Nat Geo’s Oscar-winning ‘Free Solo’ premieres in the UAE

Updated 12 March 2019

Nat Geo’s Oscar-winning ‘Free Solo’ premieres in the UAE

A special UAE premiere screening event for National Geographic’s Oscar-winning “Free Solo” was held this week in Dubai to announce the documentary’s TV network debut in the MENA region.

Over 100 members of the UAE community were treated to a private screening to witness the world’s first-ever climb without ropes of the famed El Capitan’s 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park in the US.

Presented by National Geographic, directed by award-winning directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and co-produced by Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation, “Free Solo” is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream.

“We are proud to bring to the UAE community this ‘Free Solo’ big screen experience. Viewers immersed themselves fully in this extraordinary documentary, which captures the essence of National Geographic’s visual storytelling as well as its mission to celebrate the human spirit of adventure. We are here to encourage the explorer in everyone,” said Sanjay Raina, general manager and senior vice president, Fox Networks Group.

“Free Solo” received a standing ovation by guests who included Fox Networks Group executives, Image Nation executives, senior businessmen and officials as well as members of the UAE climbing community.

“From the incredible reviews to the Academy Award and BAFTA wins, we are so proud that Image Nation Abu Dhabi and the UAE can say it helped to support this incredible film,” said Ben Ross, chief content office of Image Nation Abu Dhabi. “It has been an honor to work with the National Geographic team and we are happy that local audiences have had a chance to see this extraordinary film on the big screen.”

“We’re super excited to partner with National Geographic to be able to screen this amazing documentary at Warehouse Four,” said Ian Carless, partner at Warehouse Four. “In today’s climate there’s a huge appetite for factual entertainment. Many documentary films now compete with their Hollywood counterparts and ‘Free Solo’ is an exemplary piece of filmmaking.” 

“Free Solo” continues to win accolades, the latest being the Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards. This follows the BAFTA for Best Documentary, three Cinema Eye Honors and three Critics Choice documentary awards, Cinema Audio Society award, ACE Editors Guild Awards as well as PGA and DGA nominations.

CMRC admits first patients to new Saudi clinic

Updated 25 min 19 sec ago

CMRC admits first patients to new Saudi clinic

Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center (CMRC), a top post-acute rehabilitation and long-term care facility in the UAE, has admitted 15 patients to its first medical facility in Saudi Arabia. 

CMRC’s new 60-bed clinic, located between Dhahran and Alkhobar, aims to help patients requiring post-acute care and rehabilitation services to make large improvements in their quality of life through multidisciplinary rehabilitative therapies including physiatry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and multi-sensory room sessions. 

The facility is staffed by multiple clinical experts including GPs, internal medicine consultants, pediatricians, ICU intensivists, rehabilitation consultants, psychologists and therapists, and will service patients across the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. 

It follows the same clinical procedures and protocols successfully implemented in facilities in the UAE, similarly benefiting from the center’s international partnership with the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and accreditations from Joint Commission International, CARF and Planetree.



CMRC, a portfolio company of health care specialist investor TVM Capital Healthcare, also operates facilities in Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain in the UAE.

CMRC Group CEO Dr. Howard S. Podolsky said: “We expand into countries where there is notable demand for post-acute care and rehabilitation services. Like many countries around the world, Saudi Arabia is experiencing a rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases, birth defects, and life-threatening injuries. Our new facility brings our world-class medical treatment, care, and rehabilitation therapies to the Kingdom through a truly patient-centric approach.”

He added: “We look forward to helping families in the region improve their quality of life and using our international expertise and specialized workforce to support the government of Saudi Arabia’s focus on health care development, as part of Saudi Vision 2030.” 

CMRC, a portfolio company of health care specialist investor TVM Capital Healthcare, also operates facilities in Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain in the UAE.

Dr. Helmut Schuehsler, CEO of TVM Capital Healthcare and board member of CMRC, said: “We believe that private equity investment should be a force for good, and that by working in health care, we have a real opportunity to make a difference to patients’ lives. Therefore, we conceptualized and invested in CMRC in the UAE to cater to those in need of post-acute care and an elevated level of rehabilitation. CMRC grew to be the leading post-acute care and rehabilitation provider in the UAE. We are very happy to bring the offer to the people of Saudi Arabia now.”

CMRC offers both inpatient services at its medical centers and outpatient therapy, where patients follow a rehabilitation program after discharge. The company employs more than 500 staff members across all facilities.