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General Travel News

Emirates SkyCargo flying in racehorses for Dubai World Cup

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, has been transporting some of the world’s best racehorses to Dubai for one of the  most prestigious global racing events, the Dubai World Cup, which will take place on the 25th March at the Meydan racecourse.

Champion thoroughbred horses have been arriving from all parts of the world into Dubai on Emirates SkyCargo freighters over the last few weeks. One of the most recent arrivals for the Dubai World Cup was Arrogate, currently the world’s highest rated racehorse. Arrogate won the Pegasus World Cup earlier this year in Florida and is one of the prime contenders for the US $10 million Dubai World Cup prize. Arrogate was joined by stable companion Hoppertunity, another contender for the Dubai World Cup, for the journey from the United States to Dubai.

Emirates SkyCargo also operated a special charter flight from Japan to transport some of the leading contenders for the top prize on race night. Apollo Kentucky, Awardee and Gold Dream were amongst the horses that arrived at the Emirates SkyCentral freighter hub earlier last week to take part in the races.

A few of the other leading horses flying in from different parts of the world included Move Up from the Godolphin stables in Newmarket, UK and Dundonnell, Amazing Kids and Not Listenin’Tome from Hong Kong.

Emirates SkyCargo provides custom designed horse stalls and trained and experienced expert personnel to ensure proper handling and welfare of the horses. Inside the cargo hold of the aircraft, the temperature is set to ensure maximum comfort and minimum stress for the horses. Premium horses can also travel with professional grooms and certified veterinarians onboard Emirates SkyCargo freighters.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:58

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Muslim Ban 3.0: restrictions on cabin luggage to the United States

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States has issued directives on electronic devices in baggage on flights to the US from airports in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Riyadh and Jeddah.

With the exception of medical devices, electronic devices larger than cell-phones/smartphones will not be allowed in cabin luggage. These restrictions apply from 25 March 2017 to 14 October 2017. This applies to all passengers going to the United States.

The affected airlines include Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways.

All travelers to the United States are required to pack all laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronic devices larger than their cell phones/smartphones in their checked bags.

A survey of the search behavior of 100,000 Irhal visitors in February 2017 showed that the United States is no longer a place that our users wish to go for a vacation. In 2016, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Houston were among the top 25 cities but in February 2017 not a single US city featured among the top 25. Travelers from the Middle East to the United States spend 84% more than visitors from Europe. The World Travel Organization has estimated that the United States has lost over $185 million in tourism related income since the announcement of the first Muslim ban in late January.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 18:21

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Sharjah Museums Opens Photographic Exhibition of Muslim Communities in China

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization today opened an exhibition giving a rare glimpse into the lives of Muslims in China as documented by the world’s preeminent photographer of Muslim communities.

The exhibition Moments in the Lives of Muslims in China – Through the Lens of Peter Sanders is a comprehensive photo essay of 50 large-scale images that reflects the vibrant and diverse lives of Muslims at work, at school, at rest, and at worship in all corners of the country.

The images were captured over a period of 20 years by British photographer Peter Sanders, himself a Muslim. The exhibition is the first partnership between Sharjah Museums Department and Peter Sanders, who attended today’s opening to provide further insight into the story behind his photographs.

Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, said: “We are honored to be partnering with such a talented photographer in Peter Sanders and are delighted that he was able to personally introduce his collection.

“The exhibition introduces aspects of global Muslim culture little known in our region or even internationally through artistically outstanding and culturally sensitive photographic works. This is a unique chance for the UAE community to appreciate how Muslims of a distinctive culture lead their lives and practice their faith.”

Peter Sanders began his career in the 1960s as one of London’s leading rock and roll photographers. After trekking through India and Morocco in the 1970s, he found his true calling - to share images of the people, places and spirit of the Islamic world.  

In Moments in the Lives of Muslims in China he has brought together the first ever comprehensive photographic essay on the Muslims of China.

Islam was introduced into the country nearly 1,400 years ago, and gradually became interwoven with the social and spiritual fabric of the vast country. The Islamic presence in China has resulted in striking regional subcultures unique in the Muslim world.

Examples include the Uyghurs, a small Turkic minority living in northwestern Xinjiang and south-central Hunan.  The Hui people - ethnic Chinese who speak Mandarin and form the majority of China’s Muslims – are most concentrated in the northwest of the country, but can also be found in smaller communities throughout the country.

Over two decades, Peter Sanders crisscrossed the country, mingling with communities and photographing them going about their daily lives, as well as capturing images of the remarkable architecture of Chinese mosques. His work not only portrays the environment in which people live, but also the human aspect of their personalities and emotions.

Speaking at today’s launch, Peter Sanders said: “I’m very proud to be here to open my first exhibition in Sharjah. The exhibition is very special to me and seeing the images displayed here today brings back many fond memories of my time in China.

“During the many years I spent in all corners of the country, I was struck by the depth of the Muslim faith and the level of cultural integration. I’m very excited to be introducing the distinctive, yet largely unseen, lives of Muslims in China to a new audience.”

Moments in the Lives of Muslims in China runs from March 16 to June 11, 2017 at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:54

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Five hidden gems of Sharjah

The UAE is made up of seven emirates; each with its own personality and charm. One such example is the emirate of Sharjah, it caters to people with different interests such as music, art, science and nature. Sara Al Madani, Board Member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry shares her top five hidden gems of Sharjah:

Meliha Archaeological Centre (Meliha desert)
Launched just a few months ago, the Archaeological Centre is a place where both adults and kids can go and learn the history of the region. Activities at the centre include - paragliding and paramotoring, star gazing, overnight camping and much more. For coffee lovers, there’s a Bistro café overlooking the spectacular Fossil Rock.

Sharjah Art Foundation
Located in Sharjah’s historical Art and Heritage Area. Visitors can enjoy film screenings, performances, music as well as extensive art education programs for every age.

Noor Island
Located near Buhaira Corniche, Noor Island promises to be the first island in the region to fuse nature, entertainment and art all under one roof. It has numerous attractions such as the Butterfly House, with around 500 exotic butterflies from the East Asian region, as well as a café for you to unwind and a literature pavilion for book lovers. The perfect place to relax with friends on a weekend!

Muwailih Road
Located near University City, and home to some of the most amazing F&B startups, it’s a food lover’s paradise. Startups such as Paperfig, Zawaya Cafe, Mochi Ice Cream, Monkey Cookies, Felix and Norton, are all lined up on this street. Tasty and economical – this is a must-visit.

Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences
The centre is located in Muwailih Commercial, near Sharjah University City. It has numerous attractions such as: Planetarium, Astronomy Exhibition, Space Exhibition, Exhibition of the Universe in the Holy Qur’an, Astronomical Observatory and a Cosmic Park. This is the perfect place for a SCI-FI Fanatic and a great family edutainment outing.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2016 13:43

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The Skellig Ring in Ireland is one of the top regions in the world for 2017

The Skellig Ring drive, on the southwestern tip of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, has been named one of the top regions in the world for travelers in Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2017” yearbook.

The Skellig Ring is a coastal drive that is an extension of the famous Ring of Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way – described as “perhaps Ireland’s most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline”.

Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a “remote, wave-pounded hunk of rock rising out of the Atlantic like a giant triangle,” made the new Star Wars location list. As the book recognizes, “Glimpsed at the end of The Force Awakens, Skellig Michael will play a bigger role in this year’s sequel and local businesses are gearing up for the expected visitor bump”.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 19:36

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Beautiful Qurans on display in the United States

The first major exhibition of Qurans in the U.S., “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts” opened at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22 2016. If you are planning a trip to Washington DC over the next few months be sure to visit as the exhibition runs thru Feb. 20, 2017.

The exhibition has been organized by the Smithsonian’s Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul. It features more than 60 Qurans, among the most important ever produced from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, including works from the permanent collection of the Freer and Sackler galleries plus a number of long-term loans.

Celebrated for their superb calligraphy and lavish illumination, the manuscripts span almost 1,000 years of history—from eighth-century Damascus, Syria, to 17th-century Istanbul.

This landmark exhibition tells the individual stories of some of these extraordinary manuscripts, their makers and their owners. Visitors will learn how the Qur’an was transformed from an orally transmitted message into a fixed text, transcribed and illuminated by some of the most skilled artists of the Islamic world and treasured and disseminated by sultans and viziers over centuries.

Koç Holding is the exhibition’s principal sponsor, with additional support provided by Turkish Airlines, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, and Aydin Doğan Foundation. The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:28

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