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Issue 14 - 7 June 2012

Olives Author Alexander McNabb

The Dilemma of


Ali Al NuaImi’s Emirates Inspired Photography








FEATURE As divorce rates soar globally, we look at the impact this is having in the UAEvv


STUFF for men Fountain of memories


Lifestyle As cases of diabetes continue to grow we have the first in an in-depth two part look at the disease


URBAN WOMAN Dream Apps that we’d love to see!


AL MAJLIS Talented Emirati photographer Ali Al Nuaimi chats about his art and his passion for photography


EDUCATION A melting pot of education: United School offer English, Arabic, French and Turkish










BE INSPIRED We grab a coffee with Alexander McNabb, PR guru and popular UAE-based novelist


MY WORLD Kicking back in tropical Zanzibar


MY EMIRATE Visit Al Ain’s Souk Al Zaafarana for a different type of shopping


BUSINESS The customer is always right; the importance of customer service in business

Issue 14


Letter from the Editor This week we’ve gotten a little bit serious, delving firstly into the depths of divorce. We talk to an expert in women’s issues and speak to some local ladies to get their views on the global divorce epidemic. Secondly, as the second Imperial College of London Diabetes Center opens in Al Ain, we have the first in a two-part special looking at the disease and how sufferers can keep it under control. In Be Inspired, we chat to Alexander McNabb, the author of the violent romance novel ‘Olives’. Set in Jordan, his book aims to give a voice to the Palestinian people, who are all too often obscured behind news headlines. It’s not all serious stuff though! Emirati student, Ali Al Nuaimi, chats about his love and passion for photography and shows us some of his award winning work. In Stuff for Men, Alex is back with a satirical story of how borrowing a friend’s pen set him off on a walk down memory lane. In Urban Woman we daydream over some female friendly apps that we’d love to see hit the market. Finally, in My World, we transport you to the tropical archipelago of Zanzibar, where the azure blue sea and powder-white sand provide a perfect spot to kick back and relax.


kir S y e ayl

Happy reading!



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Managing Director Mona Hennawi | Editor In Chief Mahra Saeed Al Muhairi Associate Editor Khudayja Saloojee | Junior Writer Mehak Alam | Senior Graphic Designer Ghulmiyyah Ghulmiyyah Senior Arabic Editor Sami Rashid | Senior Translator Narmeen Al Assad | Translator/Associate Arabic Editor Hanadi Jamil Finance & Administration Manager Haneen Farid | Sales & Advertising Joe Mathew | Distribution Manager Jeff Grigsby Contributing Writers | Sara Essop, Alex Hennawi, Rawad Nasir To Contact Us +971 3 7668111



No part of this publication or content, thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of The Source Magazine, published by Smart Design Publishing, in writing. The Source Magazine and Smart Design Publishing accept no responsibility, however caused, for errors or omissions contained in this publication. Any articles and/or images included in this publication and/or views and opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of The Source Magazine and Smart Design Publishing, and any of its affiliates, but remain solely those of the author(s). Such publications have been included for general reference and the purpose of fair review. Copyright © 2011 by The Source and Smart Design Publishing, and its affiliates. All rights reserved.


NEWS Photography Mohsin Salim

Pool Party


Al Ain resident’s flocked to the Rotana Hotel on Thursday to attend the city’s first ever Immaculate Touch Pool Party.

Zakher School Show a Success The British Division of Zakher Private School held their Annual Day and Grade 6 Graduation last week at the Al Ain Municipality Auditorium. The event was attended by ADEC’s Ms. Jane Truscott, Division Manager for School Improvement Private School and Quality Assessment. Mr. Jeff Evans, Zakher Program Manager and Mr. Leo Murphy, Chief Academic Officer of Al Ain Junior’s Group were also in attendance. Mr. Arshad Sharief, Chairman of Al Ain Junior Groups and Zakher’s Managing Director Mrs. Tanvir Arshad joined the children’s’ parents to make up the excited audience. With the theme Fete de la Lumiere, or Festival of Lights, the event was divided into three sections with outstanding performances from the students.

The show opened with the Kindergarten students honoring their mums with an “I love you Mama” song. Audiences were captivated by the children’s performance, heartily applauding the little tots at the end of each number. The parents were keen to thank the teachers for their dedication and hard work in creating such a memorable experience. The theme of ‘light’ was embodied by the entertaining performances ‘I’m Glowing Inside’ and ‘Lighting our Way’. Yousef Zahid from Grade 1B gave an extraordinary performance in the master class stage play entitled “The Feast of a Thousand Lanterns.”

The 54 km stretch of road, which runs from Al Hili Roundabout to Al Faqaa, was declared open last week and will be formally inaugurated by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi emirate. Abdullah Hamdan Al Ameri, Executive Director for Roads and Infrastructure at Al

Entertainment was in no short supply with fire spinners, live saxophone, fire eaters, dancers perched precariously on stilts and the fantastic I.T Bot, who normally performs her robotic moves and smoke spewing routine at the stunning Emirates Palace, on hand to keep customers amused. We were delighted to see our competition winner enjoying his free passes for the event and were as pleased as everyone else to get our hands on the complimentary Wadi Adventure passes on offer.

Ms. Truscott praised the performance and was pleased to have been invited to “celebrate their success.”

Upgraded Al Ain-Dubai Road Motorists can now enjoy the drive to Dubai on the newly upgraded Al Ain-Dubai fourlane dual carriage expressway.

With the UAE’s top female DJ, Natalie Brogan, spinning some awesome beats, the crowd gathered around the pool, enjoying the music and winding down for the weekend.

Ain Municipality, commended the upgrade reiterating the necessity behind the AED1.1 billion development. Space has been left on both sides of the expressway for the construction of a fifth lane depending on future requirements. A new environmentally friendly lighting system has also been installed on the road, which has a maximum speed limit of 140km/ph. Radars have been set to catch those driving at speeds of 160km/ph and above.

Jebel Hafeet Unsafe Questions were raised in Gulf News this week about a lack of safety on Jebel Hafeet. A community reader from Dubai recently visited the site and felt urged to report it unsafe after noticing the dire state of fencing at the top of the mountain. The iron fencing securing the surrounding area is broken in many places, posing a huge risk for children who could easily slip through the gaps. One suggestion for improvement has been for authorities to make weekly visits to Jebel Hafeet in order to carry out repairs as the need arises. Jebel Hafeet is the UAE’s best known mountain and is a popular spot for weekend getaways for residents across the country. Upgraded facilities at the site are essential to keep visitors free from harm and continue to attract tourists to the region.



