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Full steam ahead was never going to be on the agenda.

Amazing video footage shows the mammoth Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship being very carefully pulled out to sea from the shipyard where she was built.

The fascinating ‘conveyance’ video begins in the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and it documents the Royal Caribbean Quantum-class cruise ship travelling along the River Ems and out to the North Sea.

Amazing video footage shows the mammoth Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship, pictured, being very carefully pulled out to sea

Amazing video footage shows the mammoth Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship, pictured, being very carefully pulled out to sea

This 32km (20-mile) journey down the river takes more than 10 hours, with the ship passing through two bridges, over the Emstunnel, and finally through the Ems Barrier.

The river is incredibly narrow and shallow for a ship of this scale – Odyssey of the Seas measures 41m (135ft) wide and 347m (1,138ft) long and weighs 167,704 gross tonnes.

Two powerful tugboats – each with 9,000 horsepower – push and pull the ship. The video explains: ‘The faster she moves, the deeper the hull pushes into the water, so it’s important to move slowly.’

The video begins as the ship faces its first hurdle – the Papenburg Lock.

The video begins as the ship faces its first hurdle - leaving the shipyard to pass through the Papenburg Lock

The video begins as the ship faces its first hurdle – leaving the shipyard to pass through the Papenburg Lock

The river is incredibly narrow and shallow for a ship of this scale - Odyssey of the Seas measures 41m (135ft) wide and 347m (1,138ft) long

The river is incredibly narrow and shallow for a ship of this scale – Odyssey of the Seas measures 41m (135ft) wide and 347m (1,138ft) long

‘There’s almost no clearance on either side of the [Papenburg Lock] so rollers (pictured) are used to gently guide the ship through,’ the narrator explains

‘There’s almost no clearance on either side of the [Papenburg Lock] so rollers (pictured) are used to gently guide the ship through,’ the narrator explains

Two powerful tugboats - each with 9,000 horsepower - are used to push and pull the ship

Two powerful tugboats – each with 9,000 horsepower – are used to push and pull the ship 

‘There’s almost no clearance on either side of the lock so rollers are used to gently guide the ship through,’ the narrator explains. 

There is minimal clearance as the ship proceeds through the Weener Bridge and the Leer Bridge. She’s squeezing through the most incredibly narrow gaps – with sometimes just inches between the structures. 

Odyssey of the Seas negotiates the swing Leer Bridge at a walking pace of just two to three knots.

As the ship passes through Leer Bridge, pictured, there is minimal clearance for passage

As the ship passes through Leer Bridge, pictured, there is minimal clearance for passage

Odyssey of the Seas negotiates the swing Leer Bridge at a walking pace of just two to three knots

Odyssey of the Seas negotiates the swing Leer Bridge at a walking pace of just two to three knots 

Odyssey of the Seas travelling along such a relatively small river is a surreal sight

Odyssey of the Seas travelling along such a relatively small river is a surreal sight 

‘An experienced crew of local pilots help guide the way and manoeuvre the ship at all times,’ the narrator says

‘An experienced crew of local pilots help guide the way and manoeuvre the ship at all times,’ the narrator says

Above you'll see the ship cross over the Emstunnel, which is part of an Autobahn, or motorway

Above you’ll see the ship cross over the Emstunnel, which is part of an Autobahn, or motorway

The narrator notes that the ship is guided backwards – this makes for better manoeuvrability. 

‘An experienced crew of local pilots help guide the way and manoeuvre the ship at all times,’ the narrator says.

He adds: ‘The conveyance is precisely planned around the weather and the tides. It must happen around a full or new moon – that’s when the river is the highest. It requires a wind speed of 20 knots or less without gusts.’

The last challenge is for Odyssey of the Seas to pass through the Ems barrier, pictured above

The last challenge is for Odyssey of the Seas to pass through the Ems barrier, pictured above 

ODYSSEY OF THE SEAS BY THE NUMBERS 

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s fifth Quantum-class ship. Guests can roam 16 decks – eight of which have balcony staterooms overlooking the sea. The ship can accommodate 5,498 guests and there are 1,550 international crew members onboard. 

Midway through the voyage, the ship crosses over the Emstunnel, which is part of an autobahn, or motorway.

The footage shows the enormous vessel on the horizon, with traffic continuing to flow along the autobahn in the foreground.  

Odyssey of the Seas has to pass through the Ems Barrier at the end of the journey when the sea and river water levels match.

This helps to avoid strong currents, the narrator explains. 

The ship, which can cruise at 22 knots, intended to make her maiden voyage on July 3, but it was postponed when eight crew members tested positive for coronavirus.

She finally set sail on July 31 from Port Everglades, Florida, on an eight-day cruise around the southern Caribbean, stopping off in Dutch Antilles and CocoCay in the Bahamas. 

MailOnline Travel’s Jo Kessel was on board and declared that it’s ‘impossible to be bored’. 

Odyssey of the Seas has 16 decks – eight of which have balcony staterooms overlooking the sea.

The ship can accommodate 5,498 guests and there are 1,550 international crew members onboard.

She will be sailing Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, until April 2022. From May till October 2022, Odyssey will be in the Mediterranean, sailing to Greece and Turkey from Rome. 

Visit www.royalcaribbean.com for more information. 

MailOnline Travel's Jo Kessel declared that it's 'impossible to be bored' on Odyssey of the Seas

MailOnline Travel’s Jo Kessel declared that it’s ‘impossible to be bored’ on Odyssey of the Seas


Renderings have been released of an incredible new ’10-minute city’, where ‘all the conveniences of the city’ will be within a 10-minute stroll from residents’ homes.

Titled ‘Project H1’, the 504,000-square-metre (5.4million square ft) development will be based near the mountains in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and will be completely car-free.

The miniature metropolis – with ‘spacious streets and nature at your doorstep’ – will encompass residential towers, parks, a hotel, a cinema, a library and co-working offices. Wellness facilities such as a running track, climbing walls and swimming pools and health services will also be within walking distance.

A rendering of the new '10-minute city', where 'all the conveniences of the city' will be within a 10-minute stroll from residents' homes

A rendering of the new ’10-minute city’, where ‘all the conveniences of the city’ will be within a 10-minute stroll from residents’ homes

This ‘smart city’ will include a mall, which will be complete with a community centre and a kindergarten.

There will also be communal spaces for discussion ‘salons’ and spaces for pop-up events dotted throughout.

The lower levels of the neighbourhood’s eight residential towers will be designated for commercial, educational and cultural activities.

Prospective residents will get the chance to live in ‘flexible, compact’ apartments of different sizes and price ranges.

Each apartment will have a balcony with space for pots and planters, and residents will be encouraged to grow their own herbs and plants.

Titled 'Project H1', the 504,000-square-metre (5.4million square ft) development will be based near the mountains in South Korea 's capital, Seoul

Titled ‘Project H1’, the 504,000-square-metre (5.4million square ft) development will be based near the mountains in South Korea ‘s capital, Seoul 

The above rendering shows a jogger hitting an indoor running track that has been built on a mezzanine overlooking a pool

The above rendering shows a jogger hitting an indoor running track that has been built on a mezzanine overlooking a pool

The layout aims to combat loneliness by incorporating ‘shared spaces and joint facilities’ on each floor. Roof gardens have been worked into the design at the summit of these towers.

Many of the Project H1 office spaces will be housed in the Town Plaza, which will feature a ‘sky balcony’ and roof terraces.

Workers can also toil away in an ‘officetel’ – a concept that combines the design features of ‘a house, a hotel and an office’.

A bird's-eye view of the city, with trees and green spaces bordering the walkways between buildings

A bird’s-eye view of the city, with trees and green spaces bordering the walkways between buildings

Hyundai Development Company and Dutch architectural practice Unstudio are behind the development, which will be built on an old industrial site.

One rendering shows a jogger hitting an indoor running track that has been built on a mezzanine overlooking a pool.

Another looks down on the compact city, with trees and green spaces bordering the walkways between buildings.

People are scattered throughout the drawings, eating at outdoor tables and strolling between residential and commercial buildings.

The miniature metropolis will encompass residential towers, parks, a hotel, a cinema, a library and co-working offices

The miniature metropolis will encompass residential towers, parks, a hotel, a cinema, a library and co-working offices

The development will be connected to Seoul via an underground station, and residents will be encouraged to walk and cycle in the pedestrian-friendly city.

Though it’s car-free, residents will be able to park their vehicles in underground car parks.

Elsewhere in the development, there will be facilities for hydroponics – which involves growing plants without soil – and urban farming.

Sustainability will play a big role in the development’s layout – a water filtration system will be used to store rainwater and the area’s waste will be used to develop compost for the urban farms.

Hyundai Development Company and Dutch architectural practice Unstudio are behind the development

Hyundai Development Company and Dutch architectural practice Unstudio are behind the development

A representative for Unstudio told MailOnline that the project is currently going through planning procedures, with no date set for breaking ground.

