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Video: Diving for pearls in Dubai

Feb 17th, 2012 at 6:00PM: Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the world's finest pearls were found in the waters of the Arabian gulf. Long story short, the industry was the only that thrived in the region until oil was discovered--but the tradition is not forgotten. Starting in March, travelers to the United Arab Emirates can take part in a traditional pearl diving experience with Dubai's Jumeirah Group....

Experience luxury, culture, and adventure in Dubai through timelapse

Jan 23rd, 2012 at 3:00PM: Apparently, you can see a lot in 3 days. This timelapse video captures freelance filmmaker Aaron Mendez's short visit to Dubai and actually manages to capture a mix of experiences. Luxury travelers will enjoy seeing the pristine beaches, buzzing nightlife, and high rise buildings of the city, while the adventure-enthusiasts can witness off-roading, sandboarding, and camel riding in the...

The malls of Dubai: Skiing, scuba diving, and shopping

The malls of Dubai:  Skiing, scuba diving, and shopping Jan 4th, 2012 at 11:30AM: Every country has its own culture of shopping. Italy has the pedigree, with worn estate leather goods from Tuscany and glittering catwalks fueling Milan's couture. America boasts 5th Avenue, the biggest week in fashion, and the cookie-cutter malls of middle-America. Shopping in Paris is as elegant as it is expensive, where visiting the temples of Chanel, Dior, and Hermes is like a Hajj for...

Ritz-Carlton Dubai adds shisha sommelier to staff

Ritz-Carlton Dubai adds shisha sommelier to staff Nov 2nd, 2011 at 1:00PM: Interested in smoking some hookah on your trip but nervous about looking like a novice? The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Finance Center now has an expert on hand to not only show you how to properly smoke flavored tobacco, but also how to pair shisha flavors with food, drinks, and personal preferences. The Shisha Sommelier position, which is part of the hotel's Shisha Terrace, is held by...

Interesting indoor spaces around the world

Interesting indoor spaces around the world Oct 4th, 2011 at 5:00PM: I love the outdoors, to the extent that I tend to bypass or overlook exceptional indoor spaces when I'm traveling or recounting a great trip. Fortunately, Lonely Planet author/former Gadling contributor Leif Pettersen's recent list on LP's website has reminded me that---as many a grandmother has said---beauty is on the inside. Pettersen says only in recent years has he developed a special...

New world's tallest building planned for Saudi Arabia

New world's tallest building planned for Saudi Arabia Aug 3rd, 2011 at 2:00PM: Less than two years after the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai, Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has announced a new world's tallest building to be built on the Red Sea resort town of Jeddah. The Saudi building is planned to be 172 meters (564 feet) taller than the Burj and will stand at 1,000 meters or 3,281 feet. It will be part of the $20 billion "megadevelopment" Kingdom City and will...

An Island of luxury in a sea of desert: Al Maha Desert Resort in Dubai

An Island of luxury in a sea of desert: Al Maha Desert Resort in Dubai Jul 13th, 2011 at 10:00AM: Every city needs a quick getaway spot, even global centers for tourism. Parisians head for the lakes and beaches of southern France, Hong Kongers ferry to Macau for quick gambling fixes, Bostonians head for the cape to be seen and sun, and the people of Dubai escape the city for...the desert? Yes, the desert. Indeed, the desert seems an unlikely place in which to unwind and be pampered,...

Exploring the world's tallest structure - the Burj Khalifa

Exploring the world's tallest structure - the Burj Khalifa Jul 6th, 2011 at 11:00AM: The tallest building in the world does not appear made for this earth. By day it looks photoshopped into its downtown Dubai surroundings, and by night, the hulking spire looks like a rocket bound for the furthest reaches of our galaxy. And like a giant middle finger to its predecessors in the tallest building club, the structure is a testament to the audacity of Dubai - an idea that, what they...

Seven courses at the highest restaurant in the world - At.mosphere in Dubai

Seven courses at the highest restaurant in the world - At.mosphere in Dubai Jun 28th, 2011 at 10:30AM: Dubai is a city of realized hyperbole. It has the tallest building in the world, man-made islands shaped like the world's continents, and a restaurant high high above the towering skyscrapers below. At.mosphere, a restaurant in Dubai's towering Burj Khalifa, provides a dining experience with a view reminiscent of glancing out the window of a plane. It is preposterously thrilling to savor a...

Dubai's iconic Burj Al Arab - the world's most glamorous hotel

Dubai's iconic Burj Al Arab - the world's most glamorous hotel Jun 21st, 2011 at 10:00AM: Long before Dubai began showing up at the bottom of fashion advertisements along with Paris, New York, and Tokyo, it was all sand and ambition. It was once simply desert and an idea. An "if you build it, they will come" on the most massive scale. Build it, they did. As the years piled on, Dubai transformed. The skyscrapers grew like weeds in an untended lawn. Any doubt that the city was...

