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General Travel News

Boston mourns and prepares for the Marathon

It is exactly a year ago today, April 15 2013, that the Boston Marathon was targeted by terrorists. An exhibit of running shoes titled, "Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial," is on display at the Boston Public Library which is located near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

 

The people of Boston are determined to make this year's marathon a success. On Monday, April 21, 2014, the day of the Boston Marathon, people are advised not to carry bagpacks and handbags larger than 12"X12"X6". They are also being advised that a large number of uniformed and plain clothed police officers will be lined up along the entire 26 miles route of the marathon but particularly near the finish line. Spectators will have to walk through security checkpoints to enter designated viewing areas.

 

The 118th annual Boston Marathon will kick off on Monday morning at 9:00 am at Hopkinton and continue through its most challenging terrain - Heartbreak Hill in Newton - and complete its 26 miles 385 yards course when the it reaches the finish line on Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest continuously running marathon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:19

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Dubai's Global Village attracts 5 million visitors

Dubai has numerous festivals throughout the year but no festival lasts for as many days as Global Village. On 12 April 2014 the 18th edition of Global Village came to an end. The 190 days extravaganza of shopping, dining and entertainment attracted over 5 million visitors. The pictures from the last day showing busy shoppers are a testament to the success of the festival.

Men, women and children could be seen at the Global Village even past midnight taking advantage of the last day offers. At the Saudi pavilion, Ajwa dates from Madinah were being offered for Dh 80 a kilogram, down from the usual Dh120 per kg. At the Turkish Pavilion ceramic bowls and tiles were on sale for up to 40% off their regular prices. The vendors at the Omani Pavilion were happy that their containers of frankincense were almost empty.

 

More than 3,000 exhibitors displayed their products at 30 international pavilions while 2,000 performers entertained the visitors. 10 concerts also took place at Global Village making it a truly family friendly entertainment event.

 

The 19th edition of Global Village will run from November 6 2014 to April 11 2015.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2014 13:38

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Top 10 travel destinations of 2014

Istanbul has emerged as the top destination in a ranking that serves as a barometer of the most popular travel hotspots trending around the world.

 

The largest city in Turkey has pulled off an impressive feat in the sixth edition of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Destinations 2014 report, leapfrogging 11 places from last year and knocking Paris off its perch.

 

Another big mover this year is Beijing, which moved up 17 positions to catapult its way into fourth spot. The jump is part of a larger trend among TripAdvisor users, who gave six of the top 25 spots to Asian cities.

 

The final ranking is compiled using an algorithm that combs through millions of reviews and takes into account the quantity and quality of ratings for hotels, attractions, restaurants and destinations over a 12-month period.

 

Meanwhile, though Paris may have fallen out of favor among TripAdvisor users, the French capital maintains it was the world’s top tourist destination last year, attracting 32.3 million tourists based on hotel occupancies.

 

Here are the top 10 destinations in 2014 according to TripAdvisor:

 

1.     Istanbul, Turkey (+11)

2.     Rome, Italy (+2)

3.     London, England (0)

4.     Beijing, China (+17)

5.     Prague, Czech Republic (+4)

6.     Morocco (+13)

7.     Paris, France (-6)

8.     Hanoi, Vietnam (New)

9.     Siem Reap, Cambodia (+14)

10.    Shanghai, China (+12)

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:08

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Jamie Oliver to open first restaurant at sea

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has teamed up with Royal Caribbean to bring his restaurants to sea.

 

Beginning this fall, guests aboard the brand’s titanic cruise ship Quantum of the Seas will be able to dine at his casual restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian.

 

The restaurant chain, which serves homestyle casual Italian fare, will also be made available on the brand’s Anthem of the Seas liner beginning in the spring of 2015.

 

It’s the latest expansion for the chef who now owns bragging rights to having an outpost by land, air and sea. In addition to his network of restaurants that spans the UK, Russia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singpore, Turkey and Sweden, Oliver also has locations at the London Gatwick Airport.

