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15 Cheap Activities In Dubai For Families

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Activities, Blog, Explore Dubai | 0 comments

Having fun with your family is the best, and in Dubai you have all opportunities to have fun. You can find hundreds of great activities and events for the whole family.

And the best part is that spending time with the family in Dubai doesn’t necessarily have to be costly. You and the family can find thrilling, fun, and amazing activities that cost little to nothing at all.

To get you started, we have found no less than 15 cheap activities in Dubai that is fun for the whole family.

1. The Heritage and Diving Village – Free

heritage-village

Take a walk around this replica of how life used to be like in old downtown Dubai. Your kids will love the traditional tents, the camels, and you’ll learn a thing or two about the ritual of making traditional Bedouin coffee. As an added treat, you may even witness a live performance of traditional music and dance. Check out the Dubai tourism website for schedules and other details.

2. The Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm – Free

Sanctuary

If your kids like animals then you should definitely go to the Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm. Your kids can get up close to ponies, porcupines, and ducks at this petting farm. It’s open daily and while there is no charge, however, donations are much appreciated.

3. Young Birders Dubai – Free

Umm Suqeim Park

Go bird-spotting with your kids in the park. Walks begin across the gates of Umm Suqeim Park and booking ahead is required as only 15 spots are available.

4. Dubai Aquarium – Free

Mall of Dubai Aquarium Aqua Zoo

If the family prefers underwater species then head out to the Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall and stand in awe of sharks and rays. If you want to get real close, you have to buy entrance, but for free you can watch all the fish, sharks and rays while they swim around.

5. Dubai Festival City – Free

dubai-festival-city

Catch a spectacular fire, laser, and water show at the Festival City. Hang out with the family at the Marina Promenade and take in the amazing show.

6. Dubai Parks  - Small entrance fees apply for certain parks

satwa park

Spend an afternoon throwing a ball around or just relaxing with the family at Mirdiff Park, which has a running track, exercise machines, and a lawn perfect for picnics; the Satwa Park, which has a kid’s play area, tennis and basketball courts, and grass football pitch, and the Nad Al Sheba, which has a cycle park.

7. Turtle Feeding – Free

jumeirah_turtle

Take the family to the Mina A’Salam at Madinat Jumeirah and learn about and feed the turtles. It’s a really special experience none of you will forget.

8. The Souks – Free

Gold-Souk

Check out the Gold Souk near Sikat Al Khalil Road on Deira. Do also visit the Spice Souk and breath in all the exotic smells from the spices. Walk through Dubai’s oldest and traditional structures. Be transported to old Dubai at the souk with the family.

9. Dubai’s Archaeological Sites

achaeological site

Head to the Al Qusais, Al Sufouh, and the Jumeirah site for artefacts and other discoveries. But remember to get a special visitor’s permit from the Dubai Museum because these sites aren’t open to the public.

10. Dubai Museum – Dhs3

Dubai-Museum

It used to serve as a prison, but now it features exhibits and rooms depicting how Dubai went from key trader in the ‘30s to international hub in the ‘60s. It’s an experience for the whole family to see how Dubai came to be!

11. On the Abra – Dhs1 for adults, free for kids

abra-on-the-creek

Take a traditional boat ride across the Creek and see some of the old parts of Dubai from the waterfront while sailing on one of the fun small abras. A real fun treat for the whole family.

12. The Heritage House – Free

heritage-house

Take the opportunity to be cultural and show the kids a traditional Emirati home and walk through the Heritage House, which was built around 1890, on Al Ahmadiya Street.

13. Bastakiya District – Free

Al Bastakiya

Save money in Dubai sightseeing by walking through the oldest original trading areas in the emirate. You get a bit of exercise and discover spice and craft shops along the way. You also get the feeling of old Dubai.

14. Emirates Park Zoo – Entrance

emirates park zoo

If you and your kids like animals then a trip to the Emirates Park Zoo will be just the thing! Here you can see a wide range of farm and wild animals – and you can even get up and close to some of them. And with a Twoforone Go membership to Abu Dhabi you can even get a 2 for 1 discount on the entrance.

15. The Dubai Mall – Free

dubai-fountain

Check out free and safe play houses for the kids like the Hamleys Toy Store. While you are there, then don’t miss out on the beautiful Fountain Show, where the water dance to music – it is free and spectacular!

We love using all the things that Dubai has to offer! You can always experience something new and something fun in our great city. And it doesn’t even have to cost a fortune :)

Do you know of more fun and cheap activities for the whole family? Then please share… We love to try new things!

/Pernille

Food Trends in Dubai – what’s hot

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Blog, Explore Dubai, Restaurants | 0 comments

Dubai has a vast and spectacularly diverse dining scene. And you can find just about everything here. However, there are still trends emerging all the time and at the moment we see 3 food trends that are particularly emerging in the Dubai Food Scene.

Eat Locally

locally grown vegetables

Essentially, there is greater demand for more than great tasting and affordable food these days in Dubai. In recent years, Dubai has seen a transformation with homegrown casual eateries using locally sourced ingredients like spices from Deira’s Spice Souk for their khaleeji shawarmas to their slow-cooked lamb and black-eyed pea stew to their karakccino with ginger puree. And now a few Emirati-run restaurants have started coming up and are serving up accessible and classic Emirati food with a twist, using only the freshest and locally sourced ingredients.

Celebrity Chefs

sanjeev-kapoor

For years there has been a trend of celebrity chefs opening restaurants in Dubai. And today you find quite a few celebrity chef-run joints in the emirate that residents and tourists can check out for signature dishes. While the fiery and popular Gordon Ramsay may have pulled out his restaurant called Verre (at the height of the global economic crisis), other luminaries in the culinary world like Sanjeev Kapoor (Options by Sanjeev Kapoor) and Andrew Paderes (The Gramercy) still cater to Dubai’s discriminating diners – just to mention a few.

From Organic Produced to Sustainable Fish.

sustainable food

In the last couple of years Dubai diners have also started to request dishes made of fresh, organic produced vegetables, fruits, meat and sustainable seafood. In other words, there has been an increasing interest towards more sustainable culinary options.

With weekend markets featuring locally grown and organic produced products and events like the Fine Food Festival pushing for a more local and sustainable philosophy, you’ll find more and more restaurants serving up eco-friendly yet delectable dishes. The biggest push has been towards eco-friendly fishing with many seafood restaurants in Dubai providing sustainable seafood menus.

Dubai is a foodie paradise, and there are dining options for the traditional, the adventurous, and for diners with some pretty particular dietary needs like vegans and gluten-intolerant gourmands. So whatever craving strikes you today, whether it’s a grass-fed beef burger, creamy gluten-free mushroom risotto, or a spicy khaleeji shawarma, know that you’ll be well fed in Dubai restaurants.

But even though you can get whatever you want in Dubai, there are still trends that spread more than others. And right now some of the big trends on the Dubai Food Scene are the desire to eat locally grown food, to eat organic and sustainable vegetables and fish and to try out celebrity chefs signature dishes.

Do you see other trends emerging? Then please share with us, so we know what to try next :)

 

New features in the App – Filter after area and type

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Blog, The App | 0 comments

With the latest update of the Twoforone Go app you get a new design, improved usability and brand new filter options (area and type) which makes the app better than ever!

So what is new?

First of all the app has been redesigned. It now looks a bit different – and in our opinion – more fresh and modern. At the same time the usability of the app has been improved, which means that it now functions in a more logical and intuitive way.

One of the improvements is that now when you log in to your profile, you go directly to all your active offers. This means that you no longer first have to click on the membership, you have bought access to in order to see your active vouchers. You will simply land there automatically.

Sorting and Filtering

Furthermore, the app has some new filter options that makes it much easier for you to filter your offers. As you now can filter after categories, area and type.

