Duncan Yates, left, who lived up to the age of 11 in South Africa before moving to Dubai, plays his rugby for Toa in the Emirates League.
Duncan Yates, left, who lived up to the age of 11 in South Africa before moving to Dubai, plays his rugby for Toa in the Emirates League.

Dubai schoolboy Yates hoping to make waves in Premiership



DUBAI // A Dubai schoolboy who has been playing in the second-tier of the Arabian Gulf competition has been handed trials by three of English rugby's biggest clubs. Duncan Yates, a pupil at Wellington International School, Dubai, is currently in the UK, where London Wasps, Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks will run the rule over his abilities.

The loose-forward was born in Johannesburg and lived in South Africa until he was 11, before moving to Dubai, where he now plays his rugby for Toa in the Emirates League. Rather than facing the social players on the fields of the UAE, Yates now will go up against professional players from the ranks of the Guinness Premiership during trial matches this week, starting with Wasps. Yates, 17, whose father played provincial rugby as a prop in South Africa, said: "When I first found out I will be playing for Wasps A, it was intimidating, but I spoke to my dad about it and now I just want to go in there and play.

"No matter how good they are, I will just play my best and hopefully I can step up. My game is not going to change, I will just try my best. "It is all about gauging myself. In Dubai I can't really gauge myself because the standard is not that great, so I just want to do that here, and see how good I actually am." If Yates does impress and is offered terms by any of the clubs, he will be faced with a dilemma.

He is planning to take a business studies degree at university, ideally in Sydney, once his International Baccalaureate studies are completed in the UAE. He only started to consider the possibility of rugby as a career when Apollo Perelini, the head of rugby at the Transguard Elite Sporting Academy (Tesa) in Dubai, suggested he join Toa last year. Up until then, his claim to sporting fame was as a junior swimming prodigy when his family briefly left Dubai and relocated to Turkey.

He added: "When we left Turkey, I was swimming seriously, but I wasn't really enjoying it. When I knew we were coming back to Dubai I knew there were options to pick up rugby again. "I knew it wasn't that big here, but I really enjoyed the training and wanted to play it again. Then Apollo came to my school and invited a few of us to join his club. "Only when I joined [Toa] did I start thinking I could do this as a career. Since then it has been going really well for me."

Toa were so keen to fast-track the teenage flanker, they incurred a five-point Emirates League penalty after beating Al Ain Amblers earlier this season. Unbeknown to Toa at the time, the union required a note from parents when players under 18 play in an adult competition. John Mamea-Wilson, the captain of Toa, said: "When he came to us he had been playing on the wing, but we took one look at him and told him he belonged in the forwards. Credit to him, he learned very fast how to play in the back row, and he has probably been our best player this year.

"I think he is the pick of the players in Dubai. I definitely think he is good enough to play Super 14 rugby in South Africa." Mamea-Wilson, a former Samoa international, has already been in touch with Carlos Spencer, the former All Blacks fly-half who now plays for the Golden Lions. Spencer's Johannesburg-based Super rugby franchise are also likely to be keen to assess the talents of Yates. Greg Campbell, the master in charge of rugby at Wellington said: "It is one of the pleasures of the job to see one of your own go through and reach the top of their game."

He added: "His biggest asset is his desire to achieve. His work ethic on the pitch and at training is huge." pradley@thenational.ae

ARABIAN GULF LEAGUE FIXTURES

Thursday, September 21
Al Dahfra v Sharjah (kick-off 5.35pm)
Al Wasl v Emirates (8.30pm)

Friday, September 22
Dibba v Al Jazira (5.25pm)
Al Nasr v Al Wahda (8.30pm)

Saturday, September 23
Hatta v Al Ain (5.25pm)
Ajman v Shabab Al Ahli (8.30pm)

25 Days to Aden

Author: Michael Knights

Pages: 256

Available: January 26

Need to know

The flights: Flydubai flies from Dubai to Kilimanjaro airport via Dar es Salaam from Dh1,619 return including taxes. The trip takes 8 hours. 

The trek: Make sure that whatever tour company you select to climb Kilimanjaro, that it is a reputable one. The way to climb successfully would be with experienced guides and porters, from a company committed to quality, safety and an ethical approach to the mountain and its staff. Sonia Nazareth booked a VIP package through Safari Africa. The tour works out to $4,775 (Dh17,538) per person, based on a 4-person booking scheme, for 9 nights on the mountain (including one night before and after the trek at Arusha). The price includes all meals, a head guide, an assistant guide for every 2 trekkers, porters to carry the luggage, a cook and kitchen staff, a dining and mess tent, a sleeping tent set up for 2 persons, a chemical toilet and park entrance fees. The tiny ration of heated water provided for our bath in our makeshift private bathroom stall was the greatest luxury. A standard package, also based on a 4-person booking, works out to $3,050 (Dh11,202) per person.

When to go: You can climb Kili at any time of year, but the best months to ascend  are  January-February and September-October.  Also good are July and August, if you’re tolerant of the colder weather that winter brings.

Do not underestimate the importance of kit. Even if you’re travelling at a relatively pleasant time, be geared up for the cold and the rain.

