Happy New Year mamas! If, like us, you’re determined to make a fresh start and ensure that this year is fabulous for you and your families, you may well be compiling reams of resolutions and making all sorts of promises. Well, at Sassy Mama we’re not about piling on the guilt and advocating commitment to changes that are going to be impossible to keep and that will quite frankly make you pretty miserable too (we will not be telling any of you to give up chocolate. Ever).
We’ve got our own version of what New Years promises should entail and have put together a few different and fun ways to see Dubai – to inspire you to rediscover what’s in your own backyard and make the very best of this wonderful place we call home. We’re also sharing a few of our team’s and our Sassiest mama’s personal resolutions. Read on for a little inspiration mamas and here’s to a super sassy 2015!
Our resolutions for alternative ways to discover Dubai
We’re spoilt for choice with family activities in Dubai – from indoor skiing to stand-up paddle-boarding, parks and soft plays galore. We’ve come up with a few ways to see the city from a fresh perspective in 2015.
Big Bus Tour it around Dubai
Ride high above the traffic on the top deck of an open-top big bus, taking in Dubai’s landmarks and hopping on and off at your leisure (or for those all important ‘must eat now!’ kiddo moments). Showing Dubai’s development from a small fishing village to a modern, vibrant city – from the Spice Souks to the Atlantis Hotel. Oh and they throw in freebies such as a Dhow River Cruise and Dubai Museum Tickets if you fancy those too mamas…
Big Bus Tour 24 hr ticket
Adults AED 240
Children aged 5 – 12 AED 100 (Children under the age of 5 travel free)
Family ticket AED 580 (2 adults and 2 children over the age of 5)
Big Bus Tours, (+971) (0) 4 340 7709, www.bigbustours.com/dubai
Desert camel and horse safari
We live in the desert but many of us won’t ever come face to face with a camel – or indeed venture out of the city into the rolling dunes. Dubai’s Al Dhabi stables can whisk you out into the sands for a night of camping including arrival via horse or camel, an Arabic BBQ feast plus tents and camp beds (your own bedding and luggage is sent ahead with a set-up squad – how very civilised.)
Rides leave the stables at 7pm, dinner served between 8-9pm.
Children 5-12 years from AED 100 for an overnight stay (under 5’s go free) Kids under 12 and novices ride camels.
Adults from AED 450 for an overnight stay.
Dubai City Stable, International City, Dubai, (+971) +971 (0)55 167 0188, www.dubaicitystable.com
Got a train-mad toddler on your hands? Dubai might not boast a rail network like other international cities (no steam trains here!) but it has the Dubai Metro and toddlers will be very impressed as they watch the city whizz past! We highly recommend avoiding rush hour (packed carriages and toddlers don’t mix!) and enjoying a ride all the way from Dubai Mall to Dubai Marina (and back again!), letting the little ones point out everything they can see along the way.
Stops throughout Dubai.
Runs 5.50am to midnight (Sat-Wed), 5.50am to 1am (Thurs), 1pm to 1am (Fri)
Dubai Metro, www.dubaimetro.eu
Hot Air Ballooning over the desert
Put those early starts to good use with a sunrise hot air balloon trip over the desert. Suitable for the over 5’s, this isn’t cheap but then riding over giant red sand dunes and spotting gazelles and wandering camels from up high while glimpsing the Dubai skyline in the distance is a one-off experience worth digging into the pockets for.
Available daily from mid September – May
Cost AED 995 per person (children aged 5 – 12 AED 850)
Price includes transfers, cold refreshments and flight certificate.
Ballooning, Skydive Dubai Desert Campus, Al Ain Highway, (+971) (0) 4 285 4949, www.ballooning.ae
Rent a Kayak or SUP on Kite Beach
Dubai’s calm waters are ideal for paddle boarding and kayaking. Get the kids strapped into life jackets and out on the water with you – then paddle out and look back at the city from the water – utterly beautiful. The guys at Umm Suqeim’s Kite Beach will recommend which activities are best suited for all ages.
Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim, www.thekitebeach.com
Ride The Cable Car At Dubai Creek Park
This park is beautifully located with a promenade along the Creek – and, in addition to swings and climbing frames to play on, bikes to rent and camels to ride, there’s a cable car that runs over the park and offers a birds eye view of the city.
Children AED 10
Adults AED 25
Creekside Park (near Wonderland) Garhoud Bridge, (+971) (0) 4 336 7633
Segway Tour Downtown Dubai
Zip around downtown Dubai on your very own Segway and see the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and fountains along the way – how cool (definitely one for gadget mad dads). Kids must be over the age of 8 (sorry littlies this one’s not for you).
Segway Glides, Vida Hotel, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, (+971) (0) 56 146 4093, www.segwayglides.com
Take to the water (and the roads) with an amphibious bus tour
Is it a bus? Is it a boat? Well actually it’s both (of course) – the Wonder Bus Dubai brings you an hour’s tour of the creek and surrounding areas. The kids will love the ride, just watch their faces when the bus veers towards the water! With an air-conditioned cabin complete with toilet facilities always important when children are involved, this is a great option for the hotter months.
Children aged 3-11 AED 115 (under 3’s free of charge)
Adults AED 160
Wonder Bus Tours, (+971) (0) 4 359 5656, www.wonderbusdubai.net
And now for some of our personal resolutions for making 2015 SASSY mamas!
I will choose a resolution that can deliver change whilst being attainable. There’s nothing wrong with it being easy as long as it is effective. A goal that may seem small in essence can be truly life changing if it is applied consistently. Perhaps a step on the way to another goal, by achieving it you are already closer than you were when you started. Most importantly celebrate the change that you have successfully achieved as a reminder of how far you have come.
This year, I will not say yes when I mean no. If no is the first response that comes to mind then it’ll also be straight out of my mouth. And instead of volunteering to undertake every idea thrown at me, I’ll delegate. Like this: Person: ‘Kaya, I thought we could write about the top 1000 school satchels in Dubai’ Me: ‘Yes great idea, you have my go-ahead’. Or this: Husband ‘Kaya can we get steaks for the bbq tonight’ Me: ‘Crack on darling, mine’s a rib-eye’.
See what I did there? Must try to employ this tactic often. The effect? I’ll feel less stretched, less stressed and hopefully have more time and energy to dedicate to my kids and to what’s important. Look after yourself first and you can then look after everyone else.
My second resolution – I will not go to bed late every night. I have children. I am tired – you know how it is. Yet I still find myself turning in far too late (and you know what they say – it’s the hours before Midnight that count). I fiddle around on my laptop, watch a bit of rubbish tv and get sucked into social media-ing so before I know it there are only 6 hours of sleep available to me before the next day starts which sends me into a blind panic and stops me sleeping at all.
I’m going to go to bed earlier and leave late nights for evenings out. I’m going to remove my phone and laptop from my bedside table and read a book before entering the land of nod. And I’m going to get 8 hours of sleep a night so that I’m not rushing around like a lunatic in the morning, stressing my children out and making them late for school. Even if my little ones don’t cooperate and wake me from my slumber mid-way through, at least I’ll have a little sleep under my belt to cope with it. Oh and I will not drink coffee after 2pm ever again – bye bye caffeine jitters and hello blissful snoozing.
My new year’s resolution is to start organising my daughter Emilie’s photos into albums. As she’s my second child and I’m a working mama, I haven’t had time to do it and she’s now over 1 years old. There a thousands of pictures sitting in a file waiting to be tackled. It’s time I got started.
Then I might look to tackle my wedding album that’s sitting untouched. It’s lovely to see the beautiful engraved leather cover with our names and wedding date, but I’m sure it will be even more special when I finally fill the empty white pages with a few of the gorgeous wedding photos taken on our magical day four and a half years ago!
My new years resolution for 2015 is to not take my mobile devices anywhere near the bedroom. I really think that having email and phones in your place of rest is a bad idea, but it’s not easy to get out of this bad habit of checking social media and email before bed and right when you wake up. I also want to train my brian to remember names better – I need to meet people at least twice before it sinks in – I feel so guilty about this!
My first resolution – Clean Eating (I didn’t say healthy, I said clean, ok??). The idea behind this is not so much to lose weight or to detox but rather become stricter in terms of what my family will munch on in the New Year. I’m thinking no processed foods whatsoever, limited amounts of caffeine and zero grape (for hubby and myself) for a couple of months. What do you think mamas? Are you with me?
Oh… ready made tabouleh, hummus and chicken shish tawook has to be labelled as ‘clean’ otherwise this fam. is toast! Think I’m going to need to call on our Sassy Mama Expert Fiona Archibold to survive this one…
And my second – to live like nobody is watching (or judging for that matter!)
A mamas life isn’t easy, we don’t need to tell you that. But it certainly isn’t made any easier by worrying about what OTHERS might think or whether you are doing the right thing for your children, hubby, extended family while managing a job. I used to be an expert at high-fiving myself along the path of life in my 20s and I want a little piece of that girl back. Not all of her though as I want to spare my children the potential embarrassment but a little goes a long way. Dust off those attitudes in the New Year mamas, we want to see you rock this place!
Resolutions – To not make so many resolutions! To be in the moment, using my love of photography in a project to raise awareness and help others rather than just for work purposes. Take up a dance, art, or music class.
My New Years Resolution is to finally sort out my address book, so I can be that woman who sends Thank You Cards. (I have a pile from Tilly’s christening in July that still haven’t been posted!)
I’d also like to remember godchildren’s birthdays before seeing Facebook posts from their proud and loving parents.
Having recently given birth, and found it so much easier and more relaxing second time round, my new year’s resolution is to have more babies (if my husband is reading, this is a joke – kinda).
More realistically, I need to get a grip on my sugar addiction, but this might have to be deferred to next year’s resolution as there are fewer greater pleasures than scoffing a packet of biscuits while breastfeeding. Bliss!
With the end of the year comes a time for reflection on all of the events that have unfolded over the past 12 months. With the opening of our new Al Safa Home Grown branch, this year has been hectic to say the least. The hard work and effort has all been worth it and now I feel an enormous sense of gratitude.
My New Years resolution is; when challenges come and it all feels a bit too much, to stop and be thankful for all of the blessings that my family and I have and not to get over stressed about things that I cannot control. I also want to simplify my life in 2015, my motto for 2015 will be, “Less is more!”
I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions because now that I am knocking on 40 my experience of them is that they are pretty much made to be broken. But I do have more of a 2015 ‘wish list’ which I am going to try and work on from January…
1. Get an accountant! Setting up my own company in 2014 has taught me a very valuable lesson – I’m terrible with sums!
2. Sort out my website! Its one of those things that the busier we get, the further down the list it seems to slip. I now have a fab team in London about to get started and aim to have this done and looking fabulous by Feb latest.
3. Get fit! Yes yes yes, its there every year and I always get to December and yes, I rarely have got around to even walking the dog. 2015 will be my year of living well. I think!
4. Spend more time with my children! I left the corporate world primarily so that I could be a better mother. Funnily enough, setting up my own company means that I am now around for them even less, although at least now I have flexibility. In 2015 I want to make them much more the centre of my world, especially knowing that Luca who is 15, won’t be around with us for much longer!
5. Travel more! 2014 was such a busy year with the company that we managed only two trips. I want to explore the region much more and that includes a trip to Lebanon during the summer to stay with friends in their new mountain chalet.
Featured image sourced via Pinterest