Ghaya Grand Hotel Launches Festive Season Offer

The season of love, reunion and festivity is in full swing. Feel the true spirit of Christmas and New Year at Ghaya Grand Hotel Dubai, with a variety of delightful options to make your celebrations with family and friends extra special. Enjoy the season’s most delicious treats in dazzling settings surrounded by the best dishes on display. Those celebrating at home can take advantage of the hotel’s superb ‘Tom Turkey Promotion’, for less time spent on cooking and more time to entertain the guests!

The perfect festive selection at Ghaya Grand Hotel, in multiple restaurant options, has a cuisine to suit every taste, so come, join and celebrate this season with your family and friends!

24th December, 2018 (MONDAY)
Christmas Eve at Red Diamond – 6pm to 11pm
– Lavish International Buffet Dinner, including a live cooking station, starters and desserts
– AED 150 per person inclusive of beverages
– AED 75 per child ( aged between 6 – 12 years)

25th December, 2018 (TUESDAY)
Christmas Day Brunch at FUSION – 12:30 pm to 4 pm
–  Lavish Buffet Brunch with live cooking stations, including Seafood, Chinese, Italian, Sushi and Indian, starters and desserts
– AED 165 per person inclusive of beverages
– AED 75 per child (aged between 6 -12 years)

31st December, 2017 (MONDAY)
– NYE Gala Dinner at Red Diamond & Fusion -7 pm until 12 midnight
– Extravagant brunch held exclusively in Red Diamond and Fusion restaurants, offering guests a wide selection of dishes to choose from both restaurants, with a central desserts counter, offering enticing cakes and desserts
– Buffet dinner with live cooking stations, including Chinese, Italian, Sushi and Indian
– AED 299 per person inclusive of beverages
– AED 145 per child (aged between 6 -12 years)

Turkey Take Away
From 7th December 2018 until 7th January 2019
7kg Turkey –serving 5 to 6 person for AED 320, with trimmings and sauces AED 420
9kg  Turkey – serving 8 to 10 person for AED 440, with trimmings and sauces AED 540
**Orders to be placed 72 hours in advance**

7th January, 2018 (MONDAY)
Orthodox Christmas Red Diamond – 6pm – 11pm
– Lavish International Buffet Dinner, including a live cooking station, starters and desserts
– AED 125 per person inclusive of beverages
– AED 60 per child ( aged between 6 – 12 years)

REFERENCE: Ghaya Grand Hotel neighborhood districts
Jebel Ali District (Mena Jebel Ali, Jebel Ali 1-3, Jebel Ali Industrial 1-2, Me-aisem 1-2, Dubai Investment Park 1-2, International Media Production Zone)
Madinat Al Maktoum District (Madinat Al Mataar)
Dubai Land District (Al Hebiah 1-5, Al Yufrah 1-2, Al Yalayis 1-5, Umm Nahad 1-4, Wadi Al Safa 2, Wadi Al Safa 4-7, Dubai Sports City, Dubai Motor City)
Hadaeq Mohammad Bin Rashid District (Al Thaniya 1-5, Al Quoz 1-4, Al Barsha 1-3, Al Quoz Industrial 1-4, Al Merkadh, Al Barsha South 1-5, Hadaeq Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, Nad Al Sheba 1, Sadi Al Safa 3, Jumeirah Village Circle)

Pearl of the Adriatic – Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Shereen Shabnam

Dubrovnik in Croatia is a city for all seasons and one of the world’s most prominent tourist destinations. Surrounded by unique medieval ramparts, Dubrovnik attracts visitors for its rich history, mild climate, traditional hospitality and its many festivals, open-air events and architectural treasures.

I explored Dubrovnik, a UNESCO registered protected world heritage site during the evening and in the day taking in the charm of bustling streets, art and different cultural events.

Walking along the promenade during the day meant coming across various art and artefacts on sale as well as live music performances. The open air performances add character to the different areas of the old town classical and jazz music and brings rhythm and charm into an already dazzling atmosphere.

While wandering through the markets, we toured the filming location of the ‘Game of Thrones’ television series and enjoyed some retail therapy of the related merchandise for fans back in the UAE.

The best part of Dubrovnik was exploring the old city, which had interesting markets, art galleries and city walls with fortresses offering beautiful views of the city, the open sea and the Island of Lokrum.

For panoramic views of Dubrovnik, visitors can take the cable car and set out on a scenic adventure that includes breathtaking views of the old town and enjoy the sunset. Make time to head to the Island of Lokrum and Elaphiti Islands or visit the Trsteno Arboretum, which is a protected monument of nature.

Dubrovnik is a great destination for adventure sports or active tourists who enjoy horse riding, hiking, cycling or sailing. A jeep safari or a canoe tour is also an interesting way to explore the area.

Dubrovnik was a gastronomic delight with an abundance of fresh and delectable food, often seasoned with olive oil. Try the naturally grown vegetables like courgettes, cabbage, aubergines tomatoes as well as seafood prepared in a simple way.

I had a full day exploring the old town and came across a Salvador Dali exhibition, which was an unexpected delight. Visitors who enjoy experience centres will enjoy The Cultural History Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Archeological Museum exhibition at Fortress Revelin, the Dubrovnik Natural Science Museum and the Dubrovnik State Archives.

The natural scenery in the area and panoramic views of the coast on the way to the old town in Dubrovnik were definitely some of the most memorable moments in Croatia.  I am already planning my next venture into the land of fortresses and medieval architecture.

Turkish Airlines recently added Dubrovnik, Croatia to its expanding network with three weekly flights for visitors intending to explore this beautiful city.

