May 27: More than 20 years since its establishment in 2000, Dubai Internet City (DIC) continues to be among the world’s preferred hubs for new economy companies, with several high-growth, high value-added, technology-enabled global firms recently choosing DIC to establish their regional operations.
The latest to join the ever-growing ranks of new economy companies making DIC their home is the American content delivery network and DDoS mitigation company Cloudflare.
Earlier this week, Cloudflare announced Dubai as its first office in the Middle East to support its growing EMEA operations, offering a base for the growing Cloudflare team in the Middle East and Turkey.
Cloudflare’s Dubai-based team will help the company grow brand awareness, acquire and support customers, and recruit new talent. Dubai’s rapidly evolving tech ecosystem has helped it swiftly mature into a significant hub for new-age enterprises, including established multinationals, unicorns, and startups.
As the region’s leading tech hub, Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of DIC, welcomed Cloudflare into DIC’s growing community, and said that he remains committed to offering Cloudflare the same enabling platform.
“Several sectors have undergone rapid digital transformations and have witnessed increased cloud adoption. This makes a secure and reliable digital infrastructure necessary, given the potential opportunities. Cybersecurity is critical for the tech sector, with the global cybersecurity market set to reach a value of $317 billion by 2027, according to Mordor Intelligence,” added Al Malik.
He also noted that DIC’s inclusive business environment, led by international players that have established their headquarters in the City, has helped make it a hub for IT companies and tech-savvy talent over the last 20 years.
Cloudflare has data centres in 270 cities across 100 countries worldwide, including 27 data centres in the Middle East and Turkey region. The company has doubled its EMEA team to about 700 employees over the last two years.
For the Middle East and Turkey region, Cloudflare will prioritise launching new data centres, increasing market share by building partnerships, and expanding its customer base and the local team to cope with the business growth to serve its customers better.
Earlier this month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, directed the formation of a higher committee to prepare the Dubai Metaverse Strategy to contribute to enhancing Dubai’s position as a global hub for the technology.
The higher committee, chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, will supervise technological developments in the emirate and oversee developments in the digital economy.
It will enhance Dubai’s status as the best city in the virtual space thanks to innovative services and its advanced regulatory and legislative framework. The emirate approved a new Virtual Asset Regulation Law in March to ensure investor protection and transparency.
Last year, Dubai issued over 72,000 new business licences, a growth of 69 per cent compared to 2020, reaffirming Dubai’s position as a global business and investment hub and reinforcing its status as a successful model for the recovery of the business sector.
In 2021, Dubai led the world in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) with a record number of 418 greenfield FDI projects.
UAE fuel prices announced for March 2024
The Fuel Prices Monitoring Committee has given the green light for an increase in gasoline and diesel prices for March 2024. The approved hike ranges between 15 and 16 fils per liter for gasoline and 17 fils for diesel, compared to February 2024 prices.
Fuel distribution companies have promptly announced the new prices, effective from Friday, March 1, 2024. The updated pricing includes a 5% value-added tax.
Specifically, the price per liter of super gasoline “98” is set to rise by 15 fils, reaching 3.03 dirhams in March, up from 2.88 dirhams in February. Special gasoline “95” will see an increase of 16 fils, from 2.76 dirhams to 2.92 dirhams, while E-Plus 91 gasoline will climb by 16 fils, reaching 2.85 dirhams from 2.69 dirhams. Additionally, the price of diesel will experience a 17 fils per liter hike, escalating from 2.99 dirhams in February to 3.16 dirhams in March.
This decision follows three consecutive monthly reductions in gasoline and diesel prices approved by the committee for January 2024. The reduction ranged between 13 and 14 fils for gasoline and 19 fils for diesel per liter compared to December 2023 prices.
Notably, the Ministry of Energy’s approved fuel price standards are subject to monthly adjustments based on the global average oil price, incorporating distribution companies’ operating costs.
New fuel prices are:
-Super 98 petrol will cost Dh3.03 a litre, compared to Dh2.88 in February.
-Special 95 petrol will cost Dh2.92 per litre, compared to Dh2.76 last month.
-E-Plus 91 petrol will cost Dh2.85 a litre, compared to Dh2.69 a litre in February.
