A pampered penguin

Penguins look cuddly, waddle along in a way people find appealing and have starred in a number of celebratory movies, from documentary to cartoon. Even the Batman villain The Penguin was so over-the-top that he had a certain goofy charm.

Respect for Darwinian evolutionary theory, however, suggests that efforts to repatriate one badly lost emperor penguin may not be doing much for the gene pool. But don't bother telling that to the people of New Zealand right now.

Happy Feet (named after a 2006 movie about tap-dancing penguins), turned up in June on a North Island beach, some 4,800 kilometres from home and ill from eating sand, evidently having mistaken it for snow. But it proved to be a lucky bird, pulled through after extensive rehabilitation and accumulated a reported 250,000 fans through a webcam during his convalescence on a diet of fish milkshakes at the Wellington Zoo.

Now it's on the way home in a custom-made crate like a giant's picnic cooler aboard a research ship that was going the same way. Some 1,700 people bid Happy Feet farewell at the zoo.

Everybody loves a happy ending, but we can't help wondering: what if Happy Feet comes back? All that adulation, along with the fish milkshakes and the individual medical care, may seem awfully appealing after few weeks in Antarctica.

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Company name: Sav
Started: 2021
Founder: Purvi Munot
Based: Dubai
Industry: FinTech
Funding: $750,000 as of March 2023
Investors: Angel investors

The biog

Favourite film: Motorcycle Dairies, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Kagemusha

Favourite book: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Holiday destination: Sri Lanka

First car: VW Golf

Proudest achievement: Building Robotics Labs at Khalifa University and King’s College London, Daughters

Driverless cars or drones: Driverless Cars


Uefa Champions League semi-finals, second leg:

Liverpool (0) v Barcelona (3), Tuesday, 11pm UAE

Game is on BeIN Sports


Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

Know your Camel lingo

The bairaq is a competition for the best herd of 50 camels, named for the banner its winner takes home

Namoos - a word of congratulations reserved for falconry competitions, camel races and camel pageants. It best translates as 'the pride of victory' - and for competitors, it is priceless

Asayel camels - sleek, short-haired hound-like racers

Majahim - chocolate-brown camels that can grow to weigh two tonnes. They were only valued for milk until camel pageantry took off in the 1990s

Millions Street - the thoroughfare where camels are led and where white 4x4s throng throughout the festival


Uefa Champions League final:

Who: Real Madrid v Liverpool
Where: NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
When: Saturday, May 26, 10.45pm (UAE)
TV: Match on BeIN Sports