Mother in town – Reham Shaltout

Let me introduce you all to another mother in town Reham Shaltout. She is born in Egypt, done her BBA and MBA degrees at American University in Cairo. After 12 years of experience in Marketing and HR she decided to leave her career to take care of her son Adam, but never stopped working, instead followed her dream and established the @dokaneve in her hometown and opened the branch in Dubai when they’ve moved since her husband got better opportunities in here. By the way, anyone meeting Reham, will admire her young look at first 🙂

How many children do you have?: Adam he is 3.5 years now. Dokan Eve was born at the same time so I consider it as my second child

3. How long have you been living in Dubai : 1 and a half year

4. How do you find Dubai as an expat mother: I think we are lucky to have the opportunity to live in a country like Dubai, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and I am glad that my son is exposed to this wide range of cultures and differences. Also I see Dubai as the land of possibilities, everything is possible to achieve if you work for it.

5. What do you think Dubai can offer your children?: Safe place to play and grow; Diverse cultures to be exposed to; Better education

6. How long have you been working: 12 years

7. What is the difference between working woman and working mother if worked before having children)?: I didn’t work in corporates after I had Adam but I had my work at dokan eve and I believe being a working mum is challenging because it is not easy to balance your work life and your family life.

 8. How do you manage to balance between work and family: My husband helps me a lot and my son always comes first.

 9. How do you spend your weekends/holidays: We love to travel so whenever we can we try to see new countries. Otherwise we enjoy the wide variety of entertainment in this country. We go to parks, cinemas, malls…the list is long which is another blessing of living in Dubai

10. How did you come up with an idea of Dokaneve. What does the name mean?: Dokan means little shop in Arabic and I have always dreamed of having a little shop that sells everything that touches my heart and feels unique for me from all over the world. I started by selling stuff that are imported but lately I started adding items that I made myself which is something I am proud of and plan to expand.

 11. Do you see the trust of mothers on buying from Instagram account?: Yes people are starting to trust online shopping lately and good customer service is key to having returning customers.

 12. Are you planning to have an actual store or prefer keeping it online?: I prefer to keep it online for the moment. However i participate in the ripe market for direct contact with customers and for marketing.

 13. What is your vision/target about Dokaneve’s future: I dream of expanding my handmade stuff to build my own brand however I will keep on selling stuff that I like from different suppliers from around the world

 14. Where do you see your self after 10 years?: I hope by that time I would have my own website and to be able to ship worldwide.

 15. If you had a chance, what would you change in your life?: I would start my own brand earlier. It took me some time to really take the step.

 16. Your suggestion to all mothers: Don’t compare yourself or your kids to others. Only you will know the best for your children. And enjoy your kids while they are young.

Check out my picks from Dokan Eve collections of dresses, skirts and tops. Not just outfits but also the pillow covers of Dokaneve are so pretty. Let me add that the quality is great and prices are very affordable, also the delivery is hassle free and quick.

Instagram: @dokaneve_dubai

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Mother in town – Ayshwarya Chari, founder of Kidore.

Most of you following me on Instagram know well that I am quite feminist and believe that we mothers are much more than we think we are. In celebration of the UAE’s Mother’s Day, I want to start my small project “Mother in town” in which I will be interviewing the successful mommies living in Dubai. I want to start with lovely Ayshwarya Chari, mom to 2 lovely kids, Atira and Vivaan. Entrepreneur, founder, and owner of Kidore and just a passionate woman stepping firm to bright future!

The reason I wanted to know more about Ayshwarya Chari is because I so much appreciate the e-commerce concept she came up with, where every item costs below AED 100 only. It’s called Kidore and we do use their arts and crafts products which are of amazing quality. I believe that Kidore is handy for every parent in town.

So, let the journey begin and we learn more about the successful mom living with us in the same city.

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1. Hi Ayshwarya, tell me about yourself.

Hi Nilufar,

I am Ayshwarya Chari, mom to 2 lovely kids, Atira who is 7 and Vivaan who is 3. They are the light of my life! Happy, hilarious kids who can always make me laugh with their antics.

I have been in the UAE for 13 years now, having moved here to be with my husband who is an investment banker.

Dubai is home to us, I don’t see us living as happily anywhere else. We love it here!

Like all moms, I am the compulsive multitasker. When I get a breather from kids/work/life, I love to read. I am a big believer in JOMO, often choosing to be home in bed with tea/coffee and a good book over being out.

2.How do you find Dubai as an expat mother?

Dubai is an expat mother’s dream! This country keeps my children safe, whilst giving them an opportunity to mingle with and learn from a cultural mix like no other. It is a land that believes nothing is impossible and embodies that every day in everything it does. What an amazing thing for kids to experience and learn every day. I feel fortunate to live here with my family.

  1. How long have you been working?

I started working when I was 22. I had a few breaks here and there when I moved to Dubai and in between jobs but I have mostly been working since then. From marine research to banking to e-commerce, it’s been a wild ride J

  1. What in your opinion is the difference between working women and working mothers (if worked before having children)?

I think they both have their own set of challenges. Women (moms or otherwise) have to prove their worth repeatedly in the workforce, have to work harder to get to the top and shatter glass ceilings. The only difference is that working moms have little puppet masters holding on to their heartstrings, tugging at them constantly.

  1. How do you manage to balance between work and family?

I always say I am blessed with a rock-solid support system. A spouse who builds me up every day, my in-laws who live with us and anchor the house/kids so I have the wings to work the way I need to, a lovely helper, friends around me who are like family. I can do what I do because of all these people who hold me up every single day.

Another thing I am consciously working on is to accept that balance doesn’t exist. Some days the kids need me more and some days Kidore needs me more. You make a choice every day, sometimes several times a day, and stick with it. I guess we need to know that we are doing the best we can and that is enough.

  1. How do you spend your weekends/holidays?

As I said, I am a big believer in JOMO (the joy of missing out). Weekends are for family. We hang out, have breakfast together, play games and just generally relax. Our holidays are also pretty much the same. We just wake up and decide what we want to do and when.

  1. How did you come up with the idea of Kidore?

Having been in E-commerce in this market for over 6 years now, I realized that there was a big gap in the market for a portal that would offer parents good quality products for their kids without breaking the bank with easy, hassle free service and a quality shopping experience.

It was an idea that took root and just wouldn’t go away. We decided to validate the concept with a survey. 150 parents participated in it and the results came out resoundingly in favor of launching Kidore so here we are.

  1. Do you see the trust of mothers on budgeted items (since the prices are below 100 AED)?

Yes, absolutely! People love and support the concept. Kidore has over 50 brands, some well known like Fischer-Price and some not as well known. But one thing they all have in common is quality. We do not compromise on quality.

