United Arab Emirates Travel Guide
If high-performance airplanes zooming through an obstacle course of pylons while traveling at speeds up to 230 mph only 50-80 feet above water sounds good to you, then listen up.
2014 marks the return of Red Bull Air Race, on hiatus since 2010, and the season kicks off tomorrow, for two days (February 28 - March 1) of zipping and zooming above the coastline of Abu Dhabi. Already the event has been turning heads, as the Red Bull racers practice around the domes of mosques and even the “Ferrari World” theme park of the Emirati city.
If Abu Dhabi is a little out of your way for a quick weekend trip, keep in mind that the Air Race is a traveling event, with further stops later this year in Malaysia, Poland, UK, China, and two dates in the US. more ›
The Little Things / Emirates / In-Flight Meals / Airline Lounges / First Class Travel / Dessert Travel / Food Travel / → All Tags
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Emirates' First Class bite, Bateel figs stuffed with almonds.
Emirates, which is known to be über-luxurious on the ground as much as it is in the air, presents guests with a little treat before flying: a wooden box filled with Khidri dates from the prestigious Bateel gourmet confectionery of the U.A.E. Dates are considered a perfect after dinner desert to top off a delicious feast and Bateel is known to have some of the best.
Not only are guests in the lounges treated with a box on each counter, but First Class passengers onboard flights are offered a plate of these delicious fruits as a pre-arrival snack. Similar to a piece of chocolate prior to landing, the figs are a sweet end to a sumptuous flight experience and keep your belly from grumbling through immigration.
Long gone are the days when flying was an event and passengers "dressed to the nines" to be wined and dined at 30,000 feet. Despite cost-cutting and the spread of air travel to more than just the moneyed, a few modern airlines manage to pull off bits of those glamor days still. One of these is Emirates, because traveling on one of their A380s is one of the more civilized experiences, stretching from boarding to deplaning. On our own recent flight, however, it was the full bar that wowed us most.
The airline's superjumbos feature separate First Class and Business Class bars, both fully stocked with top-shelf liquors, fine Champagnes, and light bites to lubricate passenger relaxation and socializing. Just after take-off, while the cabin crew are prepping for meal service, a few crew members are tasked with setting up this flying perk that is unique to only a few carriers.
Flight Reviews / Emirates / UAE Travel / A380 Airbus / Business Class Travel / Airplane Food / In-Flight Cocktails / BNE / AKL / → All Tags
We booked a Business Class seat on one of the world's most sought-after airlines, on a bit of an odd route. An Emirates super jumbo A380 actually flies from Brisbane to Auckland. It's a trip of a little over three hours, but that's plenty time to enjoy a little extra luxury.
As you can expect, everything from time in the Emirates lounge to sitting back in our lie-flat seat on the upper deck contributed to our lack od desire to leave the plane upon arrival in Auckland.
Amenity Kits / Emirates / First Class Travel / Airlines / In-Flight Comfort / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
If you've been lucky enough to fly internationally in a First or Business Class seat, then you know it's quite the treat and not only because of free-flowing champagne or the extra legroom. Some bonus fun comes in the form of a special gift, an amenity kit. Sometimes these amenity kits contain the basicseye shades, socks, ear plugs, toothbrushbut in the case of Emirates, the kits are a luxury sampler.
Here's our peek inside the elusive first class amenity kits for both ladies and men who cough up lots of cash (or frequent flyer points) to fly up front in the airline's A380s. We should mention that both kits are Bulgari-branded and chock-full of stuff that will last beyond your time onboard the plane.
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.
Airports / Airport News / AUH / Hotels / Jet Lag / Layovers / Abu Dhabi Travel / → All Tags
Thanks to our site siblings over at HotelChatter, we’re pretty darn familiar with the hotel and motel options in and around the world’s airports. However, when it comes to just staying put right inside the airport there’s a new option that could be even more convenient than the airport hotel. That’s only the case if you’re cool with sleeping in some pretty tight quarters, as it looks like some kind of sleep pod recliners have made their way into the terminal.
They've only recently arrived overseas, in Abu Dhabi to be specific. Technically they’re calling them GoSleep, and they’re designed just for that purpose—to go to sleep.
Dubai Travel / Police / Cars / Crime / → All Tags
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.
Airline News / Airlines / Emirates / First Class Travel / In-Flight Comfort / Airplanes / Airplane News / A380 / → All Tags
One of the craziest things you can do—at least legally—at 35,000 feet is to strip down to your birthday suit and take an in-flight shower. We’re not talking about a quick refresh in the airplane lavatory with a first class amenity kit, but we actually mean hot water, soap, and shampoo while on an airplane. Right now it’s only available to first class flyers aboard Emirates' A380 flights, but if Emirates gets their way there might just be a few less in-flight showers moving forward.
It sounds like Emirates is considering what a lot of carriers have already done, and shifting some of their planes to just a two-class configuration. That means just business and economy, no first class. The plan is to cram more seats into the oversized airplane, and more seats means more money. We’re hardly airline industry economists, but it’s pretty clear how this new move would benefit Emirates in a good way.
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.
Airline News / Emirates / In-Flight Cell Phones / Travel Tech / Aeromobile / OnAir / Airlines / Technology / → All Tags
Now you can talk for as long as your cell phone battery will allow on your next long-haul flight with Emirates. The airline just announced the technology to allow passengers to use their mobile phone to make and receive calls while 38,000 feet up in their A380s. This is just another notch in the belt for the airline after being the first to offer passengers satellite phones in 1993. Remember those?
The first super jumbo equipped with the technology took off last week with at least one passenger using the service to call home on a flight from Dubai to Munich. It seems like all went well because the technology will be offered on all A380 jets the airline takes delivery of and they'll even retrofit the remaining 24 aircraft. Best of all, typical roaming charges apply and there's no additional charge if your provider has an agreement with OnAir or AeroMobile, the providers of the service.
We have a feeling that the phone bill will be a shocker enough.