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Doha, Qatar

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Al Muftah Building, Doha, Qatar

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Arabic

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Five daily prayers, Jumu'ah prayers

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  • Travel News Wrap: 5 October Week

    We are back with more travel news to update you on the things that are happening in the travel world. There has been quite a number of developments around the world this week.   Qatar Airways Offering Free Tickets for Teachers in 2021 Image Credit: Jan Rosolino on Unsplash Qatar Airways shocked everybody when they announced that they will be giving away complimentary Economy Class return tickets to any destination operated by the airliner. The giveaway opened on World Teacher’s Day, 5 October, and closed yesterday, 8 October at 03:59 (Doha time). The tickets will be valid for travel until 30 September 2021. There are over 21,000 complimentary tickets up for the giveaway and it was open for teaching professionals from over 75 countries, which concurrently are places where Qatar Airways currently operates at. The giveaway was allocated and staggered over the countries and the three-day campaign period. Those successful in getting the tickets will receive one Economy Class return ticket to anywhere on Qatar Airways’ current flight network.   Japan and South Korea Restarting Business Travel Image Credit:  Louie Martinez on Unsplash According to multiple sources, Japan and South Korea are planning to restart business travel between the two countries, starting from 8 October. This is an attempt to improve the relationship between the two countries. Japan and South Korea have been in talks to launch and resume this travel arrangement since July, in hopes of improving their bilateral ties. With this arrangement, South Korea will be the second country after Singapore which allows for short-term and long-term travel into Japan. The arrangement here will be that both countries will allow for short-term and long-term essential travel for official and business purposes. The agreement states that those on short-term business trips will not be required to go through the 14-day self-isolation if they are tested positive for COVID-19. As for long-term travelers, they will only be allowed to enter after going through a two-week quarantine period. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   'Cruises to Nowhere' from November Image Credit:  Peter Hansen on Unsplash After the whole ‘Flight to Nowhere’ saga with SIA, comes another COVID-travel method. ‘Cruise to Nowhere’. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with two cruise lines to get the ball rolling. Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas were chosen for the first to be part of the ‘Cruise to Nowhere’. The cruise will be round trips with no port of call while sailing at a lower capacity than usual to make it safer for the current times. Currently, the cruises will only be open to Singapore Residents. This experience is being called a "Seacation" for the residents of Singapore. Safety has been taken largely into consideration with a number of measures. Other than the reduced passenger load, passengers will have to show negative COVID-19 test results before boarding. While sailing, the cruise ships will have to follow strict sanitation guidelines to minimize the risk as much as possible. Including the already normal safety measures like wearing masks when outside of their rooms, the boarding and disembarking will be staggered to prevent crowds from building. The first cruise will begin on 6 November this year.   Singapore Air Travel Bubbles Image Credit:  Mike Enerio on Unsplash Similar to what is being done by India, Singapore has taken a similar approach to resume flights in and out of the country. Currently, Singapore is moving towards setting up Air Travel Bubbles with a number of countries, that have been deemed safe by the authorities. These travel bubbles differ from the already established Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements as the travel bubbles will not need a controlled itinerary when traveling. The number of travelers per day will be controlled as a form of risk management. In addition, travelers will still have to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures and protocols such as COVID-19 testing and acquiring air travel passes before coming here. This news comes in hand with the other travel resumptions relating to the arrangements with other countries. An example is Japan’s recent removal of a ban on overseas travel to Singapore. All in all, it looks like travel resumptions are on the horizon as for now. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   Hawaii Quarantine Requirement Dropped Image Credit: Cristian Guerrero on Unsplash Continuing on with the development in Hawaii last week, starting from 15 October onwards, travelers will be allowed to skip going through quarantine if they are able to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. The test has to be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Travelers who do not want to be tested can still opt to go through quarantine. Previously it was reported that they were planning to launch something similar but due to the spike in cases, it was postponed. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   AirAsia Japan Shuts Down Operations Image Credit:  sayhitobel on Unsplash Another casualty of the global pandemic, the low-cost budget airline, AirAsia Japan, has decided to fold its operations starting this week. Hit hard by the travel restrictions and uncertainties the low demand for travel has been put as the cause of the cessation of operations. All flights operated by AirAsia Japan has been canceled. To avoid confusion, this will only affect domestic and international flights operated by AirAsia Japan with the code DJ and does not affect the other flights in and out of Japan which are operated by other airlines under the AirAsia Group.  All is not bad for the group though as their restaurants serving its in-flight food, Santan, are planned to expand with over 100 branches across the world, by 2022. Read more on similar in-flight offerings that airlines are turning to in this pandemic on our blog “Get The Full Airline Experience Without Leaving the Ground at these Hotels & Restaurants”   Singapore Airlines Reinstate Flights to Four Destinations Image Credit: Troy Mortier on Unsplash Inline with the announcement of Singapore’s intent of resuming travel, Singapore Airlines, the country’s national carrier has announced that they will be reinstating flights to four destinations. The four being Fukuoka, Male, Brunei, and Kathmandu. The reinstation will be done over the next three months. Furthermore, the frequency of the flights to some existing routes will also be increased in the next three months. Some reported changes:   Now By December Singapore-Melbourne 1 Daily 2 Flights Daily Singapore-Bangkok None 1 Daily While flights to Dhaka, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong will also be increased in frequency.   Interstate Travel Ban Imposed in Sabah, Malaysia Image Credit: Andy Wang on Unsplash Due to the recent developments of the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia, an interstate travel ban has been imposed on the Malaysian state of Sabah. Banning travel from the state and the Peninsula, Sarawak, and Labuan. Currently, the ban will be enforced from 12 October to 25 October 2020. In addition to this, anyone entering the state of Sabah must undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel....

  • Qatar Airways Is Giving Away 100,000 Free Tickets To Frontline Healthcare Workers

    Image Credit: Qatar Airways on Facebook If you're in the healthcare industry, good news for you! Qatar Airways is giving away 100,000 free tickets to frontline healthcare workers as a token of gratitude and appreciation for all their hard work in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. And the best part is, healthcare workers from all over the world are eligible for the free tickets. Amazing, right? The giveaway started on 12 May at 00.01 AM and closes on 18 May at 23:59 (Doha time). As a measure to ensure fairness and transparency in the application process, each country will get to receive a daily allocation of tickets, which is dependent on its population size, spread out over a seven day period from 12 May to 18 May. The daily allocation would be released at 0.01 Am Doha time throughout the entire duration of the campaign.  Previously, Qatar Airways had been highly praised by passengers and governments for being the foremost airline in bringing people home as it maintained its 24/7 operations in recent months and provided over 100 charter flights as part of its mission to repatriate over a million passengers. Qatar Airways now seeks to acknowledge and reward frontline healthcare workers all over the world.  According to Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, this initiative was done to show Qatar Airways' gratitude towards the dedication and hard work of all healthcare workers all around the world. He said, "We at Qatar Airways are incredibly grateful for the commitment and hard work of healthcare professionals around the world who looked after people in these times of uncertainty. Their heroic display of kindness, dedication, and professionalism has saved hundreds of thousands of lives around the world." Healthcare workers that had received the promotion code are entitled to up to two complimentary return Economy Class ticket for themselves and a companion to a destination of their choice within Qatar Airways' network and also receive 35% off at Qatar Duty Free outlets at the airline's state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, valid for use till 31 December 2020.  This offer is only available for QR operated flights and eligible healthcare professions are doctors, medical practitioners, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, lab technicians, and clinical researchers, and they would have to present a valid employer ID upon check-in at the airport.   To register for this giveaway, healthcare workers can fill in and submit the form here. This will be on a first-come, first-serve basis so hurry register! Visit the Qatar Airways website for more information, here.    We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our frontline healthcare workers all over the world! We appreciate what you have done for all of us. May we all get through this tough period, Insha Allah. via GIPHY ...

  • Middle East | 6 Countries That'll Instantly Make You Not Want To Leave

    When it comes to Muslim-friendly destinations, there is no area more perfect than the Middle Eastern region, and the growing popularity of travelling to the Middle East makes it much easier for halal travel. Countries that are ruled by Muslim monarchs translates to abundant Muslim-friendly services like halal food, places to pray, and even segregation in areas like water parks, the metro, and public buses. It means that even though Middle Eastern destinations comprise of a large expat population, they are used to Islamic culture and attire, and religious biases are practically non-existent. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with little stress and more spontaneity, check out these top 6 Middle Eastern countries (in no particular order) that you should visit: 1) United Arab Emirates When it comes to where to travel in the Middle East, this is a no-brainer, as far as tourist destinations go, Dubai is on the map. But the UAE has made sure that the rest of the Emirates step up their game as well, and every place has something to offer. Whether it is living the fast life, big entertainment, touring the best mosques, or discovering Arab culture, UAE has it all. Attractions Abu Dhabi: Ferrari World, Yas Water WorldDubai: Wild Wadi, Ski Dubai, Sky Dive, Parasailing, Desert SafariAl Ain: Jabal al HafeetHatta: Hatta Kayak Must-Visit Architecture Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed mosque; Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, Atlantis, Bastakia in Bur Dubai, Souq;Sharjah: Blue Souq; Ras Al Khaimah: Al Jazirat Al Hamra (a spooky abandoned village rumoured to be haunted, it is also known as Ghost Town. It dates back to the 14th century and is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone who has wanted to visit the set of a horror movie); Fujairah: Al Bidyah Mosque (the oldest mosque in the UAE, built in 1446) Getting around Dubai with public transport is fairly easy thanks to the Dubai Metro. The cabin after Gold Class is ladies only, as well as the front section on public buses. Similarly, Wild Wadi has ladies night in the summer, and Jabal al Hafeet has segregated hot spring areas that you can bathe in. With masjids, every few feet or so, and prayer rooms in the malls, praying while you’re on the move is not an issue. Make the most of the halal food cuisine with every country’s food imaginable. All restaurants are halal certified (only hotel buffets might serve pork), so eating out is a breeze! UAE is considered to be a pricey destination, and that is true if you want to splurge on the big entertainment venues like theme parks and adventure sports. You can balance it out, however, by going to the beach, roaming around the souqs, taking a ride in the abra at the Creek which is the cheapest ride you’ll ever get in the country, and taking the time to soak up the culture. You can find cheaper accommodations as compared to the hotels like furnished apartments, and thanks to the Dubai Metro, you are connected to the rest of the city. 2) Saudi Arabia  We know that Saudi Arabia isn’t really known as a tourist destination – just one for Hajj and Umrah. Some people just go for the pilgrimage, while others take tour packages that show them the sites of Islamic history. Even though that is what Saudi is most famous for, it does have more to offer than just that. Attractions If you are in the vicinity of Makkah and Madinah, then you’re in the vicinity of Islamic historic sites. The battlefields of Badr and Uhud, the first masjid ever built there, Masjid Qiblatayn – the masjid with the two qiblahs, and so much more. If you are at all interested in Islamic history, it pays to put an image to the names. Durrat Al Arous Island north of Jeddah houses Albatoul Marine which is a fun place for adventure sports. Flyboarding is bit pricey here, but worth it if you’ve ever wanted to walk – no, fly – on water! Water jets are attached to your boots and up you go! Must-Visit Architecture Without a doubt, the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid an-Nabawi in Madinah are mandatory. Not just because they are spectacular and places of such peace and tranquillity despite the hustle and bustle, but because they are also home to great reward. Any prayer offered here is multiplied immensely. Credit: Wikipedia Muslims visiting Saudi rarely leave without visiting one of these sites. What most people don’t make it to are the Madain Saleh and sites. Jubbah and Shuwaymus are the areas with rock carving show that there that is so much more to Saudi Arabian history that is yet to be explored. The carvings are in a different language and depict what life was like in those days, much like hieroglyphics. Madain Saleh is not just for history buffs. These fascinating structures built so many thousands of years ago still stand today, attesting to an era long gone but not entirely forgotten. The area used to have fresh water that attracted many settlers who then carved out structures. Today, it is completely dry but the buildings still stand. As with countries in the Middle East, certain attractions can be rather pricey. But when it comes to history, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 3) Qatar  Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, and its lifestyle reflects that. Just step into the airport and you are surrounded by brand names and items that seem like they belong in a dream. Despite all this modernity though, Qatar still maintains its heritage, and it is one of the best places to visit. Attractions Credit: Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara on Facebook Banana Island Resort by Anantara is truly a paradise. Even if you’re not staying at the luxury hotel, you can still enjoy the premises. Its tropical flora makes you forget you’re in the Middle East, and you are treated to a range of cuisines. Make the most of the beach and sea, go bowling or take a Segway ride on this almost-private island. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook In complete contrast is the Museum of Islamic Arts which houses the largest Islamic art collection in the world. Curated from three different continents, Qatar is proud of this gem not only because of what is within but because the structure itself is magnificent, designed by the architect of the Louvre Pyramid. On its own island with a palm-tree lined entrance, set amid a vast landscape and an impeccable view across the water, this place is worth the visit. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook There are guided tours in English and Arabic every Thursday at 2pm of the permanent collection housed on two floors. Unlike other museums, the Museum of Islamic Arts is organised in such a way that you get a feel of what Islamic art is truly like through the homogeneity of a single print used across various medium. Visitors are requested to avoid strappy and short clothing and you might be restricted from entering. Must-Visit Architecture While some prefer the air-conditioned climate of malls, others would rather take in the culture while roaming the souqs. Souq Waqif is one such place that you should not miss. Contradicting the high-end fashion and attire visible in the malls, the streets are where you get a taste of what Qatar is really like. Vibrant in its sights, smells and feels, Souq Waqif has beautiful traditional bukhoor, spices, and embroidered clothing. Credit: Katara It is also a testament to history as it is where Bedouins would come to trade their essentials too. Katara Cultural Village is a beautiful man-made location to soak up more heritage. From the architecture to the Greek-Islamic style amphitheatre, people flock there in the evenings when the weather gets cooler to enjoy the outdoors. There are restaurants, mosques, and a beach right with water sports and inflatable play complexes, making it the perfect family spot. Qatar is known to be a pricey location but the country is also very hospitable. If you want to live in the lap of luxury for a few days, this is the place for you. 4) Oman  Even though Oman is in the Middle East – and generally what comes to mind when one thinks of ‘Middle East’ is ‘desert’, Oman is one of the few countries that actually has a tropical oasis region. Laidback and serene, the country has plenty to offer tourists. Since a slice of Oman juts into the UAE, many residents of UAE take the opportunity on long weekends or holidays to avail the natural sites available. However, if you decide to stay there exclusively, there is so much more that you can do. Attractions As always, souqs are part of the Middle Eastern charm and Muttrah Souq is no exception. Go there to get your fix of gahwah or Arabic coffee, bargain for souvenirs, or simply to enjoy the feel of being in an Arab country. The beaches of Musandam are one of the areas that you will find people on day trips as it is separated from Oman by a piece of UAE land. Pristine white sands and clear blue waters make this a hot tourist spot. Credit: Richard Bartz on Wikipedia Oman believes in conserving their land and natural resources and this is evident at Ras al Jinz, a natural reserve for endangered green turtles, located on the east coast. Visitors can observe them laying their eggs, and even catch them hatching and returning to the sea. Wadi Bani Khalid is one of those areas that are striking and green as it has a spring that keeps running year round. Add those palm trees to the shades of red that the rocks are made of, and you have a very Instagrammable location. #prettyasapicture #nofilter Credit: Philipp Weigell on Wikipedia Salalah is the vacation spot inside your holiday. Tropical, cool and like a world of its own, this is a must-visit. If you want your holiday to include a bit of a workout, be sure to head to Jabal al Akhdar. Translating to The Green Mountain, it gets its name from the greenery spattered across it, but it is well known for its hiking trails. Another great spot is Jabal ash-Shams, or Mountain of the Sun, so called as it is believed to be the first point that the sun touches when it rises. It is the highest peak in the region and has some great views. Majlis al Jinn is for the rock climbers out there as it has the second largest cave chamber in the world. The Bimmah Sinkhole is a natural phenomenon caused by limestone that eroded below the surface leaving a spectacularly blue-green pool for swimming. Must-Visit Architecture Credit: World Architecture Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has to be one of the staples on your list of sights to see. This Grand Mosque is one of the chain of Sultan Qaboos mosques built around the world. The high arches, golden domes, engraved walls and a beautiful interior should not be missed. The Royal Opera House sounds like it belongs in England, but this one is in Oman. Besides the various international performances that the venue is used for, you can tour the location that resembles a palace. Oman is like one of those shy kids standing in the back; only when you decide to look further do you realise the gems it has to offer. 