Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

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Yipeeee!!! Holidays and Festivities are around the corner in Dubai. Just the best time to stay here!

Beautiful weather in a well-lit city and cheerful spirits all around after the Expo 2020 win. And very soon the Dubai Shopping Festival 2014 will sparkle with over 150 attractions themed as “Shop at Your Best”.

So friends get ready for the special shopping experiences from 2 January to 2 February 2014 (19thedition of Dubai Shopping festival).

DSF  (3)

The DSF 2014 Calendar of Events is a line-up of over 150 events and activities that will be spread far and wide across the city at key DSF destinations, with the aim of ensuring that the whole of Dubai feels the Festival spirit.

This year’s DSF calendar of events features attractions in diverse fields from shopping to entertainment, fashion to lifestyle, and arts and culture including international shows, concerts, circus shopping promotions, and mega raffles offering…

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General Keep a checklist

  • Make a checklist of what you want to take with you about a week before your vacation to avoid packing in a panic.
  • Keeping a list in your hand luggage, will prove handy, should anything go missing and an insurance claim ensue.


  • Please carry your medication & all medical details along with a prescription with you, making sure they include:
  • Your Health Insurer’s contact details and your policy number
  • Name and address of contacts in the event of an emergency
  • Your blood type, general medical history, list of any medications you are taking, known allergies, glasses/ contact lens prescription, etc.

Must Haves-Make sure to carry:

  • At least one set of clothes in your hand luggage in case of baggage delay or loss
  • Your sun glasses, scarf, hat/cap, cardigan, camera in your hand luggage if your tour starts on arrival itself
  • A comfortable pair of walking shoes; you may be on your feet for a long time en tour
  • Appropriate swimwear / beachwear for swimming activities. You will not be allowed to enter the pool (at hotels and on cruise) without suitable clothing
  • Your camera, if you are planning on taking photographs on your holiday. Check the batteries and carry spares, since it is often difficult to buy replacements. More importantly, carry a good supply of film rolls, as it can be both expensive and troublesome finding the right film and quality.

Airport: Pre Departure formalities include readying your

  • Passport
  • Air tickets
  • Foreign exchange
  • Airline Bookings

Airport Formalities

  • Report at least 3 hours prior to departure.

Baggage X Ray and Check in Counter

  • All check in baggage must be X – rayed
  • Check in baggage must not exceed 20 Kgs and handbags must not exceed 1 piece (7 kgs)
  • All check in baggage must be locked
  • Do not put any cash/jewelry/expensive items inside the check in baggage
  • Use some form of permanent identification on your check in luggage and also note its make/brand. This is useful at the time of baggage claim and to trace the same in case of any delay/ loss en route
  • Proceed to check in at the airlines counter and hand over your passports and air tickets
  • A baggage identification slip showing the destination of baggage, your boarding card, passport, air ticket & embarkation card will be handed over to you
  • Fill the embarkation card & proceed to the immigration counter

Always keep the following in safe custody:

  • Baggage identification slip
  • Passport
  • Air ticket
  • Boarding card -till the end of the journey
  • Personal Foreign Exchange
  • Immigration
  • Proceed to the Immigration Counter; hand over your passport, air ticket, boarding card & embarkation card to the officer
  • You may be asked about the reason for travel. Furnish the same; in case of any problems contact your SOTC tour manager
  • All documents (except the embarkation card) duly checked and stamped will be returned back to you


  • Hand over your passport, air ticket & boarding card to the officer. The same will be stamped & returned back to you
  • You are not allowed to carry more than Rs.2000 and US$ 10000 (cash limit US$ 2000) as per the RBI rule
  • Any foreign currency carried along must be endorsed on your passport
  • Value goods like zoom cameras, video cameras, computers, laptops, etc. should also be endorsed on your passport
  • (If you do not endorse these, you will have to pay a customs duty when you return back to India, as the same will be treated as imported items)

Boarding Gate

  • Proceed to the boarding gate as specified on your boarding card where your hand baggage will be X-rayed

On Board

  • On board please be seated as per seats allocated
  • Snacks/ meals will be served as per airlines policy
  • En route, you will be handed a disembarkation card to be filled and kept ready on arrival
  • Airport Formalities on arrival
  • As you leave the aircraft, please ensure you carry along all personal belongings & documents including- passport, air tickets, handbag, wallet, cardigans/ clothing, etc.
  • To use a prepaid Cart (‘trolley’) at certain airports, you will have to insert the required coins in the cart machine and a single cart will be released.

