This blog is about my journey as a Serial Entrepreneur, my quest to travel to Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the path I’m taking to get there, and a learning experience for me that I’m sharing with you. This is a message of hope to all entrepreneurs out there to stay motivated, believe in your dreams, and never stop. This blog will document my perseverance, stubbornness, diligence, tenacity, and good old fashion elbow grease and moxie. I’ll talk about technology, writing a business plan, online marketing techniques, culture in the Middle East, business and social Etiquette in the UAE, business networking, and organization affiliations. I hope you learn from my blog, feel free to ask me any questions, post comments, and I hope you enjoy this ride as much as I am.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What’s in a Name?

Let’s talk a little business.   In addition to owning several web sites, I also own quite a few Premium Domain Names.

Q: What’s the difference between a domain name and a web site?
A: The simplest way I like to explain it is, the domain name is your address and the web site is your home. The domain name is how people know how to find you, and the web site is where your files live.

Q: What is a premium domain name?
A: A memorable domain name that is easy to spell, is short, is easy to pronounce, is potentially brandable, doesn’t have different variations on the way it could be spelled, and ends in .com. If a domain name is an exact match keyword only domain name (i.e. is an exact match keyword only domain for the generic keyword phrase “pet food” while is not).

When I started my Abu Dhabi travel guide for women, I wanted the business name to be the same as my domain name. Thus, people will not have to remember the company name, and then maybe initials for the domain name or a hyphenated domain name (you get the picture). Another motivation for naming my Company Abu Dhabi Cupcake was my desire to target women traveling to and women living in Abu Dhabi. And, what do women like in addition to shoes? Things that are cute, small, sweet and make us feel good because we didn’t have to eat an entire slice of cake. No to mention, every country around the world is experiencing a cupcake craze that’s not likely to go anywhere anytime soon. Final deciding factor in my Company Name decision was that the .com extension for the domain name was available. And if women want cupcakes in Abu Dhabi they are either going to a) type Abu Dhabi Cupcakes in the Google search or b) they are going to type in the address field of their browser. Abu Dhabi Cupcake is the main travel guide web site, and the Domain Names that are forwarded to this site are,, and

Another example, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of DC (“RHoDC”) premiers this Thursday, August 5th and I own . The next installment of the Housewives franchise is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (“RHoBH”), and I own .

Also, I don’t recommend buying a domain name for your company, building a web site, and then have an email address for a Gmail, Yahoo, or some other type of email account. In order for customers to start remembering your brand and have your company name engrained deep in their psyche you need to have them read and type your name as much as possible. Thus, you should have an email address that matches your domain name. Such as,, etc. (you get the idea).

We’ll talk more in the future about domain names as I introduce my different web sites and let you know the many ways you can access them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FAQ: What should I wear when visiting Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is generally conservative but tolerant when it comes to dress code. The attitude to dress is relaxed, but visitors (both men and women) are advised not to wear excessively revealing clothing in public places, as a sign of respect for local culture and customs. As for the weather requirements, lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year (summer, spring and autumn), though a light sweater or cardigan could be handy when visiting a shopping mall, hotel or restaurant where the temperature might be kept too low to counter the outdoor heat. Slightly warm clothes are needed for the short winter season, especially in the evening. Outside of hotels, beaches, and nightclubs, conservative dress is appreciated, especially during Ramadan.

Casual Dress
Women will feel more at easy if they cover their shoulders and knees when in public places. It is better to cover knees and shoulders and everything in between. For example, t-shirts are fine but strappy tops for women might be frowned upon in more public areas (and on men will probably get you arrested).

Skirt length below or too the knee is fine. As skirts get shorter, the potential to cause offence increases. If short enough to reveal underwear (or that no underwear is being worn), the risk of male attention, police attention, arrest and fine increases.

