Take a holiday to enjoy Holi in India



Q: I've heard that north India is a great place to visit during spring for the festival of Holi. My friends and I want to spend a couple of weeks exploring various cities, including Delhi and Agra, and are hoping to join in the festivities. Are there travel companies offering such tours?

A: North India is wonderful to visit in spring - the climate is mild and Holi (it falls on March 20 this year) is celebrated with raucous outdoor festivities - there's lots of paint-throwing, great food, music and dancing. Keep in mind, however, that things can get quite rough. Crowds of people take to the streets armed with paint-filled balloons and pails of coloured water, and can get quite aggressive in their determination to let no one pass without a thorough drenching. Make sure your clothes cover your arms and legs, wear a hat to protect your hair and carry a large bottle of water to wash off stubborn stains. It's not a bad idea to put an extra set of clothes and a hand towel in a plastic bag in your backpack, just in case.

On the Go Tours has an 11-day "Taj and Raj" package from March 19 to 29, with stops in New Delhi, Agra, Shimla (a pretty colonial hill station in Himachal Pradesh), and Rajasthan's Shekhawati region. A tour of Old Delhi, marked for the second day of the trip to coincide with Holi, is one of the best places to watch the riotous merrymaking. If you want to get involved in street celebrations, go to Chandni Chowk, the city's iconic market, for pichkari (traditional "water guns") and tiny packets of gulaal (dyed herbal, rice or limestone powder). Don't forget to try the tasty snacks and traditional sweets sold here. The trip costs £599 (Dh3,528) per person, including most meals, transport and accommodation, two nights on a train, a guide, all sightseeing, entrance fees and passes to some sites and round-trip airport transfers. Also included is an elephant ride in Jaipur. Visit www.onthegotours.com/india/ for more information.

Bales Worldwide's luxurious Classic India is a 14-day comprehensive trip from March 11 to 24 through all the major cities - New Delhi, Udaipur, Varanasi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, and an extra day in Jaipur to enjoy Holi. Here, celebrations include folk dances, cultural peformances and a mela (fair). The land-only trip costs from £2,295 (Dh13,518) per person, with accommodation in five-star hotels, including the 300-year-old Deogarh Mahal in Rajasthan, air-conditioned transport, a tour manager and experienced guide, sightseeing, entrance fees to sites, and meals as mentioned in the itinerary. Visit www.balesworldwide.com for more details.

Do you have travel questions or queries? E-mail them to us at travel@thenational.ae

Brief scores

Toss India, chose to bat

India 281-7 in 50 ov (Pandya 83, Dhoni 79; Coulter-Nile 3-44)

Australia 137-9 in 21 ov (Maxwell 39, Warner 25; Chahal 3-30)

India won by 26 runs on Duckworth-Lewis Method

BRAZIL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton

Defenders: Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Eder Militao , Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Fred, Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, Lucas Paqueta, Everton Ribeiro.

Forwards: Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, Raphinha, Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Pedro, Rodrygo

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Poacher

Director: Richie Mehta

Starring: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Rating: 3/5

Libya's Gold

UN Panel of Experts found regime secretly sold a fifth of the country's gold reserves.

The panel’s 2017 report followed a trail to West Africa where large sums of cash and gold were hidden by Abdullah Al Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, in 2011.

Cases filled with cash that was said to amount to $560m in 100 dollar notes, that was kept by a group of Libyans in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

A second stash was said to have been held in Accra, Ghana, inside boxes at the local offices of an international human rights organisation based in France.

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

The Dictionary of Animal Languages
Heidi Sopinka
​​​​​​​Scribe

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: PlanRadar
Started: 2013
Co-founders: Ibrahim Imam, Sander van de Rijdt, Constantin Köck, Clemens Hammerl, Domagoj Dolinsek
Based: Vienna, Austria
Sector: Construction and real estate
Current number of staff: 400+
Investment stage: Series B
Investors: Headline, Berliner Volksbank Ventures, aws Gründerfonds, Cavalry Ventures, Proptech1, Russmedia, GR Capital

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Champion v Champion (PFL v Bellator)

Heavyweight: Renan Ferreira v Ryan Bader
Middleweight: Impa Kasanganay v Johnny Eblen
Featherweight: Jesus Pinedo v Patricio Pitbull
Catchweight: Ray Cooper III v Jason Jackson

Showcase Bouts
Heavyweight: Bruno Cappelozza (former PFL World champ) v Vadim Nemkov (former Bellator champ)
Light Heavyweight: Thiago Santos (PFL title contender) v Yoel Romero (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Clay Collard (PFL title contender) v AJ McKee (former Bellator champ)
Featherweight: Gabriel Braga (PFL title contender) v Aaron Pico (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Biaggio Ali Walsh (pro debut) v Emmanuel Palacios (pro debut)
Women’s Lightweight: Claressa Shields v Kelsey DeSantis
Featherweight: Abdullah Al Qahtani v Edukondal Rao
Amateur Flyweight: Malik Basahel v Vinicius Pereira

THE SCORES

Ireland 125 all out

(20 overs; Stirling 72, Mustafa 4-18)

UAE 125 for 5

(17 overs, Mustafa 39, D’Silva 29, Usman 29)

UAE won by five wickets

Indian origin executives leading top technology firms

Sundar Pichai

Chief executive, Google and Alphabet

Satya Nadella

Chief executive, Microsoft

Ajaypal Singh Banga

President and chief executive, Mastercard

Shantanu Narayen

Chief executive, chairman, and president, Adobe

Indra Nooyi  

Board of directors, Amazon and former chief executive, PepsiCo

 

 

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

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

Herc's Adventures

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

ASIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2024

Results
Hong Kong 52-5 UAE
South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Fixtures
Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea

MATCH INFO

Bangla Tigers 108-5 (10 ovs)

Ingram 37, Rossouw 26, Pretorius 2-10

Deccan Gladiators 109-4 (9.5 ovs)

Watson 41, Devcich 27, Wiese 2-15

Gladiators win by six wickets