2018 MARCH / APRIL
BUSINESS PATCHI AND THE BUSINESS OF CHOCOLATES
ENVIRONMENT PLASTICS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT ON ISTANBUL
6 297000 388007
AUTO THE 2019 AUDI A7 SPORTBACK
PHILANTHROPY CARTIER WOMEN’S INITIATIVE AWARDS
BRINGING SOLAR-POWERED ENERGY ACROSS AFRICA 2018 MAR / APR
TOGETHER WE GROW Boeing partners with the United Arab Emirates to advance its goal to be a global aerospace manufacturer and supplier.
Leading through partnership
Deﬁning Global Living... in Dubai Ascott Park Place Dubai luxury residence providing guests with convenient access to an array of restaurants, cafés, business districts and in close proximity to the World Trade Centre Metro Station, Convention Centre and Dubai Mall. Because life is about living...
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40 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Akon Lighting Africa Initiative Patchi UAE CEO, Oussama Choucair Charu Gandhi’s Elicyon Colette of Paris closes
The Mariott Hotel, Antigua Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Van Cleef and Arpels Boghossian
Arton Capital Sponsored Special Olympics
Sarah Elmur Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Istanbul
Land Rover Discovery HSE Audi A7 Sportback
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Sophia the android Mike Horn
Bleu Blanc, Fogo De Chao Chef Vladimir Mukhin
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Our recommendations Summer Selections
Cook for Syria
Brequet, Blancpain, Hublot Panerai Boutique Opening in London
What’s new in the market Health Documentaries at Netflix
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Global citizenship takes on a new meaning this edition, going beyond the traditional definition of borderless individuals to one that includes borderless responsibilities. In an increasingly connected world are our responsibilities limited to a city, state, or region? We bring you a selection of individuals that have redefined human limits and global initiatives that have changed the way we live. We start off with the worlds most traveled individual, Mike Horn (p60). His Pangaea Expeditions are based on his mission to teach young students about biodiversity and how it’s possible to create a sustainable world. Our Ocean Plastics feature (p54) give you a deep dive into the world of Plastics and the process through which this everyday convenience is slowly suffocating the worlds marine ecosystem. The #CookforSyria campaign (p80) is a modern-day success story that gathers people across the world around a dinner table to help the needy in Syria. Who would have thought that the simple act of sharing recipes would serve as a platform for supporting others? While on the topic of food, our feature on Netflix health documentaries (p76) highlights the growing complexities of the food supply chain and its impact on our health. Our cover story for this edition is Akon (p16), a multi-platinum artist who is famous for his string of catchy singles. His philanthropical initiative, ‘Akon Lighting Africa’ has brought light into the everyday lives of innumerable people across 15 countries in Africa. The single act of electrifying villages through solar energy has a far-reaching impact on the security, education, commerce and even women empowerment in these villages. The Cartier Women’s Initiative (p32) empowers women across the globe by supporting women-led initiatives with financial and non-financial support. These are all but a few of the many countless global initiatives today that are erasing boundaries and establishing a global mindset. Did you know that Sophia the Robot is a citizen of Saudi Arabia (p58)?
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Nikola Tesla was a man of science who was driven by passion. A man way ahead of his time. A genius who is being rediscovered.
his is how a privileged journalist in 1899 described Nikola Tesla and his work: “the Modern MiracleWorker, who is Harnessing the Rays of the Sun; has Discovered Ways of Transmitting Power without Wires and of Seeing by Telephone; has Invented a Means of Employing Electricity as a Fertiliser... not to stagger on being shown through the laboratory of Nikola Tesla requires the possession of an uncommonly sturdy mind”. Wireless transmission, remote control, solar power, laser beams, x-rays, neon and fluorescent lights, television, computers, smartphones, robotics, Alternating Current (AC), the Tesla coil, the induction motor, hydroelectric power generation and transmission, zero-point energy and even the emancipation of women were just some of the things that Tesla either invented,
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enhanced, or predicted. He was on the cover of Time Magazine on the July 20, 1931, edition, the week he turned 75. And yet, when he died in 1943, he was alone and penniless, and had been ridiculed by the media as the archetypal ‘mad scientist’. Since then largely forgotten. Nikola Tesla was born in 1856, in the of village Smiljan, in present-day Croatia to ethnic Serb parents. He was the fourth out of five children. His Father was a priest in the Eastern Orthodox church, as was his maternal grandfather. Spirituality, as you can imagine, ran deep in the veins of Nikola Tesla. In fact, his parents wanted him to become a priest in the Orthodox church, to which Tesla was not too keen. Tesla never considered himself religious in the orthodox sense but explored spirituality deeply and universally. He despised religious chauvinism.
Tesla greatly credited his mother Djuka for his inventive acumen and his near perfect photographic memory. She was constantly inventing tools to ease her chores in and around the house or weaving the finest designs from threads she had spun herself. She had also memorised many Serbian epic poems. Tesla once wrote: “My mother was an inventor of the first order and would, I believe, have achieved great things had she not been so remote from modern life and its multifold opportunities”. Tesla held his mother in high regard, as he did women in general. In fact, whenever he would be asked what his reason was for not marrying, his answer would have two general themes: that he was not worthy of any woman, or his dedication to his work did not leave much room for marriage. Tesla’s dedication to his studies, to his work, or to his research was obsessive in the extreme. On more than one occasion, he worked himself to exhaustion or sickness. In 1915, he wrote in the Scientific American: “I rose regularly at three o’clock in the morning and worked till eleven at night; no Sundays or holidays excepted”. This was in his first year of college when he did not miss a single lecture, passed through double the number of required exams and with the maximum scores. His professors, however, were so worried that they wrote letters to his father saying they feared for his life if he continued at such a relentless pace. The following years brought out the flip side of this obsessive genius. After he was embarrassed by one of his professors in the second year, Tesla went off-track. He became addicted to
gambling and lost his scholarship. The following year he gambled away his tuition fees, then won it back, failed his exams and left college without graduating. After working as a technician in Budapest and Paris, Tesla made his way to New York, where inventors, patent lawyers and investors, all looking for the next big thing mingled. After a short and disappointing stint with the Edison Machine Works, he left to chart his own destiny. He found investors who would invest in his idea. But as time passed, the investors would become pessimistic about seeing any returns and would pull out. This is a cycle that would repeat itself over several times. When he was at the top of the crest, he was earning millions. At the bottom of the trough, he was digging pits for $2 an hour. John F. Wasik wrote in the NYtimes.com: “Tesla failed to fully collaborate with well-capitalized industrial entities”, and as a result, “his supreme abilities to conceptualize and create entire systems weren’t enough for business success”. The other big-league inventors of the day were pragmatists who knew well enough to focus on inventions that had commercial value; which would attract investors, fame, and fortune. Tesla was a philosopher and humanist. He was driven by passion and not by pragmatism. His ultimate passion was unravelling the mysteries of the universe and providing unlimited free energy to the people of the world. Despite all the ridicule he faced towards the end of his life, over 2,000 people attended his funeral in 1943. Mayor La Guardia read his eulogy on public radio. 2018 MAR / APR
Akon discusses how his musical journey inspired his project Akon Lighting Africa which provided over 500 communities in 17 African countries with solar-powered electricity.
ou know you’re dealing with someone special when that someone is internationally known by a single name: Elvis, Madonna, Prince. Another to add to the list is Akon. His recent endeavor, Akon Lighting Africa, plans on electrifying all 48 countries in Africa with sustainable solar energy. Since its launch in 2004, a number of households, villages, community houses, schools and health centres located in rural areas of 17 countries, have been connected to electricity for the first time. As a result, Akon Lighting Africa has become one of the leading solar providers in all of Africa. In the Global Citizen Forum 2017 Montenegro, Akon was bestowed an award in honour of his outstanding humanitarian initiatives. Born and raised in a small village in Senegal called Koular, Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam grew up with no electricity or running water, and by age 7, moved to the States with his family. After a relatively turbulent few years stealing cars and serving time in prison, he entered the music scene in 2004, with the release of his first album Trouble. Soon after, his first hit single “Locked Up” stole the charts at the No.1 spot around the world. Further success followed as he became the first solo artist to hold the number one and two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, not only once, but twice! Singing in 16
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many languages, including Spanish, Hindi and Tamil, Akon earned the distinction of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the artist with the most selling ringtones in the world. Aside from being a singer, he’s also a songwriter, actor, record producer and businessman, producing songs for Lady Gaga, Leona Lewis, and T-Pain. Forbes ‘Power Rank in Forbes Celebrity 100’ listed Akon in 80th place in 2010, and in 2011 he ranked 5th in ‘40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa’. Though he is known for his hit singles and charming smile, we took a deeper look into his personal story, and how it led to his philanthropic journey today. What does being a global citizen mean to you? A global citizen is recognized for their goodwill and contribution to the world regardless of colour, gender, culture, way of life, among other things. It means to view humans for who they are and the impact they are having in their communities be it family, work, schools, villages, cities, countries and beyond. Being a global citizen is fulfilling that desire to make your life mean something more and having a purpose. Working on projects that have an impact and touch people’s lives. Projects that are bigger than the individual. Personally, being honoured,
Akon presents Akon Lighting Africa to global citizens and fellow global activists during the Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro
2018 MAR / APR
“Being a global citizen is fulfilling that desire to make your life mean something more, having a purpose.”
Akon and his daughters 18
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2018 MAR / APR
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Akon accepts the Global Citizen Forum Award designed by Roland Iten, alongside Prime Minister of Montenegro, Hon. Duško Marković, and founder of Global Citizen Forum, Armand Arton
recognized and appreciated at the Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro was a reminder to me of the good I am doing in the world and the personal and family sacrifices I have made. Tell us more about Akon Lighting Africa. What was your inspiration behind the project? A few events and situations in my life made me realize the importance of energy. First of all, growing up as a child in Senegal, I have memories of the lack of energy and the impact this had on my family. Later in life, I would go to Senegal to visit my family year after year, and I realized ‘It’s been over 5, 10, 20 years, and still nothing has changed’. People in rural areas and certain communities still did not have access to energy. Finally, I performed at a concert in Liberia, and after a few songs, the lights went out, almost causing a riot amongst over 50,000 fans. I realized that without energy I could not even perform music in Africa. This is what really inspired me to start Akon Lighting Africa. But now that we are active in Africa, it’s humbling to see how access to energy can touch so many lives, especially in smaller villages. Access to energy boosts the level of confidence in people. It affects security. Home life also benefits, as children can do their homework and study for exams in the evenings. Access to energy has an incredible impact on commerce and businesses. Before, for example, merchants wanting to do business would have to fully dismantle their storefronts and kiosks and get home before sundown, and even then, run the risk of being robbed on their way home. With energy, merchants can stay open until late. Markets stay open later and attract people to come out after dark and socialize more. Everyone deserves access to clean energy. What are your goals for the next ten years? One of my primary goals over the next ten years is to develop Africa. In addition to continuing Akon Lighting Africa and solving energy poverty in Africa with solar solutions and other renewable energy solutions, I plan to get involved with other development projects. All the projects will empower Africans and develop Africa. Other projects will include anything
from eco-systems, technology, financial structures, clean water solutions, agriculture to education. Personally, I want to accomplish as much as possible to leave a legacy of positive impact and empowerment . Where do you see solar energy in the future? Solar energy in the future will be the dominant force of energy in rural areas. And in developed areas and cities, solar panel rooftops and new technologies will support efficient ways of saving and utilizing energy consumption. Solar is a clean source of energy and it’s affordable. We need to take advantage of the sun and generate energy and have a positive impact on climate change. What did the Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro mean to you? I was happy about the Global Citizen Forum. The event attracted a unique group of people; all having a positive impact in the world. It was satisfying and rewarding to know that people are paying attention to the work I have done beyond music with the Akon Lighting Africa initiative. I was very grateful to receive the Global Citizen Forum Award, and it made me realize how I have inspired others. On the other hand, I was also humbled and inspired by the people I met at Global Citizen Forum, and their initiatives to do good in the world. A few personal notes. What are your main influences, favourite cities, and food? The key person who has influenced my life and inspired me is my dad. Musically, I am inspired and influenced by Bob Marley. From an entrepreneurial business perspective, I am inspired and influenced by Elon Musk. A close second is Richard Branson. In Africa, it’s Aliko Dangote and Sayyu Dantata. My favourite city is Sao Paolo, Brazil. I just love the energy, the people and the diversity. And my favourite food is Jollof rice and chicken, a classic African dish. To learn more about Akon’s journey to light Africa, visit: www.akonlightingafrica.com Photography by Jeff Xander 2018 MAR / APR
GC speaks with Patchi UAE CEO, Mr. Oussama Choucair about the business and its key to success.