I think there is a revolution now in the UAE in the way people think. The UAE consumer has realized that you don’t really have to pay steep prices for things that you need. You can have quality and variety on a budget.

This is what we are trying to drive home on Kidore. You can come online and find pretty much all you need for your child, items of stellar quality, without feeling ripped off in the process.

  1. Are you planning to have a physical store or prefer keeping it online?

We have no plans at the moment to take Kidore to a brick and mortar set up. E-commerce allows us to keep our overheads low so we are able to offer our customers the amazing prices we do.

  1. What is your vision/target about Kidore’s  future?

We want to strengthen our position in the UAE and expand into the G.C.C and beyond. We also intend to expand our catalogue offering more quality brands and products from different parts of the world.

  While we, of course, aim to see Kidore as a successful, established E-commerce player in the G.C.C, our success would lie in being able to say that we were the first online store in the region that made E-commerce accessible to everyone; not just a select, elite few. This is what we are working towards.

  1. Where do you see yourself after 10 years?

I can’t really think or plan that far ahead. The life I am sure would have thrown me many curve balls by then. All I can say (and possibly control) is that in 10 years I would like to be truly at peace and in touch with myself.

  1. If you had a chance, what would you change in your life?

Nothing. My life isn’t perfect but I love it with all of its crazy ups and downs. I have a lot to be grateful for.

  1. Your suggestion to all mothers.

We all need to be kinder to ourselves. All of us mothers. We give so much of ourselves away every single day and beat ourselves up over things we feel we did wrong or didn’t do enough of. We need to stop. We are doing the absolute best we can and that is enough.

  1. What is your opinion on mothers in the workforce?

At Kidore we are passionate about women in the workforce. We have an all women core team. These ladies all work flexible hours and have joined Kidore after having taken a career break to raise their children.

These women do more on any given day than most teams working ‘full time’ do. They are invested in Kidore, happy to go over and beyond on a daily basis.

I think businesses that don’t count the ‘mummy skills’ that women gain whilst raising their kids resume worthy, are missing out big time.

Thank you, Aishwarya for your time!

“My life isn’t perfect but I love it with all of its crazy ups and downs.” – Ayshwarya Chari.

How deep is the meaning of this sentence? Ayshwarya Chari truly is a wonderful mother with great values!

I am sure Kidore will be number one e-commerce choice of parents not only in the region but beyond too and wish all the best to Ayshwarya and you all, my lovely fellow mommies.

http://www.kidore.com/

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Ella’s Creamery – not just an ice-cream parlor!

 

                            I know most of you might be judging me for taking my 2.5 years old to the place filled with “sugar” and on top of it writing a blog post about it. I have no bad intention and let me explain how did I end up allowing “sugar” to Kamronbek earlier than planed.

                            I am actually the type of mummy who follows all the requirements of modern medicine, so I had no – sugar policy till Kamronbek turns 3 years old. I did strictly follow my rules however not all the relatives do think that these rules are set by me for my child’s health benefits only (rolling eyes). I noticed that Kamronbek started recognizing the most of the sweets when he was about 2 years old and I obviously assumed that someone is secretly feeding him with “sugar” and got my confirmation after having a good talk with Kamronbek, who admitted everything. Yes, interestingly, Kamronbek started talking too early and by age of 2 he was able to clearly inform me everything that happens behind me, in addition, I did see with my own eyes how he’d been fed with large piece of cake along with fizzy drink in one of the family events by very close relative. That seemed the end of the world to me. Then I understood that regardless to the set rules of mine there will be other chances for Kamronbek to come across with those “baddies”. However, the fact that I did avoid “sugar” for 20 months of his first years helped me feel better. I continued following the rules till December 2016. December month was the month in which I wanted to shoot many hmmm…well… Santa Clauses. Every single Santa’s grotto visit or else the dinner with Santa would end up with a pouch filled with “sugar”. That was the time I started hating Santa first time in my life, but I couldn’t help it. This was the month in which Kamronbek tried every single type of “sugar” right in front of my eyes. Lollipops, candies, chocolates, marshmallow, jelly beans, m&ms, you name any type of “sugar” and Kamronbek tried that. Thank you, Santa, December 2016 was the time I crossed every single feeling of mine towards you (nothing personal though)! After this load of sugar, there was no chance for me to bring back my no sugar policy, so I set new rules and started taking easier. It is fine to have ice-cream and good chocolates (no snickers/mars/bounty and those types, only dark chocolate or expensive milk chocolate) no candies, lollipops and etc. Ever since I do offer him chocolate and ice-cream on daily basis to avoid the sugar demanding tantrums on shop counters. Not only that, it also helps me to avoid the all the rest types of “sugar”, as at least good ice-cream and chocolates are made of milk and cocoa which are good for heath. Let me put it that way to avoid the stress over “sugar”, all parents will understand me.

 

                                      When I got a chance of trying out Ella’s Creamery I hesitated for few seconds, then closed my eyes and quickly confirmed, because I remembered my childhood in which any chance of being loaded with sugar seemed a great fiesta to me, and we don’t go to Ella’s Creamery every day after all. Also, Ella’s creamery is all about shakes and ice-creams which are “safe sugar” in my listing (my personal opinion). I was so excited about the workshop and couldn’t wait for Saturday to come and kept on telling Kamronbek that he will have fun on weekend. My so awaited Saturday came and we headed to the Riverland at Dubai Parks and Resorts. We were shared with a little secret that we can park in Outlet village and walk down to Riverland to avoid the 50 dirhams parking fee and I am so thankful for this tip as Riverland is my favorite place for a walk, but parking fee always kept me away from it. Now I will be taking Kamronbek to Riverland more often since we both enjoy outdoors.

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                                       We reached Ella’s Creamery just on time and were mesmerized with its bright vintage décor that is felt straight from the doorsteps. The workshop started at the very end corner of it with long sitting area table of which was set with bowls of eatable decorations of the Crazy Monster Shake. They’ve chosen the Unicorn Crazy Monster Shake for our workshop and Kamronbek refused to participate straight away. Let me enjoy my thought of girly unicorn theme that made him not wanting to attend the workshop, and not the crowd fear tantrum. When Kamronbek doesn’t want to try something, I take the chance of trying instead. There I ended up impatiently making the unicorn out of marshmallow while Kamronbek had been enjoying the bowl of pink M&Ms that were meant for decorations. It was our planned “Sugar Fiesta” so I wasn’t bothered with his bowl of M&Ms. Crazy monster shake making is quite easy for kids 5+ and those did enjoy it a lot. The colorful and fun steps of it did take my maximum attraction and I eagerly followed the steps to make my beautiful Unicorn Crazy Monster Shake. I proudly showed to Kamronbek my “artwork” and heard from him: “No mummy, this is my artwork”. That’s how boys are, mummy hard works and he claims it’s his job. Anyways, at least he did watch how I was making it, which is also engaging at his age.

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After the workshop, maestro chef of Ella’s Creamery showed us the master class of the real Crazy Monster Shakes with strawberry and chocolate flavors. Everyone had a try of it. Kamronbek and I fell in love with the strawberry one and I guess we will be coming back quite often for it.

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I also noticed the refrigerator with pastries and mini cakes, in addition, they do have all the common hot/cold beverages which are served in an extraordinary way. I received my latte with a hanger on a plate that was scooping the mini chocolate ice-cream in the mini waffle cone. It looked too cute but Kamronbek grabbed it way faster before I could snap the proper photo of it. Never less, I did manage to snap my friend’s latte with pistachio mini ice-cream next to it.

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I know that most parents are against the sugar but it worth trying. Our little ones do deserve having sugar fiesta at least once in a while, so simply do close your eyes towards all the rules (as I did) and throw a party to your little ones at Ella’s Creamery on at least one weekend of a month, believe me you will be melting from the joy on their eyes and won’t regret or feel guilty at all!

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P.S.: I expected sleepless night after the event but Kamronbek had a very sweet good night 8 to 8. Guess he did burn all the sugar rush on his long walk back to the car.

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Photo credit: Guzal Mirkamilova Instagram: @guzaldxb_photographer

 

Nursery over the school for FS years.

“Disclaimer: All opinions are my OWN, there is no intention to disrespect anyone”

Let’s start from the point that Kamronbek goes to nursery since he is 7 months old due to certain unpredictable conditions within the family. To cut your curiosity, my mom used to look after Kamronbek during my working hours but her health condition couldn’t let her stay and I couldn’t go against it certainly. I was left with no help of my mom to choose whether to stop working to raise my child or to enroll him to a nursery, there was no third option for me, which would be a nanny. I have personal issues with nannies in here. I might be too demanding but the nannies in here totally differ from the nannies of my understanding based on the experiences of my country. The thing is, nannies in our country are highly educated, they are usually the University teachers in pension with high education degrees. They don’t clean your house, either cook, though few of them cook but for an additional charge only. So, what do they do? They educate your child in terms of education and life manners and help you to raise them, in terms of development. Having this in mind I just can’t accept the “nanny thing” in here. Also, all those rumors about the nannies/cleaning ladies/helpers who are called as a maid in general. I am sorry to say that, but what sort of development can these nannies offer your child as being with them for most of the time. Obviously, I am talking about working mothers’ conditions. I wouldn’t mind of help if I was home for 24/7, as this would be a help with the overall management of house chores. Bearing in mind that I am a working mom and that the first 4 years of a human being are the viral ones from all the aspects and points of views I could only trust my child to a nursery. Why?

  1. Each room has a teacher who holds high level of education

  2. Each room has an assistant teacher who holds the similar level of education or at least a diploma.

  3. All the nannies are specially trained for giving care to child

  4. All the adults are trained in First Aid and hold the Cache 3 certification (at least in the nursery I chose)

  5. All the rooms have the CCTV camera

  6. There are the part-time doctor and full-time nurse

  7. All of them and everything is regulated by the administrative team, management, and Government Authorities

These are the main reasons among the other yet important ones made me choose the nursery over the nanny.

I am very happy with Kamronbek’s nursery; however, I should decide on whether transferring him to school this September (as he turns 3 years old by then) or keeping him in the nursery. The reason for the rise of this question is because the nursery is not under the KHDA, they are there to give care not to educate although they do follow the FS 1/FS2 curriculum.  Basically, it might be not easy to transfer Kamronbek to school for the Grade 1 as he will be having no certifications and will need to pass the assessments to get enrolled in school. Therefore, I started my “school hunt” by the middle of December 2016.

Above all, I want to clarify one thing first.  Parents, please understand that there is no an understanding of best system or school in here. I often receive a question from my followers or acquaintances: “what is the best school/nursery in Dubai?” to which I respond: “which system are you looking for?” and other strange question hits after a little pause of lost “which system is best?”. Once again, parents, please understand there is no best system or school. The best school/nursery is the one that answers to your requirements and suits your child. Nothing less or more. All the schools in Dubai answer to criteria of the system they follow and the curriculum they offer, they are also regularly checked by authorities to uplift to the standard issued by the same authorities. Since we cleared the most important point in here let’s start with my steps of school hunt.

The first step: Listing:

Schools differ according to the system and curriculum. You have to identify first what you need exactly to choose the system and/or curriculum.

Let me consider the following popular ones:

1)    IB

2)    Indian

3)    English

4)    American

IB system:

IB system is the most popular in here, and most expensive one. You will be hearing parents in play areas, play dates, birthdays, nurseries, basically anywhere you find the parents with toddlers talking of IB system. Honestly, if you ask them what is IB and what is it for, all will firmly tell you that it’s the International Baccalaureate and it is the best, but only few will be able to explain what, why and how. So, let’s get the accurate meaning from Wikipedia:

“The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. It offers three educational programs: the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme for students aged 16 to 19, the IB Middle Years Programme, designed for students aged 11 to 16, and the IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 12. To teach these programs, schools need to be authorized by IB.

The organization’s name and logo were changed in 2007 to reflect a reorganization. Consequently, “IB” may now refer to the organization itself, any of the four programs, or the diploma or certificates awarded at the end of a program.”

How it works:

“Technically, any school with an IB program is called an “IB school.” Since “IB school” is used as shorthand, it’s important to ask how students participate in IB at any given school. It’s most straightforward at IB elementary schools, where IB is part of every class school-wide. But in middle school and high school that may not be the case. Some middle and high schools are 100 percent IB, but not all. For example, at many high schools, there is an IB program that kids may opt into, much like attending a school within a school. If that’s the case, students may participate in IB at different levels, ranging from taking a single IB course to earning an IB diploma, which involves taking a full course load of IB classes and meeting a series of requirements.”http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/what-is-ib-international-baccalaureate/

We can now be sure that it’s just another variety of educational approach and you now can be sure that you don’t fall into a not good/modern/best parent if you don’t choose the IB system.

Indian curriculum

“For Indian curriculum in the UAE, you have a choice between the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

CBSE conducts public examinations at the end of class 10 and 12 and grants certificates to successful candidates of the affiliated schools.

The academic performance of a learner is reflected in the forms of grades and percentile ranks. Prakash Abraham, Principal of Boys’ Section (classes five to ten) at the Indian High School, Dubai explains, “Semester assessment is organized through two terms during a year for students in classes nine and ten. Each term comprises two [tests], a formative and a summative assessment where the examinations are conducted by schools but questions are set by the board.” He adds that if a student decides to leave the CBSE system or the school, then he/she can opt for an on-demand board-conducted examination for class ten.

