Victory Heights Craft Fayre 2011

Like I said in my previous post, the fair season is running in full swing. People are holding craft sales in their homes, coffee mornings are hosting table sales and what not. Today we attended the Victory Heights Craft Fayre at the Els Club. It was my first visit to the club and I loved the beautiful lush green grass and the gorgeous golf course was mind blowing. The club ofcourse, was rather small but there was alot of festivities in the atmosphere, with kids playing around, residents and visitors enjoying the many colorful stalls hosting a good variety of goods/products.

Most of the vendors were nice enough to allow me to take pictures. And here they are for those of you who were unable to attend this small but lovely  fayre :-

 

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I hope you guys are inspired by all the glamorous colors and gorgeous creativity in these pics ! I know I am ūüôā

See you and have a pleasent weekend.

Till my next post,

Creatively yours

Naush

Market Day at Arabian Ranches 2011

We have already entered the fair (events) season, with the first one being the Arabian Ranches Market Day which was held on the last Friday of October. I was participating in the popular Arabian Ranches Market Day, last year, but this year, my schedule was too tight with the inlaws visiting us from Saudi and all the transformations I am working on at home presently.

 As always the Market Day was excellently organized.  We spend a lovely afternoon finding some amazing stuff and enjoying all the activities organized. Not only did we have over 100 stalls selling clothes, shoes, decoration items, cds, electronics, toys, books, games,  furniture and heaps of many more things, but we also had stalls for games, face painting, rodeo rides and ofcourse tons of more activities. I managed to click a few lovely photos which I am sharing here.  As a community, Arabian Ranches, always amazes me with friendly and mostly helpful residents. 

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Needless to say, I bought myself a heap of lovely stuff from the table top sales !

 

 

In the Newspapers.

One of the many things great about living in a community is the ‚Äúfeeling‚ÄĚ of belonging, of being a part of the community. One of our proactive residents at the Ranches, has started a blog directory for all the business women in Arabian Ranches. She‚Äôs been very enthusiastic and worked very hard to get everyone involved in providing services or exhibiting their talents, into this directory.¬† What an innovative idea… isn’t it ?

There are few women, who are involved in fashion wear, or accessories, party organizing, jewellry, gifts and handmade stuff. It is, now, so convenient to know exactly,  who is planning what event,  rather than having to go two highways away to pick a special gift !  We now have the information right under our nose and thats just brilliant. Its always that one person who is ready to carry the baton, claim the baton and in this case, pick the baton, that makes all the difference. And for the Ranches, its Clemintina.

Two weeks back, we were interviewed by Express times of Gulf news and finally, the feature appeared in last Thursday’s newspaper. Its such a delight ! I suppose there are several ways of being featured in the Newspaper, unfortunetly one of the many being, in the obituary or having done some thing obsene like straus kahn. But I’m glad in my lifetime, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by City 7 for a 15 minutes programe and now, I got a chance to have my mug in the newspaper and all for good reasons !!! Alhamduallah.

Here is the link :-

Please visit this link, to read what we had to say, here.

Also, here is our blog directory : Business Women of Arabian Ranches.

Thank you for visiting me today. So glad you dropped by.

Naush

Flea Markets in Dubai

Actually, its rather the lack of flea Markets in Dubai !!
 
I know,¬†some of you may have totally different opinions about friends and making “real” friends in the blogosphere, but I have been fortunate enough to have bumped into some very¬†thoughtful and creative friends thru the blog world. Its always a joy when you “meet” someone who is practical, creative, has the same hobby as yourself, and is a mom !¬†One such friend and I, have been¬†enjoying¬†exchanging a bunch¬†of links.¬† What links¬†? you ask ?¬†
 
Well, one of the most fullfilling feeling I get, is when I see an old piece of furniture get a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric to cover up old spoils. Things like how you can reuse, recycle or refurbish a room are abosolute joys to me. I used to virtually spend hours dug in, links into links into links ~ lost in a beautiful world where common people like myself are making a difference, one object at a time. One such fantastic site is :http://betterafter.blogspot.com/ Amazing transformations here.
      
