Mandatory Credit: Photo by Garo/Phanie / Rex Features ( 683233ct )

Model released - young woman self examining her throat

Young woman
Infections and colds affect many people during the UAE winter.

Cold comfort

Finally we can breathe. I expect that's what is going through many people's minds now that the temperate winter is upon us. With the mercury dipping below 30°C and occasional clouds in the sky, we can all take a sigh of relief. Those of us, that is, who haven't succumbed to a cold-related illness. You see for me, the winter has been one non-stop blocked nose, sore throat and fever. Apparently this is the most common time of year to get sick and, as I have discovered, almost everyone has a magic cure.

Normally I take little notice of ancient remedies or superstitious claims regarding health as I am not really prone to falling ill. Prior to my move to the Emirates I had hardly taken enough sick days to count on one hand. Even when I felt slightly under the weather I wouldn't stay at home. My father is a GP and my mother a former nurse, so I have been brought up very much along "put on a brave face" lines.

However in the last year I have struggled to keep illness at bay. Over the spring and early summer I contracted bronchitis and was bedridden with a nasty bout of flu. My parents couldn't believe that, in Abu Dhabi's oppressive heat, I was catching cold, but I was. Then as soon as I got used to the heat, the winter came and my body had to adjust again. Cue a stubborn case of tonsillitis. Many people have their tonsils removed during childhood. When I woke up two weeks ago with a mouth as dry as a desert and feeling like a cactus was lodged in my throat, I sincerely wished I had too. I still don't know what caused it. But more than likely it was just another temperature change that my body wasn't used to. Either way, it was the start of a fortnight of feeling dreadful.

My first stop was the pharmacy. I stocked up on vitamin C, Panadol and a load of throat lozenges. However, this was to no avail. The following day I woke to find my neck swollen from my enlarged tonsils and that I was running a high fever. Swallowing was amazingly painful and I couldn't even get out of bed. I called a generous friend, asked him to drive me to the doctor and sat, in huge amounts of discomfort in the waiting room. Upon examination of my throat the doctor flinched.

"Oh dear," he said with a shake of his head. "Bad infection." "Tell me something I don't know," I thought while quietly nodding. He prescribed me an extremely strong antibiotic, some medicated lozenges and told me to get plenty of fluid and rest. I didn't have much choice. The antibiotics wiped me out and I slept for most of the next two days. Emerging from what felt like a coma, I felt much better. The pills had worked, the infection was gone and my temperature was back to normal. I still had a blocked nose but I thought I was over the worst.

Then disaster struck. After the five-day course, the infection came back - with a vengeance. That was when the alternative remedies started rolling in. First I gargled with salt water and lemon every two hours all night long. "It's the wonder formula," promised my friend. "You'll be better by morning." Needless to say I wasn't. I was just tired and it felt like I had a film of metal caked over my teeth.

As I lay there in bed a colleague rang up and told me to make her mother's secret recipe. An infusion of black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fresh ginger all brewed together in a cup of black tea. A messy and spicy trip to the kitchen was all I managed to gain from this suggestion, although I was grateful that she had thought of me. The next piece of advice came from a contact who rang to talk about work and ended up trying to get me back to good health. He swore by garlic and lots of it. Following his instructions I crushed up five whole cloves, put them in a cup, mixed them with a few spoonfuls of yoghurt and gulped the medicine down.

It was disgusting. The garlic burnt on my tongue and I felt like the yoghurt would curdle in my stomach but, amazingly a few hours later I did start to feel better. Only marginally, though. The next day I woke up, over a week into my sickness, at the end of my tether. That's when help came in the form of an ancient form of Indian medicine called ayurveda. A friend recommended it as the magic cure for anything, so I went along to Sharinis Wellness Spa in Khalifa City and booked myself in for an appointment with Dr Dhaniya.

She sat me down and for about an hour, asked me a variety of strange questions ranging from my childhood diseases to how I would react if I saw an accident occur. From this comprehensive interview she assessed the levels of air, fire and water in my body and diagnosed me accordingly. Ayurveda is based on the doctrine that these three elements form the entire universe and therefore the human body. By assessing my metabolism, digestion, temperament and general health, Dhaniya told me that I had too much water and not enough fire - hence the increased levels of phlegm and the lack of antibodies to kill the infection.

She suggested a diet of only hot foods, nothing cold, not even salad was allowed. I was also to stay away from toxins such as tobacco and to avoid dairy products. If I went out in the evenings I had to block my ears with cotton wool. Pineapple and papaya were also recommended to build up my fire level. Immediately she treated me with a facial massage to loosen up my sinuses and some hot-oil treatment in my nasal passage which trickled down to my throat. This was to expel some of the infection.

I started to feel the difference immediately. However, ayurveda is not a fast-working technique. Unlike pharmaceutical medicine, the doctrine works on building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion and proper excretions. Therefore I returned to the clinic for a week of follow-up treatments during which time my throat infection had become a thing of the past. Now, for the first time this winter I can breathe. I can appreciate the cool evenings and I no longer have to walk around with cotton wool in my ears. One thing I have learnt from my journey back to the land of the living is the truth in the adage: if at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

The language of diplomacy in 1853

Treaty of Peace in Perpetuity Agreed Upon by the Chiefs of the Arabian Coast on Behalf of Themselves, Their Heirs and Successors Under the Mediation of the Resident of the Persian Gulf, 1853
(This treaty gave the region the name “Trucial States”.)

