MAY - JUNE 2018 | ISSUE 12














Extraordinary is in the detail.

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Be Extraordinary.







From the EDITOR

Ramadan Kareem. The Holy month

is a time of giving. A month that

sees family and friends coming

together for Iftars, Suhoors and

various gatherings. Take this month to reflect

on yourself and the year ahead.

In this issue, we interviewed Ali Karmostaji

and his brother and partner Yousef Karmostaji,

who look back at their journey to the launch of

their father's fruit and vegetable shop in Dubai (page 12); and Dr.

Reem El Mutwalli, who takes us through her stunning collection of

UAE women’s dresses from the pre-oil era in the country (page 16).

To make your life efficient and productive, we have rounded up the

latest apps on the block worth downloading (page 20).

Our cover star Charlize Theron speaks to Fabian Waintal on

breaking stereotypes and being a risk-taker in Hollywood (page

25). In our May/June issue, we also bring you the latest in

Ramadan and summer-wear (from page 32-42). Since things are

about to calm down a bit from May, with Ramadan and the

summer holidays, catch up with friends at some of the newest

dining spots in town or try an authentic Iftar (page 51). Need to

rejuvenate over a couple of days? Visit The Ritz-Calrton Ras Al

Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach (page 65) or perhaps plan an Eid

getaway to Marrakesh (page 56). Whatever you choose, make sure

you take time off and enjoy summer 2018.


Clean lines and a simple colour

combination make this pair from

Roberto Cavalli an everyday item.

Don't need power lenses? Wear

them anyway to make a statement

Happy reading


Nicola Monteath

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our vanity

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Moynat have launched in the

region and their selection of

trunks, leather goods and totes are

on our must-have list







MAY - JUNE 2018


Events to attend this month







A new generation of

entrepreneurs in Dubai


Dr. Reem El Metwalli shows us

her exclusive collection of UAE

women's dresses


The apps you need to

download to maximise time

and be cost-efficient


A chat with Geeta Pahlajani,

Founder and CEO of

Goodness Cart


Hollywood starlet Charize

Theron discusses taking on

male-dominated action roles

12 24






Key pieces for your wardrobe





The latest collections and

pieces in stores this season


Your fitness queries

answered, and a studio

to try this month



MAY - JUNE 2018




Treatments to try



Statement investment pieces



A round-up of hotspots in the city





The exotic destination packed

with culture and great fare


Inspiration for your next holiday

and wellbeing break

On the cover


Read her interview on page 25

Gringo Poster image supplied







Head to Abu Dhabi Golf Club


A trip to The Ritz-Carlton

Ras Al Khaimah, Hamra Beach


A look at The Residences

at Marina Gate


Saad Audeh, Chairman of

Campbell Gray Hotels

The publication may not be

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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.




Dr. Reem El Mutwalli talks preserving culture while

brothers Yousef and Ali Karmostaji discuss growing

up in Dubai and altering the F&B sector within the

city. Turn over to find out more about these

entrepreneurs and our cover star Charlize Theron





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


WHERE? Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza

WHEN? May 23-24

Looking for a venue to celebrate a big occasion

or upcoming birthday? Book a flight to Ibiza

for this educational music event that brings

together the best DJs and artists in the

industry. The 2018 line-up features The

Martinez Borthers, Gianfranco Bortolotti,

Dixon and various other renowned artists.


WHERE? Kensington Conference and Events Centre, London

WHEN? May 30-31

One of the leading fintech events for global finance and

banking technology. This year’s forum focuses on mobile

payments, insurance, blockchain technology, bitcoin,

investments and wealth management. If you’re the kind

that likes to keep up-to-date with trends and prep for the

future, add this forum to your calendar. Some of the

noteworthy speakers attending are Steven Cooper, CEO

of Barclaycard, Keith Bear (VIP, Financial Markets at

IBM), and Kristina Oliver (MD at Silicon Valley Bank).


WHERE? Za’abeel Halls 4 & 5,

Dubai World Trade Centre

WHEN? May 1-3

The largest smart cities event in the Middle

East is coming to town. The three-day

agenda will showcase the latest in AI,

robotics and augmented reality, while

focusing on government security and oil

and gas. Attend motivational talks,

masterclasses and panel discussions from

some of the industry’s top experts.





WHERE? Bangkok University,


WHEN? May 24-25

Interested in topics related to

Management, Leadership and

Governance? This is an event not

to be missed. Tackle industry

issues, gain insightful knowledge

on strategies and managerial

behaviour, and attend discussions

on particular practices.






WHERE? IFEMA - Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain

WHEN? May 31 to June 3

Interested in investing in Madrid, or just meeting

with developers, international companies and real

estate firms? This exhibition brings together the

best-of-the-best in the real estate industry. Meet with

building hardware experts, real estate schools and

professionals who will share their valuable

knowledge on current market trends.


WHERE? The Metropolitan, New York

WHEN? June 11-12

Blockchain and cryptocurrency industry experts and

investors come together for a two-day summit.

The agenda entails a low-down on the current market,

shift in trend, digital asset diversification strategies,

networking sessions and plenty more. Attend talks

from early stage investors such as Arianna Simpson,

one of the top 40 women of Bitcoin, as well as

Ajay Yadav, CEO of Roomi, featured on the Forbes

30 under 30 list.


WHERE? Seaclose Park, Newport

WHEN? June 21-24

The renowned music festival is back.

Previously playing host to musical legends

such as The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant,

David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl

Jam, The Isle of Wight has gained reputation

over the years for its significant line-up and

electric atmosphere. The 2018 roster is yet to

be announced, but we’re sure it’ll be a

remarkable one.



WHERE? Canton Fair Complex Pier, Guanghzou, China

WHEN? June 22-24

South China’s largest and most prestigious property

and investment forum takes place end of June. If

you’re looking for your next big investment, or

options to build your portfolio, don’t miss this. Meet

and network with real estate experts from Hong

Kong, Greece, Cyprus, Melbourne, Los Angeles,

London and various other cities and countries, to get

the most out of your visit. That’s not all. You can

also find information on schools, financial matters

and industries linked to China.




A tale of two


Emirati siblings Yousef and Ali Karmostaji are savvy

entrepreneurs who are shaking up the F&B sector in Dubai

By Varun Godinho




Succession woes are the bane of any

business – particularly so a family

business. Very often the next generation

is reluctant be the torchbearers for a

venture that their parents began. That

wasn’t the case though for 33-year-old

Yousef Karmostaji and his 32-year-old

brother Ali. They’re the secondgeneration

operators of a fruit and

vegetable business started by their

father over 35 years ago. “My father

began working in the fruit and vegetable

business in the Seventies. When he first

came to Dubai, he was working along

with his brothers, but then decided in

1981 to separate from them and

establish his own company. Since 1981

we’ve been importing fresh fruits and

vegetables into the UAE and

distributing it to five-star hotels,

hypermarkets, western food chains, as

well as the wholesale market. That is

how the family business started,”

explains Yousef.

The brothers elaborate saying that

beginning a business of this nature

required a considerable amount of

elbow grease. “Operationally it was

very challenging back then. Now we

have forklifts, for example, that could

do the job. But at that time my father

started out, loading and offloading was

all a manual job,” says Ali.

Starting ground-up meant limited

financial and human resources. “Back

then, it was only him, three salesmen and

one driver. It was a five-man operation

and they had just one truck. Every day,

he had to go the market and buy and sell

the fruits and vegetables himself. It was

completely a hands-on operation.”

It eventually paid off. Today, the

Dubai headquartered business has

about 350 employees and uses 70

trucks and has branches in Sharjah and

Abu Dhabi too. Yousef joined in 2008

and is now the General Manager for

Shokri Hassan Trading Company,

while Ali joined two years later in 2010

and is the Operations Manager.

The brother can be credited with

making the business more tech oriented

as well as operationally efficient. Ali

introduced e-commerce into the

venture by catering directly to

customers in the UAE through an app

called FruVeg. “The idea for the

FruVeg app came when I thought of

ways to introduce e-commerce into our

business. I wanted to build something

like an Uber, but for fruits and

vegetables. I developed a user-friendly




I didn’t want a

regular juice

bar. I wanted

something that

was totally


The inspiration

(for Hola) came

from Mexico




simple-to-use app called FruVeg. We update the

app daily with the fruits and vegetables we have

in stock and its prices. The prices are more or less

wholesale prices and much cheaper than the

supermarkets. That’s a clear advantage for the

customer. We do not charge anything upfront.

All you need to do is place an order for a

minimum of Dhs100 and we deliver to you the

same day. After delivering the fruits and

vegetables to you, you can pay for it only if you’re

completely satisfied with what you have received.

If you’re satisfied with only half of it, then you

pay for only half of it. We deliver in Dubai,

Sharjah and Ajman and will soon be supplying

Abu Dhabi and the other emirates as well.”

Yousef crunches some numbers with regards

to the scale of the fruits and vegetables import

operations. “We import more than 300 items by

air, sea and land and sometimes buy locally. We

do more than 20 containers of bananas a month

from Ecuador and Philippines. We import five

containers of pineapples and six-seven

containers of potatoes a month. We do a lot of

tomatoes and other vegetables by air, and also

several berries like strawberries, raspberries,

and blackberries.”

Fruits and vegetables are a highly perishable

commodity and dealing in those quantities

inevitable means huge quantities of food

wastage. That gave the brothers some food for

thought and was the inspiration behind a Latin-

American inspired restaurant, Hola, focusing on

fruit-based preparations that they opened in

October last year in La Mer. “Fruits and

vegetables are wanted as long as they’re still not

ripe. The moment they are ripe, we cannot sell it

and we have to dispose it. We were thinking

ways to recycle these fruits and vegetables and

put them to some use. We knew that one day we

would have to do something like a juice bar. But

I didn’t want a regular juice bar. I wanted

something that was totally different.

The inspiration came from Mexico,” says Ali

who while studying for a bachelor’s degree

in San Diego, would make frequent trips across

the border into Tijuana in Mexico where he

would be fascinated with the innovative ways

in which street vendors would sell fruit-based

concoctions. “The way they cut the fruits

and season it in Tijuana is completely different

to what you’ll find elsewhere – imagine

lime, chili flakes or chili sauce on mangoes

and watermelon.”

Ali who is the Founder and CEO of Hola

along with Yousef, the co-founder of Hola, put

together a business plan. Like their father, Ali

and Yousef had their own share of challenges

that they came up against when they decided to

start Hola. “One of the biggest challenges was

finding the suitable location. We were a brandnew

concept and malls, for example, would not

even consider you if you don’t have other

branches or are an established model. We sent

our proposal to Meraas and waited a year-andhalf

before we heard back from them. The

moment we saw the beachfront location at La

Mer, we decided that it was the right venue to

launch our venture,” says Ali, while adding,

“Meraas has many international brands like

Starbucks which is right next to us, but they also

give a chance to homegrown brands like ours.”

Another challenge that Ali and Yousef

encountered with Hola was menu development.

“We usually prepare something that appeals

to our own taste buds, but we’re catering to

an international clientele here at Hola and we

have to satisfy as many of them as we can,”

says Ali. That Hola’s head chef is Mexican

and has vast international experience having

worked in Venezuela and California helps

mitigate that problem.

The tech-savvy Ali also admits to turning to

social media feeds like Instagram when it comes

to inspiration for preparation and presentation

ideas. The specialties at Hola include dairy-free

iced latte made from coconut milk, paletas which

are updated depending on the season and

availability of the fruits and fruteros which use

exotic fruits with unique seasonings. All their ice

creams and syrups are made in-house.

“I’ve got a couple of customers who have

approached me and asked me if this is a franchise

from Mexico or Spain. To hear something like

that knowing that this is our first outlet and

something we started from scratch gives us a

good feeling,” says Yousef.

While the brothers were setting up Hola, their

father encouraged them but said that he wouldn’t

visit until it opened. Once it was ready he did

visit. “The best compliment that we’ve received

for Hola so far is from my parents who say that

they’re proud we’ve made something like this,”

says Yousef.

The brothers have ambitious expansion plans

for Hola which include opening up branches in

Dubai, and Abu Dhabi and eventually through

the GCC. But they both emphasize that the most

important business lesson they’ve learnt from

their father is to be patient and not expect success

overnight. The sons will do well to follow the

pearls of wisdom coming from a man who has

been on the job for nearly four decades.










Dr. Reem El Mutwalli discusses the

importance of preserving culture and

giving back to the UAE, in an interview

with Nicola Monteath

Dr. Reem El Mutwalli is a woman of many talents. When I

arrived at the interior designer and author's home in Dubai

I wasn’t sure which piece of furniture, or crafted corner, I

loved more. Beautifully put together, her home is

segregated into various cultural zones revealing a hint of

Marrakesh in one corner, artwork commissioned by a

Persian artist on the ceiling of one of the family rooms,

and a stunning Arabesque lounge complete with adorable

tea glasses, a mishmash of textures and colours, and

beautiful china upon which tea sandwiches were placed.

Dr. Reem evidently has an eye for the right pieces, with

heirloom possessions, furniture picked up from travels

and art, being at the core of her home. But it isn’t just

decor Dr. Reem treasures. She is known for her books,

and most significantly, her esteemed collection of UAE

women’s dresses that hark back to the pre-oil era.

Originally from Iraq, Dr. Reem moved to the UAE in

1968, when her father was invited by the late Sheikh Zayed

bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to be an economic consultant to the

then Crowne Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin

Zayed Al Nahyan (currently the President of the United

Arab Emirates). Dr. Reem was educated in boarding

school in England, and studied Interior Design in the US

for her first degree, Islamic Architecture in England for

her second degree, and got her PhD in Archaeology. Her

career began when she moved back to the UAE to become

the Head of the Arts and Exhibitions department at

Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi. Since Dr. Reem

specialised in Archaeology, she studied the forts and

fortifications of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and published a

bi-lingual book on her findings, Qasr Al Hosn.




Preserving culture and giving back to the UAE

has always been important to Dr. Reem. “I always

had the need to give back to this country that

became my adopted home,” she says. Her parents

were avid art collectors and Dr. Reem grew up

learning the significance of roots and heritage,

which is probably why learning the art and history

of UAE women’s dresses was imperative for her.

“I grew up with the Generation of Zayed. The

late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was very

adamant about culture and heritage. I got to meet

him, interact with him on many different levels

and was lucky in that I was surrounded by people

who understood the value of these things,” she

tells me. Dr. Reem found herself in a unique

situation and believes that she got to experience

life in the country, first hand. “Being a female, I

was exposed to the lifestyle in the UAE back in

the day, which was such a privilege. I felt it was

rather important, as a way of giving back to the

UAE, to document these things before they

disappeared.” Her research and findings came

together in her tome, Sultani which explores the

transformations in traditional womenswear in the

UAE, touches upon regional and political

influences, and offers a glimpse into her personal

collection. “I learnt about dressmaking, the

history of it, how they construct it and also met

with the women who made these dresses, to

understand it better. I used to wear a lot of these

dresses, especially when I became in charge of

the Cultural Foundation. I felt it was my duty to

wear these dresses publicly,” says Dr. Reem.

Life happens when you aren’t planning, or even

aware of what is yet to become of it. And such

was the case with Dr Reem. “I was practicing

these elements without thinking about it,

and then when I decided to do study it, I realised

I should compile a collection of dresses and

look at my very own collection from a viewpoint

of a collector.”

To be honest, even though I grew up in the

UAE, I always thought the abaya or jalabiya

were the only traditional dresses women from

the UAE wore. Dr. Reem gave me a quick

history lesson in which I learned that the abaya

was actually an incredibly expensive piece of

clothing that was later popularised when oil was

found. Prior to that, women wore a salwar

(ankle-or floor-length pants) with a tunic dress,

and a thobe (sheer engulfing garment) on top.

Their heads were covered with a sheila, and the

face, with a burqa. Pre-oil period, the Sheila was

a long garment with two pieces of cloth tailored

together to make one long piece. “Ladies of

high stature only owned one abaya as they were

very expensive, embroidered in gold and made

in Southern Iraq. The pieces were also used

solely for special occasions and the rest of the

tribe would borrow the abaya from the Sheikh

or Merchant’s wife when there was a wedding,”

says Dr. Reem. I was also told that society was

rather small back in the day and to intermingle

with each other was not such a public thing.

“With the oil came urbanisation and then

modernism. By the eighties, we started

importing the idea of the black abaya that was

worn in Saudi Arabia. It evolved into a cloak,

rather than a draped piece of clothing, and

acquired sleeves to become a functional piece.

Ultimately the sheila became narrower and

smaller, similar to the scarf we see today.”

Going back to her personal collection, Dr.

Reem tells me that collectors are always on the

lookout for a certain piece. “I had a few

commissioned back in the day when I wanted to

wear them, and a lot of other pieces were given

to me. My father worked in the ruling court, so

my mother wore these pieces too and she

preserved them.” When Dr. Reem began

studying pieces and curating her collection,

people handed her some of their ancestor’s

clothing. Nowadays, she connects with people

on Instagram and meets with them to discuss

her series and work. “If they have a piece that is

valuable to them, they ask if they can contribute

it to my collection. Sometimes I hear of a piece,

meet with them and either buy it or exchange it

for something. Eventually I end up with the

piece,” she giggles and tells me.

Although Dr. Reem shifted to Dubai a few

years ago, she finds herself in Abu Dhabi more

so than often. As we chat about growing up in

the UAE, Dr. Reem mentions that her books are

available in children’s editions too, with

illustrations, to teach them about culture. “In

the Arabic library, a lot of books are on

philanthropy, as part of religious books, which

are solemn and detailed. I wanted to create

something simple, fun and inspiring and did a

book on 365 ways of giving back without giving

a penny. I linked this to different charities and

organisations worldwide, so that people can

look them up and see if they are interested. I’ve

printed seven editions and this is the only one in

Arabic, because my objective was the Arabian

audience,” she goes on to say.

A woman like Dr. Reem naturally has plenty

more up her sleeve. When asked about her

future goals, she tells us there’s a whole list of

things to accomplish. “I want to have a home

for my collection, tour the world with it, and

have it in different institutions,” she says. The

rest of her list entails mentoring the younger

generation so that they carry on her work,

learning a new language, and spending a few

months in China and India to soak up the

culture and traditions.




I always had the need to

give back to this country

that became my adopted home






Our schedules have become easier to organise and manage

thanks to a number of trusty apps. But with the launch of

thousands of apps every day, which one should we allot

storage for? Here are a few of our home screen favourites





Your social media platforms are connected to

your device, and you are either on Facebook,

Instagram or Twitter several times a day, so why

not reap the benefits while you dine out? This

portal allows you to filter your restaurant search

by location, cuisine, popularity, and various other

options including credit card, pet-and wheelchairaccess.

Pick your restaurant, tweet your

experience or share it on Instagram or Facebook,

and get an instant 20 per cent discount or buy one

get one free offer. Restaurants update their offer list

often, so if you do have a favourite spot, don’t

forget to check their meal specials.


Ever wondered why there isn’t a service where

your car is cleaned spick-and-span while you’re at

work? Enter KENO. A premium on-demand car

service at your doorstep. Gone are the days where

you had to spend an hour at the gas station to wash

your car. For just Dhs35, you can get a SUV,

saloon and bike body wash, with additional Dhs15

for interior cleaning. Need engine detailing, shine

and interior disinfectant? It’s all available. KENO

even provides detailing services including polish

and wax, and ceramic coating, that takes place at

their facility. You still don’t have to budge an

inch though. The expert will pick and drop your

car from your designated location.


It’s important to calm the mind every few hours

and be mindful of your situation and

surroundings. This app is the perfect tool for

those looking to get a few minutes of silence, to

improve mental health and wellbeing. Choose

from five-day guided meditations, silent timed

sessions from three to 30 minutes, and meditation

courses. You can also set reminders to stay

focused on your practice and remind yourself to

breathe slowly and relax.





If you’re quite conscious about food wastage and leading a

sustainable lifestyle, this app will soon become a firm-favourite.

Inspired by the UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality’s

#ZeroFoodWaste campaign, Bon App allows users to search for

unsold food from restaurants and cafes to either pick-up or dine-in.

Options within DIFC include Panifico, Poke & Co, and Appetite

The Shop, to name a few. Small steps make a huge impact on the

environment. So the next time you decide to order lunch, switch on

the app, look for sandwiches, salads or mid-day treats in your area,

and enjoy a hearty meal at a fraction of the price.


This evolved messaging app lets you chat, track orders, make

reservations, browse and share content – all on one platform.

FLOCHAT integrates Zomato, Groupon, Careem or Uber, Bing and

YouTube, for effortless management and communication. You can

even chat with family and friends with new EmoGifs – which

converts emojis to Gifs – audio filters, unlimited edit and delete

options and a new selfie feature called Stitch. Flochat also has its

very own cheeky AI, Floda, that can make bookings and answer

random queries that keep you up at night.







Geeta Pahlajani, Founder and CEO of Goodness Cart, was born and raised in Dubai,

leaving the place she calls home for a few years in the UK during her university years.

It was here that she became involved in the holistic health and wellness discussion

coinciding with her diagnosis of celiac disease. Inspired to bring convenience and

affordability to healthy eating, and after years in FMCG, Geeta launched a health

and wellness online marketplace. Here she speaks of her latest venture:

How long have you been in the UAE?

Dubai is my home - I was born in the UAE and spent my

school and work years here. My university years were spent in

London at Kings College where I attained a BSc in Business

Management followed by an MSc in Marketing Management at

Cass Business School London.

Tell us about your company?

The concept of Goodness Cart is to help people live healthier

lifestyles – not just the fitness fans but those wanting to try to

live a little better each day. We want to shake up how you think

about health and wellness. By having all the customers’

favourite essentials in one convenient place means it is easier to

shop the way you want. Goodness Cart is an online marketplace

that offers quality-controlled healthy products from fresh and

dry food, to beauty, baby and household items.

What field were you in before you launched this?

My career spans marketing communications, digital strategy and

new media for various FMCGs including L’Oreal and Unilever.

What made you pursue it and how did you see a niche in

the market?

The trigger was a personal pain point. I was diagnosed with celiac

disease, which means I’m allergic to gluten. When I returned to

the UAE after university, I looked for gluten-free products but

my only options were flavourless options sold in pharmacies and

the costs were ridiculously high. It was difficult and timeconsuming

to find natural and preservative-free products to suit

my needs. And I was not the only person struggling with these

challenges. This gave me the idea for Goodness Cart.

What have been your major challenges till date?

Firstly, the education of partners/suppliers on ecommerce

working processes. Then the cost of doing business here as a

startup when you are beyond the incubator stage and lastly,

sourcing and retaining the right skillset.

Any future plans for the business?

We plan to consolidate our position in the UAE market

before looking towards other GCC markets such as Kuwait

and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the Goodness Cart

technology engine has been built to be white-labelled to

franchise out as a second revenue stream.






South African actress Charlize Theron speaks to

Fabián W. Waintal on her action-packed roles

traditionally played by male characters

Charlize Theron is proof that a woman who

was not even born in United States can make

it in the testosterone world of action movies.

Just like the car chases in the The Italian Job

(with Mark Wahlberg and Jason Statham) or

the superhero rival in Hankcock (with Will

Smith), before the hyper action of the Furiosa

role in Mad Mad and the best fights in Atomic

Blonde, she became an Academy Award

Winner superhero in Hollywood.


Since you grew up in South Africa, pretty

far from Hollywood, when you were

growing up, who were some of the kickass

women you were looking up to?

Other than my kick-ass mom? Yeah, my mom

is pretty kick-ass. You know, I remember

being really young and seeing Sigourney

Weaver and that changed womanhood and

girlhood on a whole other level for me, not

just in action genre, but just who she

embodied in that (Alien) film and how

capable she was. It just really did something

for me. I remember going back and watching

that movie when I did ‛Monster’. So, it’s not

just an action thing, it’s something she

transcends in that film. There’s so many great

females who just hold their own in their

genre, but Sigourney has always been very

close to my heart for sure.







And do you realise the change you’ve made in

Hollywood, as a female action hero in a men’s world?

I love when a story doesn’t quite work. I find that female

characters in a movie will always be the ones that are used

to emotionally manipulate in a way that men don’t get used

in that way. Meaning that we’re known to be nurturers and

we might not be thought of just warriors, so we need a

reason to become warriors and I have a problem with that,

because we really are warriors, and it’s time for us to be

shown that way. We don’t need to lose a child or to lose a

husband to have some kind of a revenge story in order to

become a warrior.

Do you have more complaints about the way Hollywood

writes women roles and how they put women into

certain categories?

Yeah, I mean, I get it. I love an emotional story, but I think

there are different ways to tell emotional stories than to just

go for that easy manipulative emotion. I’m a movie goer. I

love going to the movies. I love sitting in a dark room and

going to a world and having the people in that world take you

on an emotional journey, but I think that sometimes there’s a

laziness behind it. It’s just such easy choices. Of course, I’m

going to care for this woman if you tell me that her husband

died, but what if you don’t tell me her husband died, can you

is maybe not necessarily thought of. Now… It took me a

long time to realise why I liked dance. It definitely wasn’t

the amount of training or discipline that you have to put

into dance. Once I lost it, once I couldn’t do it anymore,

that’s when I realized what I loved about it was the

storytelling aspect of it. I was never technically the

strongest dancer in any company, but when I was in Swan

Lake I was an ****ing swan dying on stage and when I was

Giselle, I danced to the death. It took me a long time to

realise that’s what I loved about it. It was the ability to

emote, to be in an environment where you switch

everything off and you go into that space and you tell a


And the movie ‛Monster’ when you won the Oscar was

also a physical role too?

Yeah, there are things about that film... I think from the

moment I said yes to that film I was just always worried

how I could make that character be a real person and not

be a character, because everything about her is so darn

intense and you worry when you play somebody like that.

With crazy eyes all the time and the teeth and everything

and so that’s the first time the physical aspect actually

scared me and it took me a long time on the film to get to a

place. I don’t think I ever became crazy comfortable with

I was raised to not think that I can't do something just because I'm a woman, to not

feel held back. Even though you go into the world and you feel it and you're aware of

it and you want to still believe that that's not true, I think women, we come face to

face with that at some point in our lives and then we have to figure out how we're

going to work through that and I think all of those qualities have been with me.

still have me feel something for her? I think we all have to

step up to the plate and work a little harder to find interesting

choices to have with women and not go to these very easy,

mother, or nurturer that we just lived in for so long.

Does your background as a dancer have anything to do

with your physical acting and your love for action


I just didn’t know anything about acting, so the idea, once

it was thrown to me, was maybe I should try acting. I was

like, “I know nothing about this world. I’ve never met

another actor. I’ve never been in an acting class,” so all of

that stuff was foreign to me. But it is very similar to the

dance world. I think the physical presence is way more

powerful than any verbal conversation with another

person. There are things so powerful with the movement

of a face, or the movement of a shoulder, or the movement

of a hand, or a head dropping. Little things like that that

say so much about the person that words could never

accomplish. So, I’m so glad that I’ve had this nostalgia for

dance all these years and I think I’ve just always held on to

how can I bring that into my work as an actor and I think

it’s really helped me. It’s helped me bring an element that

it. I think I always walked a line of... and I think Patty

Jenkins was such an incredible... can you believe that? 17

years ago and here she is ruling the world. It's amazing.

Yeah, she deserves it.

Is it true that when you did ‘The Italian Job’ movie, you

were the best one in the action scenes behind the wheel

against Mark Wahlberg and Jason Statham?

Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, they all puked... literally.

They’d go on the track, there’s a stunt driver next to you

and you’ve got a helmet on and you just hear, “Faster,

faster, faster” and I’m like, “Who doesn’t love this?” Then

I look and I’m passing Mark and he’s barfing in the back of

his car, Jason Statham is like drinking water. I was like,

“These dudes, what’s wrong with them?” I love driving.

By the time I was five, I could drive a tractor. That’s just

growing up on a farm for you (laughs). I love driving. I just

dig it, but thank you acknowledging that, because girls

have such a bad rep. It’s time for us to change that.

