Iftar Destinations in Dubai

Hotels in the UAE

The World's Best Islands for a Relaxing Escape

If someone asked me to name my top 5 most memorable holiday destinations, the entire list would consist of islands. There's something about island hopping that makes you feel like you're really on an adventure. Maybe it’s the enveloping coastline that wraps around a mini-eco system, the ocean breeze that sweeps in, the combination of beaches and forests, or maybe it's the secluded atmosphere that does the trick. But not all islands are the same (some aren't that great, actually), so here's my top 5 for the world's best islands for a relaxing escape:

1. Bali
If you're talking scenic beauty and the diversity of the landscape, there are few islands that can compete with Bali. Fantasy world beaches, volcanic mountains covered in lush greenery, Sumatran elephants, and amazingly majestic pagodas give this heavenly Indonesian island a unique look that is hard to forget. The best time to visit is between the months of April and October, if you intend to stay dry, as the rest of the year is considered the wet season. However, the climate varies between 80 and 95 degrees year-round, so if you don't mind the precipitation you can find cheaper flights during the wet season. I packed my Salsa Rimowa suitcase full of rainwear and had a great 3-week holiday in Bali during the off season for a fraction of what I would've paid had I gone in mid-April.

2. Bora Bora
Contrary to the phonics of the name, Bora Bora, is anything but boring. When you're approaching the island, either via plane or boat, it literally looks like you're traveling back in time to the land of the dinosaurs. This exotic island in the Southern Pacific is home to some of the world's most relaxing beaches lined with thatched-roof huts that sit suspended over the turquoise clear waters below. White sand beaches combine with jungles and mountains to make this place a must see.

3. Santorini
Of all the islands in the Mediterranean, I'd have to say that Santorini is my favourite by far. The people here have done an amazing job of preserving their culture and architecture for thousands of years, and the local Greek cuisine is on par with the best food ever. Red sand beaches, stunning views of the Aegean Sea, and the ancient remains of Akrotiri and Thira make this place a popular honeymoon destination.

4. Maui
If you're thinking of taking a trip to Hawaii, the island of Maui would be your best bet for relaxation without complete isolation. Unlike Lanai, there are enough accommodations scattered about to keep you comfortable, yet it's not as busy as Oahu. Snorkelling, nature tours, and walks on the beach in Maui are some of the most relaxing and enjoyable things you can do on this planet.

5. St. Kitts
The twin islands of Nevis and St. Kitts in the Caribbean are some of the most luxurious tourist destinations on Earth. Nevis is the more relaxed of the two, while St. Kitts is home to more hospitality and entertainment venues like hotels and restaurants. It's nice to have quick access to the hustle and bustle of St. Kitts while still being secluded enough to relax on Nevis.

Iftar For A Cause at Holiday Inn, Al Barsha

Ramadan is about to end in a little over a week from now. What seemed to have started just a couple of days ago is actually more than halfway through. While I do not observe fasting and abstinence, I make sure to embrace the Ramadan season by joining Iftar invitations. Apart from the feeling of togetherness during Iftar feasts, with generosity being a basic tenet of the month of Ramadan, I enjoy it even more if it's an Iftar for a cause.

Iftar at Skye & Walker

While Iftar dishes are undeniably delicious—from starters and Arabic mezze to sumptuous mains and decadent desserts—there's also no denying that most of the yummy ones tend be the unhealthy ones too. But imagine if you can indulge into an Iftar feast minus the guilt...seems impossible, eh?

Grand Barbecue: A Budget-Friendly Haven for Foodies

One Friday night, Mark and I found ourselves at the streets of Jumeirah, where the venue of our foodie feast is. I got an invite from the owner of Grand Barbecue restaurant to try out the restaurant's pride, their buffet. The restaurant may look unassuming from the outside, but a grand and elegant ambience is what will welcome you when you enter the restaurant.

See America - Top 7 Travel Destinations in the USA

Everyone is getting ready for summer vacation and while many will choose to stay at home getting some of those odds and ends seen to that kept getting pushed aside throughout the year, many are looking for some place new and interesting to explore. While national parks and camping grounds are big on the list, most vacationers like to go somewhere with a bit more action and certainly more services to enjoy. Here are the top 7 travel destinations in the USA for those looking to visit bigger cities with an active nightlife.

1. New York City, New York
What can be said about New York? From Broadway to the site of the Twin Towers to the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, there is so much to do and see that you would need a lifetime of vacations to take it all in.

2. Denver, Colorado
Since they have legalized marijuana in Colorado, a growing number of young people come here from non-legal states. Those reading marijuana industry news will know just how many ways in which visitors can buy pot for recreational purposes and until more states go legal, what was once a vacation spot for winter sports is enjoying visitors every month of the year.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada
There are only 24 states in which some form of gambling is legal which leaves 26 states, the District of Columbia and the territories with no access to gambling. Las Vegas is still the king in this country and only one city in China is said to host more visiting gamblers yearly.

