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Mel Healy

Freelance journalist, editor, photographer, content specialist

Location icon Australia

Wordsmith. Photographer. Global roamer. Made in Australia. Destination expert for Telegraph Travel and Culture Trip; travel and lifestyle pieces published in Etihad Airways' Atlas online portal, The Independent UK, The Times (UK), Ultratravel Middle East, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Conde Nast Traveller Middle East, Kidspot, Family Traveller UK, News Corporation Australia and The Upsider. Most recently editor of The National newspaper's 20-page Weekend supplement.

Portfolio
Harper's BAZAAR Arabia
07/24/2019
The Escape | Elements Of Byron, Byron Bay, NSW

Situated in Byron Bay, Elements of Byron boasts sophistication, style and natural tranquillity The beachside enclave that Hollywood superstar Chris Hemsworth has chosen as his Australian base is next-level thanks to its spectacular beaches and relaxed coastal vibe. Elements of Byron is one of the jewels in the northern NSW region's crown.

Khaleej Times
The jewel of Western Australia

As the cruiser comes to a halt in the middle of the largest man-made freshwater reservoir in the West, it's a case of 'if you can't beat them, join them' as the crew announces it's time for a dip ...

Culture Trip
08/19/2019
The 9 Best Airbnbs in Abu Dhabi

This three-bedroom Al Reef villa is a 10-minute drive from the city's Formula One race track, Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and Warner Bros World. Despite its proximity to these major attractions, the private villa provides something of a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life and has its own garden, gazebo and barbecue.

The Big Bus tour and travel guide
09/11/2019
Ten Top Things to Do in Abu Dhabi | Plan Your Stay - The Big Bus

A visit to Abu Dhabi is an intriguing blend of culture and historical significance, not to mention architectural brilliance and world-class art and design. One day you can be visiting elaborate palaces and mosques, eating in glitzy restaurants and shopping in ultra extravagant shopping malls; the next, you're immersed in spectacular desert landscapes and centuries-old traditional culture.

Culture Trip
06/11/2019
The Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is full of immersive, educational and historical experiences. Whether you're planning a stopover or a lengthier stay, there's plenty to keep you occupied in the second most populous city in the emirates. Discover Abu Dhabi's significant buildings, walk on the world's largest hand-knotted carpet, spend the night in the desert or ride the world's fastest rollercoaster - it's all in the UAE's cultural capital.

The Upsider
07/31/2019
What It's Really Like To Stay At A Zoo Hotel

As I stand on the terrace of my giraffe treehouse, back turned as I pose for a selfie with the long-necked beauty we're sharing our villa with, it's a gust of wind on the back of my much shorter neck that catches my breath - 18-year-old Hummer has just sent a kiss my way and it's quite literally blown me sideways.

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East
Hot List 2019: The 15 best new hotels in the Middle East

From secluded desert retreats to high style blieasure stays, these are the top new hotels from around the Middle East | Hot List 2019, MIDDLE EAST, Hotels, Saudi Arabia, JORDAN, BAHRAIN, UAE, , Hotels + Resorts

The National
06/29/2019
Executive travel: hotel in Australia's government hub lacks political savvy

Back-room deals and golden handshakes are all part of global politics and at the QT Canberra the government theme plays a central role in its appeal. This 205-room business hotel is one of the quirkiest in Australia's political capital with its metallic wallpaper-lined lobby featuring prime ministers of days gone by, mirrored paparazzi-themed lifts, and a behind-closed-doors invitation-only business lounge.

Kidspot
07/04/2019
How to make the most of a family stopover in Dubai

A quick visit to break up a big trip doesn't have to be painful. Yes, even with kids. Best known for its towering skyscrapers, glitzy shopping malls and gold-lined souks, Dubai isn't all about the bling.

The Telegraph
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island

Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates One of the glitziest hotels in the city, the Four Seasons Al Maryah Island definitely stands out. Its distinctive vertical exterior draws the eye and it offers some of the best views of 'old' Abu Dhabi and the dome-shaped Louvre museum.

