The apple cake strikes the perfect balance of simple ingredients and classic textures.
The apple cake strikes the perfect balance of simple ingredients and classic textures.

Food obsession: BakefestDXB apple cake

I sank into a giddy heap on a bench outside the Metro. For the past two hours I had been scarfing down sugar in all its decadent forms: mixed into cookies with chocolate chips or candied ginger, paddled into cupcake batter with pineapples or minty chocolates, folded into brownies and blondies and cakes and puddings or whisked into the vibrant scoop of cool lemon sherbet that cleansed my palette between each debaucherous bite.

But as I teetered out of the community BakefestDXB at Wild Peeta, the sugar rush snapped wildly out of control. It slithered up the back of my neck, shot around my ears and bolted to the bull's-eye of my pounding temples until my whole face was engulfed with the flames of a burning sugar high.

But regret is not something I experienced. In fact, as I stumbled into the Metro, my mind was preoccupied with the moist, butterscotch-glazed slice of Sugarama's apple cake (, an unpretentious home-made cake without any of the sugary frills that pander to the pretty trend of the day. This cake spoke to me of toasted walnuts, of the fragrant chunks of apple in my mother's apple pie, of a childhood affinity for butterscotch sauce and of a tray pulled out of the oven at that perfect moment when dense batter starts firming up into crumbly, porous cake. It held a grandma-style simplicity yet boasted a well-balanced trio of classic textures. The only things missing were my cup of steaming hot coffee and a romance novel.

When I congratulated Sugarama's baker on her apple cake, she glowed with pride, revealing that she had used applesauce to keep the cake moist. As I drew near to glean more of her baking secrets, she quietly admitted that this was her first apple cake ever. Here's hoping that it was not her last.

Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at


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

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


SolarWinds supply chain attack: Came to light in December 2020 but had taken root for several months, compromising major tech companies, governments and its entities

Microsoft Exchange server exploitation: March 2021; attackers used a vulnerability to steal emails

Kaseya attack: July 2021; ransomware hit perpetrated REvil, resulting in severe downtime for more than 1,000 companies

Log4j breach: December 2021; attackers exploited the Java-written code to inflitrate businesses and governments


Norwich City 1 (Cantwell 75') Manchester United 2 (Aghalo 51' 118') After extra time.

Man of the match Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Know before you go
  • Jebel Akhdar is a two-hour drive from Muscat airport or a six-hour drive from Dubai. It’s impossible to visit by car unless you have a 4x4. Phone ahead to the hotel to arrange a transfer.
  • If you’re driving, make sure your insurance covers Oman.
  • By air: Budget airlines Air Arabia, Flydubai and SalamAir offer direct routes to Muscat from the UAE.
  • Tourists from the Emirates (UAE nationals not included) must apply for an Omani visa online before arrival at The process typically takes several days.
  • Flash floods are probable due to the terrain and a lack of drainage. Always check the weather before venturing into any canyons or other remote areas and identify a plan of escape that includes high ground, shelter and parking where your car won’t be overtaken by sudden downpours.



Europa League final

Who: Marseille v Atletico Madrid
Where: Parc OL, Lyon, France
When: Wednesday, 10.45pm kick off (UAE)
TV: BeIN Sports


Director: Milan Jhaveri
Producer: Emmay Entertainment and T-Series
Cast: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee
Rating: 2/5

At Eternity’s Gate

Director: Julian Schnabel

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaacs, Mads Mikkelsen

Three stars


Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Nick Matthew (ENG)

Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZE)
Camille Serme (FRA)
Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

The specs: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

Price, base / as tested: Dh259,000

Engine: 6.4-litre V8

Power: 475hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque: 640Nm @ 4,300rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km


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


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)

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