Lost in translation? Dubai apps guide tourists as they explore city

Visitors using the Metro Moments would get information on attractions found along the Dubai Metro route between Dubai Airport Terminal 3 and The Dubai Mall. (Courtesy Dubai Media Office)
Updated 01 February 2018
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Lost in translation? Dubai apps guide tourists as they explore city

DUBAI: It is always difficult to know where to visit when you are in a new city, but this issue might have been solved for visitors in Dubai thanks to a mobile app that offers audio guides to the city’s landmarks and historical sites.
The app-based tours, Metro Moments and Al Fahidi Architecture Tour, use audio tours to guide visitors through the city, drawing the user from one point of interest to the next in real time, depending on the person’s location.
The audio guides are available in English, Chinese and German and both tours also come in text form, accompanied by a map to help with navigation. They can be downloaded for free from Apple Store and Google Play.
International tourist arrivals in Dubai were up 6.75 percent as of November last year to 14.24 million from 13.34 million during the same period in 2016.
And people are traveling from all over the world to see the city, including India with 1.86 million visitors; Saudi Arabia with 1.43 million; the UK with 1.14 million; Oman with 791,000; China with 696,000 and the US with 564,000.
With Metro Moments, available on Voice Map, visitors are given information on attractions found along the Dubai Metro route between Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3 and Dubai Mall, where the iconic dancing fountains and Burj Khalifa are the premier tourist spots.
Meanwhile, those using the Al Fahidi Architecture Tour, which can be found on the Pocket Guide app, get an insight into the history and heritage of Dubai’s popular Al Fahidi District, part of the wider Dubai Historic District.
“The launch of these audio tours will help people from all over the world gain an enhanced understanding of Dubai and some of its most historically and culturally important sites. Moving forward, we are working to develop further applications and services that enable visitors to discover more of the city’s tourism highlights through smart, convenient and accessible platforms,” Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments at Dubai Tourism, said.


Vienna topples Melbourne in ‘most liveable city’ ranking

Updated 14 August 2018
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Vienna topples Melbourne in ‘most liveable city’ ranking

  • Each year 140 cities are given scores out of 100 on a range of factors such as living standards, crime and transport infrastructure
  • Vienna scored a ‘near-ideal’ 99.1, beating Melbourne into second place on 98.4

LONDON: Austria’s capital Vienna has beaten Melbourne to be ranked the “world’s most liveable city” in a new annual survey released Monday, ending the southern Australian city’s seven-year reign.

It is the first time a European metropolis has topped the annual chart compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit which identifies the best urban playgrounds to live and work in.

Each year 140 cities are given scores out of 100 on a range of factors such as living standards, crime, transport infrastructure, access to education and health care, as well as political and economic stability.

Vienna scored a “near-ideal” 99.1, beating Melbourne into second place on 98.4. Japan’s Osaka took third place.

Australia and Canada dominated the top ten, each boasting three cities. Australia had Melbourne, Sydney (fifth) and Adelaide (10th) while Canada had Calgary (fourth), Vancouver (sixth) and Toronto (joint seventh).

“Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries,” researchers said in their report.

They noted that several cities in the top 10 had relatively low population densities which fostered “a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

Australia and Canada, researchers said, have an overall average population density of 3.2 and four people per square kilometer respectively, compared to a global average of 58.

Japan, which alongside Osaka boasted Tokyo in the top ten (joint seventh), is the glaring exception to that rule with a nationwide average of 347 people per square kilometer but its cities are still famed for their transport networks and living standards.

Copenhagen was the only other European city in the top ten at ninth place.

Researchers said wealthy financial capitals such as Paris (19th), London (48th) and New York (57th) tended to be “victims of their own success” with higher crime rates and overstretched infrastructure dampening their appeal.

At the other end of the spectrum the five worst cities to live in were Damascus at the bottom of the table followed by Dhaka, Lagos, Karachi and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

The survey also looked at cities where long-term improvements had been made. Abidjan, Hanoi, Belgrade and Tehran saw the largest improvements in liveability over the last five years — more than five percentage points.

Ukraine’s Kiev, the capital of a European country wracked by political violence, civil war and the loss of Crimea to Russia, saw the largest drop in its liveability over the last five years (-12.6 percent).

Puerto Rico’s San Juan — which was devastated by a hurricane last year — as well as Damascus and Caracas also saw steep drops over the same period.