Dubai, November 17, 2010 - Scott Wilcox with Hazel, one of his two dogs and his Nissan GTR near his home in Umm Suqeim, Dubai, November 17, 2010. (Jeff Topping/The National)
Scott Wilcox with Hazel, one of his two dogs, and his Nissan GT-R. Wilcox is giving his old car, a 2002 Maserati 3200, to a friend as a wedding gift.

My car: Nissan GT-R



It could be the sporty shape, or perhaps the overwhelming road presence that singles this car out from its peers. Whatever it is, it was good enough for the Nissan chief test driver Toshio Suzuki, who drove the Nissan GT-R in a scorching seven minute, 26.7-second lap time around Germany's Nürburgring track, and it is more than good enough for a certain Dubai-based security consultant.

"I took it for a test drive, and I bought it that same afternoon. That should show how much I absolutely loved it," says Scott Wilcox of his silver 2009 Nissan GT-R.

Wilcox had his mind set on buying a new car when he took his friend's Ferrari out for a drive.

"I went to the gallery to have a closer look at the Ferrari. But I realised how ridiculously expensive it was and moved on to another showroom; that's when the guys at the other gallery showed me the Nissan GT-R," he says.

The 2009 GT-R can rocket from rest to 100kph in just more than three seconds. With a twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive, the car can get to a maximum speed of 311kph.

Wilcox's initial reluctance to go for the Nissan disappeared after he sat inside his new GT-R. "I have only been driving it for a week or so, and it exceeded every expectation I had. The only thing I was worried about is its handling in terms of the brake system and such, but it handles absolutely fantastic," he says.

Knowing Wilcox's love for sports cars, it's not surprising that the UK national is also the proud owner of a black 2002 Maserati 3200; what may be shocking is that he graciously plans to give it away to his best friend as a wedding gift.

"We've known each other for 14 years, and it only made sense.

"If you know Maseratis, they're very hard to handle and they spend most of their lives in a garage. He likes it, and he wanted it, so it seemed convenient for everybody," he jokes.

Before he drove in Dubai for the first time three years ago, Wilcox was a security consultant in Afghanistan, where he also served part of his military service after joining the British Royal Marines when he was 16, only a year after he learnt to drive.

"I was 15 years old and my father took me to a farm and he taught me everything I know today about driving," says Wilcox.

Later, he bought his first car, a BMW 3 Series, and it's been an interesting journey ever since.

"I travelled around quite a lot from that time on, all the way until I was 27 years old. Right before I left the marines, I got put in the army in Afghanistan for six months. I moved to Dubai two days after I left the military services," says Wilcox.

"I can't believe that a place with such a fantastic road system, and the driving standards of so many internationals, and cars that don't circulate anywhere else in the world, would have a safety record and an accident rate the way it is right now," he says of the UAE.

Wilcox says that driving in the UK is a totally different experience from the streets of Dubai. "Moving from a city with a left-hand-drive car, and a right-hand-drive road, to a city where it's the other way around, things are bound to get a bit confusing.

"But it is hardly a challenging area for me to drive in. The only road I find personally challenging is the Emirates Road!" laughs Wilcox.

Wilcox much prefers a manual gearbox for driving. "I'd pick manual over automatic any time. I'd like to control my vehicle rather than having the manufacturers decide when the gear needs to be shifted, which is why I'm lucky my GT-R is supplied with a tiptronic gear box that shifts between both."

Although it is easy for people to judge others based on what car they drive, Wilcox doesn' think cars necessarily reflect personality.

"I think cars only reflect certain times in your life. They are more of a reflection of your financial status at that time, rather than your personality.

"Cars that people drive are not necessarily their own choices. People are tied down by boundaries that limit their choices of what they really want."

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

AVOID SCAMMERS: TIPS FROM EMIRATES NBD

1. Never respond to e-mails, calls or messages asking for account, card or internet banking details

2. Never store a card PIN (personal identification number) in your mobile or in your wallet

3. Ensure online shopping websites are secure and verified before providing card details

4. Change passwords periodically as a precautionary measure

5. Never share authentication data such as passwords, card PINs and OTPs  (one-time passwords) with third parties

6. Track bank notifications regarding transaction discrepancies

7. Report lost or stolen debit and credit cards immediately

Opening Rugby Championship fixtures:Games can be watched on OSN Sports
Saturday: Australia v New Zealand, Sydney, 1pm (UAE)
Sunday: South Africa v Argentina, Port Elizabeth, 11pm (UAE)

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Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

How to improve Arabic reading in early years

One 45-minute class per week in Standard Arabic is not sufficient

The goal should be for grade 1 and 2 students to become fluent readers

Subjects like technology, social studies, science can be taught in later grades

Grade 1 curricula should include oral instruction in Standard Arabic

First graders must regularly practice individual letters and combinations

Time should be slotted in class to read longer passages in early grades

Improve the appearance of textbooks

Revision of curriculum should be undertaken as per research findings

Conjugations of most common verb forms should be taught

Systematic learning of Standard Arabic grammar

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

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


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