Tag Archives: Dubai

St. Regis Dubai Opens $20,420 Suite

The $20,420-a-night Imperial Suite is the latest addition to the St. Regis Dubai and is actually larger than the hotel ballroom at 913-square-feet (85 square meters). To put it into perspective, that is around $7,000 more than the two-bedroom Royal Suite offered by the Burj Al Arab, which offers everything from butler service, a private beach, and 24-carat, gold-plated iPads.

What sets the St. Regis Imperial Suite apart are two floors worth of elegant, stately furnishings linked together by an in-room spiral staircase. The staircase leads up to the central dome of the hotel where there is a rooftop plunge pool and majlis (which in Arabic means “a place of sitting”) that offer panoramic views of landscaped gardens. Along with three bedrooms, the suite also features a living room, 12-seater dining rooms, a study, and lounge area.

St-Regis-Dubai-Pool

On the technology side, the suite provides complimentary Wi-Fi (who doesn’t these days) and two HDTVs. There’s also a well and carefully stocked mini-bar and butler service. Ample dining for 12 people will be provided.

The St. Regis Dubai is located in Al Habtoor City and has 234-rooms. The hotel is styled with French beaux-arts architecture and neo-classical interiors and opened last year. There’s even a one-bedroom Bentley suite for car aficionados upholstered in leather finishes, colors, patterns and wood veneers reminiscent of the Mulsanne, the brand’s flagship performance luxury car.

St-Regis-Dubai-Exterior

5 Affordable Luxury Destinations Worldwide

The last time we went on a journey with TripAdvisor, we ended up catching a case of the travel bug with their list of romantic destinations. Being caring friends of ours, they have provided us with the perfect remedy to bring us back to earth and make an informed decision. Don’t tell anyone but Trip advisor has let us in on a little secret that could help save a cushy sum, without skimping on the extravagance. Rather than to simply book a holiday (as we were tempted to) when the travel bug bites, try to heed their advice and plan one during the off-peak season. Easier said than done we know but vacation rentals in various places during the off peak season would save you much more than you would think. We decided to explore a few options available and were pleasantly surprised at what we found. All prices listed are per week, accommodation only.

St. Barthelemy

Most affordable time to travel: All of November

The Caribbean island is better known as St. Barts, and as the chosen destination of those living the high life, it comes as a surprise that this would be an affordable option. In the peak season, expect to part with nearly SGD $20,000 but choose to travel in November and you would pay significantly less.

St. Barts

St. Barts

There is no shortage of villas for rent and the Villa Amancaya is one of that provides you both privacy as well as a view of the ocean. With five-bedrooms, it sits on the heights of Anse des Cayes and also comes with it’s own private swimming pool. On the same island is the equally well-appointed Amalie. The two-bedroom rental home is spacious and bright, thanks to the large French doors and windows. All rooms open up onto a balcony that overlooks the pool and view.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Most affordable time to travel: Mid to late May

Bring on the Hula skirts and puka shell necklaces! Another great option is Honolulu, Hawaii. Forget the crowded hotels. The best ways to immerse in the Polynesian culture would be to go snorkelling and scale the extinct volcano, Diamond Head.

Travel Best Beaches

Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Oahu, Honolulu

Normally a vacation rental in scenic Honolulu can set you back close to SG$5,000, but off-peak season in May would only cost around SG$3,000. Given that it is a national monument, having a view of the Diamond Head would be a treat. It is no wonder then that the two penthouse suites we have chosen boast some of the best views of it.  The first is the Kahakai Penthouse, on the Gold Coast of Hawaii. With two-bedrooms, the penthouse also boasts a view of the pristine blue waters. The other is another two-bedroom penthouse suite by Captain Cook Resorts. The floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every room, give you a wonderful view of the surrounding areas. It doesn’t hurt that the penthouse is situated on the 38th floor or that you are provided access to the 6th floor recreation deck.

London

Most affordable time to travel: Week of July 6th

Remember that a holiday doesn’t always have to be limited to the sun, the sand and the sea. It could involve a stiff upper lip, a visit to the Queen and some English tea. It will certainly be cool(ish) during this time of year but you look to save approximately SGD $2,000 if you travel during the first week of July.

