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The Inextricable Link Between Water And Climate Change

As you turn on the tap this World Water Day, consider how lucky you are to be one of those with a fresh water supply…

March 22 is World Water Day. Launched as a campaign to educate, inspire and drive action for change, showing how sustainable practices will reduce floods, droughts, scarcity, and pollution, and help fight climate change itself, the theme of World Water Day 2021 is valuing water. 

The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value, we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone.

world water day

No doubt many times in your life you will have been confronted with the terms global warming, climate change, ozone depletion, and a host of others that point to the deterioration of the earth’s natural environment. With that, you are likely to have also become privy to the research and predictions around the devastating impact environmental degradation subsequently has on the lives of human beings and animals, painting a bleak future for future generations. In response to this, the global noise around sustainable living has increased in recent years – a movement that sees us rethinking and readjusting our practices and habits as both individuals and organizations, to consume as few non-renewable natural resources as possible and minimize our carbon footprint and environmental impact. This type of living involves leaving the earth relatively untouched by our actions – in other words, how we received it, is how we should leave it. Ideally in a better state where possible.

At Azraq – the volunteer-run not-for-profit UAE entity that focuses on the protection, defence and conservation of marine life, as well as enabling partnerships to be formed with government and groups for the good of the UAE and its marine environment – our mission is to strive for a cleaner, healthier ecosystem by putting an end to the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the oceans. 70% of our planet’s surface is covered by water, and this massive body contains diverse life forms, including marine plants which supply about 50% of the oxygen we breathe, as well as for food and it’s many other uses. All living things rely heavily upon the oceans for sustenance and, by using water more efficiently, we will ultimately reduce greenhouse gases. But we cannot afford to wait. Companies such as ourselves must put water at the heart of action plans, as everyone within our community has a role to play. By making small adjustments to the actions we take in our daily lives, we can all address climate change. Here are four easy changes to get you started on the path to more sustainable living:

water and climate change

Go green

Implementing small changes in the household and our daily lifestyles are what truly make a big difference. Think simple tactics such as using energy-saving light bulbs or adding a programmable thermostat for efficient heating and cooling, each of which can go a long way in reducing your ecological footprint. Another opportunity to go green is to travel green – leaving the car at home in favour of walking more, biking, setting up carpools or using public transport systems which can decrease carbon emissions.

Say no to plastics

More than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally each year, with plastic packaging (single-use material designed for immediate disposal) making up 50% of plastic waste. Thousands of marine animals including fish, birds, turtles and other water mammals are killed daily due to either ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in it. Fight for our oceans by opting for reusable grocery bags and ditching single-use straws, bags and bottles, to help cut back on plastic pollution. 

Become a conscious shopper – educate yourself

Our clothes are one of the largest sources of primary microplastics, a term that refers to plastic particles that measure less than five millimetres in length, which are detrimental to our oceans. When we wash synthetic clothing, such as items made from acrylic, nylon and polyester, microfibres are released into waterways. So next time you go shopping, be considerate when purchasing, and educate yourself on the fabrics you buy – it’s important to understand where your clothes come from and how they are made. But be mindful of claims made by designers who infer their garments are sustainable when the reality is their clothing is made from recycled plastic. This is known as green-washing and many people buy into this, thinking it’s a great solution to marine debris, when in fact it’s causing greater issues for our oceans because of the microplastics. To combat microplastics, installing a filter on your washing machine that collects microfibres is a great step in reducing the amount of microplastics that are released into the ocean, as are Guppyfriend Washbags and Cora Balls that offer a circular solution to the issue of ocean conservation.

world water day by unwater

Eat better and cleaner

Approximately 1.3 tonnes of edible food is wasted annually, which means the natural resources that went into making the food are also effectively wasted. One way to prevent food wastage is to engage in planned grocery shopping; buying only what you need and thinking of creative ways to consume what you purchase. And as difficult as it may sound, cutting down on meat consumption can also have a drastically positive impact on the planet. The meat industry is among the top most environmentally damaging industries, responsible for vast levels of pollution, water use, habitat destruction and greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce wastewater usage and be mindful of what you put down the drain

There are so many ways to reduce wastewater usage and some of the easiest ways to do this at home include turning off the tap when you brush your teeth – saving six litres of water per minute.

Similarly, taking a shorter shower and ensuring you always put full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher saves gallons of water every week.

Simple changes such as placing a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern reduces the volume of water used in each flush – you can get one of these from your water provider. 

Lastly, invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can now get water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products.

And let’s not forget to be mindful of what we put down the drain. The cleaning products you use to clean your home end up down the drain, which will then enter and contaminate waterways and end up in the oceans, so using eco-friendly cleaning products makes an enormous difference. Alternatively, ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar and citrus fruit like lemons and oranges make a great natural way to clean your home. 

The rabbit hole of sustainability is not one easily grappled with. Yet, one thing is clear – as individuals, we must make substantial daily changes to ensure the preservation of our water resources. The future of this planet does not lie solely in one person’s hands, but with all – corporations and consumers alike. We all have to take responsibility for our part in the depletion of our oceans, and take the necessary measures to try and protect it. And we must act now –the planet’s very survival depends upon it.

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You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for February

Mark your calendars.

February 1: Celebrate Literature

The first six days of February are all about celebrating storytelling as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature returns its 15th edition, this year taking place at InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. On the roster? Comedian David Walliams, best-selling author Cecelia Ahern, Succession star Brian Cox, Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, and plenty more.

Learn more here.

February 3: Break Bread

Taste of Dubai is an institution in its own right, returning to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre from 3 to 5 February. The three-day event is popular for its bite-sized portions of beloved dishes from some of the city’s best restaurants, but there’s plenty more to look forward to. We’re talking live music, appearances by celebrity chefs such as John Torode and Daniel Boulud, interactive masterclasses, and lots more.

Learn more here.

February 5: Think Green

Art and nature collide at the Embroidered Botanicals workshop at Jameel Arts Centre. Designed for all ages, this family-friendly event led by Dr Hellen Dayton will introduce participants to the historic healing and hidden properties of botanicals found around Dubai. Participants will then learn to draw the designs of these flowers, transferring them into embroidered textiles that can be used for the likes of napkins, pillows or throws.

Learn more here.

February 12: Test Your Limits

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to pound the pavement more often in 2023, the Dubai Marathon – the country’s oldest long-distance running event – should be your starting point. You can opt for the ‘10km Road Race’ if you’re in shape, or the ‘4km Fun Run’ if you’re looking to start slow. Feeling ambitious? Sign up for all 42.195km of the marathon itself.

Learn more here.

February 14: Feel the Love

The definitive address for all things wheel throwing, The Mud House Studio is inviting participants to discover the intuitive nature of pottery at a special edition just for Valentine’s Day. Entitled Candlelit Wheel Throwing, the (you guessed it) candlelit session will be rooted in perception through touch, resulting in an exploration of how clay responds to this sense – and a meditative way to celebrate the annual day of romance.

Learn more here.

February 19: Steam and Manifest

Sometimes dismissed as a hippy-dippy trend, womb steaming is actually an ancient remedy that has been used by women to support deep wellness with the help of herbal steam. Enter: the New Moon Womb Steaming Feminine Activation session led by Renata Nacimento at SEVA. The upcoming New Moon in Pisces is the perfect time to set intentions and tap into the mystical powers of the womb.

Learn more here.

February 22: Have a Laugh

If a family-friendly activity is long overdue, Shrek The Musical at Dubai Opera belongs on your calendar. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, this larger-than-life production takes audiences into lovable ogre Shrek’s journey from living contentedly alone in a swamp to rescuing the feisty Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a castle surrounded by lava.

Learn more here.

February 25: Journey to Lebanon

Expand your culinary horizons at the A Story of Meat, Spices & Grapes supperclub hosted by Bassel Wehbe via the BreakBread platform. Promising the best of Lebanese-Armenian fusion cuisine, this intimate dining experience will take attendees on a journey that pairs meat and spices with culinary backstories aplenty.

Learn more here.

February 26: See the Light

Helping celebrate the fifth anniversary of multidisciplinary space Concrete in Alserkal Avenue is Rana Begum, whose work distils spatial and visual experience into ordered form. In what will be the visual artist’s largest solo exhibition in the region, her works will explore the interaction of light, colour, and form in dialogue with Concrete.

Learn more here.

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8 Tips on How to Shop More Mindfully

Save time, ease the burden on your wallet.

Mindful shopping is a practice of mindful living. Mindful living brings joy, happiness, and meaning to your life. By being a mindful shopper, you are intentionally making choices that contribute to you living your best life. One of my favourite inspirational quotes is:

“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

The late fashion designer Vivienne Westwood made this powerful statement and showed that these three simple actions can change the way you shop, spend money, and live. A mindful shopper is a person who thinks carefully about what they buy. They consider the impact that the purchase has on their life before they buy the item. This might sound like a lot of effort to go through when shopping, but the more we think about what we buy, the more value we get from our money. Shopping becomes intentional, and you become more mindful about choices you make in life. 

Watch: How To Shop More Mindfully

Some of the benefits of being a mindful shopper include saving money and time. Not buying impulsively when shopping will save you money and, by knowing exactly what you want to buy, you also save time trying to make quick decisions on items you are not sure about. Mindful shoppers have a home with minimal clutter as they only buy what they need when they need it. This contributes to a simple lifestyle as you have less things to worry about in your home.

You may think that having less things means having a less valuable life, but it is actually the opposite. Purchasing only the items you need and love will add value to your life by cutting out items that do not add anything to your life goals. Mindful living is a lifestyle where you are aware of your choices and make decisions to nurture your mental and physical health. Here are eight tips to get you started.

1. Do a Stock-Take

Check what you already have before you go shopping. If you are planning to browse your favourite home and fashion stores, think about what you actually need. If you know there is a good clothing sale going on, go through your wardrobe and write down what items you need. For example, if you have a pair of jeans that are worn out, do you need to buy another pair or do you already have enough? 

If you are shopping for food, check what it is in the pantry and fridge. You may have forgotten what you have. Buy food that complements what you have, so you can use it in a planned and tasty meal. Shopping for food should be purposeful, and you should have certain meals in mind to ensure you use up what you have already bought. 

2. Use a Shopping List

A list helps you to shop with intention. Group together items on the list according to what shop you are going to. You likely already know what the best places are to get certain things, so be patient and stick to your plan. For example, if you are going to a certain shopping mall that you know has your favourite clothing store, think about what items you would need specifically from that shop. Also, write down optional items that you may not need right away, but are worth buying if they are on sale.  

3. Be Patient with Sales 

The purpose of a sale for the retailer is to sell as much of their current stock as quickly as possible so that they can make space for the new stock. Advertising for sales makes us think that we need to buy quickly or risk losing out on amazing savings. Do not fall into this trap! Only buy what you need when you are ready to buy it. If you do not find what you want on sale, do not settle for something less desirable just because it’s cheap. You will most likely not use the item, waste your money, and create clutter in your home.  

4. Be Careful of Deals

Marketing campaigns that are very popular are promotional deals like ‘Buy 3, Get 2 Free’ or ‘Buy 2 for the price of 1’. Do you really need so many of the same or similar products? Again, this could be a clutter trap. If you really only need one bottle of something, then only buy one bottle of something. Getting three more in order to save a few dirhams might not be the best decision if you do not have space to store the items and only use them once a month, for example. 

5. Buy to Enhance

Enhance what you already have. When you go shopping to buy new outfits or home décor, have a good look at your current style. What do you already have that could be worn differently? Would some accessories or a specific piece create new outfits from what you have? For example, if you have a good pair of trousers that you haven’t worn because of its colour, you could buy a new top to complement it.  

Are there décor pieces, say, of a certain accent colour, that could enhance the furnishings you already have instead of buying a complete set of new items? For example, you could buy new scatter cushions and a rug that brings in a new colour to your room instead of replacing the furniture. By enhancing what you have, you are reusing what you have in a different way and making it last. 

6. Think Quality, Not Quantity 

Buying quality items means they last longer, which means you save money in the long term. If items last longer, then you will also be buying less. Buying less means less clutter in addition to saving money and time shopping. Look after your purchases to help them last longer. A few things to consider when you want stuff to last: where you buy your items, how you store them, and how you maintain them.

For example, a simple item like a shirt will last longer if it is of better quality. Choose shops that you know have good quality shirts. Once you have bought a good quality item, wash it according to the recommendations to make it last. If you see a shirt on sale in a shop that you know is not high in quality, ask yourself if you really want it. 

7. Protect the Environment

Take your own bags when you go shopping. This is one of the easiest actions you can take to protect the environment. Avoid plastic bags where possible. Use reusable canvas shopping bags, and your handbag for small items. Keep shopping bags in the back of your car in case you forget them at home. Also, keep a small foldable tote bag in your handbag for unexpected purchases. 

When buying something, think about how it was made. Support small businesses and artisans if you can, which use methods that are less harmful to the environment. Buying less items over time will also help protect the environment. 

8. New Things In, Old Things Out

This depends on how much storage space you have for items. If your storage is already limited, you will need to get rid of old items as you buy new ones. Think about what you can donate or sell. By constantly doing this, you will have a clutter-free home. It will also help you to be more aware of what you have and what you need. 

If you would like to know more about how to organise and declutter your home, visit Fern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Zen Den

This is what you need to turn any space into a stress-free, tranquil oasis.

