New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, his wife Mary Pat Christie, and Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, visit a school in Highlands, New Jersey. AP Photo
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, his wife Mary Pat Christie, and Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, visit a school in Highlands, New Jersey. AP Photo

UAE gives $4.5 million to US schools hit by hurricane



DUBAI // The UAE is giving US$4.5 million to 30 schools in New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy, the storm that devastated America's east coast last October.

The money, just over Dh16.5m, will pay for technology hardware and faster internet connections in classrooms and laptops and tablets for pupils and teachers.

"In the UAE, we were amazed by the resilience, grit and determination that was shown by the citizens of this state," the UAE ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said in a speech outside Highlands Elementary School in New Jersey.

"As a friend of the United States, and of New Jersey, we were moved to try and help, even if it was in some small way."

The New Jersey governor Chris Christie said the children would know where the aid had come from. "The kids who will benefit from this for years to come will have their friends in the United Arab Emirates to thank for it," he said.

The cash will go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund run by Mary Pat Christie, the governor's wife, which has collected $38m from 29,000 donors worldwide.

The hurricane, Superstorm Sandy, caused $40m in damage to schools in New Jersey alone. The aid is expected to push technology in New Jersey schools beyond where they were before.

Mr Christie said: "While our state has made great strides to reopen our schools, this donation will undoubtedly relieve some of the burden placed on New Jersey's hardest-hit towns and help enhance our students' use of technology as they enjoy a normal return to school this fall.

"On behalf of the people of New Jersey, I want to thank ambassador Al Otaiba and the UAE Embassy for this generous and important donation."

The UAE has spent $2.8 billion in disaster relief in 28 countries, and it is not the first time it has donated a significant amount to the US.

In 2011, after a mile-wide tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, the UAE paid for a MacBook laptop for each of the town's 2,200 school pupils. In addition, the country put up $5m to build a neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Hospital, which was also hit by the tornado.

In 2005, the UAE donated $100m to help the repair efforts after Hurricane Katrina, which caused $80bn worth of damage to New Orleans. The aid at the time led to praise from the US ambassador to the UAE.

Jim Krane, an Arabian Gulf analyst at the University of Cambridge, said the contributions had boosted the UAE's profile among US citizens.

"The UAE wants to be seen as a strong friend of America," he said. "This has helped people in the US see the UAE and the Middle East in a new light.

"The relationship between the UAE and the US just keeps tightening and it's policies like this that are driving that."

The US ambassador to the UAE, Michael Corbin, said: "The United States and the UAE have long had a close and enduring friendship, and the UAE's donation of $4.5m to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund this week is evidence that our friendship is strong and will extend well into the future."

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

if you go

The flights

Air Astana flies direct from Dubai to Almaty from Dh2,440 per person return, and to Astana (via Almaty) from Dh2,930 return, both including taxes.

The hotels

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Almaty cost from Dh1,944 per night including taxes; and in Astana the new Ritz-Carlton Astana (www.marriott) costs from Dh1,325; alternatively, the new St Regis Astana costs from Dh1,458 per night including taxes.

When to visit

March-May and September-November

Visas

Citizens of many countries, including the UAE do not need a visa to enter Kazakhstan for up to 30 days. Contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy or consulate.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

MATCH INFO

CAF Champions League semi-finals first-leg fixtures

Tuesday:

Primeiro Agosto (ANG) v Esperance (TUN) (8pm UAE)
Al Ahly (EGY) v Entente Setif (ALG) (11PM)

Second legs:

October 23

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

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

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)

GOLF’S RAHMBO

- 5 wins in 22 months as pro
- Three wins in past 10 starts
- 45 pro starts worldwide: 5 wins, 17 top 5s
- Ranked 551th in world on debut, now No 4 (was No 2 earlier this year)
- 5th player in last 30 years to win 3 European Tour and 2 PGA Tour titles before age 24 (Woods, Garcia, McIlroy, Spieth)

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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: ★★★★

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

Manchester City (0) v Liverpool (3)

Uefa Champions League, quarter-final, second leg

Where: Etihad Stadium
When: Tuesday, 10.45pm
Live on beIN Sports HD

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.”

MATCH INFO

Europa League final

Who: Marseille v Atletico Madrid
Where: Parc OL, Lyon, France
When: Wednesday, 10.45pm kick off (UAE)
TV: BeIN Sports

Bareilly Ki Barfi
Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Starring: Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao
Three and a half stars

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Name:+Dukkantek 

Started:+January 2021 

Founders:+Sanad Yaghi, Ali Al Sayegh and Shadi Joulani 

Based:+UAE 

Number of employees:+140 

Sector:+B2B Vertical SaaS(software as a service) 

Investment:+$5.2 million 

Funding stage:+Seed round 

Investors:+Global Founders Capital, Colle Capital Partners, Wamda Capital, Plug and Play, Comma Capital, Nowais Capital, Annex Investments and AMK Investment Office  

The Dictionary of Animal Languages
Heidi Sopinka
​​​​​​​Scribe

SHOW COURTS ORDER OF PLAY

Wimbledon order of play on Tuesday, July 11
All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Centre Court

Adrian Mannarino v Novak Djokovic (2)

Venus Williams (10) v Jelena Ostapenko (13)

Johanna Konta (6) v Simona Halep (2)

Court 1

Garbine Muguruza (14) v

Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)

Magdalena Rybarikova v Coco Vandeweghe (24)

Results:

First Test: New Zealand 30 British & Irish Lions 15

Second Test: New Zealand 21 British & Irish Lions 24

Third Test: New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

THE DETAILS

Deadpool 2

Dir: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Justin Dennison, Zazie Beetz

Four stars

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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


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