Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back January 3rd

Hello Nightline listeners.

We are taking a week off for the Christmas and New Year period.

We will be back broadcasting live on the 3rd of January.

In the mean time take a look at the podcast and have a listen to some of your favorite interviews.

Happy New Year from Natasha and James at Nightline

Friday, December 25, 2009

What happens when the construction industry of the UAE, all stakeholders, start talking and sharing safety concerns and issues? Michael Cully and Craig Streak join me for a conversation about this not for profit organization.

Plan your weekend with Claire

What to do in Dubai with Claire Fenner.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dubai's New Year's Resolutions

we polled the listeners about resolutions and this is what we got!

1 do new things
2. volunteer
3. exercise
4.get married
5. keep a diary
6. survive
7. return
8. stop speeding
9. stop bad parking
10. stop being materialist
11. be a millionaire
12. learn arabic
13. work less
14. stop gossip
15 be me

Ahmed bin Shabib

The is the new new reality of the middle east and Dubai! What the UAE is all about is enabling content to find its place. Ahmed bin Shabib co-founder of brownbag, browbook and the Shelter walks us through the issues and challenges.

Bekky Britton goes from outdoor education to being a food designer! What a story.

Eritrea, we need to care.

Professor Dan Connell of Simmons College Boston walks us through why we should care about Eritrea.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Small change=Big change

Shereen Qutob joined me for a conversation about her contribution to the FREE ebook, The Inconvenience of Change. Get your copy of the book from

Matt Cheuvront brought this project to life and it is all about sharing for change! Watch the video!

The Drama Scene

Ferne Reynolds Lategan,, joins me for a talk about how she is bringing drama education to the youth of the UAE.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 talking technology

Magnus Nystedt, editor of, talks to us about the must have gadgets. for the details.

Shufflegazine - Apple Lifestyle Magazine for the Middle East

Show notes 2009-12-15: Top gadget tips [updated]

Horrible Histories on stage

A conversation with Philip Compton executive producer of Birmingham Stage Company's Horrible Histories stage show.

Horrible Histories World Wars

We're proud to present a world premiere of HORRIBLE HISTORIES live on stage!

Using actors and amazing 3D special effects, these two astounding shows - Frightful First World War and Woeful Second World War are guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips. Written by Terry Deary - the world's best selling non-fiction writer for children - this ground-breaking theatrical presentation will leave you gasping!

The show tells the story of 13 year old Angelica Taylor who is sucked into the Horrible Histories website. There she discovers how the war started, how troops were treated, the conditions in the trenches, what the soldiers ate, the weapons they faced, the fearsome courts-martial, the sinking of the Lusitania, the infamous ghost stories, world war songs and experience what it was like to go over the top. You'll leave the theatre in no doubt why this was called the Great War.

From the brutal Blitz to the soggy shelters, the show tells the story of two Coventry children, Alf and Sally, who get evacuated to darkest Wales, escaping damp shelters and nightly bombings only to suffer rotten rations, scary schools and even scarier new parents. It's packed with facts and there are ground-breaking 3D Bogglevision effects to witness the bombing of Coventry. Discover everything you need to know about surviving battling Britain!j

I was joined in studio by Rachel, Tamara and Rami for a look at a new social networking tool in Dubai. Social circles not only connects people online, for free, but allows them to make their own subgroup of members.

Social Circles Dubai

Welcome to Social Circles Dubai! A new group here in Dubai intended to help you make new friends and have a bit of fun.

If you're new to this site, the idea behind Social Circles Dubai is simple, we want to have a laugh and expand our circles (and yours) professionally and personally because it's not what you know but who you know - and who knows you - that changes your life. For the better, ideally. So sign up, personalise your page, stick your photos and vids up, banter on a chat group, share your music, do a bit of blogging, and get involved in the great groups that people have started.

We organise events as often as we have time for (our pesky day jobs get in the way sometimes but, sigh, gotta pay the rent) so come along and meet us. Come on your own, with friends, colleagues, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands or wives. Heck, bring your Mum and Dad if you want, we're good with mums and dads. Better still, start your own group on this site and arrange your own events that we can come to.

Heroes of the United Arab Emirates


Ms. Razan Al Mubarak, MD of the Emirates Wildlife Society, and Ms. Kaltham Al Koheij, regional head of corporate sustainability for HSBC, joined me for a conversation about
motivating our youth to be environmentally literate.

Introducing Heroes Of the UAE

It's only in times of crisis that heroes emerge. The UAE has the highest per capita ecological footprint on earth. It faces an impending energy crisis and the impacts of climate change. This will affect every single one of us, unless we seize the opportunity to become a hero and make a difference.

Introducing Heroes Of the UAE

That was the insight and the starting point for the Heroes Of The UAE campaign, jointly developed by The Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF) and The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi; and is endorsed by the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Environment & Water, MASDAR, and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. Through a major blitz of press, outdoor and radio advertising in early 2009, we are alerting the UAE to the fact that drastic action must be taken now to drastically curb our energy consumption, avert dangerous shortages and become a great deal more energy conscious. But while it makes it clear that this a very real problem that must be seriously addressed by everyone from governments to individuals, it also points out that straightforward, practical, successful solutions are readily available.

The campaign is centred around the website, where people can find out everything they need to know about the causes of the problem and also find out what they can do to help solve it.

Principal features of the website include an animated sequence that explains the present energy and environment situation in simple, graphic terms, along with a long list of energy saving tips, a calculator that enables households to establish exactly how and where they can make real savings on their consumption, and a unique pledge facility which enables households to positively state their intention to make a difference.

For the sake of the planet, the UAE and our children, we need this campaign. More importantly, we need everyone - including you - to act on it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dubai Youth Speak Out

Six Dubai students, aged 11 and 12, from Repton School, JESS and Dubai College talk about ambition, health and solving global problems. Maybe we really do need to listen to our youth today to solve the problems we have created!

