FlyDubai is now flying to Finland on the daily, and that's our festive travel plans sorted’t get us wrong, we love it here in Dubai. The sunshine, the sandy beaches, the beautiful melting pot of fascinating people. Dubai is certainly hard to hate on. But there is one teeny-weeny thing that leaves us desperate to jet away – we miss the snow.

What we’re aching for is a Christmas card-esque setting for the festive season. 

Which is why we’re delighted that the excellent FlyDubai has added Helsinki to its wide range of daily destinations. In fact, they’re the only carrier to operate flights to Finland from the UAE all year round. 

Canal with boats and old building in Helsinki, Finland

You can either stay and explore the wonderful city of Helsinki or venture out a little further to the festive wonderment of Lapland. Yes, even adults will be grinning from ear to ear in the home of Chris Cringle. You’ll also get a chance to see the Northern Lights in all their splendour.

Basically, what we’re saying is that FlyDubai’s timely new route means that you can really make the most of the festive season.

And with prices starting from AED1,545 including taxes, you’re kind of out of excuses not to plan a visit.

And if relaxation is the aim of the game, treat yourself to tickets in the Business Cabin (from AED7,550), recline into the flatbed seats featured in FlyDubai’s luxe new aircraft and wake up in a winter wonderland. It’s time to buy some warmer clothes....

SPONSORED: Why The Ritz-Carlton is the quintessential spot for the family holiday of a lifetime in Dubai

Family holidays can be hard work. With everyone wanting something slightly different from their getaway to the trials and tribulations of travelling to and from in order to see what a city has to offer, sometimes a relaxing escape from day to day life becomes, well, stressful.

But not at The Ritz-Carlton. The grand hotel located in DIFC – the bustling heart of Dubai – is dedicated to ensuring families have the holiday of all holidays when they stay there. 

With the establishment’s latest ‘Discover With You’ program, families will not only have time to discover the stunning city from building to beach shore, but also some re-discover themselves as stresses melt away.

Deluxe Rooms and Executive Suites included in the packages are the first thing to ensure your relaxation upon arrival, with more joy only served up by the delectable international buffet breakfast beholding European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian fare.  

But to keep high-energy kids happy and parents unwound, the Ritz Kids club ensures little ones are entertained in an engaging and educational as well as playful way. The four pillars of the Ritz Kids discovery programme are Water, Land, Environmental Responsibility and Culture, after all.

And the experience continues the minute you step outside of the stunning building. Not only are unmissable tourist attractions such as the visiting the Gold Souk and the Palm as well as a hop on and off sightseeing tour included in the generous package, but The Ritz-Carlton is already the doorstep to so many of Dubai’s world-famous attractions that guarantee fun for the entire family.

Think the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Garden Glow and many more theme parks, water parks, international galleries, and award-winning restaurants.

Prices start from just AED1,330 per night for two adults and one child to stay in a Deluxe Room with the buffet breakfast at Cara, City tour and Dhow Cruise included. Although you can’t put a price of the amazing activities on offer and memories to be made, it’s hard to argue with that one…

To find out more about The Ritz-Carlton’s incredible Discover With You packages, visit

Emirates has a brilliant summer sale onKate-Lynne Wolmarans buffs we’ve got some great news, Emirates has just launched another massive sale.

Taking place until August 20, Dubai’s award-winning airline is offering customers great discounts to 70 travel destinations.

Passengers looking to fly to Beirut can book their Economy Class ticket for AED945 or AED5,245 for Business Class. Those looking to explore Mumbai can do so for AED995 with Business Class tickets starting from AED2,795. While those looking to experience the magic that is Bangkok, Thailand can book an Economy Class ticket for AED2,345 or a Business Class ticket for AED9,795.

For the full list of destinations, click here.

While the offer is valid until Monday, August 20, travel is available from September 1 until March 31, 2019.

Right, we'll leave you to plan your next holiday now. While you're at it, be sure to book the best seats, which you can find by clicking here

Emirates Summer Sale
When: Until August 20
Contact: website


This is how to perfect the art of travel photography Kate-Lynne Wolmarans is the best thing about travel? It is a) getting to take break from work? b) Discovering a new country or city? Or c) taking tons of pictures and making your friends back home jealous?

The answer is obviously C because while taking a break is great and discovering a brand new place is ace, it all means nothing if you can’t make your friends back home a little bit jelly – harsh but it’s true and you know it.

To help you take the very best holiday shot and roll yourself into “like” city, we’ve asked our friends over at Apple, who asked their mates travel photographer Huda Bin Redha and world discoverer Thuymi Do for some tips on how to take the perfect snapshot.

Right, let’s being.

1. Know where you’re going


Mapping out key locations that you want to shot will not only help with time management, it will also make sure that you everything you set out to. When it comes to famous landmarks, the best time to go is early in the morning – the lighting is soft, making for stronger, more colourful pictures. You’ll also have fewer tourists to deal with and dodge.

2. Back it up


Before setting off on your great, envy inducing adventure, back all of your photos on Apple’s iCloud. That way should something happen to your phone, all of your photos will be safe and secure. Backing up your photos also gives you more storage space to play with, which is always appreciated.

3. Include people


Sure beach shots look cool but shots with without any people are rather sad. And you’ll sort of ending up looking like your lonely as opposed to #livingyourbestlife. Adding a human touch automatically completes a photo.

4. Use the portrait mode


Available on all iPhone X and iPhone 7 models, the Portrait Mode is great for capturing local culture and for taking shots of you looking rather brooding while standing by the ocean. Ps. It’s probably what your mate Dave used when he took that shot of him looking all fly whilst standing on top of that pretty sick mountain in Asia.

5. Always use Burst Mode for action shots


The most difficult snaps to take are action shots –the ones that you try to take during sporting events. You know, the one where the footie player looks more like a blur than a person? Yeah, those are action shots. The best way to take these shots is by using the Burst Mode, which takes a number of photos in one go, leaving you with tons of options to choose from later.

6. Use your timer


Shots where only half the scenery and most of your arm are captured, no longer seem to be cool – that’s a shame. So, get with the trend and take a semi-decent photo of you and about three-thirds of the Eiffel Tower by popping your camera on a flat surface or tripod and setting up your self-timer.



Atlantis, The Palm has some brilliant summer deals onKate-Lynne Wolmarans you’re looking for the ultimate getaway this summer, this could save you a few dirhams. Atlantis, The Palm is offering Dubai residents and who pay with MasterCard some incredible discounts on rooms, experiences and dining.

The offers have been divided into two categories; “Stay and Play”.

The “Stay’ Package includes…

  • 25 to 30 percent off on deluxe, imperial club and club suites as well as signature suites with room rates starting from AED 850 per night for up to two adults and two kids under the age of 11.
  • Unlimited access to Aquaventure Waterpark
  • Unlimited access to The Lost Chambers Aquarium
  • 25 percent off all of the hotel’s restaurants – yes, Nobu, Ossiano and Bread Street Kitchen are included
  • 25 percent off of any ShuiQi Spa treatments that are over AED500
  • 25 percent off the Ray Feeding and Ultimate Snorkeling experience that starts at AED131 for in-house guests
  • 25 percent off the Dolphin Encounter which is priced at AED625 for in-house guests

The 30 percent room discount is applicable until July 31 (better book fast) while the 25 percent discount is on until October 17. All stays need to be redeemed before October 18.

The “Play” offer includes…

  • 25 percent off the general admission fee to Aquaventure Waterpark. Prices for UAE residents start at AED145
  • 25 percent off the general admission feet to The Lost Chambers Aquarium. Prices for UAE residents start at AED55
  • 25 percent off the Dolphin Encounter. Prices for UAE residents start at AED708
  • 25 percent off Ultimate Snorkel experience. Prices for UAE residents start at 233
  • 25 percent off Ray Feeding Prices for UAE residents start at AED150
  • 25 percent off all of Atlantis’ restaurants including Nobu, Ossiano and Bread Street Kitchen
  • 25 percent off of any ShuiQi Spa treatments that are over AED500

The “play” package is valid until October 17.

To book your stay or experience, click here. Don’t forget to request the MasterCard discount as the option does not come up automatically and don’t forget to bring the MasterCard that you used to pay with you. You need to bring your Emirates ID, too.

Stay And Play at Atlantis, The Palm
When: Until October 17
Where: Atlantis, The Palm
Contact: website



A new five star hotel has opened on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah Kate-Lynne Wolmarans you’re thinking about going a staycation this summer, it might be worth checking out what the Royal Central Hotel has to offer.

Name not ringing a bell? No worries, that’s because it’s new.

That’s right, the city has just welcomed another stunning five star hotel and this one is located on the East Crescent of Palm Jumeriah – talk about fancy.

The hotel features 207 guest bedrooms, private beach access and a fancy infinity pool – we can just see all the Instagram photos now – “here’s me not looking while my body is perfectly positioned for a winning photo” and “here’s me holding my drink up, looking all posh but I really didn’t see my photographer friend take this shot”.  Uh huuuh, we believe you.

Dubai Hotels - Royal Central

Back to the hotel, the 207 bedrooms are split into three categories – premium rooms, superior rooms and palm suites, each of which feature their own outdoor balconies.

The beach side hotel also boasts a state of the art spa and a fitness centre. It is also home to five food joints – a coffee shop, an all-day dining venue and three signature restaurants, each of which serve different flavours from across the globe – Lebanese, Italian and Japanese, to more specific.

In celebration of its grand opening, the hotel is offering guests staycation rates for as little as AED499 per room per night, inclusive of breakfast. Nice.

Click here to book your stay.

Royal Central Hotel
Where: East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah
Contact: website


5 great under the radar beach locations to visit this yearKate-Lynne Wolmarans are grand aren’t they? The feeling of unwinding after a stressful couple of months of working. Lounging by the beach with a cold beverage in hand, flaunting your holiday body or wishing you had one… it’s truly bliss.

What isn’t so great, however, is heading down to that “remote” beach location only to run in to your boss, who’s just asked you for that report that you said you’d have done before you left. And, now you’re suddenly sweating profusely and the warm summer breeze is starting to feel a bit heavy and you’re slowly but surely drifting into a cold, dark place. You snap out of this though, once a football knocks you out and you awaken to find your boss, starring rather awkwardly before walking off into the sunset… Ahhhhh, GOOD times. 

To help you avoid this daunting scenario that is based on a true story – sadly, we’ve shortlisted five of the best under the radar beaches that this glorious world has to offer.

Once you’re done reading it, be sure to only pass it on to the people that you like and those that you wouldn’t mind running into – mmmkay

Right, let’s get cracking…

Pink Sand Beach, Komodo, Indonesia

Beautiful beaches - Pink Sand Beach, Komodo, Indonesia

The beach gets its pink colour from microscopic animals called Foraminifera, which produce a red pigment on the coral reefs. Aside from sunbathe and admire the view and from taking 50 million pictures of the sand and surrounding area, you can try a number of water sports such as kayaking and kite surfing. The uninhabited island is also home to a number of Komodo Dragons – should you spot one, be sure to keep your distance as they are known to attack when threatened.

Hope Town Beach, Bahamas

Beaches in the Bahamas - Hope Town Beach, Bahamas

*Sings: “Riding on a jet ski out in the Bahamas and we can get to flexing whenever we wanna”* Sorry, had to. But yes, this patch of untouched land is perfect for those looking to get their sun tan on without having to worry about tons of people walking past them or nicking their sunbeds. 

Tikehau Island, French Polynesia, Tahiti

Beaches in Tahiti - Tikehau Island, French Polynesia

It may take you a day and a bit to get there (one day, two hours and 55 minutes, to be exact) but the view of tropical fish swimming past you and below your room – most of the island’s hotels feature rooms that are built on stilts in the sea, will be well worth it.

Source d’Argent Beach, La Digue, Seychelles

Beaches in Seychelles - Source d’Argent Beach, La Digue

If you’d rather stay a bit closer to home, opt for this serene beauty located five hours away from Dubai. If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s been featured in films such as Castaway, Emanuelle and Crusoe. That said, the area is still relatively quiet and features more than enough palm trees for everyone to claim as their own for the day.

Zlatni Rat, Brač, Croatia

Beaches in Europe - Zlatni Rat, Brač, Croatia

The beach’s unique shape makes it popular with both the locals and tourists. It’s also because of this that you will never notice just how many people there are. So, while it’s not secluded, it’s still a win. Plus point? The wind and sea currents affect the shape of the beach’s tip, so it will look slightly different each time you visit.



Here’s the scientific reason why you shouldn’t book a ‘two-week’ holidayTom Victor you’re still waiting to take your first ‘proper’ holiday of 2018, it might be because you’re saving up your leave to use it all in one go.

You’ve figured out when’s best to book flights, and you’re looking forward to getting out of the country (after catching up with the coolest holiday destinations), but you haven’t yet figured out how to make the best use of a fortnight away.

Well, there may be a scientific reason for cutting your trip short, or at the very least spending your two weeks away doing two very different things.

Psychologist and author Daniel Kahneman has explained why that two-week holiday you’re planning on taking might see you miss out on certain benefits, and it’s all down to behavioural science.

As reported by Business Insider, Kahneman’s findings relate to how individuals’ psychology can be divided into the ‘experiencing self’ and the ‘remembering self’.

Essentially, a longer holiday in one place or (broadly) doing one thing is great for the former, but you’ll eventually reach the point where the benefit to the ‘remembering self’ isn’t increasing at the same pace.

When it comes to the ‘remembering self’, more, shorter holidays can be more beneficial. This is because each trip can create a new memory to cherish, whereas two weeks in one place – while great for your in-the-moment ‘experiencing self’ – can just as easily end up leaving you with just the one longer-term memory.

And, of course, your experiencing self only really reaps the benefits of the trip itself (and, to a degree, the time spent preparing), whereas you’ll have your memories of it forever.

That said, there are occasions when you just need a two-week holiday, and often this comes down to short-term benefit being more important than creating a multitude of memories. Only you know what’s more important to you.

There’s also the option of booking two weeks away with a big split between weeks one and two, such as a city break followed by a week on the beach, or a longer road trip.

While you decide which holiday you are most after, it might be worth noting that Emirates is currently having a massive discount on flights.

For AED880, you and your mates could check out Beirut's (Lebanon) great nightlife scene or if you'd rather explore Asia, you can book a flight to Bangkok, Thailand for AED2,415. If Europe is more your thing, you can make your way to Zagreb, Croatia for AED2,675.

For the full list of destinations, click here.

Don't take too long to decide though because the sale ends on July 23. 



How to turn Wikipedia into your own personal tour guide when you’re out and aboutStaff Writer more than 40 million articles in 301 different languages, Wikipedia has become a cornerstone of the internet. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to imagine an online life without our faithful, free encyclopedia.

Lazy students everywhere who leave their geography projects on oxbow lakes to the last minute would be lost without it. And where else could we read every single minute detail about the 1964 Winter Olympics at 4 in the morning?

Now a new app is making the most of that incredible wealth of information to change the way you travel forever.

Called WikiCompass, this app uses augmented reality and GPS to find nearby Wikipedia articles and then points you in their direction.


The app, which can be used anywhere there’s an internet connection, marks every location that has a Wikipedia article about it so that when you tap an icon on the map above a landmark, it’ll pull up a small picture of that place. You can then tap again and launch the full article to read even more.

The developers Allez Interactive Inc say on their website: “WikiCompass was created to get you information about the things around you quickly, easily and intuitively.

“Whether travelling the world or taking the class outside, WikiCompass provides a truly unique and educational experience that will have you exploring and learning at the same time.”

The app, which will only set you back AED3.69, requires iOS 11.0 or later and can be used on your iPad or iPhone. Nice. 

Our experience 

Eager to try it, we coughed up the fee and set out to explore the world that is WikiCompass. Here's how it went. 

  • After nearly tripping up the stairs and coming to our untimely demise, we made it to the roof of our office building. 
  • iPhone in hand and eyes desperately trying to adapt to the sun's rays, we began scanning the area.
  • A few milliseconds later, we found that most of our neighboring buildings all have their spot on the app and, thanks to the fact that anyone can edit information on Wikipedia, some of it was wrong. But the buildings were there none the less. 
  • After declaring the app a success, we spent the next 20 odd minutes looking like teenagers in search of Pokémon Go characters. We are also pretty sure that we're responsible for one of our colleagues spilling her tea all over herself – Jen, we're sorry. 

Facts we learnt from the app

Jumeirah Lake Towers

Jumeirah Lake Towers

Jumeirah Lake Towers consists of 80 large towers that have been constructed over three artificial lakes.

Business Central Towers

Business Central Towers

The Business Central Towers were originally called Al Kazim Towers. Both structures are 265 metres in height and resemble New York's Chrysler Building. 

Al Salam Tecom

Al Salam Tecom

Al Salam Tecom Tower consists of 47 floors and was completed in 2008. 

Things we learnt while using the app

  • Objects on screen are closer than they seem.
  • Never use a phone and walk. 
  • Always keep an eye on your colleagues, especially those with blistering hot drinks in hand. 
  • You're never too old to go on a mission. Even if it is just up the stairs of the office building. 

Right then, we suppose that all that's left for you to do is download the app and get scanning. See you out there. 


8 things you miss when you return to Dubai after a holidayKate-Lynne Wolmarans Your influx of Instagram followers… 


You’ve been back just two days and all of your “spring” followers have already disappeared into back into Instagram's black hole of memes and make-up tutorials. 

2. Your Instagram likes…


Sorry, Angela, but you've done a handstand in front of the Burj Al Arab too many times. We can't like another one, we just can't. 

3. Your tan


From now on the only bit of sunlight you’re gonna get is on your cab ride to work. Through a window. We’d say that you can tan on Fridays but we all know that you’re gonna be at brunch.

4. Your money


Sigh. You messed up your foreign exchange calculations and thought that those shoes were AED250 instead of AED2,500… Just don't check your bank balance for a while. Or maybe that's just us... Note to self: AED1 equals to EUR0.23.

5. Your patience



Nothing like going to Bali to for a week to find your zen, only to lose it the second you exit DXB Airport and reach Sheikh Zayed Road.

6. The food


Just kidding! You can order a McDonald's delivery at 3am here so Dubai is wins every time.

7. The wildlife



While you may longer have a giraffe greeting you every morning (if you haven’t been to the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, you should), you do still have your office cat. Actually, we don't even have an office cat... who do we need to speak to around here to get an office cat?

8. Your holiday body



Uhhh been back three days and you haven't returned to your pre-holiday workout programme like you said you would. "But there's a gym in your building!" ..."Yeah but I prefer bed."