Salalah, Oman

When a client booked me to cover her brother’s wedding in the Sultanate of Oman, my heart did its happy dance. For several days.

It truly felt like ages since #RimaTravels
The fun doubled because this trip was work + pleasure and thank you lord for an amazing associate photographer and a friend who turned out to be an expert on Salalah, Oman and literally made this trip three times more fun.

We stayed in Oman for three days and after the wedding day, we rented the car and explored Ain Garziz, climbed the stairs on Ain Razat, the beautiful Al Mughsayl Beach, Sinkhole Shaat, watched camels on the roadside, serene views of palm trees along the beach and roads, did my silly dance on top of the mountain and of course drove for miles and miles to find the much needed dose of my Karak Chai.

I hope you enjoy Oman through my lens.
To follow along my journey (and travels), you may watch my stories on Instagram and/or on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }.

Cheers to many many more adventures!

Love,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

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Amsterdam – The City of Bicycles

It wasn’t long after I realized its a Big World out there & felt the urge to explore more, my husband and I had a chance to go on a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam – the city of bicycles. By spontaneous, I mean we booked the tickets in the afternoon and flew the same evening. With least expectations and not a set in stone itinerary, unpremeditated trips turn out to be the best.

For Amsterdam, the city with 780,000 people & over 881,000 bicycles, extensive canals, amazing museums, even more amazing public transport, and not-so-amazing-drug-dealers, I chose to do a black & white series of photos for this trip. Hope you enjoy them.

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan

Science Center Nemo

Science Center Nemo

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan

Street Musicians

Street Musicians

Palace on Dam Square

Palace on Dam Square

Apartments & Restaurants by the Canals

Apartments & Restaurants by the Canals

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Palace

Palace

Streets of Amsterdam

Streets of Amsterdam

Extensive Canals

Canals

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0013 Amsterdam_Photography_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0002

Keep Exploring!

~ Rima

15 Reasons Why I love Dubai

Every time I visited Pakistan from USA, my uncles used to ask me the same question repeatedly. “What do you like better – Pakistan or USA?”

When I got married and moved to Dubai, the question remained the same with the addition of “What do u like the best – Pakistan, Dubai, or USA?”  My patriotic heart screams ‘sab se pehlay Pakistan’, the head shakes & my brain smirks with the thoughts of USA, but my answer is always the same – DUBAI!          

Although I dearly miss my family and cousins in Pakistan, and friends from college, university, and mosque in USA – I have to admit that Dubai has won my heart and following are 15 personal reasons why I love Dubai.

  1. HALAL FOOD! (yes, in big bold+italic+underlined capital letters). Born a foodie, I can dine out or order something to be delivered, tension-free.
  2. Best of both worlds i.e. a perfect mixture of Pakistan & USA. You can easily find Ragú and Shan masalas in the aisles of any grocery store. From Khaadi’s shalwar-kameez to Forever21, you’ll find everything in Dubai.
  3. Easy access to the rest of the world. Countless airlines fly to all parts of the world and reach any destination in no more than 13 hours (including USA).
  4. Winters. If I were given a choice, I can spend allllllll the winters in Dubai for the rest of my life. Lots of outdoor activities and dinning out in beautiful weather, Dubai’s winters are like Paris (on desert).
  5. burj_khalifa_Dubai_UAE_why_i_love_dubaiSelf-Made. Dubai might seem artificial to many people but you have to give credit to the people and government for their efforts for building an artificial paradise on sand.
  6. Dream cars, signature brands & authentic restaurants. Although I’m not a crazy-car-junkie but I have never, ever, seen as fastest, most expensive, beautiful cars in the whole wide world as I have witnessed in Dubai. You’ll know you are in Dubai when you see Police roaming around in Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, and Aston Martin. Ohhhh Yeah! As far as brands and food is concerned, simply goto the world’s biggest mall – The Dubai Mall – and be in awe.
  7. Big grand weddings. If you want to witness the grandness of Dubai’s weddings, go look through the wedding photos I photographed.
  8. Women facilities & Safety. You may go out in jeans, skirts, shalwar-kameez, or abayas, no one cares. I love the women’s only gyms, clean separated public bathrooms and mosques for ladies in the malls.
  9. Tax Free! The salaries, shopping, dinning, etc are all tax free. Don’t get your hopes too high, everything is pretty expensive here but if you are a bachat-pack-person, you will survive just fine! I also have to mention that Dubai’s money has lots of barakat (or may be I’m one of the bachat-pack)
  10. Crowd. I love love loveeeeeeeee the diversity in Dubai. You’ll find here educated, humble, helpful, and people of all races, accents, and colors (except for purple).
  11. Architects’ dreamworld. From the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, sail like 7 star hotel Burj-ul-Arab, to the twisted building (that I don’t know the name of) in JBR – Marina, Dubai has some fascinating buildings and the number is consistently growing.
  12. Free home delivery service (I can write an entire blog entry on this). Imagine calling the grocery store 5 times a day for 1 lemon, 2 tomatoes, and chocolate and all these are delivered to your apartment. For FREE!
  13. My apartment. The place I call my very own home. My dream come true!
  14. Maids!!! A shout out to Dilwara (my maid). I adore you!
  15. And last but not least, muslim showers in the bathroom!!! I don’t know why some racist would name the hand showers ‘muslim showers’ but I had to convey the point. I mean, Pakistan is still in the Lota-mode, USA doesn’t have those, the entire Europe didn’t, and even Turkey didn’t have those. I almost hugged the hand shower when I came back home after a month.

