You are on page 1of 18




Why super soprano Sarah really is out of this world




Thousands more tickets will be rolled out for Stones gig

BPA Audited

Lolo Jones is just one of many unlikely stars in Sochi

Visit, Follow 7DAYSUAE at


Pastries offered as healthy option while some parents called for a ban on fruit
HEALTH officials have been encouraging some schoolchildren to eat chocolate croissants as a healthy, nutritious snack, a study has found. The team behind the study said staff from the Ministry of Health in Ras Al Khaimah also encouraged kids to eat plain croissants and cheese to keep fit. The three researchers from New Yorks Columbia University were looking into student diets at public and private schools in RAK. And they said the advice being given was even more surprising than the fact some parents said being fat was bad as a big belly


By Sean ODriscoll

might cause problems driving a car as it would get in the way of the steering wheel. Teachers at RAK schools also admitted they were not good role models for the kids because they were too lazy to exercise. The researchers found one school was forced to shut down a healthy fruit campaign because parents didnt want their kids eating such food. Meanwhile, some schools were offering doughnuts to kids at break time. As well as leading to problems driving in later life, some parents in RAK also thought that fat

children do not grow tall. Many of the students interviewed in the study said they ate crisps, chocolate or sweets two to three times a week. Researchers added that a few students consumed two or more chocolate bars a day, in addition to eating other sweets and chips. The team also walked around schools and found most children were consuming soda, crisps, chocolates and other sweets, while few were eating fruit and vegetables. They were given permission to carry out the study by the Department of Education in RAK.

Cycling stars shine in Dubai, but road closures force schools to hit the brakes


Picture by Tonya Colson




Schools shut for tour

By Duncan Hare
THOUSANDS of students have a day off today after more than 30 schools in Dubai closed ahead of expected disruption on the emirates roads during the Dubai Tour cycling event. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) gave schools in Dubai the option of closing for the day if they felt the safety of pupils could be affected, the government body said. Disruption is expected on the emirates roads as some routes will be closed to let the competitors through. Traffic will have to be diverted, most likely causing tailbacks. We communicated to all schools and asked them - in consultations with parents affected by the Dubai Tour - if they wanted to close, a KHDA spokesperson said. More than 30 schools replied that they would close for the day. Dubai British School, Indian High School in Oud Metha, American School of Dubai, Dubai International Academy and the Russian International School were among the schools that decided to close. Victory Heights, Lyce Franais International Georges Pompidou, Dubai Arab American School, Al Thuraya Private School and

Picture by Tonya Colson

PEDAL POWER: Many of the citys major highways have been closed for the inaugural Dubai Tour

Congestion fears prompt wave of one-day closures

Taking steps to help pedestrians in UAE capital

WIDENING of pavements, improving fencing and erecting electronic directional signs at tunnels and crossing areas are some of the measures chalked in to improve safety for pedestrians in Abu Dhabi. The municipality said yesterday it has launched several new initiatives. They include improving sidewalks and designing and constructing new models of median fencing in Abu Dhabi. This week, the municipality also started installing pilot electronic directional signs in pedestrian tunnels at Hamdan Street. The civic body said the initiatives are designed to ensure a smooth ow of pedestrian trafc in a safe fashion. Improvements include upgrading and widening sidewalks as much as possible.

Telephone: 04 283 1317 Fax: 04 283 3143
7DAYS is published by Al Sidra Media, PO Box 35207, Dubai. 7DAYS is distributed from Sunday to Thursday free of charge. For advertising inquiries, please email
7DAYS material is provided by AP and gettyimages/galloimages unless otherwise stated

Arab Unity School also gave kids a day off. However, one Dubai teacher said that planning for the event hadnt been communicated well enough. I only knew the tour was happening this week, the teacher said. Its not good enough. The teacher added that unscheduled days off were becoming too frequent. The Expo, the rain, this, the teacher said,

adding it is disruptive to both teachers and parents. Some mums and dads will also have to arrange childcare or be forced to take the day off themselves, while teachers will need to reschedule class plans. Yesterday, the first day of the tour, saw congestion on routes including Sheikh Zayed Road as time trials were held in Downtown.




UFC poised for punch-up in Abu Dhabi

THE Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to return to Abu Dhabi on April 11, with heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Nogueira scheduled to take to the octagon on Yas Island. The mixed martial arts event is part of a deal with UAE-based promoter FLASH Entertainment, which will see several UFC events staged in the region as part of a two-year deal. The first UFC event to be held in the Emirates - and the first ever UFC bout to be held outdoors took place in Abu Dhabi in April 2010, when middleweight champ Anderson Silva took on challenger Demian Maia.

Wedding witness must be Muslim

A JUDGE has rejected two witnesses to a marriage because they were not Muslim. The judge yesterday told the mother of a two-month old baby that he could only accept two Muslim men or one Muslim man and two Muslim women. A court ofcial later told 7DAYS that a mans testimony was considered more reliable than a womans as women may not give objective evidence. Women are considered to be emotional in their thoughts, more likely to decide issues from the heart, the ofcial said. The Filipina woman, who had her two-month-old son with her, is trying to persuade a judge to authenticate her Tunisian marriage certicate so she could get a birth certicate for her son. She had the written testimony of two friends, but they were rejected because they were Christian Filipinos. As her husband is Muslim, two Muslim witnesses are needed to verify the marriage under UAE law.

Judicial system in UAE discussed

A UNITED Nations human rights envoy has recommended a series of changes for the UAEs judicial system. Gabriela Knaul, a UN Special Rapporteur, was speaking yesterday following a fact-nding mission to the Emirates, according to national news agency WAM. It reported Knaul said that she was looking forward to receiving a copy of the new human rights law in the hope that her recommendations would be taken into account. WAM quoted Knaul as saying there were challenges in the UAE that need to be addressed to minimise obstacles to development, citing the differences between the application of law in the individual emirates, at federal level and in free zones.

UN envoy makes recommendations

While commending the steps the country has taken in a short time, she also recommended the establishment of an independent bar association, saying it would be key to maintaining the independence of lawyers. Knaul said there was a need to put more resources into training and capacity building of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, male and female, to achieve Emiratisation in the judiciary. Knaul also suggested some other areas should be examined, such as the establishment of independent oversight

committees and a revision of the function of public prosecution. After her visit, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, Dr Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, said: We were pleased to engage in a co-operative and constructive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of the judicial system in the UAE. The independence of the judiciary is guaranteed by the Constitution of the UAE. Judges, in discharging their duties, are subject to no authority other than the law and their own conscience. He added: We have received the preliminary observations of the Special Rapporteur and will consider her comments and recommendations as part of our on-going efforts.

Study is food for thought

continued from cover The team compiled 57 questionnaires from teachers, parents and students and travelled around schools to see how children were eating. The group said there needs to be a thorough review of nutrition in RAK schools. Their study is published in the latest edition of the European Scientic Journal. The team have also passed on their ndings to the UAE Ministry of

Health and the Ministry of Education. With the UAE currently suffering one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world, UAE nutritionist Andrew Picken, owner of Bespoke Wellness, said greater care needs to be taken in schools. Chocolate croissants are appalling. They were denitely not part of a balanced diet, he said. The RAK section of the Ministry for Health had not returned 7DAYS calls at the time of going to press.




Sharjahs leading lights

THE top attractions in Sharjah will be illuminated in spectacular fashion for the next week as part of the annual Light Festival. The nine-day festival, which aims to highlight the architectural beauty of the emirate, opened last night with a ceremony at the new Sharjah Municipality building. Events will be held each evening at 12 locations across the emirate, including at Al Noor Mosque (pictured), Kuwait Square, Cultural Palace Square, King Faisal Mosque and Al Qasba. The shows will be held every night from 7pm to 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends.

Venue donates extra cash as part of goodwill gesture

A DUBAI nightclub slated after a monkey was taken into its premises has donated Dhs15,000 to animal welfare groups in the UAE - Dhs5,000 more than the club originally promised. Photos of the monkey in Vanity nightclub on Tuesday, January 28 - including one of the primate appearing to be offered alcohol - caused a backlash from outraged members of the public. Vanity blamed the promoters of the night Blackout DXB, saying the promoters and the guest who brought the monkey into the club had been banned from the venue for life. As a gesture of goodwill, the club has donated money to animal welfare groups in the UAE. Donations have been made to Animal Welfare Al Ain, Dubai Animal Rescue Centre and Dhabian Rahma Sanctuary and Rescue Centre, said Vanity PR manager Jovana Gacesa. Weve made thorough checks and found these organisations are very

Club makes amends for monkey incident

By Duncan Hare
active in their fight for animal rights. Dhs5,000 has been donated to each charity, Vanity said. The club said Dubai Animal Rescue Centre would be collecting its payment today. The other two groups received payment yesterday. Dubai Animal Rescue Centre head volunteer Atiya Fazelbhoy said the cash was definitely going to help. The club genuinely seems sorry and shaken up by the incident, she said. She said some of the money would be used to castrate cats to avoid the over-population of felines in Dubai. Vanity claimed it never knowingly allowed the monkey into the club, which is at the Al Murooj Rotana hotel in Downtown Dubai. The promoter for Blackout DXB was unavailable for comment when contacted by 7DAYS.

Your chance to win kickabout with a legend

CAN YOU KICK IT? Win a coaching session with former pro player Derek Whyte

No boys at beach on ladies day

DUBAI MUNICIPALITY has urged women not to bring boys over four years old when they visit Mamzar and Jumeirah beach parks on ladies-only day. Husain Fardan, head of the public parks section, said the decision banning males on certain days was part of respecting the culture of the UAE. We started ladies-only days to ensure women have comfortable access. We urge women not to bring male children of more than four years old, he said. Monday is the ladies only-day in Mamzar beach park, while Sunday and Wednesday are reserved for women at Jumeirah beach park.

PASSIONATE about football? 7DAYS, in association with JA Centre for Excellence, invites football fans to enter a competition to win a free team spot in a five-a-side mens tournament taking place at the England vs Scotland match on Friday, February 28. The winning team will have the chance to receive two coaching sessions with the centres sports ambassador, Derek Whyte, a former Scottish professional footballer who played for Celtic, Middlesbrough, Aberdeen and Partick Thistle. To enter, email Mention The Legends in the subject line.




Worker said killing was self-defence

A WORKER who claimed he was only protecting himself when he killed his friend during a ght will be executed. Abu Dhabi Criminal Court sentenced the Asian man to death after he was found guilty of murdering his workmate at their accommodation in Abu Dhabi. Prosecutors said the man stabbed the Asian victim in the stomach several times with a kitchen knife during a scufe. The defendant then ed the scene, leaving the man lying in a pool of blood. He then chatted to other workers at the camp, pretending he knew nothing about his friends death. Another worker who had spotted the pair in the victims room told police he suspected the Asian defendant of carrying out the attack. The man was arrested and admitted to police that he

Sentenced to death for fatal scuffle

By Ismail Sebugwaawo
killed his friend, saying the pair had a row after drinking alcohol. He told the court that he carried out the attack in self-defence because the victim tried to strangle him. He said he ed to the kitchen and found a knife, which he used to threaten the victim. The man tried to attack me again, which prompted me to stab him many times in the stomach, he said. He argued that he didnt intend to kill the worker. But the court ignored his claims and convicted him of premeditated murder, handed him the death sentence. The judge said the court had failed to reach any of the victims relatives to seek pardon in return for blood money.

Chefs head to desert for a good grilling

AMERICAN three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow took a trip to the desert during his visit to the UAE to cook up a delicious feast of camel meat. Chef Kostow (below left) - in town for the annual Gourmet Abu Dhabi festival - was joined by Arabic chef Saeed Fawaz, who has cooked for many royal weddings. The pair hit the grill at the Arabian Nights village in the Al Khatem desert, where they roasted camel meat that had been marinated in local spices and chili. The final dish, hwar maa machboos, was served at a banquet for special guests. The camel meat was delicious, like roasted lamb but less gamey, with a soft texture and unctuous fat. We all really enjoyed it, Chef Kostow said.



