FACT Qatar January 2023

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fact magazine 1 JANUARY 2023 VOL 9. ISSUE 07. QR15
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fact magazine 3 All Change! What’s New Qatar? A Timely Tale Culinary Spotlight Take A Bow Matter Of Fact 20 32 50 60 76 90 CONTENTS

New Beginnings

Happy New Year to one and all. As we enter 2023, I’m looking forward to achieving some of those resolutions I’ve been aiming for over the last decade. And, I’m glad to say, I think our cover story this month will be some help. We’re not talking resolutions, as such, but things we can all do to make our lives that little bit better. Going for a daily walk, changing you tooth brush, who knew that small changes could lead to such big improvements?

I think we can all agree that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was a huge success. And the legacy it’s left behind in terms of new developments is equally as impressive. Our second feature this month takes a look at some of those new developments as well as a few still to come that I can’t wait to explore.

Elsewhere this month, we took the chance for a chat with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, who was in town for the opening of the brand’s new store. He’s a man who’s never late – perhaps another New Year’s resolution for me to adopt. And as we get ready to launch this year’s Fact Dining Awards, my colleagues have been out and about sampling great food and chatting to chefs. The nominations will be online soon and voting will be going live this month so make sure you keep your eye on our social media for details of how you can support your favourite eateries. As always, we've got our regular roundups of news from the worlds of tech, motoring, fashion and entertainment as well as interesting snippets from around Qatar. I hope you enjoy the January issue and we can inspire you towards better things for 2023, even just a little bit.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year from all of us at Teat FACT.

Liz O’Reilly

Editorial Director


FACT Magazine Qatar Edition












All Rights Reserved. Opinion expressed within does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publisher. All efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of the information within this publication. However, FACT M.E. Publishing cannot accept legal responsibility for any erroneous content or omissions.

fact magazine 4 • THE EDITOR
now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke “


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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.

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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!

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.

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98,677 reads of the December issue.
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“You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.” –Hilary DePiano
fact magazine 7 Scan QR code for the menu A new vibrant indoor garden at AlRayyan Hotel Doha. Set in a premium location, in the AlRayyan Hotel’s mezzanine level, a vibrant and airy with natural daylight lounge & savour a wide array of flavoured bubbly, along with tempting Arabic mezze, crafted mocktails, layered with handmade infusions. A la carte menu Open daily from 4pm - midnight For reservations please call 5513 3472


Restaurateur Mireille Hayek has opened new fine-dining Lebanese outlet in Doha.

Al Maha Island is one of Doha’s premier entertainment and leisure hotspots and the new Em Sherif Restaurant is an ideal addition with its exquisite service and an unmatched elevated culinary experience.

Situated on the pristine shores of the Arabian Gulf, Em Sherif will showcase owner Mireille Hayek’s traditional, refined and unique take on the multifaceted Lebanese cuisine that triggers fond memories of home cooking. With an expansive sea-front terrace as its location, the restaurant’s interiors have been specially designed by award winning interior architect Ramy Boutros and highlight Lebanese architectural heritage. Lavish with luxury and Hayek’s own personal touch, the restaurant incorporates hand-selected and intricately embroidered chair designs – representing her family’s culture and history – as well as beautiful bespoke tiles on the walls with stylish silhouettes of botanical accents and delicate gold leaves. Renowned for its distinctive twist to Lebanese cuisine, Em Sherif Restaurant Doha is open for both lunch and dinner, offering a curated set menu and an à la carte menu by Chef Mireille and her daughter Chef Yasmina Hayek. The menu features an array of mouth-watering dishes including the signature fattoush salad with pomegranate molasses, the sensational Wagyu hummus and Em Ali – a delicious vanilla-

infused milk, nuts and puff pastry confection. Each dish is carefully prepared using only the freshest ingredients and produce available.

As guests enjoy their meal, Em Sherif’s in-house DJs will spin the latest tunes to keep them entertained.

Speaking on the new restaurant, Mireille Hayek said: “I love sharing my passion for cooking and authentic Lebanese food with the world and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here during such an exciting time for this city and region as global events take centre stage.

“We look forward to welcoming guests from near and far to discover our authentic Oriental cuisine with the special Em Sherif touch! Em Sherif Restaurant in Doha will be the ultimate new waterfront venue, combining exceptional dining with the warmth of Levantine hospitality to enjoy with family and friends alike.” Em Sherif is the passion project of entrepreneur Mireille Hayek, who seeks to reinvent traditional Lebanese and Levantine recipes and transform them into something new and unforgettable to give her customers an unparalleled first-class dining experience.✤

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Café #999 brings a redesigned and renovated space along with an exciting new Italian offering to Fire Station.

A delectable contemporary Italian menu will be the talk of the town as Café #999 officially opens its doors to guests at the Fire Station art space in Doha.

The café's culinary rebranding has been handled by the Ducasse Paris team and it promises to be a one-of-a kind dining experience.

Café #999's unique name is drawn from the Qatari number for the emergency services and it is located at an equally interesting destination, Fire Station, which is a contemporary art space located in the heart of Doha that’s committed to supporting artists, curators and the wider public through its various residencies and public programmes organised by Qatar Museums.

The Fire Station was originally built in 1982 and was the home of Qatar's first Civil Defence Authority until late 2012, operating as a functional fire station. In 2014, under the guidance of Qatari architect Ibrahim Al Jaidah the space was repurposed and renovated as an ‘adaptive reuse project’ to host Fire Station and its Artist in Residence initiative.

Under the watchful eye of designer Helen Bonte, Café #999 completely revamped its interiors and furniture with the help of artists and creatives. It now

flaunts a space inspired by retro art with a splash of pop-art pattern and attractive colours. The interior design style is a testament to Fire Station’s artistic identity merged with Italy’s cultural icons. The artful space brings to life the soul of Café #999 – which is based on inspiring guests to have colourful ideas and discussions, while enjoying a delicious meal. The café will be open every day of the week and will feature an exciting menu curated by Ducassse Paris chefs.

Cafe #999's Head Chef Fabio Fioravanti together with Executive Chef Jeremy Cheminade will bring to life the menu with artisanal starters, appetising main dishes and a delightful selection of desserts all paying homage to and highlighting popular Italian classics such as caponata, risotto, pizzas, tiramisu and much more.

The café will accept walk-ins but prior booking is recommended for large groups and special events. ✤

fact magazine 10 • LISTEN UP


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Qatar’s capital Doha has been declared as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2023.

The announcement was made by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism at its 25th session that was held at the Arab League General Secretariat Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

The potential cities were evaluated based on a range of criteria that involved tourism management, infrastructure and resources, safety and security, diversity of tourism activations and preservation and protection of the environment.

The 25th session was chaired by Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Nayef Fayez, amongst other prominent Arab leaders.

Commenting on the momentous win, HE Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “This is recognition that Doha is a truly remarkable city offering a spectacular tourism experience for all international travellers.

“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has allowed many to directly experience Qatar’s warm hospitality and

authentic culture and heritage. There is more in store, as we look ahead to an exciting calendar of events in 2023 and further attractions and leisure destinations opening across the country in the new year.”

In the lead up to the global sporting event, Qatar experienced a swift expansion of its tourism landscape, with the recent opening of West Bay Beach, Al Maha Island and Lusail Boulevard marking a few of the latest attractions in the country.

By 2030, Qatar Tourism’s strategy aims to attract six million visitors a year, focusing on 15 priority markets and identifying distinct opportunities from point to point and stopover travel. ✤ GO: VISIT WWW.VISITQATAR.QA

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West Bay Al Shaqab Musuem of Islamic Art
Qatar Dhow Festival


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Possibilities of further developing Qatar’s construction sector to be spotlighted at major events

Qatar’s future ambitions in the construction and design space will be highlighted and discussed at the upcoming INDEX Design Qatar and The Big 5 Construct Qatar events to be held in Doha later this year.

Both the events aim to connect essential suppliers, contractors and government officials within Qatar’s infrastructure development space, and will offer them faceto-face business and networking opportunities, as well as a platform for thought leadership, knowledge exchange, and discourse from some of the region’s foremost experts.

The events will take place from October 23 to 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) and will be held under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar.

The patronage comes off the back of a recent partnership between world-leading international exhibitions company dmg events and Qatar-based NeXTfairs to co-locate its two internationally recognised flagship shows, INDEX Design Qatar and The Big 5 Construct Qatar at the DECC. Rawad Sleem, Co-Founder and General Manager of NeXTfairs, said: “The Arab peninsula is already setting the wheels in motion for its construction, infrastructure, design, hospitality and green building sectors post-FIFA World Cup and, together with the support from the Prime Minister’s office, we’re looking forward to highlighting the country’s plans and progress at both events in 2023.”

According to Qatar’s Construction Industry Databook

Series, the construction industry in Qatar is expected to grow by 7.3% to reach over QR92 million this year alone. While between 2022 to 2026 experts forecast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9%.

Real estate consultant Knight Frank recently revealed that looking to 2030 the construction sector is expected to increase post-FIFA World Cup with a USD7 billion hospitality plan underway. And the market is expected to grow by 12% to reach USD54.6 billion over the next eight years as part of the country’s National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. Additionally, earlier this year, NeXTfairs released Qatar’s Hospitality and Tourism Report which disclosed that post2022 the country would be launching eight new hotels and 11,000 keys.

Matt Denton, President at dmg events, said: “The focus now is to look ahead to 2030 and continue to drive the country’s ambitious construction and design plans under its economic blueprint, the Qatar National Vision 2030.

“With Qatar showcasing its construction and design credentials on the world stage this year, we believe that our aim at both INDEX Design Qatar and The Big 5 Construct Qatar 2023 will be to continue in the same vein and shine a light on the advancements of these sectors, all while creating an essential space for debate and discourse.” ✤

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Fans of Lionel Messi are in for a treat, following the announcement that the player’s room during the FIFA World Cup will be transformed into a museum.

On the heels of Argentina’s victory in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 comes the decision to convert the room of sports icon and Argentina national football team captain, Lionel Messi, into a museum. A fitting tribute to the player who has been conferred the title of GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) by fans. This decision is being overseen by Qatar University, where the Argentinian team chose to stay instead of five-star hotels. While we’re yet to learn about the exhibits of said museum, there’s no doubt that it will be a shrine for fans and lovers of sport, particularly football. It’s said that it will offer visitors an insight into the surroundings that Messi lived in during the FIFA World Cup, a tournament in which he led his team to victory. This is the third victory for Argentina; the previous two being in the years 1978 and 1986. Since its inception in 1977, Qatar University continues

to serve as the country’s primary institution of higher education and has become a beacon of academic and research excellence in the region. Hosting 11 colleges across various faculties, as well as state-ofthe-art research centres, and offering a wide range of academic programmes, Qatar University has earned the endorsement of numerous leading international accrediting bodies. Further it has three sports complexes, in addition to an indoor gym for women. These facilities host various sports including football, volleyball, handball, basketball, tennis, swimming, water polo, squash and others. ✤

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Several leading organisations in Qatar are collaborating to help promote a positive environmental legacy post the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Qatar’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECC) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) have joined hands with various organisations to launch the One Tide Industry Coalition – which will be committed to promoting recycling, renewable materials and diverting waste from landfill in Qatar.

The One Tide Industry Coalition includes local, regional and global organisations that will work towards leveraging Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup to promote awareness and positive action towards sustainable consumption with the ultimate goal of supporting the local economy.

The coalition’s founding members comprise MECC, SC, Al Rayyan Water, APEX Waste Management, Averda, Baladna, Doha Plastics, Modern Cleaning and Trading MCC, Nestlé Middle East FZE, Unilever, Seashore and the Coca-Cola Company.

HE Shaikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, said: “I would like to thank the SC for organising this event and launching this coalition that will not only achieve a sustainable legacy for Qatar, but also address plastic waste pollution in a sustainable manner.

“We hope that the coalition will achieve its desired goals and be a leading example to reflect this year’s Qatar National Day slogan, by collaborating together, to show that our unity is the source of our strength, even in dealing with environmental issues and challenges.”

Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, SC, and Chairman,

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said: “One of the key legacies of Qatar 2022 is the increased commitment to environmental issues across the country and region. Environmental sustainability has been embedded in our FIFA World Cup project from the very beginning, including green building practices, plastic reduction, a commitment to recycling and diverting waste from landfill wherever possible.”

He further noted: “The new One Tide Industry Coalition will continue our commitment to the environment and help organisations across Qatar and the region come up with innovative solutions in this area.”

The Coca-Cola Company is one of the founding signatories of the coalition. Tolga Cebe, Vice President and General Manager Middle East, said: “For Coca-Cola Middle East it is a statement on our legacy in Qatar. We have begun an incredible journey in the market with the pilot of our 100% recycled bottles across FIFA World Cup 2022 venues.

“Today’s signing and pledge to champion waste collection projects shows a united front from the industry, highlighting our dedication to raising awareness for plastic recycling and minimising the impact we have in the markets we operate in.”

The One Tide Industry Coalition aims to be inclusive and will welcome other organisations interested in joining. ✤

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As we head into the New Year, it’s the perfect time to take stock and ask ourselves some searching questions. A time of renewal, it’s when many of us vow to improve our lives in some way, whether that be moving up the career ladder or finally taking the plunge and changing professions altogether; trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle and perhaps addressing small niggles that we have been ignoring; getting a grip of the clutter in our homes; or just vowing to achieve a better work-life balance and actually have some fun. Over the coming pages, we’ll offer some advice to help you achieve your New Year goals.


108,560. That’s the number of hours the average person spends at work over a lifetime! And that’s a conservative estimate based on 40 hours per week. When you really think about it, that’s a huge chunk of our lives. It’s no surprise then that work, career, profession – however you want to phrase it – is one of the most important aspects of our lives. For some, work is simply a means to survival. But, for many of us, it’s so much more than that. It’s a matter of pride and, in some cases, even defines how we see ourselves and who we are. So, what can you do if you feel you’re missing opportunities in the workplace? Perhaps being overlooked for promotion or, worse, just feeling overworked and unappreciated. If you’re happy with your current employer but feel you could be more fulfilled or are ready for the next step on the career ladder, there are some simple steps you can take.

Be visible – find out if your company has a consultation or suggestion process that allows employees to share ideas. Contributing to such a process will demonstrate your engagement and willingness to participate in improvement,

Update your skills – keep abreast of the latest developments in your field, look into the latest technology or techniques. Find out if getting further training and qualifications would help your future prospects and, if yes, perhaps discuss the options for support with your employer. This will not only, potentially, assist in your advancement, it should also benefit the company and will show your employer that you are keen to progress.

Get involved – if there is an aspect of your job that you do particularly well, volunteer to help train others. This will potentially add to your own visibility and value while, again, benefitting your employer.

Be professional – if you’re not already a member of the official body that represents your profession, sign up. These organisation often have extensive libraries setting out the latest developments. They can also offer invaluable training and networking opportunities.

If you feel it’s time for a change, the New Year is the ideal opportunity to reassess your professional life. If you’re not fulfilled, dread going to work or just have a desire for change, Dr Clare Beckett McInroy, of Beckett McInroy Consultancy, an award-winning systemic organisational, executive leadership

and board coach, has some advice. She told us: “You are considering a change of career. What steps should you take? Firstly, consider taking psychometrics for personality and ability profiling, along with career coaching with a qualified and experienced professional.

“Secondly, research careers that are identified in the profiling tools to ascertain skills, knowledge, behaviours and values that are aligned to your strengths and preferences. Consider also cost-benefits of the career change systemically, for example, career prospects, impact of finances and your family, how the particular field is placed geographically and so forth.

“Thirdly, update not only your CV/resume and bio, but also all your online networking tools including LinkedIn.

“Your Career Coach can support you on this, as well as university or course essays, letters and job applications, plus practice interviews.”

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Obviously, we don’t mean that you should literally chuck out anything floral but, once again, New Year is the perfect time to take stock and get rid of the unnecessary ‘stuff’ that clutters up our homes and lives.

According to everydayhealth.com: “Tidying up can help you de-stress, gain a sense of control and improve your state of mind in numerous ways.”

The website also stated that living in a cluttered space is associated with self-reports of reduced productivity and more chronic procrastination, according to a study published in September 2017 in Current Psychology.

So, it’s clearly time to take action.

The clothing

Check your wardrobe, use the reverse hanger tip – turn your hangers one way and when you wear something and put it back, turn the hanger the other way. Those that have not been turned after six months are not getting used and it’s time to say goodbye (even our most beloved clothes will go

out of date and hanging onto things that we have no hope of ever fitting again, is just masochistic and soul destroying). Maybe take the plunge and sell your gently used clothing online, use the money you make to buy yourself something new, it might be just the added kick you need to get you started and the thrill of making money from nothing can be really quite addictive.

Go through your shoe cupboard. Check any pairs that need new heels and soles and get them repaired. As with clothing, if you are hanging onto designer heels in the hope they will miraculously become comfortable, it’s time to stop kidding yourself – short of taking a tip out of the late Queen Elizabeth’s book and employing someone to wear them in for you – it’s not going to happen. New Year is the perfect time to admit defeat on this front and consign shoes that cause you agony to the charity bag or, once again, sell them online and replace them with something that you can actually enjoy wearing. Ladies, a tip, if you can no longer manage the sky scraper heels but don’t feel like heading on a night out in your Birkenstocks (and why not?) check out professional dance shoes. They look fab and the heels are much more forgiving.

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The kitchen

OK, how many mugs does one person need? Or for that matter glasses, tea towels etc? Here it’s time to adopt the tiny home mindset – one-in-one-out. Every time you buy something, you have to force yourself to get rid of something. Do you really need that new designer coffee maker or even those tea towels with the cute kittens on them? What are you willing to give up to make space in return?

Do you buy in bulk? And we don’t just mean the ‘can’t be missed’ food offers in the hypermarket (though there is surely a limit to the number of potted noodles one family can eat). But rather, take a look in your cleaning cabinet, how many multiples are in there taking up space? And do you actually know exactly how much of everything you have? If you have space to bulk buy items like washing powder/tablets and toilet tissue, that’s all well and good. But if you don’t, have you considered getting together with friends to take advantage of the best bargains without filling your cupboard space with things that won’t get used for months.

How about downloading apps such as Pantry Check or CozZo which are great for keeping track of what’s in your cupboards and fridge? There are even apps that will suggest recipes based on what’s available and the use-by dates. Yes, the initial input can be a bit tedious but if you are fed up of chucking outdated food or filling your space with stuff you really don’t need, this is a great way to get a grip of your shopping habits and become a bit more organised.

The Living Room

Appliances, gadgets, remote controls and, dare we say it, stacks of old magazines. They can all make your living space

look cluttered and let’s be honest, how many of us actually make use of all that stuff? When was the last time you looked at those National Geographics from 1999 or the 10-year-old Architectural Digest? Do yourself a favour, be ruthless! And the same goes for those electronics that have been superseded by the latest model or that don’t work and you’re promising yourself you’ll get round to fixing them or getting them fixed. Either do it or pass them on to someone who will. Can’t cope with either of those options, then just get rid!

The Bathroom

Lotions, potions, shaving gels, anti-ageing creams for him and her. Yes, we know, it’s always great to try new things and we’re the first to indulge but, if you try and it and decide you’re not going to finish the container and will never make a repeat purchase, get rid, right now. Keeping hold of this stuff just risks another attempt to like it and another, each doomed to failure. And, don’t forget, all this stuff has best before dates and, particularly for things like sun screen, these are really important. So, have a check on your shelves and make sure everything you intend to keep is, in fact, still in date.

The Garden

Responsibly dispose of any old chemicals you have lying around, particularly if you have mislaid the instructions. Give your bushes and trees a trim and consider the January sales for some replacements for any furniture that is beyond the help of a sander and a lick of paint or varnish.

There, now doesn’t that feel better?

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This might be a sore point for some, especially if you don’t have good insurance. But, we hardly need to tell you that your health is your biggest asset and your greatest treasure. And there’s plenty you can do to keep yourself well without breaking the bank.

For example, excuse us for getting personal, but when did you last change your toothbrush? If your answer was within the last three to four months, well done, have a gold star. According to the American Dental Association, that’s the maximum time for optimal usage. Longer than that and you risk your trusty brush starting to fail at its job. When bristles become frayed and worn, they’re no longer effective at clearing plaque and food debris, potentially leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Also, when was the last time you saw a dentist? Some would have us believe that we should be going for a check-up every six months but, according the body Nice, which provides guidance for the National Health Service in England and Wales, the frequency of dental visits all depends on the individual. They recommend that children go at least once a year, because their teeth can

decay faster, while adults without problems can wait as long as two years. So, if you can’t remember the last time you had a check-up, now might be a good time. Always remember that oral health can be a strong indicator of wider well-being.

Throughout the year, there are special days dedicated to various aspects of our well-being, from heart health to men’s issues, breast cancer awareness and mental health. These may seem gimmicky but, in reality they’re a great reminder to get ourselves checked and many hospitals and clinics have special offers running in specific months offering various tests and promotions.

It’s also useful to be aware of what’s normal for you and look out for changes. For example, most of us associate chest pain or tightness with heart issues but, according the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, we should also look out for less common symptoms such as pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in the legs or arms which can be a sign of narrowing of arteries. So, getting to know your own body can be key to catching serious issues early. Virtually every area of our health can be improved if we take better care of our diet and fitness. And, by that, we

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don’t mean a restrictive, weight loss regime but rather a moderate, sustainable way of eating that creates health for life.

If you’ve come out of the festive season feeling a bit bloated and a lot meh, this could be the ideal opportunity to take charge.

Have you thought about meal prep – preparing several days of food in advance so you always have healthy options to hand? The benefits of this lifestyle change can be physical, mental and financial. You’ll obviously eat better if you’re not grabbing the nearest unhealthy option, the sense of order will impart mental calm and financially, you’ll save money by not impulse buying.

Many people argue that they don’t have time for meal prep. And, seriously, we can relate. So how about looking up one of the meal delivery services around. Check out what’s available. Look for reviews and value for money. Assess the menus to see if there are plenty of options you will enjoy and maybe give it a go for a month. It may seem like an expensive option but we’ve spoken to several food service users who say they actually save money as they don’t need to shop and are, therefore, not tempted by spur of the moment purchases at the supermarket.

And what about fitness? According to the IHRSA, a global community of professionals in the health and fitness industry, average gym membership increases by 12% in

January (though in some areas this jumps to 30-40%) but, perhaps not surprisingly, more than nine per cent of these new members will quit within three months. So, if you’re considering treating yourself to a gym membership for the New Year, you might want to hold off for a while.

According to Harvard Health, part of the USA’s Harvard Medical School, two of the five best exercises for overall health are swimming and walking. Though many of us have access to compound and apartment pools, swimming might be something you should put off till the weather is a bit warmer. But, short of injury or disability, there is absolutely nothing to stop everyone else getting out for a brisk walk every day.

The health.harvard.edu website says: “Walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.”

So, there you have it. All you need is a well-fitting and supportive pair of shoes. Start with walking for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Over time, you can go farther and faster, until you're walking for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.

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Join us for the best contemporary Japanese culinary experience Doha has to offer.

fact magazine 29 Reserve Now on +974 4411 7550


Last but not least, all of us need some fun in our lives. According to creativehealingphilly.com: “Having fun has positive biological effects. When we do pleasurable activities, it releases dopamine which leads to positivity and can counteract more uncomfortable feelings of hopelessness and stress. Having fun [also] allows us the opportunity to connect and create bonds with others.”

So, take this New Year as an opportunity to ask yourself “where’s the fun in my life?” If you struggle to answer, something needs to change. We’ve talked about work and health but do you have a healthy work-life balance. Do you make time for yourself to simply enjoy life, whether that be with family, friends or even just by yourself?

Make 2023 the year you dedicate some serious time to just having fun.

Join a singing group – for most it doesn’t really matter if you can actually sing well, it’s an inclusive activity that releases endorphins and gives a tremendous sense of well-being. Check out Doha Singers for meetings and events. You could even belt out some tunes at a karaoke night, there’s serious money to be won in some of the annual competitions.

Take your healthy walking to a new level, get together with a group of friends and explore places of interest such as the Al Maha Island.

Explore new activities such as kite surfing, horse riding or padel,

which seems to be popping up all over the place just recently. Or just fall back on old favourites such as a good old boogie. Take a dance class, join in an online disco or go the old-fashioned route and head out to a club to strut your stuff. If the level of activity is unaccustomed, you might ache a bit the next day, but it will be so worth it.

Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is to make time for yourself. Make sure it’s something you enjoy and go for it with all your heart.

Make 2023 the year you do the things you’ve been putting off for years. Get that job. Take responsibility for your health. Turn your living space into a junk-free sanctuary. And most of all, have some fun!

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The excitement of the FIFA World Cup may be over but it’s left behind a whole host of exciting new venues to be enjoyed. From hotels to beach clubs, entertainment venues to theme parks. We take a look at some of the new offerings and a few that are still to come.


Al Maha Island

Al Maha Island features six new high-end restaurants including Zuma, LPM, Billionaire and Carbone, as well as other eateries and attractions such as Nammos Qatar beach club and Lusail Winter Wonderland. The island also features Al Maha Drive, a unique driveway experience reserved solely for supercars and classic cars.

Lusail Winter Wonderland

In contrast to the icy cold temperatures that greet visitors at the famous London Hyde Park location, visitors to Lusail Winter Wonderland can relax on the beach in the sun while enjoying festive games, rides, live entertainment and delicious food and drink. Running through till the end of April, Lusail Winter Wonderland brings winter magic to the Middle East.

Lusail Boulevard

Located in the heart of Lusail, this dynamic and diverse shopping, commercial and residential area is set to become the ChampsÉlysées of the Middle East, with the open-air, climate-controlled boulevard offering a vast range of experiences.

Qetaifan Island North

Conceived as an entertainment hub, Qetaifan Island North will feature luxurious hotels, beach clubs, gardens, pedestrian-friendly streets, distinct neighbourhoods and a waterpark with 36 rides that’s set to open in 2023. Guests will experience an adrenaline rush at ‘The Icon Tower’ zone in the waterpark, which features an 85-metre-high slide set to become the highest in the world.

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Qetaifan Island North
Lusail Boulevard
4441 2550 - 7705 2550 CROWNE PLAZA , WEST BAY Mademoiselle Night 3 Sips & 1 Appetizer 95 Qrs A LA LIBANAISE WEDNESDAYS DJ All Night Live Music & DJ All Night GET LIT THURSDAYS 3 Tacos & Margarita 120 Qrs Ladies Night Special 3 Sips & 1 Appetizer 95Qrs NOCHE LATINA TUESDAYS 2 Burgers & 2 Brews - 175 Qrs 2 Hour Open Drinks - 180 Qrs CHILL HOUSE MONDAYS Hotelier, Airlines, Frontliners, Education 20% Mega Offer. Wings Platter & Brew - 120 Qrs RETRO SUNDAYS Happy Hour All Night CASUAL SPORTS FAN SATURDAYS Happy Hour Sun - Turs 5 PM - 7 PM What ’ s on! LIVE MUSIC FRIDAYS

Corinthia Yacht Club

Located on the glittering waters of Porto Arabia at The PearlQatar, the architecture of this stunning building is designed to echo the billowing sails of traditional Qatari dhows. The private club offers exclusive membership for yacht owners and residents by invitation only.

West Walk

Located in the heart of Al Waab, West Walk is Doha’s latest urban lifestyle community. Tailored to the needs of modern living it fuses residential, retail and leisure spaces to provide the perfect live-work-play experience. West Walk also features a one-of-a-kind pedestrian promenade with innovative outdoor cooling technology.


West Bay North Beach Project

The run-up to the World Cup saw the highly anticipated launch of Qatar Tourism’s West Bay North Beach Project, with the initial launch comprising three new beaches in the heart of Doha: West Bay Beach – an affordable public beach where diverse amenities include a food court, fan zone and beach volleyball court; B12 Beach Club Doha – a family-friendly beach club with a breadth of amenities including 600 sun loungers, a restaurant, retail shops and a children’s playground; and DOHASANDS Beach Club – a stylish club featuring a buzzing concert stage, quick-service food and beverage outlets, retail offerings and 1,000 sun loungers for visitors.

974 Beach Club

Located next to the iconic 974 Stadium, this beach club features a five-star beachside experience: think private bungalows, water-based activities, beach sports, luxury retail outlets, food and beverage kiosks, a big screen, DJ sets and other cultural activities.

Makani Beach Club

Opened last October, The Four Seasons Hotel Doha’s lively seafront lounge brings Southern Mediterranean elegance in a chilled setting overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Club-goers can expect light bites, ocean views and DJ entertainment.

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Nammos Beach Club
Makani Beach Club


Fuwairit Kite Beach

Fuwairit Kite Beach is nestled along a natural lagoon an easy hour drive north of Doha. With excellent kitesurfing conditions, the state-of-the-art resort has found a perfect home thanks to the consistent winds, ideal ocean conditions and powder-soft sands.

The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island

This exclusive island getaway in the heart of Porto Arabia opened in October offering bespoke services and exquisite culinary offerings on a Mediterranean-styled island.

Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha

Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha has inherited a location with a prestigious history; since 1973 and until now, the site was home to the landmark Gulf Hotel. The building has undergone a grand refurbishment to accommodate this new all-inclusive venture by Rixos Hotels, in partnership with Accor and Katara Hospitality, which houses 350 rooms and suites and seven dining outlets.

The Outpost Al Barari

The first of its kind accommodation in Qatar, The Outpost Al Barari is situated in the stunning Inland Sea nature reserve and is surrounded by soaring sand dunes and desert wilderness. The resort offers 21 luxury lodges with private pools that will integrate close-to-nature experiences, sustainability and luxury hospitality.

Rixos Qetaifan Island North Doha

This resort will surround the island's main attraction: a state-ofthe-art waterpark. A traditional Turkish hammam and luxurious treatment rooms will also be on offer, alongside an exclusive sports club for active travellers and the Rixy Kids Club to keep every child entertained.

Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay

Currently in the final phases of construction, this hotel will be situated in the heart of the capital’s Diplomatic Area. The 44-story tower will boast art-deco inspired rooms, an indoor, rooftop pool and extensive culinary options created by Michelinstarred chefs.

Waldorf Astoria Doha Lusail

The sprawling resort is located in the heart of Lusail and boasts a pristine private sand beach. It offers a selection of fun activities for both adults and children, from water slides to surfing, alongside 461 rooms, a fitness centre, spa and offices.

The Ned Doha

One of London and New York’s most exclusive hotels and private members’ clubs, The Ned Doha is set inside the former Ministry of Interior building along the Doha Corniche, it’s home to 90 rooms and 12 suites, seven restaurants, a gym, spa and 30-metre outdoor pool.

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The Outpost Al Barari The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island Rixos Qetaifan Island North Doha Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha
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Nestled in the heart of Katara Cultural Village and surrounded by lavish gardens, this property features luxury rooms and 32 regal villas – all designed with an elegant blend of Mughal and Ottoman aesthetic.

Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha

These two luxury hotels face one another in two grand towers, which combine to represent the two scimitar swords on Qatar’s national seal. Fairmont Doha is inspired by mega-yacht design and a soaring lobby housing the world’s tallest chandelier, whereas Raffles Doha is a suite-only property with a legendary butler service.

Rosewood Doha

Located in two stunning towers inspired by Qatar’s coral reefs, Rosewood Doha and Rosewood Residences Doha consist of a luxury hotel, apartments, spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Katara Hills LXR Hotels

Inspired by Scandinavian architectural style and created with environment-friendly materials, 15 luxury villas offer a private and peaceful escape from the city in the green paradise of Katara Hills.

This unprecedented year of development represents a major milestone in Qatar’s emergence as a tourist destination, with the country seeking to welcome six million visitors a year by 2030. Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “2022 was an extraordinary year in Qatar with so many major new hotel and tourism openings. From shopping malls to beach clubs, museums to theme parks, there are now activities and experiences in Qatar for every type of traveller, from every nation and to suit every budget.” ✤

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Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay The Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha Rosewood Doha Katara Hills LXR Hotels The Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort
fact magazine 39


We got behind the wheel of the 2023 QX60, a premium SUV inspired by the company’s proud Japanese heritage.

INFINITI is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Nissan, which has been producing premium motor vehicles under this label since 1989, with the inception of the INFINITI Q45. Since then, the brand has been developing innovative, driver-centric vehicles that showcase exceptional design quality in all aspects of their creation.

FACT has been fortunate enough to test drive three of the manufacturer’s more recent offerings: the INFINITI Q60 Sports Coupé, the INFINITI PR QX50 Compact SUV and the INFINITI QX55 crossover coupé. This month, thanks to the supreme team at INFINITI Qatar, we got to experience the new INFINITI QX60, the latest mid-sized luxury crossover SUV from this proud Far Eastern car manufacturer.


We knew the QX60 would have to be something special to live up to the label’s reputation for consistently producing vehicles of superior quality. The moment the car came into view, however, we knew that INFINITI had gone all out yet again, as we were immediately taken with every element of the exterior design that we laid our eyes on. The 2023 model of this luxury SUV has been reimagined from the ground up, with this latest generation QX60 having been crafted to display a modern and refined look with its upright stance and performance-inspired styling.

At the front end, the uniquely fashioned grille features an origami-inspired mesh pattern that widens at the edges and, along with the standard LED headlamps – containing Kimonofold patterning – emphasises the vehicle’s Japanese essence. These front lights also feature a distinctive piano key design that creates an unmistakable signature shape.

From front to rear, the strong aerodynamic form of the all-new QX60 is obvious, with full-length, dramatic yet simple body lines gently softening the robust stance of this powerful SUV. A fastback roofline, combined with standard 20-inch, machinefinished alloy wheels – coupled with low-profile tyres – together hint at the on-road intentions of this high-performance vehicle. Additionally, we loved the two-tone paintwork of the body, along with the black roof rails and the branded side door chrome strips present on our premium model.


Lucky enough to be inspecting the top-of-the-range Autograph trim model, we were welcomed by an ultra-luxurious and functional interior design. This spacious three-rower is a family-friendly SUV with plenty of space to seat seven people comfortably. It features quilted, saddle brown, semi-aniline leather furnishings, complete with masterful, double-stitch contrast accents and piping.

fact magazine 41 CITY RIDES •

The ergonomically designed ‘zero gravity’ front row seats are eight-way memory and power-adjustable, feature in-seat massages, offer plenty of both comfort and support and provide a commanding view of the road ahead. The second-row features captains’ chairs – standard with the Autograph trim level. The first two rows of seating have embossed seatbacks and rich openpore wood accents.

To provide everyday convenience and practicality, the second row’s sliding and tilting seats allow easy access to the third row without having to remove already-installed child safety seats. The spacious cargo area is accessed through a motion-activated liftgate and offers 749 litres of cargo space – an area easily made larger thanks to the flexible nature of the seating.


The new QX60 features INFINITI’s new InTouch 12.3-inch Interactive Display touchscreen that provides access to all infotainment features, including full smartphone connectivity with both wireless Apple CarPlay and USB-based Android Auto. An INFINITI 12.3-inch dynamic Meter Display is paired with a crisp 10.8-inch head-up display that provides important information to the driver without eyes having to leave the road. The wireless charging mat is large enough to support an iPhone Pro Max, ensuring all smartphones are easy to charge and stay connected.

We uncovered more noteworthy features in our interior time, including HD Radio, expanded SiriusXM functions and embedded navigation complete with street and satellite views.


The 2023 INFINITI QX60 combines intuitive technology and impressive driveline dynamics with an award-winning 3.5-litre V6. This high-performance engine is coupled with an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission and produces 279hp and 350Nm of torque.

The all-new, direct coupling, intelligent all-wheel-drive system is another significant upgrade and almost instantly engages whenever it detects wheel slipping. INFINITI’s Active Brake Limited Slip functionality can brake individual wheels to redirect torque to the wheels that cannot secure grip instantly. The result is ultimate

control in even the most challenging of driving conditions. With all the power and performance features at our disposal, we spent a very satisfactory day cruising around Doha, receiving our share of admiring glances throughout.


To ensure you and your loved ones are in the very best of hands, the master craftspeople at INFINITI made sure to include a substantial suite of safety and driver assistance technologies in the 2023 QX60.

These features include an anti-locking braking system with emergency braking distribution, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, predictive forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver attention alert, blind spot warning and intervention, intelligent cruise control with distance assist control, along with front and rear parking sensors, multiple ISOFIX tethers and a series of airbags throughout the interior.


In the 2023 QX60, INFINITI have managed to further solidify their impressive reputation for producing high-performance, luxury vehicles that are not only practical and packed with features but easy on the eye and a whole lot of fun to drive. ✤


From front to rear, the strong aerodynamic form of the all-new QX60 is obvious, with full-length, dramatic yet simple body lines gently softening the robust stance of this powerful SUV.”

fact magazine 43 CITY RIDES •


The S-Class Haute Voiture is an evolution of the concept model of the same name presented earlier this year. A combination of the highest craftsmanship, premium materials and exquisite detail, creates a new level of exclusivity that is evocative of a drivable art piece. Designed by Mercedes-Benz’ most specialised customisation and craftmanship team in the Manufaktur in Sindelfingen, each vehicle will feature a badge in the centre console outlining its number within the unique run of 150.

A Mercedes-Maybach S 680 (WLTP combined fuel consumption: 14.3-13.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 326-304 g/km), the limited special edition facilitates a full sensory experience and showcases a supreme elegance that is reflective of the brand’s 'Sophisticated Luxury' ethos.

The exterior is characterised by an exclusive two-tone paint finish: a combination of metallic nautical blue on top, with a light shimmering rose tone in the lower section and nautical blue metallic rims. An additional highlight now includes surround lighting with animated projection. When the doors are opened, animated Mercedes-Benz or Mercedes-Maybach patterns using LCD technology light up and elegantly illuminate both the front and rear entry areas.

The high-fashion bouclé-trimmed interior exhibits hues of blue, beige, rose gold and gold. Highlights of crystal-white leather can be seen throughout the consoles, doors and scatter cushions and original to the series car is the blue-tone leather piping within the consoles. The floormats are made of linen and mohair. The cabin also comes with a pair of rose-gold flute glasses.

The MBUX infotainment system picks up on the splendid exclusivity of the interior, with visuals of sparkling glitter clouds

and rose gold accents. To complete the Maybach experience, the S-Class Haute Voiture will be accompanied by a hand-made giftbox featuring its badge number, alongside a scaled model and key ring. In addition, a special car cover featuring the Maybach and Haute Voiture logo will be gifted to customers.

A bag collection inspired by Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture will retail early 2023 at Maybach Icons of Luxury physical and online stores. Available in different styles and sizes in a limited run, items will comprise select materials featured in the vehicle interior, combining haute couture extravagance with detailed craftsmanship. ✤


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Mercedes-Maybach presented the S-Class Haute Voiture, which will be available in a strictly limited edition of 150 units starting early 2023.


The first striking detail of the Porsche 911 Dakar, which is limited to just 2,500 examples, is its ground clearance, which is 50mm higher than that of a 911 Carrera with sports suspension. And the standard lift system can raise the front and rear ends an additional 30mm. The model features specially developed Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres which are highly cut-resistant and ideal for challenging terrains.

The three-litre, biturbo, six-cylinder engine offers a maximum torque of 570Nm and delivers superior performance with a compelling boxer sound. The new sports car sprints to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds; due to the all-terrain tyres the top speed is limited to 240km/h.

There are two new driving modes: Rallye mode is ideal for loose, uneven surfaces and features rear-focused all-wheel drive. In Offroad mode, designed for maximum traction on difficult terrain and on sand, the high clearance is activated automatically.

The interior features standard full bucket seats with no rear seats. Lightweight glass and a lightweight battery further reduce the weight. A defining feature is the standard Race-Tex surfaces with decorative stitching in Shade Green, which is also exclusively available as a metallic exterior finish.

The new Porsche 911 Dakar doesn’t just demonstrate the all-butlimitless possibilities of the Porsche 911 concept. It also evokes the first overall victory by Porsche in the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally. This momentous win also marked the birth of all-wheel drive in the Porsche 911. This is why the new 911 Dakar is also offered with an optional Rallye Design Package, reminiscent of that iconic winning car.

The customer can choose an individual race number between 1 and 999. In addition to decorative stripes in red and gold, the model also features a ‘Roughroads’ logo on the doors –reflecting the 911 Dakar concept and its suitability for driving off-road.

Customers of the 911 Dakar can exclusively order the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar or the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition to go with their car. The new Porsche 911 Dakar can be ordered now via Porsche Centre Doha. ✤


fact magazine 45 MOTORING NEWS •
The foundation of the optional Rallye Design Package is the twotone finish in White and Gentian Blue Metallic, a first for Porsche. Premiered in Qatar directly after its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new, limited-edition Porsche 911 Dakar is just as comfortable off-road as it is on the highway.


Bose Frames are quite literally an example of combining the best of both worlds. The device is based on a basic concept of merging a pair of sunglasses with a pair of headphones that don't actually go in your ears.

These innovative audio sunglasses use miniaturised Bose speakers that are craftily hidden in the temples and produce a rich and immersive sound for users, while being virtually inaudible to others. A flat cable runs through the steel hinges of the sunglasses to send audio and power to the speakers.

The Bose Frames connect via Bluetooth to users’ smartphones and employ the exclusive Bose OpenAudio technology to free them from their headphones. Also, the device uses intuitive touch and motion sensor controls and a microphone system that has been effectively built into the temples, making it easy for users to take calls on the go and letting them stay hands free.

Plus, unlike many noise cancelling audio devices, the Bose Frames allow users to stay alert and aware of their surroundings without having to unplug. There is a designated tap button on the right temple that allows for functions such as pause, skip forward or go back. That same button also lets users answer or end a call.

The Bose Frames are an innovative personal audio experience embedded in a classic design NOSTALGIA GALORE

Beyond the audio and smart capabilities, the glasses have been impeccably designed with variation in models offered such as Tenor, Soprano and the Bose Frames Tempo which is intended as high-performance sport sunglasses. ✤


A classic cassette tape experience with a few current touches for lovers of retro models.

Vintage music collectors, rejoice! The CP-81 from Retrospekt is a brand-new portable cassette player which offers users a classic cassette tape experience. Retrospekt is a workshop and product design studio that is dedicated to the restoration and curation of retro technology such as vintage polaroid cameras, portable cassette players and more.

With the company’s mission aligned with saving and restoring vintage devices, but with required replacement parts no longer being readily available to meet the growing demand for classic cassette players, the Retrospekt team developed this device for people interested in getting into music on cassette at a more affordable price compared to some vintage players.

The CP-81 comes with a minimalistic design aesthetic highlighted by a clear, plastic body and brings all the core cassette player functions beloved by those who remember.

The device also boasts something far less common on most vintage models: a mono line-in record capability which allows users to record directly from any audio source with the help of an AUX cable. Users can add in a blank tape and, using their smartphone, in an instant turn into the master of the lo-fi mixtape.

The portable cassette player comes packaged with Retrospekt’s

exclusive Koss headphones that feature an adjustable, stainlesssteel headband and orange foam cushions, again reminiscent of classic models. ✤


fact magazine 46 • PLUGGED IN

A digital canvas that combines a modern design, the latest technology and passion for art into one well-framed device.

The Netgear Meural Canvas II is a stylish smart art frame designed to allow users to showcase their favourite artworks or personal cherished memories. It comes in two sizes (16x24inches and 19x29inches) and four premium wood finishes (white, black, light wood and dark wood) in a sleek, modern-meets-classic frame design.

The frame boasts an anti-glare IPS screen with patented TrueArt technology that helps capture every last detail of the user’s favourite artwork and photos for lifelike viewing from any angle. It also has an ambient light sensor which automatically adjusts the display to the brightness of the room.

The Meural Canvas II comes with 24GB of digital storage capacity that lets users upload and store art locally and uses 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core processor and 2GB of DDR3 RAM to efficiently power the premium performance and offer users an immersive digital experience.

Users can easily upload, crop and adjust their pictures and 15 second video clips conveniently from their phone using the Meural App.

The device comes with an art sampler of 100 classic and newer works of art.

Additionally, Meural has partnered with some of the world's leading image collections to bring users a dynamic, ever-evolving art library of over 30,000 artworks, available with a paid monthly or yearly subscription. ✤



A digital device for writing, reading and sketching that feels just like paper.

The reMarkable 2 is a digital notepad that looks to replace notebooks, printouts and document use but without sacrificing the pen-to-paper note taking experience. Developed by a Norwegian start-up company, the device can be used to take handwritten notes, edit PDFs, sketch ideas and read e-books on its partial E-Ink display. It efficiently converts handwritten notes into typed texts which makes it convenient to rework on and share as emails, reports or presentations.

The device supports and recognises 33 languages and can identify both block letters and cursive input. Once saved, the documents can be easily accessed in popular cloud storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive directly from the tablet.

The device comes with the second-generation ‘Canvas’ 10.3inch monochrome digital paper display and is surprisingly thin measuring in at just 4.7 millimetres – 30% thinner than the reMarkable 1. The gadget’s dimensions are 7.4 x 9.6 x 0.19-inches, and it weighs just 460g making it comfortable to handle.

The reMarkable 2 comes with a 1.2 GHZ dual core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage making it one of the most responsive digital paper tablets. With a total of 8GB in internal storage, the device is good

for about 100,000 pages of note taking, while the 3000mAh battery and USB-C charging capability give it around two weeks of usage between charges. ✤


fact magazine 47 PLUGGED IN •


What’s on the smartphone agenda for January?

Stellarium Mobile - Star Map

Ever looked up at the night sky and let the splendour of the universe grab you? Or even gazed at the dazzling display of stars and wondered which ones were what?

The Stellarium Mobile - Star Map is a wonderful planetarium app that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars.

By just pointing their phones at the sky the app lets users identify stars, constellations, planets, comets, satellites (such as the ISS), and many other deep sky objects in real time and within a matter of a few seconds!

Stellarium Mobile has an easy to use and minimalist user interface, which makes it one of the best astronomical applications for both adults and children.

The app’s features include an accurate night sky simulation of stars and planets for any date, time and location; a collection of many stars, nebulas, galaxies, star clusters and other deep sky objects to look up and explore; and much more.

Pocket Casts

In case you’re a habitual podcast enthusiast, Pocket Casts is one of the best and most powerful podcast platforms available online.

Pocket Casts gives users a full-featured and easy-touse podcast player that provides them with next-level listening, search and discovery tools which directly impacts and elevates their listening experience.

The app’s interface is smooth, efficient and interactively changes colours to go along with the artwork attached to the podcast users are listening to. Additional customisable features include an automatic playback queue of users’ favourite shows; the ability to cut silences out from episodes; adjustable playback speed from 0.5 to 3; volume boost while decreasing background noise; easy toggle between audio to video episodes; skip between chapters that can be easily marked; skipping episode intros while also easily jumping through episodes with custom skip intervals; and many others.

The app also provides users curated podcast recommendations for easy discovery, making it simpler for them to find their next favourite podcast.

fact magazine 48 • PLUGGED IN


We caught up with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe when he visited Qatar for the official opening of the watchmaker’s store at Place Vendôme.

Did you always want to be a watchmaker?

No, I wanted to be an astronaut. [Ricardo Guadalupe chuckles.] But I can explain why I became a watchmaker. I was born in Switzerland in a city called Neuchâtel, where watchmaking is very important. If I’d been born in Zurich, where there is no watchmaking industry, maybe I would be in banking or finance. But I lived in Neuchâtel. Friends, parents of friends, everyone was linked with the watch industry. And with time, I too became passionate about watches.

The Big Bang exploded onto the market in 2005 and won the Best Design of the Year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. Why was this watch such a success?

The Big Bang was a watch that revolutionised watches at that time. Hublot is the French word for porthole – the small window on the outside of a ship. If you look at our watches, you’ll see that the inspiration for the design is a porthole with screws. We introduced a new way of constructing the Big Bang’s case – a sandwich construction, with layers. With a 40mm-diameter case, it was quite a big watch, too. At that time, watchmakers usually worked on the movement of the watch; they didn’t really work on the outside of the watch, the case or the bracelet. But that’s what we did. The Big Bang was a watch that appeared at exactly the right moment. It pleased consumers. And its success grew; it snowballed. When you roll a snowball, it becomes bigger and bigger and you cannot stop it.

fact magazine 51 BRAND IN FOCUS •

If you had to pick three words to describe Hublot’s style, what would they be?

Art of fusion. That’s what we represent. We make watches that fuse tradition – the four hundred years of history of mechanical watches, using gold and other precious materials – with a modern touch. We were the first brand to come up with a rubber strap in 1980 when the brand was created. Next, we used ceramic. Then carbon fibre, then sapphire. We try to make watches that are different, that are inspired not only by the past but also by the present and by the future. So that’s why we say that we represent the art of fusion. There are traditional brands that have a history of three hundred years of making beautiful watches. But we do something different.

Hublot was the Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. What does that mean to you?

For us, the FIFA World Cup has been a key element in raising the brand awareness of Hublot. We are known as a watch brand thanks mainly to football and to the FIFA World Cup. Throughout this amazing month-long event, the visibility of our brand has been boosted because of the referee boards. For 20 seconds during every single match, billions of people saw Hublot. In 2014, we were able to change the shape of the referee board to the shape of a watch… to the shape of the Big Bang. So now everyone knows that Hublot is the watch brand from the FIFA World Cup! Worldwide, we have ambassadors who have taken part in our campaign: Hublot Loves Football. And, of course, the head of our ambassadors is Kylian Mbappé, the French player who won the Golden Boot. So for us it’s a really incredible time.

What’s next for Hublot?

We’re a young brand, just 42 years old. Next, we want to make sure that our brand is one of the most important in our industry. When people talk about watches, we want to be sure that Hublot is part of the those three, four or five brands [the top names]. We need to show that we are really strong when it comes to the know-how and the expertise of creating mechanical watches.

Are you ever late?

Never. [He chuckles again.] When I tell people that I’ll see them at nine, they have to be there at 8.55 because normally I arrive five minutes before. Of course, it has happened, when a plane is late or if something happens that’s out of everyone’s control, but in general I don’t like to be late. We are a watchmaker, so we have to be accurate and precise. ✤

fact magazine 52
We'reaninternationallyrecognizedbrandofferingqualityproductsfromthemost exclusiveselectionsworldwide.ConceptoisaQataribrandspecializingingenuineand exoticleathergoodsthatprovideavarietyofaccessoriestoitsworldwidecustomers. Conceptogainedpopularityprimarilythroughitsstrikingphonecasesinthegulfregions. Otherproductsincludecardholders,folders,bagsandmore. www.conceptodoha.com GaleriesLafayette,katara&MsheribGalleria,Doha,Qatar info@conceptodoha.com BorninQatar @conceptodoha

In Conversation with… Zoi Zygelopoulou

The Restaurant Manager of Twisted Olive Doha talks passion for her work and love for her team.

How did you become involved in the hospitality sector? Is it something you always wanted to do?

