Vaccine tests have been carried out on Arabian oryx at the Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre.
Vaccine tests have been carried out on Arabian oryx at the Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre.

Bid to protect Arabian oryx from deadly goat plague



DUBAI // Research being carried out at Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre could be crucial in protecting Arabian oryx from a deadly disease.

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious virus that primarily affects goats and sheep.

Oryx are also susceptible, and there are concerns it could spread from the country's large goat population.

PPR, also known as goat plague, occurs across parts of Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. Last year, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority launched a spraying and immunisation campaign to control the spread of the disease.

There is a vaccine, but while the effective dosages for goats and sheep have been established, the doses and frequency of administration required to protect oryx are not known. This study is intended to determine the correct levels.

"PPR has been found in goat herds in the UAE and it's something we're concerned about," said Declan O'Donovan, Wadi Al Safa's director of wildlife services. "We want to make sure we're giving the oryx enough vaccine.

"Will the recommended dose for sheep and goats be successful in Arabian oryx? Nobody knows, so we've put a number through a clinical trial."

Twelve oryx were vaccinated and three kept as control animals. A month later, five of the twelve were given a booster vaccination. The animals were tested regularly for a year to check the levels of PPR antibodies in their blood, a process that enables the effectiveness of a vaccine to be measured.

"Currently this data is being analysed and recommendations from the findings will be published in a scientific journal," said Mr O'Donovan.

The results will be useful for all collectors, zoos and wildlife parks that keep oryx.

There are a number of large herds in the UAE - Wadi Al Safa and its satellite sites, for example, have more than 300.

The animal was hunted to extinction in the wild 40 years ago, but today it is thriving thanks to captive breeding and reintroduction programmes.

The PPR research is the latest in a series of disease studies carried out at the centre since it opened in 1998.

Subjects covered include foot-and-mouth disease, ailments that affect gazelle and feral cats, and the distribution of the mountain gazelle. There have also been a number of other studies involving oryx.

Remaining Fixtures

Wednesday: West Indies v Scotland
Thursday: UAE v Zimbabwe
Friday: Afghanistan v Ireland
Sunday: Final

Results

2.30pm: Dubai Creek Tower – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m; Winner: Marmara Xm, Gary Sanchez (jockey), Abdelkhir Adam (trainer)

3pm: Al Yasmeen – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: AS Hajez, Jesus Rosales, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.30pm: Al Ferdous – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Soukainah, Sebastien Martino, Jean-Claude Pecout

4pm: The Crown Prince Of Sharjah – Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: AF Thayer, Ray Dawson, Ernst Oertel

4.30pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup – Handicap (TB) Dh200,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: George Villiers, Antonio Fresu, Bhupat Seemar

5pm: Palma Spring – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Es Abu Mousa, Antonio Fresu, Abubakar Daud

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

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

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

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

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.”

PSA DUBAI WORLD SERIES FINALS LINE-UP

Men’s:
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Nick Matthew (ENG)

Women's:
Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZE)
Camille Serme (FRA)
Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

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

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

'Peninsula'

Stars: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Ra

Director: ​Yeon Sang-ho

Rating: 2/5

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League last-16, second leg:

Real Madrid 1 (Asensio 70'), Ajax 4 (Ziyech 7', Neres 18', Tadic 62', Schone 72')

Ajax win 5-3 on aggregate

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

Notable salonnières of the Middle East through history

Al Khasan (Okaz, Saudi Arabia)

Tamadir bint Amr Al Harith, known simply as Al Khasan, was a poet from Najd famed for elegies, earning great renown for the eulogy of her brothers Mu’awiyah and Sakhr, both killed in tribal wars. Although not a salonnière, this prestigious 7th century poet fostered a culture of literary criticism and could be found standing in the souq of Okaz and reciting her poetry, publicly pronouncing her views and inviting others to join in the debate on scholarship. She later converted to Islam.

Maryana Marrash (Aleppo)

A poet and writer, Marrash helped revive the tradition of the salon and was an active part of the Nadha movement, or Arab Renaissance. Born to an established family in Aleppo in Ottoman Syria in 1848, Marrash was educated at missionary schools in Aleppo and Beirut at a time when many women did not receive an education. After touring Europe, she began to host salons where writers played chess and cards, competed in the art of poetry, and discussed literature and politics. An accomplished singer and canon player, music and dancing were a part of these evenings.

Princess Nazil Fadil (Cairo)

Princess Nazil Fadil gathered religious, literary and political elite together at her Cairo palace, although she stopped short of inviting women. The princess, a niece of Khedive Ismail, believed that Egypt’s situation could only be solved through education and she donated her own property to help fund the first modern Egyptian University in Cairo.

Mayy Ziyadah (Cairo)

Ziyadah was the first to entertain both men and women at her Cairo salon, founded in 1913. The writer, poet, public speaker and critic, her writing explored language, religious identity, language, nationalism and hierarchy. Born in Nazareth, Palestine, to a Lebanese father and Palestinian mother, her salon was open to different social classes and earned comparisons with souq of where Al Khansa herself once recited.

Where to buy

Limited-edition art prints of The Sofa Series: Sultani can be acquired from Reem El Mutwalli at www.reemelmutwalli.com

The specs

Engine 60kwh FWD

Battery Rimac 120kwh Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2) chemistry

Power 204hp Torque 360Nm

Price, base / as tested Dh174,500 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

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

RESULTS

5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (Turf) 2,200m
Winner: Al Hazeez, Saif Al Balushi (jockey), Khalifa Al Neyadi (trainer)
5.30pm: Shams Gate Tower – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m
Winner: ES Sudani, Antonio Fresu, Hamad Al Marar
6pm: Al Bahr Towers – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m
Winner: AF Musannef, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
6.30pm: Capital Gate – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Shugga'A Baynounah, Dane O’Neill, Nisren Mahgoub
7pm: Etihad Towers – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: AF Maqam, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
7.30pm: Fairmont Marina – Maiden (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: Tempesta D'Oro, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer

Scoreline

UAE 2-1 Saudi Arabia

UAE Mabkhout 21’, Khalil 59’

Saudi Al Abed (pen) 20’

Man of the match Ahmed Khalil (UAE)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

match info

Maratha Arabians 138-2

C Lynn 91*, A Lyth 20, B Laughlin 1-15

Team Abu Dhabi 114-3

L Wright 40*, L Malinga 0-13, M McClenaghan 1-17

Maratha Arabians won by 24 runs

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reforms stamp duty land tax (SDLT), replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:

Up to £125,000 – 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; More than £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak extends the SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget until the end of June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

June 2021: SDLT holiday on transactions up to £500,000 expires on June 30.

July 2021: Tax break on transactions between £125,000 to £250,000 starts on July 1 and runs until September 30.

UAE Premiership

Results

Dubai Exiles 24-28 Jebel Ali Dragons
Abu Dhabi Harlequins 43-27 Dubai Hurricanes

Final
Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Jebel Ali Dragons, Friday, March 29, 5pm at The Sevens, Dubai

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

COMPANY PROFILE

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

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Kinetic 7
Started: 2018
Founder: Rick Parish
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded

Harry & Meghan

Director: Liz Garbus

Stars: Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Rating: 3/5

Sri Lanka's T20I squad

Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga de Silva.

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