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Inside

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Platinum Club

Automobilia

Gourmet & Hospitality

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Trailblazer An ambitious project like Oman Sail has created headlines for the nation on a global tourism level and has opened up promising opportunities for many local sailors in Oman.

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Exclusive Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. A look at the iconic edifice’s journey over the years and the celebratory plans in store

Business and Finance

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Focus Muscat Eye Laser Center is known to have the best medical techniques to be practiced in the Middle East headed by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez. Their success today is a testament of their commitment and drive to make a difference in the field of ophthalmic surgery

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Advertorial Sukaina Haider, a young Omani entrepreneur featured by NBO as one of the most promising names in the country, talks about her business and how she got to where she is today

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August 2010

First Look Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is changing the face of speed. The speedster even set a world record and has entered the Guinness Book of Records Launch The revitalised all-new Jaguar XJ clocks points in all areas. Sleek, sporty and fast, the technologically advanced luxury sedan is all set to give its competitors a run for their money

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High Seas Ten of the top luxury yachts. Lavish, stately and stunningly designed, these yachts are masterpieces on their own right

Art and Design

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Impressions Bait Muzna Gallery participated in a first of its kind contemporary art fair held in Lebanon last month and received rave reviews from top artists and collectors on Hassan Meer’s work

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Canvas Tobias Wilkinson is an established UK based artist who shares with us his love for contemporary art and how he interprets his own art

Culinaire A luxury commodity once upon a time, chocolate is easy to come by yet the popularity of this cocoa treat still holds strong. A look into the magical world of chocolate Review Kurkum is a trendy new restaurant located right in the middle of the crowded Muttrah streets and is a refreshing break for anyone looking to gorge on some authentic Indian cuisine

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Dining Iftar specials at hotels accross the city

Travel and Lifestyle

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Destination Paris is an all-time favourite among travellers and somehow there always is something new to be experienced in this fascinating city. A journey through its colourful streets

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Escape A stunning new luxury retreat in South Africa, Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa promises exclusivity and relaxation to guests. The chic property has been designed by internationally acclaimed David Collins Studio

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Lounge Our selections for your library this month – Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth and Think Big and Kick Ass by Donald J Trump, Bill Zanker

Style and Beauty

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Fashion The Objects Hermes Fall- Winter 2010 is absolutely irresistible and unique. The collection features beautifully crafted home and fashion accessories

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Showcase Celebrating the brilliant J12’s 10th anniversary, Chanel has launched a totally new watch-making complication where technical prowess bows to aesthetics

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Gallery A boutique like none other in the country, Mennez showcases luxurious and exclusive products for mothers and babies

Melange

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Simply Musts A selection of the finest buys for connoisseurs of

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I, Me, Myself Tajul N. Khan, the dynamic manager of Porsche Design Oman showroom talks about his ideals

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Reflections The nation’s flag flies high… Mohsin Al Busaidi became the first Arab to sail around the world non-stop when he undertook the journey last year on January 8. He came home 76 days later as a national hero. There are more heroes in the making, who show promise of taking on bigger challenges and creating new records in the world of sailing from Oman. With perseverance and encouragement, there might even be a representation from Oman at the next Olympics games. These strides in the sailing arena have been made possible as a result of the establishment of Oman Sail. One of the most important and prestigious projects of the Sultanate, Oman Sail was set up two years ago to renew the glorious maritime history of the nation. In the process, the project has not only created headlines worldwide but also attracted the Omani youth to take up sailing – as a hobby as well as a competitive sport. In this month’s Cover Story, we profile the commendable work being done by Oman Sail. The project is on a very exciting journey that places not just sailing in the limelight but the country as well. The Sultanate’s flag flies high in all countries where the Oman Sail team voyages to. Among the other interesting features in Crème de la Crème August issue is the interview with renowned sculptor and artists Tobias Wilkinson whose works are extraordinary. We have also featured a quaint new restaurant situated in bustling Muttrah called Kurkum where you get absolutely delectable homemade food and great hospitality to boot. A motivating feature in this month’s issue is the interview with Lujaina Saif Al Kharusi, the entrepreneur behind the absolutely beautiful mama and baby boutique, Mennez. While making available in Oman luxurious and unique products for mothers and babies, Lujaina has also made her dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true. We hope to feature more entrepreneurs in the forthcoming issues who will serve as role models to the youth. I could go on and on about the rest of the features but I shall leave you to enjoy the magazine. Do keep those mails, comments and suggestions coming in. It’s great to hear from our readers. On behalf of our entire team, I would like to wish all our readers a blessed Ramadan. Till next time…

Editor anne@sjsoman.com

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PRESENTED BY

Suite 20-21, Assarain House, Greater Muttrah, Muscat PO Box 2058, Ruwi, PC 112, Sultanate of Oman Tel.: +968 24789680, Fax: +968 24751019 Advertising & Sales Enquiries: +968 99822501 Subscriptions: +968 96781712 E-mail: helpdesk@sjsoman.com www.cremedelacremeoman.com

BPA CONSUMER AUDIT APPLIED FOR DECEMBER 2009 ISSN 2077- 401 X

Crew

August 2010 Vol - II Issue - 21

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ABDULLAH AL TAIE

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AUSTIN D’SILVA

PUBLISHER AL ROYA PRESS & PUBLISHING (SAOC)

EDITORIAL Editor ANNE KURIAN

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Art & Design NEIL VICENTE CASTILLO

HEAD - SALES & MARKETING BEATRIZ PEREIRA

Senior Writer MADHULIKA MOHTA

Senior Designer SEBASTINE SILUVAI

Features Writers SUDIPTA DASGUPTA LEELA NAIR

Web Design D. SHERWIN

International Correspondent VAILIA FERNANDES

EVENTS C. S. KUMAR SEEMA AL BALUSHI

PHOTOGRAPHER ELVIS FERRAO

SUBSCRIPTIONS ARUN DAS SHEIKHA AL HARTHY

ADVERTISING Oman KALPANA D’SILVA NAVEED SHARIF UAE AUDREY ALMEIDA International RUPA FERNANDES BARRY COELHO DISTRIBUTION ABDULLAH AL BALUSHI ZAHRA AL BALUSHI

PRINTERS OMAN PRINTERS

DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved. No part of Crème de la Crème or any part of the contents there of may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. The publishers regret they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers

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PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE AFTER YOU HAVE ENJOYED READING IT


Platinum Club

Trailblazer w Exclusive August 2010

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Platinum Club

Trailblazer

Sail of Pride

“While the discussion is endless on the tourism potentials of Oman, one of the most talked about and an ambitious project to boost tourism in the Sultanate is Oman Sail”

Often considered as a rich man’s indulgence, sailing is a leisure as well as competitive sport. Oman Sail has been successful in successfully transformed sailing such a sport while maintaining maritime heritage Script: Sudipta Dasgupta

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ourism isn’t a regular business in Oman. The country strives at diversifying its economy through smart and strategic tourism methods in a well planned and speculative manner. What does that possibly mean? While on the one hand Oman is determined to make a difference in its tourism strategies, on the other it is committed to preserve its traditions, culture and natural heritage sites. In the past couple of years there have been several projects initiated by the government to realise the ‘Vision 2020’ dream of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said; in doing so Oman is not only keen to attract a niche market of high net worth individuals, rather than a sea of tourists but is committed to protect its culture and traditions in the entire process. Thus the aim has been to showcase to tourists the rich culture and traditions of a country combined with unmatched hospitality and comfort. While the discussion is endless on the tourism potentials of Oman, one of the most talked about and an ambitious project to boost tourism in the Sultanate is Oman Sail. The Oman Sail project is a classic example of how

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tourism is initiated while preserving the nation’s maritime heritage. “Tourism does not reach its goal if not planned properly. Oman’s tourism strategy has been very selective and it has a particular target audience that it is aiming at. Oman Sail is a vehicle through which tourism is being promoted. When you look at it from a broader aspect, when our sailors participate in international sailing competitions, you have sails as big as a tennis court with Oman written on it; people instantly ask questions like where this place is and what is Oman all about? Hence this is how we strive at it. Although Oman Sail is a national project, it is a vehicle that creates job opportunities, engages the youth in a professional sport that is sustainable and takes Oman to international audiences,” says Mohammed Al Essa, PR Manager, Oman Sail. It would not be wrong to say that the Oman Sail project is the renaissance of maritime heritage. Their ground-breaking training programmes for young Omanis are not only inspiring a new generation to discover and enjoy sailing but creating a massive interest within the sailing community. For many, as a recreation which combines exercise with mental stimulation and teamwork… for some, as a competitive sport at the very highest levels internationally. August 2010

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National Pride Although Oman Sail was initiated as a project only two years back, it has received tremendous commendation in the sailing world! Al Essa says, “Our sailors have been winning accolades day after day, making headlines as well as the country proud. We have the unique Majan A100 which is a one of a kind trimaran – one of the most well advanced sailing boats in the world and it is considered as one of the 10 fastest trimarans today.” One of the objectives to raise the profile of Oman on an international level, as a uniquely authentic high-end tourist destination, and as a destination for foreign investment. Al Essa also adds, “While there aren’t steadfast means of measuring the inflow of tourists into the country after seeing our boats at international level, we are focussed on creating brand awareness and also about the country. Especially after Mohsin Al Busaidi became the first Arab to travel around the world, Oman has been gradually gaining a respectable reputation on a global level.” The project boasts of an ever-expanding grass-root sailing training programmes as well as on self-confidence (and marketable skills) to the youth of Oman. The local sailors not only become Omani role models on the international stage but rekindle the nation’s maritime heritage by reconnecting to their past more directly than a history lesson could ever do. The projects under Oman Sail have received a whole series of first places at the highest reaches of competitive sailing on the Extreme 40 circuit, participated in Tour de France a la Voile which is a brutal, demanding and a highly competitive race, completed Indian Ocean 5 Capes race. The sailors behind all the success is worth a mention and as recently as last month Omani sailors Ahmed Al Mamary and Abdullah Al Busaidi returned home after completing their unique journey around the world. The second chapter of Oman’s round the world sailing history was etched by these triumphant sailors. Also recently Oman Sail’s Extreme 40 (The Wave, Muscat and Masirah) who established themselves on the Extreme 40 Sailing Series in 2009 have proven their dominance of the class in 2010 too.

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Jewel Of Muscat August 2010

Partnership of Prestige The partnership between Brand Oman Management Unit (BOMU), Ministry of Tourism and Oman Sail has witnessed some significant development in the past couple of months. Oman Sail has been successful in participating in the Extreme Sailing Series and will be sending their sailors to Germany, UK, Italy and Spain in the coming months. “Sailing is a rich man’s sport, so when we have our teams sailing abroad, VIPs and top delegates are the prime spectators during such events. At that time it is not Oman Sail that is being discussed about, all that they see is the ultimate result of a collaborative effort of Oman Sail, BOMU, the Ministry of Tourism and Oman Air to name a few. Oman Air has played a huge role in the success of this project as they are now gradually opening direct flights to Italy, UK, Germany and France as well,” says Al Essa. Creating Bilateral Relations Oman Sail provided professional support to the iconic project of The Jewel of Muscat, a 9th century hand sewn ship that was built in Oman and placed the nation on a global level. The Jewel sailed an epic voyage commemorating the historic trade links that have long existed between Oman and Singapore, around the Indian Ocean rim via ports in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It was an inspiring project that made the people of Oman proud of their maritime heritage and a national dream was realised. The crew members along with their Captain Saleh Al Jabri and all of the project members played a pioneering role in making the project come alive. Enriching the local community Community sailing is the heart and soul of Oman Sail. The training school reaches out to the private and public schools in Oman and gets students to practice sailing as leisure, hobby or an innovative sport. “While sailing, children get to learn a lot because there is a huge emphasis on team building exercises; they get to show determination, do mathematical calculations to keep sailing in the correct way and more. It is a continuous learning process as the children are benefited by overall growth and development of positive attitude. It is brilliant to see how they adopt the techniques of sailing so quickly,” says Al Essa.

Oman Sail - shaping the future

Oman Sail encourages children and young adults to experience sailing

Future heroes of the nation “There is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement amongst local University graduates to become sailors. When they do come here finally, they get an opportunity to not just learn from within the country but travel extensively around the world when they participate in Extreme Sailing Series competitions. They mingle with professional sailors which open up their minds and change their attitude towards life. There is a huge personality growth for each of the sailors involved in this project,” says Al Essa. In the past 40 years Oman has come a long way not just in the development of its infrastructure but growth of its people as well. As told by His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, COO, Brand Oman Management Unit, “It is not the development of infrastructure alone but the development of the Omani people that this country is striving for. The nation is aspiring to create role models, heroes and future brand ambassadors like Mohsin Al Busaidi.” David Graham, the dynamic CEO of Oman Sail shares his views on the success of the Oman Sail project and its future endeavours. He has years of experience in the sport of sailing and tells us how Oman Sail is striving to create a difference in many levels. Nation First “We will have to see the success rate of this project in the next five years to be able to sustain ourselves for the next 15 years. Since we have bought all of our assets right now, we don’t need as much funding. We have the support of a large number of sponsors not only on a commercial footing but also on a CSR level. On a business level, Oman Sail is helping the nation move forward by creating jobs and business opportunities, getting Omanis into the workforce and bringing in profits from the Marine Industry. Lastly the income that we generate can be pumped right back into the

David Graham, CEO, Oman Sail

“ ”

The proposed sailing school to be built at the Marina Bander will have community courses run completely by Omanis in the future

project/programme. So it is a cycle of opportunities.” Our sponsors Renaissance Services LLC continue their support for the 2010 season and are now title sponsors of our new boat, the Farr 30 Renaissance which is another addition to our existing line of boats like Majan, Masirah, Musandam and Wave, Muscat to name a few. Seizing Opportunities “I am very proud of the fact that although we are about 80 people working on this project, we have 75% of Omanisation in our organisation. On the whole, we have been a successful company with varying degrees of success and challenges faced. I make sure that every department works well with all the resources we have and use top level expertise in all aspects of sailing and training.” A notch above “We have never prejudiced against people who don’t know how to speak English, which is common among local sailors who join us. The only factor that we look for is positive attitude and I am very proud to say that once we recognise this characteristic in any individual, we know that we have found the right candidate. I am a great believer of

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committed to Omanisation. The proposed sailing school to be built at the Marina Bander will have community courses run completely by Omanis in the future. “I would like to have at least seven sailing schools in Oman by the end of 2015 which will be run by Omanis only.”

Neil Coxon, Director of Training, Oman Sailing School

the saying – ‘anything is manageable’.” School of dreams and hopes “The Oman Sailing School is doing their best to make sure sailors reach the pinnacle of success. The instructors use top class training methods for their sailors. It is a blend of natural talent, attitude and work ethics that make our sailors stand out and move forward in this sport. “We all know that athletes spend years to make it to the Olympics and here at the Oman Sailing School we already have a young sailor, Majid Al Ghainami who is training hard to be able to make it to the next Olympics. A lot of dedication and mental strength is required to be able to reach that level. He is also currently training to compete in Lasers for the upcoming Asian Beach Games.” 44

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The Oman Sailing School Director of Training, Neil Coxon who has prior experience of managing the world’s largest sailing centre for the past 8 years is proud to see the astounding level of sailing technique displayed by first-time sailors in Oman. Homeward bound “It is a pleasure to deal with the Omani sailors; they have a great spirit about them. It is quite fortunate to be in a peaceful country like Oman where the richness of the country reflects on its people. The discipline that we instill in them right at the beginning has worked out perfect as they go ahead in different areas like teaching local children to sail, as Dhingy instructors and lastly represent their country in the Asian Beach Games. It is a tough job and there is a lot of fitness required.” Tough selection process “The selection process is quite a ruthless one. The initial stage focuses mainly on the physical fitness aspect because when sailors are out on the sea fitness is top priority. The second phase of the selection is very much based on their natural ability to sail and teambuilding skills. Problem solving techniques and other issues should be dealt as part of teamwork. So looking at all these things, we need to know if the candidate is right for this sort of sport.” Committed to Omanisation “We are very proud of the fact that we have enough Omanis handling various positions as we are extremely

Ali Ambusaidi, Chief Instructor at Oman Sailing School is extremely proud of being part of this project and is aware of the pivotal role he plays in the development of the sailors who represent Oman on the Extreme 40s racing series and other Oman Sail programmes. “The sport of sailing requires extreme physical and mental fitness. Our sailors keep very fit, especially the race team. In light winds the sport demands huge mental toughness as the best sailors are relaxed and gentle in their movements in the boat. In strong winds, the fitter the person the faster the boat will travel and the more enjoyable the sport is. The best sport to get fit for sailing, apart from sailing itself is cycling,” says Ambusaidi. Encouraging the young “When we received the go ahead from the Ministry of Education for us to teach children sailing in Oman, we contacted all local schools to send their children for sailing classes. We have been very busy conducting various school regatta’s where we receive a tremendous response. Many of the children that learn to sail with us also have an affinity with the water, as they come from fishing backgrounds. “There are a lot of transferable skills that sailing teaches. It enables the school kids and young adults to gain practical experience of teamwork, problem solving and stretching their own personal boundaries of what they think is possible. In the training program, the first course is a try sailing course where students join the Oman Sailing School for a six-week course of one session per week where they learn basic boat handling schools, but more importantly, develop leadership skills that will boost their self-confidence. Once the children have learnt to sail, they can carry on sailing during a weekly legacy club, which is conducted every Thursday morning.” Rewarding determination He adds, “We accept all challenges in a positive frame of mind. Oman is a great country and the Government have been extremely supportive of the project. The families of the children have also been encouraging them to learn the sport because of what it provides in terms of enhancing learning and self development skills and also for the pride associated in sailing that reflects the rich maritime heritage of the Sultanate.

Although Oman Sail is a national project, it is a vehicle that creates job opportunities, engages the youth in a professional sport and sustainable and takes Oman to international audiences

Ali Ambusaidi، Chief Instructor, Oman Sailing School

Mohsin Al Busaidi’s triumphant story has gone down in the sailing history of the nation. He shares with us his moments of a triumphant journey around the world.

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Oman Sail has been successful in participating in the Extreme Sailing Series and will be sending their sailors to Germany, UK, Italy and Spain in the coming months

Racing events that Oman Sail will be participating in 2010

A triumphant story - Mohsin Al Busaidi

How do you motivate yourself? “To be able to reach somewhere in the sport of sailing, one must have the patience, perseverance and fitness. I exercise and go to the gym everyday as well as swim and run on a daily basis. My ambition is to grow from what I have achieved and become the skipper of Majan and sail with more Omanis. What also motivates me is the love and respect I get from people. My aim is to keep the Omani flag high for the world to see.” How enriching is the experience when you sail all around the world? “I am very proud of the fact that I work with Omanis and sail with them all over the world. This is the end objective 46

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of Oman Sail and my own aim is to spread the awareness of sailing around the Sultanate and create a 100% Omani crew of professional sailors in the future.” What are your future plans? “I want to continue sailing and be able to help inspire the younger generation, reignite the maritime heritage and promote the country around the world.” What advice would you like to give to the youngsters who aspire to be like you? “Enhance whatever skill they have to reach their ultimate goal and never give up on them. They should work hard to contribute as much as they can towards the country and always complete their duties towards education and

work in the best possible manner and at all times as we owe a lot to this beloved country and no matter how much we give back it will still not be enough. What does success mean to you? “It means nothing without the love of people and the confidence that your people and the country have in you. That to me is true success and the ultimate treasure.” Could you give an account of one of the most memorable moments since you started sailing? “The arrival ceremony that was held in Muscat when I returned from sailing around the world, I did not expect it to be that big. It took me some time to realise what was happening. It was the greatest moment to see family and friends welcome me and the crew.”

Oman Sail will be participating in the Route du Rhum race which happens every four years to showcase the A100 class. The Route du Rhum will be entrusted to French sailor, Sidney Gavignet who will be skippering Oman Sail’s A100 Majan Oman Air. (A100 Majan has a new title sponsor and will be called A100 Majan Oman Air from now.) The Route du Rhum 2010 will in fact be Gavignet’s first participation in this epic competition. He will be racing in the maxi multihull ULTIME category of this transatlantic race. Oman Sail sailors will be participating at the Asian Beach Games 2010. A total of six sailors have been shortlisted, two of them will participate in the Laser category where one sailor is responsible to sail a one hull sailing boat. The other sailing category is the Hobie 16 race where two sailors each will be required to sail the boat.

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Platinum Club

Exclusive

A

Martin van Kan, General Manager

n iconic property in the Sultanate of Oman, Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat Hotel will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. The hotel that has played host to heads of states, VIPs, celebrities, business tycoons and discerning travellers among others remains one of the stateliest properties in the country. Built as the venue for the GCC Summit in 1985, Al Bustan Palace is one of the foremost luxury hotels in the region. All through the years, the hotel has retained its regal position. A tranquil yet luxurious haven, Al Bustan Palace has been attracting the rich and famous from all around the world since its launch. This year, the hotel celebrates 25 years of operations; of introducing in the nation world class hospitality complemented by Omani traditions; of being the beacon of excellence in the industry and taking luxury to new heights. So, the hotel is all set to celebrate in style! “The 25th anniversary celebrations will begin from October 2010. It is being done through the joint efforts of our stakeholders, mainly Ministry of Tourism, Omran and Diwan of Royal Court,” says Martin van Kan, Director of Operations for IHG Oman and General Manager of Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat.

25 Shining Years Originally built to host the GCC Summit in 1985, Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat ushered in a new era of hospitality in Oman. The landmark hotel celebrates its 25th anniversary this year Crème de la Crème Report

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“Every corner of the hotel has a story to tell. Right from the coffee man who serves kahwa to our guests and whose family has been with us for three generations to our chef Jean Luc Aman who has cooked for presidents, celebrities and other famous personalities, the hotel has got many stories to share. We are trying to dig up as many stories as possible and compile it this year,” says van Kan. Also planned as part of the anniversary celebration is a grand New Year party on a scale not seen before in the hotel. A themed gala dinner that will move across the venues in the hotel will usher in 2011. “We have also identified the first guest who checked into the hotel and hope to have him with us during the main event. We hope to invite the first couple who got married in

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the hotel to join in the festivities,” says van Kan. Al Bustan Palace must be one of the few hotels that have a high number of repeat guests. Some of them have been visiting the hotel since it first opened. “I would attribute this to the service we render at that hotel. The people are trained to deliver world class service; hospitality comes first for us. We also focus on employing nationals in the hotel and I am proud of the fact that we have many who have been with us for over 10 years and even more,” says van Kan. In an industry which tends to have a large percentage of floating workers, this is a remarkable feat. “This is due to the leadership style we follow in the hotel. We have embraced the philosophy of Omanisation; not just in words or thoughts but in creating a sustainable concept. We have been successful in

developing local talent within the hotel and having them promoted to various positions of responsibility over the years, which has been encouraging to the new generation,” informs the general manager. The hotel which underwent a massive renovation that took 22 months to complete reopened in January 2009. As the hotel received a comprehensive facelift with various new additions, there isn’t much being done to the hotel’s décor. What is expected to open next year is the highly anticipated Six Senses spa, the first of the chain in the city. The team at Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat promise a year of gala celebrations and many more years of impeccable service coupled with the hospitality that the hotel is renowned for.

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Business & Finance

Business w Advertorial August 2010

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Business & Finance

Focus

Muscat Eye Laser Center has gained the reputation of having the best medical techniques to be practiced in the Middle East. Today, the number of surgeries that they perform is a testament of their commitment and drive to make a difference in this particular field Script: Crème de la Crème Interview

enter of Excellence A

centre that is known to have some of the best practiced medical techniques in the Middle East headed by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez, Muscat Eye Laser Center has created a huge impact in the world of ophthalmic surgeries across the city. A joint initiative by Sameer Al Awam and Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez, Muscat Eye Laser Center was designed and commissioned in 2002. Equipped with the latest and very advanced technology, the center has been able to provide path breaking treatments that are customised according to a patient’s optical needs creating positive outcome in terms of quantity and quality on the final visual acuity. Sameer Al Awam, Managing Director, Muscat Eye Laser Center, tells us how and why the center has gained so much of importance worldwide when it comes to eye surgeries.

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Surgical Record From the time we started in 2002 till date, we have grown in a big way. Today we have 43 people working with Muscat Eye Laser Center, two fully equipped state of the art operating theatres, seven consultation rooms, nine diagnostic and four preparation rooms with technology that compares with any of the standards around the world. When it comes to surgeries, the results are supposed to be the best in terms of re-treatment rates. In 2008, Stockholm rated us as the only center with the lowest re-treatment rate in the world. We are aiming for zero in the future. International Recognition We have international recognition, due to the standards of quality of service and results that are extremely high. We are always visited by international refractive surgeons, professors who want to be trained to improve their techniques and facilities about the

new technical and latest approach on refractive surgery. A Class of its own The professional and passionate staff of the Muscat Eye Laser Center promise to offer a superb blend of unrivalled expertise and superior equipments delivering outstanding results to your eyes. With a team of highly capable doctors led by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez who is among the most sought after Corneal and Refractive surgeons currently, having crossed 50,000 successful surgeries, we make every visitor feel reassured and proud of their choice of ophthalmic care. Certified to Offer the Best Our systems carry the most conclusive and indisputable stamp of total quality management – ISO 9001:2008 and our people follow their profession as a pledge of thoughtful attention to our patrons. The entire team is bound by The Happy Eyes customer service oath, which is our commitment to provide the best care to our patients. At our practice, we never stop short of ‘anticipating’ your needs and ‘exceeding’ your expectations. Promising Destination I look at things from a deep point of view. Oman has so much to offer that I have top surgeons who come from abroad and tell me how rich and peaceful this country is. We conduct extremely complicated cases which are then presented at The American Academy of Ophthalmology. Thus, when you put that extra effort in a place like Oman, due to its geographical advantage where the country is very well linked to the rest of the world, people want to come back to experience the warmth, simplicity, beauty, hospitality and peace. Having said that since Oman offers the perfect blend of rich science and peace, conducting

research is a huge advantage. At Muscat Eye Laser Center, we have been successful worldwide in influencing refractive and laser technology. We have conducted several successful surgeries that might seem impossible to many around the world. A Positive Outcome We compete with ourselves. We do that by setting our own standards. All our surgical results go to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, South America, North America and Europe. Muscat Eye Laser Center is headed by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez who has an impeccable medical record and is among the top cornea surgeons in the world. The Team of Specialists At the moment we have four major specialists at Muscat Eye Laser Center that include a Doctor in Optometry and three very high caliber Consultants, all headed by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez. .

