Keeping the peace key to keeping a thriving economy



Driving down Khaleej Al Arabi Street in Abu Dhabi this week was like driving through the set of the next Die Hard movie.

Grey helicopter gunships buzzed the highway in pairs. Naval patrol vessels, tooled up and kitted out with diamond-shaped Radar towers were being tied up at the water's edge by teams of smart sailors in UAE naval uniform just feet from the hard shoulder.

The bleacher-lined arena in front of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre had its perimeter draped with cargo netting and camouflage scrim so that it looked like an impromptu black ops base set up by the roadside.

A few miles further on, towards Zayed Military City, and groups of soldiers in desert fatigues ran in platoon formation across the sands as camouflaged trucks and armoured personnel vehicles whizzed about. Above them, Air Force jets soared while a cargo plane prepared to land at Abu Dhabi airport.

There was nothing to worry about, of course. The extensive mobilisation of all three branches of the UAE Armed Forces at once did not mean an invasion force was headed up to Bab Al Bahr. No, this bristling display of military prowess was all in preparation for Idex, the much-anticipated International Defence Exhibition, taking place next week in Abu Dhabi and centred around the National Exhibition Centre.

And if the preparations were anything to go by, it promises to be quite a show.

There will be daily "choreographed displays" taking place on the water and on a purpose-built demonstration track, with the Grand Opening Day Parade on Sunday expected to be the highlight.

But none of this pomp and circumstance would be possible, or indeed worthwhile, had the UAE's defence industry not developed so rapidly in recent years.

From humble beginnings, the offset programme transformed into the Tawazun Economic Council, which just six years ago spawned Tawazun, a corporate umbrella housing technologically advanced manufacturers and designers, each of which is partnered with at least one international defence contractor.

The Emirates has one of the highest per capita defence budgets in the world, but all this development is not just about military might. It's about a rapid evolution of an industry that involves engineering, design, manufacturing and marketing.

It is about education, training, apprenticeships, scholarships and employment.

About 60 per cent of the workforce engaged with Tawazun projects are Emirati and almost all of them are receiving world-class education and vocational training to equip them for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

This and the creation of a self-sufficient national defence force to protect the UAE's borders are noble and necessary causes indeed, but they are only half the story told by the companies and agencies on display at Idex.

As people of this region know too well, in the wrong hands such hardware and know-how has the opposite effect to that which the UAE is working so hard to promote.

Far from creating economic opportunity and building an economy based on high-tech innovation and manufacturing, conflict is purely a destructive force.

One need only look to our neighbours in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan for evidence of this.

A couple of years ago I came across a study of the economic cost of conflict by Strategic Foresight Group, an Indian think tank.

The organisation produced a strikingly detailed account of conflict in the Middle East from 1991 to 2010 and concluded that the various civil campaigns had cost the countries of the region as much as US$13 trillion (Dn47.75tn) in lost economic opportunity.

It seems the bigger the economy, the more opportunity is lost during regional conflict.

On this basis, "The opportunity cost for 1991-2010 appeared largest for Saudi Arabia at $4.5tn or one third of the total opportunity loss incurred by 13 countries in the region," the report claimed.

However, compared with the size of its economy, Iraq suffered the largest loss with the Strategic Foresight calculations showing that the country's GDP could have been more than 30 times its present size had it not been for a decade of war on its soil.

China and the United States, the most successful economies on Earth, have been involved in many conflicts in the past century, but not at home.

Pearl Harbor aside, America has never fought a war on its home turf. Since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1950, China has enjoyed relative peace at home - discounting border wars with India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979.

Not having to cope with the destruction and distraction of domestic conflict has allowed both economies to flourish almost unhindered.

There are many more human arguments in opposition to war but cold, hard economics is not so easy to ignore. Keeping the peace, it seems, is the only way to prosperity. This maxim should be remembered at Idex next week and beyond.

Hili 2: Unesco World Heritage site

The site is part of the Hili archaeological park in Al Ain. Excavations there have proved the existence of the earliest known agricultural communities in modern-day UAE. Some date to the Bronze Age but Hili 2 is an Iron Age site. The Iron Age witnessed the development of the falaj, a network of channels that funnelled water from natural springs in the area. Wells allowed settlements to be established, but falaj meant they could grow and thrive. Unesco, the UN's cultural body, awarded Al Ain's sites - including Hili 2 - world heritage status in 2011. Now the most recent dig at the site has revealed even more about the skilled people that lived and worked there.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

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

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

The specs

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 194hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 275Nm from 2,000-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Price: from Dh155,000

On sale: now

Game Of Thrones Season Seven: A Bluffers Guide

Want to sound on message about the biggest show on television without actually watching it? Best not to get locked into the labyrinthine tales of revenge and royalty: as Isaac Hempstead Wright put it, all you really need to know from now on is that there’s going to be a huge fight between humans and the armies of undead White Walkers.

The season ended with a dragon captured by the Night King blowing apart the huge wall of ice that separates the human world from its less appealing counterpart. Not that some of the humans in Westeros have been particularly appealing, either.

Anyway, the White Walkers are now free to cause any kind of havoc they wish, and as Liam Cunningham told us: “Westeros may be zombie land after the Night King has finished.” If the various human factions don’t put aside their differences in season 8, we could be looking at The Walking Dead: The Medieval Years.

The Afghan connection

The influx of talented young Afghan players to UAE cricket could have a big impact on the fortunes of both countries. Here are three Emirates-based players to watch out for.

Hassan Khan Eisakhil
Mohammed Nabi is still proving his worth at the top level but there is another reason he is raging against the idea of retirement. If the allrounder hangs on a little bit longer, he might be able to play in the same team as his son, Hassan Khan. The family live in Ajman and train in Sharjah.

Masood Gurbaz
The opening batter, who trains at Sharjah Cricket Academy, is another player who is a part of a famous family. His brother, Rahmanullah, was an IPL winner with Kolkata Knight Riders, and opens the batting with distinction for Afghanistan.

Omid Rahman
The fast bowler became a pioneer earlier this year when he became the first Afghan to represent the UAE. He showed great promise in doing so, too, playing a key role in the senior team’s qualification for the Asia Cup in Muscat recently.

Keep it fun and engaging

Stuart Ritchie, director of wealth advice at AES International, says children cannot learn something overnight, so it helps to have a fun routine that keeps them engaged and interested.

“I explain to my daughter that the money I draw from an ATM or the money on my bank card doesn’t just magically appear – it’s money I have earned from my job. I show her how this works by giving her little chores around the house so she can earn pocket money,” says Mr Ritchie.

His daughter is allowed to spend half of her pocket money, while the other half goes into a bank account. When this money hits a certain milestone, Mr Ritchie rewards his daughter with a small lump sum.

He also recommends books that teach the importance of money management for children, such as The Squirrel Manifesto by Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman.

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Visit Abu Dhabi culinary team's top Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Yadoo’s House Restaurant+& Cafe

For the karak and Yoodo's house platter with includes eggs, balaleet, khamir and chebab bread.

Golden Dallah

For the cappuccino, luqaimat and aseeda.

Al Mrzab Restaurant

For the shrimp murabian and Kuwaiti options including Kuwaiti machboos with kebab and spicy sauce.

Al Derwaza

For the fish hubul, regag bread, biryani and special seafood soup. 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Bedu

Started: 2021

Founders: Khaled Al Huraimel, Matti Zinder, Amin Al Zarouni

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: AI, metaverse, Web3 and blockchain

Funding: Currently in pre-seed round to raise $5 million to $7 million

Investors: Privately funded

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS WITHIN THE THREE MAJOR CATEGORIES?

Advanced materials: specifically engineered to exhibit novel or enhanced properties, that confer superior performance relative to conventional materials

Advanced components: includes semiconductor components, such as microprocessors and other computer chips, and computer vision components such as lenses and image sensors

Advanced products: includes personal electronics, smart home devices and space technologies, along with industry-enabling products such as robots, 3D printing equipment and exoskeletons

Source: Strategy&

'The Sky is Everywhere'

Director:Josephine Decker

Stars:Grace Kaufman, Pico Alexander, Jacques Colimon

Rating:2/5

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat
KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

COMPANY PROFILE

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