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CONTENTS:june09 25/06/2009 09:28 Page 13

CONTENTS Fashion & Luxe

29 Luxury Yacht Marinas 32 Get Wet 44 The New Exclusivity 58 Equestrian Elegance 96 Charging Forward

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CONTENTS People 52 Fashion & Family 77 Modern Day Magellan 86 Race to the Top 90 Heroes of Hospitality 132 The Sweet Life 120 Life in the Fast Lane

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CONTENTS Travel 104 The Two Sides of Turkey 70 Beaches and Pools 111 Caribbean Competition

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CONTENTS Features 64 Property Preview 70 It’s Always Time to Invest 128 Italian Style 72 First Look: Summer Travel Gadgets 139 Art Comes Alive


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ED NOTE 100TCME6:june09 25/06/2009 09:32 Page 22

The Editor’s Note


s the warm weather arrives, a fresh breeze of opti-

mism is pervading the financial and social landscape around the world. Whether it be an actual turnaround in circumstances or simply fatigue from the past

months, summer is the perfect time to refocus on the essence of what luxury is all about: the unique, the memorable, and the personal. For many of us, this means travel. What better luxury to invest in than something that is both broadening and relaxing at once? We went around the world this summer, from the French countryside to the coasts of Turkey to the best beaches and pools in Dubai and beyond. But beaches don’t always signify cold drink and bathing suits—for certain people, it’s what is offshore that matters, and we bring you an exciting look at what sailboat racing is like in the Caribbean, one of the world’s most welcoming destinations for sailors and visitors alike. And for summer celebrations, we’ve popped the cork on the story behind the Moet & Chandon champagne house, with a truly special visit to their maison, their cellars, and their private home—a truly insiders view of their amazing accomplishments in the twin spheres of wine and food. For others, it means investing in the things that make them who they are, whether that’s great sunglasses, fast cars, private planes, or even just a stiff drink. We spoke to executives at Persol and Lamborghini, about what makes their companies and products great, as well as local businesspeople like Fadi Jaber, whose chain of cupcake bakeries has made life in the Middle East just a little bit sweeter. And of course, no issue of the 100 Thousand Club would be complete without highlighting the unique individuals who make up our readership and our sphere of interest—from Abed Mahfouz’s couture and bridal atelir, to Sheikh Talal Zainy and his new concept, the Z Club, to the world-famous Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, who is continuing his reign on the racecourse, we continue to be amazed by the passion and drive that is the hallmark of all truly successful people. I wish you smooth sailing, bright sunshine, and all the enjoyment summer can provide, and we look forward to bringing you more of our brand of luxury in the fall.

Harlan Davis Editor-in-Chief

100 Thousand Club

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CONTRIBUTORS:may09 25/06/2009 09:29 Page 24


Kate Winick

Natalie Brandweiner

Robyn Baitcher

A lifelong interest in travel, fashion, and

Though Natalie began her career as a

Growing up a southern belle gave Robyn

luxury goods, combined with a passion

business writer, interviewing executives

her love of warm weather, good conversa-

for writing and interviewing, brought

from a variety of industries, and still con-

tion, and all things luxury, but she thrives

Kate to the 100 Thousand Club to cover

tributes to several business magazines,

on the energy of New York City. She came

the best of the best for all three editions

her understanding of the needs and de-

to writing from the newspaper world and

of the magazine. She has also written for

sires of high-profile people give her

is enjoying the creativity of writing fea-

Trump Magazine, Popular Mechanics,

unique insight into creating maps, lists,

tures and profiles for the 100 Thousand

and other lifestyle publications.

and feature stories that will grab her


reader’s attention.

Josh Sailor

Madeline Labadie

Norimichi Inoguchi

After working in production for the better

Madeline Labadie is a recreational pho-

Norimichi is a skilled photographer who

part of his professional career, Josh even-

tographer with a strong interest, and

focuses on images using movement and

tually caved into his passion for photog-

years of experience, in travel photogra-

water. He is intrigued by the interaction

raphy, and hasn’t looked back since.

phy. She is in her third year studying his-

of water and fashion, and incorporates

Based in New York, his portfolio is as di-

tory at New York University.

his eye for movement into unique still-

verse as his experiences, and he creates

lifes. He holds a BFA in photography and

fabulous shots of people, installations,

was first in his class at the International

and beautiful places around the world.

Center of Photography.

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CREDITS:june09 25/06/2009 14:36 Page 26




Advertising, Marketing, and Client Services T: 212.920.8181 Senior Vice President: MAX CLIFFORD Account Executives ANTHONY MATTHEWS, ROSIE TRELAWNY-BARRETT, ANDREW KING, KATIE LEWIS Finance Director: JAMIE CANTILLON HR and Personnel Manager: OLIVIA REEVES Production Manager: HANNAH DRIVER Production Coordinators: HANNAH DUFFIE, JULIA FENTON Circulation Manager: BEN KELLY Subscription Enquiries T: +1 212.920.8181 General Enquiries Letters to the Editor

Printer Workbrands Ltd. Ferodo House, Willway Street, Bristl BS3 4BG, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)117 9669189. E-mail: 100 Thousand Club (Vol. 2, Issue 3, Q3 2009) 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 © 2009 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:

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Luxury Yacht


Island Gardens, Miami This beautiful development located on Watson Island, Miami, hosts a 50slip mega-yacht marina in Biscayne Bay and is a beautiful location in which to see the most majestic of these floating castles. Tucked away behind an exclusive residential enclave, the marina is the perfect place to berth for an exclusive Miami experience. For those who are not strictly boating enthusiasts, there are plenty of five star facilities located within the development, including the luxurious Shangri-La and Westin Hotels, which are sure to provide a variety of exclusive facilities.

Yacht Haven Grande, Anguilla & St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Showcasing the Caribbean idyll of beauty, the Yacht Haven Grande marina is set in a magnificent land-surrounded inlet with stunning views of island serenity. The marina combines the enjoyment of breathtaking views within confined exclusivity – with the inlet protected, you’re sure to enjoy a truly private experience. This expansive marina is able to berth yachts in excess of 300 feet with up to 20-foot draft, hosting 100 slips. And with at least one third of these slips accommodating mega-yachts, there really is room for luxury.




Page 29

Porto San Rocco, Italy

Mandalina Mega-yacht marina, Croatia

Situated in Muggia, close to Trieste, Porto San Rocco is a marine rich with

Due to open at the end of this year, Mandalina is the perfect

history and being 60 miles long, it boasts an expansive European home to

place in which to set sail to. Situated in the coastal town of

its luxurious yachts. Set within the charming and typically Italian village it is

Sibenik, the marine features 350 in-water slips and 50 dry-

designed by the richly talented architect Luigi Vetti – and with its historical

dock berths on land, proving to be the most accommodat-

cafes and beautiful castle, Porto San Rocco has delights and more to offer

ing of hosts. Its positioning in the bottom of the deep bay of

to its boating enthusiasts. With berthing facilities for super-yachts, it is the

the Sibenik channel allows shelter from the northern Bora

perfect place for a perfect stay for cruising the Istrian and Dalmatian coast,

wind, providing the most tranquil of views in the most serene

and is the perfect setting in which to bask under the beautiful Italian sun.

settings, and chosen as the “World’s number one sailing destination”, by National Geographic magazine, it really does live up to its title.

Dubai Marina This man-made marina hosts luxuries unlike any natural setting. Located to Dubai’s wellknown Internet City and the Emirates Golf Club, this is the perfect setting in which to enjoy marina living. One of the most desirable addresses in the Middle East, the Dubai marina’s distinctive design and decadent location boasts an invigorating and cosmopolitan lifestyle. From fishing and jogging, to yachting and fine dining, it really is the place to watch the sun setting across the azure waters, and as one of the world’s largest marinas, it really does have it all.

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PRODUCTS:may09 25/06/2009 11:10 Page 32

Get Wet!

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph doesn’t just go overseas—it goes under as well, up to 150 meters, in a shock-resistant case that is also totally antimagnetic. This modern classic features the classic recurring Maltese cross motif, and is a nicely sporty member of the Vacheron lineage.

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Get Wet!

The house of Hermes has plenty of iconic products, but all of them share certain qualities: impeccable craftsmanship, enduring style, and a sense of fun, and their beach towels, a perennial summer favorite, embody that same spirit in every square inch of their capacious length.

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Get Wet!

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We all want the same things from a swimsuit: a flattering cut with just enough coverage. These pairs from Dolce & Gabbana bring classic nautical style mixed with a sexy Italian fit to the water, with white shorts to show off your tan, or navy trunks for covering up.

PRODUCTS:may09 25/06/2009 09:42 Page 38

Get Wet!

After a day in the hot sun, your skin deserves from TLC, and for that we turn to the gold standard—Crème de la Mer, the magical seaweed-based potion that repairs and moisturizes like nothing else. And now, fans of the cream can have those same effects all day long, with their moisturizing sunscreen, a light, non-greasy and highly effective formula.

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Get Wet!

PRODUCTS:may09 25/06/2009 09:43 Page 41

This season it’s all about understatement, so make sure to grab a pair of glasses that makes a statement without shouting. We love these fashion-forward frames from Blinde, left, and Ermenegildo Zegna, right, which share a focus on subtle but distinctive style and high-quality materials and construction. Both pairs available at ILORI,

PRODUCTS:may09 25/06/2009 09:44 Page 42

Get Wet!

While having your toes in the sand is the ultimate goal of a summer vacation, you’ll need something on your feet in order to get you there, and that’s where a great pair of summer sandals comes in. Tod’s legendary leather jumps from driving mocs to dockside with this pair of stylish shoes—richly colored and finely made, they’re sure to be a favorite for seasons to come.

PRODUCTS:may09 25/06/2009 09:44 Page 43

Private clubs:27Apr



Page 44



or the movers and shakers of the

Founded by CEO Sheikh Talal Zainy, he

world, a certain amount of business

originally conceived the club as a way to fill a

has always been done behind

need he found in the community for more in-

closed doors – and not always in

teraction. “I lived all my life in Europe and the

the boardroom. Any savvy executive or so-

States and I found out that there is no social

cialite knows that networking your way to the

setting to meet like-minded people, business-

top happens in steam rooms and private clubs,

men and things like that. There’s an old-fash-

not just in the context of corporate life. And

ioned way of doing it and there’s nothing for

now the Saudi Arabian elite have somewhere

people of our generation, people in their 30s

new to do their socializing – the recently-

and 40s, like they have in London and the

opened Z Club, a gorgeous new complex in

States, all these members clubs. Saudi Ara-

Jeddah designed to provide the best of every-

bia’s population is something like 60 or 70 per-

thing to everyone who matters.

cent of the population is under 30,” he said,

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Page 46

making the country fertile ground for this new style of networking. “There is a need in the market, we could see it. We did a study over a year or so, and we believed that the country is booming, it has a great future ahead of it.” Jeddah, he says, is a cosmopolitan place, where people from all around the world intersect and share their cultures, and he wanted to provide them with a place where they could meet and enjoy a variety of activities as broad as their collective interests. It’s a modern paradox – we want to be ever more connected, while we are ever more zealous about protecting our privacy and seeking out neutral third spaces where we can socialize. “Previously, the city’s elite had to organize social events at their private homes in order to meet,” Zainy says. “Z Club gives them the opportunity to have a public place always open, no need anymore to host a party to meet friends. Members have a second home.” This is an idea that’s been tried successfully many times around the world since the boom of the 1980s – Groucho House, Babington House, Soho House – generally in locations where private members’ clubs and men’s clubs have a long and storied tradition. As the younger generations have taken over, remaking the oldboy’s club into something more artistic, social and exciting, they’ve become an indispensable part of the social scene for people of a certain class. Z Club, says Zainy, is “a mix of different concepts seen during my travels around the world but with the Saudi touch. It’s a luxury place with soul. The design was a long discussion between different architects to materialize the best I have seen around the world with my own touch.” Though no longer involved in the day-to-day operations, he was heavily involved in the planning and design stages, and continues to, of course, use the club himself and remains invested in the concept.

Top left: Mr. Tarek Gazzaz, GM of Z Club, Right, Sheikh Talal Zainy, CEO of Z Club. Middle: Z Club, Jeddah.

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The opulent Cavalli Club, Fairmont Hotel, Dubai

The clientele for the club is naturally exclusive, with a maximum of 1500 members


Riyadh and the Eastern Province, but to still

share the same target, to indulge our members.

keep the same intimate feeling.

There were health clubs, but nothing catering

sharing the 6,000 square meter, SAR 40 mil-

The Z Club was designed as a multi-pur-

to VIPs. I don’t think in London you have a club

lion facility. Once full, no new applicants will

pose space, combining aspects of social, busi-

that has all these things mixed in one place. You

be able to gain membership to the club and

ness and health clubs to better serve their

have health clubs in London, you have spas; you

only existing members will be able to enjoy the

clientele. “They have a very young population

don’t have a place that has health spa, members

club's facilities. The first batch of 500 appli-

here; people care about the health side, people

club, lounge all that together. I’m basically a

cations opened shortly after the club’s debut in

care about the spa, so we have health services,

hotel without the rooms.”

May, and the selection committee is hard at

spa services, fitness, in addition to a business

Zainy feels that the population has become

work. “We screen people and we test these

center – basically a home away from home. We

newly health conscious, in a way that they

people from the same background, same busi-

also have food, restaurants, lounges for relax-

weren’t previously. “The media is affecting

nessmen, high-ranking government officials,

ation, lounges for socializing and all that.” Fit-

them. People want to start treatments. Men

people like that. But the city is very big, you’re

ness and wellness is actually a significant

are becoming just like women, just like in

talking around four million people, so there are

element of the project, a departure from the

Europe, they care about facials, treatments

a lot of circles. We’re hoping to create a place

purely social nature of older clubs. Done in col-

and wraps and all sorts of things. So, we cre-

where likeminded people meet. We don’t want

laboration with the European Wellness Institute,

ated this to have the health side, which is

numbers; we want quality, not quantity. Not too

the experience at Z Club is designed to go be-

very important to Saudi Arabia.” Overall, he

small that it won’t offer the people a variety of

yond health clubs into a total wellness experi-

says, the uniqueness of the facility comes

people to meet, and not too large where it be-

ence. The partnership came about, says Zainy,

from their commitment to bringing their

comes too crowded. Of course the club is di-

because “we were looking for a partner with ex-

members new lifestyles – but he happens to

vided; it’s half for men, half for woman; totally

pertise in SPA management and European cul-

like the natural waterfall massage as a more

separate.” He hopes eventually to expand into

ture. To work as partners is very important; we

tangible amenity as well.

100 Thousand Club



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Page 50

This is not the only multi-purpose place to

crowd glamorous enough to serve as decora-

new construction cost in the neighborhood of

meet in the Middle East. Trying out a different

tion themselves. Though the designer has pre-

Dhs110 million, but as Mr Cavalli put it, “It is

model in Dubai is designer Roberto Cavalli,

viously branched out into furniture and décor

beautiful, and beautiful things are expensive.”

whose opulent Cavalli Club is a new enter-

before, this is really the first time that the var-

Everything from watches and jewelry to acces-

tainment and nightlife concept for the young

ious manifestations of a designer’s vision have

sories from Cavalli Maison are for sale all

and chic. Located within the Fairmont hotel,

been brought together in quite this way. Cavalli

night, as well as selections of Italian foods

the two-level club is built of shiny black quartz

intends for the space to be much more than

handpicked by Roberto Cavalli to express the

and Swarovski crystal walls, creating sparkling

just a nightclub, and to serve a much broader

best of Italy. The upstairs boasts a restaurant

curtains that divide the space – and draws a

population than just young people. The totally

serving top-notch Italian cuisine, as well as a

100 Thousand Club

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Page 51

sushi bar and a wine bar suspended on either side of the restaurant in golden glass and furcovered pods. It also has room for an opulent lounge, where DJs, dancers, and other entertainers are scheduled to dazzle.

“I have a lot of members that already have health clubs in their house, so I’m not selling a fitness and sports club, I’m not selling a spa, I’m not selling a lounge, I’m selling a lifestyle”

Like all good nightclubs, it creates a feeling of community, a sense that those who are there belong there and will be back, and that you might at any minute run into someone

community with all the facilities to leave the

we have some members that don’t do either;

you know. As the Middle East has expanded

real world behind is a truly priceless benefit.

they just come for socializing, to hang out.

and opened to the rest of the world, becom-

“The amenities alone are not important. The

If someone wants to come and just do noth-

ing ever more packed with expats of all va-

goal is to reach a perfect alchemy between the

ing, they can do nothing. And we have but-

rieties and from all walks of life, it’s not

services provided and equipment to keep the

lers to cater to their needs.”

surprising that demand for clubs like these

members happy.” For members, this means ac-

One who was unacquainted with the ap-

is starting to arise – people in the know ben-

cess to personal trainers, to develop your per-

peal of a place like Z Club might wonder if

efit from seeking out others who share simi-

sonal fitness regimen. “You have a nutritionist;

clients as upscale as these have truly been un-

lar experiences and priorities, and in big

you have the spa providing you top services.

able to provide themselves with these ameni-

cities, that can be hard to find. While cer-

You have the saunas, the Moroccan baths, the

ties thus far. That, however, is missing the

tainly open to the public, there is the de

steam baths, the pool, the Jacuzzis and all the

point of the private club entirely, something

facto exclusivity to a place that is predicated

things you find in clubs. You have the lounges

Zainy thoroughly understands. “It’s a

on opulent surroundings, expensive meals

for relaxation, you have the lounges for so-

lifestyle. I’m selling a lifestyle, I’m not sell-

and designer clothes, and devotees of Mr.

cializing. You have courts, multi-universe

ing a Jacuzzi. I have a lot of members that

Cavalli will find themselves in the company

court, the squash courts; then there’s volley-

already have health clubs in their house, so

of their peers in fashion.

ball, all that,” says Zainy, and all, of course,

I’m not selling a fitness and sports club, I’m

However, there is nothing quite like the

used in limitless numbers of combinations

not selling a spa, I’m not selling a lounge,

truly private club experience, and careful at-

by their members. “I have members that

I’m selling a lifestyle.” And from the shape

tention is being paid to the details at Z Club

came just for the health side, just for the fit-

of things in the Middle East, we bet that in-

that separate the best from the simply high-

ness. I have members that don’t want to deal

creasing numbers of the community will be

end. The privilege of being part of their own

with fitness; they just come for the spa. And

buying what he’s selling. 

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Fashion & Family

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For a woman, the thrill of yards of top-quality fabric sweeping down a runway is surpassed by only one thing: knowing that her own version of that dress will be one of a kind, and when she wears it all eyes will be on her – whether its because it’s her wedding day, or simply because she’s the best-dressed woman at the ball. Abed Mahfouz has staked his career on making one of a kind couture for once in a lifetime occasions, and as his popularity has spread from his native Lebanon to runways around the world, he has become an ambassador of sorts for Middle Eastern designers, proving they can do Western fashion with the best of them, while making creations that are all their own. Raised in Beirut as one of eleven children,

from silky evening sheaths to ornate embel-

Mr. Mahfouz grew up watching his mother and

lished gowns, which rival anything originating

sister tailoring clothes to support the rest of the

in France. He deftly walks the line between

family. The beauty and artistry of dresses cap-

the overdone, arriviste look that is unfortu-

tivated the boy, and as a young man in the

nately common to many designers coming from

early 1990s, he opened a dress rental shop

an area with less established fashions, and the

with his sister. “From there,” he says, “I loved

sheer enthusiasm and love of color that scares

the world of fashion in all its aspects, and

more jaded markets. Nothing is off limits with

started my journey. I didn’t have any profes-

his gowns – sequins, taffeta, metallic thread-

sional training, everything I know came from

ing, confections of lace and silk, pearls and

trial and error and lots and lots of experience.

prints can all appear in a single runway show,

I starting in wedding gowns at first and then

and the effect, while not for the faint of heart

went into haute couture.”

(or most conservative of brides) is refreshing

To hear him say this – via his son, Hassane Mahfouz, who is poised to take over the family business – is astounding to anyone who has viewed his dresses. His designs run the gamut


100 Thousand Club

in its excitement.

Nothing is off limits with Mahfouz gowns – sequins, taffeta, metallic threading, confections of lace and silk, pearls and prints can all appear in a single runway show

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Abed Mahfouz ed:27Apr




Page 56

He still designs a popular and beautiful

fashion destinations. “The other locations are

fashion show finale, when everyone is saying

wedding line to this day, but the aura of haute

usually in special events or as a guest of honor.

congratulations and I am congratulating my

couture pervades all his work. “I realized that I

Of course everywhere I go I try and leave a mark

team and everyone who helped. This moment

was good at it, and haute couture attracts the

but Rome has a special place in my heart, it em-

after the show is priceless.”

high-end clientele that helped me make a good

braced me when I started back in 2002, which

Finding fulfillment in the hardest part of the

name for myself. I mean, who doesn’t like glam?”

was when I did my first international fashion

job – truly, the definition of career success. Of

Who doesn’t, indeed? Certainly not his clientele,

show. The fashion week in Rome, which just cel-

course, though, creative minds require constant

an enviable bunch of ladies if there ever were

ebrated its thirteenth year, is a multi-faceted

care and feeding, and for this family man, it’s

any. “Mainly our customers are princesses and

event held in conjunction with one of Italy’s

not found in nightclubs or at parties. “I like

sheikhas from the Gulf areas as well as European

largest fashion trade shows, and is known for fos-

going to the gym and staying healthy, sports let

aristocracy and some Lebanese high-end

tering young up-and-coming talent as well as

a lot of the stress out. I ski as well. And I love

clients,” he says, but money is not the most es-

local Italian design favorites from the fashion ex-

going to the beach, that’s why people love

sential thing they have in common.

perts in Rome and Milan.

Lebanon: we have everything. I cook for my kids

His designs are sought after by women

Abed Mahfouz the brand has only ex-

sometimes and I enjoy gardening, it’s very re-

who are chic and elegant, and who also have

panded since those days, and he as the designer

laxing. I love traveling with my kids (I have a

unique taste; one imagines they are drawn to

is an expert at the delicate art of balancing the

24 year old daughter, my son is 30) since we

his similarly unique designs. “Every woman is

demands of the company with the needs of the

rarely spend time together in Beirut. So when

special in her own way,” he says, and the di-

creative side, a problem faced by all of those

we travel we try to cherish every moment. My

versity of styles in his collection allows his

who wear the twin hats of businessman and

son is obsessed with Italy, his dream is to live

clients to express their uniqueness. Many of

artist. “I am both; I am grateful and lucky that I

there; I enjoy Rome every time after my fashion

his collections have a distinct Middle Eastern

work with a dedicated and loving team. We are

show. I spend a couple of days just walking

flavor that resonates with his core clients, but

more like a small family. My son has been tak-

around and enjoying the views. But personally

as the Middle East continues to rise in promi-

ing care of the management for years and or-

I can’t live outside Lebanon; I love Beirut and

nence around the rest of the world, his designs

ganizing shows everywhere. Sometimes it gets

the Lebanese way of life.”

are drawing new eyes as well. Mr. Mahfouz

too hard for me to get creative and manage at

His mentions of his son emphasize the im-

sees the connection as natural: “Of course I am

the same time, so I try and rely on my son and

pact that Hassane Mahfouz is already having on

Lebanese and proud of my heritage and you

team in hard times.” And while hard times have

the company; in addition to coordinating a great

can always see that in my collections,” he says.

been discussed ad nauseum in the world of lux-

deal of the current business, he is now planning

“I always try to mix the best of both worlds.

ury lately, it has not shaken the company (or the

their next move that will include a prêt-a-porter

Plus women are always following new trends

man’s) resolve to simply do what he does best. “I

line and stores all around the world. As for

no matter what flavor they have. You see Amer-

never compare myself to anyone. I think every

Abed Mahfouz himself, he says, “I will keep

ican women wearing geisha costumes and

designer has his own ways. We compete by

working hard for my clients and fans on creat-

Japanese women wearing jeans. That’s the

being different, that’s what keeps our creativity

ing beautiful haute couture collections. We’ll

beauty of fashion – it goes around the globe

going. After the worldwide crisis our clients be-

have to wait and see how far Hassane Mahfouz

easily.” As he prepares a new line, he does sig-

came less enthusiastic about spending big

is going to take us in the next couple of years,”

nificant research and travel to textile and trend

amounts of cash on dresses, but we become flex-

he adds, something about which he is clearly

exhibitions around the world. “It’s a never end-

ible with their needs and we work harder on the

optimistic. “He has ideas about stores in every

ing race that I enjoy. I am always on the hunt

collections to meet their demand.” Typically,

major capital in the world, plus a home line col-

for new ideas. My vision has no limit,” he says.

working harder means an early breakfast, a

lection as well as many other things.” As the

Though his roots are in Lebanon, he is very

newspaper, and then long days in the office and

company has evolved from a young boy’s fasci-

much a part of the larger global fashion commu-

atelier. “When in fashion show mode sometimes

nation with the delicate handwork of his family

nity. “I present my collections in Rome during

I stay late, I stay with my team when they are

members, to a global couture company helping

the AltaRoma Alta Moda fashion week; that’s our

working on the collection. I love the fact that we

to set a new standard for Middle Eastern de-

main seasonal location,” he says, though his

create and work hard and sometimes have a lot

signers, “many other things” can only be ex-

name pops up frequently attached to other high-

of stressful times, but the reward comes after the

pected to be many wonderful things. 

100 Thousand Club

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FASHION viz2 with bleed:27 APR



Page 58

Equestrian Summer black adds spice to a sunny day – mix materials like leather and lace for a rich, textured look.

FASHION viz2 with bleed:27 APR



Page 59

Elegance Pictures by Joseph Montezinos, ICON INTERNATIONAL

Every little bit counts – accents like scarves, belts, and ties elevate basic gear to the luxe level.

FASHION viz2 with bleed:27 APR



Page 60

Color counts, and it pays to be fearless – layering different prints is an easy way to add style without adding bulk.

FASHION viz2 with bleed:27 APR



Page 61

Masculine details like peaked lapels, tuxedo shirts and studs, and a great chapeau are great on gents, but we like them just as well on women.

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Rendering: Asymptote, Hani Rashid & Lise Anne Couture

Property Preview


As anticipation builds for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to be held

There are plenty of reasons why the name Kempinski is synonymous

on the newest of the Formula 1 tracks, race fans are already starting to

with timeless luxury. In an era where gimmicky hotels often close as

check out their options for accommodations—and the Yas Hotel is sure

fast as they open, Kempinski Hotel Group proudly stands as one of the

to be ground zero for those who want to be in the heart of the action. Part

oldest hoteliers, serving up royal accommodations for over 100 years. The

of the 36-billion-dollar Yas Marina development and accompanying

seasoned specialists have mastered the art of hospitality, and with each

Formula 1 raceway circuit, the project is scheduled to open in October

new location, guests can expect something even better. The group right-

2009. Sited on 85,000-square-meter complex, the hotel has 500 room

fully refers to the newly launched location as one of Kempinksi’s most

and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels wrapping the outside

exciting endeavors. The shore side spread boasts 201 ethereal rooms and

of the building, the draping canopies of glass creating a unique and

suites outfitted in all white, each one complete with ocean views. Both the

dramatic effect. Designed by New York-based Asymptote Architecture,

charming city of sunny Jordan and the hotel itself offer an extensive menu

the façade will be complemented by the interior’s elegant simplicity; the

of activities and entertainment. The regal hotel’s stringent attention to

architecture as a whole performs as both an environmentally responsive

detail leaves no guests’ desires unfulfilled and no day uneventful- unless,

solution as well as an architecture of spectacle and event. This grid

of course, you prefer some R&R. Take advantage of all the property has

shell gives the two hotel towers a literal and visual continuity, building

to offer with windsurfing, trips on the private yacht, kayaking or snorkel-

a link bridge constructed as a sculpted steel object passing above the

ing on the private beach. A true gem of the Red Sea, Kempinski couples

Formula 1 track that makes its way through the building complex, while

its unparalleled standard of luxury with the regional gifts of Jordan. Don’t

the grid-shell produces optical effects and spectral reflections that play

go without noshing on local cuisine and seafood dishes at Al Fresco Afro

against the surrounding sky, sea and desert landscape.

Arabian Terrace, one of the hotel’s six scrumptious restaurants.

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Previous page Top left: Yas Hotel, Bottom left: Kempinski Hotel Bottom right: Armani Hotel Top: Saadiyat Island Bottom: Anantara Spa


and a sustainable reserve peppered with boutique hotels and homes,

The wondrous architecture, scintillating landscape, and ambi-

mark Saadiyat Island a top ten world destination. All of the magical

tious undertakings of The United Arab Emirates have been garnering

things that break up everyday monotony rest in the sand of this bur-

international buzz for quite some time now. Just when we thought it

geoning island, so it’s no wonder the name Saadiyat Island is Arabic

couldn’t get any dreamier, we witness the jaw-dropping, mind-

for “Island of Happiness”.

boggling project that is Saadiyat Island. The current venture, under the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), is off of


the coast of Abu Dhabi, and will be completed over the next several

In perfect harmony, Anantara couples supreme indulgence and

years. Saadiyat retreat, beach, cultural district, marina, promenade,

amenities with the basic serenity and stillness of Liwa Desert. Anan-

lagoon, and reserve are all equally exclusive sections of the island,

tara opens its latest spa atop “the largest uninterrupted body of sand in

with drastically different offerings for the most discerning world-

the world”. The opulence is tempered by the tranquil location, ninety

traveler. Each area of the island is being developed to boast premier

minutes outside of Abu Dhabi’s bustle. Each traditional villa is made to

amenities and accommodations, all while maintaining the rich base

feel like a small palace, and designed with the mystique of traditional

of Arabian tradition and culture laden in the soil. For the lovers of the

Arabian style. Think sandy hues, gold, dark wood accents and plenty

arts, the cultural district will enthrall any aficionado with attractions

of natural light. Watch the beaming sun rise from your terrace or see it

such as the Louvre museum designed by Pritzker Prize winner Jean

slowly set during a camel ride across the dunes. For even more action,

Nouvel and The Guggenheim designed by Frank Gentry. A collective

the list of unique activities runs the gamut from sand boarding to 4x4

presence of five-star shore side resorts (including the St. Regis), the

safaris complete with dinner. After plenty of under-the-sun excursions,

world’s fi rst beach golf course designed by the legendary Gary Player,

pamper yourself with the spa’s sand bath and exfoliation, or a Hamman

100 Thousand Club



25/6/09 16:00:00

decked out in heated marble, and unwind in the 24-hour yoga room.

dences in the world’s tallest building- Burj Dubai. Brand expansion

With nothing but sand, sunshine and serenity, the alluring spa is unlike

from luxury fashion into lavish hospitality is a trend that seems to be

any other in the world.

creeping up around the world, as high-end designers transform their sartorial success into accomplished careers as lifestyle connoisseurs.


The flagship hotel, opening in late 2009, is the fi rst of many more

Situated in the heart of the Abu Dhabi golf course will be the Westin

ventures in Giorgio’s quest to redefi ne style as more than just what you

Hotel Golf and Spa, an undertaking slated to complete by the end of 2009.

wear. Residents and guests at the posh spot embrace an entire life-

As the region continues to expand its golf amenities and extremely im-

style, as everything from the floral shop (Armani Flori) to the nightlife

pressive courses, the TDIC specifically chose the Westin for its upstand-

(Armani Prive nightclub) bears the designer’s personal touch. With

ing experience managing golf resorts. Aside from the verdant landscape,

the fi rst-ever eponymous spa and two gourmet restaurants, there’s no

the metropolitan haven will offer an indoor climbing wall, two squash

need to ever venture out. And that’s exactly what the creator intended,

courses, a tennis academy, and state-of-the-art spa and fitness centers.

as the motto for the project is “Stay with Armani”. With his input over

The classic property stands in contrast with many of the region’s trendy

every component of the project, it’s no surprise that the contemporary

developments that often stick to ultra modern motifs and massive high-

but warm décor echoes the tone of the clothing line. The Armani Casa

rises. With a natural interior of stone, wood, and water elements, ultimate

furniture creates clean lines, complemented by rich hues of crème,

relaxation is key at this refreshing retreat. In its second phase, an elite

dark chocolate and slate. A cool sophistication is felt immediately

set of 252 villas and town homes will be tailored with golf-course views,

upon walking into the grand entrance, and the aura is carried through

gardens, swimming pools, and service quarters. Westin’s international

all 160 guestrooms and 144 residences. Emaar Properties, a lead-

reputation is bound to be embedded into every detail of the championship

ing developer responsible for constructing much of Dubai’s already

course, deluxe guest suites, and prestigious gated community of homes,

amazing skyline, partnered with the fashion company. Together, the

extending the utmost hospitality to all.

two have developed a swanky compound that fits right in with the grandiose aesthetic of Dubai.

DESERT ISLANDS RESORT AND SPA The noted Anantara Hotel Group recently launched the Desert Is-


lands Resort and Spa, a luxurious getaway set on Sir Bani Yas Island.

Missoni, the Italian sweetheart of fashion and interiors, has

A formerly private eco-retreat of the late UAE President His Highness

teamed up with The Rezidor Hotel Group to extend its spirited style

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sir Bani Yas Island is now open

into the world of hospitality. Hot on the heels of the debut Edinburgh

to the public to explore its fascinating wildlife reserve and beyond. Be-

opening, the Kuwait resort location promises to deliver the boldness

sides observing a bird sanctuary, free-roaming animals and millions of

of the iconic brand with the flair of Italian style. The fall launch will

exotic plants and trees, explorers can escape to the resort for a more

open the doors to 169 rooms and suites, swathed in signature Mis-

traditional getaway experience, complete with tennis courts, indigenous

soni Home goods, and engulfed in spectacular Arabian Sea views.

art, an infinity pool, and a stunning white sand beach. The lavish resort is

Staying true to the line’s vibrancy, Creative Director and co-founder

designed to be a retreat from the world, and has put a great deal of effort

Rosita Missoni designed the interiors with the unmistakable Mis-

into the spa, the cuisine, and the spacious, elegantly appointed rooms,

soni patterns, from space-dyed pillows to their signature multicolor

providing multiple spaces for relaxation. Choose amongst 64 regally ap-

stripes on the coverlets. Situated in the midst of the city gives guests

pointed suites, VIP villas, or brave a tented Arabian beachside camp.

access to a host of sights and activities. Try starting your day lying

Outdoor excitement can be had on tours, hiking trails, mountain biking,

out at the hotel’s tiled pool overlooking the ocean, followed with

snorkeling, and water sports, as well as on game drives through the na-

visits to The National Museum or the new Scientific Center Aquar-

tional park, to see the antelopes, cheetahs, hyenas, and ostriches running

ium. After a day of city exploration, enjoy classic Italian dishes at

free. Presenting a seamless marriage of deluxe indoor treats with outdoor

Cucina Missoni or grab a quick dose of rejuvenation at the quaint

adventure, the resort accommodates the timid and daring alike.

