17

Things I wish I knew as a First-Time Author | #BlogchatterEbook

Things I wish I knew as a first-time Author

It was around the same time last year when my relationship with Blogchatter started. They had announced their annual BlogchatterEbook Carnival, which transforms a blogger to a self-published author. Since I didn’t have much time to create new content for the Ebook and I desperately wanted to test publishing waters; I decided to edit and compile the existing top blog posts from my blog ‘The contemplation of a Joker’ and give this activity a real chance.

Today I can proudly say I am an author of a ‘self-published’ book. This year Blogchatter has given me an added responsibility. They took from a blogger to an author and now they are converting this author into a mentor for the people who would be participating in this years’ carnival.

I am proud to be considered a mentor for this year’s #BlogchatterEbook and I am here to help you out with your doubts and queries. Since the last years’ affair was so rushed for me there were many questions and things that bothered me right before compiling and putting the content in a book format. There are multiple questions that pop up from what font to use, what should be the order of the content, how to go about formatting the content, what is the ideal word limit and so on.

Based on my experience from last year and the questions I have been getting, I am writing this post on the ‘Things I wish I knew as a first-time author’.

I want to begin by saying; this is YOUR book and is a reflection of you. You are here to have fun and make sure you enjoy the journey from a Blogger to a published Author. There are no set mandatory rules, just a set of guidelines to help you come up with a better version of your book. Many people get scared because of the guidelines and never publish the book itself.

Just remember – Every Criticism is good criticism if you are a writer. Reach out to as many people as possible and ask them if they can give feedback for your work. That will certainly help in boosting confidence and correcting errors. Even if you aren’t finding people to dedicate time for you, do a couple of thorough self-reviews.

To begin with I would say just pick up a random book and go through the look and feel; how the content is formatted, how the chapters are starting, what the margins look like on each side, how many lines are there in a page and how many words in each line and so on.

Let’s start with the cover page:

Do include a cover page, with a pic, title and your name and/or any tagline. You can use Canva and Snapseed to design and edit. If you are looking for free pictures; Canva, Unsplash and Pixabay are good resources. Since it is an Ebook, you can choose a picture in either a vertical or horizontal format. I consider it a mistake since I chose a horizontal picture that might not ideally look like a book cover.

Length/Size of the book:

Personally speaking, there is no defined limit – It’s not an essay contest. Just make sure whatever story you are conveying and the central plot are complete. Don’t worry about word count – still, try to keep it around 15k at least. The more the merrier. If you are going with a compilation of let’s say recipes or travelogues then try to focus on each chapter and make it complete. In that scenario, keep a healthy count of somewhere around 12 and more.

About Content:

It will be best if there is a central theme around the work. Last year I compiled random short stories and that worked too. A theme gives an insight to the readers about what they are getting into. Sometimes, since it is the first time, the book might have two themes – then also go ahead with it and divide it into two sections. Remember there is no right or wrong here.

Title

I wasn’t sure what the title of my book should be – when I looked around it was right in front of me. It was the same as my blog’s title. When you have a THEME, it becomes easy. If it’s a compilation, my advice is to pick the title of most imp story and write ‘other stories…’ If the book has more than one theme, then the title should focus on the theme with more content or importance.

Formatting

It is always about the content in a book and not fancy fonts. Try to keep any ‘serif’ font – Times, Courier, Century Schoolbook, Palatino.

Size – ideally 10 or 12 points (also depends upon page formatting n font)

Indentation

Well, it’s not important but if you want your book’s content to look like a regular ones’ then indentation gives that look and feel.

Select-All (Content/Chapter) and then Control+J. Your content is perfectly done.

Margins

Margins give better readability. Usually, keep half an inch as margin.

Page size – I have mostly worked on A4 so I can recommend that. If you want to convert it into paperback later then A5 for a 6*9 layout is good. Try to keep 250-300 words on a page. I have seen the regular books have somewhere around 20-25 lines on a page. Try to keep that depending upon the size of the font and page.

Header and Footer

Try to keep the name of the book as header and a page number as footer. Start page numbers from the first chapter. I kept the author name too in the header.

For page numbers – go to Insert – Page numbers and then format. Insert only page numbers and not Page1, Page2… The beginning pages like Title, preface, acknowledgment should be devoid of page numbers or if you really want then go for roman numbering.

The order of the book

There is compulsory order but the one that is usually followed is – Cover Page – Title Page – Copyright page – dedication (optional) – Acknowledgement (Optional) – Table of contents – Chapters – About the author (it can be placed before Index as well). If you are writing non-fiction or content that requires a lot of references, then you can add the list of references at the end. If the book has more than one part then you can also add a teaser for the next part in the end.

How to save as pdf

Everybody is not tech savvy and since I received a couple of questions on this – After you have put everything in order – verify the order of chapters and pages. Close the file, open again and re-check. Go to ‘SaveAs’ and then in the format or file type change it to pdf from doc or docx. Save it and your ebook in pdf format is ready.

Headings

Try to keep consistency in the formatting of heading throughout the book – it looks very professional. It is not pleasing to the eye to look at different fonts on different chapters. Similarly, for sub-headings, if your book has them, then keep them same everywhere.

How to reduce the size of a picture

It is not advisable to stack-up your book with a lot of pictures as it will dramatically increase the size of your book and might not meet the maximum size criteria provided by the platform. Hence if it is unavoidable then you can follow these steps to reduce the size of any picture. I use Mac – in that when you open a pic in preview – Go to tools – adjust size, there you can reduce by percentage or pixels or cms. It definitely reduces the size in MB by 50% in one go itself.

Just remember no question is a silly question.

All the mentors including me are here to help you out to get your book ready.

All the best of love’n’luck for your journey.

For all the first time authors,

For all those bloggers who will take the plunge,

For all those who found this helpful,

And

For all those who now know things as a first-time author

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

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15

J – Jumeirah | #AtoZChallenge

J – Jumeirah | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Jumeirah is one word that you will come across the most, after Sheikh Zayed, when in Dubai. Many believe that the word means ‘beautiful’ and some believe it means ‘Gift of God’, though it doesn’t have an official definition. But one look at the Jumeirah district in Dubai and you will believe in both the meanings.

Jumeirah is a residential coastal area of Dubai, which mainly comprises of western expats and local Emirati population. It offers both kinds of dwellings; the extremely expensive ones and some moderate ones for the middle class. The area is particularly famous for its serene sandy beaches, amazing cafes and restaurants, expensive shopping options and beautiful modern walks.

History

We have archaeological shreds of evidence that suggest there was inhabitation in the area around 10 BC during the Abbasid era. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was a small village where people were mostly fishermen, pearl divers and traders. During the 1960s it started getting populated with western expats and the present day Jumairah beach was then known as Chicago beach.

Some of the main attractions of Jumeirah are:

Jumeirah Beach

Named after the district, Jumeirah Beach is a white sand beach that is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The beach and its surroundings are home to expensive hotel chains and resorts, housings and shopping malls and complexes. The most famous being Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. It is mostly crowded by the expats.

Jumeirah Public Beach

While the Jumeirah beach might have restricted use, moving ahead to the north of Jumeirah Beach Hotel, you will the Jumeirah Public Beach, which is always open for the general public. It is also known as sunset beach and it is the perfect place to take capture the perfect sunset with Burj Al Arab in the backdrop.

I remember during my stay in Dubai, I would spend the entire night there as it is open for night swimming as well, and return after having breakfast in the nearby 24 hours McDonald’s.

Burj Al Arab

It is the second most iconic structure in Dubai after Burj Khalifa. No picture of Dubai is complete without Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. It is considered the world’s most luxurious hotel and often described as ‘the world’s only seven-star hotel’ but is actually a five-star hotel, the highest official ranking. The hotel has a dedicated helipad as well whether the famous Nadal-Federer match took place on its inauguration. It is the fifth tallest hotel in the world and a single night stay starts from AED 6000 and can cost up to AED 50000. Yeah go ahead and sell one of your kidneys!

One can pay a visit to the opulent lobby but if you want to go past the lobby and you aren’t staying at the hotel then you need a confirmed reservation at their SkyView Bar, which might not be that cheap. The cocktails start at AED 370 only.

Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah is famous for its superlative resort, its traditional Arab resembling souks and palm-fringed waterways. It resembles an old Arab Village with the interiors reminding you of that era. The resort is the largest in Dubai. Even if you aren’t shopping you will particularly enjoy walking in the maze-like streets of the souk – with various retail outlets and over 50 restaurants and bars. It is just next to the Jumeirah beach hotel, Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi Water Park.

Jumeirah Mosque

The desert colored Fatimid styled Mosque is one of the most famous and beautiful mosques in Dubai. It is rare in the sense that it is open for non-Muslim as well – under the ‘Open Door Open Minds’ program of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). You can understand the Emirati culture in a one-hour guided tour of the mosque. Don’t forget to try that free pastry at the end of the tour.

