Shashi Tharoor, left, India's minister of state for external affairs, at an event organised by some of his constituents from the Thiruvananthapuram Expatriates Association, in Dubai.
Shashi Tharoor, left, India's minister of state for external affairs, at an event organised by some of his constituents from the Thiruvananthapuram Expatriates Association, in Dubai.

Minister praises Indian commercial ties



India's only "tweeting" minister used the spoken word yesterday to celebrate trading links between his country and the UAE. "This is a relationship that really matters to us," said Shashi Tharoor, as he disclosed that the UAE had become India's top trading partner in goods and merchandise.

The minister of state for external affairs, whose use of the social networking website Twitter has caused controversy in India, said commerce between the countries reached US$44 billion (Dh160bn) last year, excluding information technology. "We should build on that," said Mr Tharoor, on his first official visit to the UAE. "This is a relationship that India does not take for granted. This relationship is worthy of genuine effort on our part."

Mr Tharoor met Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade. He said they talked about opportunities for investments, including in the equity market, the building of roads and ports, and the energy sector. They also addressed military co-operation, and Mr Tharoor said a memorandum of understanding signed by the UAE and India in July 2003 was "very much on track". India will support the UAE when it hosts the second Indian Ocean Naval Symposium next year. It was hosted by India this year.

Mr Tharoor said the countries agreed on the need to explore peaceful nuclear energy options. "The UAE has been very creative and I look forward to this area," he said. "No country should depend solely on one source of energy. Whether it is oil and gas for the UAE or coal for India, we and the UAE are trying to diversify our energy mix. "To co-operate with the UAE and other Arab countries on the peaceful development of nuclear energy and other broader renewable, clean, energy plans has only been energised by our expressed renewed support for the building of the Irena [International Renewable Energy Agency] headquarters in Abu Dhabi."

Mr Tharoor and Sheikha Lubna spoke about the free trade agreement between India and the GCC, which has yet to be finalised. Mr Tharoor called the process "slightly frustrating", but added: "Both sides feel that one side should not be blamed. Both would like to see it moved forward because there is a durable and solid basis for long-term returns." Mr Tharoor is on a three-day visit to the UAE, following a two-day visit to Bahrain.

The 53-year-old author and former United Nations communications chief was the subject of much criticism in India recently when he referred in a "tweet" to the economy section of an aeroplane as "cattle class", at the same time that his government was trying to promote an austerity drive. He also raised eyebrows when he suggested on Twitter that a public holiday celebrating the birth of Mahatma Gandhi should be scrapped.

"There are all sorts of ways of connecting with people," said Mr Tharoor. "This is a way of de-mystifying the governance and a public way of showing what I have been doing and my thoughts on public life. "It is a window as it were, into the life of a minister. This is needless controversy that discourages other politicians." Mr Tharoor, who was chairman of a Dubai-based company before returning to India to enter politics, arrived in Dubai on Monday.

On Tuesday, he met Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and Mohammed Abdullah al Gargawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs. Last night, Mr Tharoor attended a dinner at which he met Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. sbhattacharya@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by Praveen Menon

Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

Seren Gough-Walters (Wales rugby league)
Born in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, and once an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she debuted for Wales in rugby league in 2021.

Sophie Shams (England sevens)
With an Emirati father and English mother, Shams excelled at rugby at school in Dubai, and went on to represent England on the sevens circuit.

Fiona Reidy (Ireland)
Made her Test rugby bow for Ireland against England in 2015, having played for four years in the capital with Abu Dhabi Harlequins previously.

The bio:

Favourite holiday destination: I really enjoyed Sri Lanka and Vietnam but my dream destination is the Maldives.

Favourite food: My mum’s Chinese cooking.

Favourite film: Robocop, followed by The Terminator.

Hobbies: Off-roading, scuba diving, playing squash and going to the gym.

 

Could We Be More

Artist: Kokoroko
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Rating: 3.5/5

'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore'

Rating: 3/5

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Mads Mikkelson, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Jude Law

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

ABU DHABI CARD

5pm: UAE Martyrs Cup (TB) Conditions; Dh90,000; 2,200m
5.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup (PA) Handicap; Dh70,000; 1,400m​​​​​​​
6pm: UAE Matyrs Trophy (PA) Maiden; Dh80,000; 1,600m​​​​​​​
6.30pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFAHR) Apprentice Championship (PA) Prestige; Dh100,000; 1,600m​​​​​​​
7pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (IFAHR) Ladies World Championship (PA) Prestige; Dh125,000; 1,600m​​​​​​​
8pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (PA) Group 1; Dh5,000,000; 1,600m

UAE finals day

Friday, April 13
Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

3pm, UAE Conference: Dubai Tigers v Sharjah Wanderers
6.30pm, UAE Premiership: Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Neymar's bio

Total club appearances 411

Total goals scored 241

Appearances for Barca 186

Goals scored for Barca 105

Company profile

Company name: Shipsy
Year of inception: 2015
Founders: Soham Chokshi, Dhruv Agrawal, Harsh Kumar and Himanshu Gupta
Based: India, UAE and Indonesia
Sector: logistics
Size: more than 350 employees
Funding received so far: $31 million in series A and B rounds
Investors: Info Edge, Sequoia Capital’s Surge, A91 Partners and Z3 Partners

How Alia's experiment will help humans get to Mars

Alia’s winning experiment examined how genes might change under the stresses caused by being in space, such as cosmic radiation and microgravity.

