Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting high in Dubai


Next time you’re thinking to yourself how boring it is washing the home windows, give a thought to the blokes whose job it is to wash those of the world’s tallest building, the 830-metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Because these 36 hardy souls face a daunting 24,348 individual windows covering some 120,000 square metres, or roughly six-and-a-half times the size of the Sydney Cricket Ground, and it takes them close to four months to clean the lot – after which they take a short break, then start the job all over again.

And they do it in often howling winds, temperatures reaching into the top-40s under a cloudless sky, sand storms that can swirl around the lower levels… and at their highest point with the ground more than three-quarters of a kilometre below them.

It takes these men close to four months to clean the 24,348 windows
f the world’s tallest building, and when they finish they start all over again. (Wikimedia)

These cleaners, who use nothing more than traditional squeegees and buckets of soapy water, dangle in harnesses from Australian designed and built cage machines that move horizontally and vertically on special tracks around the building, and wear “moon suits” for protection against the searing heat and winds.

And interestingly they say they never tire of the view from their lofty eyrie, in particular watching the 250 aircraft including some eighty-five A380s of the local Emirates Airlines, plus other world operators, as they fly below them into and out of the nearby Dubai Airport.



The world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, reaches more than 750m into the sky, and cost US$1.5b to complete and open in 2010. (Burj Khalifa Travel)

At 830 metres high, or nearly three times that of Paris’s Eiffel Tower and twice as high as New York’s Empire State Building, the Burj Khalifa was opened in January 2010 at a cost of 1.5-billion United States dollars.

Courtesy of Get Up & Go guest blogger David Ellis.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New Hotel Windsor Will Deliver Melbourne's First Six-Star Hotel



Work will begin on Melbourne's first six-star hotel in the New Year following the selection of a preferred contractor for the $350 million redevelopment of the Hotel Windsor.

Windsor director Mr Adi Halim announced today that the preferred builder was the Australian-based company Built, in partnership with the Japanese construction giant Obayashi.

“The Built and Obayashi partnership is the perfect addition to the Windsor project with their combined experience in heritage restoration and great hotel projects around the world,” Mr Halim said.

Mr Halim said the construction partnership brought the perfect team for a project that would bring new levels of service to Australian hotel industry and restore the Windsor to its position as one of the world's great Victorian-era grand hotels.

“They join the architects Denton Corker Marshall who have designed some of Australia's most iconic buildings and have been awarded the Jorn Utzon Award for international architecture twice for the Australian pavilion in Venice and the Stonehenge Visitors' Centre in the UK.

Also on board for interior design is David Collins Studio in London, who have been responsible for some of England's finest residences and hotels.

Mr Halim said the growing inbound tourism to Australia, particularly to Melbourne and Sydney, has created a significant demand for accommodation at the ultra-luxury level commonly found in Europe and Asia. “The Windsor will deliver that for the first time in Melbourne,” he said.

“The Windsor is an all-suite property and the definition of suite goes beyond the size of the rooms.  It is expressed through personalised service at every touchpoint of the guest's visit.”

Features of the redeveloped Windsor are:


  • 279 luxurious suites across the heritage wing and the new contemporary annexes, all serviced by butlers.
  • A two-bedroom, 439 square-metre Royal Penthouse which occupies three levels in the heritage wing with its own private lift access, private SPA and outdoor terraces overlooking Parliament House and the gardens.
  • A three-bedroom Presidential Penthouse which occupies 745 square metres over the three top floors of the new tower. It features a private study/library, spacious living and dining space, home cinema, SPA and cellar.
  • The entire precinct will be connected through fibre infrastructure.
  • A Tea Lounge and Tea Bar to continue the Windsor tradition of High Tea – a Melbourne's institution for over 133 years.
  • A “secret garden” in the Heritage wing is going to be revealed for the first time.
  • A spectacular rejuvenation of some of the Windsor heritage gems, including the Grand Ballroom, the heritage stairwell and the colonnade on Spring Street.
  • A dining and lifestyle precinct which include restaurants, lounges, bars and a unique SPA concept.
  • Mr Halim said that while the new hotel's facilities would be superb, the real point of difference would be in the personalised service – inherent rather than obvious, understated rather than over the top, a seamless level of service from pre-arrival until long after guests depart.


“Our vision is to bring the grand hotel of Marvellous Melbourne back to the city that has been voted World's Most Livable City for 6 years in a row,” Mr Halim said.

Work on the redevelopment will begin in the first quarter of 2017 and be completed by the end of 2019.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Add a 4-Night Deluxe Eco Beach Stay to your Kimberley Cruise for only $200pp!

Add a 4-Night Deluxe Eco Beach Stay to your Kimberley Cruise for only $200pp!: Book one of Aurora Expeditions' 2017 Kimberley Coast adventures by 31 January 2017, and add a Deluxe Beach Stay at award-winning Ramada Eco Beach Resort in Broome for only $200! Conditions apply...