World’s longest zip line opens in the UAE

Guinness World Records officials on Thursday certified the 2.83-kilometer zip line in Ras Al-Khaimah as the world’s longest. (Courtesy Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority)
Updated 01 February 2018
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World’s longest zip line opens in the UAE

RAS AL-KHAIMAH: The United Arab Emirates is claiming a new world record with the opening of the world’s longest zip line, measuring 2.83 kilometers in length.
Guinness World Records officials certified the zip line in Ras Al-Khaimah on Thursday, the same day the attraction opens to the public.
The Jebel Jais Flight takes thrill-seekers atop the country’s largest mountain peak, from a launch pad 1,680 meters (5,512 feet) above sea level. For nearly three minutes, riders are suspended above the mountain as they glide past rocky terrain.
It’s the latest effort by the smaller, lesser-known emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah to attract more tourists and expatriate visitors from neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which has two separate zip line attractions whizzing past some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
Watch a preview of the 2.83-kilometer ride:


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.