Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu vies with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique during their match at Camp Nou in Barcelona on May 6, 2017. Andrea Dalmau / EPA
Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu vies with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique during their match at Camp Nou in Barcelona on May 6, 2017. Andrea Dalmau / EPA

Barcelona will be without Gerard Pique against Las Palmas



■ Las Palmas v Barcelona, Sunday at 10pm UAE time

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique will be forced to rejig his defence against Las Palmas on Sunday after centre back Gerard Pique was ruled out of their penultimate league game in a gripping Primera Liga title race.

Pique was left out of the squad for the long flight to the Canary Islands after the club announced the defender had been taken to hospital with stomach pains, leaving Barca short-staffed at the back.

As well as missing Pique, Barca will be without Sergi Roberto through suspension and Jeremy Mathieu and Aleix Vidal through injury although left back Lucas Digne returned from a muscle problem to boost Luis Enrique’s side.

Pique, known for his business interests outside of football, was in the Spanish capital this week attending the Madrid Open and trying to progress his plan to set up a new international tennis tournament to rival the Davis Cup.

Luis Enrique could return to the 3-4-3 formation he used during March but which has fallen out of favour in recent weeks.

The coach, however, kept his cards close to his chest when asked how he will cope with the sudden scarcity of defenders.

“I have different options in how I prepare for the game and my players are ready and capable. It’s an exciting challenge to see how we overcome these difficulties.”

Champions Barca top the standings from Real Madrid due to their superior head-to-head record.

Yet Madrid, who are also on 84 points, have a game in hand and will win a first title in five years if they take seven points from their remaining three fixtures.

Even though Madrid are better placed in the title chase, Luis Enrique said his players still believe they can pip their rivals to the prize and are fully focused on their last two games, against Las Palmas and Eibar.

“The players’ mentality is to exhaust our chances of winning all the trophies we can, and we’re going to fight for the title until the end,” he added.

“Anything can happen.”

* Reuters

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The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

RESULTS

6pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 – Group 1 (PA) $55,000 (Dirt) 1,900m
Winner: Rajeh, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Musabah Al Muhairi (trainer)

6.35pm: Oud Metha Stakes – Rated Conditions (TB) $60,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Get Back Goldie, William Buick, Doug O’Neill

7.10pm: Jumeirah Classic – Listed (TB) $150,000 (Turf) 1,600m
Winner: Sovereign Prince, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

7.45pm: Firebreak Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Hypothetical, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer

8.20pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 – Group 2 (TB) $350,000 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Hot Rod Charlie, William Buick, Doug O’Neill

8.55pm: Al Bastakiya Trial – Conditions (TB) $60,000 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Withering, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

9.30pm: Balanchine – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,800m
Winner: Creative Flair, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

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.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Nomad Homes
Started: 2020
Founders: Helen Chen, Damien Drap, and Dan Piehler
Based: UAE and Europe
Industry: PropTech
Funds raised so far: $44m
Investors: Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, Potluck Ventures, Knollwood and several undisclosed hedge funds

Afro salons

For women:
Sisu Hair Salon, Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Boho Salon, Al Barsha South, Dubai
Moonlight, Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi
For men:
MK Barbershop, Dar Al Wasl Mall, Dubai
Regency Saloon, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi
Uptown Barbershop, Al Nasseriya, Sharjah

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)

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)

MATCH STATS

Wolves 0

Aston Villa 1 (El Ghazi 90+4' pen)

Red cards: Joao Moutinho (Wolves); Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Man of the match: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa)

Mia Man’s tips for fermentation

- Start with a simple recipe such as yogurt or sauerkraut

- Keep your hands and kitchen tools clean. Sanitize knives, cutting boards, tongs and storage jars with boiling water before you start.

- Mold is bad: the colour pink is a sign of mold. If yogurt turns pink as it ferments, you need to discard it and start again. For kraut, if you remove the top leaves and see any sign of mold, you should discard the batch.

- Always use clean, closed, airtight lids and containers such as mason jars when fermenting yogurt and kraut. Keep the lid closed to prevent insects and contaminants from getting in.

 

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Dunki

Director: Rajkumar Hirani 

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover

Rating: 4/5

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

Bullet Train

Director: David Leitch
Stars: Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock
Rating: 3/5

UAE squad

Humaira Tasneem (c), Chamani Senevirathne (vc), Subha Srinivasan, NIsha Ali, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi, Chaya Mughal, Roopa Nagraj, Esha Oza, Ishani Senevirathne, Heena Hotchandani, Keveesha Kumari, Judith Cleetus, Chavi Bhatt, Namita D’Souza.

RIVER SPIRIT

Author: Leila Aboulela 

Publisher: Saqi Books

Pages: 320

Available: Now

If you go

The flights

Fly direct to London from the UAE with Etihad, Emirates, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic from about Dh2,500 return including taxes. 

The hotel

Rooms at the convenient and art-conscious Andaz London Liverpool Street cost from £167 (Dh800) per night including taxes.

The tour

The Shoreditch Street Art Tour costs from £15 (Dh73) per person for approximately three hours. 

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

AUSTRALIA SQUAD

Tim Paine (captain), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner

Kamindu Mendis bio

Full name: Pasqual Handi Kamindu Dilanka Mendis

Born: September 30, 1998

Age: 20 years and 26 days

Nationality: Sri Lankan

Major teams Sri Lanka's Under 19 team

Batting style: Left-hander

Bowling style: Right-arm off-spin and slow left-arm orthodox (that's right!)

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

What's in my pazhamkootan?

Add:
Parippu – moong dal and coconut curry
Sambar – vegetable-infused toor dal curry
Aviyal – mixed vegetables in thick coconut paste
Thoran – beans and other dry veggies with spiced coconut
Khichdi – lentil and rice porridge


Optional:
Kootukari – stew of black chickpeas, raw banana, yam and coconut paste
Olan – ash gourd curry with coconut milk
Pulissery – spiced buttermilk curry
Rasam – spice-infused soup with a tamarind base


Avoid:
Payasam – sweet vermicelli kheer

Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz

Key developments

All times UTC+4


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