 

Exploring Taiwan – The Land of Breathtaking Beauty

By Shereen Shabnam

With rich cultural diversity and traditions as varied as it’s beautiful natural landscape alongside tall towers and a thriving business environment, Taiwan is full of surprises for visitors.

My visit began with a tour of the Taipei 101, architecturallycreated guided with Feng Shui principles as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition with traditional design elements, works of art and modern treatments. It comes with Indoor Observation decks plus a premium multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower with hundreds of stores, restaurants and clubs.

The journey continued with visits to Chiayi, Alishan, Sun Moon Lake and beyond wandering through cultural attractions, lakes, hillside stations, tropical forests and sampling a wide variety of cuisine including ample choice of halal delicacies.

Taiwan offers the gamut of different cuisines and I enjoyed the Chinese, Indian, Moroccan, Japanese dishes alongside the traditional local specialties like Tainan milkfish and desert dumplings in restaurants and night markets in between sight seeing and shopping.

A visit to Taiwanese temples is a must for people watching as they gather to worship, enjoy local festivities nearby and to peruse the local art house often found in each city.

Highlight of the visit was the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated each year on the 15th day of the first lunar month to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

This first full moon day of the New Year symbolizes the coming of the spring. People usually celebrate this festival by enjoying family dinner together, eating Yuanxiao (glutinous rice dumpling), carrying paper lanterns, and solving the riddles on the lanterns.

At the Taiwan Lantern Festival in Chiayi, I found the grand celebration with music, dance, light shows, 4D visual effects and the grand lanterns all around me magical. My Taiwanese friends said they sometimes write their wishes on the sky lanterns because it is believed as the lantern fly into the sky; it is a way to pass on your wishes to gods above.

A visit to the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum was a delightin Chiayi County. The museum is set on 70 hectares of land next to a large scenic lake with gardens. It has an unmatched collection of e artifacts and priceless treasures from distant places.

Another attractionlocated in Qigu District, Tainan is the Qigu Salt Mountain set close to Qigu Lagoon, the largest inland lake in Taiwan, which is rich in ecological resources and the habitat for winter migratory birds-black-faced spoonbills. There are a number of recreational activities like go-karting, antique machines exhibition and the Doo-doo trains making it an interesting Tainan tourist spot for visitors of all ages.

Other enjoyable excursions included exploring the Sicao Mangrove Preserve and the Taijiang National Parkwith ecological and cultural landscape alongside culture and history. The Alishan National Scenic Area was also memorable.

Another breath taking experience was of course Taiwan’s largest Lake, the Sun Moon Lakelocated in the mountains of Nantou. I took a late afternoon boat tour and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The area around the lake is home to tribes and scenic views. Leaving Taiwan was not easy especially from the Sun Moon Lake.

From the UAE, getting to Taiwan was fairly easy on Emirates Airlines, which flies to direct to Taipei daily. The city is a great starting point to get to the other popular tourist spots.

Classic Elegance – Luxury at every turn at Villa Magna, Madrid

By Shereen Shabnam

On the way to my Spanish home recently, a stop in Madrid led me and my family to discover the luxury Villa Magna in Madrid where the ambience celebrates the old and new in a space that only be described as classically elegant.

In the last century, where this modern building stands today on the Paseo de la Castellana, was the Palace of Anglada which was demolished in the 1960`s. The hotel on the same site shows the same sophistication and after an extensive renovation, the luxury hotel has become a home to regular visitors who love the Bauhaus concepts and Chinese screens that combine to create a welcoming and luxurious atmosphere.

From the moment we were picked at the airport by a private chauffeur to the moment we left, the experience we had was more than amazing. The Concierge led us to the most interesting exhibitions and fashionable boutiques in Madrid but the highlight of the excursions was our teenage daughter experiencing the VIP shopper experience at El Corte Ingles…a must for all GCC visitors.

The hotel lobby is warm and welcoming with a large window offering a marvelous view to the Magnum Patio. To add a sophisticated touch the walls were adorned with Bauhaus and Vienna Secession designs. Different styles also combine among the furnishings: Louis XVI rosewood consoles, exotic screens and rugs with their geometric shapes give warmth to the marble floors.

The Restaurante Villa Magna has beautiful natural light, complimented by the choice of light colours and a large framed mirror that reflects the space as a painting. The beauty of the carpentry work and the relaxing upholstery combine to make a perfect ambience relaxing. 

The Lounge, off the Lobby of the Villa Magna, is the ideal setting to meet friends, discuss business or enjoy a relaxing meal at any time of the day. We spent our lunchtime mainly there with a selection of snacks, light lunch dishes whilst enjoying views onto the Lounge Terrace and Paseo de la Castellana beyond.

The room we stayed in was spacious, comfortable and washed with soft lighting, bright colours and warm fabrics. It was tastefully done and every detail was taken care of…from attending to my love for chocolates to the availability of prayer mats in the cupboard.

 Our day excursions meant revisiting our favourite Madrid attractions starting from the “Art Triangle” the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, the Mercado and the Reina Sofia Museum to walking through Plaza Mayor and retail streets dotted with local and international brands.

The Villa Magna´s Fitness Club is equipped with the latest Technogym equipment and a team of fitness experts to provide a personalized fitness programme. The Wellness Club is a quiet area to be pampered with luxurious body treatments and skincare in a retreat of tranquility and naturally I opted for a massage on arrival.

Withthe city’s main shopping streets and attractions at the doorstep, the Villa Magna offers the most exclusive and ideal place to stay while visiting Madrid.