for the stunning red logo, seasonal offers & countless commercials on facebook. As I’m a planning an overseas trip soon, I thought of trying out some new affordable online stores to get my bags packing.
After constant back and forth of adding items to my wishlist from their fabulous clothing lines & huge accessories collection, I happily settled on some travelling essentials & wardrobe staples. Though, I’m quite sceptical about online shopping from international stores mainly because of the delivery time, Jollychic did surprise me in this very department (definitely in a good way) by their amazing association with local & foreign shipping & logistics companies.
The final order was placed on 18th Sept at Jollychic and the items were delivered at my doorstep via Aramex on 30th Sept.
So here is a quick fashion haul of what I picked up and if you are interested in giving Jollychic a try, use my special coupon code ” rthijabstyles “ for a 10% off on your order. Plus, you can avail, free express shipping on purchases worth 99$ and up.
Plus Size Black Patchwork Lace Top
One can never have too many black shirts precisely because you can always dress them up for an event or snuggle in them during office hours yet look presentable. The outfits you can recreate with this simple top brings in a whole other level of possibilities.
6 Pcs Classic Sterling Geometric Pattern Handbag Set
I’ve been wanting to invest in a good travelling combo and this one was a love at first sight sort of thing. Replicating the oh so famous Gucci pattern, I thought this particular combo was rather classy & super convenient for vacations with so many choices from a wallet to an oval bag, clutch and much more.
When I added this particular dainty purse to my Jollychic cart, I’ll admit it was an impulse buy, mainly because of my huge fetish with tiny tassel bags & clutches. But this was beautiful little gem does compliment my recent ‘monochromic’ personality & oomphs up those boring rags I wear on my massive shopping fever days.
Living in UAE, you are overthrown by alternatives for Friday Plans particularly the options available for lavish brunch with family. Yet, when I received an invite from Downtown Palace, I was downright excited! Why may you ask? Though 21 years in UAE, it was my very first time visiting Traditional Arabic Architectural Palace known for its Award Wining luxurious Middle Eastern themes.
As we entered through the beautiful royal doors, the sumptuous spread at Ewaan left us astonished as ever. The buffet was mainly filled with over 200+ Arabic & Oriental dishes with live cooking stations. Brunch begins at 1pm and is usually jam packed with the hotel guests as well as the residents of UAE. Despite this being one of the busiest brunches that we have attended, the tables were not crammed together so we felt like we had a little bit of space and privacy amongst our dining group.
This mega-brunch is all about the live cooking stations shockingly serving everything a meat lover wants, from Chicken to Duck, Fish, Lobsters, Veal & beef also a Sushi station you had it all under one roof. You are definitely spoiled with countless choices of meat.
The cooking station continuously grilled meat as per your liking & served it as hot! With various sauces & dips to try with. Focusing on the Arabic Traditions, the food flavours were mild but they did offer chilli sauce for the Indian Spice lovers too. The Pasta station has always been my favourite & at this particular one, I asked the cook to add veal on to my pink pasta sauce which turned out to be a perfect combination.
You know it's a big hot shot restaurant when the buffet includes the finest artisan selection of cheese & bread. After a…
Venturing into the dessert section, you will be left delighted with Arabic sweets particularly the popular Umm Ali. Another surprise for the inner child in you would be the live cotton candy station, chocolate fondue & crepes. Plus, you can help yourself to mini modern dessert like chocolate, mango mouse & all flavours of cheesecakes.
Before making your way out do ensure that you stop by the outside terrace for outstanding views of their swimming pool – the perfect way to end such a luxurious brunch.
After days of endless hectic blogging schedules, a much need Staycation was bound to follow. De-stressing yourself by getting away from all the office buzz & deadlines is so crucial to keep you sane. A few weeks back I was blessed with a luxurious stay at Hilton Hotel located in the heart of Al Qasba, Sharjah.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the team who ensured the check in process was smooth. The staff later carried our bags to the room, while I spent my own sweet time clicking pictures of their grand lobby area.
At both sides of the lobby were set Al Dallah & Citrus Lobby Lounges ideal to relax and enjoy a light naughty snack.
Our Twin Deluxe Lagoon room on the 7th floor was well-equipped with two twin-sized beds, and 32″ plasma TV, which comes with kid channels – very handy for rainy days. The comfy bed and white sheets made sure we had a good night’s sleep. You can find a work desk with multiple plugging stations, as well as an in-room safe, mini bar and coffee/tea making facilities in the room.
The bathroom is a beloved feature of the room, with its bright interior and elegant white marble tiles the huge bathtub, partitioned toilet, and not to mention designer toiletries from Peter Thomas Roth ensured us, a royal stay at Hilton.
The closet was huge, accompanied with iron and hair dryer and it also holds a built-in locker. For an extra regal touch, the room includes plush bathrobe and slippers. But my favourite part was the magnificent view of the Khalid Lagoon and the city skyline at night. You could see the water dance from way above.
After getting settled in the room comfortably next on our agenda was to take a walk around the Waterfront. Right around the hotel is Elevation burger known for its healthy organic ingredients and moving forward, you find Dominions Pizza as well. On the other hand for entertainment, you have NOVA cinema at walking distance.
We quickly fell asleep watching the Disney channel in our soft comfy giant single beds & separate comforters. I desperately loathe sharing my blanket.
Next morning, we went to Mojo Restaurant for our complimentary breakfast and bouy I was so surprised!! While the selection was really impressive & alluring to the eye, the friendly staff was the highlight of my brunch. Beverages including tea, coffee & juices are served by the staff themselves.
Live cooking stations are my lovely to experience especially if it’s all about crepes & paired with the handy mini Nutella packs. Though the chefs were making Eggs, my eyes were stuck to the beautifully cooked French-style pancakes.
Lastly, summers are all about Watermelon and so was our summer morning. You find a whole section dedicated to the fruit, from smoothies to muffins, watermelon was star of the show.
Until this day, the yummy crepe was all I can recall about the hotel. I do recommend this hotel to any family or couple looking for an easy, affordable getaway.
Check-in: 2 pm while the Check-out is12:00 pm. The per day rate of the Deluxe Twin room starts from AED 350 which includes free WIFI and breakfast at Mojo Restaurant.
Disclaimer: The stay & meal featured in this post were offered to Rt Hijab Style’s author complimentary for review purposes, however, no monetary compensation was given. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hilton Resorts & Spa or any other company.
Hauls are always fascinating particularly the ones which cost mere AED 20 only. This post is inspired by the Dirham Store Challenge by my birthday twine Mona Gir. Thrift store challenges are all over the internet, so why should Dubai stay behind? Okay!! we may not have thrift stores, but UAE is covered with hundreds of 1 to 10 DIRHAM STORES which surprisingly have way too many pretty sweet deals!!
So with 20 AED in my pocket and literally nothing more as these stores are famous for impulse buying, I began my search for fun and colorful items to brighten up my dull life !!
So my lovely ladies here is my massive 20 dirham haul
1. Firstly, I got some pretty pink and purple heart-shaped paper clips for my wall decoration inspired by Nifty thrifty Goodwill DIY and honestly how cute are these? (3 AED)