Meet a neighbor: Christian Merieau

Christian-LTDAs soon as you encounter Christian Merieau, Founding Partner at MMAC Design Associates, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s a wonderful host. He offers great company, stimulating conversation and has an inviting, warm personality – sought after qualities in an individual who’s clearly a people’s person. As a seasoned storyteller and natural leader, he infuses his ability to construct and translate a narrative into his holistic approach to the design process.

If there were two things he knew for sure, it’s that he was bad at school, and good at drawing…..  read the full article here on LoveThatDesign !

His specialty is hospitality design so if you’re looking to open your next hotel or restaurant, give him a shout 🙂

Bar-Muda

Our community soccer champs – Meet the team from AC Milan

Are you a soccer champ too?

I’ll admit – I’m not much of a sports buff. As I spend most days tied to my chair in front of a computer, I do try to be physically active once a day. Either a 30-minute walk or swim is my daily dose; that’s usually as much as I can fit into my schedule. I don’t care to watch others play sports either, but I do admire those who commit themselves to a sporting career. The great ones have such passion and drive. (I have that too, just for other things!)

Graziano Mannari – former professional player

I recently got the chance to meet one such individual. I sat down with Graziano Mannari, a former AC Milan player and Champions League winner, to learn that he and his team are working hard to activate our Villagers and get us and our kids moving! He is heading up the AC Milan Soccer School Dubai, one of 19 affiliated clubs worldwide. Overall, these clubs train some 9,000 children with 170 coaches across all continents. Graziano has been Head Coach at AC Milan Academies in Italy, Lithuania, Japan, Singapore and now Dubai. He has brought together a team of professional UEFA and AC Milan qualified coaches to work with kids in Dubai. It’s exciting to know that they have chosen JVT and Sunmarke school as one of their prime venues.

IMG_6227

AC Milan Soccer School Dubai

At the AC Milan Academy, they focus on the growth and development of boys and girls aged 4 to 16 with their accredited program at Sunmarke school. Besides the training and skills development carried out according to the AC Milan Methodology, the club’s boys and girls participate in international and local leagues and tournaments, can attend training at AC Milan Youth HQ in Milan, overseen by AC Milan Staff and are invited to participate in the AC Milan Cup, AC Milan Clinic and the AC Milan Experience. Pretty cool stuff.

Giving Back

What I enjoyed most when chatting with Graziano was that he sees soccer as so much more than just a game. He and his team aim to not only teach kids to play soccer, and play well, but also to deliver important life skills. He believes deeply in using sport to promote good values and shape intelligent, caring individuals. He is a truly caring citizen. He’s also a hidden community angel, working with Dubai’s Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation to ensure that minor children who have lost one or both parents get the chance to participate in the AC Milan Soccer School Academy too.  It seems to me that Graziano is surely not in it for the money or the fame – he truly has the well-being of all children at heart. And this is what sets AC Milan Soccer School apart from the pack!

Sign up and join the fun!

If you’re interested to enroll your girls & boys with the AC Milan Soccer School Dubai, or maybe help organize a community soccer event, contact them by:
email: info@acmilansoccerschool-dubai.ae or Tel: 0562469100
Visit their website for more details.

Current Schedule at Sunmarke School:

  • Wednesday at 4.30-6pm
  • Friday at 4.30-6pm   and   6-7.30pm
  • Saturday at 9-10.30am   and   10.30am-12pm

Give to the JVT fridges this Ramadan

Many JVTers have responded to the call, but more support is needed. All throughout Ramadan, the fridge initiative is providing sustinence to the needy among us.

Here in JVT, there are many less fortunate – our gardeners, security guards and the hundreds of labourers building our new shopping malls and the surrounding apartment buildings.

20170610_112502

The JVT Ramadan fridges run out of stock several times a day. Yesterday, my family and I filled two fridges and met one of the wonderful fridge managers who told us about the daily ritual of filling the fridge and the many workers stopping by for a refreshment or some fruit.

Here’s where to head:

  • District 5 Villa B37
  • District 9 Villa E26 and Villa N15
  • Imperial Residence lobby
  • Safestway supermarket (next to cashier)

What to give:

  • Drinks: water, juices, soda, laban
  • Fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, watermelon in portions
  • Vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions
  • Dry food such as dates, biscuits, nuts and crisps

Time to share !

If you want to know more, sign up with the Facebook group Ramadan Sharing Fridges in the UAE  or read the recent Gulf News article featuring our own JVT resident Alison Wade!

Leave us a comment about how you are helping others this Ramadan and inspire more action.

Cycle Track coming to JVT

Great news! We’ve learned that Nakheel is planning a new 13km cycle track in JVT. This will link up to the city-wide cycling circuit. We already see many people cycling to school in the village. It will be fantastic to be able to enjoy the outdoors even more.

JVT-Cycle-Track

Nakheel is creating safe, scenic bike routes to encourage recreational cycling and promote health and wellbeing among families and individuals of all ages as part of its commitment to enhancing developments with new facilities and services. Dedicated paths are needed to allow new and experienced cyclists to ride safely, without having to use main roads. The cycle track network will make cycling more accessible and inspire people to get pedalling to keep fit, socialise and help the environment.  For example, people will be able to cycle to the shops, school and friends’ houses without using the car.

The plan also includes a 10 km ‘super loop’, for more experienced riders which can be seen on the below map.

nakheelcommunitiescycletrack

Read more about the plans in Gulf News.

*story updated with map on 5 Feb 2017

Secondary school student brings speedcubing rage to JVT

Francisco Hamlin, a Year 12 student at Sunmarke school, was the brains behind the recent Emirates Open Speedcubing competition hosted by the World Cube Association. Not only did he instigate and organize the day long event, he was an avid competitor himself.

Our local restaurants, Noa’s Delices and Forni, were on hand to keep everyone’s thirst quenched and bellies full as they went through both lunch and dinner in the school gymnasium. The winners out of 102 registered participants were crowned late in the day on Saturday, 14th January.

The winners of the each category were:

  • 3x3x3: Fransisco Hamlin (Sunmarke School) Best Overall score – 9.4 secs
  • 2x2x2: Fransisco Hamlin (Sunmarke School) Best Overall Score – 2.26
  • 4x4x4: Fransisco Hamlin (Sunmarke School) Best Overall Score – 8.79
  • 5x5x5: Fransisco Hamlin (Sunmarke School) Best Overall Score – 8.79
  • 3x3x3 One-handed: Fransisco Hamlin (Sunmarke School) Best Overall Score – 13.15
  • 3x3x3 Blind-folded:Mayur Ukey Best (Dubai based School) Overall Score – 02.32.2

The action-packed day was concluded with an awards ceremony where all participants received an official certificate from the Emirates Open 2017 sponsors.

Have a look at some pictures I took on the day:

Check out all the amazing videos on the Sunmarke school’s Facebook page. Here is one that demonstrates all the skill and dexterity needed to become a master at speedcubing.

A new treat in JVT: Noa’s Delices

A young couple living in JVT is soon bringing us a new culinary treat, Noa’s Delices!

Their business, Earnest Enterprises LLC, is behind this new venture. And earnest they are. This hardworking pair brings the neighborhood another family business which is sure to tantalize our taste buds. Part of the JVT community since a little more than one year, we are delighted that Stephane and Sunita chose to open their lovely little café restaurant right at home.

noas-delice-outdoor

I was lucky to recently meet the co-owner, Stephane, as he was sitting silently at an empty table in the quiet restaurant striving to get everything in place for the opening. I took the opportunity to pop in and then got to speak to the couple about how they got started. They began planning this project back in May, 2015 and feel it has been a marathon run ever since. With many hurdles, big and small, to overcome, they are rightly proud to have come nearly to the end of their race. “The experience has been priceless and worth any hardship we encountered along the way,” Stephane told me. I’m particularly excited to give the JVT community a sneak peak at what we can expect to find at our newest dining experience opening soon.

getting-set-up

Noa’s Délices is aptly named after the couple’s first miracle, daughter Noa. Their little princess inspired them to develop this food and drink outlet incorporating all of the Delights of a genuine, home-feel french café with traditional viennoiserie, patisserie and time-honored dishes. As ultimate foodies, they are clearly driven to develop an authentic dine-in concept offering traditional meals at an affordable price to delight their customers and build a loyal base of regulars. “We believe in being honest and bringing honest food to a table,” said Sunita.

I was especially thrilled to learn that JVTers will get a special treat with at-home delivery of Noa’s French Breakfast Basket. Brought directly to your doorstep, the basket will include real French pastries, breads, jams and butter.  I hope to be the first to put in my order for a fresh, daily ficelle! Anyone who has travelled to Paris will certainly agree with me that an early morning thin ficelle spread with delicious dairy butter cannot be beat.

noas-delice-inside

Passionate about their craft, the couple explained how they were often disappointed with a lot of French food outlets around Dubai which turned out to be either less than authentic or highly overpriced. They also found that JVT was lacking an establishment where families, office employees or neighborhood school staff could congregate to enjoy a good meal or light snack without having to take the car outside the community. These two points were central to convincing the couple to open their doors at the Imperial Residence Building next to Limitless. When I asked them why they chose JVT as their home, it was the variety of cultures and, above all, the tranquility which makes for peaceful and relaxing surroundings which won them over.

I found their enthusiasm for Noa’s Delices both charming and infectious. It surely made me want all the best for them. Not only do Sunita and Stephane intend to make us happy in JVT, they also plan to give back. They explained to me how they wish to contribute to humanitarian work from future profits they generate. “We are so passionate about our business because we believe in being real and in doing good,” Sunita explained. Since getting married in 2012, they have been working on setting up a business and dreaming about making their mark on the world. Let’s wish them lots of luck and help them achieve their dreams each time we dine at Noa’s Delights!

Opening any day now… See you there!

Location: Imperial Residence (across from Milestone)
Tel: 04 421 5180

Neighborhood carolers

In case you missed the singing tonight in JVT, here is a picture of the neighborhood carolers who did a lovely rendition of Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and many other seasonal favorites.

Thanks for knocking on our door to spread your cheer!

20161218_201127