The Ultimate Adelaide Food Guide
The Ultimate Adelaide Food Guide
The Ultimate Adelaide Food Guide Hannah Lott-Schwartz Reblog The strict, grid-like layout of Adelaide may suggest that South Australia’s capital is rigid and uniform — but it’s anything but. Marked by a square of greenery, the CBD, or central business district, is compact, which lends itself to competition thus has bred creativity, particularly in the culinary arts. The beauty of Australian food is that it’s taken on international influence with elegance and is almost always (or at least in its best representations) infused with a heap of fun. Even the most voracious and enthusiastic eaters would be hard-pressed to complete an exhaustive survey of Adelaide’s dining options. Here, Travel + Leisure highlights a few standouts — from iconic to experimental, silver service to take-away — to whet your appetite. Jasmin Synonymous with the city itself, Jasmin has made regulars out of everyone from locals to celebrity chefs, and particularly the India national cricket team. It’s simply fine Indian food — as in exceptional, in every way, in every bite — and has been for the last 40 years, since the Singh-Sandhu family originally opened the then-unlicensed restaurant in 1980. Matriarch and chef Anant Singh, now in her late 80s, has no formal training, but learned how to cook from her mother, who emphasized freshness. To this day, the restaurant starts the intensive process of making curries from scratch and hand grinds spices every morning, though Mrs. Singh, as she’s affectionately called, doesn’t work the kitchen full-time anymore (she still stops in to show the chefs new recipes). At Jasmin’s helm, Mrs. Singh has fed Elton John and Marco Pierre White (to positively enthusiastic reviews), but since 1996, she’s also been feeding the homeless every Thursday, an act that last year earned her recognition as the first Punjabi person to be named in the Australia Day Honours list. Bistro Blackwood Lewis Potter/Courtesy of Bistro Blackwood More The second child of internationally renowned chef Jock Zonfrillo — just a staircase away from his Restaurant of the Year winner Orana — Bistro Blackwood recently underwent a refresh, doing away with communal tables in the soft, cozy space and vamping up the menu. Zonfrillo can be seen dashing up and down the stairs and even out the door to his latest venture, Mallozzi , an Italian spot with salumi bar that opened late last year on the same block. What he most celebrated for, however, is his bush tucker. The Scottish-born chef masterfully incorporates indigenous ingredients, used for centuries by Aboriginals but overlooked by and large in contemporary Australian cuisine until recently, into elevated but simple bistro-style (at Blackwood) and upscale (at Orana ) dishes that change regularly, according to what his purveyors have in supply. Africola More Story continues Tastefully loud, bright, and downright electric, Africola serves up food that matches the atmosphere. Johannesburg-born, North African–inspired Duncan Welgemoed presents a menu of charred and smoked meats and seafood, tangy pickles, and vegetables that will ruin you for all future plant-based dishes. The menu changes regularly, but if you spot them, do not leave without trying the wood-oven cauliflower, crispy chicken skin with hot dripping “tea sandwich,” and outlandishly satisfying tahini ice cream. Africola is closed Sunday and Monday, so plan accordingly if you’ve got limited time in the city. Jamface From left: Boaz Rottem/Alamy; Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images More Like most cities fortunate enough to have one, the Central Market is an institution in Adelaide, and this year marks its 150th anniversary of serving fresh produce and gourmet goods to the city. While it’s worth embarking on a self-led food tour within these walls alone, if you’re limited on time, don’t miss Jamface from former MasterChef contestant and Poh & Co host Poh Ling Yeow. She started the cafe — which features a menu made entirely in-house and from scratch, from the pastries and breads to the Australian food with a French twist — with her friend Sarah Rich as a pop-up before landing a coveted spot at the established market in 2015. Ling Yeow, who balks at the photograph it first, eat it second food trend, deliberately eschews schtick by adopting a self-proclaimed homely style of plating, putting food back where it belongs: in your mouth. Make reservations for the Friday night Crunch Club, which has become a favorite for the set menu complemented by local beer and wine. It’s a solid weekly send off, given that the cafe is closed Sunday and Monday. Kutchi Deli Parwana Simply stepping foot in Kutchi Deli Parwana sparks joy: bright blue walls with intricate painted details, a window-facing countertop, and comforting smells of curry, warm spices, and lamb kofta that tickle even the fullest of stomachs. The original Parwana Afghan Restaurant (both a New York Times –reviewed and community-loved eatery) in Torrensville was opened a decade ago by a family of Afghani refugees who came to Australia in the 1908s, and it’s the daughters who run this city offshoot, prime for quick eats and takeaway in the center of Adelaide. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay awhile should you score one of the coveted window seats — order the housemade chai and let the warmth hit you from all angles. Sparkke Brewpub There’s a certain derisive flavor to Aussie humor, complemented by general bluntness in approaching the everyday, both of which are front and center on the very cans themselves at Sparkke Brewpub . A mashup between a brewery, restaurant (with a rooftop bar), and social enterprise, Sparkke raises money through their beer and cider for causes like gender and sex equality, immigration, the climate crisis, and more. It’s an entirely female driven establishment, and opened appropriately enough on March 8, International Women’s Day, this year. Chef Emma McCaskill — a fine-dining alumna of The Pot/Nido, Botanic Gardens Restaurant, and Michelin-starred restaurants abroad — was recruited to run the kitchen, which she’s spicing up with her Indian background and a commitment to minimal waste, working directly with suppliers on plans for surplus produce. Burger Theory From left: Aubrey Jonsson/Courtesy of Sparkke; Courtesy of Sparkke More What started as the first food truck in Adelaide was spurred into a brick and mortar by the strength of demand alone. Burger Theory ’s simple menu is an homage to the classic American burger (down to the bright orange American cheese) but with a twist: do it sustainably. The “theory” element of the brand refers to co-founders Dan Mendelson’s and Rob Dean’s belief that you don’t have to sacrifice the environment for a quality, low-cost burger. As a result, when they opened the brick-and-mortar in central Adelaide, they dropped chicken and pork products (i.e., bacon) from the menu and changed their burger recipe to feature a blend of kangaroo meat and beef. (There’s also a falafel burgers to satiate hungry vegetarians.) The Burger Theory website goes into great depth on the matter, but essentially, wild kangaroo meat, though less familiar and seemingly exotic, is more humane and sustainable than sourcing entirely from cattle. Plus, it tastes better than all-beef patties. Don’t believe them? Try a ’roo burger and get back to us. Botanic Gardens Restaurant John Kruger/Courtesy of Botanic Gardens Restaurant More Housed in an historic rotunda with full-length windows, the Botanic Gardens Restaurant celebrates the best of South Australia’s local produce by using what’s right in front of it: 120 acres of idyllic gardens, ripe with herbs, vegetables, and one of the finest collections of Australian flora in the country, all right in the center of the city at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. In 2017, chef Paul Baker earned both Chef and Restaurant of the Year awards for the unique restaurant, which is open for lunch weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends. The set price menu has three- or four-course or degustation options, plus a wine pairing or botanical-inspired cocktails to round out the meal.
Seychelles honours a Mauritian musician for his promotion of Seychellois musicians
Seychelles Buzz Seychelles honours a Mauritian musician for his promotion of Seychellois musicians 29, 2019, Wednesday @ 18:44 Patsy Athanase 509
Daniel Delord (right) with Jean-Marc Volcy in the press conference last week. (Louis Toussaint) Seychelles is honouring Mauritian artist Daniel Delord for his contribution towards the promotion of Seychellois musicians and performers.
Delord has been in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands since last week at the invitation of Jean-Marc Volcy and Joseph Sinon.
At a press conference at the National Arts Council building in Victoria last Thursday, Volcy said Seychellois artists wanted to thank Delord for his support and assistance.
“Artists like Patrick Victor, Joennise Juliette, El Manager, Jose Charles, Gerard Barbe and Joseph Sinon, who have worked with Delord for many years and who are part of the association, wanted to show our appreciation for what he has done for the advancement of our music. We thought that a great way to show our appreciation was through this exchange programme, where we can enjoy good music and local food,” Volcy said.
Delord is the chairman of ‘ Amical Moris Sesel ’ Association set up 32 years ago to support and promote cultural exchanges between the two regional islands of the Indian Ocean.
The association has since then worked with a large number of Seychellois artists, to promote their work, such as the sale of CDS and media interviews, as well as assist with live performances for the Mauritian public.
On Friday, Delord will be the guest of honour at a special cultural exchange activity at the Vye Marmit Restaurant, dubbed ‘Sware Lanmitye’, hosted by artists whom Delord has assisted and worked with in the past.
Delord is accompanied on this trip by his two sons, who are also musicians – Thierry and Vincent – and stepdaughter, renowned Sega singer, Wendy Duval.
The artist’s last visit to Seychelles was seven years ago.
The artist who is also recovering from a stroke two years ago said he is thrilled to be among his “dalon” (Creole word for friend) from Seychelles.
“For my children and I, music is our work. We have worked on many projects with Seychellois artists and I want this collaboration to continue. They are the ones who are helping with ‘ Amical Moris Sesel ’ to ensure it lives on,” he said.
Delord also called on younger artists to come forward and join the association so that they can also benefit.
“We can plan every detail of your stay, from your interviews with local media to your performances, to ensure you have a good time when you come to Mauritius and that you can find an outlet for your work,” he added.
This was echoed by Volcy who said he wanted to see more collaborations between artists from the two islands.
“We need to get more young people involved. We need people who can understand the importance of this association and how it helps bring our two cultures closer. So artists who are travelling to Mauritius to promote their work can come through us so that we can help them get more visibility when they get there,” he said.
Delord is also a businessman and owner of ‘Privilez’ Nightclub where Seychellois artists can perform and Coco Des Iles restaurant, which serves only Seychelles cuisine. His signature dishes include octopus curry and grilled fish.
For Friday’s cultural exchange evening, Delord will be performing songs such as ‘Celia’ – a collaboration with Seychellois singer Joenise Juliette — and ‘Napa Laraz’ a song released 25 years ago in collaboration with David Philoe.
Other artists who will take the stage are Antoinette Dodin, Joseph Sinon and Patrick Victor among others.
“We want everyone who has benefitted through ‘ Amical Moris Sesel ’ Association to come forward, share the memories and spend this evening with us over good food and music. And most of all let’s thank him for his devotion and for being a true ambassador for Seychelles,” said Volcy.
Check out Matter Fastfood in Bristol. They strike a good balance between vegan “fish” and chips, and Chinese takeaway (I think it was a regular Chinese takeaway before they moved in).
They have a constantly evolving menu experimenting with new ways to emulate junkfood favourites, including two types of vegan deepfried “fish” showcasing different textures (tofu layered with seaweed, and banana-flower), and a crispy chilli “tobeef” to die for. But most importantly, they focus on basics. Their chips are always perfect, and the tobeef has the best sticky hot and sour sauce I’ve ever eaten.
I always spend more than I meant to, because there’s always something new to catch my eye. I’m sure it’s a huge undertaking to do that kind of business right, but if you succeed you can build a loyal following. They make life extra hard for themselves by committing to organic ingredients, which pushes prices up, but the quality makes you feel it’s worth splashing out.
Your strategy needs to depend on what area you’re setting up in. Can your locals afford to pay extra for organic food and sustainable practices? If they’re interested in vegan food in the first place then they probably appreciate these things, but it’s down to you to see if you can deliver that on their take-away budget. I’d implement low-hanging fruit first; do your homework and list every way you can be more sustainable without bumping up the costs.
Another take-away near me are a traditional “Chinese and chips” place, who’ve committed to providing a vegan version of anything on their menu. Just ask on the phone and they’ll figure out a way to do it. The quality’s not a scratch on Matter, but it’s a very different business, serving a very different demographic, and it just shows how everyone can accommodate plant-based diets with a little bit of thought and planning.