It’s no secret that our mental health is just as important as our physical health, yet we often don’t take the time to nurture our minds and spirits in the same way we care for our bodies. A straightforward way to change that is to create zen in your home — a unique space where you can relax, meditate, do some yoga, or take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Why Create a Zen Den in Your Home

In these hectic times, it’s more important than ever to have a space where you can relax and feel at peace. For many people, that space is the home. But what if your home doesn’t feel like a haven? What if it feels just as chaotic as the outside world? If that’s the case, it might be time to transform your home into a zen den. Here are some of the benefits of having a peaceful, stress-free home.

You’ll Sleep Better

When your home is calm and serene, your mind will follow suit. That means you’ll fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly throughout the night. If you’ve been struggling with insomnia, making your home into a zen den may be just what you need to finally get some rest.

You’ll Reduce Stress and Anxiety

A cluttered, chaotic environment can be very distracting. Focusing on work or other tasks is hard when your surroundings are messy and loud, but when your home is tranquil and organised, you’ll find it much easier to stay on task and get things done. Creating a zen den is a great place to start if you’re looking to boost your productivity.

You’ll Reduce Stress and Anxiety

When you’re constantly surrounded by chaos, it’s no wonder you feel stressed out all the time. In contrast, a stress-free environment can significantly decrease your own stress and anxiety levels. If reducing stress in general is one of your goals, making your home into a zen den is an excellent way to achieve it.

woman meditating

Creating the Ultimate Zen Den in Your Home

The good news is that creating a peaceful haven in your home doesn’t take much. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy; it can be as simple as a corner in your bedroom or a spot in your backyard. You can turn any space into a tranquil oasis with a few simple changes. Here are a few tips and ideas for meditation rooms to help you start building your zen sanctuary, even if you only have a few square feet of space to work with: 

Choose a Quiet Spot

When choosing a location for your zen den, finding a place in your home that is away from the noise and commotion of daily life is essential. If you don’t have an extra room that you can dedicate to your practice, consider setting up your space in the corner of your bedroom or living room. 

Make It Comfortable

Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, it’s time to start making it into a space that promotes relaxation and peace. Start by adding comfortable flooring — choose mats or cushions for sitting or lying down during meditation. You might also want to include blankets and pillows for added comfort. 

Clean Your Space

Now that you’re done setting up, it’s time to start cleaning. This space should be clean and clutter-free, peaceful and calming.

Start by decluttering the room. Get rid of any furniture or decor that is not essential. Then, give the room a good cleaning. Dust all surfaces and vacuum the floor.

Bring in a Touch of Nature

One way to create a calm and relaxing environment in your meditation room is to bring in some elements of nature. Add some plants to the room or hang pictures of your favourite natural scenery. You can also add a water feature to the room; the sound of running water is very soothing and can help you relax.

If you have a window in your meditation space, open it to let fresh air in. Incorporating some elements of nature in will help create a calm and serene environment.

Add Some Soothing Elements

When you’re looking to create a space in your home that is peaceful and calming, there are two things you can do to achieve that goal — aromatherapy and adding soft touches. These soothing elements can help you relax and unwind.

Aromatic Atmosphere

One of the quickest and easiest ways to change the atmosphere of your home is with aromatherapy. When used in the home, it can help to create a more inviting space that promotes wellbeing for both body and mind. Here are a few of our favourite products to get you started:

SAANTE

Cinnamon, Clove, Orange & Vanilla Candle

AED 90.00

There’s something about a burning candle that just oozes cosiness. Whether you’re aiming to create a zen den at home or just looking for a way to relax after a long day, this Cinnamon, Clove, Orange & Vanilla Candle from Saante is the perfect option. Orange, clove, and cinnamon all have warm, stimulating aromas that help awaken the senses. On the other hand, vanilla induces a deep sense of relaxation in the body and mind.

candle

PALM LIGHTS

Juniper and
Cypress Candle

AED 90.00

This Juniper and Cypress Candle from Palm Lights bring a touch of luxury to your space. The flickering candlelight creates a soothing ambience, while the the crisp and fresh woody scent of Juniper helps to relax and calm the mind. The slightly woody evergreen scent of Cypress adds an exotic touch to the blend, making it perfect for an evening of relaxation. 

bottle

RUT ESSENTIALS

Lemongrass Essential
Oil Spray

AED 85.00

This Lemongrass Essential Oil Spray from Rut Essentials has a refreshing, citrusy scent that is perfect for creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere in your home. When diffused, lemongrass oil can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of wellbeing. In addition, lemongrass oil can be used to cleanse and purify the air, making it an ideal choice for use in your zen den.

diffuser

RUT ESSENTIALS

Earth Ceramic Diffuser

AED 37.00

This Earth Ceramic Diffuser from Rut Essentials is a great way to add some extra zen to your home. The sleek, white design is simple and elegant, perfect for placement on a shelf or table. The diffuser uses ultrasonic waves to vaporise water and essential oils, creating a soothing environment. The mist output is adjustable, so you can choose the perfect level for your space. The diffuser also features an auto-shutoff function, making it safe and easy to use. 

incense sticks

PALM LIGHTS

Sandalwood Artisanal Incense Sticks

AED 50.00

There’s nothing quite like the soothing smell of incense to help you relax, and when it comes to quality, nothing beats hand-crafted sandalwood incense sticks. These Sandalwood Artisanal Incense Sticks from Palm Lights are made with only the finest natural ingredients and provide a delicate yet complex scent that is perfect for use in any room. Whether you’re looking to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom or add a touch of luxury to your living room, sandalwood incense sticks are the perfect way to do it. 

Soft Touches 

Another essential element to keep in mind for your zen den at home is to add soft touches. The goal is to create a relaxing and calming space, so it’s essential to choose materials to help you achieve that. Adding soft touches can help you to create a space that feels truly tranquil and serene. Here are our favourites:

yoga mat

EARTHISTIC

Vaastra Diamond Sambu Grass Yoga Mat

AED 180.00

For those who love the feel of grass under their feet, this Vaastra Natural Sambu Grass Yoga Mat from Earthistic is the perfect way to add a little extra softness to your zen den space at home. Made from natural sambu grass, this mat is gentle on the skin and provides a cushioned surface for yoga or meditation. Plus, the unique green hue of the grass is sure to add a calming touch to your yoga practice.

circle pillow

SAINE

Cherry Stone
Circle Pillow

AED 65.00

This Cherry Stone Circle Pillow from Saine is the perfect way to add a little bit of extra softness and comfort to your home. Made of clean, dried cherry pits, it can be heated or chilled. The result is a truly relaxing experience that can help to ease muscle tension and stress. In addition, the pillow’s unique shape makes it perfect for use as a neck pillow, lumbar support, or simply as a decorative accent.

kimono

KIMONOGIRL

Air
Kimono

AED 2,765.00

This Air Kimono from KimonoGirl is a beautiful and unique piece of clothing inspired by the element of air, which represents intellect, mental intention, and connection to the universal life force. If you’re seeking clarity or struggling to find your place in the world, air energy can help you to see things from a higher perspective. The Air Kimono brings an additional soft touch to your zen den space at home through a garment that looks beautiful and has special meaning. 

