Blog Posts by Samreen Hayat

  • Souq.com boss Ronaldo Mouchawar on start-ups, innovation and drones

    With over 400,000 products on offer and 10 million monthly visitors, there's no surprise why Dubai-based internet start-up Souq.com is dubbed the Amazon of the Arab World.

    Established in 2005, the online marketplace was one of the first to break into the Middle East e-commerce space and behind the scenes is co-founder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, who says they still have a long way to go.

    Backed by a fresh round of funding worth $75 million from South African investors Naspers, he aims to get the site into "every household". We spoke with Mouchawar about how he set up the business and where he sees it going.

    THE SOUQ.COM STORY

    The internet was a very different place when Souq.com laid down its roots almost 10 years ago.

    "We launched in 2006, when businesses were reluctant to come online and sell their products, so we catered to build a platform for the consumer initially," Mouchawar explains.

    Since 2009, Souq.com has transformed into a B2C platform allowing businesses and brands to tap

    Read More »from Souq.com boss Ronaldo Mouchawar on start-ups, innovation and drones
  • Sheikh Mohammed accepts invitation to Iran

    Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum welcomed Iran's foreign minister at his palace, state media agency WAM reported.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations and regional developments with the Sheikh, in a sign of warming ties between the nations.

    Sheikh Mohammed also received an official invitation  to visit Tehran from Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani which "he accepted and appreciated," WAM said.

    United Arab Emirates' Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (2nd R) meets with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) in Dubai April 15, 2014 in this handout provided by WAM. REUTERS/WAM/Handout via Reuters (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: ROYALS POLITICS) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE


    In an interview with BBC earlier this year, Sheikh Mohammed called for easing of sanctions against Iran.

    Asked if the time is now ripe to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Sheikh Mohammed said: "Iran is our neighbour and we don't want any problem."

    Zarif also met with UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.


    Iran and the UAE have longstanding trade ties but differ over several issues, including Tehran's control over three Persian Gulf islands claimed by both countries.

    With input from AP

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  • Dubai Police help reunite mother, daughter after three years

    This is the heartwarming moment a mother was reunited with her nine-year-old daughter after three years.

    Dubai Police reunite mother and daughter.


    The photo, which was released by Dubai Police on Wednesday, shows the unnamed Asian mother embracing her daughter after officials helped bring them together.

    The mother was forced to leave the UAE after she divorced the girl's father and her visa was cancelled. She learned about Dubai Police's Victim Outreach Program from a newspaper and asked for their assistance.

    She came to the UAE on a tourist visa and was helped by a team at Naif Police Station who tracked down her ex-husband and reunited the family within 24 hours.

    Dubai Police convinced the girl's father to bring her to the police station where she met her mother.

    Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant to the chief commander at the Dubai Police for Criminal Investigation Affairs, praised the Naif Police Station for their efforts.

    The mother thanked police for their assistance.

    The Victims Outreach Program helped

    Read More »from Dubai Police help reunite mother, daughter after three years
  • Four arrested in London over attack on Emirati women

    London police have arrested four people in connection with the attack on three Emirati tourists, The Guardian newspaper reported.

    The three UAE sisters were attacked in the middle of the night in their hotel room by a hammer-wielding assailant early on Sunday.

    One woman is in critical condition in hospital, while the other two sustained minor injuries.

    Three men, aged 56, 34 and 32, were arrested in Islington, north London, a Metropolitan police spokesman was reported as saying, while a woman, 31, was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

    The attack took place on the seventh floor of the Cumberland Hotel in London. The intruder is said to have attacked one of the women with a hammer before turning on the others and fleeing the hotel in bloody clothes.

    The father of the women told The National he was heartbroken and was praying for their safe return.

    “My heart is broken to a million pieces and I can’t do anything except to pray that they return safely,” Jaffar Nasser Al Najjar,

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  • Major diversions ahead for Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai

    Get set for some major traffic diversions in Dubai.

    The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday that traffic diversions on Sheikh Zayed Road will commence on October 25 as part of phase one of the Dubai Canal project.

    Under the project, a one kilometre 16-lane bridge will be built on Sheikh Zayed Road with the proposed Dubai Canal underneath it. The 3km-long canal project will cost a total of AED2 billion and will link Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf via Jumeirah Beach and Safa Park.

    The diversion will affect 800 metres of Sheikh Zayed Road but officials say traffic will not be impacted.

    “Traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road will not be disturbed. The diversions are being planned in a way that the movement of traffic continues to be free-flowing," Maitha Obaid Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA) told Gulf News.

    This map shows the constuction of the Dubai Canal project.

    The project also includes the diversion of the utility lines which will be impacted by the course of the canal and lighting and fountain works for

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  • Wet weather to continue in the UAE

    Heavy rain caused traffic chaos across the UAE on Wednesday, as forecasters say the wet conditions are expected to continue.