Keren Bobker's Investing 101

Keren Bobker joins us for a lesson in personal investing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dubai Animal Rescue Center

DARC has 92 creatures living in the home of Aisha, the founder, in Barsha 3.

Learn how you can help.

A week of activities from Easy Living Dubai

Claire Fenner of joins me to help plan your week!

The Lipton Tea Institute

I was joined on the phone by Dr. Jane Rycroft of the Lipton Tea Institute for a conversation about tea research!,10.aspx

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

5th UAE Benchmark Banking Study By ETHOS consultancy

We were joined in studio by Ryan McMaster and Joshua Beckwith, from Ethos Consultancy for a recap of the banking benchmark study.

Bank Benchmarking Study

2009 marks the 5th anniversary of this study. The Bank Benchmarking Study (BBS) offers an insight into the performances of retail banks operating in the UAE with regards to response time and service quality that retail banks deliver through all channels.

Carried out by trained and experienced researchers and shoppers who focus on real scenarios whereby a prospective customer approaches a retail bank via three channels: branch, call center or website. These channels are then evaluated on key differentiators that define customer experience at a bank and include interpersonal performance, response time, service quality and satisfactory outcome.

Approximately 40,000 responses are analysed each year. 1,500 visits cover the 29 banks included in the study, with 80 different criteria being measured. Each year Ethos announces and awards the category winners, which include: Best Bank Overall, Best Islamic Bank, Best International Bank, Best New Bank, Best Call Centre Performance and Best Website Response Performance.

Dubai Terry Fox Run For Cancer Research

I was joined in studio by the organizers of the Dubai Terry Fox Run, coming up December 11th. We spoke about why this run is important for cancer research funding in the UAE and were joined on the phone, from Canada, by Judith Fox-Adler sister of the late Terry Fox and director of the Terry Fox Foundation.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Masarat Daud's 8Day Academy

Masarat Daud, Peter Kotikalapdui and kristina Nysell join us for a conversation about the 8 Day Academy.

The education system has failed all of us. There is a huge disconnect between what we study and the real world.

(Masarat Daud, TEDxDubai 10.10.09)

Idea worth spreading:

One of the first female university graduates from her village in Rajasthan, Masarat wanted to bring education to the girls in her village using a method she calls “functional education”… So, she created the 8-Day Academy!

In exactly a week, she showed her first class (70 women who had never seen a computer) how to use computers, to speak in public, to be leaders... When she came back a few months later the women had computerized schools throughout the village, they were speaking across town and sharing their new found knowledge with others…

Call to action:

Create your own 8-Day Academy. All you need is 8 days to change the world!

UAE's Social Services Sector

Dr. Kennon Rider an associate professor and director of the Family Community Services undergraduate program at Michigan State University Dubai joins us for a conversation about the need to educate and train for the social services sector.

Rider, Kennon,Kennon Rider, Ph.D., CFLE. Ph.D., CFLE.
Associate Professor, Family & Child Ecology - MSU Dubai. Will coordinate the Family Community Services Bachelor degree and be responsible for teaching, recruiting, and advising students. Dr. Rider is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, having received his MS in Family Relations and his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. He has previously taught at Zayed University in Dubai.

The UAE's 1st Cloned Camel.

Dr. Wanni of the Camel Reproduction Center in Dubai talks about the 1st cloned camel Injaz. camel cloned in UAE

Birth of Injaz marks world breakthrough for scientists working in Dubai project.

  • By Kevin Scott, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:06 April 13, 2009

  • Injaz, a cloned female camel, was born at the Camel Reproduction Centre on April 8 after an uncomplicated gestation of 378 days. She was created from cumulus cells harvested from the ovary of an adult female camel.
  • Image Credit: Supplied Picture

Dubai: The world's first cloned camel has been born in Dubai.

The female calf, called Injaz (meaning achievement), was produced at the Camel Reproduction Centre (CRC) last Wednesday.

The team at the CRC, headed by Dr Lulu Skidmore and Dr Ali Redha, said Injaz was created from cumulus cells harvested from the ovary of a female adult camel, which were grown in culture before being frozen in liquid nitrogen.

Dr Lulu Skidmore, Scientific Director of the CRC, told Gulf News: "We are all very excited at the birth of Injaz as she is the result of great skill and teamwork of everyone at the Camel Reproduction Centre. This significant breakthrough gives a means of preserving the valuable genetics of our elite racing and milk producing camels in the future."

The team said the camel was born after an uncomplicated gestation period of 378 days. Injaz currently weighs 30kg. The DNA of Injaz's cells and that of the original ovarian cells have been tested using microsatellite DNA analysis at the Molecular Biology and Genetics Laboratory in Dubai, and have been found to be identical, thereby proving that Injaz is indeed a clone of the original female camel.

The news comes a year after the centre announced the birth of identical twin camel calves Zahi and Bahi. The male twins were created using a technique called embryo micro-manipulation.

The CRC, which was established in 1989, not only breeds camels but carries out genetic studies on old and new-world camelids. Rama the 'Cama" was born just over a decade ago as the world's first viable hybrid between a camel and a guanaco, related to the llama.

Cloning is the process of producing genetically-identical individuals. Cloning occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually.

The world's first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell was Dolly the Sheep, who was produced on July 5, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dolly's birth was heralded as one of the most significant breakthroughs. Dolly went on to gain worldwide fame before being put down in 2003 after a veterinary examination showed she had a progressive lung disease.

Is this the way forward in organ transplants? Is there enough awareness behind cloning and genetic sciences? Would you seek cloning?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

UAE Action Adventure Film

Micahel-Ryan Fletchall of joined us on the phone to talk about a new and exciting film project in the UAE.

