Do you extend?

Do you extend?
By admin


DUBAI

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

People may think Dubai is simply a city of massive shopping malls and towering buildings, but there's a lot more substance to the destination. It's a place worth more than just the token one night stay, and is increasingly being viewed as a holiday destination in its own right. The market segments catered for are diverse, ranging from family, adventure, gastronomy, spa and wellness.

For families, there are plenty of fun-filled experiences on offer, such as heading up to the 124th floor of the world's tallest building – Burj Khalifa – in a high speed elevator to enjoy the 360 degree views from the observation deck. Down below, the Dubai Mall (within the Burj Khalifa complex) is home to an Olympic sized ice rink where kids can play some ice hockey or even attend a disco on ice.

Another great family experience is wadi bashing in the Hajar Mountains. As well as the bumpy 4WD journey through the wadis, visitors can cool off in the isolated rock pools along the way. Also on offer are desert safaris, which generally involve dune bashing in a 4WD, a sunset camel ride and a night in a Bedouin-style camp. Sandboarding and sandskiing are other unique adventure options. ""

Dubai may be a city with the wow factor, however it has a history and culture still rooted in Islamic traditions. Arabic culture and folklore is expressed through music, dance, colourful souqs, art and traditional sports such as falconry, camel racing and dhow sailing.

A five-night stay in Dubai is a great way for your clients to truly experience the best of what the destination has to offer.

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STOPOVER PACKAGE

Emirates offers Dubai stopover packages starting from $US39 ($37) per night for a two-night hotel stay based on two people sharing a room. Passengers are advised to book through a travel agent or Emirates local office. As a courtesy, when an itinerary requires a long stopover in Dubai, Emirates ensures travellers arrive at their destination rested by taking care of accommodation, meals, ground transportation and visa costs. For more information, visit www.emirates.com.au

ABU DHABI

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

Abu Dhabi is a destination developing at a rapid rate – but it's also one with an intriguing past and a fascinating culture. It's the location of magnificent mosques but it's also a place of oasis towns, sprawling open deserts and islands surrounded by crystal clear waters. Those willing to extend beyond a mere stopover night to a good five nights or so will be able to learn this for themselves.

And they'll be able to check out places like the oasis city of Al Ain, which is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited settlements, fed by natural springs originating in the mountains. Attractions here include the picturesque Al Jahill Fort, as well as Jabel Hafeet – a limestone monolith with spectacular views over the city. At its foothills lies the Green Mubazarrah, where hot springs gush forth and visitors can experience their warmth in swimming pools and jacuzzis. Also located here is Al Ain Wildlife Park, as well as a camel market and an attraction called Wadi Adventure, which is a man made white-water rafting, kayaking and surfing facility.

Head from the east to the west in Abu Dhabi and your clients can visit the Desert Islands – a two and half hour drive or a 25 minute flight outside of the city. They're places of serene natural beauty, historic artefacts and exciting adventures, with the main island being Sir Bani Yas Island, a place that reflects Abu Dhabi's focus on developing a sustainable future in tourism while conserving and promoting local traditions.

Visitors to Abu Dhabi can learn more about Bedouin culture or simply enjoy the adventure while on a desert safari departing from the oasis area of Liwa, which itself is located 150km outside the city of Abu Dhabi. Here you'll find Tel Moreeb, which is the world's largest sand dune at over 300 metres in height.

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STOPOVER PACKAGE

For Etihad passengers stopping over in Abu Dhabi, the airline offers them the first night free and the second night at a competitive rate, as part of its Essential Stopover offer. Accommodation starts from $45 per night. And clients who book in Etihad's Diamond First or Pearl Business Class will receive a complimentary, luxury one or two-night stay in Abu Dhabi. For more information, visit www.etihad.com »

SINGAPORE

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

For any of your clients who have passed through Singapore but have never left Changi Airport, or have only spent a night in this city, it's time for that to change. Two nights are better than one, however a four-night stay is ideal if your client is going to experience the best of what the destination has to offer.

Singapore is known for its strong commercial focus and hard-working citizens, however this place is far from boring – the locals know how to have fun. Think cafes like Orange Thimble, located in the trendy area of Tiong Bahru, bringing creative types together with its art and coffee combination; while Maison Ikkoku, an artisanal coffee bar located in the Arab Quarter, serves multiple purposes with its cafe on the ground floor, men's high end retailer on the second floor and cocktail bar on the third floor.

And when it comes to a tipple, bars come with their own distinct personality. One of Singapore's exciting offerings is Nektar, which opened back in 2010, in the garden courtyard of a restored heritage building. The bar staff serve from a specially created sunken level floor behind the bar, so that the clientele are able to interact as their selected cocktails are being prepared.

There are some amazing and innovative fine dining establishments in Singapore, but what sends the locals' tastebuds into a frenzy is the hawker stalls, famous for dishes like char kway teow. To experience real Singapore cuisine, just head to Makansutra in Gluttons Bay, where the open-air mini hawker centre provides visitors with an introduction into what local street food is all about.

STOPOVER PACKAGE

Singapore Airlines has a Singapore Stopover Holiday program – a package offering travellers the choice of a range of hotels, return airport transfers, plus discount vouchers and entry to a number of attractions. It starts from $82 for the first night, with additional nights costing $84. There is also a basic Singapore Stopover Holiday package, which is just accommodation and transfers, with prices starting from $62 for the first night. For more information, visit www.singaporeair.com

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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