More than two million people are expected to attend the fifth Dubai Shopping Festival in March. The tiny Emirate has become a major tourist attraction in the past decade, and a highlight of the festival will be the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race, with US$6 million (HK$46.5 million) in prize money. A Rolls-Royce can be won each day of the festival, and a total of 41 kilograms of gold will be raffled.
Emirates Holidays, the tourism arm of Dubai's airline, Emirates, has special promotions. Contact Emirates at 25267171 for details.
A coach trip on water Don't worry if the coach that takes you on a sightseeing trip of Sydney's attractions ends up in the waters of the harbour. You'll be on the Aussie Duck, an amphibious vehicle which can seat 50. There are five trips a day taking in the city centre, Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Darling Harbour and the Anzac Bridge. After the land tour, the coach lowers pontoons and 'swims' into the harbour. The 90-minute tour costs HK$225 for adults and $125 for children. Tickets can be booked via the Web site www.aussieduck.com  .
Free night in Paris First and business class passengers flying to Paris with Cathay Pacific before the end of March will receive one night's complimentary accommodation at the Sofitel Le Fauborg, which is situated near the Champs-Elysees. Meanwhile, complimentary breakfast is being offered until the end of March for all guests staying at any of the nine Sofitel hotels in Paris.
Arrivals lounge in London Virgin Atlantic has opened its first arrivals lounge, called Revivals, at Heathrow Airport, for its Upper Class passengers. The GBP2 million (about HK$25 million) lounge opens from 4am to 1pm. Receptionists will take luggage, allocate a shower room and arrange limousine pick-up to take passengers on to their final destination. There is also a business area, lounge and bar. Suits can be steam-cleaned and ironed.
Top scenic route closed Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the Cape Town area's most breathtaking routes, will be closed until the end of May. The closure comes after a motorist was killed by a falling boulder. The coastal road is popular with sightseers travelling between Cape Town and Cape Point, the tip of South Africa.
French Riviera looks to HK Nice, the French Riviera city, which is holding its annual carnival right now, is planning a big push to attract Hong Kong and mainland Chinese tourists, according to Daniel Villamaux, managing director of Best of France, a marketing company, who is based in the SAR. He's hoping to help set up packages. Next year, the city authorities are even considering including dragon boat racing.
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