Choco Café. For a longer-lasting indulgence, the hotel’s spa serves up world-class face and body treatments, including some traditional

ARMANI HOTEL AND RESIDENCES, DUBAI Armani, the Italian powerhouse with a penchant for simple, chic threads, is opening the highly anticipated Armani Hotel and Resi-


Middle Eastern remedies. With a soon-to-be global status of hotels, the posh line has successfully transformed a love of fashion into a style of life. „

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G&G Ed.indd Sec1:68

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he Middle East economy

with the m most scrupulous of eyes, investors are

Those foreign, as well as local, investors

is extremely diverse, both

undoubte undoubtedly feeling the stain as their faith in

looking to carve up a slice of the investment

in region and trading.

banks be become increasingly shaken. But, with

pie are still aware of the dangers of the market,

UAE, Palestinian ter-

the Midd Middle East market growing at a rapid

however. Investors are increasingly looking to

ritories, Bahrain, Egypt,

and more secure pace than foreign markets,

trading services to achieve the sort of access

Iran and so on, as well as

foreign in investors such as Donald Trump are

and pricing that corporations enjoy, as well as

the individual economies, trade in the ranges

now tappi tapping into the region’s trading sphere to

being safe in the knowledge that their invest-

of hydrocarbon exporting rentier economies

benefit from fr the safe and larger reserves that

ments will see a return. 100 Thousand Club

to government led socialist economies, as well

are prov providing today’s much-needed invest-

bring a roundup of our market partners who

as free economies. But by no means does this

ment security. secu

provide the expertise in investment services.

make it a fragmented or volatile market. The

The M Middle East market is forecasted for

region is best known for producing and ex-

growth. Aside from the oil industry, countries

porting oil – the dependency on this exporta-

such as Turkey, Egypt and Iran are experi-

tion from the West make it a dominant power

encing rapid growth, attributed to the rise in

Providing a one-stop-shop for all your

in investment and trading.

production and sales of trucks and buses, and

insurance needs, Sydney Charles serve

have produced a sales growth result ranging

investors the world over, be they part of the

between 25-and-73 percent.

professional market or individual clients. Ac-

But the turbulence of recent times, more so seen in the US markets than the Middle


Sydney Charles Insurance Advisors Limited

East, make the term ‘investment’ a rather risky

knowledging the complex needs of their high

business. Uttered with caution and watched

net worth clients, each of its valued clients are

100 Thousand Club

Investment services.indd Sec1:70

25/6/09 08:26:34

provided with specialist, multi-lingual teams

Forex Central Markets Ltd

advisory services. Again, for those clients

and are assigned an account manager who

Operating on a global scale, FXCM have

co-ordinate the global network of underwrit-

a client base in excess of $600 million in

ers, appraisal and claims staff, as well as the

customer funds and can be found trading

external resources.

live across platforms in nearly 200 countries. Catering

Bank Vontobel





located across the globe, there are no language obstacle’s to dbFX’s services.

Marlborough Fund Managers Authorized





the investment services giants ensure a

Financial Services Authority, the company

Continuity is a core principle to Bank

personalized approach is provided for each

has been providing multi-faceted investors

Vontobel’s investment advisory team,as they

of its multi-million dollar clients with a multi-

with trading services and exposure to

understand continuity results in trust. Their

lingual customer service approach.

many of the world’s markets since 1986.

Private Banking business unit addresses the needs of wealthy private clients and offer

As a growing company, Marlborough Fund


Managers still understand the need for a

a vast range of services which are tailored

An online foreign exchange trading

personalized approach and have a dedicated

to each private clients’ needs, ranging from

service, commissioned by Deutsche Bank

support team that ensure every clients’ need

portfolio management and active investment

AG, dbFX offers individualized services to

is met on a one-to-one basis. „

advisory to integrated financial advisory ser-

clients across the world. They provide non-

vice and inheritance planning.

stop online access to the foreign exchange markets through the dbFX Trading Platform, which provides competitive pricing and

100 Thousand Club

Investment services.indd Sec1:71


25/6/09 08:26:38




Page 72

Samsung HMX-R10 Never miss a beat with Samsung’s latest brainchild, the ultra-compact high definition video camera, debuted in a sleek, futuristic look. Its lightweight, ergonomic design is packed with loads of power, allowing hours of recording time, and features new technology to counteract shaky hands. The LCD touch screen and comfortable grip provide foolproof usage, not to mention photos and video of stunning clarity. Now your memories can travel with you no matter what the occasion. Available at


MacBook Air

This slim, wireless tablet holds up to

Apple’s recent release of the Mac-

3,500 books, periodicals and docu-

Book Air remained aesthetically the

ments. Get good reads fast (they dow-

same as its paper-thin predecessor,

nload in under one minute) and read on

but gained a hefty amount of

long, as the battery lasts for days wit-

power inside. Sleek in design and

hout the need to charge. The read-to-

slender in physique (it weighs

me feature lets you rest your eyes and

about three pounds), the piece of

hear your favorite novels on audio. With

work is carved from a single sheet

an enormous library of books, newspa-

of aluminum. The new and impro-

pers, magazines, and blogs, sink into

ved version is much faster, and

anything from a guilty pleasure to brea-

more importantly, much greener.

king news in today’s periodical. Avai-

Impressively earning multiple stars

lable at

for it environmentally friendly nature, the lightweight laptop features




consumption tactics, an LED-backlit display, and an automatic dimmer. These efforts also give your on-thego device a longer lasting life. A speedier processor and a graphics boost call for much work and play to be had, and the almost weightless piece is the only way to travel. Available at




Page 73

Aerovation Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag The saying goes, “the best invention is often a solution to a problem you didn’t realize you had”. Take, for example, the inconvenient task of juggling your belongings in the security line, making sure all of the necessary items are off of your body and in a bin, and unloading your laptop that you just packed all at the same time. Smart travelers invest in an Aerovation Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag, a carrying case possessing just as much substance as it does style. The brilliantly designed bags afford carriers the convenience of leaving their laptops in the bag through the security checkpoint due to its X-ray permeability. Available in fabric or leather made from natural cowhide with sturdy gold hardware, the padded carryon also has a separate compartment for a change of clothes and accessories. Now you’re on your way to a fussfree trip! 17" High-Quality Brown leather Checkpoint Friendly laptop bag with gold hardware available at

Swissflash Flight Makers of the original Swiss Army Knife are introducing the Swissflash line, a concept equal in practicality to the knife, but with a more modern

The Palm Pre.

and travel-friendly sensibility. In deep

Proudly showing its face as the first

ruby or classic silver, the Swissflash

significant contender to the iPhone,

Flight manages to have a 16 GB flash

the new Palm Pre comes with all the

drive, retractable bal point pen, key

necessary features for business, plus

ring and mini flashlight all in one- com-

the bells and whistles for fun. At a

pact in a way that only Victorinox can

fraction of the cost of its competitor,

do. This refined version of what was

the Pre is most helpful in organizing

once synonymous with the woodsy

your thoughts for you when all that

wanderer can fit in your pocket and

jetlag can knock you off track a bit. In-

protect you from the most dangerous

stead of searching for your calendars

of situations- like a computer crash or

and other information, the relatively

a dire need to pen your thoughts as

inexpensive handheld brings it to you.

you travel the world, perhaps. Avai-

You scattered phonebook will be au-

lable at available at Swiss Army sto-

tomatically consolidated by the help-

res and

ful device, and it has no problem with the more hyperactive user, as it lets you keep multiple applications open at once. And, of course, you have access to heaps of applications, speedy wi-fi, GPS, photos, music and videos. Your life really is in the palm of your hand, so you can be as nomadic as you wish, while always staying connected. Available at Sprint stores

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Page 75

Lingo Voyager 4 Who has time to remember a slew of phrases when you’re busy traveling the world? Take the guesswork out of travel and carry this pocket-sized device when your tongue gets tied. Regardless of where your journeys take you, the world’s first 14language talking translator can get you out of a Tumi Ultra Slim

rut with the ability to talk and translate over

Universal Power Adaptor Kit

280,000 words and 32,200 common phrases. The

The key to smooth travels is to

handy inclusion of a built-in voice recorder and

compress and downsize. And

the New Oxford American Dictionary make the

that’s exactly what Tumi, the lon-

useful concept that much brainier. Eight games,

gstanding supplier of business

including the captivating Sudoku, are included as

and lifestyle travel accessories,

a quick cure for boredom. But, with so many places

has kindly done for fleeting fly-

to go and sights to see, don’t expect to have too much

ers. Using a wall, car or airline

of that. Available at and

connection, the portable travel kit is ready to unfold and recharge your gadgets at any time. Neatly packed into a small, nylon Brigg Cherry Wood Umbrella

case you will find a 120-watt power adaptor, ten adaptor tips,

Sold at the oldest and largest

a compatibility chart, retractable

umbrella shop in Germany,

cable, input plug and a connector

Brigg Umbrella’s are a true

cable. No globetrotter goes wit-

gent’s year round acces-

hout the proper tools, and this

sory. The elegant British

kit is the perfect constant for

brand offers a few classic designs that are sure to

those struck with wanderlust.

stand the test of time (and

Available at

wind). The cherry wood handle dons a subtle silver plate engraved with the coat-of-arms of the Prince of Wales. Adding substance to style, the timeless piece will shield you come sun or come rain. Available at

Patek Philippe 5130P Multi Time Zone Watch Less a gadget than a piece of wearable art, with a decidedly practical bent, the elegant display shows the time in 24 different time zones around the world. The latest edition of the World Time watch, the slightly enlarged size makes for a clearer reading of the time, and the new guilloché pattern in the center is pure textural beauty. And because it’s a Patek, it comes with a pedigree – the unique ring-shaped hour hand is inspired by the historical Patek Philippe World Time watches from the 1930-1940’s. A great favorite collectors as well as a supremely wearable watch, this is one that will accompany you on your travels for years to come. Available at authorized Patek Philippe retailers

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Page 79

“I love a little bit of everything in life.” That statement, more than any other, sums up the world of Philippe Kjellgren, an entrepreneur and world traveler who turned his love for the good life into a successful business. The president and founder of Kiwi Collection, a website popular with in-the-know travelers looking for the very best in high-end hotels, Kjellgren was, quite literally, born to do this job.


he son of a diplomat was raised all over Africa, mainly in the French-speaking parts, attending nine schools throughout his youth. After he returned to his native Sweden, he got involved in the fashion industry, gaining the exclusive rights to many luxury brands. His retail experience led him to develop a successful point-of-sale system – the cashier’s checkout system in every business establishment – but

even with these successful endeavors, his love of travel never abated. “I had many friends who were too spoiled and rich for their own good, and they

had a lot of money but hadn’t traveled very widely. I had traveled so many places, over 100 countries now, so they all wanted recommendations when they traveled.” The constant need for recommendations from even the most privileged of people showed him an opening in the travel industry that he could fill. “It’s very hard to find trusted advice, and even then people have different tastes. This is for my category of people, people who are very traveled and very used to luxury. There are other niche sites for, say, high-design hotels. But even then, those are not necessarily luxury hotels, they can be fairly basic in terms of service but simply be highly designed, because that’s what some people are looking for.” And so the Kiwi Collection was born, a repository for all of Kjellgren’s personal experience and a vehicle through which he could continue to explore the very best of the world’s offerings. The ideal Kiwi Collection user is a high-end traveler, spending at the very least about $500 a night, or the equivalent of $500 a night in the local market. “In New York, $500 a night is luxury, but it is fairly usual, in a little village in South America that a $60 a night hotel might be a $500 hotel experience. The bar has been raised all over the world, and is rising all the time,” Kjellgren says. “A fivestar hotel 10 years ago would not be a five-star hotel now; a three-star hotel now is better than some five-stars then.”

Photographer Paul Joseph. Orig. Published in Elegant Bride

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Page 80

So what makes a hotel stand out to someone like Philippe Kjellgren, as the best keeps getting better and he keeps seeing the best? Attention to detail is the absolute most important thing, and properties that go to extensive lengths to personalize a stay are always a better experience. Many properties tout their high-end furnishings and high-tech gadgets, but personal care always trumps technology. “All hotels have these high-tech things, but I think we live surrounded by that now. When people anticipate your needs, it is really impressive.” He gives an example of one hotel in Europe, when he arrived late after flying for most of a day. “When I got to my room, the first call I got was from the spa director, calling to say that they’d heard I had a long flight and they were sending a masseuse for a 15-minute in-room massage. Was I excited I saved fifty bucks? No. It was a valueadded thing above and beyond the dollar amount.” Other examples include hotels that stock the liquor bar to your individual preference, or hotels where you’re greeted by name before you’ve checked in for the first time. “The Peninsula in Beverly Hills changes the literature in the room depending on who’s coming. If it’s a man they include car and boat magazines; if it’s a woman they have more fashion magazines, and if they know I like National Geographic, then they will have National Geographic.” Kjellgren also noticed another deficiency in the hospitality industry, one that his site seeks to rectify in a way that is tailored to the needs of his users. The Kiwi Collection rating system is an independent entity that does not take into account the inconsistent ratings of other guides, giving their readers a useful gauge for comparing different properties. He and his staff “try to manage expectations across the board, so when our users see we’ve rated a hotel as five stars, whether it’s in the Maldives or in New York, they’ll know they’re likely to get the same kind of experience.” And of course, when you are looking at as many extraordinary properties as the Kiwi Collection staff are, your scale must accommodate the truly superlative, hence the 5star plus rating they have adopted. “Some of these hotels are so wonderful, and we could go to six stars, seven stars, but that gets confusing. The 5-star-plus ratings are the above and beyond of the 5-star hotels. For instance, when you have two hotels in a city and both are undoubtedly 5 stars, but one is better than the other, that is a 5-star-plus.” The site also offers their WOW picks, which are editorial picks, places where reviewers have been and had an incredible and unique experience, but which aren’t intuitive choices for most users and require a little more information in order to be appreciated. A new version of the site – bigger and better – will be launching in 5-8 months, following some established reviewing patterns and inventing some others. Aside from their unbiased and well-contextualized reviews, The Kiwi Collection is about building relationships, with managers and concierges and owners, which should make booking through the site an even more attractive option. “When someone books through us, we can send a personal email to someone, say-


100 Thousand Club

“I stayed in a hotel in Amman where you can arrive by car, boat, or paraglide, so of course I opted to paraglide in”




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ing ‘Hey, take care of this person,’ and leverage

they are listed they can pay for extra market-

future. “They’re doing well now with luxury

their experience on behalf of their users – and

ing and advertising opportunities to make

boutique hotels in Buenos Aires – the value is

thus the site is a benchmark of quality for both in-

themselves more prominent within the ap-

still good and it is just fantastic hospitality, cul-

dividuals and properties.”

proved editorial content.

ture, wineries, beaches – everything.” And of

Of course, that high expectation of quality

Next up for Kjellgren and his reviewers is a

course, he mentions the Middle East as well:

must be extended evenly across the board, and

constant stream of new properties around the

“Dubai is a huge experience; they’re trying to

when good hotels go bad, they won’t linger on

globe. There is a constant need for reviews of

build a New York City inside of 10 years.”

forever. “Sometimes, new management teams

Asian hotels: “Tokyo hotels are amazing and the

When traveling, Kiwi Collection representa-

take over, or there’s a new owner, and we’ll re-

city is underrated – people still think of it as

tives try to get a representative range of experi-

visit it and sometimes it isn’t as good. Every

being very expensive, but the cost is still 60%

ences that visitors would have, whenever it is

single hotel isn’t the same within a brand, even

of what it would be in New York, and of course

possible in their schedule, to write better reviews

if they’re a great brand. We would never say

Asia is exploding everywhere.” They are very

and also, in some cases, just to see new things.

something negative, we just don’t include them

excited about South America, especially Ar-

“We go horseback riding, diving, paragliding—

if they’re not up to our standards.” Hotels can-

gentina, Chile, and Brazil as well, and expect to

you HAVE to go diving in the Maldives, or hik-

not pay to be listed on the site, although once

see much more out of those destinations in the

ing in Bhutan, otherwise you haven’t really been

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Page 84

there,” says Kjellgren, recounting some of his

for a few couples and just hang out. Sometimes

else has been. It’s more adventurous in a sense,

greatest hits. “I stayed in a hotel in Amman

we do things like go diving, but then, unfortu-

but there are only so many times you can rein-

where you can arrive by car, boat, or paraglide, so

nately, it makes more sense for me to stay in a

vent the wheel. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galac-

of course I opted to paraglide in.”

hotel where I can get everything set up.”

tic is kind of the end of that, there’s not much

The trends in luxury travel have clearly

Some of the simple pleasures he indulges in

moved away from places that are overdeveloped,

are good food and drink; his tastes run from the

And sometimes, extreme doesn’t have to be

but even then Kjellgren is hesitant to dismiss

simple to the most upscale. “My favorite cham-

extreme in its conventional sense; in an in-

anyplace outright. As he discusses the advan-

pagne is Krug, I love Krug; I think the bottle is so

creasingly planned and sanitized world, some-

tages of numerous different sorts of vacations,

foxy. I love the taste, and I love the design, that

times the most exciting trip is simply to step as

Kjellgren demonstrates one of the distinguishing

long slim neck… it’s very sexy. I like things that

far as possible outside your own boundaries. For

characteristics of the most seasoned, cultured

are a bit different.” Ever the cultural nomad, he

example, he says, “I stayed in a traditional

travelers. He recognizes that people exist along a

still maintains, “I try to drink Absolut vodka be-

ryokan in Japan, and the experience was all

continuum of pleasure, with those who are not

cause I’m Swedish; “absolute” is a big word in

about being somewhere historic, having a really

used to luxury appreciating even the smallest bit

Sweden, we use it a lot, and I like to help build

authentic experience – a cultural safari.”

on one end and people like Kjellgren on the other: someone who has lived with luxury for so long that they have comparable perspective on the small things – Kjellgren appreciates how differently he experiences things from other people. He talks about travel to Western Europe: “Some places in Europe live a little too much on their history, I am thinking specifically of Rome. It’s not as interesting to me, but it’s a matter of taste. For someone who has never been to Rome, I would say you have to go to

“If I wasn’t working here I would still be

“If I wasn’t working here I would still be doing this, but just for fun. I book myself into 10 different hotels on my own trips, just

doing this, but just for fun. I book myself into 10

because I like to see them”

velopments in Buenos Aires & Maldives –

Rome, but I don’t feel the need to go back

different hotels on my own trips, just because I like to see them; I rent a car and drive up and down every street looking for the best little restaurants and bars and shops.” He expects to travel about 150 to 200 days this year, with upcoming trips to Buenos Aires & Sao Paulo, the Maldives, Turks & Caicos, then back to Europe. He is most excited about the new dethey are locations drawing people from a vari-

every year. Same with the Louvre, it’s a mu-

the brand. I generally prefer European wines to

ety of places, making them ripe for develop-

seum, but unless you really love museums

North American wines, but there are great things

ment, and therefore ripe for visitation and

there’s no reason to see it more than once.”

all over.” He also admits to a weakness for

review by cultural arbiters like Kjellgren. He

Similarly, not every worthwhile experience

clothes stemming back to his days in the fashion

says of his own expertise, “I have been blessed

has to be a luxury experience, since as he

industry; he keeps in touch with his old contacts

with a huge range of experiences. I can actu-

says, “I enjoy a five-dollar meal in a tiny

and will sometimes wear clothes from his former

ally judge and look at details that most people

neighborhood place or a cold drink in a local

clients, but now he branches out; as he jokes,

would never notice. I’ve lived on four conti-

bar as much as a 3-star Michelin restaurant;

“When I worked in fashion I spent all my money

nents, been so many places, I can appreciate

it’s all about the experience.”

on travel; now that I work in travel I spend all my

things for what they are – I really enjoy so

money on clothes.”

many little things.” And after so many years

So how does Philippe Kjellgren vacation?


more extreme that you can invent.”

