DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 21 September 2017. STANDALONE. Residents enjoy their day off by spending it at the pool and taking advantage of the sunny weather. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: National.
Antonie Robertson / The National

If you can't beat the UAE heat, your children may be able to help you out

This week, three American physicists were awarded with the Nobel Prize for their discovery of gravitational waves, wrinkles in the fabric of space-time produced by massive, fast-moving objects such as neutron stars or black holes first predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity in 1916.

Unfortunately, my progress through the universe this week has been guided less by genius and excellence and more by another behaviour, also connected to the German physicist – namely the insanity of doing the same thing over and again and expecting different results.

Thick with a cold, running a fever and reeling from last weekend’s unexpected humidity – I had just returned from a pleasantly autumnal but flu-inducing France – I decided it was time to lower my temperature by doing what I always do in such situations. I left the house and took my children to the beach.

As soon as we arrived on Saadiyat Island, I realised this was a colossal mistake. Without adequate shade, a chilled pool and on-tap drinks, I was likely to poach, and a descent into sand-induced hysteria was not only likely, but inevitable.

With no consideration of cost, I quickly diverted my children’s attention away from Saadiyat’s gently-breaking waves to the more anodyne charms of one of its beachfront hotels, and with it an experience that I had not encountered since my early pre-parental days, when I first arrived in Abu Dhabi: the Friday brunch.

Committing another astronomical error, we delayed our entry into the frigid, double-height dining hall until my children were almost faint with hunger. It was clear that the afternoon was about to take a turn for the worse.

Not only was I the only delirious, unshaven and swimwear-clad parent present – crisp new polo shirts and white cocktail dresses were evidently order of the day – we were shepherded to an area discretely reserved for awkward, unsightly people with unruly kids.

As toddlers used their cutlery as impromptu drumsticks, and napkins and crockery flew through the air, I watched my knuckles whiten as I gripped our dining table, desperately trying to hold onto something, anything, as my delirium rose.

After almost eight years of brunch-free parenthood, how could I have got things so catastrophically wrong?

Seeing their father reel like a collapsing bovine with late-stage BSE, my 5- and 7-year-old children decided to remedy the situation by taking charge – something that they already do best.

Distracting me with a conversation about the cut and pattern of a woman’s sun dress, my youngest daughter – already a fashionista – made it clear that it was time to head back to the pool, while my eldest – already one of life’s carers – guided me back to my place in the shade.

As I laid, sweating, like a confused geriatric on a lounger, my children swam happily and perfected their aquatic gymnastics, content to let Daddy pass into a heat-induced daze.

This is what travelling through space-time must feel like, I realised, as I sensed the onset of my own gravitational forces, presented as I was with a terrifying vision of my impending old age.


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Hot Seat

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari

Rating: 1/5


Display: 41mm, 352 x 430; 45mm, 396 x 484; Retina LTPO OLED, up to 1000 nits, always-on; Ion-X glass

Processor: Apple S8, W3 wireless, U1 ultra-wideband

Capacity: 32GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 9

Health metrics: 3rd-gen heart rate sensor, temperature sensing, ECG, blood oxygen, workouts, fall/crash detection; emergency SOS, international emergency calling

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h, wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 8, magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)


Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

Company Profile

Name: Nadeera
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Founders: Rabih El Chaar and Reem Khattar
Sector: CleanTech
Total funding: About $1 million
Investors: Hope Ventures, Rasameel Investments and support from accelerator programmes
Number of employees: 12

Getting there and where to stay

Etihad Airways operates seasonal flights from Abu Dhabi to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Services depart the UAE on Wednesdays and Sundays with outbound flights stopping briefly in Rome, return flights are non-stop. Fares start from Dh3,315, flights operate until September 18, 2022. 

The Radisson Blu Hotel Nice offers a western location right on Promenade des Anglais with rooms overlooking the Bay of Angels. Stays are priced from €101 ($114), including taxes.

The Florida Project

Director: Sean Baker

Starring: Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe

Four stars

The specs

Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 540hp at 6,500rpm

Torque: 600Nm at 2,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Kerb weight: 1580kg

Price: From Dh750k

On sale: via special order


Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 750hp at 7,500rpm
Torque: 800Nm at 5,500rpm
Transmission: 7 Speed dual-clutch auto
Top speed: 332kph
Fuel consumption: 12.2L/100km
On sale: Year end
Price: From Dh1,430,000 (coupe); From Dh1,566,000 (Spider)


2.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: SS Jalmod, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)

2.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Ghallieah, Sebastien Martino, Jean-Claude Pecout

3.15pm: Al Marwan Group Holding – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Inthar, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.45pm: Al Ain Stud Emirates Breeders Trophy – Conditions (PA) Dh50,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: MH Rahal, Richard Mullen, Elise Jeanne

4.25pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup – Prestige Handicap (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: JAP Aneed, Ray Dawson, Irfan Ellahi

4.45pm: Sharjah Equine Hospital – Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Edaraat, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi


Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

Virtuzone GCC Sixes

Date and venue Friday and Saturday, ICC Academy, Dubai Sports City

Time Matches start at 9am


A Blighty Ducks, Darjeeling Colts, Darjeeling Social, Dubai Wombats; B Darjeeling Veterans, Kuwait Casuals, Loose Cannons, Savannah Lions; Awali Taverners, Darjeeling, Dromedary, Darjeeling Good Eggs

The specs

Engine: 6.5-litre V12 and three electric motors
Power: 1,015hp
Torque: 1,500Nm (estimate)
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh2 million (estimate)

Why all the lefties?

Six of the eight fast bowlers used in the ILT20 match between Desert Vipers and MI Emirates were left-handed. So 75 per cent of those involved.
And that despite the fact 10-12 per cent of the world’s population is said to be left-handed.
It is an extension of a trend which has seen left-arm pacers become highly valued – and over-represented, relative to other formats – in T20 cricket.
It is all to do with the fact most batters are naturally attuned to the angles created by right-arm bowlers, given that is generally what they grow up facing more of.
In their book, Hitting Against the Spin, cricket data analysts Nathan Leamon and Ben Jones suggest the advantage for a left-arm pace bowler in T20 is amplified because of the obligation on the batter to attack.
“The more attacking the batsman, the more reliant they are on anticipation,” they write.
“This effectively increases the time pressure on the batsman, so increases the reliance on anticipation, and therefore increases the left-arm bowler’s advantage.”


Engine: 4-litre flat-six
Power: 525hp (GT3), 500hp (GT4)
Torque: 465Nm (GT3), 450Nm (GT4)
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Price: From Dh944,000 (GT3), Dh581,700 (GT4)
On sale: Now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company Profile

Name: Ovasave
Started: November 2022
Founders: Majd Abu Zant and Torkia Mahloul
Based: Abu Dhabi
Sector: Healthtech
Number of staff: Three employees
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment: $400,000

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