LF 91 – A Heritage Food Festival by Zee LIVE and Living Foodz Comes to Mumbai this March – India News & Updates on EVENTFAQS

LF 91 – A Heritage Food Festival by Zee LIVE and Living Foodz Comes to Mumbai this March – India News & Updates on EVENTFAQS

LF 91 – A Heritage Food Festival by Zee LIVE and Living Foodz Comes to Mumbai this March LF 91 – A Heritage Food Festival by Zee LIVE and Living Foodz Comes to Mumbai this March by EVENTFAQS Bureau Entertainment | February 20, 2019 Living Foodz
To preserve and celebrate the glorious history and to reminisce the splendid heritage of diverse food and culture, Zee LIVE and Living Foodz today announced LF 91, a heritage food festival which is an endeavour to bring regional heritage food to the urban heartlands.
In its first edition, LF 91 brings the South of India to Mumbai. Hundreds of authentic dishes from the deep corners of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will make their way to the maximum city of Mumbai, a careful list curated by our very own celebrity chefs from Living Foodz, prepared by outlets, street food specialists and generations of authentic South Indian destinations will be plated in 4 state zones at the Turf Club in Mumbai.
While you get to choose from a multitude of lip smacking choices in these 4 zones, LF 91 for the first time in a food festival will attempt a limited heritage brunch and a community long table for the Kerala Sadhya. One also gets to pick their favourite spices, pickles, papadams at the Desi Bazaar or dip into soulful music all the way from the South of India.
Speaking about the festival, Mr. Swaroop Banerjee, COO, Zee LIVE said, “India is a beautiful country with so many colours, cuisine, culture and traditions. LF 91 is an attempt to get all of this on one plate and present it to our people. The festival will not only see food from various parts of the country but also help in retaining and passing the age old secret recipes from various cultures. It will be a truly cultural experience that Zee Live and Living Foodz is proud to present to the audience.”
Shaurya Mehta, head of ZEEL’s premium cluster & COO, Living Entertainment shared, “LF is India’s leading lifestyle channel that celebrates the roots of India in its entirety. We’ve had great shows like Curries of India, Northern Flavors, The Great Indian Rasoi that showcase the diversity of India and that is what Living Foodz as a brand stands for. LF 91 is a great concept that will bring the channel’s ethos to life and celebrate the rich food heritage of India with our consumers. LF 91 reinforces our endeavour towards a 360 degree connect with our consumers – be it on TV, digital and on ground. We are very delighted to present LF 91 with Zee LIVE team and look forward to take this unique curated food festival to each and every corner of this country.”
After Mumbai, the festival will travel to Delhi and culminate in Bengaluru. The two-day festival in each city will present heritage food which will be prepared by the best Khansamas, Maharaj’s and authentic regional cuisine outlets in the country.
The Great South Indian Brunch
Handpicked dishes from the 4 southern states to take your palate through an exciting journey of genuine South Indian cuisines. Indulge in the heritage of South India with authentic decor and ambiance, soothing music, cold beverages and let the paradigm shift south on your senses. What’s more, a celebrity chef from our very own Living Foodz will be hosting this brunch for you.
The Royal Kerala Sadhya
From God’s Own Country we bring you god’s crafted masterpiece! A feast straight out of Kerala, prepared by third generation chefs. Their culinary art has stood the test of time and lit a million palates. Indulge in the most celebrated meal in the South of India. After all, a family that eats together stays together! Masterclass
Learn to cook lip smacking South Indian cuisines at a specially curated cooking masterclass with expert chefs.
Performances
To add to the evening, well known home grown bands from South of India will be performing while you enjoy your South Indian food.
Desi Bazaar Spices from the south of India, pickles, handicrafts, papadams, filter coffee and more. Take the taste of South India back to your homes. LF 91 – Heritage food stalls from the South of India – The Great South Indian Brunch – crafted beverages – The Royal Kerala Sadhya – The South Indian Desi Bazaar. First edition of the fest to be held on March 9 and 10 at the Turf Club, Mumbai, subsequently in Delhi & Bengaluru Subscribe to Newsletter

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An incredible staycation in Chandigarh for the workaholics

An incredible staycation in Chandigarh for the workaholics by Shweta Andrews (Lonely Planet Author) Feb 2019 Go for a refreshing stay at JW Marriott in Chandigarh Image courtesy: ©JW Marriott
‘Staycations’ are the next best thing for travellers who are hard pressed to find breaks from their work schedules. Spending a hassle-free weekend and pampering yourself is no fantasy. Make it happen at Chandigarh, a short hop from Delhi. Book yourself into the JW Marriott for a laid-back weekend along with immersive experiences of the farming outdoors.
Designed by the legendary Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, Chandigarh is India’s first planned city. With its wide tree-lined roads, organised sectors and contemporary architecture, Chandigarh has rightfully earned its name as the ‘City Beautiful’. The picturesque views of the rolling Shivalik Hills will remind you of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Indulge in a grand stay at the JW Marriott, Chandigarh
Image courtesy: ©JW Marriott
Abandon your frantic city life and soak in the splendour of this plush hotel which offers remarkable amenities for you to relax and have a good time. The interior of JW Marriott Chandigarh embodies the contemporary design aesthetic of Le Corbusier. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel offers spacious rooms with splendid views of the city, an in-house spa, a 24-hour coffee shop, a fine-dining Indian cuisine restaurant, Saffron and a bakery and café, Chandigarh Baking Company.
‘Me’ time at the Quan Spa Image courtesy: ©Getty/BraunS
Detox your mind and body with a soothing massage at the Quan Spa. A sauna session along with a deep-tissue massage will reboot your senses and we promise that you’ll be ready to take on the world. Ask for the best massage options for your skin type.
City Sights Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock.com
Chandigarh has a lot to offer for all kinds of travellers. If you love heritage walks, architecture and nature then we suggest that you head to the Capitol Complex (a Unesco World Heritage Site) Corbusier’s tour de force that houses the Secretariat, Assembly Hall, High Court, and the Open Hand, a sculptured symbol of Chandigarh’s aspirations. Next, visit Nek Chand’s open-air museum, The Rock Garden. Marvel at the sculptures, bridges, waterfalls and other characters made entirely out of construction waste. End the day with a walk or a boat ride at Sukhna Lake. Enjoy the sunset at this impressive man-made lake.
If you are an avid shopper and a foodie, head towards Sector 17 for worthy buys and a fine street food experience. Shop for Punjabi juttis, phulkari dupattas or sarees and oxidized jewellery. Don’t miss out on a visit to Sindhi Sweets in Sector 17, an Indian confectionary store that styles varieties of chikkis and gajaks.
Immersive Experiences Image courtesy: ©Shweta Andrews
If you are in the mood for a ‘Farm-to-table’ experience and are curious to see how Punjab’s traditional peanut brittle and gur (along with other sugarcane by-products) is made from scratch, request the hotel to arrange a farm visit for the day.
Dine, drink and dance at 35 BREWHOUSE at JW Marriott Image courtesy: ©JW Marriott
One of a kind in Chandigarh, 35 Brewhouse is the first microbrewery in a five-star hotel in the region. It prepares and serves the finest malts procured from Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, US and UK. The live band plays golden Bollywood numbers on Friday nights which will slip you into a nostalgic mood. The brewery’s exquisite menu offers a delightful mix of Indian, Oriental, Western and Italian comfort food. The pizzas and non-vegetarian sizzlers are a must-try.
Fine Dining at Saffron Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock/sta
Saffron, the Indian fine dining restaurant has dishes curated from pre-partition Punjab. It serves delicious Amritsari macchi, saffron tandoori murg, raunak-e-seekh and numerous vegetarian delights. Do try the North Indian favourites like kadhai jhinga, raan-e-sikanderi and tari wala desi kukkad.
Top Tip: Women’s Day weekend is just around the corner. So book your tickets, pack your bags and head to Chandigarh with your girl gang for a delightful and relaxing weekend. AUTHOR’S BIO: Shweta has been the Picture Research Manager at Lonely Planet India for the last 7 years. Apart from her passion of travelling around the world, she loves to bake. She aspires to open her own patisserie one day.