The same way most people spend most of their

As trends in travel continue to grow ever

working around the hospitality industry, he has

time – at home with friends. “I have a very

more personalized and exotic, Kjellgren feels

enough ideas that he anticipates creating

rustic summer home just outside of Stockholm

the next big thing in extreme vacations will be

something great of his own design. “In the end,

in the inner archipelago. My vacation is I try

really far-flung destinations. “People will want

I’d like to start a resort on Madagascar, where

not to stay in a hotel. We see friends, I do work

hotels in the Himalayas, in Bhutan, places that

I used to live, it hasn’t been too developed yet

on the house, repair the deck, have people

are very hard to reach. I sit around the table at

but it’s a beautiful place. I would live on a lit-

over to cook dinner and have wine. It’s all about

so many dinners with so many rich people, and

tle island off the coast of Madagascar, and

quality time with friends. One year we rented a

it’s all about bragging rights for being somewhere

hopefully all my friends would come visit me.”

sailboat in the Barrier Reef, or we’ll rent a house

first. Everyone wants to go somewhere no one

Philippe, I’m there. 

100 Thousand Club

Ezzard House.indd 1

24/6/09 11:28:19


hen his Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum returned to Dubai

from university in Boston, the nephew of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was prepared to take the region by storm. Through his background in finance, he has found immense success from his earliest ventures, bringing

Virgin Megastores to the Middle East, followed by investments in Promod, Pull & Bear, and Bershka, all a part of his company Shadar Holdings. He also serves as CEO of the Al Fajer Group, a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with interests in numerous markets, and where he found early success as president of Al Fajer properties, leading a highly successful restructuring, which has made the company one of the strongest and most successful property developers in Dubai today. It is testament to His Highness Sheikh Maktoum's financial and management expertise that he was selected in 2007 as a Young Global Leader 2007 by the World Economic Forum, and in 2008, awarded the prestigious Young CEO of the Year award by the former French prime minister Dominique de Villepinn. Though his success in business has been substantial, the true driving force of his life is sport, and he has found myriad ways to combine his two major skills. As a participant and an executive, he has been and aspires to be in the future one of the pillars of the sporting community in the Middle East and around the world. Recently appointed chairman of Al Nasr Club, one of the UAE’s oldest football clubs, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum's first order of business is to conduct an analysis of the club's financial and management aspects with the goal to restructure the club and re-gear it for what lies ahead, similar to the success he achieved with Al Fajer properties. “The Al Nasr Sports Club is an icon of our sports heritage,” he said upon his acceptance of the position, emphasizing, “I am proud of its history and I am even prouder to be a part of its future.” He is also making waves in the racing world, on the track and off. Youthful experience racing gained as a racer in local 24hrs endurance series, stock cars, open wheel formula cars and as a multiple UAE karting champion, has served him well as he’s moved on to bigger projects. He founded the A1 Grand Prix and saw an extremely successful first season, during which Maktoum proved both the excitement of this new form of motorsport and the economic viability of the event, which was sold to investors in 2006. More recently, the talented young racing driver has been testing cars at the famous Hockenheim circuit with BMW ALPINA factory team. This outing was the first time he had tested on European race tracks with such a leading touring car team, in the newly developed BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 race car, which is campaigned in the ADAC Masters, the 24hrs of Nurburgring and the FIA GT3 European Championship series. The FIA GT3 series will, again, enjoy its final race of the season at the Dubai Autodrome in late November this year. His skills garnered high praise from the experts who he drove with. “Hasher has shown real speed in the car from the first outing, he has a good technical understanding and is very easy for our team to work with; we look forward to working again with him in the near future,” said Andreas Bovensiepen, team boss and company CEO. Peter Lanz, the UAE based motor sports consultant and multiple touring car champion, with an impressive 40 year racing career spoke highly of the test as well, saying, “It gives me great pleasure to support Emirati drivers such as Sheikh Hasher, who has a very promising racing career ahead of them.” In response, the young sheikh said modestly, “I am looking forward to putting in some more test time, I love the circuits here in Europe and I am very excited to represent the UAE abroad,” but we expect it won’t be very long before he’s making headlines with more than just test drives. n


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Mandarin Oriental.indd 1

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Tell us a bit about your background personally—where did you grow up, how did you get to where you are now?

I was born in a village near Van, a city on the eastern part of Turkey with severe winter conditions. My father ran a drygoods store in town, so I got used to working and helping him there during the summer holidays and that was where I gained my first experiences in trade. However, my serious business activities started when I moved to Antalya to study at the high school, where I simultaneously started working as a salesperson at the carpet store. This meant I became acquainted with the business world of grown-ups in my early years and I started my first business when I was 18, selling carpets to tourists visiting Antalya. I attended undergraduate programs in Munich, Germany, where I started to study Economics and German Literature. It was the same year when I co-established a real estate agency in Munich and began trading real estate properties one year after. As a real entrepreneur, I founded four different companies in textile and tourism sectors between 1994 and 1998. In 1998 I established my first company in the hospitality business. I founded Lydion in 1999, a manufacturer and supplier of various gold products and jewels and an importer of world famous brand

Heroes of Hospitality Fettah Tamince, Chairman of Rixos Hotel Group, holds forth on his expanding empire of luxury properties

watches. I established Sembol Construction in 2000 and started to build hotels, shopping malls, sport complexes and other important projects of higher size, value and reputation, such as the Palace of Peace in Astana, Kazakhstan. In the same year as Sembol was founded, I also opened the first member of Rixos Hotels chain in Antalya. Today my activities and investments extend to a wide range of industries including tourism, hotel management and investment, construction and real estate development. With an astute look into the fast growing establishing countries, I directed my business activities within Eastern Europe and the Middle East specifically in Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Dubai and more.


100 Thousand Club

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What brought you into the hospitality industry? Was this what you always expected you would do? And what is Rixos’ history as a company? How did it begin, and how has it changed and expanded over the years?

Antalya, located on the Mediterranean coast, was known as the jewel of the tourism and hotel industry of Turkey, and I was involved in this sector from very early on in my career. However, my real involvement began in 2000 with the establishment of Rixos Hotels, when we built

Your properties range all over the map in terms of design, location,

and started to manage our first hotel here.

etc. What is the vision for Rixos properties as a whole?

The idea to build a hotel and, more importantly, to build and man-

In general, the philosophy of the Rixos brand is built on aiming to

age a hotel with a different concept came to mind as Antalya’s tourism

be the best. It is not enough for us to fulfill the guest satisfaction, we

rapidly increased. Demand for hotels was based on the need to close this

have to go beyond that and overwhelm the guest. We do trust ourselves

gap, as there weren’t any luxury hotels or resorts available. We knew

with this. We try to create different concepts and develop various activ-

that a permanent solution would come. We believed that we had to cre-

ities and tourism models for different tastes and demands that will help

ate a new and suitable concept, which we did, calling “all inclusive – all

distinguishing us from our competitors.

exclusive”. In the following years we enhanced this concept, as well as hotels we built, and added to our chain. We continue, even today, to work on fur-

What do you think sets Rixos apart from other luxury resorts and hotels?

ther improvements on this concept in order to differentiate ourselves

All guests staying at a hotel would like to be privileged and have a

from our competitors as our aim is to create an art form of vacation, es-

private service. We have built our strategy on the idea of providing a

pecially within our resort hotels.

particular and private service to each individual guest. The way that we would serve a guest would not differ from the way we treat a VIP or a

How has your experience with construction and real estate devel-

celebrity. “Here, you are the celebrity”.

opment affected how you create the Rixos hotels?

As I was also active in construction sector, I remember that the first significant work we had was the construction of the first hotel building, which subsequently triggered the idea to manage the building as well. This was the main motivation for how Rixos come to life. There was definitely an advantage of being a constructor in the design and build of the

“Here, you are the celebrity”

construction, before starting to manage the property. When you manage a hotel, it is not only the system and the way you run it, but also the building itself and its quality that help you to be suc-

What do you think makes a travel experience really special? How do

cessful. We soon discovered the huge advantages of combining both the

your properties achieve that for your guests?

constructing and managing businesses at a very early stage and build

The demand of the luxury traveler is an individual kind that differs

our strategy from there. Being involved in every step of the creation helps

from any other. Basically they want to have a tailor made holiday, an ex-

a lot for a successful operation in the future, in every aspect.

perience in itself. We have created villas and residence units of high caliber for their needs, supported by special services for their own com-

Tell us about Turkey—what are some of the major draws there as a

fort. With the nationality mix we have in our hotels, we learned how to

destination? What do you love about the country? What sets it

deal with different mentalities and cultures and can serve them accord-

apart from other parts of the Mediterranean?

ingly so that luxurious service can be combined with our concept of “all

Turkey deserves to be one of the premier travel destinations of the world, with its variety of beautiful landscapes, climate, fascinating cultures and history, world-class properties, wide range of activities and, of course, the traditional Turkish hospitality. It would be too hard to simply specify just one or two characteristics of this beautiful country.


100 Thousand Club

exclusive – all inclusive” especially, in our resort hotels.

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Who do your customers tend to be? Where do they come from in the world? Is there anyone you’re not drawing in that you think should be coming?

We have achieved a high guest satisfaction at the destinations where our hotels are located. We attract guests from a wide range of countries with different cultures and mentalities. The ranking of nationalities of our guests differ according to the hotels, however, we are addressing the A and A+ segment of the markets we are working in. Additionally, we are serving many groups in terms of MICE tourism and providing these prestigious companies with a spectacular experience of

As you’ve expanded out of Turkey and into the Middle East, where

meetings or congresses.

is your attention turning now? What do you think will be the next hot destination?

What do you love about your job? Can you describe a typical day in your life? Where are you based now?

Ottoman Palace by Rixos at The Palm Jumeirah Dubai and Rixos Almaty are planned to welcome their guests this year. Rixos Vienna and

The tourism sector with its dynamism and the human factor at the

Rixos Marina West Bahrain, which will operate in a spectacular area of

center is open to constant change and development. It is impossible to

Kingdom’s West Coast, are on their way for 2010; and other projects in

spend a day without learning something new. And what’s more, there is

the UAE and CIS countries are in pipeline. We are continuously chas-

no end to this. This is a philosophy I believe in, both personally and pro-

ing new opportunities and investments.

fessionally. We have learned a lot from our guests and the investors we

Formed especially for these affairs, we have a professional team

have cooperated with. If you want to be a global player, it is not enough

working at our Business Development Department. We are evaluating

to know the rules of the game and play well. You need to establish rules

all investment proposals within this department.

yourself too. This is what we have seen and learnt during our journey and we think we know this business well. Our vision, projects and fore-

Where do you live/like to travel? What are some of your favorite

sight is a reflection of this.

hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, etc., around the world? What draws

It is not easy to describe a “typical day” when referring to my dy-

you to a destination?

namic itinerary since not a single day in my life has anything in common

I can confidently say that I spend more time on air than ashore.

with the others. I’m travelling a lot and sometimes I do have to change

There are so many wonderful places on earth to be named as favorite

my itinerary twice within the same day. Nowadays, I’m mostly in An-

destination, but mine is still Antalya where I feel myself at home.

talya, however, I do travel a lot between Istanbul, Dubai and Astana, based on our business activities.

On the other hand, I enjoy also discovering hidden places, especially when it comes to holiday destinations. In Malaysia there were some very good resort properties that I have seen. In London I prefer to stay at Sanderson and in New York I feel myself comfortable at Mandarin Oriental. A destination for me should not only offer one or two things, but it has to be an attractive location with a cultural background, the property should be worth to be seen and stayed at, and new trends need to be followed. I like to discover new and attractive offerings, products full of excitement, exhilarating facilities to be enjoyed and liked, services to be remembered, unique but traditional entertainment – a good fusion should be created – luxury embedded in comfort, and last but not least, a Spa with a professional team. n


100 Thousand Club

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24/6/09 11:24:24

LAMBORGHINI v2:june09 25/06/2009 09:34 Page 96

Charging Forward Luxury is a relative concept. What items can we fully attribute to this category? Today luxury lifestyle implies more than mere possession of expensive and rare items. Always the best and in everything – this is the definition of contemporary luxury lifestyle. And when it comes to cars, Lamborghini is the direct embodiment of this style. 100Thousand Club met Lamborghini’s Brand Director and Head of Design Manfred Fitzgerald and asked him about all the secrets. Both you and Chief Executive Stefan Winkleman reenergized and to an extent have reinvented the Lamborghini brand under the VW Group stewardship. What were the challenges when you first took over? Manfred Fitzgerald. Well, this is going back about almost ten years now. In 1999 as I assumed the position of marketing manager, a market scene was non-existent here at Lamborghini. It was a name there, Lamborghini, but it was not filled with any kind of content, so the biggest challenge was giving this company a very unique image, something that everybody could understand, something that was not ambiguous. So to create a distinct image of this brand was the first challenge which I encountered. What is the long-term vision for the company and what has your overall strategy been? MF. Back then there was nothing there, so what I did was define the brand values, first and foremost. These brand values, in total there are seven and reduced to three –aggressive, uncompromising and Italian – is what we’re always focusing about. That is our guideline for anything that we do, communication-wise, for product, all that what we’re about is basically transmitted by these seven brand values. So nine years was a pretty difficult task back then because you didn’t have a clear idea of what Lamborghini stood for. If you went through the dealerships, everybody had a sort of island solution; everybody interpreted the brand in a different way. So I went out to create, starting from the brand values, also a regular CICD — corporate identity, corporate design. It’s so important for a luxury brand like ours to have such a clear idea and a clear vision of where you want to bring the brand and where you want to go, so that was sort of the first milestones that we achieved. You have to be very, very consistent in your approach, so I had a clear vision where I wanted to see this brand out in the future, and we went about doing that.

LAMBORGHINI v2:june09 25/06/2009 09:34 Page 97

AndBeyond.indd 1

24/6/09 11:23:36

LAMBORGHINI v2:june09 25/06/2009 11:09 Page 99

Manfred Fitzgerald How do you sum up “Italian”? How do you try and make a

as well as the design. So we can tap into the research and development,

brand Italian?

the fundamental basic facilities that they have, we utilize. We’d be stu-

MF. I think there you just named it. It’s the sum of everything. It is re-

pid if we didn’t do that. But the core research and development is car-

flected also in the other brand values which are sent to us, which are ag-

ried out here, as well as the design. I have a design team here on the

gressive, and obviously also exclusive. So if you look at all the things

premises, which allows us to do it in a totally different way. My team and

that we do, I think we are perceived and we are a true Italian brand.

I, we live Lamborghini here because we’re integrated into this company. So we don’t get commissioned work like other stooges do who do not

Lamborghini is a very masculine brand. You’ve described your-

have this intimate touch then with the brand itself, which enables us to

selves as the bad boys of the super car world. How does the re-

bring out all the work you have seen.

lationship work with VW Group. What do the bad boys give back? MF. I think Dr. Piëch had a beautiful idea back then, and in these dif-

You said recently, "It would be a mistake to reduce the brand

ficult times I think it really pays off creating a group where you can find

to what we have done." Is brand diversity needed, and if so,

anything, the whole spectrum of the automotive world, so from the small-

why now?

est vehicle up to the 40-tonner. Within that range we’re positioned as

MF. I think it would be a mistake to reduce us only for that, because we

the ultimate luxury super sports car. So what we’re just a complimen-

have such a potential here, such a vast creativity. What you’ve seen so

tary element in this whole chain.

far is just the basis of what we set out to do in the future. I said that in the context of the motor show of Paris where we showed a concept car –

In terms of research and development and design, are there el-

the Estoque, four-door show car. We were asked why we are doing this,

ements from Lamborghini that find their way through into the

and I just exploited it in the way that I said that this is also a viable way

R&D process?

for us, an incredible way. I think anything that we do has to be authen-

MF. No, I don’t think you have to go that far. Lamborghini is a standalone

tic; it has to be recognized as a Lamborghini product from the first sight,

company; we have a great autonomy, so the whole R&D is here in-house,

and therefore, I believe we can do more, and we’re set out to do more.

