Paella , Tapas and Sangria Night at Home with Chef Luis from Urban Paella

Entertaining at home is something I enjoy immensely and in the past 13 years of living in Dubai , many reasons have been found to invite friends over .

I had been following Chef Louis from URBAN PAELLA on instagram for more than a year  after I read  few reviews on the Dubai Marina Mums Group page and was waiting for the perfect alibi to have home over for a fun filled Paella evening.

After a quick chat and confirming the number of guests and few brief conversations on the phone,  our Menu was set at the 6 Tapas items and one large Platter of Seafood Paella.

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Tapas table ready on display

The Tapas Menu included Spanish Omellete , Lentil Salad , Board cheeses and grapes, Empanada Galega (baked puff pastry stuffed with olives tuna eggs and tomato,  Eggplant Tempura with Date Syrup, Chicken Skewers, and Prawn with Spanish Paprika.

For drinks, I really wanted to serve SANGRIA , and Chef Luis happily obliged to help me mix the botttlesof wine (personal ) with his concoction of Aniseed, Cinnamon, chopped fruit. He mixed them all in the Giant plastic tub and always had the sangria jugs well stocked during the party!

I was surprised to see Chef Luis as he promptly took over the kitchen, as 6feet5 he was the tallest person to ever enter my kitchen,  designed for a shortie like me he seemed very comfortable maneuvering around.

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Chef Luis Esqueta – Urban Paella

After the initial round of drinks , Chef Luis served the tapas himself , interacted with my guests explained to us what went inside the food and loved helping out with refilling any empty Sangria Glasses!

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Toast to the beautiful platter of Paella!

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The Package includes serving ware and serving cutlery: i provided my own dinner ware layed buffet style for 20 guests.

What I enjoyed about hiring  URBAN PAELLA  and Chef Luis in the genuity he brings . From the serving ware and crockery , the tablescape  suggestions for a spanish playlist : he knows how to create an amazing atmosphere and bring a non spanish like me the best of Spanish Hospitality!

To add to the evening , I contacted 800 Flowers 800 Flowers  a company that collaborated with Marina Mums for a Christmas bouquet giveaway and their founder Sandrine Ales was a pleasure to work with: As dinner party favours I ordered 20 bouquets of Lavender bunches as a thank you to my friends who came, along with a Bright red Spanish Rose each for the guest to add to their hair as they entered to feel the Spanish Senorita vibe: the fragrance of flowers was beautiful and added to the evening!

This party was so much fun hosting, it was Senorita’s only so a lot of dancing , laughter , failed attmpts to boomerang , posing and giggles with some lovely people I am glad to call friends over the years!!

To get in touch with Chef  Luis , click this link for all the details! Urban Paella UAE

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Easter In The Marina

Easter is always a special time for  families in Dubai depending on the date it usually falls on or before the easter /spring /midterm break, and signifies the beginning of summer…. the last of pleasant Dubai weather before the start heating up!

Now with it being Easter Sunday, and Sunday being a working day most of the Brunches/ Egg Hunts etc are on  Friday or a Saturday – I have however found a few falling on a sunday!


One of my favourite home grown  brands  *Local Dubai Marina * are the ladies behind Cooking@home In Dubai founded by two Italian Ladies who open up their kitchen and invite fellow foodies over to discuss, cook and eat Homemade Italian Goodies.

Details for their Easter weekend class on Actual Easter Sunday!! 17523146_1371850862874905_5139730960368311932_n


Dubai Marina is dotted with some of the best beach front properties in the city, with so many options at our doorstep enjoying the Easter Weekend is literally a HOP away!!

  • HILTON DUBAI JUMEIRAH BEACH :Culinary experts from BiCe and Oceana have put together an appetizing Easter Brunch for a day of fun in their Garden area Easter Brunch will include :
    Easter Egg Hunt
    Blow-up castles
    Magic Show
    Face Painting
    Ice Cream Stall
    Mojito Bar
    Starting at AED 295 personTo book call on 04 318 2999 or email fb.jumeirahreservations@hilton.com17757198_1424259240986478_665721103328483448_n


  • Easter Sunday Brunch at the Habtoor Grand Resort :  Easter Family Fun – Dine in an Al fresco setting with a lavish family brunch and great kids entertainment to be enjoyed by all at the Salamar Terrace
    For more information please visit
    https://goo.gl/pOKJcG17523537_10154606737647737_8078467322716776632_n

 

Easter Sunday Brunch at the Amwaj Rotana, Jumeirah Beach 

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16th April 2017
12.30 – 4.30 p.m. at La Terrazza, Level 2

This Easter Brunch is big on the frills with an extensive buffet including Easter specialties, kids’ zone with egg colouring, cartoons, face painting and balloon sculpting. They also get to chase the tail on our bunny mascot and go on a hunt for yummy chocolate treats.