Experience Media Studios is a next-generation global media and entertainment company positioned to be the future worldwide studio leader, and a driving force behind Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates media industry. The company specializes in movie and television show investments, development, creation, management, licensing and distribution across all current and emerging media and platforms. The core team of experienced and dedicated innovative international media executives and filmmakers oversee eight balanced vertically integrated divisions within the organization.

Alia Yunis' 'The Night Counter'

Alia Yunis joined us on the phone,,to talk about her debut smash hit book 'The Night Counter'.

The Book
Read an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide

An enchanting debut that asks, Which stories would you tell, if you only had nine days left to tell them?

Fatima Abdullah has been alive 85 long years, and she knows when her time will come. In fact, it should come just nine days from tonight, the 992nd nightly visit of the beautiful and immortal Scheherazade.

Each night, Fatima has told Scheherazade her life stories, all the while knowing that on the 1001st night, her storytelling will end forever. But between tonight and night 1001, Fatima has a few loose ends to tie up. She must find a wife for her openly gay grandson, teach Arabic (and birth control) to her 17-year-old great-granddaughter, make amends with her estranged husband, and decide which of her troublesome children should inherit her family's home in Lebanon--a house she herself has not seen in nearly 70 years. All this while under the surveillance of two bumbling FBI agents eager to uncover Al Qaeda in L.A.

In a debut that charms and bewitches, Alia Yunis unravels four generations of Abdullah family secrets with a great sense of comic timing and a deft touch of magical realism. Touching on the histories of both the United States and the Middle East over the last one hundred years, this is the heart-warming story of a family just as crazy as yours.

Dubai's Oil Baron

Charlie Sinclair of WASP Oil Field Services was crowned the 2009 oil baron by his peers. Charlie joins us for a conversation about the oil industry and his road to becoming the oil baron.

Charlie Sinclair, managing director of WASP Oilfield Services, celebrated success at the Oil Barons Ball last night as he was awarded the prestigious 2009 title of Oil Baron. Mr. Sinclair was crowned with a bespoke Stetson at the eagerly anticipated event for his outstanding achievements and continuing contributions to the Middle East energy sector.

More than 2,000 of the industry’s key influencers attended the Media City Amphitheatre to witness the crowning and entertainment extravaganza celebrating 50 years of Motown magic, tribute band the Four Tops were flown in from London’s West End to entertain guests.

Mr. Sinclair arrived in style for his crowning in an open toped Jaguar, as the guests danced the night away to a Motown show second to none.

The silent auction was a major success, raising money for Sharjah based charity, Friends of Cancer Patients, which helps to ease the strain on cancer patients and their families as well funding research and education. Generous guests placed bids on a series of donated items, including a luxury holiday in Thailand and Sri Lanka, jewellery, golf clubs and a retro Jukebox to name but a few.

WASP Oilfield Services Ltd. was founded in Dubai by Charlie and his business partner in 2007 and provides state-of-the-art commissioning services including assembly, dis-assembly and pressure testing for downhole tubular products. It is a totally bespoke concept in the Middle East and one that can save the energy sector precious money and time. Sinclair brings a wealth of experience to the new enterprise, having worked with Baker Oil tools for 32 years, which took him across the Middle East, North America, West Africa and Europe.

The Ball, now in its seventh year, is the largest gala event of its kind in Europe and the Middle East and has quickly become one of the social events of the year. The award was founded and is organised by Reflex Publishing, responsible for leading energy industry publications Pipeline magazine and Future Fuels & Energies.

Mr. Sinclair, said: “Being crowned this year’s Oil Baron is one of the highlights of my career to date. Receiving such recognition from my peers and colleagues is particularly satisfying but it would not have been possible without the support and commitment of my colleagues.

“2009 has been a year marked with great achievements for WASP Oilfield Services and I am confident the next 12 months will bring even greater success.”

Eileen Michael, Managing Director for Reflex Publishing, said: “The event was a fantastic success and Charlie fully deserves his Oil Baron title. Those who voted for him have described Charlie as a “Real Oilfield Character and the perfect Oil Baron for 2009”. Tonight has been a fantastic success and we are very grateful to all the generous guests who have helped to raise so much money for FOCP.

“This past year has been challenging for the industry but we feel the turnout last night shows there is plenty to be positive about going forward.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The United Arab Emirates film Industry

Michael-Ryan Fletchall,, talks about the film and television industry in the UAE and region.

A Dubai Weekend with Claire Fenner

Claire Fenner of joins us to fill out to-do list of activities.

Sounds of the United Arab Emirates

A group of Zayed University students, in Dubai, recorded the sounds of their UAE and talk about them. Great insight into the youth of the UAE and what they are thinking about.

Dubai Mums Club!

Jenny Haddad and her partner alice join me for a talk about reaching out to the community of parents and a great business idea!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Canadian Consul General Dubai on Canada and UAE

H.E. Kris Panday, Canadian Consul General Dubai, joined me in studio for a conversation about Canada. From business to sports we covered it all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 may be the change in education we need!

A conversation with Dr. Barbara Kurshan and Anna Batchelder, and, about the road ahead for sustainable education. WEB2.0 and sharing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Easy Living Dubai and Clair Fenner on the Weekend

Your weekly guide to how to fill the week with activities with Claire Fenner.

Cancer Awareness Now

Dr. Sawson A.S. Al Madi General Secretary of Friends of Cancer Patients and H.E. Sheikh Sultan Al-Qasimi of Gulf Holdings joined me for a broad conversation about how we understand cancer and where we need to be going with awareness.

Magnus on tech

Magnus is back with another tech installment!

Camiceria Design simply great menswear in the UAE.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Money Talks. And Walks the Talk

Money Munot joined me in studio to talk about doing what you believe and following your heart.

Dubai Cares Bucket Walk

Jumana Al Darwish, Anas Bukhash and Amal Al Redha join me in studio to talk about what Dubai Cares is doing and their latest activity, the bucket walk.

