Help “Dubai Cares” spread the gift of education

Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares has changed the lives of more than 13 million children in 39 developing countries around the world. Built on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Cares believes that education is one of the most effective tools to break the cycle of poverty.

 kids

Dubai Cares started this exciting social media campaign called – ‪#‎IsFor. It drives the creation of the first ABC Book with the support of the UAE community. They encourage everyone to post photographs of objects whose words start with each letter of the alphabet, such as an image of an apple and a description “A #IsFor Apple” or an image of a bike “B is for Bike” or a picture of a train “T #IsFor Train”. In the book, we’ll feature many of the images and use the profile pictures and usernames of the users who shared them. We will distribute the book in English, Arabic and French in our beneficiary countries.

Post your photos now and help give the gift of education to children around the world.

If you want to find out more ways to help Dubai Cares please visit: http://www.dubaicares.ae/en/campaigns/campaigns-events/section-5/campaigns-24.html#sthash.rclb1p3t.dpuf


xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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Introducing “Spill the Bean”

Being located in one of my favorite malls in Dubai, the Sunset Mall, “Spill the Bean” is here to stay and spoil us with the exquisite tastes and the laid back atmosphere.

The cool, chatty staff – led by Ola herself – serve incredible coffee and delicious food in a beautifully decorated coffee shop.

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Let’s meet Ola, the owner and manager and see what she has to say about “Spill the Bean”:
How did “Spill the Bean” get started?
The idea for Spill the Bean started a long time ago. My husband and I are both coffee lovers and we’ve always been looking for a laid back place to hang out in and enjoy a great coffee, with some delicious munchies, and a good book. So a few years ago, we decided to bring that dream place to life. That’s how Spill the Bean came to life.

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Why “Spill the Bean”? (How did you come up with the name?)
Are you familiar with the expression to “spill the beans”, which means to let out your secrets, what’s on your mind, the things that are bothering you, or the things that are pleasing you? Well, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee to bring people together; and when good friends and good coffee are joined in a great set up, beans are split. That chit chat between friends, family, colleagues, is very important, especially in Dubai where often you’re far away from your family and loved ones. I think for many people that little bit of chitchat over a cup of coffee fuels them to keep going.

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What do you strive to offer to our city?
Spill the Bean is an independent specialty coffee shop built on the marriage between single origin coffees from different areas of the world and reinvented coffee shop food to create a healthy but decadent affair aimed at serving and delighting the community around us.

We aim to be that neighborhood coffee shop, that is both business friendly, with communal tables for meetings, outlets for laptops everywhere and wifi, and family friendly with a mummy and baby room, child friendly foods and decaf for mummies, and regular playgroups. We even regularly have events planned for our customers, ranging from blogger networking events, to holistic healing seminars, to coffee cupping events, to keep them engaged and coming back for more than their daily caffeine hit.

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What’s the concept behind the food you serve?
So with the coffee, every month we have at least 3 different coffee beans from different regions of the world. Think of a caffeinated sensorial journey to Columbia, Peru, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Mexico, maybe. Think of the flavor profiles, aromas, cremas, and body specific each of these regions and savoring the nuances in the sights, smells, and tastes. Now pair that little party in your mouth with healthy but indulgent yummies. Low fat, low sugar, low cal, gluten free, and dairy free are no longer synonymous with taste free. Let’s just say you’re definitely going to get your fair share of super foods in our delicacies for some added goodness. That’s our food concept- healthy food that doesn’t tastes indulgent.

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What are the most popular coffee drinks at your cafe? And your personal favorite menu items?
A lot of people are use to espresso based drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso, etc…) but we try to promote our brewed coffees too as that’s often how the flavor profiles of the coffee is best experienced with single origin beans. Chemex and aerpress have become some of our most popular brewing techniques that customers always ask for.

Our hot chocolate is also a best seller as it’s made with good quality dark chocolate- no syrups or powders or added sugars. It’s silky, smooth, rich, and oh so chocolatey 🙂

Another favorite is the date cold brew, which is single origin cold brewed coffee blended in with date. A healthy drink that tastes like a dessert and coffee all in one- you can’t go wrong with that.

My personal favorite right now is the Kenyan cold brew.

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Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I come from a design background and worked in advertising then branding for a long time before setting up a brand consultancy business.

What do you love the most about your job?
The coffee!! And meeting so many cool new people all the time.

