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LIVE THE LUXU RY

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ISSUE 7

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE ETTORE 971 Bugatti Villas at AKOYA Oxygen: a home like no other


 

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CALIBER RM 011 FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH BLACK NIGHT Automatic winding chronograph movement Power reserve : circa 55 hours Annual calendar 12-hour totalizer 60-minute countdown timer Chronograph flyback function Grade 5 titanium baseplate and bridges Rotor with ceramic ball bearings Special tungsten-colbolt alloy rotor weight 6-positional, variable rotor geometry With 18-carat white gold wings Balance wheel in Glucydur with 3 arms Frequency : 28 800 vph (4Hz) Moment of inertia : 4.8 mg·cm² Case in NTPT® Carbon Finished and polished by hand Limited edition of 100 pieces


DAMAC PROPERTIES’

WELCOME

CONTACT DETAILS

TO A LIFE O F LUXURY

UAE +971 4 301 9999 Dubai dubai@damacgroup.com DAMAC Maison Dubai Mall Street Downtown Dubai, UAE P.O. Box 5840 Tel: +971 4 270 1700 Ocean Heights Al Sufouh Road Tel: +971 4 450 8777 Park Towers Dubai International Financial Centre Tel: +971 4 376 3600 AKOYA Sales Office Plot No. 676-1061 Al Hebiah Third, Al Qudra Road Tel.: +971 4 341 8678 United Kingdom Star Luxury LLC 6th Floor, 50 Hans Crescent London SW1 Tel: +44 7879 539 906 info@starluxuryproperties.com Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ksa@damacgroup.com Riyadh 14th Floor, Al Anoud Tower 2 King Fahad Road, Tel: +966 11 293 2883 Jeddah Al-Shumeisi Building Tahliah Street Tel: + 966 2 284 5445 Damman 5th Floor, Al Dossary Tower Dammam Corniche Area Tel : +966 13 8305471 Lebanon Damac Tower, Unit No 304 Mina El Hosn, Omar Daouk Street Beirut Tel : +961 788 36 222/ +961 788 36 333 beirut@damacgroup.com Jordan Al Abdali Project Damac Tower PO Box 841317, Amman 11181 Tel: +962 6 56 57 457 jordan@damacgroup.com Iraq Villa 69, Street 13, District 605 Al Mansour-Dawoodi, Baghdad Tel: +964 1 77 64 102 baghdad@damacgroup.com Qatar Office No. 04, Al Qassar Tower West Bay Area Doha, PO Box 18223 Tel: +974 44 666 986 doha@damacgroup.com Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information published is accurate, HOT Media Publishing and DAMAC Properties do not accept liability for omissions or errors in this magazine.

Inside this issue we take an in-depth look at the everchanging face of London, in particular the transformation south of the Thames. This diverse, historically rich area of England’s capital is now home to cutting-edge culture, finedining restaurants aplenty and a slew of iconic landmarks. Set to join the latter on the London skyline is our latest groundbreaking development, AY KON Nine Elms, the first private residence project of scale in London to be fully designed and conceptualised by a luxury fashion house Versace. You can read all about it from page 74. Staying with Britain, as it’s revealed as the number one tourist destination for UAE nationals, we go in search of quintessentially British abodes you can visit or stay at the next time you visit, from the real Downton Abbey in the country’s south to the spectacular castles of Scotland up north. Jeremy Renner you’ll know as the Oscar-nominated, allaction star of the latest instalment in Paramount Picture’s Mission: Impossible franchise, but away from the silver screen Renner is a supremely shrewd property investor, as Hazel Plush uncovers from page 20. A Hollywood star of yesteryear, Audrey Hepburn has never veered from the spotlight, despite her death in 1993. As the latest blockbuster exhibition in homage to her talent and timeless beauty continues to pull in the crowds, we look back on Hepburn’s career and ask if there was more to her than is commonly known? Elsewhere inside we take a unique look behind the scenes at Versace’s FW15-16 women’s collection showcase, and profile the luxury cars celebrating birthdays this year. Speaking of luxury motors, don’t miss the chance to read of our stunning collaboration with Bugatti (from page 84), a world first for property which will see a select number of villas styled on the infamous Bugatti supercar coming to AKOYA Oxygen.

Enjoy the issue.

The DAMAC magazine team damacmagazine@damacgroup.com

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CONTENTS FEATURES P12-69

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Magnificent 7: Beaches From the natural splendour of the Seychelles to the iridescent waters of French Polynesia, it’s time to lose yourself in our line up of beautiful beaches.

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Making a Killing Best known as a Hollywood action man, Jeremy Renner’s off screen persona sees him star in the role of property investor.

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Motoring Milestones Many a luxury car celebrates a birthday this year – Chris Anderson profiles the pick of them.

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The Southern Migration Cutting edge culture, striking architecture and fine dining on tap; Hazel Plush looks at why South London is the capital’s new go-to hotspot.

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Creative ID Tracey Scott profiles the emerging creatives bringing the best of the Middle East design to a global audience.

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Diamonds Are Forever With auction records regularly smashed, Hazel Plush looks at how investors are lured by the finest jewellery.

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Our Fair Lady Few stars have captured the hearts of the public as much as Audrey Hepburn. As a photo exhibition of her life draws the crowds in London, we consider her enduring appeal.

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Season’s Greetings The bold and the beautiful abound as Versace showed its FW15-16 women’s collection.

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Best In Show Milan’s Salone Del Mobile showcases the very best of modern furniture design, yet nothing compared to what Fendi Casa displayed.

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Quintessentially British As Britain is revealed as the number one tourist destination for UAE nationals, we look at the UK’s historical abodes which are finding favour.

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THE BUSINESS END P71-88

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Luxury Living in London Town We go inside DAMAC’s super-stylish AYKON Nine Elms, London’s first fashion-branded residences, in collaboration Versace.

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Hollywood Glamour at Home How DAMAC’s Paramount Residences combine Hollywood style with state-of-the-art living.

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Driving for Perfection In a world first, DAMAC Properties and Bugatti launch ETTORE 971 at AKOYA Oxygen.

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DAMAC MAGAZINE

MAGNIFICENT 7: BEACHES FE ATU R E

Craving a superlative beach break? Look no further than these incredible sandy spots, says Hazel Plush

No.1 SUNSET SPLENDOUR, UAE W hile most beaches are f lanked by cliffs or rainforest, Kite Beach is overlooked by one of the world’s most impressive hotels: Dubai’s sevenstar Burj al Arab. This instantly-recognisable skyscraper soars high above the wide sandy stretch, glinting in the sun. A near-constant sea breeze ma kes this a popular spot w ith sunbathers and kitesurfers: the sky is always busy with neon sails, whirling in the wind as they race up and down the shore. While this is a great place to soak up the sun during the day, it’s also picture-perfect when the sun goes down: watch as the sun dips below the horizon, lighting up the Dubai sk yline w ith a gorgeous deep rosy glow.

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No.2 NATURAL WONDER, SEYCHELLES The Seychelles certainly isn’t short on sterling beaches: lapped by t he Ind ia n Ocea n a nd scattered with lush palm trees, the archipelago’s p owder -w h it e c ove s r e a l ly a r e s e c ond t o none. But the jewel in the Seychelles’ crown is Anse Lazio, on Praslin Island. It’s framed by millennia-old granite rocks and the bay’s gentle gradient and calm, clear water makes it perfect for snorkelling – so you can get upclose with sea turtles while you cool off after sunbathing. Spending the day here? You’ll find light bites and refreshments in the two laid-back beach restaurants. 14


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No.3 TRULY SECLUDED, USA

“THE ARCHIPELAGO’S POWDER-WHITE COVES REALLY ARE SECOND TO NONE”

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Named after the myriad shells that glisten on its cream-coloured beach, Hawaii’s Honopū – which means ‘conch’ in the local dialect – is this archipelago’s most iconic bay. This is paradise at its wildest: the sliver of sand is bisected by mossy rocks and surrounded by a jagged collar of cliffs, making it impenetrable from land. To make access even trickier, no boats or aircraft are permitted to land on the sand – so if you want to head to Honopū Beach, you’ll have to swim. That doesn’t diminish its Hollywood appeal, though: this idyllic slice of the Central Pacific has been featured in the King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean films.


DAMAC MAGAZINE

No.4 LAVA LAGOON, FRENCH POLYNESIA This might look like a heavenly beach, but it ’s actually the remains of a volcano – the explosive hotspot that formed the island of Bora Bora. Happily, Mount Otemanu has long since stopped erupting, and the volcanic island has developed into a lush hideaway, deep in far-flung French Polynesia. Otemanu Lagoon has all the hallmarks of a superlative South Pacific beach: dazzling-white sand, sea that’s as blue and clear as the sky, and a vibrant coral reef shimmying with tropical fish and manta rays. This is a lavish remote hideaway: tuck yourself away in one of the lagoon’s luxury resorts and marvel at this volcanic treasure.

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No.5 SEA-SIDE SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA With its sugar-white sand and pristine bays, Boulders Beach isn’t just a glorious spot for sunbathing – it ’s home to a colony of ra re African penguins. Take a trip to this nature reserve near Cape Town, South Africa, to spy the black and white birds waddling along its shore, nesting in its coves and swimming in its sapphire waters. You can wallow alongside them and share their slice of the beach – they’ll be just as interested in you as you are in them. The beach is kept spotless, and there’s a walkway if you fancy observing the birds from afar.

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“A FANTASTICALLY PRIVATE, PICTURESQUE SLICE OF PARADISE”

No.6 SMUGGLERS’ HIDEAWAY, GREECE

No.7 ANCIENT MAJESTY, MEXICO

In 1983, a smuggler ’s ship ran ag round of f Navagio Beach while trying to evade the coast guard. The incident put this idyllic spot on the map: despite its pristine golden sand and crystal-clear cerulean waters, the cove had remained secret – but now the word was out. Even alongside the other splendid beaches of the Ionia n Isla nds, Navag io is mag ica l: indeed, it’s often dubbed the most spectacular in Greece. Better yet, it’s flanked by towering limestone cliffs, making it only accessible by boat – a fantastically private, picturesque slice of paradise.

No visit to Mexico would be complete without a glimpse of its Mayan ruins or a laze on its impeccable beaches. Happily, you can combine both activities on the ‘Mayan Riviera’, a beach south of Cancun which is overlooked by an ancient castle. Float in the turquoise Caribbean waters and gaze up at El Castillo, the pyramidshaped stronghold: it was built in 1200, designed to protect the city of Tulum. The castle is still an imposing sight and is remarkably preserved: you can wander through its sandstone alleys in search of original frescoes, and peer through its spyholes down to the beach below.

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MAKING A KILLING PROFILE

WORDS : HAZEL PLUSH

Hollywood has made Jeremy Renner a household name – but investing in property has made him his fortune. Hazel Plush uncovers the secrets of his success in these two very different careers

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“[WINTERS AND I] KEPT ACQUIRING BIGGER STRUCTURES, AND NOW IT’S 20-SOME HOUSES LATER”

From left to right: On set with Amber Tamblyn during the shooting of The Unusuals; Behind the scenes during shooting; Renner during shooting of The Avengers.

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eremy Renner never planned on being a mogul. Sure, he set his sights on becoming a Hollywood star, and maybe a successful film producer too. But a property magnate? No way. “[I bought my first house] because I hated pay ing rent,” he admitted in a 2012 Esquire inter v iew. “It was just money going out the window.” Renner paid his last rent cheque in 2002, when he scraped together a house deposit with his actor friend Kristoffer Winters. They bought a 1960s house in LA for $659,000 and flipped it for $900,000 just a few months later. The profit was more money than they had ever made in their lives. 13 years and 20 renovation projects later, the pair have just sold their latest property for $24million – not bad for a couple of guys who just wanted to save a few bucks. T h at $2 4m i l l ion home i s T he Reser ve, a 10,000-square-foot mansion with 6 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in Holmby Hills, LA. Renner and Winters bought it for $7million and invested $10million in remodeling by architect Phillip Vertoch – an extravagance that sealed the deal for UK-based buyer Christian Candy. “Sometimes in life you have to give that extra 5 or 10 percent,” Renner told Esquire, when quizzed about the personal financial risk that the pair took on the property. “It really makes the difference… We’ve made a killing even during this down market.” Renner has spun a career out of ‘making a

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killing’. He’s one of Hollywood’s most successful action heroes, with deadly roles in the Mission: Impossible, Avengers and Bourne franchises. He’s a gun-toting secret agent, formidable superhero – even a trigger-happy witch hunter in Hansel and Gretel. Working alongside the likes of Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and Gemma Arterton has propelled Renner into the ranks of Hollywood royalty; if his name’s on a project, you know it’s going to be epic. Did he set out to be an action hero? Renner is coy. “There’s a great blessing to have a franchise… or several,” he told Buzzfeed in a 2014 interview. “It’s great to know you’re going to be working in the future. Where I come from, to know you have a potential job in the future is a wonderful thing.” Renner was born in Modesto, California, in 1971. His parents owned a bowling alley, and although he’s tight-lipped about his childhood he maintains that it was a happy one. “I always felt supported and loved,” Renner told Elle USA. “I had a lot of freedom as a latchkey kid to go explore and fail and succeed and do it all over again.” That ethos served Renner well when he was trying to break into the movie business. After a decade picking up small-bit roles and non-acting jobs on the side, his first big break was in 2008 – as a risk-addicted bomb disposal expert in Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker. It was the role that launched his career trajectory, Renner told Men’s Journal: “[Soon] I was doing


DAMAC MAGAZINE

Left: Renner and co-stars on set during the shooting of The Avengers.

Mission: Impossible, then Hansel and Gretel, then Avengers, and then Bourne reared its head… Suddenly I’m action-hero guy. I didn’t see myself that way.” And as his acting career took off, Renner earned more capital to invest in his property developing career. “[Winters and I] kept acquiring bigger structures, and now it’s 20-some houses later between us,” Renner told World Entertainment News Network. But it’s not all plain sailing: “Each house has always been our primary residence... We live in the houses while the work is being done. Most people couldn’t do that. It’s like going back to camping and caveman days – no electricity, no running water.” Is t here a secret to Ren ner a nd Winters’ success? “I’m very lucky,” Renner told Esquire. “I could have pretty easily been driving a forklift. I’ll gamble on the practicality of things. If I’m all-in, at least I can sleep in the damn thing.” In 2013, Renner’s life took a new twist: he became a father. He and model Sonni Pacheco had a daughter, Ava Berlin, and although the pair split earlier this year Renner is an utterly devoted dad. Unsurprisingly, his perspective has shifted. Now, he doesn’t just see the property market as a way to make big bucks: it’s also his chance to build a legacy for his daughter. “She takes care of me. I’d be lost without her,” Renner told US entertainment site ETonline.com.

“She rules my mornings, afternoons and evenings – and I couldn’t be happier about it.” The duo split their time between Renner’s current houses in LA and Tahoe – the latter a luxurious log-cabin-style abode on the edge of Lake Tahoe. “I absolutely love that you can walk out the front door, take off, and literally be in the middle of a national forest. Ava probably digs the Tahoe house [ because] she can swim outside. I am teaching her. I want to teach and show her everything I can.” Now Ren ner c a n list Hol ly wood actor, proper t y magnate and dedicated father on his resume – it’s little wonder he’s type-cast as a superhero. So what’s next for the 42-year-old? “The plan was always that I would retire when I’m 45,” he told Men’s Journal. “Mind you, my definition of retirement doesn’t mean I’m not working any more. It just means I w ill have acquired enough work and value in my life to where I don’t have to worry or shape a career or invest in anything.” This year, Renner bought a house he won’t be flipping anytime soon. He’s putting down roots in a 1960s property in the LA hills – one that he hopes will give Ava financial stability in the future. “This is my home now,” he told World Entertainment News Network. “I’m pretty sure this is my last structure. This house represents a lot of who I am spiritually. This will be my daughter’s place. I own it now, but Ava owns me.”

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“SUDDENLY I’M ACTION-HERO GUY. I DIDN’T SEE MYSELF THAT WAY”


DAMAC MAGAZINE

MOTORING MILESTONES MOTORING

WORDS : CHRIS ANDERSON

This year has seen a number of luxury automobiles celebrate anniversaries. DAMAC Magazine profiles the pick of them…

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he relea se of a new model i s of ten a c au se for celebration for car manufacturers, but of equal impor tance is when an iconic vehicle reaches a signiďŹ cant anniversary. Who wouldn’t want to mark 50 years of something that changed the perception of the brand, set up a car chase in a classic movie, or dominated newspaper headlines for winning certain races? Different brands will have certain models they hold in high esteem, and for a variety of reasons, with 2015 seeing a number of cars, also much-loved by enthusiasts, reaching particular milestones. The way the companies celebrate will undoubtedly be different too, with processions at car shows and club meets, and even special anniversary models in their current lines.

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Opening Page: MercedesBenz 300. Left: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. Right: Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet.

ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER SHADOW 50 years

PININFARINA 85 years

The English car company Rolls-Royce actually celebrates t wo impor tant anniversaries in 2015. The most significant, based on how it evolved the brand, will undoubtedly be the Silver Shadow, which turns 50, but it is also 60 years since the launch of the Silver Cloud, released in 1955. The Silver Cloud was, at the time, the ultimate in luxury and refinement, but its successor, the Silver Shadow, helped to find a new customer base – and still has the largest production volume of any Rolls-Royce ever. It was the first of its models that was really intended for the driver, rather than something to be chauffeured around in – although a long wheelbase version with four inches of extra legroom was made for that purpose. The Silver Shadow was also a leap forward for the company in ter ms of the tech nolog y, being its f irst monocoque (chassis-less) design, with hydraulic self-levelling suspension, and luxury touches like the veneer dashboard and leather interior. B ot h t wo - a nd fou r- door ver sion s were released, followed in 1967 by a convertible. The Silver Shadow quickly became a status symbol, owned by celebrities and rock stars, as well as royalty and politicians. In 1977, the Silver Shadow II was introduced, before production finally ended in 1980.