“Royal Caribbean shares my approach to food and dining, which is to serve simple, fresh ingredients in a warm, inviting ambience,” said Oliver in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to bring my love of Italian cooking to their guests with Jamie’s Italian. It’s going to be brilliant.”

 

Quantum of the Seas sets sail this fall from New York, while the Anthem of the Seas launches in the spring of 2015 from Southampton, England.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 01:54

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Madinat Jumeirah hosts the Chilli Crab Festival

 The Chilli Crab Festival at Madinat Jumeirah is back for its 6th year and will take place between 24 – 26 April, 2014.

 

The three-day culinary event celebrates dishes from the Far East including the famous Singaporean chilli crab which is covered in a delicious stir-fried, tomato and chilli sauce.

 

Located in the amphitheatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, visitors can experience a variety of oriental flavours and culinary favourites, including dim sum, wok-fried blue swimmer crab and tempura crispy crab.

 

The amphitheatre has hosted the Chilli Crab Festival for the last five years and the venue’s al fresco setting, with views of winding waterways and the iconic Burj Al Arab, adds to the festival experience.

 

Food stalls, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment from Dubai musician Tim Hassell and a children’s corner with face painting, computer games and a build-your-own burger stand will ensure a fun day out for the whole family.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 22:37

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Top 10 most extreme holiday adventures for 2014

Adrenaline junkies looking for their next travel adventure may want to consider consulting a new list of extreme destinations for 2014 that includes bungee jumping into the belly of an active volcano in Chile and touring a war zone.

 

The adventure travel ideas proposed by Cheapflights aren’t for the faint-hearted. But they may set many a thrillseeker’s heart aflutter with trips that span Fiji, Mexico, Africa, Oman and Bolivia.

 

Swim with the sharks in Fiji

 

On Beqa Island, divers plunge into the ocean and get to see sharks up close and personal — that is, without the protection of a cage.

 

Divers can expect to meet largely harmless species like the Tawny Nurse Shark and Blacktip Reef Shark. But here’s where the dive description may lose a few people: “The Bull Sharks and the Tiger Sharks however are clearly a class in their own. They are Apex Predators who grow to an impressive size and have a notorious reputation for attacking humans.”

 

Volcano bungee jumping in Chile

 

 

This stunt involves jumping into the mouth of an active volcano from a helicopter, within 700 feet (213 meters) of molten lava, after which you stay suspended upside down traveling 130 km above the simmering crater.

 

Cycling the Death Road in La Paz, Bolivia

 

It’s been dubbed the world’s most dangerous road: a treacherous downhill stretch of 64 km that starts on snow-covered plains and descends to the Amazonian jungle. It also includes a 3.6-km drop down a sheer cliff face.

 

Base jumping in Mexico

The Cave of Swallows is deep enough to house a high-rise building and has inspired kamikaze adrenaline junkies to jump into the belly of the earth with a parachute.

 

Tour a war zone

This one’s for anyone who’s ever dreamed of being a hard-hitting war correspondent or photojournalist from the trenches.

 

War Zone Tours offers guided tours in areas of conflict and past war zones like Iraq, Beirut and Africa led by ‘High Risk Environment Guides.’

 

Sandboarding in Oman

 

Desert sand dunes in Oman can run as high 100 meters. Instead of snow, travelers hit the desert slopes with their boards, toboggans or quad bikes.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:39

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Airlines

Etihad’s Special Launch Fares to Perth

  Etihad Airways will begin flying daily to Perth from the 15th of July, 2014. Celebrate the launch of Etihad Airways’ new destination to Perth by flying Coral Economy class
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    Hotels

    Emirates Skywards Members Get 15% Off Any Room or Suite at Atlantis

      Up until 31st of May, Emirates Skywards members will be able to experience the ultimate luxury of the Atlantis the Palm in Dubai and receive an exclusive 15% off the Best
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  • Airports

    Singapore's Changi Airport named World's Best

    For the second year in a row, Singapore’s Changi Airport has been named the best airport in the world by millions of international flyers for features like tropical rooftop
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