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Elegance is an attitude
Welcome to the third issue of DAMAC Properties’ quarterly lifestyle magazine: your guide to the finest things in life. This issue centres on the beauty of collaboration, and the fantastic results that can come from working together. To celebrate the launch of DAMAC Properties’ ground-breaking partnership with Paramount Pictures (turn to page 78 for the full story) we look to Los Angeles, the home of movie making, for this year’s hottest travel inspiration. We also find out what happens when one of the biggest names in fashion joins forces with a luxury car manufacturer – and why the world can’t get enough of the results. In another visionary collaboration, DAMAC Properties presents its blueprint for the next generation of Dubai city life: Akoya by DAMAC. This futuristic community of villas, mansions and apartments will have Trump International Golf Course, Dubai, at its heart – so it’s fitting that this issue we also look to the most spectacular championship courses around the world. Welcome to the most magnificent greens on earth. As the summer months begin, some of the world’s most beautiful women are embarking on the journey of their lives: the quest to be crowned Miss Universe. To celebrate, we look back at 60 years of the contest – the results are stunning, we’re sure you’ll agree. We hope you enjoy the issue, and wish you a restful and reflective summer season.
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Home 54 / Divine by Design
DAMAC meets Carla Fendi, and the creative force behind FENDI Casa
58 / Let There be Light
The lighting company with futuristic ambitions for traditional Venetian glass
Features 4 / Picture Perfect
61 / Artistic Ambitions
The history of Miss Universe in pictures – the world’s most beautiful contest
Discover how to display your private art collection to the greatest effect
10 / Fashion Statement
Why the Maserati GranCabrio Fendi epitomises fine Italian culture
14 / Behind the Silver Screen
66 / DAMAC Properties Delivers a Life of Luxury
DAMAC reveals the stories behind Paramount Pictures’ legendary titles
The story behind DAMAC Properties’ relentless pursuit of perfection
20 / Living Legend
Head to glamorous Los Angeles for an up-close glimpse of the movie world
68 / AKOYA by DAMAC
The city’s hottest neighbourhood, and the world-class golf course at its heart
26 / Magnificent Seven... Golf Courses
Globe-trotting golfers will love these dramatic, far-flung courses
32 / Family Values
Meet Thierry Stern, the fourth generation at the helm of Patek Philippe
38 / King of Couture
An exclusive glimpse of the incredible DAMAC Towers by Paramount
86 / The High Life
How DAMAC Properties’ is set to redefine luxury as we know it
90 / The New ‘New Dubai’
How Rami Al Ali is taking Middle Eastern style to Europe – to critical acclaim
On the move? Discover the new generation of property hot spots
41 / New Faces
DAMAC unveils the new collections of luxury timepieces by the fashion elite
78 / A Star is Born
44 / The World ’s Finest Spa Therapies
The luxurious treatments that every discerning traveller should indulge in
Donald J. Trump (Corbis)
Contributors / Chris Anderson Leah Oatway
Creative Direction & Design / Adam Sneade Vanessa Arnaud
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HOT Media FZ LLC for DAMAC Properties
The first Miss Universe competition takes place, in Long Beach, California, USA. 30 contestants took part in the competition, and 18-year-old Armi Kuusela of Finland was crowned the first ever Miss Universe.
The contest gets a new home – in Miami Beach, Florida. This was only the competition’s ninth year, but the USA boasted its second victorious beauty: 18-year-old Linda Bement, who was awarded the crown, sceptre, trophy and sash by Miss Universe 1959, Akiko Kojima of Japan.
Georgina Rizk, from Lebanon, becomes the first woman from the Middle East to win the competition. The former model is now a judge for the Miss Lebanon contests, and is married to Lebanese singer Walid Toufic.
The first contest to be held overseas. Puerto Rico hosted the 20th Miss Universe competition, as the USA organisers chose to reflect the international reach of the event. Kerry Anne Wells earned Australia’s first Miss Universe crown, and went on to lead a successful career as a news anchor and fashion commentator.
Janelle Commissiong, of Trinidad and Tobago, becomes the first black woman to win the Miss Universe title. The pageant, which attracted an estimated 200 million television viewers worldwide, was held in the Dominican Republic to promote tourism to the island.
Picture Perfect In cities all over the world right now, the most beautiful women are competing to represent their home country in the Miss Universe pageant, the finale of which takes place at the end of the year. Since 1952, the most attractive and accomplished entrants have dazzled the world as they fight for the crown – but only one woman per year can reign supreme. Here, DAMAC reveals the compelling stories from the world’s most picturesque frontline...
Irene Saez of Venezuela is crowned Miss Universe. The 19-year-old model spent a year touring the world as Miss Universe, before embarking on a degree in political science and becoming mayor of Chacao, a municipality of Caracas. Later, she competed in the Venezuela presidential elections (but was defeated by Carlos Andrés Pérez of Democratic Action), and became the Governor of Nueva Esparta.
Donald Trump acquires the Miss Universe pageant, marking a new era for the event. Alicia Machado, the fourth Venezuelan to win the contest, is crowned – and embarks on a career as an actress, presenter and singer.
Botswana enters the pageant for the first time, and wins – much to the surprise of newly-crowned Mpule Kwelagobe. A record 84 contestants competed in the contest, and Miriam Quiambao of The Philippines came a close runner up.
For the first time ever, viewers can vote for their favourite quarter-finalist contestant online. Shamcey Supsup from The Philippines (pictured centre) was chosen by the public, although the top spot was claimed by 25-year-old Leila Lopes of Angola.
USA’s Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss Universe. The 21-year-old was the first American winner since Brook Lee in 1997. Culpo won Miss Rhode Island USA 2012 in her first ever pageant, and won the Miss USA title just a few months after. She received the award from the previous year’s winner, Leila Lopes, and pledged to spend her year as Miss Universe “travel[ling] the world championing for her cause alliances, namely HIV/AIDS prevention”.
Fashion statement What do you get when you cross a luxury vehicle manufacturer with a high-end fashion designer? The answer is the Maserati GranCabrio Fendi, one of the most desirable cars around Words: Chr is A nder son ood and football aside, two of the biggest defining elements of modern Italian culture are undoubtedly fashion and cars. Ask anyone where the fastest, most desirable vehicles or the finest clothing lines come from, and this particular European country is often the sure-fire response. So what happens when these two worlds collide? And how would a sleek, Italian sports car look if a prominent homegrown fashion house were to apply its own cosmetic touches? The result must surely be the best of the best, where great technology meets cutting edge design – and in the limited edition Maserati GranCabrio Fendi, that’s exactly what we find. There are a lot of similarities between the Maserati and Fendi brands, which is why a collaboration between them makes perfect sense. Both have a great heritage, with their origins dating back almost 100 years, and the two began as family businesses. They are brand names that many would recognise today as being among the finest in their respective fields, and each has at times been associated with some of the leading names from the worlds of cars or fashion. There are surely grounds for understanding here, which is why a partnership works so well. Maserati is the eldest of the two companies, established in 1914 in Bologna by five brothers – Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto – who shared a passion for building race cars, as well as their Maserati surname. Initially they built cars for another company, but when production was suspended in 1926 they decided to work on something for themselves. It was clearly the right decision, as one of their first independent creations, driven by Alfieri, won the Targa Florio race that same year. If the Maserati name was to continue entering races, it would need an emblem, and for that the founders turned to their other brother Mario, an artist – he picked the trident from the statue of Neptune in the centre of Bologna, mixing it with the red and blue of the city’s banner, to create a logo still synonymous with the marque. It was a year before Maserati’s racing debut, in 1925, that the husband-and-wife team of Edoardo and Adele Fendi opened a small leather and fur shop in Rome. A new middle class had started to emerge
at the end of the First World War, and there was a demand for quality bags and accessories. Fendi immediately became a leader in this field, and began to open more boutiques in the city, expanding beyond it during the 1930s and ’40s. The success of Maserati was also gathering pace, with continued racing success. One of the most memorable achievements for the brand came in 1939 and 1940, when a Maserati 8CTF had back-toback wins in the Indianapolis 500, making it the only Italian manufacturer ever to achieve this. In 1940, the brand also relocated to Modena, where it has remained to this day, under the leadership of its new owners, the Adolfo Orsi family. The outbreak of the Second World War meant production for both companies was put on hold, with Maserati even switching from building cars to making components for the Italian war effort. Yet both had built up enough momentum to see them through once things had settled down. Keeping it a family affair, Adele and Edoardo welcomed the first of their daughters to the company, Paola, in 1946, at age 15, with her four sisters signing up in the years that
> Images: Supplied
12 followed, as soon as they finished school. Maserati, meanwhile, was working on its new A6 series, to take on the likes of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo on the track. Throughout the 1950s, the Maserati name was a regular on the podium, mostly thanks to famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fango. However, in 1957, the decision was made for the company to take a break from racing, and instead use its knowledge in road car production. Its racing experience was immediately evident, with lightweight aluminium shells, V8 engines and sporty looks all playing a part in the initial models released. Fendi too had started to try something different, with Adele’s daughters pushing new ranges and ideas. Their desire to experiment led them to seek out the services of a young up and coming designer who had become well known in Paris – Karl Lagerfeld. He began working for the company in 1965, concentrating mainly on its fur products, introducing modern shapes and techniques, changing what was once perceived as something stiff and heavy into designs that were light, fashionable and ready to wear. Lagerfeld also
‘The car’s threelayered body colour, named Grigio Fiamma Fendi, appears to turn gold’
designed the company’s signature ‘double F’ logo, still used today. Maserati found its own French link around this time, when it was purchased by Citroën in 1968. This resulted in new models, built in far greater numbers than before. There was also a lot of crossover between the two brands, with Maseratis using Citroën hydraulics, and Citroëns using Maserati engines and expertise. In 1975, both of the companies were bought by former Argentinian racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso, who became its managing director. After the launch of a second ready-to-wear line in 1977, Fendi was fast becoming recognised around the globe. This led to a rapid expansion, with the likes of menswear, denim, gifts, accessories and sunglasses being launched during the 1980s. The company continued to work with Lagerfeld, and celebrated its lengthy collaboration with an exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome – the first relating to fashion to be held in a major Italian museum – while Paola Fendi was honoured by the country’s president in recognition of her 40 years with the brand. Maserati spent the 1980s swapping mid-engined sports cars for front-engine rear drive coupes, which cost less to produce but had aggressive performance. This changed in 1993 when the company was purchased by Fiat, who began making substantial investments in the name. It then split its ownership with Ferrari in 1997, which was also a part of the Fiat Group, building a new factory and positioning Maserati as its luxury division. Ferrari took full control in 1999, releasing the Quattroporte, pushing the brand internationally, and in 2003 returning it to racing. Similarly, 1999 saw Prada purchase a stake in Fendi with LVMH. Just as Maserati benefitted from Ferrari’s influence, so too did Fendi thrive through its association with Lagerfeld, and today the designer remains its artistic director. The family heritage is still evident too, with Silvia Venturini Fendi, a member of its third generation, serving as head of accessories. The two Italian companies share a long and celebrated history, and the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011 became an important milestone for them both.
It was here that saw the first unveiling of the Maserati GranCabrio Fendi – a take on the convertible version of Maserati’s successful GranTurismo model, launched several years earlier, after the brand split from Ferrari and was partnered by Fiat with Alfa Romeo, featuring a design by Silvia Venturini Fendi herself. As if the car brand wasn’t exclusive enough already, with just the Quattroporte, the GranTurismo and the regular four-seater soft-top GranCabrio available, along came a model influenced by one of Italy’s most famous fashion dynasties. Which leads to the question: what is exactly on offer? Many were wowed by the car’s three-layered body colour, named Grigio Fiamma Fendi, on its first outing, which is a special dark grey that appears to turn gold when looked at from certain angles. Then there is the Pergamena Fendi wood trim that lines the dashboard, the doors and the gearknob, all in a striking Fendi yellow. This colour theme continues to the brake callipers seen poking through the 20 inch alloy wheels, and in the embroidered Maserati logo featured on the headrests. Of course, with Fendi so well known for its leather products, this has not been neglected either. Cuoio Romano, the type featured in its Selleria luggage line, can be found on the instrument cluster covers, the gearlever and the profile of the floormats, with the Fendi ‘double F’ logo designed by Karl Lagerfeld all those years ago stitched into the seats, and also featured on the wheel caps. The final touch is a silver oval plaque on the dashboard, featuring a special logo design by Silvia Venturini Fendi and a number – signifying which of the 50 made you are looking at. Limited edition luggage and accessories are also included. Beneath the bonnet, you’ll find the 4.7-litre V8 engine, offering 450bhp and a top speed of 285 kmph. But is this a car you would want to drive fast? It would surely be tempting to drive slowly, so passers-by can admire the leather and designer touches. Perhaps for a leisurely drive to the mall, this is the perfect proposition, to get you in the mood for shopping – or maybe to a restaurant or football match to enjoy those other essential pillars of Italy’s culture. It could be argued that art is the only Italian passion not yet mentioned, but in a way the car already ticks that box.
Behind the silver screen
Lar a Croft: Tomb R aider
Believe it or not, Demi Moore and Catherine Zeta Jones were considered for the Lara Croft lead – but for Director Simon West, only one actress could bring the role to life: “Angelina [Jolie] was always my only choice, not even my first choice,” he said. “It really was a one-horse race. If she didn’t do it, I can’t think who else would have been suitable.” As it happened, Jolie stepped up to the mark, even choosing to perform her own stunts for the action-adventure film which was inspired by the Tomb Raider video games. In an interview, Jolie revealed that she did her own ‘bungee ballet’ stunts but injured her ankle on a chandelier so badly that the scene had to be postponed until she recovered. In the action sequences, fans of the video games will recognise the signature moves of the experienced player, for example drawing weapons midsomersault, swallow dives into water, and back-flips.
There’s no business like show business, and Paramount Pictures is arguably the biggest name in Hollywood. DAMAC takes a glimpse into the making of its most influential pictures
Break fast at Tiffany’s
This 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote’s colourful novella tells the story of troubled fictional socialite Holly Golightly. Despite original plans to cast Marilyn Monroe in the central role, Audrey Hepburn was chosen – securing her as the face of a generation. Its influence on popular culture is well-documented, as the film sparked everything from a Broadway musical (in 1966, with Mary Tyler Moore as Golightly) to copycat sunglasses. In 2006, the Givenchy-designed ‘little black dress’ that Hepburn wears in the film was sold at Christie’s auction house in London for $900,000. The proceeds were donated to the City of Joy charity for poor children in India, in memory of the charity work that Hepburn devoted her later life to. “There are tears in my eyes,” said Dominic Lapierre, founder of the charity, on the day of the auction. “I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools.”
J.J. Abram’s first foray into directing the Star Trek franchise was shrouded in secrecy. The 2009 film, produced under the fake working title Corporate Headquarters, was shot on a remote location in California and Utah – and even the cast members were kept in the dark. Actor Karl Urban, who played Leonard H. ‘Bones’ McCoy, revealed: “[There is a] level of security and secrecy that we have all been
forced to adopt. I mean, it’s really kind of paranoid crazy, but sort of justified. We’re not allowed to walk around in public in our costumes and we have to be herded around everywhere in these golf carts that are completely concealed and covered in black canvas. The security of it is immense. You feel your freedom is a big challenge.” Simon Pegg (Captain Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott) later said, “I read [the script] with a security guard near me – it’s that
secretive.” Steven Spielberg was one of the few non-production visitors who were allowed on set. The director had reportedly convinced Abrams to direct the movie, and advised him on the action scenes during his visit. This year will see the release of sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. It is the twelfth Star Trek film, and sees all of 2009’s main characters reprise their roles – with Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller and Alice Eve also starring.
There will be Blood
This 2007 American drama film is loosely based on the 1927 novel Oil!, written by Upton Sinclair. The story is set in Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th century and depicts oilman Daniel Plainview on his ruthless quest for riches. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Plainview, but director Paul Thomas Anderson wanted an unknown Texan to play his son. The filmmakers contacted a local school for prospective talent, and the principal suggested 11 yearold Dillon Freasier – but the casting almost didn’t happen, said Day-Lewis in an interview: “[His mother] thought she better check out this bunch of people taking care of her son. So she got Gangs of New York. Absolutely appalled! She thought she was releasing her dear child to this monster. And so there was a flurry of phone calls and somebody sent a copy of The Age of Innocence.”
This Coen Brothers film, shot on location in New Mexico and Texas, received a wave of critical acclaim upon its release and became the first film by the directorproducer duo to gross over $100 million in the USA. It is based on the original 1969 film which starred John Wayne, and which tells the story of young woman
who tracks down her father’s murderer. The 2010 film was the first western to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 19 years, and Jeff Bridges (who played Rooster Cogburn) was nominated Best Actor for his performance. In 1969, John Wayne was nominated for – and received – the Best Actor award, the only time he ever won an Oscar.
To Catch a Thief
This 1955 romantic thriller features Cary Grant as a reformed cat burglar who must catch a new thief who is targeting the French Riviera, with Grace Kelly as his love interest. Those with a sharp eye will spot director Alfred Hitchcock nine minutes into the film, sitting next to John Robie (played by Grant) on the bus. This was Kelly’s final film for Hitchcock: she became Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956, foregoing her acting career. Her outfits in the film were designed by renowned costume designer Edith Head and range from the bizarre (a wild gold lamé gown with a sausage curls wig) to the iconic (a blue chiffon evening dress inspired by Dior’s ‘New Look’ of the late 1940s).
This runaway hit about the ageing head of a mafia dynasty was the first high-profile success of director Francis Ford Coppola. The San Francisco-based Italian-American originally passed on the project, but was reportedly encouraged by his peers – George Lucas among them – to take up the director’s role in order to haul his film company American Zoetrop out of financial difficulties. Francis wasn’t the only Coppola involved the film, however: his composer father Carmine Coppola wrote music for the film and appeared as a piano player, while his sister played Connie Corleone and his baby daughter played her newborn son. On his working relationship with scriptwriter and fellow Italian-American, Coppola was ebullient, saying: “Puzo was an absolutely wonderful man. To sum him up, when I put a line in the script describing how to make sauce and wrote, ‘First you brown some garlic,’ he scratched that out and wrote, ‘First you fry some garlic. Gangsters don’t brown.’”
At the time of its release, this epic tale of love and loss onboard the great ship Titanic was the most expensive film ever made. Despite an initial outcry at James Cameron’s lavish production costs – a cool $200 million – the film went on to become the top-grossing release of all time, a title which it held for 12 years. One of the most lavish outlays was the set of the ship’s exterior, constructed close to a beach in Baja California, Mexico. For the climax of the film, the crew only had one chance to capture the dramatic destruction of the grand staircase, as it is consumed by seawater. The set had been constructed according to the ship’s original plans, and was completely destroyed by the flood. This attention to detail is atypical of Director James Cameron’s working style. Recalling the set of the ship’s exterior, Billy Zane – who played Cal Hockley, Rose’s fiancé – said: “It was awe-inspiring. They’d built an entire city to make a film! When I showed up there were three tower cranes spinning against the skyline and thousands of employees milling about. It was like the glory days of the studios: Cecil B. DeMille, MGM. And getting off the freight elevator at the upper deck, you felt the heft of the bannisters, the metal railings, the weight of the doors and you thought, ‘This is tangible, this is solid.’ It was like being there on the Titanic. It was a truly immersive experience. Nothing could have prepared you for the sheer logistics of it.”
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
In 2011, over 450 production crew and actors descended on Dubai for the filming of the fourth Mission: Impossible movie. Combined with a team of 600 locallysourced extras, the scale of the operation was huge – as was the team’s ambition. The film’s most iconic scene, in which Ethan Hawke (Tom Cruise) scales Burj Khalifa, attracted the attention of the international press: not only would Cruise perform his own stunts on the world’s tallest tower, but he would also sit atop its 830-metre peak. Later, Effects producer Tom C Pietzman revealed that Cruise’s daredevil antics took the team by surprise: “We were going to build this set, have Ethan climb it, and then digitally extend all the shots to show the rest of the building. Then we sat down with Tom and, of course, he wanted to climb the building. That put a new spin on things.” The footage caused a sensation across the globe, and the film became the most popular Mission: Impossible film, as well as Cruise’s highest-grossing movie to date.
