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!
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
Today, everyone is standing up and taking notice of everything a woman can accomplish – they don’t need to wait for anyone to tell them what to do! As women are finding their own sense of empowerment, they are becoming more eager to take in everything around them and discover the world. This is why travelling – whether solo or with someone – is taking precedent over most things in their lives. It does not matter who they are travelling with or where they go, they make the decisions and head out to new adventures.
Female travellers today are breaking boundaries and indulging in the most extreme adventure holidays and fun-filled tours. Here are some of the latest trends observed.
More active journeys: Gone are the days when women would like to travel to luxury destinations and indulge in spa treatments. Today women prefer active adventures and backpacking trips. They favour rough terrains and scenic natural beauty, and would rather indulge in activities like sky-diving and mountain climbing, then just lounge around and sip cocktails.
Local interaction: Women also like interacting with the local people and that is why they usually prefer to home stays to get a taste of the indigenous culture first-hand. They often choose to travel to places which are steeped in traditions and rich in cultural heritage.
Solo travel: More and more women prefer to travel solo and because they are smart as a whip. They make sure they invest in travel insurances from reputed organisations and take advantage of the easy mobile recharge facilities these money transfer services offer, to ensure they are always connected to family and friends.
Budget-friendly trips: Women opt for budget-friendly trips because this allows them to take frequent multiple trips. A lot of female travellers also opt for travel cards, which they can load with the exact amount of money they need and they can also lock in the exchange rates – ensuring they save and do not overspend.
Age-limit: There is no age-limit on female travel. Marybeth Bond said, “The average adventure traveler is not a 28-year old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.” And that’s the truth!
With women travelling so much, it’s time countries started taking this into account and ensure that there is enough and more protection available for them. These trends are definitely here to stay and evolve, so companies associated with travelling and vacations need to start taking this in account and offer services and benefits that cater to female travellers.
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Are you are a fan of Bollywood music or simply in love with Bryan Adams, Justin Beiber and Guns N’ Roses? Then a trip to Dubai in 2017 could be the ultimate musical experience for you. Imagine long nights of enthralling music, exemplary performances by top musicians, electrifying concerts and soul-stirring music – a music lover’s groovy paradise.
Here is a peek into some of the most glitzy and glamorous music festivals held in Dubai:
Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival – Promising much more than jazz, this unbeatable mix of quality live entertainment is one of the oldest music concerts held in Dubai, and it will celebrate its 15th edition in 2017. This year the festival is all set to commence on February 22nd , 2017 and the performers lined up for this year’s show are: Tom Jones + The Rad Trads, Mariah Carey + Raul Midon, Enrique Iglesias + Nathan Sykes. Get set for music explosion!
Cairo Sound Music Festival – This is a new cultural project launched and is all set to become a series of festivals in the UAE. This festival promotes Egyptian culture and music in Dubai, bringing together Middle-Eastern expatriates and music lovers from all around.
Redfest DXB 2017 –Thumping music, good food and an exotic setup, could it get any better? This year the festival takes place on February 2nd and 3rd and will feature Demi Lovato, Alessia Cara, Sean Paul, The Veronicas, Mike Posner, to name a few.
Party in the Park – This one-day music festival is a must visit for both music lovers and non-music lovers. This festival celebrates the end of summer and beginning of winter. Let your favorite DJs tear up the night while you groove the night away. This hugely successful party saw an attendance of 10,000 people last year and this year it’s all set to blow your mind away on November 11th .
Piknic Electronik – This is also a one-day music fest, which is renowned internationally. This festival is ideal for families - adults as well as kids can have the time of their life here.
And, don’t worry if you find it difficult to pay for tickets online. Customers can now visit any UAE Exchange branch to buy tickets for all major entertainment events in the UAE. And if you’re travelling from to Dubai, to soak yourself in music, you can always purchase a travel card and load it on the go and enjoy.
Now get ready to hum, sing, and groove the night away with music, food, fun and laughter.
Motherhood (and indeed fatherhood too) is a life-changing experience. The first few weeks of being a new parent can be an emotional and anxious time. Thankfully, there exists a host of baby-related technologies that can make life easier for worried new mummies. Here, in alphabetical order, is our list of the top technologies for parents of small babies.
Breastfeeding app: There are lots of apps available which allow you to keep track of nursing sessions, the side you nursed on last, and alternate breast and bottle feedings. A popular app you can try is “Baby Tracker: Nursing”.
Online forums: Online communities have come into their own, lending much needed advice and support. “British Mums Dubai” is an example. The website is aimed primarily at expat mums and offers baby advice, weaning tips, competitions and access to a community of mums who’ve already been there and are ready with helpful advice. It’s linked to their Facebook group, which you can request to join.
Digital Ear Thermometer: You will use it many times every day, to check whether that crying is because your baby is ill or just fussing! You can also use it at night without waking the baby up if he or she feels hot. It’s not glamorous, but is an essential piece of technological kit.
