Thursday, February 15, 2018

When Camping is Life | Rediscovering Sharjah, UAE

"And into the desert, I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."

       So last month, January 13 to be exact, we went on camping to celebrate a birthday of a good friend. It was my first time doing it in this country the UAE and I was so thrilled of the idea. When you say camping you probably are thinking of woods, forest, or an isolated island but we did it in the middle of the desert. 

      We arrived at the place around 4:00PM, pitched our tents and prepared the foods. The place is not that far from the main road and we can still see the street lights beaming from afar. They said the place is safe, I really hoped it is because at the back of my head I was thinking of the movies "Wrong Turn" or "Hills Have Eyes" and mutants will come out from nowhere and will turn the fun into misery but hell yeah, am gonna do everything to survive. (Haha!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) Then the sun sets down, we set the bonfire, had our dinnerand the rest of the night was history. 

       Basically the picture above is when we are pitching our tents. We pitched six tents for 18 people. Good enough.

Reminds me of Boy Scout days.

But first, Instagram!

       Desert is beautiful! The moment we arrived I know which spots are Instagrammable so here are the shots.

      I never imagined there can be so much plants in the desert. All these years I only thought of cactuses and palm trees. My childhood was a lie! But where are the cactus by the way? Didn't find one. 🌡

       My friends told me that the cold woke them up early in the morning as it was freezing due to a heavy fog and the temperature dropped to 5 degrees but it didn't bother me anyway. I was too drunk that night and fell into a very deep and sound sleep. πŸ˜΄πŸ’€

       Shout out to Ronnel, Happy Birthday man!

How to get there?
       I didn't even know the place! It's somewhere between the Sharjah-Fujairah border.

     Camping is life I should say. For those looking for a getaway that doesn't cost that much, try camping, try Sharjah. Sometimes it's good to be far away from the city and try to live a primitive life. But then again, we brought cellphones, camera, speakers, and lights, it's not primitive after all. -Jon-

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Golden Dubai Frame

        Dubai has recently added a string to its bow as it opened a new and one of a kind landmark that will surely captivate everyone's eye. The Frame adds to Dubai's long list of spectacular landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab to mention some.  The Frame which resembles an actual picture frame is strategically built in a place where in the modern Dubai is on one side, and then the old Dubai on the other side creating a bridge between the past and the present.

       The winter is coming and the temperature is starting to drop to a favorable level so I decided to visit the much-awaited landmark that the Emirate of Dubai had built. Finally, after several delays according to news, this wonderful work of engineering and art is finally done and will sure make headlines and will draw the city's skyline even more astonishing!

Facts about Dubai Frame
       It is in the form of a frame, with two towers of height 150m that are connected by a 93m bridge at the top of the towers. The space between the towers forms a pretty clear view for the city from a high altitude. The bridge serves as an observatory providing uninterrupted views of “Old Dubai” to the north, and “New Dubai” to the south.

       The concept reflects a journey through time, starting at the mezzanine level, where visitors enter into an immersive experience representing the Past history. Projections, mist effects, smells, and motion create the immersive mood setting of the space. The Past Gallery embodies the idea of the project and tells the story of the evolution of the city and its past, and shows the old city using the most new and updated means of presentation that contributes to the creation of a favorable environment that develops and comprehends the renaissance taking place in Dubai.

       After that, the visitors are directed to the second experience on the Sky deck level that represents the Present of Dubai. The visitors will be experiencing uninterrupted views of Dubai from all sides. “Old Dubai” to the north, and “New Dubai” to the south. This is supported by interactive applications such as augmented reality activated screens, whereby the visitor can identify different buildings and land marks, by exploring interesting facts or observing buildings and landmarks in third dimension.

       By far, Dubai Frame is one of my favorite structure in Dubai. It is really is amazing to look at and with it being located in the beautiful Zabeel Park just makes it so regal.

   I even went near to it and and I could see glitters of gold shimmering under the bright sun.

       And oh, did I mention that the frame is covered in gold cladding? Oh what a beautiful sight it must be! I am not surprised though. Dubai is so-called City of Gold after all. 

How to get there?
       I took the Metro Red Line and get off at Al Jafiliya Station and walked 5 minutes to Gate 1 of Zabeel Park.

Entrance Fee
       Entrance to the par is AED5. But if you want to go up to its viewing deck, that's another story. Go check their website.

       And by the way, Zabeel Park is very serene and relaxing if you want a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city but the Dubai Frame will surely steal the spotlight. Simply magnificent! -Jon-

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Day in Dubai Mall

       Today I decided to go to Dubai Mall. It's been long time since I last went here that I can't even remember it anymore. It's been a tiring week at work and I needed some de-stressing before I burn out. 

Burj Khalifa

       Up to now, I'm still in awe every time I look at the Burj Khalifa! It's truly a splendid piece of engineering and art shining and shimmering amidst the arid desert of Dubai.

The Address
       The Address catched fire 2 years ago and now still stands tall and grandiose near the Burj Khalifa.
Just doing some drama!

Dubai Aquarium

Souk Al Bahar

I love this shot! I really do.

I look so pale!
     That's all for today! Jeez, I'm running out of words! -Jon-

[PhotoBlog] Deira

       It's been a while since I last posted here on my blog. Been through a lot of things, been so caught up in my job, but here you go, photos I took around Deira area with my new Huawei phone.

Deira Clocktower

Oh flowers!

Deira at night

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's a Wrap | My 1 Year in Dubai in 12 Photos

  One year khalas! Khalas is an Arabic expression which means finish or something was finished or done and it can also be used to end a conversation or a particular thing like "I don't want t talk to you, khalas!" But wait, I want to talk to you. You get the idea, right? Yes, one year had passed and I'm trailing on my other year to finish my initial  2-year contract here in Dubai and most likely be going back home for vacation, or go home for good, or may not be able to finish the contract and find another job, I still don't know, to be honest. But hey, look at how times have gone by! I could still remember my first day here and couldn't help it but to look back at my past 12 months of stay here. A stay full of struggle, yearning, nostalgia, homesickness and all the negative emotions you can think of. On the other hand, the past 12 months were filled with amazing experiences and adventures I'll take back home with me and will forever be etched in my heart and memory. 

        Here are 12 pictures of my experiences here in Dubai. While pictures can tell tales, I'll tell you its story anyway.

Burj Khalifa
       As soon as I arrived in Dubai, this is perhaps the thing that I wanted to see first. And when I saw it, I knew I was indeed in Dubai. It is towering and it very impressive. And what could be more exciting than to take a selfie with the world's tallest tower!

Burj Al Arab
       Next to Burj Khalifa, this world's only 7-star hotel (though hotel ratings are only from 1-5) is so popular and I can't afford to miss it. With its aesthetic features and intricate design, this hotel had become an iconic landmark of the city. 

Desert Safari
         The whole of Dubai was once a vast and barren desert not until oil was discovered and urbanization took place. Desert Safari will teach you so much about Arabic culture and their lives in the past. Seeing and riding a camel for the first time means so much to me. Haha!

Global Village
       With replicas of some of the worlds famous landmarks, Global Village is a famous tourist attraction in the city which opens only during winter months. It looked like the whole wide world is compressed into a tiny space leaving every visitors in awe.

Dubai Marina
       While I'm about to swim on the beach, those 2 camels passed by and with the Dubai Marina in the background, I knew I wanted to take a photo. Dubai Marina is home to some of the worlds tallest residential buildings to say the least.

Miracle Garden
       Next to women, these flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. This place is so surreal and is the worlds largest botanical garden so I made it a point to pay a visit.

Dubai Canal
Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah
       A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, seriously?! While I may not afford to do skydive over the palm to see the whole island from above, immersing myself in Atlantis Waterpark is not too bad at all.

Jumeirah Beach
       Dubai is so hot and but the good thing is it was blessed with lovely open beaches to cool its residents and beat the smoldering heat. Whenever time and situation permits, Jumeirah Beach is where I go not just to frolic in the waters but to simply sit there on the shore and ponder. 

Dubai Museum-Al Fahidi Fort
       This fort is the oldest existing structure in Dubai and is home to some ancient artifacts and tools that Dubai had used a long time ago. In here you can see how their old houses look like, their boat used for fishing, their lifestyle, and everything about their old past.

       I Love DXB!

       We should always remind ourselves to always think and live outside the box. In Dubai, a leisure and food park made of shipping containers exist. It is something that you will not usually see in any city so I made sure to see this place myself.

       So there you go friends. This is my one year in Dubai. There is so much more actually and most of it is on this blog too. Whatever happens in the future, I will always look back and treasure my Dubai memories. I'm a kind of person who holds on to memories. It's what makes me happy. It's what makes me sad. It's what makes me alive. -Jon-

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