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Big Bang Unico. UNICO column-wheel chronograph. In-house Hublot movement. 72-hour power reserve. King Gold case, an exclusive red gold alloy developed by Hublot. Ceramic bezel. Interchangeable strap by a unique attachment.

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LIVE EVERY MOMENT WITH GRACE.

CHRYSLER 300 A man is defined by his actions. So is his car. And with a classically beautiful design right from the iconic front grille to every last touch, gracefulness becomes your second nature. Visit us at the Dubai International Motorshow, Hall 1 - Stand 100 Š2015 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC.

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mideast.chrysler.com

Showrooms: Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Festival City, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah

Chrysler Middle East

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CONTENTS BUSINESS

18 GLOBETROTTER

36 PROFILE

52 REFUGEE CRISIS

20 INVESTMENT DESTINATION

40 PHILANTHROPY

54 START-UP

22 PRIVATE AVIATION

42 PHILANTHROPY

56 BUSINESS

24 COVER

44 PHILANTHROPY

60 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

28 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

48 FAMILY BUSINESS

32 PROFILE

50 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

Must attend events Japan

An eye on the Jetset Harrison Ford Injoy Giving

MSF doctor on the frontline

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Nick Clooney Ronnie Screwvala Abdul Sattar Edhi Eli Broad

Germany’s dilemma

May Habib- Qordoba Chivas

Global Citizen Forum

Palestinian brewery start-up Monis Rahman

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CALIBER RM 07-01

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LIFESTYLE 64

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64 GADGETS

78 HOTELS

92 FASHION

66 AUTO

82 FRAGRANCES

94 LITTLE BLACK BOOK

68 YACHT

84 ART

96 HOROLOGY

70 DESIGN

86 HANDMADE

74 DINING

90 TRAVEL

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Perfect holiday gifts First look: Fenyr Supersport Kifaru Baby Festive sparklers Truffle delights

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South America’s finest Atelier des Ors

Monira al Qadiri

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Neat knits

Copenhagan

Bond’s timepieces

LGR Frames Zanzibar


Slim d’Hermès watch in rose gold, Manufacture H1950 ultra-thin movement.

SLIM D’HERMÈS, PURITY IN MOTION. Abu Dhabi Bahrain Dubai Kuwait Lebanon Qatar 2015 NOVHermes.com / DEC 11


EDITOR’S LETTER GLOBAL CITIZEN PUBLISHER Armand Peponnet EDITOR Natasha Tourish - nt@global-citizen.com SUB EDITOR Tahira Yaqoob - ty@global-citizen.com LIFESTYLE EDITOR Nausheen Noor - nn@global-citizen.com ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - ok@global-citizen.com FINANCE MANAGER Muhammad Tauseef - mtauseef@reachmedia.ae CONTRIBUTORS Oliver Robinson, Sheema Khan, Triska Hamid, Amanda Fisher, Peter Allen, Louise Barnett

s this year draws to a close, it is hard not to reflect on sombre images from the past few months and wonder what 2016 holds. From the pictures of hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring across Europe’s borders to the catastrophic numbers who have drowned while journeying to presumed safety, epitomised so poignantly in the body of a three-year-old boy washed up on Turkey’s shores, the world is in crisis and it is down to each one of us to play our part—whether it is in the medical frontline saving lives like Dr Javed Abdelmoneim, through philanthropy or via entrepreneurship and the ability to come up with innovative solutions outside the box. As Kofi Annan said as he wound up his speech at the Global Citizen Forum last month in Monaco, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ He gave the audience food for thought with that African proverb—one which German chancellor Angela Merkel is no doubt reiterating daily in Europe’s corridors of power as she tries to muster support from fellow EU countries to reduce the intense scrutiny she is under from within her own party over her decision to allow thousands of refugees into Germany on a daily basis. In this issue Louise Barnett, our correspondent in Berlin, looks at Germany’s ongoing crisis and talks to aid workers from SOS Children’s Villages, who are helping to house the increasing number of refugee children travelling alone. But what is heartening in these troubled times are the South Asian billionaire philanthropists who devote their time to running profitable social businesses and funding vital public services that the state fails to provide. Meanwhile, the American philanthropist Eli Broad takes us around his new art museum in Los Angeles and explains why he thinks the city of angels should be the capital for contemporary art. Which takes us to our cover—graced by the legendary Hollywood actor Harrison Ford as he makes his return in one of the year’s most anticipated movies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rumours have been rife that Abu Dhabi will host a regional premiere on December 15 as a considerable chunk of the movie was filmed in the emirate’s Empty Quarter, which doubled for Tatooine. With speculation swirling, Star Wars fans can get their Han Solo fix from GC’s interview with the veteran actor in the meantime.

PRINTED BY Masar Printing and Publishing www.global-citizen.com www.issuu.com/global-citizen www.facebook.com/GlobalCitizenMag MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208 tarek@fierce-international.com

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

Wishing you a peaceful New Year.

Natasha Tourish

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Photo by Andy Gotts


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CONTRIBUTORS

Oliver Robinson

Sheema Khan

Triska Hamid

Having cut his teeth as a magazine editor in Beijing, Jakarta, and Dubai, Oliver Robinson now lives in notso-exotic North Yorkshire, where he works as a freelance travel writer and a farmer.

is a Pakistan-based journalist who worked on an English daily newspaper before going freelance. She writes blogs for Huffington Post India and covers education, current affairs and terrorism.

is freelance journalist who previously worked on the business desk at The National and MEED, covering te窶四ecoms, media and technology as well as the political and socio-economic issues of the region.

Amanda Fisher

Peter Allen

Louise Barnett

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.

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

is a Cambridge-educated British freelance journalist based in Berlin. She writes for a number of publications, including the Daily Telegraph in the UK and was consumer editor for the Daily Express before moving to Germany.

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Image courtesy of Getty Images

As the onset of freezing conditions takes its toll on the thousands of refugees who are housed in the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais, a French court has ordered that conditions are improved after NGOs called for immediate action over ‘serious human rights violations’.

THE BIG PICTURE


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 boeing-me.com/together

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GLOBETROTTER NOVEMBER

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Dubai Motor Festival 2015 Dubai

Galleries Night Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

The series of city-wide events incorporates Dubai International Motor Show and Motor Village held at Meydan racecourse with legendary rally driver Ken Block showing off his skills. The celebrations culminate in the Dubai Grand Parade in Motor Village on November 21 with a display of some of the world’s finest vehicles.

Alserkal Avenue hosts yet another Galleries Night bringing together some of the finest exhibitions from galleries around the city to one single location. As always, expect to see, hear and experience new and fresh ideas all generated from homegrown talent.

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Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami USA

Dubai International Film Festival Madinat Jumeirah

Formula One’s only twilight race of the year promises to be a showstopper with Blur, Florence and the Machine and Enrique Iglesias all confirmed to perform at the after-race concerts to more than 60,000 revellers in the last race of the season.

This year, 267 galleries from all over the world will descend on Miami and show their wares at the Miami Beach Convention Centre. It will be a truly international affair with 32 countries represented from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as 29 newcomers.

This year DIFF brings a slate of more than 130 films from 40-plus countries. Check out edgy and original world premieres of films ranging from giant-budget Hollywood films to no-budget films. There will be movies from first-time filmmakers through to the greatest directors of all time.

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INVESTMENT DESTINATION

A YEN FOR INVESTING IN THE EAST Abenomics could mean higher exporting revenues for Japan, more tax revenue and better wages to stimulate the economy

apan has undergone mixed blessings in the last few decades. After a post-war economic surge, the 1990s were dubbed the ‘lost decade’ after the bubble burst, the Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed and property prices rocketed. As its less developed neighbours surged ahead, the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe, when widespread radioactive contamination was caused by an earthquake followed by a tsunami, seemed to spell the worst—that Japan would become an economic pariah. But the exclusion zone predicted by pundits failed to materialise and Japan has been resurgent over recent years. What is behind it is the cause of much debate in financial circles and has been dubbed Abenomics, a portmanteau of economics and the name of the country’s polarising prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Just months after coming to power for a second term in December 2012, Abe – who had previously held the post for a year in 2006 - managed to steer the country’s economy from negative GDP growth to 1.3 per cent. He has done so by going on an inflationary offensive, printing money, undergoing quantitative easing and promoting public spending. The lack of sustainability of this move may be showing through with Japan recently undergoing a period of deflation.

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Despite this, many see Japan as a solid bet for investment opportunities. Japan’s stock market has risen 36 per cent over the past year. The yen has fallen significantly, dropping almost a third against the dollar, a boost for Japan’s export sectors. Dr Jochen Legewie, who has a doctorate in economics and is head of international communications consultancy CNC for Japan, says investment opportunities exist for outsiders but in “specific sectors and regions where Japan is still growing and having a big demand”. Legewie, the only foreign member of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) task force of the Japanese business federation Keizai Doyukai, says the best investments relate to macro trends such as Japan’s ageing population and expanding megalopoli. “Disposable income is shifting to the older generation; they have a lot of money to spend. They can spend this money on healthcare to extend their lives or on travelling,” he says. Luxury goods like fresh vegetables and healthy food are in demand, he adds. While Japan has a decreasing population, its big cities are actually growing, with wider Tokyo’s approximately 36 million people representing the largest agglomeration in the world. “Areas related to city infrastructure and improving the quality

Images courtesy of Getty Images

BY AMANDA FISHER


INVESTMENT DESTINATION

of the transport, the energy – even the entertainment area – will products. Big strides are also being made in the direction continue to grow,” he says. It also means prime property in high of smart cities with self-driving cars and link-ups between density areas is “very hot”. technology companies like Google and IBM and the Japanese car industry. Legewie says he expects these sectors to continue to perform strongly for investors until Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, which is But any serious foray into Japan’s business sector takes the focus of much development. But even after that, the country commitment. UAE-based shipping logistics and compliance should be in good stead, he says, thanks to blossoming tourism, company Marcura set up shop in Japan in 2014 after a lengthy another bonus from the low yen. period securing quality local staff to break into the conservative Two years ago a target of 20 million overseas visitors was set market, according to parent company DA-Desk’s managing for 2020. However, he says that could be reached by this year. director Hans-Christian Mordhurst. “Engaging Japanese companies from abroad without visible “Most of these people are coming from China, Korea or investment in, and commitment to, the Japanese market is in Taiwan and they are spending a lot,” he says. my experience not likely to be a sustainable success,” he says. “They are a big shot in the business arm of Japan. These richer Theirs has been an investment worth making with the new Chinese plus further foreigners are not going away, whether the domestic economy after the Olympics increases or not.” Japanese arm breaking even within the first year – much better But Legewie also foresees major challenges. The Japanese than anticipated, he adds. economy and the nation’s industries need “We have two of the largest trading to focus on integrating better in the global companies and several of the largest market to avoid the “Galapagos effect” that shipping companies as customers. These are “Japan is a complicated important credentials since many Japanese has grown in Japan, thanks to its island mentality and historic self-sufficiency. companies adopt a wait-and-see approach picture but the when new products are introduced.” He also says a look at Japan’s non-existent government-led reforms immigration policy is key to increasing Being based locally gives advantages in understanding the business culture. productivity. suggest there are lots Decision-making can seem “opaque”, David Norton, head of investments at wealth management firm AES International there is a high expectation of service levels of opportunity for in Dubai, agrees there is potential for and Japanese customers want to work in investment growth” investors amid the “doom and gloom” their own language. This might make business growth seem coverage of Abenomics. He says Standard and Poor’s index of slow at the outset compared to a market like the US’s top 500 investable companies has Singapore, says Mordhurst, but in Japan risen by a factor of 37 since 1980 while Japan’s index has only quality is rated over price and “customer loyalty goes deep”. risen three times, suggesting a lot of room for movement for Marcura is hoping to double its business by the end of next the world’s third largest economy. year. “Japan is a complicated picture but the government-led As for Abenomics, Mordhurst says he is not concerned about reforms suggest there are lots of opportunity for investment Japan’s aggressive monetary policies and its sovereign debt level growth,” he says. of about 250 per cent, which is higher than that of Greece, for example. Norton adds opportunities in Japan are about investing in As Legewie points out, the sovereign debt is almost entirely companies rather than the country. domestically owned, as opposed to being indebted overseas in “The multinationals are those benefitting from the weaker yen Greece’s case. so areas such as advanced materials, engineering, electrical and electronics [are worth investing in]. Others to watch are those And Norton says the sovereign debt is part of the gamble supported by Government spending—defence, construction Abenomics has taken—one that could pay off in the long run. and industrial materials.” The weaker yen should lead to higher exporting revenues, Both Norton and Legewie agree the technology industry giving more tax revenue and higher wages and stimulating Japan was once famed for has largely passed to Korea and China the economy. in terms of consumer products, although Japan is still a robotics “If this scenario plays out and the fiscal imbalance is corrected, hub. However, Legewie says Japan remains a powerhouse for then current levels of sovereign debt have played a critical role manufacturing the electronic components at the core of these in righting the economy,” he says.

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PRIVATE AVIATION

READY, JETSET, GO Private jets aren’t just for wealthy executives—they have been used to transport everything from birds to diamonds BY NATASHA TOURISH

hen it comes to air travel, there are few things that can compare to flying on a private jet. It is usually the preserve of billionaires, royals, celebrities and chief executives but sometimes the 10 prized seats on a private aircraft are filled with a different type of precious cargo. Dubai-based private aviation pilot and executive director of Business Aviation Concepts Ivan Vanderhyden says he has flown everything from falcons to diamonds over the years for his wealthy clientele. “I have seen it all really and had all sorts of celebrations onboard,” he says. He has captained everyone from the Real Madrid team just after they won the champions league to Will Smith, Sting, Naomi Campbell, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane over the years. But some of his most difficult guests were of a different breed.

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“I had to fly falcons for the Abu Dhabi royal family to Pakistan,” he says. “These are big birds in large cases so just to get them onboard was a tough mission.” Vanderhyden, who also worked for Saudi Arabia’s Al Saud royal family, has transported other strange, precious cargo, including millions of dollars’ worth of raw diamonds from Zimbabwe and Hong Kong to Dubai. He recalls piloting a private jet to an Eastern European country to pick up a group of young women and take them to the Maldives for a 10-day yacht party at the request of a Middle Eastern royal family member. But it is not all party girls and diamonds. He has also embarked on life-and-death missions with medical evacuations, which, he says, “can be risky” as private jets are not equipped with medical facilities or equipment. On a particularly precarious mission, he had to fly to a Middle


PRIVATE AVIATION

“I deal with the top one per cent who could have an 8am meeting in Kuwait, a lunchtime meeting in Jeddah and a 4pm meeting in Riyadh.” Eastern country to pick up a patient who was in a coma as a result of a serious motorcycle accident and bring him to Germany for specialised treatment. Sadly, on that occasion the patient did not survive. But such cases are a rarity. The Canadian pilot says the majority of his clients in the Middle East are ultra high net worth business executives who want to maximise their time by making multiple stops in one trip. “I deal with the top one per cent who could have an 8am meeting in Kuwait, a lunchtime meeting in Jeddah and a 4pm meeting in Riyadh. “They will stay overnight, have a meeting again in the morning and come back to Dubai.” The veteran pilot, who has recently taking a step back from flying to concentrate on developing his private aviation advisory business, says business aviation has been proven to maximise an executive’s time by up to 40 per cent. While commercial airlines like Etihad and Emirates have introduced private suites and a butler service to target the same wealthy individuals, Vanderhyden does not think it will affect the top one per cent’s decision to fly on a private jet. “Private suites are for a very niche market and I think they will do well with them but the top one per cent will always prefer their own private aircraft,” he says. “They want to work onboard and would rather opt for total privacy. They want to show up 15 minutes before the flight is due to depart and be able to easily reschedule the flight if their meeting runs over or plans change.” While it has been a tough few years for the business aviation industry globally, Vanderhyden says the introduction of new long-range aircraft models and fresh business coming from Africa and Iran will be “a game changer”. “North America is driving the business aviation sales market right now because its economy is strong,” he says. “The European market is weaker, partly due to the Greek crisis and sanctions in Russia have caused traffic flow to be down four per cent year on year globally.” He says the ongoing crisis in the region is also affecting business. “Some people just do not want to fly within the region because of the conflict in Syria and elsewhere.” However, the businessman is looking to Africa, where by

Ivan Vanderhyden, executive director of Business Aviation Concepts

2040 there are expected to be more than 10,000 ultra high net worth individuals, four times the number today, according to the Wealth-X annual wealth analysis report. He also estimates the private aviation market in Iran is worth upwards of $1 billion. “Iran is an untapped market and once the sanctions are lifted, which we estimate will be between March and May next year, the opportunities for private business aviation are huge,” he says. Vanderhyden says he is actively working with his business partners to find a local partner in Iran who knows the market and hopes to open an office there by early next year. According to the pilot, the UAE would be a good option for Iranians to register their private jets, as its reputation and servicing standards are comparable to the US. He expects that there will be more than 800 private aircraft in the Middle East region by 2030, while a joint Wealth-X WingsX Advance report says the regional market is worth $10 billion over the next decade. He says: “When an aircraft is registered in the UAE, it carries an A6 registration so when we see that, we know as far as maintenance and air worthiness is concerned, it has been kept to the highest standards because it is on a par with European authorities.”

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Š Andy Gotts / Camera Press / The Interview People

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COVER

VINTAGE FORD Harrison Ford will reprise his love-hate relationship with his character Han Solo in the latest Star Wars movie. GC finds out what makes the veteran actor tick and why at 73 he is happy to take a back seat BY PIERS MANNING

Images courtesy of Getty Images

or years, Harrison Ford bemoaned his legacy as Han in June of last year. The injury required surgery to install metal Solo in George Lucas’s immensely popular Star Wars plates in his leg while production was halted for eight weeks to saga. There was no love lost between movie star and allow Ford time to recuperate. His fortunes continued to take a his interstellar alter ego and he has spent the last three decades downward turn when he crashed his vintage airplane on a golf generally disavowing all knowledge of his Solo self. Ford and course in Venice, California, in March that saw him sustain a concussion and other relatively minor injuries. Lucas often clashed on set and Harrison once griped to his boss: “You can type this s*** George but you sure can’t say it.” The 73-year-old is hale and hearty again and even consented Ford so hated Solo that he tried to persuade Lucas to kill off to grace this summer’s ComicCon convention with a surprise his character in Return of the Jedi: “He’s appearance that saw him bring delight to certainly a much less interesting character the thousands of fans who turned out for than Indiana Jones. He’s dumb as a stump.” an advance preview of the first of three new “He’s certainly a Dumb or not, audiences will have Star Wars instalments. much less interesting a chance to see an older and possibly Ford says of his return to the fold: “It wiser Han Solo in the upcoming Star should have felt ridiculous. There I was, character than Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens doing something I did so long ago. But I Indiana Jones...He’s will tell you that it felt great. I was proud directed by JJ Abrams, which premieres and grateful to once again be involved.” on December 14 in LA while a regional dumb as a stump” premiere in Abu Dhabi, where some of When not indulging his passion for the movie was shot, is reported to be the flying - he remains utterly fearless as a pilot following day. despite several brushes with death - Ford lives in Los Angeles Somehow Harrison Ford was persuaded to surrender to with his third wife, actress Calista Flockhart, 50, and their nostalgia and revisit the role alongside Carrie Fisher (Princess adopted 14-year-old son Liam. Harrison is currently preparing Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and many other old to shoot the sequel to Blade Runner and is reportedly going to Star Wars figures in the latest rebooting of the venerable and be returning to yet another iconic role, that of Indiana Jones, fabulously successful film franchise. when shooting begins on the fifth chapter in the SpielbergFord might have wanted to reconsider his decision after his directed franchise. His films have grossed more than $6 billion leg was badly broken in an accident on the set of Star Wars VII over the course of five decades.

(L-R) Actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher at a surprise Star Wars fan concert performed by the San Diego Symphony, featuring the classic Star Wars music of composer John Williams 2015 NOV / DEC

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COVER

Is it hard to find roles that live up to the iconic characters you’ve played in the past? I’m lucky that from time to time, there’s is a good part for somebody of my relative age when there are fewer opportunities to be the leading man. But that is okay. If something goes wrong on set I can tell my people, ‘Hey, I just work here - ask that other guy over there.’ I’m quite happy to work a little bit less. Flying planes is what I do for fun. Acting is my job - otherwise there are not many surprises left. Is it important for you to keep on working? A real man should never rest on his laurels. He should prove his mettle every day. That has nothing to do with being macho but with taking responsibility for yourself and your family. With all my experiences, I have to say I still struggle with a lot of the same problems and frustrations I have always had in life. But I do know how to better manage it all and approach problems and make my way through life with a little more grace and honour.

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What single quality, if any, has been most responsible for the kind of success you have enjoyed in your career ? The thing that makes me good at what I do, if I am good at all, is not feeling special, not feeling different, so that whoever I am talking to does not feel as if he is with someone who thinks he is on a higher plane because he happens to be in the film business. But you must have some sense of your accomplishments as an actor? Yes but I do not live in the past. My approach to life is that I am all about right now and what is ahead. I do not really think much about the past, except I occasionally reflect on and appreciate the enormous luck that I’ve had. I don’t feel like a movie star when I am on a set, although I do use my standing to try to help make the best film possible. I feel I have done enough and learnt enough from the process to know what I am doing and to contribute to the process. When I come home from work, I don’t feel like a movie star either. It is a seamless process. You work, you come home. What kind of advice do you offer to your youngest son, Liam? This is my fifth time around [as a parent]. Kids are forever. Part of the process of raising children is that you help them think their way through their life as much as you can and not tell them too much, not demand too much, but be there, supportive of them.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

You have enjoyed one of the most successful careers of any actor in the history of film. How gratifying is that to you? I am not really concerned about my legacy as an actor. I am all about right now and what is ahead. I do not really think much about the past, except that I do reflect on and understand the enormous luck that I have had. I have had a pretty good run.


COVER

When did you first realise as a teenager that acting was something you wanted to do with your life? My father was in the advertising business and produced and directed radio and television commercials. I was fascinated by [the TV series] Sky King, until I went to the studio one day with my dad and met a pudgy little man [actor Kirby Grant] who did not fit my image of Sky King. But I think that tweaked my interest in the whole business of showbusiness. But you went to college to study philosophy. Why? I was a philosophy major and not doing very well. In an effort to try and find something in the coursebook that sounded like it was a cinch to help bring my grade point average up, I picked drama. Having failed to read the course description all the way through, I did not realise it involved standing up on stage and acting. I was terrified at first and that made me a little angry at myself so I was determined to get over that knee-knocking feeling of panic and develop some fearlessness.

When I did, I also found what I was engaged in, with people trying to tell a story, was something that felt better than any other thing I had ever done before. It felt like I had found some kind of purpose in being part of storytelling and finding an outlet to work with other people. You tend to play the heroic everyman kind of figure. Does that suit your nature? I don’t know if I would describe very many of my roles as heroic. I think of them more as ordinary men who have remarkable levels of courage and character and vulnerability. Someone who has had his share of pain or difficult times and who can face up to challenges and overcome whatever obstacles stand in his way. An heroic figure for me is someone who has the determination and perseverance to triumph over adversity when the odds are stacked against him and lesser men would have given up, fallen apart or died. I like to imagine myself as having some of those qualities or aspirations so that is the kind of guy I like to play.

Love FAVOURITE PASTIME

Flying is like good music. It elevates the spirit and is an exhilarating freedom. It is not a thrill thing or an adrenaline rush. It is engaging in a process that takes focus and commitment. I far prefer to fly myself. I am not afraid, I’m a do-it-yourself kind of guy.

FAVOURITE PLACE

I discovered the ranch Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when I was looking to move outside California. My [then] wife and I rented a car and drove toward Jackson. I was blown away. We knew immediately we wanted to be there. When I became a landowner there, I felt a sense of stewardship for the earth. (Ford has donated nearly 400 acres of the ranch to the Jackson Hole Land Trust )

MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE MOMENT

Shooting the swordsman in Indiana Jones I was anticipating a three-day shoot of the world’s most elaborate sword versus whip fight.

Hate BULLIES

I was constantly being beaten up and harassed in school because I was very shy and small. I did not have the strength or courage to do anything.

INDEPENDENT MOVIES

I have nothing against those movies from an artistic standpoint. But I simply have no particular yearning to do the same work for less money.

THE FILM BUSINESS

I don’t know anything about it. I just work here. I have tried very hard not to give a rat’s a** about the business part of it because to me it is the wrong way of looking at it. I have always looked at movies as a job.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

I hate it. Acting on a large set with lots of people around you is one thing but I still have a great deal of difficulty in getting up and talking in front of a crowd. Speaking in public is a mixed bag of terror and anxiety.

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SOCIAL ENTREPENEUR

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

A Dubai-based couple are feeding starving children in Africa with the proceeds of their gift-giving website BY RYAN YOUNG

n their first date, Natasha Rockstrom asked her future husband Martin what he wanted to do with his life. His response was, “change the world”. Her first thought was, “you just stole my line”. Five years later, the couple are married and doing just that with the launch of their own social enterprise, which donates 20 per cent of its profits toward feeding malnourished children in Africa. “Everything starts with an idea and we began with a very big idea,” says Natasha. Based in Dubai, Injoy Giving is a business with a difference. The concept is a gift-giving website — a way to touch friends and loved ones with a present out of the blue. Gifts range from an artisan breakfast to a spa treatment, yoga classes or a luxury car rental. Recipients get a smile when the surprise gift arrives, in most cases as a voucher landing in their inbox, to be redeemed at one of the firm’s partner vendors. But buyers get an equally heartening reward when they are told, at the point of purchase, about the charitable donation made in their name as a result of the sale. Customers pay no extra for the charitable gesture — the donation comes from Injoy Giving’s cut of the sale. “You are motivated knowing it is going to make a difference and then there is that moment of surprise afterwards knowing how,” says Natasha, 32. Rather than focusing on dollars, donations are measured in impact and aid. A partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme sees the donations translated directly into nutritious school meals where they are needed most. Even a single Dh15 coffee gifted through Injoy Giving will buy one school meal in West Africa. “There is so much emphasis in our world on measuring everything in financial terms,” says Natasha. “Living in Dubai, we can become a little naive about how far one dollar can go so if we say ‘you are feeding a child for a week’, that is something everyone can relate to.” Expanding the business, which is based in Jumeirah Lake Towers, will involve donations to local charities such as Adopt-

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Natasha and Martin Rockstorm, co-founders of Injoy Giving

a-Camp, which works to improve the lives of labourers in the UAE. While it remains a commercial venture, the couple have left their personal stamp on the enterprise. Instead of conventional job titles, Natasha is the company’s “magic maker” while her 34-year-old husband is described as the “heart of innovation and product”. The endeavour draws on both parties’ talents. Natasha’s background is in financial services and her husband previously worked in marketing causes, which is reflected in their efforts


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SOCIAL ENTREPENEUR

Injoy Giving has partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme so profits collected from their website are translated directly into nutritious school meals in Africa. Even a single Dh15 coffee gifted through Injoy Giving will buy one school meal

to set up a for-profit business with a charitable element. “As a business you need to ask yourself a couple of questions,” says Martin. “Why are you in business? If your main motivation is to make money, how far is that going to fuel you? You will run out of motivation after some time.” The answer was to structure the business as a social enterprise which builds strategies to improve wellbeing into its founding principles, rather than a CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme which firms can choose to adopt or adjust, depending on their fortunes. The foundations for this altruistic business were laid that fateful afternoon five years ago when the couple went on their first date, a four-hour walk through a Swedish forest. Natasha, who has Indian origins, was born and raised in Oman, where her father is the country’s largest frozen food importer. She studied in Montreal, Canada and spent time volunteering in Africa and India. After four years working in Dubai, she moved to Sweden to study for a masters in business administration. In 2010 she met Martin, a Stockholm native living and working at the time in San Diego in the US. The pair moved to Dubai two years later, registering Injoy Giving as a business in 2013 and launching the site in May.

