FooDiva on CNN, plus a new-look blog

Foodiva site“CNN is filming a travel show on Dubai and we’d like you to be our go-to person on restaurants. Can we meet tomorrow to discuss?” That was a phone call out of the blue a few months ago from one of CNN International’s producers. Needless to say I did a happy little dance and accepted before anyone changed their mind.

We spent an exhilaratingly long day and night filming at some of my favourite restaurants in this inspiring emirate that I’ve called home for 14 years. Whilst a tad nervous in the build-up, I absolutely loved every minute filming. I could have nattered away on air forever (thank goodness it’s all edited) – these CNN guys and gals are true professionals.

Fast forward and CNN Go’s 30-minute show airs for the first time tomorrow (Wednesday) following five knowledgeable insiders as they explore Dubai bringing across different viewpoints. Streamed to 255 million households worldwide, the timing couldn’t be more perfect as Dubai readies itself for the World Expo 2020 bid announcement next month.

Aside from FooDiva, you’ll see and hear from local filmmaker, Abdulla Al Kaabi who opens the show by skydiving over Palm Jumeirah before heading to the desert and the indigenous Arabian oryx. Radio jockey, Simone Heng explores the remarkable development of Downtown Dubai, whilst jewellery designer Nadine Kanso reflects on Dubai’s heritage when visiting the Gold Souk by abra. And finally, CNN is invited by rock band Juliana Down into a recording studio in Al Quoz.

CNN Go DubaiHere’s the broadcast schedule starting tomorrow for a month (in local UAE time) and if you miss it on telly, it’s available to view online here. If you’re tuning in from elsewhere in the world, UAE is currently three hours ahead of BST.

It seems quite apt that I should glam up my blog with a new look at the same time, so voila…the new FooDiva. The cerise pink remains, albeit combined with aubergine – I am still a diva after all ;). The nature of my blog’s content has grown tremendously over the last two+ years so you’ll see posts now grouped into six distinct categories: Restaurant Reviews (the bulk of what I write), Food Features, Meet Chefs (interviews), Gourmet Shops, Foodie Happenings and Culinary Travel. The newly designed e-alert you receive when subscribing to FooDiva (free of course) also includes links to the latest posts. Stay tuned as we work on an app.

So FooDiva Friends, do tune in to CNN if you feel inclined and let me know your thoughts. Any comments on the new design also welcome.

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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32 Responses to “FooDiva on CNN, plus a new-look blog”

  1. GA October 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Loving the new look! congratulations on the CNN gig 🙂

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks so much GA. I guess aubergine is more autumnal 😉

      • GA October 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        I will let you off 🙂

  2. Sally - My Custard Pie October 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Great news and fab new design. Go Foodiva 🙂

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks Sally. It doesn’t matter how many peeps you test the design on in advance, it’s the validation after that matters.

  3. Kelly October 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Congratulations on both! Looking forward to watching CNN tomorrow.

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks I am too!

  4. Stacy October 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

    How fabulous! Can’t wait to see CNN showcase this great city. They came to the right person for restaurant advice!

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      It’s a brilliant showcase for Dubai and I hope we’ve shed some light on the different spectrums this city has to offer. I hope I do Dubai’s diverse restaurant scene justice…so much to say so little time!

  5. IshitaUnblogged October 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Congratulations on the new look as well as the ‘knowledgeable insider’ to show off Dubai on CNN:)

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      CNN are calling us knowledgeable insiders so we had better live up to their expectations! Thanks Ishita, appreciate your constant support.

  6. Smaranda October 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Great new look of the site! Waiting to see you on CNN! 😉

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Smaranda. I am waiting too 🙂

  7. Grace @ Sandier Pastures October 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Excited to see the CNN segment! And congrats too on the new blog design. It’s very clean and uncluttered. I might be the only one to say the font is small for reading? Is this 10pt?

    • FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      We felt it looked a lot cleaner with this font size, but if you’re struggling to read it we may have to revisit this. Appreciate your feedback Grace.

      • Grace @ Sandier Pastures October 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        I just need to get my granny glasses and it’s all good! 🙂
        I guess I’m just used to the big font in my own blog and in the other blogs I frequently read. Thanks for the reply!

  8. Emma October 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Congratulations! What an exciting opportunity to work with CNN. Will try and track down the broadcast at this end of the world.

  9. FooDiva October 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks so much Emma. This will go down as one of my most memorable, enjoyable and thrilling ‘projects’. I was so impressed with their professionalism and organisation – ever so slick. Great, fun team to work with too. If you don’t get a chance to watch it on telly it will be available permanently online in the link I have shared (from tomorrow).

  10. Minna October 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Congratulations, I like the new look, font size is just perfect for my eyes. Aubergine is a new pink!
    CNN trailer is promising, if I miss it tonight, like usually, hope it’s in youtube soon enough.

    • FooDiva October 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks Minna that’s reassuring about the font. Was beginning to worry. It’s not yet available online, but is on TV tomorrow 8.30am and 10.30pm if you get a chance to tune in.

  11. Kelly October 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    We watched it and loved it. Well done!

    • FooDiva October 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly!

  12. Kim October 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

    So fun working with you! Hope you enjoyed it…and we must get together, it’s been too long since that blissful day of eating together! best KK

    • FooDiva October 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Kim that’s so touching thank you. If I could rewind (literally) I’d go back to that day of filming and eating! What an absolute blast and learning thanks to you and the team. I love doing things that take me out of my comfort zone. I’ll be in touch for a reunion…question is Bukhtair or LPM?!

  13. Expat08 October 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Well done. Loved it. Showed true passion for food.

    • FooDiva October 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Thank you so much. I can talk food and eat it of course non stop 😉

  14. Johann Z October 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Congratulations on the new look website – very easy to navigate and find things – big improvement and well done.

    The CNN programme was really informative – it portrayed Dubai very well. Thanks for the tip about the ‘hidden gem’ on the beach – a must for seafood lovers…… and a real contrast with the ‘high end’ restaurants that Dubai is well known for.

  15. FooDiva October 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Johann. The new site feels like a good spring clean and decluttering my wardrobe! I really wanted the cheap and cheerful dining side to shine through too, especially as this particular spot is on the posh side of town. One for your Dubai bucket list 🙂

  16. Tj October 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Wow! I have just followed you on Twitter and have been reading all your tweets. This is a very interesting site, makes me wanna eat all the time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise <3

    • FooDiva October 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

      That’s very kind of you thank you 🙂 Like Vietnam, eating out is a huge part of the expat culture here in the UAE, even though it’s a little more top-end here. Happy to help with any specific restaurant recommendations. x

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