Tag Archives: Dubai

17 of the world’s most beautiful clock towers

The clock is of course better known as Big Ben, which is actually the name of the bell inside, which was installed in the tower in 1859. The tower itself is called Elizabeth Tower.

Clock towers of the world

Equally worthy of our admiration, and with remarkable stonework, is the Rajabhai clock tower, in a university compound in Mumbai, India.

Clock towers of the world

One of the most famous clocks in Europe is the astronomical clock found on the Old City Hall in Prague. The movements of its allegorical mechnical figures always draw a crowd to the Old Town Square. It was installed in 1410 and death, portrayed as a skeleton, strikes the time.

Clock towers of the world

This clock tower, the Zytglogge in Berne, Switzerland, is less lofty but also photogenic. It is found in the old part of the city which is a UNESCO heritage site, and was built between 1218-20.

Clock towers of the world

Clock towers in farther flung destinations bear subtle influences of local architectural styles, such as this one in Bukittinggi, Indonesia, which has a distinct south-Asian flavour.

Clock towers of the world

Or this Islamic-style clock tower in Kuala Lumpur, which is attached to the Sultan Abdul Samad mosque.

Clock towers of the world

This caravanasi in Acre, Israel is known as the Khan Al-Umdan. It was built in 1784, with the clock tower overlooking granite pillars that surround a courtyard.

Clock towers of the world

In Beirut, Lebanon, the elegant Hamidiyyeh Clock Tower, originally built in 1897, was reconstructed following the civil war.

Clock towers of the world

The Mekkah Royal Hotel clock tower is the tallest in the world (601m) and also known as the Abraj Al-Bait Towers. It dominates a government-owned complex of buildings in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The clock face is also the world’s largest, at 43m in diameter.

Clock towers of the world

It may be (much) shorter but this clock tower in Metz, France, has its fair share of admirers.

Clock towers of the world

Another grand, European clock tower is found at the city hall in Munich, Germany. It’s gothic style is reminiscent of Big Ben, but it was built much later, in 1908.

Clock towers of the world

In Moscow, certainly the reddest clock on the list, the Spasskaya Tower flanks the eastern wall of the Kremlin and is the complex’s main tower, built in 1491 by an Italian architect. The clock appeared later.

Clock towers of the world

This is the Old Kowloon station clock tower, one of Hong Kong‘s most recognisable landmarks. It’s 44m tall and was completed in 1915. Time only stopped ticking during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in the Second World War. The tower is a lone survivor, as the rest of the station was demolished in 1977.

Clock towers of the world

More recently-built clock towers can be found in more modern styles, such as this, in the Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. A policeman used to stand on the top and direct the traffic. Germany’s first traffic lights were installed in 1924.

Clock towers of the world

Also notable is this, the Deira Clock tower, insalubriously sited at a busy roundabout in Dubai. The arms of this Sixties’ concrete structure gracefully arc towards a boxy clock that balances on their tips in the centre.

Clock towers of the world

In America, the Philadelphia City Hall clock tower is not to be sniffed at, completed in 1901.

Clock towers of the world

San Francisco‘s, at the Ferry Building Marketplace, strikes a pose in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. It survived two major earthquakes in 1906 and 1989.

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Gold Smuggling Increases 7x In India And Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade

Seized gold bars are kept on displayed by custom officers at the international airport in Kolkata November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

(Reuters) – Indian gold smugglers are adopting the methods of drug couriers to sidestep a government crackdown on imports of the precious metal, stashing gold in imported vehicles and even using mules who swallow nuggets to try to get them past airport security.

Stung by rules imposed this year to cut a high trade deficit and a record duty on imports, dealers and individual customers are fanning out across Asia to buy gold and sneak it back into the country.

Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore are the latest hotspots as authorities crack down on travellers from Dubai, the traditional source of smuggled gold.

In a sign of the times, whistleblowers who help bust illegal gold shipments can get a bigger reward in India than those who help catch cocaine and heroin smugglers.

“Gold and narcotics operate as two different syndicates but gold smuggling has become more profitable and fashionable,” said Kiran Kumar Karlapu, an official at Mumbai’s Air Intelligence Unit.

“There has been a several-fold increase in gold smuggling this year after restrictions from the government, which has left narcotics behind.”

