Gavin Basma-Kwas believes it is important to have a savings plan. Ravindranath K / The National
Gavin Basma-Kwas believes it is important to have a savings plan. Ravindranath K / The National

Money & Me: A globetrotter’s sensible view



Gavin Basma-Kwas is the investment director at Beehive UAE, the country’s first peer-to-peer online lending platform. The Englishman, 35, grew up in Australia before moving back to the UK in his twenties. After seven years working in London for a multinational finance firm, he moved to Dubai with his family in 2014.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

My paternal grandfather emigrated to the UK during the Second World War and arrived with nothing. He worked extremely hard to provide for his children – values that he passed down to my father. Both of my parents were a big influence on me. They taught me to save from a young age. I started working at the age of seven. I had three jobs and I was earning £13.25 (Dh61) fortnightly – to be precise. Since then I always had two jobs right the way through university and into my late twenties.

Are you a spender or saver?

I like to think I am a bit of both. If I have a specific goal in mind I can be very disciplined. When I was 17, I paid my brother back his car loan in nine months as opposed to the agreed 24, albeit with some sacrifices along the way. Suffice to say I was living off baked beans for a while.

What is your most cherished purchase?

When I was 25, I gave up my full- time job and travelled to 17 places around the world on my own. I will be encouraging my children to do the same when they are older. I think these are the experiences which shape us and give us a different outlook on life.

Have you ever had a month when you feared you could not pay the bills?

I have never really been like this, it is not in my DNA. I always make sure that I have a bit of reserve.

Where do you save?

Nowadays there are many different forms of savings, from bank accounts to pensions, property investment plus alternate investments. My strategy is to have a good mix. I tend to always have a plan I am working towards so gear my savings accordingly.

What has been your best investment?

I would have to say a combination of my trip around the world and some properties I purchased after the financial crash in London. Then of course my two lovely children with my wife. Finally, not strictly a financial investment but in our future was my move to Beehive. I needed a change in career and it came about at the right time. I see some fantastic SME companies in the UAE with excellent management and if I can be there to help them grow and develop then I am proud of that.

What do you most regret spending money on?

I am generally careful when I spend, so I can’t really say I regret anything I have purchased. You often get the odd small things, but nothing major.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

I believe that it is important to have a savings plan from a young age. My parents used to always make me save half of my pocket money. So for any extra special present they would pay half and the rest would come from my savings. It gave me a good grounding for understanding the value of money and that it doesn’t grow on trees. Finally on some investments it is better to win small than wait and not win at all. On both a property I owned and shares, I waited a little extra time to see if I could make even more but the opposite happened.

Do you have a plan for the future?

My plan is to develop my career further within Beehive both nat­ionally and internationally. I am also keen to support and mentor UAE starts ups and SMEs from the experience I have gained. In the longer term, one day I would like to have my own business. I really enjoy the UAE lifestyle for the diverse range of cultures, the outdoor lifestyle and the safety aspect. It is a fantastic time to be growing a business here with the positive outlook of the country’s leadership and the focus on innovation.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company profile

Company name: Tuhoon
Year started: June 2021
Co-founders: Fares Ghandour, Dr Naif Almutawa, Aymane Sennoussi
Based: Riyadh
Sector: health care
Size: 15 employees, $250,000 in revenue
Investment stage: seed
Investors: Wamda Capital, Nuwa Capital, angel investors

SPEC SHEET

Processor: Apple M2, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Silver, space grey, starlight, midnight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W or 35W dual-port power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable

Price: From Dh4,999

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

RESULT

Argentina 0 Croatia 3
Croatia: 
Rebic (53'), Modric (80'), Rakitic (90'+1)

SPECS

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

World Food Day

Celebrated on October 16, to coincide with the founding date of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Day aims to tackle issues such as hunger, food security, food waste and the environmental impact of food production.

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre supercharged V8

Power: 712hp at 6,100rpm

Torque: 881Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 19.6 l/100km

Price: Dh380,000

On sale: now

The specs: 2018 BMW X2 and X3

Price, as tested: Dh255,150 (X2); Dh383,250 (X3)

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder (X2); 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder (X3)

Power 192hp @ 5,000rpm (X2); 355hp @ 5,500rpm (X3)

Torque: 280Nm @ 1,350rpm (X2); 500Nm @ 1,520rpm (X3)

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic (X2); Eight-speed automatic (X3)

Fuel consumption, combined: 5.7L / 100km (X2); 8.3L / 100km (X3)

FA Cup semi-finals

Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, 8.15pm (UAE)
Sunday: Chelsea v Southampton, 6pm (UAE)

Matches on Bein Sports

TECH SPECS: APPLE WATCH SERIES 8

Display: 41mm, 352 x 430; 45mm, 396 x 484; Retina LTPO OLED, up to 1000 nits, always-on; Ion-X glass

Processor: Apple S8, W3 wireless, U1 ultra-wideband

Capacity: 32GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 9

Health metrics: 3rd-gen heart rate sensor, temperature sensing, ECG, blood oxygen, workouts, fall/crash detection; emergency SOS, international emergency calling

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h, wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 8, magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Elmawkaa
Based: Hub71, Abu Dhabi
Founders: Ebrahem Anwar, Mahmoud Habib and Mohamed Thabet
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $400,000
Investors: 500 Startups, Flat6Labs and angel investors
Number of employees: 12

Fighting with My Family

Director: Stephen Merchant 

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Florence Pugh, Thomas Whilley, Tori Ellen Ross, Jack Lowden, Olivia Bernstone, Elroy Powell        

Four stars

How the UAE gratuity payment is calculated now

Employees leaving an organisation are entitled to an end-of-service gratuity after completing at least one year of service.

The tenure is calculated on the number of days worked and does not include lengthy leave periods, such as a sabbatical. If you have worked for a company between one and five years, you are paid 21 days of pay based on your final basic salary. After five years, however, you are entitled to 30 days of pay. The total lump sum you receive is based on the duration of your employment.

1. For those who have worked between one and five years, on a basic salary of Dh10,000 (calculation based on 30 days):

a. Dh10,000 ÷ 30 = Dh333.33. Your daily wage is Dh333.33

b. Dh333.33 x 21 = Dh7,000. So 21 days salary equates to Dh7,000 in gratuity entitlement for each year of service. Multiply this figure for every year of service up to five years.

2. For those who have worked more than five years

c. 333.33 x 30 = Dh10,000. So 30 days’ salary is Dh10,000 in gratuity entitlement for each year of service.

Note: The maximum figure cannot exceed two years total salary figure.

Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m, Winner: Zalman, Pat Cosgrave (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Hisham Al Khalediah II, Fernando Jara, Mohamed Daggash.

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh85,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Qader, Adrie de Vries, Jean de Roualle

6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Championship Listed (PA) Dh180,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Mujeeb, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: AF Majalis, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh90,000 (T) 1,600m, Winner: Shanaghai City, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly

8pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 1,400m, Winner: Nayslayer, Bernardo Pinheiro, Jaber Ramadhan

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

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

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

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