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Name: Melissa

About Me

Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City

My Perfect Day in -
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne

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Tray Table
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Straight Guy in the Queer Skies

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Skin by Falter

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Latest Updates
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
So it's about time for a Dubai post, I mean with all the flying I do overseas I do spend a lot of time relaxing and eating here. And the focus of my post today is the city's newest and most anticipated attraction, the Burj Khalifa.

Ever since I moved to Dubai I have seen the tower grow seemingly overnight. I was lucky that with my first apartment being in the heart of Sheikh Zayed road, with a little neck-craning I could see the tower. It was also universally known as the Burj Dubai then, and when they announced the name change 4 years after moving here, I was a little shocked. Even now I still end up calling it the "Burj Du-Khalifa".

But anyway, when it first opened, I knew there was no chance in the first month I was going to be able to get a ticket to fit within my flying schedule. Then it shut down for a while, and with regular trolling of the UAE news sites I saw that a few months later it re-opened. I booked my ticket, and 100dh later I had my Burj Khalifa experience.

The entrance is within the Dubai Mall, which is super handy if you don't have a lot of time to visit Dubai and want to get in a few touristy stuff without travelling too far. To get to the actual tower you take a lot of travelators, and projected on the walls are all these video graphics showing the history of Dubai, from the pearl farmers, to the abras, the bedouins, falconry, and showing modern Dubai, including the construction boom, to ladies shopping, and even a local in a khandoora with his Blackberry...

It's very beautifully done...

So after the travelator section you then enter a kind of mini-museum, which goes into immense detail about the tower and how it progressed from a concept drawing to what it is today. Every challenge that needed to be overcome was featured, such as how to maximise the view for the residents of the building, to wind aerodynamics, and it was interesting to see that many of the ideas were taken from nature, such as the triple-lobed base of the building being inspired by the Hymenocallis flower.

There was also a tribute there to the construction workers who were of course a huge part of the creation of the building. I have never seen anywhere in Dubai that paid tribute to the workers that built the buildings so it was wonderful to see the Burj Khalifa feature a permanent memorial.

The Address hotel, Souk al Bahar, and the Dubai Fountain

Business Bay and beyond. You can still see spots of desert amongst all the construction noise.

Dubai Mall

Sheikh Zayed Road

Jumeirah Beach. Sadly with the haze you couldn't see the Burj Al Arab.

So there you have the Burj Khalifa experience. If you need some tips, try and go in the winter time so you can avoid the haze and fog which completely ruins the magnificent view. And definitely buy a ticket in advance - otherwise you're paying 400dh instead of a 100dh ticket. Despite how amazed I was by the place I still didn't think it was worth 400dh. If you plan in advance though it's a great way to spend the afternoon. And where else can you go to the toilet 424m above sea level???


Friday, July 02, 2010
Well on my last full day in Oslo I decided to make the trek to Vigeland Scupture Park. At first I wasn't really excited about it, but when I got there it was just jaw-dropping. The amount of work that went into carving the 212 bronze and granite statues, the initial carvings done entirely by Gustav Vigeland, is quite mind boggling. The best thing about the park is that it's completely free to enter (a huge relief considering how much everything costs there!), so with some pastries from United Bakeries in hand, I was well equipped to enjoy what was the highlight of Oslo.

The first sights of the statues of the park, welcomes nicely by a bridge.

The Fountain, which was 40 odd years in the making

The Monolith Plateau


Even stranger...

And this is too cute...

Close up of the Monolith, which is supposed to represent man's desire to be closer to the spiritual, and the helping of one another to get there.