Category Archives: Shopping

Dubai Shopping Guide

The Dubai city has various souks featuring different product lines such as spices, gold ornaments, electric goods, designer clothing and a diverse range of Arabian souvenirs. Each of these souks offer an impressive shopping experience with varieties of products displayed in a decorative manner while creating a typical shopping atmosphere.

The Spice souk at Al-Sabkha road has become a popular tourist attraction, whereas the vibrant Gold souk at Sikkat al-Khali Street is one great place to buy gold with discounts. The street showcases beautiful gold necklaces, rings, bracelets, studs and brooches while offering the lowest gold prices in the world. While the customers get gold jewelry at lower prices, the gold souks also ensure to offer the best quality gold. On the other hand, the Electronics Souk near Beniyas Square offers a wide range of electronic goods at discounted prices and whole sale rates.

Apart from the souks, Dubai shopping malls are also preferred shopping destinations. Unlike the expensive malls in the west, Dubai malls are reasonable yet offer best-valued items. The outstanding Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping avenue with the complex area stretched over the space equivalent to almost 50 soccer fields. The complex has 1,200 retail stores, a 22-screen multiplex, a food court featuring 160 outlets, 220 gold and jewelry stores, an Olympic-sized ice-skating area and a world-famous Hamley’s toy store. While the mall is regarded as the best mall, it also has stores offering diverse collections of local products such as carpets, Arabian goods and Bedouin ornaments.

Typically, the opening hours of Dubai’s shops are between 8AM to 1PM and 5PM till late night. Usually, shops remain closed on Fridays, whereas malls, shops and souks are closed only during Friday mornings. Dubai also offers finest duty-free shopping opportunities at the sophisticated outlets inside the airport. Both the arriving and departing passengers can buy from these outlets.

While shopping in Dubai is one popular activity, the city also has an annual shopping festival for the local people and tourists. While offering the ultimate shopping opportunities for the people worldwide, the annual Dubai shopping festival or DSF has emerged as a mega tourist event of Dubai. Started in the year 1996, the inaugural DSF has a record of around 1.6 million guests from all over the world. Last year the number increased to over 3.35 million making Dubai Shopping Festival as one leading shopping event in the whole world. After the tremendous success in past few years, the 2011 Dubai shopping festival is expected to offer much more to the guests while boosting the revenue of Dubai tourism industry and the retail sectors.

The festival lasts for a month while providing endless shopping opportunities with entertainment programs for everyone. Each day, the DSF amazes the crowd with some new event such as Arabic cultural exhibitions, firework displays, handicraft shows and promotional entertainment programs. Apart from the typical Dubai goods such as gold, perfumes, carpets, Arabic mementos and spices, the DSF also offers a diverse range of some of the best haute couture clothing, designer handbags and sandals exclusively for the Emirati women. Additionally, Dubai being the main tax-free trading zone, offers low-priced textiles for the clothing merchants.

Guide to Best Cashback Offers & Rewards Websites

Cashback shopping is beginning to take the UK by storm. More and more Cashback sites are popping up offering cashback and cashback rewards. The cashback websites may initially be a little hard to understand but once you get used to it you really could be saving a lot of money through a cashback website.

What makes cashback websites so useful to shoppers is the fact that they get a discount off of goods they would normally purchase, even everyday items.
There are a few simple steps that you need to go through to start earning your cashback rewards.

1 – You sign up for a Cashback site choosing the payment method you prefer.

2 – You look through the different stores on the cashback website to find who you want to buy from.

3- You click the name of that store so that it takes you to their website and you purchase the goods as you normally would.

Now what you have done is click through to the shop from an affiliate link that the cashback site has with the shop which means the cashback site gets paid a commission of what you have purchased. The cashback site then tracks this payment to you and gives you up to 100% cashback of the commission they have made which could vary from 1% up to as much as 35% of the amount you have paid for the goods.

This money is put into your account on the cashback site where you can select different forms of payment whether it be PayPal, cheque etc. This process to receive payment usually takes 1-3 months.

The majority of cashback sites are free to use as you often don’t get 100% of the commission but some cashback websites charge a £5 admin fee but offer a higher often 100% rate of commission.

A tip to earn a little extra cashback is to use a cashback credit card or cashback reward card in conjunction with the cashback website and these give you and an extra 2 or 3 % cashback on all purchases whether made online or offline.

A Comparison Shopping Guide

When you are looking to buy meditation bells for your practice, there are many different kinds for you to choose from. The selection includes meditation gongs, ring gongs, singing bowls, bell and dorjes, or tibetan tingshas. Here is a complete comparison guide to navigating the world of meditation gongs, bowls, and bells so that you can buy the best meditation bell suited to your needs.

Suspended Meditation Gong

This type of gong has been used since ancient times for spiritual and ceremonial practice, as is what most people think of when they hear the word “gong.” It looks like a flat, metal disc vertically suspended between two cords. These types of gongs tend to be larger and are suited for areas with wide spaces, like a temple or an outdoor garden. They aren’t commonly seen in homes, however, there are some that are table-top sized for convenient personal use.

Singing Bowls

Singing bowls are a unique type of meditation bell, and confusingly, can also be referred to as meditation gongs. The Japanese rin gong falls under this category. Literally shaped like a bowl and played with a mallet or striker, they are the most capable of producing varied and complex sounds. You can play the bowl either by simply striking it, or by running the mallet around the edge of the bowl, which is what produces the complex harmonics.

Sizes of singing bowls vary, and can range from about a 4-5 inch diameter all the way up to 12+ inches. Keep in mind that the tone of a singing bowl deepens as the size gets larger. Both modern singing bowls and antiques are available on the market, with the antiques being more expensive but generally of higher quality and better sound. This type of meditation bell is perfect for extended use, as you can easily get lost in playing a singing bowl for hours at a time.

Bell and Dorje

A bell and dorje is a classic bell type instrument and is used extensively in Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally the actual bell is held in the left hand and represents the feminine principle, while the dorje is held in the right hand and represents the masculine principle. The bell and djorje can be used in many ways. Sound the bells to call the presence of Buddha, to clear the mind and dispel stress or tension, as a visualization aid or as a way to request or summon protection. These bells average about 5-8 inches high.

Tibetan Tingshas

Tingshas consist of two cymbals attached to each other with a leather cord. Like the bell and dorje, they are widely used for ritual purposes in Tibetan Buddhism. They typically produce a clear, high-pitched and long ringing tone. High quality antique tingshas will have both cymbals producing the exact same sound, but due to modern manufacturing, it is more common for the sound of each cymbal in the pair to differ from the other. They are very small, usually about 2-4 inches in diameter, and are great for portability. They go very well in combination with singing bowls as an aid in meditation as well as sound healing.

How to Buy a Bow

If you are in the market to buy a bow of your own, whether it is your first or your 21st bow, it is critical to make sure you buy a bow that properly fits your body and training style. Doing so will help you avoid training injuries due to using a bow that is improperly sized or weighted for the type of shooting you do. This is your guide to buying a bow from pro archery shops, in order of importance.

Eye Dominance

The first thing to consider when buying a bow is do you choose a left- or right-handed bow. While most would think they would choose a bow to fit their dominant hand, in fact your dominant eye should drive your buying choice. Just like one hand is stronger and more coordinated than the other, the same is true for your eyes. This allows you to aim the arrow with your dominant eye, while keeping your non-dominant eye open, adding greater field and depth to your sight while shooting.

To determine your dominance, Make a circle with your hands and look through it at a fixed point with both eyes open. If you close one eye, and the fixed point moves out of your hand-aperture, the closed eye is your dominant eye. If you close an eye and the fixed point stays in view, the open eye is your dominant eye. If your right eye is dominant, you will use a right-handed bow. Vice versa for southpaws.

Bow Length

The length of the bow is also important, as it determines the length of the draw. To find your proper bow length, hold an arrow with both arms outstretched in front of you and the nock end against your chest. Measure the farthest point you can reach on the arrow, and add one inch for a safety margin (a little large is better than a little short) and multiply this length times 3. This will give you a good starting place to begin your search for the proper length of bow.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is one of the most important aspects of a bow, depending on its use. If you plan to use a bow for game hunting, you need a powerful, usually compound bow heavy enough to bring down a large animal. However, this draw weight may not be suitable for everyday training use. To determine your draw weight place your non-drawing arm and knee on a weight bench and pick up a dumbbell off the ground. The heaviest weight you can lift for 15-20 repetitions is going to be your ideal weight for training use.

A Tourist Guide to Shopping in Milan

Shopping and Milan go hand in hand. After all, this northern Italian city is where the fashion world holds some of its most elite designer shows during four different periods every year. Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of fashion knows that Milan is hugely important in the industry. It’s little surprise, then, that those who flock here with hopes of finding the best that shopping has to offer are never disappointed.

If you come to Milan to shop, one of your first stops should be its Brera neighborhood. This picturesque shopping area offers tourists the the opportunity to find unique treasures and items by little known – but up and coming – designers. Small boutiques along narrow streets are the norm here, and it is considered by many to be one of the most pleasant areas in Milan for strolling and shopping at a leisurely pace. Boasting the highest concentration of clothes stores in all of Europe, Corso Buenos Aires is another must see district if you come to Milan to shop. It is impossible to make much of a dent in the the many boutiques here; indeed, one could spend an entire afternoon and not hope to see even a fraction of the offerings. It is a real shoppers’ paradise in Milan, especially for those looking for marathon shopping experiences.

While Milan is world renowned for its high end fashion, there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Head over to Binda, near the lake, to get incredible deals on shirts, scarves and ties. Or if you seek bargains on some of Milan’s famed silk clothing, check out Frey. This outlet store is located on the western edge of the old section of town and is teeming with clothing and accessories deals. Sprinkled throughout and around Milan are its well regarded Coin stores. These department stores offer a fine selection of excellent quality clothing, accessories, handbags and jewelry. There are also great deals to be had on housewares on the basement level of most coin stores. If you come to northern Italy, you simply must check out this Milanese institution. No shopping trip to Milan could hope to be complete without a stop at its preeminent department store, La Rinascente. Here, shoppers can find absolutely anything imaginable when it comes to high end fashion and clothing. Make a day of it by enjoying one of its top floor restaurants; have a snack of a gourmet meal, then head back out for more shopping!

Those looking for outdoor markets in Milan truly have their work cut out for them. That’s because Milan is bursting at the seams with great options. If you’re looking for shoes, head to the Mercato di Via S. Marco on Monday and Thursday mornings. In addition to shoe stalls, shoppers can enjoy many fine foods and a premier selection of knitwear, including a selection by Valentino. Milan’s elite regard this market to be the best available, but its far from the only one. On Saturdays and Tuesdays from about 9am to 1pm, head to the huge Mercato Papiniano for amazing deals on designer duds. Those looking for antiques must head to the Mercatone dell’Antiquario on the last Sunday of the month. And to check out something a little different, try the Via Armorari on Sunday mornings to take in its stamp, coin and postcard collectors in action.

An Online Tea Shop Guide

Consumer trends have seen an ever-increasing number of tea drinkers switching away from cheap bagged teas and over to premium whole leaf tea. Supermarkets have noticed this trend with many major stores now stocking at least some loose-leaf teas (or at the very least premium branded tea bags) alongside their more traditional bagged range.

Online retailers however have perhaps been at the forefront of this revolution with an ever-increasing number of online tea shops appearing. While this growth has increased consumer choice, like most things online, occasionally it can be difficult to know where it is safe to shop and make your purchases. This guide has been written to give you some pointers to help when purchasing tea online.

Trust

When making any purchases online trust is always a major issue. When visiting an online tea shop, especially for the first time, precautions must always be taken. Before providing any information, or making a purchase, it is always prudent to conduct an internet search of the company you are buying from. There are a number of specialist sites that provide feedback and reviews of online retailers. It’s easy and quick to check to see what others are saying about the site you are planning on buying from. A simple Google search may prevent you succumbing to an unscrupulous online retailer.

Another method of gauging the credibility of an online tea shop is to see if they have a Twitter feed which is regularly updated. A Twitter feed that is active, followed by lots of people, and that provides relevant information – not just spurious ‘retweets’ – is a good indicator that people have been satisfied with their dealings with that company. You can also easily check if other people have interacted, or Tweeted, about the shop too.

Selection

You can often judge an online tea shop by the selection of tea they have available. Are they a company which has specialised in the tea of a particular country i.e. China, Taiwan, India or perhaps they specialise in a particular tea such as Chinese white tea or Taiwanese oolong? These specialist retailers, whom often only stock a dozen or so teas, can often be found to sell a much higher quality product. They should also be able to provide you with much greater information on their teas than the one-stop-shops that seem to sell hundreds of teas from all corners of the globe.

Quality

Without being able to see a physical product when visiting an online tea shop it is important that you get some idea of the teas you are buying. The next best thing to seeing the tea in person is being able to see it in a photo. Any photos used should be large and clear, allowing you to see the whole leaf and easily identify the style of processing that has been used. Occasionally online retailers will also show pictures of the tea leaves after they have been infused and the leaf has opened up giving you a better idea of that quality of the tea.

Communications

Perhaps one final check would be to email the company with any questions you may have. Any knowledgeable and trustworthy online tea shop will be only too happy to respond to any questions you have in a prompt and professional manner. Any company which doesn’t do this should most definitely be avoided!

Shopping Guide For Food

This appliance is a must-have if you want to preserve food without destroying the nutritional components found in it. How does it work? Simply put, a dehydrator removes the moisture from the food to preserve it. Dehydrators use heat and air flow in order to reduce foods water content. This will keep the food from being a breeding ground for bacteria, which promotes spoilage.

Types of Dehydrators

There are two categories of food dehydrators: Vertical and horizontal airflow.

In models with vertical airflow, the fan and heating elements are found at the bottom of the machine. The trays where the food are placed are stacked up on top of its base. The temperature varies between the top and the bottom trays so you need to re-order them part way through the process of dehydrating the food to get an even effect.

On the other hand, a horizontal airflow dehydrator has its fan and heating element installed on one side of the machine. The trays are essentially ‘drawers’ instead of stacks. This model allows for a more even distribution of temperature and also prevents the juices from the food from dripping down into the heater. This design makes it easier to clean as well.

Dimensions

When shopping for food dehydrators, you need to assess your food preparation needs. If, for instance, you need to dry a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables, you will need large food trays to accommodate all those produce. A larger tray size will naturally call for a larger machine. If you have space concerns, make sure to get a dehydrator that will fit your tabletop or something that will not occupy a lot of space in your kitchen.

Temperature control

Another feature that you need to check is temperature control. This will determine how effectively you will be able to dry your food. Take note that various types of food will warrant varied optimum drying temperatures. Some dehydrators come with a fixed temperature while others will have variable controls that operate within a particular range.

It’s also a good idea to opt for a dehydrator that comes with a timer control. This enables you to walk out on your appliance without worrying that it will frazzle your food and make it over dried. It’s a feature that will come in handy particularly for those days when you really have to get out of the house for a while.

A Shopping Guide

If you have never bought weight sets before, then it can be difficult to discern one from the other. It can also be difficult to figure out which ones are best for you and what you want to do with your body. Before going out and picking out any weights that you can find, inform yourself about the types of weights you can find and which ones are best for which type of exercise regime.

Everyone is looking to get in better shape, especially these days. No one has the time to work out, but everyone wants to look better. There are several ways you yourself can get fit, and weight sets are just one way to go about it. It is best if you mix weightlifting with some type of cardiovascular exercise as well. While you could simply take walks, you can also purchase a treadmill or an exercise bike to accommodate your cardiovascular health.

When looking through various weight sets, you need to pay attention to the size, the durability, their maximum weight, and how comfortable they are to use. All four of these factors are very important when trying to choose the perfect weights for you to use.

You do not want some that are too small or too big, because you yourself may be a very large or small person. The wrong size could and you hurting yourself or discomfort. The durability will affect how long can use them. Weights are usually fairly heavy duty, but there are a few out there that will break on you after a year to. Ensure that you get a set that has a maximum weight that you feel you’ll be able to reach in time. Be sure not to get a set that is the maximum weight that you can hold. If you buy a set that initially only has the maximum amount that you can hold, there is no room for improvement. Lifting weights is all about improvement, and you need a set that will be able to accommodate that fact.

If you are looking to get a heavier set, then you’re going to need to expect spend a little extra money. The heavier set is, the more expensive usually is. While some inexpensive sets do allow for higher weight limits, they often do not last very long. This is something keep in mind when you’re shopping for your weights.

Be able to pin point your needs and move on from there. Weight sets can be great way for you to get in shape, but if you purchase a set that is not fitting to your current physical health, or your physical growth, then you are with wasting your money on a set that you will not use for very long.

Shopping Guide to Men’s Watches

Men’s watches are probably some of the most diverse in selection in the watch market. They can be big, small, flashy, plain and even out and out ugly. In some ways there are even more choices for the man on this count than the woman, which is rare in the jewelry industry. To help you better refine what you are looking for we put together a few hints to help you make the right choice.

