FLYDUBAI : Business Class Seat Review

If you prefer to travel in comfort without the hefty price tag, stop hassling Emirates check-in staff for free upgrade ( they heard it all 🙂 ) and try Dubai’s low cost option Flydubai.

Business class section is being used on nearly 85 destinations on Boeing 737.  There is 12 seats, with 42″ seat pitch and 21″ width. They also recline little bit, feel comfy and soft and you get pillow and blanket.

Ok, it’s not full flat bed/seat, but with flights of max.6 hours I am sure you can survive.

They even fly to my home… Prague, or if you more into beach laziness… to Maldives.

Flydubai’s hub is Dubai Terminal 2, so if you have connection with Emirates, keep on mind that the transfer my take some time.

Seats have USB port ans 12″ touch screen and you get some food too.

The most important thing is…it won’t cost you the earth.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS : “Flying Aces” rollecoaster in Ferrari World Construction

Have a look at first photos of construction of a new Ferrari World’s rollercoaster: Flying Aces.

As you can see pillars and track goes up very quickly and I am sure, the biggest loop ( 52m ) and record breaking starting hill ( 51 degrees ) will create a new dominant on the Yas Island skyline very soon.

Ferrari World explains, that Flying Aces is inspired by Italy’s “ace of aces” Count Francesco Baracca, a famous Italian aviator of the 1900s whose legendary Prancing Horse emblem was inherited by Enzo Ferrari.

The theme park also announced more rides and shows coming in near future.

DUBAI PARKS & RESORTS : “Behind the Gate” Construction Photo Update

October 2016…that’s the opening date of 3 theme parks being currently build in the desert in Jebel Ali area near Dubai.

Theme parks are just next to the highway towards Abu Dhabi and at this moment, planting of palm trees is in full speed to create barrier between.

As I was passing by last Wednesday ( 19th Aug ) I took few photos behind the gate.

Bollywood park, Motiongate park and Legoland Dubai with Aqua park, entertainment village called Riverland and Polynesian themed hotel will be another part of Dubai expansion into world class destination.

Dubai Parks and Resorts got together with Hollywood and Bollywood movie makers to bring big hit movies alive. We can except Hunger game, Smurf, Step up themed attractions and much more from Lionsgate, Sony and Dreamworks studios.

Recent announcement from DPR is 43% resort-wide development complete.

Let’s czech the photos below and see the progress.

EMIRATES vs SINGAPORE AIRLINES : World’s longest flight battle

Airbus is  currently working on a new  A350-900 aircraft that would allow Singapore Airlines to get back the record for the world’s longest commercial flight.

SIA stopped 19-hour ( 15.344km ) non-stop  flight from Singapore to New York in 2013 and the new A350 should be able to make the trip by using 25 per cent less fuel by being lighter .

And why all this rush?

Emirates Airlines just announced launch of a world’s new longest scheduled flight from Dubai to Panama. Entire flight will take 17,5 hours long ( let me know who wants to spend that amount of time in economy ?) and travel 13.800km.

Currently, crown for the longest flight holds Qantas on their flight from Sydney to Dallas ( 17 hours )

I will definitely not be flying those flights myself, but will be interesting to watch who will snatch the crown next…

BALI : 10 TOP ( or NOT ) Restaurants

Here is a chart of 10 restaurants “tested and verified” during my last visit in Bali.

Check which one is the ultimate culinary dream and which give your taste buds nightmares…

 

10th : Velvet Club


Ok service, nice view from the roof top terrace but the food just terrible.

Seriously, it is better if you go to KFC downstairs. Velvet is more of a night venue so I assume, if you totally wasted, you don’t care anyway…and this is the concept I guess. My mistake I went during a leisurely walk in the afternoon.

Velvet is located on the rooftop of a Beachwalk mall near Kuta.

Good for: Having you very last beer of the night
Cuisine: International bar food

 

9th : Mosaic Beach Club Restaurant


Well…where to start…

Such a nice place, luxury private beach club, palm trees, swimming pools … but perhaps too high expectations.

Mosaic’s location is a bit remote but the full ocean views from the first floor restaurant just priceless especially during sunset. For me the experience is only memorable for two reasons…the amazing bread and the candles after the power went down.

Lousy service, food tasteless, disappointing and cold. It’s a real shame, as the place has so much potential.

Good for: the bread
Cuisine: a’ la minute creations from local ingredients

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Total bill for 8 people

 

8th :Potato Head Beach Club


Soooo busy…

Potato Head was packed thru the roof during my visit and waiting over 10minutes for my cocktail put’s me off.