Mid-day Breaks Start in June The Ministry of Labor will bring into effect new mid-day break rules for laborers in the UAE from June 15. As per the rule, laborers should break from 12:30 until 3pm from June 15 until 15 September. Companies that violate the rule will face bans or fines of up to AED 15000. In the event of violation, inspectors will submit a report to the ministry, detailing the violation and the number of workers who were asked to work through the break, in order to re-classify the establishment. Mr. Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labor, issued a verdict on this issue last week, where he firmly fixed the working hours for the laborers during the upcoming summer season. The Ministry has also extended the mid-day break rule for a period of three months, as opposed to the normal two. Companies and employers are responsible for providing their workers with sheltered spots for resting during their break-time. Cold drinking water and cooling facilities should also be part of the worksite. In addition to this, the company must adhere to all health and safety rules and regulations. However, the decree excluded works which, for technical reasons, cannot be halted mid-day. The list of such works will be provided by the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor, Mubarak Al Dhaheri, who is very confident and positive at the implementation of the new rule. He believes it will stop workers falling ill from heat-related diseases, improve their wellbeing and, as a result, aid companies financially in the long run.


Cafes and restaurants in malls will face a temporary ban and be hit with a fine if they violate new anti-smoking policies, implemented by the Abu Dhabi Municipality. Premises will initially receive a written warning, followed by a AED 2000 fine for a second offence, AED 4000 for a third and AED 8000 for a fourth violation. “After that, the coffee shops will be closed down for one month, six months or a year,” said Khalifa Al Romaithi, head of Public Health at Abu Dhabi Municipality.

This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared in The National newspaper on 31 May, 2012. For the full version, please go to

Launch Online Scholarships Emirati students in public schools in the Abu Dhabi emirate can now apply online for scholarships following the launch of a state-of-the-art online scholarship management system by ADEC.

The Self-Service has many features which allow students to submit, withdraw, manage and follow-up application requests, including entering online work experience details, uploading documents,

The move also seeks to inform people about the health risk associated with smoking and to improve the country’s overall health.


Students will no longer be required to physically visit ADEC offices for submissions. Every student will have their own self-service page which they can access from anywhere in the world solving time zone differences and assuring a better and faster service.


The policy was implemented to commemorated World Tobacco Day last week and will be rolled out across the Abu Dhabi emirate from this week. The move is part of a plan to spread awareness about the consequences of smoking cigarettes.

entering competencies and score details. Mr. Salem Al Sayari, Executive Director of Support Services Sector at ADEC said the new online management system will reduce the response time by a minimum of 40 per cent. “On the other hand, 90 per cent of paper work will be digitized, thereby supporting Abu Dhabi Government’s green initiatives.” Mona Majed Al Mansoori, Adec’s Division Manager for Guidance and Scholarship announced that scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic year can be submitted between 3-21 June. These scholarships are available for high achieving Emirati students with Grade 12 or equivalent graduation certificates.


Hat Trick Honor for Shehab Mohamed Shehab and Abdul Rahman Saif pose with their trophies after the final on Saturday night

Japan Claim Futsal Title The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Futsal Championship UAE 2012 saw the Japanese squad taking home the coveted title for the second time after thrashing Thailand by 6-1 at the Al Wasl Indoor Stadium, last week. Japan opened the scoring during the firsthalf of the match with Kenichiro Kogure giving the squad a fourth minute lead. The Thai team fought back in the eleventh minute with Kritsada Wongkaeo coolly clipping the ball past Japan’s keeper to bring the scores level. Surapong Tompa, Thailand’s goalkeeper opened the second half match with a judgment of error, allowing Koraro Inababa to extend Japan’s lead. Further goals by the Japanese team saw them finish on top with an impressive 6-1 score line.

Last week’s final of the Rosy Blue UAE Snooker Ranking Circuit saw Mohammad Shehab bagging three national titles and defeating Abdul Rahman Saif by 4-2 at the final encounter. Shehab’s performance secured his emphatic hat trick by adding the final title to his previous victories, secured in February and March this year. In doing so, he dashed the dreams of young Saif who was hoping to extract revenge for his 4-0 loss in the title showdown of the season opener. However, Saturday night’s game was no joyride for the top-ranked cueist in the UAE. Both players received penalty points with cue balls rolling into pockets resulting in foul calls. The positioning of the balls

involved onerous efforts from both finalists to secure even a single shot. Saif got off to a good start, snatching the first frame of the match. Shehab came back fighting and yet, the last few moments of the match added some excitement as the fifth frame was also taken by Saif. However, luck was then to shine on Shehab, who clawed his way back before powering ahead to secure the match. At the end of the tournament, Shehab is ranked number 1 in the UAE with 126 points, Abdul Rahman Saif has 68 points and is ranked 54th alongside Mohammed Al Joaker. The fourth ranking tournament of the season will commence on 16 June.

AFC’s Acting President, Zhang Jilong congratulated Japan on their impressive performance before continuing to congratulate each of the teams who have now qualified for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, “I would also like to congratulate all the five teams – Thailand, Japan, Iran, Australia and Kuwait – who have qualified for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand. I hope they make Asia proud at the world level.” He also thanked the UAE Football Association for hosting the competition saying, “It was one of the best organized futsal competitions I have ever seen in Asia. All the credit goes to the Local Organizing Committee for the efforts in making this a success.”

UAE THRASH KUWAIT TO WIN CUP The UAE defeated Kuwait 3-1 in the final match of the GCC Ice Hockey Cup in Abu Dhabi last week, bagging the title for the second time in history. “It was a sweet victory because it was achieved against a good team,” said Juma Al Dhaheri, who was named Man of the Match and scored two goals, the last one just two minutes before to the final whistle. He continues, “We are the Asian Champions so winning the GCC title might be expected, but anything could have happened in the match because Kuwait has improved greatly in the past two

months. I am happy to say that they will have a glorious future in the region and the continent.”

Man of the Match, Juma Al Dhaheri, lifts the trophy high

Kuwait’s goalkeeper, Jasem Al Sarraf, put up a good performance, defying many strong shots from the Emirati team and saving his team from an embarrassing finishing score line and the chance to graciously accept the silver medal. The UAE’s neighbors, Oman, scooped the bronze, to claim their first ever achievement in the tournament, by defeating Bahrain 5-1.



The Dilemma of Divorce

“A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you” Margaret Atwood

By Hayley Skirka

Granted, divorce is now part and parcel of our society. Ask anyone, and they are bound to know someone who has been divorced, who is in the process of it or perhaps, is themselves a divorcee. You hear it all the time, there’s an epidemic of divorce and, in the States, one in every two marriages is failing daily. Surprisingly though, these figures are also starting to ring true in the UAE.

responsibility, children and family.” Certainly, there is evidence of this with the recent introduction of marriage counselors at wedding exhibitions up and down the country.

divorces per day, 120 per month and well over a thousand per year. In such a small society, where there is supposed to be social unification, these figures paint a depressing picture.

Another factor affecting divorce rates is that women are now more educated than before and thus, are refusing to settle for what they may have put up with previously. Noora Al Muhairi [name changed by request], at 20 years of age, was busy with her studies but still wanted a husband and a wedding. When she was approached with a marriage offer she accepted it and began to plan her lavish ceremony. A few weeks later, when the exquisite dress had been packed away, the guests long returned home and the party was over, reality hit. “We didn’t know each other and we were so different. I wanted to continue my studies and he was uneducated and resented me. He wasn’t the right person for me.” She filed for divorce just one month later.

Fatma Sayegh, a professor at UAEU, who specializes in women’s studies, explains that many factors have contributed to this high rate of divorce. Although she does not blame the problem on people marrying too young, she does cite immaturity amongst couples as one of the factors pushing up divorce rates. “Many young people go into a marriage without knowing what to expect. Now the ‘Marriage Fund’ is taking on this responsibility, trying to educate young people who are getting married, telling them that it’s not all ceremonies, parties and gifts but that it is about

The social system in the Emirates promotes strong moral and religious values, but also enforces segregation of the sexes. Men and women do not mix. This, according to Professor Sayegh, creates problems. “A woman isn’t able to get to know a man before she marries him, they live in separate worlds and are educated separately. There’s also too much openness in society for males and not enough for females, which creates a rift between the two and fuels the impractical stereotype that males are some kind of monster.” The introduction of co-education could help

“Many young people Statistics released by the United Nations show that divorce rates in this country currently go into a marriage stand at 46 per cent, only 4 per cent less without than our American counterparts. This is also the second highest in the Arab world, topped only by Egypt; a country with a population ten knowing what to times the size of the Emirates. It is thought that there is a case of divorce every six hours expect.” in the UAE, which means there are four


FEATURE banish some of these perceptions, and help the sexes familiarize themselves with one another thus making marriage, where a man and woman will live together, less of a shock for the couples involved. Marriage in the Emirates is not like a marriage in the West. There, it is a union between two people and the agreement of the families comes later, if at all. The strong religious values in Muslim society, dictates that marriage is actually a union of two families, rather than two people, and this can often cause problems. The married couple may be perfectly content but their family, or that of their spouse’s, could create a division. As society has become more materialistic, demands are growing. Fathers, in particular, are becoming more demanding, expecting high dowries, lavish ceremonies and diamonds galore for their daughters. This sees young Emirati couples starting married life drowning in debt, and this merely adds pressure to the relationship. Western influences have also impacted on Emirati marriages. Men go out, sit in café’s and go to the mall and there, they meet Western women, who also have the freedom to enjoy these places. The men often misuse their freedom and attempt to have an affair with one of these women. When their wife finds out, she files for divorce. The whole process of filing for divorce is also being revamped. Previously, it was very simple for a couple to apply for, and be granted dissolution. Now, the courts insist that couples see a marriage counselor before accepting a divorce request, and that they attempt to work through any problems they are facing. However, the effects of this are limited as, in Islam, all a man has to do is say ‘I divorce you’ three times before a divorce is deemed final. According to Professor Fatma Sayegh, the tightening of divorce procedures is only one step forward in resolving the problem. She

believes that society has to come together, combining family, education, media and religion, to create a campaign to raise awareness of the sanctity of marriage. The mosque can play a huge role as “Emirati’s are religious people, when someone like Preacher Sheikh Ahmed Al Kubaisi, speaks people listen. So, they can use this popularity to educate people and send a message that married life is something sacred.” Getting divorced is only the beginning of the problem. There is a huge stigma attached to divorcees, and it is women who take the flack. Although no-one says it directly, rumors are often rife with speculation of why the marriage ended and what she did wrong. Remarrying is rare, as with so many other women waiting to get married, why would a young man take a divorcee? 25 yearold Emirati, Aliya Ahmed Al Shamsi, knows all about divorce. “I got married at 22, now I have twin daughters to take care of as a single mother. I cannot remarry as no-one will accept me with my girls and, in a year or two, I’ll be in an age group which, in the UAE, is considered non-marriage group.” Aliya was divorced as she wanted to continue her studies, in order to work as a teacher while her husband wanted a wife who would be happy to remain at home. There is a huge problem in society here “if girls don’t get married by 23, they are considered to have ill-fate, girls who go out more are considered bad and women who get divorced will only get men double her age asking for her hand.” Aliya supports Fatma Seyegh’s views that a lack of socialization and inequality of the sexes contributes to the high divorce rates. Divorce is a huge global problem but the Emirates have their own unique issues. With such a small local population, the country’s national identity is hugely threatened by high divorce rates. As Margaret Atwood said, you can survive divorce, but there will be less of you. And less Emiratis is something that the country is aiming desperately to avoid.


STUFF for men

Fountain of Memories By Alex Hennawi

He slid the document across his desk. “Sign here and initial there please.” I reached into my pocket and fumbled about. Nothing. Other pocket, same result. Sultan smiles, “Here use mine” he says as his hand slips into the crisp white of his kandoura pocket and passes it over. A Dunhill. I admire the weight and the ebony-silver contrast and I tell him so. As I gently remove the top, he can’t help but notice the unconscious change in my facial expression. Back in my hand, after all these years of deliberate avoidance the dreaded fountain pen! Every time I see one I am reminded of two things. Mostly, that it has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember. And secondly, that is was the catalyst that fostered my affinity for writing instruments; it was the reason I grew to love pens. The fountain pen carries a distinguished sophistication that reminds one of a time long ago. I used to watch in envy as my father scratched away with his. I recollect the first time he let me try it and I vividly recall the dismay that followed. You see, I am

a leftie. Fountains pens weren’t made for us so all I got was a palm covered in fresh blue ink and a smeared page. Reluctantly, I reverted back to my cartoon character pencils, every once in a while eyeing that heartbreaker, either to admire or to curse. Fast forward twenty years and I still have a lot of quirks when it comes to men’s accessories. I appreciate the cutting edge and the high tech but, as you mature you start to conform. As you conform, you appreciate the accouterments that have the ability to distinguish one dude from the next; the colorful tie, the unique watch, the designer eyeglasses. However, all of these are obvious, blatant in fact. None is more subtle in refinement, elegance and sophistication than a well crafted writing instrument. And, while I accept that I will never reconcile with the fountain pen, I’m happy to accept the love of my trusty and humble Meisterstuck ballpoint. No hard feelings Fountie, I’ve moved on and so have you. By the way, the kandoura suits you.



The “D” Factor

Dealing with Diabetes By Mehak Alam

Last week saw the opening of a new hospital in Al Ain for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. Officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region, in the presence of Dr. Maha Tayser Barakat, Suhail Al Ansari and other officials, the second Imperial College of London Diabetes Center (ICLDC), a state-of-the-art facility, will ensure patients in Al Ain and the surrounding region have access to world-class treatments. Dr. Maha Tayser Barakat, ICLDC’s Medical and Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist, was very confident in the center’s ability to help patients in Al Ain. Efficient on-site laboratory tests and a state of the art paperless IT system will provide immediate results and recommendations for outpatients. Mr. Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Chief Operating Officer of Mubadala Development Company, spoke about the tremendous positive effect the clinic would have on the community. With the formation of this Al Ain facility, the ICLDC will serve around 650 patients per day.

