Inside the Ongoing Dubai Expo 2020!

Inside the Ongoing Dubai Expo 2020!

One of the grandest events ever to be held in Dubai has to be the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020, with the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.  Although it was slotted for October 2020, due to the pandemic the dates were pushed to October 2021- March 2022, a six-month window for Dubai to showcase 192 countries pavilions at this mega event.

The area distributed to the Expo site in the south of Dubai is about 45 minutes away from the city centre and very easily accessible by car, dedicated buses, taxis and above all the Metro, which is a boon for most tourists to travel in comfort right to the entrance of the Expo. Car parking facilities in all the zones are adequate with feeder buses every 15 minutes to transport one to the main entrance.

The operating hours are from 10 am till midnight but all country, pavilions close at 10pm, while the recreational facilities like restaurants, bars, musical events are ongoing daily till midnight with international and regional artists performing at different venues.

One can purchase entry tickets/passes online or at the venue. Senior citizens and kids are allowed free entry. All passengers arriving by Emirates Airlines are offered a free one-day passage to the Expo. One can avail daily, or season pass tickets. Currently, the entry ticket prices have been reduced till end March.

As one makes their way to enter the venue of Dubai Expo you are met with local greetings, Emirati music and folk dancers welcoming you.

Be prepared to walk a lot and wear comfortable clothes and shoes as the area is vast in terms of its spread across three zones called the Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility Districts. It’s estimated the entire Expo area is approximately the size of 600 football fields or around 4.5 kilometres in area.

As one enters the Expo venue, the first thing that is so amazing to admire is the Al Wasl Plaza, which is the heart of the Dubai Expo. With Jubilee Park, an open-air venue that hosts large concerts, performances and other entertainment from countries participating like the Irish Rain Dance, there are smaller stages for local or international country performances in all three districts, like the Earth stage, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre etc.

There are daily 60 shows/acts are held at different venues and one can check the events on the Expo app for the timings to get a good viewing seat. The Al Wasi dome is just spectacular in all respects with LED panels covering the entire area and it particularly comes alive after sunset with a surround sound system that is just impressive.

From the Al Wasi Plaza, the journey starts as one can select the direction one would like to visit. An Expo map and the passport wallet are essential as one can get an idea where the individual country pavilions are placed to decide on the pathway to take.

Passport wallet one needs to buy for AED 20/- and try to fill up with the exit stamps (just like we do when we travel) from each country pavilion as one exits as a memento of your visit to that country’s stall at the Expo.

The facilities available are aplenty. One can grab a people mover, or an Expo buggy or Explorer buggy if one can’t walk for long. One can also avail wheelchairs with full access for ease of moving around. Ample for areas for guests to sit around just to take a breather and continue.

If you were asked which is the best pavilion, well it is rather tricky question to answer as most countries have done an excellent job in showcasing their culture, industry, new innovative ways to counter climate change, tourism and the use of solar technology, plus new ways to grow organic food and very innovative farming techniques. These are the few themes that most country pavilions highlight in their brief presentation when one visits them.

Most of the major pavilions are zones, which allow one to understand what each country is doing to improve the condition of their citizens and rest of the world to fight poverty.

Celebrity Magnet

Besides international artists, there has been a galaxy of sports personalities embracing the Expo, to the likes of Christina Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Usain Bolt; there was even an exhibition basketball by the US Globetrotters team to showcase their skills. The daily morning street carnival entertains visitors with some dance and acrobatic acts on their way to kickstart the day’s activities.

The most famous water feature can be found between Al Wasi Plaze and Jubilee Park where one can see visitors dipping their feet in the waterfall that crashes to the ground before disappearing into the stone. This gravity defining illusion is lit in the night. This water feature is a marvel, which is most visited.

All major country pavilions have their own respective licensed restaurants within their complex for guests, some have live music and others piped music, which goes a long way to unwind after a hectic visit. Most country pavilions host small boutiques to sell their products, which can be from handicraft to food and confectionary at reasonable prices.

There are lots of restaurants all around offering a wide choice of cuisines. One can also opt to try street food at food carts too. It’s estimated that over 200 F and B outlets are at the Expo. One can also find local handicrafts/ paintings and other items at the shops in the World area, which is between Al Wasi Plaza and Jubilee Park.

There are also lot of photos taking opportunities all around the area for guests to click for their own memories and, I guess, to upload to FB and Instagram.