Immigration Counter

  • You may be asked about your itinerary, purpose of visit and place of stay, etc.
  • Hand over your passport, boarding card and disembarkation card (Counterfoil of disembarkation card is a very important document and it is your duty to retain the same till the time you depart from the destination country. You may not be allowed to board your return flight if you lose this counterfoil)

Baggage claim

  • Proceed to the baggage claim area to collect your bags from the baggage belt


  • Fill out your declaration in advance to speed your customs and immigration clearance. When making your written declaration, you must list all goods accompanying you other than your personal effects, along with their price or value.
  • Prohibited items: In general, you may not carry explosive, corrosive or inflammable products, arms and ammunition in your luggage.
  • Duty-free items: Personal effects intended for your personal use during your trip, and purchases made at airport duty free shops are considered free of duties and taxes.
  • Your Exemptions

Articles brought into the different countries are subject to duty and internal revenue tax unless they are prohibited entry, but as a visitor or nonresident, you are allowed certain exemptions and privileges.

  • Prohibited and Restricted Articles
  • Lottery tickets, narcotics and dangerous drugs, obscene articles and publications, seditious and treasonable materials, hazardous articles switch-blade knives, biological materials, pirated books, video tapes, computer programs or cassettes, artifacts/cultural property, firearms & ammunition, food products, fruits, vegetables, plants, meats, livestock, poultry, hunting trophies
  • For more information please contact the local Embassy.


  • Check-in and check-out times are usually 1400hrs and 1200hrs respectively. However, this may be different for some properties.


  • Room/s will be assigned to you at the time of check-in and can vary in specifications according to the availability at the time of check-in and at the discretion of the hotel.

Room key

  • Each time you leave the room, please ensure you deposit your room keys at the front desk making it easy for your room mate to access the same
  • It is not advisable to carry the room key outside the hotel; you may be charged (often, a huge sum) if it is misplaced

Security of documents

  • Always keep copies of your passport, air ticket and any important documents securely
  • Responsibility of all your documents lies with you and SOTC will not take any responsibility for the same
  • It is suggested you keep your passport and air ticket safely in your locked bags or you can use a locker at the hotel. Locker facilities are available on request (You may have to pay a deposit to use the facility, the same is refunded on checkout)
  • Hotel address
  • It is advisable to carry a hotel card/ brochure with you; the address mentioned will be helpful to guide you back or if you lose your way.

Room Facilities

  • Coffee/ Tea
  • Some hotels may have in room coffee/ tea making facility (please check with the hotel staff if this service is complimentary)
  • Refrigerator/ Mini Bar
  • Some rooms may have a mini refrigerator or a mini bar stocked with soft and hard beverages or a basket of eatables
  • Please note that these are chargeable of utilized and not included in your tour itinerary package
  • Pay Channel/ Pay T.V.
  • Rooms may also provide subscribed pay channels, the use of which will be charged when you check out

Other Services

  • If you order anything extra like Tea/ coffee, laundry services, liquor, make telephone calls, breakfast in the room, or cause any damages to the room you are staying in, it will be charged to you directly.
  • Breakfast timings at the hotel are generally 7:00am onwards (unless specified otherwise in itinerary) and generally served at the hotel restaurant.

Food General Tips For Europe

  • Vegetarians can safely try the wide variety of continental food available in Europe, that consist of hearty portions of soups, salads, fruits, shakes, juices or drinks. For others, varieties of meat and local cuisine are also recommended.
  • Tap water is generally safe and portable throughout the continent. However, a bottle of mineral water will cost you the same as a bottle of coke i.e. about Euro2. You will often find that beverages (alcoholic/ non-alcoholic) come cheaper.
  • Meals in Europe typically cost about EUR10 – EUR15 if you choose a Mc Donald’s or similar fast food joints. This will buy you a burger, shake or drink.
  • If you opt for a restaurant, an average meal consisting of soup, salad, light main course and a drink will cost you about EUR20 – EUR25.
  • Italian & French cuisine with their variety of pastas and pizzas come inexpensive (EUR10 – EUR15). Pizzas are also served by slice (EUR3 – EUR5), making it a good in between snack.
  • Indian food in London is very easy to find but relatively expensive. A very average meal at a restaurant will cost you about £15 – £20

For Far East & Islands

  • Vegetarians can safely try the wide variety of continental food available, that consist of hearty portions of soups, salads, fruits, shakes, juices or drinks. For others, varieties of meat and local cuisine are also recommended.


