Solar Impulse 2 was a project that was 18 years in the making, and allowed the UAE to demonstrate its ability to compete in ground-breaking technology on a global scale.  Jean Revillard / Solar Impulse2 via Getty Images
Solar Impulse 2 was a project that was 18 years in the making, and allowed the UAE to demonstrate its ability to compete in ground-breaking technology on a global scale. Jean Revillard / Solar ImpulsShow more

Interest in Solar Impulse still strong



Almost a year after Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg completed their epic solar-powered flight around the world to promote the use of renewable energy, the pilots reflected on the road less travelled and the journey ahead at the Ramadan majlis of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces .

Solar Impulse 2 was a project that was 18 years in the making, and allowed the UAE to demonstrate its ability to compete in ground-breaking technology on a global scale. With the country attempting to diversify away from oil and into alternative and renewable energy, the project was a perfect platform for testing the technology.

Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg have done much to silence the naysayers around the world and prove that possibilities of solar power. Now that momentum must be capitalised on.

Still, much of this real-world application will depend on continuing advances in electric vehicle battery technology.

Thankfully, the creation of many more charging points for electric cars indicates an increasing awareness of the need to think beyond traditional diesel and petrol-powered cars.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority recently purchased 200 cars from Tesla. While such cars will definitely have a limited target market – at least for now - owing their high retail price, these are steps in the right direction.

The only real challenge with renewable energy has been getting production costs on a level with fossil-based and nuclear energy. This, according to the experts, won’t be such a big deal in a few years. The cost of solar energy, for one thing, has steadily declined in recent years – in fact, almost halved in Dubai for some types of solar panels from 2015 to 2016.

According to Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency, solar power applications could drop by 40 to 60 per cent by 2025, while wind costs may fall by more than a third. In fact, the UAE has helped drive down alternative energy costs globally, according to the agency. All these factors point to a favourable climate in which the latest vehicles and gadgets can thrive and the planet can breathe. The progress made so far is more than promising and given the visit of the brave pilots to Sheikh Mohammed’s majlis one year on, it seems there is every intention to keep it up. ​

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

Match info

Liverpool 3
Hoedt (10' og), Matip (21'), Salah (45+3')

Southampton 0

if you go

The flights

Emirates fly direct from Dubai to Houston, Texas, where United have direct flights to Managua. Alternatively, from October, Iberia will offer connections from Madrid, which can be reached by both Etihad from Abu Dhabi and Emirates from Dubai.

The trip

Geodyssey’s (Geodyssey.co.uk) 15-night Nicaragua Odyssey visits the colonial cities of Leon and Granada, lively country villages, the lake island of Ometepe and a stunning array of landscapes, with wildlife, history, creative crafts and more. From Dh18,500 per person, based on two sharing, including transfers and tours but excluding international flights. For more information, visit visitnicaragua.us.

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

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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)

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

Best Academy: Ajax and Benfica

Best Agent: Jorge Mendes

Best Club : Liverpool   

 Best Coach: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)  

 Best Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker

 Best Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo

 Best Partnership of the Year Award by SportBusiness: Manchester City and SAP

 Best Referee: Stephanie Frappart

Best Revelation Player: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid and Portugal)

Best Sporting Director: Andrea Berta (Atletico Madrid)

Best Women's Player:  Lucy Bronze

Best Young Arab Player: Achraf Hakimi

 Kooora – Best Arab Club: Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

 Kooora – Best Arab Player: Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al-Nassr FC, Saudi Arabia)

 Player Career Award: Miralem Pjanic and Ryan Giggs

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)