UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is received by Bahraini prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman as he arrives for the GCC summit.
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is received by Bahraini prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman as he arrives for the GCC summit.

GCC warns Iran against meddling in Gulf affairs: summit

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) convened its annual summit yesterday, marking another year in its emergence as the region's most influential political bloc.

Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa is hosting the two-day meeting, which also was being attended by Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran and Tehran's alleged meddling in the internal affairs of Arabian Gulf nations has galvanised the six-member alliance.

As the summit prepared to get under way at Sakhir Palace yesterday, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud Al Faisal, warned Iran yesterday against interfering in Gulf Arab affairs and spreading "sedition."

"Interference to stir sedition is unacceptable from a neighbour," Prince Saud was quoted as saying by the London-based, Saudi-owned daily Al Hayat. "This is not comfortable because it is trying to use the circumstances to interfere."

In the past two years, the GCC has helped broker a political transition in Yemen, deployed security forces to help the government of Bahrain quell protests and agreed to deeper cooperation to address shared threats to their internal security. GCC member nations have also provided billions of dollars in aid to assist the governments of Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain.

Security issues are expected to dominate the summit agenda in Manama.

"We're facing a stage in which the Arab Gulf states must be united rather than separate parts, as in reality, we have similar political systems and share same threats that endanger our nations," the Bahrain state news agency quoted the country's prime minister, Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, said Sunday.

"What we want at this stage is a union of Gulf that would achieve our long sought cooperation and aspiration, move us forward to a further dedicated coordination, integration and interdependence we've been talking about, and would also provide us with a collective security umbrella as strategic option for achieving self-security."

The heads of state and top officials attending the meeting are expected to reiterate their call for the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad, to step down. In November, the GCC recognised the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Deeper economic cooperation remains a goal for the GCC, whose collective gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 was some US$1.37 trillion.

Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said earlier this month that a proposed GCC monetary union was still under study.

The announcement of a union would be made at a "special summit in Riyadh in the near future", he said.

Other heads of delegation in Manama include Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the crown prince of Qatar; and Sayed Fahad bin Mahmoud Al Said, the deputy prime minister for the Council of Ministers of Oman.

Australia World Cup squad

Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa


2pm: Maiden Dh 60,000 (Dirt) 1,400m. Winner: Masaali, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

2.30pm: Handicap Dh 76,000 (D) 1,400m. Winner: Almoreb, Dane O’Neill, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

3pm: Handicap Dh 64,000 (D) 1,200m. Winner: Imprison, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly.

3.30pm: Shadwell Farm Conditions Dh 100,000 (D) 1,000m. Winner: Raahy, Adrie de Vries, Jaber Ramadhan.

4pm: Maiden Dh 60,000 (D) 1,000m. Winner: Cross The Ocean, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

4.30pm: Handicap 64,000 (D) 1,950m. Winner: Sa’Ada, Fernando Jara, Ahmad bin Harmash.

Cracks in the Wall

Ben White, Pluto Press 

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Rating: ★★★★

Star Wars: Ahsoka

Director: Various
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Lars Mikkelsen
Rating: 4/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Power: 252 brake horsepower
Torque: 352Nm
Price: from Dh146,700
On sale: now


Director: Ben Affleck

Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis

Rating: 4/5

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

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: 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


1.45pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,200m
Winner: Lady Parma, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).
2.15pm: Maiden Dh75,000 1,200m
Winner: Tabernas, Connor Beasley, Ahmed bin Harmash.
2.45pm: Handicap Dh95,000 1,200m
Winner: Night Castle, Connor Beasley, Satish Seemar.
3.15pm: Handicap Dh120,000 1,400m
Winner: Mystique Moon, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson.
3.45pm: Handicap Dh80,000 1,400m
Winner: Mutawakked, Szczepan Mazur, Musabah Al Muhairi.
4.15pm: Handicap Dh90,000 1,800m
Winner: Tafaakhor, Sandro Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
4.45pm: Handicap Dh80,000 1,950m
Winner: Cranesbill, Fabrice Veron, Erwan Charpy.

Cinco in numbers

Dh3.7 million

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The number, in kilograms, that Swarovski’s wedding gown weighed.


The hours it took to create Cinco’s vermillion petal gown, as seen in his atelier [note, is the one he’s playing with in the corner of a room]


How many looks Cinco has created in a new collection to celebrate Ballet Philippines’ 50th birthday


The hours needed to create the butterfly gown worn by Aishwarya Rai to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

1.1 million

The number of followers that Michael Cinco’s Instagram account has garnered.


Company: Educatly
Started: 2020
Based: UAE
Founders: Mohmmed El Sonbaty, Joan Manuel and Abdelrahman Ayman
Industry: Education technology
Funding size: $2 million
Investors: Enterprise Ireland, Egypt venture, Plus VC, HBAN, Falak Startups

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