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Online Version:

October 2008, Volume 4, Issue 9


Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Outside Arabia:

Hong Kong. Love It. Live It.

Around Town:

Diwali – The Festival of Lights

editor’s note


had the best summer vacation ever. I would say bestest (the best of the best) because this is one vacation I really enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much that it really occurred to me not to go back. This vacation, I was able to accomplish a lot of things. First, I stayed at our own place. The feeling of staying at your own home is indescribable. The first two weeks were spent selecting and buying the right furniture, the appliances and a couple of knick knacks to make our place look, smell and feel like home. Having your own place to stay is indeed very fulfilling. There’s nothing like it. At the end of the day, it’s the fruit of the years of work, hardship and patience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I also spent quality time with my family. We took a side trip to Hong Kong for four days. The trip took us to the best places in Hong Kong including Disneyland and Ocean Park. Visiting Disneyland is like being a child again. At this age and time, I didn’t think that I will be thrilled and shrieked at the sight of real life characters of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Alice, Snow White and all those characters we only see on TV and read on story books. I lined up along with my family for a group photo and like a child I even asked for their autographs. The feeling of seeing them come to life is magnificent, like entering into a whimsical world of adventure, magic and fairy tales. Finally, this vacation brought me face to face with my high school friends and class adviser whom I haven’t seen for 26 long years. Touching their faces, meeting them personally, feeling the warmth of their friendship and the love that we all shared were all magical. The experience will leave you with goose bumps and tears. In that short gathering, we felt like teenagers again, giggling, hugging each other, smiling, laughing and wishing that the moment would never cease, that time would stop so we could all enjoy our time together. Though we were separated by time, our love for each other was very strong. We can’t get enough of each other. We have aged, yes, but the warmth, the care and the friendship never left. Everything is intact. We don’t get to see each other everyday because we have our own lives now, our own careers and families but I’m sure that gathering will always be in our minds and our hearts and every time we remember it will only put a smile back on our faces. Now these memories are the things that will keep me going each day. Memories that will help me face the hardship and struggles that life may bring. I left my home with a very heavy heart because I don’t think time was enough to do all what I want. I want to stay more at my home, spend more time with my children, siblings and loved ones especially my friends but these are the things that I will hold on to so I have something to look forward to. Borrowing a line from a dear friend, “There are many changes in life that we have to encounter, we may not want it but we should accept it, either the hard way or the easy way but whatever you choose, make sure that you are happy.” And I am happy. Till next summer.

Flor B. Pamintuan

4 I Travel Arabia I October Publisher KALIMAT GROUP INTERNATIONAL FZ-LLC Travel Arabia Head Office Office G4, Building No.1 Phase One, P.O.Box 502408 Dubai Media City, UAE Tel +971 4 391 0410/1/2/3 Fax +971 4 391 6619 E-mail General Manager Hekmat el Zein Editor Flor B. Pamintuan

your letters Ramadan Kareem

Thank you for featuring an article about Ramadan. I am new to Dubai and coming from a non-Muslim country, it is helpful to read about how the Muslim populations are observing this very important occasion. I agree with you that Ramadan is best experienced and observed than by just reading it. I met a couple of Muslim friends and they invited me to their company iftars and suhoor and you are right, the company during these events is something that comes from the purest heart.

Staff Writers Anjana Das Habeeb Salloum

Ms. M. Wilson Jumeirah

Contributors Gordon Torbet Eugene Correia Angela T Chuck Wightman Ty Treadwell

I visited the Dubai Outlet Mall last month and I just want to inform your readers that this is a must place visit. Aside from the big bargains from the big brands, I found a restaurant that serves good food. It is called Stone Fire Pizza Kitchen. The food is great. I love their salad, the fettuccini carbonara and the Hawaiian pizza. Complement the meal with molten chocolate cake and their own mixture of fresh lime soda. You will surely enjoy it.

Photographers Maher El Zein Samir Ahmed Designer Altaf Hussein df Assistant Designer Mohd Noufal Sales & Marketing Manager Syed Muhammad Arif Distributor Jashanmal National Co. LLC Travel Arabia Lebanon Office Riad el solh 11072070 P.O.Box 11-1197 Beirut, Lebanon Tel +961 3 435 780 Fax +961 7 762 104

Travel Arabia disclaimer All text and layout remains the copyright of Kalimat Group International FZ LLC, unless stated otherwise. Travel Arabia is fully independent, and its views are not those of any company mentioned herein. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Good find

Eden Civil Karama

Awareness during Ramadan

I have been to a mall in Dubai during Ramadan and observed how some people can be unaware of what fasting means. Just because there are stores that sell food during the day does not mean people can enjoy eating food in public. I observed three ladies and a family who bought some food and went to a secluded area to eat. Good thing the security is very quick and very polite in reminding them. But then again these people even argued with the poor guy. Well I think people should be mindful that we are in a Muslim country and therefore, we should observe their laws. Ramadan only comes once a year so we should respect that. Bryan B. Dubai

The museums of Sharjah

Thank you very much for featuring the museums of Sharjah in your September issue. I heard so much about the new museums and reading your feature gives me more reason to head to this emirate. I want to check the Museum of Islamic civilization and the newly opened Aquarium. Sharjah, indeed, is an emirate that sets itself apart from the rest of the emirates. Calling it the “cultural emirate of the UAE” is very fitting. Margaret Al Qusais

© 2007 Kalimat Group International

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The Pearls of Arabia

A gem called pearl

The pearl industry was the lifeblood of Arabia less than a century ago and accounted for some 80,000 jobs in the UAE alone. The industry represented 95 per cent of the country’s revenues.

Diwali – the Festival of Lights

Syria - Seeing the Light

Pearl jewellery is classic, stunning and always the perfect gift. Whether you are buying pearl jewellery for yourself or a loved one you can never go wrong.

Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Known as “Festival of Lights”, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil and lamps lit are a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Diwali this year falls on October 28.

Being in Syria brings back mists-of-time history, lessons and Biblical references.

About the Cover: The pearl trading may have died out but efforts are being undertaken to revive or resurrect the pearling tradition in the UAE.

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Hong Kong – Live It. Love It.

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Building a healthy future

Azur, intrinsically Mediterranean

Discover Hong Kong’s living culture, a unique blend of Eastern and Western heritage offering an unrivalled experience of fantastic shopping and superb dining, matched only by spectacular harbour vistas and green splendour.

This dynamic property is rising in Dubai from the coastline of the largest man-made island in the world, the Palm Jumeirah. Positioned as the flagship property it is, situated at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah’s Crescent, Atlantis, The Palm, majestically crowns the development, while surrounded by the beautifully tranquil sea of the Arabian Gulf.

With the Cube, a unique and innovative landmark tower, Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design plans state-of-the-art Sports-Medical-Spa in Dubai Sports City.

Azur, which boasts an exquisite twist of Mediterranean flavours by celebrating the cooking techniques and ingredients of the region and serving authentic, freshly prepared home-style cuisine. The Azur restaurant is most definitely set to take diners on a gastronomic adventure in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.

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October events Dubai Fashion Week October 5 – 9, 2008 Godolphin Ballroom, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Christie’s 5th Middle East Sales Series Auctions of Jewels and Watches and International Modern and Contemporary Art 29 and 30 October, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai

In April 2008, Christie’s auctions of Jewels and Watches and International Modern and Contemporary Art realised over $40 million and saw 6 works sell for over US$1 million, as the global interest in the Middle Eastern art market saw prices move to new levels. Since Christie’s opened an office in Dubai in 2005 and became the first international auction house to have a permanent presence in the Middle East, it has realised over $100 million since its first sale in 2006, and has seen buyers from an average of over 30 countries at each sale. The forthcoming auction of Jewels and Watches will take place on 29 October. Highlights include a radiant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond ring, weighing 57.02 carats (estimate US$2,000,000-2,500,000); a heart-shaped diamond pendant, weighing 9.24 carats, D colour potentially flawless (estimate US$900,0001,000,000); and a pear-shaped yellow diamond necklace suspending a diamond drop weighing 14.26 carats (estimate US$600,000-800,000). The auction of International Modern and Contemporary Art will take place on 30 October. Early highlights include a huge and spectacular triptych by the Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi (b. 1947) (estimate: US$400,000-600,000); two of the most important works by Fateh Moudarres (Syrian, 1922-1999), Untitled, 1967, from the Collection of Adonis (estimate: US$150,000200,000) and Achtar, 1983 (estimate: US$120,000160,000); and Happy (estimate: US$250,000-350,000), a light installation by the British duo Tim Noble & Sue Webster (b. 1966 and b. 1967). Additionally, by far the strongest selection of 1960s Saqqa-khaneh works ever seen in auction, headlined by Faramaz Pilaram (Iranian, 1937-1982) Untitled, 1962 ($350,000-500,000) and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi Untitled (estimate: US$300,000-500,000), from the same period will be shown as well as a selection of other important works by both artists. 10 I Travel Arabia I October

The Spring/Summer 2009 edition will be the fourth seasonal installment of Dubai Fashion Week, which aims to establish Dubai’s position in the global fashion industry and promote the regional fashion design industry. Leading and emerging designers will be represented and the collections will range from bridge/couture to prêt à porter. “Dubai Fashion Week is quickly gaining the reputation as one of the most important and must attend fashion trade events on the region’s fashion calendar, not only for buyers but also for stylists and all industry insiders. I am delighted to be in a position where I can bring these amazing collections to fashionistas across the region,” said Zayan Ghandour, co – owner and buyer from S*uce Boutique and advisory board member for Dubai Fashion Week. Dubai Fashion Week is the region’s flagship fashion trade event and focuses on offering retail buyers, fashion professionals and media an exclusive preview of the season’s upcoming collections and trends, thus generating publicity and revenue for the fashion industry. Facilities such as media room, media centre and media lounge are available

onsite to accommodate all media requirements, ensuring maximum exposure for the event as well as the participants. The buyers lounge plays an important role in facilitating business opportunities, ensuring an environment where buyers and designers can develop business associations. From this season onwards, in addition to collection show opportunities provided to designers at a highly subsidised fee, there will be designer exhibition stands through the period of Dubai Fashion Week. Dubai Fashion Week is endorsed by Dubai Chamber and is supported by Splash, L’Oréal, Dessange, Philips and Solaris.

October events

Adrenaline Sports Live October 10 – 12, 2008 Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

The Middle East will see the launch of a show dedicated entirely to extreme and adrenaline sports. Called ‘Adrenaline Sports Live!’, the event is bound to attract sports enthusiasts from across the region. Thousands of industry professionals and consumers are expected to witness three days full of action-packed extreme sports fun. If they are brave enough, visitors to the show will have the opportunity to try out many of the sports on display for themselves with live demonstration areas. The show is designed to encompass extreme stunts and sporting action from world-class professional athletes, whilst still relating to local sporting figures and associations. With activities such as bungee jumping, caving and snowboarding covered along with a whole host of others it should prove to be an unmissable event. In addition to the sporting action, travel companies, airlines and tour operators are also expected to be on hand to showcase the best locations in the region and across the world in which to enjoy these activities. Local Associations and Clubs are encouraged to participate as this is the first event of its kind in the Middle East. Organisers CMP are keen to partner with the local communities and will be extending free opportunities for regional associations and clubs to get involved. Clubs, associations and companies that are interested in finding out more about Adrenaline Sports Live should contact the organisers, CMP Information, on +971 2 406 4471 or email

Jimmy Barnes – out in the Blue World Tour October 18, 2008 The Events Centre, Inter Continental Hotel DUBAI FESTIVAL CITY

Jimmy Barnes is undertaking his first major World tour in more than a decade. Following the success of his latest album OUT IN THE BLUE, Jimmy will be playing major Venues across Europe in the spring. Australia’s most popular singer has been going from strength to strength over the past few years. His new album OUT IN THE BLUE entered the charts at #3 and quickly became his 10th platinum album when it was released in late 2007. OUT IN THE BLUE, recorded in two weeks with producer Nash Chambers (Kasey Chambers, Shane Nicholson) is Jimmy’s most bare bones and honest work to date. Much of it was written while he was recuperating from open-heart surgery. “The Show benefits from the light and shade you can give them in an indoor venue,” he says. “We’ll also be putting a few surprises into the set, just to keep everyone on their toes, including me!” Joining him on all dates will be eldest daughter Mahalia Barnes who is performing with her own band and releasing her debut album mid-June. Tickets for all shows on sale now from / and selected spinney’s Cellucom and Hallmark Card outlets. For further TOUR information please contact Richard on


The pearl industry was the lifeblood of Arabia less than a century ago and accounted for some 80,000 jobs in the UAE alone. The industry represented 95 per cent of the country’s revenues. The Trucial States had 1,200 pearling dhows, of which 335 were from Dubai.

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The pearl banks of the Gulf provide the finest pearls in the world which can be attributed to the formation of the seabed, the temperature and shallowness of the water. At the turn of the last century the UAE had a reputation for having some of the best natural pearls in the world. Pearl diving was a hazardous business as navigation was limited to the stars, a simple compass and the captain’s knowledge and experience of the pearl banks. The pearl banks were generally some distance from the coast lying at depths of 46 to 120 feet. By the early 20th century the pearl industry in the Gulf was at its height but it declined during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the development of the more affordable cultures pearls in 1921. The pearl trading may have died out but efforts are being undertaken to revive or resurrect the pearling tradition in the UAE. One effort is the establishment of The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), a strategic initiative of the Dubai Government to establish a commodity marketplace in Dubai, in addition to creating a significant platform for the coloured stones trade. The DMCC established a dedicated Coloured Stones and Pearls Division in 2007, in line with the growth in demand in these sectors, to provide traders with the tools they need to continue to grow the market in addition to fostering relations with the international trade and developing industry services. The current platforms in the portfolio of the Coloured Stones and Pearls Division include the Dubai Gems Club and the Dubai Pearl Exchange. The Dubai Pearl Exchange creates important opportunities for the international pearl trade by providing an exclusive trading platform and a facilitated free-trade environment for regional and international pearl traders. These platforms are supported by other divisional initiatives such as the recently launched GemBureau Middle East and the Pearls of Arabia. PEARLS OF ARABIA DMCC’s objective is to develop the global and regional pearl market with specific focus on trading, grading, trade events and auctions alongside trade and consumer education. The Pearls of Arabia project represents just one component

of Dubai’s comprehensive Pearl Strategy. The Pearls of Arabia project which when completed in two years will create a pearl business hub on “Antartica” at The World man-made island cluster. The 6,000 square metre Pearl of Arabia features a themed cultural heritage centre, a performing arts theatre, an exhibition gallery and a seafood restaurant alongside boutiques to be run by top pearl fashion houses. The project will resurrect Dubai’s reputation as one of the world’s premier pearl destinations. Dubai will present to the world the best selection of pearls and pearl jewellery that the 21st century pearling industry has to offer. “Pearls represent a unique partnership between man and nature, and the pearl story is a beautiful one just waiting to be told,” said Gaiti Rabbani, Executive Director, Coloured Stones and Pearls, DMCC. “Here in Dubai, until not so very long ago, pearl divers plunged into the depths of the ocean, surfacing with fistfuls of oysters and high hopes of buried treasure, as part of their daily routine of earning a living for their families from nature’s resource of pearl oysters. The launch of ‘Pearls of Arabia’ signals the emirate’s esteem for this storied past, its respect for the toil of its forefathers, and its recognition of the everlasting beauty of one of nature’s greatest gifts.” PEARL ESSENCE DMCC also launched Pearl Essence, an international pearl jewellery design programme, which is the world’s first global design initiative for pearl jewellery, incorporating different categories of pearls, including Tahitian, South Sea, Akoya and Freshwater. The two-tier programme incorporates both leading professional designers and students of jewellery design. The professional designer tier will constitute a custom-designed collection of pearl jewellery pieces, created by ten invited luxury brands inspired by the rich Arabian pearling heritage and represented in a modern and contemporary fashion. The student tier is a competition for final year students from schools that offer a minimum two-year full time jewellery design course, spanning a broad geographical market. Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive

Chairman, DMCC said: “This international pearl jewellery design programme will both highlight Dubai as a centre for the global pearl trade and increase the visibility of pearls in the fashion industry. ‘Pearl Essence’ will invite participation from the global marketplace and provide a neutral and innovative programme for the international pearl community.” For the professional designer tier, DMCC is currently in discussions with leading luxury jewellery brands including members of the Dubai Pearl Exchange to create one unique piece each for the collection. The entries will tour international jewellery trade exhibitions before being auctioned by Christie’s with the proceeds being donated to charity. “Pearl Essence is a very exciting initiative. It pays fitting tribute to the gem of Arabia, while at the same time bringing together the international pearl community in a unique manner. Through Pearl Essence, we aim to enhance awareness and appreciation of the beauty of this gem, drawing on the artistic finesse of luxury jewellery designers as well as the budding talent in the industry. Key milestones have been crafted during the programme to create unique opportunities for networking amongst young talent and established professionals, with a view to career enhancement. We are very encouraged by the response we’ve had from the pearl community; Paspaley Pearling Co has confirmed a support sponsorship role alongside official pearl sponsor for the student category. Damas, Dhamani, Mikura Pearls and Pinctada have confirmed participation as official manufacturers and the list gets longer as more partners sign up with Pearl Essence.” DMCC’s two-year Pearl Essence programme will culminate in a gala event in Dubai, which will include an exhibition showcasing the pearl jewellery created by both the designer brands as well as the students and an awards ceremony to select and honour three winning students. In addition, the final pearl jewellery collection will form part of a six-month traveling exhibition to major international jewellery shows. The introduction of the Dubai International Pearl Jewellery programme is a vital new element of the DMCC’s comprehensive pearl strategy, which seeks to revitalise the Middle East’s leadership status in the pearl sector and re-establish Dubai as a centre for the global trade.

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Pearl jewellery is classic, stunning and always the perfect gift. Whether you are buying pearl jewellery for yourself or a loved one you can never go wrong. The pearl, a symbol of purity, virtue and modesty, is regarded as one of the most precious types of jewellery. The history of pearl being used as jewellery is far older than most people think. Pearls have been harvested and worn for more than 4000 years and since it was a valuable treasure, a lot of the royalty was keen on owning them. The pearls in the older times were all natural. The royalty’s extravagance and natural pearls’ rarity resulted in pearl-hunting workers’

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having a difficult life. In old days, the only way to seek for pearls was to dive into the water. As a result, many workers were injured in the process or even die while hunting for pearls. The difficulty in finding pearls made the gem more special than any other kinds of jewellery. A natural pearl occurs by accident in an oyster. A pearl is formed when an irritant, such as sand or a parasite, becomes lodged in the shell of an oyster. The oyster deposits layers of a semitranslucent crystalline material called “nacre” around the intruder, building the layers up for years, and creating a pearl. Natural pearls take many years to develop and often have irregular shapes, ranging from slightly offspherical to

twisting, bulging shapes called “baroque.” In any shape, they’re rare and very costly. Around the beginning of the 20th century, it was learned that if a sphere of material was placed into an oyster and the oyster stimulated correctly, the oyster would create an almost perfectly round pearl. The longer the pearl remains in the oyster, the larger and more valuable the pearl becomes. These are called “cultured” pearls. Almost all pearls used in today’s jewellery are cultured pearls. With the introduction and development of pearl cultivation, pearls have gained back its popularity. It became a very affordable and accessible jewellery for all classes of people. Color, shape, size and the design of pearls are much more various and diverse than ever. Pearls are cultured all over the world. Major pearl producers are China, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines and Tahiti. There are several types of cultured pearls; the most famous are the Akoya pearls, freshwater peals, South Sea pearls and black pearls from Tahiti.

Buying or Selecting your Pearl Jewellery Typically it is best to buy pearl jewellery, including freshwater pearls, from a jeweler that concentrates in pearl jewellery. When you are buying pearl jewellery you want to make sure you are getting beautiful, high quality pearls. The best way to ensure this is to make sure you are buying the jewellery from a reputable source. Firstly, you need to decide which type of pearls you want. Freshwater pearls are more varied in color and shape than saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are not as shiny as saltwater pearls in luster, although some high quality items already becoming an alternative to seawater pearls Secondly, you need to know the quality factors. No matter whether you prefer freshwater pearls or saltwater pearls, the factors to consider are always luster, shape, size, surface perfection and nacre thickness. The pearls higher in luster, rounder in shape, bigger in size, smoother in surface or thicker in nacre, are always the ones considered higher in quality. When you are checking a piece of jewelry, you can put it under the

lights or compare it with another one. In fact extremely high quality pearls are very rare and very expensive, so there is no need to always search for the best quality. Rather it is best to purchase the ones you like and best suit you. Thirdly, the style you choose should be suitable for your age, look, personality, job, and occasions where you are going to wear it. Young ladies may choose more colorful jewelry, while elder ladies may look at the comparatively more simple items, but that can vary according to the person and the occasion.

Caring For Your Pearls Pearls are very beautiful, but they are also delicate by jewellery standards.

The layers of nacre that make up a pearl are soft and easily damaged. Because it’s an organic compound, a pearl can easily be dulled or even eaten away by chemicals and alcohol. Pearls get more beautiful as they age. You should store your pearl jewelry separate from all other jewelry. It is generally a good idea to store your pearls in a cloth bag or pouch. If you live in a dry climate you may even consider storing a damp linen with your pearl jewelry so they do not dry out. Remember to put on your make-up and perfume before putting on your pearls so you protect them. Pearl jewelry should be wiped down after you wear it. You should use a simple dry, soft cloth. If you spill

anything on your pearl jewel make sure you wipe them quickly with water and then dry them with a soft cloth. You should have your pearl jewelry re-strung regularly so you do not run the risk of having the string break and you damage or lose your pearls. Though pearls can retain their luster for a long time, do not hesitate to replace the occasional dull pearl. Pearl jewelry can be worn at nearly any occasion. A beautiful set of pearls is as classic as it is timeless. You will find that pearl jewelry is a great investment whether you buy white pearls, black pearls, freshwater pearls or any combination of pearls that you may enjoy. Cultured pearls should only ever be washed in very mild, soapy water nothing else.

Cultured pearls are rated on five different qualities 1. Luster and orient Luster is the sharpness and intensity of the reflections on the pearl’s surface, and orient is the iridescent colours one sees within the pearl. The higher the luster and orient, the more valuable the pearl. 2. Colour Colour describes both the main colour (usually white, black or yellow) and the undertone (often pink, rose, or even green.) Pearls can also be dyed any shade according to personal preference. 3. Cleanliness This describes how many imperfections are found on the pearl’s surface. All real pearls - natural or cultured - will have some imperfections, but the fewer and less noticeable they are the better. 4. Shape In general, spherical pearls are the most prized. However, it is common to find small imperfections of shape, which can sometimes be desirable as long as they are symmetrical. Teardrop-shaped pearls, for instance, are often used in earrings and pendants. 5. Size Cultured pearls are sold by diameter, measured in millimeters. In general, larger cultured pearls are rarer and more costly. But you should also consider how well matched pearls are when combined in jewellery, such as on a necklace or in earrings. Look for pearls that are essentially the same size, colour, shape and luster. Keep in mind that the better matched pearls there are in a piece of jewellery, the higher the cost. That’s why pearl earrings cost more than two individual pearls.

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TYPES OF PEARL JEWELLERY Pearl Necklace A pearl necklace is one of those rare pieces of jewelry that never goes out of style. Class, luxury and sophistication exude from pearl necklaces. The prices vary considerably based on the type, length and quality of the pearls used in the pearl necklace. When buying a pearl necklace you want to choose the length that makes sense for you and your style and taste. A collar pearl necklace is generally 12” – 13” in length, where a chocker pearl necklace is 14” – 16” in length. A princess pearl necklace is between 17” and 19”. Matinee pearl necklaces are 20” – 24”. An opera pearl necklace is 28” – 34” in length. A Rope pearl necklace is 45” or longer. The color of pearl necklace you choose will depend on your taste. The two most popular colors for a pearl necklace are white and black. Other colors available for a pearl necklace include: cream, pink, gray and silver. You can also buy a pearl necklace with more than one color pearl. Pearl Earring A pearl earring set is a wonderful gift for yourself or someone special in your life. A pearl earring set is classic, timeless, sophisticated and beautiful. Women have adored pearl earrings for centuries and will continue to enjoy them as long as there are great

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pearl earring sets to enjoy. A pearl earring is considered classic and elegant. You can get a dramatic setting or a very simple setting depending on your personal taste. Make sure you care for your pearl earrings. Never apply hairspray or make-up once you have put on your earrings. In fact you should make it a habit to put on your pearl earring after you are fully dressed and prepared to go out. When you are buying a pearl earring set you are investing in a wonderful piece of jewelry that can be passed and enjoyed from generation to generation. When choosing a pearl earring you want to consider the color, size and quality of the pearl or pearls used for the earring, as well as the style. Pearls come in a variety of color, the two most popular being black and white. When buying a pearl earring you may be looking to match a particular outfit or you may look for something more universal. This is when the setting of the pearl earring will be important. Pearl Ring A pearl ring is a wonderful piece of jewelry that is eye-catching, elegant and both classic and unusual at the same time. When buying a pearl ring you want to make sure you take good care of it so it can retain its beauty for many years. A pearl ring is easy to care for as long as you are careful not to stain it and to make sure you clean it regularly. It is also important not to bang your pearl ring too hard or you can damage the pearl. When selecting a pearl ring you will find pearl rings with white pearls, cream colored pearls, black pearls, gray pearls, silver pearls, as well as some other wonderfully colored pearls. Personal preference will determine what color pearl ring you purchase. The two most popular

colors for pearl rings are white and black. A pearl ring is a wonderful gift for a new bride, a new mother or any special woman in your life, or even for yourself. You can keep a pearl ring for many years and it is the perfect piece of jewelry to pass down from generation to generation. As long as you care for your pearl ring you will be able to help it maintain its beauty for many years. Black Cultured Pearls Black cultured pearls come from a variety of sources. The rarest are those from a large, black-lipped oyster found in the South Seas. These oysters create large, silver-gray to black pearls that can have other colours as overtones - the most valuable being peacock green. Given the rarity of South Seas black cultured pearls, enhanced black cultured pearls can be used as an alternative. These are dyed all the way through using a process called “French dying”, which produces an even, strong colour that lasts for years. However they’re coloured, they are real cultured pearls and need to be handled with the same care as any others. Fresh Water Pearls Freshwater pearls are cultivated around the world, although China is the foremost producer. Some are spheres and used like other round pearls; some are button-shaped and used to accent jewellery; some are blister shaped, or even Rice Crispie shaped. Large ones are often called Mabé, which are often used in earrings and other pieces with closed backs. Freshwater pearls are harvested from mussels. In fact, one mussel can produce over four dozen freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are typically not round, though there are some that can be fairly round and in very rare occasions freshwater pearls can be perfectly round. Because freshwater pearls come in many colors, they are considered by many women to be the ultimate fashion accessory. You can get freshwater pearls in light colors and brilliant colors including pinks, reds, greens, purple, white and silver. When buying freshwater pearls, like salt water pearls, you should find the style and color that you like and purchase them from a reputable jeweler.

