Online Magazine, Travel Stories, Travel Trends

DKSA Travel Stories

anties-veggies

Traveling is about expanding your horizons while learning and experiencing different cultures. Along the way you may experience some mishaps and horror stories to laugh about in the future. In this issue, the Destination Team is proud to share some of our very own personal travel stories.


sirens-of-turkeySirens of Turkey
Swalah’s story

Last year, I was hanging in my hotel room in Turkey while my sister went to a salon. Suddenly, i hear loud sirens coming from outside. I look out the window and see people on the street frozen in their places. Imagine watching someone get into their car and stopping with the door open, another riding their bike only to come to a sudden halt, others walking down the road then literally freezing. I thought the world was ending!

In a panic, I call my sister, who is also clueless, saying everyone just suddenly walked out of the salon. Just as suddenly, the sirens stopped and everyone on the streets stared moving again as through nothing had happened. It was like something out of an apocalyptic movie.

After some investigation, I find out that every 10th of November, Turkey commemorates the dearth anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. The country remembers him with a moment of silence.

Moral of the story: study the culture of any country you choose to visit!

anties-veggiesAuntie’s Veggies
Joudi’s story

Back when i was studying at University in Lebanon, I planned a trip to Jeddah to visit my parents. Before I left for the airport, my aunt handed me a heavy box to give to my father. It was well-wrapped at the time and I could not open it, but i asked her what was inside. She told me there were vegetables and herbs, zaatar and so on. I couldn’t say no, so i said OK and boarded my plane with it as my carry-on.

I stashed the box in the overhead compartments. Just after landing, I got up and asked a random man to help me take it down. As he was helping, the box fell, hit the ground, and broke open. All these vegetables – from lettuce to tomatoes – and the zaatar spilled all over the floor. I was so embarrassed that i just left it there and left the plane.

Moral of the story: try real hard to convince your family members that produce isn’t allowed on flight, and maybe they’ll stop sending you back with so much of it.

secret-passwordThe Secret Password
Maria’s story

Back when I was in Amsterdam, I was at a super fancy restaurant called IZAKAYA with two close friends. I posted where i was on social media and a friend wrote back telling me to ask the waiter for the “secret password”. We were already done with dinner and it felt weird asking for something so odd. But before we left we figured we might as well try.

We asked the waiter and with a straight face he told us, “one moment” and walked off. Shortly after, he comes back with a woman who handed us a card with a password on it. Confused, we called back the waiter and asked him to explain this situations to us, being that it is our first time. He told us that the password would let us into a place called The Butcher Shop and he lets us know where to find it.

We walked out of the restaurant and over to a small burger joint. Still confused, we go in and see a bland door with a camera hanging at the top. We pull out the card and show the camera and the door unlocks.

A million assumptions are going through my mind as to what can be found behind this door. I proceed to open it and find a woman dressed up and behind her a huge lounge with great music and incredible atmosphere. Definitely worth this crazy journey!

Moral of the story: always trust a friend when she tells you about a secret password. OK, maybe not always, but trust your friends regardless.

toy-storyToy Store-y
Deena’s story

When I was about 6 years old, my family and i took our annual trip to switerland to visit the grandparents. One day, we were roaming around the city of Bern and my mom wanted to go into a shop with my older sister, so she left me with my grandmother. Big mistake… huge!

While my grandmother was in one of the shops around the area, she bumped into her friend and got lost in conversation. That’s when I left her and found my way to my favorite toy store which was just around the corner. When my mom and sister reunited with my grandmother, they realized that I was not with either of them.

In a panic, they all run out into the streets looking for me, my mom even tries to stop a tram, which many know, you can’t. After a few minutes of panic, my mom looks over to see me walking back to their general area with two teenage boys assisting me. You can say I was having the time of my life while leaving my family in a frenzy.

Moral of the story: never leave your kids with your mother. At least that’s what my mom learned.

Read More...

Food, Health Activities, Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

What The Health Are They Up To?

coach-deenas-mom-23

The health community in Saudi Arabia has been thriving in recent years. With endless introductions to an array of diets, the public has been left confused and unsure what steps to take to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Regardless of the diet you follow, it is important to know what stores carry healthy food options. Two coaches give us their suggestions of where to shop and tell us a little bit about the lifestyle they chose.

Muna Shaheen

Muna is a certified bodybuilding fitness instructor and personal trainer. After suffering with her health for many years, she switched up her diet and started a healthy lifestyle, testing out different eating habits and workout routines until she finally found what her body best responded to. Muna follows the paleo diet, meaning she eats ‘the diet of our ancestors’ – food high in protein, usually from an animal source, followed by carbs from green vegetables. Her paleo diet also includes raw nuts, all different types of vegetables, fruits and grains.

Her diet complements physical activities and intensive training sessions. When she is not running her business, Muna indulges in high intensity interval training, CrossFit and more. Not only has she been coaching the Bliss Runners, an all-female fitness and running group, she also trains small groups and gives private, personal training sessions.

Muna relies on a few places for fresh, clean food – Danube for meat, poultry, and cheese; L’organic for cultured butter and plant-based alternative milk products; and Abazeer for grains and good oils.

Abazeer
Instagram: thecoachmuna

Organic foods
Instagramabazeer

L’organic
Imported organic and natural produce.
Instagramlorganic_shop

Danube
Local and imported foods
Instagramdanubeco

CHECK OUT THESE HEALTH FOOD STORES:

Biotic
Nutritional supplements, dietary alternatives, and organic produce.
Instagram: biotic_sa

Qaf
mported organic produce
Instagramqaf_sa

Read More...

Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

What The Health Are They Up To?

coach-richard

The health community in Saudi Arabia has been thriving in recent years. With endless introductions to an array of diets, the public has been left confused and unsure what steps to take to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Regardless of the diet you follow, it is important to know what stores carry healthy food options. Two coaches give us their suggestions of where to shop and tell us a little bit about the lifestyle they chose.

Richard Jordan

Richard is a holistic health coach specializing in private, personal holistic health consulting. He also does corporate wellness initiatives for organizations to help improve quality of life in the workplace.

The best definition of a holistic lifestyle is approaching the human as a single entity with multiple biological systems working together as one, to help optimize health. Having the mindset, nutrition, fitness or movement, recovery or sleep, and stress management components of your life working together is really the only way to do just that.

“What that looks like for one person might be different than the next person, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But everyone needs to have all of those pillars working together.”

Richard subscribes to the “real food” diet, which means majority of his food does not come with a long list of ingredients. He makes sure all three macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbohydrates from real, non-processed sources – are in his meals. “I eat protein from an animal source as well as fat from an animal or a plant like an avocado or olive oil, and as much vegetable-based carbohydrates as possible, in the form of the most colorful salads as possible.”
Richard shops at Manuel

(Instagram: manuelmarkets) and Lulu
(Instagram: luluhypermarkets), where he purchases fresh salmon and organic produce. One of his favorites is Chopped
(Instagram: choppedksa) , a butcher where he finds the best selection of imported meats.

Instagram: primalife_wellness

Read More...

Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Music, Online Magazine

Going Loco For Local: Loulwa Al Sharif

lulu-local-talent-1

Our Top Performers and Where to Catch Them.


From underground artist to the forefront of the Saudi music scene, Loulwa Al Sharif is becoming a household name, widely known for her soulful, bluesy voice.

Loulwa is influenced by music that tells a story, touches people’s hearts, and moves the audience. She looks up to Joss Stone and Beth Hart, both soulful artists who she says “sing from the heart; it’s all about being real and delivering what you’re feeling deep inside to the beautiful listeners.”

Getting started in the music scene was exciting for Loulwa. With a nudge, she performed her first event at a compound and hasn’t stopped since. She gained more confidence with each performance, and has since opened for Joss Stone’s private concert in Jeddah. She was also on the sixth season of Arabs Got Talent, both huge strides for Saudi women.

Loulwa believes in making a positive change in the culture and inspiring talented females to step up.

She can be found performing in public spaces, her favorite one being Boho Café, a cozy setting with so much character that inspires artists and allows audiences to enjoy a night of music and positive vibes.

Instagram: loulwa_music

Read More...

Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Music, Online Magazine

Going Loco For Local: Nourah and Nawaf

nawaf-and-noura11

Our Top Performers and Where to Catch Them.


Nourah

Nourah is a brand and creative strategist as well as a singer-songwriter with a deep passion for music. She started off as a guest performer in her friend Sean’s band before getting into duo and solo performances. She performed at an open mic night in 2018, which made her even more enthusiastic to take on more of the local music scene.

In January 2019, the General Entertainment Authority issued public performance permits, and the following week Nourah opened a public Instagram account, which is when Seven Moons, a creative venue in Riyadh, reached out to her and Sean to perform at their venue. She has since performed at many public and private events and venues in Riyadh including Soho Club, a restaurant offering a unique, music-filled dining experience.

Nourah is currently working on original content, collaborating with a few local musicians. She enjoys singing covers from different genres such as jazz, pop, and soft rock to honor music that formed her eclectic taste. One of her favorite aspects of the local music scene is seeing artists ‘have each other’s backs.’ There have been more collaborations and more people coming out of their shells creating a vibrant culture. “Everyone’s so insanely talented and we’re all encouraging each other.”

Instagram: nourah.sings

Nawaf

Known for his vibrant voice that will draw in any audience, soul singer Nawaf is making huge strides in the local music scene. After starting out his music career performing in private events, he gracefully moved into the public sphere and has been playing a huge role in evolving the local music scene.

He started off performing at open mic nights to pioneering a jazz concert conducted in partnership with the German consulate in Jeddah and embassy in Riyadh, where Nawaf performed alongside the Johannes Brigge Trio band. Another highlight of Nawaf’s career was singing a spontaneous duet with Joss Stone at an intimate concert in Jeddah, pleasantly taking the crowd by surprise by belting out high notes and keeping up with the famous singer.

With all the changes taking place in recent years, Nawaf still finds minor troubles in the fairly new local music scene is fairly new. Finding an established musical institute as well as other talents to collaborate with has not been easy for local artists, and many artists like Nawaf have taken it upon themselves to create the change they want.

Nawaf’s favorite performance spot is Draft Cafe in Riyadh, a chill venue with monthly open mic nights to showcase local talents and artists.

Instagram: nawafinity

Read More...

Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Online Magazine

Going Loco For Local: Bader Naseef

bader-local-talent-1

Our Top Performers and Where to Catch Them.


A physician at King Abdulaziz University Hospital by day and a Spanish flamenco rumba musician by night, Bader Al Naseef is a man of many talents. Inspired by flamenco music as part of his Andalusian family history, Bader Al Naseef grew up listening to Spanish bands such as La Rumba, Mont de Pelier, and the Gypsy Kings. Bader’s musical influence also extends to the compositions of Ziryab, an ancient Iraqi/Andalusian music composer.

The first time Bader picked up the guitar in middle school, he played heavy metal with friends, but eventually went back to his original passion. “I think the genre I play really helps my music be accepted because it’s a well-known sound loved by many around the world,” he enthusiastically shares.

Before public performances were legal in the Kingdom, Bader performed in private spaces, as well as abroad, such as in Spain and Morocco. You can watch him perform in local venues now, including hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Bader’s favorite so far is Lallo Restaurant, which holds a vibrant space for local artists to share their talents.

Instagram:  bader_naseef2017

Read More...

Events & Happenings

Destination #TGIT: What’s Going On, Jeddah?

capturewe

Spending the summer in Jeddah but not sure what to do? Destination’s got you covered!