CISCE is a private board of education in India that organizes two examinations — Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC). The Council focuses on conducting school examinations only through the medium of English.

A candidate must also choose between the science stream and the commerce stream from class nine, hence they study two additional subjects.

For ISC examination, a candidate needs to study English and environmental studies as compulsory subjects. Additionally, >students choose subjects from either science, commerce or humanities streams.”

British curriculum

“The National Curriculum of England is extremely popular in the UAE among expatriates. The planned structure of the curriculum takes care of a child’s education requirements from the age of 3 to 18.

The National Curriculum of England is framed on the basis of four key stages — key stage one: ages five to seven (years one to two); key stage two: ages 7-11 (years three to six); key stage three: ages 11-14 (years seven to nine); key stage four: ages 14-16 (years 10-11) — at the end of key stage four students appear for General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

The Advanced level (A-level) is usually studied over a two-year period and is split into two parts — Advanced Subsidiary (AS level, year 12) and A2 (year 13). A student has to study both the levels to achieve a complete A-level certificate.”

American curriculum

“The American system of education places a lot of importance on co-curricular activities in addition to theoretical learning to ensure a balanced development of students. The American diploma is accepted for entrance to all US universities and colleges, and is increasingly being recognized by international schools of higher education, says Robin Appleby, Superintendent of Dubai American Academy.

“In the elementary school, the curriculum is designed to offer every student exposure to a full range of age-appropriate subjects so that young learners have access to all areas of knowledge and they can begin to develop their passions. In the middle school years, more arts electives and second languages such as French or Spanish are added. In the high school, options expand further still to include more languages, business studies, sciences and design technology. Students have choices in both middle and high schools, but must study a minimum of six subject areas throughout — and most study seven or eight,” she says.

“The exams are based on the standards set for each course. The American diploma is awarded when the number of credits required by the school is earned by the student, generally at the completion of grade 12, when students are 18 years of age.”

http://gulfnews.com/life-style/parenting/the-right-curriculum-1.695938

Honestly, I get confused every time I read the above. So, let me specify my simple understanding. What I heard from the seminars about schools and the systems is that the IB system is pretty challenging but with an opportunity of not going through additional certifications for enrolling the particular university, it basically opens the doors to all the universities in global. Indian system is quite tough in which the child spends most of the time for studying. British one follows the certain structure and the American is all about projects.

Every person tends to rely on personal experiences when lost in choices. I tried to sit down by bringing out everything I know/heard/think or experienced to identify the most suitable system for my Kamronbek according to my requirements. Please don’t take personally the below statements of mine as those are purely my opinion according to my personal experience.

My Russian system background in which the education starts suddenly at age of 7 and gets extremely tough by consecutive years where you have to study, study and study and you end up hating the education when you reach the high school level in which you only study because the entire ambiance tells you so, made me cancel the Indian system from my son’s life straight away.

I studied in American college of Dubai. Once again my Russian system background made me think that American system is truly all about projects. It was too easy to me. When I find something too easy I stop trying and drop down to the lowest level. Keeping in mind that boys are “cheaters” from nature and prefer fun over anything difficult/hard working I crossed the American system out of Kamronbek’s life too.

I hesitated and still do hesitate between IB and English systems. So, I want to keep these both as my options for the future. I know that IB is challenging but I heard that it’s not as tough as the Indian one.

  1. Therefore, I listed out the schools with both IB and English systems. You can easily get the list of all the schools in https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/directory where you choose your preferences and get the listing.

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  2. Downsized the listing according to price and location

  3. Downsized it more according to the longest school hours since I work (stay at home moms can don’t worry about this part)

My next step was the school tour. You have to actually get into each and every school to check it inside and out to feel if this is the place your child should spend his/her next many (hopefully) years. The best way of doing it is through the school tours.

  1. I emailed each and every school from my list and booked myself for a tour.

  2. Made a schedule with the tours in my calendar

  3. Emailed my direct manager for an approval for those mornings as the tours are offered in the middle of a week during working hours.

I visited the schools, every school had its own unique thing to offer obviously, but I should choose one. I ended up with Horizon International school and here I am stating the reasons:

  1. It’s a medium school. Only 800 pupils. You can feel it from the entrance. Even the director of the school knew the name of every pupil. This means a lot to me.

  2. Facilities of the school. It has two large swimming pools: one for older pupils and one for younger ones. Tennis, basketball and football courts (both indoor and outdoor) available within the school. Two libraries. Innovation room with 3D printer. Specialized subjects are given in specific rooms: computers room, Arabic room, French room, music room, science room and etc.

  3. 90 free and paid after school activities per term.

  4. There is a contracted company delivering the food for extra payment.

  5. FS pupils can stay until 3 pm for additional charges

  6. Option of keeping till 5 pm 3 times a week for FS students

I really liked the school and most probably will consider it for Kamronbek’s Year 1 school life. It’s because when I compared with Kamronbek’s nursery the school fell still behind, although the fee structure is almost the same. I will end up paying the same or even more with many disadvantages if I transfer Kamronbek to the big school.

Let’s compare:

  1. Only 3 times a week I can keep him until 5 p.m. at school which is also a subject of availability, whereas at nursery it’s fixed till 5 pm 5 times a week

  2. There are no French and Arabic lessons at FS classes of any school. However, Kamronbek does take daily French and Arabic classes at nursery since he’s been enrolled (7 months old).

  3. Music lessons are twice a week only. Kamronbek is little artists he loves everything related to music and he does enjoy his music lessons on daily basis and the drumming classes every Monday.

  4. PA (gymnasium) lessons are twice a week too and the nursery kids have it every morning in addition to the water play at the swimming pool twice a week.

  5. There is a kitchen in-house within his nursery where snacks and lunches are freshly cooked for all the children of a nursery. Many schools have contracted food catering for additional charges, which are mostly for Year 1 and above pupils

  6. Teacher and pupil ratio at school made me upset. FS pupils for me are still babies and I saw only 2 adults in each room with 24 children. Also, the fact that 3-year-old must be able to clean himself after using the toilet makes me cry every time I hear that.

  7. Schools can offer nap time for the children who are used to it, but nursery does have a mandatory fixed nap time to all children.

All of the above made me decide to keep Kamronbek at nursery for his FS years and transfer to school from Year 1 only. Every parent has a right to make decisions according to their vision and requirements, though. I didn’t write the post to either criticize or enforce my opinion. I just wanted to share my experience which might be useful to other working mothers, since all we need is a good plan and amazing hands to give care to our little ones during our working hours.

