Monday, February 28, 2011

Update



This blog is not dead, it is just sleeping...
Blame it on the lack of time, my amazing two little girls and/or the re-design that has been taking forever.

In the meantime, you can connect with me here

See you soon! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inside Sega Republic: In motion

I *obviously* should've seen this coming!

In all cases, I think I will survive the YouTube moment and casually label it as my 'internet 1:03 minute of fame' (Thank you @TarekMiknas and @MartinYofre for never letting go of your Flip *Ironic tone in the voice* - I thought I was safe! *laugh*)

Notes:
1) Enjoy my ridiculously tense face/smile while riding on the HalfPipe Canyon (and getting off of it)
2) Yes, I am wearing one of the *very cool* Threadless tees ('I'm huge on Twitter')


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First look at... Sega Republic!



I always believed that advertising was the perfect career for people excited by novelties (just like myself): you get to pick your brain across all possible industries (from government projects to orange juice), meet incredible people and –most importantly- access news/products/places way before anybody else.

I thought I would lose this sexy advantage when I quit Lowe to freelance (had no more love for all-nighters and overdoses of Diet Coke). But I was wrong and realized that I had the best of both worlds when I got invited by the agency to have a sneak-peak at Sega Republic – set to open soon in Dubai Mall.

Yes, Sega Republic - one of the most anticipated venues of Dubai. And ‘I’ was going to check it out - Talk about an ego boost!

We met there at 2pm.
As soon as I crossed the electronic barrier, I was immediately overwhelmed by Japanese magic. Hello Sonic & friends! (I missed you, where have you been?)



The volume of the space is impressive; I felt tiny. I couldn’t stop looking left and right, I was running around like a kid and I wanted to touch everything. Don’t laugh, this will happen to you as well. After going over some technicalities and a quick Q&A session with a very friendly staff member, we were finally allowed to get up-close and personal with the rides/games.

Fact: there are 9 attractions and 150 games across 5 zones (spread on two floors).

I - Speed Zone:
All the super fast cars and multi-player races you can dream of.

Highlights:

Storm-G:
A high - speed bobsled race in a capsule that rotates at 360 degrees (and sometimes twice in a row)! Four capsules race against each other and each capsule holds two people. Thrill guaranteed.



D4:

One of my favorites – because I’m crazy about cars (and because I won the race against 2 teams). You hop in a real-life sized car (Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R, Toyota AE86 Trueno or Subaru GC8 Impreza STI V.4 Coupe – I was driving the STI in manual mode) and drift-race. The graphics are awesome (I deleted the picture by mistake)

Sonic Hopper:
One of the two attractions we were not able to try as the staff was testing and adjusting it. I was a bit disappointed as I really felt attracted to the 9m drop (with a twist and turn). The guys had a big smile on their face while freefalling – which I thought was a positive sign.




II - Redemption zone:
All the cool arcade games you can think of. Perfect for the light-hearted and the smaller children who are not allowed on some rides. I didn’t see the redemption stand (it was covered) but given the size/height of it, I assume there is a good range of toys and wide variety of prizes to choose from.




III - Cyberpop zone:
The name says it all. From Karaoke booths to amazing sticker machines and virtual gaming experiences, you’ll have all the opportunities in the world to unleash and discover your hidden talents.




IV - Sports zone:
This is where you seriously test your skills and compete to win on the latest sports simulation games.

Highlight:

Halfpipe canyon:
Now this is what I call a really serious adrenaline rush. It looks pretty innocent when you’re not on it, but things immediately change once you are strapped.

Description: ‘Throttle up and down a 7 metre incline at up to 40 kilometres per hour or test your skills at dropping a 360’. Two teams (of two people each) compete against each other; The more you spin (you have to hit the 45 degrees angle for maximum results), the more points your earn.

I had to close my eyes a big portion of the time (ok, no cheating, @AkankshaGoel witnessed the whole thing - they were closed 'all' the time) and scream a bit as well. Good exercise for the vocal chords. Definitely one of the best attractions. Thumbs up for the strong sensations!


video


V - Adventure Zone:
I thought I was safe after I was done with the Halfpipe canyon – but I wasn’t. The adventure zone is another section of the park filled with adrenalin-rush type of rides (what the guys there like to call ‘eye-popping, hair raising fun’).

Highlights:

Wild wing:
A wild 3D experience: On a plane, flying over villages and cliffs – encountering obstacles.
The graphics are breathtaking - Expect a couple of surprises.



