BE­YOND THE BACK­YARD

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long, Ed­i­tor nlong@gulfnews.com

I’m look­ing back­wards, when every­one else is look­ing for­wards, but only be­cause I had one of the best New Year’s Eve’s ever, and I’m still laugh­ing at the pho­tos. Did I spend it stuck in traf­fic? Nope – got that one out of the way when I first ar­rived in Dubai 10 years ago, and I found it’s not so bril­liant. Maybe if you have a re­ally fun taxi driver? This year, I didn’t see any fire­works. Well, ac­tu­ally, I sort of did – I saw a shoot­ing star, as I was camp­ing in the desert.

You know, the desert, that thing you drive past with vis­it­ing friends and fam­ily on the way to a stay­ca­tion ho­tel, point­ing out camels with glee. You’re not as use­less as I am, surely; I can count on one hand the num­ber of times I’ve pitched a tent in the sweep­ing sands that are our back gar­den.

An un­sci­en­tific poll con­ducted back in the of­fice showed that I’m not alone, and it’s mostly the idea of or­gan­is­ing the whole thing that puts peo­ple off. Want to make a plan feel like de­press­ingly hard work? There’s noth­ing like try­ing to cor­ral a big What­sApp group of peo­ple to make you want to throw in the towel. I see a res­o­lu­tion to be made there – sim­ply get­ting out more in the UAE, which fun­nily enough is ex­actly what we aim to help you do ev­ery week in Fri­day. There’s re­ally some­thing for every­one.

Head to page 66, where Shreeja Ravin­dranathan has rounded up the new ho­tels open­ing across the na­tion in the com­ing year, and as al­ways, check the Leisure Charts for ideas. This week, there’s a spe­cial sec­tion on fun (and free) Dubai Shop­ping Fes­ti­val ac­tiv­i­ties.

Or let’s say you want to spend 48 hours boil­ing an­i­mal parts for the hottest well­ness trend in town – bone broth. We’ve got your back (it’s ap­par­ently very good for joints, too) as we’ve spo­ken to the peo­ple that are launch­ing this mini-move­ment this week­end. Find out all about it on page 30.

Happy new year!

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