5) Kuwait  Kuwait may not be a tourist hotspot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t waiting to be explored. Like the UAE, Kuwait is known for its modernity and high rise buildings, but they also keep a strong hold on their roots and culture. Kuwait is one of the smaller Middle Eastern countries, but it is worth the trip. When travelling around the GCC, what is striking is that, even though they all appear to be the same on the outside, different aspects of heritage and culture stand out when you dig deep. Attractions Housing an Imax cinema, aquarium, dhow harbour, and a discovery palace, The Scientific Centre is the best place to take kids. The floor-to-ceiling shark and ray tanks are incredible to see, and getting your hands dirty in the Discovery Palace allows kids to get lost in the wonder of science. Credit: @aquaparkq8 on Instagram In addition to viewing the different regions present in the aquarium – the desert, coastal edge, and sea zone – you can also dive with sharks if you have a valid diving licence. The age for diving is 14 years and older. If you don’t want to swim with sharks, no problem! Head to Aqua Park, a major water theme park in Kuwait. Whether you are a child or an adult, Aqua Park has something for everyone. Fancy lazing around? Grab a tube and float on the Lazy River. Want an adrenalin shot? Try the Boomerango. There are cafes and restaurants inside the park which are all halal, but as food can be a bit pricey, take at least a bottle of water with you. Tuesdays are now reserved for ladies’ day, but even if you go with the family, there are separate changing areas for men and women and separate prayer areas. Bikinis are not allowed. Credit: Mirror House The Mirror House is definitely a must-see as, even though it is an art display, it is more like art in action. You will not be bored. Each room is explained by the Italian-Kuwaiti artist and took around 40 years to complete. Yes, 40 years! It better be good! With visual effect and getting the visitors to interact with the art, this is one thing you have to experience to understand. Falaika Island is where you can see true history. Take a ferry to the island that is now an open-air museum, depicting the war. Must-Visit Architecture As with all the Gulf countries, the local Grand Mosque is a must-visit. The architecture is unique to the country and its history, and Kuwait’s Grand Mosque is no exception. With the hustle and bustle of the city, head here to admire the structure and bask in the tranquility. Kuwait Towers are also an iconic part of the city. With a viewing platform and a restaurant, you can grab a bite while you cast your glance of a view over almost the entire country. Tareq Rajab Museum is another standout location to visit. Housing some of the most beautiful pieces in history – think jewels and garments fit for a princess – the collection of Arabic manuscripts is what rocks it to international standards. Mercifully, while the rest of the museum was being looted by Iraqi soldiers during the war, this area was left untouched thanks to the quick thinking of the local guards. The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the world, so don’t be fooled by the small numbers. 6) Bahrain  If you’re looking for a totally laidback holiday, Bahrain is the place to go. As a small country that mostly keeps to itself, Bahrain isn’t on the map as a tourist destination. There are plenty of low-key things you can keep yourself occupied with though, so if this is you, keep reading. Attractions Camping in the desert might seem like a risky move – “What about the snakes and scorpions?” – but wait till you see the level of camping. With proper toilets, plasma TVs, and food in your tents, just think of it as a relocation of your hotel room. Camping is open from October 15th to March 31st. Head to Hawar Island off the coast of Qatar to bask in nature. It is a protected wildlife reserve that is under Qatar as well, and a beautiful place to get away from desert life. Explore the souqs for your regular souvenirs. Just walking around the souq will expose you to items that you wouldn’t even have thought of getting. The biggest thing that Bahrain is known for is hosting the Grand Prix, so be sure to time your holiday around then and grab some tickets! You can’t leave Bahrain without taking an authentic souvenir for yourself, and what better way to do that than to go pearl diving? If you’re finding it hard to decide between buying traditional keepsakes and regular ones, you can take your time exploring Al Jasra Handicraft Centre with displays work by local artisans, or going across to the Capital Mall. Must-Visit Architecture Were you expecting to visit a mosque? Don’t miss Al Fateh Grand Mosque! Muslims and non-Muslims alike are allowed to tour the impressive mosque on Open Day. Qal’at al Bahrain is the 16th century remains of a Bahrain or Portuguese fort that is free to look around. Going back in time a hundred years is the Arad Fort, a 15th century fort that initially guarded its own island before being joined to Muharraq Island. It differs from Qal’at al Bahrain by its Islamic architecture, as it was built before the Portuguese invaded Bahrain. The currency in Bahrain is also pretty strong compared to the other Gulf countries, so the prices can seem a bit steep at times. With the few things there are to do in Bahrain though, we think a few days is enough time to visit....