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“Dubai really encourages a start-up and the entrepreneurial community here is very open,” says Natasha. “Philanthropic thinking [in business] was nascent here. There wasn’t anybody doing it so bringing this idea here is a complete pilot test.” As well as gift-giving, much of the website is dedicated to “inspiring generosity”. This includes suggested “random acts of kindness” such as paying for a stranger’s coffee or leaving an anonymous inspirational note on a parked car. This month, Injoy Giving plans to host offline events such as movie screenings and something called “letter earthlings”, part of an international scheme to encourage people to write letters of love and support to strangers identified as being in need. After spreading the word in Dubai, the pair are hoping to extend the idea to offering gifting services in select cities around the globe. “At the end of the day, what really matters is inspiring just one person,” says Natasha. “That is what we are really after—to change the world one person at a time.” Find out more at www.injoygiving.com


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PROFILE

SAVING LIVES Doctor and Medecins Sans Frontieres volunteer Dr Javid Adelmoneim gives a rare insight into working on the frontline as he deals with one global crisis after another BY NATASHA TOURISH

without Borders). Since returning to the UK in October last year, he has been vocal in his criticism of the West over how it handled the Ebola crisis in Western Africa. The first outbreak of the deadly disease began in March last year in Guinea and spread to neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, killing nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation. Although the disease has been around for 40 years in multiple nations, London-based Adelmoneim says it is still a “neglected disease” but is hopeful that will change after Bill Gates voiced

© Fabio Basone MSF

bola: the disease that put the world on edge - not just because it wiped out entire bloodlines in West Africa but because fear of a global outbreak loomed as large as a hovering drone over Europe and the US after a handful of western health workers returned home with suspected cases of the virus. British casualty doctor Dr Javid Adelmoneim, 36, knows more than most about the deadly disease and the horrific suffering it inflicts on those who contract it. Adelmoneim treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone through his work with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors

Dr Javid Adelmoneim wearing protective clothing in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, at one of the Ebola treatment centres 32

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PROFILE

his concern over its spread earlier this year. “If people like Bill Gates start to champion the cause, then I hope a lot of other people in positions of power will also [do so] because it is something I would certainly like to get out there,” says the young doctor. He recalls the crippling fear he experienced upon arriving in Sierra Leone in August 2014, where he saw firsthand the nondiscriminatory nature of Ebola as it wiped out entire families. “We were all scared of Ebola and rightly so,” he told an audience during his Ted-X talk on the subject in January, noting more than 400 healthcare workers died from Ebola across the three affected countries, with MSF losing 14 members of staff alone. Yet he still believes there is a way to go in raising awareness, not just about MSF’s work with Ebola patients but also about the conflict and suffering of the people in Yemen. That is what has brought him to Dubai, where we meet at the MSF office in Tecom. He says “the world turned a blind eye” to Ebola and is doing so again with the conflict in Yemen. “MSF is one of the few aid agencies that is on the ground in Yemen,” he says. “It is very difficult for us to even get there because there are no commercial flights so we have to charter our own planes. “The population is under great strain. There are no fuel pumps to run water pipes so hospitals have no water and few materials. “Internally for us, it is a huge problem but the world is not looking.” Speaking of the West’s “indifference” to certain conflicts and diseases, Adelmoneim admits he himself became desensitised when he was in Sierra Leone, due to the overwhelming scale of suffering he witnessed. “You could become really quite flippant when presented with an insurmountable task and you do not have a treatment that can cure your patient and there are six in 10 of your patients dying every day,” he says. “You almost become flippant about that death rate. You find a dead body and you go, ‘okay, there’s another one’.”

On reflection, the casualty doctor, who also works part-time in St Mary’s and Chelsea and Westminster hospital in West London, says it was probably a coping mechanism. “You shield yourself from getting hurt. You do not get to know the patient if they are already very sick because you think they are going to die,” he says. However, Adelmoneim, who concedes his biggest fear is dying alone, underlines the importance of being able to “maintain some type of dignity in death” for Ebola patients, despite feeling both physically and emotionally removed from them because of the protective suits medics have to wear. “Can you imagine having to tell [patients] they had about a 60 per cent chance of dying and all we could do for them was to give them their pain medication?” he says. “It is a horrible, nasty disease. When you find patients lying dead in the mud or under beds because they walk around and are delirious, then just collapse, it washes over you. “Maybe it needs to so you can carry on but you catch yourself thinking, ‘let’s still be human about this’.” In November last year, the doctor gave evidence in front of the International Development Committee, a parliamentary select committee reviewing the UK’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. He spoke of the indignity and human suffering experienced by patients and described how powerless he felt when treating them. “I opened the door of an ambulance and found three patients: one woman who died during the 10-hour journey to the treatment centre and two other alive patients who most definitely would have been cross-contaminated by now. The other patients had to watch this woman die a wretched death, knowing they would probably face the same thing.” He added: “If that woman fell out of the back of the ambulance outside the treatment centre, we would not have been able to go over and touch her.” Having been clearly scarred by his experience in Sierra Leone, he is nevertheless determined to relive it to help raise awareness

© Fabio Basone MSF

“It is a huge problem but the world is not looking”

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© Sahara PR

“You learn that you have to do the best you can within the situation you are in and that gives you a sense of calm in that moment”

Dr Javid Adelmoneim at the Capital Club in DIFC

in the UAE for the non-profit organisation MSF, founded in the 1970s after the Nigerian Biafra crisis. The doctor says: “Just by telling our stories, we hope it gets individuals motivated to change those situations or at least to help.” Much like the other members of MSF, Adelmoneim - who is also a globetrotting TV presenter for Al Jazeera’s The Cure - says he has freedom to respond to any crises, thanks to his ad hoc schedule negotiated with the NHS hospital system that he works with. “I maintain three jobs and love all of them. I don’t do them concurrently but it ends up [being] one after the other,” he says. With field experience in Haiti, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Jordan under his belt, does he feel he is better equipped now to deal with mass casualty incidents in London? “Not much can jolt me in accident and emergency in England,” he says, adding he was on the night shift in London’s Queen Charlotte Hospital on the day of the July 2005 bombings in the city. “I think my work with MSF helps me when I am dealing with very sick patients or huge traumas with very little backup or little resources. “You learn that you have to do the best you can within the situation you are in and that gives you a sense of calm in that moment.” Working in the frontline is something Adelmoneim has always strived toward. He was born and raised in the UK to Sudanese Iranian parents and dreamed of becoming a pilot but his hopes were dashed by poor exam results in physics. He instead studied medicine at University College London and did his postgraduate studies in emergency medicine with an additional diploma in tropical medicine.

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Shortly after graduating, he applied to volunteer with MSF. He was initially rejected because of a lack of experience but after three more years working within the NHS, he was in the field for MSF in 2009 treating patients with cholera in Haiti. While the peak of Ebola has passed and a new vaccine was announced in July this year, which early studies indicate to be 100 per cent effective in preventing the disease when given immediately, Adelmoneim says the question of why the outbreak was allowed to happen remains, given that 27,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died. It is these inequalities and disparities in healthcare and living that he says start to weigh heavily on him. Besides West Africa, where MSF says there is an urgent need for a healthcare system to be put in place even if Ebola has been stamped out, the organisation’s other major concern is the refugee crisis in Europe. MSF is working in refugee camps in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon but is also working to help the migrants in transit. “ We have had three ships in the Mediterranean since May plucking them out of the sea as they drown,” says Adelmoneim. “We saved 1,685 people from drowning on Wednesday last week alone.” In total, MSF has saved more than 15,000 from the sea since its operations began in May. The organisation is also working in reception camps in Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece to deal with the refugees in situ. However, the doctor says although they will carry on treating them medically, it will not solve anything as “political will is what is needed to stop the problem”. For now, a glimmer of hope remains for the refugees because they have captured the world’s attention. As the doctor says: “For Europe right now, it is trainloads of refugees in the news, not people being bombed in Sana’a.”


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THE CLOONEY CLAN He is often overshadowed by his famous family—most notably his son George— but 81-year-old Nick Clooney is as talented as he is humble. GC meets the veteran journalist on the sidelines of the Global Citizen Forum in Monaco BY PETER ALLEN

sk Nick Clooney what he will be remembered for and he immediately comes out with the names Rosemary Clooney and George Clooney – two of the biggest stars in Hollywood history. They are certainly two tough family acts to live up to but Nick is so much more than Rosemary’s brother and George’s father. Spending time with the veteran American journalist at the Global Citizen Forum in Monaco was a chance to witness a brilliant professional in his element. Clooney senior offers a lifetime of firsthand reporting experience and a razor sharp intellect that he regularly applies to complex global situations. Above all, he is a wonderful communicator, as befits a TV anchorman who reported on some of the biggest news stories of the last half century.

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As we sit on the Monte Carlo seafront staring up at the famous casino and skyscrapers beyond, Clooney recounts his role in one of the most important events in its recent history. “I do have one distinction and it only comes from being old, exceedingly old,” he says. “I’m 81 years old and in 1956, I was with the American Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany and I came down here with a group of young American broadcasters from the United States Army to cover Princess Grace’s wedding.” The bride started life as the Philadelphia beauty Grace Kelly, the American actress who went on to marry Prince Rainier III to become Princess Grace of Monaco. Her entire career read like a film script: she appeared alongside legends including James Stewart, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby and


PROFILE

Image courtesy of Getty Images

lived a gilded personal life in the Mediterranean principality before her tragic death in a car crash in 1982. Princess Grace’s legacy can still be seen all over Monaco, from the main hospital that bears her name to her eldest son, who is now the ruling Prince Albert II. Clooney saw the princess at the glamorous high point in her life, a time when her adopted home was just taking off as a business centre and playground for the international jetset. “What I saw then, and what I see now, is completely different,” he says. “In 1956 Monaco had nothing to do with this vertical city which has grown up since that momentous occasion. It was a lovely small city – no building was more than around eight storeys high – but now it is a lovely large city. It is my first visit since those incredible days and I am delighted to be back.” Clooney was accompanied by his charming wife Nina and there were constant references to their hugely talented family. He thanked Rosemary, who died in Beverley Hills in 2002, for teaching them all how to handle constant scrutiny – both from fans and the international media. “It was Rosemary who taught us the way to do it,” he says. “She had a giant hit in the 1950s and went on to dominate the female charts for a few years. She was the first of us who had to deal with fame and originally had no idea how to handle it. “Rosemary had a lot of attention and quite a bit of money and handled it poorly but she slayed all the dragons for us. We knew where the danger spots were, we knew who would try to sell us longhorned cattle in Texas. When George came along,

he was quite grounded and Rosemary had a hand in all of that.” Nowadays Clooney senior is particularly proud of the way George and his wife Amal, the human rights lawyer, handle themselves in the face of feverish coverage. It is all down to retaining “core values” and not letting global superstardom get in the way of being grounded, nice people, he says. He adds: “I just ran into [former United Nations secretarygeneral] Kofi Annan and said I really appreciated him hiring my daughter-in-law at the UN. I thanked him very much for that.” Of his own industry, Clooney bemoans the decline of traditional editors and is maddened by the way unverified information nowadays becomes “fact”. “I still miss the gatekeepers,” he says. “People are just as smart as we ever were but the difference is we had editors – mature and experienced journalists who always had an eagle eye out for factual errors.” Sloppy fact-checking in mainstream media and by citizen journalists has led to the media stigmatising social groups, not least of all refugees. Clooney considers there are just as likely to be dangerous characters living within society – such as US “shooters” who maim and murder with legally owned weapons – as there are among groups of people arriving from overseas. “In all cases, the key is sensible vetting procedures,” he says. “Everybody needs to be checked out, no matter what their background or where they originate from. We worry about assimilation of foreign communities but what about us learning a bit about their culture? That is what we should be doing.”

“I just ran into Kofi Annan and said I really appreciated him hiring my daughter-in-law”

Like father, like son; actor George Clooney not only inherited his good looks and charm from his father Nick but most importantly, the pair share a profound interest in humanitarian work 2015 NOV / DEC

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EMPOWERING RURAL INDIA Indian self-made billionaire Ronnie Screwvala hopes to transform the lives of his country’s poorest residents

ndian billionaire Ronnie Screwvala became the animation firm Disney’s go-to man in India after attracting the attention of the entertainment giant with his small cable company, UTV. A self-made entrepreneur, his firm was bought by Disney four years ago but Screwvala remained at the helm as managing director of the Walt Disney Company India. Since stepping down last year, Screwvala has been refocusing much of his entrepreneurial drive on making waves as a philanthropist. He and his wife Zarina are well on their way to achieving their mission of transforming the lives of one million of India’s poorest rural dwellers every five years through their Swades Foundation, which they set up 11 years ago. The couple now have a team of 1,500 working with them to make this happen. “Philanthropy for most people means [writing] a cheque and giving it out to various NGOs,” says Screwvala. “When we looked at how to go ahead with this foundation, we wanted to build it ourselves. In philanthropy, you need to give people a different sense of hope and raise the aspiration level.” Screwvala, 53, has just published his first book, Dream With Your Eyes Open, which he hopes will inspire Indian entrepreneurs to take the plunge in the business world.

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But it is the failures in his entrepreneurial journey—from toothbrushes to Bollywood blockbusters—that Screwvala dwells on, retold to an audience at a TieCon (which stands for think, inspire, execute) convention in Dubai last month. “I did well at school and was extremely arrogant when I stepped out of there,” he says. “The swagger and arrogance meant a year later, I failed college. I felt I had let my parents down and that my CV would forever say ‘college fail’.” But failure was merely a setback for Screwvala. He stumbled upon his first business venture in a moment of opportunism. He says: “I was in the UK with my father, who was managing director of a company that also made toothbrushes. “I was tagging along with him when I saw toothbrush machines that looked brand new to me but were going to the scrapheap after two years of production. “Those 100,000lbs machines were at that time being sold for £2,000. To me, that was an opportunity.” Screwvala became the biggest manufacturer of toothbrushes in India. He puts this down to being “naive”, disruptive and opportunistic. “If you are naive, you can ask all the dumb questions,” he says.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

BY JESSICA HILL


PHILANTHROPY

“They are not really dumb, hopefully, but you can make them sound like that and not be inhibited. I think as you grow up you feel more curtailed.” Screwvala’s hobby of acting in a local theatre group helped mould him as an entrepreneur. “Being in front of a live audience performing every weekend gave me a confidence and clarity unlike anything else,” he says. “When you are on stage with six other people and someone gets their lines muddled, it is [down to] incredible teamwork.” In 1980, Screwvala had what he considered to be the “smart idea” of pioneering cable TV in India—but no one else seemed to agree. “Today entrepreneurs come to me and say, ‘I have this great idea’ and then there is a pause, as though from that point I need to react in a very positive manner,” he says. “In the same way, I thought offering the choice of more than just one TV channel was a really smart idea. I must have personally knocked on 2,000 doors. “It took us a year to get there and it was a lot of hard work. Most people thought we had a lucky break but I am not a firm believer in luck.” Nine years after launching his company Network, he founded UTV in 1990 to provide TV content to broadcasters. Screwvala later expanded into gaming, broadcasting and film, although he admits the first five movies he produced were a flop. “I think most people getting into the movie business would have run away by then,” he says. “I felt I did not have a choice but to go forward. Most success versus failure in life is simply about staying the course.” When UTV launched Hungama channel in 2004, it became the leading children’s TV channel in India. Its popularity sparked the interest of rival entertainment provider Disney, which bought UTV with Screwvala staying at the helm. Last year he stepped down to focus on investing in sports, education and the digital media sectors in India, as well as focusing on his foundation. Screwvala says the key driver in his philanthropic work has to be empathy. “If one of the volunteers tells you they saved a life yesterday, you cannot say, ‘that’s fine but what about the targets for our projects?’ “Even though there are 1.3 billion [people] in India, the long tail is always ignored. If it is ignored too long, it will not take us to the capital era all of us Indians have a vision of. The answer to this has a lot to do with empathy.”

Ronnie Screwvala in Dubai for a book signing of Dream With Your Eyes Open, which details his entrepreneurial journey

“Most success versus failure in life is simply about staying the course”

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THE HUMAN TOUCH Philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi has turned 90 but hopes his son will continue his life’s work

itting on a sofa in his head office in Karachi’s crowded neighbourhood of Mithadar, 90-year-old Abdul Sattar Edhi is greeted constantly by passers-by. He always waves back through the window with a smile. No man has been held in such reverence in Pakistan since its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Philanthropist and social activist Edhi has been dubbed “the greatest living humanitarian in the world”. Yet despite his status in his home country, he lives a simple life with few comforts and limited technology, a spartan office with a few plain wooden desks, marble flooring and ceiling fans providing relief from the soaring heat outside. Edhi has devoted his life to helping people, despite being castigated from some quarters, labelled an infidel and atheist for helping non-Muslims and even beaten at the hands of his own Memon community, a South Asian group to which his family belongs, for helping non-Memons. “People may say things about me. Let them speak. I have never concentrated on their words. I am doing my work and it makes me happy,” Edhi says. Likewise, he does not get enthused by the good things his supporters say about him either. It was 64 years ago that the philanthropist stood on a street corner in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance. He only made enough to buy a clapped-out van but it was the beginning of a lifelong mission to feed the poor and bury the dead.

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The young Pakistani went on to set up philanthropic institutions all over the country, from orphanages and homes for the mentally ill to drug rehabilitation centres and hostels for abandoned women. His open-door policy meant no cause was excluded from his compassion. Edhi’s autobiography, published in 1996, describes how he recovered the poor and the lifeless “from rivers, inside wells, roadsides, accident sites and hospitals. “When families forsook them and authorities threw them away, I picked them up. Then I bathed and cared for each and every victim of circumstance.” Today, Edhi’s foundation runs the world’s largest voluntary ambulance service providing emergency care. He has more than 300 centres across Pakistan and offices in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, Nepal and Afghanistan. He also owns the largest number of mortuaries in the country. Now suffering from renal failure, the devoted public servant seems content when he talks about his NGO’s achievements: “Had I not laid the foundation, Pakistanis would be dying and there would be no one to pick their bodies from the streets or even homes.” Edhi says it is “poor people” who contributed most to his foundation’s success. “One call for donations and the poor people come to me immediately to give the little that they have,” he adds. “Although people here have so many problems of their own,

Images courtesy of Getty Images

BY SHEEMA KHAN


PHILANTHROPY

they are the first to help others in times of trouble.” But times are changing and so are things at the foundation. With Edhi’s health deteriorating, his son Faisal is now overseeing day-to-day operations. “God gifted me a good child whom I really trust with the affairs of the foundation,” says Edhi. But it cannot be easy filling such big shoes. Faisal, 39, says: “Papa is not a normal human being but one with extraordinary abilities.” Like his father, he is a determined soul and says he will not tolerate failure. “I have the responsibility of the foundation on my shoulders now and I will continue to take it forward and allow it to grow.” As a child, Faisal had to grow up quickly, spending his days with his father in the ambulance responding to emergencies. “I learned how to look after myself,” he says. “He taught me how to protect myself from incoming bullets or stones during chaotic times.” Faisal recalls one of the most traumatic scenes he witnessed as a child was removing a baby’s body from an oil drum so they could bury it. “We were told there was an oil tin in a specific area which contained a disfigured body of a child. It turned out to be a baby, no more than a day old,” says Faisal, still clearly traumatised by the experience. Edhi thought many Pakistani women were killing their babies because they were born outside marriage, so he put a cradle outside all his centres and a sign pleading with mothers: “Do not commit another sin: leave your baby in our care.”

The family talks openly about death, perhaps because, at 90, Edhi has already put plans in place for his own burial. He has also planned his wife Bilquis’s and son’s burial. “There are two graves which he has had made in Edhi Village, one of the foundation’s projects,” says Faisal. Edhi wants his wife Bilquis to be buried next to him, even though she protests that she would rather be buried next to her mother in another graveyard as the place Edhi has chosen has a lot of snakes. “I keep asking papa to give that grave to me. I want to be buried next to him,” says Faisal with a laugh, after which Edhi agrees to the new arrangements. The foundation, with annual expenditures topping one billion rupees ($9.6 million), refuses to take help from the government or donor agencies. According to Faisal, his father is resolute. If the foundation falls short on funds, he would rather cut down on expenditure than take help. “Our sources of income are donations from the general public and gains from endowment funds in banks,” says Faisal. He believes the name Edhi has enough goodwill to attract donors without having to advertise the foundation to raise funds. However, he concedes in recent years, donations have been falling, especially during Ramadan. A lot of donations come from the US and Britain while Faisal adds there are generous donors among the diaspora: “In the Middle East, we have bank accounts and Pakistanis send a lot of charity from there this way so we have both local and international support.”

“Had I not laid the foundation, Pakistanis would be dying and there would be no one to pick their bodies from the streets or even homes”

Social worker and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi is revered in Pakistan 2015 NOV / DEC

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ELI’S BROADSIDE Is billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad’s private art museum in LA a tick in the legacy box or has it secured the city’s contemporary art scene for generations to come? BY BEN HOYLE

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Ben Hoyle / The Times / The Interview People

Image courtesy of Getty Images

ENTREPRENEUR


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

he huge bunker wrapped in a perforated concrete veil grabs your attention, even with Frank Gehry’s stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall shimmering next door. Step inside the new Broad museum in the heart of Los Angeles’ downtown and a minute-long escalator or ride lifts you slowly from the cave-like foyer through a tunnel to a top floor gallery glowing with soft Californian light and stocked with some of the finest works by many of the biggest names in post-war art. Start with Jeff Koons’ giant Tulips and turn right for Andy Warhol — a Campbell soup tin, Two Marilyns and Elvis with

his pistols. Continue past a Jasper Johns American flag and Robert Rauschenberg toward highlights from the careers of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman, Joseph Beuys and Ed Ruscha. Swoon over the wonderful giant Cy Twomblys and ponder the nine Roy Lichtensteins before you get to more of Koons, taken from the largest collection of his work in the world: a shiny rabbit, a blue balloon dog and Michael Jackson with his chimp Bubbles. Admire it, then imagine owning all of it. Because the most astounding thing about the eponymous Broad museum is that everything about the place — the remarkable location, the razzle-dazzle of the art on show, the quiet splendour of the Elizabeth Diller building that houses it — is down to one selfmade man: an extraordinary, divisive, billionaire philanthropist whom The New Yorker once called “the Lorenzo de’ Medici of Los Angeles”. Eli Broad’s bestselling memoir begins with a blunt statement: “I am unreasonable”. It argues that his refusal to accept “reasonable” arguments explains why he became the first man to build two Fortune 500 companies in different industries (house building and financial services) and a $6 billion fortune in the process. It also explains how he and his wife Edythe were able to assemble one of the most valuable private art collections in history. After years of speculation about which institution they might bequeath it to, they have built their own, the Broad, which opened to the public in September. Most of the 2,000-strong collection is on site, stored in a vault in the middle of the building that can be glimpsed as you walk down the stairs. Broad is sitting in the 30th floor office of his foundation, 10 miles west of his new museum. His silver hair is neatly parted and he is immaculately dressed in a navy suit, white shirt and pale blue patterned tie and pocket square. There are signs age is catching up with the 82-year-old — his voice is soft and hoarse, his hearing poor and he repeats himself occasionally — but there is no doubting his formidable intellect, dry humour or appetite for work. Swigging from a plastic bottle of water, he says he is still too busy to spend much time with his art. His home is decked with masterpieces but the longest he might spend with one is “a few minutes. Wouldn’t sit there for an hour”. Art was his wife’s passion and came later in life for him. “She says once I got involved the budget went up dramatically.” As the only child of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants, growing up in the Bronx and then in Detroit, Broad (rhyming with road) had no dreams of great wealth. He collected stamps until girls began to distract him and thought when he started college that he might perhaps “end up with a haberdashery store or something”. It didn’t quite work out that way. He has been a millionaire since he was “26 or 27”. He has pledged to give away 75 per cent of his fortune and has donated more than $4 billion so far. His eyes smile. “We still have a few dollars left.”

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From his office Broad has a 180-degree view that begins with 20th Century Fox’s studios below him and sweeps across toward the skyscrapers of downtown and his museum. Framed photographs show Broad with presidents Obama, Clinton, Carter and George W Bush, as well as Kofi Annan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is a Jasper Johns and a Julian Lethbridge on his walls while the reception area gets five Ed Ruschas. I cannot spot it on his desk but his memoir says the “one constant” in his working life has been a paperweight his wife gave him, inscribed with a George Bernard Shaw quote that ends: “All progress depends on the unreasonable man”. I ask if the LA Times’s description of his wife as the “antidote to his sting” is fair. “I read that,” he says. “Everyone loves Edy. I don’t think everyone loves me. They respect me.” And he’s fine with that. Since moving west in 1963, Broad has made himself the dominant force in Los Angeles’s civic and cultural life, with his demanding methods and capacity for putting people’s noses out of joint matched only by his indisputable achievements in bettering the city. In 2003 a Los Angeles magazine cover posed the question: “He has more pull than the mayor, more art than the Getty and more money than God. Does Eli Broad own LA?” The couple’s biggest charitable investments have been in

education and medical research. He has done as much as anyone to breathe life back into the previously rundown Downtown area and has tried and failed to lure an NFL American football franchise to Los Angeles, to buy the Dodgers baseball team and the LA Times newspaper. “I love this city,” he says. “It has been very good to me. It is a real meritocracy and we have been able to do things we would not have been able to do in other cities. Here it is not a question of what your family background is or what your politics are. If you have good ideas and the energy and resources, then you are accepted.” Hugh Davies, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, cut to the heart of Broad’s complicated legacy when he described him as a “generous and great man” who had jousted with many colleagues but left his adopted city richer for it. “I’m grateful I wasn’t a museum director who had to serve Eli but I salute him from a safe 100-mile-away perspective in San Diego,” he said. Over the years Broad’s contributions have been vital to the growth of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum, but he has also resigned from each of their boards. Even his enemies agree that the money for the Disney hall would probably never

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Eli Broad, former US president Bill Clinton and museum director Joanne Heyler attend the Broad Museum opening celebration

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© Iwan Baan

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

The Broad Museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles

have been raised without him leading the campaign but typically there were complaints it would never have been such a well-realised building if his attempts to contract out the construction work had succeeded. The Broads began collecting seriously with a Van Gogh drawing but exchanged that for a Rauschenberg work, setting the tone for a collection heavily weighted toward art of the past 50 years. “It’s more interesting to get to meet the artists,” says Broad. He believes the best artists he collects are just as bright as the greatest businessmen he has known and often more interesting. “Life would be boring if I spent all my time with other business people, bankers and lawyers.” The Broads bought their first Cindy Sherman pieces for a few hundred dollars and he met Basquiat when “he was working in the basement of Annina Nosei’s gallery and living there. I was struck by the work, that it was more than just graffiti. It was very thoughtful. And to think that work which was selling for $5,000 or $7,000 is selling for millions is unbelievable.” He disapproves of people, often “hedge fund managers”,

buying art as an investment and “flipping it”. Instead he cares about bringing his collection to the widest possible audience, which is why entry to the Broad will, unusually for the United States, be free. The Broad collection has, on average, one work added every week. Broad signs off each one. Does he still get the same buzz he used to? “I do,” he says immediately. “In a way, it is competitive. I’ve got lots of friends who are collectors. Sometimes we get there before others do.” Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate, told the Times the museum is a “special experience” and says the Broads’ commitment to buying prime examples of work and buying in depth “allows us to trace the evolution of many significant artists”. Broad announced 10 years ago that “Los Angeles ought to — I’ll be immodest — become the art capital of the world”. Today he feels it is, at least, “the contemporary art capital of the world”. Now that’s done and the opening night for 5,000 people is out of the way, does this restless man see another challenge looming over the hill? “No,” Broad says, breaking into a smile. “I see a holiday.”

“Los Angeles ought to become the contemporary art capital of the world”

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FAMILY BUSINESS

CRAFTING A FUTURE Establishing a family brewery in the Palestinian Territories isn’t an investment for the fainthearted—as the Sayej family has discovered BY FRANCIS BENTLEY

here were probably easier career paths Alaa Sayej could have chosen. But the Palestinian finance and business management graduate had just one passion when he finished his masters degree in Preston in the north of England. Having discovered the craft brewery industry, he decided to brew beer in his native Ramallah in the West Bank. “Distillation was my hobby,” says the 27-year-old. “I made arak, vodka and beer and I became interested in English beer.” There were multiple challenges in setting up in Birzeit, the largely Christian neighbourhood which lends his company its name. Not only was there the taboo of brewing alcohol in the Muslim majority West Bank but numerous obstacles to operating as all the ingredients have to be imported via Israel, with checkpoint hold-ups, permits, government interference and bureaucracy creating a logistical nightmare. Sayej, who comes from a wealthy Christian family, was determined. Through a combination of loans, savings and parental investment, he accumulated $1.5 million dollars and founded Birzeit Brewery with his younger brothers Aziz and Khalid with the slogan ‘brewed by brothers for friends’. “For the money I could have bought a hotel in Spain but I decided to stay here in my country,” says the young chief executive. “My country gave me a lot. I owe it. All my friends and family are here. Plus, it is a virgin market. The only way is up.” But it has been a long, slow haul to start his business, he adds. “We established in November 2013 but launched the product in the market June this year. It took us three years just to get everything together. We had a bad time. “They don’t supply us with trash cans outside. There is no sewage system. They do not want to give us infrastructure. “The situation in [the Palestinian Territories] is terrible. It is occupied. All the logistics make it 400 per cent harder than anywhere else.”

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Sayej searched for jobs in the financial industry when he returned to the Palestinian Territories. After finding few opportunities, he made the decision to capitalise on the passion cultivated during his university years and open a brewery. He took a short brewing diploma, visited breweries in the Czech Republic and singlehandedly drew up plans for his fledgling business. His parents were surprised but ultimately supported him to the tune of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Birzeit Brewery’s Shepherds beer is already gaining a following with its slogan ‘a beer a day keeps the problems away, Palestine’. According to law, he should be allowed to trade and produce alcohol without government interference but constant delays and the stigma of producing a ‘haram’—or forbidden—substance mean he has to overcome obstacles from both Israelis and local officials. He plans to launch a non-alcoholic version soon, a product popular across the Arab world. Sayej also faces competition from the older, more established Taybeh brewery in the West Bank—the Palestinian Territories’ only other craft brewery, which was opened in 1994—and about 15 imported brands. Yet despite trading for less than six months, orders from Italy


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and the US have started trickling in, leading Sayej to label the venture a success, given demand outstrips supply. He credits the small company’s work ethic and hiring policy for the growth in profits. “I have 11 employees, including myself,” he says. “We all do everything. I’m not a typical CEO. I do the marketing. My youngest brother is the brew master. “We do not care where you come from or what you believe, only what you can offer.” Another unexpected revenue stream has come from the tourism sector. Holidaymakers apparently enjoy visiting Sayej’s brewery so much, he has tacked on a gift shop replete with novelty tee shirts

and discounted cans of beer. “We have a minimum of 40 to 70 visitors each week,” he says. “Next year we are planning our own beer festival in Birzeit too.” Sayej already brews pilsner pale lager, English ale and stout while a Christmas ale, wheat beer and summer ale are in the pipeline for next year. In the meantime, ongoing hostilities with Israel and simmering tensions could spell a cloud on the horizon. “Last November a lot of our equipment was in the seaport,” he says. “They did not allow it to enter for three months. We paid a lot of duties. It was really difficult. With everything else we have to handle, I really do not want more to deal with.”

“We do not care where you come from or what you believe, only what you can offer”

Alaa Sayej and his brothers founded Birzeit Brewery and named it after their native village

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WORKER BEE Social entrepreneur Monis Rahman is on a mission in Pakistan to increase workers’ productivity and benefits BY TRISKA HAMAD

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

onis Rahman is on a mission to find people jobs. What began as a side project to find talent for his company in Pakistan became the country’s biggest jobs website—Rozee.pk —which has helped put more than one million people in work. Now Rahman hopes to achieve the same in Saudi Arabia while redressing inequalities in employment through his philanthropic work. His own career began at Intel, working as an electrical engineer developing computer chips. His foray into the online world began in 1997 when he became one of the first people in San Jose to buy a broadband connection. Spending $800 a month for a 64K speed connection, Rahman linked up his video camera to the web to broadcast livestream video to the internet. The venture eventually morphed into e-daycare.com, a popular tool with parents who wanted to keep an eye on their children in nurseries. The company was eventually bought by a competitor and Rahman headed back to Pakistan to set up a software company. “During a trip back to Pakistan, I explored the market and found that there were really good software developers and their salaries were one third that of even India.” Rahman started Naseeb Networks with a $125,000 fund in a small room in his home in 2006 and became the first online company in Pakistan to raise venture capital in 2008. “As we grew, our main challenge was hiring. It can be tough to hire in emerging markets.” he says. Posting a half-page job advertisement in the leading English newspaper in Pakistan cost $12,000 at the time—outside the reach of even large corporations. So Rahman launched a jobs board portal for his own use. Soon other employers began posting on his website, which was free at the time. “That was the ‘a-ha’ moment, where we saw what tremendous value could be created in emerging areas of the world,” says Rahman. “There was a tremendous opportunity to create value, impact and disruption.” When Rahman launched Rozee in 2006, there were about 2.6 million internet users in Pakistan. Today there are 33 million out of a population of more than 180 million. About 60 per cent of all Pakistan’s internet users have visited Rozee.pk in the past year and the website has six million registered users and more than 54,000 employers. It is a service he is now hoping to bring to Saudi Arabia, a country where he spent eight years of his life as a child during his father’s stint in Riyadh working for the United Nations. It was his “first exposure to the region” and last year, Rahman returned to complete his acquisition of Mihnati, a local jobs market website.

It was, he says, a “struggling company with tremendous assets”. Unlike Pakistan, the Middle East has had several players in the jobs portal market including Bayt.com, Monster and, increasingly, LinkedIn, all with a pan-regional focus. But Rahman has managed to turn Mihnati’s fortunes around as in May, Naseeb Networks secured a $6.5m funding in a Series C round—the third round of funding in the early stage financing cycle—to expand and develop the company. While focusing on growth in Saudi Arabia, Rahman is keen to cut down on the number of Pakistani migrants coming into the Gulf through exploitative agencies. “We also want to bring efficiency to the blue collar hiring process. A lot of labor is exported to the Middle East from Pakistan—carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians — $17 Billion will be sent back home by these workers in 2015. About 65% of this comes from the Middle East. The hiring process for laborers is very exploitative.” Traditionally, blue collar jobseekers pay about $2,000 to a hiring agency to find them a job in the Gulf. Rahman is hoping to eliminate that payment and instead cover the hiring costs through microfinance loans to fund the worker’s air ticket and health tests, which amount to $400. “They are poor to begin with and get loans to pay recruiters to go overseas to make a living. They send a large portion of what they make back to their families in Pakistan. So we want to strip out the exploitative fat in the middle paid to agents who are making a lot of money in the process. It’s an experiment, if we can help solve this problem, it opens up a lot of opportunities and creates a lot of equity,” says Rahman. Similarly, Rahman is looking to readdress the gender imbalance in Pakistan’s workforce by setting up the equivalent of Uber for rickshaws. “We have found transportation cost is a major obstacle to female employment,” he says. The average salary of a college graduate is 20,000 rupees, or about $200, a month. The majority of men will invest in a motorcycle, with running costs of about $15 a month to get to and fro from work. Due to the social stigma, women rarely ride motorcycles and so use rickshaws, which can cost more than $100 a month. “The flexibility of leaving the office is curtailed, which curtails growth and economic opportunity. We see this as a challenge, which we are trying to solve indirectly,” says Rahman. Rozee is now working with rickshaw drivers to pay for advertisements on their vehicles in return for free rides for women. The advertisements would incorporate satellite navigation systems and women needing a ride would simply request one through an app, saving them cash and encouraging them to go to work.

“There was a tremendous opportunity to create value, impact and disruption”

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GERMANY’S CRISIS BY LOUISE BARNETT

cores of huge white tents have gradually appeared around Germany’s cities in recent months. Inside them, heaters provide warmth at night when outside temperatures may already be dropping below zero. An estimated 42,000 refugees around the country now sleep in makeshift accommodation whilst another 260,000 are sheltered in town halls, disused buildings and even aircraft hangars as they wait for their asylum applications to be processed. Officially, Germany’s government expects to receive 800,000 refugees this year but the true figure is widely expected to smash the one million mark. Syrians fleeing the brutal conflict back home are the largest group by nationality, followed by asylum seekers from the Western Balkans. Most of them enter Germany via the southern state of Bavaria from neighbouring Austria. Elisabeth Hauser, head of pedagogics for SOS Children’s Villages in Austria, a charity that helps unaccompanied refugees under the age of 18, explains: “This year things have changed absolutely because of the Syrian war and the refugees coming from there.” A Syrian boy and girl, both aged five, are the youngest children in the charity’s care. Another Syrian boy is just seven years old. Some of the youngsters can speak English but others can only communicate through interpreters. Many of the children display signs of trauma, with some even suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. A simple game of table tennis triggered a distressed outburst from one 17-year-old who mistook the sound of the game for gunshots.

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Tents in the hall of the Berliner Messe trade fair grounds in Berlin. Germany is providing temporary shelter for migrant families

“The most important thing is that they get structure and safety so they start building up trust in grown-ups and their surroundings. They need relationships they can count on because they do not believe in security or safety any more,” says Hauser. “We put the focus on being there and on holding them. They are ready to stay and survive but not to go into therapy. It is very rare that they want to do that.” SOS Children’s Villages in Austria focuses on creating a secure environment at its two facilities, where the children live together and learn German. As they get older, the charity helps them to start school and later find work and housing. Most of the unaccompanied children and teenagers helped by the charity stay permanently in Austria while a few continue their journey into Germany and beyond to start a new life with relatives. Meanwhile, the sheer volume of incoming asylum seekers has put a huge strain on local resources in the wealthy German state of Bavaria that borders Austria. Some 67,000 refugees poured into Munich’s central station from Austria within a nine-day period in September alone. The local authorities provide buses and trains to transport the newcomers around Bavaria and onwards to other German states. Frank Boos, spokesman for Munich’s social services department, said: “The large number of refugees arriving in Munich because of the border opening in Hungary has posed enormous challenges for the local authorities.”

Images courtesy of Getty Images

With the onset of winter and freezing temperatures across Europe, German authorities are rushing to claim deserted properties to house at least 800,000 Syrian refugees seeking asylum


REFUGEE CRISIS

Munich’s most pressing short-term problem is finding enough temporary shelter for all the refugees. City authorities now expect to accommodate 17,000 asylum seekers by the end of the year. That figure has ballooned from the 4,500 they anticipated at the start of the year based on central government’s predictions. Towns and cities elsewhere in Germany are also battling an accommodation crisis. The northern cities of Hamburg and Bremen have taken legal steps enabling them to seize disused commercial properties to house asylum seekers. In Berlin, even the former Tempelhof airport building could be converted into a refugee shelter. Another short-term challenge is the need to speed up processing times for asylum applications. Since July, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has opened four new centres to tackle the paperwork backlog. And in October, Germany’s national parliament approved a package of measures in response to the refugee crisis. Its most significant step was designating Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro ‘safe countries of origin’, enabling Germany to swiftly send away most asylum seekers from those countries. By contrast, Syrians with an extremely high likelihood of being granted asylum are now offered German language and integration classes as soon as they are registered, before they are granted asylum. This measure is partly a response to the big questions now being asked by the German media, some politicians and the general public: will the refugees integrate into German society if they choose to stay long-term? Boos says: “Integrating people into the urban community represents the biggest challenge but it does also offer a great opportunity. The refugees of today are tomorrow’s skilled workforce for Munich’s economy.” The implications of this sudden population upturn are huge. An estimated 68,000 more nursery places will be required

nationwide while Germany’s healthcare system, social welfare and schools all face increased demand. The public’s response to the incoming refugees has so far been overwhelmingly positive. Local councils have been deluged with donations ranging from children’s clothes to cash while refugee shelters nationwide are staffed with the help of volunteers. However, localised incidents of arson attacks on refugee shelters and Far Right demonstrations against the incomers have also been documented. Meanwhile, political opposition to chancellor Angela Merkel’s so-called ‘open-door’ policy is growing, even within the ranks of her own party. Dr Katja Leikert, a member of parliament for Merkel’s Christian Democrat party, says: “This may be her biggest challenge—not Ukraine or Greece.” The German government has already committed to spending six billion euros domestically to tackle the refugee crisis. Its strong, export-based economy and low unemployment means the national budget can take the financial hit – for now. “Interestingly enough, it is not about the money at the moment. Our chancellor doesn’t struggle with money. It is people’s mindset that has to adapt to the situation. Change management is far more important right now,” says Leikert. There are growing calls from German politicians of all parties for more European countries to step up their response to the refugee crisis. Meanwhile, thousands of asylum seekers will still be sleeping in tents when the German winter strikes with snow and ice. “We need to get other EU countries to take on more responsibility. At the moment it is Sweden, Germany and Austria which are mainly taking the burden of the crisis,” says Leikert.

