Global Citizen 27

Page 1

6 297000 388007











OctOber 8-9, 2015 MOnte carlO bay HOtel



Become member of the Global Citizen community and engage in highly relevant discussions on what it means to be a Global Citizen covering challenges, opportunities, trends and forecasts. A masterfully designed Gala evening promises to

Join global leaders, government officials, family offices, financial and legal professionals, policy advisors, wealth managers, migration advisors, high net worth individuals, affluent real estate developers and the global elite, to

entertain and delight with world class performances.

engange, evolve and empower Global Citizenship.

c u r AT E D BY


T + 971 4 319 7665

(MENA rEgioN)

T + 1 855 935 6665 (NorTh AMEricA) T + 359 2 439 1464 (EuropE)



M E D i A pA r T N E r


7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Nobel Peace Prize winner

i N Sp i r E ch ANgE. provoKE i NNovATioN. EN courAgE E voluTioN. EMpowE r rESulTS.

JOHN PRENDERGAST Human rights activist, best-selling author Former Director, African Affairs,

IRINA BOKOVA Director-General, Unesco

National Security Council

under invitation



Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy & Climate Change Advisory Board, Former Supreme

Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-04) 11th President of the European Commission

Commander of NATO




Prime Minister, Antigua & Barbuda

Vice President of the European People’s Party Member of the European Parliament (Portugal)



Journalist, entrepreneur, publisher Founder of Monocle, Wallpaper

Legendary television and radio host Actor, voice artist, and comedian under invitation

+ other distinguished guests.





36 ART






40 Angel philanthropy 42 Christina Noble 46 Refugee photo essay 48 Suleman’s remembered by documentary 50 Sovereign Art Foundation 52 Emirates Foundation 54 Social entrepreneur Mohad Altar 56 Global Citizen Foundation


Luxury brands speak up Robin Sharma Hong Kong


30 START-UP Audiosplitter


Milan Expo 2015


Bahrain’s new art fair

Kernzer CEO

H. Moser&Cie

Eddie Handmade

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP 64 Invest in Australia 66 Montenegro’s new look 68 Global Citizen tax






















Manly summer toys

Spacious luxury aboard Benetti FB801

Jaquet Droz enameling

Bugatti bespoke footwear

Olderbar Brown’s swimwear

Cool Stone

Summer in the City


Nice with Mr Porter’s Toby Bateman

World time on your wrist

The newest global outposts in Dubai









EDITOR’S LETTER GLOBAL CITIZEN PUBLISHER Armand Peponnet EDITOR Natasha Tourish - SUB EDITOR Tahira Yaqoob - LIFESTYLE EDITOR Nausheen Noor - ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - FINANCE MANAGER Muhammad Tauseef - CONTRIBUTORS Amanda Fisher, Laura Binder, Rachael Taylor, Gareth Rees, Oliver Ephgrave, Ivan Carvalho, Eugene Yiga, Sheema Khan, Jake Hayman PRINTED BY Masar Printing and Publishing

very year in our summer issue special report, we allow the spotlight to shine more brightly than usual on the philanthropists who are using their wealth to change the path of those less fortunate. And it seems we are not the only ones who have been transfixed by the subject of late. The news that two regional billionaires are pledging vast fortunes to charity has captured global headlines this month and rightly so. The Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced he is donating his entire $32 billion fortune to his charitable organisation to help “foster cultural understanding” of Islam in America and the West, among other things, while the Emirati tycoon Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair pledged a third of his assets for the improvement of the quality of education among young Arabs. A bold move by both men, especially Bin Talal, still a fairly young man with plenty of time to leave a legacy. Yet their actions seem indicative of an ethos globally of billionaires. According to a report by Arton Capital and Wealth-X, the typical wealthy business leader or investor with an average net worth and liquidity of $46 million gives away $25 million over the course of his or her lifetime. In a region with such concentrated pockets of wealth, it is perhaps not surprising that during the holy month of Ramadan, traditionally associated with giving, we would be hearing about such large scale donations. There are probably plenty more we do not hear about. And speaking of generous souls, it would be remiss of me not to mention our exclusive cover interview with the Portuguese and Real Madrid legend Luis Figo. Besides his passion for football and instilling integrity back into the game’s governing body Fifa, Figo’s devotion to helping underprivileged and disabled children is what gets him out of bed in the morning. Although he prefers the spotlight to be on the children he is helping rather than himself, he talks briefly about the Luis Figo Foundation and shares his thoughts on Fifa’s top job. MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208

REACH MEDIA FZ LLC CHAIRMAN Armand Arton CEO Armand Peponnet - ADVERTISING SUBSCRIPTION Dubai Media City, Building 8, Office 87, PO Box 502068, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 385 5485 - Email: Copyright 2015 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.

Natasha Tourish 8


Photo by Shamil Tanna




Laura Binder

Gareth Rees

Rachael Taylor

Former group editor at Hot Media Publishing in Dubai, Laura has left life in the Emirates for her native UK, where she writes for international luxury titles. In this issue, she takes us to Cuba’s new frontier.

is a freelance journalist based in Cornwall, England. Formerly Editor of Emirates Airline’s in-flight magazine, Open Skies, he has more than 10 years’ experience working as a writer, commissioning editor and editor in the UK and Dubai.

is a watch and jewellery journalist based in London. She was the founding editor of UK business magazines Professional Jeweller and WatchPro and now writes for a variety of specialist and luxury titles around the globe.

Amanda Fisher

Oliver Ephgrave

Ivan Carvalho

is a Dubai-based freelance 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.

With over ten years’ experience in the design and luxury sectors, Oliver has written for international names such as Luxury Explorer and Royal Institute of British Architects. Since relocating to the Gulf region in 2008, he has edited a number of publications including DesignMENA and Middle East Architect.

is the Milan correspondent for Monocle magazine, covering a range of topics from politics to business to design for the English monthly and its 24-hour digital radio station, M24. A native of California, he previously wrote for Wired, Domus and the International Herald Tribune.



TogeTher WE InnovatE

Boeing collaborates with the Qatar Computing Research Institute to develop innovative computing solutions that address national priorities.

Leading through partnership Discover more at



Dedicated to the relaxing days of summer, whether its spent lounging by the beach in Europe, hiking in Switzerland or at home with family in the Middle East. Have a blissful summer and blessed Eid!









0 8 J U LY


Citizenship by Investment and International Residence Summit London

Art Monaco 2015 Grimaldi Forum in Monte-Carlo

Mr Armand Arton, President and CEO of Arton Capital will be speaking at the summit on HNW immigration and why the UK is an attractive option for foreign investors to take up residence and citizenship


27 S EP

What is Luxury? Victoria and Albert Museum, London ‘What is Luxury?’ explores the idea of luxury today and how attitudes to luxury are shaped by cultural concerns and personal attitudes. Extraordinary works of craftsmanship, including a couture gown by fashion designer Iris Van Herpen and Haute Horlogerie by British watchmaker George Daniels, will be on display.



1 2 J U LY


The International contemporary art show is one of the most highly anticipated art fairs in the Western sphere. Art enthusiasts and those lusting after luxury are invited to satiate their palettes at one of the most opulent global art shows to grace the French Riviera – Art Monaco.

2 5 J U LY

The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, England It’s Britain’s most prestigious open-age flat race, and its roll of honour features some of the most highly acclaimed horses of the sport’s recent history. Many of its winners subsequently compete in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and a number go on to have a successful career at stud. The race is often informally referred to as the “King George”.

1 6 AU G Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance California, USA Since 1950, Pebble Beach has been host to what is quite simply the finest exhibition of showcars in the world. Held each August on the 18th Fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Pebble Beach Concoursd’ Elegance is an annual gathering of rare and antique automobiles,international automotive luminaries and motorcar enthusiasts from around the globe.





The drop in tourism from Russian and Chinese markets to the UAE has forced luxury brands to shift their focus to the domestic market. GC finds outs how luxury brands have adapted their business model to attract these core customers





regional director Hublot Middle East and Africa

managing director, Swarovski Middle East

chief executive, Vertu

“Hublot has always catered primarily to the local clientele in Dubai. Although we do not target tourists specifically, some do buy our watches; however, the bulk of our sales comes from local clients. In that context, we are thankfully not directly affected when there is a crisis in one of the foreign markets. Our business model is tailored to the local market and we even apply it on social media by using the Arabic language to communicate with our clients.”

“As a global brand, Russian and Chinese consumers are very important to Swarovski however, our business in the Middle East has always been primarily focused on the regional consumer. We partner with regional designers, major abaya brand owners who create beautifully embellished abayas and jalabiyas, and interiors companies who design bespoke homeware and lighting for the discerning Middle Eastern consumer.”

“At Vertu we are focusing our efforts on growing our regional customer base throughout the Middle East markets, primarily at boutique level, via CRM programmes and very special events for a small number of carefully selected VIPs. We engage many of our Emirati customers both in the UAE as well as in London, so we make every effort to ensure a seamless experience, regardless of location.”



International Sales Executive of theYear OR CORRUPT NEGOTIATOR? We help you decide.

Citizenship by Investment | Anti-Money Laundering | Investigative Due Diligence

Approved and actively engaged vendor to over half of the 10 largest global financial institutions. New York | London | Vancouver | Dubai | Phoenix | 2015 JULY / AUGUST



HOW GREAT MASTERS THINK One of the elements of leadership is to rise to do your greatest work and give back to the world by delivering your best

Image courtesy of Getty Images


Love him or hate him, American rapper and designer Kanye West has become one of the most influential icons of his decade

am reading Time magazine’s 100 most influential people list and fascinated not only by the choices but by the common commitment to excellence that infiltrates their lives. They mention famed author Haruki Murakami, whose book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running I truly adore. Murakami is a marathon runner (he started at 33) and a former jazz club owner. More importantly, his painstaking devotion to his craft has allowed him to have a significant impact on the world of literature. The magazine lists Harry Potter star Emma Watson (she



auditioned for the first movie at the age of nine), a gender equality advocate whose “he for she” speech before the United Nations moved me deeply and reminded me few things matter more than standing for a cause you would take a bullet for. The list also includes Kanye West, whose debut album College Dropout is without a doubt one of the greatest hip hop works of all time. Love him or not, West’s devotion to total mastery of his craft is indisputable and inspirational. So what do these A-players all have in common? They have the mindset of a genius and for that you need certain attributes:


THE THREE MINDSETS OF GENIUS 1. Nothing matters more than the work Not fame. Not fortune. Not glory. “Balance” is not the game of most people going for legendary performance. Their lives are all about their craft. It is their true love, their greatest passion and their central mission. And because of this, they overcome the impatience, self-doubt, fear of stumbling and attraction to distraction that causes most of us to give up prior to genius showing up. 2. The process matters more than the masterpiece Leaders of their field understand elite performance takes years of training. They see themselves as apprentices learning the skill (often at the feet of a master) step by step, day by day. They commit to their education. They ritualise the discipline. They understand greatness takes time. Darwin had the devotion to study barnacles for eight years as part of forging his scientific understanding. 3. The audacity of originality is the dream Great performers go through a series of phases. They start as beginners (every pro was once an amateur). In this period, they watch the masters and copy their moves. With focus, grit and practice, they reach the next part — technical brilliance. Audiences are delighted by their proficiency. But it is their soul, bravery and audacity that is lacking. As the performer continues, they reach the final stage. This is where world class skill meets the heart. The performer has the guts to express their own voice,

do their own thing and behave in ways no one has ever seen. This is the goal of every A-player — to become a phenomenon. Let me end with these practices to start installing today to fuel your rise: Set initiations. All performers set clear challenges, like the writer who sets a goal to produce a book within 60 days or the tech star who creates an app that disrupts an industry. Or the athlete who runs further than he has ever run. Committing to regularly going past your limits, painful as this is, is how you breeze past them. Leverage solitude. We live in a world afraid of being alone but masters get that isolation breeds ideation. We do our best thinking and download our genius away from the world, not within it. When we work alone in our studio or walk solo in the woods, our brainwaves shift from beta to alpha. Neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine and anandamide (the brain chemical of bliss) get made. Our pre-frontal cortex (the part of our brains that does all the thinking and self-criticising) becomes quiet and we access the staggering brilliance that lies within each one of us. Renew your assets. For the legendary producer, there are three main assets needed to sustain fantastic results: focus, willpower and energy. If all you do all day is use these resources without replenishing them, they will deplete. So manage them well.

Robin Sharma is one of the world’s top leadership and high-performance experts. The author of 15 number one bestsellers, including The Leader Who Had No Title, his annual Titan Summit is widely considered one of the world’s best business and personal success conferences.

For more information visit or




A SAFE HARBOUR? Have investors overlooked Hong Kong’s political strife and helped cement its status as an economic powerhouse and the gateway to Asia? BY AMANDA FISHER

ast year was a tough one for Hong Kong. For nearly three months, the city-state’s umbrella revolution, so-called because pro-democracy protestors armed themselves with umbrellas to fend off tear gas, dominated the special administrative region of China. An estimated 100,000 of Hong Kong’s seven million residents turned out to protest against Chinese interference in Hong Kong political life and the road to long-promised independence after the British withdrew in 1997.



The protests were at times violent. Yet despite widespread arrests, there was little knock-on effect on trade relations, say officials. “While the protests last year in Hong Kong did bring some disruption to day-to-day lives, from a business perspective we have not received any reports of clients deciding to postpone or withdraw from setting up in Hong Kong,” says Invest Hong Kong associate director Francis Ho. He says despite suggestions the economy was impacted at the


time, it was local retailers in the areas where the protests were taking place who were mainly affected. “On the whole we do not see our economy having had any significant impact,” he adds. “Our trade and investment figures did not drop. We of course hope there will not be any repeat but I think the people of Hong Kong are well aware of the proper use of a mechanism to voice their message.” He is referring to the government’s second round of consultation on how to implement public elections by 2017, the results of which were released in April. The fact both retail and tourism figures actually rose in the protest month of October speaks volumes about the level of confidence outside investors have in the financial hub. In 2013, Hong Kong had a GDP of $274 billion with foreign direct investment of $76.6 billion, which made it the fourth largest recipient, according to the United Nations’ World Investment Report. This year’s Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by the Heritage Trust and the Wall Street Journal, places Hong Kong first globally, ahead of Singapore and New Zealand. The report notes, however, the economy’s score of 89.6 was a drop of half a point “reflecting a higher level of perceived corruption that outweighs small improvements in business, labour and fiscal freedom”. The World Bank also listed Hong Kong, where low corporate taxation of 16.5 per cent reigns, as the third best economy to do business in its Doing Business report last year. So is Ho nervous that any renewed rancour as a result of the government’s consultation might scare investors and impact the economy? He says: “We still have to see but foreign direct investment is a long term proposition. It is not for a fortnight.” Ho says the small and medium enterprise (SME) market is well supported in Hong Kong while the region is the perfect gateway to mainland China. “We do of course have big companies in Hong Kong. [The Japanese car manufacturer] Infinity has moved its global headquarters to Hong Kong and General Electric’s international operations are also housed [there] but SMEs have been the backbone of our economy. Ninety-eight per cent of our economy is SMEs.” The property market also offers lucrative returns for investors with enough cash. Hong Kong has the second most expensive property market in the world after London, with property values shooting up 135 per cent since 2008. But Ho says speculation of a property bubble is unfounded and

the government is implementing measures to ensure sustainable growth as well as providing more affordable housing options for young people and those on a lower income. “Companies who are interested in setting up in Hong Kong sometimes get caught up by expensive property prices but we have been explaining to them that we have all types of office space, [from] the very expensive international financial centre to space where you can rent a chair and table for as cheaply as $300 per month,” he says. Etisalat, Etihad and Mashreq bank are among 18 UAE companies that all have offices in Hong Kong. They are part of the picture of growing trade ties between the two regions, with an annual growth rate in bilateral trade of seven per cent last year alone. Last year trade worth $3 billion between the UAE and China was routed through Hong Kong – more than five per cent of the total trade between the two countries. Guy Rickett, the chief executive of the Dubai-based corporate hiring solutions company Cazar, says after seven years in the GCC, the firm set up an office in Hong Kong three years ago. “To expand, we decided we would try and replicate this business model in Asia. Initial target markets were Hong Kong, Singapore [and] Malaysia,” he says. “The key for us was the simplicity to establish, a good tax regime, fantastic transportation links and a great place for our staff to live. We decided Hong Kong offered that best package.” Rickett says the company, which has worked with 180 businesses in 64 countries, has gone from strength to strength since the move. “We are now well-established in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. We are even doing some business in Myanmar.” The target market for many is the lucrative economy of mainland China, which encompasses 1.4 billion people and is the world’s second largest economy. At the same time, Chinese companies are trying to reach international markets. Ho says the Chinese government has a flagship policy for international economic expansion. “The Middle East is definitely one part of the mega-game plan. We hope with the global policy that we see more and more companies from the mainland coming out and doing business overseas. At the same time, they will be opening up their economies to places including the Middle East.” That is welcome news for Rickett. “One of the hopes I had [when we moved to Hong Kong] was that we would perhaps find a way to enter the mainland Chinese market and I am glad to say that process is now happening.”

Image courtesy of Getty Images

“Companies who are interested in setting up in Hong Kong sometimes get caught up by expensive property prices”








COULD FIGO GO ALL THE WAY TO FIFA? In an exclusive interview, Portuguese footballer and philanthropist Luis Figo says he is looking forward to a new era of football following the resignation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter - but cautions it is too soon to name a replacement BY NATASHA TOURISH




uis Figo, a former world footballer of the year, pulled out of the Fifa presidential race in May over his frustration with president Sepp Blatter’s refusal for a public debate, comparing his 17-year tenure to a “dictatorship”. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid legend said the process was “anything but an election”. His withdrawal left incumbent Blatter with only one challenger, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein from Jordan, and Blatter was reelected - although his triumph was short-lived as the scandal of corruption allegations on his watch led to the announcement he would step down before the end of the year. Now all eyes are on his challengers - Figo among them. The footballing legend says he still stands by the manifesto he launched before withdrawing his bid to run for president but is refusing to be drawn on the prospect of mounting a fresh bid. “Candidates need time to build on and establish their profiles,” he has only said so far. Yet he is insistent the next person to take the most important job in football should “unite rather than divide” the sport.

When you withdrew your candidacy for the Fifa presidency, you said: “This process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with.” What did you mean? I said that because it became obvious to me the so-called elections were not elections at all. Of course I knew from the beginning that this would not be an easy task and I imagined I would face difficult obstacles, some of which were pretty dodgy but I did not imagine things would reach the level I witnessed.

You were very keen to challenge Sepp Blatter in a public debate. Why did you want the debate so badly? Essentially to give the fans and all the football stakeholders (including the federations) around the world a chance to compare and evaluate the proposals of each candidate. It would be the perfect opportunity to debate the future of football, the strategic path we must take. This would only benefit everyone who really cares about our game. This was probably the first socalled election I can remember in which there was not a single debate. Not to mention the fact that with the exception of Uefa, only Mr Blatter was allowed to speak in the confederations’ congresses. What would you say to Blatter if he was in front of you? I would raise the issue of transparency and good governance in Fifa. I would have asked what kind of strategy Fifa is pursuing for the development of football in all parts of the globe. I’d ask what was being done to attract more children to sports in general and our game in particular —and why Fifa spent more than $30 million on a movie production, among so many other things. How would you improve the World Cup voting process? I think there was a positive change in broadening the scope of the deciders. From the members of the Fifa executive committee we have now passed to a phase in which the 209 federations have a say in the congress. Still, I think this is not enough. The World Cup seeding is a very important thing and I believe there should be certain minimum requirements set out at different levels for a country to be able to bid for an event like that. Who do you feel are the leading candidates for the Fifa presidency following Blatter’s departure and what do you think they need to do in order to restore Fifa’s reputation? I think it is still early to speak about names or people in particular. The dust hasn’t settled yet and there is time to think and evaluate what is best. I think first we need to establish the profile of the next Fifa president. This person has to have charisma but also has to be a team player - someone who is ready to share the decision making process and to listen to as many parts involved as possible. Someone who has a true passion for the game and who places collective interests in front of him or herself. Someone who can understand and be accepted by all the federations in all parts of the globe. Someone who can unite and not divide.




“The more transparent Fifa can be, the more it will win back the trust of fans across the world.”




it faces such as discrimination, match fixing, doping, violence and transparency in money flow. Will you be putting yourself forward for the Fifa presidency again when Blatter steps down in December? It is time now for all the stakeholders and the federations to think and set the right profile. Only then should the quest for the right person start. What do you think the current investigation and allegations about Fifa’s senior officials mean for the future of the organisation? I fear these investigations will produce even more stunning results. Fifa will have to completely regenerate itself in order to survive and emerge as a transparent and efficient organisation. What impact does corporate sponsorship have on local businesses when countries are awarded the World Cup? There are a lot of studies on the economic impact of the World Cup. From the small businesses’ point of view, the flow of thousands of fans is a great opportunity to increase revenues but people and small businesses also have to prepare for the downturns and challenges involved.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

If you were to be appointed president, what changes would you instigate and how do you think they would benefit football? There are many urgent and important things to be done in order to start a new and healthy era for the better of Fifa and football. I have put them forward in my manifesto. Transparency would be key. The more transparent Fifa can be, the more it will win back the trust of fans across the world. I suggested an independent governance, audit and compliance committee takes charge of supervising the president and the entire Fifa organisation to ensure good governance is implemented. It would supervise Fifa’s processes, such as making sure all decisions are taken following a proper democratic consultation process, [ensure] Fifa’s financial transactions follow a proper tender process for suppliers and that the distribution of Fifa’s revenues are closely monitored and audited. I also suggested merging the ethics and disciplinary committees to enable them to administer sanctions. This merged committee would be fully independent from the executive committee and congress and would have to provide full publication of decisions. I also proposed changes in development, cooperation and solidarity with more investment in a more efficient way to develop football around the world. I had suggestions for the laws of the game and ways to protect football from the challenges

Figo visits the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Lisbon on behalf of the Luis Figo Foundation for International Children’s Day 2015 JULY / AUGUST



What do you think of the suggestion if change is not instigated in Fifa, powerful governing bodies like Uefa might choose to break away and become self-regulating? Do you think it is possible another governing body could wrestle power away from Fifa? FIFA is an association of associations so if a large number of associates are not happy with the association they’re part of, there is always the possibility to move in another direction. I feel this could well be avoided with new leadership and governance implemented in Fifa. Do you think Fifa has a duty to show social responsibility? Is it more than just another business? Yes I do. Sports has a very important role in our society and football in particular, with its fantastic ability to draw the attention of millions of passionate fans, has an even bigger responsibility to lead by example, set out good trends and echo the good values and true nature of sports. What do you think of Qatar hosting the World Cup when more than 1,000 migrant workers have allegedly died building stadiums for the tournament? And what of the World Cup being held in Russia, which is in direct military conflict with several of its neighbours and has a poor record for freedom of speech? When I mentioned the requirements a country must comply with to bid for the World Cup hosting, there is room for demanding human rights and international law respect. To me, human rights are not negotiable and if Fifa should give the example, the rules must be strict on that area. Having said that, it is obvious football cannot solve all the problems in the world but we can at least draw the attention of people to important matters. Do you support calls to boycott the Russian and Qatari World Cups? Do you think there is any basis to allegations of bribery and corruption in awarding them the World Cup? I do not know the dossiers in detail. I would very much like to read the full version of the Garcia report. I fully support the idea of investigating everything that has to be investigated. After this is done, let us see what kind of actions must be taken.



Barcelona recently won the Champions League. Do you still cheer for Barca, despite the rough ride you received from their fans after transferring to Real Madrid? I have not forgotten the great moments I spent in Barcelona. I spent five years there and another five amazing years in Real Madrid. Of course, the way the story of my transfer from Barcelona to Madrid was told turned a lot of Barca fans against me but I know what happened and the people who were then in charge of Barcelona also know. I have no hard feelings whatsoever toward Barcelona but I am a Real Madrid fan and will keep being one. What did it feel like to be the most expensive footballer in the world following your transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid? I was not thinking about that at all. I knew and warned Barcelona’s board that Real Madrid was ready to pay the release clause for having me there. The way Barcelona directors dealt with the process and the way Real Madrid’s presidential candidate presented the project in which I would be an important person convinced me to sign for Madrid. You created the Luis Figo Foundation in 2003 to help support disadvantaged and disabled young people. What was it that inspired you to give back? I was born and grew up in a working class family so I always had a clear notion that football gave me opportunities some of my friends and colleagues did not have. I felt I had the obligation to do something and give something back to the ones who need it most. As chairman, how involved are you in selecting the projects your charity gets involved in? I have competent people in charge of the daily activities but I like to be kept informed of everything we do and I always have the final say on strategic planning. How important is it for you to get your own children involved in the foundation’s work? Sometimes they do get involved with certain events but for the moment, they are more focused on studying and gaining the personal skills that will enable them to be young adults who are well educated and prepared for the future.




REVOLUTION SOUNDS The co-founders of London music sharing start-up Audiosplitter talk about their new platform for discovering new tunes

ith their 30th birthdays on the horizon, British former school friends Will Best, James Auton and Adam Goodwin took the plunge and gave up high-flying careers in consulting and art to set up Audiosplitter — a digital music-sharing platform for electronic dance music (EDM) fans with a built-in social network. “We’d had the idea since 2011, when we were all sitting on a beach at an electronic music festival in the south of France. We started talking about how all the people at the festival who were hardcore EDM fans would love to have a site to share their music with each other,” says Best, a TV presenter for the UK broadcaster Channel 4. After raising $175,000 in seed investments and another $550,000 with the help of Dubai-based investor Sanjay Shah, the young entrepreneurs have now set up home in London’s tech hub on Old Street. “The people we are going after are music fans whose music experience is spread across the internet. They will follow magazines and blogs so we have created a way to bring all of that to them in one site,” says Best. “Before they might have had a Facebook group with some mates sharing music, a music library like Spotify and follow a couple of music blogs. You have to have all these tabs open but now with Audiosplitter all of the people you interact with and all of the blogs you visit come though to you on one screen.” Although Audiosplitter is mainly focused on the London dance music scene, it has already garnered a large following in the US and Asia, picking up 10,000 followers in just one week



after one of its competitors shut down. It propelled their user base from a few hundred to 15,000 global users. Best says: “It was great to be able to easily post a track we love for our friends to see and to benefit from them doing the same but Facebook is not designed for music sharing. “We wanted somewhere we could play tracks seamlessly, archive them and bring in other groups of friends without making the experience feel cluttered. That place did not exist so we decided to build it ourselves.” He adds Audiosplitter is not a library service like Spotify or a forum for artists to upload material like SoundCloud. “We think of it as more like a Pinterest for music, with tracks from multiple sources being brought together on a social network and it’s that social element, which is the key difference. We are building grass roots communities from groups of like-minded music fans, starting with the underground electronic music world and growing from there. Within the context of the current streaming industry that is pretty disruptive.” Best says it could revolutionise the way people search for and discover music by “bringing together music that is currently scattered across the web and combining track meta data with social interaction data”. He adds: “The added benefit for both the industry and the fans is more opportunities to make purchases tailored to what they love, right at the point of discovery. We need scale to get there but once we do, the potential upsides are huge.”



The UAE pavilion designed by Sir Norman Foster to resemble sand dunes at the Milan Expo 2015


Could the $880 million Expo 2015 be a mere exercise in vanity or is there any substance to its message? GC visits Milan as a precursor to Expo 2020 in Dubai

very five years countries come together for an extravagant show unlike any other: the world’s fair. Since 1851, when London’s Hyde Park hosted the first edition and erected the impressive Crystal Palace to greet visitors, the universal exposition has served as a showcase for nations to display their industrial prowess and present their vision of the future. Once great gatherings where major technological advances were unveiled to an eager public, in today’s instant access world of the internet the fair has evolved into an elaborate exercise of nation branding, where countries fly the flag and promote tourism more than trade. For the host city, the event is an opportunity to reboot its image. This year all eyes are on Italy’s second city as Milan puts on Expo 2015, whose food-centric theme Feeding the Planet,



Energy for Life highlights the latest developments in agriculture and sustainable food production to prepare the world for the challenge of providing for a global population expected to top nine billion in 2050. Organisers are optimistic that the six-month event, which runs until October, will give a much-needed shot in the arm to a local economy looking to shake off years of recession. A business destination for those in finance, fashion and furniture, hopes are high in Milan for a big influx of tourists, who normally stop in the Lombard capital for a brief stint of shopping before spending the bulk of their money at more popular sightseeing destinations in Italy. However, the success or failure of Expo 2015 will not depend solely on attendance figures. So far, Milan has seen less than three million people per month pass through the fair’s gates

Images courtesy of Getty Images


Milan Expo 2015 is an opportunity for each country to boost their brand’s image and present their vision for the future




and despite 15 million tickets sold, officials are whispering that as many as 24 million visitors, or an average of four million a month, will be needed to cover the $881 million operating costs. World fairs get graded on the legacy they leave behind and several recent editions haven’t fared well – just ask the residents of Hannover (Expo 2000) and Seville (Expo 1992), stuck with empty pavilions in disrepair and a hefty bill. One thing in Milan’s favour is that the vast majority of pavilions will be dismantled and shipped back to their respective countries, with more than half the exhibition space to be left green. Initially, Expo 2015 officials wanted to avoid many of the problems that plagued cities like Hannover by not triggering a massive build-up on the one million metre squared plot set aside for the fair on Milan’s outskirts. In 2007, a masterplan by a team that included Pritzker-prizewinning architect Jacques Herzog envisioned a giant botanical garden where nations would

Along the nearly 2km-long avenue of nations at the expo, visitors are greeted by pavilion staff, often in ethnic costume and line up to await tours that display a country’s food culture — ­ some conceptual, like Japan’s digital rice fields, others practical, like Morocco’s exhibit of pristine rows of clementines. While there are architectural standouts among the pavilions – Chile’s simple pinewood structure and Sir Norman Foster’s design of sinuous concrete walls resembling sand dunes for the UAE– many come off as overwrought containers playing up national stereotypes that turns the event, in Herzog’s words, into a “vanity fair”. “It’s a Disneyland of food, with food courts to attract people. There’s little discussion about the theme of sustainability,” Boeri adds. The presence of sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s has also raised concerns. Still, the expo’s manager Piero Galli defends the setup. “We have invited Italy’s Slow Food

Milanese architect Stefano Boeri

Restaurateur Giovanni Fiorin, owner of Pisacco and Dry in the city’s Brera district

have plots to farm and pavilions would be minimal, replaced by barn-like structures and tables where visitors could eat and learn about countries’ farming practices firsthand. “Our idea was simple. We wanted to create an agricultural park and show people how the land is worked, to reconnect people to the soil,” says Milanese architect Stefano Boeri. He worked with Herzog on the project before officials ditched it in favour of a traditional layout with sprawling national pavilions that today feature exhibits with touchscreens and other digital trickery. According to Boeri, pavilions — which have cost the 145 participating nations more than $1.1 billion to assemble — are a tool of public diplomacy. “It is a sort of Olympics, with countries flexing their muscles through architecture.”

movement, which arose as a reaction to fast food restaurants, and McDonald’s so that people can see, taste and compare. There needs to be an open dialogue.” Galli notes the success of Pavilion Zero, an exhibit that recounts man’s relationship to agriculture through the centuries and highlights problems such as overfishing and the amount of purchased food that is thrown away today by wasteful shoppers. “A world’s fair is not a trade show. It addresses issues affecting all of humanity. Our goal is to make people aware of what they are putting in their mouths.” For better or worse, events like the expo leave their architectural footprint on a city – take the Grand Palais in Paris – and in the run-up to this event, the Milanese were subjected




Boeri’s Bosco Verticale (vertical forest), a pair of plant-covered apartment towers in the Porta Nuova business district features as many trees as can be planted in a hectare of forest.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

to construction sites as roads and metro lines were added or extended and the canal area was, after decades, cleaned up. For restaurateur Giovanni Fiorin, who oversees popular eateries Pisacco and Dry in the city’s Brera district, the headaches and costs of getting ready for the expo have not been offset by a boom in diners so far. “I have seen many restaurants opening around us in the past year but I do not see the crowds promised by organisers.” Perhaps the legacy of Expo 2015 is best seen in the city’s new Porta Nuova business district. Amid shiny skyscrapers and Boeri’s Bosco Verticale, a pair of plant-covered apartment towers, there sits Ratana. Housed in a former railway depot, the restaurant is run by chef Cesare Battisti. An Expo culinary ambassador, he shows off the pride of his kitchen ­— a new vegetable garden. Between rows of aromatic herbs, fruits and vegetables, which include 10 varieties of tomato, Battisti argues the fair is not about having some fancy new urban landmark akin to what Paris received in 1889 with the Eiffel Tower. “The legacy of hosting Expo is to put Italy back at the centre of the debate on food and what it means to cook using quality ingredients farmed in a sustainable manner,” he says as he sniffs a sprig of freshly picked basil. “That is far more important than any single building.”

Under the theme of ‘harmonious diversity’, the Japanese pavillion showcases an interactive installation of an immersive projection space that requires visitors to wade through a technological expanse 2015 JULY / AUGUST



Work by Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui will be on sale at ArtBahrain


Artists in Bahrain have been largely overlooked until now. A new art fair aims to get them international recognition BY TAHIRA YAQOOB

n Mohammed al Mahdi’s tongue-in-cheek take on The Last Supper, Batman is bathed in a celestial light as he presides over a motley crew of superheroes around the dining table. The artist’s sometimes sinister caped crusaders, ninja turtles and Snow Whites are executed in a childlike scrawl on canvas with an urgency that conveys “the wish of a child that has more faith in his imaginary world than the limiting real world that surrounds him”. His Superheroes exhibition in Bahrain’s Al Riwaq Art Space replaces Vantage, a show in which the artist Waheeda Malallah probed issues of womanhood and dowry with images of trays piled high with dinars, adorned with a single symbolic red flower.



This is pretty controversial stuff in a nation not usually known for welcoming subversion. And it’s all with the government’s approval. The artworks are part of a growing movement within Bahrain by artists who are struggling to articulate changes happening within their country and culture. Anti-government protests are still straggling on after four years of unrest in which dissenters are swiftly dealt with. In May this year, Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was jailed for six months for posts on his Twitter account. Regular clashes and occasional outbreaks of violence, even if they simply mean roads being closed off and traffic chaos at weekends, seem to have become a part of Bahraini life.

Images courtesy of Nja Mahdaoui/ ArtBahrain; Sylvie Meunier/ Al Riwaq Art Space; Mohammed al Mahdi/ Al Riwaq; Kaneka Subberwal/ ArtBahrain; Al Riwaq


Public art on display in Bahrain: French artist Sylvie Meunier’s old black and white photos of families adorn the windows of an old building as part of an event called The Nest 2015 JULY / AUGUST



Mohammed al Mahdi’s Superheroes exhibition at Al Riwaq Art Space is part of a growing art movement

want to bring some of the talent home. A total of 48 booths will be on show in the grounds of the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay hotel with most artwork priced from $10,000 up to $250,000, with a few select $1 million pieces. Both artists and gallerists will be invited to show their wares in the fair, which has been heavily subsidised to encourage them to take part. One third of the booths have already sold, with those exhibiting including London’s Albemarle Gallery and Galerie El Marsa and Marsam Mattar from Dubai. Meanwhile Sheikha Lulwa bint Abdulaziz al Khalifa and Sheikha Marwa bint Rashid al Khalifa are among the artists taking part. The British artist Sacha Jafri will begin his 18-year retrospective world tour in Bahrain. While much of the artwork being produced in Bahrain is personal rather than political, artists are exploring and probing new boundaries, says Bayan Kanoo, the Iraqi-born director of Al Riwaq, a not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and nurture talent from the Arab world. “I do not feel [the protests] have affected the art that much because Bahrainis do not want any confrontation. It is not in their personalities,” she says. “That is a cultural thing. Things happen organically here, not by force.” Instead, many of the artists are introspective like Malallah and Al Mahdi - albeit quietly subversive. Al Riwaq, one of a crop of art galleries which has sprung up in Bahrain, has been hosting an annual design and public art festival every year since

Yet the country is soon to launch its own art fair to compete with existing events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Running from October 12-16, ArtBahrain will be privately funded, although it has a royal seal in the form of patronage from Sabika bint Ibrahim al Khalifa, the wife of the ruler, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al Khalifa. Organisers say there is enough of a market in the tiny island nation to draw buyers, collectors, artists and gallerists to another regional fair. They are expecting to attract up to 10,000 visitors to the four-day event in October, including 2,000 VIPs and a pool of 200 top-end art collectors. “It is an endeavour to bring international art to Bahrain and to take Bahrain to the world,” says Kaneka Subberwal, the fair’s Indian co-founder. “We had a fantastic response without even going public. I feel Bahrain is very refined in its culture. It might not shout about it but content-wise, it does so much. “I felt there needed to be a bind between that effort and its communication to the rest of the world.” Subberwal’s team says high-end investors in Bahrain currently have to travel to see the best the art world has to offer and they




Kaneka Subberwal, founder of ArtBahrain

2011 and encourages everyone to take part in coming up with conceptual art pieces and installations. In 2013, the French artist Sylvie Meunier took old black and white photos of families as part of the event, called The Nest, and placed them in the windows of a decrepit building, a traffic-stopping comment on the nation’s past looking out onto its future. Today, the capital Manama is heaving with the remnants of past festivals, from abstract sculptures on roundabouts to random installations down tiny rutted alleyways in Block 338 in the Adliya neighbourhood, where the number of art galleries, antique stores, chic bars and restaurants have even drawn accusations of being too bourgeois. Meanwhile, a number of private ventures are slowly but steadily building an art scene in the country, a movement which has until now lingered in the shadows of the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Fatima Alireza renovated her pearl merchant father’s dilapidated 150-year-old home to create La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art, a public exhibition space. Earlier this year, the Dubai-based photographer Sueraya Shaheen exhibited her Encounters show there, featuring a series of pensive portraits of Arab artists. Malja, meaning shelter, recently opened as a cultural hub hosting exhibitions and live performances from the likes of hip hop artist Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC. And in 2003 Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed al Khalifa, Bahrain’s dynamic culture and information minister, announced a $100m package to restore the historic Muharraq neighbourhood, once the capital and epicentre of the pearling industry. A total of 17 traditional old homes along a 3km stretch were resurrected, including Bin Matar House, a 1905 family mansion converted into a museum and exhibition space. But Kanoo says a lack of consistency in supporting the arts has been to the detriment of Bahrain’s artists. Although there has been an art movement since the 1950s, much of it has been fragmented with artists working in isolation rather than collaborating with one another and receiving government funding. Sheikha Mai’s regeneration project was funded by private banks like Arcapita, which went bankrupt in 2012, and the government only stepped in when the private sector was hit by the 2009 recession. “We need a policy and a vision [to support artists],” says Kanoo. “When you have an art school, you have a community but there is nothing like that here. “The artists here really need to be noticed but most do it as a second job. They are not full-time artists and that says something. “Our asset in Bahrain is not the money, it is the people. In places like Saudi and Qatar, everything is moved by decision. Here it is decided by the people. There is no investment in people but they are largely investing in themselves.” Public art festivals have left their mark on the city




TAKING A GAMBLE ON CHARITY ngel investors – or wealthy individuals prepared to take risks on early-stage unproven ideas – will do more good with their philanthropy than those who give more conservatively to ideas which are safe and proven – the approach of a stock market investor. A good stock market investor is generally looking for modest returns with little interest in risk. They search out a portfolio of reliable companies that can make a mid-single digit return. The best way to get rich off the stock market is to have a vast amount of money to start with. It is a volume game; buy enough of the best stuff out there and you will just keep building. This is how most people approach philanthropy. Distrustful of the charitable sector and without a robust understanding of how social change happens, they opt for the project with the



most impressive track record and the best proof of concept. They pay for a modest, achievable extension of their programmes. But as with the stock market, to make a big difference you need a huge amount of capital. The truth is that putting $100,000, $1 million or even $5 million into the best, most proven interventions, is going to do a lot of reliable good – but it is not going to change the world. You are effectively taking the same investment approach as a government department. If your focus is on education and you are buying into the best, safest, most proven interventions, you are mimicking the British government’s education department, which has an annual budget of $89.3 billion or $89.4 billion if you include your contribution. There has been a long history of philanthropists who just

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Jake Hayman advises on private and corporate philanthropy through the firm he co-founded, The Social Investment Consultancy. He tells GC why angel investors make better philanthropists


want to help, to find some nice disadvantaged young people who will forever be in their debt. Let us call these philanthropists the lottery ticket investors. Not so strategic but even a broken clock is right twice a day. They have been challenged for the past 20 years by a selection of people who want to professionalise the charity sector and commission programmes that work. This has led us from the lottery ticket approach to the stock market model. But now we are moving again. Today another wave is about to hit, led by entrepreneurs and Generation Y, who are not interested in administering sticking plasters to the grateful poor, or deciding which is the best brand of sticking plaster and bulk-buying. Instead, they are interested in why so many people are suffering cuts. They are prepared to invest in insight – not due diligence on an organisation but research into a problem. They are then prepared to put money into something that is, by its nature, unproven. Given that everyone else is busy buying lottery tickets or replicating government, they might have to put all the money in themselves. They might have to take real risk. The second defining factor of this group is that they want an exit. They want to win and move on. They want to get the intervention to a point at which they are no longer needed as quickly as possible so that they can move on to the next thing. Angel investors take a portfolio approach and they want to fail fast if they are going to do so. Finally, the third defining factor is that an angel investor approach will involve spending as much time on creating an enabling environment for their intervention or approach than actually doing it. There is no point in being the lone person who gets something. You need to create a marketplace for it so that you can move on to your next project rather than be stuck pedalling this one alone. Angels need buy-in, partnerships and marketplaces. They need ecosystems. So how might this play out in practice? Well, let us imagine we are looking at a town where unemployment is high and yet employers cannot find young people with the skills they need so jobs go unfilled. A lottery ticket investor will pay for scholarships for as many young people as possible to go to a private boarding school outside the town, where they get coached into a top university and can then move to London and not have to exist in the squalor of their home town. The problem with this is approach is that it leads to a brain drain and to a decent proportion of the young people being unhappy, who do not feel at home at the boarding school and do not want to go to university and move to London. Yes, there are great stories for the annual review, but this programme is environmentally unsustainable. The stock market investor is a little smarter. He or she wants to know what it is that makes young people better qualified, even if their schools are failing. It turns out tutoring does the job. Twelve hours of one-to-one tutoring will boost a young

Jake Hayman, CEO of The Social Investment Consultancy

“The truth is that putting $100,000, $1 million or even $5 million into the best, most proven interventions, is going to do a lot of reliable good – but it is not going to change the world.” person’s grade and improve the number that pass GCSE exams at the age of 16 by 20 per cent, the number that go on to A-Levels by 15 per cent and ultimately university graduation by 10 per cent. This approach leads to a more skilled workforce. It is a smart investment and is not going to fail. The problem, however, is that the moment the philanthropist stops paying for it, the programme terminates and given the cost per pupil is so high, there is only sufficient funding for 10 per cent of pupils to benefit. Yes, there is a small improvement in the town’s economy and unemployment levels but the cost is unsustainable. The angel investor says, ‘wait a minute’. “You are telling me we are spending £5,000 per pupil per year on education in order to get young people to exams that they are failing? And these exams have no connection to the work they want to do or the labour market opportunities that exist? And that most people are using their philanthropic capital to either bypass this broken system or try to compensate for it? Does anyone have any better ideas?” And a journey begins.

Jake Hayman was named one of London’s 1,000 most influential people by the Evening Standard newspaper last year. He is an advisor to some of the world’s leading new philanthropists in his role as founder and chief executive of The Social Investment Consultancy.




