Friday, September 30, 2011

World's Most-Visited Tourist Attractions

By Lyndsey Matthews, Staff

Ever heard of Everland or Lotte World? Most Americans have never planned a trip to these South Korean theme parks, yet they rank among the world’s 50 most-visited tourist attractions—beating out the Great Pyramids (4 million), the Taj Mahal (3 million), and Stonehenge (1 million). And there are more surprises.

Where we choose to spend our vacation time says a lot about what we value, and despite—or perhaps because of—the lingering global economic crisis, we are traveling more than ever. International tourist arrivals were up 6.6 percent in 2010, according to the World Tourism Organization. China ousted Spain as the third most-visited country with 55.7 million foreign arrivals, while France and the U.S. held tight to their first- and second-place rankings.

Like it or not, theme parks are just as appealing in these countries as they are in South Korea. Disneyland Paris drew the same number of visitors (10.5 million) as Sacré-Coeur, and two of the world’s 10 most-visited tourist attractions are Disney parks. America also dominates our list. Some credit goes to the weak U.S. dollar, which drew 8.7 percent more foreign tourists in 2010 than the previous year—and likely persuaded many Americans to explore within our vast borders.

To tally up the world’s most-visited attractions, we gathered the most recent data supplied by the attractions themselves or from government agencies, industry reports, and reputable media outlets.

So what is the most-visited tourist attraction in the world? And can 39.2 million people be wrong? Read on to see the results.

No. 1 Times Square, New York City

Annual Visitors: 39,200,000

Tourists flock to New York’s neon heart for the flashing lights, Broadway shows, megastores, and sheer spectacle. Pedestrian-only areas with café tables introduced in 2009 have only made it easier and more appealing to hang out here. Times Square can even be a convenient, if chaotic, base, thanks to hotels at every price point and easy access to public transportation: subways, rails, buses, and more yellow taxis than you can count.

No. 2 Central Park, New York City
Annual Visitors: 38,000,000

Central ParkNew York has larger green spaces, but none is more famous than Central Park, which stretches across nearly 850 acres of prime Manhattan real estate—an oasis for both tourists and locals. You can ride in one of the famous horse-drawn carriages; check out the modest-size zoo; climb to the top of 19th-century Belvedere Castle; or take a break from pounding the pavement to sprawl on the Great Lawn, gazing at the skyscrapers above.


No. 3 Union Station, Washington, D.C.
Annual Visitors: 37,000,000

Union StationOpened in 1907, this busy station shuttles some 12,500 passengers daily in and out of the city. But it also handles serious tourist traffic: 37 million who pass through to take in the impeccably mixed architectural styles throughout the colossal building: from Classical to Beaux-Arts to Baroque. More than 70 retail outlets make Union Station a shopping destination, and it’s also a jumping-off point for many D.C. tours

No. 4 Las Vegas Strip

Annual Visitors: 29,467,000

Las Vegas Strip
Sin City was hit hard by the recession, but don’t bet against this legendary destination, which got a boost from the summer 2009 blockbuster The Hangover. Last year, 79 percent of tourists (29,467,000 people) chose to stay at hotels right on the Strip like Caesar’s Palace—the choice of the movie’s zany four-pack. And why not? Roll out of bed and onto the Strip to catch the Bellagio fountains in action, shop, gamble, and, of course, people-watch (which can get especially fun later at night).

No. 5 Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario

Annual Visitors: 22,500,000

Niagara FallsStraddling the borders of the U.S. and Canada, this massive waterfall spills about six million cubic feet of water—from a height ranging from 70 to 188 feet—every single minute. While there are about 500 taller waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls is spectacular for its sheer power. It’s also more accessible than many major falls, a short flight or drive for millions of regional tourists.


No. 6 Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Annual Visitors: 21,600,000

Grand Central TerminalUnlike harried commuters, visitors take their time in the main concourse of this Beaux-Arts landmark, pausing to view its glittering ceiling painted with a map of the constellations from the night sky. There are shops and events to distract your attention, and, a level below, the historic Oyster Bar—featured on an episode of AMC’s Mad Men—serves two million fresh bivalves a year.