Photography by Mohsin Salim

Types and Treatments Depending upon the quantity and production of insulin by the body, diabetes can be classified as Type-1, Type-2 or Gestational Diabetes. Diabetes Types 1 and 2 are chronic medical conditions – where relatively no insulin is produced by the body. Gestational Diabetes, on the other hand, has to do with pregnancy and is dealt with accordingly. All types of diabetes are treatable, however Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes last a lifetime as there is no known cure. Patients receive regular insulin injections or tablets and have to stick to strictly controlled diets while including measured exercise in their daily routine. In cases where diabetes is not controlled or patients are not taken proper care off, high risks of cardiovascular disease, retinal damage, chronic kidney failure, nerve damage, poor healing of wounds and erectile dysfunction prevail. What can you do?

Classed as a metabolism disorder, diabetes has emerged as one of the deadliest diseases in the last decade. Shockingly, by 2030, almost 19.2 per cent of the UAE’s population is expected to be classed as diabetic if immediate, necessary measures are not put in place to tackle the issue. So, what exactly is diabetes? Well, for most of us diabetes is something that relates to cutting out sugary food from our diets. This is unfortunately, only one side of the picture. In order to control diabetes, it’s important to understand what causes diabetes in the first place. To begin with, metabolism has something to do with the usage of digested food in our bodies. The food we normally eat is broken down into glucose; a form of sugar in the blood, which is then used as a principal source of energy in the body. Glucose makes its way into our body cells with the help of insulin which is produced automatically by the pancreas whenever we eat something. Adequate quantities of insulin make it easier for glucose to enter the body’s cells, assisting them to function properly. When the body is unable to produce the required quantities of insulin, it cannot produce insulin at all or, in some rare cases, has cells which do not respond to insulin production then blood sugar levels become high and are expelled out of the body. This is how you become diabetic.


A good diet, filled with plenty of energy supplying food and very little sugary items is an important way in which patients can help themselves remain fit and healthy. On top of this, if diagnosed with diabetes, make a strong commitment to yourself that you will get glycosylated hemoglobin tests every 4-5 months. You can maintain a record of your results which you should be sure to take to your doctor each time you visit. This small test gives a clearer, overall idea of your diabetic level and how to control it by indicating how much glucose is attached to the red blood cells. Insulin can then be prescribed accordingly. Regular blood sugar tests will also help you control your diabetes. Simple foods that can help you control your blood-sugar levels and that are easily accessible include brown rice, green vegetables, whole-wheat pasta and other wheat based cereals, oats, turmeric powder and skimmed milk. A visit to a nutritionist is a good idea to establish how much sugar you can consume once you have your diabetes under control. To know more about the services provided at Al Ain’s Imperial College London Diabetes Center you can call 03 746 4800. See next week’s issue for more information on food that can help control sugar levels.



D ’ WE


By Hayley Skirka

These days, everyone seems to be going on about apps. There’s an app for this, another for that and people are downloading them all over the place. In my opinion, the problem with majority of these apps is that they are, all too often, aimed at guys, meaning they’re not very useful to me. Think about ‘LiveScore’, an app that tells you the current score in sporting events all over the world. Or ‘StanleyLevel’, an app that allows you to turn your phone into a portable level gauge to assist with weekend DIY projects. Not much use for those in my life. Then there’s the gaming apps like ‘Clear Vision’, where you complete virtual training, accept missions and try to complete successful assassinations. Hmmm, I hear you yawning, and I don’t blame you! So, how about someone, somewhere coming up with some apps that we, as women, could actually use. Here’s a few that I, for one, would love to see in the Apple store.

Manslator app

Route Calculator App

This app cleverly ignores kms and distance and simply tells us the shortest number of steps required to get somewhere, a god-send for when you’re wearing your oh-so-gorgeous, but painfully crippling, brand new Jimmy Choo’s.

Text Message Double Checker App

After a night out with the girls, you’ve ‘wisely’ constructed a detailed text message to send to your man. An app that, just as you’re about to send asks, “Really? Are you absolutely sure you want to send this to that low-life guy you’ve spent the last month whining about?” would be great. If it had an extra, built-in foolproof function that also ignored your ‘yes’ response and followed up with an “Are you really 100% sure?” then even better. It may not work every time, but it would definitely help reduce the cringe factor the following day.

Cost per wear calculatoR

This clever app would work out a cost-per-wear ratio for all of our purchases, justifying absolutely anything when your husband asks how much it cost. “Yes dear, the dress was expensive, but really it works out at only AED19 a wear.” (no need to tell him that this figure is only viable if you wear it solidly, every day for the next three years!)

Wondering what he’s thinking? Men can be a complicated bunch. Turn on the ‘Manslator’ app and it will decipher exactly what those grunts and sighs, also known as the male form of communication, actually mean. Maybe, one day, it will also be able to explain why guys need to try to ‘fix everything’, their ability to sleep through the screams of a crying baby and their inability to understand that ‘fine’ never means that everything is okay!

Fitness App

Sure these exist but who wants to know about kilojoules and fat burning capacity when we’re sweating it out on a treadmill. This app would give us our exercising relative to lattes and muffins, even flashing up inspirational pictures of slices of New York Cheesecake to inspire us to keep going for another fifteen minutes!

Parking Tracker

I love shopping. I particularly love shopping in Dubai and even more so at Dubai Mall. What’s not to love? Every shop you can think of under one roof! Well, there is one thing actually, the parking! Every time I go, I have to spend at least 30 minutes traipsing around looking for my beloved Eddie (that’s my car for those of you that don’t know). A parking tracker would record my steps from the moment I parked, until I’m ready to head back to my car and would miraculously guide me all the way back to the trunk of my car, where I could load up my shopping bags and drive off hassle free.

Battery Booster

Quite simply, this would make my iPhone last forever, full stop. No plugs, wires, charging or electricity required. Genius!

Let’s hope those Apple boffins get their hand on this week’s magazine and, pretty soon, we could be wandering around with a lot less things on our mind! Until then, I guess we just have to rely on good old fashioned multi-tasking!


Let Your Work Speak for You By Rawad Nasir Ali Mohammed Abdulla Fadel Al Nuaimi, 21, was born in the city of Al Ain. He is a university student specializing in electrical engineering. He has loved photography since he was a child and used to spend a lot of time watching nature’s pictures being created around him. He believes that a picture truly can paint a thousand words.

Some of Ali’s work

Ali Al Nuaimi got his first camera when he was still young. It was a simple Sony digital affair and it was on this camera that he taught himself the basics of photography. He went on to purchase a Canon D 400 which allowed him to advance his skills and he now uses a D5 Mark 2, a strictly professional camera. He has dedicated time and effort to his photography, reading books, attending workshops and researching concepts and techniques.