It does look very nice, beach front location, infinity pool overlooking the ocean, decent quality food but the amount of people on top of each other just doesn’t ring the right bells for me.

It attracts party crowd, so if you want to show off your newest tattoo, some muscles or fancy bikini, while listening the latest tunes, this is a place for you.

Good for: to find out the new best abs exercise
Cuisine: Asian inspired and bar food

 

7th :Sardines


On the list of the best culinary experiences in Seminyak, so the expectations were high.

To be honest, it was good but didn’t blow me away. I already forgot what was I eating, despite great service, lovely airy white table setting and very pretty rice field in the back yard.

You need to book a table as it is very popular and put bit of an effort in to your outfit selection. Crowd is mix of all ages and quite stylish looking.

I wouldn’t go back again but I have had a nice time.

Good for: To wear your fancy dress
Cuisine: Seafood

 

6th :Motel Mexicola


Fantastic concept and so much fun…

The music and Mexican décor is actually much better than the food itself.

Everything is served as a tapas menu and size. I felt the prices aren’t reflecting the food you actually get. All of it was also very very greasy.

I would recommend for drinks and atmosphere 100%. But for the food go elsewhere.

Good for: To see 50 shades of tequila
Cuisine : Mexican tapas

 

5th :Earth Café


Convenient, quick and healthy…

Its handy location in the middle of Laksamana street in Seminyak invites you into simple setting full of interesting free-spirited guests. Good prices and honest good food.

I especially enjoyed the huge variety of smoothies and fresh juices.

It’s not a venue for posh dinner but satisfying “guilt free” meal which makes you feel good during the day.

There is really lovely little shop inside with organic products and cosmetics just in case you need to stock up on some healthy nutrition.

Good for: Get back the dream beach body
Cuisine: Organic & healthy / vegetarian

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Love the juice menu

 

4th :La Plancha beach shack


Very simple but very “feel good” place…

One of many bean bag beach shacks restaurant on the beach.

During the day just handy, cheap and cheerful Nasi Goreng place  to fill you up between surfing lessons and tanning.

In the evening, the best place to just casually watch the sunset, resting in comfy ( and bit dirty ) bean bags, sip Bintang, watch the sun goes down while someone trying to put together latest Ed Sheerans songs live.

You need to come at least half an hour before the sunset, as all bean bags fill quickly. Service is bit slow, but hey, you don’t rush anywhere so just sit, relax and enjoy one of the fantastically romantic Bali sunsets.

Good for: Decent food for good price, fresh coconut water and the most relaxing Bali evening
Cuisine: Mix of everyting

 

3rd :Vin+


For romantic dinner and very “ZEN” setting…

The bamboo structure is very stimulating and reminding you where you are. The restaurant is mostly outdoor and staff very attentive and pleasant.

Dishes are nicely presented and taste as nice as they look.

For some reason, this place never looked busy and it lacked on a good vibe, despite live music and good location.

I guess, sometimes you just need to escape from the noise of the Seminyak and this is certainly a very good escape option.

Good for: Candle lit romance
Cuisine: International bistro fare + 300+ types of wine

 

2nd: Biku


On Petitenget street and near Taman Ayu Cottage hotel.

I “tested” few times. Always busy. Always great. Staff always very helpful to find table for you. No need for reservation.

Food is a great quality and big portions. Former antique store turned restaurant offers cosy, living room like interior made of natural wood.

Happy, friendly crowd and feels like you can join in and start making you first vacation friends.

The best for re-fuelling before your big night out without spending a fortune.

Good for: To find new friends
Cuisine: Tropical comfort food

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Antique store like interior

 

1st: Ku de ta


Next to Oberoi Bali and right on the beach, so you can watch the picture perfect sunsets directly from comfortable chair while sipping your favourite cocktail.

I visited without reservation (not recommended) and the only free table available was on the first floor which offers 3 or 5 course set menu, prepared directly by the chef.

I still remember taste of the food, that good it was. And not just the great menu, but friendly service and creative food presentation made a night to remember.

It is definitely not a “economy” place, but I think you get what you pay for, which doesn’t always apply for other similar places.

To make sure I wasn’t just lucky, visited once more and with no reservation again (and again, not recommended). This time got a table on the ground floor and… perfect food, drinks and service. You don’t need to wait too long for your food even the place is packed and the music is great too.