(This transformation is an absolute joy from “three boys“. Kindly follow the link to view the other amazing projects too. )
                                            
And another one of those “viewing” passions, is the Flea Markets in America.¬† Its amazing to visit just a few of them on the web and feel so enchanted by the vast variety of different period furniture, clothes, suitcases, antiques and what not.¬† It is a such an eye candy just visiting those¬†booths with a cocktail of items from jewellry to¬†boots to a swing !
                                             
In Dubai however, things are different. Being a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, languages and traditions, people of different mentalities feel certain inhibitions towards using second hand stuff. There is a large population of labourers and maids from India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Philipines, indonesia, Ethopia and a few other countries too.  Then there are the clerical workers, mostly Asians again but not very handsomely paid for their 6 days a week, 10 hour a day job ! If anything, such sales would benefit them the most.
 
One of the most generous groups of people in Dubai are the¬†super affluent locals (Emarati’s), who¬†would generally handover their clothes and accessories to their drivers and maids, while the furniture is traditionally changed every year and the old ones are simply “dumped”.¬†Thats right, you read it right, dumped by the dumpster ! ¬†They would generally consider it below their dignity to sell it in the second hand market.¬†
 
There is a large second hand market in Dubai which caters to mainly furniture goods. Some of the shops in Karama are the favorite haunts for new lower income asians to pick their furniture from. One of the things I love about Dubai ~ theres a place for everyone to find what they’re looking for, be it food, accomodation, grocery or clothes.
 
Ofcourse the advent of “Foreigners” ~ aka Americans, Europeans, Australians, and New Zealanders did bring about the concept of garage sale or yard sales in Dubai. What with ads for garage sales in the Jumeirah and Mirdiff areas in the 1990s and ofcourse with the boom of the property era, areas like the Greens, Marina, Lakes,¬†Arabian Ranches, falcon city ~ have all followed the traditional annual spring cleaning followed by garage sales. These sales are generally community based¬†run by word of mouth or a flyer on the community market notice board or an advert in the local classified section of Gulf News.¬† They are so popular especially¬†coz nearly everyone is benefiting from them.
 
Our Arabian Ranches Market Day is a huge hit, and you’d find everyone selling and buying toys, clothes, shoes, stuff, that kids have outgrown, or lost interest in, grown up, and sometimes, even unwanted “gifts” !!¬† People from all walks of life,¬†are seen buzily buying and enjoying the family time together becoz the management sets the school ground as¬†a family day park ¬†for the residents, putting up food stalls and bouncing castles for the children.
                                                              
                                            
For a long period of time, The Feline Friends garage sale was hugely popular. You had people lining up from early hours of a friday morning in the sultry heat, hours before the gates opened at the factory outlet in Al Quoz where they would temporarily pile up heaps and heaps of clothes, toys, shoes, furniture, house decor and so much much more into a dozens of mini mountains. Word spread amongst the labour community and these became very popular. With designer trousers going for dhs 1 !!!!! why wouldnt it !
Now these sales are a rare event in some villa courtyard in Al Barsha, maybe once every couple of months but definetly nowhere close to the amount of stuff and crowd as it used to attract before.
 
                                        
I have been an ardent visitor to the FF Garage sales. It gives me tremendous satisfaction knowing that I have not blown away 3 workers salary on a single branded handbag or an entire years salary of one labour on a pair of branded sandals !! Its truly a joy, knowing your putting in your bit by trying to recylcle and reuse. For whatever reason, those sales are not held anymore, unfortunetly.
 
Generally folks living¬†in villa’s,¬†leaving the country for good,¬†would initially give away most of the things to their maids and helpers and sometimes put up a “Leaving Country” sale. If your lucky, you could hit jackpot. Years back, I remember, I heard of one such sale from a friend of a friend of one Mary who was then running the scrapbookers network in Dubai¬†and when she was leaving her house she put up a sale,¬†¬†although I was late in attending it, I remember,¬†feeling like I was in a crafters paradise !!!!¬†¬†
For someone who was looking for clothes, purses and cooking utensils, her crafters scrapbooks or rubberstamps would’ve meant zilch, but to someone who saves for every copic marker, it was BIG !!
 
