Middle East

5 Authentic Places to try Local Food in Dubai

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food in dubai

Food in Dubai has an enormous variety. With a majority population of expats, the diversity is endless. You can find just about every kind of cuisine from around the world; Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Japanese, European, Continental, Italian, Arabic, and French to name a few. But if you’re visiting Dubai, make sure you experience local Emirati cuisine.

Emirati dishes are an amalgamation and representation of the mixed culture of Dubai. The best dishes stem from the Arabic origin, loved by the people of Dubai since ages, and is a beloved favourite of local Dubai residents. With an array of sumptuous options available for all budgets, starting from delicious street food, the best in fine dining options and the famous Dhow cruise dinner, Dubai is known for its culinary excellence. Here are a few of the best known Dubai eateries to satiate your Emirati appetite:

Belad Al Sham for Shawarma
Located at: Next to EPPCO, Near Union Co-Operative Society, Qusais

A place that serves the most beloved dish of the emirate- Shawarma cooked in its most original style, Belad Al Sham serves many other dishes but owes its popularity to Shawarma the most.The best way to spot the restaurant is by the huge crowd waiting in queue for their Shawarma. Shawarma is the most eaten food of Dubai and is the best option when you want to have a fulfilling lamb or chicken meal wrapped with colorful veggies and sauce, on the go. Cost for 2: AED 80

Zaroob for Manakish
Located at: Shop no.1, Jumeirah Tower Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre Area

A cozy place with amazing interiors that sets your mood for the evening and prepares your appetite for a feast. The service is attentive and waiters well informed. Zaroob offers a variety of delicious items to satiate your appetite but the place stands out for its lip- smacking Manakish. Other than that you can always try Lebanese specialties which are equally inviting. But remember to book in advance otherwise you might have to wait, as the restaurant gets quite busy, especially during weekends. And for you nightowls, this restaurant is open 24hours. Cost for 2: AED 110

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding – Cultural Meals
Located at: Al Mussallah Road | House 26, Al Fahidi District

food in dubai

One of the best places to understand the culture of Dubai through its food is the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. This space not only provides a deeper understanding about the history of Dubai and its people but also treats you with a variety of delicious dishes that hold great importance in the culture of Dubai. Opt for the Lunch and talk tour of the place. From Gahuwa Arabia (Arabic Coffee), Balateet, Chabab, Khamir, Machoos to the tasty Ligamat, Saloona and Mhammar, the place is ideal to taste the authentic Arabic cooking in a cultural environment.

Cost:
Breakfast- every Monday & Wednesday at 10:00am AED 80 per person.
Lunch- every Sunday through Thursday at 1:00pm AED 90 per person.
Cultural Dinner- every Sunday, Tuesday, & Thursday evening at 7:00pm AED 100 per person.
Cultural Brunch- every Saturday at 10:30am AED 100 per person.

Logma- Kanafeh or Kunafa
Located at: BOXPARK, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa

Logma packs a powerful punch of great ambience, reasonable pricing and friendly staff with one of the best kunafas in the city. A great place to enjoy traditional Emirati cuisine in a contemporary setup, Logma is well known for friends and families coming for heavy full course meals that simply has to end with Kunafa. You may also want try the Emirati breakfast. Cost for 2: AED 150

Seven Sands for Harees
Located at: The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

food in dubai

Don’t be intimidated by the upscale decor, Seven Sands may look like a glitzy fine dining experience, but is reasonably priced for the excellent level of service, variety of cuisine and quality it provides. The ambience and spacious terrace sets the mood perfectly for the upcoming feast. An extremely attentive service staff not only ensure you fall in love with food in Dubai, but that you also enjoy warm hospitality. Seven Sands is renown for its Mutton Harees. Enjoy a lip-smacking meal with Harees while soaking up stunning sea views. If you are a Harees fan, then Seven Sands is clearly one of the best places to eat in Dubai. Cost for 2: AED 235

food in dubai

Kunafa – Yum!

