FACT Bahrain November 2020

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You, Me, Outside

Slice of (This) Life

Wish, Want, Need

CONTENTS

60 81 88 Let’s Meat?

Come On In

Matter of Fact

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• THE EDITOR

The Great Escape

"Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul." - John Muir

FACT Magazine Bahrain Edition • NOVEMBER 2020 VOLUME 14, ISSUE 02

DIRECTOR OMAR SHAHEEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER GREG HUGHES PUBLISHERS RAMI KHALIL (rami@fact-magazine.com) EDITOR SAMIA QAIYUM (samia@fact-magazine.com)

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hat would be Karzakan Forest to you and me. Yes, there's a full-fledged forest right here in Bahrain – who knew? There's also protected mangroves, sprawling parks, storied pathways, colourful reefs, and UNESCO-recognised ancient sites, all of which are just waiting to be discovered. Urbanites, meanwhile, will find respite in bustling souks, a boho-chic beach club, a new destination for food trucks, and al fresco film screenings. Welcome to November. Booking flights and making travel plans still isn't a reality for many of us, but making use of looser restrictions and cooler weather is, thereby paving the way for this edition. We decided to go all out, putting together an A-Z guide to being outdoors in Bahrain (p16). Did we mention it spans 10 pages? Elsewhere in the magazine, we're journeying into the minds of some of Bahrain's greatest artists via the ongoing exhibition at Bin Matar House, Shaikh Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research. Entitled The Great Lockdown Exhibition, it's showcasing the artworks that reflect their headspace in the midst of the recent lockdown. They're poetic, they're poignant, and they're certainly worthy of a closer look. Find a sneak peek (p30) on the pages ahead before exploring the rest in person. Looking to continue your culture quest? November 2020 also marks the inaugural celebrations of International Day of Islamic Art, both locally and abroad. HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, President of Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities, played a vital role in the induction of this annual holiday, which means Bahrain is leading the way. There's a whole host of art-centric events across the island to look forward to, so acquaint with the itinerary (p8) and mark your calendars.

Samia Qaiyum Editor samia@fact-magazine.com

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SALES MANAGER RACHEL NAFEH ART DIRECTOR SYED MUHAMMED RAIHAN SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER JYOTI RAWAT PHOTOGRAPHY SHOBIN JOSEPH CONTRIBUTORS DAVID TAPLEY GARETH WOODS LAYAL AL MAHMOUD PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION AJIT KUMAR NEIL MAHMOOD ENQUIRIES Tel: +973 3632 0131 E-mail: rami@nansgroup.com PRINTED BY DAR AKHBAR AL KHALEEJ

All Rights Reserved. Opinion expressed within does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publisher. All efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of the information within this publication. However, FACT M.E. Bahrain cannot accept legal responsibility for any erroneous content or omissions. FACT M.E. Bahrain Publishing W.L.L. Office 53, Building 872, Road 3618, Block 436, Seef. Ministry of Information. Subject Registration Number: CFB779


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• FACT FINDS

YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW November 18 is a date worth celebrating across Bahrain – here's why.

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hen several mediums, countless cultures, and a span of over 1,400 years come together under the umbrella term of Islamic art, it's worth preserving – and no one knows this better than HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities. Last year, she was instrumental in UNESCO approving Bahrain’s proposal of designating November 18 as International Day of Islamic Art in order to recognise arts and crafts forms ranging from jewellery and textiles to ceramics, calligraphy, architecture, manuscripts, and more. The year 2020 marks the inaugural celebration of International Day of Islamic Art, both locally and internationally. Referring to Islamic art as a real challenge to intolerance and racism, Shaikha Mai previously stated, “The importance of Islamic art stems from its symbolic representation of a mixed metamorphose between previous arts and modern ones, playing, thus, the role of a bridge that connects cultures and gathers peoples throughout time and space. Islamic art heritage is characterised by its vividness, immediacy, and dynamism, which is still practiced and invents in all corners of the Earth, from Spain to China. It is the art of human existence anywhere, anytime, produced by a professional artist in his private sphere, his school, and public spaces – not limited to a sect or social class.” She also confirmed that Bahrain will play a crucial role in the implementation of this day’s main objectives through an exceptional yearly celebration. So what exactly does it entail? Here in town, Bahrain National Museum is leading the way, playing host to a pop-up exhibition showcasing artifacts and manuscripts from its Islamic Collection – some of which have never been seen before. Meanwhile, melophiles can enjoy a prerecorded concert of Arab-Andalusian music by Moroccan ensemble Layali Al-Nagham at Darseen Café on November 18. Elsewhere, a group of 12 Bahraini artists will come together to produce a calligraphy mural at leading gallery space Art Centre, which will be revealed at 4pm. A guided tour of the Al-Fadhel Minaret Exhibition, which details the minaret’s architectural and scientific restoration processes, will also be offer. The celebrations will continue into the weekend as the museum will screen two documentaries, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (November 19) and Traces of the Soul (November 21) at Darseen Café. Bonus: the café has designed a special menu 8

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highlighting the diversity of the Islamic world’s cuisine for the occasion – it can be enjoyed during the screenings and throughout the month of November in general.✤

GO: VISIT CULTURE.GOV.BH FOR REGISTRATION AND MORE DETAILS.


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• LISTEN UP

THE GREAT ESCAPE Meet the next best thing to al fresco dining on a boardwalk in Italy. Raise your hand if (still) think about that obscure little osteria where you had the best pasta of your life – same here. Alas, the pandemic has taken our wanderlust to unprecedented new heights, and with it comes a craving for authentic cuisines from around the world. As for the one cuisine that just about everyone can agree on? Italian – all day, everyday. Luckily for us, the culinary experts at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain were all ears, opening Primavera as a charming little pop-up where Nikmati once was, just off the marina beach. For those not in the know: Primavera is an award-winning Italian restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Oliver Glowig, with Chef Delfino Chiarello serving as the mastermind behind the à la carte menu at this new pop-up. It's rife Italian favourites like arancini with a truffle aroma, potato gnocchi in a rich tomato sauce, grilled calamari, and more – one more innovative than the last. This special menu is centred around fusing Italian and local flavours, so expect to see reinterpretations of Italian classics and seasonal ingredients across your dinner. The Mediterranean-style seafood guazzetto, for example, is cooked in a clay pot and features hammour alongside prawns and clams. And if you're one to judge a meal by the dessert, 10

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you're in for a treat. Yes, the cannoli here is filled with chocolate cream instead of ricotta cheese, but it would still make Sicily – where this dessert originates – proud. Both ends are dipped into chopped green pistachios from the Sicilian town of Bronte, where this seed has practically reached celebrity status because of its quality. But it's so much more than great food that makes this casual pop-up so appealing. For starters, its al fresco setting allows us to enjoy sunsets in a piazza-style setting accented with twinkling lights, soothing tunes, and a salty breeze. Even those red-and-white checkered tablecloths – reminiscent of the type used widely across Italy – add to a feeling of escapism. Primavera Al Fresco kicked off last month, and (unsurprisingly) remains fully booked on most nights, so be sure to reserve your spot well in advance. And if you're taking notes, it's open from 5 pm to midnight, Wednesday through Saturday. Buon appetito! ✤

GO: CALL 1758 6499 FOR DETAILS OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION.


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• LISTEN UP

PLAY IT SAFE Your palate, your peace of mind – it's all taken care of at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. Dare we say it? Life in Bahrain is slowly starting to return to normal. Schools have reopened, a major music festival just wrapped up, and we no longer gulp our morning coffee behind the steering wheel of our car. But there's no room for complacency at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. ICYMI: the hotel was one of the first in Bahrain to receive the new ALLSAFE certification that is vetted by Bureau Veritas. Sofitel Bahrain is part of the Accor family, a hospitality group that deemed the health and well-being of its guests and employees a top priority long before most of our conversations revolved around the pandemic. It's this aspect of the brand DNA that led to Accor establishing some of the most stringent operational procedures in the world of hospitality in preparation for its properties reopening around the world. These standards were developed alongside the aforementioned Bureau Veritas – a global leader in testing, inspections, and certification – under the ALLSAFE cleanliness and prevention label. What all that jargon translates to is a safe space for guests to stay and play. So with your peace of mind guaranteed, it's time to focus on how you can make the most of cooler temperatures. Sofitel Bahrain has extended its popular Escapade de Luxe offers exclusively for all Bahraini residents. Avail your chance to experience true luxury and the pinnacle of prestige with your family, starting from only BD 55 net for an exquisite Luxury 12

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Room with a glorious sea view, inclusive of breakfast for two adults. Alternatively, discover curated family retreats in November and December with Prestige Suite offers starting from BD 85 net plus complimentary breakfast for two and direct access to the property's glittering private beach. Remaining true to its chic gastronomic offerings, the hotel is making November more interesting – starting with the return of brunch. That's right, the iconic Grand Friday Brunch returns from November 6, pairing mesmerising live entertainment with an assortment of crowdpleasers from around the world. Rates start from BD 36 net, inclusive of selected beverages. Elsewhere, you can tuck into an aromatic affair at Rivaaj with the return of Indian Street Food Night for BD 25 net. Held every Friday, this dining experience is about delving into spiceinfused dishes that unlock India’s rich gastronomic heritage. Lastly, you can discover a reimagined gastronomic concept with the new Le Garden Brunch du Soir. Set under the starry skies of Zallaq and starting from BD 30 net, this feast promises international dishes catering to every palate, accompanied by live entertainment. That’s your weekends, sorted. ✤

GO: CALL 1763 6363 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.


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NOW HEAR THIS Because the show must go on, Sound + Fiction is going digital this month.

Melophiles across Bahrain welcomed the debut of music festival Sound + Fiction last year, but of course, the pandemic managed to hamper its second installment. But if you're looking for a silver lining, it's this: the 2019 edition took place across three days, the 2020 edition will take place across 30. Featuring a stellar line-up, it will bring together some of the region’s finest talents and most prominent voices in music at the first-of-its-kind digital music festival that will take place from November 1 to 30. We quickly realised that a virtual version won't get in the way of just how much is on offer. The line-up will be headlined by Osiris, which released its first studio album in over a decade earlier this year. The legendary Bahraini progressive rock band will perform a unique, instrumental-only set of tracks not previously performed for the public. “We’re quite thrilled and honoured to have Osiris as part of our line-up this year,” said programme director Ali Al Saeed. “They are one of the most influential bands to emerge from the region, whose music 14

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reached a global audience. And as one of the longest active bands going on 40 years, it’s incredible to have them alongside a range of other established and young, upcoming artists.” As for the exact artists joining Osiris at the 2020 edition of Sound + Fiction? Bahraini folk-fusion band Majaz, Dubai-based singer-songwriter Hamdan Al Abri, Filipino dream pop duo WYWY and Kuwaiti-American band Kuwaisiana alongside electronic artists Kayan, Desertfish, Tarik Omar, and many more. Each week, a full show each featuring three to four artists will be streamed online, free to view. These shows will also include music videos and visual art. In addition to the main weekly shows, the programme will introduce a series of podcasts with prominent artists and experts in music, a series of panel discussions, and a number of workshops. ✤

GO: VISIT WWW.MUSELAND.ME FOR MORE DETAILS.


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• COVER STORY

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YOU, ME, OUTSIDE Let’s just get it out of the way: the pandemic has put a big fat damper on everything, including how we enjoy the return of cooler temperatures. Some of our favourite haunts have reopened, some of our favourite activities haven't yet resumed. The bottom line? Better days are coming. In the meantime, we've put together an A-Z guide to being outdoors in Bahrain, covering everything from cultural sites and historic spots to extreme sports, familyfriendly destinations, and more. We even managed to rustle up something for the letter X.

A: Ancient Sites If there's one thing Bahrain boasts in spades, it's ancient sites – one more intriguing than the last. The archaeological site of Ain Umm Al-Sujur in Diraz, which dates back to the 2nd millennium BC, remains fenced off for protection but there's plenty others to discover. The UNESCO-recognised burial mounds from the Dilmun era are a must-visit. Unique and mysterious, they continue to dominate the A’ali landscape due to their sheer number – there are over 11,000 of them and therefore impossible to miss. Elsewhere, both Arad Fort and Riffa Fort are atmospheric places that welcome visitors, but we were always partial to the latter because of its charming in-house café – Saffron Café – that overlooked Al-Haniniya Valley. It has closed as a result of the pandemic, so let's all say a little prayer for its return.

Image: Courtesy of Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities

B: Beach Club You'd think life on an island entails plenty of standalone beach clubs to choose from, but alas, that is not the case. Luckily, the bohochic Solymar Beach brings dining, partying, swimming, sunbathing, and lounging in luxury to one highly Instagrammable venue. Not looking to commit to a membership package? Opt for the day pass instead – Solymar Beach welcomes families with children daily from 10am to 6pm, and adults only after 6pm. Even better? Cinema on the Sand is back at the beach club and has already screened the likes of Mamma Mia and Forrest Gump, with 70s hit Grease expected to play on November 9. fact magazine

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C: Open-Air Cinema And speaking of enjoying cinema under the sky, more and more places around town are offering al fresco film screenings as the weather improves. Solymar Beach aside, you can catch them at leading contemporary art centre La Fontaine, which recently treated its guests to foreign films Carmen and Le Voyage du Prince alongside dedicated menus for the night. Prefer something a little more mainstream? To the delight of film buffs across the island, stc Drive-In BH cinema has brought drive-in cinema to Bahrain Bay, playing the likes of Pinocchio, A Star Is Born, and Back to the Future. Bonus: stc customers get a 20 percent discount on all cinema tickets.

D: Dhow Building Yard Located by Khalifa Al Kabeer Highway is the storied Dhow Building Yard, which is surprisingly easy to find, courtesy of Google Maps. This waterside spot is a must-visit for anyone looking to understand the country's pearling heritage. Here, you'll see the traditional shipbuilders of Muharraq continuing work on partially built dhows by hand, their skills passed on from generation to generation. What results are majestic wooden (usually teak) vessels that, whether completed or not, offer endless photography opportunities. Taking the time to observe them in their element truly is a multisensory experience – even the rhythmic hammering of nails is strangely soothing.

E: Events & Entertainment You'd be hard-pressed to find a more relaxed environment to take a stroll or sip your coffee than Zallaq Springs. Here await not just dining experiences aplenty, but also kidfriendly outdoor attractions like a maze and hopscotch. Pre-pandemic, cultural events and outdoor activations were commonly held at Zallaq Springs, and management is now awaiting the go-ahead from authorities to host these again. In the meantime, we suggest you visit for its impeccably maintained lakes that are home to a large variety of flora and fauna – flamingos included! Further north, The Lagoon, located at heart of the Amwaj Island, is another scenic venue as far as al fresco events are concerned. As the situation improves, this waterfront location will play host to walkaround musicians, familyfriendly movie nights, and charity walks. Image: Courtesy of Muhammad Hamid

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SAVOUR THE TASTES OF THE WORLD We invite you on a culinary journey through our award-winning restaurants where delicacies abound and tastes of the world excite. With each bite, discover bountiful flavors from the Mediterranean, Italy, Mexico, India, France, Thailand, and more. La Plage 10 am - 10 pm

Nirvana Lunch: 12 pm - 4 pm Dinner: 7 pm - 11 pm

Lobby Lounge 12 pm - 11 pm

Closed on Saturdays

The Ritz Gourmet Lounge 7 am - 11 pm

For reservations, please call +973 1758 6499.

Thai Lounge Weekdays: 4 pm - 12 mn Weekends: 12 pm - 12 mn Closed on Mondays

Primavera 5 pm - 11 pm Closed on Sundays and Mondays

Burlington Club 5 pm - 2 am

Cantina Kahlo Weekdays: 4 pm - 12 mn Weekends: 1 pm - 12 mn

Bldg 173, Road 2803, Al Seef, Block 428, Kingdom of Bahrain +973 1758 0000

Closed on Sundays

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F: Farms While we love weekly visits to a farmers' market, nothing tops the oldfashioned joy of taking a trip to an actual farm. Past visits to both Peninsula Farms and Jasra Organic Farm proved incredibly educational, but it's the recently opened Roots & Shoots you may not know about. Owned by Chef Susy Massetti, this family-run farm is located in Hamala and open to the public by appointment. All the produce here is 100 percent organic and grown on regenerated soil from homemade compost without using pesticides, chemicals, or fertilisers. Roots & Shoots currently provides fresh vegetables to its members only, but will soon offer pick-your-own-greens sessions and free-range eggs to the general public. There are even open-air cooking classes hosted by Susy to look forward to!

G: Guided Tours As we eagerly await the beloved walking food tours through Manama Souq by ThisFoodTour to resume, we're turning our attention to photography. In the past, photographers Ishaq Madan and Rasha Yousif have led photo walks through the heart of Muharraq, and both are expected to continue over the coming months if the ongoing circumstances improve. As for the tentative details? Rasha will be leading the Muharraq Shore Photowalk in conjunction with Shaikh Ebrahim Center on December 5.

H: Horse Riding Look around, and you'll see that Bahrain is very well-equipped when it comes to equestrian facilities and horse-riding spots for both experts and beginners. After all, horses are revered in this part of the world. Horse riding, admittedly scary at first, is one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities you can try – especially at sunset. Both Ghazwan Equestrian Centre and Twin Palms Riding Centre cater to all ages and levels. And if you're serious about taking your skills to the next level, the Muharraq Equestrian Academy is the place for you. Here, you can participate in Endurance Race Training under the guidance of a coach certified by governing body Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

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I: Island Hopping We couldn't fathom assigning the letter 'I' to anything other than island hopping for obvious reasons – Bahrain is an archipelago up of 33 islands in addition to a couple of manmade ones. Our firm favourite, however, remains Jaradah Island. Its claim to fame? The fact that it is only visible during low tide. Another great option is Al Dar Island, despite its size. For starters, it's just a 10-minute boat ride from Sitra Fishing Port. If facilities are what you're after, this one's for you. Everything from palm leaf huts and chalets to fishing trips, dolphin-watching excursions, and water sports are on offer. There's even a burger joint on the island in case you get peckish. For something a little more serene, think Nurana Islands. Whether you head here for a run, a horse ride, a swim, or killer views, it's utter bliss.

J: Jet Skiing But if you don't have the time for a day trip or weekend getaway, at least take a couple of hours to go jet skiing? This is a water sport we'll return to time and time again – it never gets old. It's also the perfect activity for bigger groups as even non-swimmers and total newbies tend to love it. Here in Bahrain, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to companies offering jet ski rentals. Scubalife has its Aqua Beach centres dotted around the island and, to ensure your safety, its crew remains on standby in the riding area during your time slot. Port Marine at Durrat Al Bahrain also offers rentals, even offering a 30 percent discount at the time of writing.

K: Go-Karting By now, you've probably heard that Bahrain will host the two Grands Prix as the penultimate race venue for the 2020 Formula One World Championship. The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will take place from November 27 to 29, while the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix will be held from December 4 to 6. Naturally, there's only one thing you can do in the lead-up to these exciting events: head to Bahrain International Karting Circuit for a first-hand taste of all that excitement. The track resumed gokarting activities for the general public back in September, and has taken several measures to protect both its staff and guests. Slots are now available from 4pm to midnight on Sunday and Monday, and from 10am to midnight from Tuesday through Saturday. 22

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L: Lounges Come nighttime, a swanky outdoor lounge is still our preferred choice when it comes to catching up with friends. Now, in the absence of absurd levels of humidity, you should make a beeline for the beautiful Bushido terrace if delicious Japanese fare is what you're seeking. On a slightly higher altitude is rooftop lounge Alto, located on the 25th floor of Downtown Rotana and offering sweeping views of the Manama skyline alongside live music and an elevated snack menu. Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s, meanwhile, boasts a tropical twist. Here, well-heeled city types gather over tiki vibes, FrenchPolynesian dishes, performances by hula dancers, and – you guessed it – mai tai cocktails.

M: Bahrain Mangroves Tour A tour of the lush green mangroves in Tubli Bay is one that every resident should do at least once – it's a must on the Bahrain bucket list. This one-of-a-kind eco tour feels like a true escape, taking you away from the commotion of the city and introducing you to the aquatic plants and diverse wildlife of this protected ecosystem. Birdwatchers are also bound to enjoy the boat ride due to the sheer variety of resident and migratory birds spotted throughout. The tours were temporarily halted as a result of the pandemic at the time of writing, but the officials at Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority tell us that operation plans to safely resume are currently being studied.

N: Nature at Its Finest But Mother Nature has blessed Bahrain with so much more than the aforementioned mangroves. The historic Ain Adhari, once a natural spring, has countless tales to tell. Not only did people of all ages take a plunge to cool off during the scorching summers, but it was also a site of romance, reciting poetry, and even women tackling their bundles of laundry. It was recently given a facelift and reopened to the general public as Adhari Park, becoming a major tourist attraction in no time. Another spot if you're craving a connection with nature? Karzakan Forest. The height and density of the trees here is unexpected, to say the least, making it a popular place for impromptu photoshoots and early morning cycle rides. But if you're going to make the time to visit only one natural wonder, it has to be the Tree of Life. For over 400 years now, this 32foot mesquite tree has stood all by its lonesome in the barren desert with no water source in sight, making it an enigma to many – and a source of pride for Bahrain. 24

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O: Outdoor Dining There's no shortage of restaurants with outdoor terraces to choose from, but we'll always have a preference for nosh that comes out of the window of a food truck. And luckily for us, the vast offering of food trucks in Bahrain is now more organised than ever before. We often had to drive over to Estiqlal Avenue to get our fix, but now, there's only one destination that matters: The Food Trucks District. Running until November 22 at Bahrain National Stadium, this recently launched initiative by Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority is kind of genius – you can now access a whole host of food trucks alongside facilities such as restrooms and plenty of parking spaces with ease. We spotted the likes of Golden Shrimp, On The Fry, Doctor Food, Say Cheese, The Chemist, and countless others. Translation: head there hungry.

P: Parks Green spaces are dotted across the island, so parents with young children are always set when it comes to plans for Saturday afternoons, but some are better than others. Dohat Arad Park is popular amongst runners owing to its sizable paved paths, but all visitors are bound to appreciate its extras – read: fountains, restrooms, cafés, a play area, and that amazing lake. Budaiya Botanical Garden, meanwhile, earns a spot for its beautiful flowers, countless palm trees and cacti, and pergolas aplenty – all of which make it ideal for picnics. It also used to be the site of the annual farmers' market that runs from December to April. Only time will tell how the pandemic will impact this, but we've got our fingers crossed. If you're more inclined towards activities, think Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park. Spread across its 79,000 square metres are options like fishing, jet skiing, paddle boating, cycle renting, and arcade games. But what Vertical Garden lacks in size, it makes up for in innovation. This "living laboratory" at the entrance of Muharraq features more than 200 plant species, mostly from subtropical and desertic areas around the world and is the first of its kind in the region. Image: Courtesy of Patrick Blanc

Q: Culture Quest Bahrain's culture scene is constantly evolving, so there's always lots to explore. However, in the interest of sticking to our outdoor theme, we're thinking outside the box for this one – starting with Sheikh Isa Bin Ali House in Muharraq. It is known to be one of the most impressive examples of Gulf Islamic architecture in Bahrain, so you can appreciate its beauty without even stepping inside. Stroll around its multiple courtyards and walk up and down the various staircases to take in the carved wooden doors, ingenious wind towers, and perforated gypsum panels for insights into royal life circa 19th century. The west coast of Bahrain is where our next recommendation – Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre – resides. It is a haven of traditional arts and crafts, so you can pop in and out of the various rooms showcasing woodworking, basketry, boat building, pottery making, and more. Have a chat with the artisans here, they're always happy to answer any questions you may have. 26

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R: Religious Sites Bahrain's tolerance of all faiths is well-documented – and the proof is in the pudding. You'll cross paths with mosques, temples, and a synagogue in Manama alone. While you're there, visit the Shri Krishna Temple once it reopens, even if it's tricky to find at first. Not only was it built in 1817 – making it a whopping 203 years old – but it has also recently been renovated and decorated in the traditional Mewar style of art that originates in Rajasthan. Take a couple of moments to appreciate the colourful detailing before heading west to Al Khamis Mosque, which is even older! Its foundation dates back to the 11th century and was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, during which the twin minarets were added. Both are climbable, so pick one and brave the narrow circular staircase for views from the balcony.

S: Manama Souq

Image: Courtesy of Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities

Malls can wait now that cooler temperatures are here – a stroll through Manama Souq is part retail therapy, part cultural experience. For starters, the main entrance is the historic Bab Al Bahrain, taking you back in time as you browse shops specialising in everything from jewellery and antiques to calligraphy, traditional clothing, handpainted room dividers, embroidered poufs, perfumes, and more. It's not just kitschy souvenirs, we promise. We always take a few minutes to photograph the art installation inspired by the traditional Bahraini necklace martasha while we're in the area. Strategically located at the entrance of Manama Souq, it is composed of 20,000 gold-plated coins that are attached to sevenmetre strings suspended from the ceiling. Oh, and no trip to Manama Souq is complete with walking a couple of minutes over to the beloved Haji's Cafe, of course. Sitting on those bright-blue benches surrounded by vintage photos in a narrow alley, platters of delicious food in all directions, is still such an unadulterated joy.

T: Urban Trail You don't have to go looking for Muharraq's charm – it's there in spades, especially if you're guilty of Golden Age thinking. As for the best way to explore the neighbourhood? A walk down the Pearling Path. Scheduled for completion in 2021, this 3.5km trail snakes through the storied alleyways of Muharraq, rehabilitating this urban center of yesteryear while introducing contemporary infrastructure to match modern-day lifestyles. You can while away hours on this trail, especially if you're into street photography and coffee pitstops. Most people don't realise that Pearling Path includes 17 public squares that are dotted along the different neighbourhoods that the path crosses, with strategically placed lamp posts guiding visitors through the streets. For an optimum introduction and insights into Bahrain’s pearling era, start at the Pearling Path Visitor and Experience Centre, which sits at the entrance of Qayssareyah Suq and hosts rotating exhibits on pearling history alongside a café and an auditorium. Alternatively, you can begin at the trail's southern starting point, Bu Mahir Fort (from where boats used to set off for oyster beds) and its glass-walled visitor centre. fact magazine

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U: Underwater Adventures While you (eagerly) await updates on Dive Bahrain, there's plenty of companies that can help you explore new diving sites – think: Dive Vision, Scubalife, ScubaMaster, and more. Not only are excursions to Abu Thama reef incredibly popular, but night dives take this experience to the next level. Admittedly, it's intense at first, but many marine animals are nocturnal, so it's extra rewarding if you're hoping to spot the likes of zebra moray and yellow boxfish. We've even heard of a whale shark that swims annually through the area around the April mark. Another recommendation? Boom Wreck. Also located north of Bahrain, this site is 20 metres deep and more suited to experienced open-water divers as a sizable population of fish has adopted this 18-metre wooden wreck as home, making it a feeding ground for bigger, predatory fish such as barracuda.

V: Vantage Point Most residents turn to trendy rooftop bars for great views – we turn to Qal'at alBahrain, or Bahrain Fort as it is commonly known. Walk around this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you'll encounter plenty of vantage points while breathing in the wonderful salty air. On your left, you'll see the adjoining Karbabad Beach, which explains that aforementioned breeze. Straight ahead? An excavated coastal fortress dating back to the 3rd century AD, with the glistening city skyline rising above the horizon. The site is surrounded by groves of palm trees, which you'll notice on your right. There's no better place to get your daily steps in without stepping foot inside a gym.

W: Waterparks The indoor-outdoor Wahooo! Waterpark may have bid us farewell, but luckily, The Lost Paradise of Dilmun – Bahrain's biggest waterpark – is up and running. Not only does it have a whole host of safety measures in place, but the last few weeks have also entailed various bundle offers for families, guaranteeing both savings and peace of mind. Win-win. The waterpark is currently operating at a capacity of 30 percent and is open until 8pm, which means now's the time to invest in a membership package. After all, you can never tire of stepping into the capsule of the seven-storey Aqua Loop, knowing of the thrill that's imminent. Can't commit to a whole day out with the kids? Head to Waha Splashclub, a popular splash pad located in Amwaj. A word to the wise: between all that colourful lighting, it's even more appealing at night. 28

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X: X-Jetpacking We didn't think we'd find anything outdoors in Bahrain starting with the letter X, but then Extreme Sportz happened, introducing us to the adrenaline-packed X-Jetpack. This cutting-edge contraption features the latest hydro-flight technology, allowing the wearer to soar high above the surface of the water – up to 10 metres to be specific – with a maximum forward speed of 40kph. It's arguably the closest you'll ever come to taking flight, so relish the experience and practice those twists and turns before your 30-minute session is up. And when you're ready to dismount, all you have to do is dive into the water. Another claim to fame for Extreme Sportz? It's the only water sports company in Bahrain to offer parasailing. One, two, or three flyers at a time are welcome.

Y: Yoga with a Twist You've done the natarajasana, virabhadrasana, and trikonasana countless times on a mat in a yoga studio – now it's time for an upgrade. Beach Culture, which offers activities like kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, and surfing, lands a spot in our cover story for its SUP yoga sessions. Not only will this version of yoga challenge your stability as you'll perform hatha and vinyasa poses while stand up paddleboarding, but it's also incredibly fun. And if it helps, the classes take place in calm bodies of water, such as Bahrain Bay. The scenic surroundings and encouraging instructors are just the proverbial cherry on top.

Z: Zoos Ask just about any parent in Bahrain, and they'll tell you they've never felt the need to track down a zoo in the conventional sense of the word – the island is home to several conservation projects, with Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve promising great value for money. Spread across seven square kilometers, it's home to endangered species like Arabian leopard, reem gazelle, ostrich, oryx, and many more. We're also told that 82 different bird species and 25 plant species coexist in harmony on these grounds. For something a little more niche in nature, the Royal Camel Farm in Janabiyah is beloved by residents and tourists alike. Literally hundreds of camels reside at this working farm that is free to enter and open daily from sunrise to sunset. They're awkward, they're relentlessly photogenic, and they deserve a visit at least once – do it for the gram? ✤ fact magazine

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• ARTS & CULTURE

SLICE OF

Hold On

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ARTS & CULTURE •

(THIS) LIFE

Zainab Al Sabba - Black string on canvas - 60x50x4cm

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• ARTS & CULTURE

Complicated, challenging, utterly unprecedented – everything about 2020 has left the human race facing uncertainty and feeling socially isolated, and reflecting these dynamics is The Great Lockdown Exhibition at Bin Matar House, Shaikh Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research. But let’s backtrack.

Back in July, when Shaikh Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research called on Bahrain-based artists to submit artworks created during the recent lockdown for display at The Great Lockdown Exhibition, the FACT team knew this was something worth keeping an eye on – and we were right. Of the over 100 submissions, 40 artists were selected, with mediums ranging from photography and mixed media to installation, sculpture, print, and painting. Today, there are close to 80 artworks on display, many by recognisable names like Camille Zakaria, Hala Al Khalifa, Hisham Sharif, Ishaq Madan, and more. Oh, and a sneak peek awaits on the pages ahead. As for themes recurring most frequently in the artworks submitted? “Artists submitted a wide variety of subjects in a range of media from abstract to figurative works, contemplative to direct commentary on the current COVID-19 situation. Themes of hope mix with the despair of isolation,” explains Director of Art and Exhibitions Programming Melissa EndersBhatia, who curated the exhibition remotely from her home office in Singapore. “This is sometimes met with humour, which can heal and relieve like no other emotion – as is the case in Bananas by Khalid Al Abbas, for example.” Melissa tells FACT that the most prominent theme is that of social isolation due to the pandemic. “This is reflected in the likes of Time Will Tell by Ishaq Madan and Metamorphosis by Ria Torrente. Still lifes and delicate artworks featuring elements of nature seem to reflect a time spent reconnecting to more solitary spaces of both the home and the natural world. Areej Rajab and Noor Al Saraifi’s beautiful abstract paintings, meanwhile, start the exhibition on a note of hope.” Because he who has hope has everything, right? ✤ 32

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Grotesque Hala Al Khalifa - Oil on canvas - 300x100cm


ARTS & CULTURE •

Planning

Cycle of Life

Jaffar AlOraibi - Mixed media on paper - 94.5x150cm

Aysha Hafuz - Stone - 60x36cm

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• ARTS & CULTURE

#Dear Diary Asma Murad Fine art paper 30.5x21.5cm

Stay Home, Stay Safe Ishaq Madan Fine art print on paper 52x42cm 34

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Manifestation

Hisham Sharif - Acrylic and Charcoal on Paper - 42x30cm

Metamorphosis (A Portrait of A Solitary Woman)

Ria Torrente - Photographic print on archival paper - 50x25cm

The Great Lockdow n Exhibit ion will run until January 31, 2021. fact magazine

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• ENTERTAINMENT

BIG SCREEN Emily in Paris Need to Know

A 20-something from Chicago is hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing company in Paris.

Creator: Darren Star Cast: Lily Collins, Lucas Bravo, Ashley Park, Camille Razat, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu

Why is It Worth Watching?

Culture shock ensues as the ambitious millennial navigates working and dating in the City of Lights.

The Cabin with Bert Kreischer Need to Know

A fat, hairy, fast-living comic heads for a cabin in his quest for wellness, famous friends in town.

