Friday, January 21, 2011

Muhibbah Seafood


Last night we were in Damansara neighborhood and thought we'd go to Muhibbah Seafood in Taman Tun for dinner.

I was already hungry - my stomach was already grumbling and I havent had Muhibbah for quite a while. So I was quite happy and SURPRISE SURPRISE... when we reached there it is gone!! not just closed for the day, but gone!

So apparently they have moved.

huhuhuhu. Sedih... sedih.

Anyway, I googled it up today to find out where they have moved to and thanks to and

here is the new Addy
Muhibbah Seafood
No. 2851, Jalan Seri Penchala
Kg Sg Penchala
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-7727 3153

Map taken from

Directions from :

From the LDP highway, turn the turning towards Kg Sg Penchala, go through the small tunnel, keep left and go across, go straight and take a left turn near the car showrooms. Go straight, there'll be banners leading you to the restaurant. From Taman Tun Dr Ismail, take Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, go straight towards the Penchala Link. At traffic lights, go straight into Kg Sg Penchala, take a left turn at traffic light where the mosque is visible, go straight and at the end of the village, take a right turn up the hill. The restaurant is on the left hand side.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Technology and me


I love technology. More often than not it usually provide me some challenge and amusement. But the thing with technology is that you need to keep up. It is fine when you ve got plenty of time and plenty of $$$. As the time go by somehow i have less of both - to put priority on other imposing and imprtant matter. I have somehow have less time to fiddle with things and less cash to burn on these 'technologies'. This is fine when you decide to longer be on-top-of-things. It is however not so fine when you hv one foot wanting to be uptodate and one foot not.
the thing is, when you dont keep up u ended up being left way and way behind and unfortunately the price to be up to date escalates.
You"l think why am i rambling nonsense here. It is because i havent had any new toy for the longest time and i soooo want one! And I am torn between a new camera, or a new ipod. or maybe i shld just get an ipad???

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Concise travel guide to Abu Dhabi


Now please take what you read as a rough reference and double check the info, as Abu Dhabi is a rapidly developing City, (and I meant ferrari-fast-kind-of-RAPID), so what you find in here may not be all that relevant at the time of your travel.

I gotta to also say that this is my first visit to this part of the world - the middle east and therefore what I have here is from a first timers eyes.

First off, lets trash out the important stuff;
Electricity - They are operating with 220 - 240V, similar to malaysia. And they are also using the UK type plug point. So there is no need for converters as such

Currency - They use UAE dirham. I suggest you take the time to scout for the money exchange, especially if you dont intend to change much. I had difficulties trying to exhange their money here in KL, and even when I manage to do so, it is in big nomination - like 1000UAE. Small change is really hard to come by. While we are on the topic of money their money is in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and coins of 50c and UAE1. Though - I am sure they have something bigger than 1000, but of course I am not in any way in a position to acquire such $$$ and UAE1000 is about the limit I have. (but really, for a week travel it was more than enough for me -I'll talk more in the and ya all can math up ur estimates)

ATMs & Credit Card - They have limited international banks. Most bankers are local to Abu Dhabi. No issues on Visa or Master.

Weather - Winter is the best time to go. Very pleasant weather ranging from 23-25C during the day and 14-18C at night. During the time I go, you'll get daylight from around 7AM to 5:30PM.

Clothings - Abu Dhabi is pretty liberal, but it is still advisable to dress moderately.

Phone Coverage - Roaming is not a problem. While I was there I was with a carrier called DU ... will update later on the rates

Coming from KL where just about all (popular) merchants be it from east or west are available, Abu Dhabi malls are nothing new. We pretty much have everything that they have to offer there. You know how it is, shopping malls are shopping malls anyway. One is as good as another. In fact I have learned that most of the times, it is indeed cheaper to get it in Malaysia, especially during sale. Having said that, I still bought few things while I was there :p

Anyway, I was more interested to find local goods but could not really find much there. The only old and popular local shop is Madinat Zayed (and surrounding), where you can find Abaya's and Shela's in every imaginable design and cuts. There is also a Gold souq next to it as well, but I didnt go there cos we've been to the gold souq in Dubai.

