Energy industry estimates put the average global cost of electricity at between 12 and 15 US cents per kilowatt hour. Sammy Dallal / The National
Energy industry estimates put the average global cost of electricity at between 12 and 15 US cents per kilowatt hour. Sammy Dallal / The National

UAE to cut remaining energy subsidies, minister says



DAVOS // The UAE will extend its economic diversification strategy by removing further subsidies on energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Energy Minister, told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In particular, Mr Al Mazrouei said he was planning to scrap subsidies on electricity and on gas sold to power generators.

“We need to think about major reforms to make the budget less dependent on the oil price, and to build an economy that is vibrant but also taking advantage of the lower oil prices,” he said.

“We saw the opportunity to do the right thing and to get people to pay the right price for energy. We have done it with petrol and diesel, next is electricity. We must remove remaining subsidies from electricity generation. Most of it is not subsidised, the majority of the tariff is fair. But there are old gas contracts that are not realistic and do not reflect fair pricing,” he added.

He gave no details on the timing of the subsidy removals.

His comments came in a wider debate about the pace of economic reform in Arab countries, dominated by concerns from oil-producing countries about the effect of falling oil prices on regional budgets.

Mr Al Mazrouei predicted that national populations could be “persuaded” to accept and embrace economic reform even when it might affect their standard of living by increasing consumer prices. “If you have a good story and tell it to local people they will be convinced. The majority of the population is young and they’re different from past generations.

“The economy is still growing but the challenging thing is to get more efficiency. We are redirecting the subsidy as an opportunity to invest in other parts of the economy, like building schools and hospitals. It’s a convincing story. It’s not so difficult to understand,” he said.

Mr Al Mazrouei was asked if a price range of between US$30 and $40 per barrel was “the new normal” for the oil industry and if there should be a new Opec policy on production levels.

“Cartelment is unfair and unethical and has the result of bringing more expensive production to the market. But this price is not sustainable. It is very low and will not last. You have to remember that 60 to 70 per cent of oil production comes from outside Opec, and for example North Sea oil costs $50 to $60 per barrel to produce. I think we will see sustainability of a fair price for the producers and consumers by the end of this year or early next,” he said.

Mr Al Mazrouei pointed out that the low oil price had led to the cancellation of $400 billion of energy industry investment.

“This planned investment has gone. We will have a problem in two years’ time. You cannot produce oil out of air,” he said.

The new era of energy prices was one of the major themes of the WEF’s annual meeting.

On a separate panel, Khalid Al Falih, the chairman of Saudi Aramco, the region’s biggest producer, said that his company and Saudi Arabia as a country had the capacity to withstand low oil prices “for a long time”.

“We have the most resilient capacity to take whatever the market serves. If prices stay low we will be able to withstand it for a long time. But obviously we don’t hope for it,” he said. He called the current price level “irrational”.

Mr Al Falih confirmed that Aramco was studying the possibility of selling some of its business in an initial public offering but declined to give details.

Representatives from other oil-producing countries were critical of Opec policy.

Emmanuel Kachikwu, the oil minister for Opec member Nigeria, called for an emergency meeting of Opec to discuss how to increase prices, but Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, which has suffered economic and financial disruption, as well as public protests because of falling oil revenue, advised against calling any more Opec meetings.

“Every time Opec meets the price of oil goes down, so it’s better not to have any more special meetings,” he said.

fkane@thenational.ae

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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".

UAE SQUAD

Jemma Eley, Maria Michailidou, Molly Fuller, Chloe Andrews (of Dubai College), Eliza Petricola, Holly Guerin, Yasmin Craig, Caitlin Gowdy (Dubai English Speaking College), Claire Janssen, Cristiana Morall (Jumeirah English Speaking School), Tessa Mies (Jebel Ali School), Mila Morgan (Cranleigh Abu Dhabi).

Neymar's bio

Total club appearances 411

Total goals scored 241

Appearances for Barca 186

Goals scored for Barca 105

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

Need to know

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no need to have a bank account, credit or debit card to do digital payments.

Customers only need a valid Emirates ID and a working UAE mobile number to register for eWallet account.

Herc's Adventures

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

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies daily to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi. The journey takes four hours and return fares start from Dh3,995. Opt for the 3am flight and you’ll land at 6am, giving you the entire day to adjust to island time.  

Round trip speedboat transfers to the resort are bookable via Anantara and cost $265 per person.  

if you go

The flights

Flydubai flies to Podgorica or nearby Tivat via Sarajevo from Dh2,155 return including taxes. Turkish Airlines flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Podgorica via Istanbul; alternatively, fly with Flydubai from Dubai to Belgrade and take a short flight with Montenegro Air to Podgorica. Etihad flies from Abu Dhabi to Podgorica via Belgrade. Flights cost from about Dh3,000 return including taxes. There are buses from Podgorica to Plav. 

