ABU DHABI. 1st July 2008. A shopper looks at the customer notice board at the Abela superstore in Abu Dhabi, Tuesday 1st July.  Stephen Lock  /  The National.  *** Local Caption ***  SL-notice-002.jpg
A shopper looks at the customer notice board at a supermarket in Abu Dhabi.

Cowboy tradesmen in small ads

ABU DHABI // A random check of advertisements in Abu Dhabi and Dubai reveals that a wide range of services - from cooking for children's birthday parties to rewiring houses - are being offered by people without qualifications and no permission to work in the UAE. On Tuesday, the Federal National Council (FNC) expressed concern over the lack of regulations governing services offered by small businesses and illegal "self-employed" workers, particularly those advertising on websites and noticeboards and in print.

Every advertiser contacted by The National yesterday was breaking the law, either by working on a visit visa or working independently, and potentially was putting the customer at risk by offering services for which they were not qualified. A Pakistani man who claimed only "limited" experience in construction in his advertisement agreed, after only a two-minute telephone conversation, to rewire an apartment.

He admitted: "I haven't got a licence - I'm here on a visit visa so I can't get one from the Government." A man from Kerala, India, placed an advertisement offering his services as a commis chef with two years' experience in Indian and Chinese cuisine. When asked whether he would be prepared to cook for up to 25 children, he said: "I am looking more for restaurant work, but that could be interesting.

"It is difficult because I am only on a visit visa. But it's OK, I am working." Questioned further, he admitted he had only one year of experience in the kitchen, primarily in butchery. A North African man advertising his services as a plumber in the Dubai area said he did not have a UAE licence, but had nine years of experience in the industry. He added: "I'm looking for any work I can get. I only got here two weeks ago, so I am still on a visit visa." At the final session of the FNC before a nearly five month recess, Saqr Ghobash, the Minister of Labour, and Hamad al Madfa, an FNC member, called for the regulation of classified advertisements.

Mr Madfa highlighted the case of one woman who advertised as a caterer for birthday parties. "She is not licensed, not monitored and does the work from her house," he said. Inspections carried out by the Ministry of Labour on 122,000 properties found 13,107 people breaking the law by running businesses not registered with the ministry. Of equal concern, Mr Madfa said, were registered businesses offering services for which they were not licensed or qualified. One registered cleaning company said it could also fumigate an apartment to rid it of cockroaches. Fumigation is an extremely hazardous profession requiring years of experience.

When asked whether it had the appropriate licence to carry out fumigation, the company said it would "have to find the right paperwork". On Tuesday, Mr Madfa raised concern over a barbershop offering liposuction without a licence. DA, a former beauty consultant contacted by The National, said she used to work at a medical beauty centre that offered liposuction, nose jobs and breast implants - albeit under questionable circumstances.

"The centre was medically certified, however, the owner sometimes brought doctors and nurses from the Syrian branch on visit visas to save money," she said. "Those doctors and nurses were not licensed to practise surgery in the UAE." The centre charged between Dh14,000 (US$3,811) and Dh19,000 for rhinoplasty, and between Dh12,000 and Dh18,000 for liposuction. Breast implants cost between Dh20,000 and Dh24,000.

Another man advertising his services as an electrician in Dubai agreed to help with a plumbing problem, and confirmed he was working in the UAE with a friend while on a visit visa. @Email:rhughes@thenational.ae @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae


Name: Haltia.ai
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

A Cat, A Man, and Two Women
Translated by Paul McCarthy
Daunt Books 


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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12

Opening Rugby Championship fixtures: Games can be watched on OSN Sports
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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
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Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5


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Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
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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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Recharge as needed, says Mat Dryden: “We try to make it a rule that every two to three months, even if it’s for four days, we get away, get some time together, recharge, refresh.” The couple take an hour a day to check into their businesses and that’s it.

Stick to the schedule, says Mike Addo: “We have an entire wall known as ‘The Lab,’ covered with colour-coded Post-it notes dedicated to our joint weekly planner, content board, marketing strategy, trends, ideas and upcoming meetings.”

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Pull your weight, says Thuymi Do: “To do what we do, there definitely can be no lazy member of the team.” 


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Where: Anfield, Liverpool
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Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

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Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September


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Processor: A15 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP main (f/1.5) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4); 2x optical, 5x digital; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps; HD slo-mo @ 120/240fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4; Animoji, Memoji; Portrait Lighting

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD slo-mo @ 120fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 3279 mAh, up to 20h video, 16h streaming video, 80h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30m; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + SIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Blue, midnight, purple, starlight, Product Red

In the box: iPhone 14, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh3,399 / Dh3,799 / Dh4,649

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1. Protracted but less intense war (60% likelihood)

2. Negotiated end to the conflict (30%)

3. Russia seizes more territory (20%)

4. Ukraine pushes Russia back (10%)

Forecast by Economist Intelligence Unit


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Company name: CarbonSifr
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  • Convenient and can be integrated directly into the checkout process, useful for online shopping
  • Helps facilitate cash flow planning when used wisely


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  • Failure to make payments can impact credit score negatively
  • Refunds can be complicated and delayed

Courtesy: Carol Glynn

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