From travellers laden head-to-toe in jewellery to passengers who conceal carbon-wrapped gold pieces in their bodies – in the mistaken belief that metal detectors will not be set off – Indians are smuggling in more bullion than ever, government officials say, driven by the country’s insatiable demand for the metal.

That suggests official data showing a sharp fall in gold buying, which has helped narrow India’s current account gap, may significantly underestimate the real level of gold flows.

The World Gold Council estimates that 150 to 200 tonnes of smuggled gold will enter India in 2013, on top of the 900 tonnes of official demand.

Between April to September alone, India’s customs officials seized nearly double the amount of smuggled gold it nabbed in all of 2012.

“Though the quantum of seizures has increased, in our opinion it reflects only 1 to 2 percent of total smuggling,” said a revenue intelligence officer in Mumbai who declined to be named. “Dubai is still the number one place from where gold gets in and Singapore is slowly emerging. Sri Lanka has become a staging point.”

Grappling with a high trade deficit and weak currency, India imposed measures this year to crimp demand for gold, the second most expensive item on its import bill after oil. It imposed a 10-percent duty on bullion and a 15-percent tariff on jewellery. Imports plunged to 24 tonnes in October from a record 162 tonnes in May.

SUPPLY CRUNCH

Gold is an integral part of Indian culture, offered at weddings and festivals. India was the world’s biggest gold consumer until last year but will be overtaken by China in 2013.

India has now stepped up cooperation with nearby countries to stem the smuggling.

Last week, Sri Lanka limited the amount of jewellery its residents can take out of the country and it will try to monitor whether they bring it back. Pakistan banned all gold imports in August for a month as it believed much was being smuggled on into India.

Indian gold premiums have soared to $130 an ounce over London prices due to the supply crunch, compared with about $2 an ounce in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

Banks and other official trading agencies in Singapore and Thailand that had supplied gold to their Indian counterparts have stopped due to India’s new rules.

But smaller dealers and retailers say they have been selling more to Indian customers than ever before, in jewellery and other forms.

Brian Lan, managing director of Singapore-based dealer GoldSilver Central Pte Ltd, said he has sold about 10 kg (22 lbs) of gold to a single Indian customer and gets multiple similarly big orders on some days.

“We have Indian dealers buying from us directly on a regular basis,” said a second Singapore dealer. “They say they have their own means of taking it in without getting caught.”

Amy Childs reveals her sensational shape in a tropical bikini as she puts on a scorching display with new beau Bradley Wright in Dubai

As one of Essex’s best known Mr Wrights gets married off, it seems that former TOWIE babe Amy Childs has her sights set on another.

The stunning reality TV beauty certainly seemed to be getting close to new boyfriend Bradley Wright, 24, recently as they spent time in scorching Dubai for their first romantic holiday.

Amy, also 24, has admitted that things are ‘getting serious’ and their loved-up beach display was nothing short of perfect proof that their chemistry is building.

Beauty entrepreneur Amy couldn’t be missed on the golden sands, having picked out a bright, tropical print bikini for the beach day.

She looked incredible in the halter-neck two piece, which perfectly displayed her ample chest and toned hourglass shape.

Formerly flame-haired Amy looked relaxed walking hand-in-hand with the sculpted hunk, chatting away contently with her golden-tipped tresses twisted over one shoulder and a pair of aviators on her nose.

Getting serious: Amy Childs and her new man Bradley Wright were seen enjoying their first holiday in Dubai together this week

While Bradley may have no relation to former TOWIE star Mark Wright and his cousin Elliott Wright, the builder certainly seemed to share their appreciation for honing a perfect physique.

The hunk kept his beach look simple in a pair of black shorts, appearing to catch a tan as his chest turned red from the scorching conditions.

Scorching: The pair were caught smooching as they lay out on the golden sands
Scorching: The pair were caught smooching as they lay out on the golden sands

He certainly couldn’t keep his eyes off stunning Amy as she lay out on the sand shaking out her hair and lavishing him with kisses.

She's got an admirer: Handsome Bradley certainly couldn't keep his eyes off the gorgeous brunette
She’s got an admirer: Handsome Bradley certainly couldn’t keep his eyes off the gorgeous brunette

Amy and builder Bradley, also 24, have been dating since the New Year after meeting in Essex bar The Bull in Brentwood, but have managed to keep their romance largely under the radar.

