Tuesday, December 24, 2013

10 Things to do during Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is the biggest shopping extravaganza in the Middle East that is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.  The 19th edition of DSF will be held from 2nd January to 2nd February 2014 under the theme “Shop at your Best’.

The DSF is a grand celebration of shopping, winning and entertainment with a plethora of activities including nightly fireworks, international concerts and shows, fashion events, and numerous activities and events for families and children, as well as other cultural and entertainment based programs. 

It is also the time for shopping for the best deals and bargains and to avail oneself of discounts of up to 75 % across a wide range of merchandise, from haute couture fashion to high tech electronics, glistening gold to diamond jewellery and the opportunity to win life-changing prizes in the daily DSF Mega Raffles. 

Some of the favourite buys at the DSF are appliances, electronic goods and apparels which are at really lower prices during DSF. Buying gold in Dubai, especially during the shopping festival period, is another must-do given the high quality and variety of jewellery designs. And of course the one-of-its-kind delicacy: almonds wrapped inside dates and coated with the finest chocolate!

In addition to the shopping, the Top 10 activities to do during the festival are as below:

1. Dubai Shopping Festival Opening Day
DSF 2014 opens on 2 January with a wide range of entertaining events and activities aimed at ensuring that the festive spirit permeates throughout the city and giving many residents and visitors an indication of the excitement to come during the 32-day extravaganza. The opening day will culminate with fireworks that are amazing to watch. 

2. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil  
Your chance to watch Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, a stunning show that captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop through a riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy.  

3. DSF Carnival
A colourful line-up of roaming, stage and street artistes will get together to perform at the biggest carnival in the history of DSF in key DSF Destinations like the Al Seef Street, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Street, Al Riqqa Street and Global Village.

4. Fashion events
DSF 2014 will feature a series of fashion events including the attention grabbing Vertical Fashion Show that will be done at lofty heights with the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Mall offering the perfect backdrops.

5. DSF Music Nights
DSF Music Nights concerts will feature some of the popular artistes and entertainers in the Arab world including Mohamed Mounir, Nancy Ajram, Rabeh Saqer, Balqees, Mohammed Abdo, Hatem al Iraqi and Majid Al Mohandes. 

6. Fireworks
In addition to the spectacular fireworks show on the opening day, there will be daily fireworks at 9pm at Al Seef Street and during the weekends, there will be special fireworks shows at various locations long the Dubai Creek at 8pm in addition to the daily fireworks at 9pm at Al Seef Street. 

7. Bedouin Lifestyle
Savour the classic atmosphere of a bygone era at the Bedouin Lifestyle, where the traditions and customs of Bedouins will be brought alive by nomads from different countries. 

8. Carpet & Art Oasis
An exhibition and sale of some of the rarest, largest, and most unique carpets and rugs from around the world.  Apart from carpets and rugs from the well known carpet producing countries, works of art and handicrafts are also on display. 

9. International concerts and show
DSF 2014 will offer visitors many more events and activities that will further enhance the festival’s image as a hub of shopping and entertainment. They include a wide range of international concerts, theatrical and character shows, and much more. 

10. Al Shindagha Heritage Area
A wide spread of activities showcasing the rich Emirati heritage will include traditional folklore groups, traditional weddings diving shows, traditional games and bands, a traditional souk, traditional food, marine-related handicrafts, a falconry show and a camel caravan.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Dubai is one of the most progressive and dynamic destinations in the world with a distinctive blend of modern city, desert and mountain terrain. A holiday in Dubai comes with the promise of guaranteed sunshine, a clean and safe environment, bargain shopping and superb sporting facilities.

LUXURY ACTIVITIES: Dubai has plenty of opportunities for adventure and luxury activities.

Balloon adventures: Witness a breathtaking sunrise with the backdrop of the majestic Hajjar Mountains as you ride in a hot air balloon across the Arabian Desert. Be welcomed by the warmth of the desert people.

Golfing: Known for some of the best golf courses in the Middle East, Dubai is home to the opulent Dubai Creek Golf and Yatch Club, Nad Al Sheba Club, Emirates Golf Club and The Montgomerie, to name a few.

Seawings: Ever yearned for the wings of a falcon so that you could soar into the sky? Flying from Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa as well as the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Seawings offers 40-minute seaplane rides for a scenic aerial excursion over Dubai and packages to destinations such as Dubai Creek, Emirates Palace, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.

Sky diving:  A mighty gust of wind. A few missed heartbeats. Then, a fall. Off the sky at 210 kms/hour. That’s sky diving in Dubai. Sky Dive Dubai offers tandem dives for beginners along with freefly, formation skydiving and canopy piloting for the experienced sky divers.      