-Diesel will be charged at Dh3.16 a litre compared to Dh2.99 last month.
DP World ILT20 Season 2: UAE’s top five performers
The recently concluded DP World ILT20 Season 2 captured the attention of fans worldwide with its enthralling displays of athleticism and competitive cricket. However, beyond the fierce battles between international giants, this tournament provided a mega platform to unearth the burgeoning talent of UAE’s own cricketers.
Here are the top five performers from UAE for the season:
The opening batter from the United Arab Emirates was the fourth highest run-getter this edition, with 321 runs in 12 matches at an impressive strike rate of 148. Providing an impetus at the top with his aggressive stroke play, Waseem’s exploits were crucial to the MI Emirates stellar campaign. The MI Emirates were the first team to secure their place in the play offs and subsequently went on to win the championship.
Waseem’s stand out knock of the season came against the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, where he struck an unbeaten 89 to ensure the MI Emirates would coast home with eight wickets in hand.
Waseem’s tournament exploits earned him the Blue Belt which came with a cash purse of $15,000 for being the most outstanding UAE player, second time in a row.
The top order batter for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders had a good season compiling 220 runs in the 11 innings he batted in, at a strike rate of 120. While his contributions played a significant role in his team’s qualification to the play-offs, his match winning knock of 82 not out from 47 deliveries against the Desert Vipers while chasing 155 was the fourth highest individual score in the tournament and also his best performance.
Returning to his second season with the Sharjah Warriors, the left arm pacer was one of the leading wicket takers for the Sharjah Warriors this season with 10 wickets in 8 matches. Although the team had a forgettable season finishing in last place, the 24-year-old was consistent with his lines and lengths. His best performance of the tournament was against the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders where he picked up 3 wickets for only 5 runs with an economy rate of 2.5 runs per over.
The Gulf Giants’ Zuhaib Zubair was one of the best bowlers from the UAE this season. In eight matches, the leg-spinner picked up 11 wickets with his leg breaks at an average of 16. He also logged some of the best figures of the tournament when he finished with 4/22 to power the Giants to a mammoth 79 run victory against the Sharjah Warriors.
The 21-year-old left arm quick from the MI Emirates impressed one and all with his bowling, picking up nine wickets in the 16 overs he’s bowled in the tournament. While he may not have been among the top wicket takers of the tournament, his bowling showed a lot of promise. His best performance came against the Desert Vipers where he picked three for 21 in three overs, accounting for the wickets of Alex Hales, Adam Hose and Azam Khan.
Though UAE’s U19 captain Aayan Afzal Khan does not figure in the top 5 list, thanks to Muhammad Rohid pipping Aayan for the fifth spot, the 18-year-old left-arm spinner from the Gulf Giants is worthy of a mention for his fantastic bowling spells. He picked up six wickets in the seven innings he bowled including a spell of two wickets for eight runs in his three overs against the Dubai Capitals that helped his team defend a score of 126, winning the game by 19 runs.
MI Emirates’ batting brilliance overpowers Dubai Capitals by 45 runs to emerge as DP World ILT20’s new champions
MI Emirates’s run riot crafted by their skipper Nicholas Pooran and Andre Fletcher’s half centuries, which produced the highest total this season, blew away Dubai Capitals by 45 runs to emerge as the new champions of the DP World ILT20 Season 2.
In front of a packed Dubai International Stadium, Pooran scored a breezy unbeaten captain’s knock of 57 runs off 27 balls studded with six sixes and two boundaries. He was backed by Fletcher’s 53 off 37 balls, featuring four sixes and three boundaries. Openers Muhammad Waseem and his partner Kusal Perera contributed aggressively, with Waseem scoring 43 off 24 balls, including three boundaries and three sixes, and Perera adding 38 off 26 balls, with six boundaries, leading to a 77-run opening partnership and helping MI Emirates set a record score of 208 for 3 in 20 overs.
In reply, Capitals could muster only 163 for 7 in 20 overs with Trent Boult and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth bagging two wicket each. MI Emirates received the winners’ prize of a whopping $700,000 (USD) while the runners-up received $300,000 (USD).
Chasing the mammoth total, Capitals had it tough from the start with Emirates’ Akeal Hosein, who has been regularly striking in the first over, trapping Leus du Plooy leg before, resulting in a duck. Tom Abell, when on 7, was dropped by Dwayne Bravo at mid-off by Trent Boult, but was later caught by Pollard off Rohid Khan for 14. Banton and his skipper Sam Billing pushed the score to 63 when Banton got foxed by leg spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth to be stumped by Pooran for 35.
Sikandar Raza, who has played many match-winning knocks for Capitals, scored just 10 runs before hitting Viyaskanth to Waseem at deep mid-wicket. Capitals, faced with the challenge of scoring 100 runs in 41 balls, saw Waqar Salamkheil remove Billings stumped by Pooran for a fighting 40. Trent Boult then struck twice to remove Rovman Powell caught by Waseem at deep midwicket and clean bowl Jason Holder for 24 to ensure his team’s victory.
Earlier, Capitals won the toss and elected to bowl. MI Emirates’ opener Waseem started with a six over long-on off Scott Kuggeleijn, while his partner Kusal Perera played some flowing drives. The pair reached their half-century partnership in 3.3 overs, with Waseem hitting two boundaries and a six off Kuggeleijn in that over. By the end of the powerplay, MI Emirates had posted 72 runs. Waseem fell to Zahir Khan when he was seven short of his half-century, lifting Zahir Khan to Rovman Powell at mid-off.
Andre Fletcher maintained the run flow with Perera and steered the total to the 100-run mark in 10.5 overs. At the score of 102, Leus du Plooy pulled off a diving catch at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Perera, who attempted a slog sweep off Sikandar Raza, for 38.
Spinners Raza and Zahir Khan tried to strangle the run flow, but skipper Nicholas Pooran and Fletcher hit sixes off them. They put on a 50-run partnership in 28 balls and took the score past the 150-run mark in 15.5 overs. Another spectacular diving catch by Du Plooy at backward square leg to Fletcher’s top-edged pull ended the 56-run partnership.
Kieron Pollard joined Pooran, who smashed Jason Holder for 19 runs in the 18th over with two towering sixes and a boundary. With the score reading 177 for 3 and two more overs to go, the crowd got ready to cheer for the 200-run mark. Emirates achieved it off the fifth ball of the last over through a six from Pooran. This six also helped him reach his half-century in 26 balls. In the last five overs, Emirates hit 74 runs.
James Vince of Gulf Giants with 356 runs from 12 innings emerged the highest run-getter to win the Green Belt, while Waqar Salamkheil with 17 wickets was the highest wicket-taker and bagged the White Belt on better economy rate pipping Fazalhaq Farooqi, who too had 17 wickets. Muhammad Waseem won the Blue Belt for the best UAE player for the second year is succession. Sikandar Raza bagged the Red Belt for the Most Value Player. All of them pocketed USD 15,000 each. DP World Biggest six was awarded to Andre Fletcher while DP World Most 6s of the season was won by Nicholas Pooran. The Cycle Hub Catch of the season went to Sam Billings for his one-handed effort at the slip to dismiss Will Smeed in Match No2.
MI Emirates’ skipper Nicholas Pooran, after receiving the Player of the Match, hailed his openers for setting the stage for the victory. “Truly special to be the man of the match in the final. We spoke about having the right energy and attitude. I couldn’t have asked for a better start, they (openers) did the hard work, we just finished it off. It’s about understanding the situation and batting accordingly.”
Losing captain Sam Billings was sporting in his defeat and said: “Always regret when you lose. As captain, I’m go to bed thinking where it went wrong. But they were brilliant, Nicholas Pooran in that mood is very difficult to play against. Maybe they scored 20-25 runs too many. One of the best things about playing cricket in different places is experiencing different cultures. The UAE players have all been impressive. Really happy to see them improve.”
Sikandar Raza who won the most valuable player award said: “Quite a proud and humbling moment for me. It has been a journey, it is the reward for a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and pain. I just want to say thank you to all those who have prayed for me in these last two years, especially during my illness. I like to be in the position where the skipper can bank on me to bowl four overs every time. Thirteen wickets in the tournament feels like the hard work is coming through; we can only get better.”