Tower Bridge London

The Tower Bridge in London

There are several lovely accommodations in London that would cater to either families or larger groups who choose to travel together. We fell in love with this 6-bedroom family home in Bristol Gardens. Simply a short walk to Warwick Avenue Station and a 13- to 25-minute drive to Central London. Alternatively, if you are looking for a place that sleeps just four, might we suggest a cosy 2-bedroom apartment in Kensington. It is a stone’s throw away from Kensington Palace and down the road to several museums and the Royal Albert Hall, which in our opinion is a great deal.

Dubai

Most affordable time to travel: Early November and early December

Their star property is a man-made island that is considered an architectural feat on its own. Boasting infamous seven-star hotels and such, it is certainly tempting to book a room in the world’s tallest hotel. At less than SG$3,000, a vacation rental in Dubai during the off-peak season isn’t such a bad idea, especially if you wish to visit the Gold Souk or Gold and Diamond Park.Dubai1

Our take would be to try a few cosy vacation rentals on the luxurious beachfront that offer you the same view. The first is The Silverene on the Dubai Marina Waterfront. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the luxury apartment is in close proximity to the Dubai Marina Mall, with a water taxi stop at the doorstep. The other is an apartment at the Al Bateen residences. Located on a high-floor and boasting a clear view of the marina and sea, the four-bedroom five-bathroom accommodation also gives you direct access to a private beach and 24-hour concierge.

Sydney

Most affordable time to travel: Most of August

For our last-of-five destinations, we selected the land down under. Well known for kangaroos, koala bears, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydeny is one location that has both the ocean view with the sandy beaches as well as the city nightlife in one area. Expect to pay less than SG$2,000 for a vactaion rental in August, according to TripAdvisor.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

You don’t have to live within the Central Business District hence we selected two vacation rentals either within or not far from the city center. Our first choice is the two-bedroom Pyrmont Apartment, a 10-minute drive from Hyde Park. The apartment in a historical building also comes with two bathrooms, and has contemporary furnishings and fixtures. The second is the Sky Pad, a 15-minute walk away from St.Marys Cathedral and Hyde Park. The child-friendly one-bedroom apartment in the Darlinghurst suburb also overlooks the eastern region of Sydney.

The Titanic: A New Beginning

All Aboard the Titanic II! No, you are not in 1912 and no we have not let the Monday blues get to us. We are in fact talking about the Titanic replica that Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is creating.

Back in 2012, Palmer had announced his plans to recreate the Belfast liner that sank on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean, and set sail this year. However, the plans have now been pushed back to 2018. A little over a century after the Titanic began its journey the replica will mirror the ship —with a few modifications. To meet modern maritime safety regulations, the vessel will measure 4 m wider and the hull will be welded, not riveted, reported The Belfast Telegraph.

When complete, the Titanic II will measure 270 m long, 53 m high, and weigh 56,000 tons. Like its predecessor, the Titanic II will have three cabin classes. The ship will span nine floors and be able to carry 2,400 passengers. Other features will include Turkish baths, a swimming pool and gymnasium. As far as we know, Kate and Leo are not scheduled to be on it.

As an aside, it is important to note that as far as cruise liners go, this one is far from the largest, with gross tonnage these days clocking in at above 100,000. The largest such ship in the world, Allure of the Seas, has 2,700 staterooms, for example, and weighs in at an incredible 225,282 tonnes. For the truly curious out there who may wonder if this is a coal-powered ship, given that the original boiler uptakes will be recreated, in fact it is diesel-powered. Four diesel engines power three azimuth thrusters and two bow thrusters.

Instead of Southampton to New York, however, the ship’s maiden voyage will be between Jiangsu, China, where it’s being built, to Dubai. This story remains a work in progress as rumors continue to swirl around Palmer and the health of his businesses but we are tracking it closely. The key question remains, if the project is actually completed, would you book passage?

Buy Damac Property, Get Free Supercar

We rarely cover promotions here because it is just too prosaic but Damac Properties – for the 10th year running – is offering something we cannot pass on reporting. In conjunction with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the developer is promising free 2016 models of the BMW 730i, BMW X6 and Lamborghini Huracan for buyers of its properties in Dubai. According to the Khaleej Times, which broke the story, eligible buyers will get their car upon payment of just 20 percent of property price. The promotion holds true for the full spectrum of Damac Properties, including the villas in Akoya, Damac Residenze in Dubai Marina, serviced apartments in the vicinity of the Burj and Versace-styled villas on Palm Jumeirah. Longtime readers will realize that we covered something similar some years ago right here, proving that some promotions are indeed worth revisiting.

