Archive for the 'Useful Websites' Category

Bargain Deals Online

I’m enjoying the growing list of bargain websites that bring you 50 – 90% discount deals off products and services such as hotels, beauty, relaxation, sports, dining and drinks.

There may be more but these are the ones I am currently aware of.  Join on their mailing list or join their FB groups to keep up to date with their offers.

Enjoy!

Lebtivity

One of my favorite websites for activities across Lebanon throughout the year is Lebtivity.com.  It’s easy to use, pretty comprehensive and has activities split by categories of interest such as conferences, art, kids, food and drinks, nightlife, etc.

One Traffic Law Closer to a Safer Lebanon

I’m loving the new traffic laws in place.  The last week on the roads haS been safe, less stressful and quite funny to watch.  Noone seems to dare try to go over 80km/h or cross red lights due to the new radars placed throughout the country.  Speed limits can range between 40 and 60 km/h in the city and 80 to 100km/h on highways.  Fines start at 50,000LL and can range up to 5,000,000LL for higher speeds.   To ensure you aren’t accumulating any tickets without knowing, visit www.isf.gov.lb and enter your license plate number.

Learn Arabic with Byki Express

I’m so excited because I’ve finally resumed learning to read and write Arabic using this free software I downloaded recently called Byki.  So far it’s amazing.  Very easy to download and there are so many extra downloads if you want to continue your learning and the great part is its all FREE 🙂

Yes I know it’s very sad to admit that I’ve been in Lebanon for a bit over 10 years now and I still can’t read to save my life.  And when I do, I don’t understand what the hell I’m reading because the written Arabic is different than the spoken.  But in my defense… 1. ARABIC IS REALLY HARD.  2.  Noone speaks with me Arabic.  3.  I’ve been watching the news with my parents for 10 years and still can’t understand one word that they say except like “car” or “bomb” or “Boosh for Bush” hehehe. 

So I’m starting easy by learning one lesson a day and let’s hope for the best!  If you are interested in learning another language such as Arabic, Byki is a good option as it has a download in over 70 languages.  

Link:  http://www.byki.com/

Introducing the Beirut Water Taxi

I was reading up on different news sources and was shocked to see that the Beirut Water Taxi is being launched sooner than later.  The Beirut Water Taxi will consist of transport to and from Beirut to Tripoli, Jbeil, Jounieh, Sidon and Tyre in three types of boats holding different capacities.  There will also be a bus system set in place to transport people to different areas of Beirut.  I personally think that if an appropriate bus system was set in place or a METRO like all other busy cities, we wouldn’t require the services of a seasonal water taxi.  But I’d welcome any new efforts at this point as long as its organized, safe and clean.

Tickets will start at 6,000LL.  For more information, check out the Beirut Water Taxi website.

 

Destination Dubai!

I just got back from a wonderful two week trip to Dubai packed with a plentiful itinerary of work, leisure and fun.  Being a frequent visitor to Dubai, I didn’t do much sightseeing, but some well needed retail therapy 🙂  If you plan on visiting Dubai, maybe the following can help you out on your next visit:

  • Flights:  I travelled by Emirates on this trip which is the most expensive transportation to Dubai but you get to enjoy the state of the art entertainment system on the Boeing 777 with over 100 movies and even more music alternatives.  MEA comes in second on the price range.  I would say MEA has the best quality / price ratio.  For all of us on a budget, I can suggest Flydubai.com and Airarabia.com.  But with Fly Dubai, make sure to pay for a checked bag, otherwise it will cost more at the check in.  The idea behind budget airlines which can cost you anywhere from $150 to $400 for a round trip is to subtract all the perks so that you are basically paying for your seat.  Any extras such as food, drinks or entertainment are at extra charge.

  • Accomodation:  I stayed at Novotel this time around.  It’s a 4 star hotel located beside the Emirates Towers in the Financial District.  I payed around $100 a night including breakfast and enjoyed complimentary shuttles to and from the beach as well as the main malls such as Dubai mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mercato and Outlet Mall.  Even better, the Dubai Metro is only a minute away from the hotel on foot.  I personally thought the facilities and services offered by Novotel were amazing for the price I was paying.  Grand lobby, delicious breakfast, pool and fitness center are new and clean, jazz bar, coffee cafe area, rooms are simple yet comfortable and the staff were very polite.  I suggest this hotel for anyone who values comfort and price such as families, business travellers and shoppers.  If you are looking for something more posh or less costly, visit booking.com and you will be able to select according to the exact criteria you need.  Plus, it ensures the best price guarantee on the net.

  • Dubai Mall:  My favorite place in Dubai… The Dubai Mall literally has everything you might consider spending money on under one roof (including cars most of the time)!  Electronics, fashion, gold, beauty services, supermarket, access to the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) for $30 general admission, an ice skating rink, one of the largest indoor aquariums with over 33,000 species, gourmet food, junk food and the most talked about retailers on the planet such as Bloomingdales and Candylicious.   You don’t even need gyms, just put your tennis shoes on and walk.  If you get tired, go and get a massage, manicure and a hair brushing all under the same roof 🙂 

  • Food, Food, Food:  Thank God for my daily walks around the Dubai Mall because I ate enough for three on this trip.  Here are some of the places that I really enjoyed.  Bentoya on Sheikh Zayed Rd has the best sushi I have ever eaten in my life.  So fresh, so plentiful, so delicious. Don’t expect anything other than good food.  It’s a simple hole in the wall with tables and a really cool bathroom with a remote controlled toilet 🙂  For burgers, I fell in love with Fat Burger (especially the chili fries) and the burgers at Madinat Jumeirah’s Hush Lounge.  If you haven’t been yet, try and book from now for the Final World Cup match.  For breakfast, run to Coco’s on Sheikh Zayed rd for some good old fashion American breakfast with eggs, sausage, pancakes and bacon.  For lunch on a budget, visit Shakespeares for some really tasty sandwiches like the Grilled Halloumi or Shakespeares Club.  For a lunch you will NEVER forget, visit the Marriot Observatory for all you can eat lunch and drinks including some of the most delicious seafood servings there are.  For a healthy and truly delightful dinner, visit Saladicious in Satwa for a cosy and homey atmosphere with fresh baked bread and seasonal entrees.  To wash it all down, the creamiest cupcakes on the planet can be found at Sugardaddys in Village Mall, Magnolias in Bloomindales or Kitsch in Candylicious. 

There is so much more info that can help you on your next trip and so many more activities to do such as sightseeing in the souqs or adventures such as sand duning or fun at the aqua parks, but if I keep writing, this post will turn into a book.  So if any of you need any tips or extra info, feel free to drop me a line. 

Arabic Music, Lyrics and Translations

Excited for the upcoming Tribute to Abdel Halim Hafez at the Beitiddine Festival, I have been searching for his songs online.  In my search, I came across this amazing website that has hundreds of arabic songs classified by singer and nationality.  The owner of this special blog has a video, arabic lyrics as well as english translation for almost any arabic song you can think of. 

I was raised up to Abdel Halim music and videos and am so happy to have found this site that has over 40 songs by him as well as hundreds more by so many other artists.  The website is called Arabic Music Translation.



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