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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Australian arrivals to Japan continue to increase

Australian arrivals to Japan during November and December 2009 have increased 20.7 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively, on 2008 figures, according to a preliminary report released by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Total Australian arrivals for the month of November 2009 numbered 17,300 compared with 14,334 in November 2008, and for the month of December 2009 were 24,200 compared with 22,114 in December 2008.

Total Australian arrivals for the January to December 2009 period reached only 211,600 – a decrease of 12.6 percent on 2008 figures: though, a good result considering 2009's economic climate, according to the JNTO Sydney office.     

Australia has retained its position as the sixth major Japan inbound market for the third year running, with its position currently ahead of the UK, Thailand, Canada and Singapore and behind South Korea, Taiwan, China, USA and Hong Kong.

The JNTO report said a number of factors, including the steady appreciation of the Australian dollar against the yen, an increase in online media promotions targeting the Australian market, and the Visit Japan Year 2010 Campaign marketing effort which was launched in late November 2009, are seen to have contributed to the increase in Australians travelling to Japan.

Furthermore, with Japan's ski season now in full swing and the popular cherry blossom season following in early spring, JNTO is optimistic that Australian arrivals will continue to increase.

The figures released by JNTO are based on arrivals of Australian passport holders and include business, leisure and stopover visitors.

Visit Japan Year 2010 Campaign web             www.jnto.org.au/2010

 

American Express and Webjet join forces to shake up the loyalty market and open the skies to travellers

Webjet and American Express join forces to intensify competition in the loyalty landscape and make travel more affordable for consumers.    

From the 2nd February, American Express Cardmembers enrolled in Membership Rewards will be able to use their points to book flights online, accessing the full flight inventory available on Webjet - Australia's leading online travel agency1.  This gives travellers the opportunity to search, compare and select competitive travel offers across airlines.  

Travellers don't have to accumulate the full amount of points to pay for their travel booking on Webjet.  As long as they have 7,500 points, which equates to $75, they can pay the remainder with their American Express Card.  

Webjet CEO, Richard Noon says, "This is the first time that points have been offered as a form of currency on Webjet.  Our partnership with American Express succeeds in removing the frustrations commonly associated with other loyalty travel programs such as limited availability, long lead times for bookings or having to pay fees for redeeming a reward.

"Now, for instance, a traveller flying from Sydney to Melbourne return doesn't have to be locked into one airline's loyalty program and to the rates it charges.  Instead using Webjet they can use their points on Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue or Tiger Airways or even mix and match airlines using fewer points.  

Using Webjet, a traveller can clearly see what the best fare is and can select any available seat.  This is a huge win for consumers and we're delighted to be part of it."

Corrina Davison, American Express Vice President of Brand, Loyalty and Rewards says, "This partnership is a world first for American Express.  We're thrilled to be working with Webjet to create some healthy competition in the market and to make it easier and more affordable for people to fly.  Our research tells us that customers want to be able to use their points to travel where they want, when they want, without restriction.  Now they can use their points to see the world with more than 30 airlines via Webjet."

Analysis by Hitwise reveals that between 12 September 2009 and 16 January 2010, Webjet recorded the highest number of visits based on Australian usage when compared to other popular Australian travel websites.
  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Facebook Important Relationship Tool for Byron Bay Resort


The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa is one of Australia's first resorts to launch its own Facebook page and the results have been instant.

Now also linked to its Twitter account, The Byron at Byron Facebook page gives consumers and media instant updates on resort news as well as first access to events and specials.

"Facebook allows us to communicate with our guests and potential guests on their terms" says Holly Galbraith, Director of Marketing for The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. "It's quite personal as guests share comments or stories from their stay here. The online community really helps us to keep on top of our guests' experiences and needs.

"I think many businesses are scared to enter these 'uncontrollable' marketing spaces, but if your product is transparent and you want the truth from your customers there is so much to be gained. The Byron at Byron's philosophy is very much about personal care and attention to detail so receiving feedback is vital. Guests may not call reception or walk up to the front desk to provide a compliment or make a suggestion, but they will do it online."

There are over seven million Facebook users in Australia, with 25 – 34 year olds accounting for the largest segment. The 35 years + segment is the fastest growing, accounting for 30.4% of Australia's Facebook population. With its links to blogs and online accommodation reviews, more and more consumers are using Facebook to research their travel options.

"Whether it's their honeymoon, babymoon or time out for health reasons our guests' stays are meaningful. Many of our guests become very connected to this resort and online tools such as Facebook helps us to further our relationships with them. We were one of the first resorts to have a direct feed from trip advisor to our own website and that was launched eighteen months ago".

To keep up to date with events, news and specials become a fan of The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa on Facebook or follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/hollygalbraith

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

VIRGIN BLUE TO LAUNCH FLIGHTS TO CHRISTMAS AND COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS


Virgin Blue will celebrate 'Christmas in April' this year as the airline confirms its intention to commence non-stop services between Perth and Christmas and Cocos (Keeling Islands) with fares from as little as $464* one-way on the net.

The three weekly flights to Christmas Island are set for take-off on Thursday 1 April 2010 (no joke!) with services between Perth and Cocos Island commencing shortly after on Saturday 3 April.  Flights between Cocos Island and Christmas Island will also commence on 3 April.

Virgin Blue has committed one of its executive-style Embraer E-190 jets onto the new routes, an aircraft which has the capacity to carry 104 Guests on each sector, upload more freight and reduce the overall flying time to and from the mainland.

Virgin Blue Airlines Group Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said Virgin Blue was pleased to have been awarded the contract to provide services to Christmas and the Cocos Island, boosting its domestic network to 30 Australian destinations.

"The secret is finally out! Being literally only a few hours from Perth, Christmas and Cocos Islands are hands down two of the best, unspoilt and truly unique island holiday destinations our region has to offer.  As with other markets we've entered we're confident our new services will further stimulate tourism to these most remarkable jewels in the Indian Ocean and also help to strengthen relations with the mainland."

"It's also great news for the people of Perth, who now have the option to fly domestically or internationally non-stop to 13 unique destinations on the Virgin Blue Airlines Group network," he added.

The World Heritage Listed Christmas Island, which is renowned for its red crab migration in October and November, is the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, boosting an incredible 35 endemic species and acting as a breeding station for over 80,000 tropical sea birds.  Surrounded by a narrow tropical reef which plunges into a bottomless abyss, Christmas Island is an oasis for marine life, teeming with hundreds of species of coral and tropical fish, dolphins and majestic whale sharks.

The Cocos Islands is made up of two flat, low laying atolls and 27 coral islands surrounded by azure blue waters.  Offering a secluded, tranquil and uncomplicated holiday experience, Cocos Island is a true nature and water lover's paradise.  Be it snorkelling, diving, island hopping, reef walking or fishing, bike riding, beach combing, bird watching, or golf, the Cocos Islands has something for everyone.

While the new flights are within the Australian domestic network, all services to and from Australia will arrive into and depart from Perth International Airport.

* All fares are one way for flights booked on the internet or $15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.  Checked baggage charges apply to all Blue Saver and GO! Fares. Pre-pay $10 online for up to 23kgs of checked baggage per person one way flight, or pay $20 at the airport for the same allowance.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Air New Zealand, Rex named Airlines of the Year



Air Transport World has named Air New Zealand as its Airline of the Year for 2010.

The aviation magazine said the airline was being honored “for its superb commitment to safety and operational excellence, typified by the use of Performance Based Navigation cockpit technology at weather and terrain challenged destinations, and for its superb and groundbreaking customer service that combines high-tech, passenger-friendly IT systems with high-touch and caring staff”.

The editors further cited, “Air New Zealand's sterling financial performance and fiscal management during one of the most turbulent periods in aviation history”.

They also were strongly impressed with the airline's leadership role in addressing environmental challenges facing the industry, including conducting the world's first sustainable biofuel flight.

“As most of our international visitors travel to New Zealand by air, it is a huge advantage for a country like New Zealand to be served by an airline that is recognised as offering a top quality service,” said Tourism New Zealand acting chief executive, Tim Hunter

In another coup for Australia, Regional Express was named Regional Airline of the Year.


“Rex, as it is known locally, is recognised for its superior safety record and operational excellence, demonstrated by outstanding punctuality and flight completion,” said ATW.

The editors also applauded the "Rex Virtuous Cycle" model in which Rex competes against itself by adding capacity as load factors rise, causing fares to fall.

“As a result, enplanements have doubled over the past five years, while airfares have dropped 30 percent, excluding fuel levies; and it earns consistently high marks in consumer polls.”

