Monday, June 26, 2017
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Top 5 Stories This Week #BusinessBreakfast

By Malcolm Taylor

Almost all of us are looking for new jobs!

According to a Bayt.com survey 98% of Middle East respondents are planning to look for a new position in 2017.

However, strangely enough, the survey also said that 68% of respondents claimed not to have any career goals, which suggests that most of the people looking for jobs don’t have any idea why they’re looking!

Or they’re simply interested in a larger pay packets.

Bernie Ecclestone gets the big E

The driving force behind top-end motor racing over the last 40 years is OUT!

As an integral part of Formula 1 history Bernie Ecclestone deserves the gratitude of drivers & fans alike, having built the sport into a major revenue earner and televisual spectacle.

But new owners Liberty Media feel that his chasing money at all costs and devolving F1 Races out to countries without domestic viewing audiences is not good for the long-term health of the sport.

However as the 86-year old shuffles off to retirement, it’s worth noting that Forbes estimates his worth to be $3bn.

Will Dubai’s skyscrapers of the future look different to today’s?

For those of us who were watching the fireworks on New Years Eve 2015, the fire at the Address Hotel near the Burj Khalifa will be remembered longer than the fireworks themselves.

Dubai has suffered a series of well-publicised fires in high rise buildings over recent years, but could the same thing happen again in future?

Not if the Dubai Civil Defence has its way!

New fire safety regulations came into force on Sunday adjusting the laws to make cladding safer. Lt. Taher al Taher of Dubai Civil Defence said “There’s a requirement to minimize the risk associated with cladding to zero”.

Regular maintenance and replacement schedules must be introduced, but the real kicker in the new rules seems to be that buildings that catch fire must have all old cladding panels removed, not just those affected by the fire.

So, if cladding becomes a much more expensive option does that mean architects and consultant engineers will drop cladding from the exteriors of Dubai’s buildings?

And what’s the alternative? More hi-tech glass? More concrete and paint? Other new and safer products?

Interesting times ahead for Dubai’s construction industry.

“Google and the Tabloid Cloakers” – a modern-day tale of underhand hi-tech skullduggery!

Google last year removed 1.7 billion ads from its servers as part of its ceaseless fight against online corruption and naughtiness.

Included in that huge figure were 1,330 accounts suspended for “tabloid cloaking”.

This is where you’re reading an online article, and another headline pops up with a startling claim, such as “Man with five eyes and ten arms elected President of Mars. Thought to be a Conservative”.

So you head off to investigate, having thought the Liberals had the Mars Presidency sewn up, and when you click on the link to transport you to what looks like a bona fide tabloid news-site you end up on an advertising site.

Google Product Management Director Scott Spencer said “Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics – an election, a popular celebrity, a trending story – and their ads can look like headlines on a website.

But when you click on the story about Ellen DeGeneres, or galactic officialdom, you find yourself at a page advertising weight-loss products or body part extensions! That’s cloaking”

And of course Donald Trump!

Inaugurated on Sunday incoming US President Donald wasted no time in making legislation…and waves.

  • He dropped the US out of the TTP trade relationship with 12 Pacific Rim countries (which notably excluded China).
  • Has started the ball rolling to renegotiate the NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Association)
  • But…what will stick in most people’s minds is the strange case of the invisible crowd. Donald Trump’s people estimated the Washington crowd at 1.8 million, compared to most estimates of 200 -300,000. Donald Trump’s team have been criticizing those lower numbers, and mumbling about ‘alternative truths’. Exciting times ahead, for sure.
  • Trump has signed executive orders that two controversial north-south pipelines be completed. The president claims that the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines, which will bring tar sand and shale oil south to US refineries, will create 28,000 jobs and be great for America.
  • The man tipped to be Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Professor Ted Malloch, has told the BBC that the Euro currency could collapse within 18 months.
  • He also said that any attempt by the EU to block Britain beginning negotiations with the US would be “absurd”, and like a husband “trying to stop his wife having an affair!”

Other contenders:

  • Just as we hear that the 2017 PSA Dubai World Series Squash Finals will be played inside a glass box at the Dubai Opera House from 6-10 June, so opera moved to Dubai’s Maktoum International Airport.
  • The performers of the musical “Cats”, currently performing at the Dubai Opera House performed at Concourses A & B at the airport this week, including Joanna Ampil who played Grizabella.
  • Travellers were heard to purr in contentment, with one saying “Better than a tickle behind the ears any day!”
  • Etihad CEO James Hogan is to step down later in the year after ten years at the helm, overseeing an expansion plan based largely on buying equity stakes in struggling airlines such as AirBerlin, Alitalia, Air Serbia, Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, and Virgin Australia.
  • The patriarch of one of the Gulf’s oldest companies has passed away. Sheikh Adel Aujan, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Aujan Industries, latterly known as Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Co. The industrialist was 70 years old. The company was formed in 1905, but really kicked on to greater things when it won the Gulf distributorship for that Ramadan staple Vimto in 1928.