Director: Jeff Tomsic Cast: Bert Kreischer

Escape to the cobblestone streets of the French capital with Emily in Paris, a new comedy-drama created by Darren Star of Sex and the City fame. The Netflix original follows Emily Cooper, a marketing exec from Chicago, whose job takes her to – you guessed it – Paris. Culture shock ensues as the ambitious millennial navigates working and dating in the City of Lights. Not only does she speak zero French upon her arrival, but she’s also a budding influencer who constantly commits faux pas, making the show the pop culture equivalent of comfort food. It’s frivolous, devoid of any real conflict, accented with colourful supporting characters (like nanny and fellow expat Mindy Chen), and rife with wonderfully OTT outfits. Oh, and on that note: Patricia Field, who famously dressed the four leading ladies of Sex and the City, is the Costume Designer for the show. Translation: all 10 episodes are brimming with memorable fashion moments.

Why is It Worth Watching?

Look around. The world can use a little mindless, light-hearted entertainment and Bert Kreischer is bringing it. The beloved comedian is known for his standup specials, but this time around, he’s headed for the great outdoors – and we’re invited. The Cabin with Bert Kreischer, another Netflix original, is a five-episode docuseries that chronicles Bert’s attempts to recharge his batteries and cleanse his body, mind, and soul. But don’t expect his purifying retreat to look anything like the Goop universe. Instead, you’ll see him accompanied by the likes of Caitlyn Jenner, Kaley Cuoco, and Anthony Anderson as they throw axes, smoke cigars in a hot tub, milk goats, and even experiment with bizarre therapy techniques – all in the name of wellness, of course. 36

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• ENTERTAINMENT

ON THE RECORD

FULLY BOOKED

SUSPENSE, THRILLER

Don't Look for Me

ROCK

R&B

2020 By Bon Jovi

The Rarities By Mariah Carey

It took a couple of months longer than expected – 2020 was initially set for release in May – but the 15th studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi is here. Its simple name is an apt one, as it is a musical reflection of our times and its many challenges. "American Reckoning", for example, mourns the tragic death of George Floyd through lyrics like, "When did a judge and a jury become a badge and a knee on these streets?" Other songs, meanwhile, are more personal in nature. Frontman Jon Bon Jovi was inspired to write the twangy "Do What You Can" after volunteering at the soup kitchen of his charity organisation, Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The song, rife with messages of hope and resilience, examines life during the pandemic – cancelled graduations, closed borders, and all. Fans have been quick to point out that Richie Sambora's absence means Bon Jovi will never produce the type of classic rock hits that put it on the map, but the events of the past few months have certainly paved the way for a more earnest, grown-up version of Jon Bon Jovi in 2020, and that's okay too.

B-sides, fan favourites, rare songs, unreleased gems – they're all here and they're all hand-picked by Mariah Carey herself. The 8th compilation album by the singer-songwriter forms part of the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of her self-titled debut studio album – Mariah Carey (1990) – and coincides with the release of her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Unfortunately, there's no material from the alternative rock album she recorded in 1995, but a real treat awaits in the second disc that contains the never-before-released full length audio from Mariah's first concert performance in Japan in support of her Daydream World Tour in 1996. Not only is The Rarities a closer look at the popstar's evolution from syrupy to sophisticated, but it's primarily a nostalgic trip down memory lane for her devotees, especially when live renditions of her hits like "Hero", "One Sweet Day", and "All I Want For Christmas Is You" kick in. Bonus: there’s an extensive booklet that contains 24 pages with lyrics and photos, some of which have never been seen before.

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By Wendy Walker The car abandoned miles from home, the note found at a nearby hotel, the shattered family – it happens all the time. Women disappear, desperate to start over. They said she walked away, but what really happened to Molly Clarke? From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes the compelling story of Nicole, a daughter desperately searching for her mother before it's too late. A new lead takes her to the small, desolate town where her mother was last seen and the locals are sympathetic and eager to help until secrets begin to reveal themselves. With time, Nicole comes closer to the truth – both about that night and the danger surrounding her.

NON-FICTION

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World By Fareed Zakaria You’d be hard-pressed to find a more timely book for circa now. Through its 320 pages, CNN host and bestselling author Fareed Zakaria predicts the nature of a post-pandemic world: the social, political, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. Organised as 10 surprising yet hopeful 'lessons', he writes about the acceleration of natural and biological risks, the rise of a life lived digitally, and the future of globalisation – all while referring to COVID-19 as “nature’s revenge”. Admittedly, some of his insights feel premature, but this book is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early 21 century.


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• PLUGGED IN

APP-L ICIOUS What’s on the smartphone agenda for November?

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Pocket

Remente

It’s happened more times than we can count: a friend recommends a fascinating article just as you’re prepping dinner, getting behind the wheel, or boarding a flight. Enter: Pocket. The app, as its name implies, allows you to manage your reading list of articles (and even videos) from the internet by placing them into a ‘pocket’ until you’re ready. It’s also perfect for when that dreaded sense of information overload kicks in as Pocket allows you to curate your account with only the topics you’re interested in. Yes, there’s a free version, but we say splurge a little for Pocket Premium – not only does it remove ads and provide users with advanced search options, but it also makes a permanent back-up of any articles you save.

As we continue to remain physically and socially isolated for the most part, now’s the time for self-improvement and personal development, which is why Remente earns a spot on this page. An advocate of small actions (think: watch a new TED Talk, meditate for 10 minutes, do laundry) taken on a daily basis leading to life-changing behaviours, this is an app that screams ‘practical’. An on-the-go life coach of sorts, it has been designed to help users not only set goals, but also reach them. A mood tracker, meanwhile, prompts you to explore how you feel and figure out what is causing it – good or bad. Elsewhere, you can track your progress, plan your day, access tools and courses on mental well-being, and more.

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• PLUGGED IN

WISH, WANT, NEED The run-up to the festive season always brings with it the most exciting gadget drops of the year – and 2020 is no exception, pandemic and all. Bang & Olufsen

Foreo

Beoremote Halo Leave it to Bang & Olufsen to seriously upgrade how you access all your favourite tunes by way of its recently introduced Beoremote Halo – it offers the ability to play music, podcasts, and internet radio stations with a single touch. With its timeless design, the Beoremote Halo is a unique addition to Bang & Olufsen’s portfolio of high-end loudspeakers, and the product is as much a highly functional remote control as it is a sculptural object. When approaching the device, the display screen illuminates, allowing users to choose their musical preferences with a single tap of the finger. At the same time, the solid aluminium ring provides subtle haptic feedback as the volume is raised or lowered.

UFO 2 Take power masking to the next level with the incredibly luxurious UFO 2, another ground-breaking innovation from Swedish skin-tech company FOREO. The newest generation of UFO debuts full-spectrum LED light, in-app customisable skincare routines, and advanced thermotherapy. The combination of thermotherapy (heating), cryotherapy (cooling), and T-sonic pulsations work together to boost the effects of each face mask while offering more resonant dermal absorption and a gentle facial massage, providing visible results instantly. Eight coloured LED lights have different qualities that expertly activate key ingredients within individual masks and prepare a dedicated and customised treatment. The UFO 2 pairs exclusively with UFO Power Activated Masks, creating a union of cutting-edge technology and nurturing natural ingredients for the ultimate at-home spa experience.

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PLUGGED IN •

Oppo

Huawei

Enco W51 And speaking of Oppo and its exciting product launches, the Enco W51 debuts hybrid active noise cancellation, wireless charging, and an audio quality compensation algorithm. You can use these use wireless headphones to create a personal space to enjoy undisturbed sounds with a double breakthrough in noise cancellation on both phone calls and listening to music. Designed to be completely intuitive – like a natural extension of the user’s body – double or triple taps on the earphones allow the user to toggle noise reduction, go to the next song, hang up the phone, or wake up the voice assistant. Wireless charging of the earphone box and earphones, meanwhile, provides a total battery life of up to 24 hours. Bonus: these trendy headphones are available in two unique colours, floral white and starry blue.

Watch Fit Part smartwatch, part fitness tracker, Huawei’s first-ever smart wearable with a rectangular face encourages wearers to get up and get moving. The Watch Fit also offers unrivalled style, so you’ll never want to take it off your wrist. Noteworthy is the fact that it continues Huawei Watch’s long battery life while also achieving breakthroughs in many areas – read: ultra-slim bezels, a large HD screen, and a lightweight body design to result in a stunning finish and extremely comfortable wearing experience. The smartwatch also boasts 12 animated fitness courses, 96 workout modes, and scientific health-tracking features including SpO2, heart rate, sleep quality, stress level, and more, allowing users to improve their quality of life.

Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G A pioneer of 5G videophone technology, the Reno4 Pro 5G by Oppo brings industry-leading innovations in night photography and videography. The Reno4 Series pushes the boundaries of industrial design by packing a powerhouse of components into a slim and sleek design. Weighing in at just 172 grams, the Reno4 Pro 5G is only 7.6mm thick and features a 90Hz 3D curved screen to elevate its premium look and feel. Inspired by the tranquillity of nature, the Reno4 Pro 5G is available in two sleek colours: galactic blue and space black. It features an AI-enhanced Smart Sensor to perform functions like Smart Spying Prevention, Smart AirControl, Smart Rotation, and Smart Always-on Display. Better yet, the phone is equipped with a 65W SuperVOOC Flash Charger. Translation: just five minutes of charging provides four hours of YouTube screen time, while 36 minutes guarantees a full charge. fact magazine

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• ISLAND RIDES

MEET: THE 2021 MERCEDES-BENZ GLA Mercedes-Benz introduces yet another impressive SUV to the market.

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ISLAND RIDES •

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• ISLAND RIDES

T

here is good reason why the Mercedes-Benz brand is synonymous with wealth and prestige, and why its logo is one of the most recognised symbols on the planet. This is due to the fact that the German marque has been producing exceptional motor vehicles for over 130 years, with the consistent quality of its work ensuring ongoing success. We at Fact magazine never turn down the opportunity to test drive a new Mercedes model, so when our friends at Al Haddad Motors offered us the chance to experience the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA, we wasted no time in getting behind the wheel. What we noticed first about the GLA was its commanding presence, provided by a solid stance and powerful proportions. The powerdomes of this SUV’s shapely bonnet ensure a more dynamic appearance and add to the overall pleasing nature of the aesthetic. The radiator grille features distinctive openings along with a single louvre and a central star. The headlamps add another touch of class to the front end, finished with a high level of detail and precision. The flanks are underscored by the robust shoulders of the vehicle along with the coupé-esque lines of the side windows, whilst the 19-inch, 10-spoke, light-alloy wheels hint at its performance capabilities. The rear end, meanwhile, features tail lights that are in two parts, with the reflectors positioned separately in the bumper. The all-round protective cladding adds structure to the general proportions of the GLA and emphasises its off-road character, as does the simulated underride guard at both the front and back ends. Once inside the cabin, the interior proves to be as impressive as the exterior. As one would expect from a Mercedes-Benz, all of the materials used are of the highest quality, and it is obvious that a great deal of time has been spent on the finer details. The 2021 GLA feels more spacious than its predecessor, despite this model being slightly shorter in length. Both the driver and front passenger seats have been raised to a perfect height, giving you a commanding view of the roads. These comfort seats complete with four-way lumbar support will ensure you feel relaxed throughout your journey. In fact, no matter where you sit in the new GLA, you will get to enjoy an abundance of space and luxury. And speaking of space, it continues into the luggage compartment that includes a height-adjustable load floor as standard. This large cargo area can be greatly increased when the back row of seats is moved forward and/or folded down. The 2021 GLA has included, as standard, the intuitively operated MBUX infotainment system. This system can be activated via voice control simply by using the words, “Hey, Mercedes.” MBUX can be individually configured with a range of outstanding options. Key components of this system include the powerful computer complete with brilliant screens and graphics, large high resolution media display (10.25 inches) networks you with the car. It has touch sensitive screen. Media display and expanded instrument display combine to create a widescreen cockpit. Customisable presentation, learning software, and navigation with augmented reality. We find it both extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate. Thoroughly impressed with both the interior and exterior, it’s time to engage the ignition. The new GLA houses a four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 163 hp at 5500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 46

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1620-4000 rpm. It can accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and has a top speed of 210 km/h. This model proves to be one smooth ride, one that we always feel completely in control of thanks to the responsive steering, superb traction control, and effective braking system. To add to the impressive capabilities of this vehicle, the GLA has driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support. The latest functions of the Driving Assistance Package include the exit warning function, the cornering function, the emergency lane function as well as a warning when pedestrians are detected in the area of zebra crossings. Other optional extras include Active Distance Assist, Active Steer Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, and Active Blind Spot Assist. All of these features go a long way in ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones – as well as all those around you. To say we’re impressed by everything the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA has to offer is an understatement, so we highly recommend this vehicle to anyone in the market for a new luxury SUV. Call Al-Haddad Motors on 1778 5454 to book a first-class test drive of your very own. ✤


“

The elegant yet powerful presence of this 2 Series Gran CoupĂŠ flows from the front to the flanks in a seamless fashion, revealing a crisp and clean side profile.

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• ISLAND RIDES

CONTACT AL HADDAD MOTORS ON 1778 5454 FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK A TEST DRIVE. 48

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THE LONGER YOU RENT THE MORE YOU SAVE

SPEED! Daily/Weekly/Monthly Low rate packages are available across our range of Sedan to SUV vehicles.

Call Now: 3500 5715

Saar: 17795300 Amwaj: 16010131 Fax: 17564878 fact magazine 49 nishanth@nansgroup.com


• MOTORING NEWS

TWO OF A KIND THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW MERCEDES-BENZ MODEL IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION, BUT THE ARRIVAL OF TWO? EVEN BETTER.

Whether it's the all-new E-Class or GLA you’re coveting, there's only one address that matters: Al Haddad Motors, the sole authorised general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Bahrain. Both 2021 models are here, leaving Mercedes-Benz loyalists spoilt for choice. Sportier and more intelligent than its predecessors, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan is the first of the thoroughly updated models in the E-Class series, its features more dynamic in design. For the uninitiated: the E-Class is the best-selling series in the German brand’s history, with over 14 million models delivered since 1946. Today, the enhanced dynamics are reflected in the range: the entry-level model already comes with the sporty Avantgarde Line exterior. As a result, the base model of the E Class features a central star at the front for the first time. The redesigned AMG Line with a new bumper in the style of the AMG Performance models looks even sportier. In addition, the Avantgarde and AMG Lines will feature a bonnet with power domes as standard. The new E-Class sedan features all-LED headlamps as standard. The wheel line-up has also been expanded and now includes aero wheels, which also contribute to saving fuel and thus to sustainability. It’s also equipped with the latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system. The information in the instrument cluster and on the media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. So let’s talk safety. The new model comes with Active Brake Assist, which is able to use autonomous braking 50

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to prevent a collision or mitigate its severity. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds and even prevent collisions, depending on the situation. The 2021 GLA, meanwhile, is the eighth model to join the lineup and rounds off the current compact-car generation from Mercedes-Benz. With powerful proportions and a redesigned interior, it’s both compact and functional – and designed for those with bigger plans. The progressive design gives the vehicle a sense of dynamics and elegance, further boosted by the emphasis on surfaces. As for aesthetics? The high-resolution media display and expanded instrument display combine to create a Widescreen Cockpit. The new GLA is also equipped with MBUX, connecting you with your digital world with ease. The adaptive multibeam LED headlamps found on the new model employ individually controllable LEDs to react to the given traffic situation. Partial main beam masks out other road users without blinding them, and the cornering active light functions optimally illuminate the field of vision so that you can detect hazards sooner. And making the choice between the two new models even harder, the new GLA also boasts both the Active Parking Assist and Active Brake Assist. Win-win. ✤ WWW.ALHADDADMOTOR.COM


MOTORING NEWS •

SMOOTH SAILING PERFORMANCE CAR AFICIONADOS ARE IN FOR A TREAT – HERE’S WHY. Soul, speed, safety, substance – it's all here, and it's all neatly packaged in the first-ever luxury LC 500 Convertible that has just landed at Ebrahim K. Kanoo, the sole distributor of Lexus vehicles in Bahrain. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, it joins the existing coupe as an aspirational halo model for the Lexus range. The naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine delivers a truly visceral 471HP driving experience, coupled with a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift Automatic Transmission with AI-SHIFT Control. Considerably lighter than its predecessor, the LC 500 utilises the Japanese brand's new global architecture for luxury vehicles, lowering the centre of gravity in the chassis and synchronising front-engine/rear-wheel for safety. "It embodies everything the Bahrain market expects from Lexus, from its exceptional identity and next-level performance to its unbeatable reliability and our signature after-sales treatment,” says Isa Mohamed Kanoo, Director of Ebrahim K. Kanoo, of the new model. The interior body structure has optimal placement and shape of braces to yield high dynamic performance faithful to the driver's intentions. To further enhance the driving experience,

the convertible comes equipped with a transparent wind deflector that effectively cuts out noise from the outside, supporting the quiet comfort that is part of the Lexus DNA. And as is the case with all Lexus models, safety is key – the new model boasts the Lexus Safety System+ that includes Pre-Crash Safety System, Lane Keeping Assist, Automatic High Beam, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. ✤ HTTPS://LEXUS.COM.BH/

LEVEL UP THE NEW ZST STANDS AT THE HEART OF AN ENHANCED CROSSOVER LINE-UP FROM MG MOTOR. The introduction of a punchy new Turbo model is at the heart of the Middle East launch of the latest generation of MG Motor’s popular ZS crossover. The new MG ZST model will be joined by a 1.5L version as the British-born manufacturer upgrades its line-up to offer a fresh new look and even higher levels of equipment and value for money. Offering premium style without the premium price tag, the first-generation MG ZS has played a major role in the company’s success across the region. The new ZS range – the ZST in particular – takes this offering to a new high. The ZST is equipped with a 160 hp, 1.3L Turbo engine, delivering maximum torque of 230 Nm, and mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox for smoother acceleration. A key MG selling point is the availability of features that are generally found in premium cars, yet at no extra cost. The new MG ZS is no different – all trims come equipped as standard with a rear parking sensor and camera, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen with CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, rear air conditioning vents, keyless entry, an electric parking brake, and push button start. The MG ZST takes this value-formoney package on to another level, adding a state-of-the-art virtual instrument panel for the driver, a 360-degree surround

parking camera that eliminates all blind spots, curtain airbags for extra safety, and a Trophy Sports Kit that emphasises the new model’s sporty credentials. It is now available for sale. ✤ WWW.ZMOTORS.COM fact magazine

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• 5 OVER 5

In Conversation with… Kirti Anchan

Always interested in an outsider’s perspective, we take five minutes to ask Kirti Anchan – the recently appointed General Manager of Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain – five questions about first impressions, the future of hospitality, and more. 52

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5 OVER 5 •

Welcome to Bahrain! Tell us about your first impressions. So far, what's the single biggest difference you've observed between the island and your previous hometown of Dubai? Bahrain is a very family-friendly destination. You immediately feel welcome and part of a community. The local culture is very present, it makes you want to meet and mingle with Bahraini people and discover their traditions. We were told that people either really love Bahrain or do not like it – well, we love it already. What spots have you discovered that you'd recommend to tourists? Well, everything is still closed, but I’m very much looking forward to visiting Qal'at al- Bahrain when it opens as well as Adliya by night. I would also definitely recommend the old souk of Manama. We spotted a public beach due to reopen near Al Areen Wildlife Park, which is also next on our to-do list. We will also soon explore the ocean with pearl diving, fishing trips, and – of course – the famous Jarada Island. I’ve heard a lot about the annual Spring of Culture festival as well, and I’m definitely very excited to attend events in different venues around Bahrain. The theme of our October issue is being outdoors in Bahrain. One glance at your Instagram account reveals you're a runner. Have you discovered any running trails or areas in Bahrain yet? What other outdoor activities do you enjoy? I have yet to find my favourite running spot, but I’m currently running around Seef. I have heard a lot about the Bahrain Road

Runners group and will be connecting with them to explore more. I see many people running and exercising outside, which is amazing in this country. I am certain I will enjoy exploring the outdoor activities Bahrain that has to offer. It's been a tough year for most, but hotels have been hit especially hard. How do you envision the future of the hospitality industry? This year has been unique and a lesson for us all. For us hoteliers, we are mentally strong, and we tend to train ourselves to maintain a positive mindset. To move forward, we need to think outside the box and come up with creative strategies to enhance the guest experience while respecting all the mandatory safety guidelines. We believe that everything has an end, and we shall recover soon to come back stronger than ever. What lessons – both personal and professional – will you take into the new year as a result of the past few months? I believe that nothing should be taken for granted – starting with our health. We have understood that our world may change any time, and things may get out of our hands. The situation has allowed me to spend more time with my family and some close friends in the last few months. I have learned to value each day and appreciate every moment as it comes since things can change very quickly. Despite the circumstances, I’m very grateful for what we have. ✤ fact magazine

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WHAT JUST HAPPENED? WE WENT FROM LONG, CAREFREE BRUNCHES AND L ATE-NIGHT STOPS AT OUR FAVOURITE FOOD TRUCKS TO RELYING ON TAKEAWAYS AND HOME DELIVERY IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE DURING MOST OF 2020. NOW, AS WE GEAR UP TO HOST THE 11TH EDITION OF THE ANNUAL FACT DINING AWARDS BAHRAIN, WE’RE HONOURING NOT JUST THE BEST IN THE CULINARY GAME, BUT ALSO THE UNSUNG HEROES THAT KEPT US GOING.

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HAVE YOU CAST YOUR VOTE YET?

