Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Eat, Drink and Be Merry at the Goa Carnival

The Goa Carnival is a 3-day non-stop festival of song, dance, music and color. The soothing climate of Goa, fun and excitement makes it the much awaited events of the place and is a source of great entertainment for people of all ages.

The word carnival comes from the Latin word meaning “to take away meat”. It is an expression of the 40-day fasting period of Lent for Christians during which the people abstain from taking meat completely. The Goa Carnival an inseparable part of the Portuguese heritage of this state, which was under the rule of Portuguese till 1961. This carnival is celebrated since the 18th century. The carnival highlights the friendly and fun-loving nature of Goa. It was introduced by the earlier rulers of Goa as a rowdy celebration in which eggs, dirty water, flour, lemons and oranges were thrown at the public.

What Happens During Goa Carnival
This festival is held in mid February and the streets come alive with color. The event lasts for almost a week and heralds the time for vibrant processions, floats, graceful dances and non-stop festivity. It is the most popular of all the festivals of India and acts a complete entertainment for the tourists, whether local or foreign.  
The Goa carnival marks the time for feasting, drinking and merrymaking. Massive parades are held throughout the state with dances, bands and floats during the days as well as nights. Grand balls are also held in the evenings. During the three days of celebrations, cultural functions and competitions are held and judged by some selected people. The prizes are distributed by King Momo.

The participants in the carnival wear colorful costumes and masks. In the fun filled environment people smear each other with color. The Goa carnival has more indigenous flavor in the villages. Although the carnival is celebrated mostly by the Christian population of Goa, Hindu’s of Goa also participate wholeheartedly in this carnival. The Goa carnival is bound to any religion and represents just the cultural highlights of the state.

Numerous tourists visit Goa during the Carnival. The aura of festivity fills every nook and corner of the state. Everyone is elated in terms of joy and excitement. It is great being a part of this fun-filled event. At the onset  of this event, hotels are booked in advance by the tourists planning to visit Goa during the carnival. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Discover Iceland

Two problems face you as you begin your holiday in Iceland: Where to start and what
to leave out! The second dilemma, at least, is easily solved – come back for another visit to take in what you did not have time for before! Whether you are an extreme adventure
enthusiast or someone who likes to revel in the culture, people and tastes of a country,
Iceland is your kind of place. The unique landscape is one of the first discoveries you’ll make. Geologically speaking, Iceland is much younger than most countries and volcanic activity means it’s still evolving. You’ll see striking lava formations, craters, volcanoes, table mountains and masses of pumice throughout your travels. The Capital Area sets Iceland’s contemporary, chic style with boutique hotels, inventive restaurants, unique shopping, and a vibrant nightlife with buzzing bars and a busy programme of entertainment. But even here you are never far from nature. The thermal energy beneath your feet is harnessed in numerous pools and spas around the city of Reykjavík – a visit to any of them will leave you relaxed and invigorated. Outside the city, there are countless more ways to relax or get the full flavour of Iceland as an adventure playground. Getting off the beaten track and discovering Iceland on foot is without doubt the best way to truly appreciate our magnificent scenery. Head for the highlands in July and August for some remarkable hiking experiences; elsewhere, fantastic trails throughout the country can be enjoyed from May to September. Prefer to leave the legwork to others? Then try Icelandic horse trekking astride the sturdy native horses – unique in that they have an extra gait, the tölt. Short tours are offered year-round, while in summer you can go across country on itineraries of up to 15 days.
Fishing, dog-sledding, caving, diving, ice-climbing, snowmobiling, white-water rafting, and kayaking are just some of the other amazing activities found in Iceland. Golf is
also highly popular, with more than 60 courses around the country. And of course, no visit to Iceland would be complete without close encounters with its natural inhabitants. Whale-watching tours operate between April and mid-October, with around 50 species found in Icelandic waters. You are also likely to spot the delightful puffin, together with countless other species of birds which visit our shores, attracting ornithologists from around the globe. Why not spread your wings in Iceland?
Come Discover Iceland with Mercury Travels

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dubai Shopping Festival 2012

About Dubai Shopping Festival

The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), also known as 'Layali Dubai' in Arabic, is one of the most famous shopping fiestas in the world. Dubai Shopping Festival was first introduced in February 1996 by the Dubai government as a retail event aimed at promoting trade in Dubai. Thereafter, DSF has grown to be an annual shopping, entertainment and cultural extravaganza that attracts millions of people from around the world annually, thereby promoting tourism in Dubai.
The one month long festival, with the slogan 'One Family, One World, One Festival', offers visitors some of the major and best brands in the world at lowest prices ever. Dubai has low import duties and no taxation, and therefore, offers amazing value to the bargain hunter. Even the major brands widely available are less expensive in Dubai, than in their country of origin. During DSF, Dubai becomes the most exciting shopping destination in the world.
More than two to three million visitors participate in the Dubai Shopping Festival every year. DSF offers a range of entertainments including international fashion shows, street-side performances, nightly fireworks, performances by artists, film festivals, musical shows, cultural events, all of which reflect the cosmopolitan character of the emirate. Even the parks in Dubai will be used for various entertainment activities such as mini fun fair, space ship, Dubai Creek Tours, World of Ice, Flower Garden, Remote-control boats, Spiderman Zone, Park Taxis, Flower Garden, helicopter tours, Acrobatics Show and China Town. The streets in Dubai too, wear a colourful look, when they play host to DSF activities.
The Dubai Global Village was originally part of Dubai Shopping Festival, but now, is an event of its own, and is open for several months, in contrast to DSF, which is a one month long event.
Though, DSF began largely as a shopping event, with time, it has also grown to be a great entertainment event. DSF plays a vital role in the tourism sector of Dubai.