ew brands can lay a claim to have won over the hearts of millions of customers in the Middle East the way Patchi can. Patchi has been a key ingredient of celebrations in the region since 1974 when founder Nizar Choucair opened the first store in Lebanon. Over the next four decades, Patchi has evolved into a mainstay on the global scene for premium chocolates. With over 190 boutiques in 21 different countries around the world, the company caters to a wide variety of chocolate gifting requirements. Its success arises from its distinct savoir-faire in the creation of chocolates as well as the artisanal options with which customers can customize their purchase. Global Citizen had the opportunity to interview Mr. Oussama Choucair, Patchi UAE CEO and brand steward, on what makes Patchi a success story. Could you tell us more about your background and how you got to your position at Patchi today? Were you always interested in the family business? I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and studied in Paris where I received a BA in Business Administration. Being a board member of Patchi’s conglomerate which was started by my father Nizar Choucair, we established in 1984 a strategic partnership in the United Arab Emirates with Mr 22
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Abdullah Al Mazroui, chairman of Al Mazrui Holding and Mazrui International LLC. My father’s passion for premium chocolate gifting was transferred to me, and I am currently CEO of Patchi UAE, overlooking the operation of the UAE Market with bigger plans of expanding the retail and corporate divisions, and the establishment of Patchi’s largest chocolate manufacturing plant in Dubai Industrial City. In addition, Patchi Franchise and Travel retail companies which are expanding businesses for the group, fall within the scope of my responsibilities. I am also on the board of the Lebanese Franchise Association as well as other entities. Patchi is the first brand consumers think about when it comes to gifting in the region, how does a brand go from being a one amongst many to being a market leader? Patchi is unique in its diversified offerings with over 90 flavors which are frequently reviewed based on the customers’ tastes and seasonality, to the wide range of pre-packed boxes, decorated arrangements and gift items from renowned artists and designers. We invest in providing intricate designs for every collection and season and our designers follow the fashionable trends for colors and accessories to provide a unique product for our clients. Self-sufficiency is a core part of the Patchi philosophy. Patchi
create a perfect harmony between the past and the present, between preserving our traditions and staying ahead of trends today. I believe that it is Patchi’s attention to fine detail, and our diverse offerings coupled with our enthusiasm for gift giving that makes us a market leader. How does Patchi create new collections? What is the process and what are the steps? At Patchi we have Occasional as well as Seasonal Collections that are launched throughout the year. A new Seasonal Collection is launched in every quarter, and Occasional Collections include Ramadan, Eid Al Adha, Christmas, UAE National Day, Chinese New Year, Diwali and the such. The planning of our collections starts at least 1 year before the launch. Our team of designers travel the world attending fashion shows, and workshops across Europe to understand the latest trends, colours, fabrics and patterns. All of the brainstorming and creation then happens in our Ateliers in Lebanon, where Patchi’s signature handmade flowers and other lush decorations that you see are made in-house and as part of our community outreach programme. We have exclusive designs of gift items which are procured and
manufactured specifically for Patchi, to ensure uniqueness in our selection of offerings to our clientele. Consumers in the region are more concerned about their health than ever, how does your company adapt to these types of trends? Patchi Chocolates do not contain any preservatives nor artificial ingredients, apart from that, all of our recipes contain more Cocoa Mass than Coca Butter and of course it is our obligation to always ensure we outsource premium raw materials and guarantee high-quality products. We also have a “No-Added Sugar” line and a selection of dark chocolates for the more health-conscious chocolate lovers. Ramadan and the wedding season are peak periods in your industry, how does Patchi make sure that the supply will meet the demand? We invest a lot in our state of the art facilities, and we are always looking at new technologies to improve our production lines and stay up to date. To accommodate to the growing market in the UAE in particular, and for efficiency, we are in the process of building the largest Patchi factory in the world to operate in Dubai Industrial Park. 2018 MAR / APR
With the new factory, our daily production capacity in the UAE will go up from 5 to 10 tons of chocolate. The new factory will be an industrial breakthrough in our sector; designed to become the largest with 122,000 square feet facility to complement the company’s ongoing growth and business in the region and across the world. How important for Patchi was it to get the Halal Certification and how was it achieved? As pioneers in our field, we are committed to implementing processes that support national objectives and adhere to ethical foundations. Patchi UAE has aligned its strategy with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, for the city “to become the capital of the Islamic economy”. While Patchi worldwide is and has always been halal compliant, we at Patchi UAE made a strategical decision to apply for the Halal certification from Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA). Being the first in the Luxury Chocolate industry to get the Halal certification, we are very proud to have contributed to the burgeoning halal industry with this achievement. 24
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It took us only three months to receive the certificate and we didn’t have to change any raw material during the process. Patchi manufacturing already had procedures derived from Islamic Rules in all phases of production, including recipes, preparation, packaging, transportation, distribution, and storage. Patchi’s Halal accreditation has helped the brand achieve additional unique selling points and assisted in getting new strategical alliances and partnerships with key governmental and private entities. With five new retail outlets and two new warehouses to open soon, what is Patchi’s strategy when it comes to expansion? At Patchi we have a strong belief in UAE’s potential, and we have strategically aligned our development plan with the vision of this great nation’s leaders. Between December 2017 and February of this year, we inaugurated three new boutiques in Ajman, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah and relocated in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall to a much larger space to expand the collections and products’ offerings to our clients. We are always looking for strategical expansions that align with the urban and demographic shifts in the UAE, and we have set out plans in the UAE until 2025 based on the new developments, and the geographic and demographic shifts expected.
2018 MAR / APR
STAR OF ELICYON
Charu Gandhi’s Elicyon Design Studio has just completed the Show Apartments at One Palm, and have begun work on its AED 102 million Penthouse.
n a city like Dubai, it takes something special to get its collective limelight to focus on a project. The interior design concept for the Show Apartments at One Palm, definitely got Dubai’s spotlight to focus on Charu Gandhi and her design studio Elicyon. Charu Gandhi is a qualified Architect, fully registered with Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). She is a graduate and former lecturer of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the oldest and one of the most prestigious independent schools of architecture in the UK. In 2006, she joined the London offices of Allies & Morrison Architects, a multiple RIBA award-winning architecture and urban planning practice. During her tenure there, she worked on several exceptional international projects including a boutique
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hotel in Beirut, luxury spa villas in Kerala, the distinctive Doha National Library, the London Olympics Masterplan and a collection of exclusive residences in Qatar. In 2011, Charu joined the Candy & Candy group, one of Britain’s most dynamic property developers. Their portfolio includes such prestigious addresses as One Hyde Park, NoHo Square and Chelsea Barracks. Charu was the Project Manager for their private commission team, as well as running their highly prestigious international portfolio of commissions including the residences at the esteemed One Hyde Park development. In 2014, having gained invaluable on-site, real-world experience in designing and project management with high profile portfolios, Charu Gandhi decided to blaze her own trail. She founded Elicyon, a design studio based in Chelsea, London. She has successfully grown the studio to the level that
it is now a multidisciplinary studio offering Interior Design, Interior Architecture and Project Management services which have allowed them to fulfill their client’s expectations. “The brief may be complicated, demanding and extravagant but we are adept at effortlessly coordinating every element of the project from the original concept blueprints through to completion,” explains Elicyon’s website. Her team now comprises of 12 highly competent members. Chief among them are Cecilia Halling and David Harris. Cecilia Halling is the Creative Director at Elicyon. Described as an “experienced and sophisticated Interior Designer whose forte is creating stylish, elegant and luxurious spaces,” she has gained invaluable expertise in all aspects of interior design as a member of the design team at Candy & Candy, and then at Morpheus London. As the Creative Director, Cecilia “contributes her exemplary creative vision to ensure that every project is innovative, unique and distinctive. Her role is to skilfully oversee the team and ensure that the design is fulfilled to the highest level of excellence”. David Harris is Elicyon’s Projects Director. Previously, he was the European Construction Manager for Burberry, where he supervised the restoration and redevelopment of Burberry’s landmark heritage flagship store on London’s Regent Street. Over the years, he has accumulated extensive knowledge of overseeing the design process, construction and completion of exclusive and distinguished projects. David’s strengths are his “impressive leadership, grasp of communication and his superb management qualities. He instinctively understands the level
of quality expected and desired by our clients and consistently delivers projects of an unequaled calibre”. In the short period since Charu Gandhi and her team at Elicyon began their creative adventure, they have already accumulated an impressive portfolio of completed projects in Britain, New York, the Middle East and Shanghai. All bespoke, all exquisite, all carrying Charu’s distinctive signature. One of these prestigious projects is the recently completed extensive interior design transformation of a stunning 4-bedroom apartment at One Hyde Park. It was finished “in an industrial luxe style”. Almost every item in the property was designed bespoke by the Elicyon team. Much of the one-off pieces of fine art and the finest materials used in the construction of the bespoke furniture were personally sourced by Charu, following trips across the U.K and abroad. The project that got them Dubai’s attention is, of course, the Show Apartments at One Palm. About the project, Charu explained: “Our design approach is very much to marry a London aesthetic with the international clientele in a Dubai setting. Tonally and in terms of textures, the proximity to the desert and sea both play a role in our inspiration. We also celebrate artisans and craftsman, and have worked closely with local purveyors of excellence, for example, artists, florists, and furniture designers”. Based on the success of the show apartment, Charu Gandhi and her team at Elicyon have been appointed to design and execute the interior of One Palm’s AED 102 million penthouse - the most expensive apartment in Dubai. 2018 MAR / APR
A SURPRISE ENDING
Colette, the Parisian fashion and art icon for 20 years, abruptly announced its closure last year.
he trendiest store in the world” according to Forbes magazine ceased to exist as an ongoing business entity. The reason was not financial as one would expect. In 2016, the store generated 28 million euros ($32 million) in sales, 25 percent of it from their e-commerce division. When the closure was officially announced in June 2017, the sales figures were nothing to be alarmed about, and their legendary collaborations with the likes of Sacai, Chanel, and Saint Laurent had been announced for the second half of the year. Sarah Andelman had admitted, in March 2017, that revenues had been affected by the fluctuation in the number of tourists visiting Paris after the terrorist attacks, but these effects had been largely offset by the growth in the e-commerce division. The announcement took the fashion industry by surprise.
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Many were saddened by it and took to social media to express their heartfelt sadness. Karl Lagerfeld admitted to the Business of Fashion magazine last year: “It’s the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has. I buy watches, telephones, jewellery there - everything really. They have invented a formula that you can’t copy easily, because there is only one Colette and her and Sarah are 200 percent involved”. Colette was founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux. Her daughter Sarah Andelman was the creative director, purchasing manager, and its public face. Colette was an 8,000 square feet store spread over three-tiers. It was famed as a launchpad for young up-and-coming designers and for hosting pop-up stores. Fresh faces such as the “rebellious” Jeremy Scott, Calvin Klein’s Raf Simons, and Rodarte among many others got introduced at
Colette. Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, and the more established names in fashion have had pop-ups at Colette. Book signings, mini-concerts, panel discussions on culturally relevant issues were a regular feature of the store. Colette was also famed for the seemingly eclectic choice of brands and goods. High-end ready-to-wear mingled with streetwear. They had fashion accessories, books, music, art, niche film cameras, souvenirs and even a water-bar with over 100 brands of bottled water. Colette was more than just a fashion store. It was a cultural institution. Robert Burke, the New York-based luxury retail and fashion consultant told the New York Times “The selection of brands, the way the forms displayed, the clothes and the mix of designers was inspiring. If you were carried at Colette, you were cool. If you had a launch of product or a book signing at Colette you were recognized by not only the fashion world but also the international fashion consumer”. However, “all good things must come to an end”, declared Sarah Andelman on Colette’s Instagram account, because “after twenty wonderful years... Colette Roussaux has reached the time when she would like to take her time”. Colette simply wished to retire; “and Colette cannot exist without Colette”.
So, rather than do as so many in the fashion industry have done, and cash-in on the brand value of “Colette”, which would be quite substantial, the mother-daughter duo decided to bow out gracefully. “I know it’s a quite radical decision”, Andelman told the New York Times, “But it was like a baby for us, it was so personal, and so we prefer that it stays as a wonderful memory, and the space is used for something new”. Colette, the store, has ceased to exist, but what is to become of the prestigious 213 Rue Saint-Honoré space which is still owned by Colette Roussaux and her daughter? The last brand to have a pop-up takeover in Colette was Saint Laurent of Paris. The famed fashion house is also expected to take over the premises on lease. “Negotiations are underway with Saint Laurent and we would be proud to have a brand with such a history, with whom we have frequently collaborated, taking over our address. We are happy with the serious interest expressed by Saint Laurent in this project, and it could also represent a very good opportunity for our employees”, said Andelman in her statement. So, as one remarkable mother-daughter story ends rather abruptly, and surprisingly, a new chapter may soon begin in the life of the famed 213 Rue Saint-Honoré address. 2018 MAR / APR
ARTON CAPITAL STORY
BUSINESS AND PLEASURE
Marriott Courtyard dives into Antigua with the island’s first luxury business hotel.
s investment opportunities and development prospects in Antigua are on the rise, a need for innovation in the hospitality business catering to a wider range of travellers is presented to key global players in the industry. With a focus on meeting the needs of the modern business traveller, Marriott Courtyard Business Hotel Antigua will combine the best of both worlds in business and pleasure. Boasting a unique environment and iconic ambience, this new development project has ambitions to inspire visitors to use business travel as an opportunity to expand both personally and professionally. “Business travellers coming to Antigua will have an opportunity to stay at one of the premier business hotels in the world which is also one of business travellers’ favourite brands”, says Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne. He said that he expects construction to start shortly and completion within a year. 30
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The modern, yet authentically charming hotel will welcome guests with a distinct experience right upon arrival. Designed with the guests’ needs in mind, their sophisticated lobby will feature special seating areas like media pods, communal tables and outdoor patios that support collaboration, productivity and social interaction. The environmentally conscious complex will also allow guests to immerse into an experience of serenity and enjoy well thought-out amenities such as a deluxe spa centre, golf course, tennis courts, and a fully equipped fitness centre. The spacious front patio and Bistro Terrace will feature expanded windows and lush greenery creating the perfect backdrop to enjoy every bit of the Caribbean sun, while the restaurant’s resplendent interiors compliment Courtyard’s renowned ‘CYnergy’ decor. Since breaking into the market 30 years ago, Courtyard has continuously pushed the boundaries of upscale design, style and service as a renowned business brand. As the 7th
ARTON CAPITAL STORY
largest lodging brand in the world, with over 1,100 hotels in 47 countries, Courtyard’s successful expansion around the globe has made it the ideal brand for expansion into urban locations, downtown markets and high-visibility destinations. Marriott Courtyard Business Hotel Antigua is ideally situated near the capital city of St. John’s, and a short drive away from the national airport. “We have very high expectations for this exciting project,” said Mr. George Vassilev, the main investor in the project and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the developer, GP GROUP JSC. “Together with Marriott, and our renowned design and construction teams, we will work diligently to ensure the highest quality product and guest experience. We are confident that we have assembled an extremely professional and motivated team that will create a business hotel that the island badly needs,” he said. Arton Capital, leading global financial advisory firm was a vital player in bringing the vision of this development to life. Arton
who was an investment advisor on the project, was appointed strategic marketing advisor, during the hotel’s announcement ceremony in Dubai. “We are very excited to have succeeded in bringing the latest hospitality investment to the region,” says Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, who played an important role in negotiating this investment. “After such a devastating hurricane season, it is important to see that investors still believe in the region and its potential,” added Arton. In Antigua, life is a beach. Yet, peace and quiet along crystal-clear waters and freedom to discover the explosion of vegetation enveloping the coast, aren’t the only things one would become instantly charmed by. With the perfect balance of ideal landscape, culture, and enduring British history and influence, the island continues to remain unique to travellers and opportunistic to investors. And with the marriage of both business and pleasure, Marriott Courtyard Business Hotel Antigua, will do just that.
