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Brighton College opens in Al Ain in September 2013

Brighton College Al Ain

Brighton College Al Ain will open in September 2013 in the Zakher district.
 
The co-educational Junior School will open for pupils in FS1 up to Year 4, together with the Boys’ School and the Girls’ School for boys and girls from Years 5 to 9. Years 10 to 13 will open from 2014 and by 2017 the College will educate 1,200 pupils across the full 3-18 age range, offering a British-style curriculum leading to GCSE and the IB Diploma. 
 

Alun Yorath

The founding headmaster will be Alun Yorath who has just finished working as the Head of the Senior School at Brighton College Abu Dhabi – so he has experience of expat life and of settling into a new country. (Alun’s pictured on the right with his wife Natasha, and his daughter.)
 
In August 2013 approximately 60 new staff will arrive to begin a new life in Al Ain and work for the school.
 
The vast majority will be new to the UAE.
 
Visit the Brighton College website for more information and up-to-date photos of the building in progress.

Martial arts classes in Al Ain

A guy called Andrew emailed me today…

I have to agree this is a great site and very very helpful. My family and I will be moving to Al Ain in the next few months. I was just wondering if you know of any Martial Arts places for my son to do?

Yes, there is actually, but I hadn’t thought to mention this on this site up until now!

There are regular classes held at the Danat Hotel which is situated in the east of Al Ain, past the Hilton Hotel. (The Danat used to be called The Intercontinental or Intercon until a year or 2 ago.)

I know these classes are very popular among adults and children.

Book Oasis: secondhand bookshop in Al Ain

There is now a secondhand bookshop in Al Ain called Book Oasis. The owners believe it is the very first such shop in Al Ain, and, in fact, may be the only secondhand bookshop in the whole of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi!

Inside, the shop looks like this…

Book Oasis bookshop Al Ain

Most of the books are in English, but Book Oasis also stocks assorted German, French, Swedish and Afrikaans titles too.

Book Oasis has a Facebook page here…

https://www.facebook.com/?pages/Book-Oasis/?439392929412292

And a website at…

www.bookoasisalain.com

Their book purchase policy is as follows…

They only accept fiction and non-fiction books in good condition. Technical books, comics and textbooks are not accepted. They refund 50% on all returned books with the Book Oasis stamp!

Here’s a map showing you how to get there…

Book Oasis bookshop map

It’s located near the Greenland Compund and Christmas Tree roundabout in the west of Al Ain. In other words, it’s not far from Tawam Hospital, the Palm Rugby Club, and Abela supermarket.

Opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 1pm, 4pm to 8pm
Saturday: 1pm to 6pm
Closed all day Friday.

Phone the shop at 050 5338743, or email mail [at] bookoasisalain.com.

Do go along and check this store out! 

And if you do pop by, or phone/email, please would you say that you heard about Book Oasis from the Al Ain Enthusiast site? Thanks! :)

Melanie Graham: an artist in Al Ain

If you’re looking for artwork to adorn your home in Al Ain, check out Melanie Graham.

She was selling her work at a recent fair at Al Ain English Speaking School…

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Here are a few of her pieces in detail…

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During a brief chat with her, she says she creates these beauties using a spoon!

Melanie writes…

“Here’s a short history of the swirly painting. Like so many brilliant ideas it all began in a café in Amsterdam. They served their coffee in a clear mug. The beauty of the white milk swirling into the black coffee inspired me to try and capture that spontaneous and fleeting masterpiece of Mother Nature through art. I began photographing food colour swirling through milk and was pleased with the result but didn’t find it fulfilling. I really wanted to do the same thing on a canvas with paint. Three years later I finally achieved the effect I wanted and so the swirly painting came to be.”

And here she says about herself…

“I was born in Illinois, U.S.A. I moved to Arkansas, U.S.A. in 1992. My husband John and I, along with our son Jack, came to Al Ain in 2006 when John accepted a position at U.A.E.U. and we have been living here happily ever since. I worked for several schools in town before settling at Sunflower School which has a wonderfully friendly school community. The support and encouragement I have received since bringing my paintings out has been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in it.”

All the paintings can be viewed at Melanie’s Swirly Paintings on Facebook. The email contact info is [email protected]

Computer repairs in Al Ain

If you want to get your computer repaired in Al Ain – whether is a desktop PC or a laptop – then I’d recommend you visit Majid Amin at Golden Chip Computer in Kuwaitat, Al Ain. He’s probably a safer choice than trying the do-it-yourself approach!

What’s more, he’s local, he’s fast, and he’ll look at your computer for free to tell you what he thinks may be wrong, and how he could fix it.

This is Majid…

Majid Amin Golden Chip Computer, Al Ain

…who is very friendly and skilled at repairing faulty computers. This is his shop…

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How to get there…

If you come out of the Hilton car park, turn right at the roundabout and go over the bridge with the photos of the dignitaries on it. Go across the traffic lights. A few hundred metres on the right you may know the Welcome Traders stationery shop, and the Lulu supermarket. Park your car before Welcome Traders and walk between the shops to the road behind. Turn right and walk along until you find Golden Chip on your right.

Majid can also repair Apple Macs. He even repaired some Beats headphones my son owns. And his command of the English language is great too!

Call him on 055 677 4467 or email him at master-mind-comp [at] hotmail.com.

Do tell him I sent you! :)

Wadi Adventure, Al Ain

Wadi Adventure

Wadi Adventure is the Middle East’s first man made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility – and it opened its doors at the beginning of 2012.

