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A N Y

P L A N E

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A N Y

T I M E

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A N Y

P L A C E


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Business Choice… A N Y

P L A N E

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A N Y

T I M E

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A N Y

P L A C E

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Hawker 800 Capacity: 8 Passengers 2 Pilots 1 Cabin Service Rep. Cabin: Length - 21’3” (6.48m) Width – 5’9” (1.75m) Height – 5’8” (1.72m) Performance: Cruising Speed – 440 Knots (500 mph) Maximum Range – 2,650 miles. Interior Forward and Rear Hold, Leather Seats, Full Bar.

Premier 1 Capacity: 6 Passengers 2 Pilots. Cabin: Length - 21’3” (6.48m) Width – 5’6” (1.68m) Height – 5’5” (1.65m) Performance: Cruising Speed – 440 Knots (500 mph) Maximum Range – 1,460 miles. Interior Forward and Exterior Hold, Leather Seats, Full Bar.

Lifestyle Choice…

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CONTENTSviz3:28nov

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Contents

152

BE INSPIRED BY… 24 The Dresser Elie Saab, Fashion Designer.

26 “I love setting targets” Maha K Al Ghunaim, Chairperson, Global Investment House.

28 The Wizard Mazouz Mourad Mazouz, Restaurateur.

24 OBJECTS OF DESIRE 30 The Golden Touch This season’s hottest gold.

32 Time is of the Essence A timeless look at the time.

39 How to Dress Tom Ford’s stunning evening wear.

43 No. 1 The world’s most expensive perfume.

45 Phone Couture When Samsung met Giorgio Armani.


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Contents

Take our photographic journey to the heart of Italy

108 PEOPLE

PROPERTY

46 Wild Horses

66 Hot Property

Satish Seemar is UAE racing all over.

An army of 250,000 people are building Dubai – but can it stand the winds of change?

58 “The World Is Our Oyster” Adnan Al Musallam on the pleasure of business.

138 The Man Who “Touched The Soul Of Arabia” Andrew Vicari: king of painters, painter of kings.

156 The Secret of My Success Mishal Hamed Kanoo, Deputy Chairman of The Kanoo Group.

74 Follow The Money Prime property has become a key part of the portfolio. But where should you buy?

81 The Keys to the Kingdom Who’s afraid of Fractional Living? Not those who want their dreams now.


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46

Satish Seemar: a true champion

Adnan AlMusallam has just bought Aston Martin. What is he going to do next?

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Contents TRAVEL 96 36 Hours In… Muscat, Oman’s capital by the sea.

102 Snow patrol Our five favorite places for winter fun.

105 Petra It’s been announced as one of the new seven wonders of the world – we know why.

108 La Dolce Vita A photographic journey to the heart of Italy.

90

120 Barefoot Luxury Going shoeless in the Maldives.

124 Planes On Demand Very light jets: revolution or Zeppelin?

126 Jet Stream Prices are dropping on executive jets; standards are rising on commercial flights. It’s a difficult choice.

VICE 54 Design Classic Is Rolls Royce’s Phantom Drophead the best luxury coupe ever?

90 The Cool Breeze Keep the summer alive with floating chiffons and easy layers. Take me where the wind blows.

132 Shopping Strike: Dubai Go for broke in some of the world’s hottest retail destinations.

142 Art for Art’s Sake If you want to start a collection, ask an art advisor.

152 Bespoke 24 24 hours of spectacular one off items.


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EDITORS NOTE:29nov

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The Editor’s Note Welcome to the Club We think that successful people need a place to relax – to talk shop in an informal setting, and to be informed about the things of importance to them. Were that place real, it would be 100Thousand Club – and this, the house magazine. We may have a strict membership policy, but the conversation and the company are worth it. 100Thousand Club is a new luxury publication focused on the Middle East, but with a global perspective. It’s for readers who are less focused on celebrity and more interested in the tastemakers and business leaders driving culture and commerce. This issue we talk with three such people: Adnan Al-Musallam, chairman of Kuwait’s visionary investment group, The Investment Dar; the stunningly successful Satish Seemar, who runs the private stables of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and the world’s richest living artist Andrew Vicari, the man who “touched the soul of Arabia”. We’ve also got our regular portfolio of prime property, stunning travel destinations and the beautiful things that have inspired us this issue. There’s more, of course. But I’ll let you discover it for yourself. Enjoy the magazine.

Max Clifford, Editor

Max Clifford at Goldbrick House, Bristol, UK www.goldbrickhouse.co.uk. Clothes courtesy John Anthony www.john-anthony.com


CONTRIBUTORS viz2:middle east

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Contributors• Winter’07

BAKHITA HASSAN

MU’TAZZ UTHMAN AL-FAHAL

ABDUL-GHAFUR BIN AHMAD

“I have loved horse racing all of my life,”

When we wanted a property piece on Dubai

Abdul-Ghafur Bin Ahmad (The World

says Bakhita Hassan (Mr. Racing, p46).

there was only one man to ask. Mu’tazz

is not Enough, p58) thought The Invest-

So profiling Satish Seemar, the man who

Uthman al-Fahal (Hot Property, p 66)

ment Dar’s chairman Adnan Al-Musallam

helped to bring UAE racing to life, was the

has been writing about property, modern ar-

would be a dry subject. “The company is so

commission of a lifetime. “He is a great man,

chitecture and global markets for residential

well structured I was expecting a facts-and-

with a fantastic understanding of horses and

developments for 12 years. “It has been an

figures man, not somebody so passionate

how to get the best from them. You can see it

overwhelming interest since I left Univer-

about every aspect of his job.” Bin Ahmad

in the list of champions from his stables.”

sity”. Al-Fahal is full of praise for Dubai:

is now a convert to Al-Musallam’s world-

Bakhita’s writing has appeared in Elle,

“What they are doing here is incredible, it

conquering vision and plans to use it in his

Vogue and The Economist.

really is fantasy made flesh – or brick, ce-

own life. He’ll start just as soon as he’s

ment, and structural steel.”

found his pen…

Jon Blumb (La Dolce Vita, p 108) has fallen in love with the boar

USA, Topher Donahue (Snow Patrol, p100) learned to climb soon

hunters of Italy. “The camaraderie is incredible, and the sense of tra-

after learning to walk. He is now one of America’s top all-around

dition, of history. And the fresh-cooked boar, of course.” The incredi-

climbers and his professional photography has appeared in countless

ble warmth in Jon’s images is, he says, a result of the Hasselblad XPan

publications, including every major American climbing magazine.

camera he uses for the panoramas and the Pentax 67II he uses for full

Khurshi Mehmood Kasuri (Petra, p104) found inspiration in this ancient city chiselled by hand into the sandstone cliffs of Jordan. “It was incredible – such patience and vision. Everybody should see this.”

more than developing it. “The hours are better,” she laughs. Parveen’s

In fact, Kasuri was so impressed he’s going back and this time he’s

writing has appeared in Property Week, The Developer, Elle

taking his whole family. “I cannot wait to see the look on my children’s

Deco, and The Financial Times. Born into a climbing family and

faces,” he says. “My son builds sandcastles all of the time. This will

growing up just ten minutes from the Longs Peak trailhead in Colorado,

be the biggest he has ever seen.”

Premier Sponsors

100ThousandClub

frame views. Parveen Rashid (Follow the Money, p74) was a property developer until she found she liked writing about property

DIAMOND SPONSOR

PLATINUM SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS


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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 LIN ROWE Editor-in-Chief ADAM BURNS Editor MAX CLIFFORD 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, Maritime SARAH BRICE Director, Hotels & Resorts VICTORIA NEWING Director, Global Realty THOMAS PORTS Director, Aviation STEVE YEOMANS 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 MICHELLE BAKER Production Coordinators HANNAH DRIVER, DANIELLE PARKINSON Circulation Manager BEN KELLY 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 1, Q4 2007) 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 © 2007 100Thousand Club. 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 T H O U S A N D

C L U B

www.100thousandclub.com


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Be Inspired by... The Designer

The

DRESSER

E

Elie Saab is the self-trained outsider who conquered the cliques of haute couture with stunning collections inspired by “the colours of dawn over Beirut”.

E

lie Saab was born in Lebanon in 1964 and launched his own fashion label, in Beirut, aged just 18. This story, like so many others, could have ended there. But Saab’s early work quickly established him as one to watch, and soon he was making inroads all over the Middle East.

Elie “always” had a love for fashion. He was self-trained until, aged 17, he moved

to Paris to study fashion. A whirlwind year inspired Elie to put ideas into practice and he returned to Beirut to open his own workshop in 1982. He developed a large following and worked hard at his craft, only taking the deci-

sion to expand after almost 15 years. He moved to a larger atelier in Beirut (where his main business remains) and then exploded onto the public conscious worldwide. Haute Couture is the most extravagant, lavish and expensive type of gown you can buy.

It is the most pored over, criticised and written about. And it is where Elie made his name. In 1997, he became the first non-Italian member of the Camera Nazionale della Moda

(The National Chamber for Italian Fashion) and showed his first collection outside Lebanon in Rome. In 2003, he was invited to join the notoriously strictly regulated Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, an honour and mark of excellence for any designer. In between he dressed some of the most famous – and glamorous – women in the world. Elie designed the dress Hale Berry wore for her Best Actress Oscar win in 2002; he has dressed Christina Aguilera and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Princess Stephanie of Monaco and Queen Rania of Jordan. Elie’s signature gowns are elegant and beautiful, seamlessly blending Middle Eastern influences with European trends. Themes central to his creations are beauty and femininity, closely following the lines of the female body. Asked about the conflict in Lebanon last summer, he explains that he refused to let it affect his work. The colours of his latest haute couture collection were inspired by the beauty of the “colours of dawn over Beirut”. Ambitious, sublimely skilled, and grounded: we think you’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Mr. Saab. 

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Be Inspired by... The Leader

I love setting targets

M

Maha K Al Ghunaim is one of the brightest stars in

commitment. Al Ghunaim admits that she thrives

the Arab Banking firmament. She has been named

on challenges and is fiercely passionate about her

among the ‘Women to watch in the Middle East’ by

work. “I love setting targets that are not easily

Forbes International, and among the ‘Most influen-

achievable and then striving to surpass them.”

tial personalities in the Middle East’ by Newsweek

In terms of professional commitment, Al Ghu-

Arabia. In February 2005, she received the ‘Gulf

naim believes the key to keeping a balance is “ef-

Excellence Award’ on behalf of Global, and later

fective and efficient” timekeeping. For her, a strong

that year ‘Best Equity House in Kuwait’ by Eu-

core team is essential to maintaining – and simpli-

romoney magazine.

fying – management processes. And she considers

This year, Al Ghunaim jumped from 91st to

her employees wellbeing as the key to a productive

72nd in Forbes’ ‘100 Most Powerful Women in the

company (it was her idea to install a gym and spa in

World’ to become the top-ranking Arab woman on

Global’s new offices).

the list. What drives her on?

26

What next? Al Ghunaim forecasts Global’s ex-

Al Ghunaim studied at San Francisco State Uni-

pansion into the emerging markets of United Arab

versity in California where she received a Bachelor

Emirates, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Turkey and

of Science in Mathematics. She began her career at

Egypt. She seeks to close the gap between Middle

the Kuwait Foreign Trading Contracting and Invest-

Eastern banking practices and those outside the

ment Company in 1982, becoming head of portfolio

Arab world.

management in 1988. She worked hard, became a

She is also president of the Kuwait chapter of

member of the board, and won herself some recog-

Young Arab Leaders, and sees her role as one of so-

nition. Then, in 1998, she started Global.

cial responsibility in nurturing and developing po-

Al Ghunaim’s Forbes listing credits “impres-

tential through motivational and educational

sive leadership, vision and great economic impact”,

sessions. Pay attention at the back, you won’t get a

she says it’s all down to a lot of hard work and total

teacher like this very often. 

100 Thousand Club

Maha K Al Ghunaim is successful. Incredibly successful. As the Chairperson and Managing Director of Global Investment House she has assets under her management totalling US$6.2 billion. But her story doesn’t stop there.

The key to keeping a balance is “effective and efficient” timekeeping


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Photograph courtesy Siddharth Siva/Forbes Arabia

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In a recent sitting at Sketch you would have found Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Helena Christensen


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Be Inspired by... The Playboy Restaurateur

Mourad Mazouz left Algeria to travel the world. It was only when he ran out of money that his passion found a focus.

Mazouz The Wizard

M

ourad Mazouz was born in Algeria in 1962, the year the country won it’s independence from France. Growing up with an Algerian father and a French mother

may have made his young life difficult – he was bullied as the ‘French boy’ – but the alchemy of those two strong cultures helped to shape a very rosy future.

When he was six, Mazouz’s mother left for Paris. He stayed with his father and his “feelings

of insecurity and detachment”. Where others may have sulked, Mazouz developed an independent spirit and drive that has served him well ever since. Aged 15, Mazouz followed his mother to Paris, where he worked for three years as an office cleaner. Then, after a stint as a music PR and a failed romance, he left for America to work in the restaurant kitchens of Hollywood and beyond. He spent the following years in New York, Aspen and Indonesia. To raise money for more travelling, Mazouz opened his first restaurant, Au Bascou, in Paris in 1988. It was crowned Paris Bistro of the Year. This success led to the opening of 404, which has been fully booked every night since opening – a hugely impressive record amongst the fickle food fanciers of France. Today, Mazouz owns several phenomenally successful restaurants around the world including Momo and Sketch in London, 404 and Andy Wahloo in Paris, and Almaz in Dubai. Passionate about the North African cooking of his childhood, he has been called a “creative genius, exuding authenticity and confidence”. Mazouz’s restaurants serve delicious North African food and their enduring popularity helps to keep him at the heart of cool culture. In Paris, where he keeps a flat, he spends his time flitting from bar to bar, air-kissing beautiful women and gossiping with the young and the hip. Walking the streets where he grew up, everyone knows his name. The lonely boy has become something of a celebrity (he counts Madonna and Kate Moss as friends). In a recent sitting at Sketch you would have found Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Helena Christensen. History, chemistry, food and passion – it’s an undeniably magical mix. 

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How to... Accessorize

A

All That Glitters Nations are built on gold, and so are the best accessories – here is our pick of the season. The tri-colour spheres of precious gold dentelle that decorate Roberto Coin’s Opera collection swing like blossoms. Put some spring into your step. If Stephen Webster is a rock-n-roll jeweller, the Wild Rose is his ballad. Exotic, sophisticated, and free from convention. Verdura is absolutely on-trend with its latest offerings: chunky, fabulously turned and loud. We love this Caged Ring in citrine and gold, the Criss Cross Cuff and

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the Curb Link Bracelet.

30

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robertocoi w. n. w

w w w. ve rd

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SNAPSHOTS A.LANGE & SOEHNE_FINAL:23oct

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How to... Be on Time

T

Time is of the Essence A four-minute and thirty seconds timeless look at the time.

32

You will probably take three seconds to

mous brand. A. Lange & Söhne watches

Featuring a stunningly accurate moon-

read this sentence. And if you read the full

re-emerged from an untimely demise to

phase mechanism – handy for those ea-

article a total of four minutes and thirty

the pinnacle of watch making excellence

gerly anticipating the advent of the Holy

seconds of your time will tick away. Time

in 1994 with the model Lange 1, bringing

Month of Ramadhan – this is a truly horo-

keeping, or to put it in a more mundane

with it new design standards and techno-

logical sensation and is available to dis-

term, ‘a busy executive’s effort to meet

logical breakthroughs. It became the flag-

cerning watch wearers in platinum,

deadlines’ is something that concerns most

ship of the iconic brand and to-date,

yellow-gold and the recently launched

in today’s urban societies and has been ob-

continues to epitomize its symbolic prom-

pink-gold version.

sessing generations worldwide.

ise of ‘state-of-the-art tradition’.

With only 75 seconds left before this

That was and still is the case in a

Seamlessly and effortlessly blending

article expires, there is only left for one

small German town near Dresden in Sax-

groundbreaking and standard setting

more review. The Datograph by Lange is

ony. Here, a young man named Ferdinand

watch-making technology with over a cen-

legitimately referred to as one of the most

Adolph Lange opened his first watch-mak-

tury-long of time keeping tradition, A.

cultivated chronographs of the new era, a

ing workshop in 1845. His vision was to

Lange & Söhne continues to dominate

match of tradition and innovation made in

produce pocket watches that could keep

today’s premium timepiece market with a

the small watch town of Glashuette, the lo-

the time more accurately then all other

series of mechanical masterpieces of ex-

cation of the company’s production facili-

watches he had seen. His stunning time-

quisite craftsmanship.

ties where 450 craftsmen handcraft

pieces soon became appreciated world-

Amongst the sophisticated array of A.

wide. But, as a result of World War II, the

Lange & Söhne pieces that catch the eye

Featuring a column-wheel mechanism,

watch manufacturer was expropriated in

is the Langematik Perpetual, the world’s

a jumping-minute counter and a flyback

1948 and the eminent name disappeared

first self-winding wristwatch with an out-

function, this is the epitomy of chrono-

from watch dials for some decades.

size date display and a perpetual calendar

graphs. You can even use it to verify that this

The re-unification of Germany in

whose displays can be individually cor-

was a four minute and thirty second read.

1990 brought the chance to revive the fa-

rected but also collectively advanced.

www.alange-soehne.com

100 Thousand Club

Lange’s outstanding timepieces.


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SNAPSHOTS VIZ NEW:23oct

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What to Wear... For Him

E Exclusive, Exquisite

Tom Ford offers a new world of

menswear built on a vision of deeply personalized luxury. His evening wear is made in Italy by artisan craftsmen, and it shows. Look at these fantastic pictures: the details, the materials, the ruffles‌ They say that all the girls love a sailor; they love a handsome pirate more. www.tomford.com


SNAPSHOTS VIZ NEW:23oct

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What to Wear... For Her

N No. 1

If you want to buy perfume – for yourself or the one you love

– there is nothing else out there like Clive Christian No. 1. The scent is subtle but con-

centrated, so it lasts all day. We have no idea how it works, but it is incredible. The bottle stopper is a beautiful, glittering replica of the crown worn by Queen Elizabeth I. They found bottles like this on The Titanic. We think they’d still smell good. www.clive.com


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SNAPSHOTS VIZ NEW:23oct

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How to... Dial in Style

W

When Samsung Met Giorgio Armani This stylish touch screen phone underwent a couture fit-

resolution of 320x240 pixel

equipped with a 3-megapixel

display in 262,000 colours.

camera, a music player sup-

ting by Giorgio Armani to create

Along with the outer appear-

porting various types of music

the design aesthetic while

ance of the phone, the graphical

formats and a full internet

Samsung provided the ad-

user interface (GUI) and audio

browser. Furthermore, the Gior-

vanced features.

user interface (AUI) also reflect

gio Armani-Samsung mobile of-

Is there a more elegant

Giorgio Armani’s modern sim-

fers a microSD type external

phone than this fine blend of

plicity. Being the size of a credit

memory slot and comes with a

Giorgio Armani’s signature chic-

card and a mere 9.9 mm in

Bluetooth stereo headset.

ness and Samsung’s technologi-

thickness, the Giorgio Armani-

With the lure of Armani

cal prowess?

Samsung phone fits sensuously

looks and Samsung’s highly ad-

into the palm of your hand.

vanced functionality, the Gior-

A large 2.6-inch QVGA TFT LCD screen maximizes the

Despite its compactness,

gio Armani-Samsung mobile

visual experience and opti-

the haute couture phone is

phone is the must have fashion

mises the full touch-screen user

loaded with the latest powerful

accessory for this season.

interface (UI). The screen has a

multimedia

www.samsung.com

features.

It

is


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A True Champion

46

100 Thousand Club


SATISH SEEMAR NEW:3dec

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Satish Seemar has horses in his blood. He is UAE racing all over – running one of the oldest and most prestigious stables in the city and also the private stables of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. We profile a true champion. Author: Bakhita Hassan

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ccording to Emirates Today, “Satish Seemar is UAE racing all over”. He has been here since day one, was a forerunner for the phenomenally successful Godolphin operation, and has been crowned champion trainer four times. He was named Trainer of the Year in 2001 and, in 1993, became the first

UAE trainer to win a race in Europe, when Dayflower won the Middleton Stakes at York, in England. The success paved the way for Godolphin and the hugely successful policy of wintering horses in Dubai. “I am obviously very proud to be part of the beginning of racing here, and to be involved with the setting up of Godolphin, the jockeys’ challenge and the Dubai World Cup,” says Seemar. “Not many people can say that they were there for the start of something big, but I can.” The roll call of horses in Seemar’s charge reads like a who’s who of modern racing: Feet So Fast (wins included the Listed Al Shindagha Sprint, in which he beat the top-class Firebreak, the Listed President Cup at Abu Dhabi, and the Emirates Airline Cup at the 2004 Dubai Carnival); Little Jim; Diffident (who took the President Cup for Seemar

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in 1998 just a few weeks after winning the National Day Cup); Just Call

“I have had a long and gratifying career in the horse industry,” says

Me; Trademark; and the purebred Arabians, Big Easy (one of the top

Roberts. “Helping young people has been one of the most satisfying as-

Arabian sprinters the world has ever seen, won the Al Ruwais a stag-

pects of that career and Satish Seemar ranks high on the list of rewards

gering three times); Hasna De Faust; and Mushaagib (holds a race record

I’ve received. When I consider who Satish is and what he has done, it is

of 11 wins from 35 starts).

point of pride with me virtually unequalled.”

Satish Seemar grew up with horses. Born in Abohar, India, he en-

Seemar gained his diploma in 1987, and took a job as Farm Manager

joyed the privileged life of a Rajput family and – after successfully com-

for Taylor Made Farms in Lexington, Kentucky. He was responsible for

pleting his BA in History at St. Stephen’s College New Delhi – acted

over 200 staff members and the entire yearling operation, including a

quickly to make horses the focus of it.

string of over 400 horses. It’s a role that may have made a lesser man

In 1984, Seemar moved to the United States to begin his equine ed-

blanche, but Seemar never wanted for confidence (“Satish’s abilities as

ucation at Shasta College in California. He gained a Diploma in Horse

a young horseman are the best I have ever seen,” said an impressed

Husbandry and went on to specialise in Equine Science. The course in-

Duncan Taylor at the time).

cluded a three-month assignment on Equine Artificial Insemination at

perience in horse psychology, and the two remain close friends. They

H

currently meet on a yearly basis to discuss and exchange the latest re-

wanting to start their career in the horse business. This course has flour-

search, achievements and discoveries in equine science.

ished and today is one of the top equine programmes in the world.

Colorado State University. It was here that Seemar caught the eye of legendary horse-whisperer Monty Roberts, and a career began. Roberts invited Seemar to work alongside him, gaining hands-on ex-

is work included the pre-training of young horses – he applied the Monty Roberts method of handling – preparing for the sale of yearlings and the complete planning, organising and supervising of feeding and nutrition pro-

grams. He also started up an Intern Program for international students

“When I consider who Satish is and what he has done, it is point of pride with me virtually unequalled” – Monty Roberts

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Seemar’s involvement with Taylor Made Farms piqued the interest of

American efficiency. The facilities include a 1800 metre dirt training

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of

track, 100 metre straight pool and over 90 fully air-conditioned stables,

Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed had a dream: to set up one of the most pres-

with a further 60 outside stables. There is also a specially designed horse

tigious racing destinations in the world. It was a challenge that Seemar

spa and exercise machines, meaning these thoroughbreds are as pam-

could not refuse.

pered as their owners.

The project started with the design, development and construction

Being a horse at Zabeel Stables is in every way the definition of a five

of Zabeel Racing Stables. Their build took Seemar around the world,

star treatment, and Seemar’s training philosophy is visible in every as-

seeking out the best concepts in racing and looking to improve upon

pect of daily stable life.

them. Did he succeed? Suffice to say Zabeel Stables serves as the blueprint for all racing related facilities now in Dubai. With its well-manicured lawns and trees, Zabeel Stables has the pleasing atmosphere of a European family estate combined with crisp

“A horse is a individual with its own personality, likes and dislikes, abilities and limits,” explains Seemar. “For us it is most important to recognise the horse’s ability and create an individual training and feeding programme for each and every horse.” Each horse at Zabeel has a separate training plan and schedule, according to his or her ability and pedigree. To enhance the horse’s performance, Seemar has implemented an “up-to-date” nutrition and vitamin program. “We have access to the latest research into food supplements, nutrition and related products and update our feeding program on a monthly basis, according to training demands and racing schedules,” he says. For Satish, a “calm mind” is as important as the training. “The surroundings at Zabeel are tranquil and almost resort like. Horses are relaxed and very approachable,” says Seemar. “The secret to this achievement is a very well organised team of well-trained and dedicated people who look after the horses. Every horse has an allocated groom who is responsible for the well being of the horse. This system of one-on-one care gives the trainer the possibility to recognise immediately if there is a slight change in the horses behaviour, caused by some discomfort or irritation. “Horses can’t speak our language, but they are communicating with a different kind of body language; it is up to us to read the signs and to understand them better. Our grooms know their horses well and can tell if there is something wrong, as soon as they step into their stable.” Satish and his philosophy towards his horses is based on this concept of partnership and teamwork. Racing is not all about winning at any costs; it is also about the joy and pleasure these horses have and can give you, if you treat them right. “A well treated horse likes the challenge and will give you whatever there is possible within its ability,” he says. Yet there have been low points – such as the 2005 season. A total of just 17 winners from around 80 horses in training was a poor return, while a “misunderstanding” with his long-term friend and patron Sheikh Mohammed in December, which led to 30 horses being withdrawn from his care, made it a campaign to forget.

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I

ncredibly, just a few months on, Seemar found himself with more

Cup, Seemar got the call and despite what had gone on before, was

than 200 horses at his disposal, split between his long-term base

ready for the challenge.

at Zabeel and his new yard, Millennium Stables, Sheikh Mo-

“Of course there was a lot of confusion over the last four or five

hammed’s own powerhouse operation. Clearly, hatchets have been

months with people coming and going, and there was a bit of misman-

well and truly buried. “What happened with those horses was a misunderstanding and resulted from some miscommunication,” explains Seemar. “It’s all been

agement when it came to what was happening with the staff and horses,” he says. “But we are doing really well in sorting everything out. Around 20 horses went to the sales and the rest we kept.

cleared up now and we started back as if nothing ever happened. I know

“One of my assistants is in Zabeel and one in Millennium, and it’s

Sheikh Mohammed and he knows me 100 percent – we’re not new to

all been relatively smooth so far. The two stables are only 15 minutes

each other, we’ve shared championships before.

apart and we have seen real progress at Millennium.”

“No offence to anyone, but Alec Laird [his Millennium Stables pred-

Then in 1993 – only a year after racing began in the Emirates -

ecessor] came from South Africa, where it’s just a different mentality and

Seemar made history by becoming the first UAE-based trainer to win a

system. "But I've been here since day one and know the scene inside out.

race in Europe when Dayflower won the Middleton Stakes at York in the

Sheikh Mohammed knows that he can trust me. It’s just great to have

United Kingdom.

him back.” Seemar is charged with steering the Millennium juggernaut back on course following a turbulent season for the leading yard, which has dominated headlines both here and overseas.

What next for the trainer who's achieved so much? The answer is simple – to conquer the racing world. “I’ve always said the best moments are yet to come, I really believe that and hopefully this year will bring them,” he says. “I’ve done my

What happened at Millennium? In December 2005, two-time

championships, so my main objectives are not on a personal level. I want

champion trainer Mazin Al Kurdi was banned for the remainder of the

to take UAE racing to a higher level. Sheikh Mohammed and I want to

season for using a banned substance on four of his seven winners. Rod

go and win the big races, not just at the carnival and on World Cup night,

Simpson replaced him for barely a month before walking out for

but internationally too.


undisclosed reasons, which led to South African Laird taking over in mid-January for just over two months. The day after the Dubai World

“Godolphin has shown the world where racing can take you, we want to follow that path too.” 

Train with Champions Zabeel Racing Stables, owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed

However, with the growth Emirates Racing, Zabeel Racing Sta-

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was, until recently, the private race horse

bles has now opened the doors to accept a select number of

training centre for the Maktoum family, and not open to the pub-

horses owned by private individuals. Those owners fortunate

lic as a training facility.

enough to be part of this exclusive establishment are guaranteed first class treatment for their horses, which has been so traditional at Zabeel in the past.

Training Fees: Dh3,000 per month per horse (includes stabling, grooming, feed, full training)

Veterinary Fees: Invoices are sent to owners directly from the Dubai Equine Hospital and are not included in the training fees.

Racing Accounts are opened with the Emirates Racing Association for each new owner. These are charged with all registrations and entries (0.1 percent of total prize money) and counterbalanced by prize-money won.

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How long does something need to be around be-

$407,000 plus any additional options. But what

fore it can be called classic? When it comes to

an addition it will make.

the Rolls Royce’s Phantom Drophead – the best luxury coupe ever – we don’t care. The 2008 Phantom Drophead Coupé is a jaw-droppingly spectacular four-seat convertible aimed squarely at Bentley’s Azure.

The car’s hand-welded aluminium spaceframe is constructed at a BMW facility in Germany and is wrapped in all-new body panels – nothing is shared with the big-brother sedan. Classic nautical influences are clear. During its

As one would (and should) expect, the cost

development, the team inspected a J-class yacht un-

of entry is substantial. Adding the Phantom

dergoing restoration. Since the Drophead Coupé is

Drophead Coupé to one’s personal fleet will cost

an open-top car, it must be capable of handling the


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elements. As such, smooth, wipeable seating sur-

Big, bold, and sublime, the Phantom Drop-

faces are used (no perforated leather here), as well

head Coupé is Rolls-Royce’s finest car. Yes, the

as carpet materials that are resistant to moisture.

company maintains that the Phantom sedan is the

And let’s not forget the teak decking on the

standard-bearer, but this is better – much better,

hard tonneau – the most obvious (and the most

in our opinion – appealing to the romantic in all

gorgeous) nautical influence of all.

of us in a way the sedan never will. The gauntlet

Occupants sit in a sea of leather, wood and

has been thrown down in the ultra-luxury seg-

chrome, and when the weather’s less than perfect,

ment. Ladies and gentlemen of distinction, your

a cashmere-lined 5-layer roof protects them from

car is waiting...

the elements.

www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

100 Thousand Club

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around the 785-boat slip marina. The bustling

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Adnan Al-Musallam has just bought Aston Martin. What is he going to do next?


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Author: Abdul-Ghafar Bin Ahmad

The Investment Dar is a visionary investment group with 11 consecutive years of rising profits. It was also one of the world’s bestkept secrets until the Aston Martin takeover. Chairman Adnan Al-Musallam talks business with 100Thousand Club.

Y

ou may only just have heard of Adnan AlMusallam, but he is behind the investment wheel of one of the most important deals of 2007 – the US$925 million purchase of luxury British carmaker Aston Martin. Al-Musallam, chairman of Kuwait-based The Investment Dar Company, was instrumen-

tal in securing the successful deal alongside former Benetton and British American Racing boss David Richards and Mustafa Al Saleh, managing director and CEO of Adeem Investment of Kuwait. It gives The Investment Dar a huge 50 percent share of James Bond’s favourite car manufacturer. Adeem and other Kuwaiti consortiums, US and British investors will possess 28.5 percent of the company, while car giant Ford holds on to a less significant nine percent. 
 The deal – which acquired international recognition by winning a ‘Most Innovative Islamic Financing Transaction’ award from the 2007 Sukuk Summit – cements Al-Musallam as a major player behind the Arab world’s growing reputation as one of the most powerful investment forces on the planet, but it is just one part of a very good year.

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Adnan Al-Musallam and David Richards discuss their investment. The deal acquired international recognition by winning a ‘Most Innovative Islamic Financing Transaction’ award

In August, The Investment Dar announced record net profits for the first six months, hitting $333.7 million, a rise of 80.5 percent on the same period in 2006. Share dividends went up, total assets grew. Return on Equity was up to 26.5 percent and Return on Assets was up to 8.2 percent. Incredibly, Return on Capital was up to 124.2 percent – the highest return realised, despite the rise of total assets by 37 percent and the rise of equity rights by 70.3 percent. According to Al-Musallam, this crowned “a series of growth in

P

“People used to laugh at us when we talked about Islamic banking,” says Al-Musallam. “Today, most of the international banks have sections for Islamic banking. Anyone who wants to work in this region has to have Islamic prod-

ucts on offer. We want them to consider Investment Dar as one of their first choice partners.”

performance and profitability throughout the last few years. [But] it

To begin with, The Investment Dar was only active in one sector. “We de-

would not have been realized without the conservative policy adopted

cided to start as a retail finance company with the aim of becoming a full in-

by the company.”

vestment company and also a bank whenever the regulations would allow it,”

His policy for is based on a host of elements: a fixed and precise

says Al-Musallam. “After the First Gulf war in the 90s, we anticipated a boom

methodology to diversify revenue sources without emphasis on a specific ac-

in the car finance business so we entered the vehicle leasing and finance

tivity, expanding the investment activities, careful distribution of risks, as

business. For the first three years we only did car financing. Then, we went

well as the stability and competence of the executive management team.

into commercial and real estate financing and housing.”

“All these elements contribute to The Investment Dar’s drive for continued

At the outset, the company chose to finance consumers regardless of

distinction and stability, and will allow profit growth irrespective of the rise

the difficulties and obstacles they faced. In line with this, it adopted new

or fall of domestic and gulf stock market performance.”

Islamic formulas that had never been applied or used in Islamic sales

How did it all begin? Thirteen years ago few business people were

contracts before.

interested in Islamic finance, even those in the Gulf. The Investment

“Our strategy was to put the company on solid ground. We thought the

Dar, established in 1994 as one of the first Shari’a-compliant investment

best way was to do the financing first, because you mostly get repeat cus-

companies in Kuwait, changed all that forever.

tomers,” says Al-Musallam.

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“In my opinion any investment company has to specialize in one of the

The Investment Dar is in the final stages of establishing a $1

areas which are allowed by Kuwaiti Law. Investment companies are only al-

billion investment bank in Bahrain, and owns 40 percent of Bahrain’s

lowed to do management investment, asset investment and financing. We

Islamic Bank, the country’s largest. According to Al-Musallam it also

thought that our company should have a concentration and excel in one area.

has “a small investment in Syria”. This small investment is worth

In the beginning, we did the three things under one umbrella of Investment

$12.5 million. “Syria just opened its doors for Islamic banking and

Dar. Then we decided that it was not the right thing to do, so we made two

we thought it would be a good opportunity for us.” Just over a year ago

spin-offs,” explains Al-Musallam.

it bought Grosvenor House, the landmark 5-star luxury hotel in Lon-

“We established a company for asset management and another for

don’s Mayfair, and, more recently, Aston Martin.

local financing. The management of those two companies works in-

“We are also looking into other parts of the world now,” explains

dependently but we provide them with all the support they need: mar-

Al-Musallam: “Southeast Asia, India and the rest of Europe. [And]

keting, financial control, IT services, HR services, training, and

we would like to be international in our investment, so we are con-

auditing. This way they can concentrate on their investing.”

sidering listing on the London Stock Exchange. Everybody believes

It was decided to let Investment Dar do the direct investment,

that today no country can stand alone: globalization is here to stay.”

and the company started in Dubai. “Our famous project there, which is owned by one of our subsidiaries, is the Oqyana Project, worth $345 billion,” says Al-Musallam. “We have another real estate project in Bahrain, which is going to be $2.5-3 billion. We also went to Saudi Arabia and established a finance company with capital of 600 million Riyal.”

T

his global vision appears to be key to Al-Musallam’s enormous success. I wonder what he has learned in doing business in other markets and succeeding in other parts of the world, as opposed to succeeding

and achieving success in Kuwait? “The good thing about Kuwait is there are no taxes. The bad thing about Kuwait, or rather the good things about other parts of the world, is there are rules. You follow the rules and you get what you want,” says Al-Musallam.

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“The problem in our part of the world is that laws and rules change from

cially if you don’t have the knowledge of that industry. We don’t know

time to time, according to certain practices, incidents or politicians. Rules do

everything but we do know our limitations. We try to find the right

not change on the London Stock Market, for example, or in the London Bank

people and take them on board with us.”

of England, but because we are still in the learning curve in our countries, we are still changing rules on a daily basis.

How do you choose a potential partner? “We don’t want somebody who is too big because he will not pay attention to us. We look for somebody with

“We have set one rule from the beginning in this company, and that is,

a track record and send our people to meet with them and do some brain-

we want the start-up to be minimal and to use outsourcing as much as we

storming with them,” says Al-Musallam. “Unless we are fully convinced that

can. We do not have any Kuwaiti partners in our company. We have totally

these are the right people for us to work with and the chemistry is right, then

outsourced for that. We are also using an international outsourcing company

we don’t partner with them. If they have any sort of blemish on their record,

in order to strengthen and have a more effective internal audit department.

we don’t touch them.

Therefore, it is not very different for us, whether we do things in Kuwait or

“We don’t touch people who are very big; we don’t touch people who

abroad. We totally rely on our team to get the job done, but we also rely on

don’t have the knowledge; we don’t touch people who have made big mis-

the extra team in each market.”

takes in the past. Normally, we look for people who are experts and have

Al-Musallam insists that his company doesn’t touch anything beyond its

worked for large corporations or large investment banks and now have their

capabilities without the right partners. “We have expertise in real estate and

own investment bank with partners. They are hungry for business, they have

in banking, Islamic banking. However, when we take on something like Aston

the know-how, and they are not large enough to neglect you.”

Martin, it is new for us.”

look at the opportunities to develop and diversify that product, and at

A

the management.

wants to offer an Islamic Banking product to their clients, they want a well-

How does he approach these new challenges? “We looked at it as an investment opportunity, not as an industry,” explains Al-Musallam. “The main point is, whenever you want to invest, you look at the product. You look at whether it is sound and has a good name or not. You

“The present management of Aston Martin, is the same manage-

nd what kind of partner are you? “We are the experts in Islamic banking today. We are perhaps the strongest company with one of the best names. We bring the knowledge of Islamic banking and we have people’s trust. We have the rep-

utation. When an institution from abroad comes to do Islamic Banking or known company who does Islamic Banking better then anybody. We are here to serve those clients.”

ment that took the company from 800 unit sales back in 2000 to 7000 units; more than ten times

The wider world appears to agree. The Investment

in six years. They have come up with very good

Dar has won numerous awards – including ‘The Best In-

models and are designing a new model now, which everybody believes that the market is waiting for. The Company has back orders for 11 months. “We look at that sort of thing and we looked at what kind of assurances we might have. In this case David Richards, who is in the automobile and racing business, came in with us as a partner, and he asked the management to come in as partners also. That team takes care of the industrial side of the business,

“People used to laugh at us when we talked about Islamic banking”

2007 and an ‘Achievement Recognition Award’ at the World Finance & Investment Conference. The company also takes corporate and social responsibility very seriously. It has donated $1.8 million to help prisoners and their families in Kuwait, $365,000 to Zakat House for poor and needy families in Kuwait, $365,000 for cancer patients, and $1 million towards the education and feeding of African Muslims. Is Al-Musallam happy with the ways things are

our team is handling the financial side and we com-

going? Does he still have unfulfilled ambitions? “We

plement each other.”

believe that in business you either move or you die.

The Investment Dar has a widely respected R&D department that carries out a thorough assessment of any and all potential

We always set goals that initially seem impossible and then accomplish

markets. “If we want to go to Southeast Asia or India, we also need to find

them,” he says.

the right partners, so our R&D department is doing a lot research,” says Al-Musallam. “We try to do our due diligence and research before we go to the country to find the right partner. Whether you go to a country or go into an industry, you have to take the right partner, espe-

64

vestment Company’ at the Arabian Business Awards

100 Thousand Club

“I do believe that globalization is to be taken seriously. We are only on the doorstep but the door has not yet opened.”  100Thousand Club would like to thank Summit Communications for their help in preparing this article.


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HOT PROPERTY It is said that a fifth of the world’s cranes are now at work in Dubai, and an army of some 250,000 men. They are building a modern masterpiece – but can it stand against the winds of economic change? Author: Mu’tazz Uthman al-Fahal

D

Dubai looks hot. From my vantage point on one of the vast invented islands offshore looking back at the whole length of its now famous riviera, the sun sparkles in the water, whites-out the sand and bounces off acre-after-acre of modern, glass-clad superstructure. From here, Dubai looks really, really hot. Dubai is growing faster than any city on earth. The World Bank estimates that the reconstruction of Iraq is going to cost $53 billion. Here, on a 25-mile strip of sand that stretches along the shores of the Persian Gulf, there is, at a rough estimate, about $100 billion worth of projects either underway or planned for the near future. That is a numbing figure, ungraspable. It is the equivalent of every single dollar invested in the United States from abroad last year. It is almost twice the foreign investment in China. There are the three famous offshore ‘palms’, man-made peninsulas laden with hotels and ‘signature villas’. The 7,000-man workforce on one of them is too large to get on to the palm each morning without creating its own traffic jam: so they are shipped in by sea from further along the coast. There’s to be a Giorgio Armani Hotel – there is a Palazzo Versace. There’s the tallest building in the world under construction, Burj Dubai, costing $800 million and expected to be 800 metres tall when complete (the precise figure is being kept secret in case New York’s new Freedom Tower tries to top it). A billboard the size of Piccadilly Circus stands out in the desert showing the pencil-thin rocket of a tower alongside a simple rubric: History Rising. The biggest shopping mall in the world is already here. Another, bigger, the world’s largest retail development, is under construction.

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There’s to be an underwater hotel ($500 million). One

velopment called Dubai Waterfront/Arabian Canal covers an

indoor ski resort, with real snow and its own black run, ex-

area larger than Barbados and will house, when completed

ists already, a startling presence on the city’s southern sky-

($6 billion), more people than Paris.

line. There is to be a second, with a revolving mountain.

It sounds good. It looks fantastic. But the global eco-

Plans are mooted for a Chess City, with 32 tower blocks of 64

nomic outlook for 2008 is darkening with the ongoing US

floors, each in the form of a chess piece. There’s to be a 60-

sub-prime lending crisis and the credit crunch. How will

floor apartment block in the shape of London’s famous Big

Dubai fare in a global downturn?

Ben. One company selling flats is giving away a free Jag with

To make an accurate prediction, we must first find a

each one. There will be a pyramid and a building called At-

‘control’: another economy that bears striking resemblance to

lantis that will cost $600 million and include a ‘swim-with-

the UAE. Thankfully, this is not the US. The UAE economy

the-dolphins encounter programme’. An Aviation City and a

is running high on the back of a five-year boom that is still

Cargo Village, an Aid City and a Humanitarian Free Zone,

on a rising trajectory. In the US, house prices have been drop-

an Exhibition City and a Festival City, a Healthcare City and

ping for 18 months, and the dollar has been devaluing to

a Flower City, a $4 billion extension to the airport and an-

boost exports and support share prices.

other entirely new airport along the coast towards Abu Dhabi,

The best parallel might be Hong Kong in the early

for which no figures are available but you can take a guess

1990s, which continued to boom at a time when the US and

at a few billion: six runways, annual capacity 120 million

UK economies were stuck in recessionary mode. Then local

passengers, 12 million tonnes of cargo.

and foreign investors poured money into new investments

The Middle East’s answer to Disneyland, called Dubailand, which is far larger than Monaco, is costing $4.5 billion.

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like the Hong Kong airport project at a dismal time for many other economies.

It will employ 300,000 people in the various joylands, serv-

It has to be said that the comparison between Dubai and

icing 15 million visitors. A new urban railway, with 37 stops,

Hong Kong is often made. Dubai is also a highly developed

has begun construction. Dubai is to have its own Silicon

trading hub, a logistics centre for a wider region and has a

Oasis ($1.7 billion) for computer companies. A mixed de-

skilled population comprised largely of hard working, recent


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economic migrants, as well as business-friendly free zones. Hong Kong has low-tax rates, Dubai has none. Hong Kong is a gateway to China, while Dubai is a gateway to the Middle East. It might be assumed that China is the bigger economy, but in terms of trade the US deficit with the oil producers is more than double its trade deficit with China. Does the accumulated oil wealth of the past five rosy years mean that the UAE can decouple from the global economy and carry on its hundreds of billions of dollars of investment projects during a global slowdown? As Hong Kong found in the early 1990s this has its advantages as construction prices are then lower and capacity is available. Hong Kong in the early 1990s also benefited from negative real interest rates thanks to its US dollar peg; and that is exactly the same economic force engaged in the UAE today, which is causing high inflation and making buying property look a good deal. Many locals made a fortune from Hong Kong property in the early 1990s up until the handover from Britain to China in 1997. It could well be the same story in the UAE over the next few years. Of course, nobody should forget that the Hong Kong party eventually ended in tears with a 70 percent fall in property prices between 1998 and 2002. You do not ever want to be on the wrong side of a property collapse, but this just does not appear to be where the Dubai property market is right now. It could be that eventually the slowdown in Western economies becomes so deep that the oil price declines sharply. But even then the oil surpluses of the GCC countries are presently so large that they do not know what to do with the money. The likelihood is that domestic investment plans will therefore stay in place, and reserves drawn down if necessary, and it will be the big investments overseas that suffer a decline. Just to return to the Hong Kong example one more time: it was only when the major infrastructure building programs actually ended around 1997 that the real estate boom turned

world you might like to mention – have failed to do? Is

to bust – not when they were half built – and like the UAE,

Dubai, in fact, the fulcrum of the future global trading and

Hong Kong enjoyed the luxury of substantial financial re-

financial system? Is it, in embryo, what London was to the

serves to complete its projects.

19th century and Manhattan to the 20th? Not the modern

Can Dubai do what Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen – or almost anywhere else in the Arab

centre of the Arab world, but the Arab centre of the mod-

The UAE economy is running high on the back of a five-year boom that is still on a rising trajectory. So long as people keep dreaming, it will keep rising

ern world. 

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ccording to this year’s Wealth Report by Knight Frank and

A

second homes. The one constant is that in almost all cases the residen-

Citi Investment Research, high net worth individuals

tial element of their net worth has become more significant over time

(HNWIs) are positive about property. They view their res-

and is set to grow in the future.

idential portfolio as an opportunity for lifestyle enjoyment,

There are other issues that colour property purchases: the one thing

individuality and exclusivity – and they have a very confident attitude

that cannot be bought is time. Convenience and accessibility are key

towards property in terms of locations and investment opportunities.

motivators not simply for the convenience of the commute to work, but

There is no such thing as a typical HNWI portfolio. As investors

also access to leisure pursuits.

they are incredibly diverse and this is reflected in the make-up and ob-

There is a real, almost tangible sense of luxury that is attached to

jectives of their portfolios. Some have a highly geared investment model

very high priced property. (Interestingly, this quality increases continu-

aimed at highly leveraged returns. Others are content with prime and

ally with price. It doesn’t matter how expensive a property is, another

A U T H O R : PA R V E E N R A S H I D There has been an unparalleled growth of significant personal wealth in recent years – ensuring residential property, and in particular prime market property, has become a key component of the high net worth individual’s portfolio. But where should you buy?

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more expensive either exists, or will in the future). And then there’s prestige, a quality arguably one step above luxury. All of the above become harder to maintain as wealth grows. HNWIs

LONDON’S BURNING

try to keep ahead of the market either by bidding up prices to remain exclusive (Dubai Marina) or exploring new areas (Brazil). This pushing at the edge of the market makes HNWIs so crucial to understand. Where they go in terms of location and property types, the rest of the market will follow. So where are they going?

More than 65 per cent of the Fortune Global 500 companies, a key barometer of the world’s financial operations, have chosen London as their European or world headquarters, and the capital has more foreign banks than any other city on the planet. There are many reasons why London appeals: it straddles time

This year, prime market price growth has been led by city locations in Russia, China and India, where growth above 40% has not been un-

zones, is politically stable and viewed as a safe place to live. It also boasts an extraordinarily favourable tax regime for foreign citizens who are resident in Britain but can claim a special ‘non-domiciled’ status that allows them, effectively, to pay very little tax. “The UK offers very attractive tax advantages to the megarich,” says James Anderson, publisher of Wealth Management magazine. “If they keep money offshore, then they are only taxed on income generated in the UK. For this reason, London is the most cosmopolitan, multicultural city in Europe, if not the world.” So who are members of London’s new international plutocracy, and where do they live? The list is headed by Lakshmi Mittal, the steel tycoon, who paid $115 million for a 12-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens in 2004. Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch, who has an $19

million

Chester

townhouse

Square,

in

Belgravia,

splashed out another $19 million or so to buy the house next door, and plans to convert them into one large home. He also has a n $8 million flat in Knightsbridge. Another oligarch paid $18 million for Stanley House, just off the King’s Road. Charlene de Carvalho, the daughter of the late brewing tycoon Freddie Heineken is in Mayfair, along with shipping magnates John Goulandris and John Fredriksen. The singer Madonna, who owns a $12 million townhouse in Marylebone, has bought a nearby mews house for just under $1.8 million at the end of her garden.

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usual. These areas have seen high growth on

upwards of 20 percent in a year. The strength

prime area of the city will be much smaller,

the back of rapid economic development, to-

of the non-US markets in the Americas was

the prices achievable for new build prime de-

gether with the creation of new wealthy sec-

also seen in Brazil, with Sao Paulo demon-

velopments will be comparable. There is huge

tions of society. This is leading to intense

strating a similar trend with capital prices in

demand for prime property in Moscow owing

competition for the best apartments and villas

the best residential location growing by up to

to little existing stock and a very small po-

in secure prime neighbourhoods.

12 percent during the year.

tential pipeline of additional prime property.

The more mature markets tended to un-

The demand for prime residential property

The company’s future forecast also sees

derperform average market growth. New York

in Moscow, Europe’s most populous city,

New York sliding from its number three po-

was hit by the wider US market slowdown,

pushed values up by an astonishing 75 percent.

sition to number four, below Hong Kong.

registering only limited growth during 2007

London has the title of most expensive

This reflects a belief that the Hong Kong

for prime property. Many of the slowest coun-

city – by a whisker – just above Monaco at

market will recover from its current cycli-

try and rural markets were also concentrated

$50,000 per sq m. In terms of price growth,

cal trough and see an improvement in de-

in established markets such as France and

the crucial players to watch are St Petersburg

mand and pricing after several years of

Italy. Such underperformance points to in-

and Moscow (Russia) and Delhi and Mumbai

underperformance.

creasing supply in these markets. Value con-

(India). Together with Guangzhou and Bei-

What if you’re looking for a little some-

straints have been hit after several years of

jing (China), we are in the presence of the fu-

where out of the urban sprawl? With Monaco

very strong growth.

ture key prime cities.

controversially defined as a city, the field is

Despite

a

struggling

US

market,

Knight Frank forecast that within 10

now open for St Jean Cap Ferrat (France) to be

Caribbean property saw healthy capital price

years, Moscow will vie with London for the

crowned the most expensive country or town

growth with prices on some islands rising by

most expensive city in the world. While the

prime market (a snip at $45,500 per sq m). 

100THOUSAND CLUB: ONE TO WATCH In the 1950s an alpine holiday in Switzerland was equivalent to a spa retreat in the Seychelles. Couples would arrive laden with suitcases and settle in for several weeks. You only have to breathe here to see why. So how Swiss properties have remained off the radar of the Middle Eastern smart-set is a mystery. It is ripe for investors who value quality and space – and want to avoid crippling taxes. From 2008 there will be no inheritance tax, and there is no gift tax for giving away a property. Investors can also make use of Switzerland's favourable private health schemes.

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A Swiss chalet provides the perfect base for skiing and relaxing while taking advantage of favourable tax laws


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The Keys to the

Author: Julia Puppe

Who’s afraid of Fractional Living? Not those who want their dreams now. What used to be frowned upon as the poor man’s substi-

smaller, boutique markets. Remember the 2005 Derby?

tute for the real deal has turned into a practical approach

Motivator, the winning horse, was not owned by one

to luxury. Calling a racehorse, golf course, vineyard or

breeder but by a syndicate of 230 members of the Royal

art collection your own is no longer a fantasy. Fractional

Ascot Racing Club.

living is here.

At Harness Racing Canada, you can own a race-

Many of us who couldn’t afford (or find the time to

horse for as little as $CDN 900 a share. “Harness Rac-

manage) that gorgeous four-bedroom villa on the Ba-

ing Canada was launched with a mandate to bring new

hamas now own part of it, and comfortably so. Today’s

owners into this exciting industry,” says Paul Garofalo,

fractional ownership market has grown into a multi-mil-

the company’s president.

lion-dollar industry in America alone.

“Racing at the highest level can be very expensive for

Fractional ownership is the fastest-growing segment

one person. With fractional ownership, we make available

of our property market. From Antigua to Zanzibar, no

what may not be available for the individual. Our hope is

matter whether it’s a fractional golf property, a country-

that once a fractional owner has had a chance to see what

side cottage or fully furnished waterfront penthouse

this industry has to offer, they may go on to become more

apartment, fractional property ownership services all over

dominant and influential owners, and help grow the sport.”

the world will find you the place you are looking for.

From practical to self-indulgent, fractional living of-

It doesn’t stop there. Whether your fondness is for

fers you the lifestyle without the burden of ownership and

art or racehorses, fractional clubs are branching out into

upkeep. When it comes to that art collection, you don’t

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need to be an expert either. Limited collecting opportu-

42-year-old application developer Jennifer Mac-

nities are available to individuals who are passionate

Neish is a frequent customer at Bag Borrow or Steal. “If

about contemporary art but may not have the funds or

I had unlimited funds, heck, I’d shop to my heart’s con-

the expertise to build a high quality collection on their

tent,” she says. Sadly, she doesn’t. Quality handbags are

own. Shared art ownership is the solution.

expensive, styles and seasons change. “I don’t feel bad

Glasgow, UK-based ARTvest is an art buying syndi-

about borrowing a bag for a few months and returning it.

cate that provides a new generation of collectors and art

I’d feel bad if I spent a lot of money on a handbag and got

enthusiasts with an affordable way of building, sharing

tired of it a few months later.”

and part-owning high quality collections of contemporary

MacNeish’s favorite item is a Betsey Johnson kiss lock

art. All work acquired by ARTvest is available for rota-

bag. “I also had a great Lulu Guinness bag that I carried all

tion through each member’s home, allowing them to call an

summer,” she adds, admitting that although she wasn’t

unparalleled range of contemporary work ‘their own’. Over

tempted to keep it, she would be if she ever borrowed some-

the course of three years, members will have access to

thing classic and timeless. Better not go for that Gucci then.

more than 60 different pieces of art. Why settle for less?

If it’s not fashion but football, baseball, hockey or

The same is true for the little things in life.

basketball you are into, imagine owning a private suite

Whether it’s a Luella, Chloe, Marc Jacobs or Prada, if

that gives you and your friends or business partners ac-

you like handbags but are running out of cupboard

cess to playoff games. Timeshare luxury suites at pro

space, stop buying and start renting. Shoulder Candy,

sports venues eliminate the most common problem as-

From Bags to Riches and Bag Borrow or Steal all send

sociated with direct suite ownership: underutilization.

authentic designer handbags right to your door. Fash-

Owner’s Pass dramatically lowers the entry price by

ionistas won’t be seen with the same clutch, evening or

allowing sports enthusiasts to invest in a membership

beach bag again – unless it’s a statement. Keep your

with the number of events that’s right for them. Other ad-

item two days or two months, there is no time limit. New

vantages include prime locations, all-inclusive catering,

pieces are added every day, and if you fall in love with

bar, parking, additional tickets and an onsite concierge.

that Prada, you can decide to buy it after all.

