Fabula Jewels, the Arab homegrown jewellery brand, has specially curated a gift list for loved ones this Eid. Founded in 2015 by … Keep Reading
In Brussels, gluttony is a delicious sin, as its produce has both heart and soul. Hypnotically-flavored chocolates, Brussels waffles, and crispy chips, food is something to be enjoyed to the maximum in Brussels!
When you arrive in Brussels, close your eyes… and breathe in the magical scents permeating the neighbourhood of its master chocolatiers. Melt before the manons, truffles, mendiants and other chocolate delights that are bought and sold in the innumerable shops all around you. Try your hand at one of the many workshops just waiting to teach you the art of making chocolate delicacies. Have a party with your fellow travellers at the chocolate shops that open their doors and hearts to you… there’s even something for everyone. Discover chocolate’s most intimate secrets in its city’s museums.
Amongst the numerous specialties of Belgian and more particularly Brussels cuisine, let’s unravel the waffle. The inviting aroma of freshly prepared Brussels waffles: at the same time, warm, light, deliciously crusty outside and soft inside. They differ from wafers or other waffles that you enjoy cold. For the Brussels waffle, you sit down at a table, you generously sprinkle icing sugar all over it (the waffle, not the table obviously) and if you prefer it rich, you can top it with whipped cream which will slowly melt. It’s pure bliss!
When you ask for a waffle, be sure to specify “Brussels waffle” because in Belgium waffles come in all sorts and sizes in the various regions of the country, each having its own specialty, mostly cold versions of it. Amongst other famous waffles, there is the Liège waffle with chunks of sugar, which caramelize rendering a slightly sticky outside. This waffle is also preferably eaten lukewarm.
If you do not have a sweet tooth, don’t worry- we got you covered. For the salt lovers, tuck into a portion of chips as you take a stroll through Brussels. Forget “potato wedges” or “French fries”, indulge into the original Belgian chips: the popular snack and comfort food, which has been around since long before hip food trucks started to appear in the city, and can be bought in chip shops, stalls and vans. There’s nothing more Belgian than a cornet or box of the golden fried batons.
Purists bicker about the correct potato varieties and cooking temperatures, but at the end of the day, a delicious portion of chips – is all that matters! The Brusselicious label guarantees that an establishment serves freshly cut chips that are perfectly fried and served with home-made sauces.
The perfect combination of sweet and salty — Brussels offers your tastebuds a gastronomy ride which you will never forget.Email This Post
From 3 June 2019 be prepared for things to be bigger, better and more spectacular than ever as La Perle by Dragone reopens its doors following the short break during the Holy Month of Ramadan. To celebrate, Dubai’s most spectacular show is offering great discounts throughout the summer including the Eid Al Fitr Holiday.
There’s nowhere better to celebrate the holiday than watching the show that will astound, delight and captivate the whole family. It’s the perfect place to escape the warm evenings and enjoy a night out in the stunning aqua theatre. Watch in amazement as artists fly across the stage, dive from epic heights and even defy gravity on motorbikes. See waterfalls, torrents and floods appear and disappear in the only place in Dubai where it literally rains indoors.
For those who have already experienced the magic of La Perle before, not only will they be able to spot all the incredible additions, but if they choose seats in a different location and they will witness the show from a completely different perspective.
Tickets are easily purchased from La Perle’s website: www.laperle.com.
Eid performances will run:
Monday – Friday, 7pm and 9:30pm and Saturday, 4pm and 7pm.
Summer performances will run:
Tuesday and Friday at 7:00pm and 9:30pm, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:00pm, and Saturday at 4pm and 7pm.Email This Post
Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announced the appointment of Ahmed Khashan as President of Gulf Countries effective 1st May 2019.
Khashan has been part of Schneider Electric for over 20 years. During the course of his career he held several executive positions across the region, including Vice President of Partner Business for Schneider Electric Egypt & North East Africa and more recently Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa.
Caspar Herzberg, President Schneider Electric Middle East and Africa, said: “For over two decades Ahmed Khashan has made a key contribution to the digital transformation of energy. We believe Ahmed’s expertise and leadership experience will be instrumental in creating additional value for our customers and partners in the region.”