Initially Ali, was influenced by nature and the surrounding landscape of the Emirates. As he learned more about photography he came to appreciate the work of others and now has a great admiration for national photographer Abdul Aziz bin Ali. His own photography holds a special place in his art and his personal favorite photograph is one which he took of a miserable dolphin, stranded on the Western Coast of the country, which highlights the environmental dangers caused by pollution and littering. Al Nuaimi is an ambitious young man. He hopes to polish his photography skills to perfection in order to create his own unique style and make his mark on the world of photography. Ideally, he wishes to establish an organization for professional photographers and would love to be involved in the creation of a gallery in Al Ain. This gallery would house the work of all artists in the community;

photographers, painters and sculptors, as there is a wealth of talent here. The famous photographer Matt Hardy once said that ‘Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.’ This is something Ali Al Nuaimi reinforces, describing for us the differences between artistic photography and information shots.“Photography, in general, is both art and science; there is a big difference between the artistic photo and the documentary one used by the media. The talent of the photographer is evident in how they convey the photo to the receiver and how they influence them. The internet is a key tool for photographers, it plays a major role in spreading and developing the skill, and amateurs can get a wealth of information through it, such as being able to watch lessons or workshops and also use it as platform to display their own work.”

Al Nuaimi has participated in many exhibitions and contests, and has also ran many workshops in order to spread the knowledge and experience he has acquired. He endeavors to guide others on how to use their camera’s properly and gives them assistance in subject matter. When the workshops are over he makes sure to keep in touch with his patrons as the photography world is an intimate spectrum. Ali took part in International Youth Day and gained first place in their ‘UAE Heritage Photography’ contest. He also came out on top in the contest, ‘An Eye on UAE,’ organized by the University of Ajman. The Emirates Heritage Club holds an annual environmental photography contest and, so far, Ali has claimed eighth and third place in these contests. He can also add third place in the Emirates Photography Competition 2011 to his ever growing list of achievements.

LIFELESSONS The mind is a gift from God, so we should use it well and to its full potential. Hard work, planning, will and persistence are fundamental pillars in life and we each have to follow them in order to be successful. Participation gives us motivation and determination to do more and to get more out of our experiences. Nothing is impossible, and, every problem has a solution. We only have to look for it.



United School: Uniting Students By Khudayja Saloojee

Located in the heart of Al Yahar, on the outskirts of Al Ain, United School has established itself as an innovative international private institution. It opened its doors to students in 2010. Recently, we visited the school to see what’s unique about it. As we waited at reception for Mr. Fatih Adak, the school principal, to arrive we spotted the schools owner, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Musallam Salem bin Ham, walking casually into the foyer. He greeted us with a warm smile and gave us a quick introduction to the school before handing us over to Mr. Adak to give us the grand tour. As Mr. Adak accompanied us to his office, we walked by a display cabinet packed full of trophies displaying the schools impressive achievements in the two short years it has been open. Mr. Adak proudly tells us that the students have achieved many awards through both their own efforts, and those of their teachers. Keen to know why the school opened in Al Yahar, and not in Al Ain, Mr. Adak explained that Sheikh Musallam has close relatives in Al Yahar and felt the community lacked a school that could provide quality education. He thus used his connections with his Education Consultant Company to collaborate with international experience to open the doors at United School. Having been a principal for many years in the USA, Mr. Adak could not resist the challenge of chairing this new school in the heart of

the UAE as he was “looking for a different opportunity.” Initially it was a challenge because of students but their determination and drive makes them successful. Al Ain has a larger non-national community, whilst Al Yahar is primarily an Emirati community. “Al Yahar community is different to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or even Al Ain.” As an educator he believes that every child has potential and gives an example of when he was a sixth grade teacher; he had a student who had math skills of a second grade student. His objective was to ensure that this student didn’t only reach the required level but could even perhaps go above and beyond. “At the end of the year, I’d brought the student’s grade to eighth level math. As a teacher, this is success.” Using the same philosophy, the staff motivates students to attain goals that they previously wouldn’t have dreamt off. Last year, his students participated in the International Sustainable World (Engineering, Energy and Environment) Project Olympiad where 70 countries competed in Texas, USA. United School took third place in the Environment category, a result both Mr. Adak and his staff are extremely proud of. They have forged a partnership with Genius Olympiad, an international high school project competition about environmental issues, to hold a similar International Science Olympiad in the new academic year. Students from all over the

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Ham and Principal, Mr. Fatih Adak 16

EDUCATION Photography by Mohsin Salim

Middle East and Asia will be invited to participate. Such Olympiads provide students opportunities to become innovative and to apply what they learn in school to real life situations. They also teach them valuable skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork. United School follows an American Plus Curriculum but has unique elements in so much that they offer Turkish and French as second languages. The school conducted a survey and parents were very enthusiastic about their children learning these languages. Most of the teachers are native English speakers. Students’ competency levels in English vary as many students attended Arabic curriculum schools and have little or no English at all. Grade 1 has five sections and two of the sections are for students who are beginners in English. They have a bilingual teacher and smaller classes of only 13 students. On average, intermediate and advanced classes have approximately 20 students. Technology is considered to be essential in enhancing students’ learning experience. Each classroom is equipped with cuttingedge technology such as iPads and Activeboards. Teachers are encouraged to use iPads parallel to the curriculum. KG classrooms use iPads every day to “improve their Arabic, English and Math skills.” Elementary classes also use iPads to work on their Arabic and English literacy. Secondary school students each have their own iPad. However, only administration has the required access to download educationally appropriate apps. Mr. Adak firmly believes that digital technology is one way to keep students motivated and interested in learning. Recently, 30000 reading books were downloaded on students’ iPads making it “one of the largest digitized school libraries.” Next year, students will no longer need to lug bulky textbooks around because everything will be downloaded onto their iPads. United School strives to foster individual talents and the unique interests of their students. Kids can select from a wide range of after school extra-curricular clubs such as liberal arts, languages, music, science, math and IT. Students struggling academically are also provided with free additional support by teachers.

Teachers’ commitments extend way beyond school hours. At least once a year, they are encouraged to make home visits. This serves two purposes; firstly it shows students that the teachers actually care about them and secondly it’s a good way to diffuse potential problems. Mr. Adak explained “they can address some issues about the school. This way you prevent the bigger problems and it’s a win-win situation, you win the heart of the students and parents.” The school also has an active Parent Association who frequently organize events. A few months ago, they hosted a successful Education Fair. Parents supported their kids and got involved by helping with projects and other activities. Principal Fatih says “the most successful students are the ones whose parents are involved in their child’s education.” Mr. Adak gave us a tour of the school. Walking down the corridors we heard the excited screams of some Grade One students. The shouting came from the Arabic class so we wandered in and, when the children saw us, they greeted us with a passionate rendition of an Arabic nursery rhyme complete with entertaining actions. The staff’s proactive learning approach allows students to truly enjoy their learning experience. United Schools don’t only give students textbooks but instead challenge them and try “to show real-life applications to get students excited about what they are doing.” Mr. Adak believes, “each door has a key and, if you find the right key, you can get into the room. If you can get into the student’s heart then you can get them to do whatever you want. As a teacher you are responsible to find the right key to make them successful.” United School is committed to excellence in education and prepares its students to be open-minded, communicate effectively in a global economy and understand the needs of the communities in which they live and work. With extracurricular activities and optional Turkish and Arabic, the school is a welcome addition to the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.



