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     Print Edition: March 4, 2012

It's time for Asia
This year's World Travel Awards are testimony to the shift in global attention towards Asia. Entries from the continent swept the accolades.

After almost 20 years in the running, the World Travel Awards has established itself as the ultimate authority in global travel and hospitality . This year, a total of about 210,000 travel industry professionals and consumers from around the world cast their votes and bestowed India with the big prize of the World's Leading Destination. Asia and the Middle East hogged the top spot in several categories with a long list of prizes. The Jumeirah at Etihad Towers won the first prize as the world's leading new hotel, while Qatar won big with Doha voted as the world's leading business travel destination, Qatar Airways for being the leading airline for business class travel, and Regency Travel & Tours won the world's leading travel agency award.

Korean Air was voted most innovative airline, Cathay Pacific won for its economy class, and Singapore's Changi Airport won best airport for the third consecutive year. The world of luxury now has a new global address, and with each passing year it's scaling new heights.

Made to measure
British fashion house Alexander McQueen is the latest to jump aboard the bespoke bandwagon. Restricting this new service to a male clientele, the brand's customised made-to-measure wing will be launched in June at the brand's flagship store on London's Bond Street. The initiative is a result of the partnership between the clothing brand and tailor, Huntsman, and the bespoke coat costs up to 4,500. Customers will have the option of choosing between a singlebreasted dinner jacket, a black cashmere doublebreasted overcoat and a black-and-white Prince of Wales check suit, where each piece will be completed within 12 weeks.

Habtoor Palace, Dubai

Dubai is gearing up to give Vegas a run for its money. A UAE-based development firm, the Al Habtoor Group, has rolled out plans to build a triple-hotel complex in the heart of the Emirate as part of a $1.3 billion project. Aside from 1,600 rooms, the complex will house a luxury spa, multiple restaurants and banquet facilities.

The BT More Playlist
New releases

Miike Snow, Happy To You
While some tracks on the new album have that signature Snow sound, they also feature infectious beats and a disco-laced feel.

Madonna, M.D.N.A.
The singer's 12th studio album will be releasing this spring. After the release, Madonna will head out on a world tour to promote the record.

Kaiser Chiefs, Start The Revolution Without Me

The band's fifth studio album, this one is a remake of their previous album and hits stores on 6 March. Get ready for a fresh sound from the band.

Paul Van Dyk, Evolution
One of the most influential electronic music artists, PVD will playat a new venue in London to launch his album.

The Shins, Port Of Morrow
The band's first release since 2007, this next album is produced by Greg Kurstin and James Mercer. Tune in.

The Acropolis for rent
Over the past year, the crisis in Greece has brought its economy down on its knees. In a bid change the situation, the culture ministry has decided to open up some of the country's invaluable archaeological sites to the public with the hope of generating revenue. By facilitating access to the country's ancient Greek ruins, the drowning government is hoping to work itself out of the ditch it's in.

These historical sites will grant access to advertising firms and explore other options to commercialise the historic locations. While many historians are against this decision and worry that it could cause irreparable damage to these ancient treasures, the ministry is hoping that the money generated would in turn fund the upkeep and monitoring of these sites. The Acropolis will be the first such venue to go public. A commercial firm would have access to it for as little as $2,000 per day, though measures taken by the Ministry of Culture assure that such access will be in keeping with extremely stringent conditions. Though it's heartbreaking for locals to witness these extreme measures, here's hoping their efforts are not in vain.

6 Things to do this month

Dubai Art fair
Dubai Art fair
DUBAI ART FAIR
The leading international art fair of the Middle East/North Africa/South Asia region; its sixth edition will take place between 21 to 24 March. Alongside a stellar selection of international galleries, it will feature an innovative programme of talks, projects and educational initiatives.
Website ArtDubai.ae

HEINEKEN REGATTA The Heineken Sint Maarten Regatta is a yacht race held every year in the Caribbean. Renowned for its world class racing and high energy parties, 2012 will celebrate the 32nd edition of this event. With the competition growing stronger each year, and over 40 countries participating from 1 to 4 March, the event is a good mix of fun, talent and soaring levels of adrenaline. A must-attend for both sailors and sailing enthusiasts alike.
Website HeinekenRegatta.com

INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL This annual event is organised in partnership between Uttarakhand Tourism and the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. Held from March 1 to 7, participants will be part of over 70 hours of yoga lessons and get to interact with some of the biggest names from the world of yoga.
Website InternationalYogaFestival.com

BRUSSELICIOUS 2012
This year-long food festival in Brussels is quirky and ambitious. With venues across the city, events include a gourmet tour aboard a tram, dining in the sky, a tour of the best frites in town, and many more such innovative gourmet activities. Website VisitBrussels.be

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL
The Festival at Cheltenham is the world's biggest global event in jump racing. It entails four days of fun and suspense, against the backdrop of the scenic Cotswold hills. It features a cast of the very best show horses, jockeys and trainers; all playing to a audience of about 220,000 people. Held over three days from 13 to 16 March.
Website Cheltenham.co.uk

LA FASHION WEEK This annual fashion extravaganza will be held this year between 9 and 16 March. Featuring the top names in design, fashion and modelling, it showcases the freshest trends.
Website FashionWeekLA.com

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