No. 7 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Annual Visitors: 18,000,000

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Dating back to 1742, Faneuil Hall (“the Cradle of Liberty”) once hosted speeches by such greats as Samuel Adams and George Washington. Today, the downtown marketplace has more than 100 specialty shops and eateries and occupies a pedestrian-only, cobblestone area that swarms with tourists and street performers.


No. 8 Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando

Annual Visitors: 16,972,000

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom,The Most Magical Place on Earth is high on virtually every family’s to-do list and remains the most-visited theme park on the earth. The Kingdom’s most notable feature, naturally, is Cinderella’s castle—complete with a moat and built at special angles to appear even grander than its actual height of 189 feet. Paths branch out to classic rides (Dumbo, the Mad Tea Party) and newer additions like The Pirates of the Caribbean.

No. 9 Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA

Annual Visitors: 15,980,000

Disneyland ParkThough not as massive as its Orlando counterpart, the original Disney park—which occupies about 85 acres of land—welcomes enough thrill-seekers to qualify as the second most-visited theme park in the world. One of its coolest rides is still Indiana Jones Adventure, careening over lava, past swarms of beetles, and under that 16-foot rolling boulder.


No. 10 Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Annual Visitors: 15,000,000

Grand BazaarHand-painted ceramics, lanterns, intricately patterned carpets, copperware, gold Byzantine-style jewelry, and more eye-catching products vie for your attention within this 15th-century bazaar’s vaulted walkways. It has since expanded and become increasingly touristy, but locals, too, were among 2010’s 15 million bargain-hunters. If it all gets overwhelming, break for a succulent doner kebab or strong cup of Turkish coffee.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beautiful Greek Islands

Greece has 6,000 islands and islets in which 227 are inhibited. The Greek islands are divided into 8 groups, they are seperated by the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterrenanean seas. They are very diverse in geography, architecture, historical influences and traditions. These are some photos of them. Enjoy :)

Mykonos, Greek Islands, Greece - Unravel Travel TV

Karen Creed, Unravel Travel TV Presenter finds a Greek island like no other, rustic chic combined with ancient myth. Mykonos is not your average Greek island. This sophisticated retreat in the heart of the Cyclades has been considered a special place for thousands of years, long before the rich and famous created the need for celebrity playgrounds. Mykonos is 30 square miles of barren land in the Aegean Sea with its white sugar cube structures, boutique shops and idyllic harbours. Mention Mykonos and many will refer to its glittering nightlife and gay scene. It is possibly the most gay friendly island I have visited, but the real appeal of Mykonos is the variety of entertainment for everyone. Also its close proximity to the other islands makes it an ideal base for anyone keen to backpack around the Greek islands during the summer. The temperature is typically Mediterannean with glorious sun from April through to September.

Mykonos town is the core of the islands action. Its a white-washed warren of narrow cobbled streets designed to confuse pirates in days gone by but now equally capable of baffling the tourist. But the myriad winding streets also mean you find yourself stumbling upon the islands iconic windmills, local celebrity pelicans and no small number of decadent jewellery stores. Little Venice, an area named after the wooden seafront buildings overhanging the water, provides numerous stop-off points. You can watch the people stream by at the classy, but rather expensive Sea Satin restaurant or try more affordable Greek fare in the attractive setting of the waterfront area. Meals will set you back from €20 with wine provided you stick to the cheaper options. Or you can sip on your drink of choice to the sound of the water lapping against the balcony edge at cocktail venues such as Rhapsodies.

Hiring a moped is a great way to explore the island but be prepared for wind-swept hair due to the powerful winds that swipe at the island from the north. Mykonos has some of the best beaches of the Cyclades, and as long as you are prepared to share them, the sheltered bays of the southern coastline are by far the most popular. Agios Yannis is one of the most famous as it was the location for the movie Shirley Valentine. There is no shortage of sunloungers and umbrellas, as you recuperate after the night before and relax in preparation for the night ahead. For those wanting a more remote sunwhorshipping experience the tranquil Agios Sostis and the private Super Paradise are only accessible by boat.

Not all the beaches in Mykonos are just places where you sunbathe and swim. Towards the latter part of the afternoon, bars such as Tropicana on Paradise beach, are where the party gets started. On the party beaches the cocktails flow freely, and the whole beach swings to the rhythm of an MTV beach party. Popular nightspot Cavo Paradiso, complete with pool, perches on the rocks above Paradise beach while the rather ironically named Space is the superclub in the centre of Mykonos town.

Despite its arid beauty, Mykonos is not a mecca for the culture vulture. There are a few small mildly interesting museums but the main sightseeing of significance is the unihabited island of Delos. Today the island is effectively a big open-air museum where you can visit the Great Temple of Apollo, built in 476 BC. You can visit all the treasures in a couple of hours. The ruins are one of the most important architectural showcases in the region, having become the centre of pilgrimages for the followers of Apollo, around the temple of whom a whole city sprang.

Where to stay in Mykonos is a delightful decision, if you can afford to splash the cash. There are incredible boutique hotels, with the Kivotos being one of the most desirable. Just 10 minutes from Mykonos town, this resort has 40 rooms eah individually deocarted by famous artists. Its pool area will beg you to stay around all day with its incredible sea views and a cocktail bar. There is also a private beach with water sports. A close match in comfort and style is the Tharroe Mykonos Hotel which has an onsite spa and panoramic views of the Aegean sea. For those with tighter budgets there are self-catering apartments to be found right across the island with the Paolas Town apartments being a particularly charming option.

America's Best Cities for Foodies

Travel + Leisure readers pick the best cities for foodies, where that next great meal can come from a celebrity chef or the back of a truck.
By Katrina Brown Hunt
When you travel by your stomach, the challenge may now be following the latest trends — literally.

Anna Brones, a food columnist at, recalls sitting in a San Francisco bar when she saw a woman walk in, dragging a cooler on wheels. “A crowd immediately surrounded her,” she says, “and my friend said, matter-of-factly, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the Tamale Lady.’ I figured I better buy one of the tamales from her cooler — and what an excellent choice.”

Such ever-changing culinary buzz secured San Francisco’s status near the top of America’s best cities for foodies, as chosen by Travel + Leisure readers. Within the important food and drink category of T+L's America’s Favorite Cities survey, readers weighed in on which major cities had the best big-name eateries, neighborhood cafés, ethnic cuisine, and farmers’ markets.

Indeed, today’s most enthusiastic foodies seek out indulgences well beyond the white-tablecloth variety. Markets are a key enticement for those wanting to experience the nationwide farm-to-table trend. Among the top 20 foodie cities, restaurant communities focused on fresh ingredients.

We found nearly as many fresh takes on comfort food — such as craft beer–infused mac ‘n’ cheese in Minneapolis — and the unstoppable recent trend of food trucks and pop-up restaurants. With more than 200 restaurants-on-wheels patrolling the city daily, Portland, OR, has food trucks for any craving, even Korean-Hawaiian fusion.

No. 4 New York
No. 5 Chicago
No. 7 Seattle

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Overview of Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is the city that has it all: natural beauty and cosmopolitan flair. Set between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains, it has a harmonious blend of nature and urban living. Gardens, parks, and beaches are as common here as heritage buildings, restaurants, and theatres.

While maintaining the laid-back attitude of North America's West Coast, Vancouver has managed to build an international spirit. As the third largest city in Canada, it shares an ethnic diversity and multicultural flavor with the rest of the country. It's young, lively, and the jumping-off point for many spectacular outdoor activities.


Vancouver has vitality and style. Nowhere is this more evident than in the downtown core. Its first distinct feature is Stanley Park , located on the west end of Georgia Street. This 1000-acre park includes an 11 kilometre Seawall promenade, old-growth forests, hiking trails, and the Vancouver Aquarium .

Downtown is the city's largest shopping district. One of its main arteries is Robson Street , a highlight for both locals and visitors. It's brimming with fashion boutiques, coffee bars and trendy cafes.

Crossing Robson is Granville, a street that offers independent fashion stores and entertainment venues. Shops like John Fluevog Shoes and True Value Vintage are here, as well as the city's "Theatre Row," where concert, theatre and movie choices can be found. The Orpheum Theatre and the Commodore Ballroom are also on Granville, and are fantastic places to catch performances of live theatre and music. Overall, the area has restaurants to satisfy every palette, urban nightclubs, and a dizzying number of bars offering live entertainment.