In a statement, Unstudio’s co-founder, Ben van Berkel, says: ‘For the H1 masterplan we have aimed to create the ultimate contemporary 10-minute city, where the daily life experience of the residents is the top priority.

‘We do this through the inclusion of a rich density of uplifting, curated on-site experiences that provide an extensive range of options for how they can spend their living, working and leisure time, thereby also saving them the time needed to travel elsewhere in the city – because, with time that is saved, more time is created.’

It’s not an entirely new concept – French-Colombian scientist Carlos Moreno came up with the idea for a ’15-Minute City’ in 2016.

For more information visit unstudio.com/en.


Pictured: The amazing floating five-star hotel in Dubai with motorised luxury villas attached by pontoons that can chug off to new locations (and each has its own private infinity pool)

  • The Kempinski Floating Palace will be anchored next to Jumeirah Beach in Dubai when it opens in 2023 
  • Twelve villas will encircle the resort’s hotel, and each can sail independently at jogging speed
  • The villas – described as ‘luxury houseboats’ by Swiss hotelier Kempinski – will be steered by private skippers 

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Here’s a hotel that might float your boat – one that will actually float.

New renderings showcase the Kempinski Floating Palace, a novel five-star resort ‘positioned as one of its kind’ with superyacht berths that will be anchored next to Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach when it opens in 2023.

Not only does the uber-luxurious resort float, but the 12 villas that encircle it will be able to detach from the main hotel and travel under their own power at jogging speed to a different location.

The above rendering shows the Kempinski Floating Palace, a five-star resort that's set to open in 2023

The above rendering shows the Kempinski Floating Palace, a five-star resort that’s set to open in 2023

Described as ‘luxury houseboats’ by Swiss hotelier Kempinski, these villas will be connected to the central 156-room hotel by pontoons.  

They will have a flat hull, feature a small cabin for crew accommodation and have a built-in engine. Guests can employ their own skipper to steer the villa or use one provided by the hotel. 

Conditions will dictate whether the villas will be able to anchor further afield – calm waters are required for setting sail. They cannot travel offshore and are not intended to be permanently anchored elsewhere.

The villas will be two-storey structures with between one and four bedrooms, as well as a private roof terrace and infinity pool.

They’ll also come equipped with ‘large panoramic windows and all the technical features of a smart home’. 

According to a statement, the villas have been designed to be environmentally friendly and will feature solar panels. Each property will be available for sale or for rent for those with cash to burn. 

This rendering shows one of 12 villas - having detached from the main building - sailing independently at night

This rendering shows one of 12 villas – having detached from the main building – sailing independently at night

Conditions will dictate whether the villas will be able to anchor further afield - calm waters are required for setting sail

Conditions will dictate whether the villas will be able to anchor further afield – calm waters are required for setting sail 

Guests will be able to arrive at the resort – which will be built by Seagate Shipyard – by speedboats, or alternatively can pull up in their own yacht. 

There’s a parking deck that will accommodate up to 16 boats, and larger yachts, according to a statement from Kempinski, will sail in and out of the main hotel through a central passageway. 

If this isn’t fancy enough, a floating helipad will be connected to the resort, so guests can make their arrival by air.

Renderings show that the main hotel will be divided into four parts, all joined together at the centre by a glass pyramid.

This building will house ‘every luxury of a five-star hotel, from exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spa and pools to boutiques and banquet areas’.

Those staying in the villas can avail themselves of each of these amenities.

Guests will be able to arrive at the resort by yacht - there will be a parking deck that will accommodate up to 16 boats

Guests will be able to arrive at the resort by yacht – there will be a parking deck that will accommodate up to 16 boats 

Discussing the new resort, Bernold Schroeder, CEO of Kempinski Group and Chairman of the Management Board of Kempinski AG, says: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer our guests in Dubai such a first experience from 2023 onwards, combining the destination’s reputation as a high-tech city with the timeless European elegance of Kempinski Hotels.

‘The highly innovative project by Seagate Shipyard convinces not only by its high-end technology but also through impeccable style and design.’

Mr Mohamed El Bahrawy, CEO and founder of Seagate Shipyard, adds: ‘It is thrilling to see, that for the first time a brand of the calibre of Kempinski will manage a floating hotel of such magnitude, and we are confident that our hotel will soon be one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai.’

Prices and the official opening date of the new resort have yet to be confirmed.

For more information visit kempinski.com.  

This building will house ¿every luxury of a five-star hotel, from exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spa and pools to boutiques and banquet areas¿

This building will house ‘every luxury of a five-star hotel, from exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spa and pools to boutiques and banquet areas’ 

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Reinventing the wheel! The amazing Japanese bus… that turns into a train in 15 seconds flat

  • The DMV bus, operated by Asa Seaside Railways, will link the Tokushima and Kochi prefectures in Shikoku
  • To drive on the tracks, the driver activates a ‘mode interchange’ to lower the bus’s rail-friendly steel wheels
  • It’s hoped that the DMV bus will boost tourism, with the route travelling past hot springs and coastal scenery 

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Japan can always be counted on to conjure up a wacky contraption – and the latest is a gem. 

Behold the bus that can turn into a train. 

This dual-mode vehicle, or ‘DMV’ for short, can transform from a road-going bus to a track-travelling train in just 15 seconds thanks to steel wheels that can be lowered onto the track at the press of a button. This ‘mode interchange’ goes into reverse when returning to the road, with the steel wheels retracting so the rubber tyres can take the lead.

The DMV bus (pictured above) can turn into a train in a matter of seconds

The DMV bus (pictured above) can turn into a train in a matter of seconds

The DMV can carry 23 people – including the driver – and measures around eight metres (26ft) in length. It weighs just 5,850kg (5.85 tons), making it significantly lighter than a regular train carriage.

On the tracks, it can travel at speeds of 60kmph (37mph), but on the road, it can go faster, depending on the speed limit.

It’s due to start operating on Christmas Day under Asa Seaside Railways, and will link the Tokushima and Kochi prefectures in Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan. 

The innovative dual-mode vehicle is due to start operating on Christmas Day under Asa Seaside Railways

The innovative dual-mode vehicle is due to start operating on Christmas Day under Asa Seaside Railways

The bus is equipped with road-friendly rubber tyres and steel wheels that can run on railway tracks

The bus is equipped with road-friendly rubber tyres and steel wheels that can run on railway tracks

Asa Seaside Railways currently has a fleet of three DMV buses - each brightly coloured in shades of green, red and blue

Asa Seaside Railways currently has a fleet of three DMV buses – each brightly coloured in shades of green, red and blue

A map showing where the DMV will operate

A map showing where the DMV will operate

Once up and running, the bus will travel from Awa Kainan Bunka Mura in the Tokushima prefecture to Umi no Eki Toromu in the Kochi prefecture. 

Asa Seaside Railways currently has a fleet of three DMV buses – each brightly coloured in shades of green, red and blue. 

The madcap form of transport is intended to attract tourism to the district and to ‘curb the depopulation’ of the area. 

Along the route, passengers can stop off at the Shishikui hot springs, one of the area’s biggest tourist draws.

It passes by beaches, the small rural town of Kaiyo, and a part of the coast that faces out onto the Pacific Ocean that’s ’ideal for sightseeing’, according to Asa Seaside Railways.

What’s more, the DMV can be used in the event of an earthquake, providing ‘rapid assistance’ to victims by either road or rail. 

Asa Seaside Railways also hopes that the DMV will strengthen the local transport system, particularly helping out the elderly local population.

A statement from Asa Seaside Railways reads: ‘The DMV is the “world’s first vehicle” that can run on both tracks and roads, making local transport more convenient.’ 

The madcap form of transport is intended to attract tourists and to ‘curb depopulation’

The madcap form of transport is intended to attract tourists and to ‘curb depopulation’

Asa Seaside Railways hopes that the DMV will strengthen the local transport system

Asa Seaside Railways hopes that the DMV will strengthen the local transport system

Dual-mode vehicles, also known as ‘road–rail vehicles’ or ‘hi-rail’, aren’t a new invention. They are most commonly used for maintenance and inspection purposes on railway tracks. 

Back in the 1930s, Britain trialled a road-rail bus – a modified single-decker bus – called the ‘Karrier Ro-Railer’ on the Nickey Line, a disused line in Hertfordshire. Though it was in operation for a few months, it proved unsuccessful. 

The concept has since been implemented across the globe with varying degrees of success – New South Wales Government Railways tried out a road-rail bus in Australia in the 1970s, and in Germany, the Schi-Stra-Bus was in operation from the 1950s to the 1970s.

The Schi-Stra-Bus, pictured above, was in operation from the 1950s to the 1970s in Germany. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons

The Schi-Stra-Bus, pictured above, was in operation from the 1950s to the 1970s in Germany. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons 

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The doors of Sweden’s Icehotel for 2022 are open – and these pictures show that it’s as mesmerising as ever.

Each year since 1989, the Icehotel has been built and rebuilt using just snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjarvi, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle next to the shores of the Torne River.

For this year’s winter Icehotel – No.32 – 27 artists from all over the world spent six weeks creating 12 suites, as well as three new suites in Icehotel 365, the year-round version.

'Dickensian Street' by British father and daughter duo Jonathan and Marnie Green

‘Dickensian Street’ by British father and daughter duo Jonathan and Marnie Green

The 'No Pressure' suite, pictured, depicts Earth in a press, with the bed placed in a gigantic vice. The room was created by two Swedes, sculptor Carl Wellander and neuroscience student Klara Wellander

The ‘No Pressure’ suite, pictured, depicts Earth in a press, with the bed placed in a gigantic vice. The room was created by two Swedes, sculptor Carl Wellander and neuroscience student Klara Wellander

Pictured here is the 'To Bed with the Chickens' suite, created by Edith Van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger from the Netherlands

Pictured here is the ‘To Bed with the Chickens’ suite, created by Edith Van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger from the Netherlands

Ice chickens roosting in the 'To Bed with the Chickens' suite. The phrase 'go to bed with the chickens' means going to bed early

Ice chickens roosting in the ‘To Bed with the Chickens’ suite. The phrase ‘go to bed with the chickens’ means going to bed early

And there is a new design for the Icehotel ceremony hall for ‘intimate celebrations’, built by artists Marjolein Vonk and Maurizio Perron.

Helped by the hotel’s construction team and Creative Director Luca Roncoroni, the artists whittled their creations using 600 tons of ice and 10 Olympic swimming pools of ‘snice’ – a mixture of snow and ice.

The temperature inside the building is around -5C, which keeps the sub-zero masterpieces in tip-top condition.

This suite is called 'UV' and was created by designers Nicolas Triboulot and Fernand Manzi, both from France

This suite is called ‘UV’ and was created by designers Nicolas Triboulot and Fernand Manzi, both from France

The 'Blue Tundra' suite, where reindeer 'gather for their migration to the coast'. This room was created by sculptor Elisabeth Kristensen from Norway

The ‘Blue Tundra’ suite, where reindeer ‘gather for their migration to the coast’. This room was created by sculptor Elisabeth Kristensen from Norway

This mesmerising suite, called Ginnungagap, was created by Onomiau, a French architecture and design practice

This mesmerising suite, called Ginnungagap, was created by Onomiau, a French architecture and design practice

The amazing 'Room Service' suite, created by Swedes Tjasa Gusfors and Ulrika Tallving

The amazing ‘Room Service’ suite, created by Swedes Tjasa Gusfors and Ulrika Tallving

One highlight of the new hotel is a suite designed by British father and daughter duo Jonathan and Marnie Green called ‘Dickensian Street’. Here guests are ‘taken on a trip back in time to travel in a bygone era down the cobbles of a London street set in Dickensian times with shops, houses and even a pub intricately carved out of ice’.

Guests can also marvel at the hexagonal Art Deco interior of the ‘Great Gatsby’ suite, a band of monkeys and a prehistoric dinosaur crash the party in the ‘Room Service’ suite and reindeer from the frosty blue tundra gather for their migration to the coast in the ‘Blue Tundra’ suite.

There’s also a suite filled with chickens in the ‘To Bed with the Chickens’ suite, created by Edith Van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger from the Netherlands, with the phrase ‘go to bed with the chickens’ meaning going to bed early.

Sculptor Robert Harding and artist Timsam Harding created this room - 'Different Natures'

Sculptor Robert Harding and artist Timsam Harding created this room – ‘Different Natures’

The other-worldly 'Ceremony Hall', created by Dutch stylist and art director Marjolein Vonk and Italian sculptor Maurizio Perron

The other-worldly ‘Ceremony Hall’, created by Dutch stylist and art director Marjolein Vonk and Italian sculptor Maurizio Perron

Swedish artists and sculptors AnnaSofia Maag, Emilia Elisson, My Flink and Oscar Insulander banded together to create this room, called 'Sacred Giant'

Swedish artists and sculptors AnnaSofia Maag, Emilia Elisson, My Flink and Oscar Insulander banded together to create this room, called ‘Sacred Giant’

This room is called Inom and was created by artist and sculptor 'Henkia', who's based in Stockholm and Berlin

This room is called Inom and was created by artist and sculptor ‘Henkia’, who’s based in Stockholm and Berlin

A BLIZZARD OF FACTS ABOUT THE 2022 ICEHOTEL 

  • 27 artists created the new art suites in Icehotel 32, as well as in Icehotel 365.
  • 600 tons of ice were used to build the Icehotel 32.
  • 10 Olympic swimming pools (25,000 cubic metres) of snice, a mix of snow and ice, were used to create Icehotel 32.
  • 200 handmade ice crystals were used to create the crystal chandeliers in Icehotel 32.
  • Icehotel 32 has a temperature of -5C inside the building.
  • It takes six weeks to build Icehotel 32, from start to finish.
  • Icehotel was named the world’s leading ice hotel and winner of the World Travel Awards 2020.

Extinct animals feature in the ‘No Pressure’ suite, meanwhile. This room depicts Earth in a press, with the bed placed in a gigantic vice.

Activities on offer at the hotel include snowmobiling and dogsledding under the Northern Lights, sipping cocktails out of frozen glasses and guests can challenge themselves to a spot of ice sculpting.

The winter hotel will be open until April 2022. To book a trip to the Icehotel for this year or to visit during the summer or next winter, contact Discover the World on 01737 214 291 or at www.discover-the-world.com/holidays/icehotel-break.

Each year since 1989, the Icehotel has been built and rebuilt using just snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjarvi, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle next to the shores of the Torne River. Pictured here is a new deluxe suite located in Icehotel 365, the permanent hotel, called A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from a design team that included Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte and his colleague Oscar Kylberg

Each year since 1989, the Icehotel has been built and rebuilt using just snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjarvi, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle next to the shores of the Torne River. Pictured here is a new deluxe suite located in Icehotel 365, the permanent hotel, called A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from a design team that included Prince Carl Philip Bernadotte and his colleague Oscar Kylberg

The Art Deco 'Great Gatsby' suite, created by artist and designer Tomasz Czajkowski and architect Tomasz Jastrzebski, both from Poland

 The Art Deco ‘Great Gatsby’ suite, created by artist and designer Tomasz Czajkowski and architect Tomasz Jastrzebski, both from Poland

This ethereal suite is called 'Molecules' and was created by interior and textile designer Anja Kilian and product designer Wolfgang Luchow, both from Germany

This ethereal suite is called ‘Molecules’ and was created by interior and textile designer Anja Kilian and product designer Wolfgang Luchow, both from Germany




Every week, our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: The travel trend for 2022 – the ‘to-do’ holiday.

Forget ‘bucket list’ holidays – an emerging trend is ‘to-do list’ trips.

Travel experts say that as a result of so many missed opportunities during the pandemic, many holidaymakers have realised there’s a whole world of adventures to be had out there and now don’t want to simply tick off destinations.

Stop off at Oman's Zighy Bay, pictured, on Lux Tripper's 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday

Stop off at Oman’s Zighy Bay, pictured, on Lux Tripper’s 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday

So for those who want to seize the holiday, here are eight amazing to-do trips to get the blood pumping.

Make an entrance in Oman by arriving by paraglider. A professional holds the controls as you sweep down on to the beach outside the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort.

The high-adrenaline option is part of a 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday where guests stay in four different five-star hotels and enjoy private visits to the area’s mountains, caves, canyons and big cities. From £4,350pp including flights (luxtripper.co.uk).

Cosmic: Go stargazing at Little Kulala safari camp under the dark skies of Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Cosmic: Go stargazing at Little Kulala safari camp under the dark skies of Namibia with Wilderness Safaris 

For a taste of the heavens, try a stargazing safari, taking in three stunning field camps under the dark skies of Namibia.

In the first camp, Little Kulala, the 11 safari suites have rooftop decks with bean-bag chairs for relaxed stargazing. Or lie on a Star Bed on your suite’s lower deck and use astronomy apps on tablets provided to guests.

Spotting wild animals complements the astronomy at the next two camps on a five-star itinerary. From £7,253pp including flights (wilderness-safaris.com).

Take up the chance to visit the vast New Mexico ranch built by media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner. The nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour includes excursions and spa visits from Denver and Colorado Springs to scenic Santa Fe. From £6,450pp plus flights (luxurygold.com).

