TAHANI SABCO CENTRE, TEL: 24562589
GALLERY ARGAN: Qurum Shopping Area, Al-Bustan Palace, Bareeq Al Shati Soon at Shangr-la-Barr-Al-Jissah, Muscat Grand Mall PRIMA GOLD: Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre, Bareeq Al Shati www.galleryargan.com
GALLERY ARGAN: Qurum Shopping Area, Al-Bustan Palace, Bareeq Al Shati Soon at Shangr-la-Barr-Al-Jissah, Muscat Grand Mall PRIMA GOLD: Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre, Bareeq Al Shati www.galleryargan.com
GALLERY ARGAN: Qurum Shopping Area, Al-Bustan Palace, Bareeq Al Shati Soon at Shangr-la-Barr-Al-Jissah, Muscat Grand Mall PRIMA GOLD: Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre, Bareeq Al Shati www.galleryargan.com
TAHANI SABCO CENTRE, TEL: 24562589
THE NEW MENâ€™S FRAGRANCE www.parfumsgivenchy.com
JUNE 19TH 2010 SHANGRI-LA’S BARR AL JISSAH RESORT & SPA SULTANATE OF OMAN
An Irresistible Desire …
AL SAHWA TOWERS, AL ATHAIBA ✆ 24617401 | JAWHARAT A’SHATI COMPLEX ✆ 24694922 | SHANGRI-LA’S BARR AL JISSAH RESORT & SPA ✆ 24824113 | SAFEER PLAZA, SOHAR ✆ 26853038
Trailblazer The iconic international watch and jewellery brand from Switzerland, Chopard celebrates their 150 anniversary this year. To commemorate the anniversary, the company has launched an astounding jewellery collection this year
Finance and Investment
Launch If it is Italian, it has got to be Ferrari. The supercar manufacturer’s latest creation, Ferrari 458 Italia was recently unveiled in Muscat
Art and Design
Canvas ‘Dialogue of Letters’ – a exhibition held at the Bait Al Zubair Museum, showcased colourful and harmonious paintings by eminent artist Mohammed Al Sayegh who creates art using Arabic scripts in a creative way
Economics A report on how Oman’s future looks positive with a steady and regulated banking and financial policy. Aftab Patel, CEO of Al Omaniya Financial Services gives us inside info on the subject
Real Estate Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club’s residential development has been proceeding at impressive speed. The first set of villas and apartments were recently handed over to the buyers
First Look Cadillac SRX 2010 takes crossover luxury automotive engineering to a new level. The new model is exciting and an absolute delight on the roads
Asset National Bank of Oman recently launched the first vertical black Diners Card, a supplementary card for owners of Platinum Cards from the bank
Gallery Bait Muzna Gallery hosted a unique art exhibition recently, featuring four contemporary Omani artists who showcased their latest creations in their own unique style Impressions Fun, environment friendly and a perfect golfing destination. That’s how legendary golfer, Greg Norman describes his much-anticipated and Sultanate’s first sea facing PGA Links golf course at The Wave, Muscat who was on recent visit to Oman
Theatre Top Indian theatre artistes presented the much acclaimed play, Blue Mug at an event organised by Light & Shadow Enterprises
Gourmet & Hospitality
Culinaire Al Khiran Terrace at the Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat was host to a weeklong
celebration of Vietnamese cuisine recently where foodies got a chance to experience an enticing culinary sojourn
unique World Cup collectibles and sports memorabilia are listed for football fanatics
Style and Beauty
Hotel Bytes General Manager York Brandes shares the success formula of The Chedi Muscat that made the resort one of the most popular not just among residents but also visitors to Oman
Review Senor Pico at Intercontinental Muscat offers upscale, authentic Mexican flavours, coupled with dining amidst an impeccable ambience and a 5 Star Diamond Award Chef in the restaurant’s existing team, the experience is unique and top class
Travel and Lifestyle
Explore A safari is a must-do activity for anyone visiting South Africa. Kenya is a choice destination to go on a safari. A lowdown on all that you need to know before embarking on that dream safari
Escape A landmark of luxury, Palace Luzern is one of the most outstanding edifices of Lucerne. Over a hundred years old, the hotel marries modernity with traditional in a endearing style
Lounge The summer months are here, what better way to unwind indoors with a book in your hand! Do not miss picking up your copy of two of the recent top best sellers Street Fighters by Kate Kelly and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
FIFA Special As we countdown to one of the biggest and prestigious sporting event of the year, a list of luxurious &
View Renowned Swiss watch manufacturer Eberhard & Co. has launched the Chrono 4 Badboy with a completely new and gutsy look
Fashion Kenzo, Givenchy and Rami Al Ali Couture got together recently in Muscat to show support and solidarity towards Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan’s initiative, ‘Madrasati Palestine’ with a scintillating fashion event 126As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos, Saud Bahwan Group in association with the Japanese Embassy organised an exciting fashion show featuring the latest collections of distinguished designer, Hanae Mori
BeautyShop The latest in beauty & grooming essentials
Simply Musts Luxury buys that are just so essential and unique
I, Me, Myself David Graham, the dynamic new CEO of Oman Sail shares his ideal weekend getaway and talks about his family indulgences ADVERTORIAL 42 National Bank of Oman’s active participation in recognising the status and involvement of Omani Women in the Sultanate of Oman
Reflections The passion to excel The famous quote ‘genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration’ applies perfectly to many of the renowned business houses around the world. Inspiration comes in many forms, but it is the will to succeed that takes an organisation to the pinnacle. Experts opine that passion is an equally important characteristic to be ahead of the pack. Take a closer look at the top business houses, international as well as local, and you realise that this fact rings true for many. To excel, passion is a requisite and Chopard is an epitome of this mantra. The Swiss luxury house has been wowing audiences worldwide with its magnificent creations since inception. The global brand celebrates 150 years of excellence and creativity this year. To commemorate the milestone, Chopard has launched a vibrant, quirky and exclusive collection inspired by the world of fauna. The collection took my breath away when I saw it at Baselworld this year. Caroline Grousi-Schefule was inspired by her love for animals to create this awe-inspiring collection. But the detailing, precision, creativity and resources that have been put together to make the animal collection is beyond imagination. Read all about the birth and making of this fantastic collection as well Chopard’s success story in this month’s Cover Story. While it is not easy to single out a story in this month’s Crème de la Crème, the feature on the four young Omani artists whose works are displayed at Bait Muzna Gallery brings to fore the indispensable talent of local youth. Keeping alive the football fever, we have gathered together a collection of memorabilia dedicated to FIFA 2010; we are bidding for Ronaldo’s Real Madrid home shirt! I shall leave you now to enjoy this issue of Crème de la Crème. On behalf of our team, I would like to thank our readers who have been sending us mails regularly. Some of your suggestions have gone in to the to-do folder and will soon be incorporated in the magazine. Have a fantastic month!
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: email@example.com www.cremedelacremeoman.com
BPA CONSUMER AUDIT APPLIED FOR DECEMBER 2009 ISSN 2077- 401 X
June 2010 Vol - II Issue - 19
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
PRINTERS OMAN PRINTERS
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Trailblazer w Advertorial June 2010
150 Years of Excellence
A scintillating collection of jeweled animals, a promise to support WWF, four new calibers and creativity that never fails to astound. As Chopard celebrates 150 years of brilliance, Co-Director Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele talks about the brand’s anniversary collection Script: Anne Kurian
aroline Gruosi-Scheufele is an ardent animal lover. Yet probably even the Co-resident and Artistic Director of Chopard would not have imagined that her love for animals would lead to the creation of one of the most stunning and largest haute joaillerie collections by the Swiss luxury house. In commemoration of the brand’s 150th anniversary, Chopard launched a scintillating collection of 150 glittering animal-inspired jewellery and watches at Baselworld 2010. We were shown some of the most enigmatic pieces from the collection during the press event at Chopard and understandably every jewelled piece made the audience gasp. The collection did not just comprise of highly creative jewellery pieces but were more like sculptures. The precision and craftsmanship put into creating each of the pieces is mind-blowing. The Animal World collection required a total of 20,000 hours to complete and involved setting over 250,000 precious and semiprecious stones! Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who we met at Baselworld said, “This is a special year for Chopard. And we wanted to
Below: The Karl Scheufele family
Chopard has partnered with WWF in order to help ensure that the species such as the tiger, featured in its new collection, have a future in the wild
create something as unique as our brand during our 150 anniversary.” The making of the collection Gruosi-Scheufele drew inspiration to create the amazing collection from her own love for animals. “I have always loved animals since I was a child, I have seven dogs of my own at home! Chopard had never worked with the Animal theme before and I thought that this would be the perfect occasion to explore this very diversified and rich universe,” says Gruosi-Scheufele. To create the incredibly detailed pieces, Chopard’s craftsmen studied each creature down to the last detail, and then reproduced it by combining their jewellerymaking skills with the utilisation of ancestral techniques like lacquering, pearl weaving and stone carving mixed with 3D modelling and titanium casting. Gruosi-Scheufele and her team used gems and stones that are not commonly used in the jewellery making world. The Animal World Collection features some unexpected
gemstones like quartz, kunzites, pearls, Paraiba tourmalines, moonstones, red gold, titanium, and precious woods designed to evoke a ‘natural’ effect. Talking about the challenges she had to face, the highly motivated Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard says, “The first challenge was to choose 150 animals out of thousands of species to be represented in the collection! I also wanted to represent them in a realistic but also humouristic way, like the ring showing a Frog holding a crown. Last but not least, this Animal World Collection was and is, as the whole line is not completed yet, a real technical challenge for our workshops in Geneva in terms of sculpting to have the animals look as realistic as possible.” Along with the help of designers from the haute joaillerie department in Chopard, Gruosi-Scheufele researched specialised encyclopedias and the Chinese calendar to produce the collection that is exquisite, humorous and absolutely fascinating. Take for instance the necklace that features two
mischievous looking rubellite monkeys stretching out to take mangoes from a cascading bunch. The animals’ ‘fur’ was recreated by Chopard’s master stone setter out of brown and cognac diamonds; the mangoes are of orange-red sapphires. A tribute to the world of fantasy and fairy tales, a white gold ring is adorned with an emerald-and-black-diamond frog wearing a yellow gold crown. The master craftsmen at Chopard have worked so realistically on the eyes of the frog that they hold an expression of melancholy. The Clownfish necklace is one of the highlights of the collection. It took 750 hours to create using 2160 various stones such as diamonds, apatites, aquamarines, chalcedonies, moonstones, Paraiba tourmalines, quartz, topazes and sapphires. A particularly astounding creation is the Sardines bracelet in diamonds and sapphires, which took nearly 200 hours of labour and thousands of micro-welds; each fish had to be handled individually. To create the illusion of a school of fish being carried along by the current, every single sardine had to be placed with incredible accuracy. Paying homage to the animal kingdom, GruosiScheufele has ensured to include animals that aren’t as cute or probably even as lovable as some of the others. Jewelled rats, hippopotami and maggots feature in the collection as well. In fact sourcing stones for some these animals were tougher. The rats required tiny light-grey diamonds, which were not easy to source. Gruosi-Scheufele did not hesitate to honour the more exotic, unusual, imaginary and endangered species – seahorses, white bears unicorns and koalas, among others. The collection also includes a series of 15 stunning jewellery watches that feature a polar bear on an ice floe, a monkey swinging through lush jungle branches, and a penguin amidst his companions. Presented in 18-karat gold, these timeless models feature diamond-set bezels, specially
Chopard had never worked with the Animal theme before and I thought that this would be the perfect occasion to explore this very diversified and rich universe
decorated mother of pearl dial backgrounds, and mobile diamonds. On another note, 2010 is also the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar, and comes at a time when tiger numbers are estimated to be as low as 3,200. Chopard has partnered with WWF in order to help ensure that the species such as the tiger, featured in its new collection, have a future in the wild. “My family and I are very concerned about environmental issues and I am proud that the Animal World Collection initiated a 3 years partnership with WWF, in particular to support the Tiger Initiative. With this partnership, Chopard has also committed to reduce the environmental impact of its business practices,” says Gruosi-Scheufele. A walk down memory lane Louis-Ulysse Chopard was born on May 4, 1836, in the Swiss town of Sonvilier. His father persuaded him to learn watchmaking at a very young age. In 1860, at the age of just 24, he started his own company, the L.U.C watch manufactory, which specialised in innovative precision watches with intricate decoration. The watches acquired the praise of
Above: Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Co-President and Artisitc Director, Chopard
customers all over Europe, including many distinguished personalities such as Czar Nicolas II of Russia. After the death of Louis-Ulysse in 1915, the company was taken over by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. They continued to produce elegant pocket chronometers and jeweled ladies’ wristwatches. Art Deco had become the latest fashion by the 1920s, and Chopard quickly adopted the latest style. As business flourished, the company relocated to Geneva, Europe’s watchmaking capital, in 1937. Post-World War II was a difficult period in Europe. Many companies struggled, and Chopard was no exception. Though a gifted watchmaker, Paul-André’s business skills were not as impressive, and by the 1960s he was prepared to sell his grandfather’s company. Among the potential purchasers was Karl Scheufele III who himself came from a respectable family in the town of Pforzheim, Germany. In 1904 he founded his own company,
Eszeha, which produced watches and exquisite jewellery that quickly began conquering an international audience. By 1912 he revolutionised the way pocket-watches were designed, allowing the owner to wear the watch as a necklace or a bracelet, thus making it a popular accessory among women. Foreseeing the climate that would spread across Europe during the World War, Karl Scheufele I limited jewellery production and began producing watches with a more discreet, though still supremely elegant look. However, times changed, and the 1920s Art Deco period welcomed times of prosperity. One of Eszeha’s signature designs, the famous ‘wallet watches,’ watches enclosed in decorated cases. Karl Scheufele I died in 1941 and leadership of the company passed to his son, Karl Scheufele II. Under Karl II’s guidance, Eszeha continued to prosper. This brings us back to the Chopard story. In 1963, Karl III met Paul-André and purchased Chopard, fulfilling the wishes of his grandfather Karl Scheufele I. Under its new management, Chopard emerged as a leading global watch and jewellery brand, combining the creations of Karl Scheufele III with the principles of its founder. 1972 marked the birth of the Chopard look, which drew inspiration from the fashions of both Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Over the following years, Karl Scheufele III designed
several memorable collections; Belle Epoque, Cascade, Happy Diamonds, Moonlight and Paradiso, that perpetuated Chopard’s status as a powerful and world-leading brand. From 1970 to 1980, Chopard was awarded the Baden-Baden Golden Rose fifteen times, once for its 1976 signature Happy Diamonds model. By 1990, Karl Scheufele III’s children, the new Chopard heirs, took their place in the company, producing numerous trend-setting pieces. Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele became the artistic manager of the Haute Joaillerie sector. Her first design, Happy Diamonds Clown, was an immediate hit. The lovely jewelled clown with a belly full of coloured stones became a mascot for the brand. Her creations are given global visibility by film stars on red carpets in Cannes, partly because the company became an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Caroline’s brother Karl-Friedrich Scheufele took charge of watchmaking, and supervised the production of yet more superb timepieces. He combined his two true passions, watchmaking and cars, and he has created numerous exquisite sports watches such as the St. Moritz, Monte Carlo, and the 1000 Miglia. Here’s wishing Chopard a truly fun-filled and creative Happy Birthday!
Gruosi-Scheufele and her team used gems and stones that are not commonly used in the jewellery making world
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Footprints of Courage
The National Bank of Oman has been actively involved in recognising the status and role of dynamic women in the Sultanate of Oman. The 2010 NBO calendar is a tribute to some of the most enterprising women entrepreneurs. Beginning this month, Creme de la Creme will feature the 12 amazing Omani women featured in the calendar. Yuthar Al Rawahy is the first to be featured...
three time cancer survivor, Yuthar Mohammed Al-Rawahy is the Founder and Honorary Life President of the National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) and is known to be a bold advocate who brought about a sea change by raising maximum awareness on Cancer in Oman. “I felt it was my duty to speak out about this disease; especially given the crucial importance of awareness and regular examination. It was my belief that I would be able to inspire those who were battling cancer. With the support of family and friends, the need for an association became obvious and we took the necessary steps to make our goal a reality. One of the initial founding supporters who shared my vision lost her battle with the disease before our dream was realised; her story serves as a strong reminder to me of the advocacy and awareness work we do at NACA,” Yuthar explains. Cancer is now the third leading cause of in-patient mortality; approximately 1000 new cases are diagnosed every year in Oman, indicating its increasing burden on health system resources. According to the Ministry of Health, Cancer incidence report Breast Cancer as the most prevalent in females, with Prostate Cancer being the most common form of
cancer in males in Oman. NACA focuses on all forms of cancer with the main focus being “prevention through regular examination and early detection”. NACA works very closely with the media to get that message across to the people, while simultaneously distributing thousands of information pamphlets and self-examination tools to the community. Besides these outreach strategies, NACA holds regular workshops both at their headquarters in Al Athaiba and at venues such as schools and different work spaces to shed light on the issue. Yuthar explains, “Our annual Walkathon also successfully serves to attract
people’s attention to the disease and its risk factors and help lift the taboo surrounding the topic. For children suffering with cancer, NACA holds an annual ‘HugA-Bear’ event in cooperation with McDonalds for the children undergoing cancer treatment at the Royal Hospital, as well as different workshops cater to children at our headquarters.” NACA’s main objective has always been to improve the quality of life of cancer patients, especially younger patients. NACA has launched a new initiative called ‘Home Away from Home’ to facilitate access to treatment for those young patients and their families who need to travel long distances to receive treatment and need to stay at the hospital or cannot afford the cost of accommodation. NACA hopes to address this unfortunate situation by providing an alternative in the form of a Home specifically equipped for young cancer patients and their families. “Through my own experience with cancer, and my advocacy work for the past eight years, I have learned that most of our fears are paper-thin; a single courageous step can make all the
difference. With cancer, ignorance is not bliss. If you have not been diagnosed, being aware of the importance of regular self and clinical examination might prove life-saving. I believe people tend to fear what they don’t understand, so I strongly advocate seeking knowledge in order to overcome any fears about cancer. I also believe my cancer diagnosis was a blessing in disguise – it altered my priorities in life; unfortunately sometimes people don’t appreciate or really take stock of their lives until a crisis falls on them.” “While recognition for one’s work is always appreciated, the most important thing to me is making people aware of the work being done and how they can help. I think NBO is doing a fantastic job helping the community in Oman and I am glad that we were able to work together to use my experience and my voice for a worthy cause.” In terms of NACA’s relationship with NBO, National Bank of Oman will donate half a percent of all point of sale purchases on the entire Dana portfolio to National Association of Cancer Awareness. Dana cardholders earn one pearl point for every Rial that they spend and these accumulated pearl points can also be donated to Charity.
Finance & Investment
Economics w Asset w Real Estate June 2010
Finance & Investment
On a positive trend As economies around the world gear up to take on new challenges with the recession making its way out, Oman’s future on the other hand already looks positive with a regulated banking and financial policy in place Crème de la Crème Interview
eople in the banking and financial sector are finally breathing a sigh of relief as the recession heads its way out. Oman has maintained a considerable balance even during the most crucial times, thanks to some of the most stringent and disciplined policies undertaken by the financial authorities. Aftab Patel, CEO, Al Omaniya Financial Services provides an in-depth look into how Oman’s policies helped the nation to see a positive comeback even after the disastrous global meltdown.
Oman has been one of the least affected countries in GCC during the recession. Explain?
Oman was in a very unique position to start with, it was not materially affected by the global meltdown that started in other parts of the globe in early 2008, the financial giants in US and Europe collapsed in the second and third quarter of 2008. Oman had some very distinct features which prevented it from falling under the catastrophe that happened. To exemplify, we have good banking and financial systems that are well regulated, we did not have exposure to toxic assets like securitisation and CDS. Given this situation and given the fact that Oman’s
fiscal policies are very disciplined with lot of clarity, there is no scope for speculation or aggressive use of resources. Oman manages its public finances in a very exemplary way and without any budget deficit with a very good system of regulation and execution.
Is it safe to say that the recession is finally over?
With all the major economies crumbling, though we were not materially affected, we were not completely immune to the sentiments. After a point of time the sentiments obviously started to turn negative, some marginal impact was there as a result of which tourism sector suffered; inventory buildup was much larger etc. So the impact was marginal but it was not that would bring down the economy. We were very fortunate that in Oman the Government did not have to guarantee the deposits like other economies where there is complete loss of confidence in the financial system and we witnessed worldwide inter bank lending almost came to a standstill. No such thing happened here, thanks to the good fiscal policies, well regulated financial systems and conservative
management. Overall, I think, we have done very well, of course we were impacted because with the world economy shrinking, we also have taken some hit. Some of the impact was reflected in 2009. Though the performance of many sectors in 2009 was much lower than 2008, nevertheless the situation was neither alarming nor led to any panic.
How has the first half of the year 2010 been for Oman?
Moving forward in 2010, the world economy itself grew as compared to the shrinkage that was there. Oil prices are at a very reasonable level, much higher than the level budgeted, which resulted in additional revenue and a very significant reduction in the budget deficit. Oman follows a very unique fiscal policy which we call anti cyclical fiscal policy. What it really means is that whenever there is a slowdown in private sector’s capital expenditure as well as a decline in consumption like that we witnessed in 2008, the Government gets aggressive on its spending on the capital side. For example there was almost 15-20% increase in the capital expenditure in the last two years which ensured that there were more infrastructure projects, as a result more contracts were awarded which generated more employment opportunities, more revenue and an accelerated trickle down effect. Hence, the future definitely looks positive for Oman.
How did the GCC respond to the crisis as compared to Oman? GCC does not have a homogenous economic situation. Within the GCC, if you take Oman, Saudi Arabia followed by Qatar, they all have done relatively better. Saudi Arabia probably did better than the rest for the similar reasons like we have in Oman. Saudi Arabia follows anti cyclical policies where the Government expenditure is compensated for any shrinkage in the private sector consumption as well as capital expenditure. They have very high oil revenue, and do not have a significant budget deficit and therefore a lot of money was pumped in to the economy through projects and public funding.
Oman had some very distinct features which prevented it from falling under the catastrophe that happened. To exemplify, we have good banking and financial systems that are well regulated, we did not have exposure to toxic assets like securitisation and CDS
Qatar probably had a lot of exposure to the toxic assets, but there, the government intervention was very large and the government bought over a lot of toxic assets. Their reserves and revenues are much larger per capita because of a smaller population size. People who took the biggest hit was of course the UAE because of the collapse in the construction sector, unmanageable leverage and collapse of the economy worldwide. Bahrain and Kuwait were also somewhere in the middle. Kuwait lost quite a lot of money because of their huge exposure to the international banking than any other GCC country. Bahrain was also equally affected as it is one of the biggest offshore financial hubs and almost no oil revenue.
What measures were taken in your company during the meltdown?
In the financial services industry, we are a bit different from the rest of the companies, so the impact of this crisis was almost non-existent in our company. If the economy shrinks automatically the credit will also shrink, but we did not face any significant distress. We neither had any significant bad assets nor had any cash flow problems in the company. But yes, when things start falling around you, precautions have to be taken. But having said that we were completely unaffected by the meltdown, we got a little conservative on lending. We got more proactive in collecting our money and maintained much larger cash balances. We also did lot of stress testing with financial institutions to make sure that nothing was going to go wrong. Our profits in 2009 were 12% more than 2008.
How does the future look in the next six months?
Overall it looks positive. The pessimism is no more and the sentiment has improved by leaps and bounds. We have seen some real efforts being taken on the ground. The number of contracts that have been awarded, the liquidity and activity in the construction and the real estate side of the market also looks positive. In the next six months we expect a much better growth than last year.
Which are the sectors that are likely to make a comeback sooner in 2010?
In Oman, the construction and the real estate were the ones which took the early beating. These sectors showed early revival in the beginning of 2010. With more the number of infrastructural projects being awarded; the capital goods industry is also witnessing increasing demand. With the world economy growing, optimism is building up; Oman is considered as a safe haven for investments among the other countries and GCC. Tourism sector is reviving along with other related sectors.
Finance & Investment
In the Top League National Bank of Oman’s Diners Card, a premium product is the perfect accompaniment for discerning customers with an interest in travel and entertainment. This card is a boost to the evolving phase of credit cards in Oman Crème de la Crème Interview
Though credit cards are pretty much in their nascent stage in Oman, there has been an evolution of sorts happening in the recent months with banks launching new and unique products. National Bank of Oman (NBO) has been at the forefront of introducing exclusive credit cards in the Sultanate; this includes the first vertical Platinum Credit Card and Dana, the first credit card designed exclusively for women. Now National Bank of Oman is launching another first, the vertical, black Diners Card. This card is complementary and fee free, when applying for Platinum cards; the Diners Card is packed with a host of advantages. Michael Donald, Head of Cards, NBO shares with Crème de la Crème more about the innovative card. Please brief us on the Diners Card. Diners Card is a super premium product meant for the discerning customer who spends on travel and entertainment. This card will compliment his/her lifestyle. As the credit card market in Oman is beginning to evolve, NBO is seriously focusing on this growing segment. The Diners Card would act as a supporting card for the Platinum and enhance tremendously the existing benefits on the NBO Platinum proposition.
What are the benefits of having this card? This card is free with the Platinum card and is primarily a travel card that has all travel related facilities wrapped up for convenience of the customer. There is instant gratification lounge access in 130 airports all over the world on showing the Diners Card. This conveys the power of two established brands making the brand promise – NBO and Diners. Who is your target clientele? The primary audience includes customers, who have over RO 40,000 in the bank, as well as customers who have a salary of RO 1,350 and over and are classified as Platinum potential. Other customers are high net worth individuals, who are clients of other banks and meet the above requirements. How can a client obtain the card? Diners Card will not be available as a standalone card at this point. The whole theme of the promotion is to apply for one card and get two cards. This makes the current Platinum card the most value packed card with the benefits of Diners clubbed into it and vice versa. Customers get double the value either way. What are the benefits of the Diners Card? The NBO Diners Card has the following features: 1% Cash Back points Access to VIP lounges at 130 airports around the world Exclusive dining discounts Insurance – Luggage protection, travel insurance, medical assistance, cancellations and flight delays. Do you have plans to give this card along with Dana as well? At this point the card will not be given to Dana card customers. This card is meant for customers that travel frequently and will be only available with the Platinum Cards that NBO currently offers. Do you plan to integrate other offers on the Diners card? With time we will certainly be adding more offers to the Diners card. This will happen in various phases and depending on the requirement of the market.
Above: David Power, General Manager - Retail Banking & Michael Donald, Head of Cards, National Bank of Oman
Diners Card is a super premium product meant for the discerning customer who spends on travel and entertainment. This card will compliment his/her lifestyle
Finance & Investment
The Hills Beckon Living at Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club is an experience that very few other properties in Oman offer. Miles of green grass, wadis and the majestic Hajjar mountains make for an awe-inspiring view of the home owners ď ŽCrĂ¨me de la CrĂ¨me Interview
uscat Hills Golf and Country Club, the first grass golf course to open in Oman has been received enthusiastically by both golfers and residents of Oman. A dream come true for golfers in Oman, Muscat Hills ushered in a new era for golfing in the Sultanate when the first nine holes were opened last year. The project also includes a residential development overlooking the golf course. The residential development includes 80 villas and 135 apartments set in the immaculate surroundings of a well-designed grass golf course and grassed driving range. The first set of villas and apartments were recently handed over to the owners recently. We spoke to Kathryn Ring, Manager, Customer Care, who has been with the Muscat Hills for the past few years and has seen the residential project metamorphose from sketches to reality to know more.
What has been the progress of the residential development at Muscat Hills? “The first phase of project comprises 80 villas and 135 apartments. We have handed over a dozen of the villas and 8 different blocks of apartments to the owners. These owners are now in the process of setting up their residences in Muscat Hills. Though no one has moved into the villas yet, there are a few residents who have started living in the apartments. We expect more people to move in over the next new months. “All the 80 villas in the first phase have been sold. There are 20 two-bedroom apartments still up for sale, all with a different view of the property.” When will the residential development be completed? “Almost 50 per cent of the project is ready and set for handover. All the properties will be completed and handed over to owners by end of July. Despite the initial delays, we are pretty much on schedule. By the end of the year, there would be a full community residing in Muscat Hills. Within the next one year we will have landscaping and the streets within the project completed. An interesting feature of the residential development is that the area is lit by solarpowered streetlights.” Please tell us about the auxiliary services provided to residents at Muscat Hills. “We provide maintenance and eco-friendly garbage disposal facilities to the residents. BEC handles the maintenance aspects while the cleaning of communal areas and garbage disposal is handled by OIG. Our main contractors, Larsen & Toubro (Oman) LLC are permanently on site to attend to any technical or building related requirements faced by the residents. What is the profile of the owners of the residential properties? “Most of the owners are expatriates and many of them live abroad. Almost all of them have been to Oman and have either worked, visited or have children living here. While some of them would like to move to Oman, there are a few who prefer to keep their villas or apartments as holiday homes. The customers who have moved into the
residential units are mostly expatriates who are residing in Oman.” Living in Muscat Hills is said to be a unique experience. Could you explain what makes it special as you live here too? “The surroundings and the ambience of Muscat Hills is the highlight of living here. It is a fantastic feeling to wake up and look out at the vast stretches of green and wadis in front of you. It’s a very tranquil feeling that you experience in Muscat Hills. During the evenings, there are areas around the project that are lit and some that are in darkness. It’s almost surreal.” What are the precautions taken to ensure that the privacy of residents is not intruded upon as you have golfers and visitors regularly on the course? “We have four residential zones and all of these will be gated. Each resident or home owner will be provided a security number that would allow access to the property. This ensures that only residents have access to their respective residential areas. The residential zones are also, separated from the golf course by a network of wadis that meander through the development. Although from the residential areas the golf course appears quite close, it is not easy to directly access these four zones.” When will Phase Two commence and what will it comprise? “Phase Two has yet to be developed, but will comprise additional residential units positioned in and around the golf course. There are some additional plots identified, for further expansion. “Construction of a permanent clubhouse and 200key hotel are on the agenda. These facilities will offer an extensive range of amenities for both Muscat Hills residents and outside guests to enjoy.” June 2010
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First Look w Launch June 2010
The touch screen also gives quite a panoramic view of the rear when reversing, while the car is fitted with not just rear parking sensors but also in the front
The all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX is an absolute stunner. With fantastic performance and superior technology to boot, the luxury crossover is a clear winner in its category Script: Anne Kurian
hen it comes to luxury crossover models, there aren’t many out there and is undoubtedly a tough market to hold fort. But Cadillac needn’t worry as their new 2010 SRX luxury crossover is sure to shake ground. After spending a day in the newly launched 2010 SRX, we are convinced the luxury crossover from Cadillac is going to prove to be tough competition for the other brands in its category. The SRX which can easily accommodate five passengers is a mid-size crossover vehicle that not only looks good but performs equally well. Though the SRX is not bulky, it does command attention. In the new vehicle the classic Cadillac styling merges effortlessly with contemporary and clean design. If looks could convey a message about the vehicle, then at first glance it would be evident that the SRX is a great ride. The exteriors make quite a statement – the grille catches your attention and so does the whole design element of the SRX. Right from its straight, clean lines to the imposing front end fascia, the tastefully integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the roof and the LED tail lamps that is distinctive of Cadillac styling, the SRX’s is appealing to the eye.
While the centre console is reminiscent of the CTS, the interiors of the SRX are clean, simple yet classy
A thought that came to mind about the SRX after a serious ride in it, was that the guys at Cadillac like to keep their designs simple yet without comprising on the appeal aspect. The interiors were quite to our liking. While the centre console is reminiscent of the CTS, the interiors of the SRX are clean, simple yet classy. The navigation system in the SRX comes with a popup touch screen and voice recognition. We engaged the voice guided navigation system during the test drive and it worked quite impressively. The touch screen also gives quite a panoramic view of the rear when reversing, while the car is fitted with not just rear parking sensors but also front. Among the others varied features of the SRX are ambient interior lighting, 10-speaker Bose 5.1 surround sound system, CD/DVD player with 40 GB hard drive for storage and MP3 playback and iPod connectivity. Space is not restricted in the SRX thereby ensuring a comfortable ride for all passengers. Get behind the wheel and you feel in control of the SRX; there’s something in the way the driver’s seat is designed that makes you feel safe and cocooned. But then that is how even the rear seat passengers felt. The sunroof will not fail to take your breath away. We showed it to a couple of friends and their gasps were enough
to let us know that SRX surely had the largest in its segment. Another interesting aspect of the SRX is the adjustable pedals that move up or down at the touch of a button. Cadillac knows how to pamper its customer! At the heart of the SRX is a 3.0L SIDI V6 engine, providing 283 hp @ 6950 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque @ 5100 rpm. Quite simply put, that’s quite a lot of power we are talking for a crossover. But then you can’t expect anything less from a Cadillac, can you? We put the vehicle to test all the way through to Sifah and we came back thoroughly impressed. Even at unexpected turns, the SRX stayed steady often surprising us with its agility. The suspension system ensured that even while going over uneven and crusty paths, it was a smooth ride often flying over the tiny bumps and cricks. Comfort and safety are two of the main features of the Cadillac engineering – the SRX carries forward the American auto manufacturer’s legacy in this regard. The braking system is commendable and you cannot but help feel safe in the rather all-encompassing interiors of the SRX. At the end of the drive, we came away impressed with the powerful performance of the 2010 Cadillac SRX as well as its contemporary and stylish design. This is one crossover that we wouldn’t mind crossing over to!
The Ferrari Power 60
June 2010 JUNE 2010
The new and power packed Ferrari 458 Italia brings thrill to people with a passion for driving. The twoseater berlinetta from Maranello rewrites racing technology for the owner ď ŽCrĂ¨me de la CrĂ¨me Report
he much awaited Ferrari 458 Italia was unveiled at Shanfari Showroom last month. The car which was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009 is an amalgamation of finesse, creativity and super racing technology. The latest two-seater berlinetta bearing the dancing horse badge is a marvellous combination of beauty and speed. Present at the launch in Oman that was attended by media and invited guests was Pietro Innocenti, General Manager, Ferrari Middle East and Africa who explained the dynamics of the new vehicle. The new V8-engined 458 Italia is a synthesis of style, creative flair, passion and cutting-edge technology, characteristics for which Italy as a nation is well-known. For this reason Ferrari chose to add the name of its homeland to the traditional figure representing the displacement and number of cylinders.
track day capability, but who still demand a car that is useable in day-to-day driving like all Ferrari’s recent models.
In conversation with Pietro Innocenti
The General Manager of Ferrari Middle East and Africa was in town for the launch of the Ferrari 458 Italia. He took some time from his busy to tell Crème de la Crème more about the new berlinetta from the Italian carmaker
How long have been with Ferrari?
I have been with Ferrari for 12 years. I started my career with Ferrari at the headquarters in Maranello, Italy. I worked there for seven years following which I was sent to China to handle that market. But after a short span of time I was given the responsibility of overlooking the Asian market, which was exciting. After five years in China, I was requested to come to the Middle East to head our operations here and Africa. I am now based in our regional office which is in Dubai.
What are the distinctive features of the 458 Italia?
Top right: Pietro Innocenti
Designed to fulfill the expectations and ambitions of Ferrari’s most passionate clients, the 458 Italia continues the Ferrari tradition of putting the thrill into driving as a result of track-derived technological innovations. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a completely new car from every point of view: engine, design, aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics, just to name a few. The powerful heart is a 4.499 cc engine with an output of 570 Hp at 9.000 Rpm and a torque of 540 Nm at 6.000 Rpm (80% available at 3.250 Rpm). The Ferrari 458 Italia accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3.4 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 10.4 seconds, and top speeds lies close to 325 Km/h. With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a highly distinctive new car to its 8-cylinder range. The 458 Italia is designed for owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance with occasional 62
The package as a whole is the Ferrari 458 Italia’s distinctive feature. If we were to take each of the elements and analyse it, the difference when compared to the previous model – Ferrari 430 – is evident. This a breakthrough model for Ferrari and various features have been integrated for a great car. The engine has GDI (gasoline direct injection) with split injection in the 458 Italia. It is very powerful, yet environmentally friendly with reduced CO2 emission and high on performance. For the first time we have used a dual clutch gear box for a car with mid rear engine. The advantage of this can be felt by experienced drivers as the sensation of driving the 458 Italia is similar to Formula 1. There is no interruption of torque when you shift gears, and if you want to drive the car on a regular road, the gear box performs just as smoothly. The chasis and suspension has been improved dynamically to give the sportscar great output. The chasis has been created using special alloy from aerospace industry – this helps improve rigidity and decrease the weight of the car when in motion. The suspension has been designed to give it perfect handling on the roads and especially at corners. The aerodynamics of the 458 Italia is very special. It has been improved and worked on two parameters – the down force, which is the weight that pushes the car to the surface for better performance and the reduction of the drag, again for maximum road handling. The 458 Italia also brings to life the man-machine interface that is reminiscent of Formula 1 cars. All the basic functions that a driver needs is set in front of him; this allows better interaction between the driver and his car.
What is the level of personalisation that an owner can demand for with Ferrari?
