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CONTENTS BUSINESS

16 GLOBETROTTER

34 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

50 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

18 INVESTMENT DESTINATION

36 PHILANTHROPY

52 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

20 BUSINESS

38 PHILANTHROPY

56 PROFILE

22 COVER INTERVIEW

42 PHILANTHROPY

58 HOROLOGY

26 LEADERSHIP

44 BUSINESS

60 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

28 PROFILE

46 TRAVEL PIONEER

32 ENTREPRENEUR

48 TRAVEL PIONEER

Global Calendar Montenegro

Paris in 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio

Human intelligence Michelle Obama Austrian success story

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Benita Diop

Causes to watch

Ruben Vardanyan’s 100 Lives Refugee hero: Regina Catrambone Spa for supercars

Analjit Singh

Daniele Kihlgren Wonho Chung

Audmars Piguet CEO Saint Lucia opens up

Geoffrey Kent

Sonu Shivdasani

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LIFESTYLE 64

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64 LIFESTYLE

74 DINING

86 HANDMADE

66 AUTO

78 HOTELS

88 TRAVEL

68 YACHT

82 FASHION

90 LITTLE BLACK BOOK

70 DESIGN

84 GROOMING

94 FASHION

72 ART

85 FRAGRANCES

96 HOROLOGY

Gadgets

Ferrari Classics Riva 88FT Florida

Concrete designs Leila Heller

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Dubai’s newest openings Luxury ski chalets Vilebrequin CEO Emirates Palace spa Luxury scents

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Artist Aleksandr Miroshnikov Morocco

Stuart Weitzman’s Barcelona Stay stylish on the slopes New timepieces from SIHH

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CALIBER RM 07-01

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PUBLISHER’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 Amanda Fisher, Oliver Robinson, Phill Tromans, Ivan Carvalho, Louise Barnett, Peter Allen, Ben Flanagan, Ryan Young

o Hollywood actor has gone to such great lengths on and off-screen to achieve Academy Award status and yet be pipped at the post as often as Leonardo DiCaprio has. His losing Oscar streak started in 1993, after he starred in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape earning him his first Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination at 19, since then he’s done everything from escaping a sinking ship, shark diving, cliff diving, quaalude-induced crawling and most recently, bear fighting all in the name of art. Okay the bear fighting was CGI… but there is no denying that DiCaprio is a man who isn’t afraid to put himself in harms way to elevate his performance on screen. Speaking about his hellish experience during the filming of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, which has got him his sixth Academy Award nomination, the actor said, “I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. “Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly.” So will this be the performance that breaks his curse on Oscar night in February? Critics seem to think so. In our cover interview this month, DiCaprio is coy about the subject that everyone else seems to be obsessing over, for the actor, once he’s put in the work, the rest is out of his control. Speaking of the long game, this issue marks the 30th edition of Global Citizen, we truly hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have producing the magazine. Lastly, I’d like to wish all of our reader’s a very prosperous year ahead! Enjoy the issue.

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.

Signature AP for GC

Armand Peponnet

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Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/Contour by Getty Images


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CONTRIBUTORS

Oliver Robinson

Phill Tromans

Ivan Carvalho

Cut his teeth as a magazine editor in Beijing, Jakarta, and Dubai. He now lives in not-so-exotic North Yorkshire, where he works as a freelance travel writer and a farmer.

is a journalist with more than 15 years’ experience. His exploits have taken him to more than 40 countries. He has written for titles including Evo Middle East and crankandpiston.com

is the Milan correspondent for Monocle magazine, covering a range of topics from politics to business. A native of California, he previously wrote for Wired, Domus and the International Herald Tribune.

Louise Barnett

Peter Allen

Ben Flanagan

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.

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.

started his career at the Observer in London. He writes about Arab affairs in the UK and Middle Eastern business for outlets including The National and the Al Arabiya News Channel, drawing on 14 years’ experience in journalism.

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I “ finally found all of the privacy and relaxation I had been craving for months on an island as beautiful as it is welcoming.�

www.baros.com

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Image courtesy of Armand P.

Smoke billows from the Address Downtown Hotel after it caught fire on New Year’s Eve, while nearby the fireworks and light show continued from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower in Dubai. At least 16 people were injured when a huge fire ripped through the luxury 63-storey hotel, where crowds were gathering to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations.

THE BIG PICTURE


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GLOBETROTTER JANUARY

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The World Future Energy Summit Abu Dhabi National Exhibition, Abu Dhabi

Standard Charter Dubai Marathon Umm Suqeim Road

World Economic Forum Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

Now in its ninth year, the World Future Energy Summit is the leading forum for MENA’S energy, renewables and sustainability professionals looking to gain premium market exposure, develop new business contacts and gain firsthand knowledge of upcoming strategies and regulatory changes across the energy sector.

One of the year’s biggest sporting events gathering together professional and amateur runners alike who take part in the 10km and 3km run to raise money for charities. This year’s prize money for the winners climbs from $8,000 to $200,000.

Under the theme of Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution this year’s key economic summit will gather together politicians, economists, intellectuals and advisors to debate global issues and trends, including the demographic and political shifts of the past year.

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Dubai Tour Dubai International Marine Club

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2016 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium

Now in its third year, the Dubai Tour will host some of the world’s top cyclists as they compete across four stages. Last year’s winner, British cyclist Mark Cavendish, will be competing once again in the 663km race to see if he can retain his position.

Do not miss an opportunity to see the world’s top players compete at this year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. This will be the 24th year for the event, bringing players like Roger Federer and Andy Murray once again to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis stadium in Garhoud.

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

PORT IN THE FINANCIAL STORM Superyacht Marina developments have swayed GCC investors to Montenegro BY AMANDA FISHER

t has only been independent for a decade. Yet the underdeveloped, resource-rich Balkan nation of Montenegro is already positioning itself as one of Europe’s prime investment spots. The small coastal nation with a population of just 620,000 has recently acceded to NATO – a controversial move in some quarters given the damage suffered in the country during the NATO Yugoslavia bombing years – and is on a mission to join the European Union, 16 years after it adopted the euro as its currency. The investment opportunities in the rapidly-growing tourism sector are being widely touted in particular and embraced by international investors, including governments from the GCC region. Dubai-based businessman Romy Hawatt is one of those who have seen an opportunity in the new nation. He has an aviation

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charter and pilot-training business running in the country and has been investing “quite heavily” in property. Hawatt says his love affair with Montenegro began when he visited as a teenager after inadvertently discovering it while venturing south from Croatia’s Dubrovnik. “I thought, ‘What a beautiful place’. It was absolutely gorgeous and stunning but [at that time], there was not much any foreigner could do there,” he says. Montengro was the one-time playground of the rich until former Yugoslav president and communist hardliner General Josep Tito closed the country to Westerners after the Iron Curtain came down. Hawatt, who began investing in the country nearly three years ago, says its natural beauty is an impressive drawcard. Montenegro is home to Europe’s southernmost fjord, the second largest canyon in the world and southern Europe’s


INVESTMENT DESTINATION

biggest lake, “all in one small country”. But there are other attractions like one of the world’s top superyacht marinas, the $315 million Porto Montenegro. Hawatt says: “That was partly what caught my attention, looking at this amazing development. “I decided I needed to be one of the first movers in the market so very quickly invested in some marine investments.” The Australian national, who has business interests all over the globe, including in the digital media world, says he seized on other opportunities. “I quickly worked out [Montenegro] needed transport solutions because the road and general infrastructure was in need of upgrading and will take years to get to the level where people would be able to move around really efficiently,” he says. That led to him earning an air operator’s certificate before buying several helicopters and starting a pilot training school. Airways Aviation now has two helicopters, four planes, the training school and a charter transfer business in its Montenegro portfolio, while having business interests in several other countries. The country is small and easy to navigate by air, with a varied climate to attract tourists all year round. “You can be at the seaside in spring and autumn yet you have still got snow on the mountains,” says Hawatt. He is convinced Montenegro, whose city Kotor was listed as Lonely Planet’s number one destination to visit this year, has multiple factors to entice investors. “They [the younger generation] are keen to assimilate with the rest of the world and create their own presence.” But a look back in time might be enough to fuel concern for the more conservative investor. Montenegro is a small country with a GDP of less than $10 billion, still recovering from decades of hardship under the communist era, the friction of the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the more recent global economic crisis. Is that something to be wary of? Hawatt says not, adding of all the Balkan countries, Montenegro was the only one not significantly embroiled in the brutal Balkan rift. “I think that is an indication of the people in the region. They really do not want trouble.” This can be turned into an advantage, he says. Coming out of the cold means Montenegro should prove lucrative for early investors. “It is in its infancy but therein lies the opportunities—it is new, fresh, they are open and want to grow and they have good models to benchmark against like Monaco, Switzerland, Singapore and Dubai.” This investor confidence certainly seems to be mirrored by the UAE, which has a range of bilateral investment treaties with Montenegro, including double taxation agreements. The Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) invested about $141 million to create the Capital Plaza, a mixed-used project

with offices, apartments and commercial shops that has become, according to Dark Uskokovic, Montenegro’s ambassador to the UAE, “a landmark in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica”. It is the home of the first Hard Rock Cafe in the region and has become the “centre of social life” in Podgorica. ADFG is due to open an H Hotel in the next few months in Podgorica and is currently developing a hotel resort in a small coastal village which would encompass villas and apartments. Construction is expected to begin next year, says Uskokovic. While details have not been finalised, it is a multi-million dollar project. Other GCC countries are following the UAE’s lead. “First investment came from the UAE but now we also have investment from Qatar and Kuwait,” he says. Montenegro is positioning itself to become a high-end tourism destination with hotel developments worth $3 billion, including projects by the Hilton, Armani and Four Seasons chains. Uskokovic describes it as “Switzerland with the sea” but says there are more than just tourism offerings for investors. “Energy, agriculture and tourism are the three most important sectors for the strategic development of Montenegro,” he says. With rapid development, energy needs are becoming a high priority and tenders for hydropower plants and coal mines are on the horizon. Uskokovic also points to opportunities for building factories to process the region’s flourishing fruit, vegetable and meat industries. “Possibly the most important for this region is the opportunity in water bottling factories. We have eight water bottling factories looking for partners or who are ready to sell them.” Uskokovic is optimistic about the country’s future. “It has been a difficult economic time but we think being a small country, we are able to adapt to all new circumstances and economic challenges. “Since our independence in 2006, our GDP has had steady growth and has almost doubled in the last 10 years. “This year we will have a growth in GDP of 4.3 per cent. We hope this will continue and that we will manage all issues and challenges.” He acknowledges growing tensions between Europe and the Arab world with the number of Isis-related threats and attacks on European soil in recent months. However, he is confident the country’s long history of neutrality and tolerance will work in its favour. “Terrorism does not recognise borders,” he says. “We cannot guarantee nothing will happen in Montenegro but we have a very stable and secure state and hope we will continue on the same path, especially because we are known [for our] multireligious and multinational tolerance.” With accession to the European Union anticipated this year, Montenegro might be the case study the rest of the EU needs in an increasingly complicated and tense region.

“We are able to adapt to all new circumstances and economic challenges”

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PARIS ON HIGH ALERT

In the wake of two major terrorist attacks in France’s capital last year, Parisians are preparing themselves for another difficult year ahead

f you wanted a good idea of how Paris will look and feel this year then the Champs-Elysees on New Year’s Day was a good barometer. Hotels which were once fully booked were down 30 per cent as visitors stayed away or cancelled their plans at the last minute. Restaurants lost nearly half their business. And everywhere was an ominous police presence as 11,000 officers and soldiers took to the streets. There were plenty of people out on the world-famous avenue in France but the overall feeling was one of despondency. Fireworks were cancelled, alcohol, including champagne, was banned and police and soldiers stood everywhere. Instead, all revellers got was a light show beamed on to the Arc de Triomphe, sparkly images which were also shown on four giant video screens. Welcome to 2016. Welcome to Paris under the constant threat of terrorism. “It’s horrendous but that is where we are,” says a senior police source.

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“Paris suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history at the end of 2015 and all of us now have to adapt to reality. People have to be a lot more careful in public places and the security services have to be a lot more vigilant.” The most disturbing aspect of the 2015 attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Qaeda was just how easy they were. They started in January, when two brothers linked to Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch burst into the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and shot dead 12 people, including eight cartoonists. Just 11 months later on November 13, there were 130 deaths and nearly 300 serious injuries in the ISIL co-ordinated assault on Parisian life. Attacks took place at France’s national stadium, the Stade de France, during a football friendly attended by President Francois Hollande, at the Bataclan music venue during a rock concert, on cafe terraces and in restaurants and bars. “The point is that nobody was safe,” says the source. “Whereas

Images courtesy of Getty Images

BY PETER ALLEN


BUSINESS

the January attacks were specifically targeted, the November ones were against Parisians in general and those visiting the city – that is to say, everyone. In these circumstances, we have to prepare for attacks anywhere and at any time.” A state of emergency giving the government special powers to combat terrorism was declared within a couple of days of the November attacks. These include banning large crowds from congregating and increasing the amount of time that terrorist suspects can be held. More generally, it encourages every institution to improve its security and puts pretty much everyone under suspicion. This has created a huge change in atmosphere in a traditionally relaxed city renowned for its high living, its culture and its beauty. “Paris hotel bookings were down 30 per cent in the wake of the November attacks,” says Evelyne Maes, president of the UMIH IDF hotel union. “Normally our hotels are full at the end of the year but not this time. People are fearful. They are thinking twice about coming to Paris.” Hoteliers have reported numerous lastminute cancellations and this trend of staying away is expected to last throughout the year, says Maes. Synhorcat, a union which covers restaurant owners, said bookings were down as much as 40 per cent at the start of this year. “It really is a very bleak period,” says Bruno Morel, who runs a cafe close to the Louvre museum. “One attack was bad enough and they said it would not happen

again but then we had another which was even worse. There were terrible mistakes made by the security services and now we are all suffering.” Despite such strong sentiments, there is very little people can do to make themselves safer, beyond putting their trust in the forces of law and order. There were about 11,000 police and soldiers out on the street on New Year’s Day and those figures are expected to be matched for the foreseeable future. Despite this, there are no plans to introduce metal detectors or similar measures in Paris stores, hotels and railways stations. “Those have been suggested but they just would not work in a city the size of Paris,” says a city council spokesman. “The sheer number of people moving around just does not make it possible. “Detectors and scanners are currently used successfully in key institutions – such as particularly vulnerable museums and the law courts – but they would not work everywhere. That said, there are plenty of places which employ security guards to stand on doors and inspect bags for explosives and weapons. That is very sensible and will continue.” A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry, which is ultimately responsible for all domestic security in the country, says: “Yes, there is no doubt 2016 will be very different to earlier years in France but these are exceptional times. People do not need to be scared about travelling around major cities such as Paris. “They just need to be careful and respect those who are trying to protect them.”

“People just need to be careful and respect those who are trying to protect them”—French Interior Ministry

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A TITANIC ROLE Leonardo DiCaprio had to endure sub-zero temperatures and freezing water for his toughest role to date in the film The Revenant. He talks about living the experience of his characters and why Oscar glory has eluded him BY FABIAN WAINTAL / THE INTERVIEW PEOPLE

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Image courtesy of Getty Images

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COVER STORY

eonardo DiCaprio is somewhat of an enigma in Hollywood. Few actors have had a career as diverse as DiCaprio’s and simultaneously reached the same heights of fame while shying away from the public eye, beyond promoting movies. Like so many in his field, DiCaprio started as a teenager making TV commercials and appearing on TV shows. Like so many of his contemporaries in the 1990s, he could have easily faded into the LA horizon. But he got lucky, earning the lead role in Titanic, which propelled him into stardom and allowed him the luxury of choice. It is no coincidence he has only worked with the best on the other side of the camera, having perfected his craft under directors like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. More recently, he teamed up with Martin Scorsese for a fifth time on The Wolf of Wall Street. Now he has taken on his toughest challenge yet with a gruelling role as Hugh Glass in The Revenant at the behest of Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose movie Birdman last year took home four academy awards—something that has eluded DiCaprio four times since his first nomination in 1993 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. That could change with The Revenant, which has already earned him his 11th Golden Globe nomination for best actor (he has won twice before, most recently for The Wolf of Wall Street). Filmed in sub-zero temperatures using only natural light in the rugged snow-covered Canadian terrain, The Revenant is a stark tale of one man’s brutal journey, survival and vengeance in the 1820s. Glass is a fur trapper nearly mauled to death by a grizzly bear but after being robbed and being left for dead by his travelling companions, he manages to struggle back to life to pursue them. Known for his dedication to fully absorb his character—he took part in military training in the South African bush to prepare for his role in Blood Diamond—DiCaprio pushed himself to the limits during the arduous shoot, even eating raw bison liver and repeatedly throwing himself into freezing rivers in sub-zero conditions to fully immerse himself in the character, whom Inarritu describes as “a man, a beast, a saint, a martyr, a spirit”. DiCaprio might not have scooped any Oscars yet but he has been lionised for his work as a environmentalist, winning

a Clinton Global Citizen award two years ago at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. His philanthropic efforts have been concentrated on protecting and preserving the planet from climate change and have seen him address the UN climate summit in New York. While he has generated headlines by championing the environment and embarking on a string of well-publicised romances with supermodels and fellow actresses, DiCaprio fiercely guards his privacy, insisting on a no-photos policy when he is socialising.

DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant

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COVER STORY

What reaction do you get around the world? When I go to premieres, it is a rare experience [to] get to showcase one of your films and those are the times you get to see fans come out in large quantities and support. It feels great. When you are an artist and work incredibly hard at what you do, to have people recognise that is a great feeling. When you work abroad, like you did when you filmed The Revenant in Argentina, do you get to live like a normal tourist would? No. The truth is, when you go off in these locations, you are so concentrated on your work [that] I only get a few hours here and there to go and explore the territories. But sometimes I do get to experience making movies where I get to see the culture a lot more. This was not one of them unfortunately. Did you get to spend much time with the director Inarritu when travelling? What is great about Alejandro is that he is a real artist, a real independent filmmaker. He was doing a film on a grand epic scale but when he got an opportunity to rush off and have some free time with the actors and explore nature, we saw him as a little child with a camera. It was amazing.

DiCaprio experienced gruelling conditions and sub-zero temperatures during the shoot in Canada and Argentina. He hopes to be rewarded with his first Oscar.

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Alejandro won the Oscar last year for Birdman and it has been said it is your time. Do you think you will finally get your Oscar this year? I think the one thing you know when you make movies is you go in there and you do everything that you possibly can to make a great piece of art. You have no control over what is going to happen. What did it mean to you when you received your first Oscar nomination in 1994 for Gilbert Grape? I was taken aback and very surprised. The thing that I remembered most was being petrified of going up there in front of [an audience]. I was praying I would not have to go up there. What would be the first movie you would show your future children? Well, my kids would certainly have to be at a particular age to watch most of my movies because a lot of them deal with extreme circumstances and some violence. The first film I would probably have my children watch would be Gilbert Grape or This Boy’s Life because that movie was about childhood and it was a very special time for me.


COVER STORY

In The Revenant, there is the quote, “The wind cannot defeat a tree with good roots”. Was being nominated for the Oscars one of those good roots for your career? Yes, that was one of the things we discovered while making this movie. It is quotes like that—the theme of revenge, the perseverance of man and the ability to adapt and push on, even when all the chips are stacked against you—that is what the Hugh Glass story is: the ability to push on and persevere, even if you have very little reason to keep going. It seems you suffered a lot for your art in this film. Was it really as hellish as it looked on screen? I think we all knew what we were signing up for when we made this movie. We were pushing ourselves to extremes and retracing this man’s footsteps. This is a sort of iconic American story of survival, of the perseverance of a man who is not dominated by nature but has survived the most extreme circumstances and lived to tell the tale. We knew we were entering not just a movie but a big portion of our life. It was almost like going on an epic journey into wilderness and ultimately we were filming it. We were filming the surroundings, we were filming the events as realistically as we possibly could and a lot of these sequences were incredibly difficult to do. Do real life experiences help create a character? I suppose so. I used to be more of an adrenaline junkie when I

was young. When you make movies, it is controlled chaos. You have plenty of people watching out for your safety. I never got injured once making this movie. I caught a lot of colds and flu for being in sub-zero temperatures, from submerging ourselves in and out of cold water, but there was always a group of people to help us out. A lot of the stuff that looks incredibly difficult to do was incredibly difficult to do but we got to rehearse it at great length and there were great safety precautions involved. Was the shoot a transcendental experience? Did this experience change your life in any way? I think it did, but more than anything, what we went through and spoke about as far as man’s relationship to nature, man’s relationship to [others], man versus the natural world and other animals—all these experiences we had infuse their way into a piece of art, which is this movie. That was the magical experience because we had a very simple story of a man who loses everything and tries to reap revenge but ultimately we had to go on that journey and that arc. It is all up there on screen. What is your main fear in real life? I think I have all the same fears as anybody else has. Certainly, having been in some of those extreme circumstances, much like Glass, you just want to persevere, to keep living. You want to put it all behind you and come out positive in the end.

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BUSINESS

WHAT LIES BENEATH Ever suspected a colleague was lying to you but could not prove it? GC finds out how a human behaviour training course is helping government agencies and Fortune 500 companies find out if they are being duped BY LOGAN HOWLETTE

he delegate sitting to my right explains, in a strong Eastern Bloc accent, that he is barred by the Official Secrets Act from disclosing the nature of his work to unauthorised personnel but is permitted to state that he works in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I instantly feel out of my depth. My insecurity is further compounded when two immaculately groomed and softly spoken gentlemen tell me they are psych operatives in the Royal Netherlands Army. As I work out how to make my freelance journalist job sound more exciting, my attention is drawn to my

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fellow coursemates’ job descriptions: CEO, US Department of Homeland Security, financial fraud investigator, Wall Street broker, judge, politician and psychologist. Twenty delegates from around the globe have gathered in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai for a four-day intensive course designed for leading professionals involved in high stake communications and human behaviour analysis whose main business is establishing the truth. The fast-track programme is run by Emotional Intelligence Communications (EIC), a consultancy operating in the GCC and specialising in applied


BUSINESS

forensic behaviour communication training. Our trainer tells us we will leave with a skillset that means we will be able to see through others’ lies. “When people are being deceptive they leak the truth. You will be able to see and hear that leakage with 80 to 95 per cent accuracy,” he promises, adding the average ability to detect deception hovers at around 50 per cent. Much of the content of the course cannot be revealed because of its sensitive nature but is designed to “trigger a cognitive and emotional overload culminating in the elicitation of truth”. In short, those trained become highly adept at reading, understanding and influencing others to get to the truth. While spy enthusiasts might enjoy the novelty of the 007-style training, the gravitas of what such training could result in is starkly apparent. In the current climate, the expertise it can give intelligence and security agencies in their bid to protect the public from the threat from terrorists is obvious. But the fact politicians, Fortune 500 companies, educators, medical professionals and elite businessmen and women are using it suggests its benefits are diverse. The challenge for any global business or organisation in competitive industries is to be ahead in their field. Whether it is commerce, investment banking, human resources or auditing, most business revolves around client interaction. From negotiation and persuasion to training, consulting, information acquisition and analysis, communication skills are crucial. At the core of all high stake communications is face-to-face interaction and any error is almost always a human one. Misjudging high stakes deception can have serious consequences, whether it is a trusted senior employee who has defrauded a company or overlooking a competitor with malicious intent. All human beings lie: that is a fact. But why we lie and the type of lie depends on the context and the stakes involved. Whether to avoid punishment, protecting someone from harm, to be admired, preserving one’s privacy or to escape embarrassment, each type of lie serves the liar’s purpose. To catch a liar with almost certain accuracy however requires a deeper understanding and recognition of human behaviour at a micro level. For everyone else whose ability to detect deception is a 50/50 chance, you might as well toss a coin. While I can do no justice here to 60 years of field-tested scientific research, which is condensed into an outcome-focused four-day programme, the basic premise is that lying takes more mental effort than telling the truth. Emotions can give people away when lying. If the observer is attentive, those signs can be seen and heard, whether it is a change in a facial expression, breathing, a slip of the tongue, a false smile or a giveaway gesture.

All human beings lie: that is a fact. But why we lie and the type of lie depends on the context and the stakes involved A few basic non-verbal clues that could indicate someone is being deceptive include: • Blinking more frequently • Speaking slowly and saying less than the person otherwise would • Delivering an incoherent account of an experience • Dilated pupils • Shifting body posture frequently • Hand covering mouth when speaking • Hand rubbing and scratching the nose or back of the head • Speaking with more hesitation and verbal pauses than normal • Short responses to complex questions • Raised pitch Always err on the side of caution if pointing the finger when citing the above examples. Deception detection is a science and as the stakes in industry rise, the more complex human interactions become and by default, the margin of error widens. For more information visit www.eqcomms.com

2016 JAN / FEB

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FIRST LADY OF EDUCATION Her husband is soon leaving office - but Flotus is only just getting to work on a host of campaign initiatives

s the American presidential campaign heats up, outgoing president Barack Obama is contemplating life outside the White House. But as he prepares to take a back seat in politics and mulls over what legacy he might leave, the work is just beginning for his wife Michelle. The First Lady—or Flotus, as she is known in White House lingo—is embarking on ambitious plans to target the 62 million girls worldwide who are not in school. It is a subject close to her heart as she says she knows only too well how circumstances of birth and a lack of opportunity can hinder access to education. Speaking in Doha, Qatar, late last year to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative, she said: “I sometimes encountered teachers who assumed a girl like me wouldn’t be a good student. I was even told I would never be admitted to a prestigious university so I shouldn’t even bother to apply.

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“Like so many girls across the globe, I got the message that I shouldn’t take up too much space in this world, that I should speak softly and rarely, that I should have modest ambitions for my future. That I should do what I was told and not ask too many questions. “But I was lucky because I had parents who believed in me, who had big dreams for me. They said, ‘Just work harder to prove them wrong’.” As her husband’s future hangs in the balance, Obama has stepped out from his shadow to carve her own mark for a future legacy—to encourage girls to pursue an education. She is a pioneer of the Let Girls Learn campaign, backed by the US government and focusing on 13 countries, including Albania, Benin, Cambodia and Ethiopia, before expanding to other nations. It was launched in March last year and took her on a weeklong tour of the Middle East in November, where she met

Images courtesy of Getty Images

BY TAHIRA YAQOOB


PROFILE

schoolgirls in Jordan and Qatar and spoke movingly of her own experiences as part of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) conference, hosted by the non-profit and part government-funded Qatar Foundation and chaired by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Some might see the First Lady as little more than a dutiful wife to the president and doting mother to their daughters Malia and Sasha. But as Obama reminds us, she is a “lawyer, a city government employee, [and] a hospital executive”. Whatever the role, Obama has done it with a great deal of aplomb and a healthy dose of good humour. When she fronted the Better Make Room campaign last month with Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharaoh, rapping on camera to promote university education, she somehow pulled off a move which would have most teenage daughters cringing in despair at their parents. Born Michelle Robinson in Illinois and brought up in Chicago, her own childhood, she says, was tough with little money but she fought the odds

to go to Princeton University and then Harvard Law School. “I went to school, I worked hard, got good grades and I got accepted to top universities,” she says. “I say this as someone whose country has undergone a long and difficult struggle for women’s equality—a struggle that is still going on today. “When my grandmother was born, women couldn’t vote. When my mother was a young wife, women couldn’t open credit cards in their own name. They needed their husband’s permission and when it came to education, their options were very limited. “Back then, girls were discouraged from studying subjects like math and science and from pursuing professions like law and business and medicine.” And while the last half-century has seen dramatic changes in the position of women in society, Obama and her cohorts have a mammoth task ahead of them—both at home in the US and abroad. Their research showed while there has been greater gender parity at

“Like so many girls across the globe, I got the message that I shouldn’t take up too much space in this world”

The First Lady of the US told The World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha there is a high drop-off rate worldwide for girls moving from primary to secondary education. Above she meets pupils from a local school 2016 JAN / FEB

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PROFILE

Pupils also participated in the WISE education conference in Doha and were encouraged by Obama to take a positive approach to learning

primary school age around the globe that changed drastically at secondary school level. “When girls are young, they are often seen simply as children but when they hit adolescence and start to develop into women and are suddenly subject to all of their societies’ biases around gender, that is precisely when they start to fall behind in their education,” she says. Tackling that gender bias is not simply about changing societal and cultural attitudes, she adds. It involves everything from providing bathroom facilities and hygiene products for girls to campaigning against forced child marriages and sexual assault. Hefty investments are needed for more schools and teachers for girls, safer transport and training in technology to help them get jobs when they graduate. Even when those things are provided, society often fails them. “When girls do attend secondary school, they often do so at great risk, as we saw in Pakistan, where Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, in Nigeria, where more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory by Boko Haram terrorists and in countries across the globe where adolescent girls have been harassed, sexually assaulted, or doused with acid on their way to school,” she says. “Even when girls do manage to finish secondary school—even university — in many countries, they graduate only to find that there’s no place for them in the workforce, nowhere for them to use the skills they have worked so hard to develop.” Simply throwing money at the problem is not enough, she

says. Instead, a change in attitudes and beliefs is needed. “It is about whether parents think their daughters are as worthy of an education as their sons,” she says. “It is about whether our societies cling to outdated laws and traditions that oppress and exclude women or whether their view of women is as full citizens entitled to equal rights. “If we truly want to get girls into our classrooms, then we need to have an honest conversation about how we view and treat women in our societies—and this conversation needs to happen in every country on this planet, including my own.” Men play a crucial part in that as fathers encouraging their daughters or by pressing for equality in their workplaces. “As fathers, as husbands and simply as human beings, this is your struggle too,” says Obama. “We need you to speak out against laws and beliefs that harm women.” For the First Lady herself, her own successful career shows how much has changed. “My education opened up opportunities I never could have dreamed of as a young black girl from a working class family in a big American city,” she says. “My university degrees transported me to places I never could have imagined — to boardrooms and courtrooms and to the White House. “This is such a long way from the tiny apartment where I was raised but that is the thing about education—it can carry our children such great distances and bring the most impossible dreams within their reach.”

“We need to have an honest conversation about how we view and treat women in our societies”

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Photo courtesy of Team Sager

PROFILE

GLOBAL CITIZEN FOUNDATION

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

Involve. Evolve. Empower. 2016 JAN / FEB

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ENTREPRENEUR

SUCCESS IN A BOTTLE An Austrian entrepreneur is tapping into nature’s resources to win worldwide acclaim BY IVAN CARVALHO

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ENTREPRENEUR

eep in the Bregenz forest, where farmers and villagers can trace their ancestry back to the 18th century, there is a strong Alpine tradition of passing down knowledge from generation to generation. The valley, set on the north side of the Alps in Austria and marked by snowy peaks and lush green forests, is known for its crafts while the healing powers of nature have long been a draw for skiing enthusiasts and nature lovers, who seek out the picturesque region’s slopes and trails to give their bodies a workout. When Susanne Kaufmann, a fifth generation hotelier in the valley, took over the family business of running the Hotel Post Bezau in the forest, she simply tapped into what she knew best, using natural resources to concoct beauty products from Alpine plants and herbs for the hotel’s spa. Thirteen years on, her range of more than 70 potions are no longer a well-kept secret and are sold in Europe, Asia and the US after winning notoriety. “At the time everything you saw in spas was from big cosmetics firms like Shiseido or Clarins,” says the 45-year-old entrepreneur, a mother-of-two. “Aloe vera is used everywhere but if you come to the Alps, it is not something you find here. I wanted to create something rooted here in the region.” She created her eponymous line of beauty products in 2003. Today her business counts 10 employees, who work across the street from her hotel in Bezau, while her small production facility is in a nearby village. Her collection of skin creams, cleansing gels and body oils, which she dubs “organic treats”, is eco-friendly when it comes to packaging as she prefers to use glass jars instead of the plastic containers widely used in the industry today. Kaufmann says she has been fascinated by the idea of tapping into the healing powers of the Alpine environment to improve beauty and health from an early age. Since the 1990s, she had seen a new set of tourists flocking to hotels in the region, many eager to try out spa treatments and tonics to unwind from the stresses of urban life. So when she took over the reins of her family’s inn, she decided to upgrade the property’s spa facilities and offer something that could stand out. Her approach was decidedly local. For the new, sleek, all-

white spa, she devised her own line of organic beauty products, using the knowledge of a local dermatologist and her own family’s traditional remedies and folk medicine as well as native ingredients. “I think the biggest advantage of being an organic cosmetic line from the rural area is that we can convey authenticity. Sustainability is a major part of everything we do,” she says. Kaufmann incorporates plants grown in the wild such as St John’s Wort, a natural anti-depressant which is also used to make oil to treat sunburn and skin stressed by jetlag. “Nowadays, consumers are better informed, they question marketing campaigns, they want to know where products come from and what is in the product,” says Kaufmann. “They value honesty and a philosophy they can comprehend.” She even planted a garden, where she grows ingredients such as rosemary, mallow and witch hazel, while other herbs and plants are picked in the nearby hills and valleys. Kaufmann also uses foodstuffs made by local farmers as an inspiration. She uses whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, in bath products as it has a detoxifying effect and regulates the pH balance of the skin. “The biggest challenge of being a small player is to have access to high quality resources year-round,” she says. Her ‘think local, sell global’ ethos has paid off as she now counts more than 30 hotel spas as customers, from the Ritz Carlton in Vienna to Barrocal, a chic new rural resort in Portugal’s Alentejo. Word-of-mouth and careful selection has helped expand her retail presence. “It is not a product line you want to just sell with brochures. For the spas, we go to hotels to train staff in using our oils and the best types of treatment,” she says. Today more than150 shops stock her products, many of them speciality resellers in the German-speaking world, as well as more high-profile outlets like Liberty department store in London and shops as far afield as Hong Kong and Singapore. Online, her products are sold through Net-a-Porter. Yet she still operates from her rural base concocting new creations, including her latest range dedicated to haircare. She is also keen to attract more travellers from farther afield to the spa at her own hotel with the lure of the fresh Alpine air: “We see a high demand for spa holidays, especially when it comes to detox.”

“I wanted to create something rooted here in the region”

2016 JAN / FEB

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

AFRICA’S DAUGHTER

Bineta Diop has spent a lifetime campaigning for women’s rights and an end to violence in Africa

ineta Diop dreams of tending an allotment when she finally retires. She will grow vegetables and fruit, she says, switch off the phone, read books and have her multitude of grandchildren visit her. But months after turning 65, the president of the women’s campaign group Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS) and the African Union’s special envoy for women, peace and security is showing no signs of slowing down. “I am tired but not retired,” she says. “I said before that I would retire when I was 65. That was my thing and my children said, ‘We’ve heard that song—before it was when you are 50, now you talk about when you are 65,’ so I don’t give an age any more.” But if the Senegalese peace campaigner and activist refuses to take a step back, it is because she says there is still much to do on the continent. Diop—whose first name, like the Arabic ‘bint’, means daughter—founded FAS two decades ago after 20 years of

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working as a human rights campaigner. She was made an African Union (AU) special envoy in 2014, a role which has seen her criss-crossing the continent from her homes in Geneva and Dakar, while she also spends time in Addis Ababa. “My base is a plane,” she says. “I do not know where home is. If home is where your books are, everything is divided between Geneva and Dakar. “Now I also do a stopover in Addis and I also live in my country of origin, Senegal.” Diop is at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha, Qatar, where she is speaking about a masters degree programme she initiated in partnership with universities in Senegal and Costa Rica to teach the kind of mediation skills needed to “configure resolution. If we are talking about peace deals, they need particular skills”. The salubrious setting of the Qatar National Convention Centre is in stark contrast to her previous mission. Three days earlier Diop was in Bangui, the capital of the

Images courtesy of Getty Images

BY TAHIRA YAQOOB


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

Central African Republic (CAR), which is riven with violence and political unrest. More than a decade of political turmoil and clashes between rebel forces have seen thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. Meanwhile, Bangui’s Muslim population has been decimated as even the presence of French troops has failed to halt attacks by Christian militia. United Nations peacekeepers and French soldiers themselves have been accused of abuse and the UN’s head of mission in CAR was fired days earlier. “When I was in CAR, one of the girls told me she killed three people herself,” says Diop, shock registering in her voice even after years of witnessing violence. “She was very young—she must have been 20-something— but without remorse. “She took out her mobile phone and showed me one of the killings with a knife. [It looked] like she had killed an animal. “It was like it was normal. I said, ‘Don’t show that to me again’. You need to find avenues to reach people but not the cruel ones. “[Ones like that] you need to watch and control because they can kill any time.” It might seem Diop, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2011, is fighting a losing battle and she admits it is often one step forward and several back: “There are a lot of obstacles, a lot of hurdles. “You want to move fast but things are so slow on peace and security. “You start working in Liberia and Ebola comes so you start working [almost] from scratch. “You work in Burundi—10 years pass and it is fine but suddenly there is another coup so you think peace is achievable but not sustainable.” It is the small victories, she says, that keep her going. “Two days ago, I came from Bangui where people are still killing but yesterday they sent me a tweet saying they just created a [forum] for women’s peace and security. People are dying but they still have hope.” Diop took on the considerably heavy mantle of representing issues affecting women across Africa, partly because of her own mother, a “feminist in a religious, traditional [environment]. She was in politics without being educated but cared for society and the community. I learned a lot without knowing she was my role model”. Diop sees it as her mission to encourage a younger generation to take over when she finally does take a step back. Last year she spoke at an AU summit highlighting sexual violence against women in Africa, alongside UN envoy Angelina Jolie and former British foreign secretary William Hague. The future of independence and protection of women’s rights in Africa is down to a “critical mass of young people who can analyse the conflict, look into the root cause and give solutions”. Education is key, she says: “We need to educate and invest and we have to do it at home. We cannot continue to say other

Angelina Jolie and Bineta Diop at the 25th AU summit in Johannesburg, South Africa where they urged African leaders to implement their policies on sex crimes

“We cannot continue to say other people will come and solve our problems” people will come and solve our problems. “My dream is making the skills of that critical mass of people [strong] enough to respond to these issues of violence in our continent and to build a culture of peace. You don’t need guns to solve problems.” Meanwhile, she has been running the Wanjiru Kihoro fellowship—named after the Kenyan feminist activist by the same name—for five years. The annual scholarship gives an African woman under the age of 30 with a special interest in human rights the chance to spend a year being mentored by Diop in Geneva and Africa. “We work with the Security Council in New York and the [UN] Human Rights Council in Geneva,” she says. “The fellowship is tailored to people who are committed to what we are doing.” She says the fight is not restricted to women or NGOs but should include men, government bodies and the private sector, which has the funds to sponsor and implement projects. The ideal scenario is a public-private partnership, she adds. “We represent 50 per cent but we give birth to, and educate, the other 50 per cent,” she says. “Even with rebels, I sit and talk to them to find out what motivates their hunger and why they are waging war. “No one [sector] can make it. If you want to meet sustainable development goals in the long run, it will be a public-private partnership and you have to have political will to change things.” That allotment, it seems, will have to wait for now.

2016 JAN / FEB

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PHILANTHROPY

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2016 Jake Hayman, CEO of The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) explains why philanthropy will shape everything from online education to mental health in the year ahead

he role of philanthropy has never been to replace government services or to pay for things that should be considered basic. Philanthropy instead can be the advance party in dealing with new social challenges and pioneering innovative approaches to the ones we have still not cracked. Last year saw huge strides toward common action on climate change, an unprecedented global refugee crisis, a new set of United Nations Millennium Development Goals and a moment to reflect on the incredible progress that has been achieved since the first set of goals were set 15 years ago. Since 1990, another 40 million children are in school, 90 per cent of countries have more women in parliament, primary school enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa has risen from about 50 per cent to 80 per cent and the global number of deaths of children under five has halved. While six per cent of the world’s population had internet access in 2000, today that number is more than 40 per cent. We are winning battles against HIV and malaria and nearly two billion more people have access to clean drinking water. So what is next? Here are the five areas where I predict private philanthropy will help change the world for the better in 2016: A philanthropic response to the crisis of the politically inconvenient The image of a young boy drowned at sea and washed up on a beach near Bodrum brought home a global refugee crisis. One in every 122 people on the planet are thought to have fled their homes last year, creating an unprecedented crisis. These people are commonly considered a burden by international governments – a group that incurs cost, loses votes and, most importantly to politicians, sets a precedent that more may come. However, one community that has taken notice is the one made up of global philanthropists. In 2016, I predict they will play a key role in how this crisis unfolds.

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Philanthropists will go beyond providing emergency support and safe spaces to play, learn and rally together to help provide a global voice for a disparate group of people currently without representation. Smaller scale community activists will also engage by organising welcome events, providing homestays and support networks to help people assimilate in new lands. Smart philanthropists will back this work, funding community organisers and tech platforms and helping to provide a catalyst for this show of humanity. The disability revolution There has been a huge amount spoken about massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the last couple of years, which could potentially make high quality education available to billions of people around the world. There has, alongside this, been an even more exciting development around the concept of the virtual classroom – a way to recreate the cohort-based school environment where friends are made and teachers heckled, all entirely online. For people who suffer from physical disabilities that mean attending mainstream school is not possible, the standard of education available is variable at the very best and more often than not, either completely absent or shockingly bad. My prediction is that philanthropic investment this year will set us on a course that turns the tide in this area and aspires to create high quality service and incredible developmental and educational opportunities rather than just getting by. While some provision has been available in this area since the 1990s, improvements in user interface, school experience, social interaction and quality of teaching has led to a great step forward in the US and Canada in recent years. The UK, Middle East and most mainland European countries are still lagging, with most of the rest of the world even further behind. My prediction is that a couple of major philanthropists or foundations will step in to accelerate the progress in Europe and


PHILANTHROPY

the Middle East. They will finance technological advancements to improve social learning environments and draw attention to the failings of government facilities around the world in this area. Their work will prove that low-cost, high quality public education can be made available for people with physical disabilities. The 16-year-old social entrepreneur Roshan Chatterjee Kumar from London is one to watch in 2016: unable to attend a mainstream school due to illness, he is now leading the charge for better provision in the UK and beyond. Early childhood development While governments normally have five years or less to prove their worth, philanthropists can take a more long-term outlook. Early childhood education, parenting support and pre-school programmes are hopelessly under-funded by government because they were not in last year’s UK budget and are not seen as urgent. However, if we follow the data rather than the headlines, we know the best investment in young people’s development comes from supporting them and their families in their earliest years. Long-term philanthropic projects this year will reinforce evidence on the comparative value of early childhood programmes over crisis or late intervention programmes and set a precedent for major changes in government expenditure over the next decade as a result.

Mental health Mental illness remains a major stigma across the globe. A failure to invest in strong services, despite evidence of need, is common in almost every country on the planet. This year will see the beginning of the end of lip service as philanthropists map and monitor mental health challenges globally with a sophistication we have not seen before. They will also demand better practice and facilitate a global sharing of knowledge between experts and public sector commissioners that will result in a new wave of energy in this area. Remembering what it’s all about I predict the final philanthropic frontier of 2016 will be that of happiness—the ‘why’ of life. With global trends of youth unemployment, stress and anxiety mixed with elderly isolation and 24-hour depressing news cycles, there comes a time where people need to stop and remember the good in the world. Yes, philanthropy can focus on the greatest suffering, but it does not always have to. In 2016, I predict a movement of philanthropists funding programmes that inspire people, that encourage a better pace of life through mindfulness and positive reflection and that bring focus on optimism, community and generosity at a time when all are under threat. This will be a year when we focus on making the world happier, as opposed to only concentrating on making it less sad.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan welcomed their first child last December, which prompted a pledge to give away 99 per cent of his enormous wealth to charity. Zuckerberg noted that advances in health, technology and equality will require long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years

2016 JAN / FEB

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The 100 LIVES initiative led by entrepeneur Ruben Vardanyan and supported by actor George Clooney

100 LIVES LESS ORDINARY

The former poster boy of Russian capitalism is now behind a humanitarian initiative honouring rescuers in the Armenian genocide BY BEN FLANAGAN

housands of desperate people crossing Levantine borders, fleeing certain death back home yet facing a dangerous and uncertain journey ahead, is a familiar image in the current migration crisis. And it certainly resonates with millionaire Ruben Vardanyan, an Armenian philanthropist and former investment banker. For Vardanyan, this story is as much about the eastward death marches into the Syrian desert during the Armenian genocide as it is about today’s flow of refugees in the opposite direction. His charity work draws a symbolic parallel between the tragic

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events of today and those a century ago. Vardanyan, 47, is worth a reported $950 million but he is unlikely to be joining the ranks of billionaires anytime soon. He clocked up a fortune as head of the investment bank Troika Dialog, which was sold in 2011 to the state-owned Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender. Today though, Vardanyan is more preoccupied with giving away money than making it. One of his key causes is as co-founder of the 100 Lives humanitarian initiative, which launched in March at an event attended by George Clooney and his wife Amal. It is partly


PHILANTHROPY

aimed at expressing gratitude for the people who saved Armenian lives a century ago, including many from the Middle East who offered shelter and food to refugees. Many of those who helped refugees during the Armenian genocide – a description that is, controversially, still disputed by some – were from areas where people are in dire need of help today, Vardanyan points out. “I thought it would be very symbolic if we could connect the story of what happened 100 years ago with the Armenian nation, with the people who today are suffering—kids from Syrian refugee camps, without an education, without an opportunity to build their own lives,” he says. Speaking in rather gruff tones over the phone from Moscow – Vardanyan’s main home, although he also spends time in London and the Armenian capital of Yerevan – the multimillionaire describes the latest initiative by 100 Lives. The organisation has put up $7 million in funding to provide educational scholarships to 100 at-risk children from the Arab world over the next eight years in a programme supported by the Near East Foundation, which was itself founded in 1915 in response to the genocide. The two-year scholarships will provide children affected by conflict, displacement and poverty the opportunity to study at UWC Dilijan college in northern Armenia, or another United World College elsewhere, with the first enrolments starting this year. The project is certainly a personal one for Vardanyan, whose late grandfather Hmayak survived the genocide and later became a professor of history. “My grandfather was seven years old when the genocide started. His father was killed in front of him and his older brothers were killed,” says Vardanyan. “He was one of the few survivors in the family with his sister and went to an orphanage school, which was organised by American missionaries.” Thousands of Armenians died during forced death marches during the genocide and were victims of murder, rape and extreme violence. Only a few survived the journey to areas including what is present-day Syria and Iraq. The 100 Lives education fund is geared toward teenagers in those countries – as well as Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt – to pay tribute to their ancestors’ support for the Armenian refugees. Vardanyan was just 17 when he left Yerevan, where he was born, to study at the Moscow State University. With the Soviet reforms instigated by Mikhail Gorbachev, the young Vardanyan spotted the opportunities that abounded in banking and the financial markets in what was then a new era of liberalisation. Vardanyan was once dubbed the “poster boy of Russian capitalism”. But no more. Poster boy of philanthropy might be a better description today, given that Vardanyan and his wife Veronika Zonabend have turned their energies to charity.

“My wife and I decided to spend most of our wealth on philanthropy and trying to help other people get better lives,” he says. After the sale of Troika Dialog, Vardanyan remained an advisor to the chief executive of Sberbank but has now stepped away from his work at the bank altogether. Fortuitous timing, one could say, given today’s dire economic conditions in Russia, which has been hit hard by low oil prices and western sanctions. It is telling that, against this gloomy backdrop, Vardanyan’s stance seems to be at the polar opposite of Russia’s current isolationist economic policies. “I am a strong believer that it will be best for all of us to go back to the system where we are part of the global economy,” he says. “Being isolated from the world is not good for anyone [or] any country.” Despite devoting most of his energies to philanthropy, he still has numerous business interests and sits on the board of several firms including Kamaz, the largest truck producer in Eastern Europe and Ameriabank, an Armenia-based bank. And he is a strong believer in applying business sense to charity. One of the most high-profile charitable initiatives in recent years has been the Giving Pledge, the effort started in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, in which billionaires are encouraged to commit to giving away the majority of their money either during their lifetimes or in their wills. But Vardanyan says his own approach is to spend his money actively during his own lifetime, rather than leave it in the hands of others when he dies (including, according to one press report, his own four children, who will inherit only property). “Our strategy is that we are spending money in our lifetime to try to make this all self-sustainable,” he says. “Before, people would build an endowment fund and let managers manage the fund after they [died]. Uusually managers would be stuck with lots of limitations.” “[Our approach] is more like a professional execution—the same way we are doing [things] on the business side. It is not just pure philanthropy but self-sustainable social impact investment, which is creating revenue [for] future philanthropy.” Many of Vardanyan’s charitable initiatives are inspired by his own background. He is conscious of how the Armenian people have both made lives and a nation for themselves, despite the horrors of the past. Vardanyan’s grandfather did not talk about his experiences much. “He was very silent about this part of his life because he felt victimised,” says Vardanyan. “It is a very critical message for Armenians to be out of this victimisation mode. “Despite all that has happened to us in life, we survived—and not only survived but we are successful.”

“It is not just pure philanthropy but self-sustainable social impact investment, which is creating revenue [for] future philanthropy”

2016 JAN / FEB

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THROWING A LIFELINE Regina and Christopher Catrambone have given away half their fortune to save refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean sea BY LOUISE BARNETT

t all started with a life jacket: a solitary item that Regina Catrambone saw floating in the Mediterranean during a family sailing holiday. Although unremarkable in itself, that life jacket had a profound effect on Regina and her husband Christopher and inspired the launch of a humanitarian organisation that has so far saved nearly 12,000 lives. “It was probably a jacket owned by someone who hadn’t made it. That was a reality check for both of us. It was the tangible sign of the Mediterranean catastrophe,” says Regina. The couple acted swiftly. They invested their own time and money into launching the Mediterranean Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a search and rescue service that patrols the seas to assist migrants and refugees. “The sea should be a beautiful place of happiness, not a cemetery,” says Regina. The launch of MOAS in 2013 coincided with the start of a human exodus across the Mediterranean toward Europe. The

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UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) produced a report called The Sea Route to Europe in July last year, warning: “Europe is living through a maritime refugee crisis of historic proportions.” About 137,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Med in the first six months of 2015 alone, a staggering 83 percent year-onyear increase. Many were crammed inside unsafe, ill-equipped boats. Thousands perished in the attempt, with the number of deaths at sea reaching “horrifying new heights” during the first four months of last year, according to UNHCR. Speaking from her home in Malta, an island nestled between Sicily and the north African coast, Regina explains that quickly locating and assisting people making the perilous sea crossing is vital. “The faster you arrive, the better it is for the people and their mental and physical condition,” she says. “In the summer they are dehydrated and need water, food and warm clothes. In the winter they suffer from hypothermia.” MOAS’s original search and rescue boat called the Phoenix

MOAS/Jason Florio All rights reserved

Regina Catrambone aboard one of the refugee boats that her non-profit MOAS helps to rescue every day


PHILANTHROPY

Regina and Christopher Catrambone founded Mediterranean Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) with their own money and have saved 12,000 lives to date

is equipped with drones that pinpoint the location of vessels in need of help. Dinghies are then deployed to transport passengers back to the mother ship where food, water, life jackets and medical assistance are waiting. Multi-millionaire Christopher, who escaped to Europe himself to make a new life after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his family home in the US, has funded MOAS with his wealth, which he acquired from his company Tangiers Group offering services including insurance, medical and security analysis to firms working in conflict zones. To date, the couple have poured around $10 million of their personal wealth into the charity, which has the motto ‘nobody deserves to die at sea’. The couple are now appealing for help to fund MOAS via the international crowdfunding campaign #OneMore by asking sponsors to donate just “one more” life jacket, emergency kit or bottle of water in order to save more lives. “We are not Rockefellers or even close to that. We are a couple still in our 30s working to try to make sure these people who are fleeing do not die at sea,” says Italian-born Regina. The couple met in Italy in 2006 while Christopher, who is from Louisiana in the US, was visiting the country to research his own family heritage. Perhaps surprisingly, the couple are often very hands-on during MOAS’s search and rescue missions. While at sea, Regina has spent time talking to many of the migrants and refugees. “Most of the time, these people are portrayed as having smartphones,” she says. “This is true because in Syria some were doctors, lawyers, nurses and teachers and they were having a normal life—just like I was having a normal life. Then suddenly, war happened.” One conversation with a Syrian named Yusuf, who was travelling to Europe by boat, made a particularly big impression. “For him, taking this perilous trip was like jumping out of a window. He said it was better to die trying than dying without ever trying,” recalls Regina. MOAS recently stepped up its operation with the addition of a second mothership plus two high-speed search and rescue boats called Alan and Galip, in memory of the two young Syrian brothers whose deaths at sea last year prompted a groundswell of public sympathy. And in December last year, MOAS shifted its search and rescue operation to the Aegean Sea near Greece, where its help is most urgently needed. The UNHCR’s report describes a “major increase” in refugees and migrants – mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia - attempting to cross the stretch of water from Turkey to Greece. The Catrambones hope the charity will save lives at sea far beyond European waters. Starting this month, the Phoenix is due to start a search and rescue operation in southeast Asia’s Andaman Sea in what is described as MOAS’s “most ambitious and challenging” mission to date. The sheer scale of the global refugee crisis means that MOAS will continue fundraising indefinitely. The charity’s work has already earned it international acclaim, including one of Malta’s highest honours, the Medal for Service for the Republic. Co-

founders Regina and Christopher were listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 Global Thinkers of 2015 and received the Global Citizen Award at the annual Global Citizen Forum held last year in Monaco. Regina was also awarded Italy’s Order of Merit by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Her response to such accolades is simple: “My husband and I did nothing more than what should be done. If a person is down, our human nature should be that we bend and lift them back up again.”

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HOT WHEELS

GC goes to the secret location where million-dollar supercars are pampered like babies BY RYAN YOUNG

ut where Dubai’s urban sprawl turns into barren wasteland sits an unassuming warehouse. Hidden among rows of nondescript, corrugated industrial buildings, not so much as a sign hangs outside to advertise the location of Parc Fermé and it is mission impossible to get in. This is no blind oversight or marketing mishap but a smart security measure. Even Google maps gives a fake location a few kilometres down the road in Dubai Investment Park on the advice of police—and with good reason, because behind the modest doors of this vehicle storage facility sit rows of gleaming supercars worth tens of millions of dollars. Stepping inside, it is a petrolhead’s fantasy theme park, enough to make even the most dedicated environmentalist turn green. Among the scores of elegantly contoured cars, metallic modernity blends with retro chic. A Porsche 356 Coupe, last produced in 1965, sits next to a modified KTM X-Bow, which to the untrained eye looks suspiciously like a Transformer. “This is my happy place,” smiles founder, owner and managing director Motaz Abu Hijleh, walking me through the garage. The 34-year-old UAE-raised Jordanian only opened the doors after watching me circle the building and confirming my identity by phone. We are in the ‘platinum and premium’ room, where customers pay extra to have their prized possessions given an even more exclusive treatment.

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Cars here are parked further from their neighbours than customers on standard packages. Whatever the price band, at the end of every month clients are sent a detailed report, which lists specifics such as the pressure of each tyre, how much petrol is in the tank and the last time the motor was started and washed. It even includes pictures from three different vantages so customers can judge what kind of high calibre company their car is being kept in. It is this attention to detail which has earned Parc Fermé its reputation as a “spa for cars”. One particularly angular contraption, which looks like it might take off at any moment, turns out to be the Lykan Hypersport, a 750-horsepower beast which can reach speeds of 394kph. The $3.4 million UAE-born invention is the third most expensive car built to date, after the $4.6 million Lamborghini Veneno and the $8 million Maybach Exelero concept. Abu Hijleh bends down to point out the 420 diamonds in the headlights. Next he shows off two McLaren P1s, which sell for about $1.3 million. With storage space for a total of 75 vehicles, it doesn’t take a genius to work out there is a lot of money behind these four walls. That makes the need for the company’s advertising slogan — “professional, discreet and totally secure”—abundantly clear. Abu Hijleh clearly understands the importance of discretion as


BUSINESS

much as technical knowledge and iron-clad security. “We do more than look after the cars,” he says. “We have very personal relationships with our customers.” That involves going above and beyond the call of duty. Abu Hijleh recalls getting a car on the same flight as its owner with 24 hours’ notice and having it parked outside the airport by the time the client emerged from customs. Kevin Hackett, a British customer who keeps his vintage Triumph TR6 at the garage, says: “That is what brings people in. They get discretion here. “There are a lot of important people from abroad who travel to Dubai to relax and they might not want anyone at home to know about [their cars] so they leave the toys here. Trust is the basis of everything.” A former aeronautical engineer and motorsports team director, Abu Hijleh founded his firm in 2012 after spotting a niche business opportunity. He chose the name Parc Fermé – meaning “closed park” in French – to imply safe keeping for racing cars where they could be free from tampering.

Rates are agreed on a per-car base but the standard service starts at around $550 a month. Almost all clients have more than one vehicle in storage, which comes as little surprise: Parc Fermé’s core clients are the kind of people who can afford more than one seven-figure supercar. The business also does a steady trade with car manufacturers in need of a secure spot to store secret models before high profile regional launches. Along with Frankfurt, Geneva and Tokyo, the UAE is one of the core markets used to make grand unveils. Nearly a dozen luxury cars made their world debuts at the Dubai International Motor Show in November. Of 14 exhibits stored at Parc Fermé, several were still being lovingly cared for a few weeks later, including a customised red Lykan which was used to shoot the Fast and Furious 7 in Abu Dhabi, one of nine prototypes used on set. Abu Hijleh says: “Usually these go to the crusher [after filming] but the factory wanted to keep one—and they wanted to keep it here.”

“There are a lot of important people from abroad who travel to Dubai to relax and they might not want anyone at home to know about [their cars] so they leave the toys here” Motaz Abu Hijleh, owner and managing director of Parc Fermé

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A ROARING TRADE In his new book, Geoffrey Kent of Abercrombie & Kent relives his journeys with everyone from Bill Gates to British royalty BY NATASHA TOURISH

e is the go-to-man if you are in a pickle and need a private jet or helicopter to airlift you out of somewhere exotic or dangerous—if your name is Sting or Bill Clinton, that is. These days, being wealthy and well-connected go hand in hand and for British entrepreneur Geoffrey Kent, it is how he has built up his luxury travel business over the past six decades. Kent, who is 73 years old, started his company Abercrombie & Kent in Kenya in 1962 after graduating from the elite British royal military academy Sandhurst, where he served alongside a young Prince Charles. The pair shared a passion for polo, often playing together at tournaments around the world. Kent was also a guest at his son Prince William’s wedding five years ago. In Dubai to promote his new book Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer, Kent recalls a half-century of promoting Africa as a luxury tourist destination around the world. Yet he says selling safari experiences remains one of his biggest challenges, even though he believes a trip to the continent “will change your life”. “I remember in the early days I would be talking to 60 people in a room and at the end I would say okay, so who wants to go to Africa? “Three people would put up their hands. Then I would say who wants to go to Europe and everyone did.

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“That is why I started Abercrombie & Kent Europe. I realised I had to get out of just doing safaris and get into where people wanted to go. Selling safaris is difficult—it still is,” he says. Kent blames a lack of education and a reluctance to travel outside one’s comfort zone, as well as health crises like Ebola, for the slow uptake among the wealthy on experiencing an African safari. “I think people have the wrong impression. They don’t know the facts,” he says. “When they think of Africa, they think Ebola. Ebola was on the west coast of Africa, much closer to London than it was to Nairobi or Cape Town. People today are not well-travelled and their geography is bad,” he says. The company’s business was “hugely affected” by the Ebola crisis in west Africa and is still in the recovery phase. “We have 50 per cent cancellations due to concerns over Ebola,” he says. “It is recovering but each time it is like snakes and ladders. You get something that has nothing to do with you and is miles away and it causes your business to drop further. Then you have to build from there again instead of further up.” However, with $600 million in revenue for the firm in 2014 and 52 offices around the world, it is safe to say luxury safari experiences will remain the backbone of the company. Kent first started operations from his parent’s farm in Nairobi after


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pioneering a new approach to encountering wildlife. “I developed a very unusual way to go on a safari, which was to shoot animals with a camera instead of a gun. Then I wanted to put travellers in tents but nobody wanted tents if they were not hunting,” he says. Kent recalls how he first introduced Prince Harry, who is now passionate about conservation in Africa, to the continent at a pivotal time in the young royal’s life. “Prince Charles had a state visit planned and Harry was set for his half-term break in school around the same time. “It was shortly after his mother Princess Diana’s death so Charles wanted to keep him busy. He asked me to organise a safari trip.” Kent recalls how he made sure the 13-year-old prince had absolute privacy while he was in Africa. “Before we left, I gathered the media and told them we were going to Cape Town. Really I had a plane waiting to take us to Botswana, so off they went in one direction and we went in the other.” It was the beginning of many safari and conservation trips to Africa for the young prince and his older brother Prince William. Kent’s business success has been spearheaded by his ability to surprise and develop new itineraries for his affluent customers. Beyond bespoke sustainable safari experiences, Kent says he was the first to introduce luxury travel extras that made his company stand out from other tour operators in Europe, such as the travelling bellboy—a VIP concierge service picking you up at the airport and handling your baggage from your hotel to your next destination—and the A&K guardian angel, a personal guide to support independent travellers whenever they need advice. After more than 50 years in the business, it is unsurprising Kent’s customers have become a little younger as new money types are keen to spend their newfound wealth but the remaining constant, he says, is people wanting value for money. “We deal with anybody from 30-year-olds who have made a lot of money in the tech business in Silicon Valley to old money. For me, everybody is the same regardless. “They come to us because they want to discover the world in an original way and learn from their trip as much as they can.” Although one of the company’s newest travel experiences is a multi-stop trip around the world on a private jet, which will set you back $130,000 per person, Kent says his clients are still cost-conscious. “People who spend money have been very smart to make that money so for them it is not about an outlandish experience,

they want real value for money.” Abercrombie & Kent’s next private jet excursion, which Kent will lead himself in May, will begin in Colombia and take up to 50 clients more than 25 days to complete, venturing to places likes Easter Island, the Solomon islands, the Philippines, Mongolia, Russia and Greenland. And according to Kent, it is a bargain. “For you to do that on your own private jet would easily cost you $2 million dollars. This is the cheapest way to do it. It is budget,” he says. But with so many deep-pocketed individuals on one plane, does Kent worry whether they will all get on? “It was one of my biggest fears,” he admits. “On our first private jet trip, I had no idea how people would get along. We don’t do any due diligence, we accept anyone who wants to come, but saying that, I have the best professional people with me who know how to handle any situation.” Fortunately for him, it seems the wealthy enjoying mingling together, as Kent says all but 10 of the 46 who booked the first trip are returning for a repeat experience. One thing is for sure—for those fortunate few who get to experience a private jet excursion, there is no better man to have around when things go downhill, as Sting and Bill Clinton know well. Kent, who was on holiday in Ibiza, helped rescue them from Burma after they called him for help and dropped everything to organise a private jet to pick them up. Indeed, Kent has built up a satisfied customer base over the years, a reputation he says money cannot buy. He recalls a hair-raising close encounter with lions shortly after he first set up. “I had a very wealthy lawyer from New York in the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. “It was getting toward dusk and we were on our way back to camp. I saw a river and knew we had to cross it to get back. “It had been raining so I took a chance but the 4x4 got stuck,” he says. “I quickly got everyone out of the jeep and got out all the seats. “Our matches were all wet but one lady had a magnifying glass because she could not see well so I used that and some elephant dung to make a fire. “At about eight o’clock that night we heard the lions roaring. They were coming closer and closer so I got all the guests up in a tree and made makeshift beds. The lions stayed underneath us all night.” Luckily for Kent, his team rescued him the next morning and both he and his guests lived to tell the tale—and many more besides.

