Readers discuss the best ways to deal with the surplus of unwanted pets Pawan Singh / The National
Readers discuss the best ways to deal with the surplus of unwanted pets Pawan Singh / The National

Good intentions not enough in cat welfare case

After reading your news article, 150 cats and nine dogs removed from Dubai villa (October 30), the sad part is that as much as the animal welfare cause needs public relations attention in the UAE, this article does the exact opposite.

Although it’s written with good intentions, I think it portrays animal hoarding as almost acceptable – and this in a country where far too many cats are put to sleep every week because they couldn’t be rehomed after being abandoned.

The true heroes of this story are not actually mentioned. The Bin Kitty Collective team spent a week trying to get this intervention organised through the right channels and raised over Dh20,000 in under four days.

The woman involved in this story should get appropriate help but should also be banned from ever owning an animal. More than 40 cats in this villa have been put to sleep because they were beyond recovery.

Irina Ionascu, Dubai

I hope at the very least that this will encourage people to think twice who they give animals to.

Anyone who finds a cat and is concerned for its health should take it to the vet – there are plenty. They should also learn about TNR (trap, neuter, release) and let the cat go outside again if it’s healthy and neutered.

There aren’t enough homes for them all and healthy cats can survive outside. If that wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t be so many of them. Yes, they are all cute and all want to be loved but the worst scenario is to give them to a person such as this, where the cat’s chances of survival are slimmer than on the street.

Sarina Koerth, Dubai

At least her intentions were good. Very, very few people will sacrifice all the money they earn to care for animals.

If these cats had been just dropped off at a vet, it is likely that most would not have been adopted and they would have been put down eventually. At least she tried her best to care for them.

Charlene Robinson, Dubai

In this woman’s case, she exposed healthy cats to FIV-positive cats, knowing there was a high risk of them being infected.

FIV-infected cats need to be isolated. If you cannot provide isolation it is not fair to your healthy cats to mix with them. She has caused further animals to now need to be put to sleep.

Dani Lapin, Dubai

Trump’s views misconstrued

Having read Khalaf Al Habtoor's opinion piece, America will be spoilt for choice when it goes to the polls in 2016 (October 30), I think it's sad how people believe the liberal headlines.

Mr Trump welcomes legal immigrants with open arms but has had enough of more than 10 million illegals flooding into the US and abusing precious resources.

Imagine if 10 million legal immigrants in the UAE were actually illegal and living off social welfare programmes. I’m guessing the UAE would be full of Trump supporters.

Rick Hood, Abu Dhabi

It says a lot if Mr Habtoor thinks Donald Trump should be president and especially if his rationale is because Mr Trump “goes with his gut”.

President George W Bush prided himself on the same thing and look where that got all of us. As an American, I’d like my presidents to be thoughtful and rational.

Marius Emilijus, Abu Dhabi

Being president of a world superpower does not involve any “go with your gut”.

Donna Lee-Elliott, Dubai

Jet skiers need to obey the law

After reading your article, Abu Dhabi jet skiers continue to harass residents on restricted waterways (October 31), I think these young jetskiers simply need to restrict themselves to the designated areas and show some respect to others and to the rules.

Thomas Minette, Dubai

The authorities should be more worried about these people when they are on the roads, where their speeding and general lack of respect will affect a lot more people than on a waterway.

Clint Mead, Abu Dhabi

Publish their photographs and names in the newspaper and I believe it will be problem solved.

Jani Majaniemi, Al Ain

Mindset change puts girls in class

With the numbers of girls being enrolled at schools growing (Why more and more girls are going to school in India, October 30), it tells us that the rigid mindset of viewing girls as a financial burden and getting them married early is changing. This is a major achievement.

Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

How to help

Call the hotline on 0502955999 or send "thenational" to the following numbers:

2289 - Dh10

2252 - Dh50

6025 - Dh20

6027 - Dh100

6026 - Dh200

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5


Fights start from 6pm Friday, January 31

Catchweight 82kg
Piotr Kuberski (POL) v Ahmed Saeb (IRQ)

Women’s bantamweight
Cornelia Holm (SWE) v Corinne Laframboise (CAN)

Omar Hussein (JOR) v Vitalii Stoian (UKR)

Josh Togo (LEB) v Ali Dyusenov (UZB)

Isaac Pimentel (BRA) v Delfin Nawen (PHI)

Catchweight 80kg​​​​​​​
Seb Eubank (GBR) v Mohamed El Mokadem (EGY)

Mohammad Yahya (UAE) v Ramadan Noaman (EGY)

Alan Omer (GER) v Reydon Romero (PHI)

Ahmed Labban (LEB) v Juho Valamaa (FIN)

Elias Boudegzdame (ALG) v Austin Arnett (USA)

Super heavyweight
Roman Wehbe (LEB) v Maciej Sosnowski (POL)

The Killer

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell

Rating: 4/5 

Sui Dhaaga: Made in India

Director: Sharat Katariya

Starring: Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghubir Yadav


The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5


Director: Michael Bay

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco

2.5 / 5 stars

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.”

The five pillars of Islam
The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 


Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

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

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company profile

Name: Pyppl

Established: 2017

Founders: Antti Arponen and Phil Reynolds

Based: UAE

Sector: financial services

Investment: $18.5 million

Employees: 150

Funding stage: series A, closed in 2021

Investors: venture capital companies, international funds, family offices, high-net-worth individuals


Saturday  (UAE kick-off times)

Leganes v Getafe (12am)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Levante v Alaves (4pm)

Real Madrid v Sevilla (7pm)

Osasuna v Valladolid (9.30pm)


Eibar v Atletico Madrid (12am)

Mallorca v Valencia (3pm)

Real Betis v Real Sociedad (5pm)

Villarreal v Espanyol (7pm)

Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo (9.30pm)


Barcelona v Granada (12am)