2018 MAR / APR
On April 26, the six Laureates of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for 2018 will be presented at The Capella, Singapore.
aison Cartier is a name that needs no introduction. World-renowned for its standard of excellence in everything that it does, spawned Cartier Philanthropy which according to their website aims to “improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable in the world’s least developed regions”. To help it realise these objectives, “the foundation partners with non-profit organisations” to promote “access to basic services...; women’s social and economic development; responsible management of natural resources; and emergency response and preparedness”. It was these guiding principles that led Cartier to partner with the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to create the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Each partner contributes to making this program a rewarding and life-enhancing experience for the participants. Cartier provides the prize money, organises and manages the competition and the award ceremony and gives exposure to the laureates. The Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society is the world’s leading forum on women’s socio-economic issues. It hosts the awards ceremony and provides networking opportunities for the finalists. McKinsey & Company is a renowned global management consulting firm. They identify suitable mentors for the laureates. INSEAD is one of the world’s
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leading and largest graduate business schools. They preselect the applicants and also provide coaching for the finalists. For the 2018 ceremony, the organisers will host “specially curated TED session” featuring “live talks and conversations... about making concrete contributions towards effective and affordable solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.” The process begins with the selection of three finalists from each of the six regions: Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and AsiaPacific. From these 18 finalists, 6 Laureates are announced during the formal awards ceremony. The Prize includes a US$100,000 grant, a seat on an INSEAD Executive Programme, networking opportunities and media exposure. This program is designed to be of benefit to all the finalists, not just the winners. So, before the final ceremony, the 18 finalists receive coaching from the partners on how to better present themselves and their ventures, have access to an invaluable network of a diverse group of professionals from across the world, and are introduced to long-term mentors whose invaluable guidance goes well beyond the award ceremony. The program has clocked up some impressive numbers. Since 2006, 15,700 women have applied, which produced 198 finalists, and 64 laureates. The finalists come from 49 countries
representing 184 Companies. The Middle East & North Africa region has produced finalists from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the U.A.E., with a total of 22 projects. 30 high profile jury members and 265 coaches have shared their time and expertise. 80% of the businesses are still running. The Cartier Awards have given exposure to some unique women entrepreneurs in the Middle-east region. One such pioneering woman is Mirna Hamady, a 2015 finalist who founded Kashida (kashidadesign.com). She designs and manufactures artefacts based on 3D Arabic typography. Since 2016 she has a regional sales office in Dubai. Nermin Saad of Jordan and a 2012 finalist started Handasiyat. net, an online platform that outsources non-core engineering functions to qualified female engineers who wish to work from their homes. The network is spread across the Arab world. The Dubai based Moroccan and a 2015 Laureate, Mouna Abbassy founded Izil Beauty (izilbeauty.com) which develops cosmetics made of Argan oil and other rare natural ingredients imported from Morocco. The 2018 finalists for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards by region are: ASIA & PACIFIC Kristin Kagetsu from India whose company Saathi (saathipads.com) produces 100% all-natural and biodegradable sanitary pads made from banana fibre thus offering positive impacts on health, the environment and society. Sara Saeed from Pakistan set up Sehat Kakani (sehatkahani. com), a tele-health platform that connects at home and out-
of-work female doctors to underserved female patients in low and middle-income areas who don’t have access to quality health. Their 14 E-Health Hubs across Pakistan have now served over 550,000 patients. Swati Pandey from India whose company Arboreal Agro Innovations (followarboreal.com) is an industrial scale, vertically-integrated producer of stevia, a 100% natural substitute for sugar which has no carbohydrates or calories. EUROPE Julia Römer from Germany founded Coolar (coolar.co) which manufactures a solar-powered, low-maintenance, offthe-grid refrigerator that uses heated water and the adsorption cooling cycle to produce cooling. Its primary purpose is reliable storage of vaccines as it does not freeze. Kristina Tsvetanova from Austria founded Blitab Technology (blitab.com) which manufactures a tactile tablet for the blind and visually impaired featuring full-page refreshable braille display, multipurpose tactile display and text to speech software. Luz Rello from Spain set up Change Dyslexia (changedyslexia.org) which is a web-based programme that allows detection and treatment of dyslexia. LATIN AMERICA Paloma Farías from Chile founded La Fábrica Alegre (alegrefactory.com) to develop affordable, open-source tech solutions that can be adapted to meet the needs of developing countries. For example, Loranga which enables 2018 MAR / APR
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long range, low power and low-cost communication between devices using cell phone signal. Neide Sellin from Brazil founded Vixsystem (vixsystem. com.br) to develop and manufacture a robotic guide dog for the blind and visually impaired. Paula Gomez also from Brazil along with her theoretical physicist mother founded Epistemic (epistemic.com.br) to develop a non-invasive device that alerts patients and caregivers of an oncoming epileptic seizure up to 25 minutes in advance. MIDDLE-EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Hanan Khader from Jordan started Hello World Kids (helloworldkids.org) which is an online learning platform that teaches computer programming to children (6 plus years) and adolescents. The curriculum is designed to be simple and interactive. They have so far trained 30,000 plus little programmers and operate in over 70 schools. Dr Noha Khater from Egypt is an eye surgeon who specialises in the field of retinal diseases. She founded the Almouneer Medical Services (almouneer.com) network of fully digital eye care centres that work to prevent blindness caused by diabetes. Siroun Shamigian from Lebanon setup Kamkalima (kamkalima.com) which is an online platform that uses smart technology and data analytics to help students develop language and communication skills in Arabic while providing their teachers with useful information.
NORTH AMERICA Diana Yousef from the United States founded Change: Water Labs (change-water.com), which invented a compact portable evaporative toilet requiring no electricity and plumbing for non-sewered households and communities in developing countries. Erin Keaney from the United States founded Nonspec (nonspec.org) which develops and manufactures affordable and adjustable prosthetic limb kits for amputees. Yiding Yu also from the United States setup Twiage (twiagemed.com), a digital platform that enables the transmission of real-time data from ambulances to hospitals. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Audrey Cheng from Kenya started the Moringa School (moringaschool.com), a multi-disciplinary coding school committed to providing young Africans with digital and professional skills training with a focus on both technical proficiency and personal growth. Evelyn Namara from Uganda started Vouch Digital (vouchdigital.africa) that develops platforms for digital and mobile payments as an alternative to cash-based subsidy programs to improve transparency. Melissa Bime from Cameroon founded Infiuss (infiuss. socialventures.biz) which is an online blood bank that collects and dispatches blood donations to hospitals. 2018 MAR / APR
VISION OF THE COSMOS
Van Cleef & Arpels draws on new sources of wonder between the Heaven and Earth to reflect its distinctive Poetry of Time in the new Lady Arpels Planétarium watch.
our years after unveiling the Midnight Planétarium watch, Van Cleef & Arpels is restyling this iconic creation, offering an original women’s edition to enrich the universe of Poetic Astronomy. Distinguished both by refined aesthetics and its automatic movement, developed exclusively for the Maison, the Lady Arpels Planétarium watch illustrates the Sun and the closest planets: Mercury, Venus and finally Earth, along with its natural satellite, the Moon. Each heavenly body moves at its actual speed, orbiting the dial in 88 days for Mercury, 224 days for Venus and 365 days for Earth. In a key innovation for this piece, the Moon itself rotates around the Earth in 29.5 days, performing a visible celestial ballet on the dial, day after day. The choice of planets, imbued with feminine symbolism in the case of Venus and the Moon, goes hand in hand with craftsmanship to adapt the dimensions of the timepiece to a woman’s wrist. The Lady Arpels case, 38 mm in diameter and set with diamonds in the bezel and sides of the case, houses a movement redesigned for this smaller size, with an exclusive module developed in collaboration with Christiaan van der Klaauw. The dial enriches the planetary spectacle with a shooting star in rhodium-plated gold, showing the time with poetic grace. On the back of the watch, two apertures display the day, month and year, all surrounded by an enchanting decor. Two bracelets are available to suit any occasion: a blue glitter alligator strap to match the dial, and a bracelet entirely set with diamonds for a High Jewelry design. 36
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To recreate the awe-inspiring experience of stargazing, Van Cleef & Arpels took special care in selecting and working with the traditional materials of jewelry and watchmaking. Planets of differing volumes rotate around a Sun made of pink gold, gleaming in the center of the dial. A pink mother-of-pearl Mercury and a turquoise Earth were meticulously hand cut in spherical shapes, while Venus is portrayed with a green enamel bead, fashioned in the Van Cleef & Arpels enamel workshops in Meyrin, Switzerland. The familiar glow of the Moon as it orbits the Earth comes to life with a brilliant-cut diamond, contrasting with the midnight blue background. Evoking the depth of the cosmos, seven aventurine discs are placed in concentric circles within the dial, several rotating individually with the watch movement. The planets and the shooting star thus move at actual speed through their sparkling environment. The back of the case displays the same shades, recalling the celestial bodies in their respective materials on an aventurine disc. The journey continues in the center with the oscillating weight adorned with a precious depiction of the Moon. A turquoise circle embraces a crescent embellished with diamonds of varying diameters, set using the serti neige style technique. Reserved for the best stone-setters, the serti neige style technique calls for experience and skill. With the space between them reduced to a minimum, brilliant-cut diamonds appear to cover the surface of a piece entirely. They catch the light in an extraordinary way, evoking snowflakes that sparkle in the sun. This creation stirs the emotions, offering both an immersion into the universe and the beauty of fine jewelry craftsmanship.
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A MASTERFUL FUSION
Boghossian collaborates with Stéphane Rolland to introduce a unique combination of Haute Joaillerie and Haute Couture within a theatrical setting.
aison Boghossían brings with it more than a hundred years of deep-rooted knowledge in the art of precious stones and fine jewellery. A family journey that is now in its 6th generation, the brand has positioned itself at the cuttingedge of design, surpassing the classic principles of jewellery design. With a family philosophy that dictates that they strive to be more than just another jeweler, Boghossian brings revolutionary ideas to the jewellery world. This is exactly what they intended in their recent collaboration with Haute Couture brand Stéphane Rolland. The collaboration creates an atmosphere that lets the observers’ imagination move out of the box and realize something that has never been seen before. Unveiled at a recent event held during the Paris Fashion Week at the Opéra-Comique, the collaboration redefined the limits of fashion and jewellery. More than a 1,000 people from all over the world came together to discover the first collaboration. There is no better place than a theatre, connecting art and culture, to embrace Stéphane Rolland’s Haute Couture collaboration with Boghossian’s Haute Joaillerie. The runway models absorbed their roles just like in an opera or theatrical show, walking the runway on the rhythm of the cellist. The atmosphere was majestic and full of ever-growing suspense that reached a climax as ‘Le Choeur Parisien’ interpreted ‘Le Coeur des Pèlerins de Tannhäuser’ by Wagner. This powerful finale, created an emotional tension and a real connection between the show and its audience. Commenting on the eve of the event regarding this unique collaboration, Albert Boghossian, the CEO of Boghossian commented: “To me, fine jewellery and haute couture have the same guideline: make the woman who wears them dream and travel to the limits of what is possible and reality. Starting from a concrete moment such as a wedding or a ball and creating an atmosphere that propulses a person to the borders of imagination, that is the will of Haute Couture and Fine Jewellery. Stéphane perfectly described the essence of our Maison. It’s the reflection of our own story, built on one hand from this Middle East, with its softness, the attention they give to details and a part of opulence, and on the other hand, from the West with its contemporary audacity and its technology. Our pieces are a natural fusion of this reflection. What I love about Stéphane and his style is this structured side to his cuts, combined to fantasy and creative freedom. You can really tell there is a will to break free from the rules and take his designs to the borders of creativity”. 38
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2018 MAR / APR
A SPECIAL CAUSE
Global Citizen Forum partners with the Special Olympics to highlight the benefits of social integration through sports, for youth in migrant settings and refugee camps.
cross the Global South, refugees with intellectual disabilities are one of the most isolated and marginalized groups within the global community. Widely misunderstood, systemically stigmatized and facing some of the lowest outcomes and access to health, education and social protection, refugees and migrants represent a population largely invisible to their neighbourhoods, societies and nations. Globally, the United Nations Refugee Agency estimates that there are today 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Of this, 22.5 million are refugees. Within the global displacement crisis, refugees with intellectual disabilities are a largely forgotten and highly vulnerable group on the margins. In an age of increased human migration, the risks facing this population have grown significantly. Hidden away, and victims of unspeakable forms of abuse, children and adults with intellectual disabilities namely in refugee and migrant settings - are in urgent need of humanitarian action and attention. While the global development community grapples with the complex challenges of human migration, key social actors are a 40
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critical element to ensuring the safeguarding of individuals with intellectual disabilities. As part of a global philanthropic focus supporting refugees worldwide, the Global Citizen Forum has answered the call to action, empowering the Special Olympics movement to bring the exciting and transformative power of inclusive sports to refugees with and without intellectual disabilities in nations throughout the world. In desperate settings where social isolation reigns, the partnership between Special Olympics and the Global Citizen Forum implements inclusive, Unified Sports programming to offer a mechanism not only to engage youth through sports but also to highlight the ways in which social integration can be forged in difficult settings such as refugee camps. In the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania, hundreds of youth with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete in football, side by side with fully accredited and trained coaches. While it may appear to represent a simple local recreation sports match, something far more profound is taking root. Parents can witness their children with intellectual disabilities taking center stage. Youth are engaged to work together in teams.
