JULY 2017 | ISSUE 02
HOW MUCH WILL
ON LOVE, DIVORCE
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STOCKS WILL CRASH:
SELL OR STOP BUYING?
Turmoil simmers within
Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag
gives us an insight into the world
of divorce cases
Thomas Ovesen from 117 Live
shares his journey
Get a peek into the life and
happenings of this humanitarian
A TALE OF TWO...
Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin
get together ahead of their latest
SUMMER CAMPS 2017
The best spots for children and
teens to learn a skill or two
during the summer break
A chat with a startup founder
Jelena Bin Drai
The latest in summer fashion
straight from the runway
Add these items to your summer
wardrobe for a quick refresher
Your next shopping haul sorted
Make an appointment for the
latest treaments on the market
Travel inspiration for your next
STAY OF THE MONTH
Explore FIVE Palm Jumeirah
Koa Canvas is changing up the
ON OUR RADAR
The latest statement pieces on the market
THE PERFECT FOLD
Origami is trending in the art world
Two hotspots worth a visit over
ON THE MENU
Hotfoot around town to these spots apt for
a business lunch or a meal with the family
A culture-packed Swiss city ideal
THE MAN BEHIND
A peek into Hussein Bazaza's life
On the cover
Read her interview on page 24
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From the EDITOR
July is the month I find myself looking for travel
inspiration, escaping to climes at least 15-20
degrees lower and predominantly staying
away from the humid outdoors. Which is why
the July issue offers plenty of stimulus, be it for adults
If you can’t escape just yet, send the young ones on
a flight to camp, where they can pick up life-long skills
– at least you won’t have to hear them weep about
boredom (p30). When you do manage to get time-off or need a quick
refresher over the weekend, head to FIVE Palm Jumeirah (p67) or ruminate
over Geneva. The city known for bucolic air, verdant greens and not-toforget
skilled watchmaking, is the destination of choice (p62).
An intellectual take on the stock market will leave you wondering
whether you should sell or hold tight (p12), while a chat with divorce
lawyer Ayesha Vardag (p14), gives us an insight into the business of divorce.
Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin weigh in on their views of love, divorce and
the film industry too (p24).
I won’t lie, I’m in awe of the sleek and impressive Buggati Chiron and
you may be too (p52). If you are investing in art or roaming the world for
novel pieces, look into origami structures for a playful element to add to
your collection (p55). We’re never short of culinary options in Dubai and
this month we have two that are ideal for business meetings and date
I’ll be dotting my I’s and crossing
my T’s with this classy Montblanc
Writers Edition Antoine de Saint-
I’ll be smearing caviar in the form
of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Liquid
Lift, on my face, to treat lackluster
skin exposed to long-haul flights.
equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae
EQUITY - Always invest in yourself
EDITOR NICOLA MONTEATH - firstname.lastname@example.org
DIGITAL EDITOR VARUN GODINHO
CONTENT MANAGER OLIVE SEVILLA
ART DIRECTOR ODILAINE MEJORADA
PRINTED BY United Printing & Publishing
is a proud member of
A timeless accessory with a punch
of colour. This AIGNER’S ZOE bag is
slowly creeping up on my summer
wish list for its versatility.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Jetsetters, don’t forget to add these dates to your diary
WHERE: Various locations,
WHEN: July 1-16
MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL
This jazz festival in Switzerland,
and second largest jazz fest in the
world, has been one of the best for
half a century and is now a
favourite of music lovers all over.
Watch and listen to every kind of
sound imaginable with crowds of
over 200,000 people, with new and
established acts providing
entertainment every day.
FT FESTIVAL OF FINANCE
WHERE: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy
WHEN: July 1-14
LITERATURHAUS AT NADI
WHERE: Nadi Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE
WHEN: July 1 – September 30
WHERE: The Artillery Garden at the HAC, London, England
WHEN: July 1
Some of the finest financial minds in the world
come together to engage visitors and entrepreneurial
buffs in the sharpest debates. Spread across five stages,
more than a hundred speakers will be discussing
topics from globalisation and tax havens. This
festival seeks to improve the mediocre analysis
and untested information, and provide access to
LA BOHÈME MILAN
Witness an epic operatic tale at the epic
Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the form of La
Boheme. Since its debut in 1963, Franco
Zeffirelli’s La Boheme has enchanted
countless people with its story and
interpretations. Some of the best theatre
talents make this a performance never to
forget. Book your tickets soon!
A celebration of literature will take
place in Nadi Al Quoz, Dubai.
Literaturhaus is set to revive the
famed 19th-century salon, where
contemporary questions were
debated alongside an assortment of literary and cultural initiatives, inspiring and challenging
audiences with new thoughts. International and regional authors, poets, critics, curators,
publishers, translators and musicians will gather to share their ideas through readings, discussions
and performances. With events held at 4pm every Saturday from July 1st until September 30.
The events are free of charge and open to the public however spaces are limited so booking at
email@example.com is essential.
ECO EDO NIHONBASHI ART AQUARIUM 2017
WHERE: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, Tokyo, Japan
WHEN: July 7–September 24
Like all things quintessentially Japanese, this is modern yet
traditional at the same time. The theme for the venue is
“Edo: Ryo of Kingyo”. Edo was the former name of Tokyo
and kingyo (goldfish) was a deep-rooted part of common
folk culture of Nihonbashi during the Edo period. With a
venue styled after an ancient palace and more than 8,000
goldfish celebrating contemporary Japanese art on display,
you mustn’t miss this at all.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: KOOZA
WHERE: Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
WHEN: July 13 - August 13
Anything from Cirque du Soleil is a reason
to celebrate and their recent production called Kooza
is one that will touch the hearts of many.
It tells the story of a melancholy loner in search
of his place in the world. The show revisits the
Cirque’s storied roots in acrobatics and clowning.
Tickets are selling fast for this show, so hurry up to
OPRAH'S ALASKA HAL CRUISE ADVENTURE
WHERE: Alaska (Leaves from Port of Seattle)
WHEN:July 15 – 22
The undisputed queen of talk shows Oprah Winfrey has
done it again and is now inviting prospective adventurers
into joining her for a roundtrip cruise from Seattle into one
of the most stunning natural destinations in the world-
Alaska. This trip is part of Oprah’s Year of Adventure
initiative and asks people to come out of their comfort
zones and experience life.
UNITE WITH TOMORROWLAND
WHERE: Dubai, Germany, Israel, Lebanon, Malta, Spain,
South Korea and Taiwan
WHEN: July 29
This music festival knows no boundaries and come July 29th, the mega
extravaganza of music and good times will put you in a euphoria for the
rest of the summer, if not the year. With an eclectic mix of international
and local DJs belting out groovy tunes, TOMORROWLAND aims to
build bridges between cultures and people. We can't wait.
ARSENAL VS CHELSEA PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY MATCH
WHERE: National Stadium, Beijing, China
WHEN: July 22
Good old-fashioned football rivalry never fails to impress and it gets fans pumping
adrenaline in their system faster than a Bugatti. As China forges ahead to become a
serious sporting destination with the success of Beijing 2008 and other tournaments,
this pre-season friendly is a great way to spend time when visiting the city.
OPEN HOUSE MELBOURNE
WHERE: All around Melbourne, Australia
WHEN: July 29–July 30
This year celebrates a decade of Open House Melbourne with plenty of
activities lined up for lovers of urban culture and heritage. Talks, tours,
workshops and interviews explore the challenges and success stories of
Melbourne's built environment. The Open House Weekend, where
people visit significant buildings and sites across the city to learn about
how the manmade environment and urban planning influence and
shape our future.
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Should you sell or stop buying
shares? Make your decision after
reading our feature (p12). Explore
the business of divorce, entrepreneur
journeys and the camps to send your
little ones to this summer. What are
Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin
upto? Read more on p24
STOCKS will CRASH:
SHOULD YOU SELL OR
The curernt turmoil is one to keep an eye on
Words by Sam Instone: CEO at AES International
Tumbleweed is blowing across the scorching marbled
pavements of DIFC. Is it just a seasonal effect, or
the lull before the storm? Stocks are at an all-time
high with Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index
depicting a tsunami on the rise. In the five-year period ending
December 26, 2016, it swelled 97.61 per cent. To put things
into perspective, if $10,000 had been invested in the index just
five years ago, it would have grown to $19,761 today. That’s
just the kind of rise that comes before a crash. Or is it?
After a chat with investors within the space, it’s come to my
realisation that concerns over luxury goods are on the decline.
Despite happily buying watches, boats, cars and houses, they’re
too afraid to invest right now. What’s worth keeping in mind, is
that stocks are constantly hitting an all-time high. I’m 40 years
old and over the course of my lifetime the S&P500 (with
dividends reinvested) has hit all-time highs during 26 different
calendar years – the most recent being. 2007 and 2012 right up
to 2016. During these years, the headlines broadcasted a stock
crash, most of which were wrong, to be honest, who got lucky
were almost always wrong the next time. Truth is, the bullish
and bearish state of stocks can never be depicted. The reason
why Warren Buffett claims the stock market forecasters exist is
to make fortunetellers appear good.
Vanguard’s recent report looks at popular metrics to predict
stock returns. Researchers Joseph Davis, Roger Aliaga-Díaz and
Charles J. Thomas looked at data from 1926 until 2012. They
examined and cyclically adjusted the price to earnings ratios;
trailing dividend yields; corporate earnings growth trends and a
consensus of predicted earnings growth. They also looked at five
measurements of economic fundamentals, followed by three
different multi-variable valuation models. The findings revealed
that stock returns are essentially unpredictable at short horizons.
This lack of predictability is not surprising given the poor track
record of market-timing and related tactical asset allocation
strategies. More importantly, you’d be much better off without a
soothsayer calling the market and distracting you.
For example, assume you’re a new investor and it’s 2008.
While playing in a sandbox you find Aladdin’s magic lamp. You
rub that lamp and a genie appears. He says: “Over the next 12
months you’ll see the worst stock market drop since 1929.”
Frightened by his forecast, you decide to wait to invest until
stocks “stabilise.” Instead, you add $200 a month to your bank’s
savings account. If it paid $100 in interest (that’s a pipedream!)
you would have accumulated $4,900 by January 2010. It’s at this
point that your genie deems stocks to have stabilised, so you put
the proceeds into Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund
(VTSMX). If you continued to add $200 a month – putting the
proceeds into the index – you would have a total of $38,004 by
November 30, 2016. Morningstar’s Russel Kinnel reported that
the average mutual fund dropped 30 per cent in 2008. So, you
actually sidestepped that mess. Now let’s imagine you never
found the lamp, didn’t know stocks were going to tumble in
2008 and you invested $200 a month into the stock market index
starting in January 2008. Stocks crashed, however, you continued
adding $200 a month in any case. By November 30, 2016, your
portfolio would have been worth $39,926. In other words, you
would be almost $2,000 richer than if you’d met that genie and
tried to guess and time the market. But what if it’s 2008 and you
have a lump sum to invest. Perhaps $500,000? With U.S. stocks
at an all-time high, you might be afraid to invest that money or
tempted to wait until stock prices are lower. If you do, your
human emotions are taking you for a ride. Don’t believe me?
Then consider the question from a different angle. If you’d
been investing for years and had accumulated $500,000 in a
pension by 2008, would you sell everything and wait for stocks
to fall? You probably wouldn’t. But that’s exactly the same as
waiting to invest. By jumping out of stocks (or not getting in)
you may miss some big gains.
The S&P500 averaged a compound annual return of 9.85 per
cent between January 1995 and December 31, 2014. That
would have turned a $10,000 investment into $65,475. But,
investors who missed the best five stock market days in that
period would have averaged a compounding return of just 7.62
per cent per year. Instead of seeing their money grow to
$65,475, they would have ended up with $43,435 – 33% less.
