Sebastian Vettel in action in Valencia yesterday in his Red Bull-Renault on the way to victory in the European Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel in action in Valencia yesterday in his Red Bull-Renault on the way to victory in the European Grand Prix.

Faultless Vettel triumphs at European Grand Prix



VALENCIA // Sebastian Vettel brushed wheels with Lewis Hamilton during the opening seconds of yesterday's European Grand Prix, but that was the only time anybody got close. The German was in a league of his own for most of the afternoon as he notched Red Bull-Renault's fourth Formula One victory of the season. Problems? They were for other people - and they were manifold.

Vettel made a decent start from pole position to lead Hamilton and the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, but Mark Webber was slow away from the grid in the second Red Bull. The Australian dropped from second to fifth within the space of two corners - and lost another four places before the lap was out. After that disastrous start, Webber peeled into the pits on lap seven to change tyres - a switch of tactics that was worth a risk, given the circumstances.

He came out almost at the tail of the field, down among this year's new teams and right behind Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus-Cosworth. As he and Webber approached Turn 12 for the ninth time, the Finn stuck to the centre of the road as the Australian looked for a way through. Webber's car rode up over Kovalainen's right rear wheel and the car somersaulted once before landing the right way up and continuing into the tyre wall at barely abated speed. He swiftly unclipped his belts, however, and strolled away, his title hopes less seriously damaged than his car, but dented nonetheless. Kovalainen spun left into the retaining wall and his race, too, was run.

The safety car was promptly scrambled - and its emergence conditioned much of what followed. Robert Kubica, in fifth place, and most of the following drivers headed straight for the pits to make their mandatory tyre changes while the race was neutralised, but Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa carried on. The safety car joined the track just as Hamilton reached the pit exit: the McLaren driver hesitated for a second, then overtook it while the two Ferraris slowed up and tucked in behind.

Hamilton would later be given a drive-through penalty for this misdemeanour, but he had an unlikely saviour: BMW Sauber opted not to pit Kamui Kobayashi during the flurry of tyre stops, a decision that promoted the Japanese driver to an unlikely third place on the road, ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren. When the race resumed at the end of lap 14, Vettel and Hamilton swiftly dropped Kobayashi and were soon far enough ahead for the Englishman to be able to serve his penalty, on lap 27, without losing a position. He resumed 14 seconds in arrears and spent the balance of the race chipping away at the German's lead, but Vettel was always in control.

"Once I knew about Lewis's penalty I just concentrated on conserving the car and bringing it home in one piece," Vettel said. "I flat-spotted a tyre shortly after the restart, which gave me a bit of a vibration, but it wasn't too bad and it just feels nice to win again." Kobayashi frustrated Button until the 53rd of 57 laps before finally making his tyre stop, which dropped him to ninth. But the cocktail of fresh Bridgestone tyres and low fuel gave him a significant performance edge and during the final two laps he rattled past Alonso and Sebastien Buemi to take seventh place, behind Rubens Barrichello (who capitalised on a swift tyre stop to record Williams-Toyota's best result of the campaign), Kubica and Adrian Sutil.

Post-race, the race stewards gave five-second penalties to 10 drivers for driving too fast behind the safety car. As a consequence Buemi and Pedro de la Rosa, the BMW-Sauber driver, both lost positions. Buemi losing eighth to Alonso, and de la Rosa gave up 10th to Nico Rosberg's Mercedes GP. @Email:sports@thenational.ae

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5

Gulf Men's League final

Dubai Hurricanes 24-12 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Top investing tips for UAE residents in 2021

Build an emergency fund: Make sure you have enough cash to cover six months of expenses as a buffer against unexpected problems before you begin investing, advises Steve Cronin, the founder of DeadSimpleSaving.com.

Think long-term: When you invest, you need to have a long-term mindset, so don’t worry about momentary ups and downs in the stock market.

Invest worldwide: Diversify your investments globally, ideally by way of a global stock index fund.

Is your money tied up: Avoid anything where you cannot get your money back in full within a month at any time without any penalty.

Skip past the promises: “If an investment product is offering more than 10 per cent return per year, it is either extremely risky or a scam,” Mr Cronin says.

Choose plans with low fees: Make sure that any funds you buy do not charge more than 1 per cent in fees, Mr Cronin says. “If you invest by yourself, you can easily stay below this figure.” Managed funds and commissionable investments often come with higher fees.

Be sceptical about recommendations: If someone suggests an investment to you, ask if they stand to gain, advises Mr Cronin. “If they are receiving commission, they are unlikely to recommend an investment that’s best for you.”

Get financially independent: Mr Cronin advises UAE residents to pursue financial independence. Start with a Google search and improve your knowledge via expat investing websites or Facebook groups such as SimplyFI. 

'Top Gun: Maverick'

Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Ed Harris

HER FIRST PALESTINIAN

Author: Saeed Teebi

Pages: 256

Publisher: House of Anansi Press

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

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.”

UAE v West Indies

First ODI - Sunday, June 4
Second ODI - Tuesday, June 6
Third ODI - Friday, June 9

Matches at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. All games start at 4.30pm

UAE squad
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Adithya Shetty, Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Fahad Nawaz, Jonathan Figy, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Lovepreet Singh, Matiullah, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Muhammad Jawadullah, Rameez Shahzad, Rohan Mustafa, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan

Three ways to get a gratitude glow

By committing to at least one of these daily, you can bring more gratitude into your life, says Ong.

  • During your morning skincare routine, name five things you are thankful for about yourself.
  • As you finish your skincare routine, look yourself in the eye and speak an affirmation, such as: “I am grateful for every part of me, including my ability to take care of my skin.”
  • In the evening, take some deep breaths, notice how your skin feels, and listen for what your skin is grateful for.
Company profile

Date started: 2015

Founder: John Tsioris and Ioanna Angelidaki

Based: Dubai

Sector: Online grocery delivery

Staff: 200

Funding: Undisclosed, but investors include the Jabbar Internet Group and Venture Friends

Herc's Adventures

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