Bahrain This Month - March 2024

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Digital Edition March 2024 | Vol. 27 | Issue 3 | BD2 / SR20 YOUR GUIDE TO A GREAT WAY OF LIFE Since 1997 Arts | Culture | Motoring | Sports | Interviews | Lifestyle | Dining | Nightlife LIFESTYLE Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode PEOPLE BUCKLE UP FOR DEALS ON WHEELS! MOTORING RAMADAN KAREEM Best of Iftars and Ghabgas DINING A Taste of Italy at Mondo Our Race Predictions Motoring News Brazilian Ambassador HE Adriano Pucci Speed Dreams Luca Houghton and Tye Mejia Celebrating Deena Mohammed Almoayyed Exceptional Yet Affordable Rides COMMERCE Start-up Valuations A Tricky Space Business News

Publisher and Chairman



Farah Baig

Deputy Editor

Kristian Harrison Contributors

Pria Masson, Lisa Daniels

Editorial Consultant

Ahdeya Ahmed

WTM Brand Ambassador

Esky Dubois

Print Production Manager

Sabu Sebastian

Art Director

Hatem Monem

Graphic Designer

Kailas Wadke


Nishad Eapen

Production Manager

Muna Yousef

Staff Photographer

Subeesh Kumar N S

Administration and Finance

Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa

Distribution Team

CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar


Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services)

Media Sales Team

Media Sales Director

Anuradha Manhas

Digital Content Marketing Manager

Amna Syed

Media Executive

Edwin D'Souza

Digital & Content Marketing Team

Digital Strategy Director

Lini Reghunath

Director of Film

Danny Sokov

Social Media Managers

Shilu Babu, Rohit Reghunath

© Copyright Reserved 2005-2023


Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3




As the crescent moon graces the sky and the call to prayer echoes through the air, I on behalf of everyone at Bahrain This Month am delighted to extend my heartfelt wishes of Ramadan Kareem to our cherished readers. This sacred month arrives as a beacon of spiritual reflection, communal unity and unwavering devotion for millions around the world. As we embark on this profound journey of faith and self-discovery, allow us to illuminate the path with our unwavering commitment to providing you with enriching content that resonates with the essence of this holy season.

At the heart of our Ramadan edition lies a culinary voyage like no other. Amidst the rhythm of fasting and feasting, our extensive dining guide stands as a testament to Bahrain's vibrant gastronomic landscape. From irresistible Iftars to glorious Gabghas, let Bahrain This Month be your compass, guiding you through a tapestry of flavours and experiences that celebrate the essence of Ramadan.

In the spirit of renewal and innovation, we are thrilled to announce the relaunch of Woman This Month as a standalone magazine. Embracing the diverse voices and empowering narratives of women, this revitalised publication promises to inspire, enlighten and captivate audiences across the spectrum. Be sure to check it out and join us in celebrating the extraordinary contributions of women to our society and beyond.

Buckle up before you dive into this issue because revving into action is our Deals on Wheels feature, offering an exhilarating journey through the latest automotive marvels. From the sleek sophistication of Audi to the dynamic allure of Kia, Suzuki, and Bestune, Kristian Harrison puts you behind the wheel for thrilling test drives and exclusive insights that redefine the driving experience.

Of course, no issue of Bahrain This Month would be complete without our exclusive interviews, and once again we leave no stone unturned. From the corridors of diplomacy to the realms of entrepreneurship and innovation, we delve deep into the minds of visionaries shaping the landscape of our glorious Kingdom. Join us as we engage in captivating conversations with esteemed figures such as Brazilian Ambassador HE Adriano Pucci, Kulsha founder Isa Haji, the brilliant mind behind Big Brain, Dr. Nadeem Choudhury, and Mohamed Almoayyed’s tribute to his late wife, Deena Kanoo.

As the sun sets and the city comes to life, our comprehensive listings guide becomes your ultimate companion, navigating you through the myriad happenings and events that define Ramadan in Bahrain. From vibrant cultural celebrations to serene moments of reflection, our extensive guide means you’ll always have something to do whether that’s with friends, family or even by yourself.

As we enter this most sacred of months, let us embrace the spirit of compassion, generosity and unity that defines Ramadan. From our family to yours, we extend warm wishes for a blessed and fulfilling holy month. Remember, Bahrain This Month is not just a magazine, it’s our social platforms on Facebook and Instagram @bahrainthismonth, our website and most of all, it is Your Guide to a Great Way of Life! March 2024 5
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Exciting events this March.


Building Ties with Brazil

Brazilian Ambassador, HE Adriano Pucci shared his aspirations of partnership in the realms of trade, culture and diplomacy.

Celebrating Deena

On the sidelines of Café Trianon’s opening, Mohammed Almoayyed speaks of his late wife Deena Kanoo and his heartfelt tribute to her life.

Speed Dreams

Luca Houghton and Tye Mejia, speak about their passion for racing.


A Taste of Italy at Mondo

A mouth-watering culinary journey at Mondo, Taste of Italy.


Opulent feasts including iftars and ghabgas at Bahrain’s leading hotels.

Ramadan Bliss

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay’s iconic Ramadan tent and exclusive offerings.

Magical Arabian Nights

Experience the charm of starlit skies, music and delectable food at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain.


Start-up Valuations – A Tricky Space

Pria Masson on taking startups beyond being just an idea.


Explore a lineup of exceptional yet affordable rides with thrilling test drives of Audi, Kia, Suzuki, and Bestune vehicles. 6 March 2023 18 08 23 68 36 52 40 59
08 18 23 68
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Experience the timeless tale of love and tragedy as Romeo & Juliet: The Musical takes the stage. This enchanting production presented by Entertainment Live, brings Shakespeare’s iconic play to life through captivating music, exhilarating choreography and a talented cast. Don’t miss this unforgettable evening for a chance to explore the magical world of Verona through a fresh and innovative musical adaptation. Witness the beauty of Shakespeare’s masterpiece in a spectacular musical rendition!

Call 39 616-858 or email



Brace yourself for an electrifying fusion of Latin rhythms and chart-topping vibes at the British Club. This sensational night features a trending band that seamlessly blends Latin beats with the hottest chart hits. Get ready to dance the night away to infectious melodies that span genres, from salsa to pop. This dynamic performance promises an unforgettable evening of nonstop energy and excitement.

Whether you’re a fan of Latin music or chart-toppers, this event offers something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss out on the ultimate musical experience, where Latin and chart vibes collide in spectacular fashion.

Call 17 728-245.



The Beyon Money F1 Village offers visitors the very best of live music and entertainment in a true F1 experience, in Adliya’s bustling Block 338. There are a host of motorsport and Bahrain-themed attractions, including a F1 car display, a chance to have a photo with the F1 World Championship trophy, an F1 Pic Stop and an Esports Zone.

There is also a main stage with daily live music performances to liven up the party atmosphere, together with DJs, roaming performers, street artists and plenty of other colourful attractions for the whole family to enjoy. It is open from 6pm to midnight on weekdays and 1pm to midnight on weekends. Entry is free for all.

Call 17 450-000.

happenings 8 March 2024



Celebrate International Women’s Day in style with an exclusive performance by the incredibly talented Nathalie Karlsson at the British Club on March 8 from 7pm. Join for a night of honouring women’s achievements and empowerment through the universal language of music. Nathalie Karlsson, with her exceptional vocals and magnetic stage presence, will deliver a powerful and inspiring performance that pays tribute to the strength, resilience and beauty of women around the world.

Come together to applaud the contributions of women everywhere and revel in the magic of music. Open to members and their guests. Normal Club entry fees for non-members will apply.

Call 17 728-245.



Mark your calendars for an unforgettable concert featuring esteemed Bahraini singers Khalid Al Shaikh and Huda Abdulla, reviving the song ‘Ghanawi Al-Shouq’ in a musical collaboration, showcasing their well-known songs accompanied by the nostalgic tunes performed by Maestro Zeyad Zaiman and the Bahrain Music Band.




Experience the vibrant spirit of South African cuisine and culture at the Potjie Competition 2024! Decorate your stall and showcase your culinary skills with your finest Potjie for a chance to win special prizes, or simply come along to savour the festivities. There will be music and entertainment to delight the senses, a dedicated kid’s entertainment zone for family fun and a variety of food and craft stalls.

Entry is open to members and their guests, adhering to standard guest rules. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to immerse yourself in the flavours and traditions of South Africa!

Call 17 695-809.

happenings March 2024 9





This year, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities celebrates 50 years of groundbreaking art with exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other programs. In its 50th edition, it not only celebrates past accomplishments but also highlight milestones in art and showcases current talents.



MARCH 13, 20, 27 & APRIL 3



Every Wednesday throughout Ramadan, Stand Out Events will host its Quizaholics Anonymous trivia nights at the Rugby Club from 8pm. Attendees can test their knowledge and vie for fantastic prizes in a lively atmosphere. From seasoned quizzers to newcomers seeking entertainment, all are welcome to join the friendly competition. With each round of challenging trivia questions, participants engage in spirited camaraderie. It’s an opportunity for friends and family to gather, enjoy each other’s company, and partake in a memorable mid-week activity. Don’t miss out on the chance to win big and have a great time!

Call 17 695-809.



Lace up your running shoes and join the Bahrain Road Runners for an exhilarating event at Al Areen Wildlife Park. The scenic Al Areen Run promises a thrilling experience amidst the stunning natural beauty of the park’s landscape. Participants can expect a challenging yet rewarding course that winds through picturesque trails and lush greenery. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a novice, this event offers something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, challenge your limits and make unforgettable memories at the Bahrain Road Runners Al Areen Run.

Follow @bahrainroadrunners




Experience the enchanting allure of Ireland at the British Club’s live Irish entertainment evening on March 17, at 7pm. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the rich culture and vibrant traditions of the Emerald Isle. With traditional music, lively dancing and authentic cuisine, attendees will be transported to the heart of Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Whether one hails from Ireland or simply appreciates its charm, all are welcome to join in the festivities. Come and raise a toast to St. Patrick’s Day in the warm and inviting ambience of the British Club, where the spirit of Ireland comes alive.

Call 17 728-245.

happenings 10 March 2024





Within the evocative exhibition titled ‘Disappeared Then Appeared,’ artist Noof Al Refaei unveils a mesmerising narrative of metamorphosis. Amidst this captivating display, Al Refaei introduces a poignant symbol – a once intermittently rolling ball, now transformed into a testament of endurance and resilience. Embodying newfound durability and beauty, this ball speaks volumes about the human experience, echoing themes of disappearance and reappearance.

Al Refaei’s artwork delves deep into the essence of transformation, inviting viewers to contemplate the mysteries of change and the enduring strength found within. Prepare to embark on a profound journey of introspection and revelation, where every piece tells a story of emergence and renewal. Open from 9am to 1.30pm Saturday to Thursday. Entry is free for all.




At the Dilmun Club, Tuesdays during Ramadan come alive with the excitement of Quiz Nights! From 8pm onwards, embark on a journey of knowledge and competition with friends and fellow enthusiasts. The atmosphere buzzes with anticipation as participants tackle an array of brain-teasing questions, each round offering a new challenge. With enticing prizes awaiting the victorious, the stakes are high and the fun is guaranteed. Whether you’re a seasoned quiz aficionado or simply looking for a unique mid-week adventure, Quiz Nights at the Dilmun Club promise an unforgettable experience filled with camaraderie and entertainment. Join the quest for victory and revel in the thrill of the challenge!

Call 17 695-809.



Save the date! The BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest is Bahrain’s annual celebration of jazz, established in 2017. It’s grown to become Bahrain’s much-loved international music festival. Owned, operated, and produced by Clockwork, a Bahraini marketing consultancy firm, the festival has seen more than 30,000 visitors over the last six years. It is also the only festival in the Middle East to be recognised by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz/UNESCO as a Global Organisational Partner of International Jazz Day for its efforts to promote jazz development in the Middle East.

The theme for this year, “Jazz For All, All For Jazz” celebrates the universal language of jazz that unites cultures and generations. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a curious listener, the spirit of jazz can inspire us to embrace diversity, foster creativity and spread harmony.

Tickets cost BD11 for children aged seven to 14, and BD22 for ages 15 and above.


happenings 12 March 2024

75th Republic Day of India

On occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India, Indian Ambassador, HE Vinod K. Jacob and the embassy hosted a reception at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel. /gallery 14 March 2024 bystander

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Chinese New Year Celebrations

Gulf /gallery 16 March 2024 bystander
Hotel Bahrain celebrated Chinese New Year at its restaurant, China Garden.


with InterContinental® Bahrain

At InterContinental Bahrain, we embrace traditions and culture. This Ramadan, as an ode to "The Souq" we present authentic culinary experiences during our Iftar and Ghabga. Indulge in the creations of our award-winning chefs at our acclaimed Regency tent.

Join us in celebrating Ramadan in authentic style.


Sunset to 8:30pm

BD22 Net / Beverages included


9:30pm to 1:00am

BD19 Net / Beverages included

Ladies Night: Every Monday - 50% off (Ghabga & Iftar)

Gents Night: Every Tuesday - 50% off (Ghabga)

Exclusive Corporate Packages also available.

To make a booking or for more information, please call +973 1722 7777 or WhatsApp +973 3696 7701

* Terms and conditions apply.


In a bid to fortify bilateral relations between Brazil and Bahrain, HE Adriano Pucci has assumed the pivotal role of being his country’s first full ambassador to the Kingdom. As the two nations converge on the brink of new opportunities, he offered Kristian Harrison his insights and shared his aspirations of partnership and progress in the realms of trade, culture and diplomacy.

interview 18 March 2024

Your Excellency, thank you for the honour of granting us your first interview in Bahrain. Please can you give us an overview of your career journey to date, from your education to taking up your position as Ambassador here in Bahrain?

The honour is all mine to be featured by this prestigious magazine. Well, my career has been very diverse, in terms of both destination countries and handled subjects. In more than three decades of foreign service, I’ve worked in New York, Caracas, Montevideo, Vatican City and Madrid. During my recent stay in Brazil, I held diverse positions, such as a United Nations Director, Ministry Spokesperson and Director of Administration. The pinnacle of this trajectory was undoubtedly my appointment as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

What are some of the challenges facing the Bahrain-Brazil relationship, and how do you plan to address them?

Our bilateral trade reached the figure of 1.4 billion dollars last year, a transaction volume that makes Brazil one of the main trading partners of Bahrain. On the other hand, we need to diversify those exchanges, so as to reduce the current exposure to commodity price fluctuations. This work is just beginning, with the arrival of multiple government, business and sports delegations. I am impressed by the level of demand from both sides. Most likely, this enormous potential was held back by the lack of a physical base for support and coordination in Manama. The Embassy comes to fill this important gap.

scheduled to take place this September in Brasília. In this event, the two governments will take stock of the progress made until now and assess opportunities for strengthening friendship and cooperation between the two countries. In the short term, we will also coordinate with our Bahraini brothers for the celebration of the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations, dating back to 1974. Lastly, in regard to the broader horizon, the two foreign ministries have been designing an Action Plan that contemplates goals and objectives for the next five years. When approved, this document will map out the promising path ahead of us. Approximately how many Brazilians reside in Bahrain and in what fields do they work?

What are your initial impressions of Bahrain now that you’ve had a few months to settle in?

My high expectations regarding the Pearl of the Gulf have been fully confirmed. The hospitality of the people and the courtesy of the government are distinctive marks of the country, whose ancient history and culture I admire more as I learn more about them. These characteristics make it much easier to be so far from my homeland. Bahrainis and Brazilians may speak in different tongues, but they share the same language of openness to the world and fostering peace among nations.

2024 represents the golden jubilee of the initial forging of relations between Bahrain and Brazil. How proud do you feel of this fact, and that you are the first resident Ambassador in the Kingdom?

The Embassy was inaugurated just over two years ago. It is the newest Brazilian diplomatic mission among the 133 already established worldwide. My arrival in Manama, last September, is even more recent. I am aware of the great responsibility of being Brazil’s first resident ambassador ever in this Kingdom, since there are no second chances to make a first positive impression. We need to set a high diplomatic standard from the very beginning, and we shall do so. Inshallah! What is the current state of relations between Bahrain and Brazil? What are some of the key areas of cooperation between the two countries?

The main challenge is to give substance to the multiple agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between various institutions not long ago. To that end, the Embassy is dedicated to facilitating contacts between governmental and private sector stakeholders. Brazil is prepared to contribute to Bahrain’s prosperity through cooperation in new technologies, infrastructure, sustainable development and, last but not least, food security.

What are some of your goals and ideas in terms of what you want to achieve with bilateral ties, both in the short and long term?

Our main focus is on the fifth edition of the Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism,

The population of Brazilians in Bahrain is estimated at around 300 nationals, but that number may be higher. Our community is mainly composed of professionals who have chosen to build their lives in this beautiful country through hard work and with the joyful approach for which we are known. We will get to know the profile of our compatriots better in more detail when we inaugurate the consular service of the Embassy within a few months. The human and material resources to enable its operation are being obtained with a sense of urgency. I am confident that soon the Embassy will be able to welcome Brazilian citizens and expedite visa issuance for Bahrainis traveling to Brazil.

On a more light-hearted note, what does an ambassador do in his spare time, if he has any? What hobbies do you enjoy?

I don’t understand your question. What is spare time?

In all seriousness, I try to do some exercise, so that I can enjoy the wonderful restaurants in Manama guilt-free! I also plan, during breaks, to explore this part of the world more with Karina, my wife, who also works at the embassy as a counsellor.

Anything more to add?

Yes. I know Bahrainis love football as much as we do. So I promise to your distinguished readers that I will do my best to organise the arrival of Brazilian soccer players and teams in the near future. It’s the least I can offer as a token of gratitude to Bahrain. Shukran!

Scan to watch the full interview interview March 2024 19

Flag Hoisting

As part of the 75th Republic Day of India celebrations, the Indian Embassy hosted a Flag Hoisting Ceremony.

Health and Wellness Expo 2024

The Health and Wellness Expo 2024 was inaugurated by the Minister of Health, HE Dr Jaleela bint AlSayed Jawad Hasan, along with other senior officials from the ministry and NHRA. /gallery 20 March 2024 bystander

Cafe Trianon Opening

COBIS Music Festival /gallery 22 March 2024 bystander
The opening of the Cafe Trianon was hosted in presence of French Ambassador, HE Eric Giraud-Telme. The British School of Bahrain hosted the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) Music Festival 2024 which was held for the very first time in Bahrain. The globallyrecognised event, showcases musical talents from over 270 COBIS member schools in more than 80 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.

TCelebrating Deena

oday’s event at Cafe Trianon is a tribute to the life of your late wife, Deena Kanoo. Can you tell us a little about her life, and her battle with breast cancer?

We are here to celebrate Deena’s life, the unconditional love we had for each other and the family we created together. Deena was a very strong and courageous woman who fought a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She tragically passed away ten years ago, on October 1, 2013.

The 9th of February is a significant date for this event. Why is that?

Indeed, it is important to note that the chosen date of February 9 for this event is also meant to remind us all of International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD). By choosing this date, I wished to draw our attention and open our hearts to this important cause.

In 2017 you initiated an educational project with the Bahrain Trust Foundation, in Deena’s

The truly opulent Café Trianon recently opened its doors in Riffa. On the sidelines of the event, Mohammed Almoayyed tells Lisa Daniels about his late wife Deena Kanoo, the philanthropic micro-school founded in her memory and his heartfelt tribute to her life.

name. What educational programmes does the ‘Teach Me’ initiative offer, and to whom?

Deena Kanoo Microschool is the first hospital school in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is operated at the Salmaniya Medical Complex. The ‘Teach Me’ programme at the hospital school offers several educational programmes for sick students to support their education and develop their study skills. It also enables them to discover and refine their scientific and artistic talents whether during their stay, or outside the hospital.

In 2011, you bought Château de Bussemont, in the Champagne region of France, as a family retreat. In 2017, you commissioned French creator of roses, Guillot, to create a scented pink rose as a tribute to Deena’s life. What was the inspiration for this and why did you choose, specifically, a pink rose?

The inspiration came very naturally to me and the brief I gave to Guillot was the following: Deena was a very beautiful woman, extremely

delicate and elegant, with a unique complexion. She was also very strong and powerful. So, Guillot created the ultimate feminine pink rose which changes shades during its life cycle. It has an extraordinary feminine rose scent, with layers and layers of petals and is, at the same time, a very vigorous and sturdy flower.

In 2023, you then went on to commission French artist, Tala Mazhari to create a soap in the shape of the Deena de Bussemont rose. Can you tell us a little about the soap and how the proceeds from its sale will be used?

This soap will be presented for the first time in the world, here in Bahrain, during the Pre-Opening event of Café Trianon. It will be another tribute to Deena’s life, and every guest will be gifted a box of the rose soaps. The BD2000 proceeds that the rose soap would have raised had it been sold, will be donated and presented, today, to the Deena Kanoo Microschool. This is in addition to the programme budget of BD240,000, which covers a period of 10 years, between 2019 and 2029.

interview March 2024 23


Dr. Nadeem Choudhry’s Big Brain Concept has been making waves since its expansion into Bahrain, hosting a series of successful events that have captivated audiences with new concepts and unparalleled entertainment value. Kristian Harrison caught up with him to find out how Bahrain is fast becoming a regional hub for live entertainment and events.

“The reception to Big Brain has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees expressing their appreciation for the innovative approach and the enriching experiences offered at our events,” Dr. Choudhry explains.

Bahrain, which he often hails as the second Ibiza, Spain for its vibrant party scene and tourist appeal, has emerged as a thriving event hub and entertainment destination. Dr. Choudhry believes in the potential of Bahrain to rival renowned destinations, leveraging its unique cultural heritage and welcoming atmosphere to attract visitors from around the globe.

Venues like the Al Dana Amphitheatre and Azul Beach have played a pivotal role in enhancing Bahrain’s viability as a host for major events. Additionally, other venues such as Al Dar Island and various hotel facilities in the Kingdom offer promising opportunities that are yet to be

fully explored and promoted.

During the interview, Dr. Choudhry unveiled ambitious plans for the next six months and beyond.

“Big Brain is diversifying its offerings by introducing Sea Tourism, adding a luxurious yacht experience that promises to redefine entertainment,” he explains. “With monthly celebrity-hosted cruises, guests will embark on a journey from the shores to the middle of the sea, indulging in unparalleled luxury and entertainment. This ground-breaking concept promises an authentic island experience for families and couples of all nationalities, providing a new dimension to Bahrain’s event industry.

“Adapting to the Bahraini cultural scene has been a learning experience for myself and my team, particularly in comparison to the dynamic landscape of the UAE. Bahrain’s atmosphere of freedom and positivity, coupled with

government support for tourism initiatives such as Formula One racing, creates a conducive environment for business and leisure alike. In my opinion, Bahrain has a distinctive charm which sets it apart as an unparalleled destination for enjoyment and investment.”

In terms of industry trends, Dr. Choudhry observes a growing need to encourage both tourists and locals to participate in Bahrain’s event scene. By offering unique and immersive experiences, organisers aim to entice individuals to explore the diverse range of entertainment options available locally, thereby reducing the reliance on international travel for leisure pursuits.

As the Big Brain Concept continues to innovate and push boundaries, Bahrain’s position as a premier event destination is poised to reach new heights, offering unparalleled experiences that redefine entertainment in the region.

interview 24 March 2024

Big Brain Concepts’ Valentines


Bahraint /gallery March 2024 25 bystander
Big Brain Concepts hosted Valentine’s Day celebration at Atiram Premier Hotel. The largest referral networking organisation, BNI, hosted an event at Golden Tulip Bahrain.

In the tumultuous aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, where restrictions crippled traditional business models and accelerated the shift towards digitalisation, Kulsha Logistics emerged as a pioneering force in Bahrain’s logistics sector. Founded with a vision to address the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, Kulsha Logistics swiftly carved its niche by blending innovation with unwavering commitment to service excellence.

The genesis of Kulsha Logistics was rooted in empathy and a keen observation of the prevailing challenges faced by individuals and businesses during the early days of the pandemic in 2020. Witnessing the disruptions caused by lockdowns and restrictions, Mr. Haji saw an opportunity not only to bridge logistical gaps but also to contribute meaningfully to the community.

“The inspiration behind establishing Kulsha as a logistics company was born out of the challenges faced by individuals and businesses during the early days of the pandemic,” he says. “Witnessing the difficulties people encountered due to lockdowns and restrictions, we saw an opportunity to make a positive impact.”

Responding to the evolving landscape, Kulsha Logistics conceptualised an E-commerce application aimed at not only addressing immediate logistical needs but also bolstering the local economy by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This strategic move not only tapped into the burgeoning demand for online shopping but


Kulsha Logistics was established with the vision of being a trusted partner for businesses and individuals alike, facilitating the movement of goods and providing reliable delivery services. Kristian Harrison spoke to Mr Isa Haji, Founder of Kulsha, about the company’s successes and future in the market.

also positioned Kulsha Logistics as a catalyst for digital transformation in Bahrain’s logistics ecosystem.

From its inception, Kulsha Logistics has been steadfast in its commitment to providing a diverse array of services tailored to the unique requirements of various industries. Central to its operations is a robust infrastructure that enables the seamless flow of goods across sectors ranging from food and hospitality to telecommunications, electronics and education.

“Our primary goal was to fill a crucial niche in the market by providing efficient and reliable logistics services,” explains Mr. Haji. “We recognised the essential role logistics plays in connecting businesses with their customers, particularly during challenging times. Now, we are standing in the market with a fleet of more than 100 vehicles in total, including bikes, chillers, vans, cars and more.

In line with this vision, Kulsha Logistics has strategically positioned itself as a trusted partner for businesses seeking dependable logistics solutions. With roundthe-clock availability for B2B and B2C

services and strategically-located fleet stations across Bahrain, the company ensures timely and efficient delivery services tailored to the specific needs of each industry it serves. However, Mr. Haji chose to position Kulsha’s head office in the Bahrain Financial Harbour, the heart of Bahrain, so that Kulsha could be easily accessible by anyone.

At the centre of Kulsha Logistics’ operations lies a steadfast commitment to leveraging technology to drive operational excellence and enhance customer experience. Recognising the transformative potential of digitalisation, the company has embraced cutting-edge technologies to streamline processes, improve efficiency and ensure transparency at every stage of the logistics chain.

“Our commitment to being a tech-centric firm is reflected in various aspects of our 26 March 2024

business operations,” states Mr. Haji. “We have embraced digital transformation by minimising manual work and transitioning to a systemised approach. All our files and documents are digitised, facilitating a smooth and efficient workflow. One of our key technological tools is the use of GPS tracking software for our entire fleet of vehicles, enabling real-time monitoring and tracking. A dedicated operations team is available 24/7 to monitor the fleet, addressing any potential issues promptly and ensuring the smooth execution of logistics services. This not only enhances the efficiency of logistics operations but also provides customers with greater visibility and control over their shipments, thereby fostering trust and reliability.”

In an industry where the safety and security of goods are paramount, Kulsha Logistics leaves no stone unturned in ensuring the utmost protection of its customers’ assets. From rigorous training programmes for drivers to stringent maintenance protocols for its fleet of vehicles, the company upholds the highest standards of safety and security at every juncture of the logistics process.

“Ensuring the security and safety of goods is paramount at Kulsha Logistics, particularly given the diverse industries we serve,” Mr. Haji affirms. “Our commitment to this begins with our

trained and professional drivers, who undergo a comprehensive 10-day training programme upon hiring.”

Moreover, Kulsha Logistics employs state-of-the-art delivery boxes equipped with temperature control mechanisms to safeguard perishable goods during transit. This proactive approach not only ensures the freshness and integrity of food products but also underscores the company’s unwavering dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.

Beyond its core business operations, Kulsha Logistics actively engages with local communities and collaborates with government authorities to drive sustainable growth and development within Bahrain’s logistics sector. By partnering with government welfare foundations and lending its logistical expertise to support community initiatives, the company seeks to foster a culture of social responsibility and inclusive growth.

As the company charts its course forward, its vision remains anchored in a relentless pursuit of innovation, excellence and customer-centricity. Looking ahead,

Kulsha Logistics is poised to explore new opportunities and expand its presence both within Bahrain and beyond. From the imminent launch of its e-commerce platform to its foray into the healthcare industry, Kulsha Logistics is committed to driving positive change.

“Through the provision of effective and specialised services in the vital healthcare sector, this effort seeks to transform logistics in Bahrain,” highlights Mr. Haji. “By continually innovating and introducing initiatives that benefit the community, Kulsha Logistics is well-positioned for sustained growth and impact in the logistics sector. As we move forward, we are excited about the potential to further contribute to Bahrain’s economic growth and set new benchmarks in the logistics industry.” March 2024 27

Batelco Branch Opening

Capping Ceremony /gallery 28 March 2024 bystander
Batelco hosted the opening of its first experience store at the Marassi Galleria Mall. The event highlighted the drastic change in purchasing devices from Batelco without the need of contacting an agent. Bahrain Cricket Federation held a capping ceremony for its teams in the presence of esteemed dignitaries at Mukta Cinema, Juffair Mall.




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Designed in collaboration with Depeche Mode, the new Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode pays tribute to the British band’s latest album and world tour, Memento Mori, vouching to live fully in the present and reflect on the value of time. This concept is symbolised on the watch by a skull motif embellished with an hourglass.

Fourteen years have passed since Hublot and Depeche Mode announced their first collaboration, dedicated to raising public awareness and funds for several environmental and humanitarian causes. Since then, this partnership has been renewed with each of the British band’s subsequent tours and has raised over USD2.3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust and charity: water.

In March 2023, Depeche Mode announced its big comeback with the release of Memento Mori, its 15th studio album, along with a worldwide concert tour. Still in collaboration with the


The leading Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot has released a spectacular limited edition time piece in collaboration with the world-famous British band, Depeche Mode.

band, which has sold over 100 million albums, Hublot is helping to raise funds and awareness for Conservation Collective, a global charity that unites a network of regional philanthropic foundations working to protect, conserve and restore natural environments.

Thanks to Depeche Mode & Hublot funding, the first round of Conservation Collective’s projects tackling plastic pollution at the grassroots in 2023 supported seven impactful initiatives across seven countries, with three more rounds of funding set to empower even more positive change. The projects aim to turn the tide on plastic by driving locally led waste management, plastic-free and clean-up initiatives.

It was against this backdrop that Hublot and Depeche Mode teamed up again in Berlin, 11 years after their first joint event in the German capital, to release a new limited-edition watch: The Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode.

For almost 14 years now, Hublot has been working alongside Depeche Mode to protect Humankind and our environment. Memento Mori makes us conscious of the passing of time. This is something that we, as watchmakers, are naturally aware of. This is a serious issue, but one that we approach with joy and energy inspired by the music of Depeche Mode,” says HUBLOT CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe.

lifestyle 30 March 2024
Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

Memento Mori encourages us to be more mindful of just how fragile our existence is. This is why joining forces once again with our trusted friends at Hublot makes so much sense. Together, we can raise public awareness of environmental issues and support Conservation Collective in their efforts to protect our planet and life in all its forms.”

Martin Gore, Member of Depeche Mode

The Spirit of Big Bang’s signature tonneau shape is designed with Hublot’s iconic All Black aesthetic. Created in collaboration with Depeche Mode, the design combines the skull motif—an emblem seen in the video announcing the band’s return—with an hourglass to symbolise the passage of time.

The centre of the dial is filled with small black ceramic spheres that symbolically flow back and forth as the wrist moves, conveying the concept of Memento Mori. This Latin phrase, meaning ‘remember you must die’, is intended to prompt reflection on the transience of life. Alongside the dial, the initials DM, the British band’s logo, appear at 6 o’clock. The indices take the form of pyramid-shaped studs, a motif echoed on the black ceramic bezel.

Measuring 42 mm, the barrel-shaped case is made of sand-blasted and polished black ceramic. It houses a self-winding HUB1710_SD calibre movement with a 50-hour power reserve. Each of the Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode comes with two straps, which are easily interchangeable thanks to the patented One Click system.

The first is made from recycled materials and Velcro, in line with Conservation Collective’s plastic pollution initiatives. The second, in black rubber, closes with a black titanium folding clasp. It includes the pyramid-shaped studs already featured on the bezel and dial, creating an exceptionally ‘rock’ vibe.

Each of the 100 pieces in this limited edition will come in a special box containing a wonderful surprise: a 10” vinyl single of Depeche Mode’s Wagging Tongue, only available as part of this package, and produced using green energy and recycled PVC!

Over 130 boutiques around the world, including the Hublot boutique in Bahrain through official agents Bahrain Jewellery Centre, share Hublot’s fervour and values.

For more information, kindly contact the Hublot boutique on 17 520-080.

March 2024 31


Art Exhibition

Cocktail Evening /gallery 32 March 2024 bystander
A dinner gathering with friends was held at Brazil Rodizio Grill & Lounge. An art exhibition titled ‘Sailing through Time’ was held place at the Bahrain Artistic Frames Centre in Budaiya. Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa hosted a cocktail reception in the presence of the Chairman of Bahrain Airport Hotel Company, Mohamed Buzizi, Gulf Hotel Group CEO, Ahmed Janahi, and other distinguished guests.

SKINN In the Game

Titan Launches Fine Fragrances in the Kingdom of Bahrain

India’s first fine fragrance brand, SKINN, with the hallmark of Titan and the assurance of the Tata Group, is now available across Bahrain at leading perfume retailers introduced by Kewalram & Sons Company. Titan Company Limited has expanded its regional portfolio to include SKINN by Titan widening its personal lifestyle segment footprint.

SKINN’s range of exquisite perfumes offer an unparalleled sensory experience, curated to cater to the region’s unique and discerning tastes and styles. Crafted in France, each perfume is designed and created by worldrenowned master perfumers and showcases a diverse palette, catering to both traditional and contemporary preferences.

From the fresh citrusy aroma of Pristine to the lush and intense Skinn Nox Femme that combines the richness of saffron with the contrast of dry amber and rose, the offering for women is edgy yet feminine. The Noura range, created by master perfumer Ermenidis has bottled ambrosial, floral and crips notes and promises elegant and sophisticated blends that exude timeless allure celebrating the art of

perfumery in all its glory. Crafted for the quintessential contemporary man, the intense and smoky Skinn Nox Homme combines the allure of smouldering Patchouli and Vanilla with the enigma of Saffron and Ambery Musk for a scent that screams elite. And for the intrepid adventurer, Escapade celebrates spontaneity and the nomadic spirit, crafted for the man who breathes life into every place he goes.

“We are excited to launch SKINN by Titan and share our mutual passion for fine fragrances Our motto, ‘Perfumes for all’, is a testament to our promise to have something for everyone. Regional consumers prefer fragrances that have staying power and strong scent, so we have taken this

into account when curating the offering,” says Titan International Business Head, Gaurav Midha.

Find SKINN at Kewalram showrooms across Bahrain or online at

lifestyle March 2024 33

Rendezvous at Tanatan

Ritz’s Valentines

Bilateral Relations /gallery 34 March 2024 bystander
Guraz and Burzana Wankadia hosted a get-together for their friends of the Parsi community in Bahrain. A sumptuous brunch buffet and Bollywood music was enjoyed by all at Tanatan Restaurant, Ramee Grand Hotel, Seef. Valentine’s Day Celebrations at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. An event was hosted by the Rotary Club of Salmaniya with Guest Speaker, Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of Belgium and CEO of Kikashi WLL, Martine Kindt, discussing bilateral relations between Belgium and Bahrain.
Bahraint /gallery March 2024 35 bystander
Movenpick’s Valentines Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Movenpick Bahrain.


Few cuisines can offer the sheer comfort of Italian cuisine.
Edwin D’Souza shares his mouth-watering culinary journey at Mondo, Taste of Italy.

Nestled within the sleek confines of the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Mondo promises a modern Italian experience. Intrigued by its contemporary take on classic Italian dishes, we embarked on a culinary adventure, prepared to be transported to the heart of Italy.

Our journey began with a symphony of vibrant starters. The Seasonal Salad was a refreshing medley of crisp greens, juicy tomatoes and a light balsamic vinaigrette, offering a refreshing start for the evening’s dining experience.

The Pomodoro Bruschetta was a classic executed with finesse, the toasted bread perfectly complementing the sweet and tangy tomato topping. For the meat lovers, the Carpaccio of Angus Beef was a decadent treat. The thinly sliced beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and was elevated with a drizzle of flavourful truffle oil. Our personal favourite was the Frittura del Golfo, a delightful combination of calamari, shrimp, and zucchini fritters, perfectly fried and seasoned to crispy perfection.

Moving on to the main course, the diversity of our selections truly showcased Mondo’s versatility. The Lamb Chops Scottadito was cooked to perfection and was absolutely tender and juicy. The sides including the fresh cherry tomatoes and thinly-sliced sweet potato added a balance of flavours making the dish a perfect representation of Italian cuisine.

It’s not an Italian feast without some pizza, so we were delighted to tuck into the Diavola Pizza which provided a spicy kick with its generous topping of pepperoni and chili flakes. The Margherita Pizza remained a timeless classic, boasting a perfectly blistered crust, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.

For seafood enthusiasts, the Lobster Ravioli offered decadent bites of lobster encased in pillowy pasta flavoured with rich saffron. This was generously covered with their special creamy sauce – mouthful bursting with umami richness.

No dining experience is complete without dessert, and Mondo didn’t disappoint. The Tiramisu was a classic rendition, the ladyfingers soaked in coffee and layered with creamy mascarpone, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness with a beautifully decorated plate. The Semifreddo al Limone provided a refreshing contrast; its light and airy lemon mousse made a delightful end to the meal.

The true showstopper, however, was the Rich Chocolate Soufflé, a masterpiece that rose majestically upon arrival. The warm, molten chocolate centre oozed out upon breaking the delicate crust, creating an indulgent chocolate experience paired perfectly with the accompanying vanilla ice cream.

Throughout the evening, the service was attentive and professional, the staff knowledgeable about the menu and offering recommendations that complemented our preferences. The ambiance too was elegant and contemporary.

Mondo delivers a modern Italian experience that caters to diverse palates. The menu offers classic dishes with a contemporary twist, the ingredients are fresh and of high quality, and the execution is flawless. If you’re looking for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist in a stylish setting, then Mondo is definitely worth a visit.

Scan to watch the video dining 36 March 2024 For reservations: +973 1753 1666 MEMORABLE RAMADAN EVENINGS ﺔﻴﻧﺎﻀﻣر تﺎﻴﺴﻣأ ﺔﻴﻧﺎﻀﻣر تﺎﻴﺴﻣأ ﻰﺴـﻨـﺗ ﻻ ﻰﺴـﻨـﺗ ﻻ
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Ramadan delicacies for Iftar

CSB Grand Opening

Canadian School Bahrain held a grand opening of its campus in Diyar Al Muharraq, in the presence of Minister of Education, HE Dr Mohammed bin Mubarak Juma. /gallery 38 March 2024 bystander

Celebrate the Spirit of Ramadan

Welcome to our annual Ramadan feature, a celebration of spirituality and cultural richness. As the holiest month in Islam, Ramadan symbolises a time of reflection, prayer and communal unity.

