i won't worry my life away

confronting thoughts and embarking on different adventures, one moment at a time

Free Meal? Even Better: My Burj Al Arab Experience

Lately I’ve been thinking of going back to the Burj Al Arab to accompany a good friend… And so I remember this great experience on my first time there.

It was more than a year ago (November 2010) ย when I had first set foot inside this very luxurious, one of the 7-star hotels in the world: the Burj Al Arab, in Dubai, UAE. When I arrived here more than 2 years ago (that was 2009), I told myself that I’d go inside, probably to eat or something. Little did I know that I was in for a better treat!

The Burj Al Arab by day... It's an image of beauty, like a standing ship. Amazing architecture that could withstand great earthquakes (well, atleast that's what they said!!)

Backstory: 2 of my friends had a “bet” because of me. No, I wasn’t in the bet you silly!!! I was just there, and if it weren’t for their confusion because of the person that I brought up, then there won’t be any bet at all. Hehehe

Okay, so… here it goes.

One day, after lunch, my friend Duane (whom we shall call Duanerdude), went to my desk for some after lunch pep talk. Duane, who is also friends with RJ who was my boss (with whom I am also friends with), talked to him too. We’re all friends you see… Anyway, RJ’s cubicle is just beside mine, so, we all just chilled there for a few minutes. Sometime in between, I suddenly mentioned Janet Meneses (she is also an officemate of ours with whom we order lunch from but we haven’t really met personally!). ย I think her name popped out because I still haven’t paid for lunch order or something (?). Anyway, here’s how the rest of the story went:

RJ: But Janet Meneses is just there (referring to Janet from our floor).

Me: Really? I know her name is Janet, but I’m just not sure if she’s Janet Meneses.

Duanerdude: No, she’s not Janet Meneses. She’s from a different floor.

*Both guys being confident*

Duanerdude: Okay, do you wanna bet? Dinner at Burj Al Arab.

RJ: Sure (currently busy typing something or checking his laptop).

Me: I’ll go and ask Janet who she is…

Me (talking to RJ): Hey, if you win, then can I be included (referring to getting the price).

RJ: Sure.

Me (talking to Duanerdude): Hey, if you win, then can I be included (referring to getting the price).

Duanerdude: Sure.

Me: O.O (no matter what, things are looking good for me!)

I walked towards Janet’s desk.

Me: Hi Ma’am… I’d like to ask, coz I wasn’t sure… Are you Janet Meneses?

Janet: Oh, my name is also Janet, but I’m not Janet Meneses. I’m Janet Bandoug. ๐Ÿ™‚

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

I walked back towards the guys with a blank face… Like this… ๐Ÿ˜

Me: Her name is also Janet but she’s not Janet Meneses!

RJ scratches his head.

๐Ÿ™‚

After a few months, RJ and his lovely wife Trina had decided to move back to the Philippines. Just a few weeks before they left Dubai, the “Bet” was honored! Nothing could ever go wrong with a free meal… Much more that it’s in a restaurant of the Burj Al Arab!

I went to the Burj Al Arab in my little black dress. Duanerdude wore something other than his favorite Birks. RJ, Trina, Myself, Duanerdude, and Len all went there. YAY!!!

The Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai’s biggest and most luxurious landmarks. It’s building is just like a ship, standing up. It is situated in a man-made island along Jumeirah. The design both inside and out is very intricate. The hotel itself is sooo luxurious, so much that some of its interior designs are specially made for the hotel, and much more, is made of gold. The cost of the whole building and construction is really very expensive, so expensive, that even if the hotel earns for a hundred years, won’t even break even (this, according to the research of my friend–I have yet to find some reading *yawns*too lazy, so hearsay would do *yawns*).

So here it is… The Burj Al Arab:

*sorry for the pictures, most of them are mine and I wasn’t really into getting all the interior… You see, I am more of wording it out yo! LOL. The decent pictures are probably my friends’ (either Len’s, Trina/RJ’s or Duane’s!). *Pictures here aren’t watermark (not that I am a real photographer), but if you wanna get some, just hit me up :)*

The different lighting of Burj Al Arab at night.

Just before dinner, of course, we’ll get a few snaps!

View of the interior of the Burj Al Arab

A closer look at that (phot by Len)

This is where we had dinner, at the Al Iwan restaurant. The main cuisine is Arabic, but they also have some Japanese (sushi!!!), Indian (Biryani), etc. Price hasn’t changed since November 2010– it’s still 395 AED for dinner. However, each bottle of water is 50AED, which is around 13USD (for a liter of a french water or something). We had 2, and after all the Burj Al Arab experience, we were so damn thirsty!!! (Btw, a bottle of water in the grocery is 1.5AED per 1.5L, and noooo, we were not in it to splurge on a water which is more than 10x the price!!)

