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CONTENTS Business 20 First word

Bankrolling SMEs

Business

Social Business

44 Private Jets on speed dial

68 Luxury watches tie up with charity

New Zealand’s pride

46 Robert Wan’s Pearl of the Middle East

70 Digital market opened up to street vendors

24 Wealth Report

48 Stéphane Humbert Lucas’ 777

72 Futurelife focus on humanitarian business

22 Investment Destination Billionaire club gets bigger

28 Insurance

52 Profile

76 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

30 cover story

56 Entrepreneur

78 Profile

34 Interview

Philanthropy

80 Luxury business

Protecting SMEs Brad Pitt

Popping the lid on Damien Hirst

40 Family Business Gulf Craft

Ali Mostafa on his new movie Hind Almulla’s Home Bakery

58 Louis Vuitton Foundation

Second annual Global Citizen Forum F1 driver Romain Grosjean

Montblanc on the immortality of ink

62 South Africa’s fierce philanthropist 66 Philanthropist’s stifling innovation

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lifestyle 82

110

112

82 Gizmos & Gadgets

94 Hotels

106 Travel

84 Auto

98 art

110 Fashion

90 Yacht

100 Little Black Book

112 Horology

92 design

102 Dining

Cutting edge technology

Inside McLaren’s supercar factory

Kanga’s smooth ride

Light works of art

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World-class golf resorts

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s first collection

Berluti artistic director on Milan

Seychelles

Unisex designer Rad Hourani

Never miss a big date again

Dubai’s oriential dining scene

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Editor’s LETTER GLOBAL CITIZEN publisher Armand Peponnet editor Natasha Tourish - nt@global-citizen.com Sub Editor Tahira Yaqoob - ty@global-citizen.com Lifestyle Editor Nausheen Noor - nn@global-citizen.com ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - ok@global-citizen.com Finance Manager Muhammad Tauseef - mtauseef@reachmedia.ae CONTRIBUTORS Simon de Burton, Amanda Fisher, Peter Allen, Gemma Champ, David Light, Zachary Fillingham, Heba Hashem, Shane Phillips, Jessica Hill, Madeline Lee Printed by Masar Printing and Publishing www.global-citizen.com www.issuu.com/global-citizen www.facebook.com/GlobalCitizenMag

raised the subject of what it meant to be a Global Citizen in my last editor’s letter. In this issue, Canadian writer Zachary Fillingham answers that question definitively after meeting government leaders and industry stakeholders at last month’s Global Citizen Forum in Toronto. He tells readers of the associated responsibilities the “jetset class” have toward their adoptive countries (p76). And speaking of high flyers, we meet the 26-year-old entrepreneur Sergey Petrossov (p44) — a successful by-product of the American dream who has created an app that allows users to fly privately at a fraction of the cost. Reduced price or not, private jets are not for everyone. Former UAE ambassador to the United Nations in the US, Mohammed Alshaali, keeps operating costs to a minimum in his luxury shipbuilding family business. The Emirati businessman believes in cutting costs close to home so customers of Gulf Craft will not have to incur any unnecessary expenses, even if that means flying economy (p40). Perhaps a little less conscious of his spending habits is Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of the luxury conglomerate LVMH Group and founder of the new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris that opened last month. Our correspondent in Paris Peter Allen caught up with Arnault at the opening and spoke about his legacy, the 55year lease term of the building and gifting his museum to Paris (p58). Since it is the last issue of the year, we have bumped up our Nov/ Dec issue to 112 pages so there is a plethora of exclusive interviews and inspiring entrepreneurial tales.

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A | Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 | F: +971 4 421 0208 tarek@fierce-international.com

REACH MEDIA FZ LLC CEO Armand Peponnet - apeponnet@reachmedia.ae Advertising sales@reachmedia.ae SUBSCRIPTION subscription@reachmedia.ae Dubai Media City, Building 8, Office 87, PO Box 502068, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 385 5485 - Email: info@reachmedia.ae Copyright 2014 Reach Media. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of Reach Media. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial views of the publisher or Global Citizen. All information in Global Citizen is checked and verified to the best of the publisher’s ability, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.

Enjoy!

Natasha Tourish 12

NOV / DEC 2014

Photo by: Tim P. Whitby


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CONTRIBUTORS

Simon de Burton

Amanda Fisher

Peter Allen

is a UK-based journalist and author who covers a variety of subjects ranging from high-end cars and motorcycles to luxury watches and international auctions. He is a contributing editor to the Financial Times How To Spend It magazine.

is a Dubai-based journalist from New Zealand. She worked at the Philippine Star and Radio New Zealand before taking up a post as special correspondent at the Khaleej Times. Amanda has reported from countries including the Philippines, Yemen, Bosnia and Iraq.

is a British journalist and author based in Paris. He writes for a variety of international media, including the Daily Mail, London Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph. He has covered major news stories all over the world, from Afghanistan to Yemen.

Gemma Champ

David Light

Zachary Fillingham

is a journalist specialising in fashion, the arts and lifestyle. Over 14 years she has written for publications including The National, Menswear Insight, which she launched and edited, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and the Daily Mail.

is a British journalist based in Dubai. He spent six years at the Khaleej Times, where he held positions including motoring, food and travel editor. David is now focusing on freelance journalism and producing video diaries and documentaries from his travels around the world.

A committed global citizen, Zachary is a writer and Chinese translator who has lived and worked on three different continents over the past decade. He is currently the managing editor of a Canadian international politics website, and writing a book about Taiwan in his spare time.

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One of the UK’s most spectacular wildlife scenes. Tens of thousands of starlings start their murmuration as dusk falls over the Scottish border.

the Big Picture


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Globetrotter november

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1 2 n ov

december 2014

2 0 n ov

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Investment Immigration Summit

Sentebale Polo Cup

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Hong Kong conference will provide a deeper understanding into the trend of global citizenship for potential investors considering second citizenship and residency. Immigration agents, immigration government officials and family offices can network against a backdrop of corporate presentations to better grasp the business model for immigrant investment programmes.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Sentebale Polo Cup presented by Royal Salute will see Prince Harry, patron of the Sentebale charity, playing at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in Abu Dhabi. The event raises money and awareness of Sentebale’s work in providing healthcare and education to vulnerable children in Lesotho in southern Africa.

The annual Yasalam festival in Abu Dhabi kicks off the weekend’s entertainment with a series of free concerts but the main event is the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit, one of the final races of the season.

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07 d ec

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Art Basel Miami

Dubai International Film Festival, Madinat Jumeirah

One of Miami’s most hotly anticipated events of the year, the Art Basel show presents modern and contemporary artwork from across the globe. More than 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate, drawing more than 70,000 visitors each year.

DIFF is one of the most prestigious and glamorous events on the Dubai calendar, where Hollywood and Bollywood actors mingle on the red carpet in celebration of Arab and international cinema. British actress and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt will sit on the jury for the third annual IWC filmmaker award during the festival.

NOV / DEC 2014


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the first word Perspectives from the top

Bankrolling SMEs “Is there adequate banking support in place for SMEs in the UAE?” By Shane Phillips

Vikram Pradhan

head of corporate and institutional banking, National Bank of Fujairah “While there have certainly been great strides made in supporting SMEs here, more can still be done. Costs of financing are still prohibitive and alternative forms of support for this segment, from angel financing to private equity, are not readily available. Then there are the regulations, from bankruptcy protection laws to local partnership requirements, that might need to be looked at further. That said, we have come a long way. Support from the banking sector has grown substantially and with the likes of Dubai SME and the credit bureau paving the way for a more open and conducive business environment, there is much that small businesses can look forward to.”

Sreeram Subramaniam

head of SME and Islamic banking, United Arab Bank “In line with the UAE’s economic vision, the United Arab Bank (UAB) launched its dedicated SME division in 2012. The government’s support in boosting this sector has given banks like UAB renewed confidence to expand their products and services to SME customers. The banks find it easier to support SMEs if the companies have a cashflow analysis, transparent business plans, operational stability and clear governance mechanisms. For such companies, we would be able to offer transaction banking services, trade advisory, foreign exchange solutions and sector-specific structured trade and working capital options, according to the business’s need.”

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The first word

Vijit Malik

senior vice president and head of emerging corporates division, Mashreq Bank “It is important that financial support provided to SMEs is optimally structured to meet the company’s growth needs. Just as administering A blood to a recipient with O blood type could be fatal, incorrectly structured facilities could be value destructive rather than growth supportive. Banks need to engage clients in a consistent dialogue to thoroughly understand their strategy and needs. Similarly, companies also need to recognise the value of good corporate governance and transparency.”

Nilanjan Ray

managing director of commercial banking, National Bank of Abu Dhabi “SMEs in the UAE can access a range of banking solutions to meet all major requirements at different stages of their life cycle. Local and regional banks are more focused on this segment and have the network of branches and offices to support them. Most SME banking solutions are available in a shariah compliant version as well. I see a few areas of further development which would further boost competitiveness of local SMEs. These are widespread usage of credit insurance, creation of credit bureaux and development of asset registry. Wider availability of growth capital through equity options would also be very helpful to complement the banking system in supporting SMEs.

Martin Roussel

executive vice president and head of business banking, ADCB “I believe banks are willing and supportive of entrepreneurs in the UAE. Where we, as bankers, need to improve is how we connect with customers. Intermediaries are frequently being used to assist in expediting loan approvals. This practice is focused on the short term and does not adequately take into account the customers’ overall needs. Banks must do better to get this right from the start and improve the benefits for customers.”

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Philanthropy

New Zealand’s Pride New Zealand’s export-dominated economy has become a role model for the UAE’s capital By Heba Hashem

ost of us have watched blockbusters filmed in New Zealand, such as Avatar or The Lord of the Rings, and will be familiar with the island’s expanse of lush vegetation, fertile pastures and rolling farmlands. These landscapes represent the country’s largest sector of its tradable economy – agriculture. As one of only two countries internationally to export more than half of its total food production, New Zealand has earned a global reputation for the superior quality of its dairy, meat, horticulture and seafood. Complementary economies Agriculture is where the GCC region is lacking, given the shortage of water and arable land. While the past decade was marked by investments in large tracts of land in Africa, the trend is shifting to New Zealand and Australia, thanks to higher levels of transparency. “There is about NZ$1.6 billion [$1.24 billion] in annual twoway trade and most exports from the UAE are oil-based. As for products imported by the UAE, milk powder accounts for two thirds and food and beverage accounts for the vast majority,” says Haylon Smith, trade commissioner for the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The figure is a substantial increase to the 2009 value of around

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$436 million, reflecting steady growth in bilateral trade and positioning the UAE as New Zealand’s 12th largest trading partner. Emirates Investment Group, a Sharjah-based company focusing on private equity and venture capital investments, is among the UAE companies exploring agricultural assets in the island country. “There is more political stability [in Australasia] and it is more investor-friendly now,” says chief executive Syed Husain. Exporters get busy As much as 90 percent of New Zealand’s agricultural production is exported worldwide according to Smith. “The produce is high quality, healthy and halal, which makes it a perfect fit for the GCC market.” Dairy products and chilled meat currently make up the largest portion of New Zealand’s exports into the UAE. Some are imported by local firms such as Shahab Ahmed General Trading, the exclusive distributor of halal meat producer Affco and Talleys French fries. Other brands are being brought in directly by the producers. Meat exporter ANZCO and kiwi fruit exporter Zespri have established Middle East representative offices, and Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, recently opened an ingredients


Philanthropy

New Zealand’s capital city Auckland

warehouse in Dubai to support its regional distribution. “Our ingredient imports into this region have continued to grow 10 per cent year on year and our investment in this facility reflects this growth. By storing product in market, we can provide our customers with greater flexibility,” says Miles Hurrell, Fonterra’s general manager for the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States. One of the biggest dairy investments in the region was made by New Zealand’s government, which committed $4.6 million to establish an agribusiness service hub and demonstration farm in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Beyond agriculture, infrastructure developments have been drawing in prominent names from New Zealand’s construction industry. “Many contractors come into the UAE on a project basis and more construction companies are looking at setting up here,” says Smith. “Framecad [steel firm] does prefabricated housing using lightweight steel and has the ability to build a significant number of buildings in a very short time. Pultron Composites also supports the construction sector by producing fibreglass reinforced beams for concrete buildings.” Both firms have established facilities in Jebel Ali free zone and are serving the wider region. World’s least corrupt Two-way trade between New Zealand and the GCC might have picked up in recent years but as New Zealand’s minister for primary industries, Nathan Guy, recently said during a speech in Saudi Arabia, there is room for improvement. An imbalance occurs in the breakdown of trade. While imports by New Zealand from the GCC amounted to $2.6 billion in 2013, exports stood at just over $1 billion. “New Zealand is very much open for business and we are one of the easiest countries in the world to do business with.

Abu Dhabi chose New Zealand as a model economy in its Economic Vision 2030, a blueprint for a sustainable and high value added economy...

Incorporating a business takes only one day and registering a property takes two day,” says Smith. Tied with Denmark, New Zealand ranked among the least corrupt nations out of a list of 177 in the corruption perceptions index carried out by Transparency International, a global coalition combatting corruption, last year. It also ranked as the third easiest place to do business out of 189 economies and the top-ranking for protecting investors in the doing business report from the World Bank Group this year. It is no wonder Abu Dhabi chose New Zealand as a model economy in its Economic Vision 2030, a blueprint for a sustainable and high value added economy, based on the latter’s success in developing a large export base. Could distance hinder future trade? According to Smith, that is unlikely. “For us, exporting to distant markets is nothing new. One of the products launched here recently was a chicken brand which is now available in Spinneys. Those chickens are purchased in New Zealand and within 24 hours are flown to UAE supermarkets so that they are sold fresh. “New Zealand has approximately four million people. One million of them live around the world. We travel widely and are very well connected internationally”.

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Wealth Report

The Billionaires’ Club Dubai in top 10 cities with maximum number of billionaires By Patrick Hosking

ike the sea eagle and the grey wolf, another once rare species is growing in numbers — the billionaire. The population of dollar billionaires across the globe has increased by a net 155 to 2,325 in the past 12 months, according to the latest census of the often camera-shy, reclusive creature. The Singapore-based Wealth-X, a consultancy that tracks billionaires and closely monitors their habits, says 500 wealthy individuals have seen their net worth rise above the billion dollar mark in the past year, although this was offset by a less fortunate 345 who dropped out of the exclusive club, by virtue of either business disappointment or death. Rising share values last year were largely responsible for the seven per cent rise in billionaire numbers, according to the report, which has the backing of UBS, the Swiss bank. 24

NOV / DEC 2014

Their combined wealth rose by 12 per cent to $7.3 trillion — equivalent to about three times the total annual output of Britain. However, falling commodity prices have hit the fortunes of some. With 34 ultra-rich, Dubai is in eighth place in the ranking of cities with the maximum number of billionaires for its size. Britain did less well as a habitat for the species, with resident billionaire numbers dropping by five to 130 in the year, though it still has the third biggest billionaire population after the United States, with 571, and China, with 190. UK-based billionaires also got poorer in aggregate, their total net worth falling by $25 billion to $395 billion, according to Wealth-X’s estimates. Billionaires remain extremely rare, outnumbered by non-


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Wealth Report

Banking, finance and investment is the most common route to billionaire status. More than 19 per cent of fortunes are made in this way, while 12 per cent stem from industrial empires and seven per cent from property. Stock market-listed companies are not a prime route to riches: 63 per cent of billionaires’s primary businesses are unlisted while 31 per cent are quoted. While a billion dollars is becoming a feasible fortune for hundreds more entrepreneurs each year, larger fortunes remain less attainable. “The real wealth ceiling seems to be at $10 billion,” states the Wealth-X report. Only 208 people have achieved this level of wealth, while a mere four have broken through the barrier of $50 billion, equivalent to the GDP of Uruguay or Burma. London boasts 72 billionaires, fourth behind New York with 103, Moscow with 85, and Hong Kong with 82. Zug, the Swiss canton favoured by tax-phobic hedge fund managers, has 12. Underlying its appeal for Russian oligarchs and Indian tycoons, the study found 53 per cent of London-based billionaires were born outside the UK. The billionaires’ club is going to be ever less exclusive, according to Wealth-X. It predicted another 1,475 people would become billionaires by 2020, boosting the population to 3,800.

billionaires by a factor of 300 million to one. However, population densities vary enormously. Liechtenstein is the best place for pluto-twitchers hoping to spot the species, with five of them resident there, a billionaire density equivalent to 125 per million people. The typical billionaire is aged 63, has a net worth of $3.1 billion, liquid assets such as cash of $600 million and owns four homes, each worth an average of $23.5 million. One in 30 billionaires owns a sports team or a racehorse, while yachts, aircraft, cars and art are automatic baubles for many. Male billionaires outnumber their female equivalents by seven to one. Eighty-nine per cent of male billionaires are married, six per cent divorced, three per cent single and two per cent widowed. Of the world’s 286 female billionaires, 65 per cent are married, 10.1 per cent divorced, 3.9 per cent single and 21 per cent widowed. Self-made billionaires such as Sir James Dyson, the British vacuum cleaner innovator, outnumber billionaires who inherit most of their fortune, like the Duke of Westminster. Eightyone per cent made the majority of their fortune themselves, Wealth-X says. Most billionaires do not break through the $1 billion barrier until their late 40s while more than a fifth of them are over 75. Just one per cent have not yet celebrated their 35th birthday.

2014 NUMBER OF BILLIONAIRES

2014 TOTAL WEALTH US$ BILLION

2,325

7,291 2014 NUMBER OF

2013 NUMBER OF BILLIONAIRES

2013 TOTAL WEALTH US$ BILLION

POPULATION CHANGE %

2,170

6,516

7.1% POPULATION

BILLIONAIRES

2014 TOTAL WEALTH US$ BILLION

2013 NUMBER OF BILLIONAIRES

2013 TOTAL WEALTH US$ BILLION

2,325

7,291

2,170

6,516

TOTAL WEALTH CHANGE %

11.9%

CHANGE %

TOTAL WEALTH CHANGE %

7.1%

11.9%

9.9%

US$2,371

1.2%

billion

10.3%

609

609

billion

billion

775

775

NORTH AMERICA

12.0%

US$2,375 1.2% US$2,375 18.7%

18.7%

EUROPE

EUROPE

NORTH AMERICA

-1.9%

16.7%

-1.9%

US$413 16.7% billion

US$413 154 billion

37.8%

154

3.0%

-4.8%

US$511

37.8%

US$511 billion

153 LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN

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153 LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN

12.9%

billion US$1,410

10.2%

billion

10.2%

560 ASIA

560

ASIA

US$114

MIDDLE EAST billion

billion

3.0%

MIDDLE EAST

US$1,410

12.9% 40

-4.8%

US$114

US$97

billion

40 AFRICA

-2.0%

0.0%

AFRICA

billion

34 0.0%

-2.0%

PACIFIC

US$97 billion

34 PACIFIC

Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014

10.3%

billion

12.0%

9.9%

US$2,371


Wealth Report

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business

A Safer Bet for SMEs Does your business have the correct type of insurance?

Mahan Bolourchi, Euler Hermes chief executive for the GCC region

uler Hermes is a global leader in trade credit insurance (TCI) and has been in Dubai in partnership with Alliance Insurance since 2006. The company’s chief executive for the GCC region, Mahan Bolourchi, tells Global Citizen since the financial crisis, TCI has become an effective tool for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinationals operating in the Middle East to migrate risk and protect cashflow, liquidity and profitability. How is trade finance impacting SME business in the GCC? Trade finance deals with short term financing of import and export transactions and covers a wide area of payment arrangements between importers and exporters. Historically trades are covered within this region via letter of credit (L/C), import financing, bank guarantees and pre-shipment/ advance payments. Financial service providers and banks expect SMEs to insure their trade receivables. Most SMEs suffer bad debt because of inadequate credit management of their portfolios and receivables, sometimes as high as 40 per cent of their current assets. On average, receivables account for 40 per cent or more of a

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company’s assets and need to be insured. TCI has come to be an effective tool in protecting cashflow, liquidity and profitability. How can TCI help businesses grow and mitigate risks? TCI accelerates economic growth. It helps maintain cashflow, which will lead to growing business and increased trade activities. TCI is increasingly being used by companies to improve their bottom lines, particularly in petrochemicals, IT, food and pharmaceuticals, protecting businesses against both commercial and political risks. On the one hand, TCIs protect SMEs’ receivables against delays on payments or non-payments and insolvencies and on the other, it supports SMEs’ funding requirements. Euler Hermes supports companies of all sizes and sectors to expand into new markets and grow successfully and safely. What are the top three perks for organisations looking to purchase TCI in the GCC? TCI delivers comprehensive protection against the risk of insolvency and non- payments, it reduces the level of bad debt and incidences of fraud and improves days sales outstanding (DSO) and on-time payment, which in turn means support for short term liquidity of SMEs and companies.


Philanthropy

2014 NOV / DEC

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Words courtesy of HOTFEATURES

Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

Cover Story

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Cover Story

PITT STOP TO HELL Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt on meeting the Queen, having an honorary dame in the family and getting punched in the face by Shia LaBeouf while making his latest film Fury By VICKY DEARDEN

ven for a method actor, it was a challenge. Brad Pitt and the cast of his new film Fury went through a gruelling three-and-a-half months of training before shooting the World War II film. “We trained more than we actually shot,” says the Hollywood star. “From learning the tank and learning strategy to meeting the veterans to bootcamp – and I think it shows. When the film starts we are exhausted.” The father-of-six, who was also one of the film’s producers, says the experience of making the film has made him a better father. “I learnt a lot from this film. We all walked away absolutely enriched,” he says. “This role is a real study in leadership and learning to command respect and because of this, I am now a better father.” Directed by David Ayer, who is a US navy veteran himself, the film is set in April 1945 and also stars Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman. As the Allies make their final push in the European theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy [Pitt] commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered, outgunned and with a rookie soldier [Lerman] thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Pitt was in London recently for the European premiere of the movie, which was shown as part of this year’s London Film Festival. In the British capital, Pitt spoke about what attracted him to his latest project, what he learned from making the film, getting punched in the face by co-star Shia LaBeouf and how proud he is of his wife Angelina Jolie, who was recently made an honorary dame by the Queen.

So Brad, you met the Queen – what was that like? It was just a pleasure and certainly one for the books. A wonderful afternoon for our family, a great honour for Angie and something we won’t forget. Is Angelina the boss at home now she’s an honorary dame? Maybe you could be a sir? Er, no. We have our own pecking order at home. What attracted you to your latest movie Fury? I know David Ayer and the depths he goes to for authenticity and I know him to be a vet [veteran]. This is a day-in-the-life film, structured a little bit like the films I love like Das Boot or The Wild Bunch and it just felt right to me. Was it a humbling experience? It was an exhausting experience but those are usually the ones that pay off the most. You were working on this film while your wife Angelina Jolie was directing her forthcoming World War II film Unbroken. How was that? It was a lovely experience. We don’t normally work at the same time. I was studying the European theatre [of war], she was studying the Pacific theatre. I was studying tanks, she was studying bombers. This is very much a father/son narrative. What has that taught you about your own family? It taught me more about leadership...and if you are responsible for someone’s morale, when do you build them up and when do you tear them down, when to bring them in, when to keep them at arm’s length and when do you yourself get to vent. It was really interesting studying it that way. 2014 NOV / DEC

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Entrepreneur

(L-R) Fury actors Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt and Jon Bernthal survey their equipment at Bovington Tank Museum in Bovington, England.

What is different about this film to other war movies? This is dealing with a small unit combat, not a major battle or a major push. What David wanted to pay tribute to were the unknown soldiers in a sense, the ones that struggled and were injured in the small skirmishes that don’t make the history books. So this is a very intimate smaller story, just dealing with a five-man tank crew. It is not about sides, it is not about who won, it’s about the psychological damage a soldier incurs and that can be a soldier from any side. You talked before about the authenticity of the film. It looks very real – how did you go about creating that? It’s an extremely visceral film and that’s a credit to David, who is just a junkie for detail and a vet[eran] himself. He had us studying and working three-and-a-half months before we even rolled a camera. He had a full immersion kind of exercise so by the time the camera did roll, it just felt like we were in.

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What did you learn from the veterans when you were making this film? First of all, they were really kind of giving to share their stories. It is a generation that doesn’t usually talk so much about that and they painted a picture for us of absolute weariness and exhaustion, mental fatigue, hunger and cold and witnessing the horrors and partaking in the horrors. Just the human effect it had on men and their psyches - that is when our film starts. How would you describe your character? Psychologically damaged but he is the commander. He’s got to take care of his guys, he’s got to get the mission done - but he’s certainly haunted. When the movie starts, we have a young guy come in who has no tank experience and this is a liability to the crew. If he can’t perform, it can get him killed. So the conundrum of the piece, all the things that we hold dear – our humanity, civility – he has to crush out to perform. It seems like you and the rest of the cast tortured yourselves? We trained for three-and-a-half months. We went through very in-depth physical and mental training by some of the best. We were tired by the end of the night. Is that one of the attractions of doing a project like this – that you literally have to dive headfirst into it? Absolutely. We were all game and knew the detail David demanded and we knew we were in good hands.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

You have said this film has made you a better father – in what way? Just the real understanding, like with the guys, knowing when they need to vent, knowing when they need to be put in line, know when they need to be inspired – to really watch them and feel where they are, where their morale is, where they are mentally. And I found that transfers to my children. When we were going through bootcamp, we had a lot of task-orientated things to go through and thinking about inventing things for them for lessons and so on.


Cover Story

We’ve been hearing that part of those demands were punching each other in the face? The demands were punching each other in the face. So who actually throws the hardest punch? [laughs] Well, it’s different because Shia [LaBeouf] has got this weird little left upper cut you’ve got to stay away from, you’ve got to watch that one. He’ll take you out. Are you a lot fitter than you thought you were? I don’t know. In degrees of toughness, we were all so immersed in it and that is the difference between a good film and a really good film I think. What other preparation did you do for the film? Well it was a lot of studying past stories, a lot of sitting down with the vet[erans], a lot of physical training, a lot of studying leadership, team strategy. We went full board. Has it changed the way you view soldiers? Absolutely. I got to understand much more the psychological trauma from day to day. What they did mentally, physically - I got to see the flag through a soldier’s eyes, which I’ve got to say is profound. What message do you want audiences to take away from this? Very simply – war is hell. It is not a political message, it is not a movie about sides or who is winning the war. It is truly a dissection of the accumulative psychological trauma that our

Pitt outside The Newseum for the Washington D.C. premiere of Fury

“We are very good at training our soldiers, we’re very good in combat but what we’re finding is we need to better help them reintegrate into society.” soldiers endure. And it is a story about the struggles of the soldiers, what we ask our soldiers to do. We are very good at training our soldiers, we’re very good in combat but what we’re finding is we need to better help them reintegrate into society. Do you think it is important that children growing up should know about the sacrifices that people made in wars like World War II? Certainly this is a generation to look up to. They grew up in the Depression, they suffered hardships that we do not quite understand but I also say that it is a violent world and we need to understand it. Finally, this movie was made in England. What do you like about working there? All of our kit and our tanks were available there. [There is an] amazing tank museum up north. The crews are world-class and the infrastructure for making a film is world-class. If we film somewhere else, we usually bring in UK crews so it has served us well.

A proud day for the Jolie-Pitt family: Angelina Jolie was recently presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. 2014 NOV / DEC

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Profile

The Taming of the Shark He may now be teetotal, a doting father with a very big house in the country and a London mansion rather than a shark-pickling renegade, but Damien Hirst is still ripping up the art rule book By Matthew d’Ancona

Matthew d’Ancona / London Evening Standard / The Interview People

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Damien Hirst in front of his creation The immortal

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Profile

ailed as a shaman or dismissed as a charlatan for a quarter of a century, Damien Hirst has rarely been far from the cultural spotlight, or long absent from the bold type of tabloid outrage. So what to make of the affable, eloquent, grey-haired man curled up on a sofa at his company headquarters in London’s Marylebone, chatting about his new exhibition with the amiable ease of a man waiting for a teacher’s appointment at a parents’ evening? Has Lucifer been dehorned? Whatever happened to the sharkpickling, fly-murdering enfant terrible of Britart? The good news is that the 49-year-old Hirst is indeed curled up — but like a coiled spring rather than a spent force. In the course of our conversation, he fires off ideas about pharmaceutical firms, evolution, psychiatry, America, death, transubstantiation, Michelangelo, Yuval Noah Harari’s terrific new book on humankind, Sapiens — and, of course, his own latest work. Behind him hangs a black city map of London composed mainly of scalpel blades. “I heard a thing on the radio about surgical bombing and I just thought: ‘I wonder if you could do that with scalpel blades, it would look really great.’ It’s all done with scalpels, pins, needles, zips, safety pins — punk stuff. Just stuck in the paint — it’s just black gloss paint.” Cartography, he says, is intrinsically bellicose. “As soon as you create a map, you get wars. People start to see a way they can say: ‘Well, I want that and you want that.’ You draw a line on it - then start fighting over it.” In November, 17 of these extraordinary pieces will go on display at his long-time dealer Jay Jopling’s new gallery in Sao Paulo. First, however, there is Schizophrenogenesis at the Paul Stolper gallery in Bloomsbury, an exhibition of new prints and sculptural work that explores the aesthetics of medicine — a fresh journey into the intersections of religion, science and illness, terrain that has long fascinated the artist. There are huge pills, an outsized syringe, even a seven-foot scalpel in stainless steel.

“I’ve done that kind of Alice in Wonderland thing, where I’ve just played with the scale, which I never did that much before. So I’ve just taken all those medical things and enlarged and reduced and blown them up.” Hirst agrees with the American writer Don DeLillo’s notion that the names of pharmaceuticals — Effexor, Toradol, Percodan — sound like science fiction gods: “They choose them on purpose, they make them like that — legends, myths.” In many ways, he argues, medicine has supplanted religion precisely. Psychiatry resembles the sacrament of confession, hypochondria is the physiological form of extreme piety and even pills “are like the host, aren’t they?” The promise of spiritual immortality, meanwhile, has been replaced by the bait of ever-greater longevity — and as far as the atheistic Hirst is concerned, the new priesthood of science is as meretricious as the old priesthood of religion. “It’s a lie, really. They’re not offering you anything. Everything is about cash at the end of the day, isn’t it?” Ah, yes: money. Fame and fortune have certainly liberated Hirst — he does not discourage speculation that he is worth between $320 million and $480 million — but then he was never in love with the myth of poverty as a precondition of artistic authenticity. Since he burst on to the London cultural scene as the main force behind the exhibition Frieze in 1988, while still at Goldsmiths, there has always been a touch of the man on the make about this son of Leeds. His stepfather (the only father he knew) was a mechanic who left the family when Hirst was 12 and his mother worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau. His answer to the charge that he has sold out has always been to deny that selling art for high prices is inherently culpable. Money enables him to create more. “I had to use the cash to make the art,” he has said. But he has also admitted that “money is massive... I had no money as a kid so I was maybe a bit more motivated than the rest.” On 15 September 2008 — the very day that Lehman Bros collapsed — Sotheby’s in London launched a sale of his work

Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living on display at the Tate Modern art gallery 2014 NOV / DEC

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Mother and Child Divided by Hirst

A souvenir Damien Hirst skull entitled Hallucinatory Head

entitled Beautiful Inside My Head Forever that shifted 223 lots in 24 hours, raising more than $170 million. It seemed the financial aura of Hirst’s art was undimmed even by a historic financial crash. Six years on, he shudders at the memory. “It seems to me the timing was good but it wasn’t clever. Too close for comfort. It could have been a disaster. I was thinking: ‘Oh God, if I’d done that two weeks later, it would have f***ed up, maybe.’ I don’t know. It’s fun when you look back at it.” Well, yes. Nobody in recent cultural history has so successfully reconciled the glamour of art, as an awesomely lucrative basis for investment and speculation, with its democratisation and popularisation as an accessible, provocative form of expression that can trigger strong reactions (he was, he tells me, upset when the late Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New, attacked him) and even, as he puts it, “heal”. To explain this duality, he identifies two forms of “alchemy” (another favourite in the Hirst lexicon). The first is the transformation of an artefact into an object of high value “when you can start to say it’s worth $1 million or $2 million”. The second, more numinous process, is captured in his maxim that “art is generosity”, that “making things should have more value than buying things”. According to which criterion, the birthday card made by a child is art — as is For the Love of God, the $80 million skull made by Hirst in 2007 from a platinum cast, encrusted with 8,601 diamonds and human teeth. Art, in other words, can be simultaneously owned and shared. Mortality is never far from Hirst’s work and he likes Saul Bellow’s formulation of death as the “black backing on the mirror”. In his own life, he had to deal with the death of three friends in relatively close succession: Joe Strummer, lead singer of The Clash, with whom he went to festivals (and who died of an undiagnosed heart defect in 2002), the artist Angus Fairhurst (who took his life in 2008) and Gordon Burn (fellow hellraiser and co-author of Hirst’s ‘autobiography’ On The Way to Work, who died of cancer in 2009). The loss of this trio was, he says, “quite brutal”.

Now many years sober, Hirst has grown more patient, a contented father of three sons (Connor Ojala, who is almost 20 and an aspiring artist himself, Cassius Atticus, born in 2000, and Cyrus Joe, who came along five years later). Hirst and the boys’ mother, the designer Maia Norman, split in 2012 after two decades together when she admitted to having an affair with an army officer and the children live with Hirst in his new $54 million house in Regent’s Park. But parenthood suits him and he dismisses as nonsense Cyril Connolly’s maxim that the enemy of art is “the pram in the hall”. He has taken to yoga, as men of a certain age tend to, though he finds it “quite difficult to get into chakras, and stuff like that”. He is no longer the one-man riot he once was (he admitted on Desert Island Discs in May last year that he thought he had lost the $32,000 cheque awarded to him as the winner of the 1995 Turner Prize — only to find he had blown it at the Groucho Club). He is no longer the unpredictable madman affectionately described in Alex James’ memoir of the Britpop years, Bit of a Blur, prone to “shouting exquisite obscenities” and carrying around “tens of thousands” in a carrier bag. Nor, however, is he a long-tamed party animal sliced and preserved in formaldehyde. The intellectual and conceptual pulse is still beating fast. How has Hirst avoided the elephant trap that awaits so many rebels and contrarians: the dread status of ‘national treasure’? One of the things he learned from Strummer (“top geezer”) was that an artist must curate his life as carefully as his work: “You meet a lot of people who are your heroes and they turn out not to be — whereas Joe, I think, was somebody who ended up being more of a hero in real life than the image. He once said to me as I was getting successful: ‘Who you are is important, but also, equally as important, is what you represent.’ I didn’t believe it, I thought: ‘F*** off.’ I never believed in ‘what you represent’, but then it dawned on me that he was right, you know.” This, Hirst says, means being true to the impact you have had and honouring those you have influenced by what you do and how you make use of your acclaim.

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Images courtesy of Getty Images

Profile


Profile

“I remember when I first moved down to Devon [Hirst bought a farmhouse in Devon in the mid-1990s] a guy came up to me in the pub and said: ‘I want to come and shake your hand.’ So I shook his hand and he said: ‘I just want to thank you,’ and I went ‘Why?’ He said: ‘Because you did that video for Blur, Country House [directed by Hirst in 1995]’ and I was like: ‘Oh, really?’ He goes: ‘Yes, because I’m an art teacher and I couldn’t get the kids into art but when I told them that an artist had done that video they all wanted to get into art.’ I love that.” Although controversial, Hirst’s contention that art and artist are inextricable seems a much more honest way of looking at contemporary culture than the counter-claim that the work can be successfully segregated from its maker. “I’ve always looked at art as being the map of a person’s life and that’s what’s exciting to me. So whenever I’ve got interested in an artist, I always look at their entire career and the turns and the changes that they move through.” Picasso, Bacon and Warhol all fit snugly into this thesis. There was a time, he admits with a grin, “for 20 years or something, [when] drinking — I just thought I was going to live forever — I truly believed I was going to live forever.” Now, more seriously, he finds his thoughts turning instead to posterity. “Maybe the ultimate value is the value that the viewers assign to [the work] when the artist is gone. You’re making things for people who haven’t been born yet; they’re the people who are going to decide whether or not it gets chucked out or

put up on the walls of the museum. And you can’t control that, you can’t control what’s going to happen in 200 years’ time.” True, but you can stake your claim. The paradox of Hirst’s work — and one of the reasons it will survive — is its covert traditionalism and his core desire to describe what he sees rather than to destroy it. “All the artists that I admire from the past did what I’m doing, which is look at the world they live in — which is an old-fashioned idea. It was Ruskin who said that art is holding a mirror up to life and it’s an unbroken line back to cavemen, making handprints on the wall and part of that tradition.” Too often the debate about Hirst is really a very narrow argument about taste dressed up as something more profound. Nobody can be forced to acknowledge his cultural significance or to concede that outsized pill bottles have artistic value. But there is also an enduring magnetism to his work that cannot be dismissively ascribed to mere fads or price tags. “I used to say: ‘If I could f***ing redo this, I wouldn’t change a f***ing thing.’ I used to stand on the table shouting it out. I still think that. I mean, you know, I’m a really lucky guy, I’ve had lots of great opportunities. Having an audience is an amazing thing and being able to put things out, whether they like it or not — you know, it’s just amazing.” Which is the key to Damien Hirst: he’s not a cynic at all but a dyed-in-the-wool English romantic, a perpetuum mobile of ideas and cultural conjuring. All power to his elbow.

Entitled Urea-13C part of the The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 by Hirst 2014 NOV / DEC

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Mohammed Alshaali and his son Hussein

Mohammed Alshaali’s family superyacht business operates in one of the world’s most expensive and competitive industries. He tells GC why going public is the only way to survive By Amanda Fisher

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Photography by Boa Campbell

Running a Tight Ship


Family Business

ohammed Alshaali was born on the beach. It is perhaps little wonder, then, that he himself gave birth to a formidable global boat manufacturing business. Gulf Craft, based in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain in the UAE but also with operations in the Maldives, recently picked up the trophy for the best shipyard in the yachting world at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The gong follows many others after humble beginnings in the industry 32 years ago. “For our generation, the sea was not only a source of living for our family but also a source of all kinds of play,” says Alshaali. “We always looked beyond this water because there was nothing here, just sand and water for us.” Each year the company builds 400 mostly bespoke boats, costing from just under $28,000 up to nearly $22 million – something Alshaali estimates represents the largest price range of any one boat manufacturer in the world. Gulf Craft is certainly the leading company in the region and exports about 70 per cent of its products to more than 40 countries around the world. The elderly statesman, the co-founder and chairman of this family business,

says boating is in his blood. “We originally came from a fishermen and pearl diving family. Literally, I was born on the beach.” Born in Ajman, the country Alshaali grew up in is vastly different to that of today. He began making small, seaworthy boats from disused metal and gauze, held together with tar, with friends from about the age of six. “We have this history,” he says. “My father was a captain who drove a boat to Africa when he was 18 so it runs in the family.” For his generation, the sea was the source of food, enjoyment, creation and of employment. But there was more to this genial Emirati than simply being a fisherman. He spent much of his life in the United States, where he acted as the UAE’s ambassador to the United Nations. His children, one of whom, Hussein, now works alongside him, grew up in New York and Washington DC. All the while, Alshaali senior had Gulf Craft as a “sideline”. “Everybody thought manufacturing in this part of the world was just a crazy idea. No bank wanted to finance it.” He says for the first 20 years, neither

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Family Business

he nor his co-founders – his two brothers and a friend – took any salary from their start-up business. “At that point we were enthusiastic as young people who wanted to do something. It was mainly passion. We were taking our salaries from the government and going and paying it to our workers.” Gulf Craft now has four divisions, manufacturing small boats, yachts, superyachts and commercial boats in the Maldives. It was the introduction of the company’s flagship superyacht line, Majesty Yachts, in 2003 that heralded a change of pace. The bustling Majesty Yachts creekfront shipyard in Umm Al Quwain accounts for much of the company’s business and houses 1,300 of the company’s 1,700 staff. Alshaali says even during the economic crisis, just five years after the launch, Gulf Craft continued to thrive - even though customers stopped buying luxury products when the crisis hit. “We had an annual party here and people were worried they would lose their jobs,” he says. “I told them: ‘We are not going

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to sack anybody. Instead, we will give you an increment but I want you to do something else. All of us [should] think what will happen after the crisis - let’s prepare’.” And so they did. Alshaali says during this time, his team brainstormed ideas for some of their most successful, awardwinning crafts. Looking after staff is one of the most important ways to create a successful brand, he says. “I know everybody in the company by name. I work with them down on the floor. Everybody still walks up to me for advice or problem or solutions.” The profits are shared, Alshaali says, so the workers have good accommodation, transport and work parties to feel “part of the family”. Gulf Craft is also concerned about the environment and uses environmentally-friendly technology where possible. The company has corporate social responsibility [CSR] programmes to recycle nearly a third of its waste and clean up


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the Umm Al Quwain creek and nearby beaches while there are generous training offers for local students. The firm even offers to pay the university fees of those eager to study marine engineering. Unfortunately it has not been a popular scheme to date. The family element of the business is also important, Alshaali says – culturally as well as economically as family members know controlling costs is paramount. “Because it is a family business, we have no expense which is unneeded. We can actually produce a similar yacht or probably better than the competition at a lower cost.” Everyone in the firm, no matter what rank, flies economy class. “In luxury business, some companies will have their own private jet, their large villa, [but] who is paying that cost? The customer. We do not think our customers should pay for our pleasure.” And while having a family business helps create a strong

culture, Alshaali says this is a balancing act. There are too many family-run businesses in this part of the world, which can cause problems when the next generation takes over. “I personally believe a company in the future should go public to keep it sustainable, especially in our system [where] people fight after the founders die and sell the business. This kind of business needs passion. “I believe we created this business for the country, not for us, so it has to go public because we want to see it grow even after our lives.” A strong industry with good companies, he says, should become the backbone of every economy. “Personally I believe industry is the way [forward] for all nations. “I think the future will be technology and industry because that is added value. We cannot have agriculture here, our natural resources are oil and that’s limited. Trade is all services …you need production centres supported by all services.”

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Business

Private jets on tap Despite not yet hitting 30, aviation chief executive Sergey Petrossov has come up with an innovative idea to fly privately at a fraction of the usual cost By David Light

n admirable business achievement in your mid-20s is usually as elusive as an admirable haircut in your mid-teens. University life is likely beginning to transition into a fading memory and pulling in a relatively decent wage will have steamrollered the evolution from fledgling semidependent to self-reliant adult. At 26 years old, Sergey Petrossov presents an impressive alternative to the typical millennial as the pioneer of a groundbreaking idea to use mobile phone technology to book and pay for private jets. Admittedly, young leaders - especially in the digital business realm - are losing their novelty value, given their sheer numbers. The app world alone has proven fertile ground for innovators under 30 and is littered with stories of riches and notoriety. However, few have managed to revolutionise an industry with their actions, are married with two small children and been

At 26, Sergey Petrossov is the founder and CEO of JetSmarter

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investing in start-up internet technology companies since they were students. Petrossov is an ideas man. His broad Colorado accent and direct manner only reinforce the modern entrepreneurial air he aims to cultivate – approachable yet focused. In previous encounters he has been known to say great commercial concepts begin with a little conversation and a piece of paper. It is this casual riffing on the notion of the American dream that suggest a preference for the industrial landscape in the United States, the country of his upbringing, rather than that of his Russian heritage. Though it is most likely of no consequence where in the world Petrossov finds himself. Not only does his resume point to an insatiable desire to turn a profit, he is the constantly travelling chief executive of JetSmarter, a mobile technology enterprise for private jets.


Business

“JetSmarter is essentially Uber for those in need of private jets,” says Petrossov of his $30million annual revenue model, referring to the prototype firm which books limousines using a mobile phone application. JetSmarter similarly works by downloading an app onto a phone or tablet, then checking more than 3,000 aircraft around the world. If a jet is near the user’s location, he or she can simply head straight to the airport and hop on board. If there is not one available, the closest plane will be summonsed to the nearest airport. Timeframes are dependent on where the jets are but most can be called up within a day. The idea came to Petrossov by chance. After selling his first IT venture, a live chat customer support web system, Petrossov and his co-investor friends decided to celebrate in 2009 by chartering a plane to mark the decent return his group had made from a small initial fund. “I quickly realised the only way to [hire a jet] was this physically archaic process,” he says. “You have to talk to a broker and wait hours for a physical contract. You have to receive the paper, sign it and send it back. “For someone with a technical background, I asked myself: ‘Why in the 21st century is there not a quicker, live, online solution to work with private aviation?’” The seeds for JetSmarter were sown. It took a few years and the turnover of another IT company but in 2012, Petrossov got together with some previous developers to discuss harvesting the fruits of his imagination. JetSmarter had its official launch in March last year and today has more than 300,000 downloads to its name. “At its core, JetSmarter is an easy app connecting charter fliers with jet operators but it is a highly sophisticated logistics operation in the back end to facilitate the front end interface where our consumers can book a jet in a minute.” Behind-the-scenes intricacy is the reason Petrossov feels JetSmarter is unique in the market. “It is like trying to compare Uber to a traditional limo company,” he says. “What we have solved from a customer and a logistics standpoint has never been done before. “A lot of companies make easy-to-use websites but eventually you often have to do the final transaction over the phone.” A JetSmarter downloader need not be troubled by such antiquated technology. The live web chat service it provides is on call 24/7 and is proving popular with the Middle East’s discreet clientele. According to Petrossov, royalty and celebrities are frequent users of the facility. The wealthy are not his only customers. JetSmarter takes

“JetSmarter is an easy app connecting charter fliers with jet operators”

advantage of empty seats on flights and with its vast network of operators, can provide discounted fares for those craving a champagne lifestyle on a budget. Well, almost. “Jets have to reposition themselves and often fly empty to do so,” he says. “These empty legs mean any money made is a bonus. “We have flights on our app for $500 for the whole aircraft. That’s a seven passenger jet, which is accessible to many people.” Since creating JetSmarter, Petrossov’s use of private planes has, unsurprisingly, increased exponentially. He insists he never gets tired of flying on a private jet. “The biggest difference is the whole airport process. You can show up five minutes before you take off and it is no problem,” he says. Thanks to this young magnate, it is possible many more people will experience that excitement.

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Black Gold WITH A TWIST Chinese-Tahitian Robert Wan is bringing the pearl back to the UAE By Amanda Fisher

he latest bar stirring up hype in Dubai has managed to set itself apart from the hundreds of others populating the city. For starters, it is not situated in a five-star hotel but in Bloomingdale’s in Dubai Mall. Secondly - and somewhat more importantly - it is not serving gin fizzes and black Russians but Tahitian pearls. The brainchild of pearl doyen Robert Wan, the man who introduced the magic of the Tahitian pearl to the rest of the world, Dubai is the first in a string of intended locations for his so-called Pearl Bars. The bars, perhaps in reality more of a counter, have similarities with their traditional counterparts. But where the vodkas might jostle alongside the bourbons and scotches, the pearls are grouped separately according to provenance. The islands they came from are labelled along with information about characteristics. Yet isn’t selling pearls to a country that was once sustained by the pearl diving industry (before the transformative discovery of oil and the invention of the cultured pearl) a bit like selling sand to the Arabs? Audrey Tcherkoff, Robert Wan’s Middle East general manager, says not. The pearl-diving forbears of today’s United Arab Emirates are an important legacy but the industry is now extinct.

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“What is great is we are able to talk to people with the same passion for pearls. We are very proud to revive that pearl heritage,” she says. Wan, who took a rare business trip to Dubai for the October launch, agrees. “In their hearts they would like to [be associated with pearls] but today nobody would go diving like before. They are so wealthy.” Not only that, he says, Tahiti has the best pearls in the world. “The Tahitian oyster is the only one in the world to give so many shades - blue, green, white, black. That’s why we have created a pearl bar to show everyone the huge variety of pearls.” The pearls on offer in Dubai start at about $260 each and go up – and up. Bespoke jewellery can cost millions of dollars. For a man who has just marked his 80th birthday, the vibrant Chinese-Tahitian is remarkably in touch with the prevailing business winds. Japan and the USA are the biggest markets, he says, but that is quickly being overtaken by China. The Middle East is also important because of the amount of disposable income. But Wan says pearls are underpriced globally – something that will change. Prices today are a tenth of what they were when he first started in 1973, thanks to widespread cultured pearl production and are only now starting to creep up again. Wan thinks prices will stabilise once they have climbed 20 per cent.


Business

He first ventured into the pearling industry when an Australian man named Bill Reed offered to sell his Tahitian pearl farm to Wan to placate the demands of his wife. It was the first time Wan came to know of the existence of pearl farms. “He wanted to quit and go back to Australia. It was my opportunity. I knew nothing about pearls. [From this] you know what an adventurer I am, a risk-taker. I was right.” At the time, he was a fully-fledged businessman. He started work as an importer at the tender age of 19 before rising to become a company partner, then started his own businesses importing vehicles and worked in the dairy industry, among other things. It was a meteoric rise for the ninth child in a family of 13 children, who grew up on the meagre salary of their artist father. “We were a very poor family to begin with,” he says. “I had the idea I really wanted to be successful in my life. That is why I really work hard - almost 24 hours [a day] sometimes.” Wan now has his own island with pearl farms peppering the Tahitian atoll, employing 300 staff, including three of his four children. The youngest, just 14, will also join eventually. Wan is a firm believer in the tradition of cultured pearls and says: “In the beginning we dived and collected natural oysters. I do not do it anymore. What I do is I keep the [natural] ones in the water on the oyster bed and during the warm season we collect the eggs.” This way the wild oysters continue to be a part of the ecosystem, while the farms produce better quality and more reliable pearls. But how can the price of pearls stabilise when there is no cap on production – unlike gold, which is a finite resource? Wan says it is a question of quality. A good quality pearl will never devalue. “You have to maintain good quality and give confidence to the consumer. We don’t like to change [prices] too much.” Robert Wan is no longer just a pearl manufacturer but a brand and a jewellery producer. The firm ringfences the best of its own pearls for its jewellery production rather than auctioning them off to brands like Cartier. And it seems to be working; the likes of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama wear Wan’s pearls. But above all his hard work, Wan attributes his success to the untouched pristine beauty of Tahiti and the prized variety of the black-lip pearl oyster native to its shores. Its pearls, found in the Indo-Pacific in coral reefs, are deemed to be of the highest quality. “I think my success is not my success because I have the luck to be born in that country,” he says. “It is a gift from God.” The octogenarian is showing no signs of slowing down and is currently in plans with Qatar to open a pearl museum in the country. “This is my life. The pearl is my passion, my love. The best place for me is the islands and the pearls.”

