People will be charged by Customs for taking an additional mobile phone to Pakistan

According to Samaa the government of Pakistan, is charging a remarkably soar duty on mobile phones brought in to Pakistan.

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This applies to everyone from profit-oriented importers to passengers travelling to Pakistan. All expatriates coming to Pakistan, or a Pakistani returning from an official trip abroad must pay the duty if carrying extra mobile phones.

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Tax will not be payable by people carrying only one smartphone. However, people holding extra mobile phones would have to pay tax on them. Furthermore, it is not permissable to carry more than five headsets a year.

The structure of duty/tax is complicated, as stated in Samaa. However, some calculations have been done as following: If an additional mobile phone is valued at RS40,000, then a tax and other duties of RS16,100 or 40% would have to be paid, leading to an overall cost to RS56,100. Depending on the price of the handset, duty and tax will vary. The below diagram taken from ( shows how much to pay for the smartphone:

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Diagram from

Officials stated, duties will apply to both smartphones, new (packed) or used (unpacked) with an IMEI or SIM function. However, currently the government is allowing only used phones and new (packed) phones – in case of a second phone – is being charged with new Customs duty. Duties have already been confirmed by the government for used phones, and legislation is being made in regards to this.

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Critics have stated, both consumers and traders will be upset by the soaring duties on imports of handsets. With these higher duties, devices will become more expensive and “out of reach for the marginalised parts, being deprived from the advantages of what internet offers”. They also stated, it will slow down internet penetration and the expansion of internet-based economy.

To stop the smuggling of mobile phones, which cost the exchequer millions in tax evasion, it is neccessary to take this step, stated the government.

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The government is working to simplify the complicated old tax framework, a Customs Official stated. The aim is to initially halt smuggling, since 40% of the imports are smuggled items, he (annonymous) clarified. Furthermore, according to Samaa, he also stated: “Once, we have done away with it and simplified the tax structure, the goverment will certainly consider reducing taxes, especially on low-end phones.” (




According to a survey, Ryanair was called the worst short-haul airline for 6 consecutive years

The Evening Standard stated Dublin based carrier was given the lowest ranking possible for boarding, cabin surrounding, seat comfort and refreshments, shown in a survey by the consumer group Which?.

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The overall customer result was just 40% due to this.

More than 70% of people stated they would never travel on Ryanair.

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A record of 12,459 flying experiences from 7,901 of its members showed in Which?.

The Civil Aviation Authority started enforcement movement against Ryanair in December, under the decision of not paying compensation for flight disturbance occurring from industrial action by its crew in summer 2018.

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Last year the airline also experienced disapproval of altering the hand luggage policy twice, with consequences in charges for travellers flying with little wheelie suitcases.

A passenger stated to Which?, there are numerous rules and is afraid of coming across concealed charges.

Ryanair made £1.75 billion last year from additional costs, such as luggage fees, assigned seating and priority boarding, emphasized the consumer group.

Other airlines that ranked at the lowest for short-haul flights were “Thomas Cook Airlines (52%), Whizz Air (54%), Vueling Airlines (54%) and British Airways (56%)”.

Centre of the ranking was easyJet at 63%.

The airlines achieving the highest position for short-haul travel, were Aurigny (81%), Swiss Airlines (80%) and Jet2 (75%).

The “one vital factor for UK customers is the cost of fares” which the research did not consider, stated a spokeswoman of Ryanair¬†and explained it as “completely unrepresentative” in comparison to 141 million travellers yearly.

The spokeswoman also stated the airline’s standard fare of ¬£35 is “a fraction of the costly fares charged by Which?’s “suggested” airlines”.


The Which? Travel magazine’s editor, Rory Boland said, if you don’t desire to be seated with family and children or nor take the smallest cabin bag on-board, then airfares seem a lot cheaper.

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He also stated, with Ryanair a calculator is required to figure out what the final bill would be.

Furthermore, he said, hundreds of thousands of holidays were destroyed due to cancelling flights in the last two years, and defying the rules on compensation too”.

Finally, the editor stated: “The results of our survey show passengers are fed up. They should switch to one of their rivals, who prove budget prices don’t have to mean budget services”. (


Evening Standard (www.standard

Gatwick and Heathrow to buy Anti-drone equipement

Following the disturbance at Sussex airport prior to christmas, Gatwick and Heathrow will pay millions of pounds on anti-drone technology.

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Last month at Gatwick the RAF placed equipment on a roof, that identifies and blocks communications between a drone and its operator.

Due to drone sightings in December, over 1,000 flights were cancelled in a span of 3 days.

Gatwick spent a total of £5 million to prohibit later assaults, whilst Heathrow confirmed to also purchase the systems.

Between 19th and 21st December, more than 140,000 traveller’s were disturbed during the 36 hour havoc.

The government brought in the military and was only stood down on Wednesday 2nd January.

The personnel of Royal Air Force Regiment were associated in the deployment, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

It was reported last year, that MoD requested the Drone Dome system, which is manufactured by Rafeal an Israeli company.

The system has a scope of several miles and consumes four radars to provide 360-degrees detection to recognise and trail drones.

It is assumed MoD is yet waiting to obtain the system, because Gatwick used substituted technology.

It is stated that Gatwick and Heathrow have not revealed the equipment they intend to operate in future.

After the disturbance Gatwick invested in new anti-drone defences, confirmed a spokeswoman.

At Heathrow, a spokesman stated:

“The safety of our passengers and colleagues remains our top priority.

Working closely with relevant authorities including the Met Police, we are constantly looking at the best technologies that help remove the threat of drones.” (BBC News)

Investigation of the disturbance is still ongoing by Sussex Police, and stated it occurred by “many occasions of illegal drone activity”.

The force stated it had “appropriate viewing” from 115 witnesses – 93 of them explained as “believable” – including police officers, a pilot and airport staff.

According to Civil Aviation Authority, rules for flying recreational drones in the UK are:

  1. Drone must be in line of sight at all times
  2. Not within 50m of people, vehicles or buildings
  3. No higher than 120m (400ft)


Pictures are only for illustration purposes.

Package Holidays

Package Holidays


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A holiday sold for an individual price that consists of travel, accommodation and transfer services, is defined as a package holiday. In the United Kingdom travel and tourism industry, package holiday is one of the most important products. It has been about 50 years since they started offering package holidays, and have grown to be tremendously popular.

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A traveller pays a single price for the major three parts of their holiday (travel, accommodations and transfer). The flight is covered in the package, and if it’s an outbound holiday, it will also include transfer from the airport to the hotel, and cost of accommodations. Food being obtainable depends whether the passenger is self-catering or not. Certain activities while on holiday, like small trips and visits to attractions must be paid at the airport, by person booking the package.

Before the existence of internet, it was complicated for normal people to make reservations with hotels in different countries. It was also difficult to make other arrangements.

A holiday offer with everything included was extremely appealing, particularly to a place with guaranteed warm weather.

A tour operator puts together package holidays, sold to the public by travel agents. The travel representatives promote the holidays issued by tour operators in brochures, for the public to select their desired holiday.

Although, the ‘established’ method of selling package holidays still occurs, majority of people are now using the internet to purchase their holiday.

Currently, tour operators sell their products straight to the public.

Every package holidays are not only sold to coastal destinations, rather they can be purchased for city breaks, winter sports holidays and many other types. The valued feature is that the holiday has been ‘packaged’ or put together by the tour operator, agreeing to buy seats on an aircraft or beds in a hotel. Traveller’s buying single products are more expensive, in comparison to package price which is often cheaper.


Unit-1 An Introduction to Travel and Tourism

Over 50 employees of Pakistan International Airlines sacked for forged degrees

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The media announced on Saturday that over 50 employees of Pakistan International Airlines, including pilots and cabin crew were sacked, for carrying forged degrees.

According to Geo news, stated in India Today, three pilots and 50 cabin crew were fired.

A statement by the country’s national carrier, commented that the staff were sacked in a forged degrees case, on the command of Supreme Court.

In January this year Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, took notice of the supposed position of pilots carrying counterfeit qualifications.

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The Chief Justice leader of a two-member tribunal had issued a time limit of December 28 to the Civil Aviation Authority, for finishing the authentication of the degrees of pilots.


Etihad Airways takes Dreamliner 787-9, route to Hong Kong

From March 31st Etihad Airways is going to introduce the Dreamliner Boeing 787-9, from Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong on a daily scheduled service.

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The aircraft Airbus A330-200 is flying the route currently, however, it shall be replaced with the two class aircraft.

The airline’s next generation business and economy cabins, comprising of 229 seats, will highlight the new Airbus 787-9 Dreamliner service to Hong Kong.

This comprises an expansion of 6 business class seats, 31 economy class seats and raised capacity of four tonnes in the belly-hold freight.

The modern inflight entertainment network presents over 750 hours of movies and programmes, in the new Boeing 787 fleet. The Dreamliner also has an option of games for both adults and children, aswell as hundreds of music selections.



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Following the drone turmoil France’s Vinci bought Gatwick Airport for ¬£2.9 billion

Days after reports of drone sightings and closure of Gatwick Airport runways, causing disturbance to thousands of passengers, has been sold to France’s Vinci for ¬£2.9 billion.

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Under the conditions of agreement, the Global Infrastructer Partners (GIP), a consortium regulated by US investment fund will sell a share of 50.01% to Vinci Airports.

Gatwick the UK’s second largest airport struck an agreement, with Vinci who manages beyond 40 airports globally over America, Europe and Asia.

The Sussex airport was enormously interrupted in the run-up to christmas, after news of drone spotting created chaos for christmas travellers.

Last week after the drones were sighted inside the airport perimeter, about 1,000 Gatwick flights were discontinued or transfered across three days.

The pre-Christmas travel arrangements of many thousands of people, were destroyed by the emergency.

Although, there were subsequent implications that the drones at Gatwick may never have existed, the Evening Standard states, “although police later played them down, saying they were down to “poor communications”. (

The GIP partner, Michael Mcghee, stated:

“We expect the transaction to be completed by the middle of next year, with the senior leadership team remaining in place.

“There focus, along with everyone at Gatwick, obviously remains on doing their very best for customers over the busy holiday period after the challenges of recent days”. (Quote, from

In 2009, Gatwick was obtained for £1.5 billion by the GIP consortium.

Sir David Higgins the chairman, Stewart Wingate the chief exec and Nick Dunn the finance chief, will remain in their positions, along with the senior management team at Gatwick subsequent to the contract.

The GIP shall persist to administer the outstanding 49.99% interest in Gatwick, after the closure of the transaction in the second quarter.

President of Vinci Airports, Nicolas Notebaert, said:

“As Gatwick’s new industrial partner, Vinci Airports will support and encourage growth of traffic, operational efficiency and leverage its international expertise in the development of commercial activities to further improve passenger satisfaction and experience”. (Quote from


The Evening Standard (

Watch “New Islamabad Airport to Abu Dhabi” on YouTube

Islamabad International Airport is the leading international airport providing service to the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area and suburbs. After Sialkot International Airport, Islamabad International Airport is Pakistan’s second greenfield airport, and is built 20 km outside the double cities closest to Kashmir Highway and Motorway Interchange.


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The airport initiated complete functions on May 3rd 2018, substituting the obsolete Benazir Bhutto International Airport that currently constitutes part of the PAF Base Nur Khan. In terms of passenger capacity, ability of serving 15 million passengers a year in its initial stage, Islamabad International Airport is the biggest airport in Pakistan. The additional organised extentions will permit benefit to 25 million passengers yearly. The terminal comprises of 15 gates with 10 remote gates, duty-free shops, food court, a four-star hotel, and 42 immigration counters.


Furthermore, a third runway at the airport to be built, as, 2,833 acres (11.46 sq km / 4.42 sq mi) of land being obtained by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.

Islamabad International Airport is the initial and only airport in Pakistan competent of managing the Airbus A380, and is assumed to become a significant hub benefiting Northern Pakistan.



Introduction to Travel and Tourism: Business Tourism (Topic 5)

What is Business Tourism?
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Business tourism is defined as people wanting to travel for business reasons, other than the normal day to day trips to their usual work place. The business trip may incorporate flying to a different country for a conference, or just driving to the area of meeting.

The travel and tourism industry heavily shows importance to business tourism. Business’s like budget hotel chains depend enormously on the revenue that is produced from business travels.

The definition of business tourism according to the ICCA is quoted as:

“Business tourism is the provision of facilities and services to the millions of delegates who annually attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions, business events, incentive travel and corporate hospitality”.

However, it is stated that not one frequently used definition exists in the meetings industry, as there are numerous terms.

According to (Unit-1 An introduction to Travel and Tourism), business tourism is not just related to business. People may desire to take the chance to visit important attractions, in the city or location of their business trip, and make time for leisure tourism into their visit.


Unit 1- An Introduction to Travel and Tourism

A man and woman arrested at Gatwick Airport over the drone disturbance

According to London (Reuters), police arrested a man and a woman after scoundrel drone operators sabotaged London’s Gatwick Airport for three days, constantly flying onto the airfield causing significant security reaction.

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Approaching christmas the second biggest airport (Gatwick) was compelled to shut down the runway, has returned to its services on Saturday.

Late on Friday, a man aged 47 and a woman aged 54, from the neighbouring area were arrested by the police. On suspicion of causing disturbance to civil aviation operations, they stayed in custody on Saturday.

A recovery from the huge problems of Icelandics volcanic ash cloud in 2010, is still ongoing, and warned passengers are expected to face delays and cancellations.

In a statement, Superintendent James Collis requested the public, passengers and extensive community to be observant surrounding Gatwick. He quoted:

“Our investigations are still on-going, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones, by deploying a range of tactics”.

The travel disturbance before christmas started on Wednesday evening forcing Gatwick to cancel all flights, after noticing little drones around the airfield. The drones came back every time the airport attempted to reopen the runway, on Thursday.

The Army positioned unknown military technology to protect the area, reassuring the airport that it was safe to fly. The authorities conclusively regained power over the airfield.

The airport stated, safety is Gatwick’s highest priority, and are working towards getting the passengers to their ultimate destinations on time for christmas. Gatwick is thankful to passengers for there ongoing patience.

Many travelers slept on the airport floor in order to find alternative ways to christmas family gatherings and holidays. The drones created distress to the passengers.

The financial impact it will have on the largest airlines operating at Gatwick (easyJet, British Airways and Norwegian), is too soon to determine.

Airports across the globe are suffering with the dangers of unmanned aerial vehicles. Between the years 2015 and 2017, Britain encountered triple the number of nearby misses between drones and aircrafts, with a record of 92 incidents last year.


Another suspected drone sighting delays flights at Gatwick airport

According to yet another incident of “suspected drone sighting” has suspended flights at Gatwick Airport. It’s been stated by a spokesperson at Gatwick, that an investigation is undergoing after perceiving a report of “suspected drone sighting”.

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The flights have been suspended, until investigation takes place. Information about the “suspected scoundrel drone” is being received. Aircraft are unable to land and are currently rotating above the airport.

It is stated the sighting of the drone reportedly happened around 17.10 GMT. The Sussex police said it’s officers were investigating, however, the Ministry of Defence has not yet confirmed the sighting of the drone.

Previously Gatwick Airport was closed for a day or two, as a result of drones flying over the airfield. It occured on Wednesday around 21.30, and just earlier it reopened.

It is believed multiple culprits are being investigated, and more than one unmanned aircraft is involved, stated the police.

Earlier on, according to the officers, “people of interest” have been identified.


Dozens of flights left grounded as IT system fails at Heathrow airport

Stated in the daily mail today (20th December 2018) that serious delays at heathrow airport were encountered by thousands of passengers, following an IT system collapse.

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The failed computer system occured in terminal 5 of heathrow airport, leaving passengers facing delays in checking in.

The check-in system Amadeus was collapsed for 20 minutes, which is used by many airlines, including British Airways.

A statement by BA verified no flights had been delayed and the computer system was back, completely functioning.

Furthermore, no flights were to be delayed or diverted as a consequence of the glitch, a BA spokesperson said.

A third party supplier was affected by the technical problem, confirmed a heathrow spokesperson.

Baggage and check-in was disturbed on a short term basis, which had been recovered, was a global matter. The heathrow spokesperson apologised for the inconvenience or delay caused by this.