Keren Bobker's Investing 101

For a few minutes we speak to Nicole Betts about her role in MOvember in the UAE. Keren Bobker,, joins us for part 1 of investing 101.

Space Insurance

Pierre-Eric Lys and Lucy Gilchrist of ELSECO Ltd. join us for a conversation about the way we protect our investments in outer space! Really.

Steven Funk talking about

Steven Funk joined me on the phone for a conversation about

Who What Why When Where?

25,000 children die everyday from poverty (UNICEF). Race4Change is racing to save the lives of those children. 100% of money raised will benefit Kenya-based Jamii Bora Trust, an innovative, world-renowned microfinance institution, and the Microcredit Summit Campaign, a global campaign to reach the world’s poorest, especially women, with credit and financial services.

On Nov 22 to Dec 1, 2009, Steven Funk and Jean-Louis Juchault will co-drive a 1975 Peugeot 504 coupe V6 rally car in the dangerous East Africa Safari Classic road rally throughout Kenya’s roughest terrain! Join with us and Donate to support The Microcredit Summit Campaign and Jamii Bora in their work.

News Flash

Race4Change and Jamii Bora Press conference in Nairobi, Kenya
WHEN: Monday, November 16, 2009, 10AM Nairobi time WHERE: Serena Hotel – For more information please contact: Denise Hughes at +1-917-549-2621 or...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Get Your James original Shirt

OK you asked and now they are here!

I have created 150 limited edition James Original Shirts and they are available for Eid and Christmas.

Hand made Bali Batik shirts in m colour and my style made to my specifications!

Write I can set you up!

100 dirhams each or $45 dollars

Each shirt has a certificate of authenticity!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE UAE Music Scene

So what is going on in the UAE when we talk about music?

Some good, some bad and some ugly!

We were joined in the Nightline studio by: Amal an ex audio student, John McGregor an SAE audio instructor and producer, THE Sticky Fingers DJ/presenter/lecturer/creative genius behind 4 BMG records, Hypnotiq Girls the singers Gina Heisser, Nasra Corbel,Fahad a producer, Bahar an audio student and Gabrial a film student.

For a lively and honest conversation.

Htpnotiq Girls on Nightline

Gina Heisser and Nasra Corbel join James Piecowye for a conversation about the UAE music industry.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The 5 C's of Change Rap by Gus Takkale

If you are wondering how to change and what the 5 C's of Change is all about listen to this rap of the book!
Author of
the 5C's in Change
& the founder of

Mustufa Abbas UAE Film Maker

Mustafa Abbas is a UAE film maker. We had a conversation about UAE film as art.

Mustafa Abbas is an Emirati film-maker. Originality has always
been his goal. 100 Miles his short film won the Best Non-
Documentary Film Award at the 2007 Emirates Film Competition.
The Alley his other short film was selected to play in the short film
corner section of the Cannes Film Festival. Some of his
trademarks are portraying dark characters in a good light, and
using birds for symbolism. Abbas has written several feature-
length screenplays. Some are currently in development. Other
than being crime-based, his films often have a “modern-noir” feel,
due to the gritty dialogue and shadowy lighting. Abbas has had
many articles written on him in local magazines and newspapers,
and also been interviewed on TV as a writer/director. At the age of
12, he started toying around with handycams, and shooting films
with his friends on weekends. Little by little, it became a vital part
of his life. The main and possibly only source of inspiration for
Abbas is human beings. Like the film industry in the United Arab
Emirates, his name is growing.

The 5C's of Change

Ghassan, Gus, Takkale talks about how to change your life in this time of change.

The 5C’s is a practical guide to help you find your formula for changing the way you live. The concept is not rocket science nor is it philosophical, it’s simply logic, common sense and realism.

The 5C’s are geared towards simple actions that you can take for drastically improving your

way of life. Every “C” can be accomplished with a little bit of work, determination and an open mind. Everyday is a chance for improving our life, and it’s up to us to best use it.

Life is a web of connected strings, designed and made up of time and ultimately decisions that you choose to make. Making the right decisions will lead you to the ideal change you seek in your life. This fun and adventurous journey towards changing your life starts by paving the way through these 5 C’s: Character, Constructiveness, Commitment, Communication, and Contribution.

The book is available at selected book stores and online at and

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Autism Re-Boot What Can be Done!

I was joined in studio by Maggi Rigg and Linda Simmons of Cambian Group for a discussion of what their organization is doing in the UK. Oaasis is their Autism Support service! Well worth a look!

What to do in Dubai November 4th

Claire Fenner the managing editor and publisher of Easy Living joins us for a round up of what is on in Dubai and the UAE!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

gadget GURU Magnus!

Magnus from Shufflegazine joins us for a look at the latest and greatest gadgets in town! 2009-11-03

The power of TEA

Dr. Khalid Al Madani was at the 3rd Tea Science Symposium hosted by the Lipton Institute of Tea and he shares what he learned.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sheikh Zayed Profile 5 years on.

Dr. Badran Badran, a professor in Zayed University's College of Communication and Media Sciences, joins me for a conversation about who the late Sheikh Zayed was and his legacy.

Special Needs Crisis?

Dr. Eman Gaad, the director of Disability Services for the Community Development Authority and Senior lecturer at the British University in Dubai, joins me for a conversation about Special Needs education and general integration in the UAE.

Cash from the net!

Ernesto Verdugo speaks about It's true...

Ordinary, everyday people are building fun and profitable Internet businesses and turning around their lives using nothing else but their computer and an Internet connection! Sounds crazy but... to enjoy that kind of success you don't have to be a technical genius or a marketing expert! Far from it, in fact... Can you log on to your Internet connection? Do you know how to use a web browser and send email? If answered yes to both questions above, you have more than enough technical knowledge to start your own online business that throws off a solid, safe and steady long-term income stream. What Would That Mean To You? For some, the best thing about owning their own Internet business will be the money, pure and simple. To others, having an Internet business means total freedom. Freedom from money worries ... freedom from having to punch a time clock ... freedom from having to answer to a boss or work at a job you don't like. And for others, it's the lifestyle.... When you have an Internet business, you're not locked into living close to the city where your employer has their offices or plant ... and so you can live anywhere you wish. And, thanks to the profits from your new online business, you could have more than enough money to indulge your passions ... and live life to the fullest, free of financial worries ... wherever you choose. Money. Freedom. Travel. Financial independence. Security. And a steady stream of revenue for which you do very little work. Having your own Internet business can give you all these things - and so much more. You must decide if this is the kind of life you are ready for. If so, there is good news... I strongly believe that any motivated person can use my Internet business model to create a secondary income stream... that can soon become a PRIMARY income stream!

AdWomen in the UAE

I was joined in studio by 4 exceptional creative industry representatives!

Tanya Dernaika MEMAC Ogilvy Director of Strategic Planning * Born In Lebanon, grew up in the UK and spent the last 12 years in Dubai. * 15 year career with Memac Ogilvy. * Responsible for setting up Strategic Planning discipline in the agency. * Role: ‘Voice of consumer in the agency” - Responsible for ensuring all communication disciplines in agency understand local consumer needs and how best to portray and engage with them in communication.

Lucy Higgins of BareFace.

3 Abha Malpani Abha leads the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller digital practice, which focuses on strategising and implementing multi-media public relations campaigns on new media platforms including online social networks, user-generated content sites, and websites. She focuses on consumer engagement tactics and search engine optimization, among other activities in the digital space. Abha has worked with ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and its sister companies for five years, most recently with Polaris Public Relations, where she worked with blue-chip global and regional companies including the Ford Motor Company, Benetton, and the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group. A world citizen, Abha has lived in England, Australia and Spain, in addition to the UAE and India. In Spain she worked as a freelance web-marketing strategist and professional blogger while earning her certification in Spanish.

4 Preethi Mariappan Ogilvy One Creative Director Founder, Adwomen

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CIMA president in conversation

was joined by Aubrey Joachim, president of CIMA, for s conversation about how to keep the profession relevant.

The Guf Beween Us!

Mohammed Kazim joined me to talk about his belief in the people of the Gulf region.

Mohammed's article in THE NATIONAL was the fuel of the discussion. Bridge the gulf between peoples of the Gulf Mohammed Kazim *

Last Updated: October 19. 2009 10:47PM UAE / October 19. 2009 6:47PM GMT

Driving down Sheikh Zayed Road, I could not help but notice a new flag adorning the streetlights alongside that of the UAE: the flag of Bahrain. It was there to honour the marriage of the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to the son of the King of Bahrain. Such relationships between GCC member states are not a new phenomenon, and can be traced back to a time before formal boundaries were known in the region. In fact, the intermingling of fellow “Khaleejis” occurred at many levels and for a plethora of reasons which range from maintaining peace and political stability to improving trade relationships and distribution networks. Forms of collaboration between the inhabitants of the Arabian Gulf involved business partnerships and joint ventures, political treaties, loans and credit purchases, as well as marriages. Keep in mind that all this happened at a time when travel wasn’t as simple and convenient as it is today, and communication not as developed. However, Khaleejis would still manage to congregate during travel for business, pilgrimage and education. For example, Khaleeji merchants who operated in India would frequently meet in Mumbai and Khaleeji students in Iraq or Egypt would spend time together. This level of collaboration was integral to the success of many prominent business families and for the development of society. As these businesses and political powers were passed down to newer generations and borders began to play a more important role, the maintenance of these interstate relationships slowly faded. More regulation was introduced and the movement of labour and resources was to some extent restricted. Then the discovery of oil created an entirely new lifestyle and introduced enormous wealth to the region. Every country was deeply focused on developing itself and businesses started benefiting from agency laws that restricted “foreign” institutions to using local distributors and sharing profits with them. Despite its many advantages, this system also introduced another setback for Khaleeji integration. With these indirect barriers and the sudden emergence of wealth, new mentalities also evolved. With businesses and social activities focused locally, integration gradually ceased to be the norm. Intermarriages, in many cases, were frowned upon, and inter-GCC business partnerships became anomalies. More recently, the need to diversify economically and to reinvest Khaleeji oil wealth in the region became paramount. At this point, most of the GCC countries had focused on developing the institutions required for economic activity, such as infrastructure needs, regulation and foreign direct investment. Prominent political and business figures, through the GCC, pushed for more flexibility and free movement of resources across boundaries in the region. Consequently, business entities that had initially operated in only one country found ways to expand into neighboring GCC states. Today this can be witnessed in many industries, from Emaar Properties building cities in Saudi Arabia to the Al Futtaim group operating malls in Bahrain. Although we have begun to see a revival of this Khaleeji integration recently, there has clearly been a shift in how it is perceived: witness my surprise at the Bahraini flag on the streetlights. Suddenly, the family not living on my street or the person from another tribe is considered “foreign”. Khaleejis have begun to forget the essence of what historically led to business success and made trust, loyalty and humility intrinsic elements of their personalities. As I write this in Riyadh, sitting at a table with Saudis and Qataris, I look around to note with surprise that we are the only “integrated” table. As did our grandfathers, we have also met in pursuit of education in a foreign country. However, I think to myself, why are we not bonding in the way that previous generations did? To maintain the integrity of the region and improve trade and business networks, it is incumbent upon every Khaleeji citizen to actively encourage and support integration and to fight this new perception of unfamiliarity. Although we have seen Emirati initiatives, Kuwaiti initiatives, Saudi initiatives and so on, we have yet to see true Khaleeji initiatives (which were very apparent with early merchants in the region). The recent recovery in GCC business collaboration is evident, and it should be further encouraged. The time has come for every Khaleeji to rekindle the relationships with their brethren and collaborate in every aspect of life. The GCC today is ideally set up to allow for this integration. Only when every young entrepreneur thinks on a Khaleeji scale, every Khaleeji parent supports his or her son or daughter to be part of other Khaleeji families if they choose so, and every Khaleeji country facilitates this integration, will we be able to relive what our grandfathers had and more. Only then will we benefit from the unlimited doors that will be opened through improved networks and integrated mentalities. That’s when every Khaleeji flag will be seen as a norm on our streetlights and greeted with pride rather than surprise. Let’s mingle, let’s unite, and let’s take that Khaleeji initiative. Mohammed Kazim is an Emirati health-care analyst and commentator based in Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Get a Better University!

