Did you see the fiery streaks in the sky over the Gulf on Monday? Here is what you saw

The Russian supply rocket breaking up in the sky over the Burj Khalifa (Twitter)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Did you see the fiery streaks in the sky over the Gulf on Monday? Here is what you saw

DUBAI: If you were in the Gulf and looking into the sky on Monday evening, then you might have spotted fiery streaks.
There were sightings reported in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, parts of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Inevitably Twitter was buzzing with speculation as to what people were seeing, with some calling a meteor shower, while others suggested that it might be the International Space Station.
But according to the founder of Dubai Astronomy Group the fire in the sky was actually a Russian space rocket breaking up as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

“When I analyzed the video it was clear this was falling space debris disintegrating in the atmosphere,” Hasan Al-Hariri told UAE daily The National.
According to the group what people saw on Monday night at about 7 p.m. was debris from a Progress rocket that had been used to supply the International Space Station.
“Such modules are guided in such a way that it burns in the air and does not fall into a populated area. This was of the Progress module that supplies the International Space Station with water, food and equipment. It is an unmanned vehicle that is totally autonomous, it docks at the station, the equipment is removed and it’s sent back where it burns in the atmosphere.”
The debris passed the Arabian Peninsula crossing over the UAE and Oman, the group explained.
But if you were confused and thought it was a meteor, there is no need to be too embarrassed because you were in good company.
Apparently the Dubai Media office initially tweeted “a meteor has passed through the skies of Dubai.”
But Al-Hariri explained to The National that there were differences between a meteor shower and falling debris.
“The clear evidence of a man-made object and event from a natural occurrence of a meteor fall is that meteor fire balls rush in at very high speed and burn in the atmosphere or explode in the sky leaving a trace of gas behind… A meteor glow would have been much bigger than what people saw last night.”
But Twitter users seemed convinced they were watching a meteor shower, which seems reasonable and the images they posted were very impressive.



Start-up of the Week: The app that restores work-life balance

Updated 19 June 2018
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Start-up of the Week: The app that restores work-life balance

  • MRSOOL helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door
  • Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.

JEDDAH: Too many errands, too little time? This is how MRSOOL co-founder Naif Al-Simri used to feel, so he decided to do something about it — and not just for himself.

Realizing that he was not managing to successfully juggle the demands of his job and his family, he started to think about how he could manage things better.

His thought processes eventually led him to develop MRSOOL, an app that helps consumers to transport goods from any store to their door. All consumers need to do is post their orders, and an MRSOOL courier will go to the store to pick up and deliver the desired items to them. 

“I used to work a lot and I was not at home. My family always needed something, but I could not do it for them because of work commitments. So I would suffer because I could not do their errands and also could not find a solution. The fact that I could not find a solution would upset my family,” he said. 

Thinking about the problem — and how it affected so many people in the modern world — triggered a lightbulb moment for Al-Simri. He came up with the idea of creating a platform that would deliver anything, without him having to leave the office and pick up his family. 

“If I had to run errands I would have to leave the office and take them (to the shops). That is like five trips, so I thought to myself what if I have someone who lives close by pick up what is needed on his way and make money by doing it,” he said. 

He started to outline his idea to some of his close friends who work in app development. He talked through whether they thought there was market demand for such a service and analyzed the challenges. As he threw around ideas with friends, he was starting to formulate a business plan. It was at this stage that he started to see the potential.

He discussed the concept with Ayman Al-Sanad (a friend?), and although Al-Sanad had come up against Al-Simri’s ideas before, and was cautious about practicalities, his future partner was impressed by the proposal. Nevertheless, Al-Sanad made some suggestions for tweaking the original idea. 

“I took Ayman’s feedback and went back to the drawing board. We were both working at the time so we would touch base on weekends to discuss our development and progress,” Al-Simri added.

The two future partners started working together to develop the application, which was eventually launched in 2015. Today MRSOOL serves the whole country and there are plans to expand to the GCC and Arab countries.

Not only is MRSOOL now ranked in the top 10 applications in the Kingdom, with a star rating of 4.8 out of 5, but it is even listed in the top 200 active applications by the US Apple store. 

Since 2017 MRSOOL has had more than 80,000 couriers across the Kingdom, potentially earning the couriers an average SR 10,000 ($2,700) within two months.