DSF 2012

After the grand success of DSF 2011, the 17th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, DSF 2012, organized by the Dubai Events and Promotion Establishment (DEPE), will be held between 5th January 2012 and 5th February 2012. Atleast 6000 retail outlets and 50 shopping malls are likely to participate in DSF 2012.
Tax-free shopping: The mega event will begin with entertaining street performances and a display of fireworks. Shoppers can begin enjoying the high discounted shopping, and entertaining events organized all through the festival. Shopping in Dubai is largely tax-free, as merchants are permitted to import products from other countries with very little or no custom duties. The shopping malls and retailers will offer up to 75% discount on range of items, including jewellery, watches, electronics, carpets, textiles, perfumes, and handicrafts of major brands.
Attractive Prizes: Apart from the tax-free discounted rates, shoppers can also look forward to an opportunity to win several daily and weekly prizes, organized by participating shopping malls and retailers. The prizes include luxurious LX570 car and Dh.100,000 in cash in the Lexus Mega Raffle. The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group also announce exciting DSF promotions by offering visitors a chance to win 21kilos of gold worth Dh.4.5mn through raffle draws.
Cultural/Entertainment events: The event, which opens with spectacular firework display, offers a series of colourful cultural programs and entertainment events all through the festival

The Carnival

As always, DSF 2012 will also witness spectacular parade with performances by renowned international artists, apart from shows by acrobats, percussionists, dancers and more. The DSF Carnival is an all-out display by various performers including musicians, jugglers, unicyclists, stilt walkers, all of which render the festive feeling of DSF across Dubai. Visitors get to enjoy live concerts and jazz world performed by some renowned artists.
Dubai Carnivals will be held in different platforms, each with different themes including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian. Every year at least 300 performers participate in the Carnivals, which will be held every weekend during the month-long DSF.

Dubai Fashion Week

The Dubai Fashion Week will bring together major regional and international players in the fashion industry, thereby enabling local and regional designers and fashion houses to display their collection to global audiences, including fashion professionals, media and general public.
This year, Creations will be organizing fashion shows at the Fashion Catwalk at the Dubai Mall ramp from 10th February to 20th February. The shows will be held at 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm on 10th, 11th, 12th, and 17th, 18th, and 19th February. Models draped in collections designed by leading Dubai-based and Emirati designers and other international designers will walk the ramp. Fashion Bazaar is another major element from Creations, which has been revived with more colours this year.

Global Village

The Global Village is another major attraction during the DSF 2012 for visitors, who get to explore international heritage and cultural diversity. The Global Village is associated with DSF, although it runs longer than DSF. The Global Village is a unique concept of bringing the entire globe under a single roof. As the name indicates, Global Village is a true representation of culture of various countries at a single place. Every country will set up its own pavilion, wherein renowned products in their home countries are displayed. Apart from product sale, Global Village also offers entertainment events, food stalls, children rides, sports activities and lucky draws on daily basis.

Carpet Oasis

Carpet Oasis is a treasure trove of carpets, wherein traders from across the world, offer good value on a range of floor coverings. It will be open during Dubai Shopping Festival 2012, with thousands of unique and exclusive handmade, oriental, and Persian carpets and rugs from across the globe will be displayed, apart from a large collection of antique souvenirs.

Children Show

The Dubai Dolphinarium will be organizing an exclusive show for kids during DSF 2012. There are other events too, to keep the children engaged such as Children of World Olympiad, cartoon and circus shows.

Sound and Light Show

A Sound and Light Show that follows renowned sound and light show in Egypt has been planned.

Desert Camp

The DSF Desert Camp offers adventure activities such as quad bikes, horse riding and camel rides.

Aqua Fantasia

One of the largest aquatic shows, wherein, four pools of 4000 Sqm size, performs a terrific tango of water sprinklings, with brilliant colours and synchronised music to match the ups and downs of the sprouts.


A major attraction of the DSF event every year is the gourmets, wherein visitors get to satisfy their taste buds from delicious cuisines prepared from all corners of the world. Scrumptious cuisines ranging from continental to Chinese, Italian to French, and all special Arabic Delights form part of the gourmet.
The food festival during DSF 2012 will see a gathering of people from diverse backgrounds joining together to enjoy international cuisine, involving celebrity chefs, culinary workshops, live cooking counters, and interactive events and exciting prizes.


Sports enthusiasts who visit Dubai during DSF 2012 will have the opportunity to participate in a range of sporting events, including Open Tennis Championship, Ice Hockey, Hockey on Synthetic Surface, Football Tournament, Russian Ballet on Ice, Skating and Rowing Championships.


The DSF 2012 will also offer a range of special events such as seminars, exhibitions, business conventions, book fairs, and Hope Opera for the handicapped.


Mercury Travels offers a host of packages  starting at INR 8424/- per person to the DSF 2012 to view them click here