Dr. Vaneeta D'Andrea is Director of Academic Affairs and Operations at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London and Professor of Higher Education Development.

And Mr. Martin Prince, Registrar of the British University in Dubai, joined us for a discussion about how we might think about a better University.

From Dr. D'Andrea's latest book.

Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: A whole institute approach (Society for Research into Higher Education) (Paperback)

* What are the aims of higher education? * What are the strategies necessary for institutional improvement? * How might the student experience be improved? The emergence of the discourse around learning and teaching is one of the more remarkable phenomena of the last decade in higher education. Increasingly, universities are being required to pay greater attention to improving teaching and enhancing student learning. This book will help universities and colleges achieve these goals through an approach to institutional change that is well founded on both research and practical experience. By placing learning at the centre of organizational change, this book challenges many of the current assumptions about management of teaching, supporting students, the separation of research and teaching, the use of information technology and quality systems. It demonstrates how trust can be restored within higher education while advancing the need for change based on principles of equity and academic values for students and teachers alike. Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is key reading for anyone interested in the development of teaching and learning in higher education, as well as policy makers.

Jason Thom is going to be doing the 1st ever swim, 25km, between the Palm jebal Ali and the Palm Jumeirah November 14th!


To bring attention to diabetes.


A 25km Ultra- marathon endurance swim in support of World Diabetes Day – The idea I had was to identify both the swim and diabetes as a massive challenge, but both are achievable with the right attitude. The event will be a FINA registered endurance event which will be held annually to mark the 14th of November as a real challenge that can be overcome. But Why? To enhance awareness of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in today`s society, and how it can be prevented through simple changes to your lifestyle. The concept could be used to focus the spot-light on Diabetes Awareness within Dubai, and eventually throughout the world. It offers the World Diabetes Day campaign another medium/ platform from which to leverage a far-reaching message that Diabetes can be prevented. It is a charitable event as well as being as serious as the disease itself. An iconic event to grab the world`s attention. Get Involved!

Better Arabic Education

Jonathan Featherstone of the Center for the Advanced Study of the Arab World and Mick Randall, Dean if Education at the British University in Dubai talk about how to teach Arabic better.

The Carrot Principle

Chester was at Leaders in Dubai 2009 and took a few minutes to talk to Nightline about how to create a better work environment.

The Carrot Principle January 25 2007 -

In 'The Carrot Principle - How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance' management consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton explain how organizations and managers can use praise and recognition to motivate their workforces.

The authors base their conclusions on a groundbreaking survey of 200 000 employees in North America. Results indicate that job satisfaction has never been lower. Lack of motivation and disengagement leading to increased turnover represents the most significant uncalculated expense for employers.

It is estimated that replacing a staff member can cost up to 250 per cent of the person's annual salary. Key survey findings include: * 65 per cent of respondents report that they weren't recognized at all in the preceding year * 79 percent of people leaving an organization report 'lack of appreciation' as a key reason * Of those reporting the highest morale at work, 94.4 per cent agree that their managers are effective at recognition * Organizations that effectively recognize excellence tend to be more profitable and can have more than three times the return on equity than those that do so the least. The authors suggest 125 ideas for recognizing employees drawn from interviews with managers around the world. These include: * 'On a new employee's first day, set expectations high by planning a small celebration. Then send out an email about the new person and why they were chosen to join the team.' * 'Invite an employee to take their spouse on a business trip. Pay for the spouse's airline ticket and extend the trip by one day for some sightseeing.' * 'At the beginning of each day, put three coins in your right pocket. Transfer one to the left each time you reward an employee for a behavior that is critical to your goals, your customers, your employees, and your company.' * 'How do you recognize a poor performer? Carefully. The idea is to praise even the smallest movement toward valued behavior.' * 'Personally deliver your employee's next paycheck to them. Before you hand it over, spend a few moments defining exactly what they contribute to the company. It's never the money that makes a person feel like a million bucks - it's the praise.' * Performance Management Articles * Performance Management Books Carrot Principle

Monday, October 26, 2009

Colin the Movie

I spoke to Marc Price about the movie he made for 45 Pounds! This is the ultimate example of storytelling and leadership in one package! check out the trailer!

SYNOPSIS Our hero Colin is bitten by a zombie; he dies and returns as one of the undead. We follow him as he wanders through suburbia during the throes of a cadaverous apocalypse. Through his encounters with objects, places and people, we learn who Colin was and more pertinently, what he has now become. Including a broad daylight zombie versus human street battle, an epic housebound siege and bags of gore. Colin is the must see Zombie phenomenon of the year. THE FILM Already a worldwide phenomenon with huge media coverage, COLIN is the first zombie movie told from the zombie’s perspective, it is a film truly like no other. THE FILM MAKERS Written and directed by Marc Price COLIN is the first feature film for Nowhere Fast Productions. Starring Alastair Kirton in the title role, it was an attempt by the film makers to produce a low budget zombie movie that offered an original angle on the undead that would be of interest to both fans and newcomers to the genre. Without funding it was very important from the start of production to make COLIN using more enthusiasm and inventiveness than dependency on a budget to solve any problems (technical or otherwise). It was difficult trying to come up with an original idea using zombies when everything has been done so perfectly in the films of George Romero, Shaun of the Dead and even non-zombie epics such as 28 days later and Planet Terror. So Nowherefast have always considered COLIN a distant, switched at birth-disowned and adopted cousin of these films.

Pakistan Association in Dubai

A conversation with the Pakistan Association about their role in the community.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UAE plastic bag elimination challenge!

The UAE has said the plastic bags are DANGEROUS!

2013 is the nation-wide phase out date!

I challenge ONE, just 1 company to say 2013 is too late we will do it, eliminate ALL our plastic bag use by March 21, 2010!


Here read it again to really get what it, change now because there is no easy way into this!

The UAE has said that by 2013 it will phase out plastic bags! Are there any really brave and truly globally aware companies in the UAE?

Prove it!

I challenge any company to phase out their non bio degradable plastic bags by March 31, 2010 and come on Nightline to tell the world! Thomas Lungrean is doing his part.

Georgina Hearson is doing her part.


Kabul Wazir an ordinary guy doing the extraordinary!

Kabul Wazir,, is just like any other person. Kabul was made redundant last year, after 7years in HR, and followed a dream, to help those in the Swat Valley and Afghanistan. Just an ordinary guy who wanted to help make a difference and is doing it. Kabul is not wealthy, he is just driven to help. Kabul is an inspiration and needs your help to make a difference that will change the lives of many!

050-351-9776is his Dubai mobile help him in any way you can!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

3M and your public health!

Caroline Bilen of 3M's Infection Prevention talks about how to keep safe in a world awash with bacteria.

Magnus,, and gadgets

Magnus Nystedt Managing Editor, Shufflegazine, talks to us about this week's gadgets that you must have.

The Text!


I spoke
Michael Tatelman, Dell’s vice president of Global Consumer Sales and Marketing, and he showed some upcoming products, including the Dell Adamo XPS, out this Thursday at $2000

I figured we'll spend quite some time on du's announced iPhone 3GS plans. So far Etisalat has announced nothing about 3GS other than that it's coming in October.
(curious about the pay as you go plan)

Du is also getting more aggressive on Blackberry, you can now get the Curve 8520 for free if you're on a Business plan. Data plan is 100-175 per month.

Etisalat introduced cheaper iPhone 3G plans, down to AED99/m including 10GB data/m

GITEX is on, I've been at the Trade show part all week, not been to Shopper yet.

Western Digital TV Live HD Media Center
  • Similar to the LG portable hard drive we looked at last time.
  • This one doesn't have internal hard drive, you plug that in.
  • Interface is smoother and cooler looking. More responsive and better looking interface than the previous generation.
  • It has networking (wired and wireless), you can search and watch Youtube, for example.
  • Full HD 1080p.
  • Extended the types of media it supports.

LG GD910 Watch phone
  • Think James Bond!
  • A large wrist watch that is also a mobile phone
  • Touch screen
  • 128x160 pixel display, 1.43-inch
  • Requires Bluetooth headset, no headphone jack
  • 80MB memory
  • 3G data connection
  • video calling
  • MP3 player
  • speaker phone
  • voice recognition, text-to-speech
  • Around AED4999

Blackberry Curve 8520
  • Small, light and very slick looking
  • EDGE (not 3G)
  • 320 by 240 display
  • 2 megapixel camera (no flash)
  • Trackball's been replaced with trackpad
  • media play buttons on the outside (next, prev, play/pause)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm standard headphone jack
  • If anything like previous Curves, battery life is great
  • Replaces Curve 8900 (had GPS, 3.2mp camera w autofocus, 480x360 pixel display, flash)

Ian Gilbert on where education needs to go

Ian Gilbert of joined me for a conversation about where our education systems need to be tomorrow, literally!

October 16, 2009

Children start school too young — wait till they’re 6, experts say

Primary school students participate in an early reading program

Formal schooling should be delayed until children reach 6, according to the biggest review of primary education for more than 40 years.

The Cambridge Primary Review, published today, says that five-year-olds should continue with the play-based curriculum used in nursery schools. Trying to teach literacy and numeracy at such an early age is “counterproductive” and can put children off school, according to the committee that produced the report.

Professor Robin Alexander, the report’s editor, called for a debate about whether to raise the age of compulsory schooling, which has been set at 5 since 1870. But the review was more concerned about the style of learning offered in state schools.

Successive governments’ insistence on the earliest possible start to formal schooling went against the grain of international evidence, he said. Children who started school at the age of 6 or 7 often overtook English pupils in tests of reading before the start of secondary education.

Most continental countries start school later than in Britain, preparing children for formal classes through extended nursery education. The review proposes a similar model for England, continuing the current Foundation Stage for an extra year and following it with a single stage of primary education taking children to the age of 11.

The suggestion was not supported by the Government or the Opposition.

Dame Gillian Pugh, who chaired the review’s advisory committee, said: “If you introduce a child to too formal a curriculum before they are ready, you are not taking into account where children are in terms of their learning and their capacity to develop.”

A separate review, by Sir Jim Rose, that was commissioned and accepted by the Government, called for four-year-olds to go straight into primary reception classes. But Sir Jim recommended that parents be able to defer their child’s entry to school by up to a year if they felt they were not ready.

Chris Woodhead, the former Chief Inspector of Schools, who undertook a more limited review of primary teaching for the previous Conservative Government with both Professor Alexander and Sir Jim, said he feared a later start would lead to lower standards: “It is reasonable when children arrive at school for the emphasis to be on socialisation, but I see no reason to postpone the start of formal learning.”