Colorado Springs, pictured, is one of the stops on Luxury Gold's nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour

Colorado Springs, pictured, is one of the stops on Luxury Gold’s nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour

The Resorts And Ranches tour also takes in 'scenic' Santa Fe, pictured. Prices start from £6,450pp plus flights

The Resorts And Ranches tour also takes in ‘scenic’ Santa Fe, pictured. Prices start from £6,450pp plus flights

Bring the whole family together at Asil, a huge, modernist mansion with Mediterranean views near the old fishing port of Kalkan in Turkey. 

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom property sleeps ten and has an infinity pool, gardens, a barbecue pit and outdoor dining area. The property costs from £2,550 a week (vintagetravel.co.uk).

Soak up the glamour of Miami’s Art Deco South Beach on a mini-break in the British Airways January sale (it started early). 

Enjoy views of the old fishing port of Kalkan, pictured, from Asil mansion -  Vintage Travel is offering stays in the modernist five-bedroom property

Enjoy views of the old fishing port of Kalkan, pictured, from Asil mansion –  Vintage Travel is offering stays in the modernist five-bedroom property 

Discover the island of St Kitts, pictured, on a seven-night trip with British Airways

Discover the island of St Kitts, pictured, on a seven-night trip with British Airways 

Get flights and three nights at Riu Plaza hotel on Miami’s buzzing Collins Avenue from £499pp. 

Alternatively, discover the jetset Caribbean island of St Kitts with flights and seven nights sandwiched between a golf course and a golden beach at the Timothy Beach Resort from £599pp. 

Guests can visit hot springs, ride horses on volcanic beaches or take catamarans to the sister island of Nevis (britishairways.com/sale).

Enjoy crowd-free days on the hideaway Greek island of Halki, pictured above, with Olympic Holidays

Enjoy crowd-free days on the hideaway Greek island of Halki, pictured above, with Olympic Holidays 

Head to the Greek island of Halki if you want to experience a hideaway island closer to home. With only one paved road and few vehicles, it offers quiet nights and crowd-free days. Fly to Rhodes, then join locals on an hour-long ferry to Halki harbour, where you’ll stay in the Aretanassa Hotel – known locally as the Queen of Halki and set in a former sponge warehouse. From £773pp including flights (olympicholidays.com).

Next year a once-in-a-decade opportunity is coming up for garden-lovers to visit Floriade Expo, Holland’s huge horticultural show running from April to October and featuring some 3,000 species.

A five-day rail tour includes travel from London, visits to windmills and cheese farms, and a cruise on the canals of Amsterdam. From £695pp (arenatravel.com).


These images show the unadulterated beauty of the Big Apple and beyond.

They are all winning and runner-up photographs from the inaugural New York Photography Awards which, despite the name, is actually open to any photographer over 18 ‘out to define themselves through their eye-catching photos… who have a story to tell’. There is, of course, a ‘New York Photography’ category, but entrants could also submit photographs to categories that included ‘Architecture’, ‘Black & White’, ‘Commercial’, ‘Nature’ and ‘People’.

The judges chose from over 3,000 photographs submitted from more than 50 countries, selecting winners based on ‘the creative messages and nuances behind each photograph’.

A shot of a thunderous New Zealand waterfall and a picture of a castle emerging from the fog in Tuscany impressed the judges and in the ‘New York’ category a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Manhattan and a mesmerising shot of a lightning bolt hitting One World Trade snared runner-up gongs. The shots of New York’s architectural landmarks by Italian photographer Raffaele Canepa lso struck a chord with the judges, so much so that they bestowed upon him the title of Professional Photographer of Year.

Kenjo Ong, CEO of the International Awards Associate (IAA), which runs the contest, said: ‘We’re truly astonished by the fact that many amazing photographers worldwide submitted their one-of-a-kind photographs in the awards. We were able to honour the efforts and time that was put into capturing these images, as well as bestow upon them the accolades they truly deserve.’ 

 Below, you’ll find MailOnline Travel’s pick of the winners and runners-up. Scroll down to the very bottom to find a shot from Canepa’s winning portfolio.

Photographer Saso Domijan set himself a goal to capture a bolt of lightning striking the antenna of the One World Trade Center in New York City, and succeeded with this photograph. He said: 'I had no idea how many times it happens or if it would even happen at all.' Domijan's first few attempts didn't go to plan, as rain and fog 'cut the visibility to zero'. He explained: 'So all I got were lightning strikes and no buildings. With patience and having alerts set in many weather apps I managed to catch the "perfect storm". The rain and fog moved towards the east but high clouds still remained and with a few lightning strikes I managed to catch a perfect one.' He described the experience as 'once in a lifetime'. The awe-inspiring picture was a runner-up [known as a 'Gold Winner' in the contest] in the 'New York Photography - Cityscapes' category

Photographer Saso Domijan set himself a goal to capture a bolt of lightning striking the antenna of the One World Trade Center in New York City, and succeeded with this photograph. He said: ‘I had no idea how many times it happens or if it would even happen at all.’ Domijan’s first few attempts didn’t go to plan, as rain and fog ‘cut the visibility to zero’. He explained: ‘So all I got were lightning strikes and no buildings. With patience and having alerts set in many weather apps I managed to catch the “perfect storm”. The rain and fog moved towards the east but high clouds still remained and with a few lightning strikes I managed to catch a perfect one.’ He described the experience as ‘once in a lifetime’. The awe-inspiring picture was a runner-up [known as a ‘Gold Winner’ in the contest] in the ‘New York Photography – Cityscapes’ category

'I wanted this image to represent the sheer incredibly epic landscape in front of me during a visit to Eystrahorn [a mountain in the Eastfjords] in Iceland,' says British photographer Marc Le Cornu of this powerful picture. It was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Aerial/Drone' category, and was taken during an 'amazing photographic road trip'. Le Cornu recalls: 'There was a brief gap in the clouds allowing the sun to shine through and we stood in awe as it illuminated the volcanic mountains! With the storm clouds still surrounding the mountains, the view was breathtaking and hopefully, I captured that moment'

‘I wanted this image to represent the sheer incredibly epic landscape in front of me during a visit to Eystrahorn [a mountain in the Eastfjords] in Iceland,’ says British photographer Marc Le Cornu of this powerful picture. It was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Aerial/Drone’ category, and was taken during an ‘amazing photographic road trip’. Le Cornu recalls: ‘There was a brief gap in the clouds allowing the sun to shine through and we stood in awe as it illuminated the volcanic mountains! With the storm clouds still surrounding the mountains, the view was breathtaking and hopefully, I captured that moment’

Le Cornu was also behind this camera for this stunning aerial shot, which was the overall winner in the 'Editorial Photography - Sports' category of the contest. It shows swimmers competing at the start of the 2021 Jersey Triathlon in September. Le Cornu was hired by the event organisers and sponsors to document the race. He says: 'After a year where the athletes were unable to compete due to Covid, this explosion of human power was a release of pent-up adrenaline that the athletes had been keeping contained for such a long period of time. [They were] finally able to release it in the swim start of the triathlon.' He adds: 'I wanted to capture this important moment in the lives of these athletes'

Le Cornu was also behind this camera for this stunning aerial shot, which was the overall winner in the ‘Editorial Photography – Sports’ category of the contest. It shows swimmers competing at the start of the 2021 Jersey Triathlon in September. Le Cornu was hired by the event organisers and sponsors to document the race. He says: ‘After a year where the athletes were unable to compete due to Covid, this explosion of human power was a release of pent-up adrenaline that the athletes had been keeping contained for such a long period of time. [They were] finally able to release it in the swim start of the triathlon.’ He adds: ‘I wanted to capture this important moment in the lives of these athletes’

This spectacular picture was a runner-up in the 'Long Exposure Photography' category. Photographer and pilot Christiaan van Heijst reveals that it is a wide-angle shot taken from the cockpit of a Boeing 747, 'flying high above the face of the earth'. He adds that the plane was 'suspended between the stars and the world below'

This spectacular picture was a runner-up in the ‘Long Exposure Photography’ category. Photographer and pilot Christiaan van Heijst reveals that it is a wide-angle shot taken from the cockpit of a Boeing 747, ‘flying high above the face of the earth’. He adds that the plane was ‘suspended between the stars and the world below’

Cast your eye above and you'll see a breathtaking shot of the Milky Way illuminating the skies over the Sahara Desert in Egypt. This photograph - taken by Alexander Vershinin - was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Landscapes' category

Cast your eye above and you’ll see a breathtaking shot of the Milky Way illuminating the skies over the Sahara Desert in Egypt. This photograph – taken by Alexander Vershinin – was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Landscapes’ category 

Feast your eyes on a runner-up in the 'New York Photography - Cityscapes' category. Ranjan Ramchandani took this photograph from an aircraft that was flying over Manhattan. He says: 'After photographing the city from practically every vantage point on land and water, I decided to take a new dimension [by] making cityscapes from the air and this is one of them.' He recalls: 'I still remember my pilot showing me the typical frame of Manhattan from the sea which they call the "money shot", but wanting to be different, I kept my eyes peeled till I saw this frame and requested a second fly-past to capture it'

Feast your eyes on a runner-up in the ‘New York Photography – Cityscapes’ category. Ranjan Ramchandani took this photograph from an aircraft that was flying over Manhattan. He says: ‘After photographing the city from practically every vantage point on land and water, I decided to take a new dimension [by] making cityscapes from the air and this is one of them.’ He recalls: ‘I still remember my pilot showing me the typical frame of Manhattan from the sea which they call the “money shot”, but wanting to be different, I kept my eyes peeled till I saw this frame and requested a second fly-past to capture it’

Here you'll see a charming shot of a fennec, also known as a 'desert fox', moving through the Sahara Desert. Italy-based wildlife photographer Marcello Galleano was behind the lens. The photograph, which is titled 'Spacewalk of a Fennec', was a runner-up in the 'New York Photography - Wildlife' category

Here you’ll see a charming shot of a fennec, also known as a ‘desert fox’, moving through the Sahara Desert. Italy-based wildlife photographer Marcello Galleano was behind the lens. The photograph, which is titled ‘Spacewalk of a Fennec’, was a runner-up in the ‘New York Photography – Wildlife’ category 

Lomagnupur, a subglacial mound in south Iceland, is shown in this spectacular shot, which was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Seascape' category. It was taken by German photographer Judith Kuhn. With her camera in position, she waited for the clouds to disappear and for the water in the foreground to turn completely still before she captured this shot. Kuhn recalls: 'Then the first rays of sun fell on the Lomagnupur and there was a wonderful contrast between the reddish stone and the green moss at the foot of the mountain'

Lomagnupur, a subglacial mound in south Iceland, is shown in this spectacular shot, which was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Seascape’ category. It was taken by German photographer Judith Kuhn. With her camera in position, she waited for the clouds to disappear and for the water in the foreground to turn completely still before she captured this shot. Kuhn recalls: ‘Then the first rays of sun fell on the Lomagnupur and there was a wonderful contrast between the reddish stone and the green moss at the foot of the mountain’

'Kelingking Beach on the Penida island [in Indonesia] is famous for its beautiful and also dangerous waves.' So says Jaka Ivancic of the setting for this shot, which was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Seascape' category. The Slovenian photographer adds that visitors 'sometimes risk their lives' on the beach by running alongside the waves

‘Kelingking Beach on the Penida island [in Indonesia] is famous for its beautiful and also dangerous waves.’ So says Jaka Ivancic of the setting for this shot, which was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Seascape’ category. The Slovenian photographer adds that visitors ‘sometimes risk their lives’ on the beach by running alongside the waves 

Ivancic also took this beautifully wintry picture, which was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Seasons' category. It was captured in the Javornik Hills in Slovenia and shows 'a combination of fog, wind and freezing temperatures' creating 'art' on the area's trees. Ivancic says: 'It's typical for this weather phenomenon that the ground remains brown, but the trees are totally embraced with linear ice formations'

Ivancic also took this beautifully wintry picture, which was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Seasons’ category. It was captured in the Javornik Hills in Slovenia and shows ‘a combination of fog, wind and freezing temperatures’ creating ‘art’ on the area’s trees. Ivancic says: ‘It’s typical for this weather phenomenon that the ground remains brown, but the trees are totally embraced with linear ice formations’

This enchanting picture was captured by Brazilian photographer Henrique Murta, whose portfolio was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Aerial/Drone' category. It shows the Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert region in southeast Spain. He says: 'This series is about one certain planet. A rare kind of planet you can only dream of'

This enchanting picture was captured by Brazilian photographer Henrique Murta, whose portfolio was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Aerial/Drone’ category. It shows the Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert region in southeast Spain. He says: ‘This series is about one certain planet. A rare kind of planet you can only dream of’

Another striking shot from Murta's prize-winning portfolio. It shows Jostedal Glacier in Norway, which is the largest glacier in continental Europe

Another striking shot from Murta’s prize-winning portfolio. It shows Jostedal Glacier in Norway, which is the largest glacier in continental Europe

Italian photographer Alberto Fornasari captured this magical picture, which was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Landscapes' category. It was snapped in the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, in Campigna, Italy. Fornasari says that the national park has 'the most spectacular foliage in Italy'. With his photography, he set out to show 'the beauty of nature' and 'the colours of autumn through the light of dawn with the fog'

Italian photographer Alberto Fornasari captured this magical picture, which was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Landscapes’ category. It was snapped in the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, in Campigna, Italy. Fornasari says that the national park has ‘the most spectacular foliage in Italy’. With his photography, he set out to show ‘the beauty of nature’ and ‘the colours of autumn through the light of dawn with the fog’ 

Fornasari impressed the judges yet again with this shot, which was a runner-up in the 'New York Photography - Landscape' category. It shows the 13th-century Poppi Castle, also known as Dante's Castle, rising through the fog in the small town of Poppi, Tuscany. Highlighting the cultural significance of the castle, he says that the fortress is 'among the best preserved in Italy'. Fornasari adds that the castle has 'ten beautiful rooms inside' and that visitors can climb its high tower, 'from which you can admire the spectacle of the most typical Tuscan countryside'

Fornasari impressed the judges yet again with this shot, which was a runner-up in the ‘New York Photography – Landscape’ category. It shows the 13th-century Poppi Castle, also known as Dante’s Castle, rising through the fog in the small town of Poppi, Tuscany. Highlighting the cultural significance of the castle, he says that the fortress is ‘among the best preserved in Italy’. Fornasari adds that the castle has ‘ten beautiful rooms inside’ and that visitors can climb its high tower, ‘from which you can admire the spectacle of the most typical Tuscan countryside’

This picture, taken by Carl Stanley in 2018, was a runner-up in the 'Fine Art Photography - Landscape' category. It shows a waterfall in Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island. Stanley set out to capture the 'spray of water crashing against the rock at the base of the falls'. He adds that the 'unique dark rock walls add a sense of mood'

This is a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Milky Way' category, captured by Lars Gesing. It shows the stars of the Milky Way galaxy over a hut in the American West - an area that Gesing describes as a 'megalith of history, dotted with the proud ruins of grit and determination'

LEFT: This picture, taken by Carl Stanley in 2018, was a runner-up in the ‘Fine Art Photography – Landscape’ category. It shows a waterfall in Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island. Stanley set out to capture the ‘spray of water crashing against the rock at the base of the falls’. He adds that the ‘unique dark rock walls add a sense of mood’. RIGHT: Here you’ll see a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Milky Way’ category, captured by Lars Gesing. It shows the stars of the Milky Way galaxy over a hut in the American West – an area that Gesing describes as a ‘megalith of history, dotted with the proud ruins of grit and determination’

This vibrant picture shows a farmer 'going home on his bicycle after laying out red chillies on plastic sheets' in Panchagarh, a district in Northern Bangladesh. It was a runner-up in the 'People Photography - Lifestyle' category, and was snared by Emran Ali. Sharing the backstory to the picture, the photographer explains that 'during the harvesting season, which lasts for two months, tons of chilis are laid out to dry creating a patchwork effect on open green fields'

This vibrant picture shows a farmer ‘going home on his bicycle after laying out red chillies on plastic sheets’ in Panchagarh, a district in Northern Bangladesh. It was a runner-up in the ‘People Photography – Lifestyle’ category, and was snared by Emran Ali. Sharing the backstory to the picture, the photographer explains that ‘during the harvesting season, which lasts for two months, tons of chilis are laid out to dry creating a patchwork effect on open green fields’

Look above and you'll see a dramatic shot of Lake Baikal in Russian Siberia. This picture was a runner-up in the 'Nature Photography - Landscapes' category and was snared by Taiwanese photographer Hsiaohsin Chen, who took a hovercraft on the frozen lake to explore its 'amazing and unforgettable natural beauty'. He says that he 'worked hard to photograph the beautiful scenery' of the area while enduring the 'severe cold of minus 40 degrees or even minus 50 degrees Celsius.' Chen notes: 'Although it was very hard work, it was extremely satisfying to be able to shoot beautiful images'

Look above and you’ll see a dramatic shot of Lake Baikal in Russian Siberia. This picture was a runner-up in the ‘Nature Photography – Landscapes’ category and was snared by Taiwanese photographer Hsiaohsin Chen, who took a hovercraft on the frozen lake to explore its ‘amazing and unforgettable natural beauty’. He says that he ‘worked hard to photograph the beautiful scenery’ of the area while enduring the ‘severe cold of minus 40 degrees or even minus 50 degrees Celsius.’ Chen notes: ‘Although it was very hard work, it was extremely satisfying to be able to shoot beautiful images’

Chen is also responsible for this wonderful shot, which was captured in Iceland. It was a runner-up in the 'Fine Art Photography - Night' category. He recalls that when the Northern Lights 'burst', the 'aurora was very active and the light track was flying unpredictably'

Chen is also responsible for this wonderful shot, which was captured in Iceland. It was a runner-up in the ‘Fine Art Photography – Night’ category. He recalls that when the Northern Lights ‘burst’, the ‘aurora was very active and the light track was flying unpredictably’

Behold, a photograph by the New York Photography Awards' Professional Photographer of the Year, Raffaele Canepa. This is one shot from his winning 'Invisible Light of NYC' photography series and shows the Oculus, a shopping mall and a transport hub that serves One World Trade in New York. He set out to capture 'the world's most iconic buildings and landmarks', and adds that the 'absolute lack of human presence' helps to create a 'time-suspended atmosphere' in each shot

Behold, a photograph by the New York Photography Awards’ Professional Photographer of the Year, Raffaele Canepa. This is one shot from his winning ‘Invisible Light of NYC’ photography series and shows the Oculus, a shopping mall and a transport hub that serves One World Trade in New York. He set out to capture ‘the world’s most iconic buildings and landmarks’, and adds that the ‘absolute lack of human presence’ helps to create a ‘time-suspended atmosphere’ in each shot




The Fifa World Cup takes place in Qatar later this year and one of the contest’s eight stadiums is unlike any venue that’s ever hosted a World Cup game before.

Stadium 974 is made primarily from repurposed shipping containers and capable of being completely dismantled and put back together like Lego after the tournament is over.

Located near Doha Port, the innovative 40,000 seat venue consists of a modular steel frame and 974 shipping containers – hence the name of the stadium.

Stadium 974 (pictured) is made primarily from repurposed shipping containers and capable of being completely dismantled and put back together after the tournament is over

Stadium 974 (pictured) is made primarily from repurposed shipping containers and capable of being completely dismantled and put back together after the tournament is over

The innovative 40,000 seat venue consists of a modular steel frame and 974 shipping containers. Many of the containers are used to form the exterior walls around the stadium. Others are located inside the structure and filled with the likes of toilets and concession stands

 The innovative 40,000 seat venue consists of a modular steel frame and 974 shipping containers. Many of the containers are used to form the exterior walls around the stadium. Others are located inside the structure and filled with the likes of toilets and concession stands

Many of the containers are used to form the exterior walls around the stadium. Others are located inside the structure and filled with the likes of toilets and concession stands.

The whole structure has been built in such a way that it can be deconstructed at any time and either rebuilt in another location or refashioned into a series of smaller venues.

Conceived by Spanish architecture firm Fenwick Iribarren, the stadium’s design was initially inspired by Lego bricks.

The unusual building material was chosen to lower construction costs and to improve the sustainability of the venue by reducing both the waste generated during the production of stadium components and the waste created on-site during construction.

The combination of the stadium’s waterside location and its bowl-shaped design, meanwhile, avoids the need for air conditioning as it is naturally ventilated, which further improves its sustainability. 

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which is the organisation responsible for preparing Qatar’s infrastructure for the World Cup said: ‘We consider this innovative venue a game-changer for future mega-event hosts. It is another example of the powerful legacy our World Cup will leave.’

Conceived by Spanish architecture firm Fenwick Iribarren, Stadium 974's design was initially inspired by Lego bricks

Conceived by Spanish architecture firm Fenwick Iribarren, Stadium 974’s design was initially inspired by Lego bricks

The combination of the stadium's waterside location (shown in this image) and its bowl-shaped design avoids the need for air conditioning as it is naturally ventilated

The combination of the stadium’s waterside location (shown in this image) and its bowl-shaped design avoids the need for air conditioning as it is naturally ventilated

Stadium 974, which also shares its name with the dialing code of Qatar, will host seven matches during the 2022 Fifa World Cup

Stadium 974, which also shares its name with the dialing code of Qatar, will host seven matches during the 2022 Fifa World Cup

‘We consider this innovative venue a game-changer for future mega-event hosts. It is another example of the powerful legacy our World Cup will leave,' said H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which is the organisation responsible for preparing Qatar’s infrastructure for the World Cup

‘We consider this innovative venue a game-changer for future mega-event hosts. It is another example of the powerful legacy our World Cup will leave,’ said H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which is the organisation responsible for preparing Qatar’s infrastructure for the World Cup

The Fifa World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 21 with an opening ceremony at the 60,000 seat Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor.

Stadium 974, which also shares its name with the dialing code of Qatar, will host seven matches during the tournament.

Other Qatar World Cup venues include Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Education City, Ahmad Bin Ali and Al Thumama.

The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha has a striking eye-shaped design

The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha has a striking eye-shaped design

Education City Stadium in Doha has an exterior with an eye-catching zig-zag aesthetic

Education City Stadium in Doha has an exterior with an eye-catching zig-zag aesthetic

Al Janoub Stadium is a futuristic-looking oval venue with a capacity for 40,000 people

Al Janoub Stadium is a futuristic-looking oval venue with a capacity for 40,000 people

The Fifa World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 21 with an opening ceremony at the 60,000 seat Al Bayt stadium, pictured, in Al Khor

The Fifa World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 21 with an opening ceremony at the 60,000 seat Al Bayt stadium, pictured, in Al Khor

Khalifa International, also in Doha, has a striking eye-shaped design. Al Janoub is a futuristic-looking oval venue. Education City has zig-zagged sides. Ahmad Bin Ali has more of a conventional look to it.

Al Thumama, meanwhile, is shaped like a gahfiya – a traditional woven cap adorned by men and boys across the Middle East for centuries. 

The design of Lusail Stadium, meanwhile, has been inspired by ‘the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the fanar lantern’.

Al Thumama Stadium's inauguration was as host of the 49th Amir Cup Final on Friday 22 October, 2021

Al Thumama Stadium’s inauguration was as host of the 49th Amir Cup Final on Friday 22 October, 2021 

The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium - it is here that the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 final will be staged

The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium – it is here that the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 final will be staged

The Qatar World Cup has attracted its fair share of scrutiny over the past months. It has experienced hostility from neighbours, been subject to corruption investigations and faced criticism over worker abuses.

Further protests from both players and rights groups are expected to take place over the coming months, although World Cup organisers are defensive.

Organizing committee CEO Nasser Al Khater recently said: ‘Qatar has been unfairly treated and scrutinised for a number of years.’


Prospective homeowners with a head for heights will love this new development in Vancouver – because it has rooms that cantilever out over the street.

Pictures reveal how these floating rooms make the stunning new residential tower resemble a game of Jenga. Being inside one will ‘create the sensation of floating high above the city, the ocean, and the mountains’, says Ole Scheeren, the renowned German architect behind the condominium.

Construction of the 42-storey tower, called ‘Fifteen Fifteen’, is under way in the Coal Harbour neighbourhood of the Canadian city, with 2026 projected as the year it’ll open.

The 'Fifteen Fifteen' development in Vancouver has rooms that cantilever out over the street

The ‘Fifteen Fifteen’ development in Vancouver has rooms that cantilever out over the street 

The cantilevered glass-enclosed rooms, reinforced by steel columns, are a feature of the 18 ‘Observatory Residences’ in the building. These apartments, likened to ‘glass boxes in the sky’, are on the market with a starting price of £3.2million (5.6million Canadian Dollars). 

The entryway to each ‘Observatory Residence’ will feature oak flooring, and the bathrooms will be embellished with ‘a floating vanity’ and terrazzo walls.

Moving up the tower, there will be four penthouses available from the 39th to the 42nd floors of the building, each with balconies, ‘generous ceiling heights’ and open-plan kitchens.

The 42-storey tower is set to be built in Vancouver's Coal Harbour neighbourhood and is due to open in 2026

The 42-storey tower is set to be built in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighbourhood and is due to open in 2026

Pictures reveal how the floating rooms make the stunning new residential tower resemble a game of Jenga

Pictures reveal how the floating rooms make the stunning new residential tower resemble a game of Jenga

Gliding back down the tower, the Sky Lounge – another cantilevered space – will be situated on level 29, and will offer ‘270-degree panoramas’ of Vancouver. This lounge area will be exclusive to residents, and boasts ‘towering double-height windows’. 

A statement describes the communal area as ‘the most dramatic space in all of Vancouver’. The architect explains: ‘It was a very important decision to give one of the best spaces in the entire building to all the residents.’

Elsewhere in the tower, there will be studio apartments and one, two, and three-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,089 sq feet (101 sq metres) to over 3,000 sq feet (279 sq metres). 

The leisure centre will be situated on level four, offering an ‘intimate, boutique-style experience much like a private gym in one’s own home’.  

Being inside one of the cantilevered rooms will 'create the sensation of floating high above the city, the ocean, and the mountains’, say the architects

Being inside one of the cantilevered rooms will ‘create the sensation of floating high above the city, the ocean, and the mountains’, say the architects 

A rendering shows one of the apartments in the complex. The building was designed by German architect Ole Scheeren

A rendering shows one of the apartments in the complex. The building was designed by German architect Ole Scheeren

Pictured is a rendering of the open-plan kitchen in one of the four penthouses in the building

Pictured is a rendering of the open-plan kitchen in one of the four penthouses in the building

The tower features studio apartments and one, two, and three-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,089 sq feet (101 sq metres) to over 3,000 sq feet (279 sq metres)

The tower features studio apartments and one, two, and three-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,089 sq feet (101 sq metres) to over 3,000 sq feet (279 sq metres)

It will house a gym with ’expansive full-height windows’, so residents get a glorious view while working out, a dedicated yoga studio and an outdoor terrace, ‘where in warmer weather residents can practice yoga while enjoying a breeze among the treetops’.

A private dining room and bar area will also occupy space in the building. 

This area, which can be reserved by residents for ‘intimate dinners or cocktail parties’, leads out to a balcony that offers ‘views of downtown and nature’. 

Pictured is the communal cantilevered Sky Lounge, which will be situated on level 29 and will offer ‘270-degree panoramas’ of Vancouver

Pictured is the communal cantilevered Sky Lounge, which will be situated on level 29 and will offer ‘270-degree panoramas’ of Vancouver

A statement describes the Sky Lounge area, pictured, as ‘the most dramatic space in all of Vancouver’

A statement describes the Sky Lounge area, pictured, as ‘the most dramatic space in all of Vancouver’

Residents will be able to look through the gym’s ’expansive full-height windows’ while they work out

Residents will be able to look through the gym’s ’expansive full-height windows’ while they work out

There will be a dedicated yoga studio and an outdoor terrace, ‘where in warmer weather residents can practice yoga while enjoying a breeze among the treetops’

There will be a dedicated yoga studio and an outdoor terrace, ‘where in warmer weather residents can practice yoga while enjoying a breeze among the treetops’

The entranceway to the complex will be framed by a ‘shimmering golden canopy’. 

Just inside the door, residents will find the lobby area – ‘an elegant space’ with wooden wall-panelling, terrazzo floors, and ‘an illuminated gold-tone water feature that brings an element of nature indoors’.

There are plans in place for the ground floor to also feature a cafe with ‘large windows and outdoor seating overlooking a landscaped plaza and [a] water feature’. 

The car park will be situated in the basement, and there, residents will have their automobiles ‘retrieved by a full-time valet at a moment’s notice’. The adjoining valet station is described as a ‘dramatic space resembling a cutting-edge art gallery, with polished concrete floors’.

There will be a private dining room and bar area (pictured) in the building that can be reserved by residents to ‘host intimate dinners or exclusive cocktail parties’

There will be a private dining room and bar area (pictured) in the building that can be reserved by residents to ‘host intimate dinners or exclusive cocktail parties’

There are plans in place for a cafe on the ground floor of the tower (pictured), which will feature ‘large windows and outdoor seating overlooking a landscaped plaza and [a] water feature’

There are plans in place for a cafe on the ground floor of the tower (pictured), which will feature ‘large windows and outdoor seating overlooking a landscaped plaza and [a] water feature’

The entranceway to the complex, pictured above, will be framed by a ‘shimmering golden canopy’

The entranceway to the complex, pictured above, will be framed by a ‘shimmering golden canopy’

A rendering shows the valet station in the basement. Residents will have their automobiles ‘retrieved by a full-time valet at a moment’s notice’

A rendering shows the valet station in the basement. Residents will have their automobiles ‘retrieved by a full-time valet at a moment’s notice’

According to a statement, environmentally-friendly materials and ‘energy-efficient systems’ were implemented in the design of the building. The properties in the tower also feature ‘advanced filtration systems that deliver purified air and water’. 

With the complex, the developers hope to achieve a Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold international sustainability certification.

The building, developed by Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties, is described as ‘precision-driven architecture, at its finest’. 

The building, developed by Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties, is described as ‘precision-driven architecture, at its finest’

The building, developed by Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties, is described as ‘precision-driven architecture, at its finest’

Residences within the complex are already on the market. Prices for studio apartments start from £523,488 (900,000 Canadian Dollars), and two and three-bedroom residences are priced from £1.2million (2.2million Canadian Dollars)

Residences within the complex are already on the market. Prices for studio apartments start from £523,488 (900,000 Canadian Dollars), and two and three-bedroom residences are priced from £1.2million (2.2million Canadian Dollars)

Scheeren says: ‘For many years, I have explored the question of how we want to live in relation to our own private spaces as well as our communities, our cities, and the environment – and what architecture means in this context.

‘Born from an idea of three-dimensional living, Fifteen Fifteen’s strong sculptural form introduces horizontality to an urban tower. Its distinctive silhouette flows from the idea of activation. Fifteen Fifteen is about connectivity – connecting people to each other and to their surroundings – and offers an interactive way of living.’ 

Residences within the complex are already up for sale. Prices for studio apartments start from £523,488 (900,000 Canadian Dollars), and two and three-bedroom residences are priced from £1.2million (2.2million Canadian Dollars). For more information visit fifteen-fifteen.bosaproperties.com/en.


Not every cabin in the wood is the stuff of horror films, as a beautiful new coffee table book reveals.  

How To Get Away: Cabins, Cottages, Dachas and the Design of Retreat, by Laura May Todd and published by Lannoo, sheds light on the world’s most spectacular ‘escapes’, from cabins in the woods to chic coastal cottages.

The escapist spaces that feature in the book include an artistic property built into a mountain in Lebanon, a 1960s haven on New York’s Fire Island, and an off-the-grid retreat just outside Marrakech, Morocco. Todd interviews the owners and designers behind each property, guiding readers on a tour through these unique homes.

The author says ‘there is room for flights of fancy’ in designing a retreat, offering the chance ‘to explore less conventional ways of living that wouldn’t fly in the day-to-day’.

She writes: ‘Whether your idea of retreat is a mud-walled hut in the desert or, like me, a simple cabin in the forest, each designer, artist or homeowner has something in common: once planted, the desire to escape is, put simply, inescapable.’

Scroll down for a glimpse inside some of the breathtaking homes illustrated in the compendium… 

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA: Pictured is a forest cabin built 'from scratch’ in the 1980s by woodworker and sculptor Ido Yoshimoto. ‘Following in the footsteps of his godfather, the renowned sculptor JB Blunk, and artist father, Rick Yoshimoto, he has settled in a wild stretch of land at the end of a long dirt road within a verdant natural reserve,’ Todd writes. Yoshimoto tells the author: ‘When I took over, the building was uninhabited for many years and the forest had encroached onto the property'

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA: Pictured is a forest cabin built ‘from scratch’ in the 1980s by woodworker and sculptor Ido Yoshimoto. ‘Following in the footsteps of his godfather, the renowned sculptor JB Blunk, and artist father, Rick Yoshimoto, he has settled in a wild stretch of land at the end of a long dirt road within a verdant natural reserve,’ Todd writes. Yoshimoto tells the author: ‘When I took over, the building was uninhabited for many years and the forest had encroached onto the property’

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA:  According to Todd, Yoshimoto’s ‘original construction project saw him slowly building up the home entirely by himself, fashioning the shelves, lights, tables and stools for the humble cabin in his nearby workshop’. The artist tells her: ‘My goal was to create something comfortable and liveable while applying my aesthetic and using the materials available, most of which were reused and reclaimed scraps from my art studio.’ The book reveals that almost everything in the home is 'built-in' to save on space

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA:  According to Todd, Yoshimoto’s ‘original construction project saw him slowly building up the home entirely by himself, fashioning the shelves, lights, tables and stools for the humble cabin in his nearby workshop’. The artist tells her: ‘My goal was to create something comfortable and liveable while applying my aesthetic and using the materials available, most of which were reused and reclaimed scraps from my art studio.’ The book reveals that almost everything in the home is ‘built-in’ to save on space 

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA: Another room in Yoshimoto's stunning home. Todd writes: ‘In furnishing the home, Yoshimoto turned to his community to source the domestic tools that would populate his day-to-day life.’ The artist tells the author that every plate, cup and bowl in the home is made by an artist he knows, or was discovered during his travels

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK: The charming Shelter Island cottage owned by real estate entrepreneur Nick Gavin and his young family. Describing the location, Todd says: ‘A slightly slower and less ashy alternative to the nearby Hamptons, the bucolic charms of the island are what convinced Nick to purchase a simple cedar-shingled one-room cottage a short walk from the beach'

INVERNESS, CALIFORNIA (LEFT): Another room in Yoshimoto’s stunning home. Todd writes: ‘In furnishing the home, Yoshimoto turned to his community to source the domestic tools that would populate his day-to-day life.’ The artist tells the author that every plate, cup and bowl in the home is made by an artist he knows, or was discovered during his travels. SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK (RIGHT): The charming Shelter Island cottage owned by real estate entrepreneur Nick Gavin and his young family. Describing the location, Todd says: ‘A slightly slower and less ashy alternative to the nearby Hamptons, the bucolic charms of the island are what convinced Nick to purchase a simple cedar-shingled one-room cottage a short walk from the beach’

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK: Another glimpse inside the island retreat. Todd says the choice of furnishings in the property 'mesh well with the home’s quietly unpretentious aura'

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK: Another glimpse inside the island retreat. Todd says the choice of furnishings in the property ‘mesh well with the home’s quietly unpretentious aura’ 

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK: A bathroom in the cottage, which was originally built in the 1940s. 'At first, Gavin was content to keep the space as-is, but a marriage and a baby later he knew some extra room would be required,' Todd reveals. According to the book, the homeowner recruited Brooklyn-based design firm Workstead to modernise the building. 'What they came to him with was a second structure, built in the same style as the original, that could house an all-new primary bedroom and bathroom suite,' Todd says. Workstead designed a glass passageway to connect the original property to the new structure

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK:  A final picture of the Shelter Island home. According to Todd, the family 'left the common areas as simple and uncluttered as they found them, choosing furniture, such as a Pierre Chapo dining table (pictured)'

SHELTER ISLAND, NEW YORK: On the left is a bathroom in the cottage, which was originally built in the 1940s. ‘At first, Gavin was content to keep the space as-is, but a marriage and a baby later he knew some extra room would be required,’ Todd reveals. According to the book, the homeowner recruited Brooklyn-based design firm Workstead to modernise the building. ‘What they came to him with was a second structure, built in the same style as the original, that could house an all-new primary bedroom and bathroom suite,’ Todd says. Workstead designed a glass passageway to connect the original property to the new structure. According to Todd, the family ‘left the common areas as simple and uncluttered as they found them, choosing furniture, such as a Pierre Chapo dining table (pictured on the right)’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON: Todd describes this beautiful property as ‘a stone guesthouse hidden within a mountain’. She says: ‘Hidden in the rugged peaks overlooking Lebanon’s Lamartine Valley, a vast and remote region straddling the main road to Damascus where Phoenician tombs and ancient rock formations have sat undisturbed for millennia, is this monolithic stone guest house designed by Beirut’s Carl Gerges Architects’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON: Todd describes this beautiful property as ‘a stone guesthouse hidden within a mountain’. She says: ‘Hidden in the rugged peaks overlooking Lebanon’s Lamartine Valley, a vast and remote region straddling the main road to Damascus where Phoenician tombs and ancient rock formations have sat undisturbed for millennia, is this monolithic stone guest house designed by Beirut’s Carl Gerges Architects’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON: The olive-green walls, pictured, are finished in ‘Tadelakt’, a form of waterproof plaster first used in Morocco over two millennia ago, Todd explains. According to the book, the mountain retreat - which is set in an area famed for its vineyards - ‘has an imposing facade that gives way to a bright and inviting sanctuary’. The author writes: ‘Warm natural materials such as reclaimed timber ceiling beams, organically shaped wooden furniture and textiles in the form of thickly woven Berber rugs provide a gentle foil to the harsh surroundings, which are integrated into the design in the form of natural stone interior walls – rendering the structure almost indistinguishable from its landscape’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON: The olive-green walls, pictured, are finished in ‘Tadelakt’, a form of waterproof plaster first used in Morocco over two millennia ago, Todd explains. According to the book, the mountain retreat – which is set in an area famed for its vineyards – ‘has an imposing facade that gives way to a bright and inviting sanctuary’. The author writes: ‘Warm natural materials such as reclaimed timber ceiling beams, organically shaped wooden furniture and textiles in the form of thickly woven Berber rugs provide a gentle foil to the harsh surroundings, which are integrated into the design in the form of natural stone interior walls – rendering the structure almost indistinguishable from its landscape’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON:  A third picture of the stylish Lebanon property. The book reveals Carl Gerges Architects turned to traditional North African building techniques when designing the primary bedroom and bathroom in the home. Todd adds: ’But the real secret weapon in this home’s arsenal of features perfectly envisioned for entertaining is the underground tunnel that leads to a cavernous wine cellar, holding barrel upon barrel of locally harvested wine’

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK: This beautiful property was designed by the US architect Horace Gifford. It's owned by James and Hara Perkins, who have a ‘mutual love for modernist architecture'. The book reveals: ‘When they took possession of the property in early 2020, just before the first pandemic lockdowns, it had been in the same family since it was first built in the 1960s. They spent the early months of quarantine renovating the space themselves, stripping back the layers of time to restore it to its original glory’

BHAMDOUN, LAMARTINE VALLEY, LEBANON (LEFT): A third picture of the stylish Lebanon property. The book reveals that Carl Gerges Architects turned to traditional North African building techniques when designing the primary bedroom and bathroom in the home. Todd adds: ’But the real secret weapon in this home’s arsenal of features perfectly envisioned for entertaining is the underground tunnel that leads to a cavernous wine cellar, holding barrel upon barrel of locally harvested wine.’ FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK (RIGHT): This beautiful property was designed by the US architect Horace Gifford. It’s owned by James and Hara Perkins, who have a ‘mutual love for modernist architecture’. The book reveals: ‘When they took possession of the property in early 2020, just before the first pandemic lockdowns, it had been in the same family since it was first built in the 1960s. They spent the early months of quarantine renovating the space themselves, stripping back the layers of time to restore it to its original glory’

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK: The living area in the island retreat. Todd says of the design: ’The Perkins’ house boasts a number of striking features – including a sunken living room with built-in sofas and floating fireplace; floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the ocean and a wraparound deck; curved walls and clever multifunctional bedrooms that can be divided or opened up at will – all lined with natural cedar planks constructed by legendary local carpenter Joe Chasis’

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK: The living area in the island retreat. Todd says of the design: ’The Perkins’ house boasts a number of striking features – including a sunken living room with built-in sofas and floating fireplace; floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the ocean and a wraparound deck; curved walls and clever multifunctional bedrooms that can be divided or opened up at will – all lined with natural cedar planks constructed by legendary local carpenter Joe Chasis’

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK:  Describing renovating the historic property, James Perkins tells Todd: ‘I think of the house as a vintage Porsche or a watch that has this beautiful patina you don’t want to touch, so doing these projects alone we had to be very careful not to damage any of the beautifully handmade rooms’

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK:  Another carefully curated room in the Fire Island property - the bathroom

FIRE ISLAND, NEW YORK: Describing renovating the historic property, James Perkins tells Todd: ‘I think of the house as a vintage Porsche or a watch that has this beautiful patina you don’t want to touch, so doing these projects alone we had to be very careful not to damage any of the beautifully handmade rooms.’ Pictured on the right is another carefully curated room in the Fire Island property – the bathroom

MARRAKECH PREFECTURE, MOROCCO: Todd sums up this spectacular property as ‘an off-the-grid escape in the Moroccan hinterlands’. It’s owned by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, who first met as students while studying architecture in Paris. ‘What was once a farmhouse owned by a Sahrawi family, a people native to this region of North Africa, had fallen into disrepair by the time Fournier and Marty were introduced to the former owners through a mutual friend,’ Todd explains. The couple acquired a 99-year lease for the ‘adobe-walled structure’ and then set about restoring the property

MARRAKECH PREFECTURE, MOROCCO: Todd sums up this spectacular property as ‘an off-the-grid escape in the Moroccan hinterlands’. It’s owned by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, who first met as students while studying architecture in Paris. ‘What was once a farmhouse owned by a Sahrawi family, a people native to this region of North Africa, had fallen into disrepair by the time Fournier and Marty were introduced to the former owners through a mutual friend,’ Todd explains. The couple acquired a 99-year lease for the ‘adobe-walled structure’ and then set about restoring the property

MARRAKECH PREFECTURE, MOROCCO: According to the book, the couple were intent on ‘keeping many of the vernacular architectural elements intact’ in the building. Todd says the ‘heart of the house’ is a ‘large courtyard with four bedrooms, the hammam, the kitchen and the winter lounge’

MARRAKECH PREFECTURE, MOROCCO:  Fournier and Marty  tell Todd: 'We designed some things like the beds inspired by Moroccan "koursi", which are small stools made of laurel wood and straw. Others have been found locally, like the chests of drawers and the desks'

MARRAKECH PREFECTURE, MOROCCO (LEFT AND RIGHT): According to the book, the couple were intent on ‘keeping many of the vernacular architectural elements intact’ in the building. Todd says that the ‘heart of the house’ is a ‘large courtyard with four bedrooms, the hammam, the kitchen and the winter lounge.’ Fournier and Marty tell Todd: ‘We designed some things like the beds inspired by Moroccan “koursi”, which are small stools made of laurel wood and straw. Others have been found locally, like the chests of drawers and the desks’