The current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri. AFP
The current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri. AFP

Al Qaeda’s vile ideology has nothing to do with Islam

I write to you in reference to your article Al Qaeda claims Pakistan detained wife of chief Zawahiri (August 23).

Al Qaeda has perpetrated unnameable horrors in the name of the Prophet, but Islam has got nothing to do with this extremist group.

Islam is a religion of peace.

Muaz Muhammad, Cairo

When will the bloodshed in Idlib finally come to a stop?

I write to you in reference to you article Air strikes kill 12 civilians in north-western Syria (August 27).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that 12 civilians were killed by Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes in Syria. What a tragedy.

Such brutality must never target innocent civilians who have done nothing wrong and are simply trying to live their lives.

Yet, the Syrian regime and its Russian ally continue to kill Syrians unchallenged. These actions are highly condemnable.

When will the International community address this issue and end the bloodshed once and for all?

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Congratulations to women contesting the FNC elections

This refers to the report More than 180 women set to contest Federal National Council elections (August 27).

This milestone was reached thanks to the UAE President’s call for more female representation in the Federal National Council (FNC).

Better representation will help reduce inequality between men and women and sends a strong message to the whole nation.

President Khalifa’s call to increase the number of women at the FNC from 20 per cent to 50 per cent is a big leap that will encourage women to take up high ranked positions.

A modern society cannot overlook women’s vital contributions.

Private companies as well as public institutions should also implement gender qotas to achieve gender balance in top-level leadership roles.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat

Space race cannot come at expense of ordinary Indians

I write to you in reference to Rebecca Bundhun's article A moon mission and a space station: what is behind India's new space race? (August 25).

Many Indians still live in poverty. We should focus our efforts on making their lives better.

Name withheld by request

Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 3/5


By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

Company profile

Name: Fruitful Day

Founders: Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Dalal AlRawi, Lindsey Fournie

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2015

Number of employees: 30

Sector: F&B

Funding so far: Dh3 million

Future funding plans: None at present

Future markets: Saudi Arabia, potentially Kuwait and other GCC countries


Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor

Rating: Two out of five stars 


Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Sebastian Stan

Rating: 3/5 

UAE release: January 31 


Name: Carzaty, now Kavak
Based: Dubai
Launch year: Carzaty launched in 2018, Kavak in the GCC launched in 2022
Number of employees: 140
Sector: Automotive
Funding: Carzaty raised $6m in equity and $4m in debt; Kavak plans $130m investment in the GCC

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

The Saga Continues

Wu-Tang Clan

(36 Chambers / Entertainment One)

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.”


Born in RAK on December 9, 1983
Lives in Abu Dhabi with her family
She graduated from Emirates University in 2007 with a BA in architectural engineering
Her motto in life is her grandmother’s saying “That who created you will not have you get lost”
Her ambition is to spread UAE’s culture of love and acceptance through serving coffee, the country’s traditional coffee in particular.


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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

Rating: 4.5/5

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)

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