John Bangs, of the National Union of Teachers, described the proposal as an “innovative idea” that deserved support: “We have seen problems with early admission to reception classes. It is an absolutely crucial stage of a child’s development and I think there is merit in extending the Foundation Stage.” The 600-page report, entitled Children, their World, their Education, says that many practitioners believe that the principles shaping pre-school education should govern children’s experience of primary school at least until the age of 6, if not 7. The Welsh Assembly has already extended the Foundation Stage to the age of 7.

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said that it would be a backward step not to make sure children were learning as well as playing through the Foundation Stage and beyond. “It is vital to get children playing and learning from an early age.”

Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and based at the University of Cambridge, the review took six years and drew on 4,000 pieces of evidence. It depicts primary schools struggling with interference from the Government and its agencies, but remaining “fundamentally in good heart” .

Professor Alexander said: “There is room for improvement but, after 20 years of pretty continuous change and reform, how could it be otherwise?” The introduction of more specialist teachers would help schools cope with the modern curriculum, he said.

Professor Alexander described the “crisis of childhood” as a media obsession and said it was evident mainly among those from poor backgrounds, who were farther behind their peers than those in comparable countries.

The review accuses the Government of abandoning the convention that it did not dictate how children were taught, and imposing a “state theory of learning” through its literacy and numeracy strategies. Such policies’ “Stalinist overtones” had produced an air of pessimism and powerlessness in the teaching profession. Existing tests at the end of primary school should be scrapped, the review says, and replaced by assessment of the whole curriculum, rather than just English, mathematics and science.

It describes politicians’ exclusive focus on ensuring that children can read, write and add up as narrower than that in Victorian elementary schools.Among the changes recommended by the review are longer training for graduates intending to teach in primary schools which, it says, should take two years not one, and a review of special educational needs. Long summer holidays might also be reduced.

Professor Alexander said that the review was intended to inform long-term planning, not “pre-election pointscoring”. The main parties nevertheless seized on the findings.

Nick Gibb, the Shadow Schools Minister, said: “We agree that the wave of bureaucracy over the past decade has been deeply damaging and we must trust teachers more. We also agree that we need more specialist training for primary teachers.” However, the Conservatives would not support a delay in the start of formal schooling.

Vernon Coaker, the Schools Minister, said: “It’s disappointing that a review which purports to be so comprehensive is not up to speed on changes in primaries. The world has moved on since this review was started.”

Mr Coaker added: “We’re putting in place fundamental reforms following Sir Jim Rose’s primary review, to make the curriculum less prescriptive. A school starting age of 6 would be completely counterproductive — we want to make sure children are playing and learning from an early age and to give parents the choice for their child to start in the September following their fourth birthday.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dubai Flea Market

How do you create a flea market culture in the UAE?

Melanie talks to us about the dream to reality of her idea!

Life Assurance issues

Keren Bobker of Holborn Assets Insurance Brokers speaks to about life assurance and critical illness cover. if you have more questions!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Islamic Finance 101

We hear the words ISLAMIC FINANCE a lot today but what is it? And why would I even consider Islamic Financing over conventional financing? Mr. Ranjit Gajendra of the University of Strathclyde and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, the managing director of AMANIE Dubai join us to sort the issues out.

Artificial Intelligence.

I was joined in studio by Dr. Iyad Rahwan and Dr. Sherief Abdalla, both of the British University in Dubai for a conversation about AI. What is interesting here is how AI is being used in business today.

So Safe Water Technology

Usman Mahmood of So Safe Water Technologies joined us for a conversation about water!

Sustainable City Project

Professor Dina Faour and her students from the department of visual communication at the American University in Dubai join us for a conversation about projects that could combine to create an authentic sustainable city.

Gender and the Media

Professor Cathy Strong from the college of communication and media sciences joins us for a conversation about gender issues in the media.

Workplace based leadership

Professor Ashly Pinnington speaks to Nightline about leadership in the workplace.

professor Pinnington is the dean of the faculty of business at the British University in Dubai.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TEDxDubai's Amazing list of sponsors

We did it, you did it!

TEDxDubai happened yesterday and there is no question at least one person has started to put their ideas and energy into action to change, improve, revise some aspect of their environment!

TEDxDubai could only happen with the help of sponsors and sponsors who believe that it is not money but the space and power of ideas that make magic happen!

All of the sponsors listed below did amazing things for no financial return JUST BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF MAKING THINGS HAPPEN ONE PERSON AT A TIME.

Dubai Media City for hosting this event and providing this fabulous venue without their guidance, direction and trust none of this would be happening today, thanks you.

When we started planning TEDxDubai in late may we spoke to many people about this extraordinary idea and only a handful said YES, we want to be part of this.

We would also like to thank:

SAE for allowing Giorgio Ungania, my co-currator, to take on this project and of course their support in the filming and post production of the event

BARAKA our online partner. For making our web presence sing.

Zayed University and especifically the publications department for all things printed you are seeing today

The Kanoo Group for organizing the TEDxDubai Gala this evening.

Core Management Consultants for their unwavering business sense and guidance .imagine doing an event of this scale based all on barter deals Pervais nasir thank you.

Emirates Airlines for flying our international guests to Dubai

The Westin for housing our international guests

Ford for their support with transportation

Google for the TedxDubai T shirts

Jebal ali Hotel for their assistance with food and beverage

The Palladium for the amazing venue that worked

Oasis Enterprises and JVC for all the HD Cameras you see recording this event

Delta Sound for the fact you can hear me

DLC for the lights they came through at the 11th hour, a dark moment

Phillips for their generous support of the idea

The One for the stage decorations and also goodies you are taking home

Arab Business Machines for the Mac’s keeping our speakers on track

Dubai Eye for facilitating Leo Laportes Broadcast to the US.

Again thank you to Dubai Media City for hosting this event and all the sponsors who have made this day happen.