Good news spreads fast in the UAE
A 14-year-old Indian student who left the UAE for good last month managed to bag a luxury motorcycle. In what can only be described as the ultimate leaving gift, Lady Luck was definitely on Farhan Jawed Khan's side.
By Kelly Clarke (The Week That Was)
Published: Sun 27 Jan 2019, 8:02 PM
Last updated: Sun 27 Jan 2019, 10:05 PM
So, we got wind last week that the UAE's very own Mars-simulation city could be complete in as little as three to four years. Costing a not-so-little sum of Dh500 million and spread over 1.9 million square feet, Earth's very own mini red planet - being built in our own backyard - will help prepare humans for future residency on Mars.
With the construction phase underway, the next step will be figuring out who'll be moving in to test the place out. But unlike the usual rigmarole that comes with shifting home, the simulation city's newest residents will face a whole new set of challenges. Picking the right shade of magnolia for the walls will be the least of their worries. Those brave enough to take the leap and set up home there will be living in isolation under brutal conditions; think Matt Damon in The Martian. And much like his character in the Hollywood blockbuster, they'll have to produce their own food, water, energy and even oxygen, too. Goodbye late-night takeaways, hello anxiety!
Jokes aside, this is a pretty incredible feat for a country just 47 years young. And it's phase one of a much greater vision; one which aims to see the UAE successfully build an entire city on Mars by 2117.
Now back to 2019, and it was good news all around for some Sharjah residents last week. News started doing the rounds that the Ruler of Sharjah called for a reduction in power tariffs for residents across the city. And when the news was officially confirmed, it piqued a lot of interest from those looking to save a pretty penny.
Pulling in more than 30,700 page views in its first few hours of going up online, the story was opened via a referral 12,900 times; proving that good news really does spread fast. The story remained on the Khaleej Times' most read list for three days straight too.
The welcome discount scheme applies to residents living in freehold properties; a tidy 50,000 according to Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa). And electricity fees will be reduced by up to 37 per cent. What's even better, it will be backdated to January 1, meaning a nice rebate for many.
In stark contrast to the demands of Mars' future residents, these guys won't have to produce their own electricity; they won't even have to pay top dollar for it, and what better way to kickstart a new year.
Sticking with the theme of feel-good news, I'll end with something a little ironic. A 14-year-old Indian student who left the UAE for good last month managed to bag a luxury motorcycle, despite not being old enough to ride the thing. In what can only be described as the ultimate leaving gift, Lady Luck was definitely on Farhan Jawed Khan's side. Bidding adieu to the UAE on their way back to India last month, Khan's dad tried his luck in the Dubai Duty Free raffle, dropping his son's name in the hat.
Then last week, they received news of the win, proving Khan was the good luck charm his dad needed. It was a bitter-sweet victory for the teen, who graciously handed the gift to his father due to the fact he couldn't legally own it. So while luck was definitely on his side, age certainly wasn't. The story garnered more than 28,400 page views and was viewed via a share more than 20,500 times.