With a team of highly capable doctors led by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez who is among the most sought- after Corneal and Refractive surgeons currently, having crossed 50,000 successful surgeries, we make every visitor feel reassured and proud of their choice of ophthalmic care

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Dr Maria Clara Arbelaez Medical Director Ophthalmologist Cornea and Refractive Surgery Consultant

Professional Expertise Since we discuss our procedures and results with top scientists all around the world, we are in constant touch with the very best. From the feedback that we receive, we form courses with the help of our medical staff that is taught at The American Academy of Ophthalmology. Hence, every year our doctors go to the US or Europe to conduct courses in the super specialty conferences which are attended by top surgeons and doctors. Top Notch service Our doctors are supervised by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez which gives us a huge advantage over other centers in Oman. Dr. Maria comes with years of experience in practical application, clinical findings, clinical data and post operation cases that dates many years back. This is a huge advantage for us in terms of in depth information of data, the style of surgery that has been conducted etc. Center of Learning Muscat Eye Laser Center is not just an eye laser center but a center of excellence and learning. We are in the process of getting University students to experience top class medical techniques. While hiring a new doctor, we make sure to recruit a very good and well known doctor who can add value to the center in the future.

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Dr Arbelaez is an active Cornea and Refractive Surgery Consultant and Medical Director of Muscat Eye Laser Center in Oman. She has performed over 50,000 successful surgeries and has spoken and taught widely on many cornea and refractive surgery topics during the last 17 years at international conferences. She has won best paper in session numerous times; the most recent being the best paper of session from the ASCRS in April 2010. She has published widely in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery and Ocular Surgery News. Most recently she has published articles in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe. She is on the editorial board of Ocular Surgery News, Latin American Edition and has also written several book chapters on Laser Refractive Surgery. Dr Arbelaez is also involved in the innovative design of ophthalmic surgical instruments and software. She was previously a Clinical Investigator for Bausch & Lomb from 1995 to 1999, for Nidek from 1999 to 2002 and is presently a Clinical Investigator for Schwind Eye-Tech solutions. An ISRS/AAO International Council Representative for Oman, Dr. Arbelaez won an Achievement Award from the AAO in 2003 and takes pride in being one of the organisers of the annual Ministry Of Health Workshop for Private Healthcare in Oman.

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At the moment we have four major specialists at Muscat Eye Laser Center that include a Doctor in Optometry and three very high caliber Consultants, all headed by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez 57


Advertorial

A HEAD START

Sukaina Haider started working early on in life. The entrepreneur behind the brand Suza, the young lady has created a name for herself in the world of events and fashion within a short span of time. She was chosen by National Bank of Oman as one of the promising women entrepreneurs in the Sultanate for their annual calendar

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eventeen is not a common age when girls in this part of the world start a career. But then again Sukaina Haider is not the average young woman. She started her first job whilst still in college. “I didn’t have to work but I wanted to learn the value of making my own money. More so, coming from a business family, I always wanted to start my own business and the best place for me to start training was in my dad’s business,” says Sukaina, who is the founder of the events management and fashion brand, Suza. After graduation in Management Information System, Sukaina joined a petroleum company in Oman where she worked in the HR and Information Technology Departments. Whilst working for the petroleum company, she was cross posted for seven months in Dubai. There she learnt a great deal about people and management skills. On her return to Oman, she decided to leave her job and start up her own business. Even while working for the petroleum firm, she kept her end goal in mind and carried out the groundwork to help her kick start the business. A people’s person with immense interpersonal skills, event management has always been close to Sukaina’s heart. She set up Suza officially last year. “Initially, I organised small events prior to the official opening of Suza.

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This includes the Women’s Expo, which has become an annual event. I also organised other small events that were well received from the general public which gave me the confidence to pursue my dream and turn into a reality,” she says. The first major event that Sukaina’s company handled was the “Qaranqasho Festival” (a festival for children during Ramadan) event last year that was held to benefit orphans in Muscat. The event was a success and today is one of the annual events organised by Suza. Women Expo, another annual event, offers women entrepreneurs a platform to exhibit their skills. “When I decided to start my business, I had the support of my dad and the rest of the family. They helped me financially as well as emotionally. Not everyone can receive this kind of support. Ultimately, I want to give women

entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their talents and I am glad that my efforts through Women Expo has been well received,” she says with appreciation. Another passion of Sukaina is fashion; she launched her own fashion line also under the brand name, Suza. The fashion line was a contemporary take on Omani fashion. She merged Omani elements into contemporary clothes which eventually became a big hit among the fashion conscious across Muscat. Though she has not had the time to work on her design aspirations after the launch of her event management firm, Sukaina says she will not stop designing. Some of her designs are available at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. So what keeps this young energetic woman so motivated? “I love what I do. I do not like sitting in the office and act like the boss. I prefer working along with my team, marketing the brand and showcasing what we have to offer which includes all the other aspects of running a business. This has always been my dream that has become a reality. InshAllah, there are many more to be pursued!”

When asked about the new Dana Credit Card launched by NBO, Sukaina had this to say “Of-course NBO had to be the first Bank in Oman to come up with the first female credit card! It showcases the commitment the Bank has to fifty percent of the population. I for one love to shop and using a card specifically made for women’s needs is truly a thoughtful gift from the Bank especially after His Majesty declaring October 17 as Omani Women’s Day. NBO offers a card that caters to both those women who like to give back to society and for those who enjoy shopping ; knowing that the Bank will donate a portion of all Dana Card annual spends to charity and the card offers amazing discounts at places of interest to women is truly a well thought out strategy by NBO. This is an innovative card and I believe every woman should consider applying one. With the Holy Month of Ramadhan just around the corner, it is good time to have a credit card that helps women with their cash flow and at the same time allows women the flexibility of easy payments. Women can now pay 5%, 25%, 50% or 100% of their credit balance depending on what is convenient for the month. This is a great benefit ensuring there is no pressure on the finances for the month. I understand from NBO that there are many more exciting benefits planned for the rest of the year and women of Oman should be on the lookout for Dana, especially designed for women by women.”

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Automobilia

Take pride in your possession!

www.porschecluboman.com The Porsche Club Oman has something to offer all its members whether their interests lie in competition, performance & excellence in cars, socializing or simply enjoying the club's magazines & website. Members can enjoy unlimited beneďŹ ts that are in store for them! 60 Join the crème of the club to be part of a celebration of a different kind!

First Look w Launch w View August 2010

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Automobilia

First Look

The

With looks to match, the new Bugatti Veyron Super Sport recently proved to be the world’s fastest production car. A closer look at the super charged marvellous automobile Crème de la Crème Report

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Super

Veyron T

he Molsheim manufacturer unveiled the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport recently. Apart from being a new model, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport also bagged the title ‘ world’s fastest production car’. In the presence of the German TUV and the Guinness Book of Records, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was put to the test on VW’s proving grounds at Ehra-Lessien where it clocked an average top speed of 431 km/h. This took the car’s engineers by surprise, as they were hoping to get to 425 km/h. On the first trip, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport clocked a 427,933 km/h top speed and on the return trip it registered a 434,211 km/h top speed. The TUV and Guinness generated and averagetop speed of 431,072 km/h (268 mph).

These amazing figures are made possible by quite a serious increase in engine power. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport develops 1,200-hp (882 kW) and 1,500 Nm of torque. The top speed of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is electronically limited to 415 km/h. The company says this is to protect the tires, and that the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport units sold are identical to the record car. The extra horses of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport come from four enlarged turbochargers and bigger intercoolers. The chassis of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport has also been redesigned to increase the car’s safety at high speeds. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport also comes with new looks and improved aerodynamics. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport price has not been announced yet, but the company says it will enter production this fall. the first five units of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport will be called World Record Edition and will come in a special black exposed carbon and orange finish. The climax of the Veyron series: the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport Had a model been especially popular or highly successful in races, Ettore Bugatti’s customers often pushed the master to tease out of the engine a few horsepower more

for their future car. Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. had been in a similar situation when their existing customers asked the company to not only design their second model optically differently but to also create a version with a sportier and more extreme driving experience. The result is a car with a uniquely high performance of 1,200-hp (882 kW) offering experienced drivers a whole new dimension of excitement, with a maximum torque of 1,500 Newton metres and a limited top speed of 415 km/h (to protect the tyres) but, the technique of the Super Sport is identical to the record

Continuous work in extreme performance ranges lead to constantly new conclusions, which enabled the engineers at Bugatti to develop the Veyron into a direction in which the driver can reach new dimensions

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car. The first five Super Sports to come off the production line will constitute a special series of their own, with the same configuration as the landspeed record car. The Super Sport is a consequent of the further development of the classic exclusive 1,001-hp Bugatti Veyron 16.4, launched in 2005. This model offers a stunning set of specifications, such as the twin clutch gearbox with seven speeds, the extraordinarily precise driving performance in bends and excellent stability when braking and accelerating Continuous work in extreme performance ranges lead to constantly new conclusions, which enabled the engineers at Bugatti to develop the Veyron into a direction in which the driver can reach new dimensions. Every modification is designed to produce an even more powerful car for an agile ride. Four enlarged turbochargers and bigger intercoolers have been used to boost the power of the 16-cylinder engine, and the chassis has been extensively redesigned to maintain safety at extreme speed – thanks to slightly raised main-spring travel, stronger stabilisers, and new shock absorbers with a complex architecture originally developed for racing cars. This gives noticeably more precise control of the wheels and the car as a whole. With lateral acceleration of up to 1.4 G and improved interaction between the tyres and the intelligent all-wheel drive system, the Super Sport offers perfect handling and even more powerful acceleration of 1,500 Newton metres on corner exits.

Bugatti has a tradition of making super-sport versions of successful models, usually with racing chassis and supercharged engines. These cars were considered as true racing machines for diehard Bugatti devotees

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On the first trip, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport clocked a 427,933 km/h top speed and on the return trip it registered a 434,211 km/h top speed

The body has been fine-tuned to improve aerodynamic efficiency and maintain perfect balance in every situation, while the new fibre structure of the all-carbon monocoque ensures maximum torsion rigidity and passive safety – at reduced weight. The skin is made entirely of carbon-fibre composites, and the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is available in 100 per-cent clearlacquered exposed carbon on request. Dynamic exterior Every detail of this car, and not just its use of advanced motorsport technology, harks back to the pioneering spirit of company founder Ettore Bugatti. This brilliant designer came from a family of artists, and his philosophy was always to combine mechanical perfection and exterior beauty. This ethos remains alive and well at the company, and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is wholly unmistakeable, with every external modification serving to coax greater performance from the car. The Super Sport’s flat, elongated silhouette is immediately recognisable. The 16-cylinder engine gets its air from two NACA ducts integrated into the roof, rather than from scoops above the engine. The front air intakes have been expanded and reshaped, with the lower one extending elegantly around the

sides to the wheel arch. The revised back looks sportier due to the double diffuser and a centrally arranged exhaust system. Bugatti has a tradition of making super-sport versions of successful models, usually with racing chassis and supercharged engines. These cars were considered as true racing machines for diehard Bugatti devotees. The most successful were the type 55 and type 57S; only around forty of each were built. Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. has sold 260 Veyrons and 35 Grand Sports by now, of which 249 Veyrons and 22 Grand Sports had been delivered. The Super Sport will begin production this autumn at Molsheim along with the Veyron and the Grand Sport. The first five cars – known as the World Record Edition – are in a special black exposed carbon and orange finish and have already been sold. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport will appear for the first time in public in California at the Pebble Beach Concours weekend in mid-August and will be featured at The Quail, Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca and on the concept lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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Automobilia

Launch

guar’s all-new XJ takes on luxury, eed and comfort in an absolutely we-inspiring manner. The vitalised sporty sedan is all set to write the automotive rules

Crème de la Crème Report

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t is almost impossible to not gasp at the all-new Jaguar XJ. Sportier, edgier and wearing a completely revitalised look, the new Jaguar XJ brings a dynamic spirit to the world of luxury automotives. After seeing the new classy cat, we had to agree with the statement in the PR from Jaguar – ‘it offers a seductive mix of striking design, breathtaking performance and engineering without compromise.’ The all-new XJ was launched in the city last month at the Mohsin Haider Darwish showroom in Athaiba. The unveiling of the new XJ comes close on the heels of the success of the brand’s model – XK and XF. While the all-new XJ is sure to appeal to Jaguar owners, the sporty model is also targeted at the new generation of clients.

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July 20102010 August

The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the quintessential Jaguar. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design direction

Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director is quoted in a press statement from Jaguar: “The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the quintessential Jaguar. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design direction.” Distinguished by unique exterior and interior design features, the XJ includes, an innovative new panoramic glass roof, an integral part of the all-new XJ’s design concept, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while dramatically enhancing the feeling of light and space inside. The all-new XJ’s cabin offers four specification levels – Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio and Supersport – allowing the customer to tailor the car to suit their tastes of choice in colours, veneers and leathers not seen before in a Jaguar. Inside the XJ is the most advanced, powerful and efficient Jaguar powertrains ever. The XJ features a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine with 385 horsepower or a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 available in 470 and 510 horsepower versions. Proven Jaguar dynamic technologies are taken to new levels in the all-new XJ. Features such as air suspension,

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Adaptive Dynamics (continuously variable damping), Active Differential Control and quick-ratio power steering deliver the blend of responsive, dynamic handling and refined, supple ride expected from a Jaguar. Inside the car there are advanced new technologies; 12.3-inch high-definition Virtual Instruments complement an innovative, Dual-View technology 8-inch Touch-screen that can project DVD movies or television programmes to the passenger while the driver views vehicle functions or follows satellite navigation. Premium surround sound options include the topof-the-range 1200W Bowers & Wilkins system, as well as advanced infotainment features like hard drive-based audio and navigation systems, and comprehensive connectivity for portable audio and video devices via the powerful Media Hub. The all-new XJ also takes a new approach to sustainable motoring. Constructed using Jaguar’s aerospace-inspired aluminium body technology, the XJ is lighter than its rivals by at least 150kg which significantly improves performance, handling and economy, while delivering increased strength, refinement and safety. The all-new XJ offers extremely attractive cost of ownership with impressive fuel economy and emissions performance across the range. Now it’s time to get behind the growling cat for a spin in the city!

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Sportier, edgier and wearing a completely revitalised look, the new Jaguar XJ brings a dynamic spirit to the world of luxury automotives

August July 2010

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Automobilia

High Seas

Cruising in Luxurious comfort is the catchword of yachts and the creators of these magnificent vessels are ensuring that there is nothing left to imagination. A look at the latest dream voyage liners Crème de la Crème Report

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here are no cabins on board yachts. Nor are there the ordinary mass-produced interiors. Cabins have given way to suites just as designers and specialised design agencies have taken over the luxury yacht industry. Yachts today not only serve as the owners’ luxury resort on water but also conference centre, party home and vacation home. The interiors of yachts are generously proportioned, well lit and have the finest fittings and other contemporary amenities. Presenting some of the latest luxury yachts garnering a lot of attention…  Boarncruiser 60 The yacht is 18 meters long and is spaciously designed with a retro look. The yacht comes with a roof on the upper level that opens in a few quick seconds. When all interior doors are open there is an uninterrupted passage right through the entire craft ensuring that the luxurious lounge area is flooded with natural light. The living quarters are also spacious and laid out with couches and a large

conjoined kitchen-dining area. The master cabin contains a huge bath, air conditioning, a home entertainment system and a large, queen-sized bed. Maestro 51’ The Maestro 51’ by Apreamare sports a sleek design and stands out from the crowd. The integrated wrap-around semi circular windscreen has been borrowed from the already established 65’ Maestro yet looks just as wonderful on this model. Two 730 HP diesel motors allows for a top speed of 26 kn (48 km/h). Mochi 54’ This 16 meter Italian yacht has been designed in the style of a traditional American lobster boat. Wood has been used generously for the interiors while large glass panels and unusual colour schemes make the Mocha a striking yacht. Three cabins with sleeping facilities for six are located at the bow. Two 800 HP common rail turbo diesel engines by MAN enable a speed of 32 kn (59 km/h). A version of the 54’ is also available with an added flying bridge as an

extra and an ARG- stabilising system to ensure stability while the boat is anchored.  Pershing 72’ Of the famed yacht lineage, the sporty Pershing 72’ is a chip off the old block but retains its individuality. The yacht is called ‘Open due to its retractable glass roof and to the fact that the rear salon window sinks into the floor when an outdoor feel is required. Adding to the sense of openness is the unbroken unity between the living area and cockpit. The 22.25 meter long yacht gets its acceleration with the help of two MTU motors each with 1823 HP. Top speed is 45 kn (83km/h). Mazarin 72’ Conceived by Beiderbeck Designs and built in Rostock, the Mazarin 72’ Sports Fly is a beast in its own right and quite a striking one too. The first model of the 23.90 meter long yacht has already been sold while the model carrying the serial number two was on sale at a recent yacht German exposition. Units three and four are currently under construction and an expansion of the series production is already on the cards. Manhattan 70 The new Sunseeker Manhattan 70 unashamedly shows off its intelligent use of space. The incredibly proportioned boat boasts a rather expansive living space, with a slightly elevated eight-person dining area, an open pantry and an abundance of light, air and headroom. Five different variations are available in relation to its mechanisation. The boat has a top speed of up to 34 kn (63 km/h). Elegance 60’ From the Drettmann family comes the Elegance 60’ at a length of 18.60 meters. The yacht was finished at the Horizon and Vision shipyard in Taiwan. The yacht has been built specifically for owners who have a passion for sailing

and do not shy away from taking the stern. The crankshaft is powered by two 900 HP MAN diesel engines allowing for a top speed of 28 kn (52 km/h). Elegance 98’ The Elegance 98’ from the Dynasty range was launched just a few months back. At a length of 30 meters, the Elegance 98’ reigns supreme. The interior is fitted with whitewashed walnut and maple finishing. Lamps, dinnerware, drapery, furniture and decoration are all designer made. A stabilising system ensures a smooth journey and a peaceful anchorage in rocky sea. Propulsion is taken care of by two 2400 HP MTU-16cylinder diesel engines.

Yachts today not only serve a the owners’ luxury resort on water bu also conference centre, party hom and vacation home 70

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Art & Design

A non-profit organization offering a wide range of high-quality and exclusive handcrafted products interpreting the country’s history and culture. Bring home the essence of Oman’s rich heritage from a range of classy yet traditional products and at the same time turn your shopping passion into a cause by helping our craftspeople and artists. The Gallery works closely with artisans from the province and features products that are designed by them.

Jawharat A' Shati Complex Next to Muscat Intercontinental Hotel Tel. 24696974 72

Impressions w Canvas August 2010

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Art & Design

Impressions

With contemporary art experiencing a considerable growth in the ME.NA.SA regions in the recent years, a unique concept art fair such as the MENASART FAIR proved to be a huge success in Lebanon, one of the cultural capitals of the Arab World Crème de la Crème Interview

A Successful

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remiere

here is nothing the art world loves more than having opulent art fairs. That is the reason why the market’s top dealers, collectors, galleries and art experts get together to create one of a kind shows for art lovers and the others. Last month, Beirut saw over 3500 visitors gather at the prestigious Royal Pavilion in BIEL during its first MENASART-FAIR. The fair showcased works of artists from the ME.NA.SA region (Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia) which witnessed a unique Edition 0 as a pre-launch to its Edition 1 which will be held in grandeur in 2011. The art fair showcased 30 galleries, each were represented by an artist, the theme of the fair being One Work/One Artist.

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The exclusivity of the fair was in its concept where not only artworks were showcased but conferences by experts and meetings with collectors in the ME.NA.SA regions were held. It helped in creating a global platform for cultural discussions and exchange of views and opinions. The Edition 0 of the MENASART FAIR saw renowned artists such as Ayman Baalbecki (Lebanon), Khaled Hafiz (Egypt), Khaled Ben Sleiman (Tunisia), Nedim Kufic (Iraq) among many others who showcased their magnificent and precious works of art. The fair witnessed the active participation of galleries like Agial, Epreuve d’Artiste and Janine Rubeiz from Lebanon, Green Art Gallery and Empty Quarter from Dubai, El Marsa from Tunisia to name a few.

Ellen has done a wonderful job in the past couple of years of giving Bait Muzna Gallery the recognition it needs in this part of the country. It is very important for every artist to have a good support from an art gallery

With Bait Muzna Gallery making its grand presence at the fair, Oman can now boast of sharing a platform with some of the most renowned art galleries and artists from around the MENASA region. Ellen Molliet, Art Director of Bait Muzna Gallery was present at the fair and returned with some fond memories and thinks this is yet another effort taken by the region for revival and recognition of contemporary local artists. How was the experience at the MENASARTFAIR since it was the first of its kind in the region? It was a positive experience and I am glad Bait Muzna Gallery participated in Edition 0 of MENASART. We were approached by the committee during Art DUBAI last March and from the moment we heard about a possibility to introduce Omani Art to the Lebanese Community, we did not hesitate one second in applying. However we had to wait until June for the committee’s confirmation as more that 100 galleries applied and only 30 galleries were accepted. Their criteria are very strict. Could you explain the concept of MENASART – FAIR? MENASART FAIR Edition 0 is a boutique-style exclusive commercial Art fair that gathers galleries and artists from the MENASA region: Middle East / North Africa / South Asia. From 2011, MENASART FAIR Edition 1 will become a larger fair where selected galleries

will exhibit more than one artist on regular stand, similar to other art fairs, however always with the unique concept of presenting MENASA Art. “This fair is designed to represent art from the cradle of civilisation and boost the political, social and artistic representation in the region,” says MENASART Artistic Director Pascal Odille. What was the kind of response Bait Muzna Gallery received at the fair? The Lebanese community was very interested in this unique art fair hosted on their ground for the first time. On the opening evening, we had the pleasant surprise of welcoming to our stand amongst the notables in attendance, the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri who was most impressed by Bait Muzna Gallery’s selected artwork: “Lost Love’ by Hassan Meer. Hundreds of people followed throughout the evening enquiring endlessly on this unique artwork. What was the kind of preparation that Bait Muzna had to undergo for the fair? What were the criteria that you had to fulfill? The specific criteria to be selected to any art fair are only known to the committee of that fair, however, there are few criteria that all committees take in consideration: the history of the gallery, participation in other art fairs, exhibitions hosted in previous years, level of art in the gallery’s permanent collections and style of the art presented for the August 2010

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On the opening evening, we had the pleasant surprise of welcoming on our stand amongst the notables in attendance, the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri who was most impressed by Bait Muzna Gallery’s selected artwork: “Lost Love’ by Hassan Meer

application of the art fair which has to match the style of that particular fair. Which artist was nominated & why to represent his/her work since the theme was ‘One Work/One Artist? We chose the artist Hassan Meer and one of his latest Moon Series, entitled ‘Lost Love’. We definitely wanted to present an Omani artist with an international name and whose work can be found in many international collections such as Mr. Francois Pinault’s, owner of Christies and the famous Palazio Grazie Museum in Venice. Also, Hassan’s latest photographic work has received an outstanding response in Abu Dhabi and Dubai art fairs, the series is almost sold out, it was therefore important to present it at MENASART. Could you give your personal comments on this unique initiative of having a MENASART – FAIR? What are the advantages for an artist? The MENASA art scene has been in the international projectors ever since the beginning of Art Fairs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as well as the launch of auction houses such as Christies, Sotheby’s and Bonham’s in the GCC countries in 2007. To dedicate an art fair specifically to this regional art is a good initiative and the organizers seem to have found the place and the time of the year to host it. The advantage for an artist is to have full exposure of his work in an art fair by an internationally recognized gallery. This pushes the artist forward on the international art scene filled with art dealers, collectors, curators, gallery owners etc. Are there any plans of having this kind of an event held in Oman in the future? It would be an incredible opportunity for Oman to host such an event on its own grounds, however there

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are already 2 major art fairs in the region with Abu Dhabi Art (November) and Art Dubai (March) and now MENASART Fair in Beirut (July), therefore I do not believe there is enough room for another art fair in a neighboring country, especially in Muscat where the art market is not as strong as in those three other cities. Hassan Meer too returned after an enriching experience at the fair and shared his experience of being selected for the unique fair. How does it feel to be chosen amongst other artists in Oman to showcase your art at the Beirut Fair? I would like to thank Bait Muzna Gallery for giving me the opportunity. Ellen has done a wonderful job in the past couple of years of giving Bait Muzna Gallery the recognition it needs in this part of the country. It is very important for every artist to have a good support from an art gallery. The gallery should have the ability to recognise talents and help them in every possible way. Taking this into consideration, Bait Muzna Gallery has come a long way and has been doing some great work. To be able to participate in the MENASART FAIR goes to show the gallery’s standing in this market. Could you briefly tell us about your art which was displayed at the Fair? When a gallery selects a particular art for such events, the first criteria is to see how well it stands out and if it catches the viewers’ attention. My work from the Moon Series was one of them that represented Oriental art where a young woman is sitting on the moon with a Bedouin face mask looking directly into the viewers’ eyes. The entire art has been overlaid with calligraphy. It was something unique I had done and received rave reviews on it. I am quite happy!


Art & Design

Canvas

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of Brilliance

Tobias Wilkinson

obias Wilkinson, an stablished UK based rtist talks about his arly association with rt and his definition contemporary art in day’s world

hen you meet someone with a strong passion to do something unique, someone with a perfect blend of creative imagination, impeccable talent and intellectual ideas, the results usually knock you off your feet. When I had the opportunity to speak to Tobias Wilkinson, an established contemporary artist based in the United Kingdom who travels extensively within Europe and the Middle East, the feeling was quite similar! Born to a family of artists, art was not only Tobias’s first love but he made sure to give his art a definition of its own! His work evolves from interest in landscape and the figure and ranges across diverse media, including drawing, sculpture and painting. He is a graduate of Central St Martin’s College of Art and is an Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (ARBS). A chat with this genius was an enriching and insightful experience as he explained his artistic endeavours over the years till he evolved himself as a contemporary artist in painting and sculpture.

