Dubai, 1st October 2008.  Tourists and expatriates shops at these small shops along the creek in Bur Dubai.  (Jeffrey E. Biteng / The National) *** Local Caption ***  JB1022-Shoppers.jpgJB1022-Shoppers.jpg
"Keep Discovering Dubai" will bring more than 2,000 travel industry professionals and media to Dubai from now until May.

Dubai to win over tourism leaders



Tourism officials hope to dispel negative perceptions of Dubai in a campaign that will show world travel's opinion makers the emirate as it really is. "Keep Discovering Dubai" will bring more than 2,000 travel industry professionals and media to Dubai from now until May. The campaign would help change "current negative perceptions" of the emirate, a source at Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said.

The source was referring to illegal dumping of sewage on Dubai beaches and reports of an outbreak of legionnaire's disease at a hotel, which were later disproved. At stake is the emirate's largest single revenue generator, worth Dh57 billion every year - 19 per cent of its economy. Hoteliers and tour operators welcomed the move by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), in partnership with Emirates Airline.

"Bringing in people to see the emirate first-hand is going to make a huge difference," said Kulwant Singh, the managing director of Lama Tours, one of the largest operators in Dubai. "At a time when countries such as Malaysia and Singapore are at war with Dubai to snatch tourists from us, the DTCM is supporting the brand it has created and putting up a fight." The department will pay for familiarisation trips of three to four days to more than 1,000 of the travel agents and tour operators, and more than 300 members of the media, the source said.

"These two groups have been identified as our main target through which we will effectively influence potential travellers." The objective of the familiarisation trips is to provide travel agents and media with first-hand experience of desert safaris, restaurants and cultural attractions such as the Bastakiya neighbourhood near the Dubai Creek. "It looks like a great initiative to educate the retail travel agents," said Jeff Strachan, the area director of Marriott Hotels in the Middle East.

Since the start of the crisis, the leisure capital of the UAE has seen hotel occupancy rates and margins fall. So far, some hotels have decided to slash room rates by as much as 60 per cent, leading to a 26 per cent drop in margins in December compared with a year earlier, according to the US-based travel research firm STR Global. "As a result of the global credit crisis Dubai is witnessing a marked reduction in the number of international visitors," said the DTCM source.

"The objective of this initiative is to give people an experience that would positively impact them ... and to protect the future growth of the Dubai tourism sector." Some hoteliers said they thought the campaign should have been launched earlier. "DTCM was a little bit slow in its reaction," said Habib Khan, the chief executive of Planet Group, which has three mid-range hotels in Dubai. "We had already started to see that business was slowing down since last summer and nothing was being done."

The effects of the campaign would not be felt immediately, he added. "I expect that as hotels managers we will start to feel the difference in about six to 12 months time because the impact of these marketing plans is always long term." Ivor McBurney, the vice president of development at Hilton Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East, disagreed. "Sometimes if you launch a initiative too fast or right after a crisis, it gets lost in all the noise and becomes less effective," he said.

abakr@thenational.ae

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

SCHEDULE FOR SHOW COURTS

Centre Court - from 4pm (UAE time)
Angelique Kerber (1) v Irina Falconi
Martin Klizan v Novak Djokovic (2)
Alexandr Dolgopolov v Roger Federer (3)

Court One - from 4pm
Milos Raonic (6) v Jan-Lennard Struff
Karolina Pliskova (3) v Evgeniya Rodina
Dominic Thiem (8) v Vasek Pospisil

Court Two - from 2.30pm
Juan Martin Del Potro (29) v Thanasi Kokkinakis
Agnieszka Radwanska (9) v Jelena Jankovic
Jeremy Chardy v Tomas Berdych (11)
Ons Jabeur v Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

SHOW COURTS ORDER OF PLAY

Wimbledon order of play on Tuesday, July 11
All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Centre Court

Adrian Mannarino v Novak Djokovic (2)

Venus Williams (10) v Jelena Ostapenko (13)

Johanna Konta (6) v Simona Halep (2)

Court 1

Garbine Muguruza (14) v

Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)

Magdalena Rybarikova v Coco Vandeweghe (24)

THE SPECS

Engine: Four-cylinder 2.5-litre

Transmission: Seven-speed auto

Power: 165hp

Torque: 241Nm

Price: Dh99,900 to Dh134,000

On sale: now

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

What is a rare disease?

A rare disease is classified as one that affects a small percentage of the population. More than 7,000 diseases are identified as rare and most are genetic in origin. More than 75 per cent of rare genetic diseases affect children. 

Collectively rare diseases affect 1 in 17 people, or more than 400 million people worldwide. Very few have any available treatment and most patients  struggle with numerous health challenges and life-long ailments that can go undiagnosed for years due to lack of awareness or testing.