100 Thousand Club


LAMBORGHINI v2:june09 25/06/2009 09:35 Page 100

A Lamborghini is selling a dream, but there are some hard com-

anything like that, it would not fit us; that would not be the appropriate

mercial realities behind that dream. How do you plans for di-

move for us. So Mission: Impossible III was a setting, a luxurious setting.

versity, both in terms of core business and the brand extension?

It is important for us to see that our products are perceived in a normal con-

MF. Diversification is a necessity. We have a two-monoline strategy right

text. What I’m striving for is to take us out of the context of being just a

now focusing on the cars, but a luxury brand is allowed to play out in

niche of a niche, being just an exotic brand. I want to get to the point where

other fields. Obviously this is our core business, but the merchandising

we’re looked upon normally, and we can see this already in the States. The

has taken enormous steps in the past couple of years since we have fo-

Lamborghini brand has taken huge steps there in brand image, and we’re

cused on this in a totally different way, and this is as long as you again

a part of the life, and that’s what we’re striving to do.

stay authentic and stay credible in that what you’re doing, any path out there is allowed.

Exclusivity is key to a brand like Lamborghini. How do you keep the demand high in a recession, which by its very nature,

Ferrari are apparently bringing in around about $150 million

demand must be dropping off? Also, wealth is geographical.

through their brand extension – the hats, the sunglasses – but

How do you ensure that there isn’t a concentration of Lam-

how much of those things are suitable for Lamborghini?


MF. They are in a different position than ours. You would assume they

MF. It is paying attention, not to have a great concentration of your prod-

are the same, that it’s a similar position because they’re also a luxury

uct in one place, one spot. So we have still a lot of white spots on the map

brand, but they have a totally different history and a totally different

of the world, and therefore, we see still potential out there to bring our

standing. We’re still in the phase of brand building. I think any step we

products to the market without diluting our brand image and without di-

take out there has to be thought more than once about, so also, if you go

luting its exclusivity.

into the product placements, which we do occasionally in big Hollywood

Wealth is still out there. People still have luckily enough money to

films, I discard about 95 percent of that what I get on my desk because

buy our products. It is, like you mentioned before, a geographical ap-

they’re just not a brand fit. So yes, it is important to take a look at any

proach, so still if you take China they are predicting a growth this year

kind of activity we take on, and we have to see if it is really that what

of eight-point-something percent. This would be a dream here in Eu-

helps us on building upon our brand image.

rope, but luckily we find still markets which have enough at their disposal and which are in a fortunate situation who can buy our products.

Why were Mission: Impossible III and The Dark Knight right for branding?

How does Lamborghini move into a new market? What are the

MF. They were just a perfect fit. The Batman, before The Dark Knight,


we were already in a very, very brief sequence already in the previous

MF. We first of all need a good understanding of the market, but that

film from Christopher Nolan, but The Dark Knight, we had the script, we

does not mean that we will cater to the market in a special way – we

went through it with the producers and I thought this is something that

won’t do products for a market. We have a global product; it has to work

really fits the brand Lamborghini. Apart from that, it is a spectacular

everywhere, so we will not do something specifically for one market. So

film, and I loved also working together with the production there, but

the market understanding has to be there, we have to understand, and we

Mission: Impossible was also something on the very high-end level. It

have to obviously penetrate our brand values. We have to be understood

was a good environment, it was good surrounding, and therefore, we said,

as a luxury brand.

"Yes, we can do it."

If you take China, for instance, a couple of years ago, the Chinese did not know what Lamborghini is. Is it a coffee brand? Is it something to

In The Dark Knight, it’s Bruce Wayne’s car; Bruce Wayne is a

wear? What is it? No, it’s a car manufacturer — no, it’s a super sports

multimillionaire, hero, avenger, etc., displaying aggressive and

car manufacturer, and it’s a luxury brand. So we have to play in that

uncompromising values, perhaps even Italian. What are the

league, and they have to perceive us as something which they would like

things that you insist on to get the branding right?

to possess.

MF. We don’t go that far, I would not ever interfere with the creativity on


somebody else’s behalf, so the director has a clear idea of what he wants

Lamborghini’s Ad Personam solution allows the customer to

to see. If we can support that with our products, the better it is. What I do

personalize his or her Lamborghini. How important is that cus-

not like is to see our products in the context of being driven by villains or

tomer experience for the company?

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MF. The future of this brand is in the focus of it. In the past we were a

So what we wanted to create there was having a sort of sculpture; this was

technical oriented brand, and my vision of the future would be of be-

totally design driven rather than technically driven.

coming a modern company. Modern company means also focusing or having great focus on the customer. That does not mean that we will be

Where do you look for inspiration?

influenced by the customer in the sense of design, so going to car clinic

MF. Everywhere. We’re so fortunate living in a country like Italy where

and asking them, "What do you think of that?” how could we? Our ob-

you can get so many inspirations. But as a global acting company, we

ligation is to surprise the people with the design, and to let them see

have our ears and eyes open everywhere we go in this world. That’s a

how we realize the dreams they haven’t dreamt so far. So that is our ob-

key prerequisite to do what we’re doing. We’re influenced heavily by

ligation as a luxury car manufacturer.

other industries. I don’t think that just going along in the automotive industry would get you anywhere. Our life is moving at a very, very fast

How involved can a customer be in the creation of his or her

pace; our lives are changing in a very, very fast way; the way we com-

car, and what does that sales process look like?

mute, the way we communicate, the way we talk to each other is chang-

MF. To a certain extent, we have an individualization program. In the

ing heavily. All that inspires us; all that we take up also as inspiration

past couple of years we could observe a trend where it was not about that

for our future products.

what the Joneses have but what the Joneses don’t have. “I want to differentiate myself from my neighborhood. If he has a Lamborghini, fine;

How do you steward; how do you ensure that the brand is in

I want one, too, but it has to look different than his.” So therefore, we

good hands when you pass it on?

came up with this individualization program where we give them I think

MF. This is one of the greatest tasks I have. I planted a seed within

ample opportunity to individualize their vehicle.

this company that everybody understands what it takes to realize a vision. It’s not only that because in 1999 when I took over, everybody

Your team famously designed the stunning Reventòn in just four

had a certain vision of Lamborghini, what it should be, , and this is not

months. How have advances in technology in the software so-

about me; it’s about somebody who has a vision. You have to be con-

lutions and science systems made that possible?

sistent in your approach, you have to be also a bit stubborn, and don’t

MF. We have to look into the future in terms of design. We have here a

get irritated by that what the people are thinking left and right of you.

totally non-normal process in the sense that my designers are able to do

If you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you have to go

everything in 3D from the first sketch on. This means that we can cut cor-

for it, and this is the message I want to pass on along with my col-

ners. We’re so fast that we get a package delivered and we work with the

leagues, and this is one thing that Lamborghini has understood. No

package from the very, very first moment.

matter what is out there, we have a clear idea of how we want to form

Much more interesting is the underlying process, which means we

the future, and we want to be part of that. So we like to be in the dri-

work together hand-in-hand with research and development; it’s not like

ver’s seat rather than in the passenger seat, and we want to create our

it’s in sequences where one gets something, then gets back, hand it over

own future.

back to the other department, they say yes or no. It’s an integrated process where we work hand-in-hand together with the research and de-

How do you ensure exclusivity? How to you make sure that the


brand stays clean and safe, and that you keep that demand going?

Lamborghini and is a very striking brand. Is it design led; are

MF. Not being tempted to do anything out of the normal. We have a clear

there certain facets of the car that are the same regardless of

strategy for the future, we will stick to that, and we will weather the times

the chassis, the solid steel work?

that are out there right now. It is just about not being tempted to do some-

MF. It depends, and that’s always so exciting for each and every new

thing erratic – there are temptations out there obviously, but it’s not char-

project. Sometimes we have this approach where it’s technically led, so

acteristic of us to have some quick wins. We’re sticking to that what we

they say, “Okay, here’s your package, here’s your technical package,

have planned, and I think the world can look forward to some great prod-

these are the parameters you have to respect, these are the limits in

ucts in the near future.

which you can work,” and off we go. We also find other examples, like the Estoque, the four-door. It was design driven, so engineers have to then come and say, “Okay, we’ll make this work,” and it really worked.

Manfred Fitzgerald has worked for Lamborghini for nine years, first as the Brand Director and now as Head of Design. n

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In a word, Turkey is rich. It’s a place that’s rich in vivid beauty. steepe in rich culture. It’s where you can get the best rich It’s a place steeped coffee in the world. As a place full of romantic countryside escapes and resplendent cosmopolitan evenings, Turkey is the classic connector of the East and West, of Orient and European. It’s birth after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 was shaped by the leader Atatürk, and today Turkey retains its diametric nature through it’s trimming in both history and modernity. Tradition runs strong here – Turkish dancing, Turkish carpets, and Turkish dress are celebrated. But new affinities for luxury, for leisure, and for the essence of quality are vying for attention in this timeless nation. Turkey is a transcontinental giant bordering eight different nations. Going here is not like going to any other country – a traveler doesn’t have to be held to one single idea for a getaway. Whether it’s a beachfront spa, a farmhouse, or a desert hideaway, Turkey probably has it somewhere within its almost 800,000 square kilometers. Dining, shopping, relaxing, and exploring are all on the menu here, it’s just about picking what is going to revive and enliven you the best.

of Turkey

To introduce (or reintroduce) you to the rich nation of Turkey, we thought it best to play to two opposite sides of this place. The city of Istanbul – glamorous and nestled along the Bosporus – is a perfect choice for those seeking some sophisticated fun this season. And the natural beauty of Cappadoica is the choice of the summer for anyone looking for a magical, romantic escape into Turkish culture in the countryside. Get ready to give up pork, learn to link pinkies, and fall fast into love with Turkey this summer. Escape to a place that’s as rustic as blue-lighted underground caverns as it is sleek like a perfectly choreographed seaside dinner on the Bosporus. Pick up an evil eye, round and shiny and dark navy, and come along for the perfect August getaway; we suggest starting a trip to Turkey by looking no further than the famous city itself – Istanbul. Once known as Byzantium and then as Constantinople, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and retains its status as a global and historical landmark. Istanbul is the true connection point of Europe and Asia. To that end, it’s a place where diplomats, financiers, and other high-living commoners have always come to play and stay. And there are so many strong choices for accommodations here it’s hard to go wrong as long as you do even a little research. Hotel Les Ottomans is a perfect choice here for those seeking a boutique hotel experience. With only 10 rooms, the staff at Les Ottomans is famous for catering to their guests’ every whim. The property was built as a seaside mansion for a wealthy Turkish family in 1790. When entrepreneur Ms. Ahu Aysal bought the mansion in the 1980’s, she knew she could take the old residence into a new era of glamour as a chic hotel. Clearly she was right. Les Ottomans won “Turkey’s Leading Boutique Hotel” from the World Travel Award’s last year

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– among numerous other awards throughout this decade – and their small size ensures personalization every step of the way (think yacht transfer from the airport). It seems that in Istanbul, boutique hotels may be the way to go. If the idea of small and individualized appeals to you, look at the Witt Hotel as well. This 15 room accommodation’s style is best reflected in its four panoramic suites. At The Witt, you’ll take the road less traveled and stay in a more locals-only area in Istanbul. And their “Tailor-Made Services” wait on you hand and foot by anticipating needs like dietary restrictions and even childcare.

Above / below: Les Ottomans

Even though you might have an incredible room in Istanbul, the best part of the city is what’s outside the hotel. Its location on the Bosporus gives Istanbul a glamorous seaside feeling. During the day, take in the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia – these incredible landmarks face each other across a small park. Nearby is also the Topkapi Palace, where the Ottoman sultans once lived, and the largest synagogue in Turkey. The harem tour in the mornings at Topkai is a sexy but cultural way to start off a day in Istanbul. While you’re in this area, however, ask for a guide to take you to what many simply call the “cisterns.” This hidden gem of sightseeing is an underground cavern through which flows all the water for the city. Accented by deep blue lighting and eerie music, the cisterns are a creepy yet adventurous choice for a day attraction in the heart of Istanbul. When you’re ready to just walk the city, expect to run into many spice markets. These clusters of crowded stalls will offer you authentic Turkish spices and teas. Vendors always seem to give out the traditional Turkish candy, Turkish Delight, but if you take it they might expect you to make a purchase – not such a problem with all the rare offerings found at the spice markets. If you think you like the authenticity of shopping at the markets, plan a trip the Grand Bazaar, located in the old Turkish Royal Stables. Here you’ll find tiles, Turkish rugs, and jewelry galore. For nightlife, fun, and dining in Istanbul, start in Taksim Square. This cultural and polished center of town is essentially a large pedestrian walkway that offers classy shopping during the day (for those not ready to brave the Bazaar) and chic nightclubs and bars after dark. From the square, start down stiklal Avenue, where you’ll encounter even better shopping, clubbing, and much more Turkish delight – albeit not in candy form. A favorite in this area is the restaurant and bar Wanna. Their sushi menu and DJ performances are perfect for very late night fun. When you’ve partied, snacked, and shopped your way through the city, it’s time to look to another side of Turkey, Though Istanbul is captivating, there is more richness in this nation than in the form of city life. Turkey’s classic other-world experience happens far from the brimming waves of the Bosporus and the bustling hub of Taksim. If you get to Turkey, don’t leave without taking a trip to the incredible destination that is Cappadocia, located in the heart of the country.


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Some believe that Cappadocia has a documented existence as early

ing. If you want a little less Zen and a little more zesty, go see a tradi-

as the 6th century B.C., and it’s easy to feel that antiquity while you’re

tional Turkish belly dancing show while you’re in town. The dancers

there. When you step out of your car in this town, you will feel electri-

will show you how it’s done, and later they’ll then expect you to join in.

fied and maybe a bit terrified, or awestruck, but maybe a little confused.

You link pinkies and circle around and back in time to the music.

Cappadocia looks like a desert out of another world – the landscape

For shopping in Turkey, there’s nothing more thrilling than buying

seems barren, and is known best for its hills and tall rock steeples that

a Turkish rug in Cappadocia. It’s a memorable and exciting experience,

jut against the blue sky. Go to Cappadocia to appreciate the perplexity

and the rug you end up with afterward isn’t so bad either. If buying a

that is nature, but make sure you do it in style. Many of the hotels in

Turkish rug is something you think you might like to do in Turkey, you

this area are built right into the cliffs that characterize this area. The

should do it in Cappadocia. At the rug workshop, potential purchasers

lobbies and guest suites of these stately establishments are literally part

start in a gorgeous, marble-floored studio where the rugs are woven by

of the rock, so you’ll never know that as you unwind with a traditional

hand. The best grades of Turkish rug fabrics are those with the high-

Turkish massage those pretty divots dug into the walls above you were

est knots per inch, and silk is straight where you should be headed.

actually once used to house pigeons. Like in much of Turkey, here in

Expect at one point to find yourself in a room with enormous barrels of

Cappadocia, tradition meets contemporary. The best cave spa in Cap-

silkworms, so that the rug manufacturers can prove how perfect their

padocia is the Leea Spa at the Cappadocia Cave Resort and SPA, built

on-site-created fabrics are. After the silkworms make you feel mildly

into the traditional Uchisar dwellings. Pick up massages, facials, and

disenchanted with the rug-making process – or utterly enchanted, de-

all things soothing. The suites at the Cave Resort are also superb, and

pending on how you feel about little white silk-making creatures – your

their views give travelers a pristine visual of the countryside. This area

guide will lead you to a third room where apple tea and lunch is served,

is all about landscape, so the best hotels are those that are part of the

so buyers can think clearly as they make their decisions. Once the meal

scenery and let you experience the surroundings in every aspect of your

is finished, it’s investment time. Spring for something beautiful so you

stay. The Museum Hotel also in Uchisar has suites to die for and a staff

can commemorate Turkey. Expect deep hand-dyed indigo and vibrant

that will quickly get to know your name and how you take your coffee.

crimson colors, accented with rosy yellows and burnt oranges. The rugs

Hotel Owner Omer and Client Relation Manager Gipsy cater to guest’s

are exquisite, and buying one in Cappadocia is an opportunity not to

every need, and make sure that high expectations are always met at their

be missed. The manufacturers will ship your gorgeous new floor piece

property. The Lil’a Restaurant at the Museum Hotel is also perfect if you

home, and you can head back to one of Cappadocia’s finer restaurants

want to try Cappadocian cuisine but with a high-living twist. Their chef

for a glass of chardonnay overlooking the cave dwellings without ever

also offers cooking classes to the hotel guests.

lifting a finger.

While you’re in Cappadocia, there are a few things you absolutely

From the other-world at Cappadocia to the international scene at Is-

must do. Hot air balloon rides are relatively pricey for what you’ll get

tanbul, you’ll long to return to Turkey from the moment you leave. A spirit

but worthwhile for the splendid views. Most hotels in Cappadocia will

of mystery runs strong here. If you’re feeling bold, have someone read

help arrange one. Cappadocia also offers whirling dervish shows so you

your fortune from the grounds left in your cup once you finish some tradi-

can step back into time and experience Islamic mysticism. Held in old

tional Turkish coffee, so you can glean what the future holds. Turkey is a

caravanserais – the Turkish word for inns where travelers would rest

place that has a history of luxury and a future perfectly poised to cater to

during long journeys – the dervish shows have a deep and beautiful

adventure-seekers and posh travelers alike. As someone who is both, we

mystery to them. The caravanserai’s feel like being inside an enormous

hope your mahogany grains after the coffee is gone will speak to a future

stone castle, and the spirit of the whole evening is enjoyable and relax-

of more richness than ever before, thanks to a quick trip to Turkey.„

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Aysal: I think one of the most important things that makes Les Ottomans special is that as well as being an owner, I am also living in the hotel. I am always in the operation, taking care of my guests and checking the details. Also, due to the fact that I am always traveling and staying at the most exclusive properties, I have chance to bring my good experiences to our management to implement at our hotel.

Where have you lived outside of Istanbul? Aysal: Brussels, London, Geneva

Q & A with Ahu Aysal of Les Ottomans

What do you love about Istanbul? What is fine dining and nightlife like in the city?

Tell me about your upbringing and how you got into the business of

Aysal: I’ve traveled all around the world and thank god I had the

hotel management.

chance to see the most luxurious, cultured, natural—all kinds of

Ahu Aysal: Actually I love people, and I love taking care of people. So

cities. But I can easily tell you that Istanbul is something different.

I thought that being in a tourism business is something I can really do

You can feel the impressive Ottoman history, but also you can find

well. I started with 3 resorts in south of Turkey, Antalya.

the best restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls in the city. And of course the amazing Bosphorus goes without saying.

Tell us about how you came to Les Ottomans. When and how did you decide to dedicate yourself to making it an elite boutique hotel?

When you vacation, where do you like to go?

Aysal: I have lived in abroad, mostly in Belgium, for 25 years. I always

Aysal: Anytime, anywhere.

travel around the world and I was also traveling to Turkey very often while I was living abroad. I felt that people are very interested in

What are some luxuries you like to indulge in?

boutique hotels all over the world, but it was something missing in

Aysal: The most luxurious thing that I indulge in is Les Ottomans.

Turkey, especially in Istanbul. So I have decided to realize my dream

Also as a person I am gourmet, not a gourmand, I can easily choose

by creating Les Ottomans.

the best restaurants of the city.

What are some things that make Les Ottomans truly special as an

What do you think is the hallmark of a truly great luxury hotel? What


are some standards you seek out when you’re traveling?

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Aysal: The most important feature of a luxury hotel is personalization. Even if it is your guest’s fi rst stay you should know their wishes and needs. We have a 5 pages guest preference form that we send upon confi rmation to learn our guest’s transfer preference, diet program, treatment, pillow, temperature choices, et cetera. It helps us to give the feeling of being home from the fi rst day.

Are there any certain hotels you seek to emulate when you design plans for Les Ottomans? Aysal: Primarily I have tried to apply the mix of my taste and the Ottomans grandeur. But of course I am influenced, with Le Richemont Geneva and Parrot Cay Bermuda especially.

I see that you and Les Ottomans have both won many awards. Which one means the most to you and why? Aysal: I am very honored that Les Ottomans has won so many awards just in 3 years. I cannot say that one of it is more important because they are all the awards for intense labor. I am very proud this year that Les Ottomans is a nominee as Best Boutique Hotel in Europe at World Travel Awards 2009 selection.

What kind of person does Les Ottomans appeal to? Aysal: The best of the best.

Which Les Ottomans room is your favorite? Aysal: Actually our all suites are different from each other. They all have different character, different soul and all designed to appeal to different tastes. So all are my babies and my favorites. „

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“A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives.”– Anne Davison

club is quiet, it is a few days before racing commences and people are spread around the island, from the Wyndham to the Marriot, to a few happy owners at the Ritz Carlton, soaking themselves in the sun and fun the island has to offer. Though sailboats may be the main draw, there are plenty of other vehicles to test-drive in St Thomas. Jetskis abound, as does wind-

s your plane flies low over the island of St. Thomas, azure


surfing, parasailing, and, for the very fit and adrenaline-hungry, there

sky and turquoise sky dotted with green island hills fill

is even kitesurfing, on offer.. Anyone with more than a few feet of

the sky until suddenly, sharply, there is the horizon and

beachfront offers snorkeling equipment, and there are plenty of at-

the plane touches down. Driving through the bustling is-

tractions down below – while the water can be cloudy when the seas

land, from beautiful vista to the rounded edge of Charlotte Amalie Har-

are high, there are plenty of young turtles and bright fish to spot,

bor, stacked high with cruise ships and tourist shops, it’s easy to feel as

playing hide and seek among the coral. As the number of visitors

though you’ve fallen into yet another man-made paradise, until you head

seeking an undersea adventure has increased, more and more per-

down a winding hill to the courtyard of the Saint Thomas Yacht Club,

mutations have been invented. Coral World, a local theme park,

and there you are, feet in the sand, remembering why you came. The

showcases many of them – the Snuba, the SeaTrek, and the Semi-Sub-

concrete patio spreads out onto the sandy beach, which slides into calm

marine, all equipment-heavy ways to get a new vantage point under-

the blue, today filled out with boats of all shapes and sizes. But today, the

water, both simply and safely.

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On shore, St. Thomas echoes with steel drums and cheerful car

hot sauces; Cuzzin’s fresher-than-fresh seafood; or Wikkid and the Fat Tur-

horns, as taxis careen around the corners of one-lane roads. The desti-

tle, both back at Yacht Haven Grande, for young, reggae-inflected fun. For

nation is famous for its duty-free status, and diamonds spill out of the

upscale dining, there’s a diversity of options as well. The Amalia Café is a

picturesque old storefronts. A.H. Riise’s large banner, welcoming sailors,

dependably excellent restaurant located in a charming cobblestone street

proclaims the store’s status as the largest and oldest luxury shop on the

back in the heart of the town, while the Agave Terrace, perched high above

island – it is the only official retailer of many brands on the island, in-

the water in a breezy, modern, open space is renowned for their wine list and

cluding Rolex, this regatta’s event sponsor. While the complex, in the

fine preparation. Of course, the best hotels have a plethora of excellent op-

heart of Charlotte Amalie, has long been the premier destination for lux-

tions, offering the best cuisines from around the world.

ury shoppers, the Yacht Haven Grande complex is closing in. A complex of 41 stores including Bulgari, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, as well as restaurants, residences, and a marina full of superyachts (some over 450 feet) from all over the world clearly marks it as a destination to watch for boaters in the Caribbean. Of course, you can’t do all that exploring on an empty stomach, and local specialties as well as upscale cuisine abound. Those in the know pick out the best spots around the harbor, where you’ll find many local favorites, like Glady’s Café, with the Antiguan-born owners own special

“Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters”. – Howard Bloomfield The islands in general

Wiith breeathtakin ng views oveerlooking the sea and the caald dera, Iccons Hotel offers individually desiggned and welllap ppointeed cave houses, provviding an intimaate atmosp phere forr enjoyyin ng a ro omantic holiiday or relaxin ng break.

Icoons Hotel offfers a varietty of luxurious rooms and suites too ac acco comm co mmod mm odat od atee yoouurr spe at p ci c fic holidday need ds. Each room m is elegantly furniished and appo poin inte teed with withh eeit wi ithe it herr a reefr he f eshi hing n inddoo ng oorr pool or soothhing Jacuzzi bathtub to enhancee the intimatee amb mbie ienc ie nce. nc e. Froom your prrivvate veranda or balcony, you can can re r la lax an nd so soak ak uupp the thhe su sunn wiithh sstu tuunn nnin ingg se in seaa vieews in fronnt of you. Shouuld you need to chhec eckk yo your uurr ema m il i oorr su s rff the web eb,, th ther eree is ffre er reee re intterrnet acceesss throughouut Icons. Daay or night, thhe beautifuul outdoor pool andd ter erra race ra cee off ffer e s ma er magn g ifificen gn entt vi view ewss of ew o tthe he ccal alde deraa and thee sea, as welll as a relaxed bar and restaurra rant setti rant ettti t ng ng.. If you preferr a more intim mate atmosphere wiithh yo your ou mea eal, l, yyou ou can n alsso en njo joy oy go gour urme mett disshes at Icoonss Hotel’s à la carte restaurant.. A Ann ovver e st s oc ocke kedd wi wine nee cella ellla lar ar of off ffe fers ers r the pper erfe er rfe fect ctt acccompanim mennt to your meal and you can alsso en njo joy wi joy wine ne tas asti ting ti ngg sses e siion o s. s. LOCATION: In IMEROVIGLI on the west coast of Santorini, about 2 km from FIRA, the capital. IMEROVIGLI is the highest point of the caldera. Great views, and a calm atmosphere guarantee relaxing and charming holidays. CAPACITY: The ICONS HOTEL provides a total of 23 rooms, Icons Deluxe Jacuzzi Room: equipped with air condition, hand free direct dial telephone, mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite flat TV, CD player, modem port, Jacuzzi bathtub and decorated with antique furniture. Icons Senior Suite Jacuzzi: Carefully decorated two room suite equipped with air condition, hand free direct dial telephone, mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite flat LCD TV, CD/DVD player, modem port, Jacuzzi bathtub and decorated with antique furniture. Icons Deluxe Indoor Pool: A junior suite with indoor pool equipped with air condition, hand free direct dial telephone, mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite flat LCD TV, CD/DVD player, modem port, Jacuzzi bathtub and decorated with antique furniture. Icons Maisonette Pool: Maisonette on two floors with indoor pool decorated with antique furniture equipped with air condition, hand free direct dial telephone, mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite flat LCD TV, CD/DVD player, modem port, Jacuzzi bathtub and decorated with antique furniture. Icons Honeymoon Suite: Spacious and carefully furnished with antiques suite with indoor pool and Jacuzzi equipped with air condition, hand free direct dial telephone,butler service, mini wine cellar, mini bar, veranda mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite flat LCD TV, CD/DVD player, modem port, Jacuzzi bathtub and decorated with antique furniture. The hotel facilities and services include 24 hours reception and room service, laundry service (extra charge), 2 gourmet restaurants, breakfast room, pool bar, swimming pool, twice a day maid service.


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St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery

While St. Thomas is by far the largest and most populated of the Vir-

Saint Croix is the largest of the USVI, and 35 miles to the south of

gin Islands, it is by no means the only one charming visitors. While sail-

its smaller siblings. Once the capital of the Danish West Indies, it has its

ing between the islands is a vacation in and of itself, ferries and

own unique character. Arguably more Europeanized than the other islands,

seaplanes make daytrips easy. The island of St. John, located to east of

as the center of the sugar trade, there are many sites to see, including the

St. Thomas, is a lush, peaceful environment (two-thirds of the island is

St. George Botanical Garden, the Buck Island Reef (the only US National

a natural park) fringed by white sand beaches. Ecotourism is a big draw

Park that is underwater), the Cruzan Rum distillery (always a popular

here, and many providers offer guides for kayaking, snorkeling, and hik-

choice), as well as many experiences that bring back the history of the is-

ing around the island. Tours of the island are readily available, and there

land – the restored great houses, or the woodcarvers in the rainforest carv-

is much in history as well as nature that has been preserved here – the

ing local mahogany. There is a healthy and growing culinary scene here, one

sugar plantations that once dominated these islands now dot the land-

that has exploded in recent years, jumpstarted in 2001 by local restaura-

scape, some in disrepair, some historical sites, and some repurposed, as

teurs and now the premier food and wine event in the region.

at Caneel Bay, the island’s premier resort and former home of Laurence

The British Virgin Islands are just a few miles distant, and for many

Rockefeller, who led the charge to preserve the island, even as he helped

sailors and visitors in the neighborhood offer their own set of pleasures.

build its infrastructure. Sprawling across a peninsula, with seven sepa-

Virgin Gorda and Tortola are the two major islands in the chain of the BVI,

rate beaches, the resort is its own little world, from the families that have

but while smaller and quainter, Jost Van Dyke, Ginger, Cooper, Salt, Peter

been coming here for generations, to the herds of donkeys that have free

and Norman Islands don’t lack personality. Tortola is the base for many

run of the lawns. As development on St. John is limited, there is a great

charter companies, both captained and bare-boat charters, as well as many

deal of interest in the private villa market, and many families seek this

private charter captains who provide a personalized sailing, or even just

kind of quiet privacy as their getaway.

touring, experience; there are also numerous small resorts that are perfect

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for a quiet getaway. Virgin Gorda’s North Sound is dominated by one of the


best-known resorts in the BVI, the Bitter End Yacht Club – but don’t let the

There is a moment the night before every regatta, when the boats

name fool you, they welcome sailors and non-sailors alike to its classic vil-

are registered, the forecasts are in, and the merrymaking crews are

las with family-friendly staff and lively entertainment. Indeed, island style

spilling out over the yacht club porch, that every sailor’s eyes will

living mixes here with British pub culture to create an entire region where

look across the water and the salty air he inhales will breathe into him

you can’t help but sit back and have a drink. Many of the favored spots, like

the thrill of competition. In the Caribbean, where it is the rare morn-

Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke, or the William Thornton at Norman Island, don’t

ing that does not dawn bright and clear, with breeze teasing the tops

get going until late, and dinghies zip back and forth transporting guests to

of the trees and the tips of the waves, the anticipation is palpable, and

and from boats and resorts all night long. The nights really heat up during

the mood is contagious.

the Full Moon parties, a series of popular parties that occur across the is-

The 36th year of the competition known as the “Crown Jewel of

lands during the full moon, most famously on Tortola and at Trellis Bay on

Caribbean racing” was built on several recent changes, including the

Beef Island – see live music, fire jugglers, Mocko Jumbies, and more under

addition of IRC racing last year. One of the most popular of the several

the glow of a cloudless moonlight. Moorings are readily available, but the

Caribbean racing events that form the Virgin Islands Race Week, the events

calm waters and clear bottoms of the anchorages make dropping in for a

welcome nearly all comers, including several CSA (Caribbean Rule)

quick visit just as easy, whether you’re an experienced navigator or a first-

classes, one-design racing, beach catamarans, and large multihulls. Not

time charterer.

the formal, white-gloved yacht racing of old, nor even the glitz and glamour of 12-meter racing, but rather an event that feels like what it is – an

“Sailing is a good sport. You don't have to beat up the other guy like you do in boxing and football; you just try to outsmart him, and then you go out and have a beer with him.” – John Kolius

amalgamation of the best sailors from around the world, sailing in some of the best conditions in the world, and having a lot of fun doing it. Local heroes carried the day in most classes – just four boats out of the 19 top three finishers were from out of the islands. One of the most exciting groups to watch was the IC 24s, a modified J-24 with an opencockpit deck created by St. Thomas Yacht Club members back in 2000. About 30 have been built since then, and the 14-boat fleet here repre-

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sented a lot of young sailing talent who love the speed and energy of these

inated by foreigners and expats. The thrill of crouching on the fore-

smaller boats, especially in conditions like these – winds topped out at 20

deck as big boats whoosh past is a thrill not soon forgotten by a young

knots over the weekend of racing. This same group of sailors, led at the

memory, and indeed by many much older – the simplicity and ease of

Rolex Regatta by Brand New Second Hand, Intac, and Lime, shook up

the event made these veteran sailors race and party like kids again,

the order of their finishes at BVI Race Week the following weekend, but

from the first gun at 10am to last call.

all remained in the top five, proving they’d live to fight another day.

Large sailing events like these take help from many sides, and as

For those who love a tactical challenge, this is a unique and won-

the winners gather to the stage built out over the water to collect

derful event – sailing legend Bill Canfield has spent hours plotting in-

plates, cups, and the coveted Rolex timepieces, it is clear that the

tricate courses that take full advantage of the twists of the coastline,

sponsorship and endorsement of a company like Rolex is tantamount

shallow water, and other natural challenges. The local success stories

to a guarantee of success. After so many years in the business of spon-

weren’t just confined to the full-time challengers, however – the Com-

soring superlative athletes in many sports, Rolex’s participation in

modore’s Cup and universal approbation went to the crew of a Cal 30,

sailing events always reflects a certain style, quality, and consistency

Winds Glory, made up of students from the local high school. The

that is the hallmark of their watches as well as those who wear them.

young sailors earned their places from the ground up, learning both

Once the racing is finished and the shoreside events have subsided,

sailing theory and getting practical experience in boat repair and

the excitement brought on by the Rolex Regatta will subside on the is-

maintenance, and their hard work paid of as much in enthusiasm as

land and within the walls of the St. Thomas Yacht Club – but the

in race standings, and, their coach Stan Lorbach hopes, in a potential

promise of next March is reflected in the rhythmic chop, steady

future in the maritime industry, which has for a long time been dom-

breeze, and shiny watch faces decorating a few well-tanned wrists.  St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery

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Life in the Fast Lane Lewis Hamilton is a racing champion, record breaker and pin-up, but he remains a man of normality. In an exclusive interview with Natalie Brandweiner, Lewis tells of his sporting background, his rise to stardom and what really happened with Fernando Alonso.

Beginning your motorsport career at only eight years old, what was your inspiration at such a young age? What keeps you still so dedicated to the sport? “Karting was just something I tried when I was young as a pastime with my father. I didn’t have any expectations about starting a career in motorsport, but I just found that I liked karting. At the start, we never saw it as my career, just as something we could do together and have fun together. But I’m still so dedicated to motor racing because it’s become my life – I’m passionate about racing, still absolutely focused and committed to pushing myself to the limit whenever I’m in the car. Like most racing drivers, that’s a feeling you can’t really explain – or imagine living without.” What do you enjoy spending your time doing when away from the track? Are there any other sports that you love? “When I was younger I used to really enjoy playing football, but it’s not something I’ve really been able to focus on recently. But I still enjoy training – I go running, cycling, mountain biking with my trainer away from the races and that’s a fantastic way to relax and clear your mind.” Lewis Hamilton is a household name and schoolboy inspiration, who, at only 24 years old, has already smashed records and rightfully claimed titles, but his career began before he first stepped into a racing car. Born in Hertfordshire, England to Grenadian parents and named after the American sprinter Carl Lewis, Hamilton began his career and dream at the early age of eight years old at the Rye House Kart Circuit and by the age of ten had won his first British Karting championship, claiming the title of European Karting Champion in 2000. Lewis was confident of his success from an early age, and upon his first meeting with Ron Dennis, McLaren Group Chairman and CEO, declared, “I want to race for you one day.” His dream was to follow in the footsteps of Denny Hulme and Peter Revson, and to become a renowned champion of the victorious British team. Dennis laughed, but seven years later Lewis received a call from him, the Chairman anxious to sign Lewis

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having seen his already brimming potential. At only 13 years old, Lewis was enrolled in the McLaren and Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Support Program, setting him on the path to a long-term future in motorsports and igniting his hunger to make his dream a reality. Reports of his success spread rapidly. In 2001 Michael Schumacher made a one-off return to carts in which he raced Lewis. Although the soon-to-be-star only came fifth, Schumacher was impressed with such great skills at such a young age: “He’s a quality driver, very strong and only 16,” he exclaimed. “If he keeps this up I’m sure he will reach F1. It’s something special to see a kid of his age out on the circuit. He’s clearly got the right racing mentality.” His passion for racing began during those early years, but it was by no means his sole sporting activity. In an attempt to combat local bullies’ attention following his success, Lewis took up karate –another arena in which to channel his competitive trait. Once again, he excelled, and by the time he was twelve he gained his first black belt in the sport. His transition from a karting racer to Formula One champion is owed entirely to his determinate and competitive nature. During his first season in Formuala One Lewis set numerous records and finished second in the 2007 Formula One Championship, only one point behind Kimi Räikkönen. Only a year later he won his first world championship at the following season. You did a great finish as fourth in Bahrain, how did that make you feel? Were you expecting such a success? How will you overcome the difficulties of the Barcelona track? “We went into Bahrain knowing that it would possibly suit our package, particularly the low-speed corners, heavy braking zones and long straights, and I knew that I would have to grab the opportunity with both hands, so I just kept pushing through all the practice sessions, into qualifying and for every single lap of the race. Yes, it was a good result – but it was a result that we absolutely fought for!” You received some huge support from Fernando Alonso. Were you surprised, following the turbulent season of 2007? “I’ve always said that Fernando and I got on very well during the 2007 season, but even so Fernando’s comments in Spain were incredible and much appreciated. Yes, it was a tough year, but we both enjoyed pushing each other like crazy. At the end of the day, Fernando is a fantastic driver and a great world champion – a guy I looked up to when I was in the junior series climbing up towards F1. Without a doubt, he is one of the very best drivers in the sport.” Which track is your favorite to race on? “Monaco – nothing else comes close! The feeling you get when you shave the barriers on a hot-lap, and you do have to touch them to be fast, is incredible – you just can’t describe it. Your adrenaline is flowing and your

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concentration is off the scale for the whole race. Winning there last year

Prix, the partnership remained on tenterhooks as both drivers con-

was one of the best experiences in my motor racing career.”

tinued to race against each other, with the public favoring Lewis to win. Alonso and McLaren terminated their contract by mutual con-


t was Hamilton’s successful shot to fame that has left it hard for

sent at the end of the season, promoting Lewis to the first car.

him to follow his own footsteps. He began receiving attention for

It’s suggested among certain members of the media that Lewis may

his success in Formula Three in 2005, and again in 2006, win-

have carved an even greater name for himself – broken more records

ning the ART Grand Prix championship – becoming Fernando

and achieved even greater victories – had he been ‘allowed’ to break

Alonso’s driving partner for F1 in 2007.

free from his portioned supporting role to Alonso, but an FIA enquiry

In 2007, Lewis tasted his first huge moment of glory in his F1 career,

vindicated McLaren.

winning pole position in the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal – a city

The following season did not start well for Lewis, but he was de-

that will always stay close to his heart. A week later he was still beam-

termined, and knew 2008 was the year he would achieve world cham-

ing, after winning the US Grand Prix.

pionship. The season was a combination of pole positions, accidental

However, his relationship with Fernando Alonso became tumultuous

crashes and that infamous British Grand Prix win in the most diffi-

during this time – both drivers’ desperate bid to pop the champagne

cult of conditions, Lewis himself stating it as being his most difficult

as McLaren’s number one led to his controversial pole position win

and meaningful win. But the result was tremendous. Lewis clinched

of the Hungarian grand Prix later on in the season. Alonso had set

the 2008 Formula One World Championship, becoming the youngest

the fastest time, but his contentious decision of preventing Lewis

ever driver to win the title, as well as the first black driver.

from leaving the pit lane in time to complete his final qualifying lap

Following his world championship win, Lewis has fixated on de-

¬– and ultimately blocking his chances of claiming pole position –

fending his title within the 2009 season. He opened from the second to

led to his regulation and a complete break-down of the teammate re-

last row of the grid, but following a gearbox problem, which led to a con-

lationship. Despite declaring restoration before the Turkey Grand

troversial penalty, he was then moved to 18th place. He exceeded all ex-

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Page 126

pectations and finished third but, following discrepancies regarding an

message people on it, which is fantastic. I also use Skype on my

illegal pass, Lewis was shamefully disqualified. He came back with

Lenovo to talk to people – so there are no excuses for not staying in

dignity in the Malaysian Grand Prix, the second race of the season,


and finished seventh, sixth in the Chinese Grand Prix and fourth in

Lewis’ personal life is no less exciting and fast-paced off the track

the Bahrain Grand prix. Most recently, Lewis finished ninth at

than it is on. He has become a celebrity in his own right, but not just

Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in May, a great finish given his dif-

for his racing success, he has become loved by the public and media

ficulties during the 2009 season.

worldwide for his unwavering humility and endless modesty. There is

He achieved a sensationalist popularity unlike any seen before

no girl that wouldn’t date him and no sponsor that wouldn’t partner

for a F1 driver. His arrival to success in a relatively short space of

with him – Reebok carefully selected him last year to join them in a

time was what made him the ‘people’s person’ within the UK and

multi-year contract as the brand’s ambassador. As the tournament

across the world, and his commitment to being nothing less than num-

cups on his shelf mount, so does his bank account. With an estimated

ber one led to a whopping amount of media attention and an inspired

earning of £10 million pounds in 2008 in sponsorships alone, he

fan base which followed him through to his greatest moment in 2008.

takes the title as the second highest-paid British sports star with

He not only won, but won in glorious style, and is the only man in

David Beckham taking pole position. Reebok were certainly wise to

Formula One history to finish in the top three in his first four race,

use this well loved driver as their ambassador; Vodafone and Tag

youngest F1 World Champion, most pole positions in his debut season

Heuer have been quick to snap him up, with a further number of com-

and many, many more.

panies clamoring to have his face to their name.

You travel all round the world, where’s your favorite destination

– having written his own autobiography at only 22 – as well as part-

abroad? What are some of your favorite hotels and activities?

ing with friends, watching DVDs and playing guitar. His relation-

“We’re very lucky to visit some fantastic places around the world – it’s

ship with Nicole Scherzinger, front-singer of the Pussycat Dolls, has

still a privilege to meet fans from all the different countries, and to hear

brought huge paparazzi attention, but just as with everyone else, the

their stories. I loved visiting Canada and the USA when they were on

attention does not seem to shake his clear mind from its focus, and

the calendar – Montreal is a fantastic city and it will always be special

they certainly aren’t shy to show the odd loving kiss. He remains

to me because I won my first grand prix there and I’d love for it to get

true to his Grenadian roots with his love of reggae and hip-hop, nam-

back on the calendar because the fans there are incredible. I also love

ing De La Soul, Bob Marley, The Roots and Beenie man as some of

Japan – the culture and the food is amazing. Fuji is a great circuit too and

his favorites; and he’s sure to be a fan of Nicole’s music too!

Not only just a sportsman, he’s also known to be a fan of reading

I really cannot wait to race at Suzuka for the first time later this year – I think it will be fantastic.”

Despite losing recent success to fellow Briton and Brawn driver, Jenson Button, the Circuit de Catalunya awarded Lewis a plaque in his honor in May this year. The award was given in response to the

Where you do you like to shop/eat/go out when you’re back in

racist attacks he suffered only a year before at the Spanish track.

the UK?

Lewis’ compassion for both political and moral issues, as well as

“I don’t really spend too much time doing things like that when I’m

being consistently caring to his fans, has further attributed to his

at home. To be honest, I like to spend time with my family – and

celebrity success – but just as with his astounding rise to fame, Lewis

Linda’s (step mother) Sunday roast still beats going to any restaurant

has always remained with his feet on the ground. In acknowledgment

in the world – honestly!”

of not only his fans, but also of others wanting to follow in his footsteps, Lewis is in the process of developing and establishing the


Does the constant traveling affect your personal life; do you

Foundation: a non-profit making organization. The charity will focus

find it hard to date/ stay in touch with family and friends?

on improving the lives and opportunities of children and young peo-

“Of course, it can be tough on your family and friends to be away

ple currently living in ill health or poverty in the UK, as well as in

from home for so long. But everybody is used to it – even when I was

Europe and developing countries. Through efforts like these, and his

karting, I used to travel abroad regularly so it’s nothing new. I’m

continued positive relationship with his fans, Lewis has truly estab-

lucky that Vodafone is our title partner because it means I can al-

lished him as an all-round, all-loved player. If he’s not winning on the

ways stay in touch and they’ve given me a Vodafone Blackberry

track, he’s winning favor in the public sphere, and we expect his star

Storm to stay in touch with all my friends and family. You can instant

to continue to rise. 

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Page 128

Italian Style

I 128

100 Thousand Club

Is there anything more of an arrow to the

The brand created a modern classic in 1957, with

heart than a dashing man looking coolly at

the introduction of their Model 649, originally created to

the world from behind a pair of great sun-

shield the eyes of tram drivers in Turin from dusty roads,

glasses? Persol doesn’t think so – and the

and became ensconced in the public imagination when

Italian eyeglass company has been creat-

Marcello Mastroianni wore a pair of the glasses in his

ing classic, stylish sunglasses for over 90

1961 hit movie, Divorce Italian Style. Since then, Per-

years, with their signature arrow wrapping

sol has gone on to build an international reputation for

around the corners of the frames.

style and quality that continues to this day. “Each pair

Of course, the Arrow wasn’t always the

of Persol glasses is a work of art, a concept that per-

symbol of Persol – that would actually be

fectly conveys the essence of this luxury brand. Their

the stork, used by founder Giuseppe Ratti

exceptional quality comes from the ability to combine

on his Protector sunglasses until 1930,

comfort and refinement, functionality and formal ele-

which graced the faces of pilots, racecar

gance, the avant-garde and the traditional,” says Fabio

drivers, motorcyclists, and champions of

d'Angelantonio, Chief Marketing Officer for Luxottica

many sports, as well as the heroes of armed

Group, which has owned Persol since 1995. Modern

forces aviation all over Europe. And it isn’t the company’s

Persol is a study in expertise within the luxury market,

only signature: their sunglasses incorporate dozens of

a company that has found its greatest success by stick-

unique techniques and technologies that have kept them

ing to what it has always done best.

perpetually popular. But it does represent the soul of the

The manufacturing process for a pair of Persol

company – pared-down functionality combined with sim-

glasses is made up of 36 steps, with 6 manual processes

ple cool, equals serious forward motion.

for the front alone. It takes 30 days in all to make a pair

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Page 129

of glasses and, before leaving the factory, each pair un-

solution makes it possible to both rediscover and en-

dergoes quality control and is highly perfected, without

hance the traditional elements, like the arrow and Per-

wasting materials. “Behind every design in the Persol

sol’s unique internal structure, in an innovative way.

collection is a journey that begins with an accurate ma-

Each of these pairs is marked by the Supreme

terial selection and careful work of planning and pro-

Arrow – “the Persol signature more than the Persol

duction that relies on the most sophisticated

logo, it is the distinctive patented feature that makes

craftsmanship and cutting-edge technologies. In its

this brand instantly recognizable,” says d’Angelanto-

continuous search for excellence through innovative

nio. Inspired by the sword of ancient warriors, it has

strategies and techniques, Persol’s timeless tradition

evolved over the years to become the version that it is

is still always reflected, echoed, and reinterpreted in

today. Many stages of the Arrow’s creation process

each new collection,” says d’Angelantonio. The de-

are done by hand (insertion of the arrow, milling and

signs of the upcoming Collezione Suprema and

filing, double cleaning, polishing and shining) and its

Collezione Design Spring/Summer 2009 focus on the

presence is functional as well as aesthetic: the arrow

revival of acetate carving, a manufacturing process

is the hinge on each arm. The invisible Persol signa-

dating back to the 1930s that allows the expansion of

ture, however, is all in the fit and feel of the glasses:

frame dimensions, creating an intriguing play of

the Meflecto flexible stem system, introduced in 1939,

thicknesses between the front and the arms, with new

to allow sunglasses to adapt to each individual’s face.

volume and multidimensional effects. For Fall/Win-

The manufacturing process to create a pair of glasses

ter 2009-2010 the collection continues with the use

like these is no simple thing – the Meflecto process alone

of acetate. However, what sets it decidedly apart is an

requires 10 individual steps. To this day, the collections

original stylistic factor: transparency. This aesthetic

are manufactured in the artisan factory in Lauriano, in

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the Piedmont region, by talented and highly specialized

Luxottica Group is now focused on launching and

craftsmen. As d’Angelantonio describes it, “Each pair of

sustaining the brand at an international level—they have

Persol sunglasses is handcrafted and takes three to five

been popular with Formula 1 drivers, supermodels, and

days to produce, and some styles undergo 18 to 25 hand-

other jetsetters who have carried their name around the

made steps. The average length of the manual workman-

world, as well as maintaining relationships with the Air

ship required for each Persol frame is almost double that of

Force in Italy and more recently, Aeroflot in Russia.

a simple acetate frame.” For its collections, Persol chooses

Meanwhile, the brand has been in the US since 1991,

cellulose acetate, a material reflecting serious technical and

when their Rodeo Drive boutique opened, and is sold

scientific developments, and many steps of its own to pro-

in over 40 countries. They’ve also been careful to

duce: spun and carded cotton flock turns into a fiber, which

maintain the quality and independent feeling of the

is then processed several times to yield cellulose powder.

brand, and are dedicated to keeping production at the

The powder is then processed into a colorless paste, to

factory in Turin. It’s a product that translates easily

which natural pigments are added, then is cut, mixed and

around the world, says d’Angelantonio: “Persol is

pressed into sheets that reproduce unique patterns. The re-

known internationally as a sophisticated eyewear

sulting artistic sheet is then left to season for four weeks in

brand, offering quality sunglasses for men and women.

special kilns, “just like wood or a good wine,” says d’An-

While there is a slight variation on styles and color op-

gelantonio. Once produced the sunglasses undergo nine

tions available, the collections include styles that are

quality tests before leaving the factory.

clean and classic, and don’t necessarily adhere to

Persol:27 APR



Page 131

trends in fashion or culture. Consumers loyal to our

Art is the most recent iteration of that goal; Persol also

brand aren’t seeking the next hot style. They choose

partners with the International Venice Film Festival to

Persol for its quality, and seek looks that are timeless.”

present the Persol Style Award to a winning director

That timeless quality is due for a look back, even

at each event, as well as being “the personal and spon-

as the brand continues to fly forward, and this year

taneous choice of many unforgettable celebrities since

has seen the inaugural INCOGNITO exhibit, a design

its origins.” The core Persol customer, he says, “is the

exhibition created by Persol to celebrate and narrate

sophisticated and expert man in-the-know, who ap-

Persol’s heritage, innovations, design aesthetics and

preciates hand-crafted design and high quality brands.

involvement in cinema. Ever since the sunglasses’

As the brand grows, we have expanded the collections

screen debut, movie stars and celebrities around the

to include more sophisticated feminine styles and

world have chosen Persol, and the exhibit represents

thereby have seen an increase in female clientele.”

a push to celebrate those who have kept it in the public eye.

While the collections may have changed to reflect the growing interest of new customers, at the heart and

“New York is actually the third stop of INCOG-

soul of the brand their pride in innovation and high-

NITO, the first was in Milan at Design epicenter LA

quality products remain the same. Persol is not just a

TRIENNALE in 2006 and at Palais de Tokyo in Paris

product, it is also symbol of a lifestyle, glamorous and

in 2008,” says d’Angelantonio. The exhibition, which

free, shooting all across the globe and through the

opens this June at the Whitney Museum of American

heavens, into an inimitably stylish future. 




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Page 133

The Sweet Life By Natalie Brandweiner

I speak with Fadi amidst a scene of excite

Born to a Palestinian mother in an Ame

ment – he’s on the telephone to another ba

rican compound, Fadi was envious from a

kery in the region, looking to become a

young age of the homemade cupcakes often

franchise of his notoriously successful Sugar

seen floating amongst children’s parties in a

Daddy’s bakery. He reschedules his call and

swarm of bright colors and toothpleasing

tells me that he is currently loading Kitche

sweetness. “For birthday parties, moms would

nAid mixers into his car, talking ceaselessly

always bring in these cupcakes to class or,

of his ideas, his aspirations and background.

going over to their houses for birthday par

His experiences both in Jordon and the US,

ties, they always had these yummy cupcakes

business and social, have attributed to crea

with tons of frosting or delicious brownies or

ting a man rich in confidence, exuding a

triplelayer cakes; I grew up around that stuff,

most relaxed and playful manner.

even though I lived in Saudi Arabia,” he says.

The everyday is certainly no grind for

The traditional Arab dishes created by

Fadi. He has carved for himself a slice of en

his own mother – the stuffed grape leaves and

trepreneurship that is both fun and creative,

Mediterranean styles of cooking – were cha

and has ensured his success with a strong bu

racteristically unappealing to a boy surroun

siness model. Being simply creative would

ded by decadent desserts. So, as he explains,

never have been enough; as Fadi explains “If

“I started baking the stuff myself since my

I’m an entrepreneur and have my own busi

mom wasn’t going to do it, and I started off

ness then the sky’s the limit in terms of how

doing them with boxed cake mixes from our

much money I can make; I can do my own

local supermarket. I soon developed a sweet

thing and fully utilize my talents.”

tooth and an affinity for baking.”