A NOBLE CAUSE Bereft of her family at an early age, sent to live in institutions and suffering a catalogue of abuse, Irish activist Christina Noble is well placed to understand the suffering of those she cares for BY NATASHA TOURISH

urrounded by a thick cloud of smoke in a dimly lit hotel bar on a scorching Dubai summer’s afternoon seems an unlikely place to find the Irish humanitarian and children’s activist Christina Noble. But then, nothing about the head of a charitable foundation with offices in seven cities around the world is stereotypical. Her wavy blonde hair, piercing Dublin accent and raucous laugh disguise not only her 71 years but also her troubled past. The holder of an OBE is quick to point out there are “no airs or graces about me” before explaining she is in Dubai to drum up awareness and funds for her eponymous foundation,

including a meeting with the chief executive of Pepsi and the Irish ambassador to the UAE. But she insists: “I was not born to be an administrator. I was born to love and make things happen.” It is clear Noble, who is well-known in her native Ireland, is ferociously protective of what she describes as her “babies” — the 700,000 street children in Vietnam and Mongolia that her NGO, the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF), has helped save over the past two decades from the same suffering she endured as a child. Bereft of her family at an early age, sent to live in institutions and suffering a catalogue

Children’s activist Christina Noble with two of the kids she rescued from the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam 42



of abuse, she knows the trauma suffered by those living on the streets. Noble, or Mama Tina as she is known in Vietnam and Mongolia, spends several months of the year in Ho Chi Minh city working with children who have been rescued from the streets by her foundation. The rest of the time she is at her home in County Kildare. “I have been forced to spend more time than I would like there in recent times because of poor health but my real home is with my children in Vietnam and Mongolia. I live for them,” she says. As CNCF projects need $2.4 million annually to operate, fundraising is a necessary part of her mission. “I often lie awake at night and worry about where the money is going to come from because the most important thing is that we do not fail these children. They have already been failed in so many ways and I will not do it to them again.” CNCF provides safe housing, medical care and access to free education for the 20,000 children that pass through its doors each year. Despite the constant financial worry, Noble, a grandmother of six, says her greatest reward comes from watching the children graduate from high school, then university and going out into the world to work. “That is all we want, to offer these kids a future,” she says. “We have social workers in our centre who have been educated to university level thanks to the foundation and have come back to work for us.” Besides fundraising, one of the biggest challenges the foundation faces is making sure it moves with the times. “Vietnam has changed so much over the past 20 years, we have to make sure we continue to service a need and adapt

to the changing times. “Street children can now access the internet so this poses a whole new set of problems with them being exposed online. They also see more wealth around them in certain pockets of Vietnam and Mongolia and that can breed crime, ” she says. Lately, Noble’s focus has been on a biopic feature film called Noble and a new documentary by Ciarin Scott, which was screened on Irish television last month. The documentary In A House That Ceased To Be charts Noble’s struggles along with her brother and two sisters — who have all since migrated from Ireland — whom she was separated from as a 10-year-old after their mother died in 1941 and their alcoholic father was deemed unfit to care for them. Noble and her three younger siblings were sent to live in different state institutions run by Catholic nuns, where they suffered a catalogue of trauma and abuse. She says it was “very difficult for us all” to take part in the documentary. “We had never all been in one room together since we were separated as children,” she recalls of the family meeting at her brother’s home in Texas. “It got very emotional. There was a lot of swearing,” she says, referring to the opening scenes of the documentary which sees Noble walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh City at night and encountering a woman who has dressed her child up as a monkey to make money. Like so many in her fold, Noble lost her innocence early on in life. She was homeless by the time she was 16, having fled the church-run institution where was living. Living rough on the streets of Dublin, she was gang-raped and her misery continued into her adult life after she moved to England at the age of 18

“These children have already been failed in so many ways and I will not do it to them again”



The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation has helped over 700,000 children in Vietnam and Mongolia since 1991.

and later married a violent man. Yet her maternal and nurturing instincts never dulled. Noble is mother to three grown-up children, Helenita, Nicolas and Androula, who have six children between them. Helenita works as international manager of the CNCF while Nicolas is a director of CNCF Vietnam and Noble’s eldest grandson works for the foundation in Mongolia. Noble herself was severely beaten on the streets of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar in a bid to deter her from further exposing the physical and mental abuse of local children in state detention centres. Partly as a result of her campaigning, the Mongolian government introduced proper policing policies for children and a children’s police force was introduced in 2003. In Vietnam, the then president Tran Duc Long recognised Noble’s efforts with an honorary recognition award and presented CNCF with a certificate of merit for its contribution, the highest honour even awarded to a foreign organisation. It was the founder’s unbroken spirit that made her namesake feature film Noble, directed by Irish filmmaker Stephen Bradley, such a hit among international audiences after its release in May. The independent film chronicles Noble’s life up to the point when a dream prompted her to go to Vietnam in 1989 to work with street children. Despite getting a limited global release, the movie has already picked up seven film awards in the US and two in Ireland, including the top jury prize at the 29th annual



Santa Barbara film festival. Noble says she was not initially keen on the idea of having her story told on the silver screen but came round after Bradley and his wife, the stand-up comedienne and actress Deirdre O’Kane — who plays Noble in the film — spent two years persuading her. According to Helenita, Noble had received offers from various Hollywood producers for five years but always refused. “I had to know I could completely trust the people doing the film. After I got to know Stephen and Deirdre for a few years, I was happy for them to do it,” says Noble. Yet the charity campaigner says she did not have any involvement in the script or filmmaking process. “I did not see it until it was finished but I think they got it completely accurate,” she says. Despite the film’s success, Noble says her foundation is unlikely to reap any significant financial rewards. “The film was funded by private investors so they have to be paid first and if there is anything left, it will go to the foundation,” she says. Helenita, though, says the awareness the movie has generated for her mother’s foundation and the plight of the children in Vietnam and Mongolia has been immeasurable. For more information on the CNCF please visit: www.



CROSSING THE FRONTLINE A British photographer used to working in conflict zones stepped out from behind the camera to help millions of displaced Syrian families I could not hide behind my work any longer,” says Will Wintercross, the British photojournalist and founder of the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. Daily Telegraph photographer and video journalist Wintercross has covered conflict zones around the world for over a decade, including Angola, Iraq, and Mali. Yet he says he was still left reeling by the depravity of the situation in Syria, which was “so horrendous” that he quickly realised no matter how many photographs he shared with the world, drastic action was needed to change the situation. “I could take pictures all day long and share them with people back home but the scale of this [Syrian conflict] in comparison to other global crises like Ebola or the earthquake in Nepal is completely different in nature,” he says. “This is deliberate. It was not an accident and there is no end in sight.” The photographer, who has been nominated in the photo essay category of the UK Picture Editors’ Guild awards, has

A Syrian46boyJULY surveys the damage after a mortar attack in Syria’s largest city Aleppo. / AUGUST 2015

not been able to travel to Syria for the past year because of the threat from ISIS. Yet he has managed to raise more than $28,000 with the help of supporters since launching his charity in May this year at a gala dinner in central London. He plans to tie up with another more established UK-registered charity to distribute 100 per cent of the funds raised among Syrian refugee camps. “We do not have people on the ground in Syria to distribute the aid but there are other UK charities that do, so I have shortlisted a few and I am in the process of vetting them,” he says. Wintercross says he has pinpointed one charity in Manchester, which works with children in refugee camps. Once the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund’s charitable status, currently in process, is official, Wintercross plans to distribute the funds via the affiliated charity. To donate, visit:

Š Will Wintercross

A Syrian boy plays amongst the rubble in the northern city of Azaz

Two years after opening, the children of Bab al Salama refugee camp on the Syria-Turkey border are left destitude with no toys or classrooms to play in.




The late Babar and Haris Suleman before their fateful last journey

THE LAST ADVENTURE A new documentary recounts the fatal attempt by the US teenage pilot Haris Suleman and his father Babar to circumnavigate the world in a single engine plane to help Pakistan’s poorest children BY SHEEMA KHAN

Our family has gone down from five to three and that has been devastating to deal with,” Hiba Suleman says at her home in Indiana in the US. She is preparing for the release of a documentary about the life of her father Babar Suleman and her 17-year-old brother Haris. “They were the lively ones in our family, always quick to joke and laugh and make others laugh as well. That has been the hardest to deal with — the quiet.” The father and son had planned to fly around the world in just 30 days to help impoverished children in their native Pakistan. The pair were in the final days of the whirlwind journey and had



already raised $500,000 for the Pakistani non-profit organisation The Citizens Foundation (TCF), which helps build schools for underprivileged children, when their single engine plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean between American Samoa and Honolulu on July 23, killing them both. Their dream had been to raise $1 million for TCF. After the pair were killed, the fund received more than $3 million. As the first anniversary of the Sulemans’ death approaches, the family is preparing for the release of a documentary they have supported entitled Babar and Haris, which aims to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and tell their remarkable story.


Shortly before the devastating crash, Haris and his father spoke to GC about their round-the-world escapade. The teenager’s sense of adventure and generosity for others was infectious. “There is a part of everyone that craves discovery and adventure and we have chosen to live out this craving. Breaking out of the routine of day-to-day life requires bravery in more than one form,” Haris poignantly said at the time. For Hiba, the completion of the trip would have cemented her father and younger brother’s names in the history books. “Haris would have been the youngest pilot ever to circumnavigate the world,” she says. US-based co-director and co-producer Amina Chaudary says she was touched by the Sulemans’ story and contacted the family after the accident to offer her condolences. “I sent several condolence messages to Hiba. I urged her to consider documenting and recording everything,” she says. “Hiba invited me to Indiana on what was to be Haris’ 18th birthday and with my DSLR, I filmed the Sulemans putting birthday balloons on his headstone. That moment was touching and convinced me this story needed to be told in a formal documentary fashion.” Chaudary says everything happened “organically”. The filmmaker Beth Murphy, together with Hollywood actor and producer Faran Tahir, came onboard to help make the documentary a reality. The film crew travelled from Indiana to Pakistan, Egypt and Pago Pago in American Samoa to produce the documentary. “The film is very much about a search for meaning—not from understanding Babar and Haris’ death but from understanding the way they lived,” says Murphy. Hiba adds: “Our family is featured in the documentary as the team followed our attempts to recover my father’s body, retrace their steps around the world and come to terms with the accident and what resulted from it.

“I went to oversee a deep sea search for my father three months after the accident. We believed he was dead and that his remains were with the plane.” Haris’ body was found almost immediately after the crash, but Babar’s body is still missing. The crew and family, including Haris’ mother Cookie, Hiba and her eldest brother Cyrus, also attended a ceremony in President House in Islamabad, Pakistan, where the third highest civil award Sitara-e-Imtiaz was posthumously conferred upon the pair in March this year. The family also visited Sargodha in Pakistan, where Babar had spent a significant amount of time in the Pakistan Air Force Academy, where his love of flying first took hold. Chaudary says the Suleman family’s greatest contribution to the documentary was allowing them to accompany them to Pakistan. The documentary, paid for in part by community fundraisers, will be released globally on the anniversary of their death. “Ultimately, the idea is to take this film to places that were of great value to Haris and Babar. That includes showings in Plainfield, Indiana and Pakistan,” says Chaudary. “We hope this documentary will show the world Pakistanis are more than the dry, war-torn country you read about in the news. We hope it will show Muslims are more than the angry, violent terrorists seen on television,” says Hiba. She adds fame was neither her father’s nor Haris’ goal. “In giving their life for the cause of education in Pakistan, they have left behind a legacy and qualities to aspire to.” The documentary is just one of the many ways in which the Sulemans are remembered. Secondary schools were built by the TCF in their honour near Islamabad and Okara in Pakistan. There is also a scholarship in Haris’ name at Plainfield High School where he studied.

The remaining members of the Suleman family (L-R)- Mother Cookie, sister Hiba and brother Cyrus are continuing on their father and brother’s legacy by helping children in Pakistan’s poorest regions. 2015 JULY / AUGUST


His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa with the Sovereign Trust Consultancy team in Bahrain


Bahrain-based Sovereign Group has added some colour to the lives of 5,000 orphans in Bahrain with its annual art foundation schools’ prize

rt has galvanised communities for generations and nowhere more so than in the Middle East, which has witnessed a flurry of regional art fairs and recordbreaking art auctions in recent years. But a cause with art at its heart aims to not only add to the collections of enthusiasts in Bahrain — where a love of art and culture is nascent but growing steadily — but help those less fortunate at the same time. For the past two years, art auctions of students’ work have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help orphans in the island nation. “Art in itself is a powerful tool but if we can instigate change by selling it at auctions for a charitable cause, it can be an even more powerful tool for the benefit of the community at large,” says Georges Khallouf of the Sovereign Group. For the second year running, the Bahrain-based wealth management company has helped raise more than $500,000 through its Sovereign Art Foundation school prize to help

orphans in Bahrain in collaboration with the Royal Charity Organisation. Through the foundation — a global initiative that harnesses the power of the arts to achieve social objectives and celebrate its importance within the education system — students from all over Bahrain got the opportunity to create artworks, which were then shortlisted and auctioned off at a charity dinner where all the proceeds raised went toward supporting the island’s orphans. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa showed his support by bidding nearly $66,000 for one of the students’ paintings — the highest bid at the auction. As part of the foundation’s expansion in the Middle East, the company plans to bring the Bahraini exhibition to the UAE before the end of next year in the hope it can not only showcase local talent but raise awareness and funds for the orphans.

Sovereign Art Foundation’s student art exhibition at the Isa cultural center­­in Bahrain 50


For donations or to buy any of the artworks, visit

‘Witness from Baghdad’ by Halim Al-Karim, 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize finalist

‘Witness from Baghdad’ by Halim Al-Karim, 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize finalist

THE ART OF TAX PLANNING Sovereign is proud to be sponsoring The Sovereign Art Foundation for the 12th consecutive year - helping it to make the world a better and more artistic place. Sovereign offers charity to its clients too. We form charities and foundations to help our clients with their charitable aims. And to ensure they have more to give we offer a comprehensive family office service including wealth management, tax planning, asset protection, company and trust formation.

