Trevor Noah will close the festival. Matt Sayles / Invision /  AP file
Trevor Noah will close the festival. Matt Sayles / Invision / AP file

Headliners Trevor Noah and Dave Chappelle show ‘Dubai is serious about comedy’


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Trevor Noah, who is replacing Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show this month, will join reclusive superstar comic Dave Chappelle as headline acts at the inaugural Dubai Comedy Festival.

The 10-day event, organised by Dubai Tourism, will be held in a purpose-built 4,500 seat venue at the Dubai Marina from October 15 to 24.

Chappelle will perform two shows, on October 22 and 23, while Noah will close the festival on October 24.

Also on the bill is Saudi comic Bader Saleh, who headlined a sold-out, all-Arab show at du Forum in Abu Dhabi last month, the American comic and magician Mac King, and the Emirati comedian Ali Al Sayed.

“Headline acts Dave Chappelle and Trevor Noah demonstrate that the inaugural Dubai Comedy Festival is not to be missed,” says Dubai Tourism senior vice president Hamad bin Mejren.

“With the headliners supported by a stellar line-up of local, regional and global comedy talent, Dubai Comedy Festival illustrates that we are serious about comedy. Throughout the festival we’re expecting sell-out crowds for what promises to be an exhilarating and entertaining 10 days of gigs.”

In a special self-filmed video message posted to the festival’s YouTube page, Noah said that he was excited to be performing at the inaugural event and encouraged fans to get their tickets soon. He signed off, saying, “I will see you there – shukran.”

Noah is a UAE regular who has performed in the Emirates several times, but the comic’s profile has risen substantially since his last appearance in March.

In a recent episode of Jerry Seinfeld's online chat-show series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Noah spoke about how he was in Dubai performing a second series of gigs at Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre when the call came through offering him the job to replace Jon Stewart as host of the long-running American satirical current-­affairs comedy.

The 31-year-old South African will take over the hot seat, vacated by Stewart last month, on September 28, a little more than two weeks before the Dubai Comedy Festival kicks off.

The added workload has not prevented from him hitting the road, however. Noah is seemingly intent on having no weekends off until late November, with a string of shows scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays in cities including London, Toronto and New York.

Bin Mejren said Noah's Dubai performance will not get in the way of his Daily Show schedule.

"Timely links between Dubai and New York City have helped us work around Noah's busy filming schedule and ensure that he is back in NYC in time to film The Daily Show," he says.

The Daily Show is broadcast four nights a week in the United States, from Monday to Thursday, with each day's show recorded on the day that it is broadcast. Chappelle, meanwhile, should know all about the type of work demands that Noah will face.

The 42-year-old was the star of his own programme, the critically adored Chappelle's Show, ­before walking out during the production of the third season in 2006.

In what has become something of a Hollywood legend, the disillusionment with the industry that came with his fame prompted Chappelle to reportedly turned down a staggering US$50 million (Dh183m) offer by the broadcaster The Comedy Channel to continue the ­programme.

Instead, as he told Oprah Winfrey during an interview in 2006, he travelled to Africa for some soul searching and then retreated with his family and children to his farm in Ohio.

After a few impromptu appearances, including beating fellow American comic Dane Cook for the record of longest stand-up show with an epic six-hour set at the Los Angeles comedy club Laugh Factory (Cook reclaimed it later with a seven-hour performance), Chappelle returned to regular performances in 2013 and has since toured North America, Canada, Australia and London.

For Al Sayed, the festival marks a proud moment in his dual career as performer and event producer. As well as headlining his own night, with the date to be announced next week, Al Sayed was drafted in by Dubai Tourism as a creative consultant for the festival and was involved in the line-up selection.

He says that despite Noah’s busy schedule, luring him to Dubai wasn’t too difficult as he views the city almost as a good-luck charm.

"He just loves Dubai," he says. "He was in Dubai performing his own show when he found out he got the job for The Daily Show. He also came here less than two months later to celebrate his birthday with his friends. Whether he knows it or not, he has become almost an ambassador for Dubai."