“They come to us because they want to discover the world in an original way and learn from their trip as much as they can”

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SLOW LIVING GC meets Sonu Shivdasani, the ecominded entrepreneur credited with introducing luxury tourism to the Maldives BY NATASHA TOURISH

t was “just a group of simple coral reef islands” when British-Indian entrepreneur Sonu Shivdasani and his Swedish wife Eva first landed in the Maldives in the mid1980s. Today, thanks in part to the power couple, the Maldives are one of the most popular luxury tourist destinations in the world for the well-heeled globetrotter. While Male, the Maldivian capital, might still make an ecotourist’s eyes water after seeing plumes of smoke fill the air from nearby waste incineration sites, the archipelago nearby is a much more environmentally conscious destination and, according to its government, its tourism is now firmly ecological. But that was not always the case. When Shivdasani, the founding chairman and chief executive of the Soneva Group luxury hotel chain, first visited in 1986 with his wife—who had been in the Maldives years earlier on a modelling shoot and fallen in love with it—the handful of resorts operating at the time were “anything but sustainable”. “The Maldives were not a popular tourist destination back in the 80s,” says 50-year-old Shivdasani. “The majority of visitors were Italian and German tourists who took a twin engine turbo-propeller plane from Sri Lanka, a really popular destination in the 70s before the war.” According to Shivdasani, the small number of resorts that existed were constructed by local coconut farmers who were incentivised by Italian and German tour operators to build 30 huts on the beach with the lure of a 10-year contract, which would guarantee them customers. However, the luxury hotelier says the plan was flawed from the beginning as there was an

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obvious “ceiling to their revenue”. He says: “They were stuck in a long-term contract and forced to offer all-inclusive stays for a very low rate to customers who would book three years in advance based on these deals.” To minimise costs, Shivdasani says the farmers took coral from the lagoons to build the resort and used only salt water, which resulted in “horrible standards”. “The bar was always in the most undesirable place in the island because they did not want people to drink too much as it was all-inclusive. The resort was done as cheaply as possible with white tiled floors, white plastic chairs and neon lights.” The cuisine on offer was not much better, he says. “Everything came in tins, even the fruit and vegetables. The food was worse than school dinners.” But Shivdasani says the impact on the environment was the most upsetting factor: “They were destroying the coral reef to build the resort. The salt water flushing the toilets was going out into the sea and the beautiful ecology there was being undermined.” Shivdasani and his wife resolved to “do better”. But despite being a well-spoken Oxford graduate with a Vogue model wife, to the Maldivian tourism ministry Shivdasani was simply an impassioned student with no credentials to back up his ambitious plans. Shivdasani says on reflection, his first bid to purchase his own island was always going to be a “non-starter”. Undeterred by his initial failure and reluctantly working for his family trading business in Nigeria, Shivdasani and his


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wife returned to the Maldives in 1991 on holiday and found an abandoned island 60 miles from Male, which today—20 years on—is the award-winning Soneva Fushi resort. The flagship resort opened in 1995, pioneering luxury ecotourism and was the first resort with private ownership in the Maldives. It also became the blueprint for the couple’s ‘intelligent luxury and slow life’ philosophies that helped grow their brand internationally and acquire Six Senses, the company that operated their namesake brand Soneva—an amalgam of Sonu and Eva—as well as the Hideaway, Latitudes and Evason brands. All except Soneva were sold to the US-based private equity firm Pegasus Capital in 2012. Shivdasani denies the couple sold their shares in Six Senses due to financial difficulties brought about by the global financial crisis. “The Six Senses brand, which involved us operating hotels and spas on behalf of other owners, was doing very well for us but Soneva was always performing better and this became a conflict of interest. We knew we had to sell our assets,” he says. “The owners wanted to brand their properties Soneva but my wife was adamant only the resorts which were both owned and operated by us should have the Soneva name.” One of Six Senses’s first partnerships was with the Dubaibased Jumeirah group, which asked Shivdasani to manage its spa when the Madinat Jumeirah hotel complex opened in early 2000. The couple also entered into a joint venture with the Vietnamese government, introducing five-star luxury tourism to the country with their first property Ana Mandara resort, a collection of private beachfront villas with mountainous views. Luxury experiences might have been the common thread connecting their brands but it was the couple’s passion for respecting the environment that became their trademark and won them awards such as the environment category at the

Tourism for Tomorrow awards last year. Soneva adds a two per cent environmental levy to guests’ bills with all proceeds going to its Slowlife Foundation— which stands for sustainable, local, organic, wellness, learning, inspiring, fun experiences—with the intention of offsetting carbon emissions. The foundation has so far raised nearly $6 million from the environmental levy as a result of tweaking Soneva’s business model. The money has funded a forest restoration programme in northern Thailand—where the couple own Soneva Kiri— funded a windmill in south India and is heavily subsidising cooking stoves in Myanmar and Darfur, benefiting about 180,000 people to date. Meanwhile, at Soneva Fushi, where more than half the clientele are repeat visitors, the resort produces its own fresh water by desalinating ocean and lagoon water. “We recently installed a solar power generating station that will wean Soneva Fushi from its reliance on diesel fuel, meaning a smaller carbon footprint,” says Shivdasani. The resort is also forward-looking when it comes to marine preservation initiatives and employs its own marine biologist. The Soneva empire is set to grow further in the coming year with the opening of Soneva Jani in the Maldives, which will have its own solar system as the main source of energy on the island. “Soneva Jani is unique as it is a large lagoon with five islands and one of the largest islands allocated for tourism in the Maldives. “Four of the islands will remain untouched and it will be by far the lowest density development in the Maldives,” says Shivdasani. And for anyone with $3million to spare, one third of the 54 villas are for sale.

Soneva Jani will open later this year in the Maldives 2016 JAN / FEB

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LIONHEART Indian billionaire Analjit Singh’s investments in South Africa’s Franschhoek wine region are a marriage of his business philosophy and love of the good life BY ROBYN VON GEUSAU

few years ago, few in the flourishing South African village of Franschhoek, tucked beneath dramatic mountains an hour’s drive from Cape Town, had heard of Analjit Singh. Nor had the self-made Indian billionaire ever heard of the little town, famed as much for its beauty as its culinary culture. Today his name is on everyone’s lips along the rose-strewn main street, be they locals or holidaymakers flitting between European and South African summers. In three short years, Singh has made a staggering investment in the area of a rumoured $36 million, snapping up a clutch of highly desirable sites and hotels which now form the Leeu Collection, meaning lion in both Afrikaans and Sanskrit. The 62-year-old businessman acknowledges the curiosity surrounding his investment but refuses to confirm numbers. “Of course I can say how much my investment is worth but I don’t want to.” He will only confirm it is “substantial”. He cuts an elegantly casual figure, dressed in his trademark turban, corduroy trousers and checked shirt when we meet in Le Quartier Francais (LQF), his new 21-bedroom boutique hotel that serves as his home from Delhi home until his own residence is completed on a nearby mountain slope. This latest and most talked-about acquisition is possibly the brightest gem in his necklace of properties in South Africa. Le Quartier, as it is known, is also home to global award-winning restaurant The Tasting Room, where executive chef Margot

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Janse pushes the culinary envelope. When word spread that this iconic property had sold, social media lit up with fears Janse would be lost to Franschhoek and the hotel would lose its eclectic charm. But Singh is not about to cut the bloom off a flowering plant. Rather, he plans to nourish and invigorate the growth. His buzzword is refresh. “I am absolutely besotted with this word I see everywhere, refresh,” he says. “My vision is to refresh Franschhoek. Now that I know the village and the valley so well I think it is really repetitive—it is the same offering.” He feels much can be done to renew and reinvent what is available to locals and visitors. Singh’s vast purchase includes three adjacent wine farms comprising 68 hectares of farmland with vineyards, olive trees and pomegranate and plum fields on the slopes of the Dassenberg mountains. This area, known as Leeu Estates, features luxury 17-room accommodation at the Manor House and a few smaller cottages, a new winery (Singh is part-owner of Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines) and a spa. In the village, next to Le Quartier, a former guesthouse on the main road has been revamped into the top-end 12-room Leeu Hotel, retaining its heritage Cape Dutch gabled presence. Singh has bought both the neighbouring property and the one opposite to prevent “the risk of someone buying it and putting some rubbish thing there and upsetting what we are trying to create: to pull traffic into the eastern end of the


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village”. In the next few months Franschhoek is going to have a craft brewery, a delicatessen, an elegant piazza, the town’s first Indian restaurant (the chefs were sent to India for training) and a Mexican restaurant. Singh is nothing if not an astute businessman. You do not get to be one of India’s richest men with a net worth, according to Forbes, of at least $975 million without being savvy about investments. As founding chairman of the multi-pronged Max India company, with a diverse portfolio including life insurance, healthcare, health insurance and senior living, Singh is, by any standard, a high-flyer financially. But he had to take the hard road to get there. He comes from an eminent business background. His father, Bhai Mohan Singh, was the founder of Ranbaxy Laboratories, a major pharmaceutical company, but a bitter family dispute saw the company being divided in 1989 between the three sons. Analjit Singh was left with an overstaffed factory in which he had to use his own earnings to pay for a voluntary retirement scheme for his staff. His business philosophy was cemented in the painful Ranbaxy experience. Singh has gone to great lengths to ensure it will be business as usual if he is no longer there. His investment in South Africa is for him an amalgamation of all that he loves and a new adventure. It is the culmination of his passions of art, design, plants and the science of winemaking and a progression from a purely business-driven venture. Every site has handpicked art pieces, many of them commissioned sculptures. “Art is the key differentiator and I have acquired a substantial collection of sculptures. I am not an art investor. I hope never to sell it. I love the expression of the work,” says Singh. He

is most excited about a sculpture of Nelson Mandela at Leeu House which he describes as an “interactive piece” that will encourage visitors to take photos of themselves with it. Singh, who has a masters in business administration from Boston university, first visited South Africa during the 2010 World Cup Soccer on the encouragement of his daughter Tara, who was attending a wedding there. When he decided to step down as chief executive of his company and become a nonexecutive chairman, it seemed the natural next step. His investment, described by a Franschhoek estate agent as “phenomenal”, will have a knock-on effect on the village, which houses the extremely wealthy and just-getting-by labourers side by side. It is thought the developments will boost employment with at least 400 jobs, not counting all those currently working on construction sites. Charities will also benefit from Singh’s philanthropy. He has targeted the Isabelo Feeding Scheme: Sharing is Caring project, which helps feed disadvantaged schoolchildren and the Kusasa Project, which offers educational and sporting support. In India Singh heads Max India Foundation (MIF), which helps underprivileged children with healthcare services, provides medical awareness to women and supports environmental issues. Singh sees no point in “looking at life through a rearview mirror” when it comes to mistakes he might have made in business. “I have been accused of not being cost-conscious and being a man in a hurry [but] I have a very strong focus and commitment. I am not scared of going down the hard route and I do not look for easy solutions.”

“My vision is to refresh Franschhoek”

Singh’s vast purchase includes 68 hectares of farmland with vineyards, olive trees, plum trees and pomegranate fields on the slopes of the Dassenberg mountains in South Africa 2016 JAN / FEB

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Entrepeneur Daniele Kihlgren

RESTORING THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY Italian entrepreneur Daniele Kihlgren is on a mission to save Italy’s medieval ghost towns with authentic restorations to lure both locals and tourists BY IVAN CARVALHO

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

t is no secret Italy is a cultural superpower. From the days of the Grand Tour, travellers have fallen in love with its impressive monuments and artworks. Yet if one ventures off the well-worn path trodden by visitors to Rome’s Colosseum or the Uffizi in Florence, another equally captivating world awaits, one untouched by vendors flogging souvenirs, maps and related tourist tat. These are the medieval hamlets, many in a state of disrepair, scattered across the countryside of the bel paese, or beautiful country. Entrepreneur Daniele Kihlgren refers to them as Italy’s “second tier of cultural attractions” but argues they are just as deserving of attention as the frescoes one queues to see in the Sistine Chapel. Part anthropologist, part philosopher, Italian entrepreneur Kihlgren, whose surname he inherited from his Genoa-born Swedish father, has taken the lead in drumming up interest for the borghi fantasma, abandoned or nearly uninhabited villages typically found in mountainous areas in the country’s poorer south. Waves of emigration moving north or abroad to seek work in the past century have decimated the population of hundreds of such settlements, leaving behind an ever-growing stock of ghost towns. Born and raised in Milan, the 49-year-old first had contact

with these neglected lands in 1999 during a solo expedition in the Abruzzo region aboard his BMW motorcycle. He stumbled upon the near-deserted hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park in the Apennines and was left speechless, not only by the outstanding beauty of the scenery but because almost everything was untouched. “Time seemed to have stood perfectly still – no concrete buildings, no factories, no tourist infrastructure at all like you see elsewhere in the mountains with kitsch chalets. It was virgin,” says Kihlgren. Soon after, he returned to Santo Stefano with plans to save the village from extinction. The inhabitants had dwindled from 1,400 in 1900 to a mere 70 a century later. Kihlgren invested nearly $5 million of his personal fortune, derived from a former family business making concrete for construction, to restore rundown buildings. His vision for the medieval hamlet was to create an albergo diffuso, or “dispersed hotel”, by cobbling together the existing housing stock and carving out a reception, restaurant and guestrooms in a series of unoccupied homes, stalls and workshops that stood next to each other for centuries. After buying about 20 buildings at bargain prices – some owners had emigrated as far away as Canada decades earlier and had

The ancient town of Matera in Italy is being regenerated by Italian entrepeneur Daniele Kihlgren

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

no desire to return – he undertook a careful renovation and opened his Sextantio Hotel. To retain the original character of the hamlet, Kihlgren relied on local materials—primarily terracotta tiles, wood and limestone—and building practices to ensure the end result was not out of place. Scouring through old photos, he and his team recreated furniture once used by villagers and relied on the oral history of locals to uncover recipes that are now prepared in the hotel’s kitchen, such as bruschetta paired with a soup of mountain lentils. The only distinctly modern addition are the sleek, egg-white soaking tubs in the guestrooms. “The kind of clients who understand what I am trying to do here are deeply interested in history,” he says. “They consider authenticity to be a real value in today’s world. Italy is becoming more fake. That is why when I started this project, I began as if I was setting up a museum. We want a kinder, gentler concept of tourism.” His efforts have boosted the local economy with suppliers for the restaurant and those offering nature hikes and related services to guests emerging. After Sextantio opened in 2004, business blossomed, reviving local crafts like textile-making. It also attracted 21 new hotels, many of

which followed suit and opened in disused spaces, ensuring the hamlet’s long-term survival. To date, Kihlgren has earmarked about $43 million including Sextantio, the purchase of land in 10 other hamlets and his second hotel, an 18-room property in the ancient town of Matera in the instep of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula. Set in a Unesco heritage site, his Sextantio Le Grotte hotel has carefully inserted accommodations inside the sassi, cave dwellings that sheltered locals for millennia until the Italian government moved residents out in the 1950s to more modern lodgings. The rustic interiors in stone preserve the patina of these primitive dwellings. They are a far cry from chic villa-style hotels in ‘Chiantishire’—the nickname given to chi-chi Tuscan holiday haunts—with their infinity pools and modern spas. And that is exactly the point, says Kihlgren. “I am interested in these places as a cultural project. Too often we see in Tuscany places marketed for their folklore and history but there is no trace of the original charm. They are completely detached from the world of the local population. I want to create something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye but also preserves what makes Italy unique.”

“I want to create something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye but that also preserves that which makes Italy unique”

The unique hotel in the old town of Matera has preserved its original features

56

JAN / FEB 2016


the power of Global Citizenship. So should you.

