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Transit passenger tours
Shop and fun time
Where have all the tailors gone? EMPLOYMENT
Demand for professionals TECHNO
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UAE Digest, June 2010 l 1
6 DSS â€“ Mall spending time with free entertainment to enjoy
Dubai sightseeing tours for airport transit passengers
Demand for highly-qualified international professionals
Third dimension on the tube
Tailoring memories and current snipping and stitching trends
Watch the magic of World Cup soccer in 3D at home and in clubs
2 l UAE Digest, June 2010
Four more warships for UAE navy being constructed
bu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), shipbuilder and naval support services provider in the Arabian Gulf region, has commenced the next phase of its Baynunah Corvette Class constructions for the UAE Navy. The prime contractor has moved the second vessel from the assembly hall where it will pass through its final systems outfitting in preparation for its launching sometime later this year, where it will go through an intensive acceptance trials prior to the final delivery to the UAE Navy. The First Of Class has already been launched in mid 2009. Four more corvettes are currently progressing construction in ADSB premises and the final delivery of all six Baynunah Class Corvettes is expected to be completed by 2014.
“We are a few steps away from unveiling the second vessel under the Baynunah initiative. This latest phase advances what will be another important milestone for ADSB, UAE Navy and the Emirates,” said homaid Al Shemmari, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ship Building.
Think twice campaign Dubai Municipality has launched a campaign on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) called ‘Think twice before buying souvenirs’which aims to educate the public and traders not to buy or sell any samples of endangered species - in order to preserve wildlife. The campaign will last the whole year to cover all schools, universities, organisations, shopping malls and souqs.
The municipality’s role is to regulate and control international trade in wild animals and plants threatened with extinction based on the Federal law No.11 for the year 2002 to regulate and control international trade in wild flora and fauna at risk of extinction. The civic body catches violators, checks stores that sell birds and ornamental fish and pets, inspects souvenir and gift shops in the shopping malls and souqs, monitors events associated with the activities of DSF and DSS among others, creating awareness and knowledge on the importance of preserving endangered wildlife and non-acquisition of its products. The Municipality also supports international organisations concerned in this regard, in addition to confiscating stray animals or those that are badly kept, and deliver them to the Dubai Zoo. In the case of any irregularities relating to this matter the public can call the toll-free number of the Municipality: 800 900.
The future of rail in the Middle East Rail and transit forms of transportation are not new to the Middle East, however current and planned investments exceeding $100 billion over the next ten years will ensure the region is one of the global transporation hotspots over the next 15 years. This is the view of Dr Arash Aghdam, AEUAE Digest, June 2010 l 3
COM’s recently appointed Director of Rail and Transit in the Middle East. Dr Aghdam was involved in a number of key forums at last month’s Middle East Rail conference that included a panel discussing guidelines for success in delivering end to end project development and management; a regulation and policy think-tank discussing strategies to fast track a shift to public transport, and a panel session debating whether the Middle East and North Africa’s existing and future railway lines should be privatised. Dr Aghdam added that transportation development will involve freight and minerals as well as passenger rail services that include metro, LRT and high speed intercity rail.
Natural gas as a fuel of choice The competitiveness of natural gas is improving as new opportunities for production open up and contract terms improve. With the recent economic crisis there have been sharp falls in gas and power sales volumes, falls primarily driven by the faltering global economy and gas’ peculiar pricing structure. The prices for gas’ main rival fuels, such as coal, are tied to liquid global markets and prices are responsive to supply and demand fundamentals. By contrast, gas prices are not tied to a liquid global market but calculated according to formulas relating to the price of oil, without reference to the gas market’s supply and demand fundamentals. Hence, through the global economic crisis contractual gas prices remained high, linked to oil prices, while the prices of competing fuels, particularly coal, dropped considerably. Gas price competitiveness against other fuels weakened considerably as a result. “The unconventional gas potential of other major consumers such as Europe, China and India, are now beginning to be considered,” says Badr Jafar, Executive Director of the Crescent Petroleum Group. “With this has come a re-evaluation of natural gas, now that it appears to be much more plentiful and producible at much lower costs than previously thought.” 4 l UAE Digest, June 2010
The big breakthrough has been the realisation by the oil and gas industry in the last few years that huge volumes of gas can be produced from underground ‘shale’ formations around the world for only modest capital outlays and with limited running costs. Badr Jafar Accessing this cheap, abundant, ‘unconventional’ gas was first achieved in the US earlier this decade but only now are people’s perceptions of what is possible beginning to change. In the Gulf region major gas producers and exporters, such as Qatar, have had to consider supplying markets closer to home as the option to sell to big foreign gas markets have closed. The recently confirmed contract between Qatar and Dubai to supply the emirate with 0.65 million tonnes of LNG gas each year from later this year exemplifies this trend.
Supplying medium voltage power system to Khalifa Port Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), master developer and regulator of ports and industrial zones in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has announced that it has awarded a major procurement and construction contract in excess of Dh300 million ($81 + million) to Larsen & Toubro for its flagship project at Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Taweelah. The contract involves the design, construction, testing and com-
missioning of the electrical medium voltage (MV) power supply via a 33 kV power cable network and three 33kV / 11kV primary distribution substations, which will provide the main power supply for the entire phaseIA of Khalifa Port. It also involves the construction of civil buildings with utilities such as air conditioning, fire protection and lighting systems. Work is due to begin immediately and is scheduled for completion by May 2012.
Celebrating with a new Director Rufus Leonard has spent the past 20 years helping shape many of the UK’s leading brands off- and on-line. Now they are marking their anniversary year by developing their own brand and appointing a new Director of Technology, Peter Barker, who has been with the company for over 12 years and has headed up their technology team for seven years. “Peter has been instrumental in developing the technology solutions capability and is the driving force in this rapidly expanding area”, said Neil Svensen, founder and CEO. “Technology is evolving and being adopted at extreme speed. Consumers are empowered as they have never been before to broadcast their opinions instantly. So the fundamental rules of engagement have changed. In response to this our clients have had to change the way they operate, brand and digital areas of organisations are having now to work much closer together to deliver integrated communications. This company is helping its clients such as Lloyds Banking Group and British Gas in the UK, along with Aldar and African + Eastern in the UAE, make sense of this new world.” Signifying this marked attitudinal change and to celebrate their 20th anniversary Rufus Leonard have rebranded. The rebrand includes refreshed internal and external decor, website and digital communications. Social media and online PR also play a big part in their communications mix, harnessing the power of video, blogs and microblogs.
Capital Club celebrates growing success
he Capital Club Dubai, A premier private business club, celebrated its second birthday in April amidst excellent results in the face of the economic downturn, and with an exciting programme to come, according to its CEO, Russell Matcham. While (from left to right) Christopher Forbes, Russell Matcham and Michael Vertu was the signature Adamopoulos sponsor of the celebratory event, Emirates Airlines, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, presidents or founders; 686 CEOs, MDs or partners; 298 directors or regional Art Marine, YourSingapore.com, MMI, directors; 97 COOs, CFOs or CMOs; and Habanos, The Oyster Box, Summer Lodge, Classic Fine Foods, Fresh Express, Hotel several ambassadors and consul generals.” d’Angleterre and The Milestone Hotel all Which is probably why Lord Charles Falconer, former UK Lord Chancellor lent their support. and first Secretary of State for Justice, and The Club is an exclusive private business current Senior Counsel at international law club, with membership by invitation only, firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; was offering its members exceptional meeting, well received in early May when he spoke networking and entertaining opportuniabout the, then, forthcoming British electies. Since its launch, it has built an elite and tion including commenting on potential influential membership, reflecting the interimpact on policy change in the Middle East national and cultural diversity of the region. Lord Falconer spent 25 years as a comThe membership roster includes many of the mercial barrister and also held a number of leading business leaders of the region. ministerial posts in Tony Blair’s governAs it celebrates the two years since its ment, giving him a tremendous working launch, Matcham is bullish about the club’s knowledge of British politics. It was clear future. “What we have built here – in only from Lord Falconer’s comments that this a very short time – is a forum for business, was to be the most uncertain election in political and diplomatic heavyweights and decision-makers of the region to discreetly recent history. However the good news meet. Of course 2009 was a difficult year, is that he saw no real change in policy but we still managed to enroll 403 members towards the Middle East and particuand to increase the initiation fees for full larly Dubai. While each party has its own members. I think this is a true testament policies on the economy, trade and foreign to how the Club is appreciated and valued relations, it is clear that all are intent on by the members. To date, we have built a honouring existing relations. membership list that includes 21 Sheikhs, The following week saw the Club host ministers or governors; 358 chairmen, a panel discussion by promising Emirati
filmmakers on the eve of the Arab Media Forum. Moderated by social commentator Mishaal Al Gergawi, the trialogue between the participating filmmakers - Ali F Mostafa, Nayla Al Khaja and Nawaf Al Janahi - offered a fantastic opportunity to learn about the collective experiences of these avant garde filmmakers. During the event, they discussed challenging issues such as censorship, marketing, funding, distribution and the acute need to nurture local talent – all integral elements that could turn a nascent industry into a vibrant one. Mostafa is the Director of City of Life, which recently opened in cinemas to wide acclaim, and the success of his film is regarded by many as pivotal to the development of the industry. Outspoken campaigner Al Khaja has also made her mark with the short film Arabana, while actor and film director Al Janahi received the award for the Most Promising Emirati Filmmaker at the Dubai International Film Festival 2009 for his Arabic film, The Circle.
VP of Forbes Inc. joins Capital Club Christopher ‘Kip’ Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes, Inc., has accepted an invitation to join the Capital Club Dubai, which was extended to him at a recent reception attended by a number of CEOs and Chairmen of UAE companies. This membership will give Mr Forbes access to the two currently up and running Capital Clubs – Dubai and Bahrain – as well as any other locations opened in the future. An invitation was also extended to Michael Adamopoulos, Head of Forbes’ Asia Desk, who will also be joining the Club.
