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tv   The Travel Show  BBC News  May 22, 2018 3:30am-4:01am BST

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the new. the headlines. the eruption of the volcano on hawaii's big island has increased. fountains of molten rock are reaching 180 metres into the air. the us has vowed to impose the strongest sanctions in history on iran, mike pompeo saying that they will be battling to keep their economy alive. the public enquiry into the g re nfell tower alive. the public enquiry into the grenfell tower fire has opened and began with a 72 seconds silence to commemorate those who died. the construction company behind the refurbishment told the bbc that it did not test the cladding which burnt rapidly because it was thought to comply with regulations. it's the highlight of the horticultural calendar, showcasing some of the most creative garden designs from around the world.
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ahead of the chelsea flower show‘s public opening, we were given a sneak preview. the theme for this year's event is health and well—being, exploring how plants and green spaces can improve lives. helena lee reports. 0ne one of the main showpieces aims to promote the benefits that green spaces promote the benefits that green 5 pa ces have promote the benefits that green spaces have on mental health. this garden aims to highlight the importance of gardening to families who have been displaced by war. and this, another exhibit designed to make an impact, highlighting the issue of plastic waste ending up in oui’ oceans. issue of plastic waste ending up in our oceans. these really tell the story. that is the stomach contents
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from one 90 —day—old albatross chick. the parents go to pick up food, and it should be something like squid or cuttlefish, and instead, they are picking up plastic. today, some well-known faces plastic. today, some well-known fa ces 5 ha re plastic. today, some well-known faces share their love of gardening. i sit faces share their love of gardening. isit in faces share their love of gardening. i sit in it. that is what i do, and i enjoy it. i tried to think of the names of some of the flowers that i actually have, i should have learnt them. i love old-fashioned geraniums, dark red, because i was brought up in celtic and that is a very suffocating. —— i was brought up very suffocating. —— i was brought up in suffolk. and that is a very suffolk thing. now on bbc news, the travel show. it's funny but i'd always reckoned the oil—rich abu dhabi, here in the uae, was never that interested in attracting tourists. unlike its flashy, noisy
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neighbour dubai, for example. but on this trip, i think i might have to revise that opinion. because abu dhabi seems to be upping its game, especially in the cultural stakes. 0n myjourney, i'm going to experience world—renowned architecture, like the new louvre museum, and finding out how traditional local musical instruments are being revived. but i'll also be exploring both urban and desert landscapes, to get a sense of how this emirate is making the most of its unique environment. abu dhabi is entering a new phase in its breakneck speed development. but is it really going to reach the heights as a must see tourist destination in its own right?
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it's hard to believe abu dhabi was just a fishing village only a few decades ago. in 1971, the united arab emirates became a nation and its dominant stakeholder has always been abu dhabi, led by the al nahyan family, thanks largely to huge oil revenues. and when it opened in 2007, this impressive white marble edifice became a spiritual landmark. abu dhabi's grand mosque, grand in ambition, grand in scale, and grand in design.
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and when it was finished a decade ago, it became this emirate's calling card to the rest of the world. now, when they made this mosque, they were making a statement, weren't they, about abu dhabi? oh, yeah. absolutely. what were they trying to say? i think, you know, when people think about the united arab emirates or the middle east, the first city that comes to your mind is definitely dubai. but i think after we built this mosque and it was the vision of the late his highness zayed bin sultan al nahyan, he knew that this was going to be the icon that will bring people to abu dhabi and will show the true message of the middle east. 10,000 visitors come here every day. inside, up to 40,000 worshippers can be accommodated on key days in the islamic calendar.
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just look at the details of every single part of the mosque. it's absolutely beautiful. the carpet is from iran. you have the chandeliers up above us. in fact, this is the largest handknotted carpet in the world, and this gold chandelier is one of the biggest in the world. islam is regarded here as a living, breathing faith, with verses from the koran the inspiration for all the design and architecture here. but i wanted to know from 0mar if the grand vision in abu dhabi really includes everyone who lives here, like the expat community and the migrants who work in relatively low paid jobs. after all, the emiratis are in the minority here. just look around you.
