Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

5 Wonders of the Middle East

The Middle East abounds with stunning scenery and glorious history. Plus, the architectural wonders and the vibrant culture, make the Middle East an exotic part of the world.

The rare beauty of the region will likely overwhelm you at first. Since there is an immeasurable amount of destinations that will captivate you, we list just a few places that characterize the Middle East.

You must start somewhere, so why not start with these 5 wonders of the Middle East!

The Dome of Rock, Israel

From amongst the quaint buildings of Jerusalem, the Golden Dome shines. The magnanimous dome radiates from the center of the holy city. Plus, the Golden Dome lies within the larger sacred site, Haram Al-Sharif.

Furthermore, the foundation stone, a highly revered artifact, is kept inside the dome.

This octagonal enigma is built in a splendid Byzantine style. It is befitting that a building with such religious important glows splendidly, truly demonstrating the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East.

Musandam Fjords, Oman

The Norwegian Fjords are acclaimed throughout the world for their unique charm. However, the Middle East has its own share of Fjord glory. In the Strait of Hormuz (Musandam, Oman), the rocky cliffs give way to the bright turquoise blue water.

Dhow trip in the fjords of Musandam, Oman By Robert Haandrikman    CC BY 2.0

There are numerous quaint villages perched on the rocky terrain of the Musandam Fjords. You can visit the nearby coastal towns; you can even go scuba diving and experience the diverse underwater wildlife. 

Luxor, Egypt

Mysterious wonders in Egypt beckon us to visit. When we travel to hot deserts with impressive ruins, we are awed by the history and energized by the sun.

Painted with ancient images, Luxor is a canvas. The ruins of buildings, stunning mosques, and holy temples are just some of the ancient portraits depicted here.

The landscape is an open-air museum that displays the rich past of the country. One of the ancient displays is the Karnak Temple, an intricately carved monument made from sandstone.

You can also visit the tombs of famous kings and queens in the valley. For example, the sheer magnificence of Tutankhamen’s tomb alone creates an unforgettable experience.

Sheik Zayed Mosque, UAE

When we talk about the Middle East we speak of wealth, culture, and religion. Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) ticks all three boxes.

Recently constructed, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. It oozes with the opulence of enormous effort and care.

The gorgeous Persian design, integrated with a modern touch, makes for the incredibly rare beauty. Spectacular pools of water reflect the pearly interiors and glittering chandeliers.

Step into the heart of Islamic culture by visiting the Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Petra, Jordan

The dry winds whisper into your ears the story of the long-gone city. Maybe we are getting too melodramatic, but Petra will do that to you. Golden pools of sands and a dangerous canyon define the ancient town of Petra.

Tombs and buildings carved into the sandstone predominate the landscape. Ages ago the Nabatean Kingdom inhabited Petra. Now only the “Pink” sandstone cliffs remain.

The rose-colored city overflows with stunning temples, such as Al Khazneh, as well as tombs and buildings. A visit to Petra will turn the pages of time and transport you to an older age in the exotic Middle East.

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8 Destination Ideas For A New Year Vacation With Kids

The week after Christmas is the perfect time for a family trip. Kids are off from school, and you can have a very nice weekend away together over the New Year. Here are some of the best family-friendly destinations for a New Years vacation.

London, England

If you want to have some fun, head towards Dickens World Amusement Park in the capital of Great Britain. This “Winter Wonderland” has everything you wish for in a family weekend: music, dance, rides, boat rides, party poppers, and other exciting attractions.

The indoor snowfall, to the sound of Big Ben’s chimes at midnight, is a performance you will not soon forget. Plus, the fireworks display at Big Ben is a must-see event in London. And for New Year gifts for your kids, visit Hamleys, the largest toy store in the world.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai by jimmyweee CC BY 2.0

Dubai has tropical weather all-year-round, with temperatures of 25°C all winter long. In addition to the lovely weather, theme parks abound in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2016, four new parks opened their doors to visitors from all over the world.