What about Mad Max? Is there a chance that George

Miller could write the backstory to your character





You know, I wanted something very specific and I

think when you’re looking for something that specific...

I mean, I was open to landing on my lap, but if that

wasn’t happening I was about to turn 40, so I kind-of

took matters into my own hands and said, “Why not

actively go with my production company and search

for something like this?” It was an unpublished graphic

novel at this time. I saw great potential in this character

to have the ability to live and breathe in a world where I

could play by the same rules that men get to play all the

time and that was something that I really loved.

What kind of physical training and shape did you

need to get into before attempting to shoot the

action scenes in ‘Atomic Blond’?

It was brutal. There was nothing easy about it (laughs).

I think I knew that that would be such a big part in

this film that mentally I was as prepared as I could be,

but once you show up for that first four-hour

workout and you get up in the middle of the night to

go to the toilet and you can’t sit down and you’re like,

“I’m not going to be able to do this tomorrow” and

you show up and you do it again, this time five hours.

I think it was good for me. I think there’s something

in all of us when we push ourselves to that place

That would be nice. I read the by-story. It was a beautiful

by-story of how she ended up in that world and how she lost

her arm and how he was trying to utilize her, but couldn’t,

and that she was baron and all of this stuff that we always

think of with woman and this is really a character that played

against all of that stuff, and I think through playing against it

was a real woman. Whatever it is, I’ll do it. I loved playing

that character. I loved that George Miller allowed me to play

that character and that he never, not for a day, fought me on

that character and did nothing but support and celebrate who

I wanted that woman to be. He’s just amazing and it would be

great, but if he’s not ready than he’s not ready. I’ll be waiting

George, but I’ll be 42 in August, so let’s get to it.

Chris Hemsworth, said recently that he thinks you

should be the next James Bond. What do you think

about that?

I’m all for it. It also feels a little bit uncomfortable talking

about something like that when there’s another movie going

into production. I think of the Atomic Blonde character as

something that could hopefully live and breathe in the same

kind of format. We can actually make a couple more movies.

I’m fine leaving that over to Daniel [Craig] or Idris [Elba]. I’ll

do (Atomic Blonde) Lorraine.

Was taking the role as producer of the movie ‘Atomic

Blonde’ your way to rebel in Hollywood to find and

develop your own project?




where we think we can’t go anymore and that’s definitely

where I found myself in this movie. I still wanted it with

everything that was in my body, but it took a lot of work to

initially get to that place for two and a half months. And then

once we were shooting, I just kept pushing it and going

further with it. There’s an end sequence in this film, it’s a big

gun shootout battle that we have in a hotel room that was

never scripted and five days before we shot that David

[Leitch] was like, “You know, we haven’t done an action

sequence in a while. Let’s just turn that into an action scene,”

and if anybody ever said that to me before, I would have had

a nervous breakdown and be like, “I’m not prepared, what are

you doing?” But I was like, “Yeah! Let’s turn it into a gun

fowl!” So it was nice to be in that place physically and

mentally. It was empowering.

Do you think that in reality, a woman could really go

through the same steps your character goes through, in

your movie?

Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked about this a lot. For me, as an actor, I

think it’s important to work from a place that feels grounded to

reality. I’m not good when I don’t have that weight behind me

and I can find things in my own life or things that I’ve observed

that I can be connected with that reality. So, for me, it was very

important. Every move that we had in the fight sequences, I

was annoyingly asking, “Well, could a girl do that?” And I think

I drove them crazy out there for a while. I wanted to make this

movie and let it be as badass as this and not have anybody

come up to us and say, “A girl can’t do that.” That was

important to me. So, we’re here to say, “A girl can do that!” I

only punched with my fist once in this movie. And I actually

show you how much that hurts, because punching with your

fist really hurts. For a woman, you can break every bone in your

hand by doing that. I only punched once, and it’s like a guy

who’s already passed-out. I was kind-of being a bit of and

a-hole with that last one, but I was like, “Ow that hurts,”

because that’s the truth. You never see me doing that.

Everything I’m using is either my elbows, my knees, my entire

body, or my entire body weight to throw, because that’s the

reality. I can’t fight the same way as a guy can fight, but that

doesn’t mean I fight any less or any less better than a man.

Are there any stunts you regretted trying, or anything

you regretted not trying?

I really wanted to jump out of the building, but the producer

in me was like, “No.” But I still kind-of wished I did that. I

don’t know why. It was still early in the movie and if

something went wrong we would have had to shut the

whole movie down and I didn’t want to do that. That’s the

one thing I watch the movie and go, “God, I wish...” But

I’m really happy that my stunt girl did an excellent job

kicking her legs and her garter belt coming down.

Is the door finally open in Hollywood for all women to

become the action heros?

Yeah, I mean, I feel like there’s an element of that that’s

very much a part of me. I was raised to not think that I

can’t do something just because I’m a woman, to not feel

I was about to turn 40, so I kind-of took

matters into my own hands and said,

"Why not actively go with my production

company and search for something like

the ability to live and breathe in a world

where I could play by the same rules that

men get to play all the time, and that was

something that I really loved.

held back. Even though you go into the world and you feel

it and you’re aware of it and you want to still believe that

that’s not true. I think women, we come face to face with

that at some point in our lives and then we have to figure

out how we’re going to work through that and I think all

of those qualities have been with me when I’ve made

choices for these characters. I feel like I have more

opportunities where people are allowing me to kind-of

explore all of those outside lines of what we usually think

we can only colour in when it comes to a woman and a lot

of that has to do because of Patty Jenkins in ‛Monster’,

because of George Miller and ‛Furious Road’. I’m so

grateful for filmmakers that have allowed me to have those

opportunities to go explore all those things that my mom

has always told me.






Need a new ensemble,

statement piece or gift for

Ramadan and Eid? We have

plenty of ideas to get you

started. Turn over for

inspiration on lavish travel

getaways, stayactions and

more in the country






Chic picks to keep you vogueish this winter



Diamond design studio 55FIFTY7 and Emirati

fashion label Bin Thani have joined forces this

Ramadan to form a collection inspired by Eastern

culture. The Starry Nights Edit merges Japanese

influences with a contemporary touch, offering

traditional wear that’s apt for Iftar and Suhoor

gatherings. The modest designs feature eight

jewellery pieces designed with 18-karat gold,

pink sapphire, diamonds, topaz and pearls.

Eastern elements are showcased in earrings

shaped like the cherry blossom flower, the

hand fan, and a necklace with bamboo tree

pendant. The apparel line, on the other hand,

features kimonos and pieces inspired by the

Nineties – think shades of vintage maroon,

soft lavender, light blue, army olive green and

off white. The jewellery collection will be

retailed exclusively at 55FIFTY7 studios in d3,

and the apparel line through BINT THANI.





Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall

The newly-launched shopping strip within

Dubai Mall brings together renowned brands

in a stunning minimalist setting. Find two of our


British jewellery brand Monica Vinader has

opened its flagship boutique, showcasing

collections ranging from friendship bracelets to

bespoke cut gemstone jewellery and their

contemporary diamond range. Make sure to stop

by the engraving bar to personalise jewellery with

names, messages, motifs or hand-drawn doodles.

Luxury Parisian brand, Moynat has launched

its’ first gallery in the UAE. The leather goods

and accessories brand offers trunks, textiles,

and signature customisation services at their

stunning store, which seems like one plucked

right from a street in Paris. Known for their

craftsmanship, the House’s iconic bags feature

the Crocodile Ceramique, Camouflage or

Natura finishes – definitely guaranteed to be

an heirloom piece.


Berluti’s exclusive Middle East sandal has arrived. Paying homage

to the region, the Venezia leather sandal - enhanced by the

Scritto signature - was originally designed in Mogano (brown).

Those looking to reveal their personality through footwear can

customise the sandal with the brand’s patina technique to

develop a unique shade. To ensure comfort is at the forefront,

the sandal features a soft leather curved insole, embracing the

shape of the foot, while adding sophistication to an ensemble.

The limited-edition shoe is available at Berluti outlets during

Ramadan for Dhs4,950
















The stores to visit for

Syour next shopping haul


Roberto Cavalli have launched their Autumn/Winter

2018-2019 eyewear collection, and we want to get

our hands on every piece. The dynamic collection

features four major sources of inspiration including

circles - seen in the mirror lenses and logo near the

temples; a Fifties-inspired vibe with transparent colours

and crystal embellishment; and the use of the distinctive

snake and butterfly shape details that Roberto Cavalli

is renowned for. Available at Roberto Cavalli boutiques

and all major retailers across the region


Iftar and Suhoor gatherings are an opportunity to don your

finest jalabiyas, abayas and modest wear. Swap edgy jewellery

for elegant semi-precious gemstones and hand chains from

La Marquise Jewellery. Their Ramadan collection features

the Candy coloured long necklace with flat faceted stones –

which can be layered – a dainty hand-chain in rose, white-and

yellow-gold embellished with diamonds, the Royal Knot - a

thick strand of fresh water pearls held together with a broochstyle

cluster of turquoise, amethyst and striking pink tourmaline;

and the Royal Blue Lapiz Lazuli Fatima hand bracelet. Those

wearing high-neck embellished kaftans, can opt for a pair of

statement earrings comprising coloured stones, pearls and

leaf-shaped diamonds. Visit lamarquisejewellery.com


Corneliani’s Spring/Summer collection has

arrived just in time for travel season. Focusing

on the idea of fluidity and movement, the

brand introduces colour combinations that are

bold, while adding balance to an outfit. Hues of

green are combined with shades of gray,

whereas burnt tones of terracotta complement

the purest white and desert tones enriched

with “tuareg blue.” Techniques such as

pinstripes with frisé effect and interrupted lines

add a contemporary touch to tailored fabrics.

