FNC candidates wait for results at the Al Ain Exhibition Centre on Saturday. Sammy Dallal / The National
FNC candidates wait for results at the Al Ain Exhibition Centre on Saturday. Sammy Dallal / The National

Computer glitch added to FNC election tension



AL AIN // Shortly after 8pm on Saturday, as the television started broadcasting the results from all of the other emirates, the tension in the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain convention centres mounted.

Every eye was on the 5 metre-wide screen. Many candidates sat nervously tapping their feet on the ground, while others fidgeted with their mobile phones.

Video: FNC election reaction and results

Four results were announced, then five, then six. But from Abu Dhabi, nothing.

The candidates demanded Dr Ali Salem Al Tunaiji, who was in charge of the voting station at Al Ain Convention Centre, tell them where their results were.

"Soon, in a few minutes," Dr Al Tunaiji told anyone that asked. "Within 10 minutes at the latest."

By 9.25pm, it was clear something had gone wrong. The hosts on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, the station showing the results, continued talking about the voting in other emirates. But still not Abu Dhabi.

Earlier in the day the voting centres in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi had experienced technical difficulties with the electronic voting system.

In Al Ain the machines had ceased to operate for about two hours and in Abu Dhabi for about one.

While most voters waited patiently, several expressed concern that their votes might not have been registered, as they did not receive a hard-copy printout to place in the ballot boxes after voting electronically.

"The computer didn't give me my receipt, which leaves me in doubt that my vote was actually registered," said Huda Al Shamsi, a housewife.

Soon after the computers came back online, Dr Tunaiji said the crash had been caused by voters who did not know how to use the voting terminals.

"Voters were supposed to watch a demonstration of how to use the machines before voting, but many didn't," he said.

"Many assumed the machines were broken, but they were not. They were just in sleep mode. But when those who didn't know how to use them kept putting in and pulling out their identification cards and kept pushing buttons, they crashed the computers."

Aziz Homoud Al Amri, the national head of election centres, admitted there had been an issue with hard copies not being printed as the printers had gone into sleep mode.

By about 9.40pm, the candidates were speculating about the cause of the delay, wondering whether the computer glitches were to blame.

Dr Al Tunaiji did his best to calm their fears.

"It will be just a few more minutes, 10 at the most," he repeated.

Then, at 9.50pm, the television commentator's voice blared over the loudspeakers: "We have just been informed that the results for the emirate of Abu Dhabi will be delayed a further hour to an hour and a half."

Immediately, everyone stood up and headed for the exits. By 10pm, where minutes earlier more than two dozen candidates had sat, there were none.

As members of the media began gathering their equipment, clean-up crews moved in and security guards began locking the convention centre's doors.

An hour later, the results were finally announced by Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for FNC Affairs and head of the National Election Committee.

"The day started with some technical difficulties with the electronic voting machines at 9am and 9.40am that took an hour to an hour and a half to resolve," Dr Gargash said.

"To compensate for the problems that happened, we extended the [polls] from 7pm to 8pm.

"There was also a technical problem that occurred in bringing the vote tally from the Al Ain voting centre to the Abu Dhabi one. That's why there was a delay in announcing the results for the emirate of Abu Dhabi."

FNC election committee officials confirmed the delays had occurred because of the problems in Al Ain.

* With additional reporting by Ola Salem

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; Winner: Aahid Al Khalediah II, Pat Cosgrave (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Whistle, Harry Bentley, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup - Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Alsaied, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

6.30pm: Emirates Fillies Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Mumayaza, Antonio Fresu, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Emirates Colts Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

7.30pm: President’s Cup – Group 1 (PA) Dh2,500,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Somoud, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle

8pm: President’s Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Medahim, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar

Top financial tips for graduates

Araminta Robertson, of the Financially Mint blog, shares her financial advice for university leavers:

1. Build digital or technical skills: After graduation, people can find it extremely hard to find jobs. From programming to digital marketing, your early twenties are for building skills. Future employers will want people with tech skills.

2. Side hustle: At 16, I lived in a village and started teaching online, as well as doing work as a virtual assistant and marketer. There are six skills you can use online: translation; teaching; programming; digital marketing; design and writing. If you master two, you’ll always be able to make money.

3. Networking: Knowing how to make connections is extremely useful. Use LinkedIn to find people who have the job you want, connect and ask to meet for coffee. Ask how they did it and if they know anyone who can help you. I secured quite a few clients this way.