Let’s go jungle - Special:
Another wild 3D experience – but this time in a jungle. I was riding alone (two people are supposed to ride each car) my 4x4 and had to fight/shoot huge spiders on my own with my laser gun so I didn’t get a lot of points (liked the game, regardless).



SpinGear:
The second attraction we were not able to try is certainly one of the main and bigger ones: a roller coaster. I was not able to gather a lot of details about the ride itself, except that it is partly in the dark (if it is half as good as Disney’s space mountain, you’re in for a really intense couple of minutes). I am certainly looking forward for this one.




Fun detail, Japanese style:
The ticket/card admission sliders.
I fell in love with the rainbow blinking lights – I want one (not that I can do anything with it, but it will look cool in @_syma_’s room).




And this is where it ends – for now. I hope I was able to share a bit of the magic with you, until you get the chance to experience it first hand. I was only allowed in there for a limited time, so I did not try all the attractions nor played all the games.

I initially had quite a bit of reservations when the project was announced: How good could it be?
Well, for two full hours, I forgot that I was stuck in a mall, that the weather outside was awful, that I had to go to the supermarket and that I had x emails waiting for a reply in my inbox.

I was so genuinely happy that I almost forgot to tweet.


Notes:

A- @AbuSyma was missing in action; Although I had lots of fun with my Lowe buddies/partners in crime @TarekMiknas & @MartinYofre, it was not as perfect as it would have been if he were there. I am now counting the days till the opening to hit Sega Republic again - with him.

B- All pictures were taken with my Nokia N97
. Cameras were not really welcome, so I documented as much as I could, on the go. You can click on the pictures to zoom in.

C- The final opening date is not set yet. But given the state of the park, I think they are ready to launch very soon (probably this coming week-end)

D- The operating hours should be the
following:
Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 - 22:00
Thursday to Saturday 10:00 - 24:00

E- If you have any question, please leave a comment and I will try my best to answer it myself or go through the agency if necessary.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Google - Doodles




More doodles (Tesla birthday and 4th of July), just for fun :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Google - Doodles



The good news is that the fact that I wasn't blogging for so long did not kill my habit of saving all the Google doodles. The bad news is that my Mac died and I lost most of my data, including a big chunk of these.

But since I'm kind of back on track, it only makes sense for me to start my 'first' post by sharing a couple of the latest doodles I saved (on the new wonderful &'very reliable' MacBook Pro I got as a birthday gift):


Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts - Syma



Meet Syma, born on the 25th of November 2008.
A real treasure, the source of immense joys & smiles :)

Thoughts - Catching up

This blog is not dead.

It needed a break and just went on an extended holiday - mainly because of me and the overwhelming events that occurred over the past year or so.

Where to begin? How to describe a roller coaster of emotions?
I could probably sum it up in three 'milestones': the loss of a very dear friend, a beautiful addition to our family and a shift in my career.

I won't make false promises; I won't be around as much as did. I am constantly fighting with time, in search of a balance - I don't even know how to write anymore (unless it is in 140 characters, à la Twitter).

Thank you for staying tuned all this time :)

Note: Talal (good morning sunshine), I miss you & think of you everyday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Web - Dubai Demo Camp



Today's the big day, and I can't stop looking at my watch.
For some reason, time is passing too slowly and I feel it is never going to hit 7.30 pm.

Yes, I am excited about DemoCamp Dubai! - Just like anyone who lives in DXB and is a web-junkie would be (It is a mico-SF brought to our doorstep).

This is certainly one of the best initiative/event happening in Dubai. For once, "switched on" developers and entrepreneurs are gathering to showcase their latest work to "switched on" attendees - thanks to "switched on" organizers (I can't but stress on the "switched on" side of things because this is an adjective I rarely use to describe people/places/things in the region).

I personally can't wait to attend the presentations - some projects seem to be very promising. I also am very excited to meet with this crowd, share ideas and thoughts and have interesting "techie" conversations.

Today being the first event, it will hopefully be a success, leading to many more in the future.
Details will follow, post-presentations.

In the meantime, you can check the DemoCamp website for more - Or follow @DemoCampdubai on Twitter for live updates.

Note: This is yet another reason for me to love Twitter even more than I already do - I don't think I would've had the chance to meet @DrBaher , or any of the well hidden talented Dubai tech-people otherwise.