Salim Dahman, one half of the hip-hop duo Desert Heat. Stephen Lock / The National
Salim Dahman, one half of the hip-hop duo Desert Heat. Stephen Lock / The National

UAE-based personalities tell us what Ramadan means to them



As Ramadan continues, Saeed Saeed asked 10 UAE-based personalities what the Holy Month means to them.

Munther Al Jennibi, singer

It is a special and blessed month. It is a time for self-reflection and challenging myself. The challenge lies in remaining disciplined in terms of fulfilling the religious obligations. It is also a wonderful time you spend with your family. It is spiritually encouraging.

Nasser Iraq, novelist

It's a time to reconnect with my family and give as much to charity as I can. I will also use the time to read a lot of books, both spiritual and historical, as well as continue writing my next novel.

Salim Dahman, rapper from the hip-hop duo Desert Heat

We have this thing in our house where we stop watching television for the whole month. We focus on our spirituality and exercise. You know, after Ramadan we lose a lot of weight. The month for us is like a reset button for our body and soul.

Shaima Al Sayed, comic

In Ramadan, I am at my happiest. I'm just calm and serene. I don't leave the house, and in the evenings, I try to go to as many mosques as I can for the prayers. My goal this month is to pray as much as I can at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Ali Al Saloom, author of the Ask Ali guidebooks

It is a gift from God and we greet it fully with all of our soul. It is a time for reflection, for me to focus on my spiritual development.

Faisal Al Saari, oud virtuoso

It's a chance to be part of this special spiritual atmosphere. Ramadan is a valuable opportunity for us all to purify ourselves from sins and bad habits. I plan to take this opportunity fully and learn from it because the month does go by quickly.

Nayla Al Khaja, filmmaker

Ramadan brings me back to my childhood as I spend it with my family. It's also a chance for me to break the routine. For 11 months I was working hard and not spending enough time with my parents, so Ramadan is a chance to break that and reconnect spiritually with myself and my family.

Nadia Buhannad, author and educational psychologist

It's like a spiritual holiday. I'm always on the run so Ramadan for me is that great chance to slow down. I finish work at 3pm and I spend it mostly at home and focus on rereading the Quran and spiritually evaluating myself.

Farhad Hussain, Radio Mirchi jockey

It's all about self-discipline and controlling myself, be it my thought process or my nerves. My show Purani Jeans is in the evenings so when I am fasting during the day I try not to talk at all and save it for the show. If I can get closer to the Almighty with my fast then this Ramadan would be a big success.

Adel Khozam, poet

I would describe it as a deep journey to purify my soul, body and mind. I stay away from heavy or fatty foods. I also spend a lot of hours alone studying old texts from the Arabic and Islamic worlds, treasures that have been lost in today's world of Facebook and Twitter. Ramadan is a valuable chance to get in touch with our humanity.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000
Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE:

Name: Envision
Started: 2017
Founders: Karthik Mahadevan and Karthik Kannan
Based: The Netherlands
Sector: Technology/Assistive Technology
Initial investment: $1.5 million
Current number of staff: 20
Investment stage: Seed
Investors: 4impact, ABN Amro, Impact Ventures and group of angels

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

RESULTS

2pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: AF Senad, Nathan Crosse (jockey), Kareem Ramadan (trainer)

2.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Ashjaan, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel.

3pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Amirah, Conner Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

3.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Jap Al Yaasoob, Szczepan Mazur, Irfan Ellahi.

4pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup Prestige Handicap (PA) Dh 100,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Jawaal, Fernando Jara, Majed Al Jahouri.

4.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 40,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Manhunter, Ryan Curatolo, Mujeeb Rahman.

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

The specs: 2019 Lincoln MKC

Price, base / as tested: Dh169,995 / Dh192,045

Engine: Turbocharged, 2.0-litre, in-line four-cylinder

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Power: 253hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 389Nm @ 2,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 10.7L / 100km

The bio

Who inspires you?

I am in awe of the remarkable women in the Arab region, both big and small, pushing boundaries and becoming role models for generations. Emily Nasrallah was a writer, journalist, teacher and women’s rights activist

How do you relax?

Yoga relaxes me and helps me relieve tension, especially now when we’re practically chained to laptops and desks. I enjoy learning more about music and the history of famous music bands and genres.

What is favourite book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - I think I've read it more than 7 times

What is your favourite Arabic film?

Hala2 Lawen (Translation: Where Do We Go Now?) by Nadine Labaki

What is favourite English film?

Mamma Mia

Best piece of advice to someone looking for a career at Google?

If you’re interested in a career at Google, deep dive into the different career paths and pinpoint the space you want to join. When you know your space, you’re likely to identify the skills you need to develop.  

 

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The specs

Engine: two permanent magnet synchronous motors
Transmission: two-speed
Power: 625hp
Torque: 850Nm
Range: 456km
Price: from Dh737,480
On sale: now

If you go

The flights
Etihad (etihad.com) flies from Abu Dhabi to Luang Prabang via Bangkok, with a return flight from Chiang Rai via Bangkok for about Dh3,000, including taxes. Emirates and Thai Airways cover the same route, also via Bangkok in both directions, from about Dh2,700.
The cruise
The Gypsy by Mekong Kingdoms has two cruising options: a three-night, four-day trip upstream cruise or a two-night, three-day downstream journey, from US$5,940 (Dh21,814), including meals, selected drinks, excursions and transfers.
The hotels
Accommodation is available in Luang Prabang at the Avani, from $290 (Dh1,065) per night, and at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort from $1,080 (Dh3,967) per night, including meals, an activity and transfers.

About My Father

Director: Laura Terruso

Stars: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Kim Cattrall

Rating: 2/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)


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