As for Chappelle, Al Sayed said the comic had wanted to visit the UAE and was just waiting for the right opportunity.

“He has been excited about coming to Dubai for quite a while,” he says. “He was really thinking about it and once the festival came to play in its first edition, that was something that really excited him.”

Al Sayed views his own festival performance as a moment when he will feel that he has truly arrived as a comic.

“To be sharing the stage with these giants is something amazing,” he says. “I remember playing small shows in comedy clubs in New York years back, where I saw pictures of Chappelle, who also performed there. Now to be in Dubai to perform with him in this festival is exciting and something that does give me the jitters.”

Tickets will go on sale soon, with preregistration available now at www.dubaicomedyfest.ae

sasaeed@thenational.ae

With additional reporting by Rob Garratt

The bio

Favourite food: Japanese

Favourite car: Lamborghini

Favourite hobby: Football

Favourite quote: If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough

Favourite country: UAE

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

CHINESE GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1st row 
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2nd row 
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-GP)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

3rd row 
Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)

4th row 
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
Sergio Perez (Force India)

5th row 
Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault)
Romain Grosjean (Haas)

6th row 
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Esteban Ocon (Force India)

7th row 
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

8th row 
Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)
Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)

9th row 
Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
Lance Stroll (Williams)

10th row 
Charles Leclerc (Sauber)
arcus Ericsson (Sauber)

Dhadak

Director: Shashank Khaitan

Starring: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, Ashutosh Rana

Stars: 3

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

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

SCHEDULE

6.30pm Maiden Dh165,000 (Dirt) 1,400m
7.05pm: Handicap Dh170,000 (D) 1,600m
7.40pm: Maiden Dh165,000 (D) 1,600m
8.15pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 1,200m
8.50pm: Handicap Dh210,000 (D) 2,000m
9.25pm:Handicap Dh185,000 (D) 1,400m
 
Amith's predicted winners:
6.30pm: Down On Da Bayou
7.05pm: Etisalat
7.40pm: Mulfit
8.15pm: Pennsylvania Dutch
8.50pm: Mudallel
9.25pm: Midnight Sands

Biography

Favourite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Holiday choice: Anything Disney-related

Proudest achievement: Receiving a presidential award for foreign services.

Family: Wife and three children.

Like motto: You always get what you ask for, the universe listens.

'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

How to join and use Abu Dhabi’s public libraries

• There are six libraries in Abu Dhabi emirate run by the Department of Culture and Tourism, including one in Al Ain and Al Dhafra.

• Libraries are free to visit and visitors can consult books, use online resources and study there. Most are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, closed on Fridays and have variable hours on Saturdays, except for Qasr Al Watan which is open from 10am to 8pm every day.

• In order to borrow books, visitors must join the service by providing a passport photograph, Emirates ID and a refundable deposit of Dh400. Members can borrow five books for three weeks, all of which are renewable up to two times online.

• If users do not wish to pay the fee, they can still use the library’s electronic resources for free by simply registering on the website. Once registered, a username and password is provided, allowing remote access.

• For more information visit the library network's website.

Turkish Ladies

Various artists, Sony Music Turkey 

Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

How it works

1) The liquid nanoclay is a mixture of water and clay that aims to convert desert land to fertile ground

2) Instead of water draining straight through the sand, it apparently helps the soil retain water

3) One application is said to last five years

4) The cost of treatment per hectare (2.4 acres) of desert varies from $7,000 to $10,000 per hectare 

Ponti

Sharlene Teo, Pan Macmillan

Results

2.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Mezmar, Adam McLean (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).

3pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 2,000m; Winner: AF Ajwad, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

3.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Gold Silver, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel.

4pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,000m; Winner: Atrash, Richard Mullen, Ana Mendez.

4.30pm: Gulf Cup Prestige (PA) Dh150,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Momtaz, Saif Al Balushi, Musabah Al Muhairi.

5pm: Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Al Mushtashar, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

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.”

WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS

England v New Zealand (Saturday, 12pm)

Wales v South Africa (Sunday, 1pm)

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5

'Panga'

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Starring Kangana Ranaut, Richa Chadha, Jassie Gill, Yagya Bhasin, Neena Gupta

Rating: 3.5/5

Scorline

Iraq 1-0 UAE

Iraq Hussein 28’

The Roundup

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Ma Dong-seok, Sukku Son, Choi Gwi-hwa
Rating: 4/5

The Greatest Royal Rumble card

50-man Royal Rumble - names entered so far include Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Kane, Chris Jericho, The New Day and Elias

Universal Championship Brock Lesnar (champion) v Roman Reigns in a steel cage match

WWE World Heavyweight ChampionshipAJ Styles (champion) v Shinsuke Nakamura

Intercontinental Championship Seth Rollins (champion) v The Miz v Finn Balor v Samoa Joe

United States Championship Jeff Hardy (champion) v Jinder Mahal

SmackDown Tag Team Championship The Bludgeon Brothers (champions) v The Usos

Raw Tag Team Championship (currently vacant) Cesaro and Sheamus v Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt

Casket match The Undertaker v Rusev

Singles match John Cena v Triple H

Cruiserweight Championship Cedric Alexander v Kalisto

It

Director: Andres Muschietti

Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor

Three stars

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

CREW

Director: Rajesh A Krishnan

Starring: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon

Rating: 3.5/5

Company profile

Name: GiftBag.ae

Based: Dubai

Founded: 2011

Number of employees: 4

Sector: E-commerce

Funding: Self-funded to date

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

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.

You Were Never Really Here

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Starring: Joaquim Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov

Four stars

Essentials
The flights: You can fly from the UAE to Iceland with one stop in Europe with a variety of airlines. Return flights with Emirates from Dubai to Stockholm, then Icelandair to Reykjavik, cost from Dh4,153 return. The whole trip takes 11 hours. British Airways flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Reykjavik, via London, with return flights taking 12 hours and costing from Dh2,490 return, including taxes. 
The activities: A half-day Silfra snorkelling trip costs 14,990 Icelandic kronur (Dh544) with Dive.is. Inside the Volcano also takes half a day and costs 42,000 kronur (Dh1,524). The Jokulsarlon small-boat cruise lasts about an hour and costs 9,800 kronur (Dh356). Into the Glacier costs 19,500 kronur (Dh708). It lasts three to four hours.
The tours: It’s often better to book a tailor-made trip through a specialist operator. UK-based Discover the World offers seven nights, self-driving, across the island from £892 (Dh4,505) per person. This includes three nights’ accommodation at Hotel Husafell near Into the Glacier, two nights at Hotel Ranga and two nights at the Icelandair Hotel Klaustur. It includes car rental, plus an iPad with itinerary and tourist information pre-loaded onto it, while activities can be booked as optional extras. More information inspiredbyiceland.com

The Abu Dhabi Awards explained:

What are the awards? They honour anyone who has made a contribution to life in Abu Dhabi.

Are they open to only Emiratis? The awards are open to anyone, regardless of age or nationality, living anywhere in the world.

When do nominations close? The process concludes on December 31.

How do I nominate someone? Through the website.

When is the ceremony? The awards event will take place early next year.

FIXTURES

Nov 04-05: v Western Australia XI, Perth
Nov 08-11: v Cricket Australia XI, Adelaide
Nov 15-18 v Cricket Australia XI, Townsville (d/n)
Nov 23-27: 1ST TEST v AUSTRALIA, Brisbane
Dec 02-06: 2ND TEST v AUSTRALIA, Adelaide (d/n)
Dec 09-10: v Cricket Australia XI, Perth
Dec 14-18: 3RD TEST v AUSTRALIA, Perth
Dec 26-30 4TH TEST v AUSTRALIA, Melbourne
Jan 04-08: 5TH TEST v AUSTRALIA, Sydney

Note: d/n = day/night


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