What you’ll find there...

  • Three world class whitewater rafting and kayaking runs with a combined length of 1,133m
  • A surf pool capable of making 3.3 meter high waves every 90 seconds
  • A rope course, climbing wall and zip line
  • An adult and toddlers swimming pool
  • Retail and merchandise outlets providing all you may need for the day
  • Plenty of food and beverage outlets to cater to everyones needs throughout the day
  • The most unique corporate and event space to be found in the Middle East
  • Space and infrastructure for world class white water and surfing events

Entrance tickets for adults is AED100, children below 1.2m is AED50.

The entrance fee gives access to the surf beach, family swimming pool, kids splash pool, Surf Café, Tiki Hut, Rafters Grill and the changing facilities. Activities are then purchased separately, either at the main entrance or at the booking offices located within the park.

One of the visitors to the Al Ain Enthusiast site, called Ella, wrote…

“Very attractive waterpark was opened just near Green Mubazzarah. This is Wadi Adventure. You can enjoy with nice surfing there, kayaking, rafting. They also have air park facility, family and kids pools. And of course some cafes to eat something after you finish enjoying!”

Opening hours…

Friday: 9am to midnight (9am to noon is for families only)

Saturday: noon to 11pm

Monday: closed all day

Tuesday/Wednesday: noon to 11pm

Thursday: 9am to midnight

Wadi Adventure is located opposite the Ain Al Fayda Resort, near Green Mubazzarah, at the foot of Jebel Hafeet.

Do visit the Wadi Adventure website.

Buying outdoor plants

You can buy outdoor plants in the area behind Bawadi Mall…

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My wife, Catherine, chose some great plants and pots. See if you can spot her below :)

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The Afghani owner of the nursery repotted the plants for us…

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This is a snap of we bought, when we got them home…

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12 plants in all, 6 in pots which we chose, plus a big sack of compost, plus the white and pink stones to hold in the moisture – all for 300 dirhams / £50 / US$75.

Here are 3 Jasmine plants which we bought the week before, and the table we also purchased from Ace Hardware at Bawadi Mall…

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Six of the plants we put on top of the divider between our villa and the one next door. Eventually they’ll trail down the sides which should look great. You’ll also see 2 bamboo torches with kerosene canisters inside on the right of our front door which we also bought from Ace…

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Fly to Nepal for a holiday

Many ex-pats who live in Al Ain have travelled to Nepal for a holiday as it’s only a 4-hour flight, and the price is keen.

We 4 Paynes went one Easter break for a week and had a fabulous time.

First up are some shots from Kathmandu (we stayed there for 2 days, which was enough as the city is very polluted, smelly, noisy and crowded, but delightful all the same).

This is a temple called Shree Boudhanath…

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An enormous prayer wheel for us to spin…

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Sadhus: holy men…

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Offering for the gods were on sale…

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On our second day we drove out to Changunarayan, a temple with craft village on the walk up to it…

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Then we drove to Bhaktapur for lunch, and to see more temples…

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On day 3 we flew to Pokhara, a 30-minute flight, costing $100 per person each way…

Here’s the view through the plane’s window…

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The airport in Pokhara…

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Our plane…

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We hired bikes after we had settled into our hotel. That’s Toby on the left having negotiated round the cows!…

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We rode to see the waterfall at Devi’s Fall…

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We stayed at Temple Trees Hotel for 3 nights for about $140 a night. You can pay $5 a night in a guest house and be very comfortable! We wanted some luxury! :)

While there, on day 4, we went pony trekking for two and a half hours…

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We reached a viewing point…

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Here’s the view of the town of Pokhara below…

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Then we rode back down into town…

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We went for an afternoon hike on day 4 to see how remote villagers lived. Here is inside one small home…

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…and admired the views…

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On the morning of our final day in Pokhara, I hired a motorbike for 350 rupees for an hour (£3 / US$4.50) so I could spend time with our second son, Felix…

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And I went for a 30-minute flight in a microlight with our 12-year-old, Toby, each in separate microlights, costing about $100 for each of us.

Here’s the microlight Toby was to fly in…

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And these all show Toby’s microlight and the magnificent views…

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We flew round a stupa on a hill overlooking Pokhara…

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This was a terrific holiday. I hope these photos and price guidelines inspire you to visit Nepal!

Pedal bike / cycle repairs in Al Ain

You can buy pedal bikes and cycles – and get them repaired or serviced – at a number of outlets around Al Ain.

The one I use is a couple of doors down from the Welcome Traders store which itself is several shops south of the Lulu Supermarket in Kuwaitat/Nyadat.

The Nepalese guys there are very friendly and prices are very good: I got a puncture sorted for 15 aed (£2.50) – and jobs like this can be done while you wait.

How to buy used/secondhand mobile phones in Al Ain

If you want to buy a used / secondhand mobile phone in Al Ain, you have a number of options

Email a request to Niala News and ask them to publicise it: this can take a week or 2 to get distributed

Put a message on the alainexpats yahoo group: you could get a reply within 5 minutes

Check out various shops selling used mobiles.

We bought a used Blackberry phone for our 12-year-old son from a kiosk at Jimi Mall. Go into the entrance on the far left. Turn to your right. Go to the second kiosk from the right. Alaa there was very helpful.

You’ll find other shops selling used phones around Al Ain.

Whatever price you are quoted, know that it is negotiable: you could bargain down by about 10%.