Fashion TV network to open branded hotel in Dubai

Fashion TV network to open branded hotel in Dubai May 20th, 2011 at 10:00AM: Armani helped design his namesake hotel in the Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Diane Von Furstenberg has her own designed suites at Claridge's in London. Missoni opened two hotels - Edinburgh and Kuwait - to help promote the line's home decor. The Verscace legend lives in on at his mansion, now the Villa by Barton G, in Miami Beach. So it was only a matter of time before fashion took over the hospitality...

Gallery: More travel sketches from BBC's Tim Baynes

Gallery: More travel sketches from BBC's Tim Baynes May 18th, 2011 at 3:00PM: We wrote yesterday about Tim Baynes' delightful travel sketches from around the world on BBC and liked them so much we came back for more. You can (and should!) get lost for hours looking at his drawings on Flickr with fun anecdotes and scribbles bringing depth and humor to his slice-of-life artwork. Check out some of our favorites in the gallery below, from a look inside the BBC Starbucks to...

Illegal animal smuggler busted in Thai airport

Illegal animal smuggler busted in Thai airport May 14th, 2011 at 8:00AM: A man identified only as a citizen of the United Arab Emirates was arrested in the international airport in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday for the illegal smuggling of animals. At the time of his arrest, he had several suitcases which contained two baby leopards, two panthers, two macaque monkeys, and an Asiatic black bear. According to this story from our friends at AOL Travel, the 36-year old...

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade Apr 28th, 2011 at 1:30PM: First, it was underground supper clubs. Now, everything's coming up pop-ups. As with food trucks, this form of guerrilla cheffing borne of economic need has become a global phenomenon. Equal parts dinner party and dinner theater, a pop-up refers to a dining establishment that is open anywhere from one to several nights, usually in an existing restaurant or other commercial food establishment. ...

25 newly-discovered travel destinations from Wanderfly.com

25 newly-discovered travel destinations from Wanderfly.com Apr 1st, 2011 at 12:30PM: If you've checked out Wanderfly, the new travel planning and booking service that suggests destinations and activities based on your interests, you know they've come up with some unique and untouristy destinations. Now they've gone beyond the beaten tourist track with 25 newly-discovered travel destinations. Why just see the Great Wall of China when you could see a whole city full of kittens in...

Dubai tour company offers pirate hunting cruises off horn of Africa

Dubai tour company offers pirate hunting cruises off horn of Africa Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:30AM: After years of murders, kidnappings, and heists, the lawless sea near the horn of Africa seems to be getting worse. A Dubai firm is capitalizing on these pirate infested waters with a strange new form of pirate tourism. The tour company, Dubai based Seahunters LLC, sells both 7 and 14 day cruises embarking from Salalah, Oman and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Unlike the quintessential cruise, the cruisers...

What are the top five cities for business travel?

What are the top five cities for business travel? Mar 21st, 2011 at 2:00PM: Some cities are better for doing business than others, it seems. Of course, business travelers (well, professionals in general) all have their preferences. Having done my time in Omaha, Winnipeg and London (Ontario), I can tell you that some places are better than others. So, I was pretty excited to see think tank Z/Yen put out its Global Financial Centres Index (PDF), which shows the top five...

Retail therapy: Istanbul ShoppingFest begins March 18

Retail therapy: Istanbul ShoppingFest begins March 18 Mar 16th, 2011 at 3:30PM: Every year, many people visit Istanbul to shop in the historic Grand Bazaar to haggle over carpets, Turkish tea glasses, and souvenir t-shirts. But most locals do their shopping in Istanbul's many malls, markets, high streets like Istiklal near Taksim Square and Bağdat on the Asian side, and neighborhoods such as posh Nişantaşı and funky Çukurcuma. This year, from March 18 to April 26,...

Travel to Sri Lanka grows, along with obstacles for tourism

Travel to Sri Lanka grows, along with obstacles for tourism Feb 1st, 2011 at 11:00AM: Since the end of the Tamil Tiger confilct in May 2009, travel to Sri Lanka has been increasing, with the country celebrating their 600,000th foreign tourist last month. This year, 700,000 are expected with tourism growing to 2.5 million a year within 5 years, reports the BBC. "The nature has blessed us with beautiful beaches, waterfalls, exotic wildlife and historic places. We as a nation have a...

World's highest restaurant opens in Dubai

World's highest restaurant opens in Dubai Jan 26th, 2011 at 9:30AM: Want to get high? It won't be illegal if you do it at Burj Khalifa's At.mosphere, which surpasses Toronto's 360 Restaurant as the world's highest restaurant. The downtown Dubai restaurant strands at 1,350 feet high (that's level 123, for those who care). The restaurant seats 210 guests and offers both a dining and bar area. Both emphasize fresh products and healthy, simple cooking - all food is...

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