Monday, July 22, 2013
Planning a trip to UAE??? In addition to all those Visa requirements, there are many other things that you need to keep in mind while travelling in Middle East. Their society is considerably more formal and traditional than modern western societies. In fact, even those unfamiliar with the region know of the different code of etiquette followed in the society. In order to make your trip more comfortable and less troublesome, it is best to know of these differences beforehand and prepare for them ahead of the trip to avoid any future problems. Here are some tips regarding how to conduct yourself in the Middle Eastern society to get the maximum hospitality from your hosts:
Because of its diversely expatriate population, English in addition to Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in UAE. You may even hear snatches of Urdu, Hindi and Pashtu as well as various other dialects of Arabic.
In Middle East, communal eating is considered to be a sign of friendship. Also, it is best not eat with your left hand as it is considered to be unclean. In many places, it is considered polite to leave some food on the plate after eating. Do remember not to ask for any pork or pork products as Islam frowns upon the consumption of the same. Also, instead of asking for alcohol, accept the tea or coffee served to you by your hosts. This is because in UAE alcohol is only served in some restaurants and is not widely available as most observant Muslims do not drink or smoke.
Women travelers to UAE should keep in mind the stringent conditions placed by the Middle Eastern society on the fairer sex. Though they are not required to cover their heads or wear the traditional dresses as the locals do, they are required to dress appropriately and conservatively according to the society rules. Many a time while visiting a mosque, you shall be even asked to wear an abaya that shall be provided to you at the mosque itself in adherence to the Muslim tradition.
Always ask for permission before taking photographs of any religious place or military installation or evn any Middle Eastern person, especially women.
Dress modestly and keep both your feet on the floor as it is considered as an insult to show the bottom of your feet to another person. Also, try not to be intrusive and keep your talks to general topics only rather than asking about the spouse or other family members. Another thing that you need to keep in mind while meeting and greeting locals is not to shake hands. Few men indulge in handshakes while most women refrain from touching men who are not from the family. Instead they show their sincerity and happiness in simply putting their hands on their hearts. Men and women may hold hands but should only do so if they are married or related.
Though Islam is the official religion of UAE, the county recognizes other religions too. You can find quite a few Christian churches as well as Hindu temples in addition to the Islamic mosques in the country.
Middle Easterners are great people who love to meet and greet people and are quite social and personable people. They also love to know their guests and expect their guests to respect their culture too. The place is a treasure trove of various attractions and is a great place to enjoy some sun and sand. So happy travelling!!!
Saturday, July 20, 2013
DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS
Dubai, very much like any other large global city, it has its own unique set of rules and regulations that Westerners are not always aware of on their first visit. Here are five things to be aware of if you are taking luxury Dubai holidays.
Things not to do in Dubai:
1. Public shows of affection are strictly prohibited in Dubai, Yes you can hold hands but kissing between lovers should not be done in public.
2. Drinking alcohol in public is outlawed, if you are after a drinking holiday with a group of friends, Dubai may not be for you. Tourists can consume alcohol in licensed hotels and bars/restaurants/pubs. Non Muslim Expats can buy alcohol in special liquor stores if they hold a liquor license.
3. Exposing any skin from the neck down is frowned upon in Middle-Eastern countries, however In Dubai; the rules are relaxed slightly in an effort to be more tourists friendly. Beachwear should be worn on the beach and otherwise you should be dressed "normal", means no superfine skirt, no belly free shirts, no shorts while shopping etc
4. Dubai, it has been known for people to be arrested for making an obscene gesture therefore never raise your middle finger. Remain polite and courteous at all times. Avoid jaywalking the streets. If caught you have to pay a fine.
5. Drug possession is serious crime in any country, but in Dubai, it can lead to imprisonment and even a death sentence.
1. Dubai is known for really cheap gold, government keeps tight control over the quality of all the merchandise, so rest assured that your purchases will be genuine.
2. If something in the window catches your fancy, be sure to barter — persistent protest capped with a walkway will get merchants to drop their asking price by as much as half.
3. Golf is an obsession in Dubai. If you want to rub elbows with celebrities on the green, try the courses designed in Dubai.
4. The centerpiece of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is its massive tank inhabited by 33,000 creatures such as sharks, rats and countless multi-colored tropical fish. Get up close and personal with the sharks in the walk-through tunnel.
5. Experience the awesome Arabian wilderness on a desert safari. Activities to try out in the desert include ‘dune bashing’ in big 4x4 jeeps, dune bogging and sand skiing.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is today one of the most visited places of the world and is fast becoming an emerging economic leader in the world economy. With its strategic location, the place was an important port even during the ancient times. However, there are many fun facts about this place that you may hardly believe to be associated with such a small place. Lets take a peep into this fascinating Arab world and get to know some of its secrets that make it even more attractive for the travelers from around the world.
· Less than 20 percent of total Dubai’s population comprise of actual locals. This has resulted due to an exponential immigration leading to the local Emirati population almost being drowned out. However, there is little strife among the people as everyone gets along with everyone else, thus leading to a more liberal attitude towards culture and dressing. Crime Rate is almost equal to zero with racial tensions unheard of in the city. Though the place still retains a distinct Arabic and Bedouin influence, yet the large foreign influx has lent a cosmopolitan culture to the society.
· Located on the side of Dubai Creek is the most famous gold market also known as the Gold Souk. With over 250 gold shops including several world class top brands, the place offers bargains on gold jewelry shopping unmatched anywhere else in the world.
· Keeping in line with the tag of Dubai fast becoming the shopping capital of the world, the place is also home to the Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world in terms of area. Housing the Discovery Center and the Aquarium, the place also holds the unique world record for having the largest acrylic panel too.
· Built to resemble the shape of a dhow sail, experience life king size at Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels of world as well as the fourth tallest one. Built on an artificial island and having a lobby taller than the Statue of Liberty, the place is luxury personified. Al Mahara, one of the restaurants housed in the hotel, features a massive acrylic glass seawater aquarium. The entry to the hotel can only be made through a simulated submarine voyage.
· Others on the list of tallest buildings are the world’s tallest residential building named as 23 Marina as well as the tallest hotel of the world namely the Rose Tower are also located in Dubai.
· Talking of the tallest skyscrapers, how can we miss the majestic Burj Khalifa, the tallest man made structure on the face of the Earth that is as lofty as two Empire State buildings on top of each other. Boasting of the highest mosque, the highest restaurant, the highest nightclub and the highest observation deck of the world, the place is treat for the eyes as it offers views like none other. Get to watch the sun going down twice during a day- once while watching the sunset from the base and then take a ride up and get to see the same sun still setting from the observation deck!!!
· Palm Islands, a man made artificial group of islands being made through land reclamation techniques, are a sight to behold. The place, after completion, shall be the biggest archipelago of the world housing luxury hotels, beachfront properties, entertainment centers, malls, theme parks and much more.
· Another interesting fact to know about Dubai is that the city is that there is no concept of street addresses in the place. Also, you do not have to pay any income tax or personal tax to the administration!!!
Keeping these facts in the mind, it may well be understood now why Dubai is climbing up the tourism ladder and is becoming the holiday destination for vacationers from around the world.