Delve into the traditions and significance that define Ramadan by immersing yourself in our comprehensive Ramadan dining listings guide, offering a tantalising array of culinary experiences to savour throughout the month.

Experience the magic of Arabian Nights at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain, where timeless traditions meet modern luxury, and indulge in a premium experience at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, tailored to enhance your Ramadan journey.

Join us on this extraordinary voyage as we embrace the spirit of generosity, gratitude and togetherness of this most special of months. We would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers Ramadan Kareem!

ramadan March 2024 39

Ramadan Bliss

The ultimate destination for Bahrain’s most memorable Iftar and Ghabga experiences, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, welcomes the holy month with its iconic Ramadan tent and exclusive offerings.

Elevated culinary offerings and a captivating Arabesque-inspired atmosphere await you this Ramadan at the iconic tent at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Immerse yourselves in the essence of the Holy Month with your family and friends and celebrate sharing and togetherness.

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay brings back the memorable, award-winning experience with a series of new delights and revamped details. The iconic tent constructs a majestic structure with a luxurious décor; geometric designs inspired by Islamic Art, high ceilings, spacious layout and elevated décor create the perfect atmosphere for breaking the fast.

“The Holy Month of Ramadan is a special time of year for our guests and staff,” comments the General Manager of the hotel, Jason Rodgers. “Every year we work to elevate Bahrain’s bestloved Ramadan experience to greater heights and I am excited about creating Ramadan memories for our guests to share with their loved ones” he adds.

Impressive Open Buffet with New Live Cooking Stations

An extravagant open buffet featuring live stations will await the guests at the Ramadan Tent. Diners will have the opportunity to savour local favourites from a dedicated

Bahraini cooking station offering Ouzi, Saj and Machboos. Lebanese Mezzes, Fatteh, Egyptian Koshari, Chicken Kabsa, Shawarma and Lamb Mansaf will be further authentic flavours at the buffet.

Aside from a wide range of international crowd-pleasers, the hotel has introduced new dishes this Ramadan including Octopus Takoyaki, Ramen Station, crispy Nachos and Tacos and Moroccan Tajine will be served at live stations. The dessert section will be the favourite of the guests with a sweet tooth with Bahraini Halwa, Kunafa, Ice Cream Teppanyaki, Turkish Delight, Baklava, Crepes, Souffle and more.

Premium Experience with Butler Service

Ramadan evenings will be further elevated with the Premium Experience tables featuring added services during Ghabga. “We designed the Premium Experience for our guests who want to enjoy a full table-waited service with Four Seasons Butler,” comments Executive Chef, Leonardo Di Clemente. His selected set menus showcasing the best of Arabic dishes will be served in elegant tableware at the premium experience tables. Guests may also choose additional items from the extensive buffet selection to be served at their table by their butler.

Unmatched Performances and Kids Entertainment

Live music and performances, courtesy of the members of the famous Opera House of Egypt, will add to the enchanting ambiance of the Ghabga. In addition, a special programme of activities for children, overseen by the experienced Four Seasons Kid’s Club team, will keep little ones entertained while adults dine and celebrate in style. The kids› buffet and dedicated children›s area will offer delicious food, and endless fun with games and activities. A special celebration for Kids at Gergaoon will also be available.

Ramadan Spa Escape

This Holy Month, the award-winning spa at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay offers an exclusive Ramadan Spa Escape. Wellness enthusiasts who want to take the time for a retreat can experience the ultimate relaxation during the holy month of Ramadan while enjoying a blissful 30 percent flat discount on all spa treatments. From Aromatherapy and Deep Tissue to Lava Shell and Balinese massage, all a la carte treatments are included in the offering.

For more information or make a dining reservation, kindly call 17 115-070 or email For spa reservations, kindly call 17 115-045.

ramadan 40 March 2024



As the sun sets, the iconic Four Seasons Ramadan Tent comes to life with an array of enticing aromas from our diverse live cooking stations and open bu et. Immerse yourself in the captivating Arabesque-inspired ambiance while the kids enjoy the activities and games during Iftar, and a live music performance during Ghabga.

Elevate your evening with the Premium Experience, bringing a full table-waited service with elegant tableware, a curated menu, and a dedicated Four Seasons Butler. Gather with your loved ones and revel in the essence of the Holy Month.

Special prices for groups of 30 and above are available.

Iftar: BHD 36 | Ghabga: BHD 39 | Premium Experience: BHD 55  (Given prices are net and per person)

Details and Reservations:

(973) 1711 5070 |

Discover the Future of fintech

The Chairman and Members of the Board of Directors of Zain Bahrain hosted the launch of its New Subsidiary Fintech Company BEDE.

Speed Business Networking /gallery 42 March 2024 bystander
A Speed Business Networking event was hosted by Steppingstone Global at the Downtown Rotana. 25th Anniversary Indian Community Relief Fund commemorated its 25th year of dedicated service to the community by hosting a series of activities at InterContinental Bahrain.


This Ramadan, experience the charm of starlit skies, charming music and delectable food at

ramadan March 2024 43



Every month, we present you with the finest dining options at Bahrain’s leading hotels and restaurants. This month, we bring you a very special dining feature which not only shares special offerings but the very best of Iftars and Ghabgas across the Kingdom for a truly memorable Ramadan.


The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain elevates the Ramadan experience at this year’s Masaya Pavilion by stc. Featuring an array of culinary delights, this year’s Ramadan celebration will include a live Croffle counter, Turkish Doner Lokum live carving station, Arabic Ouzi, German Doner Kebab, signature Moroccan Tajine, Bahraini Kebab, homemade Italian Pasta and Ravioli, as well as a Mexican Quesadilla and Burrito station, amongst many other Arabic and international specialties. Each offering has been curated to showcase the diverse flavours of local and international cuisine, creating a feast for the senses.

The Masaya Pavilion by stc, which is inspired by Morocco’s courtyard and souk, is meticulously designed to transport guests to a world of elegance and cultural richness, further enhancing the sense of warmth and togetherness during the Holy Month. The design features intricate tile work, plush seating adorned with colourful cushions, piles of exotic spices, ornate lanterns casting a warm glow, and a water feature for a more tranquil ambience. As guests gather in this convivial setting, they are invited to create lasting memories while savouring the flavours and traditions of Ramadan. Guests are welcome to join Iftar from sunset to 8pm at BD35 per head, and the Ghabga dinner from 9pm to 2am at BD38 per head. A special rate is available for groups of 30 and above. Children from four to 12 years dine with 50 percent savings, and children from three years and younger dine with hotel compliments.

Call 17 586-499 or email

Come together with your family and loved ones to celebrate the essence of Ramadan at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay’s iconic tent. Indulge in a spectacular spread of local and international cuisines curated by Executive Chef Leonardo Di Clemente and his team.

Explore a vibrant spread of scrumptious Bahraini fares like Lamb Ouzi, Machboos, and Halwa, in addition to Lebanese cooking stations offering Fattah, Egyptian Koshari, and a selection of Falafel, and Shawarma, to name a few. Try out the new live cooking stations including Japanese Ramen and Takoyaki, Moroccan Tajine, Mexican Nachos and more. Savour international must-eats from Peruvian Ceviche to Bao Buns, freshly made Pasta and Pizza, Sushi, and Dosas to Wok and Carvery treats. For a truly iconic touch and to elevate your experience, live entertainment will be available during Ghabga.

Enjoy this phenomenal Iftar for just BD36 per person, inclusive of still or sparkling water, soft drinks, chilled juices, Arabic coffee, and Moroccan tea. Children from ages six to 12 may enjoy this Iftar for BD19 while children below six years dine with hotel compliments.

The Ghabga is priced at BD39 per person, inclusive of Ramadan juices which are available in the buffet. Children from ages six to 12 may enjoy this Ghabga for BD20 for children 6-12 yrs old, while children below six years dine with hotel compliments. Savings are available for group bookings of 30 people and above, and the entire Ramadan Tent can be booked to cater to larger Iftar or Ghabga events. For group inquiries contact:

Call 17 115-070.

tablehopping 44 March 2024
Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Kareem


Make your Ramadan truly memorable this year by indulging in the traditional Ramadan delicacies for Iftar brought to you by the Bahraini Executive Chef at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel Bahrain Chef Younis. Tender ouzi, mouth-watering Arabic sweets, hot tea and qahwa, and more await you!

This experience is priced at BD 21 net per person and takes place daily from sunset to 8pm. Don’t miss out on a one-of-a-kind experience.

Call 17 531-666.


Experience the magic of Ramadan Nights at The K Tent, located at The K Hotel in Juffair! Bring your family and friends together and enjoy the enchanting surroundings, scrumptious Iftar and Ghabga buffets, live cooking stations, live entertainment, exciting raffle draws, and unforgettable moments as part of this special experience. Guests will be enchanted by a live oud player during the Iftar who will continue to play charming tunes during the Ghabga along with a singer. Indulge in the delicious Iftar for BD12+++ per person and the tempting Ghabga for BD10+++ per person. Ladies, don’t miss the special 50 percent discount on the Ghabga every Wednesday. The hotel also offers special corporate rates and group bookings.

The Iftar will take place from sunset to 8pm while the Ghabga will take place from 9pm to 2am.

Call 17 360-000 or WhatsApp 36 600-433.


This Ramadan, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay offers you a one-of-a-kind, curated experience at their Ramadan Tent. Elevate your Ramadan evenings with a Premium Experience featuring exclusive service and the opportunity to enjoy a full table of the best selections of mezze and mains, along with the option to choose additional items from the extensive buffet. The Premium Experience brings a full table-waited service with elegant tableware, curated set menus by Chef Leonardo Di Clemente, and a dedicated Four Seasons Butler for your ultimate comfort.

The experience is available daily from 9pm to 2am. The price depends on the set menu and starts at BD55 per person. Tables can be booked for a minimum of four guests. Prior booking is advised.

Call 17 115-070.


Indulge in a luxurious and genuinely opulent Ramadan experience at Downtown Rotana in Manama. Savour a delectable buffet amidst the warm ambiance of the traditional Al Maha Ramadan tent and majlis located on the eighth floor.

The Downtown Rotana Ramadan experience is known for its elegant atmosphere and phenomenal spread which includes traditional Ramadan beverages, Arabic and International cuisine, a wide array of mezza and salads, and countless desserts.

The Ghabga is served to groups of 20 to 50 people at flavours on 2 or by the pool. Mezze and bread are shared around the table, and the main course and dessert are served as a buffet for BD15. Reserve your table before March 19 and receive a special 50 percent discount. Call 33 605-070.

tablehopping March 2024 45

Ramadan Kareem


Step into the mystical world of Arabian Nights this Ramadan with enchanting award-winning Iftar and Ghabga buffets at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain in Muharraq. Indulge in a grand feast fit for royalty as you immerse yourself in the rich flavours and vibrant colours from both International and Arabian cuisines.

The Iftar is priced at BD21 net per person while the Ghabga with live oud entertainment is priced at BD19 net per person, with both offerings including Ramadan drinks. Early bird offers are available from the first week of Ramadan, with Iftar priced at just BD17 per person and Ghabga priced at just BD15 per person. As part of the early bird offer with 50 percent off for children aged six to 12, and children under six dine for free.

All guests can avail a 50 percent discount on the Ghabga every Monday, while women can enjoy a discount of 50 percent on the Ghabga every Wednesday.

The Iftar will take place from sunset to 8.30pm at Silk’s Restaurant. The Ghabga will take place from 9pm to 1am on weekdays and 9pm to 2am on weekends at the Pool Terrace.

Call or WhatsApp 33 640-032.


Break your fast in style at the Furn Bistro located at Westin City Centre Bahrain. Enjoy a delightful Iftar buffet featuring an array of traditional and international dishes, ranging from a vibrant selection of appetisers to some of the traditional Ramadan classics. Enjoy Iftar in a warm and inviting atmosphere with your family and friends, from sunset until 8.30pm for only BD18 net per person.

Call 17 171-000.


This Ramadan break your fast with a culinary adventure at the Regency tent located at Intercontinental Bahrain in Manama. A lavish buffet with live stations alongside traditional delicacies and international cuisine will entice you.

You can also indulge in a buffet of extravagant delicacies at InterContinental’s Ghabga. Satisfy your cravings with their culinary team’s creations. This blissful Iftar takes place from sunset until 8.30pm and is priced at BD22 net per person, BD10 for children from six to 12 years old and free for children younger than six years. This Ghabga takes place daily from 9.30pm to 1am and is priced at BD19 net per person, BD10 for children from six to 12 years of age and children below six dine for free.

Call 17 227-777.


Immerse yourself in Ramadan traditions at Baharat located on the ground floor of Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain. From a lavish Iftar buffet, Ghabga and live entertainment, Baharat will offer guests a glimpse into Ramadan traditions.

Don’t miss out on the Iftar that will take place every day from sunset to 8.30pm and is priced at BD21 net including Arabic juices, water, soft drinks and chilled juices. This Iftar is priced at BD10 net for kids ages six to 12 years and kids below six years dine for free.