  • AED 125 (children aged 6 – 12 years)
  • AED 235 including soft drinks juices and water
  • AED 355 including house beverages, soft drinks, juices and water
  • AED 495 including bubbly, house beverages, soft drinks, juices and water

Contact Amwaj Rotana Easter Brunch for more details.

Whatever you do …have a lovely weekend with your Family and do share your Easter Traditions on the FB Dubai Marina Mums Group   for the mum’ s in the community to share!


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The Colour Run Dubai 2016 – the happiest run ever!

We got tickets for  The Colour Run on a whim…they were on sale at Adventure HQ in JBR. Feeling guilty after yet another breakfast on the beach, my husband and I decided to practice what we preach, that is “take advantage of the great outdoors” Dubai-style – and purchased the race kits to prove a couple of points to our girls; 1. always choose a healthier lifestyle and 2. running can also be fun!

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A quick 7 am pic before leaving the hood!

The kids loved the race kits (T-shirt, headbands, tattoos, flower necklaces and the race bib). We paid AED 165 per kit and hoped and prayed that we would have a tantrum- and fight-free 5 km run with the promise of an active morning. We were really excited about playing with dry colour (similar to our Indian festival of Holi!), wearing our cute costumes, and of course, that 6 am wake up call! Poor hubs was outnumbered with all this enthusiasm.

When we reached the venue, the VIBE was buzzing, with a sea of people in the same gear as us. We saw kids in baby carriers, push chairs, little toddlers on shoulders and lots of cool parents (like us) who took the plunge and showed up!

The 5 km run had 5 colour zones; after every 1 km run, there was a colour zone where volunteers BLITZED everyone with tubs of safe edible-grade coloured powder. Since the run was split into 5 parts, it made it doable and fun, as the kids had the color zone as an incentive to keep running and sprinting – every 100 meters away from the zone!

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The kids absolutely loved the whole experience and we survived the 5 km, without a fight or tantrum or meltdown. And an incentive of the concert for my pre-teen and ice cream for the 7-year-old seemed to work!

We completed the run within an hour or so by 10:30 am and still had time and energy for the colour burst concert where all those who finished the run celebrated with music and colour bursts every 15 minutes (shower of colour in unison). It just felt like HOLI (the Indian festival of colours celebrated on the beginning of spring in March with dry colours and flowers in the community). This felt the same, but with a little bit of an international twist!

While we had a fantastic experience, there were a few things that could have been improved upon:

We were seeing all the disposable plastic water bottles being littered throughout the track! Yes, we need water on a hot sunny day, but this was a great opportunity to spread awareness amongst the public and especially the kids, of recycling and saving the environment. If the littering along the track wasn’t bad enough, the worst was close to the finish line. There must have been over 5,000 plastic bottles mixed with cardboard boxes, all piled up ready to be taken to the landfill (I assume). There were no signs whatsoever for recycling. This definitely left a bitter taste at the end of such a fun run and there was a lot of explaining to do to the kids about why they were NOT being recycled. The organizers need to sort this out for next time. Plastic recycling in large scale events should be a priority.

More volunteers are needed to keep an eye on unsupervised teenagers, and they were a lot of them! I know we were teenagers once, but there was some “eye-popping” behaviour going on, which is a no-no especially when you have vulnerable little kids around!

With a ticket price of AED 165 , I would have expected some more stuff for the families…. larger spaces, more kiddy zones, refreshments zones, baby medals for kids under 10 who completed the race, etc….

But the overall feel and vibe was fun and safe and, of course, made us super FIT!

Log into The Color Run AE for more details on their next event in 2017!100x300-2

You know you are a Marina Mum when…

Being a Marina Mum is not for the faint hearted.  You need a certain kind of spunk to “absolutely love” living here – it’s like being in the middle of the most ‘funnest’ place on Earth. Marina Living is synonymous with an outdoorsy life mixed with apartment living. You get your money’s worth by being able to enjoy the beach, pool, fountains, the Marina & 7km track all in one walk! Dubai Marina is perfect for those  who have the zest for life to switch from A.M. to P.M. in a matter of seconds.

I  opened this question out to the 4,500 members of the Dubai Marina Mums group, to ask them what they felt it was like to live in the Marina, to be a Marina Mum! Some of the best ones are posted here…so here goes.

You know you’re a Marina Mum when…

– You’re used to some of the world’s best firework displays views from your balcony or 825906455windows, the best of course,  being the New Year’s Eve extravaganza on JBR beach (with your baby mastering the art of sleeping through it all!) Plus the 30 days continuous one at the shopping festival and both the Eid’s!

– Your weekend entails going for an early brekkie, then beach, then pool and then maybe a date night , all without ever having to sit in a car.

images-1– You don’t bat an eyelid if you see 25 people falling out from an aeroplane with parachutes, because of  SkyDive next door.

– When you’re invited to check out a new 5-star hotel pool with your family and you’re reply is ‘meh’. True story!🙂

– When the thought of socialising anywhere other than Pier 7 or JBR on a Thursday night sends a chill down your spine.

– When you don’t need to make a mani/pedi appointment because you know at least one of the ten salons in your strip of buildings will have a space available.

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– When looking out of your window you get a view of the beach, the parachutes, the Marina, the yachts, the buzzing traffic on SZR and an occasional helicopter, all in  one go.

– When some of the best nurseries for your kids are literally yards away.

– When you buy a bicycle instead of a car, because everything is close by (true story).

– When your calender is marked for the year with guests and friends’ visits booked well in advance.

– When your daughter tells people she lives in a tower just like Rapunzel.

camel-beach-800x585– When your kids’ friends are from Rimal, Bahar and Sadaf and not from UK, USA or India.

– When venturing out to Dubai Mall is considered a road trip.

– When you’ve mastered the art of getting an entire grocery shop, from your car parked in the basement of your building, in and out of an elevator and to your front door.

– When you can rattle off all the cool places to visit, eat, party and experience, depending on your visitor’s demographic and intention of visit (including options for best nights out and vouchers).

– When most of the mums are connected to each other by logging on to the Dubai Marina Mums, and you can recognise a fellow mum from her profile pic on the group! Many familar faces in Marina Mall, and you can connect with a mum in the same building who’s the same age as your kids at the click of a button! Ask, Support, Share!

 

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My favourite coffee hangouts

One of the coolest things as a resident of the Marina is the massive number of options to choose from! Within a 1-mile radius, we have over a 100 cafés serving a much needed cappuccino… Yes, ONE HUNDRED…and most of it can be accessed by foot!

Hope you enjoy this list…there are so many to choose from and these are just the ones I visit because they are round the corner from me. Let me know what cafés you enjoy around this area. I’d love to meet you all one day over a coffee in our lovely neighbourhood!

Here are my top 5…

Starbucks, JBR

14330077_10153954427606696_5728277113607988655_nI am literally 150 steps away from this one. We’ve been neighbours since 2009 and it’s been my go-to place after a school drop-off caffeine fix. Perfect getaway for some peace and quiet, be it in my PJs, workout gear, or barefoot after a crazy mums night out!

Don’t forget to ask for your free Babycino every time you order your own cuppa. Kids get free froth milk complete with a chocolate smiley face! And of course, free WIFI – makes it a blogging Dubai Marina Mums dream!

Rimal, JBR, front right corner of Marina Tower. 7am – 12:45am. +9714 423 3751

Leopolds of London, The Beach

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Nothing beats the view and the choice of coffee and tea on their menu, plus their giant copper coffee machine is a work of art!

The staff knows their coffee choices well and the ambience both inside and outside is amazing! Best time to visit is during the outdoor season (Oct-Apr) for the best views of JBR beach.

The Beach, near the kids Splash park. 

Le Pain Quotidien, Dubai Marina

While I’m not a big fan of the cups they serve (the wide open bowls without a handle) but 14322619_10153954427531696_3365156203437334360_ntheir organic coffee is a great selling point along with the staff at the Marina Mall Branch.

