Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Tag: Dubai

Skywatch Friday – Nightfall at Kite Beach

Skywatch Friday - Nightfall at Kite Beach

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

William O. Douglas

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday: Off the coast of Palm Jumeirah

Skywatch Friday: Off the coast of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai

The autumn sky off the coast of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai was as clear as ever. A light breeze amidst the afternoon sun had made it a really pleasant day. And I was just reminded of the quote below.

“The blue sky is infinitely high, crystal clear…that’s what the world should be…a world of infinite possibilities, laid before us, crystal clear”

– Kenshin

Linking to Skywatch Friday

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Dubai Diaries: An evening at the world’s highest restaurant

Most people who go to Burj Khalifa end up at either of the observation decks – Floor 124 or Floor 148. I instead decided to visit the At.mosphere restaurant which at a height of 1450 feet is regarded as the world’s highest restaurant.

The entry on the ground is through the Armani hotel where the staff at the reception check your booking. With regards to the dress code, the website mentions ‘smart elegant’. I had worn a formal shirt with jeans and it worked fine. Since I had sports shoes on, the guys at the reception gave me a pair of formal shoes to put on before going to the restaurant. But in order to avoid last minute hassles, I would still suggest to follow the dress code to the T rather than having to argue with them at the reception.

The lift speeds up..

The lift speeds up..

The lift goes straight to the 124th floor (in a matter of seconds) and you end up with a popping sound in your ear due to the change in altitude. Once you arrive at the 124th floor, you have to come down the steps to the 123rd floor where on one side is the lounge and on the other is the more expensive restaurant.

And I am here finally..

And I am here finally..

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Dubai Diaries – A trip to the Miracle Garden

Spread over 72000 sq m and with over 45 million flowers, Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. In a country where temperatures can easily cross 50 degrees in the summer, this is quite a spectacular achievement which points to the vision of the authorities to create varied tourist experiences for the avid traveler.

The garden is open for visitors from October to April and closed thereafter as the peak summer starts. There are flowers covering trains, the Eiffel tower, a clock, peacocks, cars, village houses, Burj Khalifa and more. For those who are interested, a butterfly garden has also opened its doors next to the Miracle Garden.

The way the flowers have been arranged shows the amount of effort which would have gone in ensuring that tourist have a lovely time. It’s an amazing place to take in the fresh air and relax.

Miracle Garden

Miracle Garden

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Dubai diaries: The different moods of Burj Khalifa

Standing tall at a height of about 829m, Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world. With observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors, the Armani hotel and the world’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere) at the 122nd floor, this is one of the biggest tourist attractions on Dubai’s tourism map.

If you thought that was enough, you are wrong. Burj Khalifa is also famous for it’s record LED projection which uses about 70,000 LED bulbs in creating some fantastic shapes and designs.

Burj Khalifa Burj Khalifa

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Movie Review – Mission: Impossible 4 (Ghost Protocol)

Tom Cruise is back to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in the 4th installment of the Mission Impossible series after a hiatus of 5 years. He began the 1st installment way back in 1996 when he was just 34 but even today he still seems fighting fit. So does this movie have in it to rock the box office like the earlier parts? Lets see.

The movie begins in Budapest where one of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) agents assigned to intercept a courier related to a particular person who is code-named ‘Cobalt’, is killed. Ethan along with Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn) and Paula Patton (Jane Carter) – both IMF agents, are sent to infiltrate the  Kremlin in Moscow to recover files related to ‘Cobalt’. But before they are successful, someone bombs the Kremlin and the IMF is blamed for it. The IMF secretary immediately declares “Ghost Protocol” which dissolves the IMF but the agents can do a covert op. ‘Cobalt’ is identified as a Russian nuclear strategist who plans to start a nuclear war with the US. The rest of the movie deals with how the IMF manages to avert the nuclear disaster that is about to engulf America.

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Book Review – The Patriot

To be truthful I hadn’t ever heard of this book or the author. A couple of weeks back I got an email from him asking me to review his labour of love. I immediately checked out the synopsis and was hooked on. A novel on marine terrorism and that too by an Indian author is as rare as it can get.

The book goes with the tagline: Terror on the High Seas. Going through the cover with the image showing a very rough sea and a ship – INS Indraprastha in the background, you start thinking that this is going to be a real thrill ride.

With over two hundred thousand metric tonnes of highly volatile crude oil, she is a massive Indian flag merchant vessel sailing in the Arabian Sea towards Cochin in India. But in between the ship is hijacked by 9 highly equipped terrorists who with their Kalashnikov’s and grenade launchers look ready for a grueling mission. They plant underwater mines around the hull in front of the captain’s eyes. What is their aim? Will their mission succeed? Why does one of the terrorists change sides midway? The book tackles all these questions and more.

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Book Review – Of Dreams

Now this is the 1st book for which I was asked to write a review. Obviously it wasn’t a paid one before you start thinking I am being paid to write good things ;). But instead I got this opportunity because my couple of book reviews till date seem to have been liked by some people around. Anyways let’s get to the point.

‘Of Dreams’ is the first attempt at writing by Aditi Talwar Sodhi whose different from our regular out of college writers in the sense that she is an MBA professional with pretty good experience in the advertising industry. When you read the synopsis you realize that the book is about three girls and their dreams and what happens within. 3 girls? Now that’s something different than the regular boy-girl love sagas or gang of boys stories floating around in the Indian market.

