Archive for the 'Abu Dhabi' Category

Indoor or outdoor play area?

How important would it be to you, to have an indoor and outdoor play area for your children, in the development that you live in? Well it seems that a Dubai doctor is trying to get Abu Dhabi government to introduce guidelines, that would require every new development to have these spaces. Read more at The National.

Dr Rajeshree Singhania, a neuro-development doctor in Dubai, urged the Government to recognise the value of play and introduce guidelines that would reserve space in future developments for indoor and outdoor recreation zones.“It’s an appeal to policymakers to accept the concept of play for what it is,” she said. “It is extremely important for a child’s social, physical and mental development and research has shown that free play helps with their emotional development as well.”

Developers should be obliged to include play areas in high rise buildings, in the same way that zoning laws dictate some land-use regulations, she said.

“When you plan a city there are certain laws requiring ‘X’ amounts of green areas per inhabitant. Well, I am of the opinion that all high-rise buildings should have at least some dedicated play areas so kids can have a place to go and play without going out to the roads, where there’s a lot of traffic.”

Dr Singhania is already putting the plan into practice at Dubai’s City of Arabia property project.

Southborough autism center to help build school in UAE

The MetroWest Daily News:

Southborough –

The New England Center for Children has been recruited by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi to establish a school for autistic children in the United Arab Emirates’ capital.

The 10-year agreement, signed last week at the Sea Palace in Abu Dhabi by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and New England Center for Children CEO Vincent Strully Jr., will not only bring the center’s programs to the Arab nation, but it will also bring funding for new research, administration and treatment programs to the Rte. 9 school.

“It’s an incredible recognition of our work,” said Strully as he addressed the staff yesterday. “We should feel honored and flattered that when they shopped the world for autism services, they chose us.”

The center’s relationship with Abu Dhabi actually began a decade ago, when the parents of an Abu Dhabi 3-year-old were referred by a Boston hospital. Services for special needs children in the emirate are limited and the school was asked to supply a teacher for the child, according to Daniel Gould, the director for the Abu Dhabi program.

Gould does not expect to have difficulty recruiting teachers for the new program, since he has always had to turn away eager applicants for the existing position in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s a great opportunity for our teachers to do great things for a country that hasn’t had these services previously,” Gould said. Abu Dhabi “is really at a point when they’re focusing on the infrastructure for their entire country.”

This is not the first time the emirate has shopped stateside for services. Johns Hopkins Medicine has been contracted to manage Tawam Hospital, Abu Dhabi’s largest hospital, and the Cleveland Clinic earlier this month was tapped to manage Shaikh Khalifa Medical City. Earlier this year it struck a deal with France to build a Louvre Museum.

The financial details of the agreement are confidential, Strully said, but he anticipates the deal will go a long way in helping the school further delve into the needs of children with autism.

“These children and their families deserve the best and the most professional attention we can provide for them and, thanks to this agreement, this will soon be available here at home in Abu Dhabi,” Prince Nahyan said in a statement. “This is a major step toward implementing the vision of his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, to establish world-class facilities and services for all children with special needs within our country.”

In November, the center will open the first of eight planned classrooms where each child will receive intensive behavioral instruction based on applied behavior analysis. Over the next two years, it will gradually add the full spectrum of services, including early assessment and intervention, preschool programming, residential services for severe cases, family support services, professional training and development and a research center.

Staff members recruited for the work will earn their regular salary as well as an annual bonus, likely under $10,000. They will live rent-free and receive a monthly living allowance of $500, six or seven weeks of vacation and a health/beach club membership.

English is a commonly used language in Abu Dhabi but staff will be also be training Arabic-speaking personnel there, Gould said.

Autism cases are on the rise in the United Arab Emirates, just as they are in the United States, Strully said. Autism affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans of which 600,000 are children.

“It’s the same around the world,” Strully said. “All races, creeds and classes. There’s clearly a genetic origin – all the signs point to that. What is abundantly clear is that it is not caused by vaccines. That’s been proven by science, again and again. It’s such a distraction. There is money that is being wasted (studying the vaccine link to autism) when we have these kids who need to be treated now.

