Active play on the rise in U.A.E

"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” -Friedrich Froebel

My 3 year old is tickled pink when i play 'one little piggy' with his ten little fingers. My 4 year old is pleased as punch when he indulges in pretend play as a superhero, he conquers bad guys and exerts his control on the world vicariously. As for my 7 year old kicking ball with his dad is special, it seems the ball is an out of the ordinary object.

Is play just entertainment or is there more to it?

Play makes a child whole. Research indicates play enables a child to imagine, create, explore and is an excellent tool in early learning and future success.

The Global Play Index analysis the extend of time children between age 2-12 years yield in play as well as their playing patterns. Fun City Play Index proposes to indicate if children in the selected regions have a favorable balance between play and alternate activities. The Index aspires to bring about increased awareness and promotes a healthy balance of active play as well as passive play for children.  In 2015, the Global children's play Index included Australia, UK, Singapore and Sweden to gauge GCC's position when compared to other developed countries. Based on the online survey and questionnaire conducted by YouGov market researchers, globally UAE ranks third in 9-12 age group and fourth in the 2-5 and 6-8 age group and is also the leading country in the region that promotes play routines among children.

From left : Scott Booth- Research Director and Head of Travel, Tourism & Leisure YouGov ME, Aamnah Husain- Qualified Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Sneha Cherian- Founder, Cocoon to Butterfly Parenting Blog and Community, Silvio Liedtke -Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Group Leisure.


I have 3 important questions for parents to ponder on?

  • Do you actively participate with your child in play?
  • How often does your child play?
  • what is your child's favorite game or play activity?

Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass

What? Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass 

When? Released on 22nd Feb 2016

Where? www.legoland.ae

Awesome awaits!

I am the greatest fan of Lego and i believe Lego should be in every child's toy collection. In a digital age of x-box and ipads, these durable, strong interlocking bricks remains one of the most popular toys and has thrived despite all odds. Lego symbolizes a creative expression and makes ideas come to life.

I have great news for Dubai families and kids. The regions largest integrated theme park destination, Legoland Dubai is set to open in October 2016. The Annual pass for the Legoland  Main park and Water Park is released. Yay!!

What does Legoland feature -

  • 68.8 acre Legoland Park
  • More than 15,000 Lego model structures made from over 60 million lego bricks
  • 40 interactive rides, shows and attraction
  •  Lego city
  • Adventure
  • Lego Kingdom
  • Create
  • Lego Factory
  • Magical Miniland

What is the cost of the Annual Pass?

Aed 995 per person for a full year's unlimited access to both Legoland Waterpark or 765 for the main park.


Annual pass privileges :

  • Annual Pass for adults and children aged 3 yrs and older
  • 12 months unlimited admission to Legoland Dubai and LegoLand Water park
  • 10% discount on dining and retail park
  • 10% discount on general admission tickets to all Dubai Park and Resort theme parks and ticked shows
  • special seasonal offers only for pass members

Give away Contest : Dr Batra’s Positive Health Products and Consultation voucher

With superior levels of medical knowledge and seasoned homeopathy practitioners, Dr. Batra's® has established a legacy in the world of homeopathy. Dr Batra’s has made significant progress in the personal and healthcare products market through its well-established division, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Products. Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic, world’s largest chain of homeopathic clinics launched its first Signature Clinic recently in Al Wasl, Dubai. It is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic examination rooms with personalized treatments. The Al Wasl Clinic is located in Dubai Umm Suqeim 1, St. 31C on Lowaini Street, Bahwan Complex Villa #3. For appointments, patients can call on 04-3368893.

Here is your chance to win a free Gift hamper of 5 products and a free consultation (worth AED500) from Dr Batra's signature homeopathy clinic. Two winners will be chosen based on the criteria below.

To win these fab tickets follow the instructions:

  1. T   TTo be in the winning for the fab tickets follow these instrucLike SignetRing on Facebook {here}

  2. Share the Facebook post on this CONTEST and increase the number of shares (Share it on your timeline and with your friends)

How will the winner be chosen?

A participant who has liked the Facebook page and has maximum number of shares on the post (that he/she is expected to share)will be declared a winner.

How will I know if I am the winner?

The winners will be declared on SignetRing's Facebook page 

Contest closes on Thursday, February  11th 2016. Winner will be announced on Thursday, February 11th 2016

Santa Claus is coming to town

Join Santa for an afternoon of family-fun with French children’s fashion store Petit Bateau, Mall of the Emirates new extension this holiday season. ITS ALL FOR FREE!! Ho Ho Ho!!!santa With a fully decorated Christmas tree and fun activities for the little ones throughout the afternoon such as writing their own letter to Santa; Petit Bateau is inviting families in Dubai to visit the new store at Mall of the Emirates from 4:00pm until 8:00pm on Friday 18th December – and a free goodie bag to take home at the end of your visit.

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Children's Day with Petie Bateau @ NO COST!

  Celebrate International Children’s Day on 20th November at any Petit Bateau store in the UAE, indulging in family-friendly activities including sand art, t-shirt painting and a chance to win prizes. All activities are free of cost!!