Our favourite pieces? The Crocodile rucksack

and travel bag for design and functionality.

Available at Corneliani Dubai Mall






Keep fit with the latest in wellbeing

trends in the city

Meet Amir Siddiqui, founder of

Symmetry Gym, one of Dubai’s

most exclusive facilities for

personal training. Here, the fitness

expert answers topical questions

to suit our busy lifestyles



My upper body is quite muscular; however,

I can’t seem to increase the size of my calves

and legs. Do you have any recommendations?

First off, this could be an issue of your own

misperception. How have you assessed what the

ratio should be? If it's purely aesthetic and subjective,

then fine. Otherwise, there is no objective or standard

to meet here; keeping in mind differing anthropometries

across populations and individuals within those

populations. So, let’s go with the former assessment,

that this is a personal desire to achieve a specific

aesthetic ratio, and is purely subjective. For that, the first

thing to do is to re-route resources and place demands

that are greater on the body-parts you want to broaden

up. Reducing the total workload of the already welldeveloped

parts to the lagging parts. This could be done

by reducing the total volume or cutting out their training

altogether (called de-training) - and anything in between.

But that's about all I can say if I want to retain my

professional integrity. Why? Because the rest of the

situation needs individual assessment to ascertain

whether or not the "lagging" parts are just inherent

structural issues, or whether they are caused by some

sort of mal-function in the muscle-nerve complex.


D5 EXECUTIVE GYM at Capital Club have launched a

women-specific programme, targeting stubborn lower body

fat. The D5 Lean Legs program focuses on hard-to-budge

fat caused by the mismanagement of estrogen metabolism.

The science-based offering is tailor-made, providing

powerful and long-lasting results. Expect a mixture of cardio

and weights, with each exercise built to suit the client’s

physique and requirements. d5dubai.com





Tried-and-tested experiences of the month


The service: Colon Hydrotherapy session

The verdict: Cleansing of the colon isn’t a very glamorous

topic to speak about, but it’s a significant one. I’ve been

feeling bloated for months, and found that even though I

eat my five a day, drink plenty of water, and consume foods

that boost metabolism, nothing seemed to work. After

extensive research, I realised the lack of results was

probably due to a clogged colon. I met with Dr. Asha Jones

to speak further and found out that usual symptoms can

range from indigestion and constipation to sever migraines

and serious cases wherein you feel nauseous because your

body can’t digest food. She also mentioned that even

though I was eating well the last few weeks, it wouldn’t

show because my metabolism was sluggish.

The treatment starts off with the insertion of a lubed pipe

into you bottom, to allow pure filtered water to gently wash

the colon. Dr. Asha did warn me of the discomfort factor

once the large intestine was filled with water, and it did hurt

a bit, however wasn’t excruciating. To describe the pain, it’s

sort of similar to a slight diarrhea burn. The water is then

flushed out into the machine, where you can see all the toxic

matter built up in your system exiting the passage. The

treatment takes place over 45 minutes really cleansing all the

bacteria from the system while hydrating the intestine. If you

Need to know:

Dhs600 per session.

Visit dubaihtc.com or contact +9714 335 1200

suffer from food intolerances/allergies, gout, skin disorder,

irritable bowel syndrome, pre-menstrual tension, and

chronic fatigue, and need a little assistance with weight

management, this colon cleanse is an absolute must every

six months. I left feeling flatter – no exaggeration here –

and lost around 1kg right after the session. I was told to

continue my cleanse with a juice fast and a little exercise,

since I wanted to achieve further weight loss.






Need to know:

Dhs490 for the

55-minutes massage.


The venue: NIKKI SPA,

+9714 376 6150


The service: Muscle melt massage

The verdict: Heading down to Nikki Beach is absolutely

gorgeous. A minimalist theme, an all-white façade and fresh

sea breeze greets you as you make your way to the Spa.

Upon arrival, each guest receives a “MarTEAni” menu to

choose a refreshing beverage. I sipped on cold hibiscus tea

while picking my treatment, the muscle melt massage. In

the room, I opted for a revitailising oil to alleviate deeprooted

tension and muscular stress. The 55 minutes

massage begins with warm oil applied all over the body,

before the therapist gently rolls out any knots in the neck

and back with long strokes. Focus is placed upon the lower

back and shoulders to relieve you of any discomfort and

loosen the muscles thereafter.

The best part about Nikki Spa is the selection of facilities.

Once done, head to the sauna and steam room for around

10 minutes, cooling yourself while closing pores with the

grated ice from the ice fountain. Relax back with tea and

dried fruit or head to the outdoor vitality pool to further

relieve stress with the powerful pool jets.


EQUITY- ALWAYS INVEST IN YOURSELF is a leading finance and luxury

lifestyle publication for Ultra High Net Worth & High Net Worth individuals.

EQUITY- Always invest in Yourself is a monthly publication encompassing all

aspects of the family office from dealing with wealth management to services,

entrepreneurship and a rewarding lifestyle to suit. Designed to serve as a

comprehensive guide for the High Net Worth & Ultra High Net Worth

Individuals, and those looking to manage their personal wealth. The

publication showcases two sections: Mind, and Body and Soul, that function as

the pillars of investing in yourself.


at Dubai International Financial Centre, family offices, luxury hotels and airport lounges

Follow us on social media




Striking statement pieces


Atelier D’artisted By Alexandre J

Couer Rouge Rubis

Fragrances can leave long-lasting memories, but Alexandre J’s creations are more than just a great scent, or “juice” as

they like to call it. Each bottle is a piece of art with the entire process, from conceptualisation to manufacturing, taking

anywhere between a few months to years to create. Couer Rouge Rubis, the latest in the collection, is a red heartshaped

crystal bottle showcasing 21 carats gold, rubies and diamonds. Presented in a stunning wooden jewellery box,

the piece is a striking vanity accessory and definitely not to be carried around in your purse. Since only one piece of the

Couer Rouge Rubis has been created, clients are treated to a bespoke fragrance service upon purchasing the bottle.

Alexandre J’s expert team will fly down from Paris to customise a scent according to your fragrance preference,

hobbies, top travel destinations, personality type, and even your favourite cuisine. If you’re looking for an Eid gift for

your loved one, you can’t go wrong with this limited edition Alexandre J masterpiece.






Carl F. Bucherer

Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral – Masterpiece

With Floating Tourbillon

Swiss watch manufacturer Carl F. Bucherer celebrates its 130th anniversary this year with the launch of the Manero

Tourbillon Double Peripheral, containing the new CFB T3000 manufacture calibre. In a first from a brand, on a global

scale, the new timepiece combines a peripheral automatic winding system and a peripherally mounted tourbillon that

appears to float at 12 o’clock. The elegant setting has been developed in-house by Carl F. Bucherer, with a classic

round case made from 18-karat rose gold and a diameter of 43 millimetres. In keeping with the brand’s first-class

precision, the movement – which allows the wearer to synchronise the watch with a standard time – has also been

certified as a chronometer by the official Swiss Chronometer Institute (COSC).







Meisterstück Le Petit Prince

Giving us a hint of nostalgia, in a piece we can carry around, is the

all-new writing instrument from Montblanc. Inspired by the highlyadmired

literary character Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the novel

centres around the encounter between a pilot and little prince from

another planet, exploring the themes of imagination and human

relationships. The deep night-blue of the cap and barrel – a first

from the brand – is reminiscent of the universe and blue sky from

the fairy tale. The Petit Prince and his friend, the fox, are engraved

on the handcrafted 14K rhodium-plated nib, with a sentence from

the novel “To establish ties? ... To me, you will be unique in all the

world” engraved on the crown, instilling a fun element to the piece.

This instrument is available as a ballpoint, roller ball, and fountain

pen, and apt as a graduation gift, or even just as a piece to match

your casual Thursday ensemble.





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


Countdown timer

Silicium technology


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





MB&F + L’Epée 1838


Trust Max Busser and his incredibly creative cohorts to regularly

churn out fascinating mechanical machines. MB&F and L’Epée

have teamed up once again and recently debuted this 15kg

desktop weather station. It features a thermometer to indicate

the ambient air temperature, a barometer that shows the air

pressure, a hygrometer which records the air humidity and a

clock with a L’Epée movement that boasts of an eight-day

power reserve. This being MB&F, expect a degree of quirk

which you can find by way of a solid bronze alien at the base of

the device that will rotate at the push of a button. Only 54 of

these weather stations are up for sale and your study room

could really use one.

$54,000(DHS198,000) AT MBANDF.COM






When it comes down to blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments,

you need a camera that reacts almost instantaneously as your

finger hits the trigger. Enter the world’s fastest 4MP camera.

The new Phantom V2640 has a four-million-pixel sensor and a

shutter speed of 142 nano seconds. At full resolution, it can

shoot 6,600 frames per second, but reduce the resolution to

1920 x 1080 and the speed leaps to 11,750 frames per

second. It gets even better. Opt for the monochrome version

of the camera, dial down the resolution to one million mega

pixel and you get a whopping 25,030 frames per second.

FROM $135,00 (DHS495,000)





The Dutch audio company founded by Kostas

Metaxas back in 1981 has been one that has

mostly flown under the radar. That’s set to change

when it shows up at the Munich High End show

this month with this stunning turntable which is

bound to hog the limelight. The device is entirely

handcrafted by Kostas and his two sons and is

made from a single block of aircraft grade

aluminum and titanium. It runs on a Swiss Maxon

motor belt driven system and has an aluminium

platter base and a tonearm with a sapphire tube

and jeweled bearings.

