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General Travel News

Experience Nature: new theme for GCC tourists to Germany

The term "Black Forest" generally brings to mind moist cakes, but Maria Amaral, Director Marketing & Sales of the German National Tourist Office wants to change that impression. She is inviting GCC tourists to visit Germany and experience Nature.

Speaking at a Press Conference in Dubai, she stressed that Germany is not just about shopping at The Zeil in Frankfurt or visting the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Or even medical tourism. Over 35% of Germany consists of protected landscape including forests and islands. And it is now time for GCC tourists to discover nature's creations in Germany.


Besides forests with numerous species of flora and fauna, there are more than 350 islands and 30 low lying mountains which offer trekking, hiking, kayaking, cycling, horse riding and plain old walking opportunities. Tourists can get away from the bustle of city life and enjoy greenery in summer or snow in winter.


You will not have to go camping when you take a side tour to explore the natural beauty of Germany - there are many five-star hotels hidden in the forests. If the 2 million room nights spent by GCC tourists in Germany in 2015 continues to grow, after a visit to the Black Forest - or to Mt. Zugspitze the highest mountain in Germany (2,962m) - some hotels in these areas will begin to arrange Halal food for their Muslim guests.


And "Black Forest" will not just be remembered as cake but as a great place to explore the natural beauty of Germany.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2016 14:43

Hits: 42

World's loftiest mailbox at Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Celebrating the sixth anniversary of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, the Emirates Post Office issued a commemorative postage stamp that is available at the retail kiosk on the 124th floor of the building. The At the Top observation deck now also has a mailbox from where tourists can send a postcard to their friends.


Selfies posted on social media may be the quickest way to tell your friends that you have visited the world's tallest building but a postcard sent from there is unique. Perhaps this will help revive snail mail!


Photograph courtesy Khaleej Times, Dubai.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 01:25

Hits: 132

400 singers, actors and movie star look-alikes needed by Dubai Parks and Resorts

Dubai Parks and Resorts, set to be the region’s largest integrated theme park destination upon opening in October 2016, has announced its audition plans to recruit more than 400 performers to be part of its inaugural entertainment cast.

Auditions will be held throughout January and February and artists across the MENA region are invited for selecting street performers, singers, dancers, actors, puppeteers and trampolinists.  

The audition tour – which will take place in several continents, will start in the Middle East in Lebanon from late January before traveling to Egypt, Morocco and the UAE. It will also be visiting the UK and Australia in search of some of the best talent that the world has to offer. Details are available at dprauditions.com

Jason Ramsburg, Director of Live Entertainment at Dubai Parks and Resorts, said, “With less than a year to go until opening we are now focused on bringing to life the many entertainment offerings that Dubai Parks and Resorts has to offer and are excited to be announcing our audition tour.”

Dubai Parks and Resorts will feature motiongate™ Dubai – a unique theme park showcasing some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate as well as the region’s first LEGOLAND® Park and a LEGOLAND® Water Park. Dubai Parks and Resorts will also feature Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, the first ever theme park based on the sights and sounds of Bollywood. The theme park will include the Lapita™ Hotel, a Polynesian-themed resort catering to families.

The entire destination will be connected by Riverland™ Dubai – a retail, dining and entertainment walkway which is slated to open in April 2016. Dubai Parks and Resorts is located on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 January 2016 23:38

Hits: 161

Burj Al Arab reopens Bab Al Yam restaurant


Burj Al Arab Jumeirah has reopened its all day dining Bab Al Yam restaurant following a significant upgrade to its interior and exterior design.


Inviting, inspirational and interactive, the new venue has a contemporary look with a breathtaking spacious terrace and plush shisha lounges. Taking the centre stage is an impressive brick kitchen oven giving guests an opportunity to watch Burj Al Arab’s award-winning culinary team in action as they prepare every dish to perfection.



The restaurant’s new menu created by Maxime Luvara, Executive Chef at Burj Al Arab, and Mohit Bhargava, Bab Al Yam’s Chef de Cuisine, focuses on fresh, seasonal produce and is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine with Middle Eastern accents. The signature dishes include buttered tiger prawns with pickled lemon, Taggiasca olives and samphire and Datterino tomato bruschetta with marinated anchovies.


The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and downtown Dubai and the shisha lounge perfectly complements the relaxing ambience. Stylish sun loungers and umbrellas provide the ideal setting for intimate dining and larger family gatherings.



Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2016 17:51

Hits: 219

Which is the first place to celebrate the new year?

While Sydney's Harbour Bridge and its iconic Opera House feature in all television reports of the arrival of the new year, the first place on earth which welcomes the new year is actually Kiritimati in the Republic of Kiribati. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, unfortunately, it is not an easily accessible destination for tourists so not many people are likely to celebrate the new year in Kiritimati.

Kiritimati is the local word for "Christmas" as "ti" is pronounced as "s." So Kiritimati is also known as Christmas Island. Which makes it very confusing as there is another island south of Indonesia which is an Australian administered territory and is known as Christmas Island.

The Australian Christmas Island has a population of about 2,000 people 10% of whom are Muslim. There is even a mosque on Christmas Island. For the information of all trivia fans, this island is not the first to celebrate the new year.

After Kiritimati the first New Year celebrations are held in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Then people around the world wait near their television sets to witness the grand event in Dubai.

Fireworks at the Burj Khalifa followed by an extravagant pyrotechnics display near the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island will keep everyone glued to their television for 20 minutes. For those who are in Dubai this is gridlock day. It is best to camp outside your favourite spot before sunset as most roads around Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah will come to a standstill around 5pm.

Berlin, followed by Paris and London are the European hotspots for ringing in the new year. Moving across the Atlantic it is now time to turn on the spotlights on the Big Apple. New York's Times Square is another iconic destination for people watching on New Years Eve. Three hours later it is midnight in California which celebrates the new year at a time when many people around the world are already halfway through January 1.

Just north of Kiritimati is Hawaii which actually is the last major populated place on earth to welcome the new year. Wherever you are, stay safe.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 14:56

Hits: 324

Global Village Dubai to welcome 2016 with massive fireworks

Dubai's Global Village - the international cultural extravaganza which brings together arts, crafts and food from around the world - is planning a spectacular fireworks to ring in the new year, 2016. The fireworks will be dancing to the tune of global music and will be the biggest in Global Village's 20 year history.

Besides massive fireworks which will also light up Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah, Global Village will feature Jet Skis in the Global Village Lake as well as dances and music programs. It should be a great place to celebrate the New Year.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 December 2015 15:39

Hits: 443


Qatar Airways to offer direct flights to Maputo, Mozambique

  Qatar Airways will upgrade to non-stop B787 Dreamliner service three times weekly between Doha and Maputo, Mozambique, effective March 27th, 2016. The airline currently
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