FACT Qatar April 2024

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fact magazine 1 APRIL 2024 VOL 10. ISSUE 10. QR15
fact magazine 3 Ship Ahoy! Eid Getaways In A Jiffy It’s A Dog’s Life A Mexican Trail Chef Of The Year Striking The Right Chord
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A Time Of Anticipation

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Robyn Yong “

There’s a packed few weeks coming up as the Holy Month comes to an end and we all prepare for a short break. I don’t know about you but, with Eid, my thoughts always turn to travel and, in this issue, we’ve taken a look at some short-hop destinations to make the most of the days off.

I must admit, I love Sri Lanka and am very tempted to head back there, there’s so much I’ve still to see. If you’re jetting off, let us know where.

The other thing I love to do whenever I get some time away from the office is head out for an adventure with my four-legged companion and I’m always on the look out for petfriendly spaces where he can have a run and we can meet up with other like-minded souls. If you share my pet passion, our second feature is just for you – we’ve rounded up cafés, parks and beaches where our canine pals are welcome. See you there?

This year’s Fact Dining Awards (FDA) is fast approaching, so we’ve been checking out restaurants across Doha. Head to the dining pages to find out what we discovered as well as info on lots of options for Eid feasting and more.

And, still on the subject of the FDA, this year we introduce a much-anticipated new category – the Chef of the Year Award – which is chosen solely by you via online public vote. We quizzed some of the excited nominees for a special feature. We spoke to another superstar in the making for our Arts & Culture section, veteran rocker Naser Mestarihi, who’s making waves with his band Winterburn.

It’s a bumper issue this month and there’s loads more inside so, I wish you Ramadan Kareem, Eid Mubarak and happy reading.

O’Reilly Editorial Director editorial@fact-magazine.com
fact magazine 4 • THE EDITOR

*Valid until December 31 st , 2024

Indulging in the ultimate relaxation: spa time followed by a delightful ladies' breakfast at Jardin.

For information and reservation, please call 4410 3334. 60-minutes full body massage. One ladies breakfast set at Jardin.




A dedicated instagram page for FACT Qatar magazine, keep up with our posts and stories for the best behind-the-scenes photos from food shoots, local events and all things awesome in Doha and beyond, plus insights from the FACT team.


FACT Qatar


Keep up with all things Qatar as the FACT team posts the latest competitions, happenings and everything we’re getting up to for the monthly magazine, all for our readers!

FACT Qatar

97,724 reads of the March-2024 issue

If you need your FACT fix pronto, flick through our monthly online edition on issuu.com for all the best features, including local culture, arts, fashion, food, motoring, tech, travel and more in Qatar and beyond.

FACT Magazine M.E @FACTMagazineME


Your one-stop culture fix for life in Qatar. First for local talent, arts, fashion, dining and all the coolest events in Doha. We’ve got tech, travel, motoring and exclusive interviews with all the industry and celebrity-world movers and shakers too. Get your copy of FACT Qatar in local supermarkets now.

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
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Doha to host the inaugural Qatar Boat Show 2024 in November.

The world comes together again in Qatar, this time with the Qatar Boat Show 2024, set to take place from November 6 to 9. The event, hosted by Old Doha Port and Gulf Marine Services, will feature local, regional and international yachting brands, shipyards, boat owners and enthusiasts, highlighting the pinnacle of luxury yachting and innovation.

With 495 exhibitors and brands, the Qatar Boat Show 2024 expects to welcome more than 20,000 visitors. It will present 95 boats and watercraft on both land and water, providing a premier display of marine luxury in the spirit of Doha.

Attendees will discover an eclectic mix of yachting lifestyle brands, water sports and retail opportunities and the show promises an immersive experience filled with culinary delights, diverse entertainment and action-packed activities designed to captivate visitors of all demographics.

“The Qatar Boat Show 2024 is a strategic milestone that aligns with the long-term vision of Old Doha Port and our nation,” said Mohammad Al Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Old Doha Port, at the sneak peek launch. “It is a testament to our efforts and the fruitful collaboration between various stakeholders to drive economic growth and enhance

our country’s tourism appeal. This grand event will be a remarkable showcase of the marine world and unparalleled luxury in true Doha form.”

Old Doha Port spans 800,000sq/m and is equipped with 450 berths for all types of boats up to 160 metres in length. With its two world-class marinas and the colourful Mina District that offers a vibrant mix of retail, dining and hospitality options, the port plays a crucial role in celebrating Qatar’s maritime heritage and hosting this international event.

Qatar’s status as one of the safest countries globally, along with its strong tourism and economic indicators, firmly establishes the Qatar Boat Show 2024 as a significant event on the international maritime calendar. With six marinas and an expanding marine infrastructure, the country is making waves as a leading destination for luxury maritime activities. The Qatar Boat Show 2024 promises to be the most impressive boat show in Qatar’s history. ✤

fact magazine 8 • FACT FINDS


Step into a world of opulence when you book a Suite at Raffles Doha.

Experience the added luxury of QAR 750 credit to spend on dining in the hotel, and QAR 500 towards any Spa treatment. Children aged 12 and below are welcome to indulge in the enchantment of complimentary dining.

*Rates starting from QAR 3,500 per night.


*Valid until 30 September 2024

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Raffles Doha, Marina District, PO BOX 4747, Lusail, Doha, Qatar.


There’s coffee, then there’s Bacha Coffee. For the unacquainted, Bacha Coffee is a legendary Moroccan coffee blend that specialises in 100% Arabica beans. With a history dating back to 1910, pots of Coffee of Arabia – now known as Arabica, was what great cultural and political minds came together over at the majestic Dar el Bacha palace in Marrakech. The refurbished palace still stands as the Museum of Cultural Confluences that yes – serves coffee in an ambience fit for a king! The delightful news is that now you can also experience the grandeur of sipping Bacha Coffee in Qatar, with the newly opened outlet in Villaggio Mall. Even if you are not a coffee aficionado, the outlet is worth a visit. ✤



Make your way to Liwan Design Studios & Labs located at Msheireb Downtown for the Honor The Past, To Celebrate The Future: Qatar’s Educational Vision exhibit. This permanent exhibition showcases the remarkable journey of female education in Qatar from 1938 to 2006 and highlights the impact of Qatar’s first girls’ school, Banat El Doha (renamed Umm Almo’mneen Primary School), and its founder Amna Mahmoud Al Jaidah have had on multiple generations of women in Qatar. ✤ GO:


Gather your dance pals and tango the night away Argentinian style at Caz Bar's Tango Nights, located at Le Meredien City Center. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or a curious beginner, Tango Night offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the romance and excitement of tango. Lose yourself in the sultry atmosphere, savouring the rich sounds of traditional Argentine music as you make your moves on the dance floor. Tango Nights take place every Saturday from 7pm to 11pm and a 30% discount is offered on your total bill. So, grab your friends, unleash your inner dancer, and head out for a night of passion and unforgettable memories. ✤


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Image by Laura Murane © Qatar Museums


Lego fans rejoice! The ultimate Lego adventure is right here in Qatar.

From April 10 to 25, the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) will be transformed into a mesmerising world of Lego wonder, where millions of colorful bricks will come together to form intricate creations, showcasing the remarkable talent and imagination of builders from across the region. Whether you're a towering skyscraper enthusiast or prefer the charm of intricate landscapes, there's something awe-inspiring for Lego fans of all ages. This debut event promises much more than just static displays. Families are invited to immerse themselves in interactive exhibits, thrilling displays and handson building activities. On display will be more than 50 brick-built sculptures from animals to a complete Souq. Dance with your favourite Lego Friends character in the Star Wars Zone, or take on Spinjitzu training in the Ninjago zone. Get the whole family involved in creating giant mosaics, life-size cars and much more. It's a chance to get inspired, unleash your creativity and let your imagination go wild.

For its premiere in Doha, the show will feature beloved themes such as Ninjago, City, Duplo and Friends. Lego fans can expect a wonderland of creativity and innovation, complete with life-size wandering Minifigures, culinary delights, enchanting choir performances, exclusive waterpark packages and artisanal workshops. Here’s where you can experience your favorite Lego brands up close, participate in exciting build challenges and tackle challenging obstacle courses. With 26 themed areas spread over 10,000sq/m, it's an event that promises fun and excitement for Lego enthusiasts. This event is part of Visit Qatar's commitment to providing family-oriented entertainment during Eid, enriching the celebratory spirit following the Holy Month of Ramadan. ✤

fact magazine 12 • LISTEN UP

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Al Mayassa Theatre at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) presents Toy Story in Concert

Toy Story – the delightful tale of toys that come to life when humans are not present, is in town! Fans of the 1995 animated film will get the opportunity to experience the beloved tale of Woody, Buzz and their toy companions in a magical new way, accompanied by a live orchestra featuring Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Randy Newman’s beloved musical score. Spend the evening being transported to the imaginative world of Andy’s bedroom, where toys come to life and adventures abound!

The Toy Story films are adored worldwide for their compelling characters, extraordinary storytelling, stunning visuals and the unforgettable soundtrack including the iconic You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Toy Story tells the tale of two rival toys – Woody, the lanky cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear, the modern space ranger, who find themselves on a hilarious adventure-filled mission

where the only way they can survive is to form an alliance. This special event promises to be a captivating celebration of music and nostalgia, offering audiences the chance to relive the magic of Toy Story in concert. Whether you're a long-time fan of the film or experiencing it for the first time, the combination of stunning visuals, captivating storytelling and live orchestral accompaniment is sure to delight and enchant audiences of all ages. Be sure to secure your tickets for an unforgettable evening of magic.

Toy Story In Concert will be screened on April 13, with Arabic subtitles. ✤

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The Museum of Islamic Arts presents a thought-provoking collection by Turkish artist Felekşan Onar.

There’s beauty in brokenness and Turkish artist Felekşan Onar masterfully captures this in her exquisite mouldblown glass birds collection called Shattered, 2023, now showing at the stunning Museum of Islamic Art's Damascus Room.

In this captivating display, Felekşan delves into the tragedies stemming from recent earthquakes that ravaged Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria, claiming more than 55,000 lives. Through her work, she grapples with themes of human displacement, exploring the impact of political unrest, war and natural disasters on communities.

She uses birds as an artistic exploration and the Japanese art form of Kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with gold) as a metaphor for resilience and transformation. “Birds have long symbolised lost and displaced souls and, in the wake of this tragedy, I envisioned them as broken and torn apart,” she says. “And just as Kintsugi turns imperfections into beauty through repair, I see the process of rebuilding after destruction as an opportunity for positive change and the emergence of something even greater.”

The inspiration of using glass birds as a medium in this

exhibit is deeply rooted in Felekşan's artistic journey. Her 2017 exhibit, Perched, also featured birds. “The genesis of using birds as a form came from my profound admiration for Louis de Bernieres’ novel, Birds Without Wings… In using glass birds, I sought to encapsulate the fragility and resilience of the human spirit in the face of displacement and natural disasters,” she says.

The Shattered, 2023 collection is beautiful and thoughtful, the gold accents adding to its allure. Each piece in the collection carries its own significance and resonance, but Felekşan is partial to the iridescent pieces that shimmer with delicate hues and luminous reflections. “These hold a unique fascination for me… they capture the essence of transformation and the beauty that can emerge from adversity,” says the artist.

Shattered, 2023 is on display till May 7. Museum entry is free. ✤

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Image by
Image by Kerem Sanlıman Image by Chrysovalantis Lamprianidis Image by Chrysovalantis Lamprianidis


Swiss media artist Pipilotti Rist’s Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You exhibition at the National Museum of Qatar promises a sensory journey unlike any other.

This immersive video installation is Rist's first venture into the Middle East, and depicts the workings of the human brain in a multisensory show that symbolises humanity’s collective unconscious and the power of the mind.

Twelve thousand LED lights of varying shades take centrestage in a magical display as they mimic the firing neurons within the brain, programmed in choreography with a soundscape and video installation featuring abstract footage of Qatar’s landscapes.

Curated by Qatar Museums’ Curatorial Advisor, Tom Eccles, and the National Museum’s Head of Exhibitions, Bouthayna M Baltaji, the installation invites visitors to go on a journey of self-discovery through a sensory-rich experience that inspires introspection and awe. “In equal parts enlightening and enchanting, Pipilotti Rist’s spectacular installation invites us to recognise the array of emotions, interpretations and the sheer capacity the mind is able to absorb and withstand,” says Bouthayna.

Visitors are encouraged to disconnect from their personal devices in order to fully immerse themselves in the experience, allowing the installation to awaken dormant senses. Through her evocative use of light and sound, Pipilotti invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of the human condition and the interconnectedness of all beings.

Behind the scenes, she collaborated with a team of specialists, including lead light designer Kaori Kuwabara, to bring her visionary concepts to life. Together, they craft a symphony of light and sound that resonates with visitors on a profound level, transcending language and cultural barriers. Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You serves as a testament to the power of art in fostering cultural understanding and empathy.

“This work is both a collective and individual experience. We want to understand what is happening inside the brain of the other, and culture is the main way to try to understand each other beyond language,” says the artist.

As visitors journey through the ‘inside of the brain’, they are reminded of the importance of self-care and mindfulness. In conjunction with the exhibition, Qatar Museums offers an activity guide featuring brainteasers, mindfulness exercises and useful information to support mental health and wellbeing. Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You is on view at the National Museum of Qatar until April 30. Entrance to the exhibition is free with museum admission. ✤

GO: Visit https://qm.org.qa for more information.

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© ProLitteris, courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine. Photo: Qatar Museums, 2024


The third Extraordinary Women mentorship programme inspires young female leaders in partnership with universities from the UK and Qatar.

Bentley Motors continues its commitment to empowering young female leaders with the launch of the third edition of its Extraordinary Women mentorship programme, bringing together students, universities and inspirational female pioneers from the UK and Qatar.

What sets this program apart is its focus on empowering women in fields traditionally dominated by men. Students specialising in engineering, design, technology and business are invited to participate, providing them with invaluable insights and guidance from industry experts. This year, the programme expands its reach to include students from the University of Doha for Science and Technology in Qatar, marking a significant milestone in Bentley's global outreach efforts. Eight students from both the UK and Qatar will be selected to embark on this transformative journey, culminating in a week-long visit to Bentley's headquarters in Crewe, England.

President of the University of Doha for Science and Technology, Dr. Salem Al-Naemi said: "We are proud to be partnering with Bentley on this initiative. The empowerment of women is not just a necessity but a duty we owe to future generations.”

One of the programme's highlights is the opportunity for

students to engage with extraordinary women pioneers who have shattered glass ceilings in their respective fields. Past participants have had the privilege of interacting with trailblazers such as Amanda Levete (Stirling Prizewinning architect appointed CBE for her contributions to architecture), Saudi Arabia’s Mishaal Ashemimry (the first female aerospace engineer in the Gulf region) and Amna Al Hashemi (an Emirati thought leader and serial entrepreneur), whose stories inspire young women to pursue their passions fearlessly.

This year, Bentley is thrilled to welcome Sara Davies MBE to the cohort of pioneering women mentors. As the founder of Crafter's Companion and the youngest female investor on BBC's Dragons' Den, Sara brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the programme.

The Extraordinary Women mentorship programme is one of many initiatives from Bentley Motors to champion gender equality, empower women globally and foster inclusion. ✤

fact magazine 20


Epitome of romance with a Fairmont Gold bene ts await.

Our delightful surprise with romantic set-up upon arrival, access to luxurious Gold Lounge and more to elevate Fairmont experience.


