Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet up with Laurence Norah: Professional Travel Blogger/Photographer


I have always been honest and tell people when asked that I haven't been to any other country except my own and the UAE. I do hope that one day I could travel and visit other countries with my family. The first on the list would be Hong Kong or Tokyo Disneyland for my kids, Istanbul and Izmir because I would love to see Pamukkale and the Blue Mosque, then maybe Morocco-it fascinates me, seems to be a very interesting place to see, Paris for the Eiffel Tower, Thailand for its food and beaches, Egypt to see the great pyramids of course, Rome and The Vatican, and the list could go on and on. Will definitely take the kids with me, can't imagine holidaying in a far away land without them.


In the mean time, I travel through the books I read, the movies and documentaries I watch, the people I meet, and blogs I follow and even in the pictures on a magazine. I travel without leaving my comfy chair while sipping some hot tea and still learn and enjoy the stories of the people who have experienced it all. I'll do this until that time comes when I will have my first confirmed flight to somewhere. Ahhh day dreaming.



Last week, I had the chance to meet Mr. Laurence Norah in person - a professional travel blogger/photographer and the author of Finding The Universe blog. I and other members of the media along with other Dubai based bloggers met with Laurence at the Shayan Persian Restaurant at Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana.



Laurence has been travelling the world since 2009 and has spoken at multiple travel and blogging conferences on the topics of photography and best practice when working with travel bloggers, and has written a series of books on Facebook best practice for brands. He currently represents the Professional Travel Bloggers Association at European board level.



The question of the night was if this was his first time in Dubai. Everyone in the room has the same question and was curious if he already explored our beloved city. It was actually his second time here in Dubai, the first was this years Arabian Travel Market but this second visit was the only time he could explore the city.

When ask what is his favorite country so far, he said that he doesn't play favorites because every place, every country has its own story to tell and is unique.

For the tips on travel blogging, the answer can bed found on an article on his blog How to Become a Professional Travel Blogger

It was a good night indeed to learn about travel blogging from the master himself while we nibble on some delicious authentic Persian dishes prepared by Shayan's chef.

We started off with some refreshments and sabzi



Sabzi  is a tradition Iranian starter with fresh herbs and vegetables, nuts, lemon, tomatoes, cheese, we also had cucumber-labneh dip and green olives in pomegranate-walnut sauce, some fresh pita bread to dip.




for the appetizers we had two types of aubergine dish and both a really tasty

Kashk E Bademjan - fried eggplant mixed wit special aed curd, season wit traditional spices
Mirza ghasemi - grilled eggplant mixed with fried e and tomato
Salad Shirazi - Traditional Salad, mixed with cucumber, onion, virgin olive oil and lime juice



This ia gheymeh Bedemjan - Lamb stew prepared with lentils, tomatoes and fried eggplant



The grilled platter of juicy succulent meats, rice with faba beans and yellow rice quickly vanished from the plates.

Joojeh Kabab Bedone Ostokhan - Skewer of marinated chicken on the bone with saffron sauce
Tikke Masti - Cuts of beef tenderloin marinated with yogurt, saffron and Persian spices
Chelo Kabab Kubideh (Irans National Dish) - Skewers of minced lamb, with Persian spices and grated onions



And for dessert, we had a treat of Bastani Zaferani - Saffron ice cream seasoned with pistachios



and this, although I don't know what its called but it was good together wit tea



We opened a bottle of non-alcoholic drink (Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana.is a dry hotel hence they do not serve alcohol) and toast for more exciting travels for Laurence (I hope for myself too as I raise my glass) and thanked him for sharing with us his passion, insights and tips in the world of travel blogging and photography.



This is my second time in a Persian Restaurant here in Dubai and although this one is different from the one I tried before, I can truly attest that authentic Persian food is one of the best in the world. If you are in search of a good Persian restaurant that serves authentic Persian food, head to the cozy Shayan Persian Restaurant in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana to satisfy your cravings. Thank you Ferry and Marie for the invites and the warm welcome.





Shayan Persian Restaurant
Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana
Next to Al Ghurair Mall
Deira Dubai
04-293 3000

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