ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - July 24, 2018: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (C), receives HE Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (L) and HE Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea (R), at the Presidential Palace. 

( Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed with Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (L) and Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea (R). Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi 

Providing a bridge between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been a significant achievement for the UAE



Almost a decade ago, in the cool surrounds of the Italian-built presidential palace in Asmara, there was one line of questioning that went nowhere with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki: why did his country shut itself off from the world because of the dispute with Ethiopia?

It was, however, clear that the liberation hero and president of the Red Sea state was frustrated with the stand-off. Even then, he evinced no passion for the division of the Horn of Africa in the way it had long been split.

But the rapid thawing of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, which seemed to come out of the blue, has caught many by surprise.

The opportunity created by the new entente is vast. Already Mr Isaias has granted Eritrea’s neighbour the long sought-after promise of access to the port of Assab on the Red Sea.

As in most momentous diplomatic breakthroughs, it pays to look at the chemistry that created the agreement.

It is now clear that the moment when the UAE sealed an agreement to open up Assab was a turning point. The port had been a backwater since the end of the Cold War but has deep roots into the interior.

With its logistics expertise, the UAE has been keen to unlock the potential of the Horn of Africa's seaboard. The conflict in Yemen has raised the strategic importance of the relationship significantly.

Eritrea has been isolated from global trade and within its neighbourhood. Much of that was down to the character of its president, who has embodied the country since its independence in the 1990s.

A neat man in a smartly tailored jacket, the Eritrean president in 2009 was a very self-contained figure. The palace reception rooms bore little or no personal imprimatur. The building was quiet and chilly.

Diplomats based in the capital briefed that the key to dispute was not the differences between Eritreans and Ethiopians. The ties that linked the leaderships were key. It was rumoured, in fact, that the president was a blood relative of his rival, Meles Zenawi, then Ethiopia's prime minister.

While also authoritarian, Mr Meles had in contrast the knack of securing the backing of the world – particularly the development donors who lavished billions on a country that was proven so vulnerable in the 1980s famine.

Mr Meles and Mr Isaias were both ethnic Tigrans who could not bridge their differences. Vast conscript armies stood either side of the high altitude ridges along armistice line. A border commission verdict handing back the town of Badme in 2002 failed to bring reconciliation.

The death of Mr Meles six years ago changed the parameters of the dispute.

Since then the Eritrea president has struck up a deep rapport with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Relationships were forged with the UAE leadership. A sense of new beginnings was engendered.

Then in April came the vital ingredient – a change of leadership in Ethiopia. The new prime minister Abiy Ahmed was brought up by Christian and Muslim parents, his roots in the south of Ethiopia. Crucially he ascended through the ranks of the Tigrayan-dominated intelligence services before going into politics and rising through the ranks of the ruling coalition.

It took street protests to finally lift Mr Abiy to power but having broken the Tigrayan grip on power, he has wasted no time. In just a few short weeks, Mr Abiy has kicked away the last principles of the Meles era.

Not since the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie decided to annex Eritrea, triggering a 32-year armed struggle, has there been such a significant shift in the regional balance of power.

Ethiopia is landlocked. It has made a significant leap in self-sufficiency over recent decades but cannot get over the basic lack of access to the sea.

It is clearly in the interest of the government in Addis Abba to diversify its supply lines beyond the current reliance on Djbouti. Even under the previous leadership, Ethiopia had teamed up with the UAE in an investment in the autonomous Somaliland.

Providing a bridge for Mr Abiy to connect with Mr Isaias is already a significant achievement for the UAE, The long-term strategic goal of a string of modern trade hubs along the western Red Sea has taken a sudden leap forward.

Overcoming the hurdles presented by the Mogadishu authorities failure to open up Somalia to trade is bound to be facilitated by the momentum further north.

There has been a lazy tag line for Eritrea among commentators and think tank researchers. The country has been written off as the North Korea of Africa. As a visitor to both countries, the fallacy was that Asmara was just another Pyongyang.

Diplomacy with North Korea has hogged the headlines in recent months. So far, dealings with Eritrea have achieved far more.