This summer, Jeddah has had the privilege of hosting Jeddah Season! So much has been going on in the city that it’s almost difficult to keep up. Along with the season activities, the locals are keeping busy with so much more the city has to offer this summer. 

Event of the Week

Marshmello

Photo Credits: festivalflyer.com

Photo Credits: festivalflyer.com

Dates: 10 July
Showtime: 8:30 PM
Tickets:
On Jeddah Season Website or at Virgin Megastore
Venue:
Basketball Arena – King Abdullah Sport City
Photo sourced from: festivalflyer.com

Must See Movie

the-hustle-film-2019-1

Up for some cinematic relief? We highly recommend The Hustle

An action-packed movie with a comedic element, The hustle will leave you giggling and on your toes. Check out the website to find available timings here at Vox

Location: Red Sea Mall

Restaurant of the week

Baco

pics3

Baos have been the new trend taking Saudi by storm! New to Jeddah’s food seen, Baco has been on everyone’s must visit list. Although not authentically Asian nor Central American, Baco has taken the concept of a bao and a taco and fused them together to make the delicious bao taco. 

Instagram: baco.sa
Location: Ash Shati Dist.

Where to Go

pics4

Humming Tree

This weekend, Trendsetters will be hosting an open mic night at Humming Tree! Humming Tree is an intimate space where the Jeddah community gathers to host different events. 

Instagram: hummingtreecommunity
Date: Friday, 5 July
Time: 6 PM – 10 PM
Location:
Al Hamra’a
Photo sourced from their Instagram

Read More...

Online Magazine, Travel Stories, Travel Trends

The Ireland Allure

COURTESY PHOTOS

Story by: Enas Hashani

Where nature, history, and innovation come together.


I was beyond excited to arrive in Northern Ireland and meet the Invest NI team. They have been nothing but kind to show us around the beautiful surrounding areas and introduce us to their incredible country.

The weather was chilly but wonderful on our first morning, after an intro from the Invest NI team, we took part in a guided tour and briefing at the Titanic Museum. Titanic Belfast has been dubbed the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards back in 2016. It is located beside the Titanic slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, where the Titanic was launched in 1912. Not only was the architecture incredible, but so was the history. We learned about the story of the Titanic, from the conception to the construction and launch.

Next up was the Queen’s University Belfast tour. One of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland and one of the most elaborately sculpted buildings I have come across. No wonder it is ranked in the top 10 most beautiful universities in the UK. With its uniquely rich heritage and history, Queen’s University Belfast stands as the UK’s ninth oldest university with state-of-the-art facilities.

After a night’s rest at the Grand Central hotel where we were staying, we traveled to the Kris Turnbull studio for a tour with the company director. The Kris Turnbull team is exceptionally talented and offers a range of design services that are recognized all around Europe and the Middle East. Being one of the most esteemed design studios in the UK, they offer architecture, interior architecture, interior design,
and styling.

COURTESY PHOTOS

COURTESY PHOTOS

We then moved on to the NI Tourism tour. Tourism NI is the national development authority for tourism in Northern Ireland with a mission is to grow tourism in the region. The tourism itinerary included many destinations where I felt like I was walking onto the set of Game of Thrones. On the first stop on tour, we got the chance to see the famous Dark Hedges planted by the Stuart family back in the 18th century as a means to impress visitors as they made their way to the entrance of the Gracehill House. The long and ominous road included tall intertwined trees that met at the top to hide the sun from beaming down on us. This gave the street a dark and mysterious feel, a perfect spot to film the Game of Thrones.

The second location on tour was Carnlough, a small but incredibly picturesque harbor followed by a trip to the Cushendun Caves. The caves were large and magnificent, a perfect contrast to the quiet and sandy beach it overlooked.