The four parks are IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate, Legoland and Bollywood Dubai. Aside from lounging by the pool and wandering on the beach, you can also wear out your kids on new roller coasters, water rides, and film-themed attractions, like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

Coffs Coast, New South Wales

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Among New Year destinations for kids, Coffs Coast has some of the best attractions to offer your little ones. The New Year Carnival, magnificent fireworks, ample food and loads of exciting activities for children of all ages make it a very popular family destination. Your kids will love to feed and pet the dolphins at the Pet Porpoise Pool.

Other activities include go-carting, ice skating, bowling, and horse riding. Also, Butterfly House and Zip Circus are great photo locations, and Jungle Bungle is an indoor play area just for toddlers. Come to Coffs Coast for exciting holidays and a unique experience!

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa Island in Singapore celebrates the New Year with fantastic colorful pyrotechnic displays and a most vivid dance party. Songs of the Sea is a one-of-a-kind performance of fireworks, waterworks, and light. Also, the Underwater World is sure to make your kids excited with electric eels, turtles, pink dolphins and a huge variety of fish.

Combine your trip to Sentosa with a tour around Singapore, and you’ll have yourself a wonderful family vacation!

Related: Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA

Yellowstone National Park, California

For a family holiday vacation in the United States of America, we recommend visiting one, or several, of the country’s national parks. Yellowstone is one of the most fascinating. Plus, it is also one of the best places to camp in Wyoming, as well as in the entire United States.

The park’s three hundred geysers will make people of all ages excited! The most famous of them, Old Faithful, erupts seventeen times a day, so you can’t miss it. Also, the Junior Ranger program for kids (Ages 4+) is an excellent opportunity to explore the park together.

Kerala, India

Kerala is one of the most popular travel destinations in India. It has everything you need for a great winter vacation: a tropical climate, sandy beaches, lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges, palaces and ancient landmarks.

In 2012, Kerala was named one of the ten paradises of the world. Tours to the region usually include visiting tea farms, wildlife sanctuaries, and cruises along backwaters. A family visit to the oldest European settlement in India will also be great fun!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica regularly tops the list of the happiest countries in the world. It offers a rich variety of wildlife adventures and activities for everyone in your family. Zip-lining and river-rafting will be an exciting experience.

However, if you want to relax, you can take a bath in one of the natural hot springs on the volcano slopes. At the same time, your kids can have fun observing monkeys, macaws, poison-arrow frogs and other strange miniature beasts. If a vacation on an island is your idea of a perfect family holiday, head to Costa Rica, and you won’t regret your decision!

Killington, Vermont

Killington North ridge BY Mark Klapper CC BY 2.5

If you don’t dream of a winter vacation in the tropics but prefer to ski, then you should choose one of the many ski resorts in the United States. If you are planning a family vacation, pick a resort where your kids will have an opportunity to learn how to ski too.

For example, Killington in Vermont provides instruction for children. It also offers a variety of cozy cabins for New Year celebrations, with interesting board games and marshmallow toasting.

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Top 20 Most Visited Cities In The World

Here is the list of the 20 most popular tourist destinations around the world (in 2016). Read on and get travel inspiration for your next big trip.

Bangkok, Thailand

With 21.47 million annual visitors, the capital of Thailand is the first Asian city to join the top destinations list. Bangkok attracts travelers with its unique culture, food, a wide range of attractions, and low prices. However, you can still look at the list of free things to do in Bangkok and budget accommodations in the city if your budget for the trip is not very big.

How to get around in Bangkok? Read here.

London, United Kingdom

London used to be at the top of the list before Bangkok took the lead. With 19.88 million visitors it is in the second spot. When you visit London you can meet for a date near Big Ben, follow Harry Potter to Hogwarts or visit one of London’s quirky museums.

The capital of Great Britain is very popular, although it is a rather expensive tourist destination. However, you can always find free things to do in the city and budget accommodations.

How to get around in London? Read here.

Paris, France

Unlike all the other destinations, Paris has lost a number of visitors in the recent years. Nevertheless, with 18.03 million visitors, it is still a very popular city among travelers. There is definitely much to see in the capital city of France.

