DIFC Courts said it forged an early-stage agreement with the University of Oxford's China Centre in the UK to investigate possible barriers to Arabian Gulf and other investment in China's $5 trillion Belt and Road Initiative. The two parties want to ensure that cross-border Belt and Road disputes can be handled and enforced effectively. Sarah Dea / The National
DIFC Courts said it forged an early-stage agreement with the University of Oxford's China Centre in the UK to investigate possible barriers to Arabian Gulf and other investment in China's $5 trillion Show more

DIFC Courts in bid to support firms trading on China’s Belt and Road



Dubai International Financial Centre’s judicial authority signed an early-stage agreement with the University of Oxford to research legal and contract issues hindering Arabian Gulf and other investment in China’s $5 trillion-plus “belt and road” initiative, the two parties said on Sunday.

“We are looking at practical solutions for the future of dispute resolution for one of the world’s most ambitious projects,” Michael Hwang, chief justice of DIFC Courts and head of the DIFC’s Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA), said in a statement.

“Belt & Road goods and services will seamlessly cross borders as they travel the world, so we need a seamless legal platform, based on legal convergence, that can do the same.”

Under the preliminary agreement between the DRA (which incorporates DIFC Courts) and the University of Oxford’s China Centre, the two parties will look at how to protect large-scale investments by linking China and the world’s court systems.

They will also explore the development of judicial systems – including arbitration, a method of resolving disputes out of court – relevant to the investment opportunities created by the belt and road initiative, also known as ‘BRI’. “In particular, BRI countries need to find ways in which judgments and awards issued from each BRI country or territory can be enforced in other BRI countries,” DIFC Courts said in the statement.

Launched in 2013 as “One Belt, One Road”, the initiative involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries located along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe. China is spending around $150 billion per year in the 72 countries that have signed up to the scheme. All of the six GCC countries, including the UAE, have signed up.

China is the UAE's biggest trading partner, with UAE-China bilateral trade crossing $35bn in the first nine months of 2017. The two countries are seeking increased economic collaboration, with the UAE introducing visa-on-arrival for Chinese tourists last year, and China reciprocating at the start of 2018.

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Abu Dhabi strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company, together with its partners in China, committed $1bn this month towards around 10 opportunities as part of its $10bn joint investment fund with Beijing. These initiatives are part of the emirate’s plans to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons.

DIFC Courts is a common law jurisdiction that hears cases from all across the world, including through its new virtual courts system. As more investment flows into the BRI region, helping parties solve complex cross-border commercial conflicts is increasingly important, it said.

The agreement with Oxford’s China Centre will initially seek to pool expertise on the legal guarantees, protections and contract enforcement needed for Chinese and international investors to participate in the initiative. “Gathering such knowledge is the first step, hopefully, to legal convergence of some degree within the BRI region,” DIFC Courts said.

“The opportunities of the belt and road initiative are substantial, but so are the potential legal complexities and risks,” added Professor Rana Mitter, director of the China Centre. A 2016 survey by Lexis Nexis and the China Institute of Corporate and Legal Affairs reported that nearly half of respondent Chinese firms engaged on BRI deals faced legal challenges, he added.

To date, BRI projects worth an estimated $350bn have been financed, mainly by Chinese development banks. To encourage foreign investment, robust dispute resolution systems and transnational enforcement mechanisms – including guarantees that money can be collected after winning a case in a foreign court – must be put in place to foster legal certainty and investor confidence, according to DIFC Courts.

“The answer is to make sure that when a dispute is resolved, court systems can deliver a judgment that can be executed across the full extent of the belt and road,” said Mr Hwang. “Building up connectivity and enforceability will remove many of the roadblocks that could threaten the success of the BRI.”

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Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB

Platform: Android 13, One UI 5.1.1

Main camera: Dual 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP wide (f/1.8), OIS

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In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh3,899 / Dh4,349

Winners

Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Best Women's Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

Best Men's Club of the Year: Chelsea

Best Women's Club of the Year: Barcelona

Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)

Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

BABYLON

Director: Damien Chazelle

Stars: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart

Rating: 4/5

Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines
Jonathan Miller, Scribe Publications

SPECS

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SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
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The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8

Power: 611bhp

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Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: upon application

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'Avengers: Infinity War'
Dir: The Russo Brothers
Starring: Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Robert Downey Junior, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen
Four stars

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

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

Kalra's feat
  • Becomes fifth batsman to score century in U19 final
  • Becomes second Indian to score century in U19 final after Unmukt Chand in 2012
  • Scored 122 in youth Test on tour of England
  • Bought by Delhi Daredevils for base price of two million Indian rupees (Dh115,000) in 2018 IPL auction
The finalists

Player of the Century, 2001-2020: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Ronaldinho

Coach of the Century, 2001-2020: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid), Sir Alex Ferguson

Club of the Century, 2001-2020: Al Ahly (Egypt), Bayern Munich (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain)

Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Club of the Year: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Real Madrid

Coach of the Year: Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta), Hans-Dieter Flick (Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

Agent of the Century, 2001-2020: Giovanni Branchini, Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola

Emiratisation at work

Emiratisation was introduced in the UAE more than 10 years ago

It aims to boost the number of citizens in the workforce particularly in the private sector.

Growing the number of Emiratis in the workplace will help the UAE reduce dependence on overseas workers

The Cabinet in December last year, approved a national fund for Emirati jobseekers and guaranteed citizens working in the private sector a comparable pension

President Sheikh Khalifa has described Emiratisation as “a true measure for success”.

During the UAE’s 48th National Day, Sheikh Khalifa named education, entrepreneurship, Emiratisation and space travel among cornerstones of national development

More than 80 per cent of Emiratis work in the federal or local government as per 2017 statistics

The Emiratisation programme includes the creation of 20,000 new jobs for UAE citizens

UAE citizens will be given priority in managerial positions in the government sphere

The purpose is to raise the contribution of UAE nationals in the job market and create a diverse workforce of citizens

if you go

The flights

Emirates have direct flights from Dubai to Glasgow from Dh3,115. Alternatively, if you want to see a bit of Edinburgh first, then you can fly there direct with Etihad from Abu Dhabi.

The hotel

Located in the heart of Mackintosh's Glasgow, the Dakota Deluxe is perhaps the most refined hotel anywhere in the city. Doubles from Dh850

 Events and tours

There are various Mackintosh specific events throughout 2018 – for more details and to see a map of his surviving designs see glasgowmackintosh.com

For walking tours focussing on the Glasgow Style, see the website of the Glasgow School of Art. 

More information

For ideas on planning a trip to Scotland, visit www.visitscotland.com

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Vault
Started: June 2023
Co-founders: Bilal Abou-Diab and Sami Abdul Hadi
Based: Abu Dhabi
Licensed by: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Industry: Investment and wealth advisory
Funding: $1 million
Investors: Outliers VC and angel investors
Number of employees: 14

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

BLACKBERRY

Director: Matt Johnson

Stars: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson

Rating: 4/5

FIGHT INFO

Men’s 60kg Round 1:

Ahmad Shuja Jamal (AFG) beat Krisada Takhiankliang (THA) - points 
Hyan Aljmyah (SYR) beat Akram Alyminee (YEM) - retired Round 1
Ibrahim Bilal (UAE) beat Bhanu Pratap Pandit (IND) - TKO Round 1

Men’s 71kg Round 1:
Seyed Kaveh Soleyman (IRI) beat Abedel Rahman (JOR) - RSC round 3.
Amine Al Moatassime (UAE) walk over Ritiz Puri (NEP)

CRICKET WORLD CUP QUALIFIER, ZIMBABWE

UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Earth under attack: Cosmic impacts throughout history

4.5 billion years ago: Mars-sized object smashes into the newly-formed Earth, creating debris that coalesces to form the Moon

- 66 million years ago: 10km-wide asteroid crashes into the Gulf of Mexico, wiping out over 70 per cent of living species – including the dinosaurs.

50,000 years ago: 50m-wide iron meteor crashes in Arizona with the violence of 10 megatonne hydrogen bomb, creating the famous 1.2km-wide Barringer Crater

1490: Meteor storm over Shansi Province, north-east China when large stones “fell like rain”, reportedly leading to thousands of deaths.  

1908: 100-metre meteor from the Taurid Complex explodes near the Tunguska river in Siberia with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs, devastating 2,000 square kilometres of forest.

1998: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 breaks apart and crashes into Jupiter in series of impacts that would have annihilated life on Earth.

-2013: 10,000-tonne meteor burns up over the southern Urals region of Russia, releasing a pressure blast and flash that left over 1600 people injured.

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Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Deepak Dobriyal, Zoya Hussain

Rating: 2/5

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
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Transmission: Rear-mounted eight-speed auto
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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

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5pm: Maiden (PA) | Dh80,000 | 1,200 metres

Winner: Jabalini, Szczepan Mazur (jockey), Younis Kalbani (trainer)

5.30pm: UAE Arabian Derby (PA) | Prestige | Dh150,000 | 2,200m

Winner: Octave, Gerald Avranche, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm: Arabian Triple Crown Round 3 (PA) | Group 3 Dh300,000 | 2,200m

Winner: Harrab, Richard Mullen, Mohamed Ali

6.30pm: Emirates Championship (PA) | Group 1 | Dh1million | 2,200m

Winner: BF Mughader, Szczepan Mazur, Younis Al Kalbani

7pm: Abu Dhabi Championship (TB) | Group 3 | Dh380,000 | 2,200m

Winner: GM Hopkins, Patrick Cosgrave, Jaber Ramadhan

7.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup (PA) | Conditions | Dh70,000 | 1,600m

Winner: AF La’Asae, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

Rooney's club record

At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

Britain's travel restrictions
  • A negative test 2 days before flying
  • Complete passenger locator form
  • Book a post-arrival PCR test
  • Double-vaccinated must self-isolate
  • 11 countries on red list quarantine

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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


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