Tuesday, 27 July 2010

How to see the amazing Abu Dhabi Skyline

As the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has already acquired a status as one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world. Since it is essentially an island on the edge of a desert, the amount of space available to build on is limited, at least if you try to expand outwards. City planners have realised that, so new construction doesn't go in a lateral direction. It goes up.

Sky Tower, a three hundred and ten metre skyscraper in Shams Abu Dhabi, is perhaps the most famous of all the tall buildings that grace the Abu Dhabi skyline, but it's not the only one. The Landmark (324 metres) and the Central Market Residential Tower (382 metres) are both taller. All three are part of a visionary plan developed by city administrators called Abu Dhabi 2030. As the area evolves and grows, their goal is to create as much usable beachfront real estate as possible.

If you want to get a good look at Abu Dhabi's skyline from up high, there are a number of ways to do it. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower has an attached car park and rooftop viewing area. The Central Market Hotel Tower, the final piece in that project, is scheduled to be 254 metres with 58 floors, with the top floor containing a restaurant and lounge for guests. There are also numerous helicopter tours available if you want to get up above it all.

The city of Abu Dhabi has been a centre for commerce and trade since the late 18th Century. Its main exports back then were camels, dates, and pearls. This sustained the population and helped the small village to grow into a larger community, but it wasn't until the arrival of oil money in 1958 that Abu Dhabi began to grow at a rapid pace. The discovery of petroleum in the region immediately improved the economy and the modern skyline began to take shape, seemingly out of the very sand itself.

Other notable skyscrapers include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi headquarters, the Hilton Hotel Tower and the Etisalat. Not quite in the same category but definitely worth a look are the Emirates Palace and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Any suite at the Emirates Palace offers a tremendous view of the city skyline, if you want to pay the price to stay there. Rooms start at a meagre $400 a night, but those with the best views run around $5,000.

About the author: Lucas Lowecroft writes a number of articles about Abu Dhabi, including the newest and tallest buildings in the skyline.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Maximise Rentals with Last Minute Bookings

Summer is now in full swing across Europe, yet for holiday home owners and property manager's back to back bookings are starting to feel like a thing of the past.
Due to the current economic climate, many travellers are waiting until the last minute to cash in on huge savings. With great flight deals and last minute holiday packages on offer, the holiday rental market is starting to spot gaps appearing in their once solid rental calendars.
Becoming part of this last minute holiday revolution does not have to be difficult. Home owners and property manager's can take advantage without having to sacrifice on price or quality. With distinctive characteristics last minute travellers tend to be looking for a quick getaway, a great deal, short breaks or special events. The following few tips are guaranteed to fill those spaces in your calendar and make sure you maximise your rentals this summer.

A Quick Getaway

For last minute bookings you must ensure your process does not drag on. Respond to emails quickly and have all required documentation and forms easily to hand. Payment is another thing to consider, you need to allow last minute guest to make immediate payment, and by accepting credit/debit cards or setting up a PayPal account you can ensure you receive funds instantly.

Great Deals

Grab their attention with special offers and great deals. Make sure these stand out by including them in your headline and reiterating them in your pricing information. The more enticing the offer the more like you are to secure a booking. This does not mean you need to slash your prices drastically but emphases key points such as no cost extras or reduced prices for short break stays.

Short Breaks

Those looking for short breaks or weekend stays have difficulties with minimum stay requirements or inflexible changeover days. Temporarily allowing guests to pick and choose arrival and departure days can work out to benefit you. Instead of having a completely empty 7 day period you could end up with 2 bookings covering the entire duration.

Special Events

Check out what special events are taking place in the local vicinity and let guests know your rental is available. Again highlighting this in your headline or opening text will draw those looking for somewhere to stay whilst they are attending the event.

Attracting last minute bookings is just the start. Once you have secured bookings you need to be sure that your business processes can accommodate them. Ensuring that your rental property is cleaned immediately on guest's departure, will allow you to receive late bookings at all times and at a minutes notice, whilst installing a key safe will allow the guests to arrive and access the keys without the need for posting them or arranging meet and greets.
By implementing these few easy steps, you can maximise your rentals with last minute bookings and ensure your calendar remains full all year round.