National Geographic Abu Dhabi & Almarai Announce Winner of 2018 ‘Moments’ Competition  

Aspiring photographer Mohammed Al Baraway from Palestine named winner of this year’s competition for his striking image celebrating the theme ‘Stories From Arabia’


 National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media, announced today the winner of the 8th edition of ‘Moments’, its annual regional photography competition to nurture aspiring photographers from around the Arab World at an unveiling event that took place at Burj Khalifa in Dubai and was attended by executives from National Geographic Abu Dhabi, Almarai, the photography community, members of the press as well as other distinguished guests.



Selected from among 40,000 entries and 64 short-listed photos, 22-year old Mohammed Al Baraway from Palestine has been named as winner of this year’s competition, in recognition for his talent and creative interpretation of this year’s theme, “Stories From Arabia.”



This year’s competition witnessed a marked increase in the number of entries from Saudi Arabia, UAE and the rest of the GCC.


The quality of this year’s entries, which captured the wide breadth and diversity of people’s stories, showing people engaged in their daily lives, at home, at work, at prayer as well as people engaged in more formal occasions, were praised by the judging panel which featured Tasneem Al Sultan, an award-winning Saudi photographer who is a professional National Geographic photographer and Mr. Hussam R. Abdulqader, CMO, Almarai.


‘Moments’ is held in partnership with Almarai, the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the world and MENA’s largest food production and distribution company. The competition reflects Almarai’scommitment to foster Arab talent and provide them with the exposure and the possibility to be discovered on such a prominent platform. 

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Hussam R. Abdulqader, CMO, Almarai, said, “We are so proud of this year’s Moments competition, which reflects our commitment to support talent across the region. Year on year, we are seeing photographs with increasingly powerful storytelling. Many of this year’s photographs are living portraits of the stories of the region, historical, cultural and social stories, but above all human stories. I believe many rival internationally renowned photographs.”

Abdulrahman Awadh Al Harthi, Acting Executive Director of Television & Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Radio Network at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “The launch and support of this competition is part of Abu Dhabi Media’s commitment to encouraging creativity and artistic expression within the community, particularly amongst the youth and providing them the platform to showcasing their technical skill and artistic potential.”

“The quality of the participating images from across the Arab World have exceeded all expectations this year, achieving the international standards set by the judging committee. This is a true testament that the competition has succeeded in reaching a wide spectrum of serious and highly committed photographers, ambitious to achieving the highest standards,” Al Harthi concluded.

Sanjay Raina, General Manager and Senior Vice-President of Fox Networks Groups (FNG), said, “Congratulations to this year’s Moments Competition winner. We would like to also recognize all short-listed entries and every photography enthusiast from across the MENA region who entered in this year’s competition. At National Geographic Abu Dhabi, our mission is not only to share stories of exploration, adventure, travel and life through the lens of our photographers and cinematographers, but we want to encourage everyone to go out and be the explorer, the adventurer and the traveler who uncover their moments and bring their stories to the region and to the world. That’s what ‘Moments’ is all about. We are so proud to offer this platform that enables budding photographers to be discovered, while encouraging many others to pursue their Art, through giving them access to some the best mentors in the field, our National Geographic photographers.”

This year’s Grand Prize winner will have their photograph printed in the National Geographic magazine Arabic edition and is heading to a 10-day photography expedition trip to Italy, where he will be mentored by National Geographic expert photographers, in addition to $10,000 worth of photography equipment.

In this year’s competition, each story will carry with it an authentic, detailed and complete description of the story behind the image, which aims to add geographic, social and cultural context to the photo. In addition, the integrity and ethics behind the photo will be of utmost value – keeping up with National Geographic’s Global standards of ensuring images accurately represents cultures, ecosystems, and wildlife.



Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One, launches the Tallest Tower of its prestigious D1 Residences

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One – part of the master development Meydan – announced the launch of the tallest tower of its prestigious D1 Residences.


The 16-storey tower was launched alongside the launch of the 1, 2 and 3 bedroom show apartments held on 11th December 2018 at District One Sales Centre. The event was attended by Senior Management of Meydan Group, dignitaries and Senior Management of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One, media representatives, expert market influencers and other prominent guests. They were treated to a tour of the show apartments as well as a special boat tour of the iconic Crystal Lagoon.