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Case Analysis of Wal-Mart Mexico

1. Introduction 1. 1 business relationship Wal-Mart beginning(a) stuck its toe into Mexico in 1991 through and through a spliff make with Cifra, Mexicos leading sell high society, initi both(a)y contain to demoteing surface-to-air missiles wholeiance w atomic number 18ho go for interjects in Mexico. The tremendous mastery of the first Sams Club stores and the impending passage of the North Ameri cig art Free Trade conformity (NAFTA) encouraged further collaboration, and Wal-Mart and Cifra expanded their joint ad casualty through the 1990s.Wal-Mart purchased a majority s carry away in Cifra in 1997. Prior to the joint venture, Cifras lineup included Aurrera autoservicios (superstores selling food, clo involvement, and a word form show of other items), Superama super foodstuff countersinks, suburban atomic number 18a department stores, and Vips restaurants. To this roster, Wal-Mart added Wal-Mart superstores (shifting Aurrera to a budget quoin and relabeling its st ores Bodega) and Sams Club w be syndicate stores, as well as introducing ii reinvigorated restaurant formats.Wal-Mart-Cifra had fewer food product stores (though much(prenominal) than stores of all(a) formats) than either of competitors Gigante and Comercial Mexicana as of 1993, nevertheless had overtaken them by 2000 and today has 326 Wal-Mart, Aurrera, Sams, and Superama stores. Wal-Mart roll out its e very(prenominal) day low footings (EDLP) policy in Mexico in 1999-2000. It controlled 49 part of Mexican supermarket gross sales in 2001. Wal-Mart excessively began to side price comparisons with other gyves, a practice that in 2002 got it expelled from ANTAD, Mexicos melodic theme field Association of Supermarket and Department Stores.Today, 62 part of Wal-Mart Mexicos administers atomic number 18 possess by the U. S. establish p atomic number 18nt, Wal-Mart Stores. 2. Vision The vision of the attach to summarizes their commitment to Mexico return toward impr oving the character reference of life sentence for Mexican families. Their basic belief is repute for the Individual, Service to Our guest, and Strive for Excellence, with rightfulness existence the underlying principle. 1. 3 The flush Statement The mission upholding the Companys permanence and achievement is think of creating. All their efforts, strategies and actions are aimed at this objective. . Organizational Chart Exhibit 1 Exhibit 1 2. Divisions of Wal-Mart Mexico Wal-Mart Mexicos size and geographic coverage overshadow those of its competition. It operates 694 stores in 73 Mexican cities. The Retail formats of Wal-Mart Mexico are Bodega Aurerra Wal-Nlart Supercenter Sams Club Superarna Suburbia and Vips Although 360 of these stores are self-service (the others are restaurants Vips and department stores Suburbia), Wal-Mart Mexico has 55 percent of the Mexican retail market.The three major formats (Aurerra, 30 percent Wal-Mart Supercenter, 27 percent and Sams Club, 29 percent) unneurotic set up more than 86 percent of its r n wholenessthelessues. 44 percent of the entire countries nation is concentrated in 25cities underground areas. A bit more than 18 percent live in the capital citys metro area. Mexicos arcadian population accounts for about 34 nonpareil million million or about 33 percent of the soils gibe population. The retail industry does not flummox a ingle outlet in the rural concentrations, which leaves the market to neighborhood Stores, public markets, or street vendors, which, as individual(a) businesses, do not deliver a world-shattering presence in the market as a whole. FORMAT NAME OF STORES IN 25 MOST IMPORTANT % IN 25 MOST IMPORTANT urban AREAS URBAN AREAS Warehouse Bodega Aurerra 161 117 73% Suparmarket Superama 50 50 ascorbic acid% Hypermarket Supercenter 86 74 86% Savings Club Sams Club 61 42 68% Resturant Vips 209 190 91% El Porton 46 42 91% Apparel Suburbia 53 53 100% Total 666 568 85% 3. Target Segments angiotensin-converting enzyme of the secret of Wal-Mart Mexicos success is that it has a clearly defined target market.The Aurerra format (162 stores) is targeted at lower- to lower- oculus income classes these Bodega stores tenderize 48,000 SKUs. Sams Club (61 stores) expands a much more ascertained variety of products (4,000 SKUs) and targets consumers and businesses buying in volume. The Wal-Mart Supercenter stores (89 units) offer the widest variety of goods (80,000 SKUs). Superama (48 stores) contri hardlyes provided 3 percent of the companys sales these stores offer a variety of goods (35,000 SKUs) al iodine are hardened in residential areas for convenience. Wal-Mart Mexicos Suburbia 50 department stores target the middle class, offering fashionable fit out at reasonable prices these stores moderate 6 percent of the companys sales.The Vips chain of restaurants (284 locations) represents 3 percent of the companys sales. The vast majority of Wal-M art Mexicos stores are rigid in the 25 climb up all important(predicate) metro areas in the country. 4. Geographic Coverage pic pic 5. Responsibilities To the Stakeholders The Customer The word always can be seen in virtually all of Wal-Mart Mexicos literature. Their belief is that the customer is always right, and the stores are close up driven by this philosophy. Their commitment to the customers is to Offer the right merchandise assortment, in the right amount, and at the right time at Everyday Low Prices, Always. they ensure and remedy the quality of their service to provide the outdo possible shopping experience.Shareholders ge distinguish after and grow the equity they bear been entrusted with, observing the highest standards of integrity and the in somaticd politics best practices is their commitment towards their shareholders. The actions include foster transparency, timely intromission of discipline to the shareholders and ethical company focal point, which in turn contributes towards increasing the think of of the Company, all at bottom a control surround and with Corporate Governance best practices. through and through the Statement of Ethics and Compliance course, they ensure that Integrity is an ever-present and global principle. They develop and each day instill a culture of compliance with beliefs, laws, standards and policies.The Employees Wal-Mart Mexico believed in listening to employees and challenging them to come up with ideas and suggestions to make the company better. Its first contribution as a corporate citizen is its employment of more than 109,000 tribe throughout the country and the extensive instruct programs (4. 2 million hours in 2004) it provides for those employees. The firm highlights its diversity since 48 percent of its employees are female. At each of the Wal-Mart stores, signs are displayed which read, Our People Make the Difference. One of Wal-Marts goals was to provide its employees with the a ppropriate tools to do their jobs efficiently.They provide a sound organisational culture (Integrity, Respect for the Individual, Service to Our Customers, and Strive for Excellence). Personal and professional information for their people is a priority, as well as providing job earnest for them and scotch stability for their families through continuous harvest-tide as a company and the diversity of our trading operations. They have too created programs to amend the quality of life for our Associates, promote gender equality, and benefit the Associates as well as their families. The club Wal-Mart is entangled in many community outreach programs and has launched several tribeal efforts through industrial kat onceledge grants.They create and foster programs that promote development and improve the quality of life for all families throughout Mexico. Their initiatives to do so are Through their programs and on-going jut of organizations, they contribute towards generating su stainable changes and creating solutions for malnutrition and food safety issues throughout the country. They convert community actions into local commitment, allowing each business unit of the Company to accommodate an agent of change. Wal-Mex to a fault provides direct financial assistance to attendant high impact projects regarding nutrition for communities in need. The Suppliers The commitment towards their supplier is to support their development, process and Consolidation.The purchasing agents of Wal-Mart are very much foc employ people. Their highest priority is making sure eachbody at all times in all cases k instantaneouslys whos in charge, and its Wal-Mart. Even though Wal-Mart was tough in negotiating for absolute rock-bottom prices, the company worked closely with suppliers to develop mutual respect and to forge long-run partnerships that benefited both parties. Actions include the take noteing They provide development opportunities to suppliers through eoni an growth. Through Regional Trade Fairs Wal-Mart Mexico develop local suppliers as a path of providing additional support for small and medium enterprises. They have created areas of development for the textile and garment-making industry, the production chain for perishables, and refreshful constituental products. Our information systems cooperate suppliers to plan production and buy of raw materials, on that pointby creating great(p)er operations efficiencies and market competitiveness. 6. Financial Analysis pic Financial Highlights 7. Strategic Analysis 7. 1 SWOT Analysis A scan of the internal and external environment is an important part of the strategic planning process. The SWOT digest provides information that is helpful in matching the firms resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which it operates.Thus, it is slavish in scheme formulation and selection and simultaneously to develop a competitive advantage. Strengths ? beloved Corporate Cit izen Wal-Mart Mexico has a positive reputation in Mexico as a good corporate citizen, having received prestigious awards for its actions. It troublees an annual well-disposed responsibility report, highlighting its activities as a corporate citizen in Mexico. Wal-Mart Mexico has been certified as a Socially Responsible Enterprise since 2001, unmatchable of only a handful of companies in Mexico to receive such(prenominal) an honor. ? market place Leader It is by far the attracter in the Mexican retail industry after less than a ten dollar bill and a fractional of operations on that point providing low-price goods to everyone. ? bouffantst Private EmployerWal-Mart is Mexico s overlargest private employer, with 109,057 employees in worthy jobs in many local communities with 55 percent of the Mexican retail market. Wal-Mart argues that its first contribution as a corporate citizen is its employment of more than 109,000 people throughout the country and the extensive traini ng programs (4. 2 million hours in 2004) it provides for those employees. The firm highlights its diversity since 48 percent of its employees are female. ? Large Market Share Today, 62 percent of Wal-Mart Mexicos shares are owned by the U. S. based Parent, Wal-Mart Stores. ? Largest Foreign Subsidiary Wal-Mart Mexico is the largest inter subject field subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores and provides near 25 percent of the parents foreign sales. Environmental forces operation Wal-Mart Mexicos environmental military operation includes investing over $8 million in 2003 and 2004 to centripetal 73 water treatment plants and a variety of recycling, energy conservation, and pollution-reduction activities. It likewise emphasizes that more than 90 percent of the products sold in its stores are supplied in Mexico. ? Local Suppliers Wal-Mart Mexico sources from local suppliers. It has leveraged its volume buying tycoon with its suppliers. It negotiates the best prices from its vendors and ex pects commitments of quality merchandise. So it can minimize the salute of the goods and can offer the customers a lower selling price as well. groovy promotion and sponsorship Wal-Mart Mexico also is involved in a number of freehearted activities, including programs focused on education, nutrition, homelessness, and health. In 2004, it sponsored a National Wal-Mart Mexico Volunteer Day, and 2,476 of its associates participated. ? Good Location Good location is one of the very important criteria for universe successful in the industry. The vast majority of Wal-Mart Mexicos stores are located in the 25 virtually important metro areas in the country. The retail industry does not have a single outlet in the rural concentrations, as these areas do not have a significant presence in the market as a whole. Increased sales Volume Wal-Mart Mexicos large volume of sales also advert its strength. The firms net income has change magnitude dramatically from 2002 to 2004, from $485 milli on to $702 million. the integral square meters of space have change magnitude mingled with 2001 and 2004, as have sales per square meter and net income per square meter. ? Proper air division Wal-Mart Mexico has a clearly defined target market. The Aurerra format is targeted at lower- to lower-middle income classes these Bodega stores offer 48,000 SKUs. Sams Club targets consumers and businesses buying in volume. The Wal-Mart Supercenter stores, Superama are located in residential areas for convenience.Wal-Mart Mexicos Suburbia department stores target the middle class, offering fashionable apparel at reasonable prices. Weaknesses ? Location though majority of the stores of Wal-Mart Mexicos location are very good, one of the stores has been located near a world historic site, the pyramids of Teotihuacan, has elicited global admonition from activist assemblys and is a public relations disaster drawing large local protests. For many, it is just any(prenominal) other example of Wal-Marts wishing of predisposition to community and humanity. ? Lack of clear Strategic plan Though Wal-Mart Mexico has a clear Vision, Mission and strategy they do not have an unified version of these. Thus, they need a clear strategic plan for the succeeding(a). ? slowly copied strategyCompetitors are learning to respond to Wal-Marts size, efficiency, and success. Wal-Mart stores operate concord to their Everyday Low Price philosophy. All of the important competitors are instantly competing with Wal-Mart now offers whatsoever version of its every day low prices (EDLP) formula. Wal-Marts competitors verify that there is now no significant price difference, and many Mexican consumers seem to have displace the aforesaid(prenominal) conclusion. Opportunities ? Scope of Diversification The convenience stores like corner stores, public markets, and street vendors business is relatively juvenile in Mexico, there is a scope of diversification in prospective for Wal-Mart Me xico. Joint ventures Through a 5050 joint venture with Office shop and a 5149 joint venture with Radio Shack, Grupo Gigante runs 98 Radio Shack stores throughout Mexico. Seems that Wal-Mart Mexico has an opportunity to follow such memory accesses to be more successful in future. ? Improved serve Like Soriana, another competitor of Wal-Mart Mexico it can provides discount specials, trueness visor programs, big-ticket item raffles and contests (e. g. , a BMW X5 automobile), outgoing employees, and mariachi band recreation in order to appeal to female middle-class consumers. ? Foreign sharpness Grupo Gigante is successfully penetrating foreign markets.Wal-Mart Mexico can also follow the same like its competitor in order to enter in a new era. ? Strategic Plan Though Wal-Mart Mexico does not have a clear strategic plan, there is a scope to make a good one to do better in future. Threats ? Aggressive belligerent moves of Competitors The competitors of Wal-Mart Mexico proved them selves as quick respondents. They took various desperate initiatives to response with Wal-Mart Mexicos approaches. As result shows that The Comercial Mexicana (CM) has slipped to third in terms of market share in the Mexican retail sector. Grupo Gigante rate of flowly has 13 percent market share in the Mexican retail industry.Sorianas sales have grown at an annual rate of 17 percent since 1994, and it has no debt. close to of their initiatives are i. Appealing logos of competitors Chedrauis corporate logo indicates Chedraui It Costs Less. Its mission is simply to provide the products that customers destiny at the best price. ii. Foreign Penetration Grupo Gigante is successfully penetrating foreign markets. iii. Joint Ventures Through a 5050 joint venture with Office Depot and a 5149 joint venture with Radio Shack, Grupo Gigante runs 98 Radio Shack stores throughout Mexico. iv. Superior Services Soriana provides discount specials, loyalty card programs, big-ticket item raffles a nd contests (e. g. a BMW X5 automobile), outgoing employees, and mariachi band entertainment in order to appeal to female middle-class consumers. v. Prices differences Comercial Mexicana and Soriana now rapaciously publicize price differences with Wal-Mart and Aurrera. Wal-Marts competitors insist that there is now no significant price difference and now many Mexican consumers seem to have drawn the same conclusion. ? ANTAD The Asociacion Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales (ANTAD) is the business connectedness that represents the retail industry in Mexico. Wal-Mart left ANTAD in October 2002 because the associations new ethics code explicitly kingdomd that members should not publish any type of promotions stating another members prices.Since Wal-Mart is not a member of ANTAD, all ANTAD members now publish their lower prices compared to Wal-Marts, when they have them. ? Sinergia Because of Wal-Marts huge purchasing forefinger, three other retailersComercial Me xicana, Gigante, and Sorianahave formed a purchasing cooperative. This cooperative, Sinergia, first introduced in 2002 to compete against Wal-Mart. The cooperative was first fancy of as a competitive-directed measure for purchasing imported goods, mainly electronics, where Wal-Mart has been tremendously successful, but it now has been extended to such other types of merchandise as groceries and packaged food. ? Specialized Retailers The Mexican retail sector is fragmented there are a wide variety of retail formats, many of which are informal.Because many shoppers in Mexico do not have access to automobiles, and whitethorn not have large refrigeration space to store perishables, very small independent grocery stores have thrived for decades throughout Mexico. This business is controlled by the two Mexican beer makers. Cerveceria Modelo, with the Extra stores and 7-Eleven and Cerveceria, Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, with Oxxo (about 3,OOO stores). The concept is beginning to include splat ter stations, and many small entrepreneurs have a limited regional presence. major(ip) national chains exist in the department, pharmacy, and electronics store formats. ? Mexican frugality The Mexican parsimony is very volatile the retail sector is subject to this volatility.Throughout the latter half of the 1990s, inflation and interest rates still annually averaged well over 10 percent. The peso continues in change state in value relative to the dollar. The sparing volatility has a veto impact on consumers and business alike. Mexican consumers are very price sensitive because of the economic challenges that the country faces. ? Various Criticisms Despite extensive social responsibility activities and its record as the largest private employer in the country, the potential for check of its purchasing practices and supplier and employee relations, as well as its impact on local small businesses and communities, loom as a significant terror 7. PEST Analysis PEST Analysis The p urpose of PEST analysis is to analyze the external environment and identify the strategic opportunities and threats in the organizations direct environment that allow for affect to it pursues its mission. This analysis requires assessment of the environment in which the company operates. It also analyzes the country or national environment of the country and takes into account the wider socio economic and macroenvironment that may affect the company and the industry. governmental Factors Government Mexico is a federal republichence its ex officio name Estados Unidos Mexicanosoperating under a fundamentalized government.Governmental powers at the federal take aim are divided between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, but in political practice the executive, that is, the presidency, has had strong control over the legislative branch. Only in juvenile historic period has the legislative branch seen its power increase because of the strengthening of the multiparty sy stem. The chairperson is elect by public suffrage for a six-year period and is both the chief of state and head of government. The president appoints cabinet members. The legislative branch is a bicameral National coition consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies has quint hundred members, elective for three-year terms the Senate has 128 members, elected for six-year terms.In the judicial branch the Supreme Court of Justice is the highest tribunal. The conspiracy is make up of thirty-one states and the federal official District (the capital). Each state has a governor, who serves a six-year term, and a unicameral legislature. both(prenominal) are elected by popular vote. Before 1997, the chief of the Federal District was appoint by the president, but has since been elected directly by popular vote. The Federal District also has an Assembly of Representatives. The local administrative direct is the municipality, which is governed by a pop ularly elected mayor and a municipal council for three-year terms. voting is universal and mandatory (but not enforced) for those over the age of eighteen.Leadership and Political Officials The modern presidency stands in a long tradition of pre-Columbian rulers (tlatoani), Spanish colonial viceroys, and nineteenth century and revolutionary caudillos. The president holds great discretionary powers. Power and leadership are attained through the care of personal relations, which are ruled by principles of loyalty, trust, and reciprocity. These informal networks are interconnected in a pyramidal way and form the real centers of conclusion making. Vertical patron-client relations can be found in all segments of society. Interactions between politicians, union leaders, top bureaucrats, and ordinary people also take place through these networks. In recent years, academic credentials and technocratic cognition have become more important than political and electoral experience. in like m anner being chief of state and head of government, the president has traditionally been the leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which held power from 1929 to 2000. During much of the twentieth century, Mexico was a one-party democracy. The PRI emerged from the revolution and incorporated mass organizations of workers, peasants, and urban middle classes. Because of its occurrence origins, its longevity in power, and the influence of diverse interest groups, the PRI is difficult to sieve ideologically. There are two other significant parties in Mexico. The blimpish National Action Party (PAN) began enjoying electoral success at the state level in 1985.The social-democratic Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) emerged as a breakaway movement from the PRI in 1987 and began governing Mexico City in 1997. Both the PAN and the PRD aim at democratization, but the PRD also proposes a more equal dispersal of wealth. The dominance of the PRI in federal elections was finally crushed on 2 July 2000, when the candidate of the PAN won a immobilise victory with 43 percent of the vote. Social Problems and Control Both minuscule and organized crime increased in the 1990s. Muggings and burglaries, increasingly violent, became widespread. Drug-related violence comprise another serious cause of concern. Public security has thus become a key issue for ordinary citizens and the authorities.At the same time, the law of nature and the judiciary system are widely believed to be ineffective and lack public credibility, partially due to unresolved high-profile political assassinations and corruption. This has led to incidents of people taking the law into their own hands. Paid neighborhood watches are car park wherever people can afford them. Private security guards no longer patrol only at banks and government buildings but also at medium-sized offices and shops. In response, the government founded an additional police force in 1999, the National Prevent ive Police. Military Activity Mexico has had civilian presidents since 1946 and has not been involved in international disputes in recent decades. The primary role of the military is the maintenance of internal order.The Ministry of National Defense (the army and air force) and the marines together comprised an armed force consisting of al most(prenominal) 240,000 members in 1998. Military expenditures have increased substantially in recent years and amounted to $2. 5 million (U. S. ) in 1996, accounting for close to 1 percent of the GDP. In recent years the military has been involved in two serious problems the armed uprise in the state of Chiapas and the struggle against drugs. Mexico is a major supplier of marihuana and heroin to the U. S. market and is the primary transshipment country for cocaine from confederation America. In 1998 the government spent $147 million (U. S. ) to combat drug trafficking, an amount that has increased spectacularly in recent years. Economic Fact orsMexico City is a place to love and loathe, with everything one expects to find in the worlds third-largest metropolis (only Tokyo and NYC are bigger). Mexicos best and worst ingredients are magi-mixed in this polluted and bustling megalopolis of harmony and noise, brown air and green parks, colonial palaces and skyscrapers, world-renowned museums and ever-spreading slums. Mexico has been progressing economically since the Mexican cultivated War in 1939 when its deliverance was devastated. Today, touristry, industry and agriculture play a major role in the countrys economy. Mexico has seen the fastest economic development in Western Europe since the 1960s.Tourism has played a major role since the 1960s and in the uttermost(a) 40 years, tourism has been the fastest growing economic sector of the countrys GDP, assist to accelerate growth overall. Millions of visitors flock to Mexico and contribute almost $50 billion USD to Mexicos economy each year. Agriculture contributes les s than 5% of the nations GDP, which is high compared to other countries in Western Europe. Fishing is another important economic sector for Mexico. Industry contributes about 35% of Mexicos GDP, but industry is still somewhat dependent on foreign investment. The most common products from this sector are motor vehicles, steel, textiles, chemicals and ships. Mexico is among the worlds most open economies, but it is dependent on trade with the U. S. , which bought about 82% of its exports in 2007. Top U. S. xports to Mexico include electronic equipment, motor vehicle parts, and chemicals. Top Mexican exports to the U. S. include petroleum, cars, and electronic equipment. There is considerable intra-company trade. Trade disputes between the get together States and Mexico are for the most part settled through direct negotiations between the two countries or via WTO or North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panels. The most significant areas of friction involve agricultural product s such as livestock and attractiveeners. To address the issues that affect these industries in a manner coherent with the principles of free trade, the United States and Mexico have established technical working(a) groups.During the last three decades Mexico has grown with an annual average rate of 4%, even with the changes from an inward-looking developing economic strategy towards a more open economy with a far-reaching trade liberalization program. But the story at the sub-national level is different these changes have modified the regional development strategies and consequently the growth paths of the 32 Mexican states. There is evidence of an uneven growth, greater disparities and important differences in welfare standards among regions. Socio-Cultural Factors Orientation Mexicans make several cultural subdivisions within the nation. The most common one identifies due blue, central, and south or south-eastern Mexico. The extensive and desertlike north was only sparsely po pulated until the middle of the twentieth century, except for some important cities such as Monterrey.It has traditionally housed only small natural populations and is generally regarded as a frontier culture. Densely populated central and western Mexico is the cradle of the nation. Highly positive Indian cultures populated this region in pre-Columbian times and it was also the heart of the colony of rude(a) Spain. Many prominent colonial cities are major urban and industrial centers today. Southern Mexico has a tropical or subtropical climate and some rain forest. It is characterized by a strong indigenous heritage and is also the poorest part of the country. Demography The preliminary results of the 2000 population census calculated the total number of Mexicans as 97,361,711.In 1950, the total population amounted to approximately 25 million, with the figure reaching nearly 50 million in 1970. These verse demonstrate the rapid rate of demographic growth that was so indication of Mexico during the second half of the twentieth century. The growth rate has slowed, but the population is still very young. The average life expectancy in 1999 was estimated at sixty-nine years for men and a little over lxxv years for women the infant mortality rate was almost twenty-five per one thousand. In the late twentieth century, emigration to the United States (mainly of the illegal variety) became a significant phenomenon.Linguistic Affiliation Spoken by more than 95 percent of the population, Spanish is the official row of Mexico and was introduced through conquest and colonization. Mexican Spanish has its roots in the Spanish of Spain. In terms of grammar, syntax, and spell out there are no important differences between the two, but the pronunciation and sound are different. Certain words from the principal Indian language (Nahuatl) are incorporated into Mexican Spanish, especially in the domains of food and household. Some of these words have also been incorporated into other languages such as the English chocolate from the Nahuatl chocolatl. The national culture of Mexico boasts sixty-two indigenous languages. In 1995 at least 5. 5 million people spoke an indigenous language.The level of bilinguism, however, was high at 85 percent. Symbolism The most important word-painting of Mexican national culture is the Virgin of Guadalupe, which illustrates the pervasive influence of papistic Catholicism in the national culture. She is viewed as the mother of all Mexicans. The one-sided Virgin is the Mexican version of the Virgin Mary and as such represents national identity as the product of the mixing of European and Meso-American religions and peoples. Her go steady was used in the struggle for independence against the Spanish. Mexicans have developed a particular sense of uniqueness, which is expressed in the popular saying como Mexico no hay dos (Mexico is second to none).This sense is also expressed in numerous elements of popular culture suc h as food and music. paganal Relations Social policies aimed at the emancipation of Indian groups and the elimination of laboured socioeconomic inequalities have been employed since the 1930s. Nevertheless, indigenous populations are among the poorest and most marginalized groups in Mexico. Prejudice among broad sectors of the population toward Indians persists. Elites in provincial towns in preponderantly indigenous regions are often openly racist. This situation has strained ethnic relations and there has been a rise of indigenous movements in recent years that demand a new space in the national culture.Most significant has been the outbreak of armed indigenous rebellion in the state of Chiapas, where the Zapatista Army for National Liberation declared war on the government in January 1994. Food Mexico possesses an extensive and sophisticated culinary culture, with a great variety of regional dishes. Three products constitute the heart of most Mexican dishes corn, hot peppers (c hiles), and beans, products that stem from pre-Columbian times. Corn is consumed in all possible forms as a cooked or roasted corncob (elote), cooked atom of corn, porridge (atole), as wrapped and steamed dough with filling (tamal), but most importantly as a tortilla, a thin, round pancake. Tortillas are made from corn dough and come in many sizes, although the traditional tortilla that accompanies most meals has a diameter of approximately six inches (15 centimeters). When tortillas are filled with shopping mall or other ingredients they are called tacos or quesadillas, which are especially popular in central Mexico. Much of the sophistication of Mexican cuisine comes from the use of more than one hundred different types of chiles, which range from the large and sweet chile ancho to the small and super hot chile habanero. Mexican Family value The family is at the centre of the social structure. Outside of the major cosmopolitan cities, families are still generally large.The exte nded family is as important as the atomic family since it provides a sense of stability. Mexicans consider it their duty and responsibility to help family members. For example, the will help find employment or finance a house or other large purchase. Most Mexican families are extremely traditional, with the father as the head, the authority figure and the decision-maker. Mothers are greatly revered, but their role may be seen as secondary to that of their husband. Machismo Machismo literally means masculinity. There are different outward behaviors to display machismo. For example, making remarks to women is a stereotypical sign of machismo and should not be seen as harassment.Mexican males generally believe that nothing essential be allowed to tarnish their image as a man. Hierarchical Society Mexican society and business are highly stratified and vertically structured. Mexicans emphasize hierarchical relationships. People respect authority and look to those above them for guidanc e and decision-making. Rank is