Hussain al Nowais Discusses Several Things You Can’t Do if You Travel to Dubai

DUBAI, UAE - OKTOBER 10: Modern buildings in Dubai Marina, Dubai


If you are planning on traveling to Dubai for business or want to see the Middle East for the very first time, Hussain al Nowais congratulates you on your endeavor. Dubai is a beautiful place to visit and has emerged as one of the most business-friendly environments in the world. If you have never been to Dubai before, Hussain al Nowais says you are in for an amazing trip.

However, Hussain al Nowais would also say that you’ll be in for a bit of culture shock if you have not researched Dubai or asked around. The Telegraph recently posted an article in its publication where it discussed some things tourists should know so they don’t break the rules, offend the locals, or impede on their vacation in any way. Hussain al Nowais lists some of those no-no’s below.

Cross Dressing: Even if your country has very lax rules regarding cross dressing, the Telegraph says that you could get in trouble if you try to do it in Dubai. You could go to jail, which would likely disrupt your vacation or business trip.

Writing a Check that Bounces: You might want to balance your checkbook before you head to Dubai. Although bouncing a check in the United States or Canada might not necessarily be a big deal besides you losing your pride, it is a very big deal in Dubai. Locals have cautioned that the rules have softened but it is still a crime you’ll want to avoid if you can.

Being Drunk: Hussain al Nowais wants you to know that you can drink in your private residence if you are non-Muslim resident. And there are establishments in Dubai that sell alcohol. The issue really becomes a problem if you are drunk in public. The best way to avoid being arrested for public drunkenness is by not drinking at all. There are so many things you can do in Dubai, you check out Dubai with a clear head if you can.


Hussain al Nowais wants you to understand that traveling by air is very safe. You much more likely to die in a car crash than you would in an airplane crash. Airplane crashes are extremely rare as the airlines wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t prioritize safety.

But Hussain al Nowais also understands that flying in an airplane can be stressful even if you know it’s safe. Sure, airplane flights are safe, but what if your flight is the one that goes down? If you are prone to anxiety and have to take a flight, Hussain al Nowais says you should try the following things:

Distract Yourself: If you don’t have to think about the flight, you’ll be less likely to start panicking. Before you go to the airport, you should make sure you have brought some form of entertainment or work with you. You can listen to a podcast, watch a movie on your laptop, read a book, or do some work. Just keep your mind occupied so you won’t have to worry about being 20,000 feet in the air.

Remind Yourself of the Facts: You are a pragmatic person, right? Just consider the following: you have a one in three million chance of dying in the air. Let that set in for a minute. You could fly every day, and you wouldn’t fly three million flights in one hundred lifetimes. Although flying can be scary, you should know the statistics say that flying is very safe. Remind yourself of that if you begin to panic.

Don’t Get Hammered or Take in Other Substances: There’s a reason why there are bars in every airport. People drink to take the edge off. Yes, drinking can help in the short-term, but it could make you feel sick, which you don’t want to feel in the air. In addition to that, if you’re drunk and land, you might have trouble finding your bags and your ride. Coffee and nicotine increase anxiety so Hussain al Nowais would encourage you to avoid them if you can. Opt for water, decaffeinated tea, or juice to stay hydrated.


Hussain al Nowais Has a Few Tip for Finding Cheap Airfare

Air Travel Expenses


If you have ever had an issue trying to find airfare that didn’t cause you to take out a second mortgage, Hussain al Nowias understands exactly what you’re going through. Even if you are very adamant about find the best possible price, sometimes it does depend a lot on luck. However, there are things you can do to help yourself. You have to check out a bunch of different sites, change the dates, and check often to find the perfect price for your airfare. As someone who is always looking to find cheap airfare, Hussain al Nowais has said you should try the following tips to save big.

Buy Early or Try Buying Late: Most travel experts would tell you that you should book your ticket as early as possible so you can get a better price. This is generally true and you should try to book your ticket around six weeks out. However, if you are thinking about a last minute trip, it is often possible to find cheaper tickets. You see, if a flight can fill a flight, it is just losing money, so it may offer cheaper tickets to at least make some money on the flight. Hussain al Nowais encourages you to look up various last minute booking sites to find a deal.

Consider being Flexible: For some people this might be impossible. But if you can take a flight from an airport a little further away or can extend your trip by a day or two to save a lot of dough, you should consider doing that. Often, just by changing the date by a day or choosing a different airport, you might be able to save hundreds.

Take Advantage of Different Promotions: If you love to travel, Hussain al Nowais would absolutely encourage you to join a frequent fliers program or get a credit cards that offers air miles as a reward for using the card. You’d be amazed by how quickly the miles can add up. However, redeeming flier miles can be a little complicated, so read reviews to find programs that actually work.

Hussain al Nowais Says You Should Take a Vacation

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Did you have leftover vacation days this year that you didn’t use. Hussain al Nowais says you should make 2018 the year you use all of your vacation days. While you might be tempted to forgo taking your vacation days so you can focus on work, this is really actually a bad idea.

Hussain al Nowais always tries to take one vacation every year just so he can decompress and refocus. If you are considering whether or not to take a vacation this year, here are a few reasons why you should:

You Will Have a Chance to Experience Something New: If you spend all of your time doing the same things, you will never experience anything new. Travel broadens your horizons and allows you to meet new people, see new sights, and eat new foods. It will make you a better and more rounded person.

You Will Get a Chance to Relax: Hussain al Nowais doesn’t have to tell you that being stressed is not good for your health. When was the last time you were angry or anguished? How did you feel? Did you feel weak or out of breath? Those are not signs of good health.  Chronic stress increases your risk of having all kinds of horrible conditions. You are more likely to die if you are constantly stressed. Hussain al Nowais says you should take a vacation for your health.

You Will Do a Better Job at Work: Want to know another reason why you should take a vacation and use your time? You will actually do a better job at work. When you are overworked, your performance struggles. Have you ever tried cramming for an exam or working an all-nighter before? Chances are as the hours went by, the work got worse. This is no accident. When you relax on a vacation, you’ll come back to work with your batteries recharged and ready to work.

You Will Make Lasting Memories: Do you remember the last big purchase you made? Probably not. That one amazing vacation to the Caribbean though? That you probably remember. The science points to the fact that people value memories over things. By going on vacation, you’ll be happier and create new memories you can cherish.

KFED Launches Awnak to Support Martyrs’ Families


The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) recently launched a program to provide financial support to families of the martyrs. The program, called Awnak, provides a variety of services and facilities to martyrs’ families and enables them to find viable sources of income. Through this program, the KFED and leadership of the UAE will provide the families of martyrs with the care they need to live a dignified life.

KFEP Chairman Hussain al Nowais said the program is part of the Fund’s efforts to thank and return the favor for the men who sacrificed their lives for their country. The program will allow the children and families of the martyrs to have a sustainable source of income, as well as contribute to the development seen by the UAE.

Awnak provides many financial facilities and services, and applicants are exempt from the payments that are included in other programs that the KFEP offers. Beneficiaries are excused from paying bank fees, and instead they will be fully handled by the fund. Additionally, they are not responsible for the fees paid for training and consultation sessions, such as training in accounting and budget preparation.

According to Hussain al Nowais, the Khalifa Fund will support the program’s beneficiaries throughout the process of financing and until the project is launched.

About the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED)

Launched on June 3, 2007, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development aims to develop local enterprises and create a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs through inspiring and enriching the culture of investment among young people in the UAE. The Fund also supports and develops small- to medium-sized investments in the UAE and provides comprehensive programs to satisfy the needs and requirements of investors interested in establishing or expanding investments. Additionally, the KFEP has formed a system of support services for entrepreneurs, such as training, development, and data and consulting services, along with several marketing-focused initiatives.



What Makes the UAE a Green Leader?

The UAE is once again demonstrating its potential for progress and innovation, as it has been named to the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of Top 10 Markets for Green Building. The list incorporates 10 of the best places for companies to build structures that meet standards for sustainable, eco-friendly construction.  According to the USGBC, the UAE comes in as the country with the 8th-largest quantity of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified buildings. In total, the nation has 3.1 million square feet of LEED-certified building space.

The UAE also ranks 5th in terms of the largest number of LEED-certified projects with nearly 1000 green construction projects. Like others in the UAE, frequent traveler and UAE culture enthusiast Hussain al Nowais sees this ranking as a touchstone moment for the UAE’s future as an international leader in sustainability.  Not only will the UAE’s effort to embrace green building benefit its immediate environment and that of the larger region, it’s also a highly-effective economic initiative because it will attract environmentally-conscious businesses from around the world. Al Nowais hopes that the UAE’s pursuit of green building will inspire other countries in the region to follow suit.

While the UAE has implemented the United States’ LEED criteria as a standard for green building, it has also taken the initiative to develop its own set of criteria, such as its Green Building Regulations and Estidama standards.

The Emirates Green Building Council, formed in 2006, is a major player in the UAE’s green building movement, and has just recently released a first set of technical guidelines for retrofitting existing buildings to meet green standards. The group notes that the guidelines are a part of the UAE government’s Vision2021 national agenda, which features a number of other green areas of focus, including:

  • Green Energy
  • Green Investment
  • Green Cities
  • Green Living
  • Green Technologies
  • Climate Change

The UAE was also one of the 190 nations that agreed at the United Nations Rio +20 Summit that green growth via a “green economy” is the key to facilitating economic growth while ensuring that ecosystems remain in place.

With such a strong focus on sustainability, the UAE is certain to become a global leader in green initiatives.

Could the UAE be a New Hub for Artificial Intelligence?

Were you to ask anyone the location of the world’s technology capital, there’s a good chance they’d say it was Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has no doubt been the leader in global technological innovation over the course of the last thirty years, but a new hub may be emerging: the United Arab Emirates.


Those like international businessman Hussain al Nowais who have been attuned to the UAE’s progress over the course of the last decade won’t be surprised that this Middle Eastern nation has positioned itself to become a leader in technological development. The UAE’s economy is thriving, its government is advocating for a new era of progress, and its cities have become an international symbol of prosperity.


Not only is the UAE poised to become a leader in technology, it may also become a new hub for artificial intelligence (AI). According to the Huffington Post, the United Arab Emirates and surrounding MENA countries are burgeoning with Internet and smartphone users, precisely the demographic need to garner support and enthusiasm for AI technologies. At present, there are 151 million Internet users and 86 million smartphone users, the majority of which reside in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Businesses throughout the region have rapidly expanded their digital marketing efforts as a result. Experts predict that by the year 2018, mobile advertising alone will quadruple to reach $494 million. While citizens throughout the MENA region are engaging with these technologies, the UAE remains by far the nation in the best position to capitalize on it with new developments. With such high demand in the digital communications sphere, a nation like the UAE—armed with ambition and funding—is perfectly primed to make even more advancements.


Already, the UAE has launched its first-ever AI and Robotic Award for Good, a competition that will award 1 million U.S. dollars to the UAE innovator that creates the best AI robot to benefit health or education. A winner will be determined in February of 2016. The UAE has also established an official Board of Artificial Intelligence to serve as an overseeing body for new AI developments, while its major universities, like the University of Dubai, are offering Artificial Intelligence degrees that are attracting students from around the world.


The UAE may not be a leader in Artificial Intelligence just yet, but if it continues on its current trajectory, it very well may become Silicon Valley’s biggest competition.




How the UAE is Stealing the Spotlight at the World Expo

The year 2015 seems to be the year for the United Arab Emirates; not only has the UAE proclaimed 2015 to be its “Year of Innovation” (and is so far living up to this name), it’s also impressing on the world stage. As Hussain al Nowais, an avid follower of UAE culture and current events, argues, the UAE’s showing at the World Expo in Milan has once again demonstrated how the UAE has transformed into a major global player.

Journalists and attendees of the World Expo have made clear that the UAE’s pavilion is among the most attractive and original of all those present at the event. Crowds are flocking to get an up-close view of the UAE’s impressive array of foods, products, business opportunities, and much more. Even Italian Ambassador to the UAE Giorgio Starace noted that the UAE’s pavilion was the most distinctive and organized at the Expo. The pavilion’s structure—comprised of sleek rippled walls—is not only notable for its originality, but was also uniquely designed to be deconstructed and reassembled in back in the UAE, a choice reflective of the UAE’s overall focus on sustainability and innovation.

The UAE’s strong showing at the 2015 Milan World Expo is significant for two reasons, the first being that the UAE has emerged as one of Italy’s strongest trading partners. As of early summer, 2015 Italian exports to the UAE stand at 6 billion euros. The UAE’s participation at the World Expo therefore not only reaffirms important trading partnerships, but is the perfect platform to forge new business alliances and increase trade further.

Secondly, the UAE’s impressive showing at the 2015 World Expo is vital to building anticipation for its own World Expo hosting opportunity, to occur in 2020. The UAE’s ability to offer up a pavilion that showcases products, businesses, and technologies that visitors about which visitors are genuinely excited increases its ability to successfully market the 2020 World Expo and attract even more attendees from around the world.

As Hussain al Nowais notes, the 2015 World Expo is in many ways a well-deserved reward for the UAE’s tireless efforts to improve, adapt, and innovate.

Reasons to Watch Soccer’s Omar Abdulrahman

Who is the best player in all of Asian professional soccer? Were this question asked just a few years ago, the name Omar Abdulrahman wouldn’t have even been in the running, much less of any familiarity to soccer fans. But as avid soccer fan Hussain al Nowais points out, today Abdulrahman has emerged as the unrivaled star of the Asian Football Confederation, and remains the UAE’s most valuable player.

Abdulrahman’s rise to stardom was in many ways catalyzed by his breakout moment at the 2012 Olympics, in which the UAE faced off against Uruguay and Abdulrahman emerged as a dominant force on the field. Though Uruguay ultimately pulled ahead, the match showcased Abdulrahman’s undeniable talent, and he’s been a force to be reckoned with ever since.

Abdulrahman has gone on to lead the UAE to an impressive third-place finish at the 2015 Asia Cup, has earned the UAE league titles, and he’s just made what is perhaps his most impressive move yet: signing on to the UAE’s Al Ain for another 4 years.

Abdulrahman’s commitment to Al Ain is more surprising than most outside of the Middle East and Asia might think. While the Asian Football League has certainly evolved in a positive direction in recent years, it still doesn’t attract nearly the level of players, prominence, and overall prosperity that the European Football League does, and many players in the Middle East and Asia know this.  When players come along that seem to have what it takes to make it to a powerhouse team like Real Madrid or Manchester United, they usually take these clubs up on their offers, leaving home teams in the AFC behind.

Given this tradition of turning towards Europe, Abdulrahman’s decision is undoubtedly surprising, but it also makes a lot of sense. At 23, Abdulrahman is still on the upswing of his career, and a four-year commitment doesn’t count him out of European prospects should he be interested at the end of his contract with Al Ain. What’s more, Adbulrahman must also be cognizant of the fact that though European teams may offer more glamour, Asian players have typically watched their careers fizzle out once making the switch. Asian players aren’t as celebrated by European teams for a number of reasons, part of which involves being a newcomer, less play time, and the challenges players face in adapting to life outside of their home countries.

In choosing to sign on with Al Ain, Abdulrahman won’t be faced with any of those challenges, and will continue to benefit from the perks of his current stardom. As the UAE prepares to host the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the UAE has more reason than ever to pay attention to Abdulrahman, a player who has proven that his loyalties are stronger than his ambitions, and who just may lead the UAE to an Asian Cup victory on its home turf.



How the UAE is Tackling its Obesity Epidemic

It seems widespread concerns about health are no longer exclusive to Western nations like the United States, which has struggled to manage its obesity epidemic in recent decades. As recently modernized or modernizing countries throughout the world embrace new lifestyles, they’re increasingly faced with the consequences that can accompany modern living: poor health.

As reported by Al Jazeera, today almost forty percent of adults around the world are considered overweight or obese. The Arab Health Magazine reports that a new study finds 58% of men and 65% of women in the Middle East and North Africa are overweight or obese; the study tracked the percentage of overweight and obese individuals in these regions over the course of thirty years, and observed a significant increase in obesity levels in this duration of time. The International Diabetes Federation also reports that 37 million people in the Middle East and North Africa are living with type 2 diabetes; the IDF expects this number will double over the course of the next 20 years.

International health industry professional Hussain al Nowais, who frequently does business in the United Arab Emirates, finds the region’s rising rates of obesity troubling, noting that healthcare systems may be challenged to adapt to the increasing prevalence of diseases and disorders caused by obesity. However, while obesity may be on the rise, many officials in the Middle East are striving to reverse this trend.

On March 31st, leaders in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi participated in the country’s first-ever healthy living walk, called “Let’s Walk,” as part of an initiative to help children become more active. As The National reports, the Vice President of Dubai has stated that the national government is heavily invested in the health and well-being of the UAE’s children, and has created a Healthy Children 2021 campaign to help the UAE become one of the world’s most advanced countries by the year 2021. Specifically, UAE officials hope to decrease childhood obesity by 12% by this date. As of 2013, approximately 1/3 of children in the UAE were overweight or obese.

The UAE stands out as a leader in health initiatives in the Gulf region, the region most affected by obesity throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to government-sponsored events like Let’s Walk, the UAE has also set up biking paths, water sports, and volleyball nets on its beaches to promote more active recreation, and has implemented a policy of regular health testing to encourage early detection of diseases. The UAE has also restricted the number of carbonated beverages that can be sold in the country, and has created a nationwide health database to more effectively and efficiently track patient data and identify health trends.

Many like Hussain al Nowais believe that the UAE’s proactive response to its obesity epidemic will set a precedent throughout the rest of the region for leadership to take action as well. As the UAE pulls ahead in science, technology, investment, and all things related to building a knowledge-based economy, it’s astutely recognized that the health of its people will be critical to its overall success as well.

While reducing childhood obesity by 12% in less than ten years’ time may be a lofty goal, if any country in the Middle East has the determination and resources to accomplish such, it’s the UAE.