Should you buy or rent a home in Dubai?

Choosing between renting and buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most expatriates have to make in Dubai. Even though the market conditions seem to sway in favour of the buyers, it is still a very big decision facing most people. Currently, due to increased competition in the market, property prices are coming down. It is a ripe time for those looking to own a home in the UAE. On the other hand, rent prices are also favourable.

Here are some few factors you should consider when deciding to either buy or rent a home

1. Your stay

The first thing you need to consider is how long you are planning to stay in the country. Considering how long you are going to live in the country will help choose the most viable option.

Are you planning to spend the next ten years In the UAE? If you are planning to stay for a couple of years or permanently, buying a property may be a good option. On the other hand, if you are not absolutely sure about your stay, renting might be the best option.

2. Budget

Budget is an important factor that determines the choice you will make. If you have a reliable and steady source of income, buying a property may be easier. You will only need to make a minimum deposit of 25% and pay the balance in monthly instalments.

Before taking the liability of a tenancy contract, you should consider your financial position. However, if you are going to be making a monthly rent, why not pay towards owning a home? After some few years, you will be a property owner.

3. Market condition

It is very important to take a look at the property market before making any investment decision. Currently, the real estate market in the UAE is favouring buyers with strong ROI across the whole country.

Staying up-to-date with the market conditions will help you to make a better decision.  There is huge competition in the market and prices are falling significantly.

4. Level of control

The level of control you desire on your property may also influence your decision when choosing between buying and renting a property. For example, owning property gives you control over modification and customization especially when buying off plan property in Dubai.

Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels and Resort is a development that comprises of a hotel and residency towers. It is developed by Paramount Hotels in conjunction with Damac Properties.  The best part is that the residential suites are sold off plan at affordable prices which expats can also invest in.

Residents in Dubai are raving about these 3 neighbourhoods

From the world’s biggest hotel, tallest building to the largest shopping mall, Dubai is packed with some of the most amazing destinations in the world. The large population of expatriates is an indication that the city is a preferred destination. In addition, the low crime rate is attracting a lot of people to live and work in the city.

Here are the top three residential places in Dubai

1. Arabian Ranches

The Arabian Ranches villas and townhouse is developed by Emaar Properties. It is a prestigious community that will offer residents with an exceptionally comfortable living environment. The project features Arabic architecture that is complemented with European sophistication and is placed in 700 thousand acres of land.

Since it is located next to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, residents will access key locations within the city with ease. There is a natural and unspoiled setting that will provide homeowners with utmost privacy and seclusion combined with exemplary services and sporting activities. Among these are swimming pools, parks, basketball and tennis courts, and walking trails among others.

On top of that, there is a world class golf course and prestigious Polo and Equestrian club near the project. For those with kids, there are special children’s swimming pools and numerous play areas. Arabian ranches offer the ultimate lifestyle in the desert.

2. Emaar Beachfront

Located between Palm Jumeirah and JBR, the Emaar Beachfront is set to bring ‘Miami lifestyle’ to Dubai. Some of the residential developments on the beach include the Beach Vista, Sunrise Bay, and Marina Vista. The whole project will have approximately twenty-seven towers each with its own private beach.

All the towers have been designed with a contemporary flair with floor to ceiling windows in order to maximize the view of the sea and the city. Most of the towers comprise of between one to four bedrooms apartments that will offer the best coastal opulence.

3. Dubai Creek Harbour

The Dubai Creek Harbour is an iconic waterfront situated on the banks of the Dubai Creek. This project is a pioneer of integrated living featuring a perfect combination of dynamic experiences, innovation, and unique designs. It is a perfect mix of world-class living that is connected with excellent transport links. This development promises residents and visitors a serene environment that is close to water and stunning surroundings.

Lights, Glamour, Action at this project in Dubai

Hollywood may seem far away but it’s just right around the corner. Literally! Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences has been crafted as more than just a destination. It’s a living, breathing world driven by imagination. It’s where anything is possible.

