Expo 2020 – Why we should get it?

If there is one city in the world that has the panache to make the World Expo the best one ever, it has to be Dubai. It is about time the most bustling city in the Middle East showed the world that the icons built to make this city into a leading fashion, holiday, retail and fun destination is given the opportunity to take the surprise factor a notch higher.

If the Shanghai expo drew over 73 million visitors, one can only see the numbers spiraling with the exotic and sexy appeal Dubai. In UAE, we already have people from almost every corner of the planet living here….I should know as despite being an endangered species, people here have either heard of Fiji or have met a Fijian before.

When I travel to other countries, people often see me as the exotic islander who is part of an endangered species and I am often the first Fijian most people meet…there have been times when small airports have had to call their foreign affairs to set up a new code for Fiji because no other Fijian has entered their airport before. I am just glad that the UAE is one of few emerging nations that embrace people from both big and small countries…to me, this nation is already one big expo.

We now have over 200 Fijians who left a country resembling paradise to be in the UAE because there is no other country in the world that can offer us a lifestyle that is safe, dynamic, inspirational and with a ‘can do’ culture that mysteriously runs through the spirit of people who live here.

Dubai already is the fastest growing city seen in the last 10 years and survived every hurdle that was put forward by the forces that be and came out stronger than ever. People come here with a dream  to succeed and with the right attitude and a positive mindset, they are able to realize them.

We are told that a successful bid would create over 275,000 jobs for the region and we hope Dubai takes the lead in changing the face of the Middle East on the world stage. It gets tiring when we travel to supposedly developed countries and the ignorance the people have of the region leaves you reeling in shock – it makes one wonder if it is lack of education or cluelessness that creates this mysterious perception of the Middle East and it would be awesome if people saw the beauty, the hospitality and the wonders of the region through the eyes of Dubai during the expo.

A few weeks ago I went venturing into the desert to the Bugatti workshop in new Dubai that is emerging near DWC’s airport and it was an eye opener how fast this city is growing. There is absolutely no doubt that the new Dubai Airport will take pole position and take over big airports like Heathrow in the coming years…to me, they have already taken over the biggies even now in terms of comfort, service and visitor offering. (I remember vividly when we found out that even Sydney airport closed down for a few hours each night and had zero facilities for transit passengers – it was shocking and I was not amused having to miss a flight because of mixed messages between the airline and the embassy).

In this day and age, as the world becomes smaller, we need more cities to become open-minded like Dubai and offer seamless travel solutions to people. It gets tiresome when one has to go through an unnecessary long chain of paperwork to get visas and wait over 10 days to travel – I love that Dubai makes things so easy for travellers to come here for holidays.

I recently flew to Dubai from Los Angeles after 5 days in Beverly Hills. While my friends were out shopping in the world’s most premium outlets, I lay by the pool at the Beverly Wilshire sipping mocktails because we have all the premium brands one can imagine in Dubai and at a better price. The retail offering in Dubai is better than what one will find anywhere in the world.

Leaving LA, we flew business class returning from an A list Hollywood party and the lady at the check in gave us lounge passes with a smile saying we could enjoy the lounge. As we entered, my well-travelled friends from France, Russia, Italy and Germany took one look at the lounge in LA and agreed with me that Dubai was possibly the best airport in the world where travellers truly are given access to the best travel experience with luxury lounges and the best airport facilities.

The Expo will also be an amazing platform to show the world how hotel services really should be worldwide – the benchmark set by Dubai hotels at such high standards really does spoil us and also will encourage the world hospitality industry to sit up and take notice and learn that going the extra mile does has its rewards in terms of repeat visitors.

People come to Dubai for holidays, for shopping, for concerts, to be pampered but also for the already great exhibitions that Dubai hosts for every industry. I love attending the Arabian Travel Market, Cityscape, GITEX, the Hotel Show, The Motor Show, The Boat Show and even some more industry specific expos like the Light show and Beauty Show. Undoubtedly, our city is known to always host a great event that is talked about for days after.

