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AROUND THE WORLD OCTOBER 2016

1.  TASTE THE SWEET LIFE -Date harvest in Libya usually ends toward the end of September and ushers in the Ghadames Date Festival. Now a World Heritage site, the old village was in previous times home to seven clans. Residents of the newer town  return to their family homes in the old city, to throw open their doors for singing, dancing and eating dates. Up to 30 of the 1250 houses are used; where some events would once have lasted seven days, seven buildings are used instead.  It’s an opportunity to ‘turn back time’ to experience ancient celebrations in their traditional environment. The three day celebrations end in the desert amongst the Tuaregs with an evening of dancing.

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2.  BANGING BANGKOK – The Thai capital of Bangkok has beaten London to be crowned the world’s most popular travel destination this year, according to an annual ranking by global payments and technology company MasterCard. Bangkok is projected to host 21.47 million “international overnight visitors” this year, more than two times the city’s population of about 10 million. For two years prior to this, London had proved the most popular…not anymore! 

3.  FAIRYTALE FOREST – And we thought we had heard it all…well at least until the five-star Rosemont Hotel & Residences announced its ambitious plans for opening its next hotel in the desert city of Dubai.  It will have 450 rooms, a fine dining restaurant, a spa and gym, and a rooftop infinity pool. And, wait for it……its own  indoor rainforest and aquarium. And don’t forget the zipline…but you’re going to have to wait until 2018 to go flying through the tropical air as the rainforest will only be ready for visitors then. 

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4.  WATER VILLAS WELCOME – Mexico, Jamaica and Panama are becoming even more popular as holiday destinations and with the cool Caribbean lapping their feet it’s no wonder that the overwater bungalow has made its apprearance. No longer just to be found in Bora Bora or the Maldives, the epitome of luxury with where you can step straight out of bed into those turquoise clear waters has now made its way into South America. The first to open its doors will be the Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma, in the Riviera Maya, with 30 villas that hover over the Caribbean Sea. The owners were inspired by the ancestral Aztec community, who built their homes over Tenochtitlan’s lake.

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5. IT’S GETTING HOT IN AUCKLAND  – According to Christie’s International Real Estate’s annual ranking of the world’s hottest luxury housing markets, the New Zealand city has taken top spot. Toronto in Canada used to hold this position but an increase in both local and international demand has seen it replaced by the island city. When one thinks luxury home, New York, London and Monaco come to mind, now make space for Auckland. According to a survey a ‘luxury’ property is one that sold for more than NZ$ 1.5 million.

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6. LONDON GETS NAKED – In June this year the first naked restaurant, The Bunyadi,  was opened in London. With a waiting list of over apparently 40 000 it looks to be a winner already. But in August the concept was taken a little further with NOW TV launching the first ever Naked Rooftop bar. With views over Parliament Square and Big Ben, it’s set to be a great way to join the ‘mile high club’.  With trampolines and swingballs to keep you entertained, sounds like the only things missing is the sea. The concept will be launched at various other rooftops throughout the city.

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