Connector January 2024

CONNECTOR.AE 3 Welcome The start of the first month of the year always encourages a lot of us to make some changes to our lives with new year resolutions. These vary from person to person, and include anything from lifestyle changes, to health and fitness goals. A key focus is always diet and this time year people often consider incorporating a more vegetarian based diet into their lives, whether for health reasons or to do their bitt for nature and the environment. Vegetarian food does not have to mean boring and bland food, the opposite in fact, and with more and more people adopting a vegetarian diet, either partially or fully, restaurants are also supporting this, and eating out now offers a lot more choice. Dubai has an abundance of restaurants offering tasty, plant based meals, and on pages 15 to 19, Connector has curated selection of just some of the ones to visit. For youngsters, this time of year sees a number of students who are close to leaving the end of their high school and secondary years, making choices in their higher education, whether continuing here at the growing number fo universities in the UAE, or moving abroad to continue their studies. On pages 28 to 31, Connector has highlighted some tips and advice on what to look out for and what students should consider when choosing where to spend the next 3 or more years. But that’s not all, there’s much more within these pages. Relax and enjoy reading, just as we relished putting it all together. Wishing you a fantastic month ahead, filled with joy and exploration. Enjoy the issue! Chris Nicolaides Concord Tower, PO Box 126732, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 04 454 9826, Contents of this publication are copyright. No material may be reproduced without written permission. Notice and disclaimer. The material used in this publication is intended to be used for informational purposes only. A sincere effort has been made to report accurate information. However, one or more recognised authorities in health and nutrition may hold different views than those reported therein, and the reader is so advised. This publication is not meant to be an endorsement of any specific product or services offered. Yogita Chainani Vishakha Ramchandani Welcome

CONNECTOR.AE 5 Mazzah Wa Mazzika - Delicious Arabic Food 21 Bluetooth Speakers That Enhance Your Listening Experience 44 12 Glamping Experiences To Make The Most Of Winters In The UAE Top 10 Things To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your University For Higher Education 50 28 Contents 7 Monthly Events Epic Marvel Universe Live Show Lands In Dubai, Promising Heroic Feats Savour the Flavour: Your Guide To Some Of Dubai’s Vegetarian Eateries Navigating UAE Life: Discover the Top 15 Apps Every New Resident Needs! PCOD: Decoding The Cause, Symptoms Behind This Disorder Ten To Try: Ramen Acne: Causes, Treatment, Remedies Breaking Barriers: Areej Al Hammadi’s Journey to Football Stardom and Record-Breaking Feats Meet The Teacher: Sean Patrick Duffy Chef’s Corner: Manuel Caicedo A round up of all the major events this January 13 15 46 38 20 34 54 26 20 15 38 32 Welcome 8:30 pm | Tickets AED 160 WWW.THELAUGHTERFACTORY.COM Fri 26 Jan 2024 Sat 27 Jan 2024 DUBAI Schalk Bezuidenhout

CONNECTOR.AE 7 Out And About 3>HS‡3gr‡} >>g # - . /0124 56 01 7gH gH 3>HS‡3r‡} >>g 69 Le Corsaire is a traditional ballet dedicated to the 97th anniversary of Yuri Grigorovich, former chief choreographer of the Bolshoi Ballet. With a plot of true love and pirate adventures, the rendition by over 60 artists promises spectacular jumps, pirouettes, and beautiful scenes. The ballet, set to the music of Adolphe Adam and others, preserves classic dance scenes and is edited by Yuri Grigorovich. Ticket prices start from Dhs 375 for this production. OUT & ABOUT As 2024 approaches, the UAE is getting ready for a lineup of entertainment, fun events, concerts, and attractions for residents and visitors, especially in January. And if you’re looking to kick off the new year by attending exciting events, Connector has you coveredwith its ultimate guide. Al Qattara Murals Exhibition: Under The Sea Until 6 January Le Corsaire At Dubai Opera 6 and 7 January The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, has announced the third edition of Al Qattara Murals at Al Ain’s Al Qattara Arts Centre, featuring the theme ‘Under the Sea’. Twenty UAE-based artists have showcased their talent, contributing to the vibrant exhibition. Notable artists include Saggaf Al Hashemi, Zainab Al Hashemi, and Ahmed Al Mahri. Al Qattara Arts Centre, established in 2011, serves as a hub for artistic exploration, providing a platform for artists and art lovers to engage in various creative disciplines. 1 2

CONNECTOR.AE 8 CONNECTOR.AE 9 Out And About Out And About PAW Patrol Fest Neha Kakkar Live In Coca-Cola Arena Winterfest At Ferrari Wold Yas Island Majid Al Mohandis Live 7 January Until 9 January 12 January Neha Kakkar, renowned Indian singer and Instagram’s most followed Indian singer is set to conquer Dubai in January. The singing sensation, known for hits like ‘Kala Chashma’, ‘Coca Cola Tu’, ‘Aankh Maare’, ‘Balenciaga’, ‘Dilbar’, and ‘Saki Saki’, promises an unforgettable musical experience. Grab your tickets now, starting from Dhs 99. Get ready for festive family fun at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi with the return of the multiple award-winning Winterfest. Immerse yourself in a magical winter adventure surrounded by dazzling festive decorations! Enjoy captivating live entertainment and attractions, including an enchanting iceskating spectacle, breathtaking acrobatic performances, an interactive snow playground, and more. Make your holiday season memorable with a single-day ticket priced at Dhs 345. The legendary Arab artist Majid Al Mohandis, known as ‘the Prince’ and ‘Voice of a Diamond’ and ‘the Engineer of the Arabic song’, is all set to take over Dubai with his melodious voice. He will be performing his iconic hits, including ‘Tenadeek,’ ‘Bedoon Asmaa,’ and ‘Ana Blayak.’ So hurry, tickets start from Dhs 295; book yours now! 12 to 18 January The PAW Patrol squad is all set to take over Dubai in January. Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, and Ryder are gearing up to bring joy to the city at Dubai Festival City Mall. Calling all kids to join in on the excitement from 12 to 28 January. Meet the pups, indulge in kids’ and family activities, seize numerous photo opportunities, witness incredible sing-along performances, and much more! Rising Stars Arabia 13 January Prepare for an electrifying night of boxing with ‘Rising Stars Arabia: The Revolution ‘ at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Links. Following a successful inaugural event, this unique fighting series in the UAE and MENA region, promoted by AAM Seddiqi Sports and sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, promises to be a game-changer in Arab boxing. Witness top talents like Moussa Gholam, Fahad Al Bloushi, and Bader Samreen in thrilling matchups. Tickets start from Dhs 100 for an unforgettable boxing experience. Michael McIntyre Show 13 January Don’t miss the laughter with Michael McIntyre and his new show, ‘Magnificent’. After five eventful years, Michael is back on stage, finding humour in life’s madness. As the host of BBC’s award-winning shows, his stand-up tours have sold over four million tickets worldwide. With tickets starting from Dhs 250, you cannot miss this one. 3 5 6 7 8 4

CONNECTOR.AE 10 CONNECTOR.AE 11 Out And About Out And About Embark on a mesmerising circus adventure with ‘Pluma’ at the Pluma Circus Tent, Dubai Festival City Mall, an experience designed to thrill the whole family! Join Pluma, a dream-filled little girl, in a tale of self-discovery and empowerment unfolding under the big top. Enjoy acrobats, hilarious clowns, daring daredevils, and enchanting music. Tickets start from Dhs 95. K-Pop Overdose With EXO Members Letters Of Light At Louvre Abu Dhabi Pluma Circus Show 14 January Until 14 January 17 to 28 January Calling all K-Pop enthusiasts! Brace yourselves as the much-loved band EXO is hitting Dubai in January. Prepare to be enthralled by the iconic vocals and captivating performances of EXO members Chanyeol, Xiumin, and Chen at Coca-Cola Arena. The event kicks off with opening acts by the renowned DJ Bliss and DJ Raiden. Secure your spot with tickets starting from Dhs 195. Explore the ancient texts of three monotheistic religions at the ‘Letters of Light’ exhibition, now open to the public. In partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums, it delves into the historical context, transmission, and significance of holy books. Curated by Laurent Héricher and Dr. Souraya Noujaim, the display features over 240 artworks. This free exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi offers a contemporary perspective on universal intellectual and artistic history. 9 10 11 Hamilton Musical 17 January to 4 February The world-renowned Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton is coming to Abu Dhabi. Set to run for three weeks, the show will be held from 17 January 2024 to 4 February 2024 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island. The story follows America’s founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and shares his journey of how he impacted politics and education in the country and has been described as ‘America then, as told as America now.’ Tickets for the musical start from Dhs 180. Ed Sheeran: + − = ÷ x Tour 19 to 20 January Dubai-ites, get ready for a ‘Perfect’ evening as the ‘Shape Of You’ singer, Ed Sheeran, is all set to take over Dubai on 19 and 20 January. Ed Sheeran, who dropped two albums in 2023, ‘Autumn Variations’ and the deluxe version of ‘-’ featuring the single ‘Eyes Closed,’ will take the stage in his signature ‘the round’ format. Calum Scott, celebrated for his chart-toppers such as ‘You Are The Reason’, ‘At Your Worst’, and more, will also perform at the event. Tickets start from Dhs 595. Khalid Abdelrahman Live Concert 19 January Don’t miss the chance to witness the extraordinary talents of Saudi artist Khalid Abdelrahman at Coca-Cola Arena this January. A singer, actor, musician, poet, and songwriter, Khalid brings diverse skills to the stage. With hits like ‘Ahat’, ‘Sarihini’, ‘Sudiqini’, and more, immerse yourself in his versatile performance, and tickets are available starting from Dhs 195. 12 13 14

