So this post takes us back to a trip to Dubai in March, 2013.
After working in Saudi for a year, I came back to Doha in February 2013 and it was the first time in several years, that I was living in Qatar but not managing a football team.
Lucky for me though my friend Mark Griffin was, and so I was able to join his team, Ladzio Ultimatum. It was more of a social thing, rather than playing competitively.
I joined at the perfect time, as the team was planning on going on a lads weekend away with a match played in Dubai against another amateur football team. I had never been on a ‘football tour kind of holiday’ before and so it was a new experience for myself and as you will see from the photos and videos, it was quite eventful.
It started off we everyone getting different flights on Thursday and so not everyone was together until the early hours of the morning. For those who got there early they had been going from pub to pub so were in quite a state by the time most of us had got there.
At 7.30am we had to get up and get ready to play a game against another amateur team in Dubai however most of the players were not in a very good state –
Slightly worse for wear, team heading for the friendly
The match was being played in the Dubai Sports City which offered fantastic facilities as you can see –
Superb facilities, shame most of the team were not in a state to make the most of it!
A lot of professional teams from around the world train at these facilities and when we were there, Anzhi Makhachkala were there
, and I managed to see one of my favourite footballers of all time…
Joined by Roberto Carlos
After the game, Mark clearly found the previous night and the match a bit too much ….
Leading by example..Captain/Manager Mark!
Neither the loss nor the state of the Captain halted procedures as we went home and showered and then headed to Brunch…
To some it may seem strange, this is a Muslim state, but alcohol flows liberally and pork is readily available. By law, Alcohol can be served only within the confines of a hotel, but with an estimated 500 hotels in the emirate, some with up to 26 bars, restaurants and clubs, you won’t be left thirsty (though there are exceptions such as Souk Al Bahr which has licensed restaurants). Additionally to add to ironic nature of the Brunch, while it is the holiest day of the week for Muslims, hotels throw their doors open for “champagne/alchol fueled brunches.”
As it was a football tour, we decided to go to Yalumba at Le Meridien Hotel
( Garhoud, Dubai; 12:30-3.30 p.m.; +971 4 702 2455; 499 dirham ($136), t
his brunch is not the sedate culinary experience, it is an exercise in excess, with free-flowing booze and heaping buffets that would have had even the most indulgent glutton beg for mercy.
The brunch contains everything, from a full english breakfast to sunday roast, from lobster to sushi, from a la carte to buffet – plus it is all prepared to a high standard.
Steaks and Tasty Yorkshire Puds
There is a huge selection and it caters for all tastes but I suspect the main reason people go, is the champagne as it is known as a champagne brunch. Hence if you are drinking then I guess its good value however there is no discount for those who do not drink and so it is quite an expensive brunch even though the quality is of a high standard.
The brunch is obviously not aimed at locals or Muslims with the champagne element and additionally to that, there is a large pork section…
Cold Cuts of Pork…
The Pork-Fest continues…
Though the hotel is slightly dated it is still clean and looks welcoming. The outdoor area is for people dressed up and ready to party in the sun. This brunch caters to people after a party atmosphere, and so the football team duly obliged by getting in on the fun…as we all had to carry our challenges –
Nabil Dancing Challenge –
Umar doing the PressUp Challenge –
Drinking from a shoe Challenge –
For me, I luckily got the task of drinking a pint in one, as I dont drink, all I had was a pint of Red Bull and that was my challenge completed!! Thankfully I didn’t get the following otherwise I dont know what I would have done –
Gary, though wasn’t so lucky –
After the brunch the party continues to the outdoor terrace, where if you manage to, you continue to binge with happy hour…
Captain/Manager Mark in his element
Until you eventually collapse…
It got all to much for Mike
The Next day I needed a time out from it all and went to meet my friend Alice at Al Safa park for the flea market…
Calming way to end the weekend with Lunch in Al Safa Park with Alice
Flea Market at Al Safa Park
The Dubai Flea Market, was held at the Safa Park, on the first Saturday of every month, however I am unsure if it still is, as I can’t find anything online. However from what I found it now moves from location to location with the next one I found at Zabeel Park on the 7th March 2015.
All in all it was a brilliant and memorable weekend and though it might not have been my exact cup of tea its all about ticking things off….