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Children are a source of warmth, love and joy to every household. Celebrating every child is meaningful. Do we need to have a special day set aside to celebrate children? Why not! It gives organisations and governments, the opportunity to talk about and prove protection and respect for children and enables communities to intervene and impact children's welfare. It's another day and another opportunity to create fond memories and to bring families closer.

In honor of celebrating children's rights around the world, Petit Bateau stores hosts a day of fun and festivities for families to enjoy special moments with their little wonders. Be sure to visit one of the Petit Bateau store's @ The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates or Yas Mall and enjoy with your little sparks!!

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Barnilicious Saturday at KidZania®

With a range of nutritional challenges facing children in UAE, Barni the bear shaped wholesome snack in collaboration with KidZania, the award-winning children’s edutainment center organized the 4th session of an informative event, to inculcate a healthy eating lifestyle in kids.

The organizers partnered with Hala Barghot, a leading nutritionist in the UAE and Founder of Nutritalks to educate parents on a balanced diet for children.         

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Dr. Hala and I at the Barnilicious event held at KidZania®

The event gave parents the opportunity to learn about picky eaters, energy needs for kids, good food options and smart snacking ideas.The moms got off to a great start dropping off their little champs to a dedicated play space offering organized by Barni. The mommies then sat down to listen to  Hala who shared her top tips for getting kids to embark on a well-rounded diet.

Hala took questions and listened to the personal frustrations of some mom’s experiences around food and mealtime issues. She encouraged moms to become 'Involved Parents' and to cultivate family mealtime routines to make healthy a lifestyle. She emphasized on a child’s diet packed with more fruits, vegetable, legumes, and nuts. Hala advised parents to limit their children’s consumption of processed meat, sugar, and saturated fat. When it comes to the healthier snacks, some may not be as healthy as they seem. She mentioned the Barni snack is a good option as it claims to have no artificial colorants and preservatives. However, she advised the consumption be limited to one bar a day due to the sugar content, which is reasonably lower than other snacks but still prevalent.

In my one-on-one interview with her she enlightened me on her many initiatives geared to bring about a culture of wellness within the school community in the Gulf region. She has also worked with restaurants in the region to encourage them to offer healthier menu options. Hala is a certified dietitian, who educates people on health and nutrition, practicing for almost 10 years. She also offers private nutrition consulting.

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Cocoon to Butterfly Kids at Barnilicious event held at  KidZania® 

The event then called for the moms to be spectators as the kids enjoyed a productive day in KidZania, indulging in some role-playing fun that recreates workplaces. Children learn best through experience and this was an experience that was every bit magical.

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to the event  for the purpose of this review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

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REVIEW: Simply Delicious! by FRHI Restaurants

This past week I had the pleasure of joining a select group of journalist, bloggers and other presumable qualified personals for a media event hosted by the FRHI Hotel and Resorts. The group represents three distinct brands which is the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel. The group assembled an array of their finest chefs and featured mouth watering signature refreshments to deliver an unforgettable gastro experience. To everyone who lives in Dubai here is my pick on the groups most coveted signature dishes, indulgent sweet treats and refreshing drinks.

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The chefs with their genuine charm and personal style of hospitality introduced the selection of dishes presented for the event. There were delightful appetizers ranging from heart-healthy fresh pick of salads, golden brown crispy crabs cakes, creamy silk textured risotto to delicate fork tender Foie gras. A definite stand out was the super crunchy crab cakes fried to perfection with a distinctive flavor. You can enjoy these light bites at 'Flow Kitchen' in Fairmont, The Palm.

The authentic carnivore that I am, it didn't take much convincing to seduce me into a juicy looking slow cooked braised short rib. I am not talking about a slab of meat cooked in high temperature. These melting tender ribs are marinated for 24 hours and ever-so-slowly braised. It was served on a bed of creamed chickpeas and topped with pickled mushrooms. The flavor was magical and the quality undeniable. If you find yourself remotely close to Fairmont in the Palm, remember to make a beeline for Frevo's Brazilian Churrascaria experience. Truly recommended.

Speaking of soulful cocktails you can never go wrong with the South East Asian acclaimed 'Singapore Sling'. My previous job offered me the privilege of staying in Raffles in Singapore where the drink was created. The team often could not wait to land into Singapore as there was a thrilling anticipation of hitting Raffles 'Long Bar' for a refreshing spirited 'Singapore Sling'. Put down your tickets. You do not have to fly across seas to enjoy this tantalising refresher. It is as simple as heading out to the Raffles Dubai to pay tribute to this classic.

Raffles display of signature dessert from their renowned 'Fashion Afternoon Tea' was set for all to see, taste and fantasies over. I am not sweet toothed but I will describe my self as 'Afternoon Tea crazy'. I have had the privilege to experience Raffles Afternoon Tea which is chic and bright unlike the usual stuffy, uptight affair. What captured my attention was the presence of the beautifully crafted chocolate shoe from the much celebrated Afternoon Tea experience at Raffles. Too pretty to eat but undoubtedly delicious. For all the lovely ladies who enjoy Fun, Chic, Tea and Dessert this is the place to head to.

