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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 21/06/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) We bring you some of the best travel destinations of the season

whatever your views on dubai as a vacation destination travellers to the city can usually be divided into one of three groups: 1) business travellers 2) sun sea and shopping fanatics and 3) those taking a day to explore whilst on a connecting emirates flight. socially or ethically conscious tourists wouldn’t really get a mention. and why would they? dubai’s hardly an impoverished area the likes of which usually appeal to volunteers. no here it’s all about luxury for visitors and those who’d like to help others tend to head on somewhere else.

however the growing trend for explorers who like to give something back when spending their two weeks abroad or ‘voluntourists’ as they’re known hasn’t gone completely unnoticed. we’re not talking about those who head for the latest warzone or natural disaster to donate their time and energy (worthy as that may be) but rather families or individuals who want to relax and have a pleasant holiday whilst adding to that by spending even as little as one afternoon doing something to help the local community.

such activities could be as small as joining in a litter pickup planting trees in some regions and volunteering at a care home.

ritz-carlton hotels around the world run just such a programme. its ‘giveback getaways’ initiative allows guests – or actually in dubai’s case anyone – to take an afternoon out and lend a helping hand in the locale.

twice a year residents former guests and staff at the ritz-carlton difc head to senses residential and day care centre in jumeirah. this charity is a completely non-profit organisation and is the first residential care facility for special needs in the uae and the middle east.

“we call the programme a community footprint” said hotel manager katrin herz. “globally every ritz-carlton does it and each one can focus on different pillars including the environment children or poverty for example.

“here guests opt in for half a day at senses. we take them there and they interact with the childre and nurses. we do a lot of maintenance for them with our engineering team too.”

the giveback getaways schedule for every hotel is listed on their website. katrin went on to describe its popularity.

“you have some guests who plan their holiday around it. they will see what is going on see the city it is in and go there specifically for that. “in dubai we have had about 20 people accompany us.

“we are always looking to expand and hope to do more dates throughout the year.”

find more information about the scheme by following ritzcarltoncsr on twitter. davidkhaleejtimes.com

further afield

a few deals from around the world

russian here there and everywhere

the corinthia st petersburg is all set to offer its guests yet another unforgettable stay while experiencing the grandeur of russia’s second largest city and the country’s cultural heart.

stay for five nights in one of the hotel’s splendid executive suites and savour the history culture and cuisine of this unique city. visit: www.corinthia.com/hotels/stpetersburg

cup fever

passengers on board etihad airways the national airline of the uae can enjoy every fifa world cup football match ‘live’ on all of the air carrier’s long haul aircraft during the tournament. all 64 games are being transmitted live at 30000 feet on the airline’s modern wide-bodied fleet of planes by img media using etihad airways’ state-of-the-art interactive inflight entertainment system e-box powered by panasonic technology. visit: www.etihad.com

ain’t it dolder grand?

the dolder grand in switzerland is putting on special ramadan treats. guests are invited to break their fast by enjoying a sparkling view over lake zurich that resonates tranquility for the holy month. the hotel provides a peaceful experience that will reflect the spirit of the holy month of ramadan.

to further guarantee an authentic experience lebanese chef firas el-borij will provide guests with a true ramadan experience of arabic amenities and halal food available throughout the month. mail: reservationsthedoldergrand.com


Khaleej Times

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