With wonderful amenities and opportunities, Dubai is definitely the perfect place for students who wish to fulfill their ambition. However life as a student in Dubai can be hectic, as is the case with every student around the world. This is why they need some ways to unwind and relax.
If you are a student living in Dubai, whether you are an expat or a resident, these are the places you will enjoy.
Even though there are several bowling alleys in Dubai, Yalla! Bowling stands out because of its state-of-the-art setup. It offers twelve bowling lanes along with video game arcades and pool tables – a perfect place for students.
Bread Street Kitchen
Most students are on a fixed budget and stretching their dirhams to enjoy a good meal is often difficult. This is why Bread Street Kitchen is the perfect place for them. This restaurant offers affordable brunches and the atmosphere here is relaxing and enjoyable. They specialise in British cuisine and their menu serves a delectable choice of roasts and cold cuts.
If you have a sweet tooth that loves all things sugary, then this is your kind of place. Hummingbird Bakery offers scrumptious baked treats and every outlet is a perfect place for students to wind down and relax. Students can also be seen working on their assignments here while indulging in mouthwatering American treats.
The Archive Dubai
The Archive is a community space that focuses on art and Middle Eastern/North African culture in Dubai. It’s a calm and peaceful place, where students can gather to enhance their knowledge of literature and art, engage in workshops, learn yoga, or simply hang out, read a book and enjoy some yummy food and refreshing drinks.
VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates
For movie buffs, VOX Cinemas is a treat! And, the best part, it’s affordable too! This movie complex has 14 screens and students can hang out here on their days off binge watching movies and enjoying delicious snacks.
Are you a bookworm? Does reading books help you unwind, chill and lessen the stress of everyday college life? Then this is where you should go. BookMunch is a community café, where you can curl up with a book and some comfort food.
Students will never have a dull moment while living and studying in Dubai. All you need is a travel card, which is so much better than carrying cash, and you are ready to enjoy Dubai, the student way!
The UAE is home to some of the world’s most inspirational, magnificent and monumental masterpieces. With the rise of the oil industry in 1960, infrastructure development rose at an astonishing pace. So, here are top 5 monuments that are worth a visit.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai:
Standing at 2,717 feet, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world! Housing residential apartments, suites, and hotels, it also has an observation deck which provides a magnificent view of Dubai. You cannot go to Dubai and not visit the Burj Khalifa!
Palm Islands, Dubai:
Palm Islands is another grand project undertaken in Dubai. It is a cluster of three artificial islands - Palm Jumeirah, Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali – and the entire project is shaped like a palm tree. The island juts out into the Persian Gulf and looks marvelous when viewed from an airplane or helicopter flying directly above it. The Palm Islands houses residential and commercial projects. Visitors can enjoy water sports, restaurants, hotels, beaches and shopping.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi:
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a perfect example of an architectural marvel that encompasses both historical and modern values of the Islamic world. Not to mention, it is the largest mosque in the UAE! A visit to this mosque is a must for anyone travelling to Abu Dhabi. The mosque boasts of lavish interiors which are made of intricately carved gold, mosaic tiles, delicate glass work and tons of marble.
Al-Bidyah Mosque, Emirate of Fujairah
The Al-Bidyah mosque is the oldest mosque of the UAE and the most important historical site of Emirate of Fujairah. Even though it’s modest in size, it’s beautiful design and immense historical importance makes it a must-visit place for everyone. The entire surrounding area is an archaeological site, where many pottery and metal artifacts have been excavated.
Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah
The museum of Islamic Civilization is located along the coasts of Sharjah and is a monumental display that houses everything, anyone ever needs to know about the Islamic culture and history.
Artifacts such as manuscripts of the Qur'an, ancient Islamic coins, scientific instruments, handicrafts and fine arts are on display here. The entire museum itself is a monumental wonder – it’s a massive building with a shiny golden dome, which is visible from a great distance. If you are an architectural and historical buff, then a visit to this place should be on your itinerary.
Although you can visit the UAE anytime during the year, the best time is between April and May or from September to October. The weather during these months is pleasant and the hotel/flight rates are not too high. Do not forget to carry your travel card for a hassle-free trip!
Did you know that you need to taste a culture, to really understand it? Yes we mean it quite literally too!
Food is an integral part of any vacation or travel. The aromas and flavours of different cuisines leave an indelible memory in our hearts, to be recalled while reminiscing and recounting our experiences. If you’re adventurous enough, try out authentic street food, the true testimony to the local culture and tradition. It’s best to go equipped with enough foreign exchange, or quickly run up to the nearest ATM and withdraw cash from your pre-loaded travel card which can host upto 6 different currencies.
Get set to travel virtually to our three top street-food destinations in the world.
Bangkok - Bangkok is a street-food lovers’ paradise with a slew of options located in several different parts of the city. A u-shaped lane Soi Rambuttri and Soi 38 near Sukhumvit Road are the popular locations. From breakfast with soy milk and bean curd, to lunch and dinner, Thai street food has something for everyone. When in Bangkok, try chicken in green curry, pad Thai (stir fried noodle dish used with different meats or tofu), green papaya salad, and mango sticky rice. Yaowarat or Chinatown in Bangkok located in Thong Lor Soi 13 turns into a large “food street” at night, attracting locals and tourists from all over the world.
Istanbul – What’s a cross between a bagel and a pretzel in Istanbul called? The simit. Istanbul is peppered with vendors and push cart sellers, on side walks and throughout the city, offering a veritable what’s what in food. From simits to durums (kebabs turned into wraps), kokorec (lamb intestines wrapped around sweetbreads on a skewer) to the gozleme (a Turkish grilled cheese), Istanbul definitely beckons the gourmet and the gourmand alike. And before you go out shopping, withdraw some Turkish Lira from the nearest ATM or carry your travel card with you.
Marrakesh – Snail soup anyone? Snails are ubiquitous in the Jemma el Fna square and the snail broth is supposed to have restorative properties. If you’re the kind who has adventurous taste buds, then descend like the rest of the world’s mortals on the famous medina at Marrakesh and give in to a sensory assault of colours, smells, sounds and of course flavours. Seasoned travellers advice is to avoid cafes and restaurants and eat street-food, and you won’t go wrong. From orange juice to herbal tea, B’stilla (a special kind of pie) to Ma’qooda (deep fried potato balls), Marrakesh definitely is one of the top street-food destinations in the world. Currency used here is Moroccan Dirhams.
Well, now that we’ve got your taste buds salivating, what’s there except to get set, go and eat!
Health is wealth! This adage is true for all eternity.
Expats move out of their home countries to help build wealth for their families. What better way to build wealth than to stay healthy. So before setting out, you need to ensure your new environment helps you maintain good health. So consider factors such as population, pollution, safe drinking water facilities, electricity, healthcare systems, infrastructure, education, etc. before moving into a country.
To help you out, we have chosen a list of countries that rated highly on the above mentioned factors. These rating are based on a study published by The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known general medical journals and UN’s sustainable development goals.
Number one on the list is Iceland. A country of 300,000 people, Icelanders are a tight knit unit. Iceland has long life expectancy, low rates of pollution levels and infant mortality rate. With a publicly funded health system it is considered as a role-model thriving in health and happiness. Icelanders maintain excellent nutrition, and the local produce uses minimal pesticides.
Bloomberg ranked Singapore’s health care system as the most efficient in the world, in 2014. Coupling it with the fact that Singapore is one of the most organised, clean and healthy countries in the world, you have yourself an amazing country to move into. Catastrophic health insurance (for people under 30 and designed to protect insurers during worst-case scenarios) is a must for all residents, although people can opt out too.
Sweden has excellent health care facilities and the life expectancy for Swedish people is 84 years! They maintain a very healthy diet with renowned super-foods like blueberries, oats, and yogurt, being part of their daily intake. These factors have contributed to the eradication of illnesses like heart diseases and cholesterol in Sweden.
The life expectancy for Andorra is a massive 98.7 years. The high altitudes of Andorra create a great environment to live in, and help reduce respiratory and rheumatic problems. Andorra also has some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe.
The lifestyle here is excellent and luxurious and this contributes to the overall well-being of a person and their good health. Since January 2006, all Abu Dhabi residents are covered by a comprehensive health insurance program, and the costs are shared between employers and employees. Also, the country’s Ministry of Health is involved in a multi-million dollar expansion of the city’s healthcare facilities.
These countries are not only the healthiest places to travel, but are convenient to reach as well – make sure you get your travel card loaded up and don’t forget to get your travel insurance as well.
The Emirates is amazing and unique in so many ways. The history, culture, cuisine and ultra-modern lifestyle makes life worth an adventure here. So, if you are into exploring places and cultures similar to the UAE, get ready to visit these places.
With impressive skyscrapers and architecture that can be described only using superlative adjectives, the UAE is an architectural marvel. If you are a connoisseur of such futuristic structural designs, then you will love visiting the following cities:
• New York, Chicago, USA
• Shanghai, Hong Kong, China
• Taipei, Taiwan
• Kuwait City, Kuwait
• Istanbul, Turkey
• Seoul, South Korea
• Tokyo, Japan
• Berlin, Germany
Culture and heritage
The Emiratis take immense pride in their culture and are known to be one of the most hospitable people in the world. Their culture and customs are greatly influenced by Islamic, Persian and Arabian tenets. Even though a large part of the UAE’s population is made up of expats, the Emirati culture is still held strong everywhere. If you love hospitable Arabic culture and food, then you can visit the following countries:
This is one of the biggest reasons why the UAE is the hotspot for expats! The UAE as well as its surrounding GCC countries do not charge any personal income taxes. This means, no burden of income tax payments. If tax-free income is what excites you, then these are the countries for you.
• Cayman Islands
• St. Kitts & Nevis
• Antigua & Barbuda
If you enjoy shopping and have already visited all the malls in the UAE, then you should head to these places for some fabulous experience.
• Seoul, South Korea
• Milan, Roma, Italy
• Paris, France
• Tokyo, Japan
• Los Angeles, New York, USA
• Vienna, Austria
• Amsterdam, Netherlands
• Singapore, Singapore
• Hong Kong, China
• London, England
• Berlin, Germany
• Oslo, Norway
• Stockholm, Sweden
Before leaving the UAE to visit these places, make sure you purchase your travel card and lock in the exchange rates. You can always depend on reputable money transfer services to sort out any Forex issues and ensure your trip is a successful one.
Qatar is known for its spectacular architectural marvels as well as its natural wonders. There is so much beauty here that it is highly recommended that you take a break from your busy life and visit Qatar. Even though the country is primarily a desert, after the rain it turns into a green haven.
Don’t miss out on visiting the unmatched terrains, flora and fauna mentioned below!
Ras Abrouq Rock Formations
These are limestone rock foundations sculpted by the wind and they look like gigantic mushrooms. This is a pretty isolated area, but boasts of spectacular sandy beaches and a wild deer reserve.
Dahl Al Misfir Cave
These caves have become the landmark of the Rawdat Rasid area of Qatar. This fascinating 40 feet deep cave often gives off a phosphorescent glow because of the enormous deposits of gypsum. These gypsum deposits also give rise to a geological phenomenon known as desert roses (clusters of rough rose-shaped gypsum crystals).
Al Thakira Mangroves
In the midst of the impenetrable desert lies the Al Thakira Mangrove – a burst of greenery against the shimmery desert. This large patch of vegetation attracts bird of various species including herons and flamingos. You can also kayak around the mangrove and enjoy the view.
With more than 560 kms of coastline, Qatar is a beach-lover’s paradise. The water around is rich in marine life and boasts of species such as sea turtles, lion fish, dolphins and even whales. Al Ghariya, Maroona, and Fuwairit beaches offer an excellent spot for campers and picnickers.
Khor Al Adaid
The Khor Al Adaid or the Inland Sea is one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders. It is located about 60 kms away from Doha. This UNESCO recognised heritage site is actually a natural reserve with its own ecosystem. It is inaccessible by road and can only be reached by crossing the rolling dunes. This is also one of few places on this earth where the sea makes its way into the desert. It is also a great place to camp.
There is so much natural beauty in Qatar that you need to ensure you experience every one of them. Book your tickets well in advance and don’t forget to load your travel card. However, Qatar also boasts of easy availability of money transfer service providers, so money transfers or forex will never be an issue.
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreens and scarves to protect your head from the heat. Happy Travelling!
Yearning to travel but worried about the expenses? You shouldn’t!