At the Al Iwan restaurant of Burj Al Arab (yes, it's a buffet!!!) YAY!

The food was great and as usual, we ate a LOT. And when I say a lot, I really mean it. ๐Ÿ˜› My favorite was the Japanese cuisine and the shrimps too! Oh and yes, the desserts. You couldn’t go wrong with the food because of the wide selection.

I did not bother getting photos of the main dishes that I got etc… Only the dessert. Why? Coz it’s the most presentable one!

my dessert plate ROUND 1

my dessert plate ROUND 2

i got this from the cake ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, this is their most expensive wine here. No big deal! ๐Ÿ˜ 65000 AED is NOTHING at all!!!

Okay, so after dinner, we decided to roam around the hotel and check the interior of the rest of the building. Well, it’s not everyday that you get to go inside the Burj Al Arab, so we thought that by atleast having dinner there, then we have a “free pass” to roam inside. ๐Ÿ™‚ We asked some of the hotel workers (of the same nationality as ours, Filipino), if they could let us check a room out. Unfortunately, due to a “convention” or something, we can’t–they’re fully booked!!! (I think a hotel room probably costs like 5000USD or something–not sure though).

the typical lady camwhores! ๐Ÿ˜›

The typical after dinner photoop. We're already full, of course we have all the energy to spare!

while roaming inside Burj Al Arab -- the receiving area to another restaurant

*we have hundreds of CAMWHORE pictures, but I guess we’re the only ones interested in that. ๐Ÿ˜›

We also wanted to check out the Skyview bar. The hotel has a waiting area just outside the elevator to this bar.

the wall/ceiling at the waiting are just outside the elevator to the Skyview Bar

Apparently, you need to have a bar reservation too to go inside. On our way, we did a few stuff… Like:

1. Wacky shots in front of a mirror just outside the really fast elevator to the skyview bar. (We actually did a lot… like around 10. But here’s just two for your eyes. Okay, so imagine us trying to get a decent photo whenever there’s no one around or alteast looking, which means, we had to make sure that no one is in the area to go in and out of that damn elevator!

Look at Charlie's Angels at the background of this couple who has a crazy wifey!

Funny group camwhores at the lobby outside the elevator to the Skyview Bar (L-R Len, myself/Kat, Trina, RJ and Duane)

2. Take a picture (actually, pictures, but I’ll just post 1) inside the elevator — my ears hurt! AWW

Me and my friends as elevator camwhores!!! Oh wow, this is really a fast elevator--trust me!

3. And of course, a souvenir photo at the Skyview Bar (we weren’t allowed to go inside)

sorry if I included myself, I couldn't find one without "me".

Now, back to roaming around!

without our normal selves

myself, standing at the mosaic floor, with the hall behind me

while roaming inside Burj Al Arab, this other receiving area could also be found

The elevators to the suites

flooring (photo by Len)

carpet (photo by Len)

A Camel

Kids--NOT!, Duanerdude and Len

I'd like to think I somehow look nice-- or just OK. One of the many fresh flowers scattered around. OK!

Just before taking off, a last glimpse of the Burj Al Arab.

The view of the interior of the Burj Al Arab from the lobby (photo by Len)

view of the lobby of Burj Al Arab

While waiting for the ride to arrive, at the lobby (photo by Len)

and that is the front desk (photo by Len)

This is me, just before going to our ride. Hope you all enjoyed the Burj Al Arab too! ๐Ÿ™‚

I pose, when i feel it's right! ๐Ÿ˜›

Main Entrance of the Burj (and Exit too--obviously!)

4 Comments »

Almost just like any other weekend, only, it’s 2012: New Year’s Eve

It’s a bummer when you type a 5-paragraph-almost-done blog. But I guess it’s all good. What I initially said was probably not that important. ๐Ÿ™‚ Right now, I feel like I’m blogging just for the sake of writing something. Do you do this also? Oh well… I know, I don’t really have to, but since my New Year wasn’t as eventful as my previous ones, the least I could do is write something about it and hopefully, inspire me by the end of my own post… or atleast make me think some more ๐Ÿ™‚

To recap my unsaved-thus-loved post, here’s a picture of myself last January 1, 2012 upon arrival at my house, just before cleaning up to sleep. Just a reminder of my new year.

What we did on New Year’s eve is just a bit typical of a typical weekend, with only the change of “year” as an exception. Me and my couple-friends went to church and had dinner at the restaurant across our building (Zainah). Here’s a very BIG meal that I wasn’t able to finish. This is a meat mandi (lamb). Thanks to Duanerdude for paying for this meal. YAY.

