Sunrise over India...flying over Ahmedabad with a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 keeping us company in the Indian skies (we are at 41,000ft flying to HKG, and they were flying to Shanghai Pudong)....this is the closest I'm going to get to India for a long time (until I get my hands on a Visa!!): Photo Copyright Navjot SIngh
Located 37 kilometres (23 mi) south west of Dubai, the Al Maktoum International Airport opened on 27 June 2010. It costs about 120 Dirhams and takes around 30 minutes by taxi to get to from the city centre. The airport is relatively underused by only a handful of airlines. I flew out of it with Qatar Airways to Doha: Photo Copyright Navjot SIngh
In the Middle East (Dubai World Airport here), even Falcons (the national bird of most of the ME countries) get to travel in First Class! These guys told me that each Falcon is prized at around US $1.5 million...they were carrying 4 falcons...not bad. They had the whole First Class cabin for themselves on that flight...all 18 seats booked for just 4 people and their birds: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
When you have a tank containing over 10-million litres of water, you need a considerable amount of brave manpower willing to dive and maintain it. The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, is one of the world's largest suspended aquariums. Worth visiting for the Sharks alone (2 of 'em): Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Situated at the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, the At.mosphere Burj Khalifa, with its remarkable sleek & stylish interiors, is officially the world’s highest restaurant from the ground level. The chic venue has a seating capacity for 210 people, offering guests the option of dining at the Restaurant or at the Lounge, both offering stunning panoramic views across Dubai, Sharjah and beyond.
Unlike some other chic restaurants around the world, the At.mosphere has a few of its own unique formalities that set it apart from the rest. Firstly, there is a separate entrance for guests located next to the lobby of the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, and secondly you should book well in advance to guarantee a table as this is one of the most sought after eateries in town.
The elevator that propels the guests to the arrival lobby at the 122nd floor at a height of 442 metres from the ground takes exactly 44 seconds- that’s 10 metres per second to be precise. It’s not as fast as an aircraft taking off on rotation; nevertheless, it may still require you to swallow or even chew a candy to stop your ears popping. On a windy or rainy day, you can hear the wind whistling in the background as the lift goes up (or down).
To commence the culinary adventure, I was shown a fine selection of beverages. I opted for the Luc Belaire, Belaire Rose Champagne from France. I was presented with two lovely dishes - “Brittany Lobster salad with julienne vegetable and Asian dressing” and “battered prawns served with homemade chips and Tartar sauce”. The former was decorated with fresh leaves and vegetable shavings, with the delicious lobster meat hidden underneath. The latter is an alternative to the traditional fish & chips, with prawn replacing the cod or haddock that one may normally expect to have. It is highly recommended that you generously sprinkle fresh lemon provided with the dish onto the prawns and chips. The taste is priceless and exceedingly good for your health. Luxury food like this is a priceless gift for anyone that wants to just lose themselves into eating good food in the heart of Dubai. It’s the kind of dish that would fill you up, but one that you would want to eat again, and again.
Michelin-star chef, Jerome Lagarde and his team of talented culinary masterminds have definitely made a promise to put At.mosphere firmly on the map when it comes to providing high-quality international cuisine.
The dessert, a very unique style of cheesecake, was nothing short of a classic. The “cheese cake with passion fruit, Yuzu sorbet and crumble”, which looked more like a giant white chocolate lollipop, was nothing but a fabulous piece of art and a priceless invention by the chef. Just like an Easter egg, the ‘round ball cake’ had to be cut in half to reveal an explosion of sweetness, blending in the ice-cold Yuzu sorbet and 100% pure passion fruit pieces. It’s hard to argue about the taste when you are presented with a genius dish such as this in-house made spectacle. Food has always been taken exceedingly seriously in Dubai. Go there, and experience it!
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No pavilion, no crowds, no proper cricket balls, clothing or equipment...but these migrant workers from India and Pakistan (two cricket mad nations) have plenty of happiness, high moral and support from each other. Every Friday after prayers (Friday is a weekend in the UAE), the streets are filled with Indians and Pakistani migrant workers (who make up the majority of the 90% of expats in the country) playing cricket or taking a rest away from their work. The whole of the Middle East has been literally built by people from these two nations...almost every building you see in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi, Oman, Iraq and Yemen has been built by an Indian or a Pakistani. Many get FIVE times the salary they would back home, and their living conditions have improved in recent years. Would be a great photo project to work on ..something titled "They made Dubai". Over the 2 days I stayed in Dubai and Sharjah, I heard a lot of first-hand stories from migrant workers...also got to speak to a Syrian migrant (a professional Chartered Accountant who lost every member of his family in the civil war...but now works as a taxi driver in Dubai...amazing survival story). Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Racing Camels and Horses are big business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and despite the speed of a Horse (around 88 kph) compared with a Camel (40 kph), the winner of either race (Camel or Horse), get's the same amount of prize money. Camels can be seen loping along the desert at their maximum speed of 40 kph (Mo Farah can beat them any day).
THE birthplace of the famous Shiraz wine in many years B.C. (NOT Australia, much to the misconception of most people) and the sixth largest city in Iran. It is not the same grape variety as the French Syrah - the Iranian version a white and the French is a deep red. The Gallic grape was imported into Australia under the name Scyras during the mid 1800s and eventually the name was changed to Shiraz (Anglicised): Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
...this time at London's Trafalgar Square. Anti-austerity campaigners from Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy rally at Trafalgar Square in the English Captial to support of the newly elected government officials in Greece to negotiate a better deal with the European Union with regard to the Greek national debt crisis
Dulwich College never fails to captivate.
...has its limits (debatable).
London's views are captivating, no matter if it rains or is sunny. I'll take rain over toxic filth any day.
Arriving home is, and will always be, a captivating experience.
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