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Vol. 2  April 2011

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XPERIENCE

Train to the Heavens Magical cloudy journey

Prehistoric Dining Ali Barbour’s cave restaurant

The Great Blue Hole Diving limestone sinkhole

International Discovery

Extreme Iceland Home of Fire & Ice . . . . .

FEATURE

How Much!

Are you willing to pay for your burger?

EVENT

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Regional Discovery

Desert Xpedition

SHARJAH Blend of tradition and modernity


CONTENTS Beyond Xperience Expedtition – Hajjar Mountains.�������������������� 6 Regional Discovery – Sharjah��������������������12

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Kenyan Rift Valley��������������������������������������15 Geographical phenomenon

The Great Blue Hole ����������������������������������15 Diving limestone sinkhole

Train to the Heavens����������������������������������16 Magical cloudy journey

Yak Safari����������������������������������������������������17

Back of a Yak

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Thailand – Eco friendly Floating Villages ����������������������������������������17 Heavenly bliss in Thatched huts

Firefly Garden��������������������������������������������18

Lighten up the night

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant ������������������19 Natural Coral Cave

International Doscovery Iceland��������������������������������������������������������20

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Infocus – Kenya������������������������������������������24 Feature Most Expensive Burgers����������������������������38 Kids Xperience Steeing the fun at Ferrari World������������������30 Must Xperience Mount Kalemenjharo����������������������������������31

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News flash��������������������������������������������������39 beyond xperience  l  april 2011


Editor’s note 4

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Publisher: Media 4 FZE Fujairah Tower PO Box: 4422, Fujairah, UAE. Mukesh Bhawnani Editor in Chief Email: mukesh@beyondxperience.com M. Khalid Shuja Managing Editor Email: editor@beyondxperience.com Contributing Editor: Salim Sayyid Contributing Writers: Michelle Mcgil Kavya Chawla Contributing Photographers: Anubisgraph Photography Muhammad Farooq Distributed and Marketed by: Winds Advertising & Publishing PO Box: 25271, Abu Dhabi – UAE Tel: +971 (2) 677 3330 Fax: +971 (2) 679 3339 Email: tradewin@eim.ae Marketing Associates: Mashood Ali Email: mashood@beyondxperience.com

he overwhelming response to our inaugural issue has ‘stimulated’ us to tickle your senses again - to lead you into newer worlds of intrigue and mystery – where thrills galore, tranquility prevails, solitude reigns - all in the midst of some amazing astounding miracles of nature which unfold in this issue giving you the mystic feel of the world that beckons you to explore it and marvel it’s brilliance and glory! You may have eaten Fugo, chased the Rhino, ‘bonged’ in Modo, partnered the ‘dancing deer’ or experienced the ‘ultimate thrill’ in the Ferrari World – but the excitement, exhilaration and experience continues unabated… Get set, get ready, let the adrenaline pump, let the heart beat faster to experience thrills ‘Beyond Xperience’ in this issue. What makes people fascinated to experience such pulsating treats – is it the adventure? Is it the insatiable quest to discover worlds of breathtaking beauty and splendor amidst the drudgery of life? Or is it man’s eternal search to discover unknown worlds - beyond the imagination – ‘Beyond Xperience’ We were humbled and delighted by your responses toward our inaugural issue and am sure this issue will defy your senses like never before. Taking a cue from the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, I would humbly state, “Folks, what lies behind us, what lies in front us is nothing compared to what lies within Beyond Xperience.” ‘Beyond Xpereince’ is EXciting, EXhilirating ENticing

Mukesh Bhawnani

Design & Artwork: Anas Ahmad Albounni Printed by: United Printing Press Disclaimer: While every effort and care has been made to ensure accuracy of information contain in this publication, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for errors or omissions it may contain. beyond xperience l april 2011

To read detailed stories about the Xperiences published in this edition please visit:

www.beyondxperience.com


Reagional xperience 6

The Ice Igloo is part of the Rainforest trail experience at Banyan Tree Spa at Al Wadi and is meant to Awaken the senses with a cold rub-down with ice crystals or a rain shower Banyan Tree Spa presents The Rainforest, an invigorating hydrothermal experience infused with time-honoured Asian wellness philosophy. A signature innovation by Banyan Tree Spa, The Rainforest heightens the indulgence quotient with the interplay of unique wellness and rejuvenation concepts through a trail of state-of-theart hydrothermal therapies and facilities. Journey through the cascading Rain Walk and calm your spirit in the Aroma Steam Chamber. Next, luxuriate and detox in the Hammam or with warm therapeutic mud in the sensory Rasul. Immerse yourself in different Experience Showers such as the Bucket Drench Shower before relaxing in the warm Sauna followed by a cooling rub-down from the Ice Fountain. The Ice Igloo is part of the Rainforest trail experience at Banyan Tree Spa at Al Wadi and is meant to Awaken the senses with a cold rub-down with ice crystals or a rain shower.

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Ice Igloo hydrothermal experience


7 Reagional xperience

at the top At the Top, Burj Khalifa located on Level 124, not only offers visitors majestic, sweeping vistas of Dubai, but also serves as an evocative and interactive journey through the history and evolution of Dubai and Burj Khalifa. A ten-part journey, At the Top starts at The Dubai Mall, where visitors can buy timed tickets at an elegant welcome area featuring monumental fields of LED displays reflecting the three-core design inspiration of Burj Khalifa. Visitors can enjoy several interactive features including ‘Burj Among the Greats,’ Burj Around the World’ and ‘Dubai Then and Now’. These displays chart the evolution of modern Dubai and reveal how Burj Khalifa dramatically alters the city skyline. Travelling at a speed of 10 metres per second, the journey to Level 124 takes approximately 60 seconds. The last stop of the journey is the At the Top retail boutique, where visitors can indulge in shopping for some unique souvenirs. beyond xperience  l  april 2011


BX eXpedition 8

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9 BX eXpedition

A to Hajjar Mountains

Beyond Xperience’s first expedition in association with Abu Dhabi 4x4 Club started off at 8 30 am, from Abu Dhabi. Our convoy of 10 SUVs began with a long drive to Sweihan, passing the Al Hayer area to a sinewy spine from north to south through the Arabian Desert. The Hajar Mountains (also spelled Hajjar) are the highest range in the UAE. Their peaks have always been a natural boundary with what is now Oman to the east. The border between Oman and Dubai threads an invisible line around their peaks. The Hajar Mountains are not very high, around 6,000 feet at most, however the stark treeless ridges and golden, red, and ebony hues of the igneous rock present dramatic vistas.The many wadis and dry valleys within the Hajar range are a natural playground for adventure excursions from Dubai. It was an exciting and adventurous tour, along a scenic route on 4 WDs through the Hajar Mountains on the East coast. Our convoy passed pretty fishing villages and small farms along the coast of gulf of Oman. The thrilling tour continued on 4WD’sthrough the wadis and narrow winding roads between cliffs and gorges and offered the opportunity to witness local settlements where nothing has changed in hundreds of years. Beyond Xperience team was part of the training process to marshal the convoy to this unforgettable exotic trip. To xperience this journey, hop on with BX, get in touch to learn more and make sure your excursion leaves you buzzing by going with Beyond Xperience for the next trip. Contact: xpeditions@beyondxperience.com.

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: N O I T U A C NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED

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Desert Xpedition November25,2011 230 km of sheer joy and exhilaration, A day to witness the largest convoy ever imagined in the UAE leading to the Liwa Desert Xpedition.

To register Visit: www.beyondxperience.com


Regional Discovery 12

Sharjah

blend of tradition and modernity

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harjah has always enjoyed a distinct position in the region. However, the emirate has lately been attracting unprecedented attention from around the world, especially from European and regional tourists. Last year, more than 200,000 Russian and over140,000 German tourists visited the emirate, nearly 42 per cent of more than 1.5 million international visitors. Twenty-one per cent of visitors came from neighbouring Gulf states.

Sharjah is the only one to have land on both the Arabian Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Oman. It is an emirate of contrasts where visitors can enjoy a holiday in the sun, discover traditional markets (souqs) or visit modern shopping malls, explore the many heritage sites and museums, admire the majestic mosques, stroll around the lagoons, and experience the natural beauty of true Arabian deserts, mountains and seas.

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A close neighbour of Dubai, it’s just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Sharjah to Dubai International Airport. The central region combines lush green oases, with gravel plains and rolling red sand dunes. The emirate is located midway between Europe and the Far East and is within 8 hours flying time in either direction. Although Sharjah is in a desert region it is rich in fauna and flora. The coastal and marine environments are full of sea life and a surprising number of creatures inhabit the mountains and wetlands, the tropical plains and dunes. The emirate has kept the spirit of its history alive by innovatively incorporating tradition into every aspect of contemporary development. The result is a vibrant, modern emirate that looks forward to a bright future even as it looks back respectfully to its past. The successful combination of the values of the past with the advantages of modern technology has created a special ethos for Sharjah.

More than 20 museums and heritage areas provide the perfect platform to showcase the arts, crafts, traditions and importance of Islam in the lifestyles of the people in this most fascinating of cities. The arts are given great prominence in Sharjah. Theatre, music, painting and sculpture are encouraged, as is literature. In a country where history is often measured in terms of decades, every cultural asset is precious. Preserving the heritage of the past remains essential to cultivating a national identity. Civilization is much more than simply buildings and infrastructure, it includes beliefs and historical heritage that are linked to a place. Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Emirate has become a proud preserver of the country’s cultural heritage. Whether you are planning your trip or already unpacking you can spend a perfect holiday in Sharjah. From an all action and fun-filled holiday, a cultural discovery with magnificent museums,


13 Regional Discovery

losing oneself in heritage areas and old souks, or a relaxing break away from it all with nature, beach, sea and sun -there is something for everyone.

The East Coast has impressively steep mountains and beautiful bays, lined with golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters and is a perfect break away from it all during your visit to the Emirate. Sharjah also boasts sprawling green parks where anyone can enjoy a stroll and escape from the busy city. Sports lovers will be spoilt for choice with just about every activity available.

Sharjah offers a year round calendar of fun filled events and activities that cater to entire family, offering something for everyone to do – for both residents and hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the emirate from around the world. From literature and culture to sports and sheer fun and entertainment, there’s never a dull moment in the life of the beautiful emirate. There are a number of special events and destinations within Sharjah that host a series of activities to celebrate certain times of the year and to provide entertainment for families, in addition of course to the many museums and malls. Some of them are, the Sharjah Water Festival, the Sharjah Light Festival, the Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Heritage Days and the Sharjah International Book Fair. Al Qasba is a major cultural hub and leisure destination providing all kinds

of recreation and entertainment attractions for adults and children, retail outlets, cafés and restaurants, as well as exhibiting local and international art during the winter

and visitors. In the city the beach resort hotels are mainly located along Al Khan beach. The ‘in town’ hotels are found around Sharjah, on the Al Buheirah Corniche and towards Ajman.

season. It also features a 1,500 square metre exhibition space to showcase local and international cultural and educational institutions and associations, plus its own hall hosting art films and international performances.

On the East Coast, the Oceanic Hotel & Resort offers beachfront accommodation in Khor Fakkan. From indoor to outdoor activities, wet or dry sports, for fun or to learn, for teams or for individuals – you name it, you can do it. Just about every sport imaginable is available in the UAE – even snow skiing!

Sharjah has been a major Middle East tourist destination since 1932.

Hotels and hotel apartments in Sharjah offer a wide range of facilities and services for business travellers, tourists

Sharjah offers the outdoor adventurer the perfect weather for hiking, camping, desert driving and wadi bashing, apart from the hotter summer months when scuba diving and dipping in a chilled pool can be a cooler option. For those who like to put their feet up and relax or to be groomed and pampered, the beach and health clubs, the beauty centres and the spas provide plenty of opportunities to unwind and de-stress. Sharjah’s east coast is close at hand and is one of the most beautiful areas in the UAE. The journey from Sharjah passes through the rugged scenery of the Al Hajar Mountains and down to the Emirate’s historic and seaside towns of Dibba Al Hisn, Khor Fakkan and Kalba. The coast has a long and turbulent history with many archaeological sites dating back to as early as the 2nd millennium BC.

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15 international xperience

Divers come to Belize and dive to xperience the Great Blue Hole. This astounding diving site right in the centre of the Lighthouse Reef system is about 60 miles off the mainland of Belize City. The depth of the water gives it the blue color and hence the name “Blue Hole”

The Great Blue Hole Diving limestone sinkhole

The Blue Hole is a perfectly circular limestone sinkhole more than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep. The deeper one dives, the greater the exhilaration amidst the bizarre limestone moulds. Near The Blue Hole is one of Belize’s largest protected areas, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, encompassing 10,000 acres of the atoll and 15 square miles of surrounding waters.

Kenyan Rift Valley Geographical phenomenon Kenyan rift valley is a geographical wonder of the world with breath taking unique features of geysers, extinct volcanoes, escarpments and numerous lakes. This amazing rift splits into two in Africa – the Eastern Rift Valley and the Western Rift Valley. The Eastern Rift Valley runs through Kenya from Lake Turkana in the north and beyond Lake Magadi in the South.

Xperience the thrill of a life time – Dive deeper in the Great Blue Hole The memory of the drive from Nairobi, the capital city to Nakuru in the Rift Valley where the ground suddenly drops away from the road into a steep valley expanding several thousand miles with amazing scenic wonders, still haunts me. My other favorite memory was the trip to the Kerio River Valley. I can never forget the Xperience of stopping at the Kessup Girls’ School near Kabarnet The school nestled into the side of

a steep hill is surrounded by cliffs, ancient forests and waterfalls on the west side, the back of the school. On the East side, the ground steeply drops away into a valley surrounded by unbelievably lovely hills. Outside the classroom window I saw beautiful waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. It was just awesome! When in Kenya xperience and xplore the Rift Valley - a geographical phenomenon!