Etihad Museum

Eithad is the Arabic word for ‘Union’. The Etihad museum, opened in 2017, takes you through the journey of formation of the UAE. It is connected to the iconic Union House, where the treaty for the formation of the federation was signed, through a white travertine plaza. The building is a contemporary elegant design that showcases the heritage of the UAE through Documentary films, photographs, artifacts, timelines and interactive displays.

City Walk

It is the modern concept of a shopping mall, where an array of shopping outlets are placed on both sides of a walk including restaurants, bar and adventure zones. It is an outdoor complex with tree line esplanade and a central fountain. There is a 10-screen cinema complex along with family fun options like Hub Zero and Green Planet.

Green Planet:

Dubai is done with creating islands, tallest building, a ski dome in the middle of the desert – they are now playing with affluence. To add to this list they have now created a tropical rain forest, a bio-dome, that houses more than 3000 species of flora and fauna. It is like taking a walk in the Amazon with the world’s largest artificial tree cover.

Hub Zero

It is an indoor theme park, which is a gamers’ paradise. It has interactive gaming zones with climbing zones, rides and virtual reality. This place beautiful highlights what the future of VR is going to be in gaming. There are about 18 attractions, including a head-spinning VR experience, 3D dark rides, and 4D cinema.

La Mer

La Mer is another destination similar to the City Walk, where the walk is replaced by an exquisite beachfront. Opened in 2018, it’s free to sunbathe or roam the complex and an inflatable playground for Kids.

Eateries and Cafes

Jumeirah is the home for a range of finest dining places. You can find Dubai’s only Buffalo Wild Wings outlet here. Some of the other amazing options include; Bahri Bar, Logma, BuQtair, Lima Dubai, Moshi, Al Fanar and Lime Tree Café.

Jumeirah is the perfect place to live in Dubai with its seamless mix of modernity with heritage. Whether it’s the Jumeirah Archaeological site or Wild Wadi waterpark or the modern La Mer or the City Walk – everything will leave you entranced every time you visit.

For all those who live in Dubai,

For all those who walked at the City Walk,

For all those who sunbathed at the Jumeirah Beach,

And

For all those who love the Jumeirah…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 10th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘K’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

4

H – Hindutva | #AtoZChallenge

H – Hindutva | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Hindutva is defined as, ‘An ideology seeking to establish the hegemony of Hindus and the Hindu way of life’ as per the Oxford dictionary. The current ruling party is synonymous with it. In fact, their rise to power was on the basis of Hindutva. A Supreme Court 1995 judgment defined Hindutva as “a way of life and not a religion”.

People like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, K. B. Hedgewar and Syama Prasad Mukherjee popularized the term. It became the ideological base of organizations like RSS, VHP, Hindu Mahasabha and Hindu Sena. The lucidity of their idea lies in the fact that they think Hindus were the original inhabitants of this land.

Who were the original inhabitants of this land? The answer lies in the current fabric of India. Many reports and theories suggest that Dravidians were the original inhabitants. The Hindutva idealists would say that Aryans were the first. But didn’t the first chapter in our school history class was that one of the reasons why Indus Valley civilization was killed because of the migration of Aryans.

There is genetic evidence that suggests that the original habitats of India were some tribal and adivasis. Rest each and every person found on this land is a descendant of some old migrant from various parts of the world.

I often hear that we have never attacked or invaded any country…that may be true…but don’t say that our religion is free of violence. Even the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are full of violence and war.

Rather than finding out fallacies in other religions why don’t we first look inside and see what our teaching are and are we following it to the fullest? Weren’t things like ‘untouchability’ and ‘sati system’ given preference on the name of religion? But with time, education and protest, they were abolished. I sometimes think what outrage Raja Ram Mohan Roy would have faced in that era.

Making people like Yogi the poster boy of Hindutva is realistically and statistically detrimental to the society. Coining terms like ‘Love Jihad’ would definitely get you more votes but it thrashes the practical reality.

I don’t know how many of you know this – People like Subramanian Swamy who speak so much in favor of Hindutva forgot to teach the concept in his own family. His son in law is Nadeem Haider. I am all in favor of her daughter’s choice but then he should only preach what he practices.

I have witnessed the massacre that happened during the Babri Masjid demolition. Who does it help? For years the emotions and sentiments attached to the temple have been used by the ruling party for their electoral gains.

On the issue of Ram temple, they say that they will follow the top courts’ directions but on the other hand on the issue of ‘Sabrimala’ they give precedence to faith. Frankly, they follow the strategy that will get them more votes in that particular region.

By instilling the fear in the hearts of common masses that Hindus are under threat – they continue to commit and justify atrocities against the minorities and Dalits. 82% of the overall population is of Hindus and still, they want us to believe that we are under threat. I dare them to declare India as a Hindu state and they will come to know the real fabric of India.

Don’t forget that this strategy only works where there are people of other religion. The moment it shifts to Hindu majority places, their strategy shifts to upper caste and lower caste. It was these brutalities committed on these minorities and lower caste people that forced them to convert and seek solace in other religions. I would be blunt here, but if your concept and methods were so correct then why did even one Hindu leave and embrace the other religions.

For years I have been hearing that foreigners have ruled us for the last 1000 years. What they don’t teach and create awareness about is that barring the last 70 years the concept of India included current Pakistan as well as Bangladesh. Nepal and Afghanistan were formed during the 18th century, before that they were also the part of India.

Even in the current government, there is a trend to ‘saffronize’ everything down south. From traffic boards to road milestones…from billboards to government hoardings, things are being repainted using Hindi. Imagine what difficulty it causes an illiterate person traveling on the road, which is only aware of their regional language. The hypocrisy is that we would patronize a foreign language like English but would simply hate our own languages.

To be honest, without offending anyone, given the rise in the number of hate crimes on the name of religion and caste – it is believed that Hinduism is the oldest religion. That means if Hinduism wouldn’t have found roots the other religions would have never followed suit and the process to prove their superiority would have never begun. Just a thought!

The ‘Varna System’ was formed on the basis of what ‘work’ people did in society. My understanding of it is that it was or should have been horizontal where everybody was equal and was divided only on the class of work but unfortunately the ones who were making it wanted to place them on the top and hence the vertical understanding of the system percolated.

No true human forget Hindu would have taken sides with the rapists of a girl child irrespective of her religion. That is where it is really dangerous. Did anyone hear the condemnation from the PM or the top ruling leaders of the government.

If the previous PM was abused for taking orders from a certain family then everyone knows to which office in Nagpur the current PM bows down to. It is no one’s job to tell what a person should wear, eat, follow and marry to.

Nobody questions, which side they are actually on – They themselves are confused whether to go with Mahatma or Godse.

I pity those people who on the name of religion are ready to kill. No religion teaches that and if you do that then you know no religion. Even during the times when this land was getting formed, the fabric of the soul was secular. Let’s keep it that way.

For all those who are against hate,

For all those who believe everyone is equal,

For all those who don’t side with this ideology,

And

For all those who are flag bearers of Hindutva…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 8th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘I’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

18

H – HATTA | #AtoZChallenge

H – Hatta | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Hatta is an inland exclave of Dubai, high in the Hajar Mountains. It is an ideal weekend getaway for nature lovers, mountain bikers and adventure freaks. It is about 130 km from Dubai and about a 90 min drive away. It is an awesome blend of cultural heritage with meditating mountains along with picturesque hiking trails – outdoor adventure heaven.

History

Previously known as Hajarain, till 1906, Hatta became a part of Dubai during the reign of Hasher Bin Maktoum after the Omani Sultan Turki bin Said transferred the territory, finding him unable to defend it against the Na’im of Buraimi, who had settled neighboring Masfout (today a part of the emirate of Ajman).

It was the summer habitation of the earlier Dubai based families because of its cooler climate away from heat and humidity. Its economy is based on tourism and water resources.

Things to do in Hatta

Hatta Heritage Village: Restored in 2001, it showcases many artifacts, things of dwellings and furnishings depicting lives of the era gone by. It is Dubai’s oldest village – take a walk through the ancient watchtowers, forts and mosques. A library is also there where you can read about the history of Emirates and their cultural heritage and past.

Mountain Biking: An initiative backed by the Dubai Municipality, the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, offers multiple trail options catering to beginners as well as advanced bikers. It has a total fleet of 60 bikes for hire and a 52-km trail with 4 challenging levels. No better way to enjoy the cooler climate and meandering trails of the mountains than biking. Hop on to one!

Hiking through Hatta: If are not a fan of mountain biking, don’t worry. You can still enjoy the wadis treks of Hatta. Surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, take a hike through the troughs and ravines and you might actually come across a pool. There is a famous spot behind the Hatta Dam where you can capture some wildlife and amazing landscapes.

 

By Alexandermcnabb – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72771700

Kayaking in Hatta Dam: The dam is about a 15 min drive from Hatta Wadi Hub. Hatta Kayak operates the kayaking in the Hatta Lake where you can rent pedal boats and kayaks. Immerse in the surreal beauty of the Hatta while gliding for a 50 min experience. You can also opt for a pedal boat option for a peaceful calmer experience.

Dip in Hatta Rock Pools: If you aren’t still satisfied you can take a dip in the green Hatta Rock Pools. It’s a buzzing spot for many swimmers enjoying the emerald water in the valleys of Hatta.

A dose of Adventure: For all the adventure junkies the Hatta Wadi Hub is the place to be. Though not all the attractions are operational, still there is plenty on offer. The range of activities includes mountain biking to downhill carting, a human slingshot, axe throwing, archery, adventure rope courses, zip lines, and a lot more. One can also go for a mountain safari in an SUV.

Drop in at Hatta Drop-in: If you still have an appetite for more, drop in at Hatta Drop-in, a close by location to Hatta Wadi Hub. It is the first water jump park in Aisa with crazy slides. If you are in zorbing don’t miss the transparent orbs here.

Glamping is the way to go: The perfect to absorb in nature is by living in it and what better way than glamping. Hatta gives you a great opportunity to let go of the regular stay in hotels instead try out the trailer hotel, Hatta Sedr Trailers. It is located on the banks of Hatta Dam and is the region’s first ‘Trailer Hotel’. Damani Lodges and Hatta Caravan Park are the other two options to enjoy nature with luxury. The Hatta Park Hotel is a resort for the past 35 years with views of the Hajar Mountains.

Picnic at Hatta Hill Park: Hatta Hill Park is a wonderful picnic location. You can take your kids there to the Children’s playing field. Nothing beats feasting on a delicious barbeque with the mountains and Hatta Village in the background.

Getting there:

Cheap public transport is available in the form of buses from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The best way is to drive noting that you will need to take the long way around Oman to avoid the border crossing which is currently closed. The best route from Dubai is from E102 (Sharjah-Kalba Road) via E611 (Emirates Road).

Note and Tips:

While driving to Hatta, a certain section passes through Oman. Though there aren’t any security and visa checks, your car and accidental insurance might not be valid there.

Keep warmer clothing, Hatta is cooler than Dubai and the nights get chillier.

Take proper kit and protection gear for adventure sports and mountain biking.

Take precautions while swimming in the Hatta pools as the water fluctuates.

Keep passports and documents handy, just in case you are questioned at borders.

A trip to Hatta is the perfect calming and soothing experience you need away from all the maddening hustle and bustle of Dubai. Go and have loads of fun!

For all those who enjoy adventure sports,

For all those who are into hiking,

For all those who love nature,

And

For all those who love Hatta…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 8th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘I’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

30

G – Global Village | #AtoZChallenge

G – Global Village | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Global Village, as the name suggests, is an extravagant cultural, entertainment, family and shopping destination. It is a first of its kind in the region and claims to be the world’s largest tourism, leisure, shopping, and entertainment project.

The Global Village is truly global in nature as it features 30 pavilions that showcase more than 90 countries through 35,000+ shopping outlets from across the globe. It covers a massive area of 17,200,000 sq ft (1,600,000 m2), which attracts more than 5 million visitors every year. To give you an idea of the size of the village, they have about 18300 parking spots.

It is like a festival or carnival celebrating the best of culture from countries of the world when you embark on the journey through a group of pavilions. It offers unique international cuisine and breathtaking entertainment experiences across a wide range of entertaining games and interesting tours.

To give you a perspective, in the Indian context, it is like the India International Trade Fair, which usually is organized at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, where we have pavilions and stalls from different states and division of India.

Currently, in its 23rd season, it usually begins around late October or early November and lasts till next April.

Global Village consists of fours sections namely, Events and Concerts, Carnaval, Dining and Shopping. The Carnaval features more than 60 exhilarating rides and games that can be enjoyed with the entire family. This year the event is set to host over a whopping 13,000 entertainment and cultural shows.

History

Global Village started out in the form of a number of small stalls in 1996 located on the Creek Side opposite to Dubai Municipality before being shifted to the Oud Metha Area near Wafi City for 5 years. Since then it has been its is current location and you need to take the exit 37 on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road.

Every year they come up with new attractions, shows and concerts – hence it is always great to visit once every year for the locals.

Pavilions

The pavilions are divided into six main regions.

  • MENA: The major pavilions under it are – UAE Pavilion, KSA Pavilion, Iraq Pavilion, Yemen Pavilion, Lebanon Pavilion, Syria Pavilion, Bahrain Pavilion, Oman Pavilion, Iran Pavilion, Kuwait Pavilion, Khalifa Foundation Pavilion, Al Sanaa Pavilion, Jordan Pavilion.
  • The Far East pavilion features Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Philippines.
  • Europe Pavilions: Turkey Pavilion, Russia Pavilion, Europe Pavilion, Bosnia and Balkans Pavilion.
  • The African pavilion represents around 15 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Rwanda, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Nigeria.
  • The Americas Pavilion represents 48 countries in North and South America.
  • The South Aisa Pavilion highlights experiences from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Must buy

This is the best place to buy some souvenirs, artifacts and handicrafts, as it is practically not feasible to visit these many countries.

  • Yemen: The Yemeni honey is considered the best in the world.
  • Iran: The best place to pick up dry fruits from including saffron.
  • Morocco: Argan Oil.
  • India: Antiques like wooden chests and glass work furniture.
  • Africa: Handicrafts, Coffee, Shea Butter & African Black soap.
  • Turkey: Rose perfume, Coffee and Turkish delight. Do try their street food.

Food and Restaurants

There are a plethora of street food options – Every nook and corner would have one. The roasted chestnuts and dynamite shrimps are a must try.

There are 23+ restaurants serving you most of the cuisines. For Indians, there is ‘Grand Barbeque’ and ‘Punjabi Village’, which was getting covered by National Geographic the day I visited.

Timings and Tickets:

  • From 30th October 2018 until 13th April 2019:
  • From Saturday to Wednesday from 4:00pm – 12:00am (entry gates close at 11:30pm)
  • Thursday, Friday and Public Holidays from 4:00pm – 1:00am (entry gates close at 12:30am)
  • Mondays are dedicated to Families and Ladies only.

Entrance: There are 2 main entry gates to Global Village Dubai – Gate of the World and Cultural Gate.

Entry Tickets: AED 15 per person per day. Children under 3, People of determination with one companion and seniors above 65 years old are given free entry to the village.

You can also go for a VIP ticket that includes car passes, entry tickets, VIP parking tickets, restaurant vouchers, circus cards and much more.

Getting There

There is no direct metro connectivity but the RTA provides the public with 4 bus routes to Global Village:

  • Bus no. (102) starts from Rashidiya Metro Station.
  • Bus no. (103) starts from Ittihad Station and will pass by Baniyas Street, Al Rebat Street, and Nad Al Hamar.
  • Bus no. (104) starts from Al Ghubaiba Station and will pass by Sheikh Rashid Street, Al Jafiliya Metro Station, 2nd Za’Abeel Street and Dubai-AlAin Street.
  • Bus no. (106) starts from Mall of the Emirates Metro Station.

The service runs from 3:15pm until 11:15pm, with 30 minutes of travel time.

Note and Tips

Get hold of a Global Village Dubai Map as soon as you enter, it makes it easier for you to plan which pavilions you want to visit.

It’s a huge place so if you are traveling with family, try to stick together.

It would be really smart if you could take a picture of the parking spot, as it might be really chaotic to find it while returning.

Global Village is the perfect and unique family destination whether you are traveling to Dubai for a holiday or settled in the region. Don’t miss it.

For all those who love family destinations,

For all those who love to try new food,

For all those who love rides,

And

For all those who love the Global Village…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 7th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘H’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

12

F – Farmers’ Distress | #AtoZChallenge

F – Farmers Distress | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

The last two years in India have been marked with continuous farmer protests all across the nation with some of them even ending up in violence. India is going through one of its major agrarian crisis since independence. The current government rhetorics always place the soldiers in the center. Every question directed towards them is something answered with National Security issues or soldiers.

I have earlier written this and will highlight it again today – each and every member of the society is important in the proper functioning of the society and efficient performance of an economy. The government keeps looking the wrong way while addressing issues related to farmers.

According to historic data, agricultural growth has much more impact on poverty reduction than any other activity like industrial growth. While they lay so much emphasis in their slogans on poverty reduction the facts tell a different story otherwise they would not have stopped so many reports from coming out. In fact, you will be shocked to know that the government hasn’t released any data on the number of farmer suicides for the past two years.