$35,000 (DHS128,500) AT METAXAS.COM



Carmaker Land Rover has taken it upon them to

produce this phone which is built to take a beating.

The device has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage,

but it’s its physical attributes that make it a desirable

device. It can withstand extreme heat and cold, be

fully operational after being dunked in seawater

upto a depth of 1.8 metres, has a reinforced screen

protector and a special GPS mapping program to

pinpoint your exact location. Other survival tools

on the phone include a compass, an SOS light and a

red-filter mode that helps in night vision.

$840 (DHS3,100) AT







The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is an F1 car in disguise

There is something to be said of a carmaker that has

doggedly fought off bankruptcy and takeover bids over the

last decade. Aston Martin has kicked, screamed and punched

its way out of a financial mess that would have swallowed

whole other meeker companies – just not the all-British

resilient one headquartered in Gaydon. It reported a pre-tax

profit of £87 million last year, compared to a £163 million

loss the year before. Reason enough to genuflect in deep

reverence to the carmaker.

The are several reasons for Aston Martin’s recent success.

Product diversification, for one, has extended beyond cars

and reaped rich benefits for brand Aston Martin. You can

now buy a $50 million condo in the Aston Martin Residences

tower in Miami, book yourself a 37metre Aston Martin

powerboat or even a put your name down for a $4 million

submarine which is currently being produced along with

Triton Submarines.

Ramping up production was another strategy that worked

wonders for Aston Martin – it has reportedly quadrupled

volumes since 2014. Announcing that it was building an SUV

also meant that it wasn’t ready to let legacy carmakers like

Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini have the run of the

market with their SUVs.

But beyond its product diversification and nifty marketing




strategies, Aston Martin hasn’t lost sight of what it does best

– make beautiful sportscars that are performance machines

at their core.

When I met Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer two years

ago on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he spoke

excitedly about the Valkyrie hypercar which was being

developed in association with Red Bull Racing’s Chief

Technical Officer Adrian Newey’s team. While that machine

is limited to 150 units, Palmer told me that they had already

decided to make 25 more track-only units of the hypercar.

At the Geneva Motor Show this year, Aston Martin pulled

the covers off that special edition car that they’re calling the

Valkyrie AMR Pro.

Aston Martin has taken the Valkyrie and primed it for the

track by introducing some major changes. These include

knocking off all the glass from the road-going version of the

Valkyrie and replacing it with polycarbonate. Carbon-fibre

wishbones are installed, racing car seats inserted and the

bodywork made even lighter. The bodywork has been taking

to extreme lengths for the most extreme car Aston Martin

has ever built. The clever F1 inspired energy recovery system

harvests kinetic energy during braking. The exhaust has been

made lighter, which makes it far noisier – but this is a track

car with little regard for the rules that bind road-going cars.

The Valkyrie AMR Pro packs a 6.5-litre V12 generating

more than 1,100hp of power and it weighs 1,000kgs, giving

this beast a power ratio higher than the 1:1 ratio which is

considered as the ideal ratio required to build fast cars. It has

a top speed of 225 mph and can hit lateral acceleration of

more than 3G in corners. Apparently, it will be able to lap a

circuit as quickly as a present-day F1 car.

It’s worth mentioning here that Aston Martin has returned

to F1 this year after a 59-year hiatus. You can see its name

displayed over the body of this season’s Red Bull Racing

team which is now officially referred to as the Aston Martin-

Red Bull Racing. But Aston Martin has much grander plans

than just splashing their name across a car. It has indicated

that it is keen on becoming an engine manufacturer by the

2021 F1 season. That Adrian Newey is personally involved in

the development of the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro is a

sign that the new hypercars from Aston Martin are testing

grounds for engine technology that could help make its way

into F1 cars three years from now.

Just how far out there is the new Valkyrie AMR Pro? Let

Adrian Newey explain it to you in his own words. “The Aston

Martin Valkyrie road car draws extensively from the knowledge

I have gained during my career in Formula One, but the AMR

Pro version has allowed me to work beyond the constraints of

road legality, or indeed practicality,” said Newey

Aston Martin has never chased volumes – it will never

make more than 7,000 cars annually, Palmer told me during

our chat – and it isn’t about to start with this one. The

Valkyrie AMR PRO is limited to just 25 units, though it guts

us to tell you that they’re all sold out. How much does one

cost? We don’t know yet, but if you must ask, then we’re

quite sure that you weren’t one of the lucky 25 who put

their name down for one.

Aston Martin is making all the right noises. It has now also

indicated that it is seriously mulling over the possibility of

floating an IPO. With an expected valuation of $6.8 billion,

an IPO would give it significant cash reserves to further its

diversifications, partnerships and product innovations. And if

the Valkyrie AMR Pro is any indication of the future, then

Aston Martin is headed to the big league – once again.



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An experience, nocturnal hotspot, and brunches you can’t miss this month

Intimate brunch



This Barcelona inspired tapas restaurant

and bar sited at The Square, City Walk,

offers the Friday brunch with a Toro

twist. With award-winning chefs Ken

Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette at the

helm, you’re guaranteed to have an

exciting culinary experience. We know

we did. The brunch begins with sharingstyle

plates of pintxos, cold meat,

Spanish cheese and a freshly baked

crusty bread topped with garlic, olive oil

and tomatoes. Simple, yet absolutely

mouthwatering. Up next, we tucked

into patata bravas served in little

cylindrical shaped bites with aioli, juicy

grilled corn with espelette aioli that’s

the good kind of messy and worth

dirtying your fingers with, Spanish

omelette served in squares, and crisp

mushroom and truffle croquette. The

Catalan specialties can be re-ordered

before and during the second course.

As we took in the rustic, textured and

bright-light composed interiors, while

sipping sangria, we chose the signature

Catalan favourite, paella. The

flavoursome saffron rice was soaked in

juices of the paella, topped with seafood

that offered a bite. While we wanted to

eat every grain from the pan, we

realised the portion was very generous

for two to share. We took a few

minutes to digest the meal, singing along

to old school hip-hop tracks from the

Eighties and Nineties, before tucking

into churros served with three sauces.

Toro + KO will be serving a threecourse

Iftar featuring a plate of Toro

Tapas, Catalonia-style paella, beef

tenderloin with roast potatoes and

Padron peppers, or pulpo (a

combination of octopux planxa,

charred onions vinaigrette and pimento

de la vera), and churros.

Need to know:

Dhs199 per head for the Iftar.

Contact +971 4 590 5433




Nocturnal hotspot



the in-house butcher and feast on fillet, prime rib, rib eye

and sirloin.

Kobe has been hailed the king of meats. That marbling and

melt-in-your mouth factor, it truly doesn’t get any better

than that for Japanese meat. Having not tasted it prior to

this, we put the creation to the test. Beefbar nestled at Al

Fattan Currency House in DIFC is a sight to behold. Across

the reception, your eyes will fall upon the most glamorous

butchershop you are likely to come across in life. This meat

and charcuterie is displayed in floor-to-ceiling glass cases,

and are available for purchase. Not sure what to pick? Ask

The décor showcases hues of brown, gold, leather, plenty

of wood, and marble tops that sort of mimic the marbling

on meat in a way. We headed down for the Taste of Kobe

menu that’s bang for your buck. A selection of street food

dishes are brought to the table, starting with pure Japanese

kobe beef sliders with habanero, truffle, and jalapeno sauce.

The buns were soft and pillow-like with tender meat that

immediately melted on our tongues. The tartare on the

other hand showcased the kobe, alongside black angus and

veal, with a selection of seasonings that impressed. The

signature kale salad with avocado, parmesan and lemon zest

paired well with the meat, while giving our meal a muchneeded

dose of fibre and nutrition. For mains, my dining

partner was served a 300g fillet of Australian Black angus

beef done medium-rare, while I tucked into a tender 300g

Dutch milk-fed veal. Both were succulent, bursting with

juices, and incredibly filling. After a heavy meal, dessert is

highly recommended. For a bit of entertainment by the

table, pick the soufflé. We chose the stracciatella with salted

caramel that tasted like silky, foamy clouds, paired with a

banana and passion fruit sorbet for a slight hint of tartness.

Need to know: Every day from 7-9pm

at Dhs220 per person. Contact +971 4 352 2223






If you are looking for an exceptional dining experience,

keep the Iftar buffet at SUQ Restaurant, Four Seasons,

Jumeirah, Dubai as one of your top choices.

The restaurant is warm with cosy Arabesque elements,

and a live oud musician that completes the idyllic setting.

Suq is set amongst lush landscaped gardens and pools. The

buffet was extensive and had every dish imaginable in

terms of variety. Lentil soup was our first choice, after

which we headed for the salad bar to tuck into fattoush,

chilled prawn salad and simple greens. The grilled

vegetables were delicious, with our favourite being the

Brussel sprouts and roasted root vegetables.

Those looking for something a bit more authentic can

opt for light options such as cold mezze: hummous,

moutabel and tabbouleh, and hot mezze items including

fried kibbeh, spinach fatayer and soujouk.