Known for his credentials in building and maintaining solid stakeholder partnerships, Khashan has had an important role in developing the different Schneider Electric business portfolios across the Middle East & Africa region working with both the private and public sector.
Commenting on his appointment, Ahmed Khashan, President of Gulf Countries said: “I am excited and honored to take on this role and look forward to work with our customers and partners to help them drive business success and play an active role in the transformation of our region.”Email This Post
Over the 44 years since the first World Cup that has never been more obvious than in the tactical evolutions that have taken place in the white-ball game.
Mike Brearley’s Art of Captaincy is the definitive treatise on the challenges of leading an international side and it was one of his contemporaries, Clive Lloyd, who led the West Indies to the first two World Cup titles, playing one of the great captain’s innings in the first final.
Of course, at that time, teams were still coming to terms with the shorter format, and the West Indies’ success reflected their dominance across all formats.
However, it is more recently that we have seen a greater divide between red and white ball, and some of the most revolutionary tactics that have changed the way the game is played forever.Email This Post
Investment is a proxy for the rapid growth in the aesthetics and beauty sectors and is in line with Gulf Capital’s established strategy of acquiring majority stakes in market leaders in fast growing sectors
Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset managers in the Middle East, announced today that it has acquired a 70% stake in Medica Holding, the leading service provider of aesthetics, cosmetics and dermatology equipment and products across the Middle East.
Gulf Capital is actively targeting investments in the fast-growing beauty and healthcare sectors, which are expected to register double digit growth rates across emerging markets. In particular, the US$10 billion health aesthetics market is projected to grow at 10% annually over the next five years, driven by rising GDP per capita, the growing global adoption of minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetics procedures, increased public awareness and acceptance from men and women, as well as technological advancements.
Founded in 1999, Medica has evolved into a prominent end-to-end service provider in the aesthetics sector with a portfolio of over 20 international brands across 12 countries. Its services range from consulting and education to logistics and marketing across four aesthetics verticals: equipment, injectables, cosmetics and para-pharmaceuticals. Following its partnership with Gulf Capital, Medica aims to enhance its footprint in MENA region and expand across Africa and Asia via organic growth and acquisitions and to broaden its service offerings into new aesthetics verticals.
Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “We are delighted to partner with Medica, the leading aesthetics and cosmetics service provider in the Middle East and are excited to fund its ambitious growth and future expansion plans across emerging markets. Medica’s track-record is one of continuous innovation and growth, and it has demonstrated its ability to pioneer aesthetics and non-invasive procedures in the Middle East for over 20 years. This investment in the dominant market leader gives Gulf Capital a strong exposure to the fast growing aesthetics and cosmetics sectors and allows us to capitalise on the growing consumer and healthcare trends in the region.”
Elias Chabtini, CEO and co-founder of Medica Holding, said: “We are excited to embark on this new chapter in Medica’s journey alongside Gulf Capital, a firm with a wealth of experience and operational expertise that will support our expansion and growth plans. The Medical Aesthetics sector is among the fastest growing sectors globally and Medica is uniquely positioned to play a key role regionally and across emerging markets. Our partnership with Gulf Capital is a major step towards reaching our goal of becoming the leading player in emerging markets as we expand across new geographies and complement our portfolio offerings with leading technologies across all aesthetic verticals.”
Abdullah Shahin, Managing Director at Gulf Capital, added: “Medica has been playing a key role in transforming the non-invasive Medical Aesthetics sector across the region. This is an area that has been growing at double digit rates globally, with the GCC aesthetics market still on an earlier growth path with a projected 15% annual growth rate over the next five years. We are impressed by the management’s data driven approach and its ability to penetrate geographies and verticals, and we look forward to working closely with the team on this new phase of growth.”
Dr. El Solh concluded: “Gulf Capital has been particularly active over the last 18 months, with the successful closure of eight new and follow-on investments at the portfolio companies’ level. The Firm has been equally productive on the exit side, having secured and closed five landmark exits during the same period. This latest investment in Medica cements our established strategy of acquiring majority stakes in market leaders in fast growing sectors. We are looking forward to a productive rest of the year as we maintain our investment pace and continue to work on a number of strategic new investments and exits in the near future.”
Medica is a UAE based company with regional offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain, Oman and Beirut as well as partnerships and joint ventures across 12 countries. The company has over 1000 unique products across 20 international Tier 1 brands and many suppliers in its portfolio. It has over 200 employees across its offices and warehouses servicing thousands of clients across the region. Medica’s services include Education, Training, Maintenance, logistics, Sales and Marketing but mostly, consultancy across four business verticals: equipment, medical injectable, cosmeceuticals, and para-pharmaceuticals.
Gulf Capital is one of the leading alternative asset management firms in the Middle East, investing across several asset classes including Private Equity, Private Debt and Real Estate and currently manages over AED 11 billion (US$3 billion) of assets across seven funds and investment vehicles. Gulf Capital’s mission is to grow capital and build value with world-class expertise and best practices to generate sustainable superior performance for all stakeholders.
Gulf Capital was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and PwC. The selling shareholders of Medica were advised by Emirates Investment Bank PJSC and BonelliErede.Email This Post
- CEO Bram Schot: “We want to lead the change in the premium segment with the most attractive form of sustainable mobility”
- CFO Alexander Seitz “The basis is further efficiency progress from the successfully started Transformation Plan”
- Accelerated e-roadmap: sales target of 40% volume share for electrified models by 2025
- Planned upscaling of “Audi on demand” premium mobility service with strong partner; further cooperations targeted in strategic areas
- Customer advisory committee for a consistently customer-focused approach
- Challenging transitional year 2019 with more than 20 market launches, repercussions of WLTP changeover and macroeconomic slowdown
Audi will become a provider of holistic CO2-neutral premium mobility, with the aim of assuming a leading role among its competitors. The manufacturer is therefore accelerating its electrification roadmap and company-wide decarbonization. By 2025, the vehicle fleet’s CO2 footprint is to be reduced as a first step by 30 percent over its entire lifecycle compared with 2015. In the future, return on investment as a key financial steering parameter will also reflect the CO2 performance of the Four Rings and is to rise to more than 21 percent through sustainable management. The Board of Management is presenting the realignment at the 130th Annual General Meeting in Neckarsulm and providing information on current business developments. While Audi is mastering a challenging year 2019 with substantial operationally adverse factors, the premium manufacturer is pressing ahead with its transformation and aims for a significant increase in corporate value in the long term. The Four Rings will focus strictly on customer-relevant innovations, will further develop its business model profitably and will realize synergies within the Volkswagen Group and in external partnerships. The guiding principle of the far-reaching transformation is “Consistently Audi.”
“Audi offers the most attractive form of sustainable mobility: Our vision stands for a new consistency in the strategic alignment and its implementation. We want to create the strongest customer experiences in our industry and thus lead Audi to the forefront of change in the premium segment,” says Bram Schot, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “For me, it is crucial that we become a customer-oriented company through and through. Our key topics therefore include comprehensive connectivity, a convincing digital ecosystem and highly automated driving with a focus on interurban long distances.”
By 2025, the Audi portfolio will already include more than 30 models with electric drive, of which 20 will be all-electric. For the entry into the premium electric world, the company will by then have launched at least three models based on the modular electric-drive kit (MEB) for more compact vehicles. The first models on the PPE architecture developed together with Porsche will be available in the upper segments at the beginning of the next decade. Audi has raised its forecast for sales of all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids, and now expects electrified automobiles to account for about 40 percent of worldwide unit sales by 2025.
As part of the Volkswagen Group’s consistent focus on electric mobility, the Four Rings are developing their drive-system portfolio in strict alignment with the specific requirement profiles of premium customers. With a high proportion of large automobile segments, corresponding performance requirements and regular use over long distances, Audi will rely on plug-in hybrids in addition to all-electric vehicles. Moreover, the brand is already looking further to the future and is pressing ahead with the development of fuel-cell drive for the Volkswagen Group.