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international xperience 16

Train to the Heavens Magical cloudy journey

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Beautiful Salta in Argentina has a candy pink cathedral, high walled convents and winding cobbled lanes and remains magical with the Tren a lasNubes – “Train to the Clouds” which was relaunched three years ago with brightly-painted carriages, comfy seats, shiny steel bathrooms and even an onboard medical clinic which dispenses oxygen to dizzy passengers. Come dawn gather on the platform of General Belgrano Station in the cool milky darkness and carry only daypacks and ride in the Cloud Train just to ride it. This iron work horse belching diesel fumes running in narrow gauges with the guide’s running commentary gives you 16 hours of precious moments of bliss and profound joy. Xperience pulsating unforgettable moments in “Train to the Clouds”


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Where do you enjoy the free range of rivers, the hunting rights and the seclusion from a bustling city? In the KhaoSok National Park in Thailand! But what is most thrilling there to xperience? A local floating village. How to get there? Through a jolting public bus drive, a transfer via an open air pick up bed, a hike through a damp lush forest, a solar powered bamboo boat ride and lo! the destination is in sight.

Thailand

Eco friendly Floating Villages Heavenly bliss in Thatched huts and…

You are welcomed by a humming ecosystem. And what do you see? Thatched huts, draped with freshly laundered red and purple linens, bobbed securely on unclouded serene water. Limestone cliffs tower above the river’s aquatic life below while wild boars, water buffalo and gibbons roam the jungle shoreline. What a wonderful sight! This is not all. One side of the thatched hut showcases the jungle to see the squealing monkeys swing from branch to branch. The other side opened to the deck and the waterway. You also can enjoy three solar powered delicious meals crafted by the locals. This Floating Village Xperience is no tourist make believe world – you xperience heavenly bliss amidst the locals who relish and enjoy their traditional floating life style.

Yak Safari Back of a Yak

If you want to make your trip to Sikkim memorable then Yak, just Yak, I mean take a Yak Safari.

Forget Jeep Safari, Camel Safari, and Horse Safari – just get on the back of a Yak and take a trip through craggy trails in the midst of angelic Sikkim. Yak safari is enjoyed by every age group - children and oldies alike love this thrilling voyage! Book in advance for this thrilling ride as it is very difficult to get it during the peak season. Put your name down to ensure you get on the Yak and enjoy the unforgettable and one of a kind xperience. Xperience tranquility in Sikkim – Xperience the back of a Yak.

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international xperience 18

Lighten up the night Firefly, one of the fascinating beetle that abound in Malaysia at one time and is now fast disappearing due to the fast pace of development. The two locations where visitors can go to and see these unique creatures in action, is in are Kampung Kuantan and Kampung Bukit Belimbing in the district of Kuala Selangor, which is about 90 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur. It’s also one of the best examples of ecotourism in Malaysia. Combine a trip with the nearby Kuala Selangor Nature Park for a fun day in the mangroves. The mangrove trees called “berembang trees” by the local grow along the riverbanks of Kuala Selangor river. These are the trees where the fireflies or “kelip kelip” in the local language stay and feed on its leaves. During the day, they retreat to the grasses near the mangrove trees.

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When night falls, the fireflies will feed on the nectar of the leaves and attract mates with their synchronized flashing green light. Each of the berembang tree has different groups of fireflies and each group has flashes that are synchronized. The fireflies found here is from the “Pteroptye tener” species and is about 6cm in length. They have a lifespan of about 2-3 months.


19 Culinary xperience

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant Natural Coral Cave Xperience style and romance in an unrivalled atmosphere. Enjoy mouth watering Ala Carte menu and quality wine list once in a lifetime dining experience. This world renowned Cave Restaurant is thought to be 120,000 and 180,000 years old comprising of a series of interlinking chambers at depths up to 10m below ground level opened to the sky. The sky is the limit in Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant – romance and style unlimited – Xperience it.

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International discovery 20

XPERIENCE EXTREME

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celand is a country which is fittingly named, given that a considerable proportion of it is covered by spectacular glaciers. This nation is a remarkable destination to discover as it contains enthralling geological features such as spurting geysers, volcanoes, captivating waterfalls, and geothermal pools. Imagine a summer with a sun still glowing at midnight, this weird and wonderful concept is what experienced by the Icelandic people every year. The country bestows many marvels so let’s delve into the experiences of Iceland and reveal its most popular attraction.

As the least densely populated country in Europe it remains pure and unpolluted unfolding truly magical landscape. Its four diverse seasons offer an enigmatic array of traits. Winter is the time of amazing contrasts. Serene white snow intensifies the black lava fields, resulting in magical artistry. The sun begins to clamber upwards in Spring, warming up the land and all of its creatures. Summer

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ICELAND evokes the senses and a fresh green smell of grass and colourful flowers dotted around the terrain fill the air. Autumn then takes over; waving its paintbrush

and spluttering reds, oranges and yellows before slowly beginning to strip the trees and blanket the soil. Iceland delivers a captivating year of change. A viewing of the Northern lights is an incredible experience. They are one of

the most spectacular shows on earth and this phenomenon can be viewed in Iceland. In fact the nation is one of the most well-known Aurora destinations in the world and this is due to two key reasons. Firstly because of it’s ideal location between two continents and secondly because of the excellent infrastructure the country has for Northern lights viewing. Evenings of blackness are abruptly stirred by flittering bursts of greens, reds and white –an amazing spectacle to experience. For the action lovers Iceland is an exhilarating destination. It has places where swirling glacial rivers race over craggy ground on their way seaward, it offers the ideal elements for white water rafting. Kayaking, boating and sea fishing are other water activities which keep tourists entertained. The sea fishing is especially popular due to the size of the catches to be had. If you are looking for more of a fitness challenge then rent a bike and test your


21 International discovery

stamina. Pedalling around Iceland is a genuine challenge and the scenery is stunningly varied. From quiet rolling pastures, coastal plains of black sands, dramatic waterfalls, to the tougher desert and mountainous areas of the interior with enormous glaciers that cut right down to the sea your cycle will tire you physically, but entertain with mouth watering scenery. After all that action you will need to relax and unwind, and what better way to do it than to experience one of Iceland’s geothermal pools. One which emits great uniqueness and is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland is The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. It is easily the most photographed site in all of Iceland and perhaps the most

supernatural looking body of water on Earth. The steamy waters here are part of lava formation and are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur. Bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to benefit some people suffering from skin diseases. Although the colour of the waters can be described as a ‘frosty blue’ they certainly don’t come with a frosty feel. In fact the temperature in the swimming and bathing area of the lagoon averages 37-39 oC.

The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days. Then the water is dispensed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in. So, where is this mystifying spa located? The Blue Lagoon is situated approximately 13km from the Keflavik International Airport and 39km from the capital city of Reykjavik. Basically a 20 minute drive from the airport and a 40 minute drive from Reykjavik. When visiting you must abide by a strict code of hygiene and all guests are required to shower without clothing in a communal shower area before and after bathing. As Iceland’s most famous attraction it is surely worth the experience.

Underworld exploration is also available in this land. Go caving and discover the hidden world in and under the great lava field located in the Blue Mountains. Enjoy walking down the lava cave and uncovering the marvels created by past volcanic activity. The Leidarendi cave is a perfect example of an Icelandic lava tube where you can explore the dark and quirky world beneath ours. In winter the cave is furnished with glistening icicles of all shapes and sizes. The possibilities of exploring and seeing new things are endless. It is an unusual

and unique experience and reveals how Iceland was created.

Geologically speaking Iceland is a very young country, its creation began less than 20 million years ago and is still progressing today. It started its growth when volcanic eruptions in the Mid Atlantic Ridge, on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean formed a mountain which grew above sea level resulting in an island. The presence of picturesque lava fields, volcanoes craters, table mountains, mountains of pumice and fields of volcanic ash illustrate this.

If you enjoy wildlife you will love Iceland, it is exuberant with nature. The wildlife reflects the youth of the country. You can enjoy whale watching to the fullest as

the country is one of the 10 best whale watching spots in the planet. It is also a paradise to bird watchers – Latrabjarg in the West Fjords is the largest bird cliff known in the world. What more do you need? Iceland certainly demonstrates a varied platter of exciting sights and experiences. Be captivated by landscape, enthralled by nature, excited by an abundance of adventure and then relaxed in the Blue Lagoon. Feel it all in the island of Iceland.

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Your Prespective

Your Lens

Photographer’s has their own tool of giving new meanings to monotonous objects, we at beyond xperience love to see the world from your perspective, from your lens, every month we will publish one best photograph chosen by our photo editors, upload your best clicks at:

www.beyondxperience.com


in focus - kenya 24

Magical Kenya No other country on earth can offer the visitor as much to see and do. Within the borders of a single country, you will find savannahs rich with game, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world, pristine beache,

coral reef, equatorial forests and mighty snow-capped mountains, searing deserts and cool highland retreats. Endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, relaxation; more than you would ever expect.

Training with Kenya’s Olympic Athletics Team

roof. Homemade “Mukokoteni” (uniquely designed bed on wheels), can either be wheeled onto the open deck area for a night under the stars,

Kenya is a great sporting nation. The name Kenya has become a byword for athletic prowess. At many recent Olympic games and other international athletic competitions, the sight of Kenyans holding the gold, silver and bronze medals for a single athletic event has become commonplace. The Kenyan love of sport means that there is plenty for the visiting sport enthusiast to see and do.

Open Night ‘Star Beds’

And best of all, the experience is combined with fun, wonder and awe.

The two sets of Star Beds are unique to Loisaba. The first and original set is located among a kopje of rocks in one of the eastern valleys overlooking the “Kiboko” waterhole. The second and newer set is located about 8 kilometres further south on the banks of the Ewaso N’giro River and is named “Koija” Star Beds.

or left under the shelter of the roof. Guests are guided and hosted by a team of traditional Samburu and Laikipiak Maasai warriors. Food is prepared in traditional camp kitchen, barbeque style.

This unique package enables visitors to learn more of the flora and fauna of Kenya, and better understand the Masai lifestyle. The thrill of seeing the “circle of life” as it existed hundreds of thousands years ago will remain with you always.

Live the Traditional Masai Mara Life

Support Wildlife in Kenya through Animal Adoption

Each Star Bed dramatically designed, handcrafted wooden raised platform, and partially covered with a thatched

This safari is designed to acquaint the visitors with magical Kenya; its people, culture, geography, flora and fauna.

Come help wildlife with The Kenya Wildlife Service Animal Adoption Programme. The adoption program is

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25 in focus - kenya

are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout.

Hot Air Balloon Safari A balloon is the perfect safari vehicle able to glide silently across the plains without disturbing the herds below, and at the flick of a hot air burner the basket can be whisked from a high altitude viewpoint to skim low across the grasslands.

on the premise that every animal at our orphanage has specific needs. The support goes directly into the upkeep of the animals by providing food, medicine, toys, translocations, cage construction, maintenance repairs, and supplies. The Nairobi Animal Orphanage holds an annual Honorary Adopters Homecoming Feeding Day and Christmas party for the orphaned animals, where the adopting parents and sponsors get the rare opportunity to feed the animals in the orphanage. These events are aimed at bringing together foster parents and other potential adoptees to spend quality time with orphaned animals, thereby encouraging them to own and conserve Kenya’s wildlife heritage for posterity.

Climb Mt.Kenya Mt Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai. The mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn, when the day’s early light silhouettes its impressive summit high over the surrounding plains. The 5199m might not suit all but the lesser peak of Point Lenana (4985m) can be easily reached by any fit trekker. This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, unique vegetation including podocarpus and grounsel, and finally one of the world’s rarest sights, equatorial snow. Also, the cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests

For a truly unique perspective on this spectacular wilderness, dawn Balloon safaris, can be booked through most Safari companies. This incredible once in a lifetime experience offers the visitor a fantastic view of Kenya’s scenic beauty, and the chance to drift unobtrusively over the wildlife below. Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara: The Masai Mara is Kenya’s most impressive landscape - its great game rich plains are iconic Africa at its best. For any visitor to the Mara, the best way to appreciate the Mara is from above, on a dawn balloon flight. Balloon Safari over the Great Rift Valley: The Great Rift Valley is one of the most awe-inspiring sights on earth, and a balloon safari will literally give you a bird’s eye view of the valley as you join flocks of flamingo soaring high across lakes, volcanoes and forest.

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shopping xperience 26

Souk Al Bahar Shopping in Arabesque style

Souk Al Bahar is an Arabesque shopping mall and entertainment destination located in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai, on the Old Town Island. Souk Al Bahar features over 100 shops in an eclectic retail mix that includes 22 restaurants, cafés and lounges framing the souk’s extensive waterfront promenade. Souk Al Bahar (‘market of the sailor’) derives its name from both its traditional souk architecture of natural stone corridors, high archways and subdued lighting and its unique ‘sea-side’ location on an island in the Burj lake. The cultural theme flows throughout the mall, with boutique shops showcasing the Arabian heritage through a mix of authentic handicrafts, fashionwear, perfumes, carpets and furnishings. Dining at the Souk Al Bahar is a highlight, where one will find an international mix of causal to fine dining restaurants and cafés lining the waterfront promenade and overlooking the Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest building the world. Now open, Souk Al Bahar is a vibrant waterside dining, shopping and entertainment experience for Dubai’s socialites and a must-see destination for tourists. beyond xperience l april 2011


How much are you willing to pay for your

burger?

F

ast food is a growing industry and a popular food pit around the globe; the major reasons being the low cost and fast rate it is processed. Burgers are a main element within the fast food industry. The meaty sandwiches speedily satisfy without leaving a big hole in your pocket. They are cheap and cheerful friends to the fast food lovers. Now, how would you react to a burger served with more of a wait? You are hungry, lingering eagerly, glancing at your watch as the minutes tick away. Five, ten, fifteen minutes and you are still waiting with a bellowing belly. Finally you are served a beautifully presented meal (no paper or plastic in sight); it looks delectable so of course you wolf it down. It was worth the wait; your belly is full and your taste buds seem thrilled. It’s now time for the bill. The waiter presents you with courteous smile and a little receipt with a four figure sum. Your jaw drops as your usual $5 dollar burger has been befriended by three hefty zeros. 5000 dollars for a burger! Would you pay it? Top chefs have begun to turn America’s favourite junk food into gourmet creations garnished with unbelievably steep fees. Feast your eyes on the top five most expensive burgers in the world.

The DB Royale - $120 Chef Daniel Bouloud converts the classic burger into a finely seasoned, French decadent feast with the DB Royale. This tasty cuisine is made with ground beef and stuffed with red wine-braised short (off the bone) ribs, foie gras, a mix of root vegetables and preserved black truffle. Throw in a double helping of fresh black truffles on top before packing it in between a homemade toasted parmesan and poppy seed bun. The bun is touched up with horseradish, oven roasted tomato confit, fresh tomato, red onions and frisée lettuce. And, if that meaty monster isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite, the burger is served with a side of French fries


29 Feature

The Burger - $186 Burger King serves a burger worth $186? Surprisingly enough they do. The fast food franchise has created a gourmet burger simply named ‘The Burger’ to rival all upscale restaurants. So what makes this Burger King sandwich gourmet? Perhaps it’s the fine ingredients including Wagyu beef, white truffles, Pate Negra ham slices, Cristol onion straws, Modena balsamic

Bouloud’s fine burger is number five on our list and available at DB Bistro Moderne in New York City and at the Daniel Bouloud Brasserie in Las Vegas during the black truffle season, which usually runs from late December through the end of March.

The Richard Nouveau Burger - $175

Next on our list is a burger flaked with real gold. Located in the Financial District, the Wall Street Burger Shoppe is home to the Richard Nouveau Burger. The burger consists of prime kobe beef and crowned with aged gruyere cheese and 25 grams of black truffles within the flurry of shimmering gold flakes. Its bun is coated with a lavish spread

vinegar, labms lettuce, pink Himalayan roc salt, and organic white wine shallot infused mayonnaise in an Iranian saffron and white truffle dusted bun. It certainly doesn’t sound like your normal ‘Whopper’ (although the price s whopping) with all its mouth-watering and high powered ingredients but why is Burger King doing it?

The proceeds from The Burger sales benefit the Help A London Child charity. This is an organisation which assists young people experiencing abuse, homelessness, disability, poverty and illness. So, if you want to sink your teeth into number three on the list of the world’s most expensive burgers and donate to charity pop down to West London location to grab your bite.

Kobe Beef and Maine Lobster Burger - $777 of shaved black truffles, foiegras, and a golden truffle mayonnaise. The meal is finalised by Co- owner and Chef Kevin O’ Connell adding Belgian-style fries, mixed greens, and a tomato salad. The price on this dish has been raised in the past in order to stay on the list of most expensive, and here it still stands at $175 and number four on the list.

Adding almost another $600 to ‘The Burger’ brings us to number two on the list. You will find it exclusively at Paris Las Vegas and it has all the qualities to bring even more Sin to the City. The gourmet burger is topped with camamelized onions, imported Brie, crispy prosciutto and 100-year aged balsamic vinegar and served with a bubbling bottle of Rose Dom Perignon champagne; a recipe of pure indulgence.

Fleur Burger 5000 $5000

French chef Hubert Keller has created an unbelievable addition to the world of burgers which will make any burger lover’s heart pound with delight. It has beat all attempts to create the most decadent and expensive burger and is located at the Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The expensive $5000 price tag attached to it targets only the most indulgent of burger fans. So what beefs it up to amount to this mighty fee? Keller’s burger extravagance features a juicy Kobe beef patty topped with foie gras and black truffle which is served on a brioche truffle bun and garnished with a rich truffle sauce. Sounds great but for $5000 it must be missing something. Perhaps the bottle of 1990 Chateau Petrus served in Ichendorf Brunello stemware which you are welcomed to keep is that something. Obviously bragging about paying that much for a burger would have some friends doubting and this is why Keller mails a certificate of proof to your house.

There they are a list of the top five most costly burgers. Would you be daring enough to empty your pockets or bank balances to try any of these five burger beasts?

beyond xperience  l  april 2011


kids xperience 30

at

Kids Steer the Fun

Ferrari World

The prospect of sitting behind the wheel of a Ferrari is electrifying; it would have you buzzing like a kid again. But what if you were a kid? Ferrari World Abu Dhabi grants children the unreal opportunity to experience one of the most exciting cars. The world’s largest indoor theme park contains numerous family-friendly attractions designed to allow children to experience amazing adult adventures which their age would inhibit in the real world.

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The park allows kids to learn some basic road safety skills whilst driving scaled down Ferrari F430 GT Spider cars at the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Driving School, before hitting the Junior Grand Prix Circuit to race. The youngest of kids can still enjoy the experience at a slower pace with a gentle ride through the Italian countryside in beautiful scaled down vintage Ferrari California.

And if the child is eager to take his/ her whole family for a ride and show of their new skills, they can do so on the Carousel. An old fairground favourite takes on an exciting Ferrari style twist, feeding imaginations and giving a glimpse into the future of Ferrari. Then go drench your senses in the Speed of Magic 4D fantasy realm. There is all this and much more for the young and young at heart at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Learn, experience, and enjoy.


31 a must xperience

Xperience this before it

DISAPPEARS The Snows of Kilimanjaro

The Snows of Kilimanjaro, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway, are melting fast and will, according to scientists, be gone in about 15 years. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa’s highest mountain and is such a popular climbing destination it has its own international airport. Not only is melting ice transforming the face of this famous mountain, but nearby rivers, which supply water to many villages, are shrinking.

beyond xperience  l  april 2011


teavel tips - camera 32

Tips to protect traveller’s most prized possession

Whilst travelling around the world one of your most prized possessions is your camera. It captures all your unique and wonderful experiences and rekindles images of a time well spent. So, it can be furiously frustrating when you go to make that snap and nothing happens. You give it a little shake, take the battery out, put it back in, try it again and still nothing. Maybe the battery is dead? You did just charge it, but perhaps you left it turned on. You charge it again, alas still no joy. Your camera is dead; you are on a backpacking budget and about to continue your journey to remarkable places which will have to be ingrained in your memory. Between sand, salt water, torrential down pours and all the turbulent activities involved in travelling your camera can endure a tough battle. Here are eight tips on protecting your camera from the environment.

1. Utilize the camera strap

2.  Invest in a Crushproof Case

Pelican and Otter cases are essential at keeping dust, sand, water at bay and also protecting the little snapper from being crushed to smithereens. Don’t just throw a camera into the bag naked; make sure you clothe it with a case.

3. Purchase wisely

Before you buy your camera make sure you opt for a durable, tough one. It is sometimes easy to be swayed by colour or how good your camera looks but its purpose isn’t to accessorise. There are cameras available which are freezeproof, waterproof, shockproof and crushproof. They are built to withstand the toughest of elements - an ideal buy for the adventurous voyager.

4.  Don’t forget the Floating Camera Strap So you decided to go and buy the ingenious waterproof camera, well done but BEWARE. Just because its

beyond xperience l april 2011

They may be annoying and get in the way of your shot but not if use them correctly and wear it on your wrist. You don’t want to be on a speed boat and catch a glimpse of a breaching dolphin and hurriedly take the snap only to hit a crashing wave. Your camera quickly disappears into the deep, blue ocean and all because you were too lazy to wear that strap.

waterproof doesn’t mean it will float when you drop it into the water. So get yourself a floating strap, that way when you drop it in the water it won’t sink and become forever lost.


33 teavel tips - camera

Gorillapod A clever invention with a suiting name

5. No waterproof camera? Then opt for a Waterproof Case

tightly shut. I jumped straight in - BIG MISTAKE. The camera emerged with a waterproof case filled with lethal, salt water resulting in camera death.

6.  Get Yourself a Gorillapod A clever invention with a suiting name, the Gorillapod is ideal for those who want that perfect shot from the rockiest of situations. It is a tripod weighing less than 2 ounces and is simple to pack into the tightest of bags. It can literally monkey itself around an object to allow you to take that unique shot - a flexible friend to the globetrotting photographer.

7.  Save your images So you have a good reliable camera but it isn’t waterproof. Don’t dismay as these little waterproof pouches can be purchased cheaply enough. I must warn you though, from my own experience you must always make sure it is tightly and rightly closed. I had one of these handy devices whilst travelling and as soon as I hit the beautiful turquoise waters in the lagoons of Ko Phi Phi, I became so excited that I didn’t take the time and care to ensure my case was

It is one thing to break a camera but another to lose all your images. Your memory card holds all these photos, so by protecting the card and by not leaving your images build up you can prevent a BIGGER loss. Any opportunities you have to upload your pictures to computer or hard drive seize them. This way a loss of 300 images can be decreased to a loss of 30. Thirty images is a lot less depressing than three hundred. Also, if you do find your non waterproof camera becomes

submerged in salt water for some time - act fast. Take out the battery and memory card, dry them off and try to shake out any excess water from the camera immediately, then wait some time until your camera has dried out completely before trying to turn it on. You may not save your camera but by acting quickly you may have saved your memory card and with it an array of priceless pictures.

8.  Ensure you Insure

If you are like me and hard on electronics then I would highly recommend purchasing warranty or accident protection plans for your camera. Many plans will protect your camera 100% from mechanical failures as well as falls and water damage. It’s heartbreaking to lose or break your camera but with some guarantee of compensation it makes it a lot less stressful.

These are the eight tips, abide by them and you will avoid severe disappointment on your journey. Happy snapping! beyond xperience  l  april 2011


in focus 34

Spectacular Hospitality in the UAE

T

here are almost 104 nationalities in UAE which means there is a wide range of cultural discrepancy and one doesn’t need to go far exploring them the closet and most apparent is within the hospitality industry. The hotels around the country not only set examples of the various grades, stars and categories they also portray various cultural attributes. UAE has hotels apt for each and every section of travellers be that; leisure hotels, budget hotels, resorts or hotel apartments. With no second thought we all would agree, especially the ones who have travelled to other countries and stayed at different hotels, that UAE hotels are synonymous to luxury and a much affordable price. Where else in the world are you pampered with 24 hour dining restaurants and room service, reputed spas open till late nights, a porter/ bell boy always available ( unlike hotels where you need to pick your luggage yourself to your rooms, in many hotels in the West). UAE is home

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to some of the most outstanding and finest hotels in fact almost all the leading brands have their hotels (more than one) here. Even the simplest downtown hotel in UAE provides an airport pick up and drop facility, has a concierge service and a smiling and well trained staff.

Going above as the stars increase so does the charm of the hotels and Burj Al Arab catches the eye and doesn’t even blink further. Guests who stay here experience a comfort level they have never witnessed before and wont again (except at their homes). Its massive palatial entrance ensures you feel home to a luxurious Arabian culture with spotless green water all across in the ambience and impeccably clean beaches leaving serenity on your

Le Meridien, Abu Dhabi

mind and soul. Stepping in you observe some wonderful fountains and a palace look alike furniture, each room is a comfort zone in itself. Details such as stone (granite) from Brazil, and marble and glass from Italy, and the finest Irish linens are painstakingly gathered here to paint a picture of luxurious excess. Each suite comes with its own butler, wall to wall views of the gulf, and the latest in television and technological additions (Internet access, an outside


35 in focus

Sheraton Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Serab, Abu Dhabi

video monitoring system which allows you to both see who is at the door and open the door without ever leaving your bed). Armani hotel which is a new to the list of luxury hotels in UAE is another masterpiece in itself designed by the world renowned designer Giorgio Armani. A hotel where each room has been designed by him personally ensuring no two rooms look alike. Right from the time you enter Armani you are a silent spectator to one of the finest contemporary arts in form of architecture.

Not so far we reach Sharjah and its neighbor Ajman it would be incorrect to not count them one though they are politically different jurisdictions but surely one in terms of hospitality. Sharjah has a few city hotels , however the real hospitality starts from the beach there is list of hotels all stars and categories that start from Radisson Blu and stretches up to Kempinski in Ajman ( since that the dead end of one side of the city). In the night post seven to be precise when the lights go on Ajman looks no different than the walking street of Pataya (only in the good sense) with people sitting roadside, travellers Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhab

on the beach. Though nothing gala or fantastic to quote but one gets enough satisfaction, enjoys value for money in all these hotels.

Going further to the country’s capital full of business thus one find many business hotels around the beach and within the city as well but amongst others the one that stands tall is the “Emirates Palace’ one the world’s finest and most elegant seven star hotel. The kind of a royal treatment one gets here is once in a life time experience. Built in 2005 and owned by the government of Abu Dhabi is a perfect blend of Arabian hospitality in its best modern outlook. Another interesting fact it is that it is the second most expensive hotel ever built; only surpassed by Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Many

of the suites in the hotel are furnished in gold and marble. The main central area houses an expansive marble floor, balconies and a large patterned dome above, picked out in gold. The topmost floor has six Rulers› Suites which are reserved solely for Emirati royalty and dignitaries. Being at Emirates palace is like imagining oneself the tales of ‘Alif Laila’ or Sindabad the sailor in the 21st century.

Sheraton, Meridian and Rotana are a few more brands that can be added to the list while Bas Al Shams is another weekend getaway within the city for the travellers or guests who don’t want to drive much yet enjoy resort stays. The capital city also hosts home to various business hotels, city hotels, beach hotels and of course Asia’s largest hotel

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in focus 36

Armani Hotel, Dubai

Grand Millennium at Al Wahda with 850 inventory, contemporary lobby and some of the finest restaurants. While discussing the hotels in Abu Dhabi it would be unfair not to mention hotels on Yas Island. Starting from the Marina Circuit to Radisson the amazing masterpiece of man’s creativity Yas Island, which is all made on re – claimed land on the sea is an absolute delight to the eyes. Connecting from the corniche road of the city, Yas Island lands you in a complete different world all together. Dining or staying in one of the hotels amidst of the sea with authentic Arabic hospitality that will leave you mesmerized. For the resort lovers who enjoy weekend stays at peaceful close to nature places Ras – Al – Khaimah’s Khatt Springs hotel and spa, Al Hamra Fort hotel, The Cove - Rotana and Al Aqa Beach resort

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The Banyan Tree, (which opened last year) are a perfect getaway amongst the others in the list. Though, these four surely stand out in terms of their vicinity, elegance and ambience rendering a soothing countryside feeling with red sand and lots of camels as an eye candy.

Kimpinseki hotel, Ajman

Another weekend getaway is the resorts in Fujairah, a city close to the white sands and mountains. JAL Resort, Rotana, Aqah resort and spa and Hilton are a flawless combination

of ethnic stances and modern comfort. You feel you are in an Arabic courtyard when you are welcomed with the traditional dates and tea and furthermore the awesome gourmet restaurants with celebrity chefs just act as more brownie points for travellers to enjoy there stays in these resorts or hotels.

Summing up the other hotels in the UAE Umm al Quwain is home to a few decent resorts such as Flamingo, Barracuda and Palma. They are an apt weekend destination; huge as if a complete city in itself. They are very occupying for a while you may just start believing you are in a Far East country with good sunshine, nice pristine beach some very well made cocktails and sumptuous food. Coming here is a picture-perfect way to unwind you from the daily hustle bustle of life and recharge for the more to come. One to One hotel, Abu Dhabi


37 photographer’s xperience

A Moment in Time A traditional refreshments seller in the old city of Damascus washing his glasses. Location: Hamidiya Souq, Damascus, Syria Photographer: Anas Albounni, Syria www.anubisgraph.deviantart.com

beyond xperience  l  april 2011


news flash 38

Etihad CEO addresses Global Tourism Forum in Lucerne The Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, recently addressed the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, on the subject of sustainable growth.

In his keynote speech, Mr Hogan discussed the central role tourism plays in the expansion of economies, and highlighted the remarkable progress of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan and Etihad’s role in achieving this ambitious vision. He shared the stage with leading academic and author of the UK Sustainable Development Commission Report, Professor Tim Jackson. Mr Hogan said: “Tourism is a fast growing industry in Abu Dhabi, which makes Etihad’s participation in events like the World Tourism Forum increasingly relevant.

platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. Like many others in the industry, Etihad recognizes the value of collaboration and partnerships in addressing the many challenges we face, such as sustainability and talent management.”

“This forum provides a unique opportunity for us to engage with our existing industry partners and to forge new relationships for the benefit of Etihad and Au Dhabi. “It is a

Emirates launches Airbus A380 to Shanghai

Shanghai, the most populous city in China, is set to joins Emirates’ expanding list of Airbus A380 destinations, As the superjumbo begins its non-stop service from Dubai on 27th April 2011. Shanghai is Emirates’ third destination in Greater China to welcome the Airbus A380, following the launch of the aircraft to Beijing on 1st August 2010 and Hong Kong on 1st October 2010.

International Airport at 1530hrs (local). The return flight EK303 departs Shanghai at 2330hrs (local) and arrives in Dubai at 0430hrs (local) the following day.

“Thanks to the support that we have received from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Shanghai Airport Authority, Shanghai becomes the latest destination to join our global Airbus A380 network. Emirates currently has 15 A380s in service, flying from Dubai to 10 countries around the world,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group.

“Emirates has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with China, we began cargo operations between Dubai and Shanghai in 2002, and then started passenger services in 2004. The A380 launch demonstrates our continuing commitment to this important country, in addition to boosting trade between China and Dubai, the Middle East and Africa,” added Sheikh Ahmed. Emirates’ 489-seater A380, which will be the first scheduled A380 service to Shanghai, will operate three days a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) as EK302 departing Dubai at 0310hrs (local time) and arriving at Shanghai Pudong

15 Years of Austrian Airlines in Dubai

Austrian Airlines celebrated the 15th anniversary of flying to Dubai this year. On 27 March 1996 the inaugural flight to Dubai was operated with a Boeing 737. In the beginning the flight schedule consisted of one flight a week. Due to the rising demand, Austrian Airlines has been able to successfully increase the number of flights. Today, Austrian Airlines offers daily flights between Dubai and Vienna operated by a Boeing 767.

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“We are happy to welcome Shanghai’s first A380 flight to land at Shanghai Pudong Airport, having adapted the facilities and enforced thorough safeguard measures for A380s to ensure the smooth operations of this revolutionary superjumbo,” said Mr Yu Wuyan, Vice President, Shanghai Airport Authority & Chairman of the Board, Shanghai International Airport. Christina Debbah Vice President Global Sales & Distribution says at this occasion, “We are happy to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our flights between Dubai and Vienna. Dubai is an important destination in our Middle-East strategy.”


39 news flash

Qatar Airways to go direct and daily on Budapest-Doha from September Budapest Airport confirmed recently that Qatar Airways will begin to operate direct flights to Doha from the airport, on an expanded daily frequency, effective 14 September. The direct route will be dropping the existing stop over in Bucharest, Romania. The new schedule is a terrific enhancement to the initial three times weekly schedule which commenced on 17 January. “It means that the journey time is shortened for passengers travelling from Budapest to the Middle East and enables increased options for onward connections to Asia,” said Kam Jandu, Director of Aviation: “Moreover, we can offer more capacity on their Airbus A320 flights to Hungarian originating travellers.”

terminals’ capacity from 4.5 m to 8.5 m passengers a year. Unveiled on Friday 18 March, the glass building which is expected to become an iconic Budapest feature offers 39 catering and retail outlets over a 4,300 sq area, including a 1,400 sq m walk through duty free shop operated by Heinemann of Germany. SkyCourt will formally open for business on 27 March

The increased rotation builds on a successful start to the Qatar Airways route which has been operating three times a week a Doha to Budapest service, offering its award winning five star service to passengers originating in the Middle East and further afield via its hub connections. The news follows hard on the heels of the official inauguration of Budapest Airport’s new SkyCourt. The centrally located, spacious new 24, 000 square metre terminal building brings together Terminals 2 A and B. The stunning new structure has been designed to enable speedier connections, and double the

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts confirms 2011 launches of properties in Abu Dhabi

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts has announced the 2011 opening of key properties across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India and the Maldives as part of the group’s commitment to provide guests with distinctive accommodation in key destinations.