What’s next on the horizon for “Spill the Bean”?
We are currently working on 2 new outlets and are gearing up for the coffee competitions that are coming up towards the end of the year. We also have a new menu coming up soon. Lots of exciting stuff for us 🙂

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To sum up: “Spill the Bean”, with the excellent flavours and depth to both hot and cold drinks, the cosy ambiance and the smiley stuff will be your next favorite coffee shop in Dubai, in case it’s not already! See you there!

xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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http://www.spillthebean.ae/

“Why You Need A Pair Of Maui Jim” – Play along and win

Maui Jim Sunglasses invites you to join in the summer fun! Show us “Why You Need A Pair Of Maui Jim” and get a chance to win a pair of sunglasses. Post a creative picture/video that highlights why your on-the-go lifestyle deserves a pair of the sunglasses that offers four different lens materials that are designed for optimal optics for a wide range of outdoor activities. Simply use the hashtag #INEEDMAUIJIM and add a link of their social media pages (Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram links below) to enter the game.  The post with the most likes and retweets will win the trendy pair of Maui Jim sunglasses!

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Voted Reader’s Choice Sunglass Company of the Year and Women’s Sport Sunglass Brand of the Year by Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists, Maui Jim’s patent nine-layer PolarizedPlus2® lens technology combats harmful UV rays, 99.9 percent of glare from above, below and behind each lens and increases definition and depth perception. What’s more? Maui Jim sunglasses have been awarded the Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation  as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin.

sunn

So don’t miss out on the summer fun, and be a part of the game to win a pair of Maui Jim’s stylish PolarizedPlus2® lens sunglasses to enjoy the great outdoors this summer without worrying about your eyes. Beat the Dubai heat with a pair of Maui Jim!

Maui Jim Pilot 210-17


Follow Maui Jim

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMauiJim

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/officialmauijim


xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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Iftar @Sofitel JBR – A must try

Experience one of the most significant periods in the Islamic Calendar, the Holy month of Ramadan, with Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach.

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Situated at a prime waterfront site in Dubai Marina, a stone’s throw away from the new low-rise retail and leisure destination “The Beach” and along Dubai’s trendy “The Walk” promenade, the luxury 5-star hotel epitomises a flawless amalgamation of French ‘art de vivre’ and Arabic hospitality and warmth. The hotel’s restaurants are offering delectable dining offers this Ramadan.

IMG_5242Observe the ceremonial breaking of the fast with family, friends or business partners at the popular A.O.C. French Brasserie this Ramadan.  Indulge in a plentiful array of sumptuous Middle Eastern, North African and International specialties and beverages. The appetizing buffet includes the classic cold and hot mezze, harira and lentil soup, tajines, slow roasted lamb Ouzi with oriental rice, Arabic mixed grill, couscous tfaya, biryani rice, a shawarma station and a delightful variety of traditional sweets such as Um Ali, kadaif, halwa, date pudding and a range of refreshing Ramadan beverages.

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In conclusion, the food was delightful and beautifully presented, the people extremely sweet and helpful and the overall experience very satisfying! Thank you Sofitel JBR! See you soon!

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 Iftar at A.O.C. French Brasserie
From sunset to 11:00pm
AED 140 per person.

xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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#DubaiLoving / 28.06.2015

Use #DubaiLoving on Instagram and see your own Dubai moment published here! 🙂

Enjoy today’s best of Instagram and let’s hope next time we’ll see you and your friends here.

@sunmaylove
@sunmaylove
@najeebmusallam
@najeebmusallam
@b_boris
@b_boris
@marikabeindorff
@marikabeindorff
@i_am_wanderlust_
@i_am_wanderlust_
@dubaicatofficial
@dubaicatofficial
@mactuscraig
@mactuscraig
@elbazzone
@elbazzone
@caterinawesome
@caterinawesome
@thatguynamedpatrick
@thatguynamedpatrick
@elbazzone
@elbazzone
@mulhamjazmati
@mulhamjazmati
@katerina_dmk
@katerina_dmk

xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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10 things we love about Bahrain

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DubaiCat traveled to Bahrain and she sums up the reasons she loved it:

1. Food. Bahrain is all about fresh, quality and cheap street food. You place the order (yes the typical Arab way: you stay in the car and just honk, you get your food and you enjoy it on the way to your destination). Make sure you’ll try Malghoum Samara, Malghoum Mahmood and Jan Burger and of course the ultimate ice-cream with the super fresh cone from Atlanta. Bahrain is famous for the traditional breakfast also. My personal favorite breakfast was the Khobez Joben (bread with cheese) which you combine with Oman chips (lol). On top of the list of the restaurants: Coco’s ! Most probably you’ll have to wait but it’s so worth waiting! Try the salad with the strawberry sauce and the chicken mushroom dish! Also, don’t forget to try the traditional halwa and bring me some on the way back to Dubai.

