The Six: Nature reserves across the Middle East to explore this winter season

The Ras Mohamed Nature Reserve in Egypt. (Shutterstock)
Updated 27 October 2018
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The Six: Nature reserves across the Middle East to explore this winter season

DUBAI: The Middle East is home to some breathtaking displays of natural beauty in its many parks and reserves.
Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
The Lebanese reserve is home to three cedar forests, with some of the trees standing at an estimated 2,000 years old. The area is also famous for the conservation of the Lebanese jungle cat.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
This Jordanian conservation area is made up of a system of mountains and wadis and is home to rare and threatened species, including the Syrian wolf.
Ras Al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
This nesting ground of the endangered green turtle, the chelonia mydas, is found on the coast of Oman.
Ras Al-Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
The Dubai-based wetland sanctuary serves as a breeding ground for crustaceans, mammals and fish, with hordes of flamingos stealing the show in the winter.
Ras Mohamed Nature Reserve
This Egyptian national park extends from the coral reefs of the Red Sea to the desert of the Sinai.
Wadi Hanifa
Once a waste disposal site, Wadi Hanifa is now a beautiful valley in Riyadh. Known in the pre-Islamic era as Wadi Al-Irdh, it was renamed Wadi Hanifa after the Bani Hanifa tribe that populated the area.


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 4 min 40 sec ago
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Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”