Speaking in advance of the Arabian Travel Market 2011 event Thierry Bertin, Vice President Worldwide Sales - South West Asia, Hyatt International said, “Travellers from the GCC region look for convenient access to luxurious retreats which provide authentic hospitality - our 2011 property openings offer these elements and are within five hours travel time from key airports in the region.” Hyatt Capital Gate. Conveniently linked to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the 189-room Hyatt at Capital Gate which occupies levels 18 to 32 of the 525-foot Capital Gate building, will have a sleek contemporary design is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2011. Due to the unique contour of the tower, each room in the hotel

will have a different shape and orientation and the hotel’s ‘sky lobby’ will be suspended 80 metres above the ground on the 18th floor, offering panoramic views of the city. The 35-storey tower, with its staggering shape, orientation and design, is owned and developed by ADNEC. It has been built to lean 18 degrees westwards - more than four times that of the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Capital Gate forms a major part of the Capital Centre development, the $8bn business and residential micro-city being constructed around the newly opened Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas. Located on the northern part of Saadiyat Island, surrounded by the 18-hole championship Saadiyat Beach golf course, and featuring a 5.5-mile (nine kilometre) stretch of pristine natural beach, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas will be the first Park Hyatt branded resort in the Middle East -- when it opens in the last quarter of 2011. It will be the third Park Hyatt hotel in the Middle East and the fourth Hyatt hotel in the UAE.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will be located in close proximity to Saadiyat Cultural District, which will be home to Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museums. Occupying 18.5 acres, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will feature 270 spacious guest rooms with a minimum of 592 sq ft of space, 44 villas, a selection of world class restaurants, as well as exclusive facilities dedicated to conferences, events and recreation.

beyond xperience  l  april 2011


news flash 40

New menu at La Mamma restaurant at Sheraton Abu Dhabi With new Chef Andrea Molinari from Italy took over La Mamma Restaurant in Sheraton Abu Dhabi, the menu got the new taste and feel.

Have you ever tried melon with gorgonzola? If not then you must, this is one of the signature dishes of La Mamma’s new Chef Andrea Molinari from Italy. Try the famous risotto with melon, gorgonzola cheese and shrimps, now on the menu of La Mamma. The dish has won a gold medal in a risotto making competition in Milan.

Originally from Lombardia in Italy, Chef Andrea complements the menu of La Mamma restaurant with his extraordinary cooking skills, introducing a new menu. His cooking is inspired by his grandmother, a mother of 10, working in the fields all day and cooking for the family. The grandmother’s secret family recipe was passed on to Chef Andrea and can now be found on La Mamma’s new menu: Rib Eye steak with green and pink pepper sauce, asparagus and potato polenta.

Visit La Mamma and get to know Chef Andrea who is known for his original recipes in which you see and feel the ingredients and where light sauces dominate the cooking style.

Germany settles in at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi during the Bavarian Maibaum Festival

Le Méridien Abu Dhabi celebrates the Bavarian Maibaum Festival (BMF) recently, during the festival Le Méridien Village was transformed into a traditional Bavarian village. Two guest Chefs from Bavaria prepared an authentic Bavarian buffet which was served in the Centre Garden of the Village. People have explored and celebrated the German culture. This festival would have not been completed without, Alpenklang, a 4-piece music band directly brought to Abu Dhabi from Bavaria performed live at Le Méridien Village. Lucky draw and other competitions took place throughout the evening.

beyond xperience l april 2011

Millennium participates at Thirds Annual Autism Awareness Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi participated with 60 members of its Management and staff in the third annual Abu Dhabi Autism Awareness Walk 2011 , organized by the Future Centre For Special Needs under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Millennium Hotel is very keen in taking part in such events, and in fact, events of such nature are on top of its priority list. The believe in supporting children with autism is what made all the Millennium staff go to the Corniche and light candles before proceeding with the walk (which is a symbolic act of enlightening people about autism) “ If we raise the awareness of autism among people, the children will have a bigger chance of being accepted and consequently, lead more fulfilling lives,” commented Moine Kandil, the General Manager of the Hotel.


41 news flash

Kempinski to add five new properties to their GCC collection by 2012 Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are set to welcome five new luxury hotels by 2012, says winner of Best Brands’ 2011 Best Service award, Kempinski Hotels, concluding its fifth annual GCC regional road show recently. The Five new properties - Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah in Dubai; Kempinski Hotel, Jeddah; Kempinski Hotel, Riyadh and Kempinski Al Othman Hotel - Al Khobar in KSA and Kempinski Hotel Bahrain City Centre, Manama, are expected to set a new benchmark in luxurious hospitality in the GCC, and bring new green and intelligent technology to the region.

This year, 20 international Kempinski Hotels - including the stunning Seychelles Kempinski Resort located in Baie Lazare, due to open later this year - toured the GCC to showcase the luxury group’s growing portfolio of stunning properties from around the world. Kempinski Hotel teams from Bangkok to Budapest travelled across the GCC to strengthen business ties with travel trade partners in the region. The road show took in three major cities in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah on April 3, Riyadh on April 4 and Al Khobar on April 5, Doha in Qatar on April 7 and successfully drew to a close in Kuwait on April 9.

are becoming more adventurous in their destination choices, they still desire and appreciate all the comfort and assurance that staying at a well-established global hotel brand offers,” said Avsar Koc, Regional Director of Sales Middle East, Kempinski Hotels. “Our hotel collection includes some of the most distinctive properties in exciting cities and resorts across the world, which gives Kempinski guests a unique advantage in terms of experiencing new destinations while staying at a hotel with familiar and superior standards of service,” he added. “Our travel trade partners play a key role in communicating our leading status among leisure and business travelers, and the good relationships we have built over the years are integral to our future success. This was the fifth edition of our annual road show and we once again embraced the opportunity it provided us to showcase our growing hotel portfolio to our regional travel trade partners, in order for them to continue to recommend us to their clients,” added Koc.

“There has been a significant rebound at the higherend of the travel industry in the past year. While people

One to One Hotel – the Village hosts pioneering adaptation of ‘The Seagull’

One to One Hotel – the Village hosted a stunning production of Chekhov’s The Seagull for three days recently in The Village Gardens. The performance by Resuscitation Theatre is the first professional theatre performance by a ‘grass roots’ group of actors and marks the birth of live professional theatre in Abu Dhabi. Resuscitation Theatre signature style engages the audience through vibrant and unusual use of physical movement, space and lighting. Artistic Director, Maggie Hannan, said, “This play was for modern audiences who enjoy contemporary interpretations of classic theatre. I have conceived Resuscitation Theatre to articulate classic texts through visual forms that will cultivate the relationships between visual art, performance art and theatre.”

nationality, were brought up in Abu Dhabi. “The only way for live theatre to take its place as in the development of the arts in Abu Dhabi is if it is produced on a local level and not imported!” Maggie added Education is as important as performance to Maggie. Through Resuscitation Theatre, she aims to support Theatre-In-Education through workshops for schools, colleges and the community, including workshops for A Level and International Baccalaureate.

Tickets are AED 50 and are available from the One to One Hotel reception. All performances begin at 8pm. The duration of the performance is approximately one hour without an interval.

“We are delighted to have Maggie choose us, to introduce this form of art, doing something different fits in well with the One to One style.” Said Jessica Asher, Marketing and Communication Manager at One to One Hotel – the Village. This production is especially exciting for Maggie as it features two Emirati actors in their debut performance of Chekov: Fatima al Taei ex- student and Ibrahim Al Khumairi, student with The New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi. The other two actors: Dilan Pasha, an Iraqi & Canadian national and Zena Ibrahim, of Jordanian / Irish

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Culinary

Khalidiya Showroom - Abu Dhabi Mall - Marina Mall - Emirates Palace - Al Wahda Mall Khalidiya Mall - Al Ain Khalifa St - Al Ain Mall beyond xperience  l  april 2011



Vol 2 Beyond Xperience April 2011