Abu Dhabi, UAE,  April 8, 2018.   (Left) Erika Daintry and co-founder Malin Raman Delin  of BonApp, a business that started  to tackle food waste in the F&B industry.
Victor Besa / The National
Reporter:   Deena Kamal
Erika Daintry (left) and Malin Raman Delin, co-founders of BonApp, a startup that aims to tackle food waste in the F&B industry. Victor Besa / The National

Generation Start-up: A restaurant’s excess food is now a UAE resident’s bargain dinner with BonApp

Three foodies in Dubai are selling a sweet deal: have your cake and eat it too, while saving unused food, helping the environment and getting a discount on your next meal.

Excess mounds of food in the city’s signature brunches and loaded buffets get tossed away, much to the frustration of Erika Daintry, Malin Raman Delin and Alice Kaboli, the Nordic all-female trio behind food-tech start-up BonApp.

“We were at a brunch in Dubai and saw all the remaining food in the buffet, which really made us open our eyes and realise that so much food is wasted,” says Erika Daintry, co-founder and relationship manager of BonApp.

Now 85 eateries in Dubai can opt to try and sell excess meals quickly on the cheap through the mobile application, BonApp, launched in January.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that about a third of food produced for human consumption - around 1.3 billion tonnes globally - is lost or wasted every year. In the UAE, almost half the food served in lunch buffets at hotels is wasted, according to a 2017 study by Masdar Institute. In October, Dubai launched a campaign pushing for “zero tolerance” of food waste by consumers and the food industry.

Restaurants with excess pre-packaged foods, unsold meals and freshly-baked products can list their spare produce on BonApp. Users receive notifications when a nearby establishment has fresh inventory for sale. This can then be purchased through the app for discounts of up to 60 per cent on the usual retail price and collected it in person. BonApp takes a cut of the transaction but the founders declined to reveal the value

The founders, who are connected by a mutual passion for sustainable living, wanted to start a business that makes it easier for busy consumers to do good, for restaurants to get more customers and for both to reduce their carbon footprint.

“From an ethical point of view, we wanted to put the value back into food as something that should be eaten not thrown away,” Ms Daintry says. “We found out that food waste actually is a big problem from an environmental point of view also.”

Throwing food away wastes water, energy and the fuel needed to grow, store and transport it. Discarded food ends up in landfills where it rots, releasing harmful greenhouse gases.


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The idea for BonApp was born in November 2016 and it took a year to study the market, talk to the food industry, develop contacts and get feedback from vendors. Timing was crucial: the idea felt “premature” but the female entrepreneurs wanted to be “pioneers” of food waste management in the UAE. The plan was solidified by Dubai Government’s campaign months later, Ms Delin, co-founder and managing director of BonApp, said.

The founders, who quit their full-time jobs to focus on the start-up, have poured their savings into the business and obtained additional funding from two angel investors, raising Dh500,000, Ms Delin says.

They are awaiting approval for acceptance into a local accelerator and are in early talks with venture capitalists to raise more funds while increasing their valuation in the market within the next six to 12 months, she says, declining to reveal the size of investments sought.

The three month-old start-up has gained 1,500 customer app downloads and saved 100 kilos of food since its launch, growing 20 per cent month-on-month, Ms Delin says.

BonApp plans to cover the UAE market after this summer and engage the entire food chain from farms to groceries and hotels, she says. It will also work with established charities so that users can buy a meal on the app and donate it.

They plan to sign up another 500 restaurants this year from upscale dining to quick-service joints. Also on the list are meal-plan providers and organic-produce box deliveries who get last-minute cancellations and can sell the excess food via the app.

"We see huge potential," Ms Delin says.

The founders want to reduce food waste in the UAE by 15 per cent, the equivalent of 150,000 cars’ CO2 emissions, within two years and create sustainable consumption from bio-degradable packaging to food delivery.

“Our tagline is 'eat well, save money and make a difference',” Ms Daintry says. “It’s a triple-win solution.”

The Masdar City-based company, which has operations in Dubai, will aim for Series A funding to back plans for expansion across the Middle East in its second year, Ms Delin says.

They are seeking partnerships across the GCC and region before deciding on the first location outside the UAE. BonApp has already been approached by investors in Saudi Arabia, a big but challenging market, she says.

They say the business will break even by mid-2019 and become profitable by the end of that year, driven by increasing awareness about waste among the food and beverage industry, government initiatives to minimise food loss and growing interest from local restaurants keen to find solutions, Ms Delin says.

The challenge within the UAE is often customers’ perception of unsold discounted food as less fresh or desirable. Another challenge is the sprouting of similar apps around the country that can replicate or replace the BonApp model.

“We have first-mover advantage,” Ms Delin says. “It takes time to build relationships in the market.”

An updated version of BonApp will be released in May offering users the added option of delivery, with an Arabic language option of the app to come later.

BonApp is also gearing up for Ramadan which will start in mid-May, when more than half of food served at iftar meals is wasted, according to the Masdar study. Though it is a month of self-discipline and restraint, it is often heralded by lavish hotel buffets and a significant spike in grocery shopping.

“We want to save 100 kilos of food in Ramadan,” Ms Daintry says. “It is a time of reflection and thinking of others. Food waste contradicts the spirit of the month.”

The founders, who come from Finland and Sweden, have divided business tasks according to their interests and skills: Ms Daintry has a sustainability background and handles sales; Ms Kaboli has an eye for design and is taking marketing courses; and Ms Delin juggles the finances. A technical team in Egypt led by Joseph Wahba, the chief technology officer, has developed the app and continues to work on updates.

BonApp joins a number of bigger European and American start-ups looking to connect retailers and customers to cut food waste. Swedish food mobile app Karma launched in London in February after an initial roll out in 35 cities across Sweden. In January, the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart stores, invested in US-based start-up Foodmaven that has completed an $8.6 million Series A fundraising round. London-based Olio allows people to give away food in small quantities to neighbours. Too Good to Go offers a similar service to Karma across Europe.

The BonApp trio believe they've got the right mix of ingredients for a success recipe: passion, commitment, hard work, and a pinch of optimism, while living their dream to create a sustainable lifestyle.

"This is my passion and this is what motivates me," Ms Delin says. "You just need to take the leap and do it, it hurts because you don't have the fancy lifestyle that you used to,  but it doesn't matter because this is what I want to do.

"It's living the poor dream. But we're having so much fun."

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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

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


Deadpool 2

Dir: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Justin Dennison, Zazie Beetz

Four stars

Non-oil trade

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Japan grew by 34 per cent over the past two years, according to data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre. 

In 10 years, it has reached a total of Dh524.4 billion. 

Cars topped the list of the top five commodities re-exported to Japan in 2022, with a value of Dh1.3 billion. 

Jewellery and ornaments amounted to Dh150 million while precious metal scraps amounted to Dh105 million. 

Raw aluminium was ranked first among the top five commodities exported to Japan. 

Top of the list of commodities imported from Japan in 2022 was cars, with a value of Dh20.08 billion.

The specs

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Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)






Apps: 186
Goals: 127
Assists: 31
Wins: 117
Losses: 33


Company name: BorrowMe (BorrowMe.com)

Date started: August 2021

Founder: Nour Sabri

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: E-commerce / Marketplace

Size: Two employees

Funding stage: Seed investment

Initial investment: $200,000

Investors: Amr Manaa (director, PwC Middle East)


Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Owen Teague, Freya Allen, Kevin Durand

Rating: 3.5/5

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.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Know your cyber adversaries

Cryptojacking: Compromises a device or network to mine cryptocurrencies without an organisation's knowledge.

Distributed denial-of-service: Floods systems, servers or networks with information, effectively blocking them.

Man-in-the-middle attack: Intercepts two-way communication to obtain information, spy on participants or alter the outcome.

Malware: Installs itself in a network when a user clicks on a compromised link or email attachment.

Phishing: Aims to secure personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Ransomware: Encrypts user data, denying access and demands a payment to decrypt it.

Spyware: Collects information without the user's knowledge, which is then passed on to bad actors.

Trojans: Create a backdoor into systems, which becomes a point of entry for an attack.

Viruses: Infect applications in a system and replicate themselves as they go, just like their biological counterparts.

Worms: Send copies of themselves to other users or contacts. They don't attack the system, but they overload it.

Zero-day exploit: Exploits a vulnerability in software before a fix is found.


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

About Proto21

Date started: May 2018
Founder: Pir Arkam
Based: Dubai
Sector: Additive manufacturing (aka, 3D printing)
Staff: 18
Funding: Invested, supported and partnered by Joseph Group


1.45pm: Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,400m
Winners: Hyde Park, Royston Ffrench (jockey), Salem bin Ghadayer (trainer)

2.15pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Shamikh, Ryan Curatolo, Nicholas Bachalard

2.45pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Hurry Up, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

3.15pm: Shadwell Jebel Ali Mile Group 3 (TB) Dh575,000 (D) 1,600m
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3.45pm: Handicap (TB) Dh72,000 (D) 1,600m
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4.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh64,000 (D) 1,950m
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4.45pm: Handicap (TB) Dh84,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Shanaghai City, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly.

'Dark Waters'

Directed by: Todd Haynes

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, William Jackson Harper 

Rating: ****


What: Brazil v South Korea
When: Tonight, 5.30pm
Where: Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.ae


Updated team: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Dane Haylett-Petty, 13-Reece Hodge, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Kurtley Beale, 9-Will Genia, 8-Pete Samu, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Lukhan Tui, 5-Adam Coleman, 4-Rory Arnold, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1-Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16-Folau Faingaa, 17-Tom Robertson, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Izack Rodda, 20-Ned Hanigan, 21-Joe Powell, 22-Bernard Foley, 23-Jack Maddocks.

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

Brave CF 27 fight card

Abdoul Abdouraguimov (champion, FRA) v Jarrah Al Selawe (JOR)

Anas Siraj Mounir (TUN) v Alex Martinez (CAN)

Mzwandile Hlongwa (RSA) v Khamzat Chimaev (SWE)

Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Rustam Chsiev (RUS)
Mohammad Fakhreddine (LEB) v Christofer Silva (BRA)

Super lightweight:
Alex Nacfur (BRA) v Dwight Brooks (USA)

Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) v Tariq Ismail (CAN)
Chris Corton (PHI) v Zia Mashwani (PAK)

Sulaiman (KUW) v Abdullatip (RUS)

Super lightweight:
Flavio Serafin (BRA) v Mohammad Al Katib (JOR)


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

What is graphene?

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged like honeycomb.

It was discovered in 2004, when Russian-born Manchester scientists Andrei Geim and Kostya Novoselov were "playing about" with sticky tape and graphite - the material used as "lead" in pencils.

Placing the tape on the graphite and peeling it, they managed to rip off thin flakes of carbon. In the beginning they got flakes consisting of many layers of graphene. But as they repeated the process many times, the flakes got thinner.

By separating the graphite fragments repeatedly, they managed to create flakes that were just one atom thick. Their experiment had led to graphene being isolated for the very first time.

At the time, many believed it was impossible for such thin crystalline materials to be stable. But examined under a microscope, the material remained stable, and when tested was found to have incredible properties.

It is many times times stronger than steel, yet incredibly lightweight and flexible. It is electrically and thermally conductive but also transparent. The world's first 2D material, it is one million times thinner than the diameter of a single human hair.

But the 'sticky tape' method would not work on an industrial scale. Since then, scientists have been working on manufacturing graphene, to make use of its incredible properties.

In 2010, Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. Their discovery meant physicists could study a new class of two-dimensional materials with unique properties. 



Garlicky shrimp in olive oil
Gambas Al Ajillo

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4


180ml extra virgin olive oil; 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or pureed (or 3 to 4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped); 1 or 2 small hot red chillies, dried (or ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes); 400g raw prawns, deveined, heads removed and tails left intact; a generous splash of sweet chilli vinegar; sea salt flakes for seasoning; a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Heat the oil in a terracotta dish or frying pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the garlic and chilli, stirring continuously for about 10 seconds until golden and aromatic.

Add a splash of sweet chilli vinegar and as it vigorously simmers, releasing perfumed aromas, add the prawns and cook, stirring a few times.

Once the prawns turn pink, after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and season with sea salt flakes.

Once the prawns are cool enough to eat, scatter with parsley and serve with small forks or toothpicks as the perfect sharing starter. Finish off with crusty bread to soak up all that flavour-infused olive oil.


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Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 8/12GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: Android 13, Nothing OS 2

Main camera: Dual 50MP wide, f/1.9 + 50MP ultrawide, f/2.2; OIS, auto-focus

Main camera video: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60fps; live HDR, OIS

Front camera: 32MP wide, f/2.5, HDR

Front camera video: Full-HD @ 30fps

Battery: 4700mAh; full charge in 55m w/ 45w charger; Qi wireless, dual charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)

Biometrics: Fingerprint, face unlock


Durability: IP54, limited protection

Cards: Dual-nano SIM

Colours: Dark grey, white

In the box: Nothing Phone (2), USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price (UAE): Dh2,499 (12GB/256GB) / Dh2,799 (12GB/512GB)


• Juice jacking, in the simplest terms, is using a rogue USB cable to access a device and compromise its contents

• The exploit is taken advantage of by the fact that the data stream and power supply pass through the same cable. The most common example is connecting a smartphone to a PC to both transfer data and charge the former at the same time

• The term was first coined in 2011 after researchers created a compromised charging kiosk to bring awareness to the exploit; when users plugged in their devices, they received a security warning and discovered that their phones had paired to the kiosk, according to US cybersecurity company Norton

• While juice jacking is a real threat, there have been no known widespread instances. Apple and Google have also added security layers to prevent this on the iOS and Android devices, respectively


UAE Division 1

Abu Dhabi Harlequins 12-24 Abu Dhabi Saracens

UAE-based players

Goodlands Riders: Jamshaid Butt, Ali Abid, JD Mahesh, Vibhor Shahi, Faizan Asif, Nadeem Rahim

Rose Hill Warriors: Faraz Sheikh, Ashok Kumar, Thabreez Ali, Janaka Chathuranga, Muzammil Afridi, Ameer Hamza

Two-step truce

The UN-brokered ceasefire deal for Hodeidah will be implemented in two stages, with the first to be completed before the New Year begins, according to the Arab Coalition supporting the Yemeni government.

By midnight on December 31, the Houthi rebels will have to withdraw from the ports of Hodeidah, Ras Issa and Al Saqef, coalition officials told The National. 

The second stage will be the complete withdrawal of all pro-government forces and rebels from Hodeidah city, to be completed by midnight on January 7.

The process is to be overseen by a Redeployment Co-ordination Committee (RCC) comprising UN monitors and representatives of the government and the rebels.

The agreement also calls the deployment of UN-supervised neutral forces in the city and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure distribution of aid across the country.


Engine: 4-litre flat-six
Power: 525hp (GT3), 500hp (GT4)
Torque: 465Nm (GT3), 450Nm (GT4)
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Price: From Dh944,000 (GT3), Dh581,700 (GT4)
On sale: Now


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5