With a cast of million-dollar faces and a backdrop of world-famous scenery, Los Angeles knows how to put on a show. Harriet Walker takes a trip to discover the original – and best – city of dreams
os Angeles may not be a fashion city from the same mould as Paris or Milan, but it has at its heart a stylish sensibility inseparable from the industry that it has grown up around. To the north-west of LA’s downtown district lies the spiritual heart of the international film industry. ‘Hollywoodland’, as it was first named by developers (the suffix fell out of use in 1949 after the area had become more populated; the sign was originally erected as an advertisement in 1923), has, after all, taught us how to look, how to live, how to dress and how to dream. Even now that the movie industry has dispersed west and north of Hollywood into Burbank, Santa Clarita and Westside, the district is still used as a figure of speech that embodies the epitome of glamour. It was obvious as soon as I arrived: hallmarks of the silver screen and those who help to create its illusions are all over the
city and the neighbouring Beverly Hills – basically, a city in its own right but tacked on to LA like Robin is to Batman. From the Walk of Fame to the gleaming windows of the des-res duplexes on Mulholland Drive and the omnipresent Hollywood sign itself, darting in and out of one’s eyeline among the hills. Of course, to the armchair tourist’s eye, LA is filmic in the same way that all of the US appears lifted straight from celluloid. Whether it’s steam billowing from manhole covers on a Manhattan sidewalk, red dust churning in the empty Midwest or the palm treelined Rodeo Drive, American geography is one great backdrop to so many of us. But it is in Los Angeles that most of those paradigms were created. Simply seeing the streets signs was enough for me to enter a movieland reverie, but taking a tour round any of the studio cities at Burbank (the creative industries hub that is slightly north-east of Hollywood itself) allows you a further peek behind the curtain. At Paramount Pictures, giant studio warehouses pepper the lots – here the one in which silent film Wings was filmed in 1927, there where Breakfast at Tiffany’s was shot – each one a microcosm of imagination, painstakingly re-created to within an inch of reality behind industrial cladding. Golf buggies rolled past teeming with extras, including mortar-boarded teenagers from the finale of Glee; gaffers shouted instructions to each other; and catering staff rolled out temporary barbecues for hungry mouths.
23 > Clockwise, from left: Paramount Pictures studio gates; Signs show the way to Beverly Hills and Sunset Strip; Martin Scorsese directing 3D feature film Hugo; Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry.
> Opening pages: The iconic Hollywood sign. This page, clockwise from top left: Al fresco dining at Mondrian Los Angeles: The Cohen brothers filming the Oscar-nominated True Grit; At Mondrian Los Angeles, each individually-designed guestroom features views over Sunset Strip; The Hollywood Walk of Fame.
> Text: Harriet Walker / The Independent / The Interview People. Images: Getty Images; Corbis / Arabian Eye; Paramount Pictures; Shutterstock; Supplied
At Warner Brothers, downtown New York streets abut a smalltown market square and a suburban street. There are subway stations to nowhere, doors that do not open, skylines less stable than even the most ambitious starlet’s career. All of this was in sight of Alfred Hitchcock’s old office, the side gate through which Katharine Hepburn used to cycle, the main entrance – a monolithic arched gateway – where unemployed labourers, dancers, acrobats and wannabes waited to hear the roles available on any given day, and, finally, the car park flooded for Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, in which Moses parted the Red Sea. In LA, a car park is never just a car park. There is an element of metatheatre to the city that isn’t easy to shake off. The etiquette when one does stumble across a star – which happens often here – is more complex. In Hollywood, the actors whose house you have just driven past at 2mph in order to get a squizz through their kitchen window are just ordinary people. So when they’re out and about, people tend not to react, whether it’s Lindsay Lohan getting her nails done in the Sunset Plaza or Johnny Depp browsing in the intellectual hipster hangout Book Soup on West Sunset. In fact, almost every restaurant or bar owner in LA will have his or her anecdotes to tell you about the famous faces they have once met or served, but they tell them like low-key neighbourhood gossip. Next door to Hollywood proper is the mini-city of West Hollywood (or WeHo), LA’s epicentre of fashion and fun. It’s young and varied, bohemian and brash. Punctuated with on-the-beatentrack music venues, it’s also the site of some of the city’s coolest new spots. The Soho House group has opened an outpost here, while a cluster of new hotels on Sunset Boulevard includes the luxurious and hip Mondrian, favoured by pop stars and models, as well as The Standard – a trendy New York import that took over the premises of a former retirement home and now hosts bright young things and fashion designers. All have stunning hillside views over the city and are within walking distance (but who walks in LA?) from the infamous Chateau Marmont – backdrop to works by F Scott Fitzgerald, Jay McInerney and Sofia Coppola, and to the deaths of John Belushi and the photographer Helmut Newton. On the same stretch is West Hollywood’s most iconic hotel, the Sunset Tower. The Art Deco building was rescued from disrepair in the late Eighties and remains one of the city’s finest architectural examples. Since its opening in 1931, it has played host to Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Errol Flynn. These days, poolside lounge The Terrace is as respectable as you could wish – and was Scarlett Johansson’s first port of call, during my visit, after a busy day inaugurating her Walk of Fame star. Down the hill from Sunset Tower lies LA’s latest fashion hot spot, the avant-garde boutique Opening Ceremony. It’s worth a look with its seven rooms of up-and-coming designers – some so niche that this is the only place their clothes are stocked. Because of that, it’s a fertile hunting ground for personal stylists, as well as forward-thinking actresses such as Kristen Stewart and Cameron Diaz, and will reward as much time as you’re prepared to spend there flicking through rails and browsing the separate (but just as well-stocked) shoe department. Los Angeles has much to offer the nosy: with its singular feeling of inclusivity as A-listers mix with civilians on a daily basis, it’s like a theme park, a whirlwind trip through the lives of the famous. You’re not so much pretending it’s yours as trying it on for size. In that way, holidaying here is a bit like borrowing the dress of your dreams for an awards ceremony. It’s pure Cinderella territory – although instead of a glass slipper, you’re more likely to be wearing one of Dorothy’s ruby-red court shoes.
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> Top: TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Above: The palm-fringed avenues of Rodeo Drive, the exclusive Los Angeles shopping strip.
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magnificent Golf courses west coast glory, USA
Pride of place on the California coastline, the magnificent Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles is the top west coast spot for a truly breathtaking round. Every hole features incredible views, and – as the most expensive golf greens ever built in the world – a top-notch experience is guaranteed. The course is a spectacle in itself: throughout the 18 holes you’ll find lakes and waterfalls galore – as well as the likes of Michael Douglas, who has hosted his Pro-Celebrity and Friends Golf Tournament here.
Where to tee off in style this summer...
north island spectacle, new zealand
Greens don’t get much greener than this. On the wild east coast of the nature-rich North Island, the magnificent Cape Kidnappers greens marries excellent golfing with the freshest of air. Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the par 71 course measures 6,510 square metres and boasts a helipad for those flying in for the day, to soak up the countryside and coastline views.
island par adise, mauritius
This five-star resort is renowned as one of the most sumptuous boltholes in Mauritius, and its golf course is equally legendary. The extensive championship greens can only be reached from the main resort by boat, as it is spread over its very own island: Ile aux Cerfs, or ‘Deer Island’. After the magnificent boat ride, you’ll be greeted by an 18-hole, par 72 links – challenging enough to keep advanced players entertained, yet playable and enjoyable for recreational golfers. After a day’s play, head to Langer’s Bar & Grill for authentic Mauritian refreshments.
gorgeous greens, USA
Built atop lava outcroppings, this picturesque course in Lana’i, Hawaii looks just the place for a rugged round. The Challenge at Manele course lives up to its name, featuring three clifftop holes (for which the Pacific Ocean is a natural water hazard) and a five-tee concept over spectacular gorges and ravines. Part of the Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay resort, the course is designed by Jack Nicklaus, and is one of the region’s most testing golf locations. Visit during winter months, and you’ll spot whales visiting the island’s natural coves – making this the perfect spot for keen golfers and nature lovers alike.
regal resort, south africa
No other destination does colonial grandeur quite as spectacularly as South Africa – and its golf courses are renowned for their stately grace. The finest is Fancourt, an expansive championship resort on the Garden Route, a lush stretch of coastline to the east of Cape Town. Book into the 19th-century Manor House, which boasts views of the three courses from many of its suites, and enjoy peerless pampering at the lavish Fancourt Spa. The greens, designed by Gary Player, attracts some of the biggest names in golf – not surprising, given the backdrop of rugged parkland, mountains and exotic gardens.
Scottish splendour, UK
Drawing on Donald J. Trump’s very own Scottish roots, the newly-opened Trump International Golf Links, Scotland is the latest addition to the country’s stunning courses – and has recently been named the greatest new golf course. Designed by Dr. Martin Hawtree, the course has a par of 72 and 18 challenging holes that thread their way through the dunes, and golfers can play to a soundtrack of crashing waves and vibrant birdsong. After a day on the greens, take a break in the brasseriestyle golf house restaurant, where you’ll find dishes featuring locally-sourced ingredients, and a hearty Scottish welcome. For an even more authentic experience, head to MacLeod House & Lodge, where guests can bed down in lavish suites, each with its own intriguing history.
caribbean treasure, Saint Vincent & the grenadines
Teetering on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, The Grenadines Estate Golf Club on Canouan Island boasts greens you’ll never forget. The 18-hole Championship course is made challenging by the undulating landscape, and is cooled by northeasterly trade winds – the perfect antidote to the Caribbean heat. Course designer Jim Fazio has made the most of dramatic ocean and mountain views; each hole offers panoramic views of both, and non-golfers will love to relax in the spectacular clubhouse. With discreet staff and a landscape dominated by lush forest, it’ll feel like you’ve got the links to yourself...
Family values It may be Geneva’s final family-owned luxury watchmaker, but Patek Philippe is no small-fry business. Thierry Stern, the fourth in line to lead the marque, shares the secret of balancing personal integrity with global success Words: h a zel plush
t’s not all about accuracy when it comes to mechanical watches, it’s about beauty,” Thierry Stern says conspiratorially, “but we strive to combine the two. There are no gimmicks on a Patek Philippe timepiece: we want to do everything properly – out of respect for the client and the brand.” When I meet the CEO of one of the world’s most revered luxury brands, it’s just a few hours before the lavish re-launch of its boutique in The Dubai Mall. “This is a momentious day,” says Stern. “The Middle East is the centre of the luxury world, and Dubai is at its heart – it’s where everything happens.” While we chat, the shop front is constructed around us, and I watch as the company’s marketing slogan is hoisted auspiciously above Stern’s head: ‘You never actually own a Patek Philippe; you merely look after it for the next generation’, it reads. It’s an undeniably powerful message, but Patek Philippe’s family values go far deeper than their ad talk. In fact, the marque is unique in its grassroots approach: it’s the final luxury watchmaker in Geneva’s Vallée de Joux under independent family-run ownership, and current CEO Thierry
Stern is the fourth generation at the company’s helm. “The idea of collectability is not a marketing strategy,” Stern says with a smile, following my gaze. “It’s not about the value of the watch – it’s about its history. I have my grandfather’s watch – I know the feel of it, the scratches – it’s a very emotive experience.” Today is all about the new generation of Patek Philippe watches, of course, but as the timepieces receive a final polish before the doors open, it’s impossible to ignore the historical legacy that permeates the brand. When Charles Stern acquired the watchmaking company in 1932, his aim was to create a sturdy family
business: almost a century later, that vision holds true. “Not a single watch is produced without my family having worked on it,” says Stern. “I am not an engineer, but I know a lot about watches – as we all do. We have a lot of discussion about the future of the collections – and all of the ideas come from us.” The family’s involvement extends from the initial design to the finishing touches: approving the tone of all of the minute repeaters is one of Stern’s and his father’s favourite jobs, he admits with a grin. Philippe Stern succeeded his own father Henri in 1977, and passed the baton to Thierry in 2010 after putting
his son through a rigorous training programme. “My father wanted to impart the value of the brand, the techniques that make Patek what it is. He wanted me to understand the passion of the family, to work with the craftsmen, yet also understand the commercial, financial side.” After learning the ropes in administration, Stern travelled the world meeting retailers and clients: “I got to know everybody,” he says. “That’s the difference between Patek and many other brands: human relationships are important to us. I have known many of the staff for a long time, and their trust and knowledge is the key to our success.”
35 Stern also cut his teeth in the brand’s watchmaking school, and the creative side of the job remains a passion to this day. “I love making and designing pieces; in this industry, it’s so important to know your product thoroughly, and having an input into design ensures that the pieces are created from the heart.” But with such a vast family legacy at stake, does Stern feel the pressure of his forefather’s success on his shoulders? “Of course!” he exclaims. “When I started, it was very heavy, but after a few years I got used to the pressure. You grow your knowledge every year, and make better decisions.” It’s a sentiment that other business owners will share: “You learn how to manage pressure, to make it work to your advantage, but it never goes away.” The responsibility is no doubt heightened by the fact that the Sterns aren’t the only family whose fortunes are entwined in Patek Philippe. “When my father took over, we had whole families working in the workshops in
‘The idea of collectability is not about the value of the watch – it’s about the history’
Geneva, but now you can find them in the retailers, in the commercial offices too. When quartz came in the 1980s, we had a gap in generations – young people didn’t want to train as watchmakers because they said there was no future in it. Now, things have changed: we do have whole families working for us, but dotted around the departments. It is good, because it widens peoples’ options; it is important
for me. It gives the business a very ‘human’ element.” Today, Stern’s ‘extended family’ totals an impressive 2,000 employees – so have corporate sensibilities had to override the personal touch? “In some areas, yes – of course. When you have a global reach, you sometimes need to make difficult decisions, but we always try to maintain a balanced outlook. Family values are incredibly important,
but when my father started he had maybe 150 people working for him, so our outlook has had to change.” Has it been a tough transition? “At times, because sometimes we are much more sensitive than people from corporate backgrounds – the business isn’t just a commercial interest for us, it’s in our blood. With 2,000 people it’s not easy to know everybody like I used to. I don’t like that.”
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> Previous page: Men’s 5204P-001 Grand Complication, in platinum. This page, clockwise from top left: Pioneering watchmakers at the Patek Philippe workshop in the early 19th century; Father and son, Philippe and Thierry Stern; The Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, where historial timepieces sit alongside contemporary classics.
> Images: Supplied
So what does the CEO of one of the world’s most treasured watchmakers wear on his own wrist? “It’s a test piece, the Reference 5208,” he says, rolling up his sleeve. With 701 components, and a plethora of the industry’s most complicated complications (a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and monopusher chronograph to name but three), it’s clear that the boss has a collector’s taste. “Pieces like this are very hard to realise – this one took eight years to make. It’s not just about the skill, but about the time it takes to make the piece. That’s why they are so rare.” As he nods his assent to the Nautilus and Calatrava window displays, I can’t help but wonder if Stern would ever bow to the pressure to increase the brand’s production numbers: at present, the number of pieces produced annually stands at a modest 50,000 – a substantial figure when compared with other luxury watchmakers, but small fry against the world’s most sought-after marques. “Never,” he says with a frown. “It all comes down to the pursuit of beauty and accuracy: if we are to move closer to perfection, we can’t start churning out pieces. We want to keep our family values, and work on honing the quality: this is a quest that has always been at the heart of what we do.”
King of Couture
here is a positive energy in Dubai now, and people are making smarter investments than before. There is new life here. The borders between the eastern and western worlds have disappeared. Through the internet and travel you can experience anything – you are exposed to trends and tastes from all over the world. Everything about the Rami Al Ali brand is very international, so when we go to Paris we can still cater to the clientele there: the vision is shared. There is often a western silhouette in my designs, with some Middle Eastern spices. The Arabic elements in my designs come naturally to me. Everything derives from a visual bank: I grew up in Syria, and I love the Middle East. I am inspired by so many elements of our culture, and I find elegance in so many aspects of local heritage. That influence can be seen in my work whether I like it or not. You work from your memories – a shape, a graphic, a colour. This season, everyone is looking to the technicalities, to the structure of the gown. That is the trend now, whether you’re Parisian, American or Middle Eastern. The structure is very architectural, which can make designing more difficult, but it drives you to be more creative, to make something you’ve never made before. I welcome the challenge; it is the best motivation. When you are tested, you leave your comfort zone, and you are inspired to make interesting creations. Next year we may look to texture, to adornments. That’s what’s beautiful about fashion, wherever you are in the world: it keeps changing with the season. There is always a new phase. There is a global appetite for new designs. This year was our second showcase at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. It is both an exciting and terrifying experience. To appear with the old couture houses and to show something from the Middle East next to what they have made, it can be intimidating. But then, it becomes motivating – every time we go to the shows, it is a new experience. The va va voom of the whole experience, waiting to see the reaction to your creations, the reviews… it’s Paris! It’s the greatest place to show couture. My clients in the Middle East have seen a lot, and they travel a lot. They have seen the best: you need to show them the best of the best. It is always inspiring to work with these women; you are driven to create, and you see things from so many different angles. You learn more about yourself, and about the creative process. The fashion industry in Dubai is much more forward-thinking now than it was 15 years ago. When I started designing, the style here was very particular. Soon after, though, the international names came, along with the internet, boutiques and department stores. We are not following any more; we have our own style.”
> Images: Supplied
From the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week to Hollywood’s Golden Globes, the designs of Dubai-based Rami Al Ali have graced catwalks and red carpets the world over. Here, he reveals why the fashion elite can’t keep their eyes off the Middle East...
> Designs from Rami Al Ali’s spring/summer 2013 couture collection, which debuted at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week
New Faces versace Thea
From the Greek key motif on its face to the Medusa studs on its strap, this dazzling timepiece encompasses all of Versace’s most iconic heritage elements. The Thea line offers eight models, either in steel or rose gold, and this cerulean design is enriched with 50 blue sapphires and four diamonds. A fine lizard skin strap matches the gemstones, achieving a vibrant, eclectic style that is brimming with Versace personality.
At the 2013 Baselworld horology showcase, some of the world’s finest luxury marques launched their latest designs. DAMAC picks the cream of the crop...
Histoire de Tourbillon 4 With a limited edition of just 20 pieces, the Histoire de Tourbillon 4 is one of the most sought-after Baselworld releases. The mechanical, manualwinding, tri-axial tourbillon is a triumph of intricate engineering: beneath the signature Harry Winston Zalium case, a hand-crafted opus of complications awaits, with a 50-hour power reserve and a gravity-defying oscilating tourbillon. Every movement is decorated with painstaking engraving, and the dial boasts 18 carat white gold trims.
salvatore ferr agamo Minuetto
Created for ladies who love simple, understated luxury, the Minuetto features a rose gold case with a delicate white mother of pearl face. Salvatore Ferragamo’s gancino motif is depicted with 32 diamonds, and the Swiss-made RONDA 762 calibre powers the sabre-like hands. According to personal preference, the strap can be designed as a steel or two-tone bracelet, or – for a chic Italian-style finish – a polished saffiano leather strap, the perfect foil for the ornate rose gold face.
Glashütte Original Senator Panorama Date Moon Phase
A sensitive redesign of its namesake, this cleancut model reflects Glashütte Original’s classic style. On the dial, a lacquered silver-grain finish is a sumptuous backdrop for deep black Roman numerals, and blued-steel hands are reminiscent of the blued screws favoured in fine watchmaking. Behind the dial lies the calibre 100-04 with 55-hour power reserve, which can be viewed through a sapphire panel on the reverse of the piece.
Inspired by Frédéric Boucheron’s original sundial designs, this gentleman’s timepiece features only unadorned lines and the purest materials. On a satin-finish dial, simple hour markers are reminiscent of the sun’s rays, and the classic Boucheron blue sapphire cabochon lies on the twelfth hour. Secured with a hand-stitched leather strap, the dial’s elegant exterior belies the complications beneath: the intricate GP 400 powers this hard-working chronograph.
Arceau Pocket Volutes Combining gold marquetry with hand engraving, only revered fashion house Hermès could produce such a modern take on a classic design. From the volutes scrolling pattern that adorns the casing to the grand feu enamelling on the dial, everything about this piece is entwined in watchmaking lore – and you’ll find the powerful self-winding H1928 movement beating at its heart.
‘The elegant exterior of Boucheron’s Epure belies the complications beneath...’
Conquest Classic 41mm
The largest member of the Conquest Classic family, this durable chronograph houses the exclusive mechanical column-wheel calibre L688 beneath a rose gold dial. This weighty design is perfect for gents that mean business: three inset faces display a seconds counter, a 30-minute counter and a 12-hour counter, as well as a discrete date panel. Topped by a hand-crafted alligator strap, this is a hard-wearing chronograph with real machismo.
Ti-Bridge Automatic Dual Winder The latest addition to the Bridges collection, this striking timepiece reflects the range’s linear architecture. The dial design, based on the original driving watches, showcases the mechanisms through its sapphire face, allowing the wearer to witness centuries of watchmaking expertise in motion. Production is limited to a modest 25 pieces.
Mademoiselle Privé The first piece of the Mademoiselle Privé collection, this ladies’ timepiece is inspired by Coco Chanel’s cherished Coromandel screens – the elegant Chinese room dividers engraved with traditional symbols and intricate figures. The piece features a hand-engraved 18 carat gold dial, enamelled using the grand feu technique in a delicate cherry blossom design. Encircled by 51 snowset diamonds and mounted on a Black Missipiensis alligator strap, this is a stunning fusion of Swiss watchmaking technique and Oriental grace.
The world’s finest spa therapies Vacations don’t get more lavish than this: when rejuvenation is top of your travel agenda, look no further than these signature spa treatments – relaxing results guaranteed…
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, China Hong Kong is known for its bright lights and relentless pace, but up on the 116th floor of the Ritz-Carlton not even the hum of the city can penetrate the spa’s restorative calm. Based on acupressure and Chinese tuina manipulative therapy, small jade rollers are used to massage the facial muscles – improving blood-flow, firming the skin, and stimulating the area with tiny ‘microcurrents’ of naturally-occurring electricity. The result? A bright, healthy complexion and fewer lines and wrinkles. At the end of the treatment, sip Chinese tea in the spa’s elegant relaxation lounge – the views of the city beneath are astounding.
Ar abian rose hammam
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, United Arab Emirates
Thai yoga massage
Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Thailand The tranquil surrounds of this secluded hotel offer the perfect backdrop for a serene yoga retreat – surrounded by lily ponds and rice paddies you’ll feel cleansed by the view alone. In a private session, a yoga master will introduce guests to a tailor-made programme of yogic massage, interactive poses,
breathing cycles and meditation – all with the aim to achieve physical and spiritual realignment. The perfect escape from the rigours of everyday life, yoga massage is renowned for its rejuvenating properties – and what better way to connect with the luscious Thai landscape?
Few beauty rituals are as ingrained in local culture as the Arabic hammam: from social activity to opulent pasttime, this time-honoured treatment deserves its plaudits – and now the rest of the world has caught on. For a fine example of its rejuvenating qualities, head to the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, whose elegant marble and gold surrounds belie the rich treatment in store. Choose an Arabian rose hammam, and after a kese mitt exfoliation and olive soap cleansing in the steam-filled atrium, you’ll be slathered in a purifying rose body mask and receive a head massage while the essential oils work their magic.
Balinese massage Viceroy Bali, Indonesia
Unique to this idyllic Indonesian province, Balinese massage takes its influence from traditional practices in China, India and Southeast Asia. Focussing on the lymphatic system and energy flow, the treatment is known for its relaxing qualities, loosening muscles with aromatherapy oils and deep tissue massage. At Viceroy Bali’s Lembah Spa, guests can gaze out over the verdant Petanu River gorge from a private spa gazebo while submitting to a masseuse’s manipulations: techniques range from the gentle ‘percussion’ tapping to the more intense skin rolling and flicking, all of which is guaranteed to leave you placid and pummelled, in line with the island’s laid-back pace.
luxury has an address
Les Sources de Caudalie, France It’s the ultimate in quick-fix beauty treatments, but if you’re after the best French manicure in the world, head to Les Sources de Caudalie – a boutique hotel on the edge of Bordeaux, with acres of lush vineyards at its disposal. Utilising the vines in a most unique way, the adjoining Spa Vinotherapie makes the most of this plentiful resource in its signature manicure: after shaping, nails are buffed with fresh halved grapes, whose moisturising and whitening effects are exceptional. Hands are then nourished by the Vinosource Moisturising Mask – the recipe for which includes freshly-plucked grapes from the hotel’s own crop. Surely the most serene way to enjoy the fruits of this spectacular region.
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Japan
Based on pressure point massage of the foot and lower leg, reflexology focuses on the realignment of energy throughout the body, and can be tailored for energy-giving, restorative and relaxing results. For a truly spectacular experience, however, recline at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo – the hotel’s skyscraping spa boasts bird’s eye vistas of the Japanese capital, and the treatment beds are the best seats in the house. The ‘oriental foot therapy’ session is designed to restore energy flow after a long day travelling, and is the perfect introduction to Asia’s array of pampering time-honoured treats.
balancing diamonds massage
Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago Where other than Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower would you find this most dazzling of spa treatments? Using oils infused with the healing benefits of precious diamonds and botanical essences, this rejuvenating massage is a true indulgence. Diamonds have been used since ancient times to balance the crown chakra – providing clarity, inspiration and enlightenment, and this treatment promises nourishing and calming results. A suitably decadent ritual, especially after a hard day’s shopping or travelling – and one that’s unique to The Spa at Trump.
World-class spa treatments in the comfort of your own home is just one highlight of life at DAMAC Maison. A full-service hotel management company introduced by DAMAC Properties, DAMAC Maison is to manage the highest luxury component of 4,000 serviced apartments across the Middle East – providing comfort, reliability and the utmost in personal service. The DAMAC Maison team can manage every aspect of your home life, including: • A highly-skilled concierge service to answer every question, make restaurant reservations, arrange airline tickets, book private yachts, jets or limousines, and organise exclusive access to the top attractions. • Spa-quality pampering in your private abode, by qualified professionals. Enjoy everything from hair and nail treatments to full-body massages, without ever leaving your address. • Expert childcare services, including a kids’ club and babysitting amenities. All childcare staff are fully qualified, and activities are interactive, fun and educational. • Top-quality private chefs to cater in your own home – perfect for dinner parties, informal get-togethers, or just a romantic meal for two. • Daily housekeeping services to look after your property – so you come home to a clean and fresh apartment every evening. DAMAC Maison looks after everything from daily cleaning to the replenishment of bathroom toiletries, so you need never lift a finger. • 24-hour in-room dining, with international dishes galore. Perfect for busy individuals, or families with a myriad of tastes. • A skilled personal shopping service, to help you track down the perfect interior design accents, clothes and accessories. • High-end finishes like no other, giving your home a truly luxurious edge. Every property is fitted with high-quality appliances, accessories, and thoughtful design touches that will make home life a pleasure. • A comprehensive rental service that allows you to lease out your DAMAC Maison apartment as you wish. It’s totally flexible, so you can adapt the service to meet your own needs. And should you choose to let, our team handles it all for you. For more information, and details of all DAMAC Maison managed properties, visit damacmaison.com
Discover cutting-edge luxury lighting design, and learn how to display your art collection to the greatest effect. Plus, DAMAC meets Carla Fendi, who reveals FENDI Casaâ€™s striking signature style
Divine by design ‘Luxury living is a life of quality... Quality means creativity’
Meet Carla Fendi and her visionary team at the helm of FENDI Casa Words: le a h oat way
hen it comes to natural style, Carla Fendi has it in abundance. When we meet at Dubai International Financial Centre’s Cuadro Art Gallery, not even a painful back injury can diminish her elegant signature style: today, she is effortlessly chic in exciting monochrome contrasts and fashionforward accessories. It’s not surprising, though: Ms Fendi is, after all, a member of fashion royalty. The fourth of Edoardo and Adele Fendi’s five children, she grew up in and around the iconic fashion house, her role within it growing as FENDI did. As FENDI’s honorary president, she was in town to officially announce FENDI Casa’s partnership with DAMAC Properties. But while the fashion house continues to command the world’s attention, Ms Fendi, a warm Roman lady with kind eyes and a gentle smile, is far less imposing. She is, however, resolute on the attribute FENDI Casa can bring to DAMAC Properties: “creativity”. “FENDI and the UAE share a love of the past, of tradition, and also of the avant-garde,” she said. It is this shared passion that first attracted FENDI Casa and DAMAC Properties to each other. And theirs looks to be a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. The Middle East’s new power couple are collaborating on two major projects, due to be completed in 2016: DAMAC Esclusiva, a 150-metre high-rise tower overlooking Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, and exclusive private apartments in DAMAC Residenze, located in Dubai Marina.
> Opposite page, from top: Interior design by FENDI Casa in Riyadh’s DAMAC Esclusiva; Soho Chaise Longue by FENDI Casa. This page, from top: FENDI Casa’s Agadir Sofa; Statement pieces from the FENDI Casa collection, available now from selected retailers in the GCC.
For DAMAC Properties, the decision to team up with the Italian fashion house is an inspired move: since launching in the UAE in 2001, FENDI Casa’s elegant palette, creative flair and Roman craftsmanship have made it the interior design house of choice among UAE nationals and expatriates alike. For FENDI Casa, the partnership is an obvious next step in the blossoming relationship it is enjoying with this region. “Arabia has such a modernity – just look at Dubai,” Ms Fendi enthused. “And it is so fast: it’s always fast running, fast growing, and this is very important because this is reflected in FENDI designs.” These state-of-the-art DAMAC projects, will not merely be kitted out in FENDI Casa; the entire interior will be conceived by the fashion house. With the Riyadh property more geared towards young and affluent Saudis and the Dubai abode targeting expatriates, the design approach will differ (think blue hues for the Dubai waterfront properties and a more golden, Arabesque approach for Riyadh), but Fendi’s modernity and sense of luxury will remain a constant. “Luxury living is a life of quality,” Ms Fendi said. “Quality means creativity.” In the case of FENDI, this quality comes from the artisanal skills that underlie everything its fashion and interior lines produce. Its story began in 1925, when the first handbag shop and fur workshop was opened in Via del Plebiscito, Rome. Now listed as one of the top 10 luxury brands worldwide, it has elevated unique Italian design to dizzying heights. In 1989, it became one of the first fashion houses to launch an interior design line – something it did in collaboration with Club House Italia, an Italian firm established in the 1970s by design maestro Alberto Vignatelli. “The vision when we started FENDI Casa was to take the elegance of the brand all around the world,” Vignatelli tells me. “But the difference between our vision and the vision of our competitors is that we try to save, in each country, their costume and heritage. We try to marry together the two cultures. In these DAMAC Properties projects, for example, the interiors are laden with elements of the Arab world.” Part of FENDI Casa’s international appeal, Vigantelli believes, is its flexible approach and the personal touch it affords to each property or residence it dresses – no matter how big or small. “We can furnish one loft in New York or one country house in Beijing,” he said. “We have the right products, the right material, the right shape. FENDI Casa is the only company in the world, I think, that can furnish 30 villas, each one different from the other – otherwise, you furnish a hotel.” Vignatelli describes the FENDI Casa style as “silent elegance”; its highly skilled architectural team working closely with FENDI’s fashion collections to ensure a synergy between the two. Its very first
> Residents of DAMAC Residenze can expect FENDI Casa-designed interiors, as shown, which will fuse the brand’s signature pieces with local influences.
collection featured cushions made from the signature FENDI Zucca fabric, but today the collection is vast, incorporating everything from Murano glass vases through to tables and sofas. Nods to the high fashion line remain, however. The Selleria pipe-stitching used by Roman saddlers and recovered by Silvia Venturini Fendi (you’ll find it on FENDI’s Selleria bags), for example, can be found on some FENDI Casa sofas – there’s a silver label with a serial number for each piece that features the artisans’ work. And there is a team of staff dedicated to researching the world’s finest and most luxurious materials. “We use piano lacquering on some of our products,” Alessandra Battistini, a FENDI Casa architect, told me. “It creates a beautiful finish and becomes more precious with time.” Battistini spends her days designing beautiful interiors for the world’s most exotic and exclusive destinations – such as the new DAMAC Properties projects. Ultimately, she explained, FENDI Casa’s approach is not simply about inserting individual pieces into an interior, but about creating an ambience. “The atmosphere of a FENDI Casa home is warm, rich – sometimes dramatic... Arab customers like something that makes them say ‘Wow’.” With FENDI’s approach to detail and DAMAC Properties’ commitment to providing unrivalled five-star service to its residents, their union is unlikely to disappoint.
‘The atmosphere of a FENDI Casa home is warm, rich... dramatic’
‘With every project, we can create a real work of art’
Let there be
light With a client list that includes Burj Al Arab and London’s Claridges hotel, Baroncelli is a byword for intricate hand-made chandeliers and lamps. Here, Creative Director Giovanni Corrado shares the secrets of creating such dazzling works of art
enetian glass, the purest of all glasses, has been produced on the island of Murano since the 18th century; it is as ingrained in the local culture as gondolas and carnival. But that’s not to say it’s archaic – in fact, today you’ll find this traditional treasure in some of the world’s most luxurious addresses. Visitors to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, London’s Claridge’s hotel and Sandy Lane in Barbados will find it suspended in magnificent chandeliers and intricate forms – all at the hand of the Baroncelli family. In the early 1990s, Italian-born Rinda Baroncelli arrived in Murano with the aim of taking hand-blown Venetian glass to the global stage: where others saw an old-fashioned art form, Baroncelli recognised the world’s appetite for the luxury it evoked. Her vision captured the artistic purity of the medium, and combined it with the forward-thinking design and ambition that embodied the decade.
61 > All chandeliers and light fittings pictured are designed and created by Baroncelli.
Today, the Baroncelli vision lives on, with Rinda’s son Giovanni Corrado at its helm as Creative Director – and although large-scale hotelier projects are a focus for the brand (it completed works for Dubai’s Meydan Beach Club last year and is currently working on the palatial Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah), bespoke residential commissions have earned it a place at the top of every interior designer’s wishlist. Its most high-profile private engagement to date is London’s One, Cornwall Terrace – valued at £100 million, the most expensive house in the UK capital – but Dubai remains one of Corrado’s favourite markets. “It’s a vibrant, exciting place,” he says from Baroncelli’s Italy headquarters. “Clients in the Middle East are so forward-looking: with every project, we have the opportunity to create a real work of art. People have always incorporated careful design into their floors, their wall finishings, artwork, rugs… but in the last decade people have been focusing on the feeling of the place – and one of the best ways to do that is with lighting.” With their insatiable appetite for bespoke pieces, what should Middle Eastern clients look for in personalised lighting? “The first thing to consider is the level of light required,” says Corrado. “We work with this, and then we create a design that really hits the spot. Sometimes a client comes to us with a motif or element that they love – like a leaf, for example – and they ask us to make it work for the space: to resize it, rescale it, whatever is needed. Or, we can create something quite different, but which still retains the essence of what they liked in the beginning. It’s a fluid creative process.” Corrado takes the finished designs to the Murano craftsmen in Venice, who then begin work on the project. It takes years to train as a master of glassblowing – the youngest craftsmen tend to be in their forties – and the pace of perfection runs slow. “The production process can take around 12 weeks,” says Corrado. “None of our work is industrial: it’s entirely hand-made, so some pieces take longer than others. Colours and metal finishings, for example, will always require more time.” For Corrado and his team, nothing is more satisfying than fusing centuries-old techniques with contemporary forms – and the more outlandish the design brief the better. “You have to be relevant,” he says. “Yes we come from this very ancient tradition but that will only get you so far – you have to be doing design that people want today.” The result? A truly modern classic.
‘It takes years to train as a master glass craftsman’
Artistic Ambitions Investing in artwork is a personal journey, but how to marry individual taste with commercial gains? And when your home is your gallery, how can you maximise the impact of your investment? Hisham Samawi, private collector and co-founder of the Middle East’s Ayyam Galleries, shares his expertise
1. Stick to what you love
6. Invest in great lighting
Always follow your heart and buy pieces you that you feel passionate about, as opposed to subscribing to market trends. Trust your gut and don’t be at the mercy of your interior designer: you are the person living with the piece and seeing it every day, after all.
The process of buying a piece of art is often a long and intimate journey, so it is essential that the work is displayed in the best way possible. One of the most important factors to consider when hanging a painting is how it is lit. Dedicated lighting directed on to the piece can dramatically improve its appearance and attract the eye.
2. Do your homework
7. Mix and match your look
It’s important to be aware of what you’re buying, so be sure to do your research. Use the knowledge that galleries are willing to share; among the advantages of buying from a reputable dealer or gallery is that they are happy to answer questions and help contextualise the artwork, making sure you find the right piece.
The best art collections contain a variety of media and styles, allowing each piece of work to maintain its uniqueness. This eclectic approach also allows for interesting relationships to form between individual works. For example, figurative and abstract works can complement and interact with one another, as can paintings, photography and sculpture.
3. K eep it consistent I prefer not to frame the wallmounted art in my collection where possible, as I feel it gives the art a contemporary feel. But really it’s completely dependent on the work itself; sometimes a frame can have a very positive effect on the work’s impact. When framing, always maintain a consistency in the way the collection is presented throughout your home.
4. create space A good way to increase the hanging space in your home is by pulling your couches away from the wall. Many people believe that by having sofas pushed back against walls, you are increasing your living space, but at the same time you’re also decreasing the amount of valuable space for hanging paintings.
5. Be ambitious Don’t be afraid to go big. Nothing is more impressive in a home than a large painting.
8. Don’t be a wallflower Don’t be afraid to make a statement: buy art that dominates the room
Never be afraid to make a statement: buy art that dominates the room and forms a centrepiece, rather than pieces that simply blend in with the décor of the room.
9. Mak e an impact Always remember that less is more. Investing in fewer but larger paintings will have a much more powerful impact than a collection of lots of smaller pieces.
10. Set the scene Keep the interior décor simple and let the art give the room character. Clutter, busy wall paper, curtains and carpets can often detract from artwork. Using clean, neutral colours within an interior allows the art to take centre stage.
Discover the vision for DAMAC Towers by Paramount, the latest launch to dazzle the Middle East. Plus, we look to Dubai’s The Signature – the first of DAMAC Maison’s luxury serviced properties
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DAMAC Properties Delivers a Life of Luxury
to build on its powerful performance to date. “We have the vision and momentum to provide solid investment opportunities for our customers,” he says. With this drive, DAMAC Properties is building the next generation of Middle East luxury living – truly a space worth watching.
> DAMAC Properties was established in 2002, as a private residential, leisure and commercial developer in Dubai and the Middle East. In the past decade, DAMAC Properties has expanded rapidly into North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. DAMAC Properties has completed 8,893 units to date spanning over 9,070,264 sq. ft. it also has a further 19,063 units at various stages of progress across the Middle East and North Africa region spanning over 23,816,070 sq. ft. out of which 5,193 units will be completed in 2013.
> Image: Corbis
or almost a decade, the real estate portfolio of DAMAC Properties has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury residential market. With an enduring passion for design and quality, the company has built an unequalled reputation for creating some of the most iconic and desirable properties in locations from Dubai to Beirut, Abu Dhabi to Jeddah, and Doha to Amman. It’s a reputation of which the company’s Managing Director, Ziad El Chaar, is rightfully proud. “Take each and any project that we have in the context of its area and location, and you will find in that project a very distinct design, with luxurious quality and a level of amenities over and above projects in any other masterplan,” he says. The pace of DAMAC Properties’ expansion has been extraordinary. It has completed no fewer than 37 buildings to date – a total of 7,817 units in all – and has a further 66 buildings at various stages of development across the Middle East. This year will see the opening of The Signature in Dubai which will enhance DAMAC Properties’ reputation as the creator of luxury dwellings. Always at the forefront of visionary concepts, DAMAC Properties has recently announced an exclusive partnership with Paramount Hotels & Resorts, the official licensee of Paramount Pictures, in the heart of Dubai’s glittering Burj Area. Taking inspiration from the Hollywood icon’s 101 years of award-winning creativity, the US$1 billion DAMAC Towers by Paramount comprises a four-tower serviced residential and hotel complex featuring wellness centres, themed dining, swimming pools, entertainment facilities and branded merchandise. Due for completion at the end of this year, DAMAC Properties’ first serviced apartment project, The Signature, is also set to wow citizens of the city. It has been designed by high-flying German architects Koschany+Zimmer, and will stand at 50 floors on completion. The first addition to the DAMAC Maison serviced apartment portfolio, The Signature will feature a luxurious spa, fine dining restaurants, chauffeured limousines, a dedicated concierge service and yacht and jet charters. Residents will enjoy a range of indulgent private amenities, too, including spa treatments at home, 24-hour room service, and internationally-renowned personal chefs. Alongside ground-breaking architecture and bespoke personal services for residents, DAMAC Properties is famed for its exclusive Middle East partnership with the crème de la crème of the interior design world. At present, its projects include two exclusive UAE and Saudi Arabia developments in collaboration with FENDI Casa, and existing designs with Versace Home. This enables DAMAC Properties to offer its customers exquisite interiors that are unmatched in the market, and a sumptuous life of luxury that its residents know and love. As the company continues to innovate and bring new concepts to the market, El Chaar is determined
> Dubai Marina, the home of DAMAC Residenze (currently under contruction), is one of the city’s most desirable real estate locations.
akoya by damac DAMAC Properties is set to create Dubaiâ€™s most luxurious community â€“ like nothing the Middle East has ever seen before...
> The golf condos in Akoya by DAMAC will offer unrivalled views of Trump International Golf Course, Dubai
DAMAC Properties has announced plans to develop Trump International Golf Club, Dubai – a world-class PGA Championship Golf Course – which will be part of a 28 million square feet master development that will be the ultimate new Dubai neighbourhood. Named Akoya by DAMAC, the development will feature premium branded mansions, villas, townhouses and luxurious apartment units. Residents will have exclusive access to a range of high-quality amenities – among them, international schools, boutique hotels, globally-recognised retail brands, leisure and entertainment offerings, part of the golf club and a state-of-the-art sports complex – of which the 18-hole Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, will he Trump name is synonymous be the crowning glory. with the utmost in elegance and indulgence. With “Dubai is a premier global destination point,” plush golf courses, residences, hotel resorts and spas said Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President of all over the world, Donald J. Trump has pioneered the The Trump Organization, in an exclusive interview. modern luxury landscape, and set the benchmark for “There’s no place else like it. We have looked forward the high life – just as DAMAC Properties has done in the Middle East. Now, in a perfect collaboration, Trump to developing there for some time. The time is right.”
The business mogul is equally confident that he has found the right partner in DAMAC Properties: “[They] have the right credentials—I know they will deliver superb service.” Hussein Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Properties, agrees. “We aim to make Akoya by DAMAC the most desirable living environment in Dubai for aspirational professionals who recognise ultimate luxury,” he said. “The development will bring a blend of high-end, five-star living, with unrivalled facilities and create a haven for families looking to make Dubai their home.” Akoya by DAMAC, which takes its name from one of the most precious pearls in the world, will create a thriving environment for those living and working in Dubai, as well as those holidaying there. The development will be the largest project in the DAMAC Properties portfolio, further confirming the stabilisation of the Dubai real estate market. “We plan to make Akoya by DAMAC the Beverly Hills of Dubai,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director
> Opposite page: Lavish interior design will be presented in the Akoya by DAMAC villas. Top: Trump-branded and managed clubhouse and fine dining at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. Above: Four tennis courts will form part of the facilities at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. Next page: The striking exterior of an Akoya by DAMAC villa.
â€˜It will be a premium development... and each villa will have a unique designâ€™
of DAMAC Properties, at the recent launch of the project. “It will be a fully-integrated community with all of the services its residents need – all at the right level of exclusivity. It will be a premium development, with premium designers – and each villa will have a unique design.” Work has already begun on Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, and the greens will be ready for play in 2014. As the first Trump golf course in Asia, it will feature a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art club house and a luxurious Trump Spa and wellness centre, which will be managed by Trump. Trump believes the desert location, though challenging, will prove the course’s shining glory. “It will be a challenge that I’m going to enjoy,” he said. “Developing the links course in Scotland – Trump International Golf Links Scotland – also presented challenges, such as enormous sand dunes that we wanted to protect as well as enhance. The desert will
Opposite page: Each villa and mansion in Akoya by DAMAC will feature lavish interior design and furnishings. This page: The design of each residence will reflect the exclusive lifestyle of its inhabitants, for example this stylish open-plan living and dining area. Next pages: The futuristic luxury of an Akoya by DAMAC mansion.
provide different challenges that we are prepared to meet and we will no doubt exceed expectations – that is our norm.” Years of impressive projects and phenomenal success have not dampened Trump’s enthusiasm for his latest venture. “We are thrilled to be expanding our portfolio of award-winning courses into Dubai with DAMAC Properties,” he said. “Dubai is an incredible city that truly understands the meaning of luxury. Trump International Golf Club, Dubai will exceed all expectations – there will be nothing like it in the region and beyond.” El Chaar feels likewise. “We have been developing luxury real estate for the past 11 years,” he said. “And to push the boundaries of luxury you need to collaborate with other brands – just like big-name fashion designers work with other designers. Now, we are doing that in real estate. Only a developer with the capability and specialisation of DAMAC Properties can collaborate with a brand such as The Trump Organization.” The expansive club house, which will be the largest of its kind in Dubai, will sit proudly over the 9th and 18th greens, with luxurious changing rooms, pro shop, spectacular amenities and exceptional service. The double-ended driving range, chipping facility and putting greens will emulate the undulations of the course to accurately reflect the challenge which awaits on the full 18 holes. The development will also include the high-tech Golf Academy for beginners, as well as four internationalstandard tennis courts. “As with all of the courses we develop and manage, Trump International Golf Club, Dubai is being built to the highest standards of excellence and will become known as one of the world’s finest courses,” said Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at The Trump Organization. “The combination of DAMAC Properties’ local knowledge and expertise in the luxury market and our unrivalled experience with owning and operating a collection of the world’s finest courses will result in a challenging course with stunning landscaping and superior quality.” In a recent study by KPMG, the UAE was declared the 6th most popular destination in the world for golf tourism, ahead of more established locations such as the USA, England and South Africa. With the launch of Trump International Golf Course and Akoya by DAMAC, this ranking is set to rise – putting the emirates at the forefront of luxury leisure travel and living, and securing the place of these two visionary companies at the very top of their game.
‘Only a developer with the capability of DAMAC Properties can collaborate with a brand like The Trump Organization’
A star is bor n A vision of Hollywood glamour, ground-breaking design and impeccable standards of service: why the recently-launched DAMAC Towers by Paramount is the one to watch
rom Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Titanic, Paramount Pictures is synonymous with creativity and innovation – and now, after over a century at the pinnacle of Hollywood’s movie scene, it has arrived in the Middle East to form its very own dazzling double act. In an exclusive partnership with DAMAC Properties, the region’s leading luxury private developer, Paramount Hotels & Resorts has unveiled ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ – a US$1 billion fivestar hotel and serviced apartment development in the heart of Dubai’s Burj Area. Speaking at the launch of the project, DAMAC Properties Managing Director Ziad El Chaar shared the vision: “The history, glamour and tradition of the movies indirectly transcend every element of the design and ethos of this aspirational project. We will employ the same, tried and tested production process, pioneered by Paramount Pictures at the studio, to direct, design and detail a world-class experience. The Paramount brand stands for more than exceptional film and entertainment: it’s an inviting lifestyle.”
> Opening pages: DAMAC Towers by Paramount will offer peerless views of Burj Khalifa. These pages, clockwise from top left: Hollywood styling in the hotel lobby; The vibrant leisure area; High-end California-inspired dining.
‘The Paramount brand stands for more than exceptional film and entertainment: it’s an inviting lifestyle’
> Images: Supplied
‘The history, glamour and tradition of the movies transcend every element of the project’
> Previous pages: The suave and sophisticated cigar lounge in DAMAC Towers by Paramount. These pages, clockwise from left: Iconic moments from Paramount Pictures’ Mission Impossible IIII and Titanic; The world-famous studio gates; Scenes from classics The Godfather and The Italian Job.
DAMAC Towers by Paramount will comprise of a 540-key Paramount Hotels & Residences tower, plus more than 1,000 DAMAC Maison serviced apartments in three separate towers, all co-branded with Paramount Hotels & Resorts. Guests and residents will enjoy enviable views of Burj Khalifa and easy access to The Dubai Mall. “We are thrilled to be partnering with DAMAC Properties on this mega project,” explained Thomas van Vliet, Chief Executive Officer, Paramount Hotels & Resorts. “DAMAC Towers by Paramount will include a series of dynamic and sensory experiences that live up to our mantra of producing hospitality that is unmistakable, unforgettable and consequentially unmissable. The hotels, resorts and residences will be developed using the creative process honed over Paramount’s 100-year history.” The hotel and one-, two- and three-bedroom serviced residences in the ‘mixed-use tower’ will be managed by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, whereas the one-, two- and three-bedroom serviced residences and penthouses in the other three towers
will be managed by DAMAC Maison, the hospitality division of DAMAC Properties. A multi level plaza offering restaurants, wellness and fitness centres, kids’ club and shops, will link the four towers. In Paramount Hotel & Residences, powerful creative interior design will set the scene for movie lovers: “Guests will be greeted by an interpretation of the iconic Paramount Studios entrance,” said van Vliet. “In the lobby, we will use lighting, multimedia screens and moveable walls to create different ‘scenes’ throughout the day – it’s all part of the innovative, imaginative work for which Paramount Pictures is famous.” Signatures of the Paramount Pictures brand, including access to the studio’s movie library, a screening room and film artwork will characterise the development, and ‘Work and Play’ suites will offer a vibrant and functional business environment. Restaurants, fashioned on the Californian lifestyle combined with the glamour of Hollywood, will cater to both guests and residents, making the development an entertainment destination in its own right.