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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

Rating: 4.5/5

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Rashford 36')

Liverpool 1 (Lallana 84')

Man of the match: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“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.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”

How it works

1) The liquid nanoclay is a mixture of water and clay that aims to convert desert land to fertile ground

2) Instead of water draining straight through the sand, it apparently helps the soil retain water

3) One application is said to last five years

4) The cost of treatment per hectare (2.4 acres) of desert varies from $7,000 to $10,000 per hectare 

Teachers' pay - what you need to know

Pay varies significantly depending on the school, its rating and the curriculum. Here's a rough guide as of January 2021:

- top end schools tend to pay Dh16,000-17,000 a month - plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated 'outstanding' or 'very good', followed by American schools

- average salary across curriculums and skill levels is about Dh10,000, recruiters say

- it is becoming more common for schools to provide accommodation, sometimes in an apartment block with other teachers, rather than hand teachers a cash housing allowance

- some strong performing schools have cut back on salaries since the pandemic began, sometimes offering Dh16,000 including the housing allowance, which reflects the slump in rental costs, and sheer demand for jobs

- maths and science teachers are most in demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 more than other teachers in recognition of their technical skills

- at the other end of the market, teachers in some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid as low as Dh3,000 per month

- in Indian schools, it has also become common for teachers to share residential accommodation, living in a block with colleagues

THE SPECS

Touareg Highline

Engine: 3.0-litre, V6

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Power: 340hp

Torque: 450Nm

Price: Dh239,312

Indika

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

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★

UAE SQUAD

Men: Saif Al Zaabi, Salem Al Marzooqi, Zayed Al Ansaari, Saud Abdulaziz Rahmatalla, Adel Shanbih, Ahmed Khamis Al Blooshi, Abdalla Al Naqbi, Khaled Al Hammadi, Mohammed Khamis Khalaf, Mohammad Fahad, Abdulla Al Arimi.
Women: Mozah Al Zeyoudi, Haifa Al Naqbi, Ayesha Al Mutaiwei.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Herc's Adventures

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

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

ARM IPO DETAILS

Share price: Undisclosed

Target raise: $8 billion to $10 billion

Projected valuation: $60 billion to $70 billion (Source: Bloomberg)

Lead underwriters: Barclays, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and Mizuho Financial Group

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The five stages of early child’s play

From Dubai-based clinical psychologist Daniella Salazar:

1. Solitary Play: This is where Infants and toddlers start to play on their own without seeming to notice the people around them. This is the beginning of play.

2. Onlooker play: This occurs where the toddler enjoys watching other people play. There doesn’t necessarily need to be any effort to begin play. They are learning how to imitate behaviours from others. This type of play may also appear in children who are more shy and introverted.

3. Parallel Play: This generally starts when children begin playing side-by-side without any interaction. Even though they aren’t physically interacting they are paying attention to each other. This is the beginning of the desire to be with other children.

4. Associative Play: At around age four or five, children become more interested in each other than in toys and begin to interact more. In this stage children start asking questions and talking about the different activities they are engaging in. They realise they have similar goals in play such as building a tower or playing with cars.

5. Social Play: In this stage children are starting to socialise more. They begin to share ideas and follow certain rules in a game. They slowly learn the definition of teamwork. They get to engage in basic social skills and interests begin to lead social interactions.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
SUE GRAY'S FINDINGS

"Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the
way in which they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time.

"Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. It is also the case that some of the
more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders. 

"The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture. 

"I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly.

"I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable." 

AT A GLANCE

Windfall
An “energy profits levy” to raise about £5 billion in a year. The temporary one-off tax will hit oil and gas firms by 25 per cent on extraordinary profits. An 80 per cent investment allowance should calm Conservative nerves that the move will dent North Sea firms’ investment to save them 91p for every £1 they spend.
A universal grant
Energy bills discount, which was effectively a £200 loan, has doubled to a £400 discount on bills for all households from October that will not need to be paid back.
Targeted measures
More than eight million of the lowest income households will receive a £650 one-off payment. It will apply to households on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and legacy benefits.
Separate one-off payments of £300 will go to pensioners and £150 for those receiving disability benefits.

MATCH INFO

Syria v Australia
2018 World Cup qualifying: Asia fourth round play-off first leg
Venue: Hang Jebat Stadium, Malayisa
Kick-off: Thursday, 4.30pm (UAE)
Watch: beIN Sports HD

* Second leg in Australia on October 10

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6
Power: 456hp at 5,000rpm
Torque: 691Nm at 3,500rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 14.6L/100km
Price: from Dh349,545
On sale: now

WWE Super ShowDown results

Seth Rollins beat Baron Corbin to retain his WWE Universal title

Finn Balor defeated Andrade to stay WWE Intercontinental Championship

Shane McMahon defeated Roman Reigns

Lars Sullivan won by disqualification against Lucha House Party

Randy Orton beats Triple H

Braun Strowman beats Bobby Lashley

Kofi Kingston wins against Dolph Zigggler to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Mansoor Al Shehail won the 50-man Battle Royal

The Undertaker beat Goldberg

 

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire

Director: Zack Snyder
Stars: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Michiel Huisman, Charlie Hunnam
Rating: 2/5

How much of your income do you need to save?

The more you save, the sooner you can retire. Tuan Phan, a board member of SimplyFI.com, says if you save just 5 per cent of your salary, you can expect to work for another 66 years before you are able to retire without too large a drop in income.

In other words, you will not save enough to retire comfortably. If you save 15 per cent, you can forward to another 43 working years. Up that to 40 per cent of your income, and your remaining working life drops to just 22 years. (see table)

Obviously, this is only a rough guide. How much you save will depend on variables, not least your salary and how much you already have in your pension pot. But it shows what you need to do to achieve financial independence.

 


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