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will too.

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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature returns in 2023 with old friends and homegrown talent

For the first time ever, this year’s festival will feature sessions in multiple regional languages.

Ebtisam Al-Beiti, a Dubai-based former nursery teacher, wrote her first book during lockdown in an outpour of creative energy. Published in 2021, Can I Go Out Now? debuted at the literature festival that year, and the first edition of the book was also part of the Ministry of Education’s Reading For Pleasure project.

This year, she’s back with another book for toddlers just learning to read: Citrus the Smoothie Sloth. Already in its second edition, it’s about a cheeky little sloth that likes to make smoothies from rainforest fruit. 

Over the last 15 years, the literature festival has been a firm fixture on Dubai’s social calendar and has matured into a developed platform for young and upcoming authors with its goal of creating a sustainable literary ecosystem for the UAE and the region.

“I think the festival is an amazing platform for upcoming authors, especially for [visitors and attendees] to see local talent as well,” Al-Beiti told Gaggler. “They get to experience meeting the authors, talking to the authors, specifically for my age group — which is much younger children aged four to six — it’s during these early years that it’s important for kids to interact with authors and to really encourage them to start reading and to develop a reading culture.”

Friendships Old and New

The theme for this year’s literature festival is “Old Friends,” a fitting commemoration of the festival’s 15th anniversary. “It’s a very special year for us,” shared Tamreez Inam, assistant festival director and head of programming. “So when we were thinking of the theme, we thought of ‘Old Friends’ as a way to honour the authors who have been to the festival before, many of whom are returning for the 15th anniversary. But of course, we have new authors and new friends as well.”

‘Old Friends’ is also a reference to a quote by Al Mutanabbi, Inam explained, where he said a book is an old friend — the only friend you’ll ever need. “So we’re playing on that as well for the theme.”

In a first for the festival, this edition will break new ground in a bid to expand its reach by holding sessions in regional languages apart from Arabic and English. “For the first time, we’re going to have sessions in Malayalam, Filipino, Italian, Urdu, and Hindi. We really want the festival to be a celebration of all the communities that live here in the UAE,” said Inam. “It’s going to be our largest festival ever.”

What to Expect 

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be returning for its 15 anniversary from February 1-6, 2023, bringing together more than 250 writers and thinkers from over 50 countries in nearly 300 sessions spread out over six days. 

The festival kicks off with Desert Stanzas, a signature event and integral part of the festival consisting of a night of poetry and performances under the stars in the desert. “Then we just have a whole six days of all kinds of conversations: fiction, non-fiction, lots of children’s events, and something for everyone,” said Inam, who revealed she’s most looking forward to the special commemorations in honour of the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Prophet by acclaimed Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, as well as his 140th birth anniversary.

As for Al-Beiti, she’s looking forward to attending all of the sessions for children. “I attended David Walliams’ [session] last year and I absolutely loved it; I think I laughed more than the children! So I will definitely be attending David Walliams’ again this year.”

As for UAE-based authors on her watchlist? “We’ve got Kathy Urban, who I’m very, very excited for, and of course the legendary Julia Johnson as well. Also looking forward to Beverly Jatwani.”

“I’m so excited that as much as we have international authors, we get to attend the local authors as well.”

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will hold author talks, workshops, special events and more at the Intercontinental in Festival City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library from February 1-6, 2023. Buy tickets here.

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You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for January

Mark your calendars.

January 4: Usher in 2023

According to Mayan belief, working with cacao – a.k.a. food of the gods – allows one to cultivate awareness on an emotional and spiritual level, guiding you in the direction that you need to take. And that’s where the New Year Full Moon workshop at Illuminations comes in. Accenting a cacao ceremony with sound healing in time for the first full moon of 2023, the session will help enhance one’s well-being and communication with divinity.

Learn more here.

January 8: Reap the Rewards

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit, one in which past sacrifices will be rewarded generously. Celebrate your upcoming stroke of good luck at Dubai Opera, where traditional elements, national characteristics, and regional culture will be highlighted at the Chinese New Year gala.

Learn more here.

January 14: Follow the Light

Candlelight Concerts bring the magic of unique, one-of-a-kind concerts played by flickering candlelight to locations worldwide – which now includes Dubai. The upcoming 65-minute performance will pay tribute to the work of Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi at L’Alliance Française.

Learn more here.

January 21: Tap Your Toes

Theatre of Digital Art is an immersive art space that continues to diversify, hosting everything from perfume-making workshops to breathwork meditation sessions. We’re marking our calendars for What A Wonderful Jazz, an evening of  jazz starring Sher Oston and his orchestra of 22 world-class musicians who take jazz, opera and pop classics to the next level.

Learn more here.

January 22: Embrace Imperfections

Take a cue from the Japanese and give a new lease of life to something broken during the guided Kintsugi fusion workshop taking place at the upcoming UnleashYou Retreat. Combining creative arts with a coaching approach, this half-day event is designed to refresh from within and inspire creativity.

Learn more here.

January 26: Chant Along

Did you know 2023 opens the Emerald Gate and the year of 7? According to the experts at SEVA, it’s a powerful time to sit in our power and embody this mighty energy. Enter: the Chanting to Be in Our Power session. Led by Eda Gungor, it invites participants to chant along with the Ajai Alai mantra in order to activate higher chakras, bring us out of depression and anger, and dissolve the challenges in front of us.

Learn more here.

January 27: Crash the Party

Expand your culinary horizons at the Taste of Owambe supperclub hosted by Man like Mus. Inspired by Nigerian “Owambe” parties, this intimate dining experience introduces attendees to classic festive dishes (think: jollof rice with lamb chops, peppered beef and grilled plantain, and more) and illustrates why the food is the best part of every Owambe party.

Learn more here.

January 29: Join the Journey

Today’s your last chance to intensify the score at Sky Castle, which responds to crowd flow and fluctuations. Located in d3, this interactive installation features a cluster of inflatable arches that span in a colourful symphony across public space. The movement of visitors powers and progresses the soundscape, stimulating colour changes to evoke the joy that sunshine brings after every storm.

Learn more here.

January 30: Seek Support

With life abroad bringing with it plenty of hard truths, the new Expats in the UAE Support Group hosted by The LightHouse Arabia is a great tool to help anyone who is new to the UAE. Hosted on a monthly basis, these sessions will offer a safe and supportive space to discuss the joys, the challenges, and everything in between that can arise when living as an expatriate.

Learn more here.

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Welcome to the Best of Gaggler, 2022 Edition

Settle in for some quality reading time.

