How to Attest Degree Certificate in Dubai

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Attested highest education certificate or degree certificate is a requirement when processing your employment visa in Dubai. This apply mostly to professionals and managerial post. Depending on your position, the company who employs you will ask for this document when it is time to process your visa. You may want to ask them whether they need it or not because there are some position that does not require to have it although it is always better to keep it handy for future use and reference.

Attestation happens first in your home country or in the country where you graduated. It must be certified by the school, notarized by a public notary, then attested by the Ministry of Foreign affairs before the UAE Embassy in your place.

When you arrived to Dubai, the certificate must go to the Dubai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation before it can be acknowledge by the immigration as an official document.

MoFA is in embassies area, at the corner of Khalid Bin Walid Road and Al Seef Road. You can alight from BurJuman Metro Station and walk but I do not recommend this during summer between May to August.

The entrance is behind the building, there is a security check, for ladies it is advisable to wear pants or if you are to wear a dress or skirt it must go below your knee. It is not allowed to use the phone so keep it silent or just leave it in the car.

After the security check, there is a counter where you will show your document and the personnel or the police will tell you how much you have to pay. It is AED 150 for this type of document (this might be subject to change without further notice)

Go to the cashier and pay, you will also have to add AED 10 for the e-dirham card and keep it for future use as it is re-loadable. Always check the expiry date of the card. This card can also be used in other government office in the UAE who accepts e-dirham payments.

Go back to the counter and get your token, or you might be given a token first before paying. Enter the attestation room and sit in the designated seat for men or women. When your token it called, go the counter and hand over your document, receipt and e-dirham card. It should be done in about in less than 10 minutes. It is not allowed to use mobile phones inside the premises.

The staff are very professional and helpful at MoFA so keep calm.

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Gozo Garden - Thursday BBQ Nights with Phil Collins Tribute

Dubai got a lot of rain fall last week until Wednesday and thank goodness Thursday was a sunny spring day again. It was a pleasant Thursday night with stars gazing down to us, beautiful weather and superb atmosphere around Dubai.

We started our weekend right and sit down to a BBQ dinner al fresco at Gozo Garden at Millenium Airport Hotel with the company of good friends. We are back and this time was with a Phil Collins tribute, the last time I was here, it was for The Blues Brothers.

It was a fun filled evening which got even livelier when Andrew James takes center stage and started singing Phil Collins songs, here's one of the performances that I've recorded, oh dear I can dance into it - and yeah just like the song, this is another day in paradise.

The night was even more special since I finally get to meet the blogger behind, Angelo is now blogging in the sandpit. Also the ever gorgeous and fashionista - Rosell of Kero's Celebration was with us.

A big thank you to Mr. Ben Hipolito, Millenium Airport Hotel, and Gozo Garden for inviting us. Seems like Dubai pips have a lot to look forward to this coming May 2014 with Tom Jones and Lionel Richie in the lineup.

Come to Gozo Garden any time of the week, their themed nights will have you feeling prep up all the time.

  • Sunday : Latino Samba
  • Monday : Mediterranean
  • Tuesday : Oriental
  • Wednesday : Out of Africa
  • Thursday : BBQ Thursday
  • Friday : Seafood Galore
  • Saturday : Arabian Night
* AED 195 per person with selected house beverages and AED 250 during Thursday tribute nights

Choose your BBQ from the freshest selection of marinated meats and seafood grilled right before your eyes

 Our friend here will let your meat and seafood choices get going in the barbi.

While them will slice for you some perfectly roasted beef and cook your choice of pasta

Help yourself with an array of sumptuous dishes on the spread from appetizers to the mains and the desserts.

And don't forget a slice of heaven, well basically 'my heaven' I simply love cheese :)

Here is my appetizer plate and hubbys mains

My main and dessert plate

Everything on the spread is delish. Pair your food with your favorite beer or bubbly, have some more laughs and you're good to go. 

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Anil Kapoor inaugurates Concept Big Brands Carnival

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Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor inaugurated the much awaited 5 day shopping extravaganza Concept Big Brands at the DWTC last March 26, 2014. Yours truly had the privilege to meet and greet the famous actor and producer from India.