We, whose seals are hereunto affixed, Sheikh Sultan bin Suggar, Chief of Rassool-Kheimah, Sheikh Saeed bin Tahnoon, Chief of Aboo Dhebbee, Sheikh Saeed bin Buyte, Chief of Debay, Sheikh Hamid bin Rashed, Chief of Ejman, Sheikh Abdoola bin Rashed, Chief of Umm-ool-Keiweyn, having experienced for a series of years the benefits and advantages resulting from a maritime truce contracted amongst ourselves under the mediation of the Resident in the Persian Gulf and renewed from time to time up to the present period, and being fully impressed, therefore, with a sense of evil consequence formerly arising, from the prosecution of our feuds at sea, whereby our subjects and dependants were prevented from carrying on the pearl fishery in security, and were exposed to interruption and molestation when passing on their lawful occasions, accordingly, we, as aforesaid have determined, for ourselves, our heirs and successors, to conclude together a lasting and inviolable peace from this time forth in perpetuity.

Taken from Britain and Saudi Arabia, 1925-1939: the Imperial Oasis, by Clive Leatherdale


Asian Champions League, last 16, first leg:

Al Ain 2 Al Duhail 4

Second leg:

Tuesday, Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha. Kick off 7.30pm

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 


Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now


Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The years Ramadan fell in May





Company Profile

Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m


BMW X7 xDrive 50i

Engine: 4.4-litre V8

Transmission: Eight-speed Steptronic transmission

Power: 462hp

Torque: 650Nm

Price: Dh600,000

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 542bhp
Torque: 770Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Price: From Dh1,450,000
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo hybrid

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 390bhp

Torque: 400Nm

Price: Dh340,000 ($92,579

Tailors and retailers miss out on back-to-school rush

Tailors and retailers across the city said it was an ominous start to what is usually a busy season for sales.
With many parents opting to continue home learning for their children, the usual rush to buy school uniforms was muted this year.
“So far we have taken about 70 to 80 orders for items like shirts and trousers,” said Vikram Attrai, manager at Stallion Bespoke Tailors in Dubai.
“Last year in the same period we had about 200 orders and lots of demand.
“We custom fit uniform pieces and use materials such as cotton, wool and cashmere.
“Depending on size, a white shirt with logo is priced at about Dh100 to Dh150 and shorts, trousers, skirts and dresses cost between Dh150 to Dh250 a piece.”

A spokesman for Threads, a uniform shop based in Times Square Centre Dubai, said customer footfall had slowed down dramatically over the past few months.

“Now parents have the option to keep children doing online learning they don’t need uniforms so it has quietened down.”

11 cabbie-recommended restaurants and dishes to try in Abu Dhabi

Iqbal Restaurant behind Wendy’s on Hamdan Street for the chicken karahi (Dh14)

Pathemari in Navy Gate for prawn biryani (from Dh12 to Dh35)

Abu Al Nasar near Abu Dhabi Mall, for biryani (from Dh12 to Dh20)

Bonna Annee at Navy Gate for Ethiopian food (the Bonna Annee special costs Dh42 and comes with a mix of six house stews – key wet, minchet abesh, kekel, meser be sega, tibs fir fir and shiro).

Al Habasha in Tanker Mai for Ethiopian food (tibs, a hearty stew with meat, is a popular dish; here it costs Dh36.75 for lamb and beef versions)

Himalayan Restaurant in Mussaffa for Nepalese (the momos and chowmein noodles are best-selling items, and go for between Dh14 and Dh20)

Makalu in Mussaffa for Nepalese (get the chicken curry or chicken fry for Dh11)

Al Shaheen Cafeteria near Guardian Towers for a quick morning bite, especially the egg sandwich in paratha (Dh3.50)

Pinky Food Restaurant in Tanker Mai for tilapia

Tasty Zone for Nepalese-style noodles (Dh15)

Ibrahimi for Pakistani food (a quarter chicken tikka with roti costs Dh16)

While you're here
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

The lowdown

Rating: 4/5

Company profile


Started:+January 2021 

Founders:+Sanad Yaghi, Ali Al Sayegh and Shadi Joulani 


Number of employees:+140 

Sector:+B2B Vertical SaaS(software as a service) 

Investment:+$5.2 million 

Funding stage:+Seed round 

Investors:+Global Founders Capital, Colle Capital Partners, Wamda Capital, Plug and Play, Comma Capital, Nowais Capital, Annex Investments and AMK Investment Office  

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed


Jemma Eley, Maria Michailidou, Molly Fuller, Chloe Andrews (of Dubai College), Eliza Petricola, Holly Guerin, Yasmin Craig, Caitlin Gowdy (Dubai English Speaking College), Claire Janssen, Cristiana Morall (Jumeirah English Speaking School), Tessa Mies (Jebel Ali School), Mila Morgan (Cranleigh Abu Dhabi).

Profile of Foodics

Founders: Ahmad AlZaini and Mosab AlOthmani

Based: Riyadh

Sector: Software

Employees: 150

Amount raised: $8m through seed and Series A - Series B raise ongoing

Funders: Raed Advanced Investment Co, Al-Riyadh Al Walid Investment Co, 500 Falcons, SWM Investment, AlShoaibah SPV, Faith Capital, Technology Investments Co, Savour Holding, Future Resources, Derayah Custody Co.

Qosty Byogaani

Starring: Hani Razmzi, Maya Nasir and Hassan Hosny

Four stars

The biog

Name: Fareed Lafta

Age: 40

From: Baghdad, Iraq

Mission: Promote world peace

Favourite poet: Al Mutanabbi

Role models: His parents 


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