Concert will be the UAEs biggest ever gig

EXTRA tickets for the Rolling Stones gig in Abu Dhabi will be up for grabs from noon today. A few thousand tickets in all categories will be on sale after organisers FLASH Entertainment decided to extend the capacity of the venue by moving the stage. The concert was already a 30,000 sell-out. The du Arena show on Friday, February 21 will now be the biggest concert the UAE has ever seen, said FLASH CEO John Lickrish. The biggest show prior to this was 30,000 for George Michael in December 2008, he said. That concert was also held in Abu Dhabi, but took place at the Zayed Sports City. The rise in SHOWTIME: capacity for Mick Jagger

Stones tickets back on sale

By Duncan Hare
the Rolling Stones gig came from the many thousands of requests for tickets that have come in since the show reached sell out-on Thursday, January 30. But Lickrish insisted the increase would not affect safety in any way. We are aware of our capabilities, he said. Weve held a lot of events with tens of thousands of people at the arena. Its not something we havent done before. We are able to evacuate large amounts of people at entry and exit points in a short time. Tickets are available to buy at Virgin Me g a s t o re s and at

7DAYS 9 Death toll on RAK roads dropping

AT LEAST 42 people were killed and 415 injured in 296 major accidents recorded on Ras Al Khaimah roads last year. However, RAK Police said the emirate saw a drop in road fatalities compared with 2012, when 55 died. The force added that road fatalities in RAK have decreased significantly over the past five years, with the toll falling from 80 people in 2009 to the 2013 figure of 42. It attributed the decrease to road safety awareness campaigns and tougher penalties. Many of the accidents were blamed on motorists driving at excessive speed, jumping red lights, recklessness and a lack of attention while behind the wheel.





YOUNG BLOOD: The report says children have been subjected to torture, sexual violence and more

KIDS in Syria have been tortured, maimed and sexually abused by President Bashar Al Assads forces during the countrys nearly three-year-old conflict, a new United Nations report said. It also said children have been recruited for combat by the rebels fighting to topple Al Assad The report, which highlights the treatment of children from the start of the uprising in March 2011 until November 15, 2013, was released this week to the Security Council and was posted on the UN website on Tuesday. It cites UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon as saying that Syrian children have been subjected to unspeakable suffering during that time. Ban urged Syrias warring sides to take, without delay, all measures to protect and uphold the rights of all children in Syria.

Plight of Syrias children

UN report reveals unspeakable woe
The UN said government forces have been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of youngsters, with children as young as 11 detained by the authorities on suspicion of having links with armed groups. Children in government custody have reportedly suffered beatings, electric shocks and sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape, mock executions, cigarette burns, sleep deprivation and solitary confinement, the report said. It was not clear what methodology was used and the summary on the UN website did not say how investigators obtained their information. Allegations of sexual violence by opposition groups were also received, but the UN was unable to further investigate them due to lack of access to areas in under rebel control, the report said.


THE Health Ministry said swine flu has killed 24 people across the country over the past two months. The ministrys head of preventive medicine, Amr Qandeel, told a news conference that 195 people have been hospitalised with the virus since December 1, 2013, with cases spread out through several areas, particularly the Nile Delta and Cairo. He encouraged those suffering from flu symptoms to seek medical attention early. The ministry said children and young adults are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

MULTIPLE bombings rocked central Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 22 people in strikes near the heavily fortified Green Zone where key government offices are located, officials said. The attacks were the latest in a push by Sunni militants to undermine confidence in the Shia-led governments efforts to maintain security in Iraq, two years after the pullout of US troops from the country.

A TV presenter has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and banned from appearing in the media after a judge found him guilty of disobeying the king and accusing the kingdoms rulers of creating Al Qaeda. The official Saudi Press Agency said the court also found him guilty of stirring sedition, undermining the nations prestige and its institutions, and slandering its reputation by accusing the kingdom of initiating terrorism. Other local media reported the mans name as Wajdi al-Ghazzawi and said he is banned from travelling abroad for 20 years after his sentence.

A COURT has turned down a request from a US couple charged with starving their adopted daughter to death that they be allowed to leave the country temporarily to see their other children. Grace Huang (pictured) and her husband Matthew were jailed last January following the death of their eight-year-old adopted daughter, Gloria (also pictured). They were released in November, but are banned from leaving the country.


Dont pretend you dont love a bit of showbiz - you know you do...


Prince gigs in London home

Chilis gave it away
THE Red Hot Chili Peppers decided a long time ago that they would never mime during a gig, but the band made an exception for the National Football League, the organisers of Sundays Super Bowl. The groups bassist, Flea, said in a letter to fans posted on the groups website on Tuesday that they pretended to play along to a pretaped track of Give It Away during the half-time show as Anthony Kiedis sang live. The request came from NFL ofcials, who felt it was too difcult to pull off a completely live performance because of potential sound issues.

Busy career is harming JTs marriage, says gran

2012 - spend a lot of time apart because of their respective careers, and his grandmother Sadie Bomar is worried the distance is going to damage their relationship. She said: They are so busy, its hard going. They do love each other dearly but they are apart so much its going to be hard going for them. She added: I think Jessica finds that really tough. Shes on her own a good deal.

Justin Timberlakes marriage is hard going, according to his grandma. G The star and wife Jessica Biel - who wed in October

Star starts tour with a difference

PRINCE is used to playing in front of thousands of fans. Yet in London on Tuesday he played a gig in a suburban living room to a dozen people. The enigmatic star flew into the UK capital at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album Plectrum Electrum, which he recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. Details are still being released, but Prince said he planned to play iconic venues along the lines of music club the Bag o Nails, where Jimi Hendrix once played, plus legendary rock venue Electric Ballroom and Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club. Well work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues, Prince said. His first stop was the East London home of British soul singer Lianne La Havas, who met Prince last year while she was touring the US. The pair bonded over common musical tastes and a shared love of tea. In her cosy living room the band played two acoustic tracks of what Prince called their funky rock n roll. Prince said his trip to London is open-ended, adding: Were going to be here until people dont want to hear us any more.

