LET’S EX­PLORE

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

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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.

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