Culture Trip
06/21/2019
The 11 Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi's hotels are as opulent and luxurious as you would expect. Here is our guide to 11 of the best in this emirate.

Atlas by Etihad
03/08/2019
A guide to Abu Dhabi International Airport | Atlas by Etihad

Ease into your travels with the best shops, restaurants, hotels and lounges across the airport's three state-of-the-art terminals Melinda Healy | February 2019 Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the busiest transport hubs in the UAE, but a layover needn't be boring.

The Upsider
05/13/2019
What It's Like To Dine At Dubai Most In-Demand Restaurant

You'll be forgiven for thinking you've stepped right through a plasma screen and onto the hottest reality cooking show of our time as you make your way into one of Dubai's most talked-about new dining establishments.

Culture Trip
06/25/2019
The 11 Best Luxury Hotels in Abu Dhabi

From utter opulence to private beachfronts, here's a guide to just how far over the top you can go when you're staying in one of Abu Dhabi's most luxurious hotels.

Harper's BAZAAR Arabia
03/28/2019
Hermes' Brand New Summer Scent Was Inspired By The Garden Of Eden

The secret sweetness of a dream garden is what Hermes is hoping to achieve with its latest scent, Un Jardin Sur La Lagune. This, the fifth release of the Le Jardins Garden-Fragrances collection, expresses a dreamlike dimension and tells the story of an Englishman mad about gardens and Venice, a man who was so tired of seeing nothing but water expressed his desire for a garden in the heart of Venice.

The Independent
09/12/2018
10 of the best hotels in Dubai

Whether it's luxury shopping, a desert adventure or checking out the latest in architecture and innovation, Dubai is definitely the United Arab Emirates city with the biggest personality and reputation. Host city of the 2020 World Expo, interest in the emirate is growing, and with that comes one new hotel after another at a rapid pace.

The Telegraph
Qasr Al Sarab

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Its position amid rolling dunes in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world has earned Qasr Al Sarab its status as the most instagrammed hotel on the planet. The location, service and grandeur make it one of the most attractive establishments in the emirate.

The National
11/28/2018
Going with the flow on a private cruise down the mighty Mekong River

The luxury bespoke voyage through the Golden Triangle from Luang Prabang in Laos is as high-end as they come G oing with the flow takes on new meaning when your mode of transport for a trip along South East Asia's mighty Mekong River is a private, 41-metre, two-cabin cruiser - and it's monsoon season.

Atlas by Etihad
08/30/2018
Five day trips from Abu Dhabi | Atlas by Etihad

When you're done exploring the capital city, hit the road out of town on one of these day trips from Abu Dhabi Penelope Wright | September 2018 After you've shopped in the dozens of malls, eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world and soaked up culture in the many museums and galleries, you might want to venture outside of Abu Dhabi for the day.

The Telegraph
The Abu Dhabi EDITION

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates This first EDITION branded property in the Middle East sets itself apart both in its design and waterfront location. The stylish 198-room hotel is like nothing else in the capital and gets kudos for teaming up with celebrated British chef Tom Aikens, the man behind its three quality culinary concepts.

The Telegraph
Beach Rotana

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates One of the oldest hotels in the emirate, Beach Rotana continues to be one of Abu Dhabi's most popular. Its central location, direct mall access and impressive dining landscape provide for stays that combine leisure and luxury in equal measure.

Harper's BAZAAR Arabia
04/03/2019
#ChicEats | Graze Gastro Grill, La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk

Steak is the star of the show at Graze Gastro Grill, the fine-dining steakhouse at La Ville Hotel and Suites in City Walk, Dubai. Red meat lovers will be in their element at this establishment, a stylish eatery that not only serves up scrumptious fo but does so in chic, edgy surrounds.

The Telegraph
Hyatt Capital Gate

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates One of the most recognisable buildings in the capital, the 'Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi' boasts an 18-degree tilt, making it an architectural masterpiece and owner of the Guinness title for the world's furthest leaning tower. This slick 189-room hotel could be mistaken for a modern art museum.