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you'll find a lot of people from all over the world and all different backgrounds, who come here and have made this place home. the us always used to sell the american dream. there is the emirati dream, believe it or not. the emirati dream is definitely living a great quality standard of life and, of course, living with — living amongst people from all over the world. this is definitely the emirati dream. in the wake of this jewel in the crown have come other signature, large—scale construction projects. 0n saadiyat island, a cluster of magnificent museums and galleries include quite possibly the most prestigious art brand in the world, which has just recently opened its doors. for a decade now, the grand mosque has been abu dhabi's most popular tourist location — until this astonishing creation came along. the louvre abu dhabi houses artefacts on loan from paris,
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and others, bought and permanent. from ancient pieces to african sculptures, facing european masterpieces from every era. while contemporary arabic art shares space with chinese sculpture. it's a universal museum, it's a museum that takes you through time and through different geographies. you'll be able to see different cultures and different civilisations in contact with one another. in a way, to me, walking through the galleries is walking through time and seeing what's happening in different parts of the world at the same moment. there is a medina, or arabic village, feel to the layout
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and as for the architecture here, well, it's all about geometry and light. it's a dome symbolising islamic architecture, but as you can see, there is eight layers up there that allows the light to filter through and come down as you can see it, with what the architect calls the rain of light. so this whole display of the museum is in a way representing who we are as emiratis because we've always been in the middle of this region. the gulf has always been a connection of trade and different civilisations, so... going through this narrative allows you to capture the essence of who we are, the essence of who the uae is today. and the museum has yet to reveal its most publicised exhibit — a 500—year—old painting of christ, which recently achieved the highest auction price
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for any work of art, by the very same artist who created this — leonardo da vinci. so basically, the chances are that the world's most expensive painting is going to be in this room, possibly in this very spot. auctioneer: at 400 million... exactly who bought the salvator mundi for nearly half $1 billion has been shrouded in some mystery. sold. reports claimed it was a saudi billionaire prince, the louvre people tell me it was the abu dhabi government. either way, it'll be on display very soon. watch this space — literally. playing the cultural card here is notjust about splashing cash on famous international brands and collections. there are indigenous art forms that are being revived, like traditional arabic instruments. in this academy, 60 students
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of all ages are learning how to play this instrument — the oud. it's related to the european lute and has origins as far back as the time of the pharaohs. what's really great about this place is that you don'tjust learn how to play the oud, you can actually watch one being made. starting with the wood itself, and this is where the whole process begins. the craftsman here says by working eight hours a day for a month, he can make two of these instruments. this is artisanship of the highest order. thank you so much.
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it's been a privilege to watch you at work, thank you. so, fresh from the workshop. now, let's see if we can make any music out of it. and i'm not going to find out more about the oud from just anybody, but actually, quite possibly the most famous female oud player in the world. what's unique about it? the uniqueness, it has a bowl at the back, not like the guitar, it's not a flat... so, this bowl gives like deepness in the sound and also, we don't have frets... right. so that gives richness. yeah. particularly in abu dhabi, i think the oud is very important for older people because you can find — in every home, you can find an oud. maybe they are playing itjust for fun, not very professionally, but they like oud here.
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0k, time for me to get a lesson from the expert. these double strings are a bit tricky for a starter. very good. ok, that's relatively easy. that's very good — for the first time. can you play chords with this, or? chords, yes, sure. this is c, e, g, c. i'm sorry. c... third finger. let's hope this works. yeah, it does. yes. wow. and sometimes, we are using the guitar technique, like... playing the oud like a guitar. i just jammed with. ..