4. San Francisco, California
Since the 1960s San Francisco has led the world in counter culture activities and those wanting to relive the days of Flower Power when Haight-Ashbury was at its prime will surely want to spend a vacation here riding the trolleys and getting a look at the world famous Golden Gate Bridge.

5. Miami, Florida
South Beach is the new Hollywood (California that is!) and not a day goes by when you can’t see literally dozens of big name celebs making the rounds of shops and clubs. Those traveling to Miami are probably looking to rub elbows with some of the leading musicians and actors from around the world.

6. Orlando, Florida
Home to Disney World on the East Coast, there are a number of other attractions in or near Orlando. Epcot Center, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando, Discovery Cove, Islands of Adventure and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park are just some of the major attractions that draw literally millions of visitors a year.

7. Washington, D.C.
Although Washington, D.C. also draws millions of visitors every year, being the nation’s capital and home of the Senate and Congress, during a presidential election year the traffic more than doubles. If you are looking to visit the nation’s capital this year, make your reservations early because there is no telling how heated the presidential campaigning will get as we draw closer to that first Tuesday in November.

Visit one or go on a road trip and visit a few, but be assured you will enjoy your stay in any one of these top 7 travel destinations in the USA. Have fun, learn a bit of history and get refreshed for the year ahead. Just keep these locations in mind because next year you can hit the ones you missed in 2016.

Embrace Ramadan Kareem at Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha & Help Us Feed The Needy

The holy month of Ramadan is the fourth of the ‘five pillars’ of Islam. Ramadan is marked by a fast, which lasts for the ninth month of the lunar year. The true spirit of Ramadan is not only to fast physically but also to practice faith in righteous manner.

While generosity is considered to be a basic tenet of the month of Ramadan, Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha shares its abundance and blessings with needy each year through its CSR initiative: Break your fast with us and help to feed the needy.

Ms. Roxana Jaffer, CEO of Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha, has pledged that every Iftar meal at The Gem Garden restaurant enables funds to feed FOUR needy persons. Diners of Iftar at The Gem Garden this Ramadan will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have generated a donation to support needy people around the world.

Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha being the member of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) practices 12 of their 17 sustainability goals in helping to transform the world. Below are the list of UNGC goals practiced by HIAB:

   •   No poverty
   •   Zero hunger
   •   Good health & well-being
   •   Quality education
   •   Gender equality
   •   Clean water and sanitation
   •   Affordable and clean energy
   •   Decent work and economic growth
   •   Reduced inequalities
   •   Sustainable cities and communities
   •   Responsible consumption and production
   •   Partnerships for the goals

This initiative is part of our endeavor to make the world a better place for everyone.

With our strong desire to feed the hungry and play a humble role in eradicating poverty, please join our hands at The Gem Garden, this Ramadan to share from our abundance and blessings.

Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha launched the “Loves You Campaign” in 2007 as part of the hotel’s endeavor to go beyond the bottom-line to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility. The backdrop of the campaign “Life isn’t worth living unless its lived for someone else” has allowed the hotel to inculcate within the staff members an ethos of giving and making a difference in the lives of others who they can see are less fortunate than themselves.

‘Loves U Campaign” is unique in its appeal that all members of the staff, regardless of rank, color or creed, come together to achieve its objectives. The backdrop being Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) words ‘Life is only worth living if lived for someone else’ helps to inculcate an ethos of giving of themselves, of putting another person’s needs before oneself, that in turn reflects into service accorded to the guest that in turn helps to deliver the business objectives.

In the eight year’s since its initiation, the hotel staff have triumphantly held numerous awareness and fund-raising drives under this remarkable campaign thus providing, in their own small way, to building civil society in the UAE whilst aiding the needy.

“With your help, we have been able to feed 250, 000 children through the World Food Progamme. Our goal for 2016 is to support emergency food assistance in most needed countries. In –house guests can help us to feed starving children around the world by making a voluntary donation of AED5 upon check-out to feed 5 hungry children. In 2014 we had emergency food assistance delivered to 16, 500 people affected by the conflict in Syria. In 2013 we provided 115, 000 packs of high energy biscuits to the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2012 we donated 74, 165 school meals around the world. This year, 2016 up to Ramadan, we have managed to sustain over 50,000 people who suffered in the Nepal earthquake. Our work continues ....”

Diners can experience the true spirit of Ramadan while enjoying a sumptuous Iftar buffet at The Gem Garden for only AED 109 per person with special rates for bookings of 10 persons and above.

The Gem Garden at Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha will be offering a traditional Iftar Buffet featuring a lavish selection of Arabic and international dishes. Guests will enjoy, amongst other culinary delights, a wide array of salads, soups, main courses including grilled items. Making it extra special are refreshing Ramadan juices and a delectable variety of desserts.

The authentic Middle Eastern ambience, beautiful setting and traditional music will further complement the experience of diners at the restaurant.

Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha 1
PO Box 115443, Dubai
United Arab Emirates