Stories about UAE

Dubai: Look beyond the glitter to see the sorrow of migrant workers

Dubai has undergone a massive transformation, from a fishing and pearl diving centre on the shores of the gulf, to an ultra-modern city-state of today in a matter of just a few decades. Modern Dubai is a cosmopolitan society with a wide range of attractions. Its architecture is entering the realms of impossible construction and the sort of life of great opulence and grandeur it offers seems almost unrivaled. Dubai wished to undertake extremely interesting and intriguing projects in the past couple of years: Dubai Land – a vast landscape of leisure; Hydropolis – an underwater hotel; The Cloud – a city built ...

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The home advantage: What is Pakistan missing out on?

The concept of ‘home advantage’ in sport is often under played. Many might not be aware of the difference that it makes whether a team is playing at home or away, however, to put it simply – it makes a huge difference. Sadly, our cricket team has been playing without this advantage for the past four years. On average, a team wins more of its matches at home in every sport. MS Dhoni, as of 2012, had won at least 89% of his Test matches at home and around 33% away. Such differences in home and away records are across the ...

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11 things I love about Dubai

I am not much of a blogger, but ever since I read a hate piece about Dubai, I wanted to revive its charm. Dubai, can be assessed from several angles; a tourist, a family, a labourer, a tycoon or an individual. I fall in the last. So here is my list of why I absolutely adore Dubai.  1. Array of cuisines When it comes to food, Dubai is a mixed platter of delicacies from all around the world. Being a foodie in Dubai and its variety of dining options, is like an unleashed child in a candy-store. From Brazilian Churrasscaria to Vietnamese Bun Bo hue, Dubai offers it ...

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Ten things I hate about Dubai

Now, I know that the title makes me look like a snob who gets to go places but is just so ungrateful. However, my trips to Dubai are really never out of willingness to visit, but mandatory – mum’s orders. I cannot stand Dubai. I was born in Dubai and spent my early years there. Now I have to visit twice a year to see my dad and brother, them being one of the few good things about the place. Here are ten things that I don’t like about Dubai: 1. Malls: I know malls are fun, but what if they were all you ...

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The veil as an accentuation of beauty

The image you see above is based on one of my very first experiences in Saudi Arabia. With the naked beaches of Barcelona a not too distant memory, I headed down to the Arabian Gulf for a dip. There, I became mystified by something black and obscure out at sea. It looked like a huge jellyfish. Then, as it approached closer, I realised that it was in fact a woman. It was such an intense experience that I just had to capture it for myself. However, it was not until a few years later in Dubai, when I had acquired ...

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From Sudan: Thank you Pakistan!

This blog is not just based on my interest and respect for Pakistan. It is a personal thank you from a Sudanese person living in the United Arab Emirates for all the things Pakistan has done for my nation. The two countries share a very strong, special bond that I wish would strengthen further over the years to come. For 13 years I have lived in the UAE; a home to over 130 different nationalities, working and living together striving for a better life for themselves and their families back home. South Asians constitute 42 per cent of the population. Of them, ...

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Arab Spring: What now?

The buzzword in the Arab world nowadays is ‘change’. There has been a shift from criticising the Israel-Palestinian issue to protesting against internal state hegemony. The Arab Spring is not over yet. Tahrir square is protesting again. Tunisia and Libya are both unsettled and there are ever more crackdowns across Syria. King Hamad of Bahrain will be addressing his nation today. And, women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have taken to the wheels. Historically, this change, among others, was due. Socio-economic development in the region and the unjust polarisation of economic wealth across the spectrum, in the Gulf ...

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Dubai: Something for everyone

Contrary to popular opinion, a visit to Dubai is not just about  endless sales options, the occasional desert safari and a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa. There is a lot to do for everyone. My favourites remain the musicals and plays which are organised by English, Indian and Pakistani entertainers. Multicultural audiences draw in entertainers from all over the world, and Dubai is no exception. The question is: which of these makes Dubai interesting for you? Rocker: Recently, Bryan Adams and Guns ‘n’ Roses rocked the UAE music scene. This was followed by a jazz festival that would regale any ...

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WikiLeaks: Whither Muslim brotherood?

It was never really a secret that Saudi Arabia did not like Iran. Perhaps there may be a sectarian history to this or maybe it is simple old realpolitik with two large states vying for regional power. But Saudi Arabia isn’t the only Muslim country that seems to loathe Iran. There is the UAE and Kuwait as well as, albeit to a lesser extent, Qatar. According to a cable of Feb 9, 2010, from US ambassador to UAE to Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the US armed forces, prior to the latter’s meeting with the UAE crown prince and defence ...

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Bye-bye BlackBerry

There are reports that the BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion (RIM), has come to an agreement in Saudi Arabia and the government will now have access to RIM’s communication service for BlackBerry Messenger. However, as of yet, RIM in the UAE has not agreed to give the government access, meaning that the plan to suspend BlackBerry services starting October may continue. The debate between governments and RIM is not new and the Indian government raised security concerns about messages shared via the BlackBerry in 2008, when they suspected militants used the phone to plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks where 166 ...

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