QAR 1400 for a Fairmont Room (one room per night)

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Promotion valid from 20th January – 30th September 2024

Offer is not combinable

Subject to availability

Terms and conditions may apply

For reservations, please call +974 4030 7200 or email info.doha@fairmont.com

fact magazine 21


Join millions around the world in an event that transcends borders and races towards a common goal.

On May 5, Doha will be at the heart of a global movement as it hosts the Wings for Life World Run at the Khalifa International Stadium. This event isn't just another run; it's the world's largest running event, uniting over 1.2 million participants from more than 195 countries, all racing simultaneously towards a common goal – a cure for spinal cord injury.

What sets the Wings for Life World Run apart is its unique format. Unlike traditional races with a fixed finish line, participants are pursued by a virtual catcher car. As runners hit the pavement, the catcher car gives chase via a smartphone app, gradually closing in on participants. Once overtaken by the virtual car, the race concludes for that individual. It's a thrilling and fun experience that adds excitement to the event.

The significance of this run extends far beyond its innovative format. Every step taken contributes towards spinal cord injury research. A hundred percent of the entry fees and donations generated by the Wings for Life World Run are

dedicated to the Wings for Life Foundation, an organisation committed to funding research aimed at finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.

This noble cause underscores the spirit of solidarity that permeates the event. Runners, walkers and wheelchair participants alike, come together with a shared determination to make a difference. Their efforts not only propel them forward on the racecourse but also drive progress in the quest for a cure.

The run is about crossing boundaries, breaking barriers and pushing towards a future where spinal cord injuries are a thing of the past. So lace up your shoes, join the global community of runners and make your strides count in the fight against spinal cord injury. ✤

fact magazine 22
Seasons Hotel Doha


Discover quick escapes to enchanting destinations, all within a short flight from Doha, perfect for a memorable Eid getaway without the long travel times.

To avoid feeling like you need a holiday after a holiday, we've curated a list of incredible locations perfect for a short break. These are all within a five-hour flight from Doha, ensuring you spend more time exploring and less time travelling. Get ready to embark on a journey filled with adventure, relaxation and unforgettable experiences – all without straying too far from home.

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Amman is a city steeped in rich history and culture. With its ancient Roman ruins, bustling markets and modern skyscrapers, this city offers visitors a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored. Begin your journey at the Citadel where you'll find the remnants of ancient civilisations such as the iconic Roman Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace. Continue with a visit to the Roman Theatre, a majestic amphitheatre carved into the hillside, where ancient gladiators once commanded crowds with spectacular performances. In downtown Amman, you'll find the lively markets of Al Balad that dates back thousands of years. Surrounded by the seven hills of Amman, it is home to hundreds of street vendors showcasing their wares along a maze of narrow alleyways. While here, take the opportunity to sample some authentic Jordanian street food. For nightlife, venture to a rooftop café for panoramic views of the city. With its blend of ancient history and modern charm, Amman promises an unforgettable experience. However, if you feel you’re missing out on other parts of Jordan, opt for day trips to the Dead Sea, the Desert Castles or to the Roman ruins of Jerash.

Travel time: 3h 15m | Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian codeshare direct flights four times daily GO: VISIT WWW.VISITJORDAN.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.


Boasting a rich history and stunning natural beauty, Azerbaijan offers a diverse array of tourist attractions. Its capital city, Baku, has a unique blend of contemporary and historic architecture, where East meets West. This coastal city is a hub of activity and home to the famous Flame Towers, dominating the city's skyline with their futuristic design, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art. Kick-start your day with a traditional Azerbaijani breakfast in Baku’s Old City – one of the most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can wander through the narrow streets, marvel at the intricate architecture of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and visit the historic Maiden Tower. Baku also has the world’s greatest concentration of mud volcanoes and the ones at Dashgil near the Gobustan reserve, are a must-see. For nature lovers, the resort town of Gabala, nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, offers a serene escape with its refreshing air, scenic vistas and outdoor recreational activities. With plenty to see and do, from modern art galleries and ancient churches to theatres and cafés, Azerbaijan is a perfect little getaway to enjoy a few days of culture.

Travel time: 2h 55m | Qatar Airways flies daily.


fact magazine 26 • COVER STORY

Westin Gden



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in a BBQ feast at Westin Garden. Gather under the
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The Kingdom of Bahrain, our closest neighbour and a short skip away from Doha, is a perfect destination for a long weekend, offering a mix of modern attractions and rich cultural experiences. At the top of the list is the Bahrain National Museum, where beautiful exhibits showcase the country's history and heritage. The Qal'at Al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort), a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site dating back over 4,000 years, is another key attraction that will give you a glimpse into the island's storied past. For those looking for a taste of local life, the historic Bab Al Bahrain building, and the gateway to Manama Souq, is a must. Enjoy the bustling marketplace filled with vibrant colours, exotic spices and handicrafts and stop at nearby Haji’s Cafe’s for one of the best traditional breakfasts in town. History buffs will appreciate the Al Fateh Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world, renowned for its architecture and design. And no trip to the island is complete without a pit stop at the Bahrain International Circuit, home to the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in the region. The Kingdom also has an exciting live entertainment venue – Al Dana Amphitheatre – and, if you time yourself well, you can catch Amr Diab live on April 26! Whether exploring ancient history, indulging in local cuisine or enjoying modern entertainment, Bahrain has something to offer every type of traveller.

Travel time: 50 min | Gulf Air and Qatar Airways each operate three direct flights daily



Colombo is a tropical paradise that offers everything from stunning beaches to colonial heritage sites and delectable food. If you’re lost for where to start, go with food first. Sri Lankan cuisine is an eclectic blend of exotic spices, and local favourites like Kiribath or Lamprais are a must-try. The city features charming colonial architecture, remnants of its Portuguese, Dutch and British past. Explore landmarks like Colombo Fort, Galle Face Hotel and Tintagel Colombo (where HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall –now His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla – stayed during their visit in 2013). History buffs must visit the National Museum of Colombo and the Dutch Museum. Be sure to also see the Seema Malaka Buddhist temple at Beira Lake. Retail enthusiasts can head on over to Paradise Road that offers garments and homeware, art and handicrafts. For relaxation, head to Mount Lavinia Beach, renowned for its rugged shores and seaside restaurants. While there, check out the Traditional Puppet Art Museum that preserves the dying art of wooden puppet shows. Overall, Colombo promises an unforgettable journey filled with warmth, flavour, vibrant culture and endless discoveries.

Travel time: 4h 50m | Qatar Airways flies direct six times daily; Sri Lankan Airlines flies once daily


fact magazine 28 • COVER STORY


Renowned for its stunning beaches, rich history and lively traditions, Cyprus offers many delights for tourists. Paphos, a coastal gem has a wealth of archaeological sites, such as the House of Dionysus and Tombs of the Kings – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, housing intricate mosaics depicting mythological scenes. Close by is another popular landmark, Aphrodite’s Rock, a definite must-see. Enjoy seaside charm with Limassol’s lively promenade, vibrant nightlife and the historic Limassol Medieval Castle, a relic of the Crusader era. Further inland, the Troodos Mountains attract adventurers with their impressive landscapes, scenic hiking trails and ancient monasteries. They’re also home to quaint mountain villages like Kakopetria, Platres and the popular Omodos, known for its cobblestoned streets, traditional architecture and local vineyards. Of course, no visit to Cyprus is complete without exploring the breathtaking beaches of Ayia Napa, known for their crystalline waters and lively beach bars. Finally, the capital city, Nicosia, merges modernity with antiquity, featuring the Cyprus Museum and the historic Venetian Walls surrounding the old city. From music concerts to festivals, Cyprus has plenty happening in April to keep you entertained. Travel time: 4h 10m | Qatar Airways flies direct daily GO: VISIT WWW.VISITCYPRUS.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.


India’s smallest state is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife and rich Portuguese legacy that is evident in its food, Baroque architecture, old forts, soulful fado music and cathedrals. Begin in North Goa, where lively beaches like Baga, Calangute and Anjuna will capture your heart with their golden sands and azure waters. At night, the beach shacks come alive with music, dance and delicious seafood, offering a taste of Goa's legendary nightlife. For tranquillity, head to South Goa's pristine beaches like Palolem and Agonda where the only soundtrack is the gentle lapping of waves against the shore. For a glimpse into Goa’s colonial past, explore Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting majestic Portuguese-era churches and cathedrals like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Sé Cathedral de Santa Catarina. Venture inland to experience lush forests, spice plantations and quaint villages. Don’t miss the spice gardens of Ponda or the jungle safari in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. No trip to Goa is complete without sampling its Indo-Portuguese cuisine, so don't miss the infamous vindaloo or xacuti. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation or a cultural immersion, Goa promises an experience that will stay with you long after you've bid farewell to its shores.

Travel time: 3h 35m | Qatar Airways flies direct daily GO: VISIT WWW.GOATOURISM.GOV.IN FOR MORE INFORMATION.

fact magazine 30 • COVER STORY


A country steeped in mythology and history; Greece boasts a plethora of attractions that draw visitors to its shores. Top on the list of things to do is the Acropolis of Athens, an ancient hilltop citadel with iconic monuments, including the Parthenon, symbolising classical Greek civilisation. Explore the ancient ruins of Delphi, home to the sanctuary of Apollo and the Oracle, renowned for its stunning mountain views. Don’t forget to experience the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Olympia, which features ancient ruins such as the Temple of Zeus and the original Olympic stadium. And for a glimpse into Greece's mediaeval past, check out the fortified town of Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with Byzantine marvels. Greece, of course, is renowned worldwide for its beautiful and varied islands. From Corfu's lush landscapes and Crete’s ancient charm to Mykonos' vibrant nightlife and Santorini's romantic sunsets, there's something for everyone in this Mediterranean paradise. The International Day for Monuments and Sites, also known as World Heritage Day, is celebrated on April 18 worldwide and Greece offers free entrance to its numerous archaeological sites and museums. So, don’t miss this opportunity to soak in some culture.

Travel time: 5h | Qatar Airways operates between two and three direct flights to Athens daily GO: VISIT WWW.VISITGREECE.GR FOR MORE INFORMATION.


A capital city bridging two continents, Istanbul is steeped in rich history, culture and beauty. At its heart lies the famous Hagia Sophia with its grand dome and intricate mosaics – a stunning monument that over the centuries has been a church, a mosque and a museum. Nearby is the iconic Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque), featuring six minarets, cascading domes and beautiful blue tiles. The imperial Topkapi Palace and the iconic Galata Tower are equally impressive and beg exploration. For a taste of the local culture, visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world. Wander through a maze of colourful shops selling everything from spices to carpets – don’t forget your Turkish Delight! Experience the vibrant energy of Istiklal Avenue with its eclectic mix of boutiques, historic buildings, restaurants and cafés – perfect for strolling and shopping. Below the city's streets, take in the grandeur of Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground reservoir, with its striking columns and mysterious atmosphere. Finally, enjoy a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait for breathtaking views of the city's skyline. While you’re there, don’t miss the International Tulip Festival held throughout April, with more than 20 million tulips in full bloom across the city – it’s a sight to behold!

Travel time: 4h 45m | Qatar Airways flies direct twice daily; Turkish Airlines flies once daily


fact magazine 32 • COVER STORY
Every Friday | From 12:30 to 4:00 PM
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Celebrating Eid Al Fitr is among the most joyous occasions for Muslims around the world. It’s all about coming together, sharing in the festivities and showing your appreciation for family and friends. Check out these thoughtful gifts to treat your loved ones this Eid!


Cherry Oud

Gifting a fragrance for that special someone is intimate, personal and sure to impress. Part of Guerlain’s L’Art & La Matière Collection, the Cherry Oud is a perfect choice. Offering beautiful crimson facets, the black oud wood is lacquered with a red cherry note and exudes elegant, floral woody scents with leathery tones.

Available at www.omegawatches.com


The Constellation Collection

A thoughtful gift, this timepiece will be cherished for years to come. Taking inspiration from the precise movement of the stars, this 28mm model in stainless steel and 18-carat Sedna Gold, has a stunning meteorite dial with an icy blue colour treatment and diamond hour markers.

Available at www.omegawatches.com


Hamptons Shoulder Bag

A chic accessory to complete any outfit, this bag is an ideal present for any fashionista. Impeccably crafted with buttery soft, glovetanned leather that ages tastefully, the Hamptons bag features a structured flap front silhouette. Its short shoulder strap lets it sit just beneath the underarm for hands-free convenience. Available at uk.coach.com


Oval Sunglasses

Look oh so fabulous at any outdoor Eid event with these elegant sunglasses from the Alaïa Spring and Summer 2024 collection. Reimagined with a daring and contemporary attitude, these chic sunnies are meticulously crafted, showcasing modern flare and refined design, with the Alaïa signature on the temples.

Available at www.maison-alaia.com


Starling Necklace

This precious necklace is an ideal gift for Eid. One to cherish for years to come, this unique and elegant piece is handcrafted from 18-carat yellow gold and the two exquisite charms are encrusted with shimmering diamonds and vibrant Zambian emeralds. The moon is a symbol of femininity, while the star represents hope. Available at www.houseofmeraki.com and www.gemfields.com

fact magazine 34


BR 03-92 Diver

Make an impression with a gift that’s as distinctive as he is. Ideal for any nautical enthusiast, the BR 03-92 Diver is renowned for its signature rounded square case. The Black & Green Bronze model has a standout neo-retro and rugged style with a bronze case and a striking combination of black and green dial and strap. With a limited edition of only 999 pieces, this sophisticated watch is certified for diving.

Available at www.bellross.com


Hand-Carry Case Hammerschlag

Ideal for the man on the go, RIMOWA’s new collection combines serious utility with iconic style. This limited-edition Hand-Carry Case Hammerschlag offers luxury craftsmanship with vintage appeal. It features an eye-catching textured aluminium that boasts a gleaming polished surface and a one-of-a-kind premium nylon interior.

Available at www.rimowa.com


Eden Scritto Leather Slip On

Get him looking sharp this Eid with a versatile take on a formal loafer. These Eden slip-ons are made from a single piece of soft grained leather in a spectacular Blue Shadow colourway with stitched details and a lateral embossed Scritto motif. Step out in style with these lightweight, ultra comfy casual shoes for a trendy summer look.

Available at www.berluti.com


AlUla Fragrance

A unique perfume always makes a simple but splendid present and with Penhaligon's AlUla, it’s hard to go wrong. Inspired by the history and creativity of the legendary oasis city of AlUla, the scent is a heady mix of spice, plum and incense, which evokes a feeling of serenity and sanctuary.

Available at www.penhaligons.com


David Yurman Gold Evil Eye Sapphire Amulet

Give a sparkling gift of protection with this evil eye talisman. A truly memorable piece and part of David Yurman’s Amulets collection, this blue sapphire detailed eye pendant is crafted in 18-carat yellow gold and claims to ward off any malice and protect you from harm. Pair it with a box chain for the ultimate accessory.

Available at www.farfetch.com

fact magazine 35 EID GIFTS FOR HM •


Every dog-lover understands that these furry friends aren't just pets – they're family and, like family, they want to tag along everywhere. With Doha gradually embracing a more dog-friendly culture, there’s no need to part ways with your beloved pet when you head out. From cosy cafés to sprawling parks, Doha is rolling out the welcome mat for dogs (and other pets) of all shapes and sizes. So, leash up and embark on a tail-wagging adventure through the most pet-friendly places in Qatar.


Qatar has experienced a remarkable surge in the number of establishments opening their doors to four-legged companions. But while the country’s stance on dogs has become more relaxed, it's important for dog owners to respect local rules and customs. Here are some dining-out guidelines to keep in mind when you’re with your canine bestie:

1. Ensure you’re up to speed with the rules of the establishment around their pet policy. Call ahead before you venture out.

2. Ensure your dog remains leashed at all times and avoid leashing them to furniture, particularly if your pet is large. This helps prevent accidents in case your dog becomes excited and moves or jumps unexpectedly.

3. Be mindful about choosing a spot that will cause the least distraction for your dog as well as other patrons. Don’t assume that every customer is a dog lover.

4. Avoid feeding your dog at the table. To manage this, ensure that they are fed at home before the trip out. A small treat and some water are acceptable.

5. Be prepared for your outing by bringing essentials like water, treats and toys to ensure that both your pet and you are comfortable during your outing.

6. Avoid sitting or mingling around children (other than your own) while you’re out with your dog. Even if your dog is good with little ones, the excitement or newness of the environment may cause him to react in ways he normally wouldn’t.

Pet-friendly Café’s

There are several spots where you can enjoy a cuppa with your best friend in tow. Some allow for dogs inside the restaurant while some others limit pet entry to outdoor seating. We recommend calling ahead to find out.

● Coffee District Qatar, located at Al Asmakh Tower, 14th Floor Call 5000 3022.

● Café #999, Mohammed Bin Thani, Doha.

Doha Fire Station Museum. Call 4452 5650.

● Amora Pizza, 112 Building, A02 Lusail Street, Lusail. Call 3111 7147.

● Jones The Grocer, The Gate Mall. Call 4407 7175.

● Twisted Olive, The Burj Doha. Call 4425 2727.

fact magazine 38


Dogs love open spaces, and there're plenty of them around Doha. Whether you’re heading to the park or beach, these tips will help make it an exciting adventure for both pooch and you:

1. It goes without saying that owners must pick up after their pets and dispose of waste properly to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. So don’t leave home without all your supplies –a pooper scooper, disposal bags and wet wipes.

2. Avoid feeding other dogs with treats, and don’t allow strangers to feed your dog either. Each dog is unique and may have specific dietary restrictions.

3. Unless in designated off-leash areas, dogs need to be kept on a leash at all times to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Whether your dog has been trained or not, leash laws are in place to avoid accidents and, most importantly, to ensure control in public spaces.

4. Be respectful of other pet owners and dogs you may encounter at the park or beach. Common sense and kindness can go a long way in diffusing misunderstandings with other dogs. Owners should supervise their pets when interacting with other dogs and people to prevent any conflicts or accidents.

5. Not all park-goers or beach-lovers are dog friendly, so keep your dogs away from other people who may not wish to be close to or touched by a dog.


Doha has a number of sprawling green spaces with lots of room for your dog to run and play. It’s also a hot spot for other dog owners just like you, so get ready for some tail-wagging fun and plenty of socialising opportunities.

● Al Bidda Park. For more information call the Al Bidda Park Information Centre at 4428 7777 or visit www.albiddapark.com.

● Barkers & Mittens Dog Park. Located at Al Bidda Park. Call 500 0733.

● 5/6 Park, Onaiza.

● Oxygen Park, Education City.

● Box Park, Old Doha Port.

● Al Muntazah Park. Located along C-Ring Road.

● Abu Hamour Park.

● Pet Park, Pearl Island.


Beaches might not be for all dogs but for those who are inclined, it’s a great place for dogs to frolic and splash around.

● Maroona Beach

● Al Wakra Beach

● Fuwairit Beach

● West Bay Beach


If you are taking your dog out in public to any place where they might encounter fellow canines, make sure they are fully up to date with all their vaccinations to protect both your own pet and others.

fact magazine 40 • PET FRIENDLY PLACES
fact magazine 41 FLAVORS OF HERITAGE ENJOY AUTHENTIC LEBANESE FLAVORS IN A STELLAR AMBIANCE AT AN EXCLUSIVE ADDRESS 4409 5238 burjalhamamqatar 1 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl Island


FACT spent the day in the new HONGQI HS3, a deluxe mid-size SUV that delivers a level of tech, luxury and refinement usually reserved for cars with a much higher price tag.


This month, thanks to the team at Hongqi Qatar, FACT got behind the wheel of the new HONGQI HS3.

Having recently experienced two of this Chinese luxury car marque’s saloons, the H9 and the Ousado, plus the outstanding HS5 Deluxe 4WD SUV, we had high expectations for the brand’s latest release.

Bold & Elegant Exterior

We were taken by surprise the first time we laid eyes on a HONGQI in 2022. We were not expecting the level of craftsmanship and luxury we experienced. However, when approaching our fourth HONGQI test-drive model, we immediately appreciated the now familiar design concept of the HONGQI family DNA, along with the novel ‘Wings of HONGQI’ greeting lights, designed to create the effect of an eagle taking flight.

In the HS3, the brand has continued its winning formula of bold design concepts combined with elegant touches. From head-on, this striking SUV exudes athleticism and power while maintaining an air of refined grace.

As with all the other HONGQIs we’ve experienced, the HS3 showcases a sculpted bonnet complemented by the red HONGQI logo line at its front and centre that continues down the middle of the grille.

The upscale grille is eye-catching and exhibits a geometric design for optimal air intake. Enhancing the SUV’s aggressive-looking face are split-design headlights and well-positioned fog lamps.

Focussing on the flanks, we appreciated the aesthetically pleasing convex and concave surfaces that add to the aerodynamic nature of this sturdy SUV. Sleek yet pronounced wheel arches house stylish 20-inch wheels featuring a unique rim design, while power-folding and movable side mirrors with integrated turn signals further enhance the classy nature of the car.

At the back end, the well-designed tail lights frame a boxy yet modern-looking rear, with a single LED light running the full width of the vehicle, providing a touch of sporty appeal. The neatly designed rear bumper and exhaust system further add to the handsome hind quarters.

Timeless Interior

We discovered the luxurious nature of the new HS3’s exterior to flow effortlessly into the interior, where we were greeted by a high level of opulence.

Slipping into the uber comfy, ventilated and multi-adjustable front seating of HONGQI’s new SUV, we had the perfect position to take in the upmarket interior.

Along with the high-end materials used throughout the vehicle, the HS3 features 253 ambient interior lighting options, allowing us to customise the mood of the internal environment. During the heat of the day, the dual-zone climate control and panoramic sunroof ensure plenty of cool air and natural light.

The centre console and gear controller deserve a special mention, thanks to their stylish look, expensive feel and convenient design.

fact magazine 43

As the day progressed, the more we inspected the cabin, the more impressed we became with every little detail and finish. It is obvious HONGQI remains steadfast in its commitment to creating beautiful vehicles with first-class interiors. Furthermore, the abundance of space on offer throughout the SUV meant plenty of head, shoulder and leg room in both the front and the back.

Advanced Infotainment & Tech

We discovered the infotainment system of the new HS3 to be both clean and minimalistic. The system comprises one 12.6-inch LCD screen and one 12.3-inch LCD instrument display. Not only did we find the system beautifully integrated into the HS3’s cockpit, but intuitive and easy to navigate, providing us with simple access to the vehicle’s extensive range of functions. A 10-speaker Bose Centrepoint surround sound system is a part of the setup, amongst several other entertainment amenities. Further fancy features of our test drive model included wireless phone charging, an air quality sensor, a head-up display and a multi-function steering wheel with audio, Bluetooth switch, MID select and voice command.

Power, Performance & Safety

Despite the impressive nature of all aspects of this luxury SUV’s exterior and interior designs, it was its on-road performance that secured our attention. Housing a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, Turbo Charged Direct Injection Engine, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the new HS3 is no slouch on the tarmac.

Delivering 248hp and 380Nm of torque, this new HONGQI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in a respectable 6.9 seconds. Every time we applied pressure to the right pedal, the car responded, adding plenty of enjoyment to the driving experience.

Additionally, the four-wheel drive system, combined with the five selectable driving modes, ensures the best possible performance on any surface and in all conditions. We found the Sport Plus mode especially pleasing, adding extra verve to the SUV’s performance.

To ensure the well-being of all occupants, HONGQI have included an extensive range of safety and driver assistance features in the new HS3. These include Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous

Emergency Braking, ISOFIX points in the rear and airbags located throughout the vehicle, to name but a few.

Our Verdict

HONGQI seems to be improving with every new premium car model they produce. If the brand continues along its current trajectory, it may soon gain the popularity of other, more established, elite brands. ✤

fact magazine 44 • CITY RIDES GO: CALL 800 7553 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
“In the HS3 , the brand has continued its winning formula of bold design concepts combined with elegant touches.”
fact magazine 45 CITY RIDES •


The new Santa Fe SUV boasts premium features that’re perfect for outdoor escapades.

Hyundai Motor’s fifth-generation Santa Fe SUV embodies the concept of 'Open for More' with a radical transformation in design. The new model boasts a larger tailgate opening and a longer wheelbase that allows it to offer enhanced third-row seating. Bryan Park, President of Hyundai Motor Company expressed excitement about the Santa Fe's reinvention, promising an unrivalled presence in the mid-sized SUV segment. “The all-new Santa Fe embodies the boundless outdoors and urban landscape and will establish an unrivalled presence in the mid-sized SUV segment,” he said.

The exterior design emphasises a powerful presence and outdoor lifestyle trend, featuring a high hood and distinctive H-shaped headlamps. Inside, the interior showcases horizontal and vertical design elements, enhancing openness and user experience. Practicality meets luxury with features like a Panoramic Curved Display and eco-friendly materials such as the leatherette seats, certified as Class 1 in Europe, that minimise human health hazards. The Santa Fe prioritises living space with increased legroom and headroom, catering to customer feedback. Premium features include a UV-C sterilisation tray and radar-based Rear Occupant Alert for safety and convenience.

It is also equipped with a host of driving assistance and safety features that reduce user involvement. The proactive driver assistance features like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist and New Driver Attention Warning enhance driving confidence.

Two powertrain options are available: a gasoline 2.5-litre engine and a more powerful turbocharged variant, providing fuelefficient power for both city commutes and outdoor adventures. With its bold design, spacious interior and advanced features, the all-new Santa Fe sets a new standard in the SUV segment. ✤



Nissan unveils the new 2024 Z Proto that features a range of upgrades.

The Z Proto is a sports model that is part of the 2024 Nissan Z lineup. This exclusive edition promises to elevate the thrill of being behind the wheel with its bold aesthetic upgrades. From its unique Boulder Gray exterior to the meticulously integrated yellow accents in the cabin, the 2024 Z Proto pays homage to its heritage while being a modern sports car.

Since the global introduction of Nissan Z over 50 years ago, the brand has built a reputation for power, performance and utility. Nassim Mourani, General Manager of the Automotive Group at Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company, said: “We are thrilled to introduce the new 2024 Z Proto to motor enthusiasts in Qatar. Joining the esteemed 2024 Nissan Z lineup, this model signifies the brand’s dedication to delivering driving excitement in the region.”

At its core, the 2024 Z Proto boasts a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine generating 400hp , delivering breathtaking performance. Drivers have the choice of a six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission with advanced launch assist control or a nine-speed automatic transmission for quick acceleration.

The Z Proto prioritises safety with features such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning. Inside, the cabin blends modern technology with vintage elements. The centre stack

takes inspiration from generations before it, while the 12.3-inch customisable digital meter is inspired by modern race cars. With an eight-speaker Bose audio system, you can be sure that the 2024 Nissan Z Proto will be quite a ride! ✤


fact magazine 46
+974 5091 7654 | TheEngineRoomDoha ELEGANCE, HORSEPOWER, AND FINE CIGARS Located at Al Gassar Resort, The St. Regis Doha


GAC Motor unveils the ground-breaking GAC M8.

You asked for it, now you’ve got it. GAC Motor proudly presents the sleek and sophisticated GAC M8, that is poised to redefine the driving experience for families and professionals alike. Blending cutting-edge technology with opulent design, this seven-seater is crafted with precision engineering and attention to detail. Everything from its spacious interior to advanced safety systems promises exceptional performance at an incredible value.

“Since we opened the brand-new GAC Motor showroom last year, we have witnessed a growing appetite for the brand and interest in new models. In response to this, we have introduced the M8 to the lineup, which breaks the mould of the functional multi-purpose vehicle segment with its sophisticated looks and technology-laden features,” said Marco Melani, Managing Director of Domasco GAC Motor.

Key features of the vehicle include smart self-driving assistant technology, including Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assistance for peace of mind on the road, and what're called the Class-Leading Second Row Seats that offer adjustable leg rests, heated massage function and ventilation, ensuring a comfortable ride for all passengers. A 12.3-inch instrument screen and a 14.6-inch central console provide an immersive entertainment

experience, complemented by an eight-speaker sound system. As safety is paramount in the GAC M8, features like the world's first 360° Airbag Matrix provide protection for occupants. Under the bonnet, the M8 delivers impressive performance thanks to its 2.0TGDI engine and eight-Speed AT transmission. With 248hp and 400Nm of torque, this MPV effortlessly combines power with fuel efficiency.

Available in three trim levels and five colours, the GAC M8 comes with a seven-year/250,000km warranty. It's the perfect blend of style, comfort and performance, making every journey a memorable one. ✤



Mitsubishi Motors reveals a blend of style and performance in the Montero Sport.

The Mitsubishi Montero Sport has a new look. Think sleek lines, robust performance and exceptional durability. This updated look features a new Dynamic Shield front grille, enhanced front bumper design and modern LED and fog lights, giving it a rugged yet contemporary feel. The rear design has also been revamped with new lamp layouts and a smoked finish spoiler, adding a touch of sophistication.

The vehicle is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 MIVEC engine, delivering strong acceleration and improved fuel efficiency thanks to its eight-speed automatic transmission, the first from Mitsubishi Motors. Built for stability and traction, its rugged frame and aerodynamic body ensure solid handling and performance on various terrains.

Safety features include the Forward Collision Mitigation, that prevents a frontal collision or reduces damage in such an event, Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Warning, enhancing driver awareness and preventing collisions. Additional safety features include an Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System, to prevent collisions while parking, and Multi Around Monitor that allows views from cameras mounted on the front, rear and sides. Inside, the Montero Sport offers a luxurious experience with leather seats, dual-layered cushioning and premium amenities. The updated infotainment system features an eight-inch


fact magazine 48
display and Smartphone-link Display
connectivity and entertainment on the
and rear
go. Practical additions like
power tailgate
console AC power outlet add convenience for occupants. The Montero Sport is available at Qatar Automobiles Company. ✤


Celebrate Eid in style with our exclusive staycation offer! Enjoy luxurious accommodations, delectable dining experiences, and exciting amenities, all wrapped up in a festive atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or a fun-filled family getaway, our Eid staycation packages promise unforgettable memories and unparalleled hospitality. Book now and elevate your holiday with us!

Starting from QR /NIGHT 725 + BREAKFAST FOR 2

Al Wakra, Qatar

+ 974 4428 7888 souqalwakra@tivolihotels.com

Starting from QR /NIGHT 690 + BREAKFAST FOR 2

Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar

+ 974 4433 6661 res.vswq@tivolihotels.com

Al Najada, Doha, Qatar

+ 974 4470 4444 reservations.tnjd@tivolihotels.com

fact magazine 49
* Terms and Conditions apply. Subject to availability. Offer not valid from 1st Eid to April 20, 2024..


Ring unveils its most advanced rechargeable battery doorbell.

Smart home security company, Ring, has introduced its latest battery-powered doorbell camera – the Battery Doorbell Pro. Loaded with cutting-edge features, it looks to provide unrivalled protection to all homes.

The device offers dynamic image processing and onboard compression to deliver life-like colour and sharpness whether users are watching a live view or a video recording from the previous night. It effectively provides a head-to-toe HD+ video in 1536p resolution, giving users an expanded field of view so they can clearly see the person at the front door.

The Battery Doorbell Pro also boasts radar-powered 3D Motion Detection that lets users configure Bird’s Eye View and Bird’s Eye Zones features, which show an aerial perspective of motion on the property in the Ring app. It also lets users pinpoint designated areas on the property and sends off alerts when motion is detected in those locations.

Moreover, the new Low-Light Sight function makes the most of illumination from streetlights or landscape lighting to ensure clear visibility during low-light conditions at night.

The device is convenient and easy to set up and comes with a Quick Release Battery Pack for fast and easy recharging.

The Battery Doorbell Pro works seamlessly with other Ring gadgets to create a whole home system. Customers can also receive motion alerts on compatible Alexa devices. By subscribing to a Ring Protect Plan, users can access additional features, such as cloud storage, person and package alerts, rich notifications and other modes. ✤



The new Leica SL3 lets users freely express their visual storytelling in interesting ways.

Paying attention to feedback from users and the photographic community to ensure its products maintain exceptional standards, Leica Camera has developed the new SL3.

Designed using state-of-the-art technology, this latest camera is more user friendly, compact and lighter than the previous Leica SL2.

The new mirrorless full-frame system camera is extremely versatile and offers stunning image quality in both photography and videography. It boasts an advanced full-frame image sensor with Triple Resolution Technology.

Safely housed in a rugged all-metal body with elegant leather finishes, the Leica SL3 capably meets a variety of photographic requirements. Its impressive sensor records raw files in DNG or JPEG format with a resolution of either 60, 36 or 18 megapixels. The camera also has an ISO (standard for sensitivity to light) range from 50 to 100,000, allowing it to deliver remarkably detailed images in various lighting conditions.

The SL3 features an innovative autofocus system that combines the strengths of three technologies – phase detection (PDAF), depth mapping (Object Detection AF), and contrast recognition (Contrast Detection AF) – to create razor-sharp pictures even in dim light.

Another new feature is the tiltable three-inch, high-resolution touchscreen and a fresh user interface. In addition, the camera’s

lens bayonet, which is based on the L-Mount standard developed by Leica, is compatible with all Leica camera systems, as well as a range of ultra-wide to super-telephoto zoom lenses offered by L-Mount alliance partners. ✤


fact magazine 50 • PLUGGED IN


Shure’s latest wireless clip-on microphones capture superior audio for those on the go.

For people that shoot and create organic content that’s not limited to a studio setup, Audio technology developer, Shure, has introduced the new MoveMic Microphone System. It includes two wireless clip-on microphones (lavalier) – the single-channel MoveMic One and the dual-channel MoveMic Two. Developed with a custom acoustic design and proprietary wireless software to ensure professional audio quality while on the go, the MoveMic One and Two are the smallest, bestsounding, dual-channel direct-to-phone wireless lavalier solution available in market.

Ideal for content creators, videographers and mobile journalists, these latest devices have been designed to deliver reliable, true broadcast-quality audio in an ultra-lightweight design. The microphones were intentionally designed to be almost invisible, each weighing just 8.2g and measuring 46mm x 22mm, which translates to discreet usage with only a fraction of the microphone visible in the shot.

The MoveMic also boasts an IPX4 rating, which makes it capable of withstanding spills, splashes and other demands of recording outdoors.

Each microphone has up to eight hours of battery life and two additional eight-hour charges from the charging case. Plus, the USB-C connectivity makes the device easily chargeable.

Those seeking universal compatibility can also pick up the optional standalone MoveMic Receiver and bundled MoveMic Two Receiver Kit. They provide seamless integration with various devices like cameras, computers and other thirdparty smartphone apps. ✤



Elevate your mobile gaming experiences with a specially designed gaming controller attachment.

If you enjoy playing games on your mobile, how about taking it up a notch? GameSir, a leading provider of innovative, high quality gaming peripherals, has launched its latest product – the X2s Type-C mobile gaming controller.

This new device is easily compatible with most Android devices and now also with Apple’s iPhone 15 series phones, due to the new uniformity brought on by the brand’s recent switch to USB Type-C. Aimed at providing mobile gamers with true immersion, enjoyment and empowerment during gameplay, the X2s has been designed to offer a comfortable design, expert precision, flawless connectivity and outstanding software customisation options. Mobile gamers can become immediately acquainted with the precision and durability they demand, thanks to the X2s controller’s fusion with the internationally coveted Hall Tech. Users can immerse themselves in gaming bliss with the Hall Effect sticks that deliver 360° seamless pinpoint control, backed by anti-friction glide rings for a super smooth experience with reduced stick grinding and extended usage time.

For added comfort, the X2s’ face buttons combine dome switches and a cushioned design, while the LB and RB bumper controls come with micro-switch buttons to give an e-sport feel and also have a remarkable three-million-click lifespan. ✤


fact magazine 52 • PLUGGED IN
Sky Dining & Lounge, At the higheSt terrA ce of DohA Located on the 48th floor Dusit Hotel & Suites – Doha in West Bay +974 3082 0469 @tropicana360.doha


What’s on the smartphone agenda for April?


If acquiring information and continually broadening your horizon is something you're fond of, then Blinkist is the right app for you.

It is currently one of the best online platforms that provides book summaries covering a wide range of topics like science, business, selfimprovement and more.

With a vast collection of more than 6,500 titles available on the app, including most of the top bestsellers, users can read and listen to book summaries in a matter of 15 minutes.

The platform has a straightforward and simple design. It provides concise summaries that effectively highlight the main ideas of the books, saving users time and effort in a world where it's easy to get overwhelmed with ever-increasing to-read lists.

For busy users who want to read and learn more but have limited time, the app offers a personal library that’s accessible at their convenience.


Save precious moments by repairing old photographs back to their pristine condition with the help of FixMyPics. A photo restoration application that brilliantly converts your old photos to a refreshed state, FixMyPics caters to casual users as well as professional photographers.

Designed with a user-friendly interface and utilising advanced AI algorithms, this app competently improves picture quality, transforming old images to look like they were captured yesterday.

The key features include taking faded old black and white photographs and bringing them back to life with colour enhancements. It can restore, clean up and sharpen pictures by removing the old yellow tone and other visual distortions, such as small, discoloured pixels and specks.

The app also eliminates scratches, spots and lines from aged photos and gives them a clearer and more natural appearance. Users can also take old photos and customise them for a new smoother finish.

fact magazine 54 • PLUGGED IN
FINE DINING, FINER MOMENTS +974 3995 2606 | @sax.qatar sax qatar The St. Regis Doha

In Conversation with… Gerald Chevasson

The new General Manager of InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa talks about transparency at the workplace and his favourite spot in Doha.

fact magazine 56 • 5 OVER 5

Given your extensive experience in the Middle East hospitality industry spanning over 30 years, how do you anticipate leveraging your regional knowledge and insights into your new role?

Throughout my years of experience working in the luxury hospitality industry in Doha, the UAE, Muscat and Saudi, I have learned a lot about luxury. One key insight I gained is the essential role of creativity and innovation in achieving true luxury. It is with this in mind that we work on the strategies for InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa and InterContinental Doha Residences. We are also working to develop the hotel to attract more leisure guests. Developing more experiences for our guests to enjoy is a core goal of our strategy.

What changes can customers expect to see with you at the helm?

My focus has been on enhancing the resort feel, restaurants and bars, as well as wellness. A lot of changes have already taken place in enhancing and revitalising our culinary offerings, along with new leadership within our culinary team, and also our fitness and leisure activities with The Bay Club. Additionally, guests can anticipate my personal touch on every aspect of their experience, from the minute details like floral arrangements to the overall ambience, bolstered by the recent addition of a Music Curator. In short, guests can look forward to a sensory journey where vibrant enhancements will be made from the smallest of details to the overall service excellence of the hotel.

What unique leadership style or approach do you bring to your role as General Manager, and how do you intend to foster a positive and dynamic work culture within your team?

I believe in transparency, sharing with the team, both on our

successes and failures. I do not believe in hiding anything. When you involve your team with all that is happening in the hotel and share the goals and vision, you have a more engaged team that works more cohesively. When everyone is involved and given an opportunity to voice their thoughts, we have room for conversation and cohesive development. A big part of leadership is knowing your team well, and this is bolstered by fostering great relationships. I walk around and greet my colleagues every day, I greet them on their birthdays, share in their success and guide them in their careers.

Returning to Qatar after eight years, what changes have you observed in the country?

It’s amazing to see how much the country has grown in such a short time, especially with new cities like Lusail and Msheireb. What I admire most about Qatar is how it manages to grow and still retain its identity and culture. It is still as chic as it was, and the focus on culture, sport and health has stayed the same. There are plenty more leisure opportunities for tourists to explore, both within the hospitality industry and out of it with new touristic experiences. Definitely, a lot of big changes.

What about the ‘new’ Qatar impresses you the most?

Msheireb. I love sitting outdoors in cafés and Msheireb is the perfect spot for my family and me to enjoy people-watching. It is a wonderful experience to stroll through the streets and discover the vibrant cafés, interesting art exhibits and luxury boutiques. Msheireb is a unique blend of European and Arab culture. It’s a chic and innovative place that’s so modern and yet so cultural. I am also really impressed by the National Museum of Qatar, designed by a Frenchman, the overall infrastructure of the city, and one of the best things about Doha: no traffic! ✤

fact magazine 57
5 OVER 5 •


Marcus Riot, Executive Chef of Morimoto Doha, shares how diverse experiences shape his approach to cooking and the exclusive concepts he brings to life.

fact magazine 58

From bistros and gastropubs in the UK to luxurious Japanese dining in Qatar – your journey has been quite remarkable! How has this experience shaped your approach to cooking and what commonalities do you see between these diverse culinary environments?

From the beginning of my career, quality, sustainability and supplier relationships have been the fundamentals of running a successful restaurant. This is even more important in Qatar where sourcing ingredients can sometimes be tricky, however I love a challenge. Personally, working within different cuisines has shown me that most are alike and the important factor is to not overcomplicate a dish, to let the ingredients speak for themselves and to use my skills to showcase the variation of execution.

What’s the single most important factor you prioritise when selecting ingredients, and how do you balance staying true to traditional Japanese culinary techniques while infusing your own creativity?

The most important factor of running a restaurant is producing quality dishes at effective prices. Whether I’m creating a dish using Wagyu, tuna or local fish and vegetables, the quality of ingredients must be consistent. A fantastic aspect about Japanese cuisine is the wide variety of produce and cooking techniques. Infusing my creativity becomes effortless as I marry the flavour combinations from traditional dishes and plate them using my

creative flair. I do, however, go outside the box sometimes, like creating Wasabi Ice Cream!

How did you come up with the exclusive 12 Chairs Caviar Bar concept? What was the inspiration behind it?

The inspiration behind 12 Chairs was to offer our guests at Mondrian a truly unique experience, which was never done before in Qatar – to push the boundaries of a bar experience and to showcase the variety of caviar we carry. Once I put together my team, we constantly pushed ourselves to innovate and offer not just a meal, but a conversation of what food provides for us and how it can transport us to another country or bring back nostalgic memories. 12 Chairs is truly a unique concept.

Having curated exclusive menus for Morimoto over the years, what would you say is your best to date and what keeps your loyal customers coming back for more?

Throughout my time in Morimoto, I have created a number of omakase menus, drawing inspiration from Chef Morimoto and incorporating my plating style and cooking techniques. We now regularly have omakase events in which we showcase a refined tailored dining experience. This ensures that we keep things interesting and challenges the team to learn new ways of service. My monkfish dish came from one of these omakase events and is now on the menu at Morimoto. ✤

fact magazine 59 VOICE FROM THE KITCHEN •


Hannah Nesbitt went on a gastronomic adventure to Isla Mexican Kitchen, where traditional flavours and cultural heritage take centre stage.

With its prime location situated on the picturesque Porto Arabia boardwalk, Fact dining awards nominee Isla Mexican Kitchen makes a great spot for some traditional dishes, overlooking the boats on the marina. The indoor seating allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant and warm traditional Mexican décor, your eyes will be drawn to the bold and busy hand-painted murals on the walls and the papel picado – cut paper banners, strung across the ceiling.

Wrought iron chandeliers add to the rustic feel, providing a homely and cosy glow. In contrast, the outdoor terrace provides large colourful tables, with festive string lights adding to the lively and joyous spirit of the restaurant.

Mexican food is steeped in centuries of tradition, with recipes being passed through generations of families, retaining its historic ingredients and displaying the country’s rich cultural heritage and love of flavour and spices. Isla Mexican Kitchen is no exception to this, offering a vast menu of traditional Mexican dishes.

One of Mexico’s most famous street foods is the taco. With more than a thousand varieties, each chef and region offers their own take on the traditional dish, with flavours being combined to make modern twists.

Chef Jesus talked us through his choice of ingredients and their significance in the creation of each dish. With 10 tantalising taco options on the menu to choose from, we were spoilt for choice. The small, bite-sized portions made it easy to mix and match, perfect for sharing with family and friends, ensuring you get to taste all that’s on offer. Despite the presence of chilli in many

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dishes, the flavours remain balanced, with a subtle kick.

The restaurant’s bestselling option – Taco De Deshebrada, was a firm favourite of ours. With slow cooked shredded beef adobo, marinated in a complex combination of spices and flavours to create a rich and juicy filling, it was clear to see why this is a winner with returning customers.

For those seeking a vegetarian alternative, there’s the Tacos De Rajas Con Crema. It was served on a white flour tortilla and was a delicious alternative to all the meat options on the menu. This taco contained a mix of onions, peppers and mushrooms with crunchy sweetcorn in cream.

Ceviche is the traditional Latin American method for preparing fresh fish. Originating from the Puebla region in Mexico, this classic dish at Isla contained only the freshest of ingredients, with the catch of the day, red snapper, being the star ingredient. The thinly sliced radish and sprigs of coriander garnish added texture and bite.

The main dish, Mole con Pollo, was surprisingly unique and flavoursome. Created by combining more than 30 ingredients, including chilli, nuts, seeds and spices, it was served with a tangy tomato mix and Mexican rice. It was an intriguing addition to our evening. Most surprising in the long list of ingredients to this chicken dish was dark chocolate, adding a bitter-sweet taste and a smooth creamy texture. The thick, rich sauce smothered the tender chicken pieces, which heightened the overall appeal. During our visit, which coincided with the Holy Month of Ramadan, we were treated to an exclusive Iftar set menu. Wholesome yet

simple dishes were carefully combined to create a delicious meal to break the fast. On the menu was a delicious roasted and charred tomato soup. The smoky flavour and smooth texture were complemented by the crunchy contrast in the Flautitas de Birria, a Mexican take on a spring roll – flaky filo pastry, stuffed with birria lamb and topped with firm halloumi and fresh tomatoes. The main course on this menu was half a roasted chicken and Mexican rice with beans. The simplicity of the dish allowed for the delicious flavours to be the main event. A green salad with a light and zingy lime dressing was the perfect accompaniment.

A spectacular ending to our Mexican feast was a dessert carousel, once again inviting a sharing concept. A colourful fruit medley was accompanied by Tres Leches and Mexican flan, churros and a trio of ice cream. The two more substantial and filling desserts were the Tres Leches and the Mexican flan, a creamy custardbased dish with a crunchy caramelised surface.

The churros, a classic Mexican favourite, boast an age-old recipe handed down from chef Jesus’ grandmother. The sugarfrosted dough was perfect for dipping into the ice cream, while the fresh fruit provided a lighter alternative. Each course highlighted the depth of Mexican flavours and the skill of the chef in creating them. ✤

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Embark on a unique private culinary journey for your special occasion. Whether it is an anniversary, a birthday, or a surprise proposal, celebrate in extraordinary beach side settings. Choose from a curated selection of gourmet menus or collaborate with your personal chef to craft your own.

For inquiries and bookings:

Call or WhatsApp +974 5015 7560 Email bsunda@anantara.com

reservations doha@anantara com T: +974 4040 5050


AMS indulged in the culinary mastery showcased at Mr. Tailor Steakhouse.


As we stepped into the embrace of Mr. Tailor Steakhouse, within the Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha, the immediate sense was one of understated elegance. The dining area was adorned with plush cream chairs that stood around polished wooden tables. A striking chandelier descended from the vaulted ceiling, its luminescence spilling over the scene, casting a welcoming glow on the emerald green accents that lined the room.

We were seated in an intimate corner, where the walls bore a collection of monochrome photographs, reminiscent of classic Hollywood glamour. This visual narrative complemented the contemporary, warm tones of the restaurant, creating an ambience that was both nostalgic and chic.

Appetising Introductions

Our smiling waitress presented us with a choice of water or soft drinks and deftly laid out the house bread. The golden loaf bore a resemblance to a croissant with an artful twist. The layers, when pulled apart, revealed a flaky, tender texture. Each bite released a rich, buttery essence that lingered on the palate. Just as we were mopping up the last few crumbs, the starters graced our table, unfolding in a gastronomic deluge.

The Hokkaido Scallop revealed itself as a pearl of the sea, cradled by its shell, accompanied by the earthy whispers of Matsutake mushroom and crowned with the jewel-like ikura caviar (salmon roe), each element a note in a seaside serenade. Wagyu Roll introduced a new dimension with layers of thinly sliced Wagyu beef striploin, rich and robust, intertwined with creamy avocado

and crispy fried asparagus, crafting a mosaic of textures and flavours. Finally, Beef Cecina offered a narrative of tradition redefined, with Tête de Moine cheese unfurling like delicate rosettes, pickled vegetables providing a tangy counterpoint and kumquat chutney painting a bittersweet picture on the plate. The quality of ingredients and attention to minute details made an immediate impression.

Artisanal Insights

We were keen to meet the person behind the gastronomic magic. Chef Ramesh, originally from Sri Lanka, is a seasoned professional after years of culinary craftsmanship in Doha. He shared that everything we were savouring was made from scratch in-house. He spoke with pride about the restaurant's exquisite dry-aged beef and his approach to blending Eastern and Western flavours, creating a tapestry of taste.

Signature Selections

Chef told us to settle back and prepare ourselves for the mains. There would be ‘no holding back’, he assured us, and he wasn’t joking. We started with Black Angus Back Ribs, their succulence a testament to the perfection achieved through 48 hours of sous vide cooking. The honey glaze was not just a topping but a seal of sweet caramelisation that intertwined with the deep smokiness, while the house corn offered a comforting, charred sweetness that perfectly balanced the robustness of the meat.

Next, was a Butcher Feast for Two. Each cut, from the striploin to the tenderloin, was a masterstroke of seasoning and precision

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cooking, presented to us as a showcase of the finest meats. The sides were not mere afterthoughts; the jasmine rice was an elegant bed adorned with a rich quail egg, the fermented cabbage added a bright acidity and the king oyster mushrooms provided a meaty texture, leaving us in silent appreciation of the harmony on our plates.

Just when we thought we had ascended to meat heaven, we were treated to the Wagyu Filet 8+, the embodiment of culinary opulence. Our forks tenderly sunk into the marbled treasure, echoing tales of verdant pastures. Each cut, immersed in the luscious depth of bone marrow, was a testament to its buttery texture. Beside it, king oyster mushrooms stood regally, their earthiness contrasting with the meat's richness. The vibrant chimichurri draped over, weaving through the flavours with a light, herbaceous twang, ensuring each indulgent mouthful was as balanced as it was sumptuous.

International Appeal

While dining, we had the pleasure of meeting a couple vacationing in Doha. Their delight in the dishes mirrored our own, serving as a testament to the international appeal of the restaurant. Like us, they were enamoured by the tradition of impeccably prepared meat dishes, a hallmark of Rixos, the Turkish brand under whose banner the restaurant thrives. It was a shared experience that echoed the cross-cultural culinary conversation the establishment is known for.

Decadent Delights

Our desserts continued the impressive lineup that had already come before. The Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Cake was a canvas of contrasts, with the deep velvety chocolate ganache and the tart raspberry jam creating a vibrant mosaic, punctuated by

crispy raspberry pieces that added an unexpected textural delight. In a nod to tradition, the final offering was a Pistachio Carrot Slice Baklava – a departure to the realm of nutty and sweet. Each layer of the pastry was a testament to the fine balance of flavour and crunch. Paired with Maraş ice cream, it was a fitting finale that melded the warmth of the East with the coolness of a classic dessert.

Mr. Tailor Steakhouse stands as a beacon of culinary finesse in Doha's vibrant dining scene. The undeniable skill woven into each dish places it shoulder-to-shoulder with the city's most esteemed eateries. With a variety of dining sections, catering to families, older couples and young diners alike, the restaurant has broad appeal and should rightfully feature on the discerning diner's list. A visit to Mr. Tailor Steakhouse is an exploration of taste, where each dish celebrates the chef's flair and secures the restaurant's place as a must-visit destination for epicureans of all ages. ✤

fact magazine 66 • FOODIE FIESTA


Emille Loyola Artigas went on a sensory adventure at MURU.

It was a weekend dinner date when we eagerly drove into the glittering and vibrant West Bay, where the iconic Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay is located. With a façade and main entrance almost identical to the original Waldorf Astoria in New York, the hotel is a nod to the brand’s rich heritage and legacy, bringing Manhattan flair to Qatar’s capital.

We could feel the thrilling ambience that awaited us on entering the exceptionally designed and intricately lit main entrance of the newly launched MURU. The brand is brought to us by the acclaimed Chef Mauro Colagreco, who drew inspiration from his rich heritage and global travels, resulting in a menu that seamlessly blends classic and innovative cuisine in a symphony of flavours, introducing an entirely new concept to the Doha dining scene.

The interior is meticulously decorated, featuring MURU’s identity that is deeply rooted in the elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire; the seating areas divided into four sections. The bar and lounge area at the end of the restaurant features the Earth’s nurturing qualities in its interiors and decorations. We stayed at the bar while I marvelled at the design, soaking in the garden-like atmosphere as the bartenders expertly crafted and served mixed drinks. The distinctive cork-covered walls and the use of natural colours and textures from light pastels to browns, evoke a sense of warmth and serenity.

Water danced in a flowing, curving seamless motion in the Water section, that is designed to manifest a balance of light, brightness and reflection using calming colours – just like the dancing sea

or a trickling stream. Here, the cold station was showcased in an eye-catching exhibition of maki rolls, ceviche and appetisers. We were seated at the Fire section, which exuded life’s transformative passion from the subtle yet powerful force in the setting and tone. Our view from the table was of the trendy open kitchen with a wood fire roasting station as the centrepiece. Seeing all these areas heightened our anticipation for the dishes that were about to reach our table.

MURU’s menu is a testament of Chef Mauro’s culinary prowess, featuring an array of tantalising, innovative dishes that pay homage to his heritage. Antonella, our friendly hostess for the evening, expertly explained the menu and we chose based on her recommendations. While waiting, we were served with the most amazing garlic bread, so tasty like no other. First to arrive was the enticing set of starters. Mixto, a delightful mix of scallops, octopus and shrimps perfectly cured in leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, instilling a heavenly crisp citrus flavour, was the right start to the experience. Being a cheese fanatic, I could not pass on one particular item. The Empanada Humita with corn, cheese and béchamel, with a creamy dip, was a crispy wrap with a flavourful symphony that just melts in your mouth. The simply named Tuna Maki roll was far from simple and was our favourite among the appetisers. It had essences of nikkiri veil, crispy leeks and jalapenos blended delightfully. I couldn’t get enough of it. The mains were a sight to behold. It was not an easy choice, but in the end, we went for the Rib-Eye and Miso Glazed Black Cod. I have not seen a rib-eye cut thinner or as wide as it was in MURU, but it proved to be the best way to do it. Every bite delivered a rich,

fact magazine 69 ON THE MENU •

robust beef flavour and a wonderfully juicy, tender texture, deep, nutty and concentrated, I did not even need the sauce.

The Miso Glazed Black Cod was a revelation! It was the best tasting black cod ensemble I had experienced so far. The epitome of a masterpiece. The presentation was decadent, so was the taste – rich and buttery – the black cod lay on a bed of rice cream and green oil, flawlessly complemented by Gomasio, a Japanese sesame salt, that made this dreamy dish unforgettable.

MURU is an immersive environment that honours the splendour of the natural world. It embodies a celebration, harmonising with the elements of nature in perfect balance. This ethos influences the team, each member displaying compassion, intelligence and deep love for their craft, characterised by calmness, positivity and attentiveness. Antonella, who assisted our table, knew the menu by heart and we became so engaged in how she explained each and every item. Anthony, the restaurant General Manager, was visiting every table regularly to ensure guests were having a wonderful experience.

MURU definitely requires another visit as there’s a lot more on the menu that I know I will love. It was an experience to remember and it is evident that this restaurant is poised to take the Doha culinary scene by storm, one delectable dish at a time. ✤

fact magazine 70 • ON THE MENU
fact magazine 71 Where comfort meets food with every bite! Burj Doha, Ground Floor Doha, Qatar +974 4425 2727


AMS took the opportunity to discover a unique culinary legacy at Astor Grill.

Upon entering Astor Grill, at The St. Regis Doha, we found ourselves wrapped in a cocoon of contemporary splendour, where elements of nature subtly infused the space. The stone-effect wall at the entrance whispered of wild, untamed landscapes. Above us, metallic spirals unfurled against reflective surfaces, conjuring a sense of stepping into a futuristic realm that still paid homage to the organic roots of its design.

The lighting was soft yet deliberate, casting a golden hue that bounced off the polished floors and caressed the textured walls. It was in this interplay of light and shadow, metal and stone, that our first impressions of Astor Grill were formed.

As we were ushered to our table, a sense of seamless service was embodied by Jelandhar and his impeccable team. Their warm greetings and attentive care curated an atmosphere as inviting as the plush seating by the window, where we took our places with a commanding view over the undulating sea. The sun's final rays dipped below the horizon, bidding farewell to the day.

Dusk settled in and a hush descended upon the dining area. In a ceremony honouring the founder, John Jacob Astor, we were invited to join in a salute that happens throughout the St. Regis properties worldwide. It was a gesture that imbued the evening with a sense of legacy. For a moment, within the walls of Astor Grill, we were part of a wider family gathered to pay homage to a visionary.

The Prelude

We were delighted to start our journey with Smoked Burrata. Heritage tomatoes bursting with sweetness were paired with the soft, smoky whispers of cheese. Almond pesto added a nutty counterpoint and the coal ash infused oil, a stroke of genius, painted smoky shadows on a rich canvas.

The Astor Salad, understated in its elegance, featured smoked duck that pirouetted with cool baby iceberg, while the asparagus spears and parmesan nodded to tradition with a caper dressing adding piquancy to each bite. Transitioning to the Wagyu Tataki felt like stepping into a different scene, one where the tang of koshu-pickled enoki and the fire of chilli met the earthy seduction of sesame seeds, with char-grilled maldon aioli providing a smoky caress.

An interlude of Fried Wagyu Wonton revealed a playful textural symphony, the crunch of nori sheets and peanuts juxtaposed against the tender beef, with edamame barbecue soy and sesame sauce conducting a flavour crescendo. In the Yellowfin Seared Tuna, we found the ocean's robust yet refined character, the loin’s seared edges speaking of fiery grills, while edamame, avocado mousse and cilantro kanzuri sauce danced in a zesty mélange. The Seabass Ceviche was a refreshing final act, with yuzu's citrusy zing and wasabi leaf horseradish aioli bringing a sharp, exhilarating contrast to the delicate fish, the baby potato chips lending a satisfying crunch.

As we delved deeper into our culinary exploration, the warmth of Astor Grill emanated not just from the glow of the open kitchen, where chefs masterfully orchestrated a feast before our eyes, but also from the vibrant buzz of activity and the contented murmurs of fellow diners fully engaged in the joy of the meal.

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Masterpieces From The Grill

With the arrival of our mains, the artistry and precision of Astor Grill's kitchen were unmistakably spotlighted, particularly with the Jospered Short Ribs taking centre stage. This 350gm serving of ribs was a testament to both the chef's skill and the superior quality of the meat, each bite infused with the depth of flavour that only comes from careful preparation and attention to detail.

The smoky serenade of the ribs, adorned in a rich, blackened barbecue sauce, showcased a mastery of grilling techniques, ensuring every fibre was perfectly tender and succulent.

The Atlantic White Fish offered a contrast, its light batter enveloping the delicate flesh in a crispy shell, hinting at the freshness of sea breezes with each bite. Creamy tartar sauce added a refined finish to the fish's crisp narrative.

Adding to the marine offerings, the Tiger Prawns were grilled to perfection, each prawn was a burst of oceanic freshness, their succulent flesh imbued with a subtle char that spoke of summer barbecues and seaside feasts.

Complementing these dishes, the Triple Fried Truffle Chips were a revelation in their own right, their decadent crunch and the subtle earthiness of truffles serving as the perfect accompaniment. A momentary pause allowed us to marvel at the grill's dedication to quality, epitomised by the meat cabinet. Nestled within, blocks of Himalayan salt stood guard, playing a crucial role in the dryageing process.

The Art Of Dessert

The short break gave us just enough time to prepare for the final offerings. The berry ice cream, whimsically presented in a

miniature can, was the essence of a summer’s day captured in frozen form. With each spoonful, we savoured the alchemy of berries turned into a creamy, chilled delight, the fruit's natural tang tempered by the sweetness of the ice. The kunafa dough ice cream was a revelation, a seamless fusion of the traditional and the avant-garde. Its crispy topping was a textural harmony sung over the soft, sweet melody of flavours below.

Between these acts of indulgence, we sat back and surveyed the restaurant. The clinking of cutlery – a gentle percussion to the soft jazz playing in the background – and the dim lighting, added a layer of intimacy to our secluded table.

Culminating the trio of desserts was the Coffee Explosion – a base of grilled hazelnut biscuit covered in velvety coffee crémeux and opulent espresso ganache. The act of pouring espresso over it not only intensified the flavours but also awakened the senses, each bite a harmonious dance of rich coffee and nutty sweetness.

An Unforgettable Evening

As our evening drew to a close, the harmonious fusion of fine dining, attentive service and the celebration of tradition left a lasting impression. Astor Grill, with its culinary finesse and the warmth of its welcome, is a destination for those seeking to create memories that last. ✤


fact magazine 74 • DINING DELIGHT


Cayetana Moret Gual embarked on an enchanting culinary escapade at La Spiga by Papermoon, where each dish told a story of authenticity and exquisite flavours.

Stepping into La Spiga by Papermoon, nestled within the prestigious W Hotel in West Bay, I was immediately greeted by an ambience that set the stage for an exquisite dining experience. As I made my way through the lobby, the pulsating beats of cool music created an enticing club-like atmosphere, preparing me for the culinary journey ahead. Located on the ground floor to the left, the entrance to the restaurant beckoned with an understated elegance. On this special evening, the romantic aura was palpable, heightened by the delicate fragrance of red rose petals adorning each table and the enchanting melodies of live jazz-swing music.