CONNECTOR.AE 12 CONNECTOR.AE 13 Out And About Out And About Lucky Ali Live In Concert Chinese New Year, The National Ballet of China Shane Todd Live 20 January 27 January On 20 January 2024, Lucky Ali, known for his roles as a singer, songwriter, musician, composer, record producer, and actor, will grace the stage at Zero Gravity in Dubai Marina. Known as the king of Indie Pop, get ready to enjoy mesmerising songs like ‘O Sanam’, ‘Safarnama’, ‘Hairat’ and more. Tickets start from Dhs 100. Experience a creative twist on Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, The Nutcracker, by the National Ballet of China. Established in 1959, the company showcases artists trained in the Russian tradition. The ballet unfolds with vibrant scenes at a Beijing temple fair, celebrating New Year with masks and lanterns. Don’t miss this inventive performance at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Tickets start from Dhs 100. Get ready for an evening of laughter with comedic sensation Shane Todd live in Dubai! Shane’s journey to comedy fame started with hilarious YouTube videos as part of the Harlem Gun Club. Don’t miss this chance to burst into laughter. Tickets start from Dhs 125 for an unforgettable comedic experience at Theatre by QE2, Port Rashid. 16 17 15 26 and 27 January Marvel enthusiasts, brace yourselves for the ultimate experience! You are in for a treat with an extraordinary opportunity to dive into the Marvel Universe like never before. A whopping 17 live shows are ready tomesmeriseaudiences, bringing to life the iconic characters, thrilling action, and epic narratives of the Marvel Universe only in Dubai at Coca-Cola Arena. The stage at Coca-Cola Arena will be transformed into a realm of superheroes and supervillains from 25 January to 4 February 2024. Get ready for an immersive adventure that captures the essence of Marvel’s cinematic magic in a live and electrifying experience! What’s In Store For You Marvel superhero enthusiasts are in for a treat as their favourite characters, such as SpiderMan and The Avengers, will be brought to life in an up-close and action-packed experience. Joining the lineup are Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax, all uniting for a legendary battle to defend the universe from evil forces. The extraordinary powers of Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk, and Black Widow will come together in intense clashes, featuring confrontations between students and mentors, sisters against sisters, and brothers against brothers. Get ready for an epic showdown that brings the Marvel Universe to life in thrilling live-action! Prepare to be amazed as the live show takes you on an incredible journey across the universe using immersive video projection and state-of-the-art special effects. From the enchanting Savage Land to the bustling streets of New York City and beyond, audiences will be transported to mesmerising locations. Watch Spider-Man showcase dynamic aerial stunts, and witness Captain America’s thrilling motorcycle skills in an epic race against time to save humanity. Get ready for an unforgettable spectacle that brings the Marvel Universe to life. Tickets to the live show start at Dhs 165 and are available now on Coca-Cola Arena’s website - Epic Marvel Universe Live Show Lands In Dubai, Promising Heroic Feats Marvel enthusiasts, brace yourselves for the ultimate experience! You are in for a treat with an extraordinary opportunity to dive into the Marvel Universe like never before.

CONNECTOR.AE 14 CONNECTOR.AE 15 Dining Around Dining Around Savour the Flavour: Your Guide To Some Of Dubai’s Vegetarian Eateries Happy 2024! January is not just the beginning of the year, but it’s also a time when people make changes and try something new. During this month, some make dietary changes, either temporary or permanent, which can include going vegetarian or vegan, which means not eating or using animal products. If this is something you are looking into, Connector has curated the ultimate list of some of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Dubai for you to try.

CONNECTOR.AE 16 CONNECTOR.AE 17 Dining Around Dining Around Situated opposite BurJuman, Centre Point, Rasoi Ghar specialises in vegetarian cuisine from India’s Gujarat and Rajasthan states. Offering a daily changing pre-fix menu, this restaurant provides a home-style experience with unlimited starters, a varied thali-style main course, and delectable desserts. From aloo paratha to enticing thalis, Rasoi Ghar is a delightful haven for vegetarian food enthusiasts. 04 3885711 Nestled in Jumeirah 1, Comptoir 102, a chic French-owned organic cafe and boutique offers a delightful array of vegetarian bites, sugarfree juices, and dairy-free smoothies. Breakfast enthusiasts can relish açai bowls with berries, coconut water, and banana, while the lunch menu boasts nutritious options like an all-green salad with fennel, avocado, walnuts, argan oil, and sunflower seeds. For those on the go, the cafe also provides vegan-friendly, nutritious food delivered straight to your door. Rasoi Ghar Comptoir 102 Nestled near BurJuman Mall, Moreish, a charming family-run restaurant in Bur Dubai, serves up imaginative vegetarian dishes with a homey touch and Instagram-worthy charm. Indulge in a comforting roasted pumpkin soup, vibrant beetroot risotto, or gouda-laden macaroni. From BBQ tofu popcorn to wok-tossed jasmine rice, each dish promises enticing flavours in this cosy culinary haven. 04-5910441 Moreish Situated in Downtown Dubai, Alkersal Avenue, and DIFC, Wild And The Moon is a chic cafe specialising in pure and nutritious plant-based cuisine. Originating as a detox juice brand in Paris, it has evolved to offer creative salads, guilt-free desserts, falafel wraps, quesadillas, blended cold-pressed juices and more. The hip, earthy setting, adorned with indoor greenery and natural wood furniture, adds charm to this quaint spot. Since its establishment in 1992, Kamat has been a culinary haven in Dubai, aiming to provide wholesome vegetarian delicacies in inviting surroundings. Located across Dubai, Kamat stands out as one of the UAE’s distinctive vegetarian restaurants. Offering over 360 delectable vegetarian dishes from the Indian subcontinent and delightful Chinese options, Kamat is known for offering an elevated dining experience. Wild And The Moon Kamat Restaurant InDubai Hills Estate, Business Park 1, Avatara stands as the world’s first and only vegetarian Indian One MICHELIN Star fine dining experience. From raw banana chaat to jackfruit momos and rajma gogji, Avatara offers a unique vegetarian degustation, representing the reincarnation of soulful Indian cuisine. Emphasising locally farmed, seasonal ingredients presented with flair, the 10-course menu at Avatara is a must-try and includes detailed explanations of each dish’s ingredients and origin, often accompanied by personal anecdotes from the chef. Avatara

CONNECTOR.AE 18 CONNECTOR.AE 19 Dining Around Dining Around Situated at Al Fahidi Street, Bombay Times stands as a highly favoured Indian and purely vegetarian restaurant in Dubai. If you crave authentic Indian snacks, this eatery provides an array of options. Delight in beloved Indian snacks such as Delhi chaat, Pav Bhaji and more. Among the specialities, the Bombay Jini Dosa stands out, promising a mouthful of delightful flavours. 04-3277433 Nestled in Zen Cluster 3, Discovery Gardens, Mamis Illam stands as a vegetarian haven, catering to diverse tastes with Chinese, North Indian, and South Indian cuisine. This warm and contemporary pure vegetarian restaurant prioritises health, offering a wide array of South Indian dishes suitable for families of all ages. From parota with veg kuruma to Mami’s veg biryani, the menu delights with dishes like curd rice and pongal, promising a burst of flavours in your mouth. In Al Mankhool, SpiceKlub is a distinctive vegetarian Indian restaurant in Dubai, seamlessly blending modernity with cultural richness for a unique dining adventure. Offering dishes like pav bhaji fondues, kulfi, and paan Mojito, SpiceKlub elevates Indian cuisine through molecular gastronomy. Innovative dishes, such as roomali cheese papad and truffle saag with burrata cheese, showcase a fusion of traditional ingredients with modern culinary techniques. Located across Dubai, My Govinda’s stands out as one of the few sattvic restaurants in the city, adhering to Ayurvedic principles by omitting garlic and onions in its dishes. The diverse menu features a fusion of Indian specialities with vegetarian variations of Chinese and Italian classics. Indulge in vegan chaats, vegetable kebabs, and a range of South and North Indian delights; the flavours won’t disappoint. Mamis Illam SpiceKlub My Govinda’s Situated in the Four Seasons Jumeirah, Folia is a vegetarian haven offering a diverse menu of fresh and wholesome plant-based delights. Folia’s menu also boasts enticing items such as buffalo cauliflower, wild mushroom pizza, crispy mushroom sliders, watermelon poke, and more, ensuring a delectable and satisfying vegetarian culinary journey. 04-2707777 Nestled in Oud Metha, Tum Tum Asia is your gateway to authentic pan-Asian cuisine with a vegetarian twist. Explore the vibrant flavours of China, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan in a relaxed and authentic setting. Offering a unique culinary experience, Tum Tum Asia’s 100% vegetarian menu features a soulful selection of street bites, from dim sums and satays to kebabs and sushi. Indulge in musttry dishes like the kimchi and quinoa jar, Singaporean laksa, Tum Tum kimchi ramen, and more, ensuring a delightful journey through Asian culinary delights. Folia Tum Tum Asia Bombay Times

CONNECTOR.AE 20 CONNECTOR.AE 21 Dining Around Dining Around Adding to the already vibrant food scene, is the newly opened restaurant, Mazzah Wa Mazzika at Trump International Golf Club. The restaurant serves diners an exquisite array of Arabic dishes, great when looking for a place to unwind with friends and family over amazing food. While dining, visitors will be able to enjoy the scenic view of DAMAC Hills, as well as the luscious green grass of the golf course. Start the meal out with amazing hot and cold mezze, soups and salads with dishes including chicken mushroom soup, Roca salad, vine leaves, chicken liver, fried kibbeh and more. Mazzah Wa Mazzika - Delicious Arabic Food Dubai is known for a variety of cuisines, especially its Middle Eastern cuisine, which offers people endless options of dishes to enjoy. The soujouk, made with spiced lamb sausages in a pepper, tomato and lemon sauce, is definitely a must-try and is the perfect balance of flavours, with the tanginess from the lemon and the juicy and soft lamb sausages. Another excellent recommendation at the restaurant, which is also great for vegetarians, is the potato harra, which are fried potato cubes in paprika, lemon and coriander, and have the right amount of crunch while also being soft in the middle. No meal is complete without mains and in Middle Eastern cuisine, the mixed grill is a brilliant choice, which offers a variety of lamb and chicken kebabs, along with kuboos and fries for a filling meal. The mixed grill is served with lamb cubes, shish taouk, lamb kebabs and more and is made up of tender meat that just melts in the mouth. The meat is seasoned perfectly and while eating, bursts with flavour. People with a sweet tooth know that dessert is the perfect way to end any meal and the restaurant serves a variety of delicious desserts including kunafa, baklawa, basbousa and more. Delight in the sweet of choice and wash it down with a piping hot cup of Arabic tea. The average price per person for an appetiser, main and dessert is Dhs 198. Call 04-2453988 REVIEW Ten To Try: Ramen With the onset of winter in Dubai, a hot bowl of slurpy ramen is all you need to enjoy the weather. And thanks to the K-dramas and K-pop craze, ramen, a flavourful and comforting noodle soup known for its rich broth, chewy noodles, and various toppings, has become uber popular in the Emirate. And if you enjoy ramen, Connector recommends these 10 places in Dubai.

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CONNECTOR.AE 24 CONNECTOR.AE 25 Dining Around Dining Around Made by Emily Roberts, founder of Traybae, the dish is a quick treat to make and always results in gooey deliciousness. Recipe - 1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC and line a 9-inch square baking tray. 2. Combine the unsalted butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until melted. Leave to the side to cool slightly. 3. Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar for a few minutes until the colour has turned pale and mousse-like. 4. When whisked, pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggs and fold together carefully. Fudgy Brownies To Soothe Your Sweet Tooth! To all dessert lovers, this recipe is the perfect one for you! Fudgy brownies are the ultimate comfort dish to enjoy, whether looking for a decadent treat to snack on or for an after-meal delight. Traybae, the delivery-only cloud kitchen started in 2021 and is female-led, with the dream of bringing scrumptious and mouthwatering treats to your doorstep. From blondies to brownies, Traybae is available for ordering on Deliveroo or directly via the website. 5. Once well combined, sift the cocoa powder and plain flour on top of the chocolate mix and then fold together again. 6. Fold through the chocolate chips and spread the mixture into the tray. 7. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and once baked, leave to cool in the tray completely and cut into squares. Serve with ice cream for the ultimate indulgence. Emily Roberts Founder Traybae Ingredients: 200g Dark Chocolate 200g Unsalted Butter 3 Large Or 4 Medium Eggs 275g Caster Sugar 100g Plain Flour 50g Cocoa Powder 300g Belgian Milk Chocolate Chips Or Chunks

CONNECTOR.AE 26 CONNECTOR.AE 27 Dining Around Dining Around Chef ’s Corner: Manuel Caicedo Chefs are one of the vital aspects for the smooth running of a restaurant, and Chef Manuel Caicedo, Executive Chef at Habtoor Grand Resort is the perfect example of it. Having started his culinary journey at home, cooking with family, Chef Manuel Caicedo found his passion and decided to make it a full-time profession. Chef Manuel Caicedo worked his way up the ranks around Latin America and Spain, before heading to Dubai for a new adventure and finding his place amongst the team at Habtoor Grand Resort as the Executive Chef. Specialising in Spanish, Continental, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, Chef Manuel Caicedo infuses all the dishes cooked and served, with amazing flavours from these countries. Chef Manuel Caicedo shared his journey with Connector, from his humble beginnings to his favourite dish at the restaurant. How did you get started in the food industry? Since school, I have always felt a passion for food and everything that surrounds it, particularly the moments spent with family and friends at the table or in the kitchen, and cooking alongside my Mum and sharing anecdotes. I was fortunate to travel with my parents to various parts of the world, immersing myself in different cultures and experiencing the unique events and cuisines of each country. It was these experiences that solidified my decision to become a chef and pursue my passion while having the opportunity to travel the world. When the time came for me to graduate from school, I knew in my heart that I wanted to embark on a culinary journey, exploring new lands and cultures, through the art of cooking. What is your earliest cooking memory? I have many memories of going on vacation with my entire family at our farm in the countryside, with my cousins, aunts, uncles and especially my parents and grandmother, spending hours preparing melcocha, which is a sticky candy made from sugar cane syrup. Seeing how everyone enjoyed the process, the danger of working with high temperatures so as not to burn ourselves, knowing how to handle the mixture, and being so small, I remember my excitement at seeing the result and being able to enjoy that chewy experience. What is your favourite dish from your country? Every dish cooked depends on the celebration and the people sharing it with you. If I had to choose, it would be bandeja paisa, a very traditional dish that dates back many years. It once had another name, which changed over time to keep it as the emblematic dish of the region. Originally, it was made with more than nine ingredients, all of which can be found locally. People used to have it for breakfast, since it has enough calories to enable you to work in the fields for an entire day, be it from harvesting coffee or ploughing the land. What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings? In my house, eggs, flour, cheese, Spanish sausage and homemade granola are always a necessity. With these ingredients and some others that are hidden on a shelf in the refrigerator, I can on a whim make anything, from a good omelette or a tortilla Española to fresh pasta or a quiche. It all depends on the day and the mood. What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country? Definitely rice. You can find different varieties of rice used as an ingredient in many countries. It is used in cold salads, hot dishes, and even desserts, and has a rich tradition of being mixed with various proteins, spices and sugar. This combination creates different flavours and textures, making rice a versatile product with a touch of magic. What is the best dish to try at your restaurant? Given the wide variety of restaurants at our resort, if I had to choose, I would say some of my favourite options are slow-cooked brisket tacos with our habanero sauce from Al Manara Beach Bar, and our T-bone a la Florentina shared with grilled provolone and the Panzanella salad from Luciano’s. As for dessert, it is the fresh tiramisu from Luciano’s, which is assembled at the table with a hot espresso cafe, mascarpone and our amaretto lady fingers, an explosion of flavour.

CONNECTOR.AE 28 CONNECTOR.AE 29 Kids And Education Kids And Education Giving a brief insight into this, John Bell, Principal of Bloom World Academy, said, “Going to university/higher education is not all about the academics. Look carefully at the student accommodation not just for year one but for the duration of the course. My recommendation is a campus university where you can live and socialise without worry. Living in a city and renting away from the university facilities, while it appears ‘grown-up’ can be very expensive and isolating. Be prepared to meet others who are as bright or brighter than you. Just be ready to meet stiff competition - my advice is don’t compete only against yourself - work hard and enjoy yourself.” Internship Opportunities After university, your goal is to land a job with your dream organisation, secure a well-paying position, and lead an independent life. Building the foundation for this dream starts with internships. Hence, it’s important to find out where previous students of the university have interned, as this reflects the overall quality of graduates. Examining the companies that recruit from the university provides insight into the institution’s reputation. Top 10 Things To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your University For Higher Education Navigating the transition from high school to higher education can be overwhelming. As a child, growing up seems to promise simplicity, but the reality is different. Choosing the right university adds another layer of complexity. With tons of options for every course, the process can be exhausting. From morning campus tours to reading several brochures, selecting the right university can be a task. Hence, at Connector, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things that you must keep in mind while choosing your university. Enquire About Academic Majors When choosing a university, enquire about the majors they offer. If you already know your field of study, ensure the universities on your list provide that specific major. If you’re undecided, opt for universities with a wide range of majors; this allows you to explore various options and change your major without the need to transfer. Keep in mind that students often change majors, so having diverse programs at one university is beneficial. Student Accommodation When exploring universities, enquiring about academics, attendance, tuition, and more is crucial. However, don’t forget to ask about student accommodation, a vital aspect. Living on campus provides flexibility for university activities, and socialising, and saves both time and money. It offers a safe, affordable option, making the transition from high school to university smoother, and ensuring an easy and enriched university experience.

CONNECTOR.AE 30 CONNECTOR.AE 31 Kids And Education Kids And Education will likely be covering the fees. You may also consider taking out a loan. Keep in mind that different programs within a university and across various universities have distinct fee structures. Understanding these details is vital in making informed decisions about your education. Don’t Get Excited By The Big Names Don’t let a prestigious name blind you from thorough research. Admission to a ‘big-name’ university doesn’t guarantee it’s the right fit for you. Visit the campus, explore student life, and research courses related to your potential major across all your admitted universities. Check job placements for your major. If the university’s qualities don’t align with your preferences, it might not be the right choice for you. Look beyond the name and prioritise what suits your needs. How You Feel About That College While amenities, fees, and curriculums are important, your personal feeling about the university matters the most. Visiting the campus helps you understand if you can imagine yourself there daily. The university’s vibe influences your mood and overall experience, setting the tone for other aspects of your life. When making the final decision, consider how comfortable and at home you feel on the campus. It’s a crucial factor that goes beyond facilities and plays a significant role in your overall satisfaction with your university experience. Amenities It Has To Offer During your higher education years, where you’ll spend significant years of your life, it’s vital to explore the amenities the university provides. Explore the presence of sports clubs, recreational facilities, and the quality of the library. Consider the food options available and understand how you can engage in various extracurricular opportunities. Answers to these questions are vital in ensuring a well-rounded and enriching university experience. Location Of The University Although it may seem basic, it’s essential to prioritise your peace of mind by ensuring your university is in a safe location. Consider whether it’s situated in a town or a major city. Consider its proximity to essential facilities like hospitals and pharmacies. Additionally, the availability of cafes and hangout spots matters. Your surroundings play a significant role since, outside of class, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in the surrounding city. So, it’s better to opt for a university with a location that aligns with your safety and lifestyle preferences. Practical Exposure Is Important While all universities provide theoretical knowledge, the best ones go beyond by incorporating practical sessions. Practical teaching adds real-world value, helping you understand the purpose and practicality of what you learn. When choosing a university, prioritise those that offer hands-on learning experiences to ensure a well-rounded education. Commenting on this, Professor Dr. Maurits van Rooijen, President of the University of Europe for Applied Sciences and UE Dubai campus commented “Selecting the right college is a pivotal decision with far-reaching implications for one’s career and life journey. Beyond accreditation and reputation, key considerations include a college’s faculty expertise, diverse learning opportunities, vibrant campus culture and networking prospects.” He also added, “In today’s global context, an ideal college should foster personal growth while preparing students for future success by providing essential practical experience and international connections within their chosen fields. When selecting a college, prioritising institutions that emphasise combining theoretical knowledge with practical expertise through partnerships, collaborative projects, and internships with international, reputable institutions is crucial. At these institutions, graduate students are thoroughly prepared to address real-world challenges and have enhanced employment prospects, allowing them to assume roles where they can contribute positively to their societies.” Class Size Matters In university, building understanding and good relationships with professors is essential. That’s why the size of your classes matters. The difference between smaller, discussion-based classes and large lectures with hundreds of students can impact your learning experience. Larger university may have teaching assistants for bigger classes, affecting the average class size a professor handles during lectures. Choosing a university with an optimal student-professor ratio ensures personal attention, effective learning, and meaningful interactions. Cost And Fee Structure While the courses may be similar, the fee structure varies from university to university. It’s essential to thoroughly enquire about the fee structure before admission. Involve your parents in this discussion since they

CONNECTOR.AE 32 CONNECTOR.AE 33 Kids And Education Kids And Education Meet The Teacher: Sean Patrick Duffy Teachers not only share knowledge but also provide valuable life lessons that equip us to navigate the challenges of adulthood. They mould our character, instil importantvalues, andempowerustofacereal-lifesituations. At Connector, we had the opportunity to hear from a distinctive educator, Sean Patrick Duffy, who boasts over a decade of experience teaching English. With a 12-year teaching background, Sean Patrick Duffy, originally from England, and after having recently relocated to the UAE, is currently a leading teacher in English and an advanced practitioner at Bloom World Academy in Dubai. Sean Patrick Duffy is a highly skilled educator with more than ten years of experience in English teaching. He holds a degree in Media Studies from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, along with a PGCE in English teaching, QTS, and NPQSL. Throughout his career, he has taken on various roles, including senior leadership positions where he oversaw curriculum development, safeguarding, pastoral care, and literacy programs, among other responsibilities. He is passionate about reading and instilling a love of learning in his students. Sean is known for his dedication to his craft and his ability to inspire young minds. Sean Patrick Duffy shares with Connector what led him into the field of teaching, and what it is about teaching that he loves. What inspired you to start teaching? My English teacher played a crucial role in my journey, and it might sound a bit cliché, but it’s the truth. She had a unique way of making things clear to me, unlike any other teacher. Truly an inspiration! Once I made that decision, it became my driving force for all the hard work that followed. I wasn’t interested in anything else; I knew I would love it, and that became my ultimate goal. Fortunately, I had the chance to work with the teacher who inspired me, and I can genuinely say that I still have a passion for what I do. How did you decide to teach your current subject? Many teachers will tell you that they got into this for their love of the subject, but I knew that I would enjoy shaping the lives of young people, and therefore I would have taught anything I was asked to at the start of my career! I always enjoyed reading when I was a kid, and I enjoyed studying English later on. It fell into place and made sense. Now I couldn’t imagine teaching anything else. Why do you love teaching? In the end, it’s all about the kids. They make sure each day is unique and remind us of the wonderful things in this world. Children possess little cynicism, and their eagerness to learn influences me daily. It’s not just about loving teaching for me; I cherish every aspect of working in education. I’ve consistently sought to engage in every facet of the profession, from the classroom to leadership. My journey to master all aspects of this vocation is ongoing and will continue throughout my career. Do you remember your favourite teacher from school? Yes, as mentioned before, my English teacher was my favourite, but I had lots of teachers that I liked. As I grew older, I realised that the teachers I liked less were actually teaching subjects I was least interested in. As I grew older, I enjoyed more subjects, which allowed me to like more teachers! How do you make everyday classes more interesting? Starting with the IB curriculum, it has opened up numerous ways to make lessons captivating. It encourages granting students more freedom, promoting big thinking, critical analysis, debates, presentations, collaboration, and more. My approach is to consider what I would have enjoyed as a student. In my classes, we play games to learn the basics, listen to songs for understanding poetry, and read aloud with amusing voices, sharing laughs when accents go awry. Students are urged to make mistakes and bounce back repeatedly. Of course, all this is feasible once routines and rhythms are firmly established. What is a unique part of the school? The atmosphere here is unlike anything I’ve experienced in any other school. The school’s values aren’t just words on a wall; they’re a vibrant, tangible reality. Not too long ago, when Dubai had an unusual rainy day, Mr. Bell (Principal) assured parents, “We stay open.” While most schools in Dubai closed, we didn’t. On that day, Mr. Bell humorously asked in a community forum with all the students present, “Why did you all come in today? Did you not get the message?” In the quiet, one student boldly responded, “Because we LOVE it here!” That’s something truly special. What would you do if you were not a teacher? Teaching has always been my passion. If not in education, I might have pursued a career in politics. Over the years, I’ve cared deeply about the communities I’ve been part of, feeling a responsibility to advocate for those who can’t speak out for themselves.

CONNECTOR.AE 34 CONNECTOR.AE 35 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness Acne: Causes, Treatment, Remedies In today’s modern lifestyle, acne has become a prevalent skin condition. It occurs as pimples on the face, forehead, chest, shoulders, and upper back, from clogged pores when hair follicles get blocked with oil and dead skin cells. While acne is common, its intensity varies among individuals. Although most common among teenagers, it can affect people of all ages. This article will delve into the causes, types, treatments, and other aspects of acne. What Causes Acne Acne occurs when your skin’s tiny tubes holding your hair, called hair follicles, get blocked. This blockage is caused by too much oil (sebum), bacteria, and dead skin cells. These follicles have glands that release these substances. Although it’s mostly about having too much oil, bacteria, and dead skin on your face, certain things can trigger these issues in the first place. What Triggers Acne Acne occurs when hair follicles and sebum get clogged in your skin. But certain things trigger it in the first place causing acne to act up in your body. 1. Wearing tight clothes, hats, or sports helmets. 2. Air pollution and humid weather. 3. Using oily or greasy products. 4. Stress (which makes a hormone called cortisol). 5. Some medications containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium 6. Poor sleep, high sugar diet, smoking, 7. Picking at your acne can make it worse. Types Of Acne Acne might seem common, but the kinds vary. Some are mild, while others are severe and can leave marks on your face. Some types of acne are as follows: - Fungal Acne: This occurs due to yeast accumulation in hair follicles, causing itchiness and inflammation. Adding to this, Dr. Fariha Anwar, an Aesthetics Doctor at Euromed Clinic Dubai says, “In terms of food, you should avoid certain carbohydrates and dairy as both cause an increase in hormones that can trigger excess sebum production. Instead, choose to consume omega-3 fatty acids that can help fight inflammation and are rich in zinc - an antiinflammatory that not only reduces levels of the bacteria that causes acne (Cutibacterium acnes) but decreases oil production. In terms of skincare, choose products that are ‘noncomedogenic’ as these do not clog the pores.”

CONNECTOR.AE 36 CONNECTOR.AE 37 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness a specific skin type is crucial for effective treatment.” Based on your skin type, Dr Ruhil Badiani, Cornerstone Clinic, also suggests a few more things: - Oily skin will need non-comedogenic products that do not block the pores, and products that contact salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are often useful as they can control the oil. - Dry skin will need a more moisturising treatment to prevent stripping the natural oils. - Combination skin will benefit from products that will balance hydration without clogging pores. - Sensitive skin will need mild and soothing products. This skin type may also need testing before applying on the face to ensure that there are no reactions. - Normal skin has the most flexibility in product choice. Individual responses to products can vary, so it may take some experimentation to find out what is the best. Misconceptions About Acne Acne is caused due to several factors and symptoms; however, certain misconceptions about acne need to be debunked. Adding to this, Dr. Fariha Anwar, Euromed Clinic Dubai, says, “People often use harsh scrub or chemicals to deal with acne and oily ski; however, what they don’t realise is that these chemicals strip the skin of - Cystic Acne: It involves deep, pus-filled pimples and nodules that may lead to scarring. - Hormonal Acne: Adults experience hormonal acne due to excess sebum, which blocks their pores. - Nodular Acne: As per Dr Ruhil Badiani, Family Physician, Cornerstone, this type of acne is large, painful, solid lesions lodged deep within the skin. They can be quite stubborn and take a long time to heal. - Cysts: Deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring. They are the most severe type of acne and often require medical attention. When To Consult A Dermatologist For Acne If your skin doesn’t feel good, and you’ve been stressed, have a family history of acne, follow an unhealthy lifestyle, or take medications, and you see boils and pimples on your face, you must visit your skin doctor (dermatologist). They’ll check your skin, understand the type of acne, look closely at the symptoms, and recommend the right treatment for you. Moreover, if you’re aware that you have acne and it’s getting worse, don’t postpone seeing the dermatologist. Commenting on this, Dr. Fariha Anwar, Euromed Clinic Dubai, says, “If you have severe acne, or the prescription medicines are not working, you should book a consultation with an expert in treating skin conditions. This may be needed if you have cystic acne (a large number of papules and pustules), the acne has spread to your chest and back, the acne has started to become painful or if the acne is negatively impacting your mental health.” Type Of Treatment Needed Explaining more about the skin type and treatment, Dr. Ruhil Badiani, Cornerstone Clinic, adds, “Tailoring acne treatment for moisture and/or oil. It can compromise the skin’s barrier function and irritate it. In fact, whenever you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne.” Debunking some myths about acne, and its causes, Dr. Ruhil Badiani, Cornerstone Clinic, adds, “First and foremost, acne is not caused by dirt; in fact, excessive scrubbing or using harsh cleansers will worsen acne. Acne is caused by oil production, and bacterial and skin cell turnover. Besides this, a lot of people think that using more products will help with acne treatment, but this is not true, sometimes more products can irritate the skin further and cause worsening of the condition. My advice to all my patients is to keep products simple and easy to use. Consistency is the key, and choosing the right products for your skin type.”

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness PCOD: Decoding The Cause, Symptoms Behind This Disorder Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is frequentlymistaken for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but these are different conditions. According to a UNICEF article, PCOD is more common in women, affecting about onethird of menstruating women worldwide. Now, let’s delve into what PCOD is and what leads to it, to gain a comprehensive understanding. What Is PCOD? PCOD is a medical condition where a woman’s ovaries produce immature eggs during the reproductive years, turning them into cysts over time. These cysts swell the ovaries and release too many male hormones (androgen), leading to infertility problems, irregular periods, gaining weight, and other health issues. What Causes PCOD? While the exact cause of PCOD is not welldefined, it is often linked to factors such as an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, stress, elevated androgen levels, pollution, medications affecting hormones, and in certain instances, it is hereditary and runs in families. Symptoms Of POCD PCOD mainly impacts the ovaries, and it comes with various signs and symptoms. These include delayed or irregular menstrual periods, heavy bleeding, excess facial hair, acne, obesity, sleep issues, skin darkening or pigmentation around the neck, difficulty in getting pregnant, feelings of depression, and hair loss. How Is PCOD Diagnosed? If you have been dealing with the abovementioned symptoms for a while, it’s time to head to your gynaecologist and get some tests done. As per Dr. Rabeela P V, Specialist Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aster Hospital Muhaisnah, “PCOD is diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical exams, and tests.” Dr. Rabeela P V, Aster Hospital Muhaisnah, breaks down the diagnoses in three steps: - Blood Tests: Hormone levels, including testosterone, luteinising hormone, folliclestimulating hormone, and insulin levels, are checked. - Ultrasound: Imaging tests like transvaginal ultrasound help visualise the ovaries for cysts or follicles. - Other Tests: Sometimes, additional tests like a glucose tolerance test or lipid profile might be recommended to assess associated conditions like insulin resistance or lipid abnormalities.

CONNECTOR.AE 40 CONNECTOR.AE 41 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness Treatment For PCOD There’s no permanent cure for this condition; however, PCOD treatment involves both lifestyle changes as well as medications. Your lifestyle plays a huge role in managing PCOD, and Dr. Rabeela P V, Aster Hospital Muhaisnah, recommends these four things that will help you manage PCOD effectively. • Dietary Modifications: A balanced diet with a focus on whole foods, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help regulate insulin levels and manage weight, which is often a concern with PCOD. Commenting on the treatment aspect, Sophie Smith, Founder and CEO of Nabta Health, adds, “There are specific dietary recommendations for individuals with PCOD to help manage symptoms, such as prioritising whole foods, fruit, vegetables, and lean protein while limiting processed foods and sugary drinks.” PCOD And Mental Health When people talk about PCOD, they often relate it to physical health issues; however, PCOD does impact mental health. “PCOD can impact mental health due to hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, infertility concerns, and body image issues,” says Dr. Rabeela P V, Aster Hospital Muhaisnah. Key strategies To Handle Emotional Well-Being Include: - Support Network: Connecting with others who understand the condition can provide valuable support. - Therapy Or Counselling: Seeking professional help can assist in managing stress, anxiety, or depression associated with PCOD. - Self-Care: Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and self-care, such as hobbies, reading, or mindfulness practices, can be beneficial. PCOD Problem In The Future Women dealing with PCOD should regularly keep an eye on their health to avoid possible complications down the road. If not addressed, PCOD can lead to issues such as Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and various mental health concerns resulting from hormonal imbalances. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat well, stay active, and prioritise mental health and overall well-being. PCOD Vs PCOS - Difference - PCOD is a common disorder, but in the case of PCOS, it is a severe medical condition affecting 0.2% to 2.5% of women globally. - In PCOD, ovaries generate immature or partially mature eggs, while in PCOS, a more severe form of PCOD, a metabolic disorder, can result in anovulation where ovaries cease to release eggs. Adding to this, Sophie Smith of Nabta Health, says, “The first thing to note is that PCOD, although similar in terms of characteristics and underlying factors to PCOS is a different disease with different diagnostic criteria. PCOD is diagnosed using an ultrasound showing multiple small follicles on the ovaries, but is not necessarily accompanied by other symptoms or hormonal imbalances. PCOS requires confirmation of at leasttwo of the following symptoms: irregular periods or ovulation, abnormal androgen levels, and/ or polycystic ovaries on ultrasound.” • Regular Exercise: Physical activity plays a crucial role in managing PCOD symptoms. It helps improve insulin sensitivity, regulates hormones, and assists in weight management. A mix of cardio exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises is recommended. As per Sophie Smith of Nabta Health, one should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, around 30 minutes of walking, 5 days per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate PCOD symptoms. Techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or any stressreduction methods can be beneficial. • Adequate Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for hormone regulation and overall well-being. Establishing a consistent sleep routine can help.