Monday January 29, 2007

I owe you guys lots and lots of pictures!! But I can’t post any pictures from my new show just yet, but I’ll link the website when it’s ready, so be patient for that ya? Here are the pictures from my trip to Dubai last Christmas. My uncle (my mum’s brother) has an architectural firm there and we went there mainly for the company’s annual dinner(coz my mum works for my uncle) and also for a mini family reunion as well.

At the beautiful Jumeirah beach. Behind me, they’re constructing “THE WORLD”, which is a collection of islands replicating the geography of the world. I heard that Rod Stewart has bought England, so if you want to be his neighbour, you can buy like Ireland or something. hehehe…. Malaysia is still up for grabs for a few tens of a million US dollars.

The Burj Al-Arab. In all honesty, up close, it didn’t look as impressive as I’ve perceived it to be. Maybe because we didn’t get a chance to see inside. There are several ways you can go in, one, book a room, which is like RM6000 per night, two, go for dinner at the underwater restaurant, which costs a bomb, or go for high tea which was about RM200 per person. The high tea was fully booked till the new year and my parents thought the dinner was not worth it so we didn’t go in.

That’s not a chimney, it’s a wind tunnel. The wind tunnels have been used since nomadic times and it catches the wind from all four sides and channels it down into the homes, sans sand nor water, making it the natural air conditioning. I don’t know exactly how it filters the sand out but it has something to do with the intricate design inside the length of the tunnel.

The Emirates Twin Towers. One holds the Emirates HQ and the other is a 5 star hotel.

The futuristic skyline of Dubai’s CBD.

Sitting like a queen by the pool at Al Qasr, another one of the many 5 star hotels in Dubai. The place is like a palace!!

The said pool – beautiful!

They hire 7ft tall Zulu men to open doors for guests, this one was pretty fierce though. We said we wanted to take a picture with him and he was like, “Make it quick, I have a lot of work to do.” But well, you can well see the height difference here.

My cousin, Johannah and I at the company dinner party at Shangri-La Dubai. She’s only 11 and she’s already as tall as I am!!

Mum, Dad and I at the dinner party.

Sunshine peeking through the clouds over the desert.

Arabian Desert Safari with the family.

The Safari consists of this drive in a 4WD, skidding up and down domes and hills of sands until we reach a designated stop area where we got to sand-board and drive quad bikes. Then we were driven to another place in the middle of the desert for dinner and a whole hosts of other activities. The ride was crazy! It was like riding in an enclosed roller coaster, that drifts!

Sand Boarding. The hazards of wearing a super low-waist jeans to sand board – Sand gets into your butt.

Me and my cousins Yipp and Johannah.

Dad’s silhouette, sun setting in the desert.


Nana and I going for a camel ride.

Getting Henna-ed.

Having an authentic Middle Eastern meal consisting of bbq chicken, shish-kebabs, pita bread and hummus in the middle
of the desert. Part of the Desert Safari tour.

My dad can pass for an Arab, don’t you think?? heheheh…

Assalam……Me Mamat, my daughter Fatima…

The Alleyway and the rooftop of the Emirates Palace, a 5 star hotel located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. It’s another state about 2 hours drive from Dubai.

My palace!

My Golden Wall..

My new ride…. a Maybach. There are so many luxurious cars in and around UAE, the Mercedes there are like the Protons here!

Abu Dhabi Skyline. Look at the crystal clear blue waters!

Family Christmas dinner at my uncle’s place. The main table.

Kid’s Table

The turkey

Dessert table.

Me and My cousin Adrian and his son/my nephew, Allen.

We had a very traditional celebration, complete with after dinner caroling!

One quarter of my mum’s side of the family in Dubai.

View from my Uncle’s office in the CBD.

At the Gold Souk (Bazaar)

The Spice Souk

My ride in Dubai….a Corvette.

A Hummer limo.

An impressively huge shopping mall in Dubai named Ibn Battuta. It consist of 6 different malls or courts and each court follows the architecture of a location, e.g. Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Andalusian, Persian and Tunisian. I didn’t get a lot of pictures, but here are the intricately designed ceilings of the Indian court, the Persian court and the Chinese court.

The thematic designs were not only reserved for the inside, even the outside of the buildings were designed specifically to its country. This was outside the Chinese court.

Did you know that there are only 20% of Arabs living in Dubai and the other 80% are expatriates? The labour workers there are mostly from India and Pakistan whereas the Service Industry employs a lot of Filipinos. The tour guides, hotel staff, retail assistants are mostly Filipinos coz they speak good English, but for a moment there, I felt like I was back in Manila!!

I didn’t know what to expect before I went to Dubai, but now my entire impression of the Middle East has changed. I mean, sure, Dubai is different from the rest, but the place exudes this sense of peace and beauty which I thought could only be found in developed countries. I really felt like I was back in Australia, maybe because it was winter then and it was pretty cold, and the beach was so beautiful it reminded me a lot of Sydney. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to visit and truly, I don’t mind living there.

From Middle East back to South East Asia. We flew by Thai Airways so we transited for 3 days in Bangkok on our way back from Dubai. The new Bangkok airport is pretty impressive, King Power duty free dominated almost 3/4 of the entire airport, shopping haven!

By the time we got into Bangkok, I felt pretty sick so I didn’t really get to enjoy the trip that much. But shopping there was really g
reat! I know I’m not an advocate of fakes, but I made an exception this time. I bought this beautiful pair of Victoria Beckham for Rock & Republic Jeans which usually costs like 250 US dollars, for RM60!! They even tailored it there and then so it fit me perfectly!! I love it!! I bought another beautiful pair of bohemian skirt for RM10! Can you believe it?? I mean if it’s already so cheap for Malaysians, imagine if you earn pounds! You’ll be buying that skirt for like 2 pounds!! Anyways, here are some pictures from Bangkok…

An obligatory Tuk-Tuk shot.

One size fits all dentures, anyone?

The Grand Palace. My parents already visited the place so I went in by myself. Took a lot of pictures of all the grand buildings inside the palace, the architecture is just remarkable!!

Phew! This has been a really long entry! I spent the whole day on it! I guess I better end here. During the course of the shoot I’ve taken some more professional pictures and they turned out really nicely. Hopefully I’ll get them soon and I can post it up for all to see. Till my next entry, take care all!!


13 comments on “Monday January 29, 2007

  1. whitedot

    hello! chanced upon your blog. added you if you dun mind. anyway, great pics! looks like you had a lot of fun!!! 😀
    you’re really pretty! 😀 are you a model?

  2. Yerdeh

    awesome pics! this is the middle east the US doesnt like to show: modern, hip and in tune with the rest of the world…or prolly ahead of the rest of the world! my mate had dinner at that underwater restaurant and spent a good RM2000+++ on dinner for two! they said the food was excellent tho (it better be!)

  3. mamoyo

    Wow Belinda! Those are really nice pictures.

    Coincidentally, I just researched about the Middle East development just a week earlier so the pictures didn’t came too much as a shock. But damn, if I’m looking at all these pretty buildings and development for the first time, I would say what’s up with all the US portrayal of Middle East on TV. Guess I have much to learn.

    Hugs. Glad you enjoy your trip and btw, I’ll be in KL before Chinese New Year. More shopping trip perhaps? But this time, let’s reserve more time for shopping and less for dinner =P!

  4. burnburn

    Wow, lots of pics. I wanna go to Dubai as well! It looks so cool, no wonder Justin sings about it 😀

    hhmmm. you sure you wanna call your dad a terrorist just because he wears that? you’ll never know who you might offend… it’s like saying all Asians knows kung fu… just be careful Belinda, you don’t want to chuck a Lindsay Lohan and say something stupid 😉

  5. karenispink

    I wanna know where you got your Victoria Beckham for Rock & Republic Jeans ! I think they really rock…and I’m planning a trip to bangkok soon, so do share where you got em from (and altered for you too!)

  6. BelindaC

    karenispink, I got it at MBK Centre, one of the big shopping malls on Rama I Rd. The place is like Sungai Wang and they have this floor which they call Fashion Avenue, I think. And there are tonnes of different shops/stalls there selling “branded” jeans. I got mine at this shop on St. 7, I think, I can’t really remember, they gave me a card but I must have chucked it somewhere. They sell really nice Diesel jeans as well, but I already have lots of blue jeans so I decided on the black VB for R&R with the silver crown stitching. Oh, if you’re not there for the weekend, Chaktuchak won’t be open so do visit Suan Lum Night Market, they sell the same kinda things but the place is much cleaner and less crowded and it’s open every night from 6pm onwards. I got a bikini there for only RM25!! hahaha…Shopping haven I tell ya! Have fun in Bangkok! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Belinda’s Daily Dreams | Dubai, Dubai…

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