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Burj Dubai tower interesting facts all in one place

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Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai from Jef

The Burj Dubai tower, the tallest building in the world, opened today in Dubai. Here you can find interesting Burj Dubai facts and figures in one place.

  • Burj Dubai has actually changed name to Burj Khalifa on its opening day on Jan 4th, 2009;
  • The Burj Dubai is  828 meters or 2,717 ft tall, making it the tallest building in the world;
  • It is more than twice as high as the Paris Eiffel Tower;
  • The Burj Dubai has 164 stories, the largest number of stories in the world;
  • It also has the fastest elevators in the world at 60 km/h (40 mph), taking less than 60 seconds to 124th floor and 2 minutes to the top. There are 57 elevators.
  • The Burj Dubai opening ceremony boasted the highest fireworks in the world;
  • It cost about 1B EUR (1.5B US$, Dh 5.5B);
  • Visitor tickest to the Burj Dubai are priced at Dh100 to go up to 124th floor (Dh75 kids, Dh210 VIP pass);
  • The Burj Dubai has 500k square meters of living space sold at 30,000 EUR (40,000$) per square meter ($4,000 per sq ft);
  • Despite the price, the Burj Dubai is mostly presold with only 26% vacant on its opening day;
  • The Burj Dubai boasts the world’s highest swimming pool on level 76 and the world’s highest mosque on level 158;
  • It only took 5 years of construction;
  • It was build by Samsung Engineering Construction of Korea;
  • The first Armani hotel will open in march 2009 on levels 38 and 39.

For more fun stuff:

If you make it to Dubai, don’t forget to check out the best things to do in Dubai, for example:

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The best theme parks in the Gold Coast (Australia)

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Gold Coast (Australia) Theme Parks

Gold Coast (Australia) Theme Parks

 The Australian Gold Coast region is located south of Brisbane. The Gold Coast is home to the best theme parks in Australia and is a well known surfers paradise. Here is an overview of the best Gold Coast theme parks, with links to online purchase for Gold Coast theme park tickets.

  • Gold Coast: Warner Movie World theme park Pass
    Warner Bros. Movie World brings the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the Gold Coast. From heart-thumping thrills like Batwing Spaceshot to the colorful but gentle Looney Tunes River Ride to the fun-filled shows, this fantastic park has something for everyone.
  • Gold Coast: Wet’n’Wild Water World theme park Pass
    Little ones can set sail for their very own aquatic adventure at Buccaneer Bay. This attraction has an elaborate pirate theme taking children into an imaginative and exciting world and offering hours of entertainment. Older thrill seekers can get their kicks on the heart-thumping Surf Rider. Feel what it’s like to ride some of the world’s largest waves when you plummet 30 metres on a giant surfboard.
  • Gold Coast: Dreamworld theme park Pass
    Looking for an adrenalin rush? Then brave six of the most spine-tingling, heart pumping scream rides in the country. Plunge 120 meters on the Giant Drop, the world’s tallest free-falling ride. Or watch your knuckles whiten as you experience the amazing power of G-force on The Tower of Terror.
  • Gold Coast: Sea World theme park Pass
    Discover the deepest secrets of the oceans and meet some of the most magnificent marine animals on the planet at this entrancing venue. You can learn the truth about sharks, enjoy close-encounters with incredible rays, see polar bears swimming under water, meet friendly seals, dolphins and the cutest penguins on the planet.
  • Gold Coast: Three Theme Parks super pass
    Unlimited entry for 14 days to each of the 3 parks – Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World. Admission to Dive ’n Movies screenings when available at Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World.

Here are a few other blogs discussing travel and things to do in the Australian Gold Coast.

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The best things to do in Paris

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Things to do in Paris - Eiffel Tower

Things to do in Paris - Eiffel Tower

Based on our customer bookings and customer reviews of the past few months, here is the updated list of the best things to do in Paris, France.

Here you can find all things do to in Paris.

We welcome suggestions for new experiences to add!

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Happy Diwali India!

