Posts for United Arab Emirates

The Best Vacation Destinations for 2024: Where to Go for an Unforgettable Experience

Travel Blog, Travel Tips, Word Travel - Ross French - September 15, 2023

2024 is approaching, and it’s time to start planning your dream vacation. If you’re wondering where to go to create lifetime memories, this list has got you covered. From tropical paradises to iconic cities, these destinations offer a variety of experiences that cater to all sorts of travel preferences. Here are the best vacation destinations for 2024 that you should consider for your next getaway. Continue Reading

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Thought Dubai had it all? Well, you were right

Travel Tips - Ross French - February 14, 2011


dubaiBy: Jack Jones

Dubai: The new materialistic capital of the world?

Few would disagree that the Middle-Eastern metropolis of Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is preposterously wealthy. Skyscrapers shoot up like trees on steroids, man-made islands are created with the casualness of a child building sandcastles and the world’s only seven-star hotel sits smugly on the waterfront. (A quick note on that last one: this fundamentally illogical rating would be scorned if it was to crop up anywhere else in the world, but such is the nature of Dubai, people just shrug their shoulders and accept it. Nothing is more indicative of the city’s general psyche and rampantly affluent lifestyle.)
So make no mistake: Dubai has well and truly established itself as the new materialistic capital of the world.
With all this glitzy opulence in mind, you could be forgiven for forgetting (or even knowing in the first place) that Dubai sits on the edge of a vast desert of nothingness – the Arabian Desert to be exact. But far from being terra incognita, various companies have snatched the opportunity to capitalise on this incredible landscape by organising different ways for people to explore it. For those who find themselves getting a little overwhelmed by all the hedonism, this back-to-nature excursion can provide some much-needed relief.
By far the most memorable way to see the desert is by hot air balloon. There are various companies that can cater for this, but the best is Balloon Adventures Emirates, which boasts the reassuring reputation of ‘World’s most experienced balloon company’. They organise free transfers to and from the city (an hour’s drive each way) and get you up in the air for sunrise – so an early start but, trust me, definitely worth it. The views out over the desert are simply staggering – from the high vantage point the pockmarked, rippled dunes look almost like a moonscape, but one that changes colour as the sun creeps over the horizon. Far away to the east the Hajj Mountains rise from the desert, and to the west, the futuristic skyline of the city.
The flight lasts approximately one hour, after which you’ll land near the village of Bedouin where you can meet the locals and have a go at desert driving in their 4×4 vehicles.
As you’ll be leaving before sunrise you’ll need warm clothing as the desert can get very cold at night, but the glorious Dubai weather practically guarantees blue skies and warm temperatures in the day. The whole experience lasts about five hours and happens daily from September to May.

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Travel News: Margyle on Foreign Relations

Travel Tips - Ross French - November 12, 2010


travel_newsBy: Margyle

I know it seems like every time I write it has something to do with Canada and I’m sure our readers probably get tired of hearing about it, but it should stop doing so many stupid things. I love my country but that doesn’t mean I can’t yell at it from time to time.

Take recent international boners for example. Over the course of a few weeks, Canada has managed to piss off the United Arab Emirates over letting some of their planes land in Canada more often. Whether in direct retaliation or ‘unrelated’, the UAE then nixed the free Canadian base used by the military for the Afghanistan war and now required Canadians to get a visa before traveling here. Be it a wee smidge of an overreaction on the part of the UAE or a justifiable response, I won’t engage in the finger pointing game.
Some experts near to the issue say ‘who cares… UAE is fading fast and it will hurt them by losing Canada as a friend and economic partner’ but this completely misses the point.

The bigger issue comes down to how a country and its people are perceived on the world stage. When your government makes some decision that affects trade or travel conditions for its citizens, you have to be aware that other countries might automatically assume certain things about you. Some people hold the attitude that you shouldn’t care what others think and do what makes you happiest but those people tend to be jerks oblivious to social propriety. With that segue in place, look at the way Americans are popularly perceived – pretty craptastically, which is often unfair and incorrect. You can say this is because of actual interaction with people, but a lot has to do with what their government has done.

It doesn’t mean every tiff with a country will lead to closed borders and prejudice, but it does mean you should keep yourself informed of what is going on in the world. As I write this, Canada is also mulling closing some of its embassies in Africa… a scary thought considering if something goes wrong, where are you to turn for assistance – not to mention a symbol of friendly relations between countries. You can’t control the jackassery of your government or the hissy fits of other countries, but you can be aware of what could await you before you get on a plane – because it can happen overnight.

In regards to it being harder to get into the UAE for Canadians, I personally don’t care. There are tons of other places higher on my list to visit. Besides, the initial snub by Canada was probably in response to the CN Tower being dethroned by Burj Khalifa. It’s all we have!

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