Sizzling: The former TOWIE starlet looked incredible in a tropical bikini as she played in the water
Sizzling: The former TOWIE starlet looked incredible in a tropical bikini as she played in the water

Last month, Amy revealed that things are heating up between them, and that she feels ‘lucky’ to have met such a caring suitor.

Picturesque: The stunning backdrop wasn't on a patch on gorgeous Amy in the sea
Picturesque: The stunning backdrop wasn’t on a patch on gorgeous Amy in the sea

Speaking to new! magazine, she explained: ‘Things have serious between us. It’s getting there, massively. I care for him so much, I get a bit of a pain – does that make sense?’

Steady on: Amy used her new boyfriend as a support and playfully pinched at him with her talons
Steady on: Amy used her new boyfriend as a support and playfully pinched at him with her talons

She added: ‘Brad tells me how beautiful I am every day. He tells me he’s so lucky, He always says he much prefers me without make-up on. It’s lovely – I feel really lucky.

'Happiest girl in the world': Amy took to Instagram to share an adorable kissing picture with her beau
‘Happiest girl in the world’: Amy took to Instagram to share an adorable kissing picture with her beau

Captioning a photo of the two of them from the holiday destination, Amy gushed: ‘Happiest girl in the world’

Sight seeing: It may not have been the most cultured of scenes but Amy certainly seemed to find things to point out on the landscape
Sight seeing: It may not have been the most cultured of scenes but Amy certainly seemed to find things to point out on the landscape

Amy’s best known relationship was with Kirk Norcross, which featured heavily in the early seasons of ITVBe’s The Only Way Is Essex.

New love: Amy recently described how Bradley made her feel beautiful on a daily basis
New love: Amy recently described how Bradley made her feel beautiful on a daily basis

The relationship ended in 2013 and since the beauty has only enjoyed a fleeting romance with model David Peters and footballer Adam Smith in the public spotlight.

Catching some rays: The pair appeared to turn golden as they soaked up the tropical temperatures
Catching some rays: The pair appeared to turn golden as they soaked up the tropical temperatures

This time around, Amy appears to have chosen a suitor who’s not a celebrity and appears to be reaping the rewards of his wholesome outlook.

Floating seahorse contemporary boat submerges rooms into marine life

floating seahorse contemporary boat submerges rooms into marine life

Launched at the dubai international boat showkleindienst group‘s ‘floating seahorse’ is a contemporary marine yacht that boasts underwater rooms with breathtaking views.

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Intelligently designed, engineered and developed in dubai, the unique concept will be limited to just 42 units. The aquatic style retreat’s master bedroom and bathroom will be totally submerged in the clear sea, delivering pictures of the surrounding coral reef and ocean life.

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Ceo of kleindienst group, josef kleindienst comments, ‘since launching the floating seahorse we have been inundated with local, regional and international inquiries.

We are excited to not just offer people a once in a lifetime investment opportunity in dubai but on a global scale. The floating seahorse is not restricted to dubai waters and can be designed and fabricated in dubai for other resorts and destinations worldwide.’

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Moving up to the luxury boat’s sea level, the accommodation which includes a fully-fitted kitchen with a dining area and an open plan living area, has floor to ceiling windows, offering uninterrupted ocean scenes.

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Furthermore, when the glass façade is open, the sun deck becomes an extension of the living space. On the upper deck, the floor is suitable for alfresco dining and relaxation, featuring an informal bed, mini bar, kitchenette and a glass-bottomed jacuzzi. The project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2016.

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‘many months of research, design and planning have gone into the floating seahorse and we are excited to be able to officially launch and build it in dubai.

We are confident that it will set a new benchmark in the luxury lifestyle market worldwide for outstanding innovation, contemporary design and underwater living at its best.’adds josef.

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Josef explains ‘the seahorse is an endangered species and we will create an artificial coral reef beneath the luxury retreats which will be a protected area in which seahorses can safely live and breed.

Very soon, people will be able to see up-close and personal, the beautiful and elegant arabian horse of the ocean – the seahorse!’

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