Fire at Address Downtown Hotel Dubai

The new year got off to an unfortunately fiery start in Dubai as the Address Downtown Hotel went up in flames. The hotel is right next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, where the actual fireworks show is. Reuters and the BBC are reporting that up to 16 people were injured and one person suffered a heart attack during the evacuation of the building; the heart attack victim subsequently passed away (this is unconfirmed at this point). Little is known about the cause of the fire, which reportedly started at 21:30 (GMT), December 31 on the 20th floor and subsequently engulfed 40 floors of this 63-storey building.

[UPDATE 1] Wire services are reporting that Emaar Properties, parent company of the Emaar Hospitality Group, have decided to shutter the Address Downtown Hotel indefinitely. “Guests have been provided with alternate accommodation in various hotels in Dubai,” Emaar Properties said in a statement. No word yet on the cause of the fire nor on the financial implications for firm. No new injuries have been reported but Dubai authorities upped the injured count to 16 and added detail on the heart attack victim. Our story has been updated to reflect this.

Witnesses reported that explosions were heard at the hotel after blaze began. As of this posting, the fire has been contained but the BBC reports that the 20th floor is still ablaze. The authorities are presently investigating. The Address Hotels and Resorts, launched by the Emaar Hospitality Group, has not released a statement on the fire but has set up a hotline for guests affected by the situation.

Image credit: Danny15. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Aladdin City Dubai

Aladdin City Coming To Dubai

Aladdin City Dubai

Construction work on ‘Aladdin City’, a project inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, will start next year, according to emirates 24/7.

The project will have three towers, comprising commercial and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres on Dubai Creek.

The project aims to develop towers to be the icons of legends of the past with a touch of beauty and tourism characteristic of the city.

Aladdin City

It comes in the prime location of Dubai Creek maintaining the activities of the port heritage. The project is located outside the zone waiting to be registered with the World Heritage by Unesco.

It will have air-conditioned bridges with moving floor to connect the towers, driveways and parking lots. The shape of the bridge represents the form of exotic marine life such as dragon and snakes.

Three towers will have a built up area of 110,000 square metres with the highest tower of 34 storeys. The other two towers will have 26 and 25 floors respectively. There will be a total parking space for 900 cars.

Meydan One project

Dubai to build world’s largest indoor ski slope (again)

Meydan One project

Dubai, the Gulf emirate best known for its extravagant projects and scorching temperatures, announced Tuesday it would build the world’s largest indoor ski resort, with a 1.2-kilometre run.

DUBAI: LAND OF THE TALLEST, LARGEST AND THE MOSTS

Dubai’s current indoor ski resort, opened in 2005 in the Mall of the Emirates, remains the largest in the world, according to the Guinness World Records website, boasting a 400-metre (yard) slope.

indoor skiing facility of Dubai

The slope runs year-round, despite summer temperatures in Dubai that can top 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

The new covered ski resort comes as part of a scheme dubbed Meydan One, also to include the world’s tallest residential tower at 711 metres (2,333 feet), a dancing fountain sweeping up to 420 meters (1,378 feet), a vast shopping centre, a 350-room hotel and a marina.

Estimated to cost of up to 25 billion dirhams ($6.8 billion), the project is to extend from the Meydan race track in the desert to Burj Khalifa.

Ski Dubai

The first phase of the project, eventually to house up to 78,000 residents, should be completed in the next five years, in time for the UAE’s hosting of World Expo 2020, according to its promoters.

With its reputation as a liberal city in a conservative environment, Dubai has become a business and financial hub attracting businesses and expatriates seeking to establish themselves in the Middle East.

READ MORE: LUXURIOUS SKI RESORTS FOR NON-SKIERS

The emirate, which has also emerged as a tourist destination, last year logged 13.2 million visitors, and aims for 20 million tourists by 2020.

InterContinental Dubai Marina

InterContinental Dubai Marina now open

InterContinental Dubai Marina

InterContinental Hotels Group has expanded its portfolio of hotels in Dubai with the opening of the InterContinental Dubai Marina.

MORE THAN 13 MILLION TOURISTS VISITED DUBAI IN 2014

The property features 132 rooms and 196 fully serviced InterContinental residential suites and has views over Dubai Marina.

Part of the Bay Central development, situated in Dubai’s newest hub for contemporary lifestyle in the heart of Dubai Marina, the hotel is located within walking distance of the Dubai tram and metro.

Dubai Marina

The property features nine restaurants, lounges and bars, an outdoor swimming poo, male and female spas, gym facilities and meeting spaces.