By missing the best 20 days, this money would have grown to
just $20,360 – 69 per cent less. And those investors, unlucky
enough to be out of the markets for the best 40 days, would
have lost money. Their initial $10,000 would have shrunk to
$9,143. U.S. stocks hit an all-time peak in 1989. They gained
279 per cent during the previous ten years. Forecasters were
calling for a crash, however, anyone who sold (or decided not
to buy) might have missed the market’s new “all-time highs” in
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In
the nine years that followed 1989, stocks gained another 316
per cent. Nobody, not even Nostradamus, saw that coming.
DIFC is home to market gurus and successful investors, like
you. As an already successful investor, my best advice is to keep
ignore the market noise. If you’re looking for the highest
returns and the lowest costs, a diversified portfolio of low-cost
index funds including a U.S. index, an international index and a
bond index works best. If you have a lump sum to invest, the
evidence points to the fact the best time is as soon as you have
money available. No one can guess the market; be an evidencebased
investor, not a reactionary emotional investor if you
want the strongest possible returns long term.
There’s a good reason that Ayesha
Vardag has earned the sobriquet of
‘divorce lawyer to the billionaires’
Words by Varun Godinho
The British divorce litigation industry is
worth around £1 billion annually. The
most expensive lawyer in London you
can hire to fight in your corner of the
ring is 49-year-old Ayesha Vardag. That’ll cost you
£795 per hour, plus taxes.
On a telephone call from Europe, the peripatetic
lawyer explains why London has earned its billing
as the divorce capital of the world to the very rich
and famous. “It is an excellent place to get
divorced from the perspective of fairness and
quality of contribution in a marriage. England has
very strongly the idea that there is no discrimination
between breadwinner and homemaker. You can
expect intellectually elite judges who are highlytrained
and incorruptible. England has very
powerful powers of forensic examination. You can
decide it’s a 50-50 split of the marital pot. But then
to determine what that marital pot is, becomes the
That’s why she’s set up an internal financial
forensics division at her law firm Vardags that she
founded in 2005 and which now employs around
70 people with an annual turnover of close to £10-
15 million located in Old Bailey, London. “The
division looks at valuations, hidden assets and
assets that are downplayed. If we are acting for the
people that have the money, then we don’t tell
them to hide their assets, but we seek to argue why
their valuation should be lower than the other side
claims it to be.” She cites the case of her client
Michelle Young who she represented against her
husband, Scot, who declared himself bankrupt
during the divorce. That didn’t stop Vardag from
securing a £26 million order against the husband –
the highest ever against someone made bankrupt.
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There are some other high-profile cases for
which Vardag has scored large settlements.
“Pauline Chai received £64 million recently. The
Marchioness of Northampton is reported to have
got £17 million.” But as she explains, most of the
really big payouts that may run into the hundreds
of millions never get publicised, because they get
quietly settled out of court.
The defining case for Vardag that set her on a
path destined for a meteoric rise was the 2010
receive a large settlement, but the problem is the
cash flow. The courts sometimes help to an
extent but to help put them on a level playing
field, there is litigation lending available to them
that lends them the fees and then recoups the
money at the end.”
Divorce litigation isn’t something Vardag was
involved in from the beginning of her career. She
started out in financial and commercial law
working with top-tier firms like Linklaters in
I was met with quite a lot of resistance, a degree of mockery.
I was seeking to change the law. It (Radmacher) was the biggest case
in the history of family law. There were nine judges in the Supreme
Court. The judges agreed with me
Radmacher v Granatino case. Vardag represented
German heiress Katrin Radmacher who had an
existing prenup signed with her banker husband
Nicolas Granatino. At the time they filed for
divorce, prenuptial agreements were void in
English law. Vardag argued to the contrary. “I was
met with quite a lot of resistance, a degree of
mockery. I was seeking to change the law. It was
the biggest case in the history of family law. There
were nine judges in the Supreme Court. The judges
agreed with me.”
Apart from the landmark ruling on prenups, the
aspect of the ruling that got lost in the hysterical
media commentary over the Radmacher case was
gender neutrality before the law. In that specific
case, it was the man arguing for a piece of the
financial pie from the woman. Vardag is clear that
she will represent men as well as women. “We
have cases of husbands claiming against female
bankers, artists, celebrities. We act for both men
and women – whoever reaches us first.”
Litigation lending is a trend that Vardag has
increasingly seen in her industry. “It used to be
the case where you’d have someone married to
someone immensely rich, but they were unable to
get proper legal representation because they were
not given any money. When you see the assets,
you can predict that the claimant is going to
London and Moscow and Weil, Gotshal &
Manges in London drawing up lending and
securitisation structures, before going to the bar
in London. But then her own divorce broke upon
the family. She was represented by Raymond
Tooth (whose roll call of millionaire clients
include Irina Abramovich and Sadie Frost).
“When it (her divorce) was all over in 2002, we
went out for dinner one day and he hired me.
That was the point at which I moved to
matrimonial law because the impact you have
through family law is transformational. You
enable people to keep their homes and businesses,
to have a relationship with their children.”
Contrary to popular opinion from the gallery,
divorce litigation – as Vardag argues – need not
be an unconscionable business. She is now
campaigning for two key laws in the UK that will
radically change the dynamics of family law. The
first is no-fault divorce law. “In America, you can
get divorced based on irreconcilable differences.
In England, you must allege fault against the
other side. It comes from an era when divorces
were seen as innately evil and there had to be
someone to blame. It is extremely damaging to
start the whole process by slinging mud at your
partner. We’re trying to end this anomaly of
We don’t become the means for someone to use their children as a
weapon. I’ve had husbands come to me and say, ‘I don’t really
want custody of the children. But I want you to tell my wife that I do
so that I get a bigger financial settlement
The other law, anointed by the press as the
anti-fecklessness law that she is campaigning for
necessitates that both parents play a role in caring
for their children after the divorce. “Unless you
have a joint residence order for the children,
there is no obligation on the other parent to see
their child at all. One parent gives the primary
care and the other one doesn’t bother. This is
very damaging for the children and the primary
carer too.” Vardag already has a red line that she
doesn’t cross when it comes to taking up divorce
cases – using children as a pawn. “We don’t
become the means for someone to use their
children as a weapon.
“I’ve had husbands come to me and say, ‘I don’t
really want custody of the children. But I want you
to tell my wife that I do so that I get a bigger
financial settlement.’ I’ve had mothers say to me, ‘I
want to deny him contact with the children so that
he’ll give me a better settlement or just because
I hate that woman he has taken up with and I can’t
bear that my children go anywhere near her.’
I won’t do that.”
Vardag has now set up base in Dubai and has a
private consultancy here. However, she only
practices law in the UK. “We have a lot of Middle
Eastern clients and I wanted to effectively promote
that. I absolutely love Dubai. It’s like a paradise.
It’s wonderful being part of a state that has a
strong vision and such positivity for the future. I
am available to my firm in London all day and I go
back every other month to meet with clients who
want to meet me in person.”
Which reminds me that my phone conversation
with Vardag has lasted nearly an hour. In Vardag’s
world, like the billionaires she represents, time
directly and measurably equals money. Good thing
I didn’t get billed £795, plus taxes.
Thomas Ovesen, the man behind Dubai’s highly-rated
concerts takes us through his journey from air traffic
controller to Founder of 117 Live
Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Jennifer
Lopez, you hear of famed artists across
social media and the radio, ahead of
their gigs in the city, but who’s behind
117 Live and the brand that brings your favourite
artists to town? It’s Danish-national Thomas
Ovesen. Chief Executive Officer of 117 Live has
been in the Middle East since the summer of
1998, setting foot in Bahrain as an air traffic
controller, just as the no-fly zone in Iraq was
terminated and the civilian air traffic started
booming again. So how did he transition to form
one of the best live event companies within the
country? “Being an air traffic controller in
Bahrain meant I was doing night shifts, as it was
busy. When you work three-night shifts back to
back, you have four days off. I was often the guy
at the British or the Rugby club and whenever
someone asked for help for events they would
look to me as they thought I was never working. I
was keen as I yearned for more,” he tells us.
After a few live events including a New Year’s
Eve party, Thomas began to get the thrill of it,
craving to work on projects the minute he got an
evening off. The one thing that did cross his
mind at that point was, “Why is everything so
poorly organised?” Naively, he threw himself
head first into the field, approaching a company
in Bahrain for part-time work. “They probably
thought I was mad but they needed someone to
help at the Westlife press conference
in Lebanon. I managed it and thought
that’s easy and fun, I want to do
more.” Few months down the line and
Thomas saw himself slowly losing
interest in air traffic control, and
gravitating towards hosting events.
At that point in time, Dubai was an
exciting hub, the treat he would get
occasionally for a business meeting and
Thomas couldn’t get enough of the
nocturnal scene here. “It was a city
where if you were willing to work hard,
you could make something happen.
There was also a social and nightlife
scene but there weren’t many concerts.
That’s when I thought, why not go to
Dubai and do it on a larger scale?”
In 2000, the journey began, setting up
an office to host and promote shows
that mainly catered to western expats.
Has-beens and artists that were looking
to make a bit of retirement money were
the only ones that arrived in the Middle
East, as most people’s notion was that it
was a troublesome region. And even then, most
concerts took place either in hotel ballrooms and
gardens. “The first concert that we (Meraas
Promotions) held here was the British singer
Gabrielle and it was at the old Jumeirah Beach
Club. I remember it was one of those events where
suddenly the permission was revoked as it became
a dry night and we had to postpone it to the next
day and persuade her to stay,” he tells us.
“Elements like the ticketing system were obviously
less sophisticated back then and the team had to
make sure everyone was aware that it was
postponed and then suddenly it became a sell-out
event as all the others couldn’t cancel or prepone.
Those days a sell-out event was 3,000 people.”
Another fond memory is when Geri Halliwell
began touring by herself after breaking away from
the Spice Girls.
Natural progression led Thomas to launching
AEG Live Middle East followed by a deal with Arab
Media Group where he took over Done Events.
Most recently, Al Ahli built a venue and in December
2016, 117 Live was launched with Nikki Minaj being
the first concert from the brand. With every business
arrives a few unsolicited challenges and Thomas
recalls encounters with international talents quite
distinctly. “Getting the artists to work with you in the
beginning is a bit of a challenge, as most of the artists
thought it was a troublesome area to visit. Luckily, the
owner at Meraas conducted events for many years, so
that’s how we got around it.”
The industry, according to Thomas, is
straightforward. “If you pay your dues, people will
work with you. The best way to establish a good
relationship is when you lose money and you still pay
JUSTIN BIEBER. MAY 6, 2017.
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what you owe,” he says. Unfortunately,
the team had a few events that ran at a
loss, however, bill payments allowed
them to stand out from counterparts.
Locally, the events business isn’t
legislated or governed, in the way the
financial industry is. “Many times, you
make up the standards and I always
followed the British live events
standards, so if there was ever to be
any legislation I knew we would meet
that and surpass the requirements,”
Having met the crème de la crème,
Thomas tells us he also got to play
manager at a certain point in time. “I
was lucky enough to work with
Destiny’s Child and was appointed
Beyonce’s agent for a matter of months, when her
father – also her manager – wanted to see the
business they could gain in less-developed markets
like Africa and the Middle East,” he tells us. For an
individual who switched fields without any
schooling or prior work in the industry, to
transpire to managing clients such as Queen Bey,
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APRIL 28 2017 AT
TYGA AUTISM ROCKS
FEST. APRIL 1 2016
AT DUBAI AUTISM
reveals Thomas’ dedication and hard work. He is
also working with Dubai Tourism to support the
new Events Academy. Does he think academics is
all it takes to break into the industry, or get a foot
in? “To be honest, there were no promoters at my
age that had an event’s degree, they all ended up in
the field by coincidence or in the music industry.
It’s difficult to rely only on academics and I would
hire people with the right attitude and appearance,
a bit old school, but I think that’s what makes the
industry exciting,” he goes on to say.
Clients can be demanding, but Thomas is on
hand to cater to every request. “I usually meet with
the artist when they arrive and see to them during
their entire stay, including taking care of the
ground transportation and sight-seeing. They
always say they get a bespoke welcoming here in
Dubai. I think it’s a great way of building rapport.
It’s nice to be that personal,” he tells us. Thomas
vaguely recalls Sharon Osbourne quoting in her
book that the only place in the world where the
promoter would meet the artist was in Japan, and
she loved that. “I remember thinking that’s what
I’ve been doing all my life, but obviously, I haven’t
worked with her. That made me think I should
keep that up. A lot of celebrities have remarked,
you got up at 2 am to welcome us? That’s unusual.
But I think it just sets the terms and tone for how
you work together. It’s very rare that we have
problems with the artists.”
While problems are a rarity, demands most
certainly aren’t. With the leak of Ed Sheeran’s
backstage demands at Glastonbury – a couple of
sodas, squash and a jar of Manuka honey at a total
of around £57.31 – which only further reveals his
humble requirements, we had to delve into the
matter to explore bizzare demands Thomas has
received. Justin Bieber’s latest request in the
concert dressing room comes to light. “We have
had a few demanding artists, for instance the
jacuzzi for Justin Bieber. Same goes for Mariah
Carey wanting a beautiful beach view to be
blocked out by gaffer tape as she didn’t want to
ruin her skin and needed five humidifiers under
her bed,” he says. Thomas regards these as mere
logistical challenges though and doubts whether
it’s the artist who requires it, or someone who
thinks they do. Thomas does mention that he
would love for celebrities to visit charities and
appease the stakeholders, but when asked, they
usually feel like it’s a commercial request that
they should be paid for as other markets don’t
call for this. He does mention that there hasn’t
been anyone who was rude or unappreciative.
We do touch upon support of local talent and he
tells us while he would love too, they just have to
rely on international ones due to rules and
regulations. In the meantime, we have Ed Sheeran,
Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and Fiesta De Los
Muertos to look forward to next season.
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We didn’t get here by sheer luck. This was deliberate.
An act of craftsmanship and engineering prowess. Decades in the making.
Meeting at the intersection of art and technology. Defying conventions.
Redefining luxury. So when all is said and done,
we’ll know that we achieved something truly extraordinary.
PHILANTHROPY IS JUST
WHERE MY HEART IS AND
WHAT I DO BEST
Jumana Abu-Hannoud talks SOS Children’s Villages,
entrepreneurship and working for H.R.H. Princess Haya
There are certain people that exist for a purpose,
whether to advise individuals through their path
or merely exude goodness in every way possible
to benefit others. Jumana Abu-Hannoud is one
such woman. Her journey within the non-profit sector
commenced at the age of 18 and has continued ever since.
“It was something I always wanted to do. I loved going
around the projects in Jordan and the villages, learning
about microfinance and income generating possibilities
for women,” says Jumana. The Jordanian-national was
born in the UAE, raised and educated back home and
returned to this country 15 years ago.
Graduating in Communications from university, due to a
passion for writing, Jumana initially found herself working
in organisations that weren’t humanitarian. However, she
made it a point to focus on social impact, be it in technology
or the development sector. Upon relocating to Dubai,
Jumana worked in healthcare, education, poverty and the
development sector through the office of H.R.H. Princess
Haya for five years. “This is where I sunk into my dream
job, it was a very important turning point. I got a lot of
fantastic experience and when I look back, some of the jobs
I was exposed to are lessons that still refresh themselves in
my mind when I have challenges in the workplace. When
you work for a person like H.R.H. Princess Haya, everything
you do is so meaningful,” she says. Since then, Jumana has
engaged as an entrepreneur, partnered with a humanitarian
agency that specialised in fund raising, consultancy and CSR
and communications for the humanitarian and non-profit
sector, and became a partner at a branding agency where she
focused on sustainability and CSR consulting. “It’s just
where my heart is and what I do best,” she goes on to say.
The right opportunities came along naturally, bringing
Jumana to her current role as the Managing Director of
SOS Children’s Villages International (Gulf Area office),
an independent, non-governmental, social development
organisation that provides family-based care for children
in 135 countries and territories and advocates the
concerns, rights and needs of children. Approximately
84,500 children and young people live in 571 SOS
Children's Villages, with more than 296,800 children and
youth in educational programs worldwide. “I was exposed
to SOS since I was in Jordan, it’s well-known there and
back in the day it had the support of the Royal family,” she
tells us. SOS has been established for 68 years and was
conceptualised in Austria in the aftermath of World War
II. “Our founder (Hermann Gmeiner) wanted to make
sure they were provided with family care rather than
institutionalised care that doesn’t cater to their personal
growth, as we believe a child is a child anywhere they
are, or they find themselves in. They all have the same
right to grow up and have the support of a family.”
533 family strengthening programmes have been
created worldwide, reaching 583,300 children
and adults to help families stay together. 77 SOS Medical
centres are also on hand, offering over 893,300 singleservices
help families stay healthy. In times of crisis and
disaster, SOS Children's Villages helps through emergency
relief programmes – approximately 317,900 single services
have been provided through 23 SOS Emergency
“I started volunteering at the SOS Children’s Villages
four years ago when they began to strengthen their
presence here in the Gulf. I stayed with them for three
years and consulted on all sorts of activities, strategy
setting, communication advisory and even a bit of
translation services,” she tells us. Three years later, Jumana
took over the reins for the Gulf area and moved to her
new title. As we chat about life and her journey to date she
tells us an incident that gave her even more of a sense of
I started volunteering at the SOS Children’s
Villages four years ago when they began to
strengthen their presence here in the Gulf.
I stayed with them for three years and
consulted on all sorts of activities, strategy
setting, communication advisory and even
a bit of translation services
achievement and gratitude. “I caught up with an old friend
from Jordan a few weeks ago and she said, I’m so happy
for you, you’re in the right place, you’ve always been on a
mission and always wanted to save someone or fix
something. I felt it was very reassuring because sometimes
deep down you know what you want, but when your close
friends and community know that this is what you’re made
of and cut off to do, it’s great.”
While humanitarian practices are ingrained in Jumana,
her strengths also lay in entrepreneurship, particularly
mentoring. She is one of the founders of the first nonprofit
organisations registered in the DIFC, known as
Reach. The company provides structural mentoring for
professionals and has been operational for over three
years, having mentored over 200 women. “The non-profit
began from the belief in the value of mentoring and the
kind of support women need to succeed in the workplace.
It’s something that helps and allows people to reflect and
it’s very fulfilling,” she tells us. Reach is a programme
which works through algorithms on a technology platform
to match mentors and mentees. The programme spans
over one year, with the requirement of commitment to
succeed. “We bring together a pool of amazing mentors,
provide orientation training to set expectations, guidelines
and our code of ethics to let them know of the Reach
approach. They then fill matching forms related to
personal and work objectives, after which the best pairs
are linked,” says Jumana. Throughout the year, Reach also
offers networking opportunities, as they are keen on
fostering a community. Intakes comprise of two batches,
one in January and the other in April, of around 25-30
pairs per cohort. Most women are from law, finance,
business, corporate and entrepreneur backgrounds, with
mentors being men and women.
Jumana’s mentoring process began through Reach as
well, with her mentor based in Lebanon. “When mentees
ask me what to expect I always tell them to trust the
process, you must allow yourself to grow. I also tell
mentees to be realistic, not aspirational, so that you match
with the right person,” she says. Her mentee phase came
about at a juncture in her career, when she was pregnant
with her second child not too long ago. “My second child
was after a ten-year gap and it wasn’t a coincidence. Being
a working mother was always a challenge, so I felt it was a
critical time for me to work with someone and get help to
place me on the right track. It worked wonders for me.”
A typical day is never the same for a woman of her calibre.
It begins early, with a school drop off and straight to work.
At times, Jumana finds herself rushing home to pack a bag
for travels, or meetings and events during the day. The one
thing she cherishes the most, however, is downtime with
her children at the end of the day. Jumana is one to praise
that her line of work comprises of a day job and a passion,
both of which she is truly lucky are correlated.
A TALE OF
Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin come together after
20 years for their latest release Blind
Hollywood actress Demi Moore gives her
thoughts on love, divorce and marriage
alongside everyone’s favourite Donald Trump
impersonator Alec Baldwin, who stars with
Demi in new film Blind. It’s been over 20 years since Demi
Moore and Alec Baldwin last starred in a film together. The
pair teamed up for the first time in 1996 for The Juror and
they are back on screen soon with new film Blind. The film
– directed by Michael Mailer – tells the story of a blind
novelist [Baldwin] who rediscovers his passion for life and
writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected
wife [Moore] of an indicted businessman.
SO WHEN THIS PROJECT CAME UP, WAS IT
ALWAYS MEANT AS A REUNION? OR WAS IT JUST
YOU CAME ON OR YOU CAME ON, AND THEN IT
Demi Moore: I’ll let you speak, because it was Alec and
Michael Mailer who had their motors going.
Alec Baldwin: For these movies you go, they rise, they fall,
they’re either going to get made, they’re not going to get
made. Finally, when we got this group together, which
includes Dylan by the way, because I think you’ve got to have
somebody well known in all three roles. We live in a world
now where film financing is something where they want Julia
Roberts to play the nurse in one scene. They want names in
every role. But I wanted to do the film and we got her to do
the film and her schedule and him, then we were ready to go.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE
JUROR WHERE YOU FIRST MET?
Alec Baldwin: I have a few distinct memories.
Demi Moore: We met long before that, when we were both
Alec Baldwin: In the early Eighties. What I remember was
that George Dawes Green who wrote the book The Juror
was a best-selling thriller.
Demi Moore: His memory is incredible. It’s crazy.
Alec Baldwin: He was the ...
Demi Moore: What was the date that it was published?
Alec Baldwin: That was on Penguin, that was the imprint.
No. George Dawes Green wrote the book and adapting that
kind of book and the behaviour of the people was tough.
Paris is one of my favourite
cities, but there was
something in that when we
were doing that scene I was
thinking about that, like
somebody who had a dream
but it got so buried. Her
dream got so buried and she
got so disconnected from
that girl that she used to be.
That was one of my
favourite things in that
IMAGES BY SHUTTERSTOCK | WORDS BY JENNY DAVIS | THE INTERVIEW PEOPLE
Alec Baldwin: I’m lucky because you’ve got to get people
who can play. This, It’s kind of quiet. There’s one really
rip-snorting scene where he attacks me, her husband,
Dylan. But the rest of the movie is an attempt, which is
always harder for me, to just let it live and be honest
and be real and assume that that’s enough. Because
I’ve worked with directors who are always like, they want
Alec Baldwin: Yeah, ‘Do more’. To work with people who
can play in that key which is very honest, it emboldens you to
do the same. She’s very real. She’s not doing a lot of stuff. It
was nice to be able to do a movie where we sat in that world
and that tone.
DID YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIFIC BEFORE
THE MOVIE BEGAN ABOUT PLAYING BLIND?
Alec Baldwin: Honestly speaking, visiting the Lighthouse for
the Blind. We both went there together, interviewed blind people
who were born blind, became blind, and talked to them about...
Demi Moore: No, exploring. We had, particularly the woman
really speaks so openly on a very intimate level about how it is
to be with someone in a romantic way. How do you navigate
that? How does it work?
Alec Baldwin: In that way, the people tell you with their eyes.
They tell you. You go to the checkout counter and the checkout
girl is like, ‘That’ll be 4.95.’ And there’s something going on
where you read people. When that’s removed, how do you read
people? They have got a very reliable programme for that.
Demi Moore: It becomes much more internal, which is such
an interesting thing, that they have to go through.
Alec Baldwin: Feel.
Demi Moore: And probably in a much more deep and
Ted... don’t embarrass me. Google Silence of the Lambs.
Alec Baldwin: Ted Tally. He wrote the screenplay and
Irwin Winkler produced and an amazing group of people.
Brian Gibson, who did What’s Love Got to Do with It? did
the whole thing.
Demi Moore: Joseph Gordon-Levitt played my son. And
James Gandolfini was one of the enforcers.
Alec Baldwin: I kill him. I cut his throat.
THIS IS SUCH A DIFFERENT MOVIE, QUITE A
ROMANTIC MOVIE IN A WAY, ABOUT TWO
PEOPLE WHO SORT OF FIND EACH OTHER
Demi Moore: Yeah. I think they’re two people who in different
ways have completely lost their identity and in a way, each at a
bottom. Yours very different, but hers in a very raw way - you’ve
been dealing with it - but who kind of find each other at a time
when in a way, they don’t have anything else to lose.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE MOVIE IS REALLY
SAYING ABOUT LOVE, DIVORCE, MARRIAGE?
Alec Baldwin: You ask us like you think we’re experts on
love, divorce and marriage. [laughs] How presumptuous of
you. I think that for me the movie says and this is true in my
life and it’s very basic is, no risk, no reward. The risk-free life
is just not the way to go. You have to risk it.
Demi Moore: And that it’s never too late.
YOU’RE TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE FAMOUSLY
BEEN DIVORCED AND REMARRIED AND
WHERE DO YOU GET THE HOPE, AFTER
SOMETHING THAT CAN BE SO DEVASTATING?
Demi Moore: Where does anybody? I think you have to look
at life as having.
Demi Moore: Yeah and that has a public element to your
pain being exposed, but it’s all relative. Everyone’s pain we
all experience the same and you can either give up or show
up and keep moving forward, and it isn’t easy, always.
Alec Baldwin: I think you and I, we had our hard times and
it got us down. Then eventually you and I, I think one thing
we have in common is we woke up and we said, ‘Why
wouldn’t anybody want to be with me?’ [laughs]
Demi Moore: We’re like Phoenixes and we just rise. We
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER THIS WEEK JUST
SAID, ‘THIS IS THE YEAR OF ALEC BALDWIN.’
Alec Baldwin: Wow. What do they know?
BOSS BABY, $275 MILLION OR SOMETHING.
IT’S REALLY A PERSONAL TRIUMPH.
Alec Baldwin: It did $500 million worldwide, yeah.
THERE WILL BE UNDOUBTEDLY A SEQUEL?
Alec Baldwin: Yeah, we signed a sequel.
Demi Moore: I don’t get to be a Boss Baby? [laughs]
THE TRUMP THING WITH SNL? WILL THAT
Alec Baldwin: I’m sure it will in some sense. Lorne
[Michaels] is obviously the great arbiter of that and he’s
Demi Moore: If it doesn’t cut into his weekends.[laughs]
Alec Baldwin: Right, I want to be with my kids. But we’ll
HAS TRUMP BARRED YOU THE WAY HE HAS
SOME PEOPLE FROM HIS TWITTER?
Alec Baldwin: I really don’t know. I really don’t keep track
of that, because obviously what I’m doing now is reading
the news, reading my feed. Twitter for me is a news feed
among other things, and I’m trying to read it and hack my
way toward what really matters. I’ve learned, it’s taken me a
while, what is really trite.
IS THIS A PLANNED THING – ‘I WANT TO GO
BACK TO WORK SOME MORE?’
Demi Moore: I think the intention of yeah, things gearing up
and then it aligning, because this obviously we shot awhile
back, so it’s interesting how the universe worked to actually
converge them to be coming out at the same time, which was
perfect. We were shooting it at the end of 2015.
YOU END UP IN PARIS AT THE VERY END AND
SHE SAYS, ‘PARIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY
FAVORITE CITY.’ DOES THAT STRIKE YOU AS
SOMETHING YOU WOULD SAY?
Demi Moore: It is one of my favourite cities, but there was
something in that when we were doing that scene I was
thinking about that, like somebody who had a dream but it
got so buried. Her dream got so buried and she got so
disconnected from that girl that she used to be. That was one
of my favourite things in that.
ALEC, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR
Since I met my wife, I don’t know why I have this very peculiar
love affair with Madrid. My wife was raised in Spain and when
we go to Spain and go to Madrid I love that, because the
mask and you could not tell a thing.
Alec Baldwin: I think and the same is
true with her. Eventually, if you’re lucky,
because I know that I only deal every day
with what’s real. I don’t wake up in the
morning and go, ‘Oh mirror, mirror on
the wall. Who’s the most fabulous
59-year-old mediocre Trump
impersonator of them all?’ I don’t go
there ever, ever in a self-aggrandising way.
I think for her and I, you wonder with
what we’ve been through, that you just
have to see that it’s not real. None of it is
real. What they say about me, if I was who
they said I was, I would have jumped off a
cliff by now. I just don’t believe it’s real.
Demi Moore: You live with what you
know is the truth and what’s important
and you ride the wave of the other.
Alec Baldwin: You make your
Spanish people are very kind and loving, but polite. They’re not
too aggressive. They nod to you and they ask if you want to
take a picture. Although my favourite moment, I think I told
this to you, is I was at the Prado and I go to see the Velazquez
Christ, which is the most beautiful painting in my mind of
Christ on the Cross. I go to see it and I meander through the
Prado one day and I get tired because it's so intense. You’re
there for two hours. I go back to the hotel. My wife was driving
down to the south to see her friends in Murcia, where she grew
up. Then she comes back and I go the next day for round two
and finally at the end of the trip to visit, I find the little ante
room and there was the Velazquez Christ, and the tears just
start rolling down my face - it’s the most beautiful painting.
As I’m sitting there, the places are closing and people are
filing out. As I’m standing there taking this in, this woman
taps me on the shoulder and she looks at me and she has a
camera and I think she was from Japan but she goes, ‘Photo?’
I literally think I said to her, I was like, ‘Could I have just one
more moment with Christ, if you don’t mind and then I’ll
take the photo? Just one last moment with Jesus on the cross
here, and then you and I will do the photo.’ But I find that
usually there it’s the opposite. People kind of leave you alone.
FOR CELEBRITIES NOW IT SEEMS LIKE IT’S
BECOME A 24/7 NEWSCYCLE. HOW DO YOU
TWO MANAGE TO LIVE WITH THAT? IS IT
EASIER AS IT GOES ALONG? DO YOU GET
DISGUISES, WASN’T THERE SOMEBODY WHO
JUST SAID HE WEARS A FALSE NOSE?
Demi Moore: Who does that? I don’t know who that is.
I have known of people who’ve had full CIA-type masks made.
I know someone.
Alec Baldwin: Really?
Demi Moore: Yeah, big actor, big director.
Alec Baldwin: Wow.
Demi Moore: I think he finally got busted because he went in
some club and they noticed the same shoes. It was an old man
WILL YOU GO BACK TO STAGE?
Alec Baldwin: Probably not in New York. In those
moments that I have the time, in the seams of my schedule
where I can do that. Long story short is maybe London,
maybe L.A. I’d like to do something outside of New York.
I’ve done New York before. I’d love to go to London.
London’s my passion.
AND DEMI, YOU MADE YOUR OFF-BROADWAY
DEBUT, WHICH WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL.
Demi Moore: My one and only play.
Alec Baldwin: No.
Demi Moore: It is, my one and only play.
Alec Baldwin: You just don’t like the schedule.
Demi Moore: No, no. It was just, I think I had, it was with
Circle Rep and it was overall a great, incredible experience.
The Early Girl it was called. Caroline Kava wrote it.
Alec Baldwin: In what year?
Demi Moore: Like '83.
Alec Baldwin: You were a child.
Demi Moore: Maybe '84. I think that I had a terrifying
experience which I’m sure everyone does, which is at one point
came onto the stage and it was like I had left my body and I
came back and I didn’t know where we were, what my line was.
I think that so panicked me that I haven’t done another one.
Alec Baldwin: I love plays because I sit there, not all the
time, but I’ll sit there and in some sense I’ll be in my dressing
room and I’ll think, ‘My God. I’m going to go out there now
and I know exactly what I’m going to say, I know exactly
what you’re going to say. I know exactly what effect it’s
going to have on them. I love it. I love doing plays.
Demi Moore: I would like to do it again. I think I should,
because I would be cheating myself if I didn’t. I did one of
those 24-hour plays. That’s the only other thing I’ve done and
that was great. I did that here.
WHERE YOU DO IT ALL IN 24 HOURS?
Demi Moore: Yes. It was great, though.
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SUMMER CAMPS 2017
Edutaining adventures and getaways for children Words by Olive Sevilla
INTERNATIONAL RIDING CAMP
When: June 18 - August 28
Where: Greenfield Park, New York, USA
Price: $2,500 to $20,000++
Specially designed for girls between the ages of 7-17. The camp includes multiple disciplines featuring
equestrian riding, cross country riding and polo. In addition to horse related activities, they also offer
water sports and arts and crafts activities. The horse riding classes gradually increase in complexity
and your girls will make friends with students all the way from the United Kingdom to South America.
When: June 24 – August 11
Where: Mount Vermont, Maine, USA
This all-American camping site is the kind we
see in movies, the ones we've always wanted to
attend. Located in Readfield, Maine, the camp
has been operating since 1949. There are more
activities for your kids than most schools
provide such as athletics, water sports,
gymnastics, track and field, horse riding, etc.
and with the camp running at nearly two
months duration, your children will have plenty
to keep them occupied. Hurry up and register as
seats get taken up quickly.
NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY
When: Dates depending on the Adventure
Where: Various locations
Price: $1,000 to $7,500++
The prestigious New York Film Academy is
the alma mater of many seasoned and
decorated directors and performers and if your
kids harbour the dream, this is a chance to
hone their craft. There are three campuses in
the United States in NYC, LA and South
Beach, so take your pick.
JUNIOR & TEEN CAMP
When: July 2 - August 13
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Price: $2,200 to $16,500++
Part of an international chain of camps
designed for children from the ages of
seven to 16, this family owned
enterprise has been instrumental in
many children's summers since 1965.
A truly multicultural camp, these
camps have seen friendships thrive
and survive. With activities rivalling
their international counterparts, this
Swiss masterpiece of a camp is sure to
keep your young ones entertained all
When: Dates depending on the Adventure Package
Where: Various locations
Price: $4,000 - $20,000
For thrilling child and teen adventures programs, look no further than Action
Quest that has been operation for over 40 years. If your offspring is interested in
marine biology, wants to learn scuba diving or engage in water sports and sailing in
a safe environment, watched over by professionals, it can all be done and learned at
these camps. Life-long skills they can learn, have fun at and cherish for years and
years to come.
HIGH CASCADE SNOWBOARDING CAMP
When: June 16 - August 12
Where: Portland, Oregon, USA
Price: $2,000 to $3,000++
Snowboarding is a fun experience that doesn’t need to be just for adults, and it's
definintely a sport everyone enjoys. This camp located in Clackamas County,
Oregon is the world’s only 100 per cent dedicated snowboarding camp with
activities ranging from beginner to pro. As this is a camp both adults and children
will enjoy, make it worth your family’s while by indulging in everything they have to
offer. Who knows, maybe your child will compete at the next Olympics?
Discover this entrepreneur’s journey
Emirati-national Jelena Bin Drai is
no stranger to the social scene. The Miss
Yugoslavia World (title winner in 1998)
was born in Žabalj – North of Serbia
– raised in the country and graduated in
Architecture, with a Masters in
Economics. After living in Italy and
Greece for her modelling career, Jelena
relocated to the UAE in 2001, and has
made the country home ever since,
launching a plethora of business entities.
JELENA BIN DRAI
Tell us about your company?
Jelena Bin Drai is a luxury brand catering to sophisticated
women who are modest and modern at the same time. We
are a small company with ten employees, and have grown
rapidly since we launched due to the highest quality fabrics
we use for our chic and wearable collections.
What field were you in before you launched your
I was a model for 12 years and afterwards launched several
business entities before launching my brand. The other
business I launched include Al Das Medical Clinic, Asya’s
Nursery, Milk and Honey Trading company and high end
deli’s and Vanilla Cosmetic salon. Starting Jelena Bin Drai,
the brand, was a very natural step for me since I was an
international model for 12 years. By working with all the
big names and famous designers that built and constructed
their dresses on me for years, I learned first-hand from the
best. Working with those great designers is how I learned
everything about constructing beautiful dresses and doing
good fittings, which now I’m known for. We launched
four years ago – the first two years were more like a hobby
which grew rapidly into a serious brand.
Why/how did you see a need for your brand in the
Living in the region, I noticed a gap in the market for modern
pieces that are timeless and sophisticated. I constantly saw
items that were either too long or too short. When I started
Jelena Bin Drai, I made pieces that represent me and who I
am. I wanted to merge the East and the West and cater to
ladies like me who are Europeans married to Middle Eastern
men, along with business women with a family.
What have been your major challenges till date?
We have had amazing exposure through media in the region,
however it’s very difficult to enter the regional department
stores. It’s always challenging to compete with the more wellknown
and international brands. I feel like the region should
have a broader budget to support the regional designers and
give them more exposure.
Have you secured funding or gearing up for a round?
It’s difficult to answer since the fashion industry is different
than managing my other businesses which are more established.
I can only forecast seasonally depending on our sales.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
We don’t have an exact plan since we cannot project so far
ahead. We usually take it by season to season. For the next
four collections, we hope to reach all the major shops in the
market and be more recognized. To increase sales through
our online shop, studio and department stores we are stocked
in. I also want to reach the international market and grow the
brand internationally. We already stock in two shops in UK,
but would be great to expand and reach different markets.
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THE RITZ-CARLTON YACHTS
WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE
The first of three vessels, each
fitted with 149 suites, will
embark on its maiden
voyage in 2019
THE HENNESSEY THAT’S FASTER
THAN THE WIND
The Hennessey Venom F5 has the Bugatti
Chiron in its sights
AIRBUS’ BEWINGED HELICOPTER IS
BUILT FOR SPEED
The Racer will be able to hit a top speed of
THE WORLD’S TOP-EARNING CELEBS
FORBES RELEASES ITS MUCH-AWAITED ANNUAL LIST AND
IT’S AN EYE-OPENER
THE WORLD HAS
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Pastel tones are here to stay
this summer and so are
stripes for men. For the latest
in beauty, trends and wellness
treatments, look no further
Stripes have emerged from almost every show at
London Fashion Week offering the flattering pattern
in a relaxed and formal manner. Particular highlights
feature brown and blue strips as seen at Etro and
the statement jacket from Salvatore Ferragamo.
In keeping with soaring temperatures, Versace’s
pinstripe suit is ideal for a statement-worthy outing
that calls for smart casuals. If you aren’t convinced
just yet, don the trend with one striking piece – either
a vertical striped tee or casual playful shorts.
ETRO MENS WEARCOLLECTION SS18
When in need of an ensemble that exudes
femininity, softness and playful elements, you
can’t go wrong with pastel shades. Take your
outfit from business meetings to ladies’ lunch
with the addition of a statement necklace and
a graceful swipe of red lipstick. Post sundown,
team it with a diamond encrusted timepiece –
perhaps the Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton?
– that’s sure to be a conversation-starter.
Chic picks to keep you vogueish this summer
THE PERFECT MATCH
To mark the third edition of the Rallye Passione Caracciola, taking place from June 21st to 25th, Santoni has
launched a series of products featuring a sneaker, lace-up, backpack and travel documents holder, all in
hand-coloured, polished calfskin shades of brown. Adorned with 144RC logo, in honour of the great pilot
Rudolph Caracciola, the capsule collection offers timeless pieces for classic car aficionados. Available on
Santoni’s e-shop and in the Milanese boutique on Via Monte Napoleone starting from June 21st, when the
convoy of historical cars will start their competition driving through Milan.
A ruby’s luring demeanour, symbolic of passion, love and
energy makes it a striking gemstone to don at gala dinners
and gatherings. July-born individuals can grace their
birthstone with this stunning pair of Stephen Webster
earrings featuring Gemfields Mozambican Rubies.
Dhs164, 500 at stephenwebster.com.
NEED A LIFT?
We love caviar on our skin, just as much as we adore it on
blinis. This season, we’re reaping the condiment’s benefits
with the re-launch of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Liquid Lift.
Back with an enhanced formula, the skin saviour produces
long lasting results leading to diminished ageing, firmer
skin and a rejuvenated glow, thanks to the beads in this
peptide gel combined with the Recovery Complex
emulsion. Dhs2,225 at La Prarie.
4 REASONS TO…
GET YOUR HANDS ON
1) This slouchy everyday bag showcases a stunning
silhouette with two bags in one, featuring a
detachable interior compartment.
2) Travelling light? This is just the bag you need to lug
around, as it can be used as a shoulder bag for a fussfree
stroll around the city, or detached to use the
clutch for a soirée.
3) The buttery pebbled leather is as soft as baby’s
skin, with minimal hardware highlighting the natural
drape of leather and distinct lining that infuses a
bold and textural touch.
4) The bag is available in six colours and various
textures, while the interior pouch comes in assorted
prints, including pretty florals.
DHS3,500 AT COACH.COM
AND SELECT COACH STORES
The stores to visit for
Syour next shopping haul
It’s a bit too early to be
filling our closets with
next seasons’ items, but
there’s nothing worse
than missing out on key
pieces. Paule Ka’s latest
Fall-Winter collection has
us falling head over heels
in love with classic tweeds,
unusual fabrics such as
Lurex knit sparkles, and
the playfulness of the
High-shine patent leather,
python skins and mirrored
heels will soon be spotted
AIGNER'S Zoe Bag from the Spring
Summer 2017 collection introduces us
to the colour and texture of the late
Seventies, disco flair and Studio 54
silhouettes, prominent in the Nineties.
The gorgeous pieces feature an
adjustable shoulder strap allowing for
comfortable carrying while sightseeing,
and if that isn’t convincing enough,
perhaps the personalised textile lining in
grained cowhide may tempt you.
LACE AND LAYERS
Heading off to a gala dinner, wedding or
summer soiree? Kristina Fidelskaya’s Côte
d’Azur collection showcases 25 dresses to suit
every individual’s style. Floral lace, layers and
Swarovski crystals are just a few of the stunning
elements that make these pieces dazzle under
Available at the Kristina Fidelskaya Boutique in
Wafi Mall Dubai and the showroom located in
Dubai Design District (D3), Building 7.
If you’re looking for a fragrance that complements
your summer wardrobe, look no further than the
Lengling apéro from the LENGLING Parfums
Munich. Two contrasting notes of Leng and Ling
amalgamate for a fresh, warm and sensual aroma
apt for balmy evenings. Sophisticated chardonnay,
sparkling citrus and mimosa giving the scent its
signature notes, while musk, oud, cashmeran and
tonka bean lend intensity. Dhs945 at Paris Gallery.
Tried-and-tested experiences of the month
Service: Treat Me moisture mask and styled cut
Verdict: Your hair says a lot about you, aside from framing
your features. When the temperatures rise, and the split
ends come to light, it’s time to take a few hours of me-time
and get your locks back to its glossy natural state. After
sinking into plush leather chairs, hair was washed and
conditioned several times before a Kevin Murphy moisture
mask shot was applied all over lacklustre locks. If cashmere
had an aroma it would smell like this treatment, as it
instantly made us feel warm and cosy, especially with the
hot towel wrapped around the scalp to sink into the pores.
Quick wash and on the chair we sat to shorten hair length
while getting a few tips from the senior hair expert. We
were told, a leave-in serum or argan oil works wonders for
hair, while a coconut oil application or hair mask is ideal for
sauna visits. To give the cut oomph, we opted for a
glamorous blowout with curls, leaving tresses as light as
ever with a silky finish. We couldn’t resist running fingers
through our glossy structured mane.
Need to know: The Treat Me moisturising treatment is
priced at Dhs150, with the styled cut (by the salon
director) at Dhs425. Call 04 399 5336
CARO BEAUTY SPA
Service: Moroccan bath
Verdict: Step into the beauty lounge, tucked away at Dar Al Wasl
centre, and you will feel as though you have arrived at a tropical
Moroccan paradise, complete with water features, glass lanterns
that hang from the ceiling, plush velvet cushions and candles dotted
around each corner. The treatment room is covered in steam,
featuring ornamental gold elements that give the spa a regal vibe.
The treatment begins with a natural black soap applied all over your
body, after which it is rinsed and the loofah scrubbing commences.
It does seem a bit abrasive at first, however, this is the technique
traditionally used to slough off dead skin cells and trust me, you get
used to it almost enjoying the tingle a little. After being rinsed off, an
argan oil soap is smeared all over, rinsed off again, and followed up
with a scented scrub – pick between coffee and a subtle honey
aroma. The latter was chosen and scrubbed into the skin before a
clay mask was massaged in to hydrate skin. A little nap, quick hair
wash and rinse off, and we were laying in bed with water dripping
down from the rain showers above – this was probably the best
part of the ritual. There’s no other way to end the ceremony, then
with a glass of freshly prepared Moroccan tea and scented argan oil
rubbed into the skin. That’s exactly what happened before we
walked away with rejuvenated, glowing and supple skin.
Need to know: The Moroccan bath treatments begin from Dhs350,
and can be accompanied by a full body massage. Call 04 227 7719
Explore picturesque Geneva
with our nifty guide and
discover gifts, the latest in
automobiles, gadgets and
art. Asian cuisine lovers can
pick two top eateries to try
in the UAE, as well as other
spots worth a visit in town
ON OUR RADAR
Striking statement pieces
WRITERS EDITION ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY 1931
There’s that tactile feeling of putting pen to paper which clicking away on a keyboard can never appease. Montblanc’s
Writers Edition pieces have constantly been much-anticipated amongst pen enthusiasts, with the 26th edition living up
to the legacy. Paying homage to French author and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the writing instrument
was created based on his celebrated novel Night Flight and experiences as an airmail pilot. The shape of the pen elicits
his Caudron Simoun plane with engravings on the night blue precious resin barrel and cap, reminiscent of the rivets of
the aircraft. The cockpit of his plane, where he spent hours alone on long flights contemplating life, is indicated through
the platinum coated fittings, with a nod to his nomadic lifestyle exuded by the geographic position of significant cities in
Saint-Exupéry’s life, finely engraved on the cone. The delicate star engraving on the platinum coated Au750 solid gold
nib is an indication to the illustrated star from the tale of The Little Prince. An engraving of Saint-Exupéry’s signature
adorns the cap as if penned by the author himself.
To coincide with the launch, Montblanc has created a new ink inspired by the colour of the desert at sunset,
referencing the author’s mechanic crash in the Sahara. The piece is available as a fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and
mechanical (only as part of a set).
SF50 VISION JET
It’s the world’s smallest and most reasonable private jet and,
might we add, one of the safest too. It has a parachute
system that deploys a parachute encompassing the entire
aircraft allowing it to float back to terra firma from its cruising
altitude of 28,000 feet in the event of engine failure. The
aircraft can seat five adults and two children and has a range
of 1,380 miles – that’s Abu Dhabi to Mumbai in a single hop.
The Cirrus manufacturing facility at Grand Forks in North
Dakota and Duluth in Minnesota is tooled to manufacture
125 units of this lightweight single-engine carbon fibre jet
each year. It has an operating cost of just $600 an hour,
compared to other small private jets that run into the
thousands, making the Vision Jet a value proposition you
wouldn’t want to pass up.
$2 MILLION (DHS7.3 MILLION) AT CIRRUSAIRCRAFT.COM
MA9000 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER
It’s the most powerful integrated amp produced by the New
York-headquartered audio specialist, generating 300 watts of
power per channel – plenty enough to drive any high-end speaker.
Don’t be fooled by its sharp-edged boxy aesthetic that looks as
though it was a product of the Nineties. This integrated amp brings
things up to date with 10 analogue and six digital inputs including a
USB port. Moreover, the optical module can be switched up and upgraded
as new technology comes along. Sounds like the future to us.
$10,500 (DHS38,500) AT MCINTOSHLABS.COM
It’s a BMW straight-six engine block that has been converted into a watch
winder. We all love our manual-winding mechanical timepieces, but spending
the better part of the commute to the office winding it up isn’t an attractive
proposition. This watch winder will take over the job for you. Mount your
watch, or up to six of them, on the pistons that are configured with cushions
that submerge into the block during the winding process. You can electronically
control the speed, acceleration and frequency of the winding process to
prevent damage to the movement. These made-to-order watch winders are
numbered and limited to just 52 units.
$25,000 (DHS91,8000) AT VULCANINNOVA.COM
This is the world’s first electric trawler – the
kind you’d want to use to wade into
Norwegian fjords and freezing Alaskan
waters and leave behind a minimum carbon
footprint. There are two Torqeedo Deep
Blue i 1,400rpm electric motors powered
by two battery packs. Built as a Class A
vessel, this one’s set up for long-range
(2,500 nautical miles) expeditions. On fullelectric
mode, it can travel for up to six
hours. There are two diesel generators on
board to recharge those batteries. It can
accommodate up to six people with all the
necessary creature comforts on board. Get
set to plot those navigation charts.
$650,000 (DHS2.3 MILLION) AT
THE RUG COMPANY WITH THE HOUSE OF
Renowned fashion designer Elie Saab is synonymous with elegance, femininity
and modernity. The latest collaboration with The Rug Company has resulted in a
sophisticated rug design created with naturally the highest levels of craftsmanship.
Inspiration stems from foliage, floral motifs, textures and abstraction, with each
rug from the collection instilling personality to a room. Those looking for a
grey hue rug can opt for In Bloom featuring mirror patterns of oversized florals in
silk tones of teal, gun metal and green. The barely-there piece, Lace Leaves,
features the designer’s signature delicate lace motifs, accompanied by abstracted
leaves in raised silk yarns that float on a matte wool background.
Art enthusiasts will love the Brushstrokes with painterly movements in subtle
colours, perfectly complementing the lustrous silk.
THE ETERNAL MOVEMENT
Ulysse Nardin, from the movement of the sea to the perpetual
innovation of Haute Horlogerie. For over 170 years, the
powerful movement of the ocean has inspired Ulysse Nardin
in its singular quest: to push back the limits of mechanical
watchmaking, time and time again.
ULYSSE NARDIN BOUTIQUES: The Dubai Mall +971 44341421, Mall of the Emirates +971 43950577, Beirut Souks +961 1992092
Abu Dhabi: Al Manara International Jewellery Amman: Time Center Bahrain: Asia Jewellers Cairo: BTC Exclusive Doha: Ali Bin Ali
Jeddah: First Jewelry Kuwait: Morad Yousuf Behbehani Muscat: Le Carat Riyadh: First Jewelry
Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin is powering full steam ahead, never mind the headwinds
Words by Varun Godinho
Not many hallowed Swiss watchmaking houses have the
derring-do to debut a luxury watch christened Freak. But
courage is something Ulysse Nardin has in spades. When
it introduced the Freak wristwatch in 2001, it used a
material that no other watchmaker had ever used until
that point – silicon (the French call it silicium).
Ulysse Nardin has a 171-year-old history that’s deeply
steeped in the manufacture of chronometers – ultraprecise
mechanical devices used as navigation instruments
in the nineteenth century.
The former owner and CEO of the brand, Rolf
Schnyder, set a brave course for the brand ever since he
acquired it in 1983 right until his death in 2011. It was his
trusted lieutenant Patrik Hoffmann who took over as
CEO in 2011. Hoffmann continues to helm the brand that
was acquired by French luxury conglomerate Kering
Here, in an exclusive interview with EQUITY, Hoffmann
charts his vision for Ulysse Nardin.
Why did you choose to exhibit at the SIHH (Salon
International de la Haute Horlogerie) instead of Baselworld?
The word that comes to mind is exclusivity. Now, after
being there (at the SIHH) for two days last January, I am
even more convinced that we made the right choice.
What were the biggest lessons you learnt from Rolf Schnyder?
At a business level, I learnt from him to be courageous,
make bold decisions and be flexible. On a personal level, I
learnt from him to stay with both feet on the floor and to
be humble even when one is successful. The personal
lesson also helps in the business world.
Is there an example where you’ve implemented it recently?
The latest example is the new model called the Marine
Torpilleur that we introduced this week. A year ago, we
had our three-year strategic plan and this timepiece
wasn’t on our list. It’s a typical decision which was out of
the plan, a courageous decision.
ULYSSE NARDIN CEO PATRIK HOFFMANN;
THIS FACILITY IN LA CHAUX DE FONDS
IS ONE OF FOUR MANUFACTURING
SITES IN SWITZERLAND
You started your career as an accountant. How did you
get involved in the watch industry?
I had a mentor who was the owner of Oris, and still is the
owner of Oris. He approached me and said, ‘Look, if you want
to make a career even though you have a degree in finance, I
recommend you go abroad and you study marketing or
management, either in England or America.’ It was he who
pushed me towards doing that and today I’m thankful to him.
When did you first meet Rolf Schnyder?
I moved to Malaysia in 1996. I was with a distribution
company that distributed Blancpain and Ulysse Nardin. Even
though we both (Schnyder and I) lived in Malaysia only
5oo-metres apart from each other, we didn’t meet until
Baselworld that year on a sailing yacht on the River Rhine.
And the first time Rolf offered you a job you turned it down?
I was approached by him two-three times. He was a very
persistent person. Each time I told him, ‘There are two things.
Firstly, in your company everything is in French. The second
thing is that Le Locle is at the end of the world. So, I’m sorry I
cannot join you.’
What changed then?
He offered me a job in Florida and said, ‘I’m going to ask you
again, but this time it’s not for Switzerland, it’s for Florida. Would
that interest you? I would like to build up the market for Ulysse
Nardin in America.’ When I heard that, I immediately said yes.
Have there been many changes after Kering acquired
When I see my colleagues, the engineers and the brains
behind the brand, nothing has changed and neither has our
decision-making process which is still very fast. Kering has
supported the decisions we took regarding our manufacture
and investments in silicium. What has changed is the whole
financial reporting system. My work has changed because
the reporting is different and there are more corporate
things going on at my level. I always say that it’s the same
thing, just different.
A WATCHMAKER ASSEMBLING THE
MOVEMENT OF A FREAK TIMEPIECE
NORTH SEA MINUTE
Could you give us an overview of Ulysse Nardin’s
We have four plants in Switzerland. The one in La Chaux de
Fonds produces all our movements. In Le Locle, we have an
administration facility that conducts after-sales service and is
also where we do our high complications. We have a second
location in Le Locle, an enamelling facility, where we produce
dials. We have a fourth plant in Sion where we produce
silicium parts for ourselves and our competitors.
What are your plans for the Middle East?
We have two standalone boutiques, one in Dubai Mall and
the other in Mall of the Emirates. The one in Dubai Mall is
our largest boutique in the world.
Four years ago, we approached my colleague Christophe
(Chorao) who was already with us for around ten years at that
time. We moved him to the Middle East to open our office as
a commitment to put more emphasis on the Middle East.
Which are the novelties from 2017 you’re most proud of?
The first is the Regatta watch which has a new movement
and the second is the Marine Tourbillon that is affordably
priced, very technical, and has a grand feu enamel dial
produced in-house. The one that shows the real future of
Ulysse Nardin is the Innovision 2 concept watch. It included
ten different innovations, ten different patents – it even has
some parts made from glass. What I can confirm to you now
is that four of those ten innovations will find their way into
novelties that will be shown at the SIHH 2018.
Is the Innovision 2 as revolutionary as the Freak?
I must be honest with you, probably too honest. I think the
real revolution and innovation over the last thirty years was
the material silicium we introduced in the Freak in 2001. It
was the first time that silicium was used in a timepiece.
Today, if you walk the halls of Basel you will see to your left
and to your right very reputable companies like Rolex, Patek
Philippe and Breguet use silicium today. That’s an enormous
achievement and compliment for Ulysse Nardin.
The engine of the new Bugatti Chiron is positively weaponised
Words by Varun Godinho
This is a story about a physics-bending machine. But first,
let’s crunch a few numbers. A W16 turbocharged eightlitre
engine with 1,479 horsepower on tap. The result?
The car can warp from o to 62mph in 2.5 seconds dead. It
has a top speed of 310mph. To put that into perspective,
the take-off speed of fighter jet is about 150mph, the top
speed of an F1 car is 230mph.
Just so you know, the Chiron hasn’t yet hit the 310mph.
Its speed is electronically limited to 261mph. Why?
Because there exists no tyres in the world today built to
handle that top speed.
Project Bugatti was always an exercise in outrageously
forward-thinking engineering, not necessarily sound
economics. Take the Chiron’s predecessor, the Veyron, for
example. When it debuted in 2005, it was the world’s
fastest and most expensive production car of its time. Even
though it had a multi-million-dollar price tag, Bugatti still
reportedly weathered a loss of between $4-6 million on
every Veyron it sold during the 11 years that the car was in
production. The Chiron which will be limited to 500 units
and sold at a base price of around $2.75 million, is expected
to bring Bugatti into the black.
BUGATTI OPENED ITS LARGEST SHOWROOM IN
THE WORLD IN MAY THIS YEAR IN DUBAI IN
PARTNERSHIP WITH AL HABTOOR MOTORS
The reason that the Chiron can turn a profit for Bugatti is
because when it came to the Veyron, the Molsheimheadquartered
Volkswagen Group-owned carmaker had to
start from scratch and incur tens of millions in R&D and
development costs. With the Chiron, Bugatti already has a
solid base to work off and improve – which they have – and
that has significantly reduced the development costs of the car.
The Chiron uses the framework of the Veyron, and then
raises the bar. The front and rear discs on the brakes are
20mm larger and 2mm thicker, the Michelins are 14 per
cent wider at the front and 12 per cent wider at the rear
and there’s an all-new carbon-fibre monocoque frame to
knock off 8kgs off the Veyron’s weight.
Floor the throttle and you will empty out the 100-litre
fuel tank in 9 minutes. At its limit, there are 60,000 litres of
air being sucked into the engine per minute to keep its
beating heart from overheating, and there’s 800-litres of
coolant circulating at any point in time to aid the process.
Apart from the quad exhausts that you can see at the
back of the car, there are two more underneath that
provide additional downforce – a feature borrowed from
F1 cars that proved so advantageous to teams that
implemented it right, that it was banned citing reasons of
creating unfair competition – to keep this machine planted
when you’re racing towards the top speed. In any
competition that involves top speed or brute power, the
Chiron brings a nuclear-tipped warhead to a knife fight.
Fair competition be damned.
Which brings us to the important question of the
Chiron’s target buyer. According to the company’s survey
of its customer base, a Bugatti owner already has “64 cars,
three jets, three helicopters and a yacht.” With that sort
of a customer profile, it was almost organic for Bugatti to
announce in May this year the opening of its largest
showroom in the world, a 240-square metre boutique, on
Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai in partnership with Al
Habtoor Motors. There are over 30 Chirons ordered
from this showroom that accounts for over 25 per cent of
the total number of Chirons booked globally to date.
The story of Chiron is much more than a physics-bending
machine, it’s one that’s capable of rewiring your core
understanding of what a hypercar can do. Even at 310mph.
ART AND CRAFT
artist Nguyen Hung Cuong enlightens us
with the craft of Modular Origami structures
Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, may be
child’s play to some, however Vietnamese
artist Nguyen Hung Cuong is gradually shifting
our perspective. A look at Cuong’s origami
structures portrays a pattern of movement, an element the
young artist reveals he’s quite fond of. “I actually like
structures in motion, and focus more on animals because I
like seeing them in nature. When I create anything, I like
to show the way it moves - the gorilla can be seen shouting,
while the shark is ready with its’ mouth open for prey,” he
tells us. The Hanoi-born artist learned the craft at the age
of five, after being handed origami books from his parents.
By seven, Cuong created every origami possible, from
owls to dinosaurs. At 10, the artist tweaked his current
origami models, challenging himself with thinner paper to
create multiple layers for each structure.