For some, it’s the promise of opulent shopping excursions, innovative attractions and a luxurious break from the humdrum of every day life that brings them to Dubai. For those seeking cultural meaning and authenticity, it’s the food in Dubai that gives them draws them in. From pocket friendly street food to the finest of dining experiences in the world, the food scene in Dubai is rivals that of any global city. 

Guest Post provided by Neha Singh of Dubai Wikia, a portal providing the latest information on family entertainment, accommodation, attractions, shopping & events in Dubai.

Tour Companies

5 Reasons to Book a Topdeck Tour

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topdeck tour

Every travel consultant worth their salt has a favourite tour company to share with their clients. I have a few favourites, depending on the demographic, but for anyone between 18 into their mid thirties, as a Canadian travel consultant, my top choice is Topdeck. With more than 40 years of awesome tour experience under their belt, Topdeck has more than earned their stripes on the organized tour landscape. And after personally travelling with them on three separate occasions in Africa, North America and Europe, I have 5 great reasons to get you on a Topdeck tour:

1) TONS of free time!

The number one obstacle I have to overcome when trying to convince a client to consider a tour is the lack of free time. If you’ve booked yourself on a tour around Europe, you want the time to enjoy it, and if you’re adventurous like most of us under 30, we like to go off on our own to explore. On a Topdeck tour, there is always ample time to leave the group and wander off. On a three day pit stop in Swakopmund (Namibia) on my South West Safari tour, I had breakfast with my new friends, and spent the afternoons quad-biking in the dunes, hanging out with the locals in cafes discussing African life, and lazing around to write in my travel diary. No pressure. On my own time.

topdeck tour

2) All the Inclusions

Most of us don’t leave home without a strict travel budget to adhere to and there’s nothing worse than being nickeled and dimed to death in destination, after you’ve just dropped your hard earned savings on a vacation. All trips include tips, which means no more glares from disgruntled tour conductors when you don’t drop cash into the tip bucket. Also, Topdeck includes more attraction admissions, meals and unique bucketlist experiences than any other tour company in the 18-30-something demographic!

3) Local Knowledge

Travellers want more out of their travel experiences, and if immersion is what you look for in a holiday, Topdeck gives you an opportunity to experience a destination on a local level. In Africa, the local guides were so fantastic, I still correspond with them all these years later, often probing them for travel tips for my clients heading their way. If you love history, architecture, food, culture, language or random, awesome facts to share at your next party, Topdeck guides are better than a history book!

4) Amazing Friendships

It sounds so cliche, but this is probably the main reason I keep booking my clients with Topdeck over and over again. After a Winter Express Tour years ago, new friendships afforded me the opportunity to travel to two international weddings, backpack around Cuba with two incredible gals and host a huge Topdeck reunion in my hometown!  If you love meeting like-minded, ambitious and adventurous travellers,  without the pressure of partying your face off, Topdeck has that in spades.

5) The Price is Right

There is of course, an age old debate that tours cost less than solo travel, and I don’t know that I necessarily believe that’s always the case. However, when I factor all the tangibles (meals, accommodation, transportation etc) and include all the intangibles (convenience, skipping the line at busy attractions, guaranteed departures and quality of the itineraries), the value of a Topdeck tour is unbeatable.

So how do I book a Topdeck Tour?

Why not book with a specialist? I’ve been selling Topdeck tours for over 10 years, and I have experienced the Topdeck product first hand. Topdeck has fantastic itineraries in Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia & New Zealand.

So, if you’re between 18-39 and you’ve been toying with the idea of an organized tour, or you know someone else who’s in the same boat, send me all your questions, and let’s find out if Topdeck is for you!

