(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 24, 2018, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris.  Facebook's woes mounted Wednesday, December 19, 2018 as it faced a lawsuit alleging privacy violations related to data leaked to a consultancy working on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and as a new report suggested it shared more data with partners than it had said. The suit filed by the District of Columbia attorney general is likely the first by an official US body that could impose consequences on the world's leading social network for data misuse.
Mark Zuckerberg is a perfect example of the successful millennial. / AFP / GERARD JULIEN

Generation Z versus the millennials – coming soon to a street near you

In the last few years, populism and nationalism have risen, largely driven by the resentments of an older generation that feels betrayed by the way the world has turned out. But if you thought things were bad now, the future could be even worse, with another group of men and women poised to fall into the same trap.

Members of Generation Jones – those born between 1955 and 1964 – and the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1954) grew up in relative confidence that their place in the world was assured. Many of them passed these ideas on to their own children – often referred to as “boomers 2”. However, the financial crisis, the internet age and shifting demographic trends blew away those illusions.

Like a badly titled horror flick, Generation Z versus the millennials could be coming soon to a street corner near you. Born after 1995, Gen Zs have never known a world without the internet. Millennials, or Gen Y (typically born between 1980 and 1994, although some definitions include those born up to the year 2000), on the other hand, were handed the raw deal of coming of age in the years immediately preceding the financial crisis, then seeing all of their assumptions scuppered by austerity and the digital revolution.

Influential millennials include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Gen Z includes Malala Yousafzai – the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize.

Where Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) – including myself – have found relative happiness in our middle age, we did have a relatively easy run of it, and didn’t have to spend our youth worrying about the effects of disruptive technology.

Millennials don’t have that luxury, squeezed as they are by the angry old boomers 2, who tend to make the decisions, and the energised, ultra-capable youngsters rising fast behind them.

Fortunately, I don’t need to worry so much about my own children (Gen Alpha, from 2012). Born into a changing world, digitally native and equipped to handle whatever is thrown at them, the kids will be alright.

It’s those in their late twenties and in early thirties who need our help the most.

It is worth saying that these labels, much like the signs of the zodiac, can be vague, self-fulfilling and that many people who fall on the cusp of generations exhibit the  traits of both.

There is also a tendency these days to keep adding new labels and to subdivide people into narrower and narrower taxonomies. It is also dangerous to make sweeping generalisations about large groups of people. Gen Zs are said to be seen as confident and motivated, while millennials are cast as ungrateful, entitled and unmanageable in the workplace. All of these descriptions could apply equally well to plenty of people on their fifties and sixties.

While we Generation Xers sometimes have a hard time understanding millennials, those same millennials could face a similarly fraught relationship with the Gen Zers behind them. Millennials have not had much time to evolve past the problems of living a life according to pre-crisis norms, such as taking on high levels of personal debt. Gen Zs, by contrast, are already saving for the future.

For the past decade, millennials have also been fed a daily diet of messaging that their futures will be filled with political upheaval, precarious employment and diminished prospects.

To their credit, they have responded by changing their own sense of what constitutes wealth – a sustainable and ecologically diverse planet over owning a home, the ability to be passionate and productive over earning a large salary. Ethics and social impact have become the bottom line for this age group.

Gen Zs, meanwhile, are already with the programme, showing signs of real activism on the political front and taking more responsibility for governance. They also champion equal rights for all over the idea of life being an individual race to the top. They will also have new tools to work with such as peer-to-peer payment systems and a wealth of innovations, thanks to artificial intelligence.

Both groups care a great deal about the dangers of climate change and the importance of bio-diversity. Sounds like a formula for a better world, doesn’t it? Let’s just hope that the millennials and the Gen Zs can work together to create it.

We must make sure that millennials are not left behind. If not, we will experience a period of similar regression to that which we are experiencing now. How can we do that? The more mature of us can stop sneering at them for a start, whether behind their backs in the office or in the relative anonymity of social media. Life isn’t easy for anyone, these days, so we should all make respect for those younger than ourselves a standard part of common decency.

Mustafa Alrawi is an assistant editor-in-chief at The National

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

T10 Cricket League
Sharjah Cricket Stadium
December 14- 17
6pm, Opening ceremony, followed by:
Bengal Tigers v Kerala Kings 
Maratha Arabians v Pakhtoons
Tickets available online at q-tickets.com/t10

While you're here
Company Profile

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


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

Coming soon

Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura

When the W Dubai – The Palm hotel opens at the end of this year, one of the highlights will be Massimo Bottura’s new restaurant, Torno Subito, which promises “to take guests on a journey back to 1960s Italy”. It is the three Michelinstarred chef’s first venture in Dubai and should be every bit as ambitious as you would expect from the man whose restaurant in Italy, Osteria Francescana, was crowned number one in this year’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Akira Back Dubai

Another exciting opening at the W Dubai – The Palm hotel is South Korean chef Akira Back’s new restaurant, which will continue to showcase some of the finest Asian food in the world. Back, whose Seoul restaurant, Dosa, won a Michelin star last year, describes his menu as,  “an innovative Japanese cuisine prepared with a Korean accent”.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The highly experimental chef, whose dishes are as much about spectacle as taste, opens his first restaurant in Dubai next year. Housed at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will feature contemporary twists on recipes that date back to the 1300s, including goats’ milk cheesecake. Always remember with a Blumenthal dish: nothing is quite as it seems. 

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Mina Cup winners

Under 12 – Minerva Academy

Under 14 – Unam Pumas

Under 16 – Fursan Hispania

Under 18 – Madenat

Jewel of the Expo 2020

252 projectors installed on Al Wasl dome

13.6km of steel used in the structure that makes it equal in length to 16 Burj Khalifas

550 tonnes of moulded steel were raised last year to cap the dome

724,000 cubic metres is the space it encloses

Stands taller than the leaning tower of Pisa

Steel trellis dome is one of the largest single structures on site

The size of 16 tennis courts and weighs as much as 500 elephants

Al Wasl means connection in Arabic

World’s largest 360-degree projection surface

The rules of the road keeping cyclists safe

Cyclists must wear a helmet, arm and knee pads

Have a white front-light and a back red-light on their bike

They must place a number plate with reflective light to the back of the bike to alert road-users

Avoid carrying weights that could cause the bike to lose balance

They must cycle on designated lanes and areas and ride safe on pavements to avoid bumping into pedestrians

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


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

if you go

The flights

Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines fly direct from the UAE to Singapore from Dh2,265 return including taxes. The flight takes about 7 hours.

The hotel

Rooms at the M Social Singapore cost from SG $179 (Dh488) per night including taxes.

The tour

Makan Makan Walking group tours costs from SG $90 (Dh245) per person for about three hours. Tailor-made tours can be arranged. For details go to www.woknstroll.com.sg