UAE Digest, June 2010 l 5
Spending holiday with free entertainments By Linda Benbow
aving spent many summers in this country, I am looking forward to another hectic time in the heat with its shopping, socialising and sweating. The first two s-words are enjoyed in air conditioned malls and rows of cool shops in the
older parts of town with plastic curtains keeping the hot air out of their premises. The last s-word is enjoyed - yes, I said “enjoyed”- around hotel pools, at spas and eating out al fresco style in the balmy evenings. 17 June sees the start of the annual Dubai Summer Surprises held throughout the town for visitors and residents to enjoy. It will officially end, with a big display of fireworks, on 7 August. Second only to the frenzied bargainhunting of the Dubai Shopping Festival in 6 l UAE Digest, June 2010
spring, Dubai Summer Surprises is an event which encourages visitors to shop, save and celebrate during nine weeks of entertainment. Just don’t forget your credit card! During the festival, also known as DSS, Dubai’s vast malls get together to offer major reductions across a wide range of goods. The pull is irresistible; over seven million shoppers flash their cash at this event. Live shows, children activities, rafles, competitions and courses keep the whole family happy while the shopaholics shop, and hotels offer a variety of discounted packages for those who want to make a holiday out of it. Since the first DSS in 1998, summers in Dubai have never been mundane and DSS gives families and visitors something exciting to look forward to year after year. Dubai’s sun drenched beaches and golden sand dunes mingle with an infrastructure par excellence to give travellers a once-ina-lifetime holiday experience of shopping, entertainment, winning and lifestyle, in addition to Modhesh World – the region’s biggest indoor edutainment venue for children, named after the popular cartoon character Modhesh. Tranquillity garden at Park Hyatt Dubai
What is Dubai summer surprises 2010 all about? Exploring Dubai is so much fun during the summer. The region’s best shopping deals, world-class family entertainment, giveaways worth millions of dirhams, and a choice of the Middle East’s finest spas await visitors. Around 50 luxury malls put out the best shopping promotions for shoppers while hosting entertainment shows throughout the summer. These include highly-acclaimed international shows, concerts, and exhibitions. What’s more, every shopper is rewarded for shopping with an opportunity to win prizes and giveaways. To top it all, visitors can choose from numerous spas to avail discounted rates for various health and wellness treatments. Over 30 spas have confirmed their participation by lowering prices and offering special treatments. Amara at Park hyatt Dubai is one of these offering a magnificent tribute to the ancient Moorish palaces, the white exterior and royal blue domes offer a welcoming entrance into Amara, a private and secluded spa where exotic rituals have been created to stimulate the senses, soothe and rejuvenate. The Spirit of the Summer is a 45 minutes session featuring an outdoor rain shower in your private terraced garden, a foot and hand rose petal bath, a 45-minute luxury body massage with soothing massage oils, a detoxifying fruit mocktail from the “healthy Living at hyatt” menu served poolside or in the Amara lounge, and full-day use of the 25-metre swimming pool with four whirlpools, fragranced steam room, lounges, and gymnasium.
Breathe the forest in your car Sharp’s new air purifier – equipped with plasmacluster ion technology – helps eliminate harmful viruses, odour and allergen
harp Middle East has launched a unique air purifier for cars in the GCC region equipped with its own plasmacluster ion technology, which helps improve air quality by removing harmful airborne viruses, cigarette and pet odour, and allergen. The exclusive new product is the latest in a range of products launched by Sharp equipped with this technology, in which positive and negative ions are released into the air simultaneously. These ions are the same found in abundance in nature, such as forests, mountains and fields. The new product recreates the natural process that purifies the air in the earth’s atmosphere. The purifier -- which fits neatly into a car cup holder -- is designed to release high-density of the ions following the car’s interior airflow. It can be charged by a cigarette lighter, and is available in the UAE for Dh999. Announcing the launch of the new product, Fumio Yamaguchi, the Managing Director of Sharp Middle East, said: “Sharp is delighted to introduce yet another world-class product. Our mission is to contribute to the well-being of society by providing products with plasmacluster ion technology, which can help improve air quality in homes and, now in vehicles. In this region, many people suffer from allergies and asthma due to poor indoor air quality. We believe that the new technology -- which has proven effective against mite allergens (the major trigger for allergic asthma) -- will be one of the best solutions for them. The purifier will also contribute towards a healthy driving
experience”. Since 2000, Sharp has been working closely with academic research organisations around the world -- including Retroscreen Virology Ltd, a world authority in virology -- in developing and assessing the benefits of plasmacluster ion technology. It has successfully demonstrated that the technology can reduce the activity of 29 different harmful airborne microbes, including the h1N1 influenza virus. Manu Mahdi, General Manager of Sharp Middle East, said: “Sharp’s plasmacluster ion technology is a one-of-a-kind technology in which the positive and negative ions generated are the same kind of ions which leave users feeling like they
are breathing forest fresh air even when inside or in indoor spaces. The technology has been developed in line with international safety standards, making it an ideal solution for home users and motorists”. Sharp has a wide range of air purifiers suitable for rooms ranging from 20 to 48 square meters, as well as high density plasmacluster ion generators for household and commercial applications. These include air purifiers, ion-generators, air conditioners and refrigerators. Plasmacluster ion technology is also adopted in other industries, including vehicles and elevators. The total sales of products equipped with Sharp’s plasmacluster ion technology has reached 20 million units worldwide. UAE Digest, June 2010 l 7
They came, they saw, they did business By Linda Benbow
on the other. Set to open this month, Kempinski will have its first hotel in Cairo, Egypt to showcase how understated and cool luxury can be, introducing the art of simple things done beautifully. Kempinski Nile hotel will be the first boutique hotel in Cairo offering things that have not been offered in this vibrant city before. This hotel will replace an old hotel on the river banks in one of Cairo’s most strategic downtown spots. “We offer a remarkable journey and create new traditions.” says the hotel’s General Manager Axel Ludwig on how he plans to bring Kempinki’s vision to Cairo. “It’s not overloaded, but is understated and sleek, functional, beautiful, cosy and charming. With a philosophy of borrowing from the richest aspects of local culture, 500 different paintings and 250 sculptures have been selected from local artists to be placed throughout the hotel “art is one of the key values of the experiences.” The lobby is a chocolate lounge, offering a respite from the city with a little bit of indulgence. “Chocolate makes people happy and there’s so much positive energy with it too.”
his year’s ATM, Arabian Travel Market, was a bustling sight to behold. After the so-so attendance at exhibitions and similar events this year, it was good to see so many bodies walking around the newly expanded conference halls and rooms at DWTC, Dubai World Trade Centre. Many countries set up their stands and put on colourful shows to attract both businessmen and the public. There were not so many give-aways as we have grown accustomed to, and not a lot of brochures and pamphlets to pick up; but that just gave folks a chance to look intently at what was on offer, ask questions, marvel at the cultural dances and ceremonies, and do business. With people in general being careful with their cash and looking for as much as they can get for their money, it seems that short break holidays are about to become more popular – with as many extras as possible included in the initial payment price, i.e. rooms, car hire, meals, spa treatment, round of golf, etc being favourite add-ons to flights. big bus tours and Dubai international airport have linked up to provide an innovative new service designed specifically
for transit passengers coming through the airport. These passengers do not have the opportunity to see the real Dubai and are often restricted to staying within the airport premises due to a lack of structured alternatives. Launching this summer, Big Bus Tours will start operating regular scheduled sightseeing tours that depart from, and return to Dubai Airport. These two hour tours are designed to provide passengers with the opportunity to see something of the city whilst they are here with the goal of encouraging them to return at a later date to spend more time, either on vacation or for business. oman launched several new hospitality offerings, including the new Swiss-Bel hotel Resort at Masirah Island which is 15 kilometres off Oman’s east coast; an island famous for its sandy beaches and as a nesting place for a number of turtle species. The 5-star Salalah Marriott Resort is set on the southern shores of the Arabian Gulf and serves as the first phase of the Mirbat Beach project. Located in Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, Six Senses hideaway Zighy Bay offers traditional village style (luxury) accommodation with the mountain range on one side and 1.6 kilometres of sandy beach
(left to right) Eman Al Suwaidi, Head of Retail Services, Dubai International Airport and Chris Crompton, General Manager, Big Bus Tours UAE sign a contract to operate bus tours of Dubai for transit passengers
The interior design of the 191-room boutique style Kempinski Nile Hotel was done by world renowned French architect Pierre Yves Rochon
8 l UAE Digest, June 2010
flydubai commenced low-cost flights to Lucknow last month
ndia decided to be different and wanted to tell about what they call ‘health tourism’, whereby a medical procedure can be followed by convalescence, with or without the family, in this country which is absolutely packed with history, striking scenery, animal life, tastes and helpful people. Medical tourism is a growing sector in this country, its advantages include reduced costs, the availability of latest medical
technologies and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that most people speak English here. Most estimates claim treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in USA and UK. The most popular treatments sought are alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass,
eye surgery and hip replacement. The country is known in particular for heart surgery, hip resurfacing and other areas of advanced medicine. The natural beauty of India fuels rapid recovery and there are organisations that make it all happen for you, contact :info@ indiameditourism.com”. They have tie ups with major hospitals and medical institutions.