If you are a film fanatic or want to live the life of a Hollywood star? Find out more on Paramount Tower Hotel and Residences here:

The 63-storey tower consists of retail on the ground floor and a hotel, which has levels 15 to 25,  has a selection of beautiful rooms and suites that is tailored for comfort, and creativity that comes with an incredible experience for guests.

The hotel rooms or suites of Paramount Tower Hotel Dubai represent the signature of ultimate luxury with intelligent, attentive and intuitive hospitality style. It’s a whole package: premium dining, exquisite design, warm service, finest spa and more, which sets a rare standard in luxury hospitality.

Additionally, it provides an array of signature Paramount Hotels & Resorts amenities for both guests and residents.

Rooftop infinity pool with stunning views of the Burj area, restaurants and lounges, high-end retail outlets, fully-equipped gymnasium, fitness and wellness centre as well as rooftop terrace with seating and planting are some but not all key features and top-notch amenities.

Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences Dubai is perfectly positioned within the city of dreams. The 258 metres tall tower is in a supreme setting on the famous Sheikh Zayed Road allows guests or residents to consume the superb views of Dubai’s breathtaking view.

It is close to all the popular destinations such as the Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, City Walk Dubai and more. In addition to the near areas, there are two metro stations close by.

This is in return, makes it a great investment opportunity for the discerning investor.

5 Best Places to Travel in November 2018

There are plenty of reasons to travel in the month of November- cool and pleasant weather, joys of festivities and events, an ideal condition for beach hopping and hiking, and many more. Someone said, “November is the month to remind us to be thankful for the many positive things happening in our life.” And, the best way to fill November with unlimited positivity is to travel to some of the most beautiful lands on earth. So, when the month of November is about to transform the world into a snowy wonderland, it’s time to check the best vacation planner and explore new horizons! So, here’s the list of 5 best places to travel in November 2018 for you!

Cuba

Cuba tops the list of best places to visit in November 2018. From the sultry streets of Havana to the glittering beaches of Playa Ancon, the Cuban landscapes look straight out of a picture postcard in the month of November. November is comparatively a calmer month in Cuba. Whether you want to walk through the Spanish colonial buildings of Cuba, learn the history of legendary Cuban cigars, or attend the musical cabaret shows at Tropicana, create a Cuba itinerary with TripHobo and explore its scenic beauty.

Australia

September to November is the spring season in Australia. The weather is pleasant, wildflowers bloom, and the Australian landscapes transform into a paradise. This will be the best time to wander through the harbor city of Sidney, jump off the Great Barrier Reef, or enjoy a gorgeous ride on the Great Ocean Road. The sun-kissed beaches of the Gold Coast are the best destinations for your Australian vacations in November. In addition to this, it is also a good time to explore the gardens of Canberra and party in Melbourne.

Patagonia

Patagonia might be a secret gem for many, but the natural beauty of this South American region is incomparable. With Andes Mountains at the border, the region of Patagonia is shared by both Argentina and Chile. The month of November witnesses large colorful blooms in Patagonia, hence making it one of the best destinations in the world for November. While on the Argentine side, you will find desert and grassland, the Chile side of Patagonia features rainforests, glaciers, and majestic fjords.

India

November marks the time of festivities in India. This is when Diwali- the festival of light is celebrated throughout the country. Therefore, this is when you can experience the cultural wealth of India most joyfully. Besides, the clear skies and cooler winds over the Indian terrain make sure that you are comfortable wherever you go. Whether you are partying in Goa, cheering over a wine on the romantic Mussoorie evening, or staying on a houseboat in Kerala, you will find everything blissful and beautiful in India.

Morocco

Morocco, the North African country with a Mediterranean atmosphere is another wonderful place to visit in November. Morocco is the fifth largest Arabian country with a great diversity. The temperature in Morocco fairly drops to make the weather wet and mild. This is a perfect time for activities like hiking along the Atlantic coast, wandering through the markets laden with lanterns, ceramic works, and jewelry. The forts of Morocco look majestic with the backdrop of clear blue skies in November.