Making some bread
Making some bread
@ Coco's . Try the homemade Ice Tea
@ Coco’s . Try the homemade Ice Tea
Traditional Bahraini Halwa
Traditional Bahraini Halwa

2. People. For some interesting demographic information, there are about twice as many men as women currently living in Bahrain. There are also more expats living in Bahrain than national citizens. In any case people are nice and smiley, they’re always willing to assist you and they have a positive attitude for life which cheers you up.

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3. Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a 400-year-old tree that grows in the middle of the desert. Scientists say that its source of sustenance still remains a mystery event now. The tree is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bahrain and it’s simply gorgeous.

Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life

4. Sea. Bahrain is not only one island, but an archipelago of 33 small islands. Each island is connected by bridges, and each region within the country is technically a separate island. Make sure you’ll spend one day at Al Dar Islands where you can spend the day chilling, having shisha by the sea, jet skiing or just sunbathing.

@Dar Islands
@Dar Islands
@Dar Islands
@Dar Islands
Shisha by the sea
Shisha by the sea

5. Bahrain Word Trade Center. The Bahrain World Trade Center is the world’s first skyscraper that uses wind turbines for clean energy. It is currently one of the most famous buildings in the country because of its unique architecture. It is also the second tallest building in Bahrain (Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is the third!)

World Trade Center
World Trade Center
World Trade Center by night
World Trade Center by night

6. Adliya, Manama. What I call the “downtown Manama” with the several art pieces spread all over the small streets and the art galleries which promote the local contemporary artists will make your day!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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7. National Museum. The museum is very well done and is housed in a beautiful building on the water. This is the only place you can see a re-created traditional burial mound, complete with skeleton! I found it very nice and informative and it addresses Bahrain ancient and contemporary history. There is also a small gift shop with some historical books and interesting pieces of clothing and jewelery.

@National Museum Bahrain
@National Museum Bahrain

8. Bahrain is the most open-minded country within the GCC area. There are minimal restrictions on alcohol, people can receive massages from the opposite sex and clothing standards are more liberal.

9. Souk. Impressively rich souk for such a small country. The market is located in Central Manama. Here you will basically find anything you are looking for. This includes clothes, food (multicultural food), electronics, spices & nuts, souvenirs. Friendly people but very good at bargaining.

@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk
@Manama Souk

10. It’s only 1 hour away from Dubai, it’s a super cheap destination with plenty of flights within the day and it’s a great wake up call to realize that real life is not as perfect and sterilized as Dubai is making us feel. It’s like you’re visiting a big big village with all the cons and pros! Plus it’s they invented the “shisha in the car” activity and it’s definitely a reason to visit them!

Shisha in the Car
Shisha in the Car

It’s just worth visiting. Khalas.

PS: Don’t forget my Halwa on the way back!


xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

Instagram

4 Days in Bahrain with AIESEC

I have so many reasons to consider myself as the luckiest person in Dubai. One of the most important is that I’m surrounded by nice and ambitious young people who happen to conduct AIESEC UAE. 🙂

AIESEC members organized a 4 days trip to Bahrain and this video is just my way to thank them for the hospitality, the effort they put, the energy and the happy attitude throughout the whole trip.

I’ve been around them the past year and I had the chance to get to know what exactly this organization is about, but I’m not gonna go in details, you can find everything here: http://www.aiesec.ae/

What I feel it’s worth sharing, is that I actually saw people’s lives changing with the internship opportunities AIESEC provided them with.

I knew Arabs are very hospitable but that was more than I could imagine. Thank you all guys. Keep us the great work. AIESEC is lucky to have you Sara, Samara & Mahmood.


xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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#DubaiLoving / 17.06.2015

Use #DubaiLoving on Instagram and see your own Dubai moment published here! 🙂

Enjoy today’s best of Instagram and let’s hope next time we’ll see you and your friends here.