Indian Consul General Sanjay Verma visited each exhibitor at the India Pavilion; 28 tour operators/ travel agents and three state governments were represented
(from left to right) Umesh Kalra, Ministry of Tourism; C. Gangadhar, Assistant Director, India Tourism and Wilson Sudhakar, Regional Director, India Tourism explained the methodology of health tourism
UAE Digest, Juney 2010 l 9
The business of selling During the past year, many retailers closed amid the global economic recession, and survivors count themselves among the fortunate. Yet survival does not guarantee much
he economic environment remains tough, and even if sustainable growth returns to key markets in the coming months, retailers are not assured success. In fact, if the theme of 2009 was ‘survival at all costs’, the theme for 2010 will be ‘who wins next?’ Over the year to come retailers can either pursue strategies that help them build a lead over the competition, or stay locked in on actions that permit them merely to hang on until this slowdown claims them. In 2010, global management consulting firm Booz & Company, see a winning strategy with three elements: • Develop ‘customer ownership’ tactics with active programmes aimed at deepening knowledge of consumer behaviours and segments. • Create a seamless customer experience in moving between the online and bricksand-mortar formats to bring new dimensions to the entire store brand. • Move beyond The prolonged global economic recession trapped retailers in a downward spiral of cost pressures, loss of pricing power, and falling demand. During the previous decade, retailers in all categories had launched major
expansion programmes, with rising leverage predicated on growing profitability. Then, in 2008 and 2009, retailers had to take a sharp turn away from expansion as consumers cut spending and grew cautious amid the collapse of the housing and credit markets, massive job losses, and the sudden need to pay down debt and rebuild cash savings. The industry witnessed a wave of store closings and bankruptcies. Last year’s holiday shopping season was the worst in the past 10 years and retailers resorted to dramatic markdowns to clear out inventories. Those strategies, combined with consumers’ unwillingness to spend, destroyed pricing power across the industry. A modest rebound is now under way although consumers still remain wary. Job losses continue, and easy access to consumer credit has been shut off. As retailers move beyond survival and cash-conservation mode, they should focus on strategic investments in their defining strengths: processes, products, knowledge, capabilities, or some other advantage. With its convenience, security, range of offerings, and built-in ability to deliver price comparisons, the online channel has
Soboho, Dubai Marina Mall, prides itself on rarely repeat ordering even a fast moving item and so once an item sells out, it will rarely be replenished, being replaced by newer fare. The shop is always mixing it up so that regular customers get a different experience at the store every time
10 l UAE Digest, June 2010
accelerated during the economic slowdown, even as bricks-and-mortar locations have watched sales decline. Customers’ flight to online vendors is putting pressure on all retailers to develop strategies to integrate their traditional and online channels so they can support and drive sales to one another. For consumers, the walls between online and offline are crumbling. For retailers, the benefits of having an online presence include far greater knowledge of customers, more awareness of consumer preferences, and an ability to drive sales through online-only discounts and broader assortment without accompanying bricksand-mortar infrastructure. Given Booz & Co’s view that 2010 will be another challenging year for retailers, they believe that retailers who make efficiency a habit will not only emerge stronger more swiftly, but will hold an advantage longer. Low demand from customers has prompted US luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue to replace its store at The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence with a discount outlet store selling products from the previous season’s collection, discounted at up to 60 per cent. Inspired by the flagship store in USA, Bloomingdale’s Dubai is a split contemporary store with splashes of decorative elements throughout both sides from the signature black and white checkerboard floors in crystallized marble to the hand blown glass chandeliers in Lingerie & Swimwear and the fountain at the heart of the Home store. The home store is where the first international Magnolia Bakery sells its renowned cupcakes.
Budge to the budget While Dubai’s retail sector shall soon see the world’s most expensive chocolate, the brand has cleverly included a budget range to cater to the most important consumer in these times – the common man By Manju Ramanan
he mood’s upbeat as far as the Dubai retail sector goes. And, according to a new Jones Lang Lasalle report, there is a shift away from luxury brands towards competitive pricing, creative marketing programmes, convenience shopping and value for money. From the retailer’s point of view, retail rent prices have gone down and as the report states the offer of more flexible lease terms and rent free periods will continue throughout 2010 and 2011 as Dubai’s shopping sector realigns to retain value. It is also stated that the Mirdif City Centre, which opened last month, would be the last super centre to be built for at least three years. JLL added that the trend is likely to result in the repositioning of both existing and new retail centres away from the previous focus on luxury brands towards value merchandising. The report predicted that some ‘obsolescent or underperforming’ malls may be redeveloped or even in some cases converted to other uses as owners seek to realign these properties to retain value. The report comes as Dubai retailers and mall owners reported a typical decline of at least 20 per cent in retail sales in 2009 although anecdotal evidence suggests that sales are now starting to recover with increased footfall and turnover reported by some retailers during this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce reported that total retail spending in the emirate is expected to increase by around four per cent in 2010 and by more than eight per cent next year. With financing difficult to achieve for new mall developments and some sectors of the market approaching saturation, several proposed future malls are likely to be delayed, the JLL report said, adding that no
new super regional centres were expected before the completion of the first phase of the Mall of Arabia in 2013. JLL said that the reduction in the delivery of new retail malls will give the market the necessary breathing space to absorb the high levels of supply experienced in recent years. however, striking a note of difference, reminding people of the old ways of splurging and spending is Chocopologie, which sells “La Madeline Au Truffe” for $2,600 a pound, and who plans to open two outlets in the Emirates this year, confirmed Yassine Benali, the General Manager of Saveur, which has the franchise rights for the brand. Affording shoppers will soon be able to buy the world’s most expensive chocolate truffle, at $250 (Dh920) each. These cafe boutiques are the first Chocopologie outlets other than its flagship in South Norwalk, Connecticut. Benali stumbled upon the brand, the retail arm of Knipschildt Chocolatier which makes famed chocolate creations, three years ago while searching for the most expensive chocolates in the world to give as a gift. “Whoever ate the chocolate were always talking about it and wanted more, so we thought, ‘ we should bring it to the UAE’,” Benali said. “Dubai is known for extravagant things, from real estate, to cars.
There is an extravagant mentality and people are always looking for the best.” The two-inch truffles start with a ganache from 71 per cent Ecuadorean dark chocolate mixed with Italian truffle oil and fresh cream which has been infused with vanilla pods for 24 hours. This ganache is wrapped around a French Périgord dark truffle mushroom, dipped in chocolate, and then rolled in cocoa powder. These indulgent concoctions and other chocolates sold in the UAE will continue to be made by hand at the Knipschildt chocolatier in Connecticut, and flown overseas, said Fritz Knipschildt, the company’s Maître Chocolatier and founder of the brand. “Some companies pick up a concept, then find a manufacturer in that country, and it’s never going to be the same,” he said.” It’s not going to happen with our brand. The truffles will be wrapped in the same gold bag in a silk lined box, but will have one touch of the Emirates: it will be sitting on a bed of pearls,” said Benali. Only 89 have been sold since Knipschildt started making La Madeline two years ago, but he expects this number to get a boost with its outlets in the UAE. But for those living a life less extravagant, Chocopologie will also sell chocolates for as low as Dh100 a kilo and the cafe food prices will be on par with other similar chains, stated Benali. however, they plan to have ‘five-star’ customer service, such as having staff tracking patrons’ preferences. “We will have the same prices as if you are going to Shakespeare and Co,” he said. “People are watching expenses more than three or four years ago, but we will have the same prices with a much better experience.” The first outlet is expected to open in Dubai Festival City in July and in Abu Dhabi’s Paragon Mall in the first quarter of 2011. UAE Digest, June 2010 l 11
An iconic world
Icons are commodified to increase sales of products and to bring in a touch of heroic quality to the item on sale. Do companies doing this draw the line between the man and the product? Or reinvent the icon out-of-context, depending on what the market demands? By Manju Ramanan
here are well-known people, the very famous ones, and a few who cross the line to become world icons. Today, a star’s publicity company might market him to popularity but not everyone becomes a phenomenon – iconised the world over, not just in the country of their birth or fame, many years after they are gone, in different countries across the globe. The few who trudge this path see themselves commodified too which is accepted (albeit blindly too), revered, and at times rejected – if the commodity sold doesn’t stand up to the icon’s persona. The recent-in-the-news: Mahatma Gandhi’s limited edition of the Mont Blanc pen has been one such case. While the family, including Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi (who admits that he’d never buy the pen because it is unaffordable to him and who says that his great grandfather might have been amused at the whole thing), doesn’t find anything new in the commodification of Gandhi, which has happened 12 l UAE Digest, June 2010
earlier too - there are some Gandhi loyalists who have reacted to the issue. What’s more, they brought about a ban on the selling of the limited edition pen in India following which India’s Supreme Court on May 3 accepted the luxury giant’s assurance that it would stop selling the pens after the Solicitor General issued a notification that the name or image of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, could not be used for commercial purposes. According to the original plan, just 241 commemorative fountain pens were to be sold — signifying the number of miles Gandhi walked in his famous 1930 ‘salt march’, a mass protest against salt taxes levied by the British that dealt an early blow to their control over the subcontinent. The pens are handmade, adorned with Gandhi’s signature and a saffron-coloured opal. They come with a 26-foot golden thread that can be wound around the pen to invoke the spindle Gandhi used to weave plain cotton cloth each day. The pens also come with a commemorative booklet of inspiring
Gandhi quotes. As reported by India’s Mint newspaper, when a writer looked at the image of Gandhi, bamboo staff in hand, which is engraved in the pen’s rhodium-plated nib and asked: “Where, really, was Gandhi in all this?” Oliver Goessler, Montblanc’s Regional Director for India, Africa and the Middle East, stated the answer is: Everywhere. “Whatever brings Gandhi and his ideas back to mind can only be good,” he said from hamburg, Germany. While the pen is still available in Dubai, the issue opens up the debate between the world of popular culture fuelled by commodification and the purist’s way that perceives a leader like a sacred icon , not to be misrepresented or used out of context than his/her philosophy. But there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, the iconic visage of Che Guevara is popularised, mass-produced and accepted widely and one of the commonest icons that you see around, long after the revolutionary man passed away. his face adorns T-shirts, key chains and many
other commodities worn by many people across the world. The commodification of Che, who is a popular icon, is far removed from the Marxist revolutionary context he advocated, though, it caters to the people – a sector he appealed to the most, then and now, years after his death. Che Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat, military theorist, and according to Wikipedia, ‘a major figure of the Cuban Revolution’ has been revered the world over. More so, after his stylised visage was mass-produced in popular culture as an ubiquitous countercultural symbol and global insignia. The photograph that became so popular was ironically shot at a memorial service for victims of the La Coubre explosion by photographer Alberto Corda during March 5, 1960, in Havana, Cuba. Of course the colourful world of celluloid has created many an icon – and some animal icons too like King Kong, Godzilla or several Disney characters that are rolled into popular cultures with the world of toys
and commodities named after them. Perhaps, one of the biggest icons of the year 2000 has been pop star Michael Jackson, who has been copied, emulated, imitated in various ways and has a whole range of items named after his several albums, for which, he assumed different avatars. “Right from Thriller, all his albums have generated mass interest and hence there is an industry that commodifies him. Right after his death, there was an entire range of MJ products around. His ‘Bad’ image is commonly seen. His image on T-shirts give out a message that the wearer is ‘cool’ as well as contemporary,” states Abhiram, a vendor. The same thought can be seen in popular icons of yesteryears like Elvis Presley and Princess of Hearts: Lady Diana. The others include Mao, Madonna, Barack Obama Bruce Lee, Charlie Chaplin, Sylvester Stallone in his Rambo avatar, T-shirts with Neil Armstrong’s photo of Edwin Aldrin on the moon. Also included are a whole lot of Disney characters. The world of sport
too has inspired icons – David Beckham, Ronaldo etc,as well as spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama or thinkers and scientists like Albert Einstein. “It is interesting to note how social movements or popular figures can be picked up by fashion and suddenly become ‘cool’. The recession has, for instance, inspired some fashion designers to create a recession-line of clothing. If it helps remind people about the greatness of the person concerned, what is wrong? For generations born after a leader or an icon walked the earth, reinventing the icon is in now way demeaning him/her. It is just presenting them in a new light,” states Shikha Mehta a medical practitioner from Dubai. With a host of celebrities from various fields involving themselves in charity causes nowadays, using their popularity and fan base for altruistic activities, what emerges is that the future icons of the world have to exhibit a sense of responsibility, high values and social conscience before they step onto a high pedestal. UAE Digest, June 2010 l 13
Same, same By Linda Benbow
hen folks ask “how long have you been in Dubai?” during social conversations they are usually a bit awed when I reply that we have lived in the UAE since the late 1980s. “You must have seen a lot of changes” is the next obvious remark that follows, which nicely allows me to reminisce about whatever aspect of life pops into my head. Take tailoring, for example … I remember the days when good clothes shops were few and far between, and luxury imported clothing was expensive too. Karama, Deira, Sharjah souk, Abu Dhabi souk and similar places were good places for inexpensive tee-shirts and everyday clothing, usually from the Far East, which could be replaced every so often without a flinch because the original price was so low. Nowdays, this country has its own tailoring manufacturers to provide inexpensive clothing for the masses. ‘Made in the UAE’ is a regular tag seen on cotton clothing sold in supermarkets, co-operatives and shops around town. hiring a man’s tuxedo can be costly especially when all the accessories for an evening of ‘formal wear’ are added up. Astute housewives, however, used to play the timing game by hiring a suit for their husband/son just before noon on a Thursday, knowing full well that the shop would be closed on Friday, so a 24 hour hire period was really a 48 hour period. Plenty of time to take the tux to 14 l UAE Digest, June 2010
a tailor to copy “same, same”, give to the husband for the Thursday evening social event, and returned to the tailor early friday evening for a final fitting check. Saturday morning would see a smiling wife returning a tuxedo suit to the hire shop, then driving in her 4-wheel drive to the tailor to pick up the husband’s newly stitched tux. A handy gambit that was a boon to those with growing sons. Being a journalist, I was invited to visit up-market ladies tailors and embroidery establishments. The front of the shops usually had plush carpeting and chairs, with curtained off rooms for measurement taking and private viewings of unique dresses that could be customised. Back-of-shop
consisted of a number of speciality stitchers sitting on cushions on the floor expertly and nimbly sewing beads and feathers onto embroidered lace or other delicate materials for evening and wedding dresses. All nationalities used these ladies fashion houses, and still do. Look closely and you will find them in Al Khabais and Muraqqabat (I love that name, its difficult to say and then suddenly runs off your tongue in an exotic manner. I like saying “Timbuctoo” too!). Annual holidays were a time for taking an empty suitcase back home, to be filled up with clothes and must-have items for the coming year, as there were not that many choices in the fewer shops. If you wanted something ‘different’ to wear at the Christmas party you had to buy it from ‘back home’ and bring it to UAE with you. Otherwise you would end up wearing something that everyone else had seen hanging on the rails here. I have been known to spend an entire evening avoiding someone
who had on the same dress as me. Nowadays I would laugh and talk to her, in the old days I was much younger! More recently, well, within the past five years, dressing-up parties have been the vogue, even creeping into the realm of corporate parties. If the boss wants you to dress up as a cartoon character, who am I to buck the trend and say “No”? Party costume shops can be found at Beach Centre mall the blue building along the Beach Road, near Welcare Hospital at Garhoud, and some supermarkets and departmental stores. Some
folks decide to go elsewhere and get their costumes made by a tailor. The particular company party I am thinking about meant husband dressing up as Fred Flintstone, and so, naturally, I had to be Wilma Flintstone. Material was bought in Satwa, pictures were given to the tailor on Beach Road, towards the Burj Arab, for him to copy “same, same”, and the resultant outfits were lovely to behold at Dh50 each. Walking past the Uniform shop in Spinneys, Um Suqeim, reminds me of when the shop first opened and started to sell
school uniforms for a local English school. For years, parents had had to buy imported frocks and shorts from the school office, paying current prices. After 20 years it was decided to see whether local suppliers could provide the same quality of cloth for a cheaper price. Eventually a similar product was sourced and the seamstresses and tailors got to work on every aspect of the uniform, even adding to the selection by making matching hairbands and suchlike. Same uniform, less pricey, sales taken by shop staff instead of school staff; it was a win-win situation for all.
Hollywood abayas The abaya has never been the same since Emirati designer Lamya Abedin gave the traditional attire an all new fashion statement. Having dabbled so far with custom-made orders for very special clientele, Abedin is now ready with her own fashion label - Queen of Spades – which launched last month at her brand boutique at Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall. The latest collection of individual ready-to-wear clothing is themed on vintage Hollywood and takes its inspiration from the glitterati of yesteryears. “I have always been a fan of all things antique and when my clients started telling me that they feel like celebrities wearing my creations, I combined their feedback with my love for timeless fashion to create the newest line for my brand. Classic fashion has always been the mainstay in my collections and it always will be,” says Abedin showcasing pieces of her latest collection. “In the 30s, 40s and 50s, styles such as tweed, polka dots, pencil cuts, mermaid cuts or fish tails, sequins and patchwork were used. So we went about mixing those trends into the abayas. I also used fabrics such as corduroy, leather, chiffon, to create a blend of those decades. My abayas are all about colour. For this collection, I’ve created a completely navy blue abaya for the first time. Then there’s the Retro set, which is all about the bold colours for confident women.” “No two abayas are the same,” says Abedin. “Making unique garments is why I started designing. I want my clients to go out confidently dressed. And if they’re wearing one of my abayas, they can rest assured that they’re the only ones in the city to have it.”
UAE Digest, June 2010 l 15
Want a suit copied, get an old dress fitted to your current size or just wear a perfectly tailored dress with the cut from the latest Bollywood film? – tailors in the UAE will not cease to amaze
By Manju Ramanan
biquitous, in the vicinity of most textile shops, lives a largely unsung population of look-conscious Dubaites – tailors! While they are found across the emirate, including newer areas like International City, they are largely concentrated over Mina Bazaar, Karama, Satwa and Bur Dubai. Ever conscious to catch a new trend, be it an embellishment in a branded suit or the latest Bollywood cut from a recent blockbuster, the tailors are hands-on at what they do. “A few years ago, short kurtas and patiala salwars were very fashionable. This happened after the hindi film, ‘Bunty aur Babli’ was released where the lead actress Rani Mukherjee created a statement with her outfits. Then, came the anarkali look with layers of fabric. In fact, it still continues to be quite a fad,” states Azmat Khan, a tailor from the Mina Bazaar area who has a lot of Pakistani and Indian clientele, and some local ones. The place near Khan’s shop is lined with shops selling fabric. “A lot of people in Asian countries still wear tailored clothes because they can choose the design and fabric and get it made accordingly instead of relying on haute couture,” states a fashion designing student. 16 l UAE Digest, June 2010
Perhaps, one of the best things about the area is that shops selling Indian and Pakistani goods are side by side and since most people of these countries nearly wear the same kind of outfits, the customers have more choice. “There used to be a lot of difference in the way people dress. People from North and Western India wore salwar kameez and the ones from the South wore saris with fitted blouses. Nowadays, a lot of people wear salwar kameez because the UAE consists of a working population and the outfit is easier to handle. There used to be a time when people from India stocked their outfits from there during their annual visits, in the last few years they prefer to rely on us since we give them the same quality at affordable prices,” states Mansi Parekh, a former tailor who worked in a shop in Sharjah. Mina Bazaar, also known as Cosmos Lane, is located close to Bank Street, which is also known as Computer Street; has an array of tailoring shops – some can copy suits very well and you can expect to get a suit tailored between three days to one week and need up to three fittings. Prices are split between material and
labour, though many shops will provide you with an all-in service. Shirts too can also be copied or measured up from scratch at the Afghani market in Deira that has a good choice of material. The Al Nahda Tailors have been in Dubai since 1979 and specialise in menswear while they have a separate branch catering to women called Madal Bushra. Karamat Abdul Razak , sales executive at Al Nahda states that about 30 tailors work at his shop. They hail from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. “We have two stores, one for men and one for women. We make trousers, suits and shirts at the Al Nahda and the other shop specialises in women’s wear. Usually customers get magazines and ask us to copy the designs. Some ask for a Prada cut or a Versace cut. These days people are into slim fits and some people are very particular about a two buttoned or a three buttoned style. The Westerners who come here prefer darker colours for suits since we also sell fabrics. We make tuxedoes that are usually of two to three types,” he states. Ask him if he employs tailors or trains people here and he confirms about the latter. “We train them here,” he states adding that the Arabic tailors usually cater to the local
and Arab population. Prices in Abu Dhabi are steeper compared to Dubai but the capital has some good tailors too. The Parmar Tailors, that also has a Dubai branch, is located on Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi and is a good place to visit. So is Abu Dhabi New Tailors which is located in a small store in the back streets behind the HSBC building on Airport Road. To get suit and shirt material at a reasonable price visit a textile store called Mohans which is located on the first level of the Madinat Zayed shopping centre. They don’t do tailoring themselves, but will recommend a number of places But what about wedding wear? A lot of tailors in the UAE are trained to make elaborate wedding wear, never mind the nationality. For Indian wedding gear, several shops at Bur Dubai specialise in elaborate north Indian wedding wear. Sheetal, that is part of the Sheetal Mumbai is a good place to visit. Or Roopam and Ratti, where you can get your material and then go to one of the tailors for stitching. Abu Dhabi too offers many places for Indian material, but is more expensive if you are looking at material from Abdullah Hussain Khunji and Paris Textiles in the Khalidiya area. The Sanaya area in Ajman has a host of shops selling Arabic wedding gowns that would also fit the gown to your size or recommend a good tailor for you. So too is the old souk in Ras Al Khaimah, or visit the shops near the pearl roundabout which has many shops that can create a wedding gown for your special day.
Tips to get the best from your tailor • • • • •
It helps to keep a magazine to show to the tailor as a sample in case you are looking to copy a design. It also helps to specify each thing you need in your outfit. In case of a blouse for a sari, it is good to carry a sample of a well fitted one that you currently use. Shops in Bur Dubai usually keep a half-stitched Indian outfit. The tailor at the shop, or one the shop recommends, can measure you up and stitch it for you in a short time. You can insist urgency and get it done quickly, for an extra price sometimes. This holds true for salwar kameez as well With trousers, consider: whether you will want lining if you are from a colder country, pleats or no pleats, number of belt hooks, number of back pockets, money pocket. Do specify these things to get what you exactly what you want. Are you particular about two part back jacket, single or double breasted, two or three buttons, height of lapel, an extra inside pockets for mobiles and suchlike, the number of buttons or cuff links on the arm, a hook, the colour of the lining? Do specify.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Shafei Al Madani also known as the ‘Royal Tailor’, Madani started out in the field of tailoring at the age of 16 and set up National Tailors, a modest tailoring shop located at the end of Deira in 1945. His modest shop soon turned into a sort of ‘atelier’ frequented by members of the Dubai ruling family including the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, founder of modern Dubai. Sheikh Madani is in a sense a ‘royal couturier’ and an inspiration to young talent of today including his son Mohammed Al Madani, a successful retail entrepreneur.
UAE Digest, June 2010 l 17
Demand for highly-qualified international professionals
he demand for top, highlyqualified professionals from around the world to work in the GCC and Middle East is fuelling a new era of global mobility for high-fliers, a groundbreaking UK report reveals. The 2010 hydrogen Global Professionals on the Move Report looks at the motivations of 3,155 mid-to-senior-level professionals earning an average salary of $125,000 and virtually all holding a professional qualification or above – half with postgraduate degrees such as an MBA. The research offers insight into the mindset and motivations of highly qualified professionals at a time of uncertainty and flux in the global recruitment market. It uncovers a clear willingness of professionals to work abroad and explores both the reasons they look to do so and their favoured countries for relocation. however the chosen location doesn’t always match up with where there is most demand for the qualified talent. hydrogen Group Middle East (hGME) Team Leader, Kirsty Edrich said 75 top level professionals had been placed in jobs in the Middle East since 2008, and the demand in the region, for talent from other countries was getting stronger. “The Middle East is a dynamic, thriving region that will grow year-on-year,” she said. “The Report backs up our experience; professionals feel that a temporary stint in an international region will add greatly to their CV, and give them the experience that perhaps staying in their home country could never offer them. Language and cultural issues might cause them to be hesitant about the region, but we are quick to advise those looking to
18 l UAE Digest, June 2010
Hydrogen CEO Tim Smeaton is urging professionals to consider an extended employment spell in the Middle East
relocate that the Middle East is a key player on the international stage, and not a region to be ignored. Those we have placed here love the more family-friendly pace of life, and say it is a wonderful region to spend time in. The international candidates we have placed here have not regretted their decision. They look at things in terms of a five-year plan, and actively seek out the experience. Despite the recession, the region is back in growth mode, and offers professionals a multitude of personal, lifestyle and career opportunities.” Existing research in this area relates largely to tracking more junior or lower skilled workers, but this report breaks ground by focusing on the migratory patterns of professional level employees, with sector-specific analysis for the professional disciplines of finance, technology, engineering, legal and hR. Among the top findings: Mid- to senior-level professionals are
highly mobile high flyers, with some 94 per cent of respondents either already working abroad or interested in doing so. They see international experience as a key means of fast-tracking their careers and boosting their personal development. Greater earning potential is not in itself a top priority. For this demographic moving abroad is not about escaping recession. Their preference is for temporary periods abroad, not permanent relocation, with 64 percent of respondents willing to work in another country for up to five years. The US, UK and Australia are consistently the top countries preferred by this demographic - though in most cases the popularity of certain countries does not correlate with where recruitment demand is greatest (for many sectors, the Middle East and Asia, for example) While more men say they would definitely move abroad, more women are actually in jobs overseas. “The world is fast becoming one global market, which means businesses increasingly need to compete for talent on a global scale,” explains Tim Smeaton, CEO of hydrogen Group. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in our clients looking to hire candidates who already have international experience and who can therefore give the company competitive advantage as they break into new countries and markets. When things do pick up, the global war for talent will intensify even more, and the companies and countries offering the best conditions – not only financially, but overall with regard to quality of life – will attract the best talent who, as the research indicates, are highly mobile and flexible.”
Gainful employment Simon Hocknell is a Project Director with the WSP Group, Middle East. He has lived in Dubai for two years, although he has worked for the company for 14 years. Simon was recently made redundant as part of the global downturn. He approached the Hydrogen Group, Middle East to find him a new position in the region, and is confident of his chances of securing a new role, given his extensive experience as an engineer and project manager. Simon started his working life with design and engineering multinational Arup – where he worked for eight years before moving to WSP. He worked in Hong Kong with ARUP for a number of years, then returned to the UK, working for WSP in London and Manchester. He chose to move to Dubai with the company in order to enrich the lives of his two children. His wife was totally supportive of the idea. He said: “My wife and I agreed that taking the job in Dubai would be a wonderful experience for our children. We wanted them to see things they might otherwise never have the chance to see. It wasn’t about the salary on offer. It was really about the possibility of a different and better quality of life for our family. We love living in Dubai. We have travelled more than we could ever have hoped to in the UK. We have taken the children
Simon Hocknell with his family on holiday in Jordan
to Oman, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. They love their schools and are mixing with other children from 40 different countries from around the world. It is a wonderful experience for them, and is making a difference to their lives, and ours, as a family.” What benefits has working in Dubai given you personally, professionally? “Working internationally really enhances your CV. Employers who see you have worked in different countries appreciate that you have the temperament and personality to fit in different cultural situations, and get on with a wide range of nationalities. It also proves that you are capable of understanding and fitting in with different ways of doing business. It’s been great for me, and for my family to experience different cultures. We plan to stay in the region for the foreseeable future, and have no trouble at all enjoying the weather and the lifestyle.” Would you recommend working in different countries to others? Definitely! There’s a strong work ethic in the UAE. You’re required to work hard and long hours, but during your weekends you’re free to enjoy the fantastic experiences on our doorstep. We’ve only been here two years, so it’s all still very exciting for us, and I am sure it will remain so for many years. In terms of
working your way up the career ladder, I feel it’s important to spend time working internationally, and although the news is always about the global economic crisis, everywhere has been affected. Why did you choose a recruitment agency to help you find a new role? “When the news came that WSP was shedding staff as a result of the economic downturn, I originally applied for a new role online through an internet jobs site. The role had been placed there by Hydrogen. Kirsty contacted me straight away. She is in touch with many companies in the region who are looking for senior managers with my experience, so not only did she put me up for the position I applied for, she also put my name forward for other roles which hadn’t yet been advertised. It is a new experience for me, applying for work, as in my entire career I have never been out of a job. The global downturn has affected many qualified people, and I am just one of them. In times like these you need all the help you can get.” What does the future hold for you? “We’ll be sticking around in the region for as long as we can. We love it here. We don’t plan on going back, even though we’ve still got a home in the UK, and we also run a business there – which my wife manages from Dubai. Life’s too good in the UAE to consider moving on any time soon.” UAE Digest, June 2010 l 19
Cass executive MBA students
Cass Business School graduates hh
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Fiscal Committee and Chairman of Emirates Group, celebrated the graduation of the first ever cohort of Cass Business School Dubai Executive MBA (EMBA) students recently during a ceremony held at DIFC. Launched in 2007 in association with DIFC, nineteen of the EMBA’s first students graduated at the ceremony, after completing the 24 month programme that offers two specialisations: Islamic Finance and Energy – a world first for an EMBA. hE Ahmed humaid Al Tayer, Governor of DIFC said: “The availability of a large number of talented and skilled business professionals is crucial for our region to effectively take advantage of the opportunities that growth and change are bringing. DIFC has brought together a variety of programmes that enable professionals to benefit from the very best of global management thinking, research and practice. The availability of these programmes gives UAE and GCC nationals an exceptional opportunity to obtain globally top-ranked executive education within the region.” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “World class executive education programmes like Cass’s are crucial for business profession-
20 l UAE Digest, June 2010
als to keep themselves at the forefront of the industry.” Richard Gillingwater, Dean of Cass Business School, commented on the success of the first group of Dubai-based EMBA students: “Cass Business School has successfully offered Executive MBA programmes in London for several years now, and we are extremely proud that our first extension into the Middle East has been equally as rewarding. Judging by the achievements and the high calibre of the first cohort of graduates, the course will certainly serve the intellectual needs of the region and will allow executives to receive a world-class education at their doorstep.” This EMBA is a flexible part-time course aimed at managers in the Gulf region who want to accelerate their career development whilst remaining in full-time employment. The course is comprised of the same content as Cass’s London-based Executive MBA, which is ranked second in the UK and fourth in Europe by the Financial Times. Cass Business School is ranked in the top 10 UK business schools for business, management and finance, and classes for the Executive MBA are delivered by Cass academics who visit Dubai over a long weekend once a month. These lectures are supported by the School’s online learning
platform which is used for online tutorials, group discussion and research.
The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management The first accredited Masters Degree in Hospitality Management in the GCC to take place for 2010/2011 term The Emirates Academy of hospitality Management, a leading hospitality management school and part of Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hospitality company and member of Dubai holding; was recently recruiting for its new Master of Science Degree in International hospitality Management - the first of its kind in the GCC region. Commencing in October 2010, the programme is aimed at the hospitality leaders of the future, building on the foundations laid by undergraduate studies with an emphasis on managerial competence. It is open to students continuing their education with the Academy as well as external applicants looking to advance their careers into executive, corporate and senior management levels. The programme can be completed in one year based on a full-time study basis; the option of a part-time programme is also available to allow students to combine their studies with full-time employment.
The new international school has set its mission to teaching Arabic using an interactive and innovative approach from Kindergarten to Secondary and in so doing will pioneer (from left to right) Dr. Mohamed Al Bialy, UAE University; HE Ali Saeed Bin Harmal AlDaheri, Chairman of the ADU the way to consoliexecutive board; Alshamsi, Vice-Chancellor, BuiD; HE Mirza Al Sayegh, Deputy Chairman of the BUiD University Council, dated, consistent and Director of the Office of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice successful learning. president, Zayed University; Dr. Howard Reed, PhD- Senior Director Dubai women’s College; Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor American University of Sharjah; Dr. Omar Ghouar Asst Professor Islamic And Arabic Studies Colleges Mr. Ziad Azzam, CEO, Taaleem commented: “Taaleem has long been history, traditions, culture, and further Summer school for committed to paving the way for inspired understanding of modern Scotland and female university learning throughout our schools in the its links to the contemporary world. students country, and with our new international Over the last several years, the Alschool we are taking our commitment Maktoum Institute in Dundee, Scotland, Programme explores Scotland’s history even further by placing Arabic and creato date has welcomed over 300 female and culture while building links between tive learning at the forefront of our curstudents to the Al-Maktoum Institute UAE and the UK riculum.” Mr. Azzam added, “The school Scotland Summer School. This year, the The British University in Dubai (BUiD), will create a culture rich environment programme will see the largest group a leading research-based postgraduate where bilingualism is a natural outcome of students taking part from a number university, launched the seventh Al-Makof the educational experience”. of local universities including Zayed toum Institute Scotland Summer School Kindergarten 1 to Kindergarten 2 will University, Abu Dhabi University, Britfor female university students from the be driven by the English Early Learning ish University in Dubai, Qatar UniverUAE and Qatar. The summer school is a Goals, while the Literacy and Numeracy unique first-hand experience that allows sity, Higher Colleges of Technology, strategies will shape the school’s apstudents to immerse themselves in an exAmerican University of Sharjah, UAE proach to the teaching of English and citing cultural exchange programme. It is University, and College of Islamic and Mathematics. The International Primary intended to give them a global awareness Arabic Studies, Dubai. Curriculum will promote a thematic and within the international and multiculMuna Al Mulla a student from internationally minded framework to tural ethos of the Al-Maktoum Institute, Bachelor of Pharmacy programme at conduct the teaching of Science, TechDundee, Scotland, with the aim of preparDubai Women’s College reflected on her ing the women to become potential future participation in the summer school by nology, ICT, Art and the Humanities leaders of their country. saying: “I believe participating in this trip throughout the primary school. “We have had great success with our is an amazing opportunity and will open Arabic will also be enriched and inter-cultural student visits from UAE new horizons for me as an individual.” taught through activities such as music, and Qatar to Scotland, with the aim of literature, art, dance and drama. Dr. educating the women of our country Samia Al Farra, Chief Education Officer, New international school about other cultures, while preparing Taaleem said, “Arabic subjects will be opens in Jumeirah them for leadership and global roles taught by enthused specialists that will lead the way with the innovative and within the workplace,” said HE Mirza Al American School in Dubai campus to be creative programmes of study making the site for school Sayegh, Deputy Chairman of the BUiD learning of Arabic an inspired, enjoyable Taaleem’s new international school, the University Council, Director of the Office and coveted accomplishment.” Jumeira Baccalaureate School, will open of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al The middle and high schools will its doors on September 12 to KG1 up Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE open in September 2011, offering an enMinister of Finance and Industry. to Grade 4. Taking over the American riched International Baccalaureate MidThe summer school programme is School of Dubai (ASD) campus, the new dle Years Programme incorporating the made up of a combination of classroominternational school with its 332,000 IGCSE and leading to the International based learning and study trips and visits. square foot of grounds is nestled into Baccalaureate Diploma programme in The programme focuses on learning about the heart of Dubai’s premier residential Grades 11-12. Scotland through classes on Scottish catchment area. UAE Digest, June 2010 l 21
Explorer of wilderness Arabian Sands gives you a peep into a unique Bedouin lifestyle that is vastly different from our modern urban existence, and is now all but forgotten By Vanit Sethi
ith the comfortable lifestyle in modern-day UAE, it is difficult to imagine a period of time when life and everyday living was extremely harsh for the local Arabs as well as foreigners who ventured on these shores. Yet the Bedus went through all the hardships of the desert with equanimity and a cheerfulness rarely found in those inhabiting today’s high-rise structures. That’s the message British explorer Wilfred Patrick Thesiger conveys in his book on travel adventures across southern Arabia, The Arabian Sands. Thesiger’s love for the simple bedoiun lifestyle was so intense that he travelled along with the nomads through the desert and lived like them – eating, dressing et al. his sense of adventure took him far beyond where any modern explorer is prepared to go – in the process suffering all the hardships that accompany a nomadic lifestyle in the unforgiving desert landscape. What makes him give up all the modern creature comforts is something difficult to comprehend. But the fact is that Thesiger enjoys those out-of-the-world adventures and the inconveniences that are an inevitable part of the tribal way of life he willingly chose to lead. his experiences may seem too much of a botheration for a modern-day explorer used to much faster modes of travel and commu22 l UAE Digest, June 2010
nication. For Thesiger, however, the essence of adventure is lost if one does not become a part of the landscape one is travelling in. he rejected all the material comforts of Western civilisation for a purer, simpler and more fulfilling way of life, in his eyes. The book gives you a peep into the unique Bedouin lifestyle that is vastly different from
our modern urban existence. It is an eye-opener for not only us expats, but even for young Arabs and Emiratis, who have little knowledge of the lives their parents and grandparents led. Wilfred Thesiger cherishes that austere existence which has all but disappeared. But it was not only in the hot deserts of Arabia that Thesiger found his true calling. In fact, the earlier years of his life were spent in the thick, tropical jungles of Africa – mostly in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. As he travelled and lived with the Bedus and the marsh Arabs in Iraq, he became one among
the Samburus in Kenya. The ease with which Thesiger moved from one culture to another, immersing himself completely in contrasting modes of life is indeed remarkable. It is said he could be dressed like an Englishman in the morning, like a Bedu in the afternoon, and a Samburu in the evening. his adventures in Africa are aptly captured in the book Wilfred Thesiger in Africa, a collection of essays and photographs by people known to him, most notably Alexander Maitland and David Attenborough. Maitland, in fact, has chronicled Thesiger’s travels like a labour of love for a person unparalleled in the explorers’ hall of fame. Attenborough’s lengthy interview with Thesiger for the BBC delves deep into the psyche of an explorer who clearly “belonged to another era, unconnected with the present, and dreading of the future”. So cut off was Thesiger from modern civilisation that he heard of man’s landing on the moon from an African tribal much after the event. Not that he cared much about the most epochal event of the twentieth century! The photographs of his African sojourn are brilliant. In fact, the camera was the one modern invention he was fond of, as it helped him record his path-breaking trips into the unknown. But all his adventures may have remained unknown to us were it not for some of his publisher friends who persuaded him to get down to writing. While Wilfred Thesiger in Africa may still have seen the light of day, being a recollection from various sources, the marvellous Arabian Sands owes a lot to Thesiger’s well-wishers, of whom they are quite a few.
Exploring Iran, inside out By Vanit Sethi
he Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has become a hotspot for artists, exhibitors and art lovers. It regularly hosts exhibitions from artists across the globe, primarily focusing on those from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) region. The Farjam Collection – a private collection – routinely showcases some gems from its kitty for the public. In addition, it hosts a unique concept called First Wednesdays, wherein anyone interested in art can visit an exhibition on the first Wednesday lunchtime of every month and they will be provided with an educational trip through the exhibits by experts. Currently, the exhibition Iran Inside Out is running until June 15. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, it examines the ways in which artists working inside and outside Iran reconcile cultural and geographical distances with the search for individual expression. Of the works on display, Farhad Moshiri, Khosrow hassanzadeh, Farideh Lashai and Vahid Sharifian reside in Iran, while others such as Shiva Ahmadi, Sara Rahbar and Rokni and Ramin haerizadeh, are settled in different countries. Interestingly, those living abroad often draw more on their cultural heritage, while those living in Iran focus on issues of everyday life and try to explore more of the outside world. But within these disparities, one element stands strong: the recurrent references - sometimes ambiguous and at other times emotional - to Iran, its past, present and People viewing the exhibition
future. The viewpoints developed by the artists in the exhibition are a result of their individual reflections on their specific places of residence. While those inside their homeland work within their own cultural and political setting, those living in the diaspora are reacting to their new environments and struggling to form a new identity. This exhibition presents these two groups of artists side by side for the first time. The exhibition has had a successful run at The Chelsea Art Museum in New York City and the DePaul University Museum in Chicago. Around 40 works – including painting, sculptures, and mixed media -- are exhibited in its first appearance outside the United States. “These works draw upon a common Iranian heritage and identity, and also speak of universal and contemporary concerns. The responsibility of artists is the same, regardless of their country of origin: to cultivate imaginations and infuse in the viewer a sense that everything is possible,” commented Emilie Faure, Collections and Exhibitions Manager, The Farjam Collection. The Farjam Collection is one of the finest privately-owned art collections in the world today. Spanning vast historical and geographical spectrums, it includes treasures from ancient Islamic art, works by modern Western masters such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Giacometti, as well as an impressive selection of works from contemporary Iranian and Arab artists including
Moshiri, Ehsai, Aghdashloo, Neshat, Al Rais, Ermes and Mostafa. Farjaan Collection’s earlier exhibitions include highlights of Islamic Art, The holy Qu’ran, and Works on Paper by Modern Masters.
The Hafiz Foundation The Farjaam Collection at the DIFC is supported by The hafiz Foundation, which was founded in 2008 to support outstanding initiatives within the visual arts, with a special emphasis on the greater Middle East. With the city of Dubai as its base, the foundation aims to become a centre for production, preservation, and promotion of the arts at large. At the heart of the Foundation’s goals is the development of educational opportunities for young Middle Eastern artists, students, scholars, curators, and art enthusiasts. As a partner to both local and international cultural initiatives, the foundation’s recent activities include having supported the founding of the award-winning Middle Eastern arts magazine Bidoun, support for local arts education programs, as well as the organization of a series of exhibitions displaying selected works from the Farjam Collection.