Aside from that, as others have said, Indian take-aways almost all offer something vegan, so don’t go down that route unless your recipes are really special. We also have two or three vegan-friendly Caribbean places in Bristol, and I’m not sure any of them have really captured how addictively full-flavoured their cuisine can be. Certainly as a lover of curry goat and mutton, I’ve yet to see a half-way good vegan equivalent, which makes me sad. : ( If you can produce vegan Jamaican food that makes your mouth water, then you may be onto a winner.
Looking for Democracy, the antidote for extremism
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The poor turnout in last week’s European Parliamentary elections showcases the lack of interest in politics and its growing distance from the people
The turnout in last week’s European Parliamentary elections was hailed by the media as being the highest in twenty years, being fractionally over fifty per cent of the electorate, as a whole. However in some countries the turnout was thirty per cent, reflecting a general trend of distancing between people and politics across the globe, in local, legislative and presidential elections.
The extremists will always turn out
In general, those with more extreme views will be more likely to turn out to vote than those with centrist views. This means that it is easier for a firebrand populist to garner votes than a level-headed someone with experience and responsibility but who has problems communicating the complexity of the issues with the electorate.
This means that the one who stands up and declares “Let’s close all the hospitals and eradicate disease, forever!” or promises “Zero taxes so you have more money in your pocket, let THEM pay for it!” or even “Get rid of the foreigners, empty our prisons and get jobs back!” will receive some very loud cheers and “yays”.
In the UK, the Brexit campaign was staged to a backdrop of racism and lies, such as “350 million pounds a week for the National Health Service” (perhaps those promising this should be forced to pay it from their own pockets), slurs against “Islamization” and “Pakis” (Pakistanis, a racist heading encompassing Somalis, Eritreans, Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Indians, basically anyone wanting to emigrate to the UK, none of them being EU citizens) and idealistic nonsense about “taking our country back”, whatever that means.
The tangible consequences of populism and absenteeism
Such arguments have consequences, and looking at the result of the 2019 European Parliamentary election, we see the following:
Right-Wing Nationalists (ENF) up from 37 members to 58
Populists (EFD) from 31 to 54
New or Unaffiliated MEPs up from zero to 29
True, the Greens rose from 52 to 69 seats and the center grew (unfortunately at the expense of the Left in general and also at the expense of the Conservatives to the right of center), however the Alt Right, Populists and Unaffiliated received 141 of the 751 seats. In other words, nearly 20 per cent. Hitler’s Nazi Party peaked at just 37 per cent of the vote, yet he was swept to power on a populist ticket of Make Germany Great Again, Freedom, and Law and Order.
When people have nothing, or when they are dissatisfied with what they have, they will turn to the one who says “I understand you, I am one of you, let us make THEM change and I will deliver what you want”. This is a blanket remedy for the jobless, homeless, hopeless, poor and anyone bored with the Establishment who wants to see something different, even those who want to see a political real-life version of the Simpsons in Congress or Parliament for entertainment.
While it is also true that people these days have bread on the table, clothes, universal schooling, universal healthcare and in general are not dying in thousands on the streets, the fact remains that the populist vote is increasing and with populism, comes extremism, and with extremism, comes imbalance, going against the grain of centuries of socio-economic and societal development.
Democracy requires education
The antidote to this is democracy. Real democracy, not the insult we see today in which most people have not a clue what they are voting for, what the policies of the party they are supporting are, what their vote represents in the European Parliament and to which Euro-groups their parties belong. They vote for “him” or “her”, meaning the image of the Leader of the Party on television and nothing else.
Hence the ridiculous reasons given for voting or not, such as “Oh he does wear some nice ties”, or “(s)he looks honest”, or “I didn’t vote Brexit, it’s Latin, I voted Leave”, or “It’s the fish and chips, isn’t it?” or “It’s them Pakis” or whatever else in whatever country. And hence the Bolsonaros in Brazil and the Trumps in the USA. And Farage in the UK.
This does not mean that all those voting for them are idiots, what it does mean is that if the rest of the population is not careful, one day an idiot is going to be elected, if such has not already happened.
The solution is, again, education. If all schools adopted a program in which civil responsibilities and issues were taught, then people would have a clear idea when they reached voting age about what the political groups represented, how politics works at local, national and international levels, the benefits of each voting system and so on. If they understood the issues they would be more likely to vote and for sure the extremists would not disappear but would become fringe groups raising issues for the center to take up. This is called political maturity and a sustainable model of governance.
We are never going to get there if people do not get up and vote, either through educational programs or else because they are forced to by law, as in the case in Brazil.
Food for thought.
Photo: Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.
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Children’s Day Weekend Fun: Cooking Classes, Outdoor Play, and More
Things to Do
The weekend is approaching, and it seems every parent is already on overdrive putting together a plan that will ensure the kids have unforgettable Children’s Day moments. In addition to some great family events and creative things to do this weekend, here are more events happening that you don’t want to miss in your Children’s Day weekend plans. Food Events
Ice Cream Festival, Jun 1 All ages. If you want to celebrate Children’s Day with yummy ice cream, cakes, and a lot of joyful activities, join the Ice Cream Festival this Saturday. RMB 268 for each family (2 adults and 1 child), children under 4 are free, additional children at RMB 60. 2-10pm. Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing (6841 2211)
Dragon Boat Festival Fragrant Pouch and Zongzi Making Workshop, Jun 2 All ages. Learn how to make your own traditional Chinese-style sticky rice dumpling (粽子， Z ò ngzi ) and fragrant pouch this Children’s Day. Celebrate culture and traditions with fun! Free of charge. 9.30-11.30am. F2 Library of United Family New Hope Oncology Center. #9-11 Jiangtai Xi Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Sarika Cooking Classes, Jun 1 Food is an essential part of a culture. So to experience and understand a bit better different cultures without having to travel far, why not learn its cuisine. Here they offer authentic Indian cooking classes with wide range of recipes , vegetarian, non vegetarians, sweets, and Indo-Chinese. RMB 300 (early bird tickets), RMB 350 (on door). 10-12am. Shuangjing (More info please contact Sarikadhami). Outdoor Play and Fun Beijing Sino 10’s Rugby Tournament , Jun 1 All ages. Rugby teams from all over China are attending this event and will be competing for different prizes. The event is a family-oriented day, with plenty of rugby to watch and a DJ sponsored by Aurora playing throughout to get people psyched about the festivities. Expect plenty of food and beverage vendors, including Bistro 108, Ping Dynasty, Aurora, and beer sponsored by Paddy O’Sheas. For easy transport, there will be a spectator’s bus leaving Paddy O’Sheas at 10am to bring people to the pitch. 9am-5pm. Dulwich College Beijing, Main Campus, Legend Garden. Men ‘s club contact Wolff 186 1202 0481, women’s clubs contact Alicia 135 8183 0512)
Children’s Day Scrimmage at Lacrosse Academy, Jun 1 If you get tired of indoor activities to celebrate Children’s Day, you might want to check out the scrimmage at Lacrosse Academy this Saturday to enjoy the family fun. Experienced kids preferred. Inexperienced kids can still come and watch, as there will be the Capital Cup which is a 14 team tournament with 4 youth teams. Free. 5-7pm. Chaoyang Park Field 2.
Back to Childhood Play, Jun 1 All ages. At this event, the host will prepare food and drinks that people used to eat when they were kids, while sharing childhood stories. There will also be the “the blind man” game, which you will find out about on site that day. RMB 20. 3-5pm.Chaoyang Park. (Wechat: 187 0120 0107) Charity and Literature Events
Bring More Love to the People at Cravings Restaurant, Jun 1 All ages. This Saturday, Cravings Restaurant and Kids Planet Hutong (KPH) will host a special event to celebrate Children’s Day. They will be raising money for the father of a KPH teacher, He Pingsun (何平孙), who is currently hospitalized and will be undergoing surgery. All profits from the sales, as well as that made by Cravings on June 1, will be going to the family to help cover their costs. For more details click here . 11am-2pm. Cravings Restaurant, 50 meters west of the South Gate of Park Avenue, Chaoyang District, Beijing (186 1406 0601).
Safari Time Songs at The Bookworm, May 31-Jun 1 Age 3-18 months. Young ones love singing and rhymes! It stimulates their brains and development, and it’s also great fun for mamas, papas and other caregivers to see them so happy. If you’ve got a 3-18 month-old child, bring them to The Bookworm every Saturday to take them on a fun safari as he/she learns songs and rhymes from around the world, which you can also practice at home. They have “Children’s Day” specials this coming Friday and Saturday. RMB 80 per child. 10.30-11.30am. The Bookworm. (6503 2050, )
Roundabout Book Fair at BSB Sanlitun , Jun 1-2 All ages. Summer is coming! It’s time to get your summer holiday reading ready, so come and buy some books from the Roundabout Book Fair. Also, three adult fiction books, of which there are many, will only set you back RMB 25! Open to public. 10am-3pm. The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun. 5 Xiliujie, Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Exhibitions at Tsinghua University Art Museum
Also, for the upcoming Children’s Day, children up to and including 14 years of age will have free admission for regular tickets. The first 200 children visiting the museum will have one collection postcard for each person that day. Here are some our favorite exhibitions on Children’s Day for you!
The Supports/Surfaces Movement: Within and Around , until Aug 20 All ages.There will be 75 artworks by 15 artists representing the Supports/Surfaces Movement on display in this exhibition. This group exhibition aims to present the artistic movement and great artistic effervescence in France, which emerged in the mid and late 1960s. All ages. Free (kids under 14 years old), RMB 20 (adults). Floor 1, Exhibition Hall 1,2,3, Tsinghua University Art Museum.
National Treasures from Afghanistan at the Cultural Crossroads of East and West , until Jun 23 All ages.The over 230 Afghan treasures displayed in this exhibition were all unearthed prior to the 1979 invasion of the Soviet Union into Afghanistan. They are divided into four units, which are respectively archaeological excavation sites of Tepe Fullol, the ancient city ruins of Ai Khanoum, Tillya Tepe, and the ancient city ruins of Begram. All ages. Free (kids under 14 years old), RMB 20 (adults). Floor 3. Tsinghua University Art Museum.
Painting and Calligraphy , permanent exhibition All ages. More than 90 pieces from selected collections of Chinese painting and calligraphy art since the Ming Dynasty. Through this exhibition, you will get chance to know more about the history and development of Chinese painting and calligraphy. All ages. Free (kids under 14 years old), RMB 20 (adults). Floor 4. Exhibition Hall 10.Tsinghua University Art Museum.
Photos: Courtesy of Chapter (featured image) and event organizers
13 Countries to Visit from Dubai for Your Last-Minute Holiday (Direct Flights & Easy Visa Process)
13 Countries to Visit from Dubai for Your Last-Minute Holiday (Direct Flights & Easy Visa Process) Baku, Azerbaijan
After years of traveling, you’d expect me to be one heck of an organized traveler- you’d assume I’d always plan trips at least months in advance, always have my visas organized, and be a pro at packing quickly. And, I’m not in the least bit embarrassed to say that you’d be wrong on all three counts. And that’s why I need to be aware of countries to visit from Dubai that are easy to get to.
I’m very much a last-minute or at the most a two-weeks-before planner, and so I often choose to go where I can get visas quickly and easily (on arrival and/or as a UAE resident), or to places for which I already have a multiple entry Schengen visa. And I need at least four hours to pack for any kind of trip because packing light means having to strategize- and that takes time.
So, I get it- I really do, when you say you love to travel, but sometimes just can’t be bothered to plan everything months in advance, sort out itineraries and visas and hotels and everything else, especially if it’s not just you, but a spouse, group or family that’s also counting on you. I am a professional travel blogger and I still hate the amount of time it takes to organize trips. Pin it? Pretty please!
No one needs that kind of stress to go on a holiday. And as an Indian passport holder, I know that waiting in anticipation to get your visa in time, is not a pleasant experience at all.
So, if you’re based in Dubai (or the rest of the UAE or elsewhere in the GCC), and the only reason you’ve been putting off a trip is a lack of time and advance planning, I’ve got you covered with this list of countries to visit from Dubai that are great for your next holiday, and that you can get to easily with direct flights and a smooth and easy visa process (especially if you’re a UAE resident, or have a multiple-entry Schengen, UK or US visa) even on a last-minute plan.
Need ideas for the upcoming holiday or long weekend in Dubai or the UAE? Contents Incredible Countries to Visit from Dubai for Your Next Holiday 1. Azerbaijan
Still a largely off-the-beaten-path destination in the Caucasus (especially when you consider all the attention that Georgia gets), Azerbaijan is a country by the Caspian Sea that lies on the ancient Silk Road in Central Asia, a place that since it’s ancient origins has welcomed travelers and cultures from around the world. And it’s one of the lesser-known but still amazing countries to visit from Dubai. Beautiful nature in Yengija Forest, Azerbaijan
Some of the best places to visit on a short trip include Baku, the fire temple-museum of Ateshgah and the rock carvings at the UNESCO Site of Qobustan National Park, Tufandagh Mountain Resort (for snow, views and skiing) and Qabala (to see beautiful nature), and the crafts village of Lahic.
The capital Baku is a modern city also home to an old town, known as Icherisheher that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with sights such as The Maiden Tower, Palace of the Shirvanshahs, mosques, and caravanserais- guesthouses for merchants who arrived by sea.
In contrast to this, you’ll find Gothic, Renaissance and Art Noveau architecture (from the oil boom period) and modern buildings with fluid lines such as The Flame Towers and the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center designed by architect Zaha Haddid.
In Baku, you’ll find great local and international restaurants and cafés, lively squares and promenades, theaters, galleries and museums, bars and nightlife, and shopping in boutiques, markets and malls. Azerbaijani cuisine is delicious and rich, and one of the highlights of any trip to Azerbaijan is tasting the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Azerbaijan also has a rich heritage of arts and crafts, and Azerbaijani carpets are so rich, unique and intricate, you’ll never have seen anything like them.
If you have more time, Azerbaijan has some truly awe-inspiring landscapes that you can see in places such as Qabala, Yengija forest and Nohur Lake, as well as spa hotels for a relaxing getaway surrounded by nature.
Why Go: For cosmopolitan Baku, ski and snow resort in Tufandagh, quaint villages, great hospitality, delicious food, and nature.
When to Go: Azerbaijan is a year-round destination. The best times to go are during spring, summer and fall, so between February/March and October. Winter has its own appeal- you can go skiing in the mountains (such as in Tufandagh) or experience traditional sporting events in Sheki.
How to Get There: If arriving by air, you’ll fly into the capital Baku. There are direct flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Jeddah, Kuwait, New York, London, Milan, Paris, Prague, Tbilisi, Russia, Turkey, and other Post-Soviet countries in Europe.
If you’re going from Dubai, Flydubai flies directly to Baku , as does Azerbaijan Airlines, at the time of writing. Use my favorite flight search site Skyscanner to look for flights to Baku .
Visa for Azerbaijan: E-visas are now available for Azerbaijan. You can check your eligibility and apply here or here .
If you’re a UAE resident, have at least six months left on your UAE resident visa and your passport, and have return tickets booked, then you can get visa on arrival in Azerbaijan (at the time of writing). It’s always best to check current visa rules before you travel .
Where to Stay in Baku: Dinamo Hotel Baku is a luxurious sports-themed hotel with a fantastic restaurant and bar, great breakfast, and stylish rooms in a historic building close to sights of interest and attractions.
To stay in the heart of nature at a spa resort, consider the Qafqaz Thermal Spa and Resort .
You can also search for other options here: 2. Georgia
If you live in Dubai, then you probably know someone- a friend or relative or colleague who has been to Georgia. Georgia sees a lot of tourists from the Middle East and is one of the most popular countries to visit from Dubai, especially during the Eid holidays. All of this attention is rightly deserved. Colorful streets in Abanotubani, Tbilisi Old Town
Georgia’s capital Tbilisi is both charming and eclectic. There’s an old town with hilltop churches, a fortress, winding lanes and backstreets with run-down buildings and old architecture with beautiful colorful balconies. Soviet-style compounds give way to houses and art cafés, women bake bread in basement bakeries, and artists sell their wares in parks.
Flea markets, garden, busy squares, sulphur baths, fascinating architecture, theater, and opera and ballet- these are just some of the things you can experience in Tbilisi. Here’s my ultimate guide to Tbilisi that you’ll find useful if you plan to spend a short break or a few days in the city. Watch My Video of Tbilisi
Georgian cuisine is delicious , hearty and affordable- think Georgian pizza or khachapuri- freshly baked bread topped with cheese, eggs and other toppings, flavorsome khinkali- soup dumplings, succulent kebabs, and lobio, a comforting stew of kidney beans, onions, and herbs.
Further away, are the remarkable mountain landscapes of Svaneti (great for hiking), and Kazbegi and Gudauri (where you can go paragliding and skiing), and mystical cave cities (Vardzia) that still house monks, churches and monasteries. If you like beaches, it’s worth exploring Batumi , and finally, let’s not forget the wine region of Kakheti. Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine, and well, the wine really is something special. You can do a winery tour in Kakheti where you can go wine tasting.
It’s worth mentioning that Georgians are very warm and friendly, and as an Indian, I had a great experience while traveling around Georgia .
Why Go: To relax and explore Tbilisi , go wine tasting in Kakheti, see nature and mountains in Kazbegi, beaches in Batumi , hiking in Svaneti and see many historical sights and monasteries.
When to Go: Spring, summer, fall and winter. Late spring (mid-April and May) and early summer are best to go hiking. Summer (July and August) can be very hot and humid, but it’s still a good time to go to the coastal region of Batumi, or hiking in regions that otherwise are inaccessible due to snow in winter.
September-October or fall is a good time to see the changing colors or the wine harvest season. Visit in winter if you want to go skiing in Gudauri, or don’t mind the cold and want to experience Christmas traditions. Given how close Tbilisi is to Dubai, you can easily visit on a long weekend with little planning. Svan towers in Mestia, Svaneti, Georgia
How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Georgia is to fly to Tbilisi. There are direct flights from Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Moscow, Baku, Munich, Vienna , Amsterdam, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tel-Aviv, Athens, Kiev, Astana, and other Post-Soviet countries.
If you’re going from Dubai, check affordable flights on flydubai and Air Arabia. Look for flights to Georgia from Dubai .
You can also travel to Tbilisi via bus or road from Baku and Yerevan .
Visa for Georgia: Georgia now issues e-visa making it easy for tourists to come to Georgia. Check eligibility and apply here or here . If you aren’t sure, check the visa regime with your country here.
If you’re a UAE resident, then you’re eligible to get a visa on arrival if you have at least six months left on your resident visa and passport and have return tickets booked. But like I always say, these things can change quickly, so best to check visa rules just before you go.
In 2016-17, there were reports of Indians being denied entry into the country even when they had e-visas/visas. I cannot comment on this because with me visiting as an Indian passport holder with a UAE resident visa and Schengen multiple-entry visa, it was a smooth process.
Where to Stay in Tbilisi: From hostels for budget travelers and very affordable apartments to family-run and boutique hotels and fancy luxury hotels, Tbilisi offers plenty of choices for accommodation.
From my experience, I can recommend Falcon Apartments Rustaveli , one of many places I stayed at during my month long visit. You can also look for more options below or read in detail about my advice on where to stay in my Tbilisi guide .
Look for other options here:
You can probably tell that I love the Caucasus, and Armenia is the third country from the region that I highly recommend for an easy last-minute and oh so cheap holiday from Dubai. Armenia is home to dramatic mountain landscapes that seem like they were painted, fantastic hiking trails, medieval monasteries, and the capital Yerevan- an intriguing modern city with plenty of art, culture, museums and sights to keep you busy on a short break. Spring day in Yerevan, Armenia
Considering how close it is to Dubai, I’m surprised that it’s not more popular as one of the top places to visit from Dubai.
For nightlife in Yerevan, expect wine bars, jazz bars, underground bars, and rooftop bars, and a mix of laidback casual bars, places with live music and dancing, as well as nicer, sophisticated bars in fancy hotels.
While in Yerevan, you absolutely should take one evening to watch opera or ballet at the Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. We watched a grand ballet from front row seats at tickets that cost only $10 each!
Yerevan also has good shopping if you’re into brands and such, also local designer boutiques, and you can get a nice chunk of your money back at the airport as shopping above a certain amount is tax-free.
Apart from exploring Yerevan, and really taking it all in slowly while you enjoy the amazing restaurants and local food as well as wine bars (the local wines are great), you can also take day trips to Lake Sevan, Geghard Monastery, Debed Canyon. If you love nature and hiking, don’t think twice before keeping a day or two to visit and explore Dilijan National Park.
The best part? Yerevan isn’t nearly as crowded as Tbilisi, and it feels more modern and European than Tbilisi as well- if you’re after that sort of vibe.
Why Go: To enjoy city life, art and culture, good food and wine, nightlife, and shopping in Yerevan, to take day trips to see nature and monasteries, and to go hiking in Dilijan National Park.
When to Go: Late spring is pleasant and in late April-May, temperatures are between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius with sunny days. Nights can occasionally be chilly (10 to 12 degrees Celsius) with some rainy evenings.
In summer, between June and August you can expect daytime temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius, which is still pleasant, if you’re coming from Dubai. Fall, in September and October is also a good time to visit for mild weather and too see beautiful autumn foliage. Winters in Yerevan can be cold and snowy, but you can still visit if you’re after that kind of weather and a bit of skiing.
How to Get There: You’ll likely fly into Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan if you’re coming by air. There are direct flight connections from Dubai , Sharjah, Athens, Beirut, Berlin, Istanbul, Moscow, Paris, Tbilisi, Vienna and Warsaw, among others. Flydubai offers cheap flights to Yerevan . You can also look for other options here .
There are also bus connections with Tbilisi , Georgia, as well as train connections with Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia.
Visa for Armenia: Many nationalities are exempt from visa to enter Armenia. Check the visa rules for your nationality here . If you need to get a visa, check if you’re eligible for an e-visa or check rules and apply here .
If you’re a UAE resident, and have a return ticket, and six months left on your UAE residency and passport, then you’re eligible to get a visa on arrival in Yerevan. As always, these things can and do change quickly, so check visa requirements just before your trip. But the ease of getting a visa on arrival for UAE residents, without question, was one of the main reasons Ankit and I booked a last-minute trip to Yerevan (we booked just four days before our date of departure).
Where to Stay in Yerevan: In Yerevan, you’ll find hostels, apartments, budget hotels and luxury hotel chains. Look for accommodation options here:
In my opinion, Istanbul is one of the greatest cities in the world-its perfection evident the very moment you lay eyes upon it for the first time with the silhouettes of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque standing proud by the Bosphorus straddling two continents . Being in Turkey cannot be compared to being elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter. Without a doubt, Turkey is one of the best places to visit from Dubai on holiday. Majestic skyline of Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey’s landscapes are unbelievable and a photographer’s dream- you only need to lay eyes on Cappadocia or Pamukkale to know this is true. And history is everywhere; in the old town of Istanbul, the underground cave cities in Cappadocia and the ruins of Ephesus . Turkish food is incredible so be prepared for the extra pounds, as food is a real highlight.
Thanks to Instagram popularity, a hot air balloon over the fairytale landscape of Cappadocia is now on many bucketlists. No matter how much you get to see of the country, you will want to return to Turkey- we have been wanting to go back since we first visited in 2014.
