Warren Buffett, left, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, started The Giving Pledge.
Warren Buffett, left, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, started The Giving Pledge.

Giving Pledge looks good, but does it have substance?

It has become this year's most prestigious rich list. If your name is not on it, you are either not a billionaire or, in the financier Ted Forstmann's words, you are both a billionaire and "a jerk".

So far, 58 billionaires have signed The Giving Pledge, an initiative made public by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett this year, whereby individuals or families pledge to give at least 50 per cent of their wealth to charitable causes.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, the world's youngest billionaire, is the most recent high-profile signatory, but Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and George Lucas are all on the list, and the AOL co-founder Steve Case and the former junk bond trader Michael Milken have also just signed up.

It is not unusual for the wealthiest Americans to commit so much to philanthropy, in a country where the prevailing view is that the job of looking after the most vulnerable in the society should not be achieved by the government levying more taxes on the rich but by the rich volunteering more cash from their own pockets. However, the scale of The Giving Pledge and the publicity that it has generated is unusual and in many quarters controversial.

What has this wave of pledging by America's super rich achieved? With 58 billionaires currently signed up, you could argue that that already represents a pretty good fund-raising drive.

But essentially, The Giving Pledge is just a high-profile statement of intent. The pledge represents a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract, and those pledging their wealth have only to say that they will commit these funds to philanthropy at some point during their lives or after they die.

Furthermore, although part of the idea is that The Giving Pledge will become a forum to exchange ideas about the best way to make philanthropy count, the emphasis is much more on who is donating than on how the cash will be disbursed.

The Giving Pledge neither pools funds nor supports particular causes. That is left to the individual, who is under no obligation to reveal what causes he or she supports.

These high-profile but vague avowals of support have generated much criticism.

Non-profit groups have expressed concern that there is no evidence that those who sign The Giving Pledge will specifically funnel cash to the most vulnerable in society - those who have been hit by cuts in government support and a decline in philanthropic giving during the recession.

Some who are part of The Giving Pledge have already made such a commitment: Mark Zuckerberg recently gave US$100 million (Dh367.3m) to the public school system of Newark, New Jersey. But overall, critics say The Giving Pledge offers no master plan, or indeed any plan, to solve society's problems.

And far-right advocacy groups are angered by what they see as an effort to press-gang the wealthy into parting with their money. The Ayn Rand Centre, a group modelled on the libertarian views of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, has criticized Mr Zuckerberg and the others who are part of The Giving Pledge as trying to make other business people feel guilty for trying to keep their money.

A September article in Forbesmagazine jointly written by the centre's executive director, Yaron Brook, and of its analysts, Don Watkins, argued: "The Pledge treats your wealth, not as a justly earned reward, but as a gift from society - one that came with plenty of strings attached. The message is: Fulfil the obligation that came with your riches, give your wealth away - or hide your face in shame."

Of course, if this initiative succeeds in galvanising other wealthy potential philanthropists into action, even if their motivation is the positive publicity and the opportunity to avoid looking like shame-faced jerks, many would consider that a very good thing.

But beyond this, it is almost impossible to assess what the real-world impact of The Giving Pledge will be.


Friday Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo (Kick-off midnight UAE)

Saturday Levante v Getafe (5pm), Sevilla v Real Madrid (7.15pm), Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid (9.30pm), Cadiz v Barcelona (midnight)

Sunday Granada v Huesca (5pm), Osasuna v Real Betis (7.15pm), Villarreal v Elche (9.30pm), Alaves v Real Sociedad (midnight)

Monday Eibar v Valencia (midnight)

Gulf Under 19s final

Dubai College A 50-12 Dubai College B



Emirates Cricket Board Women’s T10

ECB Hawks v ECB Falcons

Monday, April 6, 7.30pm, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

The match will be broadcast live on the My Sports Eye Facebook page



Coach: Chaitrali Kalgutkar

Squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Archara Supriya, Chamani Senevirathne, Chathurika Anand, Geethika Jyothis, Indhuja Nandakumar, Kashish Loungani, Khushi Sharma, Khushi Tanwar, Rinitha Rajith, Siddhi Pagarani, Siya Gokhale, Subha Srinivasan, Suraksha Kotte, Theertha Satish



Coach: Najeeb Amar

Squad: Kavisha Kumari (captain), Almaseera Jahangir, Annika Shivpuri, Archisha Mukherjee, Judit Cleetus, Ishani Senavirathne, Lavanya Keny, Mahika Gaur, Malavika Unnithan, Rishitha Rajith, Rithika Rajith, Samaira Dharnidharka, Shashini Kaluarachchi, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi, Vaishnave Mahesh



Zayed Centre for Research

The Zayed Centre for Research is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and was made possible thanks to a generous £60 million gift in 2014 from Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.


UAE group fixtures (all in St Kitts)
Saturday 15 January: v Canada
Thursday 20 January: v England
Saturday 22 January: v Bangladesh

UAE squad
Alishan Sharafu (captain), Shival Bawa, Jash Giyanani, Sailles Jaishankar, Nilansh Keswani, Aayan Khan, Punya Mehra, Ali Naseer, Ronak Panoly, Dhruv Parashar, Vinayak Raghavan, Soorya Sathish, Aryansh Sharma, Adithya Shetty, Kai Smith


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz


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

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

Masters of the Air

Directors: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Dee Rees, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Tim Van Patten

Starring: Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Barry Keoghan, Sawyer Spielberg

Rating: 2/5

Tour de France 2017: Stage 5

Vittel - La Planche de Belles Filles, 160.5km

It is a shorter stage, but one that will lead to a brutal uphill finish. This is the third visit in six editions since it was introduced to the race in 2012. Reigning champion Chris Froome won that race.


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

School counsellors on mental well-being

Schools counsellors in Abu Dhabi have put a number of provisions in place to help support pupils returning to the classroom next week.

Many children will resume in-person lessons for the first time in 10 months and parents previously raised concerns about the long-term effects of distance learning.

Schools leaders and counsellors said extra support will be offered to anyone that needs it. Additionally, heads of years will be on hand to offer advice or coping mechanisms to ease any concerns.

“Anxiety this time round has really spiralled, more so than from the first lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Priya Mitchell, counsellor at The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi.

“Some have got used to being at home don’t want to go back, while others are desperate to get back.

“We have seen an increase in depressive symptoms, especially with older pupils, and self-harm is starting younger.

“It is worrying and has taught us how important it is that we prioritise mental well-being.”

Ms Mitchell said she was liaising more with heads of year so they can support and offer advice to pupils if the demand is there.

The school will also carry out mental well-being checks so they can pick up on any behavioural patterns and put interventions in place to help pupils.

At Raha International School, the well-being team has provided parents with assessment surveys to see how they can support students at home to transition back to school.

“They have created a Well-being Resource Bank that parents have access to on information on various domains of mental health for students and families,” a team member said.

“Our pastoral team have been working with students to help ease the transition and reduce anxiety that [pupils] may experience after some have been nearly a year off campus.

"Special secondary tutorial classes have also focused on preparing students for their return; going over new guidelines, expectations and daily schedules.”

The biog

From: Upper Egypt

Age: 78

Family: a daughter in Egypt; a son in Dubai and his wife, Nabila

Favourite Abu Dhabi activity: walking near to Emirates Palace

Favourite building in Abu Dhabi: Emirates Palace

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