Since the topic touches Kamronbek’s nursery, let me share the photos from the International Day celebration at Kamronbek’s nursery

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkamilova Instagram: @guzaldxb_photograper

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“Meat” the Sir Loins & Sons at the Kite Beach

We are enjoying the chilled weather of Dubai and trying to stay outdoors as long and many as possible. Most of my Instagram followers are aware that The Beach, City Walk and the Kite beach are our most visiting outdoors (from the InstaStories). We had one of those chances to spend our last Saturday on the Kite Beach and have the meat load by Sir Loin & Sons. Counting my endless love towards meat I just couldn’t miss the chance of reviewing the Sir Loin & Sons menu and we headed to Kite beach by late afternoon with Kamronbek and his scooter (his forever friend), my photographer friend and her son.

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What are the Sir Loin & Sons? It’s a food truck going around the cool places of Dubai and offering the slow cooked meat fitting the Sirs and certainly their Madams too. It’s quite popular at Ripe Market and Street Food Market. One of the trucks have been “permanently” stopped (for next 5 months) at the Kite Beach and we were there at celebration day of their new stop.

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I heard the drum vibes from quite far and definitely knew where to head to find the Sir Loin Food Truck. We spotted the balloons and the Food Truck with the name we were looking for and met Mike, who cheerfully greeted us and arranged the seats. He briefed the menu with all those posh names I never can catch properly so I asked him to offer us the best from the menu and some corns for kids. I spotted those corns from very far and so wanted to offer to Kamronbek as those looked delish while being cooked on the 6m custom-built Texan smoking rig.

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While we waited for our food, the drummer approached our table and offered Kamronbek to try drumming. You should simply see his excitement as he loves drumming (from his nursery’s weekly drums class). Thankfully I have a friend with talents who can capture all the amazing moments and she did snap the photo of Kamronbek’s joy while drumming.

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Soon our table was served with the huge chunk of rib, potato chips with beef and cheese on top, corns sprinkled with cheese and soft drinks. Honestly speaking the rib looked dry to me and I thought of getting disappointed while taking the photos of food. I was so wrong with my visual judgments. The meat was extremely juicy and too tender to grab by fork and simply melted in my mouth. Gosh, I felt like driving to Kite beach in the middle of my lunch break when typing about the meat on my desk as my mouth is watering, remembering that tender chunk of ribbed meat. It was also too big for two adults. Kamronbek had the quarter corn on the side of the rib and refused the whole big corn so I had to have it for sake of avoiding of food waste (joking, I just love corns). I think I discovered the tastiest corn in town. The combination of sweet corn with sour cheese was incredible, softness and juiciness of the corn are other big subjects. I liked the French fries with beef and cheese but I was too full to have it all, it can replace the meal by itself or serve as a heavy bite for your long walks on the Kite beach.

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The fact that all of it happened in a chilling atmosphere and drum vibes by the beach with fresh breeze made my Saturday and not only mine. Kamronbek was so happy to ride his scooter nearby us, play the sand under the table and just run around bare feet while we were busy with food.

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Find them at https://www.facebook.com/pg/sirlointruck/about/?ref=page_internal

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkomilova Instagram @guzaldxb_photographer

 

 

Not a picky eater, though…

Most of the parents of toddlers face an issue called “picky eater”. I don’t have this issue with Kamronbek or else I just don’t get into it (he eats what he wants whenever he wants). However, I have an outfit issue with him. All he wants is to wear panties and the “tiger shoes” ONLY. YES, he does name his shoes as tiger, dragon, rabbit and etc. Basically, animals don’t miss their presence anywhere in his life. By the way, he doesn’t have the animal’s print on his shoes, he just named them as per his imagination. For example, the tiger shoes are the crocs that are the combination of blue and yellow colors. He simply saw the shoes and said: “oh, tiger shoes! Nice”. Dragon shoes obviously, the ones that have wings, the rabbit ones are the whites and so on. Yet he only wants to wear his “tiger shoes” although I’ve explained him zillions of times that the tiger shoes are for swimming pool and beach only. Other preference as an outfit, just panties. Nothing else. That is why we have those dramas every single time I want to put the clothes on him.

 

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His home “wear”

 

Certainly, nobody wants to have the outfit dramas from early morning or on a rush while being late to somewhere; therefore, I try the following tricks to make him wear the outfit I want (separate and/or in combination)

  1. I put the TV on with his favorite cartoon. He gets distracted while I put his clothes on.

  2. Circus time. I start changing my voice, role play and ask to be a good helper for a quick dress up.

  3. Play while dressing up. Cuddles, tickles, giggles, jumps, dances everything fun and active works in here.

  4. Miss Kate thread. Miss Kate is his teacher at the nursery. She is quite tough. So sometimes I “call” (pretentiously) Miss Kate to take an “order” about the clothes to wear.

Each of the above works depending on his mood and the conditions. Sometimes I do the combination of few. You can see it’s a trouble anyways. That’s why I try to practice the followings as much as possible for him to compromise when I need:

  1. I let him be naked or jut with panties throughout the time we spend at home.

  2. I let him wear his “tiger shoes” at home whenever he wants to.

  3. Occasionally I let him wear his “tiger shoes” to nursery

  4. Sometimes I agree to put his panties over his pajama

  5. I let him choose from the options: “Can we keep the tiger shoes for other time and choose one of these?”

  6. I let him choose his outfit time to time and astonishingly admire his choices.

  7. Lately, I figured out that “matching game” worth playing. I dress up, choose the similar outfit for him, then tell him “wow you are going wear the same shirt/shoes/pants as mommy”. So now you know the reason behind our “matchy- matchy”

 

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He insisted on putting his tiger shoes on the International Day at his nursery

 

Overall, I’d say there is no certain way of making your little one follow your desires. They are little humans with their favorites and wants, sometimes even own eye on fashion. Try to think from their perspective and do let them have the fun of having own decisions as much as possible or else “enforce” your desires as gentle as it can be. Fashion industries do appreciate the uniqueness so the panties over pajamas can bring back the “Superman” trend.

 

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Going for a walk when 14 degrees outdoors

 

“Hear I am” by MED-EL

               I was invited to a media roundtable for the results of the “Hear I am” survey by MED-EL Medical Electronics – the leading provider of hearing implants in the Middle East, supported by the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE and in cooperation with The Emirates Medical Association, ORL, Head & Neck Society. Conducted today: January 16th, 2017.

