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Cost of Giving Birth in the USA

The idea of giving birth in a country that’s not one’s home country or country of residence has become a popular trend that’s generally referred to as ‘Birth Tourism’. People now decide to have their babies in countries like USA,CANADA,GERMANY,FRANCE,UNITED KINGDOM etc The two most popular reasons for this is mainly for better health care and secondly the prospect of a brighter future for their child who can in some instances become a citizen of the birth country. However the cost of giving birth in the USA makes it really difficult to easily head out there to have your baby without careful planning.
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cost of child birth USA

The US is however believed to be the best place in the world to have your baby if you are interested in ‘Birth Tourism’, not just because the US is the number one country to visit, live or work in but because its health care system is one of the best. They also provide immediate citizenship to babies upon their birth and giving birth in the US as a visitor is totally legal as long as you can foot all your medical bills, and also demonstrate that you can. Giving birth in the US comes with so many benefits for your child like:
  1. Access to state of the art facilities and medical personnel, this is especially important in the event you expect any form of complications during childbirth.
  2. Dual citizenship which allows the child to visit the United states and 166 other countries plus an additional 29 countries based on the Nigerian passport amongst several other benefits.
  3. The right of your child to file for USA permanent residence for his parents and siblings less than 21 years of age
The cost of giving birth in the USA is quite flexible and in some cases unpredictable just as child birth itself is. There are usually two components;
  1. The Doctor.
  2. The Hospital.
Quite unlike the practice in Nigeria where paying for the hospital entitles you to the services of the doctors, in the USA, after paying the hospital bills, you then have to get a doctor who will handle the delivery of your child. The Doctor and Hospital prices vary significantly across the USA; you can however find some of the best prices for giving birth in the USA here. A lot of factors can affect the cost of giving birth in the US; some of these are ; Birthing type - Are you going to have a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section? The answer to this question could as a matter of fact make a difference from the range of $2000 to $30000 in your hospital bill. Vaginal births without any form of complications could cost $2500 on an average while a caesarean section could averagely cost $4500, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project about 7 in 10 births are vaginal deliveries and 3 in 10 for caesarean sections. It is noteworthy that a caesarean section is a major surgery that requires anaesthesia, longer hospital stay and high risk [higher instances of morbidity and mortality] according to Toni Stern, M.D. Chair of Obstetrics and Genecology at the Coney Island Hospital. A caesarean section simply means more resources and expertise are required and used. The Mother and her Baby’s Health post delivery - Although everyone hopes for a healthy mom and baby after birth, a single complication can drastically increase the Hospitals cost. Some other important Factors that could affect the cost of giving birth in the US especially for non residents are; Accommodation - On the average the cost of a small short let apartment in the US could start from as low as $500 a month and the duration of your pre-natal and post-natal care is going to be a huge factor here. Others are transportation and feeding.   There are a number of tips and tricks that can significantly reduce the cost of giving birth in the USA, the important thing is to start out planning and do so early.       read more

Dubai Visa – All You Need to Know.

Dubai is one of the few developed/developing countries in the world that a Nigerian can get its visa without going to an embassy or any of the elaborate processes usually required to get the visa. This is probably why most Travel Agencies in Nigeria offer the Dubai Visa service, there are actually loads of fakers out there so you have to be careful. Also there are measures in place that make it difficult for Nigerians (especially Males) less than 40 years of age to get the Dubai visa, actually very few (you can count them in fingers of one hand) Travel agencies in Nigeria can get Dubai visa for Nigerians less than 40 years, yours truly is one them few travel agencies in Nigeria that get it, irrespective of age, gender or whatever limitation you might have read of out there,you can see our press release when the restriction came into place here. Actually, a lot of our customers are millennial; we’ve gotten Dubai visas for 19-year-old male Nigerians without any hassles.  Actually getting a Dubai visa can be as easy as paying $100, providing your international passport data page and waiting for 48 Hours to get the 96 Hour Dubai visa. Yes! you read that right, there is a 96 Hour Dubai Visa and yes you can get it in as little as 2 days. So this blog post will try to educate you on the correct names for the various Dubai Visa types, their requirements and application processes, what you can or cannot do with them and importantly the cost of getting one. Immigration Update!! UAE Immigration now requires additional information and supporting documentation for the processing of all entry visas for the United Arab Emirates for all Nigerian Single Travellers / Business Persons: The following details are required at the time of processing visa applications:
  • The last 3 months personal bank statements (Up to month prior to travel, If family booking, only required for head of the family)
  • Credit Card copy in the name of the traveller
  • Hotel booking must be in place prior to visa application
  • Family Travellers can apply for a tourist visa which will entitle a max 30 day stay. Individual Travellers / Business Travellers can only apply  for a service visa will entitles a max 14 day stay. If your client wishes to have an extended duration they must exit the UAE and apply a new visa.
  • Service Visa charges are the same as Tourist Visa charges
  • Visa applications cannot be submitted for processing without the required supporting documentation
  • Family is defined as: Husband & Wife, with or without children. If the surnames on passports differ, a copy of the marriage certificate will be required
  • 96 hour visas are only available if a valid visa is in place for the next destination. Proof of visa is required.
The above requirement is applicable with immediate effect and any pending visa applications cannot be processed without the required information. 96 Hour Dubai Visa (Also known as Transit Dubai Visa, very few travel agencies in Nigeria can get this type of Dubai visa) Price: $100 Requirements:
  1. Visa Valid For Maximum 96 Hours Stay in the UAE
  2. Only valid for entry / exit via DXB & DWC(you will not be granted entry with this Dubai visa type if you arrive through any other Emirates besides Dubai, however, you can visit all the Emirates after entry via Dubai)
  3. Valid for 14 Days
  4. No age or sex restriction
  5. Quick visits, stop-over’s, short Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  6. The 96 hours is measured based on the flight timing
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 3 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
UAE Tourist Visa (Single Entry - Max 30 Days – also known as tourist Dubai visa) Price:  $140 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  3. Valid for 60 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. No age or sex restriction
  6. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
Multiple Entry Cruise Visa Price:  $170 Requirements:
  1. Multiple Entry Visa Valid For 30 Days Stay from first date of entry in the UAE
  2. Valid for 60 Days
  3. This visa is non-extendable.
  4. A valid cruise ship booking must be in place to utilize this visa.
  5. Entry from all UAE airports
  6. No age or sex restriction
  7. Travel agency processing time of 5 working days (work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend)
  8. Used for cruise holidays only
  9. Hotel/cruise booking from us required
  10. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  11. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  12. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  13. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Urgent 30 Day Tourist Visa (also known as Emergency Dubai Visa) Price: $175 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  3. Valid for 60 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. No age or sex restriction
  6. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 3 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Short Term Visit Multiple Entry Visa - 30 Days (Also known as Multiple Entry Dubai Visa) Price: $315 Requirements:
  1. Multiple Entry Visa Valid For 30 Days Stay from first date of entry in the UAE
  2. This visa is non-extendable
  3. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  4. Valid for 60 Days
  5. Entry from all UAE airports
  6. No age or sex restriction
  7. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  8. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  9. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  10. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  11. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  12. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Service Visa - Single Entry - Max 14 Days (also known as \Service Dubai Visa) Price: $150 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Service Visa (Max 14 Days)
  3. Valid for 14 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. Not suitable for Nigerian Males less than 40 Years Old
  6. Used for Business, Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 7 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
UAE 90 Day Work Visa (also known as Dubai Work Visa) Price: $500 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Service Visa (Max 90 Days)
  3. Valid for 90 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. Not suitable for Nigerian Males less than 40 Years Old
  6. Used for Business and Job search.
  7. No Hotel booking is required
  8. Refundable deposit (upon exit from Dubai) of $1650 required
  9. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  10. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  11. Visa process will take our travel agency 15 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  12. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
  read more

