Dubai based news and features writer with over 18 years' experience in both the UK and UAE, writing on areas including health and wellbeing, travel and tourism, education and lifestyle. Offering services including PR and media relations, copywriting and editing.

Internationally Published News And Features Articles

Despite Controversy, Emirati-Israeli Research Cooperation Has Kicked Off

Ben Hayum envisages that the areas of primary interest for the U.A.E. will be food technology and agriculture, medical technology, water and energy. “On all these we have quite a lot to contribute,” he says, but the Emirates also have an interest in developing infrastructure for research and development, “so what I’m suggesting is co-R&D,” he says. The next step will be to engage research institutes, universities and companies interested in cutting-edge technology across a range of fields, he s

Gulf Jews savour peace deal allowing them to live openly - and eat kosher

And the changes are affecting business life in Dubai too. Alex Peterfreund, a Belgian diamond and jewellery specialist, can now ship goods to Tel Aviv for the first time, a key market, as well as call family in Israel, which until August was banned. He believes the Orthadox Jewish tradition, to which he is aligned, will grow "considerably". So much so, his community is preparing to open its own synagogue on the man-made Palm Jumeirah island, and bring its own rabbi. He calls it “a development

Dubai’s Jews ready for growth spurt following Israel normalization deal

“It’s the beginning of a new era not only for Jews in the UAE but for Jews around the world.” DUBAI – At just 27 years old, Rabbi Levi Duchman has big shoes to fill. The Brooklyn-born Chabad rabbi in the United Arab Emirates has been helping to quietly build a Jewish community, which this month was able to emerge from its humble shadows. In a quiet suburb of Dubai, local Jews have congregated in the small villa that serves as their synagogue on Shabbat and festivals. That remained a closely guarded secret until this month’s historic normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

The Emirates Gradually Reopen to Arts and Culture

DUBAI—Many of the United Arab Emirates have made it part of their global brand to showcase arts and cultural institutions, from comedy clubs to highbrow museums. As in other parts of the world, the novel coronavirus pandemic shut many of these institutions down. Now each emirate is going its own way in trying to reopen and reinvigorate these institutions. Dubai has invested millions in its cultural offerings, from the grand Dubai Opera, to the multi-purpose Coca-Cola Arena, which opened last ye

Health and Economic Crises Threaten Arab Funding for Research

DUBAI—In the wake of a drop in the price of oil and the economic pain inflicted by Covid-19 lockdowns, funding for research in Arab countries is due for a hit in the coming year. On the positive side, scientists and science administrators think that slimmer funding may encourage more collaboration. They also see some universities establishing innovation funds around Covid-19 and hope that the pandemic will help the general public to see the value of scientific and medical research in the region

Our Top Pick of Luxury Havens Where Social Distancing Couldn't Be Easier.

With COVID-19 halting our travel plans and putting our lives on pause, we have been able to appreciate the freedom we once had and to dream of destinations we are yet to visit. For many of us, this episode will change the way we travel for the foreseeable future; we’ll look to escape to remote or hidden destinations and seek experiences that allow for safe social distancing. Getaways to natural hideaways with fresh air and space will now be a compelling alternative to breaks in busy cities for many. With this in mind, Business Traveller has compiled a list of 10 luxurious resorts in the Middle East and North Africa where you can truly escape the crowds.

How to talk to kids about race in the UAE

Discussing race with children is not always easy. Deciding how to approach a sensitive issue can be intimidating, and some parents may avoid it until a child raises the topic, but with research showing that children notice ethnicity from as young as three months old, it is not to be shied away from. Older children using social and mainstream media can be exposed to negative messaging and images, which left untamed, can fuel prejudices or fears of their own, while younger children often experien

International Campuses in Dubai Feel Pressure From Covid-19

DUBAI—International branch campuses in Dubai, which has one of the world’s largest collections of such university outposts, face an uncertain future in the wake of Covid-19. With high rents and reduced enrollment rates, the universities are being forced to offer students financial incentives, while also showing flexibility on entry standards for secondary-school graduates who had their examinations canceled this year. A large share of the 17 university branch campuses’ student base comes from

Money & Me: 'I have set up a few businesses, lost them and got into debt'

Wellbeing entrepreneur Natasha Rudatsenko is the founder of Dubai yoga studio Dryp and Health Nag, a functional health service and holistic health education platform. Ms Rudatsenko, 37, from Estonia, was inspired to focus her career on wellness after being diagnosed with chronic illnesses including hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. Educated in London, she moved to the UAE in 2010 and now lives in Dubai Marina. How did your upbringing shape your attitude tow

Coronavirus Impacts. What happens Next?

The world is in the midst of one of, if not the biggest, shifts of the century. Many things may never look like they did before Coronavirus but will one of those things be our schooling? From university applications to learning online, some of the effects will be temporary, while others may last long after the pandemic. Schools Compared receives feedback on the initial impact and lessons being learned. For many parents, simply keeping healthy both physically and mentally, while managing the f

Money & Me: 'With more people at home and online, Covid-19 has benefited my business'

Edward Kandaleft is the founder of Lynor, an online retailer that designs and sells contemporary and affordable fine jewellery made in 18-carat gold and gemstones. The Dubai business, which went live earlier this year, trades through Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as conventional e-commerce channels. Mr Kandaleft, 24, from Syria, who studied in Dubai and Edinburgh, is the third generation of jewellers in his family and says he is blending the history of the family business with a new, 21st Cent

The new breed of camps, clubs and lodges redefining the desert experience

After 10 years of taking family and friends to desert camps she felt were mediocre, Stephanie Danial decided to create her own. Sonara is part desert camp, part beach club – complete with live music, DJs and a relaxing vibe. Nobody will force you to watch the falcon show and if you don’t fancy the camel ride, you can scrap that, too. Sonara is predominantly a luxury dining concept in the desert, where Frenchwoman Danial has transformed a stretch of sand inside the Dubai Desert Conservation Reser

Tried & Tested: Monkey Island Estate, Bray, Berkshire

Managed by luxury hospitality specialist YTL Hotels, which boasts a unique portfolio of historic and bespoke properties around the world, Monkey Island Estate is rural retreat on a private island in the UK foodie haven known as Bray-on-Thames – possibly the only village in the world with four Michelin- starred restaurants and gastro pubs. This centuries-old property, once the getaway destination of VIPs and royalty, is one of YTL’s five UK hotels.

Hiking in Oman: everything you need to know

From Al Buraimi Oasis to the Al Akhdar region, verdant Dhofar and the scenic Musandam peninsula, Oman’s varied landscapes are rich in adventure. A haven for all types of adventure traveller, from the inexperienced to the intrepid, the country offers an abundance of hiking trails, rock-climbing and caving, with routes including both beginner treks and lengthy hikes on which signposting is scarce and terrain can be treacherous. Guides are recommended for these latter routes. A hike into the past,

Keeping up with the Thunbergs: How to reduce your carbon footprint as a family

This Dubai company was one of the country’s first organic farms, set up in 2012, and it now delivers a wide array of fruits and vegetables grown regionally or in the UAE, as well as other grocery items, to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi doorsteps. Founded in Australia, Modibodi is now in the UAE with waste-free, reusable underwear that eliminates the litter created by a woman’s monthly cycle, which adds up to approximately 136kgs of sanitary waste over a lifetime. From brushes made of plant fibres to

Emirati director channels his childhood fear to the big screen in ‘Nyctophobia’

As a child, Emirati filmmaker Tariq Ahmad Alkazim slept with the lights on, or with the door open just enough for there to be a glimmer of light. His childhood fear has now been translated into his creative career. Alkazim channelled it into his latest movie, Nyctophobia, which means fear of the dark. The film is a revealing insight into Alkazim’s mind and imagination. “The fear was there ever since I can remember,” he admits. “I overcame it slowly as I grew up, acknowledging that with light or

Homework. Too Much. Too Little. A Guide for Struggling Parents and Students.

Background – Dubai Bans Homework in Public Schools to Give Children “A Life Outside School”. The debate on the benefits of homework has become a passionate one, pupils and parents claiming it is placing too much a burden not only on students, but parents and family life too. Many parents contact us saying that their children are no longer able to enjoy their childhood and growing up. With so many curricula across the UAE and in turn, a variety of teaching methodologies and philosophy, there se
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