Books, movies, songs, apps 2022
Image Credit: Gulf News | Supplied

Dubai: The year 2022 is (almost) over. In the last 12 months, the world saw the most anticipated new releases or iterations – of books, movies, music albums, apps. UAE residents shared their checklist of what made a lasting impression, or the most impact on them.

Alka Sinha, Indian


Best Book:The Candy House’ by Jennifer Egan

The book that left a lasting imprint for the Indian expat and home-maker in Dubai is “The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan. “I love this book. It carried several short stories that made for a quick read. ‘The Candy House’ follows a number of characters as they grapple with Bix Bouton’s revolutionary technology, ‘Own Your Unconscious’ — a device that allows people to upload and share their memories. It made for a very interesting read.”

Best App: WhatsApp

For Sinha, WhatsApp, continues to be the best app she has used till date. “It is a universal source of connectivity.”

Best Music: Raataan Lambiya

Sinha said she loved the music album Raataan Lambiyan from movie Shershah, sung by Asees Kaur and Zubin Nautiyal.

Best movie: Gangubai Kathiawadi

Gangubai Kathiawadi – a Bollywood flick – made 2022 a memorable one for Kathiawadi. “It is one of the best performances of Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt so far. The film depicts the rise of a simple girl from Kathiawad who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favour. Movie director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali always creates the era of Gangubai in great settings.

Aziz Alharbi, Saudi


Best movie: Top Gun: Maverick

Saudi expat Aziz Alharbi, 34, chief executive officer of RoboStores, said Top Gun: Maverick is his top pick for movies in 2022. “When I watched the original Top Gun I wasn’t that impressed, but the sequel has surpassed the original. It was so well made. It is easily one of the best movies made this year.”

Best Book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Alharbi said he enjoyed this book very much for it makes for a light read. “There is a fabulous story written in the most fun way.”

Best App: Leap

“It is a great app for children’s financial education. Children don’t (have the easy means to) learn anything about finance and this is a great tool to get a head-start on financial literacy.”

Best Music Artist: Goth Babe

One music artist that made an impact on him in 2022 was ‘Goth Babe.’ He particularly liked a song by him ‘Weekend Friend’.

Divya Gunasekara, Sri Lankan


Best Book: The Road From The Elephant Pass by Nihal De Silva

Divya Gunasekara, 23, works as a business developer. For her, the best book of the year is The Road From The Elephant Pass. “It is a love story between an army captain and a terrorist activist. The story brings to light the political background of the country. It was for sure a very interesting read.”

Best Music: RED by Taylor Swift

“I love Taylor Swift and all her songs are masterpieces. This album is my favourite.”

Best App: Masterclass

Gunasekara found the app “MasterClass” very useful. “Masterclass is an app that has many lessons from several instructors. I personally have learnt lesson from subjects like politics, journalism, content creation, fashion designing, cookery etc. All the lessons are done by world famous celebrities including Kris Jenner, Tony Robbins, Nayomi Campbell, Marc Jacobs.”

Best Movie: Avatar: The Way of Water

“I love sci-fi movies. This was so well made,” said Gunasekara.

Tharun Randaya, Sri Lankan

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Best book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Tharun Randaya, 16, a Dubai-based student, said the book helped him break old habits and form new ones. “For example, I found myself struggling to stay consistent with the habit of creating a routine with respect to fitness. After reading the book, I found that I had learnt to stay consistent on this.”

Aaron Amiel, Filipino

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Best book: If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

Filipino student Aaron Amiel, 18, said reading author M. L. Rio’s book If We Were Villains to be a perfect read. “With its dark academic aesthetics and mix of both the plot and Shakespearean plots, I was in awe reading the book.”

Best Movie: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Amiel said the movie ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ made a huge impact on him. “The insanity that goes on in this movie is so bizarre and unexpected, but it just works so well,” said Amiel.

Joud Iyad Mustafa, Palestinian

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Best movie: Black Adam

Mustafa, 17, watched many movies in 2022 but the one movie that made the most impact has been ‘Black Adam’. As a massive superhero fan, Joud found the plot of the DC film to be incredible. “I would recommend this movie to every superhero fan, regardless of whether they are a Marvel or a DC fan”, said Mustafa.

Best app: BeReal

Mustafa found that unlike other social apps, there are no negative side effects to “BeReal”, her choice for the best app of the year. “The lack of editing on BeReal, an app that forces you to showcase your real life, allows for everyone to post their lives without any negative drawbacks.”

Best book: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

“What I really liked about this book is that it gives a new perspective into struggling with mental health.” She added that the book felt “real” to her as it did not glorify such a sensitive topic.

Best musicalbum: Wasteland by Brent Faiyaz

Being an R&B music listener, Mustafa found Brent Faiyaz’ latest album ‘Wasteland’ to truly live up to the hype that was created for it. She believes that the album is for those with a more mature music taste and recommends it to all those with an open mind in music. “I have been addicted to the album since its release.”

Marco Antonio Gomes, Brazilian

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Best book: BRASIL: Uma Historia by Eduardo Bueno.

Marco Antonio Gomes, 16, said his best book for 2022 has been BRASIL: Uma Historia by Eduardo Bueno. “I felt closer to my culture and heritage reading this book,” said Gomes.

Best music: Solo by Ultimo

The Italian music album Solo by Ultimo has struck a chord with Gomes. “It inspired me to further enhance my guitar skills by learning these songs on the instrument. The lyrics of the album has stuck with me throughout the year,” said Gomes.