Bahrain This Month - January 2022

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TECHNOLOGY - ENTERTAINMENT - DINING

Since 1997

January 2022 | Vol. 26

| Issue 1 | BD2 / SR20

YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE

PEOPLE

Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta – A Champion of Change

NEW YEAR SPECIAL

Unique Fitness Classes in Bahrain to Kickstart Your Year!

Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei on diplomatic relations Rsquare Technologies’ Shanthini Raja on Propelling Bahrain’s FinTech Ecosystem.

WTM

Digital Artist Layan Raed Al Samahiji’s Spectacular Art

MOTORING

Winter Beauty Essentials

Our Predictions for 2022 Motoring News

Embracing Fashion in 2022 Bedroom Decor

www.bahrainthismonth.com

Arts

Culture

Clubs

Sports

Interviews

Lifestyle

Dining

Nightlife

Digital Edition


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bystander

n the auspicious occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the National Day of Thailand OKingdom of Thailand hosted a reception at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain.

4 January 2022

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THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton

Bahrain This Month January 2022

Editor Farah Baig Contributors Kristian Harrison, Behnaz Sanjana Pria Masson Tanwar, Ouiam Charkani El Hassani, Editorial Consultant Ahdeya Ahmed Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Art Director Hatem Monem Webmaster Nishad Eapen CRM & Database Coordinator Muna Yousef Staff Photographer Subeesh Kumar N S Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services)

Media Sales Director Anuradha Manhas anuradha@redhousemarketing.com DIGITAL & CONTENT MARKETING TEAM Digital Strategy Director Lini Reghunath Digital Marketing & Social Media Director Farah Baig Social Media Managers Simran Tiwari, Rohit Reghunath

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appy New Year to all our readers, followers, and the people of Bahrain! A new year brings with it the exciting prospects of new opportunities, a fresh start and a chance to make a difference. While we’re in the habit of hanging on to every bit of optimism, let’s hope and pray that the presence of the new variant doesn’t diminish the opportunities for progress. One of the most common New Year resolutions is to get fit, eat healthily and become the best physical and emotional version of ourselves. That being said, the thought of running on a treadmill can be boring to some; so, we decided to bring you some of the most unusual and exciting fitness classes on the island in our special feature. In December, I had the pleasure of meeting the Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta, for an insightful chat about the organisation’s key achievements, his priorities as president and more. Bahrain and Italy have had a long-standing diplomatic partnership, with the Embassy of Italy opening in Manama in 2002 and frequent bilateral political collaboration on aspects such as commerce, trade and investment. This month, we spoke to the Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, HE Paola Amadei, about her diplomatic career and her plans to bolster ties between the two nations. With all the changes we have gone through in the last two years, it’s undeniable that digital innovations and progress are essential for the new reality in which we find ourselves. With this in mind, we spoke to the Founder and CEO of Rsquare Technologies, Shanthini Raja, whose pioneering steps to bring about automated change in the country, propelled her to the forefront of Bahrain’s IT and FinTech ecosystem. The Kingdom has no dearth of exciting dining venues, but a new addition (especially if they offer something special) is always welcome! Given our unrelenting sweet tooth, we had the pleasure of sampling some of the delightful pastries at La Reine Patisserie this month. We also reviewed the brunch experience at the stunning new resort property, Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain. As usual, you will also find some of the best dining options at Bahrain’s leading hospitality venues in our dining-out listings. This month’s Motoring section features Kristian Harrison’s predictions for 2022 and some of the industry’s latest news. Meanwhile, business expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, explores the positive impact that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s investment in tourism is sure to have on the island.

Printing Press Union Press, Bahrain Published monthly by

RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: info@redhousemarketing.com www.bahrainthismonth.com © Copyright Reserved 2005-2020 The concept, content, style and design of this publication remain the exclusive property of Red House Marketing (Jersey) Ltd. and must not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Red House Marketing cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission. • Views expressed in this magazine by journalists and writers are not necessarily those of the publishers of Bahrain This Month. Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3

1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Bahrain: BD24

In our Woman This Month segment, we explore the best of festive fashion, beauty and lifestyle while keeping the cooler months in mind. With art taking on a life of its own in the digital realm, we spoke to one of Bahrain’s most talented digital artists, Layan Raed Al Samahiji. The 21-year-old has garnered quite the following on social media due to her highly imaginative art that blends the celestial with more familiar surroundings. It’s an issue with plenty for you to look forward to, so needless to say, Bahrain This Month will always be your guide to a great way of life!

COVER Cover Picture:

Fitness

George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman

Scan this QR Code to subscribe to the digital edition of the magazine.

Gulf and international subscriptions available on request.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

January 2022 5


JANUARY ISSUE 293

INTERVIEW

CONTENTS

16

Made in Italy’ in Bahrain

18

Champion of Change

21

18

This month, we spoke to the Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, HE Paola Amadei, about her diplomatic career and her plans to bolster ties between the two nations. Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta, tells us about the organisation’s key achievements, his priorities as president and more.

Taking Bahrain Forward, Digitally

Founder and CEO of Rsquare Technologies, Shanthini Raja, talks about how her first step to bring about automated change in the country ultimately became one of the wind streams that propelled Bahrain’s FinTech ecosystem.

16

21

NEW YEAR FEATURE

24

2022: A Year for Fitness

Improving fitness and health is one of the most common resolutions, but staying fit doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous. Here are some of the most exciting classes we found across the island.

24

29

DINING

29

Queen of Cake

36

Living it Up at Vida

Behnaz Sanjana indulged in the sinfully sweet treats at Bahrain’s latest patisserie La Reine located in the heart of Riffa. There’s a brand-new Friday brunch in town at Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain, and it’s one that will make you want to loosen the belt and hang around after hours.

MOTORING

40

Motoring Predictions for the Year 2022

42

Motoring Bites

40

42

48

Our resident motorhead, Kristian Harrison, tells us his predictions for the world of motoring this year.

COMMERCE

48 50

36

Business Bites Tourism – it’s more than just travel The Kingdom of Bahrain has a foresighted investment plan in place. Pria Masson Tanwar explores the positive impact of tourism on the economy as part of such plans.

6 January 2022

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bhthismonth

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JANUARY ISSUE 225

CONTENTS

FASHION

60 60

62

Fashionably Yours in 2022 Don’t be shy to sway from your usual fashion path in 2022; this year is all about breaking the mould and embracing the previously unfamiliar.

PEOPLE

62

Art in Another Dimension Layan Raed Al Samahiji, one of Bahrain’s finest upcoming digital artists, spoke to Woman This Month about her inspirations, ideas and multidimensional art.

BEAUTY

66

68

66

Winter Beauty Essentials

68

Refreshing & Rejuvenating Skincare

Look your very best this winter with our carefully curated selection of beauty essentials!

Give your skin some TLC with these 5 restorative skincare products

LIFESTYLE

69

Why Your Child Needs Extracurricular Activities Ouiam El Hassani tells you why extracurricular activities are a necessity for your child in the new year.

69 www.womanthismonth.com womanthismonth 8

January 2022

75

In Her Shoes – Syamily James

75 rhmbahrain

We take a peek into the life of Syamily James - Marketing Executive at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa. www.womanthismonth.com


bystander

Italian Christmas Party

Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei, hosted an Italian Christmas cocktail party at the Gulf Hotel Convention Centre.

Ramee Grand Christmas Tree Lighting

Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa held a tree lighting ceremony to bring in the festive season.

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January 2022 9


bystander

Ritz Christmas Tree Lighting The Ritz-Carlton,

Bahrain started the festive season with some Christmas magic for the little ones and grown-ups alike as it lit its grand Christmas Tree.

Skal Dinner SKAL International Bahrain hosted a dinner function at Gulf Hotel Bahrain.

10 January 2022

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bystander

Opening of Kolmaz

The grand opening of Kolmaz was held at Oasis Mall, Juffair.

Christmas Dinner at WU Restaurant

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The Art Hotel & Resort held a Christmas Dinner at WU Restaurant to mark the festive season.

January 2022 11


happenings

JANUARY 2022 HAPPENINGS NEED FOR SPEED TILL JANUARY 28

BIC 2,000 CC CHALLENGE

A BRIGHT START TO THE YEAR!

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT

TILL FEBRUARY 15

LIGHTS AT THE BAHRAIN HARBOUR

HARBOUR WALK, BAHRAIN FINANCIAL HARBOUR

The magnificent Harbour Walk was unveiled to coincide with the Kingdom’s 50th National Day celebrations. It’s stunning with immersive light installations, a variety of food and beverage selections, and plenty of entertainment. During these pleasant winter nights, enjoy the incredibly picturesque and exciting new urban community located on the Manama waterfront.. The BIC 2000 CC Challenge is the region’s longest-running circuit race series. It gives gentleman racers the opportunity to compete in a professionally run championship, turning dreams into reality for those who live by the high-octane life. Immerse yourself into the world of circuit racing and experience the thrill of racing on a world-class race track. Spectators can purchase tickets for just BHD2 for the Batelco Grandstand. . Call 17 450-000.

S E C A L P W NE Heritage Village, Arad Arad features a ‘Heritage Village’ which is a historic neighbourhood where visitors can Immerse themselves in traditional culture and learn about the various aspects of Bahrain’s heritage. It is a traditional oasis offering a glimpse into Bahrain’s past. This village also conducts public workshops where craftsmen and artists demonstrate traditional skills such as pottery making, weaving and spinning yarn. Visitors are at times given the opportunity to experience their trade first hand and learn these skills from the experts whilst being able to create their own craft pieces. Visitors can purchase a variety of specially curated and unique handcrafted items. Apart from the remarkable journey through Bahrain’s history, there are several dining options which feature traditional Bahraini cuisine. 12 January 2022

TO VISIT SOUQ AL BARAHA, DIYAR AL MUHARRAQ Souq Al Baraha, located in the heart of Diyar Al Muharraq is a mustvisit destination designed as a traditional Bahraini Souq. A shopping concept which incorporates a harmonious blend of Bahrain’s tradition and modern innovations in an authentic Bahraini style with contemporary amenities and facilities. It incorporates more than 480 stores, a family entertainment center, grocery stores, various food and beverages outlets, a central market and a plethora of specialised businesses such as jewellery, handicrafts, tailors, textiles, dates, spices, traditional sweets, antiques, and carpets. www.bahrainthismonth.com


bystander

Diva Tree Lighting Diva Hotel held a tree lighting ceremony to bring in the season for bells and cheers with carol singing for families to enjoy.

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January 2022 13


bystander

Knight and Flag Exhibition

Under the patronage of Chairman of the National Council for Arts “Knight and Flag” Photography Exhibition was inaugurated as part of the national celebrations.

Asdal Gulf Inn Christmas Tree Lighting Asdal Gulf Inn held a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony to bring in the festive season.

14 January 2022

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bystander

NHSC Year End Party 2021 NHSC Bahrain hosted an end of year gathering at Iris, Adliya.

AlAfandi 4th Anniversary & Thanksgiving Dinner Party Al Afandi Properties celebrated its 4th anniversary and Thanksgiving with a dinner held at Mövenpick Bahrain.

www.bahrainthismonth.com/gallery

January 2022 15


PEOPLE | interview

MADE IN ITALY, TREASURED IN BAHRAIN Bahrain and Italy have had a longstanding diplomatic partnership, with the Embassy of Italy opening in Manama in 2002 and frequent bilateral political collaboration on aspects such as commerce, trade and investment. This month, we spoke to the Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Paola Amadei, about her diplomatic career and her plans to bolster ties between the two nations.

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our Excellency, you have an extensive political career spanning well over two decades. Could you give our readers some insight into your experiences and how you are implementing your prior experience in Bahrain? I began my diplomatic career in 1992, starting as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Italian Embassy in Singapore. After that, I served at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union in Brussels, in charge of the external relations and trade policy as coordinator for the Italian side. I was assigned with my first mission as Ambassador to Oman in 2012 until early 2016, before returning to Rome as Deputy Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs. I was then Diplomatic Counsellor to the Minister of Interior, Dr Marco Minniti in 2018-19 and the Head Secretariat of the Undersecretary Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano. Since January 2020, I have served my country in Bahrain. The roles I have covered were all very challenging and truly interesting. My previous experience has enormously helped build my work during my mission in the Kingdom. Trade policy is an interest that I have nurtured since my university and I continue to show a deep interest in it. I must say that other than my personal interest in this topic, the idea of contributing to the promotion of our extraordinary excellence of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand is for me a true honour and responsibility. As Ambassador, what do you consider to be your primary focus during your assignment in Bahrain? The development of the bilateral relations in every sector, such as political, economic, commercial, 16 January 2022

cultural and academic. My primary concern is also to promote the role of Italy as a founding member of the European Union and one the largest industrial powers in the world, a member of G7, G20, NATO and more. What do you consider to have been the most significant achievements at the Embassy during your time in Bahrain? The achievements obtained in the economic field, particularly in such a difficult time considering the pandemic, have been very important. The establishment of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which works in close coordination with the Embassy of Italy to support Italian firms in their internationalisation processes and promote the marketing and distribution of Italian goods and services, is a particular point of pride. During the pandemic we organised a series of webinars to present opportunities of trade and investment to business owners in both countries.

However, the most important achievement was the establishment of the Italian Bahraini Business Council, which was launched on November 17, 2021. It is a private initiative but it was built under the auspices of the two countries with the support of the respective embassies in Italy and in Bahrain. Members of the highest standing are part of its board. It will give a substantial contribution to facilitate contacts and discover opportunities between entrepreneurs and therefore to further strengthen our already excellent economic and commercial ties. What can you tell us about the development of bilateral relations between the two countries in recent years? Could you highlight any of the most significant high-level delegations and VIP visits in the last two years? The most important occasion was His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, visiting Italy in February 2020 to sign various Memoranda of Understanding in crucial sectors www.bahrainthismonth.com


PEOPLE | interview

including culture, space and health. More recently, in November 2021, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, visited the Kingdom for talks and regional interest. Please tell us about the current status of trade between Bahrain and Italy? Statistics show that in 2021, Italy stands out as the top European supplier to Bahrain, while holding the ninth position globally. USD308 million of trade between the two countries was recorded in the first eight months of 2021. The sectors that contributed the most to this are the machinery sector and industrial equipment (40.2 percent), iron and steel products (9 percent), cars and motorbikes (5.2 percent), furniture (5 percent), pharmaceuticals (4.1 percent) and chemical products (3.1 percent). What are the most popular Italian products that are imported by Bahrain? Italy is famous for the world-renowned ‘Made in Italy’ designation and it is a delight to see how Bahrain deeply appreciates our high-quality products in a variety of sectors including fashion, design, furniture, food, technology and machines.

dassari and pianist Sabrina Avantario performed some of the most beautiful arias in opera. I have had a strong passion for opera since I was young and I can assure you that I will do my very best to organise more. How many Italian citizens are currently residing in the Kingdom and with new strains of COVID-19 coming into play, do you see the number of Italian citizens in Bahrain increasing or decreasing over time? There are currently about 550 Italians in Bahrain. The number has not diminished due to COVID, and allow me to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire Italian community in Bahrain to thank the Bahraini leadership for the swift response during the pandemic through the vaccination campaign, which was made easily accessible. Which sectors of the economy are Italian nationals living in Bahrain engaged in? The Italian community is a truly hard-working, active and well-integrated, appreciated group of pro-

fessionals. There is a pretty wide range of sectors they work in, including law, academics, business consultancy, engineering, architecture, healthcare and of course our famous hospitality industry! On a more personal note, we understand that you have a keen interest in Indian culture including Yoga and traditional dance. Could you tell our readers about this? Yes, this is true! I have travelled extensively around India. I practice Yoga, and I studied the classical dance Bharatanatyam, which is simply beautiful. I wish I could have more time to practice it. You are multi-lingual – can you share with us how many languages you speak and how you developed an interest in them? I love learning languages. I speak English, French and Spanish. I would love to speak Arabic as fluent as the other languages; I studied it for three years at the Egyptian Cultural Institute in Rome. Again, I wish I could have time to study and especially practice it.

As a vastly important logistic hub in the Gulf region, Bahrain provides our supply chain with outstanding opportunities. The Italian embassy recently held an Italian opera event in the Kingdom. Could you tell us about the role of cultural exchange between the two countries? Do you have any similar events planned in the near future? The cultural exchange plays a pivotal role. Bahrain has a very ancient history, with UNESCO sites and cultural institutions of great prestige and distinction. With regards to the Opera concert, it was an absolute pleasure to see how much the public appreciated this form of art. Soprano Laura Balwww.bahrainthismonth.com

January 2022 17


interview

CHAMPION OF CHANGE Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta, tells Bahrain This Month about the organisation’s key achievements, his priorities as president and more.

It was almost exactly 20 years ago when the last Rotary International President, Richard King, graced Bahrain with his presence. On that occasion, it was a short stopover for Mr. King who was whisked in from the airport for a couple of hours to meet the great and the good in the Kingdom of Bahrain. At the end of November 2021, the current Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta made a long-anticipated visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain together with his wife, Rashi. BTM publisher George Middleton met up with him during their stay and reports below:

W

hen and how did you first get involved with Rotary International? Well, a friend of mine, Chandan Chowdhury, asked me to join Rotary and I said yes. So, I started attending the meetings and it was really a question of it being a baptism by fire. As soon as I joined, they asked me to do a fundraiser and of course I had no clue what to do. But I tried, and everybody contributed and the project was a great success. Was it a desire to commit yourself to charitable works that encouraged you to take part? 18 January 2022

Absolutely not; my prime purpose in joining Rotary was to make friends and network to be perfectly honest. I did not know that I would get so deeply involved in service. Since then, however, you have been involved with many charities. As I joined Rotary, I started getting involved with the club projects, participating hands-on and understanding existing problems and it struck me that it was meaningful to help them. The more you help, the more you get involved, the more you want to help and the more you

want to do. Which of the charity projects that you have been involved with are you most proud of and why? The literacy programme that we started from scratch holds a special place in my heart. It became one of the leading literacy programmes in India by any NGO, and in the Rotary world it is certainly the biggest educational programme bar none. In particular, I am very proud of the fact that over 3,500 out of a total of 4,000 clubs in India have participated and now the initiative is being www.bahrainthismonth.com


interview implemented in Africa. Since we have not had to make any major changes, it proves that we were on the right track. Do you have any other initiatives that you are particularly proud of? Actually, the heart surgery programme is particularly close to my heart. We have enabled over 2,500 operations so far where I have personally been involved and throughout India, we have affected almost 20,000 in total. The majority of these people are destitute and would have no means of funding such operations. What are your top priorities as Rotary International President? Actually, it’s twofold; one internal and the other external; basically, grow more and do more. Grow more is the internal goal and do more is the external goal. Grow more because we want our numbers to grow from 1.2 million to 1.3 million. We have 200,000 rotaractors and I want them to become 300,000; so, Rotaract and Rotary combined should become over 1.5 million. We don’t micromanage our clubs as far as decisions on which initiatives to support and implement. We assume that they would have local knowledge on what the most pressing priorities are in this regard. We have defined certain areas of focus; such as sanitation and hygiene, basic education literacy, developing local economies, working for health and peace etc. Of course one of our most popular programmes is the polio eradication programme which of course is an amazing success story. When we started it 40 years back, 350,000 children were being afflicted by it in 125 countries. This year, those 125 countries have been reduced to two countries only; Afghanistan and Pakistan and those 350,000 children have now come down to only four this year. Our greatest ambition is to eliminate this disease completely and we believe that we are almost there thanks to Rotary International and its partners! This year is all about the empowerment of women. Rotary is generally perceived as a man’s club. In these times of supposed greater equality, what are your thoughts on the appointment of Jennifer Jones as your successor? Woman make up half of humanity and it is only reasonable that they should have half the opportunities; the world should become a better place for all people. Of course, I am delighted! We have been paving the way this year since out of the 19 board members, nine of them are women. And one of the most able of them is with us today Katerina KostaliPapadimitrou, an outstanding Rotarian who heads a very important committee at the board level. Can you share with us an outline of Rotary’s strategic plan for the future? www.bahrainthismonth.com

We have an action plan whereby we want the organisation to be able to extend its reach, we want that there should be an ability to adapt, we should be able to reach out to more and more people. In addition, we should be able to measure and enhance our impact. After 36 years in Rotary, and reaching the ultimate position as international president, do you have any further ambitions left to fulfill? Personally, I have no further ambitions. In the journey of service there are only milestones to achieve, no goals, because there is no end to the problems we are facing. We keep serving because these issue continue today and tomorrow. So, as far as the organisation is concerned, we do hope that it will be acknowledged as one of the most powerful instruments of service internationally. We have recently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; frankly that would be a well-deserved accolade in my opinion. We hope the organisation itself will reach 1.5 million Rotarians and 300,000 as far as Rotaract is concerned. How do Bahrain’s Rotary clubs compare to elsewhere in the region as well as internationally? I would never compare any Rotary club with another Rotary organisation. One club can be an inspiration for another because each of them run under different circumstances. A club in Bangladesh would have far more to do from a charity perspective for instance, than a club in Bahrain when taking into account the needs for water, sanitation, education, developing local economies etc. In Germany, Japan, South America and India, the ethos is completely different amongst Rotary members as are societies challenges and requirements. I would just like to mention that Bahrain Rotarians are extremely committed; their profile is very good. My visit may give a bit of direction as far as programme implementation is concerned and I’m also encouraging them to work in other countries. We are hoping to expand very soon in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Who is the world’s greatest Rotarian? Paul Harris; the guy who started it all with his incredible vision. If you read his books, you’ll be amazed. For instance he says, “Tolerance is the cornerstone of Rotary”. This concept is so important even today, a century later. Accompanying President Mehta, we also spoke to Katerina Kotsali-Papadimitriou, Rotary International director who was also very keen to stress the fact that half the board of Rotary International under the current president are women. “It means things have truly changed at Rotary,” she says although qualifying statement saying that gender doesn’t determine whether you are a leader or not. “Women have to prove their leadership credentials at Rotary International. Our leaders are chosen for their roles based on their skills and their talents whether or not they are male or female,” she stipulates. Rotary International runs a clearly defined election process resulting in the confirmation of a senior leader, district leaders or regional leaders, according to Katerina. “We have quite a number of women as regional leaders although the majority are still men. Currently 24 percent of Rotary members are women. Men have been in Rotary 60 years while women have only been able to join in the last 34 years. It is expected that in the next 10 years, the male-female ratio in Rotary will be more balanced”. January 2022 19


bystander

Anil and Karina Nair Pre-Christmas Party

Anil and Karina Nair held a pre-Christmas party with friends and family to celebrate the season at their residence in Tubli.

Italian Dinner On the occasion of the VI Edition of World Week of Italian Cuisine, Italian Ambassador, HE Paola Amadei, hosted an authentic Italian flavours dinner at La Pergola Restaurant, Gulf Hotel Bahrain.

20 January 2022

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interview

TAKING BAHRAIN FORWARD,

DIGITALLY W

hen Shanthini Raja had to manually write over a hundred post-dated cheques on purchasing a house in her native India, it exasperated her. The master in computer applications wished there were a better way to breeze through this tedious, repetitive work. “I knew that the answer to this was automation, which allows accuracy, efficiency and less wastefulness,” says Shanthini. “I believe humans have high potential to do great things; why waste time at boring, repetitive tasks? So, when I returned to Bahrain, I took it upon myself to implement my idea.” Thus was born Rsquare Technologies, a research and development company, in 2010 that started out with its flagship product - cheque printing software. “We saw great success within two years, and this enabled us to offer clients more innovative solutions that cover every department across a range of industries, developed from scratch in Bahrain.” says the former professor in in her field. “Today we have over 300 customers in Bahrain, spanning big family businesses, multinational corporates and renowned public sector entities.” Rsquare stands for ‘Robust and Reliable’, and in keeping with the name, boasts cutting-edge automation technology and unmatched aftersales support. “Selling is only the beginning. More important is the post-operation service; www.bahrainthismonth.com

Founder and CEO of Rsquare Technologies, Shanthini Raja, talks to Behnaz Sanjana about how her first step to bring about automated change in the country ultimately became one of the wind streams that propelled Bahrain’s FinTech ecosystem. how quickly and efficiently we support the client when they need us. This has earned us a name in the market,” she points out. It has been 11 years since Shanthini dipped her toe in entrepreneurial waters, and she has been grateful for the support that Bahrain has given her all the while. “I thank God every day for being a woman doing business in Bahrain, for the tremendous support I have received,” says Shanthini. “The Supreme Council of Women has opened doors for us, and I am so grateful to Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka for it. We have always been made to feel a vital part of Bahrain’s economic Vision 2030, for which we are indebted to the great leaders of the country, His Majesty the King, and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. We now aim to become the biggest R&D center in line with Vision 2030, to serve globally from the Kingdom of Bahrain.” Shanthini is most proud of the fact that Rquare has played a big part in getting the FinTech ball rolling in Bahrain. “We were the first resident at Bahrain FinTech Bay, and our FinTech products have received great appreciation and acclaim in Bahrain. Our award-winning E-Interface Card Reader, and reconciliation software have proved a boon to several organisations.” Listening to customer pain points, giving them user-friendly, tailor-made software that requires

little or no training, and holding their hand in terms of support service are keys to the success that Rsquare Technologies has enjoyed. And Shanthini attributes this to her team who have helped implement her vision. “The team is my first client,” she says. “The right team will garner goodwill for the company. They are valued as family to me and the company is family to them.” Shanthini acknowledges the support of her husband and children, without whose encouragement and support, she would not be able to reach the pinnacle of success. “I’d like to tell women in Bahrain that here we have the luxury of convenience and time. Make use of it by identifying and employing your potential that God has gifted you. It’s more than feeding your children and ensuring that they study,” says the businesswoman who has not only taught her kids, but also her team to never give up and that nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it. She continues, “A mother can be the greatest role model for her children; they do as they see. If you work hard, excel at your passion, imprint your identity onto your work, show them the world outside of home and all that you do, they will also be inspired, successful individuals in the future.”

January 2022 21


bystander

BSB’s Festive Night Market The British School of Bahrain held its Festive Night Market with live entertainment, market stalls, games and food to delight. The market was held in aid of the Bahrain Royal Humanitarian Foundation.

Four Seasons Media Masterclass Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay hosted a media masterclass with Executive Pastry Chef Florent Margaillan flying in from the South of France to teach guests how to make his famous frozen lemon mint dish and other specialties.

22 January 2022

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bystander

KAL International Bahrain held its first monthly gathering since the SKAL International Bahrain Dinner Spandemic at Wyndham Garden Juffair.

Westin’s Global Customer Appreciation Week The Westin City Centre Bahrain and Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain held an evening of networking to celebrate customer appreciation week where guests enjoyed food, drinks and lots of artistic entertainment.

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January 2022 23


FEATURE | fitness

2022 A

Y E A R

F O R

F I T N E S S

With the advent of 2022, it’s that time of year where we make resolutions for the year ahead. Improving fitness and health is one of the most common targets, and Bahrain This Month is here to tell you why it’s good for your physical and mental well-being and give you some ideas of classes in the Kingdom where you can have fun to ensure you stick to your goals.

24 January 2022

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NEW YEAR, NEW ME

FEATURE | fitness

is a phrase often uttered by people looking to make a change as the first of January rolls around. For some people that means resolutions to shift certain habits for the better, but those changes can be hard to stick to. People often put too much pressure on themselves to begin these changes in January and come up with big plans for resolutions. Instead, it’s simpler and healthier to think of more long-term goals so that new habits stick longer. Here are our top five tips to help you get there:

1. Exercise daily

Perhaps the most obvious one! Exercise daily for at least an hour. You do not have to kill yourself from running, jogging, cycling and more, but you should have some sort of moderate physical activity in your everyday life. If you're looking to shed a few pounds fast, do a higher-level intensity workout. For example, go on a walk at a brisk pace for an hour. Or, you can jog and set certain intervals to sprint during that hour. Be sure to stay hydrated, stretch and eat foods with a decent amount of protein after each workout. The protein will help keep your muscles, not fat, rebuilding.

2. Eat the right foods and portion each meal

No matter how bad your stomach is telling you to go for sugary snacks over healthy food, try to stay away from sweets. Sugar will not help you get in shape. Even if it's just a single chocolate bar, one will eventually lead to another. Fruits and vegetables are the best thing to eat when getting into shape. Apples, for example, do a good job at making the stomach feel full for up to three to four hours. Green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli keep the digestive system clean and running. Also, stick to lean meats like turkey and chicken. These foods are full of protein and healthy nutrients to help keep muscles fit and ready for workouts. In addition, be sure to portion what you eat. Having a good metabolism comes from portioning meals. Try to plan out eating six times a day and setting smaller portions, rather than having three large meals throughout the day. www.bahrainthismonth.com

3. Keep track of calories and food intake per day Keeping track of how many calories you eat in a day will be helpful in planning out your physical exercising. Ever wonder why body builders' body masses are so big? That's because they plan out their meals and take in more (healthy) calories than the average person. On the other hand, losing weight and striving for a skinnier physique will involve more physical exercise than calories you ingest.

4. Be Sure to Get Sleep

Even though most of us have eight-hour jobs during the day or night, it is crucial to get enough sleep to recharge the body's batteries. Six to eight hours of sleep will keep the body going throughout the day, but if you happen to feel tired at any point after coming home from work, by all means take a small nap before exercising. You should only nap for about a half hour. This will prevent you from staying up later in the night.

5. Stay Motivated

An important key to being in shape is to set goals and keep a positive mindset. If you stay positive, you will be able to push yourself to get that fit body you've always wanted.

January 2022 25


FEATURE | fitness

If you’re still unsure of how or where to start your own personal fitness journey, we’ve got you covered! Here are some examples of Bahrain’s finest and trendiest gyms and health clubs, which offer some of the most exciting classes, so you can be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Impulse Fitness Studio

Impulse Fitness Studio promises a ‘Fitness Revolution’ with its EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) training. EMS utilises low and mid frequency electric currents to significantly increase the body’s natural muscle contractions. As a result more muscle fibres are activated when compared to conventional training methods. It promotes weight loss, increases physical strength, stimulates muscle growth and relieves tensions and muscular imbalances. Impulse offers this alongside professional, expert-led consultative care in life changing transformations, through the most advanced and effective muscle strengthening, body shaping, cellulite reducing and weight-loss programmes available. Services include EMS, one-on-one personal training, two-on-one partner personal training, specialised nutritional and detox meal plans, plus body analysis. Call 33 983-876 or follow them on Instagram @impulsefitstudios.

Elements Jiu Jitsu

For something different, why not give Jiu Jitsu a try? Elements is a martial arts community based in Bahrain that is passionate, determined and supportive. Whether you’re trying out BJJ for the first time or are an advanced practitioner, there is something for all. Under IBJJF World Champion Coach Ali Monfaradi, recently featured in Bahrain This Month, Elements brings a fun, inclusive, safe and systematic approach to your Jiu Jitsu journey. Call 36 757-573 or follow them on Instagram @elementsjj.bh.

CrossFit Delmon

CrossFit Delmon is the first CrossFit affiliate in the Kingdom. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning programme based on constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. The beauty of CrossFit is that all workouts and movements are universally scalable which means that anyone can work out regardless of current ability. It is particularly strong in developing the areas of cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance. Call 36 755-611 or follow them on Instagram @crossfit_delmon. 26 January 2022

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FEATURE | fitness

Énergie Fitness Bahrain

Tired of expensive, cookie-cutter gyms with queues for machines, dirty changing rooms and no atmosphere? Énergie Fitness Bahrain is here to offer something different and rewrite the rule book. Énergie not only argues that exercising regularly is important to feel good on the inside and out, but also that working out shouldn’t feel like a chore and that you shouldn’t have to pay enormous prices to be treated well. Therefore, it features a plethora of state-of-the- art equipment designed to make each workout unique and fun, a variety of exercise classes tailored to suit all fitness levels including the Énergie exclusive ‘Thé Yard’ indoor group training, a friendly, welcoming team bursting with energy and no contracts. Call 16 163-023 or follow them on Instagram @energiefitnessbh.

Xenon Cycling

Xenon Cycling is a fitness studio dedicated solely to electrifying indoor cycling classes. Xenon offers upbeat and thrilling, high intensity indoor cycling classes, that aim to inspire and challenge those looking for a quick yet fulfilling workout. Xenon’s studio is designed specifically to enhance the spin class experience; with top quality surround sound and lighting systems to generate an exhilarating experience. Xenon’s classes are a full body indoor cycling workout that flow to the beat of energising music. It incorporates muscular endurance training and upper body exercises. Over the course of 45 minute, high-intensity, low-impact workouts, riders can burn up to 500-700 calories. The low-lit studio is infused with euphoric lighting that allows the rider to get lost in the rhythm of the class; undoubtedly leaving the riders stress free and glowing after each class. Call 17 686-844 or follow them on Instagram @xenoncycling.

Big Up Sports

BigUp Sports is the first official gym for calisthenics and free running in the Kingdom. Calisthenics is a word that originates from the Greek language, roughly translated as a combination of beauty and strength which epitomises a sport that combines moves derived from gymnastics, parkour and breakdancing. As such, if treadmills and cycling machines bore you, then negotiating obstacles by running, jumping and climbing might be just the right thing. Call 36 335-502 or follow them on Instagram @bigup_sports.

Jaff Fit Salsa Dance Studio

Jaff Fit Salsa Dance Studio is Bahrain’s first Latin dance school. It’s a place where you will learn to dance Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba from beginner to advanced level, while meeting new people and connect with the dance community of the island. Call 33 110-266 or follow them on Instagram @jaff_fit.

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January 2022 27


bystander

Brazil Grill’s Christmas Tree Lighting

Brazil Rodizio Grill and Lounge held a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Adliya.

28 January 2022

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food review

F O N E E QU CAKE

Behnaz Sanjana indulged in the sinfully sweet treats at La Reine; the sugar rush was so worth it.

I

t has been my longstanding dream to indulge in a dessert buffet, where I am surrounded only by the swirling aromas of rich chocolate and light-as-cloud cream, with nothing else to distract my palate. The gateaux gods must have finally heard my fervent appeal (fine, let her have her cake and eat it too, they must have decreed) as the newly opened La Reine de Versailles, a charming little patisserie in Riffa, invited me to live my reverie. True to its name, (which translates to ‘the queen’ in English), this boutique patisserie reigns supreme in the dessert department, with each slice of sweetness more ooh la la than the previous. The display case is a smorgasbord of all things heavenly – truffles, pralines and ganaches, chocolate bonbons, and other individual entremets in a rainbow of pretty colours. While sipping on a heartwarming decaf Café Latte at the outlet on a particularly nippy afternoon, I marvelled at the delicate assembly of the Coconut and Passionfruit Lucille before me. This canary yellow roundel was a welcome contrast to the gloomy skies outside, with a vanilla cake interior laced with coconut, topped with and based on a crumbly biscuit. The tangy passionfruit dices in the cake and piping atop it made it a beautifully balanced bite, replete with a golden white chocolate disc crowning the dessert. Up next came Caramel Choc; a dense, rich www.bahrainthismonth.com

chocolate mousse that was sat on a chocolate sponge cake base. Every bite enjoyed was full of crunchy chocolate biscuit and cocoa. The glossy chocolate glaze that enveloped the dessert gave it a decadent appeal. After a heavy hit of chocolate, I was ready to taste something light and fruity, and the Mango/Pistachio was ready to woo me. This bright green sphere held mango and pistachioflavoured cake, covered with the feather-light pistachio cream, finished off with a fine coat of parrot green jelly icing. The delicately detailed chocolate flower and a pat of gold foil gave the look of the dish a skillfully refined touch. The Pistachio Éclair was probably the prettiest pastry of them all. Marvelling at its finesse took me right into the beginning of the warmer months, walking barefoot on the summer grass. The bright green of the pistachio cream piping punctuated with pistachio slivers and coulisfilled, gold-tinged raspberries was a treat to the eyes as it was to the tongue, when eaten with the light choux dough base. Completely lost in sweet heaven by this time, I soaked in the goodness of a variety of chocolate pralines, some of which at La Reine are quirky ones that are sure to pique your interest, like Coriander, Cinnamon ganache, Fennel and Noyee. After sampling a few of the macarons, which were the classical, textbook version of how macarons should be – a sweet filling sandwiched between a

smooth, slightly chewy shell. La Reine offers a quite an extensive variety of flavours too, like Passionfruit, Mango, Earl Grey Tea and Violet flower and blackcurrant to name a few. The outlet has a lot more to offer – metallic coloured bonbons, long cakes, cookies, birthday cakes. With such rapturous flavours dancing around my taste buds, I could easily have been at one of the patisseries in downtown Paris. The stunning contrast of La Reine’s 1700s inspired gold filigree embellishments on its midnight blue wall will forever be associated with ultimate ambrosia in the sweet-tooth section of my brain.

January 2022 29


bystander

Mike & Heather Mckinley Christmas Party Mike & Heather Mckinley hosted a Christmas Party at their residence.

Neville D’Souza Xmas Party Neville D’Souza hosted a gathering for friends and family to celebrate the festive season.

30 January 2022

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bystander

Nijad & Jameela Dinner Night Nijad & Jameela Al Atassi hosted a Dinner Night on the occasion of RI President Shekhar Mehta and his wife Rashi’s visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain with the presence of RID Katerina Kotsali-Papadimitriou at their villa in Buashirah.

Innovative Japanese Cuisine

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January 2022 31


tablehopping

Let not post New Year blues bring you down, when there’s much happening on the island’s buzzing dining scene all this month of January. The festivities may be over, but the best fare and flavours are still very much in town.

BLAST FROM THE PAST Legendz, the awardwinning steakhouse at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain is renowned for prime meat cuts, fine grape and the art of cooking. The venue welcomes you to embark on a journey to experience the world-famous “Café de Paris”. From the original secret recipe of this culinary icon, savour delicious juicy steaks with a Cafe de Paris sauce, along with French fries and a green salad, starting at BD22, from 6pm – 10.30pm. Call 17 227-777.

CUTTING-EDGE BRUNCH Brunch with family and friends while enjoying Wolfgang Puck’s favourite dishes prepared by Executive Chef Brian Becher and his team, every Friday, from noon – 3.30pm, for BD48, inclusive of beverages, or BD34, exclusive of beverages. This one will be a brunch experience that will stay with you for a long time. Call 17 115-055.

LIVING THE GOOD LIFE Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain’s Origins Restaurant stages a Friday Brunch from 1pm – 4pm, that you can enjoy with your usual brunch bunch. This hot new spot in town offers a rich culinary spread prepared by the expert kitchen crew with love, indoors or al fresco. Take in the beautiful sea views and quench your thirst by the beach while you and the gang sway to live music. The afternoon is priced at BD28, inclusive of soft beverages, or BD34, inclusive of selected beverages. Kids aged six – 12 years old dine for BD17. Call 77 488-100.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS Rasoi by Vineet at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain invites you to join in at Rainbow @ Rasoi by Vineet, to celebrate its 7th Anniversary, between January 11 – 15. The culinary occasion will offer guests a very special 21-dish set menu, priced at BD17+++ per person. It will include a seven-variety starter platter, and seven types each of main course and dessert. Call 17 713-000.

32 January 2022

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tablehopping

GREEK CHARM HURRY FOR SOME CURRY Every Tuesday, starting January 25, 6pm onwards, Links at the Royal Golf Club, Bahrain will host Curry Fusion - an array of mouth-watering curry dishes that will leave a mesmerising imprint and your taste buds tingling in delight! Guests can get unlimited Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, and Indonesian curries and live cooking stations while enjoying the stunning view of the Championship course. The offer is priced at BD17 for adults, while kids under 12 dine at BD8, and those under six dine for free. Call 17 750-777.

Experience Greek culture at its best through authentic cuisine exclusively available at Rigani, the InterContinental Bahrain’s newest dining outlet. On the menu are Greek specialities categorised under soups, appetisers, spreads, salads, sides, barbeque items and main course. explore the full menu at www.icbahrain.com/rigani. Call 17 208-308 and/or WhatsApp 38 808-533

THIS IS HOW WE ROLL

CHEESY GOOD! Stay warm and satisfied with the perfect winter comfort food as you indulge in the Swiss-style Cheese Fondue feast from the à la carte menu at Gallery Lobby Lounge and Silks Restaurant at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain. Enjoy a gooey, creamy and totally cheesy delight of Gruyère and Vacherin cheese melted in white grape, priced at BD15+++ per portion, available in single and double pots. Do not miss this gastronomic experience from January 25 – 31, from 7pm onwards every evening. Call 17 460-017 or WhatsApp 33 640-032

Mark your calendars in time for Sushi Mania at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain’s Sato restaurant. Enjoy a special sushi and maki selection menu, delicately prepared by talented chefs to satisfy your sushi cravings. The All-You-Can-Eat-Sushi-Day will be held on January 16, from noon – 11pm, and guests are required to make reservations for two-hour slots for this indoor dining event. The meal costs BD15, or BD13 for Prestige Club members. Call 17 713-000. www.bahrainthismonth.com

January 2022 33


tablehopping

A CHILLED-OUT AFTERNOON On Friday, January 21, head to the Royal Golf Club Bahrain for One Big Brunch at Links restaurant. Enjoy multiple live food stations paired with drinks. This is going to be one big afternoon feast overlooking the championship course, where you can also dance to the tune of live entertainment from noon – 4pm. The Brunch After party continues with beats from the DJ at Repartee from 4pm – 6pm. The brunch costs BD 24 per guest, or BD35 with selected drinks. Kids under 12 pay BD13, and those under six dine complementary. The After Party is priced at BD12. Call 17 750-777.

FLAMIN’ HOT It’s Flaming Night every Thursday, from 7pm – 11pm, at Silk’s restaurant at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain. So get ready to welcome the weekend with your favourite dishes that include a wide range of grills, flame-grilled meat, and sizzling skillets all in one place with live DJ entertainment. This exciting evening is priced at BD26+++ per person, including unlimited drinks. Call 17 460- 017 or WhatsApp 33 640-032

34 January 2022

FIT FOR A GOURMET Fine food, great conversation, and a buzzing ambience are simple pleasures that the world is relishing in a whole new way. re/ASIAN Cuisine restaurant, prestigiously located on the 50th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, offers a new dining concept complete with a Japanese-inspired Sushi Lounge. Experience this unparalleled gastronomy from Tuesday – Sunday, 7pm – 11.30pm. Call 17 115-046.

FABULOUS FRIDAYS Why limit yourself to a brunch when you can enjoy an all-day feast with good friends, delicious food, unique drinks, great music and an amazing ambience? You can enjoy all this at The Harvesters Pub & Terrace, Crowne Plaza Bahrain, with the Fat Butcher Fabulous Friday offer. The meal is on from noon – 5pm, and costs BD26, or BD37.500 inclusive of unlimited selected beverages. Call 17 531-122 or 39 920-163

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tablehopping

FROM UNDER THE BLUE Explore the flavours of the sea at the Seafood Market at Links, located at the Royal Golf Club, Bahrain, 6pm onwards on Thursday, January 27. Sail away into the night and explore the bounty of the Sea with an array of unlimited seafood offerings featuring fish, lobsters, crabs, mussels, and much more. There will also be at live grill station at the Links terrace overlooking the picturesque setting of Championship course, and a live jazz performer. Guests will be charged BD25. Kids under 12 dine at BD15, and those under six dine for free. Kids under 12: BD15 Kids under6: Free Call 17 750-777.

A LEISURELY ROAST

Selections, the chic restaurant at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain offers a wide range of delicious European, Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, ranging from healthy options to aromatic grills. Every Saturday, from noon - 4pm, guests can indulge in the sumptuous Saturday Roast. Whether you’re a lifelong vegetarian or a Yorkshire-pudding-till-I-die kind of person, this is a weekend staple that has a lot to offer in terms of trimmings, luxurious food and gravy galore, starting at BD18 per person, including a dessert and two soft drinks, or BD21 per person, including a dessert and two selected drinks. The special kids’ menu is priced at BD10.500. Call 17 227-777.

THEMED NIGHTS Al Waha at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain hosts THEME NIGHTS to keep you entertained through the week. Butcher’s Night is hosted every Wednesday from 7pm – 10.30pm, where guests can enjoy a selection of rich red and white meat. This night is priced at BD18+++. If you are a fan of seafood, head to the venue every Thursday, from 7pm – 10.30pm, for live cooking and a sumptuous selection of seafood, priced at BD25, or BD32, with selected grape. Call 17 713-000.

UNDERWATER TREASURES Get ready to go on a Seafood Journey where you can experience flavours of exotic, faraway destinations every Thursday from 7pm – 11pm. Chef Magesh and his team at Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s La Mosaique Restaurant prepare all the best seafood dishes for a superior culinary experience priced at BD18. No matter what you select from the seafood live cooking section, special emphasis is given to the unique taste of the key ingredients and cooking styles from each continent. Call 17 531-122 / 39 242-391 www.bahrainthismonth.com

January 2022 35


food review

LIVING IT UP AT VIDA

There’s a brand-new Friday brunch in town, and it’s one that will make you want to loosen the belt and hang around after hours.

Behnaz Sanjana

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ntering the crisp, contemporary lobby of the Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain on a Friday afternoon, there’s a magnetic buzz that lures us towards Origins, the hotel’s all-day dining spot. The space is infused with live music, the warm banter of family and friends and children laughing. Add to that the inviting aroma of food, and one can almost miss the spectacular view of the azure waterfront that lies beyond. Almost. After a quick recce of the extensive buffet, I zeroed in on the detox juices. Stoppered glass bottles of colourful concoctions awaited; Pear and Cucumber, Beetroot, celery and carrot, Pineapple, jasmine tea and ginger – all sweetened with their natural ingredients. My favourite was the Coconut, yogurt, pineapple and cilantro; haven’t tasted anything like it that claims to be healthy for you. The table full of delectable cold cuts was 36 January 2022

calling out to me, but I kept my promise to my inner good girl and headed straight to the salad bar. This counter was laden with produce so fresh, I could feel the ‘snap’ of the veggies between my fingers without even touching them. The presentation of the colourful appetisers and salads was so appealing (some in cute little jars) that even the most averse to greens would fancy sampling them all. I helped myself to Beetroot hummus, Panacotta with tomato puree, Quinoa salad and Couscous with chicken. The magenta-hued hummus had an expected yet refreshing tang to it, along with the crunch of walnut bits, and the neutral flavours of the Pannacotta, that was topped with my favourite burrata, made for a clever palate cleanser. The quinoa and couscous salads were both ‘dressed’ suitably for an upscale Friday afternoon. While the children chomped on spinach

samoosas and clear chicken soup (which made me feel smug, because, hello, veggies!), the mister sang the praises of the tuna salad in a tiny pot, gleefully topped with pistachios and microgreens, and Middle Eastern favourite – golden Harra potatoes sprinkled with red chillies and verdant cilantro. Next, we made a beeline for the fresh seafood station, replete with mussels, clam, oyster, and other gems from the ocean, including salmon gravlax and cuts of fish for sashimi. The cold weather outside called for having the crustaceans grilled. The shrimp, lobster and crab were done to perfection – Executive Chef Nicolas Herbault obviously has a highly skilled team under his wing. Their Caribbeaninspired marinade allowed the real taste of the succulent seafood to shine (without a trace of that repelling fishiness, a sign of ultimate freshness), and had no need for any www.bahrainthismonth.com


food review

accompanying condiments. I must mention here how the humble steak of kingfish tasted superior with perfect seasoning and a hint of heat to elevate its flavours. The cold elements on my plate were a nod to Chef Nicolas’s French heritage - two types of terrine: Ratatouille; vegetables in a tomato base, but with the surprise of feta cheese within, and Salmon Dill; moreish salty fish pâté speckled with green peas and boiled quail eggs. Swanky, much like the overall vibe at Vida. While the significant other made himself at home at the roast section – turkey, Angus Short Ribs with mushroom sauce, leg of lamb and oven-baked salmon fillet (all of which he thoroughly enjoyed), I spooned some Tangerine Chicken Scallions and Ravioli Spinach Ricotta onto my plate. I savoured the zesty-sweet sauce of the chicken that was further elevated with spring onion greens, sweet peppers and nigella seeds. There isn’t a better word that could succinctly describe the ravioli than de-licious. The stuffed pasta pockets were cooked faultlessly, drowned in a rich, velvety cheese sauce that took over all my senses and instantly sent me to la-la land. I decided this would be www.bahrainthismonth.com

the crowning glory and a fitting end to my main meal. Also because I was all gluttoned out by then. A quick walk and photo-op along the seafront promenade that the venue’s backyard boasts, and we were ready for dessert. A wide variety vied for our attention. I darted towards the uber light chocolate mousse garnished with chewy almond crumble, and Pistachio Crème Brulée, both of which suitably satiated my sweet tooth. I went back for the white chocolate truffle with dark chocolate-covered orange peel and the Caramel Profiterolls. Turned out to be a good decision. I felt like a four-year-old asked to leave the ball pit when the best songs from the 2000s (ah, carefree times) ceased to be performed and the buffet wound down. It is evident that Vida Beach Resort has pulled out all the stops to wow its guests and leave an indelible mark on their memories. It was sheer joy even just to witness the staff serving guests with such delight and respect for their work. With a brunch as extensive and extraordinary as this, it’s clear that this hotel is gunning to be a firm Friday favourite amongst Bahrain’s gastronomes. January 2022 37


bystander

ahrain British Business Forum hosted a Chelsea Pensioners networking lunch Chelsea Pensioners Poppy Appeal Lunch Bmeeting at Gulf Hotel Bahrain.

Le Meridien’s La Fete Le Meridien city Centre Bahrain held La Fete, a festive evening filled with sparkle to welcome the New Year.

38 January 2022

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bystander

n coordination with the Bahrain Civil Defense, Ramada Hotel and Suites by Wyndham, Amwaj Islands and Wyndham Garden Manama, Fire Drills IJuffair recently conducted successful fire evacuation drills at both their premises.

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January 2022 39


motoring news

OUR MOTORING PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2022

Bahrain This Month’s resident motorhead, Kristian Harrison, tells us his predictions for the world of motoring this year.

ckenoving at an ever-qui m is ld or w g in or ot The m e market novations hitting th ing pace, with new in rticuThis year has been pa k. ee w y er ev y gl in seem t things rms of technology, bu larly impressive in te rther in 2022. are set to go even fu out where rsonal predictions ab pe e m so e ar re he So may inyear. Some of them is th g in ad he e ar things the more others are perhaps in deed come to pass, is in the speculating! n fu e Th . re tu fu t an dist

Electric power on the rise

This year has seen a stratospheric rise in the number of electric cars, both on our roads and on dealerships’ forecourts. Manufacturers have switched on to EV power, which means that nearly every car builder offers their own electric model – if not an entire line-up. This appears guaranteed to keep going in 2022. Many companies have already showcased concepts that will go on to inspire EV models in 2022, so it looks like the electric car segment is only set to expand even further. 40 January 2022

Sustainability focus

Cars are becoming ever ‘greener’, with more eco-friendly building processes put in place alongside sustainable materials being used in the cars themselves. Already, we’ve seen vegan materials used in a variety of cars and this trend looks only likely to continue. But it goes further than that. Only recently, we’ve seen a partnership between Michelin and Bridgestone announced to delve into more ecofriendly production methods for tyres. So, it’s not just the cars themselves.

Electric charging station in Bahrain

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motoring news

Charging vehicles

The inauguration of Bahrain’s first electric charging station

Increased charging capacity

the number of emissions created over the length of the trip. It gives drivers an ecofriendly option while on the move, giving them another way of reducing emissions while driving.

The sports car will live on

Increase in synthetic fuel development

As EVs become more popular, people are going to need more places to charge. Still in its infancy, especially here in Bahrain, there’s a greater need for more charging ports.

Though it’s easy to imagine a demise in the humble sports car, there are several performance-orientated models that look to make their presence known on 2022’s roads. One big car to mention is the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS. It’s the first time that the RS badge has been put on the Cayman, showcasing that this is going to be one serious performance car. But there are others to look out for too, including the new Toyota GR86 and Mercedes-AMG SL.

Eco-friendly mapping

Where we drive and at what time can make a huge impact on how efficient our overall journeys are. It’s why Google Maps will soon be able to give drivers a proposed route based on efficiency rather than overall time. The system combines vehicle and road data to determine www.bahrainthismonth.com

Synthetic fuels are seen by many people as the silver-bullet solution to mobility. Sometimes referred to as eFuels, they’re essentially no different from petrol and diesel, but rather than being produced from crude oil, they’re made from CO2 and hydrogen using renewable energy. Porsche is one manufacturer throwing its weight behind synthetic fuels. In fact, it has already broken ground on an eFuel plant in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Shared mobility

The idea of shared mobility, or transport sharing, is huge at the moment, with many companies tapping into the prospect of reducing emissions through this process. One manufacturer really pushing for this idea

is Renault. It even has a dedicated arm – called Mobilise – which looks at not only shared mobility, but mobility solutions in general. One concept it has created is the Duo, which has seats for two people and a zero-emissions powertrain which makes it ideal for nipping around the city.

Added crossover success

The crossover has boomed significantly over recent years and this looks to show no signs of changing as we head into 2022. Many manufacturers have announced revised versions of their crossovers, or introduced entirely new versions. Highlights include Volkswagen’s Taigo and the compact Toyota Aygo X, alongside more left-field examples like the DS 4. As you can see, there’s a huge shift towards an eco-friendly, more sustainable future in the motoring industry. Whether all of the above comes to fruition or some steps are pushed back, the green tidal wave is inevitable. Regardless of whether your loyalties lie in the internal combustion engine or the electric battery, have a great 2022 on the roads! January 2022 41


motoring news

INSPIRED BY LEGENDARY VICTORIES On February 6, 1967, Ferrari pulled off one of the most spectacular feats in its entire history when it took the top three places at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the first round of that year’s International World Sports Car Championship. The three cars that shot past the chequered flag in that legendary side-by-side finish on Ford’s home turf – in first place a 330 P3/4, in second a 330 P4 and in third a 412 P – represented the pinnacle of development of the Ferrari 330 P3, a model that chief engineer Mauro Forghieri had significantly improved in each of the three racing car fundamentals: engine, chassis and aerodynamics. The name of the new Icona evokes that legendary 1-2-3 finish and pays homage to the Ferrari sports prototypes that helped earn the marque its unparalleled motor sport status. The Daytona SP3, recently presented at the Mugello Circuit during the 2021 Ferrari Finali Mondiali, is a limited edition that joins the Icona series which debuted in 2018 with the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2. The Icona series celebrates Ferrari history by reinterpreting the timeless styling of the marque’s most iconic cars to radically modern effect using the most innovative materials and technologies available today.

THE PINNACLE OF PERFORMANCE

NEW COMPACT SUV IN TOWN Marking the entry of an exceptionally practical vehicle that is set to redefine the compact SUV segment, Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo, the exclusive distributor of Toyota in Bahrain has unveiled the brandnew Raize, which is available in seven exciting hues. The brand-new Raize is available with a choice of two engine options. The 1-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine provides smooth and responsive acceleration and produces 97 hp and 140 nm of torque, while the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine option delivers an optimal balance of power and fuel economy and produces 87 hp and 113 nm of torque. Both engines come paired with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which simulates a seven-speed sequential shift transmission to deliver powerful, smooth acceleration from start-off and at low speeds, and quiet and efficient transmission at higher speeds. A newly developed lightweight, highly rigid body and suspension contribute to outstanding handling, stability, and ride comfort. Safety remains a top priority for the new Raize, which comes with a comprehensive array of safety features, including dual front SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Rear fog lamps, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and more. 42 January 2022

Formula E and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has shared a first look at the third-generation all-electric racing car that will race in Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. While Formula E manufacturers are set to take delivery of Gen3 cars in spring 2022 following further intensive development testing on and off the track, the briefing in Valencia disclosed a series of design, performance and sustainability innovations in the Gen3 car. This includes the fact that it is the world’s most efficient racing car with at least 40 percent of the car’s energy used within a race. It is also the first formula car with both front and rear powertrains which more than doubles the regenerative capability of the current Gen2 to a total of 600kW. It is also the first formula car which won’t feature rear hydraulic brakes. The car features an electric motor delivering up to 350kw of power (470BHP), capable of a top speed of 200mph (320 km/h), with a power-to-weight ratio that is twice as efficient as an equivalent 470BHP internal combustion engine (ICE). The Gen3 was presented under top-security conditions to an exclusive group of Formula E manufacturers, teams, drivers and partners in Valencia, Spain, where pre-season testing is underway for Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, which begins in January 2022. www.bahrainthismonth.com


motoring news

THE SAFEST VEHICLE EVER The experts of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) have awarded the BMW iX the highest possible rating of five stars in the Euro NCAP safety assessment. According to their report, the BMW iX operates at the highest level of safety with its purely electric drive and comprehensive range of digital features. The BMW iX achieved five-star ratings in all test categories of the Euro NCAP crash test. In the assessment of adult occupant protection, the testers highlighted the effectiveness of the new interactive airbag between the driver and front passenger seats, which provides additional protection against injury in the event of a side collision. Child safety in the rear of the BMW iX was also given the highest possible score for both frontal and side collisions. Among other features, the BMW iX has a front collision warning system with brake intervention that can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles. In addition, the automatic emergency braking system now also reacts in turning situations, helping to minimise the risk to pedestrians when turning and the risk of collision with oncoming traffic when turning left. The BMW iX also features an active bonnet, which is raised automatically as soon as the car indicate a corresponding collision.

CELEBRATING THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PATROL Nissan celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the legendary Patrol and the regional debut of the all-new 2022 Pathfinder on December 6 at the Expo 2020, currently being held in Dubai, marking a new chapter in its SUV dominance across the Middle East. Making its world premiere, the 2022 Patrol 70th Anniversary model channels the SUV’s rich heritage with a commemorative badge and enhanced design and technology elements. The Nissan celebration event also saw the regional premiere of the all-new 2022 Pathfinder which has been redesigned from the ground-up. Since its entry to the region in 1956, the Patrol has formed an endearing bond with the people of the Middle East by proving its capability to conquer the harshest of terrains in sheer luxury and comfort. More luxurious and connected than ever before, the 2022 Patrol 70th Anniversary model sports a host of design and technological upgrades, and carries a distinctive badge on the fender, marking this achievement. A new V-Motion grille, redesigned bumpers, and new 20-inch machine cut alloy wheels differentiate the exclusive Patrol from its predecessors, as do the new burgundy interiors and redesigned center console.

A PRIVATE EVENING WITH MCLAREN Kanoo Motors, the official distributor of McLaren in the Kingdom of Bahrain held another successful ‘Private Evening’ customer appreciation event on the GP track at BIC. In typical Kanoo Motors style, McLaren owners were given VIP access to the distinguished international racetrack to use their personal vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. “It’s wonderful to be back at the BIC with our loyal McLaren owners. We have missed hosting events for our owners and guests and thankfully with the outstanding efforts of ‘Team Bahrain’, and the return of big events to the Kingdom, we are working on a brand-new calendar of events to continue to impress our guests and stakeholders,” said Head of McLaren Bahrain, Trevor Fletcher. For more information on the latest McLaren models in Bahrain, visit the official website bahrain.mcLaren.com.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

January 2022 43


bystander

Cathedral Inauguration The Cathedral of Mary Queen of Arabia was inaugurated by Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the personal

representative of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The Cathedral of Mary Queen of Arabia was built on approximately 95,000 square feet of land gifted by HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Awali. The cathedral’s design is designed to resemble a tent where Prophet Moses was said to have convened with his followers.

44 January 2022

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Community News

Community News STUDENT RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS ACCOLADE A student of St Christopher’s School has received a medal of appreciation from the Representative of His Majesty the King for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Roshan Rahmatullah who scored A-stars in all A-levels is among the group of students, who have received the honour.

Roshan, presently pursuing BS in Economics and Finance at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), is the son of Raja Rahmatullah and Shanthini Raja who have been residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the last 24 years. Raja Rahmatullah is the IT Operations Manager at Batelco and Shanthini Raja is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Rsquare Technologies.

LIBRARY ON WHEEL UNVEILED The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) recently inaugurated the Al Khalifiyah Travelling library. The unique library will travel from its location in the heart of the old city of Muharraq to all corners of the Kingdom with the aim of spreading the culture of reading to a wider segment of society. The history of the establishment of the Al Khalifiyah Library dates back to 1954. In 2017, BACA reopened it to the people of Muharraq and visitors after restoring the original building of the library, following which BACA organised cultural programmes and specialised workshops. The library also offers bibliophiles, students and hose in search of a quite space to read, much needed respite.

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January 2022 45


bystander

National Day Celebration

Bahrain’s leading Oil & Gas Petrochemical Construction Company, Gulf Asia, recently celebrated the 50th Bahrain National Day. The spectacular celebration involved 6,500 of its employees of various nationalities who stay at their biggest camp as part of the BAPCO Modernisation Programme.

46 January 2022

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bystander

urkish Ambassador, HE Esin Çakıl, hosted a Turkish breakfast at Fiamma Restaurant, Turkish Breakfast TSofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.

Lunch at Monsoon’s Colleagues at Fintech Bay got together for lunch at Monsoon Restaurant.

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January 2022 47


business bites

GFH Makes Foresighted Investments GFH Financial Group has acquired a portfolio of medical offices in the US worth around USD200 million as part of its strategy to build a portfolio of stabilised assets driven by solid long term fundamentals and operating growth.

Spread across seven states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, Wisconsin, Ohio and Texas –the medical offices portfolio consists of 11 assets and 400,000 sq.ft. of space. The Sharia-compliant deal brings the value of the GFH’s group’s US healthcare portfolio to over USD400 million. “The pandemic has underlined a need for more outpatient services and continued demand for healthcare services. As a result we are seeing strong investor sentiment in the medical offices sector. This trend is particularly true in the US, where healthcare spending comprises around 18 percent of GDP, compared to around 10 percent for most other developed countries,” said

Co-Chief Investment Officer – Real Estate at GFH, Nael Mustafa. The portfolio comprises assets that are leased to some of the largest names in US healthcare, including Cleveland Clinic, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Novant Health, Spartanbrug Regional Healthcare System, Texas Health Resources and

ESTABLISHMENT OF BAHRAIN’S FIRST GREEN HYDROGEN PLANT DISCUSSED

A project to establish the first factory producing green hydrogen in Bahrain has been unveiled. The Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) President, Dr. Abdulhussein bin Ali Mirza, discussed the project with a high-level delegation from Al Judy Company, led by its Chairman, Ibrahim Ali. The meeting, which was held at the SEA office at the Bahrain Financial Harbour, was also attended by the company’s board member, Kurt Christensen. Dr. Mirza outlined the SEA initiatives and projects for 2022, including a plan to benefit from the green hydrogen. The delegation gave an overview about its plan to establish a fourMegawatt plant for the production of green hydrogen – a first in the Arabian Gulf region. The company which holds a patent registered in Germany, has also been conferred the gold medal for best invention. The factory will be established according to the highest level of international standards in construction and operational stage. The project will be built in its first phase on a land with a total area of 20,000 sq.m and an estimated cost of USD150 million. 48 January 2022

Baylor Scott & White Health. The assets cover a range of specialist care sectors and are positioned on hospital campuses or near hospitals with a solid customer base across the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest.

BAHRAIN WINS TWO GLOBAL FDI AWARDS

The Kingdom of Bahrain has won two global awards for its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy by the fDi Intelligence Awards 2021. The awards are based on the performance of 34 International Promotion Agencies (IPA’s), focusing on IPAs that stood out in rankings published by ‘fDi Intelligence’ in the past year. fDi Intelligence named Bahrain the winner of ‘fDi’s choice Bespoke Award for Infrastructure Developments’ making the Kingdom the only GCC country to receive the award in the field. According to the fDi Intelligence Awards 2021, the award is in appreciation of the Kingdom’s development projects that have led to the enhancement of infrastructure capabilities across several areas including increasing the capacity of airports by 75 percent. This is in addition to investments worth billions of dollars in transportation networks, and huge investments in the real estate sector, with a focus on medical services and the education sector. The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) was awarded ‘fDi’s choice Bespoke Award Staff training’ in recognition of EDB’s upskilling efforts, as well as its strategic approach to developing technical, business and leadership skills.

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business bites

50 BAHRAINI SMES SUPPORTED WITHIN AMERICAN (CIPE) PROJECT Bahrain’s first Business Angels Company, Tenmou, announced plans to support 50 Bahraini SMEs through a partnership with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in the United States, to grow the SMEs sector in Bahrain and increase its contribution to GDP, in line with the government’s recent economic recovery plan. The 18-month project will support the

sustainable growth of Bahraini SMEs through the provision of necessary training and related business support services, investor education and preparedness, policy reform to strengthen Bahrain’s entrepreneurship ecosystem particularly around access to finance, and commercial dialogue between the US and Bahrain to expand the utilisation of the

US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and other bilateral business opportunities. Under the patronage and in the presence of the Minister of Labour and Social Development, HE Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, US State Department representatives, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Margaret Nardi and other embassy officials, and several workers in the field of support SMEs in Bahrain, CEO of Tenmou, Nawaf AlKoheji, signed a cooperation agreement with the President of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Abdulwahab Alkebsi. Two cohorts of 25 SMEs (50 in total) will be provided with specialised training and technical assistance, mentorship and coaching, and a platform for peer learning to achieve sustainable growth.

EXPORT BAHRAIN WINS PRESTIGIOUS GLOBAL AWARD The Best International Deal Facilitators for Start-up Exporters was awarded to Export Bahrain as part of the Global Business Outlook Awards 2021, which aims to recognise and reward excellence in businesses worldwide. The award reflects Export Bahrain’s keen efforts to support and enable Bahrainbased SMEs to access new opportunities in global marketplaces. These efforts have resulted in facilitating over USD110 million in export value for Bahrain-based SMEs during the past three years since the inception of Export Bahrain. This has enabled over 27 percent of the targeted category to tap into new markets abroad and encouraged over 12 percent of

SME businesses supported by Export Bahrain to export their products and services for the first time. “Export Bahrain is moving forward to achieve its strategic goals of establishing a healthy exporting ecosystem, capitalising on the Kingdom’s unique location that qualifies it to become a premier export zone in the region,” says Export Bahrain Acting Chief Executive, Safa Sharif Abdulkhaliq. The award is the second international accolade received by Export Bahrain this year, as the initiative was named the ‘Best company in accelerating the growth of products and services made in Bahrain’ by the Globe Golden Bridge Awards earlier this year.

CBB’s Monthly Issue of Treasury Bills Fully Subscribed The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announced that the BHD35 million monthly issue of Government Treasury Bills has been fully subscribed by 100 percent. The bills, carrying a maturity of 182 days, are issued by the CBB, on behalf of the government of Bahrain. The issue date of the bills is December 26 and the maturity date is June 26, 2022. The weighted average rate of interest is 1.67 percent compared to 1.63 percent of the previous issue on November 28. The approximate average price for the issue was 99.164 percent, with the lowest accepted price being 99.147 percent. This is issue No. 1892 (ISIN BH00035W6231) of Government Treasury Bills. With this, the total outstanding value of Government Treasury Bills is BHD2.110 billion.

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January 2022 49


commerce

TOURISM IT’S MORE THAN JUST TRAVEL

The Kingdom of Bahrain has a foresighted investment plan in place. Pria Masson Tanwar explores the positive impact of tourism on the economy as part of such plans.

B

ahrain’s economy seems to be on an upward trajectory. There are definitive steps towards economic diversification into technology, manufacturing and tourism among other sectors. Of these, tourism made me think, and I realised a number of very concerted steps are already under way. These can be seen through seafront property developments, new entertainment avenues and, of course, a commendable management of the pandemic.

and local guides. All the above are likely to provide local employment and local ownership all of which has a significant economic ripple effect. Tourists benefit from ease of payment systems, ease of visa systems integrated with established global protocols. Economies benefit from such digitalisation because digital economies are able to track revenues and money flows better and hence utilise them more optimally.

However, the above is simply the tip of the iceberg. The very real value of tourism development is in its vast value chain and the ripple effects that it has across that very value chain. Take for example, the development of the metro project. Once completed, it is likely to generate substantial employment spread across technical and maintenance staff, technology companies, fuel and energy services, cleaning staff, transportation staff, etc. With ease of access, venues across the island will no longer be restricted by location and tourism movement will flow more easily.

There is also the obvious impact on hospitality service providers such as hotels and restaurants – which allows real estate to be utilised effectively, generates employment and attracts tourists. The cycle is quite robust and effective in bringing in revenue. It not a surprise then that Bahrain expects that if things go as planned by 2026, there will be around 14 million visitors translating into a tourism revenue of BHD 2 billion.

Further from infrastructure we have service providers such as travel agents, tour operators 50 January 2022

A key component for tourism provisions is real estate. Real estate costs are often what determine whether a project is successful or not. Government incentives through reasonably priced real estate engaging in tourism is one of

Pria is a business coach. You can follow Pria on Instagram @businessclues33 or read more of her articles at www.business-clues.com the many ways to motivate hospitality service providers. Other economic incentives could include support for salaries when hiring locals (as is the current system), potential tax rebates and national level tourism promotion. In the long run, sometimes, a few freebies can be the best investment that is made. However, with a small economy and small geographic space, the value lies in integrating with the neighbourhood. Just like the European region acts cohesively and when one destination gains popularity, it has a ripple effect with spill over tourists, the same holds true for any physically proximal countries. The key to unlocking this impact is ease of travel and access between these countries for citizens as well as expatriate visitors. Tourism has the power to increase liquidity in the economy which is what keeps the economic system running smoothly. Investing in tourism is akin to injecting cash into circulation – but with far more long term benefits and a deeper more robust economic foundation.

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bystander

CIPE Project Inauguration

The inauguration of the Centre for International Private Enterprise’s project to promote small businesses in Bahrain was held in Bahrain Bay, in collaboration with the US Department of State, the US Embassy in Bahrain, and in the presence of representatives of the project’s steering committee headed by Mr. Darwish Mannai, businessman and member of the Shura Council, along with representatives of the Bahrain SMEs Society, the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain, and Tenmou Company, as well as government agencies including the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Economic Development Board, Hope Fund, Tamkeen, and Export Bahrain, and Skills Bahrain Initiative.

ahrain Cricket Federation held a reception to celebrate winning the 2021 T20 World Cup Asia A T20 BAH Cricket Association BQualifier at the Crowne Plaza Conventional Hall.

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January 2022 51


tv releases

Streaming Television & Films

Winter is here and what better way is there to spend a chilly night than curled up on the sofa with a nice movie playing? Check out Kristian Harrison’s top recommendations this month.

Being the Ricardos

Being the Ricardos is a 2021 American biographical drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, about the relationship between I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem). Offering a revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their ground-breaking sitcom I Love Lucy.

The Expanse (Season 6)

The sixth and final season of The Expanse picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars. As the tensions of war and shared loss threaten to pull the crew of the Rocinante apart, Chrisjen Avasarala makes a bold move and sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper on a secret mission that could turn the tide of the conflict. Meanwhile, in the Belt, Drummer and what’s left of her family are on the run after betraying Marco. And on a distant planet beyond the Rings, a new power begins to rise.

The Witcher (Season 2)

Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. 52 January 2022

Ozark (Season 4)

One of the most consistent of Netflix’s original dramas, Ozark ramps up the anxiety as the Byrde family tries to break free from the drug cartel they’ve been laundering money for. The fourth and final season is going to be released in two parts, with the first half in January. www.bahrainthismonth.com


tv releases

Million Dollar Arm

The Book of Boba Fett The Book of Boba Fett is a thrilling Star Wars action adventure that fans of the franchise have been dying to watch ever since the show was teased in a surprise end-credit sequence following the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. The wait seems to been worth it, as a fascinating plot and stunning visuals come together in the depiction of legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as they are navigating the galaxy’s underworld before returning to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

Sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last-ditch effort to save his livelihood, he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket player he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called ‘The Million Dollar Arm.’ With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball.

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window Perennial favourite Kristen Bell stars in the lead role in this new series about an artist who witnesses a murder across the street from her house, only to be told that no crime happened. Is it all in her head, or is something much worse going on? www.bahrainthismonth.com

Don’t Look Up

Two astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth. The response from a distracted world: Meh. January 2022 53


games

GAMES

HALO INFINITE WHAT IS IT?

Halo Infinite is a first-person shooter game developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios. It is the sixth mainline entry in the Halo series. The campaign follows the human super-soldier Master Chief and his fight against the enemy Banished on the Forerunner ringworld Zeta Halo, also known as Installation 07.

GAMEPLAY

Like past Halo games, Halo Infinite is a shooter with most gameplay taking place from a first-person perspective. Players use a number of weapons and vehicles commonly found in the Halo series, such as the Warthog. The game features several new abilities for player character the Master Chief, such as the Grapple Shot and Thruster, which enables him to pull himself towards foes or retrieve items. The title’s campaign mode features a semi-open world structure; players can freely explore parts of Zeta Halo which are segmented off from each other and initially impassable.

GRAPHICS

The only slight downside to an otherwise fantastic game. Key story missions open up new lands to explore, but they lack any variety at all. Unlike previous games which were a technical showcase for their respective consoles, there’s no snowy areas, no urban areas or really… anything other than the same mix of forest and stone monoliths. The repetitive colour palette is a bit disappointing, especially after dozens of hours.

VERDICT:

The FPS icon finally returns in style.

RATING:

FINAL FANTASY XIV: ENDWALKER

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is the fourth expansion pack to Final Fantasy XIV, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Its story sees players directly confront the Garlean Empire, an expansionist power that threatens the players’ homeland and allies. Zenos, the mad son of the former emperor, has murdered his father and now seeks a confrontation with the player’s Warrior of Light. He is aided by Fandaniel, an Ascian who aims to destroy the world and thereby end his immortal existence. In addition to adding new areas, the expansion pack increases the level cap to 90 and debuts two new character classes, Sage and Reaper.

GRAND THEFT AUTO: THE TRILOGY – THE DEFINITIVE EDITION BATTLEFIELD 2042

Battlefield 2042 is a firstperson shooter that marks the return to the iconic all-out warfare of the franchise. Adapt and overcome in a near-future world transformed by disorder. Squad up and bring a cutting-edge arsenal into dynamically-changing battlegrounds supporting 128 players, unprecedented scale, and epic destruction in the fan-favourite Conquest and Breakthrough modes. 54 January 2022

Play the genre-defining classics of the original Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas updated for a new generation, now with acrossthe-board enhancements including brilliant new lighting and environmental upgrades, with highresolution textures, increased draw distances, Grand Theft Auto V-style controls and targeting, and much more, bringing these beloved worlds to life with all new levels of detail.

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Areen Palace & Spa by Accor held a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at its Wadi Area to bring in the season of Christmas Tree Lighting Alsparkles and cheer with carol singing and the Manama Singers.

YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS GIRLY AND FABULOUS

Beauty Fashion Home Wellbeing Local Issues www.womanthismonth.com

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January 2022 55


APPS REVIEW KRISTIAN HARRISON HUNTS DOWN SOME NIFTY APPS THAT ARE SURE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LITTLE EASIER.

Hours Venmo Like Google, Venmo has become a verb because the instapay app is that helpful. Frequently named one of the best payment apps, Venmo can be used to send and receive money and cut out the awkward moments where you shuffle through your wallet trying to find some cash. PayPal owns Venmo, but the app is distinct. Unlike PayPal, Venmo has a social sharing component and integrates with Facebook so you can see friends using the app and send payment. Receiving mobile payments is free, as is sending from a linked bank account, debit card, or Venmo balance.

Where does the time go? Hours will tell you. The app lets you track how you spend each chunk of your day to see how you could better utilise your schedule. Hours’ real-time tracking whittles away time waste by using a running list of clickable timers.

Keepy When you can’t bear the thought of throwing out yet another crayoned work of art, Keepy will let you keep and capture it without keeping the clutter. You can use the app to take pictures of your kids’ masterpieces to upload as memories, share with family and friends, and record voice notes or comments. The in-app Keepy Store also lets you purchase and transfer your favourite photos to canvases, photo books and magnets.

Asana Rebel When you’re looking for a gentle way to get in shape (without compromising muscle tone and strength), give Asana Rebel a download. Along with more than 10 million other users, you can use the yogainspired fitness app to increase flexibility, improve balance, lose weight, strengthen muscle and reduce stress with more than 100 personalised workouts created by yogis and fitness pros.

56 January 2022

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music

Alicia Keys

Keys Going by title and release proximity, Keys seems set up to be pitched as a sequel to Alicia. Conversely, it’s another ball of wax. Make that conjoined balls of wax. Disc one is essentially a standard Alicia Keys LP, while the second disc is an album of remixes plus two more new songs. Keys testifies her faith and gives thanks, and through the rest of the first set sings to a lover in varying states of their relationship, often with words of devotion and pleas to make it through the not-so-good times. The latter half’s new songs are two of the album’s higher-profile collaborations: a tentative-sounding missed opportunity with Khalid and Lucky Daye, and an intoxicated duet with Swae Lee where Tyrone Davis’ coasting 1979 hit ‘In the Mood’ does most of the work.

Neil Young

Green Day

The BBC Sessions Verdict:

Some incredible outtakes from the punk legends.

What’s the story? The BBC Sessions is the fourth live album by American rock band Green Day. It consists of live recordings from four separate sessions for the BBC from 1994 to 2001 held at the Maida Vale Studios in London.

Worth a listen? The first session dates from June 1994, just after the band released their seminal album Dookie. Here, the trio sound loud, precise, and slightly polite; it’s as if they’re still getting used to operating on a larger stage. By the time they held their second BBC Session in November 1996, nearly a year after the release of Insomniac, they sound rougher and wilder, particularly on the ‘Brain Stew/Jaded’ performance. That attitude carries over to the third session, given in February 1998, a few months after Nimrod hit the stores. The 1998 set finds Green Day honing their precision attack, then the last session, given in August 2001, nearly a year after the release of Warning, captures a group in the thick of rethinking their approach; they retain their power but sharpen their songwriting chops. Taken together, The BBC Sessions emphasises both the connective threads and creative evolution of Green Day during the first act of their career, which makes it a worthy historical document in addition to a first-rate live album.

