ABU DHABI // Qatar’s Ambassador to the UAE, Faris bin Roumi Al Nuaimi, has lauded the decision of President Sheikh Khalifa to pardon two Qataris who were convicted of insulting this country.

The State Security Court had jailed and fined the Qataris for posting insulting images of the UAE Royal Family on Instagram.

In a statement to Al Ittihad, the sister newspaper of The National, Mr Al Nuaimi said Sheikh Khalifa’s decision affirms the UAE’s keenness to strengthen the brotherly relations between both countries and preserve the unity of the GCC.

“This decision does not come as a surprise if we look back at the many positions taken by the UAE,” he said. “The pardon will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the relations between both countries and will bring them closer.”

The Qatari ambassador passed on the gratitude from the families of the two Qataris to Sheikh Khalifa.

On social media, others also praised the President’s decision.

“Such a great, generous and forgiving leadership. God bless His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed,” read one tweet.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

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

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Favourite music: Classical

Hobbies: Reading and writing

 

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.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

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

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

The story of Edge

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, established Edge in 2019.

It brought together 25 state-owned and independent companies specialising in weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare.

Edge has an annual revenue of $5 billion and employs more than 12,000 people.

Some of the companies include Nimr, a maker of armoured vehicles, Caracal, which manufactures guns and ammunitions company, Lahab

 

A Round of Applause

Director: Berkun Oya
Starring: Aslihan Gürbüz, Fatih Artman, Cihat Suvarioglu
Rating: 4/5

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

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

FIGHT CARD

Lightweight 10 rounds:
Bader Samreen (8-0-0) v Jose Paez Gonzales (16-2-2)

Super flyweight 10 rounds:
Sultan Al Nuaimi (9-0-0) v Jemsi Kibazange (18-6-2)

Cruiseweight 8 rounds:
Mohammed Bekdash (25-0-0) v Musa N’tege (8-4-0)

Super featherweight 8 rounds:
Bishara Sabbar (6-0-0) v Mohammed Azahar (8-5-1)

Welterweight 6 rounds:
Marwan Mohamad Madboly (2-0-0) v Sheldon Schultz (4-4-0)

Heavyweight 4 rounds:
Youssef Karrar (1-0-0) v Muhammad Muzeei (0-0-0)

Welterweight 6 rounds:
Benyamin Moradzadeh (0-0-0) v Rohit Chaudhary (4-0-2)

Featherweight 4 rounds:
Yousuf Ali (2-0-0) (win-loss-draw) v Alex Semugenyi (0-1-0)

Winners

Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Best Women's Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

Best Men's Club of the Year: Chelsea

Best Women's Club of the Year: Barcelona

Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)

Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

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)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

What is an FTO Designation?

FTO designations impose immigration restrictions on members of the organisation simply by virtue of their membership and triggers a criminal prohibition on knowingly providing material support or resources to the designated organisation as well as asset freezes. 

It is a crime for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to or receive military-type training from or on behalf of a designated FTO.

Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances removable from, the United States.

Except as authorised by the Secretary of the Treasury, any US financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which an FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Treasury Department.

Source: US Department of State

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.”


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