Monday, 28 December 2015

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


With the winter break up, we have a huge back log of photos and posts to come up:)
Here is a place we recently had a trip to.

'Location : WASIT WETLAND CENTRE    SHARJAH,U.A.E
GPS Coordinate : 25.368095N , 55.459901E
Road : Dhaid road Exit from Interchange 2
Timings : Weekday 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
            Friday 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
                  Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday - Holiday
Entry Fee: Adults - 15 AED
                      Kids under 12 Free'

This seems to be a very lucky season for spotting birds. Everything is perfect, the weather, the migratory birds and new beautiful nature reserves opening up.
WASIT a new wetland in Sharjah, awaits its tourists. Its a reclaimed area that has been restored to its glory and perfectly done to house the amazing flock of birds that would live or visit. Open to visitors since a month, well within the city of Sharjah in UAE, this swanky place is glossy new with as many as 33000 birds already in house!

A huge map of UAE with all its nature reserves marked adorned the floor entrance. We made a mental note of the new info and also to re-visit the ones we had already visited. The information desk gives you a wonderful brochure with a picture guide of the different birds that call the wetland its home.  The place reminded us of Arabian Wild life Centre, with its amazing air conditioned viewing walkways.


WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


The birds were at peace in their natural habitat. The walls held a lot of information on the species that we could observe. The call of different birds resonated from the speakers. Quite a bit of wall games with the bird theme to keep the kids entertained.
A cafeteria with a good spread of dishes and a seating with amazing view of the birds outside adds a nice touch to the place.


WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/




WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

But the best part about the place is the carts that took us on a trip around the place through the overgrown vegetation. It was a surreal experience especially for this part of the world. Beautiful wooden observation decks merge with the landscape, ideal for a bird watcher to sit in tranquility.


WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

WASIT WETLAND CENTRE SHARJAH (UAE) - An amazing winter break trip for kids.@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


The little one enjoyed the trip very much, especially the cart ride, and looking at the different sizes of bird eggs on display. She has added this visit on her winter journal :) 

A quiet place, perfect for a visit with kids. Definitely a hot spot for bird-watchers and photographers.

FARZ & ZAIN

Many more places kid-friendly places in Sharjah up on the blog:
SHARJAH DISCOVERY CENTRE
SHARJAH AQUARIUM
SHARJAH MARITIME MUSEUM
SHARJAH BOOK FAIR
SHARJAH NATIONAL PARK
SHARJAH CHILDREN'S READING FESTIVAL
SHARJAH SCIENCE MUSEUM
SHARJAH LIBRARY
SHARJAH PLANETARIUM
WASIT WILD LIFE CENTRE


This post is linked to

MummyTravels

 Monkey and Mouse

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

RAS AL KHOR WILD LIFE SANCTUARY & ZABEEL PALACE GARDEN :Finding flamingos and peacocks amidst the urban DUBAI

No we haven't deserted the blog :)

We were just so busy completely living outdoors this season. What amazing winters we have during winter in UAE.
Been exploring outdoors as much as we can and are going to be bringing all our expeditions to you :).


Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


There is a place we wanted to visit for a long time but were waiting for the right season. 

The RAS AL KHOR WILD LIFE SANCTUARY.

Ras Al Khor is a protected wetland right in the middle of the skyscrapers of DUBAI.
With a view of Burj Khalifah, and the wide laned roads filled with traffic, this place is a sharp contrast. Quiet, fenced off, and brimming with life.


Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
The skyline of DUBAI and the wetlands - a striking diversity


The place is very famous for the pink-legged Flamingos. 

The reserve has three viewing hides and we chose the one closest to us as we took the U-turn. Sadly for us the flamingos stood at the other end of the santuary. And would have been a great photographing opportunity from the other hides. We had to pacify ourselves with the view through the telescope, which we could not capture on camera :/. The reserve has free entry, 9am to 4pm Saturday through Thursday, and attracts, nature lovers , bird watchers, photographers, school children and families. 


Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
One of the Hides

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
The only 3 birds that decided to entertain us :/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
A much more amazing view with the telescope- a close up of the flamingos

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/
Haha! our camera couldn't pick up an amazing shot of the flamingos. So here is a pic from the poster thats up in the hide


Apart from flamingos we spotted many other species of birds and the wetlands were brimming with fish. Ras Al Khor is frequented by many migratory birds. 

The hides are equipped with a telescope and a few binoculars. But we spotted some serious bird-watchers with their amazing gear. So if you own any professional camera, binocular or telescope, this is the best place to put it to use. 

Loved this place, hoping that next time we will be lucky with the hide we chose.

RAS AL KHOR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
25.19562°N 55.34380°E
Free Entry
9 am to 4 pm

ZABEEL PALACE GARDENS and their Peacocks


Our next stop was to the Palace of the ruler of DUBAI. In front of the sprawling palace lies a well manicured garden. This garden is famous for peacock spotting. 

Parking our car, we walked towards the garden and saw this fancy DUBAI Police vehicle on display.
The love of horses that the rulers nourish was very evident in the statues of horses that adorned the palace and its gates.


Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


Anyways we shifted our attention back to sighting some peacocks. Heeding to their calls we looked around and found a few of them strolling around. May be because of the afternoon being a little bit sultry, not many were in view. 

Seeing the peacocks in their elements, prancing about the greens was just amazing. Their colors glistening in the sunlight. We started praying for a bit of drizzle from the clouds so that the peacock would open up its beautiful feathers. But, sadly for us, none of that happened:/

Still it was amazing to see these majestic birds up close. Some pictures for you guys to feast your eyes on the peacock that was curious enough to come check us out :).


Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras al Khor Wild life Sanctuary and Zabeel Palace Gardens: Flamingos and Peacocks : @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


There you have it. Two bits of places you must take kids to in winter in Dubai, bringing them closer to nature.

Have you been animal or bird spotting anywhere else within the city?

See ya!
Farz & Zain


This Post is linked to 


Monkey and Mouse

City Tripping linky

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

5 OUTDOOR FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN DUBAI THIS WINTER - My first write up for the online magazine B-Change

Well, I am back from my hiatus with a good news!

I am now officially writing for an amazing online magazine called B-CHANGE.
And this is my first post. http://b-change.me/5-must-try-outdoor-family-activities-in-dubai-this-winter/

5 Outdoor Family Activities in Dubai this Winter- Article @BChange




B-Change is an amazing online magazine in the middle east region, that you must definitely follow. 


5 Outdoor Family Activities in Dubai this Winter- Article @BChange

5 Outdoor Family Activities in Dubai this Winter- Article @BChange


Excerpt from BChange
"We’re here to give you memorable stories about remarkable people, the reviews of hide-away eateries that missed the corner of your eye, and witty entertainment and commentary on pop culture.
We’re here to keep you up with current events, introduce you to local talent [artists, writers, musicians, furniture crafters – you name it], let you in on indie art events you won’t find on mainstream media, share novel ideas for d├ęcor and fashion, and to create a community of artists so ideas can intertwine to make lasting collaborations.
We’re here to encourage conversation about social issues that are simmering under agreeable words. We’re here to change with you and grow to live up to every promise we make.
We’re basically here because we need to talk to you."
- Bhoomika Ghaghada
- Tarun Shyam
Catch up with B-Change here:

Facebook:bchangesocial
Twitter: @BChangeSocial
Instagram: bchangesocial
Youtube:B-Change


A sneak peak at the article.


5 Outdoor Family Activities in Dubai this Winter- Article @BChange


Hoping for a lot of support!

Meanwhile stay tuned to our blog for a some exciting posts to come soon :)

FARZ

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Sharjah International Book Fair: This year (2015)

SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR is an annual must-visit ritual for us. It is the largest book fair of the region and is graced by many authors and book launches.

After our haul of books from the last fair, (http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/2014/11/sharjah-book-fair-for-love-of-written.html) we were waiting for this year's event.

As the adverts got plastered all over the city, our daughter's demand to be taken there, went up a notch.

Look at what we spotted this year, apart from the books, of course.


SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/



STILT WALKERS
They were probably 10 times the height of our little one :)


SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


PINOCCHIO

A play based on Carlo Collodi's novel. A group of very talented artists put up an enthralling play.

What a visual memory of the story, for every time we get to read it. Surprisingly, our daughter actually sat still in her seat through the length of the entire play, which was about 45 minutes. Wow.  

SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

THE WORLD'S SMALLEST BOOK
Little smaller than the thumb and tiny little pages - this is the world's smallest book on sale. For a price as small as the book, just AED 10. You can own one of the smallest books in the world :)


SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

COMICAVE

The world's largest comic and collectible store, had a very inviting stand. All the super hero fans would have just loved picking up their hero from here.


SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015 @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


Oh yeah! We did browse and buy a handful of books.  

So if you are in the vicinity, pop in with your kids, before it closes on 14th of November, 2015. 

Farz

Monday, 2 November 2015

Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS

Hello there! How is winter treating you?

You probably are wondering why we have been slow to blog for the past few weeks. Its just that we have been totally enjoying the outdoors this season. As a result we have a ton of photos and experiences to post, but pretty much very very less time:(

Remember our short 2-day stay at RAS AL KHAIMAH (RAK) in UAE? Link here: http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/2015/08/ras-al-khaimah-places-to-visit-rak-zoo.html. Well, we had some more places on our list that we couldn't strike off within those two days. So there we went again to the quaint little town Ras Al Khaimah, to see what more could we discover.


Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS@http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


SPOT 1:

AL HAMRA BEACH


You know one of our favorite tricks in travelling with a child? We always start the day with something that will interest her and keep her occupied, and tire her out playing. Then we buckle her up in her car seat and move on to the places that would probably bore her :)

So on a pleasant Friday, we took the road to Ras al Khaimah, with a fully packed picnic basket. The smell of a home-cooked biriyani wafting through the car, we couldn't wait to reach AL HAMRA BEACH.

Our GPS took us to a security point, beyond which there lie beautiful villas and houses. With a dipping heart we just imagined that the beach was no more open. But the kind security guy escorted us through the rows of amazing residences called THE AL HAMRA RESIDENCES and RESORT and finally to a serene beach. The place was so beautiful.

He then explained that we had taken the wrong entry . Had we taken the previous turn we would have reached the beach through the public access road. Any ways after profusely thanking him, we chose our spot and spread our picnic mats. A lovely picnic by the sea, and full 3 hours of playing in the water.

The beach is absolutely clean and has a staffed security and we loved it.

We are a little wary of giving out places like this. because the crowds really spoil and litter up the place. Like what we discovered in AL RAFFA beach (UAQ), when we visited it after a year :(

Hoping that this place remains as pretty as it is.


Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


SPOT 2:

JAZEERA AL HAMRA (HAUNTED) VILLAGE


With a daughter drowsy with the beach play, we exited the beach. On the way back to the main highway, lies a remnant of an old fishing village. The Jazeera al hamra, a pearling / fishing village was deserted by its inhabitants around the late 1960's when the oil boom happened.

These abandoned houses have stood the test of time, mostly unchanged, in varying degrees of ruin. The archaeology department seems to have taken some notice recently and some kind of restoration/preservation is being done.
This place is known to attract history buffs, photographers and ghost busters :/

Yes, you read that right. We seem to have set ourselves looking at a complete village which is rumored to have been haunted. Is it our uncanny luck that these places seek us out? We have no idea. We clicked some snaps and were out of the place. RAK seems to have many ghosts lurking around!

By the way, this is the spot were the horror movie DJINN was filmed, how convenient!
We felt nothing paranormal there. but wish we have captured more in photographs. Next time we need to go in with some brave hearts:)

Oh yeah! Don't watch the movie before you go.


Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/




Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/


SPOT 3:

JABAL JAIS.


Well, a little bit of spook was all that we could take.

We got on our way to  Jabal Jais, which is the tallest peak in UAE, at around 1934 kms. There is no widespread information on how good the ascending road is to the top. The road begins as a dusty track with quite a few speed breakers. Then as we reach the foot of the Hajjar mountains, starts a beautifully carved and tortuous road. Though not as fully done as the Jabal Hafeet climb, its pretty much okay.

Its rumored that this place is going to be a full-blown tourist spot/ resort with skiing. This mountain sees some snow in the chillier days.

Not knowing how much ahead we could reach, we took the two-way curvy roads. The higher we reached the more beautiful the view became and clearer the air. The biggest surprise was the huge crowed that flocked all over the place and the sheer number of cars that were there. So possibly this was a well-known place after all.

The roads are great, with a few hairpin bends just enough to raise the adrenalin. The visual impact is great especially during clear skies. There are viewing points dotted as we ascend. The place is swarmed on the weekends with picnickers, sports hikers, photographers and car enthusiasts.

We eventually reached a dead end, blocked by traffic. Traffic at the top of the mountain, which was definitely not the full height of the peak. Once out in the clean and chill air, we took in the aroma of tea boiling over and the kebabs sizzling over the coals. People had put up camps and were barbecuing. How could we even let go of such a place? We took out our grills and in an hour had downed some grilled chicken and a full meal. Soaking in on the setting sun, this was one of the best barbecue dinners we have had!

One of our regrets, was not reaching the place a bit earlier than sunset, so that our trusted NIKON could take magical pictures :(  The place still does not have street lights along the road or at the view points, so carry your own visibility gear if you are going to camp or barbacue after the dark.

Surprisingly, for a place which is still being developed, the viewing stops had a full equipped washrooms, which was a relief! So this is just ideal for cooking under the stars and a night out in our sleeping bags.

Our daughter spotted a drone high up in the clear skies and kept wanting to know if its an UFO? That was the discussion over dinner, till thunder and lightning disrupted her attention. Then came the banter about which comes first lightning or thunder :). Any ways, we scooted back to our car with all our stuff, lest we get stuck on a slippery road in our descent.


Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

Ras Al Khaimah- Places to visit: AL HAMRA BEACH, HAUNTED VILLAGE, JABAL JAIS  @http://colorsofourrainbow.blogspot.ae/

So there goes our full day of adventure, completely tired to our bones. Guess we need another weekend to get over the hangover of this weekend.

Will definitely watch DJINN though ;)

XOXO
Zain & Farz