Reasons to visit New York over the holidays

Christmas in New York

‘New York’, you shout in disbelief. ‘I can go to New York any other time!’ Yes, that is true. New York City is not a mysterious, exclusive, or exotic place. However, let us tell you something – New York rarely looks better than it does during the holiday season. The Rockefeller Center glimmers and glitters, departments stores decorate their windows with ornaments worth traveling for, the streets are full of holiday lights, sights, sounds, etc. And, if you are lucky, it may even snow – and snow is something that makes Central Park mesmerizing and almost magical. But, if you are not persuaded yet, that is, if you are still looking for reasons to visit New York over the holidays, keep on reading. We prepared a list of reasons that will bring you to the Big Apple in November and December.

The Big Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Okay, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, a Norway spruce, is an all-American staple. This tree is what you have been seeing on New York City postcards for decades. Every year, right before the holiday season starts, a very large tree (standing just a little over 70-ft high) is brought into the plaza and decorated with the most beautiful lights and ornaments. Moreover, the tree is positioned right next to the enormous ice rink where you can skate, drink hot chocolate or mulled wine, and enjoy the most beautiful Christmas sights. You can pretend to be in one of those classic American movies. So, do not question whether now is the best time to visit New York – it is! Christmas vibes will make you fall in love with the city as soon as you step your foot on its streets.

The ice-skating rink in New York
One reason to visit New York over the holidays is that it will bring out your inner child

Christmas Displays in Manhattan

People usually associate Manhattan with either hard work or with excessive luxury. Yes, you can find both here. But, that is not all you can see, so do not avoid checking out this New York City’s borough, especially now, during the holiday season. In Manhattan, you will find decorated department stores that do not resemble anything you have seen before. Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Macy’s, Saks, etc., all look like separate cities. It is as though they compete every year to see who is going to be more Christmas-looking. And, the smaller stores, both those high-end and more affordable ones, do not disappoint either. You will want to walk inside just to see the decorations. Do that! That is why those decorations are there. We strongly advise you to check out some of the toy stores in Manhattan, too – that is where you will awaken your inner child.

NYC Entertainment

Most people who come to New York come to hustle. They come to see whether this city will make or break them. But, during the holiday season, from Halloween in October till Chinese New Year in February, people come for entertainment. It does not matter what kind of entertainment you are looking for, you will find it here. Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events, etc., are just some of the things you can do here.

What is more, you will not have to spend much. It will take you just a couple of bucks to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, to drink hot chocolate in the State Park, or to go stargazing on the High Line. Of course, if your pockets are deeper, there are plenty of options for that too!

Thus, do not worry about not being entertained in New York during the holiday season – that is simply not possible. It is not possible in any season here, to be honest. After all, New York did get the nickname “The city that never sleeps” for a reason. Trust us; once you come here, you will want to move here. Some people do – and that is why we have soo many people from different backgrounds here. If you want to move too, do it. You do not need much – just a room and a storage unit for your stuff. Consider temporary solutions for your items as you will be on the go all the time and try to soak up everything this city has to offer. 

Decorations, representing reasons to visit New York over the holidays.
There is not a city in the world that can treat you as well as New York.

Seasonal Food is a Reason to Visit New York Over the Holidays

When we say that New York is home to some of the most exceptional 5-star restaurants in the world, we mean it. You can find some of the best chefs and some of their best creations right here in the center of New York. But, be warned, some of these restaurants will cost you an arm and a leg. However, do not think that you have to break your budget to eat here. You can find some of the best food on the streets of New York! From Italian and French to Indian and Moroccan – delicacies will be all around you. And, all those delicacies will come with their own holiday spirit. You will see donuts with Christmas lights made of chocolate or even hotdogs wrapped in Christmas paper. But, let us give you a tip that will ensure safe travel – always eat where the crowd eats. There is a reason why empty stalls are empty!

A hotdog.
When in New York – eat where locals eat.

Amazing Lighting Displays all over New York

It is during the holiday season when New York starts to resemble a fairy tale. Those people who grew up watching Home Alone and other Christmas classics know what we are talking about. In December and January, every corner of New York will be decorated with lights – stores, trees, bushes, etc. People’s (local’s) houses will also be in full-Christmas spirit. Santa clauses, raindeers, and giant Christmas trees can be seen in almost all front yards. Just walking through the streets, main and those a bit off the beaten track, will give you the impression like you are in some kind of Santa’s village. New York City does this with every holiday! For instance, October is great for those Halloween Lovers, while November is one of the best months to visit New York if you enjoy Thanksgiving and all the parades. 

See, there are many reasons to visit New York over the holidays. It will undoubtedly give you a one-of-a-kind experience.

Best Places to Throw a Party in Dubai

Dubai is one of the world’s ultimate places to party. So if you’re planning to throw a party or organize an unforgettable event in Dubai, the real task is not to find a venue but to pick the perfect venue among the lot. No matter if you’re looking for an actual party hall or an elegant venue or a quirky destination, we’ve compiled and categorized the best places to throw a party in Dubai.

OPEN-AIR VENUES

Jumeirah Golf Estates

With an extensive ballroom that accommodates 200 plus guests and outdoor terraces overlooking the golf course, this is one of the best venues in Dubai for an incredible outdoor party. Moreover, it comes with all staples of a memorable event including dance floor, AV screen, sound system, buffet menu and food arrangements.

The Lebanon Island

Be it for a relaxed or a stylish party, this marvellous venue is complete with both indoor and outdoor party spaces. This is a true hidden gem which is tucked away in the Dubai’s World Islands. You can hire its facilities alone or the whole island if you wish to add more privacy to your intimate event.

Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club

This ultimate venue for horse riding in Dubai is also a sought-after party spot. Placed in proximity to Arabian Ranches, it boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor venues by way of terrace, lawns, and courtyards.

Desert Safari

Bring a unique twist to your party by throwing it amidst the timeless desert dunes. Yes, it’s possible to plan a private desert safari Dubai which is exclusively designed for you and your guests. Most service providers give you the flexibility to customize the desert party as per your distinct theme or requirements.

BEACH BASHES

Barasti

This is the go-to destination for an electrifying high-energy party in Dubai. This cool yet eclectic beach venue is a part of Le Meridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Cove Beach

This beach club may have a new location now as it shifted from Jumeirah Beach Hotel to its current venue in Caesars Palace (Bluewaters Island). But, it’s still one of Dubai’s favourite party spots, with a private beach access plus all facilities such as cabanas, Jacuzzis, live music, superb food and drink choices and more.

Zero Gravity

No list of beach party venues in Dubai is complete without a mention of Zero Gravity. The gorgeous beach-front settings along with top-notch partying facilities make it second to none.

Riva

If you are looking for a secluded yet stunning spot for your beach party, Riva Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah won’t disappoint you. The access to white beaches, a massive pool and several dining options ensure that you’ll have a mind-blowing setting for your beach party.

PARTY CRUISES

Dhow Cruise

Dhow cruise in Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina is unmissable in Dubai. But did you know that this also makes a classic venue for Dubai parties? It’s easy to pick a dhow as per the scope and scale of your event or party. You can easily customize your cruise party with your desired dining options and entertainment activities onboard. The bonus is its awe-inspiring ambience surrounded by water and of course the imposing views over the city skyline.

Yacht Party

Want to give a more contemporary twist to your cruise party in Dubai? You can’t go wrong with a party aboard a stylish yacht. You can hire a sleek modern yacht (complete with all high-end comforts and party essentials) for a few hours or even for a whole day.

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Karma Kafé

Karma Kafé at Downtown Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar is an amazing party venue complemented by great food and ambience. With direct views of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) and one-of-its-kind Dubai Fountain show, it boasts of all right elements to make your event a grand success.

Shades

There is something extraordinary about this lounge within Address Dubai Marina. The sumptuous array of international cuisines and dining arrangements set by a massive infinity pool, plus striking views over the cityscape, make it an unrivalled space for corporate or family gatherings.

Burger & Lobster

This dining venue at DIFC is already a favourite of the aficionados of burgers and lobster specialties. But little is known to many that it also a great place for casual, fun-filled gatherings.

The Backyard

This spot at Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay allows you to win over your guests with its exquisite location along the Dubai Water Canal. Besides great food, it especially stands out for its terrace featuring cool street art.

DREAM & ICONIC VENUES

The Raffles

It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re planning to throw – Raffles Dubai caters to every interest. Be it anniversaries, birthdays, wedding receptions or corporate events, Raffles Dubai is well equipped to host events of all scales, thanks to their dedicated wedding planners plus exclusive venues such as Raffles Garden and ballrooms.

Burj Al Arab

This sail-shaped hotel is considered the world’s only hotel with seven-star comforts and this is reflected in its party venues too. One of the most popular among them is Al Falak Ballroom whose setting is inspired by an 18th century Vienna style opera house. Then there is Suha Boardroom with top-notch business meeting facilities and Tameen Majlis (ideal for informal gatherings), among others. For a closer look at the Burj Al Arab, here’s my post from my visit – Dubai – New & Old.

Atlantis, The Palm

From a fairy-tale wedding to a themed birthday party event to an impeccable corporate event, the palatial-style Atlantis, The Palm resort is supremely versatile when it comes to partying options. While its venues such as the Atlantis Ball Room can accommodate up to 2000 guests at a time, its many indoor and outdoor spaces including Royal Beach, Private Beach, and Royal Terrace is suitable for small, intimate parties. Moreover, its varied segments like Aquaventure Waterpark, Dolphin Bay, Ossiano and the Lost Chambers Aquarium would take your party to the next level.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

With a total of 19 breakout rooms complemented by most advanced facilities, the Event Centre at InterContinental Dubai Festival allows you to throw both grand and small parties. It spans over an area of about 5000 square meters and comes with the capacity to seat over 1300 people.

The Address Dubai Mall

Located right next to celebrated Dubai sights such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, it’s a surefire destination to throw your dream party in Dubai. Depending on your party needs, you can choose from Diamond Ballroom (600 seater), Sapphire Meeting Room, and Ruby and Emerald Meeting Room (24 to 70 guests).

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa

Now if you wish to celebrate your special day or occasion away from the bright lights and crowds of Dubai, this marvelous desert resort (right in the center of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve) offers some incredible venues to make your event truly astonishing.

KIDS’ FAVORITES

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater World

If you want to delight to delight your little ones on their special day, count on the diverse birthday party packages available at this renowned aquarium inside the world’s biggest mall (Dubai Mall). From Under the Sea theme to Aqua Voyager Party, it’s certain that your kids will have the most memorable birthday celebration.

Dubai Ice Rink

Let your little ones have the coolest ever birthday party at Dubai Ice Rink which is a part of The Dubai Mall. With an array of choices at your disposal, you can look forward to some treasured moments with your little ones as they enjoy a spin across the Olympic-sized Ice Rink with the help of a friendly team.

Ski Dubai

Placed within Mall of the Emirates, this is yet another snow-inspired spot in Dubai to celebrate your kids’ birthday or any other special events. There are several birthday party packages starting from just AED 185 per person. So forget about Dubai scorching heat;a party at Ski Dubai gives your little ones not only the chance to try some exciting winter activities but also allow them to meet the penguins.

Bounce

This unique park in Dubai’s Al Qouz is a hit among the little ones with its freestyle playgrounds that blends the features of airbags, trampolines and challenging activities. And not to mention about its exclusive party packages with access to kids’ freestyle fun activities, exclusive party rooms, and bespoke food options.

Dubai Dolphinarium

This gives your kids the unique opportunity to celebrate their special day with adorable dolphins. Just make the choice of right Dubai Dolphinarium birthday package which mostly includes Dolphin show, personalized invitations and exciting gifts to the celebrant.

Conclusion:

There is apparently no dearth of amazing spots to throw a party in Dubai. Whether you’re looking to host a corporate event, a family get-together or even a surprise party, the catch is to zero in on the right venue. And with the above list, we hope that you’ll have a guaranteed great party time in Dubai.

Best Birthday Gifts for Travelers

the ultimate gifts for travellers

Finding the best birthday gifts for travelers can be a difficult task. The person you are buying the present for might be your best friend, your boyfriend, girlfriend, even your brother, but that fact doesn’t make the gift-picking process any easier. So, the best way to find the right present for them is to see what things they like or want. Do they like reading? Do they like listening to music or perhaps painting pictures, or photography? Are they into fashion? Or, in the case of this topic, do they like to travel? If the answer to the latter question is yes, then these are just some of the things to give the most original and, most importantly, the best birthday gifts for travelers.

The scratch-off map

One of the most popular gifts for travelers has been the scratch-off map of the world. This map has been all over Instagram and other social media, and more and more people tend to buy one in order to scratch the country they have been to. This is an amazing way to motivate people who like to travel, to travel even more, and to travel to destinations that are quite exotic. Having a map in front of you with all the countries that you have seen and all the ones that still remain to be visited is, first of all, an amazing way to decorate your walls. And secondly, a great motivation board for anyone who likes to travel. Apart from that, this type of gift might be a cliche right now, but it’s helluva lot of fun.

A nice watch

best gifts for travellers

Even though you might not think “trip” once this gift comes to mind, getting the traveler in question a watch is indeed a great idea. First of all, watches are always important – they are not only amazing fashion accessories, but it is something that is quite useful. As far as travelers are concerned, this might even be more useful for them, as they are traveling to countries in different time zones, so it is always important for them to have a watch by their side. However, the case with buying a watch in these situations is a bit more complicated, For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to travel with a very fancy and expensive watch. So instead focus on one that looks amazing, is very fashionable, and is of high quality, such as a good automatic watch that they will be able to use in formal and nice events but also in sporty combinations. Apart from all of these reasons, a watch is also a great gift because this is one of the rare items that they will use even after they come back.

Portables

This is definitely not the sexiest gift that you can come up with, but it is definitely one of the most useful ones for travelers. The first option is the portable charger, which is, if you really like to travel, your #1 thing you need to have by your side. However, there are different brands, different price ranges, and power banks of different power, so you can get the most powerful one. This type of gift is one that will make everyone extremely happy as charging your phone while on a trip is really an excruciating job. Apart from that, bear in mind that power adapters might differ from country to country, so getting them a universal USB travel power adapter is also an amazing option. This will most certainly prove rather helpful and is also quite original.

A great travel bag

a great travel bag for travellers

Traveling with a bag that is not meant for trips is quite a task, and if you have traveled somewhere taking your things in a regular backpack, then you know what it means to have something in it but having to reach it. So that this doesn’t happen to your fellow traveler, you can find a good travel backpack that are quite popular nowadays. These bags are extremely functional with different compartments for laptop and tablet, a shoe compartment, a water bottle pocket, a compartment for documents, and even some hidden compartments and pockets to store your valuables. With this type of a travel bag, you might not even need luggage.

Summary

You’re buying a gift for a person who likes to travel. Perhaps not the easiest task in the world, but there are so many different options that you can go with. The only thing you need to do is think outside of the box and put yourself in the shoes of a traveler. What would you like to get if you were traveling a lot?