@aerojump
@aerojump
@najeebmusallam
@najeebmusallam
@caterinawesome
@caterinawesome
@samar_illustrates
@samar_illustrates
@elbazzone
@elbazzone
@itsouradxb
@itsouradxb
@desp_na
@desp_na
@claredubai
@claredubai
@katerina_dmk
@katerina_dmk


xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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#DubaiLoving / 14.06.2015

Use #DubaiLoving on Instagram and see your own Dubai moment published here! 🙂

Enjoy today’s best of Instagram and let’s hope next time we’ll see you and your friends here.

@mactuscraig
@mactuscraig
@sout13
@sout13
@mactuscraig
@mactuscraig
@nikolas.21
@nikolas.21
@fairozfa
@fairozfa
@cambiatuvidaa
@cambiatuvidaa

xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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The girl who makes our Saturdays beautiful

For those who are lucky enough to have included in their weekly routine some walks to Al Barsha Pond Park as I do, I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of people twisting, stretching, bending, or as I like to say “dancing” in the sunset under the instructions of a lovely girl with the warm heart and smile.

Me enjoying our Savasana pose
Me enjoying our Savasana pose

The “bunch of people” is me, my friends, families, men, women and everyone who got lucky enough to be informed that there’s a community yoga class in this beautiful location. Soon it’s gonna be also you and your friends.

Let’s now meet the “lovely girl with the warm heart and smile”: Her name is Lakshya, she’s Yoga Instructor, she is incredibly sweet, with a big love for Greece and she has a magical way to make you love yoga.

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  1. What does Lakshya Yoga stand for?

Lakshya yoga stands for the teachings of traditional Hatha yoga, from the heart. The name Lakshya was given to me by my Guru, meaning happiness as ones ultimate goal. So that goes well in line with all the teachings of yoga and yogic philosophies! Through the platform of Lakshya Yoga, I am here to provide support and guidance in all aspects of Yoga. Offering teachings from the heart that are based on the Vedic Tradition, and come along with Values, Yogic practice, the study of Sanskrit and the use of Mantras and chanting.

  1. What are your yoga classes like?

They are Hatha Yoga classes. We focus on breathing, warming up the body, sun salutations, and then holding various Asanas (postures) for a length of time. With the physical practice we stretch, strengthen and twist, to keep the body fully healthy and supple!

  1. What inspires you to give free community yoga classes in Barsha Park?

I truly believe that yoga is an amazing tool we have been gifted with for our overall wellbeing and it should be available to everyone, despite their backgrounds or financial status. It is a great honor to offer free community classes and give everyone an equal chance to come and practice. More than that, we break the barriers between social groups within Dubai as all kinds of people come together for this. It is so beautiful and precious, this is what I really feel is a “union”- the popular definition of yoga.

  1. What are your other passions?

I have a great passion for learning languages! I have studied Sanskrit for three years, which was an amazing base for studying the scriptures and other ancient texts from India. Nowadays I am also learning Hindi- for me such a useful tool considering 1/6 of the world’s population is Indian- and Greek, just out of my love for Greece.

  1. Where is home for you?

Tough question! I grew up in the Middle East, so in some form this is home for me. In terms of where my heart finds itself most relaxed i would definitely say India. It’s my spiritual home, as mother India always takes me in with open arms and nurtures me in many ways.

  1. What are your favorite travel destinations?

I love Greece. It’s such a beautiful country with a rich culture and history! It would be a dream come true to visit all the many islands there. I also love travelling in Asia, and India of course! My journeys are usually for destinations with rich culture and heritage, as those fascinate me.

  1. Tell us about your upcoming retreats in India!

These are going to be beautiful! We have two retreats, first one from 2-9July and second is from 9-14th of July. They will be in Kerala, which is a beautiful, luscious and green place. We offer daily yoga classes, ayurvedic massages, and the best (non spicy!) home cooked vegetarian meals! These retreats are so relaxing and rejuvenating, and truly a perfect escape from the hot desert-heat here in Dubai!

Thank you Lakshya for making our Saturdays more beautiful, thank you for creating this lovely community and for being there for us constantly smiling and motivating us to “push ourselves a bit further”. I’m glad I’ve met you and I’m part of this. Keep it up and soon we’ll fill Central Park as well!

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xoxo,

@DubaiCatOfficial

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Follow Lakshya Yoga

 Lakshya Yoga

Like on Facebook for updates of classes/retreats: www.facebook.com/lakshyayoga

and visit www.lakshyayoga.com