Dubai Tourism Packages…Etihad or Emirates?

DubaiTourismPackages I get this question a lot from people interested in Dubai Tourism packages or Business, which of the UAE airlines offer the best flight service to Dubai? Both Airlines offer great service, have good safety record and are aggressively competing against their long established European and American competitors. My travel agency counterparts think it’s a pretty straight forward comparison, they’d usually advice you go with Etihad if you’re on a tight budget but if you have an issue with not flying directly (flying to Abu Dhabi and connecting Dubai by Road) or the one hour bus ride offered by Etihad to connect Dubai from Abu Dhabi and have the extra money to spare then go with Emirates.  I don’t totally agree with that, so this blog post will try to x-ray some of the key elements to evaluate, in the end you’ll be the judge. Just a few caveats before I start;
  1. This evaluation is just for the Lagos – Dubai route, it does not include other destinations
  2. This is my opinion, I can understand any difference in view so please feel free to join the conversation and share your Dubai Tourism or Business trip experience in the comment section
I will look at the following elements;
  1. Flight Schedule/Frequency
  2. Pricing
  3. Flight Check-In Process
  4. Check-in Process
  5. Airport Experience/Duty Free Shopping
  6. Cabin Crew
  7. In-flight Entertainment
  8. Meals
Flight Schedule/Frequency        This is one of the clear cut parts of this comparison. I was utterly disappointed when Etihad reduced flight frequency last year; I was even more disappointed with how they handled the rescheduling of already scheduled flights (they didn’t offer adequate palliative and left most of the legwork to the Travel agency). We were actually expecting them to increase frequency to two daily flights(from one daily flight), that way they’ll have one morning and one night flight, that would have really put them ahead of Emirates which offered afternoon and Night flights(the afternoon flight isn’t a very good schedule for Dubai tourism packages). Presently Etihad offers six flights per week compared with two and one daily flights respectively from Lagos and Abuja daily offered by Emirates. There’s really no comparison here, it’s a KNOCK OUT! Pricing Emirates is usually about thirty to sixty thousand Naira more expensive that Etihad. Etihad is rarely more expensive. If you consider the impact of the price difference on the entire Dubai tourism packages, especially if it’s an entire family, you’ll agree with me that it is substantial. Some folks will try to justify this with the fact that you’ll be flying to Abu Dhabi and connecting Dubai by Road when you fly Etihad. This segment should be called Value for money but that’s the objective of this entire post so you can decide at the end of it which of the two airlines offers more value for money. Additionally there are some exclusive deals you can get on Hotels if you flight Emirates for instance there are Emirates exclusive rates for Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab. Check-In Process This one really beats my understanding, Emirates’ check-in area is usually a lot more organised than Etihad’s. More often than not, Etihad’s check-in area looks like an Oshodi or Obalende, yes really crowded and a little disorganized, don’t get me wrong, the people are not unruly or anything like that(they have a good class of Nigerians flying Etihad) but it’s just always over crowded, there’s obviously something they’re not getting right Baggage Allowance This one clearly goes to Etihad though I wouldn’t call it a knock out as there’s still room for improvement…actually a lot of room if you consider how much shopping Nigerians do in Dubai. A good number of folks that buy a Dubai tourism package do so for the shopping opportunity that it offers Emirates’ Standard allowance: 30kg in Economy Class 40kg in Business Class 50kg in First Class Excess baggage rates per kilogram: USD 35(plus applicable taxes) – This can be purchased both from a travel agency and online   Etihad’s Standard allowance: 2 X 23kg in Economy Class 2 X 32kg in Business Class 2 X 32kg in First Class Excess baggage rates per kilogram: USD 35(plus applicable taxes)   3rd to 6th Piece of not more than 23kg per piece purchased via; Online/Travel Agency: $140 Contact Centre: $160 Airport: $200 Airport Experience/Duty Free Shopping This is one of those overhyped things not just for Dubai but for all countries, you’d be surprised how often you pay more for an item while thinking you’re getting a bargain because you found  it in duty free shop. I’d advice to buy only things you have a good idea of the price, that way you can tell if it’s a bargain or not.  This one goes to Emirates, yes that’s one of their strengths, the duty free shopping experience, and the entire airport experience is actually way up there. Etihad is a smaller airport and doesn’t offer half as much options as you’ll get at Emirates DXB Airport. The DXB airport feels like a major hub which it truly is. Several Dubai Tourism Package customers have complained about being treated discourteously at the Abu Dhabi airport, that’s just another reason why I prefer the Dubai airport experience. Cabin Crew I kinda find Emirates cabin crew to be less helpful and fashionable than Etihad’s.  The crew at Emirates consistently act phoney when you ask for a second helping of a meal or drink. I’ve been lied to (oops we’ve run out!! But then you still see them serving it) and even avoided (they promise to get it and just avoid you subsequently or pretend to not recognize you afterwards).  Etihad’s crew are usually fashion on point, perfect dress size, perfect make up etc while Emirates usually have petite, slightly bland and unfriendly Asians. Both airlines lack local content, I’ve never seen or heard of a Nigeria crew or  heard of a crew that speak a local language, I actually find it quite offensive when they boast about having a crew that can speak several languages including Punjab, Hindi etc Hello!!!! This flight is from/to Nigeria, besides English we speak Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and over 50 other local languages, is it too much to ask that you speak one of the local languages or maybe pidgin English? No offence to folks from India but your Punjab and Hindi language skills is not useful to Nigerians as we do not speak or understand it. In-flight Entertainment I’ll lean slightly towards Etihad on this one as I prefer the user interface, screen responsiveness and general usability of the E-Box (Etihad’s In-flight Entertainment system). e-boxDon’t get me wrong ICE (Emirate’s in-flight entertainment system) is great and offers a whole lot of variety just like the e-box. I particularly like the fact that you can place your Duty Free Orders via the E-box. I noticed a few Nollywood movies on Emirates, while I’m not a big Nollywood  fan, I think lots of Nigerians will find it interesting. They should make efforts to improve their Nollywood content, I believe IrokoTV has rights to a very impressive selection of Nollywood movies, the best out there I might add, it shouldn’t be difficult for to arrange a deal for their rights. I was also slightly put off by how much commercials that ran on ICE advertising top resorts like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Atlantis etc Meals You’ll most probably eat some curry or cheesy stuff on both flights, while this is not a problem for me; it is for most Nigerians so both airlines need to substantially up their game in this department. While the curry and cheesy stuff are great, our poundo/Amala with Egusi or vegetable soup taste better to us. It’ll be great to have rice and plantain too. I learnt Emirates now offer rice, Eforiro etc Way to go guys! Based on that I’ll give this one to Emirates. You can have your Travel Agency put in a special meal request which is subject to approval for both airlines. Our travel agency has however not ut in a request for a local meal before, we will try this in the next days The Verdict! This evaluation so far is as seen and experienced by me, add to that also the fact that I work for a travel agency, so customers also share their Dubai Tourism travel experience I’d really let to get your opinion of both airlines, feel free to drop your comments read more