Shopping Hours
The local souq operates as early as 9AM i believe and they take a break at 3:00PM to 4:30PM. During this break time, all the shops are closed. They open again at 4:30PM up till 10:00 at night. So you really do have plenty of time to shop. We didnt know that the shop closes at 3 so we were quite perplexed to see one after one other shop closes and were left going around literally 'window shopping'

Btw, the Azan (call for prayers) are heard everywhere in the mall and souq, so dont worry about missing your prayers. And I believe the break time is a siesta time to probably beat off the heat in summer and also to allow merchants to do their prayers

Souvenir shopping
Not easy to come by. Actually it is non existent. Except for this one shop called 'Gift Tower' which is located behind the Hamdan Mall.

Work hours
According to Rizal, the Emiratis work from 7AM to 3PM. I didnt go there for work so I dont exactly know.

City Buses are available but I did not try it. The bus stops did not offer enough information on the buses that pass though it , so i wasnt sure if the bus would take me where I wanted to be. But I noticed that mostly goes to the place called Tourist Club, which I believe is one part of the town.
Anyway Taxis are plenty and very reliable and uses meter. They are not dirt cheap but its affordable because we were pretty much still within the city center anyway. If I am not wrong the rates are like - a one off service charge is UAE3 and UAE1 dirham for every 750m for distance below 50km.

Okay. I think I pretty much have covered the important stuff so lets take a ride on the trip.

As I said this is my first time going to middle east so I was not prepared to see what lays aforehead of me.

I knew that they are desertlike, but I wasnt expecting the WHOLE country is like that. I mean in my previuos travels the deserts that Ive seen are usually far from the sea so I was expecting more greens where its closer to the seaside. But nay.

How amazing to see a land so barren, with a sea so blue. So beautiful.

And the culture... Mashaallah.. As a muslim, of course I am familiar with muslims ways of life. But still I was in awe. To see men walking around in their Ghutra (the red white checkered headscarf) and Kandura (the white robe). And the ladies in their Abaya (the black robe or jubah as we call it in malay) and Shela (the headscarf).

From Abu Dhabi

I could not resist to buy one or two. And in fact when I was there, I was enjoying wearing the Abaya's around. The simplicity. Its unbelievable! All I need to do is drape myself in one and voila, I am ready. So hassle free and so easy. No need to think about mix and match. No need to wonder if I am dressing up or down (after all, one abaya is as good as another...its all black, and its all with the same look and design). And come prayers time, all i need is a pair of socks (if I ahve not worn it already) and I am ready. No need to lug telekung around. Gosh. It made me wish that its like that in Malaysia too.
Anyway, one thing that I discovered when purchasing Abaya there, they actually do fittings (its a free service btw) after you purchase it. I have always envied all the middle easterners, I always thought that their abaya is well suited and looks amazing on them, and now I know the trick. WHich then makes me have a new mission - I definitely am going to take all my other abayas (bought prior to this trip) to a tailor to be fitted for me.

As I mentioned earlier, when the time comes for prayer, the sound of Azan heard in every corner. Its not loud, certainly not intruding but you can just hear where ever you are. I guess it is becasue there is a surau just about every corner of it.

And being there, where people speaking arabic, be it a foreigner or locals just sounded soo beautiful. And people recites the verses of Allah like a song. Such serenity and humbling. How far and behind I felt.

Another thing that I have come to notice is that roads in Abu Dhabi are very very smooth. Not even once did I came across a pothole. And Minimum 3 lanes a side everywhere. Imagine this, at the time of my travel, they are in the midst of developing Saadiyat Island to become one of the cultural attraction (where Lourve and Guggheinham will be ). There is nothing there yet, not a building in sight yet, but you know what - the road , well , actually not a road but an 8 lanes highway is already been built and operating . No tolls ok, F-O-C. I was thinking to myself, how this is such a stark contrast to malaysia, where we have the whole neighborhood with thousands and thousand s of houses being built but no proper roads.
I am no politician so I dont know what difficulties our government face but really. One cant help but to compare.

And by the way while we were on the subject of development, I was also told that foreigners are not eligible to buy houses in UAE. The houses / land are only for the Emiraties. Not sure if neighboring nationals like Omanis or Arabis are allowed to buy or not. But I think they have same rulings in Oman as well. So all foreigners that are there have to rent.
I thought that was a good policy. Buy then again, they are not multi-racial so that kinda makes sense. Just like in Malaysia I guess, only Malaysian can buy land (leaseholds).
But I was told that they building what they call Foreigner Island - a reclaim island where the houses are available for foreigners to buy. I guess they are following the footstep of their brother city - Dubai. If Dubai has Palm Island, I wonder what this foreigner island is gonna look like. Liek a date tree?? Lol.

