Ask Ali: Roundabout rules, pets and just friends



Dear Ali: Can you explain the rules for roundabouts? I've had too many near misses from cars launching themselves in front of me to exit. JT, Abu Dhabi

Dear JT: International driving standards apply in the UAE, so the law is to exit a roundabout from the outside lane. To get to the outside lane (right lane), you should cede to all traffic. Simple, right? The problem is that people often try to exit from the inside lane (left), cutting off poor law-abiding motorists like yourself.

The problem here is that we have such a hotchpotch of people who come from different driving cultures: Britons and Australians drive on the left; some Indian and Pakistani towns don't even have paved roads, and drivers share the road with cows and dogs. The UAE's mix of nationalities results in a mix of driving abilities.

The best advice I can give you is to practise defensive driving. Try to leave as much space as you can between yourself and other cars. And always assume the other driver will do the unexpected. The safest policy is to let crazy drivers go ahead. I know it can be frustrating but eventually the karma police will catch up with them - if the real police don't first.

Dear Ali: How do Emiratis feel about dogs? I'm moving to the UAE and would love to bring my pet with me. Thanks, JK, London

Dear JK: Dogs are not banned in the UAE. In fact, every single UAE family has had dogs on their farms at some point in their lives because they are essential to farm life. There are hundreds of dogs in the UAE, and you will find many nationals, such as myself, breeding salukis, the famed Arab hunting dog.

But bear in mind that you may be living in an apartment so a large dog may not be comfortable there. Plus, when the mercury shoots up during summer, temperatures are often too high for pets to spend much time outdoors. If you are on a short-term contract, it is not advisable to bring your pets, especially if you are to be housed in serviced residential apartments that may not allow pets. However, if you can create a comfort zone for your pet and wish to bring it into the country, the UAE laws on animal imports require you to supply a good health certificate and a vaccination certificate.

Dear Ali: I am new to this country and often get quite confused about the dos and don'ts of your lovely country. Can a male and female be together in a public place as friends? Also, can they visit each other's residences just as friends? Thanks. SD, Abu Dhabi

Dear SD: Of course, it is perfectly fine for a male and a female friend to be together in public places. I know that a lot of our expat friends are here without their families and so work colleagues and friends become something like family away from home. Now, if a man and a woman were to show affection in public - such as something more than walking hand in hand - this would be seen as inappropriate and not acceptable, no matter if the two of them are married or not. Even for married couples, we believe that love and passion for each other is a wonderful thing. However, it should be kept private.

Usually, there is nothing wrong with visiting each other but there might be some restrictions if expats live in company accommodation.In this case, the employer might set some stricter rules regarding visits of friends from the opposite gender.

We are a free-thinking country, but we are still an Islamic society. There is no law saying you will go to jail if you visit your friends of the opposite gender. However, in our culture these visits are not really acceptable and might therefore raise suspicion.

Ali Al Saloom is a cultural adviser and public speaker from the UAE. Follow @AskAli on Twitter, and visit www.ask-ali.com to ask him a question and to find his guidebooks to the UAE, priced at Dh50.

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

If you go

The flights

Fly direct to London from the UAE with Etihad, Emirates, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic from about Dh2,500 return including taxes. 

The hotel

Rooms at the convenient and art-conscious Andaz London Liverpool Street cost from £167 (Dh800) per night including taxes.

The tour

The Shoreditch Street Art Tour costs from £15 (Dh73) per person for approximately three hours. 

WHEN TO GO:

September to November or March to May; this is when visitors are most likely to see what they’ve come for.

WHERE TO STAY:

Meghauli Serai, A Taj Safari - Chitwan National Park resort (tajhotels.com) is a one-hour drive from Bharatpur Airport with stays costing from Dh1,396 per night, including taxes and breakfast. Return airport transfers cost from Dh661.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Etihad Airways regularly flies from Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu from around Dh1,500 per person return, including taxes. Buddha Air (buddhaair.com) and Yeti Airlines (yetiairlines.com) fly from Kathmandu to Bharatpur several times a day from about Dh660 return and the flight takes just 20 minutes. Driving is possible but the roads are hilly which means it will take you five or six hours to travel 148 kilometres.

RESULT

Bayern Munich 5 Eintrracht Frankfurt 2
Bayern:
 Goretzka (17'), Müller (41'), Lewandowski (46'), Davies (61'), Hinteregger (74' og)    
Frankfurt: Hinteregger (52', 55')

The specs: 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS

Price: base / as tested: From Dh632,225

Engine: 5.2-litre V10

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 540hp @ 8,250rpm

Torque: 540Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.4L / 100km

NEW UTILITY POLICY: WHAT DOES IT REGULATE?

• Agreements on energy and water supply

• Applied service fees

• Customer data and information privacy

• Prohibition of service disconnections

• Customer complaint process

• Management of debts and customers in default

• Services provided to people of determination and home care customers

BIRD BOX BARCELONA

Directors: David and Alex Pastor
Stars: Georgina Campbell, Mario Casas, Diego Calva
Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Jebel Ali Dragons 26 Bahrain 23

Dragons
Tries: Hayes, Richards, Cooper
Cons: Love
Pens: Love 3

Bahrain
Tries: Kenny, Crombie, Tantoh
Cons: Phillips
Pens: Phillips 2

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The lowdown

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

From Europe to the Middle East, economic success brings wealth - and lifestyle diseases

A rise in obesity figures and the need for more public spending is a familiar trend in the developing world as western lifestyles are adopted.

One in five deaths around the world is now caused by bad diet, with obesity the fastest growing global risk. A high body mass index is also the top cause of metabolic diseases relating to death and disability in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – and second on the list in Bahrain.

In Britain, heart disease, lung cancer and Alzheimer’s remain among the leading causes of death, and people there are spending more time suffering from health problems.

The UK is expected to spend $421.4 billion on healthcare by 2040, up from $239.3 billion in 2014.

And development assistance for health is talking about the financial aid given to governments to support social, environmental development of developing countries.

The specs

Engine: 6-cylinder, 4.8-litre
Transmission: 5-speed automatic and manual
Power: 280 brake horsepower
Torque: 451Nm
Price: from Dh153,00
On sale: now

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

If you go

There are regular flights from Dubai to Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines with return fares from Dh1,700. Nashulai Journeys offers tailormade and ready made trips in Africa while Tesfa Tours has a number of different community trekking tours throughout northern Ethiopia. The Ben Abeba Lodge has rooms from Dh228, and champions a programme of re-forestation in the surrounding area.



Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres