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

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

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

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