With its company-wide sustainability roadmap, Audi has set itself the goal of successively making the entire vehicle lifecycle CO2-neutral: from production to the use and recycling of Audi models. By consistently reducing CO2 emissions and switching to renewable energy sources, unavoidable emissions will be offset. With company-wide decarbonization, the CO2 footprint of the vehicle fleet is to be reduced as a first step by 30 percent by 2025 compared with 2015. To this end, the company is pushing forward with the implementation of its own target of making all Audi production locations worldwide CO2-neutral by 2025. Audi intends to achieve CO2-neutrality for the entire company by 2050 at the latest. For sustainable corporate management, the impact of vehicle projects on average CO2 emissions will in the future be included in the return-on-investment ratio. This key performance indicator is to rise to over 21 percent.
For its course for the future, the company has earmarked a total of approximately €40 billion until the end of 2023, comprising investments in property, plant and equipment as well as research and development expenditure. Of that amount, around €14 billion will be assigned to electric mobility, digitalization and highly automated driving. In order to finance its high upfront expenditure, Audi will systematically utilize available earnings potential, for example by expanding its market position in the upper premium segments. Together with the Lamborghini brand, Audi’s new top-end models already accounted for a significantly higher proportion of the Audi Group’s revenue in the first quarter of 2019.
The new plug-in hybrid models in the Audi A6, A7 and A8 series will soon further expand the full-size range. At its Annual General Meeting, the company is announcing the future expansion of the A8 model family to include a new, especially luxurious and prestigious derivative. For Audi Sport’s business with high-performance models, the company plans a significant increase in sales volumes and earnings.
“A prerequisite for the success of our strategic realignment is that we position Audi in a structurally efficient manner and lead it back to financial top performance. Already in 2018, we established a clearly defined program for this in the form of the Audi Transformation Plan,” says Alexander Seitz, Member of the Board of Management for Finance, China and Legal Affairs. “Recent months have shown that our measures are taking effect and that we can at least partially offset the current extraordinarily high adverse factors. We will build on this in a highly disciplined manner, because our environment and future course will continue to challenge us enormously.” Following the successful launch of the Transformation Plan, Audi has increased the program’s target to a total of €15 billion between 2018 and 2022.
In recent months, the Audi Board of Management has initiated the company’s organizational enhancement; the transformation process has begun in all divisions. The aim is to streamline structures and processes, align them to key areas and increase the speed of implementation. The Integrity, Compliance, Risk Management department now reports directly to the Chairman of the Board of Management. With the establishment of an international customer advisory committee, intended to be closely involved in the product development process, Audi is strengthening its focus on customer-relevant offerings throughout the entire company.
Audi will increasingly accelerate innovations with high customer relevance through strategically attractive partnerships. The Four Rings plan to significantly expand the “Audi on demand” flexible premium mobility service in a far-reaching cooperation with mobility service provider SIXT. As of the fourth quarter, customers in ten European countries will successively be able to access up to 10,000 Audi cars and use them flexibly. In parallel, the company will intensify the integration of its own retail partners into this digital business segment. Audi on demand will thus be the umbrella brand for all mobility solutions from short-term bookings to long-term vehicle use. Within the framework of another digital initiative, the company is developing “myAudi” as an ecosystem for interested parties, owners and users to become a platform open to third parties. Together with its retail partners, Audi will start selling new cars on the Internet next month – a special edition of the Audi TT will be available online as a pilot model.
With a view to current business developments, the Audi Group affirmed its forecast for its key figures for 2019 at the end of the first quarter. The financial year will feature the continuation of the broadest model initiative in Audi’s history. In 2019, the company is organizing the market launch of more than 20 models, including the redesigned A4, the world’s best-selling Audi. In the rapidly growing SUV segment, Audi will present seven completely new SUV variants without predecessors in 2019, such as two particularly sporty versions of the Audi Q8, the Four Rings’ top SUV model. And with the Q3 Sportback and the e-tron Sportback, Audi will for the first time launch the design-oriented Sportback concept in its SUV family.
While the model initiative will strengthen Audi’s future competitive position, the phase-out and ramp-up situation for numerous models in 2019 will initially have a dampening impact. In an increasingly challenging economic environment, the company anticipates moderate growth in Audi deliveries until the end of the year. This will also reflect the reduction of inventories in the sales and retail organization, which were specifically built up for the WLTP transition. The Audi Group therefore anticipates a slight increase in revenue. In view of managing the repercussions of the WLTP changeover and high upfront expenditure for the future, the operating return on sales in transition year 2019 is expected to be between 7.0 and 8.5 percent, and thus still below the long-term target corridor of 9.0 to 11.0 percent. Audi forecasts a net cash flow of €2.5 billion to €3.0 billion for 2019.