HOW IT WORKS:

l FAVOURITE is decided through online public voting, which is

l This year’s edition features over 300 nominees…..

l A total of 94 awards will be given out, two of which will

l There are two winners in each category: BEST and FAVOURITE. l BEST is decided by an anonymous panel of judges made up of industry experts, reputed bloggers and the editorial team.

open as we speak. celebrate overall BEST and overall FAVOURITE. l FACT Dining Awards is part of a wider initiative by FACT M.E. with annual ceremonies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE NOMINEES! VOTE NOW ON WWW.FACT-MAGAZINE.COM. fact magazine

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• ON THE MENU

SPICE MAKES NICE

What happens when you bring the best of two award-winning Asian restaurants together? Read on. 56

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aha Chai Road is a magical place in Bangkok. Between the beloved pad thai at Thipsamai and legendary crab omelette at Michelinstarred Raan Jay Fai, it's a humble street crammed with culinary gems. But hopping on a nearly seven-hour flight to Bangkok for a couple of great meals in these circumstances isn't exactly appealing, is it? It's no wonder, then, that we're loyal patrons of the awardwinning Royal Thai. But this restaurant isn't the only eatery at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain boasting multiple accolades. China Garden, which brings a taste of Mainland China to diners across the island, is located a mere paces away. Translation: if you have an affinity for Asian cuisine, this is a tough choice to make – or so we thought. The experts at The Gulf Hotel put their thinking caps on when the events of 2020 made dining out more complicated than ever before, combining the most popular dishes across both menus in one scenic venue. The FACT team arrives for lunch, starving and giddy with excitement over the prospect of indulging in a feast rife with fragrant herbs, potent spices, fresh vegetables, and even fresher seafood. But despite us returning to Royal Thai for the umpteenth time, we still pause to take in our zen-like surroundings. The pagoda-style building that houses this Thai restaurant is surrounded by lush foliage, sprawling lawns, soothing birdsong, and even a

koi pond. Stand in the gazebo long enough and you'll forget you're in Bahrain. Honest. Alternating between Thai and Chinese dishes, we start on a familiar note – prawn crackers with dip – but are pleasantly surprised to be served a little bowl of kimchi on the side. Gut health boost? Check. Next comes the creamy Tom Yum Koong generously accented with giant Arabian prawns. This is certainly not the type of soup where you have to go looking for them. It also takes us no time to see that Royal Thai still does things with style. You know how Som Tam Koong is just a papaya salad at most places? Well, here it's a spectacle. Yours will be prepared tableside to your liking, spice level and all. We even spot a couple of traditional dolls on the chef's trolley as she pounds the ingredients together! Another highlight comes courtesy of China Garden: the shockingly tender Roasted Beijing Duck, complete with Chinese pancakes and fixings of your choice. As for the reason behind that texture? A secret, signature five-spice blend whipped up by Chef Ding. We continue to up our calorie intake by trying both the Thai Khao Hohn Koong (fresh spring rolls) and Sichuan Chili Baby Corn, but neither appetiser feels heavy or overwhelming. That's the thing about most Asian dishes – all that flavour never results in feeling uncomfortably full. Other winners in the appetisers section? The Shrimp Siu Mai for pescatarians, the Beef Dumplings for meat-eaters. We're tempted to order fact magazine

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• CULINARY SPOTLIGHT a second round of dim sum, but clearly, it's time to move on to the mains. Ordering a curry at a Thai restaurant practically feels obligatory at this point, so we go with the Gaeng Kiew Wan Kai (or green curry with chicken). If you expect this dish to be creamy and comforting, you won't be disappointed. We aren't. We carry on with a couple of Chinese mains, but it's the Crispy Beef that we have to rave about. Is it the perfectly balanced sweet-chilli sauce or that smattering of sesame seeds and crunchy bell peppers that makes it so good? We'll never know. What we do know is that it paves the way perfectly for dessert. All those spices have our taste buds calling out (well, screaming) for something sweet, but we can't quite decide between the Toffee Banana and Khao Neow Mamuang. So we get both. The former pairs sticky, gooey, caramelised bananas with vanilla ice cream, while the latter is an authentic dessert found in every nook and cranny of Thailand – including Suvarnabhumi Airport, where tourists seek one last fix before heading out of Bangkok. We suggest you pick based on how much room you have left for dessert. But let's just be honest here: when has mango with sticky rice ever been a bad idea? ✤

GO: CALL 1771 3000 FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE DETAILS.

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CULINARY SPOTLIGHT •

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• FOODIE CORNER

LET'S MEAT?

Sometimes, all you want to do is dine on premium cuts of meats dressed in jeans and a tee. And luckily for you, The Fat Cow knows what’s up. 60

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FOODIE CORNER •

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• FOODIE CORNER

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raffic, family woes, a pile of bills, a boss from hell – you'll be amazed how many things manage to justify that calories-don't-count-today mindset. And on those days, there's only one address on the island that matters: The Fat Cow. Whether it's the Budaiya Highway or Juffair outpost in question, this is carnivore central, hands down. The FACT team takes a seat amidst a diverse array of dining companions – Rocky Balboa, Dwight Schrute, and The Terminator included – and braces itself for the feast ahead. We're handed a rather hefty menu, and quickly realise this restaurant isn't just gigantic portions of comfort food. Yes, size matters at The Fat Cow, but an even bigger emphasis is placed on the ingredients used. Case in point: There's a Wagyu burger on the menu, the risotto is paired with wild mushrooms and premium fillet steak, a lobster tail accompanies your steak when you opt for the surf and turf add-on, and premium toppings include the likes of button mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and beef bacon jam. The idea is to dine on high-quality meats without the stuffy, uptight ambiance of your typical steakhouse. Win-win. We warm up for our beef extravaganza with the type of cheesy, deep-fried appetisers that take us straight back to our college days – think: onion rings, tater tots, and mozzarella sticks. Not content with ordering a plain old cheeseburger, we go for both extremes on the size spectrum: the twice-as-nice Double Bacon Cheese Burger (double patty, double bacon, double cheese) and the bite-sized Baby Moo sliders (complete with the special homemade moo sauce). But these popular burgers pale in comparison to the Tomahawk and its downright commanding presence. Served with two sides and two sauces, it's essentially a ribeye steak cut with over five inches of rib bone left intact. This long bone is frenched (trimmed of meat and fat), leaving a ‘handle’ on the meat that looks like a Native American's tomahawk. Hence the name. Continuing on this culinary journey of quality cuts, we order the Bone Marrow without even giving it a second thought. Not only is bone marrow the OG brain food as it's that flexible tissue found in the interior of bones, but it's also considered a delicacy in this day and age – and The Fat Cow is one of the few places in Bahrain to serve said delicacy. Here, you'll be served 650 grams of roasted bone marrow that has been spiced to perfection using garlic and parsley. As for its many health-boosting properties? Just the proverbial cherry on top. Elsewhere on the menu, there's even more in the steaks section to choose from: Ribeye, Striploin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Fillet Mignon, and more. But if all this meat talk is alienating the herbivores amongst us, fret not. Vegetarians aren't exactly the guest equivalent of a red-headed stepchild at The Fat Cow (despite appearances). The Cheesy Broccoli soup is rich, creamy, and soothing – and a must-order for vegetarians. You'll want to use the thickly sliced toasted bread on the side to soak up every last drop. The Classic Caesar Salad, meanwhile, is elevated through black olives and a homemade dressing. Oh, and while we're talking vegetables: the FACT team unanimously agrees that the best potato wedges here are the best on the island. They’re one of eight different types of fries on the menu. Eight. We counted. 62

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Naturally, this level of carb overload leaves us parched and we discover that, like the kitschy and colourful wall décor circa 1990s, even the beverages come with a retro twist. Old-fashioned ice cream floats accompany fizzy thirst-quenchers like Cherry Coke, IBC Root Beer, and Dr Pepper. For something a little heartier (because why not), it's the towering milkshakes in unexpected flavours like Toasted Marshmallow & Graham Cracker and Froot Loops that are worthy of a mention. Our advice: linger over your drink with one of the wooden trays on which your appetisers were served – bet you never noticed that carved chart of beef cuts, did you? ✤


FOODIE CORNER •

GO: CALL 7756 0560 FOR THE BUDAIYA HIGHWAY OUTPOST, AND 1717 9793 FOR THE JUFFAIR OUTPOST fact magazine

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• NEW IN TOWN

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NEW IN TOWN •

TAPAS FTW Be they hot or cold, Spanish tapas have made their way into the hearts of foodies everywhere – and the neighbourhood of Seef. Enter: Salero.

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• NEW IN TOWN

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hey say "too many cooks spoil the broth", but this couldn't be further from the truth at Salero, a trendy new Spanish restaurant located at The Westin City Centre Bahrain in Seef – putting Adliya to shame in the process. One of the few places in town serving the likes of paella and patatas bravas, it is rooted in tradition and authenticity. Chef Jordi Bataller, who hails from Andalusia and delved deep into his mother's recipes and grandmother's cooking techniques as a child, spearheaded the menu. And executing his creations is Chef Juan Luis Pérez Moeremans, who also refers to the south of Spain as home. To say Juan has gastronomy in his DNA would be an understatement. Born to a Spanish father and Belgian mother, he spent his childhood in the kitchens of his family's restaurants, alternating between Marbella and Brussels – and learning plenty along the way. So what do their collective talents translate into for you, the diner? A menu rife with options big and small, savoury and sweet. We start on a light note with nibbles that both whet our appetites and leave us reminiscing about those long, carefree lunches on the sidewalks of Barcelona. First comes the Pan con Tomate, a classic Catalan appetiser that comes with a ritual of its own. In a case of 'when in Rome', you're supposed to rub the toasted bread with a glove of garlic, drizzle some of the freshly grated tomato, and end with a pinch of sea salt for crunch and texture. It paves the way nicely for the Gazpacho Andaluz, a cold and refreshing tomato soup we'll welcome when those scorching summer temperatures return. Next, we opt for a salad made a little more substantial with goat cheese, but it's the contrast of flavours that really adds to its appeal. Not only is the cheese caramelised, but its saltiness is dialled back by the sweetness of the candied fruit scattered throughout. But if hot tapas is what you're seeking, we suggest the Berenjenas con Miel y Salmorejo, which pairs slices of fried eggplant with a creamy, ever-so-slightly-sweet dip. Unsurprisingly, it's a hit with our vegetarian dining companions. We also order a portion of croquettes. After all, it feels like sacrilege to be seated in a Spanish restaurant without these little breadcrumb-coated bites on the table. And to our delight, Salero does two versions: one with chicken, another with truffle and wild mushrooms. Admittedly, they're long forgotten when the sizzling Paella de Marisco, or seafood paella, arrives. Cue the collective "oohs" and "ahhs" as we're greeted by a decadent spread of prawns, cuttlefish, clams, mussels, and more, all tossed in perfectly seasoned bomba rice. It's times like these we’re glad we live on an island. A word to the wise: the kitchen here has an open-plan layout, so watch the chefs in action as the paella is prepared. It's cooked over an open fire, the leaping flames theatrically lighting up the surroundings for a split second. But the feast doesn't end there. Eager to impress the carnivores amidst us is the Costillas de Vacuno Braseadas, or braised beef ribs served with curled potatoes. We ask Chef Juan the secret behind that melt-in-your-mouth texture. 66

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NEW IN TOWN •

He reveals that the meat is slow-cooked for a whopping 36 hours – or "fine dining, slow cooking" as he calls it. Our chat continues, leading to anecdotes about his childhood in Cádiz. Long before Nutella became a household name – and staple – children in Spain were interrupted from their afternoon adventures with pan con chocolate, a simple snack of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of buttered bread. Healthy? No. Nostalgia-ridden? Definitely yes. At Salero, you'll dine on a delicious, elevated version called Pa Amb Xocolata. Brioche bread is toasted with a blowtorch then topped with dark chocolate ganache, olive oil, a touch of saffron cream, Ibiza salt flakes, and a sprig of mint – et voilà. An adult take on a childhood favourite. But why stop there? The desserts section also hosts the usual suspects – think: Crema Catalana, Arroz con Leche, Flaó Mallorquín. And we're not complaining. In fact, we order one of each (in the name of research, of course). While Salero recently celebrated its soft opening (read: reserve a table stat), the restaurant is currently gearing up for its grand opening in January, and there's a lot to look forward to. Not only do we spot a DJ booth next to that oversized, brightly coloured mural that screams Spain, but we're also told to expect performances by flamenco dancers in the near future. However, there's something intangible about our dining experience that helps us momentarily forget the present circumstances. Yes, our face masks sit patiently beside our cell phones and car keys,

but the warm and laidback ambiance of Salero feels like a promise of better days to come – a time of unobstructed smiles, unapologetically loud music, dancing with complete strangers, and bonding over a shared love of tapas. ✤

GO: CALL 1717 1300 FOR RESERVATIONS AND FOLLOW @SALEROBAHRAIN ON INSTAGRAM. fact magazine

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• ON THE MENU

READY, SET, FEAST

Meet the very best dining deals across Bahrain this month. 68

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fact magazine 69 Black House |Building-1466 | Road-2731 | Adliya Bahrain


• DINING DEALS

ART ROTANA Rosso Why sit around craving killer Italian food? Chef Enrico of Rosso restaurant has whipped up a special takeaway menu brimming with authentic Italian dishes to enjoy from the comfort of your home. They're available daily from 12pm to 10pm – that's lunch and dinner sorted. GO: Call 3358 0044 for more information or to place an order.

ART ROTANA WU Restaurant and Lounge, Head over to WU Restaurant on Tuesdays from 7pm until 10pm and experience the aptly named Sushi Night for BD 14 net per person. You'll be able to feast on a delicious assortment of sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls along with a glass of grape – now that’s a steal, right? GO: Call 1600 0111 for more details or to make a reservation.

CROWNE PLAZA BAHRAIN Harvesters A new vision has materialised as The Backyard at Harvesters, an exciting new outdoor venue at Crowne Plaza Bahrain. Here, you can roll up your sleeves and dive into the all-you-can-eat Ribs and 70

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• DINING DEALS Wings offer every Thursday from 6pm to midnight. Imagine St. Louis ribs (the best in the market) being slow-cooked before adding a final touch on the grill: perfection! You also get to choose whether you like your chicken wings crispy or basted in one of the signature sauces. The offer is priced at BD18 net. GO: Call 1753 1122 or 3992 0163 for more information.

CROWNE PLAZA BAHRAIN La Mosaique Is there anything more comforting than a Friday Roast in a relaxed and cosy atmosphere? Hint: no. The feast consists of a three-course meal consisting of starters, meat roasts that include beef, lamb, and chicken alongside all the traditional trimmings, dessert, and drinks. The Friday Roast is priced at BD15 net and takes place every Friday from noon to 4pm. GO: Call 1753 1122 for more information or to make a booking.

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• DINING DEALS

DOWNTOWN ROTANA Dip and Dine Soak in the sun, enjoy your favourite bites, and take a dip in the pool while you visit Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club at Downtown Rotana. Avail your daily access to the amazing outdoor rooftop swimming pool and indulge in a free lunch specially designed for you with options from the customised Sundeck Pool Bar menu for BD 9.5 net. Available on weekdays and weekends. GO: Call 1313 9999 for more details or to make a booking.

DOWNTOWN ROTANA Flavours on 2 Celebrating the return of indoor dining in Bahrain is the Weekdays Welcome Back Lunch taking place from 12pm until 3pm during weekdays. The set menu here is a great one and includes soft drinks for only BD 7 net for adults. Bonus: a complimentary lunch voucher is given to all adult guests dining in to use on their next visit. Children between the ages of six and 12 years obtain a 50 percent discount, while kids below the age of six dine for free. GO: E-mail flavours2.downtown@rotana.com or call 1313 9999 to make a booking.

INTERCONTINENTAL BAHRAIN Legendz Steakhouse Calling all meat eaters! Summer Steak Brunchism is currently on at Legendz, featuring succulent prime cuts, live cooking stations, and live entertainment. The soft beverage package is priced at BD22 per person, while the house-beverages package is priced at BD29. This brunch is offered every Friday from 12:30pm to 4pm, and kids below six eat for free. GO: Call 1722 7777 for more details or to make a reservation. 74

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• DINING DEALS

MÖVENPICK HOTEL BAHRAIN

JUMEIRAH ROYAL SARAY The Palm Lounge Afternoon tea is a good idea, but the A Berry Good Moment afternoon tea in the terrace of The Palm Lounge? Even better. The lounge will serve an assortment of bright, berry-flavoured pastries alongside delicious savouries and warm, mouth-watering scones daily from 2pm to 7pm. GO: WhatsApp 6672 0062 for more information or to make a reservation.

Silk's Experience a unique medley of super succulent seafood delicacies and taste the freshest catch on Seafood Night at Silk’s restaurant. So what makes it an ideal night out for seafood lovers? The finest and freshest selection of popular, traditional seafood cuisines! Explore a vast range of aquatic delicacies from sushi, sashimi, seafood dim sum, tempura, oysters, slipper lobster, and tiger prawns to popular dishes such as grouper and red snapper – the talented team of chefs will prepare your favourite catch just the way you like it. Seafood Night is on offer every Monday from 7pm to 11pm for BD25 per person inclusive of unlimited soft drinks, and BD30 per person inclusive of unlimited select adult beverages and soft drinks. Call 1746 0017 for reservations and more information.

JUMEIRAH ROYAL SARAY Brasserie Royale Taking place daily is The T-Bone Experience at Brasserie Royale Terrace. Here, you can indulge in a tender, full-flavoured Florentine beef tagliata that is good for two people and priced at BD35 net for two. And if something heartier is what you're after, a four-course set menu including homemade ravioli and vanilla crème brûlée is also available for a full Italian experience. The latter is priced at BD55 net for two. GO: WhatsApp 6672 0062 for more information or to make a reservation.

LE MÉRIDIEN BAHRAIN CITY CENTRE Baharat Wednesday BBQ night is back at Baharat, serving barbeque ribs and Wagyu prime rib steak at your table for BD 22 net. This includes starters, desserts, soft drinks, and water. Prefer the adult package? It's priced at BD 28 net including selected free-flow beverages. It takes place every Wednesday from 7pm to 11pm – just be sure to reserve in advance. GO: Call 1717 1441 for more information or to make a reservation. 76

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MÖVENPICK HOTEL BAHRAIN Silk's A catch-up with friends over a themed night is always a good idea. Enter: Flaming Thursdays every Thursday night at Silk's, where a vast range of grills, flame-grilled meats, and sizzling bites await from 7pm to 11pm for BD34 net inclusive of unlimited premium beverages. Call 1746 0017 for reservations and more information.


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• DINING DEALS

THE GULF HOTEL BAHRAIN

SOFITEL BAHRAIN ZALLAQ THALASSA SEA & SPA Le Grand Brunch du Soir Introducing Le Grand Brunch du Soir, which kicks off at Sofitel Bahrain for the very first time on October 1. Not only will you dine on a sumptuous spread of culinary sensations in a certified #ALLsafe setting under Zallaq’s scintillating skies, but you'll also be treated to live entertainment. Discover luxe al fresco dining at its best and enjoy a fine selection of Italian, Indian, and seafood live cooking stations along with a delightful combination of international sweet and savoury dishes – all of which are bound to pique your gastronomic curiosity. The brunch will be served every Thursday and Friday from 7:30pm to 11pm, and is priced at BD30 net with soft beverages or BD35 net with unlimited selected beverages. GO: Call or WhatsApp 3888 5789 for reservations and more information.

SOFITEL BAHRAIN ZALLAQ THALASSA SEA & SPA Rivaaj Restaurant Elsewhere at Sofitel, you can tuck into an aromatic affair at Rivaaj with the return of Indian Street Food Night for BD 25 net. Held every Friday, this dining experience is about delving into spice-infused dishes that unlock India’s rich gastronomic heritage, whether you dine in the regal indoor dining area or on Rivaaj’s glittery terrace. The offering takes place from 7pm to 11pm. GO: Call or WhatsApp 3888 5789 for reservations and more information.

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Royal Thai Bringing the best of two award-winning Asian restaurants together – Royal Thai and China Garden – the experts at The Gulf Hotel put their thinking caps on when the events of 2020 made dining out more complicated than ever before. Expect to see a whole host of popular dishes on offer, including the creamy Tom Yum Koong, the flavourful Sichuan Chili Baby Corn, the must-try Gaeng Kiew Wan Kai, and everyone's favourite Thai dessert on the planet: Khao Neow Mamuang (or mango with sticky rice). Royal Thai is closed on Mondays, and open from noon to 3pm for lunch, and from 7pm to 11pm for dinner. GO: Call 1771 3000 for more information or to make a booking.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN Cantina Kahlo Say hola! to the always lively Cantina Kahlo, where a colourful culinary journey awaits Mondays through Saturdays. Journey from Manama to Mexico over crowdpleasers such as tacos, tamales, and other authentic street food alongside premium grilled meats, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts. GO: Call 1758 6499 for more information or to make a booking.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN Primavera Al Fresco Modern trattoria Primavera is temporarily operating next to the marina beach so guests can enjoy their favorite Italian dishes in a piazza-style setting. The outdoor pop-up serves traditional dishes using local and seasonal ingredients alongside reinterpretations of the Italian classics. It's open from Tuesday to Saturday, 5pm to 11 pm. GO: Call 1758 6499 for more information or to make a booking.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN Nirvana Feast like royalty over the weekend at Nirvana, where an elevated outdoor dining experience comes courtesy of a fine-dining setting and the finest of Indian cuisine. Here, platters sizzle with grilled seafood and tender kebabs, and bowls are piled high with aromatic rice and spicy curries. Seating will be available at the La Med Terrace overlooking the pool. Nirvana is open daily except Saturdays. GO: Call 1758 6499 for more information or to make a booking.


CHECK OUT OUR INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY OFFERS The Frying Scotsman Chipper | Shop-25 | Road-306 | Osama Bin Zayed Avenue | Adliya Bahrain fact magazine

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AWARD WINNING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY

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khalifashaheen

www.khalifashaheen.com

+973 17 593993


FASHION FOCUS •

COME ON IN As we continue to stand alone together, Farfetch celebrates optimism, open-mindedness, and the joy of togetherness with its new Opens Doors campaign.

