Oct 15

Hi,

I have just received my alcohol license I was refering to in this post.

To get the license you need to be a non-muslim, you need to have a proper job with a salary that can be proven. If you meet all these requirements, its pretty easy actually. Here is what I did:

I went to the Alcohol store African and Eastern at the Dubai Marina Walk, got the application form and filled it out. I then made a copy of my passport, my drivers license and VISA page. With all this, I went to our finance department and asked for a Non Objection letter which states that my company does not mind me having an Alcohol license. Are you laughing yet? Then, I went to the Dubai Municipality and asked their non-objection statement for getting the license. Once I had the blessings of the Dubai Municipalities, I needed a salary certificate from the same office, and off I was to submit my application. It took 3 weeks, the Dubai Police signed off on it, and the Liquor store called me to have the license picked up.

The cost of the license is 160 Dirhams (~50 USD), and for the same value I got a voucer that can be used at African and Eastern. This actually makes the alcohol license free, and to have it is indeed very necessary in Dubai, should you be ever confronted for drinking.

This is how it looks like, cheers:

Sep 15

Japanese beer “Sapporo” in Dubai

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Since the time we left Japan in 2005, I always missed Japanese beers. We used to go out a lot and not once did I miss to have a nice and cold “Asahi Super-dry” or “Kirin Ichiban” or “Sapporo” to go with the food. In Hungary I was able to find Asahi at some major stores like Kaiser’s and Auchan, but in Dubai so far I failed to locate any Japanese brands.

I went to most leagal and illeagal shops here already, and last week I finally found a store selling “Sapporo” beers. Its in Dubai Marina, on the Marina walk, called African and Eastern. You need to have a Dubai alcohol license to purchase. I got a case of 24 bottles, it set me back nicely 264 Dirhams with TAX, which is about $80 USD, more than twice the price of Heineken, Stella or other brands. However, as I missed it so much, I didn’t care for the price and got it.

Since then, every night I open a bottle and enjoy it on our balcony. What a treat………

Sep 01

View from the top of Burj Dubai – the 800 meter tower

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Hi

I am sure mostly all of you have heard about the “ridiculous” tall tower, the Burj Dubai that is being built near Downtown Dubai. The tower has already reached its height and its being finished up these days. I recently got a photo that shows the views from the top of the Tower, I can already imagine the prices of the Top restaurants that will offer this view. Here is a peak shot for you, enjoy.

Cheers

P.S.: Those tiny towers you see at the foot of the Burj are “just” around 50 stories high, about twice the size of the largest building in Downtown Budapest. This gives you a sense of just how tall the Burj really is….

Sep 01

Found a good Chinese restaurant serving Cantonese food at JBR

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Yuka and I are both big fans of Chinese cuisine, and we have finally found a decent restaurant serving Cantonese food very close to our place. Most good restaurants are located in the Downtown area close to Bur Dubai, Karama and Deira, but this one is really near, located at Jumeriah Beach Residence, which is about 10 minutes drive from us, and 2 minutes from my office.

For weekdays they are serving an all you can eat Lunch with an “a la carte” system, which means you still have to order from the waiter/ress but it you pay the flat fee. It costs 65 Dirhams, which is about 18USD, and the quality of the food is just superb.

The restaurant is called Da Shi Dai, and it seems they don’t currently have website. Anyways, have a look at the picutres below, and if interested, you will find the restaurant by driving from Media City towards JBR, and you stay on the street thats behind the buildings, where the parking places are. Its right next to The Noodle House. Enjoy

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Sep 01

Since in Dubai, we found our home at The Greens, a community named after its surroundings. The Greens is supposed to be a very green, and nature friendly community, and for the most part it really is. Lots of people here have little kids and dogs, as the environment is very friendly towards them. We have been around Dubai mostly everywhere, and yet still not found a place compareable to The Greens. From a foreign country, it might look like “just an ordinary complex”, but in Dubai, it is a uniquely green area.

Last weekend while walking Momo, I was shocked to see that the gardeners started to chop the Tree-tops rather agressively, without taking the well-being of the trees into account. My dad has graduated from an Agricultural university in Hungary majoring in Gardening (that is gardening on a higher level), and growing up with him I learned plenty about how to cut branches off, etc. Even to the untrained eye, what happened in the Greens last weekend must seem very strange and wrong. I heard about a lady (German) who was even shouting at the gardener to immediately stop this butchering, but of course he has no intentions on stopping, as he would put his job at risk.

We also have to take the fact into account that the guys chopping the trees are the same ones painting the walls, and washing the cars around the lots. The sense of professionalism is missing by large, and I don’t see a chance to this changing in the future at all. The most important thing is cheap labour and keeping the community as neat as possible. Sure, these trees will look neat in a few months to come provided the excellent weather we have here, but still, it does not justify the agression towards them. Have a look at the pictures.

For more pics, read on…

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Sep 01

Hi,

We took a weekend drive to Ras Al Khaimah, another Emirate in the UAE. To get there, we had to cross through Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. It sounds like a long distance, but it was only about 120-150km from our place. We went with Momo, our dog, and because of this, we didnt manage to spend much time out of the car, as she would get overheated very soon on the burning sun. We went down to the Beach to let her run a little, drove along some little roads between sand dunes, and of course went to buy Alcohol in Umm Al Quwain since we were nearby.

Here are a few pictures of the tip, enjoy.

Click here to read more

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Aug 24

Getting Alcohol in Dubai unlicensed – Barracuda in Umm Al Quwain

So you heard all the “horror” stories about Dubai and the UAE in general, and you are worried that you might go dry when it comes to Alcohol consumption. You can safely put aside your fear, there are several ways to get Alcohol here and most of them don’t even cross the line of legality. Read on for more details….

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Aug 12

Road Toll in Dubai – How it works

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With Dubai’s increasing traffic, the Municipalities introduced a new TOLL system called SALIK. There are gates called SALIK gates in a few places, and when you pass underneath, it deducts the sum from your account. There is no Unlimited sticker like we have it in Hungary and probably in all other countries, but you pay each time you pass through the gate. The good thing is that you dont have to even slow down, the system will auto-deduct the sum from your ballance.

So how does it work exactly?

Once you get your car, you need to go to a Fuel station close to the TOLL area, and you will subscribe for SALIK services. You pay 100AED (25USD) and this includes the sticker for your windshield with the microchip and 50AED in credit. As soon as you apply the sticker you are good to go. See the above diagram for understanding what is SALIK and how it works.

For more info, read on……

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Aug 07

Dubai is loaded with confortable services which enable one not to get out of the house/office for most of the time. You can pay all your bills online or at gas stations, so you wont lose time at Post offices or in lines. The newest thing (to me at least) is the Traffic fine enquiry online. There is a website you go to:

Dubai Police

and on the top right you click “Traffic Fines Inquiry” and it takes you to a form. Here you enter your License plate number and get the results in an instance. Look at the picture below.

What happens is for instance you speed and a camera catches you. In two days time, the pictures are downloaded from the cameras and the website is updated. When you query the site you see that you have a ticket, you give your Credit Card number, and settle the fine. Also there are no black points for speeding tickets, so its basically a money making way for the Dubai municipalities. The traffic fines are not sent to your address at all, so the only way to know is to check online. If you fail to do so, you will be asked to pay all outstanding fines upon registering your car, which takes place every year.

There are harsher punishments also, like vehicle inpounding for crossing a red light etc, and again here you can decide when to give up your car to the Police. People mostly do it while travelling, so its not as painful as otherwise.

Jul 27

Gas price in Dubai and Infiniti fuel consumption

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So I have done my first full tank, and ran it down until the level hit the needle at the very bottom, and I thought I would post my results.

Attached you see the bill the Gas station gave me, which is required for my measures.

At Gas stations, receipts are not usual, so if you really need one, its hand written. The way Gas stations work is you pop your fuel tank open with a button from within your car, and lower your window. The gas station guy comes to ask you what you need, and then does it for you. I asked for Premium fuel (98 octaine) and a full tank. He fills it up, comes back with a number, and you pay him. He gives your change back, and off you drive. So yes, you could say the service is very efficient and convinient. Your tank is full, costs you peanuts, and the guy doesnt even sigh if you dont pay a tip.

The bill is for AED 103, which is $28.2 USD, and this is for a full tank Gentlemen.

One gallon’s price is AED 6,75 ($1,8), which is 4,54 Liters. Here in the UAE the measure is Imperial gallons and opposed to the 3,78 Liters US gallons.
This makes 1 Liter of premium petrol cost $0,4 USD, not bad right? And its still very expensive compare to Saudi Arabia believe it or not.

So we have how much it costs for a Liter of petrol, so lets see the fuel consumption on the Infiniti G35 Coupe I have. Its a 3,5Liter 280 HP engine.

I filled up the car to the maximum, drove it until the meter touched the MIN needle on the gauge and refilled it to full. The Odometer at this stage showed 520 KMs and it took AED 103 for the full tank. One gallong is 6.75, so the 103 got me 15.26 imperial gallons, or in other words 69.3 Liters.

If you divide 69.3 with 5,20 you get the 100km/liter figure, which in my case is 13,3 Liter/100km. Not too bad for a beast like this car is. Of course since I am using 98 octaine petrol, the car runs more efficient, but still I am very impressed with it.

More later, cheers