Rihanna performs at the du Arena Abu Dhabi after the climax to the F1 2016 season. Courtesy Flash Entertainment
Rihanna performs at the du Arena Abu Dhabi after the climax to the F1 2016 season. Courtesy Flash Entertainment

Rihanna closes F1 weekend in fashion



While the world may have been gripped by race-day dramas on the track, for many more casual UAE motorsports fans Sunday’s prime attraction was a live appearance by pop superstar Rihanna at du Arena as part of the Yasalam after-race concert series.

There could be far more fitting acts to take this coveted closing night slot – previously filled by music legends including Prince, The Who and Paul McCartney.

Contemporary hitmaker Rihanna's own credentials however stand tall, having racked up an incredible 14 US Billboard No 1 hits over an engaging decade-long career – one more top slot than even Michael Jackson, a record bettered only by The Beatles and Mariah Carey.

An electric atmosphere spread across du Arena ahead of the gig by the Barbadian, despite the memory of previous Abu Dhabi concerts, at the Yas Island venue in 2013, and ringing in 2010 with a New Year’s Eve concert at Emirates Palace.

“Who is not a Rihanna fan?” asked Tanya Vidmar, a Russian who lives in Dubai. “She has genuine talent. She can really sing – unlike so many other stars today.”

“She obviously has a huge appeal amongst the kids,” chimed in her friend Mike Daniel, a 40-year old Canadian expat.

“She is a role model. She represents female empowerment and she is a very talented young lady.”

But this was a very different artist to the Rihanna who appeared three years ago amid her globetrotting Diamonds World Tour, the now 28-year-old having renewed her critical credentials with this year's antagonistically edgy eighth album Anti.

Student friends Dana Rodriguez and Silvia Mazza describe themselves as super-fans.

“This is a highlight of the weekend for us,” said Dana, an 18-year-old Columbian who lives in Dubai.

“She’s really matured over the course of her career and I’m really interested to hear her new sound live.”

Their wish came true when Rihanna emerged on the stage shortly after 9.40pm, opening her set in suprisingly sedate form with the serious and subdued 2013 single Stay.

Dressed in a far less subtle get-up of a gold-sequined jacket and trousers, plus dark glasses, her silhouetted figure commanded instant attention with imposing intent and stagecraft.

"Abu Dhabi," Rihanna announced soberly, before continuing with the pained anthem Love the Way You Lie (Part II), segued swiftly into the abrasive beats of Birthday Cake, joined now by four theatrical dancers clad in blonde wigs.

On the basis of this, and performances from Lionel Richie and the Chemical Brothers earlier in the weekend, promoters Flash Entertainment have set the bar high for next year’s Grand Prix entertainment.

rgarratt@thenational.ae

Remaining Fixtures

Wednesday: West Indies v Scotland
Thursday: UAE v Zimbabwe
Friday: Afghanistan v Ireland
Sunday: Final

Results

2.30pm: Dubai Creek Tower – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m; Winner: Marmara Xm, Gary Sanchez (jockey), Abdelkhir Adam (trainer)

3pm: Al Yasmeen – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: AS Hajez, Jesus Rosales, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.30pm: Al Ferdous – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Soukainah, Sebastien Martino, Jean-Claude Pecout

4pm: The Crown Prince Of Sharjah – Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: AF Thayer, Ray Dawson, Ernst Oertel

4.30pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup – Handicap (TB) Dh200,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: George Villiers, Antonio Fresu, Bhupat Seemar

5pm: Palma Spring – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Es Abu Mousa, Antonio Fresu, Abubakar Daud

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

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

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

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

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.”

PSA DUBAI WORLD SERIES FINALS LINE-UP

Men’s:
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Nick Matthew (ENG)

Women's:
Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZE)
Camille Serme (FRA)
Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)

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

A QUIET PLACE

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

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

'Peninsula'

Stars: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Ra

Director: ​Yeon Sang-ho

Rating: 2/5

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League last-16, second leg:

Real Madrid 1 (Asensio 70'), Ajax 4 (Ziyech 7', Neres 18', Tadic 62', Schone 72')

Ajax win 5-3 on aggregate

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

Notable salonnières of the Middle East through history

Al Khasan (Okaz, Saudi Arabia)

Tamadir bint Amr Al Harith, known simply as Al Khasan, was a poet from Najd famed for elegies, earning great renown for the eulogy of her brothers Mu’awiyah and Sakhr, both killed in tribal wars. Although not a salonnière, this prestigious 7th century poet fostered a culture of literary criticism and could be found standing in the souq of Okaz and reciting her poetry, publicly pronouncing her views and inviting others to join in the debate on scholarship. She later converted to Islam.

Maryana Marrash (Aleppo)

A poet and writer, Marrash helped revive the tradition of the salon and was an active part of the Nadha movement, or Arab Renaissance. Born to an established family in Aleppo in Ottoman Syria in 1848, Marrash was educated at missionary schools in Aleppo and Beirut at a time when many women did not receive an education. After touring Europe, she began to host salons where writers played chess and cards, competed in the art of poetry, and discussed literature and politics. An accomplished singer and canon player, music and dancing were a part of these evenings.

Princess Nazil Fadil (Cairo)

Princess Nazil Fadil gathered religious, literary and political elite together at her Cairo palace, although she stopped short of inviting women. The princess, a niece of Khedive Ismail, believed that Egypt’s situation could only be solved through education and she donated her own property to help fund the first modern Egyptian University in Cairo.

Mayy Ziyadah (Cairo)

Ziyadah was the first to entertain both men and women at her Cairo salon, founded in 1913. The writer, poet, public speaker and critic, her writing explored language, religious identity, language, nationalism and hierarchy. Born in Nazareth, Palestine, to a Lebanese father and Palestinian mother, her salon was open to different social classes and earned comparisons with souq of where Al Khansa herself once recited.

Where to buy

Limited-edition art prints of The Sofa Series: Sultani can be acquired from Reem El Mutwalli at www.reemelmutwalli.com

The specs

Engine 60kwh FWD

Battery Rimac 120kwh Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2) chemistry

Power 204hp Torque 360Nm

Price, base / as tested Dh174,500 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends


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