Aqua Adventure: From jet skiing to sailing and from snorkelling to scuba diving, experience the rush of the calm yet challenging waters.  Explore a world of breathtaking water thrills at ‘Aquaventure’ waterpark at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Slide down the immense Ziggurat and through a shark-infested lagoon, take a river ride of over two kilometers, ride the water rapids and white water chargers. A visit to Dubai Dolphinarium to meet the dolphins, seals and other marine life is a must.

RETAIL THERAPY: Dubai is a shopper’s paradise! From couture to high tech
electronics,glistening gold, silver Bedouin jewellery to market bargains, there is something for everyone in Dubai. With low import duties and tax-free products, this is a bargain hunter’s paradise.

Shop till you drop at the 3.77 million sq ft Dubai Mall, home to the world’s largest indoor gold souk. Explore Ibn-Battuta, the world’s largest themed shopping mall. Spend time at the Mall of the Emirates, the ultimate leisure, entertainment and shopping resort. Inspired by the saga of ancient Egypt, Wafi City Mall is an unrivalled fusion of food, art, luxury and fashion. Soak in the authentic splendor of the 14th century in Khan Murjaan Souk. Take in the crescent-shaped Dubai Festival City Centre Mall with its picturesque waterfront setting.

Full of colour and character, a trip to the traditional bazaars or souqs of Dubai gives you a glimpse of the city’s history. In gold souk, streets are flanked by jewellery shops; their shelves stacked with gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opal. The open-air spice souk is replete with Arabic aromas and spices from across the world. The textile souk in Bur Dubai has a wide array of fabric, colour and weave from around the world!  

SPA & WELLNESS: After spending a busy day visiting Dubai’s outstanding shopping malls, beautiful beaches or participating in an event, take a break and indulge in a well-deserved spa treatment. Some of the exclusive spas are The Al Asalla Spa, Angsana Spa & Health Club Dubai Marina, Cleopatra’s Spa & Health Club, Dubai Marine Spa, The Ritz-Carlton Spa and The Health Club & Spa, Shangri-La.

FINE DINING: From the finest cuisine to fast-food, all tastes are catered for in Dubai. Each of the 40 plus five-star hotels in Dubai has at least one signature restaurant. Gordon Ramsay has the ‘Verre’ Restaurant, Gary Rhodes has ‘Rhodes Mezzanine’ and French chef, Mourad Mazouz, has ‘Almaz by Momo’ at Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates, to name a few.

To plan your luxury holiday to Dubai, contact Mercury Travels today. It’s a holiday you’ll never forget.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 things you need to know about adrenaline-pumping thrills in Canada

Riding giant rollercoasters, rafting tidal-bore rapids or dog sled mushing, it's time to whiten those knuckles

Canada Olympic Park Zipline, Calgary, Alberta

Feed your need to speed here. You’ll experience at vertical drop of more than 328 ft and whiz along at speeds of up to 140 km per hour. The zipline is Canada’s fastest and, yes, it will ruin your hairdo.

Leviathan Rollercoaster, Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario

Don’t eat lunch before you go on this new rollercoaster, which hits speeds of up to 148 km per hour during the three-minute, 28-second thrill ride.

Mont à Liguori luge run, Le Massif de Charlevoix, Québec

Hope for a snow day so you can slide your way during the 7.5 km sled run for two chilling and thrilling hours.

EdgeWalk at CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario 

As you walk around the roof 1,197 ft above the ground, keep your screams to yourself on the world’s highest full-circle hands-free walk. You’ll scare the diners in the restaurant below!

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

Not scared of heights? Test your mettle by taking a stroll along suspended walkways that jut out from a granite cliff face amid the trees.

Air Combat Zone, Mississauga, Ontario

Feel the rush behind the controls of an F/A-18 Hornet jet fighter simulator as you fly the cyber skies at this top-gun facility. 

Tidal Bore Rafting, Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia

Class IV rapids form on the Shubenacadie River, a tributary of the Bay of Fundy, as millions of litres of water surge with the tides. Ride those foaming waves aboard a Zodiac. Wheeeee!

Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, Mont Tremblant, Québec
Feel the need for speed? Check your GPS then head to the track at this top-notch driving school. After a three-day course, you may become as good a driver as former grads such former Formula 1 star Jacques Villeneuve.

Dog-sled mushing, Churchill, Manitoba

Join a champion musher for a ride across the open tundra and show your own team-leading skills as you experience some of northern Manitoba’s culture and heritage.

