motiongate dubai

DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS : Look inside the Motiongate theme park

The Motiongate theme park and the entire DPR complex is in full production and scheduled for release in October 2016 ( 7months away ! )

Let’s have a look inside the park thanks to the below animation sequence. This short video is showcasing different themed areas in this Hollywood inspired park.

motiongate dubai

 

 

 


Click HERE for Instagram VIDEO link #uaeproject


 

 

 

 

Motiongate theme park will include 4 zones based on a movie studios :

  • Lionsgate – Hunger Games
  • Sony pictures – Green Hornet, Underworld Awakening, Hotel Transylvania , Cloudy with the chance of meatballs, Zombieland
  • Dreamworks – Madagascar , How to train your Dragon, Kung-Fu Panda, Smurfs
  • Studio Central – mixture of a classic Hollywood movies

All together, the park will include 27 rides, which 5 of them will be rollercoasters themed around these film favourites:

  • Madagascar – Mad Pursuit, the fastest roller coaster in the park, which will take guests on a mad chase through the circus alongside the Zoosters
  • How to Train Your Dragon -a one-of-a-kind suspended roller coaster inviting guests to soar high above the land of Berk
  • The Green Hornet – a high action roller coaster which follows the masked crusader and his sidekick Kato on a white knuckle pursuit through dizzying drops and sharp turns
  • The Hunger Games -the speedy Capitol Bullet Train, an adrenaline pumping roller coaster which launches guests through 360 degrees of thrill inside the Lionsgate Zone
  • The Smurfs – families can glide through the enchanting mushroom-capped town of the beloved Smurfs
motiongate dubai
Motiongate theme park Map

Thank you to #UAEPROJECT for kindly letting me post the video link. Czech all other exciting project at UAEproject Instagram account.


 

Adrspach Rocks

CZECH REPUBLIC : Straight out of a Fairytale / GUIDE

czech tagI feel a bit guilty…publishing posts from elsewhere on the globe, when my own country offers its visitors a wealth of history and breathtaking natural scenery.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Czech Republic is only Prague, and you would be amazed by what other wonders we have to offer. Picture perfect Cesky Krumlov, ecclesiastical Olomouc, or the home of the best beer in the world … the City of Pilsen.

Not to mention the amazing natural landscapes. Let me introduce you to a place, which looks so fantastic, you won’t believe it is real and will make you feel like being The Third Prince… a character in one of the most famous Czech fairy tales, the movie of which was shot at this location.



This unique place is called The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks. Here you will find an unusual set of sandstone formations covering 17 km2 of northeastern Bohemia and it is definitely worth the journey from Prague. ( near Teplice-nad-Metuji Town )

Squeeze through naturally formed gorges, and let your imagination run wild when looking at the various shapes created by the rocks. They all have  funny names, see if you can identify each by their given name.

A magical journey through towering rock formations.


The rocks have been protected as a national nature reserve since 1933, and since 1991 the whole adjacent region of Broumovsko has enjoyed the status of protected landscape area. Tourists may visit the rocks via a number of marked trails. The area is a popular destination for rock climbers too.

The reserve is also one of the largest permanent breeding sites of peregrine falcon in Europe. I haven’t seen any myself but the blue sky perfectly made-up for it.

Rent a boat and enjoy the balmy summer, escape from the reality.


Useful INFO : 

  • Opening Times :  all year around 8am – 6 pm / Lake cruise timing : 9am – 5am (summer only)
  • Entrance Fee : 70 CZK/ €3    Parking Fee : 100 CZK  / €4
  • Cash/Card payment available
  • Fee includes brochure with trails and maps  / English version available

How to get there : 

  • from Prague it is 2.30hrs drive. It could be a challenging drive,so if you don’t have a reliable navigation system, perhaps it is better to find a tour agency in Prague

Where to stay :

  • it is better to stay overnight and perhaps to connect your trip with exciting climb on top of Czech highest mountain Snezka ( 1hr away )
  • for accommodation check hotel Javor /Apartments Pod Křížovým vrchem / Apartments U Kozárů

When to go :

  • I am sure the winter transforms the area into a sparkling white wonderland, but I personally recommend summer. Anytime between June -September should be perfect.

 

palm jumeirah boardwalk

PALM JUMEIRAH BOARDWALK : New waterfront promenade in the making

Travellerczech is on the lookout for the latest new additions on the Palm Jumeirah Island …

Construction of a new, AED150 million waterfront attraction “The Boardwalk” is in full swing.

11km of walkway along the full length of Palm Jumeirah’s crescent is becoming a reality as the promenade is being build over the rocks of the island’s breakwater.

30 kiosks offering refreshments and souvenirs will be also be placed throughout its length and completion is planned for mid-2016.

It will be a great place for your morning run, or to simply enjoy the amazing views. Don’t you agree?


More photos of some of the numerous construction projects currently happening at The Palm.

Atlantis 2, W or a huge Viceroy hotel are all on its way but note, as there is so much building activity, road works, malls and entertainment projects under construction, I would personally avoid to stay, or visit until at least some of the works will be finished.

 

 

Bio Dome Dubai

BIO DOME : Sneak Peek around the nearly finished “Rain Forest”

Dubai’s newest attraction ready to be open in a few months!

Once more, I have visited the construction site of one of Dubai’s newest attraction – The BIO DOME.

I was happy to see vegetation already being planted inside the big glass structure. The Bio Dome official name is “The Green Planet” and as mentioned in my previous post ( HERE ),  it is in a fact, a temperature controled rain forest in the heart of Dubai.

More than 3000 plants and animals will be housed inside. Visitors will climb around a giant 25m tall tree, explore and learn about tropical ecosystem & sustainability.

Enjoy those detailed photos and as soon as it opens ( August 2016 ), Travellerczech.com will be back with more!


…a little look around the newly opened City Walk, where Bio Dome is located


 

Bennos Great Race Ferrari World

FERRARI WORLD : New Attraction is NOW OPEN

Ferrari World is introducing a New Interactive Ride!

Only few weeks after opening the record breaking rollercoaster Flying Aces ( czech about my experience HERE ), the world’s biggest indoor theme park is bringing us a brand new attraction.

“Benno’s Great Race”, which was inaugurated yesterday, takes everyone on an adventurous journey with Benno the mouse, combining the storytelling of a dark ride with an interactive experience. The characters and scenery in the ride are brought to life in style which appeals to guests of all ages.

Bennos Great Race Ferrari World
Entrance of the ride

The 458 Italia Ferrari inspired car glides guests through multi-sensory scenes featuring three-dimensional panorama paired with two-dimensional graphics and integrated media that tests their gaming skills.


The attraction scores guests depending on performance in solving the various puzzles and games they come across as they help Benno the mouse.

Bennos Great Race Ferrari World
Themed Queue

Riders will encounter a number of tasks onboard the ride including; squashing tomatoes with a hammer, freeing “Missy” the dragonfly from a spider’s web, building Benno’s car at his workshop, capturing bees and placing them in a jar, and lighting fireworks.

Bennos Great Race Ferrari World
Benno the mouse

The ride can accommodate up to 5 guests at a time and lasts approximately 3.5 minutes.

Guests will have 20 seconds to complete each of the puzzles or games that they come across during the ride.

The ride was designed and manufactured by ETF Ride Systems from the Netherlands.


The theme park  have completed the second phase of the expansion introducing several new attractions and  increasing current capacity by 20%, which will go up to 40% by the time the expansion plans are completed with addition of 2 big rides…the SFX coaster and launched Shuttle coaster.

See construction images HERE 

We have definitely more to look forward to, so STAY TUNED ! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Holiday Inn Singapore Clarke Quay

SINGAPORE : Why to stay at Holiday Inn Express REVIEW

Where : 

Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay / Singapore

Click HERE for location / Website 


Overview :

I was only looking for a quick, 2 nights stay between the flights and came across this new and modern hotel in central Singapore.

Holiday Inn is offering a good service, surprisingly nice facilities, plus a lovely views from the roof top deck. All for a reasonable night rate.

I was really astonished by the architecture, clever usage of space and quality of this hotel. It has rather upmarket feel with grandiose atrium surprising with design features.

Lifts are quick, the Bar hidden behind the check-in desk is open 24/7 and the outdoor breakfast deck with plenty of greenery brings out the holiday feel in the heart of the city.

Wi-Fi has a decent speed and breakfast is included in all room rates.

The hotel has even won an award for environmental sustainability…another reason to stay!


Location :

If you have only limited time, the location of your hotel is crucial! Holiday Inn is conveniently situated only 5 minutes’ walk to the Clarke Quay and nearest Metro ( MRT ) stations ( Clarke Quay & Chinatown ). 25min drive from/to Changi Intl. Airport.

I walked everywhere from the hotel and really enjoyed a great stroll all the way to the Gardens by the Bay in less than 60min.

TIP : If you are planning to go to Sentosa Island, it will take you around 25min drive. Don’t forget, Sentosa isn’t just the Universal Studio. Go and discover the other side of this beautiful “city island” with its beaches and attractions.

All you need to know : SENTOSA


Room :

One thing I cannot learn, is how to travel light. Rooms in this hotel ( as you would expect ) are on the “cosy” side. I am telling you … it was a challenge to squeeze in all my luggage.

The window walls are angled which gives the room more spacious feel, curtains are 100% blackout and beds comfortable.

Room offers AC control, flat TV, safe, small wardrobe, tea/coffee facility and 2bottles of complimentary water, iron and also a small working desk with chair. Free Wi-Fi included.

Practical bathroom with shower corner, body wash dispenser and small sink does the job.


Service :

You will most likely to be in touch only with the check-in staff. They are professional and fast as they need to deal with a lot of guests constantly arriving and leaving.

Majority of the guests were from China and rest of Asia.


Dining / Entertainment : 

There is only breakfast restaurant and a small bar. Vending machines available for snacks at the Lobby ( coins only ) and grocery store 2min walk ( they sell those very useful plastic ponchos ).

Breakfast “procedure” is very interesting. There is a couple of stations repeating the same items, serving maximum number of guests in a shortest possible time.

The selection is basic but perfectly sufficient to get you going.

The outdoor sitting deck is lovely and even when is crowded, you can always find a table quickly.

Big selection of restaurants/bars/clubs in nearby Clarke Quay…great fun!

TIP: Don’t miss amazing Mojito at Cuba Libre bar / Clarke Quay


Facilities : 

Now, my favourite part…the roof top terrace.

The roof is offering relaxing and beautiful green areas with Jacuzzis, tiny gym and the best feature … 40m long glass pool. It’s great for selfies…seriously good ! You need to try …

Towels are available, enough sun loungers and sitting areas to choose from and never too busy.

View is also fantastic especially during the sunset. You can see Marina Bay Sands and its laser show.


Who is it for :

Everyone who needs practical, affordable accommodation and will spend most of their time exploring the amazing city of Singapore.


What makes it special :

rooftop pool, views and interesting architecture.

Good :

  • Location
  • Pool
  • Breakfast

Not so good :

  • Small rooms

Why choose this place :

For reasonable rates, great location to discover the city and modern, clean feel.
Take advantage of the walkable distance to almost all major sights in the city.

TIP: Don’t forget to czech my Singapore City Guide HERE

Dubai Safari Park

DUBAI SAFARI : A very special delivery has just arrived

Exciting news …the long-awaited Safari Park in Al Warqa / Dubai is near completion and already started to receive its first animal residents.

Lions, monkeys, bats and bears arrived from South Korea and settling down in their new home near to Dragon Mart on the Al Awir road.

119 hectares of landscaped animal park it’s built on disused landfill and will open in second half of this year. Once fully operational, it will become a home for more than 10.500 animals from around the world. ( for comparison – Singapore Zoo expanse is 28 ha )

Themed sectors are being created to simulate African Savannah, Asian Villages and of course the Arabian desert and Wadi’s

As you can see from the below photos, the Safari style animal structures and recreational facilities are completed. I really like those thatched roof structures made by Dubai based company Cape Reed. I wish I have garden big enough to have one on my own.

The entire park is promised to be sustainable, ecological and very very green.

Thanks CapeReed for those great images. Czech their other projects at capereed.com

 

DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS : Lego Waterpark Attractions Revealed

Small update from Dubai Parks and Resorts today…

The LEGOLAND Waterpark is being currently finalised and list of attractions / rides was revealed.

See below :

  • LEGO Wave Pool
  • Build-A-Raft-River
  • DUPLO Splash Safari
  • Joker Soaker
  • Twin Chasers
  • Splash Out
  • Red Rush
  • Splash-N-Swirl
  • Twist-N-Spin
  • Wave Rider
  • Tidal Tubes
  • Build-A-Boat
  • Master Jugglers
  • Junior Joker
  • Jokester Run

Also, enjoy this interesting detailed image of the Bollywood park with its centrepiece…the Rajmahal theatre. Bollywood Park will be one of the 3 themed areas in DPR.

bollywood park dubai
bollywood park dubai

All 3 parks and waterpark should be up and running in October 2016. For more info please czech my previous posts from Dubai Parks and Resorts.

BAHRAIN : Le Meridien Hotel Hotel REVIEW ****

Where :  Manama / Bahrain


Overview : 

Modern, conveniently located property in the centre of Manama (capitol of Bahrain ) with quick check-in, friendly helpful staff and great facilities to keep you occupied.

The overall design is quite generic, but the hotel feels pleasant, simple and well maintained.

It does cater mostly for a business travellers, but with extensive outdoor pool deck, big spa, Kids club and  Bahrain biggest shopping mall, it really is a place for everyone.

 


 Location :

Adjacent to the City Centre Mall, the biggest shopping mall in Bahrain and 20min taxi ride from the International Airport.

Hotel is connected with the mall via internal corridor. There isn’t anything outside, but taxi’s are easily reachable. Plenty restaurant inside the mall if you are looking for one and  Wahoo! waterpark for the little ones.

Nothing is too far and you can get to the old town, business area and other parts of town by car in few minutes.


Rooms :

Standard Double room isn’t overly spacious, but it has all the amenities modern traveler needs.

Beds are very comfortable, sockets are strategically placed next to the bed and by the table for easy charging of all your devices.

Wardrobe hides an iron, slippers, bathrobe and of course safe, minibar and coffee/tea making facility.

There is a small lounger, openable desk with a mirror and hair dryer, curtains are 100% blackout, flat TV and cute little wall lamp making a camel shadow.

Glass walled bathroom is small with bathtub and rain shower head. It’s not easy to turn on the shower without getting sprayed on with cold water.

4 bottles of complimentary bottled water and fast free Wi-Fi add’s to the comfort.

I need to mention, the door aren’t very noise cancelling so you can hear screaming kids running up and down through the corridors and slamming doors. That’s actually problem in so many hotels. Wondering, why it’s difficult, to do something about it…

 


Service :

Professional, quick and helpful. If I needed to change a room, bring extra water or a little help, everything is always dealt with swiftly and with a smile.


Dining / Entertainment : 

  • Baharat Breakfast Buffet restaurant with wide selection of everything you may want. Live egg omelette station, fresh fruit juices and lot’s of healthy options.
  • Longitude 50 Coffee/pastry shop at the lobby
  • Bizarre Lounge Bar if you are up for a cocktail. The bar doesn’t appeal too welcoming or vibrant.

Facilities :

Big outdoor pool deck with cabanas and plenty of sun loungers. Extensive Spa with hammam and many hot pools to relax in. Also, the gym is quite decent and never too busy.

Note, that all of the facilities are shared with the next door Westin hotel as it is one complex.


Who is it for :

Business Travellers, Families or GCC tourists on a shopping spree.


The Good :

  • very comfortable bed
  • convenient location
  • lovely pool, spa and gym
  • proximity to the shopping mall

Not so good :

  • noise from the corridor
  • small-ish rooms

Practical Info : 

Airport  20 min ( 8BD ) away / F1 circuit 30min drive / Bab-el-Bahrain Souk 10 min drive / Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park 20 min drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVICE : 10 frequent scams in Asia

 

Be a victim of a swindle in foreign country can ruin your holiday. Be aware of the most common scams you meet during your trip in South-East Asia and don’t get spoiled the time of your life…

 

  1. A Taxi driver in Thailand drops your money, then claims you gave him 10.000 Baht, not the 100.000  bill, now under his seat.

