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General Travel News

Islamic Art Festival opens at Sharjah Art Museum

Since 1998 Sharjah has been holding an annual Islamic Arts Festival at the Sharjah Art Museum. The 2014-2015 festival was inaugurated on December 17 2014.


Sharjah was declared the Islamic Culture Capital for the Arabian region for 2014 in view of the state's rich cultural heritage. Holding an Islamic Art Festival is part of an established tradition in Sharjah which has always maintained and preserved its rich Islamic cultural heritage.


The Islamic Art Festival "stresses that Islamic art is a living, breathing art that has evolved along the years and gave prominence to the civilized aspect of Islamic identity through its aesthetic manifestations, which gave an added value to global artistic achievements."


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 07:58

Hits: 15

Brand USA to continue attracting tourists to the US

Since the last three years the United States has gone on the offensive in its efforts to attract tourists. In 2013 the marketing efforts of BrandUSA attracted additional 1.1 million tourists who spent upwards of US$3.4 billion creating 53,000 new jobs in the US.


The US Congress just passed a spending bill that renews Brand USA, America's public-private travel promotion partnership. The US Travel Association which represents the interests of the 14.9 million people whose jobs depend on the travel industry in the US is hopeful that this will help to grow tourist arrivals to the United States.

With less cumbersone visa practices many more tourists from the Middle East could visit the US.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 19:16

Hits: 25

‘21, 39’ Jeddah Arts festival begins from January 22 2015

Inspired by the geographic coordinates of the city (21.5433°N, 39.1728°E), and held under the patronage of HRH Princess Jawaher bint Majed Al-Saud, Chairwoman of the Saudi Art Council, ‘21,39’ Jeddah Arts will showcase art which depicts the history of Saudi Arabia’s modern and contemporary movements. Launched in February 2014, the second edition will begin with a week of cultural activities from January 22-25, 2015.

Presenting a month of events held throughout the city, visitors will experience home-grown galleries, exhibitions, and fine art institutions, as well as a tour of Al Balad, the historic part of Jeddah, and a visit to Meda’in Saleh, a pre-Islamic archaeological site located in the Al-Ula sector, within Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia.

“‘21,39’ Jeddah Arts is dedicated to preserving and presenting the growing art scene in Saudi Arabia. The second edition starting in January will showcase a curated program of culture, talks, and exhibitions which we aim to share with the global audience,” said Zeinab Abu Alsamh, Director of The Saudi Art Council.


Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 10:10

Hits: 41

Hailing a taxi is no longer cool?

Ground transportation is an essential part of every traveler's itnerary. On Irhal we have been listing trains, metros, buses, taxis and car rentals. It is now time to change. The biggest disruption to ground transportation has been caused by a technology upstart that has taken the world by storm. Uber.


Valued at over $40 billion, this 5-years old company is now worth more than double the value of Hertz and Avis combined. Available in 200 cities across 53 countries, Uber is changing the way we travel. In fact, the expression "hailing a taxi" is now becoming a thing of the past. Uber is becoming a verb - "I will Uber to the museum."


You can download the Uber app and ask for a car to come and pick you from where you are and drop you off where you wish to go. You can also book a return journey. It is convenient and less expensive than taxis (in most countries). The next time you travel you can consider ubering between tourist attractions.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 09:18

Hits: 26

Islamic Art on display in Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has unveiled its new Islamic Art gallery with a collection of more than 100 items ranging from small tiles and utensils to a pair of 12ft tall wooden doors from 14th century Morocco. Rotating presentations of Islamic painting, calligraphy, textiles, and carpets will supplement the items on permanent display.

“I believe visitors will be astonished by the high quality and creative energy found in this assortment of objects from across the full span of the Islamic world, from Spain and Morocco to Central Asia and Indonesia,” said Daniel Walker, Christa C. Mayer Thurman Chair and Curator of the Department of Textiles and the Curator of Islamic Art.


TripAdvisor recently named The Art Institute of Chicago as the top museum in the world in their 2014 Travelers' Choice awards - placing it ahead of The Louvre in Paris.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 09:31

Hits: 43

Have you taken any award winning travel photographs?

Do you have any award winning photographs in your collection? Now is the time to gain international recognition for your photographic skills. The organizers of the Sony World Photography Awards are accepting submissions until January 5 2015. Travel photography is one of several categories in which you can submit your photographs.

In the 2015 Awards, professional and enthusiast photographers will compete across 25 categories for cash prizes and the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony. One professional photographer will be awarded the title of L’Iris d’Or / Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony which will be held in London on 23rd April 2015. Go to worldphoto.org for details.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:31

Hits: 50


Etihad introduces new uniforms and livery

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