Furthermore, if you are on a low budget, there are things you can do in Paris for free. Plus, you can find inexpensive places to live. 

How to get around in Paris? Read here. 

Dubai, UAE

Dubai is the only Middle Eastern destination on this list. Every year Dubai is becoming more and more popular. With 15.27 million visitors a year, Dubai leads the middle east region. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is one of the top destinations for luxury travel in the world. Even people with a limited budget can have fun in the city. There is a variety of things you can do in Dubai for free, as well as many budget accommodations in the city.

How to get around in Dubai? Read here. 

New York City, USA – 12.75 million visitors

New York City is the only American city on the list. It also tops the list of the most popular New Year destinations in the USA. There are a lot of cool things you can do in New York. Plus, there are a lot of things you can learn from New Yorkers. The city isn’t the cheapest travel destination. However, you can always find cheap accommodations and free things to do, even in New York.

How to get around in New York? Read here. 

Singapore – 12.11 million visitors

This city in Southeast Asia lies at the crossroads of the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore offers fantastic food, unique culture, and a world-leading airline. These are just some of the attributes that make Singapore so popular among travelers. You can read more about the must-see places in Singapore by clicking here. Plus, you can find free activities throughout the city. You can always find a cheap accommodation to spend the night in the city if you have a small budget.

How to get around in Singapore? Read here. 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 12.02 million visitors

Kuala Lumpur is an important link between Asia and the Middle East. There a lot of places in Malaysia, which you should see at least once in a lifetime. There are also loads of attractions in the capital city, as well as things to do here for free. If you are on a low budget, you will also be glad to know that there are a lot of budget accommodations in Kuala Lumpur.

How to get around in Kuala Lumpur? Read here. 

Istanbul, Turkey – 11.95 million visitors

Its location at the crossroads between Europe and Asia is one of the features, which makes Istanbul a very popular tourist destination. In fact, it is expected that the capital of Turkey might reach the top of the list by 2020. It is also a popular place for budget travelers. The city offers a wide variety of free things to do and cheap accommodations, including choices of Couchsurfing hosts. The Turkish are very hospitable! And, of course, there are many other places to visit in Turkey, apart from Istanbul. Just pick the one you like, and set sail!

How to get around in Istanbul? Read here. 

Tokyo, Japan – 11.70 million visitors

Tokyo is one of the largest shopping cities in the world. However, that is not the only thing that attracts travelers to the capital of Japan. Unique oriental culture, food and various attractions make the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Also, Japan is one of the most family-friendly countries in Asia.

Seoul, South Korea – 10.20 million visitors

Seoul is not only the center of modern technologies nowadays, but it is also an attractive tourist destination. Plus, Seoul becomes more and more popular every year. The capital of South Korea offers its visitors a vivid nightlife, with prices affordable even to students. It also places among the top destinations in the world, which people most want to visit.

Other Popular Cities in 2016

Hong Kong, China – 8.37 million visitors

Barcelona, Spain – 8.20 million visitors

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 8 million visitors

Milan, Italy – 7.65 million visitors

Taipei, Taiwan – 7.5 million visitors

Rome, Italy – 7.12 million visitors

Osaka, Japan – 7.02 million visitors

Vienna, Austria – 6.69 million visitors

Shanghai, China – 6.12 million visitors

Prague, Czech Republic – 5.81 million visitors

 

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10 Summer Destination Ideas for a Christmas Vacation

If you are tired of spending Christmas the same way every year, bored with the view of snow and ice and eager for new experiences, try choosing a summer destination for your Christmas vacation this time.

Celebrating Christmas among sandy beaches, warm waters and palm trees, instead of snowstorms, ice sculptures, and traditional ornaments.

Isn’t it a wonderful idea? Here are our top ten summer destinations for your Christmas vacation:

Australia

During Christmas time, Australians enjoy sun baths, diving and drinking cocktails on the beach, as the holiday season falls during the summer in this part of the world.

What could be better than spending Christmas diving with colorful fish in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef? Cairns, for that matter, has become one of the most popular Christmas destinations in recent decades.