Monday, July 08, 2013
You are sure to be surprised to know that Abu dhabi, one of the only remaining geographies of the world that doesn’t even have a passenger rail service, is on the road of becoming of a popular space tourism hub. The place is on the forefront of becoming a space port in coming years after the successful commencement of the first rocket powered test flight in to the space was engineered by Virgin Galactic, the first commercial space tourism company of the world co owned by Aabar Investments of Abu Dhabi and Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic. The program has entered into its final phase prior to the actual commencement of commercial space tourism facilities from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
It was in 2009 when the deal was announced between the two companies that Abu Dhabi would be getting exclusive regional rights for the upcoming Virgin Galactic tourism and space research flight, thus leading to the proposed construction of a spaceport right here in this Middle East geography. The announcement comes as a big landmark for Abu Dhabi industry which is fast becoming global in it approach. In fact, the same Aabar investments earlier bought 9.1% in Mercedes Benz maker Daimler and a 4% stake in California based Tesla Motors company San Carlos, making it the most active of all the Abu Dhabi’s investment funds. The space port is also in line with the international plans of the emirate that has long competed for the international attention with its neighboring emirate Dubai.
Said to be the richest of all the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, the space port decision will also help the emirate in diversifying its identity as just an oil reserve emirate. In fact, according the founder of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, the emirate will take a giant leap in terms of travel when it will launch its own port that will ferry passengers to the outer universe. It will also help in taking forward the emirate’s plans o introduce science and technology at the grassroots level and help in boosting economic growth and improving business and service opportunities in the area. It will also help in enhancing tourism and foreign investment in the region.
So all you space junkies who have been dying to see just what’s outside this world of ours, Abu Dhabi spaceport will provide you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience weightlessness and a first hand look of how this beautiful Earth of ours looks from outside !!!
Dubai city that was formerly the desert is now become a Paradise for tourists.Dubai is one of the top tourists destination and most luxurious city in the world. Dubai ranks 1st for luxury homes in the world Tourism is a booming industry in Dubai and there are so many things for tourists to do in Dubai, that no amount of time that will be enough to visit each attraction of this city.Dubai has become a new hotshot in tourism. People from all around the world travel to Dubai to enjoy its beautiful architecture, shop, enjoy amazing desert safari and dinner on a cruise.
The Burj al Arab is a super-luxury hotel in Dubai, which claims to be the first seven-star hotel in the world. Built on an artificial island, the hotel is designed to resemble the billowing sail of a dhow, a traditional sailboat.This is the most important icon of Dubai.Building the Burj al-Arab, designed by Tom Wright,the Burj Al Arab soars to a height of 321 metres,, 66 floors and is the tallest building is fully used as a hotel. The building stands on an artificial island located 280 m offshore in the Persian Gulf. Burj al-Arab is owned by Jumeirah. Besides above the ocean waters, the high tower also features with a special dish of cocktail Skyview Bar, underwater restaurant, seven-star hotel rooms and an outdoor tennis court. Burj al-Arab become the most famous tourist attractions in Dubai.
Burj Khalifa is world's tallest tower and most wonderful architecture.Burj Khalifa is an amazing feat of engineering- the story of which you can see if you take a trip to "At The Top"- the highest viewing platform in the world.This building includes part of the hotel, office space, Residential Apartments with all luxury facilities. The journey starts from the lower ground level of The Dubai Mall. Throughout the journey to the top, visitors are entertained by a multi-media presentation of the exotic history of Dubai and the marvel that is the Burj Khalifa.
Global village in Dubai is a huge event running alongside Dubai Shopping Festival during the cooler months between November and February. It is the region's first cultural, entertainment, family and shopping destination. Breathtaking live performances, mouth-watering cuisine, authentic handicrafts and merchandise from different countries await you at the many national pavilions in Global Village. There are many more attractions, including thrilling rides, games and firework displays, to complete your visit.
Jumeirah beach is the most famous beach tourist attractions in Dubai. This beach stretches to 7 km, divided into seven beaches and each beach stretches miles and length. Two Coast fused in each Jumeirah Park, and Wadi Water Park is located on Jumeirah beach. The beach is dedicated to the water playground, and the Water Park are giving you enjoy free time for sightseeing water.
Frequently called the eighth wonder of the world, the Palm Islands of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are the world's largest artificial islands, each manmade into the shape of a palm tree.Palm Jumeirah has everything you need to enjoy a wonderful holiday break.There's a wide range of daytime activities, including water sports, aquariums, theme parks and of course miles of beautiful beaches. And at night the bars, clubs and shows will offer plenty of fun and amusement.