Her samples were placed in a machine on board the International Space Station. called a miniPCR thermal cycler, which can copy DNA multiple times.

After the samples were examined on return to Earth, scientists were able to successfully detect changes caused by being in space in the way DNA transmits instructions through proteins and other molecules in living organisms.

Although Alia’s samples were taken from nematode worms, the results have much bigger long term applications, especially for human space flight and long term missions, such as to Mars.

It also means that the first DNA experiments using human genomes can now be carried out on the ISS.

 

F1 2020 calendar

March 15 - Australia, Melbourne; March 22 - Bahrain, Sakhir; April 5 - Vietnam, Hanoi; April 19 - China, Shanghai; May 3 - Netherlands, Zandvoort; May 20 - Spain, Barcelona; May 24 - Monaco, Monaco; June 7 - Azerbaijan, Baku; June 14 - Canada, Montreal; June 28 - France, Le Castellet; July 5 - Austria, Spielberg; July 19 - Great Britain, Silverstone; August 2 - Hungary, Budapest; August 30 - Belgium, Spa; September 6 - Italy, Monza; September 20 - Singapore, Singapore; September 27 - Russia, Sochi; October 11 - Japan, Suzuka; October 25 - United States, Austin; November 1 - Mexico City, Mexico City; November 15 - Brazil, Sao Paulo; November 29 - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi.

BIGGEST CYBER SECURITY INCIDENTS IN RECENT TIMES

SolarWinds supply chain attack: Came to light in December 2020 but had taken root for several months, compromising major tech companies, governments and its entities

Microsoft Exchange server exploitation: March 2021; attackers used a vulnerability to steal emails

Kaseya attack: July 2021; ransomware hit perpetrated REvil, resulting in severe downtime for more than 1,000 companies

Log4j breach: December 2021; attackers exploited the Java-written code to inflitrate businesses and governments

 

 

Aggro Dr1ft

Director: Harmony Korine
Stars: Jordi Molla, Travis Scott
Rating: 2/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

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

Did you know?

Brunch has been around, is some form or another, for more than a century. The word was first mentioned in print in an 1895 edition of Hunter’s Weekly, after making the rounds among university students in Britain. The article, entitled Brunch: A Plea, argued the case for a later, more sociable weekend meal. “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well,” the piece read. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” More than 100 years later, author Guy Beringer’s words still ring true, especially in the UAE, where brunches are often used to mark special, sociable occasions.

SERIE A FIXTURES

Friday Sassuolo v Torino (Kick-off 10.45pm UAE)

Saturday Atalanta v Sampdoria (5pm),

Genoa v Inter Milan (8pm),

Lazio v Bologna (10.45pm)

Sunday Cagliari v Crotone (3.30pm) 

Benevento v Napoli (6pm) 

Parma v Spezia (6pm)

 Fiorentina v Udinese (9pm)

Juventus v Hellas Verona (11.45pm)

Monday AC Milan v AS Roma (11.45pm)

German plea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the German parliament that. Russia had erected a new wall across Europe.

"It's not a Berlin Wall -- it is a Wall in central Europe between freedom and bondage and this Wall is growing bigger with every bomb" dropped on Ukraine, Zelenskyy told MPs.

Mr Zelenskyy was applauded by MPs in the Bundestag as he addressed Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly.

"Dear Mr Scholz, tear down this Wall," he said, evoking US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 appeal to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Shaffra
Started: 2023
Based: DIFC Innovation Hub
Sector: metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS)
Investment: currently closing $1.5 million seed round
Investment stage: pre-seed
Investors: Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi and different PCs and angel investors from Saudi Arabia
Number of staff: nine

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

SECRET INVASION

Director: Ali Selim
Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Olivia Coleman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke
Rating: 3/5

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)

UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

Admission: Free

Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)

Super Saturday results

4pm: Mahab Al Shimaal Group 3 | US$350,000 | (Dirt) | 1,200m
Winner: Drafted, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

4.35pm: Al Bastakiya Listed | $300,000 | (D) | 1,900m
Winner: Divine Image, Brett Doyle, Charlie Appleby.

5.10pm: Nad Al Sheba Turf Group 3 | $350,000 | (Turf) | 1,200m
Winner: Blue Point, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

5.45pm: Burj Nahaar Group 3 | $350,000 | (D) | 1,600m
Winner: Muntazah, Jim Crowley, Doug Watson.

6.20pm: Dubai City of Gold Group 2 | $300,000 | (T) | 2,410m
Winner: Old Persian, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

6.55pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Group 1 | $600,000 | (D) | 2,000m
Winner: Capezzano, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer.

7.30pm: Jebel Hatta Group 1 | $400,000 | (T) | 1,800m
Winner: Dream Castle, Christophe Soumillon, Saeed bin Suroor.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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


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