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Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Year in UAE Search: Google's Top Searches of 2009 Show Technology Terms Top the List

Google Zeitgeist
  • Who was the most-searched celebrity of 2009?
  • Which new technology topped the charts?
  • Were people searching Google for information about the economic crisis or the outcome of their favorite reality show?
Three days ago, Google announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2009 through the collective eyes of the world on the web. The 2009 Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year's major events and hottest trends based on global searches, as well as searches conducted in UAE.

2009 has been an interesting year for the UAE and people are looking to Google for access to information. Here are some of the fastest rising results this year in the UAE.

UAE Fastest Rising Queries
  1. Tribal wars game
  2. Gitex 2009
  3. netLog
  4. FlyDubai
  5. blackberry
  6. Ramadan 2009
  7. Twitter
  8. Star academy 6
  9. Etihad airways booking
  10. Kingfisher airlines booking
UAE Fastest Rising News Search
  1. Nadya-Suleman
  2. Slumdog-millionaire
  3. Fattah Al Islam
  4. Eritrea
  5. Afghanistan
  6. India elections 2009
  7. Tamil Nadu election
  8. Swine Flu
  9. VAT Fraud
  10. Oscar Winners 2009
UAE Fastest Rising - What Is....
  1. What is Twitter
  2. What is Facebook
  3. What is love
  4. What is spam
  5. What is recession
  6. What is life
  7. What is GDP
  8. What is 3G
  9. What is autism
  10. What is ISO
These are just a sample of a few of the lists generated for the UAE - to find out more about the top restaurants serached for and most popular universities take a look at the global site: google.com/zeitgeist2009

In addition to telling us what people are curious about in UAE, Google Zeitgeist tools also offer insight into which topics were of interest across the globe. Top search terms from over fifty countries appear on our Google Zeitgeist webpage, google.com/zeitgeist2009 -- from political candidates in South Africa, to news searches in the United Arab Emirates, to electronic brand searches in Hong Kong.

This year's global fastest rising searches show interest across pop culture (with the King of Pop at the helm, followed by searches for movie New Moon and singer Lady Gaga), social networking sites and new technologies such as Windows 7 and Torpedo Gratis.

Global Fastest Rising Queries
  1. Michael Jackson
  2. Facebook
  3. Tuenti
  4. Twitter
  5. Sanalika
  6. New moon
  7. Lady Gaga
  8. Windows 7
  9. Dantri.com.vn
  10. Torpedo Gratis
Zeitgeist Explained

Google reveals the internet "Zeitgeist" (German for "the spirit of the times") through an exploration of the billions of search queries we receive each year. In addition to the Year-end Zeitgeist, which highlights the top trends of 2009, we also have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. Google Zeitgeist tools can never be used to identify individual users because we rely on anonymized, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries occur over time. These tools are available year-round for you to play with, explore, and learn from: www.google.com/zeitgeist

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Google Celebrating UAE's 38th National Day with a Doodle

Google's UAE National Day Doodle


Google is showing its own way of celebrating UAE's 38th National Day by displaying today the special Google's UAE National Day Doodle.

The doodle is only used on the www.google.ae site and not pages specific to other countries and will remain online for the day.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Al Nassma: World's First Camel Milk Chocolate

Al Nassma: World's First Camel Milk Chocolate

On 22 October, Al Nassma announced the release of world's first camel milk chocolate to UAE market. Al Nassma, a Dubai company, has been working for the last two years with a team of international experts to release this unique Arabian product.

“This is a historic moment, we at Al Nassma are very proud to present the world’s first camel milk chocolate, the most sensational and tempting form of camel milk,” said Dr. Ali Ridha, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Nassma Chocolate LLC, who is joined in the board by chocolatiers and camel milk experts.

“Al nassma is a unique product that encapsulates the spirit of Arabia and Dubai. Our product development for this exclusive chocolate has been meticulous and we have chosen only the finest ingredients to make sure we develop a premium product” explains Martin van Almsick, General Manager, Al Nassma.

Al Nassma’s product line consists of 5 different flavored 70gm bars, including Arabia, delicately flavored with local spices; Dates, Macadamia Nut - Orange, 70% Cocoa and Whole Milk. The pralines range is delicately filled with pistachio, nougat and coffee cream. However, the jewel in the crown is the gold wrapped chocolate camel embodying the source of Al nassma, the camel and its milk. The hollow chocolate camels are available in 2 sizes, 130 and 730 gm.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Sha3biyat Al Cartoon 3: UAE Animated Show Reflecting The Mixture of Culture

Sha'beyat Alcartoon


I admit that I'm a big fan of the Arabic animated series (Sha3biyat Al Cartoon), specially the 3rd season which currently being aired on Sama Dubai TV channel during the month of Ramadan. The idea and characters of the show are by (Haydar Mohamed), a young talent from the UAE. The show is directed by (Amer Kokh).

Sha'beyat Alcartoon is a place existed once upon a time in the old Dubai. It was a collection of cardboard and wood manufactured homes and inhabited by several nationalities and cultures. The characters represent the mixture of cultures living in the UAE Society. Look at the following image to see what I mean ...

Sha3biyat Al Cartoon Characters

The following is one of the funniest episodes this year. It's about obtaining driving license in the UAE ...


The picture below shows (Haydar Mohamed) giving instructions to the voice cast of the show. You can see in the picture the director (Amer Kokh) ...

Sha'beyat Al Cartoon Crew

Now see and hear the cast making the voices of the characters ...


Mohamed Haydar is currently working on another animated series. He is also preparing an animated movie to be released to UAE cinemas.

Read Also:
Jahannam (Amer Kokh Blog)
Crazy Piranha (Amer Kokh 2D-3D Animation Company)
Sha'beyat Al Cartoon (Dubai Media Incorporated)
Interview of Mohamed Haydar (Alittihad Newspaper)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dubai City Tower: Proposal For a 2.4km-High Skyscraper

Dubai City Tower (also called ‘Vertical City’) is an architect’s proposal that began circulating in emails and at a skyscraper forum published in August 25th, but its origins are yet to be determined.

The professional project pitch details 400 habitable stories, topped by a 400m energy-producing spire, making it 2.4km high. The tower is proposed to be sited along the Arabian Gulf where part of the building could push into the ocean creating a marina and a destination for cruise ships and tourism. The proposed tower is organized into four 100 story "neighborhoods" connected via a vertical bullet train that quickly distributes people between Sky Plazas that separate the different vertical neighborhoods.

By comparison, Emaar’s Burj Dubai is largely predicted to be around 800m high and 160 floors.

A “mile-high tower” in Jeddah has been planned by Kingdom Holdings, while Nakheel is building Al Burj, which, according to project sources, will have a final height of 1.28km, although the developer is keeping the details under wraps.

I would not be surprised to see this project under construction. Only Dubai would build such crazy project. It is worth mentioning that there are many amazing architectural projects under planning and construction in Dubai.

The following are the marketing pages of the proposed project:

Dubai City Tower (p.1)Dubai City Tower (p.2)Dubai City Tower (p.3)Dubai City Tower (p.4)Dubai City Tower (p.5)Dubai City Tower (p.6)

Read Also:
DUBAI CITY TOWER | 1.5 Miles (2.4km) High | 400 Stories (SkyscraperPage Forum)
Vertical City, An Architect’s Dream (Khaleej Times)
Creostudio to unveil Vertical City (Project Dubai)
Dubai Future Projects (Realtyna)

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Darbb: Delivery Service From The People & By The People

Darrb

Darrb is an online community where people can ship items and get better rates and faster services than conventional ways. In an auction based marketplace, members work together to offer their competitive charges for shipping items to locations they choose.

Darrb, which means "way" in Arabic, is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. it is a platform that connects people willing to send items from one location to another, with people willing to deliver these items and earn an income as a return.

The following is a brief introduction by Murshid Aljanahi, co-founder of Darrb.com:



In order to ensure quality, competitive rates and speediness, senders are able to rank the service of the deliverers (Darrbers) once the deal is done. This ranking system allows public to see how other people, that have used the service of a specific Darrber, found the quality, price and speed of the delivery.

Who might be interested?
  • Individuals that have free time can earn money by offering their delivery service within an area they desire.
  • Individuals that drive on a daily basis to another city and/or remote location and would want to earn money by picking up a delivery from his place and drop it to an agreed destination.
  • Delivery and logistics companies that want to increase their operational marketshare would find people willing to send items from any country in the world.
  • People willing to send items with a lower cost than average delivery charges.
  • People looking for instant and fast deliveries to a local destination.
Through Darrb, people can compare the delivery services of a huge number of service providers to select the suitable, cost effective, quality provider.

Give it a try!

Read Also:
Darrb
Darrb Shipping 2.0 (ArabCrunch)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Landmark To Launch 10 Shariah-Compliant Hotels By 2010

Landmark Hotel in Dubai

Landmark Hotel Management LLC has announced that it will be launching 10 world-class Shariah-compliant hotels and serviced apartments in the UAE and KSA by the end of 2010. The move is in line with the company's strategy to cater to the increasing demand for Shariah-compliant projects in the Middle East.

Six of the ten upcoming projects will be launched in Dubai, two in Abu Dhabi, a four-star hotel in Fujairah and one hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. All the projects will operate on Islamic principles, which means that they are alcohol-free, serve halal food, and provide a percentage of their profit to charity.

S.M. Sadique, Managing Director of Landmark Hotel Group, highlighted that Landmark Hotel Management is keen on increasing the mass appeal of Shariah-compliant hotels. 'Presently, the general perception is that Shariah-compliant hotels are only meant for Muslims; which is certainly not the case. There are several non-Muslims, especially with families, who thoroughly enjoy the quieter and cleaner ambiance offered in Shariah-compliant hotels. Through our forthcoming projects we are determined to broaden the appeal of Shariah-compliant hotels across the Middle East.'

Read Also:
Landmark Hotel Group to launch ten Shariah-compliant hotels by 2010 (Emirates News Agency)

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Friday, June 13, 2008

REEM-B: UAE's First ‘Home-Grown' Humanoid Robot

REEM-B Robot

Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Pal Technology proudly announced yesterday the launch of Reem B, a prototype for the development of one of the most sophisticated humanoid service robots in the world, during an exclusive launch event on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.



Reem B is the next generation prototype of a humanoid robot designed and built by Pal Technology, a UAE based multi disciplined business established in 2000. The 60kg robot's customized hardware and software development makes it a truly autonomous, self-contained service robot, able to communicate with humans and perform a number of unique and sophisticated tasks.


Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, REEM-B, & Prof Noel Sharkey

Reem B is the evolution of the first humanoid robot REEM-A created by Pal Technology Robotics, REEM-B has the unique ability to map and self localize itself, both elements that distinctly set it apart from REEM-A. Although both robots can perform face recognition, object recognition, voice recognition and walking, Reem B, can also converse with humans, walk dynamically, recognize and grasp objects, accept voice commands, and even remind appointments.

"REEM-B is equipped with an infrared laser on its feet, allowing it to find its way and generate autonomously a map of its environment onto a computer screen which guests are able to witness in real time." said Davide Faconti, Team leader and coordinator of the REEM-B project.

REEM-B is also able to carry up to 25% of its weight, making it the world's strongest humanoid robot. In addition, the 1.47 meter tall robot has a fingered hand with 12 motors, and is able to maneuver up and down stairs, with added sensors to ensure that it avoids any obstacles. REEM-B also boasts the longest battery autonomy of any robot - an impressive 120 minutes.

"REEM-B is still at the prototype stage, but all robots in world are prototypes at the moment. This [project] picks up on a lot of skills that other robots have, to make an interesting collection of skills - I would say it is probably among the top ten in the world," said Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, who attended the event as a guest of Pal Technology.

During the exclusive launch event, Pal Technology presented Abu Dhabi University with a scholarship program for outstanding post graduate students, from the Computer Science and Robotics department. As part of this program, students will be given the opportunity to work with the team of experts behind the advancement of REEM-B and to assist first hand with Pal Technology's future research and development plans.

Read Also:
Pal Robotics (Official Website)
Abu Dhabi based company PAL Technology unveils latest generation humanoid Robot Reem B (Press Release)
Pal Technology launches new robot (Gulf News)
Brave new world of robotics (The National)
Robot with a difference! (Khaleej Times)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

UAE! What Are You Googling for?

Google Zeitgeist UAE

It's been a while since I looked into Google Zeitgeist. First, Zeitgeist is originally a German expression that means "the spirit of the age", literally translated as time (Zeit), spirit (Geist).

According to (about.com), Google Zeitgeist is a snapshot in time of what people are searching for on Google all over the world. It's an interesting way to people-watch, and since Google is the most-used search engine on the Web, it's a great way to get some behind the scenes (kind of) data and statistics on what people are searching for.

From the official Google Zeitgeist page: "Search statistics are automatically generated based on the millions of searches conducted on Google over a given period of time - weekly, monthly, and annually. With some help from humans, and a pigeon or two when they have time, these statistics and trends make their way from the depths of Google's hard drives to become the Google Zeitgeist report."

Now what is the UAE Googling for? Just about 6 months ago, Google Zeitgeist listed UAE as one of 42 countries to record its most 15 popular Google search keywords. The following are the results (from November 2007 to April 2008):




RankNov 07Dec 07Jan 08Feb 08Mar 08Apr 08
1الصكوك الوطنية
(National Bonds)
Emirates united Club سيارات
(cars)
standard chartered honda uae مصرف ابوظبي الاسلامي Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
2قصص
(Stories)
Arabic Dancereliance dodge charger تلفزيون دبي
(Dubai TV)
كير Care
3شطرنج
(Chess)
Wedding Cards
اشغال يدوية
(crafts)
compass krishna المحقق كونان detective Conan
4honda civic Xmas messages philippine star guns Proxy sites philippine star
5أغاني خليجه
(Gulf Songs)
life bed فيديو
(video)


(star academy TV show)
ستار اكاديمي
رسوم cartoons
6cheap flights watch movies icons عجائب الدنيا
(world wonder)


(designs)
تصاميم
اغاني شعبيه Local Songs
7dubai holding Italy intel صور للبنات
(girls photos)
philippine news الأم Mother
8NEWSالأخبار Dubai immigration ndianmasala قوس قزح
(rainbow)
NASA صور صدام حسين Sadam Hussein photos
9دروس الفوتوشوب
(PhotoShop lessons)
Jumeriah village
حرف
(H = the letter H)
white and black german shepard cartoon network games airlines
10مترجم نصوص
(Text translater)
UAE fourm for stock exchange kerala chat nokia n96 gulf news classifieds gym
11christmas cards Nissan Patrol air blue cyprus emirates driving institute صور فراشات Butterflies photos
12advertisement Honda accord
جواد العلي
(Jawad Al Ali)
download yahoo messenger sandra bullock cinestar cinemas
13puppies Hazza Bin Sultan nikon
اغاني اطفال
(kid's songs)
صور كلاب
(dog photos)
make up games
14خلفيات حلوه Screen savers King Chat
مسجات حلوة
(nice messages)
nissan patrol 2009 dubai world cup 2008 تعلم من أجل الامارات Learn for Emirates
15job in dubai nokia e90
العلم العراقي
(Iraqi Flag)
افلام اجنبي
(non-Arabic movies)
Angelina Jolie مصرف ابوظبي الاسلامي Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
So what can we tell from looking at the above keywords? The following are some of my observations:
  • Nov 07 (#1): National Bonds .... All of a sudden people want to know more about them, why?
  • Nov 07 (#6, #11, #13): Cheap Flights. Christmas cards, puppies .... Getting ready for Christmas vacation and preparing gifts, huh?
  • Dec 07: No Arabic keywords listed .... Where were the Arabs at this time?
  • Jan 08 (#5): Bed .... After Eid & Christmas, people are looking for beds ...
  • Jan 08 (#15): Iraqi Flag .... Why? Something changed about the Iraqi flag?
  • Feb 08 (#7): Girls photos .... Naughty!
  • Mar 08 (#4): Proxy Sites .... I can understand that.
  • Nov 07 & Mar 08 (#13 both): Puppies, dogs photos .... We have more dogs in UAE more than ever.
  • Apr 08 (#1, #15): Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank .... Suddenly more popular ... Go ADIB!
Read Also:
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (April 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (March 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (February 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (January 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (December 2007)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (November 2007)

