• Middle East
  • So long, Dubai, and thanks for all the pens.

    Since moving back home to Sydney three months ago I’ve made three key learnings: That I will never, ever, acclimatise to weather below 20 degrees again. Ever. Toum breath is actually not an unacceptable thing to have after a lunch break. Consequently: I miss My Shawarma more than I ever thought possible. A couple of weeks ago I bumped into a former colleague who […]

  • Features
  • Diwali in Dubai

    It always comes as a surprise to visitors to Dubai that Indians actually make up the majority of the emirate’s expats. As such, celebrations like Diwali are celebrated with gusto. Diwali (or Deepavali) is the ‘Festival of Lights’, an ancient Hindu celebration that I’ve been told is “as big as Christmas.” I’m down with that. […]

  • Middle East
  • Kfarsghab: a land of milk and honey

    The first time I visited Lebanon, I made a vow to never return. Hindsight being the beautiful thing that it is, I can certainly see now why the circumstances surrounding that holiday (I was 18, single, travelling with Dad, and spoke as much Arabic as a Spanish goldfish) garnered “Oh, she’s here for a husband” attention. Alas, no suitor #putaringonit, and […]

  • Features
  • Salalah, Oman’s secret paradise

    Palm trees on sandy beaches, coastal roads lined with stalls selling coconuts and papaya, hectare after hectare of banana plantation, and a very Arabian village seemingly stuck a few decades back in time… On first appearances, Salalah does appear to be undergoing a major identity crisis. Centuries ago, this beachside town hugging the southern coast of Oman […]

  • Features
  • Weekend camel races in Biyata

    Friday, 1.30pm. Dubai’s malls are teeming with afternoon shoppers. The beaches are packed. Sheikh Zayed Road rumbles with afternoon traffic after a morning of peace. We’re about an hour away, heading towards the emirate of Umm al-Quwain for a camping weekend. Traffic jams and glittering buildings have long been left behind. We’re ambling along roads lined […]