With His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum - chatting about cars, travels etc

I have to say that apart from meeting and catching up with His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum (Admire him for his great work with the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre), my biggest fascination at the Big Boys Toys exhibition has to be the multi-million dirham luxury mobile home. Big Boys Toys is the region’s premier lifestyle event and features exclusive products and services for the man who ‘wants it all’. From limited edition super cars to personal aircrafts and luxury products never before seen, the show had essentially all desired items in one ideal location at Atlantis.

Going back to the multi-million dirham ultra-luxurious mobile home, the ‘eleMMent’ Palazzo. The eleMMent Palazzo, by Marchi Mobile, is a mobile palace for the elite. The expandable pop-up flybridge lounge is fitted with multiple bars overlooking two floors that contain a master bedroom with an integrated bathroom and a couch that can be converted into bar furniture at the push of a button.

A programmed central control provides all important information at a glance, with set-up and dismantling being executed by a touch screen panel. An added security feature allows for remote video access, via an additional control unit, of the exterior and interior, and also permits to pre-set the lighting and temperature.

Naturally diva cant go to a show like this and not talk about cars. Middle East’s own exclusive Nissan GT-R VVIP, with a 0-100kmph in 3.6 seconds dazzled with 24-carat gold-plated aspect panels, grill, and the exclusive VVIP badges, while exuding awesome power in look and aspect.

Another debut, the ‘Hulme CanAm Spyder’ named in honour of Denny Hulme, New Zealand’s only Formula One World Champion and double CanAm Champion, is not for the faint hearted. It is a unique car for those with a desire for performance, F1-type exhilaration and style. It is a true driver’s car powered by a hand-built, supercharged, 7000cc, Chevy V8 engine, providing amazing torque and tractability.

A definite favourite among the extreme sports enthusiasts and recreational riders is the Dual Tracked Vehicle (DTV) Shredder manufactured by BPG Werks. The DTV Shredder is the first true crossover vehicle for action and power sports. A combination of tank, skateboard and motocross bike, it is the first year round, all-terrain vehicle and it fits in the trunk of a car. With the DTV Shredder, the outdoors becomes the personal playground.

Last year I met with an interesting inventor during a visit to the Palace of Sheikh Hamad in Abu Dhabi who had the most amazing helicopter for personal use. I must write about this guy at some stage as I remember him giving me a CD with his company information. This year I reckon the guys at Artaaj did an awesome job as always. Well done Raha and heaps of thanks to Tareq and His Highness for making the visit even more interesting.


COPD and how careful we need to be

Atlantis...venue for the COPD symposium

Earlier this week after dinner I got coaxed into meeting with a couple of specialist doctors on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) initiated by Virtue guys who felt that since I didn’t have time to volunteer at the Down’s Syndrome centre these days, I should become an ambassador on health and write about medical issues that affect people in the UAE.

OK. Enough with the smirks now. I know I generally write about flimsy light stuff but once in a while I can get serious enough if I feel like doing a bit of CSR bit in terms of creating awareness about a problem that anyone can be a victim of. Anyway, Rajah (Bless her gentle soul) decided that she would drive me to Atlantis (We Fijians are always ready to help people for good causes) so we could dine afterwards at one of the funky Atlantis food places.

Basically I got a quick update on proceedings of a medical symposium co-organised by the Emirates Allergy and Respiratory Society, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals FZCO. Their objective is to warn people that while most chronic diseases in the UAE are being controlled, the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is rapidly increasing, with 4 per cent of the Abu Dhabi population affected by it, according to recent study done by Dr. Ashraf H. Alzaabi, Head of Respiratory Division, Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Dr. Mirza Ali Al Sayegh, President, Emirates Allergy and Respiratory Society said a new study on COPD is being conducted by the Society to cover the whole GCC region and its details would be announced soon.

Dr. Bassam Mahboub, Consultant Pulmonary Medicine, Asst. Prof. University of Sharjah, Head of Allergy and Respiratory Department, Dubai Hospital and Vice Chair Emirates Allergy and Respiratory Society Dubai, UAE said: “COPS is currently the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. The prevalence of smoking in the UAE is around 23 percent. The 4 percent figure of the COPD prevalence will rise as the smokers’ group in the UAE grows older.”

I briefly met with Professor Leonardo Fabbri, an expert from the University of Modena in Italy, Reggio Emilia who said “The WHO estimates 80 million people have moderate to severe COPD worldwide. Three million people died from COPD, which corresponded to five percent of all deaths globally. Every hour COPD is estimated to kill more than 250 people worldwide, which means that COPD kills someone every 15 seconds.’

Dr. Al Sayegh alerted participants that COPD is an under-diagnosed, life-threatening lung disease. COPD is used to describe chronic lung diseases in which breathing is severely restricted because of lung damage and inflammation. He emphasized that the disease is preventable and can be managed but it is progressive.

Dr. Osama Al-Nawasany, Medical Affairs Director, Takeda Pharmaceuticals FZCO, Dubai mentioned that one of the most promising new treatments for COPD is Roflumilast, a first-in-class phosphodiesterase (PDE4) inhibitor that is the only licensed oral therapy that targets COPD-specific inflammation.

The symposium highlighted that many people with COPD continue to suffer from frequent exacerbations and an increased risk of a more rapid disease progression. Smoking cigarettes is the major cause of COPD in 80 per cent of cases. Other causes include: pollution generated by a number of domestic heaters and air pollution. Besides smoking cessation, there are several treatments, which should be closely monitored by qualified physicians. Self-medication is not an option for this disease.