Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – The Ordinary

The Lens-Artists ladies have set The Ordinary challenge for MB.

On recent trip to Tbilisi, MB & daughter MB2 stayed in the cosy Amente Narikale hotel in the citys Old Town area. On morning Nr 1, MB got up for an early breakfast (as MB2 snoozed on!) and chose the outdoor courtyard to dine under the clear blue Tbilisi sky. The hotel cat was soon a beneficiary of MBs’ decision, and MB went to the breakfast bar for seconds to ensure he and Mr Cat had a filling start to the day.

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Writing For Change

MB opines that being Cuban is about as close as it gets to being Irish! Read More

Foto Friday – Assaha Hotel, Beirut.

MB will head to Lebanon next weekend (the Islamic Eid Holiday weekend in the Middle East), where he is invited to a wedding in the ancient town of Byblos. Having seen the church and party venue online, it promises to be a great photo opp occasion for MB and his camera. Big thanks to work colleague DAM and his wife-to-be for the invitation.

The below photo is from the inside of Assaha Hotel, where MB spent the first night of his December 2016 previous Lebanon wedding trip. He received some special hospitality from local residents on the following morning on a local street when he went to buy a local phone sim card. But that’s a story for telling at another time.


Photo Story – 3 of 7

Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai.

The architects were commissioned to produce a hotel that would double as an iconic design/structure for Dubai. The final selected design mimics the sail of a dhow (traditional arabic) boat; and so ‘The Burj’ was built (‘burj’ is the Arabic word for ‘tower’). At 920 ft tall it is the 4th tallest hotel in the world. Many architects moaned about it from an architectural point of view at the time. Many Islamic conservatives complained loudly that the helipad and the tall spine together form what looks like a Christian cross when viewed from the sea and wanted the helipad demolished. Sheikh Mo (Dubai ruler) told them to get real!

The hotel is touted as a 7 Star hotel, but not by the owners Jumeirah Group (who incidentally sponsored Irish golfer Rory McIlroy until his deal with Nike a few years back). The 7 Star title seems to have stuck after it appeared in a newspaper article written by a British journalist who was invited to one of the opening events.

The hotel design has proved to be the iconic structure envisaged by owners, and the image of the hotel has been used the world over to successfully promote brand ‘Dubai’.

You can not just wander in for a coffee or beer. You must book something online to actually receive your security pass to enter the building. The 7 course afternoon tea option at about 90 USD per head is the most affordable!  MB took this shot from the 80th floor of a nearby 100 storey tower he was working on 4 or 5 years back.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Off-Season


The grandstand and hotel at Meydan horse racing track in Dubai is a hive of activity from November to March. Outside of that period the hotel still operates at a reasonable but reduced level of occupancy. On the track only maintenance works take place to keep all ship-shape for the following season.

Off Season

Sudan – Henna Party

MB arrived at Khartoum airport in dark of night. Read More

Photo 4 of 30: Delight

The Idea 
Have decided to post a photo per day for 30 days, each based on a word or theme. Feel free to offer a word or theme challenge to MB in the comment box below.

Photo 4/30
Thanks to AQ for the ‘Delight’ challenge.

MB was delighted to see de light reflecting in the lobby of ‘Jumairah At Al Etihad‘ hotel Abu Dhabi on his recent visit. You are such a kidder MB!!!