How To get a Free Flight/Hotel Upgrade

Do you ever wonder what goes on behind the drawn curtain separating Business/First Class cabin from the Economy cabin? Collapsible, wide and leather seats, gourmet food served in proper plates (not plastic), welcome champagne,high end amenity kits and the general air of "Very Important People". It usually cost an arm, a leg and maybe an ear to get this. Now imagine you can get an upgrade so you can enjoy all that without breaking the bank or possible for nothing!  All that will taste a lot better if you are not paying any extra for it.You can get that upgrade for little or nothing if you follow this guide and have a bit of luck on your side. Read for the tip and please, do not hesitate drop any tip you have that is not include here, we'd greatly appreciate it. FLIGHTS
  1. Join a frequent flyer program.You will more likely be upgraded if you have a relationship with the airline, pledging your loyalty to the airline can be considered a great relationship, additionally the high you climb u that loyalty ladder by logging more and more miles, the more like it is that you will get that upgrade. This is an investment that might not yield dividends immediately or in the sure run but surely will in the long run. You can actually be able to use accumulated points from the logged miles to get an upgrade or a fresh ticket depending on how many miles you have accumulated.
  2. Subscribe to the airline's email newsletter and follow them on social media, the airlines contact you close to the flight date you offer cheap upgrades, Qatar air is popular for this.
  3. Long Haul fights offer so much value for money or points so don't shell out those hard earned points for short city hops.
  4. There are often staff perks that you can take advantage of so if you have family or friend working for an airline, it is time to ring them.
  5. If you are celebrating a milestone like birthday, wedding or anniversary, let the airline staf know, have your travel agent put a comment on your booking to indicate that the trip is an anniversary get-away. They might have heard this a million times  from several others so you might want to have a proof with you, you might just get that upgrade.
  6. Do you have a professional title? If you can precede your name with Doctor or Professor, ensure that you have proof for the title, there's just a chance you might get that upgrade.
  7. Being nice to the airline staff might not guarantee an upgrade but being nice and friendly with a smile to the check-in counter staff can help.
  8. Business/First class usually have folks who are at the top of their fields of endeavor, the rich and beutifful so you might want to dress like you are one of them so you don't look odd, that increases the chances of getting the upgrade.
  9. Don’t  pre-order a special meal if you can do without it. If you order a special meal, it rules you out of an upgrade as flights usually do not care spare special meals, you can be in Business class and eat economy class meal.
  10. It is helpful to be flexible. When a flight is full, airline staff might “push” passengers onto the next flight. This move might be a lucrative one. Incentives for accepting the move might include an upgrade. If you can afford to to be pushed, don't forget to inform the airline staff during check-in.
  11. Discreetly inform the gate attendant!
  12. Be first in the line. When the flight gets overbooked, it may just be a case of first-booked, first-pushed. However, the opposite might just be the case. There’s no sure way of predicting this in advance. When a flight is overbooked, the last passengers to check-in may just find themselves in the stretched seats.
  13. Arriving a little late, but not very late, could help too. You’re expecting the economy seats being filled already.
  14. You need to be strategic when choosing your flight times. Early morning flights are common with business travelers so it's more unlikely to get an upgrade on such flights, however your chances of upgrading are higher if the flight is for later in the day. Also During school holidays, top holiday destinations will be busy but maybe not in all classes. Hard pressed families will most probably be in economy class and this frees up space in business/ first class.
  15. Fights during Bank Holidays and other lower times of the year when business travelers usually don't travel is a good time. Don't just consider US or UK holidays, consider your origin and destination country. Check out what's happening like Conventions and expos, these are periods you should avoid as the business travelers keep the business/first class cabins filled up.
  16. If you’re really want to get an upgrade, do a bit of research, you can actually find the air plane seat configuration on seat guru, from there you can tell the flights with more business/first class seats and target those as you have higher chances with them.
  17. Look up your flights a day before departure to see how full it is. A sold out flight might just mean that the airline will look for volunteers to push to the next flight, this presents a nice opportunity to negotiate for an upgrade.
  18. Have some cash with you on your travel date. You can inquire at the counter how much an upgrade will cost, since it's a last minute upgrade you might just get a very good deal.
  19. Travel alone. If you are by yourself without any child or partner,it'll be easier to get an upgrade, if there are two of you but only one stretched seat, they will usually skip you and look for a single traveler.
  20. It is quite rare for a family to get an upgrade but you can increase your chances by ensuring that your children are well behaved, you can push things further by making separate bookings for each family member, that way even when there are few seats, some of you can get them.
  21. If a cabin crew asks you to move to create space for another passenger, please do so. There might just be a stretched seat upfront that they'll move you to.
  22. If there’s an issue with your tray table, seat or any other thing, politely and discreetly tell the cabin crew, if there isn't a a free seat in economy class cabin, you might just be moved to business/first class cabin.
HOTELS
  1. The rules her are quite similar, sign up for the hotel's loyalty program.
  2. Ensure that you are subscribed to their news letter and follow them on their social media channels.
  3. Don’t book the cheapest room, go for the  second and next in line. As far as the hotel is concerned, the jump to a suite will not be as far as it will from the cheapest room type.
  4. Do not be too specific about your booking. If you are flexible with the room type, you most likely will not be assigned to a room until you are about to check-in and which time you can nicely ask.
  5. As the case with flights, let them know how important the trip is. Is it a honeymoon, life event, wedding anniversary, birthday etc Inform the hotel about this at the point of booking(you can easily put a remark to inform them), even if you don't get an upgrade, you can actually get other freebies.
  6. Be polite and friendly. If there's a problem with your booked room, explain nicely you might just get that upgrade if the same room class is no longer available.
  7. Make your booking directly with the hotel, you can do the on their website or by writing them an email or even calling them.
  8. Do a bit of research before booking, you can tell them you saw a cheaper price online and negotiate the upgrade based on that as they will naturally try to better the offer.
  9. Travel out during low season. Boutique hotels in particular  (hotel that cater to business travelers) are more likely to have available rooms when the business travelers are not there.
  10. Conversely, during high season most of the the cheaper rooms in the hotel may be occupied so the hotel can bump you into more comfortable room.
  11. It is generally easier to get an upgrade for shorter stays, one or two nights ideally.
  12. Arrive late. Rooms may free up during the course of the day and the hotel will be keen to fill them up. You also want to speak to a staff that has the power to upgrade your room who will usually close at about 5pm so don't leave it for too late.
  13. Search out new hotels or hotels with new management. They’ll be working hard to impress you and get your referrals.
read more