Stars estate goes to girl

Paul Walkers teenage daughter is the sole beneficiary of the actors estate, which is G valued at an estimated $25 million, court records show. The stars final will and testament was filed on January 28. It calls for his father to serve as executor of the estate and for his mother to serve as guardian his 15-year-old daughter. The will was prepared in 2001, the same year Walker starred in the first Fast & Furious film. The franchise will continue to generate millions for the actors estate.



INVESTIGATORS are seeking the publics help in nding out who stole a rare owl from a central Washington bird sanctuary in the US. The 14-year-old tawny owl was taken on Friday from a building in the small Yakima Valley city of Selah, the Yakima County sheriffs ofce said. Shannon Dalan, who helps run the sanctuary with his wife, Marsha, said it was obvious the owl didnt y the coop on his own. Someone removed a lock from the building, undid latches and unhooked the leash holding the owl, named Sherman. The bird is glove-trained and is frequently displayed in


Neighbours agree to let relatives meet

THE rival Koreas have agreed to hold their rst reunions of Korean War-divided families in more than three years later this month. The move is another small step in easing tensions, despite North Koreas anger over upcoming US-South Korean military drills. Many had been sceptical in Seoul that the North would agree to a quick resumption of the dramatic reunions because of the annual military exercises that Seoul and Washington plan later this month. North Korea calls the military drills a rehearsal for invasion, and used last years drills to partly justify a torrent of threats and provocations that still clouds relations on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea also scrapped an earlier plan for reunions at the last minute in September after accusing South Korea of planning war drills. It is again calling for the cancellation of the drills. However, Seoul and Washington

Korean family reunions are back on track

say they are purely defensive and have refused to call them off. Yesterday, however, in a meeting of Red Cross delegates at a border village, North Korea agreed to hold the reunions on February 20-25 at its scenic Diamond Mountain, according to Seouls Unication Ministry, which is responsible for cross-border affairs. North Koreas ofcial Korean Central News Agency also conrmed the arrangements. Under the agreement, 100 elderly people from each country chosen last September will meet their relatives, the statement said. The two Koreas share one of the worlds most heavily fortied borders, and ordinary citizens are not allowed to exchange phone calls, letters and emails between the countries. About 22,000 Koreans have had brief family reunions - 18,000 in person and the others by video - but no one has had a second chance to meet their relatives.

Appeal to track down stolen owl

classes, the sheriffs ofce said. Sherman weighs about 450g and has reddishbrown feathers and pink eyelids. The tawny owl is native to Europe and Asia, not North America, and Sherman could potentially be worth $3,000 to $4,000 on the black market, Shannon Dalan said. This bird is rare, he said. They knew what they were looking for. The person who stole it walked past other native birds. The sanctuary is home to about 20 birds, including other owls, hawks, falcons and eagles. Some are being rehabilitated for return to the wild, and others that cant be released are used for education.

Painting a political protest

A COLOURFUL anti-government protester with his face painted attends a gathering in Bangkok. Thailands main opposition party petitioned a court on Tuesday to annul last weekends disrupted national election, launching a legal challenge that could prolong the deeply divided countrys political paralysis.

Prince pulls on his wellies to help ood victims

BRITAINS Prince Charles has visited ood-hit areas of southwest England, riding by boat and tractor to survey the damage and showing support for the locals. The royal pledged a 50,000 ($81,000) donation to help ood victims in the Somerset Levels area, where thousands of acres dotted with farmland and villages have been under water for a month. Charles braved rain and ooded roads to meet locals at a reception, telling those attending: The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long. Many residents have expressed anger at the way the government coped with the disaster,

HIGH WATER: Prince Charles arrived by boat

saying its response is too slow. The royal rode on a boat to visit a village cut off by ood waters, and later climbed aboard a tractor-towed trailer to visit a farm.





Putin pounces on photo op

STROKING a Persian leopard sprawled on his lap, tough-guy President Vladimir Putin showed his softer side as he prepared to welcome the world to his budget-busting Winter Olympics. Ahead of the Sochi opening ceremony tomorrow, Putin visited a group of endangered Persian leopard cubs born last summer near the Black Sea resort. Weve decided to restore the population of the Persian leopard because of the Olympics, Putin said. Lets say that because of the Games, we have restored parts of the destroyed nature. Putin entered the cage and petted the leopard. We liked each other, he said. Some journalists accompanying him werent so lucky. They apparently upset the big cat, which scratched one of them on the hand and bit another on the knee. The Sochi Olympics is among the most politically charged Games in years. Speaking at an IOC meeting, Putin said nothing about the cost overruns, unfinished hotels and an uproar in some countries over gay rights. But he boasted that Russia had started from scratch in Sochi, completing the needed construction in a short time. The Kremlin treasury has lavished a record $51 billion on sports facilities and transportation infrastructure, making it the most expensive Olympics in history.

PURR-FECT PR? Putin petted a leopard cub born near Sochi

Female killer set for execution

A WOMAN convicted of torturing and killing a mentally impaired man was scheduled to be executed yesterday in Texas. The lethal injection of 59-year-old Suzanne Basso would make her only the 14th woman executed in the US since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. By comparison, almost 1,400 men have been put to death.




- Mark Griffiths, managing director of British property firm Berkeley Group, on opening a Representative Office in Dubai

DUBAI developer Nakheel has awarded a contract worth almost Dhs375 million to Gulf Technical Construction Company (GTCC) to build The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah. Nakheel expects GTCC - a subsidiary of Drake & Scull - to start work before the end of this month. The Pointe - Nakheels Dhs800 million, 136,000sqm retail and entertainment complex - will be located at the tip of Palm Jumeirah, opposite Atlantis, and is due for completion in 2016. The project includes shops and dining and entertainment facilities, including a fountain display. The Pointe will be accessible via The Palm Monorail system, which will be connected to the mainland tram system, while water taxis will shuttle visitors across the bay from nearby hotels directly to The Pointes marina. The Pointe is one of several new Nakheel developments under way at Palm Jumeirah. Others include Nakheel Mall and Hotel, The Boardwalk and Palm West Beach.

Nakheel gets to The Pointe

UAE nancial houses turning phones into mobile wallets

THE UAE Banks Federation has said that people in the UAE could be using a mobile wallet aimed at turning mobile devices into hi-tech purses - within a year. The project, details of which were published by national news agency WAM yesterday, is part of the drive for Smart Government, launched by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum last year. The Mobile Wallet project will provide users of mobile devices with an electronic equivalent of the traditional wallet, able to store, transfer money and pay for goods and services very conveniently from a common platform WAM said. A committee of the bank federation has been working on the project for nearly a year and is bringing in an external consultant to help design the blueprint. The full scheme is expected to take a further 12 months to complete. Banks involved include ADIB, MashreqBank, and DIB. AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said: We are very excited about the prospects for this project, which will revolutionise the lives of those who live in the

Banking on smart cash for the future

UAE, and also have a signicant impact on visitors to the country. He added: It puts the UAE ahead of the world by applying across the retail and commercial banking sector a solution that brings state of the art capabilities together with a vision for a modern and progressive nation. We will be seen as a model for others to follow. Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, added the scheme shows this is a country that has the means and the appetite to lead the world with such advanced and collaborative thinking.

Candy is sweet on Dubai project

Billionaire property developers Nick and Christian Candy have plans for a development in Dubai that would be three times the size of the London Shard, according to the Daily Telegraph. The British newspaper said the brothers have plans for a development covering 3 million sq ft. We hope to be able to make an announcement about the Dubai development before the Mipim property conference takes place in Cannes in early March, Nick Candy (pictured with wife Holly Vallance) was quoted as saying. He added: The Candy & Candy brand has long been associated with the worlds most luxurious real estate.

Sales slump sparks fresh worries A licence to make


3.673 5.982 4.962 0.0361 0.0587 0.0348 0.0810 0.329 3.303 3.268 3.009



97.56 102.33





DISAPPOINTING retail sales gures are likely to reinforce concerns at the European Central Bank that the eurozone economic recovery is failing to gain momentum at a time when ination is stubbornly low. Ofcial gures released yesterday - a day ahead of a highly-anticipated ECB policy meeting showed retail sales across the 18-country eurozone suffered their biggest drop in more than two and a half years in the crucial shopping month of December. Eurostat, the EUs statistics agency, said retail sales fell 1.6 per cent in December, more than offsetting the previous months 0.9 per cent rise. That was way worse than the 0.5 per cent fall anticipated in the markets and represented the biggest monthly decline since May 2011. The drop, which means retail sales in the eurozone ended the year 0.9 per cent lower than where they started, was broad-based, with the regions top-two economies faring particularly badly. Germany saw a sharp 2.5 per cent monthly decline while France posted a 1 per cent drop. Retail sales are a major component of economic

money in Dubai

output across the region and the December gures may raise concerns that the eurozone recovery did not accelerate in the fourth quarter as many had anticipated. We think the recovery as a whole continues, but at an anemic pace, said James Ashley, an economist at RBC Capital Markets.

A SURGE in the number of business licences being issued in Dubai has been credited to new opportunities that have been presented by the emirates improving economy. The Department of Economic Development (DED) said that during the nal three months of 2013, 12 per cent more licences were given out than in the same period for 2012. It attributed the increase to economic activity and investor condence being on an upward curve. New opportunities and new beginnings have added to the growing economic momentum in Dubai as is evident from the rising number of licences being issued, said Saeed Matar Al Marri, deputy CEO of business registration and Licensing at the DED. More and more investors will step forward as Dubai pushes ahead with adding new economic sectors and enhancing competitiveness as well as ease of doing business. Commercial licences accounted for the highest share - 73 per cent - of licences issued in Q4 2013.




Getting the public vote

obseekers at a recruitment fair for UAE nationals told 7DAYS they are still looking for work in the public sector despite attempts by the government to encourage more Emiratis to take up private sector positions. Fifteen thousand people passed through the doors of the annual Tawdheef event in the capital this week in the hope of finding employment. The fair, which ended yesterday, had about 6,000 job opportunities on offer. Despite the governments effort to push Emiratisation, an overwhelming number of those interviewed by 7DAYS said they would prefer to work in the public sector. The most common factors that jobseekers said attracted them to government jobs included better salaries, shorter working hours and more holidays. A survey conducted last year by Informa, organiser of Tawdheef, found that 90 per cent of UAE nationals between the ages of 18 to 40 opt to work in the public sector, while 58 per cent of those surveyed felt private sector salaries were too low. Nearly half also said they felt there werent enough jobs for UAE nationals in the private sector.

UAE nationals tell Reem Buhazza why they are looking for a government career


I have experience in human resources and banking, so I am open to different kinds of jobs in the government sector only. I currently work and live in Dubai, but today I am looking for a job in Abu Dhabi. I heard the salaries are better. SALMA AL MEHAIRY, 33, RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST I returned from the US last year where I studied politics at university. I missed last years fair and Ive been looking for work for over a year with no luck. Im open to different types of jobs, and I am willing to work a job that isnt in my field. JASIM AL MAZROUEI, 24, POLITICS GRADUATE I havent worked for 15 years because I was busy raising my children. Now that they are grown up I would like to get back to work. I dont have a degree but I have experience and I have done freelance projects over the years, so I hope that I will be given a chance. KHAWLA RASHID, 38, INTERIOR DESIGNER I am not really an academic person, so I would rather start working right now instead of going to university. Today, I am looking for a trainee job that will introduce me to the professional world of media. I would love to be a TV presenter or media personality. SALEH AL KETBI, 19, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE

BROWSING: A jobseeker visits a stand at Tawdheef

The difference between the salaries are the number one reason Emiratis choose government jobs over working in private companies, said unemployed engineering graduate Mansoor Al Kaabi, 23. You work extremely long hours, sometimes on the weekends and get paid less for it in a private company. Its not really a surprise that I would rather work in the government sector. Other Emiratis also said they feel private companies would not welcome them. Unemployed business management graduate Khaled Al Safwan, 28, said: I have interviewed at

different private companies and I feel like they assume certain things about me just because I am Emirati, and it is unfair because I work hard just like they do. However, Sara Abdullah, 35, was one of the few who wasnt attracted by a government job. I dont see myself working in the government sector. The environment is not really for me, she said. At my level I feel like there is no room for growth in a government job you just stay where you are.


