Dubai Travel Guide
The Dubai International Film Festival is promising to be even bigger and better this year as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary from December 6 to 14.
DIFF has been an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and international talent by spearheading the cinema movement in the region.
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Take a break from the glitz, gold, and the world’s largest building on your trip over to Dubai. Not that those aren’t all part of the overall experience over in the United Arab Emirates, but now there’s something else that’s also screaming for a snapshot. Just be sure not to get too close to this thing, as you certainly don’t want to see the inside of it.
We’re talking about the newest car in the garage over at the Dubai police department, as they just scored a pretty ridiculous cruiser. The Dubai police now possess their very own Lamborghini police car—yep, you heard us correctly. At first you were probably a little surprised to hear this over-the-top news, but then that you remembered that it’s Dubai—it makes perfect sense.
This weekend geeks from around the world with descend on Dubai for the annual Middle East Film and Comic Con.
The convention, taking place on April 5th and 6th, will feature the usual mix of international celebrity guests (including Alan Tudyk, Sean Astin, and Warwick Davis), panels, vendors, video games, and cosplay.
We were a little excited, but not particularly surprised, to learn that Condé Nast has chosen Dubai as the site of the next Vogue Café and GQ Bar. That's right: next. It turns out the media brands already own several other cafes in Moscow and Istanbul (we know, we thought it was a little random too).
But expansion is the name of the game, and setting up shop in the world's most consumer-driven city seems—at least, to us—like the next logical step.
While GQ Bar will open in an as-yet-unnamed hotel later in 2013, the Vogue café will open before the end of the year inside the Dubai Mall—the world's largest shopping center—which houses 1,200 retail outlets, including iconic stores like Armani, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs. And an aquarium.
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Usually we're pretty critical when it comes to staged flash mobs, but trust us that this one is pure awesome.
It happened recently at Dubai International Airport, and the performers are meant to represent flight attendants, Dubai airport employees and passengers passing through. We're pretty sure they're all hired for the purpose, however.
Okay. No more talking. Just dancing.
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There’s nothing Dubai wants more than to succeed as a global vacation destination, and that’s especially true when it comes to luring western visitors out into the desert sun. Unfortunately every now and again there are reports of some extreme behavior when it comes to punishment for those that don’t live up to all the rules and standards within the Emirate.
The latest news involves a man getting sent to the slammer for doing something that several passengers probably do each day in especially aggravating airports like JFK and O’Hare. Apparently a British gentleman decided to flip the bird to an airport worker, after the airline employee refused to let him use some kind of customer service telephone.
Last week, a few tourists in Dubai got the surprise of a lifetime when they peered over the observation deck of the world’s tallest building and saw Tom Cruise dangling from only a wire, with no safety nets.
Cruise, who is notorious for doing all of his own stunt work, was shooting a scene for the upcoming movie, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, in which he chased another man around the outside of the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.
At a press conference held after the stunt was completed, Cruise said:
We were pretty eager to learn about FlyDubai and their low-fare options to and from Dubai last summer, but since then there hasn’t been too much news from the low cost carrier. There have been some new routes and plans for the future, but now the big news has to do with the airline not being a big fan of travelers with disabilities.
An American flyer was stopped from taking to the skies above Dubai last week, for the sole reason he was blind. The passenger was planning to head off to Amman, but the airline said they wouldn’t be able to take him there because he was blind and flying alone. Despite pleading his case, this guy was out of luck, as apparently the policy is that blind travelers can’t fly if they aren’t utilizing the buddy system.
As if Dubai needed another altar to excess, the city just debuted the region's first Hershey's Chocolate World.
Not only is this the first Middle East location, but it's also the largest Hershey's store after the flagship in Hershey, Pensylvania. Yepit even beats the Hershey's Chocolate World in Times Square, New York City. And even though it can't be the largest, the Dubai Mall location makes up for this by displaying some other superlatives:
WAGS--wives and girlfriends of UK football players--have become our newest obsession, largely because we've become bored with antics of trashy Americans. Make a sex tape, apologize, go on a reality show, rinse, lather and repeat. So we look to the WAGS across the pond to fulfill our tabloidy needs. Somehow it's more bearable to follow the travails of people you've never heard of before.
Like Danielle Lloyd. Officially a model and "TV presenter" Lloyd started out as a pageant queen who was crowned Miss Britain in 2006. Later, she was stripped of the title for posing in Playboy and for having an affair with one of the judges, who was a famous footballer. She then appeared on the UK's "Big Brother" where she joined in with Jade Goody on making racist comments to Indian actress Shilpa Shetty. So you know what kind of person we're dealing with here.
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What a beautiful new building Dubai has; it's just too bad that ever since they officially opened the 200+ story (160 of them habitable) Burj Khalifa tower as the tallest building in the world, they've barely been able to use it. After the 124-floor observation deck opened at the beginning of January, it soon experienced electrical problems which trapped visitors in an elevator over 1,000 feet up. This prompted the closure of the only open-to-tourists part of the building until now; the Observation Deck reopened over this last weekend, and is again welcoming those who can resist vertigo enough to look out across the Emirates on a clear day. The Armani Hotel still isn't open, so you can't yet sleep inside of the tower either.
To get access to the observation deck, you have two options: reserve online for timed tickets (you get one hour at the top) for 100 AED ($27) per person or walk up to tower during open hours for immediate entry at a cost of 400 AED ($109) per person.
And even though you're paying quite a bit for your 124-floor visit, it's too bad you don't get to experience the world's highest mosque, found on the 158th floor, closer to Allah!
· Observatory at Burj Khalifa, world's tallest tower, reopens after being closed for two months [Chicago Tribune]
· Dubai's Armani Hotel at the Burj Khalifa Will Try to Open April 21 [HotelChatter]
· Dubai Travel [Jaunted]
Ever since the new Burj Khalifa opened and then rapidly closed it's 124-floor observation deck, we haven't really trusted it. Instead, we'd be more likely to just hop on a seaplane to zoom above the building itself, and kill a few other birds with the same stone by continuing our flight around other Dubai landmarks.
This type of airborne sightseeing adventure is exactly what a new tour from Seawings Dubai offers. For $333 per person (the plane seats up to 9), you'll buzz in the Dubai skies in a seaplane, passing by these spots on the 40-minute flight: The Jebel Ali Palm, Dubai Marina, the Palm Jumeirah, the 7-star Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Creek, The World Islands and of course the Burj Khalifa building.
It might seem pricey, but remember that just showing up at the Burj Khalifa and wanting a ticket up to the observation deck costs you $109, and you don't even get to go in a seaplane! And then, there's the toll to even cross the causeway to visit the Burj Al Arab Hotel, so we think this is pretty much worth every penny.