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Republishing UAE Forever Cartoons

UAE Forever Cartoons

It was back in 1996 when I first had the idea of posting cartoons about the UAE online. I worked with my friend Tariq Alshemmari on this interesting project and quickly it became very popular. We named it (UAE Forever Cartoons). I remember how I used to spend long time discussing cartoons ideas and making sketches. Later I take the drawings from Tariq, scan them in GIF format using college scanner.

I closed my old site (UAE Forever) about 7 years ago but I still have it saved in my hard drive. Just yesterday it came to my mind the idea of republishing the cartoons for the sake of celebrating the 10th anniversary of halting the work on (UAE Forever Cartoons). One main reason I stopped is the fact that I graduated from college and I did not have free time and interest to post more cartoons in the future. Another reason is that me and Tariq went on our separate ways and could not work close together as we used to.

Today I'm republishing (UAE Forever Cartoons) for the following reasons:
  1. Mark the 10th anniversary of halting the work on (UAE Forever Cartoons).
  2. Sharing my college memories with Tariq and all the fans who used to visit the site regularly.
  3. Share my memories & "art" with my wife & kids.
  4. Possibly adding more cartoons in the future, who knows.
I would like to thank all those who participated in making (UAE Forever Cartoons) a huge success ... and those people are:
  • Tariq Alshemmari
  • Khalid Alkendi (who used to mail his drawings to me from Australia to the United Stated)
  • Dubai Roses.
  • Dubai Moon.
  • Nawaf Al Mahmood (my brother).
  • Mohammed Sami (from Egypt who is now a very well known cartoonist)!
So enjoy our old college years memories ... I wish they can come back.

Read Also:
UAE Forever Cartoons
Republishing UAE Forever Cartoons (UAE Goal)

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

ADNOC Self-Service Pumbs With Rewards (20 Fils Per Gallon)

Rahal ADNOC Smartcard

Today was my first day using self-service pumps at ADNOC petrol stations. I've been using ADNOC smartcard (Rahal) to fill my car for over a year now and I was wondering what benifit do I get over those who pay with cash or credit cards. Now motorists in Abu Dhabi, using self-service pumps at ADNOC will get rewards of 20 points worth 20 fils per gallon. It's about time! I know Kuwait has been using Self-Service pumps for over 10 years now.

Customers will have the option to redeem the points to purchase certain ADNOC products or services except petroleum or donate the money to charity, said a statement issued by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on Monday.

The company officially launched the self-service on Monday (April 14), the first of its kind in the UAE. A few pumps in 15 petrol stations across Abu Dhabi provide the self service, in addition to the regular service. Self-service will have a positive impact in reducing the cost of petroleum by way of collecting rewards for every gallon purchased, said the company.

The points stored on customers' Rahal Smart cards (the prepaid and e-cash smart cards) can be redeemed with a minimum of 1000 points worth Dh10. But customers cannot redeem it to purchase petroleum products. They can later redeem to purchase other products from ADNOC Oasis, Lube Change, Car Wash and many other services and products offered by ADNOC service stations at the end of each month.

Customers will also have an option to donate the points accumulated to the Red Crescent society as a contribution by the company and its customers towards the charitable projects. Customers who wish to donate can make a request to the petrol station staff with their Rahal cards.

The Self-Service option will be applicable to 'EPLUS' 91 and Special 95 petroleum and Super 98, and exclude Green Diesel.

Rahal Smart Card, ADNOC Distribution's pre-paid smart card, worth minimum Dh 200 ,is available on all petrol stations. This new service is the most recent of many such initiatives ADNOC Distribution has launched for its clients and customers. Some of the recent products released include E-Plus, Green Diesel 500.

Read Also:
Abu Dhabi motorists using self-service pumps get incentive (Gulf News)
ADNOC's self-service gimmick running on empty (Kipp Report)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

$14.3 Million For Abu Dhabi Car Number Plate "1"



Today, a man named Said Abdul Ghafour Khouri has agreed to pay AED 52.2 Million (US $14.3 Million) for Abu Dhabi license plate labeled "1" at an auction at the 7-star Emirates Palace Hotel here, making it the world's most expensive license plate.

The previous record was held by Abu Dhabi plate number 5, bought at auction for $6.8 million by stock broker Talal Khouri last year.

"From 1 to 10, these are the most expensive numbers," said Abdulla al Mannaie, managing director of Emirates Auctions. "Ten to 99 are the second category. On the other side, you look to numbers which is like 11, 22, 23 they are expensive because it carry [repeating digits].

Al Mannaie said vanity plates are good business -- an investment with more than a 20 percent annual return. Meanwhile, they're a status symbol on wheels.

Read Also:
$14.3M License Plate: Auction Sets World Record (ABC News)
Emirates Auction (Official Site)

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Friday, November 30, 2007

First UAE Made Car Starts From (Dhs 36,000)



A 150-horsepower, double cabin pick-up, produced in the UAE, has been introduced in the market by Gulf Automobile Industry Corp priced between Dh36,000 and Dh60,000, its chairman said on Wednesday.

"We have sourced the parts from Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, South Africa, China and Thailand. The 2,400cc engine of the pick-up is from Mitsubishi," Engineer Nasser Hamad Al Hajeri told Gulf News in an interview.

"The vehicle is made to international standards and meets all the specifications of GCC countries."

Al Hajeri said the vehicle has about 40 per cent local component, sourced from GCC and Arab countries and is being manufactured in a factory in Abu Dhabi.

Read Also:
First UAE made car to hit the roads (Gulf News)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Emirates Millionaire Show 2007: For The "Stinking" Rich In Dubai This December

World's Most Expensive Office Chair
World's Most Expensive Office Chair

Have you seen World's Most Expensive Office Chair? or the $620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)? or World's Most Expensive Computer Mouse? I have seen them all last year in Emirates Millionaire Show 2006. Now you will have the chance to experience even more amazing pieces of art for the "stinking" rich in Emirates Millionaire Show 2007.

Bahare Majd, Managing Director of Divine Events, said: 'The show is one of the highlights of the social calendar and it is in its right place at the DIFC, where every major global financial institution is represented, and will take place at the optimum time - December 13 -15 - at the end of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) week. The stars and celebrities attending DIFF will naturally come on to EMS and the institutions in the Centre have shown an enormous appetite for what the show has to offer.

'Effectively, EMS will become one of the centerpieces of a month-long celebration not only of film and entertainment but of luxury and the establishment of a major regional financial center. Yet at the heart of it will be one of the main humanitarian occasions in the region, the highlight of which will be a charity auction of rare and one-off luxury items.'

$620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)
$620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)

The special thing about this year's show is that all the proceeds of the auction, which will be managed by a top international auctioneer, and the cash raised through ticket sales when the show opens to the public on the final day, will go to UNICEF to reach out to thousands of children.

Among the exhibitors, Arabian Oud, the exclusive perfumier; Il Tocoo Divino, which is able to manufacture high fashion and haute couture items out of pure spun gold; Xexoo, maker of the most expensive iPods in the world; and the world's most expensive mouse creator Pat Says Now are all looking to showcase items that are certain to generate interest during the show.

Just to give an example, take the Arabian Oud. This company is selling "one of the rarest and most expensive types of Oud" wood for $30,000 (Dh110,000) per kilo. Also on sale will be Oud oil for $4,000 (Dh14,680) per 12ml. "If you smell the oil, you won't like it, but if you mix it with the skin, it becomes majestic," said Tobi Abi Rashed, Arabian Oud's director of international franchising and leasing. For those with slightly less cash to splash, there is a perfume spray with pieces of 24 carat gold that leaves small flakes of gold on the skin when it is sprayed. This retails for Dh1,200 per bottle.

The following are details about dates and place of the show:

Dates: 13th-15th December 2007
Official Opening: 13th @ 11 AM
Timings: 11 AM to 9 PM
Venue: Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai

Read Also:
Emirates Millionaire Show targets film stars and financiers with DIFC tie-up (AME Info)
Money, Money, Money (Gulf News)

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nakheel Designs Al Burj: 1,050m Tower in Dubai

Al Burj

Al Burj (The Tall Tower) project being planned by Nakheel will be 1,050 metres tall, comfortably exceeding the height of the rival Burj Dubai and making it the world’s tallest building.

Nakheel has kept the tower’s height a closely guarded secret as it waits for its more advanced rival, being developed by Emaar Properties, to reach its final height later this year. However, MEED has confirmed that design plans show the tower to be more than 1 kilometre tall, at 1,050 metres.

“At that height, the Tall Tower will definitely be taller than the Burj Dubai,” says a source working on the Burj Dubai. “Emaar has not announced the full height, but the contractors are working to plans for a 700-metre tower, and we expect its final height to be about 800 metres.”

The Burj Dubai became the world’s tallest building on 21 July, at 512 metres, and is due to be completed in 2008.

Designs for the Tall Tower show 228 floors, a four-level basement and one service sub-level – a total built-up area of 1.49 million square metres with 492,000 square metres of useable space. It will house offices, apartments and hotels. The top habitable floor will be at 850 metres, topped by a 200-metre central spire with a three-level function area and three service floors.

However, the location of the tower could change again. It was originally called Al-Burj and destined for Palm Jumeirah, before becoming part of the Dubai Waterfront scheme. Nakheel is still reviewing its options.

“The site has never been fixed and has always been under review in the context of the strategic plan for Dubai,” says a spokesperson for the developer.

According to industry sources, the tower has been forced to move to the Ibn Battuta mall area as it violated Department of Civil Aviation height restrictions because of its proximity to the new Dubai World Central airport at Jebel Ali. Nakheel denies this. “No height restrictions have been placed on Nakheel in the waterfront area by the Department of Civil Aviation,” says the spokesperson.

Tenders for the contract to build the tower are expected early in 2008. Meanwhile, several consultants and contractors are assisting Nakheel with the project. “No pre-construction contract has been awarded or considered at this stage,” says the spokesperson. “We are talking to large-scale contractors, including [Japan’s] Taisei Corporation, to assist with the buildability analysis of the early design of the superstructure.”

Read Also:
Nakheel designs 1km-high tower (MEED.com)
Nakheel designs 1km-high tower (Skyscraper Page)
Al Burj (Wikipedia)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Ajaaj: The First UAE Superhero

Ajaaj

"Ajaaj" is the first UAE superhero and the star of the first of its kind comic book series launched by Watani, the social development program. Ajaaj is a mysterious storm that can morph into a well-built young UAE man or a wall or even a bridge. He has the power to fly and solidify, as well as turn into fine dust and infiltrate tightly locked areas. He can also turn into a massive wall to stop a bullet fast train. Reporters around the UAE have pointed to the size of the damage this storm has left behind while kids say that this Ajaaj is a superhero who upholds the values of the UAE and saves people.

Ajaaj or sand storm is a superhero, which many people consider as merely a storm that originated in the UAE deserts. He is seen by two attentive twins, Shamma and Humaid, as a young man who carries the distinctive features of a UAE national and upholds the cultural values of its people. For many people including the parents of the two characters, Ajaaj is nothing but clouds of dust and is therefore completely misunderstood.

Ajaaj comic book series is based on the character of Ajaaj and located in the UAE in 2020. The books are produced monthly in hard cover version to offer the avid collectors an added value item to keep. The first issue of Ajaaj is available online and readers can download in both Arabic & English.

Read Also:
Ajaaj

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Paramount Theme Park To Be Opened In Dubai

Paramount

Real estate, hospitality and tourism investment and development company Ruwaad Holdings and Paramount Licensing Inc. announced Monday June 25, 2007 a long-term licensing agreement in connection with Ruwaad's planned development of a Paramount Pictures-branded theme park in the United Arab Emirates. The planned development would be part of a $2.5 billion destination envisioned to incorporate boutique hotels and resorts, large themed retail areas and adjoining lifestyle properties.

Under the licensing arrangement, International Destination Brands Limited, an affiliate of Ruwaad Holdings will be responsible for funding development and securing a feasible site for the large-scale destination. Paramount Licensing will not invest funds, but instead provide access to Paramount Pictures' intellectual property library -- one of the largest of any Hollywood studio -- and its intellectual capital through the oversight of planning and design aspects. Paramount Pictures' legendary catalogue includes Academy Award(R)-winning films such as Titanic, Braveheart and Forrest Gump, as well as classic and current hits including The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Charlotte's Web, Nacho Libre, and Dreamgirls (a co-production with DreamWorks Pictures).

The Paramount Pictures-branded theme park would be the entertainment hub of the family destination, featuring rides, shows, and attractions based on its rich Hollywood heritage and library of motion picture titles. The theme park would benefit from Paramount Pictures' stable of new titles, which would provide the basis for the development of new rides and attractions. It would also be the first-in-the-world to have a unique blend of Hollywood, Bollywood and Arabian motion picture entertainment content to address the family entertainment needs of existing and future global tourism trends.

Ruwaad and Paramount Licensing are also exploring other development opportunities in select countries within the Middle East and elsewhere.

Read Also:
Ruwaad and Paramount Licensing Announce Long-Term Licensing Arrangement in Connection with the Planned Creation of an Iconic Themed Destination in the United Arab Emirates (PR Newswire)
Paramount signs licensing pact for UAE theme park (Reuters)

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chillout: First Middle East Ice Cafe Opens In Dubai Today

Dubai Ice Cafe

Chillout ice cafe opens today in Dubai's Times Square Mall. It's the first ice restaurant in the Middle East. Almost everything at the restaurant is sculpted out of ice. Diners will sit on ice benches or chairs, eat at ice tables, out of ice plates, drink from ice glasses served from a bar made of ice.

A Dh9 million (US $2.45 million) investment, the restaurant is Dubai-based Sharaf Group’s enterprise while technical inputs came from Canada-based Iceculture Inc, who are credited with building ice lounges around the world, informed a spokesperson for Sharaf Group.

“We want Chillout to be part of people’s lifestyle and not just a unique experience that will fade away with time,” he said.

“It was a special operation which took a year and a half to carry out.”

The 2,400 sqft restaurant has three areas. The lobby and the lounge areas are separated by what is called the Buffer Zone. Once in the lobby, visitors will be given thermal gear to protect themselves from the chilly conditions. It comprises a hooded parka (a heavy jacket), disposable woollen gloves and a pair of shoes.

Visitors are advised to first spend a few minutes in the Buffer Zone to get acclimatised. The temperature in the buffer zone is set at 5 degrees Celsius which gives the body time to adjust to the sharp drop in temperature in the dining area.

Read Also:
Frost Time In Dubai's Ice Cafe (Xpress Life)
All-ice restaurant ready to serve (Lakeshore Advance)

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

UAE Economy Minister Launches Her Own Fragrance

Sheikha Lubna Fragrance

Economy Minister Sheikha Lubna Al-Qassemi, the first woman minister in the United Arab Emirates, has launched her own perfume with part of the proceeds going to charity, the Khaleej Times newspaper reported today.

Sheikha Lubna unveiled the fragrance - "Mukhalat Sheikha Lubna" - at the Dubai branch of the luxury Saks Fifth Avenue store.

The event was held recently with several VIP guests present, including Shaikha Lubna and her associates, Saks Clients and members of the media. 20 per cent of sales made on Mukhalat Shaikha Lubna will be donated to the Friends of Cancer Patients, a charitable organisation based in Sharjah.

“Fragrance is known to stir positive emotions in a woman’s heart — the new mukhalat will stir even more emotion as 20 per cent of the sales will be donated to the Friends of Cancer Patients," said Shaikha Lubna.

Shaikha Lubna’s patronage comes as a form of support to young national women entrepreneurs. 'Mukhalat Shaikha Lubna' is the creation of Al Tanhat Company that is specialized in producing and mixing Arabian perfumes.

The perfume unit price is AED 1,000 (US$ 368)

Read Also:
The scent of a strong woman (Khaleej Times Online)
UAE minister launches her own perfume (France 24)

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sheikh Mohammed Promotes Regional Human Development With $10 Billion Endowment

Sheikh Mohammed Launches Human Development Foundation

His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, launched yesterday the 'Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation', a major initiative to promote human development and provide hope and opportunity by investing in education and knowledge-development in the region. His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed, made the announcement in a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum for the Middle East being held in Jordan.

The Foundation, which will be launched with an endowment of Dhs. 37 billion, aims to open doors for future generations of leaders of the region to shape their future by equipping them with world-class knowledge and education.

The Foundation will source and manage a wide range of initiatives including the establishment of high-quality research programs and research centers and the provision of scholarships to students to attend leading universities and institutes. It will also support research in universities across the region. In addition, the Foundation will provide leadership programmes for youth in government, the private sector and in non-governmental organizations. Scholarships and research grants will also be given to authors and researchers in the region.

His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed, said "It gives me great pleasure to announce a personal initiative aimed at building a knowledge-based society throughout the region."

His Highness stressed that the Foundation will undertake concrete initiatives to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the region, thus creating significant new employment opportunities and provide hope for the region's youth.

His Highness said that 'We have a population where half its members are under the age of 20, and it is our responsibility to develop this human capital to the best of our ability. We have the vision and the will to set the stage for the benefit of future generations through the development of this Foundation, which will provide the prerequisites for moving our region forward.'

Read Also:
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launches foundation to promote human development with DHS 37 billion endowment (AME Info)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Abu Dhabi Mosques Go High Tech



Mosques in Abu Dhabi emirate will go high-tech with the introduction of an electronic network system, the National Consultative Council (NCC) was informed yesterday.

The implementation of the network system, which include electronic screens displaying prayer and prayer call (Azan) timings, titles of Friday sermons and Islamic lectures held at various places in the emirate, is currently under way, a NCC committee said in a report.

The report was prepared in consultation with the General Authority of Islamic and Awqaf Affairs.

The authority will also introduce MP3 devices for recording Friday sermons and lectures, as well as store them in electronic archives which will be available on the internet.

Read Also:
Mosques go high-tech (Gulf News)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dubai Unsung Heroes Honored By UAE Vice President

Dubai Unsung Heroes Recognized

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President & Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, holds the hand of Sayed Sulaiman Makdoom, a Dubai Municipality employee, who won an award in the Unsung Heroes category at the Dubai Government Excellence Programme Awards ceremony at Madinat Jumeirah.

Sayed Sulaiman Makdoom is one of 26 unsung heroes in Dubai honored by the Vice President of the UAE.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

$6.86 Million For Abu Dhabi Car Number Plate "5"

Abu Dhabi Car Number Plates Auction

A UAE businessman yesterday paid Dh25.2 million ($6.86 million) for the car number plate “5” – a new world record price for a registration number. The proceeds will help traffic accident victims and people with special needs.

Talal Khoury handed over the amount for the Abu Dhabi plate at the emirate’s first auction of special car numbers. He intends to use the plate on his red Rolls-Royce.

The entire event raised a total of Dh76 million, all of which will go to good causes, said Major Suhail Al Khaili, Head of Abu Dhabi Police’s Vehicle Licencing Section.

Khoury, the 35-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Al Awael Holding, said: “Even if the price went up to Dh50m, I would have bought the plate without hesitation because the cause was so sublime.

“Although I am pleased and like the number, the real reason I paid this much to get the plate was because the proceeds will help rehabilitate people with special needs and those injured in accidents.

“Supporting these types of projects and helping integrate such people into society, is a social and patriotic duty. Those who can afford any amount should not hesitate to pay – helping others live as normal a life as possible.” The starting price for the plate was Dh100,000 and the figure swiftly climbed higher amid intense bidding from buyers.

The hammer finally fell after 20 minutes with Khoury, triumphant. He also bought four other plates at the sale – numbers 45, 55, 76 and 55555. Khoury already owns two very special Dubai plates – 45 and 55.

Al Khaili said 700 bidders from different countries took part in the auction for 41 special number plates.

“It was beyond expectations in terms of participant numbers and the money generated,” he added.

The event at the Emirates Palace Hotel was the first of a series of auctions.

The “5” plate number was the only single-digit on offer – others will go under the hammer at future sales. Also snapped up were six two-digit, 10 three-digit plates and 12 plates each of four digits and five digits.

“We announced the numbers available a month ago to give all parties a chance to bid,” said Al Khaili.

“The next auction is scheduled for June 5.

“Currently, bidders must attend the sales personally, but in the future buyers will be able to take part simultaneously via the internet.”

Read Also:
Dh25m Number Plate (Emirates Today)
Car plate auction raises Dh100m (Gulf News)



Brought to you by:

As far as we know, rental car companies don't charge for their license plates, certainly not as much as this fellow paid for his. For Enterprise coupons and Budget Rent a Car coupons, get on the Internet and find great online coupons. Netflix deals available, too!


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Friday, May 11, 2007

Pearl Of Allah : $60 Million World's Largest Pearl To Be Sold

Pearl of Allah
Victor Barbish, Founder, CEO and Chairman of The Pearl For Peace Foundation, holds a replica of The Pearl of Lao-Tse, aka The Pearl of Allah at his home in Colorado Springs in January 2005.

Shrouded in legend and entangled in a lawsuit, the 14-pound gem known as the Pearl of Allah moved a step closer to an eventual sale this week after a key court ruling.

The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a $32.4 million wrongful death judgment against the estate of Colorado Springs bar owner Joe Bonicelli, who had bought a share of the pearl.

The ruling clears the way for a probate court to settle Bonicelli's affairs. Three adult children of Bonicelli's first marriage, who filed the lawsuit, have said they want the pearl sold to pay the judgment.

Appraisers have valued the pearl at up to $60 million, said Richard Tegtmeier, a lawyer representing the three. It is believed to be the largest pearl in the world.

The Pearl of Allah, is the largest known pearl in the world, measuring 9.45 inches in diameter and weighing 6.4 kilograms (14.1 lb) or 128,000 pearl grains. The 2006 appraised value is $61,850,000.

The pearl was extracted from a giant clam off the coast of Palawan, on 7 May 1934 by a Muslim Filipino diver. Wilburn Cobb, the son of an American mining engineer, spent his boyhood in the Philippines. In 1934 while he was hunting in the Philippines near a fishing village, he was a witness to a native diver who had been seized by the jaws of a giant clam, which in turn contained an enormous pearl with the image of a turbaned face thought to resemble Mohammad. The Muslim tribal chief labeled the treasure "The Pearl of Allah". At the time of discovery of the pearl, Cobb offered to buy the pearl from the tribal chief. The tribal chief rejected the offer saying that nothing paid for by the sacrifice of a human life could be bought with money. Cobb returned to the village two years later to find the chief's son dying of malaria. Cobb saved his life and as a token of gratitude the chief gave the pearl to Mr. Cobb.

In 1939, Cobb returned to America with the largest pearl in the world. In New York City the pearl was authenticated by Dr. Roy Waldo Miner of the American Museum of Natural History. Victor Barbish learned of The Pearl in the 1970's and had offered to purchase The Pearl from Mr. Cobb for $5 million dollars and was refused. A year later Mr. Barbish and his partners Henry Kyle, Robert Pease, Johnny Weissmuller, and Rudy Vallee, offered Mr. Cobb $10 million dollars and again he rejected the offer. Mr. Cobb told Mr. Barbish that no amount of money could buy something whose value is priceless.

After Cobb's death in 1980, his family sold the pearl to Peter Hoffman, a jeweler in Beverly Hills, for US $200,000 through probate court. Headlines across the world's newspaper hailed it as a bargain considering its fame and appraisal by famed pearl dealer Lee Sparrow and his San Francisco Gem Laboratory for $4,200,000 at the time of the sale. Appraisals since have valued the pearl from $42,000,000 to $59,000,000 based on it being a unique world treasure. Victor Barbish acquired half ownership from Hoffman at the time of the sale in 1980. He purchased the pearl for his daughter, Gina Diane Barbish.

Pearl of Allah

Over the years Mr. Barbish received various offers to purchase the pearl. One of the initial offers was presented by Mohammad Ben, a Lybian businessman, on behalf of three Mid-East investors. Mr. Barbish was led to believe these were legitimate business men who were willing to purchase the pearl for $40 million. Mr. Barbish received a deposit of $12 million but subsequently found out the buyers included a drug dealer and an illegitimate arms dealer. Mr. Barbish rejected the sale and returned the deposit.

Subsequent offers to purchase the pearl were made by an intermediary of Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the Philippines. The president's fall from power made the sale impossible. Mr. Barbish was also approached by Mohammand Faed, who was reportedly a representative of Saddam Hussein. Latif Faed, who was believed to represent Bin Laden, also approached Mr. Barbish to purchase the pearl.

Read Also:
Pearl of Allah (Wikipedia)
$60M Pearl of Allah to be sold (Denver Post)
14-pound Pearl of Allah moves a step closer to eventual sale after court ruling (Pravda)
Bin Laden bedazzled Saddam with jewel (WorldNetDaily)

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ibrahim Sharaf: First UAE National To Travel To Space



Virgin Galactic announced on Wednesday that Sharaf Group chairman, Ibrahim Sharaf, has signed up for the inaugural Virgin Galactic space flight, which could make him the very first Emirati to hit warp speed.

Established by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Virgin Galactic, aims to develop space tourism with the eventual goal of making it accessible, and affordable, for almost everyone - something they hope to achieve by the end of the next decade.

Sharaf Travel, announced on Tuesday that they will be the UAE general sales agent for Virgin Galactic. Sharaf is paying $200,000, for the zero-gravity trip which will take place sometime in 2009.

The launch site will likely be in the southwestern United States, with each trip featuring three hours in space.

"I am very excited about going to space with Virgin Galactic, it’s a once in a lifetime experience for me. Today, sub-orbital journeys represent the ultimate travel, if not, life experience," said Sharaf.

"I am confident with the leadership and vision of Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group’s commitment to technology, innovation, safety and customer experience, that sub-orbital flights are just a stepping stone for what will come in the future. I’m so privileged to join with many others to be a part of creating space travel history."

Sharaf has visited the North Pole on two separate occasions, and in another of his extreme adventures he took a 24 day journey across Siberia.

On his trip to the final frontier Sharaf will be accompanied by a host of famous faces. First on the list are Sir Richard Branson and his children, Sam and Holly, whilst the other intrepid travelers include, Bryan Singer, Director of Superman returns and actress Victoria Principle.

Read Also:
Ibrahim Sharaf to be first Emirati in space (Gulf News)

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Universal City Dubailand: Universal Studios Theme Park In Dubai By 2010

Universal City Dubailand

Marvel decided to place a Theme Park in Dubailand last March, Universal Studios is now planning to get its share in presence in Dubailand as well.

Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, launched yesterday the 'Universal City Dubailand', developed by Tatweer, a 22 million sq ft development within Dubailand with an investment to exceed AED 8 billion (US $2.2 billion).

The centrepiece of the development Universal Studios Dubailand, a specialized theme park, will be amongst the world's largest theme parks covering an area of 6.5 million sq ft. The city will also include hotels, retail outlets, commercial offices and residential compounds.

Thomas L. Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, said: 'The vision of the leadership of Dubai, the investor-supportive environment and the convenient geographic location of Dubailand, combined with other strategic and iconic offerings, all contribute in making Dubai our location of choice for our first branded theme park in this region.'

Universal City Dubailand consists of more than 4000 luxurious hotel rooms, 100 restaurants, alongside a range of retail outlets. It will also include an integrated area of commercial office space as well as a distinguished residential area in the heart of the action.

Universal City Dubailand is planned to open in 2010

Read Also:
Hamdan bin Mohammed launches 'Universal City Dubailand' project at AED 8 billion (AME Info)
Universal Studios Theme Park Planned For Middle East (Local 6 News)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dubai Will Build & Export Rotating Pre-Fabricated Units For Rotating Towers

Dubai Rotating Tower

Dubai will be home to and international hub for an innovative skyscraper, which will keep changing its shape and generate surplus energy from the wind as well as the sun.

The ’tower in motion’ is a revolutionary project based on “Dynamic Architecture”, a new concept introduced by Florentine architect David Fisher. The project has generated considerable interest all over the world even before its launch, as a trend-setting architecture.

Details of the unique building design, production of clean energy and the innovative technology that distinguishes this milestone in contemporary architecture were presented to an audience that included local and international media at the Burj Al Arab yesterday.

The new building will be the first skyscraper “produced” with industrial systems process: in fact, 90% of the building will be constructed as modules in an industrial plant and, then, assembled on the central core, the only part that will be built “on-site” using traditional techniques.

Dubai will be home to this revolutionary architecture in all sense as the pre-fabricated units for the tower will be produced in a facility set up in Jebel Ali. These units will then be shipped to 11 other major cities including Moscow, Milan, New York and Tokyo where similar towers will come up following Dubai.

Each floor of the tower will consist of 12 modules that will arrive at the job site completely finished and with electrical, plumbing as well as air-conditioning systems ready for use. The modules will then be mechanically assembled at the rate of one floor every seven days.

This provides a series of important advantages: first of all, the application of industrial quality control techniques to the finished product, the possibility of customizing individual apartments, reduced production times and costs and, last but not least, reducing the risks of accidents and injuries on the job site. In fact, production and installation will require only 90 technicians and workers on the site, as against over 2,000 for a comparable traditional building.

Dubai Rotating Tower

Another innovation that distinguishes the tower of endless shapes is its dynamic use of space, which not only adapts to its surroundings but also to the tenant’s needs and, why not, the tenant’s caprices. Thanks to a mechanism that allows each floor to rotate autonomously by virtue of voice activated technology, it will be possible to select the view from the window at any moment, deciding how to use the daylight or to let it rotate slowly as viewers enjoy the surroundings. The external shape and profile of the tower can also change constantly, letting a new way to see architecture come to life: non motionless anymore, but dynamic.

But that's not all. The tower is also a “green” building that generates electricity for itself and five other equivalent buildings. The secret is 48 wind turbines mounted horizontally between one floor and the next, and the photovoltaic cells located on the roofs of the individual apartments. Never before has a building been designed to produce so much more energy than it consumes.

When completed, the skyscraper will have 68 floors and will be 313 meters (1,027 feet) high. Built in association with local entrepreneurs, the tower will comprise a 6-star hotel, offices and apartments of various sizes besides five villas on the top floor. Each of the villas will have designated parking on the same floor with vehicles brought up and down in special elevators. The roof of the “Penthouse” villa will also have a swimming pool, a garden and an Arabian majlis.

For a quick return home, the tower will have a retractable heliport, a platform that will extend from the shell of the building at the 64th floor at the moment of landing, hus maintaining the ergonomics of the tower.

Since such features calls for a high level of integration between concept, design, planning, manufacturing of components and construction, many of the world’s leading companies and professionals have been contracted for this project. Some of these companies, though globally renowned and trusted in their core area of expertise, are working in a construction-related project, and that too an integrated one, for the first time, since they are aware that this is going to be the future of architecture.

The project has already aroused intense interest among both institutional and private investors. The first apartments could be delivered to buyers in a full ten months earlier than traditional delivery times.

Sales for the skyscraper, the construction of which will involve a total investment of $350 million, will be handled by Gowealthy, leading real estate company in Dubai.

“Dynamic architecture is a total revolution in the 3,000 year history of man building homes. This architecture is unique in that it is so close to daily life, marks the industrialisation of buildings thus impacting hugely on the real estate sector, and generates its own clean energy for the building. The concept was born in the city of Renaissance (Florence) and now it will come to life for the first time in Dubai, the city of future,” Fisher said.

Read Also:
Italian creativity brings new era of architecture to Dubai (Maktoob Business)
Plant to build rotating tower's pre-fab units (Gulf News)

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Burj Dubai Sets World Record With 120 Floors

Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai, already the tallest structure in the Middle East and Europe, now has more floors than any building in the world.

Currently at 120 storeys and 422.5 metres high, the Emaar Properties building is also one of the five tallest structures in the world.

Dubai's iconic tower is now taller than the Empire State Building (381 metres) in New York and the John Hancock Centre (344 metres) in Chicago, two of only five completed buildings that have 100 storeys or more.

To date, 304,800 cubic metres of reinforced concrete and 59,200 tonnes of reinforcing steel have been used in the construction of Burj Dubai.

Burj Dubai

"Burj Dubai is setting a new record with every passing day - in terms of height and the number of storeys," said Mohammad Al Abbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.

Designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Burj Dubai is being constructed by high-rise experts Samsung Corporation of South Korea. Turner Construction International is the project and construction manager.

When completed, Burj Dubai will be the tallest building in the world in all four categories recognised by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which compiles and ranks buildings on the basis of spire height, the highest occupied floor, roof height and pinnacle height.

Burj Dubai forms the epicentre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a Dh73 billion mixed-use project featuring residences, commercial space, hospitality projects and several retail outlets.

120th Floor Sold for $13.7 Million

The 120th floor has been sold to Italian investors for Dh50 million (US $13.6 million) at last week's International Property Show. The following shows other floors' prices:

Floor Area (ft2) Price (million)
----- ---------- ---------------
120 11,200 Dh50 / $13.6
117 11,200 Dh22 / $6
116 11,200 Dh23 / $6.3
115 11,100 Dh22 / $6


Read Also:
Burj Dubai now has more floors than any building in the world (Gulf News)

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Marvel Super Heroes Part of New Dubai Theme Park In 2011

MARVEL Super Heroes

Al Ahli Group and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced Tuesday March 20 a partnership that will bring Marvel’s full library of Super Heroes to Dubai for a major new theme park destination being developed by AAG.

The Al Ahli Group is poised to bring the region’s first and only global theme park destination directly to the heart of the Emirates. AAG and Marvel are also in initial stages of discussions about additional projects throughout the greater Pan Arabia region.

Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Group commented “Marvel is a brand that is recognized globally via its ever expanding list of ‘Super Hero’ characters. Now, it won’t be much longer until the children in Pan Arabia and the world can experience new and exciting rides with Marvel’s Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and many other Super Heroes right here in the UAE."

The Project will open in 2011 with a direct investment of over $1 billion USD.

Read Also:
Al Ahli Group & Marvel Entertainment Announce Partnership To Bring Marvel's Renowned Super Heros To Major New Theme Park In Dubai (Marvel Press Release)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hooters Opening In Dubai Soon

Hooters

I just found out that U.S. restaurant chain Hooters is planning to open at least one of its famous Hooters restaurant in Dubai sometime in the next 2 years. This is what Reuters reported yesterday ...

"The opening of Hooters in Israel is part of the chain's global expansion. Privately held Hooters said it planned to open 17 restaurants in Colombia, Dubai, Guam, New Zealand and India in the next two years."

With all the things taking place in Dubai, I don't know ... but I'm not surprised any more ...

Read Also:
Restaurant chain Hooters is heading for Holy Land (Reuters)
Hooters Opening In Dubai Soon (UAE Community Blog)

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Dubai Number Plate Sold For $850,000

E15 Dubai Car Plate Number

A Dubai car plate number (E15) was sold in an auction held by Dubai Roads & Transport Authority for AED 3,120,000 (US $850,000). The owner of the plate number is Aqeel Saeed Abdulla, who also owns other special plate numbers such as (27, 68, 72, 234, 126, 127, 128)

The two digit number plate E-15 which had a reserve price of Dh 270,000 emerged the most expensive plate being bought at Dh 3.12 million by a Dubai businessman Aqeel Sayed Abdallah after a tense scramble for the same number by over fifteen bidders.

The two-hour bidding process raised a total of Dh 28,950,000 for RTA after all the numbers were sold out.

Highest bidders:
  • E-15 emerged the most expensive at Dh 3.12 million which had a reserve price of Dh 270,000.
  • F-30 at Dh 2.20 million with a reserve price of Dh 270,000.
  • F-80 at Dh 1.69 million with a reserve price of Dh 270,000.
  • F-70 at Dh 1.68 million with a reserve price of Dh 270,000.
  • E-21 at Dh 1.75 million with a reserve price of Dh 250,000.
  • E-31 at Dh 1.60 million with a reserve price of Dh 250,000.
The cheapest number is F-44440 which was sold at Dh 33,000 after a reserve price of Dh 10,000.

Read Also:
You may get your chosen number on a plate! (The Emirates Evening Post)
Dubai, $850,000 number plate (AME Info)

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

UAE's First Krispy Kreme Opens In Dubai Despite High Obesity Rate

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
imagesofcolorado.com

US doughnut and coffee chain Krispy Kreme opened its first UAE outlet in the Deira City Center shopping mall yesterday, the first of seven stores planned for the country this year.

The North-Carolina-based food company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, aims to roll out 100 stores throughout the Middle East in the next five years.

According to the company's nutritional webpage, one Krispy Kreme glazed sour cream doughnut boasts 340 calories, and an original glazed doughnut has 4 grams of trans fats. Some varieties have as much as 7 grams (apple fritters). Trans fats are known to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes and are also linked to obesity and liver dysfunction.

The doughnuts store opens despite the fact that the UAE currently holds one of the highest obesity rates in the world - higher than the United States - because of easy access to high calorie foods and a sedentary lifestyle. One in five adults in the region also suffers from one of the many obesity-related illnesses, diabetes. In the UAE, 74% of women are obese or overweight according to a 2005 report by the International Obesity Task Force, a London-based think tank.

The first Krispy Kreme outlet opened in 1937 after founder Vernon Carver Rudolph secured a doughnut recipe from a French chef- Krispy Kreme produces 7.5 million doughnuts daily throughout the world. - 14 million doughnuts will have been produced in the UAE's seven planned stores by the end of the year.- In 2001 the company opened its first store outside the United States near Toronto, Canada.

Read Also:
Krispy Kreme to open amid continuing obesity concerns (ArabianBusiness.com)
Krispy Creme gives Dubai a bite of its doughnuts (Emirates Evening Post)
Krispy Kreme outlet opens tomorrow (Gulf News)
UAE to formulate anti-obesity plan (Gulf News)
UAE's First Krispy Kreme Opens In Dubai Despite High Obesity Rate (UAE Community Blog)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty Launched In UAE

Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

Following the worldwide success of its award-winning ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, Dove is focused on further breaking the beauty myth for Middle East women with the launch of its 2007 regional campaign.

The new campaign is based on findings of a global study, commissioned by Dove in ten countries around the world showing that Saudi women were among 88% of women (18 to 64 yrs) and 92% of girls (15 to 17 yrs) who wanted to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. The survey also revealed that this affected their self-esteem with 70% of the Saudi women surveyed stating that they often felt bad about themselves due to weight and body image, and 30% - from as young as 15 years - old considering plastic surgery.

“For too long, beauty has been defined by narrow stereotypes offering modern women a prescribed view of how they ‘should’ look. Modern media, excessive make-up and technology can distort the natural beauty that we believe all women possess. Dove believes real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages and that every woman should feel proud about the way they look. That is why Dove has launched the Campaign for Real Beauty - to change this thinking and offer in its place a broader and healthier view of beauty that all women can own and enjoy every day,” added Ms Tassabehji.

The regional campaign will feature:
  • A TV and print campaign exposing the ‘trickery’ behind making many models found in the media, look ‘unnaturally beautiful’. Titled the Evolution of Beauty, this key Dove campaign got the world talking when it was launched last year and generated extensive debate within the media and the worldwide public.
  • A key activity providing women with a voice to state their views about beauty and their idea of what beauty really is. The unique opportunity calls on women from the Middle East to write about someone they find beautiful and the reasons they see a different kind of ‘real beauty’. Participants could be treated to a luxury five-star spa treatment for two at one of three venues: Six Senses Spa, Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE; Chamelle Beauty Salon in Jeddah, KSA; or Luthan Health Spa in Riyadh, KSA.
  • A dedicated website - www.campaignforealbeauty.ae - providing key information about the portrayal of beauty in the public arena.
  • Shopping centre and select venue exhibitions and educational campaigns

I hope this campaign will work on changing the way we think of beauty and not just believe what the media is feeding us ...

Read Also:
Dove Exposes the Beauty Myth to Reveal ‘Real Beauty’ to Women in the Middle East (Dove Campaign Press)

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Halliburton Moves From Houston To Dubai

Halliburton Moves From Houston To Dubai

Halliburton, the oil services company formerly headed by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, is moving its headquarters from Texas to Dubai.

The company said it hoped the move to the United Arab Emirates would help it expand its business in the Middle East. Halliburton won valuable contracts in Iraq following the US-led invasion of 2003, some of which were awarded without competitive bidding.

The oil giant will keep an office in Houston but the posts of chairman, president and chief executive will be based in Dubai. Chief Executive Dave Lesar, speaking at a conference in Bahrain, confirmed that he would be relocating.

"As the CEO, I'm responsible for the global business of Halliburton in both hemispheres and I will continue to spend quite a bit of time in an airplane as I remain attentive to our customers, shareholders and employees around the world," he said. "Yes, I will spend the majority of my time in Dubai."

In 2006, Halliburton made profits of $2.3bn on revenues of $22.6bn. Last month it announced a 40% decline in fourth-quarter profit.

The move of Halliburton's corporate base from Houston to Dubai is a stark example of the industry's shift in power from North America. The company is moving closer to the oil fields of the Middle East and Africa, and its big national oil firms that control financing, exploration and production.

Read Also:
Halliburton plans move to Dubai (BBC News)
Halliburton to move headquarters from Houston to Dubai (Houston Chronicle)
But why Dubai? It's closer to action (Houston Chronicle)

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Caracal: First UAE Small Arms Manufacturer

Caracal Pistol


Caracal International
, the UAE's first defence hardware manufacturing firm, has been launched to tie in with the ongoing Idex 2007 event in Abu Dhabi. Hamad Khalifa Al Neyadi, the MD of Caracal, said the firm is set to manufacture its first products, the Caracal F and Caracal C pistols. The company has also registered more than ten patents worldwide, in order to develop further products in the future.

Caracal has also won a Dhs18 million deal to supply the UAE Armed Forces with a total of 10,000 pistols.

Read Also:
Caracal (Product Page)
Caracal catapults UAE into small arms manufacturers' league (Gulf News)
Arms manufacturer for UAE (AME Info)
UAE military signs deals worth Dhs 775 million (AME Info)

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

First Ever World Map of Happiness Produced

World Map of Happiness
click above for larger image

Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology, analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness.

Participants in the various studies were asked questions related to happiness and satisfaction with life. The meta-analysis is based on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people worldwide. For this study data has also been analysed in relation to health, wealth and access to education.

Download World Map of Happiness (146KB)

“We were surprised to see countries in Asia scoring so low, with China 82nd, Japan 90th and India 125th. These are countries that are thought as having a strong sense of collective identity which other researchers have associated with well-being.", said Adrian White.

"It is also notable that many of the largest countries in terms of population do quite badly. With China 82nd, India 125th and Russia 167th it is interesting to note that larger populations are not associated with happy countries."

“The frustrations of modern life, and the anxieties of the age, seem to be much less significant compared to the health, financial and educational needs in other parts of the World. The current concern with happiness levels in the UK may well be a case of the 'worried well'."

It is worth mentioning that the UAE is among the happiest nations in the world and the happiest among all the Arab countries:

Rank Nation SWLS Score
22 UAE 247
30 OMAN 243
31 SAUDI ARABIA 243
33 BAHRAIN 240
38 KUWAIT 240
45 QATAR 233
79 TUNISIA 213
91 YEMEN 207
108 LIBYA 190
113 LEBANON 187
114 MOROCCO 187
128 PALESTINE 180
134 ALGERIA 173
141 JORDAN 170
142 SYRIA 170
150 DJIBOUTI 160
151 EGYPT 160
173 SUDAN 120
Read Also:
A Global Projection of Subjective Well-being: A Challenge to Positive Psychology? (University of Leicester)
First Ever World Map of Happiness Produced (PhysOrg.com)

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Upside Down Tower in Dubai

Upside DOwn Tower in Dubai
click above for larger image

"Amlak Al Madina Real Estates" announced the launch of the (Upside Down Tower) in Dubai with a total cost of AED 800 million (US $218 million). The tower consists of two buildings next to each other one of them is an upside down replica of the other.

Each tower is a 28-floor with an area of 30,000 squared foot. Not only that the tower will look inverted from the outside but it will look inverted from the inside as well. Mentioned examples are palm trees, other indoor plants, water fountains, elevators, and even the numbering sequence of floors.

The construction of the tower will start October 2007 and expected to end in October 2010.

Read Also:
Upside Down Tower in Dubai (UAE Community Blog)

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