People fly from all over the world to be part of Dubai’s exhibitions. The DWTC also gets the community involved and supports local event organisers – in fact I am super excited about attending the 15th Women’s Exhibition at DWTC in December. Again, this was in the past done at the Dubai Ladies Club but to encourage women in UAE to get even more entrepreneurial than they already are, the next exhibition is even bigger and it is all down to Dubai encouraging the culture of putting on a great event and encouraging people to showcase their original masterpieces.

Another great event that will have Fijians coming to Dubai next week is the Dubai 7s. Its an event close to my heart that Dubai hosts so that I don’t feel homesick for Fiji – Rugby runs in our blood and it is the perfect place once a year for all the Fijians in the region to connect with each other – at the biggest party on the planet hosted by Emirates over 3 days. I will not even begin to touch on the Dubai International Film Festival but all I can say is that it is the best…I had the best time last year with little diva getting excited about the previews and sitting by the water at the Madinat in between shows was a great feeling.

Down the road from Dubai, this very moment, I am on my lunch break at the Abu Dhabi Science Fair where people can have fun with science acts brought from different parts of the world. During the last 2 days I went to see the Abu Dhabi Art Fair at Sadiyaat and that was not bad either.

I also can’t wait to spend a few hours at Emirates Palace at some stage for a game of Polo. And then tomorrow I head back to my favourite place in the world…Dubai and my home – to sleep in my comfy 4 poster bed, shop at my favorite mall, stroll down to City Walk across my home and have some quality time with my child.

I guess I could write about the wonders of living in the UAE and in Dubai forever and I hope the Expo 2020 guys see this country through my eyes. There must be a reason why I left paradise to come and make UAE my home. It is a country that matches the pace in which I like to do things given the freedom and its vision for tomorrow gives me hope and energy to get out of bed and to get moving towards a future that amazes the world.

Bahrain Science Centre celebrates ‘Great Inventions’

Bahrain Science Centre celebrates ‘Great Inventions’

Shereen BSC 

Visit the Bahrain Science Centre, a part of the Ministry of Social Development during November and December 2013 and you will be able to experience our new theme, ‘Great Inventions’. Three new exhibitions, as well as workshops, demonstrations, talks and discussions on inventions, will be hosted during November and December 2013.

The first exhibition, in the entrance foyer of the Science Centre, features three great inventions from the past: a model of the ‘South-Facing Chariot’, a navigational instrument invented in China over 4 000 years ago, a scale model of Al-Jazari’s 800-year old ‘Elephant Water Clock’, and a ‘Penny-Farthing Bicycle’, which represents the wheel, the greatest invention ever by humankind.

The second exhibition, entitled ‘Miniature Masterpieces’, celebrates 50 small inventions that have made a big impact on our lives. The tiny inventions are neatly displayed in modernistic acrylic domes and are fully labeled to indicate the name of the inventor, date and place of inventions, and the story behind the invention.

The ‘Miniature Masterpieces’ include the fishhook, key, mirror, money, magnetic compass, camera, spectacles, wristwatch, postage stamp, spark plug, light bulb, Velcro, Slinky, credit card, pocket calculator, computer mouse and MP3 Player. There also some fun items such as false teeth, bubblegum, dice, jigsaw puzzle and glass marbles.

The third mini exhibition is called ‘What is it used for?’ This features a selection of 29 unusual inventions and visitors are invited to guess what they are used for. Three possible answers are given for each item. This is a fun exhibition for the whole family.


OCOO shereen shabnam

It’s that time of the year to celebrate with a yearning for ways to look beautiful…. We have to look good for the long Christmas lunches especially if it is a Fijian lovo that can easily take up to a few hours of marination and cooking underground.

Christmas is big amongst the Fijians and as the festive season draws near and the invitations start pouring in, OCÓO The Beauty Drink, brings you the perfect gift to revitalize your youthful appearance and shine in the spotlight.  I am trying it at the moment and loving it.

Designed to reveal a radiant and renewed complexion, OCÓO The Beauty Drink wraps some of the world’s finest natural beauty ingredients in a 100 % recyclable aluminium fusion bottle – a definite winner as I get long lectures from little diva about the environment, wastage and leaving the planet in good shape for her kids (She already knows she will have two and I will not be surprised if she has the names pinned down as well)

To add more cheer to the season’s celebrations, OCÓO The Beauty Drink presents its Festive Season Beauty Drinks recipes, a selection of elegant mocktails made through a fusion of OCÓO and other revitalizing healthy ingredients. Below you will find some of their unique recipes that hand you the secret to making a gorgeous appearance at every party.

OCÓO’s Festive Season Beauty Drink Recipe by La Petite Maison Restaurant at DIFC:


  • Half fresh green apple
  • 10 ml of elderflower syrup
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 200 ml of OCÓO


  • Muddle the apple, add the rest of the ingredients, shake hard and double strain it on crushed ice in a julep cup.
  • Garnish it with an apple star and selection of berries

OCÓO’s Festive Season Beauty Drink Recipes by Caramel Restaurant & Lounge:

Recipe 1:


  • 200ml of OCÓO
  • 3 pcs. Of lemongrass
  • 15 ml honey
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 15 ml sugar syrup


  • Muddle the lemongrass in shaker tin and mix all ingredients.
  • Shake & strain with ice in highball glass. Top up with ginger ale.
  • Garnish it with fresh lemongrass.
  • Suggested glassware: highball glass

Recipe 2:


  • 150 ml OCÓO
  • 60 ml Pre-prep Iced tea then infused with fresh ginger
  • 5 gms rosemary
  • 3 pcs. Fresh raspberry
  • 30 ml sugar syrup
  • 15 ml lime juice


  • Muddle the fresh raspberry, then mix rest of the ingredients.
  • Shake and pour over crushed ice.
  • Garnish it with Rosemary
  • Suggested glassware: highball glass

Nayomi’s Fain Collection

Nayomi W13 24

Just had a look at Nayomi’s Fain Collection – its one of these moods I get once in a while where the lure of soft silk against my skin becomes more overpowering than the need to save money for my next track drive.

An opulent and eye-catching collection in luxurious pewter colored satin and rich purple chiffon, Fain is truly captivating with its sheer elegance and exquisite style. Guipure lace embellishments add an element of sophistication to the pieces whilst plunging necklines and daring cuts enable this collection to bring out the goddess in every woman….or the diva as the case may be. Check out two of my favourite pieces from this collection.


Marriage Isn’t For You

Loved this blog by Seth Adam Smith

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

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Diwali sweets at Peppermill

IMG_4399 Diwali sweets at Peppermill

The best thing I remember about Diwali from my childhood in Fiji Islands was the amazing array of sweets my fathers clients used to send home and the numerous parties we went to. Since living in Kuala Lumpur and UAE, Diwali certainly was a toned down affair until I discovered the absolutely delightful diwali sweets at Peppermill Restaurant – they have branches both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Leading up to the Indian festival of lights, Diwali, the fine dining Peppermill Restaurant has lined up a feast of Indian favourites that includes a flavorful array of appetizers, curries, cold dishes and desserts, meticulously put together for the festive celebrations….every time I walk in the Dubai outlet, I feel like I am entering a maharaja’s palace dining area…or on an evening I feel like the burlesque setting will have some exotic entertainment erupting any moment…it is warm and inviting.

Diwali offers Indian food lovers an opportunity to indulge in the diverse cuisines from the subcontinent in a rich and elegant setting that enhances the dining experience. The space at PepperMill offers a warm ambience for intimate gatherings that offer privacy and a vibrant feel with the clever use of colours and light background music.

Shafeena YusuffAli, the young entrepreneur who is the CEO of Tablez Food Company tells us that Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India, celebrated by families enjoying Indian delicacies and performing traditional activities together. Peppermill is therefore committed to providing fresh, delicious and healthy food locally that is popular during the Diwali celebrations in India for an enhanced festive experience.

Diwali specials at Peppermill can be enjoyed in private dining rooms at lunch buffets and à la cart dinners inspired by the rich traditions of the past and the flavours of the present.