British Airways restarts flights to Pakistan

More than 10 years ago British Airways stopped services to Pakistan, after a serious hotel bombing. From next year BA shall resume the services, and will be the initial Western airline to serve this country.

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After the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad (capital of Pakistan) was bombed in 2008, which killed more than 50 people, British Airways put a halt on its services to Pakistan.

The new Islamabad International Airport which opened in May of this year, has alleviated issues regarding both security and obstruction.

It has been stated by the British High Commissioner of Pakistan, Thomas Drew, that indication of significant betterment in security, motivated BA‘s come back.

Robert Williams of BA, stated it would be thrilling flying between Islamabad and Heathrow from next year, and convinced the service to be popular with the British Pakistani Community, who desire to visit or be visited by members of family.

In the United Kingdom there are over a million Pakistani origin people residing.

The airline group IAG owner of BA, intends to manage three flights a week commencing from 2 June 2019.

Pakistan International Airlines is the only airline of Pakistan that flies direct from Pakistan to Britain.


Mouthwatering Chicken Mince Lasagne! Italian or Greek?

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Cooked Chicken Mince lasagne ready to be served.

Prepared Chicken Mince Lasagne ready to go into the oven.

Wondering why you’ve come across food on a travel blog? Well cooking is part of my daily chores, travelling is a passion and education is a learning method. Sometimes, on a day off from the usual job or studies, cooking something special for the family is a fun idea. As I love cooking a few speciality dishes here and there, its a pleasure to share on my blog.

My family loves chicken mince lasagne served with chips and salad. A tangy and spicy sauce made to its perfection (dolmios) mixed in the cooked mince, and dazzled with cheese. Ready to get further cooked in the oven, until golden brown. With a choice of chips and salad as a side, enjoy the mouthwatering scrumptious meal of the day.

Serving with chips and salad.

History of Lasagna or Lasagne

Many articles and sources on the internet proclaim its origination can be discovered long back in Ancient Greece. It states that the names Lasagna or “Lasagne” is obtained from the Greek word “Laganon”, the initial type of pasta. Italy, of course asserts they were the first. (

Please comment below if you want a receipe of my Chicken Mince Lasagne.

Badshahi Masjid (mosque) Lahore Pakistan

Badshahi Mosque Lahore (RazPhotos)

TheMuslim state, in 1947 Badshahi Mosque or “Imperial Mosque” is located in Lahore, Pakistan. It’s a Mughal era masjid in capital of the province of Punjab, Pakistan. The masjid is located beside the outskirts of the Walled City of Lahore, west of Lahore Fort and is extensively contemplated as one of Lahore’s most iconic monuments. (Wikipedia)

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Emperor Aurangzeb commissioned the Badshahi Mosque in 1671, with the construction of the masjid persisting for two years till 1673. The mosque is a significant exemplar of Mughal architecture, with the outer adorned with carved red sandstone with marble inlay. It remains the largest and most up to date of the magnificent imperial mosques of the Mughal-era, and the second biggest mosque in Pakistan. The Sikh Empire and the British Empire used the mosque as a garrison, after the Mughal Empire dropped. (Wikipedia) Although the mosque appears like an excellent religious construction, its past has seen additional use as a military foundation. (Atlas Obscura) The mosque was controlled by Sikhs at circle of the century, and used it as stable for horses and other military components. During the Sikh Civil War groups of refuges were bombarded near the Lahore Fort. The mosque was in a poor condition as it continued being used a military storage, right through the British rule. It was in its worst condition of preservation. (Atlas Obscura)

Badshahi Mosque Lahore (RazPhotos)

The mosque was eventually restored to its indiginous motive, and considerable repairs were undertaken, when Pakistan became a liberated Muslim state, after 1947. Repairs continued until 2008, and now at present time the Badshahi mosque has nearly returned to its natural 17th century state. (Atlas Obscura)


Rohtas Fort- King Sher Sha Suri Pakistan (16th century history)

Rohtas Fort, Jhelum Pakistan               RazPhotos

Eager to visit the 16th century fortress in Pakistan, the Rohtas Fort of Jhelum, eventually became a reality in April 2018. The weather was extremely warm on the day of our visit, but we were mesmerized by the beauty and architecture of the Fort.

