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United Arab Emirates

Singapore’s TSLC raises $25m in Abu Dhabi



The Social Loan Company (TSLC), a Singaporean FinTech start-up, has raised over $25 million to enhance its market presence, manpower and production in Abu Dhabi.

The company said an investor consortium led by Abu Dhabi Global Market-domiciled ARV Investments took part in the funding round.

ARV Investments is a global vehicle under ARI Holding, an Abu Dhabi investment group that has the mandate to invest globally.

International institutional investors, such as Rothschild & Co, also launched a Series B funding round of over $100 million for TSLC.

TSLC CEO & co-founder Deepak Saluja said that his company seeks to enter new markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Appreciating Rothschild role, he said that they were excited to have such a global institutional investor to their Series B funding round, which would help them enhance innovation, achieve breakthrough growth and fulfil their mission.

TSLC was founded in 2016 and is popular for its ecosystem of Artificial Intelligence-powered, big-data-driven personalised financial solutions. The funding would help boost its digital lending operations and enhance its AI capabilities in targeted markets.

The company has over 8 million digital natives on its platform in India under the brand CASHe. It recently established a presence in the UAE as it plans ‘a mobile-first credit-led platform’ in the Middle East within the next six months. Once launched, the platform will create affordable and personalised credit to middle-income consumers.


UAE ranks second most hardworking country in the world



The UAE is the world’s second hardest working country, according to a report by communications agency duke+mir. Residents in the Emirates work an average 50.9 hours per week, but they also have fun, with 97% going out for entertainment every month. The study, which included a poll of more than 1,000 residents, also found that seven in 10 people in the UAE dine out every single week.

The duke+mir study included a commissioned survey of UAE residents and global statistics from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO data showed that the UAE was only behind Bhutan for average hours worked per week. Lesotho, Congo and Qatar completed the top five.

Mir Murtaza Khurshid, Partner at duke+mir discussed the report’s findings, “This study highlights that the UAE is proudly one of the most hard-working countries in the world. Emirati nationals and expatriate workers are contributing to the UAE’s rapid growth and success, but also finding time to have fun and enjoy themselves. With some of the world’s most exciting entertainment options, it’s clear that the UAE is the global capital of ‘work-hard, play-hard’ culture.”

In line with the UAE’s vision for a healthy nation, the research also found encouraging participation in sports, with two-thirds (66%) of people playing sport every week, with that figure rising to 75% among young adults (18-24 years old).

In addition, the poll found that every week 37% of UAE residents go out to watch live sports, 24% go to the cinema and 23% go to a live performance (such as a concert, gig or theatre event).

The report also covers at-home activities. Every week, more than eight in 10 people (83%) watch movies and nearly seven in 10 (68%) tune in to live sports from the comfort of their home. The data also uncovered that much of that viewing comes from subscriptions – 81% of UAE residents have one or more paid subscriptions. However, nearly a third of people in the UAE have subscriptions that they rarely use and would like to cancel, potentially equating to millions of dirhams in dormant accounts.

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UAE President arrives in Republic of Korea on state visit



President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrived today in Seoul on a two-day state visit to the Republic of Korea.

This visit follows an invitation from His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea.

As His Highness the President’s aircraft entered Korean airspace, it was escorted by military aircraft in a gesture of respect and welcome.

Accompanying His Highness on the visit is a delegation that includes H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security; Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Minister of Investment; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the National Media Office (NMO); Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and Member of the Executive Council; Jassim Mohammed Bu Ataba Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Department of Finance – Abu Dhabi; Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Member of the Executive Council; Faisal Al Bannai, Advisor to the UAE President for Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs; Staff Brigadier Musallam Al Rashidi, Director of the Office of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation; Tareq Al Hosani, Secretary-General of the Tawazun Council; Muammar Abushehab, CEO of Tawazun Council; and Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

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UAE prepares for heavy rain and thunder this week



The National Center for Meteorology (NCM) forecast the UAE will see partly cloudy weather with formation of cumulonimbus clouds that bring rain to eastern areas and some inland areas starting Monday, April 29. The weather agency posted videos of rain and confirmed light rain across parts of Dubai, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Fujairah.

As the week progresses, a low pressure system will bring inclement weather from the west by Wednesday night, said the NCM. The weather system is expected to extend over most areas of the country on Thursday, May 2.

The surface low pressure from the Red Sea will impact the country, forecast the NCM.

The NCM said the extension of low-pressure system from the north is also expected which will see cloud migration from Saudi Arabia towards the UAE.

The unstable weather conditions expected late Wednesday night will see convective cloud formations, resulting in moderate to heavy rainfall across the country.

Abu Dhabi will experience moderate to heavy rain showers and thunderstorms on Thursday followed by Dubai and Sharjah as the weather system progresses northwards.

The weather agency issued warnings to motorists to exercise caution when driving on roads and highways during inclement weather.

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