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Google Street View Goes Under Sea

If you can’t afford your own private submarine, or are afraid of diving, there’s always Google:  Google has already taken their street view maps to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and many other places in many lands. Now they are venturing out into that other seventy percent of the earth, the sea.

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Will Building Catastophes Make Smarter Occupants?

Laurie escaped from the Trade Towers 11 years ago and as a building expert looks critically at standards in the Middle East.  Building codes ensure that a  properly constructed building will safely stand up to predictable wear and tear. Codes specify fire-resistant performance for materials and prescribe safe exiting requirements for occupants. But what guides […]

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Bahrain’s Artifical Reef a Success After 16 Weeks

Only eight percent of our oceans are “shallow seas” (shallower than 100 feet), but these wildly diverse ecosystems harbor most of the world’s marine life.  Egypt, Israel, and Jordan (all connected to the Red Sea) and the Gulf states stand to lose enormous tourism revenue if their natural reefs continue to be destroyed by coastal development. Last […]

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Bahrain Souq Shops Destroyed in Isla Town Market Blaze

Another major fire in the Middle East: this time in a traditional market, souq. Firefighters battled a blaze that erupted last week in Manama, Bahrain’s capital city, destroying hundreds of shops in the popular Isla Town Market. Over 500 stalls and shops were destroyed in the five hours it took to bring the blaze under […]

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Four Gulf Countries Are Among the World’s Fattest

Ramadan period expected to add to weighty population Eat less, and go to the gym more. Alas, easier said than done in some Gulf states, especially during Ramadan. Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are among the world’s top ten overweight nations, a new report by BMC Public Health has found. The extra […]

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Tel Aviv and Beirut Are Most Expensive City for Expatriates

Beirut overtakes Abu Dhabi and Dubai, becoming the most expensive city for expatriates in the Middle East region, after Tel Aviv According to Mercer’s latest Cost of Living survey Tokyo has become the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola to second place while Karachi, Pakistan is ranked as the world least expensive […]

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Bahrain Balances Traditional and Modern Medicine

Bahrain’s health authority has established four directives to regulate the sale and prescription of traditional, alternative medicines. This step was taken in response to concern about the credibility of some businesses. Now the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) will establish guidelines for the sale, use, and advertising of alternative medicines, including services and practices such […]

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Rapid Gulf Growth Wrecking Ecological Havoc

Imagine a rapidly growing tourist paradise, but set in the path of a "freeway" line of oil tankers constantly moving through the Gulf region, shipping out a third of the world's oil, polluting the coastline, and you can begin to imagine the scope of the problem assessed by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health in Toronto.

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A Growing Gulf Dependent on Imported Food

Skyscrapers (even rotating!) and dreams of vertical farms, but not a greenhouse to be seen. The Gulf is growing more and more dependent on imported food. Many Gulf countries are investing heavily in foreign farmlands that are more fertile, chiefly in Africa, but also India and Pakistan, in a bid to secure a steady food […]