Calton Hill, Edinburgh. The city’s New Town was predominantly built in the late 18th century, when the city was expanded. iStockphoto.com
Calton Hill, Edinburgh. The city’s New Town was predominantly built in the late 18th century, when the city was expanded. iStockphoto.com

Out with the old in Edinburgh New Town, Scotland



Why the New Town?

Edinburgh’s higgledy-piggledy Old Town has most of the things that people come to Edinburgh for: the Castle, many of the major museums and the legions of bagpipes-and-tartan stereotypes are found up the hill on the Royal Mile.

While the Old Town’s glories have come about mainly by accident, the New Town’s splendour is almost entirely by design. In the late 18th century, Edinburgh desperately needed to expand. The city’s prosperity meant that an awful lot was built at the same time – and in the same style.

The result looks remarkable. Streets, crescents and circles of grand town houses, put together in a honey-coloured sandstone, exude an imposing majesty.

It’s not all about the look, though. The New Town has a very different energy to the Old Town. Small basement restaurants, galleries and independent shops make it feel like real-life Edinburgh, rather than the often-tourist-only pastiche on the hill.

A comfortable bed

The most daring place to stay in the New Town is Le Monde (www.lemondehotel.co.uk; 0044 131 270 3900), where every room is themed on a different city around the world. Expect to be surrounded by moody black-and-white shots of Parisian landmarks or photos of Hollywood stars. Double rooms cost from £165 (Dh948).

Channings (www.channings.co.uk; 0044 131 315 2226), just to the west of the New Town, is made up of a series of sandstone town houses, and was once the home of the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. There's plenty of character and a heritage look about the place. Doubles cost from £49 (Dh282).

The Balmoral (www.roccofortehotels.com; 0044 131 556 2414) is a classic grand-dame railway hotel, a place for lavish afternoon teas and a marble overdose. Doubles cost from £225 (Dh1,293).

Find your feet

Charlotte Square is regarded as the New Town’s architectural zenith, with the whole square designed as a single entity. Scotland’s First Minister lives here, and the grossly disproportionate dome of the former church that’s now used to house part of Scotland’s National Records collection is one of many key monuments across the New Town.

While there, nip into the Georgian House (www.nts.org.uk; 0044 131 226 3318), where the interiors and furnishings have been restored to how it would have looked in the late 18th- and early-19th-century.

Take one of three parallel streets from here. Queen Street has the most emblematic architecture; George Street the most compelling set-piece buildings; and Rose Street the most life, with its wall-to-wall restaurants and cafes.

Finish at the huge Scottish National Gallery (www.nationalgalleries.org; 0044 131 624 6200), which has a very impressive collection, including works by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Rubens.

Meet the locals

Calton Hill at the eastern edge of the New Town is dotted with absurd monuments – some of which were never finished. The classical Greek style of many of them led to Edinburgh being nicknamed “The Athens of the North”. But the real reason to head up there is the splendid 360-degree views over the city and out to the Firth of Forth. It’s where locals come to clear their heads.

Book a table

At the base of Calton Hill, the Michelin-starred 21212 (www.21212restaurant.co.uk; 0044 131 523 1030) leans towards a contemporary French style, although the menu changes every week. Expect to pay £69 (Dh396) for the five-course dinner, although the £22 (Dh126), two-course weekday lunch menu is a comparative bargain.

The Café Royal (www.caferoyaledinburgh.co.uk; 0044 131 556 1884) is in a gorgeous building, all wood-panelling and ceramic tile art on the walls, but it's also a great in-the-know oyster bar. Half a dozen will set you back £11 (Dh63), but the fresh langoustines and king scallops for £22 (Dh126) are a good bet, too.

Shopper’s paradise

Princes Street is always dubbed Edinburgh’s main shopping street, and it’s the place to find flagship department stores. But Thistle Street is far more interesting, with hip kiltmakers and independent women’s fashion boutiques lining either side of the cobblestones.

What to avoid

One quirk of the New Town’s planning is the gardens that lie in the middle of some of the most prestigious streets. Unfortunately for visitors, they’re private and to be accessed only by the people who live there – so don’t go blundering in before looking for the signs by the (probably locked) entrance gate.

Don’t miss

Between all the handsome Georgian terraces is a gully through which the Water of Leith river runs. This is also where you'll find the Dean Village, arguably the most picturesque hidey-hole in Edinburgh. Once used for milling, it's the serene home of photogenic housing provided by wealthy philanthropists and cheeringly gorgeous views of the elegant Dean Bridge. Context Travel (www.contexttravel.com; 0044 20 3514 1780) runs highly informative walking tours there for £70 (Dh390).

Getting there

Etihad (www.etihad.com; 02 599 0000) launched direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Edinburgh in June. Returns cost from Dh3,555.

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Company Profile

Name: Takestep
Started: March 2018
Founders: Mohamed Khashaba, Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Adel Wafiq and Ayman Taha
Based: Cairo, Egypt
Sector: health technology
Employees: 11 full time and 22 part time
Investment stage: pre-Series A

Essentials

The flights
Whether you trek after mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda or the Congo, the most convenient international airport is in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. There are direct flights from Dubai a couple of days a week with RwandAir. Otherwise, an indirect route is available via Nairobi with Kenya Airways. Flydubai flies to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, via Entebbe in Uganda. Expect to pay from US$350 (Dh1,286) return, including taxes.
The tours
Superb ape-watching tours that take in all three gorilla countries mentioned above are run by Natural World Safaris. In September, the company will be operating a unique Ugandan ape safari guided by well-known primatologist Ben Garrod.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, local operator Kivu Travel can organise pretty much any kind of safari throughout the Virunga National Park and elsewhere in eastern Congo.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The new Turing Test

The Coffee Test

A machine is required to enter an average American home and figure out how to make coffee: find the coffee machine, find the coffee, add water, find a mug and brew the coffee by pushing the proper buttons.

Proposed by Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

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

Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

UAE squad

Men's draw: Victor Scvortov and Khalifa Al Hosani, (both 73 kilograms), Sergiu Toma and Mihail Marchitan (90kg), Ivan Remarenco (100kg), Ahmed Al Naqbi (60kg), Musabah Al Shamsi and Ahmed Al Hosani (66kg)

Women’s draw: Maitha Al Neyadi (57kg)

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

MATCH INFO

Chelsea 4 (Mount 18',Werner 44', Hudson-Odoi 49', Havertz 85')

Morecambe 0

Five films to watch

Castle in the Sky (1986)

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Only Yesterday (1991)

Pom Poki (1994)

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Sandman

Creators: Neil Gaiman, David Goyer, Allan Heinberg

Stars: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Jenna Coleman and Gwendoline Christie

Rating: 4/5

RESULTS

3.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 – Group 1 (PA) $75,000 (Dirt) 2,000m
Winner: Jugurtha De Monlau, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Jean-Claude Pecout (trainer)

4.05pm: Dubai City Of Gold – Group 2 (TB) $250,000 (Turf) 2,410m
Winner: Global Storm, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

4.40pm: Burj Nahaar – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Discovery Island, James Doyle, Bhupat Seemar

5.15pm: Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (T) 1,200m
Winner: Al Dasim, Mickael Barzalona, George Boughey

5.50pm: Al Bastakiya – Listed (TB) $170,000 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Go Soldier Go, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

6.25pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 – Group 1 (TB) $450,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Salute The Soldier, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

7.10pm: Ras Al Khor – Conditions (TB) $300,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Al Suhail, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

7.45pm: Jebel Hatta – Group 1 (TB) $350,000 (T) 1,800m
Winner: Alfareeq, Dane O’Neill, Charlie Appleby

8.20pm: Mahab Al Shimaal – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Sound Money, Mickael Barzalona, Bhupat Seemar

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

COMPANY PROFILE

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

‘White Elephant’

Director: Jesse V Johnson
Stars: Michael Rooker, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Olga Kurylenko
Rating: 3/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

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

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

The Emperor and the Elephant

Author: Sam Ottewill-Soulsby

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Pages: 392

Available: July 11

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD5

Main display: 7.6" QXGA+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, Infinity Flex, 2176 x 1812, 21.6:18, 374ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz

Cover display: 6.2" HD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2316 x 904, 23.1:9, 402ppi, up to 120Hz

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 740 GPU

Memory: 12GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB (online exclusive)

Platform: Android 13, One UI 5.1.1

Main camera: Triple 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 50MP wide (f/1.8) + 10MP telephoto (f/2.4), dual OIS, 3x optical zoom, 30x Space Zoom, portrait, super slo-mo

Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@60fps, full-HD@60/240fps, HD@960fps; slo-mo@60/240/960fps; HDR10+

Cover camera: 10MP (f/2.2)

Inner front camera: Under-display 4MP (f/1.8)

Battery: 4400mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Samsung Pay)

I/O: USB-C

Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; dual nano-SIMs + eSIM

Colours: Cream, icy blue, phantom black; online exclusives – blue, grey

In the box: Fold5, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh6,799 / Dh7,249 / Dh8,149

THE BIO: Mohammed Ashiq Ali

Proudest achievement: “I came to a new country and started this shop”

Favourite TV programme: the news

Favourite place in Dubai: Al Fahidi. “They started the metro in 2009 and I didn’t take it yet.”

Family: six sons in Dubai and a daughter in Faisalabad

 

Brief scoreline:

Liverpool 2

Keita 5', Firmino 26'

Porto 0

Story of 2017-18 so far and schedule to come

Roll of Honour

Who has won what so far in the West Asia rugby season?

 

Western Clubs Champions League

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Bahrain

 

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners: Dubai Exiles

Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

 

West Asia Premiership

Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons

Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

 

UAE Premiership Cup

Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners up: Dubai Exiles

 

Fixtures

Friday

West Asia Cup final

5pm, Bahrain (6pm UAE time), Bahrain v Dubai Exiles

 

West Asia Trophy final

3pm, The Sevens, Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Sports City Eagles

 

Friday, April 13

UAE Premiership final

5pm, Al Ain, Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

RESULTS

2pm: Maiden Dh 60,000 (Dirt) 1,400m. Winner: Masaali, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

2.30pm: Handicap Dh 76,000 (D) 1,400m. Winner: Almoreb, Dane O’Neill, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

3pm: Handicap Dh 64,000 (D) 1,200m. Winner: Imprison, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly.

3.30pm: Shadwell Farm Conditions Dh 100,000 (D) 1,000m. Winner: Raahy, Adrie de Vries, Jaber Ramadhan.

4pm: Maiden Dh 60,000 (D) 1,000m. Winner: Cross The Ocean, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

4.30pm: Handicap 64,000 (D) 1,950m. Winner: Sa’Ada, Fernando Jara, Ahmad bin Harmash.

Essentials

The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 
 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 


In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.