Friday & Saturday are weekend days here in Dubai and after a long work week for Layne, we were ready for some extra family time!
Friday mornings are also when church/worship is held, instead of Sundays. Layne has already attended this church twice and wanted to take us there as a family. I was a little skeptical, as he said it was super long and the music wasn’t great (personally, the music is one of the best ways I like to worship). So when Friday came, we decided we would taxi out to the desert to attend. I decided that we should try Careem, which is a taxi company like Uber. One thing that is unique about Careem is that you can order taxis with car seats in them. This is called Careem Kids and was highly recommended to me by other mums in the area. I downloaded the app, clicked on Careem Kids and it worked just like Uber! Nice and quick! We were even able to schedule a driver ahead of time so that we didn’t have to worry about it right before we left. What a convenience! Muhammad was our driver and arrived in our personal Lexus, which was squeaky clean and ready to take us out in the boonies for church.
So, yes the drive was a little further than our typical Sunday drive to Midland Naz, however it was well worth it! Driving out into the desert was a little odd and made me think we were being taken to a clay hut that only fit ten people in it. Regardless of the location or building, I knew it was going to be a great experience. See below for the images of what the church actually looked like. We attended the United Church of Christ and it blew me away once we got inside! The place was huge and it completely filled up with people from all across the globe when the service got started at 10:30. As Layne has perviously mentioned, it is quite the experience worshiping God with people who come from all different paths of life. I honestly got goose bumps when singing the songs, thinking to myself how amazing it was that God could bring us all together for the same reason. We are very blessed here in Dubai to have the opportunity to worship and celebrate our Christian faith!
The service was about an hour and a half long and was a great mix of music and a well versed message. We will most definitely be back and not just because they gave the boys donuts afterwards. 🙂 If you guys know Layne, you know that he LOVES donuts and Caden is most definitely his son! See photo proof below!
Today, Saturday, we experience another “Dubai norm”- BRUNCH! Everyone we meet in Dubai says that going to brunch is “what people do” here on the weekends. Confused when we first heard this, we looked into it for more info. Brunch is basically 3 hours of unlimited food and drinks at a local resort or restaurant. It can be accompanied by music and entertainment, but each brunch is completely different. We were told that there are so many different brunches in Dubai that we would never have to repeat the same meal twice! So, I asked one of my close friend Lindsay if she, her husband and son (Caden’s play date pal) if they would join us for our first Dubai brunch and they agreed to show us the ropes. We decided that we would go to Imperium at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray out on the Palm and we were not disappointed! We again used Careem Kids to taxi out to the resort on the Palm and had yet another positive experience!
For those of you who don’t know, the Palm is a man-made island in Dubai. There are actually two of them, but one is closer to us than the other. The transit system out on the Palm is not the greatest. There is a monorail that goes out of the stem of the Palm, but only makes one stop at the end to the Atlantis resort. What does this mean? Well basically we have to take a taxi ride every time we want to go to the Palm…extra $$. Stinks! Regardless, I digress…
We arrived at our “brunching” location and immediately met our friends outside, which was helpful because we had NO IDEA where we were going. Upon walking into what felt like a mini mall, we approached the huge wooden doors where we heard a group of people having what sounded like a team huddle…”One, two, three, LETS GO! (in a different language)”. Each brunch day must be similar to game day, or something? The room was immaculate and we were greeted by a jazz band playing very welcoming music. Caden quickly took to all of the food in the buffet lines and was very pleased with his parents choice for the afternoon. There were honestly more lines of food then I could even visit…everything from beef Wellington tips, raw tuna rolls, jambalaya, Yorkshire pudding, to Oreo cheesecake! We enjoyed the variety of foods and we were all surprised when the waiters brought over a first birthday cake for Caden! They must have overheard us talking about his birthday on the 16th and wanted to send us a nice gesture! Well, it was received and Caden was quite pleased, despite the photos below where he is crying! He is only crying because he wanted to put the whole thing into his mouth instantly and his “mean” mama wouldn’t let him. Don’t worry, he only had two tiny bites of the big, dense chocolate cake and the two halves of the macaroons on the side.
Overall, the brunch experience was definitely something that we will continue to seek out, especially when we have guests in town! I loved how much seafood they had to choose from and I definitely put a dent in the shrimp display! Yes, it was a bit pricey, but you get unlimited drinks and food, so who can complain, especially when you are in great company! We are very blessed to have found some great new friends in Dubai!