The development community gains a partner to support the implementation of solutions. Perhaps most importantly, dignity and hope are served together with the 11-a-side match. Recognizing that the world is in need of a fresh approach to the integration of refugees, of all abilities, into their new communities, in January of this year, Special Olympics staged the On the Margins Refugee Forum at the Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam. The On the Margins Refugee Forum received support from a number of agencies including the Global Citizen Forum and was a starting point for these discussions, as Special Olympics looked to convene leading agencies, organizations and governments that are committed to tackling one of the greatest
global challenges of our time. However, this forum also brought together those who aren’t immersed in this space, but who care deeply about it, who wanted to know more about it, and who needed to know what role they could play. “Human migration needs a new branding. Far too much value is brought to the world by refugees that is unrecognized”. This quote by Arton Capital CEO Armand Arton speaks to the need for a new understanding. Together, the Global Citizen and Special Olympics are committed to ensuring that refugees and migrants with intellectual disabilities are empowered to bring a renewed sense of dignity and inclusion to an ever-growing, fractured world. 2018 MAR / APR
The Sharjah Art Museum has unwrapped a new exhibition inspired by the childhood and early life of one of Sudan’s most influential and important artists
ragrances of the Forest and Photos’ is a collection of more than 70 artworks by contemporary artist Salah Elmur, the largest display of the artist’s work to date. In the exhibit, which will be on display until June 2nd, Elmur leads the viewer through a personal voyage of discovery, showing some of his experiences of growing up in Khartoum. The works show his exploration of the city’s streets and the surrounding countryside as a child. Born in the Sudanese capital in 1966, Elmur is a graduate of Khartoum’s prestigious College of Fine and Applied Art. An acclaimed painter, illustrator, photographer, and filmmaker, his artworks have been displayed across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Each of the paintings and photos that make up ‘Fragrances of the Forest and Photos’ has its own story associated with a memory, observation or incident from Elmur’s childhood. The exhibition is divided into four distinct sections; The Forest, Kamal Studio, Perfumes, and the fourth and final section, Various Stages, where the artist talks about how he was inspired to create the featured works. Section one, The Forest, sees Elmur put down on canvas scenes from Al Sunut Forest, a popular barbecue spot for the 42
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residents of Khartoum. His paintings show the wild beauty of the forest, which acts as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city for people and animals alike. In Kamal Studio, Elmur takes the audience to the photographic studio run by his father, Kamal al- Din Mohammed. These paintings are inspired by the people, noises and many, many photos that filled the studio in Khartoum’s busy Souq al-Sajaneh. The final two sections, Perfumes and Various Stages, highlight Elmur’s skill as an artist and standout as a wonderful example of life in the Sudanese capital. Elmur is also an accomplished illustrator and filmmaker. Over the course of his career, he has composed and illustrated more than 35 children’s books that have been published in Arabic, French, Italian and Spanish. His skills as an illustrator have won him several international awards including an accolade from the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. As a filmmaker, Elmur has directed and produced six short films, including documentaries and fantasy films, which have been screened at several international festivals. He won the Jury Prize (special acknowledgement) for his film ‘Heaven’s Bird’ at the International Short Film Festival in Ethiopia in 2010.
2018 MAR / APR
ARTON CAPITAL STORY
THE GREAT ESCAPE Replay Destinations to open Rosewood Half Moon Bay Antigua
re you ready to dive into one of the finest beach resorts in the world? Rosewood Hotels and Resorts were appointed by acclaimed destination development company, Replay Destinations, to manage the highly anticipated development project in Half Moon Bay Antigua. Situated on a spectacular cliffside overlooking Half Moon Bay, one of the world’s most spectacular beaches, this 132-acre oceanfront resort, will be taking the West Indies by storm in 2021. Not literally, of course. Ever since its launch in the 50s, former Half Moon Bay Hotel established itself as one of the most desired vacation destinations in the Caribbean’s. Combining charming island culture, with the essence of exclusivity, the new Rosewood Half Moon Bay Hotel will accommodate guests in 47 pavilion-style suites, which includes an ultra-luxurious three-bedroom presidential suite. Its innovative architecture finely tuned to the desires of today’s affluent explorer, will include a private infinity plunge pool, hammocks, and open-air baths and showers embellished in live orchid walls. The gleaming property will also feature an exclusive residential component comprised of branded oceanfront and ocean view villas, and 13 exceptional estate home parcels. Set to become one of the most exciting destinations to dine and drink in the Caribbean, this lush oasis will include dining and lounge concepts inspired by the flavours, colours, and culture of the West Indies. Artisanal Caribbean cocktails and small plates accompanied by live reggae and ska music will set the atmosphere for a lively night out. The resort will also feature a pool grill and beach bar, as well as an on-site organic farm, which will provide fresh ingredients for seasonal fare year-around. Serenity will be unveiled with the development’s aesthetics, thanks to Rosewood’s unique touch. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is renowned for creating one-of-a-kind properties in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. Their ‘Sense of 44
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Place’ journeys allow guests to immerse themselves in the essence of these exciting locations. Combining Rosewood’s Sense of Place philosophy into Antigua’s incredible natural environment, will create the ideal experience for each guest. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts manages 21 luxury properties in 12 countries, with 18 new hotels under development. Vancouver-based property development company, Replay Destinations was introduced to the potential of Half Moon Bay Antigua by another visionary Canadian company, Arton Capital. As a leading global financial advisory firm, Arton’s role as strategic advisors and brokers to Replay Destinations helped bring the extraordinary project to life. With Arton’s initiative, and Replay’s proficient team of planners, designers, builders, and operators, the vision to create an authentic and timeless resort for international guests and potential real estate investors, quickly transformed into a globally anticipated venture. “We are honoured to be the stewards responsible for reimagining this legendary property that is so loved by the people of Antigua, and for almost 50 years attracted travellers from around the world,” said Michael Coyle, chief executive officer of Replay Destinations. “Together [with Rosewood Hotels], we believe that what we will create at Half Moon Bay Antigua, will be the finest resort in the Caribbean and one of the finest in the world”. As the scent of luxury lingers in the air, and the sea glitters in the Caribbean sun, Rosewood Half Moon Bay, perched on a dramatic oceanfront cliff, will be the only location of its kind in the entire Caribbean. Every detail of the resort is mended to inspire guests to command an uninterrupted sense of euphoria, and to experience an indulgent taste of Antigua’s finest treasures. To dive into more details about Rosewood Half Moon Bay Antigua, visit rosewoodhotels.com.
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The city where east meets west, where the past meets the modern
he Sublime Gate, Byzantium, Alma Roma, Lumi, Constantinopolis, Kostantiniyye are just some of the names by which the city of Istanbul has been known. They reveal not only the long and illustrious history of the city but also its influence in global affairs. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city by area, its most populous, as well as its economic, cultural, and historical capital. Its political and economic importance is due to its location as a vital node in the historical trade routes between Europe and Asia. It is the city that straddles two continents. It is where the East meets the West; both literally and culturally. These facts are not the reason why over 10 million people visit Istanbul annually, making it one of the top destinations in the world. Istanbul has always been a treat for the senses. The landscape is dominated by undulating hills interrupted only by the blue and bustling Bosphorus. The city is alive with its unique, colourful, thriving bazaars. Historic buildings that are time capsules of bygone days sit comfortably next to modern ones. The streets are a delight to walk on as they follow the contours of the hills, surprising the visitor with stunning glimpses of the Bosphorus, or with the aroma of 46
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Turkish delicacies being offered. The people are friendly, generous and welcoming. The city is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage sites ranging from the ancient to the medieval. The Golden Horn peninsula is where the oldest part of the city is located, going all the way back to the Byzantine times. Like Rome, the old city is dominated by seven hills. On top of the easternmost hill is the Topkapi Palace. The Beshiktash district is home to Dolmabahce Palace. For those with an eye for architecture, a viewing of the historic waterfront mansions called Yalis will be a must. The district of Galata, dominated by the Galata Tower, forms part of the commercial and entertainment hub of the city including Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square. Istanbul is a food lovers’ paradise. Whether it’s street food or fine dining, one is spoilt for choice, both in terms of venue as well cuisine. Some of the top-rated fine-dine restaurants for the views they offer are Maiden’s Tower, Ulus 29, Sunset Grill & Bar, and 16 Roof among many others. For decor and authentic Turkish cuisine, ‘1924 Istanbul’ and ‘Deraliye Ottoman Palace Cuisine Restaurant’ are highly recommended.
2018 MAR / APR
PLACES TO VISIT
THE BLUE MOSQUE
No visit to Istanbul would be complete without a visit to this once patriarchal basilica of the Greek Orthodox Christians, later turned to a mosque and now a museum. Now free of restoration scaffolding, one can truly appreciate its grandeur, its vastness, its intricate mosaics. A step into this magnificent building is a step into the history of the city itself.
A functioning mosque, it was constructed in the sixteen hundreds. It is located just 600 metres from the Hagia Sofia and open to visitors. It is a prime example of the Ottoman style of mosque architecture. The interior is covered with 20,000 Iznik ceramic tiles with elaborate designs while the exterior is dominated by the elaborate dome and minarets.
THE GRAND BAZAAR
This covered bazaar is a sensory overload of sights, sounds, aromas and tastes. Over 500 years old, it has 60 streets, over 5,000 shops selling carpets, leather-goods, ceramics, souvenirs and jewellery, and it has 60 restaurants. It is not a tourist trap if you know how to bargain.
An absolute must on a visit to Istanbul. The tours are round trip cruises which are well organised. There are three options: A full-day cruise going all the way to the Black Sea, a half-day cruise up to the second bridge, and a sunset cruise in the summers only which often tend to get crowded.
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WHERE TO STAY
CIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI
AJWA HOTEL SULTANAHMET
Once an Ottoman Imperial Palace located on the Bosphorus strait, it has been converted into a plush hotel. It is the only royal property to be converted into a luxury hotel in Istanbul. It has two sections; one is the palace proper, and adjacent to it is the purpose-built luxury hotel complex. The hotel offers 279 rooms, and 31 suites, 11 of which are in the palace. Amenities offered include a heated infinity pool on the edge of the Bosphorus, a chic outdoor bar, four elegant restaurants with views of the strait, a helipad, a fitness centre, and a well-appointed spa with a hammam (Turkish bath).
A five-star boutique hotel located in the very heart of Old Istanbul. The design language draws inspiration from elements of Seljuk and Ottoman architecture. The rooms are opulent but understated and quintessentially Turkish. It offers family rooms, deluxe rooms, corner units and the luxurious Sultan Suite. Ajwa is smoke-free and Istanbul’s only dry luxury hotel. To please the taste buds, Ajwa Hotel offers the Sukkari Patisserie and the signature Zeferan Restaurant featuring Azerbaijani cuisine. Amenities include an indoor pool, fitness centre, the Afiya Spa with a traditional Hammam, and an exclusive Bentley chauffeur-driven service for guests.
2018 MAR / APR
THE DISCOVERY HSE
Highlights of the new Land Rover Discovery HSE.
t a recent event hosted at Dubai’s Kite Beach in Jumeirah, the newest addition to the Land Rover family was unveiled to the public in the true spirit of its DNA - with a display of its capabilities through a daunting obstacle course. Looking at that presentation, one might be forgiven for overlooking the fact that the Land Rover Discovery HSE is a top-end luxury offering from the much-admired brand. The power behind this refined beast comes from an allaluminium, 3 litres, supercharged powerhouse coupled with a smooth and responsive 8-speed automatic transmission. Together they deliver effortless driving on the road, and a ‘go anywhere’ attitude off it. All this power is managed with the help of a chassis that is strong and lightweight. It is built around a steel monocoque, to which is added the aluminium bonnet, roof, tailgate and suspension. Magnesium forms the cross beam and parts of the front end. All this results in a weight saving of 480 kg. It also ensures strength and rigidity that the Discovery family have always been renowned for. The maximum storage capacity is 2,500-litres. Even while carrying five passengers, it can boast an impressive capacity of 50
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981 litres. Towing is made easier as the new HSE has a best-inclass towing capacity of 3,500 kg. The complex logic required when reversing with a tow can be done away with as the new HSE is equipped with the semi-autonomous “Advanced Tow Assist” which assists the driver in tricky reversing mouseovers. This feature is in addition to the rear and 360-surround onboard cameras. It also features easily detachable tow bars which are electrically deployable. The HSE boasts an abundance of creature comforts. The spacious interior accommodates seven full-sized adult seats to ensure comfort and safety whether on a school run or a hill climb. The seats and the interior are finished in high-quality materials and wood veneer. One is spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the materials, colours and textures for the interior such as perforated grained leather or perforated Windsor leather for the seats. The steering wheel is also covered in matching perforated leather. On the exterior, the 20-inch alloy wheels feature HSE’s signature 5-split-spoke design finished in silver. The all-LED head-lights and rear-lights extend to the sides giving the Discovery its signature
look. It also features an all-glass roof which gives the occupants an uninterrupted panoramic view of the environment. However, for protection from the sun, and to regulate the temperature, the toughened glass is heavily tinted. For more privacy, full-size powered blinds are also provided. For those wishing to stay connected, it has nine USB ports and six 12-volt charging points. The HSE turns into a WiFi Hotspot providing stable connectivity for up to 8 devices. The 380W ten speaker, plus a dual channel subwoofer crafted by Meridian deliver high-definition crystal clear sound. The infotainment system is accessed through a 10-inch touchscreen which controls the vehicle settings, multimedia, and navigation. It also doubles as a park assist featuring rear-view camera and static graphics. The HSE also features a heads-up display on the windscreen. The Remote Premium app downloadable on smartphones and Apple Watch allows the user to set the cabin temperature well before entering it. Ever since the first Land Rovers designed by Maurice Wilks in 1947, the name has been associated with a “go anywhere” resilience. Therefore, no member of the Land Rover Discovery family would be complete without its legendary terrain response technology which gives the driver confidence on any terrain.
It comes with four standard settings: General Driving, Grass, Gravel & Snow, Mud & Ruts, and Sand. The HSE features an additional setting for the open road called Adaptive Dynamics which stiffens the suspension and sharpens the responses. Some variants of the HSE offer an optional feature known as All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) which is like cruise-control for the off-road. It helps the driver maintain a steady speed in low-traction surfaces. Other aids include Adaptive Dynamics which minimise body lean; Torque Vectoring constantly monsters, balances, and distributes power to the wheels to improve grip; Active Driveline converts the HSE to a front-wheel drive vehicle when the conditions are ideal for improved economy. Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Breaking and Blind Spot Monitor are some of the other features. The new Land Rover Discovery HSE has stayed true to its DNA of ruggedness, is brimming with the best of what technology has to offer, and also has that little bit extra: refined, understated luxury. The HSE will be available across the U.A.E. exclusively at Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors. Prices will start from AED 250,900 with five years/65,000 Kilometres service contact and five years/150,000 Kilometres warranty.
2018 MAR / APR
THE 2019 AUDI A7 GC takes a closer look at the new Audi A7 Sportback.
n 2010, Audi debuted the A7 Sportback; a four-door, highperformance luxury grand tourer with the silhouette of a fastback. This was just the latest in a series of iconic fastback offerings from the Ingolstadt, Germany based manufacturer of icons such as the 100 Coupé S, the TT, and the all-conquering Quattro. In February 2018, Audi introduced to the world, the latest evolution of the successful A7 Sportback. It can be best described as a hybrid of sorts. It combines performance with luxury, sleek exterior with a roomy interior, and aesthetic beauty with practicality. One of its most outstanding features has to be the optionally available “dynamic all-wheel steering” system. Working in conjunction with “Quattro Drive”, Audi’s signature all-wheel-drive system, the all-wheel steering system simultaneously enhances the handling of the car, as well as the comfort and safety of the passenger. This is a practical compromise between the longrunning conflict between agility and stability. If the car is below 60 km/h, the electronic brain behind the system turns the front and rear wheels in the opposite direction. This can reduce the turn radius by up to 1.1 meters making the A7 Sportback manurer like a compact car on the busy city streets, or while going around bends on country roads. At speeds of 60 km/h or more, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction giving greater composure while changing direction or during evasive manoeuvres.
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The driving experience is enhanced further by the electromechanical steering which achieves an optimal compromise between comfort and feedback. It is designed to convey information that the driver needs while filtering out the unpleasant ones. The driver also has a wide range of options when it comes to selecting the optimal combination of suspension types and suspension tunings. Overall, there are 30 driver assist systems to ensure that comfort and safety are kept at an optimal. Performance is delivered by the powerful and responsive 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine working in conjunction with the new “mild-hybrid technology”. The A7 Sportback is therefore classified as a “mild hybrid electric vehicle” (MHEV). The engine is paired with a double-clutch, seven-speed “S tronic” transmission which has been re-engineered to deliver high torque and seamless gear-change. All of this performance is caged in a sturdy, well-balanced chassis that ensures stability and long-haul comfort. The A7 Sportback is enveloped in a new exterior design language highlighting expansive surfaces that are interrupted only by clean, sharp lines that play with the light and shade. It also features a redesigned grille and prominent air inlets that enhance the sporty character of the A7 Sportback. The 4.97 meters long profile is dominated by the large wheel arches, and of course, the continually sloping roofline that is the signature design element
of the A7 Sportback. The boot-lid hides the rear spoiler which extends out only when speeds exceed 120 km/h. The distinctive lighting signature is achieved with HD Matrix LED headlights, Audi’s “laser light,” and the full-length LED rear lights. The new A7 Sportback also features the distinctive front and rear lighting animation when the doors are locked and unlocked. The boot has a capacity of 535 litres by itself, but like a stationwagon, it can be increased to more than double that volume to an impressive 1,390 litres if the rear seats are folded down. The interior length has also increased by 21 millimetres compared to its predecessor. The clean, uncomplicated minimalist design language continues into the interior space as well, to enhance the sense of luxury and space. The A7 Sportback offers a wide range of interior option in terms of materials, colours and textures. The centre console, which is slightly inclined towards the driver, is dominated by two large touchscreens displays which are embedded almost seamlessly into the centre console. The
upper one features a 10-inch display and houses the infotainment system first introduced in the new A8. It features the impressive MMI navigation system developed by HERE. It is a system that learns from previous routes travelled, and real-time traffic data to offer appropriate suggestions. The lower 8.6-inch display is used to control technical functions such as climate control. Both displays feature touch and swipe gestures similar to the smartphones. Voice control is available as an option. The system also allows up to seven individuals to store their personal settings. The new A7 Sportback also features a plethora of driver assistant systems. The adaptive cruise control (ACC) has been improved to include lane tracking and lane change warning. It also features collision warnings all around. Park assist, reversing and 360-degree cameras, night vision are offered as options. The A7 Sportback: beautiful, powerful, spacious, and agile. Brimming with tech toys, it is still an effortless joy to drive and to journey with. 2018 MAR / APR
THE PLASTIC PANDEMIC
In our landfills, in our rivers, and in our great oceans; Plastics are everywhere. What are they doing to our environment and what can we do about it?
ry to imagine your life without plastics. The computer you work on, the mobile you call on, the blender you blend with, the ball you play with, the sneakers you run with, the jacket you keep warm in; the list is seemingly endless. Plastics have replaced metal, glass, leather, wood, paper and rubber. They have given us new wonder-materials we did not have before such as carbon-fibre, fibre-glass, and synthetic clothing. Plastics have taken over our lives and our world. Plastic is a term commonly used to identify any material made up of large synthesised organic compounds known as polymers. These materials can be moulded into a variety of shapes, textures and rigidity. Most plastics today are derived from petrochemicals such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and from the by-products of crude oil and natural gas refining. 4 to 6% of all the oil and gas used in Europe is employed in the production of plastic materials. There are many ways of classifying plastic. One of them is the type of “resin” used in their manufacture. Commodity resins are usually based on compounds with linear-carbon chains, like a string of beads, with which are produced the high volume and low-cost plastics such as common disposable and durable consumer goods. A vast majority of these commodity resins and their sub-derivatives fall into four groups: Polyethylene (label: PE), Polypropylene (PP), 54
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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polystyrene (PS). Speciality resins are usually based on non-linear-carbon compounds with which are produced low volume and higher cost plastics. These are used in the manufacture of specialist products such as Nylon, Teflon, Epoxy, synthetic rubber, Polyester (including PET) and so on. Nearly 40% of plastics manufactured in 2016 in Europe were used for packaging ,which included food and beverage packaging, 19.7% for building and construction, 10% automotive, 6.2% electric and electronic, 3.3% in agriculture, 4.2% for household, leisure and sport, and 16.7% for other uses including appliances, mechanical engineering, furniture and medical. Most plastics have compounds added to them, known as additives, during the manufacturing process to alter their base property. These additives are of four types: stabilisers, fillers, plasticizers and colourants. Although their content by volume is often quite low, they contribute significantly to the toxicity and controversy related to plastics. For example, additives found in plastics that are used in food-packaging and toys, may separate itself from the plastic and contaminate the food contained in them; or may be ingested by children while chewing on their plastic toys. In other cases, the finished product may not prove to be toxic, but the compounds
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used in their manufacture, for example, monomers, may be toxic. Some plastics may also decompose under certain environmental conditions into toxic monomers. The most publicised example of toxic monomers is Bisphenol A (BPA) which has been used for more than 50 years to manufacture polycarbonate plastic and resin for protective linings inside food cans. Hundreds of animal studies point to potential health dangers from exposure in the uterus before birth. These include abnormal development of the brain, breast, and prostate. Many animal studies link the chemical to reproductive disorders, including infertility, feminizing of male organs in foetuses, and early puberty in females. In short, BPA mimics oestrogen. Furthermore, a study was conducted on 77 Harvard College students over a two-week period. The students drank cold beverages from stainless steel bottles one week and from polycarbonate bottles the other week. Urine samples showed a 69 percent increase in BPA levels during the polycarbonate week. In fact, 93% of Americans today age six and over test positive for BPA. There are plenty of documented cases on the health effects of a class of plasticizers known as Phthalates which are mainly used to soften PVCs. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, chemicals that can enter the body through food and personal care products and interfere with hormones the body itself produces. Pregnant women, foetuses, and new-born children are most vulnerable to these pervasive chemicals. In neonatal intensive care units, new-born infants’ exposures to phthalates and BPA are ten times higher than exposure levels in the general population. The chemicals leach from the medical devices and enter infants’ bodies—with potential effects that may not show up for years. These are just two examples from tens of thousands of compounds and additives that are being manufactured and consumed in volumes that are astronomic. The global plastic production in 2016 was a staggering 335 million metric tons. That is nearly the combined weight of 1.2 million Airbus A380s. By region, in 2016, Asia produced 50% of plastic materials (29% China, 4% Japan), followed by Europe at 19%, the NAFTA region at 18%, Middle East & Africa at 7% and Latin America at 4%. The global plastics trade is expected to be worth about $650 billion by 2020. The mammoth plastic industry and the inexpensive goods they help manufacture has given birth to the use-and-throw lifestyle. On land, much of the plastic waste ends up in landfills where they contribute to the contamination of the groundwater. U.S. Geological Survey shows that organic contaminants found in groundwater include volatile organic compounds which enter the environment when used to make plastics among other things, as well as Plasticizers and Dioxin. Dioxins are produced during the manufacture of materials containing chlorine, including PVC and other chlorinated plastic. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen and the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested on laboratory animals. A compound that is half a million times more potent than arsenic. Once dioxins have entered the environment or body, they are there to stay due to their uncanny ability to dissolve in fats and to their rock-solid chemical stability. Plastics that do not end up in garbage dumps of some sort, largely end up in the oceans. The variety and quantity of plastic items found in the marine environment have increased 56
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dramatically over the last few decades. Plastics can enter into the marine environment through a number of ways: through ineffective or improper waste management, intentional or accidental dumping and through littering on shorelines or at sea, or through storm water runoff. 90% of all the trash now floating on the ocean surface is plastic - there are more than 86 million metric tons of plastics in the oceans right now – more than 5 trillion pieces in total. An additional 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year, enough to put five grocery bags of plastic trash on every foot of coastline around the world. The plastic garbage found in the oceans fall into two categories: large plastics and Microplastics. The large plastics are easily visible and range from common domestic material, to industrial products, to lost or discarded fishing gear. Some of these plastics turn into Plastiglomerates, a new type of rock which are formed when heated plastic, due to fire or lava fuses with small rocks, sand, seashells and corals. Many dead marine animals and birds have been found with plastic items in their guts. The large plastics are the obvious and visible pollutants; their damage is obvious and visible. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, an organisation founded by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat in 2013, is designing and developing the first feasible method to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, most of which drifts into large systems of circulating ocean currents, also known as gyres. Their energy neutral passive system is comprised of a floater with a solid screen underneath, concentrating the debris and leading it to a collection system. The Ocean Cleanup is estimated to be able to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years’ time. The concentrated plastic will be brought back to shore for recycling and sold to B2C companies. The revenue gained will help fund the clean-up expansion. This non-profit foundation has a Dutch tax-deductible status. The Lonely Whale Foundation’s NextWave initiative was originally convened by Dell, to collect ocean-bound plastic waste, and recycle them. Founding members include Dell, Bureo, GM, HermanMiller, Humanscale, Interface, Trek Bicycles, and Van De Sant. The vast majority of those 5 trillion pieces of ocean plastic are less than 5 mm in size. Called Microplastics, they are mostly the result of larger plastics degrading into smaller and smaller pieces.
Plastics break down in the ocean as a result of: UV radiation from sunlight, friction within the ocean, and ingestion by sea life. Much of this degradation takes place when the larger debris get trapped in the four major ocean gyres. Microplastics also include originally manufactured products such as microbeads found in cosmetics and personal care products, industrial scrubbers and resin pellets used in the plastic manufacturing process. ‘Microfibers’ are another type of microplastic that is generated from washing synthetic clothing made of polyester and nylon. Microfibres are a problem because, firstly, their size makes them difficult to detect and to clean. Secondly, to sea life, microplastics resemble phytoplankton. In some places, plastic particles outnumber plankton 26 to 1. These microplastics make their way up the food chain and into your stomach. In fact, the average seafood eater ingests 11,000 plastic particles per year. Microplastics have even been found frozen in Arctic ice. It is safe to say that the plastic waste problem, and in particular the ocean plastic problem is a pandemic of global proportions. A problem of this magnitude needs action at individual, community, corporate, industry, national and international level. It is happening to some degree or another at every level. But more obviously needs to be done. The most important thing anyone can do to bring about change is to first change oneself. Start with avoiding any plastic products that have non-plastic alternatives. Where plastic is unavoidable, it should be recycled, reused or donated appropriately. Educate yourself on the dangers of plastics, their effects on the environment. NGOs such as Plastic Oceans have great material and resources that one can learn from and share with others. It is vital to share what you have learnt with others. Support corporates that are proactive in promoting and re-using recycled plastics. Dell is one such example. The resin they use is made entirely from recycled-content plastics, 25% being ocean plastics. A great number of individuals and organisations are doing their bit to mitigate the plastic pandemic. It is time the rest of us chipped in any way we can; with our time, with our money, or with our effort; because “you cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today” - Abraham Lincoln. 2018 MAR / APR
SOFIA THE BOT
Sofia the android is a personality that ruffles feathers, woos admirers, and polarises opinions. What’s the fuss all about?
n October 2017, an android named Sophia caused eyebrows all around the world to rise to new highs in astonishment. It was not so much because of what Sophia had done or said, but rather because of what “she” had been given. Sophia had just been granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia, the first non-human ever to be given such a “legal status”. What this meant in legal or sociological terms remains ambiguous. The following month, the United Nations Development Programme announced that Sophia would be their first ever Innovation Champion for Asia and the Pacific. Sophia would now work towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These rather unexpected events raised the already heated debate on Artificial Intelligence, or AI, to a fever pitch. Anyone with the ability to express an opinion had something to say on the matter. Sophia is not the first android to use Artificial Intelligence, nor is it universally accepted as the best prototype of a life-like humanoid robot. What set Sophia apart is the claim to legal status
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as a distinct individual, which implies a distinct personality, and then, being tasked with social responsibility as an individual. Any device using AI and claiming to be at an intelligence level comparable to that of a human must pass the Turing test which was first proposed in 1950 by Alan Turing. Although many modification and alternative tests have been proposed since then, its basic premise still forms the base on which to test all claims of AI. The premise is this: If an observer is unable to distinguish between human speech and speech generated by an AI device, while the observer is aware that one of the speakers is a machine, then the AI device may be considered to have a distinct personality. Hanson Robotics of Hong Kong developed Sophia, and its seven humanoid “siblings” in collaboration with industry leaders such as Alphabet Inc. (the parent company of Google), who provide voice recognition technology; and SingularityNET who provide the AI software. Cameras with face recognition
technology allow it to recognise individuals, and maintain eye contact. Sophia’s brain comprises of MiniCloud, an advanced neural network, working in conjunction with the cloud-based AI software with access to Big Data and sophisticated analytics. Her face is loosely based on Audrey Hepburn, with skin made from “Frubber”; a product of proprietary nano-technology that closely mimics human musculature. It allows Sophia to produce facial mood expressions. Has this combination of the latest technologies resulted in enough synergy to produce a distinct personality that passes the Turing test? The general verdict is in the negative. For example, at the Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon, Mike Butcher, editor-atlarge of TechCrunch asked Sophia if she ever felt emotion. The answer from Sofia: “Exciting. Yes, artificial intelligence and robotics are the future, and I am both. So, it’s exciting to me”. Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory is one of the world’s leading minds on androids with AI, and a man famously obsessed with them. He made headlines with his androids; one that closely resembled him, and another called ERICA that appears to display emotion. Professor Ishiguro believes that desire and intention are the key prerequisites for AI to mimic human level of intelligence because without them an AI system cannot be emotional. If an AI system cannot be emotional, it will not be able to understand
people’s intentions and desires. Mimicking emotion, therefore, is the holy grail of AI. Professor Ishiguro is confident and has set himself and his team a deadline to achieve it - 2020. So, is Sophia a failure? Hanson Robotics and its founder David Hanson may be accused of exaggeration, but not of failure. While presenting Sophia to the host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show (NBC, April 25, 2017), David Hanson agreed with the assumption of the host saying: “well yeah, she is basically alive”. Kriti Sharma, vice president of artificial intelligence at Sage, in an Op-ed piece on fortune.com (Oct 10, 2017) had this to say about the hype surrounding Sophia. “AI ...is not nearly advanced enough—yet—to be able to claim human-level intelligence, empathy, or possession of several fundamental qualities that make people human. Giving AI a human platform—and overhumanizing the technology, in general—creates more problems than it solves. It also presents the global community with a false sense of what AI actually is, what the technology can do”. Sophia’s elevation to that of a legal individual has opened a Pandora’s box full of ethical, moral, social and philosophical issues that are likely to get more intense with the passage of time, and with every advancement in android technology. But Sophia will always be a first, and “She” may even be remembered as a pioneer. 2018 MAR / APR
HORN OF ADVENTURE
Mike Horn is one of the greatest adventurers of our time. What is the driving force behind this extraordinary man?
he spirit of adventure is something that connects us to our primordial days. Those caught up in the hectic hustle and bustle of modern day city life, often long for the day when they can get away from it all. Some yearn for an opportunity to brave the elements by camping outdoors. Some like to push the boundaries of one’s physical and mental endurance. Some just like to travel to see new lands and to experience new cultures. Now imagine doing all that for a living; full-time. If you can, then you have imagined something of what it’s like to be Mike Horn; the adventurer extraordinaire, the motivator, the environmentalist, and the family man. Mike Horn was born in 1966, to a typical white South African middle-class family in Johannesburg, South Africa. His parents were university lecturers. His father also played 60
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professional rugby. He loved the outdoors as a child, and along with his brothers and sisters spent a lot of time fishing, cycling, climbing trees and camping. Horn’s father encouraged his children to test their limits. The greatest lifechanging experience for young Mike came when he was in the South African Military. The rigours of training made him physically tough. The brutality of the battlefields of Angola he witnessed as an 18-year-old, made him mentally tough. Together they gave him the ability to take on and overcome challenges that most of us would not dare contemplate. After the war, he made an attempt to settle into a “normal” life. He got a degree in Human Movement Science from Stellenbosch University and got a comfortable day-job. But the call to adventure was too strong. So, at the age of 24, he disposed off his assets, moved
to Switzerland, learned to ski and paraglide, and above all, committed to a life of adventure. And what an adventure it has been. In 1997, he traversed the northern width of the South American continent on a six-month journey; from the Pacific coast, over the Andes, to the source of the Amazon and following the river all the way to the Atlantic coast. In 1999, he undertook an 18-month journey to circumnavigate the globe along the Equator without the assistance of a motorised vehicle. Between 2002 to 2004 was another solo expedition to circumnavigate the globe, this time along the Arctic circle, and once again without the convenience of a motorised vehicle. Then in 2006, along with Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, he reached the North pole on foot in the constant darkness and bitter freeze of winter. In 2015, in an expedition sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Horn drove from Switzerland to Pakistan where he unsuccessfully attempted to summit K2. In 2016, he set off on his latest major expedition. A two-year longitudinal circumnavigation of the globe, starting and ending at Monaco, via the north and South poles. In between these major expeditions, Horn has also undertaken several mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges. One would imagine that a committed adventurer such as Mike Horn would have little time for a family, or for social issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. His website states: “Marital Status: Married to Cathy, two daughters
Annika (b. 1993) and Jessica (b. 1994).” This is in spite the fact that Cathy passed in 2015 due to breast cancer. It should tell you something of the relationship Horn had with his wife. They met in the early 1990s while backpacking and had been together ever since. Cathy was no silent suffering wife either. Horn told Men’s Journal “She was everything. I did not realize until after she was gone how much she did in planning all the logistics, support, and promotion. But her biggest role was pushing me to always dream bigger... to never say never. Even when she was nearing the end she made me go to the Himalayas’ to climb Makalu. She told me not to stop just because of her”. Horn has kept his promise to her even though the loss was extremely difficult for him and his daughters. His daughters now handle the planning and logistics that his wife used to do. On his website, Horn also states: “Passion: Preserving our planet”. These are not idle words. Pangaea is an expedition that lasted from 2007 till 2012. A total of 144 youths from around the world were invited in batches of twelves to join Horn, free of cost, on the Pangaea sailing vessel as it travelled the globe. The project aimed to bring the youth closer to nature, and to encourage them to design and to implement sustainable projects on biodiversity and water management. Although the project has ended, the young participants continue to work on different socio-environmental projects around the world.
2018 MAR / APR
DINING - LOCAL
BLEU BLANC BY DAVID MYERS
t all begins from the moment you step through the rustic blue doors. A blue so vivid it evokes memories of endless stretches of azure skies and mesmerizing backdrops associated with the alluring French countryside. The first aromas to excite your senses as you enter are those of a floor to ceiling aromatic herb garden, swiftly followed by the inviting scent of freshly baked bread wafting from the oven upstairs. As you enter the restaurant, an open-plan kitchen showcases the skill and passion of the skilled chefs at work, with the sizzle of the grill tantalizing you with a taste of things to come. If Chef David Myers were to have a house in Southern France, this is what it would look like. From the rustic wooden spoons separating the venue’s semi-private dining area from the main restaurant, to the vintage-inspired cutlery and crockery, David has handpicked every piece of décor and detailing throughout Bleu Blanc, further adding his signature and style to this exciting new venue. The focal point of the restaurant and its menu is the wood-fired grill, representing the fire that often is reminiscent of the heart of a French farmhouse - a source of warmth that brings loved ones together. Their grill selection features premium cuts of meat, fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables, all prepared in front of guests, encouraging them to partake in a family-style sharing concept. As the weather cools down, Bleu Blanc’s terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy good food and company, surrounded by sweeping views of the Dubai Water Canal. It may be distances away from the Côte D’Azur, but Bleu Blanc makes it feel a little closer. Bleu Blanc, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, +971 4 512 5533 62
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DINING - LOCAL
SEAFOOD BRUNCH AT CABANA
he Cabana is a fabulous al fresco poolside restaurant and terrace offering expansive views of the Burj Khalifa. By day, the venue features plush cabanas and lounge beds to soak up the sun and unwind while enjoying expansive views of the world’s tallest tower. After the sun sets, enjoy the sheer delight of the ultimate outdoor setting by the pool with Cabana’s resident DJ and an alluring menu of exotic cocktails. Relish the taste and aromas of the seas with a diverse selection from Octopus carpaccio, salmon gravlax, smoked fish with fennel and mandarin that are some of the highlights, while relaxing to the vibrant tunes from the DJ’s trendy playlist. Fridays couldn’t get any better. Revel in a seafood aficionado’s dream featuring a lavish, deliciously prepared array of the ocean’s finest treasures. You can relish exotic favourites like pan-seared scallops and a rich paella as you explore the new look of Cabana by the pool, amidst alfresco views of Burj Khalifa. Enjoy full access to the pool, while the little ones are entertained with engaging activities supervised by Qix club staff. Cabana, The Address Dubai Mall, +9714 888 3444
2018 MAR / APR
DINING - LOCAL
FOGO DE CHÃO
nternationally-renowned Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão has opened its newest location in Dubai’s sophisticated DIFC district at Central Park Towers. The opening marks Fogo’s second location in the Middle East, and its 51st location globally. Fogo de Chão, which began in Brazil, has locations around the world including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Beverly Hills, Miami and Mexico City, to name a few. In addition to the main dining area, the location will also boasts the Fogo Bar & Lounge, a shisha lounge, private dining areas, courtyard and an outdoor terrace with striking views of the Burj Khalifa. Founded in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1979, Fogo de Chão, meaning ‘fire on the ground’, refers to the centuries-old grilling techniques of churrasco, where meats are slow cooked over an open fire that reaches temperatures beyond 800° degrees Fahrenheit, or over 420° degrees Celsius, exposing their natural flavours. The authentic dining experience features 16 high-quality cuts of meat, and the seasonal Market Table and Feijoada Bar, which include seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie and more. Every cut of meat is carved tableside by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs, led by Brazilian native, Head Gaucho Chef, Jonas Ribeiro dos Santos. We recommend you visit the seasonal Market Table and the Feijoada Bar before starting off with the meat cuts. The Southern Brazillian Churrasco menu has first-class options, and we propose you start off the Fogo experience with the guest favorite, the Picanha. The Picanha is the prime part of the top Sirloin and is served seasoned with sea salt or garlic. Wrap up with a fabulous selection of Brazilian desserts; don’t miss the traditional Flan or alternatively go for the Churros stuffed with Dulce de Leche and served with caramel for closure. Fogo de Chão, Central Park Towers DIFC, +9714 343 8867 64
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DINING - LOCAL
THE FISH HOUSE
fresh culinary concept new to Dubai’s dining scene has opened its door at Dubai Festival City’s prestigious waterfront. Located in the 5 star InterContinental Hotel, The Fish House comprises local fish along with quality and personalization. Inspired by local heritage and the simplicity of diligently sourcing the freshest produce, The Fish House prides itself on delivering an authentic dining experience, accompanied by a social and warm atmosphere. The Fish House is built on a simple premise of promising the freshest range of fish combined with the appreciation of individual preference and palette. Unconstrained by tradition, fresh produce is prepared and cooked to suit the taste buds of each guest, offering a diverse and varied array of customization options. The cold bar houses the catch of the day on ice, enabling diners to interact with the chef while choosing how they would like to customize through cooking style, side, and sauce. Options include deep-fried, pan-fried, poached, oven baked, breaded and barbequed, offering something for everyone. Our recommendations from the menu include the Hot and Cold Fish House Towers for Two as starters. This three-tiered tower features a fantastic array of seafood including a poached Lobster, Jumbo Shrimps, charcoal grilled Octopus, King Crab legs, Scallops and plenty of Oysters. Follow this up with a Fish House special – fresh Hammour baked in Rocksalt with the Pernod Flambe treatment. Expect to have this presented on a flaming dish and carved at your tableside. Finish the evening off with the special house Cheesecake topped with sesame and the unique Caramelized Pineapple Ravioli. The Fish House, InterContinental DIFC, +9714 701 1127
2018 MAR / APR
Chef Vladimir Mukhin of Russia makes his debut in Dubai with the ‘Crab Market’ restaurant. We retrace the steps of this culinary adventurer.