Don't wear anything that might be regarded as offensive. For example tee shirts with offensive slogans or pictures, obscene language or gestures, anything that might cause religious or cultural offence, etc. If you have to ask whether it's acceptable or not, assume it isn't.

In business it's always better to be conservative. Thus, business women should wear a pantsuit or a dress that covers elbows and knees. Women should make an effort not to wear too figure hugging clothes and to cover up their flesh, until they are able to figure out what is acceptable in the workplace. A shirt and trousers or long skirt would be fine. For men, this means wearing a suit, although in some office environments a shirt and trousers will suffice. It is recommended that men wear a suit and a tie to business meetings.

Official/Formal Events
Unless otherwise indicated, official events usually require non-locals to wear formal dress; a suit and tie for men and an evening dress for women

Men should not wear women's clothing, being arrested is quite likely. Wearing a Scottish kilt however is probably acceptable on special occasions. It would probably be wise not to wear one as everyday clothing to work, to a shopping center, a walk around the block.

Night Clubs
Most nightclubs require their guests not to wear shorts, caps or sport shoes on their premises.

Shopping Malls
In the malls, many wear jeans and tee-shirts or the like. Heat is a big issue so dress in light clothes with this in mind. However, remember that everywhere is air conditioned, so while you may have to bear the heat for a few minutes, the air conditioning can cause problems. The malls in the heat of summer are particularly cold, and women should take a shawl or equivalent when going to the cinema.

Publice Beaches
While visiting public beaches swimmers should avoid excessively revealing swimming suits. At the beach and swimming pools (hotel or private), wear what you like as long as breasts (for women), genital area, and bum is covered. Bikinis are fine, topless is not, thongs are not. Also unacceptable is wearing see-through swimsuits and/or underwear. If going from beach to a more public area such as a shopping mall, cover up, at least between knees and shoulders

Women do not have to cover their hair, faces, heads with a scarf or similar in public. Some Muslim women do cover their hair and/or face, especially Gulf Arabs, but that is because of cultural and religious reasons, not because UAE law requires them to. However, when visiting a mosque, females do have to cover their hair, but it's not necessary for the face to be covered.

Sports Attire
Men wearing normal shorts might attract attention and strange looks/stares in some places but are unlikely to get into trouble. Ideally, shorts should be down to the knee to be sure of causing no offence. Very short shorts, cycling shorts that reveal certain contours, boxer shorts, etc are possibly going to result in a warning from the authorities. Cycling while wearing cycling shorts should be fine.

Sports clothing appropriate to the sport being played is fine at the sports venue. And combinations like shorts and tee-shirts are not likely to be a problem if worn elsewhere on the way to or from the sports location.

Young children can wear what they like for the most part but don't have them running around naked in public. Teenage girls and boys should be more circumspect with what they wear.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dubai Driving Skills

Apparently, demonstrating driving skills worthy of qualifying for X-Games is not uncommon in Dubai.  This looks dangerous, and I don't recommend anyone trying to drive like this during their visit to Dubai.

Friday, July 16, 2010

iPhone 4 - A Solution to the Antenna Issue

One solution to the Apple iPhone 4's antenna problem is to cover the lower left corner with DUCT TAPE!!!

Lab tests: Why Consumer Reports can't recommend the iPhone 4

WOW, is this disturbing or what? All the technology in the world, NASA, and Steve Jobs couldn’t put the iPhone back together again. It’s Duct Tape to the rescue. Are you serious? I need to stop typing right now and get me stockpile of Duct Tape.

Camel's Milk Anyone?

I'm not sure if I'm ready to drink Camel Milk, but I may give it a try when I get over there.

The Dairy Reporter announced The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is seeking EU permission to export camel’s milk but despite its nutritional benefits the milk may struggle to become a significant market force.

Nutritional Advantages
And for many consumers, the camel could offer a promising alternative to the cow. Camel’s milk does not cause protein allergies and can be drunk by people with lactose intolerance. It is also high in insulin which could be good news for diabetes patients.

