Home Travel Exploring the World: Turkey Opens Its Doors for Visa-Free Travel, and Etihad Introduces Exciting New Flights to India.

Exploring the World: Turkey Opens Its Doors for Visa-Free Travel, and Etihad Introduces Exciting New Flights to India.

Catch up on the latest and most captivating tourism news with The National's roundup of highlights you may have overlooked.

by Soofiya

Mirati citizens can now enjoy visa-free travel to Turkey and benefit from expanded flight options to various Indian destinations, courtesy of Etihad Airways’ latest additions to its route network.

In a significant move, Turkey has declared visa-free entry for citizens from six countries, including the UAE. Starting from December 23, nationals of the UAE, US, Canada, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia can visit Turkey for up to 90 days without the need for a visa. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this decision to boost tourism and strengthen international relations.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways has broadened its reach in India with the introduction of new flights to Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, bringing the total number of Indian gateways to 10. This expansion complements existing destinations such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi. Additional routes scheduled for launch this year include Boston (starting March 31), Nairobi (starting May 1), and seasonal summer routes like Malaga, Santorini, Nice, and Mykonos (starting June).

In Saudi Arabia, Aroya Cruises, the country’s first cruise line, has unveiled its inaugural cruise ship. This 335-meter-long vessel boasts 19 decks and 1,682 cabins, offering a luxurious experience for travelers. Aroya Cruises, affiliated with Saudi Cruise Company, is set to commence trips from Jeddah in 2024.

Heading to Beijing, a captivating exhibition, “AlUla, Wonder of Arabia,” showcases rare artefacts and cultural relics from the ancient Saudi city. Running from Friday to March 24 at the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City, the exhibition delves into the history and legacy of AlUla, encompassing sites such as Dadan, Qurh, AlUla Old Town, and Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Dubai, eight beaches across Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Islands have earned Blue Flag accreditation, a globally recognized eco-certification. This achievement, overseen by Nakheel, reflects adherence to stringent criteria related to eco-friendliness, safety features, and accessibility.

For skiing enthusiasts, Hakuba in Japan has been crowned the world’s best ski destination according to recent data from Compare the Market AU. Scoring 8.91 on the index, Hakuba surpassed other renowned locations such as Grenoble and Morzine in France. Notably, five of the top 10 destinations are situated in the French Alps, alongside representatives from Austria, Switzerland, and Canada’s Banff.

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