Concept Brands Group is a leading distributor of kid’s brands and luxury brands in the UAE. The company is also the organiser of mega events and carnivals for over 10 years in UAE.
Established by Mr Vijay Samyani (left), Concept Brands is a Dubai-Headquartered company that brings luxury brands from across the world to the UAE at affordable prices. The motto of the company is to bridge the gap between luxury brands and the consumers

If you are looking for branded items with affordable prices head now to hall 7 of DWTC for your shopping needs, lasting five days you still have today and Sunday. There are bags, perfumes, accessories, watches, shoes and more. Use your Emirates NBD debit or credit card with a total purchase of 1000 Dirhams to get 750 Dirhams worth of holiday vouches in 40 international destination outside UAE. Spend 500 Dirhams and up to get two stamp watches.

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The Dubai Mall Dino

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The kids were excited when I told them we will go to Dubai Mall to see the dinosaur fossils. They know many kinds of dinosaurs because they both love to watch the dinosaur train - it's a cartoon show on TV about dinosaurs that live in different era like Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous etc. They know all these terms more that me and their dad and my eldest can name more dinosaurs than I do.

The Dino fossils are displayed at the main atrium of the Dubai Mall and it is there to stay permanently. Isn't it nice that we have our own slice of Jurassic Park here in the UAE adding more attraction for the city and the mall itself. I was excited to see it honestly and when we had a peek of it from far away, I am thrilled with goosebumps. Me and hubby jinx when we said "Night at the Dubai Mall" and I jokingly told the kids that this Dino runs around the mall after midnight and I have 4 wide eyes staring at me. :)

Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus is a female vegetarian sauropod dinosaur that lived 155 millions years ago. It has a weight of about 5 elephants and it is characterized by a whip-like tail, long slender neck and a small head. It was unearth in 2008 at the Dana Quarry in Wyoming USA. It is believed to have died in a drought at the Dana Quarry - a natural trap for both predator and prey go there to seek water.

It was airlifted from the US to its new home in UAE. The skeleton in 80 ft long and 25 ft high and a young adult. It has the most complete fossil ever found, about 90 % intact.

The TDM dino is yet to be named and Emaar is giving away a family trip to Jurrasic Park, Universal Studios to whoever suggested the name that will be chosen, contest ends 30th March.

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What's Up Dubai: Shop till you drop at Concept Big Brands Carnival

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Hugo Boss, Micheal Kors, Armani Exchange, Diesel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rebecca, Burberry, Thierry Mugler, Lancaster, Gianvito Rossi, Nina Ricci, Cerrutii 1881, Armand Basi

Does it ring a bell? ok here's more...

Azzaro, Burberry, Fossil, CK, Dior, Givenchy, Hello Kitty, Von Dutch, Barbie, Aigner, Joop, Tonino Lamborghini, DKNY, Ice Berg, Miss Sixty, Lacoste, Paul & Shark

Yes you got it right! These big names are back at this years Concept Big Brands Carnival at the DWTC. Starting tomorrow 26th March to the 30th of March you can shop till you drop with the biggest discounts on luxury items from as much as 25% up to whopping 75%. If you are looking for fragrances, hand - bags, watches, sunglasses, shoes, apparels, travel luggage, leather goods, fashion accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics with huge discounts this is the place to be. 

Not only that, if you go tomorrow you might bump with one of the hottest Bollywood actor - Anil Kapoor as for the first time he will be there to inaugurate the event along with other CBBC dignitaries. Honestly I remember him from Slumdog Millionaire.

Famous make up artist DEE and DAL will also offer free make overs and there are kids entertainment to keep your kids busy while you bag the best deals.

If you are an Emirates NBD card holder, its good news for you. If you spend AED 1000 worth on your shopping, you can get back AED 750 worth of holiday gift voucher. For shoppers who spend below 1000 and above 500 you will get two stamp watches. One can also get a chance to meet and greet Anil Kapoor through facebook campaign, for more details log in to the facebook fan page.

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Chicken Caldareta fit for a Prince

Prince wouldn't eat the viand I cooked for lunch last Friday and insist on having the viand his auntie cooked.

"I don't like that, its dry, I want their food because it has sauce in it!" he exclaimed with a very grumpy look on his face

"It's not our food and we have to eat what's on our table," I said

There was a knock on the door and when I opened it, my cousin's wife brought him some of their viands.

To make the long story short I ended up cooking the same for dinner because he wants it so much he wanted it more. In fairness to myself, this is also by far the tastiest Chicken Caldereta I have ever cooked that even a picky eater will not say no to this one.

