Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 May 2018


Space degree gets lift off, a bridge to somewhere, Chennai are IPL kings, Decree 10 and more

Hello from The National’s newsroom in Abu Dhabi.

In local news, a new physics degree will offer students direct access to the UAE’s burgeoning space programme. The four-year course at American University of Sharjah will offer practical, hands-on training and internships at the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

Hudayriat Beach opened yesterday in Abu Dhabi. Among the attractions are running and cycling tracks, a children's playground and a 600m beachfront. Al Hudayriat Island, accessed via a crossing at the end of Shakhbout bin Sultan Street that is colloquially known as the “bridge to nowhere”, has hitherto been best known for its emptiness, but big plans are afoot. And elsewhere, Anna Zacharias reports on the radio station that comes alive at night at this time of year.

In regional news, Iraq’s supreme court has rejected an appeal to cancel election results. Oman has extended a ban on hiring expatriates by another six months to create more job opportunities for Omani nationals and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed said terrorist activities have decreased in his country since four Arab countries cut ties with Qatar last year.

Elsewhere, one of the main candidates in Turkey’s presidential election has described his continued imprisonment as a “shadow” over the legitimacy of next month’s vote. Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in jail for more than a year-and-a-half, is standing for the Kurdish-focused Peoples' Democratic Party against Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It was a busy day in the world of sport, as football fans searched for meaning in what they had watched and witnessed in Kiev. The 2018 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was full of incident, including two goalkeeper blunders, one sublime goal and an injury to one of the best players in the world.

Read Ian Hawkey’s assessment of Gareth Bale’s heroics and Andy Mitten’s view on Zinedine Zidane’s trophy laden spell as Real’s manager. Richard Jolly reflects on a cruel night for Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius and we have the latest on the Egyptian superstar’s injury. If you want still more coverage from Kiev, read our editorial on Salah, Sergio Ramos and why the desire to win should not come at the expense of fair play. Catch up with F1 news here, as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo won in Monaco and read our analysis of last night’s IPL final, in which Shane Watson’s stunning innings ensured Chennai Super Kings claimed victory.

In opinion, Editor-in-Chief Mina Al Oraibi writes on Decree 10, another obstacle to Syrians dreaming of a return to their homeland. “Initiating land laws to punish entire populations is neither new nor unique”, she writes.

Jonathan Cook contributes a column on Fathi Harb’s public act of self-immolation last week. Suicide rates have spiked dramatically in Gaza in recent years. And Justin Thomas seeks the sweet spot between wealth and happiness. A new report sets out to calculate the cost of subjective wellbeing across the world.

In arts, we have coverage of a major retrospective of Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim’s work. His pieces are chiefly inspired by the natural landscape of his native Khor Fakkan, from his choice of material – coal, clay, or made in the mountains themselves – to the forms they take, which appear folkloric, primordial or surrealistic. And our lifestyle pages examine the work and role of doulas, particularly how they differ from midwives. The first licensed doula agency is now open in Dubai.

In business, read about the latest passenger numbers from Dubai International Airport. DXB served 7.61 million passengers in April, 0.1 per cent less than the same month last year, its operator reported on Sunday. Rebecca Bundhun explains why the weak Indian rupee is a strong concern for Indian economy and Dania Saadi reports on Aramco hiring Halliburton to help search for shale gas in the kingdom.

All this and more in The National today – visit TheNational.ae, find us Facebook, or follow us on Twitter for round-the-clock updates.

Nick March

Assistant Editor in Chief