The UAE's notable firsts

We’re taking a look back at monumental firsts across the country. Because sometimes it's not always about being the biggest or tallest: sometimes you're remembered for simply being there before anybody else. FIRST POP MUSIC RADIO STATION Channel 4 FM The country's first privately owned radio station, Channel 4 FM, went on air at midnight on June 7, 1997 live from the beach where JBR now stands. The first song played was, appropriately, Republica’s “Ready To Go”. “There were stations before u

In 1986, the Chess Olympics came to Dubai

One of modern Dubai’s early PR successes was the 27th Chess Olympiads, which were held at the Trade Centre between November 14th and December 2nd 1986. Although the event was big in the chess community, for Dubai this was a chance to show itself off to the world. A promotional video featuring a radio hit from the time, “Back in Dubai” by The Establishments and Sal Davis, features pretty much everything except chess. It’s a fascinating glimpse into 1980s Dubai – see more of it, and rare images fr

Ilaria Paci: An Italian's first Ramadan

Originally from a small town in Italy, Ilaria Paci moved to Dubai four years ago after first visiting the emirate on holiday and feeling “a different energy”. “I started my life over from the beginning”, she says. “Seeing so many people in Dubai related to religion and Islam made me think a lot.” After visiting an Islamic Centre, she became Muslim – and is now preparing for her first Ramadan. As the owner of Mazmi Café in Old Dubai, this will be an especially exciting time. “We are preparing sp

Dubai’s super fit chef

Emirati chef Khaled Al Saadi operates KRUST, serving grilled cheese sandwiches from The Hub at Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road. He’s also in super fit shape, spending much of his time in the gym and wakeboarding. But it wasn’t always like this for Khaled, who once tipped the scales at 150kg and spent his time comfort eating and playing videogames. Dubai Post met him at The Hub where he told us about his amazing transformation, and he has some inspirational words for anyone else who finds th

Basil Azizoghly: Creating Passion

Local guitar maker Basil Azizoghly creates sensational instruments out of cigar boxes, scraps of wood and anything else he can lay his hands on in the UAE. Basil grew up here after his Syrian family settled down in the Emirates. He heard about making guitars out of cigar boxes from his musician friends when he was living in Canada. “My story is similar to a lot of my friends”, he says. “The people from our generation that moved to the UAE, a lot of us studied abroad and then we came back. And

Emirati and Italian co-author book about local culture

An Emirati and her Italian neighbour have teamed up to co-author a new book which attempts to break down cultural barriers in the UAE. The writers of UAE 101 Stories and Cultural Learnings: A Guidebook To the Emirati Culture have put together 159 pages of cultural tips and stories to try and bridge the gap in understanding between expatriates and locals. Readers can discover the Emirati sense of humour, table manners and even what it means when a local strokes his beard as you are talking. The

How many Arabs were on the Titanic?

Did you know that at least 80 people from the Middle East were on board the Titanic? The true number of Middle Eastern people on board the doomed cruise liner in April 1912 is probably far higher, but passenger records from the time aren’t reliable. For example, some people were using Anglicised versions of their Arab names and were taken for being Brits or Americans. Just 38 Arabs are known to have survived the disaster, including the Egyptian translator Hamad Hassab Bureik. He was so traumati

5 cool things you can do in Satwa

If you haven't explored Satwa yet, you should There are more places to browse for books in Dubai than you might first think The landmarks and attractions of Dubai Marina and Downtown are well documented, but there’s much more to this city than glitzy shops and glamorous bars. Satwa isn't Dubai's most stylish district, but it's definitely one of the most interesting. Everybody knows that you have to go for a curry at Ravi's, but what else is going on? Try these... Get a new read at Book Worl

5 weird things for AED7 in Daiso Dubai

If there’s a stranger store in Dubai we haven’t found it When we wanted a thermometer for our balcony to do that smug expat photo thing for everyone freezing back at home, we wondered: what shop is a thermometer shop? We didn't know. What we did know is that Daiso sells everything, and they didn't let us down – we had a choice of three. The Japanese business opened as a 100 yen store back in the ‘70s, and there are now stores across the UAE. Everything starts at AED7 here, and you really can f

Glasgow Rangers: This is How It Feels When Your Club Goes Bust

Don't ever take your team for granted because one day it might just disappear altogether. As Rangers enter administration, one Scarborough fan reveals how he felt when his side simply ceased to exist. Don't ever take your team for granted because one day it might just disappear altogether. As Rangers enter administration, one Scarborough fan reveals how he felt when his side simply ceased to exist. I was eight in 1987. We lived in Scarborough, and my Dad took me to see the local football team