Posts Tagged ‘Common’

Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism: Spiritual and Ethical Affinities

Product Description

Forging an interfaith dialog between traditions that typically stand at odds, this groundbreaking book explores the scriptural and spiritual tenets of Islam and Buddhism in relation to one another, creating a basis for comparison and analysis of the two traditions. The discussion juxtaposes foundational principles and practices by linking underlying principles and fostering a mutual appreciation between followers of both religions. This interfaith initiative focuses upon metaphysical and ethical aspects of Islam and Buddhism, placing them in context with each other, thus encouraging understanding, and providing a point of reference for continuing and deepening reciprocal respect and collaboration. In their respective introductions to this book, H.H. the Dalai Lama states that the book helps demonstrate that Islam is indeed a ‘path of salvation’; while leading Islamic scholar of jurisprudence, Prof Mohammad Hashim Kamali, asserts that on the basis of this book one can argue that Buddhism is an authentic ‘deen’ or religion.

Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism: Spiritual and Ethical Affinities

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 25, 2010 at 6:40 am

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Common Questions to ask your Travel Agent

Your travel agent can be an integral part of planning your vacation, especially when used wisely. A travel agent is an invaluable resource when you have decided to plan a trip. They can help prevent travel complications while at the same time getting you the best value. However, it is important to remember that each travel agent is different. So, to ensure that your travel agent is a good match for your needs, here are some common questions to ask.

Question 1 – What is your specialty?

It is important to know what your travel agent’s specialty is. He or she may specialize in certain destinations or products, such as cruises or adventure tours. You will also want to ask what types of travel your agent specializes in. For example, you would not want to book a trip for a large group with an agent who is not experienced in such services.

Question 2 – What are your fees?

Obviously, you know that you will be compensating your travel agent for his or her time, planning expertise, work, and advice, but knowing the fees upfront is always a good idea. Some travel agents work on commission, some charge a flat rate, and some charge per service. It is also best to be upfront about your travel budget and be clear that your total budget includes travel agent fees.

Question 3 – What are your hours of operation?

You will need to know when your travel agency or agent operates. Be sure to get the toll-free number in case of an emergency as well as an alternate number for after-hours necessities. If your travel agent has email or a website, you will also want to note that information as well.

Question 4 – What happens if something goes wrong?

Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid inconveniences while traveling. Such inconveniences may include a delayed or cancelled flight because of poor weather. Discuss with your travel agent what happens in such circumstances and how he or she responds to these problems. Always be clear on your travel agent’s policies.

Question 5 – Are tickets refundable?

If you’re working with a travel agent, it is likely that you are planning this trip well in advance. In addition to last minute inconveniences that may occur, such as poor weather cancelling a flight, things in your life may change as well. Find out if your trip is refundable, partially refundable, or if a cancellation fee applies. It is also a good idea to check if reservations can be exchanged.

Question 6 – Do you have special relationships with travel suppliers?

Many times, your travel agent will be able to get you a great deal, which may not be available to the general public. Cruise lines, tour companies, and hotels often offer perks such as upgrades, free parking, and other deals to travel agents who have worked with them before. If your agent has this type of influence, take advantage of it!

Question 7 – Have you traveled to my destination?

There is nothing like first-hand knowledge. If your travel agent has traveled to your destination, he or she will be able to speak from experience. A well-traveled agent will be able to make informed recommendations and provide sound advice as opposed to one who has not visited the areas you are considering.

Question 8 – Can I get a better deal if I travel on a different day?

This question is integral to establishing a better deal if your travel dates are somewhat flexible. Remember, even when working with a travel agent, peak travel times and seasons still apply. Let your travel agent know that while your original itinerary is ideal, if there is a better deal to be had, you may consider traveling at a later date.

Question 9 – Where can I learn more about my destination?

