Football legend Rio Ferdinand talks travel, inflight entertainment and Dubai

Rio Ferdinand and British Airways Captain Rick Basnett enjoy a friendly kickabout outside British Airways’ First Wing in London Heathrow.
Updated 08 November 2017
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Football legend Rio Ferdinand talks travel, inflight entertainment and Dubai

Former England international and Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has been showing off some of the football skills that saw him play in three FIFA World Cups and win six Premier League titles during his trip to Dubai.
Ferdinand, who helped launch the first-ever Dubai fitness challenge, an initiative by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, crown prince of Dubai, encouraging residents to do 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days, has also spent a week in the emirate training aspiring footballers at an exclusive training program hosted by the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
Ferdinand chatted with British Airways about the highlights of his Dubai trip, and urged others to follow the emirate’s lead with a city-wide fitness challenge.
“The Dubai Fitness Challenge was really fun and I was happy to be involved,” said Ferdinand. “Fitness is a way of life, you can’t just wake up and be fit. I train regularly, not just for fitness but for the mind too.”
Prior to Ferdinand’s flight to Dubai, Rio and British Airways Captain Rick Basnett enjoyed a friendly kickabout outside British Airways’ First Wing at Terminal 5 in London Heathrow, with Ferdinand displaying some of the deft touches that saw the London-born center-half earn 81 England caps.
“Your 30 minutes a day can be anywhere, as we showed in the airport. Just grab a ball, a group of friends and have a kickabout; even on your own, kick a ball against a wall, run along the beach with it. Anything, just get into the habit of being active and make it part of your routine.”
Ferdinand added: “Over the past week, I saw a city come together to encourage each other to adopt a healthier lifestyle. You don’t find such determination and leadership in many places and I’m keen to see more cities around the world, including us in London, challenge ourselves to stay fit and support each other.”
“When I fly I usually look forward to settling down and getting into a good action or thriller movie,” he said. “I’ve got into documentaries recently though and I really enjoyed I am Bolt! — the Usain Bolt documentary; he’s a massive Manchester United fan. Then I’ll most likely eat and have a snooze; I don’t think I’ve ever flown without sleeping, I always get my sleep in and put my cap over my face, hoody up and sleep.”


Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Updated 11 December 2018
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Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has wrapped up a successful 2018 having added programs in two new markets — Morocco and Madagascar — as well as having launched a women-only program in Saudi Arabia. The training program reached more than 1,600 inexperienced motorists in 10 cities around the Middle East and Africa.

Providing free training and instilling safe driving practices, the DSFL program offered an opportunity to gain experience in the four main primary driving skills: Hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.

This year, Ford DSFL was run in the UAE (Dubai), Kenya (Nairobi), Uganda (Gulu Town), and four cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, and Pretoria), while Casablanca welcomed Morocco’s first-ever DSFL for three days of training in October. 

Antananarivo in Madagascar also joined the DSFL family when it played host to 50 members of the media, and a train-the-trainer for distributor staff, in September, becoming the eighth market in sub-Saharan Africa alone to benefit from the introduction of Ford’s program.

In addition, on its return to Jeddah, Ford hosted the global debut of its DSFL for Her, a new customized version of Ford’s award-winning safe-driving initiative, helping to build confidence behind the wheel as participants in the Kingdom prepared to be among the first-ever women to be issued a driving license in the country.

The DSFL for Her course followed the landmark decision last year, as decreed by King Salman to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Safety continues to be a key priority for Ford, and providing campaigns such as DSFL can only help reduce the number of road accidents, and increase young drivers’ knowledge and confidence on the road,” said Jim Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. 

“Ford also made history in 2018 when it hosted the first-ever practical hands-on driving training for women in Saudi Arabia — DSFL for Her — specifically designed to accommodate Saudi females embarking on their first journey behind the wheel of a car. These are the kinds of occasions that make Ford exceptionally proud of the success DSFL has enjoyed this year, as the program continues its rapid expansion, and evolves to adapt to the needs of the markets in which it operates,” Graham added.

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed drivers necessary skills beyond standard driver education programs. In 2008, the program expanded to Asia Pacific, and in 2013, Ford DSFL branched out into both Europe and the Middle East.

In 2017, the free program celebrated reaching the one-millionth newly licensed driver trained.