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

Liverpool
Gordon (34'), Fabinho (44' pen, 90'+3), Firmino (78')

Shrewsbury
Udoh (27'minutes)

Man of the Match: Kaide Gordon (Liverpool)

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.
A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

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

Results

Stage seven

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, in 3:20:24

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1s

3. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Bahrain-Victorious, at 5s

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, in 25:38:16

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at 22s

3. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Bahrain-Victorious, at 48s

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

MOST POLLUTED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

START-UPS IN BATCH 4 OF SANABIL 500'S ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

Saudi Arabia

Joy: Delivers car services with affordable prices

Karaz: Helps diabetics with gamification, IoT and real-time data

Medicarri: Medical marketplace that connects clinics with suppliers

Mod5r: Makes automated and recurring investments to grow wealth

Stuck: Live, on-demand language support to boost writing

Walzay: Helps in recruitment while reducing hiring time

UAE

Eighty6: Marketplace for restaurant and supplier procurements

FarmUnboxed: Helps digitise international food supply chain

NutriCal: Helps F&B businesses and governments with nutritional analysis

Wellxai: Provides insurance that enables and rewards user habits

Egypt

Amwal: A Shariah-compliant crowd-lending platform

Deben: Helps CFOs manage cash efficiently

Egab: Connects media outlets to journalists in hard-to-reach areas for exclusives

Neqabty: Digitises financial and medical services of labour unions

Oman

Monak: Provides financial inclusion and life services to migrants

Company profile

Company name: Shipsy
Year of inception: 2015
Founders: Soham Chokshi, Dhruv Agrawal, Harsh Kumar and Himanshu Gupta
Based: India, UAE and Indonesia
Sector: logistics
Size: more than 350 employees
Funding received so far: $31 million in series A and B rounds
Investors: Info Edge, Sequoia Capital’s Surge, A91 Partners and Z3 Partners

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Dresos

Started: September 2020

Founders: Vladimir Radojevic and Aleksandar Jankovic

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Fashion

Funding: $285,000; $500,000 currently being raised

Investors: Crowdfunding, family, friends and self-funding

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Shaffra
Started: 2023
Based: DIFC Innovation Hub
Sector: metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS)
Investment: currently closing $1.5 million seed round
Investment stage: pre-seed
Investors: Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi and different PCs and angel investors from Saudi Arabia
Number of staff: nine

THE BIO

Family: I have three siblings, one older brother (age 25) and two younger sisters, 20 and 13 

Favourite book: Asking for my favourite book has to be one of the hardest questions. However a current favourite would be Sidewalk by Mitchell Duneier

Favourite place to travel to: Any walkable city. I also love nature and wildlife 

What do you love eating or cooking: I’m constantly in the kitchen. Ever since I changed the way I eat I enjoy choosing and creating what goes into my body. However, nothing can top home cooked food from my parents. 

Favorite place to go in the UAE: A quiet beach.

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

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

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

Name: Brendalle Belaza

From: Crossing Rubber, Philippines

Arrived in the UAE: 2007

Favourite place in Abu Dhabi: NYUAD campus

Favourite photography style: Street photography

Favourite book: Harry Potter

Company Profile

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

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Fernandes pen 2') Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Ndombele 4', Son 7' & 37' Kane (30' & pen 79, Aurier 51')

Man of the match Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

HOW TO WATCH

Facebook: TheNationalNews

Twitter: @thenationalnews

Instagram: @thenationalnews.com

TikTok: @thenationalnews  

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

Generation Start-up: Awok company profile

Started: 2013

Founder: Ulugbek Yuldashev

Sector: e-commerce

Size: 600 plus

Stage: still in talks with VCs

Principal Investors: self-financed by founder

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

T20 World Cup Qualifier

October 18 – November 2

Opening fixtures

Friday, October 18

ICC Academy: 10am, Scotland v Singapore, 2.10pm, Netherlands v Kenya

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Hong Kong v Ireland, 7.30pm, Oman v UAE

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Darius D’Silva, Mohammed Usman, Mohammed Boota, Zawar Farid, Ghulam Shabber, Junaid Siddique, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Waheed Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Zahoor Khan

Players out: Mohammed Naveed, Shaiman Anwar, Qadeer Ahmed

Players in: Junaid Siddique, Darius D’Silva, Waheed Ahmed