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Archive for July 2014

Zaatar w Zeit

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Exploring Abu Dhabi, it was around lunchtime and finding a place to eat became a priority. At first, took a step inside a Burger King, hoping they would be offering a local option; unfortunately, it was a run-of-the-mill Burger King and kept on with the exploration. Ironically, the surrounding neighborhood was flooded with Filipino eateries — it was like a slice of home.

Passing through different shopping centers, numerous dining establishment featured various international cuisine, ranging from Mexican food to pizza. While on a day-long layover, was hoping to find something fairly inexpensive and something not accessible at home.

Having passed a few locations in town, once arriving at the Abu Dhabi Mall, went with a lebanese chain restaurant called Zaatar w Zeit. The company that describes their restaurants as “young and casual” has been in operation for around 15 years, having opened their first shop in Lebanon in 1999.

Numerous options ranging from salads to pizzas to wraps all appeared on their diverse menu. Decided on something both basic and recognizably Middle Eastern, their Baked Falafel. A very large wrap, served with an optional side of fries, it carried all the traditional flavors anybody expects from basic Middle Eastern food.

A flavorful and healthy dish from a rather inexpensive chain, always a good option for the weary traveler.

On their website, ZWZ says they hope "to be your casual urban eatery of choice, today, tomorrow. Forever."

On their website, ZWZ says they hope “to be your casual urban eatery of choice, today, tomorrow. Forever.”

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Written by Paulo Loreto

July 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and Gold Centre

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With the rapid development and modernization of a city like Abu Dhabi, coming across a fixture that differs from its surrounding environment is truly a find.

From its exterior, the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre looks like it has had better days. Beyond the intense noontime heat, the beige building harkens back to the vast desert that surrounds the city.

Once inside, it’s a bustling market.

Somewhere between a mainstream suburban mall and a local souk. Wandering around, there are numerous shops that sell local fashions, fabrics, and perfumes; move to another floor, electronics and modern “necessities” like mobile phones. And, of course, for a place that calls itself a “Gold Centre,” there is a multitude of jewelry outlets.

The Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre lists on their website, in the section labeled "Our Principles," their driving spirit: Vision, Values, Ventures.

The Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre lists on their website, in the section labeled “Our Principles,” their driving spirit: Vision, Values, Ventures.

Written by Paulo Loreto

July 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM