Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Leaning Tower of....Abu Dhabi

Within the past 24-months, a structure that defies the laws of architecture and design as risen out of the desert sands of Abu Dhabi. The Capital Gate is the newest structure that once again places the UAE at the forefront of the world's media. Originally this building started as a mere drawing, an artist's sketch resembling a wave. However, nothing is beyond the realm of possibilities for the forward thinking Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan. In January, while Mike was in Abu Dhabi, he had the privilege of being there for the unveiling of this modern marvel.

"The Capital Gate has been built to lean 18 degrees westwards, more than four times that of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, and, eared the Guinness recognition after rigorous evaluation of the Awards Committee since January, when the exterior of the 160-meter, 35-story tower was completed.

Commenting on Capital Gate's record-breaking achievement, Sheikh Al Nahyan said, "it is a landmark development for Abu Dhabi and with this recognition the tower takes its place among the world's great buildings. It is a signature building which speaks to the fore-sight of the emirate".

Capital Gate defies all the traditional rules of architecture and design. Hundreds of new inventions were created in order to turn this building into a reality. From ingenious foundation plans, to a non-traditional "egg-shell" exterior, to a several ton infinity pool hanging 300 feet in the air of the side of the building, this structure defies the laws of physics. To add to these incredible triumphs, the structure was both designed and built within a gruelling 24-months.

Abu Dhabi continues to come to the forefront of the world's media and news. Le Reve is continuing to expand their business relations in this region of the world. It is an exciting time to be a part of growth and ingenuity.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Authentic Arabic Atmosphere and Cuisine

When traveling I always seek out authentic indigenous cuisine.
In the Dubai I would highly recommend Al Manzil Hotels atrium restaurant called:
The Courtyard
Great outdoor atmosphere, fantastic array of Arabic foods, and this is the one place you want to go ahead and experience the Shisha water pipe, (hookah for those of us who learned the Indian term)

You will smoke authentic shisha, (flavours include rose and apple) in this dimly lit, atmospheric amid the arches and vegetation and in the evening a starry sky. The restaurant menu includes an assortment of cold and hot mezzes, soups and mixed grills. Dishes include hummus, Persian yoghurt and falafel. A broad a la carte menu is also available if you fancy poultry, fish or steak. Service was exceptional and the foods were all exceptionally prepared.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New York Style City Center in Dubai

Visited “Old Town” Burj Dubai Lake banked on one side by a residential village indicative of traditional Arabesque motifs. Across the lake you will see the world’s Tallest Building Burj Khalifa (formerly the Burj Dubai), on the lakes other side is the worlds biggest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), who’s attractions include the an aquarium full of all manner of sea fish housed by the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel. In the center of the lake is the world’s most “Awesome” 500ft tall and 850ft long water fountain.

This attraction cost $281 million and is the most technologically advanced fountain of its kind. U-Tube visual effects cannot do this attraction justice. You have to be there and experience the whole program. We then ended up at my favorite Dubai Restaurant The Meat Company. Great Steaks, ribs, and draft beer for a reasonable price, dinner couldn’t be better. Eat outside and enjoy the view, you get a feeling and ambiance like you’re inside the Venetian/Arab looking at real stars but no singing gondoliers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

World Energy Conference, Abu Dhabi

Arrived in terminal 3 in Dubai after my 16hr flight. Computer adm. Movies, food, sleep, makes the flight time seem inconsequential.

MASDAR World Energy Conference:

World’s platform for sustainable future energy solutions, hosted by Masdar. The Masdar Initiative driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is a global cooperative platform for the open engagement in the search for solutions to some of mankind's most pressing issues: energy security, climate change and the development of human expertise in sustainability.

Attendance: more than 140 government delegations from 19 countries, led by Heads of State, Royalty, Prime Ministers and Ministers and over 1,400 CEOs the World Future Energy Summit. Total attendance will exceed 18,000 and 600 exhibits displayed there latest technologies. This was the first significant environmental meeting since Amsterdam. U.S. delegation was not as impressive as I would have expected, one major corporate sponsor was G.E.

New idea’s and concepts: 100’s of exhibitors and various round tables and lectures most focusing on “wind and solar” technologies and new applications for them. Some great advances were noted by the auto industries and unique new water transport vehicles.

