Dubai has a lot of big things. At 688 feet, the Dubai Eye will be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world and part of the $1.5 billion Bluewaters Island entertainment project. At almost 12 million square feet, the Dubai Mall sits in the shadow of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Now, a multi-national company plans to build the world’s largest man-made lagoon to the tune of $7 billion.
The yet to be named project will be nearly four times bigger than the current largest lagoon and have swimming, water sports and other water based leisure activities. If all goes as planned, developer Crystal Lagoons Corp that holds patented technology for building giant crystalline lagoons, hopes that their project will quickly become a popular warm weather destination.
“Caribbean landscapes are no longer exclusive to tropical destinations,” said Crystal Lagoons CEO Kevin P. Morgan in an Economic Times report.
Crystal Lagoons has bigger plans, too. “Based on our track record in the Middle East, we have proven that our technology can add value to a top destination, making beachfront real estate a reality anywhere in the world,” said Morgan.
Royal watchers greeted the new prince this week with pomp, circumstance and silly hotel packages. Prince George Alexander Louis’ first trip will likely be to his mother’s hometown of Bucklebury, about an hour west of London, or to visit his grandparents on their annual holiday in Scotland. As Gadling’s de facto baby travel expert, with 50+ flights and 14 countries under my belt with my (now) two-year-old, I’d like to offer some family travel tips, with some special considerations for the future king:
1. Take big trips early: The first six months are the easiest time to travel, before the baby’s mobile and while they still sleep round the clock. As a tot, jet lag is easy to manage when you nap every other hour, and entertainment is easy to find anywhere when you are mesmerized by your own toes. The new parents might aim to take Prince George to visit his subjects in Canada in early October, once they’ve gotten the hang of his schedule and before the fall weather turns cold, or perhaps down to Australia during the spring shoulder season.2. Learn some local baby talk: Traveling with a baby is a great way to talk to locals, share common experiences, get help and recommendations and (possibly unwanted) parenting advice. When traveling to a country with a foreign language, knowing a few commonly asked questions and answers will go a long way in making connections. The people’s prince will be undoubtedly be popular anywhere he goes, so learn how to answer “How old is he?,” “What is his name?” and “Where is he in line to the throne?”
3. Check out of hotels: With a baby in tow, a kitchen and a washing machine make more attractive amenities than a hotel bar or concierge. Renting an apartment or house makes sense for a family, giving you extra room for the baby to sleep while the parents stay up, and a place to prepare bottles and baby food. Surely the Duke and Duchess have some castle time-sharing agreement to stay local? You might miss the service of a hotel, but if you are traveling with your own royal butler, it’ll still feel like a relaxing vacation.
4. Not all airlines are created baby-friendly: Air travel has gotten more stressful and uncomfortable for all of us, especially when you are terrified that you’ll be the one with the screaming infant. Some airlines do offer a few ways to make the experience more pleasant for you and your lap child. JetBlue still offers early boarding for families and a free checked bag (a lifesaver when you are toting a baby with your carry-on), and Emirates offers a baby kit with supplies for young children. Staying loyal to the UK carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have free baby bassinets, special meals, and entertainment for kids. Even if you are flying by royal private jet, there are still ways to make flying with a baby go smoothly.
5. Don’t rush the kid stuff: Many parents think that travel with a baby means finding specially-tailored activities and kid-friendly destinations right away, but hold off on Disney — it’ll be years before they can appreciate it. Look instead for places that I call baby-friendly, with plenty of things for Mum and Dad to enjoy: a trip to Sicily where His Highness will be cooed over by Italian grandmothers while you, Catherine and William, sip wine on a piazza and take in museums too “boring” for a child, or a second honeymoon to the Seychelles.
Some of those cheap, plastic headphones airplanes give out could have a grisly origin. Both Qantas and British Airways are investigating whether the disposable headphones they distribute on board were made by poorly treated prisoners in a Chinese jail.
According to news.com.au, two inmates came forward to say that they made headphones for Qantas, British Airways and Emirates. The inmates claim that they worked more than 70 hours per week, and if anyone failed to meet production targets, they were “taken outside and tasered.”
All of the airlines have so far denied the charges, but Qantas has suspended arrangements with the company that supplies headphones to the airline, pending an investigation.
The first public commercial flight simulators, including two Airbus 380s and two Boeing 777s, are the centerpiece of a new aviation-themed attraction by Dubai-based Emirates Airlines that will open in London this July.
The simulators will utilize full landscape visuals to allow visitors to test what it feels like to take off and land commercial jets. The technology is one part of what is called the Emirates Aviation Experience, an attraction situated at the south side of the Emirates Air Line, a cable car that stretches across the River Thames. The attraction will also give a nod to aviation history and achievements through interactive displays.
“The purpose of this centre is to provide a fun, yet educational, overview of just what it takes to successfully get a 560 tonne aircraft off the ground and 40,000 feet into the sky. Our aim is to explain the intricate science of modern aviation, in a hands-on, entertaining and instructive environment,” said Emirates Airline President Tim Clark in a press release.
Emirates has been investing heavily in the United Kingdom since the company first began operating services there in 1987. The airline is the first sponsor to feature a company logo on the London Tube map, and this new attraction will further broaden their presence and increase their visibility in the U.K. But for travelers, it’s just another fun thing to do in London.
On the heels of a new partnership with Dubai-based Emirates airline, Qantas removed the meat from some of its flights to appease those prohibited from eating pork due to religious restrictions. Even though Qantas maintains the elimination will minimally affect its menu, the usually happy-go-lucky Australians were outraged and many of them spewed their hatred via social media.
The airline has since pleaded with its followers to stray from posting such comments, and is removing anything that might be considered offensive. If things continue to escalate, the airline may even go so far as to disable commenting for a period of time.