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  1. 20 likes
    With the growth of ADW membership and with the new look & feel, we thought we'd pin the link to posting rules, that is always at the bottom of the website. In particular, deleted posts for self promotion seems to be a touchy subject. We receive reports from members daily who complain about advertising within the posts themselves. To be clear: Sponsors who donate funds to support the website are permitted to answer questions, etc in posts. To determine who a sponsor is, its quite simple. Instead of members under their name, you will see the word Sponsors. As well as members who can recommend or refer are able to and it's what this community is all about. What is not permitted is a non-sponsor to advertise out of respect to one who is. We have opened a new section 'The Community Market ' on the board for folks who do want to post information on their products or services on a fee based listing. This helps in several ways. 1) Fairness to sponsors. 2) Helping forum members who don't want to be bombarded with commercials 3) A place for members to share their goods. This not-for-profit website is moderated by gracious volunteers who give up time in there lives with their families in order to help people moving to and living in Abu Dhabi. They do not work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with their face squashed in front of the computer screen, therefore some inappropriate things might be missed. This website has been set up to use the "honor system", there are mechanisms in place to "Report a Post", this can by done by clicking on the box on each post, in which the volunteer team will be alerted to a potentially bad post. There is also a PM system that allows members to "send an instant message" via PM to a moderator about any concerns. Enjoy!
  2. 7 likes
    The UAE is my home but I can relate to how many expats or newcomers feel when first coming out to live and settle in a new country that will be home for a certain time. It takes a lot of adjustment and a building block of new trust and security has to be rebuilt. When my hubby studied abroad in our earlier years, it took us a while to settle for our 1-2 year stay. Plus, you always keep at the back of your mind that you will be going back home and rather than enjoying and making the most of the great opportunity given to you in life -to experience something new, you tend to tick off the days on the calender waiting for the time it is to return home-this very point is what is preventing you from settling and as a new expat you really need to look ahead, learn everything about your new area, make new friends and get especially organized ahead of time to make settling into a new home environment much easier. In fact, the UAE is the best of places to easily fit in once here. The sooner you settle the sooner everyone will be happy. Stressing out will only spread in family so sorting all settling areas is the key. First when arriving: 1. Try to come early and have at least a couple of weeks free to settle as a family at home before work starts. This is needed. It is difficult for a woman to get things done around house for installation of washing machines etc and the like when in the industrial world, it is dominated male services-this should all be done before works starts so family can start settling quicker without these worries. At all times, You need to be cautious when having people in to service things around the home and always have eyes on the kids. Make sure you have secured a house before uprooting. The house should be cleaned out and maintenance done before moving in, if you do move in and find anything, make notes for your hubby to give to house owner . Clean house to suit you once here and have bathrooms, bedrooms done first so kids can get busy with sorting out their stuff or younger ones have a place cleaned and ready to play. Next step, should be kitchen then in due time work towards all other rooms and house areas. Get the tv up and running as the sound of an open tv makes the house feel homely. Points for new home: install filters ( candle stick ones like Doultons) for filtering tap water for tea and cooking. You can also find washing machine ones if you wish , the washing machines etc are usually installed by the store from which you buy. Always ask for service number and keep on wall for anytime you need it. If you already have these in an apartment then you need not worry. I have moved house several times in the past so have the experience behind me now. Consider putting up basket ball nets for the boys or even getting a new pet to keep kids occupied and not feeling depressed, animals are great at comforting kids. I am going into a bit of detail here so bare with me on this....this will help a lot. Your locality: Every area almost have a long block of shops- find your nearest one and make notes of what is a available. You should find a 'bagala' grocery shop (means it is recognized for it quality by the government), a pharmacy, a stationary for school and work stuff with printing, copying and scanning services, a laundry which usually does hand washing & ironing of clothes , bed sheets, some do carpets etc. they have dry cleaning services, steaming services and pick up and delivery services . Even shops will do this in the event you need anything and don't want to go out. I give small tips. Also, usually there is a industrial shop which usually means a hardware shop- here you may find electricity services , plumbers ( known as pipe fitters here) and several other services. Many know English or broken Arabic. Once you have these noted , you will be equipped at least with a consumer, friendly locality service. Now, you can look for a larger friendly consumer shopping store, pick a couple of favorites you would like to go to every week such as Carrefour or Lulu. Schools: In the first weeks before work starts, kids should be registered in schools or earlier even at appropriate times. This would probably be your first social gathering place for both kids and parents- meet other parents and kids will start to build up new friendships here and their new neighborhood if other kids around. Introduce yourself to other parents , take the first step even and ask questions, soon you will build new friendships too. Go to Parents/teachers events and school bazaars etc. and join in the fun. Medical Clinics and hospitals: Find the nearest SEHA health clinic near you and take note, this is the place you go to to have family treated for minor ailments or childhood vaccinations. There are private hospitals you can go too as well such as Al Noor Hospital on Airport Road near Carrefour Hypermarket. All your Ids , visas, health cards should be done with by time you start your job. Always have a file for each family members-everywhere you go, keep in the car for unexpected requests. You need passport copies, passport photos, birth certificate copes, and the like. This will save time having to go home again! Never give originals and leave them, SHOW original but take it back and leave copy only. Events in the UAE: There are a load of fabulous family events in the UAE, UAE festivals, fair grounds within these festivals, food truck events at the Corniche, international books fairs-one coming up in Abu Dhabi very soon, marathons , Spartan races, fun activities for everyone! You won't regret going to these. There are many gathering groups on ABW too such as coffee mornings- there are a real great bunch of ladies on here truly!! You don't have to make a step even-- just tap on the keyboard and you are on your way! The Gardens & Parks: Families gather every Friday at gardens and parks , adults picnic while kids play. There is the Airport Road park area which as a KFC, or you could barbecue! I have seen many things over the years in gardens even a wedding celebration! There is Mushrif park, the al Bateen Family Park and Beach which has tea and food trucks around. I see lots of action there! There are many gardens, check out the nearest one to you. the Corniche: The focal point for boat races, Red Bull flying shows, dhow races, fun activities on the beach, and food trucks here and there. You can also rent a bicycle or tricycle there , great for the kids and adults alike. Kids: Like everywhere else in the world, eyes on kids always. Don't allow them to go to public toilets alone unless with adult. Nor, let them wonder off alone . Whenever anyone comes to do odd jobs around the house, better for both parents to be around or a friend, don't be alone. Bills: Water & electricity bills even post paid phone bills can be paid online or ATM machines these days, you can almost follow anything up even car fines online. Your kids schools will also have online websites etc for schedules of events, holidays etc. Familiarize yourself with UAE laws: This will help you understand more about the place within which you live, making you feel confident and equipped to deal with anything. UAE Culture : Learn which dress is the national dress of the UAE so you can distinguish them from amongst the many other regional Arab countries, Asian and far Asian people in the multi-cultural environment of the UAE. Learn a little local Arabic so you can get to know the locals. ( give you some key words in another post) Learn some of the dos and don't regarding dress code etc. , not a lot to worry about though! People are so friendly. When you are researching the area of your locality, make it a fun event for the kids- let them know you are going around the block to discover what stores etc they have. Try out some of the foods etc such as pastries to make it even more fun. When we kept moving house, we would go around the neighborhood a couple of times. And on following times hubby would pretend to be lost and this would have the kids jump into action giving directions! Helps them to become orientated to the environment and thus a sense of belonging to new area. Well that's all I can type for now ladies lol , tired I hope this will be of help to some new family out there anyway. Will post more tips! Enjoy your time in the UAE, make the most of it : ) best wishes DD
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    These are just a sample of the homemade pasties I made, the sambosas which we put into the carousel containers, and a vegetable shurba. I always make my own sambosas and freeze, ready to cook and parties are made directly when needed, we have different light soups to break the fast such as veggie soup, broccoli, chicken, and the like.