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Sports Feel like doing something a little different in Al Ain this weekend? Head to Al Ain Equestrian Club on Thursday for ‘A Night At the Races’. The VIP bar is the perfect spot to watch the majestic Arabian horses compete on the pristine racing track, while delicious snacks and refreshments will only add to your enjoyment. Have a bit of fun by predicting the winners and you could even pick up a prize or two! INFO: Turnstiles open 6:45pm, first race at 7:30pm. AED 25. For more info call 03 702 6425 or email Fancy watching some sporting action? Destiny in the Desert II takes place on Friday 15th June and sees local boxer Eisa Al Dah take on Brit Kevin McCauley to battle it out in the ring. With other professional fighters also participating, music and entertainment between the fights and over 5000 spectators, it looks set to be a thrilling night. INFO: Friday June 15 DWTC, 7:30pm. Tickets from AED 150 available at l stiva ily fe own m a f t ous the e fam painting hopping h T ! s i town n be 6000 ted Duba ck in will soo around i a g a b n w i a p s i , h at shop hesh muc hesh ces Mod cot, Mod ppearan uring the fantastic more, as lots to beat ith a Dubai d 2. With mas and w w yello ts across rises 201 s, dining one way e f, it’s outle er Surp ’s activiti msel mmer. m i n h e m r u h d s S u , chil his s odhe deals s Mr. M he heat t a t l wel l-day y, Al l u J - 14 s June location 4 1 . : INFO various baievents , u g d n . lo www e a visit


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Ridley Scott, director of blockbusters Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the sci-fi genre in his latest movie Prometheus. A team of scientists discover a clue to the origins of the human race, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe on their spaceship Prometheus to investigate alien life forms in a bid to understand humanity’s past. Stranded in an Alien world, they must battle to survive, and it soon becomes clear that they are battling for the future of the human race.

Movie Listings OSCAR CINEMA, AL FOAH MALL, Al AIN Tel: +971 3 784 3535 1. LOCK OUT: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 2. PROMETHEUS (3D): 11:15, 13:45, 16:15, 18:45, 21:15, 23:45 3. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUSNTMAN: 11:00, 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00, 23:30 4. THE AVENGERS: 12:15, 15:00, 17:45, 20:30, 23:15 5. MEN IN BLACK 3: 10:30, 14:50, 19:10, 23:30 5. 21 JUMP STREET: 12:40, 17:00, 21:20

ROTANA HOTEL, ZAYED IBN SULTAN St., AL AIN Tel: +971 3 754 4447 1. LOCKOUT: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 2. PROMETHEUS (3D): 11:00, 13:30, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 3. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 4. CAT RUN: 10:50, 13:00, 17:20, 21:40, 23:50 4. MEN IN BLACK: 15:10, 19:30

GRAND BAWADI, BAWADI MALL, AL AIN Tel: +971 3 784 0300 1. LOCKOUT: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 2. PROMETHEUS (3D): 11:15, 13:45, 16:15, 18:45, 21:15, 23:45 3. SHANGHAI (HINDI): 11:15, 13:30, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 4. CAT RUN: 13:15, 17:30, 21:45, 24:00 4. AL MASLAHA (ARABIC): 11:00, 15:15, 19:30 5. ROWDY RATHORE (HINDI): 11:00, 14:00, 17:00, 20:00, 23:00 6. MEN IN BLACK 3: 10:30, 15:00, 19:30, 24:00 6. 21 JUMP STREET: 12:45, 17:15, 21:45 7. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNSTMAN: 11:00, 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00, 23:30 GRAND CLASS: A FEW BEST MEN: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00

GRAND AL AIN CINEPLEX AL AIN MALL, AL AIN Tel: +971 3 751 1228 1. LOCKOUT: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 24:00 2. PROMETHEUS (3D): 11:00, 13:30, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 3. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN: 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 24:00 4. CAT RUN: 10:50, 13:00, 17:20, 21:40, 23:50 4. MEN IN BLACK: 15:10, 19:30

The movie listings are valid from Thursday to Wednesday every week.


The Cities of Love If I had the authority to put laws I would pass laws for love I want to issue a law to build love’s cities And gardens of flowers I want to see every child in his mother’s lap, Holding his father’s hand, And all people smiling, full of happiness… I don’t want to see tears of lovers Cats of streets Or trees I want to pass a law to punish everybody who tries to destroy love stories I don’t want to hear any complaint Complaint from the chairs in the park That lovers don’t come to sit together Complaints of poverty, injustice and farewell I don’t want to hear any complaint These are the cities of love And we don’t have courts there!!!

Midori Yoshino

By Shaikha Al Buloshi



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t: +971 3 7668111

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Al Nayadat Al Ain, UAE




We’re heading home for six weeks this summer. Is there anywhere that I can leave my cat during this time? ‘Kennels and Cattery’ are professional pet-care providers. They provide boarding facilities and will ensure that your cats are well taken care off until you return from your summer vacation. For further details contact Ms. Siobhan Hannigan on 055 912 1449.

It’s competition time! Are you feeling lucky? This week we’ve teamed up with the Ayla Hotel to offer one of our lucky readers a chance to try out their lavish rooftop health club, complete with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, swimming pool and state of the art gymnasium. To be in with a chance of winning just tell us…. What is the name of the health club at the Ayla Hotel? Send your answers to and don’t forget to include your contact details.

Suffocating Air


As the number of cars and global industry continue to grow, there has been an escalation in air pollution which has taken its toll in many countries and cities all across the globe. The question is: how do we reduce air pollution to live a healthier life? Our industries are largely based on fossil fuels and, if they continue to remain predominantly our main energy source, then we simply won’t be able to stop air pollution. The solution is using cleaner technologies, with importance being placed on the utilization of renewable resources. The problem with renewable energy is that it’s far more expensive than fossil fuels and, with the current economic crisis; people really don’t want to be further burdened with high energy bills. As our environment continues to deteriorate, it’s up to scientists

to find solutions to make renewable energy more cost effective. However, we could all make a few changes to our lifestyle that would undoubtedly help the situation. • • •

Instead of buying a 4x4 gas guzzler opt for greener electric or hybrid car. Carpooling will also help reduce air pollution as there will be fewer cars on the roads. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not give your car a break and explore the public transport system, you will be amazed how much more of the city you are able to discover because you are not focused on rush hour traffic. Finally, in the cooler months try to travel short distances by bicycle rather than taking the car.

