Stories about UAE

Pakistani and vacationing in the Middle East? Think again!

I am sure you have had one of those conversations in which you end up making a random plan with a friend. Well, that is what happened to me. I have a friend in Jeddah and while talking to him, we realised that we had not met in a long time and hence, I made a plan to take a short trip to Dubai. He was going to travel from Jeddah and he managed to find a flight but I could not get a ticket. However, I have crossed international borders before by road, to the Far East and to ...

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Why ban Skype, Viber and WhatsApp when you can monitor like India and China?

As electronic technology becomes increasingly complex and sophisticated, the internet has allegedly become a breeding ground for terrorists for mobilising their activities.The Sindh government’s solution to this menace, without examining any alternatives, is a proposal to temporarily ban multi-platform messaging and video applications including Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. This comes as another unfortunate move for the general public of the country, especially since other nations have combated similar issues through less drastic means. A fairly recent incident was the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, after which the Indian government made demands to Gmail, Skype and Blackberry to share encryption keys ...

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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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