Call 17 171-000.

tablehopping 46 March 2024
bystander Welcome Party A party was held to welcome back George Cherian to Lanterns Amwaj. Ramadan Kareem Ift r uffet BD 4.9 net BD 7.5 net G g BD 6 net BD 7.5 net 50% Off


The Ouzi Delight Bundle available daily at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain offers a delicious Ramadan feast featuring 3kgs of aromatic oriental rice, a 3kg lamb leg, creamy yoghurt, and rich gravy. This mouthwatering feast allows you to bring the spirit of Ramadan home and is an essential when entertaining.

Perfectly portioned for six to eight people, this feast celebrates tradition, taste, and togetherness. This bundle is priced at BD40 net. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance.

Call or WhatsApp 33 640-032.


You’re in for a treat at InterContinental Bahrain this Ramadan as the hotel has special discounts for ladies and gents.

Ladies, you can enjoy an unforgettable evening of sisterhood and celebrations at the Regency Tent. Delight in a lavish Iftar and Ghabga experience with an exclusive 50 percent discount every Monday with Iftar taking place from sunset until 8.30pm and Ghabga taking place from 9.30pm to 1am.

Gentlemen, you too can experience an extraordinary night of brotherhood and joy at the Regency Tent. Gents can revel in a sumptuous Ghabga feast from 9.30pm to 1am with a special 50 percent discount on Tuesday. Soothing melodies, as part of the live entertainment, will provide the perfect ambiance for each Iftar and Ghabga.

Children from six to 12 years dine for BD10 net while children below six years dine for free. Call 17 227-777.


This Ramadan, Ginger Restaurant at Majestic Arjaan by Rotana in Muharraq offers you a cosy environment to break your fast. Break your fast with an extravagant culinary experience and enjoy some fresh lugaimat and some Ramadan juices on the terrace while taking in the lovely weather.

The beautiful hotel offers diners a delicious buffet spread from sunset to 8.30pm for BD9.9.

Call or WhatsApp 39 012-231.


Explore the flavours of India and savour a delicious meal consisting of several dishes presented on a classic thali platter at La Med, located at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain. Every meal is a vibrant medley of mouthwatering dishes, such as fragrant rice dishes, soft tandoori meats, and aromatic curries, all served with a glass of cool Lassi. An excellent way to liven up your Iftar festivities. This Great Indian Experience is priced at BD24 per person including one Lassi and takes place from Tuesday to Sunday from sundown to 8pm. Call 17 586-704.


Experience the allure of Ramadan at La Med located at The RitzCarlton, Bahrain with their fine Mediterranean cuisine paired with authentic Indian fare. Savour a gastronomic adventure where flavours meld to create a dining experience that goes beyond everyday pleasures. This delicious a la carte experience is available on Tuesdays through Sundays from sundown to 11:30p.m. Call 17 586-704.

tablehopping 48 March 2024
Ramadan Kareem
Bahraint /gallery March 2024 49 bystander BIC Fan Village
F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand
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BIC Fan Village, the ultimate fan-engagement experience leading up to the
Prix 2024, held its opening ceremony at the Adliya Block 338.


Indulge in a Mezze Extravaganza experience to satisfy your cravings at Byblos, the quaint Lebanese restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Enjoy a mouthwatering spread that includes Savoury Kunafa, Pumpkin Moutabel, Tabbouleh, and more.

This mezze-licious experience is available until the first day of Ramadan from 6pm to 11.30pm and is priced at BD29 net for two people. Join in and start your Ramadan with a delicious spread.

Call 17 115-070.


Savour the rich, creamy flavour of Classic Cheesecake, which is sure to add even more special memories to this Ramadan. During the Holy Month, you can enjoy a truly delicious Cheesecake from The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain at the Lobby Lounge and the Ritz Gourmet Lounge and don’t miss out on this limited-time offer. That takes place every day from Sunset to 11:00pm and is priced at BD7. Call: 17 586-704.


Indulge in the finest Seafood experience this Ramadan at Bo.sabi located at Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Bahrain. Make your Ramadan evenings special by joining in for a pleasant evening with a calming atmosphere with live Entertainment and a set menu to pick from. This experience is available daily from 8pm to 12am.

Call 17 531-666.


Every Tuesday and Friday, Teatro at Downtown Rotana hosts a two-hour interactive dining adventure. Prepare yourself for an exciting 3D dining experience with Le Petit Chef. This is a unique experience on Bahrain’s dining scene which will have you smiling throughout. Delicious food, creativity and a little chef make it an experience you won’t soon forget.

Make a reservation and select your four-course meal, which starts at BD35 for adults and BD15 for children. This experience starts at 7pm so don’t miss out. Call 33 605-070. 50 March 2024
Ramadan Kareem
Bahraint /gallery March 2024 51 bystander Team Support An event was hosted in support of the national team of Bahrain and Japan with a lively atmosphere. IftharGhabga& Book a private Iftar or Ghabga at Swiss Bistro for a minimum of 15 Pax to enter the ra e draw & a chance to win Complimentary Stays and More! Terms and conditions apply. *

Start-up Valuations –A Tricky Space

Business Consultant Pria Masson talks about taking startups beyond being just an idea, and shares basic factors that you need to consider in order to succeed.

Have you ever had friends and family who have a startup approach you for funding, or have you been the one asking for funding? It can be an awkward conversation mainly because if a company is at a stage where they are approaching friends and family, they usually do not have volumes or numbers and often do not even have revenues.

So, whichever end of the discussion you are on, figuring out how to value an idea, a very early-stage startup or even one after two to three years of minimal or no revenue – you likely can use some help in understanding what to do. This month, I try to help. As always, a reminder that this is not advice, it just my way of operating. Please speak to or hire someone to discuss your specific situation. Let’s dive in.

Do ideas have value? Absolutely yes, however, only if certain other aspects are in place. The idea needs to be backed by some clear, credible plans, rationale for the business, some steps towards execution and more than some skin in the game invested. An idea without a clear plan, with no step towards execution and nothing to lose, that could be just fiction.

For instance, I once had a client who owned (almost) a pre-school, she had some fabulous plans, she also had some interesting informal tie-ups for frameworks and execution. She was very passionate that this could be the next best thing, however, yes that however again, she was waiting for someone to back her up. She had no skin in the game, and she was so convinced her idea was fantastic, she also wanted a large amount of money to transfer that idea to someone. I was under professional obligation to help her, and I knew what the investor would say, and they did – that it’s just an idea. Anyone can have an idea. Where is the plan, where is the market and where is the person who will execute this. She had no experience in the business, then what was he (the investor) betting on? That is the investor mindset in a nutshell – they usually bet on the founder and their abilities. Everything else, it’s nice to have. This piece is a no-go.

Why is it so critical to understand the founder?

Because the company will reflect the founder. That means when you invest in a startup, you invest in the founders. This encompasses their idea, their

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demonstrated ability to follow through, people management and even how they handle the hard questions. Ultimately, the biggest red flag is a founder who has unreal valuation expectations, needs too much money, doesn’t have an answer on challenges and expects you to trust them without a rationale for trust.

After the initial go on the founder, the next challenge is quantifying how much to invest, what the value is and to justify the investment. For these, there are several broad frameworks that get tweaked to attach numbers to factors that seem intangible. For instance, management strength – it’s not quantifiable. Or is it? What if various factors of a company in early stages had actual value attached to them. It is also not difficult to assume what revenues could be in best/worst realistic cases. To this we adjust the realities of the market in that industry with multiples and get a value. If, you assign a weight to each factor that goes into the success of a school such as quality of staff, facilities, curriculum, competition level etc. you will be able to create a matrix and have a total value. Is it scientific? Partly. Is it experience based and partly an art? Absolutely. Will it guarantee returns or success – no way. Yet, if you do this, there is a better chance that the basic factors that go in to succeeding, will

be captured so it’s an educated bet. And bets need luck. Luck however, favours those who have done the work.

Pria is an experienced business consultant who works as a business coach and advisor helping clients with their strategy, business plans and idea assessments. You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle @guide¬_my_idea.

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Leading FinTech and electronic financial transactions service company, BENEFIT, has announced that it had reached a total volume of 345.4 million for all electronic fund transfer transactions through BenefitPay in the year 2023. This signifies a 37 percent increase in transaction volume compared to the previous year.

The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) on all channels (Banks and BenefitPay channels), which includes Fawri, Fawri+, and Fawateer, witnessed substantial growth in 2023, as seen by a 14 percent increase in total value from BHD25.4 billion to BHD29 billion in 2023.

All Fawri+ transactions reached a volume of nearly 335 million, a 37 percent increase from the previous year, and BHD7.3 billion in value, a 19 percent increase from 2022. Notably, in January 2023 alone, there was a 49 percent increase in Fawri+ transactions over the BenefitPay application from the previous year.

Furthermore, a total volume of more than 12 million Fawri transactions were made in 2023, showing an increase of 13 percent, with their total value exceeding BHD20.7 billion for the year 2023, compared to over BHD18.4 billion for the year 2022, an increase of 13 percent.

A total volume of almost 13 million Fawateer transactions were conducted in 2023, an increase of seven percent. Their total value amounted to BHD989.2 million for the year 2023 compared to BHD928.7 million for the year 2022, an increase of percent.

Meanwhile, the National electronic KnowYour-Customer (eKYC) platform transactions recorded over 743,000 eKYC verifications in 2023 in comparison to over 424,000 verifications in 2022, showing a substantial increase of 75 percent. 54 March 2024


Gulf Air Group Holding has announced new appointments to the senior executive management team. Bringing a wealth of experience to their new roles are Captain Qasim Ismaeel who has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer succeeding Captain Suhail Ismaeel following his retirement, and Hanadi Alaali who has been appointed as Chief Customer Experience Officer.

Captain Qasim will lead the operational departments, including Flight Operations, Ground Operations, Safety and Emergency, as well as Crew Management. He has served Gulf Air for over 30 years, most recently as the Head of Flight Operations.

With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Hanadi, will be focusing on building customer comfort and satisfaction, driving continuous enhancements to customer service, and elevating the travel experiences of Gulf Air passengers. Furthermore, she will be managing Gulf Air’s loyalty programme, ‘Falcon Flyer’, leading a customer-centric approach, and maintaining the airline’s competitive capacity.



The Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) organised a meeting between banks and the Labour Fund ‘Tamkeen’ with the aim of acquainting banks with novel support initiatives for employment, career advancement and institutional assistance.

The meeting served as a platform to deliberate on strategies to streamline access to essential financing for startups and SMEs. The objective was to bolster their sustainability, expand operational scope, boost job creation, contribute to GDP and foster the overall development of the national economy. The discussions also encompassed potential avenues for collaboration between Bahraini banks and Tamkeen in the fields of economic, banking and developmental initiatives.

BAB CEO, Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, says: “The necessity of concerted efforts between Tamkeen and the banking sector, advocating for the formulation of an effective strategy that ensures ongoing support for institutions and reinforces the stability of the financial and economic sector in Bahrain. The support extended by banks plays a pivotal role in sustaining Tamkeen’s programmes, aligning with the objectives outlined in the Financial Services Development Sector Strategy 2022-2026. This strategy includes performance indicators that emphasise increasing the share of financing for SMEs.”

Within the meeting, Tamkeen presented an overview of its recently launched suite of programmes designed in response to evolving market dynamics and needs. These programmes aimed to fortify the growth of the national economy.

contributing to job creation and advancing economic development in the Arab region.

The primary objectives include expanding access to microfinance in various Arab countries, catering to a broader spectrum of individuals seeking microloans for startup initiatives, and

UAB Secretary-General, Dr. Wissam Fattouh, comments: “We are eager to leverage the extensive experience accumulated by Ebdaa over 12 years in this crucial field. This partnership offers us an opportunity to delve into the successful experience of the microfinance industry in Bahrain and

understand how it can significantly contribute to promoting financial inclusion and reaching diverse segments within various Arab societies.”

Ebdaa Microfinance Company in Bahrain CEO, Dr. Khaled Al-Ghazzawi, adds: “The commitment to activating the provisions outlined in the MoU, considering it a foundational cornerstone from which both parties can build and enhance our collaborative efforts. The focus will be on exchanging expertise, and best practices related to microfinance, particularly given the escalating demand for this form of financing.

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Ebdaa Bahrain Microfinance Company and the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) sign memorandum of understanding encompassing an executive programme to advance the microfinance sector across the Arab world.

TeachMeet Bahrain

Nadeen School hosted the first ever TeachMeet Bahrain at its new, state-of-art-campus in Dilmunia. Attendees represented universities, public/private schools and Early Years centres across Bahrain. The event was designed to positively impact the professional development, student learning and education across the entire country under the vision ‘To bring passionate Educators together for the benefit of all students.’

Breguet Boutique Opening

Bahrain Jewellery Centre hosted the opening of new boutique Breguet showcasing a fine selection of luxury watches.

Four Seasons’ Valentines

Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. /gallery 56 March 2024 bystander

I Love Sushi Exhibition

Well-known throughout the world as healthy, refined and visually pleasing food, sushi epitomizes washoku – Japanese cuisine, which UNESCO has inscribed on its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The exhibition held at the Art Centre, in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy and the Japan Foundation, uses sushi, one of Japan’s most recognisable symbols, to showcase its rich and unique food culture.