1. Start by chopping the whole chicken into serving pieces (I will have to show you a tutorial on how to chop your bird in another post if you prefer choice cuts, it is available in supermarkets as well)
2. Marinate the chicken pieces in the juice of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp of vinegar, 1/2 tsp of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper and set aside. (the vinegar will help preserve your Caldereta, it will keep it last long without refrigerating, its something I learned from my dad.
3. Start preparing your vegetables, you will use 1 large potato cut in large cubes, 2 carrots sliced, 1 green/red capsicum sliced, 3 tomatoes chopped, 1 onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic chopped or minced just like so in the photo below

4. You will also need 2 tbsp of liver spread, 2 tbsp of cream cheese and 1 can or packet of tomato sauce
5. In a caldera/cauldron/pot, add two tbsp of oil, saute garlic and onion until fragrant.
6. Add chicken pieces leaving the marinade, allow the chicken to brown a little
7. Add the marinade, tomatoes and tomato sauce and 1 cup of water, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes
8. Add liver spread and cream cheese, mix until incorporated
9. Add potatoes and carrots, mix, cover and simmer until potatoes are done

10. For this recipe, I used 1/2 tsp chili flakes and it gives just the right heat on the dish, this is Prince dish so I did not make it too spicy otherwise he would not eat it but if it's mine, I make it really hot because I like it like that. So what I am saying is you can decide how much chili you want to add.
11. Lastly add the green bell pepper last so it won't get soggy. Simmer for another 5 minutes and it is ready to serve.

If you feel that after the potatoes get cooked and the sauce gets too thick, add some water and let it simmer for a while again. You can also add fish sauce if it is a little bland because you see I did not add salt because the chicken already was marinated in dark soy and salt so just adjust the saltiness to your liking.

This is best serve with steaming rice, enjoy eating and YES my little Prince did enjoy eating. Happy mommy :)

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Easy Apple Tart

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The kids are craving for apple pie and the store bought ain't satisfying them. Apple pie seems a little too much for me tonight so I thought of baking an apple tart instead. It's easy peasy and ready in less than an hour.

When I went to the grocers to get the ingredients for tonight's dinner, I also bought some frozen puff pastry squares. I let it thaw in the kitchen counter before laying them in a baking sheet and then brushing with some egg wash and scoring the sides. Scoring all four side half an inch from the edge of the pastry will make the side puff up. Here is Mica applying the egg wash on all five squares.

Here is our homemade apple tart. It smells divine and taste great.

This recipe has 6 ingredients and the frozen puff pastry is your cheat here.

5 puff pastry squares thawed but kept chilled
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup of sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp peach marmalade
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees
1. Lay the thawed puff pastry on the baking tray lined with baking paper and keep chilled in the fridge.
2. Peel the apples, core and slice, transfer to a bowl and add sugar, mix to coat all apple pieces, set aside
2. For the eggwash, separate the white from the yolk, beat the yolk and discard the white or keep for later use, add 1 tbsp water to the yolk and mix
3. Take the pastry from the fridge and brush with some eggwash, score the pastry on all four sides.
4. Take the apples and spoon to the pastry, arrange the apples in the middle
5. Add small squares of butter on top - 2 on each squares
6. Pop into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes
7. Once it's cooked, transfer to a wire rack
8. Glaze with warm peach marmalade on top (in a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of peach marmalade and 2 tbsp of water and heat for few seconds in the microwave)

Serve it warm or cold, i's best for breakfast, snack or dessert.
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Luxury fine diamond jewelry retailer Devi Jewels Opens in DIFC

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Devi Jewels - a leading luxury diamond jewelry retailer has recently open its doors at Dubai's commercial and cultural hub, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). Devi Jewels is a pioneering concept in fine jewelry retailing bringing exquisite and one-of-a-kind designer collections by world-renowned designers to the UAE.

The launch of the showroom was marked by a formal inauguration by Mr. John Harris, Chief Commercial Properties Officer, DIFC and Mr. Nirav Sanghvi, Founder and Director of Devi Jewels, among other senior officials of the DIFC.

The launch also saw the opening of a fine jewelry exhibition by India’s largest and oldest jewelers, Jewels Emporium, being held on March 16-18, 2014 at Devi Jewels. Jewels Emporium is showcasing its most exclusive jewelry collection, Master Strokes during the three-day exhibit. 

This is my personal favorite - Panache (peacock). 

An exquisite peacock feather goes around the neck ending with a 1.2 carat diamond, accented with droplets of water, as though romancing in monsoon. A 53.45 carat tanzanite with diamonds, forms eye of the feather. Set with diamonds, tsavorites, orange, pink & yellow sapphires, & French enameled tips in Champlev√© style, it captures hues of a peacock feather as it shimmers while dancing in rain. With 23.8 carats of 639 diamonds, 15.38 carats of sapphires and 5.9 carats of tsavorites, this jewel from the ‘Masterstrokes’ collection has been designed and created in 58 days.

Here are the rest of the Masterstrokes collection

Devi Jewels
Dubai International Financial Center
31 Marble Walk, The Gate
Tel: +97143518889
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How to Register your Tenancy Contract with EJARI

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Just recently, I needed to process the residence visa for somebody and to do that, a tenancy contract registered with Ejari is required by Dubai immigration. Since the contract is not yet registered, I went to register it myself.

Ejari is "my rent" in Arabic language but technically it means a revolutionary system that shall move Dubai real estate sector to be one of the best regulated rental market in the world.

Everybody in Dubai who lease an apartment must register their tenancy contract with Ejari especially those individuals with dependents who requires a residency visa in Dubai.

Documents you must have with you before going to the Ejari counter to register

1. Original tenancy contract and copy
2. Emirates ID or passport copies and visa page of all parties for individual (landlord/owner and tenant)
3. Copy of security deposit receipt voucher for leased unit issued by DEWA or current DEWA bill
4. Copy of Title Deed
5. Emirates ID copy of applicant (in this case, my Emirates ID because I am applying on behalf of the person)

I went to Al Manara Municipality building along Sheikh Zayed Road, by metro you can hop off at Noor Islamic Bank metro station and the building is just opposite.

Get a token for Ejari counter and wait for your turn. In my experience, waiting for my number is longer than the processing time, it took only five minutes more or less. The staff was quick and polite and will assist you with all your inquiries.

There are other Ejari counters around Dubai which you will find here.
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New Da Vinci Italian Trattoria with Entertainer Chef Manolo Mosconi

I took a week off from work last week to spend time with my family, to unwind, relax and socialize and now I am back again to the daily grind. Working moms sometimes need a break too, don't you agree? I can hear moms cheering :) yeah! I wasn't expecting that the short vacation I filed will be hectic but I have no complaints, it was short but sweet.

What did I do with my week?

I went to party with Novotel Al Barsha Grand opening on Monday, discovered real authentic French food and drink at Gulfood on Tuesday and participated at Fashion Different with Iconic and Al Sada Publication on Wednesday then had a little break on Thursday, the rest of the time I have was well spent at home with my two kids and by Friday night I am up again for another event.

It's irresistible because it was the launch of one of the first if not the oldest authentic Italian restaurants in Dubai, about 27 years in business. The New Da Vinci Italian Trattoria at Millennium Airport Dubai is reinventing itself from being a formal dining place to a much laid back "louder" type of restaurant, if you get what I mean. Making it more a livelier place and family oriented. I should have taken the kids with me because I'm pretty sure they will love chef Manolo Mosconi's acrobatics.

Maurizio Pisoni, Head Chef of Da Vinci’s commented in an interview: "It is a very exciting move for us, by reinventing the trattoria we will be adding new life to the restaurant, by adding dishes that are typically Italian such as Tagliatelle Verdi al Salmon and Capricciosa, we are bringing to Dubai a totally new perception of Italian cuisine. Italian food is very orientated towards families, so it was only natural that we would create the family pizza, letting families share their favourite food with ease" 

Catching Chef Manolo's live performance at Da Vinci's last Friday night on video using my phone camera

This is something you shouldn't miss, The Entertainer Chef will be here until the 15th of March so book your table now.

I got carried away with all the dancing and jiggling, now let me tell you about the food, glorious food.

This is not my first time at Da Vinci, it was a night of Wine and Dine Part 2- a wine tasting event and I can tell you that the food is superb even then.

We had pizza of course, we ask the restaurant manager Mr. Sayed for his pizza recommendation and he suggested Salmon pizza from Chef Manolo's menu. This pizza has no pizza sauce and the dough was let to rise for three days to make it really light. The crust is very crunchy and I was very pleased with the fresh toppings of romaine lettuce and sliced cherry tomatoes while the smoked salmon simply binds everything together, at every bite, the flavors just burst in my mouth.