You’d be amazed at what is seen lying in the bylanes of Umm Sequeim or Jumeirah or Nad Al Sheeba !! To the westerner who cannot even come close to imagining, to what extent the Rich are Rich here, a close up of their¬†garbage bins, is a good place to begin from ūüôā
                                         
I remember, in the 2008 economic melt down, we remember, seeing a group of maids rumaging thru a heap of garbage bags in one of the communities of Ranches. On a closer look, I saw one of the maids toss a handbag behind which I recognized was a PRADA. No not the fake ones.¬†Having been gifted the original thing, I knew how to differentiate them. ¬†There were 11 such designer bags in¬†that garbage bag !!!!!!!!¬†¬† There were several such garbage bags scattered everywhere…¬† Naturally, they belonged to some filthy rich but unfortunate¬†lady,¬† who had to leave the country in haste lest she get stuck in the jail for defaulting on her bank loan payments, decided Prada was not worth her freedom !
I was super happy some time back, when they started a flea market, in Safa Park, jumeirah. In the summers, they kept it in the adjacent school auditorium and it was attracting a crowd and people were leaving happy with their shoppings and vendors were not too unhappy too with their sales. It is a good platform. Unfortunetly, I feel they have not really marketted themselves well and I feel, alot of vendors are now bringing stuff from India etc trying to sell it there. Not alot of people are aware of them in the different areas of Dubai. Look them up here at : Dubai Flea Market. Dubai Flea Market
 
I know, there is one store in a small mall in Satwa, where ladies (the super rich class ) ¬†who if they wish to give away their “Original & Only Designer ” handbags, scarves, accessories etc can put them up there and they sell them for a relatively good price instead of dumping them in the bin. Imagine a Versace or a Channel, visiting something close to the dump !! Criminal, isnt it ????
 
In my experience, I have found, one good option in selling and buying second hand goods in Dubai is Dubizzle. Thats an online market, where, you just register without having to pay any fees. I have sold my ikea egg chair and a fax machine thru dubizzle and was amazed by the spontaneous response, I got. I never thought it was so popular but I suppose, online shopping has finally caught up in Dubai.
                                        10.1 Flea market,Athens
 
Ofcourse for those of you, who are interested in a good reading, dont forget to join the second hand books fair, that feline friends hold with the Arte Market at Times Square. Imagine a good book, and the proceeds goes in the upkeep and the feline neutering programe.
 
I still feel, there is a huge market here for selling used goods, not necessarily for workers but there are so many many, low income families who would benefit too. Having a proper flea market could and would answer alot of problems. Its a way, in which your trash is going to benefit someone. A hole in a sweater may mean a good bye from you, but for someone who decides that a 20 dhs sweater may be too steep a price,  would be overjoyed to have yours for free or even if it is for dhs 1 or 2 !! Please remember, what you give, (eventually after completing the whole circle) , returns to you.  
 
If you have enjoyed this article or benefitted from it, kindly leave a comment. I would appreciate it alot.
 
Naush
 
Photograpsh: courtesy Google Images.

Tutorial on Home Craft show organization and preparation.

I hope this article benefits some or any of you who are planning on setting up a craft sale in your home. Its about my preparation and the arrangements to be made before the actual day.

Ok, so its that time of the year, when I generally start my summer craft workshop. In addition to that, I will be organizing a home show for all my craft products which include :

  • Handmade greeting cards
  • Art and Craft Kits
  • Scrapbooking stickers
  • Altered Frames and wall hangings.
  • Altered tins, door hangers etc
  • Craft embellishments.
  • I have 3 times more cards which need to be placed with envelopes in cellophane !!

These are just the main items, ofcourse there are plenty more in the sub category.  for example, the craft embellishments include,  

 

As you can see, my work station1 is completly a hill site full of colorful embellies.

  • foam
  • fabric
  • ceramic
  • metal
  • glass
  • wood
    Here they are all just mixed in the larger packets which first have to be sorted into different categories.These are the altered clothespin with woodsies attached to them. I have a huge pile of these to sell too. Anyone interested ?

  • ¬†

Further more there are different shapes like, hearts, stars, flowers, critters, butterflies, oceanic, baby related and so many many more. Here I have somehow managed to fill 4 different boxes categorizing woodsies, clothespins, baby embellies and fabric flowers/butterflies. There are some more smaller boxes which I could not fit in the pic.

trying to keep some focus and make some sense of all the chaos .. .
Being methodical can be time consuming and painful but in the end, you stand to gain alot from it. I am a perfectionist and always need to see things arranged in clusters, groups, with tags, in packets etc. Ofcourse, I will be putting up my 200 different types of ribbons as well. And my handmade papers too.However I have just one week at hand and a H U G E task ahead of me in this short time.
 
Here are the few main tasks at hand :
  • Preparing the product for selling
  • All the cards have to be placed in celophane with coordinated envelopes.
  • Price tags¬†with store labels.
  • Stickers sorted in different categories and price tagged
  • Door hangers, wall hangings and altered arts wrapped, sealed and price tagged.
  • Plastic carry bagsCalculator, cash for change, pen, receipt pad, business cards
  • Prepare the cork board for sample display sets.

 

Ok, so some progress is taking place. Placing here are some envelopes coordinating with the card colors.

My newer wall hangings, door hangers, placards, and bookmarks ~ waiting to be wrapped and dressed.All the embellishments, packed, tagged, and priced. Hanging for now in a make shift display.

All the embellishments, packed, tagged, and priced. Hanging for now in a make shift display. Eventually all the embellishments are going to look like this.

 Note: The tags on my embellishment packets were designed by me on my last trip to India. Very early on, I realized that its always important to market your products well. Hence these tags are printed front and back and I just punched a tiny hole so as to let them hang on the wire rack.

I know the picture quality is not good but I think you get the “picture” :)

 Display organization

I can never emphasis enough how important, a display really is. Probably the reason why, big stores hire a proper merchandiser just to enhance the visual effect of a display. It is necessary that the display looks uncluttered, organized, has easy access, and is attractive. No matter how brilliant a product is, if the display does not grab your attention, no one is really going to want to pick that item up, leave aside buying it.

  • Invest in a good simple fabric to cover your display area or table. Please remember dont use a printed sheet, lest it distract the buyer.
  • Give them ample of space to move around. If possible try to use the¬†wall to hang items which can be hung.
  • Another thing, make sure, you have ample of lighting in the room and if not, try to find spot lights or lamps which can light up dark corners and focus on the item.

Here’s a list of the things I need to prepare for 

  • Get the display items out of the shed, clean the 2 metal racks, 2 foldable white tables,
  • paint the wheeled rack in the courtyard,
  • Ready the 3 table top racks
  • Find¬†the small table top easels from the shed.
  • Get the special¬†runners (for fairs) for dinning table
  • Gathering all the baskets for keeping the embellishments
  • This wheelie wire display is desperate for a coat of some fresh paint. There’s the table wire rack that I was talking about.

    And there’s the 1+2 portable tables for display.

     This is my shed. Completly stacked to the brim with my exhibition/fair stuff. Except for the blue floor sofa, its all MY STUFF !!

  • ¬† 

    There’s the table wire rack that I was talking about.

  • ¬†

Decoration

  • Prepare the Doodle Buddies Banner/Bunting with fabric
  • street¬†signs poster
  • This bunting, I prepared last night. Ofcourse, this is not complete. I am preparing an entire tutorial for this which I will upload soon.

Advertising :

  • Facebook list on Naush and Doodlebuddies
  • Emailing list
  • Arte List
  • social club friends, or coffee morning bunch.
  • Making digital poster as well hard copy¬†of¬†the poster for Le Marshe, Spinneys, Lakes, Shop and Sell.
  •  
    Ofcourse, I have kept the message clear with no fancy fonts. This is my flyer.

    Menu Planning

Keeping some light refreshments and snacks, serves two purposes. Not only is it courteous to keep something at hand to serve in this horendous heat but it also helps in keeping people over for longer while they munch something.

Dont forget, some very special friendships of like minded people can form thru such events. I know, I have met some extraordinary people thru these meetings so dont be shy to open up, speak up and talk about your art. I always look forward to exhibitions like these, becoz there is nothing better than to bump into someone who is always designing similar things like me and so, faces the same issues like myself.

Although this may not look like alot, its best not to leave anything for 2 days before the show. So the adverts, have to be out ASAP !! People need to plan their weekend and see how they can fit a little shopping at Doodle Buddies in their schedule so its best they are invited much in advance.