Rostam 2 by Siamak Filizadeh
UAE Digest, June 2010 l 23
Rejuvenation therapies carried out by Dr Bergeret-Galley (MD) reconstructive surgery specialities
• • •
A perfect body
regnancy, weight loss or gain, accident or illness can all change the shape and tone of your body. A host of body and facial rejuvenating therapies are, thankfully, available today but not all of us are aware about these. Dr Catherine Bergeret-Galley (MD), an international board-certified plastic surgeon, made a special presentation at Coral Beach Resort – Sharjah on the different options available for facial and body rejuvenation. She explained, “Aesthetic treatments have improved beyond measure over the last few years. All women did in the past was to cleanse, tone and moisturise their faces. That is not the case today. You can now take your pick from lifting, firming, exfoliating, skin-softening, hydrating, rejuvenating as well as indulging in an array of high-tech techniques.” Dr Catherine caters to an A-list clientele across the Middle East and Europe and splits her time between Paris and Dubai. Continuing on the subject, Dr Catherine, said, “If you diet and work out obsessively to achieve a super svelte physique, the chances are that your cheeks will be sunken and your skin will look baggy and wrinkled. Put up with a fuller figure, and your face will have a plumper, more youthful feel. As a result, facial fillers are finding favour with a younger clientele.” What’s wonderful about Dr Catherine is she addresses each of her patients need individually and carefully analyses how best to achieve their desired outcome. “If a woman comes to me to correct the fine lines around 24 l UAE Digest, June 2010
Breast reconstruction after cancer Facial repairs (maxillofacial surgery) Restoring body members and other lost substances after major traumas, bedsores or carcinologic surgical excisions Dermatological surgery with treatment of all skin or sub-skin tumours Secondary treatments of congenital abnormalities
aesthetic surgery specialities
• • • • • • •
Facial rejuvenation: face lifts, peelings, lasers, eyelid surgery, correction of ears and nose, Botox and fillers Body re-contouring with liposuction and fat re-injections Obesity aesthetic sequelae, lipectomies and bodylifts Buttocks enhancement Breast aesthetic surgery hair restoration with micrografts, flaps and tonsural reduction Skin quality improvement: scars, stretch marks and acne sequelae
Dr Catherine Bergeret-Galley her mouth, I ask myself if altering those lines is really the answer.” She said, “Will it alter the personality of her face, rather than making her look more youthful?” Dr Catherine specialises in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery and has over two and half decades of experience in addition to prestigious degrees from USA and France. She said: “The focus today is more on facial rejuvenation than on facial reconstruction. The results from lipolyse laser are similar to liposuction. It is ideal for treating areas such as the knees and ankles. The laser is introduced into the skin using a small needle to treat the offending fat, which is heated, broken down and then disposed of through the lymphatic system.” “Again, when it comes to treating aging skin around the eyes, laser resurfacing can
often trump surgery. If the skin is mildly wrinkled and / or pigmented, the laser can be a good option. “The stem-cell facelift is becoming increasingly popular too,” Dr Catherine explained. It is carried out under local anaesthetic and fat is harvested from the patient’s body manually using a syringe, usually from the lower abdomen where there is a plentiful supply. This fat is rich with regenerative cells which include stem cells, blood vessel-producing cells, and growth factor secreting cells. The fat is processed through a machine which ‘cleans’ the cells which we then inject with the fat and stem cells around the muscles and into the soft skin tissues in the face. It is a complete facial rejuvenation without involving surgery and is very safe.”
Third dimension on the tube Watch the magic of World Cup soccer in 3D, as five TV companies vie for the big sales pie in time for June 11 By Vanit Sethi
n electronic entertainment, the next big revolution is 3D, which will be up and running this month on TV sets the world over, in time for the soccer World Cup in South Africa. Five television giants have already announced their plans towards that end within the space of three months. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Sharp have set the pulses racing with announcements of the new innovations in their product line-up. There was one mantra in almost all the press gatherings: 3D; and one date to reveal its true colours: 11 June 2010, the day the World Cup soccer kicks off at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Content is king sony came out first with its 3D armoury on February 17. Probably aware of the competition in the offing, it displayed both its hard power and soft power. While the sales battle will continue in the hardware segment, the company proudly announced its trump card
– content. As content in 3D is still limited, and it may be a while before software catches up with hardware, Sony positioned itself as pioneers in both worlds. hiroyasu Sugiyama, General Manager, 3D Strategy Office, Sony Corporation, Japan, announced: “In the 3D space, Sony is uniquely positioned compared to other consumer electronics makers because we are not only going to sell 3D-compatible consumer hardware, but also ensure there is affluent variety of 3D content that consumers can enjoy.” Being in the TV broadcasting industry - apart from producing playstation games - gives Sony that edge over its competitors who are all into hardware alone. In addition, they will film major sporting events in 3D (FIFA World Cup and Sony Open in hawaii - a golf tournament organised by the PGA Tour) that will be made available to consumers through various channels. The early entrant here will, in all probability, catch the consumers and viewers. But of
Osamu Mura, Managing Director, Sony Gulf, displaying the 3D glasses
26 l UAE Digest, June 2010
course, a lot depends on pricing and the easy availability of 3D content.
Style statement The next 3D announcement came on April 13, when Panasonic announced its line-up. Not too late, considering that consumer interest had not yet peaked. Besides, the World Cup fever had just begun taking hold. Panasonic moved in for the kill with its plasma high-definition TV – the Viera 2010 range, featuring a 50-inch screen size, in addition to the new 3D Blu-ray player - DMP-BDT300. Plasma technology’s advantage - such as cross-talk reduction, crisp and clear high quality moving pictures, enhanced luminance efficiency and improved picture quality – gets sharper with 3D. Confident of this advantage, Panasonic’s MD for Middle East Marketing, Seiji Koyanagi, said the company was targeting a market share of 50 per cent in the large size 3D TV segment by 2012. The company now offers a line-up of
Panasonic’s 50-inch Viera TV’s 2010 range
Full HD 3D products. The new range Viera Plasma and 3D Blu-ray player almost replicate the cinema experience. To demonstrate their ‘eco-friendliness’, staff said their plasma panels are designed with an effective screen half-life of 100,000 hours, or over 30 years of TV viewing. Besides, all models are manufactured without using mercury or lead in order to cut toxic waste when the television reaches its end of life. Despite Sony gaining the early mover advantage, Panasonic has its devoted band of followers who swear by the brand’s sleekness and sophistication. Its high-quality image is a major plus for the class-conscious Middle East buyer.
Conversion leap Following close on the heels of Panasonic came Samsung a week later on April 19, with the dramatic announcement that it could convert 2D programmes into 3D on its new range sets through a special processing technique, while on the older 2D sets, you could wear the special Active glasses to get the 3D effect. Some scribes were sceptical about this new feature, arguing that viewing 2D content in 3D is at best ‘not the real thing’, and at worst, ‘irritating and distracting’. It goes to reason that if it was that simple, why would 3D content be produced at all, what with its hugely added costs? Samsung’s fact-sheet elaborates in detail how this is possible, but does not state whether it is desirable. However, in their ads, Samsung did carry warnings about using
3D indiscriminately particularly cautioning pregnant women, senior citizens, heart patients and small children. The company expects 3D to be a big hit on its flat panel TVs. It will unveil the 3D LED TVs 8000, 7000 and 6000 series. The 8000 series comes equipped with the latest 3D HyperReal Engine and Clear Motion Rate technology, allowing users to enjoy 3D content in a more realistic way, according to the company brochure. The 3D LED televisions all feature ultra-high contrast ratios as well as slim depths that allow for more artful designs, plus increased energy savings. They come with the ability to stream content using AllShare and Internet@TV, which offers several benefits of downloading applications like Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter. The sets ranging from 40 to 46, 50, 55 and 63 inches, come along with a disc player and 3D glasses as a promotion during the launch. They are available in all major electronics stores across the UAE.
Wide vision Not to be left behind the three majors was LG, which announced its 3D plans on May 10. To be one-up on its competitors it unveiled the dual IR-emitting sensors, which sends signals syncing the lenses with the TV. This ensures a wider and longer viewing angle for the 3D images. For bigger homes with good spaces, this promises a complete home theatre experience the whole family can enjoy. For smaller homes where
Models showcasing Samsung’s Full HD 3D TV with the eyewear
seating spots are fixed with not much scope for manouvreability, this ‘unique advantage’ from LG may not be of much use. Obviously, LG’s target consumer is the one having larger living spaces with some activity happening on both sides of a room or hall – say, in a party setting or a large family gathering. The LX9500 employs shutter glasses-type technology, with glasses that add depth to an image by blocking one lens, and then the other in sync with the screen’s refresh rate. It uses an innovative backlight structure to deliver its images. Illuminated by panels of LEDs directly behind the screen, the Full LED display provides images of exceptional brightness and clarity, as well as a localised spot control for best picture quality. Slim and sleek, the LX9500 boasts a depth of just 22.3mm, and a 16mm super-narrow bezel that allows for a more expansive picture. Speaking at the launch event, Dr. Mustafa AG Abushagur, President of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai, exclaims: “With its tendency towards early-adoption of new technology, the Middle East is on the cusp of widespread changes in technological development.” Be that as it may, this month will prove whether ‘Life’s Good’ for LG or not.
Adding colour In sharp contrast to those peddling their 3D wares, Sharp decided to sing a different tune on May 14 – highlighting colour instead of dimension. So, while the rest of the TV bandwagon waxed eloquent on the
LX9500 from LG, which employs shutter-glass technology
UAE Digest, June 2010 l 27
HOME & GARDEN third dimension, Sharp shed light on LCD technology. Fred Yamaguchi, Managing Director, Sharp MEA, downplayed the 3D angle. “Based on the Quattron quad pixel technology, Sharp will launch 3D TVs soon in the region, like other TV manufacturers,” he answered, almost as an aside. So, while the television giants battle it out in shopping malls and electronic stores across the region and outside, viewers are waiting to add depth to their home entertainment.
3D animation show in Arabic Classic Media acquired Worldwide TV and home Entertainment distribution rights (exclusive for Middle East) for brand new pre-school series Nan & Lili. Created by multi-award-winning director and executive producer Firdaus Kharas of Chocolate Moose Media for Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC), this is the first ever Arabic animated pre-school series. The show is created for a global audience of pre-school boys and girls (2-4yrs), designed to engage young viewers in a playful way while educating and empowering them through a world of exploration and discovery. The episodes (200x3mins) are currently available in three languages: Arabic, English and French, with a further 100 episodes in development for delivery later this year. Presented in novel 3D animation, Nan & Lili are two cute and funny characters, joined by a range of animals including camels, sheep, goats and elephants as they play and learn together. During its first broadcast year, the programme won several international awards.
tV company launch date
Feb 17, 2010
LCD TVs, Blu-ray disc players, 3D compatible PCs, Playstations
April 13, 2010
hD Plasma TVs, Blu-ray disc players
April 19, 2010
2D to 3D conversion
LED, LCD, PDP TVs, Bluray disc players
May 10, 2010
Dual sensors and expansive picture
LED TVs, Blu-ray disc players, 3D home projectors
May 14, 2010
Quad pixel technology LCDs, LEDs etc
MILESTONES IN 3D CINEMA First 3D film: The earliest confirmed 3-D film shown to a paying audience was The Power of Love, which premiered at the Ambassador hotel Theater in Los Angeles on September 27, 1922. Latest 3D film: Avatar (2009) has gone on to be one of the most expensive films of all time, with a budget at $237 million. It is also the highest-grossing film of all time. Most successful 3D films: Bwana Devil (1952), Man in the Dark (1953); house of Wax (1953); Revenge of the Creature (1955); September Storm (1960); The Stewardesses (1970); Echoes of the Sun (1990); Avatar (2009)
MILESTONES IN TV INDUSTRY • 1926: John Logie Baird invented and introduced the first TV system in • • • • • • • •
London, England on January 26, 1926. 1928: The Baird Television Development Company first transmitted TV signals across the Atlantic Ocean, from London to New York. 1948: Cable television, formerly known as Community Antenna Television or CATV, was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania. 1953: Colour television system first began commercial broadcasting on December 17, 1953. 1956: The TV remote controller first entered American homes in June 1956. Called ‘Lazy Bones’, it was developed in 1950 by Zenith Electronics Corporation. 1962: The first satellite television signal was relayed from Europe to the Telstar satellite over North America. 1964: The very first prototype for a plasma display monitor was invented by Donald Bitzer, Gene Slottow, and Robert Willson. 1996: Web TV was first rolled out. 2010: The arrival of 3D TV.