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Mr. David Raetz and H.E. Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand

H.E. Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand – Msc (Cairo), German Board (Facharzt), FRCS Assistant Under secretary, Health Centers And Clinics , Ministry of Health, UAE and David Raetz – CEO MED-EL Middle East and Regional Director presented the survey. It’s MED-EL’s third survey, which is why Mariecar (from Gulf Today) asked the reason MED-EL holds such surveys on regular base. I was impressed with the answer of David Raetz, who shared few facts from the history of MED-EL:
In 1977, Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer (born 1953) is an Austrian electrical engineer with her husband, Prof. Erwin Hochmair created the first microelectronic multi-channel cochlear implant in the world at Technical University of Vienna. The overall goal of the cochlear implant is to enable the user to actually understand the speech instead of just hearing the sounds. They later (in 1980 Wikipedia says) co-founded the company MED-EL for producing the medical device (the first microelectronic multi-channel cochlear implant) as to raise an awareness that people who lost their hearing abilities or born with it can actually have the proper hearing by understanding. Therefore MED-EL is still keen to raise an awareness as much as possible by conducting surveys and many other ways, as yet not many people are aware of the existence of such implants.
The “Hear I am” survey, was conducted by the Pan Arab Research Center, with the total of the results from 451 members of the general public, individuals with hearing loss and parents of children with hearing loss from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Western UAE, face to face and online. Surprisingly 62% of the total respondents (public, individuals with hearing loss and parents of children with hearing loss altogether) believe that aging is the main cause of hearing loss, however, most of us know well that there are many other ways of hearing loss and it’s important to spread the awareness on the same.  By the estimations of WHO (World Health Organization) approximately 3% have the disabling hearing loss in the Middle East and North Africa, however, the MED-El’s survey says it’s 4% from the UAE’s community, and the figure is high. Thanks to today’s advanced technologies there are many ways to overcome the hearing loss and let people with hearing loss live their lives in full such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, middles ear implants, bone conduction and auditory brainstem implants. Survey also shows that 41% of patients wait for 6 months and above for seeking the professional help in case of noticing the hearing loss (when partial or gradual). Parents of the patients claimed the followings for the delayed diagnosis: parents did not think that there was an issue, parents thought that the child would catch up to the other children in time, other family members said they could not see anything wrong with the child’s hearing, and people saying that some children learn to talk more quickly than others.
It’s very important to have the immediate checkup when adults notice differences in their hearing abilities and when parents doubt about their child’s hearing abilities (no reaction to sounds is the first sign). The earlier the parents notice and look for professional help the most is the result of establishing the hearing abilities in maximum percentage.  Those are the reasons MED-EL emphasizes in the newborn hearing screening and constantly arranges the “Hear I am” survey that helps to spread the awareness. David Raetz told in roundtable conference that “Untreated hearing loss is a permanent inability of adequately communicating with the world and its surroundings. But through our purposeful work with our partners in the UAE and the extended region, we collectively granted hope to many individuals, helping them overcome this inability.” He also mentioned that parents and the patients been included in this year’s survey targeting the point in real stories of overcoming the hearing loss with all the truth that can’t be thought of by unaffected.
There were the actual patients in the roundtable too.

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Anas with his mother

I was very proud of two attendants of the conference:  Anas and Renita. They both are fitted with cochlear implants and can be the real examples of the successful hearing loss treatment by doctors and their personal overcome.
Anas, 11 years old, thanked his doctors and his mother for giving him the opportunity to socialize the way he used to. He pointed out that mathematics is his favorite subject and he loves listening to music. Anas’s mother attended the conference too and she encouraged all the parents to make the treatment and fit in the cochlear implants if necessary as the operation is very simple and easy. She is very proud that her child is back to normal. She admitted that there were many negative impacts when they first discovered the hearing loss in Anas. She pointed out that it’s not a disability and just a matter of an operation of which parents shouldn’t fear. She stated that her son is a lifetime prove. She also proudly mentioned that Anas exceeds his peers in most of the skills.

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Renita and I

Another amazing example is Renita, 26 years old. She started losing her hearing abilities from age of 7 as consequences of banned antibiotics and discovered full deafness by age of 14. She got isolated from peers and turned into the introvert. Her family and friends helped her to graduate the school but it was really tough. When she discovered about the cochlear implants she flew to India to fit in her first cochlear implant (on one side) and her life changed from the year 2010. She successfully obtained the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in HR and been working in MED-EL for the past 3.5 years. Exactly two years ago she had her second cochlear implant (on another side).
So they are the true examples that hearing loss is not a disability and anyone can overcome it if treated properly. Most important parents shouldn’t miss a chance of noticing the hearing issues or the deafness at early ages for doctors and the technologies to help to maintain the development of the child (in terms of speaking and related) according to the age. It can only be achieved by early determination of an issue.
I know well from my friend’s experience that people still have a stigma and/or negative reaction towards people with hearing issues/loss in few countries and most parents get affected by this wrong reaction and decide to hide the issue or else pretend there is no problem with child’s hearing abilities by avoiding the situation and simply wasting the time. It’s all about your child’s health and the abilities. First of all, it’s not a disability and the above examples are perfect proves on how people are actually overcoming it and maybe are even better than their peers. I am not shy to say that Renita is the same age as me and holds a Master degree, which is a big shame to me by not having one, and my admirations to Renita. Also, while chatting, I noticed that Renita’s implant looks like a wireless blootoeth and can be hidden with her long hair. When I mentioned this to David Raetz (CEO MED – EL) he surprised me by showing their latest cochlear implant which actually reminds a hair clip and gives an impression of having no connection with hearing loss at all, this is most incredible device that can help many children and adults to avoid those negative stigmas from few people. This matters the most (I believe) for a teenage group of people when they get quite sensitive and want to be the same as their peers (without extra devices showing their little issues).

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All I mean is the technologies are developing fast and providing all the possibilities for you or your children with hearing loss and it’s your responsibility to be aware of it as early as possible and to take the actions as fast as possible for you and/or your children to hear, hspeak and feel as confident as their peers do!

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Cochlear implant
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Cochlear implant Rondo (that shows no relation to hearing loss instead looks like a hair clip)

Good to know:

“A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears.Cochlear implants bypass the normal hearing process; they have a microphone and some electronics that reside outside the skin, generally behind the ear, which transmits a signal to an array of electrodes placed in the cochlea, which stimulate the cochlear nerve.”

from Wikipedia

http://www.medel.com

 

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Founders of MED-EL

 

Edifications of one mother (for my Kamronbek)

You are growing unexpectedly fast and I am not about your age… Your personality is building up in a way that you are understanding way more than required for your age. Understanding in terms of analyzing the situation/people/things and reacting accordingly, just the way you always follow my gaze to identify whether I am sad or happy and try to bring jokes to see the joy on my face when you find me sad. I am really proud of your sincerity to put efforts to show your care. This makes me both excited and worried at a time. Excited to know that you are way brighter and worried to understand that your delicate soul might face difficulties in today’s world, just because you can see farther and feel deeper than required. On this note, I want to give you some edifications for you to read whenever you require and want to, as I am not going to be a nagging mother always trying to teach you how to live. You will certainly have and follow many others but those mentioned are the ones will help you to live YOUR life with YOUR pure heart.

Please remember:

As you grow you will be meeting many people… They are all different and most important they are not the same as you are. They have their own vision and mission in this world forming their own personality and you have to accept all they way they are

Be open-hearted but don’t open your soul to all

Be a listener. When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know but if you listen, you may learn something new that’s why God gave us one mouth that closes and two ears that don’t

Be a giving person as you have two hands: one to help yourself and the second to others

Nobody is permanent so only few will be there for you and those who are there for you are just for as long as possible, once again nothing is permanent in this life

You will be meeting two types of people mostly. The ones – who build you up and the ones – who tear you down. But at the end, you will thank them both

Live the life in full, follow your desires and dreams.

Make decisions, value them and be responsible for your decisions.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. It is okay to make mistakes, as mistakes teach us lessons but not trying leaves regrets.

Don’t skip falling. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Never regret. Because at some point this was what you wanted

Think positive, be positive to attract the positive things into your life and always be happy to look beyond the imperfections

Never stop learning as learning is the only thing in mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets

Travel more as this is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

Most important is to remember that you don’t own anyone in this world and it’s your full right to live the life of your choice.

Don’t forget that I will only be there to support you because I respect your choices, I value your decisions and admire you as an individual.

P.S.: If I ever forget my words and try to follow my own ego by enforcing my “motherhood rights” don’t hesitate to remind my words to bring me to my senses.

Love you to bits,

Your mama.

 

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkomilova Instagram: @guzaldxb_photographer

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My V-Class experience…

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Once again let me show off how lucky am I to review the pre-launched or newly launched products as one of the firsts in town. Coherently, I was invited to the test-drive event of Mercedes-Benz V-class. I was so impressed with an invitation that I didn’t even bother googling on a photo of the V-class. When we arrived at the designated place with my photographer friend Guzal (my social media followers know her well from my Insta Stories) I was a bit disappointed since it was in some parking in Studio city. Later I cheered the moment we were seated in Mercedes van to be dropped at the venue where the actual event would take place. We were brought to a warehouse with grass laid on sides of the entrance, the edge of the red carpet inside the warehouse was luring my eye side, yet I was tempted with shining black S class and GL parked on the laid grass. Although my sanity was whispering my fantasies the class of the parked cars, I excitedly asked those huge fit guys wearing black and chatting next to the cars: “So which one is the V-class” and one of them replied “The one that just dropped you” … My disappointment was back again… “so I came all the way to Studio city to test drive a van” – I thought. Oh yeah, I do have my evil part in me. Unwillingly I let my friend to the warehouse, everything seemed black to me, but I had a glance behind the registration to see the vans around with different theme arrangements next to it. Later on, I found out that it’s not a van at all, it’s a new range of family/business / travel, basically all in one spacious car. I was totally surprised to hear the semi-technical parts of it, well “clear to understand by any women” presentation from the Production Line Manager if we put it honestly.

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Now my thoughts have been cleared and the disappointment got vanished and my curiosity took its main place in my brain, as I got to know that V-class is the next generation of Viano. With my husband working at tourism I know so well about the Viano, mostly it is a luxury transfer car for VIP tourists. I used to think that Viano is a van and can be driven by a driver with the specific driving license, however, the V-class is a car, which can be owned by any individual with valid driving license, because of the weight of it. When I browsed around the warehouse to check out each V-class presented in different options I’ve started simply falling in love with this car. The variation for family use is just perfect for a large family and it’s totally your choice to have it with facing seats and a convertible table in the middle, or bench of seats or one of the other 7 main variations out of too many options (it can be customized to match your requirements).There I started dreaming of having my second one (it gave me an urge to enlarge my family ASAP) seating in a car seat while Kamronbek seating next to him or her and drawing on that convertible table with papers and crayons below the table that has the special holders. Since I am very family oriented I only dream of this option, but there were options for active life, which is the basic option with fabric seats and more space for the stuff the active individual or the family have (bikes, surfing desks and etc.) The business option is as classy and luxurious as business people in Dubai prefer having it. There is certainly an option for luxury transfer means as all varieties own the large luggage boot.

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Then we had a short briefing with the safety instructions and the agenda of group test-driving after which we were led outdoors to choose our “own” (pity to say that for a very short while) V-class. Our destination was the 7th stadium, in where we were supposed to have the activities and I had no idea on how cool would be the activities. My experience of test driving was amazing. Let me point out the space you can enjoy at the driver’s seat or the passengers’ seats the moment you step into the car. Very smooth and comfortable driving as I guess all the Mercedes classes offer but I was astonished by the lightness of it while driving because I assumed that such huge body of a car would give enough heaviness for a driver to struggle. It also doesn’t let you feel the length of the car.  If I start the topic of its automatic features, the post will never end. Name any modern automatic features of today’s luxury cars, V-class can have it. The sleek and posh design with the big screen in the middle of the panel can make any mommy feel proud of owning this huge yet luxuries “baby”.

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The moment we reached the destination and started with the planned activities I felt even more proud, this time in combination for myself and the V-class as I tried some adventurous drive with it. I’d received a load of adrenaline while snake driving in speed by not letting the cones fall, then a sudden break after the speediest drive, and yes, this car can do these moves regardless of its size. The Marshalls demonstrated the blind parking after the activities in which the driver is handsfree (the hands are off the wheel) and the car can identify the free parking slot and park straight into it while driver only breaks the pedals when required. I really didn’t feel like going back after all this fun, but we should drive back to enjoy the lunch with beautiful views at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club as it was the end of the event. I really enjoyed the test drive and was glad to know about this new range of family car as one of first. Hopefully, I will be owning it soon. Honestly, I liked it into an extent of dreaming of owning one and who knows…

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Let me add some more details about this smart car (below information taken from the official website):

  1. Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive – series of driving assistance and safety systems designed to enhance comfort and support the driver. V-Class includes the optional Parking package with reversing camera or 360° camera (which I mentioned above) *1 and the optional DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST2.

The Parking package with 360° camera is optionally available for the V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE.

DISTRONIC PLUS with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST is available as an option for the V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE.

  1. Seats

    variations. As a 6, 7 or 8-seater – the V-Class is exceptionally versatile. Four comfortable single seats are installed as standard in the rear. The 3-seater bench seats that can be fitted as an option in the first and second rear seat rows increase the potential capacity of the rear compartment to five or six.

  2. The COMAND Online multimedia system*1 provides high-speed hard-disc navigation with high-quality topographical 3D maps display and Internet browser. This enables dynamic route guidance whilst taking account of real-time traffic information (country-specific).