The newly launched tower located in the luxurious Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One is the Tallest Tower of “D1 Residences” comprises 16 floors with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom contemporary waterfront apartments catering to various family sizes. These cutting-edge homes are bathed in natural light streaming through the ceiling to floor windows, offering a stunning panoramic view of the greenery surroundings and the world’s largest man-made 7-km Crystal Lagoon.




This mesmerizing crystal lagoon is set on a pristine private beach marvel, surrounded by acres of lush greenery. Created with a patent technology that keeps the water looking crystal blue all year long. The Crystal Lagoon at District One offers residents exclusive access to swimming, paddle boarding, and other non-motorized aquatic leisure activities.


Mohammad Abdul Nasser Al Khayat, Vice President Commercial and Freezone, Meydan Group LLCwho delivered the welcome speech said, “We are particularly proud of this tower launch as it is the Tallest Tower of “D1 Residences” that is overlooking the phenomenal world’s largest man-made 7 km Crystal Lagoon. Since the launch of “D1 Residences”, it has received positive interest from buyers and investors across the world and the interest is definitely growing as we continue to provide extraordinary features, and exquisite surrounding facilities for this prestigious community.”

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One is an exclusive residential destination comprising opulent Mansions, luxurious villas and the waterfront apartments. Furthermore to the community’s unique lifestyle features of 7-km crystal lagoon, 14-km boardwalk, over 8.4-km cycling and running track, and 26 million sq-ft of green open spaces, residents will enjoy a premium destination in the heart of Dubai, minutes away from many of Dubai’s world-class attractions, landmarks, airports and metro links.

The luxurious community is located minutes away from the upcoming Meydan One, Dubai’s iconic new shopping and recreational destination. In addition, the community provides mosques, schools, premium retail brands, F&B outlets and supermarkets across the premises for an all-rounded experience for the families residing at District One.



La Vigna – Century Village

La Vigna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This was my second visit to Century Village to review La Vigna, a restaurant so Italian, not only by its food, but as you walk inside Century Village the Italian Vibes are felt from far.


Much attractive & widespread outdoor seating arrangement with red & white checked table clothes, antique style wooden door & all things Italian in its inside & outside décor.

Aroma of wood fired pizza is spread in air. Pizzas are prepared in front of you in the wood fire oven. The inside atmosphere is clam & classy so is the ambiance outside, a lot of greenery & fascinating plantation done in the dessert is just amazing!


We had delicious food from their menu, here’s what we had for our Italian lunch …….

While we waited for the lunch to be served we munched on fresh bread with olive oil & the garlic bread.

Had juices & Strawberry Smoothie.

Antipasti or Cold Appetizers:
Cocktail Di Gamberetti …….. delicious Prawn Cocktail richly drenched in pink velvety sauce.

Pizza :
We had their special Crispy Fresh La Vigna Special Pizza topped with Tomato Sauce, Mozarella Cheese, Chicken, Black Olives, Mushrooms, Roasted Capsicum & Sun dried Tomatoes.


Panzerotti Pasta, stuffed with Chicken & Ricotta Cheese & served in very savory sauce made of Tomato & Cream.


Carne / Meat & Seafood:
Salmone Lesso in Salsa Allo Zafferano ……. …. A good portion of Salmon Steak so delicious alongwith Mussels & Lemon Cream dip, do not miss this dish of Poached Salmon In Saffron Sauce.



Tiramissu & Crème Brulee. Both desserts had a beautiful presentation & done to perfection.


Crème brulee was topped with Black Berry Sauce which made each bite so pleasurable.


Not only you will enjoy the food here but will surely be lost in the enticing atmosphere. Moreover, their festive arrangements are all set to welcome guests for Christmas.


Al Bustan Centre & Residence – Al Teaba Food Restaurant

Al Teaba Food Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Few days back had sumptuous lunch at Al Bustan Centre & Residence with some great offers on their Steaks & Sizzlers.

Inside their food court which is very spacious with well arranged seating & the caring staff provides a complete restaurant setup.


At this dining venue, you can have everything starting from fresh juices, Salads, variety of main course & mouth watering Steaks & Sizzlers which we experienced here. The chef prepares variety of steaks & meat cuts done to perfection.

Separate counter for fresh juices provides variety of freshly squeezed juices at the spot.