Later we visited the Larrybane Quarry which is adjacent to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. Located on the North Antrim coast, the location held an incredible view of the Causeway Coast. Afterward, we visited the Ballintoy Harbour, a tiny fishing village with a regal panoramic view. The last spot was the most incredible and forever memorable Giant’s Causeway. With an almost dreamlike view of the wild North Atlantic Ocean and dramatic landscape of giant cliffs, Giant’s Causeway has captured the hearts of all who have come across it from artists to scientists. The tour was insanely visually inspiring, and I have no doubt that NI Tour will reach its goal of making Northern Ireland one of the top world-class tourist destination.

After a well deserved good night’s rest at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel in Derry-Londonderry, we traveled to visit the magnificent Ulster University Magee campus. The university is Northern Ireland’s public university whose research has contributed globally as well as to the local region’s social and economic betterment.

Later that we visited the CDE Global HQ. CDE is a wet processing equipment company for sand and aggregates, mining, C&D waste recycling, and industrial sands. The company has been designing, manufacturing and commissioning wet processing plants for over 25 years. Visiting the headquarters of such a prestigious company has been truly eye-opening and an exciting way to wrap up our trip to Northern Ireland.

A real island gem of culture, entrepreneurship, gastronomy, and more; our Northern Ireland trip served as an eyeopener. Beyond the shamrocks, any traveler who gets the chance to visit this wonderful country would be in luck.

Read More...

Fashion Trends, Local Designers, Offbeat, Online Magazine, Style & Shopping

Be Extraordinary: Sara Rayess

dscf2439

What drives a modern Muslim Woman to succeed in modern society? In this issue of Destination, we’ve gathered a handful of incredible ladies who show us that being extraordinary is a matter of deciding to go the extra mile: Extra Grit, Extra Passion, and Extra Hard Work. Arab women are pushing boundaries, and as a whole, can get us across the finish line of progress.


Photo By Abdullah Almosharaf

Fashion and graphic designer, Sara Rayess advises others to be Extra Patient, especially when starting a business. Rayess started making scarves seven years ago when she realized that there was a lack in the market. She could not find anything up to her liking. Her elegant style and the passion she had for design and fashion drove her success. The people around her who encouraged her to create her own fashion line, Foulard, helped drive her as well.  dscf2431-copy

Taking Foulard from a local brand to an internationally recognized brand has been a challenging journey. Rayess learned not to depend on others and to put in hard work and be patient to come up with the results she wanted to see. “The more you give, the more effort you give to the thing you are doing, the more you will get.”

Instagram: foulard_f

Read More...

Fashion Trends, Offbeat, Online Magazine, Style & Shopping

Be Extraordinary: Laila Mourad

2c5a7658

What drives a modern Muslim Woman to succeed in modern society? In this issue of Destination, we’ve gathered a handful of incredible ladies who show us that being extraordinary is a matter of deciding to go the extra mile: Extra Grit, Extra Passion, and Extra Hard Work. Arab women are pushing boundaries, and as a whole, can get us across the finish line of progress.


Photo By Abdullah Almosharaf

After years of thinking she needed to change her physical appearance to be accepted by the general public, Laila Mourad urges her followers to be Extra Confident and accept themselves the way they are. “I wanted to get my nose done, and I thought that’s what I needed to go that extra mile and be better, then I slowly started to accept myself as I am and just really see myself as beautiful without having to change anything.” This shift in perspective allowed Mourad to get past her insecurities and teach others the importance of self-acceptance before going through her health and fitness lifestyle change. 2c5a7652-copy“If I were talking to my younger self, I wouldn’t want her to feel horrible about herself and have to go through plastic surgery to change something about herself. I thought I don’t want to give off that message, so that also helped me just accept myself and accept that I don’t have to look perfect. I can just be natural and be myself.” Mourad found social media to be more accepting than she had anticipated. With a diverse array of personalities and the large scale of social media, there is enough room for everyone to express who they want to be authentically. “I think you can be who you are and stay true to yourself without having to skew that. You will find a group of people who will love that and want to follow that.”

Instagram: lailamourad

Read More...