A Dewa employee tapes the main power cable that has been disconnected at a villa in Jafliya earlier this year. Dubai has decided to freeze power and water prices for a few years. Jeff Topping / The National
A Dewa employee tapes the main power cable that has been disconnected at a villa in Jafliya earlier this year. Dubai has decided to freeze power and water prices for a few years. Jeff Topping / The NaShow more

Power price freeze cools bold ambitions



Businesses cheered Dubai's decision this week to freeze power and water prices for the next few years.

The move, however, represents an abrupt U-turn in the emirate's energy strategy.

As recently as last month, the emirate's Supreme Council of Energy, a policymaking body, warned that utility tariffs would rise with the cost of fuel.

"Higher prices from 2010 will be passed to the consumers," Nejib Zaafrani, the council's chief executive, told a forum. "The cost of energy counts."

The cost of producing electricity in Dubai hinges on the price it pays for natural gas, most of which Abu Dhabi supplies at subsidised rates through its national oil company and the Dolphin Energy joint venture.

Dubai must buy the remainder on the open market, where international supplies cost about 10 times as much.

The state utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) already sells electricity and water below the cost of producing it, although there is no agreement on the level of the subsidy.

If gas prices rise and consumers interpret the steady tariffs as a green light to keep their air-conditioning units running at full blast, the gap between the cost of producing power and revenues from selling it will widen. "The option they've got is for they themselves to pay the difference," says Hannes Reinisch, a regional energy consultant at Deloitte in Abu Dhabi.

The announcement comes after other efforts this year to fix the price of food and prescription drugs.

The price freeze signals a shift in Dubai and Dewa, which until this week seemed more eager to operate like a private enterprise.

Dewa pushed forward two price increases, one in 2008 - the first in a decade - and another this year.

It also revived plans for Hassyan, which would be its first public-private power and water plant, and sent representatives abroad to drum up enthusiasm to finance the US$1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) project. In April, the utility hosted Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, to discuss "opportunities for investment in the energy sector".

The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's acknowledged Dewa's improved financial outlook last year by upgrading its rating of a Dewa bond from junk status.

This week's promise to freeze tariffs raises the question of how Dewa will proceed with ambitious projects such as Hassyan or a modern "clean-coal" plant scheduled to fire up in five years.

Dewa had hoped for companies not only to build the plants, but to take on part-ownership and assist with a chunk of the financing. But investors need to know that every kilowatt of electricity sold to the Dubai grid will get a good return.

The price freeze also places Dubai's renewable energy targets - including sourcing 1 per cent of its power from solar power in the next decade - farther from reach.

The Supreme Council of Energy had agreed to study ways to deploy a subsidy for renewable energy known as a feed-in tariff.

That, plus efforts to cut electricity use by 30 per cent by 2020, rely on raising the price of traditional gas-generated power.

"We are cheaper than the United States. We are cheaper than every country in Europe," Mr Zaafrani said last month. "The most energy-efficient country in Europe has the highest energy cost."

The price freeze could set back Dubai's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Another potential loser, however, is Abu Dhabi fossil fuels investment.

The larger emirate has embarked on a $10bn development called Shah that will extract some of the world's most challenging reserves - gas laced with potentially deadly sulphur.

That requires expensive infrastructure to remove the sulphur and turn it into pellets Abu Dhabi hopes to sell.

The task of transporting those pellets from the desert to the coast is part of the logic behind plans for the UAE's first railway.

Such investments require a guarantee of good revenues. If Dubai sits on its power prices long enough, producers such as Abu Dhabi could become less eager to put down the money.

The Mandalorian season 3 episode 1

Director: Rick Famuyiwa

Stars: Pedro Pascal and Katee Sackhoff

Rating: 4/5 

RESULTS

6pm: Mazrat Al Ruwayah – Group 2 (PA) $40,000 (Dirt) 1,600m
Winner: AF Alajaj, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)

6.35pm: Race of Future – Handicap (TB) $80,000 (Turf) 2,410m
Winner: Global Storm, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

7.10pm: UAE 2000 Guineas – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Azure Coast, Antonio Fresu, Pavel Vashchenko

7.45pm: Business Bay Challenge – Listed (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Storm Damage, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor

20.20pm: Curlin Stakes – Listed (TB) $100,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Appreciated, Fernando Jara, Doug O’Neill

8.55pm: Singspiel Stakes – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,800m
Winner: Lord Glitters, Daniel Tudhope, David O'Meara

9.30pm: Al Shindagha Sprint – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Meraas, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

Top 10 most polluted cities
  1. Bhiwadi, India
  2. Ghaziabad, India
  3. Hotan, China
  4. Delhi, India
  5. Jaunpur, India
  6. Faisalabad, Pakistan
  7. Noida, India
  8. Bahawalpur, Pakistan
  9. Peshawar, Pakistan
  10. Bagpat, India
ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder mild hybrid
Transmission: 7-speed S tronic
Power: 265hp / 195kW
Torque: 370Nm
Price: from Dh260,000
On sale: now

‘White Elephant’

Director: Jesse V Johnson
Stars: Michael Rooker, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Olga Kurylenko
Rating: 3/5

HEADLINE HERE
  • I would recommend writing out the text in the body
  • And then copy into this box
  • It can be as long as you link
  • But I recommend you use the bullet point function (see red square)
  • Or try to keep the word count down
  • Be wary of other embeds lengthy fact boxes could crash into
  • That's about it
Biog

Mr Kandhari is legally authorised to conduct marriages in the gurdwara

He has officiated weddings of Sikhs and people of different faiths from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, the US and Canada

Father of two sons, grandfather of six

Plays golf once a week

Enjoys trying new holiday destinations with his wife and family

Walks for an hour every morning

Completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Loyola College, Chennai, India

2019 is a milestone because he completes 50 years in business

 

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

Points to remember
  • Debate the issue, don't attack the person
  • Build the relationship and dialogue by seeking to find common ground
  • Express passion for the issue but be aware of when you're losing control or when there's anger. If there is, pause and take some time out.
  • Listen actively without interrupting
  • Avoid assumptions, seek understanding, ask questions
Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

ESSENTIALS

The flights 

Etihad (etihad.com) flies from Abu Dhabi to Mykonos, with a flight change to its partner airline Olympic Air in Athens. Return flights cost from Dh4,105 per person, including taxes. 

Where to stay 

The modern-art-filled Ambassador hotel (myconianambassador.gr) is 15 minutes outside Mykonos Town on a hillside 500 metres from the Platis Gialos Beach, with a bus into town every 30 minutes (a taxi costs €15 [Dh66]). The Nammos and Scorpios beach clubs are a 10- to 20-minute walk (or water-taxi ride) away. All 70 rooms have a large balcony, many with a Jacuzzi, and of the 15 suites, five have a plunge pool. There’s also a private eight-bedroom villa. Double rooms cost from €240 (Dh1,063) including breakfast, out of season, and from €595 (Dh2,636) in July/August.

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

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

SPEC SHEET

Display: 10.9" Liquid Retina IPS, 2360 x 1640, 264ppi, wide colour, True Tone, Apple Pencil support

Chip: Apple M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 64/256GB storage; 8GB RAM

Main camera: 12MP wide, f/1.8, Smart HDR

Video: 4K @ 25/25/30/60fps, full HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps

Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.4, Smart HDR, Centre Stage; full HD @ 25/30/60fps

Audio: Stereo speakers

Biometrics: Touch ID

I/O: USB-C, smart connector (for folio/keyboard)

Battery: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours on cellular

Finish: Space grey, starlight, pink, purple, blue

Price: Wi-Fi – Dh2,499 (64GB) / Dh3,099 (256GB); cellular – Dh3,099 (64GB) / Dh3,699 (256GB)

SERIES INFO

Schedule:
All matches at the Harare Sports Club
1st ODI, Wed Apr 10
2nd ODI, Fri Apr 12
3rd ODI, Sun Apr 14
4th ODI, Sun Apr 16

UAE squad
Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

Zimbabwe squad
Peter Moor (captain), Solomon Mire, Brian Chari, Regis Chakabva, Sean Williams, Timycen Maruma, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Craig Ervine, Brandon Mavuta, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tony Munyonga, Elton Chigumbura

The specs

Engine: three three 212.7kWh motors
Power: 1,000bhp
Torque: 15,600Nm
Range: 530km
Price: Dh500,000+ est
On sale: early 2023

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The biog

Favourite food: Tabbouleh, greek salad and sushi

Favourite TV show: That 70s Show

Favourite animal: Ferrets, they are smart, sensitive, playful and loving

Favourite holiday destination: Seychelles, my resolution for 2020 is to visit as many spiritual retreats and animal shelters across the world as I can

Name of first pet: Eddy, a Persian cat that showed up at our home

Favourite dog breed: I love them all - if I had to pick Yorkshire terrier for small dogs and St Bernard's for big

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 374hp at 5,500-6,500rpm

Torque: 500Nm from 1,900-5,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.5L/100km

Price: from Dh285,000

On sale: from January 2022

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 630bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh810,000

What's in my pazhamkootan?

Add:
Parippu – moong dal and coconut curry
Sambar – vegetable-infused toor dal curry
Aviyal – mixed vegetables in thick coconut paste
Thoran – beans and other dry veggies with spiced coconut
Khichdi – lentil and rice porridge


Optional:
Kootukari – stew of black chickpeas, raw banana, yam and coconut paste
Olan – ash gourd curry with coconut milk
Pulissery – spiced buttermilk curry
Rasam – spice-infused soup with a tamarind base


Avoid:
Payasam – sweet vermicelli kheer

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

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

BLACKBERRY

Director: Matt Johnson

Stars: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The bio:

Favourite holiday destination: I really enjoyed Sri Lanka and Vietnam but my dream destination is the Maldives.

Favourite food: My mum’s Chinese cooking.

Favourite film: Robocop, followed by The Terminator.

Hobbies: Off-roading, scuba diving, playing squash and going to the gym.

 

TO ALL THE BOYS: ALWAYS AND FOREVER

Directed by: Michael Fimognari

Starring: Lana Condor and Noah Centineo

Two stars

'Midnights'

Artist: Taylor Swift

Label: Republic Records

Rating: 4/5

'Brazen'

Director:+Monika Mitchell

Starring:+Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Colleen Wheeler

Rating: 3/5

BLACK ADAM

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi, Viola Davis, Pierce Brosnan

Rating: 3/5

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbo, V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic and manual
Power: 503 bhp
Torque: 513Nm
Price: from Dh646,800 ($176,095)
On sale: now

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

The biog:

Languages: Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, basic Russian 

Favourite food: Pizza 

Best food on the road: rice

Favourite colour: silver 

Favourite bike: Gold Wing, Honda

Favourite biking destination: Canada 

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.

Listen to Extra Time
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

Company Profile

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

What is Folia?

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal's new plant-based menu will launch at Four Seasons hotels in Dubai this November. A desire to cater to people looking for clean, healthy meals beyond green salad is what inspired Prince Khaled and American celebrity chef Matthew Kenney to create Folia. The word means "from the leaves" in Latin, and the exclusive menu offers fine plant-based cuisine across Four Seasons properties in Los Angeles, Bahrain and, soon, Dubai.

Kenney specialises in vegan cuisine and is the founder of Plant Food + Wine and 20 other restaurants worldwide. "I’ve always appreciated Matthew’s work," says the Saudi royal. "He has a singular culinary talent and his approach to plant-based dining is prescient and unrivalled. I was a fan of his long before we established our professional relationship."

Folia first launched at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in July 2018. It is available at the poolside Cabana Restaurant and for in-room dining across the property, as well as in its private event space. The food is vibrant and colourful, full of fresh dishes such as the hearts of palm ceviche with California fruit, vegetables and edible flowers; green hearb tacos filled with roasted squash and king oyster barbacoa; and a savoury coconut cream pie with macadamia crust.

In March 2019, the Folia menu reached Gulf shores, as it was introduced at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where it is served at the Bay View Lounge. Next, on Tuesday, November 1 – also known as World Vegan Day – it will come to the UAE, to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach and the Four Seasons DIFC, both properties Prince Khaled has spent "considerable time at and love". 

There are also plans to take Folia to several more locations throughout the Middle East and Europe.

While health-conscious diners will be attracted to the concept, Prince Khaled is careful to stress Folia is "not meant for a specific subset of customers. It is meant for everyone who wants a culinary experience without the negative impact that eating out so often comes with."

'Project Power'

Stars: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback

Director: ​Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Rating: 3.5/5