“I can’t understand why (most autism funding) is being spent on finding a cause,” he added. “We need to find a cause, but that’s 30, 40 years down the line. This generation of children, the next generation of children, need to be treated now.”

In addition to Abu Dhabi, the center has staff treating children in Qatar, Bermuda and Vancouver and has ongoing relationships with institutions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand and Uganda.
“This situation changes everything for us,” Strully said. “We’ve always wanted to be a little Mayo Clinic for autism. This just gets us closer.”

Strully hopes the partnership will not only allow the school to expand its services but also to complete and publish what he termed an online “encyclopedia” detailing the principles of applied behavior analysis for parents and educators.

“Here at the center, we have had to turn away hundreds of families from around the world,” Strully said. “We’re just not big enough to serve everyone, and there’s a substantial need. We want to be able to expand the knowledge that is out there.”

(Jennifer Lord can be contacted at 508-626-3880 or

Playhouse changing their programs and rates

It seems that the Playhouse in Abu Dhabi is making a lot of changes to their programs and rates. I have received many SMSs in the last couple of days, if you would like more information about their changes you can call them at 02 666 0124.

The Cultural Foundation

As parents you are probably finding it hard to find things for your children to do this summer and that will keep them cool. That can be a tall order here in the UAE. Well here is another idea to help keep you and your child cool this summer. Why not visit a great place where you can both learn and explore together?

A while back I visited the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi, and found that it had so many things to keep every one busy and happy. For the children they have the Childrens Center, which has many night classes for your little one, age 6-12 years. When I visited last month they offered Holy Qur’an course, Drawing course for beginners, French course, Arabic Calligraphy, Music course, and a Ballet course for girls. Each month the courses change and you will need to register before the little one begins, because places are limited. The Cultural Foundation also has a children’s library, your child will have their own library card and can checkoutm, one book at a time. The library has Arabic, English, and French sections.

Now while your child is having fun, they also have things for the parents to do. Delma Corner is a lovely place where you can have a cup of coffee or tea, relax, and maybe take up a course or join a club, as well. If you really like art and music, then you will really like Delma Corner. They offer exhibitions, music, concerts, crafts, different clubs, special interest groups, conversation evenings, and a traditional majlis. When you go to Delma Corner (located on the top floor of the Cultural Foundation) they will have a list of up coming events and clubs. The Cultural Foundation also has a library for adults, and different exhibitions. You will always be amazed what you will learn.

So go and checkout the Cultural Foundation and support a wonderful place where the whole family can go and learn.

Delma Corner:
Phone Number-

Children Center:
Phone Number-
Prices for Courses-
The price seems to depend on the course, but the range is 50-150AED.


I visited the Playhouse here in Abu Dhabi the other day, and found it to be a nice place to take your children. They have something for the all the family. There is a kids play area, coffee shop, toddler creche, party room, and they have classes for children and adults. The children’s classes or activities include piano, karate, and ballet, just to name a few. Adult classes include oil painting, pottery, and aerobics. So if you just want to go and have a cup of coffee, and know that your toddler will be happy as well, then the Playhouse might be the place for you. The Playhouse will also have a summer camp, that will keep your little one busy through the hot months.

Times of Opening:

Saturday- Tuesday 10am-9pm

Wednesday- Friday 10am-10pm


Phone- (02) 666-0124


Networks for Mother and Child in the UAE

  • Dubai Ladies Club
  • Bumps & Babes Dubai– meet fortnightly, at 10am, The Lime Tree Cafe, Ibn Battuta Mall. Just turn up. Email to be added to the mailing list.
  • ExpatMums & Tots morning -in the Sports Hall, at Dubai Country Club. Every Tuesday from 9 – 11am.
  • ExpatWoman / Dubai Adventure Mums- Sunday 2nd April at 10am (newcomers from 9.30am) at The French Bakery, Defense Roundabout, Jumeirah 1
  • Abu Dhabi Mums– This group has many sub groups and from Bumps & Babies to Toddlers.

If you have other networks that you believe that may help us Mums, or any social that you think Mums would like to know about, please let us know.