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CNT ME inbound supplement: London guide

I was apparently on a travel guide kick last month because in addition to the Mauritius guide, I also wrote an inbound London guide supplement for the May 2015 edition of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East.

More brief than the Mauritius guide, I hope it still offers visitors a few interesting sights that differ from the usual.CNT_LONDON_SUPP

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CNT ME supplement: Mauritius guide

I spent much of last month writing a Mauritius travel guide and supplement that was distributed with the May 2015 issue of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East. Check it out if you’re planning a trip to the Indian Ocean isle and want to know more about its culture, sights, activities and luxe lodgings.

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And a snazzy app version (in English and Arabic) can also be downloaded for iOS and Android devices.

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A return to Sir Bani Yas: Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort

A number of years ago I surprised the boyfriend with a birthday getaway to Anantara Desert Islands resort on Sir Bani Yas Island. It’s an island reserve about a 90-minute drive past Abu Dhabi (coming from Dubai) that’s been irrigated, landscaped and populated with wildlife to resemble an African savannah. It was fantastic and even though we were there during the soft opening period of the hotel/island – I don’t think the hotel was fully open yet, the “savannah” hadn’t properly established itself and the wildlife hadn’t yet been released from their individual enclosures to live together – I still loved it and couldn’t wait to return and see what it would be like once established. It took longer than I had hoped but I finally made it back there last month.

And it had certainly changed.  Continue reading

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Road Trip: UAE’s Eastern Region

Last month I left behind endless vistas of sand dunes for the mountains as I road tripped around the UAE’s dynamic eastern region in a slick Maserati Quattroporte S. From the Dubai enclave of Hatta to Oman’s dramatic Musandam Peninsula and colorful mountain markets to Ras Al Khaimah’s well manicured luxury resorts and golf clubs, it’s my favorite part of the country.

Published in the March 2015 edition of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East. Click the spread below to access the story, or grab the issue on stands around the GCC this month and available to download from the App Store.

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And a humorous sign at Khor Fakkan beach: “No grill finally”. Yes, finally, the ban I’ve been waiting for all this time.

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Morning Mountains

One of my favorite things about my flat in DIFC is my views. To the one side (seen below) I look over the residential neighborhood of Zabeel towards Ras Al Khor (the wetland reserve), and to the other side I have full-on cityscape skyscraper views of Sheikh Zayed Road and DIFC. And admittedly, I do prefer the latter – but I’ve always thought it would be amazing to see the Hajar Mountains from home. If was even possible to ever see them – I always wondered if they were simply too far away, no matter the day’s clarity.

After living here for pretty much exactly one year, I finally got my answer during today’s sunrise, an impressively clear one.

At first I thought that perhaps it was simply Fossil Rock, but once I whipped out the camera for a better view, I think the length and layers in the distant landscape mean it must be the Hajars. Whatever or wherever it is, it’s a pretty scene.
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