"Rex's strategy rewards shareholders, too: It has been profitable for the last six years," said ATW.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Leisure more than just lazing around - UQ Report


Leisure is becoming a forgotten word and academics from The University of Queensland want to put it back into people's lives.

UQ School of Tourism Associate Professor Ian Patterson (pictured) wants people to put leisure alongside family, work and sleep as important parts of their lives.

Associate Professor Patterson will make the point when he speaks at the 9th ANZALS Biennial Conference at the Hilton Hotel from February 2-4, 2010.

He said many universities around the world were reducing the content of leisure studies in favour of event, sport and hotel management.

But this sent out the wrong message, he said.

"A lot of people don't know how to effectively use their leisure time,'' Associate Professor Patterson said.

"We want people to be aware of the importance of leisure, look at the health benefits and integrate leisure into their lifestyles.

"People get caught up in work commitments and they don't take the time for leisure.

"When executives doing 80 to 100 hours a week are dropping dead in their 30s and 40s, it is an indication they need a better balance between work and leisure."

Leisure was important to help people recuperate from busy work lives, reducing stress and allowing them to rejuvenate, Associate Professor Patterson said.

"It is more than just relaxing at home, watching the TV. People should participate in more activities and experiences.

"Leisure experiences provide people with feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment that they cannot achieve through work.''

Leisure was also important for retirees and people with a disability who did not work, Associate Professor Patterson said.

"It is more than just filling up time. It can replace work. They can become volunteers or join amateur groups such as theatre companies, play a sport such as tennis or take on a hobby such as woodwork.''

Visit www.staff.vu.edu.au/anzalsconference

Wina $3k Travel Voucher

Up in the air

Monday, January 11, 2010

Professional complainers net $36,000 bonus

Source: Off Radar Cruise News

With the concerning news that a British couple namely, Terence and Cynthia Milner that were awarded 22,000 GBP (over $36,000 USD) in compensation for what they claimed to be "an experience was so horrible that they had to get off the ship early in Hawaii, at which point they were in a terrible state." it sends alarm bells to the rest of the Cruise Industry, especially those that operate in the UK market.

The couple in question purchased a 15 week long round the world cruise for the tidy sum equal to around $100,000 on Cunard's Queen Victoria.

The main issue we understand originated from the first night, when they heard an alleged unbearable noise in their cabin. Subsequently the couple were relocated to a number of alternative cabins, yet continued to find each replacement cabin as unsatisfactory as the first. It reached the point of no return, whereby they could no longer stand for it, at which time they took matters into their own hands and proceeded to disembark.

By way of compensation Cunard refunded the couple a figure in GBP that amounted to nearly $80,000 USD for the precise portion of the cruise they missed (even if by choice), however the Milners decided to initiate further action by taking Cunard to court, which resulted in their award mentioned above. The lions share of the award money was given for "distress and disappointment." This will breed fear into the heart of observing Cruise Lines due to the precedence that the case may portray in the UK market at least, which despite the current recession is growing in cruising terms.

Interestingly a separate division of the settlement was awarded to compensate for the value of £4,300 in cocktail dresses that Mrs. Milner bought, which she claimed that she would unable to wear as the formal attire would only serve to remind her as an "unwelcome reminder of the cruise."

Following the sad trail of events and passport of problems that the Milners claimed to have endured, it appears that they were first moved to a cabin which was actually fitted for the disabled and situated close to (within noise range of) the engine and the constant sound was too much to bear. They were promptly moved to another cabin, however the couple we understand were concerned that they would not be able to occupy it for the whole cruise as it was booked by another couple joining the cruise later on. It was at this juncture, that the British couple who apparently were covered in mouth ulcers and experienced breathing difficulties, decided to disembark the Queen Victoria in Hawaii, where they actually took a 6 week vacation, even though they claimed to be "exhausted and inconsolable."

Professional complainers or otherwise, this case could spark future claims and set a concerning precedence for others passengers to follow.

Cox & Kings Australia buys Bentours

Scandinavian and Eastern European specialist Bentours has been purchased by Cox &
Kings Australia for an undisclosed sum.

Bentours completes destination coverage of the Greater Europe region for Cox & King's operations in Australia and New Zealand without expanding the brand of Tempo Holidays, which Cox & Kings purchased late 2008.

Bentours will continue to operate as a stand alone brand from its Sydney base but will be managed by the Cox & Kings Australia management team in Melbourne.

The purchase continues Cox & Kings' strategy of growth in the Australian market and investment in quality brands, according to Cox & Kings Australia CEO, Steve Reynolds, who negotiated the purchase.

"Bentours is a natural fit with Tempo Holidays," he said. "Bentours shares Tempo's corporate values, it services the FIT and small groups market, it is a destination specialist, has strong trade associations, selects quality products, has a strong service ethic and values staff destination experience and knowledge."

"We will be leveraging resources and technology to optimise both operations, however, we are keen to take the time to understand the business in detail before making any significant changes," Mr Reynolds said.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eurostar Update and Apology from CEO



Dear partners,

I am writing to give you an update on the disruptions Eurostar experienced last week. First of all, I would like to offer my most heartfelt apology to all of our customers and any of your travellers who were inconvenienced as a result of events last week.

I fully appreciate that this situation, particularly for those travellers involved in Friday and Saturday’s train failures, was very difficult and I would like to assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that this kind of incident will not happen again.

Thankfully we managed to get all passengers who needed to travel for Christmas to their destinations and our service has now returned to normal.

Although you may have seen many reports in the media about the problems we experienced I would like to explain exactly what happened in this unprecedented event.

As I am sure you have heard by now, this situation was caused primarily by the extremely cold weather in Northern France and the amount of snow and ice that our trains gathered running along the high speed line. Some of this snow penetrated into the power cars. Once in the tunnel, where the temperature is much warmer, this snow melted and the resulting water and condensation caused a number of electrical systems to fail.

We have of course experienced cold weather in previous years and have an extensive winterisation programme that was fully applied to our fleet again this year. This did not however prove sufficient to protect our trains on this occasion.

We have had isolated incidents in the tunnel before but it is unprecedented to have five trains full of passengers all break down at the same time, and it was this that caused the emergency recovery procedures to breakdown.

As you may have heard, our Board has launched an Independent Review into exactly what occurred, so that we can learn from the mistakes and ensure that we never subject our customers to this kind of disruption in the future. The panel leading this Review want to understand traveller experiences in detail and would like to invite any passengers involved to send their accounts to: independent.review@eurostar.com

As soon as we have the results from this review and the recommendations that are made, we will share them with you.

We have started with rigour our own internal inquiry and subsequent improvement plan to ensure that with immediate effect we are taking measures to ensure any future disruption is handled in the way that you would expect.

Should you have any further questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Manager.

I would like to take this opportunity to also thank you for your continued support and wish you all the best over the festive period and for the coming year.

Yours sincerely,

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Richard Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Novotel Survey Reveals That Hotel Guests Are Cleaner, Greener – but Still Getting Into Trouble



Novotel Survey unlocks the secrets behind closed hotel doors


A decade after the first Novotel Survey was conducted in Australia and New Zealand, the new survey of in-hotel habits reveals that guests of both sexes are leaving their rooms cleaner and greener, but still ending up naked in corridors and leaving unusual objects behind in their rooms.

The Novotel Survey looks behind closed (hotel) doors, with housekeepers and other hotel staff reporting on the differing travel habits of men and women who stay at the group's 30 Novotel hotels and resorts in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Over the past decade there have certainly been changes in guest behaviour. Both genders are traveling with fewer bags (1 bag per male to 2.1 bags per woman), guests are more likely to reuse towels, men are drinking less beer and more wine, more guests are bringing along laptops and guests are making healthier food choices.

But it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same, with women guests still messier than their male counterparts, more likely to souvenir items from their rooms and more demanding. And while the contents of minibars have changed in the past decade, the number one choice for each gender has remained the same – beer for men and chocolate for women.

While we all know women do more housework at home, it seems their good habits fly out of the window and onto the floor in hotels, with Novotel housekeepers confirming that female guests are more likely to leave their rooms in a shambles than men (69%) and are more likely to flood the bathroom (72%). Women are also more likely to 'souvenir' items from their rooms with shampoos and toiletries being the most popularly pilfered items (which are acceptable), but extending to bathrobes, hairdryers, cushions and even toilet paper (not acceptable). See breakout box below for the most audacious hotel five-finger discount.

Comparisons with the results from the 2000 Survey show that women are now more assertive than they used to be, are more likely to dine alone in hotel restaurants, to be the ones ordering the wine when in a couple and are more likely to request massages from the opposite sex than before. More women than ever are watching adult movies, now representing 12% as opposed to 8% ten years ago.

The proliferation of celebrity 'caught in the act' videos might have contributed to a big increase in the number of couples caught canoodling outside their rooms – in pools, spas, saunas, hallways, stairwells, bars and even in storeroom cupboards – and increasingly in front of very obvious security cameras. In each hotel surveyed, more guests are being 'caught out' than a decade ago and this level of exhibitionism perhaps comes from the sense of freedom and anonymity that comes with being in a hotel – but also from the increased security now in place in hotels compared with ten years ago.

The items guests forget can also be an interesting revelation into what goes on behind closed doors and while mobile phone chargers, sex toys and lingerie are popular items picked up by the housekeepers other items are more perplexing – including fake limbs, a snake, a nun's habit, false teeth, a two-metre hand-carved statue, a riding crop under the pillow and even in one case a baby! Thankfully the tot was quickly reunited with his forgetful parents.

Men, meanwhile, are more generous tippers (65%), are more likely to be caught naked outside their rooms (71%) and are more likely to order the most expensive wine on the list. Due in part, perhaps, to the global financial crisis, there was more restraint shown in tipping from both genders and the year saw an increase in guests wanting more for less from their hotel experience.

Thankfully the Survey has highlighted an increased level of care for the environment, with 32% of guests now reusing towels (and, in some cases, even bed linen not be changed). This compares with just 11% ten years ago.

Men are more likely to carry laptops than women (68%) but it is women who more often use the Novotel's MAC webcorner, which provides free internet access for guests.

Steak remains the number one choice for men (38%) but women have moved on from the previous favourite of Caesar Salad, to fish or seafood dishes (32%).

While women dining alone in hotel restaurants has increased in recent years, they are still outnumbered by their male counterparts. To encourage and make more women feel more comfortable dining alone, a special dinner package will be offered by Novotels in Australia this year that will fast-track a main meal and glass of 'Tik Tok' wine, along with magazines. In the new Novotel Christchurch, which opens later this month, solo diners will be able to take advantage of special dining 'pods' which provide a discrete fold out TV screen. It is the first such innovation to be offered in a hotel restaurant in this part of the world, though a familiar offering at Novotels in the UK and Europe.

Interesting tales from behind closed doors
Working in a hotel is never dull, with the Novotel Survey always uncovering some odd demands including the guest at Novotel Canberra who insisted the concierge arrange an appointment with the Prime Minister or the guest who said she shouldn't have to pay the extra for her ocean view room at Novotel Manly Pacific because it had rained all week so the view was obsolete. Then there was the guest who asked if he could have an Aboriginal witch doctor perform a ceremony in the lobby to help his arm grow back after he lost it in a motorbike accident and the elderly guest who demanded the executive housekeeper clip her toenails.

Other interesting requests included a guest who asked if 33 rubber ducks could be placed in the bathtub before his girlfriend checked in, the guest who wanted the bath filled with red wine at the Novotel Barossa Valley after reading about the hotel's signature spa treatment (in which a special red wine recipe is used, rather than straight wine from a bottle), and the guest who wanted his room filled with hay for his farm-loving girlfriend. And there was one guest who literally took the clothes off a staff member's back when he left his suit behind for a wedding. Thankfully the new Novotel uniforms were designed by Peter Morrissey so the guest looked suitably stylish.

Life for a hotel staffer can be dangerous too, with one hit on the head by a sex toy that had been thrown over the balcony by an angry husband and another asked to remove a 'hazardous reptile" from a guest's room – only to turn up and find a 3cm gecko above the bed.

While revealing some colourful tales about hotel life, the Novotel Survey has a serious side in uncovering trends in conferences and catering, food and beverage and guest desires and is used by management to ensure the Novotel brand stays ahead of its competitors in meeting guest needs. Some examples include the introduction of minimum organic and gluten-free items as a brand standard, the introduction of a free yoga channel and in-room yoga mat and the introduction of Novotel's Family Offer to meet the changing face of its guests. All these were reflected by behaviour in previous Novotel Surveys.

The most brazen five finger hotel discount
Shampoo, soap, even a shower cap is ok – but this is taking the five finger discount a little too far! Novotel St Kilda Rooms Division Manager, Jodie Bell, had a hunch something was amiss when she assisted a couple on check-out, heavily laden with luggage and boxes after only a 1 night stay. After lugging the goods out to the front of the hotel Jodie was surprised to find a car packed full of more bounty. A quick check of the guests room amenities, however, showed all was in order and Jodie continued with attending to other guests until a late afternoon phone call from Moorabbin Police Station. They advised they had found a large amount of goods which appeared to belong to the hotel, having pulled over the same two guests for poor driving (quite possibly because the car was out of alignment from its load!). It turns out, the guests had raided the housekeeping store rooms and trolleys and amongst the returned goods were towels, linen, hundreds of tea and coffee sachets, stationary, boxes of amenities and even a portable heater! The incident proves two things -Rooms Division Managers should go with their hunch and cheaters never prosper!

Fiji smashes 27,000 Australian visitor arrival barrier with record breaking October performance

Fiji's record breaking Australian visitor arrival performance continues unabated with the South Pacific destination hosting a record smashing 27,500 plus Aussies last October.
 
Figures released this week by Tourism Fiji show a total of 27,531 Australians visited Fiji in October, that figure eclipsing the previous record set in September 2009 - 26,342 - by 1189.

The October 2009 result brings Fiji's Australian visitor tally for the year to 189,603, now just 2.3 per cent down on the 194,063 figure achieved for the January – October period last year,

Tourism Fiji Regional Director Australia Paresh Pant said he was confident this deficit would be fully corrected by year's end based on preliminary figures advised by the NTO's airline partners for November.

All of these, he said, had registered extremely positive load factors on the Australia-Fiji sector throughout the month and into early December.

"In the face of everything that has come our way in 2009, our Australian visitor arrivals figures have continued to build exponentially and are a huge cry from the huge drop we recorded in the first three months of this year," he said.

"From our side the fact that more than 27,500 Australians have chosen to visit Fiji in the space of just one month represents a huge vote of confidence from this market.

'Of equal importance, it is also recognition of the huge efforts Tourism Fiji and its industry colleagues have gone to in order to keep Fiji top of mind with the Australian travelling public."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The World's Tallest Tower, 'Burj Khalifa' is 828 metres (2,716.5 ft) High


The world's tallest tower, developed by Emaar Properties, was unveiled tonight to a crowd of thousands and the world in a crescendo of fireworks, lasers and fountain displays.

The official height of the tower, unveiled as 'Burj Khalifa', was announced as 828 metres (2,716.5 ft).

A closely guarded secret, the official height of Burj Khalifa was flashed onto a giant screen before an estimated crowd of more than 400,000, as lasers and fireworks lit up the night sky.

Fireworks cascaded from the tower's spire to the base and lasers blazed out from all levels leaving the crowds awestruck.

The height was disclosed in arithmetic progression, with the numbers being flashed onto the screen, one after another. The tower's height breaks all existing world records for tall buildings.

Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world according to the three main criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The CTBUH ranks the world’s tallest buildings based on ‘Height to Architectural Top,’ ‘Height to Highest Occupied Floor’ and ‘Height to Tip.’

At 828 metres (2,716.5ft), Burj Khalifa is 320 metres taller than Taipei 101, which at 508 metres (1,667 ft) had held the record for the world’s tallest building measured to the architectural top since 2004, the year the project was announced.

Burj Khalifa achieved the distinction of being the world's tallest structure – surpassing the KVLY-TV mast (628.8 metres; 2,063 ft) in North Dakota, USA – 1,325 days after excavation work started in January 2004.

The tower also beats the 31-year-old record of CN Tower, which at 553.33 metres (1,815.5 ft) had been the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land since 1976.

Burj Khalifa employs a record-breaking 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 metric tonnes of steel rebar and 142,000 square metres of glass; and it took 22 million man hours to build.

Other world records for Burj Khalifa include the highest occupied floor in the world, at over 550 metres (1,800 ft); the highest outdoor observation deck in the world – At the Top on Level 124; and the tallest service elevator, which travels to a height of 504 metres (1,654 ft).

Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said that with the unveiling of the final height of Burj Khalifa, the world now had a new reference point for high-rise developments.

“Burj Khalifa is an example of collaboration on a global scale, and the tremendous positive energy that can be generated when people from all over the world come together to work towards a common goal. Thousands of professionals and skilled workers from around the world worked on this once-in-a-lifetime project.”

“More than 60 of the world’s leading consultants including South Korea’s Samsung Corporation and New York-based Turner Construction International realised the design for Burj Khalifa of Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM),” he said.

Burj Khalifa employed the latest advances in wind engineering, structural engineering, structural systems, construction materials and methods. All design considerations took into account the 12,000 people who will live and work in the tower. The handover to residents of the various components of Burj Khalifa will begin in February.

With a total built-up area of about 6 million sq ft, Burj Khalifa features nearly 2 million sq ft of residential space and over 300,000 sq ft of prime office space, in addition to the area occupied by the keenly awaited Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences. The tower also features modern lifestyle amenities including clubs, health and fitness facilities, gourmet restaurants and the 124th floor observation deck, 'At the Top.'

Burj Khalifa is the focal point of the 500-acre ‘mega-project’ by Emaar Properties, described as the new heart of Dubai.

Burj Dubai: World's Tallest Building


In January 2004, Dubai announced Burj Dubai to the world with the claim, ‘History Rising’. Six years on and history has most certainly ‘risen’.

Burj Dubai will soon be transformed into a vibrant community for thousands of residents, employees, hotel guests and tourists. Up to 12,000 people will live, work and play inside the world’s tallest building.

The tower is the focal point of the 500-acre master planned community Downtown Burj Dubai, which is widely described as the most prestigious square kilometre on earth.

Burj Dubai is the development’s crowing glory in every sense, a building that has pushed the boundaries of design and engineering further than many thought possible.

Excavation work for the tower began soon after the announcement of its launch, with more than 60 contractors and consultants joining forces on a project of unprecedented scale and ambition.

When construction work was at its most intense, more than 12,000 people from over 100 countries were working every day at the Burj Dubai site. In total, Burj Dubai took 22 million man hours to build.

Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said Burj Dubai was a shining example of global collaboration. “Burj Dubai shows just what can be achieved when people from all over the world come together to strive for a common purpose.”

Strong foundations
Standing at more than 800 metres (2,625 ft), Burj Dubai captivates audiences with its height. But its construction underground is equally worthy of fascination. More than 45,000 cubic metres (1.59 million cubic ft) of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes, make up the tower’s steel-reinforced foundations with 192 piles running to a depth of over 50 metres (164 ft).

Inspired by nature
Work on Burj Dubai’s superstructure began in March 2005, with the foundation work alone taking 12 months. The distinctive triple-buttressed outline of the Burj Dubai was inspired by the desert lily Hymenocallis.

Wind factor
Extensive seismic and wind tunnel testing was carried out to perfect the design of the tower. The triple-buttressed shape of Burj Dubai allows it to manage the effect of wind vortices generated around the tower, as well as changes in atmospheric pressure between its base and spire.

Rock solid
The main construction material of Burj Dubai is reinforced concrete, specially designed to withstand the staggering pressures inherent in the world’s tallest building.

In total, Burj Dubai employs a record-breaking 330,000 cubic meters (11.6 million cubic feet) of concrete; 39,000 metric tonnes of reinforced steel; 103,000 sq m (1.1 million sq ft) of double glazed glass; and 15,500 sq m (166,800 sq ft) of embossed stainless steel.

Climbing to the sky
Once the lengthy construction work of its foundation was complete, the vertical ascent of Burj Dubai was surprisingly fast. The first 100 levels of the tower were completed only 1,093 days after excavation started. A level was added every three days before the uppermost levels of the tower were reached.

In November 2007, the concrete for the highest reinforced core walls of Burj Dubai was pumped from ground level to a height of 601 metres (1,978 ft), breaking the previous record for concrete pumping held by Taipei 101. The pressure generated during the pumping work reached nearly 200 bars.

A glass act
Work on the glass and aluminium exterior cladding of Burj Dubai started in May 2007 and was completed in September 2009. Nearly 400 skilled engineers were assigned to the project. At the outset, around 20-30 cladding panels were installed each day. The daily rate of installation reached 175 panels as the project neared completion. Burj Dubai has set a new world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass fa├žade, at 512 metres (1,679.8 ft).

A staggering total of 24,348 panels cover a curtain wall area of 132,190 square metres (1.4 million sq ft). But the Burj Dubai’s shimmering exterior is designed to minimise heat transmission into the building itself, therefore saving energy. Condensation from the panels is also collected and used for landscape irrigation.

Pinnacle of achievement
Burj Dubai’s spire may resemble a needle at ground level, but in reality it is a colossal structure made up of 4,000 tonnes of structural steel. Nor is it exclusively ornamental, housing as it does communications equipment for the tower.

Community spirit
With a total built up area of around 6 million square feet, Burj Dubai is set to become a living, vibrant community in the heart of Dubai. Around 2 million square feet inside the tower is dedicated to luxury residential apartments, while more than 300,000 square feet is allocated for office space. That’s in addition to the sections of the tower taken up by the world-first Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences Dubai.

Countless artworks by prominent Middle Eastern and international artists, including sculptures and various contemporary installations, adorn the interiors of Burj Dubai and line Emaar Boulevard throughout Downtown Burj Dubai.

Life of luxury
A total of 57 elevators and eight escalators serve people living, working and enjoying their leisure time inside the tower. Burj Dubai has four swimming pools, a cigar lounge, residents’ lounge, the fine dining restaurant ‘At.mosphere’, and a variety of health and fitness facilities.

Moreover, the tower’s 124th floor observation deck, ‘At the Top, Burj Dubai’, offers 360-degree views of the city and is open to the public.

Burj Dubai features ‘The Offices’, a 12-storey annex of prime office space; ‘The Club’, a four-storey health and fitness centre; and ‘Armani/Pavilion’, an outdoor entertainment venue that opens onto the Burj Dubai Lake and The Dubai Fountain, described as the world’s tallest ‘performing fountain’.

Heart and soul
Demonstrating that Burj Dubai is more than just a building, its creators have perfected a written narrative that evokes the tower’s soul.

Visitors to the ‘At The Top, Burj Dubai’ observation deck can read the ‘I am Burj Dubai’ legend once they reach the ‘From the earth to the sky’, section of the tour.

Its opening stanza reads: “I am the power that lifts the world’s head proudly skywards, surpassing limits and expectations. Rising gracefully from the desert and honouring the city with a new glory, I am an extraordinary union of engineering and art, with every detail carefully considered and beautifully crafted...”

“I am the heart of the city and its people, the marker that defines Emaar’s ambition and Dubai’s shining dream. More than just a moment in time, I define moments for future generations…”

From the ‘‘From the earth to the sky’’, one can view Level 124 and the summit of Burj Dubai at a near vertical angle.




About Burj Dubai:
A mixed-use tower featuring the world’s first Armani Hotel Dubai and Armani Residences, alongside corporate suites, residences, retail and leisure facilities, Burj Dubai is at the centre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a 500-acre mega-development by Emaar Properties. Among an array of lifestyle amenities, the tower will have a public observation deck - At the Top, Burj Dubai - on level 124.

Described as the new heart of Dubai, Downtown Burj Dubai encompasses The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations; several hotels; offices and homes. A stellar attraction within the community is The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain.

At over 800 metres (2,625 feet), the Burj Dubai has already achieved the distinction of being the world's tallest structure surpassing the KVLY-TV mast (628.8 metres; 2,063 ft) in North Dakota, USA. The tower is taller than Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which at 508 metres (1,667 ft) has held the tallest-building-in-the-world title since it opened in 2004. Burj Dubai also surpassed the 31-year-old record of CN Tower, which at 553.33 metres (1,815.5 ft) has been the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land since 1976.

Designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Burj Dubai is constructed by high-rise experts South Korea’s Samsung Corporation. New York-based Turner Construction International is the project and construction manager. The tower employs the latest in wind engineering, structural engineering, structural systems, construction materials and construction methods. For more information, please visit: www.burjdubai.com

About Emaar Properties PJSC:
Emaar Properties PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is a global property developer with a significant presence in key markets world-wide. Besides building residential and commercial properties, the company also has proven competencies in shopping malls & retail, hospitality & leisure, education, healthcare and financial services sectors.

Emaar is set to inaugurate Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building and free-standing structure, and has opened The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. In Saudi Arabia, Emaar is developing King Abdullah Economic City, the region's largest private sector-led project in Saudi Arabia, featuring a Sea Port, Central Business District, Industrial Zone, Educational Zone, Residential Communities and Resort District.

Emaar has joined hands with Giorgio Armani to strengthen its presence in hospitality. The company is also opening educational institutions and healthcare centres in South Asia, Middle East and North Africa and the Subcontinent.

Emaar holds 30 per cent equity in Dubai Bank, focused on retail and commercial banking. Emaar is also the largest shareholder in Amlak Finance, UAE's leading Islamic home financing company. For more information, visit www.emaar.com.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places