2015 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards

Trip Advisor compile reviews for the various destinations to come up with the Traveler's Choice Award. This award is as real and unbiased as it gets because it is strictly based on user reviews, so when users bad reviews of a  destination, you'll see it go down or even leave the list. I'll give you a really practical example, I decided to include a 3 night Istanbul stop over in my summer holiday mostly because it had the number one spot in 2014 awards so I figured I had to see things for myself, I'd been to Istanbul a few year back but it didn't wow me that much I wanted to see how things had improved. Things indeed had improved but I didn't quite like the traffic plus I had a nasty encounter with a taxi driver(if you find yourself in Istanbul, be very careful with the taxi drivers, they're thieves and scam artists and will easily gang up against you) which I later learnt a number of folks experience the same thing. You'd imagine the first country I checked out when the 2015 list came out....I wasn't totally disappointed as Istanbul had dropped to the 3rd spot, I would've preferred a double digit spot.So without further ado, here are the top 25 destinations for 2015.....Enjoy #25 Destination(Lost 3 spots): Sydney #24 Destination(Lost 7 spots): Dubai #23 Destination(New): Hong Kong #22 Destination(New): Queenstown #21 Destination: Budapest #20 Destination: Athens #19 Destination(New): Kathmandu #18 Destination(Gained 2 spots): Bangkok #17 Destination(Lost one spot): St. Petersburg #16 Destination(New): Cusco #15 Destination(New): Ubud #14 Destination(New): Goreme #13 Destination(Gained 2 spots): Barcelona #12 Destination(New): Zermatt #11 Destination(Gained 1 spot): New York City #10 Destination(Gained 9 spots): Cape Town #9 Destination(Lost 2 spots): Paris #8 Destination(Gained 6 spots): Buenos Aires #7 Destination(Lost 5 spots): Rome #6 Destination(Lost 3 spots): London #5 Destination(Retained Spot): Prague #4 Destination(Gained 4 spots): Hanoi #3 Destination(Lost 2 spots): Istanbul #2 Destination(Gained 7 Spots): Siem Reap #1 Destination(Gained 5 Spots): Marrakech read more