Food, fashion, movies and more...

February 6

be Ruth, Baseballs first star, Ba mbino Ba was born in 1895. The x, New So d played for Boston Re on York Yankees and Bost reer Braves in a 22-year ca

Sarah is out of this world

Soprano drops in for Dubai date ahead of her incredible space mission

Sarah Brightman plays tonight and tomorrow at Dubai World Trade Centre while Magida El Roumi performs on Saturday. Tickets for the Dubai Classics series, sponsored by Emirates Airlines, are on sale at the venue, from Virgin megastores or from orld famous soprano Sarah Brightman is not short of star quality. Globally renowned for stunning performances on both Broadway and Londons West End in The Phantom of the Opera, shes also the female voice and beautiful looks behind the smash-hit 1996 duet Time To Say Goodbye, a classic she sings with Andrea Bocelli. But the English singer and UNESCO Artist for Peace is set to go stellar in a very different way in 2015 - shes gearing up for a trip to the International Space Station. Its no pie-in-the-sky idea. Now 53, Sarah teamed up with Space Adventures and the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA) and has already undergone a battery of tests ahead of a 10-day trip on board the SOYUZ Rocket. So is she apprehensive at the prospect of going boldly where few men or women have gone before? Not at all. Sarah says: Obviously I am not claustrophobic otherwise I would not be able to become a cosmonaut in training by the FSA. I am having to go through a lot of medicals continually, I have done some of the testing for the training,

which involved centrifuge and other physical things they needed to test me for and enjoyed all of them. I didnt have any problems. I have found it to be a wonderful experience but the most intense training will not be until six months before the flight. She may be unaffected by the prospect of a rocket launch and space flight but Sarah is human and nerves have affected her on occasion. Surprisingly, her major panic did not come in front of watching millions at either of her Olympic performances - she sang at the Barcelona 92 and Beijing 08 games. She explains: There was one live radio show that I did many years back and I remember I took on more then I could manage at that time vocally. Some of the pieces I chose were very complex and I didnt have as long as I needed to prepare them. I

remember I disappeared before the show and didnt want to do it - no one could find me. And then my mother got on the phone! The show was still with an orchestra and audience even though it was radio, and I basically walked in, stepped into a dress, with no make up and walked on stage. I did it absolutely fine but it was still not where I wanted it to be. UAE music fans will be treated to a broad range when the former Mrs Andrew Lloyd Webber plays Dubai tonight and tomorrow. She sings in a number of languages, from Italian, Spanish and Latin through to French and challenging Czech. Even though shes been wowing the crowds for over 30 years, Sarah has to put a lot of work in to protect her assets. I train all the time, she said. I have different vocal teachers as I work with them around the

world. Its like being an athlete, the voice is a muscle. It is very important to sing every day if you can, be it for 10 minutes or two hours. Famed for arias such as Ave Maria and La Luna, Sarah admits her take on singing has changed. When explaining she would probably not hit exactly the same high or low notes as earlier in her career, she says: I have realised it is about the quality of the voice. It doesnt matter how high or low you can sing it is how beautiful that note is. Anyone with an ear for music knows just how beautiful those notes are when sung by Sarah. But it wasnt an easy asset to grow up with. I was quite shy about my voice because I think at a young age I understood the power of it because all would stop and listen, she said. I was different to everyone else because of it. So that in itself even at a young age brought a great amount of pressure because when you opened up your mouth to sing - be it in an assembly or competition or whatever that was, in front of your parents or friends, everyone was expecting the miracle that voices can create, the emotion. So I was quite shy of it.

Are you going to the show? Tag @7DAYSUAE in your pictures on Instagram





Power of the peloton

See cyclists in action Onesieland
YOU heard it first in 7DAYS last month - and now the Winter Onesieland party has landed at People by Crystal. Tired of the usual clubbing dress-code policy? Turn up to the club on Saturday in your favourite hoodie or onesie and hit the dancefloor as DJ Bliss and Mr Shef Codes man the decks. For table bookings, call 050 354 3131.


...your essential guide to whats on



German star Timo Maas hits Nasimi Beach on Friday for the Plus Minus Sessions. Free for girls and Dhs100 for boys from 2-7pm, Dhs150 for all after 7pm. 056 789 3897


THE worlds top cyclists are limbering up for a 121km race today - the second stage of the Dubai Tour. Starting at Dubai World Trade Centre, riders will head out of town past Meydan, then down to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (formerly Emirates Road), up Umm Suqeim Road to Al Sufouh, then round Emirates Hills before finishing on the Palm Jumeirah. The race kicks off at 11.20am, with roads likely to be closed until 4.30pm, so plan your route carefully. Theres another huge sports event kicking off tomorrow the Sochi Winter Olympics. OSNs sports channels will screen all the action, and you can catch up with the bits you missed on online viewing platform OSN Play.

Brit musicians The Craig Perry Band launch their debut EP with a gig at The Music Room in Bur Dubai on Friday.


Chill to the sound of Bob Marley at Saturdays Reggae Beachfest at XL Beach Club in Dubai.

The walk of life

HOW far do you think kids in developing countries, on average, walk each day to get to school? Think you could manage the same distance? Join the 3km Dubai Cares Walk for Education on Friday, which takes place at Jumeirah Beach Park. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of education, and shows solidarity with the kids and their quest to learn. Dhs30, 9am. Sign up at or register on site.

Famous fiddlers
THERES an unusual line-up of entertainment at Ductac this weekend thanks to Swiss Days Dubai. On Friday, see Baldrian - aka the worlds slowest clown - and Martin O, who dances with his voice. Saturdays bill features chamber music ensemble I Salonisti, who found fame after starring in movie blockbuster Titanic.,

Get on bard
TODAY is your chance to catch a Shakespeare 4 Kids musical performance of Macbeth at Ductac. The twisted tale follows a Scottish warrior who learns from three strange witches that his destiny is to become King of Scotland. Spurred on by his wife, he murders the king and stops at nothing to retain the crown. Watch out for the witches famed line, Double, double toil and trouble Dhs150. 6pm.