My thoughts going away were focused on "commercial opportunities". The U.S. should be more active in marketing and sales here in the Middle East. If we don't "ask for the business" we cannot expect it to come to us. The U.S. needs leverage international opportunities at symposium such as this. We need to take advantage of the strategic foresightedness of a country such as Abu Dhabi who is attempting to lead the world in advances in "sustainable future energy solutions".

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Car Show for Car Lovers

If you are a "car enthusiast" then there is one show you must attend while in Dubai.
The 'Middle East International Motor Show' (also known as the 'Dubai International Motor Show') is the single largest international automotive event in the Middle East. It is held once every two years, and the next show just happens to be coming December 16-20 in Dubai. In 2007 this unbelievable auto symposium pulled in over 101,000 visitors from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, the CIS, N. Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

Although much of the world is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, the Middle East still retains its position as the world's richest consumer market and displays the consumer prowess at the bi-annual automotive show. The Dubai International Motor Show provides automotive professionals the perfect platform to present their newest and most incredible cars and products and to set up new marketing networks targeting over one billion consumers.

From Bentley to Lamborghini, the Pagani Zonda C12S (a 200-mph Italian racer built in Italy and powered by a Mercedes-Benz AMG V-12), or the Spyker C8 Double 12 (a Dutch-built GT car with a 4.0 V-8 and a claimed 620 horsepower), this show offers the most incredible collection of automobiles in the entire world. Here are just a few of our favorites that you might want to see in person in December!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Arabian Art in Dubai

When you think of Dubai you typically think of incredible buildings and a desert oasis. However, Dubai also offers incredible opportunities to see beautiful Arabian artwork. At the XVA Gallery in Dubai, you will be able to see some of the most incredible contemporary art pieces all set in an exquisite atmosphere. XVA is respected around the world for its contemporary art collection, and Arabian artwork.

Opened in 2003, XVA quickly has risen to the forefront of the world's art stage because of its world-renown Arabian and contemporary artwork. XVA was built in the 100-year-old neighborhood of Bastakiya, in the heart of Dubai. Bastakiya was originally settled by Persian traders along the Dubai creek, within walking distance of the Fahidi Fort and the Old Souk.

The gallery is set in two courtyard houses build out of coral-colored stone and rich wood finishing. You can also enjoy the courtyard vegetarian café, which serves a basic but fresh menu of sandwiches, soups, salads, and the signature mint lemonade, as seen on the right. You can also stay the night in one of the eight rooms designed by a local designer and including pieces by Lebanese furniture-maker Nada Debs.

On Wednesday nights, XVA hosts a variety of entertainment from art-house films, to lectures by authors and artists, such as Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who read his book The Witch of Portobello.

If you are an art enthusiast, or have an eye for beauty, you can't miss the
XVA Gallery when you are in Dubai.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Historical Perspective of Dubai

Although Dubai is usually characterized by unparalleled architecture that breaks the barriers of normalcy, occasionally you step back in time to see traditional structures that reflect the culture, climate, and time period of the area. Two must-see historical sites in Dubai are the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, and the Dubai Heritage and Diving Villages. These provide an incredible window into the past and will give you a better understanding of the history of this world-renown city.

One of the oldest residences in the city, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum's House dates back to the late 19th century. The home was constructed using traditional preparation techniques, and large windtowers helped keep the home cool even on the hottest days. When the Al-Maktoum family first lived in the home, it boasted unparalleled panoramic views of the Persian Gulf, but development along the shoreline in recent years has diminished them somewhat. Today, visitors can tour the home, which also exhibits historical photographs and artifacts that chronicle the history of the Emirate of Dubai.

The Dubai Heritage & Diving Villages are located right next to the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoom House, and offer invaluable insight into the city's past. This center focuses on the Emirate's cultural and social development in three fields: architecture, pearl diving and maritime. Displays and exhibits include a Bedouin tent village, an ancient armory, and a wide range of excavated items from a nearby archaeological site. A small cafe and gift shop are on the premises as well.

If you have been thinking of taking an adventurous vacation with your family and friends to experience the history and excitement of Dubai, Le Reve can take care of every last detail. Email us at for assistance.