What To Carry On Your Next Flight Trip

I love traveling!!!! Yes I do, don’t we all? But I don’t exactly like travelling….in the later case I’m referring to the journey, particularly the preparation, getting to the airport on time, “Nigerian Customs”( I still wonder why they have to stick their hands into your luggage as against using a scanner), queuing up at passport control and the boarding gates and the restlessness caused by the thought that you must have forgotten something etc. This restlessness can only get worse if you aren’t well prepared for the flight, not having enough to make the time you spend on the flight feel shorter than it actually is or more generally speaking more fruitful. Here’s a guide on what items can come in handy, really good stuff I’d say; Staying Warm Irrespective of the temperature in your origin or destination countries which I assume you have prepared accordingly, airplanes can get cold, if you consider that the air conditioner is always on, it can easily get cold. The airlines would usually provide thin and not very wide blankets so it will be very helpful if you have some warm clothing on to make up for the inefficiencies of the provided blanket, you can bring on a jacket/pull over/sweater so you can remove it when it gets too warm. The ladies can bring a pashmina which can be stylish while still providing the utility value. What Clothes to Wear I'll always advise to keep it comfortable and simple. It is also important not to keep it too simple as that might affect your perception especially if you'd like to be considered for a possible upgrade (Please see our post on how to get a free flight upgrade here), while your pajamas will be super comfortable, you might look a little silly walking around the airport in them. I'd usually go loose fitting stuff, preferably cotton, leggings should work for the ladies, a comfortable sweat suit, a pullover or casual jacket should work. What Shoes to Wear – Shoes You should still keep it comfortable, something smart, quick to wear and easily adjustable should work. Slip-on, sandals, easy to wear loafer etc should be adequate. You need to consider that there could be a bit of feet swelling especially during the long flights so it should be very easy to take off the shoes to do a bit of in-set exercise to manage the swelling. Putting them back on afterwards shouldn't be difficult too. As for shoes, opt for something quick and adjustable like sandals or slip-on. Please don't try to go to the toilets bare footed, a lot of stuff you don't want to know can be on the floor. Skin Care Products Dry recirculated air can dry up the skin making it white like during harmattan season, you can find a moisturizer in the toilet but those are usually low quality and might smell odd so you might want to bring yours with you. This has to be in a very small container or you'll risk having it confiscated by airport security. Lip balm and baby wipes are good additions. Ensure that they are in leak proof containers that are not filled to the brim as liquids tend to expand during flight and can spill into your bag. Things to Keep Busy With The entertainment system on most international flights usually have lots of  entertainment materials from movies, to music, this might not be to your taste or you might prefer to busy up differently so it is a good idea to bring your own reading material, paper back, magazine, newspaper etc. If you'll like to do some laptop work, it will be helpful if you have a universal travel adapter to ensure that you're able to connect to the power source if they're available. Ear plugs, eye mask and neck pillow are some really important carry ons you'll like to consider for additional comfort if you plan to sleep. A Pen and a Notepad This comes in handy for filling in immigration or custom declaration forms, being able to fill those forms will help you get on the queue on time and reduce your wait time so it's important you always have one handy. Children, Toddlers and Babies This might be a sticky one especially if they are get air sick easily. A lot of this depends on what works for the specific child  but I've come to realize that the simplest and least expensive thing like mega blocks, legos, picture books, colour books, activity books and small toys can keep them happy for a while. Liquids There are strict rules about what liquids you can bring with you. Sadly Nigerian immigration more often than note are not upto date with this so they will usually take the blanket approach to stay safe. Consequently despite the fact that you are allowed to carry liquids (perfume,cream, gels etc) in 100ml cans packed in transparent ziplock bags, Nigerian immigration/airport security might not let you bring them with you. When they do, it's usually due to an oversight which actually happens really often. This applies to only Nigerian airports, internationally you be okay. Exceptions to Above If you’re traveling with an infant, you're actually allowed to carry on baby formula, breast milk and baby milk that is more than 100ml, you are also not required to carry them in transparent zip lock bags. All you have to do is to actually declare them for inspection at the security check point. Medications Medications are usually allowed irrespective of the form, you might want to bring your prescription with you as such things are taken seriously abroad. There are also exceptions for other items of medical purpose like walking stick and crotches. The general rule of thumb is to declare all the items that the exception apply to. Possible Changes The policies governing what can be brought on keep changing  as  the security personnel learn news things so be sure to check airline website or airport website to get the latest policies that are applicable before your trip.   read more