Australia or Morocco, whichever place you plan to visit in November, you are sure to have an unforgettable trip.

How to plan a wonderful vacation to Dubai

As anyone who intends on travelling the world already knows, going somewhere for the first time can be a daunting prospect. The amount of research and planning involved is staggering and even then, you might not be fully prepared for the culture shock that awaits you there. From food to traditions to clothing, everything is different when you are travelling to an entirely new place. And Dubai is no different. So, in case you are planning on travelling there anytime soon, here is a list of few things that should help you plan your trip with relative ease:

How to get there

We would suggest that you search for some cheap flights to Dubai well in advance so that you can book them when the prices are lower than usual. You can take a flight directly to Dubai or fly first to Abu Dhabi and take a bus or a taxi from there. Abu Dhabi is about an hour away from Dubai. Check out the cheaper and more comfortable options and decide accordingly.

When should you go to Dubai

One of the most obvious things that people often forget about Dubai is how hot it is. Even their winters are way warmer than those in the US but are still more bearable than summers when temperatures soar up to about 105 degrees. People usually travel to Dubai during the winter months beginning from November and ending in March. This is also peak tourist season so the price of everything is higher than usual.

Where can you stay

As you must have already expected, Dubai is brimming with hotels and resorts. Most of these places offer expensive and luxurious experiences. But you can check out room sharing, couch surfing and dormitory options from Airbnb. You may like a place close to Burj Khalifa or the Jumeirah Beach but remember that these will be more expensive than places that are situated a little away from major tourist spots.

Local travel

Since weekdays in Dubai start on Sundays and end on Thursdays, Friday and Saturday are the official weekends here. This obviously affects the local traffic, with traffic during office hours being especially slow.

If you are taking a cab, we suggest that you opt for the regular ones instead of the Lexus. The Lexus cabs cost more because they are technically luxury cabs. Before getting in a taxi, you should also check if the taxi has a metre or not. Or you can directly ask the driver how much it would cost to get from one point to another and decide accordingly.

If you have time and want to save money, we suggest opting for the metro instead of taxis. Dubai has a smooth and efficient metro system that can get you to any point in the city without the prospect of traffic jams. But they are usually very crowded during weekdays so you should check if you are comfortable with that. If you have to change trains to get somewhere, it will take more time than usual so decide accordingly.

Visit Kochi to feel the Wonders of the Old World

The first European colony in colonial India, Kochi was occupied by the Portuguese from 1503 to 1530 and operated as the seat of power till then. This jewel of the Arabian Sea was an important spice trading center from the 14th century on the west coast of India, a tradition which exists till now. Kochi is home to a lot of historical monuments like the St. Francis Church built in 1503 is the oldest European church in India or the Pallipuram Fort which was also built in 1503 and still exists, earning it the title of being amongst the oldest existing European forts in India. Kochi is the personification of the saying ‘old is gold’.

How to reach Kochi

The first and foremost way most people look for is air travel and Kochi, with its Cochin International Airport (which is the world’s fully solar energy powered airport), is responsible for both the international and domestic flights. Availing tickets from far off places like Dubai to Kochi flights, New York to Kochi flights, Toronto to Kochi flights and more are easy.

Roads connect Kochi to its neighboring cities and states with ease since it is a node on the north-south corridor of the national highway system

Kochi is serviced by 4 major railway stations, namely the Ernakulam Junction, Aluva and Tripunithura, Ernakulam Town and Edapally and Kalamassery.

Things to do in Kochi

Surely people would love to explore the city and find out where they can entertain themselves in ways which are uniquely Kochi. So here’s a small compiled list:

  • Chinese Fishing Nets: Everyone must have heard how these are only seen in Kochi apart from in China. What’s so special about fishing nets that it deserves a special mention? Well, these fishing nets are fixed in land and have to operate by a lift so that fishing can be done. Not to mention that these are proof of once good ties between China and India.
  • Dal Roti: People from North India would surely love this place, as the name suggests and to its merit, earning a name as a restaurant serving North Indian food is not easy in a South Indian state. This place, with its laid-back ambiance and wooden tables, is popular for its parathas and Kati rolls. If anyone wants to experience homely, delicious, North Indian food then this is the place to go.
  • Elephant Training Centre: The unspoiled village or Kodanad is where the stranded baby and adult elephants are trained. Most hotels are successful in arranging trips to the village but if a more intimate experience is on the mind then going before eight will be advisable since then visitors will be able to lend a hand in giving a wash to the elephants. Watching these big animals roll around like babies is truly a pleasure to watch.

Kochi is a place which is rich in spicy aroma and old world architectural charm, combined with hospitable people. Visitors will enjoy getting soaked in the cultural and historical aura of the place.

Take the Road Trip of a Lifetime: Wayanad Guide

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Kerala is immensely popular for the holy trinity formed by Munnar, Kochi, and Allepey, thrusting Wayanad into the shadows. This is a good thing as it saves the place from experiencing a tourist stampede.

The area experiences decent tourist traffic with great hotels in Wayanad, but it is still considered as an off-the-beaten destination in Kerala. Are you thinking of a road trip? Then, Wayanad has the perfect balance of sports, hiking, adventures, and sightseeing to make the trip a once in a lifetime event.

The Travel Basics

One of the very first things you should know before you set out to Wayanad is that it’s not a town or a city, it is actually a northern Kerala district. The area is largely covered by forest and is located in the southern end of Deccan plateau.

In addition, you also need to know that visiting Wayanad means that you will be visiting either Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta (Wayanad’s capital) or Mananthavady towns. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to sample all that Wayanad has to offer you in a single weekend. So, carefully choose what you really need to see and do!

Planning Your Trip

Unless you intend on visiting the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, you should make Kalpetta your base. Kerala and Karnataka State Government buses can take you there from Bangalore and Mysore. There are no airports in Wayanad district, but you can use those in Kozhikode or Bangalore.

One of the best things about Wayanad is that it offers visitors an excellent local network of buses that are both frequent and very cheap. In fact, you can visit just about any tourist destination on public transport – the perfect solution for the solo backpacker.

Top Attractions in Wayanad

Sulthan Bathery is what can be considered as Wayanad’s gateway town, and the best location to stay if you intend on visiting the Mathunga Wild Life Sanctuary. The town’s name means the place where the king stationed his ammunition and army. Some of the top things to do and see in Sulthan Bathery include:

  • The Jain Temple
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Edakkal Caves

Kalpetta town offers you a bittersweet symphony of life that includes attractions like:

  • Chembra Peak, which looks over the Wayanad territory – but you’ll need permission and tickets from the forest department
  • The Banasura Dam, which also happens to be India’s largest earth dam and number two in Asia

Mananthavady town is home to Paskhipatalam, which is a protected forest area as well as a sanctuary for several bird species. The park is located in the Brahmagiri hills and is only 8km from Thirunelli, allowing you to enjoy two activities in a single itinerary item. Trekking reveals sweeping views of the Nilgiri hills as you pass through clear water streams, wild grass, and pristine forests.

The Thirunelli temple is another noteworthy ancient place of worship attraction in Mananthavady that features Kerala architecture. According to the locals, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu, and it’s also an important pilgrim center in northern Wayanad.

Locals believe that taking a dip in the close by Papanasini river takes away all your sins while freeing you from any karma debts you have. Literary translated from Sanskrit, the name Papanasini means the destroyer of sins.

Conclusion

Wayanad is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of rural Kerala with waterfalls, woods, and wildlife. The vast mountains covered in mist, blue lakes, unending green meadows and wild forests make Wayanad a true “God’s own country!” In addition, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a break from the fast pace of city life.

Top Countries For Safaris In Africa

If you have been considering setting out sometime soon to the wilds of Africa and you aren’t sure which country (or countries) you should check out for the best options in safaris, look no further than this quick rundown of what we think are some of the top options on the continent. With so many options for safaris across the board it can be a daunting prospect to narrow it down to just one or two places to visit, but hopefully this short list will help you!

Uganda

Uganda is Africa’s tourist hot spot destination right now, and with a number of great Uganda safari options to choose from throughout the country, it’s easy to see why. From Kampala’s bustling streets and colourful neighbourhoods to the banks of the Nile River near Murchison Falls, there are a whole host of lush, thriving places in which you can enjoy safaris throughout the country. A safari in Uganda can include seeing a number of great types of wildlife from hippos to crocodiles, numerous birds, chimps, antelope, giraffes and more.

Tanzania

Tanzania is home to two major areas where safaris can take place – the Serengeti to the north and the Selous Game Reserve in the south. The Serengeti is more popular and therefore more crowded and touristic, so if you want to feel like you have all of Africa to yourself, the Selous is a great choice. You can see typically most of the same types of animals in both locations including lions, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and hyenas with cheetahs being more likely on the Serengeti. The Serengeti does have the added benefit of being close to other popular tourist destinations of the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Mount Kilimanjaro, so it can be a better place for safaris if you want to do both of those things as well.

Botswana

Botswana is one of the most popular destinations to date for safaris, being hugely popular with older people due to the high quality and luxury options for safari lodges that are dotted around the country. Generally speaking, Botswana has it all in terms of animals along with a whole array of different rated safari lodges to choose from. With close proximity to the likes of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique, Botswana is a favourite for many who want to explore more than just one or two countries and their safari options.

Rwanda

While Rwanda is awash with mainly rainforests in terms of wildlife, the popular safari option here is to take off into the highlands to view mountain gorillas. Permits can fetch a pretty penny and sell out months in advance due to conservation efforts to minimise the effect of tourism on these mountain inhabitants. Check with the Rwandan Wildlife Authority for details on permits and how to go about booking a trek for your time in the country.

South Africa

South Africa is probably one of the most popular options for first timers to the safari game, mainly due to the more European feel of the country. While it’s not without its difficulties and dangers, South Africa is a great introduction to Africa for those who don’t want to plunge right into the likes of Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda. The best spot for safaris here is in the north east corner, in Kruger National Park near the border with Mozambique. Here you will find almost every manner of wild life you want, with knowledgeable guides and comfortable lodges.

So if you’ve been looking at going on a safari for your next big getaway, consider one of the above locations. A safari can be a once in a lifetime experience often due to the cost for many, so choose wisely and make sure you create the most exhilarating experience for yourself. Most importantly, enjoy the trip! You won’t regret it.

5 Hidden Gems in Sicily

Whether you are visiting for fascinating sites of historical significance, visiting some of the island’s spectacular golden beaches or are just after some of the country’s best food, the island of Sicily just off the toe of Italy’s boot is one of the country’s most popular destinations – the island has it all.

There is no shortage of attractions or stuff to be doing in Sicily but, sometimes, you need to break off from the tourist trail and experience other lesser-known parts of the island. If you’re going to be spending your vacation exploring, then consider staying in one of the beautiful villas in Sicily which will help you to unwind after a long day on your feet.

With this in mind, we have put together a list of our five favourite hidden gems in Sicily. Whether you are looking for archaeological ruins or dramatic views, there is something for everybody here.

#1: The Norman Castles

Sitting proudly, high in the island’s dramatic mountainous terrain with sweeping views across the coast to Trapani, the Norman Castle of Erice is brimming with history. Perched on top of Eryx Hill, the Castle of Erice provide visitors with a breath-taking view across the coastlines of Sicily.

It’s not just the view, though; history buffs will love it too for its historical significance.

#2: Modica

Although Modica is widely known and is not exactly a ‘hidden gem’, many people choose to visit Modica for its sandy beaches instead of experiencing the beauty of the city. These people are missing out; in Modica, there is lots of remarkable architecture to feast the eyes upon, including both St. Peter’s Church and the St. George Cathedral… oh, and the town is famous for its artisan chocolates.