We cater to extreme levels of personalisation. All the cars bought from us are personalised by the customers. For instance, if you get us your tie and want us to transfer
the same colour or pattern onto the car, we can do it. Clients can even decide who their designer should be for the car and this involves the exterior aspect too. We have an atelier in Maranello where customers can decide on customising their cars to suit their needs. (Note: Features affecting the carâ€™s performance and safety cannot be modified, neither can the fundamental design of the car, but clients can make changes to all other areas of their Ferrari.)
How is the 458 Italia different from the California?
Thank you for the question. This is something we want to emphasise to our clients. Both the models have a V8 engine. In the California, the engine is mounted in the front while in the 458 Italia it is in the mid rear, which gives a different feel to the experienced driver. The California is a more versatile car. It has a retractable hardtop, so you can use it as a coupe or as spyder. The car has a 2+2 seating configuration â€“ it can accommodate 4 people for short haul trips. The 458 Italia is a 2-seater coupe which gives the car higher rigidity and stiffness. The behaviour of this model on the track is different and has extreme features, especially relating to speed. The California is not a track car, but one you can use to go out with family or friends and even transport more luggage. Whereas the 458 Italia is the perfect car to go on the track and yet use on a regular basis as a result of the dual clutch box.
The client base too for both the cars is different. The California is preferred by women too, in fact a higher percentage of women drive this model. The Italia 458 is targeted mainly at men, between the age of 35 to 55. This would probably be their third or fourth car; it would actually be their ultimate toy!
How do you perceive the Middle East market?
This is a very important market for us. Together with the Far East, we see this as the development in the future for our business. Our strategy is not to grown in large volumes but to reach the right set of people who can own or want a Ferrari. We opened a head office in Dubai as we realised the growing importance of this region. We need to be closer to our clients. UAE is our strongest market, followed by Saudi Arabia. Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the rest of Middle East form the second tier of our market.
What are your observations of the Oman market?
I see Oman as a constantly improving market. We are improving our services and I have seen that After Sales Service has improved drastically. Our customers are demanding and we ensure that their needs are taken care of. The engineers here are trained to handle all problems â€“ this is done by either training them in Maranello or by bringing in personnel from our headquarters to train the staff here. If there is a problem that cannot be handled by the team in Oman, we bring our staff from Maranello to address the problem.
A non-profit organization offering a wide range of high-quality and exclusive handcrafted products interpreting the countryâ€™s history and culture. Bring home the essence of Omanâ€™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
Art & Design
Canvas w Gallery w Impressions w Theatre June 2010
Art & Design
Scriptural Harmony ‘Dialogue of Letters’ – a mesmerising exhibition that was held last month at the Bait Al Zubair Museum, showcased colourful and harmonious paintings by eminent artist Mohammed Al Sayegh. His art is unique as Sayegh specialises in creating images using Arabic scripts in a creative and innovative way Script: Sudipta Dasgupta
ramatic representation, rich hues and evocative lines, Mohammed Al Sayegh’s art is all about that and much more. A pioneering artist in the local art scene, Sayegh has been an active member of the fine art scene in Oman for over two decades, winning numerous awards. Sayegh’s artworks have been widely exhibited regionally and internationally. Last month, some of his latest creations were exhibited at Bait Al Zubair museum where I had the opportunity to not only understand art from a genius’s point of view but also understand the beautiful interplay of Arabic scriptures on canvas. It was amazing to see how the colours and texture of each of Sayegh’s artwork brought out a sense of being ‘alive’. It was interesting to see how he used Arabic script to achieve what is described as optical colour mixture - where different alphabets are used in various shapes, forms and sizes which blend in the mind’s eye to give shape to a particular image. Sayegh uses calligraphy to define his rhythmic compositions. He breaks established boundaries to produce structured work that combines his concept within his Arab and Islamic identity. His themes are derived from poetry, music, architecture, landscape and traditional cultural elements. His unique calligraphic work has received critical acclaim and recognition in Oman, winning three first prizes and in 1999 the Golden Palm award in Doha at the annual GCC Exhibition. He is a member of the Omani Society for Fine Arts, the Youth Studio, Cultural Club and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum and Society in Sweden. Mohammed shares with us his artistic journey … Style that is unique … My art over the years has changed styles. I started with realism art, and then broke out into my present style which is creating compositions using Arabic script to construct images. It is very original yet conventional; this style is now synonymous with my name. First strokes … Going back to my student days I used to read a lot about international artists. As a young student I used to be enthralled by the symbolic work of various international artists, at the same time I used to refer various books on calligraphy too. But at no stage was I influenced by them in my work or images. Whatever I created after that was completely my own style. Philosophy of my art …
Sayegh uses calligraphy to define his rhythmic compositions. He breaks established boundaries to produce structured work that combines his concept within his Arab and Islamic identity
As a young student I used to be enthralled by the symbolic work of various international artists, at the same time I used to refer various books on calligraphy too
It is an inner feeling, an inner urge which gives me the go ahead to paint, and be creative in each of my individual creations. Mostly I am driven by this urge when I work best. My main source of inspiration comes from seeing certain colours (especially blue) and nature. Representation of life … I try and represent life in most of my paintings, the figures or images that I create using scripts are an integral part of portraying the Arab and Islamic culture. I try and create an aura of mystery by drawing figures with different forms of Arabic script using vibrant colours. My own dialogue… Most of my work is a journey, as well as statement of my surroundings. I attempt to capture a certain idea, feeling or something that I have seen. At one point or another, we all end up in one of my paintings. Inspirational work … My paintings have been exhibited internationally, at the GCC Cultural Week in Rome, the Oman Cultural Week in Monaco, ‘Glimpses of Oman’ at UNESCO in Paris and an Omani Fine Arts exhibition in Germany. *Mohammed Al Sayegh was commissioned to produce
a painting for the boardroom in Al Husn at ShangriLa’s Barr Al Jissah, Resort & Spa; his art reflects the maritime history of Oman, which dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. (With inputs from Sarah White, Arts Advisor & Manager, Bait Al Zubair Foundation LLC)
Art & Design
Bait Muzna Gallery hosted a unique art exhibition recently featuring four talented Omani artists who showcased their latest art creations in their own contemporary style ď ŽScript: Sudipta Dasgupta
Jumaa Al Harthy
Influenced greatly by the Islamic and Omani culture, Jumaa Al Harthy enjoys working with different types of materials to assemble his artwork. A member of the Omani Society for Fine Arts and the Youth Studio, Jumaa has exhibited mainly in Oman. He is an admirer of the realistic and abstract schools of art and over the years Jumaa has accumulated vast experience on working with mixed media materials like sand, paper and wood; all of which is used extensively in his latest creations. His work often relates to serious current affairs and offers thought-provoking social messages. He has developed a unique narrative multi-layered and almost sculptural mixed-media style. He believes in dramatising his artworks and therefore Jumaa’s work is filled with symbols and ornaments reflecting purity, rich culture and beauty. “My inspiration comes mostly from visiting old forts, Islamic culture or objects with a story to tell. Also nature, architecture and home decoration are a major inspiration to me. My country, Oman, inspires me too. I use bright colours and elements to give life to my work of art.”
Mohamed Al Maamari
Talented, dynamic and a young generation Omani artist, Mohamed Al Maamari began his artistic journey in his early childhood days. He began with rough sketches using a lead pencil focusing on the effects of black and white. After two years of training, his talent showed unique skills demonstrating contrast between shadow and light. The exquisite calligraphic works by Mohamed reflect true Islamic spirit and his artistic ability. In the recent past, Mohamed has been concentrating more on Surrealism art; trained under the Omani master Saud Al Hunaini. A student of finance; art and calligraphy was something that Mohammed took up as a passion. By using a variety of mediums and techniques, he is on a constant search for different harmonies in reproducing objects on canvases and to get an overall rhythm in his art. Mohamed is a member of the Omani Society for Fine Arts and Emirates Fine Arts Society. He is also an established member of Al Rozna Art Group that supports young artists in showing new forms of art in Oman. His art covers the aspects of reviving Islamic traditions, acknowledgement of traditional calligraphic techniques and encouraging contemporary experimentation with calligraphy. â€œI love challenges and I wanted to create a style of calligraphy that could speak to as many people as possible. Plus, it was fascinating to create some different and original styles that were unique in their approach.â€?
Abdul Majid Karooh
Born and raised amidst the unique heritage of old Muttrah, Abdul Majid Karooh brings alive his childhood memories through his latest creations of ‘Omani Doors’. The paintings are a set of bright yet natural colours which are the memories of his family ancestral home. Karooh also focuses on the beauty of the capital coastal line and produces amazingly bright contemporary landscapes which depict his joyful memories. His work is a composition of a set of fantastic brightly coloured doors; all drawn from his childhood memories. He initially started out by showcasing his work of art at several solo exhibitions but in the recent past joined forces with other contemporary artists in the city to showcase artworks that are truly unique and challenging. Karooh is a member of the Omani Society for Fine Art and the Youth Studio. He has won three distinctive awards and has exhibited in Oman, Egypt, Dubai and New Delhi. “My art is all about how I used to live during my growing up years. I paint the things around me, the things I know and feel comfortable with. My art is a representation of my childhood days spent in Muttrah, Oman.”
Adnan Al Raisi
The contemporary and young Omani artist is a lover of abstract art which is quite evident in most of his latest creations. His beginning in fine arts started with realistic landscapes of Oman which is still part of his work as he is constantly on the lookout for personal satisfaction. Adnan gradually moved to abstract art in 1998 and since then his artwork has progressed significantly using different types of mediums to reflect his philosophy on art. He concentrates on colour, technique and the abstract subject. His achievements have won him numerous awards and prizes within the Sultanate of Oman. â€œCreativity is what drives me, my profession is an extremely intoxicating, passionate and rewarding act. I draw my inspiration from the experiences of my life at different stages.â€?
Art & Design
Shark’s View June 2010
Fun, environment friendly and a perfect golfing destination. That’s how legendary golfer, Greg Norman describes his much-anticipated and Sultanate’s first sea facing PGA Links golf course at The Wave, Muscat Script: Crème de la Crème Report
egendary golfer, Greg Norman also known as ‘Shark’ in the sporting circuit, due to his adventurous and independent style was on his second visit to the Sultanate last month for reviewing and inspecting his much anticipated golf course progress at The Wave, Muscat. Norman reviewed the final stages of the shaping of the first 9-holes as well as the progress of the Golf Academy, driving range and floodlit par 3 practice facility. With over 1,000,000m3 of earth moved, the entire course is scheduled for completion in 2011. The four-hectare grass nursery, the golf courses’ ‘turf farm’ at The Wave, Muscat continues to grow and is now significantly green enough to be spotted by aerial view from above the Sultanate. The success is attributed to the on-going dedication and expertise of Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD’s) on-site team and Southern Golf Oman LLC. “I am very happy to be back in Muscat to see the first hand progress of the golf course on-site at The Wave, Muscat. I fell in love with Oman when I first visited the country several years ago. Since then, I have felt a great deal of responsibility to create not only a championship
The four-hectare grass nursery, the golf courses’ ‘turf farm’ at The Wave, Muscat continues to grow and is now significantly green enough to be spotted by aerial view from above the Sultanate
golf course, but a very memorable golf experience that incorporates the character of the magnificent land forms and flora found in Oman. Upon completion, the golf course will be one of the most beautiful and unique golf courses that we have ever built,” expressed Norman. Design Specialist Norman’s experience in playing many of the world’s great golf courses over the span of his 25-year career served as a catalyst to develop his interest in golf course June 2010
design. Norman designed golf courses have hosted sanctioned events on the PGA, Nationwide, European, and Australasian Tours. Given the breadth of Norman’s business interests, he is uniquely qualified and experienced to provide a special blend of land planning, design and construction to help deliver the best possible result. Michael Lenarduzzi, Chief Executive Officer, The Wave, Muscat went on to say that GNGCD have managed to capture the true essence of the beautiful and scenic Omani landscape through their visionary design philosophy, supporting The Wave, Muscat in positioning the Sultanate as a premier international golfing destination. As for living a luxurious life at The Wave, Muscat, Lenarduzzi added that, “I have no doubt the elite golfing community will have a chance of a lifetime. The golf course’s success and exclusivity depends on outstanding quality, which resulted in working with the best of the best. Buyers can choose from luxury residential units, apartments and townhouses, garden view villas, 400-berth marina, 5-star luxury hotels, situated on 6 km of natural beach and Oman’s first 18 hole green links golf course, designed by Greg Norman.” Norman’s course of action Norman’s golf courses have garnered numerous prestigious awards for design, with many of the projects being awarded the coveted Audubon Society Award for environmental stewardship. Norman’s professional approach An intimate knowledge of the site characteristics An understanding of the developer’s objectives A minimalist and least disturbance approach
A design that is challenging, playable and creates a memorable golf experience An environmentally sensitive and sustainable design The end vision in mind “We have made sure to abide by strict measures in the planning and implementation process of the entire Golf course at The Wave, Muscat. The grass that has been laid out is completely salt water tolerant. We have created something that is totally in-sync with the environment. We as a design company put in lot of efforts to make sure we design something that is environment friendly.” said Norman. Adding to that Norman said, “As per the layout of the entire golf course is concerned, we are in the process of enhancing the nearby wadis, there will be enough parking spaces around the course as well as proper walking paths will be built for people to walk around the course.” Architectural Beauty The signature course design is reflected through the recent formation of the courses’ headlands at the tip of the sea-side as well as the dramatic shaping of the dunes that surround the course, as a defining architectural feature. Both irrigation lakes have been successfully excavated and the supply of water has now been established with Haya Water. From project master planning and construction consultation to on-site design, the world’s premier signature golf course designer and architect, brings an unmatched design philosophy which is guided by intimate knowledge of site characteristics and aims to create an environmentally sustainable, challenging and playable golf course.
Norman’s experience in playing many of the world’s great golf courses over the span of his 25-year career served as a catalyst to develop his interest in golf course design
Premier Golfing Destination From the onset, The Wave, Muscat aimed at popularising golf locally and enhancing sports tourism by providing a world acclaimed facility for residents and visitors. In recent years, the sport has been gaining national momentum with the formation of the Omani Golf Committee and an active National Team. Golf is now appealing to a wider range of athletes and sports enthusiasts from all ages and a number of specialised golfing leagues are also active including the Oman Open Men, Oman Open Women and Oman Open Juniors Championships.
Normanâ€™s golf courses have garnered numerous prestigious awards for design, with many of the projects being awarded the coveted Audubon Society Award for environmental stewardship June 2010
Art & Design
The actors who mostly indulged in monologues kept the audience in rapt attention as they revealed various aspects of their early years
The Blue Mug, a play featuring some of the best known Indian theatre personalities was staged in Muscat. What set this play apart from the rest was its genre - experimental theatre Crème de la Crème Report
Muscat recently got a taste of experimental theatre when Light and Shadow Enterprises organised The Blue Mug. The play, directed by Atul Kumar, who is well-known in the Indian theatre world, showcased the experimental drama genre to theatre aficionados
play sans script, a direct theme, rehearsed dialogues and theatrical characters. Experimental plays are extremely different from what the more popular plays. As a result, experimental theatre evokes mixed reactions in the viewers. Muscat recently got a taste of experimental theatre when Light and Shadow Enterprises organised The Blue Mug. The play, directed by Atul Kumar, who is well-known in the Indian theatre world, showcased the experimental drama genre to theatre aficionados in the city. The play consisted mostly of monologues with conversations being scattered loosely at various junctures. The play featured some of the best known personalities from Indian theatre – Rajat Kapur, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Sheeba Chadha and Munish Bhardwaj. Also in the play was renowned Indian movie actress, Konkona Sen Sharma who has portrayed some distinctive characters on the big screen. In the play, the actors play themselves – except Sharma and Shorey. In fact only these two artists have scripted characters to enact. The others, who remain in their own characters, relate instances from their childhood and growing up years during the play. The actors who mostly indulged in monologues kept the audience in
rapt attention as they revealed various aspects of their early years. At times, the monologues led to dialogues between the actors but it was not rehearsed for they took inspiration from each other’s experiences and related on stage. Sharma and Shorey portrayed the characters of a psychiatrist and a patient suffering from memory loss. Their act probably was the only scripted part of the whole theatrical presentation. Shorey displayed his brilliant skill as an actor in his early 40s who does not remember much beyond his growing up years. The play has been inspired by the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks. Though the actors played themselves, their rendering of events often transported the viewer to the series of incidents that they unravelled. Often punctuated with humour, the play evoked laughter in the audience as much as it would have brought forth various memories in them. While you could not particularly pinpoint a theme to the play, The Blue Mug dealt largely with memories and how we remember instances that have taken place in our lives. Along with the actors, many viewers would have definitely taken a trip down memory lane themselves.
Culinaire w Hotel Bytes w Review June 2010
Vietnamese Bites Al Khiran Terrace at the Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat was host to a weeklong celebration of Vietnamese cuisine last month. Foodies got a chance to experience an enticing culinary sojourn amidst a breathtaking view of the sea, cozy ambience and a talented guest chef from Hanoi ď ŽScript: Sudipta Dasgupta
A s the summer heat is on in full swing, foodies can’t help but fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine during this time of the year. It is not only light on the stomach, but wholesome and refreshingly tasteful at the same time. A weeklong celebration of Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage was held last month at Al Khiran Terrace at Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat; along with an enriching experience of dining beside the breathtaking view of the sea. People were enlightened on both Vietnamese cuisine as well as dining customs by Guest Chef, Thien of InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi. “Fresh fruit smoothies and various tea blends are usually sold all over the city of Hanoi. You get every kind of fruit and yoghurt blend imaginable in most of the cafes
and these drinks are healthy and delicious and definitely refreshing on a hot summers afternoon,” quipped Chef Thien. Having said that, we were instantly served fresh and chilled fruit juices which was a refreshing start to our Vietnamese sojourn. Talking about Vietnamese cuisine, the ingredients used are relatively simple. However the finale is not a representation of the single ingredient but the wonderful culmination of many different flavours, textures and vibrant colours. As we settled ourselves, a colourful platter of starters arrived comprising of deep fried spring roll with prawns and mushroom, crystal spring roll with prawn and herbs, baked beef in pepper leaf and seafood salad with green
When we talk about authentic Vietnamese cuisine, the ingredients used are relatively simple. However the finale is not a representation of the single ingredient but the wonderful culmination of many different flavours, textures and vibrant colours
Attaining a balance between fresh herbs and meats and selective use of spices to reach a fine taste or flavour, Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest yet most divine cuisines worldwide
mango. It was served with a sweet chilli sauce. These spring rolls are a refreshing change from the usual fried variety, and have become a favourite of mine. They are great as an appetiser or even a meal. Fresh herbs, fiery chillies and small bowls of condiments accompany most Vietnamese dishes, without over powering the food. “Besides the typical meal with rice, Vietnamese cuisine has many different types of noodles and cakes (mostly made from rice). To name a few: beef soup noodles (pho), crab noodle (bun rieu), spring rolls (nem), sticky rice cake (chung cake),” says Chef Thien.
Attaining a balance between fresh herbs and meats and selective use of spices to reach a fine taste or flavour, Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest yet most divine cuisines worldwide. Next we were served a delicious mix of the traditional Hanoi chicken soup with mushroom, corn and lotus seed; thick and quite strong on taste, the soup was quite an appetising start to the whole culinary affair. Chef Thien explains that, “A typical Vietnamese family meal is not served separately, but the food is placed in the middle and each member takes food from the table throughout the meal.” Following the typical tradition, we enjoyed our main course which comprised of grilled tiger prawns with garlic, chili and dill, steamed fish with galangal and shallot, roasted chicken with lemongrass and chili and beautifully flavoured coconut rice. Vietnamese cuisine is particularly aromatic and delicately flavoured thanks to a liberal use of herbs. “Vietnamese cooks use far less oil in their cooking, and this is one of the reasons that the diet is one of the healthiest in the world,” says Chef Thien Food lovers who like to indulge in food that is out of the ordinary would love the dessert that was served; chilled
longan with white fungus and lotus seeds with fresh fruits. It is definitely an experience when biting into white fungus! I fell in love with the finale - Vietnamese coffee, which is strong coffee mixed with condensed milk, a rather refreshing end to our beautiful and colourful culinary sojourn.
In a class of its own In its seventh year of operations, The Chedi Muscat remains one of the most preferred hotels in the country. York Brandes, General Manager of the iconic property shares the hotel’s success formula Crème de la Crème Report
orld renowned hospitality chain, General Hotel Management (GHM) opened its first property in the Middle East in 2003 with the launch of The Chedi Muscat. The hotel opened a new chapter in hospitality as the famed GHM group introduced innovations in the hotel industry with architecture, ambience, dining and service. The fascinating beach resort which featured Asian-inspired elegance together with Arabic designs made The Chedi popular in a short span of time. â€œWe have enjoyed continuous growth from the time we opened till 2008. The growth has been recorded at 10, 15 and some times18 per cent annually,â€? says York Brandes, General Manager of the hotel. It was only during the
Above: York Brandes
2009 global crisis that the hotel had a backdrop in its figures, but Brandes points out that The Chedi fared better than expectations. To be unique is the philosophy of The Chedi. “We have been able to achieve this through the hotel’s architecture. After all, in a five star hotel you expect good food, service and ambience. So we made sure that the architecture of the hotel was different from what had been seen here before. And that has been our success factor,” says Brandes.
The Chedi’s success lies not just in its unique ambience and architecture but also the distinctive touches within the property. For instance, the kitchen at the hotel’s famed The Restaurant was different from what Oman had seen before. The restaurant’s four kitchens catering to four different cuisines – Arabic, International, Asian and Indian – were brought to the forefront, literally. The restaurant placed these four open kitchens in the restaurant where the diners get direct view of the food being prepared. To cater to their guests and offer more variety, The Chedi launched The Beach Restaurant on the beachfront that serves dishes inspired by Far Eastern and European cuisines. The Chedi remains one of the most popular resorts in town and this is visible in the number of awards the hotel has bagged over the last few years. “Our popularity lies in the fact that we are not a commercially aggressive property. Yes, we do have special offers sometimes but we are not extremely aggressive in our marketing. We do not go completely mass with our hotel. The comfort and privacy of my in-house guests is of great importance me,” says Brandes. He explains that local residents are important, especially as the hotel’s both main restaurants are popular with them as much as The Spa is. “But we make sure that our in-house guests’ needs are catered to first. We do not conduct events or functions in the hotel that would disturb the privacy of our guests. Our guests are here to relax and enjoy; they should
The Chedi remains one of the most popular resorts in town and this is visible in the number of awards the hotel has bagged over the last few years
The stunning surroundings and architecture of the hotel have been among the highlights. “The beauty of the architecture of The Chedi is that even if all the rooms are full, our guests never feel that the hotel is fully packed. There is so much space around that guests enjoy undisturbed privacy at all times,” says Brandes. The hotel has 156 rooms and suites with exclusive access to the two pools and a private beach that is a favourite haunt of the in-house guests. The rooms, while are well-appointed, are designed aesthetically with understated elegant tones that runs all through the hotel. This probably explains why guests feel completely relaxed within moments of checking into the hotel. “It often takes you time to unwind and feel at home in a hotel. We have been lucky in this aspect as our guests say that they can relax right away,” reveals Brandes. 94
The beauty of the architecture of The Chedi is that even if all the rooms are full, our guests never feel that the hotel is fully packed. There is so much space around that guests enjoy undisturbed privacy at all times
not go back feeling disturbed or affected in any manner. This is a policy we strictly adhere to,” says the general manager. The Chedi’s ‘the guest is king’ guiding principle has been its success mantra too. The hotel has a whopping 22 per cent repeat guests, who consider The Chedi their holiday destination. The hotel is now on a development path - introduction of new facilities. On the anvil are a new pool, a spacious gym and a spa with eight treatment rooms. Construction is being handled in various phases as Brandes is very particular about not causing any inconvenience to the hotel guests. “Work is conducted during the summer when the occupancy is lesser than normal,” he adds. GHM’s maiden offering to the Middle East has been extremely successful and The Chedi has in its unique style introduced a refreshing look at hospitality in the country.
exican food is an all time favourite amongst most foodies like me. Known for sharing common tastes, flavours and spices with Indian cuisine, the experience at Senor Pico was not only different but enriching at the same time. Senor Pico currently prides in having one of the most celebrated chef onboard their existing team; Chef Sergio Esquivel who is of Mexican origin and has more than 12 years of experience in the food and beverage industry will be quite busy weaving some culinary magic for food aficionados in the city. That’s not all; he was appointed as one of the 100 best chefs in Mexico by the Academy of Culinary French of which he has been a member since 2005 and is also the recipient of a 5 Star Diamond Award for the American Academy Hospitality which is considered the highest in America and the Caribbean. “Chef Sergio Esquival’s cuisine is one of the most exciting food in the restaurant now, a breath of fresh air to the dining scene,” says Austin Reid, Executive Chef.
Chef Sergio Esquival will be a very important part of the kitchen; lending his expertise in authentic Latin American and Mexican food. He describes cooking as an evolution, a way to transmit his feelings through each unique preparation. Chef Esquival’s background is far more modest than world-travelled chefs from exotic locations. “I grew up in Mexico and had the opportunity to travel to various regions within Mexico, Europe and US, where I honed my skills on knowledge and gourmet on Mexican cuisine,” says Chef Esquival. The striking ambience of Senor Pico transports diners to a classic Mexican setting; the decorations used give a local feel, especially the paintings and murals on the walls. To begin with, the aromatic and fresh homemade tortillas were an absolute hit; served with the classic Mexican salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions and green chillies, the combination was perfect on a hot and sultry afternoon. Followed by some authentic chicken Fajitas,
A Mexican Affair Senor Pico at Intercontinental Muscat offers upscale, authentic Mexican flavours; coupled with dining amidst an impeccable ambience and 5 Star Diamond Award Chef in the restaurant’s existing team, the experience is unique and top class
Above: Chef Sergio Esquival
Script: Sudipta Dasgupta traditional Mexican dips and classic starters; it was a unique and new tasting experience. We had the privilege of tasting some of his unique and signature preparations along with an opportunity to know more on his expertise on Mexican cuisine … This is my passion … The most important factors of being a good chef lie on the way you present your work with a strong will and the desire for learning new things. Specific to the region … I have a basic recipe for everything I cook. But I change my style as I move from one region to another so that I can cater to the different tastes of my guests. However, I still create my own style based on the ingredients I use. In Oman, I will change certain ingredients in some of my cooking to suit the tastes of the local people. The planning process... It has been two months since I came to Oman and ever since then, I have been planning on having a Latin American food festival. I am currently in the process of
discussing concepts with my team who are extremely professional and dedicated to their work. It is going to be something really special! An early start … I had an inclination towards cooking when I was six years old. I didn’t realise this was something I wanted to do professionally until I was about 20. I knew I had to create and offer the true taste of Mexico to the world by means of cooking! Cuisine that matters … I will try my best to motivate and encourage my team to serve guests something different on our menu. The key is to keep it simple, using two or three ingredients – I’m a great believer of this. My idea is to bring my kind of food and flavour to people in Oman; the culture, religion,
gastronomic techniques that are followed in Mexico. The greatest challenge … I love to create the menus, train the staff as well as both manage and motivate my team to produce excellent work while also inspiring them to want to continue in this profession. I enjoy the creative aspect of my work - my passion for food, the energy and excitement of being in the kitchen and also the privileged contact with the public - discovering what the patrons truly enjoyed - making a client happy around a table at the restaurant. My biggest challenge is when I get criticism from my guests, I like it because it makes more creative the next time I serve that guest. Experience of sorts … I have had the privilege of working for the
Chef Sergio Esquivel who is of Mexican origin and has more than 12 years of experience in the food and beverage industry will be quite busy weaving some culinary magic for food aficionados in the city.
Intercontinental Hotel chain for several years; during which I developed most of my culinary expertise of international and French cuisine. I have had the opportunity of working with prestigious chain restaurants like Maison de la Alsace and Au Pied de Cochon. Biggest inspiration … The desire to pursue this profession is owed to many individuals; two out of them being Jean Marie Auboine (one of the most awarded Executive Pastry Chef in America) and famous chef, Guy Santoro (the Best Chef in America in 2009, President of the Academy of Culinary French in Mexico). I have learnt that my profession requires me to do the best possible work and above all to satisfy my patrons - to serve happiness around the table. What the profession demands … The culinary profession demands that individuals have respect and a great deal of creativity to develop their own style and the never ending will to enjoy themselves in the kitchen. They need to gather essential knowledge about the industry. Learning speed, getting things done quickly and efficiency, is also critical.
My idea is to bring home my kind of food and flavour to people in Oman; the culture, religion, gastronomic techniques that are followed in Mexico.
Travel & Lifestyle
explore w Escape w Lounge w FIFA Special June 2010
Travel & Lifestyle
Call of the A trip to Africa is never complete without going on a safari. Kenya offers some of the best safari options. While safaris are exciting and enlightening, planning and organising a safari in advance is the key to enjoying it best Script: Arjen Koopman
oing on a real African safari in Kenya is a great experience – if you are well prepared. Safari means ‘journey’ in Swahili. In the colonial days, a safari meant Europeans going into the bush to hunt wild animals. Luckily, nowadays the guns have been replaced by photo and video equipment, and Kenyan wildlife is being protected through the huge national park system. If you’d like to do an African safari, Kenya is one of the best options. The national parks have been maintained well, there’s an enormous variety in wildlife and landscapes, the country has a well developed tourist industry which has made even the remote parks accessible for tourists. However, there are downsides. You’ll often have to drive for hours and this is slow and on the often terrible Kenyan roads (unless you can afford to use one of small air lines that fly between the cities and many wildlife parks). And when you’re finally in the park, you’ll keep on driving because it’s usually not allowed (and very unsafe) to leave your vehicle. You’ll drive around – typically two times per day, after sunrise and before sunset – looking for animals to see. And when it’s hot, the roads are dusty and you see the 101st zebra but the lion just won’t show up… then safari fatigue can set in.
How to organise a safari? First of all, if you really want to get the authentic bush experience, go for at least five days on a safari. You’ll have a bigger chance to catch the big animals and the same goes for the chance to spend time with some local tribes. The short tours can also take you to a quick stop in a tribal village, but such photo-and-souvenir stops can be pretty disappointing, as you’ll often be treated as a cash cow. It is possible to organise your own African safari in Kenya. Most of the national parks are only accessible in a vehicle. You can rent a vehicle or simply go to one of the main entry gates of the national parks, pay the entry fee, and try to join up with a group there. A four-wheel-drive is not strictly necessary in most parks (at least in the dry periods) because the unpaved roads (which you usually cannot leave) are accessible to all kinds of cars. Most companies use Nissan minivans, with roofs that can be opened so you can take pictures without glass in front of you. However, if you have to rent a vehicle and other equipment like a tent, then you can just as well go with an organised tour. In any case, it’s best to book your African safari in Kenya separately from your flight, hotel, etc. This way you’ll have the most options, and you don’t necessarily have to leave your room while you are on your safari. Types of safaris There are essentially two types of safaris. The first and usually cheaper type means sleeping in tents in open or fenced campsites within or just outside the parks. This is the real bush experience and can be pretty exciting, but don’t expect luxury here. It’s quite common for animals to enter the open camp sites at night, so there’s only some canvas between you and the wild animals. Though I know of no case that a human was consumed by a lion or trampled by an elephant, you should be very careful if you have to leave your tent at night. With the second more expensive type, you stay in comfortable to very luxurious tented camps or lodges.
Youâ€™ll have restaurants, hot showers, wildlife videos and real bed linen there, as well as plenty of staff taking care of all your needs. Many lodges have waterholes and other tricks to lure the wild animals around dawn and sunset to the lodge or camp, so you can spot them without having to go outside. The advantage of this type is that itâ€™s pretty nice to have a hot bath and meal waiting for you after driving for a whole day on dusty roads. Apart from the choice between camping and tented camp/lodge safaris, thereâ€™s also a whole range of special interest safaris on offer. (See box for details.) Choosing the park Each park has its pros and cons. One thing to keep in mind is, the more abundant the vegetation, the harder it is to spot animals as they hide in the bush. So while some parks have a beautiful scenery with thick bush, other parks with less versatile plains offer much better possibilities for wildlife viewing (called game viewing or game drives in the jargon). Of course, there are also big differences between the animals present. 104
Special Interest Safaris
Secondly, some parks are much more crowded than others, because they’re more popular or closer to Nairobi. Especially crowded are Masai Mara and Amboseli during the tourist high season ( July-August and December-January). A third thing to keep in mind, especially when you have more parks in your itinery, is the distance between the parks. They are often so bad that you can’t go any faster than 20-30 miles an hour, and still you’re shaking like crazy. You don’t want to spend your precious safari days driving on the often terrible Kenyan roads. Game drives are only done in the first hours after sunrise and the late afternoon – in the middle of the day many animals are asleep. This can limit your schedule. Enjoy your Kenyan safari! Arjen Koopman is a journalist based in Amsterdam. He was fascinated by Kenya when he first visited the beautiful country. His love for Kenya prompted him to create www.kenya-advisor.com, a website aimed at helping people to know more about the country and what it has to offer.
Besides the regular and popular safaris, Kenya has a wide range of special interest safaris that are interesting as well as unique. Balloon safaris These aren’t really full safari tours, as they typically last a few hours. But these are exciting trips. Hot air balloon safaris are held in various parks, including Masai Mara National Reserve, and they leave very early in the morning. During the first hours after sunrise (which is prime wildlife viewing time) you’ll fly over the Savannah, where you’ll have a terrific view of the animals. The trip ends with a lovely meal on landing. Walking safaris In most places you’re not allowed to leave your vehicle during a Kenya wild safari. But in some parks, walking safaris are possible. You can hire a guide to lead you everywhere, and at night you can sleep in the park in a tent. An interesting company offering walking safaris is Ontdek Kenya run by a Belgian man and his Kenyan wife. Bird safaris Kenya has a huge number of bird species as a result of its varied landscape and habitats. Since so much of the country is open grassland or bush, the birds are also relatively easy to see. Many bird fanatics travel to Kenya just for a bird safari. On some tours, it’s possible to view no less than 500-600 different bird species in just two weeks. Horseback safaris It’s also possible to do your safari on the back of a horse. Horses can access terrain where no 4WD can go – through mountains and forest, across vast open savannah, into rivers and water-holes and up huge escarpments. The sense of space and freedom can be simply overwhelming. However, as you’ll be riding for many hours a day, you need to have enough experience with horse riding to do this. Honeymoon safaris Increasingly popular are honeymoon safaris. With its 500 kilometers of white sand beaches, and romantic places like the island of Lamu, Kenya has some great places for a romantic honeymoon. I personally especially enjoyed Tiwi Beach, near Mombasa, which is much quieter than nearby, well-known Diani Beach. Top-end luxury safaris At the top end of the spectrum, you’ll find companies such as Royal African Safaris, who will visit you at your home anywhere in the world to design a custom made safari tour for you. They’ll fly you into their special remote camps with light aircraft or helicopters, and anything goes as long as your budget stretches.
Travel & Lifestyle
A Landmark of Luxury
Overlooking the magnificent Lake Lucerne is the grand Palace Luzern, one of the oldest and most magnificent hotels in Switzerland. This century old hotel combines old world charm with contemporary comforts which provides an enchanting experience ď ŽScript: Anne Kurian
hen I first saw Palace Luzern by the banks of Lake Lucerne, I was immediately transported to the world of horse-drawn carriages, ladies in extravagant ball gowns, men smoking pipes, classical music and grandeur. The hotel, more than 100 years old, bears a distinctive aura that is reminiscent of the Victorian days. Stately and imposing, Palace Luzern stands out among the hotels that dot the bank of Lake Lucerne. And in the place of the horse carriage is Jaguar’s super sporty, XK, the hotel car. Inside the 5-star property, the old world charm is unmistakable. The lobby area is seeped in old glory that the hotel has maintained even in the modern times. I was guided to my room, which reminded me of stepping into a Neo-classic era that juxtaposed with modernity.
The other restaurant, Jasper, is a gourmet’s paradise to say the least. The restaurant that has 16 points GaultMillau and 1Michelin star under Chef Ulf Braunert is one of the best in the region
Soothing warm colours adorn the room – be it the walls, furnishings or décor. What also catches your attention is the size of the room – it is large, as it is with almost every room or suite in the hotel. Palace Luzern had undergone a major renovation in the recent past during which 23 million Swiss francs was invested in extensive modernisation. One of the major aspects of the renovation was to increase space and thus the number of rooms was brought down. This has resulted in more space in each room which truly is a vital aspect of luxury. On the walls of the rooms are modern oil paintings by Latin American artist Ruby Estrada and Patrick McCarthy from the USA. Despite the room’s size, it exudes a cozy serene feeling, much similar to the ambience outdoors.
And despite it being my first visit to Lucerne, I was tempted more than once to sit back and soak in the beauty of the room instead of exploring the city. The bathroom is worth a mention. For one, the size bowled me out. Befitting the room I stayed in, the bathroom was of generous dimensions too with a bathtub and separate shower and toilet areas. The bath was separated from the bedroom by a glass partition that was ceiling high. You can watch TV or gaze out at the Swiss Alps lying in the bathtub. While on the topic of Swiss Alps, the view from my room was the most magnificent. Even at the risk of sounding like a hotel brochure, I can’t help but emphasise about the experience of looking out of my room balcony. The sight is sure to take just about anybody’s breath away - the placid
and tranquil Lake Lucerne lay ahead beyond which rose the magnificent snowcapped Swiss Alps. Waking up to the sight of the majestic mountains is almost a spiritual moment, and you just can’t get enough of it. For a truly Hollywood moment, have your tea or coffee served out in the balcony. Even if the temperature is quite low, it’s worth the experience. Just watching the kids playing or the couple strolling by or the passersby feeding the ducks is just as enjoyable. Not all the rooms have a balcony (our photographer Elvis’s room only had a terrace), so you might want to request in advance though almost all rooms have magnificent views. The hotel has two fascinating restaurants, each with a unique personality of its own. Les Artistes, where we had
One of the major aspects of the renovation was to increase space and thus the number of rooms was brought down. This has resulted in more space in each room which truly is a vital aspect of luxury
One of the most fascinating attractions of the Palace Luzern is the Palace Spa, which was added in 2005 during the renovation. Spread over two floors and 800 metres, the spa is beautifully designed attuned to the hotel’s character
breakfast on both the days we stayed at Palace Luzern bears a Belle Epoque design. The restaurant, which has a promenade style seating during warmer months, offers sweeping views of Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps. The staff is extremely friendly and goes out of their way to ensure that guests’ needs are taken care at all times. The breakfast buffet is quite impressive and the restaurant is known for its southern style as well as international cuisines. The other restaurant, Jasper, is a gourmet’s paradise to say the least. The restaurant that has 16 points GaultMillau and 1Michelin star under Chef Ulf Braunert is one of the best in the region. The reputation of this fine dining restaurant has traveled beyond borders and attracts gourmands from all around. We guided through the rather comprehensive
yet finely crafted menu that featured some of the most exquisite dishes. The meal was enthralling and the Chef ’s preparations did not cease to amaze us through the course of the night. It is just impossible to not be taken in by the décor of the restaurant, which includes creamy white walls, large opal glass lamps that are suspended from the ceiling and the fine restaurant accessories. Jasper is a true epitome of understated elegance where the finest culinary treats are created. One of the most fascinating attractions of the Palace Luzern is the Palace Spa, which was added in 2005 during the renovation. Spread over two floors and 800 metres, the spa is beautifully designed attuned to the hotel’s character. Relaxing is as easy as stepping into the spa, even before you have undergone any treatment.
Waking up to the sight of the majestic mountains is almost a spiritual moment, and you just can’t get enough of it. For a truly Hollywood moment, have your tea or coffee served out in the balcony
The spa has six rooms, with separate areas for men and women. Sauna, steam room, lifestyle shower and ice fountain are some of the features of the spa. The spa offers a variety of treatments and is one of the most popular in the city, so reservations need to be made much in advance. Also attached to the spa is a fitness room. The hotel is made up of six floors with a total of 136 rooms and suites. Space is often a luxury in today’s fast paced world and Palace Luzern caters to this veritable luxury. Add to that friendly, warm and responsive staff and you have hotel that embodies the dictum home away from home. The oft quoted ‘feels like home’ statement rang true for me at this idyllically located hotel in the picturesque city of Lucerne.
Travel & Lifestyle
Committed Elizabeth Gilbert
nown for her in-depth profiles for magazines from Harper’s Bazaar to GQ, Elizabeth Gilbert has developed a reputation for relaying what makes people tick, both in her reportage and her acclaimed works of fiction. Told with Gilbert’s trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to take a different angle when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert’s memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails. At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilianborn man of Australian citizenship who’d been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. Gilbert’s sequel to the mega bestselling Eat, Pray, Love is a serious, sincere, yet ultimately long journey of a woman trying to believe in the social institution of marriage. Debating whether or not to marry her boyfriend, the author embarks on a one-year study of marriage’s evolution, cultural variations, pitfalls, and pleasures. Gilbert remains the spirited storyteller she was in Eat, Pray, Love and her central question is a good one—how can a divorce-scarred feminist make a case for marriage? Presented in the author’s easy-going, conversational style, the material is intriguing and often insightful. A brief account of how intimate relationships are complicated by marriage, divorce and expectations about both. Given Gilbert’s popularity and the state of marriage in America, the book can be another bestseller.
Street Fighters Kate Kelly
treet Fighters is a thrilling, well-told account of the collapse of a Wall Street giant that was the first sign of the recent global financial crisis. The fall of Bear Stearns in March 2008 set off a wave of global financial turmoil that continues to ripple. How could one of the oldest, most resilient firms on Wall Street go so far astray that it had to be sold at a fire sale price? How could the street fighters who ran Bear so aggressively miscalculate so completely? The fabled investment banking house of Bear Stearns was one of the pillars not only of Wall Street, but also of the global economy, widely admired for its daring innovations in managing and marketing new generations of asset-backed securities. Today, Bear is remembered for its collapse and forced sale to JPMorgan Chase, the first rock to fall in the risk management avalanche that triggered the current global financial crisis. As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Kate Kelly was the best of the financial journalists covering Bears’ once-unthinkable descent into oblivion. Expanding with fresh detail from her acclaimed frontpage series in The Wall Street Journal, Kate Kelly captures every sight, sound and smell of Bear’s final three days. In March of 2008 when Bear Stearns first realised it was collapsing, the company fought to save itself and ultimately, agreed to a humiliating sale to JPMorgan. Kelly’s book brilliantly reports each of the characters involved in the humiliating loss as her narrative is gripping and descriptive. Notable among them are Bear’s Hamlet-like CEO, Alan Schwartz, who wept in line at the nearby Starbucks on the morning he had to announce the sale, and Jimmy Cayne, the erratic and wildly eccentric cigar-smoking chairman, whose real passions appear to have been bridge and golf. There are terrific walk-on appearances by Warren Buffett; Bear’s legendary ex-chairman, Ace Greenberg; Lloyd Blankfein (the Goldman Sachs honcho); and Chris Flowers, the engaging private equity investor who made a spirited run at Bear.
A Shopper’s Paradise ...
• A’Shamok Fragrances • Adam Opticals • Al Azure Tours • Al Emad Computers • Aon Majan • Beach Shop • Beauty Center • Celebrate • Connexions • Crystal City • D’Arcy’s Kitchen • Dairy Queen • Dimaniyat Diving • Eastern Mirage • Elegance Barber • Eye Candy • Febal Kitchens • Foto Magic • Golden Pearl Jewellery • Gulf Jewellery House • Gulf Property World • Hair Spa • Jazz • Light Moon Herbals • Little Shop of Flowers • Moustache • Muscat Pharmacy & Stores • Nails • Nick & Friends • O Sole Mio • Oman Post • Omani Heritage Gallery • Ozone • Pane Caldo • Perfumes & Cosmetics • Persian Carpet Bazaar • Raj Relics • Salubrious • Shoe Palace • Shuram Tourism • Snowhite • Starbucks Coﬀee • Stomach • Tahani Antiques • Tahani Fashions • The Spa Bar • Totem • Treasure Palace • Tulip Shoes • WH Smith
Enjoy everlasting moments!
Travel & Lifestyle
As we countdown to one of the biggest sporting event of the year and witness some great moments and battles on and off field, the FIFA 2010 World Cup promises to be as thrilling as ever. Here are some unique and luxurious World Cup collections and sports memorabilia that every football fan would love to own
Shaded Comfort For over seventy years, Ray-Banâ€™s commitment to quality and technology has played an important role in establishing a legacy of authenticity. Ray-ban has always offered technologically advanced lenses for protecting your eyes from UV radiation, but today innovative advancements allow the brand to do even more. An absolute style accessory and at the same time something that will make the live action on field even more exciting.
Signature of Icon This Real Madrid home shirt was personally signed by Cristiano Ronaldo in silver ink at an exclusive signing session organised and carried out by Icons in Madrid on November 2009. Ronaldo is currently the number one player in the world. After winning the Champions League and Premiership with Manchester United he moved to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of ÂŁ80 million. The shirt comes in presentation packaging with an official certificate of authenticity featuring an image of Ronaldo signing the shirt. Only a limited edition of these shirts was signed by Ronaldo, making it a highly collectable piece of sports memorabilia.
Keep in touch in style!
This special edition 64GB Ipod Touch features Frank Lampardâ€™s signature on the reverse and has been embellished with 24kt gold by Goldgenie. This stunning piece will make listening to music and surfing the web a truly luxurious experience, and would also be an exceptional memento for football fans. The Goldgenie will donate a portion of the profits from each Frank Lampard iPod Touch to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Some of its main features include 64GB flash drive that holds up to 14,000 songs, 90,000 photos or 80hrs of video. It comes with a 3.5inch widescreen multi-touch display function!
Healthy Solutions Fun to look at and simple to use; this football-shaped hot air Popcorn Maker is a smart solution to healthy eating options. The product has an in-built heater with the lid that doubles up as a bowl for your fluffy, fresh and delicious popcorn. Using hot air in place of oil, itâ€™s a much healthier option than other popcorn makers that require oil and it pops up to 80g of kernels in less than 4 minutes. Giles & Posner products are warranted against defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of purchase.
The fever is on The World Cup fever starts now â€Ś keeping you warm and cozy until the kick-off date is in sight, the adidas FIFA World Cup Scarf wraps you up in a stylish reversible design printed on a super soft acrylic weave.
Colourful Prints Jubilantly printed with a bold Union Jack motif, this stylish cooler bag is the patriotic way of carrying food items to one of the World Cup live matches! It is designed to look cool and hip that carries all your essential food items. Designed by Emma Bridgewater; the brand is a family run business that strives to provide colourful and practical home wares for the contemporary kitchen.
Kick it right Designed for and with the help of Drogba, Ronaldo, Zlatan, Pato, Eduardo, Theo, Bendtner, Ryan Babel and many many more. The Nike Vapor Superfly II has a revolutionary outsole that combines with Nike’s Flywire engineering for an utterly mind-blowing boot. Crafted from high grade cotton, it displays a South Africa appliqué logo, and is finished with Polo Ralph Lauren embroidery at the reverse. Polo Ralph Lauren embodies the very essence of the preppy lifestyle symbolised by its iconic polo player motif, the brand is recognised worldwide for its American heritage and authenticity.
Flip it up! Comfortable and versatile, everyone needs a great pair of Havaianas; they’re a must-have when the mercury level is on a constant rise. This flip-flop collection references the flags of different countries; practical and patriotic! Soft, light and highly durable, these pair of flip-flop carries the Brazil flag and signature logo. Hip, sporty and uber comfortable, collections feature a kaleidoscopic array of prints in a variety of this label’s signature styles bearing the flag colour and logo of different countries.
Hana’s team of hair and make-up stylists have the vision, the training and the skills to make you look and feel your best. They believe that taking care of your outward beauty is a reﬂection of who you are inside. Through make-up and hair styling, you can achieve the results you have been looking for, Putting a fresh face foward will help enhance your looks and bring out conﬁdence. Hana’s provides effective treatments for hair fall, dandruff and dry hair. C.A.R is used that stimulates hair growth. Treatment Offered at Hana’s: Colouring, Permanent Rebonding, Highlights, Perming
The Feminine Look You Always Wanted | Tel.: 24697270 / 24604968
Style & Beauty
View w Fashion w BeautyShop June 2010
Style & Beauty
The Chrono 4 Badboy from Eberhard & Co., one of Switzerland’s leading watch making houses, bears a completely new and gutsy look. This outstanding timepiece was launched at Baselworld 2010 Crème de la Crème Report
A New Look “
Further confirming the distinctly sporty, gutsy character of Chrono 4 Badboy are its unmistakable red features, namely the central seconds hand and the small numeral references of the counter displays that stand out proudly on the dial
he striking new look given to Chrono 4 Badboy which Eberhard & Co. unveiled at Baselworld 2010 has been receiving rave reviews. The 122 year Swiss watch manufacturing company has given the model a completely new and distinctive gutsy look. After having revolutionised the reading of time, thanks to the specially patented device aligning four counters, the Company’s emblem collection has become a ‘laboratory of ideas’, revealing a maximum expression of compactness, strength and dynamism. This is the definition of a chronograph that creates a strong and decisive impact with every aspect of its design detail. From the imposing 46mm diameter steel case to the rotating bezel with PVD-treated screws, from the screw push-pieces to the crown guard, from the thick, antireflective sapphire crystal to the 8 screws of the screw-down case back, ensuring water-resistance to 20atm. A particular characteristic of the Chrono 4 Badboy is its meticulous exploration of the three-dimensional and its surprising multi-level implementation of the results. Worth special mention in this context is the subtle circular metal plate mounted on the dial. Its 6 screws, emphasize the four in-line counters, and the combination of screws at intervals around the sides of the case, on the bezel, the case back and finally the flange, challenge the limits of verticality and are complemented by the tachymeter scale expressed in km.
