Patent experience

More than a year has passed since a shy Emirati student and her two colleagues of UAE University made international headlines for inventing a system that allows a disabled person to drive a vehicle using only their feet. But little has happened in the last three years, despite her university’s best efforts to facilitate the process, spotlighting whether the GCC is truly ready to become a regional hub for innovation and intellectual property matters.

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Published in bq, December 23 2014


Shift in strategy required to satisfy GCC skills shortage

Despite dedicating an average of 20% of their national budgets to the education sector, the GCC labour force continues to be ill equipped to meet the economy’s needs, consequently extending their reliance on skilled foreign labour. Two reports have been released in the last six months, which focus on the education sector, and both blame local educational institutions for the calibre of GCC graduates being produced.

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Published on bq, August 11 2014

Half of Ramadan feast will end up in the trash

The eyes are bigger than the stomach goes the adage, and it illustrates how society’s wants often exceeds its needs. The proverb takes on new wisdom in light of the increased amounts of food waste being generated across the Middle East. And with the holy month of Ramadan less than a fortnight away – a time when more food waste is produced than any other time in the year – concerns about the true economic cost are filling some people’s plates.

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Published in bq, June 18 2014

Fate of Middle East security lies in Yemen’s shaky hands

In a family of prosperous brothers, Yemen continues to be the poor cousin bedevilled by state weakness, scarce natural resources and regional and tribal fragmentation. Unless GCC member states develop a regional strategy to address the violence emanating from the south, analysts believe Yemen could prove to be the time bomb that devastates the entire region.

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Published in bq, June 4 2014, and in bq magazine, July 2014

US beauty industry rebuilding itself on the back of Middle East sales


Her right hand poised at an angle, 33 year old Vaneesha Shroff traces her bottom eyelid with a black eye pencil. She glances in the mirror to confirm that the almond eyed look is complete and makes a mental note to pick up the new liquid liner that has just entered the Dubai market.

Vaneesha is a regular at her local cosmetics store. She typifies the UAE consumer: a person who annually spends Dh 60,000 (USD 16,000) on beauty products, according to a 2013 survey by dmg events Middle East, and who will drive sector sales to USD 1.1 billion in 2014, according to international research group Euromonitor.

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Published in bq, May 14 2014