Contact us for an exploratory conversation. Sovereign Corporate Services Tel: +971 4 270 3400 Fax: +971 4 352 7518

Abu Dhabi, Bahamas, Bahrain, British Virgin Islands, China, Curaçao, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, 2015 JULY / AUGUST 51 Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom


Clare Woodcraft-Scott

SHAPING YOUNG MINDS The Emirates Foundation’s chief executive Clare Woodcraft-Scott is focusing on private sector jobs and training for Emiratis BY AMANDA FISHER

f you are planning on getting into a conversation with Clare Woodcraft-Scott, it pays to have a pocket dictionary to hand – or at least a glossary of business terms. The Emirates Foundation’s chief executive peppers her speech with phrases like “absorption capacities”, “scalabilities” and “sustainabilities”. But then, the 47-year-old has been excited by the practice – and not just the lingo – of sustainability in business since childhood, long before it became a buzzword. “I have always had a profound interest in socio-economic development and how it can be sustainable but did not know as a child what it was called,” she says. As head of the Abu Dhabi government-funded philanthropic organisation, she oversees its mission to help form public and private partnerships to improve prospects for the young. She undertook a master’s degree in sustainable development at the London School of Economics the first year the programme was offered in 1993. It was this interest, along with her fluency in Arabic and French, that drew the British-born Arab-phile to the region in 1994 after graduating. “My fundamental passions and interests are sustainable



development and languages and communication. When you combine those two, you end up in the Middle East looking at socio-economic development and sustainability,” she says. Involved with the Palestinian Solidarity movement at university, Woodcraft-Scott’s first move was to Palestine, where she initially worked for various donor organisations and local NGOs, looking at the use of aid money and development under occupation. In 1998, she became the finance editor of a regional oil and gas publication based in Cyprus. “I became very disillusioned with traditional development and the level of real social impact, real value creation and accountability and transparency,” she says. “I felt too much aid assistance was being thrown at good causes without understanding the absorption or institutional capacity.” In other words, throwing money at the problem with little regard to making it work. Woodcraft-Scott says the situation in Palestine after the 1993 Oslo Accords, where there was a “sudden massive inflow of international aid”, exemplified this. In 1994, international aid nearly trebled to $471 million from the previous year while the GDP was $2.8 billion, according to World Bank figures.


“You were starting to match the size of the economy with international aid flows, so there was limited absorption capacity in a country under occupation with very immature institutional structures. Often the money was deviated from the original purpose.” Non-governmental organisations began creating proposals for “any old programme, irrespective of whether they needed it” and salaries in some cases quadrupled, distorting the local market and salary brackets. But more disillusionment followed after new reports of “traditional concessional development finance”, essentially soft loans from government agencies with very lenient repayment terms. Woodcraft-Scott says she thought the commercial sector might have a better model so she “switched to the dark side”. After moving to the UAE in 2002, she first worked for Visa, then Shell, handling public affairs, communications and corporate social responsibility. She says she found similar problems but a great “hybrid model” at the Shell Foundation, which used principles from the business sector to create social value. This insight into venture philanthropy brought her to the Emirates Foundation, where she took the helm in 2011. Venture philanthropy, she says, means taking the principles of business and how to create commercial value and applying them to social projects. That means focusing on measurable outcomes, introducing accountability and transparency and always striving to provide better training at a lower cost, she adds, as well as presiding over continual reductions in cost per trainee. The Emirates Foundation has six separate programmes all aimed at training young Emiratis and arming them for a future world of exponential development and potential job opportunities. “Each programme we have is run like a small business,” she says. “It has key performance indicators, is accountable, transparent and market-based. What does the market need, what do young people in the UAE need and where are the gaps in the market? None of our programmes duplicate existing programmes.” Last year the foundation had 31,000 young Emiratis enrolled in its programmes. Woodcraft-Scott, a stepmother of three, says young people perhaps need more support now than at any time

in the past, given the rapidly changing world. But achieving its aims is not always easy. In 2012, the chief executive said up to 40,000 young Emiratis were unemployed. She insists the role of the foundation “is not to reduce unemployment. “Our mission is to inspire, guide and empower. My job is not job placement per se. It is to train young people so they can think critically, problem solve, do future scenario planning and navigate this highly complex world.” While the foundation intends to track employment figures of the young people it trains in the future, it currently measures the number of people who have gone through the programme, mentors and training opportunities created and volunteers trained. Another challenge is to encourage young people into the private sector, with less than 10 per cent of Emirati employees employed in the private sector, according to figures from the UAE’s Ministry of Labour in 2013. The government’s Emiratisation programme aimed to bump that figure up to 15 per cent of the workforce in private companies. T he fou nd at ion is playing its part by connecting young people with mentors in the private sector and getting them to spend a day in a private sector company. “Most young Emiratis are not connected to the private sector,” says Woodcraft-Scott. “They do not have networks and their colleagues, friends and family do not work for the private sector so they do not understand it.” There are also misconceptions among the private sector that the foundation is trying to address, she adds. “We work with the private sector helping them to understand you cannot just pick off a young Emirati and put him in the corner of the office and expect he will thrive in this different operating environment.” But will there always be a problem, given the large gap between public sector and private sector remuneration? Woodcraft-Scott says not. “People will always be interested in the money but that is kind of old school to say, ‘it is only because salaries are better in the public sector’. Now we are seeing young people [who] want an interesting career and professional development. “If we can help them understand the professional development opportunities of the private sector are most likely better than the public sector, you can help to change the trend.”




THE BEDOUIN BILLIONAIRE Mohed Altrad overcame a tragic beginning to become an award-winning entrepreneur

orn in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the Syrian desert as a result of his mother being raped, Mohed Altrad’s beginning could not have been more tragic. Yet rather than living the tribal life destined for him at the hands of a violent father, he escaped and built a billion-dollar business empire, which has just won him a World Entrepreneur of the Year award. Abu Dhabi played a part in Altrad’s meteoric rise. He worked for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company before setting up the Altrad Group on the back of a scaffolding empire that forms his core business. Although Altrad’s passport says he is French and 65 years old, the billionaire is not quite sure. “I don’t know my date of birth because when you are born in the desert in a Bedouin tribe moving all the time, there is no register,” he says. “My mother was abused from the age of 12 and raped twice



by the head of the tribe. The first time, she gave birth to my brother, who was killed [within the tribe]. The second time was for me to be born into this world.” Altrad puts his good fortune down to a lucky streak from an early age. He was spared the fate of his brother because he was sent to live with his grandmother. “She did not want me to go to school because shepherds don’t need school.” But her eager grandson insisted. Altrad later went to live with another relative near Raqqa, now the violent capital of the Islamic State (Isis). He earned a baccalaureate, graduated first in the region and earned a scholarship from the Syrian government to study in France. “I did not speak any French,” he says. “Being raised in the desert without electricity, the only thing I had when I arrived in France were pictures in my mind of a beautiful country of freedom, liberty and solidarity.”

Image courtesy of Getty Images



When Altrad arrived in Montpellier in November 1969, aged about 17, he found the people to be as cold as the weather. “I was really disappointed. It was raining and cold and because I did not speak French, people seemed very unfriendly. I decided France would never change for me. I had to change for this country. I felt I had no choice.” He earned a doctorate in computer science in the early 1970s and married a Frenchwoman. He and three friends then founded and quickly sold a startup that made portable computers, netting Altrad nearly $600,000. In 1980, he answered an ad in Le Monde newspaper to work for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. He spent nearly four years in Abu Dhabi with his wife and two young children designing a telecommunications network to communicate with people on the off shore oil platforms. But it was the building work in the rapidly evolving city that really caught his eye. “There was so much construction going on without any safety procedures for these Pakistani, Indian and Filipino workers,” he says. “They were just climbing on top of scaffolding, which was hastily built without regard for safety. I saw a guy falling to his death.” Back in France in 1985, Altrad was asked if he would be interested in acquiring a failing scaffolding manufacturer. Altrad decided to buy the company with Richard Alcock, a British friend from Abu Dhabi. They paid one French franc, with Altrad owning 90 per cent of the company. It was a wise move. The Altrad group now employs 17,000 people in 100 countries around the world, having acquired a Dutch competitor, Hertel, in March. It enabled them to double in size to become a company with 170 affiliates around the world in countries including the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as annual profits of $200 million. Altrad claims his business model is based on humanistic principles. He wrote a charter over 30 years that he calls “pathways to the possible”. He says: “Initially it was just notes for discussion. Then it became a small poetic book. Every now and then we update it. It explains the humanistic concepts of the enterprise, which are actually applied.” The group makes more than $220 million before tax and at least 15 per cent is given back to employees in accordance with certain criteria.

“I am not trying to tell you things are perfect --- but the intention is there,” he says. “I am working every day to make things a little bit better.” After 30 years away, Altrad returned to Abu Dhabi last September. He was disappointed not to be able to recognise anything from his time here, although, he says, “what has been built and done in Abu Dhabi is beautiful”. The entrepreneur took his youngest two sons and daughter on a trip to the UAE’s desert. “We ate and rested under the open desert sky. It was not something new for me but it was fascinating for the children and for my wife. We really enjoyed it.” Altrad says he could still live as a desert Bedouin, even today. “Having the title of billionaire does not impress me. I live simply. Yes, in a good house – a small chateau – and there is a lot of comfort. But if you take me from that place and send me to the desert, I can live as I lived when I was a child with no problem.” He has written a book called Bedouin, an autobiography chosen by French education officials to be read in schools. “In France, I am very well known as an Arab. But my story is not used as [an example of] ‘look, Arabs can succeed and become French’. It is looked at as being a one-off.” He is concerned about the current tide of anti-Arab sentiment in France, especially since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and the Isis beheading in Grenoble last month. “France is a country with a very old culture,” he says. “There is a sense as an immigrant that whatever you do, you will never be French. Even now, in me, I feel this oriental culture because I am Bedouin, Syrian and Arab and at the same time, I went through this exercise to really become totally French, to master the language in becoming an acclaimed novelist. In me, there are two people. This is very difficult. Can we be double?” Having been through such tragedy as a child, Altrad acknowledges that his life could have turned out very differently. “I am lucky not to have become like my father. I have no enemies and I hate conflicts. “But I know I will never be totally happy in life because what happened to my mother will always be in my blood. She witnessed her son being killed and then me being brought to life and she very quickly died after I was born. “Through my humanistic endeavours, perhaps I am still trying to revive my mother.”

“I know I will never be totally happy in life because what happened to my mother will always be in my blood”





The Global Citizen Foundation focuses on sustainable development and education projects in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, UAE and Jordan he Global Citizen Foundation, co-founded by a group of like-minded businessmen in Dubai has announced a series of new projects that will help children in the Middle East, Africa and Caribbean. GCF has teamed up with UNESCO to partner with Ethiopian and UAE university students in an education-based exchange course to provide students with the skills to become leaders in sustainable development. In line with the Emirates dedication to conservation, GCF wants to inspire the next generation to preserve and protect their heritage by raising $100,000 to send 16 students to biosphere reserves in the UAE and Ethiopia for two weeks. While there, the students will work with eachother and the surrounding communities to share best practices and develop reports to be used by UNESCO sustainability staff. “The students will learn best practices for water-management, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and environmental tourism and hopefully also develop their leadership skills as they will be working together as a team,” said Mohammad Dasmaltchi, a co-founder and trustee of the Global Citizen Foundation. The foundation has also provided over $40,000 to the Amal

Project, which is based in the Zaatari refugee camp— the second largest refugee camp in northern Jordan, the funds will provide new caravans for refugees which will be transformed into educational and creative places for children “to be children”. Each caravan will be filled with toys, games and books, and will be positioned across the various areas of the camp so it’s accessible to all. Internationally, GCF recently provided $50,000 to develop Villa Primary School in Antigua and The Holy Trinity School on the sister island of Barbuda, improving sports and educational facilities, undertaking essential repairs, and building a sick bay for the young students. Commenting on the recent project milestones, Armand Peponnet, co-founder and trustee of GCF said: “These projects will make a huge difference to the communities involved, and we are extremely delighted to be a part of their future, and look to continue to support further educational initiatives for young people.” He added, “The most important investment one can make is in education. The next generation will be the leaders of our economies, and by empowering citizens through education, we hope to help to build a more sustainable future for all.”

The Global Citizen Foundation has to date donated $50,000 to two schools in Antigua and Barbuda 56


Photo courtesy of Team Sager


Make a difference by being the difference Discover how we turn local involvement into global impact Global Citizen Foundation supports education research and empowers sustainable development around the world. To find out more about us or to join our cause, please visit DASHWOOD HOUSE, LEVEL 17, 69 OLD BROAD STREET, LONDON EC2M 1QS, UNITED KINGDOM T +44 207 256 4209 F +44 207 256 4122

Involve. Evolve. Empower. 2015 JULY / AUGUST



THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Kerzner International chief executive Alan Leibman says he has no qualms about selling spots in the new $1.4 billion Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai BY EUGENE YIGA

hile his peers were still paying back their student loans and finding their feet in the world of work, Texan native Alan Leibman was managing one of the world’s most prestigious hotel chains in Australia. Leibman, who was born in South Africa, started his career as a catering manager in 1990 with the five-star Ritz Carlton hotel chain in his home town of Houston in the US before being reassigned to Australia, where his flair for management surpassed his talents in the kitchen. He moved from being executive manager of food and beverage to a role as general manager at the age of 25. It is hardly surprising, then, that South African billionaire hotelier Sol Kerzner saw something in Leibman, who now heads Kerzner International, the luxury hotel group that brought the

A modern architectural masterpiece: the new Royal Atlantis resort will be built a stone’s throw away from the flagship Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah



One&Only resorts to places including the Bahamas, Mexico, the Maldives and Dubai. As chief executive, 49-year-old Leibman — who now lives with his family in Dubai — is charged with overseeing the company’s global expansion plans, including the new Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai. “One of the biggest moments of my career was the grand opening of Atlantis on the Palm,” the energetic American says from his home in Dubai. “The resort was such a miraculous feat of engineering and we opened on time and on budget. The opening festivities were breaking news internationally and I was so proud that we were able to put Atlantis The Palm on the map and become the new icon of Dubai.”


Being a hands-on leader, Leibman was involved in every aspect of the $1.5 billion design and development of the ocean-themed destination resort, located at the centre of the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah. Leibman plans to roll up his sleeves again for the Atlantis’ expansion plans, which include a new Atlantis Sanya Hainan in China as well as the new Dubai outlet. The latter will dominate the skyline with bold architecture comprising 46 storeys of glass-stacked blocks with overhangs and sky gardens. “Kerzner International always had plans to grow in Dubai as we had only developed 50 per cent of our land with Atlantis The Palm,” says Leibman. He says the resort will be a new icon for Dubai, adding it will “provide the ultimate experience for residents within an exciting community offering incredible entertainment and dining experiences on their doorstep with signature service”. However, he might have to work harder than anticipated to sell off the 250 luxury residences and fill the 800 hotel rooms and suites. According to data from the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai currently has a stock of 612 hotels with 85,000 rooms. By the end of 2016, the emirate is expected to see an additional 140 hotels and 30,000 rooms while the luxury property portal lists the number of apartments for rent at just under 35,000. With such a saturation

of new hotel developments and what seems like an oversupply of residential property, how will the new Atlantis stand out? “Kerzner International operates three distinct experiences within Dubai—the One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm in the ultra-luxury space, and Atlantis The Palm as the entertainment resort destination,” says Leibman. “That is key. What is also different about Kerzner is that we continue to innovate and introduce new experiences at all of our resorts. This ensures that guests can keep enjoying what they love but discover something new on each visit.” Even with the doubling of property registration fees from two to four per cent decreasing the practice of speculative development and the increased upfront equity requirements (from 20 per cent to 42 per cent) causing the luxury villa market to stagnate, residential capital values are steady at five per cent (following record growth of 51 per cent in 2013). And even though sales of the Royal Atlantis Residences are only due to open in 2017, Leibman says that there has already been “significant interest”. “Our Dubai resorts continue to perform well for us,” he says. “We are seeing continued strength out of the UK, European and GCC markets and continued growth out of China, Eastern Europe, India and the United States. We will continue to innovate at each resort to continue our success.”

