Making room for a relationship and exercise



After spending the whole summer in England, it's undeniable I've gained a bit of extra weight. My mum's cooking, constant socialising with friends I'd forgotten existed and the increased snack consumption that comes with staring at 24-hour rolling news coverage of rioting in your hometown can all be blamed. But, after arriving back in the UAE and finding that only the trousers in my wardrobe with a bit of "give" were still wearable, I decided firm action was needed.

For me, the surefire way to maintain the motivation in the battle to ditch those extra kilos is to sign up for a lengthy running event - and the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Half Marathon in November seems perfect. The impending terror of having to haul a portly frame through a 21-kilometre slog galvanises a complete lifestyle upheaval. So, if I do decide to get involved in the half marathon, the next two months will involve hours on the treadmill, endless salad lunches and the shunning of any social life in favour of curling up with a copy of Runner's World magazine. And low and behold, just watch as that excess fat melts away and my greyhound-like physique returns.

But here's the dilemma: my wife is adamant that my aspirations of having the body of an Olympic distance runner are completely unacceptable. You see, when we met - two years ago at a mutual friend's wedding - I'd recently completed the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Although she thought I was reasonably charming, at the time she deemed my skeletal runner's physique pretty unattractive.

It wasn't until we met again by chance six months later, and my usual sedentary, junk-food laden lifestyle had started to pay dividends on my waistline, that her opinion of me changed.

For most guys, this is highly confusing. We've been led to believe that flat stomachs are up there with facial scars, leather jackets and "love/ hate" tattoos on each knuckle as symbols of masculinity that induce swooning in the fairer sex. However, apparently being super-skinny is a major turn off.

So what to do? Sign up for the half marathon and possibly alienate the love of my life, or keep pounding the shawarmas and bottomless buffets and risk accidentally blinding my new colleagues as my expanding belly causes my shirt buttons to ping across the room?

I'm completely lost. I'll eat this giant bag of Doritos and then decide.

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Vault
Started: June 2023
Co-founders: Bilal Abou-Diab and Sami Abdul Hadi
Based: Abu Dhabi
Licensed by: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Industry: Investment and wealth advisory
Funding: $1 million
Investors: Outliers VC and angel investors
Number of employees: 14

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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

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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.

Company profile

Company name: FinFlx

Started: January 2021

Founders: Amr Yussif (co-founder and CEO), Mattieu Capelle (co-founder and CTO)

Based in: Dubai

Industry: FinTech

Funding size: $1.5m pre-seed

Investors: Venture capital - Y Combinator, 500 Global, Dubai Future District Fund, Fox Ventures, Vector Fintech. Also a number of angel investors

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SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

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1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Telr
Based: Dubai, UAE
Launch year: 2014
Number of employees: 65
Sector: FinTech and payments
Funding: nearly $30 million so far

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre direct injection turbo
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
Torque: 400Nm
Price: From Dh134,999

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Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

COMPANY PROFILE

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Alaan
Started: 2021
Based: Dubai
Founders: Parthi Duraisamy and Karun Kurien
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: $7 million raised in total — $2.5 million in a seed round and $4.5 million in a pre-series A round

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Checks continue

A High Court judge issued an interim order on Friday suspending a decision by Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots to direct a stop to Brexit agri-food checks at Northern Ireland ports.

Mr Justice Colton said he was making the temporary direction until a judicial review of the minister's unilateral action this week to order a halt to port checks that are required under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Civil servants have yet to implement the instruction, pending legal clarity on their obligations, and checks are continuing.

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

Company profile

Name:+Thndr

Started:+October 2020

Founders:+Ahmad Hammouda and Seif Amr

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: FinTech

Initial investment: pre-seed of+$800,000

Funding stage: series A;+$20 million

Investors: Tiger Global, Beco Capital, Prosus Ventures, Y Combinator, Global Ventures, Abdul Latif Jameel, Endure Capital, 4DX Ventures, Plus VC, Rabacap and MSA Capital


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