January 16, 2011 / Abu Dhabi / Sam Faix help helps put together an art expiation at the National Theater in Abu Dhabi January 16, 2011 . (Sammy Dallal / The National)
Sam Faix help helps put together an art expiation at the National Theater in Abu Dhabi.

Art exhibitions showcase UAE diversity



ABU DHABI // Two art exhibitions aiming to unite the work of the multinational community in the UAE open this week.

Worlds Together, a contemporary show of eight artists from eight countries, opened last night at the Marsam Mattar Gallery in Dubai. Seven Perspectives, from the art collective Abu Dhabi Art Squad, opens tonight in the capital.

Organisers of both shows say they hope to reflect the variety of the nationalities living in the UAE.

Sumayyah al Suwaidi, the Emirati curator of the Dubai show, said she wanted to bring the art community together.

“Within the Emirati art scene, we mainly only know each other, so I wanted to bring in new names and new blood into our community. Plus, these people are living here in the UAE, they are part of the community, and it is not fair that we don’t include them.”

The show in Abu Dhabi is under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. It features the work of seven artists from seven countries — all members of the Art Squad.

Said Ali Sowafy, 37, from Uganda, is one of the founding members. He said the original aim was just to swap artistic notes.

“We started off simply wanting to share different opinions, but we ended up bridging the gap between cultures. This exhibition is indicative of that. It is a converging point for all of our cultures,” he said.

The show features work from a Briton who paints seascapes of Yas and Saadiyat Islands; a Bulgarian who uses Arabic calligraphy; and a Pakistani who concentrates on the wildlife of the UAE.

Mr Sowafy’s work combines both the Arab and the African traditions in his background. Such art collectives are relatively rare in the UAE.

Rachael Brown, the head of special projects at the JamJar Gallery in Dubai, said there were none like the Art Squad in Dubai.

“There are plenty of communities of artists who often collaborate, but nothing as a formal collective,” she said.

“In other countries such as the UK, joining forces as a collective works because they can apply together for funding. But here in Dubai, there are not those sorts of structures in place. So I don’t see it makes that much difference if you are formal or not.”

Jalal Luqman, an Emirati artist and owner of the Ghaf Gallery in Abu Dhabi, said he welcomed the addition of these collectives to the art scene, as long as they had a genuine interest in the UAE.

“In my mind, an expat is someone who has immersed themselves in society, learned a bit of the language and culture and so can add to the artistic environment of the country,” he said.

aseaman@thenational.ae

The specs

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Power: 575bhp

Torque: 700Nm

Price: Dh554,000

On sale: now

THE SPECS

Engine: Four-cylinder 2.5-litre

Transmission: Seven-speed auto

Power: 165hp

Torque: 241Nm

Price: Dh99,900 to Dh134,000

On sale: now

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Price, base / as tested Dh99,000 / Dh132,000

Engine 3.6L V6

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Power 275hp @ 6,000rpm

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Fuel economy combined 12.2L / 100km

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre direct injection turbo
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
Torque: 400Nm
Price: From Dh134,999

UK record temperature

38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Motori Profile

Date started: March 2020

Co-founder/CEO: Ahmed Eissa

Based: UAE, Abu Dhabi

Sector: Insurance Sector

Size: 50 full-time employees (Inside and Outside UAE)

Stage: Seed stage and seeking Series A round of financing 

Investors: Safe City Group

The bio:

Favourite holiday destination: I really enjoyed Sri Lanka and Vietnam but my dream destination is the Maldives.

Favourite food: My mum’s Chinese cooking.

Favourite film: Robocop, followed by The Terminator.

Hobbies: Off-roading, scuba diving, playing squash and going to the gym.

 

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The First Monday in May
Director:
Andrew Rossi
Starring: Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, John Paul Gaultier, Rihanna
Three stars

Keane on …

Liverpool’s Uefa Champions League bid: “They’re great. With the attacking force they have, for me, they’re certainly one of the favourites. You look at the teams left in it - they’re capable of scoring against anybody at any given time. Defensively they’ve been good, so I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t go on and win it.”

Mohamed Salah’s debut campaign at Anfield: “Unbelievable. He’s been phenomenal. You can name the front three, but for him on a personal level, he’s been unreal. He’s been great to watch and hopefully he can continue now until the end of the season - which I’m sure he will, because he’s been in fine form. He’s been incredible this season.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s instant impact at former club LA Galaxy: “Brilliant. It’s been a great start for him and for the club. They were crying out for another big name there. They were lacking that, for the prestige of LA Galaxy. And now they have one of the finest stars. I hope they can go win something this year.”

The biog

Born: near Sialkot, Pakistan, 1981

Profession: Driver

Family: wife, son (11), daughter (8)

Favourite drink: chai karak

Favourite place in Dubai: The neighbourhood of Khawaneej. “When I see the old houses over there, near the date palms, I can be reminded of my old times. If I don’t go down I cannot recall my old times.”

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

Company Profile

Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz

Director: Kushan Nandy

Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami

Three stars

How to watch Ireland v Pakistan in UAE

When: The one-off Test starts on Friday, May 11
What time: Each day’s play is scheduled to start at 2pm UAE time.
TV: The match will be broadcast on OSN Sports Cricket HD. Subscribers to the channel can also stream the action live on OSN Play.

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Last 10 winners of African Footballer of the Year

2006: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2007: Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla and Mali)
2008: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal and Togo)
2009: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2010: Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan and Cameroon)
2011: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2012: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2013: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2014: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2015: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund and Gabon)
2016: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City and Algeria)

T20 World Cup Qualifier

Final: Netherlands beat PNG by seven wickets

Qualified teams

1. Netherlands
2. PNG
3. Ireland
4. Namibia
5. Scotland
6. Oman

T20 World Cup 2020, Australia

Group A: Sri Lanka, PNG, Ireland, Oman
Group B: Bangladesh, Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland