Dubai-based band Point of View. Courtesy Rock Nation Live
Dubai-based band Point of View. Courtesy Rock Nation Live

Dubai bands come together to raise money for Nepal



The hardest of Dubai’s rockers are proving that they’ve got the softest of hearts, in uniting for a one-off gig to support those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.

Rock Nation Live and Red Crescent bring together the cream of local rock talent on Wednesday at the Fridge, including headlining band Point of View, Liberty Hounds and Chronicles of Khan; acoustic performances by brothers Wesley and Scott Attew; Cruize from rock band Nikotin; and Bollywood bashers Dhruv and Prakash and Vidya, who will be performing a mix of Bollywood and western folk music. Also in the line-up is a debut performance by Nepalese singer-songwriter Sanjay Shrestha.

The gig, titled Rebuilding Nepal – A Charitable Initiative, is being masterminded by Nikhil Uzgare, the lead vocalist for Point of View, who were winners of Best Band in Dubai in Timeout Music & Nightlife Awards two years ago.

“This event will showcase some of the best live musicians, singers, songwriters and bands from the UAE,” says Uzgare, 41, who is from Bombay. “Musicians can be really complicated people. But when it comes to events such as this, everyone is very open-hearted. Dubai has a small musical community and everybody knows everyone. The city’s musicians are leaving everything aside and coming together for one purpose.”

One of the headliners is a collective of musicians known as the Chronicles of Khan, led by Faraz Khan. He describes the concept as “a weird place between a solo act and a band”.

British brothers Wesley and Scott Attew are also in the line-up, with Scott's claim to fame opening for Paolo Nutini's Dubai show in April. Older brother Wesley, who pays the bills by working as a travel agent, penned a poignant song called The Kingdom: "About how people are treated differently for working different jobs."

Point of View are proud friends of rock royalty Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, the guitarist for Guns N' Roses, and have toured India and Bahrain with him. But despite their mean rock'n'roll personas, the band are softies on the inside: 90 per cent of proceeds generated from sales of their album Revolutionize the Revolutionary were donated to animal charity groups. Two years ago, they pitched in to organise a concert in aid of Pakistan Flood Relief at Traffic.

The rebuilding of Nepal has some personal resonance for band members. “A lot of our musician friends were actually stuck in Nepal while this was happening,” says Uzgare. “So they got first-hand experience of what was going on there. There are loads of musicians in Nepal, a lot of music festivals happen there. Rebuilding Nepal is a huge process. Now that this has happened, an alarm has been raised that stronger houses need to be built, and everything has to be done properly this time. What we can give might not be a lot compared to what the governments are putting in, but I think everyone needs to do their little deed for the day.”

Rebuilding Nepal – A Charitable Initiative is on Wednesday at 6pm at The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, behind Times Square Center. Minimum donation is Dh30, which goes to the Red Crescent’s work in Nepal

artslife@thenational.ae

Meatless Days
Sara Suleri, with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie
​​​​​​​Penguin 

THE DETAILS

Deadpool 2

Dir: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Justin Dennison, Zazie Beetz

Four stars

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

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.”

The Secret Kingdom

Director: Matt Drummond

Stars: Alyla Browne, Alice Parkinson, Sam Everingham

Rating: 3/5

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Directed by: Shaka King

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons

Four stars

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

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

Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World by Michael Ignatieff
Harvard University Press

THE BIO

Occupation: Specialised chief medical laboratory technologist

Age: 78

Favourite destination: Always Al Ain “Dar Al Zain”

Hobbies: his work  - “ the thing which I am most passionate for and which occupied all my time in the morning and evening from 1963 to 2019”

Other hobbies: football

Favorite football club: Al Ain Sports Club

 

How Voiss turns words to speech

The device has a screen reader or software that monitors what happens on the screen

The screen reader sends the text to the speech synthesiser

This converts to audio whatever it receives from screen reader, so the person can hear what is happening on the screen

A VOISS computer costs between $200 and $250 depending on memory card capacity that ranges from 32GB to 128GB

The speech synthesisers VOISS develops are free

Subsequent computer versions will include improvements such as wireless keyboards

Arabic voice in affordable talking computer to be added next year to English, Portuguese, and Spanish synthesiser

Partnerships planned during Expo 2020 Dubai to add more languages

At least 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness

More than 90 per cent live in developing countries

The Long-term aim of VOISS to reach the technology to people in poor countries with workshops that teach them to build their own device

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Where to apply

Applicants should send their completed applications - CV, covering letter, sample(s) of your work, letter of recommendation - to Nick March, Assistant Editor in Chief at The National and UAE programme administrator for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, by 5pm on April 30, 2020

Please send applications to nmarch@thenational.ae and please mark the subject line as “Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism (UAE programme application)”.

The local advisory board will consider all applications and will interview a short list of candidates in Abu Dhabi in June 2020. Successful candidates will be informed before July 30, 2020. 

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

In 2018, the ICRC received 27,756 trace requests in the Middle East alone. The global total was 45,507.

 

There are 139,018 global trace requests that have not been resolved yet, 55,672 of these are in the Middle East region.

 

More than 540,000 individuals approached the ICRC in the Middle East asking to be reunited with missing loved ones in 2018.

 

The total figure for the entire world was 654,000 in 2018.

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

 


 


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