Explore The World’s Tallest Building In Google Street View

Burj Khalifa on Google Street View
Nicolas Lannuzel

At 2722 feet in height, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world and quite an impressive feat of modern engineering. Since its opening in 2010, the glass and metal spire has become an iconic structure, even managing to stand out in a city that is known for its over-the-top architecture. Most of us will probably never get an opportunity to see it in person, let alone step inside, but now, thanks to Google Street View, we can still explore the building in all of its glory.

Yesterday, Google added the Burj to the ever growing number of places that it has cataloged and put online as part of Street View. The building is the first ever skyscraper to make the cut and the first place in the Arab World to be added as well.

In order to capture the Burj for use in Street View, Google employees spent three days walking in and around the building while wearing the Trekker backpack. That device, which has been specially built for capturing places that the Street View cars can’t go, shoots 360° panoramic photos that are later incorporated into the system. In this case, it captured the view from the observation tower on the 124th floor as well as from the world’s highest swimming pool on the seventh floor, amongst various other locations throughout the building.

You can begin your exploration of the Burj by clicking here. But before you do, check out the video below that gives you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing structure and the lengths Google had to go to capture it.

Hotel News We Noted: May 25, 2013

margaritaville complex hotel
Courtesy of Resorts Casino Hotel

Welcome to the long weekend, “Hotel News We Noted” readers. It’s time for three days of sun, fun and relaxation – or, in our case, a wedding.

But before you jet off (or drive away, as the case may be), we wanted you to have your weekly dose of the best news from in and around the hotel world.

As always, send comments, questions and feedback to our inbox, or leave a note below.

Luxury Hotel Amenity: Gold-Plated iPads for Everyone
Dubai’s Burj Al Arab has just upped the ante on the in-room iPad trend, The Telegraph reports. The hotel, which already is one of the world’s tallest, might also offer the most expensive guest device, a 24-carat gold-plated iPad worth £6,715, upon check-in. The iPads have a special app that acts like a virtual butler. Of course, guests only have use of the technology while they are staying in the hotel.

Money Saver Alert: Room Service Gets Cheaper
According to a new article in Bloomberg Business Week, room service is one hotel amenity that’s actually decreasing in price. Room service is becoming simpler – both in delivery and in the scope of offerings. Hotels like Public in Chicago actually deliver items in a brown paper bag, a streamlined concept that fits with their chic, yet price conscious model.

Hotel Opening: Margaritaville Atlantic City
Parrotheads everywhere will want to head to the Jersey Shore this weekend for the grand opening of the Margaritaville entertainment complex at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. The new addition to the property includes a Margaritaville restaurant, LandShark Bar & Grill, a Margaritaville-themed casino, Five O’clock Somewhere bar, a retail store and coffee shop. The coffee shop is a new addition to the Margaritaville brand, and the casino will feature 12 themed tables and more than 150 slot machines. Governor Christie himself was present to cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony yesterday.

Cool Contest: Do The DTour
Think you have what it takes to be a travel writer? Now you can test your writing and producing chops. DoubleTree by Hilton is hosting a contest, dubbed the “DTour,” encouraging fans to share a video describing a nearby landmark, unique culture or not-to-be-missed travel spot in a destination of your choosing. The video and accompanying description will be entered in a contest to win a travel assignment to one of six continents where DoubleTree hotels are located. The winners will take in local culture, the hotels and much more, all while sharing their experience for the brand for trips that will last between two weeks and two months. The final entry date is May 31.

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.

Bluewaters Island Project Brings World’s Largest Ferris Wheel To Dubai

Bluewaters Island

The last time we talked about the “world’s largest Ferris wheel,” it was in reference to New York’s proposal to build the tallest wheel along the waterfront in Staten Island. At 625 feet tall, the New York Wheel promises to carry 1,400 passengers at a time, be taller than the High Roller wheel planned for the Las Vegas strip and 84 feet taller the Singapore flyer. Now, Dubai has thrown its hat in the ring with a wheel even bigger and taller.

At a planned height of just over 688 feet, the Dubai Eye will be the tallest in the world and part of the $1.5 billion Bluewaters Island entertainment project.

To be built in stages starting this April, the Bluewaters development will include a variety of venues to be built over the next two years. Boasting panoramic views of Dubai’s coastline, the man-made island will also include retail, residential and entertainment zones in a continuing effort by the emirate to promote Dubai tourism.

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”The Dubai Eye will serve as yet another iconic structure and will distinctively dominate the Dubai skyline,” said Abdullah Al Habbai, Chairman of Dubai’s Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based development company in a statement. “We are confident ‘Bluewaters’ will develop into a key attraction for the UAE, further enhancing Dubai’s status as the preferred global entertainment and retail hub.”

Bluewaters will feature an open-air marketplace circled by dining venues, connected to the mainland by a Disney-like monorail system. Where did the name “Blue Waters” come from? Check this quick video to see:


[Photo Credit - Dubai Media Office]