Duane order a chicken Mandi (not shown in the picture) and a Camel Kebab (shown below). It tasted a bit similar to lamb but it’s all good. Knowing that it’s healthier, I loved it!

Since all I wanted was to atleast see some fireworks, me and my couple-friends went to Meydan and watched the fireworks display at the tallest building in the world–Burj Khalifa. ย Here’s the tallest building just before it turned 2012!

My fireworks photo (I forgot to bring a camera, and I wasn’t really familiar with the one I borrowed).

And here’s the TRUE good photo captured courtesy ofย https://www.facebook.com/DowntownDubaiย of the fireworks worth more than 1M aed (which is like 300k USD).

After watching the 8-minute more than a million worth of fireworks, we headed back home. None of us bothered to prepare a “Media Noche” so all we did was drink my Holiday Sangria (yes, I think I am in love with the drink preparation) once we got home, talk ’til 3am about different things and sleep all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

This New Year wasn’t as eventful as my past New Year’s eve celebration… It was just normal. You could say it was like another weekend. But what’s the difference of this weekend compared to other weekends apart from slashing 2011 and making it 2012? I guess for most of us, it’s like a signal to start anew, or a push to better things.

Though we are allowed to change, start anew, or move forward in anytime of the year–whenever we want to, the New Year somehow serves as a cue to those who needs that “sign” of moving forward. Another year has come and it’s very inspiring and rewarding to know that we are all still here, given another chance for a New Year, a new life, or change. Yes, we don’t have to wait til a new year comes–but what about for those who needs an extra push?

The welcoming of this new year for me might sound a bit boring or sad, but trust me, it isn’t. With all the experiences and ย thoughts of 2011, with most of the good things being carried over to 2012, I’ve never been more inspired than now. I am smiling just thinking about the latter of my 2011 and of bringing it over for 2012. ย May not be as eventful as other nights, but who knows what’s gonna happen today or tomorrow? It has given me a more welcoming thought of the days to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, here’s a video of the fireworks display in Burj Khalifa, courtesy of my good friend Didi.

May all of us have a Prosperous and Happy New Year! It’s 2012 AD!!!

Leave a comment »

Eating in Dubai on a Holiday

Today is the 2nd to the last day of the 5-day long weekend in celebration for the Eid Al Adha here in Dubai. Since my passport is still with the Consulate of the Netherlands (for my upcoming Euro 2011 travelshiz), I’ve no choice but to just be here–literally here in my current base, Dubai.

My roommate left me for a short holiday to Vietnam. Oh trust me when I say I’m soooo excited for her trip. I’m not envious (believe me when I say this time that I’m not that envious) of her going… To be honest, I was actually a bit sad for myself because I’d be spending this longgggg holiday alone here in this empty studio of ours. No friend to chat with about random ridiculous stuff. No “boy” talks. Noย narcissistic convos. No “tipid” (thrifty) food galore. No nothing. Just me, myself, and my laptop (and yes, dirty laundry).

Good thing, there’s what we all call as “friendly neighbors” to the rescue… My friend-friends. ๐Ÿ™‚ [Barsha people +more!!].

So, what did we do for the past few days? Duh!!! What we’ve always done in each weekend–only this time, LONGER!

—–Ye s! FOOD TRIPPING!

What I like (and have somehow discovered) here in Dubai is the extensive fooooooddddd choices.

Thursday (day 1): dinner at Channels Buffet at Rotana

Friday (day 2): Global Village food fest

Saturday (day 3): ย Tim Horton’s at Sheikh Zayed, then dinner at Thyme Buffet at JBR. After which, after dinner drinks at a friend’s (didi’s) house.

Sunday (day 4): dinner at Bricklane, Al Barsha, then Yougurt at Red Mango, MOE (the chocolate flavor is LOVEEEE), thennnnn another after dinner drinks at a friend’s (marian’s) house.

Monday (today!!!): food fest by the pool in our building, then a follow up dinner at Apple Bees… and after this blog,ย after dinner drinks at a friend’s (alma’s) house. ๐Ÿ˜€

SO there… my “being stuck” at the base isn’t too bad after all. I got to appreciate Dubai as a 2nd place of residency for me (sorry kids, but the term home is a bit strong, soooo it might take a while for me to call it that :P)… Thanks to the easy food access and the amazing people I get to share it with.

Ok, if you are having a boring time from where you’re at, just allow yourself to indulge on something and you’d feel like you’re on a Holiday and would definitely get to appreciate and enjoy it even more ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a comment »