A passport to laughs
SEVERAL new faces join the Laughter Factory bill this month. UK talent Ola (pictured) promises intelligent, edgy humour while fellow Brit, comedienne Jo Jo Smith who used to be a journalist is apparently huge in Romania. Irish comic John Lynn rounds off the line-up - see them at the Movenpick JBR tonight and tomorrow.

Eastern expressions
ASIAN art is the focus of a new exhibition that opens today at Pro Art Gallery in Dubai. A group of six artists from China, Japan and further afield will showcase multimedia works including paintings, sculptures and photos we particularly like this humorous piece by Chinese painter Yue Minjun, renowned for his works featuring the Silly Man.





NEW IDEAS: The ingredients are the same, chef Morten just mixes up his cooking methods

A fresh take on Thai

tarting a new job is daunting at the best of times. Particularly if youre a European chef in a Bangkok kitchen filled with experts in the field of Thai cuisine. You need to work very, very hard to get into a Thai kitchen, for them to allow you to cook, because its very difficult to cook Thai food, explains chef Morten Boejstrup Nielsen, whos in Dubai this weekend to cook for diners at the Dusits Benjarong restaurant. The chef, who developed a love of Thai food after attending a masterclass in his native Denmark, moved to work in Londons Michelin-starred Nahm restaurant before heading over to the Thai capital to perfect his skills. He explains: I actually started cooking western food, but slowly, I was looking over the shoulders of the girls in the kitchen. Slowly I started cooking with them and doing some of their dishes. It was learning by doing and being curious. As long as youre curious and willing to learn, you can manage pretty much anything.

European chef adds his own twist to traditional dishes

Having learned the traditional ways of cooking Thai food, chef Morten, who now works as Dusit hotels group chef of Thai cuisine, has started mixing things up in recent years. He explains: The Thai food I do, theres no borders, no boundaries, its difficult to say what contemporary Thai is, but I try to cook Thai food with my style of

cooking - using more western and modern techniques. It gives a bit of a different look to how wed present Thai food. Its not about the flavours because there are rules you have to follow with Thai food, and flavours need to be well balanced. Using methods such as sous-vide, where food is cooked in sealed airtight plastic bags to cook it more evenly, chef Morten is moving with the times, but he is also careful to preserve the authenticity of the dishes. He adds: I like to do things differently with Thai food, but there are always Thai chefs in the kitchen looking at me very sceptically, giving me this feeling like: You cant do that! I use my staff in the kitchen to keep me from running too far away! They keep me close to the authentic, they keep the flavour as it always should be.

Chef Morten hosts a six-course menu this evening and tomorrow from 7pm at Benjarong at the Dusit Thani Dubai. Prices start at Dhs300. Call 04 317 4515 for info or to book





Metro People
arrow tracks, rocky outcrops, and blistering climbs are just some of the hurdles facing participants of the Saloman Wadi Bih 2014 relay race tomorrow. Taking place just over the UAE/Oman boarder in Dibba, it is challenging on mind and body as teams battle 72km of tarmac roads, dusty wadis and rocky hills. If its not impressive enough that teams will be running the 72km as a relay, 85 rugged athletes are running it solo. John Young (centre inset) has been involved in the race since its humble beginnings (pictured below) and now faces just as many challenges organising the popular event.

Meet Wadi Bihs running man

The regions oldest mountain race has come a long way
the race as Christmas and all end-of-year parties shall be over, and the exercise will help offset indulgence. How was it organised then? Was it less formal? Very much so - in the first year there were about 16 teams of five people [compared with 200 teams now]. We would show up in RAK and camp at the foot of the mountains at the start of the wadi. It was a very social evening with lots of beverages, then an early start. In those days it was much more social, there were fewer expats here so a lot of people knew each other. It now starts and finishes in Dibba. How tough is the relay race? Each person has to do on average 15km, which is split into many stages. You can really get a fair old pace on and then have a break in the car en route to the next checkpoint, where the next runner can warm up and stretch to stop themselves getting too stiff. What about the solo runners who do the whole 72km on their own? Yeah, it wasnt a category that we really introduced but I think maybe 2006 there were a few guys who said can we do it solo? This year we have 85 solo runners. The mental discipline has to be very strong. What are the records to break? Jeremy Curran was the winner of the solo last year, doing it in five hours 34 minutes. Wow! The fastest team last year was team International A with Daniel Caunter as the captain, who did it in an amazing four hours 45 minutes.

What is the Wadi Bih race? Wadi Al Bih means revelation or opening up. So that is kind of like the runs history. It started in 1993, running from the Arabian Gulf, through Ras Al Khaimah, through a track in the mountains to Dibba. John Gregory, the founder, sent out this fax at the time: How does the idea of a relay run from RAK to Dibba sound? We are proposing to provide another winter running event for all of the Hashes in the Emirates The middle of January 93 should be a good time to hold

The 22nd Saloman Wadi Bih Run starts early on Friday morning at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dibba, Oman.





CRYPTIC CLUES ACROSS 7. Nothing in Italian money is current in France (5) 8. What the speculative nurseryman takes with his cuttings? (7) 9. Where theres a performance at three, maybe (7) 10. Stand for Parliament, whichever way you look at it (3,2) 12. Could they be people who stare at famous actors? (4-6) 15. Suitable restrictions found in the real estate market (10) 18. The top of a building in a high wind (5) 19. Gets better meetings (7) 21. Overcharges someone for wool (7) 22. Expressed as part of a wheel (5) DOWN 1. This will keep the gear on line (7-3) 2. & 14Dn. Concocted stiff drink for the tennis match (5,7) 3. & 20Dn. Such people dont relax so much (8) 4. Seem to go before the public (6) 5. End part of a newspaper strike (8) 6. Rushes around - lets change public transport first (7) 11. An expert history teacher? (4-6) 13. See 17 Down 14. See 2 Down 16. Give punishment that is shockingly harsh after the beginning of term (6) 17. & 13Dn. Take up neutral position on the rails? (3,2,3,5) 20. See 3 Down ACROSS 7. French river (5) 8. Whatever is available (7) 9. Playhouse (7) 10. Build (3,2) 12. Astronomers (4-6) 15. Possessions (10) 18. Upper wall part (5) 19. Tennis exchanges (7) 21. Sheeps coats (7) 22. Uttered (5) DOWN 1. Washing-line fastener (7-3) 2. Assorted (5) 3. Repose (4) 4. Come into sight (6)
12,507 YESTERDAYS ANSWERS Across: 4 Spectre; 8 Hooded; 9 Rodents; 10 Idling; 11 Immune; 12 Pocketed; 18 Undulate; 20 Ransom; 21 Swings; 22 Trouper; 23 Pruned; 24 Unleash. Down: 1 Shrimps; 2 Collect; 3 Seance; 5 Provided; 6 Creams; 7 Rating; 13 Trumpets; 14 Tanning; 15 Seaside; 16 Barren; 17 Astute; 19 Upward.