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    8th day, Ramadhan: The Suhoor was normal cereal, jams, cheeses , light soup and whatever was left over from fatoor including white rice and yogurt. Normally, we try to avoid cheese as it can increase one's thirst but it is there for anyone who wants it. I for one love cheddar cheese but I can miss it out at Suhoor time. Some of boys had cereal. Some rice and yogurt and shurba-light drinking soup. Sometimes, one of my boys carries several plates and takes it to his wife in their unit area, Sometimes she eats late then sleeps without Suhoor time but sometimes she will eat at Suhoor time. The Suhoor is truly , from my experience, vital to have as it gets you through your fast more easily. So, to those who fast, it is better to have suhoor. When anyone has medication to take such as blood pressure tabs etc. then the morning ones are changed to Suhoor timings or after fatoor depending on what is prescribed. i stay awake until dawn prayer are finished then I go to bed. The fatoor: The fatoor this day was machbous, rice soaked up in chicken broth which can be served with local pickles, a tomato sauce mixture or veggies. Each time I make different. We also had our usual tray of snacks, some mini pizzas and Zataar ones too. Our Neighbour sent us rice with chicken on top today. In the evening after prayers were finished, me, dear son and dear DIL sat to watch the Emirati Competition which is on everyday for the whole of a Ramadan. It is a very popular Ramadhan show on The Emirates channel. 9th Day of Ramadhan: Today, I had to go out to buy some groceries and lamb. I went to Carrefour in early afternoon , and it was ok not too busy. It gave me a chance to see what new home ware they had, I saw a couple of interesting items they had-but hesitated to buy it right now so left it for a while. I also remembered I needed some printer ink etc. so bought that. I didn't take long as just bought what I needed but left without buying the meat since there was only one or two butchers and they were busy, so I left. We made just enough fatoor for who was at home today as one son were planning to go for fatoor out today. We also, made extra sambosas and lugaimat for our Neighbour. Later, I had a call from son and DIL..Ahhhhh... fatoor was Going to be a change today -for me anyway! We made the normal platter of sambosas, sausage rolls and lugaimart -golden fritter-like doughnut balls in "dibs" (date syrup) absolutely deliciously and made daily in Ramadhan in our home. This was a must that is left on table after fatoor for anyone who was feeling slightly hungry, afterwards. Anyway......they had invited me to eat out at a specially, prepared Ramadhan tent|room at The Fairmont which was also the venue of their engagement party a few years back. There was a family atmosphere there and it was a nice atmosphere. We first went to the salad bar area, lots of Sushi and raw fish dishes *ugh* not for me... I was waiting to reach the fatoush and appetizers such as muttabel ( roasted aubergine) my favorite and hummus. I thought that was just fine until I passed by some nice cheese platters, so took a couple of piece of that! i would have been quite contented with that , thank God for the blessings, but they took me along to the next buffet for main course. There were various rice dishes, soups, shurbas, freekah dishes, and much more. I took a lttle of harees, a couple of slices of roast meat and veggies and that was it. The broccoli was hard though and wished it was partially cooked at least, so that was disappointing . After going through that, next was dessert, many rich, chocolate, cream like ones but just one caught my eye and that was ' umm ali' ( mother of Ali/bread pudding). Yum! After having a nice evening out -we went home, what made it even better -was it was close to home,. On the way they showed me a couple of places and told me that near by was the Souq Planet grocery store!!! Wish I had knew sooner , but they said they would take me there soon , so looking forward to that too, it was very nice and a change. Bless them they gave me a nice evening and especially precious with family!!thank God: ) so, you see I was busy lady and thus, double posts lol have a nice evening all!!!
