The singer Karl Wolf plays guitar, bass and the piano.
The singer Karl Wolf plays guitar, bass and the piano.

'I just wanted something to open my mind'



The Lebanese-born, Canada-based R&B singer, Karl Wolf, has been nominated as the best MTV Arabia New Act at the MTV European Music Awards. My parents were both musicians. My mom was a piano teacher and my dad played the guitar, drums, bass - we had every single instrument in the house, and both of my brothers are musical, too. When I came to Canada, that's when I knew I could make money out of this industry. We all have to earn our way, and I would have played music whether it was my job or not, so I thought why not. I took it as a business - the industry is all about marketing, and sadly music is only about 50 per cent of it, but I knew that.

I was born in Beirut, and when I was three moved to Dubai because of the civil war. My parents' house, their belongings, their business, were in ruins, and my brother was working in Dubai so we fled there. We lived in Sharjah, and then when I graduated school, I went to university in Canada, where I studied film. But I always loved the entertainment business and I did some music at college. When I was growing up, I wanted to stay away from the music of my own culture - I thought it wasn't cool, and I wanted to listen to Michael Jackson and Prince. But the older I got, the more I wanted to go into my culture and heritage and see what I'd missed, so I started stealing my mum's CD collection of traditional Arabic music. It wasn't popular music, I just wanted something to open my mind musically, and that's what gave me the inspiration for my first single, Butterflies. It was something different, and the industry is all about being original and fresh, after all: how do I stand out, right?

The drama in Arabic music is always sad - the girl left and the guy misses her or whatever - and that's the reason it's in this minor key, to express this sadness. But Western music is not so emotional, so what I did was use the positive of what I heard from Arabic music - the rhythmic side - to make Butterflies uplifting. That sadness is something that's so special to Arab musicians: I just didn't know how to feel that strongly, because I grew up listening to Western music.

I play music because it lets me express myself. In the way that some people need to go to the gun range, or someone hits the drums, for me when I play the piano, even by myself, I let go of my emotions. I'm on my own, no one calls me, no one can get hold of me - that aloneness is what inspires me, it brings everything out of me. Mainly I write on my own, too. It brings a true and honest view of what I want to write, and once someone else puts their vibe on it, you've compromised. The lyrics are coming from deep within you, so how can you compromise on them? Lyrics are special for that, but I think you can collaborate on music. When I'm writing, I generally start with the music, and once I have a vibe, that dictates what I'm feeling, so the lyrics come.

I have a Yamaha baby grand. I've had it for about seven months because I've just moved into a new place in downtown Montreal. It's amazing, with enormous windows and a real skyline view. I grew up playing my mum's regular upright, a humble instrument. It's very different playing other pianos. When you play a grand, the sound resonates more, the acoustic is much better and it's a feeling you can't match.

When I'm playing on stage, I tend to stick with electric instruments. In Egypt, I did a concert with Nancy Ajram and they provided a grand piano, but because of the rhythms and beats of R&B it just didn't really work out. You needed to be playing slower stuff on that piano. And they just take up too much space. I play guitar, bass and drums too - I started in this business as a producer, for eight years, and while you don't need to be able to play everything, it helps to imagine how something is going to be played. Producing is like realising the songs, from a dream to something tangible - hiring the musicians, getting the best guitarist, and you direct the whole process. It's amazing - it's like pieces of a puzzle and they all just fall into place. I have to credit God for that, because you look back and you think: how did that all happen?

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

FIVE TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE UAE BANKING

• The digitisation of financial services will continue

• Managing and using data effectively will become a competitive advantage

• Digitisation will require continued adjustment of operating models

• Banks will expand their role in the customer life through ecosystems

• The structure of the sector will change

FIXTURES

Monday, January 28
Iran v Japan, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Tuesday, January 29
UAEv Qatar, Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Friday, February 1
Final, Zayed Sports City Stadium (6pm)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Australia (15-1): Israel Folau; Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper (capt), Lukhan Tui; Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda; Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Jack Maddocks.

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

Moral education needed in a 'rapidly changing world'

Moral education lessons for young people is needed in a rapidly changing world, the head of the programme said.

Alanood Al Kaabi, head of programmes at the Education Affairs Office of the Crown Price Court - Abu Dhabi, said: "The Crown Price Court is fully behind this initiative and have already seen the curriculum succeed in empowering young people and providing them with the necessary tools to succeed in building the future of the nation at all levels.

"Moral education touches on every aspect and subject that children engage in.

"It is not just limited to science or maths but it is involved in all subjects and it is helping children to adapt to integral moral practises.

"The moral education programme has been designed to develop children holistically in a world being rapidly transformed by technology and globalisation."

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

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

The Laughing Apple

Yusuf/Cat Stevens

(Verve Decca Crossover)

RESULT

Argentina 0 Croatia 3
Croatia: 
Rebic (53'), Modric (80'), Rakitic (90'+1)

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Expo details

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia

The world fair will run for six months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

It is expected to attract 25 million visits

Some 70 per cent visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.

More than 30,000 volunteers are required for Expo 2020

The site covers a total of 4.38 sqkm, including a 2 sqkm gated area

It is located adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South

MATCH INFO

Cricket World Cup League Two
Oman, UAE, Namibia
Al Amerat, Muscat
 
Results
Oman beat UAE by five wickets
UAE beat Namibia by eight runs
Namibia beat Oman by 52 runs
UAE beat Namibia by eight wickets
UAE v Oman - abandoned
Oman v Namibia - abandoned

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Signs of heat stroke
  • The loss of sodium chloride in our sweat can lead to confusion and an altered mental status and slurred speech
  • Body temperature above 39°C
  • Hot, dry and red or damp skin can indicate heatstroke
  • A faster pulse than usual
  • Dizziness, nausea and headaches are also signs of overheating
  • In extreme cases, victims can lose consciousness and require immediate medical attention