Deputy travel editor based in the Middle East. Reporter with 10 years of experience, endless stories to tell and a specialist interest in travel.
Currently writing, commissioning and editing print and digital travel content at The National newspaper - the largest English language news service in the UAE with bureaus in Abu Dhabi, London and Washington DC.
Experience writing for Lonely Planet, Time Out, World Travellers, Stylist, Sorbet, Dubai Tourism and more.
"At stake is our way of life, our culture, traditions and, ultimately, our forests," cautions Randy Borman from the Cofan tribe, one of the oldest surviving indigenous cultures in the Amazon. "So far there are no active cases of coronavirus in the community, and we have established heavy fines for anyone breaking quarantine," adds Borman, who is vice president of the Zabalo village in Ecuador's rainforest.
"This is the cross of the slaves; it was put here by my grandfather," Allan Ramalingum tells me. Touching his hand to the metal frame of the three-metre high cross in front of us, he closes his eyes and takes a breath.
Crunch, crunch, crunch. There's something entirely satisfying about the sound of fresh snowfall underfoot. For a moment, I almost forget the piercing cold air jabbing angrily at my nose and cheeks. "I invite you to notice movement," says Adele, a forest-bathing guru who is guiding me through my first experience of the activity.
"It's unthinkable," says Sofia Widmann, shaking her head in disbelief. "This is Ukraine we're talking about, it's Kyiv." For the last week, she hasn't slept much. Born and brought up in the Ukrainian capital, Widmann has been living in Austria for eight years with her husband Michael and their young daughter.
There's something about travelling by train that stirs the soul. Whizzing along as you enjoy ever-changing scenery, speeding over viaduct bridges and waking up in a city that isn't the one you went to sleep in are just some of the appeal. Train travel also conjures up images of a bygone era rich with romance, adventure and opportunity.
It's been weeks since flames first licked through the now-charred region of the Pantanal that Fernando Tortato and a team of volunteers are slowly scouring through. A jaguar programme conservation scientist with Panthera - the global wild cat conservation organisation - Tortato has joined government agency workers and local volunteers to comb through the blackened remnants of the world's largest tropical wetlands, after they were ravaged by the worst fires on record.
T ime hasn't run out yet for the world's oceans. That's the message Jean-Mich el Cousteau, the oldest son of the French explorer Jacques , left us with after his visit to Dubai's shores. Jean-Michel Cousteau is a renowned oceanographer, filmmaker, explorer, author and environmentalist.
Brazil's Amazon rainforest is one of the last undiscovered frontiers on earth. Hayley Skirka spends a night under its canopy T he croak of a tree frog echoes in the air. I hear it, but only barely, so lost is it in the amplified hum of the rainforest's cicadas.
Lonely Planet Hayley Skirka has been resident in the United Arab Emirates for nearly 10 years, most of them spent in Dubai. After all this time in the city, she's seen most of the iconic landmarks and lost count of how many desert safaris she's been on, so she tends to spend her days discovering more of what makes Dubai a truly liveable city.
From dogsledding across Norwegian snow to summiting Africa's highest mountain, these adventure trips are no holds barred and no men allowed
Whether you want to actively help wildlife, or just observe without causing harm, we round up the trips to take
Ask anyone around the world what they know about the UAE and it's likely that people will talk about the sky-high buildings, luxury hotels and love of the finer things in life. One photographer in Dubai is trying to change that perception by travelling around the country capturing stunning shots of the Emirates' natural resources.
Usually known for its desert climate, Dubai boasts balmy winters that are the exception to the rule. In winter, it's time to visit Dubai's pockets of green, each as pleasant for a quick stroll as they are for a full day. Here's where to wander.
By the end of 2019, aviation had entered what some have dubbed a second golden age. Airlines were making a profit, pilots were in strong demand and flying was faster, cheaper and more comfortable than ever before, leading to a record high in passenger numbers.
From Guatemala to the Gobi Desert, this year's leading travel trend shows people's desire for more connection with places, and with themselves
Tucked along the shores of the Left Bank, Saint-Germain des- Prés embodies so much of what makes Paris special. Its cobblestoned streets and ancient façades survive to this day, revealing a history littered with luminaries
A visit to Nepal's capital is a trip bursting with highs and lows, from glorious mountain peaks to horn-honking chaos. Hayley Skirka rounds up the best bits
Discovering Iceland’s wilderness on a journey that was equal parts adrenaline-fuelled adventure and hypnotic stillness
Wander cobblestone streets, sail on Lake Geneva or marvel at horology intricacies: whatever you do to get under the skin of Geneva, make it count in this laid-back Swiss melting pot
"At its root, All'Onda is an Italian restaurant," begins chef Chris Jaeckle when we meet on the sixth floor of the newly opened Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai on The Palm Jumeirah's West Crescent. "We take our influences from Venetian cuisine because that was the trade hub for hundreds of years.
Go off the eaten path where hands-on dining goes to new lengths in taking travellers of foodie experiences in exotic places that they are very much a part of, writes Hayley Skirka
Alain Ducasse currently holds more Michelin stars than any other chef in the world. But for his latest UAE venture, the focus is as much on the venue as it is on the food "There are already many fantastic places to eat in Dubai.
From buttery pancakes to Venezuelan cheese rolls and everything in between, mobile traders are raising the bar for the capital's food trucks. Over the last couple of years, there's been a new player in Abu Dhabi's culinary scene as food trucks have rolled into the city. From burger trucks to tasty taco vans, there’s now a decent selection of mobile food outlets in the capital. But food trucks aren’t a new phenomena...
The WB Abu Dhabi, the only hotel by Warner Bros, has opened its doors in the UAE. On Thursday, the hotel on Yas Island hosted an opening extravaganza complete with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, a Batmobile and more.
With World Cup excitement hitting a crescendo around the globe, a hotel in Dubai is getting in on the act by offering six diehard footie fans the chance to watch the big final in serious indulgence.
Eating out is up there as one of the most popular expat pastimes in the capital, but is our love for food sustainable? We look at how you can be the main ingredient in making a change in the UAE's ...Read More "
Famed as one of the most fun people in showbusiness, Alan Cumming chats exclusively to AIR about sharing the love, political philosophies and the real-life adventures documented in his new book
Before there were selfies, Instagram and iPhones, one of America’s most iconic artists was already detailing his life on camera
Before rock and roll and had a past, Les Paul and Gibson Guitars shaped its future
Ahead of it's reopening, Hayley Skirka takes a look at one of Paris' grandest dames, the 118-year-old Ritz Paris and all the pomp, circumstance and scandal from its notoriously glamourous past
Award-winning music festival Sandance has, it is fair to say, experienced incredible highs and lows in its few short years. Anybody who grooved with Nile Rodgers, rocked with The Killers or danced until late with the planet's biggest DJs will have lasting memories.
The house of Harry Winston has many secrets to share...
Hayley Skirka catches up with Giorgio Locatelli to talk Italian hospitality, the secret of great pizza and how the time is now for Dubai’s culinary scene
JUST 70KM FROM THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, THE TINY TOWN OF ARJEPLOG IN SWEDISH LAPLAND HARBORS A SECRET – A 750 ACRE FROZEN PLAYGROUND, A CLANDESTINE MILLIONAIRE’S ICE RINK THAT’S RESERVED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THRILL-SEEKERS AND SPEED AFICIONADOS. THE ULTIMATE MOTORING EXPERIENCE - THIS IS ICE DRIVING AT ITS BEST.
In today's digital era and a world where new technology and information saturation are at an all-time high, the pressure to retain an enduring presence is intense. In the Middle East and Africa, transformation is on an upward trajectory as audiences grow and broadcasters clamour for a share of a market value looking set to bypass US$15 billion by 2021, data from IDATE Digiworld shows.
Abundant and cost-effective as domestic fuel for generating electricity, coal remains a vital energy source for many countries around the world. Accounting for more than 40 per cent of global electricity, coal is a foundation of modern life.
While most travellers try to stay out of hospital when on holiday, these destinations are luring tourists with their bedside manner