Initial strokes of art Whilst one of my earliest recollections is the smell of turpentine from my father’s studio, I came by art not naturally, but by persistence. I pursued art as an academic subject at school until the age of 18 and finally graduated from Central St Martin’s Art School in London many years later, having had a career as a soldier and much else besides. It’s like a recurring theme, sometimes hidden and sometimes not, but always present. Going beyond the comfort zone I try not to find comfort levels in any work I do, in fact it is quite the opposite. It’s only when I force myself outside what I think I know that I may start to create something interesting. The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. Currently I am focusing on 3-dimensional works, because much of my painting is sculptural in form and content. Technical creativity I create something new that exists in space and resists characterisation. In the same way that abstract art was in

Script: Sudipta Dasgupta

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Oman is deeply fortunate because its culture is so deeply rooted and unique in the region. It provides the confidence for artists to experiment and take risks as well as being the foundation for a sensitive and considered approach to making work

some respects a response to the reproductive qualities of photography so the physical presence of my work seeks a part to escape the sensory prison of digital representation. Style of art Landscape and the body are often the departure points for much of my work, but infrequently the destination. They play a large part in helping me formulate work and ideas and are a constant and revitalising source of inspiration for the creative process. My work reflects an eclectic range of interests in terms of material and subject matter. Connotations interest me more than depictions and so the work itself carries elements of both subject and object. I attempt to synthesise the relationship between what is hidden and what is revealed. The genesis for this interest arose from an early interest in stone carving and the process of subtraction. Stone continues to form a significant part of my practice as do other traditional and non-traditional materials. I like to locate work outside the gallery space and many of my stone carvings are installed in the open air. The encounter with sculpture outside the gallery has a different and exciting dynamic and has led me to develop a number of interventions in landscape working with found materials. I am concerned with the importance of the actual encounter with a piece of work. Sitting in front of a computer screen will not do this for you.

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Memories to cherish One of my most memorable exhibitions was probably the one-man show at the Chelsea Arts Club in London last year. I call it memorable because there was an anxiety of showing a large amount of work to London’s best artists for over a month. Also to have other artists select your work is a unique privilege. Inspiring art I am a huge fan of Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida and I greatly admire the work of British artists Stephen Cox and Richard Long. I very much enjoyed seeing Henry Moore’s wood carvings at Tate Britain recently. Time spent in the British Museum in London is seldom wasted. It’s my favourite place to see sculpture. Art as an investment Yes, but only for the soul. It is important to remember that it is the function of capital to expense the creation of culture and not the other way around. Future of Art in Oman I don’t really think about art having a future, only artists have that. I try not to think about art as a concept, it isn’t fruitful. I have travelled quite extensively in the Middle East and I think it is vital that artists think about why they are making the work they do. I see a lot of derivative stuff in galleries that is just wall decoration. Oman is deeply fortunate because its culture is so

deeply rooted and unique in the region. It provides the confidence for artists to experiment and take risks as well as being the foundation for a sensitive and considered approach to making work. It’s a privilege to spend time in Oman and enjoy the gentle friendliness of people here and the fierce nature of the landscape. Art empowerment Being in a learning environment is always useful because of the ability to exchange ideas. It also provides a network of contacts which is important as time passes. It also teaches the ability to think critically about one’s own and other people’s work and learn to accept criticism. A thick skin is often of more use to an artist than a sensitive soul, I’m afraid. A time of my own I try and do as many new things as I possibly can. Last week I was walking on glaciers in the Alps, this week I am learning to scuba dive in Oman. My children made me give up motorcycling after a bad accident some years ago. A defining moment Art is not a big thing. It’s not art with a capital A. It’s just what being human is about. It is showing people something about you they might find interesting in themselves. As Ananda Coomaraswamy said ‘an artist isn’t a special kind of man. Man is a special kind of artist’. It’s just about opening your eyes. For more information on Tobias Wilkinson, visit his website: www.tobiaswilkinson.com

One of my most memorable exhibitions was probably the one-man show at the Chelsea Arts Club in London last year. I call it memorable because there was an anxiety of showing a large amount of work to London’s best artists for over a month

August 2010


Gourmet & Hospitality

Culinaire w Review w Dining 82

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Gourmet & Hospitality

Culinaire

No wonder when Cortez first encountered this exotic dark drink made by the Aztecs, he was overwhelmed and chose to offer this drink to his soldiers when they ran out of food to give them strength as they fought against the Aztecs

Delightful Temptations Chocolate has been around for more than three millennia and yet it holds the same magic over people as the cocoa treat always had. A journey of a chocolatier that has been fueled by an indescribable passion for chocolate… Script: Joachim Caula

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Chocolate king: Joachim Caula

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t is believed that the oldest known cultivation and use of cacao was at a site in Puerto Escondido, Honduras, dating from about 1100 to 1400 BC. The Maya civilisation grew cacao trees and used the seeds of the fruit to make a frothy, bitter drink. Chocolate was also an important luxury good throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and history shows that cacao beans were often used as currency. Chocolate has always had a special place in my life. My best memory of the world of chocolates was when my mother used to take me shopping to Zurich as a kid. She used to take me to this wonderful chocolate shop called Hefti on Bahnhofstrasse. Stepping in to Hefti was like reliving parts of the movie “Le Chocolat”. All kinds of chocolates filled the shop. This is where my passion for chocolate developed, watching my mother select the different varieties. My mother had an incredible nose for top-quality chocolate; she would even tell the staff if a particular make was not of high quality. And she was not a chef by profession or training.  She always preferred dark chocolate, for she said (and rightly so) that it is only in dark chocolate that you find the taste of pure cocoa.  During my apprenticeship I chose to become a Confiseur- Patissier, specialising in chocolate and I realised then that without chocolate my life would not be the same.  So much has been written in the last few years about chocolate - a movie or two have even been made - and people consume more and more chocolate every day. I feel the simple reasoning for this is the magic of chocolate. 

No wonder when Cortez first encountered this exotic dark drink made by the Aztecs, he was overwhelmed and chose to offer this drink to his soldiers when they ran out of food to give them strength as they fought against the Aztecs. This famous cocoa bean then made its way to Europe where it is was served later in the century at luxury tea and coffee houses called ‘Salons de Tea’. Of course, it was in Switzerland where the now universally famous milk chocolate bar was first made and brought global acclaim to the cocoa delight. During my stay in Mexico, I visited a small town in the South called Oaxaca All that I could smell on this street was cocoa. The street had shops roasting the cocoa bean as in ancient

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My best memory of the world of chocolates was when my mother used to take me shopping to Zurich as a kid. She used to take me to this wonderful chocolate shop called Hefti on Bahnhofstrasse

times, grinding it, and adding all the flavors. It goes without saying that what resulted were rough chocolate bars, not one as we would know it, but intense in aroma and texture. This bar was mainly used to make the famous hot chocolate drink which gives you incredible energy during the day. The spell that chocolate has over people is not restricted to a particular city. Go anywhere in the world and you can be assured of finding not just various types of chocolates but also dishes made from the cocoa bean. Chocolate comes in different varieties but the most popular can be broadly classified into white, milk, dark, dark sweet, semi sweet and bitter chocolate. White chocolate is made with cocoa butter, sugar, milk, emulsifier, vanilla and sometimes other flavourings. The chocolate has an off-white colour as it does not contain any non-fat ingredients from the cacao bean. Many purists do not consider white chocolate as a form of chocolate because of the low content of cocoa solids. Milk chocolate usually contains 10-20 per cent cocoa solids (which include cocoa and cocoa butter) and more than 12 per cent milk solids. Dark chocolate can either be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet or unsweetened. The normal dark chocolate is sweetened and contains high content of cocoa solids and no or very little milk with up to 12% milk solids. Dark sweet chocolate is similar to semi-sweet chocolate and often contains 35-45% cocoa solids. Semi-sweet chocolate is what is referred to as the classic dark baking chocolate and has a strong yet sweet flavor. Bitter chocolate is mostly only used for baking. It contains almost 100% cocoa solids.

If you are a chocolate lover, and I presume you are since you are still reading the article, then the next two recipes are a must-try. Two popular chocolate recipes just about everywhere are chocolate mousse and hot chocolate. Here are two of the simplest but most satisfying chocolate-based recipes.

* Joachim Caula is the Production Manager and Chocolate Master at Al bustan Bakery. All chococlates on these pages are amde by him. To know more, mail Joachim at kim@albustanbakery.com

Mama’s Chocolate Mousse My mother used to make this chocolate mousse almost every Sunday at home. My twin brother and I enjoyed it till the last lick! Ingredients: 2 egg yolks 2 tablespoons of sugar 100 gm dark chocolate (ideally, bittersweet around 65% cocoa ) 2 tablespoons of hot water 250 gm whipped fresh cream (It has to be fresh cream!) Method: Take a small saucepan and add some hot water (around half to the top) place a bowl on top. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place it on top of bowl above the hot water. Add two tablespoons of hot water and let it sit until the chocolate starts to melt. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks with the sugar with a hand mixer until it becomes creamy. Now check the chocolate and stir together with the water until it become a creamy consistency and add to the egg yolk mixture and stir. Let it sit for a while to room temperature, whip the fresh cream until it starts to set but do not overdo. Add a little bit of cream to the chocolate mixture and with a small whisk fold in; add the remaining whipped cream and fold in. Fill a large glass bowl or small individual glass cups with the chocolate mousse. Let it set in the refrigerator for about three to four hours before serving . Garnish with fresh raspberry or grated chocolate before serving.

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Hot Chocolate This is a simple yet absolutely irresistible chocolate drink that will have you asking for more. But be careful of how much you consume, for it can be addictive! Ingredients 200 ml fresh milk 1 red chili, chopped finely 2 tablespoon honey 75 gm dark chocolate, preferably unsweetened or bitter sweet Black pepper (optional) Bring the milk, chilie and honey to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the milk starts to boil, add broken pieces of the dark chocolate into the saucepan and stir till the chocolate dissolves. If you like your chocolate drink to be a little more spicy, then add a dash of freshly ground pepper. Remove from the fire, strain and enjoy the spicy chocolate drink!

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Review

True Indian Connection

The stylish new Kurkum Restaurant located right opposite the Corniche is a great place to enjoy authentic, homemade Indian cuisine as well as an eclectic variety of international delicacies Script: Sudipta Dasgupta

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ho would have ever imagined a quaint, comfortable and stylish restaurant to be located amidst the busy streets of Muttrah, Corniche in Oman? We at Crème de la Crème took some time to believe that until one balmy evening we drove down the streets of Corniche in search of Kurkum Restaurant. As we passed through several shops, cafés, gift shops and the famous Muttrah souk gate, a glowing neon signboard caught our attention at the far end of the road. Much to our surprise, this stylish new restaurant was quite a stunner and it was something we had never expected. We could not wait to experience the entire culinary affair sitting opposite Oman’s busiest address, the Port of Oman. As we settled ourselves inside the restaurant; the bustling street of Muttrah becomes unfamiliar as the ambience transports guests into a comfortable quaint setting. The restaurant is not heavily packed with upholstery but is plasing and provides comfortable seating space. The use of artifacts like sculptures, large paintings and simple white decor give the restaurant a classy look. Named after one of the most important spices in Indian cooking, Kurkum which means turmeric in Arabic offers patrons a variety of delectable Indian as well as international cuisine. What’s more, the food is prepared using the choicest blend of spices and freshest ingredients, the restaurant takes pride in serving delicious, wholesome and most of all dishes that remind you of homemade cooking. The menu is apt and precise; focuses more on the experience and not on presenting a myriad list. The restaurant boasts of chefs who have prior experience at 5-star hotels in India and now apply techniques to provide truly authentic dishes.

Above Left: Chef Nabhraj Bhandari, Right: Hitesh Rawat

Named after one of the most important spices in Indian cooking, Kurkum which means turmeric in Arabic offers patrons a variety of stylish Indian as well as international cuisine

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signature dessert Lemon Mascarpone Tart. The ending was a smashing hit and team Crème de la Crème vowed to go back again. All the dishes we ordered were well cooked and arrived promptly. Starters were served with homemade dips and sauces. Kurkum Restaurant was more than what we expected it to be, the dishes are unique and strong on taste. There is so much here that it is perfect for both vegetarians and certified carnivores! The food is exceptional with fresh and healthy flavours and an ideal restaurant to enjoy a great meal or grab a quick bite with your friends or loved ones.

“Our idea of authentic Indian food is not something that is spicy, oily and heavy on the stomach which is the general idea of most people. We are breaking that notion and serving people healthy, low calorie and less spicy food. We will keep our dishes simple and homely while retaining the authentic flavour in our cooking,” says Hitesh Rawat, Restaurant Manager. We started our evening with an appetising and aromatic Fish Soup which was made with special herbs, spices and Hammour, a must try for fish lovers. “It has been a collective experiment by our experienced chefs who have worked tirelessly for the past couple of months to come up with fresh and unique tastes that would please any palate. The menu is the result of teamwork which plays a very important role in this restaurant,” says Hitesh.

The dinner menu is extensive and features a large selection of appetisers, soups, salads, condiments, and breads, as well as lamb, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian entrees

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As a true foodie would have loved it, my team was then served a platter of starters ranging from Succulent Kashmiri Lamb Kebabs, soft Indian Chicken Dim Sum with Tamarind Chutney, Fresh Cucumber Salad with Bean Sprouts, refreshing Prawn Salad and a spicy Vegetable Wrap. True to Kurkum’s cooking style, the dishes were prepared using less spice and oil and thus we did not feel stuffed and were ready to try the main course after that. “We have three categories of menu served all through the day at the restaurant. In the morning we serve fresh juices, tea, coffee, sandwiches, cookies, cakes, sorbets and ice cream. We have prepared a special menu keeping in mind our health conscious and overly stressed patrons which comprise of soups, salads, sandwiches that are not prepared with the traditional breads but Indian Chapatis (Indian bread) and other quick bites which are light on the palate. Our dinner menu comprises of both vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisine which mainly include dishes from various parts of India, says Hitesh. After having a quick chat with Chef Nabhraj Bhandari,

he explained the importance of taste over appearance of the food that is served at the restaurant. “We avoid using artificial colours and ingredients and make sure to prepare our dishes with the freshest of ingredients. We take time to create something that is authentic and pure in taste. We don’t mind even if we are delayed in serving our guests by few minutes because we want to serve them the very best,” says Chef Nabhraj Bhandari. When asked about the preparation style, Chef Nabhraj explained, “All the ingredients used in Kurkum are true to the traditional concept of Indian cooking. The difference here will be in its taste which will make us stand out from the rest of the restaurants in the city.” The dinner menu is extensive and features a large selection of appetisers, soups, salads, condiments, and breads, as well as lamb, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian entrees. We tastes flavoursome and authentic Red Lamb Shank Korma, Goan Coconut Chicken Curry, Coconut Rice and Naan (Indian Bread). Lastly we were served Kaju Kulfi and Rice Pudding in beautiful cocktail glasses along with the restaurant’s

It has been a collective experiment by our experienced chefs who have worked tirelessly for the past couple of months to come up with fresh and unique tastes that would please any palate. The menu is the result of teamwork which plays a very important role in this restaurant

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Gourmet & Hospitality

Dining

Platter of Delights A time for reverence and contemplation, Ramadan is a great period for families as well as friends to get together. The hotels in the city have on offer lovely menus for Iftar and Sohour during the Holy Month. Here’s our pick of some of the finest… Crème de la Crème Report

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is booked for over 150 people, as the organiser, you will receive a complimentary one night stay* for two people in a Deluxe room in Al Bandar hotel, including breakfast. Sohour is offered at the hotel from 7.30pm till 2.00am (last order 12.15 am) in the courtyard at the new Al Mazaar souk with traditional Ramadan delicacies served with a range of hot and cold refreshments. Those with a sweet tooth can sample time-honoured Arabic delights including Oum Ali and basbousa, as well as Omani favourite halwa. Live Arabic music entertainment takes place every evening at 8.30pm with oud and tablah players. A dedicated juice maker also presents traditional ‘juices of the day’ and a bread maker will prepare authentic Arabic breads. Raffle draws will be held every Wednesday and Thursday during which some amazing gifts will be given away. For more information contact 2477 6565 and to know more about private Iftar functions call 24776241. The Chedi Muscat The award winning restaurant, The Restaurant at The Chedi Muscat presents a sumptuous choice of Iftar menus to break your fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan this year. The pleasing design of The Restaurant featuring understated elegance and a perfect mix of Omani architecture and a profound Asian Zen-style makes for a great setting to gather with your friends, relatives or business associates to

Sablah, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa

Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa Oman’s popular beachfront resort, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa has quite a few interesting Iftar treats to choose from. Every evening during Ramadan a delectable selection of traditional Iftar dishes from the Middle East will be served in the deluxe surroundings of Al Tanoor restaurant. The buffet includes popular Ramadan beverages, such as ahlab, kamar din, karkade and julab, besides authentic dishes from the Middle East. Guests choosing to dine at the Moroccan restaurant Shahrazad will be able to choose from an à la carte menu for dinner every evening. The hotel also offers Iftar in Shahrazad upon request only at the time of reservation. Private Iftar tents that can accommodate up to eight people will be set up in the Sablah area, a wonderful setting to enjoy a relaxing evening overlooking the Gulf of Oman. For groups of at least ten people to as many as several hundred, the hotel has a variety of function rooms, or outdoor venues, with a wide range of menus to choose from. Also, this Ramadan, when a company books an Iftar meal for a minimum of 100 people, the hotel will give the organiser a complimentary dinner voucher* for two in either Al Tanoor or Samba restaurants. If the Iftar event

The Chedi

break your fast. The Iftar menus boast an abundant choice of festive dishes including assorted dates, a selection of hot and cold mezze, grilled meat and seafood as well as a superb offering of traditional deserts, all of which are prepared by their team of native Chefs for the occasion. Iftar dinners can also be arranged in the hotel’s private dining rooms for groups of up to 60 guests. For more details and reservations contact 24524343 or email on restaurant@chedimuscat.com. Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat Fancy an Iftar with a twist? Then China Mood in Al Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat would be great choice. The restaurant is offering a traditional Chinese iftar. Al Khiran Terrace Restaurant will serve traditional Iftar buffet everyday. Welcome drinks and Omani coffee will be served every evening. The hotel also has private rooms and a choice of three different themes for a more intimate dining experience. The buffet features traditional specialties, juices and desserts prepared with unique oriental flavours. For more details contact 24764000.

Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Hotel

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Radisson Blu Hotel The Al Tajin and Olivos offer guests a variety of menus created specially for the Holy Month of Ramadan. Both these restaurants at Radisson Blu Hotel can be be booked for group iftar gatherings. In fact Olivos has a choice of six fantastic menus to choose from. Al Tajin also features a fascinating spread for Iftar. The restaurants in the hotel are great venues to hold parties for 15 to 35 people. Fruit juices, traditional beverages, soups, salads, hot mezze, cheeses, meat, breads and desserts feature in the Iftar menu at Al Tajin. For more information contact 24487777. Grand Hyatt Muscat The Mokha Cafe will have a wonderful buffet comprising of Iftar specialties. The ambience of Mokha makes ita great place to enjoy a special Iftar with family and friends. For a more relaxed atmosphere, the Sirj Tea Lounge is an ideal option. Enjoy traditional Oud music, the finest selection of Mezzeh and Arabic sweets, from sunset until late to make for a perfect evening. The hotel’s banquet team will also organise tailor-made events for corporate clients. A variety of catering packages are available to choose from. For more details contact 24641234.

Grand Hyatt Muscat

Park Inn Muscat At the Park Inn Muscat, ‘The Palm’ restaurant will host the Iftar buffet from sunset until 11 p.m. The culinary team will present traditional Iftar fare prepared with the freshest of ingredients. The daily rotational menus lend variety and the Iftar buffet also features a juice station. Featuring a mix of healthy starters, soups, scrumptious main courses and delectable desserts, the buffet is priced at just RO 10 net per person. Soft drinks and coffee are included as beverage accompaniments. Private group bookings ranging from a minimum of 40 persons to a maximum of 70 persons can be booked at the RBG Grill restaurant at the rate of RO 12 net per person. Special packages are also available on request for meetings and events taking place during this month. For more information contact 24507888.

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Radisson Blu Hotel


Travel & Lifestyle

Destination w Escape w Lounge August 2010

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Travel & Lifestyle

Destination

Passionate about Paris The land of romance, cultures, art, history and beauty. Paris is an all-time favourite among travellers and somehow there always is something new to be experienced in this fascinating city Script: Nupur Tron

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hen in Paris, no matter where you turn to you are carressed by beauty and art. The city is synonymous with the romantic and seductive days of cafe culture, the cobbled terraces, with lovers strolling around the quay and measuring Paris at its utmost perennial beauty in the heights of summer from dawn to dusk. Paris is one of the most feminine, romantic and seductive cities in the world where you will find fashion, history, culture, art, gastronomy and more all in one place - the whole spectrum of colours in the ‘art de vivre’ as the French say, which means ‘art of living’. The spring season in Paris starts with the most awaited openings of the galleries and museums with exhibitions from all around the world namely, Grande & Petite Palais, George Pompidou, Muse de Quai Bronly and the most famous of all, The Louvre.

Le Bon Marche also houses an amazing collection of books from around the world along with the stationeries and home furnishing section spread over a 7000 metres second floor As the art season begins in Paris, fashion house windows are dressed and glossed with the latest collection which are visited by women from far and wide to check the latest fashion on the streets of Foubourg St. Honore where it all begins with Chanel, YSL, Lanvin, Dior, and Hermes to name a few. My personal preference is the one stop shop in the left bank by St Germain ‘Le Bon Marche’. It reminds me of the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’; there is nothing that can go wrong here! It is the best niche store in the world

owned by LVMH and designed by Gustav Eiffel himself ! The store has everything from cosmetics, accessories, hats, hand gloves, shoes, bags, watches, kids wear, men and women wear and even an amazing Grande Epicierie where you can have all the best French delights. I am very proud of my own corner in the fine jewellery section ‘Nupur’ next to Poiray on the ground floor, a must visit where you can find some of the most fine exclusive jewellery line which is carefully hand crafted and passed on from generations.

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One can stop for a lovely lunch at the cafeteria and contemplate on all the shopping you have done and perhaps after a lovely meal catch up on some more shopping! Le Bon Marche also houses an amazing collection of books from around the world along with the stationeries and home furnishing section spread over a 7000 metres second floor. St. Germaine is lovely to walk around and discover the galleries and exclusive shopping and cafeterias like the famous cafe Flore and Le Deux Magots. One of my favourite afternoon walks is by Palais Royal which is a jewel in the heart of the city of Paris. It is situated very close to The Louvre. There are some amazing new boutiques here among the old ‘Didier Ladout’ antique vintage clothing and accessories collection store to Stella Mcartney, Marc Jacobs and my dear friend Corto Maltendo’s

Marais is one of the only areas that preserve the narrow streets and architectural styles of medieval and Renaissance Paris, with dramatic residences, hotels, boutiques, galleries, lavish squares and other fascinating historical sights

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amazing bag store where you could also enjoy a lovely lunch by the Place de Colette after a spree of shopping. One of the best ways to discover the city’s monumental sights is a boat ride on my dear friend Laurence’s Boat cruise. It is truly a magical trip of Paris on a Riva boat around the Seine with some of the most memorable and captivating images that you will carry with you and which will keep bringing you back to Paris. Another eclectic place to spend the day around is in the Marais (3rd and 4th district of Paris). Marais is one of the oldest and most amazing dazzling quarters first developed in the 12th century. The name of the quarters ‘swamp; once the royal favourite of Henri IV and Louis XIII the Marais was turned to ruins after the revolution of 1789. Since its revival Marais has shone as a centre of Parisian artistic and cultural life. It is rich in various facets, whether you are interested in contemporary art, fashion, vintage or quite simply a certain life style somewhere between ancient stones and modernity, a mix of trend. With attractions like Place de Vosges to the Marche des Enfants Rouges, from Carnival Museum to the Carreau du Temple, many tourists flock to this area and embrace Marais in their hearts where they find the treasures of the Parisians patrimony and the quiet and peace of village life as well as the dynamism of its culture. This is a great pedestrian territory. Marais is one of the only areas that preserve the narrow streets and architectural styles of medieval and Renaissance Paris, with dramatic residences, hotels, boutiques, galleries, lavish squares and other fascinating historical sights.

When in France, the patisseries are a must visit. One of my favourites in Paris is Ladure in Champs Elysee and Rue Royal in Madeline and by St. Germain, a must stop for tea or lunch

The charming discreet niche Joyce Hotel is tucked in the theatre quarters of place Saint Georges. It’s a charming boutique hotel with 44 rooms created by the architect Philippe Maidenberg. When in France, the patisseries are a must visit. One of my favourites is Ladure in Champs Elysee and Rue Royal in Madeline and by St. Germain, a must stop for tea or lunch. Since 1831, Deyrolle offers nature lovers and professionals, schools, universities, museums, scientific or medical centers, materials for natural science such as zoology, botany, mineralogy, conchiliology, shells collections, mounted animals of many kind, natural wonders and collection pieces. The principle of Deyrolle was always to bring to human nature the sense of observation and description :‘an image is worth a thousand words’. If one want to protect nature, one has to know it, understand it and overcome the cycles of reproduction of species as well. A year ago a terrible fire severely damaged the Cabinets of Curiosities (also known as Wunderkammer or wonderrooms) as well as the entomology room and a large part of the historical collections. Deyrolle was saved because of the extraordinary enthusiasm of so many of its fans including

Hermes, and numerous artists worldwide that contributed to create artworks for an auction done by Christie’s last November. As a result, it lead to the reconstruction of the entomology room that will reopen in the Fall. Today, the store is as beautiful as ever, with collection of large mammals, magnificent mounted birds and other beautiful and astonishing natural wonders. Another new place to hang out is the new restaurant under the star lit sky that welcomes guests to the gallery terasse signed by Philippe Starck with a bourgeois ambience and smoking bars with asian finger food and hot and cold plates. With an amazing view of the seine and great for night out clubbing and concerts very good french bistrot called batofar next to 11 quai francois-mauriac. With all the above things to do and visit I am sure you will have the most memorable visit to Paris. Bon voyage! Nupur is a Paris based jewellery designer as well as the Ambassadrice of Art & Culture Chambre de Commerce of France. Apart from having her own line of jewellery, she loves to travel, shop, dine and experience different cultures and traditions. August 2010

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Travel & Lifestyle

Escape

Jewel in the Crown

Luxurious, chic and absolutely amazing, the newly launched Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa in South Africa is a destination by itself. Internationally acclaimed architecture and luxury interior design practice David Collins Studio created this stunning masterpiece Script: Anne Kurian

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Situated just 45 minutes away from Cape Town, the exclusive Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa gives emphasis to seclusion and offering guests the pleasure in simple things – silence, fresh seasonal food, discreet service, special people, romance and the environment. Truly, a retreat like none other! The man behind the breathtaking design, David Collins, shares his experiences of working on one of the most fascinating luxury boutique retreats in South Africa… Please tell us about the creation of the Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa. When I saw the light falling on the surrounding mountains and breathtaking scenery I understood why this project was such a passion for Laurence Graff. He wanted to make this a world-class destination and I knew that I really wanted to be involved. Although the buildings within the Estate are all new, I wanted to create a sense that the contemporary buildings incorporated features from a historic building that echoes the architectural heritage of South Africa. I did not want the interior architecture to be colonial and thoroughly researching old Cape Dutch design was very important to the process. What is the USP of Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa? When I first visited the site on the Helshoogte mountain pass in Stellenbosch, I was blown away by the absolute beauty so I would have to say primarily location. The panoramic views at Delaire Graff Estate are so special and have to be the focus. The Estate has a really relaxed atmosphere and it is great to see people enjoying the scale of the buildings, the artwork on the walls of the interiors and the sculptures that cover the estate.

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he House of Graff is the epitome of class, purity and excellence. The company associated with the some of the best jewels in the world has unveiled one of its most precious offerings to the world of luxury – Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa in South Africa. Set on the picturesque Delaire Graff Estate at the top of Helshoogte Mountain Pass in the Stellenbosch countryside, Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa is undoubtedly a unique luxury destination in itself. Ten luxurious lodges offering privacy and absolute comfort make the Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa a retreat that is rivalled by few. Designed by one of foremost leading names in architecture and luxury interior design practice, David Collins Studio, the estate combines sophistication with contemporary style. Derek Henstra, a leading architect from South Africa was involved in the designing of the dining building.

They [lodges] have been created with their own distinct personality to feel as if they are run by the owner but at the same time, incorporating all the aspirational features demanded by the modern traveler

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Please describe the various facilities in the lodges. Designed with nature in mind, each lodge has been built with locally sourced material for a truly authentic feel. They have been created with their own distinct personality to feel as if they are run by the owner but at the same time, incorporating all the aspirational features demanded by the modern traveler. Each lodge also benefits from a private heated swimming pool and double height ceilings. There is a full spa service including signature health treatments and a private cinema for hotel guests. In addition to the main estate restaurant there is also a smaller more intimate dining destination located alongside the lodges.

The Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa effortlessly reflect the Graff identity to give guests the ultimate luxury experience in unrivalled surroundings with perfect accommodation

What do you feel makes Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa unique? The Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa effortlessly reflect the Graff identity to give guests the ultimate luxury experience in unrivalled surroundings with perfect accommodation. It is very much a discrete destination where guests can experience maximum privacy, comfort and relaxation.

It is important that guests feel special and that a hotel is relevant to the location where it is based. There are many details that link the hotel to its surroundings and additionally to South African culture 104

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What can a guest expect from their experience at Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa? It is important that guests feel special and that a hotel is relevant to the location where it is based. There are many details that link the hotel to its surroundings and additionally to South African culture. We’ve worked with Laurence Graff ’s incredible collection of South African art which has been very important to the development of the design and consequently given the project a truly unique feel. The pieces by William Kentridge and Deborah Bell particularly informed and inspired our design with their colours, textures and scale. For example, the restaurant features a snake shaped banquette upholstered in sunburst orange leather which is full of very subtle serpentine details and tones very well with the William Kentridge in the room.

Please tell us about the extensive renovation that David Collins Studio undertook. The buildings at Delaire are all new but the design concept was extremely important and meant that great attention to detail was paid throughout. For example, walls are covered in grasscloth, backed onto silver shimmering foil, to give a feeling of warmth and to contrast with the white washed traditional latte cane that makes up the ceiling of each Lodge. Colour is used throughout and the use of texture to play on colour and light are very important. Hand woven rugs with twists of colour and complimenting bespoke David Collins furniture and lighting, all handmade in South Africa, perfectly complete the project. What makes the experience at Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa different from the you have designed? I am very affected by all the cities and the locations where I work. I think that you get a different feeling and a different vibe from all locations and I am quite inspired by local culture, music and art. This means that all my projects are unique but that they still all have the same minimal luxe aesthetic that my work has become known for. August 2010

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Travel & Lifestyle

Lounge

Women Food and God An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything Geneen

B

Now, after more than three decades of studying, teaching and writing about what drives our compulsions with food, Roth adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God

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Roth

est-selling author Geneen Roth has long been an expert in the area of compulsive and emotional eating, opening the eyes of millions of women with her bestselling book When Food is Love. Dozens of years and literally thousands of diet plans later, the obsessive dieting world has been shaken perhaps to its core by Geneen Roth’s latest book Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything. Her work has earned the seal of approval from Oprah, and has become an instant #1 New York Times Best Seller Now, after more than three decades of studying, teaching and writing about what drives our compulsions with food, Roth adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God. But it doesn’t stop there. Roth shows how going beyond both the food and feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life. With penetrating insight and irreverent humour, Roth traces food compulsions from subtle beginnings to unexpected ends. She teaches personal examination, showing readers how to use their relationship with food to discover the fulfillment they long for. Your relationship with food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom, says Roth. What you most want to get rid of is itself the doorway to what you want most: the demystification of weight loss and the luminous presence that so many of us call “God.” Packed with revelations on every page, this book is a knockyour-socks-off ride to a deeply fulfilling relationship with food, your body...and almost everything else. Women Food and God is, quite simply, a guide for life. Women, Food and God is not a diet plan, and though it features seven guidelines for eating, what Geneen Roth proposes to readers is a life-altering, transformational relationship with one’s self and one’s spirituality that ultimately has nothing to do with food at all.

I

f you want to know how Donald Trump feels about Rosie O’Donnell, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Clooney, Ronald Reagan, Angelina Jolie, Gary Player, Heather Mills, Lee Iacocca, Jimmy Carter and Katie Couric, you need to read this book. He tells you his opinions on life, people and business. Some are good, some are bad and some are downright mean. Of course, Trump also talks about business motivation and having passion in what you do. He uses the people mentioned above in his examples for business and life and the rights or wrongs these people have done. He uses plenty of real-life examples of how he obtained wealth, property and power but he also tells about his failures and near collapse in the early-90s. Think Big and Kick Ass is a book for everyone who loves or hates Trump. Make sure you fasten your seatbelt as you might get riled up in what he has to say. In the first chapter, Trump gives you a 15 question test to see if you possess the passion and entrepreneurial drive to be successful in business. This book is for the person that wants to excel, not only in his/her job, but to become an entrepreneur. This basic test will see how you compare to the 98% of the people that Trump says you need to beat. If you don’t score too high, don’t worry - Trump tells you what you need to work on to achieve your goals. Trump basically goes over the key points of the book so everyone can succeed in life and in their business endeavors. You will hear Trump talk about passion throughout the book and that is key to succeed in anything in life. The money will come with the passion. Find what you love to do in life and pursue it. Donald J. Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance and the developer of some of the most prestigious addresses worldwide, including Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Trump Park Avenue, Trump World Tower, 40 Wall Street, The Grand Hyatt Hotel, the historic Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, the Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower in Dubai, and numerous award-winning golf courses. His Real Estate and Wealth Expos with The Learning Annex have helped over one million people to think BIG. As the Emmynominated star and co producer of the hit television show The Apprentice and the author of seven bestsellers, he is truly a media giant. This is the first book where Trump reveals his Think BIG attitude.

Think Big and Kick Ass

Donald

J. Trump, Bill Zanker

Think Big and Kick Ass is a book for everyone who loves or hates Trump. Make sure you fasten your seatbelt as you might get riled up in what he has to say

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RAMADAN SPECIAL OFFER OFFER VALID ON FACIAL & ANTI - AGEING TREATMENTS

Style & Beauty

UNDER SUPERVISION OF DR.RAMI ANDERI Brazilian - Lebanese Plastic Surgeon implementing the latest innovations of the Brazilian techniques

Location: Bldg.1303, Way No. 3017, Shatti Al Qurum PO Box 1505, PC 133, Al Khuwair | Tel.: 24699052, Fax: 24699051 | GSM: 99244099

www.cosmeclic.net

Fashion w Showcase w Gallery August 2010

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Style & beauty

Fashion

Fantasies from Hermès The French luxury house, Hermès has unveiled its absolutely stunning and beautifully crafted array of home and fashion accessories – Objets Hermès FallWinter 2010. The Hermès Bedroom collection features bed linen created with beautiful materials and exceptional know-how. The Men’s collection comprising of travel bags, luggage, silk accessories, shoes and watches stay true to the heritage of the brand associated with luxury and exceptional craftsmanship. The Ladies’ collection has been designed to surprise and charm. Exquisitely crafted jewellery, silk scarves, handbags and purses, shoes and other fashion accessories are part of the FallWinter 2010 collection.

Clipper 44 mechanical chronograph diver watch A new ultra-sports version of an iconic model, this watch features a mechanical self-winding movement and 44-millimetre case made of titanium. Lighter and stronger than steel, this material is notably used for competition yachts. Water-resistant to 200 metres and fitted with a rubber strap, it is perfectly adapted to water sports!

Etrivière Calfskin Boot A supple and comfortable winter boot, the calfskin footwear’s double sole and Étrivière strap highlight its strong character

Cascade necklace Comprised of a single curved strand, the buckle of this necklace evolves into a waterfall of different sized chains, falling gracefully and naturally. This cascade of rose gold, reminiscent of a horse’s tail, evokes the precious relationship connecting Hermès to the equestrian world.

Goatskin Sandals This winter sandal contrasts delicate goatskin suede and sensual marmot, the fur of which protectively encircles the ankle.

Crème de la Crème Report 110 110

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Losange GM An essential must-have, the large losange assumes the reassuring, light warmth of a silk and cash mere blend. Available in two new models: a subdued bicolour knit, or with a geometric tiny horse print.

Kelly 35 So Black This iconic model now displays an all black luminescence. Using an innovative procedure, all the exterior hardware has been blacked-out with a glossed black finish. The So Black range is available in six models and in the two exceptional leathers of box and matte crocodile. The collection reaches total-eclipse with its special packaging: a bag, box and bolduc all in black!

Plumes and Champs de Courses decorative pillowcases Inspired by the Plumes and Champs de courses carrés, these decorative pillowcases add a colourful touch to the bedroom with their very Hermès designs. Only the ‘finesse’ or contour is printed. Made of silk twill and available in two colour schemes – white/étoupe and étoupe/Bordeaux – to match the new bed linen range.

p’H bed linen e cotton twill fabric of this bed linen set has a ticular fullness and silky touch that enhances the pnotic Op’H printed pattern. This luminous line h refined details comes in two colour harmonies: m étoupe/indigo and refreshing white/pearl grey.

Victoria Fourre-Tout 43 bag This timeless classic takes on a new personality with Grizzly calfskin suede, an original material with an irresistibly silky feel and weightless elegance. Complimented with matching handles and reinforcements in Barénia calfskin or Evergrain calfskin, the bag is fully lined with Chevron canvas.

Tigre Royal pointe A majestic Tigre royal set against a background of polka dots is the design featured on the ‘pointe’ scarf this season. Printed on the supple and velvety touch of washed silk twill, it is adorned with two pompoms in colourful plaited fabric. Slipped through the embroidered eyelets, they add a very feminine and charming touch. The pointe has been designed by

* Hermès boutiques are located in Burjuman and Dubai Mall - Dubai; Moda Mall – Bahrain and The Pearl – Qatar.

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| AL SAHWA TOWERS,

AL ATHAIBA ✆ 24617401 | JAWHARAT A’SHATI COMPLEX ✆ 24694922 |

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| SHANGRI-LA’S BARR AL JISSAH RESORT & SPA ✆ 24824113 | SAFEER PLAZA, SOHAR ✆ 26853038 |


Style & Beauty

Showcase

To celebrate the J12’s tenth anniversary, Chanel is offering a totally new watch-making complication where technical prowess bows to aesthetics... Crème de la Crème Report

Beauty in precision O

nce upon a time there was a round watch. Perfectly round, with no side winding crown to spoil the perfection of this roundness. In 2000, to create a black watch, perfectly black, Chanel turned to ceramic, the only high-tech material capable of achieving this. It was logical for Chanel to put the question of this round watch, perfectly round with no crown, to one of the most creative teams in fine complications - the Giulio Papi team at APRP (Audemars Piguet Renaud Papi). An authentic finely-mechanical “complication” was a must if the J12’s tenth anniversary was to be celebrated in fitting style: a way of marking a new stage in Chanel’s career at the heart of fine watchmaking. The first J12 tourbillon was launched in 2005. This was first in the history of watchmaking - combining a tourbillon with a ceramic watch which also had a ceramic mainplate. Having acquired a taste for this fine watchmaking, the J12 gave itself a “manufacture” movement in 2008 (calibre 3125, developed in partnership with Audemars Piguet with an innovative ceramic oscillating weight). The question in 2010 was how to devise a fine watchmaking J12 totally in line with the designs of the

