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.”


ITFC agreements eye trade boost

Updated 26 April 2018
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ITFC agreements eye trade boost

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, recently signed several agreements on the sidelines of the 43rd meeting of the board of governors of the IDB Group in Tunis. The agreements, worth more than $4 billion, aim to support the import of strategic commodities for a number of its member countries, namely Tunisia, Cameroon, Pakistan, Senegal and Togo.

A pledge agreement was also signed with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) amounting to $100,000 annually to assist in financing the implementation of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges program’s activities for the coming five years.

The ITFC signed a three-year framework agreement worth $1.5 billion with Tunisia to mobilize financial resources from international and regional banks and financial institutions to finance the import of essential commodities such as crude oil and petroleum products.

Three syndicated Murabaha agreements were also signed with three African nations. These include €68 million ($84 million) for the purchase of crude oil and petroleum products for Cameroon, $22 million to support Togo’s energy sector, and $50 million to finance Senegal’s 2017-2018 groundnut campaign.

The ITFC and Pakistan signed two agreements: A three-year framework agreement worth $4.5 billion aimed at ensuring close cooperation and coordination of efforts between the government and ITFC and to pave the way for a strategic partnership between the parties; and a financing agreement worth $283 million for the purchase of crude oil and petroleum products.

ITFC CEO Hani Salem Sonbol said the agreements aim at the socioeconomic and trade development of these countries.