Tuesday, 27 September 2016

5 Must visit places in Dubai

Dubai, once a desert outpost is now a global tourist attraction, having architectural variations from the record-breaking modern buildings to the traditional quarters, alongside man-made islands. The traditional culture of Dubai with the modern glamorous developments, give the city something that cannot be found anywhere else.

Here, we have a list of the top five places you absolutely must visit while your visit to Dubai.

Burj Khalifa - Standing tall at 829.8 m, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world till date and has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. The observation deck located on the 124th level of this building provides a spectacular bird's eye view of the city skyline. This observation deck is particularly popular during the night time, especially for photographers as we all must have seen the popular 360 degrees panorama shots of the city. On the foot of the building is the beautifully designed garden of the building that also holds the world's tallest water fountain called the Dubai Fountain which was inspired by the Las Vegas Fountains of Bellagio.

Dubai Aquarium - On the ground floor of the Dubai Mall this gigantic suspended tank is the home for over 140 species of aquatic life. The Dubai Aquarium, one of the most popular tourist attractions, provides a free viewing to the public from the mall. But you can also enter the Underwater Zoo that walks you through the aquarium through the underwater tunnels. Other activities to experience this marvellous aquarium include the boat tours, cage snorkelling and shark diving. While you are at it, you must also experience the Dubai Mall which is an entrance to both, the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Aquarium. The mall has to offer some fun activities such as ice-skating rink, cinema and food complex and a gaming zone, along with all the retail stores for shopping.

Burj-Al-Arab - Located on its own artificial island, Burj-Al-Arab is 321 m high and is the tallest hotel in the world. The exterior of the hotel is lit up by a choreographed light show at night and is built in the shape of a billowing dhow sail. Being one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, for one night it charges around $15000 for staying in their rooms and suites. The over the top opulence of this world famous hotel is exaggerated by  the underwater restaurant Al-Mahara restaurant for viewing sea life while you eat and by the Skyview Bar giving an amazing view of the city.

Dubai Dolphinarium -  Dubai Dolphinarium hosts a lot of live shows for the public to watch dolphins and seals. These animals stay in the Dolphinarium which is fully air conditioned. This tourist attraction was opened by the Dubai Municipality in association with the Dubai government on the 21st of May, 2008. The aim of this Dolphinarium was to protect marine creatures by raising awareness about them and letting the public interact with them. Dolphins are very friendly creatures and it was established that this kind of interaction with the aquatic word will inspire the youth in joining hands in their preservation.

Jumeirah Mosque- This is considered, undoubtedly the most beautiful for Dubai's mosques. It is an exact copy of the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, although the Al-Azhar Mosque is eight times its size. The Jumeirah Mosque is Islamic architecture at its finest with a stone structure inspired by the Fatimid tradition of the medieval times and subtle stone carving detailed work displayed on the two minarets. Guided tours are organised by the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding in order to give a better understanding of the Islamic faith to the tourists. It also is a great place to relax and get in touch with the Islamic heritage after visiting the glitzy awe-inspiring modern structures of the city.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

10 Interior design ideas to get you started with your next project

When inspiration strikes, you just cannot spend another day with those sun-faded drapes, the sagging old sofa, the tattered wallpaper or the paint-chipped cabinets. It takes a lot of work to redecorate a space, from visiting hardware or lifestyle stores to looking up the internet. While, some of us may have a great inspirational idea for interior design, we would not necessarily have the skills and experience to put it all together. This is where the professional interior designers come into play. They can listen to our ideas and merge them together to pull off a design suiting our aesthetic and functionality or practicality needs.

The interior design of a certain space can also, cut a hole in our pockets. It requires so many small things which ultimately add up to give a big impact. Choosing whether hardwood floors are comfortable or carpeting, whether new furniture is needed, also, having the walls painted or covered in wallpaper, lightings and fixtures and also, wall hangings and other accessories and accents for creating a better space. 
All of these can easily add up to a great amount of expenditure. But the following tips will ensure a great space without the expenditure.

1. Planning- Not enough stress can be put on how important is it to plan out and lay down your ideas on paper before starting to decorate especially when you are working on a tight budget. It is not the best course of action to buy that non-refundable dream sofa or that fabulous corner cabinet only to realise that you have no more money left for the rest of the plan. Or even to realise that the things you have bought would either not fit in the space or do not have the right shape or colour.

2. Reuse old things- With a little bit of investment and elbow grease, you can transform any piece of old furniture or ornament to give it a new vibe and look. This may not be as exciting as waiting for all the new things to assemble around your space but is totally doable and equally satisfying without spending a crazy amount of money.

3. Anchor with Furniture- When you are redecorating under a budget, the most important thing to do is prioritise the area you want to spend your money on. Buying furniture will ensure you get a bang for your buck.

4. Buy Furniture without Top coats or Varnishes or Buy Second-Hand - Pieces of furniture that are without top coats, varnishes, are unfinished or even second hand can easily save up a lot of money. Doing the varnishes or finishing off an unfinished furniture piece is cheaper than you thought and can save up a lot of money.

5. Add Pops of Colour- The biggest advantage in interior design is in knowing that colour is cheap, cheaper than having the same product in basics or neutrals. Colour can be added to the walls, cushion covers, flower arrangements, wall hangings or paintings or any other object of your preference.

6. Have a Minimalist Theme- Cultivate the habit of designing in a very minimalistic manner, which is actually very en vogue right now. Choosing the minimalistic path over the more ornate interior design options can save a lot of money, plus, this kind of decoration looks very sophisticated. 

7. Hiring an Intern or a Student Designer- Hiring a professional can be expensive. Therefore, when requiring help on the more professional side of the designing, a student or an intern is the best option as they will readily discount their prices for a glowing testimonial and a couple of pictures of the end design for their portfolio.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Immigrating to Australia? Here's what you need to know

Migration to a foreign country can be a little confusing due to all the paperwork that comes with it. Australia is a huge attraction for people from all over the world due to its beautiful beaches and lifestyle. Moving overseas is a big step financially. Here is a list of the things that should be considered. There may be a cultural difference between your country and Australia and as easy as you might think the 'cultural integration' process may be, in reality, it might not be that way.

Think of why you are shifting there, what kind of visa option you are looking for or if you have any relative who may nominate you and let you live with them. If not, then find a good place to reside in beforehand or if you have an overseas business, you can get nominated this way as well. Getting a Victorian Government nomination will make the process of acquiring a visa a lot simpler.

1. Research: Look for all the available cities and choose the one where you think you might fit into the lifestyle the most. Apart from that, depending on whether you are shifting for education or for work, look for the college or the job that is most comfortable for you. Check what kind of jobs is available and how you can get it. If the intention is to run a business then a whole other set of rules applies. Plan and research about how do you want to shift. A migration agent will assist you in moving and also getting all the required paperwork done.

2. Nomination: Applying for state nomination can assist you in getting visas, hence making the entire process very easy. It is very useful if you have a visa but not compulsory. In order to get a nomination, you must firstly, apply to the Victorian Government and also check the State Nomination and Occupations List, which will help you, determine whether you are eligible for a nomination. After this, an employer must sponsor for you and only then can you get nominated which further eases getting an independent visa.

3. Visa: To migrate to another country, it is required to get a visa. Applying to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), whether you have a nomination or not by the Victorian Government will give you relief while applying for visa as the process will get a lot simpler and straightforward. There are many types of visas available such as the skilled visa, skilled state nomination visa or the business visa, which will be provided on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

4. Medical Exam: A medical exam is performed on every person who wants to go to Australia to ensure that no communicable and chronic diseases are transferred along with the person.

5. Moving to Australia: Once you have your visa and passport, you can easily migrate to Australia. The Relocation Checklist of the Victorian Government will help you do so in an organised and proper manner.

6. Settling in: The Skilled and Business Migration Programs provide many opportunities and services for all the immigrants to easily settle in the country. Also, once you shift to the country, you must be in touch with the officials of your native country or the Embassy of your native country as they will include you in their online support systems, cultural and sports clubs, online social networks etc. They will also help you out when settling in the city for the first time.

What goes into a perfect landscape design?

Landscape design, a combination of art, culture and nature, bridges the gap between garden designing and landscape architecture. It is a profession which is practiced by landscape architects or designers and focuses on both designing of an entire property, including a building and gardens, and only garden or park designing. Landscape designing focuses on horticultural, aesthetical, environmental factors and the practicality while designing any project.

Traditionally, designing of a landscape, entire property or just a garden, requires the designer to plan and analyse with the help of a detailed drawing specifying the placement of every plant, monument, fountain etc. But, experienced designers can design on the go, by looking at the ongoing project and deciding the things that can be added or removed for functionality or aesthetic purposes. For an inexperienced designer, who is going for a designing project for the first time, it can be an overwhelming task considering all the options that are available. 

Here is a list of seven important things to keep in mind for a perfect landscape.

1. List of Needs and Wants- For a proper planning of how your landscape should look like, it is important to make a list of things or functions that you would like to include in it. These may include- a vegetable garden, play space for your kids, space in the garden or patio for relaxation and family gatherings.

2. Plan around a Focal Point- All good gardens are focused towards one point or may also have multiple focal points. This focal point can be a tree, a series of plants or shrubs, a fountain or a structure or ornamental piece of some other kind. This will direct you towards a point and eases the movement through the garden by giving something to move or focus toward. The focal point should also be something that is strikingly and surprisingly different from the rest of the garden.

3. Observe the Sun and the Wind Patterns- Place the patio on the west so that it gets a lot of afternoon sunlight or little afternoon sunlight for you to relax in, depending on what the requirement is. If you want to place a fire pit in the garden, you must try to place a point that is away from the wind. Also, you must find appropriate solutions for the problem of the sun and wind changing at different times of the day or even the year.

4. Scaling and Pacing- Having done a good scaling and pacing of your backyard or garden will give it  a pulled-together look. You must incorporate variations in the garden in terms of different shapes and sizes of structures, fountains or even trees. Geometric lines and curves, both should be used while designing the basic essence of your landscape. Having a curved path in a rectangular or square garden gives it an edge or vice versa.

5. Plan for Equipment Storage and Access- Plan in advance where you would want to place your shed for storing your grass mower, stump grinders etc. Do not be in a hurry to decide, leave a couple of areas untouched for any future change of plan or new addition.

6. Add Movement- Having a static garden is like having a painting which is great as a wall hanging, but a garden needs movement and life. For this purpose, add water fountains or simply a small pond in the middle of the landscape. Other things that can add movement to your garden are adding flowers to attract bees and butterflies, adding grass that sways in the wind or even, having a play space for your dogs or kids.

7. Open-Mindedness towards Future Changes- You must have an open-mind to change aspects of your garden as time passes, in order to include something extra as per requirement or as per changing seasons or garden trends.