BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 2:  Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attends talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People on November 2, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, China, last week. Thomas Peter / Getty

Imran Khan is learning the tough lessons of public service



Congratulations on your incisive editorial, Imran Khan is caught between the past and the future (Nov 8). He may well be realising that it is easier to be a member or leader of the opposition than to be in the hot seat. Power is a funny phenomenon. Those who do not have it, seek it. Those who have it, wonder whether it was worth the struggle. Social media has made every voice count. Everyone has an opinion and a voice. So, a leader is incessantly subject to audit and scrutiny. Eventually, they have to act out of conscience, and if they can sleep at night, they are doing just fine.

In developing countries such as Pakistan and India, tradition and modernity are constantly tugging at each other. Science, literature and technology propel societies forward. However, the old, established ways of doing things can make the process slower. It is a leader’s job to balance these pressures and keep the economy moving forwards. Mr Khan may be realising that to solve Pakistan’s problems, he may have to start a fresh journey. What he has learned on the cricket field may not suffice. In sport, there are rules and conventions. Societal problems evolve unpredictably, and there is no rule book. Every problem is new, requiring lateral thinking.

Public service can be a thankless job. You do acquire some fame, but there is little money to be made if you are honest, and rarely is there much appreciation at the end of a long career. Look at the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Once, she was the darling of Europe. Now people cannot wait to see her go. That is very sad, indeed.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Will there be a resolution to Sri Lanka’s political crisis?

I write in reference to the recent political developments in Sri Lanka. The nation's president Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved the nation's parliament, which is a shocking development, and called for fresh elections in January. For the past few months, the nation's politics have been in crisis. Will the situation of ordinary Sri Lankans improve? We will have to wait and see.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

When it comes to housing, always be sure to plan ahead

I write in reference to your recent article Homefront: "Can my landlord charge a full year's rent for breaking a contract early?": I found myself in a similar situation, without an early cancellation clause, and worked with the landlord to find a new tenant. Worked like a charm and everybody was happy at the end. Lesson learned: never assume you'll stay in a place for long, and put everything in writing, including your exit strategy.

Miguel Llorente, Dubai

Artificial intelligence is no substitute for news anchors

I write in reference to your recent article China debuts the world's first AI news presenter (Nov 10): definitely a big no from me. Human newscasters must be retained.

Benazir Khan, Dubai

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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

Rating: 4.5/5

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
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)

Gully Boy

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producer: Excel Entertainment & Tiger Baby
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi​​​​​​​
Rating: 4/5 stars

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo hybrid
Power: 680hp
Torque: 1,020Nm
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh530,000 (estimate)

The specs

Engine: 6.5-litre V12 and three electric motors
Power: 1,015hp
Torque: 1,500Nm (estimate)
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh2 million (estimate)

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)

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

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)

The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Helen Cullen, Graydon House 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Key developments

All times UTC+4

Essentials

The flights
Emirates and Etihad fly direct from the UAE to Los Angeles, from Dh4,975 return, including taxes. The flight time is 16 hours. Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico and Southwest all fly direct from Los Angeles to San Jose del Cabo from Dh1,243 return, including taxes. The flight time is two-and-a-half hours.

The trip
Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic’s eight-day Whales Wilderness itinerary costs from US$6,190 (Dh22,736) per person, twin share, including meals, accommodation and excursions, with departures in March and April 2018.

 

Zakat definitions

Zakat: an Arabic word meaning ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purification’.

Nisab: the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to pay zakat. Traditionally, the nisab threshold was 87.48 grams of gold, or 612.36 grams of silver. The monetary value of the nisab therefore varies by current prices and currencies.

Zakat Al Mal: the ‘cleansing’ of wealth, as one of the five pillars of Islam; a spiritual duty for all Muslims meeting the ‘nisab’ wealth criteria in a lunar year, to pay 2.5 per cent of their wealth in alms to the deserving and needy.

Zakat Al Fitr: a donation to charity given during Ramadan, before Eid Al Fitr, in the form of food. Every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of the needs of themselves and their family must pay two qadahs (an old measure just over 2 kilograms) of flour, wheat, barley or rice from each person in a household, as a minimum.

The specs

Engine: four-litre V6 and 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: six-speed and 10-speed

Power: 271 and 409 horsepower

Torque: 385 and 650Nm

Price: from Dh229,900 to Dh355,000