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Fadi’s love for cakes continued progres sing alongside his training in the corporate world: baking on the weekends and trying out his own creations on his neighbors in the compound as a way to keep busy. For Christ mas his friends bought him a KitchenAid mixer, providing him with the tools with which he immersed his indulgence. But it wasn’t until he took a trip to New York City that his dream began formulating into a viable reality. A friend he describes as a ‘Santa Claus – a real gift giver,’ took him to Magnolia’s, one of NY’s most delicious cup cake creators, and introduced him to a world of fun and creative freedom. “I fell in love with the concept of a very vintage style ba kery, mom and pop style; nothing fancy like the stuff that you’re used to seeing in a des sert shop,” he says. He instantly enrolled in culinary skills in New York, eager to equally continue in the corporate world, knowing the importance this would make in later years in discerning him as a successful business man rather than just a lover of desserts. “You do the baking and pastry art so it specializes on desserts whilst also doing the program that teaches you the business side of things, the manage ment program,” he says with confidence. “I knew I needed both if I was planning to open


my own bakery and that it wouldn’t suffice

successful innovation is based on true con

just to know how to bake but that I’d also

sumer insights.

have to learn the financial and the business

“I realized that, when it came to des

side to running anything in the food

serts, people weren’t really spoiled for

industry potentially.”

choice in Jordan, or in the Middle East in ge

His understanding of the importance of

neral, and that when mothers got together or

business was, and still remains, absolutely

had their friends over, if they came over and

key to his success. “I learned a tremendous

there was a cake that was bought from the

amount at Unilever. I learned a lot of impor

neighborhood bakery, it always had a contri

tant things in marketing and I still apply

ved look. Ladies in this part of the world

those things in my job, just like the typical

pride themselves on how they entertain and

marketing activities that I do. In fact, the

how they host, and hospitality is such a huge

very foundation that my bakery sits on is in

aspect within our culture. So when all these

spired for something that was constantly pre

ladies would leave and would ask, ’So what

ached to us at Unilever, which is that every

did you eat at suchandsuch a person’s?’

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Page 136

like, ‘Oh, she brought this readymade cake.’

cakes, Sugar Daddy’s array of exquisite,

Added to that are the signature events

“And it’s kind of derogatory. The word

mouthwatering treats have vastly expanded,

and special occasions that Fadi caters for.

that they use to describe that cake is deroga

offering not just cupcakes but also cakes,

His cupcakes are baked to their usual per

tory because a ‘readymade’ cake looks arti

pies, cheesecakes, cookies – the list conti

fection, but created with an eventful, artistic

ficial. It lacks soul and people just have it

nues. Fadi’s vision was far bigger than a sim

twist: “For Halloween we do these cupcakes

with tea as a filler more than they’re actually

ple NYtype cupcake shop. His menu was

that have jackolanterns, spider’s webs and

enjoying the dessert. The frosting is so airy

always dreamed of as being a comprehensive

ghosts.” A spin on the traditional Western

and it just lacks taste. And so I said, “Wo

collection of delicious deserts, regardless

idea of nauseating teddies and clichй red he

uldn’t it be great if moms who are too busy to

of form.

arts, Fadi celebrates Valentines Day as a

bake or just don’t know how to, like my mot

His popular clientele is the female, usu

lovehater, humorously decorating his cakes

her, could offer them something that

ally moms, but often teenage girls. “I get lots

with phrases such as ‘love sucks’ and

looks homemade.”

of teenage girls that come in after school

‘bite me.’

Fadi is adamant that if Unilever taught

with all their girlfriends and they splurge on

He excitedly tells me of the cupcake

him anything it was to be unique, which is

cupcakes. They’ll just sit and have two or

Sugar Daddy’s made to welcome President

the reason why he chose Jordan to be the

three cupcakes each in one sitting. But

Obama to Jordon last summer, during his

sphere in which to host his first stab at en

mostly it’s girls and it’s typically the higher

campaign tour. It was the first time in Jorda

trepreneurship. “I’m not going to go thro

end sector of society. Anybody that’s going

nian history that someone of that capacity vi

ugh all this effort and resign and spend all

to be familiar with our desserts, has traveled

sited the region, and, as Fadi explains, it was

this money on culinary school so that I can

abroad, studied abroad, and the ones that can

a huge deal. Fadi and his team went to the

open another ‘me too’ bakery,” he says was

afford to do so are usually more upper so

airport and stood on the tarmac, greeting the

his attitude in the early days. He knew he

ciety versus the masses.”

entire crew that came with Obama on his

must do something that was different, so

Sugar Daddy’s has become a phenome

plane. The cakes were coquettishly decora

mething that didn’t yet exist in the region;

non. Its success has surpassed Jordan and

ted with the Jordanian and American f lag,

although a lot of women had began selling

entered Dubai with a bang ¬– as Fadi exp

which led to unending questions from his

cupcakes out of their homes, no one had yet

lains himself, it is the masses of Dubai that

press. “They were really intrigued with these

opened a commercial shop.

are his exclusive clientele within Jordon –

cupcakes and where they came from, and the

the wealthier rung of society.

whole shift of the discussion went from the

Although Fadi’s dream began with cup


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Page 137

Obama campaign to these cupcakes from

getting married this Friday, and we’ve lite

sweat shopping and went out a lot; I saw my

Sugar Daddy’s,” he laughs.

rally had a party every single night leading up

friends and went to some great restaurants,”

Still only a Middle Eastern phenomenon,

to this wedding. There was one last night

he tells me. But the bakery, his creation, re

but already achieving international status,

right outside the Dead Sea, that was pretty fa

mains close to his heart also, and even whilst

Sugar Daddy’s is a groundbreaking success.

bulous, and then there was one the day be

on vacation he cannot resist from thinking of

But without his playful atmosphere and sense

fore at one of the groomsmen’s houses and he

new ideas and spying on the competition.

of panache, it is doubtless that anyone other

threw an Asian sushi party, which was really

“While I was there I went to this place

than Fadi would have been able to create

cool. And then yesterday it was a rum and

called Sugar Sweet Sunshine. It’s in the

such fun and appetizing cakes. He’s often

coke and cigars party at the Dead Sea villa,

Lower East Side and they have a pumpkin

seen socializing in Nai, the Jordanian club

and it was the maid of honor that threw that

spice cupcake that I loved. I tried it out and

where his Halloween cakes are eaten with de

party.” Fadi’s list of parties is endless. If it’s

thought, ‘Oh, I think I know how I could

light each year, or at the gym. He tells me his

not the clubs or private parties, it’s the sushi

make it’. And so I tried it out as soon as I got

enthusiasm for fitness is unswerving, “I

restaurants Asaki or decadent coffee houses.

back to Jordan and it tasted exactly like it. I

don’t care how busy it is at the bakery, I es

Always the socialite, maintaining the NY

was very happy and now we’ve launched it

cape for an hour to the gym.” With great

spirit is important to Fadi. Wednesday night

power, comes great privilege.

here at Sugar Daddy’s.”

is one of his favorites – after spending all day

His annual trip is exemplary of the life he

The majority of his time outside of the

working in the bakery, he heads out to eigh

leads back in Jordon. An ambitiously creative

bakery is spent with friends. Having unloa

ties night at bar Cube; and continues into

yet professionally grounded baker, Fadi com

ded his KitchenAid mixers, Fadi is now hea

Thursday night at club 51.

bines the perfect ingredients to make a suc

ding to a friend’s for coffee, which he tells

But having spent a large proportion of

cessful, yet fun, business. And so what next?

me is something he enjoys doing at least

his adolescent years in the States, the New

The Middle East has well and truly been won

once a day. “I have tons of friends in Jordan

York, cosmopolitan sense of freedom re

over with his delicious frosting and sociable

that I keep in touch with and usually get to

mains at the heart of his pleasures. We speak

personality, but he has no desires to conti

gether with once a day for lunch or coffee, or

on his return from the American city where

nue expanding and create a workload that

I like to go out to parties at night; I love so

he spends a month each year catching up

would quell his pleasure. Maintaining his two

cializing,” he beams.

with friends and indulging his Westernac

lives, both here in Jordan and in NY is the

quired tastes. “I spent a whole month there,

perfect mixture. 

“I was at a party last night for a girl that’s

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SILK ROAD FESTIVAL (SYRIA), September The Silk Road Festival highlights the historical importance of several Syrian cities as the former centers of the ancient world. The festival is roaming, and takes place in Palmyra, Damascus, and Aleppo. Each city is center stage of the festival for three days, where visitors may see art exhibitions, musical performances and other activities relating to the ancient silk trade. The Silk Road’s art exhibitions showcase Syria’s rich artistic history while simultaneously incorporating some contemporary pieces, highlighting both modern and ancient Syria. The festival’s offerings also include sporting events and competitions, enabling visitors to truly get a taste of Syrian culture.


FREIKAH FESTIVAL (FREIKAH, LEBANON), September The Freikah Festival takes place in the secluded town of Freikah near Mount Lebanon—a true hideaway. The festival itself is inside a former (and two hundred year old) silk factory, and is hosted by Freikah’s School of Theatre. While the festival had been prominent within Lebanon before the Civil War, the war had led to the cancellation of the festival until now. The Freikah Film Festival finally returned after over 30 years of dormancy, and provides an excellent setting for the exhibition of Lebanese cinema, theatre, and visual arts. Freikah’s School of Theatre is home to many of Lebanon’s young artistic visionaries, and their talent shines through during the Freikah Festival; works by students blend modern and traditional style (with a general emphasis on the modern), highlighting Lebanon’s extremely diverse culture.

BAALBECK INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (LEBANON), July-August The Baalbeck International Festival is back again, celebrating the enduring importance of arts in a dramatic setting—the ancient Roman ruins of Baalbeck are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over 40,000 people attend the festival each summer, which shows the festival’s powerful draw—who could blame them, when acts such as Ella Fitzgerald have performed at Baalbeck in the past. Notable French singer Johnny Halliday is performing at this year’s festival, in addition to jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal and violinist Fabio Biondi. The 40,000 attendees arrive from all across the world, and the global draw reflects the quality of the festival; musical acts at Baalbeck are hard to beat. Of special note is the usual performance by the Royal Ballet with Nureyev and Fonteyn, which delivers as the best ballet act in the region.

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interested in art, with separate sections devoted to young aspiring art-

Entering its third year, the MEIFF is a particular highlight of Abu

ists – Art Youth – is particularly interesting, as patrons can see which

Dhabi’s cultural scene. Glamorous is a great descriptor of the MEIFF,

up and coming artists are garnering the most attention. Young artists

where celebrities flock to the festival, which takes place at the exclu-

use cutting-edge techniques to produce works that reflect the modern

sive Emirates Palace Hotel; past attendees include Jane Fonda, Susan

soul of the ancient Istanbul. Art City provides a great window into the

Sarandon and Catherine Denueve. The fact that celebrities attend a

artistic happenings of Istanbul and leaves visitors with a great image of

festival that includes student fi lms speaks to the quality of fi lms in the

the historic city’s contemporary happenings.

ists, photography and art materials. The section devoted to young art-

festival, and shows that organizers are not afraid to include new parronmental issues, in addition to this year’s new focus on the composers


and music behind fi lms. Unique to the MEIFF is the festival’s offering

Cinema takes a more serious note at the Beirut International Film Festi-

of classes relating to fi lm taught by those in the fi lm industry, as well

val–the films shown here are made by students and often highly political

as the showing of a newly restored silent fi lm at this year’s festival.

in nature. Celebrating its 12th year, the festival takes place in several

ticipants. Of particular note is the festival’s continued focus on envi-

locations throughout Beirut, including the Empire Sofil and Concorde


Planete cinemas, and the majority of films are shown in either French

Contemporary art is highlighted at Art City Istanbul, with works from

place at the UNESCO Palace. Art and politics definitely combine in this

all over the world presented in Antrepo. Art City caters to all people

film festival, which is a perennial hotbed of cinematic innovation.

or Arabic. The opening and closing ceremonies—not to be missed–take

Clockwise: Roman Polanski receiving Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance at Freikah Festival, Exhibit at Art City Istanbul, Adrien Brody at Middle East International Film Festival


100 Thousand Club

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Page 142

Le Meridien Makadi Bay, Egypt Makadi Bay may be beautiful, but Le Meri-

Emirates Beach Palace, Abu Dhabi

dien’s pool is simply breathtaking. The hotel

Although the UAE’s media attention is mostly

boasts the largest pool in the Middle East –

dominated by Dubai, Abu Dhabi has just as

6,400 square meters of tranquil waters that

much to offer. The Emirates Beach Palace is

wind delicately around the resort. For those

luxurious and provides guests with exclusive

with an aversion to chlorine, the resort also

access to over a kilometer of pristine white

features over half a kilometer of pristine

sand. The resort offers numerous activities – if

beaches in which to enjoy an afternoon of

lounging on the beach sounds a little too un-


Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

exciting for the activity-avid traveler, sea

Jumeirah Beach’s beauty is almost surpassed

kayaking or wind surfing are more than ample

by its convenience. Located in the heart of

alternatives. The Beach Palace is the perfect

Dubai, it is a veritable oasis amidst the hustle

setting for those who value fun and ample lux-

and bustle of the Middle East’s vibrant heart.

ury amenities over natural tranquility.

Public portions of Jumeirah Beach exist, but stay at the beach’s eponymous hotel and enjoy access to over three hectares of private beach – not to mention the hotel’s complimentary water park. While many prefer the resort’s water park and pools, the Gulf of Arabia is also great for swimming. Loungers take note; the hotel’s beach is unusually wide, providing ample room for anyone wishing to stretch out in the sun.



Beaches and Pools

Concorde, El Salam Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt Located at the tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Concorde has a whopping five swimming pools. The Concorde offers many amenities and is a great getaway destination, regardless of the added resort pools and gorgeous beaches. Located on the Red Sea, the Concorde also offers great snorkeling with large coral reefs nearby. While most will be satisfied by the swimming opportunities provided by the Concord, those who desire a little more adventure outside of the resort can visit the region’s only ice skating center nearby.

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Santa Claus Beach, Turkey Oludeniz, Turkey

The unusual name of Santa Claus Beach is de-

The Oludeniz Resort Hotel is all-inclusive

rived from its most notable (former) habitant –

and located on Belcekiz Beach, one of

St. Nicholas. Surrounded by Roman ruins,

Turkey’s best. Unlike most beaches, Bel-

Santa Claus Beach is gorgeous, remote, and

cekiz and its associated lagoon are national

perfect for a day trip. If you would like to stay

protected sites, and the prohibition of de-

for an extended time be willing to part with lux-

velopment in the area has left the lagoon a

ury amenities, as the beach is in a fairly remote

natural oasis amidst the resorts in the area.

region lacking many modern conveniences.

Belcekiz Beach itself is pretty, with a great

The historical value of the surrounding area is

view out onto the Mediterranean and even

why the beach is still so remote – the govern-

better sand, but the beach activities offered

ment has prohibited most construction in the

are what make Belcekiz stand out. From

area because of the extensiveness of the

paragliding to scuba diving, Belcekiz has

Roman ruins. Santa Claus Beach is perfect for

every beach activity imaginable.

those with a love of the water and archaeology.

Shangri La Al Jissah Resort & Spa (Oman, beach and pool)

O Cap Beach/pools, Lebanon

Puncho Beach, Amchit, Lebanon

With a picturesque beach and an elegant in-

Rocky beaches need love too, which is where

your personal Shangri-La here. This luxurious re-

finity pool, O Cap has the best of both

Puncho Beach comes in. Located near Byblos,

sort allows only guests to access its beaches,

worlds. O Cap is very close to Beirut, which

Puncho has a natural basin, which is great for

but staying at the Shangri-La is worth it – there

makes it perfect for a brief visit or an ex-

swimming. Besides this, Puncho provides some

are three hotels within the resort to chose from,

tended stay at the resort. Unique to O Cap

gorgeous views of the Mediterranean horizon;

depending on what you want to get out of your

are the resort’s wooden walkways which

the beach is also private, which helps keep the

stay. Vacationers who stay at the resort’s Al Husn

project into the sea; instead of wading into

crowds down. While Puncho lacks a Michelin-star

Hotel have exclusive access to Al Husn beach,

the Mediterranean, visitors can simply dive

restaurant nearby, there is great local fare where

which provides butler and bar services. If butler

right in. Travelers to Lebanon looking for a

you can experience ethnic Lebanese food. From

service seems a little too extravagant, there is

fabulous beach getaway need look no fur-

the tasty local cuisine to the great swimming

also Turtle Beach, which is more secluded and

ther than O Cap.

hole, Puncho is perfect for a brief escape.

open to all guests of the resort.

Just 15 minutes from Muscat, you can find

Alagadi Beach, Cyprus Cyprus is known for stunning beaches, and Alagadi is no exception. While Alagadi is not in an area with many luxury resorts, the beach is still an escape destination – just be prepared to ditch your cell phone. Located in Kyrenia, this crescent-shaped beach is perfect for either swimming or lounging, although loungers are missing out on the crystal clear Mediterranean waters. The rustic town of Kyrenia is also pretty, providing a window into the region’s rich history. In addition to the great natural scenery in the area, there is also ample wildlife – the beach is a nesting ground for loggerhead and green turtles, which is why Alagadi is colloquially known as Turtle Beach.

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Page 144

mages are an important part of how a


place is perceived – and the Middle East seeks to portray itself both as a modern nation and as a place that res

pects its culture and heritage. The Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes photography competition invites citizens and residents of the UAE to submit photographs they believed truly cap ture the essence of Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The office received more than 2,000 compe tition entries from over 55 different nationa lities in its first year; this year’s competition is ongoing until the end of October, 2009. This is one of last year’s winners, Ateeq Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi of the United Arab Emi rate, entitled “The Rise of the a Falconer.”

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