Posts Tagged With: United Arab Emirates

Country no. 46 on my World Karaoke Tour: everything is bigger in Dubai

This is a cheesy souvenir photo I purchased on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa. It was taken in front of a green screen, and the background was then superimposed.

Rising over one-half mile into the Dubai sky, the Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest building, a superlative it’s claimed since 2008. (Sources disagree on the precise extent of the Burj Khalifa’s verticality; depending on which website you ask, its height is either 2,717 feet or 2,722 feet. Regardless, it’s fair to say that this particular edifice is damn tall.) At this writing, an even more skyscraping building, imaginatively dubbed The Tower, is under construction across town in Dubai, and is slated to be finished in 2020. The elevation at which The Tower will top out has not yet been determined, but is expected to exceed that of the Burj Khalifa. Both the Burj Khalifa and The Tower, however, will be dwarfed by the Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — also on target for completion in 2020 — which is planned to ultimately soar to 3,307 feet above ground level. That’s a full kilometer!

While Dubai stands to lose the distinction of possessing the loftiest man-made structure on the planet, it will remain an embarrassment of riches for urban architecture geeks like me. In recent decades the city’s skyline has experienced explosive growth, to the point where Dubai now ranks third among all world cities in number of skyscrapers (defined as buildings at least 150 meters, or 490 feet, in height); as of this writing, Dubai boasts no fewer than 173 skyscrapers. (The two cities with even more skyscrapers than Dubai are Hong Kong and New York City.)

Architecture: new and old

A pair of stratospheric erections (Get your mind out of the gutter; I’m using the word “erection” as a synonym for “building”)

Obviously, the Burj Khalifa is — for now — the signature landmark not just of Dubai, but of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the nation to which that city belongs. Soaring above the many other skyscrapers of Dubai (at least until The Tower surpasses it), the Burj Khalifa is visible from points throughout the sprawling metropolis. Continue reading

Categories: Asia, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

46 countries and counting on my World Karaoke Tour!

Prior to the time when this blog went live on December 4, 2011, I had karaoked in 23 countries. In just a little over five years since then, I’ve doubled that total! Last night, I sang at a bar called the Hibiki Lounge in Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates thereby became country no. 46 on my World Karaoke Tour.

The 23 new countries in which I’ve sung since starting this blog have been on five different continents. And it’s not just about the singing; along the way, I’ve seen some pretty breathtaking sights in the places I’ve travelled to — from the pyramids of Egypt, to Machu Picchu, to the Taj Mahal, to the Great Wall of China, to Petra. I feel very lucky to have had those experiences, and to have made it to so many parts of this planet. I feel even more fortunate to have made it safely through my heart surgery in 2015, and to have been able to resume my international singing very soon after that operation. Finally, I’m grateful to the readers who’ve visited this website throughout my journey since late 2011.

Here are brief excerpts from my first song in Dubai — the song that brought me to 46 countries of singing. The tune was Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.”


In the coming months, full posts about my most recent singing and travelling adventures will appear on this blog. In addition, some exciting new destinations for my karaoke travels are in the works for later this year. Among those locales will be one of the seven countries that I’ve been to before without managing to karaoke in them. Here’s hoping that I’ll finally be able to cross that nation off my list!

I hope your 2017 is off to a great start.

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, rising an astonishing 2,722 feet.

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, soaring 2,722 feet into the sky.

What are your travel plans for this year?

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Categories: travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ten things I’m looking forward to in 2016 (and a couple more that I’m hoping for)

42762094_sI think it’s fair to say that any year when you undergo heart surgery is a rough one. By that standard, 2015 was challenging for me. Not that the year was without its magical moments; seeing Angkor Wat and Mount Rushmore in person were certainly bucket list experiences, and after I recovered from my operation I increased the number of countries on my World Karaoke Tour to 39 by singing in Rome.

On a non-travel-related note, in July I moved to a new apartment — still in Manhattan, but in a much better building, with far superior management to the slumlords who own the apartment that I vacated, and in a nicer neighbourhood. My new residence provides me with more pleasant surroundings — a big plus, since on the vast majority of my days I’m not off globetrotting, but am hanging out in my home base of New York City where I work full-time as a lawyer.

Me at Mount Rushmore in July 2015.

Me at Mount Rushmore in July 2015.

So with my surgery 110 days in the past, 2015 is ending on a high note for me; and as the world prepares to begin using its 2016 calendars, I have heaps of exciting plans for the year ahead. Here are the things that I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming 366 days (remember, ’16 is a leap year!):

1. Charleston, South Carolina for New Year’s

Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Charleston, South Carolina; it’ll be my first-ever visit to this city in the southern U.S. that I’ve long sought to experience. In 2014, readers of Conde Naste Traveler magazine voted Charleston the no. 1 city in the U.S. to visit, and the no. 2 city in the world to visit. I look forward to finding out firsthand why Charleston makes such a spectacular impression on its visitors. While in town, I’ll be taking in historical sights as well as reconnecting with some old friends who reside in the area. And Charleston is where I’ll be ringing in the new year. Because this is a karaoke travel blog, I feel obligated to mention one more aspect of what’s in store for my sojourn in Charleston: either in the last days of 2015 or the very beginning of 2016, South Carolina will become the 21st U.S. state in which I’ve sung karaoke! (Technically, my tally will then stand at 20 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, which lacks statehood status. But I’m trying to keep things simple here. 🙂 )

Stock photo of some historic homes in Charleston, South Carolina.

Stock photo of some historic homes in Charleston, South Carolina — the city in which I’m going to start 2016!

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Categories: Asia, Europe, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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