Diving with giant tuna, Souris, Prince Edward Island

Been there, done that when it comes to swimming with dolphins? Try jumping into the water alongside schools of giant tuna, which weigh in at more than 540 kg each.

That’s 10 heart-pumping experiences, but there are many more across Canada. To plan your adventure holiday to Canada, contact Mercury Travels today. Take back lifelong memories

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday in Singapore

Embark on an Inspiring Holiday in Singapore

It’s the season for celebration and where better to spend it than in Singapore? From glitteringChristmas lights and festive parties to New Year’s Eve fireworks, there’s no shortage of fabulous festivities in the island city. Dive into a world of exciting nightlife, enchanting attractions and dazzling festivities in Singapore and have a fabulous holiday that you can take home with you.

Celebrate Christmas in style with giant illuminated Christmas trees along Singapore’s major shopping belts. This year, Orchard Road will light up into a visual treat of colours and entertainment to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Embark on a fun-filled musical journey, as EDM Dance festival ZoukOut celebrates 13 magical years of music, dance and arts right on the white sands of Siloso Beach, Sentosa on 13th – 14th Dec 2013. 

Enjoy the largest New Year countdown event in the city at Marina Bay Sands® and be a part of the annual year-end celebration. Witness a majestic fireworks display light up the Singapore Skyline around the Singapore River and be a part of the countdown concert as a host of energetic performers lead you into the New Year.

Culinary Haven!
The city is a paradise all year round for food lovers, with an array of international, ethnic and Singapore cuisines to suit every palate. Gastronomic treats from some of the world’s best restaurants such as Restaurant Andre, Iggy’s, and L’atelier De Joel Robuchon Singapore, which were recognized for their excellence at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013, will satiate fine-dining connoisseurs. Those looking for a laidback dining atmosphere need not look further with Gardens by the Bay, where Supertree Dining and Satay by the Bay are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Food lovers can also get a real taste of Singaporean cuisine at the numerous safe and clean hawker centres or food courts.

Get up close, and “WILD”!

The Singapore Zoo, world’s best rainforest zoo, celebrated its 40th birthday this year. Start your morning at Ah Meng restaurant and treat yourself to an outdoor breakfast amidst wild animals. Then head over to the elephant bathing area for a chance to feed the elephants yourself, while the keepers provide an entertaining live commentary during the chowtime frenzy.

With the pristine Upper Seletar Reservoir as a backdrop, River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park, offers an unforgettable adventure inspired by eight of the world’s most iconic rivers. Take a leisurely stroll and meander through the park on an exploratory river adventure of the Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Murray, Mekong and Yangtze rivers and meet the safari’s resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

Pure Adrenaline
Never snorkeled before? Try snorkeling in a safe environment at the Adventure Cove Waterpark and get up close with the colorful coral reef home to over 20,000 friendly fish. Wade amongst dozens of rays as you touch their velvety wings only at Adventure Cove Waterpark in Marine Life Park™, Resorts World Sentosa.
Join the famous escapees from the New York Zoo and embark on a river boat adventure through dense tropical jungles on the world’s first Madagascar: A Crate Adventure attraction at the Universal Studios Singapore®. Also enjoy the state-of-the-art-rides such as Shrek 4-D, Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic Park®, world’s first 3D battle Transformers: The Ride and the world’s tallest dueling coaster ride Battlestar Galactica.

Retail Therapy
Shop for all your festive goodies at ION Orchard, a whopping 66,000 sq metres shopping haven that houses the likes of Ermenegildo Zegna, Louis Vuitton and Diane von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney as well as trendy high-street options such as Topshop, Fred Perry, Armani Exchange and Abercombie and Fitch.

From Uniqlo to Chanel to Prada, it’s hard to leave Singapore with an empty suitcase. For the best in luxury, don’t miss the Louis Vuitton Island Maison store at Marina Bay Sands® only the fifth in the world.

For your very own customized and memorable family holiday in Singapore, log on to www.yoursingapore.com and search for “Singapore The Holiday You Take Home With You” or connect with Mercury Travels

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Go New Zealand

Go New Zealand – A Romantic Escapade

Home to glorious glacier mountains, mythical forests, shimmering lakes, secluded islands, crystal-clear rivers, miles of coastline and sparkling blue sea, New Zealand offers starry-eyed romantics a dreamy destination filled with blissful wonder. Spend time with your loved one relishing New Zealand’s many romantic hotspots. Bond with each other whilst you enjoy a host of activities such as tandem skydiving, horse-back riding, bungy jumping or relaxing in hot pools.