“What is different about Kerzner is that we continue to innovate and introduce new experiences at all of our resorts”




A TIMELESS LEGACY The father-and-son team fronting the Swiss watchmaker H. Moser & Cie insist handcrafted timepieces will survive the age of tech gadgets BY OLIVER EPHGRAVE

Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie

t boasts a rich heritage spanning nearly two centuries. H. Moser & Cie, originally founded by the Swiss-born entrepreneur Heinrich Moser in Russia in 1828, survived the Russian revolution in the early 19th century and went on to become known as the ‘little pearl of Schaffhausen’. Now the independent Swiss watchmaking company is heralding a new chapter in haute horlogerie. Three years ago the company’s chairman Georges-Henri Meylan formed the new company Melb Holding, which took over H. Moser & Cie and Hautlence. The acquisitions provided a fresh challenge for the former chief executive of Audemars Piguet. “The two brands we took over were in really big trouble and on the brink of bankruptcy and that is not easy to restart,” he says. Although H. Moser was losing money, he could see the potential of the brand, especially when bolstered by industry experience. “I tried to bring in the contacts I knew around the world – including the manufacturing network – and then transmit this to the new generation. It is a tough job for him,” Meylan says of his son Edouard, the chief executive of the watch brand. The job might be tough but Edouard has proven his mettle. Earlier this year, the Swiss National Bank took the landmark



decision to end its three-year policy of capping the national currency from appreciating beyond 1.20 Swiss francs to the euro. Consequently, the luxury watch industry was up in arms as its products were instantly more expensive to foreign buyers and the threat of declining exports loomed large. At the time, Edouard wrote an open letter to the bank’s chairman, Thomas Jordan, appealing on behalf of entrepreneurs for them to reconsider. Since the announcement, like many other Swiss watchmakers, H. Moser & Cie has streamlined its business operations. “We had to look at costs and review our budget. We wanted to continue to be Swiss-made but we needed to find solutions. We found out what was unnecessary and we cut back. In situations like this, you need to be creative and innovative in all aspects,” says Edouard. “We brought more novelties to Baselworld this year than anyone and you need to do that to stand out. We did the sapphire crystal model that nobody would have expected from Moser, then a watch with no logo. You have to make things that people will notice.” It is impossible not to notice an H. Moser watch. With the tagline ‘very rare’, the company produces 1,000 watches a year, each handmade. The independent, family-owned business does not have the resources of behemoths such as Cartier and


“We’re not trying to be the big watch with lots of diamonds. We believe there is a strong market for people that want something recognisable but still elegant.”

Georges-Henri Meylan, chairman of H. Moser & Cie

Rolex, but is competing in the same field and standing out for its innovation. Aside from new timepieces launched at Baselworld, the company is also expected to unveil two new collections towards the end of the year, including Pioneer, a 43mm watch that is more sporty and water resistant up to 120 metres. Edouard says polarisation is a better strategy than aiming for mass appeal. “When you want to sell watches that are in the range of 15,000 to 100,000 Swiss francs [$15,860 – $105,730] you do not just want people who like the brand – you want people who love it. We are working on being a bit more polarising. “Yes, you will have people who hate it but you will also have people who love it. We see the results in terms of sales – we go more extreme and get a fanbase. With our watch with no indexes, some people say, ‘This is stupid. You can’t even read the time,’ while others say, ‘I love it’. I think that is what Moser is all about.” H.Moser is distributed in the UAE exclusively through Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, which Meylan senior warmly refers to as a “family-to-family relationship”. Edouard says the Middle East is a market with “a lot of potential” and thinks the brand has become more appealing in the region. “We are not trying to be the big watch with lots of diamonds. We believe there is a strong market for people who want

something recognisable but still elegant.” While H. Moser is not the only watchmaker to craft handmade watches, it remains committed to traditional craftsmanship with a modern twist. “We want to stay very traditional in the way we do watchmaking with pocket watches, large power reserves and beautiful finishing but at the same time we want to be sexy and fresh,” says Edouard. “People want a classic, elegant watch but perhaps not the same one as their father or grandfather. That is the sweet spot for Moser — combining modern elements such as titanium but with traditional gold movements,” he says. Appealing to the younger generation, however, is not without its challenges, with the rise of wearable tech like the Apple Watch. Yet Georges-Henri remains unconcerned. “When quartz started in the 1970s, they said the mechanical watch is dead. I say, if a customer just wants to tell the time, do not come to us – they are much more expensive than what you expect.” Edouard says well-crafted mechanical watches have an enduring appeal, even in the age of technology. “It is comforting to have products with a human dimension. I think if you can keep this human touch, there is a bright future for brands like ours. There has always been an attraction to craftsmanship – something you can grasp – and I do not see it going away.”




FAST WORK A husband-and-wife team have taken their luxury leather accessories label to the runways of major London fashion shows within two years of founding their start-up BY GARETH REES

s the Dubai summer of 2013 started to heat up, Nima Saraf and his wife Emily Noorollahi were looking for a fresh start after six years in the UAE. They had successful careers – Iranian-born Briton Noorollahi was art editor at the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and her Iranian husband Saraf was working in IT security – and an apartment in Dubai Marina, where they lived with their beloved Jack Russell, Eddie. Two years on, the couple are now living in England with a new addition to the family — their four-month-old daughter Ivy — and are the founders of the luxury leather accessories label Eddie Handmade. Despite launching their first collection in Dubai less than two years ago, their brand has graced major London fashion events, including London Collections Men and London Fashion Week. “Nima started experimenting with different products, making them for himself,” says Noorollahi, 31. “It was small things like wallets and iPhone cases. At first I thought it was just a hobby, but it just kept developing. He was always on the look out for different leathers, contacting different suppliers and really getting



into it. That was in early 2013.” Her 33-year-old husband, whose family has worked in the textiles and garment industry in Iran for generations, adds: “Friends and colleagues started asking me to make the wallets and laptop cases that I had made for myself.” But it was not until Noorollahi decided to leave work in September 2013 that Saraf’s hobby became a potential business. “I had been contemplating starting my own business for a while,” says the former journalist. “I was going to start a textiles business. I had done all the research and had big plans. It got to the point where I thought, I have to leave my job or I will never do anything. I will just sit here comfortably and dream — so that was it. I decided I was going to leave my job and go from there.” It did not take long for her to get started. On her second day after leaving work, she rummaged around under the bed and dug out her husband’s collection of leather accessories and tools, spread them across the carpet and started planning. “Nima came home and was a bit shocked,” recalls Noorollahi. “He said, “What’s going on?’


“I turned around and said, ‘I think we have something quite good. If you are really enjoying this and want to take it seriously, I am definitely up for dedicating all of my time to it’.” “That was how we started,” adds Saraf. In just one month, the couple had created a new collection of leather wallets, cardholders and iPhone and iPad cases, naming their firm Eddie after their dog. Saraf refers to this process as “the magic”. “I saw this project and I just could not wait,” says Noorollahi. “I had all these products but no brand. It was completely raw. It was like being in a candy store.” In October 2013, Eddie Handmade launched its first collection at Dubai’s Fashion Forward, an annual event founded by the couple’s friend, Bong Guerrero. The platform resulted in sales and reams of attention for the fledgling brand. “We set up our Facebook page during Fashion Forward because we had so many people coming to us and asking where they could see our stuff. We got 2,500 likes just from that event,” says Saraf. Dubai had provided the perfect launchpad for the start-up but having looked into the possibility of opening a workshop in the UAE and discovering how expensive it would be, they opted to continue developing the firm in Noorollahi’s home country, relocating to the UK in April last year.

With support from the British Fashion Council, Eddie Handmade has appeared at London Collections Men and London Fashion Week over the past year, secured four online retail partners, run pop-ups in London’s trendy Shoreditch and Covent Garden neighbourhoods and has an office and a warehouse in the UK. The label now boasts men’s and women’s collections, featuring 40 designs. The collection includes totes, backpacks, briefcases, passport bags, weekend bags and the smaller accessories the firm has produced since its early days, all handcrafted by master artisan Raphael Cerluci and his team at the Dusca Vendramin leather workshop in Florence from leather sourced from Italy’s foremost tanneries. “We still design everything ourselves, and then we travel to Italy and translate those designs for Raphael,” says Noorollahi. The entrepreneurial pair have firmly established Eddie Handmade in the UK and plan to stay put but still see Dubai and the Middle East playing a part in their future and that of their company. “Our love for Dubai is still there and we want to go back and establish the brand there,” says Noorollahi. “As for long-term goals, we are constantly working toward our own flagship store. We would start in London and then hopefully open a second one in Dubai.”

Eddie Handmade has gone from a UAE start-up launching at Fashion Forward to an international luxury brand showing at London Fashion Week



PACIFIC GATEWAY long with the US, Australia has been a magnet for British, Middle Eastern and Chinese immigrants for the past 50 years. With the Australian economy proving its resilience during the global financial crisis, it has become even more popular with foreign high net worth investors. All four of Australia’s major banks rank in the top 20 of the world’s safest banks, each with an AA rating. Australia’s financial system has also benefited from its global best practice regulatory regime. Underpinning much of Australia’s financial services’ strength is the growth of its investment funds sector, valued at $1.37 trillion, making it one of the most attractive international business and financial service hubs in the Asia Pacific region. This goes some way to explaining why 2,000 foreign investors have successfully applied for the Australian Significant Investor visa since its inception late last year. “The visa allows foreign investors to live and do business in Australia, as



well as have their children educated in state schools and universities,” says Alande Mustafa Safi, managing director of Paragon Business Group, a global financial services firm based in Melbourne which offers investor visas. “The Significant Investor visa provides high net worth individuals— investors, entrepreneurs or business people—a way to obtain permanent residence in Australia within four years of applying.” To qualify, investors must commit at least AUD$5 million [$3.8 million] and spend at least 160 days in the country during the application process (within the four-year period to residency). Safi, whose company operates within the state of Victoria, says the $5 million fee can be invested in government bonds, lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for investment in the country or can be pumped into a private business of the investor’s choosing. While there is no age limit or requirement to pass an English language test if an additional fee is paid

to the department of immigration, the investor’s business acumen and potential contribution to the Victorian economy will be taken into consideration. Melbourne, which was named the most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit for three consecutive years, has historically been the location of choice for more than half of all business migrants who settle in Australia, including two-thirds of Australia’s Chinese business migrants. “They are attracted by our strong economy, excellent employment and business opportunities, world-class education and highly rated quality of life,” says Safi. “The high standard of living means recruiting talented professionals is easy. We will provide you with honest advice and point out any issues you might be faced with along the way, making the process as easy as possible. “If it is evident you are not eligible to invest or obtain a visa, we will tell you [to] save you money and time on applications which will ultimately be unsuccessful.”

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Australia’s notoriously difficult immigration process has been simplified for wealthy foreign investors





US$ 400,0 00 EN T TY PE :

Preferred BE NE FIT S:

shares in real estate

» Capital guaranteed through buy back a fter 5yrs » Private placement offered exclusively by Arton B ank



A unique luxury multi resort development on the idyllic shores of Antigua, Callaloo Cay offers one of the most attractive citizenship by investment programs available today. •

Citizenship in 90 days

Dual citizenship allowed

Stamped on arrival travel or visa free travel to 130 countries including UK, France, and Canada

No wealth, gift, inheritance or capital gains taxes

Families are eligible to join the program

a n2015 t i gJULY u a/ AUGUST



The $245 million Porto Montenegro development is attracting a new generation of jet-setters

MONTENEGRO AIMS HIGH Can Montenegro position itself as a high-end destination for Global Citizens through its immigrant investor programme? ver the last five years, the number of countries offering investor programmes for residency and citizenship has doubled, according to a report from the newly established regulatory body, the Global Investor Immigration Council. The trend is expected to continue in the next decade. Immigrant investor programmes (IIPs) have become a lifeline for many European countries with ailing economies as they provide a much-needed injection of foreign investment. Now the Montenegro government has reinitiated its citizenship programme after a failed launch in 2010. Despite the fanfare at the time surrounding the launch of its immigrant investor programme, culminating in a governmentbacked public relations campaign, the Montenegrins were left red-faced after the EU and US piled pressure on them over the



transparency of their programme and forced them to scrap it. Five years on “the situation is very different”, according to Armand Arton, CEO of Arton Capital, a global immigration advisory firm which has helped several EU governments set up immigrant investor programmes. Arton says the Montenegrins were previously “ill advised” and “failed to take the necessary preparations” to establish the investor programme. After benefiting from the experience of countries like Portugal, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Cyprus, Malta and Latvia, which have all successfully launched similar programmes and received billions of dollars in foreign investment, he says: “Montenegro has the opportunity to do it right this time”. Yet Arton cautions it is important not to repeat the mistakes


of other countries from the past 20 years: “Five years ago, the problem was that the initiative came suddenly without an adequate level of coordination, communication and explanation of what the benefits of this programme would be. “Europe is in a different position today and so is Montenegro. It has attracted significant investments from Russian and Gulf billionaires in recent years and the country is becoming a hub for the jet-set crowd.” That is all thanks to billionaire investors such as Canadian Peter Monk and the Rothschild banking dynasty, who are helping to steer Montenegro toward becoming the next Monaco. The $245 million Porto Montenegro development is a star attraction and has been dubbed “the Mediterranean’s leading luxury yacht homeport and marina village”. The Porto complex will eventually include 420 berths, a private pool club, nightclub, restaurants and a new Regent hotel and residences. On the back of becoming a superyacht hub, Montenegro is on the verge of becoming a NATO member and is expected to be next in line to join the EU, following its neighbour Croatia’s accession in 2012— a reassuring development for potential foreign investors. The country’s passport already provides visa-free mobility to Schengen with access to a total of 98 visa-free countries. It ranks at 35 in Arton Capital’s passport index. “The government has created a special task force, which is made up of representatives from different government ministries responsible for establishing the investor visa programme. “They are exchanging with other EU countries with similar legislation to understand how their model works and to ensure they create the best one for Montenegro,” says Arton. The Montenegrin government is expected to release a fully transparent public tender inviting leading entities within the immigrant investor industry to take part in the advisory process of creating the legislation and then marketing a programme. As a precursor to this announcement, Arton Capital hosted a Global Citizen workshop in Porto Montenegro along with a delegation of experts, including Mykolas Rambus, the CEO of Wealth-X and chairman of the Global Investor Immigration Council, Elaine Dezenski, a leading anti-corruption expert who has worked with homeland security in the US, Interpol and the World Economic Forum and Richard Grifts from the UK-based legal firm Squire Patton Boggs to introduce the topic and share his industry experience with local business leaders. “Only after open dialogue with the local community can the programme’s goals be set. The result should be a transparent model that will gain the credibility of the EU and other agencies and allow [Montenegro] to start off on the right foot this time,” says Arton.

Armand Arton, CEO of Arton Capital

On the back of becoming a superyachting hub, Montenegro is on the verge of becoming a NATO member and is expected to be next in line to join the EU

Discussing the logistics of the investor visa programme, Dusko Knezevic, president of the Atlas group, says: “There is huge potential for Montenegro if it adopts a law on economic citizenship. The benefit would be the direct purchase of government bonds and investment in real estate and other projects as well as a certain amount of donations.” Arton estimates Montenegro could attract up to half a billion euros in the coming three years if the country can successfully position itself as a high-end tourism market on the doorstep of Europe and can use the immigrant investor programme to attract global leaders.




BUILDING BRIDGES group of wealthy global investors who are at the core of the global residence and citizenship industry think they have found a solution that could ease the plight of the thousands of migrant refugees risking their lives daily in an attempt to get to Europe. The immigrant investment industry is worth $10 billion annually — with Europe receiving more than half in foreign direct investment through immigrant investment programmes. Some of the people who have benefitted from it —whether by marketing immigrant investor programmes or the high net worth individuals who spend millions of dollars investing in a second residency and citizenship — say they have a responsibility “to offer a helping hand” to refugees in third world economies. “The idea is to impose a levy on a sliding scale between 1% and 5% on those wealthy individuals who invest in immigrant investor programmes like an EU government tax, with the proceeds going into a fund that will hopefully raise €1 billion [$1.1 billion] over the next five years to support refugees,” says Armand Arton, CEO of Arton Capital and the driving force behind the selfdubbed global citizen tax. “Global citizens understand and cherish the meaning of freedom, even if some do not originate from countries in political and economic distress. They know that giving back to society is what seals the collective consciousness of our global citizen community,” says Arton. Even if high net worth migrants barely represent one per cent of the total worldwide migration flow, Arton thinks they have the capacity to make a “real and tangible difference” to the lives of refugees. “We want to build a meaningful bridge between those who have much and those who have so little but share the same dream of global citizenship. Indeed, it would be yet another testament to the power of migration and to its capacity to provide transformative change,” he says. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the number of people seeking refugee status has continued to climb since last year, with a sharp increase of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean. A recent report by



the UNHCR notes the “combined number of refugees and internally displaced persons protected/assisted by UNHCR in 2014 increased by 11 million persons, reaching a record high of 46.7 million persons by year end”. In addition, the number of people who have died at sea while trying to flee are devastating, amounting to an estimated 6,570 people since 2011, half of which were women and children. Although international organisations continue to mobilise efforts and resources to fight the problem, there does not appear to be an end in sight. “In Europe and across the globe where other investor programmes operate, we believe responsibilities and benefits should be shared,” says Arton. “Our clients are dynamic people. They are successful, powerful and have created great wealth and economic opportunities for others. This is why we are confident they are in a position to share the same vision of a better life for those who are imprisoned by their status as a refugee.” The Canadian chief executive who also hails from a multiethnic background hopes to receive support for his refugee support levy from the European Parliament and UN agencies and has proposed a pilot programme to be introduced in parliament for all EU member countries which currently offer immigrant investor programmes to adhere to. As part of his proposal, all funds from this levy would be channelled to EU or international institutions dealing directly with refugees from north Africa. “Our preliminary estimates indicate this levy could raise in excess of €250 million [$277 million] over the next 18 months,” he says. “As a comparison, the 2015 budget the UN allocated for its refugee operations in northern, western, central and southern Europe is $64 million so our collective efforts could be hugely significant and helpful to agencies working with the multitude of those displaced.” Arton will be discussing his initiative and laying out the plans in more detail at the annual Global Citizen Forum with guest speakers including Kofi Annan, held in Monaco on October 8-9, 2015.

© Massimo Sestini

A group of global investors think they can minimise the plight of thousands of refugee immigrants by taxing wealthy Global Citizens

the power of Global Citizenship. So should you.

Discover how Investor Programs for Residence and Citizenship can help your clients secure the benefits for generations to come. Whether you are a private banker, family office manager, lawyer, investment advisor or a migration expert, contact us to learn about the available options and become a member of our leading Certified Partner network. Unlock your clients' real potential with the Arton Index , industry's trusted benchmark tool.

Become a Certified Partner.

empOWeRiNG GlOBal CiTiZeNsHip速

TORONTO | mONTReal | paRis | lONdON | BUdapesT | sOFia | isTaNBUl | limassOl | BeiRUT | dUBai | Cape TOWN | BeiJiNG | aRTONCapiTal.COm

T + 971 4 319 7665 | iNFO@aRTONCapiTal.COm

Arton Capital is a leading global financial advisory firm providing custom tailored services for immigrant investor programs to government agencies, certified partners and high net-worth individuals and families from around the world. 2015ofJULY / AUGUST 69 Become a Global Citizen速 and Empowering Global Citizenship速 are registered trademarks Arton Capital.


SONY 4K ULTRA SHORT THROW PROJECTOR Turn your wall into a vista into another world. With a massive 4K laser image (up to 147-inch image) and four times the clarity of Full HD, your room transforms into an extraordinary space for viewing art, movies or sports. Until now, it is only available in New York and Los Angeles, but for those who refuse to settle for less, it can be purchased online.





BIGPOD As implied in the title, this speaker is designed for larger rooms that require more bass. A floor-standing version of the MiniPod II, the BigPod features a larger Kevlar mid/bass drive unit (170 mm instead of 125 mm) that reaches down for a more dynamic and fuller bass response. The improved soft-dome double-chambered tweeter helps create a better cross-over between the drive units, so although a much larger speaker, the BigPod retains the same agile performance of its smaller sibling.


VERTU SIGNATURE FOR BENTLEY Limited to 2,000 pieces, the new ‘Vertu for Bentley’ smartphone brings together the best in English craftsmanship. The new model will incorporate authentic Bentley design elements, jointly designed by the Bentley and Vertu design teams. It will also offer access to Vertu’s exclusive suite of luxury lifestyle services, alongside unique Bentley experiences and the latest Bentley content for owners and enthusiasts.


SEAWOLF GOPRO SUBMARINE This underwater remote controlled toy comes with two options— one for seawater and one for freshwater. The latest Go-Pro enabled F13 model has a built-in waterproof mount for your camera and can reach depths of 30 feet, and can wirelessly transmit live video back to either your phone or a dedicated screen, thanks to a tethered connection to a mini surface boat. The sea version model comes with a signal buoy that serves as a relay for your remote control via a 30m cable.

Starting from $999 2015 JULY / AUGUST


BEAUTY AND THE SEAS The Benetti FB801 boasts large outdoor areas and an optional helicopter pad in a sleekly designed vessel




true floating beauty, the 50-metre Benetti yacht is the first vessel built using two different techniques — a fiberglass hull and an aluminium superstructure. This flexible moulding allows yacht owners to customise and streamline its shape. Not that one would need to. With a spacious open deck, an enormous sun deck and resplendent interiors, this yacht from the oldest Italian luxury shipyard is a beauty on the seas. The internal layout is kept classic with four guest cabins on the lower deck, the owner’s suite forward on the main deck and an additional cabin on the upper deck. A large main salon is perfect for entertaining with a grand piano, karaoke machine and an American-style corner bar and sofa. Further on is an intimate area with lounge chairs, coffee tables and an extra-wide plasma TV screen for quiet evenings relaxing with the family. The dining table accommodates 12 guests in the

upper deck salon.The owner’s apartment features a large study and full-beam cabin with an exclusive private terrace, complete with a gangway leading down to the sea. Dressing for glamoruous soirees onboard is easy with his-and-her bathrooms and walk-in closets. But the true showstopper this vessel boasts are the spectacular outdoor spaces. The enormous divan and two chaises longues next to the jacuzzi allow guests to pass the whole day at sea in total privacy on the foredeck. The sun deck sports a second jacuzzi surrounded by a large sunbathing area, a dining table and a bar with stools, where a member of staff can whip up any cocktail one pleases. And if one does tire of life at sea, there is a space that can be transformed into a helicopter pad, allowing guests to take an excursion to any exotic destination on the planet that this vessel chooses to sail to.




MINIATURE MASTERPIECES Jaquet Droz is known for its intricate handmade dials. Now a new enamelling service is pushing the boundaries of bespoke watchmaking, resulting in one-of-a kind timepieces BY RACHAEL TAYLOR

atching one of Jaquet Droz’s artisans at work is a humbling experience and one that sets a tone of both intensity and reverence. With tiny movements of the hand, nearly invisible to onlookers, master artisan Heidi Spiesser Alonet works quietly and intently on creating a miniature enamel masterpiece that will, when finished, perfectly capture the beauty of an underwater pond scene. The canvas, or rather, watch dial, is better measured in millimetres rather than inches and the intricate details are so tiny, every stroke must be administered with the aid of a microscope. With the miniaturised dial offset to 12 o’clock, this leaves about half the creamy white 38mm dial for the artist to play with. Each dial is painted entirely by hand, a process that can take up to a week, and if a single error is made during that time, the dial is rejected and the work starts again. Even just perfecting the paintbrush used to work up the scene – plucking out wayward bristles and endlessly shaping and refining – takes three months, according to Spiesser Alonet. From within the Atelier de Haute Horlogerie at Jaquet Droz’s headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, a varied collection of handpainted enamel dials have emerged as part of



Les Ateliers d’Art range: ballet dancers, horses, dragons, tigers, cranes, even what appears to be a tiny cherub using a blue butterfly to pull itself along in a chariot. But the artistic archives at Jaquet Droz are about to become even more diverse as the firm opens itself up to commissions. As of this year, anyone with a spare $30,000 or so can gain access to the skills of Spiesser Alonet and her peers, working with them to create exclusive one-off masterpieces of their very own choosing. Once a sketch has been agreed upon, the artisans will set about bringing it to life in full colour – the mixing of the enamel paints is an artistry in itself – and on completion, the bespoke watch dial will be fired in a kiln to set, rendering the dial unalterable. The miniature artwork’s lustre and shine will be locked in place for thousands of years, according to Jaquet Droz, though unfortunately that is far too long a guarantee for any mere mortal to keep tabs on. Keeping heritage horological artforms alive is the company’s raison d’etre and opening up this world to the whims of watch collectors is a brave move and a rare one, as the maison produces just a few hundred timepieces each year, thanks to the intricate nature of the work involved.






KEEPING A STEP AHEAD Bugatti launched its bespoke footwear service at Ettore Bugatti in London in May. The flagship store’s creative director Daniele Andretta and managing director Massimiliano Ferrari describe the shoes that have become as covetable as the brand’s cars.

What prompted the decision to get into the shoe business when you are so well known for your cars? Ferrari: Footwear is such an important element of our ultra-luxury lifestyle offer. We were inspired by the original vision of the founder Ettore Bugatti and his family of artists. Almost 100 years ago, he was already applying 360 degree thinking to his name and the brand. Ettore designed the clothing and accessories in addition to boats and aeroplanes. His father Carlo Bugatti designed luxurious furniture, all of which carried a very precise DNA. We are reinterpreting the iconic codes of Ettore in a modern way. The shoes are a key component within the menswear offer. Who do you see buying these shoes? Who will they appeal to? Andretta: Our client is a sophisticated, cultured, globetrotting male customer who pays particular attention to fine detail. Someone who is accustomed to a beautiful handcrafted and bespoke product that is truly unique. Describe the process of making these shoes Andretta: Every shoe is entirely made by hand and overseen by an artisan from start to finish. All the footwear is made in natural leather that is handpainted using a shading, dual-tone technique, as with our cars. Every style is a limited edition of 431 and signed by the artisan inside the shoe lining.

Where are they manufactured and where are the materials sourced? Andretta: The footwear is made in Italy at a high-end luxury shoe factory within the Veneto district. The calf leather is Italian and tanned in Italy while our precious skins such as alligator are imported from the US. What makes these shoes unique or special? Andretta: The inspiration came from the most iconic Bugatti car of the past, the Bugatti Atlantique. The shape of the shoes incorporates elements of the car’s fuselage. The iconic central line that appears on the car is mirrored with hand stitching along each shoe. The horseshoe grid shape that surrounds the laces and the back of the shoe exactly resembles the rear side of the Atlantique. And the sole of each shoe is, of course, the Bugatti French racing blue. How much time does it take to produce a single shoe? Andretta: It takes three full working days. Where will they be stocked? Ferrari: The Ettore bespoke shoe collection is available at the Bugatti boutiques in Knightsbridge, London and Monte Carlo. From September they will be at the Bugatti boutique in Tokyo. We also stock the footwear on





A poolside holiday led Adam Brown to a fashion venture good enough for the world’s most famous secret agent

dam Brown was on holiday in India, lounging by the pool. All the women at the five-star resort looked great in swimsuits or cover-ups - but the men’s style left something to be desired. “I thought to myself, why are all these otherwise fashionable men all wearing voluminous, baggy, shapeless shorts or briefs or board shorts with everything hanging out?” he says. The real eureka moment came when Brown had to change for lunch. “I thought, “Why do I need to keep changing? I don’t want a swim short, I want a short I can swim in.” That was what prompted him to come up with the idea for his

Orlebar Brown 78


resort wear company Orlebar Brown, with a focus on pieces you can pack for a holiday and can easily take you from poolside to dinner and back. With no background in fashion (his previous work experience was as a major donor fundraiser for the charity sector and a portrait photographer), Brown started working on his business in 2005 — sourcing fabrics, finding factories and getting patterns made. Eighteen months later, he launched his company. As for most entrepreneurs, the early days were tough, with Brown operating out of his apartment with a computer in the spare room and a self-storage unit to keep his stock.


“I did everything myself. All the customer service, all the deliveries, going to the factories, trying to find stockists,” he recalls. “If an order came through I would go there, iron the shorts, stand in queue for the post office, pack them up and post them.” Still, Brown considers that early experience as essential. “There was something great about that time because you got to meet all the customers, hear what was right and wrong and you learned so much. It was really one of the best ways of doing it but at the time, I only did it that way because I could not afford to do it any other way.” Orlebar Brown clothing incorporates traditional tailoring methods in resort and holiday wear. The swimming shorts are based on the 17-piece pattern of a man’s trousers. The detail is intricate with four-piece shaped waistbands, darts for shape and zipped fastenings. Every item is rooted in the belief that form follows function. With well-cut and slim fitting pieces as well as lean silhouettes and understated simplicity, the shorts are meant to flatter. The line also includes polo shirts, tee shirts, trousers and light jackets. Five years after launching his brand, a career highlight came

as he watched a glistening, shirtless Daniel Craig emerging from the ocean in a pair of baby blue Orlebar Brown swim shorts in the Bond film Skyfall. Another career highlight has been Brown’s most recent collaboration was with the iconic Italian brand Pucci. Last year, a customer sent him two metres of vintage Pucci fabric to make shorts. The following weekend, that customer was lounging around a pool with Laudomia Pucci herself, the daughter of the label’s founder Emilio Pucci and chief executive of the brand. “She loved them,” he says. “She was so impressed with the shorts, she sent me an email requesting we work together.” The business now employs 65 people, has nine stores (of which five are in London) and is stocked in more than 300 boutiques worldwide. The UK is its biggest market, followed by the US, which makes up about 30 per cent of sales. Brown is thrilled by this success. “I am always pleasantly surprised. I love it. I have always believed in it and remortgaged my flat to start it. But you are never sure which way these things are going to go so I am very pleased.”




Sofa, Natuzzi, $9,075


As the temperatures rise outside, keep your interiors cool and calm with stone surfaces and neutral colours.

Skull, Kelly Wearstler, $9,650,

Candle holder, Manuel Barbieri for Scandola Marmi, $270,

Apache lamp, Brabbu, $1,845,

Marble table, Patricia Urquiola for Budri, $5,500,




Mecca center table, Brabbu, $9,615,

Black Quartz Lamp, Kravet, $4,945 at En Vogue

Liaison Dining table, Kelly Wearstler, $24,000,

Marble solitaire game, Armani Casa, $1,450, Dubai Mall

Chair, Kelly Wearstler, $5,500, Novecento Lamp, David G Aquini, $1,200,





Not everyone flocks to the beach in the summertime. Here are some of the hottest picks on where to go this summer

THE CORINTHIA LONDON, ENGLAND The former home of the Ministry of Defence, this restored Victorian hotel sits on the banks of the river Thames near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. Chandeliers dangle from the lobby’s high ceilings while a mirage of pink fresh flowers and bespoke art pieces all add to its grandeur. The daily ritual of afternoon tea is such a serious affair, the hotel has its own consultant to ensure its Bakewell tarts, Victoria sandwiches and Eccles cakes are up to par. If that isn’t quintessentially British enough, there is a mini-branch of Harrods on the ground floor.



The 294 rooms, including 36 suites and seven penthouses, are some of the most spacious in London with king size Hypnos beds and Italian marble bathrooms. Guests can unwind in the ESPA Life centre spanning four floors with a stainless steel swimming pool surrounded by black marble, sip cocktails by the piano in the hip Bassoon bar or drink champagne at the art deco inspired bar in the Massimo Italian restaurant and oyster bar. $650 per night for a double room Whitehall Place, London, +44 20 7930 8181




THE LONDON EDITION LONDON, ENGLAND Like its cousins in New York, Miami and Istanbul, the London Edition occupies a choice site. The row of Georgian townhouses in leafy Fitzrovia is just around the corner from the shopping haven of Oxford Street but has the chic style of neighbouring Soho. Designed by hotelier Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame and the pioneer of boutique hotels in the 1980s, its 173 rooms bear his hallmark but are priced by size. Chic rooms have dark wooden floors and art deco walls, king size beds with faux fur throws, 46inch flatscreen TVs, iPod docks and free wifi. Standard doubles are a squeeze so for more lounging room, upgrade to the next



category. There is 24-hour room service and Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton serves up British classics in Berners Tavern. The grand lobby bar at the hotel’s entrance is a masterpiece in itself with polished marble flooring, a fireplace and a huge chrome egg ceiling sculpture by Ingo Maurer, alongside artworks by contemporary British artists like Tracey Emin. Rates start from $420 per night Berners Street, London, +44 20 7781 0000

LE GRAY BEIRUT, LEBANON One of Beirut’s most modern and chic hotels in the downtown district, this is the perfect weekend base to soak up the city’s party atmosphere during the summer. Owner Gordon Campbell Gray knows a thing or two about luxury hotels, with One Aldwych and Dukes in London and Carlyle Bay in Antigua also in his portfolio, so it is no surprise Le Gray is a standard bearer of design among boutique Middle Eastern hotels. Original works by Arabic, Cuban and French artists from the hotel’s collection of 500 paintings add a thoughtful touch to each of the 87 rooms and suites. The rooftop pool is a destination in itself in the evenings when it fills with partygoers while during the day, it offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean and Mount Lebanon. Rates start from $355 per night Martyrs’ Square, Beirut Central District, Lebanon +961 1 971 111




FOREIGN FLAVOURS From the boulevards of Paris to the streets of New York, Dubai’s new restaurant openings bear homage to the world’s gourmet destinations

CATCH Its New York counterpart has become as notorious for its celebrity clientele as for its seafood-centric menu. Catch in Dubai is too young for the former but certainly ticks the latter box with an Asian fusion twist. The industrial decor and exposed brickwork echo the Meatpacking District home of the original restaurant but unlike its predecessor, it is not spread over three floors with a rooftop nightclub, although the vast warehouselike setting has a similar pack-’em-in feel. Sushi rolls are well executed while fillings like miso lobster and wagyu beef offer a luxurious twist. Monstrous scallops are given a delicate sweetness with a cauliflower puree heightened with a touch of white chocolate. Desserts are hearty. The hit me chocolate cake is a spectacle with a four-tier tower made up of a sticky, chewy brownie and ice cream topped with a liquid Klondike square, which is smashed open to cascade over the layers below. Fairmont Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +971 4 357 1755




TRE BY ROBERTO RELLA It is a rare thing in Dubai’s fine dining scene to see the proprietor of a restaurant actually at their establishment. But Roberto Rella, veteran of Dubai fixtures Bice and Roberto’s, is a different kind of restaurateur. Most nights, he can be seen at his new hotspot, Tre, chatting to guests, refilling glasses and making the occasional menu recommendation. It is a relief this personal touch has not changed, even though the new space occupies three entire floors

of the hotel, overlooking the hustle and bustle of Sheikh Zayed road. The menu stays true to its Italian roots, with items such as the ricotta and spinach ravioli with white truffle sauce and Rella’s famed deconstructed tiramisu. Come for the food and linger in the lounge. This spot is sure to please gourmands and hedonists alike. Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 4 386 0066




LA CANTINE DU FAUBOURG This restaurant comes to Dubai straight from one of the most highend shopping streets in the world, the Rue du Faubourg SaintHonorĂŠ in Paris. And judging by the clientele, who languidly recline and hold court on crimson modular seating between gossamer curtains, it would seem they too have stepped straight off the same boulevard. Join the style set with sharing plates such as the black angus bavette steak with caramelised onions, which go perfectly



with the duck fat-fried frites, while a DJ plays pulsating tunes until the early hours. The outdoor terrace connecting the two iconic skyscrapers with views of Dubai International Financial Centre is sure to be a popular destination in the cooler months, the perfect spot for a tete-a-tete with friends. Emirates Towers, DIFC, +971 4 352 7105


LA RESIDENCE This is celebrated chef Frederic Vardon’s first restaurant outside Paris. Vardon made a name for himself while under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse and Alain Dutournier. He later launched the restaurant 39V, which earned him one Michelin star in less than two years. In Dubai, Vardon brings his typical French brasserie style of cooking in a romantic setting with dim chandeliers and cosy leather banquettes. While there are plenty of gourmet delicacies to choose

from, it is the humble macaroni and cheese with vintage Comte cheese and truffle ragout that leaves the strongest impression. End with the baba, where a spicy yuzu replaces the traditional rum, adding a floral citrusy twist to the classic sponge dessert that lingers on the palette. Raffles Hotel, Wafi, +971 4 396 2211




CUBA CALLING With US-Cuban relations repaired for the first time in half a century, there is no better time to savour the island’s delightful paradoxes BY LAURA BINDER

f you pack one thing for Cuba, make it an open mind. For this is a place that is impossible to pigeonhole: time-worn but disarmingly charming, beautiful but shabby, uninhibited yet restricted. The Caribbean island’s complex persona makes it mesmerising and maddening in equal measure. Accept its headscratching contradictions though and time here can be unlike anywhere else on earth. Visitors can walk into its welcoming timewarp, strolling amid colonial cities – Havana, Camaguey, Cienfuegos and Trinidad – where architecture appears unaltered from the days when pirates stalked its shores. Elsewhere, baby blue and mint green convertibles cruise the streets, flamingo pink paint crumbles off facades in need of a facelift, wafts of freshly cut fruit and tobacco fill your nostrils and you cannot walk far without street sellers flogging Cuban cigars. Behind it all, an indefinable soundtrack plays. Live music throbs with African drums and Spanish guitars, creating that impossibleto-define Cuban vibe that seeps into your ears, shoots down to your toes and captivates your soul. It is a melting pot of culture that is reflected in the residents too, from the elderly weathered faces whose knowing eyes smile from beneath shocks of white curls, to the exotic beauties who look as if they have walked off a magazine cover. The people here are gloriously diverse, thanks to a history that began with the aboriginal Taino and Ciboney people, on to



a long period of Spanish colonialism, a period of African slavery and close-knit ties with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Little wonder then that Cuba pulsates with colour, flavour, aroma and attitude. It is a rough diamond, a princess in a pauper’s dress, with an atmosphere that has captivated everyone from Christopher Columbus to literary legend Ernest Hemingway – so much so he stayed for 21 years. But one more thing is impossible to ignore: the complete absence of big-name brands. You will not see a Starbucks or McDonalds springing up on the roadside, nor Apple products in every pair of hands – for the time at least. After a long period of communism under Fidel Castro and a half-century-long embargo, it seems change is afoot. This year, the American President Barack Obama met his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, to end a decades-long stalemate in USCuban relations for the first time in more than 50 years. After officially removing Cuba from the American government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism in April, the White House has begun creating an embassy in Havana. Multinational chains could be coming to a Cuban street corner soon. Until such time, Cuba’s cotton-white beaches, rolling mountains, native cigars and rum can be consumed against a colourful colonial backdrop untouched by foreign influences, such as the US. Go now and it is likely to be the most intoxicating city break you will ever take.



Images courtesy of Corbis /







It would be criminal to leave Cuba without shaking your tailfeather – or watching others do so in this city known for its nightlife. Of its plentiful live music venues, the city’s institution is Tropicana. Open since 1939, it’s one of the few Havana nightspots to survive the Revolution and the open-air cabaret show stays true to its scantily-clad roots.



If you have obsessed over any of Hemingway’s books, visit his old house – said to be just how the writer left it with dogeared photos, magazines from the 1960s and a drinks’ cabinet rammed with native tipples. Step behind his glass-topped desk and put yourself in the icon’s shoes.

While resisting the urge to treat Cuba as a beach resort is a key to experiencing the island, spending some time on its sublime sands is a must. Playa Ancon on Sancti Spiritus’ shoreline is regarded as the finest on the south coast. Snorkel and dive offshore on the reef islet of Cayo Blanco and for romance arrange a sunset catamaran cruise.

Images courtesy of Corbis /

Cigar aficionados should take a trip to the Vuelta Abajo region, southwest of Pinar del Rio, for a tour of a working tobacco plantation. The famed fields have been growing top-rate tobacco since 1845. The acclaimed Vegas Robaina cigars hail from here.



After its heyday in the 1930s, the Saratoga was rebuilt and reopened 10 years ago, bringing luxury-seeking travellers an affectionate replica that boasts colonial-meets-contemporary decor and a rooftop pool you won’t want to leave on account of its jawdropping views. From $270 per night


Shabby chic is not a phrase synonymous with the Parque Central, one of Havana’s hottest hotels with five-star facilities on a par with the rest of the Caribbean. Reserve the new wing connected to the rest of the hotel via an underground tunnel. From $208 per night


Oft-touted the best resort in Cuba, those who like their facilities mega and modern should retreat to this 292-room resort, which comes with a floating Japanese restaurant, garden villas with private pools and cliffside huts for massages with a tropical mountain view. From $230 per night



LITTLE BLACK BOOK NICE, FRANCE Toby Bateman is the buying director for and oversees the menswear range from casual and contemporary to formal and designer. He lives in Surrey in the UK with his wife and their two children. He tells GC what makes Nice his ideal holiday spot.

A cool hangout For a meander

I love to stop for ice cream by the Fontaine du Soleil in the main square, Place Massena. It has a seven-metre tall statue of the Greek god Apollo.

Taking a stroll Have a wander along La Croisette, which is actually called La Promenade des Anglais. The name comes from the fact that Nice was a fashionable place for the Victorian aristocracy to holiday by the seaside.



Images courtesy of Getty Images

noon where they Walk around Nice old town in the after shops. llery jewe and ior inter little t have grea


A bite to eat

Where to rest If you want to stay nearby, La Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence is about 20 minutes from Nice. The town is like a picture postcard perched on the side of a hill overlooking Nice and the bay. Apparently Picasso used to stay there and pay with paintings.

Images courtesy of Corbis /

Nice is so close to the Italian border that there is a real multicultural influence. You can have a day trip across the border to Italy or Monaco if you feel inclined

The restaurant at La Colombe d’Or is also very good and the place to lunch during the summer unde r parasols in the idyllic garden.

Glamourous interiors There is a great antique shop at the far end of the flower market which has amazing Baccarat chandeliers.

Shopping find I usually try to pick up a vintage Bernard Villemot poster in the antique market. He did the amazing art deco ads for brands like Perrier and Bally in the 1960s and there is a brilliant lady who sells them here.





Have the world at your wrist this summer

LOUIS VUITTON ESCALE WORLDTIME The Escale Worldtime is a bright and colourful take on the classic travel watch. With a new caliber at its heart, the unusual dial display has a yellow arrow pointing to 12 o’clock and it will always point to local time. The time in other cities can be read by lining up the city with the corresponding hour on the 24-hour ring around the outer part of the dial.





Patek Philippe can only produce fewer than 100 pieces per year of the enamel-dial World Time (Ref. 5131) even though the new model is part of the standard collection, because of the level of difficulty involved in making the highly complex cloisonné dials.

A multitude of dials- five in total make the Lange 1 a rather busy watch. Yet it’s still easy to read and at a glance the wearer can look at the small dial at the traditional 9 o’clock position, for home time and the larger dial with an indicator pointing to the outer city ring for the foreign time your currently in.

This single crown worldtimer shows every single timezone on the planet, which includes the 24 timezones, in addition to the half and quarter hour timezones. It also displays day/ night via an incredible rotating sapphire crystal.

As well as having multiple time zones depicting the entire world on the wrist— the unique dial also takes summer time into account. All the dial displays - power reserve, date, 2nd time zone - are harmoniously arranged on the dial and can be read at a glance.






Hublot Classico Ultra-Thin. Ultra-thin manual-windingmovement manufactured in-house, with 90-hour power reserve. Case crafted from King Gold: a new,unique alloy of red gold. White enamel dial. Brown alligator skin on black rubber strap 98

JULY / AUGUST 2015 • •