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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dubai Travel Guide

Dear Friends of Grapeshisha


We are delighted to announce that we have launched the Dubai Travel Guide, exclusively available on Amazon. Like our previous guide, it's available on Kindle and we are sure that anyone visiting will find it useful.
 Dubai Travel Guide

We do hope that you will take advantage of the very cheap launch price that gives you a great overview of Dubai that you could have in your pocket while you are planning your trip, or while you are there. It might also be useful for expats to have some recommendations. We cover most everything! From itineraries to restaurant reviews to things do and everything in between.
You can buy it on amazon.com: amazon.co.uk as well as any other Amazon stores where you can purchase Kindle ebooks. Or just search for grapeshisha on Amazon and you will find it the book as well as our Abu Dhabi guide.

Also, for the month of November 2014, we will donate any royalties that we make to charity.
Critically, as this is an ebook, and not a printed book, you will only be able to read the book on the following: Kindle, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Windows Phone, Android Phone or tablet; on your PC or Mac. You can download the free reading software from here: Free Kindle Software

Once you have the free app, you can buy the ebook through your Amazon account on the links above.

Here's a video of Dubai, giving you a flavour of why we love Dubai.


Buy the Dubai Travel Guide now!


From the Amazon page:

Book Description

 November 8, 2014

”The Most Comprehensive and up-to-date Guide to Dubai"



The Dubai Travel Guide from Grapeshisha is the ultimate guidebook to the fast changing, ever transforming city of Dubai in the UAE. This Dubai guide has been written specifically to give you the relevant, updated insider knowledge on Dubai, from streetsmarts on where to stay and what to do to the low down on where to, eat, party, shop and relax. The guidebook helps the Dubai tourist unravel the must dos to get the best from the ultimate Dubai travel playground covering Old Dubai from Bur Dubai and Deira through Sheikh Zayed Road to the newer parts of Dubai near Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina. There is detailed advice and opinion on the best as well as the affordable hotels, restaurants, bars, and places of interest – with recommended favourites off the beaten path. There is also a significant reference glossary, cultural guide and planning information.


Features of the Dubai Travel Guide

  • Itineraries, maps and walking guides, helping you get the best out of your time in Dubai, and getting you au fait with your bearings – with walking guides covering Bastakiya, Shindhaga and Deira coupled with recommendations on the best tours of Dubai.

  • Super Dubai Sights – from Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, tea at Burj-al-Arab, and the bling of Dubai’s world famous gold souk

  • Typical Dubai Experiences – from where to have a legendary and extravagant Dubai Friday Brunch to finding the best place to indulge in shisha, the guide covers places to get henna, a halawa wax and where to munch on some scrumptious Dubai street food.

  • Food and Fun – with coverage of varying food palettes to where to party, Dubai style into the night, we give you the best locations to get the best food and spend some well-earned down time. 
  • Streetsmarts – recommendations of what to do and where not to waste your time and money when in Dubai, along with negotiations tips, cultural tips and insights, and hidden spots that only your best Dubai expat friend can tell you about.

  • Excursions outside of Dubai – day trips and overnight featured stays to the other Emirates in the UAE including Abu Dhabi. Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Sharjah as well as trips to places like Khor Kakkan, Muscat, Dibba and Al Ain.

  • Dubai for Kids – a special section for families visiting Dubai, giving you the best locations to give the smaller ones some places to indulge their energy and brains

  • Shopaholics – coverage of which malls to spend your cash and which souks to get your most authentic souvenirs whether it’s a bar of gold, tat from the souk or some of the tastiest dates money can buy.



  • The Dubai travel guide is written for the holiday maker who wants to make the most out of the ultimate holiday destination, who wants to do Dubai like it deserves to be done.

    This guide has been specifically written to provide you with the insider knowledge on Dubai, allowing you to visit the places that make this place special. There is detailed advice and opinion on hotels, restaurants, bars, places of interest as well as a reference glossary and planning information. There is a cultural section, so that you not only avoid the faux-pas, but are also able to appreciate and understand the society. Whether your stay is fleeting, or longer term, The Dubai Travel Guide from Grapeshisha will help you get the most out of your trip. In length, this ebook is roughly equivalent to 300 printed pages and accurate for 2014-2015 and suitable for the holiday maker aiming to spend 10 days in the city as well executives and expats visiting for the first time.


Buy the Dubai Travel Guide now!

Here is a full list of the content
About this GuidePrevious Guides from GrapeshishaDubai – the ultimate holiday playgroundA Flavour of Dubai – our highlightsBearingsThe Low downMain NeighbourhoodsLandmarksDubai DistrictsGetting Around in DubaiChoosing your transportTaxisMetroThe Palm MonorailDubai TramThe NOL cardBusesBoats, Dhows and AbrasHiring a carSalik - Road TollsExploring Old Dubai on FootBastakiyaShindhagaDeiraItineraries24 hours in Dubai3 days in DubaiOne Week in DubaiSightseeingTours of DubaiBus Tour of the DubaiSeawings Plane Tour of DubaiYellow Boat Tour of the PalmSMCCU tour of Bastakiya (SMCCU)Helicopter Tour of DubaiHot Air Ballooning DubaiTouring Dubai by Dubai MetroHistoric SpotsAl Ahmadiya school in DubaiThe Dubai MuseumVisit Jumeirah MosqueWater ParksWild Wadi WaterparkAquaventure Atlantis DubaiDubai ExperiencesTourism things to doAt the Top: Burj KhalifaAfternoon Tea at the Burj Al ArabAtlantis the PalmThe Dubai MallBastakiyaAbra Ride across Dubai CreekDesert SafariDhow Cruise on Dubai CreekSky Dive in DubaiDubai Aquarium and Underwater ZooThe Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary in DubaiCamel RacingDubai Miracle GardenSki DubaiThe Meydan DubaiTypically Dubai ExperiencesRiding a CamelSmoke a ShishaDubai Street FoodTea - CoffeeHalawaHennaFriday BrunchDubai for KidsTop attractions for kidsMall Play AreasOther places of interest for KidsRest & RelaxationBeachesHotel BeachesPublic BeachesSpasHotel SpasMale SpasGolf CoursesRestaurants in DubaiJapaneseThaiItalianIndian/PakistaniChineseArabicIranian / PersianEuropean CuisineSeafoodSteak and GrillsKid Friendly RestaurantsCafesBrunchBars, Clubs & NightlifeBar RestaurantsLounge Bars / PubsCocktail BarsNightclubsBeach barsStylish Shisha CafesSouks, Shopping & SouvenirsThe Dubai Malls (Including Dubai Mall)Souks & MarketsNouveaux SouksGold & the Gold SoukTraditional SouksTailored Clothes & Meena BazaarSouks Outside DubaiShopping Festivals & Other MarketsDubai Shopping Festival (DSF) & Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS)JBR The Walk & Covent Garden MarketGlobal Village DubaiSouvenirsDatesChocolatesGold Bar from an ATMTraditional Arabic GoodsOther souvenirsWhere to StayBest Hotels in DubaiThe Grapeshisha Choice HotelsBest Hotels in Dubai for FamiliesBest Hotels in Dubai for BusinessAffordable Hotel AlternativesBudget HotelsHotel ApartmentsHotels on the PalmHotels in “Old Dubai”Hotels on Sheikh Zayed RoadHotels near the Burj Khalifa – “Downtown Dubai”Hotels in Greater JumeirahHotels on Dubai Marina and on the WalkHotels in the desert and Out of townHotel AppendixRecommended 5 Star Hotels in DubaiRecommended 5 Star Desert Resorts in DubaiOther Notable 5 Star Hotels in DubaiRecommended 4 Star Hotels in DubaiOther Notable 4 Star Hotels in DubaiRecommended Lower Star Hotels in DubaiRecommended Hotel Apartments in DubaiRecommended Resorts Outside DubaiRecommended Hotels in Abu DhabiPlanning your TripVisasNo VisaVisa on EntryVisa SponsorshipThe Best Time to travel  - temperatureWhen not to TravelArriving in DubaiNeed to KnowsMoneyATMsElectricityEmergenciesHomosexualityInternetNewspapersTVSmokingTimeSafetyTelephonesTippingToiletsWaterLanguageAdditional Books about DubaiUseful websitesDos and Don’tsSocial EtiquetteDrugsBanned MedicineBanned GoodsTravel InsuranceWhat to wearWorking Days and HoursOpening hoursUAE Embassies (selected)Embassies in the UAE (selected)Cost of GoodsEvents in DubaiModern History & Major EventsThe UAE FactfileDubai and the Financial CrisisThe Other EmiratesAbu Dhabi – the evolving CapitalA Tryst with Culture in SharjahThe base of FujairahRas Al KhaimahUmm al QuwainAjmanOther ExcursionsGreenery in the Garden City of Al AinAl Gharbia, the region – Eclectic as Can BeNature at Its Best on the Bani Yas IslandsThe Oasis Town of BuraimiTaking a Break in Delma IslandsJozor Al Sahra’a - The Desert Islands of Abu DhabiSpending a Lively Day in DibbaA Beach Holiday at Khor FakkanExperience the Quaint and Rustic MasafiMusandam Peninsula – Beauty in IsolationThe Charming City of MuscatTravelling Down the Historical Lane in OmanHandy ReferenceBasic Arabic PhrasesCultural GlossaryArabic Food GlossaryEnd NotesAbout GrapeshishaAcknowledgementsAbout the Authors

Please do spread the word, by tweeting and emailing your friends and family. We're planning on changing the price very soon.

Do get back to us if you have any comments or recommendations.

Many thanks

Rahim Hirji & Zohara Hirji
Co-founders, Grapeshisha

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Welcome to the Order of Never Hide

When I first heard about the mysterious movement “The Order of Never Hide”, I was intrigued to find out more about this ‘secretive non secret society’. Within moments I signed up and completed the challenges. I felt so accomplished, I was now part of a group with like – minded, fun, adventurous and inspiring people. Becoming part of the Order makes me look at the world with more confidence so if you are the type to enjoy NEVER HIDING, sign up now. 


You may think I’m not making any sense and it is hard trying to describe this concept so the only real way of getting closer to the meaning is to sign up yourself…seriously - you will NOT regret it! Take a minute of your busy schedules and click on the following link: www.ray-ban.com/orderofneverhide

By completing five simple challenges, you will have the chance to win a fantastic trip to London, UK with a friend of your choice and be VIP guests at one of the most amazing parties EVER in celebrating your allegiance to the Order and your brave, bold, Never Hide spirit. This prize will be one of the most the most exciting trips you’ll ever experience – so sign up now! www.ray-ban.com/orderofneverhide. Thanks, and the best of luck. Peace.

Watch the video to know more about the challenges:



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Sunday, October 27, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trips to Dubai: Top Travel Tips

Travelling to Dubai is unlike visits to other popular tourist destinations and there’s more that you need to be aware off before embarking on your trip. While it’s an Islamic state, it’s considerably liberal in comparison to its neighbours, but that doesn’t mean there’s things you shouldn’t avoid in order to maintain the respect the city deserves. People of all ages consider a break in Dubai nowadays – it’s come a long way since its fishing village roots and if you book flights to Dubai with Trailfinders, you can see for yourself just how special it is.

The volume of advice you need to listen to will vary, depending on who you’re travelling with and how “vulnerable” you may be. If you’re visiting the city with children or women, for example, there are more aspects that need to be considered to ensure that your visit is as pleasurable as possible.

Before you go, a few vaccinations need to be organised. While you may already be vaccinated against the common diseases (e.g. MMR and Hepatitis), you will also need to protect yourself against typhoid while anti-diarrhoeal medicine could come in handy.

While Dubai may be considered as an upmarket, business city, families with children are more than welcome across the board. In fact, many of the attractions cater perfectly for them so that you can enjoy a break as a family. Amusements, play areas and babysitting services are all available while the swimming pools are out of this world.

Women are advised not to travel alone – like many places around the world, unwanted attention is likely to increase if you’re a solo traveller. That being said, Dubai is incredibly safe and the liberal views cement this.


Despite it being an Islamic state, Dubai provides a modern environment – both in surroundings and attitude. The flawless fusion of natural beauty and forward thinking ensure that Dubai is well and truly on the tourism map and will be for many years to come.  

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Wellnesia - Discounts on 400+ beauty & spa treatments in and around Dubai

New in Dubai! Wellnesia is shaking the deal market with discounts on over 400 treatments at top salons and spas. Wellnesia is a new beauty & wellness website providing customers access to more than 400 discounted beauty, spa and lifestyle treatments at top venues in and around Dubai. Through Wellnesia.com, customers can find and book - free of charge - any beauty or spa treatment they fancy at a very attractive price. 

 

Three key aspects differentiate Wellnesia from regular daily deal websites. The first is offering customers to choose and book exactly the treatment they need on the basis of location, discounted price and availability rather than on the basis that “I think this deal might come in handy in the future”. The second is the amazing quality of salon and spa partners that are part of Wellnesia’s fast-growing network. Finally, you don’t need to wait until the end of the day to confirm a deal; book appointments instantly or on a short notice avoiding the frustration of the venue being booked up for weeks on end. 

Wellnesia provides great value to salon and spa partners as well offering a flexible and easy to use online system enabling them to sell unfilled timeslots at a discount before they expire. Occupancy increases during off-peak times and spas are able to build a loyal base of customers who are flexible with time and who prefer to spend less on treatments. 

“Our vision is to revolutionize the way salons and spas manage their unfilled inventory and the way beauty enthusiasts access the most attractive and relevant promotions possible, “said Mustapha Abdennour, Wellnesia’s Co-founder and CEO. “Only Wellnesia provides discounts on any treatment at top beauty salons and spas in Dubai and with booking transparency. This unique model is expected to help salon and spa operators grow occupancy at historically quieter times as well as build a loyal clientèle ” He also stated that the site is offering customers reward points that they can use towards their subsequent appointments. 

 Sign up now and get 20 AED extra credits to spend on bookings or purchases on Wellnesia! www.wellnesia.com/registration

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Breaks - Summer means fun, and the best kind of fun is with Jumeirah

As many of the readers to this blog know, we love Madinat Jumeirah – it has air of sophistication to it, but without compromising the Arabian feel that we like. We remember when it first opened – and while many other hotels have opened subsequently, Madinat has managed to stand its ground as one of the premier hotels to stay at. It actually comprises of three distinctive properties: Madinat Jumeirah, Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam. They are all linked into one uber resort with private waterways. This is one of the only real resorts that exist in Dubai, as you have everything at hand.

One of the great things about Madinat Jumeirah is that you get complimentary access to lots of different things including Wild Wadi. That’s why it’s a perfect retreat for families who live outside of Dubai, but it’s also great if you live in Dubai.

Many families leave the UAE for at least part of the Summer, but Madinat allows you to have a staycation of sorts before you leave. You can also get a great deal if you book now as Jumeirah is offering a steal of deal – at 10% off the current best rate.

We recommend at least a long weekend with the family. There’s a great choice of restaurants, the kids club is great – and the buffet breakfast is worth the rate of stay alone!  If you are able to stay here, then it is definitely worth the money. The rooms are great - the resort is amazing, and you don’t even have to leave the resort. But it’s also close to places like Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa if you want to throw that into your visit. Madinat Jumeirah is also well located so you can grab a taxi and in 5 minutes you can be at the mall or 10 minutes to Bastakiya. We love this place, whether we are staying or visiting.  And if you can – try and get a meal at Pierchic – it’s got amazing seafood.

Book online at www.jumeirah.com/summerbreaks



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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dubai in 2013, a timelapse

One of the most recent timelapse pieces of Dubai, from earlier this year

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