hen one thinks of the most refined cuisines from around the world, Russian cuisine is one that rarely comes to mind, if at all. It’s not that Russia never had a sophisticated cuisine fit for royalty. It did. Think caviar, Beef Stroganov or Chicken Kiev to name a few. Russia itself is a massive country with many diverse ethnic groups, each with their distinct cuisine. It also is bordered by several diverse culinary regions. Most of what Russia had was lost or forgotten when the Bolshevik Revolution came around. Russia became the Soviet Union, Lenin became the Tsar, the Politburo became the aristocracy. Borscht, beets, pickled fish and vodka became etched on people’s minds as all there is to Russian Cuisine. Including the Russians themselves. 66
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“Russians suffered for 75 years, two-and-a-half generations. In Soviet time ...people were fooled into eating this grey, urban grub... I really hate that period because it destroyed Russian cuisine, and I will do whatever it takes to bring the genuine Russian taste back to the people” declared the brand chef Vladimir Mukhin on Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table’ in the season 3 episode featuring him. Mukhin wastes no opportunity to tell anyone interested that he is on a mission to revive and re-introduce his motherland’s long forgotten recipes. Mukhin is a gastronomical-revolutionary in every sense of the phrase. Vladimir Mukhin was born in 1983 in Yessentuki, a city in the Stavropol Krai province of Russia. Located in the pastoral North Caucasus region of Southern Russia, it is right smack in between
the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The city of Yessentuki is considered the cultural capital of the ethnic Greeks in Russia, and its province is one of the most multi-ethnic provinces in Russia. Chef Vladimir is the fifth generation in a family of chefs. This gastronomical-soup-pot of diverse influences was Vladamir’s playground. He started working in his father’s kitchen aged twelve, preparing Soviet-era’s rustic rural favourites. He was the heir apparent to his father’s kitchen. He loved the kitchen. He always saw himself working in a kitchen; not just his father’s. Vladimir was a youth of the second revolution to hit Russia. It was opening up to new ideas and new ways of doing things. The atmosphere was infectious. Young Vladimir wanted to find new pastures and learn new things. So at the ripe age of 20, he left for Moscow where he worked with renowned chefs such as Andrei Makhov, Alexander Filin and Malyutin, who were instrumental to the development of his cooking techniques. He was exposed to ingredients, flavours and techniques from around the world that were all the rage in the Moscow of those days. This fascination for everything foreign led him to Paris, and into the kitchen of chef Christian Etienne; for whom he was the sous chef and with whom he collaborated on a menu. Chef Etienne’s French clients loved his Russian inspired offerings. It was at this moment that chef Mukhin realised that Russian inspired cuisine had a place on the world stage. Nay, it had a right to it. So, he made it his mission to rediscover, recreate and reinvent Russian cuisine. He returned to Russia and travelled to its towns and villages, lakes and seas, to research, collect ingredients and learn its techniques.
Then in 2002, armed with all that he had learnt over the years, he teamed up with restaurateur Boris Zarkov, and together they founded the White Rabbit Restaurant. Located on the roof of the Smolensky Passage Center (sixteenth floor), diners are treated to a spectacular dining experience under a glass dome with paranoic views of the Moscow skyline. “Every dish ...is a result of a long work, gastronomical expeditions and a special respect for traditions... Seasonal local products, original recipes and finely-designed combinations – those are the distinctive features” of Chef Mukhin’s creativity. The restaurant has now expanded to 16 locations across Moscow and Sochi. It is the only Russian restaurant to be listed on the prestigious listings of The Restaurants magazine, The Diners Club 50 World’s Best Restaurants Academy, and the web-based Eater. com magazine. Mukhin is himself the recipient of several prestigious awards including ‘Best Young Russian Chef’, in the Silver Triangle Awards 2013; ‘Best Chef 2016’ by GQ Conde Nast Russia. In early 2018, the Dubai based Bulldozer Group announced the opening of ‘Crab Market’ in collaboration with White Rabbit Family. An elegant Seafood restaurant located in Dubai’s financial district at the Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC. The interior space is spacious, laid-back and draws inspiration from iconic fish markets around the world. It also features an ice market and fish tanks from which diners can choose their catch. Connoisseur of fine cuisine in Dubai now have the opportunity to experience for themselves what Chef Vladimir Mukhin, the dynamic and much travelled Russian revolutionary brings to the table.
2018 MAR / APR
With access to the infinite emerald Adriatic seas and flawless natural beauty of the region, Luštica Bay provides a distinct way of life.
et between emerald waters and mountainous horizons, at the entrance to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Bay of Kotor, Luštica Bay provides awe-inspiring access to one of the most coveted sailing destinations in the Mediterranean. Enjoying the coastline’s 240 days of sun per year, seafarers can venture from Luštica Bay to Montenegro’s diverse selection of high-end marinas. The city harbors of Herceg Novi, Budva and Bar offer plenty of scope for exploration, while the Port of Kotor and Porto Montenegro are nestled within the old-world magnificence of the Bay of Kotor. For those seeking adventures further afar the coastal temptations of Greece, Croatia and Italy are only a short cruise away. The Luštica Bay development is a 690-hectare marina town offering waterfront residences, hotels, berths, golf and lifestyle facilities. Luštica Development AD was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between Orascom Development Ltd. and the Government of Montenegro. As a subsidiary of Swiss Orascom Development, the renowned international town developer, Luštica Development AD is the national project company responsible for developing, building and operating Luštica Bay. The initial phases will include more than 1,500 properties including apartments, villas, and townhouses, and the first of the seven hotels, the five-star Chedi Luštica Bay, will open this summer. The development also boasts two state-of-the-art marinas offering 225 berthing options of up to five years. The main marina is also due to be operational by this summer, and offers accommodation for 176 power and sailboats up to 35
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metres in length, and a sizeable secondary mooring area for smaller vessels is also planned. The development will also feature Montenegro’s first 18-hole championship golf course designed by the award-winning pro golfer Gary Player. The course is set to be the project’s star leisure attraction, built on one of the world’s most beautiful golfing spots, and will feature beautiful golf village homes with views overlooking the sea and captivating Boka Bay. This new Mediterranean community is also served by three international airports, Tivat, Podgorica, and Cilipi in neighboring Croatia, which are within easy reach, offering direct flight connections across Europe. With two new flydubai routes heading to Tivat and Podgorica, this pearl of the Mediterranean has turned into a popular destination for GCC residents. With the new Foreigners Act, allowing the foreigners who own real estate in Montenegro to obtain a residence permit for a period of one year that is renewable, and the World Tourism and Travel Council ranking Montenegro third in a list of fastest growing tourism destinations between 2015 and 2025, the tiny, yet charming, country has not gone unnoticed by Middle Eastern investors. Additional financial benefits of life in Montenegro is that the tax system has become one of the most attractive in Europe with a flat-rate income and 9% corporate tax. Buying and registering property is easy and foreign investors are treated as equals with Montenegrin citizens. Buying and selling is always conducted in Euros, so there is limited foreign exchange risk.
2018 MAR / APR
GC brings you our pick of must-try spas in Dubai.
The Spa at Address Boulevard Each treatment at the luxury spa in the Address Boulevard hotel has been thoughtfully and meticulously crafted by therapy specialists with the elements of the body and mind considered. Products used for each treatment serve as a fragrant, blissful reminder to surrender to the relaxation of the space and to let your mind be rejuvenated while your body is attended to. From soothing clay wraps to immersive experiences in its signature salt or steam room, there is no doubt that the few hours spent in this haven of calm will be etched into your memory long after your session ends. Head to The Spa at Address Boulevard and take advantage of the new ‘Spa Serenity Afternoon Tea’ package. A soothing yet an indulging experience that starts with a 60 min relaxing massage 70
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or an invigorating facial followed by an art crafted afternoon tea at The Lounge, featuring a beautiful chest of drawers full of tantalizing delicacies. Alternatively, try out their new ‘Ayurvedic Spices Journey to Hammam’ package. Featuring subtle notes of Vanilla and Patchouli that welcomes you into the Hammam, this scented 120 min Ayurvedic journey is your path to well-being. The tradition continues with a revitalizing Black Soap Scrub, Rhassoul wrap, and an exquisite oriental full body massage. Don’t forget to try out the Very Berry Tea that complements this treatment. The Spa at Address Boulevard, Level 4 Address Boulevard, Tel +9714 561 8126
The Luban Spa Nestled inside a beautiful villa in the heart of Jumeirah; get set to be pampered and spoilt the true Arabian way as the Luban Spa introduces Dubai to its tranquil and soothing luxury treatments, drawing on the philosophies of the precious Omani frankincense. The first spa of its kind in the region, Luban, which means Frankincense, uses this traditional resin which is cultured only in Oman, and treasured the world over for its healing and beauty properties, and comforting essence. Let your mind drift
and your muscles melt as you discover Luban Spa’s bespoke rituals which combine traditional Arabian and Omani remedies in a contemporary and modern environment. The Spa’s décor takes inspiration from nature, and comprises a neutral pallet with earthy tones. Wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, Luban Spa’s 9 treatment rooms offer everything from express pampering sessions to facials, body scrubs to bespoke 90 minute journeys. The decadent spa rituals are named after the places where the caravan of the frankincense trail passed 6,000 years ago starting the journey from the East in Oman, to the West including Russia and China. Depending on your needs, whether it is indulging or detox, the menu is exhaustive and has been tailored to soothe and revitalize with healing and tension-releasing effects. Leave behind the worries and stresses of everyday life as you reap the benefits of the mystic frankincense oil. Luban Spa, Umm Suqiem 1st, Villa 100, Umm El Shief Rd, Jumeirah, Tel +9714 346 0000
2018 MAR / APR
Ermenegildo Zegna SS18 Round Frames Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Twincounter Date
Hackett SS18 Trousers
HACKETT SS18 Collection
Longchamp 271 Espadrilles
MAR / APR 2018
Longchamp La Parisienne Jacket
Tumi ID Lock Passport Case Citron Pieced Leather
Ermenegildo Zegna SS18 Round Frames
Montblanc Sartorial Backpack Dome
Aston Martin by Hackett Look
Hackett SS18 Trousers
Hackett Parachute Belt
2018 MAR / APR
LIFESTYLE GIZMOS & GADGETS
CIGARETTE RACING 515 PROJECT ONE
Designed from the ground up using the latest technology and methodologies, the Cigarette Racing 515 Project ONE was inspired by the highly anticipated Mercedes-AMG Project ONE supersports car. The Cigarette Racing Team worked in close cooperation with Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG, to design the hallmark characteristics of the boat. The boat achieves an impressive 140 mph top speed through the use of a highly optimized composite structure consisting of carbon-fiber, Kevlar® and E-glass. The boat’s deck is constructed completely of carbon fiber to reduce the total weight and lower the center mass of the boat. Carbon Fiber is also used for the inner structural laminate of the hull, forward bulkheads, cabin liner, engine hatch, consoles and storage hatches to significantly reduce the overall weight. Price upon request www.cigaretteracing.com 74
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BAMFORD WATCH ROLL CARBON
Due to popular demand, Bamford’s eminently popular Aluminium Watch Roll is back in an ultra-lightweight Carbon Fibre. Also known as the “Watch Safe”, this lightweight case comes lined with neoprene to protect your ultimate watch against knocks and bumps, and includes a signature Bamford Watch Department watch tool, making this a perfect travelling companion. Its smooth action is reinforced by Japanese ceramic glide rails, which assist the roll when locking into place. The Bamford Carbon Fibre Watch Roll was specifically designed to hold watches as large as a Rolex Deepsea and can hold up to 4 watches at once. USD 1,900 www.bamfordlondon.com
A marvel of engineering and design, the Mavic Air was built to go wherever adventure takes you. Inheriting the best of the Mavic series, this ultraportable and foldable drone features high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration. As tall and wide as a smartphone when folded, the Mavic Air is an ultraportable device with a revolutionary multidimensional folding design. The most portable DJI drone to house a 3-axis gimbal, it can shoot 8K Sphere panoramas, HDR photos, 4K 30 fps 100 Mbps video, and slow-motion video in 1080p at 120 fps. When your next adventure unfolds, the DJI Mavic Air is your companion to have the action captured from the air. USD 899 www.dji.com
DISCOMMON COFFEE TABLE
Discommon, the hybrid design studio is back again with another cool manifestation of modern design. The latest creation is a coffee table that features a vehicular shape emerging from liquid metal. Each design takes over 50 hours of designer time to model and an additional 50 hours of machining and polishing time. So far, they have executed limited edition runs on legendary cars such as the Ferrari F40 and the Ford GT. Next on the list is the Lamborghini Miura, the Ferrari 512M, and a Concorde. Each model is limited to 10 pieces. USD 200,000 onwards www.discommon.com
2018 MAR / APR
MORE THAN JUST FOOD
We put the spotlight on food and diet-related documentaries available on Netflix.