Robert Wan ringfences the best pearls for its own production rather than auctioning them off to brands like Cartier

Robert Wan at his pearl farm in Tahiti

The new collection of Robert Wan pearls available at Bloomingdale’s in Dubai Mall

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Stéphane of Arabia For a man who had never set foot on Arabian soil before creating his first oud fragrance, Stéphane Humbert Lucas has not only captured the scent of the Middle East but is also bottling it By Natasha Tourish

s a Parisian, one would think Stéphane Humbert Lucas would be little qualified to capture the scent of the Middle East, let alone bottle and sell it. Yet the most recent line founded by the creator and nose behind the brands Nez a Nez and SoOud pays homage to “the smells of the Middle East” and sits at the top end of the niche perfume market, ranging in price from Dh777 ($211) to Dh2,850 ($825) for his O Hira fragrance. The entire collection is targeted at the Middle Eastern consumer. The number seven is a personal favourite of Lucas, as well as having spiritual and symbolic importance throughout history, both in the Quran and the Bible. In his hotel suite in Dubai, with the help of Eric Torchet, his friend, Middle East sales distributor and sometimes translator, Lucas says he designed the brand and logo himself with the 777 symbolising “spirituality, protection and luck”. The collection has 11 bold fragrances, all with the “oriental consumer in mind”. Each fragrance consists of three heady base note ingredients which he handpicks and sources from his network of agriculturists, from vanilla farmers in Madagascar to rose farmers in India, forming a triad of aromas in every bottle. The 43-year old artist and painter also designs the luxurious oriental-themed bottles and packaging that the brand can be identified by. Lucas attended the prestigious Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris

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but failed to thrive because of his rebellious nature and a disdain for the classroom learning environment. Instead, a chance encounter in 1998 with the perfumer Henri Sorsana, 75, whom he calls his master and still works with today in his laboratory and family home in Paris, taught him everything he knows about the industry. “To make perfume is not so magic,” he says. “You only need a balance and a tube to put drops. When you put one or two grammes, you make a note. Of course, it is more complicated to adapt your formula. “It is a noble art. The measure of art is literature, painting and music but to create good perfume so it has quality, innovation and is done with passion, you have to know the measure of art - then you can dream.” Lucas never set foot in the Middle East until 2012. Sceptics wondered about his ability to craft a scent that would capture the true essence of Arabia with only three base note ingredients. His first venture into the oud perfumery business was with his SoOud collection in 2006 and it was risky to say the least, considering bigger titans had tried and failed before him. Yves Saint Laurent’s M7 oud, for example, was deemed ahead of its time when it launched in 2002 and had to be reformulated years later for a relaunch in 2008, although it is now a top seller for the brand. On the back of the successful launches of his Nez a Nez and


Luxury Business

StĂŠphane Humbert Lucas led the charge with his oud fragrances

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Hypnosis brands, the Frenchman’s intrigue with the region only grew stronger. For him, the precious dark agarwood scent known as oud was the only way forward. “I was younger and oud was totally new and pure but I prefer other ingredients now,” he says. Lucas makes the comparison between himself and the selftaught French painter Henri Rousseau. “He used to paint lions, tigers and wild animals without seeing them and only imagining them. “For me, the Middle East is a fantasy. I kept this naive vision but of course I read a lot to learn about the people and the places.” His research involved reading the Quran as well as familiarising himself with Lawrence of Arabia, books about Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the UAE and the tales from One Thousand and One Nights. Aware of the sensitivities surrounding the misinterpretation of Islam and the Quran, Lucas enlisted the help of the imam of the Grand Mosque of Paris, as well as the director of the Arab World Institute in Paris, to make sure the naming of fragrances such as Soleil de Jeddah and Kohl de Bahrein and their packaging “was not frustrating for some Muslims”.

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Despite his fascination with the Middle East, Lucas does not shy away from the fact the oud business has become commercialised. Everyone from Tom Ford and Christian Dior to smaller niche brands such as fellow French perfumer Killian has tapped into the oud market, traditionally favoured by the oil rich states of the Middle East. “Oriental customers have a lot of money,” he says with a smile. “Of course, this is not the only answer.” Torchet adds: “He wanted to create something from a French person to a Middle Eastern person — a gift from the Occident to the Middle East.” Lucas explains the task was not without its challenges. “If you produce a luxurious looking bottle then they will buy it but if the quality and the scent is not there, they will not buy it again. “They are specialists and they know what they want so it is a challenge for me to speak directly to the Arabic customer.” It is a challenge he has more than met, says Torchet, who claims the 777 collection in Harrods, London, was the “most successful launch ever of a niche perfume brand for the store, where it is the third best selling brand out of 230”. According to research by the NPD Group in the US, a market research company specialising in prestige cosmetic products, niche brands are outperforming the pace of growth of the rest of the market. “The fragrance brands that are being sold in more selective distribution are experiencing explosive growth,” says Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst for the firm. “They are growing faster than any other type of fragrance in the prestige space and their combined sales are actually more than double the size of prestige celebrity fragrances.” Torchet says: “ Stephane is an artist and works on his own or with a very small team so we like to take things slowly. Black Gemstone was created 10 years ago but we only launched it now…he’s an artist so it depends on his mood. It is difficult for us to understand but that is how he works.” For the sales distributor, the brand has reached saturation point in the UAE market. Lucas says he has no plans to increase distribution outlets in the near future with the exception of Oman, where the brand has just launched. “I believe our retail will last like this in the UAE for a few years. We have no expansion plans. The idea is to be selective. We are a small gold stone.” He adds: “We cannot compete with the sales figures in Harrods in London, no matter how well we perform here in the UAE or GCC.” In the UAE, 777 is available at Bloomingdales, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenues, Villa 515 in Jumeirah, Emirates Palace hotel and House of Fraser, as well as stores across the GCC and international outlets such as Printemps in Paris and Tsum in Moscow.


Photo courtesy of Team Sager

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Behind the scenes: Ali Mostafa’s new movie From A to B filmed in the UAE, Jordan and Lebanon

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FROM A TO EMIRATI Ali Mostafa is the toast of the Emirati film industry with his latest movie, From A to B. He tells GC why success has not come easily By Tahira Yaqoob

The best way to learn how to make a film is to get on set and get your hands dirty,” declares Ali Mostafa. The 33-year-old Emirati film director should know. He first picked up a handycam at the age of nine when he started making his own amateur films. Scroll forward just over two decades and years of hard work appear to have paid off. The premiere of his second feature film, From A to B, opened Abu Dhabi Film Festival last month to great accolade and his co-producers from TwoFour54 and Image Nation, the filmmaking and film funding arms of Abu Dhabi government, are working furiously to secure him international distribution deals and an American release. Indeed, Mostafa is something of a poster boy for the fledgling Emirati film industry. With chiselled jaw and Bollywood herostyle floppy hair, London-born Mostafa - who has a British florist mother and an Emirati father - easily straddles both East and West. His latest film does the same. A road trip movie involving three friends who travel from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, with plenty of comical mishaps along the way, it pushes the cultural and conservative boundaries in the UAE in a way few have done before. The film deals with themes of drinking, homosexuality and even touches on the Arab-Israeli conflict - albeit with a lighthearted touch. “I do not find these things very controversial,” says Mostafa, who lives in Dubai with his wife Maha and their three children. “It is nice to scratch the surface every now and again because you want to try and open minds to the medium of film - but this is fictional and purely for entertainment purposes.” If he shies away from stirring up a hornets’ nest, it is perhaps because he is the toast of the UAE’s film network, the golden boy who can do no wrong. Image Nation and TwoFour54 funded the majority of his $2 million movie while sponsors such as Range Rover weighed in with product placement deals. Mostafa part-funded his $7 million first film, City of Life, in the same way with product placement in certain scenes, which

might jar with the artistically minded but which he justified with the pragmatism of a director who also dabbles in making commercials. It took five years to produce his second film after his first. They were filled with commercial gigs and plenty of frustration as Mostafa tried to secure funding and support for his next project. “We had a script but it came down to funding,” he says. “I still struggle to get funding. “A lot has changed and we are making progress but I could

From A to B opened the 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival

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count on the fingers of one hand those that do this for a living here. “What I want to see here is a film fund that goes toward Emirati cinema. We have such a rich culture that we could easily be producing three or four films a year. “I think it is really important for a culture to maintain itself by making films. It is a very strong, powerful medium.” While there is support for film in place - TwoFour54 runs a creative lab for budding filmmakers while the Sanad fund in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Film Connection support emerging talent Mostafa wants to see a film institute mirroring those in countries like France, the UK and Italy, which take a percentage of box office sales and reinvest them in their native film industries. While City of Life was widely seen in the GCC region, it failed to secure an international distribution deal other than through airlines and was made at a loss. This time, Mostafa is determined to do things differently. From A to B will be taken to California and pitched to international film festivals to get it seen as widely as possible - and at the same time, fulfil Mostafa’s ambitions to make Arab films for a western audience. “A good story is a good story and transcends the globe,” he says. “All you have got to focus on is trying to make a good film and it will travel.” He completed a two-year masters in filmmaking at London Film School, graduating in 2002, but it was years before he was able to undertake his first feature film. Mostafa made several short films before embarking on a career as a director of commercials. “All film school was about was putting us on set and showing

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us the ropes,” he says. “I wanted to do things the right way. I started by assisting on commercials - helping the grips, then the gaffers with the lighting, then I was the equipment assistant. “Then I became the third assistant director on a 7Up commercial, a second assistant director on a Pepsi commercial and eventually became a first assistant director.” Even making ads proved to be tough, with those hiring demanding an impressive showreel. As he was just starting, it was impossible to show what he was capable of. So Mostafa came up with the idea of making his own ad for Nissan from his own pocket and gave the car manufacturer the option of buying it if its managers liked it. They did. “I highly recommend no one jumps straight into making a feature,” he says. “I am completely against it and against those who do their first short film and decide they are going to do a feature next. It is extremely important to shoot as much as you can before you decide to go into feature-making.” Mostafa had a dream cast for his film From A to B, including the Saudi comedian Fahad Albutairi, the Egyptian actor Shadi Alfons, the comedian Wonho Chung and the well-established actor Khaled Abol Naga. Filming took place in the UAE, Jordan and Lebanon, although locations in Jordan had to stand in as doubles for Syria and Saudi Arabia because of the difficulty of filming in those countries. He is still deciding on his next project but hopes to tackle a thriller, “something out of my comfort zone”. “However big the dream, the more work you have to put in to achieve it,” he says.


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A homegrown recipe for success Emirati Hind Almulla’s treats are not just feeding the UAE’s sweet tooth - she is also one of the nation’s most hands-on business owners By Natasha Tourish

hile other children her age filled their summer holidays with movies and sinking their teeth into sugary snacks, bakery founder Hind Almulla went on a culinary journey most chefs could only dream of. It was thanks to her father, the Emirati lawyer Habib Almulla, who took his young family to some of Europe’s finest restaurants every summer, often travelling up to two hours from their hotel to reach a remote Michelin starred restaurant in the south of France. While Almulla dined with his wife, his three children dissected and critiqued the food, course by course. “My father would make us try whatever was placed in front of us. I was always a fussy eater but he would say: ‘You have to try a little, how else will you know if you like it or not.’ He would go around the table and ask us to rate each dish afterwards,” says Hind, who opened the Home Bakery in Dubai to recreate some of her favourite desserts. One of her most memorable childhood experiences was dining in the two Michelin starred Le Cinq restaurant in the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris. “I remember we were presented with a 12-course dinner. It was amazing,” she says. “Every time we would go to France after that, I would say: ‘Please can we go to that restaurant?’ but my father would say: ‘No, we have others to try’.” This early masterclass in haute cuisine laid the foundations for the 28-year-old’s own career in the food industry. While it is more comfort eating than fine dining, Hind now runs the Home Bakery on Al Wasl road. The cosy cafe dishes up homemade desserts with a twist, from salted caramel and peanut butter cake to caramel popcorn cookies and a variety of flavoured cronuts — an import from the US, except these ones are homemade. Unsurprisingly, Hind credits her father for her finely tuned pallette and says her siblings, who are also shareholders in her business, are “all foodies”. For her though, dessert is the most important part of any good meal. “No matter how full I am after dinner, I’ll always leave room for dessert. I will want to try as many as I can and nibble on them all.”

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Hind attributes her sweet tooth to her father, having grown up eating the luxury Belgium chocolate Godiva. “My father used to keep a box of Godiva on his bedside locker. Every night when he came home from work, he allowed us to go and have a chocolate as a treat before bed.” However, her practical culinary skills were inherited from her mother, who taught her how to bake her first pound cake at the age of 10. “We made two layers of sponge and smothered one in Nutella and the other in cream and then layered them on top of each other. It wasn’t very pretty but it tasted good.” That is a mantra Hind has built her Home Bakery ethos upon — at least in her kitchen operations. As we sit in the small cafe in Jumeirah, which was designed by London interior design firm Blacksheep, the young entrepreneur tells me it took more than a year for her family and friends to convince her to put her now famous chocolate chip cookies on the menu because she was worried they were “too ugly”, even though she knew they “tasted amazing”. In the sweet treats in the glass fridge and along the long wooden countertop filled with plates of cookies, pastries and croissants, the lumps and bumps she talks about are clearly


Entrepreneur

visible. It is a breath of fresh air in a town where expensive desserts have a mandatory shiny gloss and sit pretty on polished shelves. She explains her bakery idea was homegrown after friends and family convinced her to start selling her gourmet desserts. Hind says: “It was just an idea my friend put across to me but I had so many ideas going around in my head at the time. My husband had already opened a restaurant with some friends and it didn’t work out so they had to close it. “He told me if I was serious, I had to start from home first and build it up from there before I could get a shop. I think that was the best advice he ever could have given me.” Knowing if she was to succeed with her own bakery business, she had to offer her Emirati clients something different, Hind started off with a small menu of macaroons and biscotti, which she prepared daily from her own kitchen at home. “It was at a time when everyone was going crazy for cupcakes but for me it is just sugar. I wanted to get people to try something different. There are much better desserts out there.” It was not long before word spread. “I remember the first Ramadan it went crazy. I did not sleep that whole Ramadan. I took orders all day long and cooked all night. The only two hours I had to myself were to shower and go and break my fast. I didn’t see my kids, I was just cooking and then cleaning the kitchen.” In July this year, after convincing her husband she was ready for her own outlet, Hind opened her first cafe in the new Galleria mall on Al Wasl Road. Although Home Bakery has only been open for four months, it has already been given the royal seal of approval. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, has dropped in several times unannounced after hearing there were Emiratis working behind the counter. His sons Sheikhs Majid and Hamdan are also said to be regulars - Majid is thought to have a soft spot for the homemade milkshakes.

“Our biggest accomplishment yet has been having His Highness Sheikh Maktoum come in and tell us he is very proud of us and what we are doing,” says Hind. “He said people should look up to us as we are setting a good example for other locals.” The mother-of-two says she is aware she is breaking the mould among her Emirati peers as she has no need to work for financial reasons. She designed the interior to look like a franchise to give the appearance of an established brand. But Hind runs the family business herself and trains staff, even though she has no service experience. “This is my business. I didn’t get a franchise. If I did, they would have their own managers and people to do the training. “If you are doing something from scratch, you won’t know the mistakes, you won’t know the problems or how to fix them or how to evolve unless you actually work there yourself.” She was joined in setting up the business by her brother, who worked with her everyday from 6am until close at midnight for the first month. Now they have settled into a routine, the brother and sister duo split their day, managing a morning and afternoon shift between them. They have also hired a manager for the first time. For friends who wonder why they are doing what they do, the answer is simple for Hind: “I was very bored when I was just a stay-at-home mum. “I studied for four years at university and thought this cannot be it for me. “Now I work in the mornings and from 2.30pm onwards, I pick up my kids and I’m all theirs for the rest of the day.” The young entrepreneur has ambitious plans to open a second Home Bakery outlet. For now, she is remaining tightlipped about the location but says it will be overseas. While she is following in the footsteps of other well-known UAE restaurants that have exported their brands abroad, she is perhaps the first hands-on Emirati owner to do so.

“This is my business. I didn’t get a franchise. If I did, they would have their own managers and people to do the training.”

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Legacy That is The Tip of the Iceberg One of France’s richest men, Bernard Arnault, gifts Paris the Louis Vuitton Foundation By Peter Allen

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Images courtesy of Getty Images

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magine one of the richest men in the world is showing off his absolute pride and joy and he wants to share it with you: not just for a couple of hours, or even just for a day, but for as long as you like. “Take your time, enjoy every moment,” says the tall, impeccably manicured multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault, as he welcomes guests to his newly favourite corner of the Bois de Boulogne, the historic park in the affluent western suburbs of Paris. As chairman and chief executive officer of the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the 65-year-old can afford anything he wants. He is well known for his $35 million private paradise island in the Bahamas, his $41 superyacht, his magnificent portfolio of properties ranging from a St Tropez villa to a winter retreat in the Alps. But today the sun is shining brightly during a remarkably warm October in the French capital and the smiling Arnault, dressed in a dark designer suit and tie with plain white shirt, is convinced his epic new acquisition tops the lot. It’s his long-awaited Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation (Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la création), more than $135m worth of sparkling magnificence celebrating almost everything that Arnault holds dear. “It contains my ideal art collection, it’s a dream which has become reality and it has exceeded my

expectations,” says Arnault, referring to a host of extraordinary pieces exhibited in 11 galleries. A passionate collector of paintings whose first auction purchase was a Claude Monet depiction of Charing Cross Bridge in central London, Arnault says the showpiece museum and cultural centre, in line with the work of the foundation, focuses “on the connection between contemporary artists and the second part of the last century”. The Frank Gehry-designed museum is already a high-tech architectural base for some of the finest pieces in the world, including works by Jeff Koons and Richard Prince, and will attract millions of visitors every year. In this sense it will follow in the tradition of the iconic Louvre museum, which dates back hundreds of years and has become synonymous with Paris, and the similarly renowned Pompidou Centre, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano in the 1970s. Referring to the 12 glass sails which form the new foundation’s 13,500-square-metre outer canopy, Arnault made it clear the design was always just as important to him as the contents. Recalling his late father Jean Arnault, the founder of the family construction company Ferret-Savinel, Arnault says: “I have always been passionate about building. I come from a family of builders. My father was a builder in the north of France. When I finished my studies as an engineer I joined him and I have always loved working with architects.”

Bernard Arnault (R) and Frank Gehry (L) at the opening of the new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris 2014 NOV / DEC

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Gehry, the renowned Canadian-American architect, was chosen for the foundation’s design, first meeting Arnault to discuss it in the early 2000s. Arnault was initially inspired in 2001 by Jean-Paul Claverie, then a special advisor to LVMH, who said France needed a version of Gehry’s much praised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, northern Spain. After being commissioned for the Paris project, Gehry came up with a design based on the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées and other renowned glass structures. He set out to depict sails inflated by the wind enveloping an “iceberg” and surrounded by the kind of terraces created by French landscape gardeners. “The original idea was to build a place in movement. It’s like a cloud – it changes,” says Gehry. A coating of white fibre-reinforced concrete called Ductal first led Gehry to use the term “the icebergs”. Beyond the sails made up of 3,584 laminated glass panels, each unique and specifically curved to fit the shapes drawn by the architect, there is a waterfall that cascades down steps, creating natural light in a space which will be used for LVMH fashion shows. Claverie, now the manager of LVMH’s philanthropic activities, said the foundation building is designed to “express the artistic, cultural and emotional values, as well as the art of living, promoted by Bernard Arnault and the LVMH group, but it is truly a charitable foundation, devoted to the public as a whole”. Such corporate philanthropy is not just a gimmick either: Arnaud made it absolutely clear that the terms of the foundation’s lease, which started in 2007, are for 55 years only. After that,

in 2062, the foundation will become a gift to Paris, the most visited tourist city in the world. There will also be strong links between the new building and LMVH related projects in the Middle East. A developer with ties to the designer label is to help build a 168,000sq m mall on Saadiyat island, connecting Abu Dhabi’s own world class museums, the Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National Museum. Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the mastermind of the Saadiyat project, has announced a joint venture with L Real Estate, the private equity fund in which Arnault is an investor. L Real Estate, which specialises in luxury shopping, will work alongside TCA Abu Dhabi to develop the three-storey mall on a 17-hectare plot of land in the new cultural district. Back in Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, paid her own tribute, saying: “The Louis Vuitton Foundation is a true gift for Parisians. I am thrilled that it will be a major addition to the city’s attractiveness.” Beyond the formality of the October inauguration, which was attended by France’s political elite and the fashion bourgeois, it was, however, the enthusiasm and, indeed, sheer joy of Arnaud that shone out. Pressed about rumours that the 100 engineers and 3,000 builders who constructed the foundation building had gone well over budget, the passionate art collector made it clear he just didn’t care. Encouraging everybody around him to share in the new love of his life, Arnaud said: “You don’t put a price tag on a dream.”

Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry created dramatic glass structures that run through the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s building 60

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Images courtesy of Getty Images

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Wendy Appelbaum at home in De Morgenzon Estate, Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s wine country

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Philanthropy

The Pursuit of Philanthropy She’s fearsomely well-connected, loves a good fight, plays baroque music to her vines and has no patience with tightfisted people By Robyn von Geusau

n a recent crisp midwinter’s day near Cape Town, veteran actor Robert Redford enjoyed a few glasses of award-winning De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc with two Jack Russell dogs on his lap. They – the wine and the dogs - belonged to his host Wendy Appelbaum, businesswomen, philanthropist and, more recently, wine farmer. She and her husband Hylton bought the farm in the prime vineyards of Stellenbosch a decade ago. De Morgenzon Estate – Dutch for ‘the morning sun’ - is called such as the Bottleray Hills where it is sited are the first to catch the dawn rays pushing over the distant mountains. It is also where feminist, writer and activist Gloria Steinem chose to spend her 80th birthday with her good friend before heading to Botswana to ride elephants. “She is just the most extraordinary woman in the world,” says Appelbaum. “She uses her power and influence and donates all her money to women’s causes.” She is as warm about Redford: “Just my kind of man – very down-to-earth.” It is no surprise to learn these are the kind of people with whom Appelbaum chooses to share her home and prized spare time. She does not tolerate stupidity. She has no truck with arrogance. And she cannot stand pretension. “Give me intelligent people, humble people, just real people. I haven’t got time to waste on those pretending to be what they’re not,” says this feisty, pull-nopunches powerhouse. Appelbaum, the only daughter (she has two brothers) of Sir Donald Gordon, founder of the financial services companies Liberty Group in South Africa and what was Liberty International in the UK, is regarded as one of the richest women in Africa. It is a tag she does not carry lightly or flippantly. “With great wealth comes great responsibility,” she says. “I

think the tragedy of wealth is that so many rich people do not understand they have a responsibility to society. Money can be a blessing in that one can do remarkable work for other people. But to just have wealth for the sake of wealth and material things – that is the tragedy of wealth. When you go into that little box in the ground there is nothing you can take with you. For me it is a mindless pursuit.” Appelbaum thrives in her philanthropic role and lets it feed her passions - health, education and women’s rights. She not only spreads her net and influence far and wide – she sits on Harvard’s global advisory board and the women’s leadership board as well as being a member of the Global Philanthropists’ Circle (GPC) and many other boards and organisations. But she also works close to home in a focused, directed manner. Farmworkers in her fertile corner of South Africa get annual free checkups for breast cancer at a mobile clinic in De Morgenzon. Low-cost private schools established through her and her family’s organisations are helping raise the standard of education for thousands of young learners. And millions of citizens, reeling from debt, stand to benefit from this pint-sized pugilist’s love of a good fight in the coming months as she is taking on the interest-ratcheting and debtinducing micro-lending industry in a class-action lawsuit. “I love a fight. I’m scared of nothing,” she laughs. “We will put the crooks out of business.” It is this determination to set right the moral compass which saw Appelbaum turn the auctioneering industry in South Africa on its head two years ago when she exposed ghost-bidding after realising she was being duped as the only bidder for a prestigious wine farm: “People lack passion and courage and I am really

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glad that I am passionate. I am like a dog with a bone – I will not let it go.” Her “real baby”, the Wits Donald Gordon medical centre, is the only post-graduate super-speciality teaching hospital in Africa. The centre was created to fill a gap when the postapartheid government turned its focus on primary healthcare. “We started this institute of excellence – and then an interesting thing happened. Doctors who had originally been trained in South Africa and were living overseas returned home from all over the world. They wanted to give back to the community. I think we are most famous for the transplant unit, which is entirely run by doctors who have returned.” Another project which stirs her is the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS), Africa’s leading business school in the heart of South Africa’s financial engine room, Sandton, Johannesburg. “It’s alive,” she says of the campus. “It is a true institute of learning.” Appelbaum’s morning routine is no longer the corporate corridor in heels but the farmlands in gumboots. It feeds her inspiration and drive: “I am a million times more creative now. Living in the country is so good for the spirit.” The musical vineyards and cellars, with strategically placed speakers playing baroque music 24 hours a day, may not be peer-reviewed scientific research but the Appelbaums do not doubt the positive effects of sound energy on themselves, their vines, wines and workforce. “It’s absolutely amazing. You hear the music when

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“To just have wealth for the sake of wealth and material things – that is the tragedy of wealth. When you go into that little box in the ground there is nothing you can take with you. For me it is a mindless pursuit.” you walk around and some nights I can even hear it in bed.” And just in case one thinks her competitive edge might be dulled by the country air, Appelbaum still hones it on the golf course and by watching her racehorses strive for the finish line. Her eye does not waver from that philanthropic focus of ensuring her and her family’s legacy is one of giving to, and improving, others’ lives. For her, it is a no-brainer. “People who don’t give money away have no passion, no compassion. You cannot walk around on this planet and be part of the small group of haves and be unable to share. I think it is unconscionable.”


Philanthropy

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Photos courtesy of Aziz Ahmed ©

Delivering capacity in Ecology

UNESCO Liaison Office in Addis Ababa – Science Team Phone: +251 935 40 35 99 Fax: +251-11 551 1414 www.unesco.org/new/en/addisababa UNECA Building, 1st floor, new building P O Box 1177, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

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Philanthropy

Making social change through philanthropy Why the will to give to charity is being undermined by a series of safe decisions

hilanthropy is evolving. More and more business people are becoming active philanthropists and an increasing number are moving into the non-profit sector. Frustrated by the perceived inefficiencies of traditional charities, philanthropists are seeking to see value from their philanthropy. This approach, however, leads philanthropists to safe decisions, capped outcomes and ensuing feelings of dissatisfaction. A move to professionalise philanthropy has undermined the very role it exists to serve – to innovate. Today’s philanthropists are increasingly stuck within a false narrative about the charity sector, believing a series of myths that are preventing them from having the impact they could have. The first of these myths is that charities without track records should not be trusted. This perception leads to the mistake of seeking charities only with well-known supporters and a proven return on investment. This is the investment equivalent of investing in a FTSE 500 company: safe, secure, virtually guaranteed results. This strategy works well if your ambition is to ‘help some people’. You are almost guaranteed to succeed in this. But if you are giving away £50,000 [$80,000] to £5 million [$13 million] a year and looking to make a major impact on national problems, it is a terrible strategy. The purpose of philanthropy is not to replace, top-up or replicate government expenditure which invests using the same criteria - funding proven programmes to scale. Except while an individual or small family foundation might fund £25,000 [$40,000] or even £1 million [$1.6 million] into a programme, a government has billions to spend. The department for education’s budget in the UK is close to £50 billion [$80 billion] and yet foundations are springing up that

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replicate its mission statement and strategy almost word for word. No, the purpose of philanthropy is instead to do what government is traditionally bad at – translating national services to local communities and innovating. The charity sector can go to government for contracting services to scale but it is through early stage, angel-style investment that high net worth individuals can make their biggest difference. £100k [$160,000] to a proven programme might extend its reach by one per cent while the same amount to a new idea with no track record could lead to the development of a new programme that government picks up and eventually spends tens of millions rolling out. The risk increases but so do the returns and with the amount of social innovation currently taking place, it is a buyers’ market for early stage ideas with the potential to have national and international impact. Myth two is that charities are wasteful and that waste is defined as dreaded overheads. A good business might aim for a 25 per cent cost of sale, 75 per cent gross profit, and 25 per cent net profit. Sometimes this 25 per cent net profit will be reinvested in growth and innovation. This is a strong operating model by anyone’s books. Yet the second we look at a charity, we lose all sense of what a robust organisation looks like and instead we seek charities that are operating at 80 per cent cost of sale. It makes no sense. Philanthropists are unwittingly using their resources to stifle innovation and create under-resourced organisations that are incapable of growth. To really solve problems, the charity sector needs much larger amounts of money for testing, researching, partnering and learning. We need to empower leadership teams, not tie them in to factorystyle production. This can go for innovative big charities as well as smaller ones but is most important for smaller organisations. The third myth is that running grant application processes

Words courtesy of TSIC

By Jake Hayman


Philanthropy

Cartoon illustration by Jonathan Wotton

D i d n’ t I f i x y o u l a s t y e a r ?

for causes you actually know very little about is a worthwhile methodology. Good angel investors base investments on their own expert insight into the market need for the proposed product or service, their faith in the leadership team to keep innovating and the potential for exit. Of course you want to see that work has gone into a business plan and programmes but the idea of making sure people enter into an agreement to stick to that plan – or indeed only making a judgment based on that plan – is not how angels make their money (not effective ones anyway). Yet in the charity world philanthropists are increasingly sponsoring programmes (activity that leaves little flexibility) and rarely backing entrepreneurs. People are dictating how their money is spent because they don’t have confidence in themselves to make educated input on changes to direction and do not have faith in the leadership teams they are investing into either. This is a huge problem and stems from the fact philanthropists tend to start spending before they start learning – when it comes to business, they are savvy, do their research, look at competitors in the marketplace, understand how to judge leadership and yet when it comes to charity, they ask for a grant application, a site visit and to go to a charity ball. All this tells you is how smooth their fundraiser is and very little about the likelihood that the group of people you are considering supporting has the potential to make a critical difference to the problem they seek to solve and, indeed, whether

your money can significantly increase their odds of success. We need philanthropists capable of making expert decisions and the only way to do that is to meet experts, practitioners, read and listen and – most importantly – spend real time with the communities you wish to serve. Creating social change through philanthropy is hard. However, philanthropic failure should not be defined as giving to charities that have too high overheads but rather as making gifts that constrain rather than enable. The move toward ‘professionalising’ philanthropy and assessing a non-profit organisation with a balance-sheet approach is to misunderstand the role it plays in the ecosystem of change. Philanthropists do not have the resources to reach market penetration of programmes so fund a solution for a fraction of a percentage of those that need it. So 12 months later when they find out they have had next to no impact on the national problem they care about and the charity asks them for the same amount again to have another fractional penetration against the problem, they become frustrated. New philanthropists need to take the time to really educate themselves about the communities they care about, the problems they wish to solve and, most importantly, the range of solutions and ideas they could test to have an impact. If they do this, they might begin to have the confidence to back an idea that could change the world but currently sits without proof, without funding and, therefore, without hope.

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xxxxx

Glacier Bay, Alaska. Photo courtesy of Unesco by Mark Kelley

Time to Give Back Luxury watch brands with sound environmental credentials are no longer a contradictory idea By Gemma Champ

hat is important to you when you are buying a luxury timepiece? Is it unique complications, a classic dial, a Swiss-made movement or a handmade strap? How about the knowledge that some of what you spend will be going toward charitable causes? For some luxury consumers, that is an irrelevance – or even an irritation. According to recent research from Cardiff University in the UK, while corporate social responsibility (CSR) is associated with philanthropy, generosity and conscience, much of the luxury world is about hedonism, consumption and selfishness, and it is only those brands that have a genuine sense of scarcity and craftsmanship that are able to effectively associate themselves with CSR – whether that means ethical business practices or charitable work. Of course, most haute horlogerie firms are, indeed, associated with craftsmanship and longevity, and their customers are attracted by the skill and tradition involved in watchmaking, so it makes sense that some of the industry’s biggest players are 68

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getting very strongly involved with charity causes – and not just as high-profile sponsors of events. Take, for example, the Unesco world heritage marine programme, the international organisation that aims to preserve 46 ocean sites of global importance. Only at the bottom of its website will you see a small Jaeger-LeCoultre logo - yet the Swiss watch company is one of the major and most longstanding supporters of the campaign, providing funding and visibility in a partnership with the International New York Times, that has meant the difference between the organisation being active and inactive. “Everyone of course thinks we are a wealthy organisation and have a lot of money but that is totally a misconception,” says Fanny Douvere, coordinator of the marine programme. “We need to raise all of our money to be able to do our work and ensure the conservation of those 46 sites.” It wasn’t until 2008, when Jaeger-LeCoultre and the then International Herald Tribune approached the organisation with


Philanthropy

Royal Penguin at Macquarie island, Australia, photo couresty of Unesco by Mary Bomford

New Caledonia islands, photo couresty of Unesco by Dosdane Martial

a proposal, that a coordinated programme was established, providing resources to bring marine experts into the field and raising publicity for less well-known ocean treasures such as the Brazilian Atlantic islands and the Philippines’ Puerto-Princesa National Park. Through Jaeger-LeCoultre’s fundraising watch auctions and, from 2008 to 2013, sponsorship of its Tides of Time supplement in the International New York Times eight times a year, millions of dollars’ worth of help have found their way into combatting illegal fishing, monitoring the state of the sites and perhaps most importantly, supporting the management team at Unesco World Heritage – meaning Douvere can keep doing a vital job in coordinating action on the sites. The Tides of Time project ended last year but the financial support continues, augmented by new awareness-raising projects such as a short film created for Earth Day, shown on National Geographic’s homepage. Few other watch brands have followed suit, though. Cartier is one: as well as its commitment to responsible sourcing (it is a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and part of the Sustainable Luxury Working Group), it funds the Women’s Initiative awards supporting female entrepreneurship and the Cartier Charitable Foundation, which supports initiatives for vulnerable groups in low-income countries. IWC Schaffhausen, too, works with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation helping children’s sports charities and the Cousteau Society marine conservation group, among others. The reason these work so well is that, as with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s marine projects, there is some synchronicity between the brands