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House of Chanel? How to turn this desire for a perfectly round complicated watch into reality? How to marry Chanel tradition and Swiss micro-mechanical tradition? Guilio Papi, author of some of the most attractive neocomplications in recent years, took up the Chanel challenge. Immediate response - move the crown! Why not put it on the dial, something never tried before? This immediately raised the problem of the hands - how to make them move round the dial with this crown in the way? This in turn created a further problem - a raised crown on the watch. Why not a vertical retractable crown which would be even more daring? Just because it’s never been tried doesn’t mean it can’t be done, especially when the Chanel and Giulio Papi teams are working together. It was therefore necessary to invent, in a tourbillon movement, a minute hand capable not just of moving around the dial but also around the crown right on the dial itself. The only way - the return journey! Move the minute hand forward until it butts up against the crown, then reverse it until it is positioned on the other side of the crown. In this case, if the hand moves forward then goes into reverse to pick up its travel, what happens to the accuracy of the watch? How can it give the time during this retrograde interval? As the hand can no longer indicate the minutes, figures - digital display – step in a magnifying aperture located between 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock, an ingenious idea which in no way disturbs the rate of the hour hand. The name of this watch is beginning to take on meaning: Rétrograde for the minute hand which reverses its travel for ten minutes during which, at each revolution of the dial, the hand returns to its position under the crown - i.e. between 10 and 20 past each hour, with the minute counted in figures in the magnifying aperture at the bottom of the dial - and Mystérieuse for the mysterious workings of this dual analog and digital display. It is a highly technical and very aesthetically-pleasing watch complication. Simple to devise but perhaps not so simple to produce! All the more so as this sequentially retrograded hand, duplicated by a digital display of minutes, is an absolute first in watchmaking history. Just like the vertical crown built into the dial, which is deactivated by pressing it flush with the crystal or activated by finger pressure to “release” and manipulate it. So, what happens every hour?  For the first ten minutes, hours and minutes are read very traditionally in the middle of the watch.  At the tenth minute of the hour (i.e. at 2 o’clock on the dial), the minute hand reverses its rotation and turns anti-clockwise. It is therefore moving backwards and will take ten minutes to return to its traditional position at the twentieth minute (4 o’clock on the dial). For this counter revolution of 300 (50 min. x 6/min.), it “regresses” at the rate of five minutes of dial every minute.  During these ten minutes of retrogradation, every minute

This J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse is not just a piece which res pects the Chanel style and values, it is also a truly complicated watch, both mechanically - it is the first time that this type of retrograde hand has been attempted – and aesthetically

passed can be read on a disc engraved 11 to 19 in a magnifying aperture. This digital disc only moves slowly during this interval of moving backwards. It remains in neutral (no figures) during the fifty minutes of the normal rotation of the minute hand.  After the ten minutes of moving backwards, reading the time returns to normal.  This moving backwards of the hand - a “sliding” reversal in its rate - has no adverse effect on the accuracy of the watch, unlike the traditional system of retrograde hands, which requires coiling a spring and therefore an excessive consumption of power.  At 11 o’clock, a power reserve per hand indicates the operating time for the movement until it is next wound manually (the movement is designed to operate for ten days, once two parallel barrels are fully wound). And what other

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The first J12 tourbillon was launched in 2005. This was first in the history of watchmaking - combining a tourbillon with a ceramic watch which also had a ceramic mainplate

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mechanical subtleties are still hidden in J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse?  The vertical crown has to be pressed to make it usable - it is normally lowered in stand-by position (functions disconnected). It then rises out of its housing.  To set the time correctly, a vertical ceramic push-piece concealed in the bezel decoration is pressed: located at 2 o’clock, this push-piece is used to move the hands forward to set the hour and the minutes (including those between 10 and 20, with an accelerated retrogradation speed). The push-piece at 4 o’clock is pressed to disconnect this time setting function.  To transfer to winding mode, the system is activated by pressing the vertical push-piece at 4 o’clock: the crown is turned to wind the movement. Fifty turns are needed to wind both barrels fully. This can be checked on the power reserve.  To deactivate the vertical crown, it is pressed back into its housing where it remains blocked until next required.  Do not miss the monolithic bridges and the ceramic mainplate, with its superb design on the back of the watch. Guilio Papi’s team has won its wager. This J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse is not just a piece which res pects the Chanel style and values, it is also a truly complicated watch, both mechanically - it is the first time that this type of retrograde hand has been attempted – and aesthetically. It involves a triple complication in the strictest sense of the word - tourbillon, retrograde minute and clutchable crown. This combination is a world first, worthy of entry in watchmaking annals. The size of the case (47 mm) quite clearly intends this innovative tourbillon for a masculine audience, but without ignoring the “couture” subtleties of Chanel design: attention to the slightest detail, concern for the line, the taste for being “spot on”, the rejection of easiness. With a new learning curve for the watchmaking team working on this J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse - tactility, an entirely new exploration field for watchmaking, which has never before used the tactile approach or sensory perception (other than visual) in its watches. Chanel wanted a complete re-think of the complication for its tenth anniversary with its own vision of mechanical watchmaking and watch aesthetics. Not quite breaking with tradition, the J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse opens up a new perspective on perpetually contemporary watches.

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Gallery Style & beauty

Of all Things Precious and eautiful

na Saif Al Kharusi

A unique and luxurious boutique that caters specifically to mothers and babies has been creating ripples in the city. Mennez, the cherished dream of Lujaina Saif Al Kharusi, is a haven of essential and delightful treasures

W

hen Lujaina S Kharusi was expecting her first child, she found few stores in Oman had the essentials she required during her pregnancy. After her baby was born Kharusi’s frustration in not being able to procure specific baby products only grew. Matters didn’t improve even after her second and third babies were born. And that’s when Kharusi decided to do something about it so that other expecting mothers would not go through what she went. Thus was born Mennez, the über-luxurious and fascinating boutique that caters to expecting mothers and tiny tots. A doting mother to her three kids – Tanya, Yara and Omar, Kharusi works as senior regulatory economist with Muscat Electricity Distribution Company. The softspoken and charming entrepreneur whose commendable boutique has been raking in rave reviews ever since she opened Mennez talks to Crème de la Crème about the journey so far and what the future holds…

The birth of an idea “I have wanted to have a boutique for expecting mothers and babies for a long time; actually from the time I had my first child. When my first baby was born, I realised that not a single shop in Oman offered luxurious unique baby products. So I had to shop abroad. Even after my second and third kids were born, I had to shop for the essentials I wanted either in Dubair or during my trips to Europe. I also shopped online though delivery to Oman was not a feasible idea and I had to have it delivered to a friend in USA who would then arrange to get it across to me. It was frustrating. “I believe babies are special and very precious. My grandmother and mother are very particular about how kids should be dressed and taken care of. I grew seeing and experiencing that. And I wanted the same for my kids just like any mother. Two years back I decided to start an exclusive boutique for other mothers who believe in the fanciful and the essentials..

Expectant mothers can easily choose their gifts at the click of a button and these will be registered with us. Friends and family wishing to buy gifts for the expectant mother can choose from this list

Crème de la Crème Interview

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and also for baby showers. We have complete lists of what an expectant mother would require to welcome her baby into this world and she can choose from this quite easily. “We also stock gowns and jelabiyas by Daziaa, the contemporary Omani fashion brand. These have been well received especially as they can be worn both during pregnancy as well as after.” What lies ahead… “If I had my way, I would open a mall for expectant mothers and babies. There are so many lovely brands and products that I would love to bring to Oman. In the near future, I hope to introduce baby wear and products by Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Burberry and other internationally acclaimed brands. I hope to expand into more specific products as well as introduce some services for expectant mothers.”

I didn’t want to open a regular or typical store. I wanted a luxurious boutique that stocked unique and best quality products

Out of the ordinary “I didn’t want to open a regular or typical baby store. I wanted a luxurious boutique that stocked unique and best quality products. Mennez is unique in tha aspect as it stocks the best and most luxurious products in the market. I wanted to open the boutique in a great location and it was not an easy task. I searched a lot for a good location to open the boutique. In the meantime, I worked on a business module, researched all that I could on the kind of products to be brought to Oman, contacted companies and suppliers and read up incessantly on all that was required to set up the boutique. “Then a friend suggested I start the business online, which seemed like a great idea. But then it turned out that most companies whose products I wanted would supply only if I had a store. Also, online shopping was yet to catch up in Oman. With the support of my husband Shamil Al barwani, and his encouragement, I decided to go ahead with my initial idea of opening a boutique.” Taking shape “I knew what I wanted for Mennez. I wanted to offer expecting mothers products they required but could not easily get in Oman. It had to be a place that would make pregnant women and mothers happy. From the moment they walked in, I wanted them to have a lovely experience.

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So the colours, décor, ambience and even the scent inside the boutique had to be in accordance. “I worked with Gina from Samahram Design Furnishing who helped in designing the boutique the way I visualised it. She did an amazing job.” The dream boutique “Though there were a few frustrating moments till a few days before opening, we have had an overwhelming response ever since the launch. So many clients have expressed their joy and gratitude for opening the boutique. We also have clients in other parts of GCC like UAE, Bahrain and Qatar who got to know about the boutique through Facebook. “At Mennez, we have a unique collection of brands and products. This includes Baby Dior, Huddle & Bliss (the only independent stockist currently in the world), Stokke, Theophile & Patachou, Olian Maternity, Lulla Smith, Dr. Brown’s Belly Bandit & more. I have created a gift registry similar to the wedding registry that is popular in the USA and Europe. Expectant mothers can easily choose their gifts at the click of a button and these will be registered with us. Friends and family wishing to buy gifts for the expectant mother can choose from this list. The registry system is the first of its kind in Oman. “We also have some exclusive products to set up a nursery

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Melange

Simply Musts w I, Me, Myself August 2010

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Melange

Simply Musts

A selection of the finest buys for connoisseurs of luxury Fashion Brilliance In 1972 Audemars Piguet launched a line of mechanical watches with hexagonal screws that fastened a portholelike bezel. Thus was born the Chronographe Royal Oak Offshore, in honour of the British Royal Navy’s line of ships bearing the same name. The Royal Oak Offshore is among many of the most specialised and complex steel watches produced by this famous manufactory. Available at Mistal Showroom, Darsait

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Unique Writing Instruments The Caran d’Ache 1010 collection represents a unique encounter between Fine Watchmaking and Fine Writing. The master craftsmen of the Geneva Maison de Haute Ecriture have again extended their expertise to create a limited edition in the 1010 Collection devoted to all those who love sports or enjoy a challenge: the 1010 Chrono Sport. This fine writing instrument combines a pure sporting aesthetic with the excellent manufacturing standards of the Swiss Made label. For more information, contact Khimji’s Watches at 24699173

Fragrance of Luxury

Style Statement

Presented in a collector’s edition bottle, studded in Swarovski crystals, this incredibly sensual unisex scent has been created exclusively for Harrods by Bond No.9 and features the rare Arabian ‘oud’. Oud is a botanical resin coveted for its exquisite and long-lasting aroma. Bond No.9 has used it in combination with carefully selected amber and myrrh notes. The Harrods Swarovski Crystal Oud Edition is sure to make an exquisite addition to any fragrance wardrobe. www.harrods.com

Stylish, contemporary and comfortable! These crisscrossed men’s sandals make a smart ensemble giving it a trendy look. The strappy combination make these one of a kind Givenchy sandals look more tough than casual. Pair them with shorts or pants to get that summer look. Available at Salam Studio & Stores, Qurum

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Curve of Relaxation Function is designed around modularity, which puts the customer in charge of the design process. The furniture is developed for the modern home, featuring a sleek design, fine quality and great attention to detail. The IDdesign team has developed a unique IDdesign range which consists of unique furniture and lifestyle products of high quality and in a modern design. Available at IDdesign, Markaz Al Bahjah

Reliving Tradition As unique as it looks, these beautifully designed brass lamps can add a touch of sensuality to your home decor. Durable in use, make your unique selection during the month of Ramadan and give your ambience an illuminating touch of tradition and culture. Available at Raj Relics, Jawharat A’ Shatti

Designed to Perfection This is an absolute treat for kitchen lovers. Fissler products are known to entice; their sleek design and contemporary touch is enough to make your kitchen stand out! The Pro Roaster ensures the roast is really juicy. The Pro Roaster comes with an extra heavy, tightly closing lid along with a condensate-plus function and practical measuring scale. The large lid handle is particularly easy to grasp because the ring-shaped heat shield means that it does not become too hot. Available at Khimji’s Luxury & Lifestyle Store, Qurum

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A Classic Cut A perfect gift that can be given to your loved ones, this vase is a highly collectible item and a testament of the fine crystal making of Tittot. Their collection is made of glass cast using the lost wax technique, a method which was favored by artists in France during the art nouveau period. Available at Gallery Argan, Bareeq Al Shatti

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Melange

I, Me, Myself

Unwind - Unbecome - Unleash! Liberate your senses… Tajul N. Khan, the charming and dynamic manager of Porsche Design Oman showroom shares his ideals in life

Your mantra in life  Respect for self  Respect others  Responsibility for all my actions What motivates you  My ability to work hard and deliver results motivates me What is most precious to you  My family, especially my baby daughter What is your inspiration  My past and the struggles I had to endure to be who I am today Cannot leave home without  A serious thought of making the day a successful one Prized possessions  My memories. Without memories, you are no longer yourself and have no possessions. Favorite holiday destinations  Zell am See (Austria) & Goa. Favorite hangouts in Oman  The beaches, with my family and some close friends. If you had to choose another career, then you would be  May be an Interior Designer, but retail is my obsession Life in Oman  After living in Oman for 10 years and travelling to many other countries, I think the space you get and feeling of individual identity is just phenomenal. Also the leisure time we get to spend with our families and friends. 130

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My interests  Travelling, meeting people and making friends

1st. Floor, Khyber Restaurant, CBD Main Street, Next to NBO Head Office Timings: Sat to Thu 12pm to 3pm & 6pm to 2am Fri 2pm to 2am 24781901 97015530

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