The serviced hotel residences will feature fullyfitted kitchens and services that also include valet parking, concierge, housekeeping, in-room beauty treatments, a child minding service and kids club. In addition, owners can elect to add their residence to the ‘rental pool’ during periods spent away from home, allowing for rental returns to be generated. “We have been saying for a while that the luxury serviced hotel apartments sector is set to drive the resurgence in the Dubai property market,” said El Chaar. “DAMAC Towers by Paramount is the realisation of that prediction. The project will provide a unique opportunity for both the end-user and the investor.” DAMAC Towers by Paramount will be the first of Paramount Hotels & Resorts’ ventures into the hotel and real estate industry. Work has already begun on the project, and it is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015. > Further information is available at damacproperties.com
> Main image: Luxe interiors and inspirational views in The Signature. Right, from left: Serene style in the bedroom; Light, classic design in The Signature’s lobby area.
With the launch of DAMAC Maison, Dubai’s benchmark of luxury is set to reach new heights...
hought Dubai couldn’t get any more opulent? Think again. Enter DAMAC Maison: an elite portfolio of impeccably-designed, lavishly-appointed serviced apartments managed by the Middle East’s leading luxury developer. The concept, recently unveiled by DAMAC Properties, will include over 4,000 sumptuous properties, providing residents with an array of five-star services including personal chefs, shopping consultants and private beauty treatments. Life in the city will never be the same again. “From daily fresh sheets and towels with 1,000-count cotton, through to arranging overseas trips, booking exclusive experiences for the whole family and luxurious spa services in your own property, DAMAC Maison is ready to welcome you home,” said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President of DAMAC Properties, at the launch of the concept. With all properties in the portfolio offering indulgences such as in-room spa therapies, 24-hour room service, internationally-renowned chefs at residents’ personal service, shopping consultants and a team to arrange local and overseas travel arrangements, this is luxury living at its finest. “DAMAC Maison provides a lifestyle and level of comfort aspired to by so many,” added McLoughlin. “Everything will be taken care of to the most exacting standards of professionalism and refinement with our highly-qualified service team.”
‘A level and standard of comfort aspired to by so many’
The first DAMAC Maison development to open will be The Signature, a 50-storey tower in the heart of Dubai’s Burj Area – one of the most sought-after real estate locations in the world. Overlooking The Dubai Fountain and The Dubai Mall, it will set the standard for the marque, and include a luxurious and peaceful spa, high-end restaurants, stunning lobby areas with meeting space, a kids’ club and babysitting service with qualified staff. The development will feature sleek architecture, with stunning views from each residence, and is due to be completed in the second half of this year. It’s not just luxurious amenities and services that make a DAMAC Maison property a sturdy investment, however. After careful research into the lifestyles of luxury serviced apartment owners and the habits of Middle East residents, DAMAC Properties has designed a rental scheme that will allow owners to maximise their property’s assets while they are away from home. The service will offer investors an attractive return on their apartment during the months that it is not inhabited, through a bespoke rental pool programme managed by DAMAC Maison. “The scheme makes it very simple for residents to earn strong rental returns without the hassle of sourcing short-term tenants,” said McLoughlin. “DAMAC Maison will look after the whole process and pass on the income generated.” The inspired concept promises to blend optimum investment potential with the opulence for which DAMAC Properties is renowned – all on the doorstep of Dubai’s most striking icons. Few locations can match the city’s range of top-notch property, outstanding services, and the savoir faire of its cosmopolitan population – but now, DAMAC Properties will raise Dubai’s luxury real estate benchmark to another level entirely. > Further information is available at damacproperties.com
> Opposite page, clockwise from bottom: Sleek kitchen design – fit for a private chef; The Signature’s penthouse apartment features a master bedroom with private swimming pool; Spa-inspired styling in the tower’s communal areas. This page: In The Signature, even the bathrooms boast beautiful views and exquisite fittings.
The New ‘New Dubai’ –
Where will be the next big thing?
eports on the Dubai property market often split the emirate into a couple of categories: established prime locations and areas without infrastructure. But all of the thriving communities of today were once waiting for road networks, shops and schools. So where will the new ‘New Dubai’ be in a couple of years? Dubai Marina was the New Dubai in 2007 when Jumeirah Beach Residence was completed and many of the Marina towers were finished. The Walk was filling up with stores and cafés, with hotels setting up along the beach front. From late 2008, with the opening of the world’s largest mall and then the world’s tallest tower in 2010, focus moved to the Burj Area; a metropolis of high rise towers, fine dining restaurants, luxury shopping outlets and peaceful, winding waterways. Today, the search for the main areas currently experiencing new development takes you inland, to Jumeirah Village, International Media Production Zone and Dubai World Central. Dubai continues to move along the coast towards Abu Dhabi as the population growth tops 10 percent – one of the highest in world. Soon, the population of the GCC is expected to hit 53.5 million, a 30 percent increase on 2000 figures. The Dubai property market is maturing. A healthy balance of high-end luxury developments sit on the banks of the Arabian Gulf, with the needs of the middle classes being met with spacious apartments filled with modern facilities for all of the family inland. “Dubai is probably the most transient city anywhere in the world,” said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties. “As one location starts to prosper, new areas become fashionable and then they boom. For investors in the Dubai property market the skill is recognising which area will be the
next big thing and investing early to realise the most capital growth.” The impact of the global financial crisis hit Dubai’s property boom in late 2008, but prices have quickly recovered with an increase experienced in each quarter of 2012 to now see Dubai listed by Global Property Guide as the strongest housing market in the world. “There is a cautious optimism across the sector today,” added McLoughlin. “No one wants to see the boom and bust of the speculators’ market we saw in 2007. The industry is more mature now; people are buying for the medium- to long-term which is why the growth in pricing is stable and consistent. There remains some great prices to be had, especially in the new areas of Dubai.” Properties in the likes of Jumeirah Village and IMPZ can be snapped up for as much as 50 percent below the square feet price of a similar apartment in say the Burj Area or Dubai Marina, even though they are fewer than 15 minutes’ drive away. With the UAE ministry discussing the possibility of a mortgage cap on expatriate buyers, at around 50 percent of the total value, residents are increasingly looking to the value projects, like those along the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, as a great way to get a foot onto the Dubai property ladder. “The quality of the projects is the same as those in Marina or the Burj Area, the extensive facilities and amenities are the same... The only difference is the price,” concluded McLoughlin. DAMAC Properties has a number of projects in IMPZ and Jumeirah Village, including the three completed buildings in Lago Vista. The airy and bright apartments are conveniently located close enough to the city but far enough out to also enjoy the peace and tranquillity away from the city lights.
On the other side of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Emirates Gardens, Emirates Gardens 2 and Tuscan Residence all offer lowrise Mediterranean living in a peaceful and scenic community environment. The luxury swimming pools on the roofs of each building provide a stunning setting to watch the sun set behind the desert. A 10-minute drive down Emirates Road, Amber Residence in the heart of Dubai World Central provides luxury living close to one of the world’s busiest ports and a new exhibition centre. Dubai continues to change and grow as the city thrives as a global trading hub between the east and west. The ‘new’ areas of Dubai spring into life with the growth of the population, building new communities and new places to discover. > Further information is available at damacproperties.com
> From top: The skyline of the unmistakeable Burj Area, home of a number of planned DAMAC Properties’ residences, is punctuated by Burj Khalifa; The sky-scraping hubs of JLT and Dubai Marina are among the city’s more established districts, although the low-rise Jumeirah Islands area – seen in the background – is quickly catching up.
Awar ds & Accolades
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DAMAC Properties has won more than 30 awards across various industry categories. These awards include: 2012-2013 International Property Awards Arabia Best Residential High-Rise Development Saudi Arabia (Al Jawharah) Best Developer Website Dubai (damacproperties.com) Best Interior Design Apartment Saudi Arabia (DAMAC Residences) 2012 Big Project Award Outstanding Development of the year (Al Jawharah) 2012 MEED Quality Awards for Projects Emirates Steel GCC Building Project Of The Year (Ocean Heights) 2012 OPP Awards For Excellence Best Developer Middle East 2011 International Property Award Best International Mixed-use Development (Park Towers) 2011 Big Project BGreen Award Developer of the Year 2011 Bloomberg Property Award Best Commercial High-rise (Park Towers) Best Developer Website (damacproperties.com) Best High-rise Architecture Arabia (Park Towers) Best High-rise Architecture (Park Towers) Best High-rise Architecture (Al Jawharah) Best Mixed-use Development Arabia (Park Towers) Best Mixed-use Development (Park Towers) 2010 Bloomberg Property Award Best Developer Website Best High-rise Architecture (DAMAC Tower) Best High-rise Architecture (DAMAC Tower) Best Interior Design (DAMAC Tower, Beirut) 2009 CNBC Property Award Best Developer Website Best PR Company 2008 CNBC Property Award Best Developer Website Best Development, Egypt Best High-rise Architecture (Marina Bay) Best Marina Development, Abu Dhabi (Marina Bay) Best Property Marketing, Dubai 2007 CNBC Property Award Best Developer Website Best High-rise Development (La Residence at The Lotus) Best International High-rise Development (La Residence at The Lotus) 2006 CNBC Property Award Best Development Abu Dhabi (Oceanscape) Best Developer Website Best Single Unit Architecture (Ocean Heights 2) 2005 Bentley International Property Award Best Architecture (Ocean Heights) Best Developer Website Best UAE Development (Maria Terrace)
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We have just launched the third issue of our new DAMAC Magazine - Live the Luxury. DAMAC Properties has just launched its third issue of o...