Another tourist attraction that soars 55 meters above the ground, Garden in the Sky, is an observation tower offering 360-degree views of the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The rotating tower has two interlinked cabins that ascend and descend; visitors can enter the lower cabin from the basement and the upper cabin from the ground. Tickets cost AED 30/-.

While visiting some of the pavilions especially the African ones, they have done an excellent job to showcase their culture and beautiful natural surroundings and the representatives are very happy to address any of your questions. One can also request for a B-to-B contact; this is especially for business minded guests who would like to take business further.

Interesting facts

Few of the pavilions are quite large and in good demand, hence one needs to wait a good 30-90 minutes before entering. Few have restricted the use of prams/strollers inside the pavilion due to limited space. If there was any suggestion that I have would be to restrict children under seven years from entering the pavilions as they are just too small to understand and they create so much confusion that it’s difficult to hear or watch and parents make it worse by asking their kids ti stand everywhere for photo shoots. Most country pavilions celebrate their national day with pride and dignitaries arrive for this special occasion where we have seen Presidents, Prime Ministers and other high rank officials visiting their respective pavilions for the celebrations. This happens between 10 am- 11 am. Most pavilions also have a stage to showcase their national cultural dance and music to attract attention and lure guests into their pavilion, this is mostly done at the Far East Pavilions, which always have a good crowd around them.

In the end, when the curtains close on March 31, the Expo moves into District 2020- a model global community of the future. The Expo is a must visit for all who would like to explore the world pavilions at their fingertips.

A Castle from a Fairy Tale

A castle from a Fairy tale

Once upon a time

Chateau Erken, in the Russian Federation’s Kabardino-Balkaria autonomous republic, looks like an extremely well-preserved medieval castle, but, this architectural wonder is just over a decade old. Located in the vineyard-dominated countryside of Kabardino-Balkaria, Chateau Erken is a tourist attraction unlike any other in Russia. Not only does it mimic the fortress-like design of European medieval castles, but its location in the middle of a man-made lake full of fish and wild birds is also just as impressive. People from all over the country come to this rural area in Southern Russia to see Chateau Erken in person. Photos and videos of this amazing castle have been doing the rounds on social media for years, but some people still can’t believe it exists and that it was built not by a king, but by a legendary businessman.

Chateau Erken, Kabardino-Balkaria

Tembulat Erkenov is synonymous with the wine industry of Kabardino-Balkaria. After graduating from the Faculty of Agronomy, he was sent to work in a communist collective, but quickly rose through the ranks and eventually became Deputy Chairman of the Government of Kabardino-Balkaria. Later in life, he went on to establish his own winery, Chateau Erken, which is recognised as one of the best in Russia.

Inspired by the castles he visited during his many travels through Europe, Erkenov decided to build his very own medieval castle; not just a small-scale replica, but an actual life-size one. The architectural winder was completed in 2010. Today, the main operations of Chateau Erken are located inside this magnificent castle, but the place serves as a local tourist attraction as well. Those who want to see the inside of the place must pay for a tour, but there is plenty to see from the outside beside the castle and the lake. It surrounded by forests and tourists often come here to get away from the city and to watch wild birds. Erkenov passed away in 2017, leaving his son to handle the affairs of Chateau Erken. The five-storey castle he built remains as a testament to his work.

Source: Sunday Midday dated 6-2-2022

Tourist Places In Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand Travel Guide – Tourist Places In Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, attracts a large number of tourists every year. Uttarakhand’s natural environment, religious places, and adventure activities provide pleasure to every tourist, here Uttarakhand Travel Guide is provided which will be very helpful in your Uttarakhand trip. Among the lush green valleys, hills, shimmering rivers and natural falling waterfalls of Uttarakhand one can get to know the rich culture and history of the place.

Uttarakhand offers an incredible experience for everyone, from pilgrims to honeymoon couples and nature lovers to tourists. The body and soul provide complete rejuvenation amidst rich biodiversity and wildlife tourism. Apart from this, tourists can also do adventure activities like trekking, rafting, and camping here. How the tourists reached Uttarakhand and the best time to go, food destinations and places of stay, etc. are fully explained in this article.

Best time to visit Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is the best place to visit throughout the year but tourists can visit at any time during their compatibility. In the summer season from April to June, tourists can enjoy the natural scenery and adventurous activities such as trekking and paragliding, and in the winter from November to February, tourists can enjoy river rafting and snowfall. There is a large amount of landslide in Uttarakhand during the monsoon, so it should be avoided during this time.

Activities to do in Uttarakhand

Tourists in Uttarakhand can do a lot of adventure activities by visiting challenging destinations including trekking, rafting, skiing, and paragliding.

Trekking

Uttarakhand, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, has many attractive tracks. It also includes a track offering an enchanting view of the Nanda Devi and Trishul ranges, from the track of the Valley of Flowers surrounded by beautiful flower scenes. Apart from trekking, tourists can also see beautiful views of the sunset on these tracks and can also see spiritual places like Kedarnath Badrinath. Tracking will give you peace of mind and reduce stress.

Rafting

Tourists can enjoy river rafting in the white water of India’s holy river the Ganges. Tourists can do adventurous activities like adventures rafting under the Luxman Jhula in Yog Bhumi Rishikesh. One can also see the beauty of Uttarakhand during rafting between the attractive forests and powerful Sells. From June to October, tourists can get an exciting and entertaining experience of adventure activities like river rapping.

Skiing

Tourists can also enjoy skiing during winter in Uttarakhand. Auli is considered the best place for skiing in Uttarakhand, it also hosts the National Skiing Championship every year. Tourists can experience some exciting views during skiing as well as some fascinating views of the peaks of the Himalayan ranges. Tourists can visit Auli, Munsiyari, and Dayara Bugyal Kumaon area to enjoy skiing in Uttarakhand.

Religious trip to Uttarakhand

Chardham Yatra

Uttarakhand is also known as Devbhoomi as Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri are the four holy pilgrimage centers of Hinduism, where people of Hindu religion come from all over the world. Hinduism is considered very sacred to visit these four dhams.

Take a holy dip in the Ganges

The largest river of India, the Ganga, is considered to be a very sacred river in Hinduism and it is also said that by taking a dip in it, one gets freedom from all sins. In Haridwar, a large number of devotees take a dip of faith in the holy Ganga Maiya every day on Har ki Pauri, in addition to the view of Har ki Pauri during the Ganga Aarti in the evening. If you believe in spirit then definitely go here.

How to Reach Uttarakhand

Tourists will get all three modes of the bus, train, and airplane from all over India to go to Uttarakhand.

Bus: – Private or roadways bus is available from any state of India to go to Uttarakhand, apart from this tourists can easily reach Uttarakhand by private vehicle.

Rail route: – Train is available from all over India to Haridwar and Dehradun in Uttarakhand, tourists can easily reach their cities to Rishikesh and Kathgodam.

Airplane: – There are 2 airports in Uttarakhand, which includes Joligrant Airport of Dehradun and Pantnagar Airport. It is well connected to all the major cities of India.

FAQ

What is the best food to eat in Uttarakhand?

Uttarakhand has many traditional and regional cuisines that tourists must enjoy. Tourists must enjoy delicious cuisine in Uttarakhand such as kafuli, hemp chutney, phanu, kumaoni raita, singori, dumpling, Garhwal ka Fannah, and Kandali greens. All these dishes are seen by region.

What are the best items to shop for in Uttarakhand?

Tourists can visit various markets in different cities to enjoy shopping in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand handmade jewelry, winter clothing items, handicrafts, and Kumaoni, Garhwali architectural pictures can be purchased by tourists here. There are also some Tibetan markets in Uttarakhand where Tibetans can buy goods.

Uttarakhand Travel Tips

Due to the mountainous region of Uttarakhand, if you do not rely on the Internet much, then if you do more and more work offline, it will be good.

India is definitely moving ahead digitally, but in many places in Uttarakhand you will not find Paytm and debit card machines, so keep the necessary cash with you.

Before going to Uttarakhand, keep warm clothes with you as it is very cold here.

Understand the people of Uttarakhand as their own, they will help you a lot here, if you find many humble and kind people, then many people can also take advantage of your newness, so recognize the people well.

Conclusion

Uttarakhand is really hot destination for every traveler. New couples can start their lives well among the beautiful Himalayan plaintiffs, then older people can visit Chardham and take a holy bath in Ganga Maia. Apart from this, many adventure sports lovers can do trekking, skiing, and paragliding here. Here you are given Uttarakhand Travel Guide which will make your journey quite attractive.

Best 8 Places to Visit in Kerala

A magical place tucked away to the South of India

The tranquilized environment of Kerala makes it one of the most exquisite tourist hotspots in India. Like Goa, Kerala too moves at a glacial pace. People love the serenity bestowed in the state, thus visit it because of its peaceful surroundings. Kerala has something for everyone. White sandy beaches, forts, harbours, wood lands, hill stations and more, together they whip out a memorable holiday. The lush greens of Kerala are to die for. Noted as India’s cleanest state, Kerala with a bounty of unearthly beauty is indeed ‘God’s Own Country’. If you are planning a trip to this ‘Venice of the East’, then here are some incredible places worth a visit.