Barbecues on the beach, tours to the wine lands of the Yarra Valley and road trips along the Great Ocean Road are also popular Christmas activities in Australia. And you can build a sandman, instead of a snowman, if you want.

Fiji

If you really want to escape from it all and have a week or two just relaxing on a sandy beach with a refreshing cocktail in your hand, Fiji is the perfect choice for you!

A stunning archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, surrounded by crystal waters, coral reefs, and rich marine life, is probably the closest you can find to heaven on Earth. It is populated with the friendliest folk on the planet and offers numerous activities for travelers. No wonder, Fiji is one of the most popular summer destinations in the world!

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka usually experiences monsoon season from October until January. However, the southern part of the island is generally dry from October until April, which makes December a perfect month to visit.

The island offers much more than just the sun and the beach. You’ll also find a fascinating culture, ancient cities, rich history and prosperous wildlife. Visit the Nala National Park and watch leopards, colorful birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and elephants.

Or explore the jungle while sitting on the back of an elephant. Or watch the magnificent sunset on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

Your Christmas in Sri Lanka will be unforgettable!

Thailand

If your idea of a perfect Christmas includes white sandy beaches, unique culture, and delicious food, then Thailand is a perfect destination for you. The “land of smiles” offers its visitors a warm welcome and a warm climate, diverse wildlife, and cultural heritage, various entertainments and Buddhist temples to explore.

Thailand is really the best value for your money!

Indonesia

The Indonesian island of Bali is a wonderful travel destination all-year-round. There’s no way it will disappoint you during the Christmas vacation. Like Thailand, it offers great value for money and both day and night entertainment features.

During the day, Bali offers surfing, lying on the beach under the shadow of a palm tree or exploring the island. While during the night, you can enjoy the vivid club life with great music, dance, and low-priced drinks. Thousands of people go to Bali every year to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the tropical climate and pleasant, friendly atmosphere!

Mexico

Mexico offers numerous destinations for a warm sunny Christmas vacation. Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, explore the Mayan sites in Cancun or enjoy the taste of Mexican delights in Puebla. 

This includes mole, a chocolate sauce with chili peppers, cinnamon, and fruit. In Puebla, you can also take part in the Christmas night procession, which represents the biblical story of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter. It starts downtown and walks throughout the neighborhoods of the city.

By the way, its proximity to the United States of America makes Mexico one of the most popular Christmas destinations among American citizens.

South Africa

South Africa is another fantastic place, which receives plenty of sunshine in December and January.

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the bright blue sky on an aerial safari as you look for elephants, giraffes, and zebras. Visit Ukutula Lion Park or a penguin colony on Boulder Beach, near Cape Town. Or spend Christmas day diving with Great White Sharks.

Christmas in South Africa will surely be an experience you’ll never forget!

Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean region is a perfect destination for visitors from the USA. Its geographical proximity, favorable climate, and the regular air connections make it one of the favorite places for Christmas vacation among travelers from the USA. Of course, island such as the Bahamas, for example, are dream destinations all-year-round.

But who could refuse to spend Christmas time among deserted sandy beaches, clear warm waters and out-of-this-world views?

Christmas celebrations in the Caribbean follow many American traditions nowadays. However, they are complemented with an abundance of traditional local festivals, carnivals, and other festivities. In the Cayman Islands, you can even meet their very own Caribbean Santa.

Holidays are also the great time to visit Barbados, with its endless blue sea, soft sand, and unique traditions. No matter, what island you choose for your Christmas vacation, the Caribbean will not disappoint you!

Spain

If you would prefer to spend your Christmas vacation in the Old World, but still want to bathe in the rays of a warm sun, then Spain should be your main choice. The Canary Islands are not as hot as Africa, but winters here are warm enough for a pleasant vacation.

Also, if you feel adventurous, you can explore the island’s soaring volcanoes or sail in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

United Arab Emirates

When you’re looking for Christmas vacation opportunities in a summer climate, you can’t leave Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, out, of course.

