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Posts in ‘Things to do in Dubai’

Beat The Dubai Heat

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When summer comes around to the desert city of Dubai, it’s time to head for the shady and air-conditioned environs.  The day temperatures can soar to a skin-burning 47 to 50 degrees Celsius.  However, this city has come up with innumerable and clever ways to avoid or beat the heat so you can stay cool.

Here are some ideas and cool attractions that will help you relax and enjoy Dubai through its long summer months -

Wear light cotton clothes and go for the loose fit.  It may sound obvious but what you wear helps cope with the heat.  Also, when you have to go outside, wear sunglasses, apply sunscreen and carry a hat or cap.  Drink lots of water and increase the number of times you shower.  These are basic guidelines but a good start in staying cool.

However, it’s not all about getting into survival mode.  There are plenty of activities that can be fun while keeping cool.  You could hang out at one of Dubai’s many theme parks.

Water Park Dubai

One of the better known parks is the Wild Wadi Water Park right opposite the Burj Al Arab.  It has a variety of water slides and features catering for all ages, skills and levels of enthusiasm.  Other well-appointed ones are The Dolphin Bay, the Aquaventure Waterpark, Marine Animal Adventures and The Lost Chambers Aquarium.  Besides getting up close and friendly with the sharks and stingrays, these parks offer plenty of shade, cool spots and a choice of great food.  You could make a day out of a visit to any of these places.

If you really want to chill out, then Dubai has incredible recreations of polar landscapes- the Dubai Ice Rink and the Ski Dubai Snow Park.  The rink is located within the Dubai Mall.  Here you can learn, practice or hone your skating skills on an Olympic sized rink.  You can get classes or participate in disco sessions and show your stuff.  You can also take a break at other entertainment features, the many eateries or do some shopping, after all this is one of the world’s largest malls.

Another winter-imported wonderland in Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East.  The Ski Dubai Snow Park is located within the fabulous Mall Of The Emirates and the temperatures are maintained below freezing point.  You can ski, toboggan, bobsled, frolic or indulge in snowball fights with friends and family.  There is a Giant Ball run, slides and a colony of Emperor Penguins.  There are even snowfalls to keep you in the mood and give you the full Monty winter experience.

Malls Dubai

Of course the biggest reason people come to Dubai is to shop.   Shopping (even if you don’t drop) is one of the best past-times in this emirate.  Dubai’s many dazzling malls offer more than just discounts.  You can stay cool in the shops, restaurants and entertainment centers within their premises.

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isango! Travel Ideas for April – Spring Magic

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It’s spring in most of the Northern Hemisphere.  It is during this time, when the flowers bloom and the world is green and pretty with the promise of pleasures to come, that the travel bug bites.

Here are some exciting isango! picks of places to be this month.

Los Angeles, Southern California
The Oscar season is over but the stars will always shine in Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capital of the World.   Visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre’s to see nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs embedded in the concrete of the forecourt.  Stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame where some 2,500 celebrities are immortalised by stars on the sidewalk.  Take a tour of the incredible mansions of Hollywood’s superstars in the famous Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills districts and you will realise that the movies are really the biggest thing in this town.

los angeles

Glamour and beauty is all around whether you are relaxing at the Venice Beach or are window shopping at Rodeo Drive.  There is also charm and quaintness to be found in the small shops, stalls and cafés in the narrow passages of the Farmers’ Market.

Paris
‘I love Paris in the springtime,’ sang the poet and he had every reason to do so.  It is a magical time to be in Paris.  The Paulownia trees and lavender are among a myriad flowers breaking out, in all their glory, in every garden and park.  This is especially so of the Tuileries Garden and the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Spring also brings out the locals and kick starts the café culture.  The alluring aroma of coffee and hot croissants is simply irresistible.  The Paris springtime nights are magical and dinner in one of the many restaurants or cruise ships on the Seine will be etched long in the memory.

Paris

At this time of the year, the countryside around Paris is absolutely gorgeous.  Take a day trip to the Champagne region of France.  The geometrically ordered rows of grape vines marching across hillsides and encircling tiny picturesque French villages are the stuff of picture postcards.

Japan
The month of April is the best time to visit Japan.  The country will be blanketed by the beautiful, delicate pink cherry blossoms (sakura).  This collection of islands is absolutely packed with natural beauty and a gracious people who have created a unique and amazing cuisine.  Japan has 16 World Heritage Sites reflecting an ancient history and a rich culture.

japan123

Among its countless splendours are the centuries old shrines and temples of Kyoto, which are national treasures and the finest symbols of Japanese heritage.  A trip on the legendary Nozomi Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto is an enthralling journey that goes past the iconic Mt. Fuji and scenic countryside.  Tokyo is an eclectic mix of the old and the futuristic, best exemplified by wild street fashions, inspired by (and often outdoing) anime comics, and the wonderfully sedate ancient Geisha traditions.

Turkey
Istanbul mirrors its vibrant history.  Straddling the Bosphorus Strait, it links Asia with Europe.  The city has evolved into a multi-cultural melting pot and the financial hub of the country.  The minarets of the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia Church easily rub shoulders with modern skyscrapers and look down upon bustling shopping malls and restaurants.

istanbul

The old city of Istanbul (once Constantinople) is where most of the famous historical sites of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods are located.  The new city is epitomised by the upmarket and trendy Taksim Square and Beyoglu in the Galata district (once home to Istanbul’s Jews), which are a hive of flourishing art galleries, museums, bars, nightclubs, entertainment centres and restaurants.  The action in Istanbul never stops and is in perpetual high-gear.

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Popular Tourist Attractions in Dubai

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Dubai at Dusk

Dubai is a city state and one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates UAE. It is the second largest in terms of land and the largest in population. Dubai ranks 7th amongst the most visited tourist destinations of the world. It is expected to attract around 15 million visitors in 2015.It has liberal social policies and is the most modern of the emirates.

Just a few hours flying time from Europe and South Asia, it is ideally located for tourists looking for a convenient break. The emirate’s huge construction boom includes many superb hotels, world-renowned buildings and high-end luxury homes. The rulers have deliberately set out to create superb infrastructure and first-class tourist amenities. The goal is to achieve premier status in the tourist and trade sectors.

Dubai has very quickly established a name for itself as a great destination for shopping, partying, fine dining and sporting activities. There are many things to see and do in Dubai.  Some of its attractions are:

Desert Safari
Also known as Dune Bashing, you head out in an SUV/4×4/Hummer driven by specialist drivers.  The drive is an exhilarating roller-coaster off-road expedition over picturesque sand dunes.

Dubai City Sightseeing Tours
One fun way to see this modern city of soaring skyscrapers is to take a bus tour. Drive past or stop at the Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Fort and the Spice Souk. You will get to see the world’s tallest building – the Burj Dubai, Burj Al Arab and visit the Palm Jumeirah. You could also take a Hop-on-Hop Off Tour of Dubai.

Dubai Fountains
This water feature is the work of the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas. It spurts water as high as 500 feet and is synchronised to music. The fountains are located on the Burj Khalifa Lake and do their thing every day.

Burj Khalifa
The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa has an outdoor observation deck on the 124th floor equipped with a telescope. The views of the surrounding desert and city are absolutely stunning.

Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab is the fourth tallest hotel and (arguably) the only seven star luxury hotel in the world. The building resembles the dhow. The building stands on an artificial island just off Jumeirah Beach and opened in December 1999.

Wild Wadi Water Park
The Park is an ultra-modern water activity complex located in the Jumeirah area of Dubai and next to the Burj Al Arab. It has 30 rides including a hot and cool wave pool, water slides, artificial surfing machines and a waterfall. It also has shops, restaurants and snack stands.

Dubai Creek
The original settlement of the city came up around this picturesque creek, which is still the heart and lifeline of the place. You can take a small water taxi (abra) along the creek and see the old historic city and trading wharfs; weave among the dhows that still sail the Arabian Sea as they load and unload goods from India, Africa and other Middle Eastern ports; walk along the shores and get a closer experience of the heritage of this now modern city. You could rent a boat and have dinner whilst cruising up and down the creek.

Palm Island
This icon to luxury and everything fashionable has world famous hotels, shopping malls, spas, pools, gardens and wide selection of fine dining restaurants. There are miles of beach front lined with bars, clubs, theme parks and all forms of entertainment.

Dubai Marina
A recent addition to the Dubai attractions, the marina has great views, boat rides, casual and fine dining restaurants. Stretching along three and a half kilometres, the marina is the largest man-made marina in the world, where you will find the gleaming yachts of the super rich.  In the evening the marina turns into a magical place. The lights and shapes of some of the world’s most iconic buildings add to its allure.

Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is the third largest indoor ski slope in the world. It has a chair lift and 6,000 tonnes of snow for your skiing pleasure. There are practice jumps, racks and other aids to help you learn the basics. You can also snowboard and toboggan down its slopes. All this snow – all year round!

Other attractions and activities can be accessed at Jumeira Beach and Park, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and Dolphin Bay – the world’s largest dolphin habitat.
 

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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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Travel back to the Dubai of 1962

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People who enjoy learning about the history of their holiday destination can visit a fascinating exhibition of photography during Dubai tours this year.

Entitled Dubai 1962, the display will be open at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre from May 6th to 26th.

It showcases a series of photographs that were taken by a Japanese reporter 47 years ago, offering a fascinating look at a location that would grow into one of the world’s most dynamic and groundbreaking cities.

The images provide a narrative for the reporter’s journey as he visited the local fish market, took a boat ride on the creek and encountered Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai.

According to the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, a "harsh but vibrant way of life" is explored in the black and white pictures, presenting a stark contrast to the destination that so many travellers are familiar with today.

During their tours of Dubai, visitors can appreciate the scale of the city’s achievement in recent decades by taking in sights such as the iconic Burj al Arab hotel and the under-construction Burj Dubai, which is already the world’s tallest structure.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19064752-ADNFCR

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Dubai ‘more than a playground for the rich’

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Dubai tours are regularly enjoyed by people from all walks of life and not only the well-off, according to a travel guide writer.

Lara Dunston, author of the DK Eyewitness guide to Dubai, admitted that the destination has built up a reputation as a "playground for the rich", but pointed out that this is largely due to the media playing on the fact that "glamour sells".

People who visit the city will discover that there is much more to be seen and experienced than mere glitz and glamour, according to Ms Dunston.

"It also has a rich heritage and culture rooted in Bedouin traditions of hospitality and Islam, like the country it’s a part of – the United Arab Emirates, remember Dubai is just a city-state – and its Arabian peninsula neighbours," she said.

"People from all over the world, all walks of life, from Russian package tourists to Australian backpackers to English families [visit] Dubai."

Dubai tours will become even easier from September this year when the city’s Metro transport system begins operating.

Another attraction opening this year is the Dubai Fountain, which will be the centrepiece to the 12-hectare Burj Dubai lake area.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19053073-ADNFCR

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Christmas Shopping Adventures 2: Dubai

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Just when you thought your Christmas shopping adventure couldn’t get more adventurous!  If you’ve decided to take a Christmas shopping trip this year, why not opt for something a bit more exotic (and potentially less expensive) than New York?   Why not visit the plentiful, tax free, shops of Dubai!

And after you’ve indulged in a few days of bargain shopping in Dubai, you can soak up the Arabian sun on one of these exciting excursions: continue reading

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Dubai works up a sweat over a marathon distance

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As if it wasn’t hot enough, Dubai will see thousands of fit and lively people run themselves into oblivion at its annual marathon early next year, which is fast becoming a highlight on the world distance running calendar.

Of course, the January 16th timing of the race means the conditions are about as comfortable as they could be and the many professional and amateur runners who are set to take part will be hoping to use this to their advantage.

The course will send competitors clockwise around the city, taking in such famous sights as the World Trade Centre.

Big news for the forthcoming event is that world marathon record holder and reigning event champion Haile Gebrselassie will be competing again in 2009.

Gebrselassie recently became the first man to run under two hours four minutes at the Berling Marathon and will no doubt draw a huge crowd of visitors on Dubai tours, interested to see if he can better his remarkable achievement.

Why not book the Overnight Safari (Incl Dinner & B/Fast) in advance?
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Dubai celebrates its independence

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Dubai is a place now more readily associated with the building of ever higher skyscrapers, even bigger shopping malls and hotels more grand and exclusive than the last.

But for the yearly National Day festival, or Al-Eid Al Watani in Arabic, all of the construction work is pushed down the agenda as the emirates celebrates their independence from Britain.

The buzz and excitement which characterises this destination is added to by the daily firework displays and colourful street parades during the festival.

The day is a national holiday, in which local families often dine out and enjoy the festivities together.

December 2nd is the day which official marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On this day in 1971 Britain left the Persian Gulf and Dubai, Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, so called because of their particular dynastic style of government, formed the country as it is today.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18821977-ADNFCR

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Dubai plays host to the Rugby Sevens

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Sevens rugby has grown in profile in recent years, thanks in no small part to events like the iRB World Sevens Series, which kicks off in Dubai this November at the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club.

Featuring sixteen national sides, the event showcases some of the best up-and-coming talent in world rugby, alongside some veteran players who have made the reduced version of the game their own.

For those uninitiated in the way the game is played, the tournament takes place over a weekend and the matches are timed at seven minutes per half. Groups of teams compete to win a place in one of three finals, at which point the length of the halves is extended to ten minutes.

The Sevens tournament began life in 1975 as the brainchild of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, but did not initially gain any credence with the sport”s governing body and was a club competition until it was upgraded to an international event.

Its appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 further raised the sport”s stature, and it continues to grow in popularity and participation numbers today.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18814652-ADNFCR

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