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Results:

CSIL 2-star 145cm One Round with Jump-Off

1.           Alice Debany Clero (USA) on Amareusa S 38.83 seconds

2.           Anikka Sande (NOR) For Cash 2 39.09

3.           Georgia Tame (GBR) Cash Up 39.42

4.           Nadia Taryam (UAE) Askaria 3 39.63

5.           Miriam Schneider (GER) Fidelius G 47.74

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)

In the Restaurant: Society in Four Courses
Christoph Ribbat
Translated by Jamie Searle Romanelli
Pushkin Press

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

The specs

Engine: Dual permanently excited synchronous motors
Power: 516hp or 400Kw
Torque: 858Nm
Transmission: Single speed auto
Range: 485km
Price: From Dh699,000

INDIA'S TOP INFLUENCERS

Bhuvan Bam
Instagram followers: 16.1 million
Bhuvan Bam is a 29-year-old comedian and actor from Delhi, who started out with YouTube channel, “BB Ki Vines” in 2015, which propelled the social media star into the limelight and made him sought-after among brands.
Kusha Kapila
Instagram followers: 3.1 million
Kusha Kapila is a fashion editor and actress, who has collaborated with brands including Google. She focuses on sharing light-hearted content and insights into her life as a rising celebrity.
Diipa Khosla
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Diipa Khosla started out as a social media manager before branching out to become one of India's biggest fashion influencers, with collaborations including MAC Cosmetics.
Komal Pandey
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Komal Pandey is a fashion influencer who has partnered with more than 100 brands, including Olay and smartphone brand Vivo India.
Nikhil Sharma
Instagram followers: 1.4 million
Nikhil Sharma from Mumbai began his online career through vlogs about his motorcycle trips. He has become a lifestyle influencer and has created his own clothing line.
Source: Hireinfluence, various

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

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Miguel Cotto world titles:

WBO Light Welterweight champion - 2004-06
WBA Welterweight champion – 2006-08
WBO Welterweight champion – Feb 2009-Nov 2009
WBA Light Middleweight champion – 2010-12
WBC Middleweight champion – 2014-15
WBO Light Middleweight champion – Aug 2017-Dec 2017

Results

Light Flyweight (49kg): Mirzakhmedov Nodirjon (UZB) beat Daniyal Sabit (KAZ) by points 5-0.

Flyweight (52kg): Zoirov Shakhobidin (UZB) beat Amit Panghol (IND) 3-2.

Bantamweight (56kg): Kharkhuu Enkh-Amar (MGL) beat Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov (UZB) 3-2.

Lightweight (60kg): Erdenebat Tsendbaatar (MGL) beat Daniyal Shahbakhsh (IRI) 5-0.

Light Welterweight (64kg): Baatarsukh Chinzorig (MGL) beat Shiva Thapa (IND) 3-2.

Welterweight (69kg): Bobo-Usmon Baturov (UZB) beat Ablaikhan Zhussupov (KAZ) RSC round-1.

Middleweight (75kg): Jafarov Saidjamshid (UZB) beat Abilkhan Amankul (KAZ) 4-1.

Light Heavyweight (81kg): Ruzmetov Dilshodbek (UZB) beat Meysam Gheshlaghi (IRI) 3-2.

Heavyweight (91kg): Sanjeet (IND) beat Vassiliy Levit (KAZ) 4-1.

Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Jalolov Bakhodir (UZB) beat Kamshibek Kunkabayev (KAZ) 5-0.

The five pillars of Islam
The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

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

THE SPECS

Battery: 60kW lithium-ion phosphate
Power: Up to 201bhp
0 to 100kph: 7.3 seconds
Range: 418km
Price: From Dh149,900
Available: Now

Visit Abu Dhabi culinary team's top Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Yadoo’s House Restaurant+& Cafe

For the karak and Yoodo's house platter with includes eggs, balaleet, khamir and chebab bread.

Golden Dallah

For the cappuccino, luqaimat and aseeda.

Al Mrzab Restaurant

For the shrimp murabian and Kuwaiti options including Kuwaiti machboos with kebab and spicy sauce.

Al Derwaza

For the fish hubul, regag bread, biryani and special seafood soup. 

HOW TO ACTIVATE THE GEMINI SHORTCUT ON CHROME CANARY

1. Go to chrome://flags

2. Find and enable Expansion pack for the Site Search starter pack

3. Restart Chrome Canary

4. Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar and find the Chat with Gemini shortcut under Site Search

5. Open a new tab and type @ to see the Chat with Gemini shortcut along with other Omnibox shortcuts to search tabs, history and bookmarks

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index in full

1 Jeff Bezos $140 billion
2 Bill Gates $98.3 billion
3 Bernard Arnault $83.1 billion
4 Warren Buffett $83 billion
5 Amancio Ortega $67.9 billion
6 Mark Zuckerberg $67.3 billion
7 Larry Page $56.8 billion
8 Larry Ellison $56.1 billion
9 Sergey Brin $55.2 billion
10 Carlos Slim $55.2 billion

Superliminal

Developer: Pillow Castle Games
Publisher: Pillow Castle Games
Console: PlayStation 4&5, Xbox Series One & X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac
Rating: 4/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

While you're here

Michael Young: Where is Lebanon headed?

Kareem Shaheen: I owe everything to Beirut

Raghida Dergham: We have to bounce back

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)
On sale: Now

And Just Like That...

Director: Various

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis

Rating: 3/5

The more serious side of specialty coffee

While the taste of beans and freshness of roast is paramount to the specialty coffee scene, so is sustainability and workers’ rights.

The bulk of genuine specialty coffee companies aim to improve on these elements in every stage of production via direct relationships with farmers. For instance, Mokha 1450 on Al Wasl Road strives to work predominantly with women-owned and -operated coffee organisations, including female farmers in the Sabree mountains of Yemen.

Because, as the boutique’s owner, Garfield Kerr, points out: “women represent over 90 per cent of the coffee value chain, but are woefully underrepresented in less than 10 per cent of ownership and management throughout the global coffee industry.”

One of the UAE’s largest suppliers of green (meaning not-yet-roasted) beans, Raw Coffee, is a founding member of the Partnership of Gender Equity, which aims to empower female coffee farmers and harvesters.

Also, globally, many companies have found the perfect way to recycle old coffee grounds: they create the perfect fertile soil in which to grow mushrooms. 

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

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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