Time to ring the changes at DFM with new bell



We’ve all become quite familiar now with the bell-ringing ceremony that ushers in the first day of trading in a security at the Dubai Financial Market, and what jolly events they are.

You get a chance to chat to some of the big wheels in the Dubai financial scene, make new contacts and reinforce old ones in an atmosphere that is – usually – upbeat and celebratory. Nothing like the feelgood of a successful market listing to make people chatty and convivial – and looser than ever with interesting information.

But there have been so many of these events this year, what with the string of IPOs, sukuk and bond issues, that some of the participants might be expected to be growing a little tired of them, although I see no sign so far that bell fatigue had set in.

In particular, Essa Kazim, the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre whose presence is usually obligatory at the ceremonies, is bearing up stoically to the demands of so much clanging, although I swear his biceps are noticeably bigger over the past year of waving all that heavy brass around.

I’ve never had any doubts about the exercise as a good bit of PR, until this week with the Amanat ceremony.

The bell ringers looked edgy and uncertain from the moment they appeared on the little balcony above the main DFM trading floor. Perhaps they were unnerved by the fall in global markets as a result of the plunging oil price, maybe they had already caught wind of the “sell” orders that must have been building up in the DFM trading system ahead of Amanat’s formal debut.

The event just seemed a little less glamorous, less self-confident than before.

And then it struck me: it was the bell. I'd never spotted it before, but the DFM bell is quite clearly out of place in the modern Dubai financial scene.

It’s like one of those instruments I remember from school days so many years ago, a hand-held, brass affair with a wooden handle that told me it was time to start lessons for the day, or called me in from break time. I don’t have very good memories of that kind of bell.

I’m sure the DFM has a reason for using such an antiquated bit of kit. Perhaps it’s modelled on the very similar brass bell used to open business at the New York Stock Exchange for many years.

But the NYSE has experimented with several different sounds over the centuries: a Chinese gong and different calibres of bells have all been used, as well as the wooden gavel that is still used to signal the end of trading.

Nowadays, the commencement of trading is signalled by different kinds of bell in different parts of the sprawling NYSE trading floor, but they are all rung at the touch of a button, rather than by hand. London has a similar set-up.

Dubai’s needs as the hub of financial business in the fast-growing Arabian Gulf are different to those of the NYSE or London.

There, they want to emphasise their longevity and heritage. In Dubai, I believe the market authorities should be celebrating modernity, innovation and vision above all other qualities.

So it’s time for a new bell at the DFM. Or maybe a revolutionary new kind of opening technique, more in keeping with the emirate’s glitzy image.

A bigger bell in solid gold, perhaps, permanently mounted in a high-profile spot and operated by an up-to-the-minute electronic mechanism? It could be a thing of beauty, and a declaration of intent by DFM policymakers.

fkane@thenational.ae

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How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
The stats and facts

1.9 million women are at risk of developing cervical cancer in the UAE

80% of people, females and males, will get human papillomavirus (HPV) once in their lifetime

Out of more than 100 types of HPV, 14 strains are cancer-causing

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A five-year survival rate of close to 96% can be achieved with regular screenings for cervical cancer detection

Women aged 25 to 29 should get a Pap smear every three years

Women aged 30 to 65 should do a Pap smear and HPV test every five years

Children aged 13 and above should get the HPV vaccine

A QUIET PLACE

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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
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Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Cinema

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“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
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Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
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Started: 2017
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Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

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Favourite Meal: Chicken Caesar salad

Hobbies: Travelling, going to the gym

Inspiration: Father, who was a captain in the UAE army

Favourite read: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

Favourite film: The Founder, about the establishment of McDonald's

Company profile

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Founders: Padmini Gupta, Milind Singh, Mandeep Singh 

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Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch auto

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Date started: January 2022
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Sector: PropTech / investment
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Stage: Seed
Investors: Multiple


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