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Movie Review – Endhiran / Robot


Any movie from the Rajnikant stable is bound to create frenzy not only in South India but also other places across the world from Singapore via the Gulf to the USA. But then Endhiran / Robot made at a budget of more than 200 crores spanning locations ranging from Kathipara Junction in Chennai to Machu Picchu in South America is no ordinary movie. Release in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi across 2000 screens worldwide, Robot is India’s widest release in terms of number of countries / theaters ever. It released in countries as far as Sweden (An Indian movie released for the first time on the very first day). There are also plans of dubbing it in Japanese.

Everyone is talking about the special effects. But more on that later. This movie is not all on technology or high tech gadgets. It has a story as well. Vasigaran (Rajnikant) is a famous scientist who develops an andro – humanoid robot (Chitti). It has a speed of 1 tera hertz and 1 zeta byte. He aims of developing such robots for the army to protect from enemies. But he has to get the approval of a committee headed by Danny Denzongpa before he can do that. Sadly he doesnt approve it for various reasons and finally Rajnikant is forced to teach the robot human emotions. But this has an effect which he couldn’t have ever imagined.

The extended climax is what holds you spellbound. You really wonder whether you are watching an Indian movie or a Hollywood one (I am not kidding on this!). Godzilla + Jurassic Park + Terminator + Anaconda and much more is what Chitti can do. From turning into a one headed monster to a snake to cloning himself into millions, there’s nothing he cannot do.

It’s always been a joke among a lot of people that Rajnikant can do anything and everything in his movies and still get away with. But this time he has a way to justify his actions as a robot can do anything. Can’t it? The best part about the movie is the fact that it has a story and that too an emotional one. Oh wait, there’s Aishwarya too in the movie. How could I forget her? From what I can understand she should be grateful for getting a role with the superstar himself. She has nothing to do other than dance in a few songs here and there and cry a bit and recite some crappy dialogues like “Chitti is my toy friend.”

Though there are a number of irritating songs and some sequences like where Chitti talks to the mosquitoes, the aura of Rajni manages to make one forget all of that. All in all its RAJNI all the way from Macchu Picchu to Chennai! And this time he has taken even North India by storm (Robot has earned the highest amount ever for a dubbed movie!).

Only 1 Rajnikant is enough normally to kill thousands and entertain. But here you get hundreds at the price of a few hundred bucks!!!

Rating – 4/5 (Mass entertainer – Highly recommended)

Dubai Metro – A model which the world deserves to follow!!

dubai-metro

Dubai has always been referred to as the the business hub, the tourist hub, the link of the east to the west and what not. Be it the numerous cities (Dubai Sports City, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai International Academic city, Dubai Media city etc), the humungous number of malls, the biggest and tallest structures and building, one of the largest airports in the world Dubai has been there done that. I admire the vision of the rulers who planned well in advance and thus were able to generate other sources of income like tourism, education, healthcare. But as they say Muscateers (like ME :)) who have stayed for a long time in Muscat dont generally like Dubai too much and vice versa because these two cities are as different as chalk and cheese. If Muscat is serene, quiet and peaceful, Dubai is the exact opposite as its unofficial tagline states “The city that never sleeps”. I personally feel that though they have managed to become a very rapidly growing economy due to their efforts, they have compensated their lack of natural beauty by going on a massive construction drive making it a concrete jungle.

But I really salute each and everyone who worked to make their latest dream – “The Dubai Metro” a reality. It has the distinction of being the world first automated driverless train system. The work for it had begun way back in 2005 when the first contract was given to the Dubai Rail Link Consortium made up of a group of Japanese companies.  4 lines have been proposed – red, green, purple and blue of which red has partially opened. When completed this would include 70 kilometers of lines as well as 47 stations. The Roads and Transport Authority’s masterplan includes 320 km of metro lines and 270 km of tram lines up to 2020 to cater to the expected 3.3 million population of the city. There are plans for 268km of light rail tracks to act as a feeder system for the Metro. The fate of this entire network – which would reportedly be divided into Yellow, Orange, Magenta and Black lines – is now dependent on an economic recovery and private investment.

Now this sounds like something crazy as usual coming out of Dubai. But even though it may be costly, I firmly believe that Dubai has taken a giant step towards reducing the number of cars on their roads and thus helping reduce pollution. People will surely have issues as was already seen from the fact that some didnt like the idea of giving up the comfort of their own cars, some had issues regarding parking at the Mall of the Emirates due to heavy charges while others just had a problem with trying something like this.

But the fact that 40,000 cars were off the roads on a day or two after the Metro shows that its on the right track. It has given people an altogether new way to see Dubai. The first few days would surely be full as was seen from certain minor glitches due to extreme rush. The thrill has spilled over to cyberspace with people discussing about it on Twitter, Orkut, Facebook, blogs everywhere.

The commencement of the Metro on the date fixed 3 years ago, the impeccable interiors and stations, the proper maintainence (some people said that the way it ran on the first day seemed like it had run for years), the subsidized rates (I hope they remain in the reach of the common man) are some of the most amazing features of this intiative.

I hope the other countries would consider try to emulate this model for the bright future of our planet. Hats off to Dubai for creating something which would surely imprint its name in history.

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