This is Vancouver's first community and a heritage zone. Red cobblestone streets, Victorian street lamps, and heritage architecture give the area its old-world atmosphere. Today, boutiques, restaurants and specialty shops, such as Hill's Native Art , Three Centuries Shop , and Salmagundi West , combine with its historic character to make it a special attraction. The Steam Clock at Cambie and Water streets goes off every 15 minutes and adds to the area's quirky cachet.


Vancouver's Chinatown is one of the largest in North America, and is second only to San Francisco's. The area's specialty shops, superb dining, and heritage buildings attract millions of visitors. The bustle here goes on day and night, from the summer's open-air Chinatown Night Market , to packed restaurants such as Hon's Wun-Tun House or Floata Seafood Restaurant .


Not long ago, Yaletown was just a collection of abandoned warehouses. Today, it is one of the city's trendiest areas, dotted with posh condominiums and converted historic warehouses. One popular establishment is the Yaletown Brewing Co. , and unique boutiques like Atomic Model and BoNaparte Designs are also worth checking out. Part of the area's popularity is its ultra-cool nightlife, and the exclusive Bar None is one hot spot.

Granville Island

A former industrial site, Granville Island has become one of the city's biggest and best attractions. Live theatre, pubs, and artist workshops converge here. The public market has one-stop food shopping, where you can select fresh produce and treats. La Baguette et L'Echalote , Edie's Hats , and the colourful Kids Only Market are favourites. Numerous festivals use the island as their headquarters, including the Vancouver International Writer's Festival , annual Vancouver International Comedy Festival .


Located minutes south of downtown , Kitsilano is known for its active population, beaches and mountain views. The community has a profusion of eateries, bookstores, theatres, bars, open-air grocers and boutiques. Here, you'll find gems like the Naam , Sophie's Cosmic Cafe , Kidsbooks and the Hollywood Theatre . Vanier Park accommodates the annual Vancouver International Children's Festival in May, as well as the summer's open-air Shakespearean Bard on the Beach productions.

Point Grey

Just to the west of Kitsilano is Point Grey , another residential area. One of the wealthiest regions of the city, it boasts stately homes, miles of waterfront, and one of Vancouver's oldest parks. The area's beaches stretch from Jericho Beach to Spanish Banks , offering haunts to swim, sail and walk in. It also has a cluster of antique and collectible shops, and is home to the annual Vancouver Folk Festival .

West Point Grey Park provides one of the city's most dramatic viewpoints, with the University of British Columbia (UBC) just south of it. UBC has an expansive campus, featuring several of the city's best museums and attractions, including the Museum of Anthropology and the Nitobe Memorial Gardens .

East Vancouver

Vancouver's east side has always been known for its multitude of ethnic neighbourhoods and unconventional shopping and entertainment. Once dubbed Little Italy, the area on Commercial Drive , between Broadway and Venables, is often considered the city's hub for artists and counter-culture. Shops and cafes like Pupuseria Rinconcito Salvadoreno and La Casa Gelato help piece together this diverse community. You can also wander through the pockets of eclectic galleries and second-hand shops, such as Cosmopolis and Attic Treasures.

Another area to shop and dine in is Little India , located south of East 47th Street on Main Street. The Punjabi Market (Little India) has jewelery and fabric shops. This is also where flavourful Indian foods and spices are readily available. Some of the stores and restaurants here include Guru Bazaar, All India Foods, and Bombay Sweets.

West Vancouver

This suburb area northwest of downtown is one of the most prosperous communities in Canada. If you're looking for a place to shop, the large Park Royal Centre is the country's first shopping mall. Be sure to take time out to walk through Lighthouse Park . It's in an 80-acre old growth forest, and visitors might get a chance to watch seals lounging on the rocks near Howe Sound.

North Vancouver

Just next to West Vancouver lies North Vancouver. The lower Lonsdale area has heritage buildings and antique and specialty shops, while the Lonsdale Quay Market is a thriving waterfront treat. North Vancouver is the gateway for several of the area's ecological sites. Tourists will revel at Lynn Canyon Park , the thrill of the Capilano Suspension Bridge , and the splendor of the Fraser Valley. The year-round fun of Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain are also nearby.

