Equity Magazine October 2017

social.equity

OCTOBER 2017 | ISSUE 05

RYAN

GOSLING

ON COMING TO AMERICA,

AND STARRING IN

BLADE RUNNER 2049

FAST FOOD,

FAST CASH

THE BUSINESS

CAPITALISING ON OUR

GUILTY PLEASURE

TRAVEL

REJUVENATE ALONG

SRI LANKA'S COAST


Extraordinary is in the detail.

To explore one of the world’s most detailed landscape photographs go to BentleyMotors.com/Explore.

Please contact us on 800-BENTLEY [800 236 8539]

or visit us at www.uae.bentleymotors.com for more information

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The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2017 Bentley Motors Limited.


Be Extraordinary.

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CALIBER RM 11-02

LE MANS CLASSIC

OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER

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From the EDITOR

October is one of my favourite months, besides

December of course (the festive season is

looming!). Apart from the fact that it’s my

birthday, it’s also the time of year when alfresco

meals are much appreciated, brunch season is in full swing,

and art galleries are the hangout spots to see and be seen at,

coupled with dining experiences (page56).

The season and it's fast pace go hand-in-hand with the

season, with entrepreneurs releasing their latest services and

businesses keeping up with demand. This month, we chat with the founders of

TruKKer, an Uber-style app for trucks (page 23) on their remarkable growth, and

Michelle Mone, the Baroness taking Dubai’s real estate market by storm (page 19).

Who doesn’t love crisp fries, fried chicken and a meaty burger at hours it shouldn’t

be consumed at? The next time you order takeout from a fast food joint, you will

surely think back to how every meal you indulge in places fast food moguls on

World Billionaire Lists (page 14).

I’m a huge fan of the ever-so-charming Ryan Gosling. This month, Equity

scored an exclusive interview with the cover star (page 27), ahead of his latest

movie Blade Runner 2049 (in cinemas on October 5). While you wait for the

screening, check into The St. Regis Abu Dhabi (page 67) and hit the links at

Saadiyat Island (page 64). And if you’re looking for a special treat, look no

further than pages 45-55.

Whenever a long weekend comes around, I love to escape the hustle and bustle.

A quick trip to the picturesque coastal region of Sri Lanka is exactly what I needed,

and you may too. Look to page 58 to stem inspiration for a rejuvenating getaway.

EDITOR'S PICKS

Monica Vinader's latest piece is

an everyday accessory that's

elegant and chic

Happy reading

Nicola

Nicola Monteath

Follow us:

equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae equitymedia.uae

The intricate details on the Omega

Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer

Master Chronometer Platinum

are abdsolutely stunning

EQUITY - Always invest in yourself

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NICOLA MONTEATH - nicola@equity.media

DIGITAL EDITOR VARUN GODINHO

DEPUTY EDITOR MERYL D'SOUZA

ART DIRECTOR ODILAINE MEJORADA

SALES advertising@equity.media

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Presenting the 115 th Anniversary

CVO Limited edition Harley-

Davidson, a treat for clear roads

on a Friday morning

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insideEQUITY

23

mind

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OCTOBER 2017

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Take note of these events

19 31

14

19

23

27

32

34

THE HUNGER GAMES

A look at fast food, not like you

know it

THE DARK HORSE

Michelle Mone dishes out on her

journey and latest venture, here

in the UAE

THE ULTIMATE

OPPORTUNISTS

Get a peek into the growth of

TruKKer

CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

Ryan Gosling dishes out on

parenthood and his role in

Blade Runner 2049

THE FABULOUS LIFE OF

SUPER TUTORS

Does your child need a

genius tutor?

#SUPPORT LOCAL

A chat with Veer Ramlugon,

founder of The Food Analysts

body

38

&

soul

THE CHECKLIST

Stylish upgrades and seasonal

items to invest in

38

40

42

SHOP TALK

Get ready for your next big

shopping haul

INDULGE YOURSELF

Make an appointment and treat

yourself at these salons

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OCTOBER 2017

45

58

67

STAY OF THE MONTH

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

impresses on every level

70

ONE PALM TO RULE

THEM ALL

A look at the most expensive

penthouse in the UAE

45

56

58

62

64

ON OUR RADAR

Statement pieces to buy or covet

WEEKEND DINING

Two eateries to try this month

COASTAL COMFORTS

Explore Sri Lanka's districts

JETSETTER JOURNEYS

Travel inspiration for your next

big holiday

HIT THE LINKS

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

is worth the visit

72

GET TO KNOW...

Salma Handa, founder of

SensAsia Urban Spa, reveals her

favourite things

64

59

On the cover

RYAN GOSLING

Read her interview on page 27

The publication may not be

reproduced, stored in a retrieval

system, or transmitted in any

form or by any means electronic,

photocopying, recording or

otherwise, without the permission

of Equity Media. Where opinion

is expressed it is that of the

author and does not necessarily

reflect the editorial views of

the publishers of

EQUITY-Always invest in yourself.

All information in

EQUITY-Always invest in yourself

is checked and verified to the best

of the publisher’s ability, however

the publisher cannot be held

responsible for any mistakes or

omissions enclosed in

the publication in content,

advertising or graphics.

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mind

Fast food chains are a serious

investment you may want to look into.

As for fans of cryptocurrencies, in

specific Bitcoin, you can now purchase

an apartment in Dubai through the

trending digital currency. Turn over to

find out more on local apps and our

handsome cover star Ryan Gosling

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CALENDAR

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Jetsetters, don’t forget to add these dates to your diary

1

WHERE? Munich

WHEN? October 4-6

EXPO REAL

Europe’s largest real estate and

investment trade fair will represent a

whole supply chain of the global

property market. Exhibitors from

various fields including design,

concepts, investment and finance

will all be on hand to discuss

requirements and queries.

2

WHERE? The Auditorium at

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FRIEZE LONDON

WHERE? Regent’s Park, London

WHEN? October 5-8

Over 160 of the world’s leading

galleries and 1,000 artists will come

together to showcase their art at this

year’s events. Viewers and art

enthusiasts can take in the sights of

sculptural pieces and paintings at the

contemporary art fair that takes

place annually every October.

CAPTURING PABLO

Dubai College, Dubai

WHEN? October 5-6

Calling all Narcos fans! 117Live is

hosting an entertainment show

featuring two DEA agents, Javier

Pena and Steve Murphy,

instrumental in catching the world’s

first narco-terrorist, Pablo Escobar.

Brace yourselves for real-life stories

on Escobar’s rise and fall, and keep

those unanswered queries ready for

the Q&A session towards the end.

4

WHERE? Yale Club, New York

WHEN? October 5

NEW YORK PRIVATE

EQUITY FORUM

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to

seek capital, invest in a company, or

mingle with likeminded business

visionaries, angel investors and

venture capitalists, you can’t miss

this forum. One-of-a-kind private

investment opportunities await

visitors, as business development

ideas come to the forefront.

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5

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL

WHERE? Zilker Park, Austin, Texas

WHEN? October 6-8 and 13-15

CALENDAR

Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance The Rapper, Gorillaz, and

Tove Lo, amongst many other artists, will take the stage

at this alternative rock, country and indie folk festival.

Combining two weekend editions comprising three

days each, plus aftershows and club gigs, this one is

surely worth flying out for.

6

WHERE? Paris

WHEN? October 14-15

The annual vintage and collector’s car show by

Automédon is back. Hundreds of classic cars will make

their way through Paris, starting at 10am near

Place Joffre near the Ecole Militaire, crossing the Seine,

and renowned landmarks along the way, bringing it

to an end at l’Opéra in the heart of Paris. Get your

cameras ready.

VINTAGE CAR PARADE

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YAS MARINA BOAT FESTIVAL

WHERE? Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

WHEN? October 20-21

You’ve visited the Cannes Yacht Festival. Now, it’s time to

make your way to the capital for UAE’s very own boat

extravaganza. Exhibitors, boat manufacturers and private

owners will be showcasing second hand boats and watercrafts

for sale, from three to 20 metres. You can also shop and view

jet-skis, watersport equipment and boating products.

KENNETH MACMILLAN: NATIONAL CELEBRATION

WHERE? Royal Opera House, London

WHEN? October 18 – November 1

The legacy of Kenneth MacMillan (British ballet dancer

and choreographer) is brought to life on his 25th death

anniversary. Watch the stunning performance as the

UK’s leading ballet companies Birmingham Royal Ballet,

English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, The Royal

Ballet and Scottish Ballet, come together for the first

time ever, to showcase his work.

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THE CHOCOLATE EXPO7

WHERE? Museum Villa, Monroe, New York

WHEN? October 22

Chocoholics and those looking to shop for Halloween

and festive holiday gifts will love this expo that brings

together America’s top producers. Expect a museum

village featuring vendor booths, celebrity chef demos,

musical performances, chocolate creations, tastings and

plenty of activities for the little ones.

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THE GLOBAL FRANCHISE MARKET

WHERE? Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai

WHEN? October 29-30

The region’s most anticipated franchising event takes

place towards the end of this month, focusing on the latest

in international and national brands, products and services

from over 100 companies. Looking for your next big

investment or to network with franchise experts and

speakers? Look no further. Seminars and workshops will

also take place at the venue.

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FINANCE

THE HUNGER

GAMES

It’s 3am and you’re down with a serious case of hunger pangs, what do

you do? Don’t lie, we know you’re not going to cook. You’re going to order

from McDonald's, Wendy's or a fast food joint that can deliver as quick

as possible. Weakness kicks in and the diet flies out the window, that’s

precisely how the founders of these fast-food eateries make their billions

By Meryl D’souza

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FINANCE

The city of Mumbai is generally referred to as

India’s financial epicentre. The city that changed

its name from Bombay to Mumbai over two

decades ago is built on a peninsula that narrows

sharply at its southern tip, a geography not dissimilar to

Manhattan. The heart of the city’s financial district is

Nariman Point where money makers have no time to talk,

let alone have lunch. On the few occasions, they do make

time for their stomachs, they settle for street vendors.

Ironically, some of those street vendors are richer than the

suits they cater to.

Earlier this year, Scroll.in ran a video story on one such

street vendor and the economics around his business.

Mariappan works six days a week. He sets up shop at 8am

and ends his day at four in the evening. His modest cart has

only three items on the menu; each priced between $0.3 and

$0.4. He claims to sell 1,050 items per day with a net daily

expense of $77, on items like onions, potatoes, tomatoes,

coconut, oil, rice, lentils, transportion and gas.

Not impressed yet? His monthly revenue is never below

$5,600. Monthly expenditure is a maximum of $2,712 – that

includes bribes of $77 per week to the city’s municipality

and cops. Mariappan also budgets for the Municipality

confiscating all his equipment or even bulldozing his shop

twice a month. That means he spends on all his equipment

– from vessels to cutlery – all over again. After accounting

for all this, he makes a net profit of $2,096 per month. To

put that figure into perspective, $2,096 per month is how

much an Indian with a postgraduate degree would make

after 10 years of work experience in the IT sector or in a

senior management role.

If you’re still scoffing at that man and the money he’s

making, understand that he’s making that much as a local,

stand-alone, non-franchised – and illegal – operator. If he

were to double down and build a franchise, there’s no

doubt he’d be rolling in (more) cash. Don’t take our word

for it? 14 of the 2,043 names on the 2017 Forbes World’s

Billionaires list are fast food moguls. The list featured the

likes of Marian Ilitch and family (Little Caesars, $6 billion),

Bubba Cathy and Dan Cathy (Chick-Fil-A, $3.8 billion),

and Tony Tan Caktiong and family (Jollibee, $3.4 billion)

amongst others. Just to be clear, these are businesses that

have made their billions by selling $5 foot-long sandwiches

and $3 chicken noodles.

That’s where the brilliance and skill of the business is.

Fast food joints similar to McDonald's and Jollibee turn

incredibly high profits despite selling meals at a fraction of

the cost. It shouldn’t work, but it does. These outlets are

smart in this regard. They make you feel they’re pricing

themselves into bankruptcy with low prices, but they

employ a number of good strategies to keep patrons coming

back for more. And not all of it is done by lowering prices.

FRIES

French fries contain more Acrylamides than just about any

other food. The chemical has been shown to cause tumors

BURGER

McDonald's feeds about 68 million people per day,

that's about 1 percent of the world's population

COFFEE

Sir Paul McCartney ditched his longtime

label to make music for Starbucks

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FINANCE

COUPONS

Fast food chains are renowned for handing out

coupons that make you feel like you’re getting

the better end of the deal. The trick is they can

afford to discount their prices because they are

aware that low prices equal to people flocking

through their doors. Plenty of restaurants offer

a free menu item from time to time. Once they

get you in, to claim that free sandwich or side of

fries, you're tempted to buy more food and the

cycle begins all over again.

UPSIZING AND UPSELLING

You’ve walked into a fast food restaurant hoping to get a

meal between Dhs10-15. A few minutes later, an upsize

from regular to large for a soft drinks and fries, and

additional condiments (garlic mayonnaise and hot mustard

are a must for fries!) and you are looking at a meal of

approximately Dhs25-30. That’s upselling and upsizing.

LOW WAGES

Fast food employees are paid

low wages, yet they greet you

with a smile when you show

up to place your order.

LIMITED MENUS

French fries cost you a couple of dirhams and

you like the idea of snacking on that side dish

although you never finish them. What if your

favourite fast food joint starts offering seasonal

pies and cheese-loaded fries on a limited offer

for a fraction of the cost higher? You will likely

try it to see what the fuss is about, which leads

to an increase in their profit margins.

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FINANCE

DRINKS

Sure, that aerated

beverage only cost you a

dirham or two more

than the standard cost at

supermarkets, but for a

fast food restaurant,

drinks like that account

for 80 per cent of their

profit margin.

IN THE UAE…

According to a 2017 report released by Global property advisor CBRE

(Commercial Real Estate Services), UAE residents are the third biggest

spenders on food and beverage worldwide, with 60 per cent of consumers

visiting a mall for a quick bite. The report stated that the main difference

between residents in the UAE and those elsewhere was that consumers in the

Emirates perceived retail as a pastime, with dining considered to be an

essential element of the experience. That basically means people are getting

out a lot more with the sole purpose of eating. And how many fine-dining

outlets can you find in a mall? Yes, we thought so.

Elmark Aton (name changed)

works for a multinational fast food

brand at Deira City Centre and speaks

to us of his experience till date. “I’ve

worked here for a couple of years now

and barely seen the food court

empty,” Aton says as he hoists

golden-brown fries from their

steaming bath and expertly distributes

them into paper containers. “It

doesn’t matter if it’s Ramadan or a

weekday. The food court is always

buzzing.” And it’s not just his outlet.

Every other outlet has a queue,

although Aton’s outlet commands the

most growling stomachs.

According to a statement released

by investment firm Al Masah Capital,

the GCC’s food services market is set

to grow at a compound annual growth

rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent to reach

$28 billion by 2020 - the UAE ranks

first in per-capita spending on food in

the GCC with $2,683 per person. Fast

food chains are the foundation of this

growth and made up 8.2 per cent

($11.7 billion) of the GCC food

services market in 2015, followed by

full-service restaurants with a 31.5 per

cent market share ($6.3 billion) and

cafés and bakeries with 10.3 per cent

($2.1 billion).

The fast-food segment is expected

to reach over $4 billion at the end of

2017, with the number of franchise

outlets (in Dubai) increasing to

around 3,595. According to

Euromonitor International, the

number of transactions per order is

expected to increase from $7.6 in

2012 to $8.5 in 2017, a CAGR growth

of 3.5 per cent during the period. Are

we seeing dollar signs yet?

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WOMAN LEADER

The

DARK

HORSE

Michelle Mone grew up in a tenement

in Glasgow. Now, Baroness Mone of

Mayfair is a partner in a £250 million

real estate project in Dubai. And you can

buy the apartments using Bitcoins

Words by Varun Godinho

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WOMAN LEADER

In the Eighties, you’d likely find a poster of either Bo

Derrick or Don Johnson hung over the bedpost of

most pre-pubescent children. But ten-year-old

Glaswegian Michelle Mone had one of Richard Branson

instead. She began a neighbourhood newspaper delivery

business recruiting 17 other children and striking a deal with

the local vendor to supply only to her – she knew how to do

exclusive deals before she could enter secondary school.

Mone grew up rough. She was brought up by working-class

parents – her father mixed inks and mother was a home help

– in a tenement flat that didn’t have a bathroom. The death of

her brother when she was 10, followed by her father waking

up paralysed one morning, meant she had to drop out of

school at 15 and start working as a model to help keep the

family afloat. When she says during our phone conversation

that, “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, whether you have

the money or you don’t – if you are determined and have the

fire in your belly, you will succeed,” you know that she’s

talking from a position of lived experiences.

Her big business break though came at the age of 24

when, after a visit to America, she learnt about gel

technology that could be used in undergarments. “I started

Ultimo and invented the gel-filled bra that Julia Roberts

wore in the film Erin Brockovich. My ex-husband joined the

business three years later. Ultimo became the biggest

designer lingerie brand in the country.”

To start up her business, Mone put everything on the line

including mortgaging her house. But you don’t get to grow it into

a multi-million-dollar business without making a few mistakes

along the way. Which was her biggest blunder? “I suppose

trusting a distributor in Canada who ran away with £1.4 million

of my money. It was the best lesson I learnt because it really

made me grow up. I now only work with people I trust and I’m

always ten steps ahead thinking about Plan B, Plan C or Plan D.”

The working mom approached her personal life like she

did her business. She would draw up critical time path charts

for her three children and household chores were broken

down into KPIs. According to one report, she went into

labour with her third child during a board meeting – only to

reconvene the meeting four days later.

When it came to marketing Ultimo, Mone didn’t have

the swollen marketing budgets of major conglomerates.

Yet, she says, she delivered over $1.5 billion in press

coverage over the course of two decades. To do this she

often became the story. This included fronting a campaign

for British Airways and appearing on hit TV shows

The Apprentice and Masterchef.

A few of her self-promotion tactics did make her enemies.

In 2004, she fired Rod Stewart’s girlfriend Penny Lancaster

who was the face of Ultimo back then and replaced her with

Stewart’s ex-wife Rachel Hunter. The verbal retribution

from Stewart was swift, public and hard-hitting – he called

Mone a “manipulative cow” and said that he hoped “she’d

choke on her profits.” The spat provided fertile fodder for

gossip rags from the UK to Australia and America which

gave the incident – and Ultimo – prime coverage.

Mone eventually sold her stake in Ultimo in 2014 to one

of the world’s biggest intimate apparels company, MAS

Holdings in Sri Lanka.

She was subsequently given an OBE by the Queen but

wasn’t ready to settle for a retired life just yet. Around this

time, she moved from business to politics. “My parents

always said, ‘Never get involved in religion, politics or

football.’ I got involved in politics because the former Prime

Minister David Cameron asked me to help him with the

Scottish referendum three years ago. I campaigned to keep

Scotland part of the UK. It was a long battle, but we won.”

The victory meant Mone was instantly elevated in

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WOMAN LEADER

London’s hierarchical political circles. She was even

appointed as a startup tsar to the British government and

advised the then Prime Minster David Cameron directly on

the state of startups in the UK. Then, she got the call from

the Prime Minister to become a lifetime member of the

House of Lords. “Prime Minister David Cameron called me

up and asked me to go to the House of Lords. I said to him,

‘I can’t do this.’ He said, ‘Michelle, you’ve always said to me

that you should never say, “can’t”. What’s wrong with you?’

And I said, ‘I’m so far out of my comfort zone.’ And he

said, ‘And that’s how you’ll learn.’ ”

Before she joined the House of Lords in 2015, she had

to wait for her title from the Queen. “Mayfair had never

been given away to a Baroness or Lord. The Queen has

always kept that title. But because I helped save the UK

union, the Queen made me Baroness Mone of Mayfair,

which was incredible.”

More recently, Mone has entered the interior design

business. A few months ago, she set up Michelle Mone

Interiors that has already been commissioned to kit out the

homes of the ultra-wealthy. “We have offices in Dubai,

Chelsea and Mayfair in London and in the Isle of Man.

We’ve been commissioned to do a £22 million house in

Belgravia in London and a $35 million home in St. Barts.

We even do hand stitched wallpaper and aren’t just run-ofthe-mill

interior designers.”

But what’s now getting Mone a considerable amount of

Bitcoins. In my projection, it’s going to drop quite soon

again and then come back up to we think about $10,000 by

the end of the year.”

Beyond a marketing play that has already resulted in the

world’s leading financial dailies writing extensively about

the project, using Bitcoins makes sound commercial sense

as well. BitPay, a payment service provider that processes

transactions for Virgin Galactic and Microsoft, has been

roped in to manage the Bitcoin transaction. And as Mone

explains, Bitpay, “takes one per cent whereas the bank

would take up to five per cent.”

Mone also believes that a little more international

regulation would help the cause of Bitcoin. “The Isle of

Man has put it in the category of an investment, the

Japanese government have put it in the category of a

currency and the US government have put it in the

category of a commodity. In the UK, the Bank of England

is looking at it too. The Chinese government has stopped

it being used in a certain category but not banned it, just

come out with some legislation.”

Mone may be up against Wall Street pundits including JP

Morgan chief Jamie Dimon who recently singled out Bitcoin

as a fraud and as a cryptocurrency that is only fit for use by

drug dealers, murderers and people living in North Korea.

She takes a contrary stand. “All the questions that I’ve had

are, ‘Is it dodgy? Can we get rid of dusty money on the dark

black web?’ No, you can’t, because everything is transparent.

Mayfair had never been given away to a Baroness or Lord. The Queen has always

kept that title. But because I helped save the UK union, the Queen made me

Baroness Mone of Mayfair

press is a £250 million luxury real estate development that

she has undertaken along with her billionaire partner and

founder of Isle of Man-headquartered Knox Group of

Companies, Doug Barrowman. The Aston Plaza &

Residences located at Dubai Science Park, designed by

architects John R Harris & Partners, consists of two

40-storey residential towers containing a total of 1,133

studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments which will be

built alongside a three-storey plaza. The apartments will be

ready for possession by 2019.

What’s creating a buzz around this project is that you can

buy the apartments using Bitcoins. “Apartments start at

$130,000 and if people want to buy in Bitcoins that equates to

30 Bitcoins. The one bedroom is $240,000 that equates to 50

Bitcoins and the two bedrooms are $380,000 which equates to

80 Bitcoins.” For a few additional Bitcoins, you can get Mone’s

team to design interior packages for your apartment as well.