Ferrari celebrates 85 years of Pininfarina this year, the Italian design firm and coachbuilder that it shares a long-lasting relationship with. Founded by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina in 1930 – ‘Pinin’ was a nickname given to him by his family, meaning ‘the smallest’ – the company built car bodies for Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, C ad i l l ac a nd Rol l s-Royce, a mong ot her s . However, its most famous partnership began in 1951, with Battista asking his son, Sergio, to preside over it. Since that time, only two road-going Ferraris have had no Pininfarina involvement. The companies became so entwined that Battista once served as the Ferrari vice-president, with Sergio later joining its board of directors and becoming a partner in Ferrari’s F1 interests. Sergio eventually took over the company, and his son, Andrea, after that. It is still a family affair, with Andrea’s younger brother, Paolo, the current CEO. To celebrate 85 years, Ferrari released the Sergio Roadster, limited to only six models, with one already delivered to the SBH Royal Auto Gallery in Abu Dhabi (www.sbhrag.com). Essentially, it is a 458 Spider, with a special body colour and interior, but who wouldn’t want a Ferrari released in their name.

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ASTON MARTIN DB6 50 years Everyone knows that James Bond drove an Aston Martin DB5 in the 1964 movie GoldďŹ nger, and it also cropped up in later instalments. Had the film been made in 1965, perhaps its successor, the DB6, would have been associated with the character instead. It looks similar to the DB5, although slightly longer with more rear legroom, and there were aerodynamic improvements, such as the Kamm tail rear spoiler to increase high-speed stability. Aston Martin released a high-performance Vantage model, and in 1969 unveiled the DB6 Mark II, with f lared wheelarches and wider tyres. There was also a convertible, the DB6

Volante – the first Aston Martin ever to use that name. The Mark I Volante model used a leftover DB5 chassis as its base, with DB6 design cues added, while the Mark II was closer to the hard-top. In either case, the Volantes are scarce, with the DB6 Vantage Volante the rarest of the lot. The ca r wa s made u nti l 1971, a nd wh i le there is no Bond connection with this model, famous owners included Prince Charles, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Twigg y and Peter Sellers. Charles was given the DB6 by his mother as a 21st birthday present, and converted it to run on bioethanol. 30


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“THE SILVER SHADOW WAS THE FIRST ROLLSROYCE MODEL MADE FOR THE DRIVER, NOT THE CHAUFFEUR”

Above: Prince Charles at the wheel of his 21st birthday present, an Aston Martin DB6.

JAGUAR XJS 40 years

MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SLR 60 years

Following a car like the E-Type was never going to be easy, but Jaguar knew that day would come eventually. Its follow-up was the XJ-S, launched in 1975, one year after the last E-Type was built. It was intended to be the new f lagship, more aerodynamic and performance-orientated, with a V12 engine that could rival Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The marketing pushed its luxury and refinement, with a price tag to match. The initial reception was mixed – while it had distinctive looks, with prominent front headlights and a long bonnet, many felt it didn’t live up to the E-Type. A nd t her e w er e c onc er n s , t o o, over a n ex pensive hig h-per for ma nce ca r being launched at the end of a fuel crisis, when there were also major worries about the state of the UK economy. Luckily, with some clever marketing – the Jaguar XJ-S was the chosen transport of Simon ‘The Saint’ Templar in the 1970s revival TV show – and a lso some motorspor t success, including a record time in the American crosscountr y road race commonly known as the Cannonball Run, the car endured, with several engine variations and convertible models over its 21-year production run, which came to an end in 1996. It is certainly looked back upon today more fondly.

For motorsport fans, 1955 was all about the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Using technolog y fou nd i n it s For mu l a 1 c a r s , t he G er m a n manufacturer had created an iconic two-seater for road, track and endurance races. Stirling Moss became the only British driver to win Italy’s infamous Mille Miglia road race behind the wheel of an open-top version, along with his co-pilot Denis ‘Jenks’ Jenkinson. Moss also set a record time that was never beaten, completing the round-trip from Brescia to Rome in just over 10 hours, clocking an average speed of nearly 98 mph. The car also won that year’s World Sportscar Championship, and there were plans to make a road-legal version. The Mercedes boss at the time, Rudolph Uhlenhaut, was given the prototype – similar in looks to the gullwing 300SL and dubbed the Uhlenhaut Coupé. He is said to have once driven it from Stuttgart to Munich for a meeting in just one hour, and staff commented that the engine was so loud they could hear him driving to work from 5km away. B ut w hen a 3 0 0 S L R w a s i nv ol v e d i n a horrific accident at Le Mans, Mercedes not only abandoned it but withdrew from racing altogether for the next three decades. Few cars can claim to have had such a short yet eventful lifespan.

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TR AVE L

South London has never been more diverse or desirable. Hazel Plush discovers the cutting edge culture and world-class dining that are drawing attention to its history-rich shore

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y stomach lurched as the helicopter banked towards the sun, and To w e r B r i d g e s w u n g i n t o v i e w. With its 130 -yea r-old stone ra mpa r ts a nd heavy suspension bridge, it is the most iconic connection between the banks of the Thames River – but from my lofty spot it looked like a toy. As if on cue, the two bascules of the bridge rose to let a white-sailed boat pass through – its sleek form cutting quickly through the shadowy waters. The connection between North and South London was momentarily broken. At 1,500 feet, the landmarks of London were spread at my feet, from the Docklands all the way out to Battersea Power Station. As we flew eastwards along the river, I watched the city unfurl – but one monument rose up to meet us. The Shard, one of the latest additions to the UK capital’s southern skyline, lay just 300 feet below the chopper, its spiky crown glinting in the afternoon sun. The radio crackled. “Clearance to turn over Isle of Dogs” – and so we pressed eastwards, swooping over the O2 arena’s white dome, the final frontier of central London. Every day, London Helicopter r un aeria l tours of the capital, its two aircraft following the river between east and west. The age-old icons of familiar London – the British Museum, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace – lay north of the water, but my sights were fixed on the south: the new face of the capital. I ’m c er t a i n l y n o t t h e f i r s t t o t u r n m y at tentions sout hwa rds. T he a rea s a rou nd Waterloo, Vauxhall and beyond are attracting property investors, cultural projects and big

businesses – and the pace of the regeneration is staggering. Construction cranes bob on the horizon, and day by day the district becomes more sought-after, more promising. Intrigued, I checked into Shangri-La London, the hotel with the highest profile – and the highest spot – in South London. Occupying floors 34 to 52 of The Shard, it boasts some of the best views in town. I soaked it all up from the bathtub in my room on the 48th f loor, Battersea’s chimneys poking through a frame of bubbles. As the sun set, I feasted on exquisite A sia n-f usion cuisine while gorg ing on the glittering panorama below – then retired for the night with the blinds open, the lights of the city merging with the stars. T h e s u n w o k e m e e a r l y, i t s l o w r a y s illuminating the glossy new developments rising up around Vauxhall, and casting a pinky glow over the trains and cars that forged through South Ba n k below. A new day in London’s newest neighbourhood. South Bank was the first major redevelopment project this side of the river: right on the shore of the Thames, it has evolved from a busy working industrial hub into a centre for arts, culture and fine dining. It stretches along the south shore of the Thames, from the Secret Intelligence Ser v ice bu i ld i ng ( home of MI5) up to t he Tate Modern, with hundreds of established London businesses and international brands in between. As the crow flies, the furthest tip of this lively luxurious, dynamic district is just one mile from those bobbing cranes in Vauxhall – or a mere five minutes by taxi. All along South Bank, the relics of London are

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“A NEW DAY IN LONDON’S NEWEST NEIGHBOURHOOD” being transformed into world-class attractions – but few are as successful as the Oxo Tower Restaurant. This iconic spot on the bank of the Thames was built in the 1920s, and has served va rious pur poses over the yea rs: f irst as a power station, then as a cold store for a national grocery chain. Today, it stands as a triumph of South London regeneration: rich in history, but repurposed as a glorious restaurant with peerless Thames views. On any evening here, you’ll brush shoulders with the city’s most influential businessmen and residents. Unsurprisingly, the cuisine is divine, sourced from the finest local producers; I sank


Opening Page: View from Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. This page, clockwise from top left: The London Eye; Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; The Skypool at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London; Oxo Tower Restaurant; Exterior of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. Next page: View across River Thames to London’s Southbank.