  • Vegetarians can safely try the wide variety of continental food available consisting of hearty portions of soups, salads, fruits, shakes, juices or drinks. For others, varieties of meat and local cuisine are also recommended.
  • Tap water is generally safe and potable throughout the continent. However, a bottle of mineral water will cost you the same as a bottle of coke ie. about $1.5.
  • Meals in US typically cost about $10 – $15 if you choose a Mc Donald’s or similar fast food joints. This will buy you a burger, shake or drink.
  • If you opt for a restaurant, an average meal consisting of soup, salad, light main course and a drink will cost you about $20 – $25.
  • A variety of pastas and pizzas come inexpensive ($8 – $12). Pizzas are also served by slice, making it a good in between snack.

Check out from Hotel

  • After checking out, please clear all personal/ extra bills, if any, at the Front Office.

Tips/ Porterage

  • Porterage is not included at hotels and are not part of any itinerary/package
  • You may have to pay for portage and the tips or any service charges as per local rules or customs at the destination

Cruise Carnival

  • The Hollywood inspired ‘Fascination Fun Ship’ is a modern & luxurious world-class fleet that takes you on your cruise to the Bahamas and other exciting destinations. With plenty of on board and on shore activities, this 5 star floating resort offers you quality service and loads of unimaginable carefree days. You can drink & dine at the restaurant of your choice, there’s on board entertainment, performances, fitness centres, a comprehensive computer learning centre, video games & recreation centre, shopping mall and much more.

Star Cruises

  • Super Star Virgo and Leo are both very modern & luxurious world-class fleets that offer you quality service at the most exotic parts of Asia.

Points to remember Boarding:

  • You must check in at least 1hr/30 min prior to departure.
  • Proper travel documentation is required: Valid Passports and relevant visas are mandatory.
  • Liquor Policy: Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages of any kind on board. You may purchase the same from any of the ship’s bars and lounges. Alcoholic beverages purchased in the ship’s gift shops or in foreign ports will be retained by cruise authority until the end of the voyage.


  • Sail & Sign: You may charge most of your on-board purchases to your Sail & Sign account.


  • Casual attire is the best option during the day.
  • For special events like the evening Cocktail and other parties, please carry at least one set of formal attire.
  • The dress code for other evenings ranges from sport coat and tie to casual resort wear.

Shopping & Punctuality:

  • You are advised not to be lured or encouraged by anybody to shop at a particular place
  • Please use your own judgement about price or quality before you buy anything
  • Passengers will be responsible for any services missed out by them due to not following the stated time; this includes meals, transfers, sight seeing, flight, etc.


A Million thrills. One Destination

In amongst the pilanesberg mountain stands the PALACE OF THE LOST CITY – A tribute to man’s imagination and revered hotels of the world. Faux elephant tusks, sculptured bronze & crystal, richly woven colours of Africa, mystery-scented air and jungle cascade fuse into am atmosphere fit for a king.

With fresco ceilings above and ancient tiles below, you are left to stand in awe at the sheer scale of this masterpiece. The wild elegance and savage beauty in bronze and stone culminates in a life-size sculpture of the mighty elephant shawu, who takes pride of palace in the elephant courtyard.

sun_city_the_palace_the_valley_of_the_waves_aerial …Forever Africa’s finest


Discover all the great things to do and see in Barcelona with City Sightseeing

Prices from £20.00 for adults and £11.50 for children

Discover Barcelona at your leisure with a City Sightseeing tour
The Barcelona City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Tour has two different tour routes to explore the city, the Blue Line and Red Line. A Green Line also operates from April to October. See the major sights aboard our open-top Double-Decker bus. The tour will highlight all the things to do in the city so that you can hop on and off at your convenience at more than 44 stops. The key sights and world famous attractions of this fantastic city are included on the tour including the Gothic Quarter which is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Wander around the ancient winding streets where many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. A great number of buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudi, which can be seen throughout the city. His best known work is the immense but still unfinished Cathedral the Sagrada Familia, a symbol of Barcelona all over the world and has been under construction since 1882. Other works by Gaudi, include his famous Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and Park Güell.
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The city of Barcelona is awash with things to do and places to see
Those who appreciate the work of Picasso will be spellbound by the Picasso Museum and if you wish to tread in the footsteps of the artistic genius, you can do so by visiting the landmarks that shaped his youth: Stroll along the Calle Reina Christina and then cross over to 3 Carrer de la Mercè to see where his family lived, though the building was later destroyed. Gaze in wonder at Gaudí’s fairytale architecture – the Sagrada Familia is both breathtaking and grotesque. Marvel at his Casa Batlló, built for textile industrialist. Nearby, you can gaze at his rivals’ architecture: the Casa Amatller and the decadent Casa Lleó Morera by Puig i Cadafalch. Hop off at the The Parc de la Ciutadella – Barcelona’s most central park. The park includes a zoo, a lake, a large fountain and several museums.