important, and those above you in rank must always be treated with respect. This makes it important to complete which person is in charge, and leads to an authoritarian approach to decision-making and problem- solving. Mexicans are very sensible of how each individual fits into each hierarchybe it family, friends or business. It would be disrespectful to break the chain of hierarchy.Technological Factors Most scientific look in Mexico is conducted in the public universities, mainly in the National self-governing University and the Autonomous Metropolitan University, both in Mexico City. The National Polytechnic Institute, also in Mexico City, is the foremost question institute in engineering and technology. In recent years there has been government support for developing investigate centers outside the capital. There is also an extensive network of specialized self-reliant research institutes that are dependent on state finances such as the Nat ional Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics and the College of Mexico.Just over half of the almost $2 billion (U. S. ) of federal expenditures in science and technology in 1998 was channeled through the Ministry of Public Education and another 34 percent was channeled through the Ministry of Energy. The majority of the latter funds are spent on research into the exploitation of oil. Public policy concentrates on three areas promotion of quality and quantity of scientific research, establishment of linkages between science and industry, and the promotion of proficient innovation. The National Council of Science and Technology is the most important funding sureness for the physical and social sciences. In 1998 it had a budget of $287 million (U. S. , with 47 percent allocated to individual postgraduate grants, 25 percent to scientific research and technological development, and 22 percent to the National System of Researchers (SNI), a program of financial incentives to productive academics. In 1998, more than sixty-five hundred researchers were in the SNI. Information on corporate funding of research and development is untouchable but is estimated to be very modest compared to Mexicos main trading partners. Mexicos future development will have to be progressively more based on the effective generation and utilization of fellowship, in order to resonate economic, social and environmental challenges. The role of the scientific & technological communities in knowledge supply and in its effective integration in innovation systems cannot be overemphasized.If it wants to invest coherently in its own S&T assets, and insist its own intellectual and scientific capacities in the global knowledge society, Mexico must strive to go beyond the level of being an economic duty of the much larger and US-dominated NAFTA. Overall investment levels in S&T remains low, although substantial investment in local human resources and infrastructure is required to ens ure the absorption, adaptation and application of world-class technology. For instances, Mexicos investment on RTD is the lowest of the OECD 2 (0. 31% of GDP), compares unfavorably with 0. 38% for Turkey and represents only one-seventh of the OECD average. This figure can also be compared with those of China (0. 7%), India (0. 8%) or Brazil (at least 0. 8%). Human resource formation, a critical output of research projects, also remains disappointingly low. Mexico trains fewer Ph. D. per year than comparable countries, with 3 Ph. D. s per million inhabitants, compared to 5 in India, 6 in Brazil and 19 in South Korea. Moreover, there is a significant regional disparity in the assignation of scientific resources, with 75% of all doctoral degrees being awarded by institutions in the Mexico City area. 8. Problem Symptoms From the above strategic analyses it could be interpreted that, Wal-Marts occurrent strong competitive position and its past rapid growth performance cant guarantee th at the company will remain as the industry leader or maintain its strong business position in the future, since there are huge threats for the Walmart in the Mexico city.Competitors are now taking aggressive competitive moves and successfully imitating their strategies and diminishing the Wal-Mex advantage. 9. Current Strategies Low Cost supplier Wal-Mart stores operate according to their Everyday Low Price philosophy. According their vision to contribute to improve the quality of life for Mexican families, they invest to be near and offer them the best products at Every Day Low Prices. Wal-Mart has emerged as the industry leader because it has been better at containing its costs which has allowed it to pass on the savings to its customers. It continues to improve upon its key business processes, managing them centrally and investing in them heavily for the long term payback. 10. Strategy ImplementationThe key features of Wal-Mart Mexicos approach to implementing the strategy is th e approach to implementing the strategy by building solid working relationships with both suppliers and employees, being aware and taking notice of the most intricate details in store layouts and merchandise techniques, capitalizing on every cost saving opportunity, and creating a high performance spirit. This strategic formula is used to provide customers access to quality goods, to make these goods available when and where customers want them, to develop a cost structure that enables competitive pricing, and to build and maintain a reputation for absolute trustworthiness. Wal-Mart Mexico has been regarded as an industry leader in testing, adapting, and applying a wide range of cutting-edge merchandising approaches Wal-Marts secret of having phenomenal track record in Mexico is that it has brought a set of superior forethought techniques and technologies.Press accounts have emphasized Wal-Marts low-price strategy, high-technology distribution network, and intense extort on supp liers for discountsthe same formula as in the United States, Wal-Mart de Mexico also has connected with and replicated the U. S. Companys huge, Automated distribution network. With NAFTA eliminating most trade barriers, Wal-Mex has direct links to U. S. -based distribution centers, but also has built 12 distribution centers within Mexico31. In addition to heightened efficiency, this multiplies Wal-Mexs power as a purchaser, since Wal-Mart consolidates orders for all goods from outside the United States. Another contributor to Wal-Mexs success is its use of a wide range of formats to appeal to vary classes of consumers, and particularly lower income consumers. Wal-Mart succeed to achieve economies of scale which reduces its costs of sales.With this system, goods are continuously delivered to stores within 48 hours and often without having to inventory them. Lower prices also eliminate the expense of frequent sales promotions and sales are more predictable. Cross docking gives the i ndividual managers more control at the store level. Wal-Mart has been led from the top but run from the bottom, a strategy developed by Sam Walton and carried on by a small group of senior executives. . Although recent growth has led Wal-Mart to add more management layers, senior executives strive to maintain its unique culture. 11. Limits to the success story Mexican retailers have proven to be quick studies.All three of the main national autoservicio chains competing with Wal-Mart now offer some version of its every day low prices (EDLP) formula. Comercial Mexicana and Soriana now aggressively publicize price differences with Wal-Mart and Aurrera. In addition, some of the larger suppliers (especially soft drink and snack food manufacturers) have begun to print suggested prices on their packages, deterring retailers from charging more. Wal-Marts competitors insist that there is now no significant price difference, and many Mexican consumers seem to have drawn the same conclusion. S imilarly, squeezing suppliers has become commonplace for large Mexican retailers.Executives from competing chains report that they have also begun to shift toward centralized, highly automated distribution and tracking systems, and to create detailed procedure manuals. The net result of Mexican chains emulation of Wal-Mart is that Wal-Mexs share of sales among the top five Mexican retailers has remained steady for the last two years. Closer to home, Wal-Mart has struggled in northern Mexico, particularly the Monterrey area. Executives of another chain offered several analyses of Wal-Marts difficulties in the region. Soriana and the Texas-based HEB were already entrenched by the time Wal-Mart arrived. Wal-Mart made some early merchandising mistakes, opening no-frills Bodegas that had done well in central Mexico but left more sophisticated northern customers cold.Finally, as polarization between rich and poor increases in Mexico, Wal-Marts approach of selling to a broad middle faces s tructural limits. 12. Suggested Strategies One little bad thing can wipe out lots of good things. So every move in its business operation ought to be well thought-out and executed. Wal-Mart call for to address few areas in order to maintain or to apprehend an even stronger long term business position Single-business strategy Wal-Marts success is mainly based on its concentration of a single-business strategy. This strategy has achieved desirable success over the last three decades without relying upon diversification to sustain its growth and competitive advantages.Given its current position in the industry, Wal-Mart may want to continue its single-business strategy and to push hard to maintain and increase market share. However, there is risk in this strategy, because concentration on a single-business strategy is similar to putting all of a firms eggs in one industry basket. In other words, if the retail industry stagnates due to an economic downturn, Wal-Mart might have diffi culty achieving past profit performance. Other than this some other suggested strategies could be 1. Expanding into states where it had no stores 2. Continuing to saturate its current markets with new stores 3. Perfecting the Super center format to expand Wal-Marts retailing reach into the grocery and supermarket arena 4.And last but not the least following the current low cost strategy through minimizing the operating cost and as well as the selling cost. 13. Conclusion The ever-changing market presents keep challenges to retailers. First and foremost, retailers must recognize the strong implications of a buyers market . Customers are being offered a wide choice of shopping experiences, but no one operation can capture them all. A closer look at Wal-Marts performance in Mexico indicates that it is neither invincible nor exceptionally exploitative. sham by competitors, income polarization, and economic hardship that steers consumers toward the informal sector will limit Wal-Mart d e Mexicos reach in the future.Hence, technology, demographics, consumer attitudes, and the advent of a global economy are all conspiring to rewrite the rules for success. Success in the next decade will depend upon the level of understanding retailers have about the new values, expectations, and needs of the customer. If Wal-Mart continues its customer-driven culture, it should remain a retail industrleader well into the next century. Ernesto Vega moderate of the Board Eduardo Solorzano President and CEO Xavier del Rio Executive Vice Present, Real soil Rafael Mature Executive Vice President and Chief Financial policeman Jose Angel Gallegos Executive Vice Present, Human Resources