UAE Rulers
UAE actually stands for United of Arab Emirates - meaning the unification of 7 emirates ( Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain) . I was told that different families rule each area which each one has one ruler which is like the King of the emirate. For Abu Dhabi the current ruler is Sheikh Khalifa. In terms of law, I believe they practise Syariah law. And apparently Abu Dhabi is so safe. Their crime rate is almost none. No one steals. I wonder if it is because everyone there is rich. Perhaps :)

OK, enough of all those documentary stuff. Now lets talk about the attractions in Abu Dhabi...
The Grand Mosque.
This mosque (at time of writing) is the 3rd largest mosque in the world. It is seriously majestically beautiful with all the white domes. If I am not mistaken the mosque is with more than 80 domes, and has 1000 columns. The mosque can fit more than 45000 muslimin and muslimat at one time. You know, the carpet that is in the mosque was said to be the largest handwoven Persian carpet and it took 1200 artisans to actually make it. Anyway you can read more about it here:

From Abu Dhabi

From Abu Dhabi

From Abu Dhabi

The ferrarri World
Yes this place is expensive, but hey its the only one IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, and youve come this far. Just go and you will not regret it. There is nothing more I can say, the ferrari world is indeed the largest indoor theme park and it also hosts the fastest coaster in the world. You will see history of Ferrari and i guess it feels a bit like Italy in there too. Food is expensive there so stuff yourself before you go and bring lotsa cash for food. I dont think outside food is allowed too. We were lucky cos we bought our tix from our Hotel (Al-Rawda) cos they have some sort of affiliation with Ferrari world, and we got Premium tickets for normal price. And seriously, it is worth it to pay the extra if you are the kind who likes to try or go on the rides repeatedly.

From Abu Dhabi

The Emirate Palace
This place is just majestic. The good thing is, unlike those expensive hotels in Dubai like the Burj where you need to pay to enter, here it is free.
When I was there, they were showcasing the-most-expensively-decorated Christmas tree ever in the world there (i know, the irony of it huh). But seriously, this tree is adorning things that I could only dream to own (agaknya to get to pegang those jewels pun almost impossible...)

From Abu Dhabi

Marina Bay Area
As the name suggests you'll see a marina. There is a mall there and beautiful yatchs and see around it. I think the mall is just so so, but the area is nice. If you like seaside and yatchs.

From Abu Dhabi

From Abu Dhabi

Heritage Village
This one is a must go. To learn about the culture and its heritage. You could find a camel and also goat there. So tak dapat tengok Camel in the desert kat make-believe desert also will do lah.
They have tents too, in which each tribes have different characteristic. (Digressing a bit, I was at the same was also reading Jean Sasson's book - Love in a torn land. So it kinda helps me picture what was depicted in the book.. )
anyway, the heritage village also tells you Abu Dhabi history where it was originally just a fishing village. It is actually a fairly new city with only 39 years gaining independence. Abu Dhabi has just discovered oil in the 70s, so it is you know roughly just about my age..

From Abu Dhabi

While I managed to see all that is in Abu Dhabi, there are still a few things that I had missed.

What I wish I had done -
1. I didnt get to go to the desert. Apparently it is not like a day excursion kind of thing. You have to choose between a Desert Safari or Desert Challenge (which btw is an annual sports). The trip to the desert requires one to be very fit as it is quite an adventure activity. Knowing that I do get motion sickness Rizal thinks I am not fit to go for desert as the sand can be very unpredictable and you may ended up going up and down.
I have seen many pictures of the sand dunes and stuff and would like to capture it but I guess I'd have to toughen up before I could go on such trip. Nevertheless, I managed to curi a picture which actually is exhibited at the Museum. .hehhe

2. I didnt get to go to Al-Ain to see the Oasis.
According to Rizal, this is actually where the Emiratis really live. They dont live in Abu Dhabi. And according to some, Al Ain is really beautiful, totally different than Abu Dhabi's skyscrapers

3. I didnt see the leaning tower building. I saw it from far - which truly look senget but didnt have the time to go to the building.

Nevertheless, all in all it was a wonderful trip... and .. do enjoy the photos taken from the trip here

signs pun lain :)
From Abu Dhabi

Here is map of Abu Dhabi, if you need to get a rough bearing. This is taken from the Abu Dhabi tourist booklet which you can get at the airport anyway.

Map of Abu Dhabi City Center: