Posts tagged Dubai

My Side of the World: Sonja Lapatanov (Part 2)

My dear travellers, how are you today? Welcome to the new post from the special section “My Side of the World” which successfully managed to win your hearts in a very short time on the Mr.M blog. I hope that we will continue to travel the world together with our famous adventurers and discover some new and unexplored parts of the world.

This post is a continuation of the interview with my dear guest Sonja Lapatanov. If you want to read the first part of the interview and remind yourself of some unusual destinations or just to enjoy the beauties of the world throught the lens of one of our most famous ballet artists, choreographers and adventurers, visit the link.

Easter Island: Ahu Tongariki.

11. Did you go to the same destinations again and did you happen to be disappointed with something that had previously delighted you or that you were delighted with something that seemed ordinary to you for the first time? Should you turn around the second time when something thrills you at first sight or should the experience not be spoiled by a replay?

Sonja Lapatanov: Unfortunately, I am not able to “repeat the class”, although I would gladly do so. I’m looking for new destinations, because time is not waiting for no one. The situation on our planet is worrying. There are more and more forest fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, epidemics, general dissatisfaction, accidents, wars, riots… The years of dangerous living have arrived! That is why I will repeat the old destinations maybe in the next life.

Tibet: A prayer wheel around Lhasa city.

12. People usually think that so-called exotic travel takes a lot of money. How have you organized all these trips over the decades? Have you ever traveled to the end of the world with just 100$ in your pocket?

Sonja Lapatanov: I gave up every luxury and through travel, I invested in myself. It is a great treasure, which no one can steal from me. Today, travel is expensive, but young people are doing well, because they can organize everything themselves via the Internet.

Nepal: Pokalde peak ridge at an altitude of 5000 m.

– They just need to know what they want and where they want to travel. I’m an adventurer, but I’m not a backpacker and I wouldn’t spend the night in a hostel and I would hardly go to the end of the world with 100$ in my pocket. Today, that amount could not cover travel expenses, accommodation, or the costs of a two-day stay in a tourist place in our country!

Patagonia: Glaciers and icebergs in the Oneli Lagoon.

13. What is the most exotic type of transportation you used during your trip?

Sonja Lapatanov: I flew by helicopter in Laos, piston planes in Nepal, a balloon over the Tanzanian and Kenyan savannas and a para-glider from Brajić to Slovenska plaža in Montenegro!

Sudan: At the top of the holy rock Jebel Barkal.

I sailed the seas, lakes and mighty rivers throughout Asia and Africa, rode tuk-tuks and rickshaws, in India, South and Central America half-decomposed buses, along with chickens and goats, sat on the roof of the Andean railway, on the backs of various animals.

But the real adventurous adventure was canoeing and extreme riding on zip-line cables, through the treetops of giant trees in the jungles of Malaysia and Guatemala.

Tahiti: A Dolphin Kiss.

14. I know from my experience that travel is actually learning about the culture and history of a nation. Whose culture impressed you the most?

Sonja Lapatanov: Ancient civilizations left an invaluable cultural and historical heritage to the human race, so it would be unfair to mention only one, so I single out the fascinating Mayan and Khmer culture, the culture of Myanmar, Egypt, Libya, Algeria…

Namibia: Namib Naukluft National Park, Dead Vlei.

15. Did some of the trips disappointed you in the sense that you expected much more from that country, but then you collided with reality and realized that sometimes good advertising is responsible for the overestimation of a certain destination?

Sonja Lapatanov: There is no trip that has disappointed me. I choose them carefully. I do not follow the tourist fashion, but my adventurous spirit. My curiosity and adrenaline addiction knows no bounds, while the desire to adventure and discover the still not so commercialized parts of the blue planet is immeasurable. However, in a way, my expectations were not met by China. It is a modern country and that fact seems to have fallen hard on me.

Northern Thailand: In the company of female members of the Aka tribe.

– I thought I would enter the world that Pearl Bak wrote about, or the world of Mao Zedong, with columns of cyclists and uniformed people, who practice Kung Fu and Tai Chi in the early morning hours. The expected images of idyllic landscapes with bamboos and pandas, green rice fields, fairy-tale cone-shaped hills of Gilina painted on silk, are remnants of some ancient times, which have passed.

Kenya: On the shores of Lake Nakuru.

– The reality is different. Somewhere far from the metropolis, there are villages and rice fields, the Great Wall of China, and in Beijing, the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, a hutong district in traditional Chinese construction with an inner courtyard and a Peking duck. I was late to visit China before the big changes.

Patagonia: Punta Tombo

16. Is there a country where the pictures you remember are more beautiful than the ones from the postcards?

Sonja Lapatanov: Indisputably; French Polynesia-Tahiti, Bora Bora, Morea, Huahin…

Sudan: Pylons in front of the temple of the goddess Mut, below the rock of Jebel Barkal.

17. Which distant country would you say is most similar to Serbia and why? Is there still our mentality somewhere or are we still unique?

Sonja Lapatanov: Serbs are unique, but when it comes to temperament and joy of life, there are similarities with Mexicans and Irish people.

Japan: In Tokyo with a rickshaw driver.

18. When did you feel the need to convert travel into travelogues? Has any country particularly encouraged you to do that?

Sonja Lapatanov: In the late nineties, I started writing reports for newspapers and magazines, and then a few years later, my friends encouraged me to turn my travelogues into books. They stay, and newspapers and magazines are thrown away, they told me. Since then, I have written seven books of travel prose, and an eighth is in preparation.

Papua New Guinea: With members of the Huli people.

19. Do you remember the feelings when you wrote the first book? The moment you typed the last word on a keyboard and realized you had written your first book. Can that excitement be compared to any destination?

Sonja Lapatanov: Admiration, when you hit a dot on the keyboard after the last word, is an indescribably beautiful feeling.

With sharks in the waters of the Pacific

20. If you had to choose only one determinant, what would you say to the question of who Sonja Lapatanov is. A ballerina, a passionate traveler or a writer?

Sonja Lapatanov: Three in one! Everything happened at the right time and now it exists and lives in me.

Sudan: Gates are a sign of prestige among residents of Sudanese villages and towns.

My dear travellers, I hope you like this post in column on the blog “My side of the world” and that you enjoyed it with my guest today. We will continue our trip around the world in a few days with some new guest

I would recommend you to take a look at the other pictures that dear Sonja set aside in the gallery especially for us to see what kind of beauties our earth hides.

Madagascar: Hanging out with a lemur.

If you have a suggestion whose side of the world of famous world travelers you would like to discover, you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon with another interesting story!

Best,
Mr.M

SHARE THIS POST

Letter from the Middle East: Dubai, the Center of Modern Oriental Luxury…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Today is the perfect day to start a new adventure, so this rainy Tuesday is perfect time for a new post! Journeys are truly gift to a gloomy everyday life and one has the opportunity to have fun and at least for a few days forget about daily problems. When it comes to travel it doesn’t matter the destination, the most important thing is that the person doesn’t go alone and to make a good plan of the program of the trip where everyone will have fun and have a nice relax.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the flydubai airline and the Dubai Tourist Board (Visit Dubai), which made it possible for my photographer and I to experience the beauty and charm of a center of modern oriental luxury such as Dubai.

When the flydubai airline began operating in 2009, the goal was to connect with their passengers and transport them to as many destinations as possible daily. Today, flydubai flies to more than 90 destinations and is constantly adding new destinations to their “sky” network.

Over 70 million travelers have given their trust and with flydubai they have visited the largest and most famous city in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai, making them the second largest carrier in UAE. The vision and support of the Dubai government created new opportunities for travel, tourism and commerce and improved connectivity by increasing access to Dubai and connecting with the rest of the world.

With increasing demand and an daily-expanding sky network, flidubai has added a number of new destinations in its offer. Having already opened routes to Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the goal is not only to expand the network of destinations, but to make the route as efficient as possible, with more regular flights, direct flights and new aircraft with which will make every trip unforgettable.

Flydubai Business Class offers a more comfortable, relaxed and completely new flying experience. At the airport, you will have benefit from faster check-in and priority airport services, including a special check-in desk, boarding and bus service. You can also relax before your trip in the business lounge at Terminal 2 Dubai International Airport, and if your flight departs from Terminal 3, you can use one of the many Emirates business class lounges, of course, and the ability to enjoy lounges at airports around of the world using the affiliate networks of the airlines to which flydubai belongs.

On the board, you will be able to enjoy the personalized, professional and superior service of crew members who are in the service of business-class passengers. Choose a delicious meal from the menu where you can find specialties from a variety of international cuisines. My recommendation is to try Arabic cuisine specialties and I am sure you will enjoy the undiscovered flavours so far!

The flight from Belgrade to Dubai takes about 6 hours on average and I believe that your flight will be comfortable and fun, whether you choose to travel economy or business class with flydubai. Friendly staff, landscapes you’ll encounter along the way and who knows, you might meet someone on the flight.

I was able to meet an interesting lady in her late years who is visiting her daughter in Dubai. I have learned so many interesting things about this quaint modern city and received first-hand recommendations what I should not miss in Dubai!

Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of Dubai. Located in the eastern Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf coast, Dubai has occupied the central business center of Western Asia. It is also the world’s premier transportation hub for travelers and goods. Oil revenues helped accelerate the development of the city, which was already a major trading hub.

Today, less than 5% of the Emirates’ revenue comes from oil. Research from the Center for Regional and International Trade shows that, since the early 20th century, Dubai’s economy has largely relied on revenues from trade, tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.

The history of human settlement in the area where the United Arab Emirates is now located is unusual and very complex. A large number of historical records point to the closely related trade links between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia civilizations.

Archeological sites in the emirate of Dubai, especially in Al-Ashoosh, Al Sufouh, and extremely rich sites from Saruk Al Hadid, show settlement through the periods of Ubaid and Hafit, the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suk periods, and the three Iron Age in the UAE.

This part was known to the Sumerians as Magan and was a source of metal ores, especially copper and bronze. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast receded inland, becoming part of what is now the city’s coastline. The great find is pre-Islamic pottery found in the present-day city of Dubai, dating from the third and fourth centuries.

Before the introduction of Islam in the area, people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). Following the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph of the Eastern Islamic world invaded Southeast Arabia and expelled the Sassans. Excavations at the Dubai Museum in the Al-Jumairah region (Jumeirah) have found several artifacts from the Umaiyad period. The Venetian pearl dealer Gasparo Balbi visited this city in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) which was significant at that time because of the pearl trade.

Dubai is thought to have been established as a fishing village in the early 18th century and by 1822 it had acquired the status of a city of between 700 and 800 members of the Bani Ias tribe and was subject to the rule of Sheikh Tahnun bin Shakhbut of Abua Dhabi . However, in 1833, after a tribal altercation, members of the Al Bu Falasah tribe separated from Abu Dhabi and settled in Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi exodus was led by Obeid bin Saeed and Maktoum bin Butti, who also became supreme authorities in Dubai until Obeid died in 1836, leaving Maktum in a bid to establish a new Maktoum dynasty.

Dubai signed the General Maritime Treaty of 1820 and together with other countries, following the British criminal expedition against Ras Al Khaimah of 1819, which also led to the bombing of the Gulf coastal communities. This led to a permanent maritime truce of 1853. Dubai, like its neighbors, also signed an exclusivity agreement in which the United Kingdom assumed responsibility for the security of the emirates in 1892.

Throughout the 1970s, Dubai continued to develop thanks to oil and trade revenue, even as an influx of immigrants fleeing the Lebanese civil war. Border disputes between the emirates continued after the formation of the UAE. In 1979, a formal compromise was reached that ended all disagreements. Jebel Ali Harbor was established in 1979 and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) was built around the port in 1985 to allow foreign companies unrestricted imports of labor and capital.

Dubai Airport and the aerospace industry also continued to grow at a high rate of speed. Unfortunately for the 1990 Gulf War, Dubai experienced a major negative financial effect as major investors withdrew their money and chain stores closed their stores, but afterwards the city recovered in a changing political climate and managed to overcome all political and financial problems.

Later in the 1990s, many foreign trade communities – first from Kuwait, during the Gulf War, and later from Bahrain, in times of Shia unrest – moved their business to Dubai. The city had bases for filling up Allied forces in the Jebel Ali Free Zone during the Gulf War. The massive rise in oil prices after the Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism.

The number of tourist attractions and activities has increased significantly in recent years. There are many more options now than before, because all the activities were part of many hotel chains because the city did not have tourist attractions. Just the opening of the large Dubai Mall and the construction of the heart of the city (Dubai Downtown) have helped to expand the number of tourist attractions that make Dubai one of the most recognized in the world today.

The most striking attractions that have certainly changed the look of the city are the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.

Burj Khalifa is known as the tallest building in the world. Visitors can take a special elevator to the 124th floor, which is known as the most beautiful vantage point from which Dubai can be seen in the palm of your hand. The Dubai Fountain, on the other hand, is the largest music fountain in the world that you can always visit for free, and it is part of the Dubai Mall.

Of course, besides the fountain at Dubai Mall, you can enjoy the winter magic at the spacious ice rink, aquarium and KidZania which is designed as a modern children’s playroom, believe me you have never had such a chance to see in your life. Honest to not be 27 years old, I would go play there all day long without break!

Bastakiya is known as a neighborhood marked in all travel guides and magazines as the old part of Dubai with a soul in which to keep the old city spirit and heritage. It was built at the end of the 19th century thanks to the Persian merchants who were attached to Dubai because of the easy and easy way to trade, and this is why this part of the city is named after the city of Bastak located in the south of Iran.

Many renovated buildings in this part of the city today still have special air conditioning systems called “Wind Towers” which was an interesting concept for the air conditioning of homes and commercial buildings. Today, most of the buildings in this part of the city are privately owned – homes and there are buildings of great cultural and social importance such as:

  1. Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
  2. The Museum of Dubai
  3. Arabian Tea House (formerly Basta Artistic Cafe)
  4. Majlis Gallery where works by local and international artists can be found.
  5. Ostra Gallery where you can find works of contemporary modern art and sculpture

Exactly 7 years ago, in February 2013, the Dubai Miracle Garden, a 72,000-meter flower garden, opened as part of the Dubailand complex. It is the largest flower garden in the world. The garden has a total of 45 million species of flowers maintained through a special irrigation system that uses wastewater that has been treated and plants are irrigated using a drip irrigation system.

During the summer from late May to September, when temperatures can be extremely high, with an average temperature of around 40 degrees, the garden is closed to the public.

Seeing the garden in full bloom with its 150 million flowers arranged in colorful bows, patterns and the myriad of shapes it forms is truly a magnificent experience for all your senses. Dubai Miracle Garden won two Guinness World Records for the largest vertical garden in 2013 and the largest flower sculpture in the world, shaping the shape of the 2016 Airbus A380.

The distinctive sculpture in this park is a masterpiece 18 meters high and is also the first Disney flower display in the Middle East and is made of almost 100,000 plants and flowers and weighs almost 35 tons. Every year, Dubai Miracle Garden changes its look and shows visitors a whole new concept and design experience. This unusual garden is visited by more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Dubai. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Dubai Tourist Board – Visit Dubai and flydubai for this incredible adventure and Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home. Also I would like to say huge thank you for this great adventure.

This time, flydubai recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Middle East in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this oriental luxury centre of the Middle East called Dubai? Have you maybe had a chance to visit United Arab Emirates? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Visit Dubai and flydubai airline company. I would like to say thank you to Four Seasons Hotel DIFC for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

SHARE THIS POST