Lovin Dubai

The best creative minds in the region are gathering in Dubai this week

This article was originally written for Lovin Dubai. Click here to read the full article.

While Dubai might be home to its fair share of annual conferences and industry events, there is one gathering in particular that seems to strike a chord each year on a purely creative level.

The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity takes place at the Madinat Jumeirah this week, and will host some of the most celebrated minds in the creative communications industry. A sister event to the industry-defining Cannes Lions Festival that takes place on the south coast of France each June, the MENA event is into its 10th year and has built up quite a standing in Dubai’s calendar.

The best work in design, film, print, radio, digital, PR and media will be on display, as well as a host of innovative start-up companies and cutting-edge technologies. More than a hundred sessions will take place over the next three days, bringing together people from all over the world, everyone from calligraphers to neuroscientists, will share big ideas and inspire each other.

Here are some of the highlights… Read More

Posted by Rob in Lovin Dubai

UAE Hosts $1 Million International Drone Competition

This article was originally written for Lovin Dubai. Click here to read the full article.

Drones have become pretty commonplace over the last year or so. Previously, the concept of a drone seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. But now, anyone can walk into their local shopping centre and pick one off the shelves, and we’re used to seeing countless videos of drone footage online. The idea of the drone might have lost its magic somewhat, but there’s so much more potential to this space than just being able to capture some dramatic aerial footage.

We’ve seen concepts like the emergency defibrillator drone in Holland and Amazon’s delivery drone project that could revolutionise online shopping and logistics in general. But even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos admits that it’s up to 5 years from seeing the light of day due to the multitude of regulations and lengthy approval process required to get such an idea off the ground in the United States.

Some countries however don’t have these restrictions. The UAE government for example are extremely enthusiastic about the idea of utilising drones, and because they aren’t constricted by the regulations that exist in the US, they can be a bit more adventurous and push through these ideas a lot quicker than most places. The Dubai government announced last year that they’ve been testing delivery drones with the intention of using them for the delivery of government documents and launched an initiative called ‘Drones For Good‘ to encourage new practical drone concepts that could improve people’s lives and make public services more efficient.

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Posted by Rob in Lovin Dubai

Netflix In The UAE: The Verdict

This article was originally written for Lovin Dubai. Click here to read the full article.

So, as many of you might already know, Netflix finally became available seemingly without warning in the UAE last week. It’s been a long time coming, but at the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last Wednesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that the streaming service was rolling out simultaneously in more than 130 countries around the world and the UAE is thankfully one of those countries.

While many expats in the UAE use the service already through a VPN, an official launch gives viewers more options for using the service and finally lets us sign-up using UAE payment methods. After having the weekend to binge watch a host of shows we finally have a good idea about what the UAE version of the service offers content-wise.

Is it censored?

In short; no. One of the concerns that seemed to come up quite a lot on social media channels when the announcement was made was whether or not the content would face the same scrutiny from the censors as we tend to see with films that reach the cinema. We’re quite used to seeing chunks of movies being removed and many social commentators assumed that this would be the case with services like Netflix too.

From our experience over the weekend though, this certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. We’ve come across quite a few scenes that definitely wouldn’t see the light of day at the cinema if you know what we mean!

While it doesn’t appear that content has been specifically censored in the UAE, there is still the issue of regional licensing agreements that have resulted in certain content not appearing on the service in general outside of the USA. For example, as OSN have the rights to show House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black in the UAE, even though Netflix actually commissioned and produced these shows themselves, they can’t stream them on their own service in the UAE. Other shows like The Office, Suits, Dexter, Lost and Modern Family also don’t make the cut for the same reasons.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by Rob in Dubai, Lovin Dubai, Media

Rooftop solar panels could be mandatory in Dubai by 2030

This article was originally written for Lovin Dubai. Click here to read the full article.

Question: what springs to mind when you think of Dubai? Massive skyscrapers and luxurious hotels? Sprawling malls and fast cars? Either way, chances are it isn’t sustainability and green credentials. All that is about to change though if Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has anything to say about it. In accordance with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, the Emirate is aiming to become a global centre of green energy innovation, over the next 35 years. It seems that there’s now a concerted effort to do more than just pay lip service to sustainability.

The 2050 plan, which was launched by Sheikh Mohammed last week, also aims to lay the groundwork needed to make the city almost completely sustainable through clean energy, with the goal to become the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. Under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, the city aims to provide 7% of its energy from clean energy resources by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

You might think that this is somewhat of an oxymoron, but despite having such a hot climate and a reliance on fossil fuels to cool our buildings and power our appliances, there is one thing that puts Dubai in a unique position to take advantage of renewable energy – our lovely year-round sunshine.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by Rob in Dubai, Lovin Dubai

Check Out The Ridiculously Slick New VOX Cinemas In The Mall Of The Emirates Extension

This article was originally written for Lovin Dubai. Click here to read the full article.

We’re sure fond of our entertainment here in Dubai, and are well used to having the biggest and best of almost everything right on our doorstep. If we weren’t already spoilt for choice when it comes to cinemas in the city, we now have the slick new VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates to enjoy.

While the original VOX Cinemas in MOE was hardly small, it had become a little outdated over the years, and certainly couldn’t compete with the style and scale of the monster Reel Cinemas in Dubai Mall.

The huge new Mall of the Emirates extension on Level 2 finally opened last week to great fanfare (with a surprise visit from a certain David Beckham thrown in for good measure), and the new 24 screen VOX Cinemas is the centerpiece of the whole extension.

This revamp really pushes the boundaries of what customers can expect from a night out at the movies with the most technically advanced IMAX Laser screen in the region, a fine-dining theatre concept by celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, a 4D cinema experience and screens that are designed specially for kids.

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Posted by Rob in Lovin Dubai