FILE PHOTO: People gather at a United Nations aid distribution center in Hodeidah, Yemen November 13, 2018.  Picture taken November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo
A UN aid distribution centre in Hodeidah, Yemen. Reuters

Path to Yemen peace has been carefully laid



If there were any obstacles to finding a pathway to peace in Yemen, they are being systematically dismantled, one by one.

A provisional date has been set for early December for all parties in the three-year conflict to meet on neutral territory in Sweden.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths is in the capital Sanaa and is expected to meet Houthi rebels in Hodeidah tomorrow. The Saudi-led coalition and the US have both pledged their commitment to a political solution to bring an end to the three-year conflict. Kuwait has offered to provide air transport to all factions to ensure they meet for initial peace talks in Stockholm and Mr Griffiths has offered to accompany the Iran-backed Houthis to Sweden.

There is a momentum and a will, both regionally and from the international community, to bring to an end the suffering of millions of Yemenis in a country on the brink of widespread famine.

There are no quick fixes to a war which has raged since 2015 and claimed the lives of more than 80,000 children.

As Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said, the talks in Sweden are a first step on a long and as yet unforeseen path. “Stockholm talks may not be the last round of negotiations,” he warned, “but we hope it would be a basis for more serious talks from the Houthis.”

Indeed, these are but the initial building blocks for a framework for peace, but they are essential groundwork and the furthest all parties have travelled in terms of meeting on a level playing field and agreeing to co-operate. Mr Griffiths faces a precarious task ahead.

The slightest provocation could set back negotiations and worsen an already dire situation before that critical point in December arrives.

It is up to him and international partners like the US to steer a course for all factions to ensure they halt hostilities and take part in mediation talks.

They might not agree once there – but sitting down to negotiate is further than they have been along this road. In September, the Houthis failed to show up for peace talks in Geneva, the second time they have refused to appear.

A brief respite in fighting this week gave hope that they realise the urgency of peace efforts, with the spectre of a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse looming large over the country.

The rebels are now confronted with a stark choice, as the International Crisis Group pointed out this week: be complicit in widespread devastation, from which it would take a generation to recover, or act in the best interests of the Yemenis in territories under their control.

Fourteen million people – half the population – are at risk of famine. With such a binary choice, a diplomatic solution is the only realistic and humane way out.

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

The Transfiguration

Director: Michael O’Shea

Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine

Three stars

Apple product price list

iPad Pro

11" - $799 (64GB)
12.9" - $999 (64GB)

MacBook Air 

$1,199

Mac Mini

$799

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

Brief scores:

Toss: Nepal, chose to field

UAE 153-6: Shaiman (59), Usman (30); Regmi 2-23

Nepal 132-7: Jora 53 not out; Zahoor 2-17

Result: UAE won by 21 runs

Series: UAE lead 1-0

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

Profile box

Company name: baraka
Started: July 2020
Founders: Feras Jalbout and Kunal Taneja
Based: Dubai and Bahrain
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $150,000
Current staff: 12
Stage: Pre-seed capital raising of $1 million
Investors: Class 5 Global, FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq, Fox Ventures, Dr Abdulla Elyas (private investment)

Kanye West

Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West — has seen his net worth fall to $400 million in recent weeks. That’s a precipitous drop from Bloomberg’s estimates of $6.8 billion at the end of 2021.
Ye’s wealth plunged after business partners, including Adidas, severed ties with him on the back of anti-Semitic remarks earlier this year.
West’s present net worth derives from cash, his music, real estate and a stake in former wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims.

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

PROFILE BOX

Company name: Overwrite.ai

Founder: Ayman Alashkar

Started: Established in 2020

Based: Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai

Sector: PropTech

Initial investment: Self-funded by founder

Funding stage: Seed funding, in talks with angel investors

FIGHT CARD

From 5.30pm in the following order:

Featherweight

Marcelo Pontes (BRA) v Azouz Anwar (EGY)

Catchweight 90kg

Moustafa Rashid Nada (KSA) v Imad Al Howayeck (LEB)

Welterweight

Mohammed Al Khatib (JOR) v Gimbat Ismailov (RUS)

Flyweight (women)

Lucie Bertaud (FRA) v Kelig Pinson (BEL)

Lightweight

Alexandru Chitoran (BEL) v Regelo Enumerables Jr (PHI)

Catchweight 100kg

Mohamed Ali (EGY) v Marc Vleiger (NED)

Featherweight

James Bishop (AUS) v Mark Valerio (PHI)

Welterweight

Gerson Carvalho (BRA) v Abdelghani Saber (EGY)

Middleweight 

Bakhtiyar Abbasov (AZE) v Igor Litoshik (BLR)

Bantamweight:

Fabio Mello (BRA) v Mark Alcoba (PHI)

Welterweight

Ahmed Labban (LEB) v Magomedsultan Magemedsultanov (RUS)

Bantamweight

Trent Girdham (AUS) v Jayson Margallo (PHI)

Lightweight

Usman Nurmagomedov (RUS) v Roman Golovinov (UKR)

Middleweight

Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Steve Kennedy (AUS)

Lightweight

Dan Moret (USA) v Anton Kuivanen (FIN)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Kinetic 7
Started: 2018
Founder: Rick Parish
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

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)
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HOW TO WATCH

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Dhadak

Director: Shashank Khaitan

Starring: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, Ashutosh Rana

Stars: 3

Match info

Wolves 0

Arsenal 2 (Saka 43', Lacazette 85')

Man of the match: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

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.”

UAE and Russia in numbers

UAE-Russia ties stretch back 48 years

Trade between the UAE and Russia reached Dh12.5 bn in 2018

More than 3,000 Russian companies are registered in the UAE

Around 40,000 Russians live in the UAE

The number of Russian tourists travelling to the UAE will increase to 12 percent to reach 1.6 million in 2023

Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World by Michael Ignatieff
Harvard University Press

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Disturbing facts and figures

51% of parents in the UAE feel like they are failing within the first year of parenthood

57% vs 43% is the number of mothers versus the number of fathers who feel they’re failing

28% of parents believe social media adds to the pressure they feel to be perfect

55% of parents cannot relate to parenting images on social media

67% of parents wish there were more honest representations of parenting on social media

53% of parents admit they put on a brave face rather than being honest due to fear of judgment

Source: YouGov


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