In the first quarter of 2019, deliveries of the Audi brand decreased by 3.6 percent compared with the prior-year period to 447,247 vehicles (2018: 463,750). This resulted from the previously very restricted availability of the model range caused by the WLTP changeover. Mainly attributable to the new reporting structure that the Audi Group implemented in January 2019, revenue decreased to €13,812 million (2018: €15,320 million). Without this change in the reporting structure, revenue would have been almost at the prior-year level thanks to the significant shift towards the top-end segments. First-quarter operating profit amounted to €1,100 million (2018: €1,300 million) and the operating return on sales was 8.0 percent (2018: 8.5 percent). From January through March, the Audi Group generated a net cash flow of €1,207 million (2018: €1,919 million).Email This Post
- ICC plan to make this World Cup: ‘the greatest celebration of cricket ever’
- Tournament organisers want to connect and entertain existing fans and open the door for new ones
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson is anticipating ‘the greatest celebration of cricket ever’ on the eve of the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Richardson, along with tournament managing director Steve Elworthy and tournament safety and security director Jill McCracken, faced the press on Monday morning at The Oval to outline their plans for the 12th edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the first on British soil in 20 years.
The tournament is expected to break new ground in a number of different areas.Email This Post
- Good news for Mark Wood ahead of second England warm-up
- England lay down a marker before tournament opener
Before a ball had even been bowled this morning, England had received their first piece of good news.
Mark Wood’s scan on his left foot had come back clear, and their day only got better from there.
A defeat to Australia on Saturday was far from an ideal opening warm-up for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup hosts and No.1 side in the world, particularly when you factored in Wood’s injury.Email This Post
- Usman Khawaja scored 89 as Australia beat Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl
- Australia are defending champions and have enjoyed a strong 2019 in ODI cricket
The winning feeling is back in Australian cricket and batsman Usman Khawaja knows their form is no fluke.
Khawaja scored a fluent 89 as Australia continued their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup preparations in positive fashion, downing Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl.
With a 3-2 series win in India also on their 2019 formbook, this upturn in performances has not come out of the blue.
Confidence is therefore high as the defending champions look to hold onto their crown, hopeful a positive dressing room can translate to victories on the biggest stage of all.
“Behind the scenes we’ve put in a lot of hard work, you need that to be able to compete at this level,” said Khawaja.
“Everyone has put in a lot of effort. We had India over in our place for a series and while we lost, that was a big turning point for us.
“They’re one of the best sides and we gave them a run for their money. Then we went to India, lost the first two matches and went on to win the series. We always had the confidence we could do that.
“Winning is a habit, we say that a lot among the team. We want to keep that going, we might have lost that before, but we might have found that again heading into the World Cup.
“I know what it feels like when you’re losing and I know what it’s like when winning, it’s obvious which one you want.
“This time last year there was a lot of talk about our batting, everyone has their different plans – it’s just about winning games and we’re managing to do that.”
Khawaja had a scare when a blow to the knee brought a premature end to his day in the field, recovering suitably to profit with the bat as Australia successfully chased 240.
Lahiru Thirimanne was the only other player in the match to pass 50 with Khawaja enjoying his spell as an opener, despite watching skipper Aaron Finch depart early.
The make-up of Australia’s top order remains up for discussion but whatever position the World Cup rookie takes, he remains happy to fulfil his role for the team.
The 32-year-old added: “I wasn’t thinking about securing an opening berth, we’ve looked to be clinical and not take it lightly. We’ve won three warm-ups here, and it was more about us continuing the winning ways in Dubai and India.
“I was concentrating on contributing to that winning run – some things are just out of your control
“It’s a mindset thing, opening is slightly different to three which in itself is different to five.
“The beauty of our team is that guys can bat in different positions, we’ve changed it around but we’ve all contributed which is the important thing.
“I do love opening, that’s where I’ve batted my whole life in one-day cricket. But it’s about winning games and doing the best of the team – I’d rather score a duck and win than a century and lose.”Email This Post