  2. While chatting with you, the cashier slips counterfeit bills into your change…

  3. A woman spills a drink on you. While sopping up the stain, she grabs your phone.

  4. A man steers you to a shop where he says “you will get a great deal”. Instead you pay inflated prices – perhaps for fake products – and he gets a cut.

  5. A woman warns you about pickpockets in the area. You pat your wallet, reassured it’s still there, unwittingly showing her partner in crime where you keep it!

  6. Your guide tells you the temple is closed and offers to take you on a cheap tuk-tuk tour. Instead he drives you to his friend’s shop.

  7. An agent tells you, your hotel is overbooked, then takes you to a “sister” hotel, which turns out to be more expensive and not nearly as nice, than the one you booked

  8. A cute kid comes up to you and ask in good english for few dollar to buy books for school.  As you refuse to give him the money, he will take you to the book store and there you will purchase the book for him. Few minutes after, the child returns to the store and sells the item back. The shop staff takes a cut, as does the cartel organising this scam all over the town. This encourages them to stay away of school and keep “stealing”.

  9. When visiting Bangkok, you may get approached by “local guide” who use’s King’s Birthday as an excuse for sight closures and will try to take you on a “shopping trip” instead. Thai King’s Birthday is only once a year on December the 5th!

  10. Avoid taxis without meters, or with “broken” meters. If you are left with no choice, negotiate the price before entering the vehicle or placing your luggage inside. Beware of the taxis in airports as well, as they cost more than taxis outside.
    Do not reveal too much personal details and definitely do NOT take any offers from the driver!

What to do

  • Use GPS in Google Maps in txt or tuk-tuk so you know which direction you going.  You don’t need a local SIM or Wifi. Business card or written address of your hotel is also handy to have.
  • Be firm and insist that your initial hotel reservation is valid as you original room is likely to be available. If not, find your own alternative
  • If you are uncomfortable, simply walk away. Your tout may follow you for a while. Ignore him and he will soon turn to easier targets
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are more likely to pick a helpful citizen from the crowd than to choose someone with criminal intent
  • If your belongines have one missing, you can report this to local tourist police. However, little can be done if you have no clear evidence if the theft or scam
  • Always check your money, esp. currency you are not familiar with and don’t carry too much cash with you.
  • Colour copy of you passport will become very helpful once you loose your passport.

FERRARI WORLD : New Rides / PART 2

…Ferrari World Theme Park is working very hard to deliver more thrills and fun to us in the second half of this year.

Of course, Flying Aces has stolen the show for now, but next in  line is family ride Benno’s Great Race, due to opening on March 21st.

But there is something else growing up under the big red roof. Not just one, but two new coasters are in the last stages of construction.

Let’s have a look at the rumoured SFX Coaster first. But what exactly does SFX it mean?

The Dynamic Company, manufacturer who is producing this type of ride explains…”It combines a high thrill coaster with new track technologies, high definition storytelling visuals and state-of-the art audio effects”

Most of the coaster track its hidden inside a big boxy building and only a small part with “cobra roll” is outside. The exposed track is painted red, but the inside part is black. That suggests that most of the ride will be in the dark.

The entrance will be through the new Italian themed area next to Flying Aces ( See on the map )


The second attraction looks even more interesting as it appears like a launched coaster entering the outside glass funnel. The track is replacing the 60m tall G-Force Drop Tower ( closed 2014 ) and will go through the wall and vertically up. I guess, a reversed free-fall will follow.

The track isn’t too long, so it should be fast and furious. It will be interesting to see how they are going to deal with the noise and the heat coming through the hole in the funnel inside the building.

I am expecting a similar style ride to Six Flags Superman : Escape from Krypton, mixed with Vertical Velocity.

flying aces

FERRARI WORLD : Park Update / PART 1

The World’s biggest indoor theme park starts the year with the opening of a big new Intamin made coaster – Flying Aces.

Finally, I had the chance to experienced it. Once under the huge red roof, I have also visited most of the other rides.  Sit back, relax and enjoy this little tour.

The park is now undergoing major facelift to face the tough competition…soon to be open 4 theme parks in Dubai. ( 50min drive away )

New Italian theming is coming up and most importantly new rides are on its way ( more in PART 2 )


The main reason for my visit was of course the Flying Aces coaster. To experience the steepest lift hill and fly through the tallest ( 52m ) loop with a twist.

After long delay due to technical issues, the gate of the Hangar finally opened. I was happy to see one of the most detailed and themed queue line, easily comparable to best Universal’s or Disney attractions. The attention to detail, effects, sounds and different theming is excellent.

The queue line is designed as a walk thru country side with projections, TV’s behind the windows and ton’s of props, holographic projections, lots of rock work and fake greenery.

You will not see the coaster train until the very last minute, all you hear is just happy clapping and cheering. The last room has an instructional projection which in my opinion, is way too laud. The queue time was around 30min most of the day.

The ride itself takes off from an Airplane Hangar. You will be directly launched on to fast ascesing lift hill before the big drop towards the huge loop. “The Flight” is fantastic , smooth and quite long.

Well done Ferrari World.

⇒ For another great Flying Aces VIDEO click HERE 


Let’s take a look at the other rides :

  • Formula Rossa : the acceleration of 240km/h in under 5 seconds and 4.8Gs really does feel AMAZING! The queue line needs to be updated and the ride efficiency isn’t very good. Always  longest waiting time from all the rides.

  • FioranoGT Challenge : duelling coasters racing on a flat track. For kids and not very comfortable. No queue all day.


  • Speed of Magic : Universal’s Transformer style ride, but without the Universal’s technology. 3D effects don’t work, projection is more like a video game and theming in between screen sequences badly painted.


  • Viaggio in Italia : so much potential, but let down by poor quality projection and dripping water from the spray effect diffusers. The ride is identical to Soarin in Disney Epcot, but with Italy themed flight video.


  • Made in Maranello : ride thru Ferrari Factory. Don’t expect Epcot’s Test Track. It would be ok to see this at a Car Autosalon but not in a theme park. Could be definitely replaced with something new.


  • Shows : there are 4 shows currently running in different times of the day. The good ones are Viva Ferrari with 2 dancers performing in/with a screen ( every 1 hour/45 min ) and RED, which is acrobatic show ( at 2 and 4 pm )


  • Car drive simulators & Kids play areas :


There is plenty of clean washrooms around the park, free water fountains and helpful staff. I was very pleasantly surprised, every single member of staff was cheerful, friendly and made me feel welcome.

The entire huge space has many unused areas and a lot construction is currently happening, so expect some de-tours.

Restaurants around the park offers mostly Italian food, but International selection is easily available. Couple of nice coffee shops with cozy seating to relax and of course shops to purchase some “black horse” branded memorabilia.

Before you plan your visit check on the website if you favourite ride is open that day !


  • NEW RIDES

Big photo update about 2 upcoming rides in PART 2 … come czech back soon !

Ferrari World


…for day to day updates please follow on Instagram / Twitter & Facebook check-mark-blue-hi

 

 

ABU DHABI : Warner Brothers Movie World Construction has begun

Slowly but surely is progressing the long anticipated construction of a Warner Bros. Movie World theme park in Abu Dhabi.

Warner Bros Entertainment signed a deal in 2007 with Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties and the Abu Dhabi Media Company to bring Warner Bros-themed project to the Middle East.

Adjacent to the Ferrari World and the Yas Waterworld, the 3rd theme park is now rising from the sand. It  will include 19 different rides, a hotel and cinemas . All should be ready by 2018.

So far, construction of the indoor section is taking shape and you can see some piling and ground work.

Not much activity yet, but hopefully soon, it will pick up the pace and we may see some interesting structures growing up.

Czech my other posts from Ferrari World, Yas Water World and more…:)

 

 

DUBAI : Opera House is on its way

Dubai is finally getting its own Center of Performing Arts … the Opera District.

New stylish cultural destination next to 828m tall Burj Khalifa is set to promote the arts, culture, and events.

At the heart of The Opera District is Dubai Opera, a 2,000-seat multi-format venue for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events, and seasonal programmes.

As per the latest info, Opera House is set to be open by end of 2016.

Once finished, the area will also include hotels, a retail plaza, waterfront promenades and recreational spaces situated around design studios, art galleries and other cultural venues intended to create a “vibrant cultural scene”.

The Building is styled on the classic wooden dhows that are synonymous with the Dubai Creek.

Enjoy the photos.