Convenient pit stop after a Waitrose grocery run, and their staff has been there since they opened, so they know most of their regulars well – their barista, David, knows my regular order whenever I walk in. Free WIFI, kids menu and organic coffee blends, along with the amazing vibe inside, makes it a must go.

Dubai Marina Mall, near Waitress, 7.30am to 11pm. +9714 419 0595

Bistro des Arts, Dubai Marina

Bistro des Arts is a quintessential 1970 Parisian bistro overlooking the waters of Dubai Marina, serving a repertoire of classic “Terroir” French home-style food with a rustic French décor and a garden vibe terrace.

Finally… an independent café, and not a large international chain! This place is located right next to the Marina Mall, a little walk from the Marina promenade. They have replicated a quaint French bistro with an amazing coffee and wine list (Yes, wine!). It’s a regular favourite if you are out for a stroll and would like freshly roasted coffee after a nightcap!

Marina Promenade (you can park near in Marina Mall)

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The Brass, The Beach

This new cafe is for the hipster in us, minimalistic, high quality blends from Ethiopia to East Indonesia. The carefully selected menu allows you to experiment with your coffee choice further. It’s not just a cup of coffee here, it’s a learning experience. This one is a smaller pop-up version of their larger cafe in City Walk – but love how they have presented themselves right in the middle of The Beach amphitheatre – and used up their space and expertise well.

The Beach (central Promenade)

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Hope you enjoy this list…let me know your go-tos for a java – morning or evening.

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The story of the new DMM

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A few months ago I decided it was time. The time had come to create a look and feel for Dubai Marina Mums that it deserved. Usually,  a product or a service always looks better than it is (thanks to great marketing!) but MM was the opposite….it was never ‘marketed’no spamming, no PR, no ‘Join the group and win 1000000 AED!’ It just grew organically from word of mouth and the FB forum just evolved.

I had not started out with any particular aim in mind,  I just wanted to create a community that would help each other. But thanks to you all, I feel like it evolved into a group that can inform, argue, discuss, tear apart, compliment, support and help each other in our Dubai Chapter –  So why shouldn’t the brand reflect just that?

As luck would have it, I met Nishita, co-founder of a small branding agency called designSOS who works typically with clients like me…..clueless and don’t know where to start. In desperate need to translate what was in my head on paper and who understood my vision almost immediately….I decided to work with her because she ticked all the boxes: she was a member of Marina Mums for years, she had lived in Dubai Marina for 10 years and loved it, she understood what I wanted and was extremely patient, managed my expectations and  nudged me when I needed it .. (And I needed it a lot!! )

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On our 150th cup of coffee in one of many Marina watering holes…

And so we started our journey , after many coffees, long hours of discussion, a couple of disagreements, lots and lots of emails and WhatsApp messages and  A LOT of procrastination on my part… I am happy with what I have achieved and well on my way to do much more and grow with feedback and experience.

While rebranding, I also took the opportunity to start a blog. I have so much information in my head and have reached a point where I feel that this wealth of knowledge can only help anyone who needs it. As you all know, I love to share ,  and this is a great way to follow my passion while also talk about what is happening in the marina (since it’s a city on it’s own).

My blog covers how  Dubai Marina Mums are helping the community, pioneering new ideas and starting their own ventures, raising a family in our expat village and, of course, the local scoop! So the idea is to keep the Facebook Group as the primary source of discussion, but whenever you have time, you can get more detailed info on my blog…in case you haven’t had enough of me.

But let me remind you that all this you see, is because of you; your support, your love,  your participation. So in a way this rebrand it to celebrate “US” as a living, breathing, awesome thriving community. Thank you,  Dubai Marina Mums.

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Meet a Marina Mummy and mini author

Running the Dubai Marina Mums group has led me to meet and come across some of the most interesting people in our community  and its my endeavour to share the love and inspiration – Ask, Support and Share!

Meet Mummy Tripata and her daughter Krystal – both have authored a book aimed at young children titled “I Am A Star and You Are One Too” currently stocked at Kinokuniya and Magrudy’s.

I was delighted to be invited to the Sakhrani Family home in the prestigious 23 Marina. Known as one of the of the tallest buildings in the Middle East, going up the elevator and with a birds eye view of the city was an experience in itself!

