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Dubai, Feb 19, 2017: Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, has a lot riding on Indian travellers. The world’s largest democracy sent the maximum number of visitors to the Emirate state for the second consecutive year in 2016 and accounted for more than one-fifth of the growth in tourist arrivals in Dubai.

Dubai is the largest overseas travel destination for Indians. In 2016, a total of 1.8 million Indians visited Dubai either for business or leisure. In fact, 12 out of every hundred overseas visitors that Dubai had last year was an Indian. Further, the number of Indians who visited Dubai surged by 12 per cent last year, on a high base of 1.6 million in 2015.


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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his last Budget speech that about 20 million Indians travelled overseas for business or leisure in 2015 to substantiate his argument that we are a tax non-compliant society. The numbers for 2016 are not known but trends show that there should’ve been a double-digit jump.

Kazim said that on an average, every Indian spends more than three nights in Dubai and visitors include those opting for high-end luxurious hotels to three-star accommodations. People splurge on restaurants and shopping. He said that one out of every five visitors to Dubai comes for business, as trade ties continue to grow between India and the UAE.

Well, Dubai is not the only country benefiting from the rising number of Indian overseas travellers. In 2016, Singapore reported an eight per cent surge in travellers from India, which also overtook Australia to become the fourth largest source market for arrivals. A total of 1.09 million Indians visited Singapore in 2016 and constituted close to seven per cent of total international visitors. According to the Singapore Tourism Board, growth from India is helped by rising numbers in tier-I and -II cities.

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More countries welcome over a million Indians every year. Thailand, a popular budget tourist destination celebrated the arrival of a million Indian tourists (1.06 million) in 2015 and attracted 12 per cent more Indian visitors in 2016. A total of 1.19 million Indians visited Thailand last year.

Other countries are keen to grow the number of visitors from India to a million. Malaysia, which received 0.72 million visitors from India in 2015, hopes to welcome as many as a million visitors. “This year, we hope to achieve high targets from India, as much as one million arrivals,” Malaysian tourism and culture minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said earlier this week. A number of other destinations are seeing a double-digit growth in Indian visitors as well, though on a smaller base. These include countries such as Australia, South Africa and Kenya, among others. (IANS)


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Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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