LEVEL: HARD No. 2230

5. Deduction (8) 6. Hurries (7) 11. Experienced person (4-6) 13. See 17Dn. 14. Duplicates (7) 16. Beat (6) 17 & 13Dn. Dont commit oneself (3,2,3,5) 20. Fewer (4)



Send emails to:

Dear 7DAYS...
Make smaller cars more affordable for women
I personally have zero knowledge regarding buying and selling of vehicles, but from my observation, I feel that vehicles manufactured for ladies - keeping in mind the small size and the engine power - are not sold within the working populations budget. Hence the bigger vehicles are driven by the ladies because they get value for money from these cars. This could be one reason why accidents caused by ladies have a higher ratio as compared to the men. Just my opinion. Lailu Dubai



Have your say on the countrys most opinionated page

Still waiting to lodge a case for lost investments

dont want to reimburse the difference as per the written law. Even when I win a court case there are no measures to make them pay up it could take years, if at all! David Dubai

The conversation

On the road to nowhere: trafc chaos in The Gardens is getting to residents


Over a year ago it was decreed that all cancelled project claims would be transferred from RERA to Dubai Courts. Every month I go, only to hear, InshaAllah next month, next month. How long will it take? Every day we hear about new developments springing up here and I THINK WOMEN WITH BIG CARS there, but what about the old ones? CAUSE A LOT OF ACCIDENTS There is Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, not forgetting The Lagoons, I THINK ITS MEN that people invested millions in and WITH SMALL BRAINS lost everything. One guy bought a Palm Jebel Ali garden home for Dhs9 million. Dhs3 million deposit and a Dhs6 million mortage - and he has nothing to show for his money. These developers disappear, leaving no money in the Escrow accounts, and are unaccountable for their actions. I am also in a catch-22 situation where another developer under-delivered 13 per cent of my square footage on my apartments. Tune in to Catboy & Geordiebird from Im sure if theyd made those errors 7am to 8am to hear what THEY have on their tower it would have toppled to say about YOUR letters over long ago. They are 100 per cent at fault and

New delivery scam in Mirdif is food for thought

Were familiar with the you won phone recharge scam, the Italian fashion designer will sell you suits out of the boot of my car, the bandaged beggar please give me money for my prescription, the broken car with family in need. Seems we are now privy to the newest type of scam to hit Dubai. The fake delivery man. Now reporting multiple sightings of men in Mirdif, decked out in a common restaurant uniform, with a convincing printed takeaway delivery menu in hand: approaching cars in the shopping area car parks and offering too good too be true one-day-only restaurant delivery specials! Hesitation on your part to hand over cash for a free home delivery of a meal of your choosing will result in these sneaky individuals upping the ante by offering more and more free items to your order if only you a) order right now b) hand over some cash. Funnily enough, they refuse to give you a copy of the menu they have in hand if you decide that you would like to order with them another time and keep a copy. The more observant person will even see there is no restaurant name on the menu. Buyer beware! Let us bring attention to these scam artists, who prey on people that actually work for a living! Mirdif today, the rest of Dubai tomorrow. Has anyone come across these shady characters in other parts of Dubai? Midfriff Munchies Dubai

Every morning it is the same. You sit in the correct lane, leave a safe space and so many inconsiderate people drive dangerously, push in, drive up roads the wrong way and make a one-lane road into three lanes just because they have no manners or respect for other people and their property. If more access roads were made, this would ease the problem, plus, have more police there during peak times so some of these drivers can get fines for driving so badly. RTA, Nakheel, get your act together and make it more of a livable place to be, it is driving us mad.

Can someone tell us who is responsible in this case? Who can give us answers and solve our problem? Can someone tell us what they can do if an emergency happens in this area, how ambulance scan reach our buildings? Lots of delays for school buses - how can children reach their schools? How can we reach our work? I was in the traffic today for more than two hours, I have one question only: If someone really is in a bad situation and needs to get to hospital, how can he/she can make it if no ambulance can get in or out? Just think as a human beings, Nakheel and RTA, then you might solve the problem.


On yer bike with your moaning about everything

Same old story, when theres an event on and some road closures are announced, we get people slamming police, the RTA and anyone else they can think of for inconveniencing them, instead of looking at it as a positive - with the worlds top cyclists in town. We needed more notice, they say. Ill have to cancel my coffee morning. If they told us of the road closures six months ago, everyone would have forgotten by now. France still manages to function when they have the cyclists and thousands of spectators for three weeks every year. Stop moaning and make an alternative plan. Jeff Dubai

Reading these letters one would think the Gardens was the only place with a traffic jam in Dubai. Folks, wake up, most major cities have jams. That is why there has been metros set up so we can use it and not get stuck in jams. If Metros are not an option, think of moving, there are plenty of areas with similar rents to the Gardens, Barsha, Mirdif and even Sharjah. Maybe you all need a dose of the real world where wars and famine are killing people to develop some perspective and see that a traffic jam is not worth all that cribbing

Salesman accused of stealing diamonds worth Dhs1 million over 10 years

Respect your workers with proper pay and this would not happen so often.

A thief is a thief no matter how you treat that person. Plenty of employees not stealing or tempted to steal. Lets not make excuses for bad behaviour.

@7DAYSUAE was tagged in this Neon bike at Al Ghurair picture on Instagram by @itsmeenzoreal. Tag us in your snaps

Comment online at