DJ Martin Solveig is headlining at Unite with Tomorrowland in Dubai on Saturday
DJ Martin Solveig is headlining at Unite with Tomorrowland in Dubai on Saturday

Tomorrowland headliner DJ Martin Solveig: 'Labels are for canned food, not for music'



One of the world's biggest dance parties is coming to the UAE this weekend – well, sort of. Unite with Tomorrowland Dubai will not only see the crowd raving along to performances at the Dubai Festival City Arena, but also with live broadcasts from Belgium, where the original Tomorrowland is held.
The day promises an embarrassment of riches for dance-music connoisseurs. Leading the Saturday line-up in Dubai is French producer and DJ Martin Solveig, Poland's Tom Swoon and Belgium's Robert Falcon. The real heavy-hitters, playing on the big screen include the Dutch trance master Armin van Buuren and American spinner KSHMR.
A Tomorrowland regular, Solveig spoke to The National before the big gig and says he is excited to see the event finding a home in the Middle East. "It's the most-famous [dance-music] festival brand in the world. Its concept is to gather people from all over the world, no matter where you come from, your skin colour or religious beliefs," he says.
"It's great to see this festival travelling to other cities. It gives even more strength to this universal message that we're better off dancing together."
Solveig, 40, is no stranger to the UAE, having established himself as a regular performer here by playing a couple of dates a year in the ­Emirates since 2015 – the last being in May with a storming set at Zero Gravity's last bash before the summer break.
Dubai is fast becoming a party destination to rival Spain's famed Ibiza, he says. "The party people of Dubai and I have learnt to discover each other for the last three or four years. "There's a very special energy there, the more I come the better it gets. It's truly the number one spot for all those who don't want to wait until Ibiza's opening to celebrate. This destination has become essential."
Born in Paris, Solveig's potent and multi-layered compositions are derived from his classical-music training. At the age of 18 he began making a name for himself in the ­European dance community with gigs at famous Parisian night spots L'Enfer and Les Bains Douches.
While Solveig's albums were moderately successful, he gained the attention of ­Madonna, who tapped him to co-write songs for her 2012 album MDNA, including the chart-topping singles Give Me All Your Luvin' and Turn Up the Radio. Solveig has recently released his latest single All Stars with promising pop talent, the 21-year-old Finish singer Alma. Bright and anthemic, the track has been steadily pulling in the crowds in the Ibiza super-club Pacha, where Solveig is in the midst of a weekly residency stretching till October.
With electronic dance music now the new pop staple, Solveig believes tags such as EDM are slowly becoming redundant when it comes to producing music. 
So how would the veteran describe his work? According to Solveig it all comes down to gut feelings. "Labels are for canned food. When it comes to making music I stick to two basic principles – following my instinct and having fun doing what I do," he says.
"I like to free myself from musical barriers, so if you'd really want me to label my sound I'd keep it as wide as possible – it's electronic for sure."
 
Unite with Tomorrowland Dubai is on Saturday at the Dubai Festival City Arena from 2pm until 3am. Tickets cost from Dh590 at Dubai.
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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

The years Ramadan fell in May

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Going grey? A stylist's advice

If you’re going to go grey, a great style, well-cared for hair (in a sleek, classy style, like a bob), and a young spirit and attitude go a long way, says Maria Dowling, founder of the Maria Dowling Salon in Dubai.
It’s easier to go grey from a lighter colour, so you may want to do that first. And this is the time to try a shorter style, she advises. Then a stylist can introduce highlights, start lightening up the roots, and let it fade out. Once it’s entirely grey, a purple shampoo will prevent yellowing.
“Get professional help – there’s no other way to go around it,” she says. “And don’t just let it grow out because that looks really bad. Put effort into it: properly condition, straighten, get regular trims, make sure it’s glossy.”

Scores

Scotland 54-17 Fiji
England 15-16 New Zealand

SQUADS

UAE
Mohammed Naveed (captain), Mohamed Usman (vice-captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Imran Haider, Tahir Mughal, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed, Fahad Nawaz, Abdul Shakoor, Sultan Ahmed, CP Rizwan

Nepal
Paras Khadka (captain), Gyanendra Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari, Avinash Bohara, Sundeep Jora, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Rohit Paudel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Basant Regmi, Pawan Sarraf, Bhim Sharki, Aarif Sheikh

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Terra
Started: 2021
Based: Dubai
Founder: Hussam Zammar
Sector: Mobility
Investment stage: Pre-seed funding of $1 million

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.”

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
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Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Company profile

Name: Steppi

Founders: Joe Franklin and Milos Savic

Launched: February 2020

Size: 10,000 users by the end of July and a goal of 200,000 users by the end of the year

Employees: Five

Based: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai

Financing stage: Two seed rounds – the first sourced from angel investors and the founders' personal savings

Second round raised Dh720,000 from silent investors in June this year

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

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
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