Emiratis, Israelis meet in Dubai as part of women’s forum event

A group of Emirati and Israeli women met in Dubai for the first time as part of the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 October 2020

Emiratis, Israelis meet in Dubai as part of women’s forum event

  • The UAE-Israel Business Council, which was founded in June, has grown to almost 2,000 members since the announcement in August of the UAE and Israel normalizing relations

LONDON: A group of Emirati and Israeli women met in Dubai for the first time, in a meeting held as part of the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum.

The group, co-founded by Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and the co-founder of the Jewish Women’s Business Network Justine Zwerling, is a division of the newly formed UAE-Israel Business Council.

“I believe that women are natural peace builders. We created the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum in order to facilitate people-to-people, grassroots peace building,” Hassan-Nahoum said.

“It was an honor to host this very memorable and historic meeting of Israeli and Emirati women in Dubai, creating bonds and making a better future for our children.”

The UAE-Israel Business Council, which was founded in June, has grown to almost 2,000 members since the announcement in August of the UAE and Israel normalizing relations, according to Hassan-Nahoum.

To date there are 250 Israeli companies trading with the UAE, and the council aims to help increase that number over the next couple of years.

In September, the energy ministers and tourism officials from the UAE and Israel discussed possible cooperation, travel opportunities and investment openings.

Also in September, Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group announced plans to open a representative office in Israel, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office said it will open its first office outside the UAE in the city of Tel Aviv.


Ski resorts out in the cold as France eases lockdown

Updated 27 November 2020

Ski resorts out in the cold as France eases lockdown

  • Frustrated resort operators count the cost of holiday season restrictions

MEGEVE, France:  Megeve, in the foothills of Mont Blanc, was gearing up to welcome back skiers before Christmas after a COVID-19 lockdown was eased.

But France’s government — while allowing cinemas, museums and theaters to reopen from Dec. 15 — says its ski slopes must stay off limits until 2021, leaving those who make their living in the Alpine village frustrated and, in some cases, perplexed.

“When you’re outside, when you’re doing sport outdoors, that’s not the moment when you’re going to give COVID-19 to someone. COVID-19 is passed on in enclosed places,” said Pierre de Monvallier, director of ski school Oxygene, which operates in several resorts including Megeve.

Announcing a phased easing of the lockdown on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was “impossible to envisage” re-opening ski slopes for Christmas and New Year, and that he preferred instead to do so during January.

“It felt like the door had been slammed in our face,” said Catherine Jullien-Breches, the mayor of Megeve, whose green slopes are generally covered with snow by mid-December.

“Unfortunately it’s a real drama for the economies of the villages and the winter sports resorts.”

People who live within 20 km of France’s Alpine resorts will able to visit from this weekend, but with the lifts staying shut, the main draw is missing.

“It’s like going on holiday on the Cote d’Azur and being told the sea is off limits,” said David Le Scouarnec, co-owner of Megeve’s Cafe 2 la Poste.

The problem for the resorts — and the hotels, restaurants, and workers who depend on them for their livelihood — is that their season is short, and they will have little time after the New Year to claw back lost revenue.

Other European authorities are wrestling with the same problem. Italy’s resorts regions are seeking approval for restricted skiing, but Austria, whose biggest cluster of the first wave of the pandemic was at the ski resort of Ischgl — where thousands were infected — is skeptical.

Prevarication cuts little ice, however, with Mathieu Dechavanne, Chairman and CEO of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, which operates cable cars at Megeve and other resorts.

He said who could not understand why the government allowed trains and metros to operate, but barred him from re-opening. “It’s like we’re being punished. We don’t deserve this. We’re ready.”