“The refugees of today are tomorrow’s skilled workforce for Munich’s economy”

To find out more about SOS Children’s Villages work contact www.sos-childrensvillages.ae

Germany is continuing to receive migrants at a rate of several thousand per day. German chancellor Angela Merkel, is coming under increasing pressure from critics claiming the country cannot cope with so many newcomers 2015 NOV / DEC

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BREAKING NEW GROUND May Habib’s start-up is simplifying technology so global companies can communicate in multiple languages on different platforms BY TRISKA HAMID

ay Habib is chasing a unicorn – not the mythical creature but the billion-dollar successes of Silicon Valley. The 30-year-old co-founder and chief executive of Qordoba is now in San Francisco to cement the company’s global status and in doing so, could nurture the first unicorn to have been born out of the Middle East. Harvard-educated Habib founded Qordoba in 2011 in Dubai, providing software to companies to enable them to automate content publishing in multiple languages and channels. Born in Lebanon, she began her career in New York, working as a software analyst in mergers and acquisitions for a global investment bank. “There was an aspect to international living and causes that was completely missing from my day to day life,” she says. “Even though I found the work enjoyable and the company fascinating, I was not thinking outside a very narrow domain.” An opportunity to work for Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, popped up for Habib who “jumped at it” and began a two year stint with Mubadala that led to travel across Singapore, London, Germany, the USA and UAE. “I definitely hit my stride,” she says. “We were doing deals all over the world, with a small diverse team. It could not be

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more different than my experience in Wall Street.” It was during that time that Habib was able to observe the differences between the developed and emerging markets. Both were moving online, but at varying speeds. Mobile adoption and mobile internet penetration has experienced exponential growth in emerging markets but one of the main issues is the lack of content online. “The problem of online content was one I kept coming back to the most,” says Habib. “A lot of the motivation when we first started Qordoba was around the idea of information poverty. We’re enabling global access to products and services. There’s a massive push for universal Internet access by 2020 – but if there aren’t good products in those languages, we won’t get the development surplus we think we will by that kind of access,” says Habib. It is thought that Arabic constitutes less than two per cent of all online content, a disparate figure considering native Arabic speakers constitute almost five per cent of the world’s population. For a global company, translating and creating websites for each market they operate in can be an expensive endeavour, so Habib—along with her co-founder and current chief technology


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officer Waseem Alsheikh—decided to create a software that would enable firms to seamlessly manage and create content in several different languages. “Essentially it is a software that helps companies manage and expand their multinational and multilingual presence, so if you have mobile apps or product marketing that needs to be in ten or fifteen languages, it is an immense challenge,” says Habib. Qordoba’s technology allows firms to localise their content and optimise it for different markets without the trouble of creating that content from scratch. Making use of her global contacts, Habib ran experiments with law firm Freshfields and advertising company Saatchi and Saatchi to develop multi-lingual content. Both were a success. “We opened an office in Berlin the following year and we expanded to San Francisco last year, where we are now headquartered,” she says. Today, Qordoba counts Cartier, Nestle and the World Bank among its clients and the company has now filed two patents in the US for its technology. Habib’s experience in setting up her company was relatively trouble-free for a start-up. Nor did she find it hard establishing herself as a woman in a male-dominated market. “It wasn’t hard to decide [to start a company], but I was also young. If I were making that choice now, it would be a little different. I was 26 when I quit my job, I’m 30 now and I spent

most of the first year learning,” says Habib. “Making that kind of investment now would seem more daunting.” A group of angel investors from the Middle East, Europe and the US funded Habib to begin with. The company underwent two rounds of investment in 2012 and 2015 and has raised $4m in total. “It’s so inspiring to be located in the Valley now. We learnt more in a week here than we did in months before we moved. The density of smart people doing smart things in new and different ways is just off the charts,” says Habib. Habib puts her success down to perseverance. “Things that make us [women] successful are things that make anyone successful – the ability to see the forest from the trees, make incremental progress in a disciplined way and keep your eye on the prize. It is ten times harder than anyone says it is, and it gets harder because the milestones you set keep moving out.” In her spare time, Habib maintains the link to her former university. She is also a World Economic Forum (WEF) ‘global shaper’, a network of young people showing exceptional potential and drive. “The nice thing about WEF is that it’s very much people who are global actors working in local contexts—people who are trying to make a difference,” says Habib. And she should know.

“It’s so inspiring to be located in the Valley now.”

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THE WATER OF LIFE Scotland is looking eastwards to boost one of its oldest economic mainstays

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Images courtesy of Chivas Regal

Colin Scott, master blender for Chivas Regal


BUSINESS

ts rolling hills, lush meadows and enchanted forests sprawl for miles on end, carpeted with purple heather and without a soul to be seen anywhere. It seems impossible but this rustic scene of rural idyll, with a population of less than 100,000, holds the key to Scotland’s second biggest industry after oil and one of Britain’s most lucrative exports. Scotch whisky generates $5.48 billion in trade for the UK’s coffers and contributes more than $1.5 billion to the Exchequer in taxes, making up for a quarter of all Britain’s food and drink exports, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). Fringed by the Cairngorm mountains and the North Sea, Speyside has been producing whisky for centuries. More than half of Scotland’s 116 distilleries are tucked among its picturesque glens and valleys, with Speyside’s temperature climate, natural springs and abundance of barley and yeast lending the perfect environment to produce whisky en masse.

Until the industry was legalised two centuries ago, about 200 distilleries operated illegally in the foothills, churning out moonshine for the local population and keeping one eye out for the taxman, who—thanks to the landscape—they could see coming from miles away. Most were family-run affairs but these days, not only are a significant number run by international giants but they are increasingly looking outwards to emerging markets to secure their futures. In a sign of increasing modernisation and globalisation—and perhaps inevitably with more than 90 per cent of Scotch whisky exported—foreign firms now own a huge chunk of the industry and very few Scottish distilleries are still in family hands, among them Glenfiddich and Glenfarclas. Distillers are now focusing on emerging markets, with the drink’s long legacy of heritage and romanticism finding a new audience in the Middle East and beyond. Exports to the UAE were up 27 per cent last year, according to SWA figures, while

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BUSINESS

the US—Scotch whisky’s biggest market worth more than $1.1 billion—saw exports fall by nine per cent last year. Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea, by contrast, saw burgeoning sales. Manufacturers are now aggressively tapping into a new, wealthy audience by hiring brand ambassadors to introduce potential customers to the history and romance of a product bred by nature in the Scottish Highlands and now being fostered thousands of miles away. Among them is one of the key players in the market, Chivas Brothers, whose parent company Pernod Ricard owns a broad portfolio of wines and spirits, from Absolut vodka to Jacob’s Creek. Chivas recently hired about 30 country ambassadors, overseen by four global ambassadors, who roam from Kazakhstan to Angola, Lebanon and India to teach the intricacies of appreciating the spirit. “We are expanding to emerging markets and meeting new consumers in new countries,” says Laurent Lacassagne, chief executive of Chivas Brothers. “Dubai and the Gulf are very significant markets in terms of size and visibility. Dubai is a symbol of modern luxury and a good fit. “It is obviously more challenging to communicate the values of the brand [with alcohol regulations] but it is not the only market where this situation exists.” Yet despite looking eastwards, it says much that many of the age-old, time-honoured traditions of producing whisky in the tranquil spot of Speyside have been preserved, making it easy to forget that conglomerates now rule the roost. Beyond the quaint, cobbled courtyard of Strathisla distillery in Keith, Speyside, the Highlands’ oldest operating distillery dating back to 1786, ancient ledgers and its historic owner’s mahogany desk have been kept intact. Whisky from Strathisla—which was bought by Chivas Brothers in 1950 before Pernod Ricard took over the company in 2001—forms the heart of all Chivas Regal blends. Just as in years gone by, malted barley is still ground to grist, then mixed with water from the Broomhill spring in mash tuns, fermented with yeast in giant Oregon pine washbacks and distilled twice in copper stills before the final product is piped into American oak or sherry butt casks and left to mature in temperaturecontrolled warehouses for at least three years.

Aside from the introduction of the three-year rule in 1916, the process has changed little over hundreds of years and the three ingredients of water, barley and yeast remained the same—but technology has ramped up production on a vast scale. The taste has become more refined too. As the coarse, fiery, potent spirit mixed with cheaper grain whisky became regulated, the “water of life”—or uisce beatha in Gaelic—developed into a connoisseur’s luxury product, with aficionados swearing by aged single malts, a process which is a relatively new mid-20th century invention. But Colin Scott, master blender for Chivas Regal, says despite snobbery from single malt devotees, blends can produce harmonious whiskies, which enhance the qualities of their components. Chivas’ limited edition Century of Malts 20 years ago blended 100 of Scotland’s finest single malts and became a collectible item. Earlier this year, the firm launched Chivas Regal The Icon, initially sold exclusively in Dubai before being released worldwide. At $3,500 a bottle, it contained more than 20 blends, including malt whiskies from distilleries in Strathisla, Glen Keith and Longmorn as well as smoky peats from Islay. “We are the guardians of the past, the present and the future,” says Scott. “We take whiskies from the past to create a present. “Our blends contain some of our most aged and rarest whiskies. Some have come from distilleries which no longer exist and will never produce again.” Indeed, the company, which owns 14 Scottish distilleries, is reinvigorating the industry. It bought the tiny, mothballed Scapa distillery in the Orkney Islands and began producing its sole single malt once again in 2004. Alex Robertson, one of the global brand ambassadors, says his job involves selling Scotland as much as whisky. “We are there to convey the craftsmanship, the history and the flavour,” he says. “My job is to represent the people you see making Scottish whisky. “Emerging countries are really beginning to come to the fore. There is a burgeoning middle class with money and they want to enjoy the luxuries in life—and Scotch is one of those luxuries.”

“Dubai is a symbol of modern luxury and a good fit”

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ENTREPRENEUR

Kofi Annan addresses the third edition of the Global Citizen Forum

A GLOBAL GATHERING Diplomats, philanthropists and business leaders gathered at the third edition of the Global Citizen Forum in Monaco to discuss how wealthy migrants can help the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe

yclef Jean’s journey from being an impoverished child in one of the poorest countries in the world to a global superstar set the tone for this year’s Global Citizen Forum, now in its third year. Held in the Mediterranean principality of Monaco, it highlighted numerous inspiring success stories from some of the biggest names in international politics, diplomacy and business. Jean’s songwriting and stage performances have made him a showbusiness superstar but the Haitian who moved to the USA when he was nine years old said success should never stop anyone forgetting “we are all descended from migrants and refugees if we look a few generations back”. Such words were echoed time and again over the two-day forum as Nick Clooney, the American journalist and TV anchorman, presented a long list of speakers while providing numerous insights of his own. “The breadth of talent and experience on show at the forum

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has been phenomenal,” he said, as he emphasised how “global citizenship is the common thread running throughout all our talks and discussions”. As Armand Arton, the founder of the forum, put it: “During a time of tremendous global challenges, including the refugee and migration crisis, along with continued global economic volatility, the forum aims to gather not only thinkers but those willing to take action to drive change on these important issues collaboratively.” He added the aim was to “work together with governments, policymakers, philanthropists and global citizens to present public-private solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges – and then to work together to bring those solutions to life.” Such ideas were taken up by Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, who in his keynote address said: “The historic refugee crisis Europe is facing today


GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

is so hard to solve because it is not a one-off, humanitarian phenomenon. “It is in fact a by-product and symptom of much deeper political problems that beset regional and global order.” “It will therefore require concerted action, not just in and by Europe, but among the regional powers of the Middle East and the global powers of the Security Council.” Tyler Brule, the Canadian publisher, journalist and entrepreneur spoke movingly about how in 1994 he had wanted to “be out in the world being witness” before being shot twice in Afghanistan. He reappraised his life and went on to launch Wallpaper, the hugely influential style and fashion magazine, before helming the equally successful Monocle. Jose Manuel Barroso, former prime minister of Portugal and 11th president of the European Commission, used his address to discuss the prospect of global governance. “We have learned that today we are more interdependent than ever,” he said.

“The idea of this global citizen tax... shows that countries are not just interested in receiving the wealthy, but also sharing that wealth with those most in need” “We can be proud of our local, national and regional identity but also acknowledge that we are part of mankind. “This refugee crisis is a time to show we are serious about our values, that we can make them work in favour of the common interest of mankind.” Radical ideas discussed included a global citizen tax – a charge levied on investors applying for residency or citizenship in EU countries that could raise more than a billion euros over five years. Proceeds would be used to create jobs and fund agencies working to help refugees. Barroso said: “The idea of this global citizen tax is one way. It shows that countries are not just interested in receiving the wealthy but also sharing that wealth with those most in need.” Barroso was joined on stage by other hugely influential personalities including Wesley Clark, NATO’s former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Irina Bokova, Unesco’s directorgeneral and Shaikha Al-Maskari, the philanthropist chairwoman of Al-Maskari Holding. Clark emphasised the need for “strategic planning to cope with crisis”, not just from a state point of view but a global one. As far as the United States was concerned, this meant building up a powerful economy, resolving domestic issues that divide

Top-bottom: Irina Bovoka, Kofi Annan, Armand Arton and Jose Manuel Barroso, panel discussion led by Jacques Attali and below, St Lucia prime minister Anthony Kenny 2015 NOV / DEC

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GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

American people and dealing with the world’s problems from a position of strength. “Our country can do incredible things if we pull together as one,” he said, pointing out how two world wars had created a sense of national purpose that helped turn the country into a global superpower. However, he stressed the need for modern America to sort out global issues “without resorting to military action”. Bokova emphasised the importance of integration for refugees coming to Europe and said schools had an important role to play in the prevention of radicalisation and to promote inclusion. “To move forward, we need every actor on board, from civil society to the private sector, to connect the dots, to foster the innovation the world needs today. Each of us has a responsibility to others. Each of us has a responsibility to the world. This is about human rights and dignity. This is about inclusion and peace. Fundamentally, this is about the kind of societies we want to live in.” There was also time for policy announcements as Kenny Anthony, prime minister of St Lucia in the Caribbean, said his

country would start accepting applications for a citizenshipthrough-investment programme in January. Anthony said the scheme would offer a “quicker and easier” path to citizenship thanks to the same kind of “investor visas” available in the US. Jean headlined the entertainment at the Global Citizen gala on the first day of the forum on October 8, thrilling a large audience with his music and even altering his lyrics to give Annan a special mention. Wrapping the event the following day, Arton said: “The past two days have seen energetic and thought-provoking discussion on a full spectrum of issues relating to global citizenship that have gone a long a way to building and deepening the global community we aspire to create.” While Al-Maskari lay down the gauntlet for next year’s forum, asking the organisers, “what’s next?” it was Kofi Annan who summed it up best using an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. We have a long way to go. We can only do so if we go together.”

Hip hop artist and former refugee Wyclef Jean performed at the Global Citizen gala dinner

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GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

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LIFESTYLE

BANG & OLUFSEN BEOLAB 90 In celebration of Bang & Olufsen’s 90th anniversary in November, the company has designed a new 300-pound speaker it says will change the future of sound. Inspired by a BMW concept car called Gina, the BeoLab 90 is a 360-degree, 8200-watt speaker with 18 drivers and amplifiers.

$40,000

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GADGETS

HE 1060 / HEV 1060 Described as ‘the best headphones in the world’ since the launch of the legendary Orpheus in 1991, German company Sennheiser has introduced a successor in the form of the HE 1060 / HEV 1060 (headphones and amplifier) which it says, offers the ultimate in reproduction precision, exceptional spatiality and a frequency response that extends far beyond the range of human hearing ability.

$55,000

LEICA SL Leica says the new SL is “a mirrorless camera system designed for professional photographers”. Inside the Leica SL is a 24-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor that has a max ISO of 50,000. A low-pass filter is left out for maximum sharpness and contrast. On the back is an impressive 4.4-megapixel, 0.80x-magnification electronic viewfinder with a new technology called Leica EyeRes. Press the shutter halfway and the EVF will show you a preview of exactly what the resulting shot will look like.

The Leica SL (Type 601), $7,450/ 24-90mm f/2.8-4 lens, $4,950.

OSMO BY DJI The Osmo is a compact hand-held filmmaking tool that allows amateur users to produce steadicam-style footage using a 4K-action camera on a stick. It has got a choice of different camera attachments and each comes with a Zenmuse three-axis stabilising gimbal. The Osmo is a miniature stabilising rig that does the same job as professional equipment ten times its size. It is capable of smoothing out shakes and wobbles that can easily ruin action footage.

$650 2015 NOV / DEC

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SUPER POWER

The newest million-dollar Arab supercar: Fenyr SuperSport Launched at Dubai International Motor Show this month, the Fenyr SuperSport is the second production car from Dubai-based W Motors. The debut Lykan Hypersport was specifically made for car collectors around the world combining elegance and aggressive design, while the Fenyr was engineered purely for “performance, power and speed” according to Ralph Debbas, CEO of W Motors. A limited edition of 25 per year and powered by a specially made RUF engine made in Germany, the Fenyr will deliver 1,000-plus horsepower and can reach an impressive 0-100kmph in less than 2.6 seconds. While the W Motors styling cues are apparent, there are noticeable differences in aesthetics between the Fenyr and Lykan, especially in the width of the car, the air vents and the integration of innovative elements to give it such an extreme look. Fans of the SuperSport will have to wait at least one year for the first production car, as it’s just the styling prototype that has been released so far but we for one cannot wait to get a test drive in the new Fenyr. Starting from $1.85 million

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A B R E ATH -TAKI NG CA R IB B EA N I S L AND DREAM IS N OW WI TH I N REACH In a unique partnership with the government of Antigua & Barbuda, Callaloo Cay offers one of the most attractive Citizenship by Investment programs in the world. As an independent Commonwealth state in the Eastern Caribbean, citizenship of Antigua & Barbuda enables visa-free access to more than 134 countries, fast tracked processing, dual citizenship and inclusion of family. A range of lucrative investment options along with a team of global experts, world-renowned developers and first class operator assure a sound investment. A world of prestige on the horizon

Visit www.callaloocay.com or contact us on contact@callaloocay.com for the full range of benefits 2015 NOV / DEC

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YACHT

BABY LOVE

A boat that boasts all the extras in a compact package

ood things come in small packages. This sporty boat, designed as a luxury tender, is equally suitable for day cruises with small groups of friends. Conceptualised by famous yacht designer Luca Dini, Kifaru Baby’s external and internal lines are distinctly Italian with a completely aluminium superstructure. Dini describes her as a “fighter plane without wings, designed for expert owners who can readily recognise quality, technical innovation and refined styling. She is a small superyacht, sporting and high performance, while at the same time lightweight and efficient – a beautiful smart boat.” What is distinctive about this yacht is its elegant retractable features. The deck is kept clear of any accessories that might create a nuisance aboard. The dashboard is a work of art. Created by Camper and Nicholsons’ international design office in collaboration with the marine automation company NaviOp, it is a smooth single block with only the wheel extruding. An integrated

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and automated hi-tech bridge is designed for owners who want to use their yacht in privacy without a skipper. There is nothing to be nervous about as it is equipped with the best safety systems for any emergency while at sea, permitting the owner to maintain complete control, even in turbulent situations. On the foredeck, a telescopic table of inlaid teak emerges when needed. It is accompanied by a carbon bimini-top that provides shade as guests socialise at nearby tables with lounge chairs. Astern, there is a shaded sundeck with a complete walk-around that leads to the teak bathing platform, complete with a full height shower on a retractable pole. Below deck there is a cabin with a kingsize bed, spacious bathroom with separate shower and a full accessory galley. A completely aluminium hard-top houses security and communications gear while a beautiful crystal windscreen unites form and function. The hydraulic gangway, 1.2m long and 1m wide, is unique for a yacht of this size, ensuring a safe exit to whichever exotic destination this yacht drops anchor in.


HANDMADE

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DESIGN

FESTIVE CRACKERS With the festive season looming, add a touch of glitz with jewel tones

Sofa, Brabbu, $3,699, Castillo Interiors, Bahrain

Crystal fox, Richard Orlinski, $23,570, Cities Dubai Maori armchair, Brabbu, $1,940, Halo Galleries, Riyadh 70

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DESIGN

Feel lamp, Boca do Lobo, $1,690, Nakkash Gallery

Pure Consciousness print, Surekha Sadana, $680, En Vogue

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Antique Napoleon III French wing chair, $4,220, En Vogue

Pixel cabinet, Boca do Lobo, $25,900, Nakkash Gallery

Midnight elephant, Baccarat, $32,573, Dubai Mall

Vase, Baccarat, $34,479, Dubai Mall

Maya armchair, Brabbu, $2,715, Halo Galleries, Riyadh

Diamond emerald cabinet, Boca do Lobo, $29,970, Nakkash Gallery

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HANDMADE

LIGHT FANTASTIC

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ADVERTORIAL

pened by the design maestro Daniele Tredici himself, Exclusive Lights in Dubai’s Sunset Mall on Jumeirah Beach road houses one of the most extensive collections of Tredici chandeliers anywhere in the world. All handmade in Italy with authentic Murano glass, this is the only showroom in the Middle East that has the exclusive rights to sell these elegant chandeliers on behalf of Tredici. Each chandelier comes with the trademark Murano glass stamp to guarantee customers of the origin of the product and that it has been made using traditional artistic methods born and developed over a millennium on Murano island. Exclusive Lights has curated a collection for its showroom that caters to both large palaces and small majlises, ranging from $2,700 to $22,000 depending on the model, size and finish. All chandeliers are custom-designed to order, whether you want a gold finish, glass floral embellishment or a combination of multiple suspensions. The result will be a bouquet suspended in the air, giving a touch of glamour and elegance to any room. For more information or to view the collection of bespoke chandeliers visit Exclusive Lights showroom on level one, Sunset Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road. Jumeirah 3, Dubai +971 4 321 6700

2015 NOV / DEC

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DINING

EVERY DAY WE’RE TRUFFLING

It’s truffle season and the “diamond of the kitchen” is being used in innovative ways in Dubai’s newest high-end restaurants

THE GARDEN The Garden is churning out Peruvian classics with a twist under the watchful eye of Peruvian chef Edgar Hurtado, formerly of The Act. The decor is outdoorsy with patterned sofas, wooden chairs and weathered lime green tables, topped with recycled glass bottles and simple lavender flowers. A contemporary slant on traditional Aztec painting with newspaper cuttings and modern graffiti add eye-catching colour to the walls. Sip fruit-infused piscos before trying the classic ceviche with diced sea bream soaked in leche de tigre, a Peruvian lime and red onion marinade. A classic tiraditos of seared yellowfin tuna with smudges of guacamole is perfect for sharing before digging into hot dishes of sweet scallops served in their shell and smothered in a creamy white wine and Parmesan cheese sauce. The tender wagyu slices with chilli paste are mellowed with more creamy goodness; the wild mushroom quinotto enhanced with black truffle. Garden restaurant, JW Marriot Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay, +971 4 414 0000

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DINING

NOVIKOV This place is undeniably sexy, from romantic red lighting and sleek interiors to pulsating music from the resident DJ. In the dining area, a fresh market displays the best in produce and seafood that money can buy and planes can jet in – carbineras from Portugal, oysters from France and rare live shrimp from Japan. It is what you would imagine a Russian oligarch’s pantry might look like. The food benefits from these fresh, quality ingredients and a precise

knowledge of how to cook seafood perfectly. A liberal use of truffles also helps. The roast duck is a culinary masterpiece – the skin, rendered of all its fat, transforms into a crispy sheet of glass with succulent meat underneath, housed in a bowl of broth that is bursting with umami. Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 4 388 8744

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DINING

MARINA SOCIAL The brainchild of Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton, Marina Social is as hip as its name suggests. Wooden floors, cool greys and atmospheric lighting give a sleek but cosy vibe. The open kitchen, bustling with immaculately dressed chefs, lends a sense of drama while quirky menu items add a playful touch: look no further than the mushroom and bone marrow English breakfast tea. It’s an inventive and flavour-packed spin on tea and toast with a savoury broth made of field mushrooms, dehydrated ceps and morels, poured out of a teapot and coupled with homemade

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sourdough, parmesan milk and bone marrow butter. Gourmets will delight at the meltingly delicious foie gras and confit duck terrine with poached pears, the stunning smoked Boston lobster and the decadent white truffle flatbread. Despite its fine dining leanings, the restaurant never strays into stuffiness thanks to funky furniture, affable service and upbeat contemporary tunes. Intercontinental Dubai Marina, +971 4 446 6664


DINING

INKA Peruvian food, an exemplar fusion cuisine thanks to its long multicultural history with European, Asian and West African immigrants, is having a moment. The dark panelled interior of this hip new restaurant showcases a gallery wall with original pieces by portrait artist Tamara de Lempicka and Spanish painter Juan Gris. The grilled octopus over squid ink quinoa risotto with truffle is modern Peruvian at its best. The butter poached lobster and potato gnocchi is a new addition to the menu and tastes divine with the creamy mushroom quinoa risotto. There is also a wide selection of creative ceviche with sea bass being the star player but it is the juicy beef tenderloin anticucho served with classic chimichurri that has us talking. Sofitel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 4 346 9295

2015 NOV / DEC

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HOTELS

GOING LOCO OVER LATIN AMERICA

Go wild on a spirited journey through Argentina and Brazil’s countryside

THE VINES RESORT AND SPA MENDOZA, ARGENTINA A wine lover’s paradise in Argentina’s Uco Valley, the Vines Resort is perched below the snowcapped Andes mountains in Mendoza, one of the southern hemisphere’s most celebrated wine regions. A labour of love of American entrepreneur and former John Kerry presidential campaign worker Michael Evans, together with thirdgeneration Argentine winemaker Pablo Gimenez, the resort caters to wealthy wine enthusiasts who want to buy small plots of land, as little as an acre, to create their own private vineyards. However, if consuming rather than producing is the only thing on your mind, there are 22 luxury one and two bedroom villas

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for guests to sample the region’s prized grapes. Complete with fully stocked rustic kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, floor-toceiling windows, rooftop sundecks and a private patio fitted out with a fire pit, outdoor shower and hot tub, all facing the stunning mountains and expansive vineyards, there really is no better view to enjoy a tipple. Standard one bedroom villa starts from $595 plus tax. For bookings contact South American travel specialist Lightfoot Travel on +971 4 455 8788 or visit lightfoottravel.com


HOTELS

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HOTELS

LA BAMBA DE ARECO ARGENTINA A traditional estancia, or cattle ranch, just 90 minutes’ drive from Buenos Aires, arriving at La Bamba de Areco is a grand affair, with the resident gaucho galloping to meet guests upon arrival at the entrance gates to escort them to the main colonial-style house, where staff are lined up to welcome each guest. If you are not a confident horse rider before you come, you will be by the time you leave, as guests can ride through the heart of the Argentine countryside every morning and evening with burning red sunsets as a backdrop. Days are filled with traditional asados

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(barbecues) on the lawn with a gaucho softly playing on a guitar and singing songs of times gone by. During polo season, the estancia plays host to professional polo matches. Guest rooms are housed in outbuildings dotted around a courtyard with lush vines hiding their luxury modern interior. Standard rooms start from $790, for bookings contact South American travel specialist Lightfoot Travel on +971 4 455 8788 or visit lightfoottravel.com


HOTELS

BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located inside the Brazilian Iguassu National Park, which means guests are treated to breathtaking views of Iguassu Falls, hundreds of waterfalls that cover nearly 3km of the Brazilian/Argentine border. From the moment you wake until your head touches the pillow, you can hear the sound of the powerful cascades. The Portuguese colonial-style hotel built in 1958 is reminiscent of an old plantation with a striking pink facade that overlooks the spectacular waterfalls. Its old world grandeur inside features dark wood and elegant carpets, an open stone fire that burns daily and gilded colonial furnishings. Besides the main building, there are two adjacent wings leading guests to an outdoor courtyard where the main restaurant and swimming pool are located, each with uninterrupted views of the surrounding rainforest. Superior rooms at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas start from $350 per night, including tax and breakfast. To book or for more information, call +44 845 077 2222 or visit belmond.com

2015 NOV / DEC

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FRAGRANCE

THE MIDAS TOUCH

A new fragrance is made with an unusual ingredient - 24-carat gold flakes

n a market already saturated with perfume companies, entrepreneur Jean-Phillipe Clermont was not deterred from starting his own fragrance line. The perfumer and chief executive of Atelier des Ors was convinced there was room for a new product. “Life taught me that everything should not only be looked at through market opportunities, spreadsheets, business plans and projections,” he says.

