Middle East Battles For Rights To Angry Birds Theme Park

joanita, Flickr

Angry Birds theme parks have already taken off in Finland, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and now three cities in the Middle East are competing for the rights to build another video game-themed park in the region.

According to CNN, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Doha are each trying to stake a claim on what is expected to be the biggest Angry Birds-themed park in the world. With more than 1.7 billion downloads, the video game is one of the most popular smartphone apps of all time – and a theme park like this would be particularly marketable in the Middle East, where a fifth of all downloads are made.

Of course, Angry Birds Land is just one project proposed in the Middle East, a region that is ripe for theme park development projects. CCN reports that Abu Dhabi has expressed interest in a Michael Jackson-themed resort that would be adjacent to Ferrari World, the largest indoor amusement park in the world that is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster.

Skateboarding Through India


Extreme sports videos don’t get enough credit as artistic travelogues. For all the flinch-inducing, jaw-dropping athletic skill on display, the real star of extreme sports videos is often not the stunt-happy main character – it’s the backdrop. Take for instance Danny Macaskill’s rampart-flipping, phone booth-hopping mountain bike riding on the Isle of Skye. The video’s fine-grained camera work and textured shots show off his native northern Scotland in a way that virtually eclipses the bicycle trickery going on in the foreground. Another great example is Ryan Doyle’s parkour video in Dubai. His rolls and gainers through souks and off bagdirs are OK and everything, sure, but it’s the backdrop that shines through.

So it is as well with skateboarder Killian Martin’s new video above. As the freestyler spins and caspers his way through India, the director, Brett Novak, manages to sell the subcontinental playground better than most Indian tourism campaigns I’ve seen. The takeaway is clear: if you work for a tourism board, hire a wingsuit diver, an artistic extreme sports director and an indie band, and watch the tourists stream in.

Video Of The Day: Sunrise In Cloud City


Today’s Video of the Day could pass for footage from a futuristic sci-fi movie, but it was taken recently in Dubai by photographer Sebastian Opitz. Opitz’s surreal, almost comic book-like images were shot on a rare foggy morning as the sun rises. The time-lapse video was taken over four hours, at the end of which, the clouds seem to melt away, but the landscape still seems like a scene from the not-too-distant future.

Check out more of Sebastian Opitz’s gorgeous photography over on My Modern Metropolis.

Seen a video we should feature here? Leave us a link in the comments.

Photo Of The Day: Saturday With The Giraffes In Abu Dhabi

Today’s safari-themed Photo of the Day was taken with Instagram and submitted by The Purple Passport, a travel start-up that publishes web-based guidebooks on the world’s most exciting cities. The Purple Passport already has guides to New York, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Beijing and Taipei. Might Abu Dhabi be next?If you have any great travel photos, you now have two options to enter your snapshots into the running for Gadling’s Photo of the Day. Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool, or mention @GadlingTravel and use hashtag #gadling in the caption or comments for your post on Instagram. Don’t forget to give us a follow too!

[Photo Credit: Flickr user thepurplepassport]

Airline Adds Live TV To In-Flight Entertainment Choices

in-flight

Emirates Airlines has raised the bar on in-flight services for quite some time, offering over-the-top amenities like a shower in first class, Bvlgari amenity kits, dine-on-demand service and more. Now, Emirates has figured out how to add live TV from a variety of sources.

“Installing the type of satellite communication that allows live TV on an aircraft is no easy feat,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates executive vice-president of engineering and operations, in a Breaking Travel News report.

Currently offering a choice of four live TV channels, Emirates allows passengers to choose from BBC World News in English, BBC Arabic or Euronews.

Sports 24 is a channel with exclusive live coverage of sporting events around the world. Upcoming events include English Premier League and Bundesliga football matches, coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open Tennis, ATP Tour Masters 1000 Series, ATP World Tour Finals, US Open Golf and the British and Irish Lions Tour.

That’s in addition to information systems that allow passengers to follow the progress of their flight and see what’s going on outside the aircraft with external-mounted cameras. Already in place are in-flight phone calls both to ground and other passengers on the plane, as well as the ability for sending and receiving text messages, email and over 1,400 channels of premium entertainment.

Available on select Boeing 777 flights flying over the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and North America, Emirates live TV service is provided via expanding satellite technology, soon to be offered worldwide.

Want a taste of the Emirates first class experience? Check this video, just in:



[Photo credit – Flickr user BriYYZ]