The pizza was serve as our starter along with a bowl of minestrone soup

and insalata caprese (slices of goat cheese, tomatoes topped with fresh basil and drizzled with evo)

For the main dish, I ordered Spagheti Al Frutti Di Mare, the pasta was cooked al dente, spaghetti sauce was light and fresh and the seafood was cooked to perfection

While we are  busy taking photos and video as Chef Manolo danced, twirl his pizza dough and sport his acrobatic stunts, the wait staff are also busy serving desserts on our table.

With the launch of the NEW Da Vinci Italian Trattoria, there were a few changes in the restaurant that I have noticed. The tables are now covered with red and white plaid table cloth, it used to be white before and the chairs were painted green whilst now it is painted brown.

The old menu was replaced by menu boards written by hand which I think is very cool. They also have plans of replacing the big white plates with clay type crockery soon.

Even though changes were incorporated to the restaurant for aesthetic reasons and the menu has change with some addition from Chef Manolo's signature dishes, there is one thing that remains the same and I think will never change, the food here is good and in my opinion, people come back to a restaurant for this particular reason, the rest are just secondary, I am sure they will never last this long if not for the superb cooking, fresh ingredients and the management constant search for improvements.

And as always food is best shared with the company of friends and family. My date that night was my older and only brother and two of my blogger friends, Rosell of Kero's celebration and Chandi at Sheikhland

   (l-r) Ben Hipolito F&B Administrator, Rosell, Chef Manolo, Chandni and yours truly.

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Be Fashion Different with Iconic and Al Sada Magazine

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Iconic is celebrating its 4th Birthday and as part of a month long celebration, Iconic is giving away a trip to Paris for 2,  skydiving for 2, macbooks, iPhones, iPads,  and a lot more. Just spend AED 150 at any Iconic store in the UAE to get a scratch and win coupon.

Another event organized by Iconic Landmark Group for it's birthday and in collaboration with Dar Al Sada Publication as one of the main sponsor is "A Fashion Different Evening" at Iconic Dubai Mall last Wednesday whereby the Fashion Editor of Al Sada Magazine - Rehab Al Eifa taught us how to wear the seasons best trends.

We were asked to put together clothes, shoes and accessories from the store and me and my friend come up with an outfit for Spring/Summer which was chosen by Ms. Rehab as one of the best outfits. The other outfit was by Ms. Noor Abbas and we both became the nights fashion icon :) and got ourselves a AED 500 voucher to spend at Iconic stores

Thank you Al Sada Press for the invite. It was such a lovely night, shall I say lucky night :)

Photo credit to Iconic Official Facebook page.

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Novotel Al Barsha GRAND Opening: Mardi Gras and Carnival Style

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Just in time with the Rio Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, we, here in Dubai had a taste of both worlds during the Grand Opening of Novotel Al Barsha earlier this week.

* * *
"Novotel Al Barsha is Accor's fifth Novotel property in the UAE with 465 rooms, this four star hotel located along Sheikh Zayed Road and a few blocks away from the popular Mall of the Emirates and can be reached easily via Dubai Metro stopping at the Sharaf DG station offers both business and leisure travellers spacious guest rooms and meeting facilities with panoramic views of the Dubai coastline. It has five restaurants such as Cravin Cajun, the region's only Cajun Louisiana restaurant with all day dining space, Cafe Java - a 24 hour boutique pastry takeaway coffee corner, Bubbles Bar - a contemporary bar and lounge, Deck Se7en for some live music and the tropical inspired poolside terrace. For relaxation, guest can unwind at In Balance Spa - complete with latest Technogym equipments and exotic treatments" 

* * *

Back to the event, ladies in their carnival costumes greeted us at the door and cocktails serve on tables worn by the performers.

And as promised, it was Fiesta!!!  Novotel sure do knows how to throw a good party, a GRAND one with free flowing champagne, canapes, oysters, seafood buffet, and a room filled with sweet treats

The already hyped-up atmosphere grew more exciting when an aerialist started dancing in a glitzy cage, it was an awesome performance

I couldn't stop myself from posting this photo, it's as if she was telling him something like this "there's more so stay put, relax and enjoy the night!" :)

While we are getting comfortable with the festivities around us, the carnival dancers came down from the stairs twisting and swaying in the tune of Samba

After the live entertainment, we went into Bubbles bar where there is an array of seafood dishes waiting for us in the buffet table

And ladies in cute outfits who I think belongs Charlie's chocolate factory with sweet treats roam around the hotel lobby offering guest their desserts.

That wraps up my party experience with Novotel Al Barsha GRAND opening night.

Have you been to any hotel grand opening around Dubai? What was it like? Share it with us in the comment box below.

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