In many cases, travel agents will provide customers with information, such as brochures, about your destination. If the brochures are not sufficient enough for you, ask your travel agent where you could do a little more research. He or she should be able to easily point you in the right direction.

Question 10 – Will I need a passport or visa?

If you are not sure if you will need a passport or special visa to travel to your destination, ask your travel agent. If you do need a passport or visa, he or she will also be able to instruct you on how to obtain one.

Question 11 – What questions do you have for me?

Always ask your travel agent if he or she has any questions for you. Travel agents should always ask you a few questions about what you are looking for in a vacation. This is necessary so that they will be able to come up with the best itinerary for your interests and budget.
The best travel agent for the job is one who is willing to work with you, has extensive knowledge, and is receptive to your priorities as a traveler. However, you will need to ask the questions outlined above to get started. Remember, your agent should be more than willing to answer any of these questions, or any others that you may have.

Ryan Anderson is a blogger and freelance writer who focuses on the travel industry and vacation tips, often discussing a particular aspect of the travel industry such as working with a travel agent.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 14, 2010 at 3:17 am

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Dubai And Abu Dhabi’S Common Meltdown Woes

As the world awakens to its first recession in the 21st century, the two main business hubs of the Persian Gulf region, namely Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have also awakened to its repercussions in their own backyard. The two cities, which saw remarkable growth post-1990, do realize today, they will have to work for a common stake in the years to come. Neither Abu Dhabi nor Dubai could think of bracing through these testing periods without calling the other to join in. The two cities, with their commerce and landmarks, which include Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai, are like two veins running the development through the whole of the UAE and Middle East. None of these could be separated or made to survive without the other.

These two cities have galvanized the ethnic Arabs and the expatriates alike into unitedly working for a common dream, thus paving a way for immense economic and urban development in the region, in the past two decades. Nothing could be predicted how much the present economic meltdown might affect the Gulf in years ahead, but the signs are ominous with a slowing down of the reality and tourism sectors. Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai have recorded low occupancy in the recent months in contrast to their earlier bullish collections.

It is reported now that up to three fourth of Dubai’s key developments might either be delayed or shelved due to the ongoing meltdown of the world commerce. Dubai’s freehold properties have taken the brunt of this causality, and many of those who earlier bought luxurious villas and apartments to make quick returns are now counting their losses and the time it might take them to break-even. Large scale job cuts have added to this spiraling woe and a frenzied disinvestment by the small yet noticeable number of expatriates leaving the city is adding to further confusion. With reality going down, the hospitality sector is not unaffected either, which includes Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai.

Dubai may feel the heat more as compared to Abu Dhabi, if the recession deepened any further worldwide. Two factors might work in Abu Dhabi’s favor here: First, its moderate opening to construction mania as compared to Dubai, and second, its larger oil-reserves, which it can turn back to anytime during hardships. What experts foresee as a result, is the possibility of Abu Dhabi becoming Dubai’s savior, if the meltdown worsened further. The latter might have to take the brunt of the slowdown due to its massive expansion in the real estate – which includes villas, apartments and hotels in Dubai – and duty-free commodities, both having been hit worldwide now. Abu Dhabi’s real estate, which consists of an equally impressive array of apartment blocks, villas and Abu Dhabi hotels, is not as much overheated as it might be in its sibling’s case.

As the recession takes its toll further, a section of the expatriates may have to return back to their native countries, but others will stay on and face the crisis together with the ethnic Arabs, one hopes. Interestingly, many used to stay in Dubai hotels and other freehold properties and travel daily to Abu Dhabi for their vocations. While the overall mood for staying in the UAE may have been hit adversely due to recession, the cash counters for Abu Dhabi hotels have not yet dried up as abundantly as in the case of hotels in Dubai. Abu Dhabi hotels continue to enjoy a favorable business from many travelers even today.

Pankaj Mohan is an Ahmedabad, India based author who often writes on behalf of DubaiShortstay.com. Visit this site to book your holidays in Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

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