Entries tagged with “Abu Dhabi”.


I had the misfortune to experience Dubai under less than perfect conditions, and with it Emirates airline, which once was the best airline in the world (now dropped to number four, as rated by Skytrax)! A City Tour by Sun Tours helped to restore my appreciation for what Dubai has to offer! (more…)

imageThe turnout at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa this afternoon, for the farewell tribute to its Executive Director Horst Frehse, was testament to his popularity and the respect in which he is held, it was clear to see by all who attended. He is one of two iconic hoteliers to retire this year.

Mr Frehse‘, as he has always been respectfully addressed by his (more…)

World Travel Market Africa 2col_330x200_IMG_8220Africa Travel Week 2015 kicked off in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday, and runs for the full week, attracting about 5000 delegates from around the world.   The Africa Travel Week consists of three events.

On Monday International Luxury Travel Week commenced, 300 delegates welcomed to Cape Town and the Western Cape by provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde. He informed delegate that luxury travel is a growth (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   British travelers can experience a virtual taste of Cape Town and other South African highlights whilst in Manchester(NoHo) and in London (Corbet Place), with a special film about our city on the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.  Abseiling down Table Mountain, shark-cage diving, paragliding, kite-surfing, feeding elephants, and visiting the Johannesburg Neighbourgoods Market are featured. Two viewers will win tickets to travel to South Africa, to experience our country’s beauty in reality.

*   For the first time Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has admitted that the Immigration Regulations, which were (more…)

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*   New draft legislation calls for zero alcohol consumption before driving, with input sought by 27 February.  Alcohol in medicines and fruit could lead to wrongful arrests.

*  SAA has announced that its direct flights between Johannesburg and Mumbai in India will come to an end on 1 April. It will fly to Abu Dhabi, from where passengers will fly with Etihad or Jet Airways to Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Madras in India on a codeshare basis. This route cut, combined with the one to Beijing, will help reduce costs for SAA. Ironic is that SA Tourism as well as local tourism players is in India at the moment, on a marketing trip for our country!

*   Horror of horrors is the report that the Glen Country Club sports grounds is up for sale (more…)

Reuben Riffel Whale CottageYesterday I met Chef Reuben Riffel for a Day of Reconciliation coffee at Crisp in Franschhoek, around the corner from his Reuben’s restaurant, a follow-up from our reconnection at the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards.

As he sat down, Chef Reuben apologised for not feeling 100%, starting a cold, and expressing that he is exhausted after a very busy year, but seems to have enjoyed every minute of it. Ironically he and his wife Maryke had planned 2014 last year, wanting it to be a less busy year than 2013, but looking back, he said it was even busier. In the past year he has done the following:

*   filmed MasterChef SA Celebrity Edition, a series we are yet to see, in January 2015, in which he cut his MasterChef judging teeth, apologising that he was still new at being a TV cooking show judge.  Food24 reports that the 10 celebrities, cooking for a prize to be donated to  charity, are Singer Patricia Lewis, Comedian Chris Forrest, Comedian TolAss­Mo, (more…)

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*      Etihad Airways and SAA have announced one of the benefits of their ‘strategic partnership’, in that SAA is commencing flights between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi from 29 March, doubling the number of flights on this route.  Abu Dhabi is a hub, with access to India, the Middle East, and Asia.

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that the profit of its member airlines is expected to grow, due to the lower oil price and GDP growth. Airfares are expected to decrease by 5%.

*   The R 2 million Sun Star sculpture on Signal Hill has unleashed a debate about the role of corporate sponsorship in (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Moody’s has downgraded our country’s debt rating to Baa2, one level lower, due to ‘poor growth prospects and rising public debt’, a rating on a par with the company’s ratings of Russia and Brazil, and two notches removed from ‘junk status‘. Electricity shortages were highlighted as one specific reason for the downgrade.

*   The Volvo Ocean Race yachts have arrived in the V&A Waterfront, and a host of activities are planned until the yachts head for Abu Dhabi on 19 November.  Only seven teams are participating in the world’s leading offshore sailing race covering four oceans and five continents.   An inaugural Open Ocean Festival runs in this period, but has been very poorly publicised (shoppers to the V&A Waterfront received brochures yesterday as they entered the underground parking).  Events of the Festival include the Open Ocean Film Festival this weekend, Fly Boarding today, Xtreme Water Polo from 10 – 12 November, Canoe Polo today, a Sunset Mile open ocean swim on 12 November, and the third day of the IRC National Regatta today.

*   Waterford Wine Estate has been named a Global Winner in the categories Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable (more…)

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*  SAA would consider a partner to assist it in running its loss-making operation, the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said earlier this week.  The airline’s application for more funding was recently rejected.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has opened a Hong Kong office to market our country’s wines to all of Asia, and will be managed by Michaela Stander, who has managed the region from South Africa for the past six years.  South African wine sales into China grew by 5% and to Japan by 12% in the past year.   The marketing program includes consumer education, a sommelier competition, dinners, and offering wines by the glass.  It will be visible at the HKTDC fair in Hong Kong next week, and at ProWein China from 12 – 14 November.

*   The 40th annual Volvo Ocean Race of 39000 nautical miles, will welcome the first yachts into Cape Town on Sunday, (more…)

Truth coffee shop, Cape TownCape Town has been listed as number one ‘Holiday Hotspots: where to go in 2014‘ by The Guardian on its list of 40 Holiday Hotspots!

Cape Town is praised for hosting World Design Capital 2014, with 450 design projects on show this year; for the re-invention of Woodstock, with the Neighbourgoods Market, home to The Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen (but leaving out Burrata); Truth on Buitenkant Street, described as the ‘world’s coolest café’; and the Coffee Beans Routes.

The other 39 Holiday Hotspots are the following:

*   Uzès in Provence in France

*   Austin, Texas

*   Carmarthenshire in the UK

*   Kolkatta in India

*   Islands São Tomé and Príncipe off the African coast

*   Alaçatu in Turkey

*   George Town in Malaysia

*   Alberta in Canada

*   Bordeaux in France (more…)