Mixed servings of our favorite salads were offered to us from the Salad Bar.


And in main course we had our favorite platters of steaks …..
Norwegian Salmon Steak & Shish Taouk.
Enjoyed the flavorsome grilled portions of Chicken & Salmon each served along with fries & veggies.



Their Pastry Shop include a wide range of desserts like Cakes, Cheese Cakes, Pastries, Cream Caramel, Muhallabia, Ice Cream & a lot more.
We had Muhallabia & Cream Carame, both so delicious!



Zenofer Fathima pushes for awareness on internet dangers for children with new short film ‘Hooked’

Studies show that the internet and social may pose serious risks to users’ mental and emotional well-being

 Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, the independent short film ‘Hooked’ by actor-producer Zenofer Fathima officially debuted  at the Novo Cinemas in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai.  ‘Hooked’, a film by ZEN Productions under the Enigma series, gives an informative and thrilling look on how the internet and social media can negatively affect kids, with profound implications on their mental, emotional and overall well-being.

Zenofer Fathima - Hooked


Zenofer has been gaining recognition for creating and envisioning film projects that promote discussion and encourage social action on various issues.  She was inspired to produce ‘Hooked’ in light of several international studies claiming that the psychological and emotional risks of using digital technologies far outweigh the rewards.

“The unseen dangers of the internet and social media continue to receive increased attention. As a parent, I feel it’s crucial to build awareness on keeping our children safe no matter how busy we are,” Zenofer said.

Bollywood Actor & Director Sohail Khan at the launch of ‘Hooked’.


The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned about the potential negative effects of social media in young kids and teens, including cyber-bullying and depression.  Another note of caution has come from a research published in Preventative Medicine Reports indicating that too much time spent on the screen, gaming and smartphones is linked to heightened levels and diagnoses of anxiety or depression in children as young as age two.

Zenofer added, “I believe that the most challenging issue for us parents nowadays is that online access for many kids have become less supervised.  They are spending more and more time online, and so the harmful effects they are exposed to also keep growing – from social isolation to mental health issues, to bullying, bad language and inappropriate content.  ‘Hooked’ is a cinematic necessity, my way of helping educate parents about the need to protect our kids and the whole family against the possible dangers of the digital world.”

The movie stars Zenofer on the lead role, playing the role of the mother of a teenage girl – played by Noor Tucker – who is exhibiting unusual behavioral changes after getting hooked on a dangerous website.  Owais Shah, a former English cricketer, joins Zenofer and Noor in the movie.



“This is my very first short film and I’m very proud to be given this opportunity to be a part of it. ‘Hooked’ is very close to me.  A large portion it revolves on how a family is ripped apart by a current reality.  I thought we should all do our part to stir action by exploring the horrors and pain of real-life problems like internet addiction,” Owais commented.

‘Hooked’ is now available for viewing on Zenofer’s official YouTube channel House of Zen.



47th UAE National Day and Year of Zayed Celebrations at Manzil Downtown

Manzil Downtown celebrates the 47th UAE National Day and honors the life and achievements of the nation’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by hosting an exclusive Emirati poetry evening on the 26th of November 2018.


Her Highness Sheikha Dr. Hind Al-Qassimi, members of board of directors, influential Emirati Culture and Heritage personalities, poets, folkloric musicians and media have joined Manzil Downtown management in honor of this special occasion.


Sharihan Al Mashary, General Manager of Manzil Downtown says, “Our nation connects through poetry and it is part of our Emirati culture, heritage and identity”, and this is how Manzil Downtown commemorates the UAE National Day and Year of Zayed. She adds that poets in the region deserved recognition and appreciation for their artesian work and for their dedication towards keeping the Emirati culture alive. “We are honored and privileged to have UAE’s remarkable poets, Hamda Al Mur AlMuhairi, Daraa Aljazirah (Humaid AlDeri), Abdallah Bin Qusyier, and Lamya AlSaiqal recite poems for the Nation, H.H. the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan with a memorable tribute to UAE’s martyred heroes. A cultural connection built on memory of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan through poetry. Rasha Ramadan, presenter of Al Dafrah TV eloquently emceed the event.

