DUBAI.  4th November. 2009. Jumeriah Beach Residence apartments, Dubai.   Stephen Lock   /   The National   FOR SATURDAY PAPER *** Local Caption ***  SL-jbr-003.jpg
The Jumeirah Beach Residence apartments in Dubai - possible site of a future TV series? Stephen Lock / The National

A few of the creative projects we may get to see in 2012

The new year is upon us, a new year, no doubt, set to be filled with highs and lows in entertainment land. But when those "Best of 2012" lists swing around with crushing inevitability in 12 months, what will be top of the charts? Will it be all Batman and Hobbitses in the cinema world (probably), or will something unexpected - perhaps Gandhi in 3D - sweep the boards?

And what about music? Can anyone shut Adele up? Let's hope so.

With a scratch of our Nostradamus chins and with a hefty serving of scepticism, we've made a few predictions about what films, albums, books and TV shows will be setting the Middle East alight in 2012.

Please be aware, these are all completely fictitious and dragged from the dark recesses of our unhealthy imaginations. But if any producer is interested in taking one of these ideas further, please use the email address at the end.

February 11

Following on from Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve comes a more regional approach to the "plotline set in a day" filmmaking trend.

This romantic comedy follows 20 friends, acquaintances and strangers - led by an all-star cast headed by Omar Sharif - whose paths become intertwined across Cairo on the day Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down from office.

Will Hassan and Suzanne find each other in Tahrir Square in time for Omar Suleiman's historic televised announcement? Will junior health minister Ahmad profess his love for the attractive secretary before parliament is dissolved? Only time will tell.

Osama bin Laden: My Story

Although experts were quick to predict that he could be "bigger than Tupac" in terms of posthumous sales, the late troublemaker has so far failed to make a dent on the afterlife charts. But this could all change with the launch of his "tell-all" autobiography.

Charting his early years, through to his awkward, acne-scarred teens, right up to the first shambolic Al Qaeda rehearsals in his dad's garage, this memoir, packed with never-before-seen photos and side-splitting anecdotes, is set to be the literary smash hit of the summer.

Survivor: Dubai

When you've got a whole load of islands going spare, what better way to use them than for a popular reality television show?

Four tribes, each containing five contestants, are scattered across The World development off the Dubai coastline. After a series of mental and physical challenges, tribal mergers, twists and conspiracies, players are one-by-one voted off until a Sole Survivor remains. Islands could also be simultaneously used for other reality shows such as Love Island, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and a rather rudimentary version of Extreme Makeover.

The Colonel's Secret Recipe

Muammar Qaddafi may be a little on the stiff side, but the same can't be said for his elite army of Amazonian female bodyguards, who have been working tirelessly on their debut album under the guidance of pop mogul Simon Cowell.

Still clad in their infamous army fatigues, The Colonel's Secret Recipe are a 15-strong girl group that have been billed as "The Pussycat Dolls with heavy weapons training" by critics and could well herald a return of Girl Power to the pop charts and combat trousers to the fashion front lines.

Paint Drying in the Yemen

Featuring what has been billed as the slowest moving plotline in the history of cinema, this quiet coming-of-age drama follows the story of one Yemeni boy as he, ever-so-gradually, attempts to come to terms with the traditions of his forefathers in a world that is evolving, at a not exactly exhilarating pace, around him.

Will his strict parents ever allow him to leave the small fishing village to follow his dreams? Will the shy girl who lives with the old farmer ever return his stolen glances across the dusty path? Will anyone have the stamina to make it through to the end and find out?

Jumeirah Beach

Forget 90210, Dawson's Creek and Gossip Girl. Here comes a new drama that is set to blow the lid off the TV world and send it hurtling through the 40th floor window.

Based in the Murjan 9 tower in Dubai's exclusive Jumeirah Beach Residences, this 18-part HBO series follows the emotional ups and downs of a group of young international expatriates as they fall in and out of love, brunches and taxis.

Cultures collide, hearts are broken and there's a whole lot of arguing as to who gets the sole underground parking space.


Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


2.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: SS Jalmod, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)

2.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Ghallieah, Sebastien Martino, Jean-Claude Pecout

3.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Inthar, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.45pm: Al Ain Stud Emirates Breeders Trophy – Conditions (PA) Dh50,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: MH Rahal, Richard Mullen, Elise Jeanne

4.25pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup – Prestige Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: JAP Aneed, Ray Dawson, Irfan Ellahi

4.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Edaraat, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz


1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations
Edited by Sarah Cleave, Comma Press

US households add $601bn of debt in 2019

American households borrowed another $601 billion (Dh2.2bn) in 2019, the largest yearly gain since 2007, just before the global financial crisis, according to February data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Fuelled by rising mortgage debt as homebuyers continued to take advantage of low interest rates, the increase last year brought total household debt to a record high, surpassing the previous peak reached in 2008 just before the market crash, according to the report.

Following the 22nd straight quarter of growth, American household debt swelled to $14.15 trillion by the end of 2019, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report.

In the final three months of the year, new home loans jumped to their highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2005, while credit cards and auto loans also added to the increase.

The bad debt load is taking its toll on some households, and the New York Fed warned that more and more credit card borrowers — particularly young people — were falling behind on their payments.

"Younger borrowers, who are disproportionately likely to have credit cards and student loans as their primary form of debt, struggle more than others with on-time repayment," New York Fed researchers said.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Where the Crawdads Sing

Director: Olivia Newman
Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, David Strathairn
Rating: 2/5


Display: 6.7” flexible Amoled, 2412 x 1080, 394ppi, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro, 4nm, octa-core

Memory: 8/12GB

Capacity: 128/256GB

Platform: Android 14, Nothing OS 2.5

Main camera: Dual 50MP main, f/1.88 + 50MP ultra-wide, f/2.2; OIS, EIS, auto-focus, ultra XDR, night mode

Main camera video: 4K @ 30fps, full-HD @ 60fps; slo-mo full-HD at 120fps

Front camera: 32MP wide, f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh; 50% in 30 mins w/ 45w charger

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)

Biometrics: Fingerprint, face unlock


Durability: IP54, limited protection from water/dust

Cards: Dual-nano SIM

Colours: Black, milk, white

In the box: Nothing Phone (2a), USB-C-to-USB-C cable, pre-applied screen protector, SIM tray ejector tool

Price (UAE): Dh1,199 (8GB/128GB) / Dh1,399 (12GB/256GB)

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