NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 105

Falconry is a centuries-old tradition in our mystery country, and in the wider region. Trained falcons are used to hunt small animals for their keepers. Today it’s a popular sport but some Bedouins still use falcons to put food on the table. Above, a pampered falcon visits the renowned falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi for a check-up and a bit of grooming. Tourists are welcome to visit the falcon hospital, where they can learn about falconry, observe routine procedures and meet some falcons.

Can you name that county? 
See below for answers.

Continue reading

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 97

The leaning tower pictured above is known as Capital Gate. It is located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, aka UAE, and is the center piece of the National Exposition Center. With an 18-degree lean to the west (more than 4 times the lean of the tower at Pisa), Capital Gate holds the current record as the leaningest of leaning towers. Unlike the Pisa tower, this one leans on purpose.

A number of innovative engineering measures assure that the building will not topple, among which is its pre-cambered core, which means the concrete core was built to lean in the opposite direction of the completed building. The tension between the core and the outer structure provides stability.

The building’s design is meant to evoke the surrounding natural environment of desert and sea, with the tower representing swirling sand and the wave-like canopy, known as the “splash.”

The tower’s 35 levels are occupied by offices on the lower floors and the Hyatt hotel in the upper floors. The asymmetry of the building means every room has a unique shape. The exterior of the building is covered in 12,500 panes of glass, each of which is a different size.

Can you name that city? 
See below for answers.

Continue reading

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 78

Falconry is a centuries-old tradition in our mystery city, and in the wider region. Trained falcons are used to hunt small animals for their keepers. Today it’s a popular sport but some Bedouins still use falcons to put food on the table. Pampered falcons visit the renowned falcon hospital in our mystery city for a check-up and a bit of grooming. Tourists are welcome to visit the falcon hospital.

Can you name that city? 
See below for answers.

Continue reading

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 73

photo by Sallie Volotzky

photo by Sallie Volotzky

Our mystery country’s super-modern cities rest proudly on a foundation of Bedouin culture. Most Bedouins in the country have given up their traditional nomadic life to live in the urban fringes, making their living as agricultural workers, but a few maintain the old ways, at least part of the year, living in tents and moving around the desert with their herds of camels, sheep and goats. The picture above was taken from a highway en route from Abu Dhabi to Dubai.

Cultural heritage museums in the cities offer a glimpse of Bedouin life. Visits to Bedouin camps can also be arranged. Hospitality is central to Bedouin culture and strangers are welcomed like family.

Can you name that country? 
See below for answers.

Continue reading

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 63

Qasr Al Sarab is a luxury desert resort near Abu Dhabi, the capital of our mystery country. Located in the world’s largest uninterrupted sand desert, the Rub’ Al Khali, the resort is an oasis base for exploring the surrounding dunes. Camel trekking, dune bashing, desert sailing (yes, desert sailing),  and fat-tire biking are just some of the activities available. Desert animals like oryx and gazelles freely wander the grounds and sometimes drink from the swimming pools.

Can you name that country? 
See below for answers.

Continue reading