World's Most Beautiful Ferry Rides

By April Orcutt
Savoring the unobstructed scenery, taking time to relax, and going back and forth at a pleasant pace give ferries big appeal among travelers and commuters (even bona fide poets like Edna St. Vincent Millay). The boats vary widely, from passengers-only to three-car auto-ferries to the world’s largest, with capacity for 3,200 passengers and 1,060 vehicles. And so do their trips, from an epic 800-mile journey through Chile to a breezy nine-minute trip on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry.
Riding a ferry is also a great way to get a feel for the rhythms of a place and even get to know some fellow passengers. “Because no roads connect towns in southeastern Alaska, the ferry system is the water highway for Alaskans,” says Kay Hathhorn, now of Bozeman, MT, but formerly a resident of Homer, AK. “When you travel on the ferry, you meet the locals. Everyone has a story about how they came to the state or how proud they are if they were born there.”
You’ll understand why locals are so proud after you, too, admire their home turf from the unique perspective of a ferry.
Australia: Between Sydney and Manly
Within 30 minutes, the ferry breezes past Sydney’s blockbuster sights—the Sydney Opera House, Harbour “Coathanger” Bridge, and downtown skyscrapers—and greener ones. You’ll see botanical gardens, tiny islands with Victorian homes and cottages, innumerable coves, little bays, hidden beaches, and imposing brown sandstone cliffs topped with native gum trees. With a little luck, a bottlenose dolphin or southern right whale might pop up nearby.

Croatia: Dalmatian Coast between Split and Vis
Among the Adriatic Coast’s thousand islands and 250 miles of ferry routes, this two-and-a-half-hour ride stands out for its exceptional scenery. You’ll be transfixed as the panorama of Split’s red-tiled roof buildings—framed against the Kozjak and Mosor mountain ridges—recedes and your boat slips through the narrow pass between the islands of Šolta and Brac. Your destination is Vis, the most remote large inhabited island from the mainland, where olive groves and vineyards brush up against layered limestone cliffs.

Amsterdam - Lonely Planet Travel Video

NYC 10 Years After: Introduction

For native New Yorkers like myself, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were horrifying on a number of levels. First and foremost were all the friends and neighbors who were murdered on that day. We grieved for them then, and we continue to grieve. But back then we were also mourning the loss of our city. A pervasive fear gripped many residents, myself included, that the Big Apple wouldn’t bounce back and would instead go into a steep decline, losing both businesses and tourists.

Thankfully, the opposite has happened. This slide show celebrates all the new reasons people have to visit New York today. Some are a bit silly and others sobering, but all are potent examples of the city’s rebirth and ongoing vitality. Long live Gotham!

Text by Pauline Frommer; photo editing by Connie Ricca.

article by bing travel

Paris: the city of love

Ah Paris, the city de l'amour. What better place to spend the Valentine weekend?

Who knows or cares how Paris's reputation as the City of Love came about; the fact is romance saturates the air. The city's architecture is beguiling, the gentle curve of The Seine, hypnotic. Perhaps it is because Parisians themselves seem so much more open in their gestures, unashamed about making public displays of affection. Well, when in Rome, as they say...

With flights from London airports to Charles De Gaulles starting at just £20.99 or the Eurostar from £69, it is a fantasy easily turned into reality. Plus there are some great deals to be had on hotel accommodation, saving you money for all of the city's many attractions.

If you're not too bothered about finding privacy and queueing during the daytime, then visit Paris's popular landmarks: Sacré Coeur, Notre Dame, the Champs Élysées and Montmartre to name but a few. Naturally, don't miss the irresistible Eiffel Tower from which you and your significant other can marvel at the 360 degree panoramic of Paris below, no doubt falling in love all over again at the sight.

Say the words 'café culture' to anyone and it instantly evokes images of Paris streets, chic women in sunglasses sipping coffee, engulfed by swirls of cigarette smoke, handsome Gallic men reading Le Monde making flirty eye contact, perched with effortless elegance on the stylish cafe furniture. Make a point of stopping for un café, s'ilvous plait and soaking up the atmosphere. Sit at separate tables and catch each other's eye provocatively, as if you're perfect strangers.

