epa06407080 A Bitcoin is pictured in Duesseldorf, Germany, 27 December 2017. Wild swings in the price of bitcoin took a pause, after it temporarily dropped to 10,800 US dollar. The cryptocurrency's value plummeted by nearly a third last week, and was dealt another potential blow when the Israeli Securities Agency said it would bar companies trading in bitcoin from operating on the Tel Aviv stock exchange and investigate how to regulate the digital currency because of concerns about volatile prices.  EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH
Bitcoin traded on Thursday at less than half the peak it reached in December, as Facebook's ban on cryptocurrency advertising spooked investors. EPA.

Bitcoin slides as Facebook ad ban, India clampdown unnerve investors



Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, skidded 11 per cent on Thursday to its lowest since November, as a Facebook ban on cryptocurrency adverts and a growing regulatory backlash against the nascent market frightened investors.

Thursday's drop to as low as US$9,022 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange left bitcoin trading at less than half the peak price of almost $20,000 it reached in December. It slid more than 26 percent last month, in its worst monthly performance since January 2015.

Other cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, the third-largest by market value, and Bitcoin Cash, have also racked up double-digit declines in the last 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.com, which tracks the industry. Ethereum was up slightly on the day.

Last year’s explosive rise in the value of digital coins and the flood of new retail investors drawn to the market have rattled global regulators nervous about a sector used largely for speculation.

Officials have said cryptocurrencies are used by criminals to launder money. India, which has likened the market to a Ponzi scheme, on Thursday vowed to eliminate their use.

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The Indian finance minister said his government would take “all measures” to remove crypto-assets in “financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system”, Arun Jaitley told parliament.

“Sentiment towards cryptocurrencies is turning sour with negative headlines pouring out from left, right and center,” said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at Forex.com.

“Concerns that Facebook is banning ads and major crypto exchanges shutting down have really silenced the hype and some people are probably having second thoughts about investing their hard-earned cash into digital currencies.”

Facebook said in a post on its website this week that it was banning all advertising that “promotes financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency”.

It was not clear whether the ban would affect all cryptocurrency adverts on the social media site. Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.

A US$530 million hack of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck late last week has also weighed on the market, along with a subpoena US regulators sent to two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency players, Bitfinex and Tether.

In a development welcomed by cryptocurrency investors, the finance minister of South Korea, a major hub for digital coin trading, said on Wednesday there was no plan to outlaw their buying and selling after regulators had earlier pledged to do so.

Critics call cryptocurrencies a speculative mania that will end in tears for thousands of retail investors. Supporters say the price volatility is a distraction from the value of the underlying technology.

Those backers believe cryptocurrencies and the “blockchain” technology underpinning them will transform the way money is stored and transferred, upending the conventional banking system.

“Short-term pessimism misses the point that it [regulation] could make the ecosystem thrive in the long term,” said Charles Hayter, founder of London-based Cryptocompare.

International regulators are set to debate how to address the risks posed by the market at the next G20 meeting in March.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said this week that the G20 needed to consider how easily digital coins should be converted into other central-bank issued currencies, as well as the role of anonymity, as “a lot of the underlying use of these currencies has been illicit activity”.

Bitcoin rallied more than 1,000 percent last year as speculators piled in. The price was less than $500 as recently as early 2016.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Growdash
Started: July 2022
Founders: Sean Trevaskis and Enver Sorkun
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Restaurant technology
Funding so far: $750,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, Plus VC, Judah VC, TPN Investments and angel investors, including former Talabat chief executive Abdulhamid Alomar, and entrepreneur Zeid Husban

Anghami
Started: December 2011
Co-founders: Elie Habib, Eddy Maroun
Based: Beirut and Dubai
Sector: Entertainment
Size: 85 employees
Stage: Series C
Investors: MEVP, du, Mobily, MBC, Samena Capital

UAE Premiership

Results

Dubai Exiles 24-28 Jebel Ali Dragons
Abu Dhabi Harlequins 43-27 Dubai Hurricanes

Final
Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Jebel Ali Dragons, Friday, March 29, 5pm at The Sevens, Dubai

Martin Sabbagh profile

Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

Turkish Ladies

Various artists, Sony Music Turkey 

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

BMW M4 Competition

Engine: 3.0 twin-turbo inline six-cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed
Power: 503hp
Torque: 600Nm
Price: from Dh617,600
On sale: Now

Company Profile 

Founder: Omar Onsi

Launched: 2018

Employees: 35

Financing stage: Seed round ($12 million)

Investors: B&Y, Phoenician Funds, M1 Group, Shorooq Partners

Tightening the screw on rogue recruiters

The UAE overhauled the procedure to recruit housemaids and domestic workers with a law in 2017 to protect low-income labour from being exploited.

 Only recruitment companies authorised by the government are permitted as part of Tadbeer, a network of labour ministry-regulated centres.

A contract must be drawn up for domestic workers, the wages and job offer clearly stating the nature of work.

The contract stating the wages, work entailed and accommodation must be sent to the employee in their home country before they depart for the UAE.

The contract will be signed by the employer and employee when the domestic worker arrives in the UAE.

Only recruitment agencies registered with the ministry can undertake recruitment and employment applications for domestic workers.

Penalties for illegal recruitment in the UAE include fines of up to Dh100,000 and imprisonment

But agents not authorised by the government sidestep the law by illegally getting women into the country on visit visas.

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

The biog

Favourite book: You Are the Placebo – Making your mind matter, by Dr Joe Dispenza

Hobby: Running and watching Welsh rugby

Travel destination: Cyprus in the summer

Life goals: To be an aspirational and passionate University educator, enjoy life, be healthy and be the best dad possible.

What is cystic fibrosis?
  • Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs.
  • It causes the production of thick, sticky mucus that can clog the airways and lead to severe respiratory and digestive problems.
  • Patients with the condition are prone to lung infections and often suffer from chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Life expectancy for sufferers of cystic fibrosis is now around 50 years.
SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

A Cat, A Man, and Two Women
Junichiro
Tamizaki
Translated by Paul McCarthy
Daunt Books 

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

How it works

Each player begins with one of the great empires of history, from Julius Caesar's Rome to Ramses of Egypt, spread over Europe and the Middle East.

Round by round, the player expands their empire. The more land they have, the more money they can take from their coffers for each go.

As unruled land and soldiers are acquired, players must feed them. When a player comes up against land held by another army, they can choose to battle for supremacy.

A dice-based battle system is used and players can get the edge on their enemy with by deploying a renowned hero on the battlefield.

Players that lose battles and land will find their coffers dwindle and troops go hungry. The end goal? Global domination of course.

Results

Stage 4:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano (COL) Team UAE Emirates – 3hrs 50min 01sec
2. Olav Kooij (NED) Jumbo-Visma – ST
3. Sam Welsford (AUS) Team DSM) – ST
General Classification:
1. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
2. Lucas Plapp (AUS) Ineos Grenaders – 7″
3. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Bahrain Victorious – 11″

Dubai works towards better air quality by 2021

Dubai is on a mission to record good air quality for 90 per cent of the year – up from 86 per cent annually today – by 2021.

The municipality plans to have seven mobile air-monitoring stations by 2020 to capture more accurate data in hourly and daily trends of pollution.

These will be on the Palm Jumeirah, Al Qusais, Muhaisnah, Rashidiyah, Al Wasl, Al Quoz and Dubai Investment Park.

“It will allow real-time responding for emergency cases,” said Khaldoon Al Daraji, first environment safety officer at the municipality.

“We’re in a good position except for the cases that are out of our hands, such as sandstorms.

“Sandstorms are our main concern because the UAE is just a receiver.

“The hotspots are Iran, Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq, but we’re working hard with the region to reduce the cycle of sandstorm generation.”

Mr Al Daraji said monitoring as it stood covered 47 per cent of Dubai.

There are 12 fixed stations in the emirate, but Dubai also receives information from monitors belonging to other entities.

“There are 25 stations in total,” Mr Al Daraji said.

“We added new technology and equipment used for the first time for the detection of heavy metals.

“A hundred parameters can be detected but we want to expand it to make sure that the data captured can allow a baseline study in some areas to ensure they are well positioned.”

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.

The more serious side of specialty coffee

While the taste of beans and freshness of roast is paramount to the specialty coffee scene, so is sustainability and workers’ rights.

The bulk of genuine specialty coffee companies aim to improve on these elements in every stage of production via direct relationships with farmers. For instance, Mokha 1450 on Al Wasl Road strives to work predominantly with women-owned and -operated coffee organisations, including female farmers in the Sabree mountains of Yemen.

Because, as the boutique’s owner, Garfield Kerr, points out: “women represent over 90 per cent of the coffee value chain, but are woefully underrepresented in less than 10 per cent of ownership and management throughout the global coffee industry.”

One of the UAE’s largest suppliers of green (meaning not-yet-roasted) beans, Raw Coffee, is a founding member of the Partnership of Gender Equity, which aims to empower female coffee farmers and harvesters.

Also, globally, many companies have found the perfect way to recycle old coffee grounds: they create the perfect fertile soil in which to grow mushrooms. 

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now


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