  • Be Mesmerised By Creatures Of The Water At These 5 Aquariums Around The World

    If you're a fan of the Planet Earth series or even Finding Nemo, chances are you wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to see marine creatures that are full of mysteries and simultaneously a delight to the eyes. Now, not all of us can board a submarine and explore the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean. But fret not! The marine world is about to unravel its hidden mysteries in front of your very eyes. Here are 5 aquariums you will definitely have to check out at least once in your life. 5 must-see attractions at Disney Sea Japan 1. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium Picture: Crossley Architects Get ready to be submerged (literally) in one of the largest aquariums in allof  Asia. Bearing a 509 feet long underwater tunnel, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium has the longest underwater tunnel in the world. With such an incredible length, be prepared to see the hidden gems of the ocean right above your head as you walk through the tunnel. You will definitely be mesmerized by the shoals of fish gracefully swirling in the water or maybe be thrilled by the sight of sharks roaming around, waiting to attack their prey. Address: No. 1388 Lujiazui Ring Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai , ChinaOperating Hour: 9AM-6PM                              9AM-9PM (During Chinese New Year and Summer Holidays)  2. L'Oceanografic Picture: Wikipedia A true leap into the future! With its sophisticated and modern design, L'Oceanografic is anything but ordinary. This massive glass building located in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia happens to be the largest tank of all Europe. With more than 45,000 species of marine life sheltered and bred under one roof, L'Oceanografic is a place that will leave youngsters as well as the elderlies breathless. Be prepared to find bottle-nose dolphins swerving in groups and flame jelly-fish slowly making their way through the water. Behold Beluga lovers! You'll be under the binding spell of Kylu, the cute baby beluga whale. Address: Carrer d'Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1, 46013 Valencia, SpainOperating Hour: 10AM-6PMWebsite: OceanoGrafic.org 3. Dubai Mall Aquarium Dubai is like a dream come true. Well, it's also a place where the world's largest acrylic panel exists! With more than 33,000 marine creatures, Dubai Mall Aquarium is a feast for the eyes. Among the many species found in this colossal aquarium, over 400 sharks and rays can be seen swimming around. Be ready to get amazed by the King Croc, the fiercest reptile known. Let your imagination run wild as you explore the depths of the sea. Address: Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Doha Street                 Off 1st Interchange - Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.EOperating Hour: 10AM-12AMWebsite: TheDubaiAquarium 4. Aquarium of Western Australia Picture: IFlyFirstClass This 130 ft long aquarium based in the coastal suburb of Australia is a must try for the Adventure seekers. With a number of species protected and bred in its aquarium, the Aquarium of Western Australia will be sure to impress you with its colorful corals, shoals of clownfish, cuttlefish and beautiful sharks. Those who want to experience the marine life at its best can get into the deep waters for an additional fee and take a closer look at sharks and rays by joining the aquarium dive master. Address: 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys 6025Operating Hour: 10AM-5PMWebsite: Aqwa 5. Georgia Aquarium Picture: CrawfordCountyedc.org Last but not least, the largest aquarium in the entire planet, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta! This colossal aquarium is the only place in the West to house the whale sharks. Home to 100,000 sea creatures, the Georgia Aquarium is a world of fantasy where your eyes will feast on the beauties of the sea. Get ready to embark on a roller coaster of emotions and hues and blues while you lose yourself into the marine life. Address: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USAOperating Hour: 10AM-9PMWebsite: GeorgiaAquarium Let your inner Nemo out and explore the depths of the oceans inside those jaw-dropping aquariums, full of life and mystery. Let your eyes feast over the most beautiful of sea creatures. Watch the waters swirl and dance and let your imaginations flow. Read our Halal Travel Blogs...

  • A Muslim's Guide to Qatar's Hamad International Airport

    The Hamad International Airport in Doha, the magnificent capital city of the country, is very well renowned all over the world due to its unique architecture, features and world class facilities provided to travellers. The airport is located about 5 miles (8km) southeast of downtown Doha, and comprises one main terminal to date, whereas a second terminal is projected to be built in time for the 2022 FIFA world cup, where there'd be a spike in the number of people visiting the country. Check out our Doha city guide Find a Halal Hotel in Doha The terminal comprises of 5 concourses (A, B, C, D, E) which connect to domestic and international flights. Two gates each for concourse A, concourse B and concourse C were built to accommodate the Airbus A380. Important ContactsGeneral Contact - +974 4010 6666Airport Safety - +974 4010 9777Airport Police - +974 4010-9666Qatar Duty Free +974 4010 4167 Unique Features Unlike many airports in the world, the Hamad International Airport is home to a magnificent collection of sculptures and art work which are acquired and constructed from renowned artists and sculptors all over the world. The airport is like a miniature art museum in which you will be able to admire different pieces of art which have their own unique wonders. Waiting for a transit flight at the Hamad International Airport is never boring! The Lamp Bear Picture Credit - dohahamadairport.com One of the most eye catching pieces of work at the airport is the gigantic lamp bear statue that stands in the airport hall. It was designed by the Swiss artist Urs Fischer and weighs over 18 tons. This magnificent piece of art was first displayed in New York, and later found its way to the Hamad International Airport after being won by a member of Qatari royalty at the Christie’s auction, New York. A playground which is a sculpture???? Picture credit - dohahamadairport.com If you find your way to Concourse C of the Hamad International Airport, you'll be able to visit this masterpiece, it's a piece of art named “other worlds“ by American sculptor Tom Otterness. From a distance it looks like a sculpture of a little boy lying on the floor to one side, but as you approach closer you'll be able to see that not only is it a visual artpiece, but an interactive play area as well. It has limbs for slidesthe torso is a playpen, and many more. This is an attraction that will give you and especially your little kids loads of fun when you in the airport premises. Prayer Rooms and Facilities Picture Credit - www.scout.voyage Since Qatar is an Islamic nation, it goes without saying that finding prayer locations will be easy. In order to perform prayers in the airport, you'll find spacious prayer rooms throughout the passenger terminals. The prayer rooms are separate for men and women, and they include separate ablution facilities as well. Simply follow the airport map or stop at an information desk and they'll assist in locating the nearest prayer room for you. Banking Facilities Picture Credit - www.qatarisbooming.com The airport has multiple ATMs located throughout the passenger terminal which dispense cash in multiple currencies. Just have a look at the airport map or turn to an information desk to locate the nearest ATM. In terms of foreign exchange, there are 4 locations in the airport in where you'd be able to perform your exchange currencies and money transfer transactions. They are located in Departures check-in area – at the end of check-in Row 9 Departures– towards Concourse B (near Marché restaurant) Arrivals baggage claim area – towards the end of Belt 3 Arrivals hall – meet & greet area (adjacent to Al Maha Lounge) A branch of the Qatar Islamic bank is also located in the ground floor of the arrival hall in the airport for any relevant transactions in terms of Islamic Banking. Facilities for Families with Children Picture Credit - flight-report.com Picture Credit - viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com The Hamad International Ariport provides loads of facilities specially for travelling families. Having to wait at the airport for long hours can be tiresome, so in order to keep your children engaged, activity nodes are present in Concourse A, Concourse B and Concourse C, which are equipped with televisions, playstations, internet browsing and art pieces. Your children would keep themelves busy and occupied giving you a little breather to stretch and relax Family rooms are also located throughout the terminal which provide water and milk warmers, and diaper changing facilities which will help you tend to your little infant or toddler’s needs. Since it is an uncomfortable task to accompany your older child to a toilet of the opposite gender, family toilets are present throughout the terminal so that you can tend to your child’s need with ease and comfort. In order to locate the activity nodes, family rooms or family toilets please refer to the airport map or stop at an information desk for assistance. Dining Picture credit - dohahamadairport.com When it comes to food, the Hamad International Airport offers a variety of cuisines to you in a silver platter. Whether you are craving American or authentic middle eastern cuisine. you can indulge yourself to a delicious treat. Since Qatar is an Islamic country there will be no worries about whether the food is halal, which will make it easy for any muslim traveller. Here are a list of cuisines that you can enjoy at the airport! Arabic American European International Italian Seafood Shopping Picture Credit - frontiermagazine.co.uk There a variety of shops with renowned brands where you'd be able to purchase sweets, perfumes, toiletries, skin care products, books, magazines, souvenirs, electronics, handicrafts and even gold jewelry and watches. The Qatar Duty free also offers a variety of products for you to choose from. Relaxation Picture Credit - www.agoda.com In order for you to relax and unwind after a long flight, you can head to the Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre, which offers an indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy tub, gymnasium, spa rituals and even squash courts. In case you are suffering from severe jet lag, head over there and treat yourself to a relaxing massage and a dip in the pool. If you want a few hours to yourself, to relax, read or have a power nap, you can find your way to a Quiet room in which comfortable recliners and calm lighting is provided for to simply let the stress go. To make it a comfortable experience, separate quiet rooms are present for men and women. Simply follow the map or stop at an information desk to find your way to the nearest quiet room to give your head a break from all the travelling. For reservations or more information, please contact T +974 4010 8204, F +974 4022 5395 or email spareception@oryxairporthotel.com Transportation Picture Credit - dohahamadairport.com Finding means of transport to and from the airport is not a hard task. You can easily book a cab with the assistance of the taxi services present in the Arrivals terminal, simply follow the “Taxi” sign or stop at an information desk at the airport. Please make sure you have sufficient Qatari riyals for payment since payment is only permitted in the local currency. If you want to rent a car during your stay at Qatar, you'd be able to do so, given that you have the below pieces of documentation An International driving license or a license issued from a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) country. A credit card with a minimum of 3 months validity is required at the time of booking, although most bookings can be settled in cash when returning your car. Payment terms are in Qatari Riyals. Photocopy of the entry stamp into Qatar on your passport. You will be able to rent a car on arrival at the Hamad International Airport, with the assistance of local and international car rental services present in the arrivals terminal. Limousine services are also available at the airport, for pre-booking you can can contact the Mowasalat Limosuine service on (+974) 800 5466. For booking on arrival simply visit the Mowasalat counter at the arrivals terminal to book your limousine and make your payment in Qatari Riyals at the end of the journey. If you prefer taking the public bus to travel throughout Doha, you'll to be able to do so. The buses are maintained and regulated by Mowasalat, the state transport company. All buses are well maintained and well equipped, and the service is provided by well trained staff In order to travel by the public bus in the city, you're required to purchase a smart card in order to make the payments. To figure out the package that you want to purchase please visit the Mowasalat counter and they'll help you to choose a package based on your destination in the city, and they'll give you the right card to make your payments easily. Find a Mosque near you in Doha Find a Halal Restaurant near you in Doha...



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    I found this mosque