The fun of travelling from Dubai to a huge deserted land can be breath taking. You would be amazed to see never ending dunes of sand across you. As far as your eyes can see, you will visualize just sand. During your trip you will encounter well bred camels and scattered villages.In addition to riding a camel, desert skiing and other natural roller coaster, here you can enjoy a puff shisha (Arabic tobacco) while watching the belly dancers in action.
Dubai marina is one of the Dubai's newest touristattractions. The marina is situated at the backdrop of the amazing buildings of JBR and has great views, walkways and boat rides available. It is amazing either during the day or in the evenings. Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world and is home to super yachts and also Dubai Marina Mall.There are new play areas under the bridges linking the Marina to JBR, which helps bring the community together and Marina Mall
Thursday, July 04, 2013
Some Offbeat Kerala Tourism Destinations
Also known as ‘God’s own country’, Kerala is a beautiful Indian state squeezed in between the Western Ghats and the Arabian sea and containing some of the most beguiling beaches, tranquil temples, lush green mountain slopes and clement backwaters, all in a single place. Apart from some popular destinations advertised commonly on websites and other medias, Kerala has a lot more exoticity in store for you than these famous sites. Some of these not so famous yet equally refreshing and thrilling places that you can include in your itinerary are as follows:
Nelliampathi: Locally nicknamed as the ‘poor man’s Ooty’, Nelliampathi is one of the most popular hill stations of Southern India and has some breathtaking lush green tea gardens and charming flora that are simply awesome.
Chempara Peak: Said to be the highest peak in Wayanad, Chempara peak is a popular trekking spot of Kerala with interesting scenic spots and mesmerizing views. There is even a small heart shaped lake that makes for a great view from high up the mountain.
Silent Valley National Park: Under consideration to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thee Silent Valley National Park is one of the last unexplored parts of Indian tropical evergreen forests. Home to some rare animal and bird species, the place is full of beautiful wilderness that will make you fall in love with the place.
Muzzhappilangad Beach: Perhaps the only drive in beach of India, the beach is located in Kannur town and is one of the largest in Asia. Enjoy a 5km ride splashing in the waters either in your bike or your cars.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary: Said to be the first bird sanctuary of Kerala, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary has a rich biodiversity of over 300 bird species that make the place bliss to any nature lover. The place was also described as the richest bird habitat on Indian Peninsula by the famous ornithologist Salim Ali.
Vazhachal Waterfall: Located near the most popular waterfalls of Kerala- Athirappily Waterfalls, Vazhachal is great place to catch some fun away from the maddening tourist crowd.
Veliyaparamba Backwaters: Surrounded with lush greenery and small islands , this backwater stretch of Kasaragod is an ideal backwater destination that lies mostly unexplored. In fact, the place offers a relief from the maddening rushes and hum drum of the city life.
Cherai Beach: Referred to as ‘The Princess of Arabian Sea’, Cherai beach is one of the finest Arabian Sea beaches. Offering a great place to go jogging or that much wanted long walk, the place is also dotted with beautiful lagoons and paddy fields that add charm to the place.
Ponmudi: Also known as the Golden Peak, Ponmudi is a main hill station of Trivandrum standing at a height of 1100m above sea level. There are some quite adventuresome hairpin curves including roads and beautiful scenery on the way to top but the scenery from the top of the valley is well worth making the effort.
Beypore Beach: Located near Kozhikode, Beaypore is a beautiful beach where Middle East trading used to be done. There is a special ‘Pulimuttu’ or a 2km long stone bridge that stretches into the sea near the beach that makes for an awesome view and a must-take walk that will make you feel like you are standing right in the midst of sea.
Explore these unexplored gems of Kerala and spend your vacation collecting some beautiful memories that will last for a lifetime!!!