Go Romancing
Embark on a life of togetherness with a memorable honeymoon in New Zealand.
Located in the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown with its stunning scenery, high-end recreational activities, and luxury accommodation is a truly romantic destination. Bond with each other as you cruise down Lake Wakatipu with the stunning backdrop of the Remarkable Mountain range towering above the crystal-clear lake.
Hire a helicopter and fly to a remote alpine location for a champagne picnic, play golf on a range of world-class courses, or charter a private yacht for fishing. The sky is the limit for an exhilarating hot air balloon flight. Float high above Lake Wakatipu, getting a bird’s-eye-view of Queenstown’s dramatic landscapes.
Enjoy the good life in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, famed for its lively down town cafés, shopping, nightlife, entertainment venues, and a dramatic harbour setting. The picturesque vineyards in Hawke’s Bay are a great setting for a heady romance as you partake of the local vintage wines.

Go Adventuring
New Zealand is renowned for its range of adventure activities, including bungy jumping, jetboat riding, rafting, skiing, mountain climbing and caving. One of the best sea kayaking experiences can be had on a visit to Cathedral Cove in The Coromandel Peninsula as you paddle through sea caves and explore volcanic islands. Be sure to take a dip in the cool azure waters and capture a snapshot of the iconic Te Hoho — a large pinnacle of pumice breccia rock just off the beach at Cathedral Cove.
Stay at the Bayview Chateau Tongariro Hotel, which is nestled within Whakapapa Village in the heart of the Tongariro National Park. Overlooking Mount Ruapehu, the hotel was built in 1929 and exudes timeless elegance. During winter, the entire place is covered in snow, giving a magical, winter wonderland feel.
During your stay at the hotel, head to the slopes at Whakapapa Ski Field for a skiing adventure on the soft powdery snow, or take a scenic chairlift ride to Knoll Ridge Chalet (2,020m above sea level) for a view of the area. You can also hike along the legendary Tongariro Alpine Crossing to see hot springs, ancient lava formations and crater lakes.

Go Relaxing
New Zealand is also a great destination for a relaxing vacation at any time of the year. Visit Auckland, located between two harbours and surrounded by extinct volcanoes and islands. Try your hand at fishing, as you sail out to the various fishing spots, immerse yourself in the breath-taking views of the Hauraki Gulf and relax on the deck with a glass of bubbly.
Watch the sky as it turns from crimson-streaked blue to light purple then velvety black; a twinkling brocade of glittering stars. Be romanced by candle-lit dinners or delighted by beautiful sceneries. Rejuvenate at a geothermal hot pool or settle in for a romantic escapade at one of New Zealand’s many boutique lodges where Kiwi style and service will set the tone for a unique experience.
Fall in love in New Zealand, take home unforgettable memories.
To plan your timeless holiday to New Zealand, contact Mercury Travels or visit www.newzealand.com for further details.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Only in Australia, your journey will be as good as the destination.

Driving through Australia
Excellent roads, breathtaking sceneries, superlative accommodation … all make your drive through Australia truly exhilarating. Cruise through the country conveniently, with road rules similar to those in India, like cars being right hand driven. Moreover, an Indian driving license, in English, is valid in Australia. From coastal journeys and outback adventures, an Australian road trip is one of the best ways to experience wide-open spaces and magnificent scenery.

Driving is one of the best ways to see Australia. From short trips to epic self-drive holidays and 4WD adventures, Australian road trips cover every length and landscape.

The most scenic drive in the world
Drive past the Great Ocean Road and you’ll know why it is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Proceed to the magnificent Twelve Apostles and then to Warrnambool to witness the gigantic whales. Post that, move on to witness the popular recreated gold mining town of the 1850’s, ‘Sovereign Hill’ up ahead in Ballarat.

Driving through the wildlife
Discover the peripheries of Sydney – a world of natural beauty and indulgence. Zip through in your Ferrari along the Grand Pacific drive before paying a visit to Sir Don Bradman’s hometown, Bowral. Enjoy the lovely gardens, fine restaurants and charming lodging places of the Blue Mountains National Park. Treat your senses to some exotic wines and cheese of Hunter Valley and then steer to Port Stephens to spot the amazing bottle-nosed dolphins.

The road to tropical fun
A scenic drive from Cairns to Palm Cove will lead you to Australia’s spa capital. After indulging in its retreats, explore its enchanting tropical zoo. Then, drive on to the wildlife sanctuaries in Port Douglas. From thereon, steer to the world’s oldest rainforest in Daintree National Park and experience the Rainforestation Nature Park. 

Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country’s breathtaking south-east coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Taste wine in Coonawarra and see the fossils of giant marsupials in World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves. Cruise the Coorong and explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Adelaide.

Circle Tasmania
 Soak up Hobart’s convict history before heading to Freycinet National Park and the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay. Swim in St Helens and do the Bay of Fires Walk in Mount William National Park. Look over Launceston from Cataract Gorge and cycle along Devonport’s waterfront. Soothe your soul in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park. Stay in Strahan and cruise the Gordon River or white water raft the furious Franklin. Walk from waterfalls and fern forests to ski fields in Mount Field National Park. From the tranquil beaches of Tasmania’s east to the rugged mountains flanking the west, this circle will leave you spellbound.

The Red Centre Way, Northern Territory
 Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuṯa. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area’s Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don’t miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia’s ancient centre.

To plan your holiday to Australia, contact Mercury Travels or visit www.australia.com  for further details.


Family Getaways

Planning a “Be There! Do That!” family getaway with a difference? What better place than France! From kid friendly attractions to feeling like a child again at amusement parks, expect unlimited entertainment on this “feel good” holiday! The ever reliable train, welcomes you onboard, as you prepare to discover France…the family way!

Fun and Games in Paris: Commence your family discovery of Paris on a sweet note. The Chocolate Museum in Paris promises delicious encounters with mouth watering chocolate. Its Choco-Story Museum traces the history of chocolate for 4000 years to its contemporary existence. Learn more about techniques used in making the best quality chocolate and indulge in delicious tasting sessions!

A celebrity encounter awaits you at the Grévin Wax Museum. From yesteryears legends to contemporary icons... all find their own place under the Grévin spotlight. You are welcomed in the unique Hall of Mirrors - an illusionary show that transports you to a temple, jungle and a palace, all in a matter of minutes! Have tête à tête encounters with Madonna, Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga  and even our very own Mahatma Gandhi and Shahrukh Khan at the Grévin!

Magical Discoveries around Paris: The fun and games continue as you take a local train from the city to Disneyland Paris! Enjoy thrilling rides such as the Big Thunder Mountain Ride, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mission 2. Head to Disney Village for Buffalo Bill's Famous Wild West Show for a fun encounter with Mickey and his friends!

If Asterix and Obelix have a dedicated corner on your bookshelves, head straight to Parc Astérix for an encounter with these lovable Gauls and 6 unique worlds promising different adventures.  Don’t not miss the Village Show held at 12.30 pm daily at the Village Gaulois for animated encounters with Asterix and his gang!

Family Fun in the Loire: There’s lots more fun to be had in the Loire Valley! An easy 1h40 minute train ride from Paris brings you to Blois – home to the Château de Cheverny. Elegant Cheverny shares an interesting connection with Tintin! Marlinspike Hall is modeled after the central section of this Château. A permanent interactive exposition – the secrets of Marlinspike Hall welcomes many Tintin fans.

Within 90 minutes from Blois, you reach Angers for a medieval encounter at Le Puy du Fou, a historic and educational theme park with 4 themed villages and a variety of shows. Do not miss its signature night time spectacle – the Cinéscénie, amedieval extravaganza that involves 1200 actors, 70 actors and fireworks. Get ready for a truly larger than life experience!

Nantes, an easy 45 minutes from Angers, promises mischief and sci-fi encounters. The Grand Elephant of Nantes - a mechanical marvel welcomes its passengers as it sets forth on a 45-minute amusing ride. Join the fun as this mischievous pachyderm sprays water on unsuspecting passersby!

Enter Jules Verne’s sci fi world with a ride on the Marine World Carousel which is located across the Grand Elephant. Spread over 3 levels and dedicated to the sea, become an explorer as you acquaint yourself with mythical creatures of the sea! Move about this unique collection of sea creatures or guide their movements on a merry go round adventure!

Fond Memories of the South: Sunny Nice in the South promises entertainment for the entire family. Discover Nice differently – through a mini train, a Segway ride or a Cyclopolitain – an original and ecological way of sightseeing in Nice! Soak up the ambience at the Promenade des Anglais that overlooks the beautiful Mediterranean and is home to many Art Deco buildings and restaurants, boutiques and cafes.

At 20 train minutes, an aquatic encounter awaits you at Marineland in Antibes. Witness spectacular shows that involve sea lions, killer whales and dolphins. Do not forget to say a quick bonjour to polar bears that happily call Marineland their home!

If you’re looking for a holiday that has something for the whole family, you don’t need to look any further. Plan your family holidays to France now!