Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 31, 2017:    Tourists walk past Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as the sun sets ahead of Eid al-Adha in Abu Dhabi on August 31, 2017. Eid al-Adha, or the, Feast of the Sacrifice, honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismaeel, as an act of obedience to God's command. Christopher Pike / The National

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Our writer found he was one of several people offering to buy food and tea for a local mosque. Christopher Pike / The National

Finding kindness across the UAE during Ramadan

It’s not easy forming new habits – whether they be based around going to the gym, eating better or being more financially savvy. As worthwhile as these initiatives are, they often dissolve under the grind of our hectic daily lives – or worse, our lack of self-belief.

How many times have we set ourselves goals just to watch them perish under the light of initial failure and cynicism? This is why I find Ramadan special. Unlike the resolutions we set at the turn of the year – which, let’s face it, by now are all but a distant memory – the holy month provides us with ample opportunity to allow much-needed adjustments to make the goals that we set become a permanent part of our lives.

A lot of it comes down to the fact that it is indeed a full month of reflection, and with scientific reports claiming that a new habit – if implemented daily – can become automatic in 18 days, Ramadan is a better time to adjust one's lifestyle.

Such was the case with my friend Jaa'fer, who credits the intensive and regular post-suhoor workout regimen he began last Ramadan for allowing gym to become a priority in his life. The daily rhythms of the holy month also improved family life for my Emirati mate, Ahmed. He says the daily act of breaking the fast in the family home allowed certain tensions to wither away.

“It is about the face-to-face interaction,” he told me during a suhoor in the capital this week. “A lot of the time, the family problems begin, I think, when the family don’t see each other. People don’t talk and that makes certain people, and I would include myself, think negative things about each other. In Ramadan, we break the fast every day and everything is resolved through discussions. That is a blessing of Ramadan I never realised.”

I was inspired by my friend’s insight, and on the drive home realised that, for me, this Ramadan was the ideal time to revive some long-lost relationships.

Before it began a week ago, such an idea was fraught with doubt, mostly because of the lack of context behind it. Ramadan does away with such notions and allows us to make contact, while keeping our pride intact.

I found a simple “hey man, long time no chat, Ramadan Mubarak” was more than enough to kick-start stalled friendships without any of the awkwardness that usually exists.

This is what the holy month does: it allows us daily opportunities to become the best versions of ourselves. I catch glimpses of this when I stroll through my old neighbourhood of Darat Al Miyah in Khalidiyah. Normally the busy area is fast-paced and a fierce hub of trade but during this period a sense of peace arrives.

On the third day of Ramadan, I got a first-hand look at this. I was back in the old 'hood dropping off my laundry when a lack of parking nous by a fellow road user caused the person in the car behind him to lose his cool. The man got out of the car and mercilessly railed at the startled driver. It was at this moment that two men approached the angered older gentlemen and reproached him gently, reminding him of the Islamic principle that his fast will be invalidated if he continued to curse.


Read more from Saeed:

How speaking in Arabic will add colour to my vocabulary this Ramadan

The challenges of Ramadan should be welcomed

Abu Dhabi has become a home very far away from home for many expats

Brushing off the stigma of baldness


“Brother, be careful of the fast, don’t lose it,” one of the men said, placing a friendly arm on the man’s shoulder.

“Forgive him, he doesn’t know,” said the other. Thankfully, the man eventually calmed himself, shook his head and drove off.

Another example of such community kindness was experienced in the final minutes leading up to the breaking of the fast, when a young Emirati walked into the House of Tea, silently paid for 30 cups of karak and sandwiches to be distributed to the local neighourhood, then drove off.

Immediately inspired, I approached another tea shop down the road and made a similar order. “Already done,” the man at the counter said. “Arbab [the owner of the store] already paid for the meals for the next two weeks. Then somebody else has paid for the next five days, so you can go after.”

We both smiled, realising that we were watching the magic of Ramadan at work.


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0 to 100kph: 7.3 seconds
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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

The specs

Engine: 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: eight-speed auto
Power: 617hp
Torque: 750Nm
Price: from Dh630,000
On sale: now


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


Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”



Saturday (all times UAE)

England v Australia, 11.15am 
New Zealand v Ireland, 2.15pm


Wales v France, 11.15am
Japan v South Africa, 2.15pm

In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The biog

Place of birth: Kalba

Family: Mother of eight children and has 10 grandchildren

Favourite traditional dish: Al Harees, a slow cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled cracked or coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat or chicken

Favourite book: My early life by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah

Favourite quote: By Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, “Those who have no past will have no present or future.”


Director: Damien Chazelle

Stars: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart

Rating: 4/5


Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5


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

UAE Warriors 45 Results

Main Event : Lightweight Title
Amru Magomedov def Jakhongir Jumaev - Round 1 (submission)
Co-Main Event : Bantamweight
Rany Saadeh def Genil Franciso - Round 2 (submission)
Catchweight 150 lbs
Walter Cogliandro def Ali Al Qaisi - Round 1 (TKO)
Renat Khavalov def Hikaru Yoshino - Round 2 (TKO)
Victor Nunes def Nawras Abzakh - Round 1 (TKO)
Yamato Fujita def Sanzhar Adilov - Round 1 (submission)
Abdullo Khodzhaev def Petru Buzdugen - Round 1 (TKO)
Catchweight 139 lbs
Razhabali Shaydullaev def Magomed Al-Abdullah - Round 2 (submission)
Cong Wang def Amena Hadaya - Points (unanimous decision)
Khabib Nabiev def Adis Taalaybek Uulu - Round 2 (submission)
Light Heavyweight
Bartosz Szewczyk def Artem Zemlyakov - Round 2 (TKO)

Profile Box

Company/date started: 2015

Founder/CEO: Mohammed Toraif

Based: Manama, Bahrain

Sector: Sales, Technology, Conservation

Size: (employees/revenue) 4/ 5,000 downloads

Stage: 1 ($100,000)

Investors: Two first-round investors including, 500 Startups, Fawaz Al Gosaibi Holding (Saudi Arabia)

The Color Purple

Director: Blitz Bazawule
Starring: Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo
Rating: 4/5


1 Man City  26  20 3 3 63 17  63 

2 Liverpool  25 17 6 2 64 20  57 

3 Chelsea  25 14 8 3 49 18  50 

4 Man Utd  26 13 7 6 44 34  46 


5 West Ham  26 12 6 8 45 34  42 


6 Arsenal  23 13 3 7 36 26  42 

7 Wolves  24 12 4 8 23 18  40 

8 Tottenham  23 12 4 8 31 31  39  


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


6.30pm: Emirates Holidays Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (Dirt) 1,900m
Winner: Lady Snazz, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).

7.05pm: Arabian Adventures Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Zhou Storm, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7.40pm: Emirates Skywards Handicap (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Rich And Famous, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

8.15pm: Emirates Airline Conditions (TB) Dh 120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Rio Angie, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson.

8.50pm: Emirates Sky Cargo (TB) Dh 92,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Kinver Edge, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

9.15pm: Emirates.com (TB) Dh 95,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Firnas, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer.


Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh974,011

The biog

Date of birth: 27 May, 1995

Place of birth: Dubai, UAE

Status: Single

School: Al Ittihad private school in Al Mamzar

University: University of Sharjah

Degree: Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Hobby: I enjoy travelling a lot, not just for fun, but I like to cross things off my bucket list and the map and do something there like a 'green project'.

Meg 2: The Trench

Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Cliff Curtis, Melissanthi Mahut and Shuya Sophia Cai
Rating: 2/5

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