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“EVERY STEP ALONG THE RIVER UNVEILS SNIPPETS OF LONG-GONE LONDON” my teeth into succulent monkfish with clams and picillo pepper, wondering how the British got their reputation for underwhelming fare. But my time travelling didn’t stop there: this area is a master of reinvention, and every step along the river unveils snippets of long-gone London. At low tide, the gently-shelving sand along the south side of the Thames is revealed – it’s a sliver of history, right beneath your feet. It attracts historians from all over the world, who regularly unearth 8,000-year-old pieces of Mesolithic-era London, Medieval roof tiles or Elizabethan clay pipes. As I wandered the South Bank, I stopped to listen to a jazz band who’d set up to play on the sunny sandy shore, a few steps below the walkway. Did they know what riches they were treading on, I wondered? There aren’t many cities in the world which boast such a bounteous trove of tangible history. One living, working artefact is the Globe T heat re, a fa it h f u l recon st r uc t ion of t he very theatre in which William Shakespeare captivated London crowds with his plays in the 1500s. It’s just a few steps away from the Oxo Tower, but my first encounter had been from the helicopter: as we’d swooped over the roofless stage, I’d glimpsed tiny actors and hordes of miniscule audience members in the circular theatre – and I was keen to experience this Elizabethan splendour up-close. I was wary of not understanding the archaic la ng uage of Sha kespea re’s A s You Li ke It, but the skill of the actors and grandeur of the production transgressed the boundaries of time. I was swept up in this snapshot of 400-year-old London, the words of the actors as faithful to Shakespeare’s day as the wooden amphitheatre seats and ornate hand-painted stage set. Indeed, the only nudge to modern London was the occasional thuck-thuck of a passing helicopter, a reminder of my privileged preview. The beauty of South London stems from this juxtaposition of old and new. It is utterly unique and thoroughly invigorating – and it ’s what makes the area’s regeneration so enticing. While the energy and prosperity of new developments propel t he a rea onto t he world st age, t he richness of its past adds a quality and calibre that money simply can’t buy.

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CREATIVE ID TA LE NT

WORDS : TRACEY SCOTT

As countries around the world grapple with their cultural identity, DAMAC meets the creative masterminds who are busy preserving and transmitting cultural heritage through their design right here in the Middle East

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THE FURNITURE DESIGNER A piece of Khalid Shafar furniture is not the type of object people wind up buying by chance. These thoughtf ully desig ned pieces are so thoroughly planned out that anyone who spies a piece, buys a piece. “I believe the Middle East has its own cultural design identity in general that is very different than anywhere around,” says the self-professed old-school furniture and product designer, who studied at Central Saint Martins in London before releasing his debut collection in 2012. “ Even w ithin the Midd le Ea st itself, each region has its own unique cultural and design language to communicate. This makes design from this part of the world very much rooted at its core culture yet reflects today’s lifestyle reinterpreted by its own creatives.” Referring to his own work, Shafar says: “I believe I have two sides – one is my personal vision for my brand, and then my contribution to the future of Dubai. With my work, I tap into both sides. When it comes to using local materials for example, the weaving process of the palm leaves, coffee tables and stools, we use camel leather and goat hair from tannerys based in the UAE, and the cultured pearl which I discovered in one of the emirates recently.” Since opening his first studio in Dubai in November 2012, Shafar, who is today one of the UAE’s most highly regarded designers, has gone on to collaborate with a number of international brands – Brazilian duo Campana Brothers, French cabinet maker Moissonnier, Kartell, carpet industry leader Tai Ping et al – and in so doing pulled the Middle East’s status as a design hub with him. “Dubai is growing so fast in all sectors and design is one of them,” says Shafar. “And my vision is to grow this brand further to make it an international brand, to be present beyond an exhibition.”

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THE FASHION DESIGNER A case in point that tradition can merge with modernity is Thamanyah, one of the region’s brightest fashion labels. With a strong sense of tradition, and an even stronger sense of style, Dubai-born designer Ahmed Abdelrahman set himself a challenge: to create a kandora (an ankle-length MiddleEastern garment) which he could wear while travelling outside his native Dubai. The result of said challenge was a sophisticated ‘East-meetsWest ’ wardrobe strictly for the sartoriallysavvy gentleman. The designer’s infusion of tradition, faith and patriotism caught the eye of Rick Owens’ muse, Michele Lamy, and ultimately led to the launch of Ahmed’s first collection in Paris in 2011. The fact that his first foray into fashion took place in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, was a clear indication of what the creative director had pla nned for not only his label, but for traditional Arabic garb. “Evolving the kandora is not a st yling project,” the desig ner sa id during a recent interview. “It requires a deep understanding of the culture it is coming from. There are heavy tribal, religious, political and historical dimensions hidden in the garment.” Earmarked by Vog ue Italia as a talent to watch, Abdelrahman’s brand, which has since expanded to include womenswear, is stocked in a number of highly influential stores around the globe, including The Number 4 in Kuwait, Atelier and Barneys in New York, and LN-CC in London.

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THE LANDSCAPE DESIGNER There is a good case to be made for doing one thing and doing it well. In the case of Kamelia Bin Zaal, it’s landscaping. Earlier this year, the Dubai-based designer became the first Emirati to design a garden for the annual Royal Horticultural Society show in London, the gardening equivalent of the Oscars. Her debut show garden, The Beauty of Islam, a contemporary reinterpretation of the Islamic garden, scooped a silver gilt medal at the event. The idea behind the design was simple: to give visitors the opportunity to explore the relationship between humankind and the earth, something that is prominent in Islamic culture. The poetry, calligraphy and textures within the garden ref lect both the beauty of Arabic and Islamic cultures, while a sculptural centrepiece represented Islamic art. Of her garden, Bin Zaal says: “It is the chance to show that Islam and Arabic culture really is, as many other religions and cultures, a way of life and that we share the same values and morals as other religions and cultures.” Closer to home and Bin Zaal, who studied L a n d s c a p e G a r d e n D e s i g n a t L o n d o n ’s Inchbald School of Design, has established her ow n la ndscape a rchitectura l practice, Second Nature. A nd while the harsh desert environment proves a constant challenge for the landscaper, Bin Zaal continues to create intuitive and stylised outdoor living spaces with finesse.


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THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ty pefaces have a body and soul, according to Pasca l Zoghbi, the Beirut-born graphic designer who is propelling the Arabic script into the 21st century. Until recently, the range of fonts available for printing in Arabic was very limited, but font design is now a growing field thanks, in part, to creative masterminds like Zoghbi. Zoghbi’s design studio, 29Letters, is where he creates new typographical styles for newspaper, magazine, architecture and software clients. And while the typographer admits that devising new fonts that stay faithful to the conventions of the Arabic script is a challenge, his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed around the world. Last year he was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize, a n inter nationa l awa rd for contempora r y art and design inspired by Islamic tradition that culminated in his work being displayed at The Victoria & Albert Museum in London for five months. “I’m always referring to the Arabic script and I always challenge myself to see how I can reshape these letters into a contemporary manner but still retain and respect A rabic calligraphy,” explains the typographer. “There’s a larger number of people asking for different fonts who are bored of using the same fonts again and again. This is not only good for us as designers, but the overall design community and visual environment in the Arab region.”

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DAMAC MAGAZINE

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER JE WELLERY

WORDS : HAZEL PLUSH

From flawless stand-alone jewels to vintage haute couture creations, jewellery is now a key investment – and there’s no better place to buy than at auction. DAMAC reveals the fine jewels that are as valued for their beauty as they are for their rich history and heritage

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s it the deep azure of the Winston Blue dia mond that ’s so bew itching ? Or the vivacity of its sparkle? Perhaps it is the gem’s sheer size – it weighs 13.22 carats, making it the world’s largest f lawless blue diamond. For Nayla Hayek , CEO of Ha r r y W i n ston Inc., the stone was simply irresistible: “I had to buy it,” she said after making her winning bid at Christie’s. The blue beauty was hers for a cool $23.8 million. But it wasn’t just the diamond’s aesthetics that had Hayek hooked fine jewellery is increasingly sought-after and this pure, perfect diamond offers staggering potential for return on investment. The Blue was the star of a stellar year at Christie’s Jewellery who turned over $754.7

million last year – the highest annual result ever achieved for jewellery at any auction house. At Sotheby’s, the story was no different: its fine jewellery sales reached $604 million. And little wonder as lots included pieces from the estates of businesswoman Estée Lauder, 1930s USA socialite Barbara Hutton, philanthropist Bunny Mellon, and the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia. S o wh at c a n i nvest or s g le a n f r om such insatiable energy in the fine jewellery market? If you desire a glittering piece of history, look to Geneva: this is where the blue-blooded pieces from Europe’s most high-profile designers and dynasties are sold. In a recent Christie’s sale, a sensational Belle Epoque brooch, crafted 46

by Cartier in 1912, boasted both beauty and solid return-on-investment. It was originally commissioned by Sa lomon Barnato Joel, a director of De Beers diamond mines in South Africa: he took four of his favourite diamonds to Cartier’s Henri Picq atelier and asked for a brooch to be designed around them. The piece was only estimated to reach $12 million, but it sold for $17. 8 m i l l ion – t est a ment , without doubt, to the rising strength of the jewellery market. “Geneva is the best place to buy important historic and aristocratic pieces of jewellery,” confirms Julien Brunie, Christie’s International Head for Jewellery Private Sales. “Last year, the Blue Belle of Asia became the most valuable


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Opening page: The Zoe Diamond. This page: The Blue Belle. Opposite page, left to right: The Winston Blue; The Sunrise Ruby.

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“BU UYING AT AUCTIION IS MORE THA AN A MERE TRA ANSACTION: MAGIIC IS MADE” sapphire ever to o be sold at auction and the sale was, of course,, in Geneva.” The Blue Belle’s provenance is remarkable: it was found in a Sri Lanka padd dy field in 1926, and purchased immediately b by Lord Nuf f ield, the British founder of Morrris Motors. The businessman wanted to preseent the impeccable sapphire to Queen Elizabeth h on her coronation, but instead it was set as th he centerpiece of a spectacular diamond necklaace – a piece which reached $17.2 million at a land dmark Christie’s sale. At S ot heby ’ s G eneva , t he Su n r ise Ruby also proved its elf a shrewd investment. This 25.59-carat Bu urmese stone garnered a new world record ffor r ubies at auction: it wa s acquired for $30 0.3 million, despite having been valued at $12-18 8 million. Named after a poem written by the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi, it was decclared by the Swiss Gemological Institute to be “a unique treasure of nature”.

If the riches of the old world don’t appeal to your tastes, perhaps h ps consider con investing in jade – the most sought-after gem in Asia. In the Hong Kong auction houses, the appetite for f lawless jade is insatiable. Last year, the Hutton-Mdivani Jade Necklace by Cartier was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $27.4 million – breaking all existing auction records for jadeite jewels, non-diamond jewels and Cartier pieces. The extraordinary necklace has an illustrious provenance, which can be traced back through Western nobility and Imperial China. It was presented to A merican debutante Barbara Hutton when she married Prince Mdivani of Georgia in 1933 – although the gems themselves were sourced long before, in Asia. Pearls also offer vast potential for return on investment, especially since high-quality examples are increasingly rare. “The majority of saltwater pearls were harvested a century ago,” reveals Daniella Mascetti, Sotheby ’s Senior Specialist in Jewellery. Widespread pollution across pearl fishing areas has decimated the industry and, as a result, created a vacuum in the market all over the world, it’s little wonder that shrewd investors are snapping up pearls with abandon. Recently, an extremely rare nat u ra l pea rl a nd d ia mond neck lace sold at Sotheby ’s for $7 million – a new record for a double-strand natural pearl necklace, and a value that far exceeded its estimate of $3-5 million.

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But buying at auction is more than a just a mere transaction: magic is made every time the gavel hits the block. “Even though I am head of Private Sales at Christie’s, I still attend all of our auctions,” says Brunie. “Buying at auction is very exciting – you get a real feeling of joy.” Anyone who’s been to – or has bid – at a high-profile sale will speak of its thrill, and the electric atmosphere buzzing with adrenaline. Perhaps that’s another reason why investors h ave such a n i n sat i able app et it e for f i ne jewellery at auction. Of course, the magic of the saleroom can be experienced by remote bidders too: the number of people participating via phone or internet is rising every year. With buyers from all over the globe taking interest, jewels can reach heights that they simply wouldn’t if sold via retail channels. Conversely, there is always the chance that you can find a piece at lower than market va lue – if you scour the sa les prog rammes hard enough, and strike while the populous is distracted elsewhere. The future looks bright for those who invest in fine jewellery – so if you are yet to explore the market’s potential, there is no time like the present. “We have exceptional pieces in the pipeline,” reveals Brunie; “Signs are very positive for another strong year.” Whether you choose a European classic with impeccable lineage or an avant-garde jade masterpiece, now is the time to make a glittering investment.


DAMAC MAGAZINE

OUR FAIR LADY PROFILE

WORDS : HAZEL PLUSH

From chorus girl to movie star, Audrey Hepburn was one of the twentieth century’s greatest icons. At a new photography exhibition, DAMAC gets a fresh perspective on the Hepburn we all thought we knew

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“THE GREATEST VICTORY HAS BEEN TO BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH MYSELF, TO ACCEPT MY SHORTCOMINGS”

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i x t y f ive yea rs ago, Aud rey Hepbu r n took to the stage at Ciro’s, a nightclub in London’s West End. It might have been a little shady, a little rough around the edges, but Hepburn wasn’t daunted by the crowd. She was 21 and riding the wave of ambition: dancing to earn money for rent, to keep shape for her ballet training, and – most keenly – to catch the eye of the capital’s casting directors and talent scouts. Little did Hepburn k now, they ’d a lready spotted her. “All I was conscious of were the da ncing eyes of that sprite in the chor us��� t he s t a r t l i ng eyes t h at wer e ne ver s t i l l ,” confessed Anthony Beauchamp, one of the first photographers to notice Hepburn. High praise indeed, from someone who counts Marilyn Monroe as his muse. Today, Ciro’s has a more salubrious existence: the building is now a wing of London’s National Portrait Gallery. It’s fitting, then, that 65 years after Hepburn graced its stage, the galler y

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recently hosted an entire exhibition devoted to the Netherlands-born star. The show included shots by leading photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, and Irving Penn – all of whom enjoyed personal friendships with the actress. “A u d r e y i s t h e m o s t i n t r i g u i n g l y childish, adult, feminine tomboy I’ve ever photographed,” said Mark Shaw after shooting a photo essay of Hepburn for LIFE in 1953. “ S he ’s m a ny women w r app e d up i n one .” And yet, away from the camera, Hepburn was surprisingly shy. “I’m an introvert,” she confessed in a 1959 interview, “The greatest victory has been to be able to live with myself, to accept my shortcomings… I’m a long way from the human being I’d like to be. But I’ve decided I’m not so bad after all.” Aside from dancing and drama, her first loves were simple, “being outdoors, taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky” – a far cry


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from the glamorous photoshoots and hectic film sets she was used to. Fashion was a nother of Hepburn’s g reat p er s on a l love s , a nd she s t r uc k up a f i r m friendship with Hubert de Givenchy when he created the wardrobe for her first film, Roman Holiday, in 1953. “Clothes a re positively a pa ssion w it h me,” Hepbu r n revea led to a journalist while working with Givenchy in those early days. “I love them to the point where it is practically a vice. Some people dream of having a big swimming pool. With me, it’s closets.” She wore Givenchy’s designs until the end of her life, and just before her death in 1993 she returned 25 dresses to the couturier; they have since been gifted to museums and galleries all over the world. The power of transformation is a key theme in all of Hepburn’s films – from the bookshop clerk who becomes a couture model in Funny Face, to a foul-mouthed flower girl turned highsociety debutante in My Fair Lady. “It’s a cycle… You can only sell what the public’s interested in,” she said in an interview after the release of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, giving a rare glimpse into her shrewd business mind. In 1960, Hepburn under went a power ful transformation of her ow n – she became a mother. It was a role that suited her down to the ground: “I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it,” she confessed. “The one thing I dreamed of in my life was to have children of my own.” She travelled through Europe on the arm of Mel Ferrer, Sean’s father, the glow of new parenthood rosy on her cheeks. “She has a new womanly beauty,” declared Cecil Beaton after photographing her for London’s Daily Express. But Hepburn mostly shied away from the cameras as she embarked on motherhood – and thus began the graceful end of her acting. “I suppose people could blame me for ending Audrey Hepburn’s career,” ref lected her son Sean Ferrer in an interview with The Telegraph

“I WAS BORN WITH AN ENORMOUS NEED FOR AFFECTION, AND A TERRIBLE NEED TO GIVE IT” in 2014. “If she had kept working, the parts were there for her, and her success professionally would have continued for years. But she wanted to be with her family. She couldn’t bear the thought that she might fail as a mother. It was too important to her.” Today, he manages Hepbu r n’s est ate i n pa r t nersh ip w it h h is younger brother Luca Dotti, ensuring that her legacy stays true to her life: “There have been big advertising campaigns with Longines and others, but I try to pick companies that will help sponsor the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.” Cha r it y work wa s a nother of Hepbur n’s passions, particularly in her later years. In the 1980s, it was time for a final transformation: into a philanthropist, as she took on the role of Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. Growing up in war-torn Europe, Hepburn had received food and relief from Unicef, and it was time to repay her debt by travelling to Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh and Somalia, raising funds and awareness for the charity. “We didn’t go to

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her,” said Christa Roth, a Unicef employee who became a close friend of Audrey’s; “She came to us. From the moment she signed on, she went into the field, meeting with the starving children whose message of despair she hoped to carry to the rest of the world.” In her last cover interview with Vanity Fair in 1991, a leggy, slender Hepburn posed in her black Givenchy uniform. It was just two years before her death – but she was joyful, ebullient. “With the passing years, her beauty has matured, not vanished,” declared Dominick Dunne when he inter viewed her. “God knows, she didn’t get fat or lifted!” On the opening page she was captured with arms flung wide, pointed feet, and a megawatt smile – just like the young showgirl she’d once been. After all of those years of personal and professional reinvention, it was almost as if Hepburn had come full circle. She was the mistress of transformation, but some things never changed: her polish, her pluck, and her impeccable poise.


