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The World Islands (archipelago) – Dubai

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Going across the World is something that only few people can do in their lifetime. However, if you visit Dubai then there is a chance of covering the world within half a day. This is made possible by the creation of the artificially made archipelago of small islands on the Persian Gulf which reflect the map of the World. These islands, together called the World Islands, are situated at a distance of 4 kilometres from the coast of Dubai and is in continuation with the other artificial islands of the rich city.

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The process of creation of the World Islands is again done with the help of dredged sand and rocks however, this time the construction is under the control of Nakheel Properties. A total of 300 individual islands are known to form the complete World Islands and they can be owned by private owners. These islands are also scheduled to be divided into categories like private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and likewise. Their sizes are known to be in between 250 to 900,000 sq feet. The World Islands are known to be separated from the sea with the help of an oval shaped breakwater which known to cover 9 kilometres.

The total amount of sand and rock which is being estimated for the World Island mounts to 321 million cubic metres and 31 million tons, respectively. The World Islands are known to have names like Germany, Lebanon, Great Britain and so on. Though it has been long time since the work on World Island has been going on but the work is yet to get finished. This is because of the problem of economic recession which is creating obstacles. In the recent times the reports of the sinking of the islands also played a major role in hindering the progress of the work. This however, has been denied by the actual construction company.

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From the ownership perspective of the World Islands a number of renowned personalities like Richard Branson, Ravi Raman, and investment group of Kuwait are known to be owners of some of the islands of the World Island. As per the reports of 2012 while 70 percent of islands have already been sold to private parties, the rate of development is being very slow because of infrastructural problems and economic slowdowns. Out of all the completed islands of the World Islands, only the island named Lebanon has had some developments and is now mainly used for commercial purposes like parties and corporate functions. Other owners of the World Islands are yet to materialise their ambitious plan of building resorts, pubs, and villas in the remaining landforms.

For tourists the best way of going across the world is by taking the boat trips of the World Islands which keep happening from the mainland.

Ferrari World – world’s largest indoor theme park – Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World – world’s largest indoor theme park – Abu Dhabi

Theme parks are always known to be amusing places and when it is the Ferrari World of Abu Dhabi then the amusement and excitement reaches a new level altogether. The theme park of Ferrari World which started in November 2010 covers a roof area of 200,000sq metre and is thus known to be the largest amusement park of the world created indoors.

The Ferrari World of Abu Dhabi is inspired from the Italian brand Ferrari and showcases a number of Italian heritages too. One of the many spectacles of the Ferrari World is that it has the fastest roller coaster of the world named Formula Rossa. It gives you a chance of enjoying speed up to 240km/h and feeling the adrenaline rush which one gets while nearing the finish line of the Grand Prix. The making of the entire Ferrari World has taken help of structural, geotechnical, and facade engineering to name some. The architect of the project has been Benoy Architects who have developed this theme park of 86,000 sq metres and adorned it with a big logo of Ferrari on the entrance.

Ferrari World
Ferrari World

The attractions of Ferrari World have something to offer for all ages of visitors. The rides of the theme park are thrilling and exciting. There are about 20 rides which can be enjoyed by individuals and families. Some of them are Bell’Italia which presents recreated forms of Italian famous structures, landscapes and cityscapes. The Tyre Twist which is the tea cup ride, the Cinema Maranello which is a time machine back to the 1920s, Driving with the Champions which is a 3d show of a Ferrari engineer’s life, Junior Training Camp where the kids can have their share of driving a foam modelled car, and the list goes on.

The Ferrari World has been created as an outing spot which can keep people engaged for an entire day. So, apart from the amusing rides there are also theme stores which sell Ferrari inspired artefacts. In fact one of the retail stores of the park is known to be the largest Ferrari Store in the entire world. If you want to boast of a personal connection with Ferrari then the Ferrari boutique gives you the scope to fulfil the dream. There are also a number of food and beverage joints which serve authentic Italian as well as other types of desired cuisines. The dining capacity of the theme park is 1200.

Aerial view of Ferrari World Park is the largest indoor amusement park in the world.
Aerial view of Ferrari World Park is the largest indoor amusement park in the world.

The best part of visiting the Ferrari World is that you can make a plan on any day as it is open all seven days of the week. It has the additional services of valet parking, prayer rooms, and so on. The tickets of the park are available both onsite and on the net. So, do not miss the opportunity of living your dream in the first amusement park of its own kind in the Ferrari World of Abu Dhabi.

Dubai Airport

Dubai Airport

The most important tourist destination of the Middle East, the size and capacity of the Dubai Airport surely sends a signal about the number of people coming to this part of the world. Managed by the Department of Civil Aviation of Dubai, the airport is located in the north eastern part of Dubai called Al Garhoud. It is the base for one of the most important airlines carrier in the world, the Emirates and also runs some low cost carriers like FlyDubai.

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Built on an area of 8,640 acres of land, the Dubai Airport is known to be the 12th busiest airport of the world in terms of managing passengers. In 2012 it is known to have handled 57.7 million passengers and 2.27 million tonnes of cargo. There 130 airlines which pass through the Dubai International Airport and connect 220 destination across the world except for Antarctica. The recent most development has been that Qantas air also operates from Dubai partly because of its partnership with the Emirates.

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The largest terminal of the Dubai Airport is the Terminal 3 which under the exclusive use of the Emirates Airlines apart from the Terminal 1.The speciality of the Terminal 3 which got opened for public in the year 2008 has been that using $4.5 billion it has become the largest building in the world in terms of the floor area and also the largest airport terminal in the world. This is known to have a capacity of managing about 75 million passengers and sets perfectly with the future plans of Dubai as city foresees the figure of 90 million passengers using the airport in the future. For managing this humongous volume, the Dubai Airport employs a huge number of local populations and also contributes generously to the GDP of UAE.

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In the upcoming plans of the Dubai Airport, there is a proposal of coming up with a new concourse D by the year 2016 which will share the load of Concourse C and thereby dedicating Concourse C totally to the service of the Emirates Airlines which currently operates from A, B, and C. Emirates also has a cargo service, named the Emirates SkyCargo which also operates from the Dubai Airport and carries cargo to far and wide destinations across the globe. There are facilities within the Dubai Airport which help operating the Dubai Aviation Club and where private owners can fly for leisure within the city and also wannabe pilots are given trainings.

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Within the Dubai Airport it hardly seems to be a transit location for the millions of people who enjoy their time going through the innumerable shopping stores, restaurants, and other leisure areas. There is a range of duty free shops which have been recently doubled in space to 15,000 square metres and are famous for doing transactions in the range of 23.5 million yearly. Apart from these there are prayer rooms, spas, gyms, games, internet and last three huge hotels for people to stay for extended stop over. Throughout the airport televisions are fitted which keep entertaining either through news, or sports updates and games, or through movies.

Burj Al Arab – Dubai

Burj Al Arab – Dubai

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The city of Dubai in United Arab Emirates comes to the limelight for many of its structures. One such structure is the luxury hotel Burj Al Arab which is also known to be the fourth tallest hotel of the world. A dispute revolves around the sail shaped hotel as per which it is known to be the only 7 star hotel in the world.

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Though the total height of the Burj Al Arab is 321 metres but 39% of the entire building is made in a non-occupiable manner. It stands on an artificially made island of 280 m which is separated from the Jumeirah beach and is in turn connected to the rest of the land with the help of a curved private bridge. This standout design for the Burj Al Arab was done by Tom Wright of Atkins and the construction was supervised by Rick Gregory of Atkins again.

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The construction of the Burj Al Arab took place between 1994 and 1999. The design of the hotel was based on a dhow which is an Arabian vessel. The designer created the idea on the basis that the building symbolises the place as the Big Ben does for London and the Opera House for Sydney. He wanted that the building should stand as an ambassador for the city and the country, respectively.

Atrium day

The construction of the hotel involved a number of architectural complicacies such as the foundation which was required to sustain it on the artificial island. For this purpose approximately 230 piles of 40 metres each were put on the sand so as to create a solid foundation for such an enormous structure to rest. The process of reclaiming the land from the sea almost took 3 years which was same as the amount of time taken for the construction of the entire Burj Al Arab. The entire amount of concrete and steel used by the building is 70,000 cubic metre and 9,000 tonnes, respectively.

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Though the Burj Al Arab appears to be a massive structure but, the hotel has only 28 double storied floors which has 202 bedroom suites. The area covered by the smallest of the rooms is 169 sq metres and that by the biggest one is 780 sq metres.  The Royal suite of the Burj Al Arab costs US $18,776 per night and thus is known to be one amongst the 15 most expensive hotel accommodations. Data shows that the Burj Al Arab is more popular amongst the Chinese people who have made most of the bookings during the years 2011 and 2012.

Inside the Burj Al Arab are two restaurants one of which, Al Muntaha is located on top of the Persian Gulf and is known to be a cantilever restaurant which gives a panoramic view of the entire Dubai and the other one, Al Mahara takes a submarine trip to see the marine life beneath the sea. It has an aquarium which holds 990,000 litres of water. The brilliant structure of the Burj Al Arab exemplifies the financial splendour of the UAE.

Burj Khalifa – Dubai

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An ambitious project, though a bit ill timed but still, a standout in the world is Burj Khalifa or the Burj Dubai as it was before the inauguration took place in 2009. Standing tall at a height of 829.8 metres, it is the tallest man made structure of the world.

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Built as a part of Dubai’s 2 sq kilometre Downtown project, the Burj Khalifa was engineered and built by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago and contains both residential and commercial spaces. As the project neared completion Dubai faced the financial crisis of 2007-2012 and in order to tackle the huge debts it had incurred in the creation of the building the country had to borrow help from its rich neighbour Abu Dhabi. It was in order to appreciate this help that the name of the Tower was partially dedicated to the President of UAE Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and was named as Burj Khalifa.

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The design of the Burj Khalifa is inspired from Islamic Architecture and has used about 4,000 tonnes of steel to build just the spires. The interior part of the building has been adorned with about 1000 pieces of art. The interior of the building is also equipped with claddings that can handle the extreme heat of Dubai. Though, during the time of the financial crisis it was reported that the rents in the Burj Khalifa went down and 825 out of the 900 apartments were also left vacant. But, as time progressed, a number of foreign investors bought apartments and office spaces and by 2012 it was reported that the occupancy rose to 80%.

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One of the initial four hotels of Armani is situated in the first 15 floors of the Burj Khalifa while the 43rd and 76th floors, called the sky lobbies, have swimming pools in them. As some floors up till the 108th floor give way to about 900 residential apartments, the rest of the floors above, except for the 122nd, 123rd, and 124th are given to corporate offices. The three floors which are left out are home to the At.mosphere restaurant and also include the observatory deck.

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Apart from its structure and size, the other features of Burj Khalifa which act as a tourist attraction are the Dubai Fountain, the observation deck which is open air and is located on the 124th floor of the building and is decked with telescopes to have a panoramic view of the entire Dubai city, and the Burj Khalifa Park which is situated on 27 acres of land. In addition to all these, there is also the neighbouring Dubai Mall. The Burj Khalifa building is also used for adventurous sports like BASE jumping and climbing.

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Being such a popular global structure, the Burj Khalifa has also received its share of media attention by getting featured in films like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. It is also a standard venue of the New Year’s Eve fire display thus making it even more popular.

Palm Islands – Dubai

The modern man has reached such a stature in creating wonders that now it is not a big deal to challenge nature and create man made landforms as well. A glaring example of this fact are the two man-made islands of Dubai, namely the Palm Jumeirah and the Palm Jebel Ali. The biggest benefit of these two islands in the economy of Dubai is that not only they attract tourists but also given sufficient increased space to accommodate these tourists by increasing the coastline of the rich city.

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The list of wonders of these two man-made Palm islands does not end by only being man-made artificial islands. In addition, these islands also have a shape of a palm tree which is surrounded by a crescent. There is no other country in the world which has attempted to fulfil such a daunting task apart from this one. Both these Palm islands have all modern facilities like luxury hotels, residential villas, entertainment options, apartments, shopping malls, and so on. The number of hotels which are proposed to be a part of these megaprojects are more than 100 in number.

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The task of tackling the uncertain Persian Gulf and creating these two man-made wonders has been given to a Belgian and a Dutch company namely, Jan De Nul and Van Oord.  The reason that they were chosen for the task was that they are expert in the process of land reclamation which was the essence of this job too. The work on the Palm Jumeirah is known to have started in 2001 to finish in 2006 and the Palm Jebel Ali took time from 2002 to 2008. The task of building the landforms on the sea has been done by spraying massive amounts of sand with the help of dredging ships and also placing a massive number of rocks with the help of cranes. The total amount of sand known to have gone for the Palm islands has been 94 million cubic metres because as per the King of Dubai, the islands needed to be made from sand.

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In order to retain the position of the Palm Islands there has been an inclusion of a semi circular crescent which makes a break in the water and which increases the coastline of Dubai too. This breakwater has been essentially made with rocks whose amount reaches 5.5 million cubic metres. While the breakwater of Palm Jumeirah is 11 kilometres and increases the Dubai coastline by 78 kilometres, the Palm Jebel Ali is a bigger project and thus has a breakwater of 17 kilometres. The only flip side of these wonderful creations is that though all sorts of precautions have been maintained while constructing them but, there still remain the threats caused due to erosion and natural calamities.

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The Palm Jebel Ali being the bigger amongst the two Palm islands also has a higher number leisure options like water theme parks, sea villages, marinas, and so on. These Palm islands are connected to the main land with the help of monorail which is by far the best means of commuting.