Istanbul is the kind of city where you’re surrounded by historical and cultural treasures, where friendly sellers will offer you a cup of tea when you walk through old market lanes on a warm evening, where you can joins the local to eat simple fish sandwiches seaside, drink beer in bars that spill out on the streets, and dance the night away at one of the city’s fancy nightclubs- all in one day.
There’s also good shopping in Istanbul- clear from the fact that most locals look like they’ve stepped out of the pages of a Zara lookbook, with many Turkish designers selling clothing and shoes in stylish boutiques quietly tucked away in backstreets.
Why Go: For the timeless appeal of Istanbul, to see historic sights and monuments, to see the magical landscapes of Cappadocia and Pamukkale, to see ancient cave cities, and to feast on Turkish cuisine.
When to Go: Spring (March to June) and Autumn (September-October) are the busiest seasons for Turkey because of great weather and long days with little or no rain. Summer (June to September) can be quite hot, but that means you’ll also find less crowds and more reasonable prices.
I visited in winter (December) and while winter (November to February) can be chilly and a bit rainy, that’s the time I fell in love with Turkey. Also, winter sees much fewer crowds and easy availability for hotels, plus lesser crowds in places such as Cappadocia as well.
How to Get There: Turkey offers flight connections to Dubai , Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi, as well as the US, UK, Thailand, Japan, and European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Milan, Vienna, and others through its airports in Ankara, Antalya, Izmir and Istanbul, with Istanbul offering the best connectivity.
Flydubai also offers cheap flights to Istanbul. Look for flights to Turkey :
Turkey also has rail connections with London and some other European cities such as Budapest and Sofia . There are also ferries from Greece and Cyprus.
Visa for Turkey:
Check your visa eligibility and rules for travel to Turkey. If you’re eligible for one, you can apply for an e-visa here .
If you’re going to Turkey from Dubai, you’ll need to apply through VFS, read the visa application requirements and process here .
Where to Stay in Istanbul: In Istanbul, you’ll find hostels, apartments, boutique and family-run hotels as well as major international hotel chains.
Look for accommodation in Istanbul:
5. Sri Lanka
Pristine palm-fringed beaches, whale-watching in the Indian Ocean, fortified cities with colonial architecture, cave temples and lush forests, hiking trails , an ancient Ayurveda heritage, wellness resorts, vibrant festivals , and spotting leopards in the wild on safari , these are just some of the diverse experiences you can have in Sri Lanka . This amazing island nation is one of the coolest places to visit from Dubai especially if you’re looking for a cheap holiday. Pristine beach at Tangalle, Sri Lanka
While the nature is definitely a highlight, one of the things that stands out about the country when you visit is the hospitality and friendliness of Sri Lankans, whether it’s is the cities or in the beach towns. The unique cuisine is another highlight. Expect seasonal dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious seafood preparations and plenty of flavors and spices, as well as street food. Watch my Video of Safari in Sri Lanka
Why Go: To go whale-watching, see wildlife on safari , go birdwatching, visit cave temples, experience festivals , go hiking in national parks, and wander through the charming city of Galle.
When to Go: November to March-April is the best time to visit Sri Lanka, specially if you want to avoid the sweltering summer temperatures, humidity and the rains.
How to Get There: The best way to get to Sri Lanka is to fly to the capital Colombo. There are direct flight connections from Dubai , Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Jeddah, many Indian cities, Maldives, London, Melbourne, Seychelles, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta and other cities in the Middle East and Asia.
If you’re visiting from Dubai, flydubai also offers cheap flights to Colombo . Look for other flight options below:
Visa for Sri Lanka: Many nationalities are eligible for the Sri Lanka e-visa . If you’re eligible, you can apply for it online to get an authorization letter before you arrive.
Where to Stay in Sri Lanka: Around Sri Lanka, you’ll find several incredible and unique properties- from luxurious safari villas and beachfront resorts, to luxury treehouses, Ayurveda wellness resorts and family-run boutique hotels and guesthouses.
If you like beaches, consider Cinnamon Hikka Tranz or Cinnamon Bey Beruwala . If you’re looking for a health focused retreat, consider the Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resort . One of the highlights of my last trip was to stay in a safari villa at Cinnamon Wild Yala .
You can also search for other options below:
If you live in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, and still haven’t taken the time to explore Oman, then you need to change that right away. Right next door to the UAE, but vastly different in terms of both landscapes and culture, Oman offers a taste of slow living in the Middle East. Understandably, it is one of the best countries to visit from Dubai, and many tourists visiting the UAE also combine it with a trip to Oman. Views over Old Muscat
While the capital Muscat is a modern city, it’s not the kind that needs escaping from- it’s neither overly commercial, nor touristy. Sights in Muscat include the Muttrah Souk, a traditional restored market where you’ll find souvenirs such as beautiful lamps, silver Omani daggers called khanjar , frankincense, oud perfume, traditional attire, and more, Al Alam Palace- the Sultan’s palace, the Royal Opera House, and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Other cities such as Nizwa are also great in that they feel very authentic.
If you like nature and activities, then you’ll love exploring sights such as Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab, the lush green landscapes of Salalah, and go hiking through Omani villages, rugged wadis and along terraced farms in Jabal Akhdar, that can be cooler than Muscat by at least 15 degrees Celsius around the year. Watch my Video of Hiking in Jebel Akhdar
Why Go: To go sightseeing in Muscat, hiking in Jabal Akhdar, to explore lush landscapes in Salalah, and to explore nature around the country.
When to Go: Oman is a year-round destination and if you’re visiting from Dubai, then it might be a great idea to head to the mountains in Jabal Akhdar or to Salalah, both of which are likely to be much cooler than Dubai and Muscat.
How to Get There: The best and quickest way to get to Oman is to fly into Muscat or Salalah. Muscat offers connections to several international cities worldwide. If you’re coming from Dubai, flydubai offers flights to both Muscat and Salalah.
You can also get to Oman from Dubai by road, crossing the border in either Hatta, Buraimi or the Dibba transitional border, depending on where in Oman you’re going.
Visa for Oman:
Oman offers e-visas for many nationalities. Check your eligibility and apply for an e-visa before you arrive in Oman. If you’re a UAE or GCC resident, you still need to apply for an e-visa depending on the category.
At the time of writing, visas are also issued at the UAE-Oman border in Hatta, but if you’re visiting during a long weekend or a public holiday, then you should know that you’re likely to have to wait for several hours at the border to get your visa issued. On a recent long weekend, a four-hour journey turned into a seven-hour one, thanks to delays and long queues at the visa office at the border.
Where to Stay in Oman: There are some lovely hotels and resorts in Oman, from family-friendly beach resorts such as Millennium Resort Mussanah and the luxurious Six Senses Zighy Bay (perfect for active, beach-loving couples) to Alila Jabal Akhdar (a mountain resort great for those who love hiking or relaxing in nature).
Read my review of Millennium Resort Mussanah and my review of Alila Jabal Akhdar and book here, or look for other options:
That the Maldives are astoundingly beautiful is no secret- I’m sure you’ve seen photos and drone videos of white sand beaches and overwater villas over turquoise waters. The Maldives are like paradise for beach lovers and those who love diving and snorkeling. Maldives- Island paradise
While there are plenty of luxury resorts in the Maldives, what you might not know is that there are also many guesthouses and boutique hotels that are perfect for independent travelers and those on a budget. So if you’re looking for a cheap holiday from Dubai, it’s very much do-able.
While many tourists choose not to, it’s worth taking a bit of time to explore Male and get a sense of what life is really like for the locals- far removed from the world of luxury resorts on private islands.
Why Go: For paradise-like beaches, snorkeling, diving and water activities, for a romantic getaway, or to go diving.
When to Go: Visit the Maldives from November to March so that daytime temperatures are pleasant and there’s no rainfall to dampen your holiday plans. Friends you’ll make in the Maldives
How to Get There: The best way to get to the Maldives is to fly into Male. There are direct flights from Dubai , Abu Dhabi, London, Bangkok, Beijing, Colombo, several Indian cities, Istanbul, Moscow, Muscat, and a few other cities in the Middle East.
Look for flights to the Maldives .
Visa for Maldives: It’s so easy to travel to the Maldives because all nationalities get a free visa on arrival, provided you’ve got a return ticket booked, a machine-readable passport with at least six months validity, and sufficient funds to cover your stay. Check visa rules here .
Where to Stay in the Maldives:
Look for accommodation in the Maldives here:
India is both diverse and intense, especially if you aren’t South Asian yourself, but as a destination, it’s unlike anywhere else on the planet. India’s diversity is not only in its many cultures, religions and languages, but also in its landscapes. Palaces and lakes in Jaipur, India
While you’ve probably heard of the forts and palaces of Rajasthan ( Jaipur and Udaipur), and the grandeur of Taj Mahal, or the nightlife and beaches of Goa, you might not know that northern India is home to some breathtaking landscapes that hikers will appreciate, whether in Leh-Ladakh or in little hamlets in the Himalayas. Arunachal Pradesh is a great adventure destination with plenty of opportunities to go hiking, biking and rafting. Wild landscapes in India
In southern India, Kerala is perfect for a bit of downtime in the heart of nature- think traditional houseboats on quiet backwaters that offer a taste of slow rural life in fishing villages. And Indian cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Banglaore, Amritsar and Delhi, among others, each have a different kind of vibe and plenty to offer in terms of dining, entertainment, nightlife and shopping.
My biggest piece of advice, if you’re thinking of traveling to India on a short trip (even a week is short for India) is to pick one region and visit at the most two to three places during that time that are close to each other geographically.
Traveling in India is intense- everything from the language barrier to arranging your own transportation and getting to places can be challenging- you don’t want to get burnt out on your holiday by trying to do too much in limited time.
On the plus side, India is close to Dubai, and it isn’t expensive- so it’s ideal if you’re looking for a cheap holiday from Dubai.
Why Go: For bucketlist sights such as the Taj Mahal, for mountain towns and villages in the Himalayas, for bustling cities, for palaces and forts, for adventure off-the-beaten-path and to relax in southern India.
When to Go: Visit between October and March to avoid hot, humid weather and the monsoons.
How to Get There: You can fly into major Indian cities from around the world and there are direct flights from Dubai .
Look for flights to India:
Visa for India: To arrange a visa for India, you’ll have to plan well in advance, as it can take longer than expected. I’m Indian and don’t need a visa but from what I hear from friends of other nationalities, Indian visas can be well, a time-consuming process.
Check eligibility and see if you can get an online visa for India . Also, I suggest making a few calls to the Indian consular services in your country of residence to check the best way to get a visa for India where you live.
Where to Stay in India:
While the might Everest and epic Himalayan views are certainly Nepal’s biggest draw, Nepal is a country that isn’t just for trekkers and hardcore adventurers, but also for those interested in cultural experiences in medieval cities with rich heritage- such as Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur . With regular flights, it’s one of the best countries to visit from Dubai. A glimpse of Everest in Nepal
Nepal is full of spiritual experiences- temples, monasteries and easy trails in the Kathmandu Valley that are nothing short of therapeutic. It was here that I fell in love with hiking and I didn’t even make it to legendary trails such as the Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Trail.
Elsewhere, Nepal offers plenty of opportunities to step outside your comfort zone, whether it’s to go rafting in its wild rivers or bungee jump or paraglide. If you’ve always dreamt of going on safari, then visit Chitwan National Park.
The Nepalese are a warm, resilient people- eager to bounce back after the effects of the 2014-2015 earthquakes. Around the country, you’ll find English is spoken quite a bit, and even where there isn’t outside of the main tourist areas, you’ll find the locals to be so helpful- they’ll be willing to go out of their way to help. Bodhanath, Nepal
Religion is important in everyday life- and even if like me, you aren’t religious, you’ll find yourself intrigued. Nepalese food is great too- comforting dal bhat and tasty momos (dumplings) and hearty soups- just the kind of thing you need after a long day of exploring.