60% of India lives in farm households and about 55% of India’s total employment is directly related to agriculture, though it only contributes to 17% of the GDP. Many would say that I am stating these facts as a bias against the government in power but it is not me who is saying this.

The current government constituted a committee under Ashok Dalwair called “The Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income”.

The first report of the Dalwai committee using inputs and research of over 100 experts has pointed out that India’s agriculture is currently in a deep crisis. And it says so because during 2004-14 the country’s agriculture sector witnessed its highest ever growth phase. The report calls it the sector’s “recovery phase”; a term it defines as historic.

“The agricultural sector grew at the growth of around 4% per year during 2004-05 to 2014-15 and the growth was quite impressive as compared to 2.6% per annum during the previous decade (1995-96 to 2004-05),” says the report. The average rate of growth on average for the past four years is around 2% only.

An official from the agriculture ministry says that the trend is very disturbing, “If agricultural labor is increasing in the country and number of cultivators is decreasing.”

The growth rate of farmers’ income on real price (which adjusts inflation) is 3.8% per year. At this rate, the ruling government’s target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 will not be met. It will take at least 25 years from now to achieve it.

According to the Committee on Doubling of Farmers’ Income every year, farmers lose around Rs 63,000 crore for not being able to sell their produces for which they have already made investments.

Recorded incidents of agrarian riots jumped 670% from 628 in 2014 to 4,837 in 2016, according to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau.

As a result, 76% of farmers would prefer to do some work other than farming according to a study, “State of Indian Farmers” conducted by The Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

The study says that the benefits of government schemes and policies are being mostly given to big farmers having landholding of 10 acres (4.05 hectare) and above. Only 10% of poor and small farmers with average land holding of 1-4 acres (0.4 to 1.6 ha) have benefited from government schemes and subsidies.

It also highlights that 70% of farmers never heard about direct cash transfer and 62% of interviewed farmers were not aware of the minimum support price (MSP).

Approximately 22% of farmers survive below the poverty line. The continuous decline in farmers’ income, while championing the slogan for doubling income, shouldn’t be just another grand plan for a “new India”, because agricultural growth critically decides poverty reduction.

An NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) survey report says about 52% of the agricultural households in the country are estimated to be in debt. Another critical data shows that post demonetization the small lenders who usually took loans up to amounts of Rs. 200000 have dried up. The farmers usually took loans from the informal sector, which accounts for 40% of the entire agricultural households.

As of Jul 2018, in a reply given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala in Rajya Sabha on the present income of the country’s farmers, the NDA government as done an official survey on farmers’ income in its tenure so far.

He also added they have based their calculations on a Survey report done in the year 2013 by National Sample Survey Office. The Minister said NSSO has not conducted any survey during the last one year and the Survey presented in Rajya Sabha refers to a Situation Assessment Survey (SAS).

One of the surveys shows that PM’s minimum income support of Rs 6000/year only account for 6% of the household’s total income.

There hasn’t been any data released on farmer suicides in the past two years. As of 2015, about 45 farmers committed suicide each day in India.

You will be startled to know that farmer suicides doubled in Maharashtra in the last four years according to an RTI reply. No soldier would be able to sustain without food. No amount of development will suffice hunger if the increase in farmer suicide continues on a yearly basis and the farmers start opting other modes of income.

Just ask yourself, “Are we asking the right questions?”

For all those understand the pain of farmers,

For all those who want better measures to be taken,

For all those who want an increase in farmers’ income

And

For all those who agree to the fact that there is a severe agrarian crisis…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 6th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

F – Farmers’ Distress

Read the previous post here

A – Anti-National

B – Banking

C – Climate Change

D – Demonetisation

E – Elections, EB & EVM

Please do visit on Monday for the next post with letter ‘G’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

19

F – Ferrari World | #AtoZChallenge

F – Ferrari World | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Any trip to Dubai is incomplete without paying a visit to the iconic Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is one of the world’s largest indoor amusement parks and just lost the title of being the largest after the opening of Dubai’s IMG Worlds of Adventure. It still holds the record for the largest space frame structure ever built.

It is the first Ferrari-branded theme park and has won many awards over the years. It was named the ‘Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ on several occasions. Personally, I would not categorize it as an amusement park. It is far more thrilling than that.