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The elevator panel taking us 90 floors up and the unbeatable view had the little girls awestruck for the first 5 minutes!

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Tirpata also known as (Serena) amongst her Dubai friends, grew up in Indonesia and has made her home in the Dubai Marina. Her style of parenting is hands on DIYing with her girls with make your own monopoly, baking and cooking!

Both of the girls are students of JPS (Jumeirah Primary School). Krystal, same age as my little Saira, was a delight, as we had all come over to have a chat about and maybe inspire the other 9 year old about her new book titled “I am a Star and You are One too!”

Written over Easter Break in April this year – this was a mummy and daughter DIY project as Krystal’s dream is to be an author ! Tirpata saw this as a learning moment. They sat down together to develop a story line, followed by working collaboratively on the graphics and characters!

 

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The final result surprised them both – and they wanted to share their project, their pride and joy with everyone they knew. They made joint calls to the correct licencing  authorities and were surprised on how smooth the process was. They invested in getting 500 prints published, which are now on sale in two of Dubai’s leading bookstores.

Krsytal can’t wait to share this book with the JPS community, and has her first book signing and Story Time booked in for the following week.

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Feeling like the queen of the world – with this powerful view from her window!

 

I asked little Krystal what she loved about living in the Marina and her list was unsurprisingly  very long. She loved the view from her apartment high above, where can see the entire city, from the Atlantis fireworks to all the concerts and fairs right below by Dubai Media City. Another favourite was a family outing to the Marina fountains for ice cream or hopping on the Dubai Tram to enjoy the Beach in the evening for a meal.

 

 

Thank you so much Krystal Sakhrani! We love our signed copy of your book and spending  a wonderful morning together!

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Saira & Krystal, both 9 years old, and Marina’s budding girls!

To girl power and letting our little ones know that anything is possible if you work hard and use all the opportunities that surround you!

You can get your own copy of “I am a star and you are one too” a motivational book inspiring our little ones to look into themselves and recognising the spark within.

Available at  Kinokuniya Dubai Mall and Magrudy’s Jumeirah retailed at AED 33.

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Some of the coolest gym listings in the hood!

CrossFit workout is about

 

If you’re looking for something more substantial than the gyms in your building, or want a place you can join others for classes, then the Marina has some amazing fitness studios. Here are some to help you get started…

Tribe Fit, Dubai Marina 

Here’s one of the largest and most ‘socially active’ gym in the Marina. It’s really convenient with an amazing location right in t10850258_10152647834536696_7739799513363334278_nhe middle of the promenade and a great line up of GX classes on and off location.

They also do Beach Yoga every Sunday by JBR beach at 7:30 am and weekly boot camp sessions if you’re a fan of outdoor workouts! AED 50 for non-members. And on nice days you could have an outdoor Pilates session at the Tribe Fit terrace overlooking the Marina. (Look at the DMM’s awesome poses!)

L:  Silverene Tower (next to Dubai Marina Mall)
W: tribefit.com
T: 800 TRIBE (87423)


PoleFit, Dubai Marina

A ladies only Pole Fitness class combining cardio, core strength and toning. Suitable for all ages, fitness abilities, body shapes and experience levels, aerial arts are the hottest workout on the circuit today, promising a stronger, leaner body in two weeks, more confidence and self-esteem in two days and more sassiness in two minutes.

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L: Marina Sale Tower Dubai Marina
W: polefitdubai.com
T: 800 PoleFit(765-3348)


Core Fit, Dubai Marina 

I know a few who swear by their Core Fit group, an exercise studio that offers group exercises options with a variety of indoor and outdoor classes, catering to all levels of fitness and goals.

Zumba Fitness, Core Fit & Core Explode  and CF Strength & Conditioning. They offer  an electric atmosphere, world-class instructors, a pumping sound system and revolutionary heart rate tracking software.

L: Dubai Marina and Sheikh Zayed Road
W: corefit.me
T: +9714 422 5338


Exhale Fitness, JBR

1_45This is probably one of the oldest yoga and Pilates studios in the Marina. I remember going there to help lose my baby weight 9 years ago! This “women only” studio offers a packed schedule for yoga, Pilates and children’s gymnastics and karate.

It’s walking distance for most in the community, located at the plaza level of Murjan JBR. They also have reserved parking, a big plus if you’re coming by car

L: Murjan, JBR
W: info@exhaledubai.com
T: +9714 4243777


Platform3Fitness, Dubai Marina

This boutique gym is located at the Park Island in Dubai Marina, and offers private training by some of Dubai’s most experienced trainers. You can check out their website for offers and packages on Pre and Post natal fitness, physiotherapy, circuit training and group Personal Training.

L: Park Island, Dubai Marina
W: info@p3dubai.me
T: +9714 435 8083


136.1 Yoga Studio, Dubai Marina

This is probably one of the most beautiful yoga studios I have visited, with the most spectacular views of the Marina and with one of the best vibes, you just feel this surge of calmness as you walk in this studio.

25If you are a yoga lover, they offer various types of yoga classes: Ashtanga, Tantric, Iyengar, Sivananda, and pre and post natal yoga. Along with the classes, they also offer many free talks and workshops on meditation, Pranic Healing, Buddhist gong meditation and regular Kirtans. If you love yoga, you must check this out!

 

L: Trident Bayside, First Floor, Dubai Marina
W: www.136point1.ae
T: +9714 4416287

 


Cross Fit , Waves Tower , Marina

This facility is another popular one discussed on the Dubai Marina Mums Forum with dedicated followers swearing by the results and the commitment from the Cross Fit Team .

A  combination indoor workouts with outdoor ones by the Marina walk and their website below has a list of all their schedules , do try their FREE TRIALS to get a feel what CrossFit workout is all about!

L: Iconic Fitness /Crossfit Duo, Damac Wave Towers

W:Iconic Fitness

T:+971 (0) 45586507


The Beach Gym, JBR

Probably the gym with the best view, located right by the open seas with views of the towering JBR buildings! Fully-equipped outdoor gym featuring weight lifting equipment, CrossFit apparatus, rope climbs, kettle bells, rowing machines and jumpboxes.

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With the weather cooling down, the open space by the beach offer regular yoga and boot camps. Organised and free of cost to those who register, follow the http://thebeach.ae/StoreDetails/Yoga

The Beach regularly invite yoga enthusiasts of any age and skill level to start their day right with complimentary yoga classes at THE BEACH. Don’t forget to bring your own mat, towel and water. Follow them on http://thebeach.ae/StoreDetails/Yoga to find out more about their Wellness by the Sea programme – free fitness activities for the Marina residents

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
07:00 AM – 08:00 AM / W: thebeach.ae/StoreDetails/Yoga
L: South Lawn (near kids Play Area)

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A “Good Market” for DM Mums

Good Market was the idea of Dubai Marina Mum, Neesha Krishna Law, a great online resource for wholesome groceries at wholesale prices. She asked me to view her website goodmarket.me and provide feedback on her products and her prices. I have to admit that I did procrastinate until after the summer to get it done since I had already done my big grocery haul!!

When I visited the site, I regretted not doing this earlier! The website is fully stocked with sustainable, gluten free, paleo, fructose free,refined sugar free and organic certified items that are HOME DELIVERED to you at a FRACTION OF A PRICE you would pay at one of the most popular supermarkets in the Marina (or anywhere in Dubai for that matter). For example, the RED MILL collection of various flours (quinoa, GF Cake mix etc.) which retails at an average of AED 22 is available for AED 15 on her site.

Her business model is simple: to provide healthy groceries at wholesale prices delivered to your doorstep.

14232514_10153921601531696_7644333712620920652_nI was sent this beautiful collection of her best products for my little Gluten intolerant 7 year old and am delighted to share this amazing option for mums who might have kids with intolerences / or prefer an alternative diet without all the GUNK!

A favourite product that I frequently purchased is the Gluten Free Cake and Cookie Mix. I was ecstatic to find the same product 30% less than I usually pay for it. I was also curious to find out what was included in the Kiddy Snack Box – I ordered one to add in my  7 year old’s snack box! The box was AED 135 excluding the 20% you get with your first order! Moreover, THIS is how I received it (see image below)…so lovelKids_Boxy!

Another suggestion I took up seriously was making all my Indian rotis (naan bread) with quinoa flour, I was intimidated at first , but was surprised to see how beauifully soft they came out. It is grainer than the usual dough but after a few bites you get used to it! Highly suggest using this for your next GF rotis.