I loveeee Dubai. Every bit of it. Next time you are in town, holla!
Let me know where you are from and what the city is like. I may visit it next time! 😉

Missouri Part 3 – Botanical Garden

‘April showers bring May flowers’ but you’ll find mother nature awfully kind to Missouri’s Botanical Garden because I found gorgeous flowers there even in the beginning of April. It was my first time visiting a botanical garden, everrrrrr, which made it a lot more fun to go around, witness, smell, & photograph the beauty of nature in the form of beautiful, unique, (and weird) flowers/plants. Even the leaf-less tress were so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist capturing their photos.  This is my last post of Missouri because I will be visiting & photographing New York City tomorrow but I just had to share some of the photos from the trip.

 

Be like a flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it – Imam Ali

 

I’ll write/share photos of NYC but until then, keep spreading the colors of love!

Missouri Part 2 – The Cave State

Missouri is also known as the Cave State.  Always inspired by nature, I knew I had to go visit the caves.  Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful, Missouri’s buried treasure. These jewels of nature which took thousands of years to grow, are preserved in the spectacular sights of Meramec Caverns. It was fun to learn how the ancient limestone “Wine Table” and an entire 7-story mansion were built….all underground. We witnessed both the rarest and largest cave formations in the world. 

I will see you with another colorful blog post soon.

Have a great weekend!

– Rima

Missouri Part 1 – The Gateway Arch

This is my third trip to Missouri, the Cave State. I flew alone when I visited my in-laws last two times. This trip is special because my husband came to USA for the first time. I’m enjoying looking at things through his eyes. Also, I got to see/do a lot more fun things such as visit the Arch, Bison Park, Duck Park, Creve Coeur Lake, Botanical Garden, Meramec Caverns, and the highlight of the entire trip as of yet is {family bbq} Zip-Lining.

Although Missouri’s weather changes even faster than New Jersey, the day we visited the arch was cloudy but gorgeousssss! With Mississippi river flowing on one side, the arch will leave you in awe. Following are some of the photos of the massive 630 feet high beautiful structure made of steel and concrete, costing $13,420,168.

More adventures from our Missouri trip will be up on the blog soon. Until then keep exploring!

– Rima

Dubai Art Season – SIKKA14

Last weekend, my husband & I had the pleasure of meeting & joining more than 40 photographers for a fun photo-walk organized by The Emirates Photography Forum and Dubai Culture & Art. We toured through the famous Bastakiya in Bur Dubai and then took the abra ride from one end of Dubai Creek to another. It was an extraordinary experience because of Dubai Art Season’s SIKKA event. SIKKA is the first annual initiative of its kind founded by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority to support and showcase Emirati and Dubai-based artistic talent.   

You may visit EPF’s Facebook page to see amazing work of some very talented photographers. Following are some of my clicks from the photo-walk.

 

Cheers!

Life through my Instagram Photos

Life through Instagram

You can follow along with my adventures on instagram @RimaHassanPhotography

  

For the love of Urdu

I always liked writing. And telling stories. I definitely like writing more because it gives me time to choose better words. My friends say that I have stories within my story (who thinks its a complement?!?!? Yup, me neither 😉 )

Venice

Anyways, where were we? Oh yeah, writing! I always enjoyed writing. And not just writing, I love writing in Urdu, my first language. Whether short stories, excerpts, Haikus, etc, I love them all.

I just love the language. Um…May be I should rephrase that, I am in loveeee with Urdu. I feel a unique connection with it. The type of attachment people have with their names. Or anything that represents their identity.

Or may be I love it so much because I don’t have to think several times before coming up with a sentence. My tongue doesn’t get caught up in the grammar.  The words easily find their way from my heart to the tongue, or in this case, the words come easily from the heart to pores of my fingers.

Thank you to the family & friends who encouraged me to express myself & write again in Urdu. I have started another blog, specifically for Urdu.  I also write in Roman Urdu to make it easy for people who can’t read Urdu but understand it.

~*~  رنگِ حیات  ~*~

This blog is dedicated to the Colors of Life,
In the love of Urdu, for peace of my soul,
And for the sake of my heart…

***************************************
P.S. I have also introduced a Live Chat on my blog.  FoReal!!! You just might find me online sometime.
P.P.S.  Since photos make all the blog posts look so much cooler, the shown above one is from Venice. To give some colors to this entry!
P.P.P.S.  I’m officially celebrating Meet-My-Friends-Week before heading back to where I came from…

ڈوبنے والا تھا میں اور ساحل پر چہروں کا ہجوم
پل کی مہلت تھی میں کس کو آنکھ بھر کر دیکھتا
(احمد فراز)

  

Year of Travel

new-year-2014

2013!!! What a Year! As I would remember it, this was my Year of Travel.

11 International flights, so much of domestic traveling, Europe tour, 2 trips to Pakistan, USA trip, family+friends reunions, got to meet wonderful and exceptionally supportive people around the world, learned so much, progressed both personally & professionally, and my favorite part of it all, embraced Life along with its ups and downs. I Loved it. All of it!

I look forward to 2014 & hope+wish+pray that it is a year of more advancement, more prosperity, health, peace, success, colors, love, laughter, & lots of more blog posts.

Cheers to the New Beginnings!!!