2022 is drawing to a close and, with it, ends another year of Gaggler sharing the expertise of astrologers, avid travellers, life coaches, health experts, wellness gurus, and more with women in the UAE – and beyond. Today, we’re looking back and taking stock of the past 12 months by rounding up some of our most memorable features when it comes to empowering women.

Laid out in chronological order, these articles represent the best of our magazine as a female-focused platform. As for the Gaggler woman? She is resilient and resourceful, empathetic yet deeply aware that you need to put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to help those around you. There are also a handful of special mentions, starting with a peek into our founder’s bag, which contains six must-haves from the online store we launched earlier this month. We also revisit two topics that warrant more attention in the year ahead: money management and sleep hygiene. Read on.

Keeping the Kids Motivated While Homeschooling

A kid studying on tablet

No parent will ever say that home schooling during the pandemic was anything other than incredibly tough. Technical challenges aside, ensuring children stay on-track with their studies and adding ‘teacher’ into the mix of roles didn’t make the lives of parents any easier. To help them navigate the return of remote learning earlier this year, we shared five key pointers on how to maintain a healthy home-schooling schedule.

Read the article here.

What an Accidental Dating Guru Wants Women to Know

Jon birger dating guru smiling

An award-winning business journalist, Jon Birger admitted to venturing into the self-help genre with a “snooty attitude” when he wrote his 2015 book Date-onomics, which analysed modern-day dating by crunching numbers. Having returned to the genre with his 2021 release Make Your Move, the author became more comfortable with advising single women worldwide, encouraging them to question the clichés that come with romance. To mark Valentine’s Day, we shared 10 takeaways from our conversation with this accidental dating guru.

Read the article here.

Let’s Delve into the Inner Workings of Board Membership

Career Out Of Board Membership

The basic structure of a board of directors varies depending on the needs of the organisation and any specialties within a specific industry, such as its regulatory environment. You can have boards as large as 30 members (non-profit boards) or as small as nine members (typical for a Russell 3000 company). We delved into the nuts and bolts of what you need to know about being on a board of directors and how to create one of your own.

Read the article here.

This Isn’t Your Typical Island Getaway

Beach chairs with umbrella

Not everyone is keen on the idea of long-haul travel. That’s understandable. And that’s where our travel guide to Bahrain came in – the only archipelago in the region, it’s only a mere 70-minute flight away. Between its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, trendy eateries, old-school souks, cultural institutions, and endless island-hopping opportunities, it’s also seriously underrated – especially if a quick getaway is all you can manage.

Read the article here.

A Men’s Coach on Encouraging Your Man to Open Up

tips for a men to open up

Men can seem like a bit of an enigma at times, appearing stoic, emotionless, carefree, and even indifferent. The keyword here is ‘appearing’. The truth is that they feel more than you think. Yes, a man wants to unburden his troubles, but the conditions need to be psychologically safe. Most men fear that their truth will hurt the person they want to be honest with, so they decide to say nothing. Enter: relationship coach Adil Hussain, who shared advice on how you can be the safe space for the man in your life.

Read the article here.

Why Women with Money Can Create a Better World

Financial Advice for Women

Much of the research around how and why women feel the way they do about money management isn’t surprising. According to statistics, 81% of women said they’ve personally been a victim of negative stereotypes – including about their investing abilities. In this article, we revealed what you can do to overcome fear or unconscious bias and feel more financially confident.

Read the article here.

Here’s How to Create an Inviting Living Room

living room with a wallpaper of leaves.

When you think of your lounge, do you think of a space to unwind and relax in, a meeting place where you can entertain friends and family, or a vibrant area where your children can play? Lounge rooms have many different functions, depending on the occupant’s needs, but they have one function in common – they should act as an inviting space where people want to spend their time. Our resident expert on all things interiors shared her tips on making your lounge reflect your needs.

Read the article here.

The 101 on Cohabiting in the UAE

A man and woman painting a wall

The UAE government recently announced amendments to a number of major personal and family laws, changing life for both current residents and those considering a move to our shores. Still confused about what exactly is and isn’t legal when it comes to cohabitation – arguably the most significant in these law changes – and the potential outcome for couples who have a child out of wedlock? You’ll find our conversation with a family law specialist illuminating.

Read the article here.

Making Amends: The Journey to Healing

Have you ever been anxious about a quarrel with a friend, sibling, or spouse? We’ve all been there. Guilt is a given, but your fury may overtake you and cause you to say things you don’t consciously mean. While you can’t take back what you’ve said after you’ve said it, you can tap into the insights of a mental health coach on how to fix things.

Read the article here.

Welcome to Sober October

Non alcoholic drinks Recipes

Non-alcoholic concoctions have soared in popularity across the globe in recent years, but arguably, they’re most favoured in the Middle East owing to cultural and religious factors. In honour of Sober October, we made a pitstop at Dubai’s first dry bar, NoLo, in search of easy recipes for you. The venue is anchored in creative zero-proof cocktails served in a dimly lit setting accented by lounge music and city views.

Read the article here.

Why Self-Care Is Crucial for Working Women

Self-Care for Women

The term ‘caregiver’ comes with an entourage of emotions and labels. The focus is always only on the person being taken care of, with associated emotions ranging from guilt to selflessness. By association, the word ‘care’ has come to take on the meaning of only being directed towards others – more so when you’re a woman, the ultimate caregiver. Here, we reminded our readers that caregiving begins with taking care of yourself, so you can recharge your batteries and share your best with others.

Read the article here.

6 Tips to Make Moving Day Less Stressful

writing a to-do list

Living in the UAE usually means one thing for all of us: we need to move home at least twice while living here. And while moving homes is considered as one of the most stressful events in one’s life, there are steps you can take to make the process smoother. It all depends on how well you organise your house move before, during, and after the move itself. Here, we shared six expert tips to get you started. 

Read the article here.

Special Mentions

Monica Malhotra: What’s in My Bag

Always trying to do more and constantly on the go – in today’s world, being a working woman is no simple task. One woman who fits this description is Monica Malhotra, the CEO of Gaggler. We had a chance to peek into her handbag, discovering her everyday essentials and discussing the importance of self-care in the life of a female entrepreneur.

Read the article here.

Stressed About Money? Consider This

Calculator coins money book with pen

Have you ever felt lost, overwhelmed, or inadequate when it comes to money and wealth? Have you ever felt others were born with a financial playbook that you never got? People often feel shame, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy because they can’t budget, have debt, or don’t know how to make an investment – but no one was born knowing how to earn and best utilise money. And that’s where the advice of a finance coach comes in.

Read the article here.

Over 40? It’s Time to Revisit Sleep Management

Sleep Management Tips for Over 40s

Sleeping peacefully or counting sheep? Any age can experience sleepless nights and insomnia, and often, this can be traced back to external life stressors like work, personal issues, or illness. Unfortunately, around the age of 40, we have another equation to factor in: menopause. To that end, we tapped a menopause wellness specialist on how to get better shut-eye in your 40s.

Read the article here.

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Ways to Make Moving Day Stress Free

6 Tips to Make Moving Day Less Stressful 

Keep calm and get packing.

Living in the UAE usually means one thing for all of us: we need to move home at least twice while living here. Moving homes is considered as one of the most stressful events in one’s life. This is because there is a lot of worry and anxiety that comes along with the big change of living elsewhere. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make a move less stressful and work smoothly. It all depends on how well you organise your house move before, during, and after the move itself. Being organised when moving your house means you will be less anxious and your dream home will be realised much quicker. Here are six tips to get that house move organised smartly. 

Top tips for a stress-free move

1. Make a To-Do List

You can make a to-do list in a notebook, laptop, or on your phone, but keep it somewhere you can easily access. The key to making a good to-do list is having a list that you can keep editing. Having a list helps keep you in check with what needs doing as you prepare for the move.

Items on the list might include organising the movers, listing maintenance jobs like painting the house, fixing household items, getting maintenance services for the new house, buying new curtains, sprucing up the garden, and so on. Keep your list tidy and in order, with dates of events. A messy list is not easy to read and can end up causing more confusion and stress. 

2. Book a Reputable Mover

Scout movers on social media and read Google reviews or blogs to help you choose a mover that gets the job done well without too many problems. It might be worth spending a little more money choosing a moving company that gets it right and quickly the first time, which will help to keep stress to a minimum on the day. It’ll also save you from having to potentially replace improperly handled items later on.

3. Declutter Before the Move

Would you pay to move things you don’t even need in your home? Of course not. This is why you need to declutter so you can organise your house and move smartly. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but it is really worth it. The aim is to move into your new home with only the items you love and need. 

The best way to start the decluttering process is to work through the house room by room. Give yourself time to declutter before you move too, as it will be challenging to try to do the whole house in one week. Allocate certain days when you will have energy and give yourself at least a month before the move to start. You may even do small sections – like the cutlery drawer, laundry room, or spice cupboard – in the evenings

Have a box dedicated to donations nearby so that you can easily place items in it as you declutter. Remember: as you declutter, keep the vision of how you want your new home to look and feel in your mind. This will help you decide what to keep and what to let go. 

Ways to Make Moving Day Stress Free

4. Have a Packing Plan

Before you start packing, create a plan. Planning out what to pack saves you time and money in the long run. Firstly, pack things that you don’t use daily. This means you get some items that don’t interfere with your daily life packed away before the move. Secondly, pack items according to the zone they are used for based on the new house. Another group of items you may want to pack before the movers arrive are sentimental and fragile items as these could get damaged or lost during the moving process. It may be best to organise these yourself. 

Label all your boxes and items clearly so that the movers know what to put in which boxes and where they will go in your new home. Labels are essential instructions about what to pack and where, so label items, cupboards, or drawers in advance with tape to let the movers know where they should pack them. You can also colour code your labels; blue for the kitchen and red for the bathroom, for example.

Tips on How to Make Moving Less Stressful

5. Moving Day Tips

  • List all contacts on your phone. Have the numbers of the movers, maintenance company, estate agent, clearing companies, and other key players on hand to contact immediately when required. 
  • Communicate clearly with movers. So often, I see people get frustrated because the movers are not sure of their clients’ expectations. Be clear when communicating what you expect from the move with the supervisor. Labelling boxes, spaces, and furniture in advance really helps movers know what to pack where. 
  • Get childcare or petcare. If you have children or pets, plan ahead to get them daycare for moving day. It will definitely help to reduce the stress of moving as the last thing you need on this day is focusing your attention elsewhere. If daycare is not possible, think of ways to keep the kids entertained like activity books, new games, and snacks. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. Dressing comfortably makes everything else easier to manage. Wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty, but also make you feel cool and comfortable. 
  • Drink lots of water and have snacks. Moving in the UAE can often be hot work. Stay hydrated and keep up the energy levels with protein snacks and fruit. 
  • Stay calm. Finding ways to keep the serotonin levels high is smart. Sleep well the night before, eat a nutritious breakfast, and remove yourself from stressful situations for a moment to do some deep breathing and refocus on the main objective – which is to move smartly.  

6. Organise While Unpacking

Once your belongings have been safely moved into your new home, you need an unpacking plan. Identify zones for items before unpacking the boxes and move the boxes into these zones. This reduces the amount of disarray that could result whilst unpacking. Organising items into categories while you unpack will save you time later, bringing you closer to your goal of a calm and clutter-free home. 

Once you have moved, remember to review the zones in your home after a couple of weeks. People need time to adjust to a new space, and often what seemed like a good idea for storage may not be functional once living in the space for a while. Keep moving items until you find that sweet spot where all items are stored in zones, are easily accessible, and have a place of belonging. 

Key in door

Ask yourself the following: “Does my new home look and feel like the vision I had?” “Is there anything that needs to be replaced or bought?” “Does everyone in the family have the zones they require to live productively and successfully?” Do not expect everything to be perfect in the first week. Give yourself time to adjust and, with careful review, it will soon become the home of your dreams. 

Fern McGahey is a professional home organiser at Calm The Clutter. Visit @calmtheclutternow or www.calmtheclutternow.com for more information.

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Red hands holding together with heart shape

No, This Is Not Your Typical Advent Calendar

Let the 24 days of giving back begin!

‘Tis the season of overindulgence, late nights, and way too many social events, but at Gaggler, we’re doing things a little differently, taking this holiday season to give back instead. Here, our 2022 advent calendar will help you mark the 24 days until Christmas by conserving our oceans, educating a child, empowering underprivileged women, and more. Click on each image to get started.

December 1: Plant a Seed

With its ability to stay green in harsh desert environments, Ghaf is the country's national tree because of its cultural significance. Now, not only can you plant a seed with the help of social enterprise Goumbook, but you can also join its Community Planting Day and plant it yourself. Learn more at www.goumbook.com

December 2: Repair Local Reefs

Are you a diver, an underwater photographer, a marine biology student, or a marine biologist? Support the marine conservation efforts of Freestyle Divers by joining its environmental monitoring programmes to get involved with protecting local reefs. Learn more at www.freestyledivers.me

December 3: Enrich a Life

While there are no statistics available on the number of people diagnosed with autism in the UAE, we know that it's on the rise, so volunteer with Dubai Autism Center if helping those with special needs is something close to your heart and you have time to spare. Learn more at www.dubaiautismcenter.ae.

December 4: Educate a Child

Operating 1,687 schools across Pakistan, The Citizens Foundation has been educating children from underprivileged families since 1995, and you can support the cause by sponsoring a child's education or an entire classroom. Learn more at www.tcf.org.pk.