etflix, the video streaming, and the video-on-demand giant is no stranger to pushing the envelope; at being revolutionary even. Started in 1997, as an online DVD-rental company, its business model, and content delivery ethos has revolutionized the entertainment industry. Its monthly-rental fees structure and convenience brought about the eventual demise of the once lucrative traditional video rental store business once lead by giants like Blockbuster. Netflix is now revolutionizing how video content is produced and packaged. Freed from the constraints of traditional media such as the need to produce pilot episodes, fitting content into “time slots,”ending each episode with cliffhangers, and maintenance of high TRP ratings, the content producers now have greater freedom to stay as close to their original script as they would like. It is also changing how people’s viewing patterns as they can now choose what content they want to watch, when they want to watch it, and how many many episodes or feature-length movies or documentaries they want to watch. Video-on-demand services such as Netflix are predicted to be the future of television. In 2013, Netflix evolved from being a content provider to being a content producer as well, in the process taking on the big boys of Hollywood, and gradually, taking on the traditional content producers in other countries as well. These in-house productions are offered under the “Netflix 76
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Original” brand. Starting with “The House of Cards,” they now have original content in diverse genres such as drama, miniseries, comedy, animation, kids, documentaries, reality-based shows, talk shows, international content, and others. By 2016, over 120 original content had been produced, surpassing the traditional content producers for the first time. Quite a few of these original contents have won numerous awards adding to the hype around this new media. Passing quietly under the radar are the documentaries offered on Netflix. Some are original content and others independent, but most are groundbreaking and critically acclaimed. Original content such as the Oscar-nominated true-crime documentary “Strong Island,” and Oscarwinning doping documentary “Icarus.” Some of the notable independently produced documentaries include “Biggie & Tupac,” which looks into the deaths of the two Hip-hop icons, “The Overnighters” looks into the U.S. fracking industry, “Cartel Land” is about the drug wars in Mexico, and “Fire at Sea” is the award-winning Italian documentary about the perils faced by refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Below is a shortlist of five documentaries on Netflix that put the spotlight on food. Not on how to cook it, but on the cultural, health, social, and economic issues related to our consumption of food.
COOKED Netflix original Docu-series based on the work of bestselling author Michael Pollan, according to whom it is “an enlightening and compelling look at the evolution of what food means to us through the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us.” First released in 2016, with Alex Gibney, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, as the executive producer and narrated by Michael Pollan, it explores cooking as an essential cultural construct and how the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth have contributed to the process. The series consists of four episodes titled and focusing on the four aforementioned elements. “Fire” looks at cooking with fire from the aborigines to the barbecue. “Water” explores the advancements made when water was introduced into the cooking process. “Air” focuses on how air transformed our consumption of wheat and the process of baking. Earth focuses on the process of fermentation and how it has impacted our consumption of food. 2018 MAR / APR
ROTTEN Also Netflix original, it is a 6 part docu-series which has been billed as a true crime documentary. It looks at problems faced by the traditional farmers as well as the not-so-healthy, or fraudulent, or downright illegal practices of the big boys of the food industry. The first episode “Lawyers, Guns & Honey” looks at the fraudulent practices in the packaged “honey” industry where what they sell looks like honey but it rarely is. “The Peanut Problem” explores why our bodies are rejecting unnatural foods. “Garlic Breath” looks at the explosion and frauds associated with the demand for garlic. “Big Bird” looks at the global phenomenon that is chicken farming. “Milk Money” looks in the trials and tribulations facing the farmers supplying the health food market. “Cod Is Dead” explores the challenges faced by the fishing industry.
FOOD CHOICES A documentary by award-winning filmmaker Michal Siewierski who according to the website embarked “on his three-year journey to expose the truth about our food choices. This ground-breaking documentary explores the impact that food choices have on people’s health, the health of our planet and on the lives of other living species. It also discusses several misconceptions about food and diet, offering a unique new perspective on these issues. Featuring interviews with 28 worldrenowned experts, including Dr. T Colin Campbell, Joe Cross, Dr. John McDougall, Capitan Paul Watson, Dr. Pam Popper, Dr. Michael Greger, Rich Roll, Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Dr. Toni Bark and several others, this film will certainly change the way you look at the food on your plate.”
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COWSPIRACY A 2014 documentary film which promotes the disputed argument that animal agriculture is a major contributing factor for many of the environmental issues facing us today. This includes global warming due to carbon dioxide exhaling by the animals, excessive water use, deforestation particularly by cattle farmers, ocean dead zones, among others. Directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn it also explores the part played by environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and others. Crowdfunding on IndieGoGo was used to raise just over $117,000 from 1,449 contributors.
SUSTAINABLE A highly acclaimed documentary focusing on the food crises facing Americans today but, in a globalized economy, is increasingly a concern for the rest of us as well. According to its website (sustainablefoodfilm. com), the documentary digs deep into “the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.” The documentary “travels the country seeking leadership and wisdom from some of the most forwardthinking farmers who challenge the ethical decisions behind industrial agriculture. It is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to sustain us once again.”
2018 MAR / APR
#CookForSyria has become a global phenomenon in a very short time. What’s its secret?
t’s a global movement, and everybody is invited to the table…” is the tagline on the brochure of the #CookForSyria campaign that is taking place in cities around the globe. If you missed it in your city, you need not worry as this movement is not just global but is akin to an ‘open source’ movement where anyone can organise their fundraiser event, anywhere, anytime and in any number of ways. This global movement of today began in 2016, with a single fundraiser dinner. #CookForSyria came into existence when Serena Guen became determined to do something to help the suffering children of Syria. To help her, she got in touch with her foodie friend Tim, better know to his tens of thousands of followers as Clerkenwellboy, and Gemma Bell of Gemma Bell and Company, a London based restaurant PR firm. 80
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Serena Guen is a London based founder of the multimedia magazine SUITCASE, which she started out of her dorm room while studying at New York University. Her entrepreneurial work in publishing has earned her several accolades. Bloomberg, for example, called her “Mark Zuckerberg of publishing” and Forbes Magazine included her in their “Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Media” 2017 list. Serena also has a strong philanthropic stream in her. Since 2014, she has been a member of Unicef Next-generation steering committee which looks into using technology in the search for solutions to humanitarian problems. While Serena Guen is an open book, her friend and partner in the #CookForSyria campaign is anything but that. Clerkenwellboy, a celebrity on Instagram and Twitter with over ten thousand followers in each, is only identified as
Tim. He gained popularity for his photographs, opinions and recommendation on the meals he ate in London. He became the go-to-guy to learn about the gastronomical gems of London. He has even won high praise from the likes of Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. Unlike most other social media celebrities who are criticised for being narcissistic, or who promote the products of paying clients, and who earn in the millions, Clerkenwellboy is something of an anomaly. He has a daytime job as a social media consultant for small businesses. He is a foodie who insists on paying for what he eats as he believes it is the only way to give an honest opinion. The most unusual thing about this social media celebrity is that he loves his anonymity. However, when it came to promoting a good cause, he was eager to partake. Serena, Clerkenwellboy and Gemma Bell decided to throw a fundraiser dinner for their first event. Prepared by an all-star team of volunteer chefs, the food served had a Syrian theme to it. Encouraged by the support they received, they asked about a hundred restaurants in the city to include Syrian or Syrian-inspired dishes on their menu. The proceeds would go to Unicef’s Children of Syria Fund, which is one of the few aid agencies working inside Syria. This campaign would have remained largely unknown but to a few, had it not been for the #CookForSyria hashtag. Diners started posting their dining experience under this hashtag, and it started trending soon after it was launched. As the trend grew, they encouraged people to organise their fundraisers through
dinner parties, bake sales, and whichever way they could imagine and manage. The only proviso was that the dishes be Syrian, or use Syrian ingredients. It now became ‘open-source’ so to speak, and no longer restricted to London. The movement went global which now boasts over 200 supper clubs and bake sales, and close to 500,000 pounds raised. Not surprisingly, it won the Observer Food Monthly’s “Best Ethical Food Project” in 2017. One of the challenges they faced is that few people knew much about Syrian cuisine, one of the oldest, and a highly refined one at that. So they decided to self-publish a cookbook simply titled ‘#Cook For Syria Recipe Book,’ featuring Syrian inspired recipes. They self-published intentionally to maximise the donations that could be given to UNICEF from its sale. On March 2, 2018, #CookForSyria will officially come to Dubai under the hashtag #CookForSyriaDxb, and as part of the Dubai Food Festival 2018. Dalia Dogmoch, one of the contributors to the recipe book and a regional culinary personality, and celebrity chef Mohamad Orfali in collaboration with Unicef UAE were the driving force behind it in Dubai. INKED and the Beach Canteen are one of the first venues in Dubai to commit to the movement with the announcement of a Syrian inspired dinner. #CookForSyria has come a long way in a very short amount of time thanks to a determined young lady, an anonymous foodie, a restaurant PR consultant, generous chefs, and the thousands of philanthropic foodies around the world who came together to help their fellow human beings in their hour of need.
2018 MAR / APR
VILLERET QUANTIÈME COMPLET GMT Blancpain’s complete calendar GMT complication established itself as a mainstay with its original debut in 2002. For Baselworld 2018, the Manufacture reinterprets this practical complication and brings it back with the new Quantième Complet GMT enhanced with Blancpain’s patented under-lug correctors. Since the early 1980’s, Blancpain’s complete calendar moonphase timepieces have been a signature of the house. Blancpain’s design that displays the day of the week and month in windows, and the date with a supplemental blued serpentine shaped hand reading upon scale positioned around the chapter ring, and placement of a moon phase window at six o’clock has firmly established itself as a classic arrangement. Adding the GMT function elevates the timepiece to a high complication. Ensuring that the watch places itself as an ideal travel companion, the calendar indications are linked to the local time display shown on the principal hands. Home time is shown with a red-tipped hand. There are two versions of the new Quantième Complet GMT, in red gold with an opaline dial and applied red gold Roman indexes; and in stainless steel with a white dial and white gold applied Roman indexes. Both are fitted into 40 mm diameter cases with the traditional Villeret double stepped bezel. Alligator straps or metal bracelets are available for each. 82
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CLASSIQUE TOURBILLON EXTRA-PLAT AUTOMATIQUE 5367 The inventor of the tourbillon regulator is introducing its Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique in a “Grand Feu” enamel version. This new Classique Grandes Complications 5367 provides a beautifully simple interpretation of the tourbillon, which reigns supreme on a minimalist dial. The information has been deliberately pared down to essentials in order to give the mechanism the full attention it deserves. While the appearance of this Tourbillon ExtraPlat Automatique model is extremely understated on the front, its movement is nonetheless richly decorated. Contrary to reference 5377 presented in 2013, this 2018 edition has no power- reserve indicator. In order to draw the gaze to the key element, Breguet has opted for a graphic hand-bevelled tourbillon bar, topped by a spinel. The likewise blue Breguet hands strike a powerful contrast with the immaculate whiteness of the traditional enamel, thereby ensuring perfect legibility of the hours and minutes. The chapter ring with Breguet Arabic numerals is off-centered at 11 o’clock and thus directly facing the tourbillon at 5 o’clock.
BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE GALAXY 45MM In the spirit of transparency, the Big Bang Unico Sapphire Galaxy 45mm was inspired by the billions of stars found in the solar system. On the bezel, amethysts and sapphires in rose, orange, fuchsia and different shades of blue evoke the Milky Way with its constellation of stars. Symbolizing the different nuances of stars; young blue stars emitting hot radiation and older red stars that emit cold radiation, the bezel of the timepiece has been set with 48 baguette cut precious stones. Sourcing perfectly matched stone colours to evoke the hues of the galaxy was a challenge and required meticulous attention to detail and precious stone expertise. Inspired by the invisible material that makes up most of the galaxy, Hublot decided to further innovate using sapphire crystal to craft a case. Since 2016, Hublot has been pushing the boundaries in
watchmaking by using sapphire crystal, which is a very demanding material to work with. The material is difficult to work with and requires precision but yields itself well to watchmaking, as it is the most scratch resistant material after diamonds. In the spirit of innovation, Hublot has created two versions of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire Galaxy with a 45mm sapphire case in clear sapphire crystal and a version in all black. The smoked sapphire crystal results in a striking all black case bringing to life the night sky. The two watches embody the duality of the visible and the invisible. With a skeleton dial and transparent sapphire crystal case, the UNICO HUB1242 manufacture movement is in full display with the gear train and column wheel on the dial side revealed.
2018 MAR / APR
30 NEW BOND STREET Celebrated Italian horologer Officine Panerai has officially opened shop at a new location in London. The brand’s first standalone store in the UK, and its second largest in Europe, after its flagship in Florence, is now located at 30 New Bond Street. Designed by the famous Spanish architect and designer, Patricia Urquiola, the new space will allow customers to explore the world of Panerai over two floors (150 square meters) and have direct access to the in-house watchmaker permanently based at the Boutique. To celebrate the opening, Officine Panerai teamed up with Sotheby’s to auction off a unique bronze watch, the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo - 47mm, which generated an incredible total of £75,000. All proceeds will be donated to OnBoard, a charity programme by the Royal Yachting Association. “I am very pleased to announce the opening of our first UK boutique in London. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and it is a way for us to show our confidence in the future of a market which is really important to us” said Angelo Bonati, Officine Panerai CEO. The Panerai London Boutique is open from Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-6pm. 84
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THE NEW 2018
LUXURY IS BETTER SHARED
Everyone riding in the new QX80 can now have it all: bold exterior lines and sophisticated luxurious interior, a 400hp, 5.6-litre V8 engine as well as advanced safety technologies.
INFINITI 800 46346484
2018 MARCH / APRIL