x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

10 things you didn't know about the game of padel

Padel, not to be confused with the far less glamorous-sounding paddle tennis, is a mixture between tennis and squash.

If you are torn between tennis and squash, then the Emirates Palace hotel has the answer for you. It is called padel and, according to Trevor Smith, who runs the sports facilities at the hotel, it is "a mixture between the two". The Emirates Palace is putting the finishing touches on a court for its guests and members that will be ready this week. "We have a couple of guests who are very keen padel players, so we built them a court," says Smith.

Padel is not to be confused with the far less glamorous-sounding paddle tennis, but we're sure if you ask the Emirates Palace nicely, they will build you a paddle tennis court, too. 1 It was invented in Mexico by Enrique Corcuera in 1969. 2 It is most popular in Spain and in Latin American countries. 3It is typically played in doubles. 4 The court is walled and half the size of a tennis court.

5 The "paddle" is solid with no strings; it may be perforated. 6 The walls are used as part of the game, as in squash. 7 The scoring method is the same as tennis. 8 It takes around 20 minutes to get the hang of it. 9 The Padel Pro Tour (PPT) was created in 2005. 10 The serve is under- arm. A second serve is allowed.

What we tried eMusic bills itself as "the world's largest retailer of independent music and the world's second largest digital music retailer overall". (You can all guess what the first one is.) It has more than 4 million tracks from 40,000 indie music labels and now offers about 5,000 audiobook files. It also claims to have more than 200 journalists from around the world writing about music and books.

What we experienced Initially, we were attracted by an introductory offer of 50 free downloads and one free audiobook. Then we forgot to cancel and ended up paying $11.99 (Dh44) for 30 downloads a month and $9.99 (Dh37) for an audiobook, and our unused credits from the introductory offer disappeared. (All unused credits expire after a month.) No matter. We found eMusic's strengths to be what it advertises - a rich offering of indie artists (not to mention jazz and classical) with music journalism to match. We enjoyed the experience of downloading new music while becoming enriched as we read about it. However, newer offerings from mainstream artists - Bruce Springsteen or Coldplay, for instance - aren't offered.

As loyal iTunes users, we found it difficult to get used to a new interface. We had to download the eMusic download manager, which wasn't entirely seamless. Once we got it working, the music appeared in our iTunes library, but not in our "purchased" list. Still, there was much to like about eMusic: well-chosen editors' picks and "best" lists, lengthy reviews to go with each album, links to more about the musicians on the web and a toolbar that provides a free daily download. The final verdict While this service could never replace iTunes, eMusic is a good way to round out your musical selection if you've become stuck in your ways. However, while it claims its download prices are less than half of those on iTunes and Amazon, it is serious work to get your money's worth if you're not used to downloading 30 tunes a month.

The following should be useful for anyone visiting the Dubai Mall. English: Opening soon Arabic: Al iftitah qareeban Urdu: Jald aa raha hai

There was a time we used to live without our weekly mani/pedi, but it is buried in the recesses of our memory. So imagine the shock and horror when, after we couldn't get an appointment one day at our busy nail boutique, a friend suggested that we - gasp - paint our own toenails. We don't even have our own nail polish any more! At least we could still find our toes. If you want to try a do-it-yourself pedicure, now's the time, because it's not sandal season. Still, we recommend three ingredients to make it that much more pro: a base coat to smooth the application, a high-quality nail polish (you'll notice the difference) and cotton buds doused in nail-polish remover to wipe away the imperfections. See? It's not so bad. Just think of all the money you're saving.

Eco tip If you don't want to haul your glass jars to a recycling bin somewhere, then turn them into storage containers for spices. we like to use mumtaz condiment jars. Just soak them in boiling water to remove the labels first, then write the name of the spice on the jar with white paint or liquid paper. Jamie Oliver displays spices this way in Cook With Jamie. So you can be stylish, save money and do your bit for the planet all at the same time.