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“I had a certain vision for the perfume company and wanted to express my values in a different way. I had deep inside me the conviction there was room for something new. It was really about being determined to reach my dreams.” It took three years working alongside a team of perfumers and craftsmen to develop Atelier des Ors, a line of high-end unisex perfume that boasts 24-carat gold flakes in every bottle. The line is part of a wider trend for perfumes which eschew synthetic,


FRAGRANCE

“We give special attention to every detail and work on every product as if it was a piece of art...the values of craftsmanship of gold and perfume are very similar”

mass-produced items in favour of bespoke, handmade products. The result is a scent that lingers on the skin much longer than a mass market brand. “We give special attention to every detail and work on every product as if it was a piece of art,” says Clermont. The well-travelled perfumer was raised in France and relocated to the French West Indies with his parents at the age of 17. Upon completing his studies, he decided to take time off to travel the world. “I was fascinated by Asia and the Middle East and had in mind the stories and pictures of early world travellers when travel was still an adventure,” he says. Clermont went on to live in Singapore and Beirut before returning to Paris to develop a handmade cigar business, which involved extensive travel to Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. He then moved to Dubai where he has lived for 10 years. Gold flakes, he says, are symbolic of the pursuit of perfection in many cultures. The Aztecs, Mayans and ancient Egyptians all believed the precious metal had special powers. “The values of craftsmanship of gold and perfume are very similar,” says Clermont. “It is about refining the technique generation after generation and conserving the know-how of the ancients to reach a level of perfection.” Atelier des Ors is on sale in Galeries Lafayette in Dubai Mall

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ART

LAND OF THE RISING ART SCENE Having studied her craft in Japan, artist Monira al Qadiri hopes to shape a future generation of artists

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ART

s a Kuwaiti teenager, Monira al Qadiri was obsessed with Japanese cartoons and comics. At 16, she thought she qualified for a scholarship from the Kuwaiti government to study language in Japan but was disappointed to learn it was only for boys. Ever the enterprising young girl, she lobbied the education board on her own behalf. “I went to them and said, ‘My parents don’t mind if I’m a girl and I go abroad to study. I got the highest grade on the Japanese language proficiency test so I should get the scholarship.’” The board agreed. She then decided to push the rules even further, convincing her headmistress to allow her to change her subject of study. “I asked her, ‘Why should I study language when I have already mastered it? Could I study art? And they let me.” With this considerable amount of pluck, Al Qadiri set out for Japan. What would follow was a cultural exchange that would shape her growth as an artist. As a young adult, she was able to become fully entrenched in Japanese culture. “I was at a school with very few foreign students and all of my friends were Japanese,” she says. “I even started to forget my Arab identity for a while, although I came back to it when I was a bit older and working as a part time Arabic/Japanese translator. At that time, I started to appreciate my Arab background more.” She stayed in Japan for 10 years, earning her doctorate from Tokyo University of the Arts in intermedia art. As an artist, Al Qadiri’s work frequently deals with themes of oil, gender and religion. Since November last year, she has had a sculpture on display in Dubai’s Shindagha heritage village. Called Alien Technology, it creates fictional links between the pearl diving culture of the Gulf and a post-oil vision. Her next project is a music video called Music to My Tears, where she takes old Arabic folk songs and translates them onto the screen. She is part of the GCC artist collective that will participate in Co-Workers, an upcoming show in Paris at the Musee d’Art Moderne. In January, she will be relocating to Amsterdam from London for a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie art school. This month, Al Qadiri’s experiences come full circle as she takes eight young, budding artists from the Gulf to Japan on a trip sponsored by Art Jameel and the Crossway Foundation. She hopes that the trip will be as enlightening for them as it was for her. “It was really my dream to take young artists from the Gulf to Japan to share my experience with them — not just the nice parts but also the historical and dark things, the whole spectrum. “Japan is wonderful, amazing and inspiring but through this trip, I want them to realise how interesting their own culture can be. When you are in it, you do not really realise this. It is only when you go some place that is so different from where you come from that you start to see the nice things about your own culture.”

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HANDMADE

A VIEW TO THE FUTURE

A discovery of some historic relics in his grandfather’s warehouse led Luca Ruscone to envisage his trendsetting company

uca Ruscone was a young, successful executive seemingly destined for a promising career. After a childhood in Italy, he studied economics in the United States and was working for a large American multinational firm in Shanghai, responsible for assessing the viability of potential investments in China. But as he looked out of the window of his high-rise office he thought, “What am I doing? Is this what I studied for?” City life was not as fulfilling as he had hoped. Ruscone had spent his childhood in the countryside and was accustomed to fresh air and nature during his weekends on his farm, playing with his dogs or fishing in nearby lakes. But a fortnight after realising

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he was not living his dream, he received a phone call that would change his life and lead to the path of establishing his own eyewear company, LGR. Ruscone’s 90 year-old grandfather, Rafello Bini, was calling to ask him to come help clear out his old warehouse in Asmara, Eritrea. Bini first arrived in Eritrea as a war photographer in the 1930s. Following Benito Mussolini’s rise to power in Italy in 1922, Eritrea merged with Italian Somaliland (now Somalia) and the newly conquered Ethiopia to form the Italian East Africa administrative territory. Growing up in poverty in Italy, Bini had nothing to go back to


HANDMADE

after the war. He stayed in Asmara to run a series of successful businesses, first distributing Kodak and Leica photography products, then importing Italian fabrics and finally, manufacturing rubber flip flops, at one point producing seven million a year. While rifling through the boxes of merchandise left in Bini’s warehouse, Ruscone made a discovery: a box of military eyeglasses from the 1930s. “Immediately I knew they were special because they were just what eyeglasses should have been from the beginning,” he recalls. “When you hold them, they are a different weight. It felt like quality, like something that is not on the market anymore.” He took them back to Italy, gifted a few pairs to friends and family and returned to Shanghai. But word of mouth spread and within six months, he had sold all 300 pairs he had found. With such a positive response, Ruscone started researching the eyewear market. He discovered that since the 1980s, one manufacturer had monopolised the market. Before that, eyewear was made by a series of small factories. In Italy, for example, most cities had their own eyewear artisan, just as they had a resident shoemaker. “I researched the market for eyewear and there was no factory making eyeglasses in the same authentic way. Simultaneously, the vintage movement was just starting and I saw an opportunity,” he says. He founded LGR based on his own initials, Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, tracked down the factory that made the original frames and convinced them to reopen. The lenses are made with mineral

glass in a technique that, for the most part, has been abandoned in favour of lighter, plastic lenses. However, Ruscone says, optically mineral glass is preferable as there is no visual distortion. They also have a different look and feel to plastic lenses. The early days of the business were full of lucky breaks. “To start a business, you have to know what you’re doing, have some experience and a lot of money to start a business. That was not my case. It started with, ‘Can I have a pair? My friend wants a pair’,” he says. Those friends were people in high places. Fashion photographer Mario Testino requested a pair when he spotted one of Luca’s friends sporting them in Ibiza. Following a meeting with the French Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld, the magazine dedicated a full page to LGR in its February 2008 issue of the magazine. At first Ruscone managed the business remotely before gaining enough traction to give him the confidence to quit his job in Shanghai. The factory now produces about 30,000 frames a year, priced between $200 and $570, all of which are still made by hand with components produced in Italy. Reflecting on his success so far, Ruscone is not ready to take a step back. “My grandfather would say the same thing to me now as he would on the as the first day. ‘Vai avanti, vai avanti!’ Move ahead, work hard. Maybe from the outside you see success and you see beautiful glasses in magazines. But inside, in my daily routine, I am fearful I won’t make it so I try to work harder and do better each time. It is infinite. The benchmark is so high, there is a lot of work to do and I am not resting.”

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TRAVEL

TREASURE ISLANDS

With silver beaches, astounding natural beauty and post-colonial charm, Zanzibar proves the perfect East African getaway BY OLIVER ROBINSON

or some, the Zanzibar experience does not begin on the archipelago itself but in Dar es Salaam. The busy Tanzanian port city is all crowds, queues and clamour – a cacophony of chaos, which somehow accentuates the serenity that awaits across the water. Visitors have to earn their relaxation time on its islands by elbowing through the throngs at the ferry terminal, finding a seat and waiting for the ferry to chug and splutter into motion. At this point, the memory of Dar es Salaam begins to dwindle on the horizon and the sense of adventure kicks in. It is possible to fly direct to Zanzibar City but the short voyage across the Indian Ocean to Stone Town is half the fun. Before long, a historic port looms into view. The town’s short yet striking skyline is a mosaic of spires, minarets and corrugated iron roofing. Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City, the archipelago’s capital. It is vibrant and bustling. Those who arrive in the evening will be greeted by the scent and sounds of its food market, which is alive with shouts of vendors selling everything from fresh fruit smoothies to skewered meats to Zanzibar pizza (a must-try, deep-fried guilty pleasure). By day, Stone Town is as alluring as it is by night. Visitors can meander through narrow streets, ducking into shops to peruse colourful silks, shining trinkets and Zanzibar chests. All the while, local children play in the streets and older residents sit outside their ornately carved front doors, silently watching the world go by. Once you’ve had your fill of Stone Town’s museums, markets and

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restaurants, it is time to delve deeper. The Zanzibar archipelago consists of three main islands and a number of tiny islets. Unguja, or Zanzibar Island, is the largest, measuring 90km long and 30km wide. Pemba, with its rolling hills and clove plantations, is the second largest, followed by the uninhabited island of Latham (Fungu Kizimkazi). Zanzibar Island is home to the majority of the archipelago’s attractions and is the easiest to navigate. Aside from the charms of Stone Town, the island boasts stunning beaches—Mangapwani on the west coast, Paje and Jambiani to the east and Matemwe further north. The island is also home to the forest reserves KiwengwaPongwe and Jozani. Adventurous travellers are encouraged to visit Pemba. More rustic and less inhabited than Zanzibar Island, Pemba offers yet more beaches (it’s worth exploring the coves of Makoba beach), some of the best diving in East Africa, the Pujini ruins, mangroves and clove plantations. The tiny island produces 70 per cent of the world’s cloves. Meanwhile, Chake Chake, Pemba’s main town, might not match Stone Town in terms of post-colonial charm but there is an energy and intrigue to its tightly knit streets that warrants a couple of nights’ stay. Indeed, it is amazing just how much the small islands have to offer. Yet for all the archipelago’s attractions, Zanzibar is best enjoyed at a snail’s pace – the locals aren’t in any rush and nor should you be. Whether it is lying on a silver sanded beach or taking tea in one of Stone Town’s cafes, you get the most from Zanzibar by doing very little.


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Images courtesy of Getty Images


TRAVEL

WHERE TO GO

STONE TOWN

PAJE BEACH

NUNGWI

MAFIA ISLAND

Old world meets new in this village in northernmost Zanzibar Island. Nungwi maintains its dhow-building traditions and plays host to a number of high-end hotels as well as backpackers.

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One of the most striking features of Paje is its low tide. The azure waters retreat for miles, leaving a landscape of silver sands punctuated by beached fishing boats, stranded shellfish and the occasional bemused traveller.

The ominously named islet is the fourth largest on the archipelago. Its crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination with divers and is a prime site to spot whale sharks.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

The juxtaposition of old colonial architecture and Middle Eastern influences lend the old part of the Stone Town a storybook feel. Its winding streets would provide a perfect setting for the 40 thieves to give chase to Ali Baba.


TRAVEL

WHERE TO STAY EMERSON ON HURUMZI

THE MANTA RESORT

THE RESIDENCE ZANZIBAR

Rooms from $175 per night, emersononhurumzi.com

Rooms from $495 per night, themantaresort.com

Rooms from $650 per night, theresidence.com/zanzibar

Formerly 236 Hurumzi, this palaceturned-hotel has been luring travellers in the know for years. Hurumzi is a little dusty in parts but its romantic opulence remains and is a must-see for travellers who want a taste of Stone Town history.

This stunning Pemba Island resort boasts a serene beachside location, wonderful service, scuba excursions and tours of the island. There is also a novel underwater room where guests can spy on local marine life without getting wet.

The Residence in Kizimkazi, on the west coast of Zanzibar Island, is a hotel fit for a sultan. The 32-acre, five-star beachside property features luxury villas with butler service, private pools and a stunning infinity pool.

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FASHION

NEAT KNITS

Cashmere shawl collar cardigan, Burberry, $950, Mall of the Emirates

Textured knits, camel tones and a splash of burgundy ensure a chic transition as the weather cools

Burberry Prorsum, Autumn/Winter 2015

Berluti, Autumn/ Winter 2015

Field jacket, Berluti, $9,595, Dubai Mall

Grey slimfit jeans, Saint Laurent, $478, Mall of the Emirates 92

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Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

Striped cashmere sweater, Berluti, $1,575, Dubai Mall


FASHION

Saint Laurent, Fall/Winter 2015

Elbow patch sweater, Saint Laurent, $917, Mall of the Emirates

Felt backpack, Saint Laurent, $867, Mall of the Emirates

Shawl collar suede cashmere cardigan, Berluti, $3,280, Dubai Mall

Sneakers, Saint Laurent, $585, Mall of the Emirates Suede Chelsea boots, John Lobb, $1,065

Hermès Autumn/Winter 2015

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LITTLE BLACK BOOK

LITTLE BLACK BOOK COPENHAGEN As the marketing director of online retail firm Namshi, Ian Smith has made a career out of knowing what is hip. He shows GC around uber-cool Copenhagen

Home sweet home Hay House is an institution for homeware items. It is set in an art deco building and is an inspiring place to visit—but it’s extremely tempting to buy the whole store.

Waterborne Exploring the city by water is a much more fascinating way to discover the city and its charms. I came across some really interesting futuristic buildings, including the Playhouse and Opera House.

Nyhavn harbour is great for peoplewatching. It is on the tourist trail with such a picturesque view but if the sun is shining, it is a great place to sit and watch people go by.

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Images courtesy of Getty Images

People-watching


LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Bucket list The floating hotel CPH Living, a converted boat on the banks of Christianshavn, is one of the most unique hotel concepts. It is on my to-do list.

Art connoisseur Kunstindustrimuseet, the city’s art and design museum, gives an overview of the impressive contribution of the Danish modern design movement over the past centuries.

I have always had a great affinity with a nation that has such liberal, progressive views and is at the forefront of design, fashion and cuisine

A sup of ale

Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

Mikkeller bar in Vesterbro is an amazing craft and micro-brewery with 20 different taps of beer, each serving great quality pale ales, IPAs [India pale ale] and crisp lagers.

History buff I was extremely impressed with the Amalienborg royal palace. To be able to witness centuries of history before your eyes and to go back in time is extremely enriching.

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HOROLOGY

KEEPING TIME WITH BOND A journey through 007’s watch collection

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DIE ANOTHER DAY

20 02

20 0 6

CASINO ROYALE

SKYFALL

2012

20 08

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

SPECTRE

2015

The Seamaster has been James Bond’s watch since Goldeneye in 1995, and Spectre keeps the tradition alive with the Seamaster 300, limited to just 7,007 pieces. It’s stainless steel case with polished ceramic and black dial are as sleek as the man himself.


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The ultimate power play. Mulsanne. The Mulsanne benefits from a re-engineered V8 engine, providing extra range and improvements in efficiency of up to 13%. Yet with an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing uninterrupted acceleration through seamless gearshifts, there is no compromise on performance: the Mulsanne is capable of 184 mph (296 km/h). Please contact Bentley Emirates on +971 4 294 4492 (Dubai) or +971 2 222 2445 (Abu Dhabi) for more information. www.uae.bentleymotors.com 98 ‘Bentley’ NOV / DEC The name and2015 the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2015 Bentley Motors Limited.

BENTLEY EMIRATES

Global Citizen 29  

Harrison Ford on the cover. Global Citizen Magazine is a bi-monthly publication with a unique blend of business, art, philanthropy, and fash...

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