2014 Top 25 Destinations – Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards

Every year Trip Advisor compiles the top twenty five destinations based on the reviews gathered from their site, now this is actual user reviews so no mago-mago, no wayo. This is the 6th edition of it.They practically slice and dice user reviews and ratings over 12 months into lists of its most highly recommended global and regional destinations. The Traveller's Choice awards recognize top travel spots globally based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travellers’ favourites and spots that are frequently rated high. Without no further ado, find below the top 25 holiday spots for 2014... It's time to plan a vacation! 25. San Francisco - California - USA(Lost 18 Spots) San Francisco Each neighborhood in San Francisco has its own unique personality. The Marina district has trendy bistros and picture perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Noe Valley on the other hand offers classy and quiet boutiques. Say hello to the sea lions located  at Pier 39, and try out local cheese and charcuterie around the Ferry Building. 24. Chiang Mai - Thailand (Retained Ranking) Thai You could spend your entire Chiang Mai excursion trying out the renowned Night Bazaar. Once you've finished the game of cheerful haggle, there's a whole lot more to explore. The Botanic Garden and National Museum are awesome spots to douse up some local culture and inhale the fragile fragrance of Thai orchids. The downtown area has remnants of ancient wall of over 30 temples. 23. Lisbon - Portugal (New) lisbon The rich culture and history of the Portuguese capital cit is celebrated by the museums of Lisbon. The Maritime Museum is ideal for children (and adults to!) who love all things nautical.The Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves is a shrouded jewel of beautiful fine art. To completely appreciate the city's stone architecture that is dramatic, you can take a guided tour,be sure to visit Padrao dos Descobrimentos, the UNESCO World Heritage site the Torre de Bele and  the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos 22. Sydney - Australia (Lost 12 Spots) 22 Sydney offers a lot of contemporary and historical Australian flavor. The superb Sydney Opera House resembles an awesome origami sailboat, skimming gently in a harbor. Stroll through the limited cobblestone lanes of The Rocks and afterward watch some street performance on the Circular Quay before proceeding to the Museum of Contemporary Art. You can wrap it all up by soaking in epic views from the Sydney Tower Eye observatory are epic – You can seize the opportunity to learn about the city layout from high above 21. Budapest - Hungary (New) 21 Over 57 Million liters of water bubble into Budapest's 118 springs & boreholes. This city of spas offer a dumbfounding array of baths, from the shimmering Gellert Baths to Rudas Spa to the limitless 1913 neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa.Get your camera prepared for the Roman ruins at the Aquincum Museum, Statue Park and Heroes' Square and also the 300-foot St. Stephens's arch 20. Bangkok - Thailand (Lost 7 Spots) 20 Bangkok  is the capital of Thailand, it's like a magical fairy land characterized by its floating markets and majestic porcelain laid spires. This city is divided into 50 unique districts with each one offering interesting activities. From the reclining Buddha temple of Wat Pho through Siam Square popular for premium shopping to Dusit that is characterized by its European style Gardens. 19. Cape Town - South Africa (Lost 3 Spots) 19 Cape Town shines at the southern toe of  Africa. "The Mother City@ as it's fondly called offers sweeping sea views, wild life encounters, wine tasting, shark cage diving and plenty of historic sites including Robben Island that houses Nelson Mandela's 27 year jail cell. 18. Chicago, Illinois - USA (Lost 4 Spots) 18 Chicago has lots of museums and theaters which guarantee a rich cultural experience. The city theater is sure to yield lots of laugh in this windy city that is also characterized by fine dinning, modern art, cutting edge comdy and die hard sports fans. 17. Dubai - United Arab Emirates (New) 17 Dubai is one of the most eccentric cities of the middle east and the world, it's futuristic cityscape is breath taking when you're descending into the city, towers above the Arabian desert. This is city bags a lot of records from the tallest building (Burj Khalifa), through the biggest man made palm island  (the palm Jumeirah), the biggest dancing fountain to the biggest natural flower garden Called the miracle garden. 16. St. Petersburg - Russia (Gained 4 Spots) 16 St. Petersburg is both the country’s cultural heart and second largest city. Peruse globally renowned art collection of the hermitage at the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace.This city offers lof of fine dinning, art and nightlife for all and particularly return visitors. 15. Barcelona - Spain (Lost 10 Spots) 15 Take a walk down Las Ramblas or experience the FC Barcelona trophy laden stadium or soak in the biggest collection of Pablo Picasso's work or have some delicious paella with the full view of the La Sagrada Famigliaor just lounge by the lovely beaches, Barcelona just offers the right mix of Art,History,Sports, fine dinning and some Tapas. 14. Buenos Aires - Argentina (Jumped 4 Spots) 14 Tango was born in this city, seductive,bustling and captivating are some of the adjectives that rightly describes Buenos Aires just the the Tango dance itself. The city has lots of neighborhoods that offer thumping night life, romantic restaurants and history.Teatro Colon still impresses as much as it did in the 1908 era. This is the shopping capital of latin America  and offer premium retails therapy along its wide and grand boulevards. 13. Florence - Italy (Lost 5 Spots) 13 Florence is full of art and history. Folks that are interested in photography can take lovely pictures of Ponte Vecchio bridge while shopaholics can wander Piazza Santo Santo for the best bargains. You can wrap the day up with the tuscan cuisine which will transport you to your happiest place instantly. 12. New York - USA (Lost 10 Spots) <> on March 21, 2014 in New York City. A visit to the big apple will expose you to an energetic and restless city with sports, history, culture, restaurant and shopping in abundance. A visit to some of it's well known monuments like the Statue of Liberty, Empire state building, Metropolitan Museum of Arts and the Yankee stadium will give you a really taste of this city that never sleeps. 11. Berlin - Germany (Retained Ranking) 11 Berlin is a city on the edge, from it's architecture to it's fashion and tense political history. The Berlin Wall is a mellow reminder of the super charged post war atmosphere, The graffiti covering the remnant of the was is an indication of the progress they have made. 10. Shanghai - China (Gained 12 Spots) 10 Shanghai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in China and the largest too. It gives vacationers the unique opportunity to experience the future, present and past all at the same time. The Huangpu River divides  the city into two districts namely Puxi and Pudong. being the old and new sides respectively. 9. Siem Reap - Cambodia (Gained 14 Spots) 9 This city is home to the ancient structures that form one of the biggest religious complexes in the world. The complex coupled with the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city are some of them tourist attractions in this historic city. You can play some haggling games at the Angkor market. 8. Hanoi - Vietnam (New) 8 This capital city of Vietnam is charming. The city has aged well and has been able to properly preserve the monuments, colonial architecture and old quarter while providing for modern developments too.This city has more than 600 temples and pagodas which immensely contributes to the city's appeal. 7. Paris - France (Lost 6 Spots) 7 Romance, Deserts, Fashion, Wine, Perfumes , arts and history are some of the things this lovely town is reputed for. Awaken your soul by taking a trip to the Notre Dame or hunt for a bargain the Marche aux Puces De Montreuil. Blow of some steam at the end of the day with some risque entertainment at the Moulin Rougue. 6. Marrakech - Morocco (Lost 13 Spots) 6 Nicknamed the The “Red City”,  Marrakesh is a magical place, full of palaces, mosques and gardens. Take in the beauty of the city by visiting of the the historic mosques or try out some of it's cuisine which is influenced by their french colonials. 5.Prague - Czech Republic (Gained 5 Spots) 5 Prague offers a bohemian allure which makes it a great destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to insert themselves in culture.  Prague’s best bars are in cellars, these historic pubs set the scene for a great night of traditional tippling. 4. Beijing - China (Ganed 17 Spots) ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics at XXX on August 3, 2008 in Beijing, China. Beijing offers a wealth of history, including ancient (Summer Palace, the Hall of Preserving Harmony, Forbidden City) and modern (Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall). Word for the wies, go for the Dirt MArket instead of the touristy Silk Market. 3. London - England (Retaind Position) <> on July 31, 2012 in London, England. Buckingham Palace, The crown jewels, Camden Market… London fuses history with  with art, food,fashion, food and good old British ale. The shopping is the mist appealing for the average Nigerian, so just head over to Oxford street and seek out the best bargains. 2. Rome - Italy (Gained 2 Spots) rome The Ancient city Rome can’t be toured in one day. There's just so much to do From the  Trevi Fountain where you can drop a coin and make a love wish through the Colosseum to the Pantheon. At the end of the day fuel up with a a plate of fresh pasta with some succulent fried artichokes and numerous other great meal...yes it is not just the art lovers and historians, the food lovers will love Rome too. 1. Istanbul - Turkey (Gained 11 Spots) 1 Europe meets Asia in Istanbul, This is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe and offers great shopping options courtesy of its extensively developed manufacturing sector.Several mosques,hammams (Turkish Bath)  and Bazaars can keep you quite occupied. Don't miss out the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) which is visible from several points in the city. Did I mention that they make some of the best Sharwama or Donner as they call it? read more