To filter your offers you need to click on the filter icon at the upper right corner.

funnel

Now you will immediately see a page where you can sort your offers after: alphabetically, nearest, ends soon and newest. And you can filter the offers after categories, area and type.

sort & filter

Categories is the familiar way of filtering – as it is the way you have been able to filter all along. You can choose between the categories: cafe & nightlife, activities, restaurants, take-away and wellness.

categories

Area and Type

The first of the new filter options is area. Here you can filter after the area you are in or would like to go to. You can choose for example Downtown, Dubai Marina/Walk, JBR Walk, JLT, Bur Dubai and so on. When you choose an area all your active offers in this area will show up on a list.

area

The second and last of the new filter options is type. This means that you now are able to filter after the type of offer you would like to use right now, whether you would like brunch, facial treatments, italian, arabic, fitness, asian, buffet or golf. With this filter it has become much easier to find exactly what you want and the places that offers exactly that.

type

The real clever thing about the two new filter options is that you can filter after both area and type at the same time. In other words, you can filter after italian at Dubai Marina/Walk and then you will be shown those of your offers that matches these criterias.

filter options set

How you filter

Unlike previously where you had to deactivate the check marks on the categories that you did not want to see offers from then you now have to activate the check marks on the categories, areas and types that you would like to see offers from and click ‘ok’. When you have selected the things you want to sort and filter after then you just click ‘find now’ and you will immediately get a list with all your offers that match these criterias.

If you want to make another search then you can reset all your sorting and filtering options by clicking on ‘reset all’.

 /Pernille

By the way… You can also watch some videos here that will guide you on how to use the app and the filtering options.

10 ways to stay fit in Dubai

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

Is your new years resolutions to become fit and stay that way? Then you are just one of many. But for many it is hard to keep up the good intentions of being active and actually becoming more fit.

That’s why we have come up with this list of 10 ways to stay fit in Dubai – because going to a gym is not the only way to improve your body and health, and actually you can do a lot for free :)

1. Use 2 for 1 fitness vouchers with the Twoforone Go App

Twoforone Go_fitness vouchers

With the Twoforone Go App in your hand, you have one of the best ways to explore Dubai and the cuisines offered by its various restaurants. But more than that, the app offers you fitness deals which you can use to find an exercise form or sports activity that fits you. You can try out different gyms, dance classes, zumba, circuit, aerobic classes and yoga. And the best part is that the offers are 2 for 1, so you can bring your friend and have some fun while you work out.

2. Remember that every step counts

Walking

If you are going to work or to fetch the kids in your car, try parking your vehicle a bit farther away than you usually would. Or, if you are commuting, get off one station or block away from where you usually alight and walk the rest of the way – if it is possible to do so safely. Remember, every step counts.

3. Fire up those running shoes

running

Running is one of the most popular fitness activities in the world, and for very good reasons. First of all, it is very easy to get started; all you have to do is put on your running shoes, step out of the house and start moving your legs. The Dubai Marina, Safa Park and the beaches are especially favored locations by Dubai runners.

4. Go swimming in the sea

Swimming in the sea

Working on your tan is not the only thing  you can do by the beach. Swimming is one of the most effective full-body workouts you can do and one you can enjoy with your family as well. Just don’t forget to bring the sunblock.

5. Take a walk in the park

training equipment

If you are going to the park with your kids. Then take advantage of the free training equipment available in parks like Safa Park to complement your current fitness regimen.

6. Take the stairs

stairs

If you are just going one or two floors up in a building, then resist the urge to take the elevator or escalator. Instead, do take the stairs. It’s healthier and great for your legs too.

7. Saddle up

bike

You could also consider to invest in a bicycle or rent one. It is a good form of exercise and if you get tired of riding around the Marina, then Dubai offers several bicycling courses where you can speed up without having to worry about the traffic.

8. Work out at work

work out at work

 A busy schedule is no excuse to forgo exercise. In between tasks, you can take short breaks and stretch your body. You can also use your breaks to walk around or climb stairs.

9. Stop being a couch potato

couch potato

Don’t let catching up on your favorite TV-shows be your reason not to exercise. In between commercials, do a couple of sit-ups or push-ups. If you’ve got a stationary bicycle, you can watch your favourite program while cycling.