Europe Scandinavia

A Scenic Paradise: The Ideal Scandinavian Itinerary

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Norway, Sweden and Denmark – the three countries that make up Scandinavia give you NATURE at its very best! A tapestry of lakes, mountains, hills and endless forests, nature’s beauty is unfathomable here. Winter is merciless, transforming the landscape into a barren island filled with ice caves and frozen waterfalls, bleak and grey while the brief summer punctuates into a celebration of light! Cities throughout Scandinavia offer you a cornucopia of arts, culture and heritage, blending history and tradition seamlessly with today’s modern technology. With its mesmerising landscape, beautiful architecture, vibrant cities and quaint villages, a trip to any of the Scandinavian countries will surely leave you wanting more.

Norway

Geiranger Ffiord, Norway, Northern Europe by Les Haines

Norway is both Scandinavia’s most beautiful and expensive country. Best known for its breathtakingly majestic fjords, Norway is as thrilling as any landscape you might ever see. With excellent connectivity and efficient services, Norway’s magical landscape can be best experienced with a combination of rail, road and ship journeys. Whether you choose to visit the Northern, Western, Eastern or Central regions they each unfold into stunning vistas of beautiful landscape that sure to leave you completely awestruck. But natural beauty is not all that Norway has to offer. It has a large number of museums, national galleries, and historical monuments to get you acquainted with the country’s rich history, distinct traditions, and diverse culture. From the vibrant capital city to the picturesque quaint villages of Odda and Reine, Norway’s cities, villages and achingly pretty landscapes make Norway Scandinavia’s most sought after travel destinations.

Sweden

Old city in Stockholm, Sweden Northern Europe by clorichs

The largest of the Scandinavian countries but with a sparse population Sweden is known for its clean cities and pristine, almost untouched wilderness. A country of islands, lakes, forests, and mountains Sweden’s landscape is a getaway from life’s drudgery moments. Nature is only a part of Sweden’s appeal; history and culture walk hand in hand here, added to it the liberal and friendly attitude of the Swedes! From Stockholm to Gothenburg to Malmo enjoy the best a city has to offer – first class cultural opportunities, urban sophistication, fashion, history, design, food, and drinks. Sail the Stockholm archipelago, visit the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärv, explore the Marine National Park in Kosterhavet or spot the royalty and celebrities in Marstrand or just walk by the pristine beauty of Skåne and Visby, Sweden’s cities and towns have a lot to offer. Make sure you don’t miss a chance to add Sweden to your Scandinavia travel planner!

Denmark

Frederiksberg, Denmark, Northern Europe by Kristoffer Trolle

Be it the pristine beaches, white cliffs, fjords or forests; churches, castles, parks or seaside villages, Denmark presents a myriad of sightseeing options for all kinds of travellers. Don’t miss Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark with everything capital city requires and more – culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and great street life. Equally worth an entry in your Scandinavia itinerary planner are the Danish Riviera, North Jutland Coast and Funen, renowned for its fabulous beaches, quaint seaside villages, lighthouses, castles and beautiful gardens. Being declared as the happiest country in the world, you know Denmark will not disappoint!

This is a Guest Post Provided by Inspirock – Inspirock helps you make the most of every vacation. Whether you want to relax and unwind or see a week’s worth of top attractions in a weekend getaway, our FREE trip planner helps you plan the trip of a lifetime. Any time you want to plan a trip, our itinerary planner is your ticket to a great getaway.**

 

 

Minnesota

7 Amazing Benefits of Attending TBEX

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benefits of attending tbex

So what are the benefits of attending TBEX? You’ve probably already read my post on why I think all travel bloggers should attend TBEX, but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty; What do you get out of it? So glad you asked! There are plenty of bloggers out there bashing TBEX for whatever reason, and it’s all good, each to their own. And I get it, you work damn hard at this! If you’re going to spend 3-4 days out of your insanely busy schedule, precious time away from writing, researching, and marketing, it better be worth it right? I’ll share the benefits I gleaned from this conference and leave the rest up to you!

Benefit #1 – Connecting with other travel bloggers

Travel bloggers aren’t like other bloggers. We’re quirky, the world is literally (see what I did there) our muse. For some of us, our passports are well worn, chock full of multi-colored inks, in various languages, a token of freedom and privilege. For all of us, we see the open road as a blank page, a story in the making, a bouquet of memories in waiting. The truth is, whether we’re on the road or at home, we spend a great deal of time hunched over a glowing screen, alone. We’re all trying to articulate our insatiable love of travel, just so we can share our story with faceless strangers on the internet. For me, being able to meet other members of the travel blogging “tribe” made me feel less alone, gave me new purpose and inspired me to keep going (and get better!)

Benefit #2 – Learning About New Trends

There are definitely constants in the travel blogging business. Writing interesting, informative and relevant content will always be essential. However, with of apps, plug-ins, social media outlets and everything else changing at neck-breaking speeds, it’s tough to keep up. More importantly, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. One of the benefits of TBEX is learning about new trends by talking with other bloggers, and attending information sessions. For example, I rarely use Pinterest. I had no idea that Pinterest has over 100 million users, 85% of which are women! Most of my new friends consider it to be a vital part of their content marketing strategy, so I dragged my butt back on Pinterest to start cultivating a community and it’s working! 

Benefit #3 – Exposure to Travel Brands & Tourism Boards

Chasing down your favourite travel brand or tourism board over email, over the phone or social media takes time. Especially when you want to approach several. Now what if you had them all in one room, with a time limit of 8 minutes per pitch. You could cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time right? A great benefit of attending TBEX is attending the Speed-networking sessions. These mini interviews give you and travel brands the opportunity to see if you’re the right fit for each other.

benefits of attending tbex

Benefit # 4 – Learning from the Best in the Biz

TBEX recruits the best in the travel blogging business to conduct professional development sessions. From blogging juggernauts like Chris Christensen, to award-winning photographers like Gary Ardnt, the talent pool at TBEX is dizzying. Professional development sessions cover everything from how to monetize your blog using print-on-demand, to how to penetrate the Chinese travel market, to how to successfully build a community around your brand. The topics will vary from conference to conference, but there’s always great content. Because I couldn’t be two or three places at once (I WISH), I coordinated with other bloggers who were attending sessions. At the end, we all swapped notes so no one missed out.

Benefit #5 – Parties & Free Swag

Who doesn’t love free stuff? TBEX offers up a smorgasbord of free stuff including swag, tours, parties, lunches, trips and more. There was a party every night in Minneapolis. Our opening party was held inside the Mall of America where Nickelodeon Universe was booked for our exclusive use. On the the second night, we hopped tram downtown to the legendary First Ave to get our dance on to all the Prince classics. And on the final night, the city of Saint Paul closed down Harriet Regional Park, brought in the cities finest food trucks and treated us all to a ride down the Mississippi on vintage paddlewheeler.

Benefit #6 – Experience a New Destination

I’ve driven through Minnesota plenty of times, but as a west coast Canadian, I’d never considered it a destination. I know, I know, shame on me. Don’t worry, I’m a full-fledged convert! I fell in love with this part of the world. One of the great benefits of attending TBEX is the phenomenal selection of free walking excursions, bus tours, and tasting tours. It gave me the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Minneapolis/Saint Paul. 

Benefit # 7 – Brushing Shoulders with Celebs

TBEX has a history of attracting great keynote speakers, and this year I was fortunate enough to glean some much needed wisdom from Walt Disney World guru Lou Mongello. I live tweeted the entire event, and learned that he and I have shared many of the same struggles. On the final eve, Andrew Zimmern’s unscripted honesty and hilarity left us all feeling a little star-struck.

benefits of attending tbex

Now that I’ve finished shouting from my soapbox, it’s time to bring it all home. TBEX may not be for everyone, but like anything, there is the potential to extract as much as you invest into it. If you come with an open mind, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re in with your travel blogging business – TBEX offers up infinite possibilities to take your travel blog to the next level.

Sharing is highest form of flattery (and it means I’m doing my job!) If you liked this article, feel free to share it or comment below!

For more information on TBEX: http://tbexcon.com/2016-north-america/