In this metropolitan city, you can ice skate, watch a fountain show or visit the famous Dubai Aquarium. The shopping enthusiasts will be excited to hit the huge Dubai Mall. This is the world’s largest shopping mall by area, which hosts over thousand different stores.

However, if Dubai is too much for you, and all you want is some peace and quietness, head towards the nearby island of Abu Dhabi, where you can relax and kayak in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf.

 

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Top 6 Shopping Cities in the World

Many people travel for food. Others for adventure. But, some of us love to shop. To the people who travel to shop, this blog is for you.

Maybe it is boutiques or flower shops that bring you the pleasure of shopping, or, perhaps it is antiques or some good old wine. But the point is the joy we get from shopping is immeasurable.

There are some cities which are undoubtedly the best shopping destinations in the whole world. Here we’ll feature 6 of them we think are the best in the world!

LONDON

London has a collection of shops to choose from. If you want to go to luxury shops, it has got Harrods. Oxford Street has got around 300 shops you can choose from.

If you are on a budget, you can take a look at Westfield.

Burlington Arcade, shops by Andrew Dunn CC BY-SA 2.0

There are tons of retail outlets at Dover Street Market. Have your pick. Impress your man by trying on sexy lingerie at Bravissimo.

For improving your wardrobe head to New look marble arch. London has got some departmental stores You can choose from Debenhams and Peter Jones.

MOSCOW

If you are traveling to the Russian capital, Moscow, you can’t help but wonder where to go. The shopping options will overwhelm you. You can make some happy purchases in the ultra-modern city.

The price here can be dauntingly high. It is a city of fashion-conscious people who are not afraid to spend.

Moscow GUM Middle Line view from 2nd floor by A.Savin  CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to shop like a regular Russian, head to Flacon. The luxury shops like GUM offer you a fancy lunch at an affordable price.

Don’t miss the bustling streets of the Izmailovsky flea market. Maozoo is another place where you can find cool outfits at reasonable prices.

PARIS

Paris is the capital of the fashion industry. Anything that Parisians wear is in vogue. You could do a lot of shopping in Paris. It has got some of the best stores to chic you up.

There are shopping streets as well as elegant boutiques. It is up to you which one you shop in. You can buy perfumed candles as wells as pretty hats in Paris.

Galerie Lafayette Haussmann Dome by Benh LIEU SONG CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want something within your budget Canal St Martin is your place. It has styles of every age.

Your antique collection can be enhanced if you go to St Germain des Pres. It has got a wide variety of art galleries and antique shops.

TOKYO

Tokyo city is always in a rush with tens of thousands of shoppers. From shiny jewelry to colorful mementos you can get absolutely anything in Tokyo. Shopping for gadgets? You will be amazed by varieties of it!

Ginza boasts huge department stores and gorgeous boutiques. Takumi is a secluded place for the artsy people.

For taking gifts back home try the Nakamise Dori. Shibuya is heaven for hippie teenagers.

You will be wowed by the dream prices in which you get the funky outfits. Top your look with accessories from Tokyu Hands.

NEW YORK

New York City is known as the global shopping capital. From classy apparel to books you can find anything here. You can fit anything in your budget.

For luxury, you have got stores like Bloomingdale and Barneys. All big brands in NYC come with B. From Armani suits to Alexander Wang dresses; everything luxury can be found here.

If you are fond of the designer label, this is your place. Madison Avenue is made for celebrity clothing. But window shopping is the best way to have a look at Calvin Klein designs.

For something fashionable yet cheap H & M is the apt place to go. You can find the latest designs at too good to be true prices.

Soho has some fantastic art galleries. Be ready to fight the crowd on your way through it.

Dubai

Things have changed in the past three decades. Dubai city has emerged as a global shopping and entertainment destination for people of all budgets.

Dubai Shopping Festival is an annual month-long event put together by Dubai’s department of tourism.

During the festival, shops offer discounts on their merchandise, daily car raffles, and prize drawings are held to win items such as gold and cars, and there is a fireworks display.

The other thing to highlight here is the Dubai Mall. It is the second-largest shopping mall by total land area. There is also a range of family activities and live shows that take place throughout Dubai.

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