A staff of 13, including a penguin curator in charge of the well-being of the birds, was brought in from different parts of the world. Sarah Dea / The National
A staff of 13, including a penguin curator in charge of the well-being of the birds, was brought in from different parts of the world. Sarah Dea / The National

Penguins find new home at Ski Dubai



DUBAI // A penguin colony has arrived in the Middle East. A plot for an upcoming Pixar film this is not; rather, the indoor resort Ski Dubai has brought in 20 penguins for guests to interact with from next Sunday.

Before arriving in the UAE early January, the penguins were part of a multi-generation breeding programme at SeaWorld in Texas, USA. Ten of the penguins are of the king species, the second largest type, while the other half are gentoo penguins, identifiable through a wide white stripe extending across their heads.

Ski Dubai has specifically built a housing area and pool at the resort to mimic an Antarctic environment. A staff of 13, including a penguin curator in charge of the well-being of the birds, was brought in from different parts of the world.

"The penguins live like they have butlers," said Tom Scheffer, Ski Dubai's operations manager. "A veterinarian comes every two weeks. They have their own lunch boxes, with restaurant-quality capelin fish imported from Canada."

The animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) quickly flagged the endeavour. "Ski Dubai is only acquiring penguins for profit," PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner Ashley Fruno told The National. "If they really cared about penguins, they would leave them alone."

Scheffer argued the project is not an entirely commercial enterprise. "Through this project we're raising awareness about the conservation needed to sustain their natural habitat," he said. "We ask the birds what they want to do, we never force them," added Scheffer. "As ambassadors of their species, for them we only have utmost respect."

On Sunday, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, the country's Minister of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, dropped by the resort to view the penguins. He even named one of them "Hadi", Arabic for calm.
The 22,500-square-metre Ski Dubai was developed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties in November 2005.

jgabrillo@thenational.ae

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

Result

6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 – Group 1 (PA) $65,000 (Dirt) 2,000m; Winner: Brraq, Ryan Curatolo (jockey), Jean-Claude Pecout (trainer)

7.05pm: Handicap (TB) $65,000 (Turf) 1,800m; Winner: Bright Melody, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

7.40pm: Meydan Classic – Listed (TB) $88,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Naval Crown, Mickael Barzalona, Charlie Appleby

8.15pm: Nad Al Sheba Trophy – Group 3 (TB) $195,000 (T) 2,810m; Winner: Volcanic Sky, Frankie Dettori, Saeed bin Suroor

8.50pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $130,000 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Star Safari, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

9.25pm: Meydan Challenge – Listed Handicap (TB) $88,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Zainhom, Dane O’Neill, Musabah Al Muhairi

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Profile

Company: Justmop.com

Date started: December 2015

Founders: Kerem Kuyucu and Cagatay Ozcan

Sector: Technology and home services

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

Size: 55 employees and 100,000 cleaning requests a month

Funding:  The company’s investors include Collective Spark, Faith Capital Holding, Oak Capital, VentureFriends, and 500 Startups. 

Company profile

Name: Pyppl

Established: 2017

Founders: Antti Arponen and Phil Reynolds

Based: UAE

Sector: financial services

Investment: $18.5 million

Employees: 150

Funding stage: series A, closed in 2021

Investors: venture capital companies, international funds, family offices, high-net-worth individuals

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Veere di Wedding
Dir: Shashanka Ghosh
Starring: Kareena Kapoo-Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania ​​​​​​​
Verdict: 4 Stars

The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

Results

Stage 2:
1. Soudal–Quick-Step - 18’11”
2. EF Education – EasyPost - 1"
3. Ineos Grenadiers - 3"
General classification:
1. Lucas Plapp (AUS) Ineos Grenadiers
2. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal–Quick-Step - ST
3. Nikias Arndt (GER) Bahrain Victorious - 3"

Fixtures

Tuesday - 5.15pm: Team Lebanon v Alger Corsaires; 8.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Pharaohs

Wednesday - 5.15pm: Pharaohs v Carthage Eagles; 8.30pm: Alger Corsaires v Abu Dhabi Storms

Thursday - 4.30pm: Team Lebanon v Pharaohs; 7.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Carthage Eagles

Friday - 4.30pm: Pharaohs v Alger Corsaires; 7.30pm: Carthage Eagles v Team Lebanon

Saturday - 4.30pm: Carthage Eagles v Alger Corsaires; 7.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Team Lebanon

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

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Easter Sunday

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Stars: Jo Koy, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Lydia Gaston
Rating: 3.5/5

Five healthy carbs and how to eat them

Brown rice: consume an amount that fits in the palm of your hand

Non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli: consume raw or at low temperatures, and don’t reheat  

Oatmeal: look out for pure whole oat grains or kernels, which are locally grown and packaged; avoid those that have travelled from afar

Fruit: a medium bowl a day and no more, and never fruit juices

Lentils and lentil pasta: soak these well and cook them at a low temperature; refrain from eating highly processed pasta variants

Courtesy Roma Megchiani, functional nutritionist at Dubai’s 77 Veggie Boutique

Du Football Champions

The fourth season of du Football Champions was launched at Gitex on Wednesday alongside the Middle East’s first sports-tech scouting platform.“du Talents”, which enables aspiring footballers to upload their profiles and highlights reels and communicate directly with coaches, is designed to extend the reach of the programme, which has already attracted more than 21,500 players in its first three years.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

if you go

The flights

Fly to Rome with Etihad (www.etihad.ae) or Emirates (www.emirates.com) from Dh2,480 return including taxes. The flight takes six hours. Fly from Rome to Trapani with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) from Dh420 return including taxes. The flight takes one hour 10 minutes.

The hotels

The author recommends the following hotels for this itinerary. In Trapani, Ai Lumi (www.ailumi.it); in Marsala, Viacolvento (www.viacolventomarsala.it); and in Marsala Del Vallo, the Meliaresort Dimore Storiche (www.meliaresort.it).

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Score

New Zealand 266 for 9 in 50 overs
Pakistan 219 all out in 47.2 overs 

New Zealand win by 47 runs

New Zealand lead three-match ODI series 1-0

Next match: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Friday

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

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

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

MATCH DETAILS

Liverpool 2

Wijnaldum (14), Oxlade-Chamberlain (52)

Genk 1

Samatta (40)

 


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