SPECIAL FEATURE THE SPA, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai WHY GO THERE: Water trickling over pebbles, ancient wood carvings and mystical artifacts - The RitzCarlton, Dubai brings the ambiance of nature’s exotic eastern gardens to The Spa and creates an environment where one may relax and unwind.

Spas, considered as one of the most effective forms of relaxation, are increasing in numbers especially in Dubai. Spa treatments have become the order of the day, replacing other popular forms of relaxation and recreation, with both women and men engaging in the experience. Dedicated spa resorts and luxurious hotel spas are booming across the Emirates, with Dubai already having one of the highest concentrations of these centres per capita in the world. Many spas in the Emirates offer tourists a variety of choices – in terms of theme, style, concept or treatment. Theme ranges from Thai to Egyptian to contemporary. Treatments are offered in stand-alone spas or those within the hotels. Many spas have designated areas for men and women, and often come with a “wet” area, comprising of a sauna, Jacuzzi and a plunge pool, and can be used before or after treatment.

WHAT TO EXPECT: The spa environment and therapists provide a calm, tranquil and soothing atmosphere which transports guests to deep relaxation and overall wellbeing. The spirit of nurturing, caring, and enhancement of physical and spiritual levels can be perceived in all the guest sees, smells and touches. Therapists deliver signature services as only The Ritz-Carlton can deliver. The decor of the purpose-built Spa reflects a Balinese influence, with much of the furniture and artwork coming from the island. Soothing colours of ivory, cream and pale yellow contrast with the natural wooden floors. With these earth tones in mind, exclusive designs are used for the spa’s sarongs, robes and body wraps and incorporated into the Balinese style uniforms of the staff. The Balinese theme is also evident in many of the treatments and therapies that are performed by seven highly skilled male and female masseuses. Presenting an extensive palette of treatments, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dubai honours cultures from every corner of the earth to offer the ultimate spa experience. Famed European brand Carita and organic range Bella Lucce combine to offer facials and body treatments that rival the best in the world. Call 04-3994000.

LESPA, The Palace, The Old Town WHY GO THERE: An oasis of calm, LeSpa houses treatment rooms with private changing areas, the massage under a Vichy shower, an oriental bath house complete with hammam slab, monsoon showers, steam rooms and a hydrobath with therapy jet, together with a consultation space, relaxation lounge and retail counter. WHAT TO EXPECT: Dedicated to the question of relaxation and

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massages and the signature “Java Royal Treatment”. Feel like the legend herself in Cleopatra’s bronze bath enriched with milk, anointed with perfume amongst floating exotic flowers. Call 04 324 7700.

SATORI SPA, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa WHY GO THERE: The Japanese word Satori means a feeling of joy, peace and calm. The minute you enter the Spa, you will feel an atmosphere of absolute serenity while your therapist brings pleasure to your every senses.

rejuvenation, LeSpa offers signature treatments that range from Soothing to Stimulating. LeSpa goes a step further in indulgence by providing guests a ten-minute foot bath ritual prior to any treatment, in the calm of the relaxation lounge. Once in the treatment room, clients can opt from a music menu that spans the Far East, Asia, South America and the Middle East, taking you right to the origin of the treatment itself. Luxury beauty house, Carita and the aroma-skincare specialist Décléor complete the LeSpa experience with exquisite products that are applied during facial and body treatments, achieving results that range from purifying to soothing and restoring. With tranquil views of the Burj Dubai Lake and the fragrance of sweet frangipani oils in the air, guests will indisputably leave LeSpa and The Palace feeling relaxed and replenished. Call 044287888.

CLEOPATRA’S SPA, Wafi WHY GO THERE: Inspired from the style and elegance of the legendary ancient Egyptian queen of the same name, Cleopatra’s Spa captures the wonders of Arabia

presenting them in a superbly luxurious spa experience. WHAT TO EXPECT: The spa is divided into male and female areas, with a total of 30 treatment rooms, as well as a wet area with Jacuzzi, Plunge Pool, Steam room and Sauna. The Spa has a tranquil relaxation area, including a Majilis, where you can delight in a magical state of peacefulness and well-being. With the finest specialist therapists at your service, delight yourself with the most exclusive treatments. The range varies from anti-aging facials, body wraps, the Rasul which is a detoxifying mud treatment, the popular body sculpting program “Ionithermie”, a wide range of international

WHAT TO EXPECT: Satori Spa treatments offer an ancient healing massage ritual from the east and the latest technology from the west. There are also a range of Satori signature treatments which include a dry acupressure massage, a Balinese Massage in their outdoor treatment rooms, or the Desert Rose Ritual where you will lie back on a bed of dewy roses, which is a deeply moisturizing treatment. Another Satori Spa facility is located within the premises of The Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa. The Spa offers modern and traditional holistic, rejuvenating treatments for the mind, body and soul. Highly skilled therapists and masseurs from Indonesia carry out the treatments using a natural range of products. You can either choose from the Elemis range or the traditional Satori Spa Signature treatments. Call 04 8096232.

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spices are combined with their expert application in a variety of treatments by a team of therapists. Upon arrival at Natural Healing Wellness Spa, enjoy a sip of freshly prepared combination of mint, orange and cucumber drink to refresh and relax you. The spa attendants will then guide you to the relaxation lounge and then on to your treatment room. Each therapy gives undivided individual attention. The spa therapists have extensive knowledge of a wide range of specialized therapies available as signature treatments. Each guest is allowed to indulge in an unforgettable experience with variety of treatments that bring balance of chi and meridiens. Call (04) 3483896.

AMARA, Park Hyatt Dubai

WHY GO THERE: A luxurious, spacious and well-equipped haven for guests to relax, rejuvenate and revitalize the mind and body, Natural Healing Wellness Spa offers treatments to improve circulation of chi and blood, by regulating its flow and removal of external causes of blockage.

WHY GO THERE: Located in idyllic surroundings on the banks of the Dubai Creek and world-famous Dubai Creek Golf Course, Amara is a true sanctuary of luxury and tranquility. A magnificent tribute to the ancient Moorish palaces, the white exterior and royal blue domes offer a welcoming entrance into this private and secluded spa, where exotic rituals have been created to stimulate the sense, soothe and rejuvenate.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Packed with therapeutic delights to help relieve stress from everyday life, qualified therapists will ensure each treatment leaves you relaxed and happy. The physical therapists use a wide range of techniques to perform the healing. Embracing a holistic approach to physical and spiritual well-being, guests can relax and rejuvenate through a selection of unique therapies and treatments. Inspired by traditional Asian healing philosophies, the signature treatments have been developed with the principle of restoring balance and harmony to the body and mind. The restorative properties of fragrant essential oils, aromatic herbs and

WHAT TO EXPECT: A unique place where the senses are awakened with calm settings, a scent of rare oils, captivating lush gardens and a tranquil swimming pool. With soft evening light of flicking candles and oil lanterns, Amara Spa is reminiscent of the ‘Arabian Nights’ tale. The Amara


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concierge will customise your experience using the ancient healing philosophies of Diamond, Emerald, Rubu and Sapphire. These precious jewels, each with its own physical and spiritual benefits, combined with the finest products, Arabian teas and authentic delicacies, ensure a quality and personalised experience. Begin your journey with a refreshing shower in the private garden of your spacious spa suite. Couples suites are also available for a shared spa experience. Call 046021234.

RETREAT HEALTH & SPA, Grosvenor House WHY GO THERE: With seven treatment rooms, all named after flowers and decorated with rock and blossom features to provide a focal point for those undergoing treatments, Retreat Health & Spa includes N.Bar for nailcare, Dubai’s second 1847, a dedicated men’s treatment centre, plus the new concept hair bar, specialising in all types of cuts, curls and tints. In addition, a juice bar serves healthy

snacks, smoothies and other drinks. WHAT TO EXPECT: The Retreat Health & Spa at the Grosvenor House hosts an entire floor dedicated to male and female grooming. With a gym, a SPA, a luxurious Rasul, steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and Cleopatra bath to indulge every desire, the Retreat Health & Spa is a complete escape from modern life, a relaxing haven for mind, body and soul. On the same floor, N.Bar offers ‘fast glamour for nails’ whilst JetSet is designed for the woman on the go, specializing in all types of hair styles, curls and tints. But men are not forgotten, they find their own cocoon in 1847, a lounge exclusively dedicated to their grooming needs. 1847 is the first brand of dedicated grooming lounges for men in the Middle East. The name originates from a turning point in the history of men’s grooming with the revolutionary discovery of the safety razor, patented by English inventor William Henson. Offering innovative and sophisticated features such as state-of-the-art personal plasma screens, private libraries and wireless LAN, 1847 promises the unique experience of ‘executive grooming’ through a range of high-end services from shaves to shoe shines, manicures to pedicures, and massages to facials. Call 04 317 6762.

Arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your appointment/treatment to allow yourself ample time to change and get ready. Remember to switch off your mobile phones or pager to enj oy complete relaxation and so that neither you nor other guests are disturbed. Do not bring any valuables or jewellery to the Spa. Leave it at your home or in your hotel. The Spa will provide towels, slippers and robes during your Spa treatment. The Spa environment is one of tranquility and relaxation. Respect the peaceful ambience as well as the privacy of other guests. A locker is normally provided for your belongings. Guests are advised to inform their therapists or inhouse doctors of any health concerns before going for a treatment. Dress codes apply in several Spa facilities. In keeping with the local culture, appropriate swimwear must be worn in ‘wet’ areas and some treatments.


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Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Known as “Festival of Lights�, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil and lamps lit are a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Diwali this year falls on October 28.

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With over 1 million Indian nationals in the Emirates, expect a festive atmosphere this month when most of the homes will be decorated with lights in celebration of Deepawali or Diwali, known as “Festival of Lights”. Marked by four days of celebration, Diwali literally illuminates India with its brilliance and dazzles all with joy. Unlike in India where the celebration usually lasts a week and often highlighted with elaborate fun, festivity, eating and celebrating with families and friends, the celebration in a foreign country may be shorter. Like Ramadan and Eid, Diwali falls on different days of the year and is reckoned according to the position of the moon by following the Hindu calendar. The celebration of Diwali usually occurs in October or November and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals of India. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness. During Diwali, every house is lit with little earthenware vessels containing oil and a lighted wick, and groups of men and women assemble along the river bank setting these little lanterns afloat on tiny rafts and watching with intense interest the frail craft, as they float down streams. Others make rangolis (designs made on the floor with coloured powder or flowers), decorating the house

with marigold flowers, playing cards and lighting firecrackers. Over the years Diwali has also become associated with the goddess

of wealth Lakshmi and on this day prayers to Lakshmi are offered by Hindus throughout India to propagate the goddess and grant them wealth. Diwali is the gayest of the festivals; an occasion of great excitement and rejoicing. The reason for celebrating Diwali differs across faiths but one famous reason to celebrate is the return of the Hindu god Ram after killing Ravan the demon during his exile for 14 years. The myth behind the origin of Diwali is that Lord Vishnu in his eighth incarnation as Krishna, destroyed the demon Narakasura, who was causing great unhappiness amongst the people of the world. Diwali or Narakachaturthi celebrates the end of this evil. Diwali is a festival in reverence to Lord Rama. Illuminating the house with colourful lights means that the mind should be decorated with spiritual accessories such as peach, love, tolerance and generosity. The earthly lamps called Deeyas (Deep) represent the body, which is a combination of the five elements i.e., fire, water, air, space and earth. It is perishable and is only lent to us for a period of a time. Each day of Diwali has its own tale, legend and myth to tell. The first day of the festival Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the second day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the tyrant Bali, and banished him to hell. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. It is on the third day of Deepawali -

Kartika Shudda Padyami that Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu. The fourth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhau Dooj) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes. Diwali marks the day when the year officially changes, according to the Hindu calendar. During such time, the business men close their books of old accounts and start new ones. This denotes the giving up of bad habits and cultivating new attitudes. Exchanging cards and gifts means to share the most elevated teachings (Godly teachings/ Knowledge) and have good wishes and pure feelings for all. Like Christmas in the West, Diwali is very much a time for buying and exchanging gifts. Traditionally sweets and dried fruit were very common gifts to exchange, but the festival has become a time for serious shopping. In most years shopkeepers expect sales to rise substantially in the weeks before the festival. Diwali is also a traditional time to redecorate homes and buy new clothes. Indians purchase gold, gifts decorations and household appliances during this festival. There are lots of new clothes during Diwali as old clothes are cast off as a reminder that the old world, now in the Iron Age, will end and make way for the new. Families also visit each other’s homes and exchange sweets and savouries. Food is distributed as acts of charity. Though the celebration in the Emirates will not be as elaborate as that in India, one can join the celebration by sending Diwali greeting cards or by simply saying “Happy Diwali”. If you have been invited to a Diwali, it is polite to take along a gift.

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Seeing the Light Being in Syria brings back mists-of-time history, lessons and Biblical references. SUE DOBSON tells us more.

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With the sun setting spectacularly over Jordan, we drove to our swishly modern Cham Palace hotel in Bosra, where the welcome was warm with smiles. Syria prides itself on its hospitality – in our experience, rightly so. Bosra is amazing, not least because this black basalt, predominantly Roman city, is still inhabited. Here you’ll see a farm truck parked against an ionic column; look through a second century arch and watch a man coping under a burden of hay. The superbly preserved Roman theatre, part of a citadel, seats fifteen thousand people and every Friday comes to life with musicians and picnicking families. Colorfully-garbed children were gathering outside their school and serried ranks of olive trees rose dusty green out of the red earth as we drove towards Damascus. We shared the road with family donkey carts, elderly agricultural vehicles, lorries and battered yellow

taxis kept moving, one suspects, rather more by faith than by cheap diesel. If the houses look unfinished, it’s because they are; the concrete piles rising up from flat roofs are in readiness for when the family gathers together enough money to build on another floor, or part of one. Factories, repair shops and endless old cars, trucks and anything that will move on wheels, clog the arteries to the capital in a chaos of vehicles, people and dust. Public transport is cheap; modern mini-buses are affectionately known as ‘white rats’. There are a whole lot of them. At the Damascus Museum are unbelievable treasures from all over Syria, although the presentation doesn’t do them justice. Near a Roman helmet and bronze jars lie equipment found in the tomb of a surgical doctor – together with the flute he used to calm his patients; here are frescoes and mosaics, a feast of gold, Islamic glass from the 13th century BC and gloriously illuminated manuscripts. Our guide tells us the tiny blocks that are so intriguing us in a display case are Palmyrian party invitation cards – one side shows the god to be honored, the other details the food to be served. There are written cylinders from Ugarit dating from the 14th century BC, using the first known alphabet, and the Hall of Mari holds intriguing stone statues, their almond-shaped eyes outlined, eyebrows joined to indicate intelligence. Somehow they’ve survived from the third millennium BC. Outside in the courtyard, under shady eucalyptus trees, we sip strong, sweet tea and little cups of aromatic black coffee scented with cardamom, and eat Syrian breads redolent with herbs.

Through the Souq al-Hamdiyyeh – the covered market thronged with people selling handicrafts, clothes and souvenirs (hold fire, there are much better temptations to come!) – and on to the vast and peaceful Omayyad Mosque with its courtyard, patterned minarets. Inside, a tomb for the head of John the Baptist is set among priceless Oriental carpets. We women feel incongruous in the black, hooded robes we’re given to wear before entering. Places of worship have stood on this site for three thousand years – the first temple was mentioned in the Old Testament’s Book of Kings. Saladin’s mausoleum lies in a garden setting nearby and the black and white Azem Palace, another peaceful haven, has become a museum of arts and traditions. Dipping back into the souq, via narrow alleys rich with spices, we reach the Christian quarter and walk down the street called Straight. Almost at the East gate, which dates back to Roman times, the Chapel of Ananias sits among the craft shops, jewelry and brocaded silks, the carpet weavers and inlaid wooden box makers. It’s opposite a shop filled with a temptation of old brassware and coffee pots. The atmosphere is of prayer in this tiny, underground church beneath the house of the man who touched Saul and restored his sight. From Damascus, it’s a three-hour drive to the ancient oasis town of Palmyra, one of the world’s great historical sites.

Historic city of palms Under a cloudless blue sky the rocky semi-desert stretches into brown mountains of sinuous folds. On the flat plains, the big, dusty, brown-colored

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would still be mesmerised by the ruined city. At Ebla, where excavations on a windswept hill are revealing a town of the fourth millennium BC, there’s little for the untutored mind to grasp. But at the Archaeological Museum in Aleppo, among wonders dating back to the 9th century BC, are cuneiform tablets, large documents from the royal archives found at Ebla that belong to one of the oldest collections of written texts in the world (2300BC). Over fifteen thousand clay tablets in a Sumerian dialect have provided a wealth of information on everyday life, economics and politics, and even dictionaries of other languages have been unearthed at this site.

Castles and souqs

tents of itinerant Bedouin blend into the landscape, where goats and sheep search for food among infrequent tufts of almost-greenery among the stones. First sight of Palmyra leaves you speechless. An important link on the old Silk Route, a buffer between the Romans and Persians, this city of palms and dates became a Roman colony in 217AD under the emperor Caracalla. But its downfall began fifty years later when its ruler Odenathus was assassinated. His wife, the legendary Zenobia, took over, creating her own

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empire. She then declared independence and set her sights on Rome. Rome had other ideas, first defeating Zenobia, then in 273 destroying the city. At the museum, Palmyra’s distinct culture and language can begin to be understood before setting out to explore the enormity of the site - the huge Bel temple and long, colonnaded street, the smaller temples, markets, shopping arcades, theatre, offices and the underground tombs. Not even the Romans could have imagined that seventeen hundred years later, people

Aleppo’s castle stands proud and wide. Passing through a 12th-century gate, a snaking pathway leads through the moated fortifications. Tall old pine trees decorate the quiet courtyard of a mosque, a theatre seats thousands and the reconstructed Throne Room has impressive painted wood ceilings. Outdoor café tables afford a grand view of the city sprawling below. In the often dark, labyrinthine lanes of the souq, people were friendly and polite. Unlike the covered market in Istanbul or the souqs in many north African countries, Aleppo’s is not tourist-oriented. Bargaining is expected, but none of our group felt any sense of ‘rip off’. It is in fact a wondrous, endlessly busy place of scents, spices and color. Stand aside for a laden donkey to pass, pause to wonder at the variety of fruit and vegetables, gawp at the passages laden with gold, hear the cries of the hawkers, watch craftsmen at work, breathe in the scent of cardamom, cloves and coffee, admire the silks, be tempted by the carpets.Overcoming our initial reluctance to sip tea and chat, we found ourselves subjected not to hard-sell tactics, just innate Syrian hospitality. At first disorienting, Aleppo’s noise, dust and concrete, busy streets and chaotic traffic, soon began to appeal. Women swathed in black from topto-toe miss nothing from behind their secretive veils. Mongrel cars negotiate aggressively for space on the roads, horns blaring, miraculously avoiding laden

donkey carts, weaving motorbikes and determined pedestrians. Buicks and Fords bear witness to the panel beaters’ skills and car mechanics’ ingenuity. In Syria they understand the meaning of ‘make do and mend’. Hundreds of ruined cities and historical sites, many dating from early Byzantine Christianity and largely unexplored, are scattered over the countryside surrounding Aleppo. One, Qala’at Simaan (the Basilica of St. Simeon) is a treasure. On the rough terrain, whole families with their donkeys cultivate fields that must take generations of backbreaking labor just to remove the stones. The road winds steeply up a pine-forested hill and the ruins of the basilica present a breathtaking scene. St. Simeon was a 5th century Christian who took to living on the top of a 50foot pillar in the barren hills. After his death in 459, a vast church of unique design was built around the sacred pillar – four basilicas arranged in the shape of a cross off a central octagonal yard. One was used for worship, the others to house pilgrims. Completed in 490, it was the largest church in the world at the time. Now the decorated arches form beautiful shapes and with panoramic views over the countryside, the effect is manna to the soul. That night we stayed in Hama, a pleasant town on the Orontes River that goes back to the days of David and Solomon and is visited mainly for its norias, huge wooden waterwheels, and centuries old that once provided irrigation for the fields and water for the town. As evening falls they’re prettily floodlit. Then we were heading back to Damascus, with one more exciting sight to see en route – Crac de Chevaliers. It doesn’t take too much imagination to visualize this Crusader castle-within-a-castle as it could have been eight hundred years ago when it housed a garrison of four thousand soldiers and four hundred knights. From its walls you look across terraced hillsides and little villages to the distant mountains of Turkey and Lebanon. Syria is stunning and endlessly fascinating.

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Hong Kong is a fantastic holiday experience that you will treasure forever. FLOR B. PAMINTUAN discovers why. Four days of our summer vacation were spent in Hong Kong, a city filled with excitement, diversity and entertainment. A city that never sleeps, I supposed, because no matter how early I leave the hotel and how late I return, the streets are always filled with people in their festive mood. This is my first trip to Hong Kong, now a Special Administrative Region of China since July 1, 1997. It is a cosmopolitan city with a population of 7 million spread over Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 260 outlying islands. Hong Kong is a place where ancient traditions thrive within an ultra-modern city. From busy street markets to modern skyscrapers and historic heritages, Hong Kong truly offers a varied and everchanging visual experience. My four days trip is not enough to catch what the whole of Hong Kong offers. I have not visited any of the temples nor have been to any of the trendy nigh districts. This gives me more reasons to return, to explore the city and add more colour and fun to the memorable experience that I already have.

DAY 1 We arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport at mid-morning and proceeded to our hotel, where I met my high school and college friend, Dennis Mark Selorio, who now lives in China. Dennis Mark became our tour guide for two days. It was extremely hot when we started the mid-day tour along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade where the Avenue of Stars is located. The Avenue of Stars features plaques of honoured movie

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celebrities on the walk of fame along with milestones and sculptures depicting Hong Kong industry, including a twometre tall statue of the legendary kung fu action, Bruce Lee. Along the promenade are the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (one of the city’s main performing arts venues), the Hong Kong Space Museum (which offers sky shows and astronomy exhibits) and the Hong Kong Museum of Art which features antiquities, fine art, calligraphy and special exhibitions. Further down the promenade is the Clock Tower, a landmark from the Age of Steam. Part of the original Kowloon Canton Railway Terminus, it was completed in 1915 and came into operation in 1921. Surviving demolition of the station in the mid-1970s, it became a declared monument in 1990. If you want to go shopping, not far from the Clock Tower is the Harbour City located on Canton Road where many leading international brands have specialty shops selling the very latest fashions and leather goods. Harbour City is the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong with over 700 shops, more than 50 food and beverage outlets, 2 cinemas, 3 hotels as well as Gallery by the Harbour, the only art gallery of its kind in any shopping mall in Hong Kong. In the evening, the same promenade along Victoria Harbour is the venue of A Symphony of Lights, a must see in Hong Kong, which is a spectacular multimedia event and has been awarded the world’s largest permanent light and sound show by Guinness World Records. The show combines interactive lights of 44 key buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour. They are decked out in lights, which at the flick of a switch, glow in

myriad of colours depicting Hong Kong’s vibrancy. The show starts at 8 pm nightly and while watching the show, you can see the view of the Victoria Harbour at night where several ferries ply including the famous Duk Ling boat. The star ferry is still one of the cheapest forms of transportation in Hong Kong. The vessel has been transporting passengers for over 100 years. The ferry can transport you across to the Hong Kong Island where you can visit the Peak. The Peak is the perfect place to get the best view of the city’s skyline and harbour from the Lugard Road Lookout, Lions View Point Pavilion, the viewing terrace at the Peak Galleria and the Peak Tower Sky Terrace. There’s also a wide range of shops as well as various restaurants to enjoy your lunch or dinner. To get to the Peak, you will ride the Peak Tram, which has been in operation since 1888. The tram takes people up an incline so steep that buildings look like they are leaning at a 45-degree angle. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is also located at The Peak and is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily for an engrossing interactive entertainment experience.

DAY 2 A full day is required to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. Located at the Outlying Islands, Disneyland is easily accessible by Mass Transit Railway (MTR), bus, taxi, coach, private car or private ferry. A specially-commissioned Disneyland Resort Line with a Mickeythemes train will transport you from Sunny Bay station to the all new Disneyland Resort Station. Disneyland is the place where one gets to feel being a child again. It’s a


Chinese and English are the official languages in Hong Kong. Most staff in shops, restaurants and hotels speaks some English or Putonghua. Hong Kong’s subtropical climate has distinct seasons. Temperature range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius in summer and 14 to 19 degrees Celsius in winter. Hong Kong is a safe city during the day and at night. Police are highly visible, friendly and helpful. To ensure that your stay is a pleasant one, always take care of your belongings. Before buying items it is best to compare prices. Prices are usually clearly marked particularly in shopping malls and chain stores. However, some small shops and street markets do not always display prices so here, bargaining is possible. Be cautious if approached by sales staff on the streets. Don’t buy from street touts, nor follow them to any warehouses or showrooms. Popular restaurants are often busy during lunchtime (1 pm – 2 pm), at nights and on weekends, so it is a good idea to make a reservation. Hong Kong has strict laws to maintain environmental hygiene, including fixed penalty fines of HK$1,500 for littering or spitting. Smoking is prohibited in most indoor areas, including restaurants, karaokes, malls and some bars. Hong Kong has a well-developed transportation infrastructure. Whether by ferry, rail, bus, tram or taxi, you can get around easily and catch wonderful glimpses of the city along the way.

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whimsical world of imagination where enchanting stories and timeless places come to life before your eyes. From the moment you enter the magical gates, you will feel that Hong Kong Disneyland is unlike any other place on earth. Here begins your magical journey to a world of dreams – a journey full of magic you can touch and that touches you. The experience of meeting the real life characters of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Goofy, Pluto, Cinderella, Belle and the Beast, Tarzan, Alice and Snow White is ecstatic. A visit to Disneyland will take you from a fairy tale castle to an intergalactic

mountain, and to a world where you can see jungle elephants on an exotic river. You will discover amazing themed lands like the Adventureland where you can explore the exotic African jungles filled with mystery, intrigue and adventure. Explore Tarzan’s tree house, take the jungle river cruise where you’ll see wild jungle animals, spear-throwing forest-dwellers and Tarzan

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island and witness the vibrant colours and dazzling sounds of Festival of the Lion Kong, an amazing Broadway-style musical performance based on Disney’s animated masterpiece, The Lion King. The Main Street is where you can travel back in time to the beautiful gas-lit streets of the early 19th century America. Candy-like houses lined the street which is also the venue for the Disney on Parade, where you can see all your favourite Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy as they join a cheerful marching band and high-spirited dancers in this floatfilled spectacular. The main street is where you’ll find everything your heart desires with over 4,000 unique Hong Kong Disneyland gifts and souvenirs. A ride aboard the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad gives you a view of the whole property. The Fantasyland is a romantic fairy tale world where everyone lives happily ever after. The Golden Mickeys show is an award show like no other with fabulous performance from Disney’s animated classics like Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, Tarzan and of course Mickey and friends. Enter the storybook dreamland of the Hundred Acre Wood for an enchanting journey with Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The tranquil charm of this fantasy world will make one feel like a child again. Tomorrowland is the futuristic world of tomorrow where spaceships soar and aliens attack. The main attraction of Tomorrowland is Space Mountain, a thrilling high-speed journey to the far reaches of the universe and back on this interstellar roller coaster. A new attraction is “It’s A Small

World,” where you sail in an imaginative journey through the regions of the world featuring colourful dolls, your favorite Disney characters, elaborate sets and memorable music. The dolls represent culture around the globe singing the song, “It’s a Small World” in nine different languages. The finale of the day is the “Disney in the Stars” fireworks display every night at 9, a show which transforms the sky above Sleeping Beauty castle into a stunning evening spectacle.

DAY 3 Our third day in Hong Kong was spent touring Ocean Park Hong Kong, Asia’s premier sea life and animal theme park. The place was packed when we reached mid-morning. The Park features one of the largest aquariums (Atoll Reef with more than 2000 tropical fish and sea creatures) in the world and is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. The Atoll Reef is now home to Chinese sturgeons that belong to the country’s grade 1 protected species that are rarely seen today. The sturgeons (measuring up to two metres in length) are one of the world’s oldest fish often known as “live fish fossil” that have existed on earth for over 140 million years. The first show that we watched is the performances by dolphins and sea lions at the Ocean Theatre located at the headlands of Ocean Park. The Ocean Theatre is located on the highest part of the park so you need to take the steep escalator (I think about 3 of them) to reach the top. The Ocean Theatre is an open amphi-theater where you can see a great view of the island. The show features interaction between the marine mammals and man. A must for everyone is the cable car ride which spans the lowlands and headlands of Ocean Park. For 12 to 15

minutes, view the southern shores from the cable car, the most popular attraction in the Park. The Ocean Park Town is one of the park’s attractions that rise 72 metres above the highest point in the park for spectacular views. As the cabin climbs and rotates 360 degrees slowly, Aberdeen, Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay can be seen from a bird’s eye view. The Giant Panda habitat is located at the lowlands. Giant panda Le Le and Ying Ying are gifts from the Chinese government to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. From July, 07, An An, Jia Jia, Le Le and Ying Ying are living together at the renovated Giant Panda Habitat. Getting to Ocean Park is easy. Visitors can take the City bus route 629 at Admiralty MTR Station or Central Pier No. 7 directly to the Park entrance. Ocean Park Hong Kong is open from 9:30 am to 8 pm everyday and the admission ticket is good for all available games, shows and rides on the day. In the evening, try goi ng to the Ladies Market located in Mong Kok where you can shop for bags, accessories and expensive women’s clothing plus men’s and children’s clothing and toys. The Ladies’ Market is the perfect place to get souvenirs The Temple Street Night Market is the famous night market which opens from 4 pm to midnight daily. You can find all kinds of bargains including casual clothes and curios. You’ll also often see fortune tellers, Cantonese opera singers and professional Chinese chess players. At the night markets, one can always haggle for prices but make sure you buy the items after they agreed to your price.

DAY 4 Last minute shopping can be

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done on your last day in Hong Kong. You can search for jade which many Chinese people believe can protect one from evil spirits and calm the emotions. At the Jade Market, about 400 registered stall owners sell amulets, ornaments, necklaces and trinkets made from jade. This is a fun place to browse and to buy an inexpensive memento of your visit but think twice about buying anything costly unless you are a jade expert. Or visit any of the wetlands like the Hong Kong Wetland Park, a 60-plus hectare integrated themed education and recreation venue and worldclass ecotourism facility containing extensive wetland habitats, outdoor exhibits, boardwalks and bird hides. A Visitor’s Centre features exhibits and interactive facilities to demonstrate the biodiversity of wetlands, issues related to human culture and conservation, and the beauty of wetlands from global to local perspectives. The Mai Po Wetlands has more tan 300 species of birds along with a number of Hong Kong’s reptile and mammal species. Don’t leave Hong Kong without trying its distinctive culinary dishes and regional Chinese delicacies. Hong Kong is a city where eating and drinking is a passion and where memorable dining experiences await you. You must try the fresh seafood which are all guaranteed fresh because you can select the live fish or shellfish from tanks at the restaurants. Whether you like steamed, fried, grilled or simmered, seafood cooked Hong Kong-style will spoil you for life. Don’t forget the Chinese gourmet food, Hong Kong delicacies as well as international cuisine. Be it alfresco seaside dining, trendy or speciality restaurants, Hong Kong has it.

WHERE TO STAY Renaissance Kowloon Hotel Hong Kong

When you’re in Hong Kong, one of the best places to stay is the Renaissance Kowloon Hotel. Situated right in the heart of Tsim Shat Sui’s shopping, dining, business and cultural district, the hotel is close to the nearby MRT buses, ferries and Cross Harbour Tunnel which provide easy access to all parts of Hong Kong. The staffs at Renaissance Kowloon Hotel are very friendly, hospitable and helpful especially when you are in need of directions. The magnificent lobby is a place to relax especially in the evening at the Lobby Lounge where you can unwind after a very tiring day. Renaissance Kowloon Hotel has a total of 545 rooms (including rooms for the disabled and 82 rooms on the Club Level). The rooms are spacious and smell really nice. It’s one of those hotels where you want to just lay on the bed, cuddle the comfortable and soft pillows while watching your favorite TV show or movie. All rooms are equipped with broadband internet access, facsimile, IDD telephone, a sophisticated electronic voice-mail telephone and mail system, personal room safe, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers, radio and digital clock, mini bar, individually controlled air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and bathroom amenities. The hotel’s Club Level is located from Level 16 to 19. The Club Level suites and rooms include broadband internet access, facsimiles, unique computerised bedside consoles, DVDplayers, hi-fis and laser disc compacts. Guests at the Club Level can also enjoy complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktail, private check-in/checkout, a two-hour complimentary use of the Executive Boardroom plus many extraordinary privileges. Renaissance Kowloon Hotel has a 24-hour Business Centre that provides secretarial, typing, photocopying, telecommunication, courier, translation and interpretation services. Private rooms are available for conferences and mobile phone rental

services are also available. The hotel has three restaurants and a bar. The Panorama, a seafood and grill restaurant is famed for its exquisitely prepared seafood and grill specialities which served with unrivalled flair using boundaries and periphery of sauces to complete the presentation of each dish. The restaurant has a stunning panoramic view of Victoria Harbour with is ceilingto-floor window. Serving daily semilunch buffet, set dinner, a la carte menu and Sunday brunch. Dynasty Restaurant is one of the famous restaurants in Hong Kong. A lot of celebrities have dined in this restaurant which serves traditional Cantonese home-made dishes, an extensive a la carte and speciality menu. Diners can relax in the restaurant to discover the gentle, refined world of Chinese dining in a traditionally inspired and delightful ambience. The hotel’s all day dining spot, Patio, with its contemporary surroundings specializes on eastern and western delights. During our lunch at this restaurant, they were serving Indian food like the rotti, masala and different kinds of curry. A la carte menu, lunch buffet and dinner buffet are also available. The Lobby Lounge is where you can relax and a perfect choice for families to spend the whole afternoon together or for friends to take a break after shopping at nearby malls. Offers daily a la carte menu and live music throughout the evening and tea buffet every Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. If you are in Hong Kong for business deals, Renaissance Kowloon Hotel has facilities like the Four Seasons Ballroom which can accommodate 800 guests and can be partitioned into 8 individual function rooms and caters for wedding, banquets and any type of meetings. Five function rooms are also located on Level 3, providing a versatile and flexible service, catering to all types of functions requested. All rooms are equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and karaoke systems.

our access garden area, 24-h The hotel has a d the hotel , a hair salon an to gym facilities Centre, a the New World is situated within 300 shops. er ov arcade with ng pi op sh y re sto 5(852) 2369 d enquiries, call For bookings an 4111 or @ ns renaissance-k email reservatio


T HE PA LM, DUB A I Atlantis, The Palm is the brain child of Sol Kerzner and the sister hotel of the spectacular Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. This dynamic property is rising in Dubai from the coastline of the largest man-made island in the world, the Palm Jumeirah. Positioned as the flagship property it is, situated at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah’s Crescent, Atlantis, The Palm, majestically crowns the development, while surrounded by the beautifully tranquil sea of the Arabian Gulf. The resort will offer more than 1,500 guest accommodations at

reaching over 30 metres into the sky and featuring seven heart-pumping water slides – two of which catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons; The Ambassador Lagoon, an 11 million litre marine habitat and underwater exhibit home to several hundred species of marine life, with a viewing panel looking right into the mystical ruins of Atlantis; The Lost Chambers, bringing the myth of Atlantis to life through a maze of underground tunnels offering underwater views into the boulevards of the ruins of Atlantis; and Dolphin Bay, a 4.5 hectare state-of-the-art dolphin education and conservation centre allowing guests the opportunity to meet and interact with one of the world’s most charismatic animals in an unparalleled facility.


the Royal Towers, with over 16 restaurants, bistros and cafes, bars and lounges, and extensive meeting facilities including the opulent Royal Palm ballroom and the Palm Terrace which will overlook the tropical landscape and lapping waters between the central fronds and the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah.

WATER EXPERIENCES Water adventures, salt and fresh water attractions and an open-air marine habitat are the focal point of Atlantis, The Palm for both guests and visitors including, AQUAVENTURE, a water playground of over 18 million litres of water, consisting of extraordinary rides with cascades, tidal waves and rapids, and the Mesopotamian-styled Ziggurat temple

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suites located within the Lost Chambers create an illusion of being beneath the sea whilst looking directly into the heart of Atlantis.

AWARD-WINNING CUISINE & DESIGNER SHOPPING With 17 restaurants, bars and lounges to suit every taste sophisticated seafood, innovative sushi, quick bites and foods from around the world - the dining and entertainment at Atlantis will be as exciting and multi-faceted as the resort itself. Four famed celebrity chefs will debut at Atlantis, The Palm, making the resort the culinary destination in Dubai. World-class master chef and sushi mogul Nobuyuki Matsuhisa opens Nobu with partner Robert DeNiro; two star Michelin chef Giorgio Locatelli, one of London’s most talked about Italian chefs, features Ronda Locatelli; Parisian sensation and two star Michelin

ACCOMMODATION Each of the 1,539 guestrooms and suites in the Royal Towers will feature private balconies and views over the Arabian Gulf or The Palm Jumeirah. Guests may choose from a variety of accommodation including the Imperial Club - a ‘resort within a resort’ with over 150 rooms and suites, exclusive services and private club lounge; Bridge Suite - spanning the Royal Towers, a private lift takes guests 22 storeys above Atlantis for heart-stopping views of The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai and The Arabian Gulf; Lost Chambers Suites - each three storeys high with mesmerising views directly into the Ambassador Lagoon from the master bedroom, these two

chef Michel Rostang debuts his French Brasserie; and, Three star Michelin chef Santi Santamaria, known as ‘The Architect of Food,’ opens his first venture outside of Europe with Ossiano, a gourmet seafood restaurant. The specialty restaurants will be located along The Avenues, a sophisticated retail promenade also home to a nightclub and over two dozen shops featuring top names in fashion, design and local artistry.

DESTINATION DISCOVERY From surreal sea life to heart-

pounding water slides, even the youngest guest will be able to explore Atlantis and its deep connection to water and the ocean. Specialized programmes for toddlers to teenagers feature dedicated facilities and age-appropriate activities with the interactive Atlantis Kids Club (3 to 12 years) and Club Rush, a fully supervised ‘No Adults’ private club for teenagers and pre-teens. QuickZone will satisfy those looking for the ultimate

gaming challenge on the latest SEGA equipment. Atlantis, The Palm is accessed by a six-lane underwater vehicle tunnel, which surfaces next to the resort. Alternately, guests may also choose to leave their cars at the base of the trunk in a secure, dedicated parking area, and board a monorail to be transported through the centre of The Palm Jumeirah directly to Atlantis, The Palm.

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Explore and experience Arabia in a setting reminiscent of the ancient tales of adventure. Discover a land steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. Follow the winding coast of the Arabian Gulf and discover a land far removed from the hectic pace of everyday life. Starting this October, escape to Anantara’s Desert Islands Resort & Spa located on Sir Bani Yas Island, located just 250km west of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Opening 1 October 2008 and managed by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Desert Islands Resort & Spa is situated on Sir Bani Yas Island the once-private Royal Nature Reserve established by the late ruler and founder of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The exclusive resort is

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surrounded by the wild vastness of the island, transformed into an ecologically-viable, wild-life rich natural preserve and scenic retreat. At the Desert Islands Resort & Spa, experience a unique brand of service inspired by the local traditions of hospitality and culture. Situated along the resplendent coast line of Sir Bani Yas Island, the hotel-resort offers 64 luxuriously designed rooms with living quarters decked out in state-of-the-art amenities and styled with eye-catching Arabian touches like marble bathfixtures. Here, wake-up to the alluring melodies of a thousand bird songs and the spectacular view of the distant sea and surrounding natural reserves; while your enclave slowly gets drenched in the warmth of

the island’s natural sunlight. For the ultimate royal indulgence choose one of Desert Islands Resort & Spa’s regal retreats - the two Royal Villas and two Beach Villas come equipped with the best standards of luxury services including a 24/7 butler. These airy abodes feature two bedrooms, living and lounge space, kitchenette, dining area, private splash pools and boast direct access to the beach. The beautiful and supremely intimate Safaa Spa has four treatment rooms – two for couples and two for individuals - each of them spacious and all offering a wide range of world-renowned luxurious indulgences. Choose from an array of natural treatments - Thai massage, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic therapies,

rich facials, and lavish body treatments and scrubs all using the finest ingredients – as well as treatments based on the healing and beautifying properties of gemstones and precious metals. Facilities include a private outdoor relaxation area, separate male and female changing areas, sauna and steam rooms. Benefit from the well-informed local staff in scoping out pursuits of all sorts throughout the resort. For those with gastronomic adventures in mind, relish the joys of a delectable seafood menu and a waterfront view at Desert Islands’ signature restaurant Samak. Or sample the local cuisine and take the taste buds on a mouth-watering global trip at the tropically-inspired Palm Restaurant. For lighter bites stop by The Deli and indulge in an outstanding variety of gourmet coffee. Enjoy your favourite beverage and the rich and colourful sea views in the tranquil and private Lounge Bar, situated on the Mezzanine level. After a day of exploration, enjoy a refreshing beverage from Al Shams Pool Bar over-looking the cerulean waters of the Arabian Sea or relax in the one of the shaded quarters of the hotel pool – cool, private nooks sheltered and divided by exotic plants for visitors to unwind in privacy. For those with extra energy, other facilities include tennis courts equipped with night-playing technology and a health club that’s open around the clock. The Desert Islands Resort and Spa tastefully merges a luxurious lifestyle experience with a memorable life experience. Combining the beautiful natural reserves of Sir Bani Yas Island and the demand for quality destination activities, the resort is at the forefront of environment based tourism featuring guided tours along some of the region’s most exciting trails and snorkeling into the pristine reefs. Desert Islands Resort & Spa can arrange a number of pursuits ranging from snorkeling to mountain biking to kayaking, tailored to each guest’s specific physical and recreational requirements. Discovery, Adventure, Culture and Luxury define the Desert Islands experience.


Ballroom dancing is known as a social dance because it encourages social interaction between partners. While it is a beautiful form of art, ballroom dancing provides an atmosphere for men and women to gather together, forming friendship and having a good time. Originally referred to a set of “partnered dances”, ballroom dancing has lately become a set of dances for competition purposes. TV shows were created for dancing competition like Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars. The dance duos swing and sashay into the elegance of the Waltz, the up-tempo Cha-cha, the Tango, the Fox Trot, Swing, among others. Dubai is slowly catching the dance craze. The first ever reality dance competition was staged in Dubai in May when seven finalists went into eight long weeks and endless hours of practice, blood, sweat and tears to compete in the Dubai Can Dance dancing competition. “The popularity of dance classes here, the success of the TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Stars in Their Eyes and the lack of any dancebased events as a result of the competition were the reasons behind the birth of the competition,” according to Mark Povey, GM Marketing & Events for Transguard, organiser of the event. More than 500 guests attended the glittering gala evening at Dubai’s Jumeirah Ballroom at

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the Crowne Plaza Hotel to see the seven amateur couples battle it out on the dancefloor. Winners on the night were Sarah Siddique and her dance partner Nicos Hadjos who wowed judges and the audience with their deft footwork over two sections – the waltz and the cha-cha. Illuminated against a glittering backdrop, the seven couples glided their way through a graceful waltz under the watchful eye of the panel of judges including TV celebrity dancers Anton du Beke and Erin Boag, together with Kim Webb and Jackie Sweed from Step by Step Dance School, trainers of the group. Before the couples performed their final dance, Anton and Erin stunned the audience with their own dance routine including a smouldering Tango, frenetic Foxtrot and dramatic Quick Step. But, it was the contestant’s cha-cha that was to steal the show. The stage came alive with a combination of twists, hip swivels, lifts and slides as the room rocked to a cheering audience. Asked how she felt when she won, Sarah Siddique said, “It feels great because there were a lot of talented couples and it was a close call as to who was going to win. Nicos is extremely ecstatic, he always wanted to practice, practice and practice and pushed very hard to win.” Of her performance she added, “I was a bit nervous before going on, it was kind of like an out of body experience, I have no memory of the performance. But I just wanted to go out there and enjoy myself, which I did.” Dubai Can Dance wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and determination from Kim Webb and Jackie Sweed at Step by Step and Sinead

Bridgett from Emerald Events who chose all the costumes and made each contestant looked stunning on the night. Sweed taught the competitors the Waltz. She has been teaching Ballroom and Latin American Dancing for nearly 20 years and was a competitor as a teenager. Says Kim Webb, Director, Step by Step Dance School, “This is a very elegant dance and competitors will all learn the same routine to compete on the night. Jackie is a great teacher and has patience and strength; her choreography for ballroom is divine.” Simon Zoghbi is a renowned Latin American and Ballroom teacher and an accredited judge. Says Webb, “Simon has been teaching for many years and at Step by Step we are excited and thrilled that he is part of the team for Dubai Can Dance.  He is going to be choreographing and teaching 10 separate Cha-Cha routines, which I am sure will be show stoppers. “We are very proud of all the couples that have signed up and taken this competition seriously. Dancesport in Dubai and the UAE is relatively new and we hope to show everyone that it is achievable and enjoyable for everyone,” added Webb. One of the competitors is Dave Battiston, 36, Chief Executive Officer Air Miles Middle East, who refers to himself as “dancing like a frozen leg of lamb!” He credits his wife Aidy for convincing him to join the competition, admitting that although his wife hasn’t danced before: “She’s the one with the rhythm.” Commenting on the commitment shown by Step By Step Dance School, British Sales and Marketing Manager of Table 4 Six, Eleanor Starr said: “Jackie and Simon are so full of energy

they both have the patience of a saint and, of course, are amazing dancers. To be honest, I feel nervous already as there is so much to learn in eight weeks it is daunting.” While the women contestants were quickly up for the challenge, the men took a little more persuading. British General Manager of Grass Roots Middle East Mark Spicer, 34, was encouraged to take part by his dance partner Emma Thompson. He says: “Someone told me my life would not be worth living if I didn’t do this. I was on a flight back to the UK and bumped into a friend – she asked me to be her dance partner. With the aircraft doors firmly locked shut and at 35,000 feet, I was not given a chance to say no.” Already keen amateur dancers, Indian Rahul Rajesh Sequeira, 38, an Aircraft Technician and his wife Preethi, a 31-year-old Secretary, couldn’t wait to get involved. Says Rajesh: “Dance for us is something we do without a second thought. We enjoy it as much as is our interest to learn and excel in all types of modern dance.” Povey said of the first Dubai Can Dance: “From couples that could barely put one foot in front of the other just eight weeks ago, I am overwhelmed at just how far they have come. Their hard work and dedication really paid off on the night and, whilst there can only be one overall winner, every participant deserves to feel justly proud of what they have achieved.”

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Al Qasba

Brings the World’s Most Famous Operas to Sharjah

The much-awaited Grand Opera gave audiences that included royalty, top dignitaries and connoisseurs, a rare opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s most famous operas. European Chamber Opera (ECHO) performed to a packed house at Al Qasba, Sharjah. The brilliant artistes that had both veterans and newer talent seduced the select gathering with their sweet, sensual voices and powerful performances. Each act burst with daring vitality that is the hallmark of opera. Adding to the mood was Al Qasba’s romantic setting, resplendent sets, gorgeous costumes and beautiful lighting. Particularly engaging was Mozart’s most famous opera Cosi Fan Tutte , a legendary opera written and composed by Mozart on the request of Emperor Joseph II. This was the second time in less than a year that the Grand Opera Gala returned to Al Qasba on popular demand. The outstanding event was supported by Coral Beach Resort, Sharjah alongside Bridgestone and Etisalat who were the official partners. The European Chamber Opera (ECHO) is a leading European opera production company with a huge fan-following worldwide. Marwan J. Al Sarkal, CEO, Al Qasba Development Authority said: ‘It was indeed an awesome evening for all opera lovers. Some of the greatest and most memorable operas were performed beautifully by the artists who came all the way from Europe. The feedback from the audiences has been phenomenal and we will be delighted to host such an event again.’ Included in the highlights of the evening were the world’s most loved operas like La Traviata, Don Pasquale, The Pearlfishers, Tosca, Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Don Carlo and Nozze di Figar. Stefan Paul Sanchez, Artistic Director ECHO said, “Al Qasba is a unique venue and it’s a pleasure to perform here. We have always been received very enthusiastically in Sharjah. It is wonderful to see such an interest in opera and the other arts in the city. The popularity of this event once again reinstates Sharjah’s status as the cultural Capital of the Middle East”. Having produced several musical galas in England and Spain, Stefan founded the European Chamber Opera in 1991 with a performance of II Trovatore. Yet another unique feature of the Grand Opera Gala was the presence of a compere who wove the opera together by interpreting the themes of the melodies to the audiences.

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One of the shops that has opened in the Moroccan quarter of Khan Murjan at Wafi is Golden Pen, which offers engraved goods, handicrafts and calligraphy on different types of leather, all hand made by the talented Iranian artist, Amir Hossein. The Golden Pen, in the Moroccan quarter on the upper level of Khan Murjan, is owned by Amir Hossein who was born in Kerman in Iran. His skills are considered as a traditional art in Iran which is very rare. Amir moved to Dubai in February 2007. His career in Dubai started when he first started to showcase his art in the Iranian Village at Global Village during Dubai Shopping Festival and now has created a permanent base to share the beauty of the Islamic art and calligraphy with the customers. Amir is not only a calligrapher, he also engraves and carves different materials such as glass, stone, leather, metals, including shells and jewellery. Amir uses traditional tools and methods to create goods such as wallets, handbags, mobile covers, key chains and more made of different animal skins to engrave the name of the buyer in them. He writes in different fonts and languages; Arabic, English, and Farsi (Iranian). Amir also writes in ancient Arabic fonts that haven’t been used in 2000 years. He writes Quran verses, Arabic and Islamic sayings on different animal skins such as cows, sheep, gazelles, horses, zebra and giraffes. What differentiates Golden Pen from the other stores in Khan Murjan is that visitors will get the chance to see Amir Hossein works on his arts and create different items. They will also get the chance to experience the exquisiteness of the Islamic arts and learn more about the traditional methods used in the past. “Because my art is very rare, choosing a convenient location is very important; that’s why I chose Khan Murjan,” said Amir Hossein, the artist and owner of Golden Pen. “I believe that my art compliments the retail mix available in Khan Murjan and it’s a new skill to be brought to Dubai. It will be nice for the customers to see me working live in my workshop by using traditional methods such as fire so that they have an idea of what the Islamic art was like.” Khan Murjan, a traditional souk with an Islamic theme and architecture provides 150 bazaar shops with vendors from across the Arab world in a unique marketplace environment. It is based on a 14th century souk in Bagdad and is underneath the central mall at Wafi; it has four quarters - Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan and Turkish.

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New refurbishment changes are invited at

Sheraton Deira

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Sheraton Deira Hotel, a Starwood property standing in the busy commercial district of Al Muteena, Deira over the last 11 years, with a combination of well-appointed 224 rooms and suites proudly announces it’s near completion of the major renovation project. In a move to cater to the increasing demands of customers, the Sheraton Deira Hotel has recently completed a profound renovation of 180 guest rooms over 3 phases in the last 18 months, keen not to inconvenience their valued guests. MOBH, the owning company has invested hugely for the renovation which includes upgraded classic guest rooms, banquet facilities, and re-upholstery of sofa’s and couches in public areas of the hotel, Club Lounge and Lobby which will reflect the welcoming theme and ambience of the Sheraton brand. “The hotel’s in Dubai boast a high quality of service combined with world class luxurious facilities and one has to constantly improve and maintain the excellent standards in order to keep abreast of ever increasing competition from new mushrooming hotels. Our focus at the Sheraton Deira will be on providing our guests with warm, comforting and connecting service which is the very essence and core value

of a Sheraton brand so that their stay is memorable,” says Francois Waller, the newly appointed general manager. “Fashion changes and so do the needs of a business traveller, which we have accounted for in our room renovation. We have entirely renovated the bathrooms of all our standard rooms from the flooring with granite tiles to the ceiling including the walls with latest in mosaic marble tiles, and all the latest fixtures such as vanity counter, bidet, bathtub with enclosed glass paneling, shower taps, hair dryer, magnifying mirrors, audio speakers and lightings. All 224 guest rooms have been painted in a soft pastle shade and have been upgraded with new flat screen 32” Samsung HDTV, in-room furnitures like, working table and chair, side tables with night lamps, coffee tables, new carpets laid, new upholstery of sofa’s and curtains, TV cabinet and an elsafe for keeping valuables.” The overall aesthetic feel of the renovation perfectly blends to create a tranquil and cozy environment away from home for business and leisure travelers alike. “The magnificent refurbishment project will maintain and enhance our role as a leader in the field of hospitality” says Waller.

A secured place among the best hotels in the UAE The Millennium Hotel Sharjah first opened its doors in December 2002 and has evolved as Sharjah’s top of the range hotel ever since. In November 2005, the 259-room hotel with its extraordinary location on Khaled Lagoon, was recognized as “Sharjah’s Leading Hotel” by the travel industry’s most prestigious accolade, the World Travel Awards.

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Elegantly furnished, well-appointed guest accommodations, ranging from Deluxe Rooms to the Royal Suite, present the perfect combination of comfort, luxury and the latest technology thus creating a second home for all guests. The exclusive “Le Club” leisure facilities are comprised of two pools, a fully equipped gym, saunas , steam rooms and Spa. The entire pool area is served by the “Pool Terrace Restaurant” offering chilled drinks and light snacks along with breath-taking views across the city and the Lagoon. Sharjah’s finest restaurants are found in this five-star property, all of them enjoying stunning views across the sapphire waters of Khaled Lagoon. “Mojo”, the Thai seafood restaurant with its blue and black interior, creates an air of mystery and calm. The menu ranges from traditional Thai dishes to never-beforeseen seafood specialties. Another culinary treat is “Shiraz”,

often described as “Sharjah’s hidden treasure”. This restaurant serves authentic Persian cuisine at its best. The show kitchen allows the guests a look “behind the scenes”. Savor traditional-style kebabs along with freshly baked bread, right out of the oven. “Al Dallah”, the 24-hour tea and coffee lounge offers as well fresh juices and delicious homemade pastries, giving everyone a perfect reason for a little self-indulgence. An “insidertip” is the property’s catering division. So whenever planning for a business reception in the office or any other event at a venue of the customer’s choice, the delicacies will be delivered and set-up according to requirements. Complementing this magnificent hotel are its meeting facilities, with “Al Jawhara” Grand Ballroom, the Oriental “Majilis” venue and three boardrooms, supported by a business center offering full secretarial support. These facilities have become some of Sharjah’s most popular when it comes to business and private occasions, with highly professional meeting planners,

ensuring that the customers get the maximum out of their event. Sherif Ezzat, Acting General Manager of the Millennium Hotel Sharjah, has the full right to be proud of his property: “It is certainly far from exaggerating when I say that our hotel is the finest in Sharjah. Once you enter the lobby, the mix of luxury, casual elegance and great service is what makes our guests return over and over again. We feel honored that people extend this kind of trust and appreciation to us and that is why we put a permanent effort in enhancing our facilities and in ensuring that our guests receive the best of everything at all times. Our philosophy is that each and every person staying at our property is special to us and receives our full attention. Having been acknowledged as “Sharjah’s Leading Hotel” by the World Travel Awards in London proved that our customers and travel professionals alike value our efforts and our product. This recognition of excellence further encourages us to take our guest satisfaction to an even higher level.”The bottom line shows that Millennium Hotel Sharjah has secured its place among the best hotels in the entire UAE. “Sharjah, as a destination, is getting more attractive by the hour. And for all those travelers, whether business or leisure, we want to remain their first choice when it comes to choosing their hotel in the Emirate of Sharjah.” Ezzat adds.

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Jump for Joy What will you do to conquer your fear and make someone’s wish come true at the same time? Two ladies from Towers Rotana Dubai are doing that by jumping out of a plane to help a local girl visit Malaysia along with her family. “These families are strong people who face their fears everyday. By jumping out of a plane, we are doing something which is out of the box, but where we will also get to face our fears,” said Danielle Aychouh, Marketing & Communications Manager and Donna Kenyon, Recreation Manager of Towers Rotana Dubai. The idea to jump out of a plane is initiated by Kenyon who always wanted to do the jump. “I’m quite an adventurous person, an extreme person so it’s something I always wanted to do and I mentioned it one day to Danielle who wanted to do it as well. After that we thought of doing it for a cause so we approached the Make a Wish

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Foundation. I worked with them before for families that need help and assistance in making their dreams come true.” By making the jump at 10,000 feet, the skydiving tandem plan to raise money for Rahma, a 12-year-old girl from Abu Dhabi whose wish is to travel with her parents, four brothers and one sister to Malaysia to see the elephants. Rahma is suffering from leukemia, a malignant disease (cancer) of the bone marrow and blood and is characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells. “We’re putting ourselves out of the box and facing our fear of jumping out of a plane. That’s the nearest we can get to understanding how Rahma and her family must be feeling from now so we get to face our fear and hopefully we get enough awareness,” adds Kenyon.

“It is something that is not done everyday. We raise awareness in the UAE. You never jump out of a plane to raise money. There are people in the UAE that need assistance like families, children and hoping to make their wish come true through Make a Wish Foundation. We are just two people making a difference,” she adds.“It’s just giving money to a child who wants to enjoy and have fun,” says Aychouh, who said that all money received from this project will be given to Rahma. The jump will be held on November 26, 2008 at 11 am at Aero Club in Umm al Quwain. On the day itself, the two explained that there will be a 15 minute instruction on the ground and going through a few skills on what do to with their hands and feet, another 15 minutes to get the plane to 10,000 feet, a 45 second free fall and 5 minute gliding to the ground. The event will be filmed live along with still pictures which will be shown at a Crash Landing “after party” in Longs Bar. The campaign will start on October 5, 2008 and those who want to participate and donate to the project may send their wish by SMS to 6624 and 5 Dhs will be contributing to Make a Wish Foundation to support Rahma’s wish. There will be raffle coupons to be sold for prizes. Towers Rotana Dubai is handling the whole project as part of the group’s corporate social responsibility. But sponsors are encouraged to support the project by sending email to or

Tourist Guide Training Courses at Museum of Islamic Civilization

Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) has successfully conducted the first of a series of several training courses for practising UAE tourist guides at its newly opened Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Considering a continuous increase in visitor numbers to the emirate of Sharjah, the growing interest into Islam-related subjects and the enormous size of the museum’s collection with more than 5,000 objects on display, to offer such training courses has become highly imperative to the work of Sharjah Museums

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Department as it goes in line with the organisation’s mission ‘to deliver the highest quality of museums services for the people of the Emirate of Sharjah and all its visitors.’ Further, the training course also contributes towards SMD’s vision ‘to achieve locally and internationally an understanding, appreciation and respect for Sharjah’s identity and for the value of its cultural and natural heritage.’ Many practising tourist guides, both employees of the UAE’s key destination management companies and freelance

guides attended the training. The programme features a series of lectures about Islamic Civilization and Islamic Art, presented by the expert Dr. Ulrike Al Khamis who is the museum’s collection advisor. In addition to training about the museum’s collection, tourist guides are also taught about appropriate guiding manners inside museums. This is important as many tourists expect their existing knowledge to be deepened with the help of tourist guides. Nonetheless tourists wish to receive this

new information in a less formal and often in a more entertaining way as they are on holiday where relaxation is given high priority. This part of the programme is led by Jasem Zaiton who is an accredited tourist guide trainer and also heads the tourist guide department at Alpha Tours, one of Dubai’s leading destination management companies. After the successful completion of this course, tourist guides will have gained an advanced knowledge of the museum’s collection and will also be able to guide in a well-balanced, educating

and entertaining way. By achieving this, their work shall reflect positively on Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, contribute positively towards tourists’ holiday experience and ultimately reflect positively on Sharjah as a holiday destination per se. To cater for the great demand for such a training course and to accommodate a large number of tourist guides, SMD will hold more courses over the next few weeks. For further information on all Sharjah’s museums visit the website:

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Building a

healthy future With the Cube, a unique and innovative landmark tower, Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design plans state-of-the-art Sports-Medical-Spa in Dubai Sports City.

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The Cube is a unique project which provides condo residences with about 50 to 285 sqm, offering the full service of a hotel. It serves even highest demands as it does not only provide ultra modern apartments but also outstanding sports and lifestyle facility on two floors and an additional pool floor with amazing views. It includes a wellness & spa area with sophisticated sport-medical competence ready to cover needs of both top professional athletes as well as to health conscious people. As a leading German development company BMG Group has chosen Dubai Sports City to be the site of their most exciting project yet. Under that purpose BMG has partnered with Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design for realizing an outstanding sports and medical spa concept.

Positioning the Cube as “the sports hotel� in Dubai the Wellness & Spa area highlightens its unique orientation because of its outstanding facilities and treatments. On 3.000 sqm external and internal guests will enjoy high class sports and medical facilities like cardio, weight, kinesis training as well as active exercise zones, physio therapist services and oxygen infusions. In addition to special therapy sections the spa will offer elements such an infinity treatment pool, signature sport & wellbeing treatments, ceremony treatment suites and a 4 Senses Spa Zone. Outstanding treatment and beauty facilities (Serail-, herbal-, steamand salt inhalation bath, cosmetic and ayurveda treatments) as well as a holistic thermal & refreshing zone with bio sauna, laconium, floating sound pool,

etc. will create well-being atmosphere on highest standards. By the beginning of 2010 the Cube should be completed. “Dubai Sports City is not only a major development project – it is also an important asset for the region in attracting revenue and also contributing to a wider culture of involvement in sport,” Gerd Wuhlert, Managing Director, BMG Group.

Supporting this trend BMG Group offers a unique selling point by implementing a ground-breaking German technology, which offers athletes an innovation in medical prevention and rehabilitation. This technology is used to increase red blood cells by reducing oxygen in the air, a situation only experienced at high altitudes. Considering such sport and medical wellness aspects (vitality,

relaxation, and wellness experiences, nutrition and sports medical programs) in one offer, the Cube clearly positions as a top sportive competence with outstanding health spa facilities. Athletes, football teams but also health and sport conscious people will find best circumstances for a healthy stay. Also the medical metabolic benefit of this highaltitude training (in view of diabetes therapy) is considered.

Wellness and Dubai – two booming topics The medical wellness development in the global tourism industry can’t be ignored anymore. There will be multifunctional concepts which offer a number of treatments and therefore are top cost-efficient. Spa equipment shall increasingly address all senses, must be state-of-the art and blends in with the whole concept. “In the future those spa concepts will succeed which focus on preventative health care. Medical examinations will soon be part of medical spas”, Dr. Gerald Huber, Regional Director UAE / GCC, Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design. Dubai, being an incredible fast growing metropolis, the increasing people’s awareness of healthy nutrition, sports, mental balance, as well as the climate circumstances of course latest tourism trends needs to be considered and even be created. Under that purpose BMG partnered with Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design, known as innovative trendsetter in spa consulting and spa design, to create the best to cover all the guest demands in one competent, fascinating offer.

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With built-up area of 6 million sq. ft. including mix-use residential, commercial, retail space and a hotel, the Crest is one of the most dynamic developments in Ajman. The Crest concept was designed by Primatec International who are the project managers and the architectural firm of Eng. Adnan Saffarini appointed as the lead architects. Strategically located at the gateway to Marmooka City, this makes the Crest the most exclusive address in the master development Al Barakah Group, the Dubai based real estate group with a strong presence in all the segments of the real estate value-chain and a project portfolio of more than AED 8 billion, had launched ‘Manara Ajman’ the tallest tower in Ajman, one of the fastest growing real estate cities in UAE. This state-of-the-art, 95-storey tower is a part of the AED 4billion mixed-used development in Marmooka City, which is being developed by Al Barakah group. While Manara Ajman or Lighthouse of Ajman in Arabic certainly adds an interesting vertical dimension to Ajman’s skyline, the actual height of the tower has not yet been revealed. Manara Ajman would be part of a larger multi-towered project-- the Crest. Envisioned to be an iconic development and the home of the tallest tower in Ajman, the Crest is being considered the most exclusive and desirable address in the entire Marmooka development. As a state-of-the art development-the Crest would offer free-hold residential, commercial and retail space along with modern leisure, lifestyle, well-being, entertainment and fine dining opportunities. The Crest was designed by Primatec International, who are also the project managers and the architectural firm of Eng. Adnan Saffarini have been appointed as the lead architects. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2012 Commenting on Manara Ajman and the Crest Mr. Imran Khan, CEO of Al Barakah said: “The Crest is Al Barakah’s most ambitious project till date and an iconic development in itself that gives Ajman its first ever tall tower- Manara Ajman. While Manara Ajman adds a distinct advantage to the project, the other USP of the project is most certainly its location as the gateway to Marmooka City. Being the single largest project in the Marmooka City- the Crest has all desirable elements that will help it to position itself as hub of the self-sustained master development. These factors along with a competitive pricing add to the attractiveness of the project both as a highreturn investment option and as a premium end-user destination.” In addition to Manara Ajman, the 6 million sq. ft. development would include four other towers—Burj Royale, Burj Regal, Burj Monarch, and Burj Regent. The Burj Regent and the Burj Monarch will share a common podium that would incorporate diverse retail opportunities spread over an area of 1 million sq. ft. with a dedicated car park specially for the retail section. The Burj Royale and the Burj Regal each with a total built-up area of 888,276 sq. ft., are mixed-use projects, that will be connected to the entire complex by a walkway. While as Burj Monarch and Burj Regent are purely residential towers , each with an built-up area of 851190sq.ft including a multi-tiered parking space. Elaborating on the potential of Marmooka City Mr. Imran Khan said: “Marmooka City is amongst the most exciting developments in the UAE. Strategically located and only minutes away from the major commercial hubs of Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, the development is perfectly poised to enjoy the best of all the worlds. Our choice of Marmooka City stems from our belief that the development combines high-return on investment with an assurance of quality life for the end-users. This proposition attracts both investors and end-users and will contribute to the long-term financial viability of the project.” The Crest would be Al Barakah’s second development in Ajman after its first offering Crimson Court in Emirates City was completely sold out. Construction has commenced on Crimson Court.

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The Crest

in Ajman’s


October Feast

This October, feast on the mouth-watering specialities offered by the best dining places in town.

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Al Bustan Rotana Choices Restaurant The famous Al Bustan Rotana Global Friday Brunch is back! Happening at Choices restaurant extended until the hotel’s magnificent lobby, the reinvented Global Friday Brunch promises more choices, more fun and more surprises. Be spoilt for choice as Al Bustan’s excellent roster of restaurants including Choices, Blue Elephant, Benihana, Come Prima and Rodeo Grill showcase their signature dishes in a buffet that will definitely make your weekend truly special for only: AED 75* for kids 12 years old and below; AED 180* inclusive of juices and soft drinks; AED 199* inclusive of selected beverages and AED 320* inclusive of champagne Explore the rich culinary traditions of France without leaving the city as Choices Restaurant launches its new French Night! Every Wednesday, the restaurant goes totally French in ambience with an extensive buffet of authentic French dishes for only AED 179* inclusive of selected beverages including French wines. Choices proudly presents the relaunch of its Mexican Night every Thursday starting this October. A theme night that promises a culinary experience that is definitely fun, enjoy the best Mexican dishes in surroundings showcasing the true culture of Mexico for only AED 179* inclusive of unlimited selected beverages.

Al Diar Siji Hotel Fujairah Siji Cafe Enjoy a quick bite, or a relaxing meal with this month’s enticing sweets offerings including the freshly baked Chocolate & Vanilla Rippled Cake, Sacher Sponge cake with Apricot Jam, Apple with Cinnamon on a bed of cheese rolled out, and Almond & Cake Crumbs topped with strawberry jam. You could also snack on the Stucial Blueberry, arichly kneaded dough baked off with blueberry and crumble on top. Siji Café also serves other cakes & pastries, a variety of tea and Starbucks coffee. Price starts at Dhs15. Zorba Bar & Cocktail Lounge Indulge in elegant fare choices of seafood, fish and meat flavours of Japanese meal sets. On the menu list

featuring the heritage of simple Japanese country cooking are Shrimp Tempura Set, Gyukatsu Set comprised of beef coated in panko flakes, Sake Teriyaki Set featuring fillet steak salmon, Shiromi Teppanyaki Style Set with hot iron griddle hammour and Tori Kara-Age Set featuring Japanese Fried Chicken. All served with bowl of rice, salad, soup, rice and pickles. Price starts at Dhs60. For enquiries call 09-2232000

Al Murooj Rotana Dubai Pergolas Get transported back into the “Orient Express” era every Monday (starting October 20th) with special themed settings of the restaurant while indulging into lavish buffet featuring signature dishes from the countries captured by this famous route for AED 165* net per person including unlimited non-alcoholic beverages or AED 205* net per person including unlimited soft drinks, juices and selected house pouring wines and beers. Italian night focusing on Pasta dishes with over ten different types cooked live every Thursday for AED 165* net per person including unlimited non-alcoholic beverages or AED 205* net per person including unlimited soft drinks, juices and selected house pouring wines and beers. Enjoy Friday Brunch from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. For AED 175* net per person including unlimited non-alcoholic beverages or AED 225* net per person including unlimited soft drinks, juices and selected house pouring wines, beers and regular spirits. For reservations and more information, please call 04-3211111.

Burj Al Arab Junsui Guests can enjoy dinner with 5 choices of free flowing Sake along with their favourite Asian delicacies from the live cooking stations of Junsui for AED 850 per person from 22nd to 25th October 2008. Skyview Bar Cocktail connoisseurs can now join a luxury mixology class at Skyview Bar to learn more about mixing techniques and styles, and the latest trends. Last Friday of every month starting 10th October 2008 for AED 1,250.

Sahn Eddar Guests can now indulge in a luxurious chocolate buffet, enjoying favourites like Tanariva, Jivara, Quatorial, Manjari, and Nyagbo chocolate as well as crepe suzette cooked to each persons taste, or fruit flambé prepared at the table for AED 325 per person (inclusive of tea and coffee) from 8.00am – 11.00pm. For more information, please contact +971 4 301 7600 or email:

Emaar Hospitality Group Ewaan, The Palace, The Old Town Celebrate Eid al Fitr with your family and friends in a traditional Arabian setting. Enjoy a selection of mezze, salads, Arabic specialities and a splendid dessert buffet to finish for AED450 per person from 12pm to 3pm. When it comes to food and eating experiences, Ewaan is right up there with the finest cuisine in Dubai. With a buffet selecting seafood that will delight every possible palate, signature items include lobster bisque with tarragon, paella but also offer oyster and ceviche bar, salmon symphony, live cooking stations and much more. Every Thursday, from 7pm onwards – AED 295 per person, exclusive of beverage. For reservations, please contact The Palace,

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in the centre of the restaurant. The highlight of the brunch is a succulent roasted baby goat cooked above a charcoal fire for 4 hours. The brunch also includes free flow of Argentinean red / white and soft drinks for AED 360.00 per person or AED 260 with soft drinks only. Please call +971 4 428 7971 for more information or reservations.

Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa

The Old Town on 04 428 7951 The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club On the first and second day of Eid, celebrate with a special brunch on offer at the Palermo Terrace and the stylish Ippos Lounge. Enjoy a selection of mouth-watering dishes while taking in the spectacular views over the magnificent polo fields for AED160 including soft beverages. For reservations, please contact Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club on 04 361 8111. Hayya! The Lakes Enjoy a wonderful brunch with your family this Eid, and choose from a number of live cooking action stations serving shawarma, mezze and other Arabian delights. With plenty of fun activities for the little ones, this is one celebration you’d definitely want to be a part of. For reservations, please contact the Lakes Club on 04 362 7790. Asado, The Palace, the Old Town Enjoy a sumptuous Saturday brunch, Argentinean style at Asado. This lively Argentinean Grill at The Palace Hotel, The Old Town serves premium meat cuts prepared in Asado Criollo style on an open Parrilla grill

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The twenty fifth Indulge in roasted Kangaroo fillet on a bed of creamy Spatzle, glazed onion and sage sauce or grilled Kangaroo loin with soft olive polenta and caraway sauce this October. Try these new delicatessen for AED 180* per dish. Munchi Munchi, the traditional Thai restaurant and Sushi bar, is sizzling this October. Choose from Sizzling Bangkok Beef, Sizzling Phuket Paradise to Sizzling Hot Duck and Sizzling Tofu in Black Bean Sauce starting from AED 80* per dish. Al Dhiyafa Restaurant Enjoy a Friday Bubbly Brunch at Al Dhiyafa Restaurant for only AED 275* per person. Enjoy a sumptuous international buffet with a wide selection of culinary delights accompanied by free flowing bubbly every Friday from 12.30 pm until 4.00 pm. Call restaurant reservations at the Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa on +971 4 399 5000 or email hgrs.fbreservation@

Hilton Dubai Creek Glasshouse For the first time, Glasshouse Mediterranean Brasserie, the stylish and popular Gordon Ramsay-run restaurant in Hilton Dubai Creek is pleased to offer diners a five-course Tasting Menu starting October. The carefully selected menu is a perfect reflection of the restaurant’s modern Mediterranean cuisine; each dish boasting the preparation of fresh seasonal ingredients and a flavoursome style of cooking for Dhs 325 per person without wine or Dhs475 per person inclusive of wine. Glasshouse Mediterranean Brasserie offers a free-flowing brunch every Friday with fabulous food by the Gordon Ramsay team and your favourite tunes from the 80’s! Choose from a variety of classic brunch favourites such as Eggs Benedict or Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding, washed down with free flowing Pimms, Sangria, Bloody Mary, Long Island Iced Tea or Sparkling Wine for Dhs 250 per person inclusive of selected drinks and cocktails. For further information or reservations, please contact: (04) 212 7551 or email

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah BiCE Truffles, the immensely popular gourmet delicacy continues to feature prominently on BiCE’s “Prestige Menu”. During the months of September and October, the menu incorporates the refined ingredient into several of its tantalising modern Italian dishes. To round off your fine evening, make your way up to BiCE Sky Bar on the 10th floor to enjoy a relaxing drink as you take in the amazing views over Dubai’s skyline. Open for lunch and dinner.

Pachanga Throughout the months of October and November, Pachanga is adding four rustic dishes to the menu to give diners a taste of the true, authentic fare that hails from South America. The dishes, which will be rotated on a weekly basis include Bobo de Camarao com abobora [Brazil] – a preparation of shrimps cooked in a tomato and cream cheese sauce served with pumpkin mash; Guiso de Lentejas [Uruguay] – a succulent lamb and lentil stew with grilled chorizo and chilli foam; Cazuela de Camarones [Cuba] – a juicy prawn and rice casserole with sofrito rice and Arroz con pollo [Lima] – chicken with basil rice and spicy rocoto sauce. For further information or reservations, please contact: (04) 318 2530.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel Latitude

Celebrate Eid with family and friends over lunch, brunch or dinner at Latitude in Jumeirah Beach Hotel. In addition to the extensive selection of International cuisine and live cooking stations, guests can enjoy a special selection of Arabic favourites including ouzi and traditional mezze. Lunch (excluding Friday) is AED 175 (inclusive of juices from the buffet). Dinner is AED 205 (inclusive of juices from the buffet) and Brunch (Friday 3 October) is AED 260 (inclusive of soft drinks) Al Khayal Visit Al Khayal, Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s award-winning Lebanese

restaurant, for a traditional Arabic celebration this Eid. Indulge in the sumptuous cuisine expertly prepared by our accomplished chefs, savour the Arabian ambience and be entertained by our Lebanese band and traditional belly dancer for AED 325 per person (set menu) from 7:00 pm to 3:00 am. Go West This Halloween, diners can enjoy a Tex Mex inspired menu, live band and lots of entertainment for children, making Go West the perfect setting for a family Halloween celebration from 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm (with live band starts at 7:00 pm). For more information, please contact +971 4 406 8999 or email:

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Scarlett’s The new weekly Family Friday

Brunch at Scarlett’s is a great way to kick-start a lazy day. With a new live cooking offering and a selection of children’s entertainment such as a clown, face painting, specialty balloon making and much more, this is a great choice for all the family. From 11.30am – 4.00pm for AED 140 per person and AED 70 children (between 5-12 years old). The Agency Indulge in a flavourful antipasti buffet with the freshest of ingredients and finest of meats with an irresistible selection of breads, cold cuts, smoked salmon, beef bresaola, chicken paté and slices of cheese will leave your taste

buds craving for more from Sunday –Thursday starting at 5:00 pm for AED 65 per person. For more information, please contact +971 4 3198088 or email:

JW Marriott Dubai Hofbräuhaus Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany during late September to October. It is one of the most famous events in the city and the world’s largest fair, with more than six million people attending every year. It has become an important part of the Bavarian culture. Beers play a central role in this event and a special Oktoberfest beer is brewed for this occasion. At the original Hofbräuhaus at the JW Marriott Dubai, we will bring out the candy floss, pop corn and candied apples from October 5 to 31. Drink, eat and be merry. A sensational Bavarian duet, Sylvia Brey and Sona Simova will entertain you while you visit the food stalls serving gigantic bretzels and ginger bread hearts. There will be souvenirs for sale and the fun continues with hilarious games and sports. The hotel’s German Executive Chef Raimund Braun and Hofbrauhaus Chef David Dahlhaus and their team have prepared an extensive buffet of Bavarian old time favourites for Dhs 165 per person (food only) and Dhs 125 per child from 4 to 14 years old. The Champions Sports Bar Open from 12noon to 2.00am daily, you can now enjoy your drinks, watch the latest sporting

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Rak Talay Talay Thai restaurant of Le Méridien Village overlooking the sea, introduces private dining at a new level. In Thai “Rak Talay” means “to love the sea” so if you’re a lover of Thai cuisine with a twist on seafood, this is definitely the dining house for you. Start with beverages on the sand before commencing your dining experience. Rak Talay is a private dining space only for two where our Thai Chef Chintana tailors a menu for your taste buds. AED 700++

events and treat yourself to delicious mouth-watering dishes with the launch of its new menu. There is enough for every one starting with appetizers. If you are health conscious, a steak lovers or a burger maniac, there’s a lot of dishes to choose from. For the ‘Finish Line, complete your meal with a creamy rich cheese cake with strawberry sauce or the sinful but irresistible California Sundae made of caramel ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, chopped nuts and whipped cream. For reservations call 04 6077977/7009/7588 or log on to

Le Meridien Abu Dhabi NRG Sports Café The summer is getting to its end, so come and enjoy a variety of cocktail recipes in refreshing jugs, specially made for groups. Enjoy a Classic Mojito, a Tropical Beach or a Breeze Rum Punch, and for the none alcoholic cocktails we offer a Virgin Cosmopolitan, all at a fantastic price!!! Refresh around the pool or beach with your family and friends and take the advantage of our jugged specialties for the real party! Talay Talay brings in October all the flavors of Thai Prawn, prepared in a soup, marinated, sautéed, stir-fried or in a typical and delicious Thai curry. Do not miss the opportunity of enjoying the taste of the Prawns with that longawaited Thai magic.

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Friday Brunch Madinat Jumeirah Friday brunch offers diners a choice of five magnificent locations at Mina A’ Salam (Al Muna and The Wharf) and Al Qasr (Arboretum, Al Hambra and MJ’s Steakhouse). Each hotel offers a variety of food and free-flowing beverages with stunning views overlooking the waterways, including a glass of bubbly on arrival for AED 495 per person. For more information, please contact +971 4 366 6730 or email MJrestaurants@

Moevenpick Hotel Bur

Tennis Court Grab your stein, throw on your lederhosen and get ready for Le Méridien 6th Annual Oktoberfest! The event, which is one of the city’s longest running festivals and one of the largest of its kind in this city and this year we are going BIGGER & BETTER!!!!!! Oktoberfest at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi will take place this year, between the 29th of October and the 1st of November, including more entertainment, more concession variety, expanded German-oriented programming, and a larger Biergarten at Le Méridien Tennis Courts. For more information call +971 2 644 6666.

Madinat Jumeirah Pai Thai Pai Thai is now offering a Friday brunch with an Asian twist. Diners can arrive by abra and enjoy a welcome cocktail in coconut shell and enjoy the taste of Thailand in a beautiful and calm setting amid the lush gardens and tranquil waterways of Al Qasr for AED 360 per person from 12.00pm – 3.30pm Mina A’Salam Mina A’Salam is introducing Arabian Nights at Layali, offering a unique experience with Arabian cuisine and entertainment straight out of an Arabian legend featuring belly dancers, henna painters, live bands and a falcon display. Experience this along with an amazing view of Burj Al Arab for AED 280 per person every Monday and Tuesday Night (starting 7th October)

Dubai La Veranda Thursday night is a treat for all seafood lovers. From 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm La Veranda presents itself as your personal fish market. Accompanied by a great range of sides, guests can sit back and enjoy a nice evening in great atrium style atmosphere. Price is AED 149 net per person for food only, AED 199 with a free flow of house wine and AED 250

including a wine buffet. It’s the only Italian Seafood night in town! The Fountain Let the flavours of the Far East take you on a taste extravaganza every Sunday night from 7.30 pm until 10.30 pm. Our Chefs will cook up dishes such as Malaysian beef randang, nasi goring and mango sticky rice amoung other Asian favourites and live cooking stations. Priced at AED 135 for food only, it is the perfect spice kick to start the week. Café Espresso Enjoy a little snack for lunch or an afternoon break by designing your own sandwich with a wide range of fillings from smoked salmon, tuna spread, airdried beef, Brie cheese amoung others to choose from. Finish with a delicate selection of fresh breads, and your choice of preparation – may it be regular, on toasted bread or grilled. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect sandwich? Daily for as little as AED 25.00.

Park Hyatt Dubai Traiteur On Friday 10th October, Park Hyatt Dubai will open Traiteur for Friday brunch. Guests will be able to experience a wide variety of culinary delights, from the Traiteur kitchen from 12:30–4:00pm. This interactive bunch will allow diners to experience the different elements of cuisine from the Chefs of Park Hyatt Dubai, priced at Dhs 550 per person including Veuve Clicquot Champagne. The Thai Kitchen An extensive menu of authentic Thai dishes prepared in four open kitchens, one each for wok, grill, noodles and desserts. The Thai Kitchen’s Friday Lunch is priced at Dhs 175 per person, including soft drinks, or Dhs 225 per person, including soft drinks, beer and wine. Café Arabesque Café Arabesque celebrates the culinary influences of the Levant region. Every Friday, more than 40 cold and hot meze treats, followed by six main courses of traditional specialties from the wood rotisserie, plus a selection

of 12 desserts, fruit and authentic kunafa will be offered for Dhs 129 per person, including soft drinks. Children under 12 receive a 50% discount. For reservations, please call 04 317 2222.

to Raffles Dubai’s design. The culinary team of Fire & Ice has come up with a series of inventive set menus, promising to tantalize all your senses with their colorful presentations, delicate textures and unique tastes.

Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Creek La Moda La Moda terrace welcomes Al Fresco dining every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Dine with friends and family in Italian chic with a BBQ buffet of a variety of pastas, anti-pesto salad, grilled steaks and sausages - the perfect way to enjoy the cooler months for only Dhs. 99 per person. Palm Grill Bar Throughout the month of October, savour a refreshing menu of a wide variety of Vodka by selecting any 4 Vodka test tubes of choice, starting from Fine Vodka for only Dhs. 80 per set of 4 tubes; Premium Vodka for only Dhs. 100 per set and Deluxe Vodka for only Dhs. 120 per set while you savour on a specially selected menu of Tapas throughout the evening. For more information or bookings, please contact the Information Centre on 04- 205 7333/ 7444

Raffles Dubai Fire & Ice Fire & Ice – Raffles Cellar & Grill is introducing a new menu with innovative flavors, revolving around the four elements of life: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, one of the core themes

As an alternate option, mix and match from the revised a la carte menu and make your own selection, for a memorable customized dining experience. To complement this superb menu, the dedicated team of Sommeliers will be on hand to recommend wine pairing with each course, based solely on your preferences. For Dining Reservations and Enquiries, please call directly +971 4 314 9888 or Email:

Renaissance Dubai Hotel Sails We are back by popular demand with our “All you can eat and drink” Seafood & Reef n Beef theme nights. Come and savior our fresh selection of Tenderloins, Rib-eye’s, T-bone steaks, lobsters, prawns, mussels and a variety of exotic fish. In addition to all, we also have a spread of international main courses, soups, salads and desserts. Our selection of premium wines, spirits and beers will make it a night to remember. The only place where you choose and our Chef ’s create magic! Available in 3 packages. Harry’s Place!

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Every Wednesday, Chef Peter and his team create a spectacular buffet that will tantalise the real connoisseur – lobsters, oysters, prawns and more. Taste some of the ever-changing specialty prepared by our Chefs at their sauté station. Let Olexandra “take you away” on the notes of her repertoire. Buffet opens at 19:30 hrs for AED 225 per person and AED 110 per Child (below 11 years). For reservations, please call 02 697 0262. Celebrate the World’s most famous Beer festival at Harry’s Place as we match beers from around the world with our menu. Tiger with Stir fry Noodles, Sol with Fajita wrap, Beck with broiler chicken, Budweiser with burger and Heineken with Roll mops.

Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi Shang Palace Savour the taste of downtown Hong Kong at Shang Palace this October. Our Resident Chinese Chef So, who hails from Hong Kong, will share with you his specialities served in a la carte style at lunch and dinner. Shang Palace is open daily for lunch at 12pm-3pm and dinner at 7:30pm-12midnight. Hoi Ain This month Hoi An takes you to the mysterious Mekong – the luminous river which rises from Tibet and joins the sea in Vietnam, where traditions mingle and exquisite food prevails. From 15th-24th October, traditional Vietnamese dishes such as Beef Dumplings, Grilled Whole Lobsters, Pan Fried Catch of the Day and many others will captivate you to offer an unparalleled culinary journey that is truly memorable. Hoi An is open daily for dinner from 7pm to 11:30pm. For more information or to make a booking, please call 02-509-8888 or email

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai Hoi An Discover an enchanting blend of chic West and the charming Far East in delightful dishes prepared by resident Vietnamese chef Phu. In October, enjoy a delectable set menu which includes Chilli marinated grilled prawns with

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mango ginger sauce, Sautéed fresh water eel with onions and chilli bean sauce as well as Five spice-crusted rack of lamb with sautéed bamboo shoots and tamarind gravy, among others. All are masterfully paired with some of the city’s best wine selections such as Pinot Gris reserve, Oyster Bay and Casillero del Diablo. Set menu at AED 375 per person. Dunes Cafe In the German tradition of the Oktoberfest, roll up your sleeves, let your hair down and get down to fun. Enjoy a buffet of authentic German dishes including an array of traditional German sausages paired with choice selection of beers, wines and cocktail of the day. Paulaner and other popular German beers are sold at a special price. Buffet priced at AED 140 (food only) and at AED 195 (with unlimited beverage) available from 04 to 17 October 2008. Amwaj Join Chef Clinton as he prepares lobsters in more ways than one. Begin with the Lobster and veal carpaccio with truffle vinaigrette or Butter poached lobster set on wilted baby spinach and potato mousseline with curry lemongrass foam and finish with a luscious variety of desserts from Valrhona chocolate crème brulée to Tahitian vanilla panna cotta. Or, spoil yourself with a full Lobster degustation menu, inclusive of starter, soup, main course, dessert, sorbet and petit fours for AED 550. For more information and reservations, please call (04) 405 2703.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Flavours The best Seafood Night in town with a vast variety of seafood specialities from around the world.

El Sombrero This October, saddle up your horse ride over to El Sombrero to sink your teeth into one of our thick, succulent steaks prepared just for you by Chef Salvador and you will know the meaning of the word “satisfaction” … Sing along the Kanela Trio some of their Latin tunes, while sipping one of our famous Margaritas……share a jug with your friends and you’ll know what real Mexican feels like! Hasta luego amigos… For reservations, please call 02 697 0238. Il Paradiso Join us at Il Paradiso for a fantastic dinner to remember……. Live Canadian Lobster in our tank and the best seafood available on the market are waiting for you to be prepared to your liking by Chef Roshan! An incredible explosion of flavours spices and herbs will tickle your senses. For reservations, please call 02 697 0279

Sheraton Deira Hotel The Terrace Feasting on Asian Dumplings is invited at The Terrace, for the month of October, for lunch from 12 noon till 3pm, and price ranging between Dhs. 50.00 to 60.00net for per dish. The newly launched night Asian Fusion theme ‘Shaslik & Skewers’ is

featured in the relaxing atmosphere at the Mediterranean styled -The Terrace restaurant from 7.30pm till 11.00pm every Wednesday evening and is priced at Dhs. 95 net inclusive of soft drinks. You have the option to select from the vast raw display on sticks and the Chefs will be happy to cook them ‘a la minute’ – medium, raw OR well-done! Call on 04-6068615 for reservation and more information.

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers Vivaldi In October, Chef Andrea is all set to tempt diners at Vivaldi with an extensive spread of mouth-watering mushroom delicacies. Prices start from AED48 net per dish. For reservations, please call 04 207 1717. Ashiana Corn, is a variety of maize with high sugar content. Corn can be boiled or steamed, and usually served with butter and salt; they can also be fried or mixed with a wide range of ingredients. In October, Chef Gaurav invites all to sample his special menu of corn specialities. Prices start from AED28 net per dish. For reservations, please call 04 207 1733. Chelsea Arms Pub & The Lobby Café Step into Chelsea Arms or The Lobby Café in October and enjoy a wide range of Vol au Vent dishes such as Veal Sweet Bread Vol au Vent (pan-fried veal sweet bread with creamy mushroom sauce), Escargots Vol au Vent (snails sautéed in garlic butter and creamy lobster sauce) or Fricasse of Chicken Vol au Vent (chicken fillet sautéed with creamy asparagus sauce), to name a few. Prices start from AED30 net per dish. For more information, please call Chelsea Arms Pub at 04 207 1721 and The Lobby Café at 04 207 1719.

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel & Towers The Grill Room During the month of October, Chef ’s Santos and his team prepare a delicious shrimp based menu. Let’s get started with Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado Tartar; Crispy Shrimps with

Rice Noodles and Sunflower Seeds; Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup “Thai Style”. It continues with Pan Fried Chicken Breast with Shrimps, Basil and Tomato Filling; Garlic Prawns with Chilli, Paprika and a combination of Jumbo Shrimp and Beef Rump Steak.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Splendido New menus feature for lunch and dinner in Splendido with Italian dishes combining the freshest of ingredients to create delectable dishes. Splendido is also the setting for a delightful brunch that makes a welcome return this October with live cooking stations, offering all of your favourites and decadent desserts to end your brunch on a sweet note. La Baie La Baie reopens its doors to diners with a menu bursting with freshness and flavour from Chef de Cuisine Umit Kaygusuz. The Sushi Lounge features sumptuous sushi and sashimi on the terrace in which to relax and unwind with a glass of bubbly. Amaseena A feast of seafood takes centre stage in Amaseena. Dine under the stars while you enjoy a succulent selection of the freshest of fish that accompanies an exciting spread of Lebanese specialties as Chef Mohammed and his team cooks your chosen seafood a la minute. For reservations call 04 3186715.

Towers Rotana Dubai Long’s Bar Its freaky Friday at Long’s and for Halloween we’ve got witches, goblins, vampires and demons that will scare the living daylights out of you! Bloody Mary’s aren’t the only thing that will have you thirsting for more. Come join us and discover your dark side on Friday 31st October from 9pmonwards for a Halloween you’ll be screaming about! Teatro The finest cuisine at the trendiest venue offers the best value in town. Dine in Teatro between 6:00pm and 8:30pm and enjoy 50% off your food bill. (Last Order at 7:15pm)

Flavours on Two All you can eat theme nights served from 07:00pm till 11:30pm inclusive of unlimited selected beverages. Saturday is “International Flavours” for Dhs. 159; Sunday is “Flavours from the Flame and the Rotisserie” for Dhs. 159; Monday is “Flavours from India” for Dhs. 159; Tuesday is “Flavours from Blighty” for Dhs. 159; Wednesday is “Flavours from the Ocean” for Dhs. 169; and Thursday and Friday are “Flavours from Italy” for Dhs. 169. Please call 04-3122210 / 04-3122202 for reservations.

Traders Hotel, Dubai The Junction Traders Hotel, Dubai will hold a Thai cuisine promotion at The Junction restaurant from 10 till 31 October 2008. The three-week “SawadeeThai” promotion is a kaleidoscope of good tastes with authentic dishes prepared for diners by Thai Chef Seksun. The buffet dinner, available daily from 7.30 pm till 11.30 pm and buffet brunch available every Friday from 12.30 pm till 3.30 pm, are priced at AED95 nett per adult and AED48 nett per child, while the buffet with two house beverages is priced at AED105 nett per adult. For reservations, please call The Junction restaurant at (04) 241 7272.

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Azur, intrinsically

Mediterranean Al Raha Beach Hotel, defining luxury and elegance, opened the doors of its latest restaurant – Azur, which boasts an exquisite twist of Mediterranean flavours by celebrating the cooking techniques and ingredients of the region and serving authentic, freshly prepared home-style cuisine.The Azur restaurant is most definitely set to take diners on a gastronomic adventure in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.

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Azur’s culinary journey offers a menu of fresh, updated selections of slow cooked and flavour drenched Mediterranean classics. The menu offers dishes such as “Grilled Lobster”, “Plicate di Filletto” (Grilled veal fillet and lamb rack, served with baby carrots and mixed green salad), “Tagliatelle Capricciose” (Home-made tagliatelle pasta in a cream sauce with mushrooms, shrimps and red caviar) and “Carpaccio di Salmone” (Thinly cut Salmon marinated in a red onion and white truffle vinaigrette) “Mediterranean Cuisine is not defined by a single culinary style, but a collection of culinary regions, each with individual influences and flavours. The Azur restaurant menu reflects those varying regional cooking techniques, styles, and dishes and we’re excited to share them with our guests.” said Antonello Passa, the food and beverage manager of the hotel. Complimenting the diversity of the menu, the Azur restaurant offers over 30 varieties of wine. Azur offers a choice of seating in an open-air by the garden area. It seats 65 persons indoor and another 30 diners outdoor. The restaurant serves a la carte lunch menu from noon to 4:00 pm and dinner from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Ingredients Small Square of puff pastry 0.025 Grams or porcini mushrooms 0 015 Grams or one tablespoon butter 0 015 Grams of olive oil 0 015 Grams or one stalk of celery 0 050 or ½ cup fresh cooking cream One garlic cloves One fresh thyme sprig One fresh rosemary sprig One pieces of fresh egg, beat and whisk Salt and pepper to taste

Marina Akhmedova is Azur’s Head Chef. Hailed from Russia, her passion for cooking started as a hobby and confirmed that it is from her father that she gained her culinary skills, citing him as the force behind her success. Four years after starting at the InterContinental Astana and working her way up through the ranks of Demi Chef and then Chef de Partie, Marina moved to the UAE to join the Coral International Hotel as Chef de Cuisine of the Italian restaurant ‘Al Dente’. This was a position she enjoyed for 6 years before moving to the five star Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi, to head up and open Azur, a restaurant which will serve authentic Mediterranean food cooked to perfection. Azur has presented new challenges for the experienced chef. Marina has created the menu herself and plans to change it every 3 months, but every day will see a variety of ‘daily specials’ which will be influenced by the food in season. Marina enjoys interaction with guests, seeing their feedback as crucial to improving the food on the menu. With her professional skills and awareness of guests needs, it is without doubt that this is one restaurant in the UAE offering a new experience for diners each time they visit.

Wild Mushroom Millefeuille with Light Green Celery Sauce

One: Heat the oven to 205 ºC. Arrange the square of puff pastry on the baking tray and bake for 12 minuets. Take out from oven and keep a side

Two: To make celery sauce put fresh celery and cooking cream into the pot and cook those around 5 minuets add salt pepper. Mix in electrical mixture and fine strain keep the sauce a side

Three: In a heavy skillet heat butter and oil until hot but not smoking, then sauté mushrooms with salt and pepper, stirring, until just tender and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add celery sauce, fresh rosemary, theme and sauté until bright green and crisptender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered with foil. To serve, cut millefeuille into two pieces and put one pieces down on the serving plate Add over sautéed mushrooms with celery sauce and cover with other piece of millefeuille Decorated with chives and balsamic. October I Travel Arabia I 73


Abu Dhabi Airport registers passenger growth

Air Arabia wins best low-cost carrier in Middle East Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, has won the 2008 World Airline Award for “Best Low-Cost Airline in the Middle East” for the second consecutive year. This honour comes in recognition of Air Arabia’s exceptional level of overall passenger satisfaction. These awards, based on global, independent passenger surveys of airline standards carried out by Skytrax Research, are the outcome of the measurement of more than 35 different aspects of customer satisfaction levels of an airline’s product and service standards. As part of the World Airline Awards selection process, in excess of 4.4 million passengers, of more than 90 nationalities, were polled. A.K. Nizar, Head of Commercial at Air Arabia, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been named ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in the Middle East’ by The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2008. Winning this award for the second consecutive year reinforces Air Arabia’s commitment to quality and excellence in customer service. This award is especially significant as it is based on the feedback of our passengers.” Air Arabia has served more than 10 million passengers since the carrier was launched in October 2003. Passenger traffic reached 1.6 million passengers during the first half of 2008, a 33 per cent increase compared to 1.2 million passengers during the same period last year. The World Airline Award comes on the heels of international recognition of the carrier’s outstanding operational performance. In May 2008 Air Arabia, received the prestigious gold award in the best airline category at the MENA Travel Awards 2008. In June 2007, Air Arabia was named winner of the award for Operational Excellence 2005-2007 by Airbus, one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.

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Continuing on strong passenger growth rates observed throughout 2008, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the owner-operator of Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA), has released its monthly traffic figures for July which show passenger numbers up 26.7 per cent over the same month last year. Passenger figures for the year-to-date matched a familiar growth rate seen at the airport this year with the numbers up 36.5 per cent – the airport having handled 5,092,307 arrival, departure and transit passengers from January through July. Cargo maintained its steady growth with an increase of 15.1 per cent in July 2008 over July 2007’s figures. The year-to-date statistics for cargo almost mirroring that rate having posted an overall 15.7 jump over the same seven month period in the previous year. Traffic figures for July also indicated that an average of 27,004 passengers per day passed through the airport; the month’s peak day performance

registering a total of 31,783 passengers. “Of course, we expect July to be busy due to the seasonal travel period but to increase such numbers by over a quarter for the month of July and by over a third for the year-to-date is extremely healthy and demonstrates an increasing awareness and willingness for passengers to use the airport and, indeed, airlines to operate from here,” said Rudy Vercelli, CEO of ADAC. “If you take the trailing twelve month period from July 2007 to July 2008, Abu Dhabi International Airport has already handled over 8.2 million passengers in that period. If we apply the current growth rates to the whole of 2008, we are now well on course to welcome over nine million passengers through Abu Dhabi International Airport by the end of the calendar year,” added Vercelli. Clearly bolstering the continuing growth Abu Dhabi International Airport experienced in July was the increased frequencies and new destinations that, over the last 12 months, have been launched by Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the UAE, along with an ever increasing number of new airlines operating out of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3 will be one such development that will cater to the very real and growing demand for travel through and from the UAE capital. The additional five million passenger capacity terminal is currently undergoing a phased introduction with some of the key operations set to be up and running by the end of the year.

Dubai Airports completes first phase of major restructure Dubai Airports has completed the first phase of a far-reaching restructuring initiative to support its prodigious expansion of facilities that will help transform Dubai into the world’s top aviation hub. Dubai’s Strategic Plan depends on the creation of a world-class infrastructure to enable Dubai’s future success in terms of commerce, tourism and industry.  Entrusted with the Dubai Government’s vision of becoming the world’s leading aviation hub, Dubai Airports is forging ahead with the multi-billion dollar expansion of Dubai International Airport and the construction of Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International, the world’s largest airport.  Dedicated to the operation of Emirates Airline, the new Terminal 3 at Dubai International will cement a partnership which befits the fastest-growing airline in the world. The first part of the restructuring programme is substantially complete, with the transformation of the company into a more transparent and flatter organisation, with systems and processes redesigned for greater efficiency. As the company builds an aviation hub to serve the global community, the second part of the restructuring is to ensure that the organisation develops the required management talent to deliver the promise of the highest international standards of customer service. Following recent staff assessments and a

review of job descriptions to better align with the aims and commercial realities of Dubai Airports, a wholesale revision of the structure of reward and remuneration is being carried out to ensure that the attraction and retention of the best people can be linked to a system of performance and reward, which will match international best practice and standards. To further support the goals of the new company, a team of professionals with worldclass experience gained in the commissioning and operation of some of the world’s most significant airport developments such as Beijing, New York/JFK and Toronto have been contracted to work with the Dubai Airports team to ensure the new facilities are amongst the best in the world. Within a workforce of some 3,800 people, Dubai Airports aims to increase employment opportunities for UAE Nationals as the company expands.  Currently, 43 per cent of Dubai Airports staff are UAE nationals and that number is set to increase to meet the future needs of the organisation, both at Dubai International Airport and at Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International.  Dubai Airports is about to launch a development programme specifically for UAE nationals to ensure they develop their skills and knowledge further to help them fulfil their career aspirations and become a strong force amongst the company’s leaders of the future.

Best Air begins Dubai service Best Air, a private Bangladeshi airline has commenced scheduled flights between Dhaka and Dubai. The inaugural flight, which was received by Buty Ahmed Bin Solaiman, Deputy Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Airports officials, marks the start of four weekly flights (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) on the route. The young airline aims to give quality service in terms of flight frequency, cancellation and punctuality as well as onboard hospitality. More then 800,000 estimated Bangladeshis are working in UAE and the number is rising, driven by expanding economic activities between the 2 countries hence Dubai destination chosen by Best Air. An increasing number of Bangladeshis come to the UAE for trade, commerce as well as employment. Farhad Hossain, Director Best Air said, “The carrier would soon add international routes to Singapore, Malaysia, India, China and some other destinations. The airline made its debuts in January this year with one domestic route and in less then five months has expanded to include many international flights such as to Bangkok, Colombo, and now Dubai. Farhad Hossain said the airline planned to put B767-300 ER wide-bodied aircraft on the Dubai route. To attract passengers, Best Air is offering promotional fares for its Dubai-Dhaka service.

Al Ain Rotana opens Moodz Lounge Bar Al Ain Rotana Hotel, the exceptional property of Rotana Hotels and Resorts in the Garden City of the UAE, is proud to open Moodz, its new lounge bar. Moodz is a stylish venue which will bring a touch of sophistication, giving Al Ain’s hard working executives as well as guests from other places the ultimate meeting place to relax and enjoy. From the unique seating area to the careful choice of furniture and lighting, the lounge bar features excellent interior design bringing out a sophisticated ambience where guests can unwind. Moodz will feature a range of handselected music from the resident DJ to bring that real luxurious lounge bar feeling. Complementing the relaxing atmosphere is an extensive list of signature cocktails and

exceptional presented tapes style snacks are going to be introduced soon. Mr. Ayman Gharib, General Manager of Al Ain Rotana commented: “Rotana always aims to provide the best venues to all its guests and the Moodz Lounge Bar at Al Ain Rotana is one of these venues. Moodz is an ideal breathing space where people can enjoy real refined tastes and simply enjoy and relax at the same time.’’ He finally said: “We believe Moodz is a place where you can finally feel that relaxing grown up glamour which you usually find in the world’s fashionable capitals. Whether you need to catch up after work, or celebrate your weekend, Moodz is the perfect venue for you. I am definite this place will be a new distinguished landmark in Al Ain.’’

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Etihad unveils ambitious targets for the future

Singapore and Malaysia ‘Twin City’ Promotion

Etihad Airways has set its sights on flying 25 million passengers a year by 2020, according to the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s chief executive, James Hogan, and doubling the number of cities served from 50 to 100. Hogan announced the ambitious targets when addressing the American media in New York, one of the legs of a special visit he conducted recently to the USA and Canada. In addition to the flight network growth, which supports the order of 100 Airbus and Boeing aircraft that was made at the Farnborough International Airshow 2008, Etihad’s workforce could also grow to 27,000 people by 2020, from its current 6,600, with most of the jobs based in Abu Dhabi. Hogan said: “Etihad already a substantial business and we signalled our intentions for the future by making recently one of the largest ever commercial aircraft orders. Our projections to 2020 reflect that order and the scale of our ambitions, closely aligned to the growth of Abu Dhabi as an economic and tourism powerhouse.” Etihad recently released figures which showed that the carrier enjoyed its busiest summer period in its four year history with a total of more than 1.6 million passengers flying during June, July and August. The record performance during the summer months was underlined further on 1 August when 20,721 passengers flew with Etihad making it the airline’s busiest day. The summer also saw Etihad flights operate at an average of 83 per cent full, an increase of 46 per cent on the same period in 2007. Etihad has now flown more than four million passengers across its network of 48 destinations in 2008 and is on track to achieve its target of carrying six million passengers by the end of the year.

The Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Malaysia, and Singapore Airlines launched an exclusive travel package designed to jointly boost Middle East visitor traffic this season. Recent visitor arrival figures show that many Middle Eastern travellers heading to South-East Asia combine their trips with a stopover in both Malaysia and Singapore, as both destinations offer a family-friendly tourism offering and strong cultural links. The ‘Twin City’ promotion builds on the synergy and popularity of the two South-East nations among Arab travellers, providing regional tourists with a combined package that allows them to enjoy both destinations. An ideal getaway, the convenient fiveday, four-night package includes airfare and hotel accommodation in Singapore and either Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi or Penang starting at only 2,490 dirhams.

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“Given the strong tourism links between Singapore and Malaysia, it is a natural fit for us to team up with our valued partners to launch a Fall package that will provide Middle East travellers the opportunity to experience these two special countries,” said Jason Ong, Area Director for Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. The combined ‘Twin City’ package enables visitors to capture the very best of Singapore and Malaysia – from city attractions and first-rate shopping to tropical rainforests and pristine beaches. “Travellers from UAE have shown great interest in Malaysia as it offers both a wide range of attractions and value for money. Malaysia and Singapore are neighbours and each country complements the other as top holiday destination.  Through our partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and

Singapore Airlines, we are providing a range of city and island experiences, which combine to make a truly memorable trip,” Tuan Razali Tuan Omar, Director, Tourism Malaysia. “Singapore Airlines is honoured to participate with Tourism Malaysia and Singapore Tourism Board for a special “Twin City” Package. This package is an attractive option for those seeking to experience two amazing holiday destinations at a very affordable price,” said Mr. Lim Meow-Seng, General Manager GCC, Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines flies non-stop 3 times a week from Abu Dhabi and twice daily from Dubai to Singapore. From Singapore, Singapore Airlines and Silk Air offer 60 weekly services to Kuala Lumpur, 28 weekly services to Penang and 10 weekly services to Langkawi. The ‘Twin City’ offer is valid up until November 2008.

Dubai’s ‘Best Kept Secret’ The WTC) one of Dubai’s best kept secrets and part of the landmark Dubai World Trade Centre Tower, relaunched of one of Dubai’s most exclusive restaurants, Seven Sands, and the acclaimed Falcon Lounge. Offering panoramic views of the Dubai cityscape and an award-winning fusion menu, the restaurant and lounge are the ideal venues for corporate and fine dining evenings. Previously exclusively reserved for members of the private business club, Seven Sands and the adjoining Falcon lounge will now be opened to nonmembers in the evenings only. Our decision to grant the public limited access to the Seven Sands restaurant and Falcon Lounge is a direct response to that,” said Mohammed Al Jumairi, Director of Hospitality of DWTC. The Seven Sands team is made up of renowned chefs claiming international culinary awards from the Salon Culinaire for some of its latest menu creations. “The World Trade Club is one of only two private business venues in Dubai and the emirate’s best kept secret. It has an impressive 20 year heritage, which is testament to the world-class standards and facilities that we are committed to providing. “We have successfully evolved and re-invented the concept of a holistic business and high-end lifestyle club through the integration of state-of-theart technology, entertainment and the exceptional Seven Sands restaurant,” added Jumairi. As well as Seven Sands the club boasts four private function rooms, executive boardroom and Members Club Room – all of which have been redesigned by specialist European design house Boehmler to enhance the sweeping views of the city from the 33rd floor. “Seven Sands takes the club to another level and we are dedicated to constantly improving and expanding our offerings in order to deliver the best services for the emirate’s discerning clientele,” said Jumairi. All WTC members are offered premium service and access to 165 international World Trade Clubs.

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Dusit International’s first branded residence in Dubai Marina Bangkok-based Thai hospitality chain Dusit International unveils its first branded residence outside of Thailand, with the soft opening of Dusit Residence Dubai Marina. The 35-storey landmark tower will contain a total of 146 premier serviced residences, overlooking the lifestyle enclave of Dubai Marina. Conveniently located in the heart of ‘New’ Dubai, the Dusit Residence aims to cater for both business and leisure travelers. “For business travelers, we are only five minutes away from Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and Dubai Internet City,” said Dalip Singh, General Manager, Dusit Residence Dubai Marina. “For our leisure guests we are within easy reach of Ibn Battuta and Mall of the Emirates, not to mention the extensive lifestyle facilities in the Marina itself. The contemporary five-star residence is tastefully designed with a comprehensive range of integrated facilities for both short and long staying guests, featuring three food & beverage outlets, including the Dusit Gourmet and a Fusion Lounge, as well as a fully equipped health centre with swimming pool. A spa complete with Thai massage and foot reflexology will open later next year. Singh commented, “Our residences are fully equipped with everything from quality brand toasters and washing machines to wireless internet and iPod docking stations, along with spectacular panoramic views. In addition we have state-of-the-art meeting rooms as well as mobile office support, which can be installed in the guest’s residence, complete with secretarial assistance if necessary.” However it is the unrivalled and world renowned Thai hospitality that sets Dusit apart from any other 5 star hospitality chain. Warm and gracious Thai service is always discreet, effortless and efficient. Dusit Residence Dubai Marina is now the third Dusit property in Dubai, with a residence in Al Barsha and the flagship property Dusit Thani which opened in 2001 and is located in the financial centre of Dubai.

The Dubai Mall to open on Oct 30, 08 Emaar Malls Group has finalised the opening date of its flagship mall development The Dubai Mall as October 30, 2008. In one of the largest mall openings ever in the region, The Dubai Mall will offer several highly anticipated world-class attractions, hundreds of retailers and dedicated access from Sheikh Zayed Road, the city’s major highway. The new opening date of the mall coincides with an extended retail season in the region marked by the UAE National Day, Eid Al Adha, New Year and the Dubai Shopping Festival. Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said: “The development of global landmark projects like The Dubai Mall is a complex process that involves co-ordination with project managers, retail tenants and government authorities. By opening on October 30, we are not only offering customers the

option of several added attractions but also better public amenities such as more parking for cars and smoother access.” He added: “On October 30, all public areas of The Dubai Mall will be open to customers at the same time, creating a retail event unlike anything ever seen in the region. The Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre, the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, the world’s largest indoor Gold Souk and hundreds of retailers will open simultaneously giving visitors several retail and leisure options.” The Dubai Mall is a 12 million sq ft shopper’s paradise, and is an integral part of the Downtown Burj Dubai development. With a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft, The Dubai Mall will have 3.77 million sq ft of gross leasable space with more than 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores and more than 120 food and beverage outlets. Adjoining is The Address, Dubai Mall, a 5 star premium hotel with 250 rooms and 450 serviced apartments. Mr Jim Badour, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Malls Group, said:

“The Dubai Mall is already in global spotlight and it is important that it opens with maximum shopping and leisure attractions. At the same time, it is also crucial to have a strong supporting infrastructure, which will make access in and out of the mall a smooth and stressfree experience. The October opening has been planned to coincide with a key retail period that immediately follows, and thus will give our retailers a period abuzz with retail activity.” The Dubai Mall has already made rapid progress on the Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre, one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums. It will be a spectacular showcase of over 33,000 aquatic animals, representing over 85 different marine species. The Dubai Ice Rink will also double as a multipurpose venue for public and private functions apart from serving as the regular venue for skating enthusiasts. Other attractions at the mall include SEGA Republic®, the region’s first SEGA indoor theme park; KidZania®, a unique children’s ‘edu-tainment’ concept; and a 22-screen Cineplex.

SCTDA participates in travel and tourism fair in Moscow In a marketing and promotional move aiming to boost Sharjah’s position on the international tourism map, the Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced its seventh participation in the International Trade Fair for Travel and Tourism - Leisure Moscow 2008. The leading international autumn event for the tourism industry in Russia and the CIS was held in Moscow’s International Exhibition Centre “Crocus Expo”, from the 23rd to the 26th of September 2008. Leisure Moscow 2008 creates a new platform for key Russian and International players to find new partners, identify business opportunities and set up trends for the coming season. This year, Sharjah’s participation in the the Leisure Moscow event was crowned by a number of senior representatives from the emirate, including the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah National Hotels (Marbella Resort, Hotel Holiday International, Oceanic Hotel Khorfakhan), Radisson SAS Resort, Sharjah Millennium Hotel, Holiday Inn, Coral Beach resort, Embassy Suites, Khalidiah Tourism, Golden Tulip Hotel., Tulip Inn, Emirates Star hotel apartments and AL Seef Beach Hotel. SCTDA are very confident that their participation in this year’s event will set further progression in terms of development, community and tourism and provide them with a comprehensive view of current market trends and will inspire new ideas while allowing interaction with international players and clientele on a global level unmatched in any other forum. In the field of tourism, the Russian market displays a vital importance, as Sharjah has welcomed more than 220,833 Russian tourists in the first half of 2008 - a 60% increase in comparison with figures from the corresponding period last year We are very optimistic that this event will contribute in repositioning and portraying Sharjah as an attractive, traditional and family-oriented tourist destination.” With a large and distinguished stand of 105 square meters, the Emirate of Sharjah was elegantly showcased with a balanced mix of traditional and modern designs. SCTDA provided up-to-date, useful tourism information on the Emirate through the distribution of Russian-language booklets to its visitors.

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may have a mixture of 127 and 220 volts.

Algiers (920 Km from city centre)


2,381,741 Sq.Kms

Annaba (12 Km from city centre)

Visas are required by all except nationals of


Constantine (9 Km from city centre)

Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,

33,739,635 (2008 est.)

Wahran 910 Km from city centre)

Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan,Syria, Tunisia,


Tlemcen (20 Km form city centre)

Yemen, Andorra Denmark, Finland, Guinea,

El-Djazair (Algiers)

No airport tax on departure

Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Leichenstein, Mali, Monaco,

Main Cities


Norway, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland

Algiers, Wahran/Oran,

Algiers (principal), Annaba, Oran, Skikda,

Customs Regulations

Constantine, Annaba Al-Boulaida,

Mostaganem, Bejaia

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400 gr of

Si di Bel-Abbes, Setif, Tizi Ousou.

Business Hours

tobacco and 1 bottle of wine are admitted free


Government offices and state Enterprises

of Duty

Summer: 27 to 32C

08.00 to 17.00 Sat to Wed

Currency regulations

Coast temperature,13 to 24C

0800 to 12.00 Thu

Any amount of foreign currency may be taken

Winter:Temperature variations inland,dropping to


into Algeria but is prohibited to take any Algerian

as little as 10C in the Sahara at night

09.00 to 16.00 Sat to Wed

currency into or out of the country. Proof of all


08.00 to 12.00 Thu

foreign exchange transactions must be presented

Arabic (official)


on departure.All foreign visitors must change a

French (commercial)

220 volts (110 volts in some areas).

minimum of AD 1000.

Berber (in rural areas)

A continental adapter is necessary 127 volts or


3-phase 127/220/380 AC 50 cycles. Hotels

1 Algerian dinar (AD) =100 Centimes

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Argentina 718683 643843 7 Rue Hamani Australia 40593300 592081 7 Rue Jean Rey, 75724 Paris cedex, France Austria 562699 567352 Les Vergers,Rue No.2 DZ-16330 Bir Mourad Rais Bangladesh 594805 603629 14 Ave.des Frères Oughlis Belgium 922446 925036 22 Chemin Youssef Tayebi,El-Biar Brazil 749575 749687 48 Boulevard Mohammad V Bulgaria 691514 691787 13 Boulevard Bougara,El Biar Canada 914951 693920 18 Mustafa Khaled St.,P.O.Box 48 China 692724 693056 34 Boulevawrd Des Martyrs Colombia 922090 923817 7 Avenue Malika Gaid,El-Biar Cote D’ivoire 692828 693683 Parc Paradeaux P.O.Box 710,Hydra Czech Republic 692274 693031 P.O.Box 999,Villa Malika Denmark 692234 692846 12 Ave.Emile Marquis,Hydra Egypt 691807 692952



P.O.Box 297,Hydra Finland 691212 691637 P.O.Box 256 Hydra France 692488 691369 25 Chemin Gaddouche,Hydra Germany 741956 740521 P.O.Box 664,165 Chemin Sfindja Greece 600855 691655 60 Blvd.Col.Bougara Holy See 623430 572375 1 Rue Noureddine Mekiri 16090 Bologhine Hungary 691709 694431 P.O.Box 68 ,El-Mouradia India 923444 924011 14 Rue Des Ambassades Iraq 603125 601097 4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra Italy 292330 793766 18 Rue Mohammad Ouidir,Amellal Al-Biar Japan 912004 912046 1 Chemin Al Bakri,El-Biar Jordan 692031 691554 6 Rue Chenoua,Hydra Korea Repub 692076 693014 21 Rue Stambuli El-Mouradia Kuwait 693408 693037 Chemin Abdel Kader Gaddouche

Lebanon 594977 692397 Rue Du Hoggar,Hydra Libya 921502 924687 15 Chemin Sheikh Bashir Ibrahimi Mauritania 792139 784274 107 Lot Baranes,Air de France, Bouzareah Mexico 924023 923451 P.O.Box 329,El –Biar Netherlands 922828 923770 P.O.Box 72 El-Biar Nigeria 691849 691175 P.O.Box F629,Hydra Oman 941310 941375 126 Rue Didouche Mourad Pakistan 693781 692212 P.O.Box 621,Djeann El-Malik,Hydra Poland 922553 37 Ave.Mustafa Ali Khodja,El-Biar Portugal 925313 92541 12 Lot El-Feth El-Biar Qatar 922856 922415 P.O.Box 118,Bin Aknoun Romania 690871 693642 24 Rue Arezki Abri, Hydra Russia 783134 782882 Chemin Prince D’Amman El-Biar Saudi Arabia 603518

4 Rue Arezki Abri,Hydra Spain 922713 922719 10 Rue Azil Ali Sweden 692300 691917 Rue Olof Palme Nouveau Paradou,Hydra Switzerland 737310 738158 P.O.Box 482,27 Boulevard Zirout Youssef Syria 912026 912030 11 Chemin A.Gaddouche Hydra Tunisia 691388 692316 11 Rue Du Bois De Bologne Hydra Turkey 691257 693161 Chemin De La Rochelle, Blv Col.Bourgara UAE 692574 593770 P.O.Box 454 El Mouradia UK 230068 230067 P.O.Box 8,7 Chemin DES Glycines USA 691255 693979 4,CHEMIN Sheikh Bashir El-Ibrahimi Yemen 693085 691758 Villa 41,Ave.Les Verges Venezuela 693846 607555 Chemin du Kadous Hydra Zaire 591227 5 Rue Saint Georges,Kouba


Business Hours

Customs regulations


Government Offices

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 250g of loose

716 Sq.Km

07.30 to 14.30 Sat. to Wed.

tobacco, 8 oz of perfume, 1 liter of wine and gifts


Commercial Offices

up to the value of BD 250.00

(2007 estimate) 1,046,819

07.30 to 12.30 and 15:30 to 19:30 Sat to




Currency regulations



There are no restrictions on the amount of

Main Cities

7.30 to 14.00 from Sunday to Wendesday.

currency bring in/take out of Bahrain.

Manama, Muharraq Town, Isa Town, Jidhafs,

Thrusdays bank are open from 7.30 to 13.00



but closed on Friday and Saturday.

1 Bahraini dinar (BHD)=1.000 FILS



Qatari riyal and UAE dirham are exchangeable at

Summer: 40 to 45 C,hot, humid.

220-240 volts, Single-phase AC and 400 volts,

rate of DH 10 or QR 10=BHD 1.

Winter: Warm, dry, 10 C to 20 C.

three-phase AC.



Arabic (official), and English (commercial).

Visas required for all except GCC and UK



Muharraq (505 Km from Manama)

Tourist visas available at Bahraini embassies or

Taxis, hotel reservations, duty free shop Airport

on arrival at entry points-Bahrain Airport or the

tax on depature BHD 3.

King Fahd Causeway from Saudi Arabia.

Ports Mina Sulman


Algeria 713669 P.O.Box 26402,Manama Bangladesh P.O.Box 26718,Manama 714717 Belgium P.O.Box 5820,Manama China P.O.Box 3150,Manama Denmark P.O.Box 997,Manama Egypt P.O.Box 818,Manama

224631 723800 725119 720005

France P.O.Box 11134,Manama 291734 Germany P.O.Box 10306,Manama 530210 Greece P.O.Box 5790,Manama India P.O.Box 26106,Adiliya

Iran P.O.Box 26365,Manama 722400


New Zealand P.O.Box 5881,Mnama



Sweden P.O.Box 412,Mnama




Iraq P.O.Box 26477,Manama 786929


Norway P.O.Box 10580,Manama 531480


Switzerland P.O.Box 795,Manama




Japan P.O.Box 23720,Manama 716565


Oman P.O.Box 26414,Manama 293663


Tunisia P.O.Box 26911,Manama 714149



Jordan P.O.Box 5242,Manama


Pakistan P.O.Box 563,Manama


Turkey P.O.Box 10821, Manama 533448



Korea Rep P.O.Box 11700,Manama 291629


Palestine P.O.Box 1102


UAE P.o.Box 26505, Manama 723737



Kuwait P.O.Box 786,Manama


Philippines P.O.Box 26681,Manama 710200


UK P.O.Box 114, Manama




Lebanon P.O.Box 2102,Manama


Portugal P.O.Box11030,Manama 531533



Libya P.O.Box 26062,Adliya




534040 786994

259211 712785

Netherlands P.O.Box 350,Manama





USA P.O.Box 26431, Manama 273300

Russia P.O.Box 26612,Manama 725222


Yemen P.O.Box 26193,Manama 277072


Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1085,Manama




Sudan P.O.Box 5438,Manama




Morocco P.O.Box 26229,Manama 740566


October I Travel Arabia I 81




997.738 sq.Km

Population (2008 est.) 80 million

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Afghanistan 4177236 4177230 59 El Ourouba St. Heliopolis Algeria 3407671 3414158 14 Al-Brazil Street, P.O.Box 39, Zamalek Argentina 3401501 3414355 8 Al-Saleh Ayoub street,Zamalek Australia 5750444 5781638 1191 Corniche El-Nile, Boulaq Austria 5702974 5702979 5 Wissa Wassef St.Giza Bahrain 3407996 3416609 15 Brazil Street,Zamalek 3407996 3416609 Bangladesh 3402642 3412631 47 Ahmed Heshmat Str.Zamalek Belgium 3547494 3543147 20 Kamel El-Shinnawi St.Garden City 1125 Brazil 5756938 761040 Corniche El-Nile Maspero Bulgaria 3543110 3563548 6 El-Malek El-Afdal Street, Zamalek Canada 3543110 3563548 5 El-Saraya El-Kobra Square,Garden City China 3411219 3409459 22 Bahgat Ali Street,Zamalek Cyprus 3411288 3415299 23 A Ismail Mohammad Street,Zamalek Czech Republic 3485469 3608089 4 Dokki St.,Giza

82 I Travel Arabia I October

Local airports at Aswan, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm

declared on entry.

El –Seikh.

Goods valued up to £E100 may be


exported.200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200

Alexandria (principal), Port Said, Suez, Damietta,

gms tobacco,1 litre wine or spirits.



Business Hours


Government: 08.00 to 14.00 Wed,08.00

Main Cities

to 13.00 Thu,10.00 to 12.00 Sun.

Cairo,Alexandria,Ismalia,Port Said.

Businesses: Variable (some closed on Fri, others


on Sun.)

The import or export of Egyptian currency is


Winter: 9 to 22 C in Cairo.

09.00 TO 13.30 Thu.,10.00 to 12.00

More temperature along Mediterranean coasts


“Khamsin” (hot,dry wind in Spring)



220/240 volts 50 cycles AC in Maadi and

Arabic, ( official),English and French (

Heliopolis some 110 volts, 50 cycles AC.




Visas are required by all foreign visitors except

Cairo (22.5 Km from city centre).

most Arab nationals.

Coaches/taxis,duty-free shop,airport tax on

Customs regulations

departure.Alexandria (8 Km from city centre)

Currency,jewellery and other valuables must be Lebanon 3610623 5 Ahmad Nesim Street,Giza Libya 3402487 7 El-Saleh Ayoub,Zamalek Mauritania 3490671 14 Mohu El-din Abou El-Ezz St.,Dokki Mexico 5716156 6 Ahmed Shawki Street,Giza Morocco 3409849 10 Salaheddine Street,Zamalek Netherlands 3401936 18 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Norway 3413955 8 El-Gezira St.Zamalek Oman 3031708 52 El-Hegaz Street, Mohandiseen Pakistan 3487504 8 Al-Salouli St. Dokki Portugal 3363950 57 El- Giza St.,Giza Qatar 3604693 10 El-Themar St.,Dokki , Giza Romania 3410107 4 Aziz Abaza Street, Zamalek Russia 3489354 95 Giza St,Giza Saudi Arabia 3490797 2 Ahmad Nessim St.,

prohibited.All receipts for the exchange of foreign currency into Egyptian pounds should be kept to be presented on departure.

Currency 1 Egyptian pound(£E)=100 piastres=1.000

Summer 22 to 35 C in Cairo,

Denmark 3402505 3411780 12 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Finland 3411487 3421376 3 Abdul Feda Sreet,Zamalek France 5703920 5710276 29 El-Giza Street, Giza Germany 3410015 3410530 8 Hassan Sabri Street,Zamalek Greece 3547200 3563903 18 Aisha El-Taimouria St.Garden City Holy See 3402250 3406152 Apostolic Nunciature 5 Mohammad Mazhar Street Hungary 3408634 3408648 29 Mohammad Mazhar Street, Zamalek India 3413051 3414038 5 Aziz Abaza Street,Zamalek Iraq 3408087 3415075 9 Mohammad Mazhar St.,Zamalek Italy 3543194 3540657 15 Abdel Rahman Fahmi St. Garden City Japan 3553963 3563540 2 Abdel Qader St.,Garden City Jordan 3485566 3601027 6 El Guhaini Street,Dokki,Giza Kenya 3453628 3443400 7 El-Mohandis Galal St.Mohandisin Kuwait 3602661 3602657 12 Nabil Al-Wakad Street,Dokki

Currency regulations


3489060 5783040 3400937 3415249 3420709 3036464 3480310 3363952 3603618 3410151 3609074 3494590


Singapore 3490468 40 Babel Street, Dokki Slovakia 3486550 4 Dokki St. Dokki Spain 3406397 44 Ismail Mohammed St.Zamalek Sudan 3545658 3 El Ibrahimi Street, Garden City Sweden 3411484 13 Mohammad Mazhar St.Zamalek Switzerland 3402250 10 Abed Al Khalek Sarwat St. Syria 3358320 18 Abdel Rahim Sabri St. Dokki Thailand 3408356 2 Malik El-Afdal St.Zamalek Tunisia 3408962 26 El-Gezira street,Zamalek Turkey 3563318 25 El-Falaki Street,Bab el-Louq UAE 3609722 4 Ibn Sina St.,Giza UK 3540850 7 Ahmed Ragheb St.,Garden City USA 3557371 5 Latin America Str.,Garden City Yemen 3614225 28 Amin El-Rifaii Street,Dokki


3547359 3542693 3404357 5745236 3358232 3400340 3412479 3558110 5700844 3543065 3573200 3604815



Visa applications should be made well in advance



Basra (principal),Fao (oil)

and supported by a written invitation from a

438.317 sq.Km

Government Offices: Summer 08.00 to 14.00

government organization.No admission granted

Population Wed & 08.00 to 13.00 Thu.

to visitors holding passports showing evidence of

29.58 million(2006 est.)

Winter: 08.30 to 14.30

travel to Israel.


Sat To Wed. and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu.

Visitors must register for stays exceeding


Shops and Firms: Summer 08.30 to 13.00

14 days and exit visas are required for visits

Main Cities

and 16.00 to 20.00 Sat.To Wed.& 08.30 to

exceeding 30 days.Apply to Directorate of

Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk

13.00 Thu.

Residence,52nd street Baghdad, Tel:92377 Test


Winter:08.30 to 14.30 and 17.00 to 19.00 Sat

for HIV (The Aids Virus) is required.

Summer 24 to 42C in Baghdad,humid,hotter

To Wed and 08.30 to 13.30 Thu.

Customs Regulations Country under UN embargo,The import of most

and more humid in Basra


More temperature in north.Winter:4 to 16 C in

Summer 08.30 to 12.30 Sat to Wed. and


08.30 to 11.30 Thu.



Winter: 09.00 to 13.00 Sat To Wed. and 09.00

1 Iraqi dinar (ID)= 1.000 FILS

Arabic (official and commercial).

to 12.00 Thu.



Baghdad (17 Km from City Centre)

220 volts,50 cycles AC.

goods is prohibited.

Coaches/taxis,duty free shop-airport tax on



Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan.

Afghanistan P.O.Box 674 5560562 Algeria P.O.Box 444, Lane 35 5372181 Argentina P.O.Box 2443,Lane 24 7768140 Australia P.O.Box 661, Al Masbah 7193434 Austria P.O.Box 294,Lane 2 7199033 Bahrain P.O.Box 27117, Lane 7 5428945 Bangladesh 75/17/929 Hay Babe 7196367 Belgium Hay Babel,Mahallat 929 7198297 Brazil P.O.Box 2088, Lane 16 5411365 Bulgaria 5568197 Amireyah Embassies Quarter Canada P.O.Box 323,Lane 1 5421459 China P.O.Box 225 5562741 Czech Republic Mansour St., Lane 37 7767367 Denmark


P.O.Box 2001, Alwiyah 7717052 Egypt P.O.Box 6315,Lane 11 5430572 Finland P.O.Box 2041, Alwiyah 7766271 France P.O.Box 118 7196061 Germany P.O.Box 2036, Lane 2 7192037 Greece 63/3/913 Hay Al-Jamia AL-Jadiriya 7766572 Holy See P.O.Box 2090,Lane 2 7195183 Hungary P.O.Box 2065 7765000 India P.O.Box 4114, Adhaiyah 4222014 Indonesia St. 2, Houre 77, P.O.Box 420 7198680 Italy P.O.Box 2043,Lane 73 7765058 Japan P.O.Box 2369, Lane 17 7195157 Jordan Kindi Quarter 1 sec.213 5412892





4229549 7198677


Korea Rep. 915/222/8278, Hay al -Jamia Malaysia 6/14/929 Hay Babel 7762622 Mauritania Al Mansour, Baghdad 5518261 Mexico 601/11/45 Al- Mansour 7198039 Morocco P.O.Box 6039,Lane 11 5421779 Netherlands P.O.Box 2064, Lane 35 7767616 New Zealand P.O.Box 2350 7768176 Norway 20/3/609 Hay-Al Mansour 5410097 Oman P.O.Box 6180, Lane 13 5518198 Pakistan Al-Mansour 14/7/609 5415120 Palestine P.O.Box 3122 7183146 Philippines P.O.Box 3236,Lane 3 7193228 Poland P.O.Box 2051, Lane 13 7190297 Portugal


P.O.Box 2123,Lane 25 7764953 Qatar P.O.Box 2445,Lane 46 5412186 Romania P.O.Box 2571 7762860 Russia 4/5/605 Al-Moutanabi 5414749 Somalia P.O.Box 2078, Lane 1 5410088 Spain P.O.Box 2072, Lane 1 7192852 Sudan P.O.Box 213, Lane 15 5424889 Sweden P.O.Box 720, Lane 41 7195361 Switzerland P.O.Box 2107, Lane 5 7193091 Thailand P.O.Box 6062, Al-Mansour 5418795 Tunisia P.O.Box 6057,Al Mansour 5517786 Turkey P.O.Box 14001,Waziriya 2220021 UAE P.O.Box 6192, Lane 13 5417026 Yemen P.O.Box 13037,Lane 28 7760647


October I Travel Arabia I 83




08.30 to 15.30 Sat to Thu Ramadan: 09.30 to 13.30 Sat to Thu.


92.000 sq.Km

Commercial Offices:

1 Jordanian dinar(JOD)=1.000 fils.


Summer:08.00 to 13.30 and 15.30 to 19.30



on entry is permitted.

(2000 est.) 5 million

Sat to Thu.


Winter: 08.30 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 18.30


Sat to Thu.

Main Cities


Amman, Aqaba, Irbid, Zarka

08.30 to 15.30 Sat. to Thu.



Summer 18 C to 22 C in Amman,Dry,

220 volts,50 cycles AC.

Winter 4C to 12 C in Amman,dry.



Visas required by all and can be obtained from

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

any Jordanian consulate.


Some visitors may acquire visas on arrival at

Amman (32 Km from city centre. Taxi, duty free

International airports.

shop,airport tax on departure.

Customs regulations


200 cigarettes,25 cigars or 200 g tobacco,1


bottle of spirits.

Business Hours

Currency regulations

Government Offices:

Export of currency equal to the amount declared

Algeria 4641271 P.O.Box 1223,3rd Circle,Jabal Amman


France P.O.Box 5348,Mutanabi St. 4641273

Australia 5930246 Bet.4th & 5th Circles,Zahran St.


Germany Jabal Amman


Greece P.O.Box 35069


Holy See Amman

Belgium 5931859 5930487 Hawari Boumedienne St.,Near 4th Circle

Hungary Amman

Brazil Jabal Amman,3rd Circle 5925416 Bulgaria Amman


Libya Amman



Morocco Jabal Amman





Sudan Jabal Amman






Oman Jabal Amman

Sweden 5931177 12 Embassy St. Jabal Amman Jabal Amman 5931416




Pakistan Jabal Weibdeh





Philippines Amman




India P.O.Box 2168,1st Circle 4623175


Qatar Jabal Amman




Romania 5667738 Jabal Amman, P.O.Box 2869


UAE Jabal Amman



Italy 4638185 5/7 Hafez Ibrahim St.,Jabal El Webdeh



Canada 5666124 P.O.Box 815403,PC 11180


Japan 5930486 Al-Aqsa Street,Jabal Amman


Russia Jabal Amman



UK 5923100 P.O.Box 87, Abdoun, Amman






Austria Jabal Amman Bahrain Jabal Amman

4644635 5664148


Syria Jabal Amman, 4th Circle 4641935


Tunisia Jabal Amman



Turkey P.O.Box 2062,PC 11181 4641251


China P.O.Box 2023,PC 11181 5931530


Kuwait Jabal Amman



Saudi Arabia Jabal Amman, 5th Circle 5924154


USA P.O.Box 354,PC 11181

Egypt Jabal Amman,3rd Circle 5605175


Lebanon 2nd Circle, Amman



Spain Jabal Amman


Yemen Jabal Amman

84 I Travel Arabia I October






17.8182 sq.Km

Population (2005 estimate) 2.7 million

Capital Kuwait City

Main Cities Kuwait City, Ahmadi, Hawali, Farwaniya, Al-Jahra

Temperature/climate Summer 40 to 45 C, dry, dust, storms. Winter cool, some rainfall in November to January.

Languages Arabic (official), English (commercial).

Airport Kuwait (16 Km or 30 mn from city center). Taxis, duty-free shop, no airport tax.

continiuing their journey to a third country bt the

Business Hours

same aircraft,or by passengers transiting within

Government Offices:

24 hours.However,passengers must have tickets

Winter 07.30 to 13.00 Sat to Wed.,

with reserved seats and valid documents for their

07.30 to 11.30 Thu.

onward journey.With visas for a visit sponsored

Summer 07.00 to 13.00 Wed.

by a kuwaiti resident a form in duplicate must

Ramadan 08.30 or 09.00 to 13.00 Sat to Thu.

be validated by the Ministery of Interior.For a

Commercial Offices:

visit without a sponsor, form in duplicate can

08.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00

be obtained from a Kuwaiti consulate.Some

Wed.08.00 to 12.30 Thu.

Nationals require a No Objection Certificate

Ramadan 08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

issued by Minister of Interior.


Customs regulations

08.00 to 12.00 Thu.

No alcohol,500 cigarettes,2lb tobacco.

Ramadan 8.30 to 12.30 Sat to Thu.

Currency regulations


There are no restrictions on the import or export

240 Volts single-phase

of currency

50 cycles AC



1Kuwaiti dinar(KD)=1.000 fils

Visas or entry permits are required in advance by


all visitors except for nationals of the GCC states.

Mina Abdulla (oil)

Transit visas are not required by passengers

Mina Al Ahmadi (principally oil) Afghanistan 2433075 P.O.Box 22944 Safat,13015 Algeria 2427185 P.O.Box 578,Safat Austria 2467421 P.O.Box 44180,Hawali 32056 Bahrain 5318530 P.O.Box 196,Safat 13002 Bangladesh 2542688 P.O.Box 22344,Safat 13084 Belgium 2561029 P.O.Box 3280,Safat Brazil 2561029 P.O.Box 39761,Safat Bulgaria 5314458 P.O.Box 12090,Kuwait City Canada 2563025 P.O.Box 25281,Safat 13113 China 5330165 P.O.Box 2346,Safat 13024 Cuba 5382024 P.O.Box 23685,Safat 13124 Czech Republic 2529015 P.O.Box 1151,Safat Egypt 2519955 P.O.Box 11252,Safat

Shuwaikh (container,ro-ro, slipway) Shuaiba

5326274 2519497 2449993 5330882 5722018 2562153 2562153 5321453 2560173 5333341 2402971 2529021 2563877

Finland 5312890 P.O.Box 26699,Safat France 5319850 P.O.Box 1037,Safat 13011 Gabon 4830975 P.O.Box 1230,Hawali 32013 Germany 4817055 P.O.Box 5930,Safat 13060 Hungary 5312600 P.O.Box 5671,Safat 13057 India 2530600 P.O.Box 1450,Safat 13015 Indonesia 2514588 P.O.Box 21560, Safat 13076 Iran 2560694 P.O.Box 4686,Safat Italy 2445120 P.O.Box 4453,Safat 13045 Japan 2518155 P.O.Box 2304,Safat 13024 Jordan 2533500 P.O.Box 5242,Safat 13053 Korea Rep. 4814004 P.O.Box 20771,Safat 13068

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 5324198 2571058

2520763 5313782 2525811 4819250 2529868 2445124 5326168 2570894 2526874

Lebanon 2562103 P.O.Box 253,Safat Libya 3529172 P.O.Box 21460,Safat 13075 Morocco 4813700 P.O.Box 784,Safat 13008 Netherlands 5312650 P.O.Box 21822,Safat Niger 5316802 P.O.Box 44451, Hawali 32059 Nigeria 5320794 P.O.Box 6432,Hawali 32039 Oman 2561962 P.O.Box 21975,Safat 13080 Pakistan 5327649 P.O.Box 988,Safat 1310 Philippines 5329315 P.O.Box 26288,Safat 13123 Poland 2510355 P.O.Box 5066,Safat 13051 Qatar 2513599 P.O.Box 1825,Safat 13019 Romania 4843419 P.O.Box 11149, Dasmah 35152 Russia 5646277 P.O.Box 1765,Safat 13018

2571682 2575182 5317423 5326334 5652943 5320834 2961963 5327648 5329319 2534760 2563428 4848929 5659044

Saudi Arabia 2400250 P.O.Box 20498,Safat 13065 Spain 5325827 P.O.Box 22207,Safat 13083 Sweden 2523588 P.O.Box 21448,Safat Switzerland 2551872 P.O.Box 23954, Safat 13100 Syria 2531164 P.O.Box 25600,Safat 13112 Thailand 5317530 P.O.Box 66647,Bayan 43757 Tunisia 2522416 P.O.Box 5976,Safat Turkey 2531785 P.O.Box 20627,Safat 13067 UAE 2518569 P.O.Box 1828,Safat 13019 UK 2403335 P.O.Box 2,Safat 13001 USA 2424151 P.O.Box 77,Safat 13001 Yugoslavia 4818872 P.O.Box 20511,Safat 13066

2420654 5325826 2564224 5340176 5396509 5317532 2528995 2560653 2526382 2426799 2407368 5327568

October I Travel Arabia I 85




10.452 sq.Km

Visitors should check with airport duty-free shops

Capital Beirut

Commercial offices

Main Cities Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Zahle, Sidon, Tyre

Temperature/Climate Summer 23 C to 32 C in Beirut, humid. Winter 11 C to 17 C in Beirut,moist, rainfall, especially in January. Highlands are cooler, with winter snowfalls.


on current regulations.

Currency regulations

Government offices 08.00 to 14.00 Monday to Thursday. 08.00 to 11.00 Friday, 08 to 13 Saturday.

(2007 estimate) 3.9 million

No Restrictions.

Currency 1500 Lebanese pound(ÂŁLeb)= 1 US dollars.

08.30 to 18.00 Fri.


08.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday. 08.30 to 12.00 Saturday.


110 Volts,50 cycles AC and 220 volts,50 cycles AC.


Arabic (official), French and English (commercial)

Airport Beirut ( 16 Km from city centre) Coaches/ taxis,duty-free shop-airport tax on departure.

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of Syria.Telex/Fax invitation required from sponsor to be sent to Embassy. Westerners wishing to visit Lebanon can get instant visas at Beirut airport ,seaport or at Lebanese border checkpoints.


86 I Travel Arabia I October

Customs regulations

Beirut (principal), Tripoli (main port for North), Jounieh, Sidon (main port for South)

Business Hours


Algeria P.O.Box 4794,Jnah 01/826711 826712 Argentina 01/987900 987903 P.O.Box 11-5245,Starco Area Armenia Rabieh 04/418860 Australia 01/374701 374709 Bliss Street,Ras Beirut Austria 01/217412 217772 Tabaris ,Ashrafieh Bahrain 03/611936 367952 Bliss Street,Itani Bldg Belgium 05/920551 923987 Hebu Building,Baabda Beirut Brazil 05/921138 923001 P.O.Box 166175,Rue Des Antonins,Baabda Bulgaria 01/861352 Raoucheh Canada 0211/6116851 611803 Sheraton Hotel,Damascus Jal el 04/713900 710595 Dib Highway Chile 04/418670 418672 Naccache


China 01/850315 Ramlet Al-Baida Denmark 01/364264 Ain Mreiseh Egypt 01/867917 Ramlet El-Baida France 01/420000 Hazmieh,Beirut Germany 04/914444 P.O.Box 2820,Rabieh Greece 04/521700 P.O.Box 309,Naccache Hungary 01/898857 Fanar India 01/372811 P.O.Box 113-5240,Kantari St. Iran 01/821230 Bir Hassan Italy 01/985200 Centre Ville,Beirut Japan 01/989751 P.O.Box 3360,Baabda Jordan 05/922500 Baabda

822492 372970 863751 420013 914450 418774

373538 821224 985305 989754 922502

Kuwait 01/822515 Bir Hassan,Jnah Libya 01/806314 805349 Verdun,Beirut Mexico 04/418870 New Naccache Morocco 01/862966 Ain-el-Tineh Pakistan 01/863041 Shell Bldg,Raoucheh Philippines 01/791093 Raoucheh,Beirut Poland 05/468152 Baabda Qatar 01/865271 P.O.Box 6717,Chouran Romania 05/924484 Baabda Russia 01/300042 Mar Elias,Beirut Saudi Arabia 01/860351 Koreitem, Beirut Spain 05/464120 Palace Chehab, Hadath Antounieh


865194 864583 791095 746620 810460 924747 303837 861524 464030

Sudan 01/353270 Mme Curie St. Sweden 01/339505 Achrafieh Switzerland 01/324129 Ave.Fouad Chehab, Achrafieh Tunisia 05/457431 Hazmieh,Mar Takla Turkey 04/412080 Rabieh,Area 2,Str.3 UAE 01/857000 Wafic Tabbara Bldg,Jnah UK 01/990400 Zkak El-Blat USA 04/542600 Aoukar,Beirut Venezuela 01/888701 Zalka,P.O.Box 603 Yemen 01/852682 Bir Hassan,P.O.Box 114-5097 Yugoslavia 01/739633 P.O.Box 742, Sanayeh

339394 324167 950434 407557 857009 990420 544136 403670 821610 739638


1,757,000 sq.Km

Population (2003 estimate)5.5 million

Capital Tripoli

Main Cities Tripoli,Benghazi,Misurata,Surt,Sabha Temperature/Climate In Tripoli:Summer:22 to 38 C,dry. Winter:8 to 20C,most rainfall in January.

Languages Arabic(official),English and Italian(commercial)

Airports Tripoli(25 Km from City Centre) Benghazi(main port for East)

Business Hours Government offices Winter:(1 31 March) 08.00 to 15.00 Thu. Afghanistan 4775192 Sharia Al-Aftas 4771183,4775192 Algeria Sharia El-Kairouan 4440052 4447042 Argentina Sharia Ibn Mufarrej 4770588 TX20190 Austria 4443393,444 Dahra 4440838 Bangladesh Hadbe El-Khadra 903807 900856 901866 TX20970 Belgium Tower No.4,5th Floor 3333660 3333771 75618 Benin, Quartier Gout-Shaal 830990 Tx 20357 Bosnia, Ben Ashour 602406 602162 Brazil, S.Ben Ashour 607969,608 3614895 Bulgaria S.Benin Ashour 609690/4444 Burkina Faso, Gergaresh 4771221 4772626 Chad Dahra 4443955 TX20341 China, Andalous 4775131 4775689 China-Taiwan 4775052/478 Gergaresh 4774980


Summer:07.00 to 14.00

departure.No restrictions on other currencies

Sat.To Thu.

though the amount taken out must not exceed

Commercial offices

that taken in.

07.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu


16.00 to 17.30 Sat.To Wed.

1 Lybian dinar(LD) =1.000 dirhams.

Banks Winter:08.00 to 13.00 Sat. to Thu. Summer:08.00 to 12.30 Thu.and 16.00 to 19.00 Wed.

Electricity 220 volts 50 cycles AC.

Visas Visas are required for all visitors except nationals of all Arab countries.Passport may need Arabic Translation.Invitation from Libyan company required.

Customs regulations No alcohol.200 cigarettes,250 grams tobacco,0.25 litre perfume.

Currency regulations A maximum of 20 Libyan dinar on entry and

Cuba Andalous 4771346 4776294 Cyprus 609547 Ben Ashour 609728/6015 Czech Rep. Ben Ashour 361543/37 600839 Denmark, Andalous 606848 TX20978 Egypt 4444945 Sharia-El-Shatt 4448909 4449262 Finland, Ghot Eshaal 830559 830559 France 4778267 Andalous 4773807 4778266 Germany 4448552 S.Hassan El-Mashai 4448333 4448968 Ghana Al-Suwae Khetumi 4444256 TX20879 India 4447899 S.Mahloud Shaltut 4441835 3337560 Iraq, Gourgi 4770487 4770780 Iran 606871 El-Jamahiriya 6069 602687 Italia 3333447 3331673 S.Uahran 3334131/2/3 Japan Tower No.4 Hall 13/14 607462/3 607462 Korea 8331 833503

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Gergaresh Kuwait Ben Ashour Lebanon Ben Ashour Malaysia Andalous Mali Rue Dahanal Malta Rue Dahanal Mauritania S.Eysa Wokwak Morocco, April Str. Nicaragua, S.Al Nassr Pakistan Manshia Ben Ashour Palestine, Tripoli Philippines, Tripoli Poland Ben Ashour Ruanda Andalous Romania Ben Ashour Saudi Arabia, Tripoli

833484/ 444 4440282/ 3333733/ 334 833693/ 8337 33313304/ 44 3338081/ 334

607053 TX20609 833692 3331304 4448401

4443223/444 611101 3330800 TX20346 608269 333600411 607619/ 6076 TX20049 4772864/ 4772865 4770317 607904/ 6079 TX20482 3330485/333

Slovak Rep Jallal Bayar St. Somalia Gurji Sudan Gergaresh Syria Mohamed Rashed St. Switzerland Ben Ashour Togo Khalid Ibn Al Waleed Tunisia Tripoli UAE Gergaresh Uganda Ben Ashour UNDP Turkiya Street UNICEF Adr.UNDP UNIC Andalous Venezuela Ben Ashour Vietnam Gergaresh

3332568/ 3332805 4773124/ 477 4772728 3337955/ 333 607365/ 607366

3332568 TX 2205 4774781 TX20218 607487

4449565 3332423 33.310.613. 331.052 TX20217 4773146/ 47 TX20189 4448006 3330852/ 3/4/5/7


4770251 3600407/ 36 833704/ 8307



3600408 830994

October I Travel Arabia I 87





710,850 sq.Km

Casablanca (main sea port)

Visas required except by nationals of Andorra, Argentine, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, Côte D’ivoire, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Niger, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Porto Rico, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, US, Venezuela.


Tangier (sea port for the North)

Business Hours

33.757 million(2007 estimate)




Winter 08.030 to 12.00,14.30 to 18.00 Mon

Main Cities Rabat, Casablanca, Fez,Marrakech, Meknes, Tangier,Agadir

Temperature/Climate Summer 35 to 45 C in the interior,dry 18 to 28 C along the Mediterrenean,dry. Winter wide daily variation in the interior,dry,8 C to 17 C in the North, With frequent frosts,rainfall in December.


EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria 765474 46 Boulevard Tarek Ibn Ziad Argentina 755120 12 Mekki Bitaouri str.,Souissi Austria 2 Tiddas,Rabat 764003 Belgium 6 Marrakesh Ave., Rabat 764746 Brazil Cadi Benjalloun St.,Rabat 755291 Bulgaria 4 Meknes 765477 Canada 13 Bisr Jaffar Assadik 672880 China 16 Ahmad Balagies Ave 754056 Czech Republic Ate.Zaers,Km 4,Souissi 755421 Denmark 769293 P.O.Box 203, 4 Khemisset St. Egypt 31 Alger Avenue 731833

88 I Travel Arabia I October

762237 755410

765425 767003 755291 763201 672187 757519 755420 769709


to Fri 08.00 to 13.00 Sat. Summer 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Fri. 08.00 to 12.030 Sat. Ramadan 09.00 to 14.00 Mon to Sat. Businesses 08.00 to 12.30 and 16.00 to 19.00

Customs Regulations


400 grammes of Tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars are admitted free of duty.1 litre of wine or spirits.

Winter 08.15 to 11.30 and 14.15 to 16.30 Mon to Fri.

Currency regulations

Arabic, French (commercial), Berber

Summer 09.00 to 15.00 Mon to Fri



Tangier (15 Km from City Centre)

110V.,127V or 220V/50 cycles AC in Rabbat,

Rabat (10 Km from City Centre) Casablanca (30

Casablanca and Tangier.

Km from Town Centre)

115/50 cycles AC in Marrakech,110V/50

Agadir (20 Km from Town Centre)

cycles AC in Fez.

Finland 16 Khemisset Street,Rabat 762312 France 3 Sahnoun Street,Rabat 689700 Germany 7 Maduine St. 709662 Greece Rte. Zaers,Souissi 638975 Holy See P.O.Box 1303, Souissi 772277 Hungary 21 Bisoulad Jerrar,Soussi 750757 India 10 Michlifen Street,Agdal 671339 Indonesia 757861 122 Ambassador Quarter Rte.Zaers Iran 659121 Route des Zaers,Bin Kasem Quarter Iraq 754466 2 Oukaimdem St.Agdal Italy 2 Idriss Al Azhar St. 706598 Japan 631782

463925 689750 706851 702270 756213 754123 671269 757859 659118 754572 706882 750078

39 Ahmed Balafrej Ave., Souissi Jordan Villa Al-Wafae, Soussi 751125 Korea Rep 41 Mehdi Benbaraka Blvd 751767 Kuwait 751775 300 Iman Malik Street, Km 4 Lebanon 19 Fes Avenue, Rabat 760728 Libya 1 Chouaib Doukkali Street 707400 Oman 673788 21 Hamza Street, Agdal, Rabat Pakistan 11 Azrou Street, Rabat 661611 Portugal 5 Thami Lamdouar Street 756446 Qatar 4 Tarik Ibn Ziad Blvd. 765681 Russia Km 4, Route des Zaers 753509 Saudi Arabia 730171 43 Place de L’unite Africaine

758722 750189 753591 766667 705200 674567 766742 756445


No Moroccan currency may be imported or exported.


1 Moroccan Dirham (MD or DH)=100 centimes

Spain 3 El Fath St. 268000 Sudan 5 Ghomara Ave, Souissi 752863 Sweden P.O.Box 428 759303 Switzerland P.O.Box 169,Berkame Sq. 706974 Syria 757521 5 Rte., Zaers, Km 1, Souissi Tunisia 6 Fez Avenue 730636 Turkey 7 Fez Avenue 762605 UAE 11 Alaouines Avenue 707070 UK 17 Tour Hassan Boulevard 720905 USA 2 Marrakech Street 762265 Yemen 674363 11 Abou-Hanifa Street, Agdal

707387 752865 758048 705749 757522

704980 742145 704531 765661 674769

OMAN Business Hours



Government Offices

1 Omani Riyal(RO)=1,000 Baizas

309.500 sq.Km

Winter:7.30 to 14.30 Sat.To Thu.


Summer:7.30 to 14.30 Sat Top Wed.

(2000 estimate) 2.5 million



08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00

Muscat Wed. 08.00 to 11.30 Thu.

Main Cities



08.00 to 12.00 Wed.08.00 to 11.30




Summer: 35 C - 47 C, Very humid


Winter: 20.7 C men minimum

220/240 volts 50 cycles AC



Arabic (official), English (commercial).

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals


of the GCC.

Seeb (40 Km from City Centre).

Customs regulations

Taxis,airport tax on departure,duty-free shop.

No alcohol.No Limit for Tobacco products.

Salalah (domestic)

Currency regulations


No restrictions on the amount of currency taken

Mina Qaboos, Muscat (principal), Mina Raysut,

into or out of Oman.


Salalah (main port for Dhofar) Algeria 601698 P.O.Box 216, Madinat Sultan Qabous


Germany P.O.Box 128, Ruwi 112 702482


Lebanon P.O.Box 67, Ruwi 118



Syria 697904 603895 P.O.Box 85, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Austria P.O.Box 2070, Ruwi 112 793135


India P.O.Box 1727, Ruwi 112 702960


Morocco P.O.Box 3125, Ruwi 112 696152


Tunisia 603486 697778 P.O.Box 220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Bahrain P.O.Box 66, P.C., 115


Iran P.O.Box 3155, Ruwi 112 696944


Netherland P.O.Box 3302, Rruwi 112 705410


Turkey P.O.Box 417, Muttrah,115 697050


Bangladesh P.O.Box 3959, Ruwi 112 707462

Iraq P.O.Box 1848, Ruwi 112 604178


Norway P.O.Box 89, Ruwi 112


UAE P.O.Box 551, Seeb 115 600302


Canada P.O.Box 1275,Ruwi 112

Italy P.O.Box 3727, Muscat 112


Pakistan P.O.Box 1302, Ruwi 112 603343

UK P.O.Box 300, Muscat 113 693077



Japan P.O.Box 3511, Ruwi 112 601028


Qatar P.O.Box 802, Muscat 113 701802


USA P.O.Box 202, Muscat


Egypt P.O.Box 2252,Ruwi 112 600411


Jordan P.O.Box 2281, Ruwi 112 786350


Russia P.O.Box 80, Muscat 112 602893


Yemen 600815 605008 P.O.Box 105, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Finland P.O.Box 84, Muscat 113 702133


Korea Rep. 691490 P.O.Box 2220, Madinat Sultan Qabous 115

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1411, Ruwi 112 601744


France P.O.Box 208, Muscat 115 604222


Kuwait P.O.Box 1798, Ruwi 112 699626

Sudan P.O.Box 3971, Ruwi 112 697875



China P.O.Box 315, Muscat 112 696782




October I Travel Arabia I 89




Doha, Umm Said (oil and petrochemicals)

Customs regulations

11.437 sq.Km

Business Hours




(2004 estimate) 792,883

07.30 to 13.00 Sat To Thu.

Currency Regulations





07.30 to 12.00 and 15.30 to 18.00 Sat to


Main Cities


1 Qatari Riyal (QR)= 100 dirhams

Doha, Rayan, Umm Said,


Al-Khor, Al-Wakrah, Ras Laffan

07.30 to 11.30 Sat to Wed.


07.30 to 11.00 Thu.

Summer 36 to 40 C, in Doha very humid


especially mornings

220/240 Volts 50 cycles AC.

Alcohol is prohibited.No limit for Tobacco

Winter 13 to 23 C in Doha, very humid, wide


diurnal range

Visas are required for all visitors except nationals


of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Arabic (official), English ( commercial).

No objection certificate required from Qatari


Minsitery of Foreign Affairs. Other businessmen, if

Doha (8 Km from city centre). Taxis, No

their visit is sponsored by a reputable Qatari, may

Duty- Free shop, no airport tax.

obtain a 72- hour visa at Doha Airport.


EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria P.O.Box 2494 Bahrain Bangladesh P.O.Box 2080 Brunei China P.O.Box 17200










Ras Laffan (Gaz and ind.) Iraq P.O.Box 1526 Italy P.O.Box 4188

4672237 4667842


Morocco P.O.Box 3242



UAE P.O.Box 3099



Oman P.O.Box 3766



UK P.O.Box 3





USA P.O.Box 2399



Yemen P.O.Box 3318



Japan P.O.Box 2208



Pakistan P.O.Box 334


Jordan P.O.Box 2366



Russia P.O.Box 1540





Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1255



Egypt P.O.Box 2899



Korea Republic P.O.Box 3727

France P.O.Box 2669



Kuwait P.O.Box 1177



Sudan P.O.Box 2999



Germany P.O.Box 3064



Lebanon P.O.Box 2411



Syria P.O.Box 1257



India P.O.Box 2788



Libya P.O.Box 547



Tunisia P.O.Box 2707



Iran P.O.Box 1633



Mauritania P.O.Box 3132



Turkey P.O.Box 1977



90 I Travel Arabia I October



2.240.000 sq.Km (approx)


(2006 est.) 23.6 million




Main Cities Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Dammam, Al-Khobar, Qatif, Makkah, Medina, Abha, Khamis Mushayat, Taif


Summer 38 to 45 C in Riyadh dry diurnal range up to 20 C. 35 to 42 C in Jeddha, very humid.35 to 45 C in Dammam, very humid. Winter 8 to 30 C in Riyadh, night frosts rain in March.19 to 33 C in Jedah,humid 15 to 30 C in Dammam, very humid


Arabic (official), English (commercial).


Algeria 4887171 P.O.Box 94388, Riyadh 11693 Argentina 4652600 P.O.Box 94369, Riyadh 11693 Australia 4887788 P.O.Box 94400, Riyadh 11693 Austria 4801217 P.O.Box 94373, Riyadh 11693 Bahrain 4880044 P.O.Box 94371, Riyadh 11693 Bangladesh 4195300 P.O.Box 94395, Riyadh 11693 Belgium 4882888 P.O.Box 94396, Riyadh 11693 Brazil 4880018 P.O.Box 94348, Riyadh 11693 Canada 4882288 P.O.Box 94321, Riyadh 11693 Denmark 4880101 P.O.Box 94398, Riyadh 11693 Egypt 4658425 P.O.Box 94333, Riyadh 11693 Eritrea 4801726 P.O.Box 94002, Riyadh 11693

Dammam (28 Km from City Centre) Jeddah (24 Km from City Centre) Medina (12 Km from City Centre) Riyadh (35 Km from City Centre) Taxis-no duty-free shops except at Jeddah-No airport taxes.

4887616 4653057 4887973 4801526 4880208 4193555 4882033 4881075 4880137 4881366 4652800 4827537

Jeddah(main port for Western province and the Kingdom’s principal port) King Abdel-Aziz, Dammam (main port for Eastern province) Jubail(industrial port for Eastern province) Yanbu(industrial port for Western province)

Business Hours

Government 07.30 to 14.30 Sat to Wed. Ramadan 09.30 tom 14.30 Businesses Variable from business to business But generally,07.30 to 13.00 and 14.30 to 20.00 Sat to Thu. Banks 08.00 to 12.00 and 16.30 to 18.30 Sat to France 4881255 P.O.Box 94367, Riyadh 11693 Germany 4880700 P.O.Box 9941, Riyadh 11693 Greece 801974 P.O.Box 94375, Riyadh 11693 India 4884144 P.O.Box 94387, Riyadh 11693 Iran 4881916 P.O.Box 943394, Riyadh 11693 Ireland 4882300 P.O.Box 94349, Riyadh 11693 Italy 4881212 P.O.Box 94389, Riyadh 11693 Japan 4881100 P.O.Box 4095, Riyadh 11491 Jordan 4880039 P.O.Box 7455, Riyadh 11693 Kenya 4882484 P.O.Box 94358, Riyadh 11693 Korea(Rep of) 4882211 P.O.Box 94399, Riyadh 11693 Kuwait 4883500 P.O.Box 2166, Riyadh 11451

Wed.08.30to 12.00 Thu. Ramadan 10.00 to 13.30


220 Volts and 110 Volts,60 cycles AC.


Visas are required for all visitors except GCC nationals. Applications have to be applies for by sponsor in Saudi Arabia To the Ministery of Foreign Affairs who will inform Saudi Embassy On approval.Assistance from trade associations and chambers of commerce is advised. Marriage certificate for travelers accompanied by spouse required.

Customs regulations

No alcohol,600 cigarettes,100 cigars or 500g tobacco.

Currency regulations No restrictions

Currency 1 Saudi Riyal(SR)=100 halala

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES 4882882 4880660 4801969 4884750 4888890 4880927 4886590 4880189 4880072 4882629 4881317 488368

Lebanon 4197000 P.O.Box 94350, Riyadh 11693 Libya 4544511 P.O.Box 94365, Riyadh 11693 Mexico 4828218 P.O.Box 94391, Riyadh 11693 Morocco 4826382 P.O.Box 94392, Riyadh 11693 Norway 4881904 P.O.Box 94380, Riyadh 11693 Oman 4823120 P.O.Box 94381, Riyadh 11693 Pakistan 4887272 P.O.Box 6891, Riyadh 11452 Philippines 4880835 P.O.Box 94315, Riyadh 11693 Portugal 4644688 P.O.Box 94328, Riyadh 11693 Qatar 4825544 P.O.Box 94353, Riyadh 11461 Singapore 4657007 P.O.Box 94378, Riyadh 11693 Spain 4880606 P.O.Box 94347, Riyadh 11693

4192767 4567513 4828379 4827016 4880854 4823738 4887953 4883945 4044419 4825694 4652224 4880400

Sudan 4887728 P.O.Box 94337, Riyadh 11693 Sweden 4883100 P.O.Box 94382, Riyadh 11693 Switzerland 4881291 P.O.Box 9265, Riyadh 11413 Syria 4887481 P.O.Box 94323, Riyadh 11693 Thailand 4880300 P.O.Box 94359, Riyadh 11693 Tunisia 4887900 P.O.Box 94368, Riyadh 11693 Turkey 4887721 P.O.Box 94390, Riyadh 11693 UAE 4826803 P.O.Box 94385, Riyadh 11693 UK 4880077 P.O.Box 94351, Riyadh 11693 USA 4883800 P.O.Box 94309, Riyadh 11693 Yemen 4826764 P.O.Box 94356, Riyadh 11693

4887729 4880604 4880632 4826196 4881179 4887641 4887823 4827504 4882373 4883278 4881757

October I Travel Arabia I 91



Currency Regulations


Import or export of Sudanese currency is illegal


2,505,813 sq.Km


Port Sudan


Khartoum :08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.


Other centres :08.30 to 14.00(with Breakfast

Main Cities Khartoum, Oumdurman, Khartoum North, Port Sudan, Wadi Medani

Temperature/Climate Summer : 26 to 45 C, in

interval) Sat to Thu. Businesses 08.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 Thu Banks

Khartoum,sandstorms,humid, Rain in August and September,hotter and more humid in South. Winter : 15 to 32 C in Khartoum, dry, wide diurnal range, Chilly nights.

08.30 to 12.00 Sat to Thu.

Electricity 240 volts,single phase AC

Visas Visas are reqiured for all visitors

Languages Arabic (official), English (commercial)


Customs Regulations 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 1 lb tobacco

Khartoum (4Km from city centre).

Algeria P.O.Box 80


India 451031 P.O.Box 707, 61 Africa Rd.


Libya P.O.Box 2091


Austria P.O.Box 1860


Iran 81490 House No.8, square 2, Mogran


Morocco P.O.Box 2042


China P.O.Box 1425 Czech Republic P.O.Box 1047 Denmark P.O.Box 2758 Egypt P.O.Box 1126


Holy See P.O.Box 623


Iraq Burri, Garden City

Italy 451614 P.O.Box St.39 Khartoum 2

Jordan 25 Sreet Number 7


Kenya P.O.Box 8242

72836 465928

Korea(Rep of) P.O.Box 322


Kuwait P.O.Box 1457


Lebanon P.O.Box 1407

92 I Travel Arabia I October

Netherlands St.47 House 76


Japan 75875 P.O.Box 1649, St.43, House 67


France 471082 P.O.Box 377, St.3, Plot 29 Germany P.O.Box 970



Government Offices


Belgium 489229 P.O.Box 969,St.33,House 15

1 Sudanese Dinar(SD)=100 piastres=1,000

Business Hours

(2007 estimate) 35.5 million


Coaches/taxis, Duty-free shops,airport tax on



Oman P.O.Box 2839


Pakistan P.O.Box 1178


Qatar P.O.Box 223

Sweden (Consulate)P.O.Box 2206 71913 451053

Switzerland P.O.Box 1707




Syria P.O.Box 1139




Tunisia P.O.Box 3533



Turkey St.2, House 31




UAE P.O.Box 1225



UK P.O.Box 801



USA P.O.Box 699



Yemen P.O.Box 1010


Yugoslavia P.O.Box 1180


471012 451605

Romania 440386


P.O.Box 1494


Russia P.O.Box 1161


Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 258



Spain P.O.Box 2621










185,180 sq.Km

Population (2007 estimate)10.276 million

Capital Damascus

Main Cities Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Hama


Summer : 30 to 42 C, in Damascus, occasionally humid. Winter : 0 to 20 C in Damascus, occasional snowfalls

Languages Arabic (official), French (widely understood in business and government) English (Sometimes used in Business)

Oman, PLO Gvt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia,



Sudan, Tinisia, United Arab Emirates And Yemen.

Latakia (principal), Tartous, Banias (oil).

Appilications should be accompanied by

Business Hours

supporting letter from employers.Transit


(for Visits up to 3 days), entry (for visits up to 2

08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

weeks)and visit(for re-entry from neighbouring

Ramadan :08.00 to 13.oo

countries) visas are available.


Customs Regulations

Winter :09.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 19.00

200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250 grams of

Sat to Thu,

tobacco and 1 bottle of wine and one bottle

Summer (May to October) :08.30 to 13.30 and

of spirits.

17.00 to 20.00 Sat to Thu.

Currency regulations


Up to £Syr 100 in local currency may be

08.00 to 14.00 Sat to Thu.

brought into or out of the country.Currency


declarations are necessary for more than

220 volts

US$5000 in local or foreign curency.Visitors

50 cycles AC in Damascus.

are advised to keep adequate amounts of Bank

115/220 volts in Aleppo

notes on hand since it is sometimes difficult to



Damascus (32 Km from citycentre). Coaches/taxis, duty-free shop, airport tax on

cash travelers checques

Visas are required by all except nationals of


Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan,

1Syrian pound (£Syr)=100 piaster or qirsh.

Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco,

Algeria Rawdah Street, Nass Bldg

Germany P.O.Box 2237

Argentina P.O.Box 116

Greece P.O.Box 30319, Mezzeh 2233009


Armenia 3732992 Malekie-Ibrahim Hanano St.

332732 3711757




Kuwait Ibrahim Hanano Street


Netherland P.O.Box 702




Pakistan P.O.Box 9284, Al Farabi St. 6662391

Sweden P.O.Box 4266





Poland P.O.Box 501, M.Ben Baraka St.


Switzerland Al-Mahdi Ben Baraka St. 3715474




Hungary 3337966 P.O.Box 2271, 102 al Fursani St.

Belgium 76 Ata Ayoubi Street



India P.O.Box 685



Qatar P.O.Box 4188


Romania 8 Ibrahim Hanano St.



Russia Omar Ben Khattab St


Brazil P.O.Box 2219

Indonesia 17 Assalam St., Bldg 10 6119630

Canada P.O.Box 3384


Iran P.O.Box 2691



Saudi Arabia Al-Jala’ Avenue



Slovakia P.O.Box 33115

Cyprus P.O.Box 9269



Italy 82 Al Mansour Ave

Denmark P.O.Box 2244



Japan Al Mindi Bin Baraka St.

France 3327992 P.O.Box 769, Ata Al Ayoubi St.


Holy See 3337966 P.O.Box 2271, 82 Masr Street

Austria P.O.Box 5634


Sudan Al-Jala’ Street


Jordan Abu Roummaneh Street 3334642

Spain 81 Al-Jala’ Avenue





Tunisia P.O.Box 4114


Turkey P.O.Box 3738



UAE 62 Rawda Street/Abu Rummana St.


UK P.O.Box 37, Malki



USA 3332184 P.O.Box 29, No.2 Al Mansour St.


October I Travel Arabia I 93



164,418 sq.Km

Population (2007 estimate) 10.276 million

Capital Tunis

Main Cities Tunis, Sfax, Ariana, Bizerte, Djerba, Sousse

Temperature/Climate Winter:13∞ with frequent rain. Summer: 35∞C,hot and dry


Arabic (official), French (commercial), Berber (in rural areas).


Tunis (8 Km from Tunis) Skanes (8 Km west of Monasrtir) Melita (6 Km west of Djerba) Tozeur (south oasis area) Tunis (main port), Zarzis, Sfax,



Finland 721700 61 H.Bourghiba Ave., Carthage

Argentina 10 H.Hassan Street



France Independence square




Germany 786455 1 al Hamra st., Mutuelleville


Bahrain 231811 72 Bin Abi Soufiane, Menzah


Greece 9 Imp.Atlas, Belvedere

Belgium 781655 47 1st January St. Belvedere


Hungary 12 Achtart St., Al-Menzah 780544

Brazil 37 Africa Avenue, Menzah 232538



Czech Republic P.O.Box 53, 1002 Tunis



Italy 37 Jamal Abdel Nassr St. 321811

Denmark 792600 5 Mauritania Street, Belevedere


Japan 9 Apollo St. Mahrajenne 791251

Egypt 792233 Ave.Med V, Mont Plaisir, Belvedere


Jordan 780875 10 Chankatti st., Mahrajene

Kuwait 32 Mansoura St., Ariana 754811

791923 767669

Currency regulations

The import or export of Tunisian currency is prohibited.O departure all Tunisian currency must be converted into foreign currency on production of exchange slips from Tunisian banks. This can be done at the Airport .The amount of excess currency exchanged back must not exceed 30 per cent of foreign currency originally exchanged or 100 dinars, whichever is the greater.


1 Tunisian Dinar(TD)=1,000 millimes(m) Sudan 30 Afrique Avenue Sweden Berges Lac, Mhiri



Switzerland 783997 10 Echenkiti st., Mutuelleville



795338 785557

Syria 119 A. Rebai St., Manar II 888018



Netherlands 799442 6/7/8/ Mercen St.Mahrajene Pakistan 234366 7 Ali Bin Abi Talib Street, Al-Menzah


Turkey 30 Ave. Africa



UAE 9 Ashtart St., Belvedere




Iran 791015 10 Doctor Burnett St., Mutuelleville

Korea Rep 893060 16 Caracalla St., Notre Dame

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400g tobacco and 1 litre of alcohol are admitted free of duty.

Morocco 782775 39 Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere



Domestic 220V and 110V. Industrial 220V 50 cycles AC

Customs Regulations


Iraq 890347 10 Ben Ashour Ave. Menzah

China 792107 22 Dr. Burnett St., Mutuelleville


Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Giunea, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Ivory coast, Japan, Korea(South), Kuwait, Liberia, Leichtenstein, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritus, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Nevis, Niger, Norway, Pitcairn Is., Porugal, Romania, St.Helens, St.Kittis, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turks,& Caicos Is., UAE, UK, USA, Venuatu, Virgin Is,(Britsih) and Yugoslavia.

Libya 781913 48 Bis., Rue du 1er Jiun, Belvedere



94 I Travel Arabia I October


India 787819 4 Didon Square, Notre Dame

Canada 796577 3 Senegal Street, Belevedere

Government Offices Winter :08.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.45 Thu.08.30 to 13.00 Fri.and Sat. Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Sat. Businesses Winter:08.300 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.00 Mon to Fri. Summer:07.30 to 13.00 Mon to Sat. Banks Winter:08.00 to 11.00 and 14.00 to 16.00 Mon to Fri. Summer:07.00 to 13.00 Mon. to Sat.

Visas are required by all except nationals of Angiulla, Antigua, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Is, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Eire, Falkand Is, Fuji, Finland, France, Germany,

Algeria 18 Niger Street

Austria 16 Ibn Hamdis St., Menzah 751091

Business Hours




Sousse, Bizerta

Portugal 2 Sufetula St., Belvedere 893981 Romania 766926 18 Africa Avenue, Al- Menzah

791008 767695


Russia Bergamate St., ManarII




Saudi Arabia 781722 16 Jugurtha Ave., Belvedere


Spain 782217 22 Conseil Avenue, Cite jardin



UK 141 Liberty Ave., Belvedere 792644


USA 144 Liberty Avenue, Belvedere 789719


Yemen 9 A.Ibn Abi Taleb St., Menzah





90,559 sq.Kms (including Offshore islands)


(2007 est.)4.4 m

Capital Abu Dhabi

Main Cities Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,Ras Al-Khaimah Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Qaiwan


Km form city centre), duty-free shop Al Ain International,Duty-free shop Dubai International (4 Km east of city), duty-free shop Fujairah Int’l, Duty-free shop Ras Al Khaimah International (20 Km south of Town), duty-free shop Sharjah International (10 Km southeast of Sharjah town and 25 Km north of Dubai Town), duty-free shop



Jebel Dhanna/Ruwais Abu Dhabi Mina Zayed ( Abu Dhabi town, 20% UAE tonnage) Mina Jebel Ali (Dubai) Port Rashid(Dubai Town), 50% UAE tonnage Ajman, Fujeirah Mina Saqr (Ras Al Khaima) Khorfakan (Sharjah/ East coast), container terminal. Mina Khalid (Sharjah Town), 20% UAE tonnage

Abu Dhabi International (19 Km southeast of City), duty-free shop Abu Dhabi New International Airport (Nadia, 35

Government Offices 08.00 to 15.00 Sat. To Wed. And 08.00 to

Summer:35to 40C peaks up to 48C along Gulf Coast,very humid in Dubai, more temperate along eastern(Gulf of Oman)coast. Winter : 20C, very dry in Abu Dhabi, Wet in Ras El Khaimah


Arabic (official), English ( widely spoken in Business and government)

Algeria 4448949 P.O.Box 3070, Abu Dhabi Argentina 4436838 P.O.Box 3325, Abu Dhabi Australia 3217444 P.O.Box 58010, Dubai Austria 4766611 P.O.Box 35539, Abu Dhabi Bahrain 6657500 P.O.Box 3367, Abu Dhabi Bangladesh 4465100 P.O.Box 2504, Abu Dhabi Belgium 6319449 P.O.Box 3686, Abu Dhabi Brazil 6320606 P.O.Box 3027, Abu Dhabi Britain 6101100 P.O.Box 248, Abu Dhabi Canada 6940300 P.O.Box 6970, Abu Dhabi China 4434276 P.O.Box 2741, Abu Dhabi Czech Republic 6782800 P.O.Box 27009, Abu Dhabi Egypt 4445566 P.O.Box 4026, Abu Dhabi

4447068 4431392 3212677 6715551 6674141 4464733 6319353 6327727 6101518 6946399 4436835 6795716 4449878

Business Hours

Finland 6328927 P.O.Box 3634, Abu Dhabi France 4435100 P.O.Box 4014, Abu Dhabi Germany 6446693 P.O.Box 2591, Abu Dhabi Greece 4492550 P.O.Box 5483, Abu Dhabi Hungary 4470100 P.O.Box 44450, Abu Dhabi India 4492700 P.O.Box 409, Abu Dhabi Iran 4447618 P.O.Box 4080 Italy 4435622 P.O.Box 46752, Abu Dhabi Japan 4435696 P.O.Box 2430, Abu Dhabi Jordan 4447100 P.O.Box 4024, Abu Dhabi Kenya 6666300 P.O.Box 3854, Abu Dhabi Korea Rep 4435337 P.O.Box 3270, Abu Dhabi Kuwait 4477146 P.O.Box 926, Abu Dhabi

12.00 Thu. Businesses 08.00 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 20.00 Thu


Abu Dhabi 220/240 volts, 50 cycles AC, Northern Emirates 220/380 volts, 50 cycles AC.


Visas are required by all except GCC nationals. UK Citizens will be granted 30-day visa at International Aiports.Other Will be required to obtain visas through sponsorship.

Customs Regulations

200 cigarettes or one half pound of Tobacco(Abu Dhabi), 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 500 gm tobacco(Dubai) are allowed duty-free. However locally retailed tobacco products are as cheap as duty-free goods. Alcohol, drugs, pearls and firearms are prohibited

Currency regulations None



1 UAE Dirham(Dh)=100 fils 6325063 4434158 6444942 4493119 6667877 4444685 4448714 4434337 4434219 4449157 6652827 4435348 4477675

Lebanon P.O.Box 4023, Abu Dhabi Libya P.O.Box 5739, Abu Dhabi Malaysia P.O.Box 3887, Abu Dhabi Mauritania P.O.Box 2714, Abu Dhabi Morocco P.O.Box 4066 Netherlands P.O.Box 46560 Norway P.O.Box 47270 Oman P.O.Box 2517 Pakistan P.O.Box 846 Palestine P.O.Box 841 Philippines P.O.Box 3215 Qatar P.O.Box 3503 Romania P.O.Box 70416



























Russia P.O.Box 8211 Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 4057 Spain P.O.Box 46474 Sudan P.O.Box4027 Switzerland P.O.Box 46116 Syria P.O.Box 4011 Thai P.O.Box 47466 Tunisia P.O.Box 4166 Turkey P.O.Box 3204 UK P.O.Box 248 USA P.O.Box 4009 Yemen P.O.Box 2095

























October I Travel Arabia I 95






Al-Rahaba(10 Km north of Sanaa).

(2007 estimate)22.211 million




(6 Km Southeast of city)

Visas are required for all visitors.One application

Sanaa(political), Aden(economic)


form and 2 photographs must be presented with

Main Cities

(4 Km northeast of Taiz)

employer’s supporting letter.

Sanaa, Aden, Hoddeida, Taiz, Ibb, Dhamar, Hajjah

Khormasakar International

Processing of applications takes 3 to 6 days.


(10 Km from Aden).

Visitors must register within 5 days to obtain an

Summer:35 to 40 C,peaks up to 47 C in

No duty-free shop.Sanaa

exit visa which can sometimes also be arranged

Hodeida,Very humid, rainfall cooler and drier


by hotels.

in Sanaa.

Hodeida(principal), Aden, Mokha, Saleef(relief

Customs regulations

Winter: 26 C in Hodeidah,Humid, much cooler ,

port for Hodeida)

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or _ lb tobacco and

with occasional frosts,in Sanaa.

Business Hours

1 qt wine are admitted duty-free.

Summer:average 35 C in Aden, very


Currency regulations

humid,hotter but wideDiurnal range and drier

08.00 to 13.00 Thu.

Because the exchange of riyals is difficult abroad,



visitors exchange all local currency before

Winter: average 28 C in Aden, humid, much

08.00 to 13.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Sat.


cooler inland.

to Thu.



1 Yemeni Riyal(YR)=100 fils



Lebanon P.O.Box 2283


Syria P.O.Box 494, Hadda Road 413153

Morocco 247964 P.O.Box 10236,Westy Safia

Tunisia 240458 P.O.Box 2561,Diplomatic Area

Oman P.O.Box 105


Turkey P.O.Box 18371, Al Safia 241395

Pakistan P.O.Box 2848


UAE P.O.Box2250


Poland P.O.Box 16168



UK P.O.Box 1287



Romania P.O.Box 2169



USA P.O.Box 22347



Russia 278719 P.O.Box 1087,26 sep.street



Indonesia Hadda Area, house 16



Canada P.O.Box 340



Iran 412690 P.O.Box 1437, Hadda Street


Czech Republic 247946 P.O.Box 2501, Safia Janubia Denmark P.OBox 5302,Taiz




Iraq P.O.Box 498


Italy P.O.Box 1152



Japan 207356 P.O.Box 817, street 38 house2



Jordan P.O.Box 2152

France P.O.Box 1286, Al Bounia 268888


Korea(PDR) P.O.Box 1209, Al Hasaba 232340

Saudi Arabia P.O.Box 1184


Germany P.O.Box 41


Kuwait P.O.Box 17036

Sudan P.O.Box 2561


Egypt Jamal Abdul Naser St.



96 I Travel Arabia I September

220 volts, 50 cycles AC

India 12 Jiboti Street




527.970 sq.Km

Belgium P.O.Box 2616

China Al Zubeiri St

11.30 Thu.

Arabic (official), English (commercial)

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Algeria 209689 P.O.Box 509, 67 Amman ST.

08.00 to 12.00 Wed. and 08.00 to






Profile for Kalimat Group International

Travel Arabia Oct 08  

Travel Arabia October 2008 issue by Kalimat Group International, Designed by Altaf Hussein df

Travel Arabia Oct 08  

Travel Arabia October 2008 issue by Kalimat Group International, Designed by Altaf Hussein df