appy UAE National Day, everyone! We hope you’re able to take some time off and celebrate the 45th anniversary of the nation’s union with events taking place across the country (check the Leisure Charts on page 30 for a guide); and for those of you working today, we salute you.
Last week we put out a call to action, inviting you to write in and tell us the story of how you came to live in the UAE. Thank you to everyone who emailed, Facebook-messaged and tweeted in reply – you’re our first Storytellers. The results are published on page 13 – as is the next question. Make sure you share your story with us and your fellow readers.
What inspired this week’s question will be evident when you turn to page 18 and see the stunning photographs of Ras Al Khaimah taken by Friday photographer Anas Thacharpadikkal. The emirate is fast becoming a hub for adventure sports, and we sent our team there recently to experience the new Via Ferrata climb. It’s exhilarating – and you really must look down. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, head to Al Ain Oasis, featured on page 24. The UAE’s only Unesco World Heritage site, it was inscribed in 2011 but last month became even more accessible with the opening of a visitor centre. Our favourite part? The addition of a bike rental station, the perfect way to meander through the shady lanes of these unique communal date plantations, where over 100,000 palms hold sway. Parts of this area date back to the Iron Age.
Those are both great ways to spend the long weekend, but if we’re being honest, the odds are high that you’ll go to a mall at some point. If it’s for clothes shopping, how about picking out an item that’s been designed in the UAE? Dubai has two fashion weeks (Fashion Forward and Arab Fashion Week, with Dubai Fashion Week to be relaunched next year) and a hub for design that’s steadily developing. Friday’s fashion editor Lindsay Judge explores how local design can be worn in our daily lives in this week’s fashion shoot on page 54, photographed around the city and including some fascinating local personalities.