Without clean air we can forget about a healthy life. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is our best option to improving overall air quality however, until this becomes readily affordable let’s try to cut down on our own air pollution in order to leave our planet in a healthy state for future generations.




























































The Olive PRESS By Hayley Skirka

Alexander McNabb has been living and working in the UAE for over 25 years. Originally from the UK, he is the PR Director at Spot On Public Relations in Dubai, co-hosts a weekly radio show and is the creator of the highly popular blog ‘Fake Plastic Souks’. As if this wasn’t enough, he is also a novelist and penned the violent romance Olives, a book that tells the story of Paul Stokes, an aspiring journalist sent to work in Jordan where he befriends the Dajani family and gets stuck in a web of deceit, love and betrayal. We were lucky enough to have the chance to catch up with Alexander to chat a bit about Olives, tractors, kindles and rejection! Where did the idea for Olives come from? At the time I was spending a lot of time in Jordan and, well, I literally went to sleep one night listening to a George Winston track that made me think about a girl dancing in the rain. I woke up in the morning with a book in my head! Wow, that’s pretty impressive. So you didn’t suffer any writer’s block while penning the story? Not with Olives no. With my other books I have and, it sounds a bit sappy but, I’m a huge believer in sleeping on it, then seeing what you have in the morning. Which of the characters in the story would you like to meet in real life? It’s got to be Gerry [a Northern Irish SIS Operative based in Jordan]. He comes back in the second and third books too, which is surprising as he was never originally in the story but only got added after I had a meeting with a prominent Dubai based Irish businessman. There’s not too much about him in Olives, but a lot more in the subsequent books. Also, Marian, Aisha’s grandmother, she’s just a lovely old lady. What’s your favorite part about being a published author? Actually meeting people who’ve read your book, and who want to talk about it. WOW! Every time someone says they enjoyed your book, it makes you do flip flops, it’s fascinating and its insane. Was it your intention to humanize the Arab people through your writing? Very much so. I wanted to create characters that people, especially readers in the UK, could empathize with. Saying that, I went to great pains to avoid lecturing but I wanted to guide readers to think about more than the news headlines they read on TV and to stop seeing the conflict as so black and white. How did you choose the name for the book? Well, it was always its working title and, when it came down to it, I couldn’t think of anything else. It’s a stupid title, I mean when you Google it you’re up against olive manufacturers, restaurants and bars, but nothing else seemed to fit. Then, a Palestinian friend of mine quoted Mahmoud Darwish [the famed Palestinian poet] saying “If the Olive Trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears.” This was such a good fit for a section of the book, the significance of olive trees and their symbolism in the conflict just seemed right. 22

How hard was it to get the book published? Well, after being rejected about 150 times, I decided I would self publish. I discovered a writers website called authonomy and that was fantastic. There are two parts to self publishing, the e-publishing part, which is like flying Concorde, and the analogue publishing which is more like driving a Massey Ferguson tractor! There’s a lot of red tape and the National Media Council have to approve it. I was lucky as it turned out that the gentleman who reads manuscripts there is Palestinian and, after reading Olives, was virtually in tears. So much so, in fact, that that he offered to pay all my publishing fees for me. It was his reaction too that turned me on to the fact that maybe my book had an Arab audience, as originally it had been intended only for the UK. Do you have plans to publish the book in Arabic? There’s a publishing house reading it at the moment with that view. Actually, Sheikha Boudour Al Qassimi, introduced me to Arab Scientific Publishers at the Sharjah Lit Fest last year with a view of publishing the book, even offering to pay for translation. It was rejected though, with the reason that people have lived through this history and don’t need to read about it. Which is a shame and I’d very much love to see it in Arabic. Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring writers? There’s so much to say and I’ve written a few articles on it on the blog. But, whatever you do, don’t do what I did and go it alone. Also, don’t think for a second that you can write a book without reading books about writing books! Be prepared for rejection and be ready to take criticism. Finally, don’t self publish without getting your work professionally edited. It’s expensive so save up, sell the children, do whatever it takes, just don’t do it without it.


‘Hakuna Matata’ in Zanzibar

By Sara Essop


MY WORLD Two days in Zanzibar...Hakuna Matata! From across the sea, the enchanting island of Zanzibar beckoned to us. The stunning view of endless palm-fringed beaches was the perfect appetizer to our two-day visit and the shrubbery at the airport welcomed us warmly, delicately tended to form the words “SMILE U R IN ZANZIBAR”. Our exploration of the island began with a walking tour of the markets of Stone Town. The fruit stalls were interspersed with the spice stalls and the colors and scents mingled to produce a heady combination. The stench of the fish market was a far cry from the tropical scent of the fruit and, as we continued our walk, was further surpassed by the foul smell of the chicken market. We walked as quickly as possible in the blazing heat in a bid to escape. Breaking free of the market, we found ourselves in another century; the winding cobblestone alleys of Stone Town, lined with antique nineteenth-century residences and mosques, denoted by intricately carved doors and balconies.

entire beach to ourselves. We relaxed, with our paperbacks, palm trees towering overhead and we watched the sun-bleached sands meet the perfect azure waters. A solitary dhow, its sail billowing, bobbed in the water as the local women gathered seaweed till noon. The serene spa, serviced by local masseuses, was the perfect recipe for de-stressing. We spent a good few hours enjoying the resort’s facilities, wading through the kelp-rich seawater, walking barefoot in the powder white sand and idly lazing around. I would have loved to spend days upon days there but, all too soon; it was time to leave for our two-hour ferry ride back to Dar es Salaam. As we were leaving, we passed a myriad of surrounding islands that come together to form the archipelago, each with its own unique beauty and claim to fame. But, as our ferry set sail, I figured we’d have to leave those isles for another visit. Our idyllic time in Zanzibar had come to an end.