After years of practice, trial and error, Cuong took the art
style to a larger scale, with the construction of bigger
structures. “I fold one whole 50cm square piece of paper,
without cutting it, to have a beautiful structure. Each piece
is very detailed, with teeth and eyes for the gorilla and
expression on the shark’s face,” he tells us. His structures
are complex; with every challenge bringing on excitement.
Designs are created from inspiration sourced online or on
TV, with each taking up to three months for completion.
As for making origami synonymous with mainstream art,
Cuong, who recently won first place for Best Solo Artist at
World Art Dubai, reveals there is a community of around
30+ members in Vietnam. While his career may not be a
means of living for now, according to the artist, Cuong has
been exposed to unimaginable opportunities – he recently
created origami characters for an animation movie.
“The aim is to constantly challenge myself, create large
structures with volume, geometric shapes and pieces as
complex as possible, so that people are stunned,” he tells
us as we admire the pieces on display.
I fold one whole 50cm square piece of paper,
without cutting it, to have a beautiful structure.
Each piece is very detailed, with teeth and eyes for
the gorilla and expression on the shark’s face
Two impressive hotspots to see and be seen at
KATSUYA BY STARCK
US-based Japanese Master sushi chef
Katsuya Uechi is at the helm at the latest
independent property at Jumeirah Al
Naseem. Quirky paintings, artsy
elements and chants of ‘irasshaimase’
welcome guests upon arrival, quickly
exciting diners. We learn of the sharing
concept from our lovely host, which
was quite handy, given how easy it can
be to over-order in such scenarios. To
accompany the signature chilli cocktails,
we opted for thin slices of tender
delicately flavoured octopus topped
with citrusy lemon and yuzukosho (a
paste made with chillis and yuzu) that
certainly awakens the palate. Up next
was shrimp dynamite offering bite sized
crisp morsels and our favourite, the
crispy Brussel sprouts, a vegetable we
certainly never dared to touch if served
outside a festive gathering. Flash fried,
the sprouts arrive crispy in a toppling
pyramid, featuring notes of sweet and
tart balsamic and soy, with crunch from
slivered almonds. Most main courses
are judged by the quality, presentation
and taste ARABIAN of the neo-Japanese AMBIENCEsignature
dish, miso marinated black cod and at
Katsuya, it didn’t disappoint. The fish
breaks apart easily with a buttery
texture and miso coating that lingers -
thumbs up from our end. Medium
temperature slices of wagyu tenderloin
arrive quickly, doused in a sweet
dressing, and along with it the Instaworthy
bop bowl that almost every
diner ordered. A stone bowl filled with
rice, mushrooms, flaky and juicy short
rib, and veggies are prepared sizzling
hot, table side. It’s a delectable side,
especially for those who love rice and
hot comfort food. To end the meal, we
dived into a decadent double chocolate
lava cake that’s gooey, however slightly
light in consistency as opposed to a
molten chocolate dessert. On the side,
we refreshed our palate with mango
mochi, beautifully offering a flattened
gelatin texture coating over incredibly
light fruity ice cream.
Reserve a table: Call 04 419 0676
MADE IN CHINA
When the waiter shows up with
three menus, the third being a dim
sum menu, you know you’re in a
restaurant that’s lives up to its billing
as one of Dubai’s most authentic
Chinese restaurants. There’s further
proof of that in the food that arrives
at our table set up amidst elegant
environs of dark panelled furniture
and elaborate chandeliers. The hot
lobster soup is offset by the cold
Boom Boom Chicken which
includes shredded poultry stuffed
inside a bao. If you have space for
one more appetiser, opt for the
Chilli chicken that’s presented
against a backdrop of an elaborate
rice flour latticed creation that is
definitely Instagram friendly.
The waitstaff isn’t only attentive, they’re clairvoyant.
They’ll probably already have the menu in hand when
you turn to them and are ready to order the mains.
Pretend to deliberate over the menu rather fastidiously,
before going right ahead and taking our advice of
ordering the Peking duck that tips its hat to the province
of Beijing that has smooth crisp skin and is exactly as
you’d imagine it to taste on the streets of the capital of
China. For the other main, you can’t go wrong with the
Kung Pao Lobster which is a mighty portion of succulent
and flavourful meat – don’t blame us for the involuntary
sounds of appreciation that’ll originate from the guests at
For dessert, the chef asked us to trust his choice. We
did and weren’t disappointed. If you’re in doubt of
whether you should order the ginger baked yoghurt or
the mandarin ice cream with lemongrass and four berries,
order both. The Palm’s just scored a new restaurant
that’s nailing the brief.
Reserve a table: Call 04 247 5222
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Culinary offerings and flavours to try in the country
The quaint Revo Café at Anantara
The Palm Dubai Resort offers
bottomless coffee and a slice of cake,
ideal for those who want to meet up
by the seaside for business matters,
or perhaps work remotely. The café
also serves up eggs benedict, pulled
beef, burgers, pastas and a delectable
giant triple decker cake.
Call 04 567 8322
When you’re craving a traditional
English breakfast with all the trimmings,
Nezesaussi Grill is the spot to head
to. Relish everything from eggs to
sausages, beans and much more for a
sumptuous Friday morning meal.
Dhs45 per head, inclusive of tea
and coffee, and Dhs135 per
person, inclusive of four selected
beverages. Call 04-423 8899.
WEEKEND BRUNCHING The city’s brunches are back in full swing. Here are two to try:
❶ JAPANESE SETTING
If a brunch where you don’t get off
your seat is your cup of tea, then The
Garden Brunch at Downtown Toko
is the perfect setting. Expect salmon
sashimi salad with a moreish yuzutruffle
dressing, sushi, dim sum,
chicken cashew and authentic mochi
cream to conclude.
Every Friday from Dhs190 for the soft
drinks package and set menu and
house sparkling beverage for Dhs325.
Call 04 422 8383
THE GARDEN BRUNCH AT
❷ INCOMPARABLE VIEWS
For a brunch with views of the iconic
Burj Khalifa, The Palace Gardens
and poolside, the 1001 Flavours at
Ewaan is one to try. A lavish spread
of seafood, meats, cold cuts, BBQ,
Asian delicacies and a wide selection
of cheese are available to feast from.
The Luxurious brunch is available
at Dhs695 per head inclusive of
selected premium bubble and grape.
Call 04 428 7888
TREASURES FROM THE SEA
Seafood lovers can eat to their heart, or tummy’s, content at Pierchic, with
the launch of six distinctive concepts hailing from the shores of Italy, Spain,
Portugal, England, France and Belgium, for a two-week period. The journey
begins with paella de arroz from Spain, following on with Catalana di Crostacei,
an elaborate poached crustacean platter served with vegetable crudité from
Italy. Portuguese shellfish and fish stew are served in the form of Cataplana de
Peixe y Marisco, while Posh Fish & Chic, beer-battered turbot and triple
cooked “Maries Piper potato” chips are served as inspiration from Britain. The
last two weeks offer Le Crabe & Crevettes Tour, a Normandy-inspired
dressed Atlantic crab and cevette tower before ending with the classes creamy
Moules Mariniere, fresh black mussels, white wine, parsley, cream, and
pommes pont neuf from Belgium.
Available between 7th July to 28th September, call 04 432 3232.
ETHIOPIA ON A PLATE
Authentic Ethiopian specialties await diners at Gursha, Club Vista
Mare, flanked by the sea on The Palm. Begin with a taster platter
for appetisers comprising chickpea dip, tangy lentils and crisp Injeera
(gluten-free moist flatbread). To get a taste of authentic everyday
dishes opt for the Taste of Ethiopia platter. Mild chicken curry,
delectable lentil stew, chickpeas powder stew, beef curry and plenty
of other options served alongside the rolled-up flatbread.
Call 04 554 2665
Skip the tourist traps and live like a local in one
of the richest cities in the world
Words by Varun Godinho
ST. PIERRE CATHEDRAL
If you’re flying into Geneva, your aeroplane will land
in France and taxi into Francophone Geneva.
Switzerland and France share the airport, runway
and a history too that’s joined at the hip.
Geneva wasn’t always the placid lakefront city that it is
today. It was the seat of unrest during the 16th century with
the rise of Calvinism and the social upheaval that resulted in
its wake. The French Huguenots brought the know-how of
watchmaking to Geneva during those tumultuous times, but
it was perfected to an art form by the indigenous population
who couldn’t farm during the winters and had to spend all
their time indoors. Today, Geneva’s ground zero to some of
the most venerable names in watchmaking from Vacheron
Constantin to Patek Phillippe.
You’ll notice primarily two types of visitors that come to
Geneva. The first are the pin-striped suit elite ready to do a
day’s business in one of the world’s richest cities which has a
private banking system so secretive that you have a better
chance of finding out whether aliens reside at Area 51 than
knowing the names of its account holders. The second are
the ski-set that head straight to the outskirts of the city to the
mountain ranges that line the valley.
If you’re a wide-eyed tourist and belong to neither of the two
groups, you’re likely ready to soak in the city sights and patisserie
smells that seems to waft through every alley in the city.
The city is best enjoyed on foot. You can start by walking
the length of the Promenade du lac Léman with the lush
garden to one side and the lake to the other – the Jet d’eau
fountain pushes132 gallons of water up to a height of 459ft
every second is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.
Stray from the waterfront and cross the road and into the
intersecting alleys to eventually wind up at St. Pierre Cathedral
in the old town of Geneva. Make sure you walk up the 150-
plus steps of the tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Geneva is old-moneyed and discreet – there’s none of the
flash cash and the abrasive attitude among locals or
establishments in the city. The vibe is warm, never pretentious.
Geneva is used as the staging ground for diplomatic back
channels which explains the presence of permanent outposts
of international missions including the UNHCR (you can book
a tour of the facility), WTO and the Red Cross. It is also where
some of the world’s biggest expos are held. Come January and
the sprawling Palexpo plays host to the annual Salon
International de la Haute Horlogerie, the world’s most
prestigious watchmaking exhibition. Every other March, the
same venue hosts the Geneva Motor Show.
There’s Zurich, Lucerne, Basel and Biel/Bienne. While each
has their charms, it’s the cosmopolitan cultured powerhouse
of Geneva that steals the show. If you aren’t fortunate
enough to be born a Swiss citizen, it takes up to 12 years of
residency to become one and even that doesn’t deter the
multitude determined to call Switzerland home. A visit to
Geneva can answer why.
LA RESERVE HOTEL AND SPA GENEVA
If you check-in and need to get to the city centre,
take the hotel’s motoscafo that cuts a swift path
through the water to get you there. Located
within a 10-acre park, La Reserve has an ice rink, a
2,000-square foot spa and seventeen suites,
besides a host of fine dining establishments
including Tse Fung which serves up Geneva’s best
+41 22 959 59 59; lareserve-geneve.com
LA RESERVE HOTEL AND SPA GENEVA
HOTEL DE LA PAIX GENEVA
This Ritz-Carlton Partner property is located on
Rue Quai du Mont-Blanc that laps Lake Geneva.
Book the Mont-Blanc two-bedroom suite that
allows for excellent views of the both the lake and
the Alps out in the distance.
+41 22 909 60 00; ritzcarlton.com
HOTEL DE LA PAIX GENEVA
Francesco Gasbarro and Paulo Airaudo’s La Bottega establishment is only two
years old, but that hasn’t stopped it from notching up a Michelin star already. The
Italian food is served up with a twist and if you’re confused about what to order go
with the seven-course tasting menu and let chef Gasbarro make the call. Veal with
pecorino, anyone? +41 22 736 10 00; labottegatrattoria.com
CAFÉ DU SOLEIL
We’re told that this is Geneva’s oldest restaurant
with roots that go back 400 years all the way back
to the Reformation movement. Go here for just
one thing: fondue. The cheese is sourced from the
village of La Roche located to the north of
Gruyère and the English-speaking staff here are
quick to explain its merits.