To my surprise, the manager is from the same country as me…so it maybe helped a bit ☺ and they opened new extension…so you go and try it yourself.

Goof for : Memorable food and service you deserve
Cuisine: International cuisine with a Mediterranean twist

 

 

VIDEO : Emirates A380 Take-Off…unique view from tail camera.

Emirates A380 has 3 real time cameras on board. You can watch directly from your setback TV screen in very good quality.

Cameras are fixed in the aircrafts nose, tail and undercarriage offering fantastic view especially during take off an landing.

Video below is a view of take off from DXB airport on the way to LHR.

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REVIEW : Aquaventure Water Park Dubai

Location : Atlantis hotel the Palm

Opening hours : 10am-7pm

Admission : AED 310/adult ( resident rate AED 185 with your ID )

Number of rides : approx. 13

How to get there: by monorail, or car ( just follow sign The Palm Jumeirah ). Every taxi driver will know. 15min drive from Dubai Marina, 30min from Dubai Downtown


Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Hotel on a crescent of Palm Jumeirah Island, is definitely one of the best water park fun days you can have and Dubai’s most fun places to visit… after the hotel brunches 🙂

Water park opened 2008 together with the hotel and Dolphin Bay swim experience.

Since than, the park expanded by opening a Tower of Poseidon with new thrill rides in 2013.

The best feature of the place is the theming and amazing landscaping. It’s hard to believe, few years ago there was only a sea and now lush tropical gardens, thousands of trees and flowers creating almost manicured jungle paradise with Ziggurat pyramids and curling down slides. It makes for refreshing  escape from the “boiling” streets of Dubai.

Best rides are definitely “Leap of Faith”, almost vertical plunge thru shark tank and Zoomerango big drop raft slide. Avoid ride called Slitherine… it slithers the skin of your back. Ouch!

Top of the towers offer fantastic view across the sea, Dubai skyline, and Burj al Arab hotel

There are two big fast food type of restaurants offering a bit bland, generic and of course overpriced theme park food. Efficiency of the kitchen isn’t great so avoid busy lunch time.

Also…perhaps was too hot during my last visit, but some of the rides on Tower of Poseidon were breaking down and couple of times a I just gave up the massive queues. The staff was blind towards other visitors skipping the queues which created a bit of tension here and there.

It is safe to keep your belongings with you under the sun bed, no need to rent locker and don’t forget your rubber slip on shoes as the floor gets incredibly hot.

You can also purchase different combos ( recommending Lost Chambers Aquarium combo ), or package with activities, meal, or dolphin swim.

Pros:  amazing location, views and landscaping, great rides, clean, private beach

Cons: low ride efficiency, slow food in restaurants, very slow ticketing system

 

SURVIVAL GUIDE : Dubai Airport

Airport code: DXB

Passenger’s per year : approx. 70mil.

Terminals : currently 4


  •  T1 – all international airline
  •  T2 – Flydubai and budget airlines only (separate terminal and not connected with T1/T3 )
  •  T3 – exclusive to Emirates
  •  T3 concourse A – exclusive to Emirates A380 aircrafts ( only accessible via train )
  •  T1 concourse D – opening November 2015
Dubai_Airport_overview
DXB Airport Complex from above

T1: also known as Sheik Rashid Terminal is at the present time under re-furhbishment. Until renovations is finished, expect lots of noise, bad lighting, low ceilings, crowds and long queues. 63 check-in counters are serving all international airlines.

The entire building is outdated, chaotic and gate areas with duty free are ugly.

Passengers sleep on the floor as there isn’t enough seating and even the business class lounge is terribly overcrowded and old. There are the usual fast food and cafe options.

Pros : e-gates
Cons : long distances, long queues, construction, wi-fi never works


T2: flydubai’s hub just have been renovated and extended. Arrival hall spacious and clean but flydubai check-in counters always with long queues. Immigration and security usually quick.

Terminal is smaller size and all gates are in one big “warehouse” style space. Very noisy and busy at all times. Flydubai business class passengers have their dedicated lounge. There is a duty free and wide range of cafe’s.

Flydubai currently operates 49 B737 and flying to 94 destinations

Pros : quickly “in an out” due to relatively small sq.ft, modern and bright. Wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates
Cons : very noisy, dirty toilets, nowhere to sit


T3: relatively new ( opened 2008 ) and exclusive to Emirates airline which currently handles 64% of all passenger traffic.

Huge check-in area and efficient immigration and security. Longer queues usual during night time at the weekends. Train to T3 A on right side after security and shiny lifts on the left brings you swiftly to the “gate floor”. Here all the magic ends and you find yourself in very long, narrow, extremely crowded space with low ceilings and nowhere to escape. You can not find one quite space and makes travelling stressful.

After traveling thru Singapore Changi, Hongkong Intl., Amsterdam Schiphol or Munich Airport, it is difficult to understand why something much better didn’t happen here at DXB Airport.

I am passing thru the airport very often and notice never-ending effort for improvement, but due to design and floor plan, there are mainly “cosmetic” changes being applied. Even the only one green little oasis at the end was destroyed to make a space for kids area, which adds to the noise.

Are the architects to blame?

Pros: modern, clean, easy to navigate, wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates
Cons: claustrophobic and overcrowded, low ceilings, shops everywhere, nowhere to sit and relax


T3 – concourse A: newest addition to the airport. Opened 2013 and fully dedicated to the best aircraft      A380.

It’s almost 1km long and connected with T3 via underground train ride. In a few minutes you enter much more quite and somehow spacious space, improved gate floor lay-out with interesting selection F&B outlets.

Due to used materials, flooring and lights, the entire experience is much more calming and civilised then all other terminals. It’s not Changi yet, but so much more comfortable and civilised.

Building is designed to handle 20 A380 at any given time and business class passengers enjoy lovely lounge with water features and multi level boarding. + two adjacent hotels.

Transfer desks are easy to find for all passing passengers.

Pros: passenger friendly, bright, not so crowded, nice restaurant, wi-fi usually works
Cons: Non just yet


T1 – concourse D : coming February 2016

ETIHAD : Fly on a “Dream” to Singapore…daily

From 3rd of August, you can enjoy the new B787 Dreamliner on its daily non-stop service from Abu Dhabi to Singapore.

One of the first Etihad airlines B787’s fit 199 economy seats, compare to 232 seats in Qatar Airways economy. That is already a definitely “big plus” on Etihad’s side.

Etihad’s inaugural “Dream” flight was only few months ago, January 1st 2015 to Dusseldorf, so service to Singapore is one of the few served by this great aircraft so far.

The first ever carbon fibre composite made aircraft it’s not just saving fuel, but it’s also very quiet inside out, has 30% bigger windows and for those of you ( like me ) who hate turbulences, accelerometer has been installed in to the nose of the plane. It somehow works with wing flaps adjustments so much smoother ride is to be expected.

Singapore is a fantastic place to go and all those picture perfect South-East Asian destinations are almost a stone’s throw away. ( Read Singapore guide in “PLACE” section )

Boeing received 1.095 orders so far from all over the world airlines.

8 Airlines with a “Flying Bar’s “

Drink at 35.000ft?

Here is a list of Airlines which will be more than happy to mix you one fabulous cocktail after another in very special and luxurious setting.

 

Emirates – all A380 aircrafts has a well equipped bar and lounge on the second floor   ( business  &  first class only). To make you feel extra special,there is a waterfall on top of the stairs and just in case you feel a bit sweaty after paying hefty airfare , you can refresh yourself in the onboard shower and spa.

Emirates A380 bar
Cocktails, snack and nibbles on Emirates A380 bar

 

Korean Air – on their A380 aircraft is not just a very sleek, white bar sponsored by Absolute vodka but also a duty free store located in the rear section of economy cabin. It was designed by L’Oreal Paris designers and sells the best selection of Korean air duty free cosmetics.

Korean A380
Beautiful Korean Air A380

 

Qatar Airways : this rapidly growing Middle Eastern airlines has their lounge located in the middle section of all B787 Dreamliners and on second floor of A380. Dreamliner has also a great business class section but as per my own experience , economy is very crowded with little leg room and big TV. So if the person in front of you recline his seat, the TV screen is literally … “in your face”.

Qatar Dreamliner
Qatar B787 bar
IMG_4751
Qatar Airways B787 Business class

 

Etihad – Abu Dhabi based airline is showing off with their first A380 equipped with ultra luxurious bar and “re-imagined” every class, according to the airline. This includes Sky residence and apartments. Economy class passengers can enjoy cute cushions and slightly bigger headrest.

Etihad_Airways_-_Airbus_A380-861
Brand new Etihad A380

 

Singapore Airlines – the launch customer of A380 aircraft has also a bar on the second floor. Unlikely all other airlines has economy class in the rear section of the second floor and I was very lucky to tested on one of the first ever A380 flight back in October 2007 from LHR-SIN. Still remember the fresh paint and carpet smell 🙂 For me, Singapore Airlines represents the best service in the sky.