On being warmly greeted and promptly seated, I was welcomed with a delightful bread basket accompanied by Italian olive oil and vinegar. A highlight was the freshly baked Focaccia, emerging warm and crisp from their special pizza oven, its aromatic rosemary seasoning tantalising the senses.

The menu at La Spiga is a blend of signature dishes available year-round and seasonal specialities crafted with the finest ingredients sourced globally. With a commitment to authenticity, the flavours reflect the true essence of Italian cuisine.

Starters included the Burrata Pugliese, a creamy cheese sourced from Puglia, sat atop a bed of thinly sliced zucchini, providing a refreshing crunch. Each bite revealed bursts of sweetness from the baked Datterini tomatoes, while the Taggiasca olives added a briny note. Fragrant fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil elevated the dish, creating a symphony of tastes that danced on the palate. The Parmigiana consisted of layers of tender eggplant coated in a light breadcrumb crust, interspersed with rich dried tomatoes and creamy mozzarella from Campania.

Fresh basil leaves added a burst of herbal freshness, while a drizzle of olive oil tied the elements together. Each forkful revealed a melange of flavours, from the sweetness of the tomatoes to the savoury richness of the cheese. The Battuto Di Manzo, beef tartare, offered a tantalising spicy kick, while the Insalata Di Spinaci, organic baby spinach salad, provided a refreshing interlude with its vibrant medley of ingredients. Transitioning to the main course, and to cleanse the palate, I indulged in the ultimate comfort food with the masterpiece pizza, Pizza Porcini E Tartufo, a thin, crispy crust providing the perfect canvas for a topping of creamy mozzarella, earthy porcini mushrooms and delicate shavings of seasonal truffle. Each bite was a journey of flavours, with the umami richness of the mushrooms complementing the subtle earthiness of the truffle. A sprinkle of fresh herbs added a pop of colour and freshness to this indulgent dish.

With the arrival of the mains, I was transported to culinary heaven with the signature pasta dish, the Pappardelle Paper Moon. Homemade pappardelle flat noodles, cooked to perfection al dente, were coated in a velvety tomato cream sauce and studded with tender beef bacon. Each bite was a revelation, with the pasta absorbing the flavours of the sauce beautifully. A sprinkling of fresh herbs added a burst of freshness, elevating this dish to new heights of culinary excellence, emerging as a standout item for me. Equally impressive was the Gnocchetti, delicately crafted pillows of homemade ricotta gnocchi bathed in truffle cream and adorned with shaved black truffle and toasted hazelnuts. The La Nostra Milanese, a breaded veal chop fried in ghee, captivated with its crunchy exterior and tender succulence.

A highlight of the evening was the off-menu request for Cacio

fact magazine 77 PALATE PLEASER •

E Pepe, a culinary masterpiece. This classic pasta dish was prepared tableside with flair by Chef Valerio. Spaghetti, cooked al dente, was tossed in a Parmigiano Reggiano wheel, infusing it with the rich, nutty flavour of the cheese. Topped with a drizzle of truffle oil, each forkful was a delight, with the velvety pasta melting in my mouth. The simplicity of the ingredients allowed the quality of the pasta to shine, creating a dish that is both comforting and indulgent. A classic Italian offering and a true testament to culinary mastery.

Concluding the meal on a sweet note, the Italian desserts of Panna Cotta and Tiramisù were a fitting finale. The creamy indulgence of Panna Cotta melted in the mouth, while the layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese in the Tiramisù offered a harmonious blend of flavours and textures. Throughout the dining experience, I had the option of choosing from a wide selection of meticulously crafted mocktails that added an element of sophistication and variety to the beverage offerings. In summary, La Spiga by Papermoon delivered an unforgettable culinary journey, blending the charm of Italian hospitality with the finest ingredients and expert craftsmanship. From the inviting ambience to the exquisite flavours presented in each dish, it was a dining destination that stayed true to its promise of delighting the senses and leaving a lasting gastronomic impression. ✤

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As the Holy Month comes to an end, there are exciting culinary adventures to be had as well as plenty of Special Eid dining. We’ve rounded up a selection of our favourites for you to try.


Cyra Outdoor Terrace

Step into an oasis of flavour and festivity with the Garden Eid Brunch, a celebration of culinary heritage set amidst the verdant beauty of Cyra Outdoor Terrace. Indulge in a culinary journey that begins with the vibrant flavours of Arabia with each bite a symphony of tradition. As you delve deeper, the sharing mains unveil Eid specials crafted to tantalise your palate. Enjoy 42hour, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, spicy marinated farm raised chicken, harissa and lemon marinated seabass and more. Runs for two days (Friday and Saturday) from the second day of Eid, priced QR295 per person with soft drinks. Kids' menu available. GO: Call 4030 7200 or email dining.doha@fairmont.com for more information or to make a booking.



Join them for an evening resonating with laughter, live entertainment and an array of carefully curated dishes and beverages. Indulge in the flavours of South America with a family-style night brunch, where friends and family can delight in sharing signature dishes such as ceviche, tiraditos and more. A live station will feature the renowned Asado, Parillas and Gaucho grills. The evening is enhanced with the infectious tunes of the live Latino DUO Band, boasting a singer and instrumentalist. Runs on Thursdays from 6pm to 10pm, from April 18, priced

QR295 per person, including soft drinks.

GO: Call 4030 7200 or email dining.doha@fairmont.com for more information or to make a booking.


Embark on a gastronomic adventure through Arabia, where each dish crafted by the talented chefs encapsulates the essence of the region. From Egypt's aromatic spices to Lebanon's hearty cuisine, every bite is a journey through the vibrant streets and bustling markets of the Middle East. Come hungry, leave delighted! Runs every Friday from 7pm to 10.30pm priced at QR245 inclusive of a soft beverage, pay an additional QR155 for the unlimited premium and enhanced beverage package.

GO: Call 4484 4919 or email fb.icdoha@ihg.com for more information or to make a booking.


Celebrate Eid by diving into a culinary fusion of Greek and Arabic flavours crafted by Chef Nikolas Matsas. Experience a special menu blending the best of both cuisines at the Eid Fusion Feast. Available from April 9 to 12, priced at QR249 per person.

GO: Call 4484 4919 or email fb.icdoha@ihg.com for more information or to make a booking.

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Celebrate the vibrant flavours of Jiwan’s Distinctively Doha sharing menu, crafted with creativity and inspired by the diverse and flavourful traditions of neighbouring regions. Each dish takes you into a journey of taste and texture. The Jiwan Experience menu is priced QR300 with water, two mocktails and a hot drink. Ramadan hours are 5.30pm to 10pm daily.

GO: Call 4452 5725 or WhatsApp 3094 9530 for more information or to make a booking.


Café Rouge

For a quick catch-up lunch in the heart of the city, Café Rouge offers either the two- or three-course menu option. Available daily except Friday and Saturday, priced at QR72 for the twocourse meal and QR87 for three courses.

GO: Call 4041 3333 or WhatsApp 5077 6821 for more information or to make a booking.


Gather your friends and indulge in all things tajine on Tajine Thursdays at Caza, where a special menu brimming with Moroccan flavours awaits. Runs every Thursday from 6pm to 12am. The Tajine menu is priced at QR85.

GO: Call 4041 3333 or WhatsApp 5077 6821 for more information or to make a booking.


Experience an unforgettable dining experience, al fresco style, while taking in spectacular views of the city. Indulge in a tantalising selection of food and mixed drinks inspired by the essence of Southern Italy and a delightful variety of mocktails. It’s a great opportunity to catch the sunset with the Sundown Liquid Hour and other promotions running from Monday to Saturday, 5.30pm to 1am, from April 10.

GO: Call 4008 8888 for information or to make a booking.



Enjoy an exquisite three-course Business Lunch menu, thoughtfully curated with nine speciality open kitchens to enhance your midday dining experience. The menu is priced at QR99 per person and runs from April 10 to 30, Sundays to Thursdays from 12pm to 3pm.

GO: Call 4008 8888 for information or to make a booking.



Indulge in a taste of Italy at Cucina’s PPJ Night (pizza, pasta and jazz). Enjoy unlimited handcrafted pizzas, pastas and live jazz tunes for a deliziosa evening that will transport you to the heart of Italy. PPJ Night happens each Tuesday from 6pm to 11pm and is priced at QR119 per person with one selected beverage; QR149 per person with a bottle of grape (offer applies with a minimum of two persons).

GO: Call 4419 5510 or WhatsApp 6643 6890 for more information or to make a booking.



Savour the flavours of Mexico this Eid al Fitr with a delectable brunch complete with live entertainment that promises to delight every taste bud. Gather your loved ones for a memorable celebration filled with togetherness and joy. Don’t end the celebrations there – continue on at the liquid brunch for an extraordinary evening of indulgence. Friday Brunch is from 12pm to 4pm, priced QR195 with soft drinks, QR295 with house beverages and QR350 with house beverages and three mixed drinks. Liquid Brunch runs from 4pm to 7pm, priced QR180 with house beverages.

GO: Call 4419 5510 or WhatsApp 6643 6890 for more information or to make a booking.


Mondrian Bistro

Immerse yourself in an evening of vibrant sophistication as you sample the exciting new Mediterranean Mosaic set menu at Mondrian Bistro. Available on Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 10pm, priced QR175.

GO: Call 4045 5999 for more information or to make a booking.

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Level up your Wednesdays with a unique culinary experience as you try Omakase the Morimoto way. Omakase literally means ‘I leave the details up to you’ so prepare to sample some of Chef Marcus Riot’s favourite dishes. Runs on Wednesdays, priced QR590.

GO: Call 4045 5999 for more information or to make a booking.



Gather for an unforgettable Eid celebration at Opus, featuring a delightful showcase of culinary mastery and entertainment for kids. Available on April 11 from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced at QR180 per person. Kids' entertainment is available.

GO: Call 4009 4344 or 3158 7940 for more information or to make a booking.


Sora Rooftop

Experience culinary delight at the Sora Sakana Extravaganza. Pair an array of mouth-watering sushi and robata with a selection of soft beverages to end the weekend at the highest building in Msheireb Downtown. Runs on Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm, priced at QR249 per person.

GO: Call 4009 4344 or 3158 7941 for more information or to make a booking.



Savour a delicious, pan-seared Steak Diane with mushroom sauce, buttered vegetables and turned potatoes. Available daily

from the first day of Eid from 3pm to 11pm, priced QR119.

GO: Call 4428 1555 for more information or to make a booking.


The Italian Job

Get ready for the Autum Pairing Dinner consisting of threecourse set menu with special beverages served outdoors in classic Italian style accompanied by live music. Runs on Tuesdays from the first day of Eid, from 6pm to 11pm, priced QR175.

GO: Call 4428 1555 for more information or to make a booking.


Al Hubara

End the work week by bringing your friends together for a tantalising Lobster Night buffet that will delight your senses. Runs every Thursday from 7pm to 11.30pm, priced at QR350 per person.

GO: Call 4485 3000 or WhatsApp 5594 9701 for more information or to make a booking.



Indulge in the rich flavours and aromatic spices of authentic Indian cuisine for a memorable dining experience that captures the essence of Eid, filled with warmth, joy and delectable delights. Available on the first, second and third days of Eid, from 12.30pm to 10pm, the three-course special menu is priced at QR275 per person.

GO: Call 4485 3000 or WhatsApp 5594 9701 for more information or to make a booking.

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BBQ Donut

The BBQ Donut is the personification of exclusivity for family or friends. Float away from the shores of Doha while a dedicated chef prepares your barbecue from a selection of fresh cuts – made to your preference. If you fancy a little music for an immersive ambience, each donut comes fitted with a sound system. The Dine In The Sea Package lasts one hour and is available daily from 12pm to 8pm. Prices start at QR180 per person (minimum booking two guests, maximum eight).

GO: Call 4484 7450 for more information or to make a booking.


Get ready for the Tokyo Drift Brunch for a selection of delectable Peruvian-Japanese delights accompanied by live entertainment. Runs very Friday from 1pm to 5pm, priced QR325 with soft drinks, QR450 for the Enhanced Package and QR550 for the Premium Package.

GO: Call 4020 4430 or WhatsApp 3995 3816 for more information or to make a booking.


Indulge in a flavourful brunch experience that captures the essence of Greek cuisine and immerse yourself in rich culinary heritage and vibrant culture at this authentic Greek fish taverna. Takes place every Friday from 1pm to 4pm, priced at QR265 with soft drinks, QR365 for the Enhanced Package and QR450 for the Premium Package.

GO: Call 4020 4430 or WhatsApp 3995 3816 for more information or to make a booking.


Gather with loved ones and celebrate Eid in style with a delightful lunch at Seasonal Tastes. Indulge in a feast of flavours while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Available on the first and second days of Eid, priced at QR180 per person.

GO: Call 3359 8514 for more information or to make a booking.


The Westin Garden

Experience an unforgettable evening under the stars in the enchanting Westin Garden, where sizzling delights and refreshing drinks await. Available from Thursday to Saturday, from 4pm to 11pm, priced QR199 per person for the buffet.

GO: Call 3359 8514 for more information or to make a booking.


Market by Jean-Georges

Immerse yourself in a gastronomic journey that celebrates the artistry of fine dining with the three-course, post-office dinner, featuring the timeless classics of Jean-Georges. Available daily except Friday, from 5pm to 7pm, priced QR120 per person.

GO: Call 4453 5135 or WhatsApp 7794 3975 for more information or to make a booking.

W DOHA Spice Market

Embark on a tantalising journey of flavours at Sushi Night Remix. Dive into a selection of expertly handcrafted sushi rolls for an unforgettable dining experience. Runs every Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm, priced QR250 for a minimum of two guests.

GO: Call 4453 5135 or WhatsApp 7794 3975 for more information or to make a booking.

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This year’s Fact Dining Awards introduce a much-anticipated new category, The Chef Of The Year. Chosen solely by online public vote, it’s where you, our all-important readers, have the chance to pay tribute to your favourite culinary master among Qatar’s many and varied dining spots.

We asked a selection of the nominees the same two questions –

What does your nomination for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards mean to you?

What do you consider to be the most remarkable aspect of Qatar’s dining scene and its vibrant gastronomic landscape?

You can check out their answers below and over the following pages.

Frank Ponce

Executive Chef of La Mar Doha by Gaston Acurio, La Mar Beach Doha and Manko Doha at InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa

The nomination is an immense honour, an acknowledgment of years dedicated to culinary excellence in Qatar. It is a validation of the passion and dedication poured into every meal I’ve made. This recognition fills me with immense pride and joy, affirming that hard work and commitment do not go unnoticed in the culinary world here in Qatar.

The most remarkable aspect of Qatar’s dining scene is the variety of cuisines and culture found around Doha. The city is truly a melting pot of cultures and this shows in the rich and vibrant dining scene. It is wonderful to meet different people and to learn about both the connection and the differences between cultures and cuisines. I can also see the rise of Latin American and Peruvian cuisine in particular, and I feel proud to have been part of the team that brought the first Peruvian restaurant to Qatar with La Mar.

Ertan Afacan

Executive Chef at JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha

This recognition as a nominee for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards holds great value to me. It's a testament to the dedication and passion I pour into my culinary craft. Being acknowledged among Qatar's top chefs is an honour beyond words.

The most remarkable aspect of Qatar’s dining scene is its rich fusion of cultures and flavours which beautifully blends traditional Qatari flavours with influences from around the world.

Qatar's gastronomic landscape is incredibly vibrant, with a diverse array of cuisines reflecting the multicultural fabric of the country. The diversity of cuisines and the innovation showcased by food and beverage outlets here truly make it an exciting place for food enthusiasts.

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Angelos Kallinteris

Executive Chef at Marriot Marquis City Center Doha

It's truly an honour to be nominated for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards. I'm passionate about my kitchen, and I strive to enhance Qatar's vibrant dining scene with my diverse flavours and culinary innovations.

It's incredibly humbling to be recognised among Qatar's top culinary talents for the new category Chef of the Year and I believe it was something we were really missing.

As for Qatar's dining scene, what stands out the most to me is its remarkable diversity and fusion of flavours.

From traditional Qatari dishes to international cuisines and from comfort food to fine dining, there’s a wealth of culinary experiences to explore and I feel very lucky, as a chef, that I have the chance to be part of this extraordinary story.

Chef Abdelsalam Qasem

Culinary Director at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha

I am passionate about crafting memorable culinary experiences that delight the senses. Being nominated is a testament to this passion and I am truly honoured to share this with others.

As a chef immersed in Qatar's dynamic dining scene, I find its most remarkable aspect to be the fusion of traditional and modern Arabic flavours and its commitment to innovation. The endless opportunities for culinary creativity and expression are truly inspiring.

Chef Marcus Riot

Executive Chef at Morimoto Doha, Mondrian Doha

It is an honour to be nominated alongside many incredible chefs for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards.

The most remarkable aspect of Qatar's dining scene is the immense culinary variety and level of talent throughout the kitchens. Each of us continuously expands and refines the dining experience, therefore elevating one another. Morimoto's fusion of traditional Japanese techniques with innovative global flavours brings a unique culinary perspective to Qatar, enriching the country's vibrant gastronomic landscape.

fact magazine 88 • FDA SPECIAL FEATURE
A little gold and glitter coming your way West Gate 2, Ground Floor, Mall of Qatar +974 5000 1335 KarakiLounge

Fabio Fioravanti

Executive Sous Chef at Park Hyatt Doha

I feel truly honoured to be on the list of the Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards. This is an amazing milestone in my career, I feel recognised for the work I have done throughout the years.

The culinary scene in Qatar is remarkable, due to the fusion of cultures and the diversity of cuisines that utilise the Qatari spices to create a new blend of flavours.

Wolfgang Godl

Executive Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha

It is a great honour to be nominated as the Chef of the Year. It is incredibly rewarding to have my culinary efforts and innovations recognised in this way. Being the Executive Chef of Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha who is actively involved with the creations and offerings of the 14 outlets in the hotel, as well as in meetings and events, outdoor catering and room service, and being able to contribute to its dedication and excellence along with the hard working and committed team, this acknowledgment is truly gratifying. As for Qatar's dining scene, it is rich and diverse, offering a wide range of culinary experiences. In my 45 years of culinary journey across renowned hotels in various countries, I have never encountered such a wide array of restaurants as I have in Doha. The competition is tough – you have to be always on top [of your game], have new ideas and the most important thing is keeping the standard and quality. Despite this, I see it as an opportunity for constant innovation, which we strive for to maintain our standards of excellence.

Mert Duran

Executive Chef at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Being nominated for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards is an honour. It recognises not just me but also the culinary team in our beachfront resort. Qatar's dining scene is diverse. It blends cultures for vibrant experiences. Here, culinary innovation meets tradition, crafting unforgettable dining for our guests.

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A unique dining experience awaits you at Kai’s Songbird with the new chef’s �s�ng menu

A unique dining experience awaits you at Kai’s Songbird with the new chef’s �s�ng menu

Elias Gemayel

Executive Chef at Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha

I’m honoured to be nominated for the Fact Dining Awards' Chef of the Year category. I consider this as a reflection of the hard work, passion and dedication that I have put in for over 17 years of my career as a culinary artist. Cooking for me is not just a passion, it’s something deeper. Mixing and matching the right ingredients that not only awaken the taste buds but also touch one’s heart. Qatar, being a hub for cultures from all over the world, offers infinite opportunities to experience and experiment with diverse cuisines, from local to international to fusion and traditional.

Chef Danish Merchant

Director of Culinary at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel

Receiving a nomination for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards is truly an honour and a testament to the hard work and dedication of my entire culinary team. It means a great deal to be recognised for our commitment to delivering exceptional dining experiences. This nomination not only reflects my achievements but also acknowledges the collaborative effort that goes into creating memorable dishes. Qatar's dining scene is incredibly diverse and in this dynamic landscape, sustainability is a key focus for us. We strive to incorporate eco-friendly practices, source locally and minimise food waste. It's not just about creating memorable dishes but doing so with a mindful approach. This nomination fuels our dedication to pushing culinary boundaries while contributing to Qatar's gastronomic growth sustainably. Being in this part of the world allows me to experiment with unique ingredients, infuse global culinary trends with local flavours and contribute to the overall growth of the gastronomic industry. The enthusiasm of diners and their openness to diverse cuisines create an exciting environment for chefs to push boundaries and constantly elevate the dining experience.

Chef Motaz Zayed

Multi-property Director of Culinary at The St. Regis Doha and The St. Regis Marsa Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar

As a nominee for Chef of the Year at the Fact Dining Awards, I am deeply honoured and humbled by the recognition. For Qatar’s cuisine, what makes it truly remarkable is its ability to blend traditional Qatari cuisine with global influences, creating a unique gastronomic landscape that appeals to both locals and visitors alike.

fact magazine 92 • FDA SPECIAL FEATURE
fact magazine 93
AT YOUR SERVICE • STAYCATION AMS experienced hospitality at its best at the Dusit Hotel & Suites – Doha.

Upon our arrival at Dusit Hotel & SuitesDoha, we were greeted by an ambience of timeless elegance. The lobby presented a lavish display, with its high, golden arches reaching towards an ornate ceiling, and a grand chandelier that showered the space with a warm, inviting glow. The seating arrangement beckoned with plush comfort, featuring rich blue, vibrant red and warm orange sofas that offered a sense of luxury.

The staff, a testament to the art of hospitality, welcomed us with cordial smiles and a swift, seamless check-in process. They promptly took charge of our vehicle and luggage with utmost efficiency, while expertly acquainting us with the details of our two-bedroom suite. The promise of complimentary access to West Bay Beach completed our check-in experience that was as delightful as it was expedient.

Walking to the lifts, our path was graced by the gleam of polished marble floors, inlaid with sophisticated designs, reflecting the light of delicate chandeliers. We were politely ushered into the lift and transported to the 18th floor which was to be our home for the next two days.

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Suite Dreams

As we entered our suite, we were struck by the natural light that streamed through the expansive windows, caressing the caramel hues of the supple leather sofas and the polished wooden surfaces with a warm, golden glow. Views of the horizon stretched beyond the glass like a canvas of tranquil blues.

The dining area, set just behind the lounge, promised gatherings steeped in elegance, with its sleek chairs and a glass table that reflected the light, softening the space with a convivial ambience.

The kitchen – a chef's dream – was fully equipped and ready to inspire culinary exploration. The marble countertops complemented the cream cabinetry, complete with modern appliances.

In the master bedroom, a sense of calm luxury enveloped us. The golden sunlight spilled through large windows, highlighting the grand bed with its crisp linens. The vibrant orange drapes added a pop of colour, complementing the bold red sofa that invited a moment of relaxation. Each detail was a nod to refined elegance – the perfect haven for rest and reflection.

Rooms With A View

We learned that the hotel provides an array of luxurious accommodations that cater to every need. Its offerings include spacious two-bedroom suites, equipped with separate living areas, gourmet kitchens and stunning views of Doha, perfect for those seeking space and comfort. For unparalleled luxury, the hotel's opulent penthouses stand out, located on the highest floors for unobstructed city vistas and some featuring private pools. Additionally, families or larger groups can choose from the expansive three- and four-bedroom suites, designed for relaxation and entertainment. The pinnacle of the hotel's accommodation is the sixbedroom suite, a lavish space offering ultimate privacy and exclusivity, complete with its own swimming pool and sauna.

Our First Iftar

We set off for dinner at Tropicana 360 – a feast for the senses, complete with a tower of dates and a wall of bread. The spread of salads, hot dishes and a lively grill station promised a culinary journey, amid the hum of soothing traditional music.

The grilled lamb chops were a flavour symphony, matched by the tenderloin's perfect seasoning. The hamour fish, with its smoky harissa, danced on the palate, while classics like mootzabal and lamb kibbeh offered a taste of tradition.

The meal's crescendo was the desserts: kunafa and umali took indulgence to new heights, and the coveted ice cream was a simple yet profound delight. This dining experience was a tapestry of taste and tradition that left a lasting impression, enriched by the communal spirit of Iftar.

From Feast To Fitness

After a night of indulgence, we felt compelled to visit the gym the next morning. The health suite was a sanctuary of well-being. The gym, equipped with free weights, machines and cardio accessories, catered to every exercise preference. Post-workout, the sauna and steam room awaited to envelop us in their soothing warmth, completing a rejuvenating cycle of exercise and relaxation, while the pool, adorned in Italian marble, featured a Jacuzzi, inviting us to unwind in style.

At breakfast, served in the lobby, Vishnu, our attentive server, presented a delightful bread basket, its contents warm and fragrant. The scrambled eggs were soft, the shakshuka a vivid medley of spices. Alongside were savoury chicken sausages and crisp hash browns. For a lighter option, there was muesli and granola, with continental offerings completing the array. Our coffee, rich and full-bodied, was the perfect accompaniment, ensuring a satisfying start to the day.

Sun, Sand and Serenity

After breakfast, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the area, absorbing the surroundings before making our way to West Bay Beach, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The beach welcomed us with its golden sands, lined with new sunbeds that offered comfort under the open sky. Venues

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fact magazine 98 • STAYCATION

for refreshments were abundant, providing cool respite just steps away. We basked in the sun, taking pleasure in relaxing before the Gulf waters beckoned us for a refreshing dip, completing our serene morning experience.

Dining At The Sister Hotel

On our second night, we embraced the tradition of Iftar once again at sister property, Dusit Doha Hotel. Set within the grandeur of the ballroom, with the veranda doors flung wide, we were treated to breathtaking views of the city skyline as dusk settled. The spread was a captivating mix of tradition and innovation, where an array of traditional dishes met with an unexpected twist of sushi and Thai offerings. Each bite was a journey, from the rich, spiced flavours of the Middle East to the delicate, nuanced tastes of Asia. The atmosphere was vibrant yet intimate, a shared celebration under the glow of lanterns, making this Iftar an unforgettable part of our stay.

The Room Service Experience

As it was Ramadan, we had lunch delivered to the room. The mixed grill was charred to perfection, emitting a smoky aroma that filled the space with anticipation. The Caesar salad was a crisp, fresh bed for tender chicken, tossed in a creamy dressing, punctuated by the crunch of croutons. The burgers were a masterpiece of juiciness, the beef patties cooked flawlessly, nestled between soft buns and accompanied by a side of choice.

The next day, we opted for breakfast in the comfort of our room, a decision that was met with the same exceptional quality we'd come to expect. The dishes arrived warm, their presentation a testament to the care taken in their preparation. Each bite was a reminder of the kitchen's dedication to excellence. The staff's attentiveness added a layer of warmth, their readiness to accommodate any request making us feel truly looked after.

Lasting Impressions

As our stay drew to a close, it was the impeccable staff, like Anthony, who truly made our experience memorable. He even did a pharmacy run for us, exemplifying the exceptional service at the hotel. The spacious accommodation offered us a haven of comfort, while the diverse Iftar venues provided culinary delights that were both enriching and enjoyable. With access to facilities across both hotels and nestled in the heart of the city, our stay was not only convenient but luxuriously accommodating. Whether for families seeking a city adventure, a staycation or groups gathering for a meal, Dusit Hotel & Suites - Doha stands out as a beacon of hospitality, blending impeccable service with a smile. ✤

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Effortless ease and style take centre stage with sculptural volume and clean lines in refined suits, sophisticated shirts and shirt dresses. You’ll spot a utilitarian edge in workwear-inspired pieces but these are often softened with embroidery, pleats and glam textures.

The tone is kept sharp and eye-catching with a palette of light blue denim, white and ecru offset by flashes of silver.

In womenswear, suits are both tailored and relaxed across blazers, trousers and waistcoats. Blouses, dresses and skirts boast romantic volume with pintucks and flounces. Toughness comes in the shape of ‘90s-inspired denim in washed-out blues. Key pieces include a shiny silver A-line dress for a pop of energy that can be styled either futuristic or retro. And accessories, such as slingback kitten heels and pointy ballerinas are set against chunky, bold jewellery.

For menswear, modern tailoring takes the lead alongside utilitarian elements and the addition of navy and chestnut in the colour palette. Key pieces include chore jackets, pull-on trousers and blousons.

Eliana Masgalos, Concept Designer at H&M, says: “This season, we were really inspired by the idea of rebirth, like the first flowers blooming. So, while there’s a romantic side to the collection, we also wanted to channel a strong, tailored vibe and workwear touches that could breathe life into the fashion wardrobe.” ✤


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fact magazine 106 • FASHION FOCUS


The frontman of Doha-grown rock band Winterburn, Naser Mestarihi, is the first and only Middle Eastern artist to be endorsed by Gibson Guitars. He speaks to us about his musical journey and his claim to fame as Doha’s first rock musician.

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When did you first become interested in music and start playing the guitar?

I got into music before the age of 10. I grew up in a musical family so we had all kinds of classic records playing all the time at home. Aspiring to play the guitar started when I was around eight or nine years old. I first heard Guns N’ RosesLive at the Hippodrome concert on TV, and that made me want to be just like Slash. Around the age of 12, I discovered (Jimi) Hendrix. At this point, I was also into Van Halen and an array of bands across various genres. That’s when I pestered my mother to buy me a Strat (The Fender Stratocaster electric guitar), so I could be like Jimi. I didn’t start learning how to play seriously till I was around 15 though.

What was the first song you wrote? Do you still perform it?

That’s an interesting question. I wrote a number of metal tunes when I was in my mid-teens, around a year after I started learning, but they’re forgettable tunes to me. The first proper solo tune I wrote was Phoenixon , my debut solo record. It was part of our setlist up till 2019 when we dropped it.

How did Winterburn come to be? Tell us about the other band members, where you met, how you got together and what you all do.

Winterburn is basically an offshoot of my solo band. I’ve been playing as a solo artist since around 2007 when I left my previous band. I always took the Prince approach to my music: play all the instruments, record and produce everything - although I didn’t take up full-scale production (engineering and not just arranging) till a while later. We’ve been recording and performing as my solo band from 2007 but around 2018, as we were gearing up to record Ivory Towers and preparing to do a UK promotional campaign

and tour, I told my bandmates that I wanted to change the band’s name, both cause we’d been playing together for years and for the ease of marketing us to British audiences. My name isn’t easy to pronounce. So that’s when we announced the name change. Although we were initially a four-piece band, we’re now a trio. I sing and play guitars, Pope plays bass guitars and Perkison D’Souza is on drums. On record, I track all instruments except the drums, which has been pretty much my approach over the years.

Are you all full-time musicians?


Your genre is rock. Is this what you also listen to when you’re not playing?

We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band that incorporates a variety of influences that range from classic rock, funk, rhythm and blues to metal. When I’m not playing, I listen to everything. I own thousands of records with everything from hard rock to funk, new wave, pop, soul music and so on. My motto is: good music is good music regardless of the genre, as long as it’s got instruments and real musicianship. I’m not a fan of electronic music for instance.