Travel Preparation Tips – South Africa

south-african-fans I was in South Africa for a conference earlier this year; my trip was a last-minute thing because of the delay by the embassy to issue the visa. I however got to Durban (the host city of Tourism INDABA) and realized that I was far from prepared. It took two hours of painstaking search to get an adaptor to power my laptop which was flat-out of battery. This only complicated everything further as all the necessary information both for my hotel reservation and conference details was contained in the laptop. After going through these rigors I then realized that my post paid phone line wouldn’t roam, I should have prearranged that before leaving Nigeria. Let me not bore you with the long list of nasty surprises that I got because of my lack of preparation/information. I resolved to not let folks go through what I did so in a series of “Travel Preparation Tips” posts, I will be detailing all the necessary information that you will need to have a hitch free trip. So here we go with South Africa. Feel free to share any additional tips you might have ELECTRICITY:

Travel AdaptorThe voltage of electricity in South Africa  is 220/230 volts. Most socket are 3 pin or 2 round pins(like what obtains in Europe), based on this your usual Nigerian three pin plug might not work so you'll consequently require a travel/universal adapter picture to the right. I'll advice to always travel with this adapter as it will more often than not come in handy.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: The usual practice of prefixing the country code, area code and actual phone number with is obtainable in South Africa. You can get country dialing codes from the internet or telephone directory which is usually available at the hotel. You can also get a 24hour help by dialling 10903.  Numbers starting with "08" are toll free while numbers starting with "0860" will be charged at local call rates. "0861" numbers are charged a fixed rate. The popular local city codes are 041 - Port Elizabeth, 031 - Durban,  021 - Cape Town, 011 - Johannesburg and 012 - Pretoria. TIPPING: This is a common practice in South Africa, it is usually about 10% of the value of the service received. Now this is not compulsory, you do it only out of magnanimity. At car parks, the attendants will usually ask if they can watch over your car for you while you're away. If you agree a two Rand tip is usually adequate. In South Africa, they still have the luxury of Fuel station attendants, then can perform additional tasks like checking tire pressure, oil check and windscreen cleaning, a two Rand tip or more is usually adequate for their service. At the airports or hotels, a five Rand tip would be adequate per piece of luggage. WHAT TO WEAR: South Africans are generally laid back so dressing up might not be a very good idea. During their summer which spans from mid-October to Mid-February, cool and comfortable clothes are advisable rain jacket and umbrella will be handy additions too as it rains a lot in this season. Don't forget your swimming trunks too. Winter spans from May to July, the winter is usually not a harsh as America/European winter but it will be helpful to have adequate worm clothing. A hat and sun glasses can come in handy too as the sun gets really strong despite the season. If you are a business traveler,standard formal dressing will be okay although some sectors like the Media dress down. IF you are going for a game drive(wildlife viewing in the wild), neutrally toned clothing will be adequate. You can have a casual smart outfit if you're going for an evening fine dinning. SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 1. New Year Day - 1st January 2. Human Right Day - 21st March 3. Good Friday - Variable 4. Family Day (Monday after Easter) - 5. Freedom Day - 27th April 6. Worker's Day - 1st May 7. Youth Day - 16th June 8. Women's Day - 9th August 9. Heritage Day - 24th September 10. Day of Reconciliation - 16th December 11. Christmas Day - 25th December 12. Day of Goodwill - 26th December Public Holidays that fall on a Sunday are moved to the next Monday. CUSTOMS: Visitors to South Africa are allowed to bring in the following items duty and VAT free; 1. Personal effects like clothing shoes etc 2. Other new or used items not worth more than R3000, additional item worth above R3000 but least than R12,000 will incur a 20% duty. 3. Not more than 2 liters of wine per person above eighteen years 4. Not more than one liter of distilled liquor for person above eighteen years. 5. Not more than 200 sticks of Cigarettes and 20 sticks of cigars for person above eighteen years of age. 6. Not more than 250g of cigarette tobacco/pipe tobacco for each person older than eighteen years old 7. Not more than 50ml of perfume and 250ml of toilet water per person. If you have items within the allowed quantities you can take the green channel(nothing to declare, otherwise take the red channel and declare the excess. When leaving you are allowed to take a maximum of R500, you will have to pay a 20% charge for any amount above R500. YELLOW FEVER ENTRY REQUIREMENT Nigerians are required to have a valid yellow fever vaccination card in order to travel to South Africa. Actually you have to get one if you have transited through a country that s considered to be an infected area. This is based on the International Health Regulations of 2005.A valid vaccination should be administered at least 10 days before departure to South Africa That’s all, please do not hesitate to add any points not mentioned in the comment thread.It will be great if you can share your thoughts on the ones mentioned read more