Wrangel island in the Arctic Ocean, photo couresty of Unesco by Alexander Gruzdev

Jaeger-LeCoultre is the main sponsor of the world heritage marine programme

and the projects. Indeed, it was the launch of a collection of divers’ watches that alerted Jaeger-LeCoultre to the plight of the Unesco marine sites. Similarly for Cartier, while it remains low-key in its promotion of its responsible sourcing, there is a strong resonance between the manufacture of beautiful jewellery and watches that mark life events and the abandonment of pollutive, corrupt or dangerous sourcing practices. But is there a risk for the charities in associating themselves with luxury brands – from an industry not always known for its ethics or selflessness? Certainly, says Douvere, but careful due diligence takes care of it. “There is not much compromise. There are things Unesco looks at prior to signing partnerships with anybody,’ she says. “If you look at the policies of Jaeger-LeCoultre, it is clear it is conscious of these ethical questions that are part of our social conscience in the world. In a sense we have a lot of shared values – we, for example, are not protecting just anything, but that which is the most exceptional to humanity, to future generations, the heritage and savoir-faire. There are a lot of similarities in their world. This is a manufacturer who tries to develop truly unique pieces, something to give from generation to generation.” For now, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the marine programme’s only luxury partner but for Douvere, expanding upon that is a nobrainer, whether it is seeking yachting sponsors or working with high net worth individuals who regularly travel to the most exceptional spots in the oceans. “It is essential,” she says. “If we do not attract new partners we cannot keep going.” 2014 NOV / DEC

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Social entrepreneur

A FAMILY AFFAIR A Dubai-based entrepreneur is opening up the digital market to street vendors from New York to Haiti - but few could guess her dedication comes from her own personal struggle By Jessica Hill

n first meeting the Ivy League-educated young businesswoman Christine Souffrant, it is difficult to imagine her entrepreneurial spirit was moulded as a child by helping her mother hustle on the streets of New York. Souffrant’s Haitian mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother are among the two billion people around the world who carve out a living from selling merchandise on the streets. Now the 25-year-old is about to empower these sellers by opening the digital market up to them. Vendedy.com will enable street sellers everywhere to tout their

wares online using the world’s first mobile bidding marketplace for street artisans. The young entrepreneur is launching her platform for the rural poor in partnership with IBM after receiving funding from the Clinton Global Initiative. Her family story gives her a deep connection to some of the world’s poorest vendors, with whom she now works. Christine’s great-grandmother and grandmother survived by selling sweets on the streets of Haiti. When her parents migrated to New York in 1987, a year before she was born, Souffrant’s

Christine Souffrant with her mother Guelma Emile (top right) and her late father (below) 70

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Social entrepreneur

mother Guelma Emile took a suitcase of handicrafts from her homeland and laid them out on a blanket in the streets of Manhattan to sell to passers by. “Selling handicrafts has been her main means of income ever since,” says Souffrant. “As a little girl, after school I would find my mum on the streets and help her sell. I would help her lug the heavy bags back and forth and sleep in the car when I got tired. She was there whatever the weather. “Because of my roots, understanding how street vendors operate is second nature to me. They can tell when I talk to them that I know from experience. I don’t even need to tell them what I’ve been through.” In 1998 when she was nine, Emile was able to earn enough to move her wooden and stone artwork and canvas paintings from the sidewalks to a shopping mall store in Queens. Inspired by her mother’s enterprising nature, Souffrant pushed herself at school and was rewarded with a scholarship to study at Dartmouth College as a Bill Gates millennium scholar. She spent a term travelling the world, tracking street vendors. “It was tremendous. I have on my blog all the street vendors I met in Ghana, Morocco and South Africa. I kept interviewing and taking pictures of them. The reason I found them so interesting was because that was where the women in my family came from.” But in 2010, aged 21, her life was thrown into disarray when a deadly earthquake struck Haiti. The disaster shut down the supply to Emile’s boutique shop selling Haitian craft and the store eventually closed. Souffrant worked 11 jobs over two years while studying to support her family of four. Unable to cope, the rest of the family returned to Haiti three months after the earthquake and stayed there for two years until Souffrant earned enough money to bring them back to the US. “The Haitian vendors my mother traded with were all missing, presumed dead,” she says. “My mother’s business had to close shop. She could not weather that storm. My parents didn’t really know about the welfare system and did not want to do that. Haitians are very proud people. “I did not know what would happen to my family in Haiti. Around my mother’s house, everything was just rubble. The only two buildings left standing were her home and the school. It was a hard time, not knowing if they were safe. I even contemplated suicide.” After graduating, Souffrant found a lucrative job at M&T Bank, which provided the money her family needed to return to New York two years later and get back on their feet. Last year, Souffrant moved to Dubai to start her masters in international business and social entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School. She co-founded Dubai Smart City Weekend Foundation, Startup Grind Dubai and the She

Dares Group women’s empowerment initiative and began setting up her own start-up business, dubbed “the Ebay of street vendors”. “We select an elite network of highly skilled vendors in every country we visit. We give them a phone, onto which they upload their stories via voice record and take pictures of their handicrafts so online consumers can choose handmade accessories, jewellery and light clothing that come from more than 150 countries with a story and a purpose.” Vendedy will use a micro-collection model to ship and distribute the handicrafts, employing local village women to collect the items on a weekly basis and ship them out from the nearest city. At the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York in September, the determined student discussed her project with the former US president Bill Clinton, as well as meeting the current US President, Barack Obama, and Jesse Jackson. She also introduced the platform to Western Union’s president and set up a system to use its NGO global payment system. In the same month, she revisited Haiti, scouting for talented street artisans to kickstart her project. While driving through the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, she met father and son artists Joseph Julio and Mondesir Man-Arthur, who will be part of the first batch of vendors to join her global online marketplace. Mondesir, 22, learnt how to paint as a young boy by watching his father. Souffrant says: “Both had amazing canvas paintings that they painted from home and on the streets. They don’t make much. Sometimes they go weeks without selling anything, then once in a while a tourist will buy a couple of items and that holds them through to the next sale. “Joseph stretches his creativity by painting satiric jokes onto his canvas. One of his paintings features a deer hastily crossing a river to get away from a crocodile, not realising there is a cobra awaiting him on the other side. The irony is that sometimes running away from your problem leads to others disguised as solutions.” A launch of Souffrant’s platform began with Haitian artisans this month. Vendedy will be expanded to 24 Caribbean countries next spring, when buyers from USA, Europe and Dubai will be able to start bidding on the platform. Having come so far since launching her company eight months ago and in a fitting tribute to her mother, Souffrant is making her Vendedy’s lead advisor. “When I told my mother I was setting up this company, she thought I was ashamed of her,” she recalls with tears in her eyes. “You’ve got to understand that the last thing you want to do as a parent is put a burden on your children. She didn’t know her story was the reason why I fought so hard. That’s what kept me going.”

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Social business

Eating Smart It’s not often that a company caters to the needs of refugees and Olympians alike - but Futurelife is doing just that By Madeleine Lee

ometimes the very best inventions spring from humble beginnings. The South African health brand Futurelife, established in 2008, was born out of a simple desire to help people from all walks of life eat more nutritious food and to offer them a chance of a healthier future. Over the past four years, it has expanded rapidly into the fastest-growing health brand in South Africa’s food market with an eclectic mix of fans, from Olympians and athletes on the Springbok rugby team to people suffering from illnesses and individuals simply wishing to be healthier. Paul Saad, the founder and chief executive of the brand, came up with the concept, having already worked in emergency food aid. He realised just how many people were lacking in basic but vital nutrients. “Through my experience in the food manufacturing business and exposure to the plight of malnourished and disadvantaged people in sub-Saharan Africa, I identified a need to develop the most nutritious and affordable product,” says the 48-year-old. With the main criteria that it “had to taste great” by just adding water, Futurelife smart food - which contains a high protein or high energy meal in a packet - took two years to develop and is packed with 55 nutrients, while being free of allergens and high in fibre. At its core, the aim is to make it easier for consumers to make the right choices when it comes to nutrition. The brand that today employs almost 250 people has certainly come a long way in a relatively short space of time. “I love what I do and that makes things easier,” says Saad. “It is key that you develop a team around you that has the same belief and passion.” While the product—which can be used to make porridge, smoothies and shakes—can be found in supermarkets across the world, the company chose to open its first international office outside South Africa in Dubai, itself a well-known humanitarian hub, this year. From here, the brand can easily oversee potential operations not only in the Middle East, but the Indian subcontinent as well. Just one fifth of Futurelife’s business is retail; the rest is humanitarian aid and is geared toward getting food fast to those who need it most. In this vein, it has pioneered a 30-day refugee package with instructions also available in Arabic and 72

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Paul Saad, the founder and CEO of Futurelife

plans in the pipeline to distribute it in selected refugee camps across Jordan and beyond. David Sweidan, Futurelife’s chief operating officer who is based in Dubai, says this is partly inspired by an Arabic proverb that loosely translates as ‘he who has his health has hope and he who has hope has everything’. As the Mena region has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, with conflict, displacement and unemployment densely prevalent, Futurelife sees an opportunity to make a difference. “We want to make the product available to everyone,” says Sweidan, adding that the firm plans to send nutritional food packs to Gaza and Syria with the long-term goal being to fulfil the growing need for humanitarian aid in the region. The product is subsidised for humanitarian aid and Futurelife covers the cost of manufacturing. “Any money is reinvested back into the product,” Sweidan says, adding the company already works closely with the UAE’s Red Crescent charity. “We want to see a reversal of malnutrition, especially in young children and infants.” This is a constant theme. Aside from tackling hunger, one of the biggest global miseries today, the Futurelife team is also trying to encourage healthy lifestyles and addressing diseases like diabetes and obesity, highly prevalent in the Middle East. Sweidan’s enthusiasm is infectious as he rattles off the benefits


Social business

of the food, which became free from genetic modification in July. It means it is now free from gluten, wheat, lactose, transfatty acids and cholesterol and is made from whole grain (maize and soya) while being high in natural energy, protein and dietary fibre with 13 added vitamins, minerals and omega-3. ModuCare—a scientific blend of plants which is said to restore the balance of the immune system and tackle gut health—is in all the products. Having cemented a foothold on his home turf of South Africa, as well as pioneering joint ventures in Angola and Uganda, Saad is steering the company towards further expansion with plans to develop across Africa and the world. To do this successfully means continuing to innovate and extend the Futurelife product range. Currently in the first year of a three-year phase in the Middle East, Futurelife appears to be on an upwards trajectory and has given away 30,000 samples of the smart food in Dubai to kickstart its regional launch. As the founder himself says: “Understanding what you eat and how it affects your life is of growing importance to both South African and international consumers.”

“Understanding what you eat and how it affects your life is of growing importance to both South African and international consumers”

Futurelife chief operating officer David Sweidan delivering food packs at a refugee camp 2014 NOV / DEC

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Global Citizenship

Navigating Global Citizenship Government leaders and immigration experts from Canada, the Caribbean, US and Europe gathered in Toronto for the second annual Global Citizenship Forum By Zachary Fillingham

rom the moment the curtain raised on the Global Citizen Forum, it was clear this was going to be a different type of conference. It wasn’t the delegates that stood out: politicians, immigration professionals, policy experts and the high net worth individuals driving the industry were all present. Nor was it a matter of venue. The opulent Four Seasons hotel in Toronto ensured the forum’s proceedings unfolded against a backdrop of immaculate service, style and comfort. Rather, it was the forum’s scope that set it apart, which was immediately evident in the opening remarks of Tariq Qureishy and Armand Arton, Arton Capital’s founder and curator of the forum. Their speeches amounted to a collective challenge to the audience: in a world of increasing inequality, urbanisation and interconnectedness, global citizenship is set to become a megatrend in our lifetimes. How we define the concept is up to all of us.

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But what exactly makes a global citizen? Petar Stoyanov, the former president of Bulgaria, at one point declared to conference delegates that “global citizenship is a state of mind”. The director general of Unesco, Irena Bokova, reminded the room of the responsibilities global citizens have today and in the future of the movement. Global citizenship had to be given a more concrete definition, with particular regard to the duties and responsibilities of the individual investor, their adoptive country and the immigration industry as a whole. The individual advantages of a second passport are obvious, whether it is greater ease of travel, safety and security, or providing better education opportunities for your children. Less well-defined, however, are the responsibilities that come with the status. What should be expected of a global citizen? This was a question world-renowned leadership expert Robin Sharma weighed in on, in a rousing performance to conference


Global Citizenship

goers, where he shared a simple and affirmative mantra: “To lead is to serve.” The vanguard of global citizenship, at least for the time being, is the jetset class straddling the globe and leading increasingly dislocated lives. The very same qualities that helped these individuals succeed in the first place, to ‘lead’, in Sharma’s parlance, are those best expressed in service to the world around them. One of the best ways for global citizens to serve is by giving to those in need. Philanthropy was a central topic at the forum and the conference saw the release of the Wealth-X and Arton Capital philanthropy report 2014. The report found a typical high net worth individual donates $25 million over a lifetime. And, in a recommendation that highlights the potential link between giving and growth, it calls for a greater role for individual philanthropy in promoting job creation and entrepreneurship. Defining responsibilities on the individual level is relatively easy. Orientating global citizenship in the context of national governments is far more daunting, especially given the disparate patchwork of rules, investment thresholds and political cultures that constitute citizen investment programmes around the world. Yet here too the Global Citizen Forum attempted to rise to the challenge. Speakers identified several trends pushing against the global tide of acceptance of citizenship investment programmes and at one point in a series of hands-on workshop sessions, conference delegates were asked directly to come up with ideas on how to overcome these trends. One such example is the public misapprehension that can escalate over these programmes, a phenomenon that is not entirely surprising. The bond between citizen and country is not some transitory political issue that waxes and wanes with the fortunes of national governments. It is an enduring fixture, a central pillar of identity in our world today. Yet this does not preclude the success of citizenship investment programmes. Quite the opposite, a deeply-ingrained desire among global populations to improve the economic prospects of their homeland is a source of potential growth for citizenship investment programmes – as long as these initiatives are designed and administered in a responsible manner. Greater Transparency This speaks to a pervasive theme at the forum: the overarching need for greater transparency and education in all citizenship investment programmes - greater transparency to help ensure investments are truly beneficial to the economy of the host

country and education to convey those benefits to stakeholders and the national population at large, thus reducing the chances for misunderstandings. Caribbean countries are at the forefront of this challenge – a fact made abundantly clear by Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s speech on the successes of Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship investment programme. Island nations do not have the manpower or natural resources to compete directly with global heavyweights so they must be more flexible in attracting investment and carving out an economic niche. This is why the eastern Caribbean is home to some of the most accessible citizenship investment programmes in the world, many of which boast low investment thresholds, no residency requirements, and processing times as quick as four months. The reason why these programmes don’t generate a groundswell of opposition is their economic benefits are obvious and demonstrable. Public trusts like Antigua and Barbuda’s national development fund and St Kitts and Nevis’s sugar diversification fund, as well as newly offered investment opportunities in Hollywood production movies in return for economic citizenship benefits, all develop national infrastructure, enterprises, housing and essential services for locals. Some European countries have opted to sidestep sticky questions of identity and citizenship entirely by adopting a completely new approach to immigrant investors. Bulgaria and Hungary, both of which were represented by high-level diplomats at the forum, have introduced hybrid residency programmes in recent years. These offer nearly all the benefits of citizenship – safety, stability, free movement between Schengen countries – without granting full citizenship status, along with the language and residence requirements that generally go along with it. They also boast faster processing times, with applicants having to wait months, sometimes weeks, rather than the years that used to be standard. Although the interests of the individual immigrant investor and the national government trying to attract them are not necessarily aligned in every case, they definitely can be. When this alignment is achieved - one that harmonises the interests of investors, governments and their people - we will be that much closer to defining global citizenship in a way that promotes a more equitable and prosperous world. This will be helped by the newly created Global Residence and Citizenship Council, a self-regulatory body that will “oversee the industry and be the voice for better governance, transparency and high standards from all stakeholders,” according to Mykolas Rambus, chief executive of Wealth-X and council chairman.

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PROFILE

The Debrief with Romain Grosjean GC meets the Formula One Lotus driver and ambassador for G.H.Mumm champagne

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is one of the most fascinating of the year. It starts in daylight and as the race goes on, it starts getting dark and we go into the night racing with artificial lights. The facilities around the Yas Marina circuit are really great and the weather is always nice. Yas marina track is not a very difficult circuit to drive but there are a few key corners to get a quick lap. It is mainly dominated by low speed corners and traction.