US Embassy Hip-Hop Ensemble Performance

The Public Affairs Section in U.S. Embassy Manama celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop art as part of the Bahrain Spring of Culture in collaboration with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.

Bahraint /gallery March 2024 57 bystander

CANVAS Colour Design /gallery 58 March 2024 bystander
Jotun introduced its latest edition of colours, CANVAS Colour Design, at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain.


In this feature, we explore a lineup of exceptional yet affordable rides, ranging from the sleek and powerful Audi SQ5 to the rugged versatility of the Suzuki Grand Vitara. But that’s not all – we’re also diving into the innovative design and performance of the Bestune T77, and venturing into the future with the eco-friendly marvel, the Kia EV9. But it’s not just about the cars; we’re putting them through their paces with in-depth test drives to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like behind the wheel. And as an exclusive treat, we sit down for a captivating interview with Jamal AlSayed, the dynamic General Manager of Mohamed Jalal & Sons, to gain insights into the driving force behind the company’s success. March 2024 59 deals on wheels

Exceptional Audi

In the realm of luxury SUVs, the iconic Audi SQ5 stands out as a formidable contender, blending performance, comfort and style with effortless grace. A beefier, six-cylinder version of the classic Q5, Kristian Harrison took it for a spin and discovered the characteristics that make the SQ5 a standout choice in its class.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt.

As I plonked myself in the driver’s seat of the Audi SQ5, I realised that this was a lie. Familiarity breeds comfort, I discovered, as I was immediately flooded with nostalgia and a sense of familiarity. This car isn’t just another vehicle to me; it’s a cherished memory, a trusted companion that was (and still is, albeit now trundling around the country roads of Europe) an integral part of my family.

See, the Audi Q5 was our family car in Bahrain for almost a decade before my parents left me to fend for myself and took the car with them. In fact, I did get to drive it again as recently as Christmas, so as you can imagine, I was super excited to try out its newer and more powerful version with the latest SQ5.

One of the defining features of the SQ5 is its ability to effortlessly blend comfort with performance. Slipping into the driver’s seat feels like a reunion with an old friend –familiar, comforting and instantly reassuring. The plush leather seats cradle you in luxury, while the ergonomic design ensures that every control and feature is within easy reach, just as I remember it. The gear stick is a little more futuristic and now has a push button for Park,

but everything else remains exactly where it should and needs to be.

It’s hard to describe how much of a relief it is for a modern vehicle to just plump for satisfying ergonomics, avoiding putting buttons and dials in funky places just to be different and including technology for technology’s sake.

While some cars strive to make a bold statement with avant-garde designs, the Audi SQ5 opts for a more timeless approach. Its sleek lines, understated elegance, and iconic grille exude sophistication without being ostentatious. It still turns heads on the road, a testament to its enduring appeal and timeless design language. Inside, the cabin is spacious, accommodating passengers and cargo with equal aplomb.

Underneath its refined exterior lies a beast waiting to be unleashed. The SQ5 boasts a potent engine that delivers exhilarating performance at the slightest tap of the accelerator. Whether navigating city streets or cruising along the highway, the SQ5’s responsive handling and agile dynamics instil confidence behind the wheel, whether you require all of its 349 horsepower or not.

The SQ5 has a suite of safety features, but one in particular I want to mention is the Adaptive Cruise Control and Assist, which is an upgrade that I never knew I needed. This allows you to not only set your speed, but the distance at which your car will speed up and slow down based on the cars in front. With how erratic Bahrain’s roads are, not having to constantly manually brake and reapply the cruise control was a blessing.

In conclusion, the Audi SQ5 isn’t just a car; it’s a repository of cherished memories and a wonderful upgrade on what is already a much beloved model. Not only is it a testament to the enduring power of familiarity, it’s a truly exceptional car.

The new Audi SQ5 is available now at a very special rate from the Behbehani Brothers Audi Centre in Sitra. 60 March 2024 deals on wheels
Scan to watch the video

A Suave SUV

The 2024 Grand Vitara proudly maintains Suzuki’s signature blend of ruggedness and refinement. Its exterior boasts a bold front grille flanked by sleek LED headlights, giving it a modern and assertive presence on the road. The sculpted lines and athletic stance hint at its off-road capabilities, while chrome accents add a touch of elegance. Despite its compact dimensions, the Grand Vitara exudes a sense of confidence and solidity.

Stepping inside the Grand Vitara, I was greeted by a roomy cabin that prioritises comfort and convenience. The seats are plush and supportive, providing ample comfort even on longer journeys. The dashboard layout is intuitive, with all controls within easy reach of the driver.

One of the highlights of the interior is the infotainment system, which features a responsive touchscreen interface and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation, entertainment and connectivity options are seamlessly integrated, enhancing the overall driving experience.

Under the bonnet, the 2024 Grand Vitara is powered by a 101bhp, four-cylinder engine which doesn’t pull up trees but is comfortable on the Kingdom’s busier roads when traffic is

In the competitive segment of SUVs, the Suzuki Grand Vitara has long been a contender, blending practicality with off-road prowess. Kristian Harrison took the latest 2024 hybrid model for a cruise around Bahrain and found out how this enduring favourite has big ambitions.

very stop-start. At speeds of under 40kmph, it runs on the battery for a very smooth and economical drive.

During my test drive through Bahrain’s diverse terrain, the Grand Vitara impressed with its composed handling and confident demeanour. The suspension strikes a fine balance between comfort and agility, smoothing out rough patches while maintaining precise control through corners. The optional all-wheel-drive system further enhances traction and stability, ensuring confidence-inspiring performance in all conditions.

True to its heritage, the Grand Vitara excels when the pavement ends. Its robust chassis, generous ground clearance and advanced offroad features make it a capable companion for outdoor adventures. Whether traversing rocky trails or forging through waterlogged sandy patches (a convenient obstacle granted by the recent downpours in Bahrain!), the Grand Vitara’s off-road prowess instils a sense of adventure and exploration.

Safety is paramount in the 2024 Grand Vitara, with a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies designed to keep occupants protected on the road. Features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist

and automatic emergency braking provide an extra layer of confidence, helping to prevent accidents before they occur.

Despite its capable performance and rugged capabilities, the Grand Vitara remains impressively fuel-efficient, thanks to its advanced engine technology and aerodynamic design. During my time behind the wheel, I found the fuel economy to be competitive within its class, making it an economical choice for daily commuting or extended road trips.

In conclusion, the Suzuki Grand Vitara 2024 proves to be a worthy contender in the SUV segment. With its blend of stylish design, comfortable interior, capable performance and advanced features, it offers a compelling package for drivers seeking versatility and adventure. If you’re in the market for an affordable SUV that doesn’t compromise on style or substance, the Grand Vitara is definitely worth considering.

For more information, check out the Mohammed Jalal & Sons Suzuki Showroom in Khamis or call 17 700-800.

deals on wheels 62 March 2024 Scan to watch the video
Ramadan kareem 2 Years Free Service 5 Years Warranty Free Registration Free Insurance Free Window Tinting Official Agent of Suzuki Mohammed Jalal & Sons Automotive Division Al Maameer: 17 707070, khamis: 17 700800 SuzukiBahrain


First impressions matter, and the EV9 nails it with its futuristic vibes. It exudes an aura of sophistication and modernity with its aerodynamic silhouette, accentuated by smooth curves and bold lines. As I approached the vehicle, the first thing I noticed is perhaps the car’s most revolutionary feature: cameras masquerading as wing mirrors. Genius! Not only do they make you feel like a spy, but they also give you a crystal-clear and wider view of everything around you. No longer do you have to roll down the windows and smear water, sand or other grime off if you want to see properly!

Admittedly, it takes a bit of getting used to and you have to look downwards more which takes your eyes further from the road ahead, but it soon felt perfectly normal. The digital rearview mirror (which you can flick back to the traditional mirror if you like) offers much more visibility.

The interior of the EV9, however, is like stepping into a cocoon of comfort. Plush seats, a panoramic sunroof letting in the Bahraini sunshine, and enough legroom to do a victory dance whenever you find a parking spot in one try (thanks, 360-degree camera view!). It’s luxury with a side of practicality, and I’m here for it.

In the heart of Bahrain’s bustling streets, Kristian Harrison had the privilege of experiencing the future of electric mobility with the revolutionary Kia EV9. From its sleek design to its cutting-edge features, he found out how this electric vehicle (EV) pushes the boundaries of innovation and sustainability, while delivering a thrilling driving experience.

Oh, not only that, but if said parking space is a bit of a tight squeeze (we all know how some people like to park in this country) then things get even more cool with Remote Smart Parking Assist. Park in front of the space, get out the car and then reverse it backwards in a straight line with the key. It’s simply mindblowing, and don’t worry about accidentally hitting the back of your garage wall, or even worse, any unaware children running around, as the motion sensors will ensure it stops on a dime.

The tech in this car was simply outstanding.

The EV9’s infotainment system is like having a personal assistant on board. Need directions to the nearest shawarma restaurant? Just ask. Want to blast your favourite tunes? Pick from extensive radio, Bluetooth and USB options. Want to send a text without lifting a finger?

The seamless smartphone integration has you sorted. If you still feel weirded out by the silence of an EV, there’s even Active Sound Design, for fake engine noises that are more spaceship than car, but is there for those who want it.

Now, onto the real purpose of a car: driving.

The EV9 isn’t just smooth – it’s freshly-made hummus smooth. Electric power means instant torque, so you’ll be zipping through

traffic with ease. 429BHP, 700Nm of torque, 0-100kmph in 5.3 seconds and a battery range of almost 500 miles on full charge… what more could you want?

There’s no compromise on safety either. The EV9 has your back (and your sides and your front) with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors, parking collision avoidance assist and much more.

In the end, the Kia EV9 isn’t just a car – it’s a ticket to adventure. Whether you’re navigating through the busy streets or hitting the open road, this futuristic ride paves the way for a more sustainable future.

Scan to watch the video deals on wheels 64 March 2024


Affordability and luxury is the key marriage for many car buyers, and Bahrain might just have the perfect answer with the Bestune T77. Kristian Harrison took it out for a spin and checked out how this sophisticated motoring marvel redefines value in the automotive market.

As I slipped behind the wheel of this sleek machine, I couldn’t help but marvel at its striking design and formidable presence. With a heart full of curiosity and a foot eager to press the pedal, I set out to explore the Kingdom’s highways, all while putting the Bestune T77 through its paces.

First impressions matter, they say, and the T77 certainly knows how to make a lasting one. Its bold exterior commands attention, with sculpted lines and a confident stance that exude modernity. As I navigated through the bustling streets of Manama, the T77 effortlessly navigated the tighter, twisty roads and the heavy traffic with a smoothness and comfort that quelled any of the usual irritation. It’s not often you find such style and sophistication at an affordable price point, but the T77 delivers in spades.

Comfort starts in the cabin. Soft-touch materials and premium finishes enveloped me, while ergonomic design elements ensured every control was within easy reach. The T77 may come at a modest price, but its interior felt anything but budget. From the intuitive

infotainment system to the plush seating, every detail seemed thoughtfully crafted to enhance the driving experience.

But enough about looks, let’s talk performance. Beneath the T77’s sleek exterior lies a spirited engine that eagerly responds to the slightest prod of the accelerator. Whether I was merging onto the highway or navigating tight city streets, the T77’s smooth power delivery and nimble handling made every journey a joy. And with Bahrain’s notoriously unpredictable traffic, the T77’s responsive brakes and intuitive safety features gave me peace of mind, knowing I was always in control.

Of course, no review would be complete without mentioning the T77’s impressive array of features. From advanced driver assistance systems to cutting-edge connectivity options, the T77 punches well above its weight when it comes to technology. I particularly appreciated the seamless integration of Apple CarPlay, which allowed me to stay connected and entertained on the go without ever taking my eyes off the road.

As I cruised along, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the Bestune T77. In a world where luxury often comes with a hefty price tag, here was a car that offered premium features without breaking the bank. It may not have the pedigree of some of its more established rivals, but what the T77 lacks in brand recognition, it more than makes up for in value for money.

In conclusion, the Bestune T77 doesn’t have to be the flashiest car on the road when it is this compelling. With its striking design, spirited performance and generous array of features, the T77 proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a premium driving experience. So if you’re in the market for a new set of wheels that offers both style and substance, do yourself a favour and give the Bestune T77 a test drive. You won’t be disappointed.

For more information, check out the Al Haddad International Motors Bestune showrooms in Tubli and Sitra, or call 17 899-899.

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deals on wheels
Bahraint /gallery March 2024 67 bystander
Opening of Palma Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain held an opening event for its exquisite culinary gem, Palma Restaurant.



In the exhilarating world of motorsports, where speed is paramount and determination is key, two young race drivers stand out with their remarkable journeys and aspirations. Kristian Harrison spoke with both Luca Houghton and Tye Mejia about their passion for racing that fuels their dreams of reaching the pinnacle of motorsport.

For Luca Houghton, racing isn’t just a passion – it’s a way of life. Born and raised in Bahrain by Dutch and Australian parents, Luca’s love affair with motorsports began at the tender age of eight when he first stepped into a kart. Inspired by his hero, the legendary Lewis Hamilton, Luca was determined to follow in his idol’s footsteps and become one of the greatest racing drivers of all time.

Despite facing enormous challenges, the most serious of which was being diagnosed with Perthes disease, a condition which causes severe hip and pelvic pain, Luca’s determination only grew stronger. Racing under a Bahraini licence, he swiftly rose through the ranks of karting, clinching championships in Bahrain and the UAE with his undeniable talent and unwavering dedication. His breakout moment came when he secured his first European race win in the IAME GK4 championship in 2019/2020, marking the beginning of a promising international career.

With each victory and milestone, Luca’s ambition soared higher. From competing in the FIA European Championship to showcasing his skills on the world stage at the Rotax Grand Finals and finishing fourth, Luca has consistently proven himself as a force to be reckoned with. His short-term goals are to be a European then world champion in karting, but in the long run he wants to be a Formula One driver. You can follow Luca’s racing career on Instagram @lucakane_14

In the karting world, Tye Mejia shines as a beacon of talent and determination. Introduced to karting at the age of seven by his grandfather, Tye was instantly captivated by the thrill of racing. Born in Bahrain and both a British and American national, Tye’s unwavering appetite for the sport drives him forward to success.

For Tye, every moment on the track is a testament to his love for racing and he feels constantly inspired by the feeling of driving. His fondest memory to date is the World Finals last December, where he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s top drivers. Doing so well as a team, including making the final, his performance was the motivation he needed to believe in himself and his push for greatness. With his father as his hero and mentor, Tye draws inspiration from his family’s unwavering support as he sets his sights on conquering the Bahrain Championship and beyond, including the World Finals in Naples in October. His long-term goal is to be involved in racing at the highest level.

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Fasten your seatbelts because we’re about to take a deep dive into the world of Suzuki in Bahrain. Mohammed Jalal & Sons General Manager, Jamal Al Sayed, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Being a keen observer of the automotive landscape in Bahrain, he shares his valuable insights on everything from consumer preferences to future trends with Edwin D’Souza.

How is customer behaviour changing in terms of car preferences and buying habits?

And how is Mohammed Jalal & Sons adapting to these changes?

The pandemic has significantly impacted consumer buying behaviour, particularly in the passenger car segment. As people continue to hesitate with public transport, buying behaviour has changed significantly. This has led to the growth of automobiles, with new models emerging. Customers now seek fuelefficient and budget vehicles, aligning with the company’s offerings. We offer hybrid vehicles at reasonable prices, ensuring customers can choose the right vehicle for their needs.

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities you see for Suzuki in the Bahraini market in the next two to three years?

We plan to open our first Exclusive SUZUKI Service Centre in the GCC region. Our project of opening different showrooms in various parts of the country is also on the table. Soon, you will see multiple changes in the Suzuki Dealership. We are witnessing tremendous hike in the sales of our vehicles compared to

past few years which is noticeable on road. Furthermore, we will soon open opportunities for various job positions for Bahrainis. We recently launched the new five-door Jimny and will be launching other new models as well. How are you building and strengthening brand loyalty among your customers?

Mohammed Jalal and Sons WLL is one of the oldest distributors in Bahrain. We maintain a great customer relationship by making them feel significant and treating the customers with utmost respect and listening to all their requirements. In addition, we try to solve customer issues professionally and quickly. This helps customers feel valued, listened to, and respected. It’s all about taking a holistic, omnichannel approach to feedback.

What is your long-term vision and subsequential goals for the dealership? How do you see Mohammed Jalal & Sons contributing to the future of the Bahraini automotive industry?

Our goals are to increase revenue and sales, stay profitable, improve the functions of the Suzuki Showroom and Service Centers, and grow our customer base.

What is your leadership style, and how do you motivate your team to achieve success?

I am a dedicated and supportive leader who values effective communication and teamwork. I always take constructive feedback from my team and promote a healthy work environment. In addition, I make sure to be empathetic and treat the team like family, and I’m always open to help and provide support when needed. I see myself less of a General Manager and more as a family member to the team.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career as the General Manager of Mohammed Jalal & Sons?

I have been treated like a part of the whole family of Mohammed Jalal since joining the company. I emphasise on the importance of knowledge, patience, and learning to empower individuals and support high-performing teams. I also strive to stay updated on market trends and the importance of consistency in leadership. I have learned from all these past years that being consistent is the key to effective leadership.

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It seems like it was just yesterday that the smell of burning rubber and the roar of turbocharged engines last assaulted our senses as the 2023 Formula 1 season came to a close. The winter break seems to have zoomed by quicker than Max Verstappen last year, and the season is already kicking off with the 20th anniversary of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Kristian Harrison gives his thoughts and predictions for the season ahead.

One cannot discuss the prospects of the 2024 Formula 1 season without acknowledging the formidable presence of Max Verstappen. The Dutch maestro’s imperious display in 2023 catapulted him to unprecedented heights of dominance, rewriting the record books with unparalleled prowess. With an astounding 19 victories out of 22 races and a trifecta of championship titles under his belt, Verstappen stands as the undisputed favourite to clinch yet another crown in 2024. Despite the prospect of fiercer competition on the horizon, Verstappen’s relentless drive for excellence and Red Bull’s unwavering commitment to success position them as formidable adversaries. While replicating the sheer magnitude of his achievements from the previous season might prove challenging, Verstappen’s sheer talent and determination make him a formidable force to reckon with on the grid.

In tandem with Verstappen’s brilliance, Red Bull Racing emerges as the frontrunner for the constructors’ championship in 2024. The team’s meticulous approach to car development, evident from their early initiatives dating back to July 2023, underscores their unwavering

commitment to maintaining their competitive edge. With Verstappen spearheading their charge, Red Bull’s dominance in the constructors’ arena appears virtually unassailable. The staggering performance differentials witnessed in the previous season, coupled with the continuity in driver lineup, bode well for their prospects of securing yet another constructors’ title.

Of course, the biggest story in the world of F1 is Lewis Hamilton’s decision to move to Ferrari in 2025. Almost everyone thought he would retire at the team where he has won six of his seven World Championships, but the iconic allure of the famous red team proved too much even for him.

As he prepares for one final hurrah with his Mercedes team, can he get back to winning ways? A championship tilt seems highly unlikely in the wake of Red Bull’s domination, but there were signs in 2023 that Mercedes had got their car development back on track.

Amidst the absence of rookies on the grid in 2024, eyes turn towards the prospect of seasoned campaigners making their mark as surprise stars of the season. In this regard, I’m going for Alex Albon as

my compelling candidate poised to upset the established order. The Thai-British driver’s commendable performances in 2023, characterised by stellar defensive drives and notable point-scoring finishes, showcase his latent potential. Teaming up with Williams, Albon’s prowess behind the wheel coupled with the team’s quest for improvement could pave the way for podium aspirations, injecting an element of unpredictability into the season. Amidst the tapestry of uncertainties and

conjectures that define the Formula 1 landscape, one bold prediction emerges as a beacon of anticipation – Lando Norris finally triumphing on the grand stage. The McLaren prodigy’s meteoric rise through the ranks, punctuated by commendable podium finishes, near misses and establishing himself as the fan favourite leaves that elusive win as a final target.

Amidst the unpredictability and fervour that permeate the world of motorsport, one constant remains – the unwavering passion and fervent anticipation that unite fans and drivers alike in the timeless pursuit of speed, glory and triumph. It should be a good one, and hopefully a little more competitive this time.

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Aston Martin is proud to introduce the new Vantage. The quintessential Aston Martin sports car and the most driver focused and fastest Vantage in the famous nameplate’s 74year history.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Amedeo Felisa, says: “Class-leading power and speed establish Vantage’s credentials, but it is through expert application of the latest technologies to the Vantage’s perfectly balanced front-engine rear-drive chassis that we have created a sports car with addictive capability. Together with

assertive styling, all-new interior and state-ofthe-art infotainment, Vantage is world-class in every respect”.

Powered by a heavily reworked, hand-built 4.0 Twin-Turbo V8 engine the new Vantage is the fastest in the nameplate’s history. With peaks of 665PS and a colossal 800Nm of torque it also makes the biggest-ever jump in power and torque compared to the model it succeeds, those increases of 155PS and 115Nm equating to gains of 30 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission


this is enough to propel the two-seater sports car to a top speed of 202mph and punch it from a standstill to 60mph in just 3.4sec. Standing start acceleration has also been perfected with the introduction of a new Launch Control system. The Vantage’s highly evolved aluminium structure, perfect 50:50 weight distribution and state-of-the-art suspension provide the foundation for a definitive driving experience. Production of the Vantage is due to commence in Q1 of 2024, with first deliveries scheduled to begin during Q2 2024.

Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company (BCFC) has announced the appointment of Mohsen Kassem as Chief Executive Officer of Groupowned Automotive Companies, the leading distributors of Honda, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Haval, GAC, Tank, Tasheelat Car Leasing Company and other brands.

Board Member of Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company and Chairman of the Automotive Companies, Reyadh Yusuf Sater, extended a warm welcome to Mr. Kassem as he assumes the role, and conveyed his unwavering confidence in Mr. Kassem’s leadership capabilities to drive growth, facilitate expansion, increase market share, and fulfill the aspirations of customers.

Mr. Kassem states: “Aligned with the strategic directives set forth by the Board of Directors, we are poised to channel our efforts towards bolstering the market position of our automotive companies, fostering innovation through robust support for cutting-edge products and services.”

With over 24 years of extensive experience, Mr. Kassem boasts a distinguished track record in the automotive sector. His career has been marked by successful tenures in leadership roles at prominent companies, including General Motors and Nissan. Notably, he has demonstrated his expertise in navigating the dynamic automotive landscape, with a focus on the Gulf and Middle East markets.

motoring news 72 March 2024


RAM celebrates a model which made the brand’s history - the current RAM 1500 TRX through an exclusive version produced for enthusiasts who desire to own a lasting memory of it. The production of this model concluded at the end of 2023, and so the brand produced a special edition: the 2024 RAM 1500 TRX 6.2L Supercharged V8Final Edition.

With only 4,000 units available globally, 340 of them will be available for customers in the Middle East. The model offers unmatched customisation options and is available in eight exterior colours, including three new and unique ones – Delmonico Red, Night Edge Blue and Harvest Sunrise.

Kia Middle East and Africa has announced the official launch of the all-new Kia K3 during an event in Jeddah. Following its recent debut at the Riyadh Motor Show 2023, this innovative sedan is set to address the evolving needs of customers in emerging markets across the MEA region. With the K3, Kia has tapped into the demands of buyers within the sedan C segment and fleet companies seeking allrounded functional vehicles that deliver on tech, and design and safety. The K3 is also equipped with safety features, providing front and rear end protection.

Head of Kia Next Design Europe, Chief

Designer, Hongseok Choi comments: “The all-new K3’s striking exteriors harmonize with meticulously designed interiors featuring a central resolution touchscreen and two-zone touch climate control, setting a benchmark for comfort and connectivity.” The car’s interiors ensure advanced connectivity and utmost passenger comfort with its central resolution touchscreen, two-zone touch climate control, rear air vents, among other features. Its exteriors play on a bold and futuristic appearance that maintains a high-tech character for adopting bold lines and shapes, while maintaining the traditional tiger nose grille.


Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA FZE (DCV MENA) has announced the appointment of Michael Dietz as the new President and CEO, effective April 1, 2024. Mr. Dietz succeeds Kay-Wolf Ahlden, who retired from Daimler Truck on December 31.

“This is a dynamic and diverse region with great potential for growth and innovation. I really look forward working with our highly experienced team and our strong General Distributor partners to drive and deliver the industry-leading product- and services portfolio to our esteemed customers in the markets,” says Mr. Dietz.

Throughout his career, Michael has held various leadership positions in both markets and headquarters. He has previously led the MercedesBenz Special Trucks division and served as the Global Head of Marketing Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Since January 2020, Michael served as President and Group CEO at the Regional Centre Southern Africa, where he played a pivotal role in the establishment of the DTSA Group of Companies and the development of the Daimler Truck Campus, including the new headquarters in Pretoria.

This edition is powered by a highperformance 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine, rated at 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, delivering a top speed of 118 mph also for extended driving sessions without degradation in performance. Combined with a high-torque-capacity TorqueFlite eightspeed automatic transmission, the Ram TRX delivers an enhanced level of performance: 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph.

Ultra-premium content designed for the model includes a center console badge showcasing the build number. Additional standard equipment and safety features truly make this a memorable final edition.

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Ritz Career Open Day

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, in collaboration with Tamkeen, held a Career Open Day for Bahrainis, attracting an impressive turnout of over 300 attendees. The Open Day provided a unique platform for aspiring individuals in Bahrain to explore exciting opportunities within the dynamic hospitality industry. Participants had the opportunity to engage with the hotel’s division leaders, gain valuable insights into various career paths, and network with key representatives from The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain and Tamkeen.