December 5: Caffeinate Differently

The Bee Café in Abu Dhabi is the first in the country to be operated entirely by people of determination, so supporting it with a visit is a must-do. The café is part of the Bee the Change campaign, which aims to increase the employment of people of determination. Learn more at @beethe_change on Instagram.

December 6: Save a Preemie

The world loses a newborn every 10 seconds, so let's live in a world where all premature babies – including those from vulnerable populations – have access to an incubator by donating to the founders of the portable and life-saving Embrace incubator. Learn more at www.embraceglobal.org.

December 7: Offer a Safe Space

Skateistan has been empowering Afghan girls through skateboarding and education programmes since 2009 and, now, it's expanding to 20 locations – starting with Jordan. Help the award-winning international NGO write its next chapter by making a donation. Learn more at www.skateistan.org.

December 8: Scour the Seas

Whether you sign up as a temporary or permanent volunteer, you can make a difference for the local dolphin population by volunteering with UAE Dolphin Project. As for why your help is needed? Not only are dolphins “ecological indicators” of the status of the sea, but sightings have also declined drastically in the past few years. Learn more at www.uaedolphinproject.org.

December 9: Empower Underprivileged Women

Empowering underprivileged women through sustainable crafts, Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts deserves your patronage. Looking for unique Christmas gifts? Head to its e-store and opt for something that features Sadu, a traditional weaving technique that plays a central role in the social lives of Bedouin women. Learn more at www.alghadeeruaecrafts.ae.

December 10: Gift a Meal

Partnering with UAE Food Bank to guarantee responsible distribution, the Gift a Meal initiative is on a mission to ensure that no one ever misses a lunch. Join the movement to help feed an individual in need – gifting a meal will only cost you AED 10. Learn more at www.makemymeal.ae.

December 11: Help a Sister

The first licensed non-profit shelter in the UAE that runs specifically for the care of women and children, the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children is always seeking volunteers who are professionals and highly skilled in educational, vocational, and recreational training, so lend a hand if you fit the bill. Learn more at www.dfwac.ae.

December 12: Remember the Forgotten

SmartLife is an NPO/NGO that reciprocates the immense hard work of blue collar workers by educating them to walk towards a better tomorrow and unleashing their hidden potential. As for how you can chip in? Anything from donating your time and passion to help to sharing creative ideas and marketing skills. Learn more at www.smartlifefoundation.org.

December 13: Buy a Doll

For each personalised doll sold that you purchase from Dumyé, a doll is gifted to a child in need. Not only can you choose your ethically handcrafted doll’s body colour, eye colour, hair colour, and hairstyle – that’s over 140 unique combinations at your fingertips – but it also makes for a present suited to a budding philanthropist. Learn more at www.dumye.com.

December 14: Grant a Wish

Make-A-Wish exists for only one reason – to grant wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. You can make a difference to a child's life by volunteering as a wish granter, an office worker, a translator, a fundraiser, a speaker, or event staff member. Learn more at www.makeawish.ae.

December 15: Raise Awareness

Pink Caravan is a UAE-based breast cancer initiative that falls under Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) for early detection of cancer, and you can play your part in raising awareness about this disease by donating money, registering as a volunteer, or even joining the medical team. Learn more at www.linktr.ee/pinkcaravan.

December 16: Serve the Sick

Equip a struggling hospital or clinic by making a financial donation to Project C.U.R.E., the world’s largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to resource-limited communities across the globe – it has been serving the sick and dying in over 135 countries since 1987. Learn more at www.projectcure.org.

December 17: Support Health Equity

Another global non-profit rooted in improving public health, PATH comprises a global team of innovators working to accelerate health equity by advising and partnering with public institutions, businesses, grassroots groups, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. Donate now and your contribution will be matched – win-win. Learn more at www.path.org.

December 18: Protect the Planet

Shop with purpose by turning to Azraq's e-store for essentials like soap, shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable face masks, and more. The Dubai-based organisation is on a mission to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect the marine ecosystem and species. Learn more at www.azraqme.org.

December 19: Start Fundraising

The first licensed online donation and crowdfunding platform in the Middle East, YallaGive is all about fundraising with a smile. Campaigning for a charity or a personal cause? Start fundraising through the platform or donate to one of its many active campaigns to make a difference. Learn more at www.yallagive.com.

December 20: Join the Movement

Like the idea of simultaneously looking cool and giving back? Not only is the activewear and streetwear clothing by The Giving Movement entirely sustainable and made in the UAE, but the brand also donates AED 15 to its partner charities for every single item sold. This is conscious consumerism at its best. Learn more at www.thegivingmovement.com.

December 21: Break the Cycle

A locally based philanthropic organisation with a global outlook, Dubai Cares has been on a mission to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring all children have access to quality education since its inception in 2007. Here in the UAE, you can participate in initiatives that are linked to its global mandate – Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates. and Volunteer Globally included. Learn more at www.dubaicares.ae.

December 22: Donate Your Locks

This holiday season, chop your locks in the name of making a cancer survivor more beautiful and confident – and what could be more beautiful than that? Enter: Locks of Hope, a campaign that provides wigs to individuals who have undergone chemotherapy with the help of both DHL and Friends of Cancer Patients. Learn more at www.focp.ae.

December 23: Get Social

With the need for improved animal welfare more urgent than ever, you can help the dedicated staff at Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre. Unable to adopt or foster a pet? Volunteer! You can head there to socialise with its adorable animals, taking the dogs for walks or spending time with the cats. Learn more at www.rakawc.com.

December 24: Save a Life

Founded in 1986, the Dubai Health Authority's Blood Donation Center is the city's main blood donation center and committed to providing a safe supply of blood to all DHA hospitals and private hospitals in Dubai. You can also donate platelets, a type of blood cell that is essential for blood clotting and helps the likes of leukemia patients and premature babies. Learn more at www.dha.gov.ae.
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Wooden Live Well

You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for December

Mark your calendars.

December 3: Rediscover Dubai

Explore a side of the city that you may not know with the UAE National Day Food & Chai Tour. Guided by three homegrown brands that are passionate about exploring the city and showcasing street flavours – Frying Pan Adventures, Project Chaiwala, and Rove Hotel – you’ll head to one of Dubai’s most historic neighbourhoods for three hours of traditional snacks and local tidbits.

Learn more here.

December 4: Understand Scent

You know the region’s love of perfume – now roll up your sleeves and actually make one yourself at the Arabic Perfume Making Workshop led by social enterprise alBeqsha. Conducted in English, the hour-long session will be held at art and events space The Workshop in Jumeirah.

Learn more here.

December 10: Watch This Space

Movie screenings continue (almost) daily at Cinema Akil throughout the month of December, with the independent cinema platform in Alserkal Avenue hosting a flawlessly curated selection of movies. Also on the roster? Making Waves, the globe-trotting film programme celebrating Hong Kong cinematic arts by showcasing an eight-film programme from December 9 to 14.

Learn more here.

December 12: Heal from Heartbreak

Coping with the breakdown or end of a committed romantic relationship is never easy, and there could be collateral damage, but healing is made a little easier with the free Heartbreak Support Group at The LightHouse Arabia. Designed for men and women over the age of 21, it’s led by a clinical psychologist and aims to provide a safe space to share, connect, seek support, and explore the challenges that come with break-ups.

Learn more here.

December 15: Take a Walk

Hone your street photography skills with the Creekside: Street Photography photo walk hosted by Gulf Photo Plus. Not only will this three-hour trek teach you techniques to overcome unfavourable lighting conditions – regardless of the camera or cell phone in use – and tips on how to compose an image, but it will also take you on a route through Dubai Creek that is laced with culture and history.

Learn more here.

December 16: Catch a Classic

The festive season brings with it a Christmas favourite as The Nutcracker returns from Russia to Dubai Opera. A treat for the whole family, Moscow Ballet “La Classique” pairs its artistic ballet mastery with lavish costumes and magnificent stage sets to take you on a journey back in time to the beautifully nostalgic world of Clara and her beloved nutcracker doll.

Learn more here.

December 20: Feel Festive

For a festive twist on a quintessentially English tradition, book your spot at the Christmas Afternoon Tea hosted by Anything To Eclair on BreakBread. Expect to dine on Sausage Rolls, Cranberry & Kumquat Scones, and Black Forest Yule Log alongside a selection of teas and mulled wine.

Learn more here.

December 24: Cultivate Awareness

According to Mayan belief, working with cacao – a.k.a. food of the gods – allows one to cultivate awareness on an emotional and spiritual level, guiding you in the direction that you need to take. And that’s where the Heart Opening Cacao Ceremony & Sound Healing Journey at Yoga House comes in. Led by energy, sound, and breathwork practitioner Lisa Oxford, the ceremony will open your heart in order to release what no longer serves you.

Learn more here.

December 27: Ring in 2023

With 2023 on the horizon, make a beeline for the Casting Your Visions meditation session at Illuminations. Led by healer therapist and life coach Jana Reddy, this hour-long New Year meditation ritual will help your visions come true by rooted your resolutions in a resounding ‘why’ so that they’re not lost after a few months.

Learn more here.

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Tile ideas to add style to home

Tile Time: Adding Personality to Your Home

Here’s how to do it right.

The use of tiles in the interior space has been common practice for centuries, with the first use of decorative tiling dating back to Egypt in 4,000 BC. Long before carpets adorned floors, tiles were used to cover compacted mud and concrete and finish off interior spaces.

They were not only used on floors, but also fixed to walls in place of paints to depict art forms, with mosaic tiles used on walls to create elaborate finishes, along with simpler results such as plant or nature scenes. The Romans were particularly fond of mosaics, which they used to decorate floors, walls, and the poolside areas of their villas.

Mosaic patterns are still popular today, especially those featuring bold colours like reds, blues, and greens. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in popularity for tiling as an alternative to wallpapering or painting, with homeowners looking for something different that will stand the test of time – without being costly to maintain.  

wall with tiles

Keeping It Classic

Tile is one of the most versatile and beautiful materials for flooring. It can take on any style and look, from modern and sleek to traditional and timeless. Patterned tiles became a popular addition in Renaissance times and are popular once again.

When trying to create a classic, Renaissance-style theme, think tiles in sage green, royal blue, and creams with pretty flower motifs to create an authentic look. Such tiles were also prominent in the Victorian era (1830s to 1900), when patterned tiles were used to decorate floors and fireplace surrounds, in keeping with the era’s tendency to over-decorate spaces. 

Wondering how to accent a period property authentically? Simply choose motif tiles with darker hues such as burgundy, navy blue, dark green, and red. Motif tiles are also the style used in many Grecian designs. Go for blues and whites and complete the look with smaller, glass mosaics. 

Tile ideas

Current Day Tiles

Tiles are the perfect way to create a bold, personal statement in your home. Today, tiles are available in many different sizes, finishes, and materials that allow you to put your personal stamp on your space.  Depending on your taste and the concept you want to achieve, you can go for a higher-end, elegant Carrara marble tile versus a natural stone (which can be layered unevenly for a rustic finish) or a hardwearing granite tile (which will stand the test of time).

With a little imagination, you can also easily create your coveted design using the appropriate tiles and colour selections. It doesn’t matter what kind of space you’re looking to fill or what finishes appeal to your particular tastes; no matter which direction you go with these tiles, there’s sure to be something out there that will help you achieve the look and feel of your dreams.

ways to add style to your home with tiles

Cultural Influence

Tiles can be so much more than just something to cover the floor or walls. They can be a way to bring culture and environment into your interior, creating a space that is both beautiful and relaxing. Culture and environment can be visible through tiles. Specific styles such as terracotta bring a Mediterranean feel to the interior, the natural colours instantly relaxing the space.

A classic Middle Eastern style is a beautiful combination of vibrant colours and floral or geometric patterns – inspired by Islamic architecture – laid out to create elaborate motifs, instantly transforming a space with the intricate design. Terracotta tiles come in many colours ranging from natural earthy tones like browns and greys to warm yellows and oranges. This means that they will work well in any type of room – kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom included.

Tile with mosaic design

Tiling Your Space

Tiles are a versatile and cost-effective way to add style, texture, and colour to any space in your home. They can also be used in a variety of different ways that don’t require you to use them as flooring or wall cladding.

Although tiles are usually found in bathrooms, kitchens, and general flooring areas, they don’t have to be relegated to these spaces. They can be just as effective on a wall service in the lounge area, for example. This will break up the paint and add texture to the room, along with additional sound insulation. It also provides a visual relief from the usual finishes.  

Tiles can also be added to a space to create a border, division of space, or focal point. By using contrasting colour and patterns, you can create a truly unique space. Another way to include tiles is to use them to create a form or art, either on the floor or wall. Consider placing geometric shaped tiles to create an interesting feature.

Bathroom tile ideas to add style

To bring some charm into your space without feeling like it’s too much, subway tiles are a great option. These tiles don’t need to be patterned to create a sense of style. They can be simple and modern, or even go in the opposite direction and be rustic. Either way, they’ll look great in any room with an industrial feel. 

Kitchen tile ideas to add style

Because they’re so cheap and simple, you won’t have to worry about them clashing with other elements of your decorating scheme. The subway tile is an easy way to spice up your space without going overboard on patterns or colours. By choosing a simpler tile, you will be able to spruce up the rest of the room with colour and personal objects.

Leanne Cooper is a Muscat-based interior designer. Visit @leanneclaire81 for more information.

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