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Three indoor ideas to make your Dubai summer trip memorable



Hotel Burj Dubai
Hotel Burj Arab Al Sunset Photo IANS

By Saket Suman

Dubai, Oct 7: When it comes to picking a destination, weather is often a deciding factor for most tourists, and for Dubai — a city that literally spells luxury — the harsh summer months last a little longer than in other parts of the world. But does that mean you should delay your dream trip till the onset of winter?

Perhaps no, if you look at the wide range of indoor activities and tourist hotspots that this city offers to its visitors. Everything about this city seems straight out of Hollywood, amazing you in more ways than you can think of. There are surreal experiences too, like a visit to the Dubai Museum, which is situated in Bur Dubai and is housed in the 18th century Al Fahidi fort. It has several galleries that depict life around Dubai over the past 5,000 years — as a trading settlement, through the oil boom and finally the current skyscraper world.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum
Photo Source

High-rise buildings are common in most metropolitan cities, but Dubai is at an altogether different level. If one were to take a count, the average number of storeys in high-rise buildings here would probably be close to 50, and the city is extremely well-planned. The celebrated highest tower in the world — Burj Khalifa — is one-of-a-kind. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or imagined.

Burj Khalifa Dubai

A spectacular LED illumination of the Indian National flag on BurjKhalifa on the eve of 68th Republic Day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo Courtesy: Burj Khalifa/Twitter)

Here are three indoor ideas to make your Dubai trip memorable — even in summer:

1. Get an adrenaline rush at Dubai Ice Rink and Ski Dubai.

If you are an adventure seeker and a sports enthusiast then these are the two most important activities to indulge in. The ice rink is housed inside the Dubai Mall and is one of the key leisure attractions in the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. Assuring unlimited fun for skating enthusiasts and visitors, it offers a full programme of coaching from basic learning to advanced figure skating.

Dubai Ice Rink

Dubai Ice Rink
Photo SOurce

Ski Dubai is housed inside the Mall of the Emirates. With 22,500 square metres of indoor ski area, it features an 85-metre-high mountain with five slopes of varying steepness and difficulty — including a 400-metre-long run — and various features like boxes, rails and kickers that are changed on a regular basis. A quad lift and a tow lift carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain. Adjoining the slopes is a 3,000-square-metre Snow Park play area comprising sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave.

2. Close encounters with marine life at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

Head to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo to interact with around 33,000 marine animals. The 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium tank is one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. It houses over 140 species of animals. Over 300 sharks and stingrays live in this tank, including the largest collection of sand tiger sharks in the world. There are numerous ways for visitors to experience the main aquarium tank, which measures 51 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 11 metres in height.

Photo SOurce: Youtube
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

The 48-metre walk-through tunnel provides 270 degree views from 11 metres below the surface of the tank. Visitors can also take a ride in a glass-bottomed boat, providing unique views of the tank under their feet. Those who want to experience a dip in the tank can opt for a cage snorkeling experience. And for the adventurous ones, a shark dive is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, bringing you within inches of a large variety of sharks and stingrays.

3. Take a stroll down the City Walk and visit the Green Planet.

Spread across 13,000 square metres, City Walk is reminiscent of European-style streets. Take a stroll down the walk lined with designer stores and restaurants — and make sure you look up to appreciate the striking vista of city skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa. Water features, play areas for children, and plenty of al fresco seating add to the appeal. Once you are tired — relax and unwind at one of the many cafes dotting the streets.

City walk Dubai

City walk Dubai
Photo Source:Youtube

Thereafter, head to the Green Planet, barely five minutes away on foot. This is a tropical rainforest in the middle of the desert. Visitors have an opportunity to explore and interact with exotic flora and fauna in this fully immersive vertical tropical forest. It houses more than 3,000 species of plants, animals and free-flying birds. Porcupines, sloths, snakes, spiders and a huge array of exotic birds are just some of the species living within the confines of the Green Planet.



Indians are the most vacation deprived nation in the world: Survey



New Delhi, Nov 21: Indians are the most vacation deprived nation in the world followed by South Korea and Hong Kong, says Expedia Vacation Deprivation Survey.

The survey is spread across 19 countries with India specific findings analyzing how vacation deprived Indians are, how do they take their holidays, do they utilize all or prefer working, feel guilty of taking vacations and take into account the work pressure while deciding their vacation.

This year, the survey shows India as the most vacation deprived country in the world, as more and more Indians feel vacation deprived followed by South Korea and Hong Kong.

As many as 53 per cent of Indians take fewer vacation days than they get and 35 per cent don’t take leave as work schedule does not allow for vacation or there are not enough staff to cover, said a statement.

This year 68 per cent of people cancelled or postponed their vacations due to work.

The survey throws light on the reason as to why Indians are vacation deprived and what factors play an important role in their travel decisions.

Also Indian workers do not take all vacation days and rank five in the matter of leaving their vacations unused after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand.