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Hope you enjoy browsing through the webiste Good Market . The founder, Neesha Krishna Law  was a pleasure to speak with and I loved her passion behind this much needed service in Dubai!

Check it out….

W: goodmarket.me

E: Neesha on hello@goodmarket.me

T: 050 481 5992

 

 

 

Nurseries and pre-schools at the Marina

This is the ONE list I struggle with as the years go by…mainly because it’s one of most common queries on the Dubai Marina Mums group, but also because there are so many good ones springing up all the time!

Luckily, the Marina is dotted with many good options, so don’t worry. Some have been there since the beginning of the “Rise of JBR”, while others are very new.

So here goes the list…remember, after reading through our list, if you need some personal recommendations, or want to meet mums whose kids go to a particular nursery, feel free to post your query on the Dubai Marina Mum Facebook group.

Here’s the list for nurseries within JBR and other Marina locations.


Marina Village Nursery, JBR

One of the oldest nurseries, the Marina Village Nursery (Jebel Ali Nursery) is located in the heart of JBR in Bahar.

I still remember how excited we were 8 years ago, as new residents in JBR, when we saw this new nursery being set up. It was walking distance, just a few metres away from our building and just opposite a Starbucks! So many memories of emotional goodbyes, meeting new mums on the same journey as ours and the banter outside the gate at pickup time. The plaza level was the hub of social activity those days!

It’s located in the Bahar Building of JBR, with an outdoor space that’s semi-covered. Super for those who like to take advantage of the pedestrian plaza level. It’s walking distance, no traffic and accommodates the parent friendly modes of transport:  push chair, baby bikes, scooters. Another plus point was that the local JBR gym was right opposite as well, perfect for post drop-off workout and coffee.

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I have 4 children, and all of them enjoyed their kindergarten years in thisnursery. They had a lovely experience, and, of course, us as parents too. The teachers and all the staff were amazing. And most important, our kids were so excited about going to the nursery everyday. They have classes for babies, toddlers and FS1. For babies and toddlers it is a lovely environment. FS1 has high standard of and large amount of content and activities, the kids have too much fun while they learn up to the highest level. I’ve been living in Dubai for 7 years now and I can tell every experience you have in a service you get, always depends on the person who gives the service (doctors, restaurants…schools). I absolutely recommend Jebel Ali Village to all of you.

Dubai Marina Mum – Pill Frances Munoz 

L: Jebel Ali Village Nursery (JBR, Bahar 1) W: jebelalinursery.com  T: 04 424 3791/2


Kidville, JBR

Another nursery within the Rimal sector of JBR, is a great option for mums in the neighbourhood. Kidville JBR (Facebook) started off as an after school , or pre school Mummy and Me classes, with its popular music, art and craft programmes along with Baby and me Dance sessions . In 2010 they started their new play based pre school enrichment programme called  Kidville University .

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Founder and DMM , Monica Malhotra and myself, met after 5 years – that’s where both of our kids started their playschool with KVU

Kidville Marina has a great programme established by Kidville USA, along with a fabulous nursery programme as well. They have both, an indoor and outdoor play space. And they still have Mummy and Me classes in the mornings and afternoons after the school run for kids up to 5 years!!  Their birthday packages are worth looking into. They extend the use of their amazing play space for weekend birthdays! It’s super convenient for mums living around the JBR Marina area close to Rimal; just a hop, skip and jump away. USEFUL TIP: The best way to reach Kidville is on foot, as parking is a bit of a challenge.

L: Plaza Level Rimal 5  W:kidville.com/jbr                           T: +9714-440-1220

 

 

 


British Orchard Nursery (BON), JBR

This popular nursery chain has opened a branch on the plaza level of JBR. It provides Foundation stage curriculum along with options of early or late pick ups for working mothers. Please get in touch with their, Principal Nicola Rutherford, for any information.

DMM speaks: “Super location with ample parking, teachers have been great and they also have a creche option for working mums”

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L: Shams 2 Plaza Level, JBR  W: jbr@britishorchardnursery.com  T: +9714 447 5881


Toddler Town Nursery, JBR

Another strong connection, with the DMM community! The Mum and founder of this nursery – Ziham Moopen, lives right here within the Marina and has been an active member of the Marina Mums Community .

