Entries in Dubai (8)


Taj Mahal Replica to Be Built in Dubai

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Dubai will soon be adding another ostentatious building to its skyline as developers announced they plan to build an exact replica of India’s famed Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The project, called “Taj Arabia,” will include a 300-room five star hotel, apartments, restaurants and shops, according to the development company Link Global.  The price tag for the development is more than $350 million, according to the company’s website.

The original was built over 22 years in the 17th century in Agra, India.  It was built by Shah Jahan for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal.  Both are buried in the complex’s tomb.

The developers are hoping, among other things, that Taj Arabia will also become a symbol of love and a destination for weddings.

“Imagine if this immaculate tribute to love could be the setting for the milestone event in the life of a man and woman,” says the voice greeting visitors to the project’s website. “This dream will soon become reality.”

Taj Arabia would join copies of the Eiffel Tower, Egyptian Pyramids and Great Wall of China in Dubai’s Falcon City of Wonders.

Dubai is known for its massive and flashy developments.  Others include the world’s tallest tower the Burj Khalifa, the iconic sail-shaped Burj al Arab hotel, one of the biggest malls in the world and an artificial archipelago of islands in the shape of a palm tree.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baby Born on Plane, Named for Airline

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Who is your baby named for? Your mother? Dad? A beloved aunt? Your airline carrier?

A woman who gave birth on an Emirates flight earlier this month reportedly did just that.

The woman was traveling on Emirates from Dubai to Manila when she went into early labor, according to Emirates 24-7. She gave birth on the plane, which was then diverted to Ho Chi Min City, the airline said in a statement. reported that the baby was born in the aircraft toilet and that “two Filipina nurses on the flight jumped out of their seats to assist in the mid-air delivery.” They helped aspirate amniotic fluid from the baby’s mouth, nose and ears.

The baby’s mother was reportedly so grateful she named her baby boy EK, the Emirates’ flight code.

The mother and baby were transferred to a hospital upon landing. The mother has been released from the hospital, but the baby remains in critical care, Gulf News reported.

EK is far from the first baby to be born mid-flight.

In April, a baby boy was born en route from Atlanta to Africa, with the help of a flight attendant. In 2011, a baby was born on Philippine Airlines en route from Manila to San Francisco. That baby, too, was a boy.

Also in 2011, a woman gave birth to a baby boy on an Alitalia flight from Milan to Paris.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Middle East Hotel Looks to Go Underwater

Hemera/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- A new hotel in the Mideast is about to go under the sea.

Dubai is planning to build a luxury underwater hotel that would be surrounded by a coral reef and feature rooms submerged 32 feet below the surface.

The Water Discus Hotel is designed at a cost of up to $120 million -- no word yet on the room rate per night.

The plans are reminiscent of Dubai's heyday. Another underwater hotel was announced in 2006, but was never built.  The city is still working through a debt pile of over $100 billion from construction boom.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Thailand Busts Animal Trafficking Network

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images(BANGKOK) -- Anti-trafficking officers at Bangkok International Airport have hit pay dirt with the discovery of rare baby animals hidden in the suitcases of a man bound for Dubai. They found two leopards in the luggage, a bear in a bag, a pair of panthers and matching monkeys. All were sedated in the various pieces of baggage belonging to a 36-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates.

Agents had tracked the suspect since he was observed purchasing animals on the Thai black market. Authorities believe the individual was part of a larger wildlife trafficking network and a search is now on for accomplices.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dubai Woman Wants $12M from Husband Who Denied Her Sex

Comstock/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- An unidentified woman in the United Arab Emirates is suing her husband for the equivalent of $12 million because he withheld sex from her.

According to the Gulf News, the Dubai woman claimed in court her husband's rebuffing -- later found to have been caused in part by erectile dysfunction -- caused her mental anguish.

The woman eventually divorced her husband, who has reportedly been married more than 12 times, claiming he also made her resign from her job and "stripped her"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French 'Spiderman' Scales World's Tallest Building in Dubai

Davis McCardle/Getty Images(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Alain Robert, the French climber who calls himself "Spiderman," scaled the world's tallest building in Dubai Monday, with the blessing of government officials.

The only thing officials asked of Robert was that he use a rope and harness, which the daredevil agreed to do before his ascent of the Burj Khalifa, a 2,717-foot-high tower.

Despite windy conditions, Robert made the climb as an ambulance with a stretcher waited at the base of the half-mile-high building. 

Beforehand, the Frenchman, who has climbed more than 70 buildings including the Empire State Building and Chicago's Willis Tower, declared, "To live we don't need much, just a roof over our heads some food and drink and that's it... everything else is superficial.  I climb because I need to find something I enjoy in life and I enjoy climbing buildings."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


World's Highest Restaurant Opens in Dubai

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Emaar Hospitality Group(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- What are you doing for dinner tonight? Chances are your plans don’t include drinks at a quarter-mile above the earth’s surface.

In Dubai, patrons began sitting down to dinner Sunday at the world’s highest restaurant, just opened on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

The luxury lounge and grill – appropriately named At.mosphere – is surrounded by glass walls, offering diners a spectacular panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.

The picture-perfect scenery doesn’t come cheap; a reservation will run you at least $122 a head. A private dining area is available for $176.90 per guest. And if you’re just feeling parched, afternoon tea is a mere $100.

Located just over 1,300 feet in the air, At.mosphere sits more than 300 feet higher than the world’s second-highest restaurant located inside Toronto’s CN Tower.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Al Qaeda Group Claims Responsibility for UPS Plane Crash in Dubai

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An al Qaeda group based in Yemen, claimed responsibility Friday for the Sept. 3 crash of an UPS cargo plane which killed two crew members after taking off from Dubai International Airport.

Initial media reports did not attribute the incident to a terrorist group.  However, officials have been looking into the incident following last week's discovery of ink jet toner bombs.
A U.S. official says “it is not surprising that they would issue such a claim of responsibility. As we have said, we are continuing to take another look at the Dubai crash but nothing thus far has indicated any nexus to terrorism. The available information continues to indicate that the crash was an accident.”

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority stated that its “investigation into the UPS Boeing 747-400 accident in Dubai which occurred on Sept. 3 has eliminated the possibility of an onboard explosion  following a detailed onsite investigation of the wreckage.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio