Archive for the ‘Dubai’ Category

A roast-tinted take on coffee

In Dubai, Travel, Video on September 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

A different take on Ethiopian coffee at Make contrasts with the coffee ceremonies of Addis Ababa. And makes me think about coffee in general.

This morning I went to Make Business Hub for a coffee morning. Not a coffee morning with gossip about family and work, but a coffee morning dedicated to, well, coffee.

It was hosted by Matt Wade, of Coffee Planet Roastery, whose business card reads “roast master”, a coffee expert.

He was showcasing one coffee, an Ethiopian roast, that had lemon hints, and tones of chocolate and caramel. He filtered it into a large decanter that looked like it had been taken from a chemistry lab, added some lemon peel to it, and a bit of sugar syrup “to balance it”; that is, to bring out the chocolate tastes. It was served poured into a glass with ice and a slice of lemon peel.

Ethiopian coffee at Make Business Hub. It was filtered into the glass cafetiere, lemon peel and a little sugar syrup added, then poured over ice. (Photo taken with my HTC One X)

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The pipes are calling: Baku beckons

In Dubai, Travel on January 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

The capital of Azerbaijan provides the backdrop for a long weekend of surreal sightseeing, gold teeth and geological oddities

Fly Dubai flight 705 leaves the UAE half full and lands in Baku half empty. As we touch down at Heyder Aliyev International Airport, our fellow passengers passengers cheer. Any place that treats a successful landing as a privilege rather than a right falls into the “alternative” category of weekend breaks. The capital of Azerbaijan is no regular tourist hub. Read the rest of this entry »

Flak to the future

In Dubai on December 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

If you spend enough time with chihuahuas in Dubai Airport’s check-in area, you can find out what mercenaries leave behind

Tomorrow I fly (I hope – this is Plan B after my BA flights both from Dubai to Heathrow and from Heathrow to Edinburgh were cancelled because of snow. Emirates to Glasgow, my Christmas is in your hands. Plan C involves a sled and some reindeer). I fly at dawn, and since it’s Christmas Eve, I don’t doubt it will be busy at the airport. And the flight could be delayed. But this time I’ll be spending my time at the airport on the checked-in side of the baggage handlers. Last week I waited in the check-in area for about four hours. Read the rest of this entry »

Swim free, little terrapigs

In Dubai on December 20, 2010 at 12:21 am

Freeing my terrapins into the Media City pond is a sad end to a long relationship. But hopefully it’s for the best.

Today I set my three terrapins free in the Dubai Media City pond. I had been meaning to do it last night, but I had a moment of realisation that, while I didn’t want to be stopped from liberating them or disturbed when I was saying what was bound to be an emotional goodbye after four years, it would have been unnecessarily bewildering for them for me to set them free in darkness. Read the rest of this entry »

The Media and Marketing Show jumps shark

In Advertising, Dubai, Journalism, Marketing, Media, Photography on December 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

With a display of books by the founder of Scientology, and a cowboy on his way to the tallest building in the world, the 2010 Media and Marketing Show has moved away from its roots.

Last week saw the Media and Marketing Show in Dubai. It was heralded, as usual, by press releases claiming record-breaking numbers of exhibitors, which stand up to very little scrutiny when compared to last year’s figures, and those of the year before. Read the rest of this entry »

How to shoot people

In Communicate, Dubai, Journalism, Photography, Published journalism on November 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry tells Communicate – and others – how to produce a presentable portrait

Originally published in Communicate, July 2010

Steve McCurry, the American photographer famed for his 1984 National Geographic cover image of an Afghan refugee girl, came to Dubai last month as one of the speakers in the Bold Talks symposium, and to run a photography workshop the next day. Keen to improve our ability to take haunting images of Pashtun waifs and marketing managers alike, Communicate seized the office camera and went along to his class. Read the rest of this entry »

The Connect answer

In Advertising, Communicate, Digital, Dubai, Marketing, Media, Opinion, Published journalism on November 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

The company that sells space on MSN Arabia and Facebook tells us why online media needs representation

Originally published in Communicate, July 2010

Recently, Communicate met up with Mohamed El Sayed, general manager of MSN Arabia, and Mohamed El Mehairy, managing director of digital media representation company Connect Ads. Both men were in Dubai for a Microsoft Summit, where the Microsoft Network (MSN) sells itself to potential advertisers. Communicate hoped they could explain some aspects of the MSN-Connect Ads business model. Read the rest of this entry »

A question of trust

In Communicate, Digital, Dubai, Journalism, Media, Opinion on November 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

With more sources of news, “Who do I believe?” is becoming “How much do I believe them?”

Originally published in Communicate, July 2010

What media can you trust? The question came up when Dubai’s Shelter hosted a round-table discussion entitled, “Journalism 2.0.” It marked the launch of SAE Institute’s diploma in digital journalism. The debate pitted old journalism against new journalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Magic numbers

In Advertising, Dubai, Interview, Marketing, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Draft FCB London’s executive creative director, Mark Fiddes, tells Communicate why his agency is dealing in digits

Originally published in Communicate, May 2010

“A number paints a thousand pictures,” said Mark Fiddes, executive creative director of Draft FCB London, as he introduced his presentation at the Dubai International Advertising Festival. His talk was catchily entitled, “Using data insights to connect in 6.5 seconds,” and he used it to outline some numbers that might set the creative brain ticking, or at least help it win a pub quiz. Read the rest of this entry »

Revolutionary read

In Communicate, Digital, Dubai, Journalism, Media, Published journalism, Q&A on November 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm

The Guardian’s head of client sales says the Internet is turning digital on its head. But which publisher has the right formula to capitalize on that?

Originally published in Communicate, May 2010

Mark Finney, head of client sales at UK publishing house Guardian News and Media (GNM), spoke about “digital revolutions” at the recent Dubai Lynx. The Internet is changing the way we consume print, and publishers around the world are trying out different revenue models. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is preparing to charge for access to online content across all his News Corp titles, but the Guardian’s online presence is remaining resolutely paywall-free.
The newspaper’s print circulation is currently around 400,000, and falling, as is the case with virtually all print dailies around the world. But boasts 36 million readers internationally, including 12 million in the UK. Finney won’t reveal GNM’s turnover from its print titles, but says the digital side of the business makes around £25 million per year. We asked him about the changing business of print. Read the rest of this entry »