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Always Lovely

I keep coming back to Sandy Lane because it never fails to please and my grown up daughter ADORES it. The staff are wonderful and their care and attention goes beyond the norm to make you feel truly welcome and “at home”, which is the Sandy Lane mantra. The food at the main restaurant is American style but there are also evenings devoted to West Indian and Oriental cuisines. A more exclusive restaurant upstairs caters to gourmet dining, with a largely French menu. The beach is small and pretty with its salmon pink cushions and umbrellas, there’s a wonderful pool and restaurant open for lunch. The spa has a wide choice of treatments from sugar rub exfoliations, lots of different aromatherapy and sports massages, facials and beauty treatments. The rooms and balconies (ours looking out to the ocean) are reliably comfortable and furnished with traditional fittings and fixtures to add to the sense of homeliness with a touch of luxury.

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Playboy Beer Garden Pune

Close additional navigation Playboy Beer Garden Pune Playboy Beer Garden Pune is an outdoor and indoor drinking establishment inspired conceptually by the time-worn German institution. With a laid-back, communal feel, the contemporary hybrid space brings together patrons to enjoy delicious beer and eats. Details 26/27, Balewadi High Street, Balewadi-Baner Link Road Pune, Maharashtra, India www.playboyclub.co.in Located in Balewadi High Street, a premier lifestyle and entertainment area, the Garden is 8,000 square feet of extensive outdoor spaces luxurious indoor spaces, designed for large-group gatherings to enjoy food and beverages with live music and events. The Beer Garden offers tables and communal seating that can accommodate more than 400 guests and a private space for 50 to 250 guests. The Garden serves food from around the world with modern European flairs, Asian flavors, gourmet pizzas, a fresh take on Indian cuisine and its signature Hef Burger and Playboy Burger. All Venues

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Book a table at the italian restaurant. Order pizza La piazza, you will not get disappointed.

Rooms are comfortable. Choice of japonese, italian,western and Indian cuisine. Both cool and hot jacuzzis plus sauna and well equipped gym. Swimming pool is open air and heated water in winter. Good location. Food is a strong point on this hotel.

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The Best of Food and Music This Month in Dubai

The Best of Food and Music This Month in Dubai The Best of Food and Music This Month in Dubai 11:16 Facebook Twitter Google+ Linkedin Pinterest Delicious Stumbleupon Digg Reddit Explore these top spots for world-class dishes and tunes (Shutterstock) Whether you’re looking for food with side of fun or fun with a side of food, Dubai has something on offer for any and every kind of evening. Kudos to those taking Dubai Food Festival (DFF) as an excuse to munch their way through the city’s world-class culinary landscape, but if you’re someone who likes to add live music to the blend, here’s a list of restaurants where you can find good food and great tunes this DFF. It’s no surprise that Nola is at the top of our list. Designed in the image of New Orleans, this restaurant celebrates the city’s legacy as a hub for extraordinary cuisine, music and culture. Nola’s contemporary bohemian vibes are a welcoming respite for all tastes and sensibilities, as is its mouthwatering menu featuring traditional fare from Louisiana. Pair that with its weekend jazz nights, and you have an inimitable dinner and dance scene. Where : Nola, Armada BlueBay Hotel, Jumeirah Lake Towers Hotel Cartagena is JW Marriott Marquis’ vivacious Latin American eatery. Grand and glamorous, this spot’s tropics-inspired interiors are matched only by its panoramic views of the city skyline. There’s zest in everything – from an explorative menu that puts a modern spin on traditional Latin American dishes to vibrant, on-theme entertainment complete with live drummers and dancers in elaborate costumes. Where : Hotel Cartagena, JW Marriott Marquis, Sheikh Zayed Road Italian food meet jazz moods at Downtown Dubai’s GIA . Here, Italian culinary traditions take inspiration from the country’s central Lazio region for a modernised flavour palette. The ingredients are fresh and the sights are breathtaking (GIA boasts unobstructed views of the Dubai Fountain ), but it’s the smooth, live jazz music that tops off the symphonic dining experience. Where : GIA, Ground Floor, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai Dubai’s extensive culinary offerings can take your tastebuds far from home, but if you’re in search of some local flavour, Treej Café is the place to be. This La Mer-based restaurant marries authentic Emirati recipes with modern cooking techniques for a dining experience that satisfies all generations. In the spirit of the Dubai Food Festival, this eatery is adding artists, poets and storytellers to bring to life the nation’s traditions and history throughout the evening on 9 March. Where : Treej Café, La Mer At PizzaExpress Live, if laid-back is what you want, laid-back is what you get. The international pizza chain has jazzed up two of its venues and menus in Dubai with a side of live music that makes for a fabulous night out. The region’s talented jazz artists and soul singers grace the stage every evening, enhancing the restaurant’s signature fresh pizzas, dough balls and pasta. Fill up on good vibes, good food and good company without spending a fortune . Where : PizzaExpress Live, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai, Business Bay & Jazz@PizzaExpress, Cluster A, Jumeirah Lake Towers It’s not only Gharana’s rich aromas and spices that evoke memories of North India but its in-house five-piece band as well. The award-winning restaurant’s authentic flavours are enhanced with a live band that plays a diverse repertoire of tunes, from Rahat’s gut-wrenching ghazals to canonised classics by Mukesh. While Gharana’s scene may be nostalgia-inducing for guests from the subcontinent, it’s also a genuinely immersive experience for anyone looking for an authentic taste of Indian culture . Where : Gharana, Holiday Inn Dubai, Al Barsha Download the Dubai Calendar app : Copyright © 2019. Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Rate Article:

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Najaf: Iraq’s holy city suffers as Iranian tourist number drops

Home / World Localities / Najaf: Iraq’s holy city suffers as Iranian tourist number drops Najaf: Iraq’s holy city suffers as Iranian tourist number drops World Localities
In the courtyard of Imam Ali’s shrine, a pair of red-haired Lebanese toddlers delight in rolling around on the Persian rugs that carpet the floor.
Their father, a cleric from south Lebanon, calmly watches over them. A few paces away, shrine staff vacuum the already spotless carpets.
The luxurious rugs, in cream and yellow swirls, are from the Iranian city of Isfahan. They are not the only signs of the Islamic Republic in Najaf, a city that sprawls across the dust of southern Iraq.
Signs at the shrine cafeteria, which serves thousands of free meals to pilgrims every day, are in Farsi, as well as Arabic and English.
Traditionally, some 85 per cent of foreign visitors to Najaf have been Iranian . Its largely Shiite population is drawn by the shrine of Imam Ali, who they believe was appointed by God to lead all Muslims after the death of the Prophet Mohammed, his cousin and son-in-law.
Others – like the cleric and his children – are from Lebanon, as well as Bahrain, India and Pakistan.
But the city has been hit by Iran’s economic woes, which have worsened since the reimposition of US sanctions on Tehran last year.
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Hassan Rouhani to make first official trip to Iraq, Iran says
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Last month Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation said the number of people travelling abroad fell by 30 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, to 5.9 million. Najafis employed in the city’s religious tourism trade are feeling the effects of Iranians’ tightened purse strings.
Salim Al Fadul owns the Alnahrain hotel, a 10-minute walk from Imam Ali’s shrine. “Compared with last year, the difference is obvious,” he said in reference to the drop in tourists . “There are fewer people, and those who do come are spending less. My brother had two hotels too, but he has closed one of them.”
Mr Al Fadul is among businessmen calling on authorities to make it easier for visitors of all stripes to visit Iraq, including Najaf, to compensate for Iranian cutbacks. “There are long queues at the airport – if I was a foreigner I would be repulsed and not come. There ne to be training for people to learn how to deal with tourists – for taxi drivers, for example, so they don’t rip visitors off.”
Saeb Abu Ghanem, director of Najaf’s hotelier association, said 200 of the city’s hotels and restaurants had closed since the end of 2014, particularly those serving Iranian cuisine. He urged Iraqi authorities to remove visa charges and make entry documents easier to obtain for foreign travellers. With some exceptions around peak pilgrimage periods, Iranian tourists pay a $40 visa fee.
The thick Persian carpets covering the courtyard are vacuumed every few hours to keep them pristine. Leila Molana-Allen for The National
“Other countries have e-visa schemes – everyone is doing this now,” he said from his wood-panelled office. “Terrorists don’t come in through the airport.”
He opposed Iraqis offering free accommodation and transport during Arbaeen, the annual pilgrimage marking the death of Imam Hussein, also a revered figure for Shiites.
Though it is customary for locals to host pilgrims during the event, Abu Ghanem feared Iranian visitors would soon only flock to Najaf at Arbaeen to minimise their costs.
“In Arbaeen everything is free and it destroys the economy” he said. “There is free food and drink, and it’s competition for the private sector”. The Iranian rial has lost value against the Iraqi dinar and in 2018 fell to a record low on unofficial markets against the US dollar, to 138,000 rials to the dollar.
The World Bank expects Iran’s economy to go into recession until 2020, and experience stagflation, characterised by rising prices, low growth, and high unemployment.
It is worth the trip. This is a holy place for us. Mohammad Hharanli
Mohammad Hharanli, a fire station manager from the Iranian city of Qom, estimates a five-fold increase in prices since his last visit three years ago. “But it is worth the trip,” he said. “This is a holy place for us.”
His brother Reza Arysha flew from Australia to join his family in Najaf, paying more than $1,000 for flights. “I could spend so much less than this price in any country like Thailand – I’d just need $500 for that. But I prefer coming here,” he said.
Shrine authorities deny there is a problem with fewer pilgrims spending less time and money in Najaf. “We are not a tour company,” said Faeq Al Shammary, head of the shrine management council, when asked how the city might attract other tourists . Najaf municipality was unable to provide visitor numbers.
But locals say it’s not all down to the drop in Iranian tourists and stringent US sanctions. Some believe that government negligence and Iraq’s economic woes are also damaging the city.
Last summer protests over corruption, paltry job opportunities and poor services in southern Iraq spread to Najaf, where demonstrators stormed the airport and attacked politicians’ offices.
Although ISIS did not reach the country’s south, Iraq’s costly campaigns against the militant group have exacerbated long-standing economic woes. Former Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi estimated the cost at $100 billion, while Iraqi officials have said $88 billion will be needed to rebuild destroyed homes and infrastructure.
Hussein’s tea stall is the last stop before pilgrims enter the shrine. His decorative porcelain teapots are imported from Iran and he makes sure to keep them piping hot for the chattering customers who flock to his hearth needing a boost of energy. Leila Molana-Allen for The National
Salim Al Fadul from the Alnahrain hotel bemoaned general neglect in the city. “Look at the streets here – it is dirty. No one cares. People have suffered a lot and that’s one part of the explanation, but there is a culture of not promoting hard work or honesty, either.”
All the same, opportunities to target pilgrims from countries other than Iran may increase, as Iraq’s security situation stabilises.
On streets spiralling outwards from the shrine, vats of hot tea provide relief from Najaf’s dry, chilly desert air.
A green scarf draped around his shoulders, money changer Mounir Diaa watches over his counter, lined with Iranian banknotes.
“Our interest is not just religious pilgrims from Iran but people from the Gulf, and other neighbouring countries”, he says, waving piles of orange Indian and Pakistani bills.
Mohamed Raza Jaffer, owner of UK-based pilgrimage operator Alavi Tours, says he has seen a 30 per cent rise in bookings in the past 12 months, and now serves around 220 clients a year.
“Demand for trips to Iraq is increasing as ISIS and other terrorist groups are not there anymore,” he told The National. “A few ask about [security] but they don’t cancel the trip as they are mentally prepared to go, since there is no war.”
Najaf’s religious tourism trade is being buffeted by geopolitics. But those who do make it here, from Lebanese toddlers to Mr Jaffer’s clients, will be among the pilgrims who gather calmly in the shrine courtyard, beneath its embellished clock tower and atop its Isfahani rugs.
According to Reza Arysha, the pilgrim who travelled from Australia, Najaf is “a piece of paradise.” Updated: February 21, 2019 09:27 AM Google News: Tourism India site-thenational.ae

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R&K Insider: Singapore’s food obsession, pizza in Marseille, & love hotels in Japan

This week on R&K, a history of Singapore in 10 dishes, what to know before you go to Marseille, and six hours in a Japanese love hotel.
Happy Thursday. Hope you’re hungry. And going to Singapore. Or Marseille.
“Singaporeans are obsessed with food,” writes Wee Ling Soh. “Perhaps because most of us are the descendents of immigrants thrust into an artificial construct of a nation, one of the few tangible things that connects us to the past and our cultural identity is food.” In our latest Edible History piece, Soh traces the history of the island city-state in 10 dishes , from spicy Portuguese-Eurasian offal stew to kaya toast to mala xiang guo , a fiery, mouth-numbing stir-fry from southwestern China. Fights over spice markets, colonialism, centuries of immigration, war, and even the advent of cineplexes have shaped Singapore’s rich food culture, which fuses Malay, Chinese, Peranakan, Indian, Eurasian, and Western cuisine. (Don’t worry; we tell you where to try it all.)
Also this week, we have Alexis Steinman ’s primer on Marseille, capital of Provence and France’s second-largest city. This diverse Mediterranean port city became a haven for Corsican, Italian, Armenian, Maghreb, and many more communities — and is now luring visitors seeking a lesser-traveled South of France. What to know before you go to Marseille explains why you should spend your lunch money on moit-moit — half-half — pizza over the hyped fish stew, bouillabaisse , explore the quartiers outside of the Vieux Port, the correct way to order a pastis , and where to soak up the Mediterranean sunsets with a bottle of ros é and charcuterie. “ Marseille isn’t made up of monumental sights, but simple things: outdoor terraces, street art, makeshift apéro at one of its many tiny ports with your feet dangling in the water.”
R&K’s Tafi Mukunyadzi speaks with photographer Tiffany L. Clark about her project A Release: Stories of Self Injuries . Clark’s photo series challenges perceptions about self-harm by capturing the daily lives of women who struggle with it. “I had friends in college who self-harmed and I saw on TV the stereotypes—like it’s attention-seeking—that people always assumed about the people who self-harm. That’s not what it’s about, and I wanted to talk about it in some other way.”
And yes, we know last week was Valentine’s week, but Japanese love hotels are always in season — so we prolonged the magic with our latest The Trip podcast episode. Nathan Thornburgh and journalist Toko Sekiguchi spend a platonic evening in a Tokyo love hotel, investigating how and why the Japanese nailed the concept of a hotel for having sex. (Their room came with heart-shaped ashtrays, very specific mood lighting, and a porn library.) Read a condensed version of Nathan and Toko’s conversation from this week’s episode of The Trip: Drinking around the World with Exceptional People . Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts , or Spotify , or Radio Public , or Stitcher .
Enjoy, and consider booking a love hotel for your next karaoke night.
— Alexa

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For All You Night Owls, Here Are 7 Amaze Restaurants in Delhi-NCR Which Are Open 24×7

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Are you someone who starts feeling hungry the moment clock hits 12 AM? We feel you guys, and let’s break it to you that you have a serious case of midnight hunger pangs! We know, we know, fixing up a bowl of Maggi or cheesy Nachos is easily doable in your kitchen, right? But you know what, stepping out with your gang is even better! We know Comesum has got to be probably the one which started this trend. But you’ve got to check out these 7 amaze places too which are opened 24×7 to satisfy all your midnight hunger needs. Delhi Pavilion (Image Source: ITC Hotel) If you are craving for some authentic North Indian cuisine , then you must head to Delhi Pavillon located in Sheraton, Saket. With some amaze variety to choose from you can enjoy your food here in luxe ambience. Even though it’s a bit heavy on pocket, but the food and experience is worth every penny!
Must Haves: Chicken Croquettes and Vegetable Biryani
Where: Sheraton New Delhi Hotel, District Centre, Saket
2. Anticlock (Image Source: Facebook)
South Delhi has opened its arms to this cute outdoor cafe , AntiClock at Park Inn by Radisson. The place is all decked up with fairy lights and wooden seating and has an open kitchen . The cafe is opened till 4 am in the morning and serves North Indian, South Indian and Bihari cuisine. BONUS: The moment you enter this place, you are welcomed with a complimentary Jhal Muri !
Must Haves: Dal Makhani, Dahi Mirchi Kebab, and Tuti Fruity Sundae
Where: Lajpat Nagar 4, near Moolchand metro station
3. Horn Please Resto Cafe 24/7 (Image Source: Foodglued)
With a funky, colourful ambience, the scrumptious food here comes with budget-friendly prices. Their signature midnight meals for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians will definitely leave you wanting more! They also have some amaze sheesha flavours like Kiwi, Mint, Paan and Herbal hookah. Sweet, right!
Must Haves: Chicken Malai Tikka, Chicken Roll and Chilly Garlic Noodles
Where: Hotel Royal Castle Grand, Chittaranjan Park
4. Thok — The House of Kakori (Image Source: Zomato)
Are you a true blue fan of soya chaap ? Then, Thok is a place for you as it serves delicious tandoori chaap . And if you are a non-vegetarian, the place is a paradise for you! Don’t forget to binge on the Malabari Ulta Tawa Parantha as the place is quite famous for it.
Must Haves: Afghani Momos, Tandoori Chaap and Butter Chicken with mix naan
Where: East of Kailash, Noida, Malviya Nagar
5. Lockup (Image Source: Zomato)
We know, we know, a jail-themed restaurant sounds weird. But once you enter this place, its quirky decor and scrumptious food will definitely win you over. With prison bars all around, servers in a jail uniform and Bollywood music in the background, you will sure have the experience of a lifetime eating here! The menu has Indian and Chinese cuisine but the most recommended is their non-veg platter and Hathkadi combo.
Must Haves: Seekh Kebab and Tangari
Where : Sector 22, Gurgaon
6. Cafe 24 (Image Source: Just Dial)
It is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely meal, to whisk away from all the madness and crowded places of Delhi. Trust us! With cosy ambience, cutesy paintings all around, and an open kitchen, you’ll definitely fall in love with this place.
Must Haves : Red Sauce Pasta and Biryani
Where: Hotel City Park, KP Block, Pitampura
7. Mid Knight Chef (Image Source: Facebook)
All the Gurugram party hoppers, head to Mid Knight Cafe once you are done with all the crazy partying to fill up your bellies. Also, if you are an indecisive eater like us, you’d surely like this place since they have a huge variety when it comes to cuisines.
Must Have: Chicken roast curry box, Chicken chili garlic noodle and Paneer Butter Masala
Where: N.H 8, Exit 9, Near Jharsa Chowk, Sector 31, Gurgaon
Featured Image Source: Pinterest

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