When evening comes, enjoy a romantic cruise along The Seine, taking in Paris by night or simply stroll along the streets, hand in hand. Stop for dinner at a little bistro and sample the recommended vins or feed each other spoonfuls of sumptuous dessert. You can do that in Paris without putting fellow diners off their grub.

The city of love may only be a couple of hours, away but it's guaranteed that you will remember your visit to Paris for a life time.

article by :

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Attractions that Keep People Coming to Phuket

Phuket is one of the most visited places in Thailand. The beautiful island is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the world. Therefore, millions of people take cheap flights to Phuket to enjoy unmatchable beach life. However, Phuket is not only about beaches.

Following are the major attractions in Phuket:

Old Phuket Town

You can enjoy vibrant life in the city however, if you want to take a look at the traditional personality of the town, you should visit Old Phuket Town. This area is exact opposite of Phuket. While visiting Old Town, you would find yourself surrounded by historical buildings, temples and shrines. You will find both Buddhist and Chinese temples while taking a walk through the town. Quaint cafes are the best places to enjoy coffee and local snacks amidst peaceful ambience. Architecture lovers should take flights to Phuket and visit the old town which is home to Sino-Colonial Mansions. Most of the old structures are located in Thalang Road where you will find numerous shophouses selling handicrafts and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Soi Bangla Nightlife

Nightlife is the major highlight of the city. There are several areas where you can feel the spree of Phuket nightlife. However, Soi Bangla is the place that always tops the charts whenever you talk about nightlife. As the sun goes down, Soi Bangla comes to life. This lively and vivid area is located in Patong Beach area. Youngsters from around the world take Phuket flights especially to drink unlimited beer and dance with girls all night long. Trance and electronic beats will compel you to shake your legs. You will find several go-go girls dancing around the poles. Wild discotheques are the best for those who love music with high volume, laser beams and blend of drink and dance.

Wat Chalong

Wat is a Buddhist temple. There are numerous Wats in Thailand. In Phuket, you will find around 30 Wats in addition to Hindu temples, Chinese shrines, churches and mosques. Wat Chalong is one of the most important Buddhist temples that you would find in Phuket. Number of Buddhist devotees takes flights to Phuket especially to pay homage to important Buddhist statue Poh than Jao Wat. The statue is strategically located in the old hall. In the same hall, you will find Nonsi statue. While walking around the premises, you will find Grand Pagoda. Take a walk through the Pagoda and you would come across incredible wall paintings.

Phuket FantaSea Show

If you are visiting the city with your family, Phuket FantaSea is a “must see” attraction. This is the biggest show, you’d find in the city. Kids love the synchronized dance of hundreds of elephants. The choreography features an amazing combination of traditions and fantasy. Trapeze artists are worth praising for their courage, skill and accuracy. Locals consider FantaSea show an “ultimate cultural theme park.” Another highlight is its buffets that are the biggest in entire Asia. If you want to play carnival like games, take cheap flights to Phuket and be a part of FantaSea Show.


Visit The Burj Khalifa-The Tallest Building In The World

The Burj Khalifa: Standing Tall and Proud

The United Arab Emirates owns the distinction of having the tallest building internationally. Measuring a staggering 2,717 feet (828 meters), the Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, is the highest man-made structure in history. It can be found along Sheikh Zayed Road generally business district in Dubai.

This marks the second time the Middle East has claimed the honor of having the tallest artificial structure in the world. The Great Pyramid of Giza once held that distinction for many hundreds of years until England built the Lincoln Cathedral in 1311.

Named in honor of one or more of the project's top supporters and the actual president of the United Arab Emirates and king of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Sayed Al Nahyan, the Burj Khalifa gained the attention and recognition of the rest of the world. It was constructed with the primary goal of diverting the country's image from a debt-ridden oil-producing country into a tourist mecca generating necessary income and investments. Conceptualization and construction began in 2004 and the building was launched on January 4, 2010 during the rise to the throne of Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum.

The Burj Khalifa was designed by architect Adrian Smith and engineer Bill Baker who were with Chicago's Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) right at that moment. Among the other groups involved in the actual construction were South Korea's Samsung Engineering and Construction (primary contractor) and Besix and Arabtec. Emaar Properties served as the project's developer. The $1.5 billion tower was inspired by Islamic traditions and culture and featured patterns prevalent in Islamic architecture. The three-lobed base of the building was patterned after the flower Hymenocalli.