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    The Suhoor: Today I woke up everyone but noticed it's taking me a few extra knocks on doors or calls to gather them!! One son was late as he was tired and didn't hear the knocks- he goes for jogging or Ramadhan sports competition like volley ball etc. after Taraweeh prayers and comes back late. It made it on time though, and had his Suhoor. I was surprised to see little grandson up for Suhoor today, his father said, I couldn't sneak out of room as he saw me lol. He was wondering which meal was this ! Usually after Suhoor we read until it's time for dawn prayers. If we did go back to sleep before this time, we would be late praying it, thus staying awake and thus, our timings for Suhoor. Later after thu'hr ( the early afternoon prayers) I went shopping with shopper son and his wife. We went to Lulu , if I am on my own, I just go to the nearest store! and usually IF I go to Lulu I would go to the one upstairs in Mazyad Mall even if smaller. I just don't like that the department store is upstairs and the grocery store down-really inconvenient. We went to the one in Mushrif Mall which is larger and has a far more variety of appliances etc. from which to choose. So that I liked. However, when going to stores you only go to once in a while, you are not familiar with the aisles or layout. My dear son wanted to make sure I didn't get one of those shopping carts that force you to walk side ways lol soooo annoying. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of those once I started putting groceries into it. So, there I was shopping in an unfamiliar place and moving sideways lol Thus, when just for regular shopping I like what I call the friendly Neighbourhood stores, such as Mushrif coop now reopened, and the coop near house . On the way to Lulu we saw some new signs "afcoop" this way.. I was very happy to see this sign to be honest as this store when around a few years back ( near Mangrove Village) I use to go to all the time-just walk in and out without the parking or going up several floors just to shop! It was my top number 1 friendly neighborhood store along with Mushrif even before we moved to this area. It closed and was demolished to be rebuilt just like the Mushrif one, and now it has reopened. I heard it was going to be reopened back then but didn't know when and also heard it would be larger... so, now I will inshallah plan to go soon just to see as curious to its new look!!! I will bring you all back news on that! My main items to buy were chicken and a new iron. After finding them I 'browsed' around while son and his wife finished their own shopping for specific items, I saw the Ramadhan food deli area and it looked so nice ......and yummy since I was hungry lol. I bought a couple of spinach fatayer and freshly made finger cookies. The Fatoor: At fatoor time, I tried the spinach fatayers and they were very nice, something I would buy again anyway! They had a little onion mixed with them and the added colour of sumac whic gives them a slightly reddish tinge. If this is too much I wouldn't like it but it was just right. I like to see the green spinach more than the reddish tinge! We had broccoli soup, usual variety of sambosas, and son brought some Indian Pokara etc. which are spicy hot -but they like them. Little grand daughter, toddler sat at the table in her chair and managed to grab one from her mamas plate and took a bite before her mother could stop her lol She froze for a second and we realized what she had in her hand, she looked at us and spat the food out with a funny look on her face , poor girl-we gave her yogurt to cool the heat of the taste. Today's main was fish and rice, with salad, quite a few people may make more than one main but I do one only that way they enjoy it more. We had jelly and fruit desserts from yesterday since they keep very well. Later on after all prayers were done, we had some of the Light cookies I bought, with tea.
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    6th & 7 the Day of Ramadhan, 2017: I am combining these two as yesterday I went on a trip and couldn't post anything as by time I reached home it was late and I was sleepy ZZZZzzz. On the 6 the day, I went out to buy gifts for my daughter and grand kids before trip following day. Then packaged them ready for next day. We had lamb stew for our main fatoor along with the sambosas and sausage rolls as side dishes. There was less than normal, portion wise as almost everyone was invited elsewhere. So, I just made enough for who stayed and a little extra for Suhoor time. If we ever have extra, we make parcels and family members will give it to people near the mosques. So far, I try to just make sufficient food, and desserts that keep well for a couple of days in fridge such as fruit jelly, or we have fresh fruits and dates. My DILs are into sweets and cakes etc. although I can make some nice cakes etc. I am more into making the more savory foods. Just as well otherwise, would be eating a lot of sweet and rich stuff! I set a time for everything, for housework and laundry in the morning, and even ironing once clothes are dried. Then onto preparing dough, or desserts if required that day. Then there is a time for prayer and reading, then cooking and so forth. So, the time goes pretty fast. The 7th Day: At Suhoor time, sInce it was weekend, almost everyone was awake, hubby was away at the farm. For Suhoor we had light fresh vegetable soup, Cereal with warm milk for those who wanted it and rice with yogurt. Since everyone was tired, they didn't take long. I went out with son on our trip to Sharjah to reach there for fatoor, I couldn't be earlier as daughter arrives there ( her mother in laws house) around that time. That is where we will all meet since we were also picking up dear DIL and granddaughter who live with us but she was just visiting her parents for a few days. It was a good time for us to see our relatives and my daughter and precious grand kids whom I longed to see. The trip itself was a nice change of weather so to say as I hardly go out much unless with family. When we arrived we greeted everyone and sat down to chat. My grandkids gave me a double look wondering how I arrived in the sitting room lol . When I spoke- that was all they needed to gather round me fighting for my lap lol. I played with them a little and they wanted me to take them to the shop as when they come to stay a while here in Abu Dhabi, I take them out for fun. After hugs and more hugs, it was time for fatoor. They had made harees, and their Neighbours sent then various dishes, such as machbous, a couple of different fish dishes, and a salad dish. I ate some fish, and harees since we haven't had it since Ramadhan started. A good friend of mine normally sends it but have to check on her and give her a call tomorrow inshallah. They also made some charmie which looks like A ricotta cheese but isn't. They eat this with dates or even white rice. The men ate in a tent next to their house. This is what they do all the time. After, fatoor it was time for red tea and qahwa and we chatted some more and when I asked them how Ramadhan was going for them, DIL felt the days were long-I wonder where the time goes!! By this time it was time to go as it would be really late for son to drive back, plus, he had been on work duty the day before until late morning, day of the trip. There were more hugs and little kids cried : ( because it was time to go- I could have bawled my head off myself but they were ok afterwards. The trip going there was not so bad but coming back was rather nerve wrecking especially on small road with cars going both ways- the whole road had six wheelers So it was pretty dangerous, a couple of the six wheelers at least gave way for us to past by. It was after 11 or so when we arrived back home in Abu Dhabi and it didn't take me long to quickly fall asleep ! Well ladies, that's it for now- good night all! Sleepy head here!
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    Suhoor time: I woke up and did my usual knocking doors and waking everyone up until they all gathered at table. My granddaughter tried her best to get up lol but couldn't as she was too tired. She had a busy play day with her cousins and also still has school (unlike last year where it was holidays) . She told her father to wake her up so he tried but she was tired , however as we all sat to eat he said, he probably would get a good telling off in the morning (today) lol. She may even come to me and take my hand to go shout at him lol. She makes him feel like he's a child again hehe. Alhamdulilah , thank God, we had a light suhoor and the fast in spite of it being hot was fine. Likewise for second day too, I even went out mid afternoon to our nearest coop and it was hot too but you get use to it if you just go out to do what needs to get done and back again. At first the coop was not so busy and I managed to go to the butchers there, buy lamb and chicken and more rice. Just as I had these things in shopping carts, the coop started filling up and it became so busy mashallah by the time I reach the cashier for check out!! I am sure everyone is thinking the same-shop now- as really not enough time between dusk and evening prayers to do anything. My daughter in law said when they had went to Carrefour after fatoor it was almost empty for the time they were there-the break of fast meal. She said it was weird lol. Mind you I am sure it is packed early afternoons! So, for new visitors, you will see crowds of people at certain times, then wonder where everyone went at dusk- of course, they will be home or wherever having fatoor and then going for prayers. The crowds may reappear after 10pm. The Fatoor meal: We had the usual variety of dates and tamr-compact dates first then water. After that the broccoli shurba ( drinking soup) . The light pastries and various sambosas -which keep for later also whenever anyone is feeling hungry again. The main meal was rice and lamb stew with potatoes and carrots and fattoush salad. This is the one main meal we have the rest are light snacks, fruits which is after main meal and always on table al hamdulilah. The desserts are served anytime anyone wants, I make small portions. It is not soon after we have eaten and drank qahwa that it will be time for the isha & taraweeh prayers (evening & Ramadhan prayers). I am not sure about anyone else, but we have been able to hear from our house the canon firing signifying time to eat. The firing of the canon is a Emirati tradition and people can see it at the Grand Shiekh Zayed Mosque or in downtown, Abu Dhabi. Well have to go ladies, lots to do and today has been a real busy today with lots ahead of me still to do, Have a good day and please all take care driving!!
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    Well always on this day, we wonder if Ramadhan will complete 30 days or not. We sat at Suhoor time wondering about this and talked how it can be confusing when you don't know how to plan properly for the holiday. We eat our normal fatoor of cereal, rice & yogurt and small snacks, for me it's either cereal or toast and tea, Mashalllah, we love our tea so most of us have that. Hubby went to do some errands in the morning so I couldn't get out today, usually I go to buy halwa and small baklava platter in preparation for Eid. Also, we get extra change for Eid. Today, DIL said she would get the halwa etc. so that's fine with me, saves me the trip. Plus, when it is this close to Eid everyone will be buying Eid sweets etc.. it will be very busy at the stores, in the streets and on the roads especially -which will be packed! With that in mind everyone should drive carefully today and not rush, many indeed will probably stay at home just because of the roads being busy today and even more so in the evening. Hubby with boys went out for fatoor today but they didn't enjoy it that much as it was just far too crowded and thus service at this other restaurant they went too was not so good. So, that turned out disappointing for them and I was disappointed for them as it was supposed to have been a nice fatoor out. I had fatoor on my own and then went to pray. Soon after DIL had visitors and we sat with them a short time and talked about Eid and henna, DIL couldn't get hers done as the salons were just too packed but her sister managed to do her henna as she went a day earlier. Just after hubby and boys arrived, we heard officially that tomorrow will be the first day of Eid al Fitr. So , I leave this post now and post on the first day of Eid inshallah as now I have to plan for first day- we don't get up for Suhoor now but we do wake up very early to prepare for Eid prayers. take care! Eid mubarak!!
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    The Suhoor: I stayed awake until dawn yesterday but I had napped a little in the afternoon, sometimes I don't need much sleep and sometimes I can be very tired-depending. I woke everyone up for Suhoor, and my granddaughter likes to surprise me that she has arrived for Suhoor lol. Her uncle, shopper son, Mashallah is good at reacting mashallah- so gave her his usual double look, look and acted surprised and asked her what she was doing here - he always makes her laugh! Other sons gather around the table, one by one each, taking what they want and other sleepy son just looked into his cereal . They know having Suhoor at this time (3 am) , helps them through the fast, some people like to eat earlier but find themselves hungry or thirsty next day, so Suhoor is a very important habit to get into if you are fasting. When everyone had finished, granddaughter stayed out with me a few more minutes before going to her room. Later in the morning..... I was going to go out but changed my mind! Quite frankly, I just couldn't be bothered lol but I did have our dry cleaning bedsheets delivered and I did some work around the house. Hubby called......he wanted me to look for some new gutras he had bought for Eid and had wanted to take them to laundry first to be pressed, I didn't find them in the place he said he put them, but did find some papers he asked about and had lost!! In the Afternoon, dear son asked me if I wanted him to take me to put henna at salon, but not sure if I will or not. Normally, I would but maybe not this time. I have started preparing "ediya" Eid packets for family and relatives-these are a little money for spending on toys or whatever they wish. These are usually given on Eid days. Kids will come in their new clothes, shoes and girls carrying little bags for the ediyas they collect from family members, they greet everyone a happy Eid or "Eid Mubarak!" Then they receive the gifts of cash. Then I made a list of gifts I might want to buy if visiting anyone outside Abu Dhabi. The Fatoor: Shopper son took his wife and baby to other grandmothers for a few days and we will pick her up on second day of Eid then come back here. We made white rice and lamb. Then our usual fattoush salad. DIL made extra snacks too. Our favorite though is the shurba! We never started without breaking our fast first with dates and water then after that we go on to the light vegetable shurba . Only after prayer do we have the main meal. We just chatted a little afterwards with qahwa but not much time between the Maghrib prayer and is'sha prayer so have to do incense burner for hubby and boys' clothes before they head out. Then, I go to pray in my room and read too. After we sit and talk or each one has stuff to do. well, that was that day, ladies!