Matrix Anniversary

A grand ceremony was held to mark the opening and first anniversary of The Matrix Arcade Centre at Juffair Mall, in the presence of the Minister of Commerce and Industry, HE Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro. /gallery 74 March 2024 bystander

Linking Cognitive Skills with Well-Being

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Bahrain Ice Hockey

Bahraint /gallery March 2024 75 bystander
Brainy Nation Bahrain hosted a coffee morning to discover how improved cognitive skills can enhance your mood, help you manage stress effectively and increase brainpower for a better and happier life. Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) organising committee hosted the RYLA 2024 closing ceremony, with the support of the Capital Governorate, partnering up with the University of Technology of Bahrain and the Britus International School. The Bahrain Ice Hockey Club hosted a gathering at the Funland Ice Rink.

Mike Epps Ready to Sell Out

Mike Epps, known for his wit and observational humour, delivers a special on infidelity, discussing office dynamics, competitive relationships and tension between professional boundaries and emotional connections. The show features tales of questionable hygiene habits, comedic misadventures and the elusive ‘work husband.’


Rest and relaxation is an essential part of life – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Here are our film and series recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

A Round of Applause

A Round of Applause is a Turkish drama that follows a man grappling with existential angst and longing for his past life in an orange. The show features Turkish actors in the star cast, showcasing the man’s journey through his quirky life and his search for his family.


Road House

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Hot Wheels Let’s Race

Everyone was a fan of these amazing hard iron toys back in the day and now after spending our childhood with these toys, Mattel is bringing them to Netflix with a new series with action-packed car racing and a storyline for you to be hooked onto. Strap in your seatbelts and get ready for this bumpy ride.

Road House is an action film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and, stealing the limelight with his first villain role, two division UFC Champion Conor McGregor. The movie is directed by Doug Liman, from a screenplay by Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry and is a reimagining of the 1989 film of the same name. In the film, a former UFC middleweight fighter (McGregor) ends up working at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys where things are not as they seem.

Get ready for the next epic clash of titans! Godzilla and Kong return in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire this month. Godzilla and Kong must put aside their differences to face a colossal, undiscovered enemy that threatens both their species and humanity. The film delves further into the mysteries of this subterranean world, exploring its ancient history and connection to the surface. Adam Wingard directs, with Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens reprising their roles from the previous film. DOWNTIME | tv releases 76 March 2024


The young actress who made her breakthrough in the famous sci-fi series Stranger Things is now set to take the screen and show off her skills as a young actor in Damsel. Millie Bobby Brown headlines this new fantasy movie where she plays a damsel who decides to take fate into her own hands with a fire-breathing dragon hunting her down.


Madu chronicles the 12-year-old Anthony Madu’s journey from his Nigerian home and community to one of the world’s most esteemed ballet schools in England. Anthony, who has never left Lagos, is thrown into a completely new world where his greatest ambitions appear to be achievable. His inspirational journey is a tale of remarkable setbacks along the way as he looks for acceptance and a sense of belonging, a distant family, and unforeseen difficulties that could affect his future. A boy pursuing an inspiring dream that will speak to all of us.


This series highlights strong female leaders from all over the world and emphasises their selflessness, tenacity, friendship and love. For the first time, the natural world is seen through a female perspective in this series, which is directed by the distinguished actress Angela Bassett. Under the direction of a female-led production team, the seven-part series uses state-of-the-art technology to shed light on how women gain power in the natural world – often by cooperation and wisdom rather than force.


The second season of Invincibles, which is based on the groundbreaking comic book written by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, centres on Mark Grayson, an 18-yearold who is average in every way except for the fact that his father is (or was) the world’s most powerful superhero. Reeling from Nolan’s betrayal in Season 1, Mark battles his deepest fear – that he might unintentionally become his father –while trying to rebuild his life in the face of numerous new threats.

Red Queen

The television adaptation of Juan GómezJurado’s first book, Reina Roja, Loba Negro, Rey Blanco, features Vicky Luengo and Hovik Keuchkerian in leading roles. The show follows Antonia Scott, the ‘Red Queen’ of a covert police operation, following the kidnapping and murder of a wealthy woman’s daughter and a tycoon’s son. The show, set in Madrid, explores the relationship between the characters and the urgency of the investigation. March 2024 77
DOWNTIME | tv releases


Coming Home

Released to coincide with his showstopping halftime performance at Super Bowl LVIII, Usher is striving to remain relevant while recognising his status as a legacy act. His first true studio album in eight years, Coming Home is long and pieced together. None of the collaborators, a mix of longtime partners and new associates, is on more than a handful of the 20 tracks. It starts at what sounds like a closing chapter of a love story: hard-fought resolution of romantic perseverance through slick dance-pop. The album hits its stride with a sequence of slow jams demonstrating that Usher is still at the top of his game as a singer.

The Paranoid Style The Interrogator



Iconic punk rockers back close to their best.

What’s the story?

The band’s 14th album, Saviors was recorded in London, England, and Los Angeles, California. The album constitutes “a look at the way the traditional American Dream doesn’t work for a lot of people” but hurts them instead.

Worth a listen?

After a few albums in the wilderness, Green Day are truly back by going back to what they know works: heavy, hooky power pop given crunch and weight by Rob Cavallo, the producer who helped beef up their sound 30 years prior on their majorlabel debut Dookie Saviors follows the same rough blueprint as its forefather – garagey rockers are countered by exuberant melodies and wistful ballads – but the trio is smart enough to not attempt to mimic either the snottiness or their frenetic rhythms here. Green Day sound exactly like what they are: rock & roll lifers settling into middle age, irritated by some shifts in culture but still finding sustenance in the music they’ve loved for decades. Saviors sounds cleaner, stronger, and purposeful, all due to the still-sharp pop instincts of Bille Joe Armstrong.

After forming in 2012, the Paranoid Style set a raw, tuneful, playfully disgruntled tone for their articulate, reference-filled takes on art, politics and society right from the get-go. Meanwhile, stylistically, the band have wrangled garage punk, classic indie pop, early rock & roll riffs, glam influences and more, and fourth album The Interrogator is no different on all the above counts. Led by singer and main songwriter Elizabeth Nelson and her spouse, Timothy Bracy, the project has welcomed numerous support rockers into the lineup over the years. The Interrogator is definitive Paranoid Style and, as such, sure to be a boon for fans as well as an excellent test case for the uninitiated.

Sonic Youth

Walls Have Ears

Sonic Youth’s best live albums shed light on their mood and creative process at the time of recording, and Walls Have Ears is no exception. Gathering recordings from their second tour of the U.K. in 1985, the album reveals them as a band on the verge of a breakthrough. Despite its thorny history, this is an exhilarating portrait of the band’s shift from their no wave beginnings to the more complex and melodic style that defined their later work. Having your mind and eardrums blown at any of these shows would have been amazing, but witnessing Sonic Youth reclaim this part of their history with an official, cleaned-up version of Walls Have Ears comes close. 78 March 2024 DOWNTIME | music



The reimagining goes from strength to strength. RATING:


Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix. It is a sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the second in a planned trilogy of games remaking the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII. Like its predecessor, the gameplay combines real-time action with strategic and role-playing elements. Set immediately after Remake’s events, players control mercenary Cloud Strife and a party of characters principally comprising the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, who embark on a journey across the Planet to prevent the megacorporation Shinra from exploiting its life essence, the Lifestream, as an energy source, and defeat former elite SOLDIER Sephiroth, who seeks to unite with the Planet to achieve greater power.


Rebirth expands on the hybrid of action-focused melee combat and the Active-Time Battle (ATB) system introduced in Final Fantasy VII Remake, in which the player takes control of a party composed of characters that can be freely switched between during gameplay. During combat, characters use both physical attacks and magic, and can consume items for offensive, defensive and resuscitative purposes from a dedicated menu while gameplay is suspended around them.


The game features real-time exploration, with the overworld expanding into a more open-ended environment compared to the linear progression of Remake’s Midgar. Objective markers appear in the heads-up display, highlighting main story quests and side quests to complete along with their respective distances from the party in the overworld. There are numerous environments, from grasslands to arid deserts and lush coastal towns.


Tomb Raider I–III Remastered is a collection of remasters of the first three games in the Tomb Raider series: Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider II, and Tomb Raider III. Each game features archaeologistadventurer Lara Croft as she travels through a series of ancient ruins and tombs in search of ancient artefacts, and is presented from a thirdperson perspective. The collection will include new features across all three games, such as options to choose between enhanced and original graphics and classic and modern control schemes, as well as camera lock-on, health bars for boss battles, photo mode, and over 200 trophies.


In this updated version of a modern classic, guide two brothers on an epic fairy tale filled with discovery, loss, adventure and mystery. With their father suffering from a deadly illness, two brothers must bravely set out to find the ‘Water of Life,’ the one cure that can save him. With no option for failure the brothers must rely on each other using their individual skills to protect one another and overcome the obstacles ahead in this unforgettable journey.


Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is an action-adventure game developed by Rocksteady Studios set in the Arkhamverse. Set a few months after Batman: Arkham Knight, players can pick from one of four antihero characters including Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot and King Shark, as they attempt to stop Brainiac and the currently brainwashed Justice League.

DOWNTIME | games March 2024 79


Progress is right at your fingertips this month with these fantastic apps that will have you learning, meditating and keeping yourself organised.



LingoDeer is a fantastic language-learning tool with a strong Asian-language focus (though it includes a few major European languages, too). The app’s courses are multilingual, so if you wish to learn Japanese as a German speaker, this is the app for you. That said, LingoDeer is also quite challenging, as it features specific, high-level terminology and detailed grammatical explanations. Nonetheless, it is a superb resource, and the developer is constantly improving the app based on community feedback.


Elevate offers training in writing, listening, speaking, reading and maths. You can set your goals, and after you’ve completed some engaging exercises, it graphically shows your performance in each of these categories. Go ahead and make yourself smarter!

Notion aims to be your personal and team productivity hub, allowing users to create custom private or shared workspaces. From there, you add versatile ‘blocks’ that can act like text snippets, bookmarks, images, toggle links, files, code snippets, discussion sections and more to truly customise your workplace


There are other components to wellness than huffing and puffing on the jogging track or in the gym. Relieving stress is high on the list, and meditation can aid in that goal. Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditations that can reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness. 80 March 2024

Nifty gadgets are just a quick browse away with Edwin D’Souza’s recommendations.


Perfect for MacBooks, the SK Hynix Beetle X31 portable SSD is a small and quick data transfer device. It’s the perfect accessory because of its elegant design and affordable cost. A double version costs USD20 more than the 512 GB version, which costs USD70. Because of its sturdy construction and small size, the Beetle X31 is perfect for tech pouches, backpacks, and jacket pockets. Large image and video files can be transferred quickly thanks to its outstanding performance. Along with USB cables and a protective case, the retail box comes with a three-year warranty.

Available at


The DJI Air 2S is a powerful drone designed for aerial photography and videography enthusiasts. It boasts a 1-inch sensor that captures high-resolution photos and 5.4K video footage and supports advanced flight features like obstacle avoidance and intelligent tracking. The Air 2S excels in both performance and image quality.

Available at


With the help of Satechi’s multiport USB-C adapter, notebooks with USB-C ports can now use older accessories. It has an HDMI input, a gigabit ethernet port, two USB-A ports, two USB-C connectors for charging and fast data transfers, and a VGA port. A microSD and full SD card reader are also included. Two USB-C cables are included with the adapter, one of which is conveniently integrated into a compartment. The adapter is regarded as the best MacBook USB-C hub and comes in space grey and black colours.

Available at


The mixed reality headset Apple Vision Pro, which debuted in February 2024, enables users to multitask with apps in their physical environment. It includes a new App Store with ground-breaking mixed reality apps, as well as over a million iOS and iPadOS apps that have been optimised for the 3D interface. The lightweight, cosy gadget uses an M2 chip and an R1 chip for lag-free experiences, and it has removable headbands and an adjustable Light Seal for a perfect fit.

Available at March 2024 81 DOWNTIME | gadgets
Educational Institutions The British School of Bahrain 29 Financial Institutions The Benefit Company 15 Hotels & Serviced Residences Downtown Rotana 4 InterContinental Bahrain 17 Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort & Spa IFC Movenpick Hotel Bahrain 43 Ramee Grand 53 Swiss-Belresidences Juffair 51 The Art Hotel & Resort Amwaj Islands 21 The Diplomat Radisson Blu 37 The Four Seasons Hotel 41 The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa 13 Jewellery & Watches Bahrain Jewellery Centre (Graff) BC Kewalram & Sons (Titan) 33 Motoring A.A. Bin Hindi (KIA Motors) 11 Al Haddad Motors (Mercedes) IBC Al Haddad Vehicle Rental & Leasing (Bestune) 67 Behbehani Brothers (Audi) 61 Behbehani Brothers (Porsche) 3 Fakhro Motors Company 69 International Motor Trading Agency (Mazda) 35 Mohd Jalal & Sons (Suzuki) 63 Others Abdulrahman Khalil Almoayyed Group (JOTUN) 7 Bahrain Jazz Fest 65 Big Brain Concept 53 Kulsha Site Management 26,27 Restaurants & Cafes Maki 49 The Lanterns Restaurant & Lounge 47 Scan the QR code for more information from the advertisers bahrainthismonth /gallery 82 March 2024 bystander K Hotel’s Valentines Valentine’s Day Celebrations at the K Hotel.
MODA MALL: 1752 2021
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