#3: The Mozia Windmills

Mozia is a small island located just off Sicily’s west coast which, when compared to the island of Sicily itself, is a place less travelled. On Mozia, there are tons of archaeological sites based around the Mediterranean’s most iconic Phoenician settlement, but it is the windmills found on this island which make it worthy of a visit – it is the perfect opportunity for photographers to let their creativity shine!

#4: Caltagirone and its Ceramic Architecture

In this beautiful Sicilian town, the streets, bridges, buildings, and everything else are coated in beautiful ceramic works of art – the town is literally a work of colourful and charming rustic art. The most famous attraction here is the Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, a large stairway which is coated entirely in ceramics, where numerous festivals take place throughout the year.

#5: Panoramic Views at Enna

The town of Enna sits 1,000 above two mountainous peaks, it is an awe-inspiring destination with long, winding cobble-paved streets and historical landmarks as far as the eye can see. If you are looking for beautiful panoramic views as far as the eye can see and rustic Italian architecture, Enna needs to be on your list.

The Island of Sicily attracts tourists in their masses each year, many of whom come solely for the island’s sandy beaches. Although the beaches are fantastic, Sicily’s true character truly shines through its beautiful historical sites, architecture, and old Italian streets.

6 Travel Tips and Ideas for a Fun-Filled Family Trip to Chattanooga

Mountain views. Epic railroads. Natural beauty aplenty.

Hey, they don’t call it “the Scenic City” for nothing.

Tennessee is a well-documented destination for tourists who love the outdoors, and the sights and attractions of Chattanooga are a central part of what makes the state so enticing. Whether you’re hunting for a family vacation spot in the South or are just passing through the Volunteer State on a road trip, look no further than Chattanooga.

But what spots make the city so great? What are the must-sees if you’ve never stopped through?

Below we’ve outlined six awesome options for families of all shapes and sizes. While there’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Chattanooga, these points of interest are totally family-friendly and will keep your kiddos entertained without fail.

Go Camping

As noted, Tennessee’s natural beauty and proximity to the mountains make it a prime spot for campers to check out. Chattanooga is no exception to the rule, representing a friendly place for RVs and tent campers alike.

New to camping? No problem. You can find the ideal RV rental in Chattanooga for your family to bring along all of the comforts of home and explore the state on your own terms.

Marvel at Lookout Mountain

If you’re hungry for a breathtaking view and an epic photo op at nearly 2,400 feet up, look no further. Beyond the awesome hiking that this hotspot provides, some other must-sees at Lookout Mountain include…

  • Point Park, overlooking Lookout Mountain Battlefield and the city proper, featuring a variety of monuments an observatory
  • Craven’s House, a blast from the past for Civil War buffs
  • The Lookout Mountain Trail System, boasting over thirty miles of trail to check out

Explore the Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Parents looking to give their kids a sense of adventure and perhaps wear them out a bit will have a blast scoping out the Raccoon Mountain Caverns. Multiple tours are available of varying difficulties; meanwhile, you can spot a number of gems and crystals throughout the 5.5 miles of underground passageways to explore.

Trek Across Walnut Street Bridge

The history of the Walnut Street Bridge is a fascinating one, representing an achievement in architecture and a beloved spot for walkers and bikers alike. Offering a spectacular sunset view, there are some quaint cafes and restaurants to likewise enjoy at the riverfront when you’re done trekking.

Experience Ruby Falls

It’s not every day that you get to see firsthand an underground waterfall, right? A must-see sight if you’re in the vicinity of the previously noted Lookout Mountain, there’s a reason why these colorful falls attract thousands of visitors annually.

Check Out the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Hey, no visit would be complete without checking out the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo. There are tons of attractions surrounding the terminal and its subsequent hotel: definitely worth seeing if you don’t mind the traditional “touristy” vibe of the station.

Chattanooga is so much more than your typical city in the South. With so many unique attractions and spectacular nature hotspots, it’s a prime place for families to visit who want a taste of something different during their next vacation.