Readers discuss the effect on quality of life of commuting to and from work. Victor Besa for The National
Readers discuss the effect on quality of life of commuting to and from work. Victor Besa for The National

Concentrate on the enjoyable parts of life

To those who agree with your news story (UAE residents say commute, long hours and sedentary working environment get them down, September 12), I suggest looking on the bright side.

We all have work, we are able to feed and take care of our extended families, there is security of life and we have freedom of religion.

We should focus on this side of the equation.

The people who have real problems are those who are forced to flee their countries of origin and end up in an alien country as refugees.

Arif Khan, Dubai

People in Dubai who asked for options to improve their commute should remember that the Government created the Metro, which has been a great success.

Life is not meant to be easy-going. You need to struggle – that’s life and that’s the challenge.

Many of us who are working are mature enough and know how to balance the constraints on our time.

If you or your company do not know how to manage your time and your people, then I’m sorry but I would suggest you are in the wrong place.

Mathew Litty, Dubai

I am working here and enjoying it. It’s far better to work in the UAE than in most European countries, where I was often mocked for being a Muslim.

My workplace is 14 kilometres away and it takes me 15 minutes by car to reach it – very different from the morning rush hour in Bucharest.

I don’t do overtime because family life is more important for me. Seven hours at work with two free days each week are features that make a workplace enjoyable.

Mariyah Fatimah, Dubai

Judge singer on her talent alone

Some of those who read your story about Ivy Grace Paredes (Filipino mum from Dubai wows on The X Factor UK, September 13) are having trouble moving on from the headline.

“Filipino mum from Dubai” simply and clearly means just that: she’s Filipino and is based in Dubai.

No one is disputing that she is still Filipino and she is working here, like most of us. Why not just give her credit for having a fantastic talent?

Mj Uy Lami-in, Abu Dhabi

‘Sick’ buildings is a real issue

With regard to your news story, (Sick buildings are leading to sick UAE office workers, doctors say, September 13), it's not only office and public buildings that cause illness.

I have suffered allergies and asthma for many years. This year, the home-repair company I use introduced special equipment and procedures to clean and sterilise the air conditioning ducts and coils, which is good for two years.

I had the house done and was astonished by what a difference it made – I no longer wake up in the night coughing or sneezing, and my sinuses are clear in the morning when I wake up.

It’s expensive, but I believe it’s well worth it for the health advantages.

Name withheld by request

This is well said. Lots of places are so cold that people are getting ill. The air conditioning does not have to be ice-cold.

Everywhere you go indoors it is freezing. This cannot be good for anyone’s health.

Jasvanti Bhogaita, Dubai

The temperature doesn’t do it – the problem is that those who do the maintenance don’t understand that air conditioning filters must be cleaned monthly.

Beverly Newell, Abu Dhabi

Dashcams and road safety

I love the idea posed by your editorial, Can dashcams make our roads safer? (September 13).

I would happily volunteer for this programme. The upside is we would have very few cars on the road because if the police saw what I encounter every day on the roads, they would be suspending many licences.

Tanya Milbourne, Dubai

They have dashcams in Egypt but it has done nothing for safety. To force change, it takes fear of fines and the visible presence of traffic police.

Name withheld by request

Clarity on charity is still required

I'd like to thank The National for its informative and supportive editorial (Balancing charity laws prudently, September 12).

I am sure everyone who genuinely raises money for good causes would appreciate your newspaper keeping us posted on how to continue our efforts.

Lorraine Ludman, Dubai

Friday's schedule at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

GP3 qualifying, 10:15am

Formula 2, practice 11:30am

Formula 1, first practice, 1pm

GP3 qualifying session, 3.10pm

Formula 1 second practice, 5pm

Formula 2 qualifying, 7pm

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying or online bullying could take many forms such as sending unkind or rude messages to someone, socially isolating people from groups, sharing embarrassing pictures of them, or spreading rumors about them.

Cyberbullying can take place on various platforms such as messages, on social media, on group chats, or games.

Parents should watch out for behavioural changes in their children.

When children are being bullied they they may be feel embarrassed and isolated, so parents should watch out for signs of signs of depression and anxiety


Born in Dibba, Sharjah in 1972.
He is the eldest among 11 brothers and sisters.
He was educated in Sharjah schools and is a graduate of UAE University in Al Ain.
He has written poetry for 30 years and has had work published in local newspapers.
He likes all kinds of adventure movies that relate to his work.
His dream is a safe and preserved environment for all humankind. 
His favourite book is The Quran, and 'Maze of Innovation and Creativity', written by his brother.


Company name: Blah

Started: 2018

Founder: Aliyah Al Abbar and Hend Al Marri

Based: Dubai

Industry: Technology and talent management

Initial investment: Dh20,000

Investors: Self-funded

Total customers: 40

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

If you go

The flights
There are various ways of getting to the southern Serengeti in Tanzania from the UAE. The exact route and airstrip depends on your overall trip itinerary and which camp you’re staying at. 
Flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Dh1,350 return, including taxes; this can be followed by a short flight from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti with Coastal Aviation from about US$700 (Dh2,500) return, including taxes. Kenya Airways, Emirates and Etihad offer flights via Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.   

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Tottenham Hotspur 1
Kane (50')

Newcastle United 0

'Of Love & War'
Lynsey Addario, Penguin Press

Milestones on the road to union


October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.


March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Avengers: Endgame

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin

4/5 stars 


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Primera Liga fixtures (all times UAE: +4 GMT)

Real Sociedad v Villarreal (10.15pm)
Real Betis v Celta Vigo (midnight)
Alaves v Barcelona (8.15pm)
Levante v Deportivo La Coruna (10.15pm)
Girona v Malaga (10.15pm)
Las Palmas v Atletico Madrid (12.15am)
Espanyol v Leganes (8.15pm)
Eibar v Athletic Bilbao (8.15pm)
Getafe v Sevilla (10.15pm)
Real Madrid v Valencia (10.15pm)

How Beautiful this world is!
Grand slam winners since July 2003

Who has won major titles since Wimbledon 2003 when Roger Federer won his first grand slam

Roger Federer 19 (8 Wimbledon, 5 Australian Open, 5 US Open, 1 French Open)

Rafael Nadal 16 (10 French Open, 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon, 1 Australian Open)

Novak Djokovic 12 (6 Australian Open, 3 Wimbledon, 2 US Open, 1 French Open)

Andy Murray 3 (2 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Stan Wawrinka 3 (1 Australian Open, 1 French Open, 1 US Open)

Andy Roddick 1 (1 US Open)

Gaston Gaudio 1 (1 French Open)

Marat Safin 1 (1 Australian Open)

Juan Martin del Potro 1 (1 US Open)

Marin Cilic 1 (1 US Open)


Valencia 3

Kevin Gameiro 21', 51'

Ferran Torres 67'

Atlanta 4

Josip Llicic 3' (P), 43' (P), 71', 82'

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8

Power: 611bhp

Torque: 620Nm

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: upon application

On sale: now


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5


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


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The specs: 2019 Audi A8

Price From Dh390,000

Engine 3.0L V6 turbo

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 345hp @ 5,000rpm

Torque 500Nm @ 1,370rpm

Fuel economy, combined 7.5L / 100km


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

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