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I was deliciously pleased with my experiences for the day. The FRHI group is known for its luxurious and delectable restaurant offerings and it undeniably surpassed its reputation.

 

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

Ripe Food and Craft Market

pic1 Who does not enjoy the gleaming outdoors, the quintessential fragrance of lavender, delightful culinary flavors and textures of artisan crafts and unusual finds? My Easter weekend was well spent with family and friends strolling in the sunshine, browsing the stalls and enjoying a variety of flavorful bites at the Ripe Food and Craft market. There is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

The Ripe Food and Craft market, Under the Patronage of the Dubai Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, is nestled in the heart of the city of Dubai in the picturesque Zabeel Park. It swings into action on a weekend and has developed a great reputation for its bustling atmosphere. Kicking off at 9am on an Arabian Friday Weekend, it features locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, delicious grab-and -go -grub, handmade crafts, arts, jewelry and other exciting merchandise. There are plenty of options to keep the kids entertained ranging from the lush outdoors to a petting zoo and carriage rides. The market offers you an array of cuisine, which spans from local delights to an international selection of scrumptious bites. As I browsed around, I found myself in conversation with a few of the participating artisans and crafters and I soon realized some amazing talents surround me. Here is a glimpse of my favorite stands.

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In all honesty, I walked in expecting very little from a farmers and craft market set in Dubai but I have to admit I walked out in awe, feeling pleasantly surprised with all of the creativity displayed in this market. With the Ripe market bursting onto the artisan and the gastro scene in Dubai, it finally signals to the community that there is more to life in this urban domain than the luxurious haute couture and the dazzling fine dining extravaganza.

 

Giveaway: Win free tickets to Passion UAE

image001-1 The Passion team is stoked to have their first tour in the UAE. This amazing show will be on Thursday, 20th March 2014, 08:30pm onwards in Abu Dhabi at the Armed Forces Officers club. The show will be graced by performance from Grammy-winning artists like Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill and inspirational speaker Dr Louie Giglio. This is sure to be an epic live performance filled with outstanding music, talent and vocals.

Passion events take place every year (since 1997) in the USA where they host a million university students from over 130 countries. This is the first time they are coming to UAE. Tickets are in 3 price levels ranging from 100, 150 and 250 Aed. We are giving 20 readers a chance to see Passion live in concert! Sign up to win free tickets to The Passion concert. You do not want to miss this!!!

Watch the ‘Passion Bands’ entertaining promotional video.http://youtu.be/Ywo06kGvs-0

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Event:Chronicles from C2B PotLuck Event, March 1st 2014.

A Potluck for future mom’s to be, mommies and children took place on March 1st 2014. A group of 12 women gathered around the table enjoying healthy snacks and indulgent treats contributed by the group. The women shared their real life stories and listened while others shared theirs, communicating with one another on a heart level. Our bunch of enthusiastic kids had a blast creating memorable experiences and making new friends. We look forward to welcoming new moms and children at our next event. potluck eventchildren

Event:Register for C2B PotLuck

Calling all moms to be and moms in Dubai with children (Babies to teenagers) who are interested in stepping out with your kids for some fun time. Here is an opportunity to socialize and make lifelong friendships for yourself and your children. We are a group of moms who get together  with our children once a month for a coffee morning, play-date or  just a casual hangout where we have some great conversations. This month we invite you to join us in a PotLuck Get-togethere, details of which are given below. Kindly register if interested. The best part..it is FREE!!

Looking forward to meeting all you Mommies and Kiddos!

Event: 'Tis the Season

Christmas markets are a great way to experience the flavor of Christmas . We love them for their delectable gourmet food, festive music, creative art, hand made crafts and the enchanting experience they offer. If you wish to experience something unique in the city of Dubai this Christmas, then pay a visit to the HTC Family corner at the Christmas market in Arabian Ranches Golf club on December 14, 2013. You are guaranteed to be impressed by the stall's offerings. Christmas Market in Dubai - Dec 14 - Arabian Ranches

Event: Coffee Morning Chronicles

A coffee morning for moms and moms to be took place on the 30th of November  2013 at ‘Caboodle’ in Dubai Mall. It was an enjoyable couple of hours with women savouring a cuppa and some heart-warming conversations. coffee morningThe purpose of C2B events is to foster socialization and a support system for both mothers and children. We look forward to meeting and welcoming mothers to be, mothers and their children for our next event.

Event:More than a cuppa and play-date!

A coffee morning for moms and moms to be and play date for the little social butterflies took place on the 28th of September at ‘Caboodle’ in Dubai Mall. It was an enjoyable couple of hours with women savouring a cuppa and some heart-warming conversations. Our little troopers had oodles of fun with crafts, painting, movies and playtime. The purpose of C2B events is to foster socialization and a support system for both moms and children. We look forward to meeting and welcoming moms to be, moms and their children for our next event. ctob C2B c2bparty