Well, I'm Greek. So, for us Greeks, hospitality is in our DNA, it's in our blood. We have the tourists. All of us, at any age, we will work as a waiter in a restaurant, at a coffee shop, somewhere! For me, I did that and then I wanted really to study it. I wanted to have a diploma, a degree and I went to hospitality school. Actually, my title is Food and Beverage Manager. But as you will understand, nobody is born a manager and school doesn't actually give you the reality and the experience. So, I had to pass through all the positions. I was a food runner, I was a waitress, I was like whatever you can imagine. I studied to go to the hotels, but I worked a little bit in hotels and I understood that the hotel environment was not for me.

It was very strict and very regimented. What I wanted was life, I want my team to be people with personality, with character, with their ‘thing’. And I want all the people that are working with me to wake up in the morning and enjoy working with me. I'm loud. I

love people and I love my people, my team. And I love the people that come because I want them to have a great experience. This is why I work in hospitality and why I really love my job.

How long have you been in Qatar and what decided you to come to the Middle East?

I came to Qatar on November 11, 2013. Before, I was in South Africa. I didn't really know exactly what to expect and I never expected this choice I made would change my life. It was the best thing I ever did in my life. The people here, the guests, my team, they’ve become family and friends. Now I have two countries. I'm Greek and I love Greece. That is my country where I was born. And I have a second country, Qatar. I have received so much love and happiness, success in my work and recognition. I'm really, really happy. Everybody asks how long I’m going to stay. Can I tell you something? As long as I'm that happy, I'm not going to go.

fact magazine 54 • 5 OVER 5

We understand that the Twisted Olive concept was inspired by an 80-year-old olive tree. Please tell us a bit about the history of the brand and how that concept is translated in the Qatar restaurant.

So, you have some information about Twisted Olive about the 80-year-old tree. Why olive? Because the menu is inspired by countries where the olive tree grows. You can see that we have dishes from different countries that they have olive trees there. And the second, the twisted part is that everything has a twist at Twisted Olive. The food, you will think it is classic but, small or big, it will have a twist. The way that the service is, it has a twist. The vibe, you have to see it, we are in a very green area under Burj Doha, nobody expects to find us there. And suddenly, wow, we're a surprise for everybody. So, the twist is the location, it’s the food and also the service.

The team here, as I told you, they have their own personalities combined with the happiness, the music and the vibe. If you come here, we don't want to take your money, we want you to enjoy. Sometimes, if I think someone has ordered too much, I'll tell him – the kitchen is still here, order less and If you want more, I will give you more. What is a restaurant? The restaurant is a house. Twisted Olive is our house and when you invite somebody into your house, you want it to be clean and you want the food to

be good and you want for them, your guests, to have good time. When I go to the tables, I don't ask them 'how was your food?' I ask them, 'are you happy?' If you are happy, you will come again.

What are your personal favourite dishes on the menu and the one thing you would say everyone ‘must’ try?

From all your questions, this is the most difficult for me. I cannot answer. The variety of the breakfast items and the brunch and lunch and dinner is that good and our team in the kitchen, our head chef, really, they make great food because they cook with love. So, I don't have a personal favourite. When people come and say, ‘what is your best seller?’. My friend, everything here is a best seller. If it’s not a best seller, it’s out of the menu.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time in Doha?

Now we go to the second difficult question. I love my work. Sometimes I don't take a day off. Not because they actually need me, because I need to be here. So actually, one time my boss he threatened me, he told me to take the day off or he would tell security not to let me enter the building. It's like my life is full when I'm here at Twisted Olive. And the people that want to see me, my friends, they're coming all of them here. ✤

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fact magazine 56
Dario Mangoni, Executive Chef at Sumosan Doha, talks early passion and new menus.

You've worked in some of the best restaurants and hotels around the world, including Italy, Australia, Monaco and now Doha. Was it always your ambition to become an executive chef?

Yes it was. When I was child, I always used to help my grandparents in the kitchen. From a hobby, it became a passion. I was born in Cremona, Italy, then I moved with my family to a big city, Milan. As soon as I finished high school, knowing what I wanted to do, I moved onto hotel college for five years.

Sumosan is a multi-award-winning contemporary Japanese restaurant and has a stellar reputation globally, what new creations can diners expect on the menu?

We are preparing and presenting to our customers a ‘Japanese contemporary modern cuisine’ using the finest products coming directly from Japan. The World Cup period was quite a busy period for us with diners coming to

enjoy our food. At the beginning of new year, we will start working on new à la carte menu offering and preparing our Ramadan set menu as well.

What is your signature dish and why?

In Sumosan restaurant Doha our signature dishes are Lobster Salad, which is made with Lollo Biondo salad, cooked fresh lobsters from Canada and dressed with Chef Buba’s secret dressing, Chef Buba is our Corporate Brand Chef. And also, our Wagyu Beef Sando. For this Japanese sandwich we use high-marble-grade-quality Wagyu beef.

When you're not leading the team in the kitchen, how do you like to spend your spare time in Doha?

I love to spend my spare time with my family and enjoy the beautiful weather in Doha, especially during this period of the year. ✤

fact magazine 57 VOICE FROM THE KITCHEN •


Executive Chef Wolfgang Godl of the Radisson Blu Hotel Doha talks changes of heart and favourite dishes.

fact magazine 58 • CHEF IN FOCUS

How did you first become interested in

the culinary world?

My parents had a small pension. I always helped my mother in the kitchen and that’s where I got my first taste of the culinary world. I hated it then, but now I’m glad I got that experience alongside my mother

Your career was mainly in Europe, what prompted your move to Pakistan and now Qatar?

I had some health issues in 2018 and took several months out to recover before an old friend from Pakistan called me and asked if I would like to come there to work. I was in Pakistan for three years before losing my job due to the pandemic. After that, I came to the Radisson Blu Doha and I have happily been here ever since.

Your hotel has a huge range of outlets – how do you manage to maintain the quality and keep them all updated?

I have good chefs working in all 20 food and beverage venues of the hotel and we cook high quality dishes. By constantly talking to the staff and chefs about any problems and addressing

them, I believe I have built up a good level of trust with the team members and I thank them for very high quality work.

What would be your favourite dish across all the hotel’s restaurants and why?

For me, personally, sushi and sashimi at Sakura Sushi Bar & Teppanyaki. I like to eat fresh dishes and fish is my favourite. There are great dishes across the hotel’s many excellent offerings. I would recommend the Maine Lobster Cocktail – I like the different colours and freshness of the dish. I also find the composition of the products, lobster with fruit, vegetables and salad, very good. The presentation looks attractive and the dish also tastes great. Also, the Veal Medallions with a Gorgonzola Cheese Crust. What I like about this dish is the combination of meat and cheese. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but after the first taste, many people are convinced. It is a good combination. The dish creates a beautiful image with the vegetables and the sauce that goes with it. A delicious dish for a fine-dining restaurant. The Main Lobster Cocktail and Veal Medallions are both favourites served in Bentley's Grill. ✤

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FACT’s Amica Sicilia hits Doha’s hottest new dining spot, the Spanish sensation Tatel on Al Maha island, to experience fine dining made fun

Many cities are said to never sleep, but Doha goes beyond that. This is a city in a constant state of total transformation and the newest jewel in its crown is Al Maha island. Born from the sea, the island has gathered the crème de la crème of luxury leisure and entertainment along a promenade that has fast become the new place to see and be seen in Doha. It is also the latest home of the Spanish sensation that is Tatel. From its flagship in Madrid, the Tatel phenomenon now has locations in Ibiza, Beverly Hills, Riyadh, and soon in Mexico City. Its mission is to distil the quintessence of Spanish gastronomy. So far, so haute cuisine. But there’s a twist. With different live entertainment every night, director Diego Mateo Sánchez explains, Tatel is testing what happens when fine dining becomes fun. And Tatel’s new Doha outing has already become a favourite of stars from footballer Cristiano Ronaldo to actress Esha Gupta. Inside, the vibe is members’ club meets waterfront chic, with a bit of arty edge. There’s an uplit art deco bar backed by well-stocked shelves. A floor-to-ceiling mural of a cheeky Salvador Dalì faces another by the Spanish master of light Joaquín Sorolla, showing two white-clad ladies strolling by the sea. Cosy booths in dark blue velvet and cream leather are raised in ranked tiers so that everyone can enjoy the entertainment (tonight DJ Ahmet Ataka provides the soundtrack to our dinner). But it’s such a beautiful night that we make our way through the restaurant and out onto the terrace, overhung with wisteria and half-screened by elegant

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white curtains. It feels as if we have a private view across the water to Lusail and front-row seats for the evening promenade of Doha’s finest in their finest.

We’re greeted at our table by some of the foundational flavours of Spain. Pan Con Tomate is something of a Spanish ritual, as fresh tomatoes are squashed into warm bread, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. The oil is Tatel’s own brand of peppery liquid gold, sourced from the multi-award-winning groves of the Reales Almazaras de Alcañiz.

Our taste buds activated, we peruse the menus for a trio of starters. The first is claret-coloured Tartar De Atún. The secret to this dish is all in the marinade. Its savoury-sweetness comes from pairing Asian-inspired soy with an aromatic fish broth, to provide a depth of flavour belied by the wafer-thin slices that almost dissolve in our mouths.

Next, we up the ante with the tartare’s Latin cousin, ceviche. Tender, milky white seabass is cold cured in a citrus leche de tigre, whipped to an incredible foam. We complete the trio with the antithesis of the first two dishes, an iconic tortilla. This traditional Spanish omelette is celebrated as a national dish but what most foreigners don’t know is that it is not supposed to be cooked firm. Ours arrives creamy soft in the middle still, the result of an artistry of timing and temperature to get it to plate. For the mains, once again we start from the lightest, most delicate flavours. The first set before us is a Pil-Pil Bacalao, a classic Atlantic salt cod. This traditional recipe from the Basque country in northern Spain uses a combination of constant motion and olive oil to emulsify the natural gelatine from the skin and create a silky sauce. The delicate flavour of the fish is punctuated by shards of crisp roast garlic and hot fresh chilli. But we have been saving ourselves for the main event. The true star in executive chef Aldo Sebastianelli’s repertoire is the Señoret or gentleman’s rice. This apotheosis of a traditional Spanish paella is crowned with two majestic deep-sea Carabinero prawns, as long as my forearm. The perfect paella is not just a secret but a series of secrets. The most important is the simplest: the right rice. It must be short grain, ideally bomba Calasparra. The next is the pan, which must be wide and thin, able to respond to changes in heat and cook evenly without stirring. At Tatel it’s served in a flat cast-iron beauty and it’s this, when combined with just the right rich fish stock, that provides the divine socarrat – the crisp, brown layer gilding the base of the rice. The result is spectacular.

We didn’t think we’d have space for dessert but we give in to Diego’s coaxing and don’t regret it. My companion’s Torrija is a tender brioche, caramelised and sprinkled with cinnamon. But the prize goes to my Basque baked cheesecake, its centre oozing soft over a crumbling base. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the extra strong black coffees we need to help carry us home. But we linger over them a little longer as we watch Qatar’s finest enjoy their evening strolls, the world goes by and the stars rise over the sea. ✤


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Ailsa Whyatt discovered that superb quality mixed with culinary know-how can elevate the simple to the sublime.

Focus on two main ingredients, keep them simple then serve to perfection. This isn’t just a mantra, it’s a way of life at Burger & Lobster. Nestled in the heart of the marina at 6 La Croisette, The Pearl, and with successful restaurants across London, Singapore, New York, Malaysia, Kuwait and Bangkok, we know we are in for a treat tonight. Brand Manager Samuel Restillas seats us on the marina terrace, surrounded by light-encrusted palm trees and bougainvillea plants. An intimate setting for some very grand dishes. Samuel recommends some 0% ABV cocktails, and my favourite is Pink London Spritz (sherbet-y and fresh, 0% ABV Gin). All are delicious, but let’s get back to the food as I know you’re mostly keen to get to the part where we meet our lobster…

We start with Truffle Mushroom Croquettes, Saffron Grilled Tiger Prawns and Cajun Fried Calamari. All are elegantly presented on the restaurant’s signature black earthenware. Attention to detail is everywhere. The croquettes are crispy on the outside and silky-smooth inside; truffle hits you on the first bite, and hearty mushroom follows hot on its heels. Our tiger prawns are creamy and pack a punch when dipped in the harissa lime mayonnaise. The calamari tastes fresh and peppery, with light and crisp batter, accompanied by chilli, lime, garlic and Cajun mayonnaise. Just as we’re congratulating ourselves on a rather wonderful start, Samuel strides towards us holding a 2.5kg live Canadian lobster. She (yes, she is female) contributes to the 800kg-worth of lobsters the restaurant serves each week. Biologists are on hand ensuring perfect conditions for these crustaceans, some of whom weigh a whopping 7kg if you happen to be a large party of diners or are just extremely hungry. I didn’t like to name her – too personal given we were about to eat her – but she was a beauty to behold. It’s standard practice for diners to meet their

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lobster and to be shown why all lobsters are right-handed, which claw they use to attack their prey (it’s left, since you asked), and hear how flavour and texture differs between males and females, before returning to your table cooked to perfection.

Enter mains, stage left… A Beast Burger – truffle mayo and Chinese cabbage slaw, underneath a chunky Black Angus beef burger, sweet and succulent lobster claws and a molten slab of brie. The dish hangs together like it was born that way, and it feels like the height of decadence having a casual lobster claw amidst a burger. Next is the Original Lobster Roll – the 7cm tall (they check each one before serving) brioche bun is lightly toasted, doughy and frankly the BEST brioche I’ve ever had. Inside is seafresh, chilled lobster meat in a lemony sauce, transporting me to beach days, where fresh seafood rolls fill tummies hungry after a morning of digging, sandcastles and swimming. Divine.

The Original Lobster and also Lobster Salad are spectacular. Helpfully, the menu contains a guide to lobster eating, which is fortunate as I’m a little rusty on my consumption etiquette and, happily for the messy among us, both dishes come with bibs and lobster cracking accoutrements. The Original Lobster is a whole, steamed lobster, served with the most buttery lemon and garlic sauce I’ve ever had. It’s so simple, confident in the knowledge that it needs nothing else to be thoroughly enjoyed – and enjoy it we did!

The Lobster Salad – a bed of kale, tossed in a lemon dressing, quinoa, avocado, dried figs and cranberries, roasted walnuts, pomegranate jewels and some sliced radishes, finished off with a balsamic reduction – has a whole, poached lobster on top. All of these flavours provide texture, crunch and complementary sweetness to the glorious lobster, which looks like it could be on a bed of seaweed amongst the ocean flora and fauna. Dreamy. As if life couldn’t get any better, Samuel presents the desserts. Lotus Cheesecake, Dates Pudding and Pistachio Tres Leches. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant and not been able to decide which pud was my favourite. I mean, you always know, deep down, don’t you? Well, these have me stumped. I loved all of them. If indulgence in cheesecake form is your bag, then you cannot go wrong with Lotus Cheesecake. A rich, creamy cheesecake sits atop a lotus biscuit base, drizzled with whipped cream and a whole lot of lotus caramel sauce. This isn’t a light option, but it’s oh-so-good. If you fancy a sticky toffee vibe then go for Dates Pudding (the cake is pre-soaked in date juice), cooked to perfection and served with toffee sauce and salted caramel ice cream. Dates, cake and caramel are universally acknowledged to be a champion combination and this is no exception.

Finally, for Mexican-meets-Middle East, try Pistachio Tres Leches. This pistachio and vanilla sponge is soaked for 12 hours in condensed, evaporated and whole milks and topped with whipped cream, pistachio crusting and raspberry. It literally oozes milky flavours, balanced out by mellow pistachio, leaving us sighing with contentment at its velvety perfection.

Burger & Lobster is a hugely respected brand, where consistency and freshness are valued by proprietors and customers alike. A simple ingredients concept with a laser focus on ‘getting it right’ has had people flocking through its doors worldwide. Flavour and quality are in absolute harmony here and I for one am delighted to see them in Qatar. ✤

fact magazine 66 • DINING DELIGHT


Luke Bennett headed to a new venue for a delicious taste of North Africa.

Amidst the hysteria and joy of Morocco’s historical run to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, residents of Doha might have missed an off-thefield celebration of all things Moroccan: the launch of Caza, a stylish, modern restaurant offering some of Morocco’s finest dishes, and situated on the 24th floor of the recently opened Le Méridien City Center, Doha. The initial impression from the décor is the creation of a contemporary establishment sprinkled with innovation and elegance. A vibrantly lit feature wall runs the length of the restaurant and resembles the mesmerising layers of a gemstone while large, potted plants add a natural, fresh element. Black and golden marble sweeps across the floor as strip lighting adorns the walls. Adding a touch of authentic Morocco are a small selection of ornamental urns along with the use of ceramic plates embellished with white and blue patterns that took me back to the streets of Essaouira, Morocco’s Bohemian coastal city. As soon as we chose our seating, Moroccan bread and an assortment of colourful dips were presented as pleasing hors d’oeuvres. Tearing a piece of the crusty, warm bread, I first dipped into a nutty, sweet paste known as Amlou. Next up was a tapenade comprised of green olive and a strong yet enjoyable ‘hit’ of garlic which sat alongside the more common blend of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Finally, adding some heat to the mix was a punchy harissa dressing. For the appetisers, diners can select between an impressive variety of salads known as Shlada; warming soups named Shorba; or a collection of Briouats, deep-fried savoury pastries. If, like us, you enjoy sampling an array of dishes, they offer a Mezzeh Platter which provides a combination of three shladas and three briouats. As the platter arrived, Fatiah, a friendly waitress, accepted my request for more bread as the shladas were perfect for spreading. First to be smothered across a chunk of bread was a fresh blend of carrot marinated in cumin, lemon and coriander, closely followed by an earthy mix of blended spinach and green olives. To complete the collection of salads was my personal favourite: a smoky eggplant paste with subtle undertones of spice and the added sweetness of sundried tomatoes. To complement the freshness of the shladas were the perfectly crisp, lightly fried briouats. Caza’s manager, Youssef, informed us that these pastries are extremely popular across Morocco, and I can see why. Biting into the sun-kissed, crispy exterior provided a satisfying crunchy sensation that was instantly followed by flavoursome, spiced vegetables. To offer a meatier taste was a triangular parcel stuffed with minced lamb and a seafood cigar with the instantly recognisable flavour of shrimp. Both meat options had ideal levels of dryness: not too dry that they become chewy, but not too juicy that the crisp layers of pastry become saturated.

For the main courses, Caza focus on the quintessentially Moroccan dishes of couscous and tagine with a variation of vegetable and meat options. Housed within a pale tagine pot, Kasksou Bel Khodra proved to be a delectable combination of fluffy semolina balls and perfectly roasted wedges of zucchini, carrot and pumpkin. Adding differing textural and taste elements was a mound of sweet, sauteed onions; hearty chickpeas; a

fact magazine 69 NEW IN TOWN •

scattering of sugary, dried fruit; and an additional serving of the chef’s special bouillon – a delightful broth with a depth of flavour. Removing the lid of another patterned, ceramic pot revealed Tagine D’jaj B’Zitoune M’slala, pieces of roasted chicken on a bed of thinly cut fries. Each chunk of chicken was skilfully cooked so that the meat fell away from the bone yet retained a delightful crackle. Adding a desirable level of saltiness to the dish were plump, purple olives while slithers of preserved lemon peel brought a zesty component.

The final main course, B’stilla Bdjaj L’Baldi, was by far the most surprising meal I have been served this year. Decorated with a dusting of icing sugar, cinnamon and dried petals, this filo pie was both aesthetically pleasing and a delight to eat. A generous filling of minced chicken was hidden within layers of flaky pastry, and fragments of almonds added another pleasurable textural aspect. Resonating throughout the dish is the warming, sweetness of cinnamon making this savoury dish feel like you‘re eating a dessert and not a main, perfect! One of the pleasant waitresses, Ouijdane, explained how B’stilla is a celebratory meal most frequently served at weddings. (I’d happily get married tomorrow to eat this dish again!)

Whilst we squabbled over who would get the last, mouthwatering bite of B’stilla, our dessert options were served. Yet more pastry, but I was not complaining as the chef is clearly an expert at preparing both savoury and sweet pastry dishes. Firstly, we sampled a delicate stack of circular filo sheets that were layered with creamy custard and poached apple, topped with a delicious sphere of pistachio gelato, and drizzled with a sweet, orange blossom syrup.

Bringing our wonderful experience to an end in a traditional manner, we were poured mint tea from a decorative pot which was sided by a range of Moroccan sweets. Each sweet was visually different in shape, highlighting the crumbly texture and sweetness of almonds, but pleasingly not spoiled by the overuse of syrup meaning you can easily come back for more.✤

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Explore our most interesting picks of exciting dining offers happening around town, from afternoon teas and al fresco lunches to brunches, barbecues, global cuisines and more.


Sahara Garden

Located on the mezzanine level, this premium location offers a vibrant atmosphere, airy with natural daylight. Savour a wide array of hookah flavours priced starting at QR140. An à la carte menu, featuring tempting Arabic mezze and mocktails, layered with handmade infusions is also offered at this contemporary lounge, which is open from 4pm to midnight.

GO: Call 4489 9000 or 5513 3472 for more information or to make a reservation.


Il Galante

The best deals are made over the best meals! Il Galante’s Business Lunch is the perfect setting for your luncheon meeting. The offer runs Sunday to Thursday from 1pm to 4pm and is priced at QR95 per person for a two-course set menu and QR110 per person for a three-course set menu.

GO: Call 4410 3310 or WhatsApp 3992 0707 for more information or to make a reservation.



Restaurant & Bar

What better way to kick off the weekend than a social brunch. Get transported to India with a selection of Indian specialities accompanied by modern Indian lounge music. Be impressed with live Patta Chaat stations – flavourful street food-style snacky dishes. the offer runs every Friday from 12.30pm to 4.30pm and

is priced at QR149 per person inclusive of soft beverages for two hours. You can also opt for an enhanced beverage package priced at QR149 per person for two hours or a premium beverage package priced at QAR249 per person for two hours.

GO: Call 4009 5520 or WhatsApp 3001 5360 for more information or to make a reservation.

CAFÉ #999

Add some flavour to your new year with authentic Italian cuisine. Visit Café #999, which is located at the Fire Station, after an invigorating walk at Al Bidda Park. Enjoy with family and friends – pets are allowed too – as you dine al fresco. Timings are Saturday to Thursday, from 9am to 9pm and on Friday from 1pm to 9pm. Breakfast is priced starting at QR35, Business Lunch starts at QR85 and a five-course meal with must-try dishes is priced at QR350.

GO: Call 4452 5650 or email café#999restaurant@qm.org.qa for more information or to make a reservation.


Curiosa By Jean Georges

Discover the warmth and vibrant spirit of Latin feasts in a setup that echoes the hacienda-style architecture of Latin America and Spain. Enjoy Curiosa Friday Brunch every Friday from 12pm to 4pm. The offer is priced at QR330, inclusive of beverages; BD498, inclusive of selected beverages; QR598, inclusive of premium beverages and QR160 for kids from five to 12 years.

GO: Call 4494 8600 or email res.doha@fourseasons.com for more information or to make a reservation.

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Experience a hearty breakfast fiesta of the traditional and the imaginative. Choices range from staple egg dishes cooked to preference, as well as flavourful vegetarian and vegan options. Try Vaya’s specialities: Vayadictine – their ‘eggsciting’ version of eggs Benedict; Huevos Rancheros – a meal in itself – with sunny side up eggs, fried corn tortilla, black beans and salsa; or Twistshuka – a spiced egg dish with chipotle. The offer runs daily from 7am to 11am and is priced at QR220 per person.

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


Trader Vic’s

Weekends are made for lazy mornings. Start your day with a delicious set menu brunch and the ocean breeze at Trader Vic’s Salwa. The offer runs every Friday and Saturday between 1pm and 4pm and is priced at QR325 with mocktails and QR350 with house beverages.

GO: Call 4423 6370 for more information or to make a reservation.



Experience a culinary destination and scenes of New York through Choices Cosmopolitan Friday Brunch. Enjoy American favourites and comfort food, including a wide selection of international cheeses, freshly baked bread, a variety of seafood, live carving rotisserie New York prime rib and classic American desserts. The offer runs from 12.30pm to 4pm and is priced at QR300 per person inclusive of soft beverages for those 12 years and above, QR150 per child from six to 11 years and QR75 per child from three to five years. A QR150 top-up per person for selected beverages is available.

GO: Call 4141 1234 or WhatsApp 6608 5806 for more information or to make a reservation.



Enjoy an Afternoon Tea with friends. Choose the classic option or indulge in a unique Chocolate experience. The offer runs daily from 2pm to 5pm and is priced at QR185 for two guests, inclusive of two hot beverages.

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


Begin 2023 at IDAM, which is located at the Museum of Islamic Art. Enjoy an elevated dining experience that will set the mood for the new year. Experience French haute cuisine and warm Arab hospitality. The offer is priced at QR550 per person for a five-course festive menu and QR650 per person for seven courses. Timings are Saturday to Thursday, from 12.30pm to 2pm and 7pm to 9pm. Closed on Friday.

GO: Call 4422 4488, WhatsApp 7006 3507 or email contact@ idam-restaurant.com for more information or to make a reservation.