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Barn Barn is heavily informed by Neil Young’s new surroundings in the Rocky Mountains, a place where he restored an old barn with his wife Daryl Hannah. Naturally, the barn is also where he recorded Barn – a process documented by Hannah on an accompanying feature-length documentary. Alternately cutting and corny, Young’s songwriting feels impassioned to the point of diffusion: the songs aren’t so much crafted as delivered. Happily, the loose performances more than suit these ragged compositions, turning Barn into a snapshot of this moment in time: a bunch of old friends in isolation, finding solace and comfort in the noise they can still make.

Radiohead

Kid A Mnesia Three years after conquering the alternative rock world with the landmark OK Computer, Radiohead followed with one of the most anticipated albums of the era. 2000’s course-shifting Kid A was a jarring transformation: icy atmospherics, digitised beats, meandering soundscapes and enough gloom and anxiety to make their previous output almost cheerful in comparison. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the revelatory album, the quintet created the triple-threat Kid A Mnesia, which united Kid A, B-side compilation Amnesiac and a third disc of era-extras titled Kid Amnesiae. As a snapshot of this crucial turning point in the Radiohead discography, Kid A Mnesia presents a band taking its first steps into a thrilling new phase, one that would alter their trajectory and push them further into the unknown. January 2022 57


GADGETS

Bahrain This Month brings you the latest gadgets to push your technological buttons.

NOTHING EAR

These new wireless earbuds are the most hyped new product in tech right now. Backed by the likes of Tony Fadell, who invented the iPod, and Casey Neistat, one of YouTube’s most revered vloggers, there’s a huge amount of buzz surrounding this product that aims to bring premium audio performance at a wallet-friendly price bracket. For the price, there’s an impressive set of features, including variable levels of noise cancellation, water and splash resistance and customisable gesture controls on the earbuds themselves. Available from www.amazon.com

YOTO PLAYER INTERACTIVE AUDIO PLAYER The Yoto Player is a modern-day equivalent of the cassette tape player. Instead of tapes, this groovy little audio player works by slotting in cards, each of which contains a story to listen to. There are loads of classic tales to pick from, such as The Gruffalo and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as other cards with podcasts, radio and activities on. Instead of a screen it has a cutesy pixelated display, which along with chunky buttons for volume and skipping tracks, the whole device is completely kid-friendly. Available from www.yotoplay.com

THERAGUN PRIME MASSAGE GUN

It looks like a cross between a weapon and a power tool but in reality, the Theragun Prime is a percussive therapy device, designed to massage your muscles by rapidly applying pressure to your body up to 40 times per second. It claims to get 60 per cent deeper into your muscles than other massagers, increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, muscle tension, and working out any knots that have developed. Available from www.wiggle.co.uk

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WAKECUP SELF CLEANING WATER BOTTLE How clean is your water bottle? Who knows, but it probably could be cleaner given how difficult it is to scrub right into those distant corners at the bottom of it. The WAKEcup 550ml water bottle has an ultraviolet light in the lid that in three minutes promises to zap 99.99 per cent of the bacteria, viruses and mould that you might have missed. Available from www.globalwakecup.com

EMBER MUG2 AND TRAVEL MUG²

By connecting the Ember Mug2 and Travel Mug2 to your smartphone via the accompanying app, you get a notification when your brew has reached your perfect temperature, and a heating element in the bottom of the mug keeps it toasty warm until you have finished every last drop. Available from www.firebox.com

www.bahrainthismonth.com


Bahrain Edition

BEAUTY | FASHION | HOME | WELLBEING | LOCAL ISSUES

January 2022 | Issue 225

BEAUTY

OPINION

Winter-friendly skincare, makeup & more

Why Your Child Needs Extracurricular Activities

FASHION Embracing Fashion in 2022!

INTERVIEW Layan Raed Al Samahiji’s Spectacular Digital Art

LIFESTYLE Cosy Bedroom Decor

Stepping into Syamily James’ Shoes! www.womanthismonth.com


FASHION | styling

y l b a n o i h FaYsours in

Everyday Aesthetics

0 2 0 2

Strut into the New Year with impeccable elan brought to you by fresh new pieces and styling ideas for your existing ones. Don’t be shy to sway from your usual fashion path in 2022; this year is all about breaking the mould and embracing the previously unfamiliar.

TODS

BALLY

Givenchy

TODS

BALLY

TODS

Versace La Medusa

Check out the winter collections by the likes of Givenchy, Moschino and Tods to get that fashion inspiration straight from the runways of London, Paris, New York and Milan.

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Messika Paris

FASHION | styling

GIVENCHY

GIVENCHY

Moschino donna

Moschino donna

Rene Coavilla

Messika Paris

Glam up for the Gala

Editors Pick:

ETRO

ETRO

n tterns that ador r its paisley pa fo g this n di ow so kn al l e el w W use, Etro, is on the town. t ho n gh io ni sh ’s fa rl ther n gi he ia y w Ital r a girl semble, utch, perfect fo mplete your en co ill w at th t this adorable cl p fla d-up ankle stra delicate, blinge abaya. an or s om tt with cropped bo

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PEOPLE | interview

r e h t o n a n i t Ar ension dim With technology and online platforms consistently developing, every aspect of our lives including art has grown, developed and transcended the tangible world to take on a life of its own in the digital realm. 21-year-old Layan Raed Al Samahiji, one of Bahrain’s finest upcoming digital artists, spoke to Woman This Month about her inspirations, ideas and multidimensional art.

D

igital art is a relatively new form of the medium which has been a staple of civilisation for thousands of years. At times it has struggled for legitimacy amongst traditional or even elitist naysayers who see it as inferior to ‘the old way’, but with a new generation of supremely creative artists and a growing acceptance of technology, these attitudes are diminishing. This comes as no surprise to those who have seen the work one of the Kingdom’s young, enthusiastic creators, of which Layan Raed Al Samahiji represents the pinnacle. The visionary artist creates futuristic digital art in a kaleidoscope of colours that merges recognisable locations with celestial imagery and more to create an image that is quite magical… to say the least. The Bahrain Bayan School graduate is currently in her final year studying ¬Business with Marketing Management in Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

Becoming an Artist Layan’s journey began with her passion for drawing and painting when she was just four years old. “I come from a family of artists of different

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mediums,” she says. “I was easily inspired by so much creativity and I am so grateful that my mother instilled a love for art in me. I've been displaying artwork on my Instagram account since 2016, but took it more seriously in 2018, right after I completed the International Baccalaureate course in high school and graduated.” Since then, Layan has been able to share her mind-bending art with an ever-growing audience while steadily increasing her digital footprint, and gaining notoriety and recognition in the Kingdom and beyond. “I know my fan base grows when I post regularly as people share my work, reaching many accounts, and expanding my fanbase. I am really grateful to know that there are people who support the effort I put into my work and all of the support has helped me find the lighthouse that illuminates my creative journey,” she says. “I’ve also been able to meet and collaborate with many other great creators,” says the young

artist modestly. Digital art can come in many forms including animations, photographs, illustrations, videos, digital paintings and more, but Layan originally started out with traditional zentangle designs. These are meditative, relaxing doodles in the form of geometric patterns. “I created various mandalas and zentangles based on my imagination, finding a fun and inspiring idea of different colours and repeating patterns. This was very therapeutic for me,” she says.

Exploring the Cosmos “Even though I have had a dramatic change in my art since the start of the pandemic, switching my art environment from traditional to semidigital and bringing all my drawings by hand to psychedelic and cosmic animations was a very big step forward for me,” she explains. The main themes of Layan’s work revolve around www.womanthismonth.com


PEOPLE | interview the concepts of sci-fi and space that mesmerise the viewer. “The themes create a heavenly atmosphere with a psychedelic aspect that takes them on a journey through many galaxies and alternate realities,” she enthuses, adding that she characterises her art as multidimensional. “My inspiration comes mainly from my surroundings: the music I listen to, watching creative music videos, reading quotes, feeling old memories and, most importantly, my love and obsession with science fiction and astronomy. I’m also inspired by my favourite movies such as Spider-Man, Interstellar, and Back to the Future,” she adds. When delving more into the intricate details of the universe, the young artist realised that the concept of the universe is equally beautiful and frightening. “The idea that we are looking for other planets with stars and some form of life that have been around for trillions of years shows that we are not only in the universe, we are part of it. Many people find this concept interesting and resonant,” she says.

Creatives of Bahrain The Kingdom of Bahrain is no stranger to creativity with musicians, poets, writers, artists and more thriving on the island; so, it’s no surprise that its artistic talent pool continues to expand rapidly. In order to further cultivate it, Layan decided to create a platform to bolster it. Thus, Creatives of Bahrain was launched online in July 2020 with the goal of inspiring and supporting local creators in the Kingdom who use the platform to generate amazing content and also find the right audience. “During the pandemic, writers and artists were incredibly invested in promoting their work remotely. My vision with CoB is to help local talent expand their platform and earn the recognition they deserve.

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The account has a broad target audience of different creative categories, with an audience including young people and adults across the world,” she says.

Challenges – A Part of the Process Despite her amazing work, Layan details some of the issues she faces as a content creator and how it isn’t always smooth sailing. “Firstly, the biggest challenge I face when making art is the art block phase, which is similar to writer’s block,” she explains. “This usually lasts for several weeks. Sometimes it can be very challenging to stare at a blank canvas without finding the right inspiration. There’s also something wild about the concept of maintaining an online presence as an artist by posting regularly, and learning the right skills to market my art on a daily basis because analytics can be very distracting,” she says, adding that the process can be exhausting and demoralising to many creators since the value then becomes more about algorithms and less about the work. The second major problem, as highlighted by Layan, is plagiarism. “As an artist, plagiarism is the scariest and most hurtful thing to me because I’ve encountered many instances where my art was stolen, copied or reposted without giving credit,” she laments.

“I think it’s important to implement a fair use policy and credit artists on social media because it shows appreciation and recognition of their work and intellectual property. I’m currently in the process of copyrighting my artworks and learning licensing properties,” she says.

Onwards and Upwards As for her future plans, Layan is currently collaborating with Bahrain-based musician Xenai (@xenaimuzik), who was featured in Bahrain This Month recently, with the goal of creating cover art for individual songs. As part of the collaboration, each track features a different planet, so each one takes you to a different world with its own unique vibe. As Layan puts it: “We’re basically creating a galaxy together.” Artistically, she plans on working with new mediums of art and going back to her Zentangle roots, incorporating it with her new digital art style. She also hopes to open her own NFT (Non-Fungible Token) shop where she can sell her work. Currently, all of Layan’s works are available for purchase at the online store redbubble.com. The site has different product categories such as accessories, phone cases, wall art, hoodies and stickers. To check out Layan’s work, follow @magnanimousbylayan on Instagram, visit www.opensea.io/ MagnanimousByLayan or www. redbubble.com/people/layanraed/ shop?asc=u. You can also keep up with Creatives of Bahrain on Instagram using the handle @ creatives.of.bahrain.

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bystander

Exhibition - Highlights from the Islamic Collection On the occasion of the International Day Islamic Art, BACA held an exhibition titled “Intersections II - Highlights from the Islamic collection of the Bahrain National Museum”.“

Book Launch by Khulood al Qattan

A Book Launch by Khulood al Qattan was held at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Manama.

Gracy’s Baby Shower

A baby shower was held at Merchant House for Gracy.

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bystander

cooler weather and the smell of gingerbread in the air, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain reopened its pop-up restaurant Ritz Winter Chalet Wbyiththethebeach, its Alpine themed Winter Chalet.

Turkish Dinner Turkish Ambassador, HE Esin Çakıl, hosted a dinner at The Merchant House.

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January 2022 65


BEAUTY | news

Winter Moisturise, contour and perfect with Skin Story Skin Story – a premium, clean beauty brand is changing the landscape of makeup with the launch of three vegan, crueltyfree, non-toxic multisticks that can easily be applied on lips, eyes or cheeks. Whether you’re always on the go or looking for an effortlessly easy look, Skin Story multisticks are the staple products needed in every makeup routine. Skin Story is available in three beautiful shades; Legacy, Bold and Bare. Pamper yourself with the Legacy multistick’s rosy hues and satin-like texture. Discover Bold shade, the perfect on-the-go

contour companion. Rehydrate your skin using Bare, the 50 SPF facial moisturiser stick that also doubles up as a primer. Skin Story embodies the new form of premium, clean beauty. The multistick collection includes all the essential makeup tools for lips, eyes and face allowing for smooth, on-the-go application. The multisticks are mindfully-made in Korea with avocado oil, japonica seed oil and marula oil and are free from parabens, silicones, sulphates, talc, and mineral oil. Available at skinstory.me.

Look your very best this winter with Woman This Month’s carefully curated selection of beauty essentials! We’re not sure about you, but we sure have been feeling a bit chilly this winter. While we love cosying up in thick knits and boots, we don’t quite enjoy the adverse effects of the season. So, we’ve got some solutions for you, while having you glow with some fabulous highlighter and fierce eyeliner.

Battle Winter-Dry Skin with these Body Oils

Winter is cheerful and festive, but can have quite the negative effect on your skin. With dropping temperatures adversely affecting the health of the skin, it takes a bit of extra TLC to prevent dryness and itchiness from taking over. Natural oils, packed with nutrients and antioxidants, are the perfect solution as they prevent the skin from going dry while helping to replenish and rejuvenate. Oils with a higher proportion of palmitic and stearic acids, and a well-balanced ratio of oleic and linoleic acids, are ideal. Aroma Tierra’s Avocado Oil listed restores and transforms dry, dehydrated skin into supple, vitamin-rich skin. Avocado Oil has excellent fatty acid profile for dry or dehydrated skin. Its potent moisturising and emollient properties make the skin soft, supple, and radiant. It also contains several skin-loving nutrients such as vitamin E, phytosterols, and antioxidants. Available at Aroma Tierra in City Centre Mirdif, Dubai and online at www.aromatierra.com

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BEAUTY | news

Reveal the Beauty of your Hair Transform your tresses with Rossano Ferretti – a premium hair care brand with a sensational product range. With over 30 years experience in the hair care industry, the trusted salon brand has launched a personal hair care line that can be used at home every day. Of the new range, the Prodigio – Regenerating Oil and Treatment range is designed to restore your hair’s health making it an instant favourite in our books. It consists of three products; a miracle oil, containing a precious blend of vegetable oils and Sphingolipid Complex to protect the hair from heat and styling, a reconstructing treatment which leaves the hair shiny and silky after just one application and a cleansing Scalp Scrub which removes impurities, excess oils, product build up and dead skin cells. The beautifully scented, sulphate free formulas are made with a selection of the finest ingredients that combine powerful natural elements alongside the best bio-technology principles to help hair become stronger, softer and naturally more beautiful. The Rossano Ferretti product range is available exclusively in Rossano Ferretti Hair Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai, EnerBeauty.com and TheSecretSkin.com.

Eyes & Shine with Wet n Wild

Dress up and step out in bold and creative looks with Wet n Wild’s fabulous eyeliner. The Los Angeles-based beauty brand Wet n Wild® is popular for its cruelty-free, vegan, and high-performance formulations. This WnW Break-Up Proof Liquid Eyeliner eyeliner is long-lasting, waterproof, smudge-proof, and break-up proof (as the name so aptly states). Featuring an ultra-fine brush-tip that delivers any look – from a thin line to a bold, dramatic stroke that lasts up to 16 hours, it glides on seamlessly and smoothly, while delivering intense, highly-concentrated pigmentation in one easy swipe. Say ‘hello’ to the easiest dramatic wings and cat-eyes. WetnWild® products are available for purchase at leading department stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets in the UAE and online at www.glambeaute.com and www.namshi.com.

Glow like Never Before with Siella Beauty

We’re in the middle of winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a summer time glow. Siella Beauty’s ultra glowy highly pigmented Glowria Highlighter comes in three mesmerising shades; Bronzed up, Gold dipped and Sugar Coated to suit every skin tone. Glowria Highlighter has a radiant finish that gives the face a dewy glow enhancing all skin types without emphasising the pores. Since the launch of Siella Beauty, their goal has been to always provide high-quality, practical, and easy-to-use beauty products which highlight natural features. Available at www.siellabeauty.com and at Siella beauty’s Booth in City Center Mirdif, Dubai. www.womanthismonth.com

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skincare

JUANA SKIN’S FACE OIL

What makes Juana Skin unique is the fact that it uses a high-potency CBD farmed in Europe to the strictest quality standards. The clinically-tested line combines naturally effective botanical extracts with CBD for the best of results. The brand’s divine face oil combines 90mg of Hemp, Rhodiola Rosea and Grapeseed Oil to create a transformative formula which dramatically improves skin hydration while smoothing and toning the skin surface. Grapeseed oil and golden root extract work together to boost skin moisture while its earthy natural fragrance helps calm you. Available on www.juanaskin.com.

THE WILD ROSE EYE BRIGHTENER Revive and smooth your eye area with this light-reflecting, certified organic eye brightener with organic wild rosehip seed oil from Neal’s Yard Remedies. Lightweight and fast absorbing, it visibly improves radiance around the eye area instantly. With hyaluronic acid to instantly smooth and plump, and light-reflecting mineral pigments to improve the appearance of dark circles. Soothing green tea caffeine works to energise and revitalise the skin, reducing dark circles and puffiness for a brighter and more awake-looking eye area.

FILORGA’S TIME-FILLER INTENSIVE SERUM

Internationally acclaimed skincare brand, FILORGA, helps women overcome one of their biggest skin concerns - wrinkles. Their unique Time-Filler Intensive serum contains a set of active ingredients to smoothen most types of wrinkles on the face and neck and is inspired by five recognised aesthetic medicine techniques including Botox, filler injections and peels. It acts on four types of physiological wrinkles including expression wrinkles, deep wrinkles, surface wrinkles and dryness wrinkles resulting in relaxed features, filled-in wrinkles, smoother and plumper skin in as little as seven days. Available at leading pharmacies and at www.basharacare.com.

REFRESHING & REJUVENATING SKINCARE Give your skin some TLC with these 5 restorative skincare products. Long days, excessive screen time and pollutants have a way of dulling your glow and adversely affecting the health of your skin. These five products come with the promise of rejuvenating your skin whether it’s by smoothening out wrinkles, hydrating your skin or buffing away dead skin cells.

[TQ] FACE CREAM – FROM THE DRIEST LANDSCAPES FOR THE SOFTEST SKIN

Visit www.nealsyardremedies.com for more information.

HYDROPEPTIDE ANTI-WRINKLE POLISH AND PLUMP KIT When looking for glowing, smooth skin, the stars turn to dermabrasion, but what can you do in the comfort of your home? Look no further than Lauren Conrad’s go-to facial peel, HydroPeptide’s Polish and Plump Peel.

This advanced two-step system is said to visibly improves the tone and texture of your skin in minutes. Powered by lactic acid, this anti-aging set reduces age spots, fine lines and wrinkles while vitamin C and peptides protect collagen and brighten your complexion. Green tea antioxidants defend cells against environmental damage and cucumber extract soothes irritation.

De L’Arta is the first Emirati personal care brand, made with innovative, all-natural formulations using native flora. Formulated with nature’s best ingredients, this moisturiser uses Aloe Vera, Vitamin E & [Tq] to boost the skin’s regenerative properties with the ability to combat the effects of environmental toxins. Considering that this nutritious moisturiser is infused with shea butter, almond, argan and geranium oil, your skin is sure to look visibly younger and feel noticeably softer with continued use. Available online on delarta.com.

Available at EnerBeauty.com and TheSecretSkin.com.

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HERE’S WHY YOUR CHILD NEEDS EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

P

LIFESTYLE | opinion

Ouiam El Hassani tells you why extracurricular activities are a necessity for your child in the new year.

arenting has gone through many changes over the years, from a time when children weren’t even sent to school to an era when academics have become the main focus of parents all over the world. Kids now are continuously pressured to excel in Maths, Science, Physics, and other subjects from a very young age. They are required to do homework when they are supposed to be playing and enjoying their lives to the fullest. In recent years, however, we have seen a slight shift towards extracurricular activities, where parents support their kids’ physical activity just as much as they encourage their education. We now see children enrolled in different sports, practice almost daily, and even though it can be hectic sometimes – for kids and parents alike - they persist and are very satisfied and accomplished; the reason being that physical activity is one of the most essential parts of a child’s health, wellbeing and learning. Strong bodies make strong minds, which is especially true for children; partaking in sports not only helps them keep their bodies strong but also helps their growing minds tremendously. A child’s primary form of interaction with the world is through physical touch and play. Children pick things up and examine them with their hands. www.womanthismonth.com

They touch, smell, taste whatever they can as a way of familiarising themselves with their surroundings. They learn the exhilarating sensation of running and becoming winded; they learn to kick and throw the ball; they learn to throw kicks and punches and more. So, in a way, being physically active comes naturally to children. Extracurricular activities allow children to develop positive character traits and soak up many quality values that will help them in the future. Principles like teamwork, friendship, and fun naturally arise from these activities, and they form neural connections that contribute heavily to a child’s emotional and intellectual growth. Moreover, children who are actively engaged in sports can be good role models for their peers from school and their neighbourhood, and can inspire them to start playing some sports as well. Playing sports at a young age enables children to create life-long friendships they otherwise might not have formed. Kids learn that they are part of a team that requires the same effort from all members to succeed and how to win with class and lose with dignity. Sports bring people together from all over the world, regardless of their nationality,

religion, culture, or skin colour. What is even more important is that engaging kids in physical activities can help them release accumulated stress and improve their mental wellbeing. It can help them cope better with the pressure put on them at school (or at home); in fact, numerous studies have shown that children who play sports perform better at school. What better time to register your children in new activities than the beginning of a new year! New resolutions, new habits, and new adventures. Bahrain offers a wide range of extracurricular activities from basketball, football, tennis, and gymnastics to robotics, coding, and STEM classes. There is something for everyone, scattered all around the island, bringing different nationalities together, introducing different concepts, and different disciplines. Ballet classes for your little girl, or maybe some art classes for your young artist, choose whatever fits your child’s interests and passion and start them young. Start your child’s year right. Happy New Year! January 2022

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LIFESTYLE | home

Bedroom Banter We may be raring to go at the start of 2022; our to-do lists full of great plans and new resolutions. But to achieve all that we dream of, deep rest and recuperation is most essential, and here is where our bedrooms take centre stage. Let's cosy-up this space with the right kind of décor and essentials to give this private sanctuary a touch of personality with a statement vibe.

Doll Up Here

For Them Knickknacks

Dressing Table THE One

Box THE One

Earthy Ensemble Cabinet THE One

Home Centre

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LIFESTYLE | home

Metallic Reflections

Nicely Knitted

Mirror Lifestyle

Throw Lifestyle

Friendly Reminder

Scents of Sleep

Cushion Namshi.com

Fragrance Diffuser Lifestyle

Whimsy Hang Macrame Shelf Amazon.com

Handmade and Handy Pouf Home Box

Accent Light

Floor Lamp Home box

Nocturnal Greetings Wooden Sign Amazon.com

Snuggle Under Comforter Home Box

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bystander

AWA National Day Celebration American Women’s Association celebrated Bahrain’s 50th National Day at their general meeting

held at Mövenpick Bahrain. There were many festivities for the members and guests including Arabic cuisine, coffee and henna. Guests were also able to interact with a falcon and take photographs for memories.

Bahrain Women’s Day

On the occasion of Bahraini Women’s Day and under the patronage of Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Marjan Space celebrated Bahraini Women Entrepreneurs’ support, successes and challenges at Al Andalus Garden.

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bystander

Italian Opera

An Italian Opera Arias and Songs evening was held at Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research with Italian Opera singer, Laura Baldassari performing.

Bahrain International Challenge

The grand inauguration of “BKS-Bahrain International challenge 2021” Badminton tournament was held at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam Diamond Jubilee Hall with Chief Guest HE Piyush Srivastava, Indian Ambassador.

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BAHRAIN THIS MONTH GOES MULTI-PLATFORM Read Bahrain This Month in any format convenient to you • Print • Online • Digital • Social media to keep you abreast of everything that’s happening in and about town.

You can now read Bahrain This Month from its Instagram account. Click on the bio-link and it takes you to a curated page where you can tap the images and read the articles. Simple, convenient and easy!!

Go Published monthly by:

Red House Marketing P. O. Box: 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain telephone: (17) 813-777 fax: (17) 813-700 email: editor@womanthismonth.com

bahrainthismonth

Digital Edition


In Her Shoes What are three things you never leave the house without?

last word

There’s something special about people that are capable of finding happiness in even the smallest of positive gestures, and that’s exactly the kind of person Syamily James is. Sham (as most people call her) is a Marketing Executive at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa, and an ambivert depending on where you place her. She’s slightly OCD, but not but not to an extent that would make her loved ones disown her. Here’s a little sneak peek into her life:

My ear pods (I just checked my bag to make sure I didn't forget it), my moisturiser and my husband (no pun intended).

What is your dream holiday destination?

Cats or dogs?

Switzerland!

Cats! I've got two boys - Shadow and Leo. I feel cats are extremely underrated by the world. They love us back relentlessly. But you've got to give them the space to trust you and let them take their time in warming up to you.

Sham

Who would your life be incomplete without? Definitely my family.

What is your greatest aspiration?

I aspire to be a singer and a cat mom. Might try to create a remix for Phoebe's 'Smelly Cat'.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

In a tradition like mine, the scariest thing you can do is stand up to your society and follow the dreams and goals you have set for yourself. And yes, I did that and I am glad I did that. www.womanthismonth.com

If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Travel to every single country in the world, depending on the money I won of course. Also, I would love to sponsor food for the animal rescue centers I come across. January 2022

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bystander

Indonesian Embassy hosted an Indonesian Culinary Night “A Spice Route: from Nusantara Indonesian Embassy’s Spice Route TtoheDilmunia” at Mövenpick Bahrain.

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