Considering how budget-friendly Nepal is, it’s one of the best places to visit from Dubai, on a cheap holiday.
Why Go: To relax or hike in the mountains, to have epic adventures- whether it’s rafting, bungee jumping, trekking or paragliding, and to experience festivals and other cultural events.
When to Go: Autumn (September to November) and Spring (February to late April) are the best times to visit weather-wise. Best to avoid the pre-monsoons and monsoons and the chilly winter season, especially if you want to spend time exploring outdoors (and really you will because that’s where the main draws are). Pokhara, Nepal
How to Get There: You’ll have to fly into the country’s only international airport close to Kathmandu. There are direct flights from Dubai , Sharjah, Delhi, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mumbai and Bangalore.
If you’re visiting from Dubai, then flydubai (really my favorite for cheap flights) offers flights to Kathmandu. You can also search for other flight options here.
Visa for Nepal: Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival in Nepal once they arrive at the international airport. Check your eligibility and visa rules and if you need to, you can apply here .
Where to Stay in Nepal:
Where you’ll stay will largely be dependent on the type of activities you’re hoping to do. While you can stay in Kathmandu for city life, and to do daytrips to places such as Bhaktapur, Bodhanath and Patan, you can also choose to stay a few days each in other places such as Pokhara where you’ll be closer to hiking trails and nature spots.
Look for accommodation in Nepal here:
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again- there is no other feeling in the world that compares to when you see the ancient Nabataean capital of Petra in Jordan for the first time. I don’t know what time travel feels like, but it must not be very different from what it feels like walking through the Siq, a swirling 1km long canyon with smooth sandstone walls that leads to the rose-colored Treasury or Al Khazneh. That alone is reason enough for Jordan to be on this list of top countries to visit from Dubai. Al Khazneh in Petra, Jordan
Whether you spend just a day seeing a bit of Petra, or spend two to three days hiking there, or decide to stay overnight and see it lit up after sunset, Petra is the kind of place that will leave you awestruck. Further away, the desert of Wadi Rum, where you can follow in the camel tracks of Lawrence of Arabia , feels like you’ve arrived on another planet where the landscape is just sand dunes shining under a glimmering moon.
If you love hiking, then the Jordan Trail is a relatively new 600km long trail that you can either hike entirely over 40 days or hike parts of to see the country’s rich and diverse landscapes.
If you love the sea, then you’ll love the coastal town of Aqaba where sunny days, diving, snorkeling, boat rides and fresh seafood await. Floating in the Dead Sea is, of course, another one of Jordan’s bucket list experiences. The capital Amman is full of character with Roman ruins, low-rises, residential districts, markets, mosques, cafés, art galleries and bars, as well as plenty of restaurants serving international and local food.
Why Go: To explore Amman, to float in the Dead Sea, to see the UNESCO Heritage Site of Petra, to drive through Wadi Rum, and to go diving and enjoy the coastal life of Aqaba.
When to Go: To be able to explore outdoors, visit Jordan in either Autumn (September to November) or Spring (March to May). In Summer (June to August), the days are long and sunny but the temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius, which might be a tad too much if you’re not used to it.
How to Get There: You’ll fly either into Amman or Aqaba. There are direct flights to Amman from Dubai , Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Kuwait, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bangkok, Moscow, Paris, London, New York, Frankfurt, Rome, Vienna and other cities.
If you’re in Dubai, flydubai offers cheap flights to Amman and Aqaba. Check other flight options here:
Visa for Jordan : Several nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival in Jordan. Check your eligibility and visa rules here and here .
At the time of writing, Indians are eligible for a visa on arrival in Jordan, but not Filipinos, provided they have a passport that’s valid at least for six months.
Where to Stay in Jordan: I’ve stayed at the Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea and the Kempinski Aqaba and can recommend both.
You can also look for other accommodation here: 11. Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian gem that should be on your bucket list if you have a love of hiking in spectacular landscapes- think turquoise lakes, breathtaking mountains, views to make you forget the notion of time, and overnighting in yurts in the wilderness. Nature lovers need to go to Kyrgyzstan
This is a destination for the intrepid traveler who cherishes the opportunity to experience local immersion, culture, and the many benefits of community-based tourism. Given how easy it is to get to from Dubai, it’s one of the best countries to visit from Dubai for adventure and nature lovers.
Why Go: Nature, nature and nature.
When to Go: June to September- summer is ideal for hiking.
How to Get There: You can fly to the capital Bishkek via Dubai, Istanbul, Tashkent, Almaty and Moscow. If you’re visiting from Dubai , flydubai offers flights to Bishkek.
Visa for Kyrgyzstan: Many nationalities do not need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan for 60 days, while others can get a visa on arrival. Yet others, including Indians, are eligible for e-visa . Check your visa eligibility and rules .
Where to Stay in Kyrgyzstan:
Like the Maldives, the Seychelles are the ideal destination for vacationers who like the idea of time in an island paradise with azure waters, gorgeous beaches and days filled with diving, snorkeling and downtime on the sand. Beautiful beach in Seychelles
If you’re looking to get away from it all, or go on honeymoon or babymoon, then you will love the Seychelles. There are various resorts that you can choose to stay in depending on your preferences and availability.
The best part? It’s a visa-free country so if you find affordable flights and accommodation, then it’s super easy to organize a last-minute trip. This is one of the big reasons why it’s one of the best countries to visit from Dubai, especially for those of us who need to apply for a visa to go anywhere.
Why Go: To vacation in an island paradise and enjoy snorkeling, diving, watersports and hiking on forest trails.
When to Go: The Seychelles are a year-round destination and April to November is an ideal time to visit.
How to Get There: You’ll fly into Mahe, the entry point to the other islands in the Seychelles. There are direct flights from Dubai , Abu Dhabi, London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Paris and other cities.
Look for flights to the Seychelles.
Visa for Seychelles: Seychelles is a visa- free country and anyone can enter visa-free as long as they have a valid passport, onward tickets booked and sufficient funds to cover their stay.
Where to Stay in the Seychelles:
Look for accommodation in the Seychelles:
An under-the-radar island in East Asia, Taiwan offers a surprisingly diverse mix of experiences ; beautiful national parks and mountainous scenic areas with hiking trails and few visitors, indigenous cultures rich in tradition, art and crafts, delicious cuisines from the mountains and coast, and cities that are effortlessly cool, fashionable, hipster, arty, and intriguing, all at once.
Read my week-long itinerary for Taiwan . Dragon and Tiger Pagodas Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Then there’s Taipei- a city that changed the way I thought of Asian capitals. None of the chaos, none of the crowds- calm, laidback, trendy, modern and orderly, Taipei is the kind of city you don’t need to escape from.
There’s culture in the art galleries, districts and cultural parks, shopping from designer boutiques and international chains to pop-up stores, and a dining scene that includes Michelin-starred restaurants, street food, and hole-in-the-wall places serving traditional and local food. For nightlife, expect eclectic bars, trendy wine bars, slick rooftop bars, speakeasy bars and nightclubs for every taste. Watch my Video of Taiwan
Further away, nature lovers will appreciate the quiet hiking trails and sublime mountaintop sunrises in the Alishan National Scenic Area, as well as the cherry blossoms that adorn the country’s landscapes from January to April.
It’s also worth timing your visit around the Taiwan Lantern Festival, held in a different city each year where thousands of lanterns, created by local and international artists, around traditional and modern themes, light up the sky, land and water and attract locals and tourists from around the world. In 2020, the Taiwan Lantern Festival will be held from 8 th to 23 rd February 2020 in Taichung.
And the people? Friendly, respectful, welcoming (also of diversity) and so polite they put the rest of the world to shame. In fact, Taiwan is a Muslim-friendly country with several Muslim-friendly hotels and restaurants serving halal food and the availability of prayer rooms and mats around the country. This is why it’s on my list of the best countries to visit from Dubai- because Taiwan is making travel more accessible for Muslims.
Taiwan isn’t expensive as a destination, so it definitely should be on your radar for a cheap holiday from Dubai. Why Go: For culture, sightseeing, dining and nightlife in Taipei, for nature and hiking in Alishan and elsewhere, for the Taiwan Lantern Festival and more.
When to Go: The best times to visit are Spring (March to May), that is also a good time to see the cherry blossoms, and Autumn (October and November). Winter (December to February) is also a good time if you don’t mind the chilly nighttime temperatures.
How to Get There: There are direct flights to Taipei from several Asian cities and others such as Dubai and Istanbul. Look for flight options from Dubai and elsewhere here:
Visa for Taiwan: Depending on your nationality, you may or may not need a visa to visit Taiwan . Some nationalities can get a visa on arrival, others need to get an e-visa and yet others need to apply in person in their own countries. Check your visa eligibility and rules here .
Where to Stay in Taipei:
Have you been to any of these destinations and are there any you’d like to visit on your next holiday?
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Yogeshwer Shukla’s toxic career of Ayurvedic infusions
Welcome to another hagiography of an acdemic career built on fabricated research results, brought to you by Smut Clyde . Today’s Photoshop hero is professor Yogeshwer Shukla , a highly distinguished Indian expert of toxicology, cancer research, proteomics and recently also nanotechnology, where he announced to cure cancer with nanoparticles soaked in Ayurvedically-relevant plant extracts. Shukla spent his entire career at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) in Lucknow, where he has practised his art for almost 35 years since his early days of PhD in 1984, and where he now made it as Chief Scientist of Food, Drug and Chemical Toxicology.
The man who is not afraid to use a mango or even a pomegranate to kill cancer , received awards from the Indian Society of Health, Environment, Education and Research, for his Photoshop contributions in the field of cancer chemoprevention. Shukla, who probably will proclaim resveratrol’s antioxidative powers even after his 5th bottle of red wine, also used to be the General Secretary of Environmental Mutagen Society of India and the Indian Society of Toxicology. Despite having published oodles of peer-reviewed artworks, Professor Shukla’s due recognition in form of retractions was so far unjustly sparse: just 3 , one for plagiarism in 2012 and two for data falsification in 2019.
Professor Shukla’s visits abroad were rare and brief, like to WHO-IARC in Lyon, maybe his hosts didn’t like the competition . The great moustache wearer, now aged 55, rather prefers admirers to come to him. He organised the annual meeting of Environmental Mutagen Society of India in 2002 and in 2005, and more recently, was appointed as the Organising Secretary for the next year’s Environmental Mutagen Society of India in 2020. This eulogy is meant to promote Professor Shukla’s academic reputation and national fame to some new heights he might have never expected to reach. Not a fake. Prof Shukla recognised by his friends at OMICS Another green world, by Smut Clyde
These mice were treated for cancer in 2014, using nano-encapsulated pineapple-squeezed bromelain (VII and VIII are identical twins) .
Not only was the treatment successful, but it prolonged their lives long past the usual murine span so they could be treated for cancer again in 2018, this time using nano-encapsulated barberry squeezings .
Some uncertainly lingered whether the nano-encapsulation involved “Hyaluronic acid-grafted PLGA” or “ O-Hexadecyl-Dextran ” .
The history of “medicinal pineapple” is in fact an interest of mine (I suspect it may be inspired by the verbal resonance between Ananas and Ananias, the patron saint of liars). It began with a German charlatan who reasoned that Bromelain is a meat-softening enzyme. and tumours are made of meat . Anyway, our rodent friends provide a convenient entry point to the cuisine-based corpus of Professor Yogeshwer Shukla at CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (Delhi, India). For with the help of his colleagues and students, Dr Shukla has reported diverse botanical treatments for cancer (in mice!) in the course of his illustrious career… with squeezings from garlic, pomegranates, and mangos as well as pineapples. Also grape-skins and tea-leaves; and extracts from cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. Sometimes in isolation, sometimes in synergistic combination. It is as if an unlikely concatenation of events had led to the acceptance of a nouvelle-cuisine cookbook as a grant proposal.
As is the custom of my people, I shall draw heavily on comments left at the ‘PubPeer’ website, where 40 threads are currently devoted to discussing specific papers from his oeuvre . Some of those papers have been retracted, but surprisingly few in light of the unabashed data frauds they display. I can promise a promenade of hedgehogs, in illustration of Clyde’s First Law (“Everything is better with googly eyes”) .
But gratification deferred is gratification doubled, and to heighten the dramatic tension I’ll begin with a peripheral figure: Sahdeo Prasad , now Instructor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, one shudders to think what he instructs people in, given his own record. The PubPeer archives for Prasad namely show him participating in much of the output from Shukla’s output — perhaps as a grad or post-grad student — around 2007-2009, a notably productive period for the laboratory. After that he ascended to the MD Anderson Cancer Center (University of Texas) to work with Bharat Aggarwal and co-author a string of papers, later retracted because the amount of fabrication in them exceeded editorial tolerance. Prasad now collaborates with the mendacious scoundrels at OMICS , and also edits journal-shaped dumpsters for Longdom Publishing (an OMICS polyp).
Now Aggarwal’s name should be familiar. He was a pioneer in the field of ‘Jurisprudential Science’, which is where you prove the validity of your theories and results by issuing bumptious, censorious legal threats against your critics. If Jurisprudential Science is not yet the title of a parasitical journal from OMICS, it should be. Disgrace as a con-man and departure from the MD Anderson did not greatly discommode Aggarwal’s career. He continued to publish in Frontiers journals (aided by the complaisance of his quondam colleagues as editors and reviewers), and to star as a guest speaker at magical-thinking scamborees on “curing cancer with culturally-significant herbs and spices”.
Many of the Prasad / Aggarwal impostures emerged from a research goal of finding curative benefits from turmeric (more exactly, from the dyestuff / secondary metabolite curcumin extracted from turmeric), obliging them to fake results because in practice curcumin is a shite drug. Aggarwal also played a role in in the Red-Wine bubble… I do not mean the beaded bubbles winking at the brim of a beaker of blushful Hippocrene, but rather, the swell of enthusiasm for the grape-skin component resveratrol which was going to lengthen lifetimes and cure heart disease and cancer by drinking red wine until people collectively tired of faking positive results.
The relevance of this little digression is that Yogeshwer Shukla espouses the same “culturally-significant plant product” ethnocentric-pharmacognosy approach to drug development, attempting to bring his artistic practice under the protective aegis of Ayurveda (like Aggarwal, he plays up the medieval-herbalism aspect of the Ayurvedic scammocopoeia and plays down the arsenic / mercury / lead toxic-metal alchemy). It must be tempting for scientists in India to claim that their work vindicates Ayurvedic Traditional Knowledge, so that as champions of Vedic cultural virtues they can call on the political forces of ethnocentric chauvinism to keep themselves dismissal-proof despite incompetence or corruption. As it happens, herbs like caraway and dill are important in my culture, especially their secondary metabolites infused in alcohol, but I do not pretend that Akvavit botanicals are responsible for my unnaturally-extended life-span. Here is what I have marked so far. I got this one from a @PubPeer , but found much more than was initially pointed out.There is probably even more, but gotta move one.HT to @K_J_Roberts for pointing out the labeling duplication. pic.twitter.com/oY4oqYSaPO
— Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) May 29, 2019
But back to the PubPeer archives . With so many threads, we can only scratch the surface of the iceberg on the seashore and divert ourselves in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary. Rest assured that curing cancer does not distract Dr Shukla entirely from the ‘Toxicology’ aspect of his institution, and he also studies the carcinogen side of the coin, even if he sometimes confuses Deltamethrin and Benz-α-pyrene, on one hand , with Cypermethrin and mezerein on the other .
So let’s start with a recent paper (2016) , in which the magic of mango squeezings (Lupeol) prevent a fungicide (Mancozeb) from causing cancer. Here are two panels from Figure 2. Now I am not wise in the ways of counting cells by fluorescence and graphing the results as a histogram, but I do know that histograms are supposed to be solid . If they are undercut by erosion or the ravages of termites (marked in red), something is wrong. It is also a problem if fine details are identical in what are purportedly independent experiments (marked in blue).
The pixels which were whittled away from the left-hand panel with the Eraser tool show up as black, after black / white reversing the right-hand panel and superimposing it on the former (everything else cancels out). This is MS Paint work, not even Photoshop! This clumsy, lazy falsification is a slap in the face for honest hard-working data forgers who take pride in their workmanship.
Here are earlier examples of white-anted overhanging histograms, from Fig 4A of  at left, while the outlined examples at right (from Figure 2 of ) are riddled with glitches, like free software:
In fact these are snapshots in the process of carving cell-count histograms from scratch. They are like scenes from the creation of a sculpture or a painting, like watching Giaocometti scraping away the clay or pigment he had added in an earlier stage in the cycle. Now  still centred on mango juice, while  focused on the cancer-preventing powers of garlic … but an overlay of these supposedly-separate data sets shows the sections of perimeter which were not re-worked, and leaves one to wonder if there were any original data measurements at all.
One last example before we move on. In contrast to the toppling minarets in Fig. 4A of , what renders 4B risible are similarities among its panels, where only a few pixels were scraped from one and added to another.
When we turn from to Figure 2 of , which at least still hoes the row of mango-juice cancer prevention (even though its protective powers are extended over mouse liver cells , rather than lymph node carcinoma of the prostate ), it is not too great a surprise to encounter find cell-count plots that are outlined but superimposable.
In contrast to histogrammed cell counts, flow-cytometry plots (FACS) measure two fluorescent indicators of each cell’s status and use them as coordinates to plot each cell as a point in two dimensions. They feature prominently in this body of work. They display a recurring quality of insufficient difference. Partial replications could arise when someone took a single file of data (recorded for one experimental condition) and ran it twice through different settings of the filter parameters… but also when someone modified a plot in Paint / Photoshop.
A good example is Figure 2 from a 2012 paper on the mutagenic mayhem wrought by Allethrin insecticide in the absence of mango protection. “Boeckella Robusta” wondered “could authors explain how the same dot plots were generated for different treatments in the indicated boxes?”
Indeed, in a superimposition of the Allethrin and Benz-α-pyrene panels, cancellation is complete across three quarters of the plane. There is a patch of white points unique to B-α-P treatment; an exact rectangle of discordant cells; and a zone of black/white pairs where cells were displaced en masse . The forger saw no need for anything sophisticated.
As for the Control panel, res ipsa loquitur .
Paper  from 2014 gave us the curative nano-pineapples. As “Notarius Cookei” noted , it also provides examples of FACS fakery. Here I choose Figures 6(G) and 6(H), and 9(F) and 9(H). “When 99% of cells are identical in both plots, the most parsimonious explanation is that both plots used the same data .”
I skip over other examples in my haste to reach the delirious heights of  and . These companion papers from 2007 and 2008 fed ginger and mangos respectively through the juicer, but the authors liked the FACS plots so much that they used them in both.
Then someone customised and enhanced each version, cloning clusters of points with all the enthusiasm of a child who has just been introduced to the artistic possibilities of the potato-stamp medium. Figures 5(B) of  and 4(C) of  should be enlarged to appreciate their plenitude.
Another spurt of potato-stamp creativity occurred in 2011, in the panels of Figure 6 of . The prospect of inhibiting the growth of skin tumours (in mice) with a synergistic combination of grape-skins and black tea evidently distracted the reviewers’ attentions from the crystalline alignment of the FACS plots.
It also emerged that garlic and pomegranates, together, exerted exactly the same inhibition, resulting in a companion paper . I do not rate for this recipe.
A lot of work went into these constructions, possibly more than simply conducting an experiment would require, so one can understand the authors’ decision to repeat them across papers. Suffice to say that the cloning tool contributed to Figure 6 of .
Regrettably,  was retracted in April for a number of reasons (not just Figure 6). The world of science was thereby deprived of a row of hot-dogs comprising the ERK1/2 band of Figure 2.
These provide a segue to the inevitable Western-blot discussion. For this body of work has its fair share of gel bands with acrobatic talents, somersaulting and stretching and reflecting as they re-identify from one Protean protein to another (and from one paper to another). Figures 3, 4 and 6 from :
The next somersaults are lane-specific and require more skill. At left, Apaf 1 (from Fig 5B of ) becomes Cytochrome C (in Fig 3(d) of ). At right, p21/ras (from 2(b) of ) becomes AKT (in Fig 5(b) of )!
— Cheshire (@Thatsregrettab1) May 29, 2019
At one end of the spectrum of manipulation, blots might be repeated in successive figures with different labels, relying on the incuriosity of readers and reviewers. At the other extreme, they are cut up and reassembled like letters in a ransom note. Here from  to .
All this is for substantive protein measurements. The normalising controls fare no better. As interest in Shukla’s productions grew, ‘ Orophea Enterocarpa ‘ identified a small but hard-working repertoire of loading controls. The ‘bubble and hairline’ control, for instance, first spotted in 2004 with five lanes for five experimental levels of garlic , has at least nine recorded sightings, sometimes cut down to four lanes or extended to six with a lane duplication to meet the details of the study design. These lanes corresponded to dosage of tea [22, 24], mango / lupeol [8, 10], grape-skins [4, 17, 23] and pineapple . In its most recent appearance (2010) it widened to an eight-lane Interstate highway.
The “scrolls” were another hard-worked loading-control panel with five sightings [8, 12, 17, 18, 22]. Sadly, there is not space to show the “ inchworm ” panel, or the “ dotted dashes “, or the “ Nike Swoosh “, or even the “ dashes-and-dots ” in their four- and eight-lane incarnations.
My favourite in this little genre began in 2008 as Fig 3(A) of , holding sway over six variants of grape-skin therapy. It reappeared as a four -lane version as Fig 1(B) of , a pineapple study (other panels of 1(B) also repay attention ). Pay attention to the third (or first) lane: for greater standardisation, it was quadruplicated in another 2009 loading control .
While back where we started,  also starred Fig 6(B), the “hedgehog promenade”. This proves to be another version of that single lane lane from 3(A), now multiplied six -fold and stretched vertically.
Admittedly, not everyone agrees on the necessity for dose-equalising controls. Between publication of  in 2008 and an amendment in 2016 , it had featured Figs 3(B) and 5, in which five -lane letterbox panels of β-actin sufficed to normalise a series of six -lane blots of interest. Either the readers and reviewers and editors couldn’t count or they didn’t care.
Recall the point of compass-coded blotting methods: to quantify the protein expression within cells under specific conditions, by a circuitous but precise route (extracting cell contents and separating the proteins by racing them along an electrophoresis-gel racetrack or Proteodrome, then labelling them with antibodies so as to measure total antibody density). Now it is always possible that researchers did measure all the numbers they tabulate and analyse, producing blots in the process with which they could have illustrated their reports, and they only decide to fabricate the illustrations (or repurpose old ones) because of the artistic challenge.
After all this, there is a sense of relief to be had from meeting plain microphotographs of vat-grown tumour cells from the A549 cell-line, rendered fluorescent by different treatment with black tea polyphenols [ 16 ]. Or perhaps they hailed from the HeLa and SiHa cell-lines [ 25 ].
I had originally hoped to show some Northern blots of RNA expression ( Caspase-3 becomes iκBα ); or perhaps some DNA fragmentation assays, which display a lapidary , mosaic nature when closely examined. But this report is long enough. I must be content with this loading control from , which reminds me (when the lightness is turned up) of a row of caddis-fly larvae .
Now I am not alleging retouching or Photoshop manipulations, but there are two images of Dr Yogeshwer Shukla on the Intertubes. The version shown on his staff page at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research website has changed a lot from the version on his ResearchGate account.
If this is the effect of pineapple or mango or grape-skin treatment, he is his own best advertisement for his discoveries. My markings so far. pic.twitter.com/A0Fxgjwsm8
— Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) May 29, 2019
 Priyanka Bhatnagar, Soma Patnaik, Amit K. Srivastava, Mohan K. R. Mudiam, Yogeshwer Shukla, Amulya K. Panda, Aditya B. Pant, Pradeep Kumar, Kailash C. Gupta Anti-Cancer Activity of Bromelain Nanoparticles by Oral Administration Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (2014) doi: 10.1166/jbn.2014.1997 https://pubpeer.com/publications/D7569FE3179E5C77F10CD7D0CAFF1C
 Priyanka Bhatnagar, Manisha Kumari, Richa Pahuja, A. B. Pant, Y. Shukla, Pradeep Kumar, K. C. Gupta Hyaluronic acid-grafted PLGA nanoparticles for the sustained delivery of berberine chloride for an efficient suppression of Ehrlich ascites tumors Drug Delivery and Translational Research (2018) doi: 10.1007/s13346-018-0485-9
 Radhika Kapoor, Shruti Singh, Madhulika Tripathi, Priyanka Bhatnagar, Poonam Kakkar, Kailash Chand Gupta O-hexadecyl-dextran entrapped berberine nanoparticles abrogate high glucose stress induced apoptosis in primary rat hepatocytes PLoS ONE (2014) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089124
 Neetu Kalra, Preeti Roy, Sahdeo Prasad, Yogeshwer Shukla Resveratrol induces apoptosis involving mitochondrial pathways in mouse skin tumorigenesis Life Sciences (2008) doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.11.006 https://pubpeer.com/publications/4197501DBC472982247DE0AFA234E3
 Jasmine George, Yogeshwer Shukla Early changes in proteome levels upon acute deltamethrin exposure in mammalian skin system associated with its neoplastic transformation potential
Edinburgh International Film Festival Reveals Programme Ahead Of 73rd Edition
Tag: Edinburgh International Film Festival , Film Festivals EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams has unveiled details of the programme for the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), taking place next month between 19 th and 30 th June.
This year the Festival will screen around 121 new features, including 18 feature film World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, 8 European Premieres and 78 UK Premieres from 42 countries across the globe.
Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “It is always important that EIFF reflects the changing face of all aspects of society and culture. With attitudes changing throughout the world it is important that this year the festival has a real European spin and presents a series of wonderful films from around Europe with a particular emphasis on Spain this year.
“We are also delighted to be able to present a series of striking new films from women directors and filmmaking teams from around the world. In particular this year we have an amazing selection of genre films from women filmmakers, ranging from gothic romance and Western chills through to science fiction and old-fashioned horror. All this set alongside a tribute to French filmmaker Agnes Varda, a women who has inspired generations of directors.”
He added: “We are thrilled to be able to finally announce the full programme for this year’s Festival. We are really delighted to be able to stage such a rich and diverse group of films that really do offer something for everybody. The encouragement and support we have received from all around the world has been gratifying and it is with real pleasure that we offer up a feast of fantastic film fare from a wonderful selection of talented filmmakers.”
Highlights include In Person events, supported by Johnston Carmichael, with guests including one of Britain’s most successful directors, Danny Boyle, award-winning actor and producer Jack Lowden, British documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield and Scottish writer, director and actor Pollyanna McIntosh, who also brings her latest film, Darlin’ to this year’s EIFF. There will also be a very special In Person featuring award-winning film producer Rebecca O’Brien in conversation with acclaimed director, actor, writer and producer Icíar Bollaín. Bookended by the previously announced Boyz in the Wood and the World Premiere of Mrs Lowry & Son , the Festival will screen UglyDolls as this year’s Family Gala, supported by Edinburgh Live, and the People’s Gala screening of Jamie Adams’ Balance, Not Symmetry , supported by Accenture, as well as special preview screenings of Toy Story 4 and Brightburn in advance of the start of the Festival on 16 th June.
Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said: “It’s exciting to see EIFF showcasing a number of British debut features, alongside strong international threads, reflecting Scotland’s close affinity with both our European neighbours and filmmakers from across the globe, including Scottish/Swedish co-production Scheme Birds . It’s also a chance to encounter stellar filmmakers such as Danny Boyle and Rebecca O’Brien, whose work has brought Scottish stories, unique characters and talent to the world.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival plays a vital role in Scotland’s screen success story, promoting domestic productions, developing talent and encouraging people to go to the cinema. This cutting-edge programme, supported by the Scottish Government, is a diverse mix of established and emerging talent which will proudly showcase our thriving industry to both local and international audiences.”
Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: “We’re proud to continue our support of this fantastic Festival. It is a showcase for exciting up and coming talent from across the globe and we are particularly thrilled to see so many women filmmakers represented, across so many genres. This year’s programme promises to be yet another year of discovery.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “As one of the world’s longest continuously running film festivals and one of Scotland’s signature events, EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2019. Mark and his team have once again produced a stellar programme that is sure to entice audiences of all ages and interests. I’m particularly delighted to see the continuation of EIFF:Youth, a legacy of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. Events play a key role in our visitor economy and EIFF provides the perfect stage to celebrate Scotland as a place to explore cinematic ideas as well as Edinburgh’s position as a world leading festival city.”
This year’s BEST OF BRITISH strand includes exclusive World Premieres of Bittersweet Symphony starring Suki Waterhouse as a woman whose Hollywood dreams are on the verge of becoming a reality; a love letter to Europe in The Black Forest from writer-director Ruth Platt; coming-of-age supernatural love story Carmilla from director Emily Harris; new British drama by first-time feature director, poet, actor and publisher Greta Bellamacina, Hurt by Paradise ; Masters of Love , a smart and wry take on the classic British rom-com from debut feature film-maker Matt Roberts; Schemers , based on writer-producer David McLean’s early years in the music business and the atmospheric noir thriller Strange But True starring Blythe Danner, Brian Cox and Greg Kinnear. Additionally, there is a clash of old and new worlds seen through the eyes of a Cornish fisherman in Mark Jenkin’s Bait ; the directorial debut of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, real-life story, Farming ; William McGregor’s debut feature, the magnificent, moody and mysterious Gothic tale Gwen ; Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical feature The Souvenir and fun and frothy modern day rom-com, Love Type D. Audiences can also look forward to a screening of Danny Boyle’s Yesterday featuring an all-star cast including Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon.
Films in consideration for the prestigious Michael Powell Award will be selected from the BEST OF BRITISH and GALA sections.
This year the AMERICAN DREAMS strand will offer an audiences an exciting, challenging and provocative group of films from across the pond featuring some of the brightest and best global talent. The strand will include: the World Premiere of Liberté: A Call to Spy , a fascinating story of a real life sisterhood of spies and the International Premieres of the clever and deviously dark mystery I See You starring Helen Hunt; Andrew Patterson’s sci-fi mystery feature debut The Vast of Night ; indie film Justine , which explores the role of a single mother working as a caregiver to a girl with spina bifida and the previously announced comedy drama Go Back to China directed by Emily Ting. Them That Follow , staring Olivia Colman, about an Appalachian sect will receive its European Premiere at the Festival as will Ode to Joy , an unusual rom-com about a man who avoids joy starring Martin Freeman and The Sound of Silence starring Peter Sarsgaard and Rashida Jones. Skin , based on the true story of neo-Nazi Bryon Widner starring Jamie Bell will screen alongside the Cannes 2019 opener, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die ; comedy drama Driven, about the car designer John DeLorean and Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli’s quietly radical film, So Pretty .
The EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES strand, supported by James and Morag Anderson, celebrates the rich cultural impact and importance of European cinema and includes films from France, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Germany, North Macedonia, Greece, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belgium, Georgia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Notable features include: Elfar Adalsteins’ End of Sentence where a bickering father and son from America take a road trip in Ireland; the International Premieres of writer-director Mary McGuckian’s powerful new film A Girl from Mogadishu that tells the inspiring true story of Ifrah Ahmed, a Somalian refugee and She’s Missing from Irish writer-director Alexandra McGuinness. The Emperor of Paris starring Vincent Cassel will receive its UK Premiere at the Festival alongside Rudolph Herzog’s hilariously funny How to Fake a War starring Katherine Parkinson and Aniara , an epic science-fiction drama about a passenger spaceship lost in the void, as well as titles including Barbara Vekarić’s Aleksi from Croatia; Susanne Heinrich’s Aren’t You Happy? from Germany and Swiss psychological drama Cronofobia . Audiences can also look forward to the return of France’s favourite Gaul in Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion.
This year’s WORLD PERSPECTIVES strand offers audiences an exciting and challenging array of new works by talented filmmakers from around the world. Highlights include: the World Premieres of Astronaut , starring Richard Dreyfuss as a lonely widower who dreams of a trip to space and Rodrigo Guerrero’s Venezia . Australian cinema features prominently this year with the acclaimed Acute Misfortune , a striking, brilliant and unconventional portrait of one of Australia’s most acclaimed and idiosyncratic painters, Adam Cullen; The Flip Side , a breezy rom-com about a budding chef and a British actor starring Eddie Izzard; Undertow , a tense and moving female-led drama from director Miranda Nation and Top End Wedding , a rom-com about family ties and contrasting cultures. Other highlights include two South Korean action-adventure masterclasses in the form of Unstoppable and box office smash Extreme Job .
This year’s DOCUMENTARIES programme reflects the ability of documentary film to amaze, inspire, challenge, provoke and fascinate audiences, offering them the unique chance to travel the world and see strange and unusual sights. Strand highlights include: Memory: The Origins of Alien , a fascinating documentary about the making of Alien from the very beginning; This Changes Everything which examines the problems faced by women filmmakers and features interviews with Hollywood greats including Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson, Reese Witherspoon and Cate Blanchett; Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk narrated by former caddie Bill Murray and Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, from Nick Broomfield, giving audiences an insight into Leonard Cohen’s love affair with Marianne Ihlen. Films in consideration for the annual documentary award are selected from this section.
In addition this year, the Scottish Documentary Institute will celebrate the art of documentary filmmaking through the lens of international female directors in a strand entitled PHENOMENAL WOMEN. The women included in this programme focus their gaze on stories that quietly shift our understanding and experience of the world and pique our curiosity. They include work from Camille Budin, Maja Borg, Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei and Sara Isha. Two shorts programmes will also screen entitled Celebrating 15 years of Bridging the Gap and Syrian Stories, Female Voices .
Ranging from bloodthirsty gore through to ecozombies, this year’s NIGHT MOVES strand serves up a wide variety of pulse-pounding genre titles sure to delight audiences. This year, women take the front seat with a double bill of Pollyanna McIntosh in The Woman and Darlin ’; The Furies , a gripping modern take on the 1980s slasher film, full of gore; Roxanne Benjamin’s Body at Brighton Rock ; Carolina Hellsgård’s Ever After and Emma Tammi’s The Wind , a breathtakingly beautiful and haunting moody tale.
This year’s previously announced retrospective strand entitled ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPAIN, will explore Spain’s rich cinematic history through three strands: A Retrospective Celebration of Modern Spanish Cinema; A Retrospective Selection of Cult Spanish Cinema and an in-depth celebration of the work of legendary Spanish writer, actor and filmmaker, Icíar Bollaín. Designed to begin where the retrospective ends, FOCUS ON SPAIN features a selection of brand new Spanish cinema by some of the country’s most promising directors. Highlights include: Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles from Salvador Simó, an accomplished and fitting homage to the great master of surrealist cinema; the directorial debut from Nicolás Pacheco Cages and gripping sci-fi thriller h0us3 from Manolo Munguía, inspired by the mysterious ‘insurance files’ famously employed by Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Two Spanish shorts programmes will also feature as part of the strand : Shorts from Galicia and Spotlight on Contemporary Spanish Short Films , a thematically diverse range of films that filter their narratives through cultural and societal lenses. Losers, Werewolves, Murderers – Spanish Web in the Cinema with moderator Regina Mosch from Copenhagen Web Fest will present a selection of Spanish webseries that go beyond genre constraints and box office success and that tell stories you might never otherwise see in the cinema. FOCUS ON SPAIN is supported by Acción Cultural Española, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales and Embassy of Spain London.
EIFF will this year present its inaugural strand of special culinary screenings and events, bridging the gap between food and film in CINECUISINE: a celebration of Scottish cuisine and the connections with our friends in Spain. The strand features fascinating documentaries spanning the culture and heritage of Scotland’s most well-known export, whisky, in The Amber Light and an exploration of Scotland’s cuisine by Spain’s Michelin starred chefs the Roca brothers in Chef’s Diaries: Scotland . Food for Thought , a one-off event exploring the flavours and future of food in Scotland with an informal panel discussion and a special tasting session presented by world-class cookery school Edinburgh School of Food & Wine; chaired by Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food, Scotland Food & Drink and a fascinating free lecture, Kino Cuisine: Food and Drink on Film with Edinburgh University professor, Dr Pasquale Iannone, will delve into the many ways food is presented in cinema. Continuing the Festival’s celebration of food and drink, Festival HQ at Filmhouse is hosted with Johnnie Walker, EIFF’s Official Whisky Partner, who have created a special menu of bespoke Johnnie Walker cocktails available during EIFF.
In addition, a number of special events will take place throughout the Festival including the previously announced screening of all six episodes of TV series Good Omens on the big screen which will launch worldwide on Amazon Prime Video on 31 st May and on BBC 2 in the UK later this year; a special screening of a restored version of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now: Final Cut to celebrate its 40th anniversary and the Retrospective LIVE! presentation of Robert Mugge’s Black Wax . Two very special live events celebrating women in film, Reclaiming the Frame with Birds’ Eye View and Girls On Film Live! with film critic Anna Smith, will take place as well as a thought-provoking lecture entitled: Grabbing the Spotlight: Women in the Film Industry . Channel 4 and Film4 classic titles The Acid House (Paul McGuigan), Carla’s Song (Ken Loach), My Name is Joe (Ken Loach), and Wedding Belles (Philip John), all made in Scotland, will screen as part of 4 VIEWS OF SCOTLAND, alongside lecture, Scotch on the Box: Channel 4 and Scottish Cinema with Dr Jonathan Murray from the Edinburgh College of Art, who will re-examine some of the key films in question.
This year EIFF will also join forces with Matchbox Cineclub to present CAGE-A-RAMA 3D, a wild-hearted Nicolas Cage extravaganza featuring cult Cage classics Drive Angry and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in 3D.
The Festival will screen a number of films by the late great Agnès Varda across a retrospective strand entitled THE FEATURES OF AGNÈS, in partnership with The Skinny and supported by James and Morag Anderson, as well as Varda by Agnès , her final film which will be introduced by Honorary Patron Mark Cousins.
EIFF is also delighted this year to welcome New Media Scotland and Capital Theatres into the Festival fold to present a pair of unique events that bring classic films to life: a cinema rendition of Robert Altman’s Gosford Park will screen at the spectacular Lauriston Castle as part of New Media Scotland’s Atmosphere series, and Capital Theatres presents a traditional silent cinema screening of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera , hailed as the greatest documentary ever made.
Audiences can look forward to a whistle-stop tour of the latest ideas and techniques being explored in the world of animated film in the International Animation selection, as part of the Festival’s annual dedicated ANIMATION strand, as well as a screening of an anthology of anime shorts from the Japanese Studio Ponoc – the anticipated successor to Studio Ghibli – in association with Scotland Loves Anime. The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation, now in its 30 th year, will also return with three varied programmes showcasing some of the most highly-anticipated new short animations from the UK. The eventual winner will be chosen by the audience.
The world of experimental film is once again uncovered in the Festival’s ever-popular BLACK BOX strand which presents a selection of short and feature-length experimental and artists’ films from around the world. These works exist on the margins of commercial film production, pushing the boundaries of visual communication and tying together form and politics in new and exciting ways. Films screening as part of the strand include: Philip Hoffman’s Vulture , an observational study of farm life and Home in E Major , a deeply personal and quietly poetic documentary about displacement, friendship and the importance of home as well as a number of shorts programme including Politics of Place , which explore the relationship between humans, nature and technology.
This year’s SHORTS section will offer a thrilling showcase of the finest brand-new short films from across the globe including Haunting the Image, which will explore the medium of film as a conductor through which to capture and evoke episodes of ritual and transfiguration; Film Is Resistance , which suggests that film can be an act of potent political resistance, offering ideological provocations and Image Is Memory , which explores the moving image as a powerful marker of memory. EIFF Youth Shorts: Exploring Boundaries will also return with seven stories from around the globe which explore the fascinating world of human relationships. The winner of the EIFF Youth Shorts: New Visions competition, which invites filmmakers from across Scotland aged 14–25 years old to enter, will also be announced.
The Festival’s EIFF Youth strand will offer an array of cutting-edge film screenings, special events, talks and masterclasses for young audiences at this year’s Festival. In addition the 2019 EIFF Young Programmers have also selected a number of films within this year’s programme which are recommended as essential viewing for 15-25 year olds. These include: the opening night film Boyz in the Wood; The Art of Self-Defense , starring Jesse Eisenberg as a mild-mannered accountant who learns karate and Bulbul Can Sing , an adolescent girl’s coming-of-age story in a small Indian village. EIFF Youth is supported by Baillie Gifford and funded through the PLACE programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.
As previously announced the immensely popular free open-air cinema event, Film Fest in the City with Edinburgh Live, will also return to St Andrew Square Garden, running from Friday 14 th to Sunday 16 th June 2019.
Tickets go on sale to EIFF Friends and Filmhouse Members on Wednesday 29 th May at 12noon and on sale to the public on Friday 31 st May at 10am.
For more information on this year’s Festival visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk .
The 73 rd edition of EIFF runs from 19 – 30 June 2019. Previous Story
Kafe UTU – Review
Sat 1730 – 0100hrs Sun 1730 – 2300hrs
Often times, food bloggers/ Instagrammers are mistaken to be free loaders & people going round eating free food. Please be advised that unless it’s a media invitation/event, we, like everyone else, pay for what we eat (though I can’t speak for all influencers across the board).
It is a monthly ritual that we congregate & commune over our common love – impressive face stuffing experiences, be it holistic or just for the palates. Because we gather in numbers, we have the economy of scales to socialize those calories, and I’d advocate such practices for all readers, as you get to enjoy more variety, at a socialized cost.
Am blessed food lovers in attendance, from; The Arctic Star , Chubby Botak Koala , Little Tiny Sun , Purple Taste , Ivan With Rachelle , and Msginginly .
Kafe UTU offers some of the best selections of true blue cuisines from the different corners of the African continent. Located at the edge of Jiak Chuan Road, the owner, Kurt, spent a good amount of time, effort & budget to jazz out the sleepy conservation shop-house building built in the early 20th century. The unit on level 2 is long & deep with an open veranda in the rear that has full view of the CBD skyline and the towering Pinnacles @ Duxton round the corner. Every bit of detail is a piece of Africa that’s crafted & shipped from some parts of the continent.
Inside, there’s a long table (crafted from a single tree trunk) where we dined, and a huge living space with sofa & throw cushion that seats at least 12pax, with a 300yrs old full height mirror framed on the side. Above us, a loft, also with cozy sofas, throw cushions & a sky roof that makes it less claustrophobic, like a set in a sitcom.
Before we begin with the cuisines, I think the Procera Gin is truly mention-worthy. An African craft Gin loaded with botanical from different corners of Africa, such as; Morocco, Kenya, Somalia, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Sierra Leone. As it appears, Procera is the first and only Gin crafted with African juniper. The fragrance is alluring with a rich hint of spice, crispy & smooth in each sip, and easy on the throat. I think I’ve developed a new found favor for Gin over Whiskeys. But then again, subject to the occasion.
We each had something uniquely concocted by the mixologists; only had to mention our choice liquor base, and preference for tastes/flavors. So we had some cocktails & mocktails, from and off the menu.
Malinda Croquettes , innocent as they seem, I’d say they’re pretty addictive for starters. Light crispy breaded golden crust, soft and lush on the inside, stuffed with fresh cassava leaves, ginger, garlic, Habanero, house spices and Béchamel. A hue of tingly spice heat, once you start, you can’t stop.
Pan Con Tomate with House Smoked Anchovies & Garlic , is no ordinary bread & soup. The bread wedges are nicely glazed & toasted with some charred bits, topped with smoked anchovies with strands of green & purple. You can choose to dunk the breads in the tomato puree soup, or, drizzle the tomato over your breads. Either way, the taste & texture is pretty dynamic. p.s.: I’ve a feeling folks familiar with the Thai fermented fish, would enjoy this.
Roasted Pumpkin Kale Salad , needs no further introduction, but I think the doneness & natural sweetness brought out from the roasting is commendable. The kale leaves are crispy and offers a twist to the flavors as your go along.
Macanese African Chicken with Mango Salsa looks familiar to our palates, but in terms of taste, is pretty a little zesty & citrus, with tangy mango salsa gravy. It’s served with a crispy biscuit of quinoa, familiar to the scent of smoky toasted rice.
Moroccan Lemon Chicken Tagine is served without the Tagine, but I think presentation is all good. The chicken is moist, flavorful & nicely done, blanketing the quinoa, that’s fragrant & moist. According to some sources, quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew, Swahili Fish Curry and the West African Charred Aubergine Stew with Angus Beef Cheek are served with piping fragrant basmati rice, of which, one is served with roasted coconut shavings. Delicious! Use the salsas if you please, to add some dynamics to the flavors.
Under normal circumstances, I’d favor the turf over the surf. However, the Swahili Fish Curry was pretty impressive. The Aubergine Stew with Angus Beef Cheeks is also something I’d revisit for. You’ve to try it to decide which suits your palates best.
Off the menu, Kurt suggested that we try the special Nigerian Beef Suya (soon to be added to the menu). Nice & juicy oven roasted beef hanger strips, infused with the spice laced flavorful marinade, served with a sheet of chapatti, cucumbers & kachumbari. Wrap the meats & condiments in the chapatti sheets as you please.
Last but not least, desserts to cap the night. Utu Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream is indeed soft. It was having a meltdown as we took turns for a few pictures. The crispy toasted bread slices went well with the ice cream.
Malindi Halwa is a crossover of Middle-eastern/ Indian origins, evidently, the recipe that goes into this is elaborate. Herein is the Halwa that’s in a different league from contemporaries, stacked on crunchy nutty dukkha wafers, and spiraled coconut yogurt.
The Carrot Cake needs no introduction, but i find the combination of ingredients deliciously unique. I’ll admit that I love the creamy cheese topped with colorful berries & pickled carrot shavings. I’m not much of a sweet tooth, so this one appeals to me most.
All in all, I like the novelty of this joint, as it’s really quite different from the neighbors, and the menu concept paired with mixologist concoctions, makes this a nice place for revisits at different times of the day. In terms of price point, the total spending per person is on par with most other bistros/ gastro bars in the vicinity.
1.279848 103.841950 12 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore 089265 Share this:
Ginger-it-Up|Let the Cravings Begin!
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