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smoked-salmon-in-dubaiHaving a tour of a smokehouse might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’d been badgering Jason of Salmontini for a visit since last November. Partly because of the story behind it – his Dad had started the business in Beirut smoking five fish a week on their balcony in a home-made smoker made out of a cupboard due to the introduction of a huge tax on smoked goods (which he was then importing). Partly also in awe that someone could actually be bothered to fly fresh Scottish salmon to Dubai and smoke it here and make it taste absolutely sublime. Finally because I was refused entry to a kipper smokehouse in Craster – “against rules and regulations you know. We supply Waitrose.” Yes the inner rebellious teenager in me is alive and kicking; if someone says I can’t do something it makes it even more compelling. Read more

school-fees-in-dubaiAlmost Two Thirds of Expat Parents in UAE Pay Total Cost of Their Children’s Education

‘Full Expat Package’ Is Granted ‘Only To the Privileged Few’

One in Five Families Spend More than 30% of Their Household Income on School Fees

The strain that education imposes on expat family finances was revealed today with the publication today of a survey by, the UAE’s first dedicated school guide. 62 percent of respondents said that they cover the entire cost of their children’s school fees in the UAE. A further 24 percent receive a contribution from their company while just 13 percent have their school fees paid in full.

The survey was conducted on-line over a period of five weeks through March and April with 596 responses from parents around the UAE. 45 per cent of respondents live in Abu Dhabi, 43 percent in Dubai, 8 percent in Sharjah and the remainder spread through the other four emirates. Read more

catching-stray-catsThe Garden Cat Project is a TNR (Trap, Neutering and Release) service provided by Friends of Animals Dubai, ideally for cats living around your house, garden, building’s entrance, nearby your parks, supermarkets, cafeterias etc. They provide full facilities for trapping, transporting and helping “YOU” helping those “CATS”.

Why do they do this?
The estimated stray cat population in UAE is approximately 250.000 the situation is so overwhelming that will require authorities, community members and private sector to bring the issue to a manageable figure by alternative HUMANE practices only.

Community members are all exhausted finding injured cats and kittens on the road; many are injured by cars, by territorial fights, sicknesses and other precarious living conditions. This has indeed a devastating impact on many of us and needless to mention promotes a negative message on the kind of city we all are living in. We do blindly believe that we can ALL make a difference. Read more

Missing CatPet’s Name: Oscar
Last Seen: Jumeirah Village Triangle
Microchip Number: 900182000137496
Collar Color: Black/Pink

Pet’s Description:
Grey, long haired tabby, quite small and only 8 months old, went missing on the 12th April from JVT. Read more

ask louiseQuestionMy husband has already moved and I am looking to move the end of July. We have a 14 year old son who needs a place in year 10 for this coming September. I have searched and searched and just keep being told there is a waiting list with little chance of a place becoming available. I have however been told that there is a place for him at Deira.  Firstly I can not find reviews. Secondly how far away is the school from Arabian Ranches and thirdly my son wants to remain in England to finish his GCSE as he thinks he will not like the school etc etc..  I am hoping you might have some information on the school. Read more

khda- rankings2013Dubai Schools Report Card: 12 outstanding; 13 unsatisfactory; where does your kid study?

Nine of 12 outstanding schools offer UK curriculum; half of Dubai’s students receive outstanding/good education

The much-anticipated Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s (DSIB) report card for the year 2012-13 was announced by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) today.

“Twelve schools were rated ‘outstanding’, of which nine are UK-curriculum schools, two offer Indian curriculum and one offers a curriculum based on US standards,” reads the report card.

The percentage of students attending ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools has increased by 19 per cent since 2008, according to the latest results.

A total of 108,098 children are now enrolled at these schools, accounting for 49 per cent of Dubai’s private school students. Read more

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