Lamb ouzi was served hot from the live cooking station

and was absolutely delicious with the tender, juicy lamb

along with the well-cooked rice complementing each

other. My dining partner and I also tried the mixed grills -

chicken shish tawook, lamb kofta, and beef kebab, that

were divine. There’s something for every palette. Not a

fan of Arabic food? Try sushi and sashimi, pasta, Indian

food, or bbq grills. My choice was the oven baked fish that

was flaky and fell apart from the bone beautifully –

nutritious and filling. Vegetarian options are also available,

such as paneer kadai and dahl makhani along with seasonal

vegetables, biryani, and roasted potato. We saved space

for the deserts that were beyond delectable. The tempting

line up of cakes, tarts, tiramisu, Turkish delight, crepes,

panna cotta and Arabic treats were hard to resist. Pick a

few and indulge with coffee or tea.

Iftar dining

Need to know: From Dhs265 per person,

free for children below five, and 50 per cent off for

children between six to 12. Contact +971 4 270 7777




Intimate brunch

Family friendly




It all begins on the terrace of xxxx, where you sip chilled

beverages, soak up the sunlight, and take in the calm sea

breeze on the terrace of at NOÉPE. Traiteur’s brunch has

been a Dubai institution for years, now bringing together The

Promenade’s finest offerings. Grab a plate and begin at the

seafood bar, where you can feast on Fine de Claire oysters,

cold lobster, sushi, sashimi and a wide range of crustaceans.

For salads, leafy greens, mixed seafood, and a selection of

nutritious items are available to tuck into. We skipped past,

and headed for the foie gras station, where the beautifully

toasted piece was placed on brioche with a side of fig jam.

The foie gras bomb is a must-try too, with its hard-outer shell

revealing a liquid foie gras mixture almost similar to coffee

cream. A slice of pizza oozing with cheese, and a few

delectable Burgundy snails later, and we were ready to dive

into mains at Brasserie du Park. Choose from lamb and meat

at the rotisserie station, chicken, fleshy salmon carved right in

front of your eyes and a wide selection of grilled and roasted

vegetables. An assortment of breakfast-style dishes are

available too, with eggs benedict being a firm-favourite from

the culinary offerings. Outdoors, feast on the protein on pit,

but make sure to leave space for the wide array of cheese,

and sweet treats. A grand staircase leads you down into the

dessert room, one that smells divine and features chocolate

bark and slabs, macarons, berry crumble with a vanilla sauce

or ice cream, chocolate cake and fruit puddings.




For a great alternative to the expansive Ramadan buffet

spread, hotfoot to this rustic, vibrant open-layout

restaurant in Al Safa. The eatery showcases an a la carte

Afghan menu with contemporary culinary influences.

Created by Fatima, Iman and Homaira, the restaurant

stands to tell a tale of the three women who share a love

and nostalgia for Afghan street food.

Our meal began with fried okra finely chopped with

onion, coriander and tomatoes, barta – my favourite –

featuring aubergine mashed with coriander, spring

onions, garlic and yoghurt, scooped with flat bread

stuffed with potato, and manti (mini dumplings in a

yoghurt sauce with pieces of succulent lamb). For

mains, a generous portion of Afghan rice was presented,

with pieces of lamb popping out of the mixture of

orange and yellow palou. Each grain was cooked to

perfection, with the dish offering an aroma of spices.

This was eaten with tender yoghurt-marinated chicken

that was dipped into a coriander and chilli chutneys.

The portion was quite large for two, so we packed

some for work lunch, and were quite surprised at how

tender the chicken remained. Desserts can be quite

heavy and decadent at an Afghan restaurant, but we

kept it light with Afghan churros that were infused with

rose and saffron, and absolutely crisp on the outside

with a topping of sweet cardamom sugar.

Need to know: Every Friday from

Dhs495 per person. Contact +971 4 602 1814

Need to know:

Contact +971 4 349 6665







The tale of Arabian Nights comes to life with historic

landmarks, bustling alleys and colourful souqs

By Nicola Monteath




Shades of dusky pink are prevalent

through the city of Marrakech,

fondly known as the “rose or red

city” and therein lays its beauty.

While the rest of the world has been busy

building towers, altering their skylines rapidly,

Marrakesh has chosen to stay true to its

rosy-hue roots. Buildings are also given a

height restriction and have to be lower than

the city’s most significant landmark, the

77-metre tall minaret of the 12th-century

Koutoubia Mosque.

Of late, Marrakech has become an Instagramworthy

paradise with images of the city’s

stunning architecture, riads, the souq, rugs,

pottery, and tagines filling our feeds. Formerly

an imperial city in western Morocco, the city is

best known for its medieval vibes, mosques,

palaces, gardens and of course, the museums.

On a bright sunny morning, meander

through the Jardin Majorelle, the stunning

garden home to the renowned Blue square

fountain, Berber museum, water lily pool,

and other attractions. Just a stone’s throw

away is Musee Yves Saint Laurent

Marrakech, where you can view the late

designer’s creative masterpieces.


Perhaps the best way to experience

Marrakesh is with a stroll around the narrow

alleyways of the walled medina (old city).

The UNESCO heritage site is a maze

amongst which you will embark on a sensory

journey, taking in aromas of everything from

spices to dried fruit and rose water, while

haggling for stunning chunky necklaces,

textiles and spices – take home a packet of

Ras el Hanout for a Moroccan twist to your

chicken dinners. Walk through The Djemaa

el-Fna square for a glimpse of snake

charmers, break-dancers and food carts.

Main image:

Koutoubia mosque

From top right page:

The Majorelle Garden is

a botanical garden and

artist's landscape garden;

Jemaa el-Fnaa, Djema el-

Fna or Djemaa el-Fnaa is a

famous square and market

place in Marrakesh's

medina quarter; Le

Jardin Secret, old Medina,

Marrakech, Morocco








A mystical setting and fine-dining French-inspired

fare awaits diners at Le Palace Marrakech. Sing

along to tunes from the in-house DJ, and feast on

tuna with mashed avocado and tomato bisque,

scallops, and the crying tiger – slivers of tender

steak with a tangy chimichurri-style sauce. Lunch

at Beldi Country Club is an absolute must, not

just for its authentic lamb tagine with olives and

the hearty artichoke salad, but for the incredibly

captivating setting by the swimming pool, under

olive trees. Don’t miss the in-house souq and a

visit to the rose garden on site. You can’t leave

Marrakesh without a traditional Moroccan dining

experience. Assyl at Selman Marrakech is a place

to see and be seen at. The dining room will leave

you in awe, with its embroidery, gold leaf paintings

that adorn the walls, carved wood, and arches

that exude an Ottoman palace vibe. The menu

features authentic tagines with lamb, fish or

chicken; bastilla (fried pastry filled with seafood or

chicken), couscous, eggplant dip, chicken liver, and

plenty of specialties. The hotel is also home to

one of the most glamourous stables you will ever

come across.


Just over 30 minutes away from the hustle and

bustle of the Medina is The Capaldi Hotel, a

stunning retreat boasting the Atlas Mountains as

the backdrop. When you aren’t watching a movie

at the private cinema, or catching up with a good

read at the library, take a dip in one of the two

stunning pools. If you do have time to spare, a trip

to the traditional spa for a Hammam is well worth a

visit. And make sure you wake up early for their

decadent breakfast featuring a bowl of fresh fruit,

Morrocan orange juice and specialties from the a la

carte menu – try the baked eggs with tomato sauce,

slightly similar to a shakshouka. thecapaldi.com




Emirates flies to Casablanca daily from

Dhs11,700 per head for Business Class. The

drive to Marrakech is three-hours, so make sure

to pack a book along. emirates.com

From top left page:

Spices and herbs on

a Moroccan market;

Woman in national dress

Jellaba walking down the

street; Fez, a traditional

Moroccan hat; Lamb

tajine with meat plum

almond and sesame

seeds; Horse drawn

carriage; Traditional

berber dinnerware

called Tajine for cooking

couscous dish; Berber

man pouring tea from a

traditional metal kettle

into glasses; Traditional

Moroccan mint tea; Jemma

dar fna, the main bazaar

Right: The Capaldi Hotel

and it's stunning main pool





The latest in experiences, packages and wellbeing breaks


Once you have indulged in the culture, food and

art Italy has on offer, make your way down to

Vibe, an Italian wellness retreat in the heart of

Tuscany – just 40 minutes’ drive from Rome

International Airport. The clinic offers Eastern and

Western medicine in a luxurious surrounding of

historic castles, with a private beach right at your

doorstep. Each programme is created to suit the

individual and includes spiritual music healing

methods, brain retraining technologies, one-onone

sessions with the clinical team and Sufis,

Buddhist monks, yoga teachers and Tai Qi

masters on site. Other therapies on offer include

neuro-feedback, somatic experience, equine

therapy, Ayurveda acupuncture, mindfulness, and

reiki, amongst many others. vibein.co.uk


Calling all Van Gogh enthusiasts. Conservatorium has

partnered with its Museum Square District neighbour, the Van

Gogh museum, to offer the customisable Van Gogh Suite

package. Guests can decorate walls with their choice of the

iconic artists’ work including Almost Blossom, Flowering Plum

Orchard, Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat or Courtesan, and

admire stunning specially-designed items including pillows,

teacups and teapots. Each guest also receives an aquarelle set

and guestbook. Other highlights in the package feature

breakfast for two, Van Gogh-and Japan-inspired afternoon tea

in the Brasserie with access to the exhibition, and a memorable

welcome letter from Willem Van Gogh, the nephew of

Vincent Van Gogh. Available until June 24th for Dhs4,170

per night. Visit thesethotels.com


Need to keep the little ones engaged on your

next summer escape? Stay with Mandarin

Oriental Prague and book the Prague Zoo

Adventure package. Apart from a lavish stay, it

includes a one-way traditional steam boat trip to

the zoo on the River Vltava, entry cards and

maps, a quiz, zoo adventure keepsake, daily

breakfast for four at Spices Restaurant, and

decadent sweet treats. A great way to spend a

summer weekend in the city. Available until

October 2018 with rates starting from

Dhs2,145 (minimum of two night’s stay).