Who are your musical inspirations?

This is a difficult question to answer as I draw inspiration from literally hundreds of artists but if I could break down my main inspirations based on instruments I’d say the following: Guitar: Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhoads, Slash, Jake E. Lee, Nuno Bettencourt, Tony Iommi and Michael Schenker. Bass: Geddy Lee, Flea, Larry Graham, Louis Johnson, Robert De Leo and Steve Harris. Vocals: Ray Gillen, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Rob Halford, Paul Rodgers, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio and Michael Jackson.

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Your most recent release was Ivory Towers. When did it come out and what’s the story behind the album?

Ivory Towers was released in 2021 but we’ve had several singles come out from the record with music videos and promo campaigns up till last year. The record is both an introspective album as well as my reflections on political events (on the title track specifically). I wrote about a lot of my personal struggles, for instance fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which I was diagnosed with during the making of the record, losing a loved one to cancer, fighting against racism and overcoming the odds. The topics are varied. We started pre-production towards the end of 2018, which was when I suffered my first MS attack. I flew out to Los Angeles (LA) for a while for my son’s birth, then when I got back in 2019, we basically finished off the tracking, mixing and mastering. The only reason the release was put on hold was due to the pandemic as I was against putting an album out that we can’t tour or play behind.

You collaborated on the album with drummer Thomas Pridgen. How did that happen and what was it like working together?

Thomas is part of a circle of close friends and musicians in LA. He is a former bandmate of one of my best friends who went to Berklee (College of Music) with him, so when I was looking to collaborate with drummers, my buddy suggested Thomas. As someone who is heavily influenced by black music, I was instantly drawn to the idea so I reached out to him, sent him the demos, which he totally liked, and that’s how it happened. Thomas is great! I explained in words what I envisaged about the drums for each song, and he was able to translate that into music. He did this while on tour across Latin America. He’s got some awesome grooves down on the record.

You’re also the first Middle Eastern artist endorsed by Gibson Guitars, a huge thing both for yourself and for the region’s musicians…

Yeah, this was a massive honour as an Arab and Middle Eastern artist. Cesar (Gibson’s CEO), Eleonora (Europe’s artist relations) and all the team are like one big family and genuinely amazing and kind people on a personal level. What they’ve done to rejuvenate the Gibson is incredible.

How did that come about? It must feel like quite a responsibility.

I’ve been in the music industry for nearly two decades and struggled a lot but always pushed on despite the odds. A lot of my heroes were Gibson players so I’ve always loved and played Gibson guitars and basses too. You’ll hear them on all my records. So I reached out to Gibson, we met and when they said they’ll take me on, I was beyond honoured and grateful. It is a big responsibility but I’m committed to do them proud and put the Gibson stamp out here in West Asia.

What’s next for you as a musician personally and for the band?

Right now, I’m working on a follow-up record which I’m also producing. In the time since the release of Ivory Towers, I’ve written and demoed a ton of material. I’ve also tracked a lot of it so I’m currently in the studio, finishing off the new tunes and I’m super stoked about them. The new record is really diverse. We’ve retained our hard rock style but there are other genres incorporated like rock ‘n’ roll and funk on this one. We’re looking forward to putting the record out this year and making plans to go on tour.

Where can fans in Qatar see you performing soon?

We’ve not scheduled the 2024 dates yet but they’re in the works for Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. All dates will be announced on both our Instagram accounts and website. ✤

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Welcome to our new location, where you can find premium quality chocolate, luxury gift arrangements, and a unique variety of specialty coffee 16 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl +974 5570 7407 ggcqatar

BIG SCREEN Dune: Part Two One Day

Need to Know:

Dune: Part Two is a 2024 American science fiction film. After the devastating events of the first movie, Paul Atreides and his mother find refuge with the Fremen and look to rebuild their lives. However, Paul still has plans to take revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his world.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Christopher Walken

Why Is It Worth Watching?

In this sequel to the majorly successful 2021 Dune, award-winning director Denis Villeneuve digs in deeper and manages to make everything monumentally bigger and grander.

Set in the aftermath of the first movie and taking place in the sands of Arrakis, Paul (Timothée Chalamet) is now part of the Fremen people and finds himself having to acclimatise and learn their ways, while being not-sosecretly prophesied as Lisan al Gaib (the supposed messiah to the Fremen).

He befriends a young warrior, Chani (Zendaya), who he grows close to during their time fighting side-by-side against the invading Harkonnens for control of Arrakis. As events play out, Paul’s arc develops from a naive young man to the potential leader of the Fremen. He later faces a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, as he attempts to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

With great story writing, stellar performances and everything more fleshed out than the first film, including costume and set design, Dune: Part Two offers a cinematic experience that truly goes above and beyond the usual.

Dune: Part Two offers a cinematic experience that truly goes above and beyond the usual.” “

Need to Know:

One Day is a British, romantic-drama television series adapted from David Nicholls’ 2009 bestselling novel of the same name. The plot follows the 20-year relationship of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, who unexpectedly spend graduation night together and the next day decide to go their separate ways. But somehow life finds a funny way of derailing those plans and keeping their stories intertwined.

Director: Nicole Taylor

Cast : Ambika Mod, Leo Woodall, Eleanor Tomlinson, Essie Davis, Tim McInnerny, Jonny Weldon, Brendan Quinn, Billie Gadsdon, Toby Stephens

Why Is It Worth Watching?

Previously adapted into a film starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in 2011, this latest depiction (a better fit for a more nuanced retelling of the source material) is spread over a 14-episode series that effectively portrays the relationship’s sweetest highs and the equally heart-wrenching lows in the most impactful way. The plot kicks off in 1988, when working-class Leeds native, Emma (Ambika Mod), and upper middle-class posh boy from Oxfordshire, Dexter (Leo Woodall), first cross paths on the night of their graduation on July 15. They make an unlikely connection despite their many differences and stay friends, but life takes them down separate paths. Every episode revisits the pair on that very date in a different year, with each encounter playing out their will-they-won’t-they love affair in the most intriguing ways.

Offering plenty of moments ranging from wonderfully triumphant to deeply frustrating and painfully heartbreaking at times, the show is quite a journey and completely worth the binge-watch!

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TANGK is the fifth album from the postpunk icons from Bristol, England – IDLES. On production, they’re once again working with hip-hop producer, Kenny Beats, the band’s guitarist, Mark Bowen, and to further explore unfamiliar sonic realms, they’ve enlisted long-time Radiohead producer, Nigel Godrich.

On the aptly named opener, IDEA 01, the song comes to life with the steady rhythm of just the bass drum. Closely followed by frenetic piano playing that’s soon accompanied with ominous synths until finally graced with frontman Joe Talbot’s vocals – equal parts sinister and compassionate – an intriguing mood and stage is set.

In more familiar fashion, Gift Horse unleashes with an overdriven bass and drums bounce that’s sure to get your foot tapping. The songs build into one of their best choruses that’s massively imposing. Joe howls here like a general commanding a stampede of horses.

Serving as a perfect descent, the staccato instrumentation on POP POP POP, is a soothing follow up. Immediately, Joe’s voice is at its menacing best on the brilliantly nefarious sounding Roy But coming out of left field, the unexpected fragility and delicate arrangement on The Gospel is captivating. The new album is a satisfyingly ecstatic and hard-hitting journey.


Making a highly anticipated return after quite a long hiatus, five years to be exact, is California-based rapper ScHoolboy Q with his sixth studio album, Blue Lips, released under the famous Top Dawg Entertainment record label.

Not tied down to a particular theme or any overarching concept, Q’s latest project is a free-flowing mixed bag of vibe heavy, weird, daring and thrillingly experimental hip-hop music.

Sounding focussed and villainous on Pop , Q’s mood and lyrics get progressively meaner as he keeps up with the track’s multiple beat switches. But things get immediately laid-back and up-beat on THank god 4 me , where he switches his flow up seamlessly and dances across the smooth production, this one’s an easy favourite.

With a nod to the late great Mac Miller on Blueslides, a jazzy piano accompanies Q as he steps into reflective mood speaking on depression, desperation and more.

ScHoolboy flaunts some of his most honest and technically sharp wordplay on tracks such as Yeern 101, Movies and Cooties. While oHio featuring Freddie Gibbs and Foux featuring Ab-Soul are other notable moments.

Bringing his A-game in terms of lyricism and accompanied with top-tier production, this project finds ScHoolboy Q in fine form.

THRILLER She’s Not Sorry

The latest offering from the New York Times bestselling writer of Local Woman Missing introduces us to ICU nurse Meghan Michaels, who breaks her own rule of detachment from her patients in the case of a young woman with a traumatic brain injury, who seems to have jumped from a bridge. But, when a witness comes forward to offer shocking details suggesting she may have been pushed, Meghan becomes deeply involved with the victim and her family, putting herself and her daughter at risk in the process.


A History Of The World In Twelve Shipwrecks

From a treasure-filled Bronze Age ship built during the age of Queen Nefertiti, a Viking warship made for King Cnut himself and Henry VIII’s spectacular Mary Rose to the tragic story of HMS Terror and tales of bravery and endurance aboard HMS Gairsoppa in World War Two, renowned marine archaeologist David Gibbins brings us stories of some of the greatest underwater discoveries of all time. Not just tales of the ships and the people who sailed on them, this is also the story of the spread of people, religion and ideas around the world, a story of colonialism and migration which continues today.

fact magazine 116 • ENTERTAINMENT
fact magazine 117



Good Girl Mini Tint Superstar

Introducing the Good Girl Mini Tint Superstar, the latest must-have from Herrera Beauty. With light-reflecting pigments for shimmer, these mini wonders come in three shades: Exposed (brick red), Show Off (coral tint) and Sparkling (peachy nude). Offering up to eight hours of hydration with a weightless second skin feel, they’re ideal for lips and cheeks and come with a 100% refillable glitter case that can be customised with Herrera Beauty accessories.


Eclipse Colour Corrector

Conceal all your imperfections with this ingenious colour corrector. Peach conceals dark circles and blemishes from late nights, while Mint tones down redness or pigmentation. The lightweight formula blends effortlessly, providing buildable coverage without masking the skin. Enriched with moringa oil, it's long-wearing and nourishing, ideal for sensitive or stressed skin.


Idôle Tint Liquid Eye-Blusher

Introducing a groundbreaking liquid eye-blusher, designed for versatile make-up looks. With 16-hour wear and in five stunning mineralised shades, it doubles as eyeshadow and eyeliner, even serving as blusher or highlighter. A make-up game-changer, it offers endless creative possibilities, from flushed eye looks to chiselling highlighter for the cheeks, all in one product.


Olympéa Flora

Paco Rabanne's latest eau de parfum for women is fabulously fierce, supremely confident and gloriously sensual. Intensely feminine and floral, Olympéa Flora was designed by two young women perfumers, blending notes of fruits, flowers and woods. This elegant fragrance combines the power of flowers with notes of pink rose, blackcurrant and fresh peony blossom. Its natural ingredients are ethically sourced and 100% vegan.


Nudescreen Blush Tint SPF 30

This multi-tasking all-over face make-up provides versatile tinting for eyes, lips and cheeks, along with daily UV protection. Its clean, vegan and reef-safe liquid formula comes in a portable tube for on-the-go application. Available in five meltproof shades, enjoy these soft colours for a natural look, ideal for SPF protection on sunny days.

fact magazine 118 • FOR HER


FACT brings you the latest must-haves from the beauty and grooming world… from skincare to scents and make-up.


Charcoal Face Wash


Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm

A luxurious skin-softening balm, this rich and concentrated cream features carefully selected emollient ingredients, including potassium lactate for lasting hydration. The blend leaves skin ultra-soft without a greasy feel, with a woody, earthy and smoky aroma. Key ingredients include ethically sourced bergamot rind, vetiver root and petitgrain essential oil.

Refresh your daily cleansing routine with this detoxifying gel wash that deeply cleans pores. The natural charcoal removes dirt and excess oil, preventing pores from clogging. Its non-drying formula creates a soothing lather, leaving skin feeling fresh and comfortable. Suitable for all skin types, it’s gentle, effective and calming, making it ideal for everyday use.


Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

This best-selling men's face serum is designed to strengthen skin's defences, deliver antioxidants and combat damage for a healthier appearance. Specifically formulated for men's unique skincare needs, it improves the skin’s texture, health and condition, providing 32 hours of hydration. This non-sticky serum is non-comedogenic, good for all skin types and improves the efficacy of other skincare products.


Extreme Hold Invincible Hair Gel

Up your hair game with this extreme fix gel, designed for an indestructible, ultrastrong hold. Whether you prefer slick, spiked, curled or combed looks, this product delivers. Apply to wet or dry hair, working from roots to tips, to create any style for a lasting finish. It’s non-greasy, ideal for daily use and also offered in paste and spray forms for your convenience.


1 Million Golden Oud

Since 2008, the 1 Million fragrance has embodied masculine power and confidence. This year, it evolves with Golden Oud – a new, more intense fusion for men that blends precious oud with spicy leather and sandalwood. Crafted exclusively for the Middle East market, the iconic ingot now features a green emerald, symbolising luxury and power.

fact magazine 120 • FOR HIM

What We’re (Still) Talking About

Chin Up Kate

So, it turns out the Princess of Wales has cancer. The poor woman took time out from under the microscope of the media’s gaze to undergo scheduled surgery in January and, when she failed to resurface as bright eyed and bushy tailed as usual within a couple of weeks, the trolls stepped up.

From Saudi To The Universe

Sock It To ‘Em

First it was the anti-monarchists questioning the length of her hospital stay and calling her workshy, then it was the conspiracy theorists, speculating about her prolonged absence. Even Hollywood got in on the act, posting derogatory memes.

When Princess Catherine announced, in a personal video message, that she was undergoing treatment for cancer, it’s safe to say much of the world was in shock. And we’ve rarely seen so much back pedalling – even a few, seemingly sincere, apologies.

So, with the press having taken pretty much everyone but itself to task for this young mother’s treatment, it remains to be seen whether she will be allowed the privacy for herself and her kids that she so poignantly requested.

Have to say, this is a story we never expected to write. Alarabiya News reports that Saudi Arabia is to have its first ever contestant at the Miss Universe pageant, which takes place in Mexico later this year. Riyadh-born model Rumy al-Qahtani announced her candidacy via a social media post in which she posed alongside the Saudi flag wearing a sash that proclaims Miss Universe Saudi Arabia. Now, no matter what you think about these kinds of pageants, this is a sure sign of how far women have come in the Kingdom. Just a few short years ago they

were not allowed to drive and most wore the Islamic head cover.

In March 2018, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, stated that women had free choice whether to wear the hijab and abaya and here we are, just six short years later, with one of their number about to represent the Kingdom on one of the world’s biggest stages.

Rumy, who often wears Saudi designs, has said she wants to promote the Kingdom’s culture and heritage. We wish her luck.

And now for something a little bit different that will, hopefully, make you smile. Since we’re all about the girls this month, we love this little tale about two high-ranking teams in England’s Women’s Soccer League who found themselves in an embarrassing position. Arsenal were all set to play their London rivals at Chelsea in front of nearly 33,000 fans when it was discovered both teams had the same white coloured socks. Apparently, this is taboo.

The referee delayed the game while the visitors ran to Chelsea’s team shop and bought black socks and then had to use to tape to try and hide the opposition’s logo and sponsor. Play eventually got underway 30 minutes late and the visitors not only lost their socks but also the match. Have to say, it does beg the question of why the socks are so important, surely the rest of the kit would be a dead giveaway as to who’s who?

fact magazine 122 • MATTER OF FACT
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