Electric cars on display during the launch of an electric car charging station at Dewa headquarters in Garhoud in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Electric cars on display during the launch of an electric car charging station at Dewa headquarters in Garhoud in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

UAE needs more charging stations to promote use of electric vehicles



ABU DHABI // The use of electric vehicles could change the quality of life for residents, but a discussion about the accessibility of charging stations is key.

Frans Anton Vermast, a strategy advisor for the city of Amsterdam, said the dilemma is “almost like a chicken and egg” issue.

“Do we not have enough electric vehicles because there are not enough charging poles, or do we not have enough charging poles because we don’t have enough electric vehicles?”

Promoting the use of electric vehicles, public transport and cycling and a shift to solar and other renewable energy could make Abu Dhabi and Dubai more sustainable, experts say.

“It is imperative to have a vision from a political leader who will make decisions that we’re going to provide this with the more habitable city so people can live, work and play in a much nicer environment,” Mr Vermast said on Tuesday at the Smart Traffic Middle East 2015 conference.

“I think there’s a role that local governments can play to help plan strategically the position of electric charging stations along with the electricity grid operator.”

Charging poles should be available to all, he said.

“I think if somebody at the top will say OK, since this will make our citizens happier, then I think that’s the way forward.”

A network of electric car-charging stations across the UAE is being rolled out to encourage more motorists to purchase eco-friendly vehicles.

“By the end of 2016, at the latest, Dubai should have good infrastructure to enable people to decide whether to buy electric cars or not,” Sam Aalwiye, chief executive of GreenParking, said in March. In February, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority launched a dozen public charging stations at its offices. It also announced plans for 84 charging stations by the end of 2015 at malls, airports, residential communities and hotels.

But Chintaka Premahandra, an assistant professor at the Tokyo University of Science, said people in the region were “probably more comfortable” using conventional combustion-engine vehicles, mainly due to low fuel prices.

“It will all depend on the cost of the electric cars and the people’s perception towards it,” he said. “There is a need to have an effective public transportation to make cities more liveable. In bigger cities such as Tokyo, there is a dense network of train, subway and bus lines, which is on time.”

There is also a need to making the emirates safer and encourage residents to cycle.

“In Amsterdam, we have twice as many bicycles as people because everybody uses the bike as a service, basically,” Mr Vermast said. “You see that in several cities, and hopefully Abu Dhabi would also have a bicycle plan.

“So there are bikes parked there, just like in Amsterdam or in Chicago, you go there with your credit card, you just rent a bike, you cycle and you park it somewhere else so definitely you can make a city more liveable.”

Reducing congestion and generating electricity from the sun and wind would also benefit the community.

rruiz@thenational.ae

Day 1, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Dimuth Karunaratne had batted with plenty of pluck, and no little skill, in getting to within seven runs of a first-day century. Then, while he ran what he thought was a comfortable single to mid-on, his batting partner Dinesh Chandimal opted to stay at home. The opener was run out by the length of the pitch.

Stat of the day - 1 One six was hit on Day 1. The boundary was only breached 18 times in total over the course of the 90 overs. When it did arrive, the lone six was a thing of beauty, as Niroshan Dickwella effortlessly clipped Mohammed Amir over the square-leg boundary.

The verdict Three wickets down at lunch, on a featherbed wicket having won the toss, and Sri Lanka’s fragile confidence must have been waning. Then Karunaratne and Chandimal's alliance of precisely 100 gave them a foothold in the match. Dickwella’s free-spirited strokeplay meant the Sri Lankans were handily placed at 227 for four at the close.

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 biog

Name: Atheja Ali Busaibah

Date of birth: 15 November, 1951

Favourite books: Ihsan Abdel Quddous books, such as “The Sun will Never Set”

Hobbies: Reading and writing poetry

While you're here
In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

Director: Romany Saad
Starring: Mirfat Amin, Boumi Fouad and Tariq Al Ibyari

Race card

6pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 – Group 1 (PA) $50,000 (Dirt) 1,600m
6.35pm: Dubai Racing Club Classic – Handicap (TB) $100,000 (D) 2,410m
7.10pm: Dubawi Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,200m
7.45pm: Jumeirah Classic Trial – Conditions (TB) $150,000 (Turf) 1,400m
8.20pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 – Group 2 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,600m
8.55pm: Al Fahidi Fort – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,400m
9.30pm: Ertijaal Dubai Dash – Listed (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,000m

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

Burnley 0

Man City 3

Raheem Sterling 35', 49'

Ferran Torres 65'

 

 

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. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

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

8 UAE companies helping families reduce their carbon footprint

Greenheart Organic Farms 

This Dubai company was one of the country’s first organic farms, set up in 2012, and it now delivers a wide array of fruits and vegetables grown regionally or in the UAE, as well as other grocery items, to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi doorsteps.

www.greenheartuae.com

Modibodi  

Founded in Australia, Modibodi is now in the UAE with waste-free, reusable underwear that eliminates the litter created by a woman’s monthly cycle, which adds up to approximately 136kgs of sanitary waste over a lifetime.

www.modibodi.ae

The Good Karma Co

From brushes made of plant fibres to eco-friendly storage solutions, this company has planet-friendly alternatives to almost everything we need, including tin foil and toothbrushes. 

www.instagram.com/thegoodkarmaco

Re:told

One Dubai boutique, Re:told, is taking second-hand garments and selling them on at a fraction of the price, helping to cut back on the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of clothes thrown into landfills each year.

www.shopretold.com

Lush

Lush provides products such as shampoo and conditioner as package-free bars with reusable tins to store. 

www.mena.lush.com

Bubble Bro 

Offering filtered, still and sparkling water on tap, Bubble Bro is attempting to ensure we don’t produce plastic or glass waste. Founded in 2017 by Adel Abu-Aysha, the company is on track to exceeding its target of saving one million bottles by the end of the year.

www.bubble-bro.com

Coethical 

This company offers refillable, eco-friendly home cleaning and hygiene products that are all biodegradable, free of chemicals and certifiably not tested on animals.

www.instagram.com/coethical

Eggs & Soldiers

This bricks-and-mortar shop and e-store, founded by a Dubai mum-of-four, is the place to go for all manner of family products – from reusable cloth diapers to organic skincare and sustainable toys.

www.eggsnsoldiers.com

Day 1, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Dimuth Karunaratne had batted with plenty of pluck, and no little skill, in getting to within seven runs of a first-day century. Then, while he ran what he thought was a comfortable single to mid-on, his batting partner Dinesh Chandimal opted to stay at home. The opener was run out by the length of the pitch.

Stat of the day – 1 One six was hit on Day 1. The boundary was only breached 18 times in total over the course of the 90 overs. When it did arrive, the lone six was a thing of beauty, as Niroshan Dickwella effortlessly clipped Mohammed Amir over the square-leg boundary.

The verdict Three wickets down at lunch, on a featherbed wicket having won the toss, and Sri Lanka’s fragile confidence must have been waning. Then Karunaratne and Chandimal's alliance of precisely 100 gave them a foothold in the match. Dickwella’s free-spirited strokeplay meant the Sri Lankans were handily placed at 227-4 at the close.

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

Usain Bolt's World Championships record

2007 Osaka

200m Silver

4x100m relay Silver

2009 Berlin

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2011 Daegu

100m Disqualified in final for false start

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2013 Moscow

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2015 Beijing

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

The Beekeeper

Director: David Ayer 

Starring: Jason Statham, Josh Hutcherson, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Minnie Driver, Jeremy Irons

Rating: 3/5

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

Company Profile

Name: Raha
Started: 2022
Based: Kuwait/Saudi
Industry: Tech Logistics
Funding: $14 million
Investors: Soor Capital, eWTP Arabia Capital, Aujan Enterprises, Nox Management, Cedar Mundi Ventures
Number of employees: 166

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

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.

FIXTURES

Monday, January 28
Iran v Japan, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Tuesday, January 29
UAEv Qatar, Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Friday, February 1
Final, Zayed Sports City Stadium (6pm)

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Pickford (Everton), Pope (Burnley), Henderson (Manchester United)

Defenders Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Chilwell (Chelsea), Coady (Wolves), Dier (Tottenham), Gomez (Liverpool), James (Chelsea), Keane (Everton), Maguire (Manchester United), Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Mings (Aston Villa), Saka (Arsenal), Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Foden (Manchester City), Henderson (Liverpool), Grealish (Aston Villa), Mount (Chelsea), Rice (West Ham), Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Winks (Tottenham)

Forwards: Abraham (Chelsea), Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Kane (Tottenham), Rashford (Manchester United), Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Sterling (Manchester City)

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
TO CATCH A KILLER

Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

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

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.”

Company Profile

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