FACT Qatar September 2023

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fact magazine 1 SEPTEMBER 2023 VOL 10. ISSUE 03. QR15
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fact magazine 3 Step Into The Metaverse Back To School The Perfect Fusion An Escape To Culinary Excellence An Ultimate Urban Cultural Retreat Prepare For A Classic Autumn 08 22 56 76 82 90 CONTENTS

The Call Of The Classroom

The summer holidays in this part of the world seem to last forever. For parents, there is, of course, travel, but there are also endless hours to fill and children to entertain. And, now it’s back to school time which can be tough for little ones and, for those whose youngsters are heading overseas to study for the first time, it can be a period of great pressure and even tense anticipation. We know the worry that comes with preparing to send the kids back to school and we’ve come up with a whole range of ways to make it easier on everyone plus gadgets to keep them smiling when the classroom seems a daunting place. There’s also a fun quiz, get your teens and tweens to answer and see what the future might hold for them.

Over the summer we’ve been doing a bit of journeying ourselves and Chirine headed to Switzerland to stay at the rather gorgeous Dolder Grand Zurich. Check out the Travel section to find out what she thought. We also had a wonderful staycation a bit closer to home and would highly recommend it.

Sticking with travel, our Motoring section included a trip to Saudi Arabia for the launch of the latest model from Hyundai and, as well as plenty of automotive news, you’ll find a preview of the Geneva International Motor Show, which comes to Doha this month – we can’t wait.

As always, we’ve got news from the worlds of tech and new beauty products to try, a gorgeous selection of new-season fashion and details of loads of happenings around Qatar.

Hope you enjoy your September read and Back To School is not too stressful.
































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
“I’ve always loved the first day of school better than the last day of school. Firsts are best because they are beginnings.” Jenny Han
Liz O’Reilly Editorial Director

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fact magazine 6 FACT Magazine M.E @FACTMagazineME • CONNECT
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The Media Majlis opens doors to Qatar’s first major exhibition that examines the metaverse.

The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar has launched its seventh exhibition and Qatar’s first major presentation exploring the concept of the metaverse – MetaWhat?

The exhibition is being held at a community preview event hosted at the museum exhibition hall at Northwestern Qatar’s campus in Education City.

The display, which is ongoing until December 7, explores the pitfalls and opportunities of an ever-changing digital media landscape while challenging structures imposed by the West and offering a view of this new technology from the perspectives of the Global South.

Jack Thomas Taylor, Interim Director of The Media Majlis and Curator of the exhibition, said the wide success of the opening of the exhibition reflects the growing interest in the topic of the metaverse. He said: “No one truly understands what the metaverse is or its potential, but everyone is fascinated by this new technology and what it might mean for our future. Our autumn 2023 exhibition dives deep into what it all means—and could mean—while putting a mirror up to our past and reflecting on the present.”

Marwan M. Kraidy, Dean and CEO of Northwestern Qatar, added:

“As a university museum with distinctive capacities, The Media Majlis at Northwestern Qatar is best suited to explore the concept of the metaverse with its ambitions and audacity and explain the emerging virtual world and how it is transforming our lives.”

Visitors attending the exhibition will be introduced to five specially created avatar personalities which will take them on a journey through today’s online landscape through digital screens, hologram NFT displays, and virtual and augmented reality across five thematic installations.

This includes MetaWorld, which unpacks the seven distinct layers that make up the metaverse, and MetaExperience, a captivating data visualisation offering a glimpse of the growth and development of virtual land sales. Also, among the installations is MetaCreate, where visitors are encouraged to participate, build and create in a dedicated space, from playing Fortnite to learning how to (low)code.

On show throughout the exhibition are more than 100 nostalgic physical collectibles and several rare and valuable items on loan from international, regional and local lenders, such as Ooredoo, Qatar Museums and Qatar National Library. The display of collectibles includes the result of a collaboration between Qatar-based company Astro Automotive Services and American artist Daniel Arsham.

Gaia, a touring artwork by celebrated British artist Luke Jerram, is on public display at Northwestern Qatar’s Forum as part of the exhibition.

And TV personality and commentator Anas Bukhash is encouraging visitors to question our future in Where do you stand? a forum in which four well-known talents from the Arab world’s media landscape discuss their honest thoughts on the metaverse. MetaWhat? is open from Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 8pm. The exhibition will be complemented by weekends of talks, panel discussions, showcases, walkthroughs and experiences to commence in October. ✤

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Culinary enthusiasts are in for an unforgettable treat as the highly impressive Mondrian Bistro looks to transport guests to the enchanting shores of the Mediterranean.

Unveiled at the Mondrian Doha, the new restaurant is an all-day dining concept offering an exciting Mediterranean fusion menu inspired by the tastes and flavours of France, Italy and Greece.

Located in the heart of West Bay Lagoon and next to Lusail City, Mondrian Doha is a premium destination that is an integral part of Qatar’s eclectic lifestyle.

Mondrian Bistro celebrates the harmonious blend of the freshest ingredients and the most innovative recipes using local produce and has a desire to redefine the dining experience in the heart of Doha.

Behind this unique concept is a talented culinary team led by Chef Maria Paneri. With a meticulously crafted menu she aims to tantalise the taste buds of every guest that sets foot in the bistro with its wide range of hearty offerings. Guests can expect to indulge in dishes ranging from grilled meats exquisitely seasoned and prepared to perfection and rich and flavourful pastas served with mouth-watering sauces to fresh seafood that evokes the salty breeze of the Mediterranean coast.

Alongside this culinary celebration, a perfectly paired beverage menu has been set to elevate the dining experience.

To conclude on a sweet note, the culinary team will deliver a carefully crafted selection of desserts, that includes favourites such as Chocolate Lava, Mary Berry and Madame Coco, all of which will keep guests coming back for more.

With an unwavering commitment to authenticity and quality, Mondrian Doha’s newly opened concept promises guests a gastronomic adventure, celebrating the rich culinary heritage of France, Italy and Greece in a harmonious blend of flavours and aromas.

Mondrian Doha is known for its luxurious lifestyle hospitality offerings, which also include three restaurants serving both local and international cuisines: Morimoto, Hudson Tavern, Walima and the newly renovated Patio by Walima. Additionally, there are three bar outlets – Smoke and Mirrors, 12 Chairs and Black Orchid.

Moreover, guests can also visit EllaMia for authentic coffee blends served in a beautiful setting. ✤

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American gymnast Simone Biles has been added to the list of speakers at the upcoming Global Wellness Summit.

Simone Biles, who is widely regarded among the greatest gymnasts of all time, is a powerful advocate for mental health and wellness. She will be speaking at the upcoming 17th annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS) to be held in Qatar. The event will take place from November 6 to 9, and will be hosted by Msheireb Downtown Doha, deemed one of the most forward-thinking and sustainable city districts worldwide.

Considered the foremost gathering of leaders in the USD4.4 trillion-plus wellness economy, the upcoming summit will convene top-level international delegates in Qatar to shape the future of an industry and a region in transformation.

This year’s summit is dedicated to the theme A Time of Transformation and the US gymnastics great has experienced her own transformation since she was last seen in competition at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 where she stepped down from some disciplines citing her own health struggles.

Since then, she has married and, at the beginning of August, made a triumphant comeback winning the US Classic with a stunning performance – before which she had spoken about both the mental and physical challenges of returning to such high-level competition. Her inclusion in the speaker lineup for this premier event will no doubt shine a spotlight garnering excitement from fans young and old who will feel encouraged to take an added interest.

Speaking about the summit, Maryam Sultan Al-Jassim, PR

and Communications Manager at Msheireb Properties, said: “There has been a surge of interest in wellness in Qatar, both as an industry and as a personal aspiration.

“Personal health and wellness are the cornerstones of a thriving society and Msheireb Properties is committed to helping Qatar and its people build a holistic future through investments in world-class properties like the Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som and people-centric neighbourhoods like Msheireb Downtown Doha, where the focus is always on helping residents find a balance between work, life and play.”

Modelled after the World Economic Forum, the Global Wellness Summit gathers C-suite executives and curates global thought leaders to deliver presentations and network during a four-day event.

The summit’s organisation is focused on what’s ahead. It is, therefore, an absolute must to focus on the Middle East as the region has witnessed an impressive transformation, vibrant growth and the development of ambitious wellness projects that sparked interest regionally and internationally. From tranquil health retreats catering to families to an environmentally conscious farm providing an authentic experience, the concept of wellness is progressively growing in importance and emerging as a thriving industry in Qatar. ✤

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Carnegie Mellon Qatar students have won a top foodtech prize for 3D printing vegetables.

Mohammad Fadhel Annan and Lujain Al Mansoori who study at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a Qatar Foundation partner university, created an idea for 3D-printed vegetables, an alternative to farming that could bolster food security in places like Qatar where there is very little arable land.

The pair were honoured in the FoodTech category at a Qatar Development Bank (QDB) competition, the Business Incubation and Acceleration Hackathon, taking home QR25,000 to invest into their idea.

The Hackathon was designed to empower entrepreneurs in Qatar to share their ideas and creative solutions to address challenges in digital transformation across a variety of industries.

The 2023 edition spanned the fintech, sportstech and fashiontech industries, and featured solutions on enabling customer experiences and operational solutions for digital transformation in several sectors.

For the competition, the students developed their idea to use a combination of artificially grown vegetable cells and UV-sensitive 3D printer ink to print vegetables. Their pitch included plans to modify 3D printers to accommodate biological matter, and a prototype printed carrot.

Mohammad, who has been working on the details of adapting 3D printer technology for the purpose of making food, said: “We have spent a lot of time developing a CAD model for a specialised 3D printer that can use edible inks to

print food products. As each layer is printed, UV light solidifies the edible ink and, in the end, you have a vegetable.”

Lujain added: “We could potentially print food in bulk, greatly reducing the time and money it takes to grow fruits and vegetables. It’s limitless what we can do.”

Michael Trick, dean of CMU-Q, was impressed by the ingenuity of the idea, saying: “We encourage our students at CMU-Q to apply the knowledge they learn here to create solutions that will have a big impact. Congratulations to Mohammad and Lujain for such an innovative approach to food security.”

After their successful pitch at the QDB competition, the students have been offered a seat in QDB’s startup programme, where they will have access to experts and mentors to guide their progress. And both are now beginning their third year in information systems during which they will continue working on their innovation.

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar offers undergraduate degree programmes in four fields: biological sciences, business administration, computer science and information systems. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines to create projects that have a real-world impact. ✤

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Calling all furniture enthusiasts, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of designer furnishings is coming to Qatar for a three-month exhibition.

The event, which runs at M7 from September 8 to December 9 is being organised through Qatar Museums, in partnership with the Vitra Design Museum, Germany. Masterpieces of Furniture Design will feature works from the most important and influential names in the field such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Marcel Breuer and Virgil Abloh, to name just a few. The presenting sponsor is Almana Maples which will host the Miniatures Exhibition in Msheireb Doha Design District featuring 100 classical seats in exact 1:6 miniature replicas aimed at demonstrating the significance of design and its important role in the industrial production process. The company will also be putting on a small-scale roadshow – The Original Comes from Vitra – at M7’s creative learning space. Curated by Dr Mateo Kries, Director of the Vitra Design Museum, the exhibition will illustrate 200-plus years of design evolution through 52 iconic pieces of modern furniture from the museum’s world-famous collection. The exhibition is grouped around seven themes, including sustainable design, comfort zones and the synergy between art and design. There will also be an archive section featuring prototypes, material samples, drawings and posters giving background information on the design processes and offering context on the original uses of the pieces on show.

The items displayed are all originals and they encompass well-known design movements such as Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Pop, Italian Postwar Modernism and Postmodernism as well as examples of digitisation within the furnishing sector.

Highlights will include the Broom chair by Philippe Starck, the Panton Chair by Verner Panton, the Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen and The Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen. Local artisans will also be under the spotlight with several pieces from homegrown designers joining the display at M7.

Among the items on display at the exhibition’s reading corner will be the second edition of the Atlas of Furniture Design, published by the Vitra Design Museum, which features an in-depth exploration of the history of modern furniture design.

Throughout the period of the exhibition there will be a variety of public events, workshops, masterclasses and tours allowing everyone, even those with only a passing interest in furniture design, to get engaged. ✤ GO:

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The first ever Gulf T20i Championship cricket competition is to be held in Doha this month.

Taking place at the West End International Cricket Stadium between September 15 and 23, the tournament will see representatives of all the GCC nations – Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and the hosts, Qatar –battling it out over a series of 16 matches to be crowned Gulf champions.

Qatar Cricket Association CEO Khaled Al Suwaidi earlier told reporters that the tournament will be broadcast to around nine countries saying that the event will be a milestone in the region and is expected to achieve great development of the sport.

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Saoud Al Thani, President of Qatar Cricket Association, said: "This tournament will be a testament to the strong bond and cooperation of GCC countries and is planned as an annual feature in the global cricket calendar."

The championship is held under the auspices of the ICC (International Cricket Council) and, as a reflection of the growing interest in and enthusiasm for the game across the region, the competition is to become an annual

event, with hosting duties being rotated across the participating countries.

And, in another boost for cricket fans, it has been revealed that the popular Legends Cricket League tournament, which sees retired greats taking to the field, will return later in the year.

Continuing in its quest for both sporting excellence and inclusion, Qatar will also host the ICC Deaf World Cup –DICC T20 World Cup Qatar 2023 for the first time in the country from December 1 to 12 with the participation of eight nations.

At the end of September, Qatar Cricket is also scheduled to host one of the Asian sub-regional qualifiers for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup with several regional teams aiming to grab a place.✤


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Cityscape Qatar is set to showcase opportunities, trends and challenges within the country’s expanding real estate landscape.

