United Arab Emirates Newsletter – February-2023
ICICI Bank introducing VACATIONS – your monthly Travel Newsletter!
Month’s theme Introduction: When’s the right time to travel
Many articles talk about ‘what’s the best time to go to a particular destination’. Well, we say, the best time to go to a destination is when you can! When you have the time and what is it that you want to see and do there.
If you are a snow lover, then winter season is the best time for you to travel to destinations that offer winter sports and activities. If you are a beach lover, then summer season is the best time for you to travel to destinations that offer beaches and warm weather. On the other hand, if you want to witness a seasonal event such as Cherry Blossom in Japan or Northern Lights then of course you have to travel as per the season.
Otherwise, travelling should not be dependent on the season and you should not worry too much about it being too hot or too cold. There is not a wrong weather there is only wrong clothing. Infact, traveling during the off-season can be more rewarding as you can save money and avoid crowds, it can also be a great way to experience a destination in a different way. For example, visiting a city during the off-season can offer a more authentic and local experience, as the crowds of tourists are less and the locals are more likely to be out and about.
In addition, many destinations are now catering to tourists all year round, with indoor activities and amenities, providing a variety of options for visitors regardless of the weather. So do not write off a destination just because it is not ‘the right season’.
Soul Trip: Open your mind
Just the act of getting up and going to a new place and experiencing new things can provide the excitement and adventure our brain needs to rejuvenate itself. It can also serve as a form of personal growth and self-discovery.
Travelling is a powerful tool for developing an open mind because it exposes individuals to new cultures, ways of life, and perspectives. When you travel, you are stepping out of your comfort zone, and this can be a great way to learn about the world and about yourself.
One of the most significant benefits of traveling is the opportunity to experience new cultures. When you immerse yourself in a new culture, you are exposed to different customs, traditions, and ways of life. This can be a great way to learn about other cultures and to gain a deeper understanding of the world. Additionally, you may also learn to appreciate the beauty of the world and the common humanity that connects us all.
Traveling broadens your perspective and help you to see things from a new angle. When you are in a new place, you may be exposed to different ways of thinking, different beliefs, and different values. This can be a great way to challenge your preconceptions and to gain a new understanding of the world. This is more than you can ever learn in any classroom, at any university.
Discover Your World
Well-known and yet unfamiliar
Often referred to as the U.A.E, is a federation of seven emirates on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. It has coastlines on the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia to the west and southwest, and Oman to the southeast and on the eastern tip of the Musandam Peninsula as well as an Omani enclave within its borders. It is a country rich in history and culture and an easy starting point for travels in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi - The capital of the UAE
Ajman - The smallest emirate, where tradition meets contemporary.
Dubai - The most common entry point for travellers, it is the transport and commerce center of the UAE. Often considered the most futuristic cities in the world.
Fujairah - A simple, rural Emirate, indicative of Emirati life in an era before oil
Sharjah - A cheaper destination, dusty and overcrowded in places but with its own unique charm.
Ras-Al-Khaima – The adventure zone
Umm al Quwain - The most peaceful Emirate of UAE, free from the hustle and bustle of city-life.
Some of the other destinations
Al Ain - Inland and close to the Omani bordertown of Buraimi, Al Ain comprises a triangle between the proper cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Hatta - Hatta is an exclave of Dubai, high in the Hajar Mountains
Khor Fakkan - Known for its archaeological and historical significance, located next to Oman
Liwa Oasis - a dusty cluster of villages around oases on the edge of the Empty Quarter. Not as many attractions but provides a relaxing desert experience
For most Indian tourists, the U.A.E. offers an environment that is extremely familiar. Loads of Indians loads of people speak Hindi and other Indian languages. The malls are extraordinarily modern, filled with virtually any product available in the West. The less well-known side of the U.A.E. includes remote, magnificent desert dunes on the edge of the Empty Quarter and craggy, awe-inspiring wadis in the northeast bordering Oman.
This time when you plan a visit to UAE, look beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi and you will be pleasantly surprised to see different facets to these emirati pearls in the Arabian Peninsula.
Ace those long-haul flights
While some of us love being in airplanes, even for long durations, most of us get a little anxious with long flights, layovers etc. Therefore, here are a few quick tips to ease out those long flight blues:
Do a web check-in as soon as it opens: This allows you to choose seats of your choice rather than being stuck in the middle ‘quite literally’. Even if your flight does not allow a check-in and issuance of a boarding pass, it will still allow you to choose a seat.
Keep your essentials within easy reach: This might include your mobile phone, your earphones, eye mask, a book, an emollient, water bottle, your neck pillow and perhaps your own blanket or a jacket. It is like carrying your own world and you won’t have to rely on any airlines stuff. That is a relief.
If you are a sound sleeper, great! Make yourself comfortable and just sleep it off. If you are not, make sure that you get up and walk about after regular intervals. This can be very rejuvenating.
Avoid the temptation of drinking too much coffee or alcohol during the flight.
Start following your destinations’ time zone as early as possible, even up to two-three days before the journey. Sleep when it is night-time at your destination.
To avoid frustration at the baggage collection point, just do what we have always recommended – travel light and avoid check in luggage. No danger of delays or baggage lost. For tips on packing light, refer to some of our past newsletters.
Sustainable Travel Tip of the Month
“To get a sample itinerary for UAE, "Click here”
Let’s all be responsible travellers
Leave your prejudices behind
Believe it or not, any prejudices and biases that you may have can hamper your travel experience. Moreover, as a responsible traveller, one of the first tenets is to respect local culture and local way of living.
Prejudice is an irrational and unfair attitude towards a person or group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. When a traveller holds prejudiced views, they may be less likely to engage with local people and cultures, and they may be more likely to perpetuate stereotypes and misunderstandings.
Prejudice can also create an uncomfortable and unwelcoming environment for the locals, and it can make it harder for you to connect with the local people and culture. A good traveller should strive to be open-minded and respectful of different cultures, customs, and ways of life. They should be willing to learn from their experiences and embrace new perspectives, rather than allowing their prejudices to shape their interactions with others. You may choose to not agree with it, but there is no reason why you should be unwilling to connect and examine it for your own learning.
‘Vacations’ is powered by OneShoe Trust for Responsible & Mindful Travels – a social enterprise that promotes travelling as a means to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues. Incubated at IIM Bangalore, OneShoe is the source of most authentic travel experiences around the world.
Link to: oneshoetravels.com
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