4. Pay yourself first: The minute you receive any income, put about 15 per cent aside into a savings account you won’t touch, to go towards your emergency fund or to start investing. I do 20 per cent. It helped me start saving immediately.

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

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

if you go

The flights Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, and Royal Jordanian all offer direct, three-and-a-half-hour flights from the UAE to the Jordanian capital Amman. Alternatively, from June Fly Dubai will offer a new direct service from Dubai to Aqaba in the south of the country. See the airlines’ respective sites for varying prices or search on reliable price-comparison site Skyscanner.

The trip 

Jamie Lafferty was a guest of the Jordan Tourist Board. For more information on adventure tourism in Jordan see Visit Jordan. A number of new and established tour companies offer the chance to go caving, rock-climbing, canyoning, and mountaineering in Jordan. Prices vary depending on how many activities you want to do and how many days you plan to stay in the country. Among the leaders are Terhaal, who offer a two-day canyoning trip from Dh845 per person. If you really want to push your limits, contact the Stronger Team. For a more trek-focused trip, KE Adventure offers an eight-day trip from Dh5,300 per person.

How it works

Booklava works on a subscription model. On signing up you receive a free book as part of a 30-day-trial period, after which you pay US$9.99 (Dh36.70) per month to gain access to a library of books and discounts of up to 30 per cent on selected titles. You can cancel your subscription at any time. For more details go to www.booklava.com

The Porpoise

By Mark Haddon 

(Penguin Random House)
 

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

Scoreline

Al Wasl 1 (Caio Canedo 90+1')

Al Ain 2 (Ismail Ahmed 3', Marcus Berg 50')

Red cards: Ismail Ahmed (Al Ain) 77'

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

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

MATCH INFO

Burnley 0

Man City 3

Raheem Sterling 35', 49'

Ferran Torres 65'

 

 

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.”

MATCH INFO

Manchester City 4 (Gundogan 8' (P), Bernardo Silva 19', Jesus 72', 75')

Fulham 0

Red cards: Tim Ream (Fulham)

Man of the Match: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi
Hachette Books

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Huddersfield Town permanent signings:

  • Steve Mounie (striker): signed from Montpellier for £11 million
  • Tom Ince (winger): signed from Derby County for £7.7m
  • Aaron Mooy (midfielder): signed from Manchester City for £7.7m
  • Laurent Depoitre (striker): signed from Porto for £3.4m
  • Scott Malone (defender): signed from Fulham for £3.3m
  • Zanka (defender): signed from Copenhagen for £2.3m
  • Elias Kachunga (winger): signed for Ingolstadt for £1.1m
  • Danny WIlliams (midfielder): signed from Reading on a free transfer
The biog:

From: Wimbledon, London, UK

Education: Medical doctor

Hobbies: Travelling, meeting new people and cultures 

Favourite animals: All of them 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES

Directors: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
Stars: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis
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

Company Profile

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

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.

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 715bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh1,289,376

On sale: now

Email sent to Uber team from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

From: Dara

To: Team@

Date: March 25, 2019 at 11:45pm PT

Subj: Accelerating in the Middle East

Five years ago, Uber launched in the Middle East. It was the start of an incredible journey, with millions of riders and drivers finding new ways to move and work in a dynamic region that’s become so important to Uber. Now Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world, women are driving with Uber across Saudi Arabia, and we chose Cairo to launch our first Uber Bus product late last year.

Today we are taking the next step in this journey—well, it’s more like a leap, and a big one: in a few minutes, we’ll announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Careem. Importantly, we intend to operate Careem independently, under the leadership of co-founder and current CEO Mudassir Sheikha. I’ve gotten to know both co-founders, Mudassir and Magnus Olsson, and what they have built is truly extraordinary. They are first-class entrepreneurs who share our platform vision and, like us, have launched a wide range of products—from digital payments to food delivery—to serve consumers.

I expect many of you will ask how we arrived at this structure, meaning allowing Careem to maintain an independent brand and operate separately. After careful consideration, we decided that this framework has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands, with strong operators within each. Over time, by integrating parts of our networks, we can operate more efficiently, achieve even lower wait times, expand new products like high-capacity vehicles and payments, and quicken the already remarkable pace of innovation in the region.

This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in various countries, which we don’t expect before Q1 2020. Until then, nothing changes. And since both companies will continue to largely operate separately after the acquisition, very little will change in either teams’ day-to-day operations post-close. Today’s news is a testament to the incredible business our team has worked so hard to build.

It’s a great day for the Middle East, for the region’s thriving tech sector, for Careem, and for Uber.

Uber on,

Dara


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