    Two accidents were reported in Dubai in the morning, one on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and another on Sheikh Zayed Road, The National reported. Delays were also reported on Al Ittihad Road, Sheikh Zayed Road and near the Dubai Marina area.

    Police warned drivers to excercise caution on the roads, leaving space between cars and be aware of water puddles.

    The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also warned drivers to be careful.  “Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it — you could be swept right off the road,” it said in a tweet.

    In Abu Dhabi, congestion was reported after Al Samha Bridge and flooding occurred in Al Reef area, according to the report.

    The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said unstable weather is expected to continue across the emirates.

    Conditions will remain cloudy and dusty, with chances of

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  • UAE denies rumours of thunderstorms

    The UAE's national weather bureau has denied rumours of a series of dangerous thunderstorms heading towards the Emirates.

    "The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has denied rumors being circulated through social networking sites and text messages that the UAE would be hit by thunderstorms, lightning and severe rain with hailstones from Monday and for 13 days," state news agency WAM said.

    The UAE witnessed rough weather including hailstorms and hazy conditions over the weekend.

    The rumours cited a US Navy report saying the UAE would experience thunderstrorms, lighting and severe rain. But the NCMS were forced to dismiss them calling the information "incorrect and baseless".

    Meanwhile, weather conditions on Monday remained clear. NCMS said Tuesday's weather would be fair and partly cloudy, with temperatires rising gradually.

    There will be a chance of fog at night and early morning.

    WATCH: Sheikh Hamdan's timelapse of the Burj Khalifa storm

    RELATED:

    Relief team sent to

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  • Picture this - it's a dark stormy night, you see the tallest building in the world and suddenly a moving storm sweeps through, engulfing it in its midst.

    No, that's not a scene from the next Mission Impossible movie, but a three-minute video that has literally taken the web by storm.

    In just over two days, the clip shot by Sultan Bin Al Sheikh Mejren, has received over 2.8 million views on YouTube and turned the man behind it into an online star.

    TAKE A LOOK AT THE VIDEO

     

    But Mejren is no stranger to storms of this nature. The 44-year-old Emirati has been hunting storms for well over 20 years, and this video is just the latest taste of his adventures.

    "I shot the video on Friday night after 7pm. The storm first hit Sharjah but I missed it. I had lost hope of getting any footage near the Burj Khalifa and was about to pack up and leave," he told Yahoo Maktoob. "I thought the storm is gone, the clouds have disappeared, everything is gone.

    STROKE OF LUCK

    "But then I saw lightning near

    Read More »from Seen that video of the Burj Khalifa disappearing in a storm? Meet the Emirati storm chaser who shot it
  • PHOTOS: Sheikh Mohammed surprises Dubai desert-goers

    A group of desert-goers had quite a surprise when they ran into none other than Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

    The ruler of Dubai shared pictures of his chance encounter with the business group on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Saturday.

    In one of the photos, the Sheikh is pictured along with his young daughter Al Jalila and the group of Chinese employees. 

    They are from a Chinese company. We spent a good time chatting about their experience in the UAE.

    He posted:

    I was in the desert with my daughter Al-Jalila, and we came across a group of employees having brainstorming session under a ghaf tree. I liked the idea. Their company is from China. I sat down with them and asked them about some of their ideas and we talked about their experience in the UAE. I enjoyed my time with them

    Another picture shared on Twitter shows the group under a Ghaf tree, which is native to the deserts of Dubai.

    I was surprised by a group of employees brainstorming while on a morning desert safari with my daughter, Al Jalila, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted

    SOCIAL MEDIA STAR

    The Instagram post has been liked by almost 41,000 users, while the tweets received a combined 3500 re-tweets.

    Sheikh Mohammed is the seventh most followed world

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  • Fighter pilot takes coolest "selfie" ever, or does he?

    Some have called it the coolest selfie yet, but what you see isn't exactly what you get.

    A supposed photo of a pilot taken at the exact moment he fired a missile was cool, but, no he doesn't have great timing, just a cockpit video recorder. And that picture is just a well-timed screenshot of the video.

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    The photo and video were originally released by the Royal Danish Air Force back in October 2012, according to ABC News, but it is gaining extra atttention thanks to Ellen's record-breaking selfie at the Oscars this week (pictured below).

    That's not to say the video isn't thrilling, in fact to some it might be even better.


    This image released by Ellen DeGeneres shows actors, front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr. and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a "selfie" portrait on a cell phone during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ellen DeGeneres)

    The officer pictured in the clip is Royal Danish Air Force pilot Thomas Kristensen, who has been called "one of the most experienced F-16 pilots in the RDAF, having flown thousands of hours, including missions over ex-Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya."

    And the huge missile seen in the the corner of the picture is an infra-red weapon with an

    Read More »from Fighter pilot takes coolest "selfie" ever, or does he?

Pagination

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