Where the desert meets the sea, Jiwan is the place to pause and reflect on your plans and goals for the coming months. Located at the National Museum of Qatar, it offers a panoramic view of Doha. Bask in the golden sunset as you indulge in gastronomic pleasures. The set menu is priced at QR250 per person, with two mocktails, hot drinks and water, and at QR380 per guest, with three mocktails, hot drinks and water. In addition to a standard menu, there’s vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options available. Timings are Monday to Saturday, from 12.30pm to 9pm and on Friday from 1.30pm to 9pm; closed on Sunday. Check prices GO: Call 4452 5725 or email contact@jiwan.qa for more information or to make a reservation.


Take a culinary trip to Latin America with the vibrant Papagayo Brunch experience. Features sspecialties from Central and South America, complemented by a live band. The offer runs every Friday from 1pm to 4pm and is priced at QR280 with soft beverages and QR380 with enhanced beverages.

GO: Call or WhatsApp 5506 2798 for more information or to make a reservation.


Gather in style with friends around French delicacies and enjoy bites and sips in an afternoon to remember. Rouge High Tea is inclusive of canapés, sweets and scones. Starting January 15, the offer runs daily from 2pm to 5pm and is priced at QR128 for two. GO: Call 4041 3333 for more information or to make a reservation.


Mandarin Lounge & Baraha Lounge

Enjoy an afternoon tea experience with light savoury treats, sweets and warm scones, complemented by a selection of new seasonal teas including mandarin and citrus. The offer runs daily from 2pm to 6pm and is priced at QR310 per afternoon tea stand for two guests, inclusive of two welcome drinks and two hot beverages. GO: Call 4008 8888 for more information or to make a reservation.

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Enjoy a leisurely experience, combining great service, attention to detail and the finest selection of handcrafted delicacies. Sip dreamily on a cup of coffee served with baked sweets and savoury treats. An afternoon tea venue overlooking the sweeping seaside pool, the turquoise sea of the Arabian Gulf and the surrounding luscious tropical gardens – this isn’t to be missed! The offer runs daily from 2pm to 7pm and is priced at QR320 for two, including two beverages of your choice.

GO: Call 4035 5011 or WhatsApp 7479 0864 for more information or to make a reservation.


Experience Breakfast at 12, an ultra-luxurious Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed experience. The indulgent four-course meal will include delicacies such as caviar fruit pearls, Salmon en Croute and Truffle Grilled Cheese. Ending the breakfast on a sweet note, will be the sumptuous Yuzu Pie. The offer runs on January 1 from 12pm to 4pm and is priced at QR450 for a four-course set menu and QR700 for a four-course set menu and beverages.

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


Make a trip around the world with this non-stop scrumptious breakfast. The offer runs on January 1 from 6.30am until 3pm and is priced at QR225 per person. Unlimited sparkling mixed drinks for an additional QR99.

GO: Call 3301 3666 for more information or to make a reservation.


Celebrate Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rabbit. The offer runs from January 21 to 27 from 6pm to 11pm on each day –closed on Tuesday. There are two special set menus priced at QR269 per person and QR299 per person.

GO: Call 4428 1555 or email fbreservations.doha@radissonblu. com for more information or to make a reservation.


ALBA by Enrico Crippa

This unique venue – the first international outpost of threestar Michelin Chef Enrico Crippa’s famed restaurant – brings to Doha this celebrated chef’s brilliant contemporary revisitation of classic Italian cuisine. Alba Friday Brunch, a set menu with a choice of main courses, is hosted every Friday from 12pm to 4pm and is priced at QR370 with soft beverages and QR495 with special beverages.

GO: Call 4030 7100 or email dining.doha@raffles.com for more information or to make a reservation.



Indulge in the unique taste and luscious texture of white asparagus, incorporated with classical Indian dishes. The offer runs from January 18 to 28, from 12.30pm to 12am each day and is priced at QR225 for a five-course tasting menu.

GO: Call 4485 3000, WhatsApp 5594 9701 or email F&Breservations.doha@sheratonhotels.com for more information or to make a reservation.


Head to Sumosan, an elegant contemporary Japanese finedining restaurant taking inspiration from traditional techniques and ingredients. The business lunch offer runs from Sunday to Thursday from 12pm to 3pm (except public holidays) and is priced at QR128. Dishes include miso soup, a Sumosan green salad, French beans tempura, Japanese home-baked milk bread chicken sando sandwich, wasabi prawns with golden mango and passion fruit salsa, grilled beef skewers or a prawn tempura roll. GO: Call 4411 7550 for more information or to make a reservation.


Enjoy barbeccue at The Rider, which is located at Fuwairit Kite Beach, every Friday. The offer is priced at QR180 per person inclusive of soft drinks and water. You can also dine here for breakfast from 8am to 11am, lunch from 12pm to 4pm and dinner from 6pm to 12am.

GO: Call 4030 1555 for more information or to make a reservation.

fact magazine 74 • DINING DEALS
We'll be announcing the nominees and opening voting online on January 8, 2023. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled and get ready to vote for your favourites!


More than 150 global and regional talents from the world of fashion were showcased at Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway, the “world’s biggest fashion show”.

Lorenaa Michelle

Jointly presented by Qatar Creates, a platform by Qatar Museums to amplify the country’s creative industries, and CR Runway, a global fashion experience uniting the industry’s most celebrated designers and models from around the world, upwards of 20,000 spectators gathered at Ras Abu Aboud 974 Stadium to witness the mammoth event. Works by renowned names in the world of fashion graced the runway. A celebration of fashion, music and culture, Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway also had performances by regional and international music superstars. A concept by Her Excellency Shaikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Qatar Museums Chairperson, the fashion event was curated by French fashion editor and visionary stylist Carine Roitfeld, and directed by CR Runway President and CEO, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld. Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway presented a dazzling array of looks by more than 150 designers from six continents and 50 countries, including both established and up-andcoming designers. Twenty-one Qatar-based brands presented by M7 participated: Yasmin Mansour by Yasmin Mansour, TRZI by Amna Al Misned, Kaltham's Pavilion by Kaltham Al Majid and Drizzle by Al Anoud Al Hedfa to name just a few. M7 is Qatar’s epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship in fashion, design and technology. Established by Qatar Museums, it’s committed to accelerating the growth of Qatar’s creative economy by providing mentorship and opportunities for designers. All proceeds from the show will benefit Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides educational opportunities to underserved children and youth and empowers women to become active members of their communities. ✤

fact magazine 77 FASHION FOCUS •
Aliya Al Obaidly of Aliya Obaidly Official and Haya Al Adsani of Harlienzcredit Qatar Museums Qatar Fashion Unitedcredit Qatar Museum Yasmin Mansour Mhefhef Wit Noiz


Parisian brand KENZO turned to the streets of Arabia for inspiration for its latest fashion campaign.

The brand teamed up with emerging local talents to showcase the drop 5 KENZO University range from its current AutumnWinter collection, which features unique elements from checkered motifs to Fair Islestyle knitwear invoking a sense of retro varsity infused with artistic director Nigo’s new interpretation of the maison’s emblematic tiger imagery.

Along with KENZO’s new logo, the signature tiger is reinvigorated in new graphic embroideries on varsity jackets for both men and women alongside sweatshirts for men and a women’s biker jacket. Remixed checks appear in Western dresses, skirts and shirts for the girls and in ponchos for guys.

Accessories include KENZO Smile work boots fused with brothel-creeper soles, knitted gloves, a bib collar and oversized heritage casquettes.

Through tailoring and workwear, expressed in largely genderless silhouettes, Nigo’s first collection for KENZO creates a premise that unites and transcends cultural and conventional dress codes.

Captured at a historic Arabic restaurant that’s reminiscent of a traditional home, the campaign was shot against a backdrop of vintage tiled floors and flower-patterned decor which taps into nostalgic memories for many across the GCC. ✤

fact magazine 79 FASHION FOCUS •
fact magazine 81 FASHION FOCUS •


The Republic of Panama combines a culturally rich experience with all the trappings of a fun holiday destination. Bocas del Toro - Zapatilla

Panama’s indigenous society and colonial past coupled with its transcontinental location bring together a variety of culturally rich experiences. The weather this time of the year is bright, sunny and dry but not too hot, making it an ideal vacation spot. We explore three different places, offering a diverse list of things to see and do.


Start at the Panama Canal, an 82-kilometre manmade waterway connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans which has great historical significance as a trade route. In order to fully experience it, book a tour at Miraflores Visitor Center. While two of the four exhibition halls at the centre’s museum are temporarily closed, you can visit the other two to learn more about this engineering masterpiece. Head to the observation decks to watch ships transit.

Next, visit Panamá Viejo or Old Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest European settlements on the Pacific coast. Located about a 10-minute drive from the current Panama City, it’s home to the Old Panama Cathedral and various ruins, as well as the iconic bell tower; climb up to enjoy views of the city skyline. Once you’re done sightseeing, head to the nearby markets to shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts, but not before you make a pitstop at a local restaurant or café.

Casco Viejo, which translates to Old Quarter, is part of the same UNESCO Site. An aesthetic paradise of terracotta rooftops, brick-paved streets, colourful buildings and murals, this district is known for its lively dining and nightlife. Enticing aromas of grilled seafood and breathtaking sunset

fact magazine 83 TRAVEL •
Panama City - Carnival

views from atop rooftop bars await. Major attractions include the famed golden alter of the Church of San Jose or Museo de la Mola, a museum dedicated to the traditional textile art of the indigenous Guna tribe. Tired of walking around? Try raspados, a refreshing local shaved icebeverage with condensed milk and flavoured syrup. If you’re planning a holiday from February 17 to 22, you simply can’t miss the carnival. Experience local traditions such as the coronation of the queen and burial of the sardine – symbolic of burying the past to allow society to be reborn and transformed. Parade alongside dancing groups and brass bands, get drenched when the water trucks come by – kids can play with water guns sold on site – enjoy the fireworks, go all out with local street food… Panamanian beef empanadas are popular. Whatever you do, don’t miss patacones or crispy and savoury fried plantain bites. Yuca fritters, stuffed with spicy beef and made from a type of cassava root, are also a must-try.


Easily reachable via a 50-minute flight from Panama City. Protected by UNSECO and home to Panama’s first national marine park – The Bastimentos Island National Park –Bocas del Toro Province is an ecotourism destination. Relax at a luxurious eco resort or lodge, with spa treatments and tropical drinks, or spend a day at the beach.

Red Frog Beach, located on Isla Bastimentos or Bastimentos Island, is popular with surfers. The beach is backed by tropical rainforests, where you can spot a variety of wildlife from sloths to monkeys. The more adventurous can book a canopy tour and explore this natural haven gliding across a zipline. Sea turtles are seen on the beach during the nesting season and a variety of birds too. As the name suggests, the local red frog is common.

Zapatilla Islands, located off the east coast of Bastimentos Island, are a pristine paradise. Escape the crowds, explore scenic trails and discover the exotic marine life while snorkelling in the surrounding waters.

fact magazine 84 • TRAVEL
Panama City Panama City - Old city ruins Chiriquí Province Chiriquí Province

Located near Isla Colón or Colón Island, Playa Estrella, better known as Starfish Beach, is a scenic spot worth visiting. It’s so named because of the many starfish found there. There’s a popular bird island about 20 minutes from Isla Colón, where you can see many native and migratory species.

Isla Carenero, a two-minute boat ride from Bocas Town, the capital of Bocas del Toro Province, has some small beaches, ideal for a day trip. Bocas Town has a thriving indigenous Panamanian community of Ngäbe-Buglé people, one of the largest indigenous groups of Panama. Book a tour to learn about their way of life; medicinal plants, cocoa plantations, handicrafts, architecture and more. Most beaches on Bocas del Toro are equipped with the basic amenities, including toilets, and have restaurants that serve delicious local staples. Some dishes to try are: sancocho, a type of stew made with chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices; rice with pigeon peas, arroz con pollo or rice with chicken and ropa vieja or shredded beef stew.


This is one of the most picturesque regions of Panama, known for its varied landscapes, from mountains to beaches and botanical gardens. It’s said that some of the world’s best oranges and strawberries are grown here. The province is also popular for its coffee plantations, which bring forth a variety of aromatic and flavourful beans.

Standing at almost 1,000 metres, Volcán Barú or Baru Volcano, said to be the highest point in the country, offers many hiking trails. The most popular Los Quetzales Trail, which goes through Baru Volcano National Park, is indefinitely closed. However, if you’re lucky, you may spot various bird species at the trailhead.

Visit the picture-postcard town of Boquete. A major attraction here is the annual flower and coffee festival or Feria de Boquete, which is usually held from January 11 to 21. During this time, the streets are buzzing with food stalls where you can delight in local favourites – don’t miss the speciality Panama geisha coffee. The park next to Caldera River transforms into a colourful expanse of flowers arranged in decorative patterns. There’s lively Latin music and dance, a vibe not very different from that of the infamous Panamanian carnivals.

Caldera River, which runs through the centre of Boquete, has many hot springs, which are said to have healing properties. Book a tour to experience them yourself. If nothing else, this will surely help you relax, which is what holidays are about, after all.

The Gulf of Chiriquí National Park, which comprises beautiful islands, coral reefs and mangroves, offers a lot to see and do. Explore the tropical islands teaming with wildlife, on foot or hiking. It’s a great site for bird watching too. If you’re looking for something more relaxed, then unwind at the beach. The beaches here are ideal for diving, kayaking and snorkelling should you crave one last shot of adrenaline before taking a flight home. ✤

fact magazine 85
Bocas del Toro Bocas del Toro
Panama City - Guna tribe woman

The Menu Wednesday


Need to Know:

A couple travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the acclaimed chef has specially prepared an extravagant tasting menu for them, with some shocking surprises in store.

Director: Mark Mylod

Cast : Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, John Leguizamo

Why Is It Worth Watching?

With a star-studded cast like this and director Mark Mylod, of Succession and Shameless fame, at the helm, it wasn’t hard to be enthusiastic about what this movie was prepared to serve up having been billed as a ‘black comedy horror’ film.

The innocuous story gets underway with Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and his partner Margot (Anya TaylorJoy) travelling by boat to an exclusive restaurant run by renowned Chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) on a private island. There they’re joined by other celebrities, food enthusiasts and food critics who have all come there to not only enjoy the food but also to indulge in the expansive culinarily experience arranged for them. As dinner begins things start taking a noticeably strange turn as the courses are accompanied by Slowik giving the attendees particularly bizarre monologues. Steadily the events become even more disturbing as things get increasingly and unexpectedly violent. All this and the meal’s only just kicking off!

The different elements this movie brings together from the cast, direction team and the storyline are the perfect mix of ingredients to deliver you a satisfying ‘fine dining’ movie-going experience as it stays effortlessly funny while also satirizing the overly indulgent foodie culture in a way. This movie is certainly your ticket to an interesting and spicy affair if you have the stomach for it.

Need to Know:

This spin-off series is based on the cult favourite Addams Family property and centres around the delightfully dark Wednesday Addams as she tackles her teenage angst and finds her place as a new student at the Nevermore Academy, all the while as a supernatural mystery involving a string of murders unfolds in the background. The uniquely brilliant Tim Burton lends his gothic horror sensibilities and tone to this series as director and executive producer.

Director: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Cast : Jenna Ortega, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gwendoline Christie, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Luis Guzmán, Hunter Doohan

Why Is It Worth Watching?

This eight-part Netflix series is a coming-of-age supernatural comedy horror television show driven by the character Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega). The series kicks off with Wednesday getting expelled from her normal high school (something about some bully and piranhas getting better acquainted), and is forced to go to Nevermore Academy, a special institution for outcasts and misfits, most of who are of the supernatural variety – be it vampires, werewolves, sirens and others. But somehow our smart, sarcastic and sociopathic lead fails to fit in even here.

While she’s trying to find her place at Nevermore, Wednesday makes new friends and quite a few foes along the way.

In the midst of all of this her newly emerging psychic ability initially makes her think she’s losing her mind but then she discovers connections between her visions and a monstrous murder spree in a local town. Wednesday decides to master her psychic ability and continue investigating the supernatural mystery that somehow links the town, Nevermore and herself!

fact magazine 86 • ENTERTAINMENT
A satisfying ‘fine dining’ movie-going experience as it stays effortlessly funny while also satirizing the overly indulgent foodie culture in a way



Faith in the Future

Louis Tomlinson is an English singer and songwriter. He rose to fame as a member of the successful boyband One Direction. However, he has gained popularity as a solo artist too, with his debut solo single Just Hold On peaking at number two on the UK singles chart. Faith in the Future is Tomlinson’s second studio album, released independently through BMG. The opening song The Greatest starts with a drum piece, which makes you expect something rough and hard-edged. However, what follows is a soft rock number, setting the pace for the rest of the album. Bigger Than Me features acoustic guitars in the background as do many other tracks on the album, which, in general, has keyboards and other such elements that soften the edges. Written All Over Your Face levels up slightly with stringy electric guitar tunes and more elaborate drum beats. However, the texture and sound of Tomlinson’s voice keeps things ‘soft’ but intense. The record in general has an introspective theme, underpinned by love and relationships, heartache and pain, overcoming and acceptance, personal growth and transformation, transition… The lyrics, seemingly rooted in honest life experiences and observations, complement the music, creating a strong work of art. The X Factor may have eliminated Tomlinson as a solo artist and thrown him into a boy band. But he has earned his rightful place among the solo talents since.

SOUL, R&B Only The Strong Survive

Featuring an overriding theme of reminiscence, this has healing undertones, perfect for this time of the year. Wrapped in soul and R&B music, with background singers, horns, drums, bass, strings… Nightshift offers a pleasant change in sound with rattles and percussion beats. While the music is uplifting, the lyrics seem to be about remembering a loved one who has passed. Despite the sombre theme, there’s a persistent hope [of meeting said loved one on the other side].

Let’s take a minute to ponder on some of the lyrics: referring to life after death as ‘nightshift’ in Nightshift and “Loneliness is the cloak you wear A deep shade of blue is always there” in The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore –the imagery and metaphorical ability is impressive!

Even the blatantly love-themed songs have such an old-school feel – cases in point – When She Was My Girl and Hey, Western Union Man. “Western Union man, send a telegram to my baby. Send a box of candy too, maybe some flowers.”

Pair songs like these with Bruce’s raspy, sandpaper voice and you have a love anthem to play on loop.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard of Bruce. Known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics, the American singer and songwriter has released more than 21 studio albums and Only The Strong Survive is yet another feather in his cap.


Investigative journalist Jim Popkin tells the true story of Ana Montes, said to be the most damaging female spy in US history, just as she is due for release from federal prison for espionage. Arrested just days after the 9/11 attacks, Montes was a senior Pentagon analyst and Cuba specialist – who played both sides, spying for Fidel Castro. Her betrayal was made all the more painful since her father was a former US Army colonel and her only sister, Lucy, worked her entire career for the Bureau – helping the FBI flush out Cuban spies.

In Code Name Blue Wren, Popkin weaves the tale of two sisters who chose two very different paths. With exclusive access to a ‘secret’ CIA behavioural profile of Ana, family memoirs, and Ana’s incriminating letters from prison, Popkin reveals the making of a traitor.


If you love a good mix of high-society gossip coupled with fiction based on true-life characters, then this one’s for you.

Set between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters―each more beautiful, brilliant and eccentric than the next―dominated the English political, literary, and social scenes. The book details events as the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister's lead all the way to Munich, Germany, inciting rumours that she's become Hitler's mistress.

As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters' constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.

fact magazine 87
TRUE CRIME Code Name Blue Wren By Jim Popkin



Kayali Vanilla Royale Perfume

A must-have in your collection of fragrances, this is an enhanced blend of exotic florals, rich spices and dark, decadent notes. Top notes include vanilla orchid and creamy jasmine, and middle notes include vanilla infusion, tonka bean accord, spicy rose bouquet, smoky leather and crème brulée. Sugared patchouli, musk, brown sugar, amber and royal oud comprise the dry notes, offering a delicate yet lasting trail wherever you go.


Siella Beauty has come out with three new lip gloss shades, with a hydrating and nourishing formula courtesy of nourishing organic shea butter, moisturising organic pistachio butter and smoothing passionfruit seed oil. Candy is a pleasing red, while Nina offers a pinkish, fresh-looking result. Glazed is a clear gloss for that luscious tint-free coat on top of your favourite lip stick or liner; you could even use it on its own.


Hair And Body Fragrance Mist

Having a warm, floral fragrance with amber, magnolia and woody notes, this light-weight hair and body mist is perfect for spritzing throughout the day; there’s a 30ml mini-sized bottle available in addition to the full-sized 100ml. Brumes du Maroc Hair and Body Fragrance Mist is laced with argan oil and rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, which hydrate and nourish. Vitamin E balances moisture and the mist also protects from UV rays.


Hinoki Body Wash

Pamper your skin with this cleansing, exfoliating soft gel body scrub. Formulated with hinoki wood essential oils, it’s said to lift the mood and relieve stress for a restorative and relaxing shower. Inspired by the Japanese wellness practice of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, which lowers stress, reduces blood pressure and boosts immunity among other things. Hinoki is renowned for its strength, fragrance and quality. Hinoki Body Wash imbues the scent and benefits of this natural wonder in bathing rituals.


Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter

Get the glass-like sheen of a liquid highlighter instantly with this innovative powder formula. Offering a long-lasting natural glow, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Packed with micro-shimmers that sync with your skin, it can enhance a range of skin tones. Water-resistant, transfer-proof and smudge-proof. Apply using light strokes to your cheekbones, brow bone, the bridge of your nose and cupid’s bow for a radiant finish. What’s better, it doubles as an eyeshadow!

fact magazine 88 • FOR HER

Scents, skincare, grooming musthaves – check.


150K Hair Follicle Serum

Get to the root of the problem! In addition to revitalising the environment surrounding your hair follicles, the 150K serum promotes overall scalp health, revives moisture and renews hair volume, quality and texture among other things. Formulated with 48 proven natural ingredients, it can be combined with other treatments and is gentle on sensitive scalps. Comes with an easy-to-use applicator, which dispenses the light-weight, water-based formula directly to your roots.


Anti-dandruff Shampoo

Whether your scalp is oily or dry and flaky, OUAI’s anti-dandruff shampoo will do the trick. Infused with the properties of salicylic-acid, it reduces flakiness, itching and irritation associated with dandruff; the benefits of salicylic acid include unplugging pores, getting rid of dead skin and reducing redness. Lucious and fragrant with top notes of ginger, basil and spearmint, middle notes of tomato leaves and green fig and base notes of ambroxan and wet grass, it’s said to be popular with both men and women.


The Most Wanted Eau de Parfum Intense

An intense cologne for men, The Most Wanted blends vibrant cardamom with desirable toffee accords. A powerful fusion of fragrance notes, it’s also infused with a masculine trail of amber wood, offering a lasting, sophisticated scent. Seductive and daring, it invites you to take on challenges and seek out new experiences. The packaging in deep matte-black brings out the ruggedness of the bottle’s design details, lending it a certain charisma that’s hard to resist.


Lip Balm

Chapped lips are common in the winter but Jack Black’s soothing lip balm is here to the rescue. Relieving dry, cracked and irritated lips, this hydrating formula is enriched with superior conditioners and powerful antioxidants. Fragrant grapefruit and ginger refresh and soothe, while creamy shea butter and rich avocado oil soften and condition. Vitamin E, green tea extract and antioxidants protect from damage. Paraben- and sulphate-free, it offers protection against UV rays and extreme temperatures.



A gentle leave-on exfoliant combining the golden properties of superfood antioxidants such as kale, green tea and licorice root with gentle acids to boost radiance. This creation by Youth To The People purifies pores, smoothens skin texture and visibly evens skin tone. Available in a 30ml travel-sized pack that you can carry in your grooming kit or vanity case no matter where you go. Suitable for all skin types, from dry to oily and normal to combination.

fact magazine 89

What We’re (Still) Talking About

Blood Is Thicker Than… Dark Horse Final Nail In The

Paint. Yes! Elito Circa, an artist from the Philippines, has drawn much attention for his unusual choice of medium. The 52-year-old creates canvas paintings with [his own - (thank heavens!)blood, which he extracts at a local clinic every quarter and stores in a cooler in his studio – Jeffery Dahmer alert? The underlying philosophy being ‘life is circular’. Being born in a

Trending with viewers worldwide, Harry & Meghan, the Netflix documentary, became the OTT platform's mostwatched documentary, with over 80 million viewing hours in its first week. It presented the story from the couple’s view point, which was critiqued by some and supported by others. To this day, the loyalty of many of these supporters remains with Diana, Princess of Wales. In


Fake celebrity death pranks have gone viral on TikTok. Users are recording the reactions of their friends and family to the [fake] passing of their favourite actors, singers, politicians…the video typically starts with the user pretending to read a news headline; “Dr. Phil dead at 72” or younger celebs such as “Kapil Sharma [noted Indian comedian] dead at 41”. The common response to which is pure

low-income household with limited access to school supplies led Elito to explore other media such as plums and tomatoes at first. But on one occasion, he scraped himself and from there began his fascination for using blood. While we’re truly inspired by the resourcefulness of a young Elito, we wonder where one draws the line when it comes to artistic licence!

fact, social media is abuzz with memes depicting similarities between Diana and Meghan. It’s all good until some of these loyals start trolling Camilla, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, even comparing her looks to that of a horse! That’s in poor taste. Moreover, attacking someone personally only dilutes the point that’s being made. It’s 2023 – about time we learn the art of healthy debate!

disbelief and denial, expressed by a series of expletives, which seems to be the silver lining, if we can call it that; said celebs watching these videos will know how much they’re loved. However, not everyone’s lucky. One video had a woman thanking God for Donald Trump dying! The question is: Will the compulsive obsessive need to go viral be the final nail in the coffin for decent humour?

fact magazine 90 • MATTER OF FACT
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