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In the 16th century in North of Pakistan, Province of Punjab, Rohtas Fort was built at a tactical location. ( The fortress was built throughout the governing of the Pashtun king Sher Shah Suri between 1541 and 1548 in order to assist conquer the insurgent groups of the Potohar area of northern Punjab, which were faithful to the Mughal crown. It is stated that, the Fort is the only biggest and most intimidating in the subcontinent. Rohtas Fort has survived extraordinary intact, and was not at all stormed forcefully.  (Wikipedia)

Large defensive walls of Rohtas Fort (RazPhotos)

The Fort is recognised for its huge defensive walls, and numerous monumental gateways. The height of the external wall differs between 10 and 13 metres. The walls hold up to 3 terraces located at various levels. Every level was joined to the other via a staircase. It states that, merlon-shaped battlements are on the highest terrace, which muskets could be fired, and soldiers would pour molten lead. (Wikipedia)

King Sher Shah Suri and his guards in Rohtas Fort museum (RazPhotos)

Sher Shah Suri (1486-1545), was the founder of Suri Empire in the northern area of Indian subcontinent. He was born as Farid Khan Lodhi, and died on 22 May 1545, aged 58-59. Sher Shah powered the Mughal Empire in 1538. Initially he served as a private then became a commander in the Mughal army under Babur, followed by the governor of Bihar. In 1537, Sher Shah occupied the state of Bengal and acknowledged the Suri dynasty. An excellent strategist, Sher Shah demonstrated himself as a talented administrator and a competent general. The reorganization of the empire set the basis for the future Mughal emperors, in particular Akbar,  son of Humayun. (Wikipedia)

Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. He was also known as Badshah of Mughal Empire and Akbar the Great. Akbar superseded his father, Humayan,  under a regent, Bairam Khan,  who supported him to enlarge and strengthen Mughal territory in India. (Wikipedia)

The Haveli of Man Singh Rohtas Fort, Pakistan (RazPhotos)

The domed tower is the only surviving example of Hindu architecture amongst the fort, which is named after one of Akbar’s prominent generals. (

Rani Mahal and Haveli Man Singh, RazPhotos

Man Singh, known as Raja Man Singh I¬†(21 December 1550 –¬†6 July 1614) was the kachwaha Rajput Raja of Amer, a nation eventually known as Jaipur in Rajputana.¬† He¬†was one of Emperor Akbar’s¬† devoted¬†generals,¬†who was included amongst the Navaratnas, or the nine (nava) gems (ratna) of the royal bench.(Wikipedia). The Haveli (mansion) of Man Singh, also known as Rani Mahal (Queens palace)¬†at the Rohtas Fort only survived one room, when initially it consisted of four rooms. The room is remarkable for its two balconies on the southern and eastern frontages, and is approximately 5.5 meters square. The prime chamber is covered with a lotus shaped ornament on the roof.( ¬†


Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore

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Situated in Lahore is Minar-e-Pakistan a national monument of Pakistan. Between 1960 and 1968 this tower was built on a location where the All-India Muslim League (a political party founded in the British Indian Empire, throughout the initial years of the 20th century) approved the Lahore Resolution on 20th March 1940. It was the first authorised call for an individual and independent native land for the Muslims of British India as adopted by the two-nation theory (the foundation of the existence of Pakistan). The resolution finally helped cause the emergence of an independent Pakistani state in 1947. (Wikipedia)

Minar-e-Pakistan (RazPhotos)

The construction of Minar-e-Pakistan started on 23rd March 1960 and was completed on 21st October 1968. The height of the tower is 62 metres (203 ft), and the architect was Nasreddin Murat-Khan. According to Wikipedia, the architect was a Russian-born Pakistani (1904-1970). He was well known for many notable buildings and structures.