Firdaus Kharas, creator of Nan and Lili; Malika Alouane, Director of Programming at Al Jazeera Children’s Channel and Baraem TV, Chloé van den Berg, Executive Vice-President, Classic Media
28 l UAE Digest, June 2010
o matter what your opinions are on football, the World Cup being held in South Africa this month, the chances are that you will be invited to socialise with those who want to watch their chosen country team on the games being shown on television screens in pub and clubs. Join in the World Cup fever in shangri-la Hotel, Qaryat al beri, abu Dhabi and experience the excitement in a fully air-conditioned football tent in the Plaza Bar with the world’s largest wall television. Get your adrenaline pumping with surround sound system and cheer on your favourite team with drinks and delicious snacks. A live DJ will be spinning chilled out tunes during breaks. Open from 1pm to 1am daily from 11th June to 11th July. Dubai Creek golf & Yacht Club also has an air conditioned tent at Qd’s for folks to watch the matches in style, whilst still enjoying the atmospheric experience gazing out over the Creek - with buckets on offer and nibbles to match. Plus, Lakeview and the Boardwalk will also be hosting the footie, so something for everyone! This June as football frenzy descends, Park Hyatt Dubai is offering a choice of two football zones: its waterfront bar, The Terrace, in addition to a specially constructed enclosed air conditioned balcony at The Thai Kitchen. A World Cup food menu has been created and there will be an array of South African vintages and
World Cup viewings a large selection of International malts to be enjoyed whilst you cheer on your team’s match viewed on the flat screens. Every game, every goal and every penalty of the premier international football tournament staged in South Africa is broadcast live in The Arena at Jumeirah Beach hotel. An air conditioned football arena in the Conference Centre, with a capacity of up to 600 guests, will feature live football action on state-of-the-art super-size screens paired with intelligent lighting and audio. With free entry to The Arena, guests will purchase a voucher booklet at Dh100 per person for adults and Dh50 per person for guests between the age of 10 and 17 years on arrival,
which can be redeemed against food and beverages in the Public Arena. Children below the age of 10 years will have the opportunity to play in a supervised children’s zone and access The Arena free of charge. The Arena opens on all football match days one hour prior to the first game. The matches will be telecast live at the JW Marriott Dubai on the huge plasma TV screens at Champions Sports Bar and the with speciality dishes from the countries that are playing, at German hofbräuhaus. There are lots of competitions and prizes to be won at both venues. Catch the action live at the radisson blu Hotel, Dubai Media City. For the entire World Cup season the hotel offers two stylish venues to watch the games and enjoy fabulous hospitality. Watch your favourite teams battle it out on one of the large plasma TV screens at Icon Bar & Lounge, offering tasty food from all participating countries and a great bucket deal to guarantee real football fever. Every four years, the world’s sports fans share an experience unlike any other in its intensity, its drama, its exultation, its heartbreak: the World Cup, a tournament involving 32 countries from almost every corner of the globe. For a month, it will transform the belgian beer Café, at the grand Millennium Dubai at Tecom, Barsha, into perhaps the city’s best party scene. Try BBC’s famous mussels with fries with your Belgian beverages. For the duration of the World Cup, there will be daily lucky draws with great prizes to win. UAE Digest, June 2010 l 29
Ski Dubai gets tough for charity Ultimate physical endurance competition will test fitness levels and raise money for worthy cause Kick starting sporting careers
ki Dubai, the world-famous attraction from Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, has many registered participants for the UAE’s first endurance challenge to be held on snow. Modelled on the world’s toughest commando assault course, the Aprilia Ice Warrior Challenge will help raise money for charity providing specialised education and therapy for children with various disabilities. The challenge will see participants pushed to the limits of mental and physical endurance, as they compete to finish the assault course in sub-zero temperatures. Participants can be sponsored by friends and family and the person raising the most money will win a Motorbike worth Dh20,000, donated by Aprilia, manufacturer of high performance motorbikes. Additionally, the person to complete the challenge in the fastest time will claim the title of “Ice Warrior 2010” and a great prize from De Walt tools, totaling Dh4,500. Lucas Marchand, Operations Manager, Ski Dubai commented: “It is very exciting for us to be building one of the most difficult assault courses here. This event will be a personal achievement that people can be proud of. This is a wonderful initiative that will not only raise money for a noble cause, but also see contestants draw upon their willpower, strength and determination to complete the contest.” The course will span over two kilometres and contain a web of challenges like commando crawl on a vertical slope, tyre runs and other gruelling activities. Scheduled to start at 6 am on Friday June 4. 30 l UAE Digest, June 2010
Young hopefuls attended TESA open day in April having heard of the success rate of the sporting academy, testimony to its high calibre training and contacts with top clubs Dubai-born Moroccan brothers Yousef and Saleem Bouvezgui are both to trial with TESA rugby students at the London Wasps training ground English Championship side Gillingham FC, having been hand-picked by visiting Chairman Paul Scully. Scully had flown to Dubai to visit Transguard Elite Sporting Academy (TESA) which is based at the Repton School in Nad Al Sheba and was so impressed with the brothers he invited them both to train with Gillingham’s youth team over the summer. In addition, a further six children from TESA have been chosen to go for trials at Newcastle United. These include 10-year-old Charlie Abbott, who has previously spent time at the Everton Academy. The six boys going to Newcastle United FC are also products of the Repton School-based sports academy and will be under the watchful eye of former England star turned Newcastle Academy Director Peter Beardsley as they undertake a week’s trial at the club. Carlton Palmer, former Sheffield Wednesday and England midfielder and TESA’s head football coach, added: “We have some very talented kids here and it’s great to be able to reward them with the trip to Newcastle.” But it’s not just TESA’s football recruits who have caught the eye of some of Britain’s top clubs; three of its rugby players have been for trials with Sale, London Wasps and Northampton. Duncan Yates, 17, Danny Tusitala, 17 and 18-year-old Johnny Luteru enjoyed time trialling and being coached by the likes of former England rugby union and league legend Jason Robinson.
Flight to disaster By Con Clude
n a lazy Saturday morning, I was woken up by a phone call from a neighbour who asked us to switch on the TV. And there, we saw the breaking news of a plane crash in Mangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The plane was carrying 160 Indian passengers living in the UAE to the lush green coastal town, many of whom were on vacation, to attend a wedding, a funeral, admission of children into colleges and other obligations. It is impossible for many people living here to believe that the friends, relatives and colleagues they knew so well are no more. harshini Punja, an ex-student of Our Own English high School, was out with some of her friends at a mall the evening before the tragedy. Going for a family wedding with her parents, she tweeted: “The only thing I’m looking forward to are the rains.” In our neighbouring building in Sharjah, two children were left orphaned as their parents died in the crash. The devastated kids couldn’t stop crying. In a building in Karama, a large extended family of 14 perished in the crash. My colleague’s spouse kept reading the last message of his friend: “I’m going out for my final shopping before the vacation.” The SMS seemed to have just frozen on his mobile. They are many more stories like this coming out every day. All the Indian channels were abuzz with detailed coverage, spot visits, discussions and arguments. Now, it seems the black box alone may provide clues to what actually happened. What can you tell people who have lost their loved ones? Life, at times, seems 32 l UAE Digest, June 2010
indeed fickle and without any logic. May all the souls of the departed rest in peace.
On terror’s trail The shadowy world of international terrorism throws up rude and unexpected surprises. The 26/11 accused Ajmal Amir Kasab has been sentenced to death by an Indian court; David Coleman headley stands trial in the US for the Mumbai attacks; and Faisal Shahzad, a naturalised American, has been a prime suspect of the Times Square bombing plot. All three accused trace their roots to Pakistan. While Kasab was a child brought up in a poverty-stricken, remote region of the country, headley (real name Dawood Syed Gilani) and Shahzad have had a privileged upbringing in the United States, but somehow got mixed up with radical co-religionists on their visits to Pakistan. Curiously, headley has also been accused by the Indian authorities of being a double agent for the CIA. All the strange twists and turns in these three men’s lives could well make up an interesting hollywood or Bollywood movie. But what surprises most right-thinking people is how can apparently well-to-do individuals suddenly become radicalized? And why do all the terror trails inevitably lead to Pakistan? Something seems seriously wrong somewhere!
Labour’s love lost With David Cameron now occupying 10 Downing Street, the Tories are back in power in the UK after 13 long
years, under a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The British election proved to be a historic one, as it was marked by many firsts. It was the first time since United Kingdom general election, February 1974” 1974, and only the second time since the Second World War, that a British general election returned a hung parliament. For the first time in the UK, the three main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates. The Liberal Democrats garnered the largest popular vote since the party’s creation in 1988, and they found themselves in a pivotal role in the formation of the new government. This was the first time since 1979 that none of the three main party leaders headed a previous general election campaign. Thirty five per cent of the voters supported a party other than Labour or the Conservatives - the highest such figure since the 1918 general election. The Green Party won its first seat in the Commons, and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland its first seat at the ballot box. The UK is now getting prepared for a new political season. The volatile markets will soon get used to a coalition government and react more favourably to the new dispensation. More governments across the world will learn to live with the reality of coalition politics. The Indian political system has been used to coalition governments for a while now, managing quite well on the whole, maintaining a high GDP growth rate too. In fact, coalition governments offer a new way of working together, and that may be the way of the future.
Published on Jun 27, 2010