AP Photo
AP Photo

Talking to the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The eight Harry Potter movies made more money than all of the 24 official Bond films put together – so it is little surprise that despite running out of books to adapt, author J K Rowling and Warner Bros have come up with a way to extend and expand the cinematic world of wizards and magic.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is inspired by the fictional encyclopaedia of the same name, which is required reading for new students at Hogwarts. Written by the previously unseen character Newt Scamander, it was first mentioned in the first Harry Potter book, 1997's The Philosopher's Stone.

In 2001, to help raise money for British charity Comic Relief, Rowling wrote a real version of the textbook, listing some of the magical beasts that are part of Potter’s world.

The film adaptation – the first of five planned movies – takes place in New York in 1926, which was recreated at Leavesden Studios in North London, the same place where Harry Potter films were shot.

"It's really spectacular," Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl), who stars as Scamander, tells me when I visit the set.

“We were shooting a scene on the steps going up to the bank and they had bought all these cars from America, so when you looked out onto the street, it felt immersive.”

Wandering around the set it certainly feels like being magically transported back to prohibition-era New York, a time when the tallest building in Manhattan was the Woolworth Building. Steam bellowed out of manholes on the cobbled streets and the rundown tenement buildings looked like they were about to fall apart – the attention to detail is quite incredible.

Redmayne says he is fulfilling a dream by acting in a JK Rowling film – and making up for an earlier disappointment. The actor, who won an Oscar last year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle in the original franchise.

This time, director David Yates says: “Eddie was the only candidate for the role.”

Redmayne immediately fell in love with the character.

“One of the things that I love about Newt is that he’s more comfortable in the field,” he says. “He has a facility with animals that is pretty unique and one of his arcs in the film is to learn to be open enough and communicate with people.”

Scamander arrives at Ellis Island with a Tardis-like leather suitcase filled with magical beasts. When they escape, he enlists the help of Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), an enforcement officer at the Magical Congress of the United States of America), her mind-reading sister, Queenie (Alison Sudol), and war veteran Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), to find the loveable magical creatures before they are obliterated by dark forces.

“What I love about this film is that it’s absolutely this quartet and J K Rowling has written such defined and wonderful characters, who compliment each other in such wonderful ways,” says Redmayne.

Sudol also loves the dynamics of the group.

“We are thrown together like an unlikely gang,” she says. “My sister brings Newt home – she is essentially a dreamer and loves an adventure and in comes Newt, who is clearly on the run. Then there is Jacob who is a no-maj.”

No-maj is the American equivalent of “muggle”, the word used in the Harry Potter books for a person with no magical abilities.

Folger says Jacob has other useful talents, demonstrating the importance of humans, even in a world of magic.

“He’s been in the First World War, so he’s got the mentality to be in these chaotic situations, and he’s very reliable and helpful.”

Waterston adds: “I loved the period and the music, and tuning into that stuff in the little bits of free time. My character is very serious but she has a wonderful spirit, so I’ve been doing the Charleston in my trailer, which makes the whole thing shake.”

This film has a darker, more adult tone than the Harry Potter films, as Rowling – who wrote the screenplay, her first – has built a world filled with love and hate.

“It’s got interesting themes,” says Yates. “What happens when someone is mistreated, abused, unheard, beaten, and what that creates in terms of dark energy. So the themes are rich and deep and quite European on one level, but the package in which it comes, it’s really fun and entertaining.”

Yates, who also directed the final four Potter films, clearly has an affinity with Rowling and is full of praise for the Scottish author’s storytelling skills. “She’s the Dickens of our time,” he says. “She has extraordinary character.”

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.


Nissan 370z Nismo

Engine: 3.7-litre V6

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 363hp

Torque: 560Nm

Price: Dh184,500

John Wick: Chapter 4

Director: Chad Stahelski

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, George Georgiou

Rating: 4/5


Uefa Champions League last-16, second leg:

Real Madrid 1 (Asensio 70'), Ajax 4 (Ziyech 7', Neres 18', Tadic 62', Schone 72')

Ajax win 5-3 on aggregate

Company profile

Name: Fruitful Day

Founders: Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Dalal AlRawi, Lindsey Fournie

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2015

Number of employees: 30

Sector: F&B

Funding so far: Dh3 million

Future funding plans: None at present

Future markets: Saudi Arabia, potentially Kuwait and other GCC countries


2.15pm: Handicap (PA) Dh60,000 1,200m.

Winner: AZ Dhabyan, Adam McLean (jockey), Saleha Al Ghurair (trainer).

2.45pm: Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 1,200m.

Winner: Ashton Tourettes, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel.

3.15pm: Conditions (PA) Dh60,000 2,000m.

Winner: Hareer Al Reef, Gerald Avranche, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

3.45pm: Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 1,700m.

Winner: Kenz Al Reef, Gerald Avranche, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

4.15pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup (TB) Dh 200,000 1,700m.

Winner: Mystique Moon, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson.

4.45pm: The Crown Prince Of Sharjah Cup Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 1,200m.

Winner: ES Ajeeb, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel.


2004 Roger Federer

2005 Roger Federer

2006 Roger Federer

2007 Roger Federer

2008 Rafael Nadal

2009 Roger Federer

2010 Rafael Nadal

2011 Novak Djokovic

2012 Novak Djokovic

2013 Rafael Nadal

2014 Novak Djokovic

2015 Novak Djokovic

2016 Andy Murray

2017 Rafael Nadal

2018 Novak Djokovic

2019 Rafael Nadal

Nick's journey in numbers

Countries so far: 85

Flights: 149

Steps: 3.78 million

Calories: 220,000

Floors climbed: 2,000

Donations: GPB37,300

Prostate checks: 5

Blisters: 15

Bumps on the head: 2

Dog bites: 1

Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War by Thomas J. Brennan and Finbarr O’Reilly


Name: Carzaty

Founders: Marwan Chaar and Hassan Jaffar

Launched: 2017

Employees: 22

Based: Dubai and Muscat

Sector: Automobile retail

Funding to date: $5.5 million

Pakistan squad

Sarfraz (c), Zaman, Imam, Masood, Azam, Malik, Asif, Sohail, Shadab, Nawaz, Ashraf, Hasan, Amir, Junaid, Shinwari and Afridi

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE


Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Listen to Extra Time
The specs: 2018 Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio

Price, base Dh485,000 (GranTurismo) and Dh575,000 (GranCabrio)

Engine 4.7L V8

Transmission Six-speed automatic

Power 460hp @ 7,000rpm

Torque 520Nm @ 4,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.3L (GranTurismo) and 14.5L (GranCabrio) / 100km

How much of your income do you need to save?

The more you save, the sooner you can retire. Tuan Phan, a board member of SimplyFI.com, says if you save just 5 per cent of your salary, you can expect to work for another 66 years before you are able to retire without too large a drop in income.

In other words, you will not save enough to retire comfortably. If you save 15 per cent, you can forward to another 43 working years. Up that to 40 per cent of your income, and your remaining working life drops to just 22 years. (see table)

Obviously, this is only a rough guide. How much you save will depend on variables, not least your salary and how much you already have in your pension pot. But it shows what you need to do to achieve financial independence.


Coming 2 America

Directed by: Craig Brewer

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones

3/5 stars


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


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)

Dubai World Cup nominations

UAE: Thunder Snow/Saeed bin Suroor (trainer), North America/Satish Seemar, Drafted/Doug Watson, New Trails/Ahmad bin Harmash, Capezzano, Gronkowski, Axelrod, all trained by Salem bin Ghadayer

USA: Seeking The Soul/Dallas Stewart, Imperial Hunt/Luis Carvajal Jr, Audible/Todd Pletcher, Roy H/Peter Miller, Yoshida/William Mott, Promises Fulfilled/Dale Romans, Gunnevera/Antonio Sano, XY Jet/Jorge Navarro, Pavel/Doug O’Neill, Switzerland/Steve Asmussen.

Japan: Matera Sky/Hideyuki Mori, KT Brace/Haruki Sugiyama. Bahrain: Nine Below Zero/Fawzi Nass. Ireland: Tato Key/David Marnane. Hong Kong: Fight Hero/Me Tsui. South Korea: Dolkong/Simon Foster.


9pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (Dirt) 2,000m
Winner: Mubhir Al Ain, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ahmed Al Mehairbi (trainer)
9.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Exciting Days, Oscar Chavez, Doug Watson
10pm: Al Ain Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Suny Du Loup, Marcelino Rodrigues, Hamad Al Marar
10.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m
Winner: Jafar Des Arnets, Oscar Chavez, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
11pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Taj Al Izz, Richard Mullen, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami
11.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Majdy, Antonio Fresu, Jean de Roualle
12am: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Hamloola, Sam Hitchcott, Salem Al Ketbi


The flights 
Emirates, Etihad and Swiss fly direct from the UAE to Zurich from Dh2,855 return, including taxes.

The chalet
Chalet N is currently open in winter only, between now and April 21. During the ski season, starting on December 11, a week’s rental costs from €210,000 (Dh898,431) per week for the whole property, which has 22 beds in total, across six suites, three double rooms and a children’s suite. The price includes all scheduled meals, a week’s ski pass, Wi-Fi, parking, transfers between Munich, Innsbruck or Zurich airports and one 50-minute massage per person. Private ski lessons cost from €360 (Dh1,541) per day. Halal food is available on request.

What is the definition of an SME?

SMEs in the UAE are defined by the number of employees, annual turnover and sector. For example, a “small company” in the services industry has six to 50 employees with a turnover of more than Dh2 million up to Dh20m, while in the manufacturing industry the requirements are 10 to 100 employees with a turnover of more than Dh3m up to Dh50m, according to Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development.

A “medium-sized company” can either have staff of 51 to 200 employees or 101 to 250 employees, and a turnover less than or equal to Dh200m or Dh250m, again depending on whether the business is in the trading, manufacturing or services sectors. 

How to wear a kandura


  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester


  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 660hp
Torque: 1,100Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 488km-560km
Price: From Dh850,000 (estimate)
On sale: October

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now