Potential Drawbacks
Haddad said she has doubts about the suitability of camel’s milk for export. The researcher said little work has been done to see how it reacts to thermal treatment. She added that the milk does not keep very easily, and can change character over time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Abu Dhabi Eco Chicks - Green Drinks

July 15, 2010

The Abu Dhabi Eco-Chicks will be holding their Green Drinks event at One to One Hotel, a meet and greet with like-minded eco warriors in the city. It will take place from 6.30-10pm. Due to the heat, it will not be held outside this month so look out for the clearly marked signs within the hotel.

Build It and They Will Come

During my Abu Dhabi trip planning process, I found it difficult to find relevant information online that gave me an accurate perspective on what it feels like to be an American Woman traveler to the United Arab Emirates. I want to plan the perfect holiday trip to the Middle East. I am a single mom, and therefore I want a vacation package to cater to the needs of me as a woman traveling alone, and still have abundant age appropriate activities for my daughter’s amusement as well. As I started researching lodging accommodations, transportation, and activities on the Internet, I realized I was being pointed in several different directions to hundreds if not thousands of web sites. Some web sites were relevant during my search, and some were completely off the mark. However, I was determined to piece together the puzzle of data from my many Google searches and layout the best well planned vacation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Anytime I found relevant information I would print it or take hand written notes. Well, the abundance of paper scattered in my bed room and notes stuffed into my purse were becoming overwhelming. The information stored haphazardly was not easy to keep track of even if I were to hole-punch it and put it in a 3-ring binder. As my research intensified, I started keeping all the information I found in a Word document.   I organized the document with a table of contents that had category titles leading to page numbers within the document. This was useful, but not aesthetically pleasing as I tried to show my daughter pictures and information about our next vacation.

In addition, I know if I was searching for an accurate, complete, and comprehensive travel guide to Abu Dhabi for women, so were other people out there in the Travel Universe. The abundance of information I painstakingly gathered over the past 9 months has got to be useful to other women travelers. I decided to share this information with the world via a group of web sites focused on Abu Dhabi and categorized by interest. The main web site is Abu Dhabi Cupcake, which gives readers “Need to Know” information about the UAE capital as a travel destination, and it acts a gateway to the other web sites organized by interest/category.

And there's much more where that came from:
Abu Dhabi Kids, Abu Dhabi Ruffin’ It, and Abu Dhabi Wine will be launched August 1st.  

The catalyst for starting this project came from my pursuit of the ultimate luxury vacation and need to keep track of useful information to assist with my travel plans. Thus, you will find just that, relevant information on luxury accommodations, exotic desert activities, once in a lifetime experiences, jaw dropping scenery experienced nowhere else in the world and etiquette guidelines so you can have a safe and fun holiday in the UAE.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Missed It, but May Be Next Time

For the 6th consecutive year Abu Dhabi hosted the Red Bull Air Race. This is definitely the first time I’m hearing about any Air Race, but the deeper I dig the more exciting stuff I find. Abu Dhabi just wants to provide some form of entertainment for every visitor with varied interests and tastes. This would definitely on my list of family activities.

Abu Dhabi opened the 2010 Red Bull Air Race World Championship season March 26th. This was the first of 8 races in the 2010 season taken place around the world.  If the Red Bull Air Race is in town when I'm in Abu Dhabi, they're on my list of things to do.

I'm Gonna Take the Ride of My Life at Ferrari World

I was not going to write about this today, but I can’t help but blab anytime I see news and pictures about Ferrari World. Blue is my favorite color, but Red is definitely growing on me the closer we get to opening day of Ferrari World October 28, 2010. I wonder if they’ll have big musical acts and special performances. Knowing Abu Dhabi, I know Fireworks are definitely on schedule for the event along with an amazing light show from the Yas Hotel’s magnificent LED lights.

With over 900,000 square feet available for public exploration, the Ferrari Theme Park is the largest indoor theme park in the World. Adrenaline junkies get ready for the faster roller coaster in the World! The Formula Rossa Roller Coaster will accelerate to a maximum speed of 149 mph and has 20,800 horsepower. Passengers will be moving so fast they will be required to wear protective goggles to protect their eyes.

Then, there’s The GT Roller Coaster replicating the Ferrari F430 Spider (pictured above) that sends two competing coaster carriages on a wild race to the finish line.

I will be riding every roller coaster and adult ride they have at Ferrari World as long as there aren’t any height restrictions (I’m only 5ft). This will be the closest I get to knowing with it feels like to ride in a Ferrari. I wonder what pictures of me will look like before & after my Formula Rossa Roller Coaster ride. Do you think I’ll have a permanent smile like the Joker?

Monday, July 12, 2010

There are NO LIMITS for my DREAMS!!!

I do not live in Abu Dhabi, nor have I ever visited Abu Dhabi. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Abu Dhabi and I’m going to get there. Most of the time when I share MY DREAM of going to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, I’m greeted with puzzled faces staring back at me in a state of confusion which set the stage for questions like “Why do you want to go there? Is it safe? Isn’t that real expensive? Well you know you can’t live there?” I look back at them with just as much confusion, and say why wouldn’t I want to go there? Abu Dhabi is dripping with jaw dropping opulence and luxury to provide a once in a lifetime ultimate travel experience. With an abundance of Sea, Sun, and Sand, the UAE has the ultimate in Shopping, Entertainment, and display of Modern Architectural Wonders. They’re goal is to do everything BIGGER and BETTER than the rest of the World. Abu Dhabi gracefully competes with their neighbor Dubai to be the World’s #1 Luxury Tourist Destination. I enjoy Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s friendly brotherly competition. Competition to be the best gives birth to bigger and better ideas testing limits of acheivement, and ultimately provides a win-win situation for both the tourists and tourist destination. Do I want to rub elbows and be associated with people that dream SO BIG they want to be the biggest and best in the world? YES!!! The leaders of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have such imagination, drive, and ability to overcome challenges that small minded people would pop a blood vessel trying to even chart a path to conceive one of their visions. Abu Dhabi is home to Ferarri World, yes Ferrari World!!! Dubai is home to the World’s Only 7-Star Hotel (the Burj Al Arab). Knowing that you still want to know why I want to go there. You’re the crazy one for not wanting to explore the UAE.

People, especially the ones closest to me, like to place limits on My Abilities & MY DREAMS. Notice how I said “My Dreams”, that’s because they are My Dreams to do what the heck I want to with them. I can make My Dreams come true, or I can leave them floating around in my head.  However, I’m a Pure Blooded Undiluted Stirred Not Shaken (don’t like it dirty) Entrepreneur. I take extreme risks, and I’m willing to give it all up to accomplish My Dreams. And if I lose I’m willing to do it all over again. I was not designed nor built to be a follower or think small. It is my instinctive nature to think BIG, dream the impossible, and build it if it doesn’t exist.

Watch the below CNN Interview with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates: "It's not a Recession, It's a Challenge".  Sheikh Mohammed discusses his Vision to be #1 around 2:40.

Yes, I will achieve my dream of going to Abu Dhabi, and you’re lucky that I’m sharing my journey with you. Yes, if you’re ready this, you are not only lucky but privileged to have access to what I discover along the way to fortune, fame, and luxury travel in the UAE. Most of you will be reading this from desks in your cubicles as you perform your rudderless mundane boring jobs. You’ll often think to yourself: “I wish I could go there, I wish I could leave this stagnant place of despair with no hope for upward mobility in exchange for a life of pure bliss no worries and 365 days of sunshine.” Well, all I can do is share with you how I made my dreams come true. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It’s up to you to do the work after I give you the knowledge and tools. Strap in and hold on tight to witness the Ride of MY LIFE.