The jewel in the hotel’s crown will be Marina Social restaurant – British, Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton’s first in the Middle East – which will open later in September 2015.

Fountain in Dubai

More than 13 million tourists visited Dubai in 2014

Fountain in Dubai

Dubai attracted more than 13 million visitors last year as the cash-flush emirate looks to reap the rewards of its growing tourism sector.

A total of 13.2 million foreigners headed to Dubai in 2014, an increase of 8.2% compared with the previous year, its tourism department said.

DON’T MISS: DUBAI TO BUILD ‘MUSEUM OF THE FUTURE’

It said it hoped to attract 20 million tourists a year to Dubai by 2020, when the city will host a World Expo.

Figures released in March showed that hotels in the emirate posted a 9.8% rise in revenues to $6.5 billion (5.8 billion euros) last year — the sector’s best annual result since the 2009 financial crisis.

Turmoil in most of the traditional tourism destinations across the Middle East appears to have helped Dubai capitalise on its reputation as a safe haven for tourists and businesses.

Dubai’s economy contracted 2.4% in 2009 when it rattled global markets over its debt crisis before receiving a $10-billion bailout from Abu Dhabi and reaching restructuring deals with lenders.

100 carrat perfect diamond

‘Flawless’ 100-carat diamond on show in Dubai

100 carrat perfect diamond

An internally “flawless” 100-carat diamond was on show Monday in Dubai ahead of being sold at auction next month by Sotheby’s.

The stone, which was discovered a decade ago in the De Beers mines of South Africa, will go under the hammer at a “Magnificent Jewels” sale in New York in April, the auction house said.

One of five diamonds weighing more than 100 carats that have surfaced on the market over the past 25 years, the jewel’s estimated sale price is between $19-25 million, according to Sotheby’s.

The auction house describes it as the “ultimate emerald-cut diamond, weighing 100.20 carats, D colour, internally flawless” and “unlike any diamond offered at auction before”.

Frank Everett, Sotheby’s VP of sales for jewelry said the diamond could be worn as “a pendant on a necklace, or a cuff bracelet or a ring” although someone might buy it “to admire it just as an object in its own right”.

lamborghini bugatti veyron dubai

Dubai tops New York, London for cars per person

lamborghini bugatti veyron dubai

The number of vehicles in Dubai has doubled over the past eight years giving the Gulf emirate more cars per person than New York or London.

The bustling city state now has 1.4 million vehicles for a population of 2.4 million, equivalent to 540 for every 1,000 people, according to the Roads and Transport Authority figures.

DON’T MISS: FERRARI ENZO ABANDONED IN DUBAI

mercedes sls amg desert gold

That compares with 305 vehicles per 1,000 people for New York and 213 per 1,000 for London. The number of registered vehicles has risen from just 740,000 in 2006, an average annual increase of 8.2 percent.

If that trend continues, the number of vehicles could reach 2.2 million by 2020, when the emirate is due to host the universal exposition.

On Ferrari patrol with the Dubai police

Dubai has invested heavily in public transport infrastructure in recent years, opening a metro rail network in 2009 and the first phase of a tram network last year. But car remains king and, despite massive road expansion projects, traffic jams are frequent.

Museum of the Future

Dubai to build ‘Museum of the Future’

Museum of the Future

Dubai on Wednesday announced plans to build an oval ring-shaped “Museum of the Future” to showcase innovation and solutions to challenges facing cities of the coming decades.

The museum is to be built on a grassy hill near the Burj Khalifa with a 500-million-dirham ($136-million) price tag and aiming to open in 2017.

DON’T MISS: YOU CAN BUY HOUSES UNDERWATER IN DUBAI

The Museum of the Future will “actively produce futuristic inventions,” the booming Gulf emirate’s government said, and provide a “permanent home for the world’s greatest innovations.”

It will “work to stimulate and incubate imaginative solutions to the challenges of future cities. It will bring together the brightest researchers, designers, inventors and financiers under one roof.”

The museum will house “innovation labs” focused on health, education, smart cities, energy and transport, and provide a platform for inventions by world-leading technology giants and start-ups.

underwater villas

You can now buy houses underwater in Dubai

underwater villas

First they built artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Now the next stage is homes that will be partially submerged.

A developer is to build 42 villas that have two floors above water level and one beneath on a cluster of six islands on The World islands project.

The developer, Kleindienst Group, said the 1,700 sq ft villas, expected to be finished in 2017, have an initial price of Dh5 million ($1,3 million).

DON’T MISS: DUBAI’S WORLD HAS A SINKING FEELING

The three-level villas are part of Kleindienst Group The Heart of Europe (THOE), which will have rain and snow-filled streets and floating bridges.

The Heart of Europe

The villas are being sold by Privilege Dubai, a real estate consultancy, which has bought the underwater villas from the developer.

The Heart of Europe comprises six islands: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and St. Petersburg with six additional destinations being Sochi, Belgium, Luxembourg, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Poland.

THOE is the first permanent development at , a collection of manmade islands in the shape of the world, 2 miles off the coast of Dubai.

Dubai the world islands

Sources: PropGOluxury Emirates247 – The National

jumeirah beach hotel

Burj Al Arab to begin 15th birthday celebrations

, the world’s most luxurious hotel and the flagship property of Jumeirah Group, is preparing to embark on a year of milestone celebrations to mark 15 years as the pinnacle of Arabian hospitality.

Built on an artificial island 280 meters from the Jumeirah coast, the five-star luxury hotel was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

DON’T MISS: AND THE BEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD IS…

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

On December 1, the hotel will host a fireworks show, combined with a visual 3D mapping projection that will be played off the sail-like structure.

Longtime partner Hermès will also be launching a series of limited edition gifts that the property has featured over the last 15 years.

Designed by architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins, construction of the hotel began in 1994 and involved 250 designers from the UK, US and Dubai, 3,000 companies and contractors, and the labor of 3,500 workmen at any given time. The hotel officially opened its doors on December 1, 1999.

WEDDING IN THE SKIES ON BURJ AL ARAB HELIPAD

helipad Burj Al Arab

At 321 meters, the Burj Al Arab stands taller than the Eiffel Tower and is 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building.

The 15th anniversary celebrations will continue throughout 2015 with a spectacular ‘Best of the Burj’ package featuring the top experiences available at the hotel.

The package includes Rolls-Royce Phantom pick-up, a luxurious suite, six-course degustation dinner and signature spa experience.

DUBAI’S BURJ AL ARAB OFFERS 24K GOLD IPAD

The Rolls Royce on the bridge to Burj-Al-Arab

Rates start at 5,990 AED ($1,630 USD) a night.

Fans of the hotel can follow the celebrations on social media channels with the hashtag  #CelebrateWithBurjAlArab.

DON’T MISS: BESPOKE PHANTOMS FOR BURJ AL ARAB

Dubai twin towers

Dubai unveils plans for tallest twin towers in the world

Dubai twin towers

 is reaching for the skies with a plan to build the world’s tallest twin towers as part of its “The Lagoons” project.

The Dubai Twin Towers are set to “define a new skyline for the city”, although an architect for the project has yet to be announced.

The mixed-use towers will form part of The Lagoons, a “city of the future” comprising 40-storey residential towers by Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding. The concept forms part of the Dubai Creek Harbour project.

DUBAI: LAND OF THE TALLEST, LARGEST AND THE MOSTS

Spread over 6 million square meters, The Lagoons will feature its own integrated transport systems, environmentally sustainable ecosystems and park areas, alongside Dubai Creek Residences, a series of luxury waterfront apartments.

Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons will also feature cultural amenities, healthcare centers and retail space.

Dubai Creek Residences will launch on November 1 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London and Moscow, where apartments will be available for pre-sale.

A construction date for the twin towers has yet to be announced.

Four Seasons Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Four Seasons Dubai to launch in time for Christmas

Four Seasons Dubai Jumeirah Beach

The already saturated luxury market in Dubai is about get more crowded with the opening of a new Four Seasons hotel.

The 14-acre resort has a Spanish-Mediterranean feel with Arabian accents and the 237-room hotel offers panoramic sea views and large balconies.

The lobby (pictured below) is capped by an octagonal dome finished with gold leaf and no expense has been spared – even the handrails in the elevators are made of Murano glass.

Four Seasons Dubai lobby

Rooms include marble flooring, walk-in closets, customizable beds and a luxurious bathroom covered in sheets of silver leaves.

Presidential Suites boast their own media room and private gym, whilst the Royal Suite has a butler’s room and a grand living room with its own piano.

Within the Resort’s gardens are two outdoor, free-form swimming pools, in addition to the indoor pool in the spa and fitness complex.

Set amid lush gardens, both the family-friendly Active Pool and the Quiet Pool shimmer with white and gold mosaic tiles beneath towering palms.

Four Seasons Dubai stairs

Day villas will be available to reserve and will include a private sun terrace plus mini bar and flatscreen TV in an air-conditioned interior.

There is a beachfront watersports center that offers activities like kayaking and paddleboarding, large enough to host catamarans and dinghies.

At five stories, the new hotel is comparatively low rise amid the city’s soaring towers, in keeping with the surrounding coastal community.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Dubai At Jumeirah Beach

The hotel is scheduled to open on 1 November 2014, and is now confirming arrivals from 1 December 2014.

underwater theme park Dubai

World’s largest underwater theme park to open in Dubai

underwater theme park Dubai

Dubai plans to open the Pearl of Dubai, an underwater theme park designed by the art team behind “Avatar” and the five “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

The theme park to be built by Reef Worlds is set to include scuba diving and snorkeling in a space modeled after the mythical Lost City of Atlantis.

The Pearl of Dubai is being billed as the largest sustainable underwater tourism site as it will stretch across five acres off the city coast.

underwater theme park

The underwater attraction will be designed to excite the imagination with submerged ruins and references to a mythical, sunken empire.

The artificial reef, to be built in shallow waters of The World islands, will also aim to foster marine life with colonies of algae and soft corals.

Dubai the world islands

The World is an artificial archipelago of small islands constructed to resemble a world map in Dubai.

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

And the best hotel in the world is…

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

The  in Dubai has been named the best hotel in the world by readers of The Telegraph’s luxury magazine Ultratravel.

In addition to taking the title of best hotel in the Middle East, the luxury hotel beat Claridge’s in London, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Mandarin Oriental and The Upper House in Hong Kong to take the lofty title.

The Burj Al Arab was also chosen by the UK publication’s readers as the best hotel on the planet last year.

helipad Burj Al Arab

In the glittering city of superlatives that makes sport of claiming a string of firsts, largest and tallest records, the Burj Al Arab offers a slew of extravagant hotel services including butler service for kids, weddings on the hotel helipad, and 24-carat-gold-plated iPads.

It was also named the world’s leading hotel at the World Travel Awards last year, an event known as the Oscars of the travel industry.

Other major winners of the Ultratravel awards include Emirates, which won in the category of best long-haul first class, and British Airways for best long-haul business class.

Emirates A380

Here are the other major winners:

Best hotel in the Middle East: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Best new hotel in the world: Rosewood London

Best hotel in the Americas: Four Seasons Hotel New York

Best hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Cape Grace, Cape Town

Best luxury hotel chain: Four Seasons

Best airline lounge: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow Terminal 3

Best long-haul first class: Emirates

Best long-haul business class: British Airways

Best hotel in Asia: The Upper House, Hong Kong

Best hotel in Europe: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Best hotel in the world: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Best country: United States

Best ski resort: Whistler, Canada

Best large luxury cruise line: Cunard

Best city: New York

Best luxury tour operator: Kuoni

Best golf resort: The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland

Best airport: Changi, Singapore

Best river cruise line: Viking River Cruises

helipad Burj Al Arab

Helipad Wedding on Offer at Famous Dubai Hotel

helipad Burj Al Arab

Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel has created a wedding package that will turn its helipad 212 meters in the sky into a unique wedding reception venue.

Add-on features with the wedding package include everything from a dramatic entrance aboard an Italian twin engine Augusta 109 aircraft — or by terra firma in a Rolls Royce Phantom — to accommodations, beauty, spa treatments and personal training sessions.

Couples can also develop a specially designed, bespoke wedding scent with a perfumer and take private lessons on etiquette and dance.

The Burj Al Arab’s Wedding in the Skies program starts at $55,000.

Burj Al Arab wedding receptions

Ebony Interactive Restaurant tablets

Interactive dining at Dubai restaurant

A Dubai restaurant has installed interactive tables that allow guests to swipe through the menu, update their Facebook status and even order a taxi home.

Ebony Interactive Restaurant tablets

At Ebony Interactive Restaurant in Dubai, interaction with wait staff is minimal, as diners can browse the digital menu, place their order, and watch chefs prepare their meal via ‘chef cams’ by using the touchscreen tabletops.

The interactive tables also allow guests to customize their decor and choose from a range of images and patterns for their desktop ‘tablecloth.’

While waiting for their meal guests can catch up on current news, check in on Facebook or send greetings and virtual cards to diners at other tables.

The project aligns nicely with the Dubai Smart City initiative which aims to transform the city into one of the most connected destinations in the world.