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

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Arton Capital is a leading global financial advisory firm providing custom tailored services for immigrant investor programs to government agencies, certified partners and high net-worth individuals and families from around the world. 2016Capital. JAN / FEB 57 Become a Global Citizen速 and Empowering Global Citizenship速 are registered trademarks of Arton


XXXXX

ONE FUNNY GUY He is the most famous comedian you have never heard of. Vietnamese-Korean comic Wonho Chung entertains royalty and fills 15,000-seater stadiums with his routine in Arabic BY TAHIRA YAQOOB

n the Axis of Evil comedy tour, Ahmed Ahmed explains to the audience the trio has found its missing member. “We have an Egyptian, a Palestinian and an Iranian. Now we have found our missing Korean,” the comic announces as he ushers a shy, stammering, diminutive man on stage. The new recruit looks startled, bows repeatedly and gabbles nervously in Korean - then launches into a word-perfect rendition of a Nancy Ajram song in Arabic. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m not Arab,” he deadpans to a stunned audience. That was 2007, in a moment which has since been watched hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube. But it still tickles Wonho Chung - not least because it crystallises the moment that launched his career as an international comedian and encapsulates the astonishing mix of luck and talent that got him where he is today. Fluent in Arabic and able to master different dialects from the region, the Vietnamese-Korean stand-up comic is the toast of the Arab world. He can tease Emiratis about the difference between the sexes, set up Jordanian mechanics and riff about Saudi driving habits, all in a region where few dare to challenge cultural stereotypes, much less poke fun at them. And he gets away with it. “Because I grew up in this part of the world, I know where the line is,” says the 34-year-old, who lives in Dubai. “I am not one of those comics who wants to say whatever I want and get into trouble. I am a working comic and I have goals to achieve. I need to draw the line just enough to make

58

JAN / FEB 2016

people laugh but not go across it so as to offend them.” Indeed, he does it with such panache and charisma that not only was he chosen to host a new travel TV show, Wonho Around the World, but is in talks to front a late night comedy chat show for a regional network, which will cast him as the Arabic David Letterman. He counts royalty among his fans and has performed before audiences of up to 15,000. Crowds of screaming teenage girls clamour around him in malls, where he is regularly mobbed, while he has captivated audiences from New York and Montreal to Saudi Arabia with his routine in Arabic. “It is amazing,” he says. “That feeling when you go up on stage and hear the applause, see people smiling and realise they took time from their Saturday night to buy tickets - it never goes away. It is an honour.” His fluency in a language not many non-Arabs speak gave him a passport to a world few are privy to. It was thanks to his South Korean father In-Sook, now 87, and his Vietnamese mother Thi-Thanh Phan, 67, that Chung became adept at mastering five languages, of which Arabic and English are his strongest. Born in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Chung moved to Jordan with his family when he was three months old. His father had switched from running a construction company to practising alternative medicine, which he had studied when he was growing up. Word spread quickly and Chung senior found himself hired first as the private doctor for the late Saudi ruler Khalid bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who died in 1982, then


PROFILE

Hussein bin Talal, the king of Jordan until his death in 1999. It was the Jordanian king who suggested to his doctor that he send his three children to an Arabic school. Chung says: “I was the only Korean in an Arabic boys’ school. The other 15 Korean families in Jordan sent their children to English and American schools. “My sisters and I were smart in using that to our advantage. We were fish out of water so we became extra-friendly and approached people all the time. It helped a lot. “I sometimes actually forgot I was Asian. I think of myself as Arabic.” Speaking a language their parents did not understand, he realised, gave him and his two older sisters the upper hand. Arabic is still the language the siblings use to communicate with one another. “It started when we wanted to have our little secrets without our parents knowing what we were talking about,” he says. Yet despite his unusual upbringing, it was by an extraordinary fluke that Chung was discovered in the first place. A natural comedian - his sister and manager Sencha, 42, says he was always pulling pranks as a child - Chung was in a shoe store in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, cracking jokes and teasing staff in Arabic to try to negotiate a discount. “I caused a little commotion with customers and sales people,” he says. “What I did not know was a big executive from a TV network was there at the same time. “That guy was putting together the first ever comedy standup show in the Middle East. The stars were aligned.” The Showtime Arabia executive returned to his office and regaled them with tales of Chung’s impromptu performance. The executive’s producer, a friend of Chung’s friend, realised who he was referring to and Chung suddenly found himself propelled

into the spotlight. He joined the Axis of Evil trio on tour in a show called Three Guys and Wonho. The televised first performance in Jordan in November 2007 became the most recorded programme in Showtime history. Chung’s initial three-minute skit was expanded by the end of the show - 30 days, 29 performances and five countries later - he was on stage for 20 minutes with fans calling his name and queuing for pictures. “That tour was the catalyst for the stand-up comedy movement in this part of the world,” he says. “It was terrifying but it felt great at the same time. Success came almost overnight. There were four months where my life changed very quickly.” Chung quit his job as a promotion producer for the broadcaster MBC and began touring with the troupe. Corporate and private bookings followed when a YouTube video posted online registered more than one million views. Chung now does a mixture of public shows in venues like Ductac in Dubai, where last year he performed in English for the first time and up to 10 private gigs per month. He has also been chosen to cover the red carpet at film festivals in Dubai and Doha and been a judge on Sama Dubai’s reality show Al Fursa. His screen career is taking off with Al Arabi TV hiring him for his latest show, which will see him travelling around Asia in its first season, while a future as the next Jay Leno beckons. “I have a vision of what I want my future to look like,” he says. “I want to be a talk show host like Ellen DeGeneres or Jimmy Fallon or Conan O’Brian and to act in a couple of films. “Every year has been a surprise. It has been like that for eight years and I do not know where the next years will take me.”

“I sometimes forget I am Asian. I think of myself as Arabic”

Vietnamese-Korean comic Wonho Chung is at home with Arabic audiences

2016 JAN / FEB

59


HOROLOGY

OLD-TIMER The chief executive of Audemars Piguet tells GC why his high-end brand will never make a smartwatch BY NATASHA TOURISH

rancois-Henry Bennahmias had been with the luxury Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet for 20 years before taking over as chief executive in 2013. During his first Basel fair in his current role nearly three years ago, the charismatic Frenchman promised “big things” and declared he “was working on it” when asked if a chronograph and grand complication would be in the company’s future. Bennahmias was in Dubai for the brand’s launch of the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer—a tribute to Michael Schumacher— and the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in yellow gold. This will have to appease fans of the brand for now, as Bennahmias says it will be 2017 before the brand strikes out again with significant new movements. When can we expect to see a chronograph and grand complication from Audemars Piguet? This year you will not see a lot of big changes. We already had some serious changes last year by launching the Laptimer, the women’s Millenary collection and the Perpetual Calendar. You will see some new things at the [Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie] fair this month but not that many. However, 2017 will be the year we strike again hard. Do you think that Audemars Piguet will ever become a trendsetter or pioneer again in the same way it was in 1971 by introducing the Royal Oak and then the Jumbo line, which repositioned the company?

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JAN / FEB 2016

Yes—I would say we were a little slow for several years but we are back and we are going to show a lot of novelties and new mechanisms, new ways of putting things together. We are going to show the real depth of the brand in the next five years. Tag Heuer just launched its Connected smartwatch. Do you see this technology as a threat to the Swiss watch industry in the same way the quartz crisis was in the 70s? It is a threat for the Swiss watch industry, yes. It is a new player in town but I do not see it as a threat to the high-end segment because we do not make millions of watches like Tag Heuer. Tag Heuer is a mass brand, not a high-end luxury watch company. As long as we keep our scarcity, exclusivity and keep assembling watches by hand there will always be people who love that part, but for the person who wants something digital, simple and wants to wear the same watch and the same shape as everyone else— that’s a completely different story. Would Audemars ever launch its own high-end version of the smartwatch? No, never. It is not our world. You have to be very careful when you touch that world because 1,000 people can do it better than us. This is not what we are made for and not what people are looking for when they buy our watches. We are going to surprise people in many other ways. I compare it to fast food and a Michelin star restaurant. You can eat at both and enjoy both but it is not the same purpose


HOROLOGY

at all. It is like asking a Michelin star chef whether he would ever consider going into fast food. We hear from other luxury retail brands that sales are down 20-30 per cent in Dubai and the downward trend is set to continue in 2016. Considering the UAE is your biggest market in the Middle East, how has this affected your overall business? We are plus 15 per cent worldwide. We are up in the Middle East big time. Just yesterday Ahmed Seddiqi was telling me he needs at least 200 or 300 more watches for next year and we will not be able to supply them. The Swiss watch industry has issues and sales are down. There are very few brands that are actually up but we are one of them. Audemars is one of the last remaining independent watchmakers but what does that mean? Freedom with a capital F. We can do whatever we want, whenever we want. We can slow down or accelerate or change things the way public companies cannot because they have to deliver growth on a constant basis. We can say, ‘let’s even reduce our business for two or three years’. That did not happen but it could. Being independent allows lots of freedom. However, it is also a weakness when trying to cope with the competition as well as expansion and innovation. How do you cope? We can move faster. Big corporations cannot make decisions quickly—there are too many processes to get decisions made, a lot of decisions that could be good ones do not see the light of day because it takes too much time or does not make sense

for a public company. The advantage for us is to react faster and move on quickly if we make a mistake. Let’s say we launched a watch and we did not make money from it—I can stop it in two seconds. You will not know the watch has left the collection. It will affect our bottom line a little bit but we can move on. When a public company makes a big launch and then fails, that is a different story. How do you compete with multi-brand companies which invest large sums in marketing and donate watches for charity auctions when you cannot? There are no miracles in our industry. Look at the whole cost of labour in any company manufacturing its own mechanisms. There is a ratio and that ratio is, on a good day, between 19 to 21 per cent of your net sales. Marketing is usually in the 10 per cent range. Some competitive brands will spend 20 per cent on marketing, which means taking 10 per cent away from somewhere else and it might be labour. The only reason they spend so much money on marketing is because they are not spending it elsewhere. What is your priority right now for Audemars to ensure growth? Is it focusing on renovating your shops like in Dubai Mall or launching one showpiece per year? It is a bit of everything—product marketing, customer relationship and retailer relationship is important. It is how we market the brand on any given day, whether it is at Art Basel, golf or tennis or hosting a dinner for 20 people in our store for the launch of the Perpetual Calendar. You have to be good at everything.

“As long as we keep our scarcity, exclusivity and keep assembling watches by hand there will always be people who love that part” 2016 JAN / FEB

61


GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

A NATURAL INVESTMENT Its tropical surroundings have made it a hotspot for the jetset. Now Saint Lucia’s new citizenship investment programme means foreigners can own their own slice of paradise he lush Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is the latest country to join the global industry of offering foreign investors the opportunity to own a stake in the island and receive citizenship in return. Saint Lucia has long been associated with luxury, thanks to its exclusive hotels, white sandy beaches and bath-warm waters, which attract celebrities and the wealthy every year. But the real beauty of this volcanic island is its nature, which sprawls for miles all around. From hot springs, tropical rainforests, clear ocean waters and of course, its dramatic Piton mountain region in the south—a Unesco world heritage site— there is no place like it. When it comes to catering for its high net worth clientele, there are no shortage of innovative ideas on the island, such as historic estates combining tourism with farming to offer guests authentic experiences including farm-to-fork menus in their restaurants. Meanwhile luxury hotels provide au natural spa experiences in the heart of the jungle.

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JAN / FEB 2016

A surge in foreign investments expected to flow into the island nation in the coming months as a result of the country’s new citizenship investment programme (CIP) would add to the island’s luxury developments and ecological offering. Until recently, Saint Lucia’s citizenship had not been used to generate income, even though it has been part of the Commonwealth since the British secured the island in 1814. But the effects of globalisation and a decline in economic growth has forced the country’s prime minister Kenny Anthony to think beyond the “traditional approaches” to attract foreign investment. Speaking at the launch event for Saint Lucia’s CIP at the Global Citizen Forum in Monaco late last year, Anthony addressed the lack of opportunities in his country for the younger generation, saying: “I would not be surprised to see statistics that show there are more Saint Lucians living outside Saint Lucia than on the island.” He also spoke about the “immense difficulty and challenge


GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

ARTON MATRIX ARTON MATRIX TABLE FOR CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES

TABLE FOR CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES

GLOBAL CITIZEN | CARIBBEAN PROGRAMS

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

DOMINICA

CIT

CIT

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

GLOBAL CITIZEN | CARIBBEAN PROGRAMS CURRENCY

PERSONAL NET WORTH REQUIREMENT CURRENCY

USD ($) -

USD ($)

CIT USD- ($)

INVESTMENTNET AMOUNT PERSONAL WORTH REQUIREMENT

250K 200K (LTO) -

ASSET(S)

RE / DONATION 250K BUSINESS

INVESTMENT AMOUNT INV.GUARANTEES FINANCING OPTION

NO

ASSET(S)

INV.GUARANTEES GOVERNMENT FEES

FINANCING OPTION

NO

DONATION

170K 120K (LTO)

NO

GOVERNMENT FEES TIME TO RESIDENCE

170K 120K -(LTO)

TIME TO RESIDENCE INTERVIEW REQUIRED PHYSICAL RES. FOR CIT. RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR DEPENDENTS TOTAL TIME TO CITIZENSHIP (INCL. VISA)

INTERVIEW

FAST TRACK TO CITIZENSHIP

REQUIRED PHYSICAL RES. FOR CIT. ARTON INDEX SCORE

FAST TRACK TO CITIZENSHIP

DONATION

RE

DONATION

RE/SHARES

DONATION

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

-

40K

-

-

NO

NO

NO

47K -

WITH APPLICANT

NO

-

3-4 MONTHS

3-4 MONTHS

-

NO NO

-

5 DAYS / 5 YEARS FOR CITIZENS

69

NO NO

74 3-4 MONTHS

122

40K

2-3 MONTHS

WITH NO APPLICANT

NO

3-4 MONTHS

-

NO NO

3-4 MONTHS

-

-

NO

-

NO

13K

4-6 MONTHS

122

108

138K-

NO

NO / YES (BOND)

18K

153K

-

40K

-

NO

-

-

NO

-

4-6 MONTHS

NO

NO

-

NO

70 4-6 MONTHS

4-6 MONTHS

3-4 MONTHS

122

-

115

119

-

ARTONCAPITAL.COM

64

70

122

119

This is not a legal document and is provided for information purposes only. Visa-free travel count is an estimate. Cost estimates are for a family of 4 (MA+SP+2DEPs aged 12-17). Arton Capital is not responsible for any content or information illustrated in this document as market conditions are subject to change without prior notice. 2016-01

Dr Kenny Anthony, prime minister of Saint Lucia, discussing the benefits of a Citizenship by Investment programme (CIP) at the Global Citizen Forum in Monaco

NO / YES (BOND)

40K

NO

-

This is not a legal document and is provided for information purposes only. Visa-free travel count is an estimate. Cost estimates are for a family of 4 (MA+SP+2DEPs aged 12-17). 69 conditions are subject to change without 74 prior notice. 2016-01 73 Arton Capital INDEX is not responsible for any content or information illustrated in this document as market ARTON SCORE

VISA-FREE TRAVEL

NO

40K

64

115

-

NO

NO

-

NO

73

108

-

15K

RE / BOND PROJECT IN

DONATION

153K

18K

40K

2-3 149K MONTHS

NO 5 DAYS / 5 YEARS FOR CITIZENS -

NO

40K

40K

NO

138K

300K / 550 3.5M

NO / YES (BOND) NO / YES (BOND)

NO

NO

13K

3M

RE / BOND / PROJECT INV. 250K

RE/SHARES

NO

NO

15K

USD ($)

300K / 550K / 3.5M

-

400K

DONATION

NO

NO

47K

34K

NO

RE

NO

NO

149K

300K

350K

DONATION

NO

NO

170K

200K

RE

40K

-

TOTAL TIME TO CITIZENSHIP (INCL. VISA) VISA-FREE TRAVEL

RE

200K

CIT

3M

USD ($) 250K

NO

NO

40K

-

400K-

NO

34K

USD ($) -

SAINT LUCIA

USD ($)

CIT

300K-

DONATION

NO

170K

CIT

350K -

200K

NO

NO

PROFESSIONAL FEES

PROFESSIONAL FEES RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR DEPENDENTS

RE / BUSINESS

NO

CIT

USD ($)

PR/CIT -

SAINT LUCIA

ST.KITTS & NEVIS

200K -

- 200K

NO

CIT

GRENADA

-

USD ($)

400KDONATION / 1.5M

ST.KITTS & NEVIS CIT

USD ($)

-

- 200K

PR/CIT

CIT

-

400K / 1.5M

200K (LTO) NO

GRENADA

DOMINICA

ARTONCAPITAL.COM

Wyclef Jean performing at the Saint Lucia CIP launch in Monaco

2016 JAN / FEB

63


GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

ARTON INDEX ARTON INDEX

ST.KITTS & NEVIS

ARTON INDEX ARTON INDEX COST COST

30 30

SPEED SPEED

QUALITY OF LIFE

QUALITY OF LIFE

SIMPLICITY

SIMPLICITY

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 69

SAINT LUCIA

64

69

70

20

11 10 20

6

20

20

20

16

16

GRENADA 73

20

16

20

DOMINICA 74

20

20

17 20

11

6

74

20

11

5

DOMINICA

17

20

11

5

73

16

11

7

GRENADA

20

12

7

14

20

12

6

70

14

20

11

20

14

14

12

20 10

15 12

20

GLOBAL MOBITLITY GLOBAL MOBITLITY

SAINT LUCIA

ST.KITTS & NEVIS 64

15

20

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

11 11

6 20

6 20

6 20

TheArton ArtonIndex Index is the industry’s first comparative tool,analyses which analyses and compares benefits of individual global citizenship programs. The is the industry’s first comparative tool, which and compares the benefitsthe of individual global citizenship programs.

to provide civilised standards of living” for Saint Lucians. While the prime minister says the decision to offer a citizenship programme to foreigners in return for investment was an “arduous” one, he outlined his confidence in the scheme, saying it would lead “to national prosperity”. The Saint Lucian government has been desperately trying to increase the country’s economic growth since it introduced value added tax (VAT) of 15 per cent in 2012, the last country in the eastern Caribbean to do so. A year later the government introduced a national competitiveness and productivity council to address Saint Lucia’s high public wages and lack of productivity. Its latest attempt might prove the most fruitful. The CIP would offer wealthy foreign investors the chance to invest a minimum of $300,000 in property initiatives on the island or make a donation of $250,000 to a government fund, in return for citizenship without having to live on the island. The Saint Lucian passport allows holders to travel visa-free throughout Europe and the UK. While Anthony admits he would never seek out a second citizenship himself, he says he understands “the demand for a second or even multiple citizenships is now a permanent feature of our world.” He adds: “Offering citizenship through investment has now become a viable alternative. The data and statistics are there to prove its effectiveness as a tool.” To differentiate the programme from its Caribbean competitors such as St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, Anthony said the government would limit the

64

JAN / FEB 2016

number of applicants to 500 per year and would require investors to have a personal net worth of at least US$3 million. Saint Lucia is already more competitive than its Caribbean counterparts, according to Dr Ernest Hilaire, the chairman of the Citizenship by Investment board for Saint Lucia, who says the introduction of the CIP would only improve its edge. He says: “The citizenship by investment option has become quite attractive as it makes the financing of projects easier and cheaper for investors and provides that added incentive of a passport.” Anthony says the new CIP would help the government attract loans to fund the construction of roads and schools and provide healthcare services, including the opening of two state-ofthe-art hospitals, as well as catering for the young and sports industries. “The cost of government borrowing is becoming unbearable,” he says. “A successful CIP will assist tremendously in this regard. “The attraction of more developers in the hospitality and property sector will immediately create more jobs for our unemployed. Increasing our hotel stock will strengthen our tourism sector and have multiple spin-offs for the economy.” Arton Capital, a global advisory firm for immigrant investment programmes, helped the Saint Lucia government in sructuring the new programme and is the exclusive agent for the MENA region to offer the country’s CIP. Arton Capital have been receiving applications from the beginning of this year (Jan 1st). For more information go to artoncapital.com


GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

EXPERIENCE CITIZENSHIP LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

By appointment to the Government of Saint Lucia Arton Capital is the exclusive Marketing Agent in the Middle East and North Africa. Consult your migration advisor, or visit us at artoncapital.com. Become a Global Citizen速

CIPSAINTLUCIA.COM

EMPOWERING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP速 2016 JAN / FEB 65


LIFESTYLE

EHANG 184 The Ehang 184 isn’t your typical GoPro touting drone that spends most of its time navigating its way out of trees. The Chinese company has built the world’s first passenger-ready drone or PFV (personal flying vehicle), equipped with a total of eight rotors and capable of 142 horsepower. Ehang’s CEO said he wanted to create ‘the safest mode of transport at low-altitude flying’ for people even without a pilot’s licence. Passengers would simply slide into the drone, turn it on, tap their destination on the 12-inch tablet display and take off up to 11,000 feet while cruising at 62 miles per hour.

All prices approximate

Available later this year, priced between $200,000-$300,000

66

JAN / FEB 2016


GADGETS

VERTU SIGNATURE TOUCH FOR BENTLEY The third edition of Vertu’s Signature Touch for Bentley comes in two-tone Beluga and Hotspur Bentley leather, with Hotspur stitching topped off with a 3D Bentley logo. Vertu will also offer a “Made to Order” option to consumers, which will allow personalisation with the choice of eight leather colours and 16 stitching options. Vertu claims that the handset features its “most vibrant display ever” and also sports Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound. Additionally, the handset packs a Lost Phone service, which allows owners to remotely lock and wipe the phone if lost or stolen.

Starting from $15,000

PORSCHE DESIGN 911 SOUNDBAR Porsche Design studios have up cycled their 911 GT3 exhausts to create one-off sound bars that have been developed for people for whom the sound of a high-performance sports car is not enough. The speaker outputs 200 watts using DTS TruSurround and uses Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio transmission from a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer.

Available from March 2016, $3,169

FUJIFILM X-PRO2 The wait is finally over, Fujifilm has designed a premium camera with the X-Pro2 and it’s reasonably priced in comparison to its competitors. The X-Pro2 features an updated hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder, you can overlay a live view screen at the bottom corner of the optical view to confirm focus and exposure, and this time you can see the whole frame as well as just a zoomed-in portion. Externally, the biggest change from the X-Pro1 is a small joystick that can be used to easily select focus points and it has a diopter adjustment dial to help bring the viewfinder into clear focus.

$1,699.95

2016 JAN / FEB

65


AUTO

ITALIAN LEGEND

GC puts a rare 30-year-old Ferrari 288 GTO—once the fastest supercar in the world—to the test on the streets of London BY PHILL TROMANS

n the 1980s, Group B rally cars were motorsports rock stars, spitting fire and horsepower around the world. It was the era of homologation specials – ludicrously powerful road cars built by manufacturers to satisfy rulings that competition vehicles must have some foot in reality. Ferrari wanted a piece of the madness and when a Group B circuit racing series was announced, it built a road car on which a motorsport icon could be created. The 308 GTB was beefed up,

The 30-year-old Ferrari 288 is for sale at $3.5 million

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JAN / FEB 2016

given a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and renamed the 288 GTO. But only Porsche and Ferrari signed up and the lack of manufacturer interest led to the circuit series being canned. The racing 288 GTO never came to fruition but 272 road cars were completed for public consumption. Today they stand with the brand’s icons. This particular 1985 car is up for sale—or rather, it was at the time of writing. Good examples tend to sell quickly and for big money and this one was


AUTO

offered by the London dealer HR Owen with a guide price of $3.5 million. Originally sold in Milan, it has been restored inside and out in Ferrari’s hometown of Maranello and authenticated by Ferrari’s Classiche division as being of original specification. Driving a 30-year-old car for the first time in central London is daunting at the best of times. When it is an exotic Italian supercar worth several million dollars, it is terrifying. I squeeze into the left-hand seat and thank my stars I’m not taller – at 6ft, my head is wedged into the newly refurbished headlining. The pedals are offset to the right, which requires some hip-shimmying to settle into a comfortable position. The 288 sports a dog-leg gearbox, which means first is down and left. It engages with a classic rifle bolt click of stick on metal gate and I meekly indicate, hoping the traffic will let me out. Luckily, a black cab waves me on. I promptly stall the car, having erroneously expected a very stiff clutch. A prod of the starter button fires up the 2.9-litre V8 behind me once again and we’re away. The cabbie’s generosity proves an omen for the reaction one gets driving a 288 GTO in London – universally appreciative. Unlike a poster car such as the F40 or Enzo, the 288 GTO is relatively understated. But those that know what they are looking at hang back in traffic. Out come the camera phones

and admiring comments filter through the open window. I’m still terrified of dinking the flawless paintwork but as we find traffic-free sections of road I pluck up the courage to open the throttle. The surprising sedateness of the car’s lower revs disappears when the twin turbos whoosh, sending 400 horsepower to the chunky rear tyres. The exhausts sound a fanfare and the acceleration pushes me back into the new black leather. The power might seem mediocre by modern standards but the GTO weighs just 1,160kg and from 1984 to 1987 was the fastest supercar in the world. It was, and still is, a very rapid machine. Unlike modern cars, the 288 has beefy, heavy steering and textured feedback pours into the cabin through the wheel, the seats and the air whistling around my ears. It is a tactile, exhilarating experience but not as daunting and difficult as expected. At slow speeds, it is well behaved and comfortable, save for the shoulder strength needed to heft the wheel around. All too quickly, I am instructed to take the GTO back to the showroom – thankfully, in exactly the shape in which I found it. Despite the limited time with the car, I leave with a big smile on my face. To drive a machine like this is a privilege few will experience, unless they have a few million dollars to spare.

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TOP DOWN

The 88ft Florida features a technologically advanced convertible top

fter its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival and its American debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Riva presented the 88ft Florida to the Middle East in the Abu Dhabi Formula One race in November last year. An open yacht and a coupe, the yacht’s innovative convertible top patented technology uses mechanics derived from the automotive industry. The light grey metallic shade enhances the yacht’s slender lines and is in pleasant contrast to its black details. A distinctive hull profile is down to continuous glazing featuring a stainless steel plate that bears the Riva logo in the middle. The large windshield and steel roll bar complete this new yacht’s design. The convertible top system was designed by Riva’s parent company, the Ferretti Group and is used for the first time on the Florida. When activated, two concealed electro-hydraulic arms pop out of the sides of the deckhouse, take hold of the roof panel and

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pivot it forward to reveal the cockpit lounge and dining area to the open skies. The roof panel then nests neatly in the deckhouse. The convertible top mechanism allows the yacht to quickly transform from coupe to convertible and back again. When in coupe mode, the side openings between the roof and windscreen can be closed off with a set of transparent panels. When the boat is moored, the convertible top offers a third option, serving as a 129sq ft bimini top over the dining area on the foredeck. The boat is designed to accommodate up to 20 people on board with four guest cabins, including a full beam master suite, four bathrooms, an interior living area, a galley, a dining area and crew quarters. The interior uses elm wood treated with a peach skin finish that provides a soft, fabric-like touch. Other elements adding to the interior aesthetic include leather, stainless steel, LED ceiling lights and lacquered surfaces.


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DESIGN

Arc Table, Molteni & C, $8,669, Finasi

CEMENTED IN STYLE Concrete finds its way inside the home to make a solid statement

Concrete planters, Dwell the Space, $50-100, www.dwellthespace.com

Concrete and metalwork calligraphy stools, Iyad Naja, $4,791 each, O’de Rose

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DESIGN

Stitching concrete stool, Florian Schmid, $852

Falt lamp, Tim Mackerodt, $1,000, www.timmackerodt.de

Falt stool, Tim Mackerodt, $1,100 each, www.timmackerodt.de

Concrete LC2 chair, Stefan Zwicky, $40,000, www.stefanzwicky.ch

Concrete planters, Dwell the Space, $50-100, www.dwellthespace.com 2016 JAN / FEB

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ART

THE QUEEN OF MIDDLE EASTERN ART

After three decades of supporting Middle Eastern artists abroad, Iranian gallerist Leila Heller has opened her eponymous gallery in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue As one of the first people who promoted Iranian art in the Western world, how do you think the landscape for Middle Eastern art has changed since you opened your New York gallery in 1982? At the time we opened in 1982, there was almost no interest in contemporary Iranian art and many of my shows went unsold. Several factors led to the ever increasing interest in Iranian contemporary art that we see now, including the arrival of the internet, the opening of Christie’s Middle East office, several museums beginning to include major Iranian contemporary artists in their shows and collections and major collectors leading the way through their collecting. What was it like in the early days with such a tense relationship between Iran and the US? Did you mostly sell to Iranian expats or were there others who were also interested? In the early days, most collectors who were buying Iranian contemporary art were expats who were supporting these artists, oil companies and art advisors and designers buying for hotels and companies in the Middle East.

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With the lifting of economic sanctions in Iran, how do you think demand for the country’s art will change? I am sure the economic sanctions have hurt many artists in Iran and have also encouraged many artists to move to the US, Europe and other countries in the Middle East to have more artistic and personal freedom. I think lifting the sanctions will have a positive effect in terms of bringing greater attention to Iranian artists and museums. As travel and commerce will be much easier, there will be so much more [art] accessible to galleries and museums. Which famous artists have you worked closely with? Who would credit you with helping foster their careers? I have worked with many artists whose careers I feel I made an impact on personally. One such artist is Hadieh Shafie, whose work we placed in more than 15 museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) in California, among others. Another artist whose career I feel I have helped is the estate of


ART

All works by Zaha Hadid Farideh Lashai, who was well known in her lifetime but her art continues to be appreciated. We have helped bring her work to more museums including LACMA, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the British Museum, to just name a few. [There is also] a retrospective of Lashai’s work at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by world renowned curator Germano Celant, which will be on view until February 26. What prompted the decision to open a gallery in Dubai? I have been travelling to the region for the last 10 years to attend both Abu Dhabi Art and Art Dubai and have developed a great client base in the region. Dubai has become a major arts hub, connecting Asia, southeast Asia and Europe and the rest of the West. Many major museums, institutions and foundations are being established there in the near future as well, which will add to the city’s importance as an arts centre. We are located in Alserkal

Avenue as there are so many great established galleries and more to open. I love the dynamic atmosphere with so many galleries, artist and design studios. How does the Dubai collection differ from the New York one? In New York we represent an international group of artists, with a niche focus on artists from the Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey and southeast Asia. In Dubai, we are focusing mostly on artists who have already had major museum shows and are already in top collections around the world. Currently we are showing sideby-side solo exhibitions of Ghada Amer and Wim Delvoye. Our future shows this year include Zaha Hadid, YZ Kami, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Afruz Amigi and Ross Bleckner. Leila Heller Gallery, I-87, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai +971 56 831 3520

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DINING

A TASTE ALLIANCE

Allies politically and culturally, France, Britain and the US now enjoy another common denominator—good taste

BISTRO BAGATELLE Dubai is no stranger to decadent brunches and the latest brunch hotspot arrives on these shores from the party capitals of New York, St Tropez and Los Angeles. Within elegant environs, the restaurant boasts coffered ceilings and art nouveau details. The brasserie menu is all well-executed and includes extravagant dishes such as a whole chicken roasted with truffles and lobster

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pizza. However, don’t be fooled by this gentility. The real reason to go is to observe the gorgeous, tanned patrons, dancing to booming music while indulging in the ever-flowing rose. Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Rd, +971 4 354 5035


DINING

BISTRO DES ARTS With its cleverly situated entrance just off Marina Promenade but still attached to the Address Dubai Marina hotel, this charming neighbourhood joint lends a sense of community—a place to relax with friends away from the opulence of most Dubai hotel restaurants. The food is classic French bistro fare. The beef tartare, made from hand-cut filet mignon, is served with crispy pomme frites. The tagliatelle made with truffle and foie gras is perhaps a nod to the Dubai clientele and their high-end tastes. Save room for the kouign-amman, a Breton speciality which translates as butter cake. It is a miraculous transformation of butter, sugar and flour into flaky pastry glazed with a glassy caramel crunch. The Address Dubai Marina Hotel, +971 4 551 1576

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DINING

THE HIDE The newest restaurant to grace Jumeirah’s Al Qasr hotel is refreshingly low-key. The Hide’s exposed brick walls, dark wooden tables and comfy red leather booths are typical of an authentic American steak restaurant. The menu is also novel in comparison to other upmarket steak houses, championing forgotten cuts such as flat iron, hanger and flank steak. For discerning carnivores, The Hide’s premium super-dry aged beef, sourced from mountains in Spain, is a real treat. While the

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beef is not as juicy as other cuts, its depth of flavour is far superior with sweet and savoury notes and a hint of bitterness. The sides also cater to the most sophisticated of palates, with truffle-honeyed carrots, confit duck onion rings and Idaho skin on fries with a smoky sea salt. If you are feeling really indulgent, try the pulled beef short rib potatoes, which are laden with cream and oozing with cheesy goodness. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah +971 4 432 3232


DINING

RHODES W1 Gary Rhodes’ latest addition to the Dubai dining scene is delightfully kitsch and all the better for it. The decor of his restaurant, which replaces the rather more formal Mezzanine, could have been borrowed from the Mad Hatter’s tea party with a cascading chandelier of glass butterflies and teapots in birdcages on the bar. Wittily named cocktails are delicious, the service impeccable and the sommelier a font of knowledge. Dining is smart casual and spills onto a pretty terrace with an eyecatching lit-up bar at one end. The menu, with a smattering of Mediterranean flavours, features

unstuffy Rhodes staples like shepherd’s pie, tender, richly flavoured braised lamb shank and chicken Kiev, served in balti-style bowls. The starters, or small plates, are excellent. Creamy potato salad is given texture with quails’ eggs and fresh peas. A generous portion of scallops are given a zingy freshness with a citrus dressing. The steak main is beautifully glazed and perfectly finished off with a tantalisingly sweet raspberry souffle. Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, +971 4 317 6000

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HOTELS

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HOTELS

WINTER WONDERLAND These luxury ski chalets are sure to please seasoned skiers and ski bunnies alike

CHALET N OBERLECH, AUSTRIA This gorgeous chalet is the most expensive in the world but you won’t see that in any of its marketing material. This location specialises in discretion and catering to a high-end clientele, who like to keep a low profile. Situated at 1,660m in Oberlech, above the glamorous resort of Lech with incredible views of the world famous Arlberg Massif hotel, the 10-suite abode features a sitting room complete with

bar, mountain view dining room, fondue room, wine tasting cellar, cinema, a gargantuan spa and an ice bar. The main draw of Chalet N is the impeccable service and a staff team of 35, chosen from 600 applicants, is on hand to ensure each guest’s stay is flawless from start to finish. From $275,000 per week in mid-season, www.chalet-n.com

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HOTELS

CHALET EAGLE’S NEST VAL D’ISERE, FRANCE This chalet, nestled in a quiet Alpine farming village of Val D’Isere, is popular among rock stars and royalty. One thing that distinguishes Eagle’s Nest is its authenticity. Constructed from antique timbers, every piece of furniture and every painting has been carefully selected for its Alpine heritage. Spread over four floors, the spacious living room is ideal for large groups and has vaulted ceilings, ample sofa space, a log fireplace and large sunny balconies. A separate mezzanine with flat screen and games consoles is perfect for a quiet day inside. Soak up the breathtaking views and a crackling log fire while dining on gourmet fare prepared by a private chef. From $3,350 per week, www.scottdunn.com

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HOTELS

CHETZERON CRANS-MONTANA, SWITZERLAND Chetzeron is so high up Crans-Montana in southwestern Switzerland, you can be sure you’re away from the crowds. A former gondola station and restaurant, the hotel can only be accessed by ski, on foot or snowmobile. At 2,112m above sea level, the 16 rooms and suites have panoramic views of the Rhone Valley and majestic Alpine peaks, from Matterhorn to Mont Blanc.

There are plenty of spots to take in the views with three levels of terraces furnished with hammocks and sun loungers, an outdoor pool, private and public bars and an Alpine restaurant serving local and seasonal cuisine, along with regional Valais wines. From $450 per night, www.chetzeron.ch

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FASHION

A SWIMMING SUCCESS

Roland Herlory, chief executive of luxury swimwear brand Vilebrequin, talks about the ebb and flow of his career BY NAUSHEEN NOOR

he chief executive of the luxury swimwear firm Vilebrequin is tanned, smiling, relaxed and dressed in chinos and a printed shirt—not what you would expect someone in his role to be wearing. But then again, Roland Herlory is not a typical, ruthlessly competitive CEO. After 20 years at the luxury goods company Hermes, Herlory decided to take a step back from his senior position scouting for ideal sites around the world for the relatively low-key role of a store manager at the branch in St Barthelemy island, better known as St Barts, in the Caribbean. “I love working and I love breaks. I needed to regenerate my desire and my mind,” says the Frenchman. “I love the excitement of action and power of moving things—but I do not like dependence.” Herlory has taken these breaks frequently in his career, taking

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time to reflect and recharge before re-entering the workforce at full speed. He credits this methodology to his career’s longevity and success. “I took the time to recover, to get grounded. The desire to go back to simple things was stronger than career status. “I did fear losing career traction but the fear was not strong enough to change it. Those breaks were some of the best decisions of my life. “When you follow your intuition and your inner voice, when you go back you’ll be stronger.” During his time in St Barts, Herlory, who is naturally easygoing and congenial, excelled at sales. Legend has it one woman’s American husband demanded to “meet that guy who’s selling so much to my wife.”


XXXX

That man was Morris Goldfarb, chairman of G-III Apparel Group, the licence holder for a string of fashion brands such as Levi’s, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. When Goldfarb added the French brand Vilebrequin, which counts Prince William and Jay-Z among its fans, to his portfolio in 2012, he asked Herlory to head the company. Herlory was reluctant to jump back into the rat race so he negotiated a dream deal – to run the brand and its outlets from Miami to Shanghai remotely from St Barts. Vilebrequin was founded in 1971 by the motor racing journalist Fred Prysquel, who named his company after an engine crankshaft. “The decision to start the brand was motivated by love,” says Herlory, adding Prysquel was attracted to a woman but did not have the body for Speedos, the trend at the time, so decided to design something himself. Influenced by California surfers, he created a longer swim short using colourful spinnaker fabric. The shorts were an instant hit in St Tropez. “I love the idea that he started the shorts just to impress a lady, not to start a business—but it became a business,” says Herlory.

Prysquel eventually got his happy ending and married the woman he was pursuing. Since Herlory joined the brand three years ago, he has embarked on a strategic initiative to turn the company into more of a lifestyle brand, adding a women’s collection and accessories such as sunglasses, bags and shoes. “Today when we make a product, we think, ‘are we being authentic to St Tropez in the 1970s? Do we have the touch of craziness, French elegance and a bit of fantasy and freedom?’” says Helory. He often references Brigitte Bardot and her friends in the film And God Created Woman when speaking about the brand and its colourful prints. Today the Middle East accounts for 10 per cent of global sales, with branches in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. “It is summer all year long and there is a steady flow of tourists coming to enjoy the sun, the warm climate, the beach and the pool,” says Herlory. “We are a logical choice for these people.”

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GROOMING

A CUT ABOVE

London’s most exclusive male grooming spot has opened in Abu Dhabi, offering the ultimate masculine retreat in the Emirates Palace

hile most men do not like to admit it, getting pampered is as precious to them as a morning on the golf course or 90 minutes in front of the TV watching football. But a quick trim and a head massage no longer cuts it. Today’s gents want a holistic experience—or escape, as some like to call it—according to Tony Habib, head barber at Gentleman’s Tonic in the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. The VIP private members’ male grooming spa has taken the gentlemen’s club concept to another level, providing a sanctuary for men within the opulent surroundings of the hotel. For the lucky few who become members of the salon, there are perks including treatments, a personalised shaving kit, a locker

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engraved with their name and a smoke in the hotel’s cigar bar. Exclusivity is the hallmark of the British barber shop, which has served the needs of discerning men in London’s Mayfair for the past decade, with room for just two customers in its leather-clad chairs at any one time. A close shave means exactly that. The signature Gentleman’s Tonic shave involves four shaves, two up and two down, in a bid to get the smoothest cut, with products made from natural plantderived ingredients like babassu and bergamot. For more information on six or 12 month membership packages contact Gentleman’s Tonic on +971 2 690 7978 or email spa@emiratespalace.ae


FRAGRANCE

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SPICE UP YOUR LIFE Heat up this winter with spicy fragrances 1: Ne’emah Soul

The perfect fragrance to keep you warm this winter, Ne’emah Soul is full of life with fresh zesty notes of lemon and mandarin followed by a bold kick of Vetyver wood and crisp peppercorn. 100ml $105

2: Cartier Oud Radieux

This scent evokes traditional oud, in a perfume with fresh and spicy notes, in radiant abundance. Oud wood is illuminated with ginger, tempered with natural Sichuan pepper, which has been used by Cartier for the first time. 75ml POA

3: Diptyque Essences Insensees

Jasmine picked in autumn at the very end of the season, when it has a fruity, almost candied quality, is the inspiration for this limited edition fragrance, bottled by Waltersperger and using amber glass tinted in the ground so no two bottles are the same. 75ml $145

4: Molton Brown’s Tobacco Absolute Collection

The British fragrance expert has introduced its new tobacco men’s collection. The eau de toilette is defined by a warm combination of woods, Paraguayan tobacco, balsam and musk, all lifted by a hint of citrus. 50ml $67

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HANDMADE

STRIKING

GOLD

Artist Aleksandr Miroshnikov has been honoured in his native Ukraine for creating figurines from precious metals

n his youth, Ukrainian artist Aleksandr Miroshnikov lived and worked in Siberia for eight years. It is there that he fell in love with Siberian stones and learned the delicate craft of honing them to highlight their natural beauty. Those early influences shaped Miroshnikov into the artist he is today creating microminiature figurines with precious metals and stones, a painstaking practice that required immense patience and skill. Many have likened his work to that of the masters of the House of Faberge, the Russian jewellery company famous for elaborate jewelencrusted eggs created for the Russian tsars. What distinguishes his work is that he is the first, and perhaps the only, Ukrainian jeweller and stonecutter who uses precious and semiprecious stones, just as the masters of the Faberge style used to do. He is also among the few that work with platinum and titanium, complex metals that are difficult to manipulate for even the most experienced craftsman.

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HANDMADE

Miroshnikov says nature and its surroundings inspire him. In addition to being highly coveted by international collectors, his work has earned him numerous accolades. In 2014 an exhibition of his work was on display at the National Folk Decorative Art Museum in Kiev, Ukraine. He has been granted the status of a cavalier of the highest order from the Carl Faberge Memorial Foundation. In December last year, he was given the title of honoured artist by the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko. Miroshnikov’s work is available only through private collections. For enquiries call +43 680 312 3453

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TRAVEL

MAGICAL MOROCCO

Mountains, beaches, deserts and ancient cities – Morocco has it all and remains one of the most enchanting destinations in north Africa

Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

BY OLIVER ROBINSON

orocco’s most famous literary son, the novelist Tahar Ben Jelloun, once described his home country as the only place on earth where you could see the Atlantic and Mediterranean at the same time. Other than being a useful fact to remember for pub quizzes, Jelloun’s observation underlines Morocco’s appeal. It is a place where oceans, landmass and cultures collide. As political uncertainty swirls around much of the north African region, Morocco remains a beacon of stability. This fact has not been lost on travellers. In 2014 more than 10 million people visited the country, with tourism accounting for 8.1 per cent of the national GDP, a figure that rose by 3.7 per cent last year. It is easy to see why: Morocco’s cities are endowed with an ever-growing number of high-end resorts and boutique hotels while travelling around the country is no longer the logistical headache it used to be. Hitherto hard-to-reach places – from stunning Sahara scenery to beautiful beaches and snow-capped mountain ranges – are now easily accessible, thanks to good roads and plenty of well-organised tour companies. The majority of visitors to Morocco arrive in Marrakech. This old imperial city, dating back to the Berber empire, is in many ways a microcosm of the country as a whole, a cacophony of colour and culture. Marrakech is an assault on the senses. Its smells, sounds and sights combine to create an unforgettable experience. But the hubbub of Marrakech is not to everyone’s liking – a

stroll through the central square Djemma el Fna means running the gauntlet of over-enthusiastic street vendors. An increasing number of travellers are choosing to forego the Red City, instead using it as a launch pad to travel to calmer, cooler destinations. These include the fishing town of Essaouira (arguably one of the most exciting towns in Morocco) or Mirleft, which attracts everyone from sun-kissed surfers to artists to the country’s cosmopolitan elite. More adventurous travellers might instead prefer to venture to the traditional Berber town of Imouzzer, which is nestled amid the Atlas mountains. The old settlement is famous for its handicrafts, such as Berber jewellery, as well as a stunning waterfall. Cities aside, much of Morocco’s charm lies in its abundant treasure trove of astounding natural beauty. The snow-capped Jebel Toubkal mountain, the highest peak in the High Atlas mountain range, is a hugely popular hiking destination and home to Africa’s highest ski resort. At the opposite end of the topographical spectrum are the striking dunes of the Sahara, which can be explored by camel or 4x4. The desert settlements of Merzouga and M’Hamid provide intrepid travellers with respite from Morocco’s many busy cities, while on the coast, Legzira, just outside Sidi Ifni, is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in the world. It is these otherworldly landscapes, combined with Morocco’s chaotic yet charming cities, that make the country such a unique travel destination.

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TRAVEL

WHERE TO GO

ESSAOUIRA

TANGIER

CASABLANCA

AGADIR

In its heyday in the 1920s, Tangier was referred to with the same reverence as Paris or New York but the city fell into disarray for much of the 20th century. It is now enjoying something of a resurgence. The heart of the city has benefitted from painstaking renovations and many of the old colonial buildings, most of which house restaurants and hotels, have been restored to their former glory.

Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

This seaside town is notable for its busy fishing port, Frenchdesigned fortifications, wooden handicrafts, wonderful medina and its gusty coastal winds. The latter trait ensures the town is not overrun by package holiday sunseekers. Instead, Essaouira attracts local tourists and older, more cultured Europeans.

Anyone in search of the Casablanca depicted in the Humphrey Bogart film of the same name should think again. While the city might have once been a place of intrigue and romance, it grew into a sprawling metropolis that many travellers avoid in favour of more accessible destinations elsewhere in the country. However, the fact Casablanca is Morocco’s cultural and economic capital means it boasts the best in high-end hotels, restaurants, galleries and other cosmopolitan pastimes.

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Located at the foot of the Atlas mountains, Agadir was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in the 1960s. The city’s modern feel is far removed from the bustling ancient cities synonymous with the typical Morocco travel experience. This might not be to everyone’s liking but Agadir is geared toward anyone who wants a good time. Its beaches are packed, its restaurants plentiful and its nightlife scene a veritable hotbed of fun.


TRAVEL

WHERE TO STAY

ROYAL MANSOUR

The Royal Mansour is the jewel in Marrakech’s high-end hotel crown. The ambitious project, spearheaded by King Mohammed VI, opened in 2010 and captures the essence of Marrakech while offering unsurpassed luxury. Guests have the choice of 53 riads with up to three bedrooms, serviced by a labyrinth of hidden tunnels ensuring privacy.

Architect Nicolas Papamiltiades came up with the hotel’s design while celebrated interior designer Fabric Bourg was behind all the handmade furnishings and sumptuous decor. The result is astounding and it is easy to lose yourself for a whole morning wandering in the hotel’s extensive grounds and gardens. royalmansour.com

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LITTLE BLACK BOOK

LITTLE BLACK BOOK BARCELONA

Gothic Charm

The Cubist king

its views of the old e is wonderful and Hotel Neri’s terrac t garden. . It also has a secre town are amazing

The Picasso museum, housed in a beautiful medieval building, is one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist

People-watching Barceloneta is a place where lots of people walk, bicycle, skate and sunbathe. You will see lots of people from different cultures in the same place.

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Images courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com

American luxury shoe designer Stuart Weitzman is an expert in creating beautiful yet comfortable footwear. Although he is based in New York, the entrepreneur has a soft spot for Barcelona


LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Waterside dining The Ocean Club is a private venue with a restaurant in Marina Port Vell, a luxury oasis where all the superyachts are moored.

Party time Eclipse in the W Hotel has a very cool vibe and delicious cocktails. The view from the 26th floor is incredible. You can see all of Barcelona’s coast with a drink in hand.

The entire city has well-kept secrets. The best idea is to take a walk and discover them

Bookworm National treasures

In La Calders you will find every kind of book and a schedule of cultural activities, recit als and discussion panels.

The Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya is notable for its outstanding collection of Romanesque church paintings

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FASHION

APRES SKI CHIC These looks will keep you warm and stylish on the slopes and beyond

Striped cable knit cashmere cardigan, Dunhill, $2,123, Dubai Mall Shearling trimmed coat, Burberry, $3,331, Dubai Mall Gold and stingray cufflinks, Trianon, $1,340, MRPORTER.COM

Leather holdall, Tod’s, $1,400, Mall of the Emirates

Printed cashmere scarf, Gucci, $450, Dubai Mall

Leather high-top trainers, Saint Laurent, $586, Mall of the Emirates

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Leather trimmed checked gilet, Tods, $1,308, Mall of the Emirates

All prices approximate

Leather trimmed two-tone shearling coat, Coach, $2,617, Mall of the Emirates


FASHION

Cashmere-lined gloves, Bottega Veneta, $400, Mall of the Emirates Sunglasses, Tom Ford, $340, Rivoli EyeZone

Flannel shirt, Dexter, $150, MRPORTER.COM Shearling-lined boots, Tod’s, $520, Mall of the Emirates

Hermes A/W 15

Hogan A/W 15/16

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Dunhill A/W 15

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HOROLOGY

IWC PILOT’S WATCH TIMEZONER IWC has launched a new world time watch which, according to the brand, is the first watch that allows the wearer to set a second timezone along with the hour and date with a single move. Unveiled at this year’s SIHH fair, IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph uses a rotating bezel that allows the wearer to easily switch timezones. $11,900

RICHARD MILLE RM 50-02 ACJ TOURBILLON Created from a partnership with Airbus, Richard Mille has designed a new watch encased in Titanium-Aluminum alloy, the same one used on the Airbus jet turbine blades, with a secondary ceramic bezel that mirrors the shape of an ACJ window. Limited to 30 pieces. $1 million

NEW TIME

GC rounds up the newest timepieces from the SIHH 2016 watch fair in Geneva

PANERAI RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS GMT CARTIER DRIVE DE CARTIER The vintage automotive-inspired Drive de Cartier is a totally new design of men’s watch from Cartier. Each of the three versions of the watch has a cushionshaped case with a refined dial and contrasting guilloche designs including a flat surface dial and in the flying tourbillon model even skeletonises the space between the Roman numerals. Starting from $6,200

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JAN / FEB 2016

Panerai released four new models featuring the GMT complication at SIHH. The 1940 line is essentially a hybrid combination of the Radiomir and Luminor watches. Each model features 45mm steel Radiomir 1940 style cases and also comes in two dial variants, one with what Panerai calls “Paris hobnails” and the other with vertical stripes in relief. Starting from $11,900


2016 JAN / FEB

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JAN / FEB 2016

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