Further confirming the distinctly sporty, gutsy character of Chrono 4 Badboy are its unmistakable red features, namely the central seconds hand and the small numeral references of the counter displays that stand out proudly on the dial. Also the attractive black rubber strap, vertically sculpted, accentuates the thickness of the material and reinforces those qualities of robustness and compactness, with which Eberhard intended to endow the model. Chrono 4 Badboy is thus truly part of the constant evolution of the projects and ideas signed ‘Eberhard & Co.’ that, now more than ever, are coming skilfully and dynamically into focus in a chronograph of indomitable strength. Also worth mentioning is the timepiece created by Maison Eberhard & Co. for professional use, Scafodat that defies the limits of the deepest waters. It was worn by Brigitte Lenoir, the well-known Swiss diver, during a series of extreme trials, down to the world record for women’s deep sea diving, the ultimate objective of the event. The courage, tenacity and professionalism of Brigitte Lenoir were already demonstrated on April 10, during her dive in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, when she went down to 154 metres. This is the new women’s world record for rebreather diving. Get to know more about the brands at Gallery Argan.
Style & Beauty
Top design houses got together recently in Muscat to show support and solidarity towards Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan’s initiative, ‘Madrasati Palestine’. Kenzo, Givenchy and Rami Al Ali Couture showcased the Spring/Summer 2010 Collections at an exclusive show held at The Chedi Crème de la Crème Report
Designer Rami Al Ali with the models at The Chedi
select group of Oman’s glitterati and wellheeled ladies gathered together at a unique Salon Privé held at The Chedi last month. The fashion event showcasing the designs from Kenzo, Givenchy and Rami Al Ali Couture was held in support of ‘Madrasati Palestine’, an initiative by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan launched to combat the deteriorating state of education in East Jerusalem by renovating and enhancing the physical and learning environment of disadvantaged schools. The event featured designs from the Spring/ Summer 2010 collections of the design houses. The collection from Kenzo showcased light, airy fabrics loosely structured in black, white and splashes of bright summer colours which included orange, pink, turquoise and green. Givenchy too featured bright summer shades in its collection like green, ocean blue and white. Gold detailing is one of Givenchy’s design trademarks and featured in this collection too. Designer Rami Al Ali’s collection was dramatically rich featuring summer and evening dresses. His latest couture collection was inspired by the extremely complex and versatile character, Carmen, from the self-titled French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. Creativity knew no bounds in Rami’s designs for which he chose crystallised tussles, frills, fringes and layering extending from organza, chiffon, silk, taffeta to stain and jacquard. An extremely worthy cause, the exclusive Salon Prive was supported by The Chedi, Soiree, Dubai’s first highend, multi-brand Pakistani boutique, Jumbo Electronics, Designer General Trading and TRACCS Public Relations together with the participating design houses.
The collection from Kenzo showcased light, airy fabrics loosely structured in black, white and splashes of bright summer colours which included orange, pink, turquoise and green
Style & Beauty
As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Saud Bahwan Group in association with the Japanese Embassy organised an exciting fashion show featuring the latest collections of distinguished international designer, Hanae Mori at Al Bustan InterContinental Palace Muscat last month Script: Crème de la Crème Report
The Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat played host to a scintillating evening showcasing some of the most unique and contemporary collections of the celebrated designer, Hanae Mori that reflected a fusion of Oriental and Western fashion traditions. Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Seiji Morimoto, the Honourable Ambassador of Japan to Oman, lauded the creative talent and refinement that are evident in Hanae Mori designs. The glittering show was held under the patronage of Her Highness Sayyida Aliya bint Thuwaini bin Shihab Al Said, and with an exclusive sponsorship of the Saud Bahwan Group. Hanae Mori enjoys an exalted reputation for her artistic fashion design achievements in both Japan and globally, having received the ‘Order of Culture’ in Japan in 1996 and being named ‘Officier de la Legion d’Honneur’ in France in 2002. This recognition is best encapsulated by her acceptance as the only Asian member of the prestigious La Chamber Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne. Above: Hanae Mori
Above: H.E Seiji Morimoto, Ambassador of Japan to Oman
The fashion show was a step to help contribute and develop friendly relations between Oman and Japan
” June 2010
Hanae Mori enjoys an exalted reputation for her artistic fashion design achievements in both Japan and overseas, having received the ‘Order of Culture’ in Japan in 1996 and being named ‘Officier de la Legion d’Honneur’ in France in 2002.
Her myriad achievements include designs for the opera ‘Madame Butterfly’ at La Scala in 1985 and ‘Elektra’ at the Salzburg Festival in 1996. Under the direction of Rudolf Nureyev in 1986, she created the costumes for Cendrillon for the Paris Opera Ballet. Later in 1997, she designed costumes for Noh plays such as Takayama Uko and Kocho in 2002 as well as for the Kabuki play, Hadareyuki- Hakkotsujyo in 2003 and Mishima’s play Rokumeikan in 2006. The event witnessed top class fashion models that were especially flown down from Japan, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine who sashayed down the ramp, wearing the latest creations that reflected the unmistakable Hanae Mori signature. The fashion show was a step to help contribute and develop friendly relations between Oman and Japan.
Style & Beauty
The latest in beauty and grooming essentials
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Mascara Perfumes and Cosmetics outlets
This season Estée Lauder offers three ways to achieve daringly full, lavishly lifted lashes without the clumping or spiking normally associated with volumising mascaras; Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara in Black, New, Limited Edition Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara in Bold Black, and Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Waterproof Mascara in Black. To complete this dramatically alluring eye, accent eyes with Estée Lauder’s New Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Black Smoke. Lashes and lids will be bolder than ever before.
J’adore Eau de Parfum Capital Store outlets
Dior has launched the Eau de Parfum of its iconic fragrance, J’adore. Exuding lightness and harmony, the new version of the fragrance is alternately sensual, bold and joyful. Jasmine, rose damascena, sambac and ylang ylang are some of the top ingredients that form the bouquet of this intoxicating perfume. Fruity and woody notes intermingle to create a dreamlike fragrance. J’adore embodies the quintessence of the House of Dior values. A myth, a fragrance of eternal femininity, J’adore Eau de Parfum stands apart from the rest.
Designer Fashion Boutiques
Showcasing 26 European & American Designers
Join Our Privilege Card Membership Free of Charge & Enjoy: • Discounts & Offers • Invitations to Preview New Collections • Special Member Evenings • New Boutique Openings • And Much More!
Ladies & Menswear at: • Jawharat A’Shati Complex • Shangri-la’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa • Al Bustan Palace Intercontinental Muscat For More Information Contact | Fiona on +968 96101176 | E-mail: ﬁona@nickandfriends.com
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Simply Musts w I, Me, Myself June 2010
A selection of the finest buys for connoisseurs of luxury Digital Fashion HP and world-renowned designer Vivienne Tam’s latest creation is a fashionable success with the latest ‘digital clutch’ chic. The HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam Edition made its runway design debut at New York Fashion Week as part of Tam’s spring 2010 collection. Combining Tam’s stunning ‘Butterfly Lovers’ design with premium PC technology, the HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam Edition is poised to become the next must-have accessory. Starting at 1.22 kilograms and less than 3.0 cm, it fits easily into purses or bags. The netbook design is inspired by the classic Chinese love story, ‘Butterfly Lovers,’ a beautiful tale of freedom, romance and inspiration. Fashion-forward women around the globe can reserve theirs now at www.hp.com/viviennetam
Bling Beauties Blending ancient techniques with a distinctly modern sensibility, L’Objet creates objects inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Each collection is a visual feast of rich, refined colours and exquisite designs meticulously handmade by master craftsmen. These beautiful goldplated turtles could easily be mistaken for decorative ornaments, but look closer you will notice that they carry essential condiments in their glass shells. Decorated with hand-placed Swarovski crystals, these little creatures are a set of salt and pepper shakers. www.l-objet.com
Gold Connection The Nokia 6700 Gold Edition is a luxurious alternative to the successful Nokia 6700 classic. With 20 carat gold plating and a slim 11.2mm design, the 6700 Gold Edition provides the perfect synergy between technology and luxury. It comes with a cream leather slip case and wrist strap with 8GB microSD card and 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera. It is also inclusive of a phone charger, USB, earphones and a hands-free kit. www.harrods.com
Magical Radiance Flecked with light and warmed by golden pigments, Terracotta 2010 make-up is packed with metallic accents with a polished glow. Borrowed from the earth, minerals, stone and metal, its colours recall the warm browns of ochre lands or golden sand. The Terracotta adventure presents a new powder and a unique bronzing powder enriched with pure gold that plays with four tones for a tan to match your every desire and equally luminous, no matter what the season. For more than 25 years of knowhow and luxury, a forerunner in the quest for the perfect tan, Guerlain has continuously written this Terracotta legend, enriching it year after year with even more tempting, even more dazzling beauty rituals. Available at Capital Store LLC
Elegant & Chic This individual or interlinking Candelabra is a 24 carat gold plated elegant ensemble for your dining table. They are handmade in the UK by two Anglo-Swiss artisans who won numerous design awards. Their core philosophy is to give each design a unique character and soul creating a functional product that will charm and entertain. Available at the Chedi Boutique, Oman
A New Dimension Samsung Electronics, a market leader and awardwinning innovator in consumer electronics recently launched the much awaited new line-up of 3D TVs in the Sultanate of Oman, including LED, LCD and PDP models, marking a new dimension in TV entertainment. With the new line-up of 3D TVs, Samsung will unveil the 3D LED TVs 8000, 7000 and 6000 series. Samsung 8000 LED TVs come fully equipped with the latest 3D HyperReal Engine and Clear Motion Rate technology, allowing users to enjoy the 3D contents in more three dimensional and realistic way. Samsung’s HD 3D LED TV line-up deliver superior 3D picture quality with incredible depth and perfect clarity, Samsung’s HD 3D LED TVs also boast unsurpassed picture quality, with vibrant colours and higher contrast ratios. With a wide-ranging palette of materials and designs, Samsung offers something to meet anyone’s tastes and interior design preferences. The 3D LED TVs are also the highest performing and most eco-conscious HDTV products Samsung has ever released, all exceeding the more stringent EnergyStar 4.0 guidelines. Available at Sarco Showroom, Oman
Contemporary Solutions The contemporary new toaster from the Bugatti range is a sleek and beautiful product for the connoisseur of kitchen gadgetry. Generous toasting racks will accommodate varying thicknesses of bread while the bun warmer will toast bagels or buns to perfection. It comes with an integrated tray to catch crumbs as well as has an in-built defrost function. Another striking feature is the motorised lift system that can be used for easy toast removal. www.bugatti.com
Stylish Living True to Scandinavian tradition in furniture design and home furnishing, I D Design has a selected range of attractive, clean lined and modern furniture designed for comfortable living. Quality of fabrics, materials and construction play a key role in the careful selection of products. The Cento Chair with Footstool comes in white leather finish. Function is designed around modularity, which puts the customer in charge of the design process. The furniture is developed for the modern home, featuring sleek design, fine quality and great attention to detail Available at ID Design, Markaz Al Bahja
I, Me, Myself
David Graham, the dynamic new CEO of Oman Sail shares his ideal weekend getaway and how important it is to have his family and kids next to him at all times Perfect weekend getaway With my wife and kids. I enjoy cooking with my kids and prepare pancakes on Friday mornings or take our boat to Bandar Khairan; we do snorkeling or just spend the night inside our tents Dining out Depends on my mood sometimes, but I enjoy the seafood special at The Chedi where I take my wife quite often. Mantra in life Life is not a rehearsal. I work hard, play hard and make the most out of life. I believe that life should be fully lived and enjoyed. I also believe that people should be treated equally. Luxury to me is Spending quality time with my family Prized possessions It has to be my mountain bike and my stereo Sojourn special We just got back from Cape Town; we rented a big motor home and travelled all along the coast. We stayed inside our motor home just few feet away from the wildlife of South Africa which was one of the most memorable experiences Wardrobe essential Shorts; absolutely essential in a place like Muscat My indulgences Cycling, sailing, cooking and photography My inspiration My work. The whole cause and what goes on behind the scene to get the whole project running is what inspires me everyday Facing challenges Our work involves lot of risks and challenges everyday; I welcome each day and take up the challenges one day at a time.
May 2010 June 2010
Unwind - Unbecome - Unleash! Liberate your senses…
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Published on Aug 4, 2010
June 2010 2 TAHANI SABCO CENTRE, TEL: 24562589 PRIMA GOLD: Muscat City Centre, Qurum City Centre, Bareeq Al Shati www.galleryargan.com PRIMA...