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that's very good for a first time. wow, that was very good. ijustjammed with a world famous... it was very good. no, but i was lucky. i was just playing one, the one chord. that's amazing. thank you very much. of course, culture isn't only about fine art and classical music. now, abu dhabi is staking its claim as the capital of sport in the golf, and notjust by owning the elite football brand manchester city or by hosting formula 1 races. because women like amal are breaking new cultural ground by turning
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iconic urban landmarks, like the corniche, into concrete gyms. amal is the first emirati woman to coach and compete in parkour. it's a full body workout. people underestimate just how much... there are so many things that you're actually doing that you could do at a gym, but you are just doing outdoors in a different way. you find a space and you start trying to put things on that space that you have. when was the epiphany, when you suddenly thought actually, i can do this? since i was a child, i was always the rebel in the neighbourhood, like i was, you know, the one running around and it was... the way that we were brought up was literally, you know, barefoot on concrete.
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girls play with boys, and we used to beat the boys, like the girls were the stronger ones, you know? i feel like we have created these barriers for ourselves. especially when i first started parkour, for example, i thought that society wouldn't accept me and i was so afraid, but i felt like that was actually...stuck with me as a child, like i felt i was afraid of it. but when i started doing the sport i had so much support and it surprised me because it's actually contradictory to what people might have thought about a society, especially in the middle east, and it being an arabic country, you know? amal has created such a stir that nike picked her up for sponsorship and commercials. of course i'm not everyone's cup of tea, not everyone is going to like what i'm doing, but i feel that if you are genuine, like for me sport has shaped me since childhood,
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that's super important and the message i want to give. from the restricted subways of an urbanjungle, myjourney takes me to the wondrous allure of a seemingly limitless desert, abu dhabi's defining feature. little wonder it was one of the locations for the most recent star wars movie. 3.5 hours south—west of the big city is the vast expanse of desert called liwa. it's the uae‘s driest region. it's remote, but beautiful. it's a world apart from the big city. at this annual sports festival,
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there are camel and horse races. but basically this is party time for petrol heads, attracting tens of thousands from all over the gulf region. when you just enter this area, it's like the feeling of excitement. the adrenaline? yeah. and truth be told it's very much a male domain. boy racers and supposedly respectable grown—ups too bring their four—wheel drives and buggies for a romp on the dudes and you don't get much bigger than the tal moreeb. 300 metres high at an incline of 50 degrees. it's crazy here!
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it's madness! anarchy, almost. all these boy racers and man racers getting it out of their system! but i'm going to meet a guy now who's a bit of a seasoned campaigner here. mohamed, hi. how are you? good, good. can i pop in and you show me a bit of skills? by day, mohamed is the director of his own business, while also studying for a phd. but this is his real passion. i think i was born with this thing in my blood. so i remember when they used to wake me up for school, and, you know, when we are kids, like, i want to sleep a little more, and they would say, mohamed, here are the keys. go and start your brother's car. and i would justjump out of bed, just for that moment of excitement. so tell me, how long have you been coming to this festival for? i recall i came the first time here in 2006. it has been growing so fast.
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initially, i recall we used to come and find only a few tents. right now it's like a complete festival. can you show me a few of the other things that you do? ican. wow! fantastic! this car is like as it came from the factory. so, from the factory it has around 250 horsepower. it will not be enough to take us to the top. yeah. whoa! but i refuse to give up. you know what? i've been looking at one of the world's highest and steepest sand dunes for a while now. i really want to reach the top and, luckily, i've got myself a lift. whoa!
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whooa! whoo! we are getting to the top! meanwhile, it turns out, my man mohamed, who took me for a spin earlier, isn'tjust an average punter here. he's a serious competitor in the nightly races between teams. this is one of the world famous car races. around 30—110 cars per event, per day. so imagine in two days you have around 50 cars competing. and he is back after a lengthy gap, when a mechanicalfailure put
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him in serious peril. i had a smooth race, to be honest, until the top and all of a sudden the car stopped. 0n the way back, i lost the brakes. seriously. actually, they didn't work. 0h, they didn't work?! mohamed wasn't injured, but it's been three years since that incident. maybe before that time i was almost easy on safety measures and now... now you are different guy, a different man? yeah, yeah. the engines alone in some of these cars cost up to $80,000 each and royal families and famous name sponsors invest in the teams. mohamed's team have been working for six months on this machine alone. the intake manifold is custom—made by hogans and obviously all of the gears and materials that we have to prepare a car for 1000 plus horsepower.
