Hasan Al Naboodah is a historian and professor at the UAE University in Al Ain. Jaime Puebla / The National
Hasan Al Naboodah is a historian and professor at the UAE University in Al Ain. Jaime Puebla / The National

Secrets of the past

He is the Indiana Jones of books.
If there is a riddle from the past that needs cracking, Hasan Al Naboodah heads to his books and manuscripts to find answers. The 50-year-old Emirati historian and self-confessed bookworm spent his childhood on the beach, barefoot, with his face buried in books on poetry and fiction.
"I like to explore and understand our past. I am always researching and documenting whatever I can," says Al Naboodah, who is a professor at the UAE University in Al Ain and also, unsurprisingly, the Dean of Libraries.
Al Naboodah owns a rare collection of books, some several hundred years old, on early travellers from Europe, as well as tomes that explore age-old traditions and help to explain superstitions that are still in place today.
"You can find the explanation for a lot of today's beliefs and traditions by looking at the past, like giving our boys strong names related to powerful animals like a lion, as it was tradition to believe that would scare off strangers and prevent harm to the child," he says.
When he is not teaching history, Al Naboodah is researching and writing. He has published academic articles in regional and international journals, as well as five books on Emirati history, which cover topics such as oral history, forts, archaeology and architecture.
Middle Age, Gulf and pre-Islamic history, along with stories from around the Arab world, are of particular interest to the professor. "How was Arabia before Islam, from the cultural and political point of view, are important questions I like to explore through manuscripts, old poems and archaeological discoveries," he explains.
"Everywhere in Arabia, they worshipped the stars, the sun and the moon; there was a variety of religions that once ruled over the lands. History is very interesting and ours is very rich," he adds.
The father of two boys and one girl regularly uses proverbs and stories that he has read along the way as a means of passing on the wisdom of the ancestors to his children. "You can find a lot of wisdom in our past, and it would be a shame to miss out on learning and building on what has already been written and found."
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Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

Tips for job-seekers
  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
  • Make sure you are an exact fit for the job advertised. If you are an HR manager with five years’ experience in retail and the job requires a similar candidate with five years’ experience in consumer, you should apply. But if you have no experience in HR, do not apply for the job.

David Mackenzie, founder of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones Middle East

What you as a drone operator need to know

A permit and licence is required to fly a drone legally in Dubai.

Sanad Academy is the United Arab Emirate’s first RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) training and certification specialists endorsed by the Dubai Civil Aviation authority.

It is responsible to train, test and certify drone operators and drones in UAE with DCAA Endorsement.

“We are teaching people how to fly in accordance with the laws of the UAE,” said Ahmad Al Hamadi, a trainer at Sanad.

“We can show how the aircraft work and how they are operated. They are relatively easy to use, but they need responsible pilots.

“Pilots have to be mature. They are given a map of where they can and can’t fly in the UAE and we make these points clear in the lectures we give.

“You cannot fly a drone without registration under any circumstances.”

Larger drones are harder to fly, and have a different response to location control. There are no brakes in the air, so the larger drones have more power.

The Sanad Academy has a designated area to fly off the Al Ain Road near Skydive Dubai to show pilots how to fly responsibly.

“As UAS technology becomes mainstream, it is important to build wider awareness on how to integrate it into commerce and our personal lives,” said Major General Abdulla Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief, Dubai Police.

“Operators must undergo proper training and certification to ensure safety and compliance.

“Dubai’s airspace will undoubtedly experience increased traffic as UAS innovations become commonplace, the Forum allows commercial users to learn of best practice applications to implement UAS safely and legally, while benefitting a whole range of industries.”

Getting there and where to stay

Etihad Airways operates seasonal flights from Abu Dhabi to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Services depart the UAE on Wednesdays and Sundays with outbound flights stopping briefly in Rome, return flights are non-stop. Fares start from Dh3,315, flights operate until September 18, 2022. 

The Radisson Blu Hotel Nice offers a western location right on Promenade des Anglais with rooms overlooking the Bay of Angels. Stays are priced from €101 ($114), including taxes.

Pad Man

Dir: R Balki

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte

Three-and-a-half stars





While you're here

UAE squad

Rohan Mustafa (captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Naveed, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan

Brief scores:

Toss: South Africa, chose to field

Pakistan: 177 & 294

South Africa: 431 & 43-1

Man of the Match: Faf du Plessis (South Africa)

Series: South Africa lead three-match series 2-0