Before the scheme allowing owners to buy apartments using

Bitcoin was unveiled, 483 apartments were sold conventionally.

Mone and her partner Barrowman are furiously waving

the flag for Bitcoin, one of the most widely used

cryptocurrencies in the world that has appreciated over 400

per cent since the start of the year and came within a hair’s

breadth of breaking through the $5,000 before crashing.

She doesn’t seem too concerned with the volatility of the

currency and predicts a further correction. “There are 16

million Bitcoins and by the year 2140 there will be 21 million

Actually, the Feds in America caught Silk Road because they

were using Bitcoin and Silk Road was the underworld of

drugs and weapons. Because it’s old news, everyone is a bit

confused and don’t know what it’s all about, but I think by

next year it will settle down.”

On her decision to narrow down on Dubai, she says, “I

think it’s a mega exciting place to do business. I used to get

that feeling from New York but I would have to say that

Dubai has overtaken New York.”

Apart from writing her autobiography My Fight To The Top

and undertaking motivational speaking assignments around

the world – last October, alongside Tony Robbins, she

addressed a crowd of 4,000 in Dubai – the plucky

entrepreneur will soon be launching a web series where she

will mentor budding entrepreneurs in a programme called

Connect to Michelle. Before going digital, Mone has created

an ardent following in the social media space. “I’m on

Twitter with 1.1 million followers and on Instagram,

Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s amazing how you can get your

products out there with costing you no money. I never had

social media when I started my business. If you’re not on it,

then you need to get on it because it’s the future.”

What’s the best advice she gives to fellow entrepreneurs?

“Don’t take risks unless you can afford to lose. Go with

your gut instincts. Go with your heart. Successful people,

no matter how tough, never give up.” Sounds like a typical

day in the life of Mone.

21

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EQUITY

AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL SERVICES LICENSEE 483118 | ABN 27 608 511 593


ENTREPRENEUR

THE ULTIMATE

OPPORTUNISTS

Gaurav Biswas and Pradeep Mallavarapu talk about their brainchild

TruKKer – an app-based truck aggregator – that has grown by 2,000 per

cent in just 11 months since its inception

Words by Meryl D'Souza

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ENTREPRENEUR

Pradeep

Mallavwarapu

Co-founder of

TruKKer

Gaurav Biswas

Co-founder of

TruKKer

Pradeep Mallavarapu, who is one-half of the

brains behind TruKKer – the Uber of trucks in

the UAE, was never bullied during his time at

engineering college. Incidents of bullying are

well documented in the Indian subcontinent,

but he managed to escape since he was a day

scholar, which means he didn’t live in the hostel

– it’s the unlucky majority who reside at hostels

that go through the bullying. For instance, his

co-partner, Gaurav Biswas, admits he wasn’t as

lucky. Biswas was bullied, although specifies

that the bullying period lasts a month at most..

Leaving that college stint aside, the duo

behind the app-based truck aggregator have

been friends since they were eight years old.

They were in the same class, went to the same

football coach, martial arts centre and even

summer camps. “We’re not just a partnership

that is in business because we bring in

complementary skillsets,” Biswas says.

Many will tell you that mixing friendships and

business is never a good idea – it probably isn’t –

but because Biswas and Mallavarapu “bring in

complementary skillsets” they rarely clash.

Mallavarapu, with his team in India, handles the

technology side of TruKKer while Biswas likes to

think of himself as the hustler and dealmaker. But

what is TruKKer and how has the business grown

by 2,000 per cent in its first 11 months?

“Calling it the Uber of trucks is the simplest

way of describing the app,” says Biswas. “The

app essentially lets people call for a truck and ask

for an item to be delivered while embedding the

Uber technology of being able to track the truck

through the app at any point in time.” Sounds

like a tepid idea, right? But that’s why it’s so

brilliant. The demand for something like this has

always been there, it’s the supply that has been

lacking. Think about how ridiculously expensive

it's been to move furniture every time you’ve

thought of moving out of a flat in the UAE.

TruKKers is here to aid beat headaches – and

backaches – like that. Having said that, that’s not

all the app is about. The best ideas in the world

are seldom one-dimensional.

Don’t believe us? Allow us to segue. You may

have heard of McDonald's. It’s a fast food chain,

right? Wrong. McDonald's isn’t purely a burgerflipping

chain. Look past that creepy clown smile

and you’ll find that McDonald's is actually a realestate

company. McDonald's makes money on

real estate through two methods: Its real estate

subsidiary will buy and sell hot properties while

also collecting rents on each of its franchised

locations. Enjoy the happy meal, kid.

The idea for TruKKers came to Biswas when he

was at dinner with a few of his friends from

college, one of whom was a fertilizer manufacturer

in India. “This guy was supposed to have three

truckloads of consignments the next day. While

we were at dinner, he got a call from his transporter

at the last minute saying he could only provide one

truck,” says Biswas. “The problem was that my

friend was used to this kind of behaviour. I just

joked that he should have like an Uber for trucks.

The very next day I called Pradeep and asked him

how much it would be to put the plan into action.”

Today, TruKKers works across three

verticals: B2C: home moving services wherein

they also have the option of sending in trained

crew that pack, uninstall, and reinstall

appliances. Hybrid B2B and B2C delivery:

working with customers or companies where

they undertake the last mile of deliveries from

their warehouses to their customers. And lastly,

B2B: supplying trucks to companies. Businesses

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EQUITY


ENTREPRENEUR

can book anything from a one-tonne pick-up

truck to 40 ft trailers. That’s where TruKKers is

steps ahead compared to Uber. As Biswas

pointed out, even before Uber or Careem was in

the region, there were cabs with standardised

metres. The same can’t be said for trucks. “No

one has bothered standardising rates. Global

companies including P&G and Unilever, have

those things in place because they can afford

to,” says Biswas. “They consume about 40

trucks a day. However, 80 per cent of the UAE

market is a fragmented consumer market. They

don’t know whether they will need 100 or 10

trucks per month. Their demand and supply

work differently. They resort to getting trucks

on an ad hoc basis.

“There’s also a case to be made for third-party

risk,” says Mallavarapu. “A large percentage of

the truck market is run by individuals. Say if I

want to transport Dhs100,000 worth of goods, I

have to blindly trust the driver. And if he takes

about four hours for a two-hour delivery, I’m at

risk.” It doesn’t help that most of these

individual truck owners struggle with

paperwork. Some of them can’t even be

bothered with an invoice and should you ask for

one, they’ll simply scribble the cost on a piece of

paper. The duo aren’t a fan of those shady

transactions, which is why the app produces

instant invoices. For companies who aren’t

worried about the cost but wish to budget, this

is a blessing. “The app even benefits drivers,”

Mallavarapu says. “They’re usually the ones

Think of us as a

technology interface that’s

solving the issue of drivers

not getting enough business

and consumers not finding

decent truck drivers.

We’re helping the demand

find supply

waiting at an industrial estate for a job to come

through. In a week, these guys would get about

two or three transactions at best. That’s why the

rates were high. Now that they have regular

jobs, their rates have dropped. That way the

customer is happy too.”

Ever the hustler, Biswas has the last word,

“Think of us as a technology interface that’s

solving the issue of drivers not getting enough

business and consumers not finding decent truck

drivers. We’re helping the demand find supply.”

Don’t let that good-natured quote fool you.

These guys are astute, like all successful

businessmen. Sure, they’re helping people along

the way, but these guys capitalised on a gap in the

system. They’re not simply businessmen, they’re

opportunists. That’s why they’ve grown so much

in such a short time.

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Bombardier, Global 6000 and Exceptional by Design are trademarks of

Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. © 2017 Bombardier Inc. All rights reserved.

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An act of craftsmanship and engineering prowess. Decades in the making.

Meeting at the intersection of art and technology. Defying conventions.

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COVER STORY

IMAGES BY SHUTTERSTOCK ; WORDS BY FABIAN WAINTAL / THE INTERVIEW PEOPLE

“WHEN I WAS OLD

ENOUGH, I WAS JUST

BLOWN AWAY AT

HOW INFLUENTIAL

BLADE RUNNER HAD

REALLY BEEN”

Blade Runner 2049 is out in cinemas this month, starring none other than

the award-winning Ryan Gosling as the protagonist of this sequel. The

charming actor speaks to Fabian Waintal of his latest role and working

alongside the original film’s hero, Harrison Ford

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EQUITY


COVER STORY

He’s been the star of the year with La La Land

winning the Academy Awards. Now, Ryan Gosling

keeps the flame burning heading into the future,

with the second version of Blade Runner. To get an

exclusive interview with him, we flew out to Las Vegas before

the launch presentation of the futuristic blockbuster, to talk

about what else? The future, just like his movie.

You starred in “the” movie of 2016 and now you’re going

to be in “the” movie of 2017. How does that feel?

I feel so lucky to be able to work right now, with the

people that I’m working with, and making the kind of

films I’m making.

And with that feeling of lucky, does it feel like work when

you travel to Las Vegas to literally talk about the future of

the new Blade Runner movie?

I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to say that I had a fun time

making it (laughs). It’s fun to be in Vegas and to be premiering

this now, because a big portion of the films was shot in Las

Vegas (the year being 2049). It was incredible to watch them

try to recreate Las Vegas.

You moved from Canada to Hollywood? What was it like

and what future were you expecting?

It was scary because as much as I’d seen L.A. in the movies

and I knew I needed to come here, it’s a big city and it’s hard

to find your way in it when you don’t know anyone. It took

me probably five years before I started to feel like I was

getting to know it, but the beauty of Los Angeles is that you’re

constantly getting to know it. I’ve lived here since I was

sixteen and I’m always discovering a new area or a new level

or a new element to it that I didn’t know existed.

How easy was IT beginning as an actor, coming from

another country?

I spent a lot of time trying to work here and not having a

permit, so it was hard for a long time before I finally got a

green card. And even more difficult because people wouldn’t

hire you for smaller roles because it wasn’t worth it for them

to pay for your permit. In a way, it helped because you could

only audition for big roles. Because those were the only roles

that if you got them, people would pay for your permit. So, it

kind of forced me to aim high. I feel very lucky to have gotten

to make films in United States about the country showing the

different facets of it. There’s the aspect of it where you’re just

driving around at night, sort-of isolated in your car and we

tried to capture that feeling in Drive and there’s this part of La

La Land where you’re surrounded by history and now, I’m

into the future with Blade Runner.

Are you coming back with another film as a director?

Yeah, I have two films that I’m getting ready to direct. I’m

figuring out which one. One is a musical, which I was

going to do before La La Land. I’ve had this Busby

Berkeley project for a long time, it’s just taken a while to

develop it. It’s an incredible experience to direct a film

because making movies, I think, is the greatest job there is.

When you’re an actor, it’s incredible, but the ride only goes

so far. As a filmmaker, you have the full experience.

Did fatherhood changed your future forever, too?

It changes it for the better, your life becomes better than you

ever thought it could be. And...

More protective?

Protective of what?

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

It's been 30 years in the

making. It was thrilling for

us, as fans, to go back

into that universe,

live in that world, and help

carry on the narrative

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EQUITY


COVER STORY

Protecting your child from dangers, saying “Don’t

touch that” all the time?

Now you mean in my own life, do I get more protective?

Sure, yeah, everything is a potential danger. Ten heart

attacks a day (Laughs).

Have they seen any of your movies yet?

No, they’re too little. They’re just babies. We’ll see what

happens… in 2049 (Laughs).

What do you think this movie is showing us that could

happen in the future?

I think that’s what’s exciting about the world of

‛Blade Runner’. Ridley [Scott] and the original film

grounded it so much. It felt very possible somehow, which

is what was so daunting about it. In some ways, I don’t

know if he predicted it or if it’s life imitating art, but he

was right about a lot of things. It just feels much grounded

and very human. I think what’s wonderful of science

fiction is you need to create enough of a distance from

reality that allows the audiences to further get emotionally

charged so that there’s more objectivity.

When did you first watch the movie?

When I was old enough, I think about 13 or 14, and I was

just blown away at how influential this film (Blade Runner)

had really been. Not really in film, but in my reality as well.

It was quite a prophetic film in many ways. It was a

world that had influenced the one I grew up in, so it was

so surreal to be there. To become a part of it, it’s

hard to say how special that was, but it was really a

wonderful experience.

Did you feel the pressure while filming the movie to be

doing the second part of such an iconic movie?

Yes, it was an excitement as well to bring this to the films.

I’m one of the fans. It’s been 30 years in the making.

It was thrilling for us, as fans, to go back into that universe,

live in that world, and help carry on the narrative. And

Ridley wrote the story with Hampton Fancher who wrote

the original story and he chose Denis [Villenueve] to direct

the film. Denis is such an incredible filmmaker. Plus, Ruter

Hauer is shooting it and Harrison [Ford] is back in his

role. I just felt luckier than anything to be surrounded with

such great people and talented craftsmen and

to be allowed to be a part of that universe that I’ve grown

up with.

Was it hard to stay in character?

It was so surreal to be walking around in the universe

of Blade Runner. The craftsmanship of this film was really

on another level. Every location was real, every set was

there, and every prop was functional. It was a fully

functioning living, breathing world. It made it easy for us

in the end, to just focus on the internal world of these

characters because the external world was fully realised

and was richer with detail.

Was it easier to work along Harrison Ford, too?

He’s such a wonderful actor and a great guy. He wanted to

extend the story, felt like there was more to tell. It was

truly such a pleasure working together.

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EDUCATION

THE FABULOUS

LIFE OF A

SUPER TUTOR

Christopher Gyngell, Director at Carfax Education UAE,

gives us a peek into the life of a tutor for the uber-rich in the region

By Meryl D’souza

According to a global report published by HSBC

in July this year, UAE parents pay more than

double the global average for their child’s

education. The report titled "The Value of

Education: Higher and higher" claimed that parents –

both locals and expats – pay an average of $99,378 to

educate their children from kindergarten through the first

four years of university. Even more worryingly, a majority

of those parents aren’t satisfied with the quality of

education available and, thus, resort to tutors. The crème

de la crème however, prefer the expertise of super tutors.

“There are many good schools in Dubai and in the wider

Gulf region,” says Christopher Gyngell, Director at Carfax

Education UAE. “But if you’re a parent who attended a

leading school in the UK, you’d find the services here are

lacking. That’s where we come in.”

For those who may not know, Carfax Education UAE is

a provider of bespoke education services to private

institutional clients throughout the U.A.E. and wider Gulf

region. Christopher Gyngell, who has considerable

experience being a super tutor himself, oversees both the

Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices. “Our clients are who you'd

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EDUCATION

expect them to be: parents with disposable incomes and

concerns about their child’s all-round education,” Gyngell

said. "These parents want to see their kids attend Ivy

League schools and are concerned there’s a gap between

what’s required and what’s offered here.”

Carfax's tutoring business provides highly-skilled and

educated super tutors to anyone who can afford them. But

what exactly are super tutors? “I would define them as

extremely qualified, very flexible tutors who work almost

exclusively with one family,” Gyngell explains. “There are

two types of super tutors: those that excel in just one

subject and boast extremely high success rates, and those

who tend to play more of a governor role, similar to

Victorian times, where they look after the child and

mentor them while the parents are working.”

The US is famous for specialised super tutors who stick

to just the one subject and oversee multiple pupils whereas

super tutors in the UK and here in the UAE, prefer to

work exclusively with one family at a time. Gyngell’s team

at Carfax work with parents who like to have them on

board extracurricularly or work with their children instead

of having them go to school.

Carfax offers plenty of other services including advisory

on relocating children to the UK or the US. “A typical

profile for that would be, a Russian family, living in

Moscow and you want to move your children to a boarding

school in the UK. In this case, you’ll engage us for tutoring

and along with that conversation, we’ll talk about school

placements and offer immigration advice in terms of how

to move your family there and get student visas for your

children,” says Gyngell. “Think of us as an educational

concierge service.”

If that sounds impressive, it’s because the business of

super tutors is inconceivably posh. In the UK, super tutors

earn up to $2,000 per hour. Closer home – and after a lot

of probing on our end – Gyngell said Carfax charges up to

$220 per hour while the base rate is about $130 per hour.

Don’t be alarmed, some super tutors charge as much as

top-end lawyers to educate the offspring of the wealthy.

“It’s hard to come up with an average salary range,”

Gyngell explains. “You’re getting a highly qualified

individual at your beck and call. I’d say there are families

getting an absolute steal for what they’re paying.”

Gyngell isn’t wrong. Clients come in with many specific

View of the Marbella resort city. Province of Malaga, Andalusia, Costa del Sol. Southern Spain

Luxury interior in the modern business jet

demands. “For example, some clients ask for a female

tutor because they come from a Muslim family and there

are cultural considerations to take into account,” Gyngell

says. “In one case, we were looking for a female tutor,

over the age of 30, with an Oxford degree and an interest

in horse riding. It’s ridiculous, with each new demand, the

number of candidates gets smaller and smaller.”

Clients get to dictate a tutor’s hobby because they want the

tutor to be compatible with their children. “Sometimes, even

when you find such qualified people who tick all the boxes,

they may turn out to be the wrong personality fit," Gyngell

says. "That’s something you don’t want to compromise on.”

All things said and done, even Gyngell can’t deny that the

perks of being a super tutor make everything else worth it. “It

can be amazing,” he says. “Certainly, there are very nice

benefits, but there are trade-offs.”

Gyngell’s first assignment as a super tutor was with a

family in southern Spain. He worked with the couple’s

13-year-old son over the course of one summer. With the

boy’s parents deciding to move him to a British boarding

school, the idea was to spend the summer getting him on

top of his English among other subjects. “The family was

lovely,” Gyngell recalls. “They understood their son was

improving and were willing to put in the time and the

effort. For me personally, it was a great job. I spent the

first half of my day with him and had the rest of the time to

myself. They had given me a flat and a car to drive around.”

If that sounds like a pretty sweet deal, wait till you hear

the rest. In his years as a super tutor, Gyngell has been

teaching rich kids on the back of a yacht, in Rolls Royce

Phantoms on the way to meetings, in private jets and

helicopters. “I’ve even gone skydiving in the Alps with a

student once,” Gyngell says. “After a while, you realise it’s

not necessarily a perk, but their lifestyle.”

Sounds like an even sweeter deal. You know all those

#RichKidsOfInstagram posts you love to loathe seeing?

Those are the type of kids Gyngell tutors. The trade-off for

such a seemingly lavish life is flexibility. Salaries can be very

competitive, but that’s because you’ll find that you’re

working in unusual circumstances and can be summoned at

any time when you’re a super tutor. “You can’t necessarily

plan a life around the job,” Gyngell says. “Having said that,

a tutoring gig in the Maldives would be great.”

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EQUITY


LOCAL STAR

#SUPPORTLOCAL

Meet Veer Ramlugon, founder and owner of the WhatsApp-based service,

The Food Analysts

Tell us about The Food Analysts

The Food Analysts is a WhatsApp-based human

calorie counting service that helps subscribers

keep track of their daily diet and calorie intake. I

founded the company in May 2017 after years of

following a training programme and monitoring

my calorie intake manually. I completed my studies

in a field quite different to health and fitness,

achieving my Bachelor of Engineering degree in

Aerospace Engineering from City University of

London and then going on to work in finance.

How did you identify a niche in the market?

Over the years, I’ve used many food monitoring

and tracking mobile apps, but always found they

lacked a key element – convenience. I am always

on the go – working late, travelling and eating out

– and don’t have the time or resources to monitor

my calorie intake myself. That is why I developed

The Food Analysts, which tracks calories on behalf

of others through a dedicated team of trained

health professionals. This service is ideal for those

who want to know what they are, and should be,

consuming on a daily basis in order to meet their

nutrition and fitness goals.

What have been your major challenges till date?

Many compare The Food Analysts to other free

calorie monitoring apps. They also question the

details and accuracy of the results based on simply

sending a picture and short explanation of the food.

My team are trained professionals who have been

doing this for months and know elements like

recipes and portion sizes like the back of their

hands. They are hands-on and form a personal

relationship with the client, really getting to know

their food preferences – whether they drink their

coffee with or without sugar, with low fat milk, etc.

Where do you see the brand in the next

five years?

The Food Analysts was developed with the aim of

helping people live a healthier life. While we

already have customers based in a number of

countries – UAE, UK, India and USA, we want to

grow this even further over the next few years and

reach a larger demographic across the world.

Overall, the vision is for us to be a catalyst for

nutritional help on a global scale, and the go-to

service for all your healthy lifestyle needs.

Visit thefoodanalysts.com for more information

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EQUITY


ody

&

soul

Our lust-worthy statement

pieces make for a great gift

and investment - shop your

favourites. This month, we

explore stunning Sri Lanka,

destinations in the capital,

and the most expensive

penthouse in the UAE

35

EQUITY


IS THE ALL-NEW IPHONE X REALLY

WORTH $1000?

AND EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM

APPLE’S IPHONE EVENT

DUBAI TO BUILD THE WORLD’S LARGEST

CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER PROJECT

The $3.8billion project is part of a mega solar

park that will generate 5,000Mw by 2030

PORSCHE’S

LIMITED-EDITION SUPERYACHT

The GT 115 is meant for long-distance

high-speed cruising

THE NEW CFO OF KRAFT HEINZ

IS 29 YEARS OLD

David Knopf is making us question our

life choices

THE $2.7 MILLION MERCEDES-AMG PROJECT ONE

The next best thing to driving an actual F1 car

Follow us on social media

36

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EQUITYMEDIAUAE


Official Representative for

Bahrain - Kuwait - Oman - Qatar

Saudi Arabia - United Arab Emirates

Mangusta has been the undisputed leader in yachting fun for the past 30 years:

with its strength of character, timeless personal style

and experience in building dreams.

Today, Mangusta is a reference icon, a milestone in yachting fun since 1985,

and now availalbe throughout the GCC, distributed by DG Marine.

Motor City, Control Tower, 13th Floor, Studio 1302, Dubai - UAE

Mobile: +971 50 20 666 11 - Tel: +971 4 450

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36 39

EQUITY

Email: greg@mangusta.ae - Website: www.mangusta.ae - Instagram: mangustayachts_me


TRENDS

The

CHECKLIST

Chic picks to keep you vogueish this summer

FLAWLESS FIT

Berluti’s master shoemaker is coming to town, offering bespoke

shoemaking services tailor-made to the client’s requirements. The

journey for the perfect sole commences with a chat between the

shoemaker and the client, to get an understanding of the shoewearer’s

daily habits, preferences and specifications. The concept

moves forward to design stage, where further personalisation can

be accommodated, be it the flowered tip on the vamp, initials or

embroideries. Before the shoe is ready for handover - in a Venezia

Scritto leather box – the colourist applies the patina, selected by

the client, giving it a distinct personality.

The shoe-making process can take a couple of months and the

bespoke service can be booked from October 17-19 at the Berluti

Store and Level Shoe District in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

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EQUITY


TRENDS

DESIGNER COLLABORATION

The athleisure trend is here to stay. If you aren’t complementing a formal workwear

dress with sneakers (as spotted in DIFC and d3 neighborhoods), chances are, you

will soon be donning the trend. British accessories designer, Sophia Webster, has

partnered with PUMA to launch a quirky collection fueled with inspiration from her

lifelong passion for dance, music and streetwear. Two cult

classics have been given an artsy twist with details including a

textured flock hand-drawn pattern, bold graphics, mesh

detailing, and a burst of colour from fluorescent tones and soft

candy-coloured pastels. Our favourites? The Pearl sneaker

(seen here) featuring a rubber cage design, Suedes with

translucent rubber soles, and the upgraded classic Leadcat

slides that now boast metallic embroidered artwork and

fluoro highlights. Available at sophiawebster.com and

PUMA stores

#TRENDING: MONICA VINADER

The iconic Riva collection’s latest Pod silhouette

stems inspiration from nature and the sculptural

curved forms of Jean Arp (French-German

sculptor). A fluid design flows through the

collection seamlessly, with open, pave-set

diamond designs making it an accessory to pair

with just about any outfit – from crisp shirts, to

cocktail dresses and floor-grazing gowns.

Available at Boutique1

STRAIGHT FROM THE RUNWAY

Tadashi Shoji’s Spring Summer 2018 collection is for women looking for effortless designer creations, standing

on its own, as a piece of art. Gemstone shades of jade, rose quartz, red, yellow opal, azurite and agate, steal the

limelight with knee-length hemlines and gowns that serve as party wear for casual weddings, and yacht wear for

sundowners and cruise gatherings. Available at Robinsons and Etoile Galeries Lafayette

39

EQUITY


IN STYLE

HOP

talk

The stores to visit for

Syour next shopping haul

ARTSY TOUCH

The late Sixties makes a comeback with Repetto’s

FW17 collection, highlighting the Tag while playing

tribute to street art. Designs feature vocabulary

stating zizi, dance, Brigitte, written out in hues of

white, black and pink. Available worldwide

RED CARPET GLAM

It’s only a matter of time before Charlotte Tilbury

makes her debut into the Middle East at Dubai Mall –

the store opens February 2018. Until then, we’re

adding the matte contour liquid lipstick and

beauty light and contour wands, to our online shopping

carts. The all-new

Hollywood collection

comprises of rosegold

pigments, animal

cruelty-free brushes,

and products made

with beeswax,

which offers easily

achievable red

carpet glamour,

with shades to

flatter every

skin tone.

Available at

net-a-porter.com,

harrods.com and

selfridges.com

ONE FOR MEN

The only way to lug those

documents around and keep

everything in check for

meetings, is with

Longchamp’s latest

collection for men. The

three lines feature The Gary

(boasting patchwork of

smooth cowhide, metis and

calf leather); The Ruban

(reflecting a contemporary

Parisian style with two-tone

leather – available in pilot blue

and lacquer red); and the

Cross-Line bag with a

crisscross pattern. Lonchamp

stores across the UAE

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GROOMING

INDULGE YOURSELF

Tried-and-tested experiences of the month

Tried-and-tested experiences of the month

V

Need to know:

The rerooting colour

is available from

Dhs340-350 and the

moisture therapy at

Dhs200 for long hair.

Call 800 28332

The venue: AVEDA

(800 Aveda)

The service: Rerooting hair colour with

blow-dry and Moisture therapy treatment

The verdict: Aveda is no stranger to anyone who puts a little

extra effort and care into their hair routine. For those new to

the brand, Aveda – owned by Estée Lauder Companies – is

renowned internationally for their expertise in haircare, using

the art and science of pure flower and plant essences. All

products are plant-based and contain pure essential oils,

making it ideal for salon treatments. When we walked into the

glamorous salon, located at the rooftop of Galleria Mall on Al

Wasl Road, we were stunned by the views of Burj Khalifa –

Insta-worthy from the minute you enter. Not sure what to

expect, I accepted the offer of a hair consultation, to analyse

my hair condition and suggest a treatment suitable to my

personal needs and lifestyle. Before my hair was shampooed

and dried, I was treated to a soothing head-neck-and-shoulder

massage – known as a sensory journey – that almost made me

snooze. Once the root colour was applied and washed off, the

consultant suggested a moisture therapy treatment to treat

dry locks and split ends. This was placed on for around 30

minutes and later washed off. The result, gorgeous soft glossy

locks that were irresistible to touch.

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GROOMING

The venue: CHAPS AND CO

The service: Haircut

The verdict: Chaps and Co oozes British class. I’m not

talking about that high and mighty variation, no, I’m talking

about that Liam Gallagher, Alex Turner spunk that is

effortlessly cool. The hip, ultra-modern barbers’ newest

venue located on the mezzanine floor of Building Six in the

swanky d3 maintains that British gentlemen’s club vibe while

allowing for just enough playfulness. The posh dark décor,

leather sofas and trademark stag head brings out the majesty

of the gentleman’s world while the cutthroat razors adorning

the wall, PS4-equipped flat screen TV and the company

Need to know:

A standard cut starts

at Dhs115. Visit

chapsandco.ae or name spelled out in lightbulbs, all act as a nod to

call +971 4 240 6843 the fact that men never really grow up.

From the moment you enter, the lounge-like

setting has you hooked. So much so that when

the staff – who look sharp enough to cover fashion

magazines – come to politely ask you what beverage you’d

like, you half-expect them to hand you a menu because

you’d like a fish and chips to pair with said beverage. Truth

be told though; all these add-ons are just frills if the haircut

doesn’t match the incredibly high standards. Luckily, it does.

My allotted barber was chatty and offered up

consultation as well as a layman’s walk-through of what he

was doing to my hair: keratin treatment plus a skin fade

undercut to complement the half-ponytail topped with a

facial massage. Life’s good, isn’t it?

By the time I was done, not a strand of hair was out of

place. But here’s the problem: I could not sit still while

getting my haircut. Just when I was ready to comply to my

barber’s wishes, the wireless Marshall stereo in the corner

would play another indie rock ballad that the EDM-loving

millennials of today would never truly appreciate. At one

point my barber and I took a breather just to lip-sync and

subtly play air guitars as Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet That You

Look Good On The Dance Floor boomed through the

speakers. Men never really grow up.

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EQUITY


Wealth has its challenges.

We will help you protect,

grow and pass it on.

Experts in advising the

wealthy located in

Abu Dhabi, Dubai,

London and 10 other

offices around the globe.

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E: ibrahim.elsadig@blplaw.com

T: +971 (0)4 511 9718

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EQUITY


COLLECTOR'S PIECES

ON OUR RADAR

Striking statement pieces

FURNITURE

PHILIP CAGGIANO

XOSTED

Men love cars, there’s no denying that. Their ardency towards vehicles begins at childhood during playtime, continuing

to teenage years where hours are spent gawking at sports cars, and further carried on to adulthood with a purchase

that’s probably been on their wish list for years. Philip Caggiano is no different. His passion has led him to forming a

contemporary furniture brand inspired by exotic luxury automobiles, with chairs inspired by his own custom 1970

Mustang Mach 1, 1966 Shelby GT350R and F1 cars. The 2017 collection offers sleek chairs, sofas, lounges, consoles

and rockers that double as functional art pieces. Xosted, the stainless steel S304 exhaust pipe tubing piece (seen here),

is one of the bestsellers, with each chair taking approximately 300 hours of hand polishing. The chair was created to

replicate a custom-built exhaust system, giving modern homes a sleek, automotive-inspired edge.

THE CHAIR IS AVAILABLE IN 24K GOLD WITH THE BRUSHED OR PAINTED CHAIR SCULPTURE FOR $8,995

(DHS33,040), AND MIRROR-POLISH FOR $15,995 (DHS58,750), VISIT PHILIPCAGGIANO.COM

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COLLECTOR'S PIECES

TIMEPIECE

Omega

Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer Master Chronometer Platinum

FOR HIM

Omega is over a century old but hasn’t stopped innovating and breaking new ground. This new timepiece is its very first

worldtimer. The party piece of the watch is the hand-crafted enamel world map on the dial. The 24 cities noted on it are

cleverly colour coded. GMT is in red, cities that are plus one hour in summer are in black and cities that do not have

daylight saving changes to their timings are in blue.

Under the dial is a self-winding calibre 8939 that hasn’t only been certified by COSC, but additionally put through another series

of rigorous tests conducted in-house at Omega’s facility and certified by METAS, a Swiss-government controlled testing agency.

As a member of the Aqua Terra family, it is water resistant to a respectable 150 metres. The watch is limited to just 87

pieces. Even though Omega will likely manufacture more worldtimers in the years to come, scoring one from the inaugural

batch makes it a collector’s piece - that’s bound to become an investment piece too.

$48,600 (DHS178,500) AT OMEGAWATCHES.COM

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COLLECTOR'S PIECES

TIMEPIECE

Audemars Piguet

Royal Oak Frosted Gold

FOR HER

Gérald Genta’s enduring legacy is the Royal Oak, a timepiece with an octagonal bezel design that brought Audemars

Piguet back from the brink, and one that continues to be the flagship collection of the brand.

In 1971 when it was first shown at the Basel watch fair, it created an all-new category called the luxury sports watch

that didn’t exist until then. Five years later, AP introduced a women’s version of the Royal Oak.

Forty years on, jeweller Carolina Bucci was tasked by Audemars Piguet to create the frosted effect on the

40th-anniversary editions that come in variants of white- and rose-gold and in bezel sizes of 33mm and 37mm. This

here is the rose-gold 37mm version and the frosted look is created by using the Florentine Technique – a diamondtipped

tool hammers the surface of the gold to create the frosted effect.

This one’s a big bold statement on your wrist that’ll shine even brighter the moment you angle it towards the

spotlight – the only place it really belongs.

$51,400 (DHS188,800) AT AUDEMARSPIGUET.COM

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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.

Marine Regatta

Chronograph

Countdown timer

Silicium technology

ulysse-nardin.com

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EQUITY

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


COLLECTOR'S PIECES

GADGETS

Bianchi Scuderia Ferrari

SF01

It’s time to swap horsepower for pedal power. This bicycle is a joint venture between

the world’s oldest cycling company, Bianchi, and F1 star and supercar slayer, Ferrari.

The hand-painted carbon frame cancels 80 per cent of vibrations and weighs under a

kilogram – 780 grams to be precise. The saddle is made from 3K carbon which is the

same material used in Ferrari car seats. Fitted with Pirelli wheels, you can have the bike

fixed with either Shimano or Campagnolo groupsets which ensures muscle power is

translated into kinetic energy with minimal loss of energy along the way.