Basically when shopping for men’s watches the requirements you should be asking yourself about are: lifestyle, value, price, aesthetic value and functionality. Believe it or not someone somewhere always forgets one of these and ends up making a choice that doesn’t suit them. Or worse chooses a watch that doesn’t last as long as it should or serve them the way they had hoped. We’re out to save the world here; one wrist at a time.

Lifestyle is important to look at and it’s probably something you already thought of. But just in case, let’s take a look at things anyway. If you plan on scuba diving with your new Rolex on, you might want to take out a second mortgage for a replacement. Even “water resistant” watches can get damaged under the waves. If you do this I see an envelope in your future, for shipping your new bracelet off for repairs. By the same token if it’s success you want to express, go for it.

Value is the other thing. Think of it this way; you are buying something that possibly could be passed on in a generational manner and has the potential for some sentimental value. Sentimentality aside though, watches do tend to increase in value as time goes on. Maybe buying a brand of watch that has been making the same model for years isn’t as preferable as buying one that has just gone out of production or soon will. This makes even your timepiece an investment and adds another bragging point to your cool “how I found this beauty” story.

Price is important too. With the current economical strain (man I’m tired of typing that phrase… get better already!) being what it is, watches cost a whole lot less than they used to. 50% off sales are all over the internet right now and taking advantage of these while you can is a good idea. Just be careful on the deal you choose, sometimes watches aren’t worth the price even on the 50% off scale. Research around and compare, okay Mr. Trump?

Aesthetic value is something that really we shouldn’t have to cover here, but we’re going to anyway. Pick out something you like and when you get it in the mail, make sure you still like it or that it’s what you ordered. Most that don’t get what they ordered never bother to follow up on it. Hold your watch broker to their word! Send it back it it’s not exactly what you saw in the picture. This isn’t a huge problem on the internet or with catalogs, but it does happen.

Make sure you know what kind of watch you are buying. Is it battery powered or a nice mechanical type? Even the mechanical watches come in automatic and standards. Yeah like cars. The automatic watches still need to be wound to keep the gears properly lubricated though, so make sure you do that. In fact it is recommended you research the watch model you are thinking about purchasing for repair history, or ask a watch maker about a brand and model. This extra leg work could save you some headache down the road.

Shopping Guide For a Grandmother’s

A grandmother’s birthstone bracelet can be a gift that she will keep for the rest of life. It can even be a conversation starter among her friends. Not only will it be special that her grandchildren remembered her birthday or Christmas but at the same time it’s really the kind of jewelry that does get noticed. It plays with a lot of color and can be very useful and fun. This might be something that she wears every day and when she does she will think about you so you want to make sure that you get the piece exactly right.

You might want to make a list of all the different birthstones that you need. Of course, you can have these kind of pieces custom made. At the same time, you might want to really experiment and play around with the idea of just going with a multi-gemstone piece. This is something that is already in existence, you just have to find it. If everyone in your family has a semi-precious stone for a birthstone this can be quite feasible. You also want to pay attention to make sure that there aren’t any stones that don’t relate to family members because then it’s not really this kind of family bracelet. However, this will give you more of an elegant look. It will be a different setting than most of the typical bracelets and it can save you a lot of money. It’s also a great option if you are shopping at the last minute because having one custom made will take a few extra days or weeks and you just might not have that kind of time.

There is really no saying that says that each child has to have a different stone. You could just find a bracelet with the same number of stones as there are grandchildren. This is really important because it creates personal jewelry. The regular types of this bracelet are just so colorful that it might not really represent your grandmother’s personal style that she might end up wearing it just out of obligation. There are several ways to combat this. You could go with her birthstone. You can also just go with a beautiful bracelet and have everyone in the family really chip in to buy it which will have a lot of sentimental meaning to her.

Another option is to just really experiment and have a lot of fun with multicolored bracelets. For instance, you might be able to find a multi-sapphire or even a multi-diamond piece. This will be quite expensive and could be the purchase of a lifetime. Plus the colors will represent every single person’s month in them. Often times these kind of bracelets use smaller stones that are kind of invisibly set so that it just blends from one color to another in a graduated rainbow. This can be very elegant and very fun and it can truly be a piece that your grandmother will treasure.