I didn't have much time in Dubai so I did a city tour to have the chance to see more of the city. I normally don't do city tours, I prefer to get a map and walk on my own, but for Dubai, a city tour worked well.
It took about 4 hours and we saw some of the most famous places in Dubai, like the Burj Al Arab, one of the tallest hotel and the only recognized as a 7-star in the world; Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island; the newly open Atlantis, an beautiful hotel at Palm Jumeirah; and the Burj Khalifa (previously known as Burj Dubai), the tallest building in the world (even Tom Cruise was filming Mission: Impossible there recently). Watch everything on this High Definition (HD) video! We can also see a couple of mosques, the Dubai Mall, largest shopping centre in the world, and the beach! To finish the video with a grand finale, the impressive fountain show in front of the Burj Khalifa!
On the next video I fly over Dubai with Emirates, showing some of these sites from above, plus The World, an amazing group of man-made islands in the shape of the world's continent.
More about Dubai from Wikipedia:
Dubai (Arabic: دبيّ dubayy) is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature.
The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, and the earliest settlement known as Dubai town dates from 1799. Dubai was formally established in the early 19th century by the Al Abu Falasa clan of Bani Yas, and it remained under clan control when the United Kingdom assumed the protection of Dubai in 1892. Its geographical location made it an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. In 1966, the year oil was discovered, Dubai and the emirate of Qatar set up a new monetary unit to replace the Gulf Rupee. The oil economy led to a massive influx of foreign workers, quickly expanding the city by 300% and bringing in international oil interests. The modern emirate of Dubai was created after the UK left the area in 1971. At this time Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and four other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates. The following year Ras al Khaimah joined the federation while Qatar and Bahrain chose to remain independent nations. In 1973, the monetary union with Qatar was dissolved and the UAE Dirham introduced throughout the UAE. A free trade zone was built around the Jebel Ali port in 1979, allowing foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital. The Gulf War of 1990 had a negative financial effect on the city, as depositors withdrew their money and traders withdrew their trade, but subsequently the city recovered in a changing political climate and thrived.
Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub. Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate's model of business, similar to that of Western countries, drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. This increased attention has highlighted labour rights and human rights issues concerning its largely South Asian workforce. Dubai's property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the worldwide economic downturn following the Financial crisis of 2007--2010.
Welcome to Uzbekistan - an oasis of peace, a land where ancient history and modern culture converge, a country located at the mid-point of the Great Silk Road! It's the oldest land in Central Asia, maintaining a twenty-five century long history, a country with a specific historical and cultural community different from that of other regions. Recently, tourist interest in Uzbekistan has markedly increased and accordingly, the range of travel facilities and the services of local tour operators are being expanded year by year in order to draw more travelers to explore this wonderful place.
On the territory of Uzbekistan there are many cities where hundreds of architectural monuments from different ages are located. Among them are Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrizabs, Termez and Kokand. These cities were centers of science and art. Great architects created palaces, mosques and mausoleums, world famous monuments of ancient architecture memorializing Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Many of those masterpieces have not survived to the present; however, from those which have been preserved, it is possible to restore the pages of the distant past. The Great Silk Road, one of the most significant achievements in history of World civilization, also passed through these cities. To enjoy your stay in these historical sites imbued with the atmosphere of ancient times, great efforts have been made to ensure that modern travelers feel comfortable and secure. Therefore, a great number of new hotels and guest houses have appeared, new restaurants and cafes have reached international standards, and modern means of transportation, from cars to tour buses, are available to transport more and more tourists.
The Uzbek national cuisine has a centuries-old history and reflects the diversity of the customs and traditions of the people. The development of the cuisine benefited much from the new crops which had come from the countries of the Great Silk Road. Moreover, the local rulers used to bring the best culinary experts from the conquered lands.
Along with the titbits the guests are treated to the rich mutton soup shurpa, which is spiced with plenty of fennel and parsley.
Yet the main dish of the Uzbek cuisine is pilav(plov). Pilav(plov) is an indispensable part of any festive meal: none of the weddings or any other important occasions, on which guests are ever received, can do without it.
As the legend says, the way of cooking pilav was "invented" during the conquest of Sogdiana by Alexander the Great. Supposedly, during a long mission trip his army ran out of food, except one sack of rice and a wild sheep that they had managed to kill. The cook made a dish from this stuff, spicing it with the seeds of some steppe herbs, and the amount of that "first pilav" turned out to be sufficient to feed the whole army. The respect of the Uzbeks for pilav can be traced in their language: the Uzbek for 'pilav' is 'osh', which literally means 'food'.
In the past pilav was a feast of the poor and everyday meal of the rich. According to historical sources, the emir of Bukhara used to eat pilav three times a day and arranged a sort of cooking contest for the best pilav among his dignitaries.
Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and romantic monuments on earth, and to us especially so, since Frank just proposed to Jen in front of the Taj! (Watch episode 9 for that)
There is a stupid rule at the Taj Mahal where video is prohibited beyond the first viewing platform (where you see Jen talking on the bench), and don't even think about bringing in a tripod or monopod - they search everything at the gate. So as a result, most non-broadcast footage of the Taj Mahal upclose is shaky, low quality cell phone stuff. Well, we are thankful for our DSLR, which looks like a still camera but also takes full 1080p HD video! We even managed a rare HD movie inside the Taj Mahal itself! Certain shots are stablized and smoothed in software for almost the tripod look. Enjoy!
Technical notes: Shot in 1080p HD with a Canon 60D camera, handheld. Photos are mostly HDR. Music credits: "Here With Me" and "Living Life Over" by ATB.
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