10. When travelling

running shoes

Travelling, whether for work or play, is no excuse to slacken on your fitness regime. Take your trainers and find time to sneak into the gym or to run. During layovers, walk around instead of lounging around. If you are staying in a hotel, take the stairs.

Remember it takes time to become fit and it takes a firm commitment to stay fit. So be patient – the changes will come. Our tip is to find some activity you like, e.g. zumba, dance (try out a lot of different with our 2-for-1 deals) and combine it with all the free forms of exercise, we just told you about.

/Pernille

 

Museums in Dubai – get to know your city

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Activities, Blog, Explore Dubai | 0 comments

Dubai is a city with hundreds of skyscrapers, luxury hotels, fast cars and huge shopping malls and everything tends to feel all new and shiny, but there is much more to the city than what first meets the eye.

Dubai is older than you might think, because long before all the big skyscrapers came to be, Dubai did exist as a small village with a proud history of pearl diving.

So Dubai has much more history than most of us realizes, and you should really give yourself the gift of visiting some of the places that can tell you more about the origin of this place, we call home.

That is why I have selected 10 museums in Dubai and close by – that will let you in on the great history about how Dubai came to be  the city we know today!

1. Dubai Museum

Dubai-Museum

Dubai Museum is the main museum in Dubai and it is located in the Al Fahidi Fort built in 1787 – the oldest existing building in Dubai.

The museum was opened in 1971 with the aim of presenting the traditional way of life in the Emirate of Dubai. The exhibitions includes local antiquities as well as artifacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. The museum also includes several dioramas showing life in the Emirate before the advent of oil, in addition to artifacts from recent discoveries as old as 3000 B.C.

2. Car Museum –  The Emirates National Auto Museum

car museum

This museum is an amazing private collection of vehicles of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. The collection houses a vast array of cars and other vehicles.

In the collection you will find several Mercedes, one in each colour of the rainbow for each day of the week. A number of other vehicles are also rainbow coloured or have a rainbow logo painted on them and have matching seats and hubcaps.

There are a number of military vehicles kids are allowed to climb on – one even has a golfing range on top. And you will find an impressive Dodge that is a 5-metre-high model with a complete apartment under its roof. You will also find some dune-bashing monsters and a shiny see-through disco car.

The Emirates National Auto Museum is located about one hour drive south of Abu Dhabi, on the E65 road to Liwa Oasis.

3. The Heritage House

Heritage House in Deira

The Heritage House Gallery was established in May 2008. The main goal is to promote artists from the region and all over the globe as well as to preserve and uphold the culture and heritage of the UAE.

The Heritage House is a prestigious art venue in Dubai which showcases local and international artists with both regular and periodic exhibitions. The house comprises of resident artists specializing in drawing, mosaics, stained glass and calligraphy.

4. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House

Saeed_Al_Maktoum_House-Dubai

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, build in 1896, was the official residence of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, who was the Ruler of Dubai from 1912 to 1958 and who is the grandfather of the present Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Here you will find a rare collection of historic photographs, coins, stamps and documents that record Dubai’s history.

5. Juma al Majid Heritage & Cultural Centre

juma-al-majid-heritage-and-culture-center

Juma al Majid Heritage & Cultural Centre was established in 1991 and is a library and research institute. The library’s collections include 350,000 Arabic language titles which mostly is concentrated on Arab and Islamic heritage. However, you also find around 17,000 titles in English, French, German, Russian and other languages.

Inside you find amazing black-and-white photos of Dubai at the turn of the last century and thousands of books on Islamic history and current affairs and 3,000 periodicals and rare books – and some of them even in English.

As a visitor you may read any book in the reading room, but you cannot take any home.

6. Al Bastakiya

Al_Bastakiya-Dubai

Al Bastakiya is a historic district in Dubai. Al Bastakiya is named after the Bastak region of Iran. It lies along Dubai Creek and includes narrow lanes and wind towers, as well as the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest existing building in Dubai.

