7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Peo­ple sit­ting side by side, pre­oc­cu­pied by their phones and ig­nor­ing each other - it’s a fa­mil­iar scene here. The 2016 We Are So­cial re­port places UAE in the num­ber one spot for in­ter­net us­age by coun­try with 98 per cent, fol­lowed by UK with 92 per cent.

In terms of so­cial me­dia us­age, we are se­cond to South Korea, with 68 per cent ac­tive ac­counts in the top so­cial net­work­ing site.

Ac­cord­ing to dig­i­taldetox.org, 61 per cent of peo­ple ad­mit to be­ing ad­dicted to the in­ter­net and their gad­gets; and “high so­cial me­dia use can trig­ger an in­crease in lone­li­ness, jeal­ousy and fear.” This is why the US-based web­site or­gan­ises tech-free re­treats to help in men­tal, phys­i­cal and emo­tional well­ness. Al­though we love our tech here in the UAE, it might be an idea to join the “dig­i­tal detox move­ment”. Here are some lo­cal of­fers to help you un­plug...


Mid­dle East­ern restau­rant Kose­basi in JBR in­vites guest to lit­er­ally put their phone down for a fun phone stack game. Start­ing to­day, din­ers are chal­lenged to de­posit their mo­biles in the box on the ta­ble so they can en­joy an en­tire


Can you last a day with­out in­ter­net? The Ara­bian Nights Vil­lage is of­fer­ing a week­end dig­i­tal re­treat in the mid­dle of the Abu Dhabi desert (in the Razeen Area of Al Kha­tim) with no wifi, lim­ited phone con­nec­tions or even television in the rooms. The pack­age in­cludes fun ac­tiv­i­ties like dune bash­ing, camel rid­ing, live oud mu­sic, pool ac­cess and more to re­con­nect peo­ple with na­ture and en­cour­age fam­ily, friends and even other guests to in­ter­act with each other. “We have had some peo­ple ar­rive con­cerned and a bit ag­i­tated that they won’t get through the week­end with­out log­ging on. Sud­denly they start re­ally notic­ing the desert around them, tun­ing into the peace­ful­ness, the bird song and to­tally re­lax. It’s very warm­ing to see,” says man­ager Rashad Qudsi. ara­bi­an­nightsvil­lage.com


There’s no bet­ter rea­son to hide away your tech than a day of splash­ing in the water. This Thurs­day and Satur­day – just in time for the long week­end – Aloha Ara­bia is host­ing a pad­dle board­ing and snorkelling trip to Dibba Rock. The daytrips are in­clu­sive of trans­porta­tion, buffet lunch, tu­to­ri­als and great fun un­der the sun from 7am to 3pm for Dhs395 per per­son. Gad­gets are al­lowed, of course, but why risk them get­ting wet? Book your spot at alo­haara­bia.com

SO­CIAL: Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies, 50 per cent of peo­ple to­day pre­fer to com­mu­ni­cate dig­i­tally than in per­son

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