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It’s that time of the year again, it’s Diwali. For many, Diwali in India is often compared to Christmas in Western countries. It’s a national holiday, children go home and spend time with parents, houses are cleaned, people go to temples, traditional food flows free and people think back at the year behind. Diwali is called the festival of lights because in most parts of India people light up traditional lamps or crack fireworks. 

The social role of this holiday is very similar to what happens during Christmas/New Year, and in other similar “end of the year cycle” festivities in other part of the worlds. We take stock of what we’ve accomplished and we get prepared for the new cycle. In practice, Diwali is scheduled around the end of the harvesting season where farmers look back at the goods in stock and pray for good harvesting in the next cycle. Takeaway: we all need to stop and look back every once in a while.

The religious roots of Diwali are based on the victory of good over evil, or light over darkness, with different winner/loser gods in different faiths (Rama/Ravana, Krishna/Narakasura) (*). The Christian symbol of the birth of Jesus also suggests the time of a new beginning and a new hope for the year to come. Takeaway: we all keep hoping for a better future.

In London, there is obviously a long stream of celebrations of which the most important one is Diwali in the Square, held in Trafalgar Square with traditional dances, ceremonies and free concerts. This year (2009) it was held on Sunday Oct 4th.

In Paris things are less established but the House of India (Maison de l’Inde) will host a free Diwali buffet dinner with concerts and traditional dances on Sunday Oct 18th at the Cite’ Universitaire.

Plenty of Diwali activities and events also in New York, including a dance and music performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts.

So to all our Indian friends around the world, happy Diwali!

 

(*) Thanks Wikipedia.

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Bondi beach in London? G’day UK!

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Celebrating Australian culture in London thanks to a week long of events – that’s G’Day UK 2009.

The stream of events, sponsored by Australian tourist boards and other governmental institutions, is aimed at promoting travel to Australia but also at encouraging potential migrants to settle down under.

New South Wales‘ government has converted a bank on river Thames into a replica of famous Bondi beach, thank to tons of real sand dumped on the South Bank. The sunny weather in the UK’s capital makes such an inspiring initiative very welcome, especially thanks to gorgeous lifeguards and beach beauties – presumably real imported Aussies.

Attractive airfares are being promoted on Qantas.com and other travel agencies. Flightcentre has setup twenty life size kangaroos across London. The first to report sights of the jumping marsupials can win free holidays to … Kangaroo Island.

 

For full program – see G’Day UK official site.

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Vienna celebrates Haydn with a fresh look

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Joseph Haydn has been one of those few musicians who became famous and did not fall in disgrace during his lifetime. Both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig Van Beethoven list as his pupils. He died in 1809 in Vienna, Austria, where commemorations are planned all year round.

The Vienna Haydn Museum displaying in the author’s residence has reopened last month, where visitors can see his fortepiano and clavichord as well as many manuscripts.

Three major exhibitions are going to be open over the year: at the Musikverein, Haydn in London (march-june), and Haydn and his Princes (october-december), including more than 30 concerts; Haydn, Hasse, Mozart (may-september) a the Mozarthaus.

Haydn room at the Vienna House of Music

Haydn room at the Vienna House of Music

An new exhibition titled Haydn Genius & Music Market describes the Master’s marketing strategies to sell his work in European’s 18th century. This one is held at the Palais Mollard from february to may.

Many other events and concerts are also be planned at the Haydn House in Eisenstadt, the former residence of the Haydn family.

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There is more than the Louvre – other 20 Paris museums

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Paris is a world capital of culture and history so it’s normal to find a wealth of museums there. But if you think Paris museum, you’ll immediately think Louvre. True. What an amazing place: unmissable. But for once, let’s spread the word about everything else. If you have time for a second museum, you’re facing a very tough choice.

We have shortlisted here 20 other Paris museums that we believe are worth checking out (there are actually more than 100 museums in Paris). Many Paris museums are named after their founder or after the street where they are located, so you can’t just guess from the name…

Note: the Paris Sightseeing Pass grants free access to many Paris museums, and it grants “skip the line” privilege.

ART AND HISTORY MUSEUMS

Orangerie museum – Located in the Louvre gardens, this Paris museum exposes masterpieces from Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Monet and Matisse.  A modern display area was opened in 2006 to illuminate the paintings with natural light (yet indoor).

Musée d’Orsay – Mostly focused on 19th century, this Paris museum hosts impressionist painting and photography. The building itself (a former train station) is an immense glass hall worth the visit.

Centre Pompidou – probably the 2nd most recognizable building in Paris after the Eiffel tower, this museum of modern and contemporary arts is an artwork in itself. Boasts the largest modern art collection in Europe, with (as we write) 62229 works from Kandinsky, Giacometti, Man Ray, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso and 5528 other artists.

Picasso museum – Dedicated to the Spanish master, this Paris museum displays a large collection of paintings, sculptures and other forms of creativity from all periods of Picasso’s life.

Musée Rodin- This Paris museum is entirely focused on the life and work of Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor mostly known abroad for “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” statues. The museum has one of the most romantic gardens where the sculptures are displayed.

Palais de Tokyo- Nothing to do with Japan a part the name, this is a creative art lab for contemporary artists finding new ways of expression while mixing gendres and techniques. Always different artists on display, as well as special events and an uber-cool bar and restaurant.

Carnavalet museum – This Paris museum displays furniture from the Renaissance and other key periods of Paris’s history. Not to miss: the keys of the Bastille fortress symbol of the French Revolution of 1789.

Cité de la Musique – Extensive display of anything that has ever been built to produce music and sound, this is an interactive exhibition often enriched by concerts, musical shows for children and live workshops.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUMS

Arts et Métiers museum- Literally, “the museum of arts and works” is an amazing collection of scientific and industrial discoveries. From early airplanes and cars, to the very own tools used by the first chemist (Lavoisier and all), to the first personal computer and memories, the first Baudot telegraph, Bell’s telephone, watches, photography, raw materials… all hosted in a magnificent monastery from the 11th century. This Paris museum is dubbed “the Louvre of science”.

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle – This place is so well known in Paris that it’s just nicknamed “The Museum”. Its roots date back to 350 years ago when monks started collecting and studying plants and animals of all species. Today, thousands of stuffed specimen are assembled in a majestic display telling the story of animal evolution. Unknown to most tourists, the world’s oldest animal park – or zoo – is still in operation here, ask for the “Ménagerie”.

Palais de la Decouverte – More than a museum this is an interactive exhibition center focused on scientific education. New themes and topics are continuously addressed through conferences and real scientific experiences being run on site.

WORLD CULTURE MUSEUMS

Musée du Quai Branly – The name doesn’t mean anything else than its address, but this is the latest addition to the “big” Paris museums. Opened in 2006, it is dedicated to ancestral arts from Oceania, Africa, Asia and Americas. Next door to the Eiffel Tower.

Institut du Monde Arabe -Also known as “IMA”, this organization is dedicated to Arabian cultures and has been setup in cooperation between France and 22 Arabian countries. Around a museum spanning history from pre-islamic to arabian-muslim civilizations, there are temporary exhibition, movies, language centers, and an immense library.

Musée Guimet – The museum of Asian arts, displays artworks from south-east Asia, China, Korea, Japan and India.

SPECIAL INTEREST MUSEUMS

Opera Museum- Not well known, located within the Opera Garnier, this Paris museum displays sceneries, costumes, booklets and jewelry used in opera performances, same dating back to 300 years ago.

Cinematheque- This movie library is home to 40000 movies and a nice collections of memorabilia costumes and sceneries. But the highlight is the building itself – a Gehry new-classical-cubist building reworked to fit 4 movie theaters.

Immigration museum – Quite an unusual idea, this museum is a place made to remember the life of immigrants across centuries. It is a showcase of hope, dream, courage, creativity and sorrow.

Galerie des Gobelins – Formerly the manufacturer of France’s royal tapestries, it has now turned into a museum displaying antique tapestries and furnitures. A must if you’re into tapestries.

Musée du fumeur- The smokers’s museum… a surprising Paris museum where you can find, unsurprisingly, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other smoking gadgets.

Musée Galliera -The fashion museum, displaying haute couture and accessories from the most famous French fashion designers. The themes and collections change very often to prevent fabrics deterioration.

As mentioned, there are so many other museums in Paris. Which ones do you suggest as worth mentioning in our future post for the next 20 museums?

Daniele

[This post has been syndicated from the isango! Travel Blog]

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Business travellers in search of power

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It’s a hard reality of modern life: people want power. We’re talking about electrical power – just to be clear, that thing that allows you to be mobile, do your job from trains and airport lounges, and call or be called anywhere you are.

Unfortunately, energy resides in batteries and gets consumed. (By the way, have you noticed how the lesser you’ve got left, the faster it goes? I am sure “they did it on purpose”). That’s when you need to recharge your batteries and things start being fun, especially in airports. There are no other places on earth with more abundance of electric power (except maybe for Paris illuminations during Christmas) yet, when Your Batteries run down, power plugs become as rare as white truffles (*). If you see a business man or woman walking slowly head down, looking behind wastebins, pillars, phone booths, benches or vending machines, they are in dire need of power.

While waiting in London Heathrow seating areas you’ll be able to see a few hotspots or internet access points, most of them not working, with a ballet of nervous power hungry guys (most of the time men, really). Here they come approaching in delight, zipping out all their gears proud as pros, plugging in, grunt in denial, tapping on their chargers, unplugging, replugging, staring at their devices as if trying to recharge by brainwaves. Then they realize they are alone. A quick look behind them to check if anyone has noticed (yes we did), then calmy store al the stuff back, as if, after all, it was not so urgent, and clean the area.

Next you’ll see them looking for vacuum cleaners plugs hidden among benches. The few lucky ones already connected never leave the spot anyway. After cleaning up their Outlooks, they hang on there… “comfortably numb”, with plenty of excuses to stay connected: check the webmail, check the second webmail, update status on Facebook, update Twitter, looking at the other desperate guys like satisifed lions after the hunt.

One smart, very smart insurance group that I can’t name here has setup a desk in the middle of T1. It’s a clean, glossy white desk reminding of a medical center with positions where people can sit down to get their shoot of network access and… recharge their batteries. They don’t sell any insurance. They just help the addicts in need. Holy cow. Good idea.

Daniele

 

 

PS: to ease your frustration you might be interested in transfer services to/from London Heathrow airport to downtown. But there are no plugs onboard.

 (*) white truffles are a special kind of mushrooms growing underground, exclusively in the Langhe region of Italy. They are worth their weight in gold.

 

[This post is syndicated from the isango! travel blog]

 

 

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Obama Roots in Kogelo (Kenya) – Obama history tours

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Just as billions of other people, the isango! team has paused work to follow Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Parades are still on as we write, and partying will go on all night. We all have heard a lot about President Obama’s background and his global footsteps, from Hawaii to Indonesia, Kenya and Chicago.

We happened to discuss about Obama’s roots with one of our suppliers in Kenya, and we discovered the local village of Kogelo is becoming a key travel destination. Not just now, but since Obama’s 2004 election to Senator of Illinois there seem to be a steady flow of visits to Obama’s family house. The Kogelo village is rumoured to be building a small airport to welcome tourists. Given Kenya is becoming a popular golf destination (in addition to the classic safaris and beach resorts), it’s likely that the village will thrive with more and more visitors. continue reading

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“Where the hell is Matt” is not a hoax

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Er…? OK, for everyone’s background, Matt Harding is a guy who admits being much better at travelling rather than coding video games. He’s been traveling around the world for a few years and, everytime, shooting short videos of himself dancing in front of landmark attractions such as the Eiffel Tower or the Lion of Singapore, from Rome to Delhi, San Francisco or Sydney and hundreds of other cities.

The videos are fun and inspiring for anyone who likes travel and cultures. They can easily be found on YouTube or Google. The latest version from 2008 is an “innovation” as Matt has been inviting locals to dance with him. continue reading

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