Just to give you a perspective, it is like a Disneyland with faster and crazier exhilarating rides. It is about a 60 min drive from Dubai and serves as one of the best weekend getaways for the entire family. There is something for everyone here. It is also home to the world’s fastest roller coaster – the Formula Rossa.

Formula Rossa

To this day I will never forget those first three seconds of the ride. It is the world’s fastest roller coaster for a reason – it goes from 0 to 240 km/h in only 4.9 sec. I was sitting in the front row and was handed a pair of big transparent glasses to cover my eyes from any injuries. I still remember, funnily, the glasses came off with the extreme force of wind within the first three seconds. It was so fast that I couldn’t hear even my own scream and no breathe will leave your lungs.

Just imagine what the F1 racers feel when we can’t survive it for about 30 odd secs. Once you have paid for the ticket at the entrance you can go for any ride any number of times.

For other ‘Speed’ experiences you can head on to:

Scuderia Challenge

It is a timed challenge and gives you a feel of exactly how a Ferrari F1 driver feels. It is a simulator experience, hence arrive early to sign up and enjoy the fun.

Karting Academy

It is an amazing 290 m long track where you can test your racing skills. It is the region’s first electric go-kart circuit and this one is also a timed attraction.

Flying Aces

Inspired by the legendary ‘ace of aces’ aviator, Count Baracca, it is world’s highest rollercoaster loop at 63 m height and at 51-degree incline and reaches up to stirring speeds of up to 120 km/h.

Fiorano GT Challenge

If you are traveling with friends and want to challenge them in a race, this is the one to do it in. The circuit is swirling parallel tracks in a Ferrari F430 Spider based on real GT courses and speeds can reach up to 95km/h.

Turbo Track

If you love zero gravity falls then this one is surely for you. It is a back-to-back rollercoaster with a vertical climb that launches guests through the roof into the sky and back down in reverse.

If you are traveling with kids, don’t worry there is plenty to try out at the Ferrari World.

Attractions for Kids

You can head to the racing slides of Nello’s Adventureland to begin with. The RC Challenge is the perfect test for their fingers where they can navigate the remote-controlled boats and cars. Khalil’s Car Wash is an interactive obstacle course where they can climb the grandstand, slide down the carwash, and grab those remote control Ferraris and pedal cars.

You can definitely try out Junior GT, Junior Training Camp, Junior Grand Prix and Bell’ Italia for exciting offerings for kids.

Attractions for the whole Family

If you want to have fun with the entire family there are multiple options for that too.

In Tyre Twist the entire family can sit in a giant F1 tire and slide and collide with others. If you want to experience what it is like to do a pit stop try the ‘Tyre Changing Experience’. The ‘Speed of Magic’ is a 4D-simulated universe where you dive into oceans, fly over cliffs and venture into ice caves – watch out for that splash of water.

Some of the other family attractions include; Motor Midway Games, Made in Maranello, Galleria Ferrari, Driving with the Champions, Benno’s Great Race and Viaggio in Italia.

You can enjoy multiple shows and performances that happen at different places inside the park. There are multiple shopping and dining options also available that are catering to different requirements.

Tickets

Everything comes at a price and so does the adrenaline-charged experience of Ferrari World. There are basically three options.

Single day ticket: Starts from AED 295 – gives complete access with all the rides for a single visit.

1 Day – 2 Parks: Starts from AED 395 – there are other amusement parks in Yas Island, one can choose any other park along with Ferrari World on the same day.

2 Day – 2 Parks: Starts at AED 435.

If you can afford, it is always advisable to buy the VIP or quick access tickets to avoid waiting in the queues.

Note: Try booking the tickets online in advance – they have decent discount options available.

The Park is operational from 11am to 8pm. Anybody traveling from April to June – Formula Rossa will be closed from 28 April 2019 to 2 June 2019.

How to Reach

If you aren’t driving on your own or taking a taxi there are other options available that are free of cost from Dubai. You can catch a Free Shuttle Bus from any one of the locations to Yas Island – Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Center. Check the website for timings.

Go and have fun with the entire family and take back memories of a lifetime.

For all those who like an adrenaline rush,

For all those who enjoy rollercoasters,

For all those who love the Formula Rossa,

And

For all those who love the Ferrari World…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 6th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

F – Ferrari World

Read the Previous post here:

A – Arrival in Dubai

B – Burj Khalifa

C – CREEK – The Heart of Dubai

D – Desert Safari

E – Emirates of UAE

Please do visit on Monday for the next post with letter ‘G’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.