Exploring parts of the UAE...
  • Day3

    Goodbye Dubai

    January 15 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    The final bit of the holiday was watching the worlds tallest building light up with a coordinated light show featuring water jets and fountains a little reminiscent of Crown casino and the forecourt in Melbourne only this was outside.
    Enjoyable few days spent in the UAE where the wealth from oil is a clearly visible and left me wondering how they as respective states of the UAE are preparing for life after fossil fuels.
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  • Day3

    The Dubai Centre (Worlds Largest Mall)

    January 15 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Apparently the total overall size of this shopping complex is the equivalent of 33 soccer pitches in size.
    It also has an indoor aquarium where shoppers can actually feed fish with scuba gear or dive in the tank in a specially prepared cage.
    This is also the shopping complex that has an indoor ski field with tobogganing and downhill skiing which is impressive enough but much more impressive when you consider that the outdoor temperatures can exceed 50 degrees celsius in summer.
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  • Day3

    Dubai Skyline (cont’d)

    January 15 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. Many modern interpretations of Islamic architecture can be found here, due to a boom in construction and architectural innovation in the Arab World in general, and in Dubai in particular, supported not only by top Arab or international architectural and engineering design firms such as Al Hashemi and Aedas, but also by top firms of New York and Chicago. As a result of this boom, modern Islamic – and world – architecture has literally been taken to new levels in skyscraper building design and technology. Dubai now has more completed or topped-out skyscrapers higher than 2⁄3 km (2,200 ft), 1⁄3 km (1,100 ft), or 1⁄4 km (820 ft) than any other city. A culmination point was reached in 2010 with the completion of the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower), now by far the world's tallest building at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). The Burj Khalifa's design is derived from the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, with the triple-lobed footprint of the building based on an abstracted version of the desert flower hymenocallis which is native to the Dubai region.

    The completion of the Khalifa Tower, following the construction boom that began in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s, and took on a rapid pace of construction during the decade of the 2000s, leaves Dubai with the world's tallest skyline as of 4 January 2010. At the top, Burj Khalifa, the world's second highest observatory deck after the Shanghai Tower with an outdoor terrace is one of Dubai's most popular tourist attractions, with over 1.87 million visitors in 2013.
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  • Day3

    Dubai Skyline B

    January 15 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. Many modern interpretations of Islamic architecture can be found here, due to a boom in construction and architectural innovation in the Arab World in general, and in Dubai in particular, supported not only by top Arab or international architectural and engineering design firms such as Al Hashemi and Aedas, but also by top firms of New York and Chicago.[169] As a result of this boom, modern Islamic – and world – architecture has literally been taken to new levels in skyscraper building design and technology. Dubai now has more completed or topped-out skyscrapers higher than 2⁄3 km (2,200 ft), 1⁄3 km (1,100 ft), or 1⁄4 km (820 ft) than any other city. A culmination point was reached in 2010 with the completion of the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower), now by far the world's tallest building at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). The Burj Khalifa's design is derived from the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, with the triple-lobed footprint of the building based on an abstracted version of the desert flower hymenocallis which is native to the Dubai region.

    The completion of the Khalifa Tower, following the construction boom that began in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s, and took on a rapid pace of construction during the decade of the 2000s, leaves Dubai with the world's tallest skyline as of 4 January 2010.

    At the top, Burj Khalifa, the world's second highest observatory deck after the Shanghai Tower with an outdoor terrace is one of Dubai's most popular tourist attractions, with over 1.87 million visitors in 2013.[173]
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  • Day2

    Mosque (cont’d)

    January 14 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Loved the fact that you could visit the mosque and pray irrespective of your religious affiliation which proved to me that Islam has been unfairly portrayed as a religion of intolerance and fear...didn’t see or feel any evidence of that in this space at all.Read more

  • Day2

    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (cont’d)

    January 14 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many special and unique elements: The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool (originating from New Zealand and Iran). There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet and it took approximately two years to complete.

    The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from the company Faustig in Munich, Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.

    The pools along the arcades reflect the mosque's columns, which become illuminated at night. The unique lighting system was designed by lighting architects Speirs and Major Associates to reflect the phases of the moon. Beautiful bluish gray clouds are projected in lights onto the external walls and get brighter and darker according to the phase of the moon.

    The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl, one of the few places where one can see this craftsmanship.

    The 99 names (qualities or attributes) of God (Allah) are featured on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufic calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher — Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

    In total, three calligraphy styles — Naskhi, Thuluth and Kufic — are used throughout the mosque and were drafted by Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi of the UAE, Farouk Haddad of Syria and Mohammed Allam of Jordan.
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  • Day2

    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

    January 14 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.
    The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily, Friday and Eid prayers. During Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people.Read more

  • Day2

    Abu Dhabi Skyline

    January 14 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    The city was planned under the guidance of Sheikh Zayed by Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi in 1967 initially for a population of 40,000. The density of Abu Dhabi varies, with high employment density in the central area, high residential densities in central downtown and lower densities in the suburban districts. In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium- and high-rise buildings. Abu Dhabi's skyscrapers such as the notable Burj Mohammed bin Rashid (World Trade Center Abu Dhabi), Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi headquarters, the Baynunah (Hilton Hotel) Tower and the Etisalat headquarters are usually found in the financial districts of Abu Dhabi. Other notable modern buildings include the Aldar Headquarters, the first circular skyscraper in the middle east and the Emirates Palace with its design inspired by Arab heritage.

    The development of tall buildings has been encouraged in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, which will lead to the construction of many new skyscrapers over the next decade, particularly in the expansion of Abu Dhabi's central business district such as the new developments on Al Maryah Island and Al Reem Island. Abu Dhabi already has a number of supertall skyscrapers under construction throughout the city. Some of the tallest buildings on the skyline include the 382 m (1,253.28 ft) Central Market Residential Tower, the 324 m (1,062.99 ft) The Landmark and the 74-story, 310 m (1,017.06 ft) Sky Tower, all of them completed. Also, many other skyscrapers over 150 m (492.13 ft) (500 ft) are either proposed or approved and could transform the city's skyline. As of July 2008, there were 62 high-rise buildings 23 to 150 m (75.46 to 492.13 ft) under construction, approved for construction, or proposed for construction.
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