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Ras Al Khaimah sets two Guinness World Records through 2022 New Year fireworks show

Welcoming hundreds of thousands of spectators from around the world, the Ras Al Khaimah New Year’s Eve Celebrations (RAKNYE 2022) dazzled all with a spectacular fireworks display that smashed two Guinness World Records.

The world records were for ‘Most Remote Operated Multirotors/Drones Launching Fireworks Simultaneously’ and secondly the ‘Highest Altitude Multirotor/Drone Firework Display.’

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Spanning 4.7 kilometers and rising majestically from the Arabian Gulf,, the 12-minute pyrotechnic drone and fireworks performance included 15,000 fireworks effects, over 130 sea pontoons and a fleet of hundreds of pyrotechnic drones.
The 12-minute spectacle was specially choreographed to reflect the joy of reunion with six themes set to epic orchestral music. The symphony of lights and music provided the visitors, several of whom had been camping at designated spots with family and friends from the day before, one of the most enriching festive experiences.
Visitors from around the world took part in the celebration that also featured live concerts, and a wide range of activities taking centre stage ahead of the fireworks display, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM)
Ushering in the New Year with a heightened spirit of positivity and optimism, the fireworks show was also a tribute to the UAE as it marks its 50th year of formation and an ode to Ras Al Khaimah’s growing stature as one of the region’s leading tourism destinations.

A spokesperson of the organizing committee said, “RAKNYE2022 is our tribute to the leadership and people of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE not only as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our nation but also in preparation for the Next 50 Years. Delivering the message of hope, positivity, resilience and confidence, the fireworks display, and the New Year’s Eve festivities brought together people again to celebrate safely. With this event, we once again underlined the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as the leading tourism destination that welcomes visitors from across the world.”
RAKNYE 2020 fireworks display was conducted in a six-act sequence starting with the countdown just before midnight setting the stage for an ephemeral theatre of wonder. Ushering in the New Year with a spectacular tower of lights at a height of 1,055.8 meters (over 1 km) taller than any building in the world. This was followed by the ‘Happy New Year’ message written in the sky with firework drones, the sequence lit up the arena in multiple hues. These two sequences broke two new Guinness World Records for Ras Al Khaimah.
The next sequence was a tribute to the UAE backed by orchestral music, celebrating the achievements of the nation and its people.
The elegantly designed fireworks segued to the next act when hundreds of drones displayed the UAE’s 50th Anniversary logo with a brilliant display. What followed was another stunning show that defined the UAE’s ambition for the next 50 years.
The grand finale was in two parts – one a multi-color display of lights followed by a super-massive expanse of white that illuminated the skyline of Ras Al Khaimah with the message of hope and ambition.

Setting the first Guinness World Records title for the ‘Highest Altitude Multirotor/Drone Fireworks Display’ was the tower of fireworks 1,055.8 meters high, taller than any skyscraper in the world. Using state-of-the-art drone technology, the specially designed fireworks was breathtaking in its scope and scale.
The second Guinness World Records title was for the ‘Most Remote Operated Multirotors/Drones Launching Fireworks Simultaneously’, when 452 drones launched fireworks simultaneously to create the ‘Happy New Year’ visual in the sky. For the feat, the organizers leveraged advanced pyrotechnics and integrated wireless technology, lighting up the shores of the emirate in majestic brilliance.
The fireworks shells for the show, with rapidly changing colors, were developed using a proprietary technology that continues to be closely guarded by the family-owned firework manufacturing business in Italy.
More than 5,000 hours of work went into preparing for the show that also deployed over 130 sea pontoons and a fleet of hundreds of pyrotechnic drones.

Read more: As 2022 marched across globe, New York City ushers in New Year in Time Square

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‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ by debut Libyan novelist wins top Arabic Fiction prize

‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ by Libyan debut novelist Mohamed Alnaas was announced on Sunday as the winner of the 2022 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), reported Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The award is for the best work of fiction published in Arabic between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
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The novel, published by Rashm with support from the Libyan Arete Foundation, was named as this year’s winner by the judges chairman Shukri Mabkhout during a ceremony in Abu Dhabi that was also streamed online.
In addition to being awarded $50,000, funding will be provided for the English translation of ‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table,’ leading to a possiblee boost in book sales and international recognition for the writer Alnaas.
A further $50,000 prize money will be divided between five other shortlisted novelists>
The prize, is publicly funded by Abu Dhabi and was first launched in 2007. At 31, Alnaas is the youngest writer to win the prize and the first Libyan.

‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ was chosen from a shortlist of six novels by authors from Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman and, for the first time, the UAE. The shortlisted finalists Khalid Al Nassrallah, Tareq Imam, Reem Al Kamali, Bushra Khalfan and Mohsine Loukili will each receive $10,000.

Unique story

‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ is a unique story based in Libya. In the closed society of his village, Milad strives to live up to the definition of ideal masculinity, as his society views it. However, after all his best efforts, he fails to be ‘a man,’ and after meeting his sweetheart and wife-to-be, Zeinab, decides to forget about this definition and be himself.
Living at home, he performs the tasks which his society reserves for women, while Zeinab works and supports the family. Milad is unaware of how he is mocked in the village until his nephew breaks it to him. ‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ questions static ideas of gender and champions the individual in the face of destructive ideas adopted by the majority.
Tunisian novelist, academic and previous IPAF winner (The Italian, 2015) Shukri Mabkhout, Chair of the 2022 Judges, said: “The winning novel is written in the form of confessions of personal experience. Its plethora of detail is deftly unified by a gripping narrative. This offers a deep and meticulous critique of prevailing concepts of masculinity and femininity and the division of work between men and women, and the effect of these on both a psychological and social level. It falls into the category of novels which question cultural norms about gender. However, it is embedded in its local Arab context and steers away from any ideological treatment of the issues, as such a treatment would be contrary to the way in which fiction can present multiple points of view.”
Professor Yasir Suleiman, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ is the captivating story of one man, Milad, who ponders on his life as it unfolds in an outwardly fractured but seamlessly braided continuum at the subterranean level. The narrative carries the reader effortlessly through Milad’s journey, with its many twists and turns, revealing his alienation from the norms of a society that values a manly interpretation of masculinity.”
“Never affected, the language of the novel is an excellent testimony to the malleability of the high register of the Arabic language and its ability to deal with intimate matters of the body and soul with naturalness and ease. Sometimes wistful, but always lyrical, the narrative succeeds in evoking a conflicted cultural fabric that fuses time with place in a Libyan milieu that speaks to and for Arabs everywhere,” Prof. Suleiman added.

First novel

Mohamed Alnaas is a short story writer and journalist from Libya, born in 1991. He obtained a BA in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tripoli in 2014, and his short story collection ‘Blue Blood’ was published in 2020.
‘Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table’ (2021) was written in just six months during lockdown, says Alnaas, and whilst Tripoli was under bombardment.
He says writing the book was his “refuge from insanity” amidst the news of COVID-19 pandemic and war.

Read more: Despite trouble back home, Nigerian Nobel-winning author Soyinka has hope in young

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Saudi airline flyadeal hails first flight with all-female crew

An airline in Saudi Arabia has completed the country’s first flight with an all-female crew, officials said Saturday, describing it as a milestone for women’s empowerment in the kingdom.

The flight operated by flyadeal, budget subsidiary of flag carrier Saudia, was from the capital Riyadh to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on Thursday, flyadeal spokesman Emad Iskandarani said.

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The “majority” of the seven-member crew were Saudi women, including the first officer, but not the captain, who was a foreign woman, Iskandarani said.

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority, which confirmed flyadeal’s announcement Saturday, has touted expanding roles for women in the aviation sector in recent years.

In 2019, the authority announced the first flight with a female Saudi co-pilot.

Saudi officials are trying to engineer a rapid expansion of the aviation sector that would turn the kingdom into a global travel hub.

Goals include more than tripling annual traffic to 330 million passengers by the end of the decade, drawing $100 billion in investments to the sector by 2030, establishing a new national flag carrier, constructing a new “mega airport” in Riyadh and moving up to five million tonnes of cargo each year.

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Thailand to lift curbs on nightlife from June

Thailand will allow night clubs and karaoke bars to resume regular hours starting in June, a senior official said on Friday, dropping most of its remaining pandemic restrictions as daily infections decline.

Thailand’s nightlife is a major attraction for tourists, but most entertainment venues have been shuttered or faced a strict curfew since the pandemic began, with some bars forced to convert to restaurants to stay in business.

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The government hopes the latest easing of restrictions will help revive the Southeast Asian country’s battered tourism sector, a key growth engine that accounted for about 12 percent of the economy before the pandemic.

Thailand is targeting five to 15 million arrivals this year.

“Entertainment venues, pubs, and massage parlors and others may open until midnight after June,” said Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, told a news conference.

“These businesses should take a universal prevention approach … staff must have received booster doses and take antigen tests every seven days,” Taweesin added.

Starting June 1, Thailand will also drop a requirement for unvaccinated travelers to quarantine. They will either have to take an test on arrival or show a negative COVID-19 test before departure, he said.

From January to mid-May, Thailand received 1.01 million arrivals. There were 427,000 tourists for all of last year.

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