$17,600 (DHS65,000) AT BIANCHI.COM

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COLLECTOR'S PIECES

Bang & Olufsen

BEOVISION ECLIPSE

LG and Bang & Olufsen have teamed up to unveil this 4k TV

with HDR OLED screen technology. Being a B&O product, you

get high-end audio to accompany that crisp picture clarity. A

450 watt, 3-channel SoundCentre speaker at the bottom of the

screen offers stereo and centre channel, making this a far better

option compared to conventional soundbars. As a web-enabled

device, the TV can connect to Netflix, YouTube, Deezer,

internet radio and other music streaming devices as well. The

motorized floor-mounted stand can move the TV, which

comes in options of 55- and 65-inches, around the room and

brings it to you. There’s really no bad viewing angle on this one.

$15,990 (DHS58,800) AT BANG-OLUFSEN.COM

MB&F

OCTOPOD

Before you ask, we’ll let you know this eight-limbed

mechanical object is a clock. The head of the octopus

clock is inspired by the transparent pressure hulls in minisubmarines.

It’s also where you can read the time off this

clock designed in collaboration with L’Epée 1839. The

balance wheel and the going train are

mounted on the minute hand

and make a full revolution

every 60 minutes. There

are three versions of the

clock – blue PVD, black

PVD and palladium –

each of which is limited

to 50 units.

Hasselblad

X1D FIELD KIT

$36,500 (DHS134,000)

AT MBANDF.COM

If you are going to channel intrepid explorer instead of

clumsy camera-toting tourist vibes, you better get

yourself this professional Hasselblad X1D Field Kit.

Housed within a tough pelican case is a medium format

mirrorless X1D-50c camera handmade in Sweden and

three lenses: 30mm, 45mm and 90mm. Apart from a

few accessories like a lens pen, dust blower and

cleaning cloth, there’s space carved out already within

the solid foam inside for a yet-to-be-released 120mm

lens. We can’t wait.

$17,500 (DHS64,000) AT HASSLEBLAD.COM

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COLLECTOR'S PIECE

AUTOMOBILE

GOOD

VIBRATIONS

The 115 th Anniversary CVO Limited edition

Harley-Davidson makes every other

long-distance touring motorcycle look mediocre

Words by Varun Godinho

In the spring of 1903, the Wright brothers were still a few

months away from their maiden flight, Einstein was working

at the Swiss patent office and Theodore Roosevelt was

President of the United States of America. It was also the

year that one of the all-time motorcycling greats, Harley-

Davidson was born. Operating out of a 10x15-foot shed in

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Harley-Davidson went into

production: three motorcycles were manufactured, each

one fitted with a 167cc engine and were capable of a top

speed of 25mph.

Harley-Davidson survived two world wars, the Great

Depression and fended off serious competition from the

continent across the pond to emerge as the all-American

long-distance tough-yet-smooth touring motorcycling icon.

The image was reinforced by screen legends in the Fifties like

Peter Fonda riding one in Easy Rider and Marlon Brando

battling a rabble-rousing motorcycling gang that were raising

hell on their Harley-Davidsons in The Wild One.

There have been a few milestone engineering moments

in the history of HD. One of the most recent was the

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COLLECTOR'S PIECE

development of the spectacular Milwaukee-Eight engine

last year (more on that later) and the establishment of a

skunkworks divisions that creates special-edition

collectable motorcycles. One such division is the Custom

Vehicle Operations (CVO) set up in 1999, that picks a

handful of models from Harley's mass-produced line-up

each year and gives them a thorough once over before

releasing them in limited-editions avatars.

To celebrate the marque’s 115th anniversary next year,

Harley-Davidson has unveiled a slew of new variants. But

the one that’s got our full attention is this 115th

Anniversary CVO Limited. One good look at it and you’ll

know why Harley-Davidson has earned its place in the

motorcycling hall of fame.

The handcrafted bike features a batwing fairing and a

Splitstream vent – a product of Project Rushmore – to reduce

rider fatigue and head buffeting. Both the front and rear

passenger have backrests and both heated seats as well. Strips

of scorched chrome have been applied across the bike.

The real star of the show is the Milwaukee-Eight 117

engine. The Milwaukee-Eight is only the third all-new big

twin in 80 years and was developed last year, though it was

only introduced into production models earlier this year. In

this CVO Limited Anniversary edition, the six-speed 1.9-

litre engine is tuned to deliver 166Nm of torque. The

Milwaukee-Eight engines have eight valves instead of four

found in previous Harley engines, which directly results in

additional torque. More torque, more power, more speed

– the combination is intoxicating.

As a luxury motorcycle, expect all the trimmings like an

infotainment system with a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen,

satellite radio, USB/Bluetooth and four 6.5-inch Boom! Bagger

speakers. To keep you from suffering the consequences of

being careless with the throttle, the Reflex Brembo ABS

braking system has electronically linked the front- and rearbrakes

to give you better control and stopping power in an

emergency when you need to stand on the brakes. The 8.5-

foot long Harley that weighs 411kgs may not be the most

convenient ride to take for a supermarket run, but show it a

piece of highway and it’s clear that Harley-Davidson has at

least another 115 years left in it. Maybe more.

$54,500 (DHS 200,000) AT HARLEY-DAVIDSON.COM

52

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COLLECTOR'S PIECE

YACHT

SET SAIL

The latest creations from Ferretti Group

Words by Nicola Monteath

The 40th Cannes Yachting Festival sees yacht manufacturers and keen buyers

flock to the city for one of the most anticipated annual yacht festivals. The

Côte d'Azur show officially marks the commencement of the nautical year,

with brands showcasing their latest fleet. This year saw Ferretti Group launch

25 yachts, ranging from eight to 37 metres, with six premieres and one

restyling representation. Take your pick from these three to suit your lifestyle:

Ferretti Yachts 920

The flybridge sets itself apart, due to its dynamic form and innovative design features. Functional versatility and

expansive spaces (in the bow area) can be used for intimate gatherings in an alfresco setting. Interiors feature numerous

relaxation areas and a fluid layout that makes living onboard no different than a five-star hotel.

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COLLECTOR'S PIECE

Ferretti Yachts 780

Comfort, elegance and safety are fused to form this masterpiece, which boasts a 24 metre flybridge. With neat, modern

lines, an aerodynamic design, and resizing of the height of the hull’s topsides, this yacht exudes athletic character – ideally

for one who loves a bit of adventure out in the sea.

Ferretti Yachts 550 Restyling

Based on a highly-admired concept, the restyled creation now features innovative elements and unremitting glazing

that accentuates the yacht’s profile. To give the yacht an airy, spacious vibe, and allow natural light to flood the indoors,

three large glazed windows have been placed on the hull sides. To further enhance the makeover, furnishings and

accessories solely from prestigious luxury brands have been used.

VISIT FERRETTIGROUP.COM

55

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GASTRONOMY

WEEKEND DINING

Two restaurants worth a visit

1

SKY-HIGH DINING

AT.MOSPHERE, BURJ KHALIFA

Located on level 122, 1,447 feet up in the air, At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa

holds the Guinness World Record for the “highest restaurant from ground level”.

Not exactly the place you’d like to drop by for breakfast if you suffer from

acrophobia. Luckily we didn’t and visited to sample its new breakfast menu.

There’s an à la carte selection, but if choosing between applewood smoked

sea trout, a crepe and a twice baked haddock soufflé lead to an unresolvable

approach-approach conflict, go with the set menu that simplifies the

experience. The Decadence set-menu saw us get started with a selection of

almond and chocolate croissants, brioche and a French baguette, along with a

marmalade and vanilla butter. Next

up, a three-tiered stand is brought to

the table. The top shelf had a helping

of organic Greek yoghurt parfait,

drizzled with a velvety smooth

macadamia manuka honey.

The shelf below it contained a

selection of cheese and handkerchiefslim

cuts of beef pastrami, veal bacon

and turkey bacon, all of which were

laid alongside a selection of cheese

that included brie and gruyère. Before

we tucked into level two, it was time

to order the mains that include eggs

and items like waffles. However, we

were tempted by the exotic lobster

scrambled eggs from the à la carte

menu, and the staff were happy to

indulge us. Their only question:

“Would you like some caviar on

that?” Yes, please.

By the time we got to the bottom

tier of the stand, filled with cuts of

fresh fruits, it was time to round up

the experience with a coffee, though

you would do very well to call for a

hot chocolate too which stops just

short of a slab of chocolate melted

whole and undiluted in a glass.

The staff lets you linger around for as

long as you like after your meal to take

in the views from any side of the

restaurant. The restaurant is located

two levels below Burj Khalifa’s official

observation deck that’s open to the

public. Knowing that you can enjoy an

entire set menu meal for approximately

the same price of an observation deck

ticket and get to stay far longer to get

the perfect family selfie, thanks to the

friendly staff, makes visiting At.

mosphere a proposition that’s a

winner on several levels.

Need to know:

The Decadence menu starts

from Dhs325 per person and the

restaurant is open for breakfast

daily from 7-11am.

Call +971 4888 3828

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GASTRONOMY

POOLSIDE NOSH

2

AZURE LOUNGE, RIXOS JBR

You have probably noticed a large glass structure right across

Al Fattan Towers on the Jumeirah Beach Residence strip.

That’s the swanky newly-launched Rixos Premium Dubai. On

one end, it seems similar to any conventional “Dubai hotel”.

The beachfront side, however, boasts an infinity pool that

stretches from one end to the other, with restaurants flanking

it. Azure was our destination of choice for dinner, offering

poolside snacks for those who want to avail the day pass, or

merely dine al fresco while enjoying the cool breeze. A meal

here comprises of plenty of seafood and vegetables, making it

a great option for pescatarians and vegans too. Expect plush

lounge chairs, and neutral-hue décor coupled with nautical

pops of colour and stunning views all around.

When salt and pepper squid graces a menu for

appetisers, it’s always a top choice to test against the city’s

rest. These were crisp, soft on the inside and showed no

signs of grease – paired beautifully with the creamy and

tart yoghurt lime aioli. Up next was an incredibly juicy and

fresh Azure Salad, the kind you wish you could recreate

daily. Salmon, tuna and hamachi were mixed with

radicchio, fennel, onion and beetroot, topped with and a

citrus charred orange vinaigrette that allowed the

vegetables and fish to marry flawlessly. For something a bit

more substantial, we dived into a meaty baked salmon

fillet sandwich served with pickled cucumber and wasabi

coleslaw. Thankfully, the salmon was done just right – not

too soft, or too done and rubber-like. Sushi-lovers have

plenty of options to choose from, from maki rolls with

crispy breaded king prawns and mango chutney, to spicy

tuna and Alaskan crab meat with orange tobiko mayo.

After a heavy meal, which didn’t seem like it as we nibbled

our way through courses, it only made sense to opt for a

light fruit and coconut ice dessert. Litchi, melon, papaya, and

coconut slivers complemented spiced pineapple ice, grass

jelly and evaporated milk. The ingredient list may sound

heavy, but trust us, it’s refreshing and nutritious.

Need to know:

Pool and beach passes

are available for

Dhs300 on weekdays

(inclusive of a

Dhs200 F&B voucher)

and Dhs400 on

weekends with the

same voucher. The

lounge is open daily

(from 11am) and

offers shisha service.

Call + 971 52 777 9472

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TRAVEL

COASTAL

COMFORTS

Sri Lanka is brimming with

maritime adventures, high-end

stays and culinary treats. Here,

Nicola Monteath’s itinerary offers

the best of sights accompanied by

tranquil escapes to rejuvenate.

It’s time to plan your getaway

Long weekends have us conjuring thoughts of a

rested getaway, adventure-filled mornings and

culinary-led days, and that’s exactly what Sri

Lanka offers. The country is hailed for its tea

trails, coastal areas, mountainous regions, biking

adventures, hikes and plenty more. Exploring the various

cities and towns can take anywhere between weeks to

months, so if you don’t have the luxury of time, here’s a

four-day itinerary to get the most out of your short stay.

The country’s capital is crowded, with bustling parks and

streets. However, we’ve been told it has its own charm. Our

holiday began with a visit to the Gangaramaya Temple on

what happened to be Poya Day (a public holiday celebrated in

Sri Lanka every full moon). Contemporary architecture, gold

structures and a man selling candles and lotus bouquets, to

place as offerings, meets the eye at first glance. Pick up a candle

to light at one of the grottos and explore the temple’s

collection of vintage cameras and items that have been gifted

Gangaramaya Temple

DAY

1

THE CITY OF COLOMBO

to the monks. If you’re there on Poya Day, one of the

worshippers will most likely tie a white band around your wrist

as a blessing, truly exemplifying their compassionate selves.

To enjoy Colombo the way the locals do, visit Galle Face

Green – a strip flanked by the ocean, dotted with food carts.

Here you can tuck into one of the country’s favourite street

snacks, kothu roti (pieces of flatbread shredded and mixed

with eggs and veggies). The city is home to museums, casinos

and parks, and in every nook and corner, property

development takes place – Dusit Thani residences have made

their entry, targeting a bevy of expats migrating to the country.

The sole purpose of me visiting Colombo was mainly to

dine at Ministry of Crab (listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

list) owned by Sri Lankan cricketing legends Mahela

Jayawardane and Kumar Sangakkara. Nestled at a 400-yearold

former Dutch hospital, the hotspot makes for an intimate

dinner with dim lighting, striking chandeliers and windows that

allow a cool breeze to make its way through the restaurant

and the outdoor courtyard. Dharshan Munidasa – one of the

country’s most celebrated chefs – is at the helm of the kitchen,

serving sustainably-fished export-quality crabs for crustacean

lovers. We tucked into a plate of tender shrimp doused in

butter to whet our appetite, followed by a garlic chilli crab and

wood-fired traditional kade bread to soak up the moreish

juices. A side of crisp garlic fried rice perfectly complemented

the sweet, fleshy crab meat, living up to its hype and making

the visit to the city worthwhile on every account.

IMAGES BY SHUTTERSTOCK : SUPPLIED

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TRAVEL

DAY

2&3

KOGGALA AND GALLE FORT

Koggala (the country’s largest natural lake, pictured

here) is surrounded by guest houses, hotels and temples.

From here, you can visit Galle Fort (a UNESCO World

Heritage Site) sited at the Bay of Galle on the southwest

coast of Sri Lanka. It harks back to 1588, when it was

first built by the Portuguese and further fortified by the

Dutch during the Seventeenth century (from 1649). The

fort’s ambience isn’t anything like we have experienced

around Sri Lanka. In fact, it’s almost similar to Europe,

with street-side bars, a mix of traditional and

international eateries, gemstone shops, and five-star

hotels for high tea, coupled with nurseries and

universities along the way. To explore the area and fully

immerse yourself with a tipple or two, you will need a

few hours. We highly recommend visiting Tap House

and Sugar Bistro & Wine bar for breakfast, lunch and

creative concoctions. Those craving an authentic Sri

Lankan curry, can head to Galle Things Roti for spicy

prawn, chicken and meat dishes. Most hotels can arrange

a tuk-tuk ride to and fro.

STAY AT: TRI LANKA

You may have spotted this sustainable resort on Instagram,

known for its infinity pool that looks out to the lush hills

and Koggala lake. Perched atop a hill, with cinnamon trees

and rice paddy fields dotted along the trail, this luxury

design hotel is built on the premise of catering to those

looking for tranquility. With just 11 suites comprising rooms

in the central water tower, and villas with a private pool,

the spot is ideal for those who want to catch up on reading,

laze by the pool, pack in a yoga session, and literally do

absolutely nothing for days.

Wellbeing is placed at the forefront, with a sustainable

philosophy carried throughout – from the tropical surroundings,

to the rooms and dining experiences. Our days were spent by

the private pool in the villa, with a quick trip to the library nestled

amongst foliage for a coffee and lazy afternoon reading

session. Group yoga takes place a few mornings per week,

and you can add on various excursions and activities including

whale watching, a visit to cinnamon island and a cooking

demonstration. Due to weather conditions, we opted for an

authentic Sri Lankan culinary class which took place by the

lakeside – instead of under the banyan tree. Sri Lankan meals

are quite healthy with fruit and vegetables we don’t even

come across in the UAE, used for cooking. We interacted

with the chef, assisted with vegetable slicing and indulged in a

banana blossom curry, passion fruit leaves salad, dhal and

green bean coconut gravy with red rice.

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The expansive villas feature a day bed, open-style bathroom,

private pool and terrace complete with a coffee table. Draw

the drapes before you sleep, as you will want to wake up to

the sounds of birds chirping and serene view of the lake. On

Poya Day, you will be able to hear soothing chants from the

nearby temple. Note, the hotel rooms aren’t equipped with a

TV, so make sure to carry a book along. When heading to the

city, don’t forget to take the provided mobile to call for your

ride back to the hotel.

Room service isn’t available for breakfast, so no dining in bed

here. However, with a stunning landscape to relish while tucking

into a feast for a breakfast, we didn’t mind the walk to the hotel’s

restaurant. The meal begins with fresh exotic fruit, granola and

frozen curd ice cream, followed by coffee and pastries, a

comforting kurakkan (red millet) porridge and your choice of

dish from the à la carte menu – we ate egg curry with string

hoppers and sambol (a chutney condiment). A nutritious

smoothie is served as an energy booster, apt for those who are

about to venture off on a cycling tour or surfing adventure.

Dinner takes place at the same restaurant and is served as a

multi-course menu comprising seasonal ingredients with mango

showcased in a curry with green bean fry, quail eggs with miso

and tofu, and grilled spiced fish with rice.

If you are looking for a tucked-away abode –almost a

forest escape – that offers great hospitality with magnificent

food to complement, you can’t go wrong at Tri Lanka. Those

who’ve explored Sri Lanka prior to this trip, and have more

time on hand, can indulge in an Ayurvedic massage and

private yoga sessions.

To book:

Visit

trilanka.com

DAY

4

WELIGAMA

Popular with surfers and sunbathers, this coastal town on

the southern part of the country – in Matara district – is

one bustling with character. Weligama is perhaps best

described as a fishing town and beach resort destination

where you can indulge in a bit of shopping, surf all day and

meander around town on a bike or tuk tuk. Begin the trip

by stopping by the Kushta Raja Gala sculpture carved

into a rock between the 7-9th centuries. According to

forklore, a foreign king who suffered from a skin disease

was treated by a doctor in Weligama bay, and when

restored back to his original strength, had a sculpture of

himself (the Kushta king) carved into the rock. Another

version states the King made an offering to a certain God

when he was sick, and then made a statue of the God he

believed in, as a gift for his cure. The most common belief,

however, is that the statue represents the “Awalokitha”

or the “Avalokiteshvara" Bodhisattva of the Mahayana

Buddhism, due to the four meditating Buddha figures on

his head dress and the lotus in the hand. “Avalokiteshvara”

Bodhisattva is one of the most powerful bodhisattvas of

the Mahayana Buddhism, thought to be one of the most

significant healers of mankind.

Our hotel was around a 15 minute tuk-tuk ride to the

beach and most of the attractions. And we must admit,

after a day in the city, it feels great retreating to a villa

with all the comforts.

STAY AT: CAPE WELIGAMA

Palm trees line the shore of this expansive resort that pays

homage to legendary explorers such as Marco Polo, Ibn

Batuta, Robert Knox and plenty more, with clusters of villas

and rooms available within each explorer’s unit. Just under

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EQUITY


TRAVEL

30 minutes away from Koggala, this hotel from the Relais &

Chateaux group, sprawls over 12 acres and is nestled 40

metres above the Indian Ocean. Children will love this resort,

with its family pool and manicured lawns. Similarly, couples can

enjoy complete tranquility at the vantage viewpoints during

sunrise and sunset, by the 60-metre crescent-shaped infinity

pool and within the villas that are quite spaced out, making

you feel as though you are the only guests within the premises.

Walking up and down the cobbled path, within the

resort, packs in a bit of a workout as you head to the pool

bar for a cocktail, a quick dip, or the gym complete with a

sauna and steam room. Each room is equipped with

Tiffany-coloured umbrellas for rainy walks to the facilities

and restaurants nearby.

Epicurean offerings on offer suit all taste buds, with Ocean

Terrace for authentic and international-inspired dishes that

complement the views of the shimmering waters, Ocean Grill

for those looking for a memorable dining experience at the

live-cooking Teppanyaki station and Cape Club for afternoon

tea. We dined at Ocean Terrace, as the sea breeze beckoned

on the first night, and tucked into a spicy ramen broth with

chicken, and Sri Lankan curry (which usually comprises of four

to five curries including dhal and green bean fry). The prawn

curry is mouthwatering, and definitely one of the best dishes

we tried on the trip, with a hint of coconut and flavours that

linger on your palate. We loved the curry so much, that we

even ordered it for breakfast the next morning with Appa

(a crisp, concaved rice batter bread). You can also order a

plate of fresh fruit for breakfast and egg specialties, which

arrive with croissants and fresh juice.

The ocean-view and garden villas for couples are large

enough to fit a family of four, stretching from a bedroom and

outdoor terrace towards one corner, moving to the walk-in

closet, bathroom with steam facilities, and bath tub with views

of the outdoors towards the other corner of the villa. Novels

and history books act as accessories around the room, and

make for a great read, while postcards on the desk allow you

to send a memorable souvenir to loved ones back home.

To make our trip all the more noteworthy, we were gifted a

Dilmah tea box, filled with specialties from the region – the

hotel is owned by the founder of Dilmah, and is under the

Resplendent Ceylon chain of luxury resorts in Sri Lanka.

To book:

Visit

resplendentceylon.com

/capeweligama

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TRAVEL TALES

JETSETTER JOURNEYS

The latest in experiences, tours and wellbeing breaks

DETOX THE STAR-STUDDED WAY

Where do Mick Jagger, Marlene Dietrich and royalty escape

for a mind and body cleanse? Clinique La Prairie in Montreux.

The Swiss clinic, founded in 1931, has been a wellness

destination for decades, treating visitors with a scientific and

holistic approach. If you’re looking to rebalance the body’s

homeostasis while stimulating vitality, sign up for Clinique La

Prairie’s Master Detox Program. The personalised weeklong

program begins with a body check-up, and is followed

by a chat with the dietician to design a menu specific to your

needs. It isn’t just diet-focused though, spa treatments,

massages, facials, cellular photo-stimulation and yoga are part

of the program too, so you can check in, unwind and head

home a renewed you. Dhs60,000, visit laprairie.ch/

medical-programs/master-detox

A GEM IN GENEVA

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix,

Geneva is steeped in history and ready

to welcome guests at the 152-year old

building, after a multi-million-dollar

renovation. Art and décor lovers will

appreciate the details on show, with an

exhibition of tapestries featuring

historical figures, and suites named

after renowned personalities such as

Grace Kelly – a regular at the hotel.

Philippe Pascoët’s chocolate shop

offers handmade artisanal confections

to take home. ritzcarlton.com/geneva

SPLURGE-WORTHY EXPERIENCE

To commemorate the 20 th Anniversary

of Rocco Forte Hotels, the Forte

family have curated a 12-day European

tour, checking into their favourites

properties. The tour includes a glamorous

hotel stay in London, St Petersburg,

Florence, Edinburgh, Rome and

Berlin with exclusive access and

experiences at museums, palaces, and art

galleries, amongst other attractions. Enjoy

a lavish tour through the eyes of the

Forte family. $117,206 (Dhs430,500),

visit roccofortehotels.com

TRAVEL WARDROBE

Leave your trench coats, tuxedos and gowns at home. Hotel Café Royal has

teamed up with matchesfashion.com to offer an in-room wardrobe service and

personal shopping experience known as Fashion Now. Guests will get access

to a selection of key pieces from an active, formal and evening wear collection

(for men and women), with deliveries just 90 minutes after the order has been

placed. “Nothing to wear” is now a complaint of the past.

thesethotels.com

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THE FAIRWAY

HIT the LINKS

Explore Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

and its stunning natural surroundings

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THE FAIRWAY

The Gary Player designed course –

managed by Toon – is nestled on

Saadiyat island, home to hawksbill

turtles, marine life, migrating birds

including European rollers and curlews, to

name a few species. The serene capital escape

showcases natural greens of the 18-hole golf

course that stretch out to the glistening water,

making it the first beachfront course in the

Arabian Gulf. After a round of golf, head to the

dolphin viewing area – a third of the golf course

offers views of the sea mammals – or the

Hawksbill restaurant for a quick bite. The allday

dining menu features everything from pasta

to pizza and grills.

Those looking to enjoy a weekend here can

relax back at Park Hyatt Hotel or St. Regis

Saadiyat Island Resort, located nearby.

BECOME A MEMBER

The single annual fee per person is Dhs29,350

with a joining fee of Dhs5,000. Apart from the

general benefits, you can also avail 20 per cent

discount on food and beverage, golf shop

merchandise, 15 per cent on private golf

instruction, preferred rates at select TDIC

partners (Tourism Development & Investment

Company), quarterly Member’s appreciation

evenings and various other member privileges.

PGA Professionals are on hand to teach

adults and little ones putting techniques at a

practice facility. The single golf lesson packages

are available from Dhs330 per person for a

45-minute lesson (inclusive of a video swing

analysis, rental equipment, lesson tee access

and use of the trackman).

For more information, visit sbgolfclub.ae

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EQUITY


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HOTEL REVIEW

STAY OF

THE MONTH

Nestled in the heart of the capital,

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi impresses on every account

The St. Regis brand is an

icon synonymous with

luxury and remarkable

standards that leaves you

in complete awe the minute you

arrive. The cascading staircase and

crystal chandeliers make for a grand

entrance – if you have stayed at any of

their properties, you would have

probably come across a similar marble

staircase that’s become a signature

from the brand. An element of

sophistication greets you right from

the arrival point to the concierge desk

and before you know it, you are all

ready to enjoy the comforts of your

room and sink into the plush bed.

The Grand Deluxe Suite offers

panoramic sweeping views of the

coastline, flooding the room with

natural light. An arabesque theme is

prevalent throughout, with nautical

tones and neutral hues that bring the

space to life. When night falls, draw a

hot bath, with Remède bath

amenities, in the standalone tub that

looks out to the shimmering

breakwaters. You could also watch a

movie on the mirror-integrated flat

screen LCD TV while you soak and

clear away the stresses of the day.

Business travellers will appreciate

the 24-hours complimentary shoe

shining and pressing service – just ring

the butler for any requirements you

may have.

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HOTEL REVIEW

DINE

The rustic-style Villa Toscana charms with an outstanding Italian

menu that even the fussiest of diners would be stunned by – a great

option if dining with children. The meal commenced with the chef’s

recommendation, a warm and comforting Tuscan country bean

soup, followed by tender grilled octopus dressed in lemon and

herbs. All dishes are age-old recipes the chefs learnt from their

nonnas. Mains were a succulent lamb in an unexpected chocolate

ragu, topped with truffle oil, that beautifully came together with

each morsel. Stuffed ravioli was highly suggested as a side, offering a

soft, pillow-textured bite with creaminess from the herb ricotta.

The little ones savoured a crisp Bufalina pizza topped with wild

mushrooms, pancetta and herbs, and a plate of seafood spaghetti –

which we helped ourselves too – that made us feel like we were

transported to a trattoria in Tuscany. You can’t leave an Italian

restaurant without trying a traditional decadent tiramisu, and so we

did in true Italian fashion, finishing our meal with an espresso.

Whether you’re staying at the hotel, or just visiting for a business

meeting or family dinner, this Italian eatery is one you can’t miss for

a memorable experience.

The hotel has nine dining options to choose from, and if you can

make it to another, opt for tea at the Crystal Lounge. The hotel’s

lobby café is a great place to catch up on emails, meet up with friends

and relax back with tea or coffee from the extensive selection.

Breakfast is best enjoyed at The Terrace on the Corniche, with a

buffet featuring everything from eggs cooked to your liking, to hot

dishes including curry, Arabic specialties, waffles and smoothies.

GET ACTIVE

The mixed and female-only gym is equipped with state-of-the-art

equipment, located near the outdoor temperature controlled pool at

the Beach Club. The hotel also features a small surrounding relaxation

pool and an oversized pool with a swim-up bar

and large jacuzzi.

While The St. Regis is set along the

corniche road, a lavish underpass – with

Need to know:

The Grand Deluxe Suites are

available from Dhs1,000 per

night, with the Abu Dhabi Suite

being the highest in the range at

Dhs25,000 per night

(spanning over two floors).

Visit stregisabudhabi.com

décor that flows through seamlessly

from the hotel lobby and interiors –

offers direct access to the Beach

Club and private beach across the

road from the hotel, where you can

soak up the rays in peace. While

adults get a bit of me-time, little

ones (between the age range of

four-12) can head to the kid’s club for

fun games and activities.

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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.

WWW.LUXHABITAT.AE

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REAL ESTATE

ONE PALM

TO RULE THEM ALL

Omniyat’s One Palm penthouse, that sold for more than $27 million,

is the home even the rich-and-famous didn’t know they needed

Words by Meryl D'Souza

London’s One Hyde Park is said to be amongst

the priciest residences in the world. Apartments

in the Knightsbridge complex cost more than

$11,000 per sq ft – that’s nearly three times the

typical price of luxury London real estate.

Despite all the money behind it and the hoopla it

generates, precious little is known about the

people who call the place home. That’s most

certainly how the building conducts its business.

The uber-wealthy, you see, don’t like dealing

with the common folk. In fact, they’d rather you

know nothing about them.

The one bit of information we can confirm is

that Elicyon, a luxury design studio based in

Chelsea, London, was involved in creating the

stellar interiors of the 86-unit building. The

interior design studio founded by Charu Gandhi

has also used its opulent textures in designing

the most expensive penthouse in Dubai.

The apartment in question – the largest of

three penthouses part of One Palm by Omniyat

– sold for Dhs102 million (more than $27

million), dwarfing the previous record price tag

of Dhs60 million (about $16 million) held by the

penthouse of the Bulgari Resorts and Residences

project on Jumeirah Bay Island.

Measuring in at more than 29,800 sq ft, the

lavish five-bedroom (all en-suite) apartment

offers up almost perfect views of the epic Dubai

Marina skyline. The huge apartment also

includes more than 11,000 sq ft of exterior

space, including multiple balconies, terraces and

a rooftop area.

The penthouse was sold to an anonymous

GCC buyer – see what we mean – after an

extended series of negotiations. One of which

included the buyer’s demand to have a

20-metre long private lap pool installed on the

rooftop of his penthouse. The pool will become

one of the highest and most private swimming

pools in Dubai, upon completion.

The 100-metre tall, 100-metre wide One

Palm project was unveiled in February and is

home to just 90 apartments comprising three-,

four- and five-bedroom residences. Situated on

a prime plot on the eastern tip of the iconic

Palm Jumeirah’s trunk, amenities include the

One Palm Clubhouse decked with a fine-dining

restaurant, indoor and outdoor swimming

pools, indoor cinema, outdoor cinema and BBQ

area, residents lounge, children’s pool, playroom

and a luxury spa.

Omniyat says that, having topped out (when

the last beam has been placed during

construction), the whole building is due for

completion in 2018, and a three-bedroom

apartment will set you back at least Dhs12.5

million (about $3 million). Don’t worry, it

comes with a private jetty that allows residents

to conveniently dock their yachts.

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REAL ESTATE

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ENTREPRENEUR

MORNING ROUTINE

I squeeze in a quick morning

meditation to begin my day on

the right note and by 6:30am the

Handa house is usually in full

swing. After a rushed breakfast

with the family and school drop

off for my eight-year-old twins

Sienna and Soroya, I usually head

to the gym or an exercise class.

I’m in the office or one of the

spas by around 9.30am.

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE

Don’t sweat the

small stuff. It’s just

not worth it

PREVIOUS FIELD

I have a degree in business with a

major in marketing from Boston

University. When I moved to

Dubai in 1999, it was to work in

the high-powered world of

finance and marketing, for major

global companies such as Merrill

Lynch and Tetra Pak. SensAsia

was born from fusing my passions

for brand building, and being the

fussiest spa client I knew.

THE BEST DHS1,000 I

HAVE EVER SPENT

My head space coach

SUMMER TRAVELS

I visited Cape Town, where the

whole family just loves to be. We

have just bought an apartment in

the heart of the city and I spent

the first half of the summer really

enjoying furnishing it, in a

completely different style to what

I would create in Dubai. Then, I

went home to Thailand.

GET TO KNOW…

SALINA

HANDA

Managing director

and founder of

SensAsia Urban Spa

WHAT DOES INVESTING IN

YOURSELF MEAN TO YOU?

A life-long commitment to learning. Whether

it be spiritual growth or about something that

seems simple to others, such as digital media.

ON MY BOOKSHELF

I don’t read a lot of fiction any

more, but I want to start again. A

permanent fixture on my

bedside table is The Optimum

Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford.

INSPIRATIONAL IDEAS

I was born and raised in Thailand.

I have a deep love for the country

and still visit every year. Thailand

is a large part of who I am and I

have made sure it is at the core of

the spas. The furniture, ambiance

and even names of our treatment

rooms are all connected to my

memories of Thailand. Inspiration

oddly doesn’t usually come from

other spas, but things I see in a lot

of restaurants and stores often

draw my eye. I look to fashion

brands for marketing as well,

hence the idea of selling a

‘feeling’ or ‘mood’ for Christmas

– this actually came about from

Bloomingdales in New York

years ago.

FLY ME TO…

Trattoria Milanese in Milan. I’ve

been to it twice and it really is the

most unassuming place, but they

do the best veal Milanese and

osso buco ever.

TOP HOTSPOTS

I enjoy a stroll around Ripe

Market for food, gifts and the odd

fashion find, however I’ve

become an exclusive online

shopper. For a fun night, I visit

Muchachas, and when I want to

indulge in some delicious, starchladen

comfort food, I head to

Cipriani or La Petite Maison in

DIFC. I have a few favourites in

JBR as well – The Maine Oyster

Bar & Grill and good old BiCE.

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