The construction of Al Bastakiya dates back to the 1890’s. In its prime, the locality was capable of supporting 60 housing units. In the 1970s about a half of Bastakiya was destroyed to make way for the development of a new office complex for the Emirate’s Ruler.

The remaining area fell into some disrepair. However, a project aimed at restoring Al Bastakiya’s old buildings and lanes was initiated by Dubai Municipality in 2005 and is still ongoing.

Al Bastakiya is a great place to take a walk and get a feel for how Dubai must have been in the old days.

7. Dubai Heritage Village

heritage village

Dubai Heritage Village is a traditional heritage village, located near the mouth of Dubai Creek, that features potters and weavers practicing traditional crafts. You can also see a demonstration of pearl diving. This is the place where you can take a step back in time and experience some of Dubai’s culture and heritage.

8. Women’s Museum

Women's Museum

The Women’s Museum is a national archive and documentation centre dedicated to the women of the UAE. The museum is about all aspects of Emirati women’s lives and with the historical and social contexts, which have shaped their philosophy; their status in society; and their place in the family.

As a contemporary cultural centre, the Women’s Museum explores the activities of Emirati women in the arts, academia, business, culture, politics and society in general.

This project was established by an Emirati woman, Professor Rafia Ghubash in order to preserve the history of women in the UAE and to break down stereotypes and reveal the extraordinary role that UAE women have played in defining their culture and shaping their society.

9. Pearl Museum

Pearl Museum

The Pearl Museum has one main purpose and that is to help preserve the colourful history of the pearl divers and merchants of Arabia.

Sultan Al Owais was one of Dubai’s most important pearl merchants, poets and philanthropists.

He donated his pearl collection to the people of the UAE under the custodianship of the National Bank of Dubai. The bank has created a museum in its Headquarters building where this collection is displayed. In this way people can be reminded of the origins of the Emirates and what life was like before the discovery of oil.

10. Zayed National Museum

zayed-national-museum

The Zayed National Museum gives you the story of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004), his unification of the United Arab Emirates and the long history of the region.

Sheikh Zayed was the ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1966 to 2004 and President of the UAE from 1971 to 2004. It was him that guided the Emirates to unification and he let the social and cultural development of the country. Today he is considered the ‘Father of the Nation’.

Central to the stories told in the Museum are Sheikh Zayed’s strongly held values, like education, conservation, environmental sustainability, heritage and culture.

You will find exhibitions, performances, activities and workshops taking place in this great museum.

Whether you are visiting Dubai or live here you should really do yourself the favor of discovering some of the roots of this great city. Because it is really worth it. Dubai actually have something more than just skyscrapers and all the luxury you can image, it has a history!

I have selected 10 museums, but there are of course more, so tell me – did I forget a museum that you think is important to visit? Then please share why!

/Pernille

Guide: find the right massage for you

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

I think that a massage is one of the best ways to unwind from the (sometimes too) busy everyday life. To me a massage is the perfect ‘me’-time, and I always feel so relaxed and happy afterwards. All the tenseness in my body disappear and so do all the stressful thoughts.

If you for instance have back problems or neck pains then a massage can be the solution – and a treat at the same time… How often does that happen? :)

But choosing a massage – and furthermore the right massage – can be a bit tricky, because there are so many different kinds to choose from, like Swedish, deep tissue, thai, acupressure and reflexology… These being just some of the options.

And really – it should not be that difficult to decide on a massage. So I have put together a guide to help you understand the difference between the massages and what they can do for you.

1. Thai massage

thai

When you get a thai massage your body is exposed to an interactive manipulation of the body. The therapist will stretch your body and make gentle pressures using her hands and feet.

These stretches and pressures will help to adjust your skeletal structure, increase flexibility, relieve muscular and joint tension, stimulate internal organs and balance the body’s energy system.

Good for: people with back pain and neck pain, people who want more flexibility and are stressed and need an intense massage. Can also help with high blood pressure, sinus problems and chronic fatigue.