The National
03/06/2019
Hotel insider: Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai

The welcome I visit quite soon after the hotel opens its doors, so the jitters and slight confusion at the entrance are easily forgiven. The nerves are apparent as valet and door staff fumble with their tags and work out who is going to do what.

The Telegraph
Emirates Palace

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates The long stretch of beach is one of the property's biggest draws, offering guests an element of privacy and direct access to the nearby marina. It's within walking distance of nearby hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.

The National
02/12/2019
Emirati barista Zainab Al Mousawi spills the beans on her new Dubai coffee shop

For the founder of To the Moon and Back, coffee represents affection, ecstasy and independence A "hug in a mug" is how ­Zainab Al Mousawi ­describes a cup of coffee. The 31-year-old Emirati ­entrepreneur is determined to share as many of those ­liquid-gold hugs as she can through To the Moon and Back, the speciality cafe she opened in Dubai late last year.

The National
01/13/2019
Hotel insider: Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort

Abu Dhabi's latest luxury hotel offers a plastic-free experience and one of the most private stretches of beach in the capital I arrive at the hotel on a Thursday evening and am pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it is to hand over the car and have the bags tended to.

Atlas by Etihad
10/05/2018
Best coffee shops in Abu Dhabi | Atlas by Etihad

Caffeine comes with a dose of cool at these independent coffee shops in Abu Dhabi Penelope Wright | October 2018 From the ancient art of , the method that Emiratis use to make Arabic coffee, to new-gen coffee roasters to rival the best hipster cafés around the world, Abu Dhabi is experiencing a café revolution.

The Telegraph
Zaya Nurai Island

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Guests start their journey on a 20-seater speedboat from the resort's welcome centre on Saadiyat Island, a 10-minute drive from the city centre and just over an hour from Downtown Dubai. Traversing the entirety of the island takes about an hour on foot.

The National
10/04/2018
An uplifting experience at Victoria Falls in Zambia

"Are you ready to fly through God's kisses?" my pilot, who likes to play in the clouds, asks as we hover precariously above the greatest curtain of falling water in the world, in what is essentially an open-air flying chair.

The Telegraph
Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates The Grand Hyatt provides elevated views of the Emirates Palace and the Gulf beyond from its position on the western end of the city's Corniche. The fitness-minded will enjoy its outdoor gym concept, while those with an eye for design will be impressed by the high-end lobby and artistic detail.

Atlas by Etihad
06/30/2018
The Abu Dhabi spa guide | Atlas by Etihad Airways (EN)

With its glittering malls, towering skyscrapers and ultra-luxe hotels, it's perhaps no surprise that the city pulls no punches when it comes to pampering. There's a lot to consider when choosing which Abu Dhabi spa to visit. Some offer diamond facials and frankincense scrubs in opulent marble-clad hammams that make a welcome escape from the extreme desert heat.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara

There are a couple of different ways to get to the Zambian resort from Livingstone's Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport - by road, river or air. My mode of transport on this occasion is via a safari boat, which involves a leisurely cross of the Zambezi River, capturing glimpses of the spray from the famous Victoria Falls in the distance.

The National
07/19/2018
Four attractions to visit in Sicily

With flydubai now servicing Italy's third-largest island directly, here are four places to visit during your trip It's been just over a month since flydubai launched its route to Sicily. Now just a six-hour direct flight from Dubai, there's plenty to see.

The National
11/20/2018
Hotel insider: Bulgari Resort Dubai

The boutique hotel that boasts 101 rooms and suites sits on a seahorse shaped island just a few minutes' drive from central Dubai Upon arrival the transition from the valet parking bay to the reception desk is like clockwork.

The National
08/30/2017
The World Cup in Russia: key spots to visit between football matches

Are you planning to visit Russia for the 2018 Fifa World Cup? With football matches being played in 12 venues throughout 11 host cities, there's a lot to see during the month long sporting event. From the massive The Motherland Calls sculpture in Volgograd to the simple street art around St Petersburg, we've rounded-up an attraction worth visiting in each of the host cities.