Visa Free Countries For Nigerian Passport Holders

I've run into plenty of Nigerians that had a British or Schengen or American visa applications denied, for some strange reason, they all still wanted to still leave the country, not like relocate but just go some where for a short holiday. They'll usually head to a Ghana or Gambia, the more buoyant ones will head to Dubai Naija Passport Folks that go to Dubai usually come back feeling really happy,they seem to have their expectations exceeded because the relatively easy Dubai Visa process got them thinking "This might not be such an interesting place to go to. There's actually 43 countries that a Nigerian Passport holder can board a flight headed there without a visa, find the list below; 1. Vanuatu (Visa free for 30 days) 2. Uganda (Visa on arrival) 3. Tuvalu (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 4. Togo (Visa free) 5. Timor-Leste (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 6. Tanzania (Visa on arrival) 7. Sri Lanka (Electronic travel authorization) 8. Somalia (Visa on arrival) 9. Sierra Leone (Visa free) 10. Seychelles (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 11. Senegal (Visa free) 12. Samoa (Visa on arrival for 60 days) 13. Palau (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 14. Niger republic (Visa free) 15. Nauru (Visa on arrival) 16. Mozambique (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 17. Micronesia (Visa free for 30 days) 18. Mauritius (Visa free for 90days) 19. Mauritania (Visa on arrival) 20. Mali (Visa free) 21. Maldives (Visa on arrival for 30 days) 22. Madagascar (Visa on arrival for 90 days) 23. Liberia (Visa free) 24. Kenya (Visa on arrival for 90 days) 25. Iran (Visa on arrival) 26. Haiti (Visa free for 90 days) 27. Guinea Bissau (Visa free for 90 days) 28. Guinea (Visa free) 29. Ghana (Visa free) 30. Georgia (Visa on arrival) 31. Gambia (Visa free for 90days) 32. Fiji Island (Visa free for 4 months) 33. Dominican (Visa free for 21 days) 34. Djibouti (Visa on arrival) 35. Cote d'ivoire (Visa free) 36. Comoros Island (Visa on arrival) 37. Chad (Visa free) 38. Cape Verde (Visa on arrival) 39. Cameroon (Visa free) 40. Burundi (Visa on arrival for 30days) 41. Burkina Faso (Visa free) 42. Benin Republic (Visa free) 43. Barbados (Visa free for 6 months) read more

Shopping In Dubai

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally got around to doing my first post!!!!!!! Okay, I'll dive right into it.The thing about shopping in Dubai is that the actual shopping is quite average. Yes I said it! However the experience is quite intriguing. If you've shopped in New York, London,Paris or Milan then Dubai malls will for sure be a disappointment. You get to see all of the familiar brands, just more expensive I'd say. You can always find an odd bargain here and there, for instance I got a Nikon DSLR at Burjuman Centre with so many add-ons(Additional Memory,Pouch etc) at a crazy price. If you're a strictly "bargain shopper", you might want to think again about Dubai. Below, I'll try to capture some of the most popular shopping resorts in Dubai. 3205_0_5
  1. Dubai Mall  - this is the biggest shopping mall in the world based on leasable space. It is located in the popular downtown area that has lot of famous attractions like Burj Khalifa. The mall itself houses some remarkable attractions like the Dubai Ice rink, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Sega Republic and Kidzania.
  2. Mall of the Emirates - This is another really popular Dubai mall, it houses some interesting attractions like Magic Planet which is a a family friendly entertainment  center offering rides, games and a theme park. It also has a a 14 screen Multiplex cinema, Ski Dubai, lot of dinning options and 2 five star hotels (Kempinsky and Sheraton).
  3. Burjuman Centre - Located in the middle of bustling Bur, the Burjuman Centre specializes in high end fashion,it has all the major brands. Now most of the brands are luxury brands so you are sure to shell out some good cash for some good stuff. Other than the luxury brands there are also some more affordable brands like DKNY, Guess etc The mall has an old and new new part with the earlier housing most of the luxury brands while the later houses the more affordable brand. The mall also has a food court,play area (located in the 3rd floor). The sunny courtyards and the impressive gardens gives the mall a unique outdoor feel. The are plenty of dinning options, underground parking and a taxi rank outside the mall.
  4. Dragon Mart - Now this is the biggest Chinese market outside China. The mart offers a rare channel to Chinese products for the Middle East and North African markets. This 150,000 square meter  mart containing almost 4000 shops offers both retail and wholesale trading opportunity for Chinese manufactured products. The mart is situated on the Hatta Al Ain highway.
  5. Global Village - This shopping resort is situated in Dubailand is is touted to be the biggest leisure, entertainment and tourism project. It is Dubai's most unique and exciting cultural and tourism destination. It has 37 country pavilions and offers culinary, entertainment and breath taking live performances in addition to a theme park.
  6. Deira City Centre - this is situated on the waterfront. Shopper are usually suprised by the rousing welcome that comes with a complimentary bottle of water.  This mall boasts of over 350 stores offering a diverse range of merchandise. The major fashion brands are present. This mall is  great destination for jewelry shopping as it offers 33 dedicated jewelry stores. It also houses a cinema, Magic Planet and some hotels. Deira City Center is the first mall to offer leisure, entertainment and shopping within the same complex in Dubai.
  7. Al Ghurair Centre - This is one of the prime fashionista destinations in Dubai boasting of an impressive collection of the major brands.  There are also shops specializing in local fashion. The mall also offers a large accessory gallery with a cosmetic section. There's also a large cinema offering both Hollywood and Bollywood movies, a kid's play area that ensure that the entire family gets entertained.
  8. Ibn Battuta Mall - This is the largest themed shopping mall in the world, designed in honor of Ibn Battuta the renowned Arabic explorer. You can enjoy a shopping experience that is historically informative. The mall offers about 275 shops, 50 restaurants, a 21 screen cinema, a large exhibition center(China Court) amongst others.
  9. Wafi Shopping Mall - This mall that offers about 350 stores describes itself as offering a unique shopping experience. What really differentiates Wafi is perhaps its extensive collection of art.This is inspired by both the legacies of pharaoh and modern art. The mall also houses plenty of art galleries featuring both local and international artists. The mall is hard to miss, it has a unique pyramid type façade, the obvious Egyptian theme continues throughout the mall. Lifestyle is another area of emphasis for Cleopatra Spa boasts pristine  decor and an extremely relaxing atmosphere. There are also several restaurants and retail outlets.
  10. Al Bustan Centre - This mall is a great choice for guests with kids. It has the biggest indoor amusement parlor in UAE. Fantasy Kingdom has a medieval castle theme,there is also a traditional video arcade,rides for the kids and bumper cars for the older kids. The kids can busy up  with the several play options while you explore over 80 retail outlets that the mall offers.
  11. Festival Centre - This mall is situated at the banks of Dubai creek, it offers lots of great retail outlets. The most distinctive feature of this mall is the 250 metre wide yacht club that it is built around.This mall is surrounded by some of the top hotels in Dubai. This is a family friendly mall which offers a cinema, bowling alley and even a karaoke lounge.
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