2. Swedish massage

swedish massage

A swedish massage is based around the Western concept of anatomy and physiology which involves movements to warm up the muscle before attempting to remove knots and break down fibrous tissue.

When giving a traditional swedish massage the therapist uses light to medium pressure, which means that this treatment is best suited for people who have some pain or stiffness and would prefer the method of heating up the body for an easier release of tension.

Good for: Increasing your circulation and reducing swelling from injury. This will also help on lower back pain, anxiety, migraines and water retention.

3. Deep tissue massage

deep tissue massage

The deep tissue massage targets the underlying tissue structure of the fascia and muscles which often are referred to as connective tissue. A deep tissue massage can break up and eliminate scar tissue from previous injuries and releases the built-up toxins by loosening the muscles that are stressed and possibly blocking nutrients and oxygen pathways in your body.

This process can often be a little painful experience and may cause inflammation and soreness. It is not a massage you should choose for relaxation. When the toxins have been released, blood and oxygen will circulate more easily.

Good for: Chronic pain, limited mobility and muscle tension.

4. Shiatsu massage

shiatsu massage

The word “Shiatsu” comes from the Japanese words “shi,” which means finger, and “atsu,” which means pressure. Shiatsu massage is considered the counterpart to the Chinese acupressure massage, however, shiatsu massages incorporates other methods such as stretching, breathing and rotating.

The idea behind shiatsu massage is that energy – chi – circulates along channels or meridians in the body. When flowing freely, chi brings fresh, positive yang energy while carrying away negative yin energy, keeping you physically, emotionally and spiritually well.

During a session, the shiatsupractor usually has you relaxing on the floor either on a beaded mat or a futon, but it is also possible to adapt this form of massage to a seated position. Then the shiatsupractor gently but firmly applies pressure using his fingers, knuckles, thumbs, palms, toes, feet or elbows, stretching and rotating the client’s body and guiding deep breathing to get energy to move.

Good for: sleeplessness, indigestion, swollen joints and headaches.

5. Hot stone massage

hot stone massage

A hot stone massage “melts away” tension, eases muscle stiffness and increases your blood circulation and metabolism. The treatment is started with the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on your body followed by a massage.

The premise behind a hot stone massage is that the direct heat of the stones relaxes your muscles, allowing the therapist access to your deeper muscle layers. Combining the hot stones with a full body massage gives you a very healing and effective experience.

Good for: relieving chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation

6. Reflexology

zoneterapi

Reflexology is a form of bodywork that focuses primarily on the feet. The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are “reflex” areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body.

Practitioners believe that applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organs through energetic pathways. During the treatment the reflexologist focuses on the entire pattern of the reflexology therapy, starting at the toes and working down the foot.

Good for: health concerns like anxiety, asthma, headaches, stress relief and pain relief.

7. Acupressure massage

fysiurgisk massage

Acupressure massage is a treatment where the therapist applies pressure to the meridians of chi – not needles like when you get an acupuncture treatment.

The therapist will apply targeted pressure using fingers or thumbs, elbows, knees or even feet for certain treatments – depending on your needs.

The therapist will apply pressure in a circular motion or he may knead the muscles or use percussion. Sometimes traditional massage techniques to relieve muscle stiffness.

Good for: headaches, stress, anxiety, back pains and muscle soreness.

 

I hope that you now have a better understanding of the different massage treatments and what they can help you with.

Whether you have back pains, muscle tensions, stress or simply need a little time to relax there is a massage for you in the guide.

Personally, my favorite type of massage is the swedish because the treatment relieves pains and tiredness in the back and neck – which I sometimes have from sitting at my desk all day – and it relaxes me soo much.

However, I have also used reflexology several times after a foot injury and the treatment was really nice and helpful as well – So it is definitely not the last time I’ll be using that treatment.

How about you? What is your favorite massage? And Why?

 /Pernille

Psst… With a Twoforone Go membership you can get 2 for 1 vouchers to lots of great Spas offering massages. Check it out!