Bombardier, Global 6000 and Exceptional by Design are trademarks of

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

We didn’t get here by sheer luck. This was deliberate.

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

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

Redefining luxury. So when all is said and done,

we’ll know that we achieved something truly extraordinary.






The capital is home to stunning golf courses such as this,

The Abu Dhabi Golf Club, nestled outside the city.

There’s no better time than now to enjoy a game early in the AM




Recognised as one of the finest golf

courses in the Middle East, The Abu

Dhabi Golf Club is one that is not too

tight or penal and, as all the courses

seem to be in this part of the world, presented in

great fashion. Managed by Troon Golf – the

leading golf management company that overseas

courses in 28 countries – the manicured greens,

lush fairways, attention to detail and service are

all a true reflection of their style. Peter

Harradine is the famed designer behind this

course, also known for having designed Al

Hamra Golf Club and Resorts – an 18 hole

championship course in Ras al Khaimah. This

course is dominated by the iconic clubhouse

which both nine and 18 play towards and makes

for a spectacular end to both nines.

There are a lot of water-featured holes on this

course, in fact the water comes into play on nine

holes, but don’t let that trouble you too much as

there aren’t a huge number of long carries from

the tees. It is the water that gives many holes

definition, as the trees are set well back from the

fairways and the rough is manageable. Having

said that, for the recent HSBC Championship

held here a couple of weeks ago, the rough had

been much thicker which made the course play

harder. The course features terrain meandering

through pockets of palm and ornamental trees

and shrubs set around seven saltwater lakes.

A tough but fair challenge.

The most notable holes, the par 3 12 th is a

great hole over the water, to a wall defended

by bunkers on all three sides. The 18th makes

for a great finish, a long par 5 with a green

which is probably five clubs difference front to

back, and is well worth paying attention to the

pin position. The last hole is spectacular, with

the finish at the falcon-shaped and themed

Clubhouse that boasts three dining areas, a fully

equipped gym, swimming pool and squash

courts. The staff on hand are polite,

knowledgeable and always aiming to please.

One service that this course offers, that is

second to none in the UAE, is the cart service.

We ordered food and hot beverages that were

well-presented and beyond reasonably priced

without the frustration of waiting for six holes

to receive a disappointing order.


Dhs 450-625 for residents. Visit adgolfclub.com



“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and

Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

Warren Buffett

Financial Planning | Tax Planning | Wealth Management | Corporate Services



United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom | Australia | Bermuda


+971 4 556 5900 | info@credence-international.com



Escape to The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach,

for a palatial getaway in the northern emirates




Located just over an hour away from

Dubai, on the shores of the Arabian

Gulf is The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al

Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach. The

stunning resort is located on a private stretch of

white sandy beach in Al Jazirah Al Hamra, and

arriving here, is a luxe experience in itself - you

are transported from the arrival car park to the

reception of the resort by boat. The shimmering

crystal clear waters beckon, making you want to

jump in at the sight of it.

The resort features 32 Bedouin-inspired

tented private pool villas, all with direct

access to the beach. The tented villas blend

naturally with the landscape, offering spacious,

modern interiors with a prevalent Arabic theme

seen in the accents, canopied king size fourposter

bed and lanterns. Floor-to-ceiling

windows allow for natural light to flood the

villa, and just a stone’s throw away is where you

and your family are likely to spend all your time,

at the swimming pool. When you’re done

soaking up the sun on your private patio, head

on over to the beach – just a few steps away –

for a stroll.


Overlooking the resort’s infinity pool is the allday

dining restaurant, Shore House. Take a seat

at a beach cabana by the coastal front, and

peruse through the menu comprising nutritious

dishes with an emphasis on seafood specialties.

The fresh catch is always the best, and we opted

for seabass, along with shrimp tagine, served hot

with freshly baked Arabic bread, yoghurt and

mint couscous. Breakfast is served here too, and

you can fuel up for the day ahead with eggs

cooked to your liking, pastries, a selection of

cereal, baked treats, and fresh fruit. The staff are

more than obliging to serve and assist in getting

you sides such as sausage, bacon, mushroom,

laban and a selection of cheese.





to know:

Room rates start

from Dhs2,660.

Visit ritzcarlton.com

for more



Those who wish to fit in a workout at the gym

can visit the dual-space facility and head to the

spa later. Watersport enthusiasts can try

snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle

boarding while the kids enjoy their time and

make friends at the Ritz Kids club. Activities

such as archery, pony rides, video games

and bedtime stories under the stars

will ensure they don’t get bored while

you unwind.



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.



Office 804-806, Arenco Tower, Dubai Media City | 04 432 79 72 | www.luxhabitat.ae




Make The Residences at Marina Gate your new address

Dubai Marina has grown to

become one of the most

admired residential hubs

in the city, primarily for its

central location, beaches within short

walking distance, plethora of

restaurants and cafés, and of course

fitness centres and spas.




Previously plugged as the area of choice for

youngsters and singles, Dubai Marina has

gradually drifted away from that notion, now

playing home to families and those who enjoy

living amidst the bustle of the city.

The area is best defined by its retail outlets

and shopping malls. For instance, “the Spinneys

outdoor parking” is a term that Dubai residents

are well aware of. That’s how we came to find

The Residences at Marina Gate, a trio of towers

– one of which belongs to Jumeirah Living -

surrounded by the Arabian Gulf on one side

and the marina on the other.




The towers, by property developer Select

Group, will soon offer a selection of restaurants

and shops on the Plaza level. To find out more

about each unit, we explored the premises,

beginning with the four-bedroom duplex

penthouse. The views? You can take your pick

from the picturesque sea on one end, to the

Marina skyline and golf course in the distance.

The apartment opens up to a spacious area

with the dining table and living room set-up

near the balcony. All units are flooded with

natural sunlight, which makes waking up all the

more delightful. The ground floor comprises an

open-layout kitchen with Miele appliances, the

maid’s room, two bedrooms and bathrooms.

Upstairs is perhaps the area where you and

your family will spend most time. The family

room is a great nook for the family to kick-back,

watch TV and catch up on reading, or for the

children to do their homework. Both

penthouses differ slightly, in terms of the home

office and en-suite bathrooms. Type 3,4

showcase the study/home office as a room,

whereas in Type 4,5 the office desk in placed in

a corner, on the way to the Master bedroom.

Type 4,5 also offers views of the marina from

the washroom, with a stand-alone bathtub

allowing you to indulge in a hot soak as you

take in the glamour of the surroundings. Our

favourite features were hands-down the finish

of the bathroom with a clean, minimalist theme,

and of course, the walk-in closet which provides

just enough space to store your finest outfits.

What makes a residential tower stand out from

others in the area? The amenities. The Residences

at Marina Gate offer a spectacular temperature

controlled infinity pool, children’s pool area,

illuminated squash and paddle tennis courts, and a

dual level gymnasium that rivals most in the city in

terms of equipment and views. The state-of-theart

gym is sectioned into areas, with a zone for

women looking for a bit of privacy.

If you are looking to invest in the marina, this

should be one to consider, not just as a potential

rental but perhaps even as a family home.

Need to know: The penthouses are available

from Dhs7.5 million. Visit select-group.ae for

more information







I’d go to Cuba and eat at the El

Aljibe restaurant in Havana,

where I’d lose myself in the

relaxed atmosphere, listen to

great music and savour the

chicken el Ajibe; a delicious

roasted chicken made with a

unique “secret” recipe.


The Waterside Inn and Harry’s

Bar in the UK, Cipriani Dubai,

and Babel Beirut.


That’s easy; it has to be the

Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul-de-

Vence, France. A tucked away

tranquil space with an

interesting history, where in the

calm and fragrant surroundings,

it is difficult not to relax.


We recently introduced the

children to skiing and were

thrilled that they really embraced

the experience. We go to a

hideaway where we can all enjoy

the adventure and scenery.



Sometimes I like to put honey

in my espresso.



Tour Tickets to the Dubai

Aquarium with my family,

during our last trip.




Chairman of Campbell Gray

Hotels and the Founding Member

& Managing Director of

Audeh Group of companies


I have two routines really; when I am

travelling it’s up early, quick breakfast then

usually straight onto phone-calls and emails.

My trips are very focused, so are usually

non-stop until dinner time. At home, I make

a concerted effort to spend time with my

family in between work commitment, and

on good days I can even make it to the gym

or take our dog Buddy for a long walk.




It’s hard to imagine doing anything else, but

it would have to be something where I

could be inspired to create and invent.


Old Man of the Sea by Ernest

Hemingway. It is beautifully

written using simple language,

with powerful symbolism that

expresses relentless hope and

courage despite setbacks,

bringing personal achievement

even after loss.




After the first 24hours,

probably a telephone

connected to room service.


Time spent with my family, a

long walk with the dog, pizza

cooked by me in our kitchen

garden and in the evening,

when the children are in bed,

feet up, enjoying a great movie

with a nightcap and a cigar.

Investing in

yourself means giving

time for yourself and

family and allowing

thought for others.

Learning a new skill,

developing creativity

or simply paying

attention to how

you feel, which will

give you the

confidence and the

ability to share


Always believe in yourself, do

unto others as you would have

them do unto you and

appreciate life, always.





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every time you fly.

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