The National
12/24/2018
eL Seed gives Paris his artistic love with new exhibition

An art collection by the artist, entitled Love Paris, will be on display at Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris until August 26 Last week he was making his mark on Ajman, but this week famed Dubai-based artist and calligrapher eL Seed is giving Paris the love in a new exhibition that opens in the French capital tonight (Tuesday, July 11).

The National
12/24/2018
Timeframe: Margaret Thatcher's visit to Ras Al Khaimah in 1998

As the current British Prime Minister Theresa May battles on we look back on the trip 'The Iron Lady' made to the emirate two decades ago A week after Britain's current prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence in her leadership (200 to 117) amid tensions surrounding her Brexit deal, we came across this photo of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher during her visit to Ras Al Khaimah in 1998.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: Palazzo Volpi, Venice

I'm armed with a map and instructions on how to get here, yet I manage to take the route with the most obstacles. Lugging a large suitcase and a small carry-on, I am forced to ask other tourists and a few local workers to assist me in climbing over the walkways on my path.

The National
04/30/2018
Where to eat, sleep and shop on Australia's Gold Coast

Apart from being the host city for this year's Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast is the gateway to Queensland - the "Sunshine State". Famed for its long sandy beaches, world-class surfing breaks, theme parks and old-school "Meter Maids" (clad in gold hotpants they pay your parking meter for you ), the sixth largest city in Australia also has one of the country's most recognisable skylines.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

I arrive on a Thursday afternoon after landing back in Dubai having spent the early part of the week in Venice. Buzu the bellboy stands out immediately, his big grin and friendly rapport certainly make a good impression. As he takes care of my bags, I make my way to the check-in counter, where I am attended to swiftly and efficiently.

The National
12/24/2018
Jennifer Lopez announces show in Dubai

The pop superstar is making her way back to Dubai with an announcement this morning that she will perform live at Autism Rocks Arena on November 17. Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez is making her way back to Dubai later this year with an announcement this morning she will perform live at Autism Rocks Arena on November 17.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius

It's raining the day I arrive, which is not quite how I imagined my introduction to a place known for being one of the most beautiful in the world. After a 50-kilometre drive from the airport along the coastal road, through cane fields and small villages, I pull up at a set of grand copper gates leading into the resort.

The National
09/15/2018
First look inside the refurbished Address Downtown Dubai

It's one of Dubai's most recognisable hotels, and despite being damaged by fire almost three years ago, it has reopened with a fresh new look and guest appeal. We take you inside Emaar's flagship hotel and show you what you can expect from your 2018 stay: Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a familiar old friend - an impressive cylindrical sculpture that's been at the entrance since 2008.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: The Bodrum Edition

After missing my connecting flight at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport and subsequently arriving at the hotel four hours after initially planned, I'm pleased to finally pull into the driveway where I'm greeted by a series of mic'd up door staff.

The National
06/11/2018
Tania's Teahouse: charming and chic to a tea

T here's a cafe with a pink door on Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, that's as cute on the inside as it is on the outside and designed to a tea. Tania's Teahouse is the work of entrepreneur Tania Lodi and since opening in April, the establishment has generated its fair share of social media buzz.

The National
09/15/2018
Hotel insider: Lux Grand Gaube, Mauritius

A muddled transfer results in an hour-long wait before I even get in the car for the drive up to the Lux Grand Gaube, in the northern part of the country. I've been in Mauritius a few days already and it's been inclement mostly, but as we pull up to the resort, the beaming sun elevates my mood immediately - this is more like the Mauritius I imagined.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel insider: Shangri-La Hambantota

The 53-hectare property has an 18-hole golf course, a trapeze/kids' zone, spa and health club, drone-flying area and handicraft market. The welcome My transport arrival at the hotel is unconventional - the Sri Lankan prime minister is a guest during my stay, which means heightened security at the property and along the 35-kilometre stretch from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel insider: Banyan Tree Seychelles Resort & Spa

The welcome Once we hit the turn onto the road to the resort after a 30-minute mostly coastal drive from Mahé airport, ­security stop us before we enter. The taxi makes its way to the entrance, which has a towering grand old banyan tree as the welcome party.

The National
04/30/2018
How halal tourism is travelling in the right direction

A dedicated "halal cruise" is the latest in a stream of tourism offerings ­being marketed directly towards Muslim travellers, as global companies reposition themselves to cater to the growth market.

The National
04/30/2018
Downtown in Stone Town: a trip to Zanzibar

In Australia "no worries" is an expression that's used every day - we say it often and without much thought. ­During my trip to Zanzibar, I found the Swahili equivalent - "hakuna matata" - far more fun to use, even if my Aussie accent took a shine off the delivery.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel Insider: Melia Zanzibar

A relaxing retreat with a beach-club vibe. The welcome After a six-hour flight from Dubai (with a short stop in Dar es Salaam), followed by a 45-minute bus ride from Zanzibar airport, it's nice to be greeted warmly by a number of hotel staff.

The National
09/15/2018
A first look inside the new Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi hotel

The 428-room property opposite Emirates Palace is the newest hotel in the capital The Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl is the newest hotel in the capital, and it's already attracting attention thanks to its striking building and slick interior.

The National
04/21/2018
%Arabica: If you haven't bean, this cafe's a strong addition

There's a new coffee shop adding strength to the capital's cafe scene, infusing an extra shot of quality and some very cool vibes. %Arabica Abu Dhabi Corniche has just opened its doors in Al Jazeera Tower in Khalidiya, a street back from Corniche Road beside the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it's inviting the coffee set to "see the world through coffee" at its establishment.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel Insider: Aria Hotel Budapest, Hungary

The welcome The Aria Hotel Budapest sits in a heritage area on the Pest side of the city that only select taxis and limousines can access. I have arranged with the hotel to have a car collect me from Keleti train station and the driver is waiting for me as I leave the station.

The National
12/24/2018
Hajj travel tips: from visa dates to scams and a handy app

The beginning of this year's Hajj pilgrimage is now just a week away, and for those making their way to Makkah, here's a list of things you should know before you go: The last date of entry on the Hajj visa is August 15, 2018, while the first date of exit is August 26 and the last date of exit is September 25.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel insider: Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai

Checking in to the new Jumeirah Al Naseem. The welcome The hotel, which officially opened in December, is busy during peak season when I arrive on a Saturday morning, but the valet and a hosted walk to the check-in counter is without fault.

The National
04/08/2018
Dining in the UAE: new restaurants to try this weekend

Tired of frequenting the tried-and-tested eateries in your neighbourhood? Check out somewhere new with our round-up of new dining destinations across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. ABU DHABI Turtle Bay Bar & Grill, Saadiyat Rotana This is the first of the dining venues to open at the new Saadiyat Rotana Resort, with more to follow in the coming weeks, including Si Risorante Italiano and Hamilton's Gastropub.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel review: The St Regis Istanbul, Turkey

The welcome I'm met by a handful of staff who confidently and swiftly usher me out of the cold, drizzly weather and into the lobby. My bags follow like clockwork. Check-in takes place at a desk with a beaming staff member who passes over the room key before putting me into the hands of another staffer, who escorts me to my room.

The National
04/30/2018
Hidden food gems: Egg Shack Cafe is a cheap treat, no yolk

While the service isn't egg-cellent, the outlet delivers when it comes to tasty affordable food served in a relaxed, funky, modern setting. If you're an avid foodie who spends your weekends and evenings scouring the capital's nooks and crannies for egg-citing new culinary offerings, then you'll want get cracking and get yourself to the Egg Shack Cafe.

The National
04/30/2018
20 years since Rama 'miracle'

"Rama the Cama" was born 20 years ago this weekend and was the world's first viable cross between an Old World camel and a South American camelid S heikh Mohammed bin Rashid has met countless UAE residents, but this one was of particular significance to the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai back in January 1998.

The National
04/28/2017
Travel year in review: our writers' highlights of 2017

Rosemary Behan - Travel editor My 2017 has been more office-bound than usual, but the highlight was probably the second week of January, when I arrived on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel insider: Dukes Dubai on The Palm

The welcome As I make my way up to the hotel entrance, I begin to think I may have booked my stay too early, given that the upper floors of the property appear to still be under construction.

The National
04/30/2018
First look: Aloft opens first hotel in Dubai

Aloft Palm Jumeirah is a 206-room hotel on the island's eastern crescent Aloft Hotel group made its debut in Dubai today (January 21), taking up residence on the Palm Jumeirah.

The National
03/27/2018
Sharjah now home to a luxury tented resort - in pictures

Kingfisher Lodge has 25 luxurious tented rooms, each with its own private pool, and offering views of the Indian Ocean If you've got a soft spot for Sharjah, you are sure to love it even more now that a flash new glamping resort has opened in the emirate.

The National
04/30/2018
Hidden Gems: The Art House Cafe, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi

O ld barrels and tyres fashioned into tables, wooden slats transformed into benches, vintage suitcases placed one atop the other, and coloured ceiling panels that let light through, reflecting a rainbow on the floor - this is what you'll find when you walk into Art House Cafe.

The National
04/30/2018
Friday brunch at: Coya Abu Dhabi, The Galleria, Abu Dhabi

The location Coya is the latest restaurant to take up residence at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. The 120-seat establishment offers diners water views and is easily accessible from all parts of the city. It's down the Four Seasons end of the mall

The National
05/01/2018
My UAE: The world view of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Thani

Sheikh Mohammed was born and raised in Sharjah, and after a childhood that he says was filled with joy and playing with friends, he studied business at the American University of Sharjah. In 2007, he and two of his university friends established Musafir.com.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel Insider: Park Hyatt Vienna

The welcome As my car pulls up to the Park Hyatt Vienna's stately entrance - the building is 100 years old and was previously the Bank of Austria - the imposing facade has grandeur, it's the type that is obvious a block away.

The National
04/30/2018
Review: Soothing Sapphire Ritual at Ayana Spa, Bab Al Qasr hotel, Abu Dhabi

Bab Al Qasr is one of the newest five-star properties to open its doors in the capital. Located next door to Jumeirah Etihad Towers, directly opposite Emirates Palace, the hotel features a spa, Ayana - meaning beautiful flower - that offers guests an extensive treatment menu, including Arabian traditional wellness and Ancient healing practices.

The National
04/30/2018
The sky's no longer the limit for unusual dining experiences

There is more to dining out in the UAE than meets the eye, thanks to a growing number of unusual food experiences. From eating while blindfolded and snacking in the sky, to the misadventures of an animated chef, here are a few to try.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel review: Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Muraqabat

An affordable option just minutes from the international airport, which is also close to souqs and the more historic part of Dubai. The welcome After navigating my way through the busy streets of Deira, I find the hotel and, as it's a Friday, I'm able to nab a parking spot right outside.

The National
04/30/2018
Review: At the Top, Burj Khalifa sunrise sessions

The experience: The Burj Khalifa has got to be one of the most instagrammed landmarks in Dubai, and as an extension the whole of the UAE, both looking up and down. I know I've done my fair share of ogling from various vantage points in and around the

The National
05/01/2018
The most common food intolerances, how they are diagnosed and treated

Food is a big part of the culture in the UAE and something that brings people together. Unfortunately for some, eating is a constant battle, with certain foods triggering unpleasant reactions. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education, a non-profit organisation, in the United States alone, as many as 15 million people suffer food intolerances, and nine million of those are adults.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel Insider: Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Villas at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort start from Dh2,402 per room per night, including breakfast, taxes and free Wi-Fi. The welcome When I arrive at the jetty, I feel like the only person at the resort. There is no welcome to speak of, and it feels desolate.

The National
05/18/2018
Where to eat, sleep and shop on Australia's Gold Coast

Apart from being the host city for this year's Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast is the gateway to Queensland - the "Sunshine State". Famed for its long sandy beaches, world-class surfing breaks, theme parks and old-school "Meter Maids" (clad in gold hotpants they pay your parking meter for you ), the sixth largest city in Australia also has one of the country's most recognisable skylines.

The National
05/01/2018
My UAE: Fashion forward with Rouge Couture founder Sara Al Madani

Sara Al Madani made her foray into the business world at the age of 15. Since then, the Sharjah resident has been inspiring other women in the UAE. Al Madani, now 30, says she has always been creative, but her interest in fashion developed over time.

The National
05/01/2018
Hotel insider: Tulip House Boutique Hotel Bratislava

This warm centrally located hotel is close to the sights and ideal for both business and leisure travellers. The welcome After being dropped around the corner by my taxi, I'm greeted by a porter before I make my way to the entrance, which starts my stay in the right fashion.

The National
05/01/2018
Hotel insider: Hilton Garden Inn Al Mina, Dubai

The new Hilton Garden Inn Al Mina has lovely views of Downtown Dubai and is a good option for families, tour groups and those in Dubai on business. The welcome My reception at the new Hilton Garden Inn Al Mina is efficient and friendly.

The National
05/01/2018
Cebu: a haven for history buffs and beach lovers

Of the 7,107 islands that make up the Philippines, I've just touched down in Cebu, the tourist gateway to the central and southern parts of the country. I'm here with Emirates to put the region, which last year attracted more than 3.5 million visitors,

The National
05/01/2018
Emirates launches new Dubai-Philippines circular service

Emirates airline's new daily circular service from Dubai to Cebu and Clark in the Philippines has touched down at Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The service, which is the airline's latest route addition, is expected to strengthen international connectivity to the hubs, which are two of the Philippines' fastest-growing.

The National
05/01/2018
Green with envy: how social media can increase jealousy

It's not uncommon to get a visit from the little green-eyed monster every now and then. In fact, experts say it's perfectly normal. It's just that in recent years, thanks to the increasing popularity of social media, it is happening a little more than before.

The National
05/01/2018
Majid Al Qassimi: the UAE's equestrian dream

Majid Al Qassimi has been around horses since he was a toddler, and thanks to his determination, he's ridden his way to the top of his game. "My father started the Sharjah Equestrian [& Racing] Club in 1982. I used to go there every day, I think," he says.

The National
05/01/2018
Hotel Insider: Melia Zanzibar

A relaxing retreat with a beach-club vibe. The welcome After a six-hour flight from Dubai (with a short stop in Dar es Salaam), followed by a 45-minute bus ride from Zanzibar airport, it's nice to be greeted warmly by a number of hotel staff.

The National
05/01/2018
The air bag: Rolling along beats Cruze control any day

I have been driving in the UAE for a year now, and still get into the car every day knowing I need my wits about me. Getting on the road here was an achievement for me - the driving culture is unlike anything I've experienced.

The National
05/01/2018
Flotation therapy offers more than simply relaxation

Massages and yoga classes are some of the most therapeutic ways to put the equilibrium back in our lives, but they're not the only options. Floatation therapy is fast taking the interest of residents and visitors to the UAE.

The National
05/01/2018
Test driving the wheels, wings and weightlessness simulators in the UAE

F1 simulator The experience: As you read this, the world's best F1 drivers are tearing around Yas Marina Circuit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. For those of us who are never going to be in their ranks, the simulators at Ferrari World may be the closest you'll get to that racing feeling.

The National
05/01/2018
United in happiness: making the UAE the happiest place on Earth

Happiness is a state of mind. It's a domino ­effect. You can find it without having an exact location for it. These are the sentiments of one of the UAE's happiest residents, Saeed Al Nazari, an Emirati who proudly has a glass half-full outlook, a keen interest in making people happy and who took it upon himself to approach the Global Happiness Organization's world body with the view to starting a chapter in the UAE.

The National
05/01/2018
Finding famous faces that fit: the UAE's brand ambassadors

Celebrity sells... to the tune of about US$50 billion (Dh183.66bn) a year. But the world's most sought-after faces don't do it alone - the big bucks are made when celebrities join forces with a big-name brand, just as Nicole Kidman has done most recently with Etihad.

The National
05/01/2018
ChefXChange: home-made meals by top-notch chefs

It has been dubbed the Airbnb of the culinary world, connecting foodies with private chefs across the globe, and the only ingredients you need are a computer, a functioning kitchen and a penchant for good food.

The National
04/30/2018
Hotel review: The St Regis Istanbul, Turkey

The welcome I'm met by a handful of staff who confidently and swiftly usher me out of the cold, drizzly weather and into the lobby. My bags follow like clockwork. Check-in takes place at a desk with a beaming staff member who passes over the room key before putting me into the hands of another staffer, who escorts me to my room.

The National
05/18/2018
Hotel Insider: The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel

I arrive at the "first holistic well-being resort in Dubai" on a Thursday evening late, but not before making a brief stop at Sofitel, The Palm, to get help in locating the property. Due to the lack of signage to the hotel, it is easy to confuse The Retreat for an extension of the neighbouring Sofitel property.

The National
04/21/2018
%Arabica: If you haven't bean, this cafe's a strong addition

There's a new coffee shop adding strength to the capital's cafe scene, infusing an extra shot of quality and some very cool vibes. %Arabica Abu Dhabi Corniche has just opened its doors in Al Jazeera Tower in Khalidiya, a street back from Corniche Road beside the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it's inviting the coffee set to "see the world through coffee" at its establishment.

The National
05/24/2018
Hotel insider: One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius

It's raining the day I arrive, which is not quite how I imagined my introduction to a place known for being one of the most beautiful in the world. After a 50-kilometre drive from the airport along the coastal road, through cane fields and small villages, I pull up at a set of grand copper gates leading into the resort.

The National
05/24/2018
Opening date set for Jumeirah's Saadiyat Island resort

The 293-room property offers pool villas and suites, along with eight dining outlets and an expansive luxury spa We knew it was on the way, but now we have a date - Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island will open its doors on November 11, 2018.

The National
06/08/2018
Hotel insider: One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius

It's raining the day I arrive, which is not quite how I imagined my introduction to a place known for being one of the most beautiful in the world. After a 50-kilometre drive from the airport along the coastal road, through cane fields and small villages, I pull up at a set of grand copper gates leading into the resort.

The National
06/07/2018
14 new brunches to try in the UAE

From picnics to buffets and a la carte feasts: the Friday brunch takes on a whole new meaning across the UAE's hotels and restaurants - here are 14 new brunches to try in the UAE, from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.

The National
06/07/2018
14 new brunches to try in the UAE

From picnics to buffets and a la carte feasts: the Friday brunch takes on a whole new meaning across the UAE's hotels and restaurants - here are 14 new brunches to try in the UAE, from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.

The National
06/08/2018
Hotel Insider: Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi

I arrive at the hotel in the early evening, a few hours after the check-in opens, and as such there's not the usual hustle and bustle I'm used to as I pull up in a taxi. I am attended to quickly and am the only guest at the counter once inside the lobby.

The National
06/08/2018
Hotel insider: One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius

It's raining the day I arrive, which is not quite how I imagined my introduction to a place known for being one of the most beautiful in the world. After a 50-kilometre drive from the airport along the coastal road, through cane fields and small villages, I pull up at a set of grand copper gates leading into the resort.

The National
06/08/2018
Hotel Insider: Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi

I arrive at the hotel in the early evening, a few hours after the check-in opens, and as such there's not the usual hustle and bustle I'm used to as I pull up in a taxi. I am attended to quickly and am the only guest at the counter once inside the lobby.

The National
10/20/2018
Hotel insider: Six Senses Kaplankaya, Milas, Turkey

After an hour-long car journey along bumpy winding roads, arriving at this resort overlooking the Aegean coastline is a welcome relief. I'm greeted by the door staff, and as I'm early, I'm asked to wait until the room is ready.

The National
10/20/2018
Hotel insider: Avani+ Luang Prabang, Laos

Despite being met by the usual beaming faces most of us find at the entrance to any hotel, it's the central location that proves the most welcoming part of my arrival. As I pull up in my transfer, it's immediately obvious looking around that I'll be right at home here.

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