Among the lavish features of the Burj Khalifa are the 57 double-deck elevators with modern LCD displays for the visitors' entertainment. There are also eight escalators and a total of 2,909 stairs. The 124th floor showcases the highest open-air observation deck internationally, the At the Top. It was opened to the public on the 5th of January, the day after Burj Khalifa's inauguration and also houses the Behold Telescope.

Apart from being the tallest building ever, the Burj Khalifa holds a number of other records. Among them are:

• The most number of floors (160) - beating the former record holder Willis Tower by 52 floors

• The highest occupied floor (160th floor)

• The highest pool - situated at the 76th floor

• The highest nightclub - located at the 144th floor

• World's highest mosque - discovered on the 158th floor

• The highest outdoor observation deck at 1483 feet - aptly named At the Top and situated at the 124th floor; it is the second highest observation desk on record

• The highest restaurant - At.mosphere that is on the 122nd floor and at a height of 1450 feet, a distant 302 feet over CN Towers' 360 restaurant

• The world's fastest elevator which goes at a speed of 64 kilometers per hour

• The highest elevator installation

• The tallest man-made structure that has residential features, and

• The world's highest New Year's Eve celebration and firework display

Find Cheap Hotels in London Quick

by: Kyle

With only one year left to go before the 2012 Olympics in London, the hospitality and leisure industry is gearing up for one of the busiest times in decades. Hotels in London will no doubt be at maximum capacity come the year 2012. It’s not only hotels in London that will benefit financially from this exciting time. Travel sites, as well as, comparative sites will also see a surge of traffic looking for cheap hotels, and cheap flights to London.

Hospitality and leisure plays a huge roll in the tourism sector of London as well as the UK. We can certainly expect to see a multitude of London job vacancies as well. With this said, we are certain many across the UK will reap the rewards because of the Olympics.

Hotels in London number in the thousands, however we can’t forget about the rest of the population in the UK alone. Many from various cities across the UK will be looking for a place to stay as well. Costs will be a major factor in trying to find the perfect deal in order to afford tickets to events. This is where comparative travel websites come into play. There are few comparative sites gearing up on their own to take full advantage of the Olympics.

Websites like, are paving the way for fast and effective comparatives on the cheapest hotels, or the best deals to be found across the London. They are spending a great deal of time convincing vacationers, or visitors to book now and get the best deals you can. Not many know that certain partnerships are being formed on comparative sites to give each an edge for competitive reasons. If you like the thousands slated to descend on London, are looking for cheap hotels then getting the research done now is imperative.

With a comparative site like, all you do is type in the search the city of your choice and hit enter. The system then compares the cheapest hotels across the UK and London and displays listings. Secure partnerships allow the site to give the best and cheapest choices available first.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs will also benefit from the surge of visitors. It is predicted that London will be home for almost three weeks to an extra 900,000 people! That is a lot of money up for grabs in the tourism industry. The 2012 Olympics in London has too many benefits to write about and very little negatives.

Tourism will be the hottest commodity in London for 2012 and the fierce competition for pricing will begin. This means many need to take steps in order to secure a great place to stay for the duration of the Olympics. Hotels need and want your business, therefore pricing plays a major factor in getting your attention. Take full advantage and enjoy your stay.

Queen Of Netherlands’ Birthday Ball At Iberotel Palace

by: Nancy Georggy

Celebrating H.M. Queen Beatrix of Netherlands’ birthday, the Dutch embassy in Egypt gave a reception at Iberotel Palace in Sharm El Sheikh. The reception was attended by a large number of invitees among which were H.E Susanna Blankhart, the Ambassador of Netherlands, Mr. Wahid Azab, the Embassy’s Representative in South Sinai along with the embassy’s officials plus the Dutch community in Egypt.

The guests expressed their admiration for the hotel and much appreciated the hospitality and quality service delivered by the hotel’s team.

The photo shows: H.E Susanna Blankhart, the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Mr. Wahid Azab, the Embassy’s Representative in South Sinai, Ibrahim Redwan, the General Manager of Iberotel Palace, and some of the invitees.


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