On the 22nd of November 2015, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek’s atmosphere was tense as each moment the competition got tougher and tougher. 4 top influencers of Dubai were fighting for their chance to have their masterpiece, prepared in Minato to be on the new menu for the next 3 months.
Chef Suri as usual put on a spectacular Teppanyaki show, preparing a dish in the traditional Japanese way on a table-grill. He has explained how to cook the vegetables, the fish and the salmon and handed over his beloved tools to the contestants. First up was Chris Clark, chef & author of Nutritional Grail, and Zara Zamira, founder of Zamira Style and entrepreneur. They fought head to head making chicken, shrimp and garnish. Mixing it with a variety of sauces and spices for that difference to be better.
Next up was Om Mehta, a foodie and founder of @foodindubai and Layne Redman, TV presenter, writer and actor. They have prepared lobsters, shrimps and steak. The combination of sauces and spices they have used melted in the mouth leaving a delicious aftertaste. Layne has skilfully created a volcanic eruption with the use of an onion pyramid oil and spirit.
At the end of the competition Chef Suri has pointed out the good and the bad, and gave another last lesson on preparation of Teppanyaki, awarding Layne Redman the winner of the night. It was not only about the concoction of flavours but the presentation and the ability to entertain guests while performing a Teppanyaki show.
Layne’s teppanyaki is available at Minato for those that love a treat and enjoy a big plate of great food.
More than 90 high school administrators profited last week from a rare opportunity between November, 15-16, 2015: an appearance in UAE by the Vice President of The Princeton Review USA, Michael Gamerl.
A 25-year veteran of one of the world’s leading test preparation company, The Princeton Review, USA, Mr. Gamerl presented the first national seminar of its kind, “The School Counselors Toolkit for Re-Designed SAT” to address how the changes to this test will affect students countrywide. The event was organized by Score Plus Education Group, in collaboration with Dao M. Le, Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the Gulf and Commercial Counselor and Manal El Masry, Commercial Specialist from the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Michael Zaug, International Sales Director, Penguin Random House, New York, USA.
The seminar was held in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai where counselors from more than 50 high schools throughout the 3 Emirate cities met to find out about the future of the SAT, an exam used for college admissions not only in the USA but also in other countries such as Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Singapore. Likely in response to increased competition in the standardized test market, ETS, makers of the SAT, are in the process of overhauling the test. The redesigned SAT will be administered for the first time in UAE in May, 2016, and will test more advanced skills than the current one.
Michael began his career with The Princeton Review teaching SAT preparation as an undergraduate student in the USA and since then has seen the SAT evolve more than six times. However, Michael warned counselors, this redesign is more substantial than past changes. He encouraged counselors to remind students of the remaining opportunities to take the current SAT in December, 2015, and January, 2016.
“Imagine the current SAT is an apple and the new test is an orange,” Michael said. “After January, that apple is going away for good. For students who prefer apples, we need to make sure they get their apples.”
Counselors were able to ask questions throughout the event. One common question was whether schools will accept the current SAT for younger students, especially those who will graduate in 2017 or later. Michael’s answer was that there is no clear policy covering all American colleges and that students need to research their top choices schools to see if any such limitation exists. As SAT scores are valid for five years, those who take the current SAT may not be precluded.
Michael also explained the stark similarities between the redesigned SAT and the ACT: no penalty for wrong answers; four answer choices per question; more emphasis on advanced math, punctuation, and reading comprehension, among others. In many ways, Michael said, the new SAT will become “like the ACT, but harder.”
Many counselors also asked how colleges will interpret scores for the new SAT. The current test is scored on a scale of 600 to 2,400, whereas the new test will be scored on a scale of 400 to 1,600. Michael explained that after the first redesigned SAT is scored, College Board, the company that markets the SAT, will release concordance tables to colleges which show new SAT scores and their equivalent ACT and older SAT scores.
Counselors tried out sample questions themselves to experience the challenge their students will need to face. Many were surprised by the wide gap between the tested material and the content covered by school curricula.
Ritu Kalwani, Executive Director of Score Plus Middle East and India, alumnus of Babson College, Boston, USA, mentioned, “The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in partnership with the American accreditation body, New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) has set of expectations, including that for assessment and graduation requirements from US curriculum schools in Dubai. Any student who seeks UAE equivalency standing for his or her High School Diploma has to submit a minimum score of 400 points out of the total 800 points in SAT I Math section along with good TOEFL scores. Similarly, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) applies the policy for the American schools in the Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western Emirates to meet the high school graduation requirements centered on various parameters encompassing SAT I Math Score of no less than 400 points as well. ”
On this note, Ritu Kalwani urged schools at the counselor events across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai to guide their students and parents well in advance on the New SAT Math section in May 2016 so that the students are better prepared for the new test format.
Overall, counselors came away from the event with their questions answered, and with a strong understanding of the new SAT test and testing opportunity, the ACT exam by ACT International, USA.
“It was a pleasure to attend. Information conveyed was very helpful. All efforts really appreciated,” High School Counselor at Abu Dhabi International School, Jihan El Mouallem said.
“I was highly impressed with the counselor event. It was highly appreciated and I received positive and helpful information,” High School Counselor at Sharjah American International School, Leila Chammas agreed.
Dareen Nazih Sayeh, Counselor at Al Sanawbar School supported the counselor event in Al Ain city by endorsing that, “It was a beneficial workshop. We got a better understanding of the re-designed SAT. Thank you.”
“Again- thank you all for putting together such a wonderful event. I found it really insightful and Michael is an enthusiastic and engaging presenter,” Dubai School Counselor at Collegiate American School, Sophia Bazile confirmed.
Counselor of Indian ICSE Board curriculum school – Ambassador School in Dubai, Roma Joshi also said, “Mr. Gamerl was a pleasure to interact with. It was wonderful and gave a lot of information about the SAT & Redesigned SAT and ACT.”
The 2015 DP World Tour Championship saw record crowds of 65,280 gather at Jumeirah Golf Estates as Rory McIlroy did the Dubai Double of winning both the tournament and The Race to Dubai for the second time in his career.
The European Tour’s season-ending finale has developed a reputation as not only one of the best-loved sporting occasions on the Dubai calendar, but also an eagerly anticipated social occasion for all the family.
As well as having The European Tour’s top 60 players competing for a US$8 million prize fund and the chance to be named European Number One, the award-winning DP World Tour Championship featured a host of off course activities for visitors of all ages.
Renowned Trick Shot Artist, David Edwards, entertained the crowds on the practice range each day while the bustling Championship Village featured a six-hole Putting Zone with prizes on offer; there were free golf lessons provided by the R&A, with instruction from the Emirates Golf Federation pros; there was the Titleist Long Drive Challenge; the Emirates Fly With Me Kids Zone; a Giant TV Screen and a mouth-watering array of F&B outlets. When play was finished each day Jumeirah Golf Estates rocked to the sounds of some excellent local bands which further enhanced the reputation of the event as more than just a golf tournament.
A whopping 20,769 spectators turned out on Friday, always the busiest day of the tournament, while almost as many, 19,058, attended on Saturday.
Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour International – Dubai Office, said: It’s great to be able to announce record attendance figures for the 2015 DP World Tour Championship.
We always felt there was genuine interest from the local, regional and international markets from both advanced registrations from free admission as well as from corporate hospitality sales.
The enhanced and extended Championship Village along with the upgraded ‘Emirates Fly With Me Kids Zone’ certainly added to the public offering.
With a world class field of the top 60 players on The Race to Dubai plus activities for non-golfers and families we have certainly raised the bar for the 2015 DP World Tour Championship.
Our collective challenge with all our partners and supporters is to make it bigger and better for 2016.
Despite the wonderful range of facilities and activities on offer, it was the drama on the golf course that once again stole the show as McIlroy and Andy Sullivan went head to head in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) final round and 14,713 people witnessed the Northern Irishman again leave Jumeirah Golf Estates with two trophies safely under lock and key.