Thursday, June 15, 2017

Al Ain Oasis

In April we visited the Al Ain Oasis. Al Ain is developing at a rapid rate and there is more and more to see every time we visit. So far we have been to the Qasr Al Muwaiji - birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the camel market, the mountain and this time we added the Oasis.

The Oasis is in the middle of Al Ain and it has not always been open tot he public. I am glad they have decided to make it open as I really liked it.

Sights at the Al Ain Oasis

The day we were there it was really hot. Not just hot, but really hot. So we first had lunch (overpriced and no selection) at the cafe near the entrance. After that we got a buggy ride through the oasis. In the middle we got off - grabbed a drink and started walking back towards the exit. We took some photos and luckily got on a buggy again that took us back.

Even though we did not walk completely through it, we enjoyed the view of the palm trees and the greenery a lot. And we visited the Eco Centre - which from ads seems very large but actually is rather small. But nice nonetheless.

Walkway through the oasis. If you've got kids then I recommend taking a scooter or bike with you.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wednesdays at the Warehouse

The Warehouse421 is undoubtedly one of my favourite spaces in Abu Dhabi (up there with Etihad Modern Art Gallery, Art Cafe, Third Place Cafe, NYUart spaces and more...)

The Warehouse421 opened in 2015 and we were there at the launch when the entire area near Mina port (it cracks me up as Mina means port in arabic so this just says "port port") was filled with exhibition containers, performers, food trucks, etc.

Ever since, the space has hosted amazing exhibitions focusing on the local art scene and history. I go to almost all exhibitions and I especially love their Wednesdays at the Warehouse programme.

In their words " a curated programme of activities and events designed to create new opportunities for community participation in the arts and culture. The programme features a range of activities including workshops, film screenings, performances, panel discussions..."

I usually go to the film screenings. Their workshops get booked up immediately and I have managed to score a spot in only one. (printing on fabric)

What I love about the film screenings is that the films focus on contemporary Arab Cinema. The films are shown in partnership with Cinema Akil. There is always a short film followed by a full feature film. The films are shown outdoors so the season runs during cooler months. (Feb-May)

Performace by emirati-japanese drumming band. Kharsha drums. Founder: Yotaro Matsutani

Some of the screenings in spring 2017 included:

Central Market / Bahrain
El Clasico / Iraq, UAE, Norway
We are just fine like this / Tunisia
A present from the past / Egypt
L'e Chappee / Algeria
Lights of Rome / UAE, Brazil

PS. so far they have always offered amazing food also (for free) at the film screenings. delish!

The first time they had Wednesdays at the Warehouse there were about 20-25 people there. Everyone seemed to know each other and I was the odd one out. Now, the event is very popular and registering in advance is a must. It can be done via their website:

Bait al Luban - Muscat, Oman

- The House of Omani Hospitality -

We went to Oman this spring for a quick stint in Muscat and LOVED it. We stayed at the Shangri-La resort which is quite a way outside Muscat and had most of our meals there. However, one evening we ventured to the centre and ate at Bait Al Luban.

The restaurant is walking distance from the souk and it is nice to combine a visit to the souk with a dinner at this restaurant.

It seemed like a tourist trap but then there were quite a few Omani families dining there and the food was very very good so we quickly reassessed. When you go there you can choose from traditional floor seating, private sitting rooms (more suitable for groups) or modern style dining area (tables and chairs). As we were travelling with my parents we chose the latter.

The food selection was wide, the service impeccable and the food tasted very good.

a very happy customer

I planned to take photos of the food and menu but as it often happens when the food is very good (and when you travel with young kids) - I completely forgot. 

Nonetheless. I would definitely recommend a visit to this restaurant when in Muscat.

Opening times: 12pm - 11pm daily
phone numbers: 2471 1842 or 9457 9457

And finally a photo of my son with a traditional Omani hat