It wasn’t long before we reached the area previously occupied by the Slave Market. A few seconds in the underground cell made me feel claustrophobic and grim thoughts of what had occurred there pervaded my tranquil state of mind. We headed towards the House of Wonders where the shortest war in history, precisely 45 minutes long, took place. Now a museum, it was so named as it was the first place in Zanzibar to have electricity and an elevator! The view from the top floor revealed different scenes on each side, the buildings and ruins of Stone Town on one, the azure blue sea dotted with ancient dhows and modern cruise ships on the other and the recently renovated Forodhani Gardens on the third side. After many pensive hours immersed in Zanzibar’s history, we emerged from the museum to embark on the plantation tour which began with a meal at a Zanzibarean home. The locals were warm and friendly, content in spite of the poverty that surrounded them. Their favorite expressions being ‘Karibu’ (Welcome) and ‘Hakuna Matata’ (No problem). Smiling children greeted us as we entered the humble abode, where we sat cross-legged on floor mats and dined. We were served with pilau rice, coconut curry, fried green bananas and potatoes, a delicious feast finished with a flourish of Zanzibarian fruit. At the spice farm, our nostrils were tantalized by the aromas of pungent spices just divorced from the ground, so different to the end products we received. The highlight of the Plantation tour was when a guide climbed a 30-foot tall palm tree, supported only by the rope around his ankles, while singing a traditional song for us at the top of his lungs. He broke fresh green coconuts and served us with the sweetest coconut juice. Our visit ended with a sampling of spiced teas and fresh fruits from the plantation and we left with full bellies and warm hearts. Back in Stone Town, we took a walk past the house where Freddie Mercury, the legendary British Asian rock star, lived, and enjoyed the last few hours of daylight al fresco at Forodhani Gardens. As evening approached, the gardens came alive with vendors setting up for the evening crowd. We watched in wonder as some barbequed barracuda, others squeezed fresh sugarcane juice and yet others conjured up delicacies like chocolate-and-banana pizza which was quite delectable. With only a few hours left in Zanzibar we didn’t hesitate to spend it on the island’s perfect beaches which are synonymous with the name Zanzibar. We left Stone Town, passing one luxury resort after another until we came to a stop at Matemwe Beach Resort. There were no entrance fees or barriers to contend with and we were simply allowed to wander in and sprawl on traditional charpoys under the shade of huge thatched umbrellas. There were so few tourists around that we felt as though we had the



A Shopping Sanctuary at Souq Al Zaafarana As the mercury continues to rise, the great outdoors are becoming slightly less bearable. A day at the park or the beach is quickly losing its appeal. One activity that doesn’t have to slow down as the temperatures heat up is shopping. The country’s malls are comfortably air conditioned, providing a respite from the constant heat. However, if you’ve become bored trawling the emirate’s malls, why not head to Al Ain’s Souq Al Zaafarana? A beautiful souq, constructed in traditional style, but complete with powerful air conditioning!

So why not head out to Souq Al Zaafarana this weekend, who knows what treasures you may find? Opening hours are: 10am - 1pm and 8pm until midnight

It is a jewel of a find which reflects true Emirati culture and tradition. Originally meant to be the new home of the city’s Old Souk, Zaafarana is now filled with shops selling everything from fruit and vegetables to handicrafts. It also features Mubdia Village, a section exclusively for women, staffed solely by female shopkeepers. On the weekend it is packed with men and women haggling with the African and Asian sellers. Whether you’re looking for abayas, kandouras, incense, spices, henna, oud or dallah (Arabian coffee pots) this is the marketplace for you. If you’re a date lover, this is a great place to pick up a great variety of them, be sure to sample the different varieties that the store owners will happily offer you before you decide on your favorite. Souq Al Zaafarana’s is located right next to Safeer Centre, Homemart and the popular La Brioche, in the heart of the Al Khabisi District.

Sofa Set 3+2+1(Dark Brown & Light Brown)

king Size Bed (Black & Brown)


Sofa Bed 3+2+1(Red, Grey, Black, Brown)

Leather Sofa Set 3+2+1


Customers are the key to Success By Mehak Alam

Good customer service is the backbone of any business. Yes, you can offer promotions and cut prices in order to attract as many customers as possible but, unless these customers come back, the business is not going to have much success. The key ingredient for a successful business is good customer service. And good customer service is all about bringing customers back and sending them off happy and satisfied. Happy enough that they become your mouthpiece in the public realm, a bunch of happy customers equals a crowd of people eager to try your services. Customer service is often, essentially, what people pay for. And there are some fundamental things to consider in getting it right. First of all, business owners and managers must remember that the age old truth of “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say” still rings true. You can offer everything under the sun but, unless you pull through and deliver, then people won’t be rushing through your doors. This is what it takes to form a relationship with the customers and, each time you are done successfully resolving a patron’s issue and going beyond their expectations, you have one loyal customer on board. Customers never forget, whether good or bad. Initially, you should try to entice customers by offering an incentive, giving away a coupon for a future discount or some additional merchandise with a product are both great ideas. If you’re on a tight budget, dedicating time and energy to thoroughly training your staff on customer service and product knowledge can be just as effective as combined, there are two powerful skills that will help you attract and keep new clients. Also, if you have the reputation for being knowledgeable about products or services, word of mouth will see new customers coming through your doors seeking out that expertise.

Furthermore, be absolutely certain that you do not make false promises. This is the quickest and easiest way to lose customers. Avoid using phrases that conclude results that you cannot always deliver. Terms such as ‘always’ and ‘definitely’ leave you open to objection from customers when you do not do as they ask, even if you have a genuine reason not to. Instead try to use more open terms such as ‘we will try our best’ etc. Customers are looking to build reliable relationships, stay true to win their hearts. Finally, be aware of your customer service image. Even if there is no immediate profit available, always be helpful and welcoming to customers. For example, if you can fix someone’s faulty goods give direction or provide information do so willingly. This will help build your image and any act that may help transform a browser into a customer is worth the effort. When constructing your customer service plan, be sure you do not go OTT (over the top). Remember the saying, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ this works in customer service situations too, when a single client is handled by a bunch of customer service agents, being passed from one to the other and each person throwing in their idea for a solution. It can get messy. Try to have a dedicated point of contact for a customer who, even if they have to chase information from other people, always reports back to and liaises with the client. Also, do not try to overload customers with information, they will simply get confused and retreat. It may be great that you have an exciting promotion in your electrical department this week, but a customer browsing in the home furnishings department really doesn’t want to hear about it at that moment. If you keep these guidelines in mind, provide the best assistance you can and be accurate in what you say then you’re customer service reputation will continue to grow, helping your business to flourish.

Remember that customers love to interact. The second way to improve your customer service is to open the doors of communication and talk with them. Opt for call-forwarding services, hire more staff specifically to meet and greet or be available to talk with customer, rather than their calls being answered by a machine. People want to talk to a other people, not some soulless technology. Always pay attention to what you’re customers say. Listen and listen carefully. People don’t like having to repeat themselves over and over and not getting the message is one way to quickly turn a shopper into an angry ex-customer. Listen carefully to what they tell you and give them an appropriate response that offers a solution. When a customer complains, keep in mind that famous saying ‘the customer is always right.’ Even when they are clearly in the wrong, try to make them feel that you agree with them in order to successfully appease the situation. We all know that pleasing everyone, all the time, is impossible but, by sticking to good customer service plans, you’ll discover that by paying close attention to your clients you can rack up more satisfied customers than you many initially have thought possible.





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The Source Magazine - Issue 14 - English  
The Source Magazine - Issue 14 - English  

The Source is a FREE, bi-lingual (English & Arabic) weekly magazine. Al Ain's first weekly magazine. Bringing you what's happening, before...