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THE MIDDLE EAST’S LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE • SPRING 2008


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TIFFANY AD DPS:apr08

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TIFFANY AD DPS:apr08

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HARRY WINSTON AD DPS:apr08

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HARRY WINSTON AD DPS:apr08

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SELECT PROPERTY AD:apr08

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SELECT PROPERTY AD:apr08

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CONTENTS:apr08

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Contents 38 The Business Model Everyone was talking about a fashion week in Dubai, nobody was doing anything. Marc Robinson did

40 Caviar Queen Hamda Al Harizi’s passion for caviar was sparked aged just 12. And now…

42 The Silent Commentator In the early 1990s, Elia Suleiman returned to the land of his birth to find his roots, and to film them

44 Design Classic The Riva Rivarama

46 Très Sheikh Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is the visionary behind Villa Moda


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CONTENTS:apr08

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Contents 26 An Icon of Excellence

34 Mightier Than The Sword

The Rolls-Royce Phantom CoupĂŠ

The MeisterstĂźck 149: new since 1924

30 Intelligent Design, Serious Class

36 The Art of Shoes

Why Vacheron Constantin

For him, for her...

timepieces are works of art

32 Small, But Perfectly Formed Trust B&O to do things differently


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Contents 55 Meals Worth a Flight Fuel up for the best food in the world

64 Michael Mina The four-star chef on staying at the top

72 The Travel Insider Don’t go to the Maldives without reading this first

84 Million Dollar Tour Inside the Race to Dubai

92 Turkish Delight A confection of fabulous fashion

98 36 Hours in Doha 106 Living Swiss The beauty of Switzerland

114 Arizona Calling The cowboy state has moved on – and you should too


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CONTENTS:apr08

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Contents 128 The Design Insider

148 The March Hare

You have the property. Now make

How 100Thousand Club started

it stand out

the year

136 The King of Diamonds

152 Isla Moda

Rodrigo Otazu and the business of

How good does this sound: a

happiness

whole island dedicated to fashion

144 A Fine Finish

156 Green Means Go

Finishing schools are back, and

The Tesla Roadster – truly electric

about time too


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EDITORS NOTE ME2:apr08

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The Editor’s Note Like you, 100Thousand Club is global. You are reading our Middle East edition, but there are also editions for the US and Russia. You may ask why we bother. Why, with the claxon-call of world villagers singing out from the pages of our daily papers and repeated like a mantra by businesses across our region (and the next), why do we stick to the ‘outdated’ notion of regional issues? The answer is simple: we don’t believe it is outdated. A few weeks ago I flew from New York to London and took my place in the queue for immigration. I was surrounded by hundreds of voices and accents: North African, South American, European and more. Some were speaking English, some their native tongue. All of us were in the same place. United by business and the commonalities of humankind – but the differences were fantastic: the flash of an Italian suit, the welt of an English brogue, the fold of Turkish wool. More often than not, the best things in life have a history. Traditions permeate cultures and the items they produce. Proof, if proof were needed? Head to Aboo Ramy, in the Citadel overlooking Old Cairo, next to the open-air abattoir, and order the whole pigeon stuffed with rice and pine nuts. It’s a traditional Egyptian dish, and you won’t find it better anywhere else. I love travel. I love the boundaries coming down around us as the world becomes smaller. I love the progress that comes from global trade. But I also love what makes our cultures unique. This is what we at 100Thousand Club want to celebrate. You will find an eclectic – but well-chosen – mix of national and international within these pages. International jetsetters rub heels with local heroes, and you get the best of both worlds. Enjoy the magazine,

Harlan Davis, Editor-in-Chief


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Contributors• Spring’08

SAMIRA ABDULRAZZAK

DAVID SPENCER

KHURSHI KASURI

Samira Abdulrazzak is CEO of Dubai In-

David Spencer was recently voted the sec-

Khurshi Kasuri found himself quite inspired

finity Holdings, developers of the world’s first

ond most important man in golf (Million Dol-

by his subject this issue, the ex-model and

dedicated fashion island (p152). Ms Ab-

lar Tour, p84). As CEO of LeisureCorp,

jewellery designer to the stars Roderigo

dulrazzak believes that Isla Moda will com-

partner for the European PGA Tour, one of

Otazu. “He has so much energy and focus.

bine high style and luxury to attract the

the organisers of the Race to Dubai, and the

Jewellery, fashion, interiors: as he says him-

world’s fashion elite. “Isla Moda, on The

company developing Jumeirah Golf Estates,

self ‘the list is endless’. Every season this

World, will be the ultimate all-encompassing

it’s easy to see why. If there is a golf pie,

man produces a sell-out collection of couture

fashion experience, providing bespoke shop-

Spencer has his fingers in it.

diamonds. He wants an empire and I think he’ll get it.”

ping, living, dining, and entertaining.”

When we wanted a property piece there was only one man to ask.

in the Maldives. “It was incredible – heaven on earth. Everybody

Mu’Tazz Uthman Al-Fahal (Swiss Style, p106) has been writing about

should see this.” In fact, Graham was so impressed she’s going back

property, modern architecture and global markets for residential de-

and this time she’s taking her whole family. “Then diving is out of this

velopments for 12 years. “It has been an overwhelming interest since

world – my sons are going to absolutely love it.” Layla Moussa has made luxury her business (Design Insider,

Wants to be Like Mike, p64) found Michael

p128). The Jeddah-based interior designer and

Mina, the two Michelin star winning Bon Appetit Chef of the Year, to be a model professional. “He was a genuine inspiration,” she says. “The way he thinks about food, the way he works at it –

Premier Sponsors

I left University”. Bakhita Hassan (Everybody

textile expert believes the most important element in creating luxury is space. “Luxury is the volume of the room,” she says. “Luxury is putting myself in the atmosphere that I think I deserve.”

brilliant.” Abdul-Ghafur Bin Ahmad was blown away by the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric su-

Paul Lipnicki’s (Food Worth a Flight, p55) musDIAMOND SPONSOR

ings on food have appeared in magazines and pa-

percar (Green Means Go, p156). “How powerful is the acceleration?

pers around the world, including Living Etc., Homes & Gardens, the

A favourite trick at Tesla Motors is to invite a passenger along and ask

Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. His love affair with what

him to turn on the radio. At the precise moment the driver asks, he ac-

we eat began late – “I was in a restaurant in Turkey and I thought, ‘how

celerates. The passenger simply can’t sit forward enough to reach the

can a piece of simple, grilled lamb taste so good?’ I’ve been finding out

dials.” Rebecca Graham (The Travel Insider, p72) found inspiration

ever since”.


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CREDITS:mar08

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T H O U S A N D

C L U B

Information Executive/Editorial Chairman/Publisher SPENCER GREEN CEO/Publisher JAMES CRAVEN Finance Director JAMIE CANTILLON Publishing Director ADAM BURNS Editor-in-Chief HARLAN DAVIS Assistant Editor BECKY GRAHAM Online Editor JANA GRUNE Contributing Writers ABDUL-GHAFUR BIN AHMAD, MU’TAZZ UTHMAN AL-FAHAL, REBECCA GOOZEE, BAKHITA HASSAN, KHURSHI MEHMOOD KASURI, JULIA PUPPE, PARVEEN RASHID Contributing Photographers JON BLUMB, TOPHER DONAHUE, TIM MOSSFORD, SIDDHARTH SIVA

Design Design Director ANDREW HOBSON Designers ZÖE BRAZIL, MICHAEL HALL, CRYSTAL MATHER, PHILIPPA LAY, SARAH WILMOTT Senior Designer (Web) JAMES WEST

Advertising, Marketing, and Client Services T: +44 117 921 4000 Project Director ANNA ASHBY Director, Property KIM BLACK Director, Global Realty THOMAS PORTS Director, Hotels & Resorts DANIEL SHAW Director, Transportation DANIEL WALL Subscription Enquiries T: +44 117 921 4000 www.100thousandclub.com General Enquiries info@100thousandclub.com Letters to the Editor letters@100thousandclub.com Sales Director MAX FORD HR Manager IAN CASSLEY Production Manager ROBERT SIMMS Production Coordinators HANNAH DRIVER, DANIELLE PARKINSON Circulation Manager SEAN RICHARDS Marketing Coordinators SOPHIE CROSSMAN, JONATHAN SELLICK

Printer Emirates Printing Press L.L.C. P.O. Box 5106, Dubai, United Arab Emirates T: +9714 3475550. E: eppdubai@emirates.net.ae. www.eppdubai.com 100 Thousand Club (Vol. 1, Issue 2, Q2 2008) is published four times a year by GDS Publishing. All rights reserved. GDS Publishing, Inc. 33 Whitehall Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA. Legal Information The advertising and articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinions and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. We are not to be held accountable for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or photographs. All material within this magazine is © 2008 100Thousand Club.

T H O U S A N D

C L U B

www.100thousandclub.com

Head Office GDS International, Queen Square House, 18-21 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4NH, UK. T: +44 117 921 4000. F: +44 117 926 7444. E: info@gdsinternational.com


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DESIGN CLASSICS :10jan

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“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.” – Sir Henry Royce

T

hese famous words from Sir Henry Royce, one of the founders of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, remain at the forefront of the 102year-old company’s philosophy today and

into the 21st century. When the new Rolls-Royce Phantom was unveiled in January 2003, it marked a renaissance for arguably the most famous car brand in the world; a name that has become a byword for ‘the very best’. The Phantom’s design seamlessly combines timeless Rolls-Royce features with 21st century design and engineering. The result is very clearly a contemporary car that captures the glamour of its heritage. The exterior employs, for example, a long bonnet and wheelbase, a short front and long rear overhang, a strong C-pillar and a discreet rear window. These features combine to present a modern Rolls-Royce car for a modern Rolls-Royce owner. With more than 350 hours invested in each car hand-built at the plant in Goodwood, craftsmanship remains a hallmark of Rolls-Royce. From the traditional wood and leather workshop skills to the complex welding of the aluminium spaceframe, a 21st century RollsRoyce is a blend of hand-crafted expertise and high-tech materials and techniques. 2005 saw the launch of an additional car – the Phantom with an extended wheelbase. The additional space allows even more features in the rear like drinks cabinets, and even more legroom.

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The new era for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

that change its character. It is noticeably more dynamic, whilst still offering

continued with the launch of the new Phantom

incredible levels of comfort. Marrying cutting-edge technology with a beau-

Drophead Coupé, which joined the Phantom

tifully proportioned, muscular body that exudes power and style, it incorpo-

family in 2007. The two-door, four-seat convert-

rates timeless Rolls-Royce design cues in an utterly contemporary manner.

ible is a less formal interpretation of the classic

“Rolls-Royce has always been about pace, performance and style.

Rolls-Royce design.

dynamic twist. This adds a sense of drama to the outstanding engineer-

emphasising the essentials of pleasure,” says

ing and drivability that are fundamentals of Rolls-Royce cars. The dy-

Rolls-Royce Chief Designer Ian Cameron.

namic drive of the Phantom has always come as a surprise to customers

“Above all, we were determined to make this car

and the Coupé takes it one step further,” explains Cameron.

a joy to live with. Rolls-Royce is the opposite of

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robert-

stiff formality. Why would you design and build

son, said, “The Coupé has been designed and engineered to be the most

a car like this and not make it fun to use?”

dynamic interpretation of our values. Our 2007 sales figures illustrate

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled the fourth model in its range, the new Phantom Coupé at

28

For the Coupé design we gave the quintessential Rolls-Royce design a

“The Phantom Drophead Coupé is about

how successful the entire model range has been with an increase of 25 per cent over the previous year.”

the 78th International Geneva Motor Show in

“Everybody at Rolls-Royce is delighted with this tremendous re-

March 2008. Production of the new car will start

sult which marks our fifth anniversary in the best possible way,” con-

at Goodwood in the summer of 2008.

tinues Robertson.

The Coupé is the most driver-orientated

“It confirms Rolls-Royce as the most desirable brand in the super

model in the Phantom line. A number of subtle

luxury market and is a credit to the passion and dedication of our teams

but significant modifications have been made

at Goodwood and around the world.” 

100 Thousand Club

The core of the Coupé is a lightweight yet exceptionally strong handmade aluminium chassis


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SNAP WATCHES:10jan

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We Recommend...

Intelligent Design, Serious Class There is no denying it: Vacheron Constantin timepieces are works of art. Established in 1912, Vacheron workmanship is the height of haute horlogerie. Proof (as if these pictures weren’t enough): their Contemporary Patrimony Bi-Retrograde Day-Date was voted ‘Middle East Watch of the Year 2008’. It is a shining example of modern classicism, and the embodiment of the refined styling that has become a Vacheron Constantin hallmark. What seems simple conceals mechanical complexity and master-craftsmanship. The dial in silver opalline and embellished with 27 Rubies is contained within a generous 42.5mm 18K pink gold case. The brown hand-stitched alligator mississiensis strap a perfect accompaniment. It is stunning. We know you’re thinking the same.

www.vacheron-constantin.com


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SNAP BANG OLUF:10jan

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We Recommend...

Small, But Perfectly Formed

Bang & Olufsen audio equipment sounds

mature approach to music, valuing nuances

incredible and looks great – but it has always

and neutral reproduction over thumping bass

been difficult to carry with you. A BeoCenter

and ear-splitting volume. There is still a user-

won’t fit in the pocket.

friendly variable loudness function, though, to

The BeoSound 6 brings Bang & Olufsen

keep up with versatile tastes. Inside are com-

quality to portable sound – it is not made in

ponents of a quality unheard of in a pocket-

plastic, but polished steel and the sound re-

sized music player.

production exceeded even our resident audiophile’s (very) high expectations. BeoSound 6 takes aim at the best portable music players around and beats them. It has a

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The included ultra-light earphones accentuate the fact that BeoSound 6 is made for music enthusiasts. Looks that last are a hallmark of Bang &


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Olufsen. The stylish, confident design is mir-

cold, searing heat and the sweaty palms of

rored in solid materials like stainless steel,

your jealous friends.

scratch-resistant glass and a silicone rubber

Perhaps you remember when music came

keypad – not to mention the fine leather case.

on round discs with a hole in the middle. It still

If you find yourself in adverse conditions

does, of course, and you may own quite a few.

like an ocean squall or a New York subway car,

But for all their virtues, discs are not a practical

you will appreciate the grip of the soft-coated

way to take your music with you. BeoSound 6

back and the decisive operation of the large

is simple to use and easy to fill up with Beo-

buttons. The sturdy construction is thoroughly

Player computer software.

tested to survive accidental drops, scratches from the things that live in handbags, freezing

This may be the portable music player for those who really do think different.

www.bang-olufsen.com

100 Thousand Club

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We Recommend...

Mightier Than The Sword New since 1924: The Meisterst端ck 149 fountain pen is one of the best-known and most famous writing instruments of our time. Hand-crafted in the best European tradition, its 18 K hand-ground gold nib with platinum inlay, three gold-plated rings, gold-plated clip and deep black precious resin barrel make this luxurious writing instrument a legend among fountain pens. In this day and age, if something needs writing, it deserves your full attention. And that deserves a Meisterst端ck.

www.montblanc.com


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We Recommend...

The Art of Shoes (For Her) If you are still holding a handbag so heavy that it requires an accompanying osteopath, the good news is you can let go now. The “it” bag is over. Welcome to the season of the “it” shoe. As Miuccia Prada said: “The obsession with handbags has finished a little now. It feels over. It’s about shoes.” For our money (and don’t get us wrong Miuccia, we love you too!), this season’s finest footwear comes from a resurgent Chanel. Take our advice and don’t put a foot wrong.

www.chanel.com

1. Canvas and patent calfskin sandals with piping and lacquered heel

2. Sandals with chain details

3. Satin Sandal with bow detail on the heel

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(For Him) That men’s shoes are a more constant beast should be cause for celebration, not complaint. It means that bootmakers have had longer to perfect their art. Take these John Lobbs for example. We’re not sure if they can be improved upon (although we are sure that if anyone can, it will be John Lobb). The John Lobb 2007 is a classic five-eyelet Oxford with laser-engraved design on the vamp and a hand-finished, bevelled waist. The Philip II a five-eyelet Oxford with punched toe cap. If Rolls-Royce made a shoe…

www.johnlobb.com

1. John Lobb 2007 in chocolate lord calf

2. Philip II in plum museum calf 100 Thousand Club

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Marc ROBINSON PROFILE:10jan

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Inspired by Marc Robinson

The Business Model

M

Marc Robinson was working in Dubai as a model when he decided its fashion industry needed leadership and structure. Everyone was talking about doing a fashion week in Dubai, but nobody was doing anything about it. Marc stepped in. With experience of fashion weeks in India, of shows in Milan, and of

working with international designers and brands such as Valentino, GF Ferre, Mango, La Senza and Guess, he decided to get back into modelling – only this time, it was of the business variety. Robinson met up with an old school friend, Aldrin Fernandes, now the CEO

of Concept Group PR, and bounced the idea off him. Dubai International Fashion Week was born. Since then, the concept has moved forward and developed, been re-branded and further defined. It is now simply ‘Dubai Fashion Week’ – and it is booming. Dubai’s retail sector is one of the largest in the world so there is a huge amount of potential for fashion in Dubai. “We hope in the years to come that Dubai will be on par with the four grand slams of fashion week, which are Milan, Paris, London and New York,” says Robinson. The dates of DFW have been pushed forward to make its mark in the international calendar. “Everyone, from buyers to the editors of fashion magazines, should know that after Milan, Paris, New York and London, Dubai is the next stop.” Next time Robinson wants to see Elie Saab, Valentino and Armani show in Dubai. However, the emphasis at DFW is local and regional talent, and Marc is successfully promoting, finding and encouraging designers from within the region, a number of which we saw at this year’s hugely successful event in March. In terms of designers and models, Marc believes Dubai could be much better. He believes the key is to be more in tune with international standards. “There is an urgent need to inject new talent into the Dubai fashion scene, and that is part of what DFW is all about. We are showcasing a lot of new local designers who have displayed a lot of talent, and who we believe can help create standards and advance Dubai’s fashion design industry.” Marc freely calls himself a fashion victim, “designer clothes make you look good, feel good, and more confident”. DFW may well have the same effect on fashion across the region. 

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Hamda al Harizi:10jan

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Hamda al Harizi:10jan

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Inspired by Hamda al Harizi

Caviar Queen

H

Hamda Al Harizi’s passion for caviar was sparked aged just 12 when a family friend introduced her to the secrets of the trade. Today, she is the owner of Gourmet House, one of the largest im-

porters and exporters of caviar in the world serving elite clientele (Gourmet House provide caviar for several Royal families) and is the sole distributor of Iranian Caviar worldwide. Hamda holds the title of the world’s first woman in the expensive

and exclusive caviar industry, and was credited by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the ‘Best Business Leader’ Award at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Young Establishment Award ceremony. Hamda credits His Highness as a great personal inspiration to herself and her success. Hamda first realised the sheer magnitude of the situation and challenges that she faced as a woman when she attended a conference for Caviar traders in Iran where she was the only female present. When she was handed the largest quota of work as the owner of Gourmet House, the other attendees were understandably taken aback but unmistakeably impressed. Hamda demonstrates her business savvy for the caviar trade in some sound investments. Not only is she the owner of Gourmet House, she also owns (or part owns) farms from which she imports caviar from all over the world. A $9 million investment recently secured her a 30% share of a 250-acre farm in China and intends to raise this very shortly to a hefty 49%. This most recent investment expects to reach 20 tons of caviar production by 2010, making it among the world’s largest. With the expected continuing growth of the industry, global and regional markets are developing in line with travel and tourism, with hotels, airlines and cruise lines being big consumers. Hamda is set to become an incredibly wealthy lady. 

100 Thousand Club

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PROFILE SULEIMAN:apr08

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Inspired by Elia Suleiman

B

The Silent Commentator

Born in Nazareth in 1960, Elia Suleiman spent twelve years of self-imposed exile in New York. In the early 1990s, he returned to the land of his birth to find his roots, and to film them.

When ‘Chronicle of a Disappearance’ hit the festival circuit in 1996 and 1997,

it was a revelation. A film that touched on the frustration of being an Arab in Israel should not be funny, and yet it was: a witty, semi-autobiographical comedy that channelled the spirits of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton. Elia Suleiman – a self-taught filmmaker – played a silent protagonist named

E.S., a role he reprieved in the similarly themed, but differently toned, follow-up, ‘Divine Intervention’.

The two films are like brothers. They look alike, but not the same. They have the same background and the same father, but they look at the world through different eyes. Where ‘Chronicle’ was gentle and ironic, ‘Divine’ was full of violent revenge fantasies. Both were beautiful. ‘Divine Intervention’ won two prizes at Cannes in 2002, establishing Suleiman as one of the world’s leading filmmakers. No one was more surprised than the 48-yearold Suleiman about only his second film. “I never studied film,” he says. “I hadn’t seen Tati or Keaton until after I made my first feature. I left school when I was 17; I was a street kid, doing nothing. But then I went to New York, and for a year I did nothing but read books and see films, three films a day sometimes.” Perhaps this is why Divine Intervention looks and feels like nothing else. It is a mosaic of beautifully composed tableaux about Palestinian life under Israeli rule. Suleiman is not interested in speechmaking and slogans, he is fascinated, instead, by the absurd and surreal; by the little and not-so-little bits of human business that never make it on to the news. “I carry notebooks everywhere I go,” he explains. “I write all sorts of things in them – all the realities I pass through. If I see some sort of potential choreography in a daily banality, it tickles me, so I note it because it’s funny.” Suleiman’s films are resonant without being hectoring. His absurdist eye brings focus to the distractions that unite people, wherever and whoever they may be. We want another. 

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Design Classic – Boat:10jan

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Design Classic – Boat:10jan

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The Riva Rivarama By Capt. Bill Pike

T

he real mind-boggler is the finish. It is gorgeous, even a little mystifying, like somebody has taken ten blocks of modern, high-end Milanese decor, inexplicably re-

fined it into the essence of all things Italian, then poured the result into the hull of a sexy, souped-up speedboat. The aviation-style cabinets that circumscribe the interior are perfect. The metallic-silver Awlgrip they’d been sprayed with looks lustrous, lacquer-like. The interstices between the doors are rectilinear, identical. Their bottom edges, from the foot of the companionway, stretch forward in fastidiously straight lines, parallel to the lines of the Corian countertop surfaces and the lines of the slats of the miniblinds. Most levels of fit and finish I encounter while reviewing boats are comprehensible, meaning I’m able to understand how, with a certain degree of expertise and the right kind of tools, a given group of craftspeople are able to achieve certain ends. The layout was simple, but sybaritic. Except for a small, single-berth, single-head stateroom for crew accessed via a cockpit hatch, the entire below-decks living area is given over to the exclusive enjoyment of the owner. Moreover, to dial it up yet another notch, a ‘bottle refrigerator’ has been added; a deliciously decadent feature. I was told it could chill a champagne bottle and a couple of flutes in less time than it takes to pop Bocelli’s Romanza into the stereo. A classic in every sense of the word.  www.riva-yacht.com


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Très Sheikh Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is the visionary behind Villa Moda, the fantastic network of ‘luxury bazaars’ that are more destination than shop. He is also changing the perception of fashion in our region. By Sree Kumar El Gamal

S

heikh Majed Al-Sabah is fashion royalty. Not only is he a

grungy woman in the Western world, this is

member of the Kuwaiti royal family (his father is the first

something in the DNA of the Middle Eastern

cousin of the emir of Kuwait; his mother is the emir’s sister),

woman.”

but he is a retail visionary, whose Villa Moda store in Kuwait

is the crown jewel in a luxury company that spans five countries.

Designers are taking note. “Women who cover their heads were very happy with Prada

During the past 21 years he has convinced labels such as Prada and

developing the turban,” he says, referring to

Missoni to make kaftans especially for his customers and persuaded

the knotted, jewel-toned silk turbans that Mi-

Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana – both known for their skin-baring designs

uccia Prada sent out for her spring/summer

– to alter eveningwear to include longer-length dresses and to add

2007 collection.

sleeves to strapless tops.

Things are changing, but I can’t help won-

Since Al-Sabah launched his first store in a modernist glass building

der how Al-Sabah got here. Being the nephew

next to the Dasman Palace in Kuwait City (it has now relocated to a larger

to his Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh

space in the port), he says he has been fighting luxury brands’ perceptions

Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, is perhaps

of fashion in the Middle East. “How many Hollywood films have you seen

not the most conventional background for a

that present our women in the best shape?” he asks. “They always look at

luxury fashion retailer.

it like we’re a bunch of guys from the desert, like we still have our camels and our oil, and our women are covered in black from head to toe.”

The Al-Sabah family has reined Kuwait for over 40 years. It was as a teenager that Sheikh

In fact, he says, Middle Eastern women are just as eager to embrace

Majed Al-Sabah first became interested in

fashion as their Western counterparts – and have the means to do so.

fashion. The first flames of interest in what su-

“The countries in this region have very wealthy governments, and they

perb design can do ignited what was to become

distribute this wealth to the people. There’s no income tax, no duties, so

a lifelong passion.

there is a surplus of disposable cash in the people’s pockets.”

London had been his adopted home for

There is a golden rule, however: whatever brand customers

seven months in 1991, and it seems expatria-

choose, relentlessly glamorous aesthetic reigns. “There is no way a

tion stoked the creative flame, encouraging the

Middle Eastern woman will walk out of the door without having per-

20-year-old entrepreneur to fulfil a few

fect hair, perfect make-up, perfect nails,” says Al-Sabah. “Unlike the

dreams. Cue the first Villa Moda.

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Al-Sabah spent countless weeks drumming up business around the world, tirelessly knocking on fashion house doors and swinging through the receptions of fashion magazines. It was not easy. “My task was to seduce the fashion industry and encourage acceptance of something alien to them – Kuwait,” he remembers. “‘Thank you very much, but we can’t sell you our collection,’ was a sentence I kept hearing over and over.” As a member of the royal family of Kuwait, was he not tempted to use his influence? “At times it was hard to resist. But I really wanted to start from square one, to be independent, especially as I was expecting a major scandal back home – not the least from members of my family who still think that the fashion business is a total disgrace.”

The best of the best: Villa Moda only stocks the finest couture

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He began by introducing American labels to Kuwait in the early nineties. They were the first to do business with him, and his reputation as an innovator began, introducing New York minimalism to an audience brought up on old-school European brands. “My starting point turned out to be Stateside, thanks to my dearest friend in New York, Reggie Morton, a licensing expert who was the first person to work with me, brokering introductions with the design houses, and who continues to work with me to this day,” says Al-Sabah. “With her help, I built my business, bringing on board established brands – Donna, Calvin, Ralph, Oscar – and some emerging ones like Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham and a little known designer called Marc Jacobs.” But it was persuading Domenico de Sole, then Gucci’s chief executive, to open the first Gucci store in partnership with him in 1997 that put Sheikh Al-Sabah on the map. “Gucci was the key that opened all the doors to the European brands that had been slammed in my face,” he says. “Over the next decade, the

“People should stop taking franchises from the West and develop something themselves”


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Where does the self-styled sheikh of chic, Majed alSabah, shop? Souks, glorious souks. By Mitchell Owens

ISTANBUL

pearls. Al-Sabah likes the traditional robes

The Grand Bazaar

at Bin Yousef, the caftans at Sheikha Al-Za-

business continued to grow. We rode the wave

The mother of all souks (part of it dates to

yaani, halwa sweets at Showaiter, and can-

of the Gucci success, benefited from the Fendi

1461) reputedly encompasses 4,000 shops

dies at Esmat Shareef.

Baguette mania and the Dolce & Gabbana

and cafés that cater to 250,000 shoppers a

global expansion, and were part of Prada’s

day. Al-Sabah likes the colorful palazzo-style

entry into the Middle East.”

chandeliers at Lumes. For handmade silver

MARRAKESH

tableware, try Barocco Silver.

Maddening to navigate, the rambling souks

Villa Moda was re-launched in 2002, hauled out of its 15,000 square feet shell and

of this fabled Moroccan city – more than a

thrust into the global spotlight – a soaring

dozen markets specialising in all kinds of

glass-and-steel cube in a warehouse district on

MANAMA

goods – are slowly being infiltrated by high-

the edge of the Persian Gulf.

Bab al-Bahrain Souk

style shops run by enterprising French ex-

It is an astonishing building, even now, ris-

Famed for its rich yellow 22-karat gold jew-

pats, such as the Kashmir-embroidery shrine

ing up like a mirage and housing almost every

ellery, Bahrain’s souk, which is located be-

Akbar Delights. And few carpet dealers are

conceivable high-end designer, from old stand-

hind Bab al-Bahrain, a grandiose gate built

more pleasant than Mohamed Karimi of

bys like Prada and Christian Dior to Marni and

in 1945, is also known for its colourful

Bazar Jouti.

Hussein Chalayan. Like Villa Moda, Al-Sabah has spent his business life challenging preconceived notions. In America he recalls one senior executive on Seventh Avenue, who handles the international business of a well-known American brand, and who shall remain nameless, saying: “Won’t they chop off your hands for selling a skirt this short?” While these days are not entirely gone, largely they can be consigned to the waste bin of history. There are other challenges. Al-Sabah’s vision is different from the mono-brand franchise model. An example of this is the Prada-branded designer kaftan that he developed specifically for Villa Moda customers in Kuwait.

 “I believe in the retailer who is on the shop floor. Fashion retail is a specific kind of business that needs the involvement of the owner,” says Al-Sabah. “People should stop taking franchises from the West and develop something themselves. I don’t see the need for a Louis Vuitton store on every corner.” Opinionated, driven, and with an audacious vision, Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is going global. Expect a Villa Moda near you soon. And rejoice. 

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DAMASCUS Souks Al-Hamidiyeh, Midhat Pasha, Al-Bzouriyeh, and Al-Harir These Syrian souks are al-Sabah’s favorites, for the fine artisanal techniques on display (vendors roasting almonds, inlaying enamel, weaving silk brocade) and because some of the shops have been in the same families for hundreds of years. Al-Sabah buys caftans at Hamadalla, chocolates at Ghraoui, textiles at Caravan Carpets, embroidered sheets at Bed Linen, and antiques at Husam Al-Khouli's Oriental Arts & Folklore. For soaps and scents, he heads to Souk Al-Bzouriyeh, the market for spices (and home to another Villa Moda).


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Souk Secrets When to shop Most souks are open daily except Friday, the Islamic day of worship; shops may or may not close for lunch (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.)

How to bargain In both low- and high-end shops, al-Sabah says, “always slash the dealer’s price in half, then add up to twenty percent maximum”.

How to pay “Cash-and-carry is how this business has operated for hundreds of years,” Al-Sabah says; be sure you know where the souk’s ATMs are.

CAIRO Khan el-Khalili More than 600 years old and known to Cairenes as the

KUWAIT CITY

Khan, this souk is famous for Egyptian cotton (both off

Souks Al-Silah, Al-Mubarakiya, Al-Gharabally, Al-Boshoot, and Shuwaikh

the bolt and fashioned into custom clothes), exquisite

“Fragrance is a part of the lifestyle of the Middle East,” says Al-

metal lanterns, and Islamic art. Opulent antique jewels

Sabah, who stocks up on traditional scents in the Al-Silah and Al-

are sold at Al-Sokkaria Palace. And Nobel Prize-winning

Gharabally markets. “Nobody leaves home without putting on

writer Naguib Mahfouz was a regular in the fun house-

perfume.” Visitors who’ve had their fill of frankincense and myrrh

mirrored splendor of Fishawi’s, a 24-hour coffeehouse

can prowl the Al-Boshoot market to find antique furniture and hand-

that has been open since the late 18th century.

made caftans. Also try Al-Baghli for men’s robes; Najdiya and AlFakhera Roastry for the best pistachios; and Al-Fares for jewellery.

TEHRAN The Grand Bazaar The Iranian capital’s souk is one of the oldest and largest in the Middle East; a third of the country’s commercial and retail trade is said to take place here. Shop in corridors devoted to jewellery, hats, shoes, carpets, spices, metals, paper, saddles, electronics, and knockoff designer clothing. As of last fall, plans were in the offing for a hotel on the bazaar’s southern side to cater to tourists – who are more and more seen among the city’s shoppers and businessmen.

Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is a contributing editor to Travel + Leisure. Find out more: www.travelandleisure.com

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We Recommend...

Meals Worth a Flight


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Alinea In today’s ultra-competitive culinary landscape – it has become something of a sport in the United States, with cities playing the role of leagues, restaurants playing the teams, and celebrity chefs the highly paid athletes – it takes something a bit special, a bit different to be recognized as the number one restaurant in the country by Gourmet magazine. Alinea has done just that. Why is this a meal worth flying for? Simply put, the food on Chef Grant Achatz’s menu is probably of the likes you have never seen. It is true that with today’s current trends of molecular gastronomy, a plethora of chefs from around the world are trying to put their stamp on particular methods and dishes. What Grant does so well, is accomplish this feat with virtually every single one of his dishes. But he does it subtly. The continually changing menu is divided into two options, the tasting, which is a deconstructed amalgamation of twelve courses, or the chef’s specialty tour menu, which more than doubles the number of creations to twenty-five. With each bite, the sensations are heightened. The dishes on the menu may sound simple enough. “Trout Roe, with coconut, pineapple, and licorice.” Or perhaps “Black Truffle, explosion, romaine, parmesan.” Surely you’ve heard each of these ingredients and terms before on menus of other top-flight instiGrant Achatz is a pioneer for the way we are to look at cooking in America.

tutions, but at Alinea, there is much more than what meets the menu. The trout roe for example, could be constructed of, or rather deconstructed of four different types of licorice, all in a different molecular state. The flavors all have a hint of familiarity, but the skill with which they are taken down to their core elements and flavors has the same effect on the tongue as when one eats Alba white truffles shaved over pasta for the first time. The acclaim is completely deserved, and if you are lucky enough to score a table at this understated, elegant, earth-toned Chicago hideaway – even if it is months and months in advance – make sure you book a flight and make it a weekend. It’s worth it.

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The Fat Duck Everything about The Fat Duck is fun. Famed owner and chef Heston Blumenthal is fun. Its location in the in-

lecular food movement, his passion and theories translate in a much more serious way.

conspicuous Berkshire area outside of London is fun.

He views the new movement in cooking as expand-

Even the name is fun. The food is fun as well. The food

ing upon the traditions of the past. So yes, you quite

is especially fun. But at the same time, it is all very se-

possibly will be eating dishes and ingredients prepared

rious. And serious in a good way. Serious in a way that it

in ways that you previously would have not thought pos-

is certainly worth booking flight over to the UK and mak-

sible, but everything delivered from the kitchen is

ing the short pilgrimage from London to Berkshire the

rooted in the classical enjoyment of ingredients, meth-

focal point of your itinerary.

ods, and integrity.

A three Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck is

But paramount to what Mr. Blumenthal does is one

not ostentatious. It is actually quite plain. The simple

belief that he verbalizes better than anyone else. “Eat-

dining room does not shout “tasting menu” or give the

ing is a multi-modal process (involving all the senses).

impression that it is a setting for the type of roller-

Any comments concerning food being just about taste

coaster ride tastes you are about to embark upon. Mr.

are misguided. Try drinking a fine wine from a poly-

Blumenthal is an extremely interesting professional in

styrene cup or eating a beautifully cooked piece of fish

his own right. Instead of giving in to the commonly used

off a paper plate with a plastic knife and fork, it is not

terminology of the day, he instead says that he cooks

the same.” He will make sure that each of the seven-

with a “scientific approach.” It is true that his creations

teen courses evokes each of your five senses. And who

may seem to follow the same type of principles and

knows, quite possibly you might discover a few senses

methods used by chefs such as Wylie Dufresne, but

you didn’t know you had. The prospect of that is quite

since Chef Blumenthal was at the forefront of the mo-

certainly worth a flight.

Heston Blumenthal stresses using each of the five senses when eating.

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Spherical raviolo of peas and minty pea salad

Carrot air with bitter coconut milk

Red mullet mummy with chilli


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2m of parmesan spaghetto Cuttlefish nigri with ovarzazate spices

Coconut’s egg with mango

Spring of virgin olive oil caramel


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El Bulli El Bulli has been voted the best restaurant in the world at some point or another by virtually every culinary magazine and association in the world. It’s chef and owner, the internationally acclaimed Ferran Adrià, has garnered accolades as the best chef in the world many times over. El Bulli is an experience that truly defines dinner as theatre. From the restaurant’s picturesque setting in Roses on the Costa Brava – nearly two hours from Barcelona – to the fourhour epicurean fantasy that you will embark on, this restaurant is the definition of a meal worth a flight if there ever was one. El Bulli, and more specifically, Mr. Adrià, have a take and perspective on food that differs in many degrees from the rest of the gastronomic world. It is only open from April to September – Mr. Adrià and his staff spend the rest of the year in a literal culinary laboratory coming up with new ideas and interpretations – and is usually booked solid one year out. This a small price to pay for what will certainly become the most memorable dining experience of your life. Before even sitting down in the dining room, the drama will begin. Situated on a bay called Cala Montjoi, the restaurant requires a rickety cab ride over rocky roads to reach its perch. An unassuming sign guards the building, and soon you are immersed. It is built in a traditional Spanish hacienda style, and through the trees, the bay peaks out. As phenomenal as the setting may be, it is the 27 course festival that will awake taste buds you never knew you had, and redefine what food can be. At El Bulli, what looks like an egg is probably a tomato. What appears to be ice cream quite possibly might be an interpretation Ferran Adriá spends many months of the year in his Barcelona kitchen “Laboratory” perfecting new techniques and tastes. The restaurant is only open from April through September.

of parmesan. Flavors and textures are a result of incredible amounts of work, and an understanding of the gastronomic make-up of each individual ingredient. The order in which you attack the elements of each of the tasty treasures matters, but there is nothing to worry about. The staff is as gracious, knowledgeable, and as eager to help as any in the world. It may seem like an experience, not a meal. And it most certainly is. But alas, that’s the reason that it’s worth flying around the world to be entertained – and educated – by a master.

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Everybody Wants to be Like Mike Growing up, Michael Mina’s mother overcooked his salmon. Two Michelin stars later, and the Egyptian-born superchef has made a name for himself with his stunning take on seafood.

E

asily one of the biggest attractions at last

While at the institute, Mina spent weekends gaining

year’s World Gourmet Festival in Bangkok

hands-on experience at Charlie Palmer’s top-drawer Au-

was Michael Mina, whose five-course din-

reole in New York City. At 19, when others his age were

ners were the first to sell out. Named Bon

still figuring out what to do with their lives, Mina gradu-

Appetit Chef of the Year as well as Restaurateur of the

ated and reconnected with his mentor, chef George Mor-

Year by the International Food and Beverage Forum,

rone, at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

Egyptian-born Mina has become one of America’s most celebrated chefs.

64

Mina followed Morrone to San Francisco to help open Aqua in 1991. Three years later, with Aqua a success,

Born in Cairo, Mina was raised from age two in

Morrone (who now works in development for Mina)

Washington State, where his father was president of Cen-

moved on, leaving Mina to take over as executive chef at

tral Washington University. His attraction to food started

age 24. It was then that he started playing with his sig-

early. At 15, he took a job in a local bistro, where he

nature dining concept of many variations on a single in-

worked as a garde manger (the entry level line cook po-

gredient, an idea he’s since put into practice at the two

sition within a restaurant, whose duty is to prepare and

Michelin star winning Michael Mina San Francisco, his

present cold foods).

swanky restaurant in the Westin St. Francis Hotel, which

Fascinated by the restaurant world, he started cook-

is equally famous for its hefty wine list – featuring the

ing. Mina’s parents wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer,

phenomenal Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-

but ultimately they reached an accord that required him

St.-Vivant 1979, valued at $29,979.

to attend the University of Washington for at least one

In 2002, Mina and his business partner, tennis leg-

year but also allowed him to work at the restaurant in

end Andre Agassi, founded Mina Group, which oversees

Seattle’s Space Needle.

eight restaurants, including Mobil-four-star-rated

“I lasted one term,” Mina says, grinning ruefully.

Michael Mina Bellagio, and Seablue, Nobhill and Strip-

“When my dad finally realised I was serious about this

steak, all in Las Vegas; four-star Stonehill Tavern in Dana

food thing, he flew to New York to check out the Culinary

Point; Arcadia in San Jose; and Seablue in Atlantic City.

Institute of America. He did his research and let me go.”

Dubai, it seems, is next on the list.

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Q. You have described your cuisine as ‘complex simplicity’. What does that mean? A. Actually, complex simplicity really only accurately describes the food in one of my restaurants, the one in San Francisco. The concept there was to serve multiple preparations based around the same product. Take diver scallops for example. When you order this dish (at Michael Mina), you get 6 small portions of scallop, each treated differently. One would be served seared and over a potato cake; this would be plated with a caviar sauce. I’d then make a scallop ceviche paired with a lemon vinaigrette and some more caviar. A third would be served with a yellow corn and truffle pudding. And so on and so on. Each of these preparations taken alone is actually pretty simple. But served together, the dish becomes uniquely complex. Q. What other ways or terms would you use to describe your cooking?

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A. My food is highly conceptual. It definitely fits

find something from a specific farmer, like wild boar for

within the category of ‘Modern American’ cuisine.

example. And that will inspire me to come up with a dish

Which is a way of saying that I’m making very prod-

for one of my restaurants. Because each of my restau-

uct-driven food that draws on and plays with regional

rants has a slightly distinct concept, I can create dishes

classics. I like injecting a sense of fun into my food.

for specific ones.

Take my lobster pot pie for example. It uses a great regional product as well as classic preparations from

Q. What products are exciting you the most?

around the country.

A. I’m really into micro-vegetables right now. I love how

I’d also say that my food is known for having bold flavours. I really like flavourful, Asian food. So much of

producers have been able to itensify flavours. They have great visual appeal too.

the food from Asia has strong flavours. But they also have an amazing sense of balance. A sour or spicy food will

Q. You were one of the youngest chefs to run a

be served along with something sweet or cool. I love that!

first class restaurant. To what do you attribute

And it’s something I try to achieve in my cooking.

your early success? A. I was real fortunate to get to work with some really

Q. How do you come up with a new dish or recipe?

good chefs in New York and I learned good discipline

A. I’m a very ingredient-driven chef. I start with the

and good basic technique and background from people.

product. I’m really fortunate because today there’s a great

What you really do when you’re cooking is you learn

wealth of amazing organic and farmed products. I might

as much as you possibly can. You constantly learn every

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day from every person that you can get any information

Q. You have a deep belief in simplicity. Is there a

from. You take everything that you learn – all the classic,

dish that you consider your most simple?

traditional ways of doing things – and you begin to start

A. I have a dish right now on the menu – a grilled snap-

to use your own cooking style and your own cooking tech-

per with roasted vegetables served with roasted potatoes,

niques.

whole roasted shallots, sautéed wild arugula. It’s really

When you develop your own style, you just have to

almost a rustic dish with a traditional English vinaigrette

hope that people like it. That’s really what it comes down

that has Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin

to and we’ve been fortunate here. You’re cooking for the

olive oil and rosemary that you make about two or three

general public, but you’re also 95 percent of the time

days in advance and you let it sit.

going to cook something that you like. Then you have to hope that the general public likes it.

The dish is simple and the flavours are just dynamite together and you can substitute any piece of meat or al-


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most any fish and it works with the dish. Those types of

why, if you physically can run the restaurant, not to do it.

dishes excite me because they are very versatile.

As long as you don’t start to feel like you can’t learn anything from anybody else and you have to show everybody

Q. What about seafood inspires you?

everything.

A. The thing that’s great about seafood is you cook every-

If everybody works together and works as a team, one

thing to order so it’s always very juicy and fresh. There’s

person’s the leader, but the restaurant’s a team. When

just so much more of a variety with seafood. There are so

people come in that have worked in other restaurants,

many different fish in the world. And every day you’re

and have good ideas, I love seeing it. We use it. 




finding a new fish or something to work with. Q. What is your first memory of food? 
 Q. How does one get ‘superchef’ status?

A. I remember my mother always making us salmon. She

A. You work and you learn. The whole time I was in New

always overcooked it and I hated salmon. And the first

York, I worked 17-18 hours a day just so I could learn.

time I ever ate salmon cooked right, I couldn’t believe it

You have to say to yourself sooner or later: I’m going to

was the same fish. That’s probably the first thing that

take the risk and try and do it.

stands out in my head – my first memory of being ex-

As long as you keep your head open and you don’t

posed to food cooked properly and the difference. My

begin to have any sort of ego or an attitude about cook-

mother’s a good cook, by the way, but fish wasn’t her

ing and close off your learning process, there’s no reason

thing. 

Michael Mina’s Tuna Tartare Ingredients

8 oz. Sashimi grade Ahi tuna, diced 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 1 tablespoon jalapenos, minced 2 tablespoons Bartlett Pears, diced 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 4 quail eggs 2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped 1 teaspoon chilli powder A good pinch of salt A good pinch of white pepper 4 tablespoons sesame oil 8 slices white bread

Method Divide ingredients into four. This is for one plate. Mince tuna and put into a 2inch ring mould. Place on 10-inch dinner plate and remove mould. Separate yolk from white of quail egg and place yolk on top of tuna. Discard white. Place ½ tablespoon of diced pears above the tuna and move around plate with ¼ teaspoon minced Jalapeno, ½ teaspoon garlic, and 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle plate with ¼ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon mint. Drizzle pine nuts with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Toast 2 slices of bread for each plate. Remove crust. Slice diagonally to form triangles and place at right side plate. After presentation of plate to diner, all ingredients should be mixed to create the tartare (see picture).

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W

e asked a collection of experts – from travel agents, tour operators and travel writers to diving instruc-

tors and bar tenders – for their insider advice on the over 1190 islands that make up the Maldives. So before you go, consult our unique guide, compiled by the people who know best…

Why should I go? Brilliant sunshine, sparkling white sand,

Considering a trip to the Maldives? (And let’s be

teeming coral reefs, world-class scuba diving, luxurious beach resorts, indulgent spas and 1192 islands, spread over 115,300 square kilometres of bath-tub warm tropical ocean. Is-

honest, who wouldn’t… with its white sands, sparkling azure waters, and exclusive accommodation). Here is our definitive guide

lands all over the world have been developed as beach retreats but the Maldives has a unique policy towards tourism – each of the 87 resorts is located on its own private island. Few resorts in the world feel this exclusive and secluded. Joe Bindloss – travel writer for Lonely Planet (JB) This is how the perfect islands of your

to paradise on earth, the ultimate tropical tranquillity, and the final word in luxury.

dreams look. Susanne Valverde – Euro-Divers Office Service (SV)

When should I go? Since the islands in the Maldives are surrounded by sea, temperatures remain constant – cooling sea breezes prevent it from ever feeling too hot. During the monsoon change at the end of April and beginning of May and then again from the end of October to the beginning of November there might be some unsettled weather conditions with rain. Elvis Follet – PR manager for Conrad Hotels (EF) The average temperature is 28-30 degrees. The sea remains at an average temperature of 28-30 degrees around the islands as well. (SV)

I want the best view The best view of the Maldives is definitely from the air. Whether you take a seaplane to

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Where should I stay? Any of the 5 star luxury resorts: One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah, One & Only Kanuhura, Huvafen Fushi, Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Landa Giravaaru, Soneva Fushi, Soneva Gili, Cocoa Island, Conrad Rangali Island, W Retreat & Spa, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Maldives, Cocoa Island. Angela Jones – Elegant Resorts (AJ) This is difficult as individual tastes vary a lot. One thing is for sure: the choice of island is great, from 6-star islands with butler service, to the ‘no news, no shoes’ style of island – you will find the entire range. (SV) Most resorts have private beaches, swimming pools, spas, diving centres, restaurants and fully stocked bars, but each has its own unique take on the tropical island retreat. The Conrad Maldives and Taj Exotica have a reputation for excellent food and service, the Banyan Tree and the two Soneva resorts have legendary spas and the Cocoa Island combines luxury and excellent spa facilities with excellent snorkelling and diving. (JB)

get to your resort or you take a photo flight after you arrive, the view of the islands strung out like jewels in the Indian Ocean is something you will never forget. Michael Payne – General Manager, One & Only Reethi Rah (MP) Head to the rooftop dining area in the Organic Garden Restaurant at Soneva Fushi. But I would say that! (RY) Rangali Island as an idyllic tropical paradise. Located in South Ari Atoll, surrounded by a crystalline blue lagoon and dramatic coral reef. The views are beyond imagination. (EF)

I want romance Watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean from the comfort of a swing bed at the exotic beach restaurant, Fanditha, while sipping a glass of rosé champagne. (MRP) The beach in front of your resort, by moonlight, walking barefoot in the surf. The islands of the Maldives are undeniably romantic and most resorts offer special packages for honeymooners, with champagne cruises, overnight trips on the ocean and sunset dinners for two. (JB) Try Cocoa Island – with only 33 Suites, it is one of the most intimate and romantic retreats in the Maldives. Most of the rooms are shaped as a dhoni (traditional boat) so it truly feels you are out at sea. (AJ)

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I want to dive

crustaceans to mega fauna like manta rays

visiting dive sites throughout the Maldives.

The Maldives is a diver’s paradise.

and schooling hammerhead sharks. The

Top dive sites include Lion’s Head and Ba-

Plankton brings whale sharks and Mantas

atolls of the Maldives were formed by the

nana Reef in North Malé Atoll, Guraidhoo

to the different atolls in the Maldives: Air

growth of coral reefs around the peaks of

Corner in South Malé Atoll, Kuredu Ex-

Atoll, from November to April – South and

submerged volcanoes and most dives take

press in Lhaviyani Atoll, Kuda Rah Thila

North Malé Atoll from May to October. All

place on thilas (coral reefs inside the atolls)

in Ari Atoll, and the wreck of the Maldives

atolls have islands with or without house

and kandus (channels linking the lagoons

Victory, a freighter which sank near Hul-

reef and the diving spots are a dream. My

to the open ocean). Almost all the resorts

hule island in 1981. (JB)

personal recommendation would be Full

have dive schools but dive sites are scat-

All resorts in the Maldives have profes-

Moon Maldives, Club Med Kani and Vila-

tered around the islands and some resorts

sional dive schools with multi-lingual in-

mendhoo Island Resort as the range and va-

offer better diving than others. Several com-

structors and conduct courses for beginners

riety of dive spots is really fantastic. (SV)

panies offer all-inclusive multi-day diving

as well as the advanced. Many of the resorts

The Maldives is one of the top five div-

trips that visit the outer reefs as well as the

have excellent house reefs, just a short swim

ing destinations in the world, with an aston-

shallow coral lagoons. Maldives Scuba

from the beach, so snorkellers can share in

ishing variety of marine life, from tiny

Tours runs two excellently equipped boats

the experience. (AJ)


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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives Heralds a New Era Since opening in 2002, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa has ac-

dian royal beauty rituals, body therapies and in-depth

crued a collection of prestigious awards from leading pub-

Ayurveda programmes.

lications Condé Nast Traveller and Harpers and Queen. Credited for impeccable service, outstanding food and chic design, it is now at the forefront of the Maldivian scene.

Heightened Culinary Experiences Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is reputedly the best culinary experience in the Maldives. The new fine dining

Revitalised Accommodation Recent developments have seen Taj Exotica Resort & Spa reduce the number of villas to offer unequalled

concept, ‘CuisinArt’ with a talented team of culinary artistes offers guests personalised menus, with a focus on Pan Asian cuisine.

secluded luxury. The Rehendi Suite is a private paradise.

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces Taj Spa Situated on a private island Taj has created a perfect environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest groups of hotels, comprising 59 hotels internationally. From world-renowned

The Taj Grande concept is deeply rooted in the be-

landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach re-

lief that a spa is more than just four walls and a treat-

sorts to authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers

ment room; it is a way of life, integral to the Indian

an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-

philosophy of wellness. Signature Taj Spa treatments; In-

class service and modern luxury. 

www.tajhotels.com

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I want to be pampered Most resorts offer spa treatments, but some take pampering to a whole new level. As well as being one of the most luxurious places to stay, the Indian-owned Taj Exotica has a swish spa offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments, based on herbs, yoga,

Samantha at the Soneva Gili Over Water

massage, therapeutic foods and the principle of treating body and mind as one.

Bar. Try her Mojito using mint grown on the is-

Stressed high fliers speak very highly of the spas at the three resorts run by the Banyan

land and organic brown sugar. (RY)

Tree group, and the Six Senses spas at Soneva Gili and Soneva Fushi, built using all-

A personal favourite is the range of sake-

natural materials and perched over two idyllic blue lagoons. Another outstanding spa

based cocktails created by our Japanese sake

resort is Huvafen Fushi, which regularly appears on the Conde Nast Top List and Gold

master at Tapasake, One & Only Reethi Rah’s

List. The spa offers six glass-floored treatment rooms hovering over the water and two

Japanese restaurant. (MP)

underwater treatment rooms with views of swirling tropical fish. (JB)

78

Where can I get the best cocktails?

Go to UMBar at Huvafen Fushi – this

Our exquisite One & Only Spa by ESPA is a place of tranquillity and relaxation,

trendy sand-floor bar has an extensive cocktail

where personal journeys of wellbeing are tailor-made for guests with the guidance of

list and often has celebrity DJs playing chilled

a wellbeing consultant. (MP)

out music. (AJ)

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Where can I get the best cuisine? All the resorts lay on lavish meals for guests, with dishes from the Maldives and

duce from all corners of the world – organically reared lamb and beef, the freshest fruits and

Don’t bother with the duty free liquor on

vegetables, specially selected seafoods and

the flight into the Maldives – the Maldivian

fish. (MRP)

government has a strict policy on the import of

around the world; the chefs at the Conrad Maldives, Taj Exotica and the two Four Seasons resorts have a particularly good reputation. That said, some of the tastiest meals in the is-

restaurant in the Maldives at the moment. (RY)

alcohol and books, magazines and religious

What are the hidden gems? The sandbank near Soneva Fushi, where the sand is blindingly white. (RY)

symbols that are deemed offensive to Islam. If any of these items are found in your luggage on arrival, they will be confiscated and re-

lands can be had in the rustic canteens on

After visiting the museum and mosques on

turned to you when you leave the islands. (JB)

Malé island. Before you head to the airport on

Malé island, drop in on the huge and heaving

Explore the Maldives while you can. It is a

Hulhule to catch your flight home, drop into

fish market, where local fisherman unload

precious place with the most welcoming peo-

one of the simple local restaurants on Marine

piles of tuna and kingfish from brightly painted

ple. (SV)

Drive for a delicious plate of tunafish curry

dhonis. It’s a pungent but atmospheric place,

For our money, the most innovative and

with coconut milk and pandan leaves, mopped

and small canteens around the market serve

imaginative resort in the Maldives is Dhoni

up with freshly made chapattis. (JB)

delicious hedhikaa – literally ‘short eats’ –

Mighili, a Robinson Crusoe-esque retreat on

fried snacks made from fresh fish and Indian

a small lagoon island in North Malé Atoll.

spices. ‘ (JB)

The resort has just six thatched bungalows

The Ithaa Undersea restaurant on Rangali Island – here you can experience the only underwater restaurant in the world. (EF) The key to our eating experience [at One &

set amongst the palms, each with a private

What is your insider tip?

Only Reethi Rah] lies in the quality of the in-

Book dinner in the Organic Garden

gredients, focussing on the finest organic pro-

Restaurant well in advance. It is the hottest

dhoni on hand for snorkelling trips, sunset cruises, floating dinners and nights out on the waves. (JB) 

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Al Shaali Marine – The Luxury Standard Al Shaali Marine is acclaimed as one of the leading international manufac-

Al Shaali Marine powerfully participates in

tures of boats and yachts. Along the past three decades, Al Shaali Marine

the most international exhibitions and its

has occupied a prominent position among its peers in the field of manu-

products have attracted all people in this in-

facturing of powerful, luxurious and top quality boats and yachts.

dustry and those interested in it.

Al Shaali Marine offers a wide range of boats and yachts of var-

Al Shaali Marine boats and yachts have

ious sizes and categories. The company incessantly seeks to develop

been tested along the past three decades in the

its performance and today 70% of its products are exported to in-

severest and most difficult utility conditions. In

ternational markets.

terms of power and daily usage in the Maldives.

At the present, Al Shaali Marine produces top-quality boats that have gained wide popularity and success around the world. Among these

These boats and yachts have proved their credibility and efficiency in both cases.

boats are AS45, AS50, AS 64, AS68, AS75, AS85, AS15 in addition to a

If you are dreaming of possessing a luxury

new collection of super yachts of the large size. The company also exports

boat or a yacht, Al Shaali Marine is your first

coast guard boats to most states in the region and the world.

destination. Without doubt, Al Shaali Marine

With the objective of staying close to its clients, support them and offer them assistance at all times, Al Shaali Marine is still expanding its dis-

has all types of boats and yachts that cater to all your requirements.

tribution network, a point that has helped it acquire a large base of clients.

Among our clients are VIP’s such as

Al Shaali Marine has been awarded several certificates such as (ISO

Sheiks, emirs, and presidents. Al Shaali Marine

9001, the Comprehensive Quality Certificate (CE MARK), The Certificate

places 3 years of experience and expertise in

of Specialists for Granting Marine Certificates (RINA), the US Coast Guard

the field of boats and yachts manufacturing at

and several other certificates and prizes.

your hands. 

For further information call +971 6 743 6443 or visit www.alshaalimarine.com.

The AS-50 is tuned for maximum performance. Space is optimized throughout creating extremely comfortable accommodation for six, offering solutions that truly make it as comfortable as your own home.


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Million Dollar Tour Why the world’s golfers want a Race to Dubai

K

icking off in November 2008 and

“With the combined prize funds of The

offering a total of $10,000,000 in

Dubai World Championship and The Race to

prize money, the season-long

Dubai, we have the prospect of a player stand-

Race to Dubai will be the most

ing over a putt for US$3,666,660. All eyes will

expensive golf competition ever. The competition will culminate in the

focus on Jumeirah Golf Estates at the end of the season.”

Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

No bait for Tiger

The winner of the tour will be awarded a

$3.6 million? That’s not too bad for a few

massive $1.66 million, the runner-up will re-

rounds of golf – but it’s not enough to tempt

ceive $1.1 million, and third place will be re-

Tiger.

warded a respectable $650,000.

There has been a lot of press surrounding

Following this tournament, the top 15 play-

the fact that Tiger Woods will not be compet-

ers will earn a share of a Bonus Pool of another

ing in the Race Dubai, as he is not a member

$10,00,000, with the Number One player re-

of the European Tour (one of the requirements

ceiving $2,000,000, the runner up $1,5000,000

being that each golfer plays a minimum of 11

and so on until the 15th ranked player earning

events). The world’s number one played only

$250,000.

nine this year.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The

Tiger has expressed regret for his legion

European Tour, said: “The Race to Dubai will

of fans in the region. The incredible prize fund

be a major boost for The European Tour. We feel

and courses will ensure a spectacular event

the Bonus Pool will provide an extra incentive

none-the-less.

for the players and ignite interest for the fans throughout the season culminating in an exciting finale at The Dubai World Championship.

84

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Greg and Vijay: fire and earth Jumeirah Golf Estates is a landmark de-


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velopment, set to become one of the world’s

30 years of playing experience and hands on

most prestigious residential golfing communi-

approach are invaluable to his skills in the de-

ties. And it’s the perfect location for the world’s

sign process.

most prestigious golf competition. With four courses inspired by the natural

nine wins to his name. The 2004 World Num-

elements – Fire, Earth, Water and Wind – Phase

ber One is an incredibly committed player and

A, Fire and Earth, will consist of 13 planned

brings this same level of commitment to the

residential communities, and will offer luxuri-

design process. Singh designs courses that

ous living to more than 1,000 families.

utilise and enhance the features of their natu-

Greg Norman is credited with designing

ral surroundings – an idea that pays homage

much of the course and he is more than quali-

to the great old courses, almost all of which

fied. Having spent much of his professional ca-

were built without moving huge quantities of

reer as the world’s No. 1 ranked player,

earth. And the result is better, more natural

Norman has competed on many of the greatest

courses that wonderfully interpret their own

golf courses in the world. His is the winner of

unique landscapes.

more than 90 tournaments, including the 1986 and 1993 British Open Championships. Greg’s

86

Vijay Singh is similarly qualified, with

100 Thousand Club

This has all the hallmarks of a classic. We can hardly wait. 

Ernie Els will be looking to swing to victory in Dubai


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Greg Norman surveys the land at Jumeirah Golf Estates

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A Very Dubai Golf Event David Spencer, CEO of LeisureCorp, one of the organisers of the Race to Dubai, was recently voted the second most important man in golf. He gives us his thoughts on a tournament very close to his heart. n November last year a helicopter

I

Club, now host to the much anticipated Dubai

touched down on the helipad of the Burj

Desert Classic, which has become an impor-

Al Arab, to unveil one of the most vi-

tant fixture on The European Tour each year.

As I stepped out onto the icon of Dubai

of world-class golf courses developed over the

with George O’Grady by my side (the Euro-

last few years, there is still a huge appetite for

As the man who sat on the other side of the

pean Tour’s chief executive), the city was once

more golf – and for more courses in the Middle

table to George O’Grady at that signing cere-

again thrust into the global spotlight – marking

East. This is why our chairman, Sultan Ahmed

mony, I knew that no other destination could

a new chapter in the history of world golf.

sionary deals in world golf.

But even with the continued development

grass, clay, hard court and rebound ace. And of course instead of simply hosting any old tournament, we have come up with something truly different – and what a stunning finale to the season it will be.

Bin Sulayem came up with the vision for

have offered all the elements that Dubai (and

Raising the stakes for golfers worldwide,

Jumeirah Golf Estates: the world’s largest

Leisurecorp, the company behind Jumeirah

the Dubai World Championship – the world’s

urban residential golf development, with four

Golf Estates) was able to bring to the table. A

richest golf tournament – commences in 2009 at Jumeirah Golf Estates. With a $10 million prize-fund, the season-ending event marks the culmination to the $10 million season-long Race to Dubai, which will replace the longstanding European Tour Order of Merit. No other city in the world boasts Dubai’s unique combination of ambition, vision, speed of decision-making and a ‘make it happen’ mentality. No other city in the world was able to seal a deal as monumental as this. And no other city has such a fantastic golf venue under

David Spencer

development, worthy of hosting this new tour-

88

nament (I suppose now would be a good time

courses surrounded by the most beautiful

world class tournament, a world-class season-

to declare my interest as the chief executive of

homes and outdoor space in Dubai.

long competition, sponsorship of events

Jumeirah Golf Estates – host venue to the

At every stage of development, the entire

Dubai World Championships and the new

Jumeirah Golf Estates team and I have been

home of the European Tour International

encouraged to push the boundaries of this vi-

Headquarters...).

sion further and further.

throughout the season and a joint venture to develop new golf courses around the world. There was a strong need for a golf event that was bigger than any one player and we, at

Golf is massively important to Dubai. The

Designer for the courses? Forget one; let’s

Leisurecorp, wanted to get involved and help

Emirate’s ambition is to be one of the world’s

get Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia

the European Tour achieve that. It’s not about

leading tourism destinations – and it realised

and Pete Dye. High-end, luxury homes? Let’s

money – it’s about a vision and a passion for

quite some time ago that golf could play a

partner with B&B Italia, Bang & Olufsen,

taking golf to another level that can and will

major role in driving such growth. The devel-

Poggenpohl and other world class luxury

be delivered in Dubai.

opment of the Creek course, (still a favourite

brands to ensure the best. Tennis courts? Why

And when we all sit down to watch the in-

of many avid golfers in the Middle East), was

not ask tennis legend Chris Evert to create

augural Dubai World Championship next year,

followed by investment in many others such as

state-of-the-art playing facilities with the

we’re going to see one of golf’s most exciting

The Montgomerie and of course Emirates Golf

‘Grand Slam’ of court surfaces, one of each in

visions turned into a reality.

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Monte Mayor:10jan

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Exclusive living within reach, introducing Monte Mayor Monte Mayor Golf & Country Club is La Perla Inter-

18-hole golf course, leisure opportunities within an ex-

national Living’s most spectacular project in southern

tensive sports complex, including tennis and paddle-

Spain. This beautiful community, sheltered in an idyl-

tennis courts, a gym, health and spa facilities, and a

lic mountain valley with spectacular views over the

heated swimming pool.

Mediterranean Sea, Morocco and Gibraltar, offers

Monte Mayor Gold & Country Club has it all. First,

buyers an unprecedented variety of living opportuni-

a truly unique location: next to a world-class golf

ties in an oasis of astonishing beauty. And yet it is just

course on the Mediterranean. Next, a home that is ex-

minutes away from the cosmopolitan excitement of

ceptional for its beauty, quality and innovative archi-

Marbella.

tecture. And last, but not least, having a wide range of

The Monte Mayor Golf & Country Club offers villa plots, exclusive high-quality villas; as well as spacious

outstanding 5 star services at your disposal to make your life as easy and carefree as you want it to be.

townhouses in a charming, colourful Andalusian village called The Kempinski Private Residences La Heredia de Monte Mayor, a state-of-the art gated community with five-star luxury services. In Monte Mayor Golf & Country Club you are in a world of your own: a stylish Clubhouse, the captivating

International Living around the world La Perla International Living communities are currently located, or under development, in Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland, the Caribbean, Panama, Vietnam, and Morocco. 

For more information call +31 (0)20 589 40 70 or visit www.laperlainternationalliving.com


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FASHION:apr08

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When The Night Hears My Song


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Tuxedo, $4,850, and mask, Dolce & Gabbana. Scarf, Gucci. Belt, Hermes.

Be fabulous after dark


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Jacket, $2,440, cardigan, $1,015, pants, $1,085, and scarf, Yves Saint Laurent. Gloves, Gucci.


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Jacket, $1,895, pants, $835, and bracelet, Gucci. Scarf and oxfords, Yves Saint Laurent. Tights (worn throughout), Wolford.


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Jacket, $119, 300, and pants, $1,450, Hermes. Sunglasses, Lanvin. Scarf and oxfords, Yves Saint Laurent. Opposite: Coat, $3,500, jacket, $2,500, short, $175, pants, $900, gloves, and handkerchief, Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers. Bow tie, Brooks Brothers. Estee Lauder High Gloss in Pearl.


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36 HOURS DOHA:apr08

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Hours in Doha


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DAY ONE

100

11:30am: Check In

Grand Amiri Suite is the choice of royalty.

The Ritz Carlton (PO Box 23400, 974 484

(www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Doha)

11:00am: Arrival

8000 or book online) is located on its own ex-

Avoid delays and crowds and choose a relaxed,

clusive island resort a short boat ride from

12:30pm: Lunch

flexible and private solution to your travel

the city centre. It is the No1 choice the dis-

Once you’re settled in, get dressed up and head

needs, Gulf Executive Aviation (www.gulf-ex-

cerning traveller and is famed for it’s elegant

to the top floor of the Ritz Carlton, where French

ecutive-aviation.com, 973 172 28446), the Ci-

atmosphere and discreet service. The resort

restaurant La Mer boasts the title ‘the best

tation X will fly you to the Middle East’s fastest

impresses from the start, the entrance lobby

restaurant in Qatar’, where you can enjoy world

developing city in comfort and style. Landing

features a Viennese Baakowitz chandelier

class cuisine and panoramic views of the city. It

at Doha International Airport take advantage

with more than 2000 individual crystals. The

is advisable to book in advance as this is a highly

of their limousine service to your hotel taking

lavish theme continues throughout with 263

sought after eatery, choose Le Ciel dining room

in the exciting scenery in less than 30 minutes.

chandeliers in total. The hotel suites are

for a secluded and intimate dining experience.

Alternatively Qatar Airways have opened a

lined with padded velvet and silk wall fab-

luxury terminal in Doha dedicated to first class

rics, the bathrooms are carved from marble

2:00pm: Shopping

and business travellers.

while the understated furniture creates the

The City Centre mall is the largest retail cen-

exclusive feel of a gentleman’s club. The

tre in the Middle East with over 350 shops.

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For international and regional brands visit

prised of four separate houses with each room

8:00pm: Drinks

The Landmark, Royal Plaza, Hyatt Plaza and

designed like a traditional Qatari home with

Sip on a cocktail and indulge in the glamorous

‘The Mall’ Villagio while Villa Moda at the

hand-shaped tubs and heated stone massage

atmosphere of the award winning Pearl Lounge

Ritz Carlton is the place to shop for designer

beds. There are 23 treatment rooms includ-

Club at the Marriot (PO Box 191, 974 429

labels. If you’re looking for a more traditional

ing 2 ‘Hammam’ rooms, 3 Thai rooms, dry

8888). Or relax at the gentleman’s club-style Li-

experience you can find beautiful fabrics and

flotation beds, private steam rooms, heated

brary Bar & Cigar Club at the Four Seasons,

textiles in the local souks. The Souq Waqif is

marble wet beds with luxurious baths as well

perfect for a pre-dinner or late night drink.

Doha’s oldest shopping area where you can

as state of the art fitness facilities, changing

There is an extensive selection of cocktails,

pick up souvenirs and see falcons for sale,

rooms, prayer rooms, relaxation rooms and an

whiskies, wines and champagnes on offer as

Omiani on Haloul St. is also worth a visit for

assortment of facilities that house everything

well as Cuban, Dominican and Davidoff Cigars.

spices and incense.

from meditation and Thai-Chi to hot and cold

(The Corniche, PO Box 24665, 974 494 8888)

water plunges.

5:00pm: Spa

Respective of Qatari tradition, women

9:00pm: Dinner

The Six Senses Spa at the Sharq Village (PO

have a fully equipped fitness facility there you

Head to Indian restaurant Chingari at the Ra-

Box 26662, 974 425 6666) is located 15 min-

are able to exercise in private.

mada Plaza (P.O Box 1768, 974 428 1428) for

utes outside of Doha’s city centre. It is com-

a truly fantastic dining experience. The first

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Tandoori Restaurant in Doha, translated as

lounge bar and outdoor terrace that is made by

baked breads, sandwiches and quiches for a

‘sparkling charcoal is renowned for it’s fresh

its incredible views of the Arabian Gulf. This

more savoury option, and a vast array of teas

produce and authentic taste. Enjoy your meal

bar has a fashionable and modern atmosphere

and coffees.

while musicians play traditional Indian music

with an eclectic mix of music played by the

on the Sitar. The famous Makhanwala chicken

DJs until the early hours.

is a must.

11:00pm: Clubbing

stroll along the Corniche, Doha’s sweeping waterfront and you’ll find a plenty of charming

DAY TWO

Doha doesn’t have too many nightspots but the

102

If you’d rather get some fresh air take a

coffee shops to enjoy a late breakfast. Try Cafe Batteel for coffee, pastries or light meals (Salwa Road 974 444 1414)

Ramada Hotel has live music every night. Al-

11:30: Brunch

ternatively retire to Habanos at the Ritz Carl-

Roll out of bed and downstairs to La Dolce

12:30pm: Sight-seeing

ton. Finished in rich mahogany tones and with

Vita! where you can treat yourself to a Parisian

Despite it’s rapidly developing skyline and

a sophisticated atmosphere it is created with

style relaxed and indulgent breakfast. Watch

technology, Doha retains a strong sense of his-

the cigar aficionado in mind. Also at the Ritz is

the chefs prepare specialty deserts, gateaux,

tory and tradition. The historic side to Doha

the Admiral Club, reputedly the most luxuri-

pastries and chocolate in the exhibition-style

can be found at the harbour, the wooden fish-

ous nightspots in Doha. There is an indoor

kitchen. La Dolce Vita! also serves freshly

ing boats. Wander through the ancient Moor-

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ish Fort to see traditional crafts, and wind your

443 6129) before you go to book one of the

where you can see the last remaining wind

way through the maze of tiny streets of the

many organised trips. Chose the Desert Safari,

tower in Qatar.

Souq Wafiq, or escape from the crowds on

Deep-sea Diving, Moon Dhow Cruising, Camel

Palm Tree Island. If you want to brush up on

Track and Oryx Farm, Fishing or Desert Sa-

6:00pm: Water sports

your riding skills book a lesson at the Al

fari. The traditional trip will take you back in

All of the hotels in Doha offer sea-based ac-

Shaqab Stud Farm (www.alshaqabstud.com).

time, visiting a number of fascinating muse-

tivities, the Ritz Carlton has it’s own marina

ums. Learn about Qatar’s rich history at the

and clubhouse, while the Sheraton has a pri-

3:00pm: Snack

Qatar National Museum, the museum also has

vate beach. Both of these are great locations

Visit a sheesha café and smoke some fruit-

an aquarium where you can see some of Doha’s

and from here you can go fishing, paragliding,

flavoured tobacco. The Ras-Naswa at the end of

exciting marine life. Next stop, at the

water-skiing, wakeboarding and jet skiing.

the Corniche is a picturesque old building, rich

Weaponry Museum you’ll be transported to a

in colour and texture where there is gorgeous

military past, see a private collection of differ-

9:00pm: Departure

garden to enjoy traditional Middle Eastern food.

ent weapons such as swords, daggers, canons

Transportation back to the airport can be

and pistols. The tour also includes Al Koot

arranged directly through the Ritz-Carlton’s

4:00pm: History of Qatar

Fort where you can see old Qatar handicrafts.

concierge to ensure that your journey home

Visit the website (www.horizonqatar.com 974

The final stop is the Ethnographic museum

goes without a hitch. www.qatarembassy.ne

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

An Island Paradise The Island Hideaway at Dhonakulhi Maldives, Spa

Operated by Meridis Dive, Island Hideaway has

Resort & Marina, in the northern Haa Alifu Atoll, is a

one of the physically largest dive centers in the Mal-

boutique resort where nature and luxury blend har-

dives, providing the latest technology and highest

moniously.

quality branded diving equipment. They have found

Villas are available in six different designs and styles. All 43 villas offer uncompromising intimacy and

20 amazing dive sites and two shipwrecks, all totally untouched, within 90 minutes of the resort.

privacy and have breathtaking panoramic views over

If pampering your body and soul is your idea of

the beautiful turquoise lagoon and the Indian Ocean.

heaven, the Hideaway Spa by Mandara has it all. The

Matheefaru restaurant offers international and

design emphasizes space, privacy and luxury. The spa

Maldivian cuisine, and Gaafushi fine dining serves au-

menu has been created to fit the exclusive nature of

thentic Asian cuisine and seafood specialty. For the

the Hideaway Spa and to offer each guest an out-

romantics, just imagine strolling out to a nearby sand-

standing spa experience. It combines traditional Asian

bank to enjoy an incredibly romantic candle-lit Robin-

favourites with Elemis Spa-therapy and new treat-

son Crusoe experience or dining out under the stars!

ments that reflect themes of the ocean, nature and in-

Meeru Bar, situated on the beach extends over

digenous Maldivians.

water giving fantastic sunset views for those wanting to while away the evening to exotic drinks and snacks.

www.island-hideaway.com


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Like Clockwork There’s more to Switzerland than chocolate and fondue. 100Thousand Club spoke to some country experts for the inside track on this stunning – and

S

tax friendly – investment hotspot.

S

witzerland is a beautiful country; it offers gen-

On balance Switzerland can be a very expensive

uinely superb standards of living and there is

place to invest, however it is still a comparatively rea-

a wealth of luxury real estate in which to in-

sonable option to other locations in Europe such as

vest. It’s central location within Europe makes

London, and the value of these properties will continue

it an ideal place to make a base outside of the Middle

to increase so there us no doubt of a return for your

East, with Monaco, Paris, London, Madrid and Rome all

money.

accessible at an hour’s flight.

Secondly, the alpine and ski resort property avail-

It has always been considered a safe haven for inter-

able in Switzerland is more value for money than the

national entrepreneurs and investors and will continue

French equivalent. Low taxes and almost zero inheri-

to be safe in the foreseeable future.

tance tax is another benefit that few other countries

Switzerland is famed for it’s stability and security as a

can beat.

country and is therefore a very strong asset in terms of in-

However you don’t have to be a millionaire to invest

vestment. Many investors move to Switzerland for the extra

or buy in Switzerland, living costs are comparable to

security and safety that the country offers to their families.

England and more competitive than France.

There are probably better places to invest if what you

Investing in the Lake Geneva Region means living

are looking for is the best in luxury standards, however

in a region partially listed as a world heritage site, mean-

what you will get in Switzerland is a safe diversification

ing it is a very safe bet for buying, and comes with a built

of your portfolio. Buying real estate in Switzerland is es-

in guarantee against getting a high-rise built up in front

sentially a risk free venture.

of your Alpine chalet.

The Swiss government have made the process of buy-

Lake Geneva, the Alps ski resorts and the Tessin (the

ing in Switzerland surprisingly easy and the benefits are

Italian part of the country) are popular for their superior

huge. They have modified property ownership laws mak-

quality of life.

ing it easier to invest as a non-resident.

Most wanted locations in Switzerland are Valais

If you are accustomed to taking risks in your invest-

and Vaud, Geneva, Verbier, Gstaad, Surmont and Zer-

ment projects you will appreciate the ‘Swiss security’ that

matt. In each of these highly desirable areas, prices

will balance the risk management of your wealth.

are high and investing here is reserved to a very

As well as all of this, Switzerland is one of the world’s

wealthy and a selective handful. Lausanne, Montreux,

top ski destinations and has fantastic transport links. Ad-

La Riviera are still affordable and are hotly tipped for

ditionally, with its fantastic snow conditions and warm and

growth and investment in the near future, and will po-

dry summer climate, it is a great destination year round.

tentially provide a more interesting and different in-

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vestment opportunity to the more traditional areas of the country.

Gstaad Gstaad (known as Saanenland by it’s inhabitants) is

The majority of luxury properties can be found in the

primarily a beautiful ski resort, it should also be known

area of 10-15km from the shores of lake Geneva and

as a country of many benches providing spectacular

within an hour’s drive from Geneva itself. A large num-

views and a fantastic array of fine eateries.

ber of Switzerland’s luxury properties are located in the

The holiday region of Gstaad affords itself and its

Alps, in the world-renowned ski resorts of Verbier,

guests more than 300 specimen of these princely

Gstaad, Villarem Zermatt and Crans Montana.

perches. And these wooden benches in Saanenland have

Most of these areas have seen a tremendous growth

quite a few tales to tell. The “007 Bench” knows all about

in prices over the last ten years and are only affordable

the adventures of James Bond. The “Fibbing Bench” is

to a certain minority of very wealthy investors. If you are

knowledgeable about declarations of love and other un-

looking to spend no more than CHF 10,000,000 then it’s

holy vows. Nature’s breath closes in on the “Sculpture

the surrounding areas of these popular and top end

Bench” at all times. The “Panoramic Benches” provide

tourist destinations that you should be looking at.

a view all around Wildhorn “and Co”.

In terms of tax benefits, the German part of Switzer-

This quirky feature and the tales they tell is some-

land is potentially the most attractive; here we mean

thing that has been adopted by the restaurants of the

Zurich, Zug and Winterthur.

area. The ‘fibbing bench’ opposite Restaurant Bären in

Geneva

G E N E VA

SWITZERLAND:10jan

After Zurich, Geneva is Switzerland’s most populous city. Located on the pass between the Rhone River and Lake Geneva it

is a global city with the headquarters of the UN and the Red Cross situated here.

Surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, it is the starting point for journeys to the hundreds of ski resorts here.

It is also a practical place to invest for the rest of Europe,

being only one hour from Paris or Milan by plane and less than 2 hours from London, Rome and Madrid.

In Geneva, food is a serious issue. With over 1000 restaurants this city is the undisputed capital of cuisine in Switzerland. Local

specialities include fondue, raclette, lake fish dishes, smoked sausage and a variety of casseroles (which are all delicious).

As an international city however, you can get pretty much

anything in Geneva. It is a fantastic city for culture with numerous libraries opera and theatres; the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande

is based here. There are many beautiful parks and proud of being the least pollution of any city in Europe.

Sport is also popular here, especially soccer as Geneva host the Euro 2008 competition here this summer.

In all, Switzerland is the perfect place to invest in a second home, as a long-term investment.

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Gsteig is the ending point for a beautiful walk along the Saane River from Gstaad.

Wine production and tourism are the main sources of trade here. The Matterhorn mountain is one of the

Visit the restaurant Chlösterli in Gstaad-Grund and

main attractions for visitors. The resorts surrounding

take a seat on James Bond’s 007 Bench, situated in this

Materrhorn are some of the most popular for skiing, due

cozy inn and enjoy some of the fabulous record -break-

to its high altitude it is one of few regions that can guar-

ing dishes on offer.

antee snow cover, including Zermatt and Verbier.

The ‘Sculpture Bench’ in the Lauenen forest stands

Agriculture is also important; cattle and dairy are

alongside the ‘Sculpture Trail’, an hour’s walk from

common industries in the Valais area. However wine is

Gstaad village.

also a major money-maker, the wine industry here is the

Cycling, walking and of course skiing, snowboarding and all things snow related are also fantastic in Gstaad.

largest in Switzerland. However despite the thriving tourist industry, high levels of infrastructure, and many vineyards, Valais is

Valais Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland located in the south-western part of the country.

still one of the poorest of the Swiss cantons. This is great news for investors as there is a huge opportunity and scale for development. 

Zurich Zurich is the largest city and commercial centre of Switzerland. It is famous for its banking industry, and therefore a great place invest your cash. UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, and many other financial institutions have their headquarters here. The financial sector accounts for about one quarter of the city's economic activities. However it’s not all boring banking, in the summer it has an almost Mediterranean atmosphere, Lake Zurich is a beautiful spot for swimming, boat rides or enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks lining the lake’s shores. If you are visiting, there is an abundance of luxurious hotels to choose from. The Widdar Hotel, located in downtown Zurich is a five star amalgamation of 8 private houses into one sleek design hotel. Historical elements have been carefully restored and tastefully blended with the newer modern elements of the building and finished with highly stylised state of the art features. The Hotel Glockenhof Zurich, in the heart of the city centre is polished and sophisticated and minutes from Lake Zurich and

ZURICH Bahnhorftrasse shopping.

Similarly, the city is rich with cafes and dining spots to simply watch the world go by. Recommendations include Café Nuemarkt,

the city’s most attractive outdoor restaurant that also houses a small theatre. Seerose Hadfenrestayrant with its terrace above the water

of lake Zurich it’s the perfect place to dine on its famously superb seafood. The Florhof inside the Hotel Florhof is also worth a mention for a romantic meal and a visit to their 400 year-old cellar.

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AVALANCHE RANCH:5nov

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

AVALANCHE RANCH The Avalanche Ranch is located near the fashionable playground of Bigfork, the ski slopes in Whitefish and the clear sparkling waters of Flathead Lake in Northwest Montana on 68 plus acres. The ranch boasts a 16,000 plus square foot Grand Lodge, four additional guest homes and cottages, a caretaker’s residence and an equestrian facility. Carriage trails, walking paths and open meadows abound throughout the property while the improvements are positioned appropriately for privacy. A wide variety of wildlife can be seen while participating in one of the many recreational opportunities that the Flathead Valley has to offer. The Avalanche Ranch is within an hour’s drive to Glacier National Park, alpine skiing, river rafting, fly-fishing, boating, nordic ski trails, snowmobiling, sailing, dog sledding, backcountry hiking and more. The interior space of Avalanche Ranch comes alive with vivid colors, rich textures, sculptured hardwoods and an attention to detail that mixes cutting edge with classic. There’s a state-of-the-art Theo Kalomirakis movie theater (Theo is internationally recognized as the “Father of Home Theater”), but the Grand Lodge is furnished like the great historical lodges of the western United States, with many 19th Century luxurious European antiques. Refined, yet comfortable. The Avalanche Ranch has recently been awarded CNBC’s 2007 International Property Award for Best USA entry and nominated for the Best International Property Award 2007.

www.AvalancheRanchMontana.com


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ARIZONA

Phoenix International Raceway, the jewel in the crown of American racing


ARIZONA:10jan

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CALLING If your visual snapshot of Arizona is limited to cowboys and cacti, rattlesnakes and retirees, it’s time to update your mental rolodex.


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ith a thriving economy and cultural amenities such as top-notch shopping, dining, nightlife and the arts – not to mention rugged natural beauty

and a temperate climate that leads to year-round outdoor fun – it’s no wonder Arizona has become a vibrant new hub for the creative class. In fact, the US Census Bureau reported that Arizona is the fastest-growing state in the nation, adding some 213,000 people over the past year. Meanwhile, Arizona’s average age has dipped to 34.3, well below the national median of 36.4 and even beating out famously hip, youthful meccas such as San Francisco (39.4) and New York City (35.8). No wonder why Fast Company magazine recently named two Arizona locations in its list of “Top 10 Emerging Hubs for Creative Talent in the US” – Phoenix and Tucson. Loosely defined as 25-35 year old workers and entrepreneurs who are knowledge workers – whether in the arts or the sciences, the creative class consists of scientists, engineers, artists, technology designers and developers, management and professionals. However, in today’s increasingly mobile United States, where individuals and even entire families are constantly uprooting themselves in search of better opportunities and more enticing environments, what is luring these talented young professionals to seek out cities such as Phoenix and Tucson? First, says Richard Florida, the Hirst Professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, members of the “creative class” have always been drawn to urban environments because working and living around other talented people makes them more creative. But even more paramount, he says, modern Americans expect to do work they love in a place they want to be, resulting in a shift to regions that offer concentrations of other talented people and a great quality of life. In short, they want it all – urbane sophistication and the high-energy vibe of a big city, along with the more

Arizona offers the best of America’s great outdoors

leisurely quality of life and abundant outdoor recreational activities associated with more pastoral settings. It’s a rare combination, but one that Arizona offers in spades. Take Greater Phoenix (a.k.a. the Valley of the Sun), a rapidly growing metropolis of nearly 4 million people incorporating the city of Phoenix – the nation’s fifth

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100 Thousand Club

largest city – and 24 surrounding towns and cities, in-

unravel the genetic components of complex diseases

cluding Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. Unspooling over a

such as cancer and diabetes, have turned the area into a

geographic area larger than the city of Los Angeles

burgeoning Biotech/Biomedical cluster.

(9,000-plus square miles), Greater Phoenix is undoubt-

All told, this burgeoning bio boom, which now in-

edly more of a suburban landscape than more high-den-

cludes the International Genomics Consortium, National

sity cities such as Chicago or New York. However,

Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,

downtown Phoenix itself is in the midst of an unprece-

University of Arizona College of Medicine, Arizona Bio-

dented revitalisation thanks to this new influx of urban-

medical Collaborative and Phoenix Union Bioscience

centric Creative Class types.

High School, has helped make Arizona an appealing des-

Once a 9 to 5 city core that was largely empty on

tination for cutting edge companies such as Google Inc.,

nights and weekends, downtown Phoenix has been trans-

which recently selected ASU’s Tempe Campus for a sig-

formed into a vibrant 24/7 hub for students, scientists

nificant new expansion.

and other Creative Class types thanks to a new crop of

A mere 100 miles to the south, Tucson’s city core is

high-rise condos and loft conversions that – combined

undergoing its own renaissance, fed largely by a similar

with a variety of new sports, dining and entertainment

Biotech/Biomedical boom. Home to the nation’s fifth fast-

venues – let residents live, work and play in the same

growing high-tech community, Tucson’s Creative Class is

neighborhood.

also leading pioneering biomedical research in the fields

Furthermore, groundbreaking developments such as

of cancer treatment, optics and the neurosciences.

Arizona State University’s new Downtown Phoenix Cam-

Meanwhile, international technology giants such as IBM

pus and the construction of the Translational Genomics

have established cutting edge research centers inside the

Research Institute (TGen), a research facility working to

University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park.


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Scottsdale hosted the NFL Super Bowl in 2008

Of course, none of this could be possible if Arizona

tic, innovative dining scene – a fact reinforced by eight

wasn’t attracting the type of talented, young go-getters

James Beard Award-winning chefs – and world-class

that these companies require to fuel this technological

shopping inside an abundance of trendy boutiques and

innovation. So what exactly is drawing those 200,000-

couture clothiers.

plus new residents to settle in Arizona every year? Naturally, Arizona’s temperate climate, highlighted

more than 125 galleries offering everything from tradi-

by the mild winters and year-round active outdoor

tional Cowboy art to avant-garde exhibitions of Contem-

lifestyles in desert cities such as Phoenix and Tucson,

porary masters. Nightlife, meanwhile, is always hopping

always comes to the forefront. However, Arizona is ac-

in a state that hosts annual gatherings such as College

tually home to a variety of landscapes, ranging from the

Football’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the FBR Open, the

sweeping Ponderosa Pine forests of northern Arizona to

PGA Tour’s most-attended event, as well as the 2008

the snow-capped peaks of Mount Lemmon outside of

Super Bowl.

Tucson – the southern most skiing area in the United States.

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100 Thousand Club

As for the arts, downtown Scottsdale alone contains

Of course, when you average some 325 days of annual sunshine like Greater Phoenix and Tucson, weather

Culturally, Arizona is equally diverse. Sure you can

is always going to play a role. After all, what’s more ap-

still find authentic Western saloons serving up tradi-

pealing than dining alfresco, going hiking or playing a

tional campfire cuisine, or shop for authentic Native

round on one of the state’s 338 golf courses – all in the

American jewelry, but Arizona is also home to an eclec-

dead of winter? 


OUBAAI GOLF P122:10jan

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Oubaai Golf Oubaai Golf Resort is situated on the seaboard of the Southern Cape in South Africa’s Province of the Western Cape, 18 km from the town of George. The Western Cape is the capitol of South Africa’s tourist industry boasting Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Wine Route. The Garden Route is an outstanding destination of choice, where one can enjoy quality time in magnificent surroundings. Oubaai is set on 254ha of gently undulating fynbos in the centre of the Garden Route, and includes the imposing valley of the Gwaing River. The Resort of Oubaai sits between the rugged cliffs that meet the Indian Ocean, and the spectacular backdrop of the distant Outeniqua Mountains. Oubaai was originally agricultural land and hold a degree of historical significance – the bay is a natural deepwater harbor that, up until 150 years ago, was used for landing precious cargoes. The subtleties of landscaping, architectural design, the fauna and flora of the area and the golf course all blend together to produce a unique ambiance. The exteriors of the houses are finished in a combination of painted walls that reflect the colors of the local geology and mosaics of large, roughly hewn blocks of sandstone, producing a pleasing natural effect. The resort features a lifestyle centre that has squash and tennis courts, a gymnasium, a sports shop and a restaurant. The final phase of the project is the building of an international-brand five-star hotel, incorporating a convention centre and a health spa. The hotel has already begun construction and is due for completion in early 2009. The hotel will have 100 rooms initially, with space for a further 30 to be added at a later date, so taking the total number of rooms to 130. The eighteen-hole Ernie Els “Signature” Golf Course has all the makings of a championship venue and is the reason for the birth of this magnificent Resort which should be enjoyed by all. Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat for two or a great getaway with family and friends, Oubaai is the benchmark you’ve been waiting for. 


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SAFA HOMES AD:10jan

9/4/08

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

A First Class Service Operating and having the official license to sell and buy real estate in Dubai, Safa Homes LLC is a company formed with one thing in mind ‘Customer Satisfaction’. Our aim in this booming market is to look after our clients from the very start of their property search. With so many exciting developments in Dubai and so many investment opportunities, a client can be rest assured that Safa Homes will do their best to find exactly what they are looking for and will continue with their efforts until the client finally takes possession of their new home. Our highly experienced staff will guide clients through every opportunity available and help find the investments that suits their needs. Whether you are looking for a studio or a penthouse. We are there to help. For further information: Tel: +971 (4) 3211442, Fax: +971 (4) 3211447, www.safahomes.com


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BACK ISSUES:5nov

10/4/08

08:42

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Join the Club... Every single limited edition issue of the 100Thousand Club is available at www.100thousandclub.com. Take a visit for more exclusive information on our partners.

www.100thousandclub.com Your exclusive online resource for all things luxury.

www.100thousandclub.com


SELECT AD (Aquitainia):10jan

9/4/08

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Aquitainia Same Planet, Different World Aquitainia delivers contemporary and lux-

quisite French restaurant, spa and boutique

urious properties to those residents who

hotel ensure you want for nothing and are

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truly pampered. The 75 room hotel is to be

Two of the 300 islands that form a map of

operated by a global brand – a company

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carte services for residents throughout

land paradise.

Aquitainia. And a 200 berth marina will ac-

Undoubtedly distinguishing Aquitainia

commodate residents and guests’ boats.

from other resort-style islands is its suc-

Aquitainia is brought to you by Select

cessful fusion of the best of ‘France’ with

Property and Select Group, two visionary

the best of ‘Spain’ - two islands that have

companies who pride themselves on de-

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cludes four off-plan developments in

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For further information: Tel: +971 (4) 368 3355, Email: sales@selectproperty.com, Web: www.selectproperty.com


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You have the property, now you want to make it stand out.

Insider


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hether you want to create an opulent, palatial home or a stark, contemporary and modern environment 100

Layla Moussa has made her business out of luxury and opulence so you could say she was familiar with this area of design to say the least.

Thousand Club has been talking with some of the

Based in Jeddah, Layla is an interior designer and textile expert who

world’s leading architects and interior designers to bring

began working in 1981. Initially inspired by the Mogul era and the treas-

you the inside track on what’s hot and

ure of 17th and 18th century Europe she

what’s not in the world of design.

describes the most important element in

A limitless or at least fluid budget

creating luxury as ‘space’. Layla recog-

is now a reality for many of us. This

Top tips

nises that everyone has different ideas

means when it comes to interior design

The world is your oyster. There

of luxury but for her ‘luxury is quality.

the possibilities are endless. Currently,

should be no limitations to where

It’s space. It’s the volume of the room.

the most requested features are techno-

things come from. Don't limit your-

It’s the whole atmosphere.’

logical. The advancements in this area

self. Don't get involved in a project

The most important factor in dec-

mean almost anything is available at the

and decide you only want things

orating a space for Layla are the mate-

simple touch of a button. You can walk

that come from particular countries

rials, ‘It’s the quality of the materials I

into your home and automatically set

or places. In today’s world you can

use, the authenticity of the materials.

every feature to suit your mood, be it the

have anything from anywhere.

It’s using noble and pure materials,

lighting, the temperature, or the music

Be bold. Allow your designer to

like stone, pure silks, pure cottons, pu-

you want to hear after a hard days work,

take you places that you may not

rity is luxury to me.’ She sums it up

everything can be pre-programmed to

have gone before. Step away from

perfectly ‘Luxury is putting myself in

make your home a bespoke haven.

cream-coloured walls, and have lots

the atmosphere that I think I deserve.’

In conversation with a collection of

of colour or drama in a space.

Working with a limitless budget is

interior designers, at the opposite end of

In the process of designing go a

a luxury, yet you should ensure or that

the scale increasing numbers of their

little further than your comfort zone.

the size of the budget plays no part in

clients are wanting to return to a simpler

the basic tenets of design, as there is

way of living, many have installed high-

the potential that the need for func-

spec, state-of-the-art entertainment,

tionality can be forgotten amongst the

lighting and heating systems only to find them over-complicated and irritat-

lavish possibilities for extravagance. Quality is undoubtedly the single

ing to operate. However it is possible to create a system that provides max-

most important factor in creating a luxurious environment. ‘Quality is more

imum functionality as well as being user-friendly. This has become one of the

important than beauty. Sometimes things are absolutely beautiful but if they

primary goals that interior designers are being asked to meet.

are not of absolutely superb quality, a fantastic room can become like a

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cheap bordello - vulgar and horrible. The most minimal room can have

When employing a designer it is essential that you choose to work

fantastic lines, a serene atmosphere and beautiful colours, but again, if

with someone who completely understands what you want, it is also im-

you’re not using the most luxurious materials it becomes cheap and nasty.

portant that you are prepared to share personal information. It’s your

You cannot replace quality with anything.‘ Layla.

home and your money and it is essential that you feel comfortable living

It is similarly vital that you do not write anything off for perhaps not being typically to your taste. Layla told us that she used to adamantly hate

Layla is an expert in her field and has very definite ideas but if you

Art Nouveau, however if she was to find ‘a piece that was of superb quality

like what she does there is every chance that you could end up as firm

workmanship’ and fitted the room and mood that she was trying to create

friends, ‘when you come across a client that you click with and are given

then it has to be considered.

a freehand, it’s like a fantastic marriage.’

However, the most important factor must be you, the client. Ulti-

The process of design must always start with you, the client and a thor-

mately you don’t want to feel uncomfortable in your home environment.

ough evaluation of your needs this should ensure the very best for your

For Layla Moussa luxury doesn’t mean ‘overwhelming luxury’, in terms

money. Your designer should find out your likes and dislikes. A person-

of the décor being ‘overdone’, she goes back to her point about materials, the atmosphere of the room will undeniably luxurious if as Layla would use are ‘the best of the best’.

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with the finished product.

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alised service is something that every designer should provide. Layla describes some of the considerations a designer must make, ‘you have to envision what suits the place, what suits the people that are


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Make sure that every item you use is exquisite in the way it’s constructed and finished. Remember: no matter how beautiful a piece may be, it has to be functional

going to live there. Do they have their own collection of things? Or do you need to create that?’ If you are lucky enough to be working with an unlimited budget make sure that every item you put into the space is exquisite in the way

However if the technology is not delivered in a way that it will function with ease and simplicity it will create frustration. Don’t be cutting edge in your own home if it's going to create difficulty, or you need a service man standing outside the bedroom door to turn the television on!

it's constructed and in the quality of design that it’s finished. It is im-

Technology is something of major relevance these days but it is

portant to remember that no matter how beautiful a piece may be, it has

incredibly important that technology is made to suit us. Technology

to be functional. No one wants a beautiful chair that’s stunning to look

is something we must use to fit our needs. For example that the tem-

at but uncomfortable to sit in. If you are going for a stark, contemporary

perature, the cooling, and the heating operate perfectly. In a bath-

feel, the furniture, fabrics and finishes you use must work harder to cre-

room, if you have all the money in the world, you can decorate with

ate a luxurious environment and must be very carefully chosen.

incredible marbles and mosaics and beautiful things, but you also

After addressing the beauty of the environment the next step is technology. We’re talking some really sophisticated stuff here, huge flat screen TVs hidden behind paintings or behind huge framed mirrors with twoway glass, sound and lighting systems throughout.

want to make sure that you've thought ahead to put in a heated floor. A gorgeous bathroom can take a beautiful picture, but once you step on it in bare feet and it’s cold, it’s going to lose all of its luxury. The way that your home is lit can change the whole mood of the place so it is important to have flexibility in this area. Use motorised drapery

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On her own style... Layla has a very definite style and very determined ideas of what she likes and dislikes. She is brutally honest, and her clients come to her for this very reason. I was very influenced by the Mogul style at the

It has a lot of calculation, mathematics. It’s

beginning, totally in love with it, It’s Islamic.

mind-blowing.

It’s powerful. It’s pure. It’s beautiful. It’s rich, there’s colour.

ways stick to my style because I sometimes

I dabbled in 17th, 18th century European

get tired of it. Sometimes the project itself

style for a time. When I go into a mood, I go

cannot take that style and the rooms do not

heavily into it, and experience it to the maxi-

demand that, it’s like taking the same dress

mum, I get saturated by it, and I live it totally.

and putting it on every woman. It doesn’t suit

I adore the Islamic style, the work in the stone, the carving, the power that it carries.

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They come for that style, but we don’t al-

every woman. It doesn’t suit every person. I’m known – I’m really known for my su-

You can modernise it, take away a lot

perior quality. I’m known for that, which I

and still the skeleton is magical and fantas-

don’t compromise on. I’m quite stubborn

tic. The lines and the geometry are fantastic.

about it.

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treatments, curtains and blinds to give a room different settings. Being

combination of patterns and colours and textures. Insider tips if you want

able to adapt the lighting for different purposes, for example - have

to invest in antiques are Scandinavian and French furniture from the

everything wide open to get the full advantage of the view, or use a set-

1940s, archaeological artefacts, early Renaissance pieces, which could

ting where light is filtered through for a little privacy, thirdly a full black-

all feature as a focal piece.

out to sleep or watch movies.

You can decide to decorate your rooms with standout features to

Talking about her sources of inspiration, Layla believes that anything can be an inspiration, ‘A picture, a building in the street, a dress

where your eye is instantly drawn, art, a piece of furniture or lighting, however Layla thinks

a woman is wearing, earrings, a mood.’ Layla told us that in the Middle

‘Whether it’s art pieces, whether you’ve covered your walls with

East reference books are extremely important as much of the region is

fantastic textiles, you can have great chandeliers, but usually the

brand new, as much as the vast deserts are a great inspiration, there is

first impact on any person that walks into a room is the mood of the

with very little architectural inspiration ‘Reference books, historic books,

place, and the mood is created by your choice of decoration, you

old fabric documents, old dresses, vintage things. I collect a lot of

build that mood.’

William Haskell jewellery, a lot of vintage bags, a lot of this and that. I

Layla advises us of things to avoid when designing your home…

deal a lot with antiques. I surround myself with fantastical surroundings,

‘Common mistakes to avoid are using the wrong style in the

and that’s very inspiring for me.’

wrong rooms and copying, some of my friends have said, “She’s done

For Layla personally, ultimately all inspiration comes from fabric.

this and that, and I love it. I want it.” However it doesn’t go with

This is the starting point for the majority of her work. However the space

the space, and it doesn’t go with you. So don’t copy, and don’t fur-

itself is equally important, you don’t want to start designing in a way that

nish for others. Make your home for yourselves. Don’t make it to

is not going to fit the space and volume of the room.

impress. If you do something that suits you, people will find it beau-

Standout features in a room impress from the first, this could be an incredible, scene-stealing view, an eye-catching piece of art or simply a

tiful. If it doesn’t suit you, it won’t look good. It’s like wearing a piece of clothing that doesn’t suit you. 

The future Designer Bill Stubbs gives us his thoughts on the future of architecture and design ‘The future for interior design is unlimited, because there's never been a time when people

On the environment and sustainability…

have had such appreciation for it. The hotel in-

‘We should strive to do it, but it should

dustry now is almost completely driven by inte-

not be something that limits the creative

rior design. It’s the creation of the boutique

process. To be honest I don't let it com-

hotel people who were able to take small and

pletely dictate how I’m designing and put-

ordinary properties, and by designing them to

ting things together.

really high and dramatic standards, they were able to create a wonderful businesses.’

‘When you have enough money, you ought to be able to accomplish anything.

‘Big hotels started noticing and now it's

But as a designer I'm purchasing for some-

become the design that drives commerce. In

one else, if the client's passionate about it,

the luxury area, and as the world grows richer

then I can be more passionate about it. But

that I make, and make sure that I'm not lim-

and richer, true design talent is going to be

if the client doesn't care, then I have to just

iting what the client can have by something

sought after.’

keep it as a consideration in the selections

that he isn't particularly interested in.’

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The King of Diamonds Rodrigo Otazu is the man to go to for a lifestyle that is pure luxury. By Becky Graham

R

odrigo Otazu's journey began in Argentina, amidst glitter and glamour as the son of a famous television hostess in Buenos Aires. Self-taught, he has a very individual style and is incredibly passionate about his work, ‘a design is about a feel-

ing inside me, a sensation you want to share’ he says intensely. Otazu spent his early career traveling the world as a model for Calvin Klein, when he reached Sydney his pearl creations caught the eye of Australian Vogue. His career took off. They featured his work on the cover, launching his illustrious career, the realisation of a life-long dream. An ex-model and jewellery designer to the stars, he counts Madonna, Cameron Diaz and Britney Spears among his clients (and friends). Roderigo Otazu has turned out to be something of a celebrity himself. Since settling in Amsterdam, his career has gone from strength to strength. Rodrigo’s is dedicated to pursuing his passion for design and today he has become a global brand and a household name. Otazu is now available in more than 15 countries worldwide including London. Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai, Moscow and Milan. First, we talk about Dubai. Rodrigo is incredibly positive about the country, likening investing here to ‘putting money in the bank’. For Rodrigo, ‘it is the perfect place to develop and to create because it's new, and there's a lot of possibilities’. Dubai ‘has great malls and the people love shopping’ he tells me, it is also a place where ‘luxury is the top priority’. Rodrigo himself is a self-confessed luxury lover and with Otazu product all at the luxury end of the market it is the perfect for people in Dubai and therefore the ideal place for the designer to set up shop. Rodrigo began his career designing couture clothing and costume jewellery. His vision is now translated into all manner of beautiful

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products. Today he has a collection of highly desirable handbags and shoes as well as his original jewellery lines. It is his jewellery, famous for its glamour and drama that has helped him to bag some of the best names in the business to model his designs, supermodels Erin O’Connor, Lily Cole and celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Christina Aguilera, Aretha Franklin and Lauren Hill all wear his jewels. In 2002, Britney Spears specially commissioned Otazu to design pieces for her famous "White Snake" performance at the MTV awards and European tour, in which she danced on stage with a live python. He has collaborated with various big companies to great success, and revels in the challenge of creating for varied and vastly different challenges. His work for Christian Lacroix has been much sought after, impressively he has also undertaken work as diverse as embellishing a Vespa Scooter and Nissan Car turning them into something spectacular. As well as this Otazu has designed fashion accessories for Clements Ribeiro, Ungaro, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf. Currently working on his new prét-à-porter clothing line to be sold worldwide, his business is ever expanding adding more and more products to his collection. Who is the typical Otazu client? Rodrigo loves women and describes the type of woman he designs for, ‘a sexy, powerful, in control woman who knows what she wants’. His developing collection of product is helping to create a complete lifestyle brand for his clientele. He describes his brand as a ‘lifestyle from head to toe, and way of living company’. Next on Rodrigo’s list are interiors. He intends to do a new collection of sofas, tables and chairs, all the things that have to do with living, ‘the list is endless really’ he adds nonchalantly. Rodrigo’s own personal ambitions are very clear and that first and foremost it’s happiness that counts. ‘I think everything without happiness is nothing’, he also talks wistfully about having children one day but jokes he has so much going on in

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Otazu’s current collection reflects all that’s hot in fashion. Chunky rocks and stunning craftsmanship combine to produce wearable statement pieces

his head at one time that he would ‘bore’ us with all his thoughts. He would rather talk about all things fabulous. Rodrigo has created jewellery for some of the world’s most famous women, he describes Elizabeth Taylor as ‘amazing’, Madonna as ‘incredible’ and Britney as ‘remarkable’ but finds it difficult to choose a favourite between them all because they are all such powerful and inspirational women, however, the one celebrity he would love get his hands on is the beautiful Sophia Loren. Asked if any of his famous clients have ever displayed any diva-like qualities, Rodrigo charms, he admits ‘the thing is I carry diamonds. So when you carry diamonds and you show diamonds to any woman, they immediately melt, and are very easy to handle.’ His greatest achievement? Every year producing a sellout collection, his last couture diamond collection sold out within a week.

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Rodrigo’s ultimate goal is to build an empire like Chanel, Dior or Gucci. Even Donald Trump comes up in this conversation someone to look up to. ‘Even though he has the wrong hairdo, Donald Trump is a good example of success and survival story.’ He is definitely an inspiration as someone who has the right idea about business and the acumen to back it up. In terms of his creative inspiration, his work encompasses a myriad of influences, he reckons it’s a bit cheesy and quite common but what inspires him typically are ‘love and friendships, keeping myself fit and healthy, a sunset, romance, love. All those things give me a very strong base of making my own inspiration to make beautiful things.’ He thinks again, ‘books, what's going on on the street; or when I go to clubs and see what people are wearing and what they are about. Sometime my ideas come to me in a dream - my new collection is all based on a dream that I had.’ Rodrigo draws on all of these influences and his intrinsic passion creating an energy to craft highly original creations of stunning style. Rodrigo Otazu is obviously a very talented man with an incredible eye for beauty, he designs by pure instinct and straight from the heart. Otazu can turn his hand and eye to a wide range of style items yet the finished result always carries the distinctive signature of a designer who has an intensely personal touch and a fiercely creative vision. The current bestselling items in the Otazu collection are large, chunky, heavy, exaggerated pieces. Rodrigo works in an enormously expensive business but despite all his success, Rodrigo Otazu relishes the fact that he can lead be a normal life. ‘I can still be myself, be a normal guy who has a bike, and jump into his bike and go to work and enjoy his life.’ However, Rodrigo has somewhat more than most (the most expensive thing he owns is a flawless 6 carat diamond.) but he admits ‘I don't like cars, I don't like boats, I just bought myself a 2.5 million property (a

and taking a good two hours a day for yourself

beautiful farm in the middle of Amsterdam) but it’s just a home, some-

of your crazy day is very important because

where I like to live, I like to have a beautiful place.’

that keep you in balance, and keeps you focus,

He lets me in on a secret though, his most prized possession is none of any of these expensive products, in fact what is most precious to Rodrigo is a present given to him by his mother when he was young. As a former model, his appearance is understandably important, and

and helps you relax. That all sounds pretty normal, however all of this is often followed by a celebrity filled soiree.

his typical day starts with a 6am hour-long run followed by the gym for

However, for Rodrigo the best part of his

45 minutes. In the office, his morning consists of meetings and all busi-

job is arriving home ‘you close the door, and

ness-related work. When all that’s sorted, the afternoon is used for cre-

you have your privacy, and you're content with

ativity. ‘My brain doesn’t work that in the morning, I need to bring my

yourself, and satisfied with what you did and

mood out. Then normally dinner with friends.’

what you're going to do. It's not so much about

Rodrigo extols the virtues of exercise and the positive effects it has for the mind. He credits exercise as the thing that ‘keeps me in control, it is very much stable in my life. I think going to the gym, eating well, having a spiritual life, yoga, and running in the park, having fresh air,

the others or what other people think about you; it's about how you feel with yourself.’ I think this is something we can all identify with. 

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Finishing Schools

WW

The finishing school, that most traditional of educational establishments that magically transformed young girls into the graceful young ladies of yesteryear, is back and thriving in the 21st century.

hoever you are, whatever you do, your manners have a direct impact on your professional and social success. In today’s increasingly global society, international etiquette is an essential skill in determining the level of your success as a business leader. Being confident in your

abilities is your passport to feeling at ease in any situation from an international meeting with VIP clients to navigating the finer details of a formal meal. The demands placed on today’s professionals surpass any experienced in the past.

To succeed in your field, a savvy businessman or woman must be able to distinguish themselves from their competition; develop and maintain business, project a positive and respectful image, project confidence and authority, and build teamwork in a multicultural environment. Finishing schools can be a great way to train for a life in business. Faultless etiquette skills mean that you can calmly and effortlessly make the right decisions, if you can confidently greet colleagues, handle introductions and demonstrate dining and entertaining savvy, you are operating from a position of strength and authority. Finishing schools or business etiquette services can also help your company as a whole, and give you the competitive advantage. Services provided include training in the tools necessary for corporate branding, allowing your businesses to develop a unified commercial message through etiquette, protocol, image and communication skills. In business a first impression could be the balance on which a successful deal hinges, attending a finishing school ensures that you are equipped with the best tools and are able to present yourself in the best possible light that should stand you in great stead for success. Schools offer speciality courses in image management, business etiquette and communication skills. You could have the best business brain around yet it is imperative in meeting with clients or fellow business leaders that you have the skills to ensure that meetings run smoothly and that everyone has a good experience. This is another tool that a finishing school can provide. Switzerland is renowned for the quality and exclusivity of their finishing schools. If you are looking to send your children to one, Switzerland comes highly recommended. Famous schools include the Institut Villa Pierrefeu or Institut Alpin Videmanette (now closed) that was attended by Diana Princess of Wales.

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The Institut Villa Pierrefeu (www.ivpworld.com, +41 21 963 73 11) is the world’s best.

distinguish, develop and maintain business relationships, strengthen your business presence, project a positive, confident, professional image

This traditional Swiss Finishing School has been delivering the high-

and reputation and thrive in any situation with finesse and polish. In-

est standards in etiquette training since 1954. They are at the forefront of

creased communication skills can help to reduce language barriers and

teaching, coaching and consulting on matters of international and social

therefore interpret your potential audience with ease.

business etiquette and protocol. “Elegant, exclusive and charming’, the In-

The Business Etiquette Program promises the success of your busi-

stitut Villa Pierrefeu is for young ladies typically aged 18-25 (however there

ness in the international arena. You’ll learn to be competent and com-

is no upper age limit).

petitive abroad, and as well as the skills for effective cross-cultural

The Institut promises to prepare its pupils for a role in the business

communication. The business etiquette program will equip you with

world and society. The school offers year long and summer courses as well

strategies to broaden global awareness, and allow you to explore new

as short seminars and training on request.

markets, develop opportunities, and master the techniques necessary to

In summer they offer a unique 10 week intensive course in International

outclass your competition. 

Etiquette and Protocol on their purpose built campus which covers the customs of over 20 different cultures. At the request of different organisations and government depart-

Social Etiquette Programs

ments, tailor -made seminars allow smaller groups to benefit from

‘Decorum, elegance, societal savoir faire and a cosmopolitan

these subjects at dates to that fit around hectic schedules.

view on the world uniquely distinguish you in all that you do.’

During the school year the typical course undertaken is the ‘IVP

This course provides etiquette and lifestyle management

Higher Certificate in Finishing’ course in collaboration with Surval Mont

programs to fit discerning individual desires.

Fleuri.

Social ‘etiquette’ may seem old fashioned but good man-

Surval Mont-Fleuri is a boarding school for girls in the `Montreux re-

ners always pay off.

gion of Switzerland with an exceptional reputation for education. They

The programs at Minding Manners are based on a variety of

teach young girls to become what they need to be in the modern world.

premises of traditional Swiss finishing schools and the con-

Attending the IVP Course at Surval Mont-Fleuri gives equips its pupils

temporary demands of modern citizens

with the skills to be the perfect hostess, trains them in recognized qual-

For additional information or to see their full range of pro-

ifications to deal successfully with their professional and personal re-

grammes including Youth Etiquette Workshops Expatriate

sponsibilities as a business woman. Ultimately they are taught to feel at

Protocol Coaching.

ease in any and every situation. England is an equally popular choice when it comes to finishing

www.mindingmatters.com

schools, Minding Manners is a particularly good choice for business professionals.

The Finishing Academy in Cheshire prides itself on teaching

Minding Manners (Suite 322, 34 Buckingham Palace Road, London,

traditional values for the modern world. They run courses for

+44 (0)20 7584 9805), based in London comes recommended by major

ladies, gentlemen, young gentlemen and business people.

publications, Vogue, Le Monde and the Wall Street Journal. They are Eu-

The topics covered in the courses range from traditional de-

rope’s leading internationally certified etiquette and protocol consultancy.

portment and etiquette, through to essential skills for mod-

Programs include corporate, business and social etiquette and are cus-

ern day living such as career counselling, first aid,

tomised for international and internationally minded executives, corpora-

self-defence and even car maintenance.

tions, university and grad students as well as youth and private individuals,

The course venues, Willington Hall in the heart of Cheshire,

Corporate services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each

Combermere Abbey and Scottish Castles, are stunning and

client and are designed to have an immediate impact. Minding manners promise to take you from ‘unnoticed to unforget-

beautiful locations where you can immerse yourself in traditions of the past.

table’, add polish to your image and increase your self confidence so that you can forget any feelings of anxiety or uncertainty and focus on the

www.finishingacademy.co.uk,

matters in hand; comfortable, poised and powerful in every situation.

+44 1270 623110

Corporate Etiquette Training teaches the essential skills needed to

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The March Hare

Exhibitors included Ferretti showing their brand new 881 RPH model, Drettmann Yachting showcasing their ever-impressive flotilla and Gulf Craft presenting their Majesty models 101/118 and 130. All proved to be incred-

March is a busy time for 100Thousand Club. We have the magazine to finalise just when everybody comes out to play. Oh well, some months are not meant for sleeping – and this is why.

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Dubai International Boat Show March 11th-15th 2008 The Dubai International Boat Show is the largest, significant and reputable event of its

ibly beautiful examples of workmanship. If you missed it this year, make sure you don’t miss it again. www.boatshowdubai.com

kind in the Middle East and one of the fastest growing marine industry exhibitions in the world. This year’s show excelled itself.

Abu Dhabi Fashion Week 15-18th March 2008

Strolling across the docks we were blown

Abu Dhabi Fashion week saw the com-

away by the huge array of crafts on offer, from

ing together of some of the biggest names in

small to medium sized boats, fishing and lux-

fashion this season. Opened by Missoni and

ury boats, including many world-renowned

a collection of young Emirati students given

brands and locally designed crafts were all vis-

the chance to showcase their work inspired

ible to explore and contemplate as a potential

by Arab culture and tradition on an interna-

investment.

tional stage.


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Local designers who impressed were Aisha Desmal, Milla Maroun, Moe Khadra, Layla Kouris and Maison Rabih Kayrouz.

Fall/Winter 2008 collections in 16 exciting

goal of being an unmissable date on the fash-

runway shows.

ion calendar. At times hysterical, always high-

The third installation of Dubai Fashion

tempo, and insanely inspiring, miss the next

This was an impressive line up that saw

Week did not disappoint, with designers Otazu,

one at your (and your wardrobe’s) peril.

some of the most prestigious fashion figures in

Wallid Atallah, Troy Costa and Lecoanet He-

www.difw.ae

attendance. The week was closed by Pucci.

mant all showing here.

VIPs included the fashion editors of Elle

Dubai is definitely on its way to establish-

and Vogue as well as international and regional

ing its place as a global fashion hub. And with

buyers and fashion critics alike.

growing interest from the media, buyers and

International Arabian Horse Fair and Championship 20th-22nd March

This event is one to watch. It was also the

designers, this event provides an exclusive

The Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF)

most fun we’ve had in a long time. Apart from

platform to develop the entire region’s fashion

was held at the Dubai International Convention

Dubai Fashion week of course…

fraternity.

and Exhibition Centre, and proved to be a fan-

www.abudhabifashionweek.com

Dubai Fashion Week March 19-22nd 2008 The fashion extravaganza that is Dubai Fashion Week was a feast of fabulousness this year with 31 designers showing their

The runway was an impressive mix of low-

tastic spectacle of magnificent horses.

cut silky gowns and chiffons and glittery em-

Beginning in 2005, the DIHF has gone

broidered fabrics typical of our glorious region.

from strength-to-strength and is now estab-

Additionally, The Splash Emerging Talent

lished as the region’s largest exhibition for

Show showed a great deal of promise for the

equestrian equipment, services and care prod-

future of fashion here.

ucts. It has become an essential platform for

Dubai Fashion week has established its

everybody in the equestrian related business.

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The Middle East has seen a huge growth

tigious of its kind in the world and attracts the

in its equestrian market, moved forward by the

largest gathering of royalty. It is the place to go

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2008 13-15 May 2008

rapid 5five percent annual growth in popula-

to see some of the world’s finest, most exquisite

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

tion and further propelled by the region’s her-

purebred Arabian horses. The prize money increasing from $1 mil-

Development Event is an annual networking

250 percent increase in exhibition space in

lion in 2007 to $4 million this year only served

exhibition focusing on all aspects of the prop-

three years, attracting 213 exhibitors from 27

to attract even more impressive quality and

erty development cycle with two parallel con-

countries and 7,833 visitors, including trade,

showmanship.

ferences running alongside the exhibition. It

royalty, VIPs and the public.

www.diahc.ae

attracts regional and international investors,

As well as the trade fair, there were addi-

property developers, leading architects and

tional features such as a riding/show jumping

designers to an annual forum that celebrates

arena, an international equine art gallery and horse auction, all essential viewing. The fair is held alongside The Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) – a competition that displays the beauty, agility and heritage of purebred Arabian horses. The Championship is one of the most pres-

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The International Property Investment &

itage as a culture of horse-lovers. It has seen a

100 Thousand Club

WHAT’S GOING ON 2008 March may be the busiest month, but there’s plenty left in the tank. Here’s our pick of the year’s forthcoming events.

the very best in real estate, architecture, urban planning and design. www.cityscapeabudhabi.com

Al Fares Dubai 28-30 October 2008 Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre


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Al Fares, the oldest equine trade fair in

and collectors’ items. An extensive showcase

the Middle East and the Far East as well as

Asia and Africa, is the number one exhibition

of jewellery and timepieces from over 400 ex-

from North and Central America.

on products and services for horse and rider.

hibitors across the globe, an exclusive invita-

www.emiratesartandantiquesfairs.com

Launched in Dubai in 1995, it has been grow-

tion-only private preview will also be held on

ing steadily. The last Al Fares held in Dubai in

12 November 2008 for the crème de la crème

December 2006 attracted 319 exhibitors from

to catch a first glimpse of some of the latest

31 countries spanning all the six continents.

launches. Be there – we are.

Dubai International Film Festival 11-18 December 2008

About 4500 visitors from 55 countries visited

www.jewelleryshow.com

Dubai In 2004, the Dubai International Film Fes-

the three-day show. www.alfajer.net/alfares

Dubai International Jewellery Week 11-15 November 2008

Abu Dhabi International Fine Art and Antiques Fair 12-15 November 2008

tival (DIFF) launched with its theme of ‘Bridg-

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed

The Abu Dhabi International Fine Art and

ing Cultures. Meeting Minds.’ Going into its fourth year, DIFF is held under the Honorary bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Dubai International Convention and

Antiques Fair will present a wide range of high

Reflecting Dubai’s cosmopolitan and mul-

Exhibition Centre

quality art and antiques of all ages and disci-

ticultural character, the festival showcases a

Dubai International Jewellery Week will

plines. You will find contemporary and tradi-

wide selection of features, shorts and docu-

feature the world’s most prestigious watch and

tional art and sculpture as well as antiques.

mentaries from around the world.

jewellery brands, in addition to one-off pieces

Participating dealers will come from Europe,

www.dubaifilmfest.com

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Fashion fans listen up…

“Isla Moda… will be the ultimate allencompassing fashion experienced, providing bespoke shopping, living and dining, and entertaining” Samira Abdulrazzak, CEO Dubai Infinity Holdings

n January of this year Dubai Infinity

I

with. She believes that the concept benefits Dubai and simultaneously

Holdings (DIH) announced plans to

transcends cultures and global hemispheres, giving a permanent home

construct Isla Moda, the world’s first is-

to international designers and helping to bridge cultures.

land dedicated purely to fashion, quite

Abdulrazzak said “Isla Moda will be acknowledged as the central

simply, this is a dream come true for any fash-

fashion district of the entire Middle East and a natural home for all the

ionista. Somewhere to truly immerse yourself

world's top fashion luminaries. It will be an innovative centre that en-

in fashion and a one-stop shop for shoes, bags,

compasses the entire value chain of fashion and will be replicated in

clothes, all of this is topped with your very own

other emerging markets by transforming global fashion brands into value

personal concierge to cater for your every

added real estate partners. A significant impact will be made - not only

need.

within the international real estate community, but especially within key

Reputedly costing over and above $80

fashion and leisure segments."

million there is some serious cash being in-

Samira herself has an impressive portfolio. Previously of HSBC Bank

jected into this project that should ensure the

Middle East and financial institution Tamweel, she is the youngest fe-

most famous brands, designer houses, cat-

male UAE National CEO and it is her that we have to thank for this ex-

walks and luxury hotels.

citing and glamorous project.

The idea is that it will be a ‘fashion hub’,

Abdulrazzack sees Isla Moda as a key step forward for the future of

somewhere fashion’s elite will come together

DIH, summarising their primary focus on innovation and empowerment

to mingle over everything fashion related. We

of all stakeholders, ‘we want to empower them not only to succeed but to

are told it will combine super style and ultra

excel’. This is where she says DIH differentiates itself from other hold-

luxury to attract only the top designers from

ing companies in the Middle East.

around the world.

Abdulrazzak intends for Isla Moda to be the focal point and repre-

Our source at Asdaa the PR company

sentation of the Middle East’s sophisticated tastes. This goal is well on

dealing with the publicity for Isla Moda told us

its way to being cemented with the announcement in February that Isla

that DIH ultimately intend to make the devel-

Moda is the official partner of Dubai Fashion week.

opment equal to Paris in fame and style. The brainchild of CEO Samira Abdulraz-

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100 Thousand Club

Design

zak, Isla Moda is the epitome of the niche and

Set in the iconic development The World, Isla Moda promises to be

unconventional projects DIH are associated

a complete fashion resort, including themed residential villas, haute cou-


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ture boutiques and luxury hospitality facilities. World famous fashion labels will design each element of the island so we can expect something impressive. The world’s top fashion capitals, both its countries and its cities will be characterised in the project DIH are describing as a ‘City of Fashion’.

Service Isla Moda will offer one of a kind boutique and retail spaces where the level of both product and service promises to be truly unique. The whole project is about creating an incredible lifestyle experience and the theme of the project will be completely influenced by the language of fashion. The food and beverage, hotel, marina and outdoor spaces will be operated by the biggest names in their respective industries,

Some of the biggest names in fashion have

A special touch to the Isla Moda experience is the vast array of per-

signed up to the project at this point they are

sonal services on offer from your own concierge, style gurus, and perfume

not revealing any names, however I was prom-

experts to personal makeover artists all working to create a bespoke

ised they would be well-known and respected

lifestyle experience for every visitor.

labels. This could potentially mean names as big as Chanel, Dior and Versace. All of this is being done in a bid to drive

A design concierge will create an exclusive living environment complete with bespoke furnishings, art and technology using the custom products and accessories of today’s biggest fashion designers.

Dubai’s fashion industry and develop the coun-

One of the main perks of being a resident is that you will receive

try into an essential fashion destination. The

‘VVIP’ (Very Very Important Person!) global access to exclusive fashion

whole project will be designed with the needs

events, services and products.

of the fashion industry and fashion connoisseurs in mind.

Accomodation One of the major draws to Isla Moda will be the luxury fashion

Isla Moda’s residences are named according to the seasons

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hotel, ‘Hotel Moda’, each of the 250 rooms and serviced apartments


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individually designed by influential fashion

ate a cohesive yet dynamic island neighbourhood that will start with

houses. Within the hotel will also be a num-

great design and evolve with the tastes of our residents and guests’.

ber of boutiques representing the world’s

Fashion conscious residents are able to select from the world’s most

most prominent designers, many of them ex-

recognised designers to create their own couture home, a truly once in

clusively.

a lifetime opportunity.

In addition there will be design studios

‘Dubai is witnessing a boom in the property, tourism and retail sec-

and dedicated areas for functions and ban-

tors, and Isla Moda fits in ideally with this development. The project will

quets.

cement Dubai's position as one of top fashion and lifestyle destinations

Like the seasons of fashion Isla Moda has

in the world; on The World,’ added Ms. Abdulrazzak.

named its residences accordingly, the first set

Isla Moda will also host exclusive international events, including

of residential properties, the ‘Winter Collec-

fashion shows and product launches that will feature high profile-de-

tion’ will be unveiled at the end of 2008.

signers and guaranteed attendance by the fashion world's crème de la

As well as the residential collection, the stylish Beach, Royal and Water Villas sit

crème. Fashion shows and limited edition product launches are a few of the events that will take place on the island.

nearby. All of the accommodation promises

The premise of the addition of Isla Moda to The World is well

to offer a unique living experience while the

summarised by Hamza Mustafa (Director). “An island dedicated to

limited edition villas will offer spectacular

high fashion and luxury lifestyle fits well with the glamour and

views, private beaches, pools and other ex-

lifestyle promise of The World. It is an amazing concept and I am

clusive residential accessories.

proud to host it.”

Samira Abdulrazzak told us ‘We are

Unfortunately we will have to wait a few years for this fashion ex-

working with time-honoured fashion houses

travaganza as the first stage of development wont begin until Septem-

as well as non traditional designers to cre-

ber/October this year. Until then keep watching this space. 

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s always, the 100Thousand

looking for Ferrari like performance – again,

able to travel 221 miles on one full charge of

Club takes pride in embracing

look no further. A 0-60 in 3.9 seconds guar-

the battery, but there is no backup power

the green movement. With the

antees a ride that will have the back of your

supply.

rapid development of green

head pinned to the headrest. The car will

real estate, use of private travel, and an on-

never need a drop of gasoline.

No matter, it is still a joy to drive, and a revolutionary vehicle. Hopefully it is only the

going barrage of reminders regarding global

The sex appeal of a vehicle like this is a

first indicator that moving away from our de-

warming, it is a responsibility that falls on

major quotient for buyers who have been lin-

pendence on foreign oil doesn’t mean a bor-

everyone’s shoulders to embrace design and

ing up since the car went into production.

ing drive, or an bland car.

functionality that lends itself to the cause.

There is already a waiting list. It is quite easy

Elon Musk, Chairman of the Board for

But green does not have to mean boring. Take

to see why. With a price tag of $98,000, the

Tesla has been the primary funding source

a look at the Tesla Roadster.

car is not one for the masses. Instead, it is a

for Tesla Motors since its conception. A

The San Carlos, California based Tesla

first step in differentiating eco-friendly from

product of the Silicon Valley emergence, Mr.

Motor Company has redefined what consti-

boring. Indeed, it may not be an ideal pri-

Musk is the founder of PayPal and SpaceX.

tutes an electric car. If you are looking for

mary vehicle for those who are putting on a

The same type of dynamic thinking and rev-

sleek design, look no further. But if you are

tremendous amount of miles each day. It’s

olutionary ideas that applied to those en-

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deavors seem to be pushing Tesla forward. Mr. Musk always had a keen interest in electric vehicles, and when combined with the passion and insight brought by co-founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, it is not difficult to see why the progression of the company hasn’t hit any rocky points. It may take a while to get your hands on one of these speed demons, but once you do, you’ll probably never want to venture to the gasoline pump again.  www.teslamotors.com

The 2008 Tesla Roadster – Facts & Figures Drivetrain: Electric motor with 2-speed electrically-actuated-manual-shift transmission with integral differential Motor: 3-phase, 4-pole electric motor, 248hp peak (185kW), redline 13,000 rpm, regenerative “engine braking” Chassis: Bonded extruded aluminum with 4-wheel wishbone suspension Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS Acceleration: 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds Range: About 220 miles (based on EPA combined city/highway cycle) Battery Life: Useful battery, 100,000 miles Full Charge: About 3.5 hours


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100TC ME 2  

100Thousand Club Middle East edition. Issue 2. 100Thousand Club is an exclusive magazine where great writing is complemented by passion, a f...

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