Category Archives: Travel

I’m Flying To Barcelona For Samsung’s #Unpacked Event & MWC 2015

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I am traveling next Saturday to Barcelona to attend Samsung’s #Unpacked event where the much anticipated new Galaxy S6 will be released. The event will take place right before the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) which is happening between March 2 and March 5.

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I’ve been following news and rumors about the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and it looks like a huge step forward from the rather disappointing Samsung S5. The ultra-slim 5.1″ S6 will come with a Quad HD screen and will use an ultra-fast processor, the Exynos 7 Octa. The battery may be smaller than the S5 one (due to the ultra-sim design) but this won’t necessarily mean less battery life and Samsung will finally drop the plastic build with this new one which is great news! Moreover, a variant of the S6, the Samsung S6 Edge should also be announced and will feature a curved screen on the side. This is quite an interesting feature which was launched with the Note 4 Edge and that I’m looking forward to try out.

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There’s still the camera which is rumored to be either a 16MP Sony-made IMX240 sensor or a 20MP one. Knowing that the S4 and the S5 had the best cameras when they came out, I don’t expect less from the new Samsung Galaxy S6. In all cases, I will be there at the #Unpacked event live tweeting and covering so follow me @LeNajib and let me know if you have any questions. My friends from AbsoluteGeeks and @AndroidBasha were also invited by Samsung and will be there so this promises to be a lot of fun!

On a last note, please drop any tips or hints on places to go in Barcelona if you’ve been there.

MEA Airline Tickets Did Not Drop By 50%

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I saved a couple of articles I had read yesterday about MEA’s airline tickets dropping by 50% but when I woke up this morning to read the details, one of them had vanished and the other’s title had changed. I looked up a bit more and found Lea Fayad’s report which was much clearer and stated that the airline tickets dropped on average by 7% only. What was reduced by 50% is the cost of the fuel surcharge, which constitutes 14% of the ticket price.

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The screenshot shown at the start and taken from LBCI’s report shows how much prices have dropped for specific countries like Ghana, Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Paris, London and Nigeria. The biggest drop is for Ghana and Nigeria by $100 but these numbers are not really significant as MEA should have made a small table showing prices before and after and how they compare to the average ticket price. My friend who lives in Ghana told me he usually pays $1000 for his ticket but I couldn’t even simulate the ticket price on the MEA website to know if it changed or not.

To sum things up, it’s always a good thing when ticket prices drop but my friends always complain that MEA prices are more expensive than other airlines, so it would be interesting to know where how the new MEA prices compare to others as I assume all airlines reduced their prices because of the fuel price drop.

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Beirut Among The 50 Unpredictable And Non-Clichéd Places To Travel To In Your 20s

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Beirut made it on EliteDaily’s List of The 50 Unpredictable And Non-Clichéd Places To Travel To In Your 20s and I actually agree on their description of Beirut as being a “great place to eat, explore and party”. Beirut is a great city to visit if you are in your 20s as you could rent a small apartment or stay at a cheap motel in Mar Mikhael, Hamra or Gemayze, explore the city during the day, enjoy the great food we have to offer and party and have fun at night.

I honestly believe Beirut totally belongs (in a non-cliché way) in this list. Check it out [Here].

The hidden gems of the world are becoming hot spots for tourists — so all the more reason to visit these places sooner rather than later.

There’s no better time to travel to these places than when you’re in your 20s. As we get older, the comfort and ease of guided tours becomes increasingly appealing, so explore the world now while you still have the energy.

The world’s greatest cities aren’t going anywhere; you have your entire life to visit them. Why not go to places where you can be your own tourist?

Why Beirut Was Once Known As ‘The Paris Of The Middle East’

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The Business Insider published a nice article two days ago explaining why “Beirut Was Once Known As The Paris Of The Middle East”. They used photos taken by Charles W. Cushman, an avid traveler and amateur photographer who visited Beirut in its golden years. I am familiar with Cushman’s pictures as he had stayed at the famous Excelsior hotel which I researched and posted about earlier this year but I think the author should have looked for better pictures to highlight Beirut’s golden years. Most of Cushman’s pictures were of random people in the street and not of Beirut’s nightlife and extravagant lifestyle that led people to compare it back then to the French capital.

Funnily enough, one of the pictures show a merchant selling Kaak on the street but the author thought they were croissants, hence the comparison to Paris. As we all know, Kaak is a street food that’s very cheap and affordable to all, unlike the croissant.

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I will try to collect some old pictures from the 1960s and compile them in a nice post to show why Beirut was truly ‘The Paris Of The Middle East’. You can check out all of Cushman’s pictures [here] and my post on the famous Excelsior hotel that was visited by Iran’s Shah [here].

Beirut experienced a renaissance of sorts in the mid-20th century.

Following World War II, the Lebanese capital became a tourist destination and financial capital, nicknamed “the Paris of the Middle East” thanks to its French influences and vibrant cultural and intellectual life.

That changed when civil war broke out in 1975, ravaging the city. Beirut has been rebuilt in the decades since (despite occasional violence), and is one again becoming a popular place for travelers.

Charles W. Cushman, an avid traveler and amateur photographer, visited Beirut in its heyday in 1965 and captured some stunning photos of everyday life in the city. These photos are being shared with permission from the Indiana University Archives.

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LBCI Surprises Lebanese Passengers With A WestJet “Christmas Miracle” Inspired Stunt

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I love the initiative and it’s a pretty cool Christmas stung from LBCI and 7kijelis but it’s not a new idea really as Westjet did almost the same thing last year with its real-time giving stunt. In all cases, if you ever get asked at the airport what you want for Christmas, make sure to ask for a million dollars in cash.

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In Dubai For The Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Show

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I got invited to attend the reveal of the new Mustang 2015 (#MustangRises) which is taking place today near Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This is the first time I actually get invited to attend an event outside Lebanon and I am loving every single bit of it. Dubai is great, the Address downtown hotel where I’m staying is the best here, and most of the events are taking place in cool venues.

I can’t believe it’s my first time in Dubai as I’ve been planning to come here forever. Too bad I have to come back on Thursday so I won’t be able to explore the city properly but I will be back soon for sure.

I am sharing my experience mainly on Instagram and Twitter and will write a full post once I am back. You can follow me on [Insta] and [Twitter].

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