Manzil Downtown is a culturally inspiring upscale lifestyle hotel, which positions itself as UAE’s epitome of Arabian and Emirati hospitality. The hotel’s essence is brought to life by the Emirati poetry gathering, creating the perfect atmosphere and experience to celebrate the Spirit of the Union.


UAE’s popular Emirati artists along with other VIP guests and media figures also joined Manzil Downtown in commemorating this special occasion.


The UAE National day, which is commemorated on December 2nd, is usually marked with pomp and color across all the seven Emirates. Emiratis, residents, and visitors alike are treated to a host of festivities, parades, and entertainment, which takes part over a long weekend.

In marking 100 years since the birth of the country’s Founding Father, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced that 2018 would be the Year of Zayed. This is a special event that celebrates and recognizes the late Sheik Zayed’s achievements.

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Benjamin Moore Unveiled Color of the Year 2019 in collaboration with Ethan Allen

Benjamin Moore and Ethan Allen hosted a morning gathering with leading color specialist Toni Snyder and Feng Shui interior designer Simone Osswald to officially launch The Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2019 – Metropolitan AF-690, a stylish gray with cool undertones. It was unveiled on 25th November 2018 to some VIP clients, guests and media at Benjamin Moore Color Studio, Ethan Allen Design Centre Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai UAE.


 Simone covered the importance of color and furniture placements in relation to Feng Shui while Toni shared her expertise in palette, color selection and fascination with color and design.


“We are delighted to collaborate with Ethan Allen once again to launch Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2019 and it’s always a pleasure to work with them since we both know how to create good content for our target audience”, said Farooq Paracha, Managing Director, Benjamin Moore Middle East.

The color leader also unveiled its Color Trends 2019, a corresponding palette of 15 harmonious hues that further amplify the cultured grace of Metropolitan AF-690. Ranging from ethereal neutrals to frothy pinks to rich blues and greens, the Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2019 palette features:

Putnam Ivory HC-39 Balboa Mist OC-27

Kendall Charcoal HC-166 Smoke 2122-40

Black Pepper 2130-40 Soft Fern 2144-40

Cloud White OC-130 Beau Green 2054-20 Metropolitan AF-690 Hale Navy HC-154

Head Over Heels AF-250 Kona AF-165

Decorator’s White OC-149 Pashmina AF-100

Hunter Green 2041-10


Emphasizing the calming role gray plays in society, the Color Trends 2019 color card illustrates how to capture the coveted feeling of restorative quietude in any setting. Elements include the blending of heathered grays and soft linens to create an enveloping haze in a living room; utilizing reflective metallic accents and easygoing neutrals to add a comforting factor to a sleek kitchen; and creating a dose of modest allure to an elegant entryway by coating the walls, doors and trim in a bold navy blue.


The richness and nuance demonstrated through the Color of the Year and Color Trends 2019 palette can only be achieved with Benjamin Moore products. Offering residential and commercial paints for any project, the Benjamin Moore portfolio includes Aura®, Aura® Bath & Spa, Regal® Select, Ultra Spec®, Natura® ben®, ADVANCE®, ARBORCOAT® and Aura® Grand Entrance®. All 3,500 Benjamin Moore colors are available in pint samples at local retailers along with Color Trends 2019 curated palette cards. Benjamin Moore products are exclusively found in UAE and GCC at dedicated Benjamin Moore stores.




‘BEASTRO’ Opens its Doors at First Central Hotel Suites

It is time to experience the cool new all-day-dining venue, ‘BEASTRO’, that is now open at First Central Hotel Suites. This one-of-a-kind outlet is the brainchild of the hotel’s Executive Chef Patrick Lanteigne and developed by Rachel Thomson, F&B Concept Development & Performance Manager, The First Group.


 BEASTRO’s approach is to adapt the great principles of deformalized dining – around great food, approachable and engaged service, and a fun environment while combining it with very market friendly pricing.


Rachel Thomson said, “We saw a gap in the area for an innovative concept that embrace the words lively, quirky and approachable. Focusing on a comfort-food heavy menu at market disrupting prices we are confident BEASTRO will be unbeatable in terms of positioning for the offering we have.”

 Patrick Lanteigne added, “BEASTRO will offer fun and familiar food that is playful and cool. We are changing the way people think about the food they love to eat. The menu has been created from the ground up to be food that everyone loves and wants to have. Something new and yet familiar. Our cuisine is North American comfort food with a focus on taking classic dishes and making them fun and exciting.”

