Categories Travel Junkie Diary of UAE

Alamira Noor Bani Hashim

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Alamira Noor Bani HashimLike0

We are in the U.A.E with Alamira Noor Bani Hashim, one of the most influential Emarati woman in her country, the U.A.E. Is one of the founder of The Dinner Club by No.57 which is a new way of experiencing food by way of an underground supper-club. Every month, her business partner, Buthaina Al Mazrui and herself choose a different location, gather a group of unique individuals, and serve delicious, beautiful, mouthwatering food. Think of it as a surprise underground party for your senses. But better. Based between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and her incredible busy schedule, it is so hard for her to find time to travel, so she resorts to local escapes “Plus, there really isn’t anywhere more beautiful than the UAE!” {*Photo Credits to Cherry Pick Dubai}

We are so excited to have Alamira Noor Bani Hashim here on Travel Junkie Diary!

Here is her diary in the U.A.E

Favorite hotel Mina Al Salam in Dubai is a classic getaway.

In your suitcase 

The U.A.E has incredible weather for most of the year and all you really need is a light sweater over whatever you are wearing especially from December to April. People here tend to dress up a little bit more than usual, so make sure you bring your finest when visiting. The summer gets really hot and humid, so make sure to pack things in light materials like cotton. But don’t forget that everything is super air conditioned and you’ll need a jacket for when you step inside somewhere, like the mall. Also, please always respect the U.A.E modest culture when dressing.

Dined at

La Petite Maison. Their food is very homey and their portions are surprisingly big. The Burrata, Penne Arrabiata and the Calamari are incredible. It is very hard to find a booking for the weekend, so make sure to do so well in advance. I also really enjoyed Smiling Bkk, which is a hole in the wall Thai Restaurant in Dubai. I love that their place-mats are random pages ripped out of magazines. Something else that is really fun to do is Ateliers des Chefs in Dubai. You can book it out with a bunch of friends, cook a meal all together and then enjoy it. It is so much fun and you get to learn a few tricks!

Shopped

S*uce is great for super quirky items, and Spera in J3 mall is perfect for those long flow dresses and skirts. Comptoir 102 in Jumeirah is this amazing new converted villa that has everything from gold head pieces to dainty rings and chairs. Their newly opened café serves super healthy smoothies that actually taste delicious.  Oh! I can’t wait for the opening of The Luxury Arcade in Abu Dhabi that will hold all these insane designers that you can’t find anywhere else. It will be in The World Trade Center next to the old souk. And after all that shopping and running around, the best place to get pampered in is JetSet for hair and Nbar for nails. They do such an incredible job and get you looking pretty and ready to hit the town! I recently also discovered this tiny thrift bookstore in Abu Dhabi that has the most beautiful old leather bound books that are tattered and falling apart and for such a steal. It is behind behind Hamdan Street, right in front of the Mosque.

Diary

If you are looking for something more relaxed, then Abu Dhabi is probably a better option. There are a lot of beautiful places to go visit like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Emirates Palace. Most of your time will be spent at cafes or relaxing at people’s homes. Dubai is where all the glitz and glam lies. It is perfect for all the shopping you want to do (I have yet to go to all the stores in Dubai Mall!) or relaxing at the beach. Their roster of fine dining restaurants is endless: Zuma, La Petite Maison and Roberto’s top the list. Make sure to book ahead of time because they get full quick. There is a whole slew of new cool laid back café’s in town like Comptoir 102, The Archive and The Pantry for late morning brunches. For nice weekend getaways, so many people loved Bab Al Shams out in the middle of the desert for star gazing at night and a more traditional experience.

Tips The best time to visit the U.A.E is in the winter time ( November to March) because the weather is so wonderful and there are so many places to go and see! One of the nicest places to go is Bein Al Jisrein in Abu Dhabi because you get a wonderful view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I can never get enough of it.

