UAE wins place on Unesco executive board



DUBAI // The UAE has won a seat on the executive board of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), placing it among major international decision makers.

"It is a seat at the most senior position on Unesco that comes with privileges, influence and responsibility," said Dr Christina Gitsaki, the Unesco chair of applied research in education at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology.

The UAE is one of the 31 new members elected to the 58-member executive board by Unesco's member states, which are attending the 36th session of the general conference.

The conference, in Paris, began on October 25 and continues until November 10.

"The win is a testament to the international efforts of the UAE in various areas: in research and innovation; in renewable energy; in education and trying out different models of schooling; in humanitarian efforts; and its accomplishments within the heritage and culture domains as well," Dr Gitsaki said.

Unesco's mission is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information," according to its website.

This past June, Al Ain was the first UAE location to be selected as a world heritage site on Unesco's prestigious list, which includes Egypt's pyramids and India's Taj Mahal.

Sharjah officials will also submit a file to Unesco on Sharjah's heritage area as a possible world heritage site next year. Unesco named Sharjah the Cultural Capital of the Arab World for 1998.

In 2010, the UAE and 11 other countries had falconry recognised by Unesco as an example of intangible cultural heritage.

The UAE's membership on Unesco's executive board can also help efforts to name Bu Tinah, a small archipelago off Abu Dhabi, as one of the world's "New Seven Wonders of Nature".

"Unesco is very active, and does a lot of work in underprivileged countries," Dr Gitsaki said. "UAE can now help highlight issues in the region that previously didn't get any attention."

The Minister of Education Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qattami, who headed the UAE delegation to the conference, said the UAE received 144 votes out of total 186, topping the Arab Group in the organisation, which competed for three seats in the board.
The other two winning Arab countries were Saudi Arabia and Tunis.

States are elected to the executive board for a term of four years, and the board meets twice a year to examine the execution of the programmes adopted by the general conference.

In a statement released on the state news agency Wam, Mr Al Qattami said the win reflected the huge respect the UAE enjoys worldwide, and the prominent role it plays in serving global issues, particularly in the humanitarian arenas.

"This win is a translation to the progress and prosperity witnessed in all walks of life in the UAE, thanks to our wise leadership," he said.

rghazal@thenational.ae

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

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Expo details

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia

The world fair will run for six months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

It is expected to attract 25 million visits

Some 70 per cent visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.

More than 30,000 volunteers are required for Expo 2020

The site covers a total of 4.38 sqkm, including a 2 sqkm gated area

It is located adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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

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

Monster Hunter: World

Capcom

PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Jiu-jitsu calendar of events for 2017-2018:

August 5:

Round-1 of the President’s Cup in Al Ain.

August 11-13:

Asian Championship in Vietnam.

September 8-9:

Ajman International.

September 16-17

Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Ashgabat.

September 22-24:

IJJF Balkan Junior Open, Montenegro.

September 23-24:

Grand Slam Los Angeles.

September 29:

Round-1 Mother of The Nation Cup.

October 13-14:

Al Ain U18 International.

September 20-21:

Al Ain International.

November 3:

Round-2 Mother of The National Cup.

November 4:

Round-2 President’s Cup.

November 10-12:

Grand Slam Rio de Janeiro.

November 24-26:

World Championship, Columbia.

November 30:

World Beach Championship, Columbia.

December 8-9:

Dubai International.

December 23:

Round-3 President’s Cup, Sharjah.

January 12-13:

Grand Slam Abu Dhabi.

January 26-27:

Fujairah International.

February 3:

Round-4 President’s Cup, Al Dhafra.

February 16-17:

Ras Al Khaimah International.

February 23-24:

The Challenge Championship.

March 10-11:

Grand Slam London.

March 16:

Final Round – Mother of The Nation.

March 17:

Final Round – President’s Cup.

TCL INFO

Teams:
Punjabi Legends 
Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi
Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag
Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC
Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC
Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes
Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals

Not Dark Yet

Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

Four stars

Small Things Like These

Director: Tim Mielants
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Emily Watson, Eileen Walsh
Rating: 4/5

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

The specs

Powertrain: Single electric motor
Power: 201hp
Torque: 310Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto
Battery: 53kWh lithium-ion battery pack (GS base model); 70kWh battery pack (GF)
Touring range: 350km (GS); 480km (GF)
Price: From Dh129,900 (GS); Dh149,000 (GF)
On sale: Now

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.”

CRICKET WORLD CUP QUALIFIER, ZIMBABWE

UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

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: ★★★★


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