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FASHION FOCUS •

A

new global campaign, a new site aesthetic, a new logo, a new monogram dubbed ‘The Farfetch Fuse’ – it's all happening at luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch. And fronting all the excitement is a slew of faces from far and wide. We spotted Broadway playwright and actor Jeremy O. Harris, fashion model and muse Veronika Kunz, unapologetically outspoken producersongwriter Kindness, iconic Chinese actress Angelababy, environmentalist Wilson Oryema, and fashion royalty Kesewa Aboah amongst others They star in the Opens Doors campaign, which was created with the help of visionary talent like British photographer and artist Harley Weir, Chinese photographer Leslie Zhang, Russian stylist Lotta Volkova, and French filmmaker Simon Cahn. The vibrant campaign aims to emphasise the importance of individual expression through these changing – and challenging – times. It celebrates the power to dream new dreams, to explore new worlds, and to open doors to endless possibilities. And as the talents showcased in the campaign explain, fashion opens doors to a world of everything ranging from "understanding" and "madness" to "crazy and beautiful minds", "creativity", and "possibilities". “This campaign brings a sense of optimism and togetherness. In a world where perhaps we can’t physically be together right now, where we can’t travel to our favourite boutiques or shopping destinations, we wanted to express how we can bring the world of fashion to people everywhere now and in the future," says Chief Brand Officer Holli Rogers. "Farfetch lives at the intersection of two worlds – fashion and technology. These worlds were already merging before the global pandemic, but the move to online is accelerating. Through this campaign, we bring our own highly distinctive global community together, opening doors to a network of likeminded souls: breaking boundaries, bypassing borders – opening doors to fashion and fashion lovers everywhere.” Before you peruse the veritable buffet of fashion on the new and improved Farfetch website, we think these colourful, elegantly idiosyncratic visuals are worthy of a closer look. As for the diversity across the campaign? About time.✤ fact magazine

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• FASHION FOCUS

SHOP THE STORY AT WWW.FARFETCH.COM. 84

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EL I T E

A utumn F e st

Elite Seef Residence & Hotel Elite Grande Hotel

Elite Resort & Spa

BD 33 Net

BD 39 Net

Single / Twin Bedroom Suite

Single / Twin Bedroom Suite

BD 60 Net

BD 60 Net

2 Bedroom Suite

2 Bedroom Suite

• Rates are in Bahrain Dinars and Inclusive of taxes and service charge. • Inclusive of packed breakfast in the suites • Inclusive of Wifi Internet connection • Above rates are applicable till end of December 2020 * Terms and conditions apply

Call: +973 17 558 200

cro@elitegrouphotels.com

www.elitegrouphotels.com fact magazine 85


• FOR HER

NEW &

Izil

Rose Micellar Cleansing Water Regular micellar water is a must, but micellar water infused with Damascus rose? A veritable skin saviour. This new launch by Izil – an all-natural brand that looks to ancient Moroccan beauty rituals for inspiration – is designed to lift even the heaviest of makeup and serves as a soothing toner, too. And because it's made with 96.9 percent naturally sourced ingredients, your skin won't be stripped of its natural oils.

Molton Brown Flora Luminare Collection Bright and blooming, the Flora Luminare collection captures a solar floral fragrance dancing with the shadows of palm fronds on white sand. Besides the Eau De Toilette and Eau De Parfum – both of which are aglow with notes of orange blossom, frangipani, vanilla, and musk – there's a body lotion, a hand cream, a body oil, and more. And they’ll all transport you to a blissful paradise bathed in warm morning sunlight, reminiscent of the idyllic Punaauia Beach in Tahiti that first sparked Senior Perfumer Maïa Lernout’s curiosity.

Nip + Fab Salicylic Fix Collection Salicylic acid has long been recommended by skincare experts when it comes to tackling breakouts, so it was only a matter of time before Nip + Fab expanded its popular Salicylic Fix range. It is powered by blemish-fighting salicylic acid, sebum-reducing lotus flower, and hyaluronic acid – a.k.a. the hydration hero. Not only does the collection offer a natural exfoliation that lifts away dirt, but it also locks in hydration. As for the new additions? There's a skin-purifying clay mask, pimple patches, a lightweight moisturiser, and a lotion that works on the skin through the night to minimise the size and visibility of blemishes.

Narciso Rodriguez Patchouli Musc Eau de Parfum Intense A unique alchemy of classic and modern, this new fragrance is one that both men and women will covet – so be prepared to share. Two iconic notes meet to produce one addictive scent that transforms sensuality and transcends gender and time: a rare patchouli and Narciso Rodriguez’s sublime musc. The combination is further enhanced by a radiant floral bouquet and vivid woody notes, creating a formula of supreme beauty and depth. Rich and opulent yet enigmatic and refined, Patchouli Musc Eau de Parfum Intense is luxury in a bottle, a scent that can’t be defined or ignored – yet reverberates intrigue.

Belif Age Knockdown Bomb Time-tested herbal traditions meet South Korean innovation in skincare at Belif and, this time, the brand is making a beeline for out-of-control pores. This velvety, lightweight serum is formulated with cedrol (which has a natural anti-wrinkle effect and promotes collagen and elastin production), winter aster (used for its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties), and water pennywort (which helps to regenerate the skin and combat dryness). The result? Hello, radiant and youthful skin – and good riddance to enlarged pores. 86

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FOR HIM •

NOW Scents, skincare, grooming, bedtime rituals – check. Lush

Rituals

Honey I Washed the Kids

The Ritual of Jing

Handmade, ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and

Inspired by the ancient Chinese concept of jing

low-waste – what's not to love about Lush

is The Ritual of Jing, the latest collection by

products? Now, the brand has launched a new

Dutch brand Rituals. Representing calmness and

soap collection in the region, asserting that

tranquility, it helps you create a personal sanctuary

bar soaps are key to protecting ourselves from

where you can escape from the hectic pace of

bacteria. This is because solid soap is alkaline,

everyday life. The Sleep range is centred around

which is self-preserving, creating an environment

finishing your day on a serene note, its products

where bacteria cannot grow. The range includes

designed to help you discover your path to inner

Bohemian (a citrusy soap perfect for balancing

peace just before bedtime. There's a shower gel,

oils and dryness) and Ro’s Argan (made from

a shower oil, a foot balm, bath crystals, a pillow

argan oil hand-harvested by Berber women in

mist, and more – all formulated with lavender and

Morocco), but our pick is the playfully named

sacred wood to improve the quality of your sleep.

Honey I Washed the Kids. Not only is it packed

Sweet dreams.

with moisturising English honey, but its caramelscented suds are a treat for the whole family.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Aesop

Ojar

Resurrection Hand Purifying Duet

Absolute

Meet an olfactive ode to the subtle bond between

It's all about the hands – rather the care and

A fusion of fragrances from the East and West,

heaven and earth, insolence and rigor, limit and

hygiene of the hands – for obvious reasons circa

Ojar is a new brand that pays tribute to the art

immensity. And if the name needs context, Cupola

now, so Australian luxury skincare brand Aesop

and rituals of Middle Eastern perfume-making.

looks to Florence's greatest icon – the cupola

has stepped up with the launch of its Resurrection

Created as a statement of "modernity and

of Santa Maria del Fiore – for inspiration. Warm

Hand Purifying Duet. This nifty combination of

traditional harmony", its name is derived from

and woody, the unisex scent's subtly fresh top

fragrant cleansers ensures impeccable hygiene,

the word 'hojari', which is widely regarded as the

notes (tangerine, green angelica, saffron) are

regardless of where the day takes you. The

world’s finest quality of Frankincense resin and

reminiscent of sunshine illuminating the dome.

Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash is gentle yet

found in Oman’s Dhofar mountains. Ojar's hero

These are followed by middle notes of orris and

effective, while the alcohol-based Resurrection

product is the alcohol-free perfume oil, Absolute.

amber, sublimated by deep tones of labdanum

Rinse-Free Hand Wash is a non-drying

The bottle elevates the perfume oil landscape

clear. Meanwhile, base notes of amber, patchouli,

evaporative and therefore ideal for use whenever

with a never-seen-before double cap usage that

and gaiac wood serve as a celebration of the

water is unavailable. Win-win.

features a roll-on and a glass-stick applicator.

landmark’s magnificence.

Cupola

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• MATTER OF FACT

What We’re (Still) Talking About Expo 2020 Dubai

Flights to Nowhere

That Twitter Hack

When Mariah Carey and Hussain Al Jassmi led the 1 Year to Go celebrations back in October 2019, who could've predicted that "the world's greatest show" would have to be postponed by a year as a result of a virus not visible to the naked eye? Not us. Now, as Dubai gears up to host Expo 2020 from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the one-year countdown has commenced (again). Over 190 countries are expected to participate at the rescheduled fair, with the Connecting Minds, Creating the Future theme based around mobility, sustainability, and opportunity. Recently revealed images

ANA, EVA Air, Starlux Airlines – airlines all over the world are busy launching ‘flights to nowhere’, dividing opinions in the process. But did you know the seven-hour sightseeing flight by Qantas on October 10 sold out in exactly 10 minutes? And what exactly is a flight to nowhere? This new vernacular, courtesy of 2020, refers to a flight that is not bound for an international destination – or even a regional destination for that matter. Instead, it lands exactly where it took off, with some claiming it's a winwin situation. Qantas, for example, was able to generate at least some revenue at

Hey, remember when a couple of millennials brought Twitter to its proverbial knees on July 15? The accounts of everyone from Joe Biden and Kim Kardashian to Bill Gates and Barack Obama were hacked, resulting in a total of 130 high-profile accounts targeted as part of a bitcoin scam. It was all deceptively simple at first. One by one, tweets by prominent celebrities, politicians, and tech bigwigs appeared, all promising to "give back" to the community by doubling any bitcoin sent to their address. Later that month, as Twitter users were scammed of over

showcase pavilions near completion – construction is on track to conclude by the end of the year – and organisers hope to welcome 25 million visitors across the six-month duration. They say progress on the site has continued at pace, and over 210 million work hours have been completed to date. Down the road, Dubai plans to convert a majority of the event’s infrastructure into a mixed-use commercial and residential development called District 2020. But before that day comes, the question remains: how many can and will make it to the UAE this time next year?

a time when airlines are hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Meanwhile, frequent flyers who were itching to travel were able to take in breathtaking aerial views of iconic sights ranging from Ayers Rock to the Great Barrier Reef. But this unique offering was not without controversy; critics pointed out that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner used for the trip entailed planet-wrecking emissions contributing to climate breakdown. Singapore Airlines has since scrapped its plans to launch flights to nowhere. Genius or wasteful joyride? You decide.

$118,000 worth of bitcoins, three men were charged, all under the age of 23. Now, a new investigative report by the Department of Financial Services in New York has revealed more details, one more disturbing than the last. For starters, Twitter had no CISO at the time of the attack. Furthermore, regulators allege that all the hackers had to do was pose as company IT officials making a support call before they tricked four employees into handing over their login details. Twitter has since released a statement saying it has taken steps to enhance the security of its platform.

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ISLAND INSIDER

Frederic Daudou

Director of The Royal Beach Club, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain The hospitality industry has tackled unprecedented challenges in the past few months, courtesy of the pandemic. What one lesson or piece of wisdom will you carry into your professional life for years to come as a result? The worldwide crisis affects all of us and many lessons and realizations come to my mind like the importance of health and wellness, our relationships with family and friends, and living in contentment. Throughout this challenge that we are now facing, being optimistic helps as well. I learned that not dwelling on the negative side of things makes it easier to move forward and get back up. We are all on the same boat. We also don’t know what tomorrow could bring, so seize the day with your loved ones, tell them that you appreciate them and grab opportunities to make new memories. 90

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You’re no stranger to The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. How will your personal interests and past experiences influence how you approach your new role as Director of the Royal Beach Club? I have worked in many hotels, built my career and encountered several challenges that helped me to grow. When the opportunity came, there was no hesitation even though I was working in Food and Beverage at the time. I am very much invested in sports activities so taking this position allowed me to share my experiences with our valued members. I try to reach out to everyone, engage with the members and do morning sessions with them during weekdays. It’s a work in progress but I’m working hard and having fun with our members and guests at the same time.

Did the recent lockdow n and/or decrease in travel help you discover an aspect of Bahrain that you weren’t previously familiar with? With the necessary restrictions in place, we were quite hesitant to move around even locally. However, since the kids were just at home for five months, we made it a point to drive and discover new places that we have never been to in the Kingdom. Even in this small island, there are many places to see but further adventures will wait for things to get better. The good thing is, Bahrain has done a fantastic job in managing the crisis. Their swift actions ensured that all citizens and residents have the best care in the GCC.


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