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