We take a look at what's going on in and around Dubai this week.
Bag a bargain
Media frenzy The summer specials expire in September, so make the most of the remaining weeks of the season and snap up a hot hotel deal fast. The Media Rotana in Al Barsha is offering a premium room, buffet breakfast and dinner, internet access and 30-minute massage all for Dhs650 per night at weekends. There’s also a pool bar and Prego’s – an Italian restaurant that sent us into raptures last time we visited – so there’ll be plenty to keep you occupied. For more information and reservations call 04 435 0000
Be Ramadan savvy Ramadan isn’t just about not eating or drinking. It’s a meditative time for Muslims all over the world, who use this period to focus on their spirituality. It’s important that UAE expats respect the Holy Month, which is why the Eton Institute at Knowledge Village is offering a free, one-off, four-hour workshop teaching essential etiquette during Ramadan and a more general awareness of Islamic culture. ‘Ramadan is a sensitive time when one can unknowingly offend a colleague or friend without realising the sensitivities involved,’ says Dr Eli Rached, managing director of the Eton Institute. The workshop will help participants avoid such situations, as well as teaching a few useful Arabic phrases to make life a little easier in the UAE.
August 29, 10am-2pm, Knowledge Village. Book early as there are limited spaces available. Call 800 3866 or visit www.eton.ac
Out of town
Get outside! It’s Ramadan, it’s hot, you’ve got square eyes from all those DVD box sets, and you can’t quite picture a world outside your living room. What to do? Well, now just might be the perfect time to suit up and get your first diving qualification. It’s pretty much the only sociable activity that you can do during the day at this time of year, and even better you can combine it with a stay at Discover Nomad’s rustic guesthouse in Dibba. Swim with the fishes during the day and then enjoy a barbecue and bevvies with the other guests in the evening. Time Out did the very same a few months back and can highly recommend it.
Discover Nomad has just started offering a beginner’s course with e-learning, which means you can get all the theory out of the way before you get to Dibba. Then get practical over a weekend – arrive Thursday and do two pool dives in the evening, two sea dives and two pool dives on the Friday, and then two more sea dives on the Saturday means you’re certified. The practical course, plus two nights accommodation with breakfast and dinner included, plus lunch on the boat during your sea dives, will set you back just Dhs1,500. Do something different this Ramadan. Discover Nomad also offers advanced courses for experienced divers. For more information see www.discovernomad.com or call Christophe on 050 8853 238