Johannesburg - Diane de Beer chats to AB Moosa, the managing director of the Avalon Group, about his most memorable travel experiences.


First holiday memory?

When my parents took my sisters and me to Disneyland. I was about five years old and my favourite ride - I went on it repeatedly - was It’s a Small World. A water ride, it featured hundreds of Audio-Animatronic characters in traditional costumes from cultures around the world, in a spirit of international unity and singing It’s A Small World (After All). Loved it!


Favourite place in South Africa?

For a holiday, Cape Town; from a vibrancy and cosmopolitan point of view, Johannesburg, which appeals to my personality; and Durban for nostalgia. I have so much more of our beautiful country to see.


Best holiday?

My holidays are more what can be referred to as “bleasure”, where I try to take a bit of time out for leisure while going for work.


What have you learnt from your travels?

Travel is enlightening as it allows me to appreciate different people’s traditions, cultures and beliefs. We need to celebrate more of our common humanity.


Ideal travelling companion?

Whom you travel with can make or break a trip. I mainly travel alone as most of my trips are for business. Friends with a spirit of spontaneity add richly to the experience.


Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

A mixture of culture vulture and adrenalin junkie.


Greatest travel luxury?

Emirates’ premium cabins. One of the best airlines I’ve travelled on.


Holiday reading?

My best reads range from thrillers and autobiographies - Steve Jobs’s book was excellent, Second Chance by Robert Kiyosaki - and novels like The Kite Runner, Half Of A Yellow Sun and White Tiger.


Which place has seduced you?

The Mediterranean. Warm waters and warmer people.


Worst travel experience?

The most intense turbulence on an international flight. The plane dropped fast for some distance, some passengers and crew members were injured and food and drinks were strewn everywhere.


Best hotel?

The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai. Tallest hotel in the world. I’m there often, so it feels like home from home.


Favourite walk, swim, ride or drive?

The Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes. Driving on Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.


Best meal abroad?

Maroush - a few branches - in London. Casual dining and the most amazing Lebanese food I’ve eaten!


Favourite city?



Where next?

Next travels are for work.

* AB Moosa is managing director of the Avalon Group, South Africa’s largest and oldest independent Cinema Exhibition and Entertainment Company.

Independent Travel