Tag Archives: activities

Dubai: An Eclectic Mix of People and Their Ideas – Hipmunk City Love

Blog Post Type: Summary of a City Guide

There is nothing small about Dubai. The expression “go big or go home” is fitting for this desert city. As one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is modern and progressive. With its liberal policies and forward thinking for the region, tourists can engage in sunbathing, partying, and other sinful pleasures otherwise not seen in the Middle East. Dubai has the largest immigration population in the world, including people from India, Pakistan, China, and Europe. It’s a smorgasbord of music, architecture, food, arts, and sport, giving travelers various perspectives of world culture in an unlikely place.

Dubai 1

Photo by Emily Sabo via Trover.com

Food

Dubai is often portrayed as a playground for the wealthy. While this is true, it has a food scene for every budget. Travelers can spend high for international cuisine at one of the various hotels, save a little with access to a variety of quality mid-range foods, or stay within budget while enjoying many regional foods and local cuisines that will please any palate. If street food is your choice, try shawarma. This Arabic version of a burger is meat cut into thin strips and placed in a kuhbus (pita) with vegetables and dressing. It’s cheap and found throughout the city and at various restaurants.

Water Activities and the Great Outdoors

The Arabian Peninsula offers some of the best water-sport activities in the world. The Sharjah enclave on the east coast, Khor Fakkan, is known for pristine diving on coral reefs. If you’re a fisherman, spend a relaxing day catching queen fish, snapper, Spanish mackerel, cobia, and more on one of the modern luxury vessels suited for comfort and convenience. Travelers can charter yachts for a relaxing ride on the water, speed yachts are available for the thrill seekers, and couples can enjoy a romantic time in tranquil waters.

Dubai 2

Photo by Anna Nicolai via Trover.com

With desert dominating the landscape, the adventurous can rent quad bikes, dune buggies, and 4×4 safari jeeps to go dune bashing. Patrons have access to an extensive fleet to drive and rip through the desert sands at speeds that are comfortable to the individual driver. For those who don’t want to risk bodily harm, travelers can tour the local zoo, visit the 72,000 square metre Dubai Miracle Garden with its 45 million flowers, or enjoy a hot air balloon ride. If you are traveling in the winter, witness the area camel races that are held on Thursdays and Fridays.

Shopping

Dubai is synonymous with shopping. There are hundreds of malls and markets scattered throughout the emirate for the consumer enthusiast. Escape the heat in these air-conditioned oases where textiles, gold, and electronics are the popular goods and the best things to buy. One can even experience a taste of winter in the Mall of the Emirates by skiing down an indoor ski hill built into the mall. Dubai is so shopper friendly, they host a Dubai Shopping Festival from the beginning of January until the end of February and the Dubai Summer Surprises festival in the summer.

Dubai is a vacation kingdom for the wealthy, but it also caters to the business traveler and international tourist. There are many hotels in Dubai to choose from in this desert playground that caters to everyone’s needs. Think big and play big when traveling to Dubai and you’ll fit in.

Feature Photo by Ahmed Hamada via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

The Five Boroughs: Divergent in Culture but Still a New York State of Mind

Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled

The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island are the five boroughs that make up New York City. These boroughs have their own flavors, neighborhoods, and personalities that they could easily be cities by themselves.

The Bronx is the birthplace of hip-hop; Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets; Manhattan has spectacular views of the entire city with Times Square entertaining travelers around the clock; Queens hosts the U.S. Open tennis tournament; and Staten Island offers many family friendly activities and attractions.

Corona Park

Photo by Tai Goh via Trover.com

Travelers who are closely eyeing their budget should consider Pod 39 or one of the other many New York City hotels in the boroughs. With extra money in hand, more opportunities exist to visit more attractions, cultural experiences, and sightseeing activities.

Spending Time in Nature in the Bronx

There is more to do in the Bronx than going to catch a game at Yankee stadium or seeing the world-famous Bronx Zoo. Van Cortlandt Park offers peace and tranquility in its surroundings. With over 1000 acres, Van Cortlandt Park is the third largest in New York City with playgrounds, a golf course, and lush greenery. After building up an appetite exploring nature, head over to Arthur Avenue for the real taste of “Little Italy.”

Become Immersed in the Culture of Brooklyn

As the most populous of the five boroughs, Brooklyn’s eclectic neighborhoods offers travelers a cultural history as diverse as the boroughs themselves. From Brighton Beach’s Russian markets and food stands to golfing, surfing, and hiking in the Jamaica Bay & Rockaway Beach neighborhood to DUMBO’s energetic art scene, Brooklyn thrives in offering a sampling of intellectualism on every street corner.

Dumbo

Photo by gavvykins via Trover.com

Transforming a Little Slice of Manhattan

Everyone is familiar with Times Square’s theater district and glitzy nightlife. Take a walk off the beaten path and enjoy a leisurely stroll along Manhattan’s new High Line Park. High Line was an old elevated train line that ran from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal until 1980. Planning and development over the past 15 years has turned this old rail line into a park that uses sustainable practices in its landscape.

Take a World Tour in Queens

Travel from South America to China to India and back again within 109 square miles. With 138 languages spoken and 100 countries represented, Queens has an ethnically diverse population unmatched in the world. Whether dinning out, shopping at affordable thrift shops on Steinway Street, or going out for a night on the town in Astoria, Long Island City, or Woodside, one thing is for sure, visitors will mingle among a crowd of people so diverse that one will want to traverse this “world” over and over.

Staten Island is Ideal for a Day of Rest, Relaxation and Photography

Travelers who are visiting from other boroughs or are staying in a Staten Island hotel can photograph the surrounding area from Todt Hill; the highest point on the East Coast. Photographers, don’t stop there. The Alice Austen House offers visitors insights and a rich history into one of America’s earliest and celebrated female photographers. Continue seeing Staten Island through the lens by capturing the waterfront, 9300 acres of parkland, and the Manhattan skyline.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He is based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature photo by Photostains via Trover.com