Summer 2013

The heat is on - Glen Frey

The heat. The heat. The heat. Eventually one gets really tired of hearing about it. Yes, of course it is hot, but having survived Summer in Saudi Arabia where I remember the temperature reaching a sweltering 55  ÂșC, I look at the rookies, newbies, babies all complain about the heat. Yes, it is unbearable and the worst thing is that one is really limited in terms of activities: malls, movies, indoor pools, nightswimming (thanks R.E.M.).

Summer vacation included a couple of local delights as well as a last minute trip to South Africa.

This post will focus on two local Summer treats we had.

We attended the Summer Festival in Abu Dhabi which was basically some edutainment activities for kids aged 4-12 held in ADNEC. After realising there is simply nothing to do in the day time, we stumbled across the advertisement. Our plan was initially to stay in Abu Dhabi for the Summer. It meant that I had to spend time on the internet looking for things to do each week. The Summer Festival was a logical choice: at night, cheap and in a nice venue.

Some of the things m daughter really enjoyed were

  • The Henna 'station'
  • The Art station where you get to paint a picture and take it home.
  • The rock-climbing wall
  • The bubble show featuring a man who specialising in making the blowing bubbles an art form.
We went on two occasions, and the first time, fearing there would be too many people, we arrived early, only to see how poorly attended it was. Well, poorly attended by the usual standards in the capital where it seems families are starved of genuine family-oriented activities that do not involved shopping malls. 

The lack of people meant it was a very relaxing evening where my daughter Mitsuki (for those who missed her name in the first post) and her BFF Stephanie managed to get through most of the free activities.

I hope the organisers are not put off by the low attendance. Not everything is about large crowds. All the kids I saw seemed to be having a great time. Hoping Summer Festival 2014 is as well organised as this was. 

Iftar for Mitsuki at Shangri-La

What would a month be without some reference to my favourite place in the city, Shangri-La. We went to Hoi An again (read previous entry entitled Hoi An - best in Abu Dhabi.) However, Mitsuki was fascinated by the idea of an Iftar and Suhoor, and not wanting to drive to a hotel at 3am, I figured Iftar made sense. In the end, I had another amazing evening at Hoi An while Mitsuki made countless visits to the lavish Iftar spread at Sofra (We got the best of both worlds with seating in the intimate Hoi An while Mitsuki was able to feast on the Iftar ).

The Iftar featured all Arabic favourites which replaced some of the usual stations like the Japanese and offered scaled down versions of others from their regular weeknight buffet selection. I could see why the Iftar has proved so popular at Sofra. They never miss a beat at this fine hotel. 

It was soon after the Hoi An/ Iftar experience that we decided on getting away from the heat. More in my next post!