1. Backwaters – The Lovely Green

The Backwaters were etched to perfection. It is a paradisiacal sight that cannot be equalled by any other. It is considered to be the highlight of Kerala. The serpentine emerald Backwaters pan out and connect Allapuzha (Alleppey), Kollam and Kottayam. As you slice the waters on a houseboat, you can sight tribal villages on the banks. Everything is vivid on this side of Kerala. The famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race takes place here on the second Saturday of August.

Planning a rejuvenating experience on houseboat sailing through the backwaters is one of the best experiences offered by Kerala tourism.

2. Fort Kochi – A jewel by the seaside

This part of the Cochin, takes you back to the colonial era. A lush Dutch and Portuguese architecture along with concepts of urban space, Fort Cochin is Kerala’s laid-back hotspot. Art Galleries, churches, bazaars, spice markets and deli’s conclude Fort Cochin. The boat jetty witnesses long queues. You can cruise on the Backwaters or just go on a long ride into the Arabian Sea, watch the enchanting and ensnaring sunset before you head back home. Kerala packages are sure incomplete if Fort Cochin is missing on the itinerary.

3. Kollam – White Noise

Image courtesy – Nire

Kollam is the southern gateway to the Backwaters. It is considered as a quieter cousin of Alleppey. Although Alleppey is preferred for hiring a houseboat in Kerala, you will not witness hustles and bustles in Kollam. It has a calm and serene atmosphere and the locals see to it you are given your privacy. This small town has an authentic Indian feel to it. The small eateries in the market serve the best Keralite food.

4. Guruvayur – Spiritual Travel

Are you a pious person? Did you think a place often referred to as God’s Own country could possibly have no shrines built as an ode to the one above? Guruvayur, is one of the most visited pilgrimage destination in South India. Here you can visit the Guruvayur Ambalam, a shrine for Lord Krishna. At Guruvayur you can also visit the world’s largest sanctuary for elephants at Anakotta. Other places you must visit include Arattu, Kaladi, Chavakkad and Palayur.

5. Kozikhode or Calicut – Coastal Lovelies!

Kozikhode is a coastal town in Kerala flanked by pure beaches, stunning green landscapes and the fresh aromas of spices being brewed in its spice gardens. The town is also more famously known as Calicut named after Calico, a special hand woven cloth. While here you can learn about the rich history it attributes to while taking in an eyeful of the Kappad Beach and Beypore Fort. Bird watchers ahoy! A certain Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary homes over hundred distinct species of birds. The Thikoti Lighthouse off the coast of Velliyamkallu beach is another attraction which was built above the remains of a shipwreck from the past.

6. Kovalam – The Land of Coconut Trees and Palaces

A word that barely connotes to a knot of coconut trees sure has a world of tourism appeal to it. What used to be a tropical beach three decades ago is a traveler’s jackpot replete with pristine beaches, lighthouses, palaces and yes, loads and loads of towering coconut trees. While at Kovalam travelers always find themselves exploring the Padmanabhapuram Palace. The major attractions here include Kaudiar Palace, Anchutengu Fort and Koyikkal Palace.

7. Alleppey Beach, Kerala

The beautiful shoreline of the beach welcomes its visitors with an enjoyable retreat. It is among the most famous beaches of Kerala. The beach had enjoyed a unique time in the maritime history of Kerala. The gorgeous sandy shoreline goes well with the blaze of the water to create a relaxing ambience. The beach is very popular for picnics at weekend.

8. Cherai Beach, Kerala

Lies near Vypeen Islands, Cherai beach Kerala is a paradise for fun lovers. The sea on the western corner and the backwaters on the east add charm to the beach. Thick and dense coconut groves and some beautiful Chinese fishing nets are the highlights of the spot.

For a memorable trip to India, leave all your planning to expert travel agents in India

Off to the Exotica

This is probably the closest you will ever get to nature that is raw, yet so achingly beautiful that you can’t help but gaze in wonder! Such is the heartbreak a traveler feels when bidding farewell to God’s own country. I could only include some of the things that you can see and do in Kerala. Hope it helps! If I have missed out on some interesting things to see in Kerala, please add them in comments.

You cannot copy content of this page

%d bloggers like this: