Gecko lizard, dog, rubber ducky, man - an advertising mascot for whom?
Gecko lizard, dog, rubber ducky, man - an advertising mascot for whom?

The National Business Quiz 2014 - take the challenge

Our 2014 business quiz spans the highs, lows and oddities of the year just past. Some of the 60 items are easy, some are hard – but watch out for the handful of trick questions. Write down the answers and see how you did at the end.


1. On January 2, did Walmart in China:

a) Recall Five Spice fox meat because it contained other meats such as donkey;

b) Recall Five Spice donkey meat because it contained other meats such as fox;

c) Or change the product's name from Five Spice to Five Species and hope no one would notice.

2. Which Italian carmaker moved its HQ to the UK after it merged with a US rival?

3. On January 7, Dutch media reported that Warner Bros was in talks to buy the Amsterdam-based television production house Eyeworks. Which one of the following was not an actual Eyeworks show:

a) Who Ate All the Pies?

b) I Know What You Did Last Friday

c) Reality Queens of the Jungle

d) Celebrity Splash!

e) Test the Nation

f) Who Wants to Marry my Son?

4. On January 20, Arabtec said it had snagged a Dh5.7 billion contract to build a resort at Aqaba, Jordan featuring the region’s first ride based on:

a) Star Wars

b) Star Search

c) Star Trek

d) Starsky and Hutch

5. After rising 107.6 per cent in 2013, the Dubai Financial Market General Index did which of the following in January:

a) Fell 4 per cent

b) Rose 4 per cent

c) Fell 12 per cent

d) Rose 12 per cent


6. On February 4, Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as its chief executive. Which one of the following schools did Mr Nadella not attend:

a) Hyderabad Public School

b) Manipal Institute of Technology

c) Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

d) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

e) University of Chicago Booth School of Business

7. On February 5, the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the US reported a decline of 6.8 per cent in its fourth-quarter operating profit. More to the point, the company’s advertising mascot is a:

a) Dog

b) Duck

c) Gecko

d) Human

8. What was the name of the madly popular video game that was withdrawn from circulation by its stressed-out Vietnamese developer at midnight on February 9? (Clue: It probably made you scream at your phone out of frustration.)

9. Mt Gox, a Bitcoin exchange based in Japan, suspended operations amid reports that US$390 million in clients’ virtual money might have been actually stolen. What does Mt Gox stand for?

a) Money That's Good On Xanadu

b) Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange

c) Money: The Growing Online eXchange

d) It refers to an underwater mountain in the Mariana Trench.

10. Agthia, the Abu Dhabi-based food group, said it was increasing production on several of its product lines. Which of the following is not an Agthia product:

a) Vegemite

b) Capri Sun juice

c) Yoplait

d) Al Ain Water


11. Sarah Al Suhaimi was named the chief executive of the largest asset manager in Saudi Arabia. Which of the following positions was NOT, in early March, held by a woman:

a) Managing director of the International Monetary Fund

b) Governor of Russia's central bank

c) Governor of Malaysia's central bank

d) Governor of the US central bank

e) Cuban minister of finance

12. Fill in the missing two words, both starting with the letter W, from this March 11 press release: “Seeking to reward its ‘SuperFans’, KFC MENA is giving away a trip to attend ____ ___ round 30, which will take place in April as a part of its new Box Master sandwich promotion.”

13. The company that was the preferred supplier of cables for the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Emirates Palace hotel and Palm Jumeirah said on March 19 that it had delivered a first shipment of cable to the UAE’s nuclear power plants being built at Barakah. For one point, name that company.

14. Let’s go shopping: Which famous British retailer opened its first overseas outlet in Dubai on March 21?

a) Selfridges

b) Harrods

c) Fortnum & Mason

d) Wimpys

15. On March 24, Zayed Sports City said its annual revenues had risen 12 per cent in 2013 thanks to a series of popular events. Match the event with its number of visitors:

a) Mubadala World Tennis Championship

b) Monster Jam (truck stunts)

c) Kidsfest

1) 26,000

2) 16,500

3) 16,000


16. Thousands of flights were cancelled as pilots at which European airline went on a three-day strike over early-retirement benefits?

a) British Airways

b) Lufthansa

c) Ryanair

d) Suckling Airways (it's Scottish)

17. Fill in the blank in this April 7 online headline from our website: “Breakfast in Abu Dhabi, lunch in LA? ____________”:

a) That's Virgin Atlantic's goal

b) That's Kentucky Fried Chicken's goal

c) That's some pretty bad meal planning

d) And you'll never guess what happened next

18. Lessons in accountability: On April 10, General Motors suspended two employees for their role in developing its deadly ignition-switch flaw. The Wall Street Journal described the two who took the fall as occupying:

a) "C-suite executive positions"

b) "Upper management positions in GM's engineering department"

c) "Relatively low-level engineering management positions"

19. It’s jargon time: In an April 29 profile on our The Life page, a Dubai nightclub owner said, “Obviously it goes without saying our USP is our performers and entertainment.” What does the acronym stand for?

a) Unchallenged superiority point

b) Unique selling proposition

c) Universal synergised purpose

d) We're not sure

20. True or false: There was a big HR conference in town in April. The first three days were registration.


21. At 10pm UK time on May 14, the index compiler MSCI named the nine UAE stocks that would be joining its benchmark emerging-markets index. Of the six stocks below, which three made the grade:

a) Etisalat

b) Union Properties

c) Gulf Navigation

d) Dubai Financial Market

e) First Gulf Bank

f) Aldar Properties

22. True or false: The former Société Générale rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, who lost billions of euros for his company, walked from Florence to France and surrendered himself to the police.

23. On May 19, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, opened the World Free Zones Organisation in Dubai. At the time, how many free zones were there in Dubai?

a) 7

b) 10

c) 13

d) 22

24. On May 28, Apple bought Beats Electronics, which makes nice headphones, for US$3 billion. The rapper who co-founded Beats goes by the stage name of:

a) Dr Dre

b) Dr Dolittle

c) Dr Seuss

d) Nurse Jackie

25. Which of the following was not a song recorded by the gentleman from the previous question during his music-hall days:

a) Pull the magic dragon

b) Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang

c) Natural Born Killaz

d) Have You Seen My Dictionary, Perchance?


26. On June 1, Damac announced plans for a retail project in Dubai that included which of the following:

a) A cheetah petting zoo

b) An outdoor ice rink

c) Life-sized holograms of dinosaurs

d) The world's largest outdoor television screen

e) A sustainable development research centre

f) All of the above

27. On June 11, cabbies in several European cities held a one-day strike to protest against competition from the taxi-hailing app Uber. The result:

a) Shares in Uber fell 18 per cent over two days

b) Uber reported an increase in sign-ups of 850 per cent in mere days

c) Nobody could get a ride to the cheetah petting zoo

28. Air Arabia said it had begun flights between Ras Al Khaimah and Muscat, a distance of roughly 350 kilometres. Was the one-way fare for the flights more than or less than Dh175?

29. Mattel regularly assigns Barbie new careers, and so far she has attempted about 150; in 2014 she was an entrepreneur. Match the career with the year Barbie first practised it:

a) Doctor

b) Nurse

c) Newspaper sub-editor

d) United States Air Force Thunderbird

1) 1961

2) 1988

3) 1993

4) Two thousand and never

30. For double points as we hit the half-year mark: From the list below, select the one career that has been practised by Barbie but NOT by that other exemplar of the adaptable American worker, Homer Simpson:

a) Astronaut

b) Cat burglar

c) Dog trainer

d) Football coach

e) Hairdresser

f) Teacher


31. On July 3, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported that Japan’s finance ministry had ordered local authorities to cut back on the use of mascots. Which of the following was not a Japanese public-sector mascot at the time:

a) Katakkuri-chan, a square-faced humanoid with a purple flower for hair who is Asahikawa Prison's avatar.

b) Kumamon, a pot-bellied bear who stumps for a lesser-visited part of southern Japan.

c) Rastamon, a dreadlocked mascot for the drug rehabilitation agency in Sapporo.

d) Sanomaru, who represents Sano city and wears an upturned bowl of ramen on his head.

e) Sento-kun, who looks like a young Buddha but has deer antlers and is the mascot of Nara Heijo-kyo, Japan's ancient capital.

32. True or false: Four days after announcing a plan for the world’s newest biggest mall, Dubai announced a plan for a bakery-and-aviation museum that would be shaped like a gigantic pie in the sky.

33. Fill in the blank from this story that ran in our July 14 business pages: “Budget-conscious tenants from Dubai are moving as far afield as _____ in search of affordable housing as even Sharjah becomes too expensive for many.”

34. What country said on July 22 that it would be opening its stock market to foreign investors, and not just those from the GCC?

a) Bahrain

b) Kuwait

c) Oman

d) None of the above

35. For sale in the River Thames, at £3.95 million (Dh22.6m), was a private island on which King John was believed to have signed which historic document in 1215:

a) The Book of Kells

b) The Domesday Book

c) The Magna Carta

d) Ryan Giggs's rookie contract


36. On August 13, Etihad announced a “bespoke” service for very special passengers that included individual compartments, a dedicated handling team at Abu Dhabi airport, and an option for a personal attendant. The service was designed for:

a) Falcons

b) Horses

c) Horses and other similar species

d) Humans

e) Humans and other similar species

37. In this sentence that started a story in our August 19 Business pages, fill in the blanks with the missing six-letter word (it’s the same word in all three cases): “______ General yesterday offered almost US$10 billion for the US discounter Family ______ in an effort to trump ______ Tree’s bid.”

38. Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox browser, unveiled a smartphone costing US$33 (2,086 rupees) in India. Mozilla expected to sell how many phones in the first three months:

a) 50,000

b) 500,000

c) 5,000,000

39. When it emerged on August 25 that Burger King, a middling American fast-food chain, was trying to take over Tim Hortons, the beloved Canadian donuts-and-coffee business, the most shocking part from a purely Canadian perspective was:

a) The prospect of hearing the phrase, "Would you like a Whopper with that double double?"

b) That the chief executive of Burger King was all of 33 years old.

c) That Burger King wanted to re-domicile to Canada because it considered the country "a low-tax haven".

d) In fact, most Canadians were at Tims and had not heard about the deal, because they were too busy talking about hockey.

40. On August 28, Wam, the state news agency, reported that Ras Al Khaimah had earned about $118.7 million in tourism revenue in the year’s first half. Which of the following was not one of the emirate’s top five tourism source markets:

a) England

b) Germany

c) India

d) Russia

e) Saudi Arabia

f) UAE


41. What September event was this the logo for?

a) Etihad Rail's last-spike ceremony at Ruwais

b) Etihad Rail unveils maglev train

c) GCC Metro and Rail Conference 2014

d) GCC Metro and Rail Conference 1972

42. Which musical act was much mocked on social media for having taken part in the launch of the iPhone 6 on Sept 9?

a) Alt-J

b) Daft Punk

c) Nancy Ajram

d) U2

43. On September 15, Microsoft announced its $2.5bn purchase of the Swedish video game studio that spawned Minecraft. That made the studio founder, Markus Persson, worth about US$1.77bn. Higher up the food chain, the very richest Swede, Ingvar Kamprad, owes his fortune of $30bn-ish to his control of:

a) H&M

b) Ikea

c) Tetra Pak

d) the copyright on Dancing Queen

44. Otter Media paid between $200m and $300m for a majority stake in Fullscreen, a popular network on Youtube. Which one of the following is not a Fullscreen star (if you’re over 30 and somehow get this right, award yourself quadruple points):

a) The Fine Brothers, purveyors of such fare as "7 Harry Potter Movies in 7 Minutes"

b) Devin Graham, known as Devin SuperTramp, a filmmaker who chronicles extreme stunts

c) Grace Helbig, a pop-culture video blogger best appreciated by teenaged girls

d) Michelle Phan, the "beauty bestie" who offers makeup tips

45. On September 25, shares in Marka rose 59 per cent during their first day of trading on the Dubai Financial Market. At the time, which two of the statements below were true about Marka?

a) It was a major retailer.

b) It had a plan to become a major retailer.

c) It was a company that made money by selling products.

d) It was a company that made money by selling shares.


46. Disney extended the contract of its chief executive through 2018. The company has had six chiefs in its 85-year history. Match each with his time in charge. (Give yourself the point if you match four correctly):

a) Roy O Disney

b) Michael Eisner

c) Robert Iger

d) Ron Miller

e) Donn Tatum

f) E Cardon Walker

1) 1929-1971

2) 1971-1976

3) 1976-1983

4) 1983-1984

5) 1984-2005

6) 2005-present

47. The country with Africa’s fastest-growing economy, second-greatest population and highest coffee production said that it was considering the sale of a debut international bond. The country in question was:

a) Angola

b) Ethiopia

c) Kenya

d) Tanzania

48. Nelson Bunker Hunt, who had once been the world’s richest man, died in Dallas at age 88. His downfall came when he and his brother Herbert tried to corner the global market in:

a) Silver

b) Bromine

c) Copper

d) Pencil sharpeners

49. In an HSBC global survey of expatriates, those in the UAE identified the biggest risk to their financial well-being over the coming year as:

a) The falling oil price

b) Rental costs

c) The possibility of losing their job

d) The rising value of their homeland's currency

50. On October 26, plans were unveiled for construction of a Hard Rock Hotel at the in-the-works Marina 101 tower in Dubai. Of the following cities, which one does not have a Hard Rock Hotel?

a) Chicago

b) Las Vegas

c) London

d) Penang, Malaysia


51. For November, it’s all about the mall. Yas Mall opened on November 19, in the same week as which big Abu Dhabi event?

52. Marks & Spencer opened a store in the new mall. Within three, how many stores did that give it in the UAE?

53. Match the mall with its leasable floor space in square metres.

a) Yas Mall

b) Mall of the Emirates

c) The Dubai Mall

d) Fujairah Mall

1) 35,000

2) 220,000

3) 235,000

4) 350,000

54. On Yas Mall’s opening day, the noon hour wait for a table at the capital’s first branch of The Cheesecake Factory was how long, give or take five minutes?

55. True or false: A November 17 press release quoted the chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas as saying: “We have travelled the world and witnessed first-hand all of the cinemas that are considered to be the world’s best, and VOX Cinemas Yas Mall eclipses this standard by offering improved versions of all of these concepts.”


56. Fill in the missing two words from this December 4 press release (clue: a five-letter word, followed by a seven-letter word): “As part of its employee well-being programme, The Ajman Palace Hotel has given a make-over to its _____ _______, naming it ‘Tapeteria’. “

57. Which mobile phone maker suspended sales in India after a Delhi High Court ruling on December 8 regarding alleged patent infringement?

a) Apple

b) Samsung

c) Google

d) Xiaomi

58. In a December 9 news release, Dubai-based Damac Properties said that it had signed “one of the most famous and iconic sportsmen in the world [to] bring his design expertise and worldwide playing experience to this amazing development”. It was referring to:

a) Rory McIlroy and a golf course

b) Tiger Woods and a golf course

c) Shane Warne and a cricket academy

d) Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and a ski jump

59. Cheaper oil hammered the region’s stock markets in December. When the Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 7.6 per cent on December 14, that was its steepest single-day loss in:

a) six days

b) six weeks

c) six months

d) six years

60. Let’s end this thing on a light note. McDonald’s was rationing french fries in Japan – they were available in the small portion size only – because a labour dispute at US West Coast ports had crimped deliveries of which one of the following:

a) cardboard

b) defibrillators

c) potatoes

d) french fries


1. B; 2. Fiat Chrysler; 3. A, although frankly it wouldn’t be the worst of the lot; 4. C; 5. D; 6. C; 7 . B – the company is Aflac; 8 Flappy Birds; 9. B, which reminds us of the old financial rule to never put your money into anything with “magic” in its name; 10. A, and frankly it isn’t even a food; 11. It’s a trick question. All were held by women. Give yourself two points if you suspected trickery, and one point if you didn’t. You get no points if you thought they were all held by men; 12 .WWE WrestleMania; 13. Ducab; 14. C; 15. a3, b2, c1: 16. B; 17. A; 18. C; 19. B; 20. False; 21. Answer: D, E and F were the three selected; 22. False. He walked from Rome to France.; 23. D; 24. A; 25. D; 26. B; 27. B; 28. Less than – it was Dh149; 29. a2, b1, c4, d3; 30. B, cat burglar; 31. C; 32. False; 33. Ajman; 34. Answer: D – it was Saudi Arabia; 35. C; 36. C; 37. Dollar; 38. B; 39. All of them are correct ... but mostly C; 40. E; 41. C; 42. D; 43. B; 44. D; 45. B and D; 46. a1, b5, c6, d4, e2, f3; 47. B; 48. A; 49. B; 50. C; 51. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; 52. 13; 53. a3, b2, c4, d1; 54. 40 minutes; 55. True; 56. staff canteen; 57. D; 58. B; 59. D, and worse was yet to come; 60. C.


Director: Rajkumar Hirani 

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover

Rating: 4/5


Display: 6.8" quad-HD+ dynamic Amoled 2X, 3120 x 1440, 505ppi, HDR10+, 120Hz

Processor: 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 64-bit octa-core

Memory: 12GB RAM

Storage: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: Android 14, One UI 6.1

Main camera: quad 200MP wide f/1.7 + 50MP periscope telephoto f/3.4 with 5x optical/10x optical quality zoom + 10MP telephoto 2.4 with 3x optical zoom + 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2; 100x Space Zoom; auto HDR, expert RAW

Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, full-HD@30/60/240fps, full-HD super slo-mo@960fps

Front camera: 12MP f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh, fast wireless charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC

I/O: USB-C; built-in Galaxy S Pen

Durability: IP68, up to 1.5m of freshwater up to 30 minutes; dust-resistant

SIM: Nano + nano / nano + eSIM / dual eSIM (varies in different markets)

Colours: Titanium black, titanium grey, titanium violet, titanium yellow

In the box: Galaxy S24 Ultra, USB-C-to-C cable

Price: Dh5,099 for 256GB, Dh5,599 for 512GB, Dh6,599 for 1TB

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

La Mer lowdown

La Mer beach is open from 10am until midnight, daily, and is located in Jumeirah 1, well after Kite Beach. Some restaurants, like Cupagahwa, are open from 8am for breakfast; most others start at noon. At the time of writing, we noticed that signs for Vicolo, an Italian eatery, and Kaftan, a Turkish restaurant, indicated that these two restaurants will be open soon, most likely this month. Parking is available, as well as a Dh100 all-day valet option or a Dh50 valet service if you’re just stopping by for a few hours.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

ICC Intercontinental Cup

UAE squad Rohan Mustafa (captain), Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Raza, Mohammed Naveed, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Boota, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed

Fixtures Nov 29-Dec 2

UAE v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Hong Kong v Papua New Guinea, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Ireland v Scotland, Dubai International Stadium

Namibia v Netherlands, ICC Academy, Dubai