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  • Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Dubai - this time last year...

    It's been a year since the Dubai buckled, announced that they were in trouble and that there was way too much debt that they couldn't repay. In the words of who want's to be a millionaire - It needed a lifeline. In the end, Dubai phoned a friend - and the rest is history. But here we are one year on, and Dubai continues to feel pain. Last year, we talked about the Dubai Debt Damage and the Double Dip. That double dip didn't transpire, but let's face facts. The world is in trouble. Dublin got a bailout, and more European countries will follow.



    The Dubai headlines of the tail end of 2009 were as notorious as the Lehman crash - and indeed stockmarkets plunged - but it is now etched in history as the end of excess. Dubai, today, is a different place to 10 years ago. For years, people couldn't understand how Dubai was sustaining itself. There were talks of bubbles, and then the bubble burst.

    But Dubai continues to run. It may be a city without the occupancy, but the heart still beats, but may just a little fainter. Dubai didn't quite get where it wanted to be. It sprinted as hard as it could, and ultimately didn't reach the finish line. And all the time, in the background chugged Abu Dhabi. And, as with the fable - slow and steady wins the race. Dubai was not all conquering, but it still is an amazing achievement - a modern metropolis, built out of sand.

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    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Burj Khalifa from Space

    Ever wanted to know what the Burj Khalifa in Dubai looked like from a satellite? Voila. From so far above, it fades to nothingness, apart from the shadow...




    From New Scientist

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    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Ferrari World

    It's the largest indoor them park and has the fastest rollercoaster in the world. It's going to be a driver of tourism for Abu Dhabi and become a must do theme park for little boys and big boys who are man enough...and the girls as well!

    It looks like Alonso and Massa enjoyed Formula Rossa - obviously Alonso is not smiling now!



    And the world seems impressed. Check out the BBC report:



    And it certainly meets the vision:

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    Friday, November 12, 2010

    The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2010

    Last year the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix catapulted Abu Dhabi onto the world stage. It wasn't really a race as the result was more or less done, but nearly everyone raved about the facilities, the organisation of the event, the design of the track - and no one really cared that it was rose water instead of champagne at the podium.

    In its sophomore year, in the final grand prix of the season, the race at the Yas Marina Circuit really matter. Abu Dhabi matters - and every single racing fan will be watching to see whether Fernando Alonso will realise his goal of becoming World Champion in one of the richest sports in the world.



    Everyone will be watching - and while Ferrari haven't quite got enough to win the constructors championship, there will be a new monument to be built at the world's largest and newsest indoor theme park next door - at Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World Theme Park. The iconic futuristic armoury of red stands out a mile and all who approach the Yas Marina will know that this is Alonso's race to lose. But by heck, if he wins, there will be an almighty party.

    But scandals in formula 1 are rife, and don't expect that this will be plain sailing.
    Remember, Alonso still has to place first or second to be sure. And Vettel will no doubt try and help his team mate Webber of making it a Red Bull Blitz. And never discount Lewis Hamilton. He has skill, stamina and hunger.

    It will all be fun. And the fun has already started. Kanye, Prince, Linkin Park, Basement Jaxx are all playing / have played - and practice racing has begun.

    Abu Dhabi Centre Stage. Let the games begin.

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    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    At the Top

    As those you who have ventured to Dubai's tallest tourist point will agree - it doesn't quite live up to the branding of "At the Top", since there is still some way to go before you are really at the top. Nevertheless, it's one of the top things to do in Dubai, and you can't really escape the lure of Burj Khalifa. It's almost beckoning you from every where you look. However, if you want to know what it is like to really be at the top, check this out:

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