I am motivated by being a Formula One driver. I am very lucky to be able to live off my passion. It has been a tough year for Lotus but the team is working really hard to get a brighter future. It is during difficult times that you learn more than ever and I believe we made some good steps forward this year. It was my first year as a team leader and that keeps me motivated as I want the team to succeed. Lotus is going to perform much better next year but the team knows I want to become world champion and we know you have more chance to achieve that in a big team. Racing with a Mercedes engine is certainly a big factor to take into consideration when making my decision on whether to stay with Lotus. The top four teams will always dominate the F1 but smaller teams have their chances. Look at us the last two years, Williams this year. It is not because you are a smaller team that you do not have chances to succeed. It is just that you are probably a bit less consistent. My priority for 2015 is trying to win races. My favourite way to celebrate is with G.H.Mumm champagne. It has been present in nearly all the special moments in my life, from my podium wins to my wedding day and the day my son was born. I make no secret [of the fact] champagne is my favourite drink, especially Blanc de Blancs from G.H.Mumm. When the season is over I cannot wait to holiday with my family. I am looking forward to the Race of Champions and getting ready for next year. My favourite place to relax is Mauritius and the Swiss mountains. The most rewarding thing about this job is having the chance to be healthy and to be able to help important causes that are close to our hearts. My wife and I support the MakeA-Wish Foundation and a French-Swiss charity that raises funds for cancer research. As parents ourselves, we take it very seriously when we can help.

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Luxury Business

German chancellor Konrad Adenauer borrows President John F Kennedy’s Montblanc Meisterstuck

Montblanc CEO, Jerome Lambert

A Fine Point

Montblanc’s chief executive Jerome Lambert talks to GC about the writing instrument of history’s greats By NAusheen Noor

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Luxury Business

t would be easier to find out who has not been using it,” says Jerome Lambert, chief executive of Montblanc, whose pens have been favoured by the world’s most powerful and creative figures - such as Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Indira Gandhi - for more than a century. “It is the writing instrument of great characters.” It is that cache that keeps the 108-year-old German company ticking. The firm, which also produces leather goods, watches and jewellery, reported €730 million [$920 million] in sales this year. Despite the prevalence of smartphones and personal computers to communicate, the popularity of these exquisite pens continues to grow. “Maybe for the last 20 years, people haven’t been writing letters. They use emails, SMS, Facebook…but for me, that is not so much the point. [Writing] hasn’t disappeared. Every human person likes to leave a mark. All of those things are immaterial and I think the pen gives people the opportunity to have contact with paper, to bring them back to the material world, so that they still maintain a close connection through their senses,” says Lambert. Many moments in history have been documented in Montblanc ink, including Anne Frank’s diary, Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1991 resignation and the ill-fated marriage registration of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. One iconic photo depicts an event in 1963 when the German chancellor Konrad Adenauer hosted then president John F Kennedy for a state visit. Kennedy was to sign Cologne’s Golden Book but when the time came for the historic occasion,

Adenauer had forgotten his pen. Fortunately Kennedy was able to loan him his Montblanc Meisterstuck. In addition to this legacy, the company is taking steps to ensure it remains relevant in the digital age. This quarter it launched the e-Starwalker, a stylus that is meant to be used for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and can also be used as a traditional ink pen. Much of this is due to the tutelage of Lambert, who joined Montblanc last year. He was previously chief executive of Jaeger-LeCoultre, where he became known for pioneering connectivity between cars and smart watches. “We are open to changing the technology and adapting our way of writing. Print has not killed writing. The personal computer has not killed the print book. The smartphone is not killing email. One technology is coming after the next. It is just the way it goes,” he says. Lambert was a fan of Montblanc long before he joined the company. He received a Montblanc pen at the age of 16 as a graduation gift and has been using one ever since. “Montblanc is a lifetime companion. When we create something, I want it to be adaptable with time, not something that is disposable. As long as we are capable of bringing this tangible value over time, then I’m fine with that.” Lambert also has some good advice for people who are afraid of losing a pen that can cost anywhere from $350 to $9,600. “It is not that they get lost, it is that you leave them behind and people take them,” says Lambert. “If you get it monogrammed, that no longer happens.”

“Every human person likes to leave a mark...the pen gives people the opportunity to have contact with paper, to bring them back to the material world”

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lifestyle

iXoost

Italian inventors Matteo Panini and Mirco Pecorari have blended the craftsmanship of raw automobile parts, namely a Formula One tailpipe, with blasting beats from an iPhone/iPod sound system to produce the iXoost speakers. Akin to customising a luxury sports car, every piece of the dock can be modified, each fitted with a specially designed eight, 10 or 12 cylinder supercar exhaust manifold, from the colours of each section to the materials and size of the base.

Starting from $6,300

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gizmos & gadgets

Blackberry Passport

Blackberry hasn’t minced its words with the launch of the new Passport— it’s a business phone for serious users. The phone company has played to its strengths, reminding professional users that no other phone can offer them such a large screen (4.5in) and a traditional full Qwerty keyboard that is touchsensitive, making it faster and more comfortable to scroll through your emails, view stocks and charts and flick on predicative text without having to touch the screen. The battery life is one of the most impressive features of the new Passport. It lasts an entire working day and into the night on a single charge.

$599

The BlackLight

In collaboration with the Institute of Design in northern France, the Billiards Toulet Company, famed for its classic pool table designs, has created a table made of iron and steel that is sleek yet professional. The Blacklight is fully customisable with a choice of 30 colours and finishes. You can shoot some pool, challenge someone to a game of snooker or even convert it into a dining room table. Internal LED lighting, an integrated jukebox and a port to plug in your iPod or MP3 player means the BlackLight also functions as a home entertainment system.

$34,800

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McLaren handmade

Cultivating Speed Where craftsmanship meets innovation: GC goes behind the scenes in McLaren’s state-of-the-art factory By Simon de Burton

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McLaren handmade

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handmade

hen McLaren chairman Ron Dennis put his considerable stamp on the design of Lord Norman Foster’s futuristic factory, it included a suggestion to reduce the length and width of the 20,000 square metre facility by precisely one metre. Why? Because he had calculated it would eliminate the need to trim a single one of the 218,000 ceramic floor tiles in the facility in the British town of Woking. He was right and the adjustment saved £50,000 ($80,500) and three weeks of work. You can take it as read, then, that the construction of the cars that emerge from the now fully operational building is nothing short of meticulous. The first model to leave the line following the factory’s opening in 2011, the MP4-12C, is now in the run-out phase having been superseded by the updated 650S, each one of which takes 10 days to assemble from scratch, entirely by hand and without the aid of a single robot. In some ways, the insistence on relying on manual craftsmanship seems at odds with the ultra high-tech surroundings, where even the height of the trolleys carrying components is kept uniform to ensure that everyone has an uninterrupted view across the pristine factory floor. But when you see firsthand the love and skill which goes into making these cars, not to mention the finished result, the difference between a McLaren and more mass-produced supercars soon becomes apparent. It is important to remember too that McLaren Automotive has a considerable reputation to uphold. As well as being a showcase for one of the most successful Formula One constructors in history, its new generation road cars must continue the legend of the original, street-legal McLaren, confusingly called the F1, which was produced in little more than 100 examples between 1990 and 1998. With a bespoke 12-cylinder, six-litre engine producing 627 horsepower and a futuristic, three-seater body which put the driver in the middle, it remains the fastest non-turbocharged car in history, having recorded a top speed of 240mph in March 1998. Although not exactly cheap at $863,000 plus tax when new, F1s are now regarded as a blue chip collector’s car valued at more than $3.2 million apiece. The F1’s 20th century successor, the P1, caused considerable excitement when it was unveiled at last year’s Geneva show, not least because of its hybrid power train technology which combines a 727 horsepower, 3.8 litre, twin turbo V8 engine matched with

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Frank Stephenson, director of design at McLaren Automotive a Kers electric motor producing a further 176 horsepower - sufficient to provide a top speed of 239 mph. Due to the $1.4 million P1’s handmade nature, just 375 will be produced, followed by a small number of 986 horsepower, track-focused GTR models which will follow the precedent set by cars such as the 650GTS and 650S - race-optimised versions of the already blisteringly capable 650S. The man behind every new model to have emerged from McLaren Automotive since its opening three years ago is designer Frank Stephenson, who moved to the firm in 2008 after an already illustrious career during which he created cars such as the new Mini, the BMW X5 and the Ferrari F430. The first thing he admits is that the MP4-12C (which later came to be known simply as the 12C) was not quite the car it should have been. “In any business it is essential to make the investors happy and the whole financial strategy behind McLaren Automotive depended on releasing the 12C to a strict deadline - and just


Inside McLaren Automotive’s production centre

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McLaren handmade

a month before that deadline, the company supplying the IRIS infotainment system pulled out. That meant finding a quick replacement and as a result, the car was probably launched earlier than it should have been. “The dynamics and performance were well received but until you drive the 650S, you don’t see the big jump that has taken place between the two cars. Making such an advance in a short space of time is actually quite usual for McLaren since the company is effectively a racing team which also builds road cars.” Right now, Stephenson is hard at work on the new baby McLaren, the P13, which is set to be the marque’s most affordable product yet as well as its most prolific, with up to 2,500 cars per year expected to be built. “The P13 is intended to go head-to-head with the Porsche 911, although it won’t be built in anything like the same volumes,” Stephenson says. “It is a car which will have lots of interior space and be highly aspirational and very McLaren-like - but it won’t imitate anything that has gone before. It will be a very usable car and one which is neither overtly masculine nor overtly feminine.” On the issue of hybrid power, Stephenson adds: “For us, hybrid technology is much more than simply a green issue. It is all about how to make a car run better. “The P1, for example, carries such large turbochargers that the electric motors help to reduce turbo lag. Having said that, I don’t

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“The P13 is intended to go head-to-head with the Porsche 911, although it won’t be built in anything like the same volumes”

see hybrid drive as being the be-all and end-all of propulsion.” But regardless of what the P13 proves to have under its bonnet (or, more likely, its rear-mounted engine cover), perhaps the most exciting aspect about it is that it will bring McLaren engineering within the grasp of many more people. “It will be priced at between one half and one third of the cost of a 650S [at about $160,000] and be available in two versions with a large number of bespoke elements. It’s definitely going to be a shaker in the market.” But what car carrying the McLaren logo wouldn’t be, one wonders?


The Power of the McLaren Name McLaren was founded in 1963 by 26-year-old New Zealander Bruce McLaren, whose parents ran a service station outside Auckland. His insistence on hanging around the workshop led to them giving him an Austin 7 to use in hillclimb events when he was just 14 - and within five years he was runner-up in the New Zealand championship series, driving a home-tuned F2 Cooper-Climax. McLaren’s talent was spotted by Australian driver Jack Brabham and in 1958, he became the first person to be selected for the New Zealand GP association’s Driver in Europe scheme, which gave him the opportunity to race with and against some of the top names in the sport. After that, he never looked back. The Cooper team signed him in 1959 and McLaren immediately won that year’s US Grand Prix at the tender age of 22, established his own GP team in 1965 and won his first race in his own car at Spa in 1968. But it was in the Can-Am series of sports car races that the McLaren name truly dominated, winning all 11 races in 1969 - and it was a Can-Am car in which McLaren died the following year after the rear bodywork of his M8D came adrift causing the car to spin and hit a bunker during testing at the Goodwood circuit. He was just 32. The team nevertheless forged ahead, winning the F1 championship in 1974 and 1976 with drivers Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt before its performance waned and it merged with Ron Dennis’s Project Four Racing.

Dennis went on to buy the team in 1981 and it is under his influence that McLaren turned from just another car marque into an international, high-end brand - and nowadays it seems hard to believe that it had its origins in a tiny garage on the other side of the world. Its headquarters in Woking, Surrey (the town where Dennis grew up), is called the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC), designed by Lord Foster and opened by the Queen in 2004. It is home to the seven companies in the McLaren Group, with the main building covering 57,000sq m and boasting acres of glass, sweeping curves and soundproof windows behind which technicians work on F1 components that will be used several seasons hence. McLaren Automotive is linked to the MTC by a network of clinically clean underground corridors - giving the feeling the only thing missing is a James Bond nemesis. There is also a multimillion-pound F1 simulator that is said to be indistinguishable from driving the real thing, a 145-metre wind tunnel and an underground visitor and learning centre, with the whole place being cooled by 50,000 cubic metres of rainwater which circulates through a natural reed bed. Indeed, the building is so remarkable that many of the suppliers of the lavish materials that went into its construction provided their goods for free, just so they could say they had a part in it.

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yacht

Staying the Course The Wally KokoNut’s Kanga provides a smooth ride with generous decking

t first glance, the Kanga is perhaps a bit more stocky than sleek. However, its wider proportions are not designed for performance like many of Wally KokoNut’s other vessels. It is a displacement yacht meant for comfortable long distance cruising and fuel efficiency. Though it may not have the most powerful engine, at a cruising speed of nine knots the Kanga burns less fuel per nautical mile than other vessels of similar size. Its 3,962-gallon tank capacity allows it to cruise nearly 6,000 nautical miles at that speed. At eight knots, one can go 10,000 miles before refuelling. That gives passengers plenty of time to luxuriate in the sophisticated interiors. At more than 50 square metres, the saloon is the main stage for social activity on board. The unique glass-walled superstructure encompasses a lounge area with L-shaped sofa,

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dining area and a navigation station. There are no visual barriers to break up the space from the salon’s entrance to the wheelhouse, giving a natural flow between exterior and interior spaces. Down below, the layout is functional and equally inviting. All four staterooms feel spacious with 7ft overheads and generous portholes. The two spectacular VIP staterooms open onto sizeable stern platforms accessed through full-height doors. The wide-open 60m sun deck holds six sunbeds, a bar and seating for up to 10 guests. The light stainless steel guardrail keeps the view open at all times. Under the arch is a bar with integrated barbecue grill and refrigerator. An alternate lounge and dining area is available on the foredeck, offering more premium views. It is the ideal perch from which to enjoy the gentle ride on a beautiful day.


yacht

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DESIGN

String lights, Michael Anastassiades, Flos, $695

Life in Lights

Brighten your interiors with these unique works of art

Etch shade brass, Tom Dixon, $436

IC light, Michael Anastassiades, Flos $525

Rifly Pendants, Kartell, $325 each

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DESIGN

Orbital floor lamp, Foscarini, $2,026

Light tripod stand, Tom Dixon, $4,200

Pendants, OK by Konstantin Grcic, Flos, $695 each

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hotels

TEE TIME

GC explores the world’s most spectacular golf resorts

The Fancourt George, South Africa Golf enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the trek to the tip of the African continent. The courses have been designed by Gary Player, the South African professional golfer regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Situated perfectly to take in the George breeze, this dramatic course with giant dunes blends seamlessly with its surroundings, the majestic Outeniqua mountains rising dramatically in the background. The Links at

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Fancourt is a private club but a few tee times are available for guests staying at the Fancourt Hotel. The resort is in the heart of South Africa’s famed garden route, giving easy access to the stunning natural beauty of the countryside and the once-in-alifetime experience of seeing the best of South Africa’s wildlife. Two-bedroom suites from $552, +27 44 804 0010


hotels

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs Matauri Bay, New Zealand Billionaire and former hedge fund manager Julian Robertson’s foray into the holiday business was not likely to be an ordinary affair. Kauri Cliffs, which sits on a 6,000-acre working sheep and cattle farm overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is a resort that boasts three private beaches, scuba diving and clay pigeon shooting amongst its activities. But it is the par-72 championship golf course that brings the likes of Bill Gates and Justin Timberlake to this exclusive

resort. The Tiger Tour consists of a two-island golf trip including all of Roberton’s New Zealand properties, helicopter trips, ocean sailing, horseback riding, art and winery tours and fine dining. At $26,180 per couple, excluding flights, it is perhaps the world’s most luxurious and expensive golf tour. Suites from $695 per room per night, +64 9 407 0010

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hotels

Cabot Links Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada Links-style golf courses built on sandy soil near the sea are common in the British isles but only four true courses exist in North America, of which the Cabot Links is one. Situated on Breton island, this micro-climate and its accompanying winds make the game more challenging. The 12th and 16th holes are the best to enjoy this seaside location but the entire course is visually stunning. The cosy interiors of the lodge are made of cedar and heavy timber.