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Opening page: Audrey Hepburn circa. 1960 Previous page: On set of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” This page: On location in Africa, 1958.

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SEASON’S GREETINGS STYLE

“There’s nothing quite like a Versace show to perk up jaded fashion spectators,” enthused Vogue’s Sarah Harris when reporting on Versace’s FW15-16 Women’s collection, which will filter through to stores this season. But before the fash pack got to see the maison’s spectacular show, DAMAC Magazine headed backstage for a unique look behind the scenes...

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“THE CATWALK WAS A RIOT OF BRIGHT COLOUR - RED, GREEN, YELLOW AND BLUE, EQUALLY STRIKING MONO OR MIXED”

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HOW THE PRESS SAW THE SHOW… “Bare backs camouflaged by geometric shapes and a loud logo print (called #GREEK) splashed like confetti across minidresses were pure fun.” Christina Binkley, The Wall Street Journal “If, recently, Versace has drawn on the heritage of the house and spun it in new ways, Donatella said this season she had “closed the door on the archive. In its place on the moodboard was the brave new world of the internet. This show was livestreamed and some evening dresses feat u red t he at sig n (@) a nd ha sht ag s (#) rendered in sequins.” Lauren Cochrane, The Guardian “Donatella came up with the concept #GREEK, a reworking of the traditional Versace logo of Greek keys encircling the head of Medusa into a more modern tile-like symbol that wouldn’t look out of place on an iPhone keyboard. This wa s sca led up a nd ha nd-stitched la rge on sweaters; reduced to form a trim on the arms of suede bomber jackets; and printed in paintbox colours on circle-cut skirts and leather chainhandle handbags.” Ellie Pithers, The Telegraph “The cutouts from Couture were carried over with spectacular subtlety in the random sheer slices on one leg of an otherwise sober black suit, but elsewhere cutout black coatdresses were played against a red or green thigh-boot in patent leather.” Tim Blanks, style.com

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BEST IN SHOW DESIGN

Why Fendi Casa stole the show at Salone Del Mobile

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ilan’s Salone Del Mobile 2015 set th h e stage for Fendi Casa to showcase its latest tree nd-setting collections, with the tradition and inn novation the fashion house is famed for seamlessly translated into eclectic furnishings of impeccable style. “I have always looked at the image and press tige of this Maison with admiration and this is the reason why we have decided to use materials such as brass, fine woods, lacquer and leather, conveying the sophistication and timeless elegance of Fendi Casa,” said Thierry Lemaire, designer of the Fendi Casa Collection. “Fashion and design are two creative universes that are very close, and it was challenging to create a world that would combine the values of both, enhancing them.” Of the new Fendi Casa Contemporary Collection, designer Toan Nguyen said a “statement of luxury and highest savoirfaire” had been made. “This collection has been conceived in order to transmit emotions, as it happens for a Fendi fur or any other Fendi product.” Here’s our pick of products from each collection….

SLOANE ARMCHAIR The Sloane armchair – also available as a sofa – is a classic yet contemporary design. The piping is the distinctive element, boasting fine craftsmanship and painstaking attention to details. From the Fendi Casa Contemporary Collection, Toan Nguyen

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FAYE LIGHTING

BLIXEN CHAIR

The Faye lamp creates a striking star shape when it touches the ceiling. Its lampshade is highlighted by a brass finish, elegantly conveying the distinctive style of Thierry Lemaire.

This eye-grabbing seat is composed of a unique leather element stretched with metal buckles, typical of Fendi men’s accessories. It’s available in three versions: chair, lounge chair and conference.

From the Fendi Casa Collection, Thierry Lemaire

From the Fendi Casa Contemporary Collection, Toan Nguyen

ROMANCE CHAIR

DROP COFFEE TABLE

This piece embodies the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. The seat back is decorated with a classy and refined metal detail, with a polished brass finish.

The smooth lines of the top and the cylindrical shape of this coffee table are refined by metal details in contrast with the brushed lacquering of the surfaces. A wonderful statement piece.

From the Fendi Casa Collection, Thierry Lemaire

From the Fendi Casa Collection, Thierry Lemaire

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H E R ITAG E

QUINTESSENTIALLY

BRITISH WO R D S : H AY L E Y S K I R K A

Four-poster beds, spiral staircases and stone chimney pieces may sound like something from a bygone era, but thanks to the recent boom in British period dramas, these are what’s topping the wish list of many luxury holidaymakers. Luckily, Britain is only too happy to oblige...

HIGHCLERE CASTLE

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whole plethora of stately homes, historic castles and revered cathedrals provide the backdrop for a period visit to Britain, which remains the number one tourist destination for UAE nationals. Steeped in history and cultural heritage, it’s not hard to see the appeal. According to James Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain: “The growing success of British period TV dramas such as Downton Abbey - as well as adaptations of classic novels by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters - is fantastic advertising for Britain.” With British television programme exports rocketing globally, many period dramas have found themselves fast becoming hit shows as far afield as China and Eastern Europe, not to mention the US - where the craving for British culture seems to be insatiable. Croft adds: “These popular series beam British destinations directly into millions of living rooms and cinemas across the world, which has certainly helped to increase interest in British locations used in filming,” Jumping on this period-drama bandwagon, we take a look at five of our favorite historical abodes open for visitors across the United Kingdom.

Now world-renowned, thanks to its alter-ego as Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is a stunning home set in spectacular parklands just 70 miles west of London. Fans of the show will certainly recognise the library with its fluted columns and luxurious red velvet sofas, the drawing room and the car ved oak staircase where you might half expect the Granthams to come whisking down the steps any minute. And even for those not familiar with the hit BBC series, the historic home of the Carnarvon family, who have owned the estate for over 300 years, boasts plenty to see thanks to the spectacular design of Sir Charles Barry, who was also the mastermind behind England’s iconic Houses of Parliament. History buffs should head to the basement w her e a n i nt r ig u i ng d i s pl ay of Eg y pt i a n artifacts, including a re-creation of King Tut’s tomb, honours the legacy of the 5th Earl of Canarvon, a devotee of Egyptian archaeology. 64


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Image credit : Highclere Castle


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LANGLEY CASTLE

STRAWBERRY HILL

Batten down the hatches and settle in for the evening at Langley Castle, an ancient military stronghold that belies a turbulent past thanks to its serene location amidst 10 acres of Hexham woodland estate in northern England. The grounds are peppered with roaming deer and strutting peacocks while the castle boasts what is often considered some of the best-preserved architecture from Medieval England, along with an army of dedicated staff happy to take care of visitors’ every whims. Built in 1350, during the reign of Edward III, this regal hotel is one of just a few fortified castle hotels in all of England. Featuring traditionalstyle rooms with opulent, castle-set quarters - including four-poster beds, window seats and open fireplaces - the castle also has stone spiral staircases, original portcullis and many old stone archways. It is close to Hadrian’s Wall, the picturesque Northumberland countryside and a spectacular coastline making it a fantastic spot to visit. For a true lady of the manor moment, The Tower Room in the castle’s West Turret is a recent addition and the result of a combined effort between architects, interior designers and historians to create a bedroom suite that appears to be entirely authentic.

In 1747, Horace Walpole, the son of Sir Robert - Br it a in’s f irst Pr ime Minister, acqu i red a nd t r a n s for me d a fe w r u r a l c ot t a ge s i n Twickenham into a miniature gothic castle on the banks of the Thames. The property features battlements, pinnacles, extensive gardens and an iconic round tower set in acres of rolling meadows. From the very beginning, Strawberry Hill was intended to attract visitors, although numbers today have risen significantly from the strict ‘four-per-day’ rule enforced in the property’s infancy. In a bold move away from the fashionable classical idioms of his time, Walpole and a group of architect friends created a home of medieval dreams. Indeed, stepping into this theatrical property you’ll wonder at the arched doorways, rose windows, mediaeval tombs and endless winding passageways that stand in complete contrast to the magically lit magnificence of the gallery and it’s dramatic burst of crimson and gold. Budding literar y geniuses can gain a true sense of inspiration, with the castle having ser ved as the muse behind Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto, the gothic tale that then served as inspiration for Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. 66

Opening page: Owners at Highclere Castle. This page: Langley Castle. Next page, from left to right: Inverlochy Castle; Broughton Castle.


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INVERLOCHY CASTLE

BROUGHTON CASTLE

Situated at the site where the River Lochy enters Loch Linhe in the West Highlands of Scotland, this regal 11th century castle was built by the powerful ‘Red’ Comyns who dominated much of northern Scotland in the 1200s. In 1308, Inverlochy, along with all the other Comyn castles, fell into the hands of Robert the Bruce. Since then, the castle has endured unaltered and remains one of only a handful of 13th-century Scottish castles to survive today. Burrowed in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, this castle is entirely surrounded by breath-taking scenery. Thus it’s no wonder it has played host to many distinguished guest over the years, including Queen Victoria who proclaimed she’d, “never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot,” after her stay in 1873. More recently, fa ns of the Ha r r y Pot ter mov ies w ill delig ht in reading the castle’s visitors book, which contains comments from both Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson who stayed at the castle when filming scenes for the movie franchise in Scotland.

T h i s s pr a w l i n g , m o a t e d m a n or h ou s e i n Banbury, Oxfordshire, is built from rich local Hornton ironstone and is a fantastic place for a day visit. Supported by the English Heritage Trust, the core of the building was originally built in 1306 but was besieged and damaged after the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. Renovated while under ownership of Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, of the Fiennes family, the building has remained in the Fiennes heritage to date. Not only can the castle claim numerous movie credits, but it also featured heavily in recent British television drama Wolf Hall. Inside, the Great Ha ll feat u res ex posed br ick work , ma mmoth open f ireplaces a nd alcoves featuring armor-clad sculptures, while the Oak Room is a huge paneled drawing room with an oak interior porch that movie fans may recognise from the 2011 adaptation of Jayne Eyre. The castle grounds are something of a botanical wonderland, and played a prominent role as Gy wnth Paltrow ’s home in the 1998 motion picture Shakespeare in Love.

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THE BUSINESS END All eyes on London as DAMAC’s AYKON Nine Elms - developed in collaboration with Versace - shapes up, while closer to home we look at how DAMAC’s Paramount Residences adds a sprinkling of Hollywood stardust to Dubai’s skyline...

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DAMAC MAGAZINE Right: Stunning villa at AKOYA Oxygen

PROPERTY

DAMAC PROPERTIES DELIVERS A LIFE OF LUXURY Since 2002, DAMAC Properties has realised its customers’ dreams of premium luxury living coupled with unparalleled quality

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or over a decade, the real estate portfolio of DAMAC Properties has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury real estate market. With an enduring passion for design and quality, the company has built a reputation for creating some of the most iconic and desirable properties in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. E s t a bl i she d i n 2 0 02 , DA M AC h a s now delivered 14,375 homes to new owners, with over 37,000 homes at various stages of the construction process, including luxury branded apartments in collaboration with fashion icons and golf communities spanning a total of almost 100 million square feet. Following the success of the AKOYA brand, DA M AC introduced a second ma ster pla n development in Dubai in August 2014. AKOYA Oxygen is a 55-million-square-foot development in Dubailand and will include the most lush, green living area in the region. The project also includes a five-star hotel, a luxury desert-style wellness centre, globally-recognised retail brands, leisure and entertainment offerings, and organic market places all set within beautiful manicured grounds. And for sports enthusiasts

there’s the new Tiger Woods-designed 18-hole Championship course. Always at the forefront of visionary concepts, DAMAC has relationships with Paramount Hotels & Resorts (the official licensee of Paramount Pictures), Italian fashion houses Versace Home and FENDI Casa for branded residential apartments and villas, and The Trump Organization for the development and operations of the Trump International Golf Course, Dubai and The Trump Estates within the AKOYA by DAMAC development. Mid-2013, DAMAC Properties introduced the ‘AKOYA by DAMAC’ master plan development in Duba i. T h is includes ma nsions, v i l la s, luxurious apartments and a retail centre all surrounding The Trump International Golf Course, Dubai. Within the AKOYA by DAMAC plan, products include The Trump Estates, a limited collection of 100 luxurious mansions. Also set within the heart of the community is a collection of FENDI fashion-styled villas, Golf Veduta, and DAMAC serviced Villas by Paramount Hotels & Resorts. As a global leader in branded real estate, the company is also developing a US$1 billion hotel and luxury serviced residences in the Burj area 72

of Dubai, called DAMAC Towers by Paramount, which will comprise the first Paramount hotel and serviced residences in the region. As of 30th June 2015, DAMAC Properties has delivered 14,375 homes and has a development portfolio of over 37,000 units at various stages of progress and planning. Included are more than 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments under development, which will be managed by its hospitality arm, DAMAC Hotels & Resorts. With impressive v ision a nd momentum, DA M AC P roper t ies i s d r iv i ng for w a rd i n building the next generation off Middle East luxury living. As DAMAC continues to innovate and bring new concepts to the market, the company is deter m ined to bui ld on its power f u l performance to date. The compa ny is listed on the Duba i Fina ncia l Ma rket ( DFM ) a nd a lso issued a US$650 million f ive- yea r Su k u k on N A S DAQ D u b a i i n A p r i l o f 2 014 , w h i c h was more than four times oversubscribed. Further information is available at damacproperties.com


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LUXURY LIVING IN LONDON TOWN

We take a look inside DAMAC’s superstylish AYKON Nine Elms, London’s first fashion-branded residences in collaboration with the superlative Italian design house that is Versace

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Clockwise from left to right: Versace glamour and luxury for everyday living; The swimming pool boasts some of the best views in the city; Residents can add as little or as much Versace amboyancy as desired.

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u x u r y pr op er t y s e e k er s i n L on d on can now invest in an apartment with a distinct side of fashion, thanks to a partnership between luxury fashion giants Versace and DAMAC International Limited. Lu x u r y rea l est ate developer DICO U K P r o p e r t y Ho l d i n g s L t d , a w h o l l y o w n e d subsidiary of DAMAC International Limited, has announced the first of its fashion residences in London at AYKON Nine Elms. The 50-storey skyscraper in the heart of the regeneration a r e a adjac ent t o B at t er s e a overlo ok s t he River Thames and boasts panoramic views of England’s iconic House of Parliament. And yet, it ’s the interiors rather than the views that are commanding most of the world’s attention. Typically known for adorning the world’s fa sh ion elite, Mi la n-ba sed lu x u r y fashion brand Versace has turned its hand to a 77

different kind of styling, and this time the model is a 50-storey skyscraper. Due for completion in 2020, the exclusive r e sidenc e s h ave b e en f u l ly de sig ne d a nd conceptua lised by Versace w ith Donatella Versace herself overseeing each interior, as she does all her designs. Embracing a little of the traditional Versace glamour, the overall vibe is more subtlety with muted designs and neutral colour pa lettes as standard. Of course, for those seeking something a bit more archetypal Donatella, there’s the option to add as little or as much flamboyancy as desired. What’s more, investors will be flown, free of charge, to the fashion group’s Italian headquarters to discuss their individual needs with a brand specialist in order to create a fully bespoke Versace interior. Speaking about the project, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Chief Executive Officer at Versace,


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“KNOWN FOR ADORNING THE WORLD’S FASHION ELITE, MILAN-BASED FASHION BRAND VERSACE HAS TURNED ITS HAND TO A DIFFERENT KIND OF STYLING” says: “ Versace is synonymous with fashion and luxury and its participation in the real estate business provides the opportunity to fully experience the Versace lifestyle. In recent years, the private residential projects have become a strategic part of the Versace world. Today, thanks to the collaboration with DICO UK Property Holdings Ltd and DA M AC - a developer who we have worked with for many years and who shares our vision for the highest standards - we bring the ultimate expression of Versace’s lifestyle to the very heart of London.” Renowned for a love of splendour, the Versace designs at Nine Elms typifies the design house’s ability to combine an affinity for both classical antiquity and innovative modernity, something that lies at the very core of the brand. With 360 fully-customisable studios, one-, t wo -, a nd t h ree-bed room u n its combined with a selection of premium penthouses, the development boa sts r iver v iews a long t he Thames and city views as far as the London Eye and the soon-to-be American embassy. Adding a sense of glamour to the Nine Elms development, the project allows those who simply can’t get enough of the fashion brand, to now buy the apartment. And if fashion-branded homes weren’t enough, all residents will also

have access to a Versace-designed communal owners’ lounge, a stunning ‘sky garden’ on the 24th floor and a 900-square foot pool on the 23rd f loor with gorgeous views over the city. Kids haven’t been forgotten about either, they can enjoy exclusive use of a Versace-designed children’s play area. With London continuing to experience a solid year-on-year price growth, the city retains a persistent attraction from a global audience. According to Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC, “AYKON Nine Elms, with Versacebranded living, is a truly unique concept and fantastic addition to the residential market in this amazing cultural and vibrant city. It also presents prospective buyers with an unrivalled opportunity to own a luxurious central London home, in close proximity to the luxury shopping destinations of Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Chelsea and the planned Linear Park.” With Britain’s capital such a rare gem, in the sense that it has a property market that only goes up, it’s no doubt that there’s truly a n i nt er n at ion a l app e a l for t h i s excit i ng development. A London pied-à-terre towering above the Thames complete with Donatella Versace fit-outs as standard truly begs the question, what’s not to love?

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Top to bottom: Subtle elegance in the exclusive Versace-designed lounge; Relaxing is made easy with towering views of London.

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PROPERTY

DOWNTOWN HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR

DAMAC’s new Paramount Residences combine typical Hollywood elegance with state-of-theart facilities and unparalleled views, not to mention a first-rate infinity pool overlooking Sheikh Zayed Road

This page: Exterior of Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences. Next page: Infinity pool at top of Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences.

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“THIS REALLY IS LUXURY LIVING AT ITS FINEST”

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ubai’s renowned plethora of impressive rooftop swimming pools could soon be set to crown a new leader, thanks to the announcement of the Paramount Residences at the Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences by DAMAC Properties. Commandeering prime position in this lu x ur y development is the stunning rooftop infinity pool, which boasts unrivalled views of the Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai and the Dubai fountain. Swimming pool aside, the 64-storey project i s lo c at e d on t he 36t h- 6 4t h f lo or s of t he Paramount Tower guaranteeing amazing views for all residents. With construction already underway, the development is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2019. According to Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing Department, the emirate’s hotel market welcomed almost 12 million guests in 2014 and this figure is set to rise even further. Echoing the surge, Dubai International Airport received more tha n 70 million passengers last year, making it the busiest international passenger airport in the world, surpassing London Heathrow in the UK. With the World E x po 2020 d raw ing nea rer, it is ex pected that visitor numbers to Dubai could double to a hugely impressive 20 million over the next five years. A s D u b a i c ont i nu e s t o a t t r a c t r e c or d brea k i ng nu mbers of v isitors, t he t i me is right for new luxury projects. Ziad El Chaar, managing director at DAMAC properties, says: “As the number of tourists to Dubai continues to outpace most of the world, there is a huge demand for quality, stylish and luxury living experiences, both with hotels and the high-end hotel apartments sectors.” A nd it ’s this demand that the Paramount Residences will capture. A key part of the 826room hotel, the residences are available in one-, two- and three-bedroom units in addition to 83

luxury penthouse suites. Residents will also have access to a fantastic sky lobby that boasts panoramic views, as well as exclusive access to a first-class Fitness and Wellness Centre complete with a state-of-the-art Spa. This really is luxury living at its finest. The unique apartments will appeal to luxury connoisseurs as well as movie aficionados. Not on ly is t he ent i re projec t desig ned with ref lections of the infamous film brand throughout, but residents will be able to further indulge with access to a film library containing more than 3,000 titles as well as admittance to a private Paramount Pictures screening room. According to Ziad El Chaar, “Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences will bring to life the Hollywood glamour and California cool lifestyle synonymous with Paramount Pictures in an environment which is stylish and aspirational.” Thomas Van Vliet, Paramount Hotels and Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer, adds: “This sleek new addition to our portfolio will be the hot spot of this buzzing metropolis – boasting artistically infused exquisite design, with a premium on service. This will be our boutique signature that ref lects the infectious energy of Dubai.” And as well as enjoying all the comforts of home, residents will also have access to all of the hotel’s amenities and services not least the first-class entertainment and dining options situated on podium level and inclusive of two contemporary and timeless restaurants, a host of luxury shops, art galleries and an all-day kid’s studio club. Blending traditional Holly wood elegance w it h contempora r y st yl i ng a nd lu x u r y a s standard, the Paramount Residences of fer residents an exclusive place to call home in the heart of Downtown Dubai combined with all the magic and drama that the world of movies has to offer.


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DRIVING FOR PERFECTION In a world first, DAMAC Properties has paired with Bugatti to offer an otherworldly collection of villas inspired and styled on the iconic super sports car brand


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DAMAC MAGAZINE Opening page: Rendering of ETTORE 971 villa. This page, from left to right: Villa exterior; Indoor vehicle display area.

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AMAC Properties have announced their latest luxury project; ETTORE 971 - a select collection of villas styled on the infamous Bugatti super sports car and located in a private set ting in the A KOYA Ox ygen development in Dubai. Fusing the na me of Et tore Bugat ti - the founder of the renowned French luxury super sports car brand - with the UAE’s international d i a l i n g c o d e , t h e d e v e l o p m e nt h a s b e e n conceptualized by the designers of the world’s fastest street-legal production car, the iconic 1,200 hp Bugatti Veyron. T he col lec t ion of seven-bed room v i l la s command unrivalled views over the Trump World Golf Club and boast glazed indoor vehicle display areas, allowing owners to admire their cars from the comfort of their sofa. Massimiliano Ferrari, Managing Director of Bugatti Brand Lifestyle, said: “We are delighted to be working with DAMAC Properties on these unique living concepts, which reflect the key design codes of the Bugatti brand. The Bugatti is recognised as the most beautiful and powerful super sports car on the road and we believe the ETTORE 971 Bugatti Villas at AKOYA Oxygen will soon have the same reputation in their respective market.” Pairing the Bugatti brand with DAMAC’s lu xur y portfolio, the elegant design synonymous with both is evident throughout ETTORE 971, and the villas stylishly ref lect the Bugatti Veyron’s distinctive curved front. The development takes the passion for super sports cars shared by many DAMAC clients and incorporates it into living space, allowing residents to smoothly turn from car to home. Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director at DAMAC Properties, explained: “We know that many of our loyal customers are huge fans of the Bugatti super sports car brand and the opportunity to live in the world’s f irst v i l la s st yled in Bugatti’s design language featuring key codes of the brands DNA, is a unique opportunity to experience this fantastic brand in a whole new way.” Creating a distinctive atmosphere - a balance of emotion reflected by bold design and superior craftsmanship, the development is tantamount with the Bugatti brand. DAMAC Properties launched the project by presenting layouts of the villas accompanied by the dazzling presence of a Bugatti Veyron - a car which holds two world speed records, for fastest production road car reaching a top speed of 431.072 kph in 2010 and for fastest production roadster driving 408.84 kph with the roof off in 2013. W hile Ettore Bugatti fa mously sa id: “Perfection is never reached,” the ETTORE 971 development demonstrates DAMAC Properties’ drive to attain as close to perfection as possible.

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AWARDS & ACCOLADES DAMAC Properties has won more than 40 awards across various industry categories. These awards include:

2014 Gulf Business Industry Awards 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year 2014 International Property Awards World’s Best International Residential High-Rise Architecture (DAMAC Heights/DAMAC Residenze) 2014 Arabian Property Awards (Best In Arabia) Best Residential High-Rise Architecture Dubai (DAMAC Heights/Residenze) Best Golf Course Dubai (Trump International Golf Course) Best Developer Website (www.damacproperties.com) 2014 Arabian Property Awards (Best In Dubai) Best Golf Course Dubai (Trump International Golf Course) Best Residential High-rise Architecture Dubai (DAMAC Heights/Residenze) Best Developer Website (www.damacproperties.com) 2014 Arabian Property Awards (Best In Dubai) Highly Commended: Development Marketing Dubai (AKOYA by DAMAC, The Trump Estates) Architecture Multiple Residence Dubai (DAMAC Towers by Paramount) Golf Development Dubai (AKOYA by DAMAC) Residential High-Rise Development Dubai (DAMAC Towers by Paramount) Hotel Interior Dubai (DAMAC Towers by Paramount) Interior Design Apartment Dubai (DAMAC Heights/ Residenze) Interior Design Saudi Arabia (DAMAC Esclusiva) Gulf Business Industry Awards 2013 Real Estate CEO of the Year 2013 OPP Awards For Excellence Middle East Developer of the Year 2013

2013 Arabian Property Awards Best Golf Development for Dubai (AKOYA by DAMAC) Best Interior Design Apartment for KSA (DAMAC Esclusiva) Best Residential High Rise Development for Dubai (DAMAC Towers by Paramount) Best Developer Website (damacproperties.com) Best Development Marketing for Dubai (DAMAC Towers by Paramount) Best Golf Development for Arabia (AKOYA by DAMAC) 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) Best International Golf Development (AKOYA by DAMAC) 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

CEO Middle East Awards 2013 Property CEO of the Year

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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 (damacproperties.com) Best International High-rise Architecture (DAMAC Tower) Best High-rise Architecture (DAMAC Tower) Best Interior Design (DAMAC Tower, Beirut) 2009 CNBC Property Award Best Developer Website (damacproperties.com) Best PR Company 2008 CNBC Property Award Best Developer Website (damacproperties.com) 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 (damacproperties.com) 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 (damacproperties.com) Best Single Unit Architecture (Ocean Heights) 2005 Bentley International Property Award Best Architecture (Ocean Heights) Best Developer Website (damacproperties.com) Best UAE Development (Maria Terrace)


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DAMAC Properties Magazine - Live The Luxury, Issue 7