More than 10,000 visitors, including industry professionals, homebuyers, and investors from across the Middle East and beyond are expected to attend Qatar’s most prestigious real estate exhibition – Cityscape Qatar.

The 11th edition of the exhibition is taking place from October 24 to 26 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center and is being held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. The event serves as a valuable platform for serious investors, asset managers, homebuyers and highnet-worth individuals to source exciting new property opportunities locally and internationally.

Co-located alongside INDEX Design Qatar and The Big 5 Construct Qatar, Cityscape Qatar gives attendees access to all three exhibitions for the very best in innovative sector insight, networking and visitor benefits with a single registration pass to the ultimate real estate, design and construction event in the Middle East. The exhibition will feature more than 50 exhibitors, including Qatari Diar, Barwa Real Estate, Qatar Sotheby’s, Mazaya, Sky Bridge, Global Migrate, Italian Trade Agency, Just Real Estate and UDC. There will be an international presence from Trafalgar Properties, Ray White, Bin Faqeeh and Regal London.

Qatar Airways has been named as the official airline partner and will provide exclusive flight offers for attendees.

Real estate in Qatar has witnessed exponential growth, with demand driven by investors locally, regionally and internationally. According to a report by Knight Frank, residential property is the most popular class of real estate, at 37% followed by office space (33%) and retail property (23%). Qatar’s real estate segment has been the biggest

beneficiary of the $229 billion invested in infrastructure in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.

In line with Qatar's National Vision 2030 programme, Cityscape Qatar will contribute towards the economic growth, social development, environmental management and gender equality agendas via a strategic focus on the strength of international participants, delivering sustainability solutions and empowering women to invest in real estate.

For 2023, Cityscape Talks returns as the ‘go to’ platform for everything real estate in Qatar, to complement the exhibition and deliver unmissable value and insight to attendees and exhibitors.

Bringing together the brightest minds within the Middle East’s real-estate community, lively and insightful discussions around Qatar’s real estate prospects, the industry's commitment to sustainability, the importance of regulation, investing in Qatar and so much more, will take place across the three days.

Cityscape Talks will also feature the Cityscape WIRE (Women in Real Estate) initiative, with a dedicated panel and networking session featuring women leaders, their stories, achievements and contributions to Qatari real estate.

Alexander Edwards, Exhibition Director, Cityscape Qatar, said: “We welcome the community to visit and discover the leading real estate offerings of Qatar and the wider GCC and join the conversation for a sustainable, inclusive and digitally advanced future within the industry.” ✤

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After the long summer holiday, the youngsters are, at last, heading back to the classroom. Some may even be venturing to big school for the first time or leaving home for boarding or university. Over the coming pages, we’ve looked at ways to get the little ones (and parents) into a good routine and how to help your travellers cope with flying the nest. There are also some great ideas for cool gadgets to make the end of the holidays and push back to academia that little bit less stressful. And, to add the fun element, get your teens and tweens to tackle our quirky quiz to find out where their future might lie.



Best Meal Of The Day

Make sure both you and your kids eat something before they head out the door. You may all have got into the habit of grabbing something mid-morning but it’s really important that they have brain fuel to concentrate before they get to class. Peanut butter and wholemeal toast is a great way to start the day and, if they really don’t want to eat first thing, it can always be wrapped for when the hunger strikes. Healthy after-school snacks are also important, so they don’t fill up before dinner. Make sure you stock up on fruit, yoghurts and other things they might like that won’t be over filling.

Say Goodnight

There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk and struggling to keep your eyes open (trust us we know). Imagine how much worse it must be if you’re feeling like that and, at the same time, trying to take on board new facts and knowledge. Going back to school means getting back into a bedtime routine to make sure your kids have enough sleep to get them through the rigours of the day. If they, or you, are having trouble getting to sleep due to all the excitement of the new term, try relaxation sounds to help them nod off.

Keep It Clean

It’s an established fact that when kids start school, they initially pick up lots of germs from their new friends. The same can be said when they return to the classroom after a long break. Make sure their vaccinations are up to date and do some education about hand washing and sanitiser use before they head out the door to keep the worst of the lurgies out of your home.

Save The Date

Create a family calendar so everyone can see what’s coming up – when does PE kit need to go to school? When is Fatima’s birthday party? What’s planned for the weekend? – it gives everyone things to look forward to and helps stay organised. You could also include a homework timetable to keep your youngster on track.

Limit Screen Time

Yes, it might not be a popular one but, given the amount of lesson time spent on screens, it’s a really good idea to limit screen time at home. Make a plan that you and the kids can agree on and instead try to spend that time doing something as a family – yes, that means parents also have to limit their screen time, which may not be a bad thing.

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Going back to school or college after the lazy days of the long summer holiday can present challenges both for kids and parents. We’ve got you covered with tips to make the transition a bit easier.
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With the start of the new academic year, many students will be making the transition from local schools to boarding or university overseas. It’s an exciting time of making new friends and gaining maturity. However, it can also present some nerves, both for students and parents, and it may feel overwhelming trying to juggle everything at once. Us these suggestions from St George’s University, Grenada, to help everyone cope.

Stay Connected

Students may miss their former school community. So, it’s important for them to stay connected with their social circle, family and friends. Setting up WhatsApp groups in advance of leaving can help with this. What's equally as important is staying connected to themselves and being in touch with their own emotions. Journalling about personal experiences and expressing the feelings that accompany these events is always better than bottling them up.

Get Organised

Being organised can help students adapt more smoothly to their new surroundings and responsibilities. For example, students can more efficiently plan what they would like to do during the first week on campus if they have organised their agenda in advance. This habit will also help them plan other areas in their life, such as organising their schedule to know when to study and when to take time out.

Don’t Make Comparisons

Students going overseas might find themselves thinking that other people are managing the transition better than them, but this can be detrimental to their confidence and well-being. All students will have come from different backgrounds and it’s important that they focus on their own goals and progress.

Connect With Peers

It’s always a good idea for students to connect with the cohort who planning to go to the same place before the academic year starts. It will help enhance the student’s overall experience and ease the transition into a new academic environment. Building a network of friends even before arriving could give a sense of belonging and support.

Learn To Relax

Learning how to relax will not only help students as they psychologically prepare themselves to start university or boarding school, but it will also help during stressful exam periods and in other aspects of life they may encounter in the future. Practising relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, muscle relaxation exercises, deep breathing and mental or guided imagery could help students focus on being calm and thinking clearly.

To summarise, some students may find the transition to boarding school or university life stressful, especially if it involves travelling abroad. However, there are ways to cope with the anticipation of making new friends, academic pressures and leaving familiar support systems behind. If students still find themselves looking for guidance, they should not be shy about asking at their school or university, which will be experienced in dealing with various issues.

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The new school year, which starts this month, typically ushers in a frantic shopping phase. But it doesn’t just have to be about new trainers and backpacks. This list of carefully selected fun and functional items will give you some ideas on getting kids prepared. And it could make things just that bit more exciting this term.

Alarm On Wheels CLOCKY

If you or your kids are night owls, waking up for school can be a task. This extra loud alarm, ideal for heavy sleepers, can roll down a night stand around a metre high. And you/they will have to get out of bed and chase it to switch it off – who’s sleepy now?

Smart Water Bottle HIDRATE SPARK

With back-to-back classes, who can remember to hydrate? Get your youngsters to carry this high-tech bottle with LED-light reminders and Bluetooth to track water intake. It comes with a fast-charging cable and can be tracked via an app if misplaced.

Bento Lunch Box SIOTENZE

Can’t decide what to pack for lunch? This leak-proof box lets users enjoy variety without the hassle of food mixing together; there’s one compartment with its own lid ideal for liquids such as soups. The bottom level holds hot water, keeping things warm.

Wooden Eyeglass Holder ARTISTIC INDIA

Homework time just got better with new accessories for the study table. This doggy display stand holds spectacles and is too cute to ignore. Plus, it’s good to have a designated spot so kids don’t have to frantically look for their specs before school.

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Funny Notecards


Lots of kids will be meeting friends for the first time after the long summer break. They can let their mates know how much they missed them with these quirky, illustrated notecards. They come in a pack of 10 with envelopes and are blank inside for a personal message.

Colour Changing Pencils


What’s life without a bit of whimsy! These fun pencils change colour when they’re in use because of a change in temperature – body heat. They have inspirational quotes carved on them too – get kids motivated as they work.

4-IN-1 Multifunctional Lamp


Late-night assignments won’t be a hassle and there’ll be no more burning the midnight oil with this LED mood-lighting lamp which also functions as an alarm clock. Bluetooth, surroundsound speakers let users listen to music as they work. They can also control brightness via an app or voice-control.

Sports Backpack


If there’s a football match or swimming class after school, fit all the gear in one bag. There are separate ball and shoe compartments, as well as sufficient storage for a laptop or iPad, keys, wallet, bottle and other belongings.


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The new school term starts this month and for many, this year will be foundational. They will have to decide which stream to pursue or at least make a list of prospective courses. Personality plays a huge role in deciding future careers, so get your teens to take this fun quiz and find out what career they’re best suited for.

What time do you wake up on a school day?

(A) School day or weekend, I have a timetable.

(B) 5am. I start the day with a workout.

(C) Darn it! I’m going to miss the bus again.

You’re in a library. You pick…

(A) Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer.

(B) Audio book okay?

(C) Hang on, let me get my TBR list (To-be-read – if you don’t know this, you’re not a C!).

What is your favourite back-to-school lunch?

(A) Lox cream cheese bagel, please. No capers.

(B) Fruit and some crackers.

(C) Umm, I don’t know. A cheese toasty?

You’re at a coffee shop. You…

(A) Compare it with 10 other cafés you’ve been to.

(B) Order a cold brew and an açaí bowl to go with it.

(C) Read the quotes printed on the paper napkins.

What’s your favourite after-school activity?

(A) Have signed up for piano lessons this year.

(B) Football. No wait, that’s on Tuesday. Today’s swimming.

(C) It’s too hot out! Plan to curl up with my Kindle.

The local club is organising an international tour. You

(A) …are ready! Saved up interning at the NGO last summer.

(B) Pack a rucksack.

(C) Talk the organiser into making you the tour captain and bag a free trip.


It’s an exam day so you decide to beat the stress by…

(A) What stress? I’m always prepared!

(B) Going for a long run.

(C) Gosh! My deadline’s tomorrow and I haven’t started my assignment yet.

You’re nominated as school prefect. Your first thought is…

(A) Wait, let me whip out my plan for the coming year.

(B) Yeah! I love a good challenge.

(C) Well, I’m a smooth talker.

What subjects do you love at school?

(A) Maths, science, languages, history I’m an all-rounder.

(B) Football. I’m on the school team.

(C) Foreign languages. I love culture.

An argument erupts in class. You…

(A) Pick a side.

(B) Ignore it – none of my business.

(C) Jump in and resolve the fight.

Mostly A’s

You’re ambitious and know exactly what you want. Be it at school or in life, you don’t settle for anything less than excellence. A straight-A student, you have your day planned down to the most minute detail. You will be a hit in managerial or leadership positions. Perhaps, the CEO of your own company!

Mostly B’s

You’re always raising the bar for yourself. At school, you win virtually every sporting tournament. Late night parties – that’s not for you. You’d rather hit the beach or walk the dog. You’ve most likely tried out every energy drink there is! You will perform exceptionally as a Zumba instructor or a gym owner. Maybe make it on the national sports team!

Mostly C’s

My dear! If there’s someone who’s cracked the code to a happy life, it’s you. People might see you as laid back, but you know that time enjoyed isn’t time wasted. You’re an incurable procrastinator. However, you thrive under pressure. You’re the next bestselling author and will reign as a media mogul. You have the power to conquer with your charm.


New Season Menu

We invite you to savour and experience authentic Indian and international aromas & flavours tastefully curated by our talented chefs.

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FACT was among a handful of publications invited to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the big reveal of the all-new Hyundai Kona, a multi-talented SUV-B that boasts a hybrid variant and a whole host of advanced features.


Hyundai Motor Company Middle East and North Africa - Regional Headquarters hosted us in the JAX District of the Saudi capital for an exciting first-hand view of the new vehicle’s class-leading design upgrade as well as its advanced safety and comfort features.

With one of the most comprehensive product packages in the B-SUV segment, this second-generation Kona offers a wide range of engines giving drivers the choice of either hybrid (HEV) or internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrain options in addition to the N Performance version of each. An all-electric EV variant will follow soon in selected markets.

First Look

Our first impression was that Hyundai have reconfigured the new model with active drivers and their families in mind who’ll be served by the unique proportions and increased dimensions. At 4.355m long, it’s 17.5cm longer than the previous generation, with a wheelbase of 2.66cm, an increase of 6cm. It is also wider and higher giving a feeling of improved strength and sturdiness.

Between the aerodynamic front and tailgate, sculpted wheel arches and parametric surfaces give a feeling of pure volume, with dynamic lines of chrome connecting the belt line to the rear spoiler and integrated high stop lamp. The bright exterior colours further emphasise the iconic design.

N Performance versions offer an extremely capable family vehicle with a little extra pizzaz featuring black mirrors, an optional black spoiler and roof, more aggressive front and rear styling with a wing-shaped bumper to emphasise the lowered stance, dual exhausts and silver-painted trim.

Designed For Life

Making use of the model's improved dimensions, Hyundai’s designers created a larger interior ‘living space’ to suit a wide range of lifestyles. The driver-focused front row is accentuated by a horizontal floating C-panel with integrated dual 12.3-inch panoramic displays that underscore the model’s tech-savvy personality.

As part of the interior upgrades, the gearbox shifter has been moved from the centre console to behind the steering wheel via paddle shifters, allowing for more storage. The new design imparts a feeling of space and comfort which is reinforced by the fact that all the driver's controls are now found around the steering wheel. Ambient lighting is also supported by over-theair maintenance updates and new features.

The comfort reclining seat option for the first row has been optimised for ‘weightless’ body pressure distribution to help reduce fatigue after driving by adjusting to the body’s natural positioning. A reclining option in the second row also ups the comfort level for passengers.

The fully folding second-row seat and rear deck offer up to 466 litres

fact magazine 37

of cargo space and loading anything from luggage to shopping bags is easier than ever thanks to the convenient Smart Tailgate customisable interior that enhances access to luggage space.

Convenience Via Technology

Inside, dual 12.3-inch panoramic displays are integrated into the audio and video navigation (AVN) system to give drivers an immersive digital experience. And the 2023 KONA will be the first Hyundai model to implement the new Vehicle Connected Cockpit (ccNC), which provides advanced graphics and a perfect match between vehicle displays. When parking, the Surround View Monitor (SVM) displays the vehicle from different vantage points for safe and easy parking while wide-projection LED headlights illuminate the road.

The second-generation Kona is equipped with the next level of Hyundai SmartSense Advanced Driver Assistance System features not available in most other B-SUVs, ensuring the highest levels of safety and comfort on the road.

The Driver Condition Monitoring (DSM) system uses the vehicle's interior camera to analyse the driver's face and, if drowsy or careless, alerts or intervenes, if necessary. The Smart Parking System (RSPA) helps drivers enter and exit parking spaces remotely. Pressing the smart key button moves the vehicle forward or backward.

The Blind Spot Vision Monitor (BVM) assists when the driver changes lane by sounding an alert to warn of the risk of collision with vehicles in the blind spot. If necessary, the brakes are applied automatically to prevent a collision.

The all-new Kona model is also packed with various other safety aids such as Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). It is also equipped with many driving comfort functions, such as Intelligent Cruise Control (SCC), Navigation-Based Intelligent Cruise Control (NSCC), Lane Departure System (LFA) and Highway Driving Assistance (HDA).


Bose engineers have fine-tuned the Bose premium audio system with eight speakers plus a subwoofer to deliver a rich and immersive listening experience. Driver and passengers alike have

access to two USB-C charging devices (one with data support) and a 12V power outlet in the front as well as two USB-C charging devices in the rear. The Kona is also equipped with the latest version of Hyundai's connectivity technology and Bluelink music and video service will be made available later.

Our Verdict

We were impressed with the muscular, dynamic design of this upgraded model – which has been a firm favourite since its launch back in 2017. With the increased dimensions and numerous technological advancements, all-new KONA is true to the model’s distinctive character while offering an even safer, more connected and even more comfortable experience. ✤

We were invited to experience the all-new Kona by the team at Hyundai Qatar, Skyline Automotive a Jaidah Group company, and we would like to sincerely thank them for the opportunity.

fact magazine 38 • REGIONAL RIDES
fact magazine 39 REGIONAL RIDES •


With a rich heritage of excellence and innovation, BMW has consistently pushed the boundaries of automotive engineering, and the X5 and X6 models build on those foundations. These new luxury SUVs combine cutting-edge technology, powerful performance and striking design, delivering an unparalleled driving experience.

The latest models bring a new era of luxury and performance that caters to the discerning tastes of automotive enthusiasts in the region.

The inclusion of the xLine design elements as standard gives the BMW X5 significantly greater presence and visual robustness. Its front end is shaped by the fresh interpretation of the hallmark BMW headlights and kidney grille. The new headlight units now have a 35-millimetre slimmer outline. Their arrow-shaped daytime driving light elements point outwards and also serve as turn signal indicators. In addition, Matrix LED headlights with adaptive control and BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam, plus M Shadowline lights, are included on the options list. The new BMW X6 also has slim headlight units with arrow-shaped daytime driving light elements. As before, the BMW kidney Iconic Glow is offered as an option for the six-cylinder models. The dynamic character of the new BMW X6 is highlighted even more intently with the now standard M Sport package. Playing a key role here is the octagonal front-end signature below the BMW kidney grille, with its striking side apertures and generous use of black surfaces. Moreover, the three-dimensional sculpting of the

front apron underscores the car’s width and brawny stature. The elite sporting prowess of the two range-topping models is expressed through a new 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine, derived from the power units in high-performance models from BMW M GmbH. The M TwinPower Turbo technology and a cross-bank exhaust manifold imbue the 530hp engine, which generates peak torque of 750Nm, with impressively accomplished performance characteristics. The M Sport package is available as an option for the new BMW X5 to convey the feeling of exclusive dynamism, which it does as standard in the design of the new BMW X6. This includes double bars and an M logo for the BMW kidney grille, M exterior mirror caps in black high-gloss and exhaust system tailpipe trim in the hallmark M quad-pipe style.

Comfort and safety in the new BMW X5 and X6 can be taken to another new level with a significantly expanded selection of automated driving and parking systems. The new optional Parking Assistant Professional enables automated parking into and out of spaces controlled from outside the car using the My BMW App on an Apple iPhone.

Nasr Jairoudi, General Manager at Alfardan Automobiles, said: “These remarkable vehicles embody the spirit of BMW, combining luxury, innovation and exhilaration. We are confident that the arrival of the new BMW X5 and BMW X6 will resonate with our valued customers who seek the ultimate driving experience.” ✤


fact magazine 40 • MOTORING NEWS
Alfardan Automobiles, the official importer of BMW Group in Qatar, has announced the arrival of the all-new BMW X5 and BMW X6.


The British-born car brand’s latest model offers truly affordable, family-friendly, zero-emissions driving in a stylish and technologically advanced package.

The MG ZS EV is a sign of MG’s commitment towards developing cutting-edge New Energy Vehicles (NEV). It will be available in select markets across the region.

The vehicle embodies the next evolution in electric vehicle technology, by combining an exceptional driving experience and stylish design with cutting-edge technology at an affordable price point. With the option of two powerful battery packs, this electric car is perfect for daily commutes, weekend getaways, scenic rides and much more.

The model is equipped with a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor, with two battery options of 51KW and 77KW delivering a maximum power output of 176.75PS and a torque of 280Nm. The range of the vehicle is 280km with the 51KW battery pack and 385km from the 77KW version, allowing for longer distances without charging.

Its motor accelerates the car from 0 to 50km/h in just 3.6 seconds. The advanced automatic transmission provides seamless gear shifts for an extra-smooth drive, while the driver can also choose between three driving modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport – to customise their experience further.

An award-winning, fully electric model in its segment, the 2024 MG ZS EV offers a number of different charging solutions, ensuring optimal convenience for users. With the rapid charging option, the vehicle can be charged up to 80% in just 40 minutes

and from a standard charging point, the estimated time takes around eight-and-a-half to nine hours.

The charging port, located behind the grille, provides easy access for the user. An updated charging indicator allows drivers to easily check the car's battery level at a glance. It also features a V2L reverse charging function, enabling users to connect external devices and power them using the car's own battery.

MG’s newest model has an elegant exterior design with its sleek, grille-less front, Silverstone front lights and newly designed Phantom LED tail lamps which exude style and sophistication. The interior offers ample room for passengers and cargo and the foldable rear seat expands the load capacity. In the front, a 10.1inch floating touchscreen control panel provides easy access to various features, and the all-digital seven-inch virtual cluster displays essential information.

The new model is equipped with some of the latest technological features and Park Assist equipped with 360° cameras.

Tom Lee, Managing Director of MG Motor - Middle East and North Africa, said: “MG Motor has long been at the forefront of new energy developments in the car industry and the launch of the New MG ZS EV reinforces our commitment in this field.

“We are determined to meet the varied needs of our customers around the region, while taking into account the specific requirements in individual local markets, so offering this new model is indicative of this focus.”✤


fact magazine 42 • MOTORING NEWS
MG Motor has launched the new 2024 MG ZS EV for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.


Automobili Pininfarina has announced the firstever all-electric hyper Barchetta,

The luxury electric vehicle manufacturer has opened an exciting new chapter in its history – revealing the breathtaking B95 at Monterey Car Week. It was presented alongside the Battista Edizione Nino Farina hyper GT, which debuted at Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, as well as the recently launched PURA Vision design concept vehicle.

The latest Barchetta is a design and technology masterpiece, a coach-built celebration of timeless PURA design; Automobili Pininfarina’s PURA design philosophy transforms the DNA of iconic classic models from the company’s past into the future. The simplicity of the B95’s flowing opentopped bodywork contrasts with exquisite technical details to provide a dramatic interpretation of a classic racer, underpinned by pure-electric performance.

Automobili Pininfarina’s PURA design philosophy expresses an elegant silhouette and dramatic proportions, as demonstrated by the recently unveiled PURA Vision concept. The principles established here have been translated for the B95, balancing inspiration from iconic classic race cars with futuristic elements, all while remaining true to the PURA philosophy. ✤


Alfardan Sports Motors, the official importer of Maserati in Qatar, received top recognition at the prestigious Maserati Masters of Care awards.

Alfardan Sports Motors’ aftersales department of Maserati in Qatar received this coveted accolade, highlighting its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and client loyalty.

The award was presented at the esteemed Master of Care event that was held in Florence, Italy.

Manar Sharif, Aftersales Manager at Maserati Qatar, joined other regional winners in receiving the distinguished recognition from the marque’s global team.

The achievement showcases the relentless efforts and dedication of the entire Maserati Qatar aftersales team and the Alfardan Sports Motors family.

Charly Dagher, General Manager Maserati Qatar, said: “Our Maserati Qatar Aftersales team's exceptional achievements reflect our dedication to exceeding customer expectations and delivering an exceptional aftersales experience.

“With an exceptional Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 96.2% for 2022, this award reaffirms our commitment to providing unparalleled service and ensuring our valued customers enjoy luxury and peace of mind.”

Aiming to elevate the unparalleled ownership experience, Alfardan Sports Motors has announced a limited period local

dealer service package which is 13 years or 195,000km (whichever comes first) available on all new Maserati models.

This extended service reflects the dealership’s commitment to providing an exceptional ownership experience for Maserati customers in Qatar, in addition to highlighting the brand's position as a leading destination for an exceptional ownership journey in the world of luxury cars.✤


fact magazine 43
the all-new B95.


The renowned show will be making its first appearance outside Switzerland and Qatar Tourism is going all out to make sure it’s an occasion to be remembered with 30 well-known global automotive brands taking part and 10 new vehicles set to be unveiled. Taking place from October 5 to 14, the event will be staged over 10,000sq/m at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center and five prominent external venues across the country will provide a diverse and immersive festival experience for visitors and guests. The strong demand from exhibitors is reflective of GIMS’ innovative, first-of-its-kind event concept, which is setting new standards for trans-continental motor shows and naturally complements the marketing strategies of major OEMs and suppliers. Car enthusiasts attending the show will have the opportunity to be among the first to see 10 ground-breaking new cars, which are set to be unveiled during the event. Participating brands will be unveiled on the GIMS social media channels in the coming weeks. Sandro Mesquita, CEO of the Geneva International Motor Show, said: “Excitement is building for the first edition of the Qatar show in Doha. We’re on track to make the event the new, top-tier motor show for the Middle East, bridging the gap between the exciting automotive industries in the east and west. Qatar Tourism, GIMS and our partners are delighted with the outstanding support we

have received from global brands. For us, it’s indicative of the high levels of confidence and loyalty they have in the GIMS model. One of our exhibitors has participated in every edition of the Geneva Motor Show since 1924 and is just as enthusiastic to join us in Doha.” Starting with an exclusive opening ceremony and gala dinner on October 5, GIMS Qatar will welcome the world’s media on October 6, before opening to the public from October 7 to 14. The event has been staged to coincide with the Formula 1 Qatar Airways Qatar Grand Prix 2023, also being held in Doha from October 6 to 8. The full GIMS Qatar programme of events will be unveiled soon. Activities will include a Forum for the Future of car design, held at the National Museum of Qatar. There will also be offroad adventure experiences at Sealine Desert, ride and drives at the Lusail International Circuit and the chance to visit a ‘best of the best’ gallery of classic automobiles.

With state-of-the-art facilities, an award-winning national carrier and airport, seamless public transportation networks, open tourism visa policies and a strategic central location, Qatar is quickly emerging as a prime destination for major global events. ✤

fact magazine 44 • MOTORING NEWS
GO: VISIT GENEVAMOTORSHOW.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION. As Qatar prepares to host the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), we take a look at what visitors can expect.


Nothing has returned with its highly anticipated second-generation flagship smartphone – the Nothing Phone 2.

Since its launch, recent smartphone startup, Nothing, has been developed and engineered with the intention of making smartphone usage more mindful.

With the Phone 2, the company builds on that ethos by introducing the new glyph interface on the back of the device that enables users to minimise screen interactions by accessing key information at a glance.

Users can refer to individual glyph (symbol) segments for essential information and progress tracking. The glyph lights can be used as a countdown timer, a battery-meter indicator, a volume checker and many other functions.

With a new monochrome layout and the option to remove app labels, the Nothing operating system (OS) 2.0 delivers a fast and smooth user experience rooted in utility. It empowers users to customise grid design, widget size and colour themes, while introducing new folder layouts and illustrated covers.

The device is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options and is paired with 8GB or 12GB of RAM. It is powered by the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform and

boasts a 4700-mAh battery.

The Phone 2 offers an edge-to-edge 6.7-inch LTPO (lowtemperature polycrystalline oxide) OLED display with adaptive refresh rate from 120Hz to 1Hz to ensure optimal power consumption and peak performance, without compromising on battery life.

The smartphone’s camera features a 32MP front camera, and a dual rear camera system that has two advanced 50MP sensors, with a main sensor upgraded to the Sony IMX890. It also has video recording capabilities of 4K resolution at 60fps on the main rear camera. ✤



Samsung has launched the latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 that boasts the new Flex Hinge offering an enhanced foldable smartphone experience.

Part of Samsung’s fifth generation of foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a sleek and compact design, that comes with numerous customisation options with powerful performance capabilities.

The most notable external improvement is the Flex Hinge that allows the phone to fold completely flat, compared to previous models that left a slight gap even when fully folded. It has been tested and verified to withstand 200,000 folds over five years of daily use.

The device sports a 7.6-inch main screen with 2,176 x 1,812 resolution to provide a superior experience when viewing media, gaming and carrying out productivity tasks. The phone’s external screen has a resolution of 2,316 x 906 and both have an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz for better battery life.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is available in 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage options and runs using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The chipset is paired with 12GB of RAM and the phone is powered by a 4,400mAh battery with 25W wired charging capabilities.

The device comes with the IPX8 rating for water resistance and uses the latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both, the front and inner screens. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 features a 10MP selfie camera, the main screen has a 4MP under-display camera, while on the rear it is equipped

with a 50MP wide angle camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera and 10MP telephoto camera.

The device is available in Icy Blue, Phantom Black and Cream. Additionally, users can also purchase the newly-trimmeddown S Pen Fold Edition to enjoy smooth note taking and perform air commands. ✤


fact magazine 46 • PLUGGED IN


Sony Electronics has unveiled the new WF1000XM5 earbuds that deliver next-level, engaging and detailed sound.

The WF-1000XM5 earbuds are the latest, truly wireless addition to the award-winning 1000X series.

They deliver cutting-edge technology and premium sound quality with the best noise-cancelling performance that is achieved by reducing external noise over a wide bandwidth, from low to high frequencies, so users can focus on their music.

Following their predecessor, the new earbuds raise the bar with realtime audio processors and high-performance mics that power the specially designed driver unit, Dynamic Driver X, for wide frequency reproduction, deep bass and more detailed vocals. They also offer Sony’s best ever call quality despite a smaller and lighter design. The device’s innovative noise-isolation earbud tips provide users a more stable fit. While real-time noise-cancelling processing can be further optimised to give the best performance for users despite their surroundings, hence making a clear difference especially on aeroplanes, trains or buses.

WF-1000XM5 now features three microphones on each earbud, including dual feedback mics, which improve lowfrequency cancellation performance. Newly developed by Sony, the Integrated Processor V2 unlocks the potential of the

HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e. The unique combination of technology controls the six microphones, across both ears, to deliver unprecedented noise-cancelling quality that can be adapted to provide the best performance for the listener’s environment.

The earbuds also support High-Resolution Audio Wireless, thanks to LDAC technology, over industry-adopted audio coding technology. LDAC transmits approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio for exceptionally high-resolution audio quality that is closer than ever to studio recording.

The WF-1000XM5 earbuds are approximately 25% smaller and 20% lighter than the WF-1000XM4. They have an improved glossy texture, boast a more luxurious feel and fit comfortably. ✤



Yamaha has expanded its lineup of immersive Dolby Atmos Sound Bars with the new SR-B30A.

The new SR-B30A, which features a built-in subwoofer is a step up from Yamaha’s previous compact sound bar model. It features four 46mm, full-range cones and two 250mm tweeters, producing frequencies ranging from 210Hz to 22Hz, and includes a built-in 750mm subwoofer which goes as low as 54Hz. The sound bar has been designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers and offer a variety of different uses. Designed from the ground up with sound performance at centre stage, the new model reproduces sound with exceptional clarity, detail and spatial realism.

The B30A is an all-in-one sound bar that uses two built-in subwoofers and a bass-reflex design to provide full-range sound from a single body – a great solution for smaller living rooms, bedrooms and dens.

The sound of the device can be customised to a listener’s content or personal taste with a variety of controls and settings, including four sound mode options, an independent subwoofer volume control and tone controls in the app for fine-tuning the EQ. Moreover, Yamaha Clear Voice enhances dialogue clarity, while the Bass Extension feature adds a more muscular presentation of low-end frequencies.

Setup for the model is an easy single-cable HDMI connection

between a TV and the bar via eARC/ARC. HDMI CEC allows users to control basic functions on a TV remote such as power on/ off, volume and mute.

The remote, included with the purchase of the sound bar, gives individuals full control over settings, and an app is available for iOS and Android that turns any smartphone or tablet into a remote, making it perfect for multiple users.✤


fact magazine 47 PLUGGED IN •


What’s on the smartphone agenda for September?

Twitch Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one platform and website-builder tool aimed at helping businesses grow. It is a useful solution that lets users without web development skills or prior experience build and maintain their own websites.

The app assists small business owners and new entrepreneurs to maximise their reach and, in turn, increase their overall sales. It enables users to create their website with available design templates. They can then add pages and customise the design to fit their brand. Users can also publish their website, online store, blog or portfolio.

Receive notifications about new sales orders. Effectively promote the brand and create customised marketing content with the help of the app’s features. Users can also send professional emails with Squarespace Email campaigns and check engagement in real time.

Twitch is a live streaming platform that focuses on videogame streaming where people play games and provide real-time video commentary — all while fans and supporters watch. The app also broadcasts Esports competitions, as well as other events in relation to music, sports, podcasts, cooking shows and IRL (in real life) streams.

It is built around creating and developing communities while being a source of live entertainment allowing users to find, follow and nerd out about their preferred communities/ individual channels on Twitch. It’s designed in a simple and easy-to-use manner with the aim of encouraging users to start their own channels.

Twitch enables users to instantly create an account, go live directly from the app and bring people together around whatever they’re passionate about.

A real-time interactive chat experience makes it a popular social platform.

fact magazine 48 • PLUGGED IN



Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar + 974 4433 6661 res.vswq@tivolihotels.com

Al Najada, Doha, Qatar + 974 4470 4444 reservations.tnjd@tivolihotels.com

Al Wakra, Qatar + 974 4428 7888 souqalwakra@tivolihotels.com

fact magazine 49

In Conversation with… Orhun Denizoglu

fact magazine 50 • 5 OVER 5
The General Manager of JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha tells us about his passion for hospitality and one very hair-raising experience.

What first drew you to the hospitality industry and was it something you always intended to make a life-long career?

With deliberate and heartfelt intent, I chose to commit myself to this dynamic field, I was inspired by my brother who started studying hospitality. I was drawn towards hospitality and found it so vibrant which made me join this world.

I intended to make it a life-long career. It enables me to combine my love for service, my aspiration to be part of an everprogressing field, my enjoyment of diverse interactions and utilisation of a wide-ranging skill set and my capacity to generate positive transformations in people's lives.

It is a career that fulfils me, allowing me to thrive in the art of hospitality, I can’t see myself working in another industry.

With more than 26 years in hotels, you must have had some unusual/interesting experiences. Are they any funny or strange incidents you can share with us?

Certainly, numerous scenarios flood my memory. On a particular occasion, I was working in the Maldives when a coup happened. Quite literally, pirates arrived at the neighboring properties. They would approach at night using boats, forcibly enter the villas and abscond with any valuables they could lay their hands on. We had security teams to safeguard our premises. Each night, we would patrol the grounds armed with flashlights and sticks, prepared for any encounter with the pirates. Fortunately, our vigilance proved effective and thankfully no incidents occurred.

You have been in your role at JW Marriott Marquis for over six months now, what have been the highlights in that time?

Whether it's guests or my team, I'm honoured to foster connections and create a supportive work environment. Collaborating with individuals from various backgrounds enriches my personal and professional growth.

There have been noteworthy moments that personally resonate with me. Among them is the heartwarming welcome I received from my team. This warmth has reflected in the results of our Associate Engagement Survey, which indicated a remarkable 10% increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, we have seen a substantial improvement in our Guest Satisfaction scores. It all lies with our associates – they are the starting point and the culmination of our efforts. This embodies the essence of the Marriott Culture that we strive to uphold.

Are there any future plans – developments/offers/upgrades etc. to tell our readers about?

My foremost objective is to deliver extraordinary service and memorable moments for our guests. It brings me immense satisfaction to ensure that each guest feels embraced and departs with a smile as a token of their experience.

In line with this commitment, we made a strategic decision to rejuvenate the Shanghai Club, instilling it with a contemporary ambience and altering its culinary focus from Pan Asian to Cantonese gastronomy. Simultaneously, we are in the process of enhancing the pool area and elevating the fitness facilities. These projects are on track for completion by the year's end. Furthermore, a completely fresh concept for a Cigar Lounge

is in the works, promising a breathtaking view of the West Bay skyline. This endeavor is designed to provide an unparalleled experience. Anticipate more exciting projects unfolding in 2024, as we continue to evolve and innovate.

What three things would you say are must dos or sees for people visiting Qatar?

Qatar stands as a captivating nation seamlessly fusing historical depth, contemporary innovation and inherent natural beauty. Narrowing down the list is a challenge, if I were to highlight three, they would undoubtedly be to begin your journey with a stroll through Souq Waqif. This bustling traditional market stands as a vibrant testament to Qatar's heritage. Winding alleyways, redolent spice stalls and vibrant artisan crafts create an immersive sensory experience. Here, one can savour the richness of traditional Qatari cuisine and truly absorb the authentic essence of the nation. The National Museum is an essential stop, an architectural marvel that pays homage to Qatar's historical roots while embracing its contemporary aspirations. Within this cultural enclave, visitors can deeply engage with the nation's history, artistic expression and cherished traditions. Lastly, a day spent at the West Bay beaches offers a serene haven of tranquility and rejuvenation. ✤

fact magazine 51 5 OVER 5 •


Craveen Crasta Head Chef at Qalamkarri, Banyan Tree Doha, on his passion for authentic tastes, textures and ingredients.

You’ve said that your culinary journey began at a young age, what was it that ignited that passion?

From a young age, my passion for cooking was ignited by my love for food itself. The sheer enjoyment of savouring different flavours, experiencing diverse textures and being captivated by enticing aromas fascinated me. It was this fascination that led me to explore the art of cooking and delve deeper into the world of ingredients and culinary techniques. Every time I present a dish, it goes beyond being a mere combination of ingredients. It becomes a reflection of my hard work, expertise and, most importantly, my genuine love for this craft. Cooking has always been a profound source of joy for me, and there's a unique satisfaction in preparing meals that bring happiness to others.

What three ingredients do you always have in your kitchen and why?

Lentils, rice and spices. These ingredients hold a special place in my culinary repertoire for several reasons. They have been fundamental elements in Indian cuisine for centuries, deeply rooted in the country's culinary heritage. They reflect the diverse regional flavours and cooking techniques that have evolved over time. By incorporating these ingredients into my cooking, I pay homage to the cultural traditions and flavours that have shaped my culinary journey.

Lentils and rice are versatile staples that can be cooked in numerous ways. From simple preparations like dal rice to more complex recipes like khichdi, where rice and lentils are cooked together in one pot, the possibilities are endless.

fact magazine 52

Spices are an integral part of Indian cooking, and they add depth, aroma, and complexity. Whether it's the warmth of cumin, the vibrancy of turmeric or the heat of chilli powder, spices play a crucial role in creating the distinct flavours that define Indian cuisine.

You were involved right from the conception of Qalamkarri, the Banyan Tree’s Indian contemporary restaurant. How did you go about creating the menu, what were the factors you looked for to offer a good blend of dishes and flavours?

Being part of the conception of Qalamkarri was an exciting and creative journey. When it came to creating the menu, my main objective was to develop a culinary experience that would resonate with a diverse audience, including both locals and expats, while staying true to the essence of Indian flavours. To achieve this, I embarked on an extensive process that involved menu trials, recipe exploration and tastings in collaboration with food experts. I wanted to strike the perfect balance between traditional Indian cuisine and contemporary influences, allowing guests to experience the best of both worlds.

In selecting the dishes, I considered several factors. First and foremost, I focused on the authenticity and quality of the ingredients, ensuring they were sourced meticulously to preserve the true flavours and aromas of Indian cuisine. I also considered the balance of flavours, textures and presentation to create a harmonious dining experience. Additionally, I paid close attention to the preferences and expectations

of our diverse clientele. By incorporating a range of vegetarian and pescatarian options, we aimed to cater to varying dietary requirements and provide an inclusive dining experience for all.

What is your own signature dish, how was it developed and what makes it popular?

It's challenging for me to single out just one dish as my signature, as I believe that each creation in my culinary repertoire holds a special place. However, if I were to highlight one dish that has gained considerable popularity, it would be the Chettinad Prawn Dosa. The development of this dish stemmed from my desire to offer a unique and innovative twist to the traditional dosa presentation. I envisioned a fusion of flavours and textures that would elevate the dining experience. Drawing inspiration from tacos, I conceptualised the idea of using dosa as a taco shell, which ultimately led to the birth of the Chettinad Prawn Dosa. This dish showcases the rich and vibrant flavours of Chettinad cuisine, combined with the delicate sweetness of prawns. The dosa, acting as a versatile and crispy taco shell, holds together all the exquisite ingredients and flavours in a harmonious combination. The spiced prawns, accompanied by aromatic spices and a medley of fresh herbs, create a delightful explosion of flavours with every bite.

The Chettinad Prawn Dosa has become a favourite among our guests who appreciate the culinary craftsmanship and the vibrant blend of flavours it offers. ✤

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Antonio Bongiorno, Head Chef at Lucia's Doha, explains his passion for food and its special way of bringing people together and evoking childhood memories.

What tempted you to leave Italy and come to the Middle East?

I was born and raised in Italy, where I developed a passion for cooking from a very young age. I honed my culinary skills in some of the finest restaurants in the country, mastering the art of Italian cuisine. But as I grew older, I realised that I wanted to do more with this talent; this inspired my move to the Middle East in 2019. I firmly believe that food has the power to bring people together and create a sense of unity. I see cuisine as a form of art, an expression of culture and tradition and so, I embarked on a journey to bridge the gap between Italy and the Middle East through my culinary expertise.

How do you deal with the challenge of sourcing fresh ingredients in our desert climate?

As a chef, I understand the importance of fresh ingredients in creating exceptional culinary experiences for my customers. I believe that the quality and freshness of the ingredients directly impact the taste and overall satisfaction of the dish.

With years of experience and a deep passion for food, I have become renowned for exquisite creations and innovative dishes.

I am known for going the extra mile, which is evident in my efforts to source the best ingredients available by selecting world-renowned partners such as Balfegó Tuna and Uga Caviar.

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I have enhanced the quality and integrity of all products used in Lucia’s kitchen.

What are three things that you always have in your kitchen and why?

Basil has long been hailed for its aromatic and flavour-enhancing qualities in the culinary world, so it’s no wonder that I, like many other chefs, appreciate the unique characteristics of this herb. My Nonna's (grandmother’s) kitchen was always filled with enticing aromas and an atmosphere of warmth and love. I would watch in awe as she effortlessly crafted delicious meals using a variety of fresh ingredients. However, it was the pesto sauce that captivated me the most. The vibrant green colour and the aromatic blend of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil left an unforgettable taste on my palate which I now replicate.

Lastly, lemons hold a special place in my heart, as they remind me of the comforting smell of home. I am often surrounded by the aroma of various ingredients and exotic spices but it is the humble lemon that evokes memories of my childhood and the warmth of my family's kitchen.

What is your signature dish and why do you think it is popular?

I proudly present the Torre Di Crudo, which showcases the flavours of Italy's pristine coastline. This exquisite creation is filled with an assortment of oceanic treasures, including red prawns from Mazara Del Vallo, renowned for their delightful sweetness, succulent sea bream and a delectable tuna tartare paired with my exclusive dressing. Our visitors love to indulge in this dish which is crafted especially for connoisseurs of luxury and those who adore the wonders of the sea. ✤

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Sanaa Choudry discovered an outstanding marriage of flavours on a visit to La Mar Doha.

With the gradual ascent of temperatures and a soft balmy air enveloping the Doha skyline, taste buds prepare to be tantalised with refreshing yet flavoursome delightsnone of which are more delectable than the offerings found at La Mar Doha by Gastón Acurio.

Hidden behind intricately crafted doors within the InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa, this gem is renowned for its opulent flavours and eclectic influences. The dining room itself boasts a seamless blend of modern and traditional elements including strikingly high white ceilings adorned with neutral bamboo chandeliers that radiate a subtle golden lustre.

Swiftly seated by the window on this warm evening, we are raptured by enchanting vistas of the golden landscape and rhythmic waves caressing the beach: undoubtedly the perfect atmosphere to savour the essence of contemporary Peruvian cuisine.

Rooted in indigenous traditions, Peruvian fare is truly a fusion that is reflective of the nation’s multicultural history. Often known as Criolla food, it boasts a mouth-watering and authentic blend of Spanish, Asian, Incan and wider European influences. Despite this, the true essence of Peruvian cookery lies in the celebration of one thing above all else: the pure and uncomplicated beauty of simple ingredients. Each dish highlights the culinary prowess that lies in the art of restraint, and this is what makes a dining experience at La Mar so transformative to the palate.

Operating under the helm of Executive Chef Frank Ponce Yalico, Italian and Japanese influences form the backbone of the new menu. Drawing inspiration from Peru's rich culinary heritage, the dishes on offer pay homage to beloved traditional favourites that

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have been passed through generations. Chef Frank’s profound connection to his homeland shines: “I spent my childhood at the market with my grandmother, watching her pick the finest ingredients,” he tells us. It is these same ingredients of fresh lime, yellow chilli and garlic that form the cornerstone of this menu and there is something truly heart-warming in knowing that a sprinkle of nostalgia has been added to every plate.

Our first dish is the Tiraditos Chucuito – Peruvian-style Japanese sashimi laced with ‘leche de tigre’. Literally translating to ‘tiger’s milk’, this bright and spicy citrus-based marinade is used to cure the fresh catch of the day in a concoction of fish and vegetable stock, garlic, ginger, aji chillies (serving a hot yet fruity punch) and finely chopped coriander. This delicious, traditionalcontemporary mixture perfectly showcases the melding of international influences, with creamy Japanese king scallops added in and artfully paired with zesty lime. The delicate seafood exudes a tenderness that harmonises with the creamy avocado, while the semolina squid ink cracker adds an umami element. With every bite, a medley of textures unfolds and is enhanced by the sharpness of basil oil. This dish is a testament to the culinary artistry that emerges when different cultures come together – a happy marriage of flavours.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Peruvian meal without the quintessential cebiche. And the adaptations to the classic are not to be missed when dining here. We dive into the Cebiche Criollo - a true celebration of the sea’s bounty luxuriant in fish and aji amarillo leche de tigre, with deep-fried squid, cancha and choclo, the entire dish balanced with soft sweet potatoes. Our palates tantalised, these tasty courses are just the prelude. Soon after arrives the main event, the first of which is the Pulpo a la Brasa – an octopus tentacle resting upon a bed of Peruvian pesto. Peruvian pesto? Whilst the base of basil and spinach remains traditional, a blend of milk, cheese (in this case, halloumi) and a subtle helping of potato puree crafts a thicker texture. This earthy elixir offers the necessary contrast to the ‘hit you in the back of the throat’ panka coating of the octopus, subtly speckled with crispy garlic. Melting into our mouths, a caramel gooiness that cannot quite be placed adds a sweetness. (As it turns out, the sweet acidity of Coca Cola is the culprit). This dish is paired with another La Mar favourite: Jalea Mixta. Deep-fried seafood mix, accompanied by perfectly fried yucca, crispy plantain chips, tangy tartar sauce and a dash of sarza criolla. It is an explosion of flavour that leaves us demolishing every last morsel.

The crowning glory of the evening is the grilled hammour, the fish is butterflied and cooked with norteña sauce – made with aji amarillo, crab stock, coriander, onion and garlic – served atop a bed of butternut squash and piquant coriander and finished in the Josper to ensure none of the flavour escapes.

La Mar diners are invited to indulge even further as a fresh fish of choice is now available to enhance the fine-dining experience. With options like hammour and seabream at hand, scorpion fish and sole from Greece will also make an appearance.

Stomachs gurgling in pure pleasure, we question whether we can handle another bite when between us arrives a plate of cornbased cakes (Chef Frank quickly reminds us that ‘food is for the stomach, whilst dessert is for the heart’). Delicate sponge cubes

laced with nuts are perched beneath a dollop of sweetened cream and caramelised American popcorn, all served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Insanely satisfied, it is time to take our leave, but we will surely return. ✤

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Michael Santos embarked on a flavour-filled journey when he got the chance to try the new menu at Cila, at Alwadi Doha - MGallery Hotel Collection

Located within the elegant premises of Alwadi Doha - MGallery Hotel Collection, Cila restaurant is a culinary gem that offers a delightful journey through the flavours of Levantine cuisine. With its nautical ambience, Cila provides an unforgettable gastronomic experience showcasing a range of mouth-watering specialities. And now, with the launch of an exceptional new menu, there is even more to enjoy.

On entering, you’ll be welcomed by a delightful fusion of modern and maritime aesthetics. The decor features blue bottles, once used to store spices during the spice trade era, and walls finished with oak barrels. The elegant interior, infused with Middle Eastern accents, creates an inviting atmosphere perfect for intimate dinners or gatherings of friends and family with a view of the old souq. Soft lighting adds a touch of romance, while the tasteful background music complements the overall vibe.

Cila specialises in Levantine cuisine, encompassing the culinary traditions of the eastern Mediterranean region, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. The menu features a wide range of appetisers, main courses and desserts, each prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail. Whether you are a vegetarian, a seafood lover or a meat enthusiast, Cila caters to all palates, ensuring a memorable gastronomic adventure.

To start the culinary journey, indulge in the selection of appetisers. The traditional mixed mezze platter is a must-try, featuring an assortment of small dishes such as avocado hummus, baba

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ghanoush, and tabbouleh, served with freshly baked pita bread. The avocado hummus is a fusion of two beloved ingredients and is an irresistible twist on the classic hummus recipe. The creaminess of the avocado and the smoothness of the pureed chickpeas create a velvety consistency that is incredibly pleasing to the palate. It will leave you wanting more.

The main course offerings at Cila are a true testament to the culinary expertise of the chefs. The menu includes succulent grilled meats, perfectly cooked seafood, and flavourful vegetarian dishes. One standout is the Tomahawk steak, delicately seasoned for 48 hours and grilled to perfection. The intramuscular fat, or marbling, found throughout the cut melts during cooking, infusing the meat with a rich, buttery flavour and imparting exceptional juiciness, making each bite a delightful experience. Accompanied by fragrant vegetables, truffle fries, creamy mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese and a mushroom sauce that delightfully complements the steak, this is a dish I would fully recommend to everybody.

I also tried the seabass which is a great option for seafood lovers. The tender flesh of the fish was moist and succulent with a delightful flaky texture that melted in my mouth. And a lightly spiced, flame-grilled octopus, really hit the spot, the chef's skilful preparation allowing the fish to shine as the true protagonist of the dish.

To conclude this culinary journey, Cila's dessert menu offers a sweet finale that leaves a lasting impression. The Pistachio Crème Brûlée is a delightful, sweet treat combining silky smooth custard with a satisfying crackle of caramelised sugar. The custard was velvety and creamy, with a delicate hint of vanilla that afforded a subtle sweetness. The pistachios provided a slight, satisfying crunch, adding texture to the dessert. Pouring the flower-infused sugar syrup on top is simply heavenly. Breaking through the caramelised layer with a spoon creates a satisfying crack, revealing the smooth custard underneath. It is an experience that will leave your taste buds rejoicing and your heart longing for more.

If you are a chocolate lover seeking pure culinary bliss, look no further than the exquisite chocolate lava cake at Cila. The initial bite is a symphony of flavours and textures. The outer layer of the cake is soft and moist, with a delicate crumb that melts in your mouth. The contrast between the warm, gooey centre and the tender cake creates a sensory experience that is truly unforgettable. The chocolate lava, with its heavenly blend of sweetness and slight bitterness, served with vanilla ice cream, is pure liquid gold.

Cila is a destination that captivates guests with its impeccable service, inviting ambience and exceptional Levantine cuisine. Whether you are a resident or a traveller visiting Doha, the venue promises an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the rich culinary and maritime heritage of the region. From indulgent appetisers to satisfying mains and delectable desserts, each dish is carefully crafted to delight the senses.✤


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Michael Santos undertook a Pan-Asian gastronomic journey when he paid a visit to Timeless Restaurant.

Irecently had the pleasure of dining at Timeless which is located on the sixth floor between the Lusail Twin Towers. As soon as you enter this pan-Asian eatery, you'll be struck by its elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. The interior design perfectly matches the timeless dining experience it offers.

The space is visually stunning, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing a clear view of the Lusail Marina. The combination of trendy and contemporary elements seamlessly blends, and the warm and inviting colour palette, tasteful furniture and subdued lighting set the perfect mood for a memorable culinary journey. Every detail has been carefully considered, from the intricate glasswork on the walls to the Instagramable glass-lit, cherry blossom trees.

The restaurant's menu features diverse dishes influenced by different international foods all with an Asian twist, offering a unique culinary experience. Each course, including appetisers and desserts, was presented beautifully and packed with delicious flavours. Chef Rizal Saikrol's expertise in Pan-Asian cuisine was evident in every plate, with carefully selected fresh ingredients and perfectly balanced tastes.

To begin this culinary journey, we opted for the Crab Salad as a starter which was a true treat. The fresh crab meat combined with spring onions, tobiko, cucumber, tanuki, sesame and Japanese spicy mayonnaise created a harmonious blend of flavours and textures. The succulent crab meat paired perfectly with the tangy spring onion and the crispness of the cucumber. We tried several appetisers but this was one of my standout favourites. Next came the Torched Wagyu Maki – an absolute pleasure for the taste buds. The wagyu slice on top of the maki adds a rich and succulent element, perfectly complemented by smoked cheese and spicy leek mayonnaise surrounding carrot and asparagus tempura. The torched preparation technique truly enhances the taste profile creating a delectable smoky piquancy. Another highlight among the starters was the Chicken Yakitori – a skewer consisting of succulent chicken thigh, flavourful shitake mushroom and tender leek, all grilled to perfection. What truly sets this dish apart is the delectable sauce that coats the various elements, adding a sweet and savoury glaze. Combining the yakitori sauce and garlic crumbs on top adds an extra layer of depth to the flavour with yuzu sesame providing a refreshing citrusy note that balances the dish's richness.

One of the standout dishes from the main course menu was The Black Onyx Tenderloin with confit potato topped by cilantro pesto and a variety of mixed sauces, which genuinely exceeded my expectations. The meat was cooked flawlessly, with a succulent and tender texture that melted in my mouth. The confit potato added a delightful crunch to each bite, complementing the rich flavours of the steak. The combination of shimeji, button and enoki mushrooms provided a wonderful earthy taste that elevated the dish. The brown butter sauce added a nutty and savoury element, while the black pepper brought a subtle kick of spiciness. The creamy Cajun sauce provided a tangy contrast that harmonised all the flavours. This dish was an absolute delight for the taste buds.

Heading towards the sweets, I couldn’t resist the temptation of

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the Japanese souffle. A scrumptious dessert that lived up to its reputation as a deconstructed cheesecake. The vanilla souffle cake forms the base, providing a light and airy texture, topped with a generous sprinkling of crunchy cornflakes and almond shavings. Every bite offered a delightful contrast of textures. The velvety vanilla cream adds a smooth and creamy element, perfectly complementing the delicate flavours of the souffle. Adding fresh berries brought a burst of tanginess to the dish, while the warm caramel sauce drizzled over it all was the ultimate touch of indulgence.

The Blossom Tree dessert is a masterpiece that deserves high praise. The velvety vanilla ice cream served alongside chocolate tree stems perfectly balanced richness and creaminess while cotton candy added a whimsical touch, creating a playful and visually stunning presentation. Cookie crumble and brownies added a satisfying crunch and depth to the overall sensation. Each bite was a harmonious blend of sweetness and decadence, undoubtedly a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth, taking your taste buds on a journey of pure bliss.

Timeless Restaurant offers a truly memorable dining experience. The Pan-Asian cuisine showcases various flavours and culinary techniques. The attention to detail in the presentation of each dish is commendable, and the flavours are well-balanced and satisfying. The service is attentive, and the ambience charming, providing guests with a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or a special dinner, Timeless is a fantastic choice for a contemporary Pan-Asian experience. ✤

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GO: CALL 4002 3231 FOR
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We’re all back in town following the long summer break and ready to get together and catch up over great food. We’ve rounded up some of the best deals around, including lots of new offers for you to try.




Indulge yourself with a delectable treat at Alwadi Doha’s signature cafe in the magnificent lobby lounge. Well-known for its high tea, the venue offers irresistible cakes, delicate pastries, and an authentic selection of coffee and tea from around the world. The Summer Tea offer is priced at QR175 for two people and is available daily 3pm to 6pm.

GO: Call 4009 9999 or WhatsApp 3075 8211 for more information or to make a booking.


Le Colonial

Enjoy your breakfast in a warm and friendly setting at Le Colonial. Immerse yourself in an international buffet prepared in open kitchens from the finest ingredients while gaining an insight into Doha’s past. The P’tit Dej offer is priced at QR130 per person from 6am to 11pm on weekdays and 6am to 12pm on weekends.

GO: Call 4009 9999 or WhatsApp 3075 8211 for more information or to make a booking.



Whether you're an Indian food lover or a curious brunch

enthusiast, the Dalchini Social Brunch is a must-try!

The tabletop brunch features scrumptious starters, flavourful main courses and delightful desserts. Bring your friends for a feast of Indian Progressive dishes and live patta chat! The offer runs on Fridays from 12pm to 4.30pm, priced QR199 per person with soft drinks and QR299 with five enhanced beverages.

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


Thai Kitchen

Head down every Friday for a delicious Thai cooking class where you’ll learn how to create authentic Thai dishes from the professional chefs. From tantalising Som Tam (papaya salad) and Laab Gai (spicy minced chicken salad) to Yum Som O (pomelo salad), they’ll guide you through the flavours and techniques that make Thai food so extraordinary. Plus, enjoy a delectable Thai set lunch after the class! Takes place each Friday from 12pm to 2pm priced QR180 for adults and QR90 for kids below 12 years. Price includes all ingredients, photo, certificate and three-course lunch.

GO: Call 4009 5530 or WhatsApp 3001 5360 for more information or to make a booking.

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Make your lunchtime extra special with a delivery or take away lunch box, including salad, main course and dessert, priced QR59, from this Katara eatery.

GO: Call 3303 1600 for more information.


Curiosa by Jean-Georges

Your summer Fridays just got better! Join the restaurant team every Friday for the Summer Brunch at Curiosa by Jean-Georges. Feast on your favourite Latin dishes from the vibrant menu with new prices. Every Friday, from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced at QR299 inclusive of soft beverages, QR399 for the enhanced package and QR150 for kids aged five to 12 years old.

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


Sushi On!

If you enjoy Japanese cuisine with a contemporary twist, this is the place for you. Try their Business Lunch, which runs daily, except Friday, priced QR89.

GO: Call 4423 3030 for more information or to make a booking.


Trader Vic’s

Check out the much-loved Trader’s Brunch where you’ll enjoy unlimited delights and enhanced beverages served alongside a live Latino band. Offer runs Friday and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm, priced QR350 per person. Or head down on Mondays for a

kilo of mussels and a glass of grape for just QR99 from 6pm to 12am. Wednesday is Lobster & Steak Night from 7pm to 12am, priced QR199 per person. Or enjoy the three-course Business Lunch from 12pm to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday, priced QR89. GO: Call 4423 3030 for more information or to make a booking.


Al Nafourah Garden

Adorned with palm trees and cosy cabana seating, this peaceful garden is an enviable spot to plan your gatherings or relish happy hour offerings. Try their two-course Business Lunch for a weekday meal in a lovely setting that’s easy on the wallet. Offer runs Sunday to Thursday, 12pm to 4pm, priced QR99 per person, including one hookah.

GO: Call 4141 1234, WhatsApp 6608 5806 or visit hyattrestaurants.com for more information or to make a booking.


The Cellar

Experience the vibrant flavours and rich culinary traditions of Spain at The Cellar's new Summer Seated Brunch. This is the perfect way to kick-off the weekend and satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy a delicious selection of Spanish tapas, mains and desserts. Offer runs on Fridays from 12pm to 5pm, priced QR195 per person or QR295 for two. Top off with a Spanish mixed fruity beverage at QR100 per pitcher.

GO: Call 4141 1234, WhatsApp 6608 5806 or visit hyattrestaurants.com for more information or to make a booking.

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Transcend the ordinary and let IDAM be your guide to uncharted culinary horizons. Immerse yourself in a symphony of flavours, where each dish is a masterpiece that tells a story of innovation and passion. It is more than a meal; it's a transformative gastronomic voyage that captures the true essence of IDAM. Open Saturday to Thursday, 12.30pm to 2pm and 7pm to 9pm. The four-course lunch menu is priced at QR280. The six-course tasting menu is QR520 and the eight-course tasting menu is QR690. GO: Call 4422 4488 or WhatsApp 6617 1830 for more information or to make a booking.


The venue offers a warm interior and an extensive terrace with views over the ocean and the Doha skyline. Experience superb Belgian cuisine, such as steaming mussel pots and chunky frites, served with an exclusive selection of Belgian hops. For September, the BBQ Meat Platter is a daily promotion that lets you enjoy a sharing meat feast with the hops of your choice. Priced at QR350, including two glasses of hops. GO: Call 4484 4919 or email fb.icdoha@ihg.com for more information or to make a booking.


Mykonos offers authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s an ideal place to relax whilst enjoying the sun, the sea, stunning flavours and an ambience befitting its stunning location. The Greek Weekend Brunch at Mykonos runs every Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 4pm. Brunch is priced at QR195 per

person (minimum of two guests). You can also opt for the beverage package at an additional QR265 per person from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

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


Step into Jiwan and be enveloped in an experience that embraces the essence of sharing. Delight in an array of seasonal dishes that not only honour indigenous ingredients but also embody a tribute to Qatar's evolving identity. The result is a harmonious celebration where simplicity meets sophistication, novelty intertwines with comforting nostalgia. Open Tuesday to Saturday 12.30pm to 9pm. Various set menus plus à la carte available, including vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, starting from QR100 for the Sunset Tea Menu, served from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

GO: Call 4452 5752 or WhatsApp 3094 9530 for more information or to make a booking.



With a mouth-watering selection of South American flavours, Fuego's Business Lunch promises to get the deal done. Take a break from your packed schedule and discover what's on offer. Available Sunday to Friday 12pm to 3pm, priced QR79 for two courses and QR95 for three. Pay an extra QR60 for two enhanced house beverages.

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


Shanghai Club

Indulge in the elevated KOI brunch with family and friends amidst awe-inspiring views of the West Bay skyline. Inspired by Pan Asian cuisine, it includes live entertainment. Every Friday from 1pm to 4pm. The brunch is priced at QR290 for the soft beverages package and QR350 for the enhanced beverages package.

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


This Katara eatery offers a lunch set menu, entitled Pranzo Intaliano, priced at QR60 per person, available daily from 12pm to 4pm, for dine-in, take away or delivery.

GO: Call 4408 1500 for more information or to make a booking.



Farmore Thn Burger

Take a break from the office and treat your taste buds to one of the most amazing business lunches in town – served within an hour. Offer runs Sunday to Thursday, 12pm to 3pm, priced QR75 for two courses, with a soft drink and QR90 for three courses, with a soft drink.

GO: Call 6676 6785 for more information or to make a booking.

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Campagnia Caffe

Your favourite breakfast delicacies are now available all day, including eggs cooked to your liking, pancakes and more, any time you want on Saturdays. It's the perfect way to make your weekend more convenient and enjoyable for the whole family. Offer runs from 7am to 10am, priced QR99 per person. GO: Call 6676 6785 for more information or to make a booking.



If you’re in the mood for a mid-week celebration, check out the PPJ Night at Cucina. Embark on a delicious journey to Italy with pizza, pasta and jazz for a set price. Offer runs on Tuesdays from 6pm to 11pm, priced QR119 per person, with one selected beverage, or QR149 per person with a bottle of house grape (minimum booking two people).

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


New York Steakhouse

Whether you're on a date night, mate night or craving for the finest, savour a prime time treat with the 700gm Chateaubriand, perfectly complemented by two signature sides. Offer runs on Mondays from 6pm to 11pm, priced QR500 for two people with a selected beverage or QR550 for two with a bottle of house grape.

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


Hudson Tavern

It’s that time of year again – elevate your Oktoberfest celebration with special Bavarian dishes and selected brews. Oktoberfest runs from September 16 to October 4. GO: Call 4045 5999 for more information or to make a booking.


Mondrian Bistro

Embark on a culinary journey like no other featuring the freshest food in the most delicious recipes inspired by the Mediterranean coast in a white-themed bunch. Offer runs Fridays from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, priced QR295 for the basic package, QR425 for the enhanced package and QR465 for the sparkling package.

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



Fuel your workday tasks with a delicious Business Lunch at Opus including a mezza appetiser, main course and dessert. Offer runs Sunday to Thursday from 12.30pm to 3pm, priced QR90 per person.

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



Experience a delectable international brunch with a panoramic view of the Doha skyline from the 21st floor and live entertainment. Offer runs on Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced QR329 including soft drinks, QR449 with grapes and brews and QR489 with bubbles.

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


Bombay Balti

Experience the delights of a range of Asian cuisines with the weekend Indo-Chine Buffet. Offer runs Fridays (starting September 22) from 6pm to 11pm, priced QR99 per person for adults and QR50 for children aged three to 12 years. GO: Call 4428 1555 or email fbreservations.doha@ radissonblu.com for more information or to make a booking.


Ruby Wu’s

Take the chance to indulge in a range of dim sum with a delicious set menu. Dig into prawn and chicken wontons, chicken, beef, prawn and lamb dumplings and a range of siomai and finish off with sweet almond milk with glutinous rice balls. Offer runs Wednesday to Monday (closed Tuesdays), September 5 to 15, from 6pm to 11pm, priced QR99 per person.

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



A special for September, guest Chef Sara Aqel brings her extraordinary talents to life in every delectable bite at the Signature Brunch at L'Artisan, orchestrating a harmonious medley of flavours and imagination that elevates the art of gastronomy. With an impressive background, Chef Sara has worked with some of the best Michelin chefs and fine dining venues throughout her culinary career. She received several awards including “one of the five best new restaurants/Chefs globally by La Liste1000 2022”. Offer runs on September 29, from 12pm to 4pm, priced QR330 including soft beverages, QR390 including special beverages and QR600 including premium beverages.

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



In a new offering, indulge in the art of tea with a touch of whimsy. The Royal Tea combines premium tea with specially prepared non-alcoholic beverages for an elevated and unforgettable experience. Offer runs daily, all day, priced QR55 per person.

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

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Al Hubara

Embark on a flavour-filled, new season adventure at Souq Al Hubara, where a buffet transforms into a vibrant market-style experience. Immerse yourself in an extraordinary culinary expedition, exploring cherished Middle Eastern cuisines in an unparalleled experience. Offer runs on Saturdays (starting September 23) from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced QR250 per person.

GO: Call 4485 3000 or email F&Breservations.doha@ sheratonhotels.com for more information or to make a booking.


Pool Café

Another new Sheraton offering gives the chance to escape to a tropical paradise without leaving town. Immerse yourself in a culinary journey that transports you to the heart of paradise, right at your table with an array of dishes inspired by the lush landscapes and exotic fruits of tropical havens. Offer runs Fridays from 1pm to 4.30pm, priced QR265 per person. QR385 for special beverages.

GO: Call 4485 3000 or email F&Breservations.doha@ sheratonhotels.com for more information or to make a booking.


Hunters Room and Grill

Tuck into a family brunch served to your table starting

with unlimited hot and cold tapas, leading to the showstopper – the Tomahawk – all accompanied by live entertainment. Offer runs on Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced QR495 with soft drinks, QR695 with house beverages, QR795 with premium beverages. There’s buyone-get-one-free on the soft drink package plus a kids’ corner and special rate of QR200 for youngsters aged 10 to 12 years. Under 10s go free.

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


Sabai Thai

Ready to taste some of the best Thai cuisine around? The award-winning Royal Thai brunch is waiting for you to do just that. Offer runs on Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, priced QR248 per person with soft drinks, QR375 per person for the enhanced beverage package.

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



Keep your afternoons interesting with this new High Tea with a combination of sweets and savouries to choose from. Priced QR199 for two. Booking required 24 hours in advance.

GO: Call 4495 5117 or WhatsApp 3005 5669 for more information or to make a booking.


The Social

Looking for a quick lunch or intimate dinner. Entice your taste buds with the all-new Plat du Jour daily specials and choose between a salad, main course and soft drink for QR60 or salad, main course, dessert and soft drink for QR75. Offer runs Sunday to Thursday from 12pm to 10pm.

GO: Call 4495 5115 for more information or to make a booking.


bāzār West Bay

Transform your regular lunch into a satisfying and nourishing meal with the Superfood Business Lunch. With choices like Sweet Potato Chickpea Healthy Bowl, salmon steak, avocado and dark chocolate pudding, the menu is designed to fuel you up. Offer runs Sunday to Thursday from 12.30pm to 3pm, priced QR63 for two courses, QR75 for three courses.

GO: Call 4141 5400 for more information or to make a booking.


Crema Brew Bar

Indulge in a unique Afternoon High Coffee with a mix of sweet and savoury delights infused with coffee. Top it off with a handpicked selection of artisanal hot and cold coffees, all served at the spectacular lobby with its theatrical staircase. Offer runs daily from 2pm to 6pm, priced QR101 per person, including freeflowing beverages.

GO: Call 3071 2450 for more information or to make a booking.

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Nestled in the heart of Zurich's enchanting landscape, Chirine Halabi dived into an unparalleled vacation experience combining culinary artistry, natural beauty and rejuvenation at The Dolder Grand Zurich.


When I learned the identity of some of this prestigious property’s previous guests, I couldn’t help but be excited. Everyone who’s anyone, from the Rolling Stones to Elizabeth Taylor and even Nelson Mandela, have passed through the elegant doors since The Dolder Grand opened in 1899. From the outside The Dolder Grand presents contradictions, the 124-year-old main building resembles a fairytale castle, while two later wing extensions, added during the 20042008 renovation by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster, display a modern design that somehow doesn’t jar but rather blends with the history.

Inside, you’ll find a renowned art collection that is worth a visit all by itself and, on checking in, guests can access an iPad art tour giving information about the pieces and their creators.


My arrival and check in went smoothly and soon I was headed for my home for the next three days. The Junior Suite at The Dolder Grand Zurich provides an immersive experience that seamlessly combines comfort and sophistication. The suite features a lavish king-size bed adorned with exquisite linens, offering an oasis of tranquillity. Adding to the sense of modern indulgence, electric curtains allow for effortless adjustment of natural light, enhancing the atmosphere with a touch of technological elegance.

The suite's windows frame a captivating forest view, where the lush panorama of verdant woods invites you to unwind in the embrace of nature. The interplay of sunlight filtering through the trees created an ambience of serenity, providing a breathtaking backdrop to my stay.

A Bang & Olufsen TV graced the space, offering a superior audiovisual experience. Its sleek design and impeccable sound quality added a touch of luxury, inviting me to unwind in style.

In the generously appointed bathroom, a selection of curated toiletries from the renowned Dr Burgener brand pampered my senses, ensuring a lavish bathing experience, which was made all the more special by the fabulous woodland view from the Jacuzzi. The innovative inclusion of a discreetly integrated screen within the bathroom mirror introduced a blend of convenience and entertainment, seamlessly enhancing my daily routine.

The hotel also has a selection of other accommodation styles, including the Top Suites, each of which is inspired by an artistic icon and boasts a wealth of unique features and amenities.

Culinary Excellence

With the Fact Dining Awards firmly in mind, I have become a dedicated foodie and I was in for an unforgettable gastronomic Journey. My experience at the two-Michelinstarred The Restaurant was nothing short of a masterpiece. Under the guidance of Chef Heiko Nieder, every dish was a

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symphony of flavours and textures, showcasing the finest Swiss ingredients. The amuse-bouches, with options such as egg salad with seaweed and mustard, and tofu-fresh cheese with sesame, shoos and chili, were small bites of pure delight that left me longing for more.

The highlight was undoubtedly the lobster dish. The delicate balance of the crustacean’s sweetness with the refreshing notes of melon, the aromatic touch of bronze fennel and the subtle heat of green curry created a harmonious dance on my palate. Equally memorable was the veal with chanterelles – my favourite mushroom – accompanied by Emmentaler cheese, lettuce and horseradish. Each plate was a canvas of creativity, a culinary masterpiece that spoke volumes about the chef's skill and dedication.

The ever-evolving menu ensured that every meal was a unique adventure. Knowing that the offerings would change added an element of anticipation to every dining experience, making each meal a cherished memory.

At blooms, the second restaurant at The Dolder Grand, a different kind of culinary magic awaited. Set amidst the hotel's enchanting gardens, the restaurant's concept revolves around seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The garden itself is a testament to the dedication and passion of the culinary team, as they hand-pick the freshest ingredients to craft their dishes.

The menu at blooms is a celebration of nature's bounty, featuring dishes that are not only visually stunning but also bursting with flavours. The attention to detail in every presentation is remarkable, and the freshness of the ingredients shines through in every bite. Dining in the midst of the gardens added an ethereal touch to the experience, connecting me with nature as I savoured every delectable morsel.

Mornings at The Dolder Grand started with a trip to Saltz restaurant, designed by artist Rolf Sachs, where a sumptuous breakfast spread awaited. The wide selection of freshly baked bread, pastries, fruits, cheeses and cold cuts ensured that every breakfast was a wholesome and delightful affair. The attentive service and serene atmosphere set the perfect tone for a leisurely start to the day.

However, the true star at Saltz, and a dish I won’t forget in a hurry, was the iconic Veal à la Zurichoise. A quintessential Swiss comfort food, it was executed to perfection, with tender veal in a creamy mushroom and white grape sauce. The flavours were rich and comforting, a true homage to Swiss culinary heritage.

Relaxation and Rejuvenation

A stay at The Dolder Grand would be incomplete without a visit to its renowned spa, which is a sanctuary of luxury and rejuvenation, designed to envelop guests in a world of serenity. Its opulent rooms are exquisitely appointed, offering a tranquil ambiance that sets the tone for relaxation. Upon entering, the soft and lavish bathrobe they offered immediately added to the sense of comfort and indulgence, setting the stage for a truly

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Golf Suite Spa

immersive experience.

The therapists are true professionals, possessing a wealth of expertise that ensures every treatment is tailored to perfection. During my visit, I was treated to a caviar facial by La Prairie, an experience that transcended mere pampering. The therapist was exceptional – not only did she administer a sumptuous facial, but also provided personalised skincare advice and meticulously analysed my skin's needs.

From the plush bathrobe to the skilful therapists, every element of The Dolder Grand Zurich's spa contributes to a journey of relaxation and self-care. The caviar facial, coupled with the therapist's insights, elevated the experience to a whole new level of luxury and rejuvenation, leaving me feeling pampered and radiant.

Excellent Extras

Last but not least…The Dolder Grand Zurich goes above and beyond to enhance the guest experience, offering a range of complimentary services that elevated my stay to a heavenly level. Among these standout services were the specialised e-bikes, sourced from one of the finest brands, ensuring guests have access to top-notch equipment for their explorations.

The inclusion of these high-quality e-bikes provided a unique and exhilarating dimension to my stay. The seamless glide through the picturesque surroundings of Zurich was an unforgettable experience, allowing me to effortlessly traverse the enchanting, forested landscapes and take in the stunning vistas. Despite a minor incident where I accidentally caused a fall, the Dolder Grand Zurich's team displayed unmatched professionalism and understanding. They handled the situation with grace and warmth, assuring me that accidents happen and ensuring that, since the e-bikes come with full insurance, I wasn't charged for any damage. Their empathetic approach turned what could have been a stressful moment into a testament of their commitment to guest satisfaction.

The Dolder Grand Zurich's provision of specialised e-bikes as a part of their free services not only adds an element of excitement to the stay but also showcases their dedication to guest enjoyment and comfort.

A Heartfelt Recommendation

The Dolder Grand Zurich is a haven of luxury, culinary excellence and relaxation. Its prime location, surrounded by a lush forest environment, offers a breath of fresh air for those seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The culinary offerings at The Restaurant and blooms are nothing short of exceptional, delighting the senses with a symphony of flavours and artistic presentations. The Dolder Grand Spa experience is a journey into serenity, guided by the expert hands of the spa team with the indulgence of the best Swiss products.

I wholeheartedly recommend The Dolder Grand Zurich

to anyone in search of a vacation that encapsulates the very best that Switzerland has to offer. Whether you're a food enthusiast, a nature lover or simply seeking a peaceful escape, this grand establishment promises an unforgettable experience that rejuvenates the body, mind and soul. ✤

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The Restaurant Spa
Saltz Terrace Lobby


This month, FACT spent four days and three nights in the multi-award winning, five-star Mandarin Oriental, Doha, to experience it in all its splendour.


We had an opportunity to play tourist in our own backyard when we were invited by the prestigious Mandarin Oriental, Doha to spend a few days in this exquisite hotel.

Our Arrival

As soon as our feet touched the tarmac outside the Mandarin Oriental, Doha, we were greeted by friendly and attentive staff ready to assist us in any way possible. After a swift and hassle-free check-in, I soon found myself in my exclusive Club Studio Suite, appreciating what was to be my home base for the next few days.

The Mandarin Oriental, Doha is a five-star hotel in the centre of Msheireb Downtown Doha. We found the architecture and décor a masterful blend of chic and contemporary design with subtle touches of Qatari heritage. The hotel contains 117 rooms, 41 suites, 91 serviced apartments, 10 exceptional dining spots, meeting facilities, event venues and an award-winning spa.

The Rooms

With four categories of rooms to select from: Superior, Deluxe, Premier and Club Deluxe, along with eight suite categories comprised of: Club Studio, Studio, Junior, Deluxe, Premier, Panoramic, Baraha View Suite and the Royal Suite,

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there is accommodation to suit all guests’ needs and desires. My Club Studio Suite housed many beautiful features and decorative elements. These included the design incorporated into the curved gilt ceiling relief, the Qatari heritage-themed carpets, the eye-catching mosaic tiling and many other captivating details.

Staying in this room also granted me access to the MO Club Lounge, an experience exclusive to Club Deluxe Room and Club Studio Suite patrons that comes with many benefits, including personalised service, privileged dining and private amenities.

Fortunate enough to be given a tour of the two-bedroom Royal Suite on the top floor, we saw how the rich and famous experience the Mandarin Oriental, Doha. This exclusive accommodation features a private entrance, an open-air courtyard with reflecting pools and a private plunge pool. From this unique vantage point, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and a bird’s-eye view of Barahat Msheireb town square.

Fine Dining

Throughout our stay, we had the privilege of dining at some of the outstanding culinary locations within the hotel.


Breakfast at Mosaic proved to be a delightful culinary occasion. This venue provides a Silk Route dining experience incorporating flavours and cuisines from Asia, the Middle East and Europe, all prepared at its nine live cooking stations. We sampled an array of sumptuous dishes throughout the meal, all freshly prepared in front of us. We particularly enjoyed the variety of Asian-style, wok-fried dishes.


We were cordially invited for lunch at IZU to experience its recently launched menu. Showcasing all the flavours of French Mediterranean cuisine, along with dishes inspired by the chef’s travels to England, Spain and the Middle East, we felt truly spoilt by the time the dining was done. With indoor and outdoor seating areas, along with the mezzanine floor offering an even more refined experience, this venue is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of restaurant connoisseurs.


Lunchtime at Liang proved to be another appetising affair at the hotel, this time with a distinct Chinese flavour. The venue offers superb service and an authentic Oriental dining experience. Along with the relaxed yet upmarket atmosphere, the meals on offer were nothing less than delicious. We so enjoyed the classically prepared dim sum, with its fresh ingredients, that we had to order several helpings.

Mandarin Cake Shop

One of our favourite spaces in the hotel proved to be the Mandarin Cake Shop. This quaint venue specialises in all

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things sweet, producing a range of cakes, artisan chocolates and delicious pastries. Perfect for a quick refreshment and bite to eat, we can honestly say we have never tasted better macaroons anywhere.

Spa & Wellness

During our stay at Mandarin Oriental, Doha, we felt privileged to experience the hotel’s award-winning, fivestar spa. Spread over 3,030sq/m, this high-end facility includes nine spacious treatment rooms, two VIP suites, an exclusive couples' suite, extensive heat and water facilities and the hotel’s first-class Fitness and Wellness Centre.

I was delighted to try the hotel’s signature Inner Strength massage. This nurturing treatment uses a blend of aromatherapy and healing massage techniques to ease physical tension and emotional anxiety. Whatever the intention, the result was a truly relaxing and energising experience.

Homeward Bound

All too soon, it was time to return home but after a truly indulgent break, we left feeling very spoiled and fully rejuvenated. From the luxurious accommodations to the delectable dining and spa experiences, we could not have asked for more and we'd thoroughly recommend a visit if you're looking for a wonderful pampering experience right here in Doha.




Good Omens Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Need to Know:

Good Omens is a British fantasy comedy series created by Neil Gaiman, based on he and Terry Pratchett's 1990 novel of the same name. The show’s second season picks up following the aftermath of part one and manages to find new ways of being hilarious and entertaining when you least expect it.

Director: Douglas Mackinnon

Cast : Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Nick Offerman, Adria Arjona, Jon Hamm, Miranda Richardson, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Frances McDormand

Why Is It Worth Watching?

In part one, angels and demons are destined to face each other on the battlefield during the impending Armageddon. Demon, Crowley (David Tennant) and angel, Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), representatives of Heaven and Hell on Earth, are long-time acquaintances and have grown fond of each other’s company as well as to the pleasantness of life on Earth. Looking to maintain their mutually beneficial existence here, they unexpectedly team up to prevent Armageddon and succeed. The second season deals with the events following that conclusion. Now, with the end of times averted, the unlikely duo are separately going about their lives unbothered as intended. That is until supreme archangel, Gabriel (Jon Hamm) suddenly makes an appearance at Aziraphale’s bookshop sans any knowledge or memory of who he is, why he’s there and what he’s supposed to do! This unanticipated guest leads to Aziraphale and Crowley teaming up once again to figure out what happened to Gabriel as they also attempt to hide him from other beings from Heaven and Hell, who are eagerly looking to find him, while they figure out their next move. A top crew of actors dishing out great performances in another wonderfully crafted misadventure makes this show most certainly the good-est of omens indeed!

Need to Know:

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero film that is the second chapter of the Spider-Verse saga. This time, Miles is sent on an epic adventure that will transport him across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off against a villain more powerful than anything they have previously encountered.

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Cast : Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Daniel Kaluuya

Why Is It Worth Watching?

The movie is a follow up to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which showcased stunning animation and remarkable characters and explored complex themes in such an impressive manner that even esteemed industry veterans such as James Gunn claimed it as his favourite comic book movie of all time. Most notably, the film also picked up the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the same year.

Across the Spider-Verse builds on that masterful foundation and offers more of that same tone, form and style. We see Miles trying his best to balance being a student while also carrying out his friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man duties. He faces up against The Spot, an unpredictable new foe who was initially a scientist working on Kingpin's collider until an accident led to him get mysterious powers that let him open interdimensional portals. Miles reunites with Gwen Stacy, and is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters the interesting Spider Society. But when the heroes clash on how to handle the new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must set out on his own to save those he loves most. The movie culminates in another undeniable homerun!

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Across the Spider-Verse builds on that masterful foundation and offers more of that same tone, form and style.”





The much-awaited album of American rapper and musician, Travis Scott, who has been teasing fans about this release, via Cactus Jack Records, since 2020, Utopia is a rap fest and much more. With a lineup of ace artists from James Blake to Daft Punk’s Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo.

Opener Hyaena sets the mood and has a catchy jingly background beat, against which the listener is introduced to a whirlwind of emotions. Meltdown , featuring Drake, conjures an intense, trance-like vibe that keeps you hooked.

Bad Bunny’s addictive signature Latin influences reign on K-pop Telekineses , featuring SZA and Future, has softer edges, so to speak, offering aural variety, of which this album has heaps and loads.

Closing track Til Further Notice , featuring 21 Savage and James Blake, explores love and heartbreak in a medley of the former’s rhythmic poetry and the latter’s sweet and mild lyric baritone vocals. Some might argue that Scott doesn’t stand out when compared to the artists he has tapped for this LP and that his rap isn’t anything to write home about. However, you’ve got to give the Houston-born artist credit for bringing the best on one platform, which makes Utopia a must-listen.


American rapper, singer, songwriter and producer, Austin Richard Post has released his fifth and namesake album via Mercury and Republic Records. The lyrics suggest biographical undertones, hence Austin, which add to the feel of this poprock creation.

Opener Don’t Understand begins with a guitar set that endorses Posty’s affinity to the instrument.

Green Thumb, also guitar-centric, summons bittersweet emotions and the abrupt ending fits the emotional context of the track.

Chemical, the first single, was dropped earlier this year and creates an instant chemical reaction in your head. With fastpaced drum beats and stringsy tunes to match Malone’s variegated vocals.

Second single, Mourning has club song-like beats on which Malone explores bottledup emotions in an engaging, raspy tone. Overdrive features a catchy whistling set that’s sure to be on the lips of listeners for a while after they’re done with the album.

Something Real , with its chorus in the background, has an interactive element, which creates a rock concert-like feel.

A personal love album, Austin , in true Malone style, offers musical variety. The artist exhibits a range, dipping into his pop arsenal, endorsing his versatility – a quality he has become known for in his over-a-decade-long musical journey.


A new offering from the master storyteller is always a treat to be anticipated and we can’t wait to get our hands on this one which sees Holly Gibney, who’s first appearance in Mr Mercedes stole the author’s heart, back in fine form. Taking on a case she should really leave well alone, Holly utilises her considerable private detective skills in a bid to find missing Bonnie Dahl, who disappeared close to the home of two elderly professors with a very dark secret in their basement.



We love this as much for the cover as for the utterly bonkers premise – divorced substitute teacher Charlie living quietly with his cat until his long-lost uncle Jake dies and bequeaths him his supervillain business! Now Jake’s sworn enemies are coming after Charlie and it seems going bad is the way to go. Welcome to a world of unionised dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats and some proper, modern-day soulless villains. Sounds like a complete romp and we’re looking forward to learning more.

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While our weather may still be scorching, the fashion world is readying for the cooler months and Brunello Cucinelli presents a collection that will take you through the season in style.

For women, the Autumn-Winter 2023 collection is based on the clean lines, pure colours and compact fabrics that emerged in the 1990s. Neat and seductive arrangements bring to mind the British manor house with high-quality, handcrafted tactile effects, extremely soft, fleecy surfaces and a countryside feeling. There is an air of academic charm with regimental stripes and sartorial micro patterns, pleated miniskirts, tennis-style V-necks, ties, baseball caps and socks worn with loafers and heels. Demicropped sweaters and boxy jackets alternate with versatile and cosy coats with prestigious details such as knitted inserts, outdoor-style collars or soft shearling linings. Short Spencer jackets and puffy bombers are paired with midi skirts and relaxed trousers, spreading an idea of effortless tailoring that is contemporary and fun to wear.

Winter whites and beiges evoke a sense of luxury and serenity. Blue, with its magnetic character and noble ancestry, adds a sophisticated variation to the base tones.

Matching sets with straight lines and monochrome or tone-ontone effects come to life with compact fabrics, twisted wool yarns and mirrored surfaces. In contrast, bouclé, mottled and brushed effects, quilted fabrics, airy mohair, alpaca yak fibres, super-soft shearlings and fleecy materials evoke the dynamic and natural spirit of the countryside. Traditional patterns and details balance femininity and freshness with subtly flared or pencil skirts, shimmering textures and smooth, flowing surfaces. For the evening, traditional men's tailoring fabrics, enriched with precious embroidery, are glamorously interpreted to create new

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tuxedos. The slip dress trend of the nineties is back for the most high-profile occasions. Dresses and skirts in satin, lamé and sparkling three-dimensional embroidery take centre stage. The men’s collection is based on the evolution of timeless classics. Every look is characterised by a key garment that is its focal point, expressing the overall style but, at the same time, defining the harmony of combinations. A tailored cashmere coat, a special hand-knit sweater or a suit made of a precious fabric can constitute this focus of attention, which is then balanced in a contemporary way by overlays, trousers and accessories. Colours take on intense hues, inspired by historic grape blends that have stood the test of time, transcending trends. Shades of red – barbera, maroon and burgundy – are presented in a grayish version to convey, in a palpable way, the passing of time, a long

ageing process that enhances the finest and most subtle nuances. The overall harmony is created by precious tones of beige moving from medium camel and sand to light Panama and ecru, accompanied by fascinating shades of noble deep blue and modern light blue. Urban hues of grey complement the backdrop. The suit confirms its role as the cornerstone of the collection while the knitwear selection has been expanded with noble fibres such as virgin wool, silk and alpaca. And elegant styles dedicated to evening and gala events recreate the fusion of glamour and charisma iconic to 1950s’ and 1960s’ Hollywood. ✤

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bathandbodyworksarabia bathbodyworksar




Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia Eau de Parfum

The latest addition to the Flora collection, this creation is built around magnolia alba, an ancient and rare plant. Its fruity, floral sweetness is enhanced by dewberry accord and balanced by a clary sage-like edge. Patchouli essence offers a subtly earthy and leathery aroma. Coconut accord delivers an irresistible vanilla freshness and Jasmine Sambac Absolute oil lends warmth that comes together with a mellowing trail of musks.


Fan Fest Mascara

Looking for a volumising mascara to add to your beauty routine? Benefit’s new lash offering gives lashes a fanned effect and amplifies volume, providing a fuller look. The wand features a full-flex fibre brush, which lifts lashes from root to tip and reaches from corner to corner, coating each individual strand. Formulated with provitamin B5 and cranberry extract, Fan Fest conditions and nourishes, while rice wax separates lashes. It’s water-resistant and humidity-proof, perfect for hot weather.


Traceless Mineral SPF 30

Skipping sunscreen especially during the summer is unforgiveable. In the long run, your skin will pay the price. Many shy away from sunscreen as it typically makes skin greasy and leaves a white cast. Beauty Pie’s delicate, non-greasy formula sits invisibly on the skin. It’s infused with nourishing argan oil, soothing niacinamide and powerful antioxidants, which protect against environmental damage, leaving skin visibly soft, supple and glowy.


The Face Jelly

Cream-based moisturisers are more suited for the winter when you don’t sweat a lot and also need more hydration. The hot months call for gel consistencies, like The Face Jelly, a light-weight, water-based moisturiser which glides onto your skin, instantly cooling and refreshing. Hyaluronic acid plumps, peptides hydrate and support collagen production and chlorophyll, that’s rich in antioxidants and Vitamins

C, A and E, nourishes while also lending the product an earthy green colour.


#FAUXFILTER Colour Corrector

Derived from Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter Concealer formula, this creamy corrector is comfortable to wear and blends seamlessly. It balances any discolouration including dark under eyes and brightens with a sheen, while offering just the right amount of coverage. Crease-, sweat- and transfer-proof, it’s infused with vitamin C and niacinamide that soften pigmentation. The #FAUXFILTER corrector is available in five shades, suitable for a variety of skin tones.

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Scents, skincare, grooming musthaves – check.


The Serum

Le Domaine, co-founded by Brad Pitt, has released a serum formulated with hydrating and soothing grape water. Offering complexion-perfecting and skin-beautifying properties, it also contains hyaluronic acids that have wrinkle-smoothing and moisturising effects, providing global antiageing efficacy. Having an ultra-silky texture, it’s easily absorbed, leaving the skin intensely plumped up, smoother and firmer. The bottle cap, made from repurposed grape barrels, offers a classy, minimalist touch.


Augustinus Bader have dropped their first-ever eye patches, which hydrate, brighten and smoothen, while reducing the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles. Packed with natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins and other powerful ingredients, the brand’s patented TFC8 technology optimises the skin’s natural renewal. The eye patches also help to calm redness and irritation and energise and rejuvenate the skin.


Luna Rossa Ocean Eau de Parfum

More intense than the Luna Rossa Ocean eau de toilette, the eau de parfum has top notes of grapefruit sublimated by the presence of fresh, spicy juniper berry and peppery elemi essence. Sage forms the heart, offering a warm amber note, revealing lavender and honey-like facets. The scent’s signature creamy iris accord is awakened by frankincense, which is augmented by elemi and amber wood accord. Haitian vetiver heart informs the base, patchouli offers light, smoky notes and vanilla bean accord rounds off the fragrance.


The Rewild Body Block

This limited-edition soap bar is a collaboration between Haeckels – a skincare and fragrance company – Pangaia – a fashion brand – and C16 Biosciences – they create alternative solutions to palm oil and palm-derived ingredients. Nourishing and restorative, it’s suitable for both hand and body and has deep cleansing properties. The light smoky scent and creamy texture offer an earthy touch. Bladderwrack seaweed extract offers anti-inflammatory properties and squalane keeps skin supple.


Medium-Hold Fiber Cream

This easy-to-use styling cream provides excellent pliability and a natural satin-like shine. The product is formulated to create a fibrous texturising effect with resins to give elasticity to the hair. Easily rework your hairstyle and wash out the product without residue. A little goes a long way. Start with a pea-sized amount of cream and build up if necessary. It’s suitable for all short- and medium-hair types.

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What We’re (Still) Talking About

Over The Moon Bonding With A Bot Age Is Just A Number

With Chandrayaan-3, India has become the world’s first country to successfully land on the south pole of the Moon. Indians all over the world were seen tracking the descent of lander Vikram with bated breath – one would have thought there was a cricket match going on! Coming to the point, the main goal of this mission was

According to Nadia Thalmann, a robot expert from the University of Geneva, Nadine, a social robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI), that the former helped to invent, and other robots like it could prove more effective than human carers for the sick and elderly. It’s not surprising, considering AI has transcended a wide range of fields from engineering to

Looks like K Beauty isn't the only secret behind South Koreans ageing well. They follow two traditional age-counting methods: one, the baby is considered a year old at birth as they count time in the womb, and two, a year older on January 1. An update: the move to scrap both these methods has finally taken effect. South Korea will now follow the international standard on birthdays,

to look for lunar water; scientists believe the southern part of the moon has what they call water ice that could be harvested for a range of uses from drinking to rocket fuel. While it’s a great achievement and a sign of man's ability to be resourceful, let’s not forget our efforts toward saving the Earth and its resources first – for now, it’s the only planet we can call home.

writing – ChatGPT. While we think this technology would definitely prove useful in the global health industry, especially in cases such as COVID where the demand for health care service providers is exceptionally high, we can’t ignore that there’s no known substitute for the human element. And, after all, that connection is exactly what the sick and elderly might need most.

which is logically far more convenient. Many South Koreans have supported the move – who doesn’t want to stay younger right? Some have said that it saves them the hassle of explaining to foreigners when they travel. Despite the move, the traditional system will still apply for many things, one being the admissible age to buy selected beverages and other stimulants. Must say, South Koreans are young but wise!

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