 The brand development was undertaken in-house to unsure the ethos of the concept rang true. Rachel stressed, “We sourced high-quality, eco-friendly yet cost-effective products for our packing. We are using our own-branded BEASTRO stamp to brand our packages in-house. We also print our menus in-house to allow for greater flexibility and sustainability.”


 BEASTRO will primarily cater to the local Barsha Heights (TECOM) market. Chef Patrick stated, “We will bring it to your table or drive it to your door. It is important that every time you come to BEASTRO, you leave wanting more, and more and more.”

Chef Patrick continued, “Equally cool is the atmosphere at the restaurant that has been decorated in a simple yet funky style adding a sense of occasion to every meal. So, whether you are dining or merely popping in for a coffee, the restaurant’s décor instantly puts you at ease. And to top it all, here the guests are not referred to as ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ but as ‘Besties’ because that’s how friendly the service is.”


The sumptuous Buffet selection & Non- Alcoholic Beverages




Sukh Sagar Restaurant Dubai

Sukh Sagar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sukh Sagar REstaurant in Karama proved to be a perfect vegetarian dining spot. We had our lunch few days back at this Indian restaurant, the restaurant attracts a good crowd for its great hospitality which we also experienced, & classic food flavors, aromas & those who miss back home can enjoy their favorite home like recipes here.


When I was asked to opt meals from the menu, my first request was Saag & Maki ki Roti, although not on the menu but was available in the kitchen.


Paneer Seekh Kebabs were soft & amazingly done with a great recipe.


The most favorite item was the truly irresistible Dahi Puri plate richly layered with all ingredients, chutneys & yogurt.


Delish Stuffed Parathas were served with green chutney & achaar.


We also tried & enjoyed the stuffed Dosa with freshly made coconut chutney.

Vegetable Pulao was so aromatic combined with vegetables & paneer.

Ganga Jamna was a mix of Mosambi & Orange & the other one was Pomegranate. The juices were not much concentrated as they were supposed to be. But overall we had a good dining experience.

Zenofer Fathima’s first feature film premieres

Inertia to be aired by Dubai-based free-to-air channel Imagine Movies.


Actor-producer Zenofer Fathima, who rose to the front ranks of the local independent film scene by releasing a series of short movies praised for their sense of realism and social impact, debuted  her very first feature film at the Novo Cinemas in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. Set to be showcased late this year on television by free-to-air channel Imagine Movies,  Inertia  is starred in by Zenofer on the lead role with Bollywood actor Mukul Dev and Casey Shannon, the double for Tom Cruise in  Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol , as co-stars.

Zenofer Fathima and Casey Shannon (1)

Inertia , directed by Sachin Ramdas, chronicles one fateful day in the life of a successful  businesswoman. While on a business trip, she  is whisked through a series of unexpected events, ending up in a terrifying predicament and exposed to an unravelling mystery after meeting a cryptic stranger. Full of heart-stopping twists,  Inertia  demonstrates a compelling reality that overconfidence can at times lead to some not so pleasant results and take your life off the rails.

 Inertia  is an extension of my passion to create visual narratives that emotionally connect. Its effectiveness comes from a reality that mirrors societal complications and creates dialogues amongst a broad audience,” Zenofer explained.

“As a committed filmmaker, it is very important for me to create content that strike a chord with my audience because a material that they can relate to can help build their loyalty and trust to my projects. I believe that  Inertia  has what it takes to create resonance with my viewers and this is why I chose it to be my inaugural full-length movie. I cannot be more grateful that Imagine Movies is lending its support by airing the film, hopefully by next month, so that more fans will be able to see it,” Zenofer added.

Imagine Movies is a Dubai-based FTA channel known for showcasing a wide range of movies across all genres, from timeless classics to the latest blockbusters. It also runs Hindi Movies with Arabic subtitles and also some Local contests that are hosted and held by local celebs.

Following the premiere,  Inertia ’s five-minute opening sequence has been released for viewing on Zenofer’s official YouTube channel  House of Zen . Imagine Movies will broadcast the entire full-length feature film, which runs for 70 minutes.

Looking forward, the CEO and Founder of Zen Productions revealed that she plans to do more film projects, including a new full-length Bollywood movie.

Zenofer - Inertia