A summary of the latest Islamic lifestyle news from around the world.
Dubai’s Museum of the Future opens
The 30,000 square metre, 77 metre tall Museum of the Future opened on Tuesday in Dubai, inaugurated by the Emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Rachid. The outside of the museum was illuminated with the Arabic calligraphy of Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej. Sheikh Mohammed was quoted in The National as saying the museum “embodies the active human imagination and the Emirati will that continues to excel in the world...The museum will be a forum for great minds, scientists, thinkers and experts from around the world.” The museum offers an immersive experience with exhibitions on space travel and advanced technology to represent art.
Travel company Wego acquires Cleartrip Middle East and Flyin.com
Dubai and Singapore based Wego, an online travel company, has acquired the Middle Eastern unit of Cleartrip, and Flyin.com from India’s Flipkart, reported The National. The deal, to be finalised in the second quarter, includes technology cooperation between Wego and Flipkart. Wego is banking on increased use of e-commerce and online travel booking in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to drive sales. “Only 30% of travel bookings are done online in MENA but this will move online rapidly,” said Ross Veitch, chief executive and co-founder of Wego, to The National.
UAE rebuilds Mosul’s Al Nouri mosque
The UAE is funding the reconstruction of Mosul’s heritage, including a 850 year old mosque destroyed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), reported The National. The city in Northern Iraq was badly damaged during the US invasion, while 65% of the city was destroyed during ISIS’ three-year occupation. The reconstruction of the Al Nouri mosque involved recovering more than 44,000 bricks. The UAE contributed $50 million to rebuilding the mosque, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Iraqi government and UNESCO. The UN agency launched a five year project in 2018, Revive the Spirit of Mosul, to rebuild the old town and religious buildings.
Black Muslim Food Week 2022 underway in San Francisco
The largest halal food organisation in the Bay Area, in San Francisco, launched Black Muslim Food Week on Friday 25, running until Monday. The event involves eight restaurants and vendors teaming up to bolster Black-owned businesses. There will be three days of food-orientated events followed by a day of fasting and community fundraising, reported The Mercury. “Combining Black History Month, great food and supporting organisations doing good works in our communities, Black Muslim Food Week is a way to harness the positive impact of our collective foodie community,” said the three coordinators, Abbas Mohamed, founder of the Bay Area Halal Foodies, Jabir Faqir, of Ansar Partners, and Irfan Rydhan, founder of Halalfest.
Streaming platform Starzplay reports rise in revenues and subscribers
The UAE-based streaming platform Starzplay reported a 40% increase in annual revenues in 2021, and an increase in subscribers from 1.83 million to 1.97 million, The National reported. Starzplay is reportedly the fast-growing video-on-demand streaming platform in the MENA. The platform has the exclusive rights to international football events and is to announce two to three new Arabic original shows this year. Aone show, Urban Legends, is co-produced with Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and is to be launched after Ramadan. The streaming platform moved its headquarters to Abu Dhabi following a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, which has a $545 million Innovation Programme.