+41 22 733 34 17; cafedusoleil.ch
THE RUE DU RHÔNE is Geneva’s answer to
Paris’ Rue de la Paix and New York’s Fifth Avenue.
This street has some top names in the world of
fashion from Cartier and Hermès to Louis Vuitton
and Chanel who have set up shop here. Not far away
is the city centre also packed with high-fashion labels
as well as a few independent artisans including local
chocolate makers that are well worth a visit. Fair
warning: most of the boutiques in the city centre are
closed all-day on Sunday.
Explore the latest in experiences, tours and wellness breaks
ONE FOR THE MEN
When you think of Tuscany, the first images that spring to mind are vineyards, cheese and verdant landscapes. It may
not seem like the ideal getaway for the lads, however, Tuscany Now & More have launched the Gentleman’s Escape
Package and there’s never been a better time to round up the men. Tailored specifically for the modern-day man, men
get to train as noble warriors and master the traditional Japanese martial art of Bokken, visit the Nera River for White
Water Rafting, and hunt for truffles. Only the best dining experiences are naturally included, with a cooking workshop
within the Umbrian surrounds. A bit of wellness is included in the form of yoga.
Tuscany Now and More offer the Gentlemen’s Escape Package from £165 (approximately Dhs798) per
person. The Santi Terzi villa is available from £2,567 for 14 people on a self-catering basis, inclusive of help.
A FITNESS VACATION
Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne have launched bespoke biking
packages for Swiss-alpine resort guests. Cycling enthusiasts can opt
for the Haut Velo and Kudos bike-based activities to keep fit and
increase performance, while gazing at the picturesque surroundings
– the route showcases the stunning alpine passes in France,
Switzerland and Italy passing through quaint villages along the way.
All cycling tours are led by current and former professional cyclists
and those looking to challenge themselves can even ride the
unique tour du Mont Blanc.
From CHF375 for a one day guided tour, visit hautemontagne.
com or brambleski.com
If you’re a fan of authentic Chinese cuisine, catch a flight to Conrad
Maldives Rangali Island for the 1930s Shanghai mystique pop-up
event at Ufaa by Jereme Leung. Set against crystal-clear waters, palm
trees and white sandy beaches, diners will be transported to
Shanghai’s Golden Age with the eatery resembling The Great
Gatsby, featuring modern-day interpretations of dishes including
double boiled chicken soup with mushroom, oven baked cod fillet in
spicy sauce, and Yunnan rose petal ice cream. Best of all, celebrity
chef Jereme Leung is at the helm of the menu and will be at the
event for those who want to mingle and pick his brains on cooking
tips. Available from July 16-18, visit conradmaldives.com
Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra have launched an
all-new art safari, acting as a hub for those interested in
cultural and artistic journeys within the Ghanaian capital of
Accra. Showcasing emerging talent through Gallery 1957,
the programme presents exhibitions, installations and
performances. The curated safari also features visits to art
and design venues that are being created, such as Untamed
Empire – a new concept store uniting luxury fashion, art
collaborations and design – and one of the “African Centres
of Excellence” created by the Songhai Trust.
C'EST LA VIE
Looking for tours that are off-the-beaten-path? The Luxury
Travel Book is now offering its third instalment of ‘Behind the
Scenes’ concierge service, set to launch in Paris this summer.
Skip the usual tourist traps and discover charismatic corners
of the French capital frequented by the locals. What else
does the concierge service offer? Think sold-out concert
tickets, dinner reservations at the hottest spots in town, wine
tasting, cookery classes, French lessons and plenty more.
Monaco’s much-loved restaurant, Le
Grill, has reopened its doors on the
eighth floor of the Hôtel de Paris
Monte-Carlo. Head there to dine
under a starlit sky or take in the
unrivalled views of the Mediterranean,
while relishing an alfresco meal inspired
by Provence and Tuscany featuring
wood-fired rotisserie, fish skewered
on the split, meat cuts hanging from
table racks – an old tradition from the
restaurant – baby squid and crustacean
STAY OF THE MONTH
Explore FIVE Palm Jumeirah,
the latest addition on the man-made island
Let’s face it, FIVE Palm Jumeirah is no stranger to the
scene, in specific due to the current re-branding confusion
that places them in the hospitality industry’s spotlight – it
was formerly known as Viceroy Palm Jumeirah. When you
do manage to look past the branding, which isn’t
problematic during the visit to be honest, you can
immerse yourself in a relaxing staycation with unrivalled
views of the glistening waters, an infinity pool hailed to be
one of the city’s best, and culinary offerings that cater to
all taste buds. The minute you set eyes on the floor to
ceiling glass-frame structure, with art pieces dotted
around the venue, you instantly feel as though you’ve
been transported to a city-style paradise by the sea. And
from here on, it doesn’t disappoint.
feel like you are in a stylish home away from home.
A plush king-size bed faces the Smart TV and a vividly striking
armoire/bar, which caters to every snacking requirement,
from nutritious organic varieties to a guilty bag of caramel
popcorn for a late-night movie in bed. Enter
Imagine looking out to the Arabian Gulf, Dubai Marina and
the nearly completed Dubai Eye. It immediately excites,
while the waters puts you in a state of zen, with cosy vibrant
and neutral-hue interiors making the Luxe Sea View room
the Italian and Greek marbled bathroom to
soak in the royal-esque tub – don’t forget to
carry your bath salts – and breathe in the scents
of Roil and Natura Bisse amenities while you shower.
Need to know:
To book a stay,
BREAKFAST AL BLVD ON ONE IS
AN ABSOLUTE DELIGHT
Soak up the rays by the poolside and take a dip to cool off,
you can’t leave the hotel without doing so. The site is also
home to a spa, fully equipped gym and a spa pool complete
with partially submerged sun loungers – for those looking
to get away from the fairly crowded main swimming pool.
Dimly-lit interiors complement the coral-coloured walls
painted with the landscape of an Italian city, while neutral
hues set the tone for an intimate dinner at Quattro Passi.
Brace yourselves for a meal that will certainly make you
wonder if an Italian Nonna is hiding away in the kitchen.
The menu comprises freshly imported ingredients from
chef Antonio Mellino’s farm in Italy, combined with age-old
family techniques. We highly recommend the vitello
tonnato (tender veal slices) and fresh creamy burrata with
juicy Sorrento tomatoes for appetisers. The Nerano’s style
linguine pasta is worth a try for the middle course, especially
if you love a simple pasta with zucchini and a hint of cream
that lingers on your palate. Those looking for Italian with a
contemporary twist can opt for the teriyaki Scottish salmon
with a moreish zucchini cream and chanterelle mushrooms
that offer a bite. Carnivores have the option of succulent
lamb chops with pistachio, sweet potato, zucchini and a
full-bodied lamb jus, amongst plenty of other options
including a revisited veal Milanese. Desserts can either be a
fruity affair with the mille-feuille, mango cream, passion
fruit and sorbet, or a decadent chocolate and coconut tart
offset by the tanginess of creamy passion fruit and raspberry
sorbet. In true Italian style, conclude with an espresso.
DON'T MISS THE ITALIAN QUATTRO PASSI FOR
AN AUTHENTIC MEAL
Office 804-806, Arenco Tower, Dubai Media City | T: 04 432 79 72
Dubai’s only high-end real estate and interior design company,
setting extraordinary records in the marketing, designing
and selling of the most important residential properties.
Transforming Dubai’s urban landscape
with a modern-day canvas Words by Olive Sevilla
In a market where there has been slight stagnation,
Mohammed Bin Zaal promises to change all that. The former
CEO of Al Barari Development is a veteran when it comes
to pushing the boundaries of what real estate is capable of
and his latest project, KOA Canvas, is a game changer.
Located in Mohammad Bin Rashid City, KOA Canvas
connects to the inner artistic vibes of people who revel in the
here and now. The project aims to make the residents feel
alive and it seamlessly merges old with new, with craftsmanship
that brings out the innovation in design. The project spans
across two buildings, with 70 contemporary luxury apartments
made of 41 different layouts. In a unique new addition to the
Dubai property profile, the KOA Canvas will boast of a
vibrant, shared working space that is set to become a hub for
global entrepreneurs and innovators, which will add to the
creative dynamic of the property. Each of the 70 apartments
of city views, with seven floors dedicated to apartment style
living. The apartments have been tastefully dressed in concrete,
steel, wood and stone to add to its environmental factor,
which is the product of the vision of its revolutionary architect
Tarik Zaharna, Founder and Director of T. Zed Architects.
Such a high-profile project is sure to catch the eye of many
however, limited amount of penthouses and duplex are
available, with prices ranging from Dhs1,000-1,200 per
square foot. KOA Canvas is offering studio-one-two and
three-bedroom apartment floorplans, with 41 unique layouts
available for excellent contemporary living. Some units also
feature internal courtyards, rooftop or outdoor terraces,
allowing residents true indoor-outdoor living. Residents will
be able to enjoy an unmatched range of amenities including
fitness studios, pool, water features, landscaped gardens,
gourmet markets, daycare, barbeque areas and art
installations throughout the grounds. Like its name, it aims to
be the canvas from which an authentic community with a
creative spirit can be fostered. Koa Canvas wants to capture
the soul of the next generation of Dubai’s creative and
entrepreneurial society, to become a dynamic hub that's
developing, growing and evolving. The name ‘Canvas’
perfectly captures the intention of the properties – to act as
a literal canvas for residents to live and grow within, making
their homes a canvas to showcase personal elements that
mean the most to them. Much like artists living and breathing
The KOA Canvas apartments are due for completion in
early 2018, with phase one of the co-working facility
launching in December 2017.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Visit koa.ae or contact the KOA team at
+971 4 422 1491.
Italy: Sicily and Positano.
Zuma is always a go-to, especially for their
dynamite spider roll.
Hussein Bazaza gives us
a peek into his life
I was never in any other field. I graduated
from school and enrolled in ESMOD
strictly for fashion design and the funniest
part, it wasn’t even my idea – my mother
practically forced me into it.
THE LATEST COLLECTION
Every launch has a story behind it, a
fairy-tale I envision and create. My
inspirations come from that story.
The characters in the tale are
A ring I customized from Bil Arabi with my
mother’s name on it.
FAVOURITE PIECE OF ADVICE
To believe in one'self
INVESTING IN MYSELF…
is all about improving and becoming better
at things I wish to ameliorate.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW…
I hate the fact that I am a fashion designer as the industry
has become too shallow and dull for my liking.
THE PERFECT FRIDAY IS…
spent at home or at the beach
I prefer illustrations more
than words, so mainly comic
books such as Batman.
THE HOME OF PRIVATE AVIATION
AT THE SPEED OF BUSINESS
Passion for excellence is our trademark. In everything we do, our goal
is to meet and surpass your expectations. Our highly trained staff are
always on hand to ensure your complete satisfaction, both on the ground
and in the air. Our unrivalled facilities located at Dubai World Central
guarantee your utmost discretion, comfort and convenience
every time you fly.
T: +971 (0)4 870 1800 | www.dc-aviation.ae | An Al-Futtaim Joint Venture
Al Maktoum International Airport | DWC | Aviation District | Dubai, UAE
TO BREAK THE RULES,
YOU MUST FIRST MASTER
THE VALLÉE DE JOUX. FOR MILLENNIA A HARSH,
UNYIELDING ENVIRONMENT; AND SINCE 1875 THE
HOME OF AUDEMARS PIGUET, IN THE VILLAGE OF
LE BRASSUS. THE EARLY WATCHMAKERS WERE
SHAPED HERE, IN AWE OF THE FORCE OF NATURE
YET DRIVEN TO MASTER ITS MYSTERIES THROUGH
THE COMPLEX MECHANICS OF THEIR CRAFT. STILL
TODAY THIS PIONEERING SPIRIT INSPIRES US TO
CONSTANTLY CHALLENGE THE CONVENTIONS OF
+41 21 642 32 66 | AUDEMARSPIGUET.COM
IN YELLOW GOLD
AUDEMARS PIGUET BOUTIQUES:
THE DUBAI MALL | MALL OF THE EMIRATES