Why should you worry about who gets the hot dogs?

“You get diversity because you can access multiple assets. And you get the best of what’s out there in real time” - Daniel Nissanoff


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Tour GCX membership entitles golf enthusiasts to reserve up to 10 tee times (foursomes) at select private golf clubs in the club’s nationally and internationally expanding network. Members will also have exclusive access to a concierge, tournaments, travel packages and corporate event management. Or if you fancy a real break in the countryside, and a nice glass of wine to go with it, Wine Estate Capital Management (WECM) has developed the right investment concept for you. Investors become co-owners of a carefully selected wine estate. “As a wine lover, I wanted to buy a fantastic ‘terroir’ and make great wines. I knew that there are many individuals that would love to co-own a wine estate. Therefore, I developed investment projects in carefully selected estates and gave up my career as commercial director in the airline industry,” says Arjen Pen, Founder of WECM. Learn from renowned experts about the specificity of the vineyard and grape varieties that give your wine its

Whether its property, art, racehorses or vineyards,

own identity. Wander the vines with a glass of your own

the advantages of fractional ownership are obvious. “You

Bordeaux in your hands. Every year, a minimum of 144

pay less money for effectively the same use of an asset

bottles is yours. You can also spend up to three weeks in

that you would otherwise own. You get diversity because

one of the beautifully decorated guest rooms at WECM’s

you can access multiple assets. And you get the best of

different wine estates and be as active on the technical

what’s out there in real time,” says Daniel Nissanoff,

and commercial side of the business as you wish.

founder of Portero and author of Futureshop.

Whether you have your eye on a second (or third) home, a racehorse, speedboat or vineyard, fractional ownership can help

But is there a downside to it? “The most obvious is that you can’t personalize what you use. You can’t engrave the watch, for example, or the handbag that you buy and then plan on exchanging or selling it in the future. You can’t personalize your vacation home in the way you’d like to, although some of these companies actually have stocks of your family photographs and lay them out in your home before you arrive. They do try to give you as much of a personal touch as possible, but it’s never going to be the same thing as owning your own home,” Nissanoff points out. There’s also the discomfort, or sheer embarrassment, of admitting that you can’t or don’t want to dish out on the real deal. “That’s the big cultural change in the upper demographic in the US,” counters Nissanoff, adding: “Getting a deal is a savvy feeling that applies to all classes. And the classic notion of the negativity of either buying something used or leasing something is completely dissipating. It’s one of the major megatrends

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Coutesy of Wine Estate Capital Management

in the consumer world. In other words, not only is it not stigmatized anymore, it’s actually perceived as sophisticated. A lot of this is driven by the reality that the high-end experience is often inefficient, even for the

In his own words…

super wealthy. People become smarter about the way they spend money, and that’s driving a lot of upper market fractional clubs.” Fractional living has undoubtedly become a new lifestyle choice, but if you are after a good investment, is there also profit in it? “For the consumer, in general, the answer is no,” believes Nissanoff. But you can look

Daniel Nissanoff, a former corporate bankruptcy lawyer, is the founder of Portero, an online luxury auction site, and author of Futureshop, which discusses temporary ownership’s move to becoming a cultural megatrend.

at the cup as either half-empty or half-full. “If you, for example, sell your home and buy a program in a frac-

Q. How far is temporary ownership, fractional ownership, and fractional living

tional ownership environment, then sure, you’re mak-

expressive of a change in consumer behavior?

ing a profit because it’s costing you less to experience

A. It’s all facets of the same diamond. Whether you call it temporary ownership,

the same thing. There are a handful of fractional own-

fractional ownership or lifestyle trading, it’s all driven by the same notion, which

ership clubs and properties which allow you to partici-

is that as consumers we’re beginning to detach our emotion from our ownership.

pate in the upside, and to that extent, there’s a loose

The cultural norm of ownership was you buy something and own it for the rest of

argument that you can make money with it, although I

your life. And that’s manifested not just in the possession of the physical item or

don’t necessarily buy it.”

the real estate, but also in the actual emotional connection to the item. That’s all

Nissanoff himself sticks to fractional boats and property. “I have been working with a small group of

changing, and we’re beginning to recognize that we’ll fall in love with something at one point in time and then we’ll fall out of love with it in the future.

friends to put together a yacht share program. We’ll see if that happens. We’ve also been exploring fractional

Q. Which are established fractional living markets, and which are up and coming?

villas in a couple of different locations in Central Amer-

A. Perhaps the most prominent is the fractional jet ownership market. That was

ica. These are private programs, which we may see more

a market that took off largely because it made a lot of sense for corporations and

of in the future. If you bring a group of friends together

super-wealthy people not to own planes. I think we’re going to see a resurgence

that want to buy and fractionalize a yacht or a property,

when lighter aircrafts come out in the next year or so.

there are companies that will manage the asset for you,

The yacht market is yet to be proven. We’re seeing a lot of companies begin to

and I imagine we’ll see the same thing in a whole vari-

launch in those markets, some with mild success and some with significant failure.

ety of different communities and commodities,” Nis-

The problem is that yachts depreciate rapidly and have high cost of maintenance.

sanoff predicts.

84

The lifestyle market, the racehorses, vineyards, sports teams, private clubs

The market is growing. It’s becoming more interest-

and restaurants, they are very novel concepts and I think we’ll see those markets

ing, varied and inclusive. At the same time, it offers you

develop. And art – I’ve seen a few players play in it but I don't know if it’ll take

a unique opportunity to get a piece of what you’ve always

off. You have a whole variety of issues including primarily insurance that drive

wanted. Take your pick and live that dream. 

that. And pride of ownership in art is a little different and less transitory.

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Bayroc Beachfront Condominiums, Cable Beach, Nassau

years. The company was founded on the principles of integrity, knowledge and a genuine commitment to excellence. In 2005, Damianos Realty joined forces with the premier name in international luxury real estate, Sotheby’s International Realty, to form Damianos Sotheby’s International

Bahamian Properties of Distinction

Realty. Serving the entire Bahamas and head-

The Bahamas continues to have the Caribbean’s hottest real estate market.

ates in Treasure Cay, Abaco; Indigo Island,

D

quartered downtown Nassau in the hub of the financial district, with offices in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera; Marsh Harbour, Hope Town and Elbow Cay, Abaco; with associExuma, and Freeport, Grand Bahama. Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

ue to The Bahamas’ accessi-

in planning that aim to service the luxury

also owns and operates Lyford Cay Sotheby’s

bility, natural beauty and fa-

market. The Bahamian property market is

International Realty which is the only real

vourable tax laws, Bahamian

more stable than that of South Florida and

estate company located within the gates of the

property is attracting investors

as supply dwindles it is expected that the

exclusive and world-renowned community of

healthy rates of appreciation will continue.

Lyford Cay. „

from North America, the UK, Europe and the Middle East. 2007 has seen a dramatic

Damianos Realty was established in

increase in the demand for high-end prop-

1945 by Nicholas G. Damianos, and has

erties and there are several developments

remained an industry leader for the past 62

Property Investment Never Looked So Good

www.sirbahamas.com

In addition to the wonderful tropical climate, spectacular scenery and beaches, with further incentives of low income tax rates, no inheritance and capital gains taxes, combined with a stable and growing economy, a safe environment and a rising property market, it is easy to see why purchasing a luxury villa in Mauritius is such a fine choice for investment.

V

Villas Valriche is one of the few IRS accredited estates, comprising 288 freehold villas set on a hillside in 210 hectares with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. The estate gets its name from the surrounding Valriche Nature Reserve. Situated in the Domaine de Bel Ombre area on the south west coast of Mauritius, only a 45 minute drive from the airport, it will offer residents a life of relaxation and peace combined with a wide selection of activities to cater for all tastes and ages. Villa owners automatically become members of the exclusive ‘Le Golf du Chateau’, with its 18-hole, par 72 course, and have access to the health and fitness club, private beach club, signature spa and several local fine cuisine restaurants. The two, three and four bedroom villas will be built in Mauritian Plantation style in four elegant styles with infinity swimming pools, expansive verandas, air conditioned bedrooms and landscaped tropical gardens. A managed rental pool will be operated.

86

100 Thousand Club

www.villasvalriche.com

„


The Costa de la Secret Has the Spanish property bubble burst? Not while there’s a hot spot with an official growth forecast of six percent. ecent press speculation

R

bank Bancaja Habitat’s latest report: “the

would suggest that the

area around Huelva can expect to see property

Spanish property-boom

prices rise by more than six percent.”

DUBAI’S LEADING INDEPENDENT PROPERTY SPECIALIST

T

he Oryx Corporation has 30 full time staff members chosen for their intimate

bubble has burst. This

Charles Short, Managing Director of Char-

knowledge of different aspects

is certainly true of areas like the Costa

tiz Properties, has over thirty years’ of real

of the Dubai property market, giving you

del Sol and Costa Blanca, which have

estate experience. He represents a number of

unbeatable local and international real

been over-developed and are over-

developments in the area. “We offer a variety of

estate expertise.

supplied – a lesson that’s not been

investment properties, as well as affordable new

The Oryx Corporation customers have

overlooked by responsible developers.

and second hand properties. Prices currently

access to the ultimate in luxury apart-

Costa de la Luz in Andalucia,

range from UKP120,000 to UKP800,000, but

ments and villas both in the UAE and

situated between Faro and Seville, has

with a finite number of properties available,

beyond. Investors have come to expect

become the focus for shrewd investors.

prices will soon rise.

a personalised, professional, one-stop

There are four billion Euros of projects

“We’re attracting a huge variety of people,

service, while those moving to Dubai for

in progress, but strict planning restric-

from those looking for holiday or retirement

the fi rst time are able to take advantage

tions will limit the amount and type of

homes to investors interested in reaping seven

of a decade of expertise and unique ori-

new building permitted.

percent rental returns.” Costa de la Luz it

entation guidance when they arrive. Oryx

seems is definitely offering investors the feel

also takes care of all legal and fi nancial

good factor.

queries and arrangements. „

Unspoilt and just over an hour from Faro airport, the region is rapidly

„

becoming the place to invest. According to influential Spanish savings

www.chartiz.co.uk

www.oryxrealestate.com

100 Thousand Club

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Prestige Prop, UDC Pearl Ed P88:23oct

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The Middle East’s most glamorous location A multi-billion dollar offshore island and one of the largest real estate developments in Qatar, The Pearl-Qatar – a Riviera Arabia island – is a

The Millionaire Lifestyle, For Less Picture this: lounging around the swimming pool of a sumptuous villa with a select group of friends as you bask in the sun, sipping on

destination of choice for investors and residents from over 32 countries, and a landmark of many unique qualities. More than 40,000 residents are expected to live in The Pearl-Qatar when completed by 2011. The island will comprise 15,000 dwellings within 13 inspiring precincts, each with its own unique and exceptional character. Spanning over four million square meters, The Pearl-Qatar will cre-

cocktails. Inside, a chef is preparing a gourmet

ate over 32 kilometres of new coastline. The island is located 350 me-

meal. Tomorrow you’re to be taken by

ters offshore of Doha’s prestigious West Bay District and only 25

helicopter on a tour of a local nature reserve,

kilometres from Doha International Airport. This upmarket, multicultural residential community offers residents

followed by lunch and pampering at a luxury

a secure and exclusive island retreat that brings the ambience and

spa resort – one with a heliport, naturally…

lifestyle of the Mediterranean to the heart of the Gulf. The island is at the centre of Doha’s development boom as commercial, retail and res-

A

lot of hardworking, successful people aspire to such a

idential communities move north to the prestigious West Bay district of

lifestyle but either haven’t quite got this kind of money or

the capital city.

don’t want to commit it all to a luxury holiday home –

The Pearl-Qatar is the flagship project of United Development

which is why Bernardo Moya, CEO of ipropertyGROUP, came up

Company (UDC), one of Qatar’s leading public shareholding compa-

with Luxuria Vita.

nies. A destination for aspirations, The Pearl-Qatar will take you to a

The concept is simple. Just as fractional ownership enables

lifestyle of incredible qualities. Fine homes on an island paradise –

buyers of a 200,000 Euro holiday apartment to own a 25 percent

shops and restaurants featuring the world’s best known brands, a water-

share of the property for 75,000 euros, so Luxuria Vita makes it pos-

side haven of marine activity – all this and more combine to create an

sible to buy into the lifestyle of an exclusive seaside villa for

environment which is second to none in the Arabian Gulf. 

500,000 Euros, instead of paying the one and half million Euros to own it outright. “Luxuria Vita Shared Title Ownership differs from fractional ownership in that it is more lifestyle driven,” explains Bernardo. “It is an upgraded package that includes not only the property itself but also a full list of accompanying services and luxuries. You invest in the real estate but also get the added luxuries that ensure the lifestyle.” Best of all: capital growth on the property should go a long way to paying you back the full amount, giving you three years of jet set living for little or no money.  www.luxuriavita.com

88

100 Thousand Club

www.thepearlqatar.com


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FASHION ME NEW:23oct

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FASHION ME NEW:23oct

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Breeze

TheCool

Keep the summer alive with floating chiffons and easy layers. Take me where the wind blows.

Photography: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Dress and Sandals: Yves Saint Laurent Clutch: YSL Croisiere 07 Necklace: Karry'O


Dress, belt, and clutch: Gucci Sandals: Yves Saint Laurent

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Jacket: Roberto Cavalli, Dress: Hermes Elie Panties: Saab, Belt: Chanel, Clutch: Christian Louboutin


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Dress: Etro, Clutch: Chanel, Sandals: Yves Saint Laurent, Necklace: Karry’O


36 HRS - Muscat:23oct

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36 Hours

In…

D AY O N E 11 a.m. Arrival

11.30 a.m. Check In

12:30 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. Shopping

Replace the aggravation from

An oasis of mysticism and luxury,

Enjoy a light option, like freshly-

With a revamped look and ever-

airport staff, panic from delays,

The Chedi offers chic, minimalist

prepared seafood, overlooking

growing number of shops, Muscat

and impatience to crowds with

Omani architecture situated on the

the tranquil Gulf of Oman at

City Center is revolutionizing the

a relaxed, flexible and private

stunning Boushar Beachfront.

Shangri-La’s airy Bait Al Bahr

retail industry in Oman. It’s a world

solution to your travel needs.

Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Re-

restaurant. Oman’s premium

of choices across 48,809 square

With a personal VIP terminal

sort and Spa offers a choice of

seafood eatery offers a mouth-wa-

meters. Nip into Pierre Cardin,

and two private lounges with

three hotels all nestled along-

tering lunch menu including such

Monsoon and Giordano before

direct access to a VIP ramp,

side the sparkling bay of Al Jis-

succulent treats as poached

picking up your hand-finished bot-

Royal Jet (www.royaljet-

sah: Al Waha (The Oasis), an

mixed seafood salad tossed in

tle of Amouage perfume.

group.com) will take you to

ideal family vacation getaway, Al

dried red chili honey pepper and

the capital of the Sultanate of

Bandar (The Town), a deluxe

omani lime. Chef Vikas Prasad’s

traditional Omani handicrafts at

Oman in style. Once on the

hotel in the heart of the resort,

favourite is tuna fish steak with

the Omani Heritage Gallery. The

ground at Seeb International

and Al Husn (The Castle), an ex-

Omani spices, followed by fresh

gallery preserves traditional tech-

Airport, exclusive hotels,

clusive six-star indulgence of

fruits gently marinated in star anis

niques, selling high quality silver

sandy beaches and a sparkling

Moorish architecture in the style

with a smooth and refreshing

jewellery based on traditional

nightlife are only a 15-minunte

of the Alhambra.

apple sherbet.

Bedouin designs.

drive away. Let the fun begin.

96

100 Thousand Club

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36 HRS - Muscat:23oct

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Muscat

From Sinbad the Sailor to the Queen of Sheba: Welcome to the myths and magic of Oman

5:00 p.m. Spa

8:00 p.m. Drinks

9:00 p.m. Dinner

11:00 p.m. Nightclub

Indulge your senses amid beau-

With a long terrace overlooking

The Omani Heritage Village

Head for Club Safari, a true mix

tiful gardens at Chi, the spa at

the Gulf of Oman, the Piano

within Shangri-La’s Resort offers

of high-tech entertainment and

Shangri-La. The self-contained

Lounge at Shangri-La’s Barr Al

an ideal venue to experience a

ethnic African design at the

village with twelve private treat-

Jissah offers memorable views

traditional Omani dinner bursting

Grand Hyatt. The venue houses

ment villas is the largest and

of the sea and the surrounding

with spices, herbs, onion, garlic

a games room with two large

most luxuriously appointed spa

resort. While taking in the view,

and lime flavours. Try shuwa, a

pool tables and cosy seating

in Oman. A tribute to tranquillity,

enjoy live piano music, accom-

typically Omani delicacy prepared

areas, as well as a the Safari Pub,

sanctuary and the Arabian quest

panied by a wide range of light

with beef or goat. The meat is

where you can listen to exciting

for beauty, the rose petals and

snacks including olives and

marinated in red pepper,

African rhythms, and a rooftop

crushed frankincense Chi uses

canapés, as well as cocktails

turmeric, coriander, cumin, car-

grill house. Cigar aficionados can

are found locally and rate

and wines. From here, walk

damom, garlic and vinegar,

choose from a wide selection of

among the finest in the world.

down to the resort’s candle-lit

wrapped in dry banana or palm

top quality Habanas while

Treat your shopping-tired body

sunset beach. Immerse your-

leaves and roasted for up to two

seated in a secluded and com-

to separate male and female

selves in a romantic moment

days in an underground oven. In-

fortable Cigar Room.

water oases, including a Ham-

while you watch the great red

dulge in local delicacies in an au-

mam, a traditional Rhassul

ball disappear at the horizon.

thentic set up complete with

chamber, a unique rain sauna,

swaying palms, the fragrance of

ice fountains, steam rooms and

frankincense and sweet smell of

vitality pools.

rose water.

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D AY T W O

98

10:30 a.m. Brunch

12:00 p.m. City tour

Refuel after last nights’ ex-

Muscat owes much of its stun-

souqs (market), Muttrah. Or pay

If you’ve tired out your feet and

cesses with International or

ningly beautiful appearance to

your visit to Al Aman, the sul-

fancy a little rest, have a lie down

Omani cuisine favourites from

its dazzlingly white buildings

tan’s palace. If you still haven’t

in one of the comfortably padded

the locals’ number one,

that retain a strictly traditional

had enough, leave the city walls

deckchairs and soak up the sun

Kargeen Cafe. The charis-

appearance. Get a feel for the

behind and explore the mud

on Shangri-La’s stunning beach

matic Middle Eastern coffee

city with a guided tour. Attrac-

brick and stone architecture of

front. Feeling peckish? To keep

shop/restaurant has a menu

tions include Bait al Zubair, the

some of the Sultanate’s 500 his-

you going, sample some tasters

featuring falafels, kebabs,

national museum and a show-

toric fortresses. The most fa-

from one of the resort’s three

samboosa, Kargeen salad

case for traditional Omani

mous ones are Bahla (a

pool bars. The wide selection of

and a vast variety of caffeine

crafts and culture located

UNESCO world heritage site),

light and healthy salads, pasta

treats to wake you up and

within the winding streets of

Jabrin, Nakhal, Jalali & Mirani

dishes and pizzas from a wood-

kick-start your day. On top

Oman’s enchanting capital city.

and Nizwa.

fired oven as well as laban, a

of the list you’ll find kahwa,

The museum’s displays include

salty buttermilk, or yoghurt

a strong, cardamom

traditional Omani weaponry,

drinks flavoured with cardamom

flavoured drink served with

jewellery, costume, domestic

and pistachio nuts will invigorate

dates or the local sweet

utensils and re-created urban

you as you take in the view.

halwa, made with a dash of

and rural environments. Drive

rose water, saffron, carda-

along the Corniche waterfront

mon, almonds and nutmeg.

to one of the country’s oldest

100 Thousand Club

3:00 p.m. Snack


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Hours 4:00 p.m. Desert tour

6:00 p.m. Water sports

9:00 p.m. Departure

Now for some adrenaline! Go

Cool down in the sea. Many of

Wave good-bye to your friends at

dune bashing in a 4WD across

Oman’s coastal areas are still

sea and make your way back to

the rolling sand dunes of the

relatively untouched, and a

the hotel to pick up your bags.

Wahiba Sands, a wildly roman-

wide variety of dive sites

Don’t worry about your luggage

tic desert varying in colour from

teeming with a myriad of ma-

being over weight with all the

deep red to a rich honey

rine life, as well as coral reefs

treasures you brought back from

colour, stretching as far as the

and shipwrecks are waiting to

your shopping spree. Your bags

eye can see. But be aware, this

be explored. It’s a haven for

will be safely stored and you will

is not for the light-hearted –

snorkelling and scuba-diving

be comfortably seated on board

the desert is the traditional

enthusiasts! Boats depart from

of Royal Jet’s Boeing 737-700,

home of the hardy spirited

Shangri-La’s Marina and Dive

Gulfstream G300 or Avro RJ 85.

Bedouin, who know how to sur-

Center’s own jetty. Courses

Feeling hungry after the excite-

vive in the harsh heat of the

start in the shallow pool and

ments of the day? Enjoy dinner

vast sands and ride the dunes

later move to the different

on board your private jet home

as if they were waves. Look out!

dive sites around the Bandar

and indulge once more in those

Camels might cross your way.

Khayran area.

Omani specialties, leaving the

Is this the best 36 Hours in the Middle East? Let us have your ideas: letters@100thousandclub.com

Magic Kingdom behind with the taste of the Orient tingling in your mouth.

100 Thousand Club

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You’ve got the Spyder salopettes and the Burton jacket, dusted off the Tornados and dug out the wax. All that’s left is to pick the destination.

100Thousand Club may be able to help...

I

s there a better winter vacation than skiing? Is there a better feeling than to look back on a powder field and know you carved it all to hell? Unlocking your boots at the end of the day, stepping into a hot shower, and heading out for mulled wine with stories to tell. We love it – and here are the five places we love to do it the most.

Whistler & Blackcomb The Whistler and Blackcomb mountains rise a mile above the

Whistler valley in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. They offer over 200 trails to choose from and terrain for all abilities. On Blackcomb, one of the best beginner runs is Green Line on 7th Heaven, offering some of the most beautiful views on the mountain in easy terrain. For intermediate skiers the Nintendo Terrain Park, on Whistler, offers some challenging jumps, while Blackcomb has the Superpipe and Highest Level Terrain Park for expert riders. Spanky’s Ladder, a double black diamond, can be accessed from the Glacier Express high-speed quad. If you’ve got the skills to pay the bills, this is your chance to shine. For après-ski, head to The Garibaldi Lift Company, known locally as the GLC, at the base of Whistler Mountain, and collapse in front of the roaring fire. Order up an icy kokanee beer and one of the signature appies, like Chicken T&A. A DJ spins beats good enough to get skiers on tables avec boots. There are many places to rest weary bodies around Whistler. The Kadenwood Executive Slopeside Home is perfect for a group of friends. This spectacular, six bedroom home is located on the side of the Dave Murray 2010 Olympic ski run with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. For a five-star, full service hotel experience, try the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

100

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Author: Rebecca Goozee


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SNOW PATROL


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1

70 kilometers of perfectly prepared pistes, 33 kilometers of signed ski routes and 91 kilometers of snow covered ski runs – welcome to Kitzbühel, Austria.

From the outside, Kitzbühel is a beautiful, romantic Eu-

ropean town, all wrought-iron lamps and flickering candles. On the inside, this is Austria’s best winter entertainment destination. Kitzbühel is defined by its world-class skiing, super indulgent spas and the amount of stars who grace the slopes. For a solid skier Kitzbühel is unbeatable. Real experts can find good runs off marked trails. The Steinbergkogel bowl offers a variety of chutes and steep terrain, The Giggling is one of Europe’s longest and good for untracked powder. The après-ski is equally awesome. The wildest aprèsski parties start at The Londoner Pub from 4pm until 8pm before moving to the Fuchslöchl or the Tiroler disco. The drink of choice is “Der Flugels” – Red Bull with flavored vodka. Stay at the Grand SPA Resort A-ROSA Kitzbühel, an exclusive, five-star, castle-like hotel complete with world-

KITZBÜHEL

class spa.

C

hamonix is a vibrant alpine town in a

CHAMONIX

site of extraordinary natural beauty nestled between Switzerland and

Italy. The world-famous Mont Blanc dominates the entire valley and offers unparalleled panoramas. Two of the best ski areas are Grands Mon-

tets and Aiguille du Midi. Grands Montets has exceptional vertical drops and famous pistes, the variety and length of which, coupled with awesome glacier skiing and fantastic snow quality, make this a skier’s paradise. The summit of Aiguille du Midi – at 3842 meters – is reached by one of the world’s highest cable cars. There is an unforgettable offpiste descent into the Valley Blanche, while the glacial descent is the most famous itinerary route in Europe, with a vertical drop of 2800 meters and 20 kilometers of skiing in excep-

102

tional scenery. A professional guide is strongly

to No Escape. Open all day, and situated in the

recommended.

heart of Chamonix, No Escape is a comfortable

Albert 1er and Cabane des Praz are both

yet stylish bar, lounge and restaurant with in-

superb choices for evening dining, but if you

ternational cuisine prepared by Chef Sylvain

fancy something that lasts a little longer head

Escalier.

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VAIL

V

ail lies high in the Colorado Rockies, among some of the state’s highest peaks. It is the largest ski resort in the United States, with 5200 acres of amaz-

ing mountain terrain in three distinct areas the Front-Side, Blue Sky Basin and Back Bowls. Back Bowls has the most amount of expert terrain (2734 acres), Blue Sky Basin is best for intermediates and FrontSide has the largest amount of easy runs. The Prima-Pronto run is probably the toughest run, and the best skiers like to make this their endurance test. On a sunny day, Back Bowls are as good

are high: we’re promised ‘a luxurious hotel experience’ and10,000

as skiing gets.

square foot full-service Rock Resorts Spa. Book early, there are only

On an average day at Vail there are just two skiers per acre – on

with just 36 rooms. This year, stay at The Game Creek Chalet, located

busy days there are four – giving plenty of wiggle room down the seven-

2000 feet above the village and the best Vail has to offer. Ski-in/ski-out,

mile wide mountain.

three-bedrooms, outdoor hot tub, private chef and breathtaking views.

Next year you can stay at The Arrabelle at Vail Square, set to open in January 2008 at the foot of the Vail Mountain gondola. Expectations

The refined crowd relax at Pepi’s. The party crowd head to The Club, with local après-ski legend Steve Myers and his rowdy show.

Z

ermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The air is clean and the

slopes are pristine, with over 300 kilometers of ski runs and snow 365 days a year. When 100Thousand Club is all grown up, this is where we’ll live. Zermatt sits at the end of a long valley, surrounded by three major skiing areas – all partially connected – known as the “Matterhorn Ski Paradise”. The Sunnegga-Blauherd will keep intermediates and advanced skiers happy. The Gornergrat has a variety of fun, rolling intermediate trails. Klein Matterhorn, otherwise known as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise area, is where you can connect with the ultimate skiing experience – the cross border run to Cervinia, Italy. Tell your tales over fresh oysters or escargot at Elsie’s bar, a haven for wine and cocktail lovers, then head back to your luxury suite at The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, with its

ZERMATT AND GSTAAD

warm, homey atmosphere.

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O

Once the crown jewel of the Nabataean kingdom, Petra

The inside of Al Khazneh is typical of the tombs in Petra, the interi-

is one of the earliest known Middle Eastern settlements,

ors are as plain as the exteriors are intricate. But just imagine the amount

established sometime around the 6th century BC.

of effort and skill that went into carving them out.

Abandoned after an earthquake and forgotten by the

And this is only the first of Petra’s secrets. It will take you at least four

world, for centuries its only inhabitants were Bedouins. Then Swiss

or five days to really explore the city’s many wonders. The main city area

explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered the wonderland of

covers about three square kilometres. And here’s some practical advice: be

temples and tombs in 1812. What

sure to wear comfortable walking

a find it was.

shoes and a hat to protect you from

The spectacular ruins of Petra

“Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime, a rosered city – half as old as time”

are testimony to ancient engineering and artistry. The site comprises freestanding temples and nearly 3000 rock-cut tombs, dwellings, banquet halls, altars and niches. Adding to Petra’s appeal is its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. The site is accessed through a kilometre long fault, Al Siq, with walls soaring up to 200 metres upwards.

John William Burgon, 1845

plenty of drinking water, you will cherish it in the burning midday heat. The best time to see Petra, insiders recommend, is either early to mid-morning or late afternoon. It is the time when the angled sun highlights and enhances the stunning natural colours of the rocks, so make sure you take plenty of photographs. As the Siq turns right and leads down toward the city, you

Worn smooth by water ero-

will find a 8000-seat theatre cre-

sion, the narrow gorge winds its

ated by the Nabateans and later

way towards the village. The

enlarged by the Romans at the

colours and formations of the

Petra once was the glittering capital of the Nabataean empire. Today, the rose-red city carved into the limestone mountains of Jordan’s desert is one of the new seven wonders of the world. Discover its hidden secrets...

rocks are dazzling, but wait until you get to the end and catch a glimpse of Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Its massive, awe-inspiring façade, 30m wide and 43m high, was carved out of the sheer, dusky pink rock in the early 1st century as the tomb of a Nabataean king. Its name is said to derive from pi-

foot of the scared mountain enNejr. Still used for occasional performances, rectangular gaps in the seating reveal that the amphitheatre has been cut into several tombs in the hillside during its construction, which adds to the drama exuding from the incredible ruins. Located in the west part of the

Author: Khurshi Mehmood Kasuri

ancient city, accessible by some

rates hiding their plunder in a

steep 800 steps, towers Al Deir

stone urn high on the second

(The Monastery), the largest carved

level, with ancient bullet holes on

monument in Petra. The plain face

the urn supporting the legend. The carvings of Al Khazneh’s ornate façade, some believe, were inspired from Greek, Egyptian and Assyrian architecture. Petra’s

104

the sun. And don’t forget to bring

of Al Deir lacks the fine detailing of Al Khazneh. But at 50 meters wide and 45 meters tall, it is far bigger and no less impressive, dwarfing everything and everyone around it.

guides will tell you that the sculptors probably never saw these

The climb up to the higher places requires some effort, but the view,

countries but took their ideas from the tales told by the numerous

looking across an extensive wilderness of sand-dunes, gravel outwash

passing merchants. Others suppose that the architectural style is

plains, mudflats and back over Petra, makes up for it. Alternatively, take

traceable to Hellenistic Alexandria, whose craftsmen were brought

a taxi to the higher areas. Before you let out a sigh of relief, however, be

to Petra to help design and build the monument.

aware that when offered a ‘taxi’ in Petra, the mode of transport referred

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Knowledge of Petra changes every day. Excavators believe that less than one-twentieth of the ancient city has been unearthed, and new discoveries are made constantly


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You have truly arrived on the roof of the world, where worshipers used to kneel in front of rock altars in the presence of the divine

to comes on four feet in the form of camels, donkeys or horses. Prices vary depending on your haggling skills. You’ve picked up some phrases in Arabic? Now is the time to show off. If you manage to impress your ‘taxi driver’ he may drop his price by half. A popular hike climbs up to Jabal Madhbah, the place of the high sacrifice. On your way, you come across a lone column called the Pharaoh’s Shaft (pun intended), the Tomb of the Broken Pediment where two lions, sculpted in relief, face either side of the entrance, and the simple but attractive Renaissance Tomb. On to the Roman Soldier Tomb with its triclinium interior and the Cistern, before you finally climb up the slopes of Jabal Madhbah. At the top overlooking the surrounding

SEVEN WONDERS

peaks and valleys, you have truly arrived on

Of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient

the roof of the world, where worshipers used

World only the Pyramids at Giza remain

to kneel in front of rock altars in the presence

standing today. A new millennium calls for

of the divine. Absorb the view of Petra from

seven new wonders, thought academic Bernard Weber. A worldwide popularity

above while you catch your breath and pre-

poll, organized by the private, not-for-profit New Open World Corporation

pare for the descend.

(NOWC), revealed Petra, an archaeological site in southwestern Jordan, as one of the seven winners.

Knowledge of Petra changes every day. Excavators believe that less than one-twen-

A special highlight, the ‘Petra by Night’ tour, which begins at Petra’s Visitor’s

tieth of the ancient city has been unearthed,

Centre at around 8:30 p.m., takes visitors on a tour along a candle-lit path lead-

and new discoveries are made constantly at

ing to the centre of the historic city.

the hands of archaeologists. An immense pool

For the terminally energetic: At the top of Jabal Haroun (The Mountain of

complex near the Great Temple was found in

Aaron), the highest peak in the area, you will find a small church and the tomb of

1998, followed by a Nabataean villa outside Al

Aaron, brother of Moses. The hike that will take you past the Monastery takes

Siq in 2000. In 2003, rock-cut tombs came to

four to eight hours depending on the path you choose.

light beneath Al Khazneh. Now as in the past,

When in Rome… Live like the locals at the Ammarine camp, located near Lit-

Petra impresses its visitors with its awe-in-

tle Petra in the Beida area. Try a Bedouin dinner (like Zarb chicken) between the

spiring historical sites and breathtaking

mountains accompanied by traditional singing and dancing.

scenery, while it intrigues with the many wonders hidden underground.



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Photography: Jon Blumb

La Dolce Vita It is the world’s number one destination for luxury tourism. But where can you go if you want to experience the true spirit of Italy?

100Thousand Club reveals all.

I

n the competition for world’s favourite destination, Italy doesn’t play fair. It has relentlessly good food and wine, mild weather year round, and geography ranging from sunny beaches to rolling hills and Alpine lakes.

Ancient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are commonplace, and world-class art

adorns ridiculously attractive churches, palaces and piazzas. We haven’t even mentioned opera, Gucci, Ferrari and da Vinci. Italian culture varies greatly, owing much to history and location. Venice – built on islands in a lagoon – was once a seafaring republic and terminus of the Silk Road. During the Renaissance, Florence was a major trade and banking centre – local merchants commissioned many of its art and architecture treasures. The hill towns of Tuscany developed independently, and each has a unique history drawn from wool trading, banking or farming traditions. The towns of Umbria have been associated with spiritual movements, such as Assisi, home of St. Francis. Rome has been an international city for over 2,000 years, serving as a capital of imperial and Catholic empires. Naples is the city of pizza, with the preserved town of Pompeii (beneath the still-smouldering Mt. Vesuvius) and the dramatic cliffs and islands of the Amalfi Coast nearby. Farther south, in the boot heel of Italy are the white towns and white beaches of Puglia. It may be expressed differently in different regions, but Italians everywhere enjoy la dolce vita.

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Take a cruise on the blue waters of Lake Como and enjoy a meal al fresco in the romantic gardens of Villa Carlotta


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Boar hunting is traditional in rural Italy. Find a Capo (the captain of the hunt) willing to take you and experience a pastime untouched by the modern world. A little wood smoke makes it all the more enjoyable Boar Hunter and dog regroup in the middle of a morning hunt Southwest of Siena. At least 32 hunters are placed on post surrounding a forest. A group of handlers take their dogs into the middle of the cover and release them to trail and run the Cinghiale. Sometimes a dog becomes separated from the pack, and his owner must locate him and return him to the action

Capo on a boar. The end of the hunt is time for celebration, and a fraternal mood prevails while the squad members recount the events of the day

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The world-famous Palio horse race in Siena is one of Italy’s oldest and most incredible sights

The jockeys represent the old families of Italy, whose historic crests are reflected in the jockey’s colours

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What is a holiday without a little rest and relaxation? Palazzo Sasso in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast is our choice

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One and Only, Rocco Ed P118:23oct

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MAGIC MOMENTS Sleek and spectacular, with unprecedented privacy, One&Only Reethi Rah inspires extraordinary journeys for the soul. Surrounded by the wonders of the sparkling Indian Ocean, One&Only Reethi Rah is an all-villa resort offering an unrivalled level of style, choice and personalised exploration. Just 75 minutes by luxury yacht from Malé international airport, located in the North Malé Atoll, One&Only Reethi Rah has set new standards in five-star comfort. With six kilometres of coastline, 12 soft white sand beaches, 130 spacious villas, personalised 24-hour villa host service, three critically acclaimed restaurants, a destination spa and designer label boutique: the choices are endless. Celebrate life in the magic of the Maldives – nowhere more intense than here – and enjoy sublime moments that will last forever.  www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Sophistication in the Heart of Geneva Le Richemond, one of the jewels in The Rocco Forte Collection, has been completely refurbished – re-opening at the end of September with 109 reconfigured rooms, including 26 suites.

F

or over 130 years, Le Richemond,

and would be perfect for hosting summer

a prestigious luxury hotel, has

events or a spot of private sunbathing.

stood at the heart of Geneva, over-

Rocco Forte’s Le Richemond also has

looking the famous Brunswick

Geneva’s largest city centre hotel spa and is the

Gardens, the Alps, Lake Geneva and the

first spa in Switzerland to offer Shiseido treat-

Cathedral of the Old Town.

ments. ‘Le Spa’ is a stunning setting in which to

The new design offers an elegant and con-

enjoy a truly indulgent experience. Design high-

temporary setting, whilst maintaining the his-

lights include stained bamboo walls and chic

toric spirit of the property. The rooms and suites

black mosaic floors. The 400 m² Le Spa com-

are stylish yet comfortable: rich and sensual

prises five treatment rooms, including one dou-

materials have been used in the soft furnishings,

ble room, a state-of-the-art gym, a sauna, a

to meet up with friends and colleagues for coffee,

while the rooms themselves are decorated with

Turkish steam room, a Vichy shower and a re-

light snacks, afternoon tea or drinks until late.

marble, gold, mosaics and parquet flooring.

laxation area. Aromatherapy, chromatherapy and

Finally, Rocco Forte’s Le Richemond is ide-

à la carte massages are among the treatments on

ally located just 6km from Geneva Airport and

offer from a team of experienced therapists.

within walking distance of the business and

The piece de la resistance is the Armleder Suite, which covers the entire top floor. A truly flexible space, it incorporates a huge

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Le

shopping districts. Three meeting rooms, all with

living area, which can be linked to one, two or

Richemond offers guests and non-residents su-

natural daylight and the ballroom, which ac-

three junior suites. When all three suites are

perb Italian cuisine at The Sapori restaurant,

commodate parties of 10 to 200, make it the first

booked, the Armleder Suite covers 250

with a beautiful, flower-decked terrace for al-

choice for events of all kinds. 

square metres. An additional 100 square me-

fresco dining. The Bar has the sophisticated am-

tres of terrace wraps around the entire suite

bience of a private club and is the perfect place

100 Thousand Club

For

entertaining,

Rocco

Forte’s

www.roccofortecollection.com


A Very Grand Design The Imperial is a legendary five-star hotel. Built in 1931 as part of British architect Sir Edwin Lutyen’s grand design for New Delhi, its unconventional appearance, a mixture of Victorian and old Colonial with a touch of Art Deco, makes it a distinctive landmark.

S

ituated among eight acres of landscaped gardens in the heart of New Delhi’s business, government and shopping districts, The Imperial’s stylish grandeur and warm, attentive service keep regulars coming back, while the modern accoutrements

make newcomers feel right at home. Rooms and suites offer every conceivable luxury, including high-speed wireless. Art has been synonymous with The Imperial since its inception. The hotel’s extensive collection of colonial images and memorabilia has earned it the moniker ‘Museum Hotel’. Award-winning restaurants offer a range of culinary options from Southeast Asian and Indian to French and Italian. One to note is The Spice Route, heralded as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. Its unusual design reflects the art and culture expe-

Mountbatten met here in the 1930s to discuss the division of India and the

rienced along the historic spice route, which ran from the Malabar Coast

creation of Pakistan. Today, royalty and celebrities make the hotel their

in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia, and on to Thailand

home when visiting this region of India. Rest assured: a stay at The Impe-

and Vietnam.

rial is nothing short of superb. „

The Imperial has always been a magnet for high-profile personalities. Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Lord

www.theimperialindia.com

Langkawi International airport. Here, nestled among the palms, you will fi nd the Tanjung Rhu Resort, a treasured experience.

With its long stretch of white sandy beach and breathtaking ocean vistas, Tanjung Rhu has been truly blessed by Mother Nature.

Tanjung Rhu is home to a mangrove forest so magnificent that none can resist its appeal. A private and secluded dinner on the beach, under a canopy of thousand glittering stars, is just one of the countless treasured memories one can enjoy here. Cocooned by the ambiance of the lush foliage as well as the shimmering diamond of the aquamarine sea, allow your body and soul to be pampered by the excellent amenities and impeccably fine services of the 5-star facilities at the Resort. Nestled amidst the shady casuarina tress, all 136 rooms are spaciously built and tastefully furnished. Each has either a view of the sea, garden or pool, which can be seen from tall French windows. All rooms are well equipped with multi channel LCD TV, DVD and

A PARADISE FOR THE SENSES

compact disc player, mini bar, expresso machine and opulent sumptu-

T

anjung Rhu, or ‘Cape of Casuarina’– aptly named after the

warm, and service comes off graciously and effortlessly. You will wish

strong resilient trees that seem to protect a magical place

you never had to leave…„

ous bath. Attention to detail is what sets this Resort apart. It blends naturally into the cleverly designed landscape. The staff are naturally

forgotten by time – is situated at the northern tip of the mythical island of Langkawi, a 25-minute drive from the

www.tanjungrhu.com.my

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Barefoot Luxury

T

This winter-sun season, “Barefoot Luxury” is the new buzzword. Every expensively exotic beach holiday worth its sand is describing itself as a purveyor of “Shoeless Chic”, “Sand-In-Your-Toes Simplicity”, or “Robinson Crusoe Relaxation”.

They’ve stolen my shoes. After thirteen hours on a plane, a smiling man has placed them firmly into a bag labelled “No News, No Shoes” and pulled the drawstring tight. I am now barefoot in the Maldives. I feel distinctly uncomfortable. Some people have a thing about their thighs, stomach or numerous chins. Personally, I can’t stand my feet. They’re big and hairy, a combination that’s rarely attractive outside a zoo. Initially, I’m sceptical. Staying in grass huts for $4,000 a week sounds like a good deal for the tour operator. Would-

Author: Rob Addams

n’t you be better off staying at home with the windows open? There’s only one way to find out. I must prepare to expose my hirsute toes to luxurious sun-drenched beaches, in the interest of journalistic research. After much painful deliberation, I decided to head to the Maldives, the birthplace of barefoot luxury. The term was coined by a Danish academic study, commissioned by the Maldivian government in 1971, which foresaw that in an ever-shrinking, stressed-out world, high-end customers would pay top dollar for isolation and natural surroundings. The resulting developments set the standard for environmentally friendly tourism. Resorts can only be built on deserted islands, and must be of a high standard, all with their own generators, desalination plants and produce deliveries, minimising any impact on the surroundings. It worked. In 1972 there were just 1000 visitors to the islands. Thirty years later, there were 380,000. It’s not hard to see why they come. These 1200 atoll islands, bisecting the centre of the Indian Ocean, look like they’ve been created by a ‘Paint Your Perfect Paradise’

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computer program, with empty white shores ca-

are not the prettiest in the world. I look at my

dives, beyond contemplating your toenails.

ressed by nodding coconut palms, surrounded

hairy monsters with new found affection.

There are no museums, monuments, ruins, cul-

by a blue neon sea. Each atoll is surrounded by coral reefs, housing vast shoals of fish. The tem-

tural centres or shopping malls. Just the sea, beach, and endless sunshine. Oh, and a gas-

perature rarely budges from 30ºC during the

Soneva Fushi (meaning “small island”),

day, 25ºC a night, and 27ºC in the sea. All in all,

is 60 miles by seaplane and boat north of the

This might be the essential attraction of

it’s pretty damn good.

tronomic restaurant and five-star spa.

international airport in Malé. The island is

the barefoot luxury concept. It returns us to

I’m visiting two developments run by

only a mile long and a third of mile wide, and

a state of blissful childhood. The moment you

Soneva Resorts, founded by Indian busi-

is thick with tropical trees and plants. It of-

take off your shoes and run barefoot in the

nessman, Sonu Shivdasani and his Swedish

fers Maldivian-style grass huts with lavish

sand is all the more pleasurable because it re-

wife Eva, a former model. Their Maldives

décor and sumptuous outdoor bathrooms.

minds us of the first time we did it as kids.

properties have introduced this “No News,

Everything has been designed with naked

“I suppose we do encourage you to slip

No Shoes” policy in the last two months,

toes in mind – from Indian sandstone to plan-

back into childhood,” agrees Soneva Fushi’s

whereby you are asked to remove your

tation teak and smooth pebbles in the outdoor

manager, Marc Aeberhard. “You’re allowed to

footwear before stepping onto the island.

showers, the floors are a joy to walk on. Out-

do things that ‘mother’ might have told you not

“For us luxury is about intangibles –

side each villa is a pine needle hedgehog,

to.” He illustrates his point with an anecdote

space, tranquillity, and pure nature. We want

against which you rub the bottoms of your feet

concerning the Deputy Mayor of Zurich, (“The

people to ask ‘what day is it today?’ In modern

to rid them of sand. It’s good for sole and soul.

very definition of stiff!”), who had to be forcibly

living, that is the ultimate luxury.”

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“How nice,” remarks the Englishman, letting the sand run between his big fat toes.

It doesn't take long to realise that bare feet

separated from his loafers upon arrival.

Any cynicism vanishes the moment I

are a great leveller. Everyone seems to have

“He was so angry...” recalls Aeberhard.

step onto shore. The ivory sand is as fine as table

dressed-down accordingly, with a pleasing lack

“But the day he left, he actually jumped off

salt and perfectly warm. By my side, a middle-

of flashiness for an expensive resort.

the boat and started swimming back to shore.

aged Englishman stares at his feet as if he’s

Stress levels are lowered further by the

never seen them before. It must be said that they

fact that there is very little to do in the Mal-

100 Thousand Club

He was laughing and splashing like a five year old.” 


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Planes On Demand Very light jets are sending travelers, corporations, and commercial operators soaring. Could these high-tech, half price planes revolutionize the way people travel – or are we looking at another Zeppelin? Essam Fahim finds out.

C

ould our skies soon resemble

VLJ aircraft category has sprung in the 10

the flying roads of a science fic-

years since it was announced. Eclipse was

tion movie? The very light jet

founded by Vern Raburn, a former Mi-

(VLJ) is a giant step in the right

crosoft executive, and has Bill Gates as a

direction, making executive air travel more affordable for all.

key investor. According to Raburn, the tech is key.

“Will first-tomarket advantage win out? It depends on how the VLJs are used”

The idea of smaller, technically advanced

These planes may be more affordable,

jets has been around since at least the 1980s,

weighing in around $1.5 million – less than

when developments in navigation and elec-

half the $4 million it now takes to buy a busi-

tronics suggested something dramatic could

ness jet – but those dollars buy a lot of inno-

emerge. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the VLJ

vative manufacturing processes, digital

The Eclipse 500 will hold two pilots

start-ups swarm with former tech execs.

technologies adapted from the data technol-

and three or four passengers and no bath-

ogy industry, cutting-edge electronics in the

room. A competitor, Adam Aircraft, is

cockpit, and advanced systems throughout.

nearing certification of its A700, which

For example, the Eclipse 500 is the revolutionary concept from which the entire

allows room for five passengers and a bathroom. CEO and founder Rick Adam once ran IT for Goldman Sachs. Will first-to-market advantage win out? It depends on how the VLJs are used. They could be an addition to a corporate jet fleet, a new sky toy, or the savior of the nascent airtaxi industry. Air taxis are the unknown in whether VLJs can achieve widespread success. Their business models are based on snatching business travelers from the highways by providing on-demand travel between smaller airports. The cost will be equivalent to a standard airline ticket, plus the cost of an overnight stay. Many of their potential customers now drive between cities, and it’s those folks who will have to put a high value on their time to make the investment in jets pay off. The Eclipse 500: a steal at $1.5 million

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Will it work? Watch the skies. 


Urban Magic P125:23oct

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BELIEVE IN URBAN MAGIK Urban Magik are international entertainers who have performed professionally for more than ten years. With a unique performance style and mind altering effects – Richard Branson has called them “outstanding” – they are grabbing the attention of many. Urban Magik have performed at worldfamous festivals, for celebrities from all walks of life, and on television programmes broadcast around the globe. Their stunning close-up act will add an unforgettable element to any gathering. Your fundamental understanding of what is possible, right and normal will be systematically deconstructed in front of your very eyes.

www.urbanmagik.com


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Jet Stream Prices are dropping on executive jets; standards are rising on commercial flights. Adam Burns faces a difficult choice.

If this list confuses you as it does me,

panies will cater for just about any client need

then you may want to consider another way.

by profiling them. Says Mark Green, director

Forget turning left; charter the whole plane.

of private charter company Oxygen 4: “One client travels with a dog and we provide spe-

Going private Chartering or buying a share in a

clients who don’t want to travel on aircrafts

plane is the alternative to commercial

with grey seats. Whatever the client wants or,

flights. Following a timetable does not al-

more importantly, don’t want we make sure

aviation companies

ways suit one’s needs and lifestyle. And

they are very happy when they get on and off

will cater for just

let us be honest, whilst there is also the

the aircraft.”

“Most private

about any client need by profiling them”

added worry of security, going private guarantees peace of mind – you travel with people you trust.

The cost issue So far, so super – but we all know that

Convenience is also an important driver.

customisation costs. The good news is that pri-

If time is money then you don’t want to be

vate jets are on the verge of a boom. A new

hanging around for two hours, no matter how

generation of very light jets (VLJs) with com-

othing beats turning left on a

N

nice the executive lounge. Go private and

pact, low-cost engines are hitting the market

commercial flight, or does it? I

you could be jumping on a jet within 20

that will significantly reduce the cost of rent-

can’t fly a plane (never have,

minutes of arrival, and flying at a time that

ing a plane.

never will), but as a perennial

suits you, wherever you want to go.

passenger I would like to sit back, put my feet

Yes yes, I hear you say, but what about

up – perhaps with some nibbles and a cup of

my toast and eggs? Most private aviation com-

tea – and marvel at the sheer volume of choices available to me. I used to turn left for some extra legroom and slightly more padded seats. Now I have privacy dividers between seats that recline to 170 degrees, down-filled duvets, pillows and pyjamas (ANA business class). Or ‘the world’s largest flight bed’ and a personal ‘pod’ packed with a 15-inch TV, phone, power port, spotlight and satiny sheets (ANA first class). I can eat gourmet food designed by a panel of celebrity chefs (Singapore Airlines), or have freshly cooked toast and eggs (Cathay Pacific).

126

cific catering for the dog. Then there are other

100 Thousand Club

Cost or convenience? Safety or sharing? However you go, there has never been a better time to take to the skies. 


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ADVERTISING PROMOTION

These are exciting times for PlaneChartering Ltd, an expanding private air charter specialist.

As a combined, strengthened company PlaneChartering, incorporating Club328, is well positioned to build on its strong base of individual and corporate clients, plus celebrities and heads of state, from

100Thousand Club spoke with the company’s CEO, Elaine Young, about the high life.

its operating bases at London Biggin Hill Airport and Cannes in the South of France. Combined, the PlaneChartering fleet embraces Beechcraft Hawker 800, Premier 1 light jets, Cessna Citation 2 and King Air E90, plus the 328.

Q. Who started PlaneChartering and why? A. Our Chairman, Paul Crowther, a pilot and a former Master Mariner, who wanted to complement the company’s successful yacht charter busi-

Q. What next for PlaneChartering?

ness. PlaneChartering is the trading name of Mitre Aviation, established

A. The deal was backed by General Capital, a specialist working with

in 2003. In late October this year, PlaneChartering expanded its foothold

IPO growth companies. Its goal is to help Paul and myself groom the

in the buoyant air charter market with the purchase of four-year-old lux-

company for entry into the Alternative Investment Market in early 2008.

ury brand Club328.

More details will be outlined toward the end of the year when the two companies fully combine alongside another newly acquired business, avi-

Q. PlaneChartering has expanded with Club328 – how will they

ation maintenance provider Avtech, also located at London Biggin Hill.

work together? A. Accompanying the purchase came a luxury fleet of aircraft including

Q. Is this a growing market?

Club328’s flagship Dornier 328 jet – the company’s ‘niche’ in the mar-

A. Private air charter has never been so appealing. With heightened

ket. There is nothing really close to the 328 in the charter market, of-

stringent security measures now in place on scheduled flights in Europe,

fering clients 12 to 14 spacious seats and capable of flying a range of up

passengers are noticing the time constraints and reduced luggage al-

to 1,400 nm (two and half hours non-stop), all without paying the high

lowances more than ever before. Private flying means no queues, stress,

cost of a transatlantic capable business jet.

delays and frustration.

Horizon

A New


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a professional team of people who have many years’ experience working on the aircraft types we fly – while the King Air and Citation are maintained by Avtech, an organisation with 34 years’ standing in business aviation MRO. Thankfully, we are starting to see positive recognition in the marketplace that the private air charter business is no longer a cottage industry. It is important for the public to know that operators have to comply and adhere to the same public transport regulations as scheduled airlines. They also have to pay for the constant updates required to modernise their aircraft fleets under EASA Ops requirements. Q. How do you define ‘luxury living’? A. Nothing is too much trouble on a PlaneChartering flight. The company will ensure every request is undertaken – be it a particular brand of champagne or a favourite piece of confectionery. Flexibility is a major criterion in flying privately. You choose when you want to fly and from where. If your meeting is running late, the jet will wait. PlaneChartering is all about saving time. The luxury we offer is getting picked up from home or office in one of our partners’ chauffeur cars; driven directly to the airport of choice, boarding through the private terminal facilities without any of the stress associated with scheduled fly-

Elaine Young, CEO, PlaneChartering

ing. Enjoying the in-flight cuisine, fine wines and entertainment you will

Elaine Young joined PlaneChartering from UK-based

have personally selected at the time of booking; working – or sleeping –

Club328, bringing some 17 years’ experience in senior man-

without any distractions, knowing that a chauffeur car will meet your

agement in the airline industry, operating at board level.

aircraft on arrival. You will arrive feeling refreshed. In the heady pace

Prior to her career in business aviation, Elaine was Direc-

of life that exists today, this is luxury.

tor of the Business Improvement Programme at the world’s second largest low cost carrier easyJet. Prior to joining Club328, she took time out to complete an

Q. What makes PlaneChartering stand out amongst other fullservice private air travel companies?

MBA at Nottingham University. She graduated top of her year

A. PlaneChartering prides itself on its attention to detail, which starts as

and is now a member of the Nottingham University MBA Advi-

soon as a flight booking has been confirmed. We can also recommend

sory Board. Elaine has been a UK CAA post holder for 11 years.

hotels, drawing on our collaboration with key European partners including The Stein Group; help secure a dinner table at a sought after restaurant or arrange corporate tickets at a key sporting event.

Continued economic stability and growth, combined with an increased awareness of the benefits and pricing of executive jets, should

Q. What next?

serve to increase the demand.

A. The next six months will be very interesting for PlaneChartering. It will integrate Club328’s core operations team and CAA post holders from

Q. Safety has to be among any aviation companies’ primary

Southampton Airport to London Biggin Hill Airport, a privately owned

concerns. How do you ensure it?

airport located 12 miles south east of central London that has seen its

A. Safety is our number one priority and all our aircraft are operated in

business aviation traffic increase 30% over last year.

strict accordance with European JAR Ops standards under our own Air-

Moreover, the PlaneChartering fleet will be expanded, starting with

craft Operating Certificate (AOC). The Premier 1, Hawker and Dornier

the arrival of an additional Dornier 328 early next year and another Ci-

328 Jet aircraft are regularly maintained by EASA-approved Jet Engi-

tation jet. There are also plans afoot for the opening of a new office in

neering Technical Support (JETS) based at Southampton Airport, UK –

Monaco early next year. I

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A N Y

P L A N E

-

A N Y

T I M E

-

A N Y

P L A C E


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Business Choice… A N Y

P L A N E

-

A N Y

T I M E

-

A N Y

P L A C E

Imagine being offered the gift of time – at Plane Chartering we understand that time is precious, and no more so than in the corporate world. With our range of executive jets offering fast and effective gateways to every major European City, it is no wonder the modern business person will not accept a two hour wait for check in. In today’s demanding business landscape it is possible to brief your staff at base in Rome in the morning, have a business lunch in London, early afternoon seminar in Paris, then back home to spend the evening with your family - all via the comfort of a Plane Chartering executive jet.

Dornier328 Spacejet Capacity: 15 Passengers 2 Pilots 1 Cabin Service Rep. Cabin: Length - 33’11” (10.33m) Width – 7’2” (2.18m) Height – 6’2” (1.89m) Performance: Cruising Speed – 400 Knots (460 mph) Maximum Range – 1,500 miles. Large Galley – Extended Washroom – 750kg of baggage space in separate lockable hold.

Hawker 800 Capacity: 8 Passengers 2 Pilots 1 Cabin Service Rep. Cabin: Length - 21’3” (6.48m) Width – 5’9” (1.75m) Height – 5’8” (1.72m) Performance: Cruising Speed – 440 Knots (500 mph) Maximum Range – 2,650 miles. Interior Forward and Rear Hold, Leather Seats, Full Bar.

Premier 1 Capacity: 6 Passengers 2 Pilots. Cabin: Length - 21’3” (6.48m) Width – 5’6” (1.68m) Height – 5’5” (1.65m) Performance: Cruising Speed – 440 Knots (500 mph) Maximum Range – 1,460 miles. Interior Forward and Exterior Hold, Leather Seats, Full Bar.

Lifestyle Choice…

Flying on a Private Jet allows you to hop from one Fashion Capital to another in the blink of an eye! You can start the fun in the sky, by sampling a glass of champagne as you take off to Paris…Milan….London…Rome…The choice is yours!

Plane Chartering has a variety of jets to suit every purpose. To book yours please call PLANE CHARTERING SALES on +44

(0) 1273 248800 or email us at

flights@planechartering.com quoting reference ‘100 Thousand Club07’ to receive special rates


Shopping Strike Ed P132,133,134,135,137:23oct

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D

ubai is as famed for it’s shops as Singapore,

Sun, sea and shopping… Dubai has it all

London and New York. Rightly named ‘Shopping Capital of the Middle East’, Dubai’s shopping opportunities are unpar-

alleled in the Middle East. From opulent designer boutiques to traditional bargain-full souks, Dubai is designed to serve every conceivable customer (and it does). It’s hard to believe that just a century ago Dubai was a tranquil town where coral-and-gypsum courtyard houses and palm huts dotted the banks of the Dubai Creek (Know Dubai) with Persian traders, Bedouin fisherman and pearl divers. Today, the shiny new gravitydefying skyscrapers stand alongside the mosques and wind towers of old Dubai. Essentially two towns separated by the creek, Dubai is an inlet of the Gulf. Both districts are packed with traditional architecture and bustling souks with Deira, the real city centre, to the north and Bur Dubai, an alternative hub with glittering new office buildings, to the south. As the fastest growing city in the world, Dubai is as cosmopolitan, modern and vibrant as you would expect. Offering some of the most lavish malls on earth, Dubai truly is a shopper’s paradise with the bonus of super-luxury hotels and miles of pristine beaches. Starting at the world famous labyrinth-like souks soaking up the bustling atmosphere, you will find swarms of people all haggling with the locals. The myriad of souks are on both sides of the creek although they are predominantly in Deira. It is difficult to be torn away from the Gold Souk selling 18 and 21 carat gold jewelry and exquisite precious stones, gold bars and bullion coins as well as an array of dazzling necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Streets of shops are aligned with sparkling windows tempting purchase – the biggest problem being where to start. Neighbouring the Gold Souk is the Spice Souk, where the delicious aromas of aromatic spices are brought together from all over the Middle East. The combination of cumin, dried lemons, coriander seed and cinnamon sticks are just the beginning. The scent is so unique, it’s like going back in time and the tiny streets are a flurry of commotion – this souk is an experience to be savored. Textile, perfume, electronics, fish and food souks are also worth a visit. After soaking up the atmosphere in the souks the next stop is the beach – firstly to recharge your batteries


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and secondly because normal souk shopping hours in

bowling alley, a theatre and even an indoor ski slope, this

Dubai are around 9am to 1pm and 4pm onwards – note

mall, the largest outside America, is the ultimate leisure,

that all shops (including malls) close for prayers on Fri-

entertainment and shopping resort.

day and are only open in the afternoon.

A stroll down the spectacular Emirates Tower Boule-

Dubai is littered with beautiful white, soft sand

vard is the perfect spot for those lusting over labels.

beaches basking in the turquoise glory of the Persian

Smart designer boutiques such as Yves Saint Laurent,

Gulf. The sparkling blue waters and immaculate sand

Gucci and Bottega Veneta are all based here. Villa Moda,

beaches invite you to sit back, relax and soak up the sun.

the beautiful Kuwait-based fashion emporium can also

Jumeirah Beach is the most famous and popular beach

be found at the boulevard.

with shallow warm waters, Al Mamzar beach is also an

The shopping in Dubai is immense and can even over-

ideal spot to chill out. Alternatively, if you are feeling a

power the most ardent of shopper. With stores and souks

bit more adventurous there are dozens of water sports

open until around 10pm it almost feels never ending. When

and outdoor attractions to get involved in from waterski-

you have had your fill my advice would be to explore the

ing and fishing to mini-golf and paragliding.

rest of what Dubai has to offer. There are many post-shop-

A world away from the beaches are the many pala-

ping activities to be found in the malls – from skiing to

tial malls found throughout Dubai, most notably on the

movie watching but if you would rather wind down after a

Bur Dubai side of the creek. A showcase for brands from

tough day maxing out the credit cards there are worse ways

around the world as well as locally produced goods these

to spend your time than indulging in one of the many deli-

malls are the reason for being. The Dubai Mall, part of

cious restaurants or heading back to the unfettered luxury

the Burj Dubai development, is set to become the world’s

of your hotel and perhaps a spa treatment.

biggest shopping mall when completed in 2008, but until then we will just have to make do. You will be spoilt for choice at the Burjuman Centre, which has earned it’s reputation as the finest place to shop in Dubai. It has more than 300 prestigious stores, including Christian Lacroix, Louis Vuitton and Dior, side

With such a huge selection of stores, shopping malls and souks Dubai is officially shopping heaven – from the world’s biggest shopping mall to the tiny streets of the souks, Dubai is a must for any serious shopper. 

Dubai is designed to serve every conceivable customer (and it does)

by side. Situated in the heart of Dubai this mall is relaxed yet vibrant and offers the absolute in comfort and luxury while shopping. Wafi City is renowned as Dubai’s most elegant shopping complex with products ranging from the unusual to the ultra chic. Exuding a calm and sophisticated ambience the unique architecture and cool spacious galleries featuring fabulous shops offer a fine shopping experience. Nicole Fahri, Versace, Chanel and Swarovski – just some of the high-end boutiques – can all be found on the ground floor. Malls in Dubai aren’t just for shopping they also house some of the best entertainment in the city. The Mall of the Emirates, winner of the Retail Destination of the Year, houses a whole host of designer boutiques, as well as a huge Harvey Nichols and has over 450 retailers in total, including AiZone, the popular Lebanese fashion chain, which has designer jean displays revolving around the shop. With a 14-screen cinema, a 10-pin

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100Thousand Club BAGASH ART GALLERY The avid passion of collector Ali Bagash was the inspiration behind this gallery. The wide variety of art forms include the showcasing of some well known names as well as up and coming artists in contemporary art. Currently undergoing maintenance, there isn’t as yet a reopening date. Belvedere Court, Kuwait Street (971) 4 3515 311 www.bagashartgallery.com MEEM GALLERY Offering access to the world’s leading contemporary Arabic artists Umm Suqiem Road www.meem.aae GREEN ART GALLERY

GALLERIES THE THIRD LINE Big, cool and airy this is one of the most adventurous art spaces in Dubai.

Behind Dubai Zoo (971) 4 344 9888 www.gagallery.com

FA S H I O N S*AUCE A fashion and lifestyle boutique, S*auce is home to a diverse mix of international designer wear and accessories, as well as lifestyle, art and design objects. Includes collections by designers Tata Naka, Willow, Sass & Bide and See by Chloe. The Village Mall (971) 4 344 7270 www.shopatsauce.com VINTAGE 55 Dubai Festival City Al Garhood (971) 4 232 6616 www.vintage55.com GINGER & LACE India Court Ibn Battuta Mall (971) 4 368 5109 www.gingerandlace.com

Host to a stream of memorable exhibitions, workshops, film screenings ad panel discussions – an absolute must. Al Quoz 3

FIVE GREEN

(971) 4 341 1367

This fashion-forward boutique is

www.thethirdline.com

spot on. The railings are dominated by young, independent brands and Dubai-based fashion designers. Combining eclectic clothing, music

DESIGN PEOPLE

and an art gallery this is a world

More than just an art gallery this place offers

away from the glitzy malls of Dubai.

a wide range of services with a wealth of ex-

Garden Home

perience in art and interior design. From ex-

Oud Metha

hibitions to antiques and custom made

(971) 4 336 4100

furniture it has it all.

www.fivegreen.com

Mazaya Centre (971) 4 3477731 www.designpeopledubai.com MIRAJ ISLAMIC ART GALLERY This gallery exhibits artworks from around the Islamic world. Antique carpets from Iran and jewel-encrusted dresses from India alongside more contemporary crafts make for an impressive collection. Jumeirah Beach Road Jumeirah 3 (971) 4 394 1084

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Manual: Dubai HARVEY NICHOLS

DEIRA GOLD SOUK

Mall of the Emirates

Sikkat al-Khali Street

(971) 4 409 8888 www.harveynichols.com

PERFUME SOUK Sikkat al-Khali Street

SHOES

ELECTRONICS SOUK

JIMMY CHOO

Al-Sabkha Road

As if you didn’t know. Jumeirah Emirates Towers (971) 4 330 0404

MALLS

www.jimmychoo.com

WAFI CITY Near Health Care City

SOUKS

Umm Hurair

DEIRA COVERED SOUK

www.waficity.com

(971) 4 324 4555

Al-Sabkha Road BURJUMAN CENTRE

THE VILLAGE

DEIRA OLD SOUK/SPICE SOUK

Trade Centre Road

This smaller, partly-open complex

67 Street

(971) 4 352 0222

has a more relaxed feel with plants,

www.burjuman.com

mosaics and fountains scattered throughout. Beach Road in Jumeirah www.thevilagedubai.com

HOTELS BURJ AL ARAB Resembling a billowing sail the Burj Al Arab dominates the Dubai coastline. This self-proclaimed seven star hotel is the ultimate in luxury. The Assawan Spa & Health Club situated on the 18th floor with magnificent views over the Gulf is definitely worth a visit. Burj Al Arab (971) 4 301 7777 www.burj-al-arab.com EMIRATES AL MAHA DESERT RESORT A little way out of town this stunning desert resort is just 45 minutes from Dubai but worth every minute of the wait. The Presidential Suite consists of three spacious bedrooms with custom-made super king-size beds, large swimming pool, residential quarters for guests and comes with private staff. An oasis of luxMALL OF THE EMIRATES

ury.

Sheikh Zayed Road

Sheikh Zayed Road

(971) 4 409 9000

(971) 4 303 4222

www.malloftheemirates.com

www.al-maha.com

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100Thousand Club Manual: Dubai R E S TA U R A N T S HOI AN Exquisite Vietnamese cuisine. Shangri-La Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road (971) 4 343 8888 www.shangri-la.com

AL DAWAAR Dubai’s only revolving restaurant features spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf, the Creek and the city of Dubai. The international buffet is superb. Hyatt Regency Dubai Deira (971) 4 209 1234 www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com.

ONE&ONLY ROYAL MIRAGE Originally an Arabian Fortress this resort is extremely grand, boasting palatial banqueting rooms, golf-putting green and sumptuous guest rooms. Also on site is a state-of-the-art Givenchy Spa and an Oriental hammam with heated marble massge table. Jumeirah Beach Road (971) 4 399 9999 www.oneandonlyroyalmirage.com KEMPINSKI HOTEL If you don’t want too travel far to do your shopping the Kempinski Hotel at the Mall of the Emirates may be the one for you. Together with the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai Alpine themed indoor snow resort, this five star deluxe hotel offers unmatched hospitality, shopping and innovative entertainment and sporting facilities. Sheikh Zayed Road (971) 4 341 0000 www.kempinski-dubai.com

BARS THE CIGAR BAR Located at the Fairmont Hotel, The Cigar Bar enjoys an impressive selection of world-class cigars, specialty cognacs, whiskies and rums. A must for the true cigar aficionado. Fairmont Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road www.fairmont.com BUDDHA BAR Situated in the new Grosvenor House Hotel the Buddha Bar has captured the hearts of the beautiful people. With two levels, three different atmospheres, a restaurant, a bar and a lounge this has it all. Grosvenor House Sheikh Zayed Road (971) 4 399 8888 www.buddha-bar.com GINSENG The perfect place for an intimate cocktail or two. A touch of Asian glamour. Wafi Pyramids Oud Metha Road (971) 4 324 8200 www.ginsengdubai.com

AL MAHARA This underwater themed seafood restaurant is stunning. Following a three minute simulated submarine ride you will discover a huge seawater aquarium in the centre of the restaurant, full of fish, adding to the ‘freshly plucked from the ocean’ feeling. Burj Al Arab (971) 4 301 7777 www.burj-al-arab.com

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King Of Painters, Painter Of Kings Andrew Vicari paints scenes of war, motorcycle police, horses and busty women. He is also one of the world’s richest living artists. Interview by Yasmina Saad

O

ne of the world’s richest

Vicari feels comfortable here – where fawning

painters takes another sip of

waiters constantly monitor him from a discrete

coffee. “I don’t know why you

distance. “I may well be the world’s most

lot have this obsession with

highly paid artist, you know,” says Vicari with

how much money I make,” he

a grin. “I love being rich, but it hasn’t changed

says. Well, partly it’s because he makes so much

me at all.”

of it. In 2000, Andrew Vicari sold $34 million

This is not strictly true. He was born in ob-

worth of paintings to a Saudi prince. In 2001, he

scurity in the steel town of Port Talbot to Ital-

sold the last of his series of paintings of the Gulf

ian parents. His father was a restaurateur, his

war to a Riyadh-based firm for $40 million. In

grandfather a clown. Now Vicari has a luxury

2002… the list goes on.

apartment in Riyadh, a penthouse near Monte

In China they hold loving retrospectives of his work. There are three museums devoted to

Carlo and a one-acre studio near Nice, where he paints as many as 150 canvases at a time.

his oeuvre in Saudi Arabia. He is the official

He is, by his own admission, “the last oil

painter for Interpol and the CRS, France’s con-

painter in the line of Goya, Rubens, Velazquez

troversial elite police force. And he numbers

and Raphael”. One of his favourite stories is

former subjects as varied as Vladimir Putin

about a letter that was simply addressed “The

and Sir Alex Ferguson as close friends.

King of Painters, Monaco”. It reached him.

Vicari, still a powerful figure at 69, takes

“I am the king of painters,” says Vicari

another well-earned sip. We’re sitting in the

playfully. “And, ever since 1974, when I be-

vast bar of the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales,

came the official painter to the Saudi court, I

his homeland. Celtic Manor has commis-

have been the painter of kings.”

sioned Vicari to bring his brushes to bear on

Vicari first came to public notice aged 12,

the Welsh Open golf tournament and the Ryder

when he won the gold medal in a Welsh na-

Cup, which it hosts in 2010, and it’s clear that

tional competition for painting. “I had won-

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As a Slade student in the late 50s and early 60s, Vicari established himself as a portraitist

derful art teachers from whom I learned a great

well, but what we really need now is a very

deal. But I had a lot of talent – I was the

young person to point out that all this is em-

youngest pupil at the Slade for 50 years, you

peror’s new clothes. It’s the bearded lady ap-

know.” It was at the Slade where Vicari says

proach. There is no craftsmanship any more.”

he was discovered by his mentor Francis

As a Slade student in the late 50s and early

Bacon. Lucian Freud and Sir William Cold-

60s, Vicari established himself as a portraitist,

stream taught and encouraged him as a

comfortable painting celebrities or heads of

painter. “They were great days and that was a

state. Subjects have included Vladimir Putin,

great period for the Slade,” says Vicari.

French president François Mitterrand, Mao

“There are no artists of that calibre now,”

Tse-Tung, Sophia Loren and Prince Rainier of

he says. “What's that dotty young British artist

Monaco. As his reputation grew, so did his

called?” “Damien Hirst?” “Exactly. I wish him

bank balance. But his earnings really took off when he started working in Saudi Arabia. How did you become the official painter to the Saudi court? “It was 1974. I got on a plane for a long flight and all they had to drink was orange juice. I said, ‘I’m not bloody drinking orange juice all the way to Rio.’ And this guy pipes up, ‘We’re not going to Rio. We’re going to Riyadh.’ I arrived by mistake.” It is, to be sure, a raconteur’s story. None the less, Vicari flourished artistically and financially during his decades of painting in the Saudi capital. “As Toledo was to El Greco, as Arles was to Van Gogh, Riyadh is to me. In my first paintings, you could see the sun struggling to get through. It glows in my Saudi paintings. I make the oil paint shine.” Vicari, whatever one may think of his work, undeniably revolutionised painting in one part of the Arab world. “For 14 centuries portrait painting was prohibited in official Islamic art. I changed all that. I was encouraged to paint portraits of leading figures in the court. Initially, I was told that in Islam, if you paint a man’s portrait, you take his soul. And that is still what a lot of Shi’ite Muslims believe. They say they are following the teachings of the Koran. But the Saudis told me, ‘We will change that popular misconception.’ And, for the first time since the era of the prophet Mohammed, there was figurative art being made officially in Arabia. By me.” 

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Author Katharina Opahle

Like any cultural experience, art has value. If you like it, you can buy it – but if you want a collection, that takes time and effort. An art advisor can help.

L

et’s be clear from the start: if you have no

Things have changed, says Abigail Asher of Guggen-

emotional interest in art, buy property.

heim, Asher Associates: “It’s about understanding who

But if a work allows you to see the world

are the great artists of our time. Historically, they’ve al-

through someone else’s eyes; if you feel

ready been defined for you. But it’s become a huge

drawn to particular pieces and find oth-

amount of work to keep track of today’s marketplace –

ers objectionable; if, in short, you enjoy art for art’s sake

what’s trading, what’s being exhibited, and which muse-

and can draw more from a sketch than the bottom line,

ums to check.” It is, in short, a full-time job.

reach for the checkbook.

porary art: New York, Berlin, London and Los Angeles,”

ing amount of collectors these days, which means you

says Edward Goldman, art advisor and critic for the

have less time to decide on a piece because someone

public radio station KCRW (who admits that even he

right behind you wants it too. Technological advances

misses certain exhibitions in LA’s galleries, museums,

have also had an impact on the way business is done in

universities and art schools). “The art scene is so im-

the art world. Images can be e-mailed to clients instan-

mensely large and can be very intimidating for new-

taneously, and sellers aren’t necessarily prepared to

comers. For someone who decides to collect art and can

wait for two weeks to get a reply.

only afford a certain amount of hours per week, an art

Even collectors with long experience and distinct tastes are finding it harder to track a global market with many newly emerging artists and movements. And when that happens, they call for an art advisor.

142

“There are four major centers producing contem-

Of course it’s not that simple. There is an increas-

advisor can speed up their process of learning and in much friendlier terms.” Let’s face it: art is a shifting sand. Vintage photography, for example, was under-valued when Thea Westre-

“In the 1960s, it was clear what was avant-garde.

ich of Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services predicted

It was clear what the difference was between pop art as

the importance of photography as an art form. “Many of

an innovative art and other kinds of more traditional

the people with whom we worked, who were buying vin-

representation. It was clear what minimalism was,”

tage photographs for $150,000, are now sitting on photo-

says Allan Schwartzman, and art advisor and contem-

graphs worth up to $3 million.” Take a good look in the

porary art curator, who helped start the New Museum

mirror and ask yourself this: would you have known?

of Contemporary Art in New York. “Back then, it was

Is there a golden rule? “What we look for is what we

evident who were the leading artists, and it was not

feel will engage the client within their aesthetic and emo-

that difficult to identify who were the great ones of

tional sensibility,” says Westreich, adding: “Some people

those movements.”

are touched by color and form. Others like a little bit more

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Art for

Art’s Sake


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psychology in their art. The key to a great advisor is to give

the best of the best by any given artist, those are the

the collector the best of what it is that they might like.”

things that have always been ahead of the market and

Few artists produce great art consistently. “If you

have always appreciated the most.”

look at five white paintings by Robert Ryman of the same date and the same dimension, they’re not all the same painting,” explains Schwartzman. “People who are

Some people want to make money. Some want to

spending their lives in the field, looking at art, thinking

build fully distinctive collections, be very engaged and

about art and accessing art, are probably in a better po-

learn in the process. Some want access. Others want what

sition to help people achieve a comfort level that what

their friends have. And still others just want to decorate.

they are wanting to buy has value.”

All appropriate reasons for starting a collection, says

Ah, value. Art has gotten very expensive, and even

Westreich, who believes that the most important thing is

people who don’t worry about money worry about value.

the collector “needs to be clear” about his or her intent.

Collectors want to evolve and exercise their own taste,

If you are new to the art market, clarity may be lack-

but only the very brave don’t care that their transac-

ing. Asher starts by taking her clients around the muse-

tions are wise ones.

ums to try and get a sense of which area they would like

“I don't think any serious advisor or collector can look at art independent of money nowadays, even though

If you buy the best of the best by any given artist, those are the things that stay ahead of the market and will appreciate the most

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100 Thousand Club

Getting started

to collect in. Contemporary, post-war, early modern, impressionist? There’s plenty to choose from.

sometimes financial value perverts aesthetic value. One

“You try and get a sense from them of what their eye

has to be a financial analyst as well,” says Schwartzman.

responds to, of what is speaking to them,” explains

“You’re moving money from one asset to another

Asher. “Is it abstraction? Is it literal objectivity? Is it re-

when you buy a painting,” says Asher, who believes that

alism? Is it objects? It can take some time to get a feel for

people are now realizing art is an investment class. “The

them. And then you start showing them catalogs, and you

things that have always gone up in value historically –

get a sense of which direction they want to go, and then

not just now in this boom market but always – if you buy

you start to slowly form the collection.”


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How to collect Usually, Schwartzman believes, the things that we are attracted to, especially when we don’t know much

Thea Westreich of Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services (bottom): “We look for is what we feel will engage the client within their aesthetic and emotional sensibility”

about art, tend to be the things that don’t have as much staying power. And often the things that last are the things that we couldn’t see at first, or even the things that we find most abrasive or most difficult to like. “I learned a valuable lesson when I started working in the art field,” Schwartzman remembers. “There was an exhibition of Gilbert and George in New York around 1980. I really found the work objectionable. After about a week I had spent telling people what I disliked about it I realized that that was interesting work, that if I had such a strong reaction there was something meaningful going on there and I should pay attention to it.” Goldman shares a similar experience. “When I came to the United States from Russia, I hadn’t seen works by [German Expressionist painter] Max Beckmann. Seeing his work for the first time, I almost hated it. It made me uncomfortable and I couldn’t stop talking about how much I despised it. God knows why I persuaded myself to go a second time. But I understood there was something going on with me – I’ve never been that kind of disturbed by art. I went a third time and it was like someone took away the dark glasses from my face… I started immensely enjoying his work.” All our advisors agree that an ‘instant’ collection will not be interesting in the long run. Collecting, as Schwartzman points out, should be a lifetime pursuit. His typical clients, he says, are people who explore their own identities through the art of other people. Naturally, this takes time. What makes a collection interesting is how people specifically collect artists, and how they combine them with other artists’ works. “To me,” says Schwartzman, “it’s really not about who are the top ten artists. It’s obviously about collecting great artists, but it’s about collecting specific, meaningful works and works by different artists that resonate with one another.” A good example is Gerhardt Richter. Some collectors are interested in his representational work; others focus on the abstract pieces; others may combine both

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styles. “Then there’s the number one bullseye work by

affect the price of the work. If the artist dies, that will

Richter, which would be a representational painting from

definitely affect the price. If you’re talking about con-

the mid-1960s, anywhere from ’64 to ’66, based upon a

temporary work, if it’s gotten into a major collection the

black-and-white photograph,” says Schwartzman. “So if

prices will go up. For Toni Scott, a sculptor who’s carv-

I’m creating a collection of masterworks and there’s room

ing marble, jade, and Douglas fir, prices depend on the

for one Richter, I would probably go looking for that.”

size of her pieces.”

The point is, five collections can portray the same

Goldman says the investment question is impossi-

artist in five different ways; and each of those, Schwartz-

ble. “With contemporary art, no one can say with cer-

man believes, would end up being more interesting than

tainty what is a good investment. It’s all speculation. I’m

having the one masterwork by Richter. “Having his

trying to persuade people to invest the most available re-

bullseye painting is missing the point of this particular

sources that they have, their time and their soul, into

painter,” says Schwartzman.

spending time looking at art and learning about it. I

Asher looks back on the collections she has put to-

started with the Greek and the Roman antiquities and

gether, like the cubist collection with Picasso, Gris,

Renaissance art when I was a student.

Braque, and Sevigny for one client. Or the one for a

Today, I’m very passionate about contem-

venture capitalist from the Midwest, who liked Ameri-

porary art. The knowledge of art definitely

can modernism, paintings of the Stieglitz school in-

helped me to see contemporary art through

cluding Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and Georgia

the prism of European civilization.

O’Keefe. One of her New York clients collects Alexan-

“If someone approaches me and says

der Calder and artists who influenced him, like Miro.

he has several million dollars he wants to

But what if you want to add a picture to your collection

invest in art and wants to be sure that he

the advisor doesn’t like?

has a good return on it, I will tell him to

“I just say no,” Asher laughs, then adds: “I can say

buy some good Michelangelo, Leonardo da

to them, it’s not a great work of art, I don’t think you can

Vinci drawings, at least early Matisse and

get your money out, this is not what I would be doing

Picasso, that definitely holds its value.”

with that amount of money. But if they really, really love it, I can’t stop them from buying it.”

I said it at the start, but it’s worth repeating: if you have no emotional interest in art, buy property. Art is an investment, but the

Art investment What makes a great piece of art? Margaret-Paul Danielak of DanielakArt chooses the artists she represents according to the same criteria any collector should look out for: “The artist has to have a clear distinct style. They need to create new work consistently and have adequate inventory. I’d be interested if they won major grants and awards, and what their credentials are. With whom did they study? Where did they go to school? Are there already collectors for their work? And have they been exhibiting for at least five years?” What about the prices – who decides them? “Pricing work is always very difficult,” admits Danielak. “It has to do with previous collectors and what they paid for the work. Again, if you’ve won any awards, that will

gains aren’t always financial. 


Rich are

Where the

The Millionaire Fair has come to Dubai. Those of us who were there will have our stories to tell – the people we saw, the lifestyle items we fell in love with. Nilanjana Ghosh on the world’s premier luxury event.

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he unique spirit of the Millionaire

T

Asia – Moscow, Shanghai, Kortrijk and Cannes.

Fair is the result of an ideal mix-

On entering the Millionaire Fair, you will

ture of the luxury items displayed,

find a cornucopia of all the most beautiful and

extraordinary entertainment, and a

luxurious things the world has to offer. For a few

unique hospitality concept. With this combina-

days, every centimetre of the exhibition is trans-

tion, Millionaire Fair year-after-year manages

formed into a spectacular shopping paradise.

to attract the rich and famous, CEOs, entrepre-

The visitors are treated to not only sensa-

neurs, networkers, bon-vivants, VIPs, business

tional product presentations and international

and cultural elite from all across the world, as

firsts, but also dazzling entertainment full of

well as carefully selected media to one single

glitter and glamour. The culinary top is also rep-

spot during this extraordinary event.

resented. The most exquisite titbits are served

Dubai, of course, is fast gaining a reputa-

and you have the opportunity to enjoy a lavish

tion as a leading consumer for luxury goods and

lunch or dinner, while, naturally, the champagne

products, and is primed to be the next destina-

flows freely.

tion for exclusive luxury products. Extravagance

The extraordinary mix of exclusive prod-

is, without doubt, nothing new there. But the

ucts creates a paradise for lovers of the luxury

Millionaire Fair upped the ante.

life. Visitors to the Millionaire Fair can buy

Nilanjana Ghosh

“Millionaire Fair is the place where the rich gather” – BBC World

Since the first Millionaire Fair in Amster-

swimming pools, cars and boats, participate in

dam in 2001, it has become the benchmark for

an investment project or seek financial advice.

überluxury in Europe and Asia. Finding that

Products such as hand-made shoes, cosmetics,

This is a place where extravagance is the

one product in the market that outclasses

telephones and jewellery can be bought directly.

rule – a place where one can view and, of course,

everything else in its category may be

A highly specialised event, the Millionaire

acquire everything from collectible art and auto-

difficult but Millionaire Fair does it

Fair provides an excellent platform for top pro-

year after year, in Europe and in

ducers of exclusive luxury products to display

100 Thousand Club

mobiles to entire islands.

„

their latest products to business prospects and

Nilanjana Ghosh is Marketing Manager

build new strategic relationships with potential

for Concept Group, co-organisers of The

buyers and partners.

Millionaire Fair in Dubai.


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Everyday should begin with a champagne breakfast, at sunrise, on your personalised, private jet. The Bombardier Global Express XRS is the first choice for executives and VIPs with demanding schedules. Described as ‘the most luxurious, most accomplished business jet ever built’, this is the preferred mode of transport for Bill Gates and Celine Dion. The jet can be customised to the highest (or most ridiculous) specification. You may start simply, with a surround sound entertainment system. You may finish the cabin in exotic woods, gold fixtures, hand-woven carpeting and original artwork. Or you may, as one recent commission did, furnish your bathroom with a crocodile skin toilet seat. And at $10,000, why not? Price: $45.5 million and up

Fly to Kiton’s headquarters in Naples to collect your K50 suit – so called because of the 50 hours it take to produce. Only Enzo D’Orsi, Kiton’s master tailor, is able to craft the world’s most expensive suit. He doesn’t cut a pattern but chalks your measurements directly onto the cloth – leaving no margin for error. According to one fan, a suit made by Enzo “follows the lines of the body so closely, and yet sits so lightly, that it seems to be poured on”. Price: $70,000

DESIGN YOUR DAY If you could customise everything to your tastes, what would you do? 100Thousand Club has some ideas… Author: Becky Graham

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If you want to try the world’s most expensive burger, head to DB Bistro Moderne in New York – but be quick. Created by celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, this couture burger is made from 100 percent ground beef stuffed with red-wine braised short ribs (off the bone), foie gras, a mix of root vegetables and preserved black truffle. Topped with a double helping of fresh black truffles (which is why you need to be quick, truffle season ends in March) and encased in a homemade toasted Parmesan and poppy seed bun. Our New York editor hasn’t stopped talking about his. Price: $120

The Spa V at the Hotel Victor on Miami’s south beach will soothe and rejuvenate with the promise of pure indulgence. Its speciality Evian Bath is filled with 1000 bottles of Evian water and sprinkled with rose petals. Price: $5000

Only 550 of the Bentley Brooklands Coupe will ever be made, but that’s not what got it onto our list. The Brooklands is hand-assembled using traditional coach building techniques and finished to perfection. Use Bentley’s bespoke colour matching service to create a model that is uniquely yours. Price: $200,000 and up

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If making a call from your mobile has been a little dull, pick up a customised platinum or gold (or both) and diamond encrusted model from Peter Aloisson. The legendary Austrian designer specialises in one-off, elaborately expensive creations that will make your handset sparkle as much as your conversation. Price: From $42,000 to $1.3 million

Krug’s Clos du Mesnil 1995 is one of the most rare and expensive champagnes in the world. This is not a blended wine, but a fabulously bespoke creation. 100 percent of the grapes come from a single, small (1.85 hectares), walled vineyard in the village of Mesnil sur Oger in France’s Cote des Blancs. The vineyard has been here since 1698, and is planted entirely to Chardonnay. The Clos du Mesnil is extremely elegant champagne with a lively and pure flavour. Straw gold in colour, it holds mineral and citrus fruit notes with a balanced, subtle yet distinctive taste of honey. Price: $750

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If you would rather wear your diamonds, talk with Harry Winston. The jeweller’s signature pieces include an internally flawless 35.01 carat Solitaire Diamond ring and a vast selection of timepieces. This Westminster Tourbillon was created as a special edition to mark the opening of the Harry Winston store in London. Harry will just as happily make something for you. Price: Solitaire Diamond ring $5.3 million, watches from $61,000

Stay in the Palace Suite at the Emirates Palace, a palace within a palace, and luxury at its finest. Accommodation includes a spacious living area to receive guests, an elegant dining room and three breathtakingly regal bedrooms. The entrance hall is adorned with lavish hues of gold and silver, and crystal chandeliers made by Swarovski. The living room is decorated in yellow and blue silks with Daum crystal masterpieces. Each room is equipped with huge plasma television screens and entertainment systems. Be blown away by the Hermes designed marble laden bathroom including Jacuzzi and rain shower. Customise your stay with a 24-hour butler service – so you never have to step out of the suite. Price: $11,444 a night

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100Thousand Club Recommends...

The Secret of my Success Mishal Hamed Kanoo, Deputy Chairman of The Kanoo Group

Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo founded The Kanoo Group in Bahrain over one hundred years ago. The Group was selected recently for the first annual UAE ‘Superbrands’ awards program.

For us there’s no correlation between our products and religion. It’s pure and simple marketing. I appreciate that some companies promote Shariah services and good luck to them, but it’s hard not to be cynical when all of the major players in these services areas – food and fi nance predominately – are international companies.

Superbrand status is obviously

Do not confuse us with the

great for us, but it’s not a fashion-

chaebols of Korea or keiretsus

able tag or a PR exercise. We have

of Japan. Mitsubishi are such a

enough internal capital to perpetuate

company, and one that has so many

our own growth. We don’t brand our

markets: bridges, electronics, bank-

joint ventures, but the strength of the

ing. But everyone immediately thinks

brand allows us to work with the best

of cars. This is not a direction Kanoo

partners in each industry. It’s persua-

wants to take.

sive in this sense. We allow our businesses auWe’re very comfortable with

tonomy, which means recruit-

tailoring our strengths. We start

ing good people to manage our

small scale and allow our businesses

organization. Although we have a

to grow, but always remain within our

strong family bond within our com-

areas of expertise.

pany, this way we don’t have to deal with family politics, and it is not as incestuous as the chaebol.

I believe in the ‘KISS’ principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. We retain our lines of business and don’t

For us, the line between cor-

stray from them. Kanoo is successful

porate and social responsibil-

because we continue to focus on what

ity and family responsibility

we’re good at.

is blurred. The two are entwined and manifest through the same principles. Kanoo is a family owned

We want to be synonymous with quality. We want the brand to represent a solid identity – like a government – one that facilitates and is present, but not necessarily ‘inyour-face’, on a daily basis.

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“I believe in the ‘KISS’ principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. ”

company, so our shareholders have a shared responsibility. We are forward-thinking and our family attitude is not a PR stunt: it’s a social edict. „


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