The tour

While you can apply for a permit for the route yourself, it’s best to travel with an agency that will arrange it for you. These include Zbulo in Albania (www.zbulo.org) or Zalaz in Montenegro (www.zalaz.me).

 

The Details

Article 15
Produced by: Carnival Cinemas, Zee Studios
Directed by: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Zeeshan Ayyub
Our rating: 4/5 

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

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

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Directed by: Shaka King

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons

Four stars

Salah in numbers

€39 million: Liverpool agreed a fee, including add-ons, in the region of 39m (nearly Dh176m) to sign Salah from Roma last year. The exchange rate at the time meant that cost the Reds £34.3m - a bargain given his performances since.

13: The 25-year-old player was not a complete stranger to the Premier League when he arrived at Liverpool this summer. However, during his previous stint at Chelsea, he made just 13 Premier League appearances, seven of which were off the bench, and scored only twice.

57: It was in the 57th minute of his Liverpool bow when Salah opened his account for the Reds in the 3-3 draw with Watford back in August. The Egyptian prodded the ball over the line from close range after latching onto Roberto Firmino's attempted lob.

7: Salah's best scoring streak of the season occurred between an FA Cup tie against West Brom on January 27 and a Premier League win over Newcastle on March 3. He scored for seven games running in all competitions and struck twice against Tottenham.

3: This season Salah became the first player in Premier League history to win the player of the month award three times during a term. He was voted as the division's best player in November, February and March.

40: Salah joined Roger Hunt and Ian Rush as the only players in Liverpool's history to have scored 40 times in a single season when he headed home against Bournemouth at Anfield earlier this month.

30: The goal against Bournemouth ensured the Egyptian achieved another milestone in becoming the first African player to score 30 times across one Premier League campaign.

8: As well as his fine form in England, Salah has also scored eight times in the tournament phase of this season's Champions League. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15 to his credit, has found the net more often in the group stages and knockout rounds of Europe's premier club competition.

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

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE results
Ireland beat UAE by six wickets
Zimbabwe beat UAE by eight wickets
UAE beat Netherlands by 10 wickets

Fixtures
UAE v Vanuatu, Thursday, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium
Ireland v Netherlands, 7.30pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium

Group B table
1) Ireland 3 3 0 6 +2.407
2. Netherlands 3 2 1 4 +1.117
3) UAE 3 1 2 2 0.000
4) Zimbabwe 4 1 3 2 -0.844
5) Vanuatu 3 1 2 2 -2.180

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Iraq negotiating over Iran sanctions impact
  • US sanctions on Iran’s energy industry and exports took effect on Monday, November 5.
  • Washington issued formal waivers to eight buyers of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue limited imports. Iraq did not receive a waiver.
  • Iraq’s government is cooperating with the US to contain Iranian influence in the country, and increased Iraqi oil production is helping to make up for Iranian crude that sanctions are blocking from markets, US officials say.
  • Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped last month at a record 4.78 million barrels a day, former Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Oct. 20. Iraq exported 3.83 million barrels a day last month, according to tanker tracking and data from port agents.
  • Iraq has been working to restore production at its northern Kirkuk oil field. Kirkuk could add 200,000 barrels a day of oil to Iraq’s total output, Hook said.
  • The country stopped trucking Kirkuk oil to Iran about three weeks ago, in line with U.S. sanctions, according to four people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t allowed to speak to media.
  • Oil exports from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest supplier, have slumped since President Donald Trump announced in May that he’d reimpose sanctions. Iran shipped about 1.76 million barrels a day in October out of 3.42 million in total production, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
  • Benchmark Brent crude fell 47 cents to $72.70 a barrel in London trading at 7:26 a.m. local time. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was 25 cents lower at $62.85 a barrel in New York. WTI held near the lowest level in seven months as concerns of a tightening market eased after the U.S. granted its waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.
Marathon results

Men:

1. Titus Ekiru(KEN) 2:06:13 

2. Alphonce Simbu(TAN) 2:07:50 

3. Reuben Kipyego(KEN) 2:08:25 

4. Abel Kirui(KEN) 2:08:46 

5. Felix Kemutai(KEN) 2:10:48  

Women:

1. Judith Korir(KEN) 2:22:30 

2. Eunice Chumba(BHR) 2:26:01 

3. Immaculate Chemutai(UGA) 2:28:30 

4. Abebech Bekele(ETH) 2:29:43 

5. Aleksandra Morozova(RUS) 2:33:01