Nasreddin Murat-Khan (architect)

The design of the tower is reflected by a mixture of Mughal/Islamic and contemporary architecture. The construction took eight years costing approximately Rs 7,058,000. It is stated that, the governor of West Pakistan, Akhtar Hussain demanded money be gathered by charging extra tax on horse racing and cinema tickets. Present time, the minaret supplies extensive view, by means of an elevator to those visitors who cannot access the top nor use the stairs. There is an artificial lake and marble fountains in the parks nearby the monument. (Wikipedia)


Faisal Mosque Islamabad


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Pakistan is the most beautiful and only country I visit on a regular basis. Faisal Mosque or Faisal Masjid is an amusing tourist place to visit, that blows ones mind with it’s astonishing architectural design. The remarkable fountain situated on the courtyard of the mosque is an extended attraction. Not to forget the tourist shop, where one can buy charming souveniers. A recommended mosque to visit next time your in Pakistan.


According to Wikipedia, Faisal Mosque is located on the foothills of Margalla Hills, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The mosque is inspired by a Bedouin tent (traditionally made by hand of sheep or goat hair, that provides a perfect shelter), and features a modern design comprising of eight sides of concrete shell. Faisal Mosque is referred as a contemporary and dominant aspect of Islamic architecture, and is a significant tourist attraction.

In 1976 the construction of the mosque started, after the Saudi King Faisal,  whose name it carries, contributed a $120 million grant. Vedat Dalokay a Turkish architects unconventional design was opted at an international competition. The mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, and encompassed by four 79m high minarets. The diagram features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs creating a triangular reverence hall that can bear 100,000 worshippers, and upto 200,000 and more in the courtyard and encircling porticoes. (Wikipedia)

The mosque is situated at the end of Faisal Avenue, and dominates the landscape of Islamabad, covering an area of 54,000 square feet. From 1986 until 1993, Faisal Mosque was the biggest mosque in the world, then mosques in the MENA area took over. In terms of capacity, according to Wikipedia, Faisal mosque is the fourth largest mosque.



Flying with Etihad Airways from Manchester Airport


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My initial experience flying with Etihad Airways. The journey started on Friday 20th April 2018, from Manchester International Airport.

The flight was scheduled at 9.00am, to Islamabad, however it had been delayed an hour. There was enough time until airborne , so we decided to roam around terminal 1 lounge. Interestingly, we came across a man selling tickets for a competition to win a car. The company BOTB had displayed a real car, perhaps to approach more people to buy the tickets.

BOTB (Best of the Best PLC), has been operating in the main airports since 1999. Fortunately, “Dream Car and Lifestyle Competition” company, gives away a Dream Car every week.

According to Wikipedia, to date BOTB has handed keys over to more than £22m worth of prizes. It is stated that in 2018, BOTB launched an independent weekly lifestyle competition that gave away motorbikes, luxury watches and cash.

Customers purchase tickets for the prize they desire to win, and play Spot the Ball. An independent panel of judges considers the person nearest to the ball wins the car of that week. The company as stated in Wikipedia, is listed on the AIM London Stock Exchange, and it’s headquarter is in Fulham London.

BOTB Internet

Surprisingly, the idea of few people winning a selected car of their choice was an opportunity not to be missed. Five tickets for £10 was a fair deal, so I purchased some.

Personal details were collected on the computer, and I was told to continue checking my email. Confused at the fact that no receipt was given to me, and I wasn’t aware of the ticket numbers. My mind began to wonder if this was a scam and just a way to make money.

Etihad Airways is a pleasant airline to fly with, with its professional and caring crew. The 7 hour journey to Abu Dhabi  (layover destination) was comfortable.

Food was the main issue for me, as my taste buds are very sensitive! Spinach and feta Arabic pastry was served as a snack, but unfortunately, it didn’t impress my taste buds. It had a rich aroma and bulky texture, with a weird taste. After one bite, the pastry was placed back into its presentable fancy packet. From all the meals served on this flight, breakfast was my favourite. Roast potatoes, omelette and grilled tomatoes were delicious.


The entertainment system was  working, but nothing fascinating was screening. However, the journey map was exceptionally useful, demonstrating the exact point of travel.


The seats were quite comfortable and spacious, with USB and phone charger sockets. Amazed by the unique, impressive cup holder, that kepy the cup intact, avoiding any spillages during the flight.

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The flap of the cup holder can be placed back, when not in use.