Paulo Goncalves driving his motorcycle during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on April 10, 2014. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Paulo Goncalves driving his motorcycle during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on April 10, 2014. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Goncalves leaves Coma in his wake to win Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge bikes title

ABU DHABI // Portugal's Paulo Goncalves produced a brilliant surge on the final leg to snatch the bikes title from seven-time winner Marc Coma in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, while Russian Vladimir Vasilyev cruised to a commanding victory in the cars.

Goncalves, the reigning FIM world champion, wiped out a 1 minute, 31 second overnight lead for this year's Dakar Rally winner, Coma, to deny the Spaniard an eighth Desert Challenge crown and secure a first for himself.

At the end of five days of racing through some of the most demanding desert terrain on Earth, the Portuguese rider won the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes by 20 seconds.

Goncalves, who edged out Coma to clinch last year’s FIM world title, said: “I feel really happy to have won and for the team who altogether made an extraordinary job in Abu Dhabi. We’ve had five days of racing and no problems, and it proves we are very strong and competitive. I’m very confident for the future.”

Coma, who will be back next year to pursue a record eighth bikes title, said: “It was a very nice race. I love the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. I tried to fight right until the end to catch Paulo, but well done to him.”

Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort, winner of the previous two stages, took third place, with the UAE’s Mohammed Al Balooshi in sixth position overall, despite a frustrating last day when his bike stalled.

“I’m quite upset with today,” Al Balooshi said. “We had a great four days, but everyone has bad days and today it was a bad day for me. Unfortunately, it had to be the last day. My bike stalled just before refuel and I couldn’t get it started again. I fiddled around and eventually got going again, but obviously I lost a lot of time.”

Partnered by Konstantin Zhilstov in a Mini, Vasilyev won by an impressive 47 minutes, 55 seconds from Poland’s Adam Malysz and Rafal Marton in a Toyota Hilux.

“For me, this is definitely the most difficult leg of the FIA Cross Country Rally series,” said Vasilyev, who became the second Russian driver to win the Desert Challenge after Leonid Novitskiy in 2010.

“On the last stage there weren’t as many dunes and we had to make our own tracks because we didn’t want to follow the bikes. It’s a very special feeling to win.”

In one of the most dramatic individual battles of the rally, Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal clung on to third place in his Hummer, edging out the UAE’s Yahya Al Helei by eight seconds after a valiant effort by the Emirati to snatch the last podium place in his Nissan Pick Up.

“It was a tight race between me and Zapletal for third,” Al Helei said. “After 50kms I caught up with him and took three minutes off him, and we were going head-to-head up to the second passage control when my engine started to overheat, so I had to pull back.

“After that it stopped four times and eventually I lost too much time, but well done to him. He is a great driver. ”

In the quads, Poland’s Rafal Sonik captured the title for the first time to add to his 2013 FIM world championship success. He clinched victory by 42 minutes, 52 seconds ahead of Russian rider Sergey Karyakin.

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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

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

Tips for entertaining with ease

·         Set the table the night before. It’s a small job but it will make you feel more organised once done.

·         As the host, your mood sets the tone. If people arrive to find you red-faced and harried, they’re not going to relax until you do. Take a deep breath and try to exude calm energy.

·         Guests tend to turn up thirsty. Fill a big jug with iced water and lemon or lime slices and encourage people to help themselves.

·         Have some background music on to help create a bit of ambience and fill any initial lulls in conversations.

·         The meal certainly doesn’t need to be ready the moment your guests step through the door, but if there’s a nibble or two that can be passed around it will ward off hunger pangs and buy you a bit more time in the kitchen.

·         You absolutely don’t have to make every element of the brunch from scratch. Take inspiration from our ideas for ready-made extras and by all means pick up a store-bought dessert.



UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates ( offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines ( via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.

Trolls World Tour

Directed by: Walt Dohrn, David Smith

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake

Rating: 4 stars

Opening Premier League fixtures, August 14
  • Brentford v Arsenal
  • Burnley v Brighton
  • Chelsea v Crystal Palace
  • Everton v Southampton
  • Leicester City v Wolves
  • Manchester United v Leeds United
  • Newcastle United v West Ham United
  • Norwich City v Liverpool
  • Tottenham v Manchester City
  • Watford v Aston Villa

Name: SupplyVan
Based: Dubai, UAE
Launch year: 2017
Number of employees: 29
Sector: MRO and e-commerce
Funding: Seed

Tax authority targets shisha levy evasion

The Federal Tax Authority will track shisha imports with electronic markers to protect customers and ensure levies have been paid.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director of the tax authority, on Sunday said the move is to "prevent tax evasion and support the authority’s tax collection efforts".

The scheme’s first phase, which came into effect on 1st January, 2019, covers all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. As of May 1, importing any type of cigarettes without the digital marks will be prohibited.

He said the latest phase will see imported and locally produced shisha tobacco tracked by the final quarter of this year.

"The FTA also maintains ongoing communication with concerned companies, to help them adapt their systems to meet our requirements and coordinate between all parties involved," he said.

As with cigarettes, shisha was hit with a 100 per cent tax in October 2017, though manufacturers and cafes absorbed some of the costs to prevent prices doubling.

No more lice

Defining head lice

Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny wingless insects that feed on blood from the human scalp. The adult head louse is up to 3mm long, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white in colour. The female lives up to four weeks and, once mature, can lay up to 10 eggs per day. These tiny nits firmly attach to the base of the hair shaft, get incubated by body heat and hatch in eight days or so.

Identifying lice

Lice can be identified by itching or a tickling sensation of something moving within the hair. One can confirm that a person has lice by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs or lice. Head lice are most frequently located behind the ears and near the neckline.

Treating lice at home

Head lice must be treated as soon as they are spotted. Start by checking everyone in the family for them, then follow these steps. Remove and wash all clothing and bedding with hot water. Apply medicine according to the label instructions. If some live lice are still found eight to 12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not re-treat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed comb.
After the initial treatment, check for, comb and remove nits and lice from hair every two to three days. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

Courtesy Dr Vishal Rajmal Mehta, specialist paediatrics, RAK Hospital


Name: Envision
Started: 2017
Founders: Karthik Mahadevan and Karthik Kannan
Based: The Netherlands
Sector: Technology/Assistive Technology
Initial investment: $1.5 million
Current number of staff: 20
Investment stage: Seed
Investors: 4impact, ABN Amro, Impact Ventures and group of angels

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