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  • One of the most liberating feeling in the world is being able to come back here over and over again and feeling so comfortable and happy. I took this yesterday while flying over tromso and although it was just taken with a phone camera, I think it still looks magical. I woke up at 4am today, excited to start the day, getting ready for the team of @travelwithtjd to start arriving and we set sail tomorrow in the Arctic wilderness. #travelwithtjd
  • The heaviness of the moon this month... so I say this: It’s ok if you lose yourself, I’ll be right here to help you find your way back 💫
  • It’s only February and I’ve already started thinking about planning my summer trips! Are you a last minute kind of person or do you plan months in advance like me? 😊
  • How far would you risk to get to where you want to go? 
KYOTO, JAPAN: Each of the famous torii shrine gates has been donated by an individual or a Japanese business in the hope of receiving good luck and fortune. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on the back of each gate.
  • Today I met someone who didn’t know her self worth and it left me with a heavy heart. She admitted she wished for a lot of things and dreamed of accomplishing all her NY resolutions. 
It reminded me of a story I read how we tend to create a big gap between expectations and reality and we cannot see it. How young women daydream for a perfect life and compare themselves with stuff such as ‘body goals’ or ‘couple goals’ rather be known for their accomplishments and how smart one can be. 
It made me realize how much we always have to remember to be kind to ourselves and practice love. It’s an easy thing to ‘be yourself’ but quite another thing to know who you truly are. 
I hope you stop counting your mistakes and stop torturing yourself with regret. I hope you love so strong, where you will always find the courage to say the things you wanted to say. I hope you never ever have to compare yourself to anyone but keep growing into the strong, smart and beautiful woman you are. 💫
  • This isn’t the ‘perfect instagram picture’ but I was never one to post for the number of ‘likes’.
Every picture I post on instagram is because it has a story behind it, and... an unforgettable memory. I didn’t even realize @dennisstever was taking a photo of me, and, to be honest, I think it might have been a fluke, because, if you were on that zodiac with us, you would understand how maintaining our balance was our first priority, otherwise it would have been be a dip in the freezing arctic waters. 
We anchored our sailboat in the middle of nowhere, they call it the arctic wilderness, miles away from tromso’s port. We took the zodiac to reach an uninhabited island and all I could remember, was the water level at my boots, and I was holding on to 3 camera bags and equipments and remember asking Dennis to repeatedly say “If MICHELLE falls off, save her cameras first” 😂
I’ve asked him so many times to acknowledge the fact that I’ve given him full permission to save my equipment first before anything else, and it just makes me laugh so hard on how far I am willing to go to save my gear. 
This photo reminds me of life. The adrenaline rush, the subzero temperature winds at the break of dawn, the unknown, the love, the risks we take, the crazy decisions we make in life and for our passion, in my case, it’s my love for photography. 
Can’t wait to return in two weeks on a @travelwithtjd 💫
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  • Felt on top of the world...
Can you guess where in Portugal this was taken 2 years ago?
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The truth is, I take risks in the things I believe in, personally and my business life... and learned not to try and overthink when making the decision, because I remind myself how hard I worked for my career and passion to come together. 
I take risks not because I’m brave, but because I really believe that it could be SO good when it works out, or when a project I pitched for succeeds... I look back and realize how far I have come and remember thinking that things were such a mess I would never recover. 
I have never led an ‘ordinary life’ nor a life that would suit everyone maybe...but that is the only life I love despite the sleepless nights working and my heart racing all the time. “That’s the sleepless life of an entrepreneur” they say. 
I am determined to be the best of what I only believe I can be, even when I may lack in other things or even when I fall... But my life is about breaking my own limits and not let the outside noise affect my judgments. That’s how I make it through... 💕
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When I finally thought I had the settings set on and the camera hooked properly, I ran down the stairs, out the backdoor, into the front door of the pool deck and sat there with my remote control. The sun’s light has increased slightly then and my settings were all wrong again 🤦🏼‍♀️, if you were my Neighbour, you would see a crazy lady, with her hat flying away, running up and down the roof top. 
Luckily, my remote’s connection to my camera and the light was finally set and I took the shot. Then I just sat there. Watching the sky turning from pink, to orange to clear blue. 
Only then, I realized my camera was still hanging ever so lightly... so, pulled myself together and rushed back on the rooftop. 😊 That’s the story 🌴
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It is simple...The thing is, it's also a lot of hard work. And people don't want to put in a lot of work. But I didn't get here simply by wishing for it.