 

Virgin Atlantic – with their new B787 Dreamliner you can taste the high life in beautifully designed bar with golden sink ,LED wall lighting and three spinning silver chair 10.000USD/piece. After couple of champagne glasses slip into your cosy Upper class bed and wake up feeling fabulous.

Virgin_Atlantic_Boeing_787-9_G-VNEW_Birthday_Girl_Taxiing_Out_At_Liverpool_John_Lennon_Airport_Oct_2014_2
Perfect setting for VA B787 Dreamliner

 

 

American Airlines – galley type of self service bar on B777 in business class section

China Airlines – Taiwan based carrier has a decent “wall” bar on their Boeings  777

 

Cheers 🙂

HARD ROCK HOTEL : tallest hotel in the world near completion in Dubai Marina

Hard Rock branded mega tower is nearly completion in Dubai Marina.

The 101 storey, 432 m (1,417 ft) tall skyscraper under current “Marina 101” name in Dubai Marina should be after many delays finally finished by year end.

The roof glass structure is being slowly unveiled and mood lighting has been tested just few days ago.

The first 33 floors of the skyscraper will have a 5-star Hard Rock hotel with 281 rooms, while the floors from 34 to 100 will have residential apartments. The 101st floor of the skyscraper will feature a club and lounge. Cant’ wait for the views

Marina 101 will be the tallest hotel building in the world and the second tallest in the UAE, that would also be enough to make it the 15th tallest building in the world.

“Czech” the latest pictures below.

SHANGHAI : Tourist Scams

Traveling to Shanghai can easily turn in to a nightmare. This huge 24million people megalopolis on east coast of China gave me a very bad welcome.

What threat awaits you in Shanghai :

  • taxi kidnapping
  • selling scams
  • you may leave with extra person in your luggage

Here is my story so please be aware, don’t trust anyone and I am sure you will have a great time!

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Boarding Maglev train

After exiting Maglev train from the airport, ( it doesn’t go all the way to Shanghai ) I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and looking for a taxi. This kind Chinese men came to me and offered a ride. ( official taxi car )

After 2 min of driving another men sat on the front seat. I googled the route at home before and after while got this weird feeling we are not heading to my Shanghai hotel. 20min later and driving thru some fields I realised this is not good and at this moment the driver stopped communicate in English.

I was slightly panicking but kept cool and slowly start removing all my cash and cards from the wallet and stuffing into my underwear, socks and different pockets. I asked many times to stop the car but no answer.

After another 10min they stopped the car on suburbs on some village and start asking for money. I was outrageous and said I  have no money, the laughed, stepped out of the car and throw my luggage into a ditch. Shouting from the outside to gave them money.

I was locked in the car and and being shouted at by two angry Chinese got me very worried. So I started kicking out the window to get out of the car. The window shattered in thousands small pieces after my next kick and I tried to escape from the car. When they saw the damage and my red face they unblock the door and while I fall on the ground they jumped in and drove away.

Villagers with a tractor helped me to get to the nearest bus stop to Shanghai.

When I complained at the reception in the hotel, the girl behind the desk just smiled and said “sorry no help”…

And that’s not all. After few hours of getting calm I went to explore the near by famous Bund promenade by Huangpu river dividing the city to an old and “futuristic” part called Pudong.

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Bund Promenade
Shanghai
Pudong Skyline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While walking I was approached by young couple. Both, girl and boy in their early twenties introduced themselves as a students and after brief chat I was invited to view their Chinese calligraphy art in a small studio few minutes away. Once in the room, I was locked and pushed into buying the prints. Took at last 30 minutes of arguing, threatening and aggressive behaviour from their side to get out from there.

I was fuming. On top of that, some older parents grabbed me in the park and tried to sell me their daughter…

Well, we learn by mistakes but I still have a bad feeling when getting a taxi.

DUBAI FRAME : New Attraction Construction Photos

A bit of a sad views is offering those who is passing by Zabeel park during last few months.

One of the newest tourist attraction “Dubai Frame” in Zabeel Park is not progressing very well.

150-metre-high, 93-metre-wide structure in a shape of a huge picture frame should be opening in next couple of months, but so far the two concrete skeletons are standing without any visible change since May2015.

The frame will be used as an observation platform offering views at the new and old Dubai and hopefully something will happen soon as it really doesn’t add much beauty to the fantastic Dubai skyline.