Travel doesn’t have to break your bank. If you are living in the UAE and are on a tight budget, you can still travel to so many wonderful places and quench your wanderlust without busting your savings account. In this article let’s look at five amazing countries you can travel to on a shoestring budget.
Georgia is quickly becoming a favourite tourist destination for the UAE residents. There are several attractive packages that are being offered and flight tickets are usually inexpensive too, if you book them in advance. Georgia is an exceptionally beautiful country nestled amidst rolling mountains and lush greenery and being pretty close to the UAE, it is the perfect destination for a short getaway.
Although Azerbaijan may not be a popular choice for people from around the world, it is quite popular among people travelling from the UAE. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan is easily accessible via budget flights, and this country is a perfect vacation spot – no matter which season you are travelling. During summers, you can enjoy a traditional mud bath or just laze in the beaches by the Caspian Sea and in winter, you can ski here to your heart’s content.
For most parts of the year, flight tickets to Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi are available at amazingly low prices. You can choose to fly down to any of these destinations and from there drive down to so many other cities. If you love the sea, then places like Goa or Kerala is ideal for you. For those who love the mountains, a trip across the northern part of India will bring them face-to-face with the mighty Himalayas.
Colombo is an incredible place to explore the gorgeous beaches and beautiful scenic landscapes. The mountainous region of Kandy is also another must-visit place. Sri Lankan lifestyle is a combination of age-old traditions and modern technology and its cities are abundant with attractions worth seeing. Hunt for good deals online and avail inexpensive flight tickets easily.
If you are living in the UAE and haven’t paid a visit to Oman, then you should, pronto! Oman is about an hour’s flight from the UAE and is the perfect destination for budget-conscious people. The Musandam peninsula is an intoxicating blend of gorgeous mountains and stunning coastlines, while Muscat is a shopper’s paradise. On a tight budget, you can explore and have tons of fun here.
When planning any trip, always ensure you purchase a travel card that lets you lock interest rates. This way, you can lock favourable interest rates and use them when the rates hit the sky. Travel cards are also super easy to reload, should you run out of money. With some planning and careful money management, you can easily take short vacations couple of times a year!
Moving into a new country, all by yourself?
Though the thought of new opportunities and experiences can be exhilarating, these expeditions can bring with them the unexpected, that can turn out to be really tricky.
To ease things up, consider these tips!
Find the right accommodation:
Make sure you conduct thorough research about the housing scenario of the new country before you move in. Once you reach there, make sure you interact with locals about the accommodation options available. Decide whether you want to stay alone or with a roommate. There could be bureaucratic hassles in terms of paper work and documentation. So ensure that your papers are foolproof and you have all the necessary documents.
Getting used to the local food:
Before you get there, you need to have a fair idea on the kind of food that will be available. Carry along with you, home food with longer shelf-life, to help you survive the initial few days. Cooking your own food is the easiest way to save some money. So start getting used to the local spices and condiments.
Don’t forget to socialise:
New country will always mean new people. Socialising not only helps to get you adjusted but it will also ensure you are not alone anymore. There is no hard and fast rule for meeting people and making friends, but make sure you do.
Develop new hobbies:
A new country will give you a chance to explore new culture and experiences. It’s a great way to pick up new hobbies, so that you will not be bored during your free time.
Use a travel card:
There are two issues that can arise when it comes to money in a new country. First, if you are a big spender, the probability of you facing cash shortage is always there. Second, it takes time to adjust to the currency conversion factor and the purchasing parity abroad.
While there is no easy solution for this, having a travel card could come in handy. If you are getting the travel card from a reputed money transfer company, then you can lock in the exchange rate and not worry about fluctuations causing you problems. Also consider setting up a bank account, whether local or international, so you can transfer money to it and ensure your funds are available to you, whenever you need it.
Taking the decision to move abroad on your own is a huge step. It's the perfect opportunity to explore the world, and nurture your own independence. Moving abroad will definitely be a challenge, but with the right kind of preparation it's totally possible and worth it.
Week-ends in Dubai, the shopper’s paradise is spoilt for choice, with the large number of malls spread across. These malls are famous not only for their shopping experiences but also for all the entertainment and fun they offer.
Here is a peek into Dubai’s top 5 malls.
Arabian Centre: Located in the Mirdif area of Dubai, occupying a space of 80,000 square meters and housing about 200 shops, the Arabian Center is a week-end haven. Apart from shopping, you can watch a movie, or dine with family/friends, enjoy fun-filled activities at the gaming center, or even drop your children in a nursery, so you can shop uninterrupted. You can get even complete medical check-ups and wrap-up your grocery shopping here!
Mall of the Emirates: Mall of the Emirates is the world’s first shopping resort because not only does it allow you to shop, but also provides unparalleled leisure and entertainment facilities. Occupying an enormous space of 233,467 square meters, and located in the heart of New Dubai, this mall is home to the world-famous Ski Dubai – an indoor ski resort!
Ibn Battuta Mall: Ibn Battuta Mall is the world’s largest themed mall, occupying a space of 521,000 square meters, and was built to celebrate the travels of famous Arabic explorer – Ibn Battuta. This mall includes 275 retailers, 50 restaurants and 21 cinema screens! This mall consists of six courts, representing each of which Ibn Battuta visited during his travels – Egyptian Court, Indian Court, Chinese Court, Andalusian Court, Persian Court and Tunisian Court.
What’s more? You will never run short of cash here, as the new branch of UAE Exchange just opened up in this mall!
Deira City Centre: Deira City Centre redefined the concept of malls in this region, by becoming the first large scale shopping mall with restaurants, entertainment facilities and a hotel. It is located in the older part of the city on a cross road between Sharjah, Bur Dubai and the airport. This mall receives an annual footfall traffic of close to 20 million, making it the most visited mall in Dubai.
The Dubai Mall: This is the world’s largest shopping mall with over 1000 shops! It also includes amazing entertainment centres such as the Dubai Ice Rink, Sega Republic (an indoor theme park), Reel Cinema (a 22-screen cinema), Rainforest Café and KidZania (an interactive theme park for kids). A new massive exhibit from the Jurassic Period, a Diplodocus longus dinosaur skeleton is also now on display at The Souk, in the Dubai Mall. It’s a 155 million year-old dinosaur skeleton and people can get up-close and take a look.
Ensure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing and top up your travel card, to enjoy hassle-free mall time!
Ever dreamt of owning your own house, as an expat? Though our budgets might be limited, our dreams are not.
Most of us have sneakily checked out houses that are way out of our budgetary limit, just for the heck of it. The inspiration and excitement we get when looking at houses that are momentarily beyond our reach, is impalpable. Shall we now peek into cities that have the most expensive housing?
This list is based on the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, 2017.
Bournemouth & Dorset, UK: Bournemouth & Dorset is the 10th most expensive place to live around the world. The house prices here are 8.5 times higher than the average household income!
San Francisco, US: The Californian city came as the 9th most expensive place to buy a house. The average price of a house here is around $820,000.
Los Angeles(LA), US: LA is in the 8th position because the average purchase price of a home in Los Angeles is $507 per square foot!
Honolulu, US: The Hawaiian capital reclassified as a "major market" is the 7th most expensive place to procure a house. When tourists come to Hawaii, they just fall in love with this destination and keep increasing the stake to purchase properties here.
Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne is in the 6th most expensive place. It’s not just Melbourne, but entire Australia is deemed as one of the least affordable places in the world. Even a tin shed here can sell for more than a million dollars.
San Jose, CA, US: Another Californian city, San Jose is the 5th most expensive city to live in.
Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland is the 4th most expensive city to live in around the world this year. It was in the 5th position last year. In fact, living expenses rose so much that Auckland saw an outflow of many talented and skilled people who just couldn’t afford to live here.
Vancouver, BC, Canada: House prices in Vancouver went up by the equivalent of a full year’s household income in only a year, making it the 3rd least affordable place in the world.
Sydney, Australia: Sydney is the 2nd most unaffordable place to live in the world. As already mentioned earlier, Australia, on a whole, is an expensive place to live in. A report also found one in eight Australians over the age of 35 expect to receive assistance from their parents in buying a house.
Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong has the least affordable housing market in the world! Price of houses and apartments are sky-high here, as are the house rents.
If you do live in any of these cities mentioned above and would want to buy a house, then start saving from early on!