Hop off at over 44 stops as many times as often as you like using Day or Two Day tickets on 2 routes
For your evening entertainment, you may wish to delight your ears at one of the city’s concert halls such as The Gran Teatre del Liceu, L’Auditori or The Palau de la Música Catalana. Or perhaps sampling the seafood at Gracia’s seafood restaurants takes your fancy. The best place to enjoy chilled fruit sangria in Barcelona is one of the many outdoor bars and cafés. There are so many things to do by day or night in the city. If you’re visiting in September, the Festes de la Mercèe swings into town. It started life as a small religious parade but since then it has grown into a week-long party celebrating Catalan culture. Performances, incredible firework displays along the beaches, a sea-front air show, exhibitions, children’s activities and free concerts make this a celebration of Barcelona in all its splendour.




    • BeachesBeaches
    • Parc de La CiutadellaParc de La Ciutadella
    • Barcelona AquariumBarcelona Aquarium
    • Port Aventura Theme ParkPort Aventura Theme Park
    • Montjuïc Castle (Castell de Montjuïc)Montjuïc Castle (Castell de Montjuïc)
    • Poble EspanyolPoble Espanyol
    • La RamblasLa Ramblas
    • Picasso MuseumPicasso Museum
    • Guell ParkGuell Park
    • La Sagrada FamíliaLa Sagrada Família
    • MontjuicMontjuic
    • TibidaboTibidabo
    • MontserratMontserrat
    • Tossa de MarTossa de Mar
    • La Pedrera (Casa Milà)La Pedrera (Casa Milà)
    • Barri GòticBarri Gòtic
    • FC Barcelona Museum and StadiumFC Barcelona Museum and Stadium
    • Joan Miró FoundationJoan Miró Foundation
    • Museum of Contemporary ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art
    • Parque Natural de Bardenas RealesParque Natural de Bardenas Reales


Dubai shopping festival, a world class, internationally acclaimed festival is just the right place for pious shoppers, a new world of discovery for adept of taste, Garden of Eden for family and Disney world brought down to Dubai for children. Aside from the heavily discounted, tax free shopping that this festival is majorly known, the festival is also packed with lots of entertaining programs and events for its guests. Everyone who comes to this festival is sure to have more than enough share of the exciting and heavenly activities organized for this festival.

Scheduled to commence 3rd of January and end 3rd of February 2013, the 32 days extravaganza is set
to bring out the best from its host country by featuring wonderful display of fireworks to indicate
the commencement of the festival, uniquely organized shopping competitions, entertaining street
performances and various performances of artists during the festival. Mind blowing activities have been
cataloged to enthrall visitors and residents during the festival in 2013, some of which are:

Tax-free shopping: the celebration will begin with entertaining street performances and fireworks
display. Devout shoppers can begin enjoying their shopping which comes with a 75% discount off the
item and also participate in the entertaining events organized during the festival. Notable items on
display include clothes, jewelleries, watches, electronics, carpets, textiles, perfumes, and handicrafts of
major brands amongst other fascinating things.

Children Show: The Dubai Dolphinarium will be organizing an exclusive show for kids during DSF 2013.
There are other events too to keep the children engaged such as Children of World Olympiad, fairs,
cartoon and circus shows.

Sport: Sports freaks visiting Dubai during DSF 2013 will be opportune to engage themselves in varieties
of sporting events, some of which are Football Tournament, open Tennis Championship, Ice Hockey,
Hockey on Synthetic Surface, Skating and Rowing Championships and many more.

The Carnival: the carnival is held every weekend during the festival and will be noted with dramatic
performances and parade of known international artists. Shows by acrobats, percussionists, dancers,
musicians, jugglers and many more awaken the festive spirit all across the country and visitors will get to
enjoy live concepts and jazz performances. The carnival which will be held in different locations would
be done with different themes like Chinese, Arabic, Russia and lot more

Attractive Prizes: coupled with tax-free discounted rates shopping that will be done, shoppers can
also look forward to opportunities of winning several daily and weekly prizes, which will be organized
by participating shopping malls and retailers. There are lots of prizes to be won ranging from luxurious
LX570 car to Dh.100,000 which will be won in cash in the Lexus Mega Raffle. A DSF promotion is
announced by the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, giving visitors exciting offers such as a chance to win
21kilos of gold worth Dh.4.5mn through raffle draw.

DSF is an all encompassing event for everybody and its has something to offer people of all ages. Events
done during DSF vary from outdoor and fashion shows to international concerts sport and musical
shows and performances.

Date: 3rd Jan to 3rd Feb

* Hotel Accommodation
* Airport Transfer
* Visa
* Flight

Click below for more info