Itzbeen Pocket Nanny: This hand-held device helps you record and monitor your baby’s naps, feedings and diaper changes- essential for those sleep-deprived weeks where you can’t remember the last time you changed your baby!
White Noise Machine: There are many of these available, and all emit white noise similar to that heard in the womb, to help shush your baby to sleep. A popular option is the Baby Shusher, which emits a constant rhythmic shushing sound designed to mesmerise your baby into a calm sleep.
WiFi baby monitor: The days of the static “radio” baby monitor are long gone. Baby monitors have revolutionised in the digital age, and now use WiFi, 4G and smartphones so you can easily keep an eye on your sleeping baby from anywhere. The best ones offer high-security, password-protected streaming to keep you and your baby secure.
There are many technological advances to help make your parenting experience better. But perhaps the most essential piece of technology is a data-enabled smartphone, whether to google a strange rash, look up baby products, or simply while away the midnight feeds with some gentle browsing.
PlayStation has established itself as one of the premier consoles in the world for serious gamers, and that reputation has been cemented with the launch of the PlayStation 4 Pro, which features even better graphics designed for 4K screens. 2016 has been a bonanza year for the console, and 2017 promises to be better still. Here are just some of the titles (alphabetically arranged) you can look forward to in 2017:
For Honor: One of the most anticipated combat games of the year, this multiplayer epic pits knights, samurai and Vikings against each other in a series of duels on the battlefield. The combat features are excellent, according to early reviews, and the motion-captured graphics are impressively realistic.
God of War: is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but guarantees epic scenarios and plenty of adrenalin rushes. The award-winning series will bring its fourth update to the public in 2017. Main character Kratos has to set aside his all-consuming rage as he becomes a mentor to a young boy with supernatural powers. The new development promises to bring depth and contrast to a series famous for its brutal violence.
Horizon: Zero Dawn: This action RPG is exclusive to the PS4. All the action takes place 1000 years into the future, and mixes sci-fi with a good dollop of the prehistoric (you’ll have to hunt the robot dinosaurs that rule the land). The launch date for this has been delayed a bit to fine tune some features, so we’re hoping for great things when the game hits the shelves.
Lego Worlds: Lego sets itself up as a competitor to Minecraft with the launch of its own game. Master Builders can create worlds with imagination being the only limit. Multiplayer options are also available.
Persona 5: This game is heading your way in April 2017. Previous versions of the role-play game follow high school students with supernatural powers in unusual circumstances. The story shifts with the fifth incarnation, as the game focuses on group of stylish young cat burglars. It’s all about funky sets, stylized backgrounds and hours of fun.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard returns to its roots of survival horror, after a lukewarm reception for the 6th version of the series. Players explore the world from the first-person perspective. Prepare to be utterly terrified, as previews have suggested this is the scariest Resident Evil yet.
Now that you have your list of hotly anticipated titles, it’s time to load up your co-branded gocash PlayStation card, which gives gamers (and their parents!) the security and control to purchase online with confidence. Happy gaming!
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Christmas is a time for giving, a time for receiving- and also a time where givers find themselves under pressure to buy a whole range of perfect presents quickly and easily. But worry not, we’ve put together top 5 suggestions for seasonal gifts this year; here they are in alphabetic order:
Cards Against Humanity: An adult party game “for horrible people” according to its manufacturer, and one of the most popular games for grown-ups this Christmas. Players complete fill-in-the-blank statements using words printed on playing cards. It sounds simple, but it’s risqué, politically incorrect, and utterly hilarious to play.
Cartier Love Bracelet: For the special woman in your life, the Love Bracelet by Cartier is one of those iconic pieces of jewellery that will never go out of style. Designed in 1969, it features a “lock” mechanism that can only be opened by a special screwdriver. The range also includes cufflinks, rings, earrings, necklaces and watches.
Hatchimals: It is the hot toy for Christmas this year. Frazzled parents across continents are resorting to tactics worthy of the Secret Service in order to hunt down and bag one of these little creatures. Hatchimals are interactive toy pets that arrive still in their eggs. Children must nurture the egg until it hatches, revealing which creature is inside. If you find one, and you don’t have children, you can sell it on eBay where they’re going for twice the retail price.
Netflix: For the couch potato who wants to spend January snuggled in front of the TV, a Netflix subscription will unlock a world of entertainment, from top-rated series like House of Cards to new and classic films and documentaries.
PlayStation 4 Pro: The original PS4 gets a boost in processing power, in line with the current trend towards 4K TVs. The new console is still compatible with the current library of PS4 games, but some games will be enhanced on the Pro. Added features include enhanced graphics, improved bandwidth and 1080p resolution for remote play.
Speak Out: There’s guaranteed fun for all the family with this hilarious “mouthpiece challenge” game. Players try to say different phrases while wearing a mouthpiece that distorts their speech, and general mayhem ensues as the other players try to guess the phrase in question.
Now that you have your list ready, it’s time to shop safely and securely with gocash, the card that makes buying gifts online or in-store easier, while keeping an eye on budgets and securing your financial information. Happy holidays!