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it may be a different kind of horsepower, but there's something timeless about the prerace rituals. gladiators coming out to test their nerves and pit their vehicles, spluttering like boxes of firecrackers, against each other. what the hell?! 0h... it's like a crazy box of fireworks, storming up the hill, where you feel like the driver doesn't care if the whole car blows up, as long as they get to the top. now it's mohamed's big moment. the car didn't make the distance and engine problems mean it's now
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a write—off and not able to do its second trial. but mohamed didn't seem too downhearted. i'm super excited. when you launch, seriously, under that dune, you just see, like, the end of it and you aim for it and that's it. you forget about your fears, those butterflies in your stomach, nothing, seriously. fantastic. well done. well done for doing it. take care. a glorious fireworks display to match the fizzing and popping of the suped up cars. 20 years ago this extravaganza would have been unimaginable here. but this emirates still has quite a climb to sell itself as a tourist destination on a par with its louder, more glamorous neighbour, dubai. using the heritage card,
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though, is a clever ploy, attractive to people who want something unique and off the beaten path and that's as true of the desert festival as it is of the new louvre. the hope is that by taking this route abu dhabi becomes a must see destination in the middle east. the weather is not looking bad at all really over
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the next few days. we can't guarantee completely dry weather. then again, we need a bit of rain at least from time to time. and on tuesday, in fact, there is a risk of some downpours with thunder across the south of the uk in particular. as far as the short—term is concerned, the next few hours, fairly quiet across the uk. there's a bit of cloud across the north—west here where we have a weather front — that's across northern ireland and scotland. it is a very weak weather front which means it is mostly cloud and not an awful lot of rain at all. so the early hours of tuesday morning — a few spots of rain there across scotland. to the south of the country we've got clear skies and not cold at all, 12 in london. a bit fresher in the north—west of scotland, only around four degrees. but let's have a look at the weather first thing in the morning, and it is looking great but there is a chance of some showers across kent and sussex, for example, maybe even the london area, but the vast majority of the country is looking dry. not necessarily sunny everywhere. a bit more cloud in the north—east there, some across scotland,
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also partly cloudy skies in northern ireland as well. so that is the north of the country here where we have a bit of the cloud. to the south, sunshine. and then later in the morning, into the afternoon, the clouds will continue to develop so there is that risk of a few downpours, particularly across southern areas, possibly in the midlands as well. and a warm one for many of us — across the south of the country into the 20s, a little bit colder north. how about the chelsea flower show? it is looking absolutely fine, temperatures could hit the mid 20s but there is a chance of rain by the time we get to thursday. so let's have a look at the forecast for the middle part of the week — it will be a really good week with high—pressure extending all the way from scandinavia into the uk. chances are there will be a bit of cloud, at least early in the morning, across some of these north—eastern areas, possibly along that north sea coast down into east anglia, but it will be a warm one for many of us. where you see those oranges, those are temperatures well
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into the 20s, so we're talking 23 maybe 2a in london, in the north of the country, mid or high teens, possibly even 20 degrees there in edinburgh. and then the next couple of days, so that's thursday into friday, temperatures will probably level off across the country. further south, down to around 22 in london with a risk of one or two showers. now let's have a look at the forecast for saturday because things are set to warm up widely across europe, and temperatures could really be hitting the mid, possibly even the high 20s, across the south come the bank holiday weekend. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lewis vaughn—jones. our top stories: the threat from hawaii's kilauea volcano continues. people are told to stay indoors due to the danger of toxic gases. a warning to tehran — america's secretary of state vows
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to impose "the strongest sanctions in history" on iran. the inquiry into the deadly grenfell tower fire gets under way with harrowing testimony from relatives of the victims. at that moment, we felt like our hearts had a can. —— at that moment, we felt like our hearts had broken. and delving into the royal wedding album — official portraits
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