The impounded submarine that was left on JBR beach.
The impounded submarine that was left on JBR beach.

The leaking sub and the skipper in a Dubai court on a depth charge



DUBAI // As submarine dramas go, it wasn't exactly The Hunt for Red October.

While rogue captain Sean Connery defied the might of the US and Soviet navies in a cat-and-mouse pursuit in the Atlantic Ocean, Cemal Burak Koza made things a little easier for Dubai police.

His little two-man vessel sprang a leak 30 minutes into a test dive, and, exhausted after hauling it up Jumeirah Beach, he simply left it there and went home. Mr Koza, 34, a marketing manager from Turkey, made the news after a court fined him Dh1,000 for operating the craft without a licence. And while his case is still so rare that no one is entirely clear what sort of licence he was prosecuted for not having, experts say submarines are becoming a must-have executive toy.

"Submersibles are the new helicopters," said Marc Deppe, of the US company Triton Submarines.

His company is in talks to supply five small-sized luxury craft to Dubai and Qatar. "There's clearly a growing demand for mini-subs in the Middle East. There's no doubt about it."

Ben Gibson, sales manager at Pearl Watersports,said there was definitely a market for luxury marine toys such as submersibles. "There's a massive demand for unique toys, especially among the more affluent," he said.

Another company, U-boat Worx, reported a high degree of interest among regional buyers at the Dubai Boat Show this year.

The Dutch company's marketing manager, Charlotte Schroot, said most people who bought the submersibles, which can cost Dh4 million upwards, had one thing in common - cash.

"It can be anyone who has money," she said. "It can be people who just want it for leisure or for their own explorations."

Mr Koza's outlay was rather more modest. He bought his submarine, which can travel at 8kph and dive to 40 metres, for Dh35,000, and refurbished it himself.

He had intended either to sell the vessel for profit or lease it out as a leisure craft to a hotel in Turkey, and didn't apply for a licence because he wanted to test it first to see if it worked.

He said he had never intended to abandon it permanently. "We were going to come back and do another test, but the conditions weren't good," he said. He thought it was OK to leave it as it was a public beach.

He was fined for using the craft without the proper licence, but it remains unclear whether any such commercial licence exists for private submarines, as the market is so new.

"I'd have no idea what you'd class it as, or what sort of licence they would expect you to own," said Mr Gibson at Pearl Watersports.

His company does not sell submarines, but other items such as jetpacks that hover above the water, and torpedo-shaped speedboats. Many of these are operated under "counts-as" licences for similar craft such as jet skis or super boats.

Meanwhile Mr Koza's sub has been impounded by police, and he is awaiting a call to tell him when he can have it back.

He says he doesn't mind if officers want to try the vessel out themselves while the paperwork is being processed. "I will sell it to them if they want it," he said.

His short-lived career as a submariner had been fun, he said. "I definitely want to try it again.

"But maybe not here."

F1 drivers' standings

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 281

2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 247

3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes 222

4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull 177

5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 138

6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull 93

7. Sergio Perez, Force India 86

8. Esteban Ocon, Force India 56

THE NEW BATCH'S FOCUS SECTORS

AiFlux – renewables, oil and gas

DevisionX – manufacturing

Event Gates – security and manufacturing

Farmdar – agriculture

Farmin – smart cities

Greener Crop – agriculture

Ipera.ai – space digitisation

Lune Technologies – fibre-optics

Monak – delivery

NutzenTech – environment

Nybl – machine learning

Occicor – shelf management

Olymon Solutions – smart automation

Pivony – user-generated data

PowerDev – energy big data

Sav – finance

Searover – renewables

Swftbox – delivery

Trade Capital Partners – FinTech

Valorafutbol – sports and entertainment

Workfam – employee engagement

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Sinopharm vaccine explained

The Sinopharm vaccine was created using techniques that have been around for decades. 

“This is an inactivated vaccine. Simply what it means is that the virus is taken, cultured and inactivated," said Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chair of the UAE's National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.

"What is left is a skeleton of the virus so it looks like a virus, but it is not live."

This is then injected into the body.

"The body will recognise it and form antibodies but because it is inactive, we will need more than one dose. The body will not develop immunity with one dose," she said.

"You have to be exposed more than one time to what we call the antigen."

The vaccine should offer protection for at least months, but no one knows how long beyond that.

Dr Al Kaabi said early vaccine volunteers in China were given shots last spring and still have antibodies today.

“Since it is inactivated, it will not last forever," she said.

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

The National selections

6pm: Barakka
6.35pm: Dhahabi
7.10pm: Mouheeb
7.45pm: With The Moonlight
8.20pm: Remorse
8.55pm: Ottoman Fleet
9.30pm: Tranquil Night

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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