COMAND Online is available as an option for the V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE. A Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phone or smartphone with a data option is required to use all the functions of COMAND Online.

  1. The EASY-PACK tailgate*1 can be opened and closed electrically at the touch of a button and makes it easy to load and unload the load compartment.

    Operation

    is extremely practical via the button on the vehicle key or the release handle on the tailgate.

The optional EASY-PACK tailgate is only available in conjunction with the EASY-PACK rear window for the V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE.

  1. AGILITY CONTROL suspension *1 with selective damping system ensures an appropriate balance between ride comfort and agility by varying the

    ride

    behavior, damping characteristics and stabilization in accordance with the road surface and driving conditions.

The AGILITY CONTROL suspension is available as an optional extra for the V-Class and as a standard feature for the V-Class AVANTGARDE.

  1. Climatized front seats. Climatized seats*1 for the driver and front passenger also provide three-stage ventilation of the seat cushions and backrests. As well enhancing the ambient comfort, this system dehumidifies the atmosphere, thus improving safety by keeping both the driver and front-passenger fit.

The climatized seats for the driver and front passenger are available as an option in conjunction with Lugano leather or nappe leather seats and with the seat heating for the V-Class and the V-Class AVANTGARDE.

  1. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS1 automatic transmission features seven speeds. These keep the engine speed down in every driving situation. The wide gear ratio range and finely graduated gears reduce the leaps in revs when changing gear – leading to comfortable gear-changing and fuel savings.

7G-TRONIC PLUS comes as standard on the V 250 Blue TEC. It is available as an option for the other engines of the V-Class and the V-Class AVANTGARDE.

  1. LED Intelligent Light System. The optional LED Intelligent Light System*1 features adaptive headlamps and adapt to suit prevailing light, road and weather conditions. The scope of the equipment includes High Beam Assist and the active light function, amongst others.

The LED Intelligent Light System is available as an optional extra for the V-Class and as a standard feature for the V-Class AVANTGARDE.

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkamilova. Instagram: @guzaldxb_photographer

Any plans for Christmas? Check out the Nosh at the Movenpick JLT

Winter festivities are so close and hotels of Dubai are officially opening the Festive Season with the Christmas Tree Lightening ceremony one after other. We were invited to one of those ceremonies hosted at the Movenpick JLT earlier in the beginning of this month. I couldn’t resist attending it since Kamronbek’s been addicted to Santa lately and I am simply trying to take him to any possible Santa in town. We were little late to arrive, so we were greeted with the Joyful sounds of Christmas carols presented by the Nord Anglia International School Primary Carolers’. Kamronbek was very excited to listen to the “Jingle Bells” and “We wish you a Merry Christmas carols” that he even danced by singing along.

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Our long-awaited Santa appeared and we had a lovely photo together next to Santa, since my “brave from far” Kamronbek couldn’t dare sitting on Santa’s laps, but he was brave enough to pull the gift pouch from Santa’s hands the moment it was presented.

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We had been escorted to the Nosh for the Christmas buffet preview afterward. I loved this part of our experience the most (frankly mentioning) because I love the seafood and the buffet is filled with all types of seafood.

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Seafood grill, seafood salads and starters and even the seafood bar on ice, which is called a little Fish Bazaar by the friendly staff of the Nosh restaurant. The reason they call it a Fish Bazaar is because you can simply pick any seafood (fish, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, calamari) of your choice laying on top of the ice bar and hand over to the grill station for it to be cooked LIVE.

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Do sushi and sashimi enter the seafood group, don’t they? I’ve got no idea at all. Sushi is my latest taste discovery, unbelievable truth is that I tried sushi last month only for the first time in my life and loved it, especially the vegetables ones. Anyways, there is a large sushi and sashimi station too for sushi lovers. Kamronbek also tried some sushi, but he enjoyed the chopsticks more, he even invented the new way of using them.

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Other favorites of mine are the sweets stations, as I mentioned earlier, I have sweet teeth, so I always keep a space for a load of desserts. I was in love with the brownies, recommended by the representative of the hotel, which is truly the most delicious brownie I’ve ever tried.

Kamronbek enjoyed his desserts too and especially the pancakes, from the live pancake cooking station.

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Kamronbek had a great time by the way, he managed opening the gift pouch, grabbing the KitKat chocolate out of it, opening the chocolate and smashing it all over his hands. That’s how you end up when you take no precautions to keep your toddler away from any possible attraction 🙂

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As usual, I rather present the photos of food than writing about it, so here you are enjoying the mouthwatering pieces from the buffet stations, just gazing at those :), but you better book your buffet at Nosh soon ;). Moreover, you can book your Christmas brunch or buffet and/or even the New Year Gala Dinner if you want to enjoy your family lunch/dinner at the cozy atmosphere. I was about to forget to mention the outdoor tables of Nosh with the lake view, which is perfect for nowadays weather.

Good to know:

 Christmas Day Brunch at nosh restaurant

An experience that celebrates all the classics at Nosh

Sunday, 25 December 2016
Lunch Brunch from 12.30 pm – 3.30 pm or evening Brunch from 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
with Christmas carvings, trimmings and roast
AED 199
per person including buffet and soft beverages
AED 299 per person including buffet and selected beverage package

Kids under 6 dine complimentary.
Kids 6 to 12 get 50% discount.

 Christmas Eve

Feast on traditional family favorites at nosh restaurant.

Saturday, 24 December 2016
6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
with Christmas carvings, trimmings and roast
AED 165
per person including buffet and soft beverages
AED 260 per person including buffet and selected beverage package

Kids under 6 dine complimentary.
Kids 6 to 12 get 50% discount.

 New Year’s Day Brunch

New Year Sparkling Brunch in Dubai

Sunday, 1 January 2017
Lunch Brunch from 12.30 pm – 3.30 pm or evening Brunch from 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
with Christmas carvings, trimmings and roast
AED 199
per person including buffet and soft beverages
AED 299 per person including buffet and selected beverage package

Kids under 6 dine complimentary.
Kids 6 to 12 get 50% discount.

 New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner

Spectacular New Year’s Eve in Dubai at nosh restaurant

Saturday, 31 December 2016
starting from 8.00 pm
with Festive carvings, trimmings and roast and Live Entertainment
AED 350
per person including buffet and soft beverages
AED 800 per person including buffet and selected beverage package

Kids under 6 dine complimentary.
Kids 6 to 12 get 50% discount.

 To know more, head to the link:

http://www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/uae/dubai/dubai-jumeirah-lakes-towers/restaurants/restaurant-offers/

 Photo credit: Guzal Mirkomilova Instagram: guzaldxb_photographer

 I was invited for a review, however I stated my honest opinion.