Volunteers will get the chance to work in orphanages and schools as part of their trip.
Volunteers will get the chance to work in orphanages and schools as part of their trip.

Holidays with a warm heart



DUBAI // Dozens of Pakistanis will travel to Sri Lanka this summer to volunteer in orphanages and schools.

The Overseas Pakistanis and Sri Lankans Society (OPSS) in Dubai is working with the Volunteer Sri Lanka project and has launched Tourism for a Good Cause. The aim of the campaign is to promote the island as a tourist destination, but also to give volunteers the chance to combine community work and sightseeing in a single trip.

"Since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the tourist industry is really booming," said Mobisher Rabbani, the Dubai entrepreneur who is the president of OPSS. "The beauty about this project is that it aims to encourage people who would already perhaps be going to the island to use some of their spare time to help out at a school or orphanage.

"It's proved particularly popular with young people in the community and I think whoever takes part will get an amazing life experience out of it. So far about 60 people have been in contact asking for more details and expressing an interest."

Janaka de Silva, the founder of Volunteer Sri Lanka, said he was delighted with the response. "The volunteer accommodation is a homestay arrangement, and not a hotel."

The volunteers will get the chance to work with orphans, helping them with their homework. They can also work with nursery schoolchildren with special needs, care for the elderly or help with building work. Mr de Silva also wants to start skills training for IT, sewing, carpentry, building, plumbing and electrical installation.

Armina Javaid, a 26-year-old auditor, plans to spend up to three weeks in Sri Lanka volunteering.

"I found out about it through a friend and thought it was a wonderful idea," she said. "I want to do some teaching in the schools if possible, but to be honest the whole experience is going to be amazing.

"The good thing about it is that you still get the chance to have a holiday as well as do some good work to help the community."

Zareen Shah, 29, a make-up artist who has lived in Dubai for 22 years, discovered the organisation through Facebook. "I try to do philanthropic work when I can and have done some fund-raising following the earthquakes in Haiti, as well as collecting supplies for survivors of the floods in Pakistan last summer. I've never been to Sri Lanka before, so I'm really looking forward to it."

She is planning to spend a week in the country in July and is encouraging her friends to take part.

The campaign to get more volunteers has been backed by Sarath Wijesinghe, the Sri Lankan ambassador to the UAE. He is pleased "that so many people from Dubai are taking an active interest in helping people less fortunate than themselves".

"Tourism has gone up by 40 per cent since the end of the civil war and we are seeing more and more people from the UAE going there on holiday," he said. For more information e-mail Janaka de Silva at janakadesilva1@hotmail.com

The biog

Siblings: five brothers and one sister

Education: Bachelors in Political Science at the University of Minnesota

Interests: Swimming, tennis and the gym

Favourite place: UAE

Favourite packet food on the trip: pasta primavera

What he did to pass the time during the trip: listen to audio books

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)

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Clinicy
Started: 2017
Founders: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Alobaid and Saud bin Sulaiman Alobaid
Based: Riyadh
Number of staff: 25
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding raised: More than $10 million
Investors: Middle East Venture Partners, Gate Capital, Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Summer special
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Based: Bangalore, India and Dubai, UAE

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Investment: $2 million

Seven tips from Emirates NBD

1. Never respond to e-mails, calls or messages asking for account, card or internet banking details

2. Never store a card PIN (personal identification number) in your mobile or in your wallet

3. Ensure online shopping websites are secure and verified before providing card details

4. Change passwords periodically as a precautionary measure

5. Never share authentication data such as passwords, card PINs and OTPs  (one-time passwords) with third parties

6. Track bank notifications regarding transaction discrepancies

7. Report lost or stolen debit and credit cards immediately

Draw for Europa League last-16

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Rangers v Bayer Leverkusen; VfL Wolfsburg v Shakhtar Donetsk; Inter Milan v Getafe

Sevilla v AS Roma; Eintracht Frankfurt or Salzburg v Basel; LASK v Manchester United

The years Ramadan fell in May

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1954

1921

1888

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Engine: 4.4-litre V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 523hp

Torque: 750Nm

Price: Dh469,000

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

Chelsea 2 Burnley 3
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Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

How to help

Send “thenational” to the following numbers or call the hotline on: 0502955999
2289 – Dh10
2252 – Dh 50
6025 – Dh20
6027 – Dh 100
6026 – Dh 200

Salah in numbers

€39 million: Liverpool agreed a fee, including add-ons, in the region of 39m (nearly Dh176m) to sign Salah from Roma last year. The exchange rate at the time meant that cost the Reds £34.3m - a bargain given his performances since.

13: The 25-year-old player was not a complete stranger to the Premier League when he arrived at Liverpool this summer. However, during his previous stint at Chelsea, he made just 13 Premier League appearances, seven of which were off the bench, and scored only twice.

57: It was in the 57th minute of his Liverpool bow when Salah opened his account for the Reds in the 3-3 draw with Watford back in August. The Egyptian prodded the ball over the line from close range after latching onto Roberto Firmino's attempted lob.

7: Salah's best scoring streak of the season occurred between an FA Cup tie against West Brom on January 27 and a Premier League win over Newcastle on March 3. He scored for seven games running in all competitions and struck twice against Tottenham.

3: This season Salah became the first player in Premier League history to win the player of the month award three times during a term. He was voted as the division's best player in November, February and March.

40: Salah joined Roger Hunt and Ian Rush as the only players in Liverpool's history to have scored 40 times in a single season when he headed home against Bournemouth at Anfield earlier this month.

30: The goal against Bournemouth ensured the Egyptian achieved another milestone in becoming the first African player to score 30 times across one Premier League campaign.

8: As well as his fine form in England, Salah has also scored eight times in the tournament phase of this season's Champions League. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15 to his credit, has found the net more often in the group stages and knockout rounds of Europe's premier club competition.

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Starring: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto

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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

Company: Verity

Date started: May 2021

Founders: Kamal Al-Samarrai, Dina Shoman and Omar Al Sharif

Based: Dubai

Sector: FinTech

Size: four team members

Stage: Intially bootstrapped but recently closed its first pre-seed round of $800,000

Investors: Wamda, VentureSouq, Beyond Capital and regional angel investors

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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