DMM speaks: Danielle Dannenbaum Bell   I LOVE Toddler Town. I can’t fault it. I will literally cry tears when my son leaves at the end of June. He loves it there. The activities and the way they break the sessions up and move the kids to different parts of the nursery are just great and I haven’t found anywhere as good in this regard. The care of the teachers is amazing. They also do some lovely sessions like ‘Kiddie gym’, swimming, dance class etc. I feel sooooo comfortable leaving him there. I know next to me they are the best at caring for him.

I went through the toddler town website – and one thing that struck me was the special page dedicated for SEN (Special Educational) needs – more info can be find by this link here !  Toddler Town / SEN

Ziham, a school mum and a fellow Dubai Marina Mum  – known widely as the founder of the Toddler Town Nurseries, works hard in creating a great space for pre school children, toddlers as TT??, offers morning and afternoon sessions, summer camp options and creche facilities for babies 6 months and up.

L: Amwaj 5 Plaza Level, JBR, Dubai Marina T: +971 (0)4 452 8080  W: toddlertown.ae     E: jbr@toddlertown.ae

 


Fun and Play Nursery, JBR

I have not visited  the nursery yet – but the last I investigated, I heard that from the much popular Family and Friends centre thats was in the Al Fattan towers has merged with Fun and Play – and the lovely Joanne Nelson who founded  Family and Friends has now taken over this new location – with the new name.

Fun and Play offer flexible hours options for parents/Drop off facility per hour/plus a 5 day Nursery programme. Please get in touch with them here: Fun and Play , JBR , Sadaf

L: Unit P-31, Sadaf 2, JBR W: funandplaynursery.com  T: 0503164025 Joanne Nelson

 


Raffles International Nursery, Marina

Located on the waterfront at Marina Walk, feedback about Raffles is that it has an international flavour with children from all around the globe. Although small, the space is used well and it truly is a really “happy place”. Raffles follow the Early Years Curriculum with a play based approach to learning. The location is fab…within the Emaar 6 Towers, (the first buildings to be constructed in the Marina). Initially it was filled with kids residing in the 6 towers but now it a great location for anyone living in the Marina Walk. Mommies can leave the little ones, jog to Tribe Fit, do their groceries at Carrefour and collect the kids…

L: Dubai Marina Towers, Dubai Marina (near Nicholas and Asp. Dental Clinic)                 W: dubaimarinanursery@rafflesis.com  T: +9714 427 1473

 


Willow Children Nursery, Marina

Located on the Marina Walk (yacht club side), this is good for people living toward the end of the Marina – as it the only nursery within that area. The outdoor play area overlooking the Marina is another bonus point! 

DMM speaks: Katerina Papatryfon Drako They were at Willow in the Marina. The staff is unbelievable and they really run the nursery like a second home – not a business. Everyone (even management) is so accommodating. The outdoor space compares to no other in the marina (again my opinion)- and my favourite, when I pick her up at the end of every day, I ask her if she wants to hug and kiss her teacher and the assistants in our language so no one else understands, and she always runs and hugs all of them no matter how tired, cranky she is.

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Emma Deakin is the Nursery Manager at Dubai Marina Mums forum and happy to answer any queries.

L: Villa 40 Marina First Building, Dubai Marina Al Seba Street (Exit 29 fromSZR)               W: willownurserydubai.com  T: +971 45545802                                                                               E: adminmarina@willownurserydubai.co


 

Blossom Nursery, Marina

(Opening soon)

This will be the 6th branch of this popular nursery chain.

Located at the Dubai Marina Promenade, Blossom Marina will operate on the ground floor of Beauport Tower. With such close proximity to the Marina Yacht club, Marina Mall, Marina Tram and Metro station, Blossom Marina will be the perfect nursery for working families living in the Dubai Marina. The nursery will accept children from 4 months to 4.5 years.

Blossom also offers a healthy meal programme and considers working families with its all year academic programmes with full time and flexible days options.

To register your interest and find out more about this unique new space, please email enrolmarina@blossomchildren.com or call 052 853 1447

L : Beauport Tower, Marina Promenade W: theblossomnursery.com  T: 052 853 1447

 

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