George Michael to bow out in Abu Dhabi



ABU DHABI // George Michael is to stage what he says is the final concert of his career at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City on Dec 1. The British singer will perform in front of 30,000 fans in what will be his first show in the Middle East. The concert is a last-minute addition to his 25-date retirement tour, 25 Live, which concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the end of August before an audience of 40,000. It will bring to an end a performing career that has spanned 25 years.

"There will be a few surprises on the night," said a spokeswoman for the organisers. "We can't say what but it will make the night one to remember for everyone." The 45-year-old singer is coming to Abu Dhabi despite having already announced his retirement. Reports in the British press claim an offer of £1 million (Dh6m) to come to the emirates persuaded him to perform for one last time. The spokeswoman said Michael was being brought to the emirates by Live Nation and Flash. Live Nation made headlines last year when the company signed a US$120m (Dh440m) deal to secure all of Madonna's recording and touring rights. The arrangement was billed as the future of the recording industry and made Madonna, who turned 50 in August, the founding artist of the company's Artist Nation division.

mswan@thenational.ae

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Dubai Rugby Sevens, December 5 -7

World Sevens Series Pools

A – Fiji, France, Argentina, Japan

B – United States, Australia, Scotland, Ireland

C – New Zealand, Samoa, Canada, Wales

D – South Africa, England, Spain, Kenya

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

Signs of heat stroke
  • The loss of sodium chloride in our sweat can lead to confusion and an altered mental status and slurred speech
  • Body temperature above 39°C
  • Hot, dry and red or damp skin can indicate heatstroke
  • A faster pulse than usual
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UAE rugby in numbers

5 - Year sponsorship deal between Hesco and Jebel Ali Dragons

700 - Dubai Hurricanes had more than 700 playing members last season between their mini and youth, men's and women's teams

Dh600,000 - Dubai Exiles' budget for pitch and court hire next season, for their rugby, netball and cricket teams

Dh1.8m - Dubai Hurricanes' overall budget for next season

Dh2.8m - Dubai Exiles’ overall budget for next season

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Stuck in a job without a pay rise? Here's what to do

Chris Greaves, the managing director of Hays Gulf Region, says those without a pay rise for an extended period must start asking questions – both of themselves and their employer.

“First, are they happy with that or do they want more?” he says. “Job-seeking is a time-consuming, frustrating and long-winded affair so are they prepared to put themselves through that rigmarole? Before they consider that, they must ask their employer what is happening.”

Most employees bring up pay rise queries at their annual performance appraisal and find out what the company has in store for them from a career perspective.

Those with no formal appraisal system, Mr Greaves says, should ask HR or their line manager for an assessment.

“You want to find out how they value your contribution and where your job could go,” he says. “You’ve got to be brave enough to ask some questions and if you don’t like the answers then you have to develop a strategy or change jobs if you are prepared to go through the job-seeking process.”

For those that do reach the salary negotiation with their current employer, Mr Greaves says there is no point in asking for less than 5 per cent.

“However, this can only really have any chance of success if you can identify where you add value to the business (preferably you can put a monetary value on it), or you can point to a sustained contribution above the call of duty or to other achievements you think your employer will value.”

 

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.”

Brief scores:

Toss: Sindhis, elected to field first

Pakhtoons 137-6 (10 ov)

Fletcher 68 not out; Cutting 2-14

Sindhis 129-8 (10 ov)

Perera 47; Sohail 2-18

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
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Company: Instabug

Founded: 2013

Based: Egypt, Cairo

Sector: IT

Employees: 100

Stage: Series A

Investors: Flat6Labs, Accel, Y Combinator and angel investors

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The specs

Engine: 2.2-litre, turbodiesel

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Power: 160hp

Torque: 385Nm

Price: Dh116,900

On sale: now

SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2)

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In the box: Nothing Phone (2), USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price (UAE): Dh2,499 (12GB/256GB) / Dh2,799 (12GB/512GB)

Company Profile

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


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