So far only the banner is done and looks awesome, if I may say so myself. Not even 1/3 of the cards have found their way into the cellophanes :(   The embellishments need a lot of organizational work. At this point, if you can get someone to help out a bit. That would be great. A close friend, a good available neighbour, naturally the husband if he is willing. In my case, my kids are a huge help and support. And my hubby is like a backbone to the whole episode.

Although I have a very large courtyard/garden, due to the incredibly hot temperature, I will be keeping the show in the lounge room which means alot of reshuffling of the furniture to accomodate the show racks and keeping some space for movement at the same time.

I have managed to click and add a few photos to give you a brief idea of what I have in my plates !!

I hope you enjoy these pictures and please remember, this is my situation with the loads etc, but its not necessary that everyone HAS to unload an entire shed to get things out !! A little bit of organizational skills will help you tremendously in keeping prepared for the big day. Becoz you are the best judge of how your rooms look and how you can arrange your room to accomodate your products, you would have to have a vague picture in your mind of approximately how you want things placed. Inspite of all the best of the preparations, things do tend to go wrong at the last minute but atleast with a list of things in hand, you are overcoming a large part of if and how things can fall apart.

I have some more pointers about what kind of snacks to provide for the show in a climate like the one, we are experienceing right now, but I will keep that and a whole lot of more things for my next post, since this post has got so long already.

I hope you enjoyed your stay at Creative Mom in Dubai & Doodle Buddies. I hope you found some solutions, some ideas and found some inspiration to try out a long awaiting fair too. Please write to me if you found my article inspiring.

Thank you for stopping by.

Naush

Handmade items/Hobby ~ business in Dubai.

Dear Friends,

Often I have been asked on my blog if I run classes and could employ people and/or for some kind of guidance in this field.

Recently amongst the many calls I receive for some guidance was a call from Rida Farooq who also wished for some direction in this matter, staying in UAE.

Firstly, by no means, am I, an expert but I could only provide some of my own experience in this field.

I am a papercrafter and create handmade greeting cards, altered art, book binding and recylable items.  To view a full range of my cards and papercrafting creations, please click here.  In the past I have taught in schools and institutes but realized that these venues provide a large limitation on budget and generally dont fullfill their pledge when they advertize a product to their clients.

Therefore, I decided to offer private classes for children as well as ladies. I offer classes from my home at the Arabian Ranches every quaterly. For the children, there is a beginners and advanced art class covering all aspects and mediums of creating art works including water colors, arcylics etc.  And for the ladies, classes are limited to the various aspects of papercrafting.  I am not a sewer (which I would have loved to be !)

5 years back, I chose not to get involved in full time business for various reasons which do not apply now. But becoz you could be in a similar situation I am disclosing it to you.

1: My kids were alot younger and I prefered to do something on the side, rather than jump into a full time commitment which I may not be able to fullfill.

2:¬†Business, in this part of the world is rather complicated with the involvement of trade liscence, visa procedures, having a partner’s constant involvment ( to have a business in Dubai or UAE, one must have a local “arbab” who is the local representative or sponsor of the business, although his involvment could be limited, in terms of finance and decisions, nevertheless, one has to pay him a fee on an annual basis, depending on the individual case )

I too, like many, prefered to manage from the comfort of my home while waiting for the right opportunity. (Which by the way, may not be the most ideal situation for you, but it “WAS”¬†for me.)

Having said that, now, for what you should do, if you feel you have a talent which has the potential of bringing in, monetary gains ? Well, Primarily¬†find out what exactly you wish to pursue ? You have the¬†choice of selling your product or selling your skills ? Which would you prefer. That is ‘THE’ most important question. Please realize that most people who visit us in our homes or our friends,¬†are going to praise our “ART” skills, becoz that is the polite thing to do, but are they appreciating it so much as to buy it ?

Next, having determined which direction you choose, “NETWORK”¬† … It is a KEY WORD. Talk to people at work or spouces’ friends, or neighbours, friends of friends and spread the word that you can offer some skills or¬†you have products which you would like to sell.¬† Which ever, but first find out from your community, what response you get.

Another important aspect is “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION” as they say in the¬†business jargan . Perhaps you reside¬†rather far from where your potential¬†customers are. Well, then you have to find a way or a channel to come to them, if they cant come to you.

Here, I can also suggest that selling online is also another option. It has benefitted several folks, I know. And its really not as complicated as we make it out to be. There are several sites where you can join to be able to sell thru eg : ETSY.

One drawback about handmade items is that , being handmade, naturally they are always above the regular prices, and there is generally only a particular kind of clientele which appreciates handmade. So reaching them is the question here.

In my opinion, ARTE ~ Artisians of the Emirates, ¬†provides an excellent and very¬†balanced platform for the new hobbyist. They are a monthly “souk” ~ exhibition/fair where you can participate on a monthly basis once you register with them. What I would advise to some one like Rida, is that you should probably visit one of their exhibitions/fairs which is held every first friday of the month at the Times Square on Sheikh Zayed road. Get a feel of how they exhibit and what are the kind of products that sell, talk to the vendors, and see how you think, you can place yourself there.¬† You can reach arte from here : ARTE ¬†or join their facebook group here : Arte

One amongst the score of ladies selling handmade crafty items at the fair. She creates fantastically creative wall hangings.

If you feel more confident then this could be one way you could choose to move in. Another permanent option is where you take up a space/store/shop in a small sized mall or a larger mall. Depending on your budget, these are the basic two ways to go in. Both can turn out to be fruitful provided you believe you have what it takes to make it suceed.

I know of ladies, who have started out from Arte, moved on to get a space thru the Freezone but they struggled, becoz they were located far from the reach of the¬†“REAL” client and I also know of women, who persisted with home business for years before actually opening up large size stores in more renowned malls. We all have our own situations to deal with, so in the end, it boils down to what your situation and budget is like.

I could go on forever on this subject but the most important thing is, that you set your priorities right first and see where you place your hobby/skills. There are scores of books written on this subject. But the bottom line is, as my closest friend Judith put it when I was in a delimma too, was “Running a store/shop/full fledge business is like getting on an ongoing ¬†threadmill”¬† If you get what I mean. Are you 100% committed ? If so, and if not so too, trying out opportunities is alot better than waiting to let things happen to us, get out there, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH and atleast make an effort to know where you stand with your product.

If I can be of any help. Feel free to contact me.

I hope you found my little article informative, inspiring and educational. If so, kindly leave a comment to tell me how and what you feel.

Arabian Ranches Market Day and Being MOM.

I think one of the best things about being Mom is the love that I am constantly surrounded with. Theres a never ending supply of hugs and affection from every quarter in my home. I feel so blessed that I have sons who are always so happy to please me. If a woman wants to feel like a queen, she just has to have sons like I do. I know I havent been the best of Moms. I, like most mums, have a truck load of shortcomings, and probably becoz my boys have not seen any better, they feel, I am the Best !

I know I am hard on them.

I know I push them with their studies.

I know I dont put as much time with them as I would want to, in playing games or in any creative activity.

 I know the supper is not always on time, and sometimes, Manu, is only too happy to have his banana and chocolate milk to sleep off ..

I know I have little control on the scale of my vocal cords.

I know I am mean sometimes, I know I am weak sometimes, I know I havent tried enough sometimes, and I know I have tried too hard sometimes but being Mom, so many things get accepted by these young boys who know no better that I am merely a mother trying to fix too many problems, multitasking all the time and frustrated most of the time..

Last friday, we participated in the first fair since samie’s surgery, 6 months back. The amount of hardwork and teamwork I got from my below 10 year olds would put any management team to shame.¬† Piling up the materials, walking past the field with heavy boxes in arm, helping mom lay out the display stalls, hear her mouthfull of panicky screams and shouts, and then actually manage a table all by themselves…. where do you get such children mashallah !!

They are truly amazing. Allah swt must really love me for such a super fantastic gift.

I have posted this slide just to give you a glimpse of what effort went into making that fair such a roaring sucess for me. You’ll find Sawaab and Manu actually selling things and I was most surprised when one customer queried why the hand made card was alittle higher and Bilal, said quite naturally, ” coz my mother puts in alot of her time and creativity to make sure no two cards are the same.”¬† Shucks ~!~ I WAS BLOWN !!!¬† The boys were oozing of enthusiasm and confidence. They have coz they have been participating with me for the past 3-4 years and have been watching me since …

Please enjoy watching my family making the most of the Arabian Ranches Market day !

http://naush.slide.com/

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