Also 68 per cent of Indians have ended up cancelling their vacation due to work with 19 per cent fear being seen as less committed and 25 per cent have fear that they will miss out on important decision making and 18 per cent live under the perception that successful people don’t take a break.

Despite the fact that 78 per cent of bosses are supportive of vacations, Indians continue to get diverted by work while vacationing as 32 per cent of supervisors, 34 per cent of co-workers and 33 per cent of junior staff keep bothering Indians while they are vacationing.

The study was conducted among 11,144 respondents across 19 countries.

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Holidaying at home more popular in India than foreign trips



Travel Holiday vacation

New Delhi, Nov 19: More than 40 per cent Indians value “holidaying at home” the most than buying luxury items or going to wellness and spa trips abroad, a survey has revealed.

According to the survey from YouGov on behalf of Priority Pass, among the world’s leading and original airport experiences programmes, 30 per cent Indians enjoy domestic short breaks, while over 25 per cent enjoyed a cultural trip overseas.

Nearly 20 per cent say a holiday at home is the activity they enjoy the most and would spend an average of Rs 23,619 on this type of break.

“People increasingly look for more ‘meaning’ in what they do, therefore possessions are proving less valuable than experiences, and the memories and learnings that we gain from them. In future, what we do will matter more — to us and our peer network — than what we buy,” said William Higham, consumer futurist and author of The Next Big Thing.

Indians were also found to overwhelmingly value shared experiences like catching a film at the cinema or going out for a meal (nearly 50 per cent each).

When it comes to sharing on social media, 42 per cent were most likely to post about trips to the cinema, and 39 per cent about showcasing food and drink they have prepared themselves.

On the other hand, more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (18 per cent) or buying a new luxury purchase (also 18 per cent) do not get shared as much on social media platforms.

These results suggest that a shared social experience is key to people’s enjoyment.

Conversely, buying luxury items and wellness holidays abroad came in much lower in India, with only 11 per cent of respondents likely to take this kind of trip in an average year and three per cent listing it as their most favoured activity.

The survey covers over 10,000 people from nine countries across all corners of the world, including 1,000 in India.


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Nepal-The Roof of the World




Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia and mainly located in the Himalayas and has a diverse geography including fertile plains, highest point on earth – Mount Everest and that’s why backpackers gave a nickname to Nepal as, “The Roof of the World”. Nepal is a trekker’s paradise and offers a combination of charming hill villages to jungle wildlife to beautiful temples.

Nepal attracts various types of traveller’s from backpacker to Luxury travel. The country is still recovering from the Twin Earthquakes which shattered the Himalayan Kingdom in the year 2015. After a sharp decline in visitors post-earthquake, the numbers are slowly recovering and now it is a great time to go to the mighty mountains.

Kathmandu – Capital city of Nepal also serves as the gateway to the country. Kathmandu is an interesting city to visit, however, tourists will face the crazy traffic of Nepal and poor road conditions. Monuments located at the Durbar Square in Kathmandu were severely damaged or completely ruined during the earthquakes of 2015.

Chitwan National Park is one of the World Heritage listed reserves that protects over 932 sq. km of forests, marshlands and grasslands. The park is considered to be one of the best parks for viewing wildlife in Asia. One-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys and over 500 species of birds are regularly spotted. If you are lucky, you may spot a leopard, wild elephant or sloth bear and if your luck prevails, you may also spot the majestic royal Bengal tiger.

Pokhara offers spectacular scenery, adventure activities and is the getaway for treks to the Annapurna range. The Lakeside of Pokhara is a chilled out version of Kathmandu’s busy Thamel area. From the Lakeside as well from a lot of hotels one can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains. Pokhara boasts a booming adventure sports industry and is one of the best paragliding venues on the globes.

Annapurna region has been considered one of the best treks in Nepal and known for the world’s classic walks. The walk follows the marsyangdi valley to the north of the main Himalayan range and crosses a 5416 m pass to descend into the upper Kali Gandaki valley. The walk offers spectacular views of the numerous 7000 meters plus Annapurna peaks and boasts some of the great trekking lodges of Nepal.

Breakfast at Everest base camp – This is a new private concept for affluent traveller’s where one can do a short excursion from Kathmandu and enjoy the breakfast near the Mt. Everest base camp with the fascinating Everest in the backdrop.

Travel Tips for Traveller’s to Nepal:

– Avoid drinking tap water, use bottled water

– Where possible avoid intercity road journeys and use local flights. The roads in Nepal are narrow and have traffic; a 200 km journey may take 7-8 hrs.

– Local flights are substantially dependent on weather conditions and there may be delays, so plan accordingly

– If you are doing any trek, do ensure that you have necessary permits to trek in the region

– Indian National enjoy special rates at hotels and for trekking permit at most trekking routes, NRI’s or Foreign nationals will have to pay the regular foreigner rate for the permits

– Be sure to ensure the Nepalese currency prior to leaving, one cannot exchange Nepali currency outside of Nepal

– Indian Nationals can use denominations of Rs 100 or lower very easily. Higher denominations are legally not accepted.

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