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The Cabot bar overlooking the 18th hole is the perfect place to unwind with a drink after the game. For those less interested in golf, Inverness beach gives plenty of opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding and whale watching. Deluxe kingsize suites from $335 per night +1 902 258 4653


hotels

Verdura Golf and Spa Resort Sicily, Italy Rocco Forte’s beachside outpost on a previously little-visited stretch of the southern Silician coast boasts three immaculate golf courses, including a nine-hole where juniors can sign up for two hours of daily lessons. The Kyle Phillips design features two championship 18-hole golf courses, perfect for any golf enthusiasts who wish to challenge themselves on the green. The Palm Springsstyle villas are earth-toned, minimal and serene. Non-golfers and

other halves can indulge in the hotel’s amazing spa facilities. A specialist golf massage is also available to soothe your muscles after a day on the green. The resort is also ideally placed for visiting two of Sicily’s most impressive Greek temple complexes, Agrigento and Selinunte, both of which are within a 40km radius. Suites from $600 per night, +39 0925 998001

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art

Seeing the Light The much-awaited Guggenheim Abu Dhabi just moved a step closer with a sneak peek at its collection By Nausheen Noor

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian— Untitled, 1976

Angela Bulloch 6 Chains: Permutation B (52:4— White), 2002

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rt enthusiasts patiently awaiting the opening of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi are being given a tantalising taste of what is to come. The exhibition Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat island, where the museum quarter will eventually be established, gives a sneak peek of what the collection will look like when the art museum finally opens to the public in 2017. For the last five years, Guggenheim curators have been assembling an impressive collection of international art from 1960 onwards. Of the 250 works acquired, 16 are on view in the exhibition, including two loans from the permanent collection of the Guggenheim in New York. “When we sat down and started thinking about how we would organise this first exhibition and looked at themes in the collection of the works we [have] acquired, the use of light as a primary aesthetic in art really came forward,” says Susan Davidson, senior curator of collections and exhibitions at the Guggenheim New York. “Light had a lot of resonance, not only in the region but also in poetic and artistic alliances. It is something that can be seen through multiple lenses, if you will. “In the Middle East, there are serious amounts of light in the daytime with the sunlight. There is also lots at of light at night, in terms of the wonderful amount of neon and signage and the way evening light occurs. It can also be read from a social change point of view.” The show is organised thematically on different kinds of light: activated, celestial, perceptual, reflected and transcendent. Some of the pieces are experiential, including Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room - Filled with the Brilliance of Life. Japan’s best-known living artist, Kusama’s work often drawn from her battle with mental illness and hallucinatory visions. The mirrored room reflects water on the floor and hundreds of suspended LED lights, creating a transcendent and otherworldly experience for the viewer. The collection has been assembled with the UAE’s diverse demographic in mind. “It is a very transcultural selection. With the pop art that began in the 1960s, we did not just look at the US or Europe. We are


art

Robert Irwin Untitled, 1967-68

constantly looking at it globally and seeing how these dialogues relate to one another,” says Davidson. “I think there is a newness to what is happening [with art in the UAE]. That is what is so exciting. It is also one of the reasons why we did not go so far back in history with setting up the collection. We wanted to be current and relevant.” With many of the established art events in the region focused on selling art, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s art fairs, and with a relatively nascent understanding of art, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is using this exhibition and its accompanying programmes of workshops and talks to educate the public on fine art. An evening of light and electronic music is planned for December 11, including a special live performance by the Egyptian artist Hassan Khan, one of the featured artists in the exhibition. In January, Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will display Pulse Corniche in Abu Dhabi, a canopy of powerful light beams projected onto the sky by some of the world’s strongest robotic searchlights. The brightness and orientation of the lights will be controlled by the heartrate of visitors to the Corniche. Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection is free and runs until January 19 next year in Manarat al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. See www.saadiyatculturaldistrict.ae for more details.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room—Filled with the Brilliance of Life, 2011

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little black book

Little Black Book Milan As the artistic director of Berluti for the LVMH Group, Alessandro Sartori has breathed new life into the 119-year-old mens’ luxury footwear brand. Growing up in the Biella region of Italy, Sartori spent hours in his mother’s dressmaking studio, developing an eye for fine tailoring and craftsmanship. He now calls Milan his home and tells GC of his favourite haunts in the fashion capital.

Art attack Just a few steps from the Duomo of Milano, you’ll arrive at the Museo del Novecento. It has one of my favourite art collections and I love spending my time looking through them whenever I get a chance away from my busy schedule.

City walks Brera, the historical neighbourho od from the Pinacoteca to the Academy of Fine Arts, is filled with tonnes of little boutiques and beautiful markets. You real ly feel the heart of Milan here .

Clothes shopping spree

Coffee break Pasticceria Gattullo - I adore its cappuccino and never miss coming here at Christmas. The homemade panettone can make you crazy. 100

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Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

I love to shop at Antonioli, which has the best collection of brands in the city and a wide variety of clothes.


little black book

Memories of Milan The Duomo really symbolises Milan and never ceases to amaze both tourists and locals.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

I love Milan’s tradition of homemade food and drink. We really take care to make our food the traditional way, passing our culinary know-how from generation to generation.

Fresh produce One of the best places to people watch is the Saturday fruit and vegetables market on Via Tabacchi.

Peerless dining Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, whose flavours cannot be found anywhere else in Milan in my opinion.

Time for a slice Pizzeria Santa Lucia has been open since 1929 and offers the best pizza in Milan. The pizza is simply baked to perfection.

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dining

Asia Asia

A Taste of the Orient Journey through Asia with flavoursome dishes in these restaurants

Once you exit the Pier 7 elevator, 20 candle-proffering monks are there to greet you as you walk through a dimly lit corridor to this mysterious and seductive new establishment. The scent of lemongrass wafts in the air as contemporary shehnai music plays. This sensory journey echoes a menu that pays homage to the ancient spice route from Asia minor to the Far East. Ingredients are cherrypicked, repackaged and presented in unexpected ways. The Thai maki encapsulates all the varied elements of Thai coconut curry in one bite of sushi and the ubiquitous miso cod gets a Persian makeover with sultanas, olives and pine nuts. Pier 7, Dubai Marina, +9714 276 5900

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dining

LAO Named after the ancient southeast Asian tribe whose descendants now mainly live in northeastern Thailand, Lao’s vast menu also gives a nod to Cambodian, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indonesia influences. The dark wooden setting is understated and an outdoor terrace, while not giving the same spectacular views as other outlets on Palm Jumeirah, has a pleasant ambience. There is an impressive selection of starters, including banh cuon dumplings - usually used to mop up leftovers in the Vietnamese pantry but here translated into delicately steamed parcels of minced shrimp goodness. Bite-size spring roll amuse bouches and

a fabulous Vietnamese hot and sour fish soup, laden with generous dewy chunks of striped bass and trout and water spinach, pack a punch. Indeed, you could feast in style on the starters alone, together with pho, an array of soups and salads like green papaya, drenched in a spicy citrus dressing, and bypass mains like soy roast crispy chicken, grilled salmon and Lao-style lamb rendang altogether. Just be sure to try the sticky rice (the Lao were known as the children of sticky rice) and leave room for the exquisitely rich chocolate molten cake with green tea ice cream. Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah, +9714 818 2222

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dining

Mint Leaf of London An Indian restaurant that comes to the Gulf via London is definitely a curious by-product of globalisation. Though the restaurant doesn’t claim to be fusion, it can’t help but pick up the customs of the places it has inhabited. One of those is the glorious Bloody Mary, made with slow-roasted tomato juice and punctuated by homemade Worcestershire and hot sauce. The Kerala-style meen moilee boasted a velvety coconut curry while the lamb shank could

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be equally at home in a hip gastropub. The sprawling restaurant and lounge with dramatic windows overlooking the Burj Khalifa is the perfect setting for a business lunch or post-work cocktails with Mumbai millionaires, British bankers and anyone in between. Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC +9714 706 0900


dining

Yuan During yum cha, the traditional Chinese meal of tea and dim sum, heated trolleys packed with bamboo steamer baskets are rolled around as diners call out their orders. This typically noisy and messy affair gets a genteel upgrade in the Atlantis’ fine dining establishment, Yuan. With its high ceilings, pristine decor and the dramatic overhead installation of silver fluttering birds, patrons are a long way off from the hole-in-the-wall establishments that usually serve this fare in southern China. However, the entirely Chinese staff and the variety of well-executed dishes ensures the restaurant maintains an authentic soul. A yum cha meal is a bit like opening presents on a birthday; each twee package reveals a surprise interior. Be prepared to be wholly thrilled with what is inside. Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah +9714 426 2626

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Travel

Tropical Paradise on Earth The Seychelles’ diverse landscape allows travellers to explore without straying too far from luxury By NAtasha Tourish

oneymooners and couples famously flock to the Seychelles to surround themselves with boundless luxury, drawn by the silky white sand beaches that stretch from coastline to coastline of the 45 granite islands of this tiny Indian Ocean sovereign state. But after the initial excitement of doing nothing wears off, withdrawal from our constantly charged lives soon kicks in and suddenly the indoor gym looks appealing. That’s where the Seychelles eclipses its Indian Ocean archipelago rival, the Maldives. The tropical climate, coupled with a verdant mountainous landscape, provides the perfect backdrop to energise and reconnect with nature without straying too far from the confines of five star comforts. Rather than feeling confined to one small island for the entire length of your stay, it is easy to hop between the three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. For a more secluded but equally diverse experience, North Island is accessible by a privately chartered plane or helicopter. Each one has its own

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unique atmosphere, distinctive beaches and inimitable wildlife. You can see everything from timeworn giant tortoises living in the middle of the road on picture perfect North Island, where a 40-year conservation effort is ongoing to return the island to its natural state of two centuries ago, to the maternal instincts of a turtle, returning to hatch her eggs underneath your sunbed on the Grande Anse beach in Praslin’s Constance Lemuria resort. One day you could be ziplining through the forest in Mahé, the next snorkelling with reef fish around the tiny island of St Pierre, just off the north-east coast of Praslin. There really is nowhere quite like it. Tourism is the backbone of the Seychelles economy with very few industries thriving beyond foreign real estate investments and hospitality. The Seychelloise import 90 per cent of their goods and have only enough agriculture to sustain a population of just under 100,000. However, tuna exports to Japan to meet its insatiable demand for sushi and sashimi are thriving. If you want a flavour of what the locals eat in the Seychelles, go to


Travel

Creole food is not exclusive to the Seychelles. It is usually known as Louisiana-style soul food but in the Southern hemisphere, the Indian Ocean version veers toward Asian flavours and influences. Soy, garlic, ginger and chilli are the dominate flavours of Seychellois cuisine and most restaurants, whether fine dining or beach cafes, will serve a variation of a spicy tomato-based creole sauce with fresh fish or crustacean coupled with a staple of white rice for lunch and dinner.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market in Victoria, the sleepy capital of the Seychelles. Originally built in the 1840s and refurbished in 1999, the market opens six days a week and is lined with inter-generational fisherman all competing to shout the loudest in seselwa (Seychellois Creole) to sell that morning’s catch usually consisting of jobfish and tuna. Meanwhile women on bicycles fill their baskets with bat fruit and local cinnamon sticks, a staple in Creole cuisine, especially curries.

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Travel

Must See and Do

La Digue island

Ziplining

Vallee de Mai

Eden island

The coco de mer nut is one of the Seychelles’ most treasured natural commodities. The nature and origin of the produce of the indigenous coco de mer palm tree is a mystery, other than as an ingredient in Chinese medicines. Vallee de Mai, a forest on the island of Praslin, is home to about 6,000 coco de mer trees and is a protected Unesco world heritage site. For hundreds of years, before the rest of the Seychelles were even discovered, it was believed by some to be the original garden of Eden. Its hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is among the botanical wonders of the world. 108

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The steep hillside cliffs overlooking the stunning bay at Port Launay form the perfect backdrop to test your nerve as you glide though a series of adrenalin-pumping zipline rides. They zigzag through the treetops covering the forest within the sprawling Ephelia resort. Take a golf buggy to the top of the hillside and enjoy the dramatic views of the ocean as you glide down under the watchful eye of your instructor.

Eden island was built just off the coast off Mahé to service wealthy foreigners and their superyachts of up to 115m. Many of the yachting set have since invested in seafront mansions on the island. The architecture is distinctly urban yet draws heavily on traditional Victorian influences with large verandas and open rooms looking out over the ocean. The newly developed marina is a renowned after-dark spot, packed with restaurants serving fine Creole food (you will not find a franchise in sight) and for those who fancy a flutter, there is a casino to while the night away.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

La Digue is an island where time stands still. You can arrive on a privately chartered, sleek black ZilAir Eurocopter but once your feet hit the powdery white sand, you cannot help but fall in line with the traditions of the past. There are few cars on the island, so travelling by oxcart or bicycle is the best way to explore. Start with the beaches, which are among the best in the Seychelles— Grand Anse, Petite Anse and Anse Source d’Argent, which is strewn with pink granite rocks. For snorkelling, pedal over to Ile Cocos.


Travel

Where to stay

Constance Ephelia

With its breathtaking views over the Port Launay national marine park, snow white beaches and luxury suites and villas, the Constance Ephelia Seychelles is in a class of its own. In addition to numerous restaurants, the sprawling resort offers a variety of leisure activities. The turquoise sea is ideal for diving and snorkelling while you can be pampered either in Le Spa de Constance— the Seychelles’ largest, sprawling over 5,000sq m — or if you prefer a more intimate experience, try a treatment in your own villa with private pool and treatment room. Rates from $1,457 per night Port Launay Rd, Mahé island +248 4 395 000

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fashion

THE LABEL THAT CROSSES BORDERS GC meets unisex couturier Rad Hourani By Nausheen Noor

ad Hourani’s unisex clothing line began as an experiment. Unhappy with what was available on the market, he decided to create clothes that matched his personal style. “There were things I wanted to create for my own wardrobe. It was how I liked wearing things,” he says on the phone from his workshop in Paris. “If womenswear was too tight, too short, too round and too curvy then menswear was too large and too vintage. I didn’t like vintage, which was recycled for me. I’m not interested in that. Why is there no neutral place, a garment that has no limit or past reference?” What followed was a year of careful study to create a line that could work for both genders. “I started to understand unisex anatomy and how a man’s or woman’s body moves and assembled the two to create this unisex pattern. After one year of testing it, I was sure of it.” Hourani launched his namesake unisex label for a debut show in Paris in 2010. Things progressed quickly and in 2013, he became the first invited member by La Chambre Syndicale de La Haute Couture in Paris to design and show a unisex haute couture collection, the first in fashion history. Each season, Hourani’s collection consists of impeccably crafted, linear garments in monochrome grey, black and white.

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What is ingenious is how differently each piece looks on men and women. By belting a voluminous coat at the waist for women, or tucking in a shirt, he creates flattering silhouettes for both sexes. The line is unisex but not androgynous. Hourani was born in Jordan to a Jordanian-Canadian father and a Syrian mother. At 16, he moved to Canada with his family. His global upbringing meant Hourani refused to be confined by borders. “I don’t think I work in a nationalist way in terms of creating my design. I like to create things that have no limitations of culture, relation, age, race or gender. We are all made of the same things and want the same things on the planet,” he says. He prefers to call himself a visualist rather than a designer. An accomplished photographer, filmmaker and artist, he is focused on creating a complete narrative for his collections. He shoots all of the editorial imagery, campaigns and videos himself. “I want to touch every part of what I do,” he says. In his spare time, he has also shot for publications such as Vogue in the UK and the New York Times.

Hourani’s clientele is varied. He says: “You would be surprised by the different people that wear my designs, from businessman to art students, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, Jared Leto, a 65-yearold woman… they are not necessarily fashion people. They are people who like modernism and [have] an appreciation for craftsmanship but it’s not necessarily trendy people. “The people who wear my clothing have no limitations in their way of being. That is what is magical about what has been happening to me. There is really an understanding that there is something universal about the collection.”

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horology

Big on Numbers Never miss a big date again

Blancpain Aqua Lung Grande Date Constructed with an ultra slim stainless steel case, the timepiece includes a stainless steel bezel and a black rubber wristband secured with a steel foldover clasp. But the stand out feature is the clean black dial, which features whiteand-steel hour markers, slim silver minute markers and Arabic numeral indexes at three, nine, and 12 o’clock, along with the date calendar at six o’clock and luminous watch hands.

Grand Lange 1 One of the defining characteristics of the German-made Lange designs is their large date indicator, composed of two openings framed in polished metal. The movement may look modest in comparison to Lange’s other pieces but its 18-carat 40.9mm case with sapphireglassed satin lid strikes a balance between legibility and comfort of use. pink gold $41,380

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pink gold $20,700

IWC Portofino hand-wound big date Be on time round the clock with IWC’s hand-wound Big Date eight-day power reserve. Measuring 45mm in diameter, the Portofino houses a large doubledigit display just under the Roman 12. It is available in 18-carat white gold or red gold case with a black or brown alligator leather strap crafted by the Italian shoemaker Santoni. white gold $24,790


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GEORGE CLOONEY’S CHOICE.

Available at:

OMEGA Boutiques Dubai: BurJuman • Deira City Centre • Dubai Mall • Dubai Festival City • Mall of the Emirates • Mina A'Salam • Mirdif City Centre • Sahara Centre • Wafi and at select Rivoli Stores. Abu Dhabi: Marina Mall • Toll Free: 800-RIVOLI 114

NOV / DEC 2014

Global Citizen 23  

Brad Pitt on the cover. Global Citizen Magazine is a bi-monthly publication with a unique blend of business, art, philanthropy, and fashion...

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