The Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is slowly but surely turning into a tourist destination, and this holds true for both the international and the local UAE market. The quiet, laid-back space and the scenic beaches is a welcome change for city dwellers, and other local attractions include:
Why go camping when you can go #glamping ? The hospitality industry has coined this new phrase by marrying the experience of the big outdoors with the convenience and luxury of resort-style living.
Bin Majid Beach Hotel launched the Longbeach Campground late last year, and my little family and I were one of the very first people to have the pleasure of spending the first night under the stars, in a beautifully setup tent (click here if you missed it). I absolutely loved the experience, and really didn’t think it could get any better.
But the team at Bin Majid Beach Hotel have outdone themselves with the launch of their second season last weekend. The entire campsite has been given a major facelift, complete with three very different styles of tent options, an infinity pool and an outdoor floating cinema. I could hardly recognize the place! This is #glamping at its best.
My family and I had the pleasure of spending a weekend at Jumeirah’s newest hotel this month. Trendy new Park Regis Boutique Hotel is quite a stark contrast from what we are used to in the UAE. No expansive lawns or swimming pools, no towering buildings or suited chauffeurs to usher in the traffic.
Instead, you have a trendy, Arabesque 2-storey building at a street corner that can easily be mistaken for yet another villa on the expansive street of Jumeirah Beach Road.
London has always been synonymous for its cultural heritage. The city’s deep-rooted history spreads well beyond the prim, manicured lawns of Buckingham Palace, and who better to ask than someone who has spent a reasonably long time working for the well-reputed travel website Cleartrip.ae?
In today’s guest post, Steven Nazareth takes us on a virtual tour around London. From familiar sites to well-reputed museums, if London is on your travel list, these sites are a must-visit. Read on for more.
My whirlwind trip to India now feels like a distant dream. Where did a whole month go? We spent the major chunk of our holiday in the beautifully picturesque town of Shillong.
My Hubby calls Shillong home, and spent his entire childhood here. Every nook of the city seems to hold a fond memory for him, and despite being away for countless years, he proves to be an expert tour guide, leading me through miles of endlessly narrow streets and cobbled stairs.
Guwahati is a maddening chaos. The streets are jam-packed with traffic, hawkers and bystanders.
We walked through its streets this monsoon-laden Monday. The air is hot and muggy, and the humidity shrouds the body with a permanent layer of perspiration, making my flimsy cotton t-shirt stick on like a second skin.
My father in-law has a very endearing caretaker who originates from the Garo Hills. Swing is a short, middle-aged man with a rather muscular stature and a deep, dark chocolate-brown complexion, and has been a part of this family ever since I married into it. Yes, his name is Swing! Given his fondness for the bottle and a very jovial disposition, this name seems pretty apt for him. Sparse teethed yet ever-smiling, Swing has formed a special friendship with my daughter who he last saw as a 2 year-old. My daughter does not speak any Indian regional languages, and Swing has very limited use of the English tongue. Yet the other afternoon, I saw him sitting there trying to tell her a story in colloquial Hindi.
Always keen on hearing some regional-style storytelling myself, I sat down to listen and offered to be the translator between the two. Swing narrated the story of Gangbo Raja, a folktale that has been passed down generations in the Garo Hills.
I am spending the last few precious days of Ramadan in India with the extended family. Iftars here are rather different from the UAE. When fasting in Dubai, we tend to focus on the socializing aspect of Ramadan, and are spoilt for choice with the plethora of Iftars and Suhoor buffets on offer.
In my husband’s hometown of Shillong (Meghalaya), Iftars are far more solemn and people prefer to enjoy them within the privacy of their own homes with close family. Neighbours exchange dishes, but mainly meet up in the mosque for the extended prayers.
I spent the last couple of days at my maternal aunt Zuleikha Hazarika’s place, and had the pleasure of watching her very talented cook, Ali, whip up a giant pot full of traditional Chicken Pulao (an aromatic chicken pilaf fragranced with the spicy notes of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon). In the true spirit of Ramadan, the pulao was divided up into boxes, and distributed across the neighbourhood to close friends, as well as the less fortunate.
“The bus was a carcass of a vehicle, a mere tin box with faded paint and prison bars that housed an entire crowd of perspiring strangers. Each grasped on to any available solace as the driver took frivolous turns on the rocky, uneven roads ahead. I stood there, balancing my luggage and child with hands and legs, praying the next swirl will not deplete my balance, lest I end up crashing out of the glass door behind me.”