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    The Last Days of Ramadhan..... We are in the last ten days of Ramadhan which are the highlight of this very special month. People will be attending extra late night prayers after 1 am and some people may decide to go to bigger mosques such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for the night prayers. These are night full of devotion to prayer and reading. During the day or afternoons, people will start going out more to but new clothes, and shoes for the family ready for Eid and when we come to the very last days mothers and daughters will go to apply henna on their hands and feet. Also, in the last two days, they will prepare for trips to families, go abroad even to visit family, or go for a short, local holiday, usually, emphasis is on family gatherings and handing out "eidiyas" gifts of a small amount of money to the kids in the family etc. . Yesterday, I had maintenance people in to finish fixing ACS that conked out, they came at a good time so that was convenient for us. Today, we had to bring in plumbers for garden water pump .....but turned out we needed a new one! If it is not one thing, it's another, you just get on with it and deal with it otherwise it will never get done. Our garden needs now fresh fertilizer so tomorrow inshallah that is the next step!! The Fatoor: Yesterday's fatoor was biryani chicken and we made some noodles if anyone wanted that too. I sent some of the noodle dish to our Neighbour too . Today we made machbous lamb and our Neighbour sent us some teeny bite sized pizzas. Most of us were at the table gathered these past few days, al hamdulilah. We had a yogurt and cucumber salad with it and fattoush salad. Son bought some pokara as they like the Indian pokara which is very spicy hot !! Grand daughter always waits for the canon to fire on tv while in her high chair and her and her father both say "kaboom" together lol. Mashallah. This Morning.... This morning I had to wake up earlier a little as so much to do, had an appointment -check up on my arm-so, wanted to clean a couple of rooms before going, that were on my house routine schedule. I managed to finish that and relax a few minutes before heading out for my appt. I went after 9 and left the hospital after 1pm as the dept I went to is always busy and patients need time especially those with injuries and who need dressings etc. so, quite logically this will take time. After, I waited a long time just as everyone else did, I went to pharmacy where again I had to wait, Later, I went to a stationary store to buy some decorative envelopes for the " ediyas" and with that done off to groceries to do some shopping. The time went real fast! Although, the past few days have been hot, today was really scorching hot and indeed, later it was officially reported that it reach the 50 mark!! It is funny though as where as I was thirsty days before, today I didn't think much about it!!! Probably, owing to just trying to fit everything into those hours to finish before fatoor! i was ready to rest after prayers but son and wife invited me out just for a drive and to have some Karak tea... I rarely go out after Maghrib unless with son and his wife and this was one of those rare days. I enjoy going with them! We went along the Corniche and saw the beautiful Ramadhan decor, lit ship restaurants, the Emirates Palace lit up and the ferries wheel also lit up and going round. After, that little drive we headed home for prayers. My Niece... My niece who is a police lady abroad and into law has also been contacting me as she wants to get closer and asks me many things etc.. and for advice. So, we have had some nice chats and sent each other pics! Just now one of my DIL as me for mijlis key as they will have visitors over tomorrow.. not sure if that is a good thing and may have to 'diasspear' somewhere as usually end up sorting out and clearing up after then hmmmm... That has been my busy two days ladies during this Ramadhan. Note: just 7 days left to go for a Eid but I am not rushing and the last days of Ramadhan are truly special days. Bye for now ladies.... really tired here! Even sleepy to be honest!!
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    Having been here 12 years now and mostly in a 5 bed villa with a pool and fair sized garden, I can vouch for 4-6 K electricity and water bills each month in the summer. It would probably be more now the municipality tax has been added. Needless to say we have downsized and couldn't be happier. (especially with the much lower utility bills)
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    Getting a "decent sized garden" will be your main challenge if you are trying to keep prices down, depending exactly upon how you define a decent garden. Otherwise you can get nice villas, in compounds further up towards town (& closer to BSAK than the Hills, for instance) with small or minimal gardens for 200k or less. That's a big saving over 3 or more years if you are paying for this out of your own pocket. You can also take them to nearby parks - for instance the Umm Al Emarat Park, off Karamah St, is a lovely place for children to play, and there are lots of smallish compounds within 5 mins drive (or 15 mins walk in the cooler months).. I might be wrong, but I have never (in 6+ years) heard of the Grand Mosque as "being full of activities for the children". My best advice is to take your time before choosing. Try to live in a hotel or serviced apartment for a couple of months (you can get ever bigger discounts if you commit for a little longer, and haggle a bit), and get a feel for the city, the compounds and options, traffic etc. As so many people have left, there is plenty of choice unless you are particularly picky.
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    Thanks for such a good advice DesertDream.....inshaaAllah, will be moving towards the end of August. Although I am not looking forward to the change of weather from London to AD in this time of the year, I am really looking forward to the move. The Maqtaa should be on the top of my list. I think another big advantage for us is being close to the Grand Mosque. I really hope that it will the centre of our lives and that it is full of activities for the children.
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    The Suhoor: I did my usual rounds of waking everyone up, hubby shouted out a "huuhhhh? " I say "Suhoor time" but I know I have to wake him up a second time before he actually gets out of bed! So, he gets his extra few minutes while I check on everyone else. You can tell when everyone is half asleep as they start looking for things and saying things like " where did I just put that cup?" Or, someone dips their lugaimat into tea rather than honey lol or/stands looking at the table and not really looking at anything but trying to still wake up lol! Not to mention me yesterday rushing to get to an appointment that I didn't have that day!! Later in the morning, I was supposed to go for appointment which was on the right day but was just too tired and couldn't ' be bothered, quite frankly, so I postponed it but fortunately found a new one for next week. Hubby wanted the driver anyway so Just as well. The Fatoor and day's Events: Today for fatoor hubby wanted rice and lamb dish, so today while I boiled the lamb on stove, had someone watch it while I popped out to coop nearby to buy some groceries and ingredients I wanted for the meal. I didn't take long and was soon back in kitchen preparing the dish, it takes awhile for preparing and cooking so by the time I was finished, I was very hot and thirsty- probably the thirstiest I have been since Ramadhan started but that's quite good then and a blessing really. Over the years of fasting, I noticed something special about the time of Ramadhan, there is either a clearly felt breeze or time goes pretty fast and you wonder where the days went. So, these are the blessings of Ramadhan. That is very clear to me from my years of fasting anyway. Blessings to be really thankful for! I also love that I can continue tasks I have to do as no interruptions for lunch etc. but still you need to nap if possible, in order to be awake longer in the evening. Hubby likes to go out and finish off errands he has to do in the morning so when he gets back he naps, then reads for a while. DIL made some spring rolls and meat & potatoes cutlets. Neighbour sent us some snacks too so we sent sambosas. Everyone enjoyed the meal so that's all that matters, and I was sooo thankful for my glass of water -I could have swam in it lol I was happy to just relax after fatoor for a short while, we gather, drink qahwa, some may eat fresh fruits, and watch a short local tv comedy, I don't have much time to concentrate on tv and sometimes granddaughter comes to play, but I catch glimpses of it. in the evening though I like to watch the heritage programs and competitions on Emirates tv and Sama Dubai, I am into heritage so enjoy watching these if I get the chance as it either brings back some memories or you learn something new every time. Sometimes the conversations are so funny too!! After, is'sha and Taraweeh prayers, I had to prepare some things hubby wanted to send to the farm. So. That was my day and evening ladies! I am soooo ready to sleep now though lol good night from me here!!
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    15 th Ramadhan, 2017 The Suhoor: Ahhh! Had to wake hubby first, as he needs a couple of nudges, so he gets the first nudge and I hear him groan so I know he still needs another call but I let him have a extra minutes sleep while I gather the others around the table. When he does finally wake up, he looks around to see who is at table and for another minute sits on his chair -doing what one of my son's do-stare into the plate, once he is awake he'll have his tea first. Then he and the boys had a lot to discuss about sports and then onto the farm and dear mother in law. He also told the boys they were all invited for fatoor tomorrow at our dear old neighbours house, we stay in contact. We had warm milk and cereal, Laban drinks, toast and white rice etc. . Dear grandaughter tries so hard to stay awake for the Suhoor but always falls asleep before, and this is because she still has school . This week coming they have exams . Holidays start the week after. Later in the morning, hubby was telling me he would invite people over this week for fatoor. So, a busy week ahead. Tomorrow I have a check up for my arm then off to get some groceries. Arghh.. hope I can wake up early lol! Might check out the coop I mentioned in earlier post! The Fatoor: Hubby bought fresh fish with him from fisheries near the port. Today I made a traditional Emirati fish dish, white rice with a little salmon ( spiced butter) -another top Emirati butter used in cooking - at bottom of pan, which adds a little touch of colour and taste to the rice and this is turned upside down on tray or platter then this fish dish of onions , dried lime pulp, spices and a little tamarind and a little sauce is serve along side the rice. As fatoor time grew close, Our neighbour sent us some mini pizzas and we sent them lugaimat, also my friend who I say makes us harees every year sent us some today, bless her. I get really busy at time but she I think is even busier lol The air condition in kitchen conked out, it was working find recently but I think it was probably working overtime to fight the kitchen heat. I Already, have a list of maintenance jobs to do before people visit such as lights and water garden pump! So, that was my long day ladies and today I am tired so time for bed, I didn't eat too much but too tired!! Good night from me here.... ...any of you ladies want waking for Suhoor ? Hahaha I can imagine myself having to drag you off your beds especially if not use to getting up for Suhoor as is an habit that becomes easier and normal over the years. Sweet dreams!!
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    Thanks again DesertDream.......I have just come across "Hills Abu Dhabi" in " Al Maqtaa". It seems to tick almost all the boxes, being in the Island, close to the Grand Mosque & it seems to be close to the areas you are referring to in your last post. Some of the villas seem to also have a private pool. I have not heard about it before, but If it has a community feel and have people with kids around the same age of mine (similar to what i have heard about Mangroves) then it will certainly be on the top of my list. I wonder if you have been to Hills Abu Dhabi or if you've heard about it before?
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    Thanks DesertDream.....Seashore looks nice and green. I have heard about Mangrove Village before. Work and school will be on the island, but clearly will be getting more value for money by living off the island. There are some nice villas with private pool in The Golf Gardens. I guess it will all depend on the facilities within the compound and more importantly how long would it take to commute in the morning. Thanks again
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    It always depends on your location but heard many families who have kids going to that school live in areas like Karamah, Mushrif and even Mangrove Village or Seashore Villas. I suggest you check out both Mangrove and Seashore first then work from there to other areas.
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    Umm Ali is the best .last night i ate UmmAli in Hilton Abudhabi that was soo delicious
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    The Suhoor: The nights, or rather hours after magrib go by pretty fast and there is not much time between Maghrib , and I'sha & Taraweeh prayers. So, when prayers are done and you are tired, there isn't really much waking time left, thus, it happens that I fall asleep and haven't really had a full meal as I just eat lightly until prayers are done, that way I am more alert and not praying on heavy stomach which I hate lol It is good I hate it, as it makes me steadfast to eating lightly until after prayers at least. So, it has become a lifestyle change really in Ramadhan over the years for me once I started this routine. For me Suhoor time came pretty quickly mashallah and indeed we are already a third into Ramadhan. For this Suhoor, everyone was awoken or called even, ten minutes earlier-the main living room clock was faster than normal for some reason. It strange lol as they all noticed they were earlier today and blamed the clock lol saying "ayyy! that's ahead of time! " So, as each exited their room someone would say something...."there's still 10 mins to go!" Or " didn't you call us earlier?" ..........So, I blamed the clock too hehe* When you don't want to keep on giving explanations to everyone. Just do what they do.. and that was, in my case, blaming the clock! Lol We ate scrambled eggs with toast, cereal which really is popular next to shurba and rice and yogurt at that time of morning. Then everyone went back to their rooms while table was cleared. Preparation for Visitors.... Later in the morning I had lots to do as son had invited all his work friends over for fatoor. I first prepared all the cutlery, plates etc, tablecloth for the floor since food was being serve traditional way. There were tables and chairs for those who needed to sit. I also, prepared all the glasses, tea cups for red tea, qahwa cups, vacuum pots and whatever for dining lol. Next step in early afternoon was to check the outside mijlis to see if all was ok in there, the AC was down so we had to wait until almost 12 am for AC people to come and fix it ( normal routine in Ramadhan as they go to prayer then work after that) . The mijlis was hot but once they fixed it, it was fine. In late afternoon I had put all serving plates and glasses etc. in Mijlis to save time carrying them same time as food etc. It was all fast going after that!!! From 6 pm onwards, going in and out Mijlis and in and out to kitchen outside taking the dellahs-vacuum pots of tea and coffee, water, Laban drinks, Vimto drinks with ice, and light foods etc such as pastries, pasties and the like, lugaimat with dibs (date syrup). As soon as all son's friends arrived it was time for the azan and fatoor, After Maghrib prayers, the main meal of ish wa lamb ( rice and lamb) was served with lots of fattoush salad too. Some return after Taraweeh prayers for more tea and desserts. Son just bought a little more than enough so nothing went to waste, and anything that was left was put into packages and given to people near mosque or at shops which they appreciate. It was late by time everyone was done, and I was tired. Only after clearing up everything etc. did I sit down to have my cup of tea. Which I was so thankful for! ......Hubby wants his friends over next week hmhmmm... well ladies, that's all for now from me!!
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    The Suhoor: Waking hubby and calling family to gather around for Suhoor was not so bad today, when everyone greeted each other and while each was putting what they wanted for Suhoor, there was some teasing going on between the males, especially when each come out in their PGs or Gelarbias . One son was wearing Pgs his wife bought him, but his elder brother teased him on the colour which were fine to be honest mashallah red and brown checkered and their father said his PGS were the best- he mismatched the top and bottoms lol only because he couldn't be bothered to look for for the other matching top! Well, I suppose all is ok when at home lol. So, they were joking around like this while eating. When the boys were almost done hubby was still making his tea then went towards the Rice Krispies. I thought he was going to pour some into one of the clean cereal bowls but saw him heading -for what must be the only bowl I could think he would likely use -was one , one of the boys just used -but I was wondering why would he do that since he had a pile in front of him. Of course, I stopped eating to watch now lol and he did something I totally didn't expect ( but really should have lol as this is not strange for him to come up with stuff like that) he poured it into his cup of tea!! I was like " you have just ruin the taste of your tea!' ( mine really, as I imagined the taste!) he just giggled and went off to eat/ or drink it! When I was drinking my tea all I could see in my mind were Rice Krispies popping lol. That was so funny anyway! I just realized I should have took a pic of that lol. He will probably give his granddaughter ideas now but this Suhoor she was staying at her aunt's place. She would have had a good laugh! After Fajr prayers, we went back to bed. I had an appointment at SEHA for a routine Bone Density X-ray which doctors remind you about, so I went for that. Then straight back home. I noticed how the date palms are now showing partly ripen or unripen ( still green) dates. It may takes a few weeks for them to be fully ready, maybe inshallah before Ramadhan finishes. You will notice many covered in light green nets, this is to hold them together and protect them from pecking birds making them fall. In the afternoon I made ' is'h wa lamb' a traditional local dish, this is covered in a chick pea topping mixture. Sometimes, I like to add grilled tomatoes or potatoes scalopes as a side dish. It takes a while to make it but is worth it. I am happy to say we can still hear the canon going off at maghrib, After, All the prayers of the day are done, we sit and relax a little. We were discussing all the new Ramadhan shows and competitions on tv. I like to listen to the questions on the competition shows where they ask viewers local heritage questions, I just try answering to see and I could have won some prizes by now lol. I haven't had much time for tv though to be honest but I do like to watch one specific funny comedy that Sama Dubai put on and that's it but like I said only when I can. well ladies have to go, that was Day 5 for you : ) bye for now*
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    I'll be there......anybody else??....need numbers for bookings please.
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    4th Ramadhan: Already time is going and Ramadhan tends to go by quickly when you are busy and you have much you want to do or even have to do. Suhoor, a couple of family members were already awake and one decided to do the knocking on my door on this Suhoor!! Lol I went to wake the others up but grand daughter was asleep since with them having school days during this Ramadhan, it is not easy but I think they will have their holidays starting soon. Suhoor was light shurba for those who wanted it, and others ate rice with yogurt. My appetite hasn't been much these-just as well- but I ate toast with tea which is a must for most of us. The Day and Fatoor: The day started off with the usual routine house work before getting on to preparing desserts to put in fridge to chill. We made a a chicken stew and a little chicken with papaya stew for me and hubby, the others want their regular stew but we wanted this today as it is light and very tasty too! We used fresh coconut milk to make it. Everyone was cooking one thing or another today and my DIL love making all kinds of little desserts each day. I find them a bit rich and I am not into too rich kind of desserts, but jelly with fruit or trifles and apple pies are what I go for really. Dear granddaughter made some lime juice for her parents and sandwiches to surprise them mashallah-she is precious., Even hubby mashallah wanted to make something and as always , waits until no one sees and prepares the dough for trying out lugaimart( little golden fritters in syrup). Indeed, off he goes and makes them! They were tasty mashallah too ! Hubby can cook and loves to cook given the chance. My boys do too! Dear daughter in law gave me a very beautiful Ramadan gift- a new trend- from the younger generations these days. It is very nice , fresh flowers with branches hanging over it and bukhor for house. On the branch there is a light bulb with lights inside . So pretty, well ladies, have to go as falling asleep here Zzzzzzzzz, bye for now!
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    Happy and blessed Ramadhan to everyone ! Tomorrow , from dawn everyone will be fasting. I will be inshallah up before 3 am to prepare table and make sure all family members wake up on time for Suhoor. Which means knocking on their doors or dragging them out of bed lol. It is weekend so maybe some of them will stay awake until then and go to sleep after dawn prayers a little after 4 am. Just to remind everyone of the following: * Please follow dress code * Do not eat or drink openly in public. * Do not use swear words. *Do not put car music high. During the call to prayer -at anytime - And during the fasting time- DO NOT put car music loud and do not open tv music in stores. During fasting: A note to those fasting: ( good for everyone too) DRIVE SAFELY!!!!! There are a high number of accidents during Ramadhan to get home quickly, to pick up someone or to get to the mosque on time. Take care driving, either plan your time well to get to your destination on time and safely or if late accept it is your fault, don't rush and risk accidents on the road. Being wise, being patient and being safe is a duty of everyone in that you are making the road safer. If you are late, it is not the end of the world, if you are rushing to get home to eat, remember that you had the patience to fast over 14 hours, so you can wait a few more minutes. You can stop at any petrol station where fasting packages are handed out and you can stop to pray anywhere. Just call home, they will understand. Remember, to plan your time well to keep safe and everyone else safe too.
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    Ramadan Kareem, Come and join us at Yas Links next Tuesday 6th June, for our monthly catch up. If you are interested, let me know and we can book a table or two.
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    Hi Lammas, thank you sooo much, you don't realize how timely that is! I pray for you and your family the same and for you all a blessed Ramadhan. keep popping in! It is great seeing you online :)
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    Ramadan Kareem to you and your family Desertdream. May Allah bless you and answer your prayers during this Holy Month x
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    The first day of suhoor and fatoor ( before dawn meal & break of fast meal respectively): Since it was a weekend day, it was not that difficult gathering everyone for the first suhoor as most of them stayed awake. Hubby and I slept but a lttle later than normal. My precious grand daughter called me after 1 am from her father's phone since I already went to bed, and told me she wanted to have suhoor with us but she was tired and missed it so she wants to see today! She doesn't fast yet, but still loves to enjoy the meal with us. I did the usual couple of nudges and knocking the door for hubby as we were preparing table and then everyone else gathered. For suhoor it was something light like breakfast cereal, Laban drinks and a little harees ( mashed wheat with lamb or chicken) son had bought. There are are a lot of local restaurants now making traditional foods so more and more people try them out. We had our usual cup of tea then later drank water. Time is going fast, and so it was very close to start our fast and pray dawn prayers. It's around 5 am when we sleep. The fatoor ( break of fast meal): We always break fast on dates first and water. Hubby bought a big box of very tasty Saudi dates which are notably bigger. I sorted some of them into serving dishes for everyone. We had a little of each of the batches of sambosas I made, some cheese, some meat and some veggies. Then we had vegetable shurba ( light soup). And small mini sandwiches dear son bought. we all prayed and after the Maghrib prayers we had the main rice and meat with veggies and pickles. Pickles were sent to me from dear mother in law along with some coffee and spices. Pickles go great with rice! Later, we had some fruits and qahwa , the time is not much between the meal and next time for prayers, so time went by quickly. We all sat together and talked a while before they went to the mosque for prayers Usually after this time, if anyone wants to go out they go, do sports or just stay home. So, ladies that was our first day here!! Good night from me for now !
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    As far as I have heard, Saturday will inshallah be the first day of Ramadhan so that means there well may be Salat al Taraweeh ( Ramadhan prayers) tomorrow after Isha prayer ( last prayers of the day) and the first suhoor (light breakfast) will be before dawn when the first day of fast will begin. I wish everyone a Happy Ramadhan inshallah and a successful and blessed month by the Grace of God.
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    Before jumping to conclusions, I would really recommend that he speaks with an adult other than his parents. As a parent, he will be guarded against opening up to you, especially if he is anxious about something. All he wants is to be accepted or loved and when that doesn't happen, the self-esteem crashes and physical symptoms show... it could be something as simple as a dating issue :) In my practice, I see this over and over again. Many times... the anxiety in a child is nothing more than mirroring the anxiety in the parent. Hope this helps and I hope he gets the help he needs to push through this. Bless you both, Randa
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    hmm favourite food smell? Probably fajita chicken - just the thought makes me drool lol
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    Thanks DD for all your Ramadan insights. You are an awesome writer and very informative! EID Mubarak to you and all your readers!
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    LilianMom, compared to London, I have no doubt that any villa in Abu Dhabi will be so spacious. Thanks again for your great advice and for your nice wishes. On a different note (possibly will start a new thread for this), I would appreciate any advice/recommendation regarding removal companies from London to Abu Dhabi. Thanks
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    That's unusual, I saw it recently with the backgammon board games, perhaps if you mentions the game board and say "powder for game board" sometimes it just a language issue with them. Try anywhere the sell the game board if you can. I saw it once too in Spinneys near soap powder area even , I was surprise to see it there but I have seen it around,
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    I started to wonder why a sweet shop (Amani) will.sell Borax! Kkkk thanks for the correction ;)
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    He will be fine inshallah by God's good Grace --and he deserves an award afterwards : )
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    I went there also before for some services like threading and other stuff but it's my first time to get a haircut with them and i end up being disappointed. I looked for the owner as i was so upset but she is not there at the moment. So, i just moved on but then I will never ever get another haircut from them
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    I have stayed in Khalidyia Village compound for almost two years. Great location in the heart of the city, near mosque and behind Khalidyia Mall. My kids were busy the entire day playing and making new friends. They have a communal pool and other facilities that are great for families. You might want to visit it. Good luck. Ps- as mentioned earlier, mind to ask the range of utilities bill in the compound you are going to chose, you might get shocked with some compounds rates. In Khalidya Village the range was about 2,500 Dhs per month for a 5 rooms villa. Rates have increased recently.
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    er, I'll pass on that thankyou DD, although I wouldnt say no to the fish, sounds delicious!
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    I adore Umm Ali. I first tried it at Pebble's ...it was delicious, I asked her for the recipe but when I saw all the ingredients I decided it was too much like hard work (Im the laziest cook in the world) So whenever we were out and I saw it on the dessert menu I would choose it. Yum I might have to bite the bullet and make some, coz Im never going to see it on a menu here in the UK (unless someone knows better)
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    Umm Ali is my all time favourite dessert. Haven't had that since my return to the UK. Oh how I love reading your Ramadan posts DD and I especially enjoy reading about all the wonderful food you prepare for your family......reminds me of my dear Mother In Law who passed away a few years ago. She was always cooking lovely Arabic food for us and meal times were so special as it brought the whole family together. You have a truly truly wonderful family DD. Masha'allah, you are so blessed, as are they to have such a wonderful wife, mother and Grandmother. Blessings to to you all x
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    Hi Resident in Abu Dhabi, I know this is an old post but I have only just come across it, I had the same experience with my son but mine was in London with a private Dr in his own home, I regret it to this day he asked us to leave the room also and it was not done properly, my son still has extra skin and doesn't look circumcised. I saw a few Doctors in the UK and they all said he is fine and considered circumcised but when I moved to Abu Dhabi (my son was 3 years old) he needed to be hospitalized for something else and one of the doctors saw it and asked me why I haven't circumcised my son I told him I have he said I should take him to a specialized Dr which I later did and was told by this Dr (at Al Noor airport Rd) also that he needs to be redone as it wasn't done properly he said the procedure would cost me AED10k but if I did it in his private clinic it would cost only 5K!!! he wanted me to sign papers and start with the process but I was scared and didn't go through with it as I was a single mum at the time and was not brave enough to go through this alone and just decided to live with it. The problem is that my son is now 9 years old and this is still bothering me as I am aware he needs to be circumcised properly but I am so scared because he is much older now.. my question is where did you get your son re-circumcised and how old was he? how do you convince a 9 year old to go through this and how quickly will he recover? I appreciate all your advice