Sebastien Loeb of France raises an arm in triumph as he and his Citroen co-driver, Daniel Elena, celebrate winning the Rally Great Britain in Cardiff yesterday. The victory clinched Loeb's sixth consecutive World Rally Championship driver's crown by a single point over BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen.
Sebastien Loeb of France raises an arm in triumph as he and his Citroen co-driver, Daniel Elena, celebrate winning the Rally Great Britain in Cardiff yesterday. The victory clinched Loeb's sixth conseShow more

Watch out, Hirvonen warns Loeb



He may have ended up the beaten man in this season's epic championship battle, but BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen, who ended the season a point behind world champion Sebastien Loeb after finishing second in the Rally Great Britain title-decider, is promising an even "bigger fight" next time around. "Lots of small things went wrong at the start of the year and I know we will put them right for next season," said Hirvonen, 29. "It's going to be an even bigger fight and they had better watch out."

Having entered the Welsh season finale separated by a single point in the championship, Hirvonen and Loeb embraced the "winner takes all" scenario and delivered a spectacular two-man race for honours. Loeb, the reigning champion, led from the front, but Hirvonen, chasing a maiden world title, refused to give up. With only four stages scheduled in yesterday's final round, the Finn won the first two, chopping over 12 seconds off his rival's 30.2sec overnight lead.

But an unfortunate incident in stage 15, the event's penultimate test, ended Hirvonen's charge. The Finn's bonnet flipped up, completely shielding the driver's view of the road. The time Hirvonen took to stop, pin the bonnet down and get back up to full speed effectively turned a previously gripping showdown into a Loeb procession. "It's really disappointing for me, but that's how it is," said Hirvonen. "I have to forget this now and try again next year.

"We took a lot of time out of [Loeb] in the second stage, and maybe if everything had gone well I could have kept the pressure. I tried but [the bonnet incident] technically ended my fight." Malcolm Wilson, the dejected Ford team director, also predicted Hirvonen will utilise the painful lessons of this year's disappointment and, albeit belatedly, dethrone Loeb in 12 months time. "Sebastien knows Mikko is five or six years younger than him and knows how much stronger he has got this season," said Wilson.

"I'm really looking forward to 2010 and if you look at the way these two guys have performed on this rally, they have been a different class to be honest. "Mikko will keep on improving and he'll be even stronger next season," added Wilson. Hirvonen's Ford was the only non-Citroen in the rally's top four. Spain's Dani Sordo, who finished just a second behind Hirvonen, was third, while Petter Solberg, the 2003 world champion, was fourth. Henning Solberg, Petter's elder brother, finished fifth, with a pair of Fords behind him.

Stobart's Matthew Wilson finished sixth, some three-and-half minutes ahead of Rally Italy winner Jari-Matti Latvala, the only driver fast enough to break the astounding stranglehold of 11 victories Loeb and Hirvonen have shared in the WRC's 12-event season. "It's been a character building weekend," said a forlorn Latvala last night. The UAE's Sheikh Khalid al Qassimi, who suffered a broken drive shaft on Friday's opening leg, continued his recovery during yesterday's 80km of competitive stages.

The Emirati, 37, defied the slippery conditions to climb 34 places in the event's final two days and finished 20th overall. "It's been a good season, we've scored points, got faster and constantly improved," said al Qassimi. "With all the problems I've had this season I'm pleased. We need to keep going, things have got better and better but we're not there yet," he added. Elsewhere, Eyvind Brynildsen used his healthy overnight lead to play the percentages and stroll to the Production WRC title. "I'm only 21 and this is a very special moment for me," said Brynildsen, who finished ninth overall.

In numbers

1,000 tonnes of waste collected daily:

  • 800 tonnes converted into alternative fuel
  • 150 tonnes to landfill
  • 50 tonnes sold as scrap metal

800 tonnes of RDF replaces 500 tonnes of coal

Two conveyor lines treat more than 350,000 tonnes of waste per year

25 staff on site

 

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)

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, semi-final result:

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate

Champions Legaue final: June 1, Madrid

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

T20 World Cup Qualifier A, Muscat

Friday, February 18: 10am - Oman v Nepal, Canada v Philippines; 2pm - Ireland v UAE, Germany v Bahrain

Saturday, February 19: 10am - Oman v Canada, Nepal v Philippines; 2pm - UAE v Germany, Ireland v Bahrain

Monday, February 21: 10am - Ireland v Germany, UAE v Bahrain; 2pm - Nepal v Canada, Oman v Philippines

Tuesday, February 22: 2pm – semi-finals

Thursday, February 24: 2pm – final

UAE squad: Ahmed Raza (captain), Muhammad Waseem, Chirag Suri, Vriitya Aravind, Rohan Mustafa, Kashif Daud, Zahoor Khan, Alishan Sharafu, Raja Akifullah, Karthik Meiyappan, Junaid Siddique, Basil Hameed, Zafar Farid, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Rahul Bhatia

All matches to be streamed live on icc.tv

Building boom turning to bust as Turkey's economy slows

Deep in a provincial region of northwestern Turkey, it looks like a mirage - hundreds of luxury houses built in neat rows, their pointed towers somewhere between French chateau and Disney castle.

Meant to provide luxurious accommodations for foreign buyers, the houses are however standing empty in what is anything but a fairytale for their investors.

The ambitious development has been hit by regional turmoil as well as the slump in the Turkish construction industry - a key sector - as the country's economy heads towards what could be a hard landing in an intensifying downturn.

After a long period of solid growth, Turkey's economy contracted 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, and many economists expect it will enter into recession this year.

The country has been hit by high inflation and a currency crisis in August. The lira lost 28 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018 and markets are still unconvinced by the readiness of the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tackle underlying economic issues.

The villas close to the town centre of Mudurnu in the Bolu region are intended to resemble European architecture and are part of the Sarot Group's Burj Al Babas project.

But the development of 732 villas and a shopping centre - which began in 2014 - is now in limbo as Sarot Group has sought bankruptcy protection.

It is one of hundreds of Turkish companies that have done so as they seek cover from creditors and to restructure their debts.

'The Ice Road'

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Liam Neeson, Amber Midthunder, Laurence Fishburne

2/5

SPECS

Engine: Supercharged 3.5-litre V6
Power: 400hp
Torque: 430Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh450,000

Straightforward ways to reduce sugar in your family's diet
  • Ban fruit juice and sodas
  • Eat a hearty breakfast that contains fats and wholegrains, such as peanut butter on multigrain toast or full-fat plain yoghurt with whole fruit and nuts, to avoid the need for a 10am snack
  • Give young children plain yoghurt with whole fruits mashed into it
  • Reduce the number of cakes, biscuits and sweets. Reserve them for a treat
  • Don’t eat dessert every day 
  • Make your own smoothies. Always use the whole fruit to maintain the benefit of its fibre content and don’t add any sweeteners
  • Always go for natural whole foods over processed, packaged foods. Ask yourself would your grandmother have eaten it?
  • Read food labels if you really do feel the need to buy processed food
  • Eat everything in moderation
Company Profile:

Name: The Protein Bakeshop

Date of start: 2013

Founders: Rashi Chowdhary and Saad Umerani

Based: Dubai

Size, number of employees: 12

Funding/investors: $400,000 (2018)

Company Profile

Name: JustClean

Based: Kuwait with offices in other GCC countries

Launch year: 2016

Number of employees: 130

Sector: online laundry service

Funding: $12.9m from Kuwait-based Faith Capital Holding

RESULT

Arsenal 2

Sokratis Papastathopoulos 45+4'

Eddie Ntkeiah 51'

Portsmouth 0

 

Multitasking pays off for money goals

Tackling money goals one at a time cost financial literacy expert Barbara O'Neill at least $1 million.

That's how much Ms O'Neill, a distinguished professor at Rutgers University in the US, figures she lost by starting saving for retirement only after she had created an emergency fund, bought a car with cash and purchased a home.

"I tell students that eventually, 30 years later, I hit the million-dollar mark, but I could've had $2 million," Ms O'Neill says.

Too often, financial experts say, people want to attack their money goals one at a time: "As soon as I pay off my credit card debt, then I'll start saving for a home," or, "As soon as I pay off my student loan debt, then I'll start saving for retirement"."

People do not realise how costly the words "as soon as" can be. Paying off debt is a worthy goal, but it should not come at the expense of other goals, particularly saving for retirement. The sooner money is contributed, the longer it can benefit from compounded returns. Compounded returns are when your investment gains earn their own gains, which can dramatically increase your balances over time.

"By putting off saving for the future, you are really inhibiting yourself from benefiting from that wonderful magic," says Kimberly Zimmerman Rand , an accredited financial counsellor and principal at Dragonfly Financial Solutions in Boston. "If you can start saving today ... you are going to have a lot more five years from now than if you decide to pay off debt for three years and start saving in year four."

Visa changes give families fresh hope

Foreign workers can sponsor family members based solely on their income

Male residents employed in the UAE can sponsor immediate family members, such as wife and children, subject to conditions that include a minimum salary of Dh 4,000 or Dh 3,000 plus accommodation.

Attested original marriage certificate, birth certificate of the child, ejari or rental contract, labour contract, salary certificate must be submitted to the government authorised typing centre to complete the sponsorship process

In Abu Dhabi, a woman can sponsor her husband and children if she holds a residence permit stating she is an engineer, teacher, doctor, nurse or any profession related to the medical sector and her monthly salary is at least Dh 10,000 or Dh 8,000 plus accommodation.

In Dubai, if a woman is not employed in the above categories she can get approval to sponsor her family if her monthly salary is more than Dh 10,000 and with a special permission from the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai.

To sponsor parents, a worker should earn Dh20,000 or Dh19,000 a month, plus a two-bedroom accommodation

 

 

 

What is the Supreme Petroleum Council?

The Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council was established in 1988 and is the highest governing body in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas industry. The council formulates, oversees and executes the emirate’s petroleum-related policies. It also approves the allocation of capital spending across state-owned Adnoc’s upstream, downstream and midstream operations and functions as the company’s board of directors. The SPC’s mandate is also required for auctioning oil and gas concessions in Abu Dhabi and for awarding blocks to international oil companies. The council is chaired by Sheikh Khalifa, the President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi while Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is the vice chairman.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

World Food Day

Celebrated on October 16, to coincide with the founding date of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Day aims to tackle issues such as hunger, food security, food waste and the environmental impact of food production.

In Praise of Zayed

A thousand grains of Sand whirl in the sky
To mark the journey of one passer-by
If then a Cavalcade disturbs the scene,
Shall such grains sing before they start to fly?

What man of Honour, and to Honour bred
Will fear to go wherever Truth has led?
For though a Thousand urge him to retreat
He'll laugh, until such counsellors have fled.

Stands always One, defiant and alone
Against the Many, when all Hope has flown.
Then comes the Test; and only then the time
Of reckoning what each can call his own.

History will not forget: that one small Seed
Sufficed to tip the Scales in time of need.
More than a debt, the Emirates owe to Zayed
Their very Souls, from outside influence freed.
No praise from Roderic can increase his Fame.
Steadfastness was the Essence of his name.
The changing years grow Gardens in the Sand
And build new Roads to Sand which stays the same.
But Hearts are not rebuilt, nor Seed resown.
What was, remains, essentially Alone.
Until the Golden Messenger, all-wise,
Calls out: "Come now, my Friend!" - and All is known

- Roderic Fenwick Owen

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

The bio

Favourite food: Japanese

Favourite car: Lamborghini

Favourite hobby: Football

Favourite quote: If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough

Favourite country: UAE

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

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

Rating: 2.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Coming 2 America

Directed by: Craig Brewer

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones

3/5 stars

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre flat 6-cylinder
Transmission: 7-speed PDK
Power: 500hp
Torque: 450Nm
Price: Dh530,300 as tested
On sale: Now

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE:

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

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★