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CONTENTS 36 BUSINESS
Nujoom Alghanem to represent UAE at 2019 Venice Biennale
Bvlgari to restore Rome’s Largo Argentina site
Calm – The World’s Happiest App
Boyan Slat and The Ocean Cleanup project Moley - The Robotic Kitchen Christie’s Continues to lead the global art market
NASAB – Contemporary members-only workspace and social club Montenegro – Europe’s best-kept secret World Government Summit 2019
Michael Milken – The Junk Bond King who became a philanthropist
The Ski Report
Rolls-Royce Showcases New Portfolio At The Geneva Motor Show
50 COVER STORY
Capri Holdings Limited completes acquisition of Versace
Armenia – A renewed era driven by optimism, innovation, and democracy
Galeries Lafayette -360-degree shopping experience
The growth of the sharing economy BMW Group and Daimler AG providing sustainable urban mobility for customers Sir Richard Branson – Serial Philanthropist
The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLS 53 Coupe Range Rover Velar – Refined for every occasion Moritz Grossmann GMT – At home in two time zones
Hublot Big Bang One-Click interchangeable straps for ladies
Ulysse Nardin Launches a New Watch Inspired by Mega Yachts
Glashutte presents new annual edition: The Sixties line
Specials From SIHH 2019
Spring Summer Selections
Boghossian Jewellery – The Kissing Collection
Paul Andrew, Salvatore Ferragamo’s new Creative head
Harklinikken – The Science of healthy hair
What’s new in the market
Carnival by Tresind & Hakkasan Restaurant
Integral Health & Wellbeing Sha Wellness Clinic
Kyoto City, Japan
Brown’s Hotel, London
Nike Adapt BB Self-Lacing Shoe
“Disintegrating X” by Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner
The Foiler – The world’s first Flying Yacht
2018 NOVT / DEC 13
EDITOR’S LETTER T
he cover personality for this edition, Sir Richard Branson, is a multi-faceted achiever (p. 50). H is business accomplishments represent but a fraction of what he has realized over the last few decades. One of the most inspirational travelers of our generation, Branson has a reputation for boldly venturing into the unknown – his current foray into space-tourism is one such example. New ventures aside, what truly sets Branson apart from his billionaire peers is the sheer number of successful philanthropic initiatives he has kickstarted during
his lifetime. Our entrepreneurial-team highlights start off with the team behind the wildly successful mindfulness app, Calm. Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith have taken an app about mental fitness, relaxation, and sleep to unicorn status. Closer to home, we got a chance to speak with Michel and Pascal Abchee, the brother duo behind the largest and the most successful department store in the middle east, Galleries Lafayette in Dubai Mall (p. 32). Our highpoint in the automotive section is the vivacious yet elegant MercedesAMG CLS53 4MATIC+ Coupé (p. 66). The electrified engine represents the next generation of technology and road-going performance vehicles from MercedesAMG. We reviewed the Range Rover Velar (p. 70), the pinnacle of luxury SUV refinement and performance, and explored its advanced driving capabilities. Browse through our favorite timepieces (p. 86) from the latest edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) that took place in Geneva. We present our fashion picks from the latest in menswear from the Spring Summer 2019 collection (p. 92) as well as some cool gadgets for you to consider adding to your arsenal (p. 104). In our travel section, we explore Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan (p. 112). Famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, and gardens, the city is definitely one for the bucket list. Brown’s Hotel (p. 116) in London is not only the oldest hotel in the city, but it is also one of its most reputed. A classical venue with contemporary renovations, this hotel has the perfect balance between historic charm and young at heart experiences. As always enjoy the read!
GLOBAL CITIZEN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sunaz Sharaf FEATURES EDITOR Shama Moosa JUNIOR EDITOR Almas Tholot COPY EDITOR Sameer Denzi ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR Nidal Ziyad ART DIRECTOR Omarr Khattab CONTRIBUTORS Teresa Esmezyan EDITORIAL MANAGEMENT Alta Verba Media Suite 17, Iridium Building Umm Suqueim Rd, Al Barsha T: + 971 4 395 9982 email@example.com www.global-citizen.com www.issuu.com/global-citizen www.facebook.com/GlobalCitizenMag www.instagram.com/GlobalCitizenMagazine MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Area Sacra in Largo Argentina
16 MAR / APR 2019
COMMITMENT TO ROME
Bulgari pays tribute to a city that greatly contributed to the success of the Maison, by financing the restoration and development of some of Rome’s most historic sites
ulgari has recently made a donation worth € 500,000 to the City of Rome to fund a series of projects aimed at the restoration and development of the significant archaeological site within the eternal city known as Area Sacra, located in the Largo Argentina neighbourhood. The sum donated this year will be added to the € 485,593.58 left over from the funds allocated for the restoration of the Spanish Steps in 2014. Thus, the Largo Argentina project site will have at its disposal nearly one million euros. The Largo Argentina site, one of the most important archaeological complexes of the Republican period, was accidentally discovered in 1927 by construction workers during a neighbourhood rebuilding project. The area housed four Roman temples and exposes a part of Pompey’s Theatre. The latter, apart from being a part of one of the archaeological icons of Rome, is also the site where, it is believed, Julius Caesar was assassinated on “the ides of March,” in 44BC. The area was excavated and hastily prepared for its inauguration on April 21, 1929, and there has been no significant work done on the site until now. “We are very proud of this further gift to the Eternal City: after the restoration of the Spanish Steps, which have always been a meeting point for Romans and tourists, we will enhance another site at the centre of the social and spiritual life of the ancient capital. Visitors will, at last, be able to admire beautiful and important remains from close quarters, in a square surrounded by Renaissance and medieval buildings. A cultural breath that only a city such as Rome can offer the world,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bulgari Group For Bulgari, the Eternal City isn’t just a home, it’s also an inexhaustible source of inspiration as many elements of Rome’s artistic and architectural heritage have found
their way into the exquisite design of Bulgari jewels. The Spanish Steps of Rome hold a particularly special place for the Maison. In 1884 Sotrio Bulgari opened his first shop in Via Sistina, at the top of the Spanish Steps. In 1905, the Maison inaugurated its historic shop at Via Condotti, a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps, and is now the point of reference for all Bulgari stores worldwide. During the Dolce Vita years, the fifties and sixties, the Spanish Steps became one of the favourite meeting places for the Italian and international jet set while Bulgari’s creations adorned stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg and many others. In 2014, to celebrate the 130th anniversary of its founding, Bulgari decided to adopt the Spanish Steps as a symbolic tribute to a city that contributed so much to the success of the Maison. The restoration project, completed in 2016, focussed on cleaning, reinforcing and protecting all surfaces, and improving public safety with the restoration of individual steps. This was just the beginning. In 2015 the Maison financed the restoration of the polychrome floor mosaics in the Baths of Caracalla. In 2016, Bulgari invested in the renovation of the Museum of Rome’s lighting system, to better illuminate the splendid stuccowork that decorates the ceiling of this architectural jewel. Since 2017 Bulgari started a partnership with MAXXI - the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts – to promote the MAXXI Bulgari prize, that highlights the works of young contemporary artists. The work on the Largo Argentina site is just the latest in a series of historical and cultural projects that Bulgari has funded in its endeavour to repay the Eternal city; the city that has nurtured it and inspired it. 2019 MAR / APR
18 MAR / APR 2019
A SHINING MOMENT
Nujoom Alghanem has been chosen to be the sole creative force at this year’s UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale
urators of UAE’s National Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, have invited award-winning poet and filmmaker Nujoom Alghanem to represent the UAE with a major site-specific video installation commissioned for the Pavilion. The International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale is one of the world’s most prestigious arts events attracting more than half a million visitors to each edition. This year’s edition, the 58th, will take place from 11 May to 24 November 2019, and will bring together more than 80 National Pavilions under the overarching title of ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’. The UAE has participated in the Venice Biennale since 2009 and maintains a permanent pavilion in the Sale d’Armi. This year’s National Pavilion is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. “Nujoom Alghanem is a true embodiment of the cultural inventiveness of the UAE,” said Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. “It is very fitting that this year’s curators have selected her to be the solo artist representing the UAE at the Venice Biennale. Her poignant poetry and cinematic imagery have such a vivid impact that will make for a truly memorable pavilion.” Nujoom Alghanem is a renowned poet and filmmaker who is considered a leading voice of her generation. With eight critically acclaimed volumes of poetry to date, she is highly regarded for her contributions to new forms of contemporary Arabic poetry. She has directed a number of features and documentaries that further the discourse around gender issues and societal norms. Her films include Nearby Sky (2014), Sounds of the Sea (2015), Honey, Rain and Dust (2016), and most recently, her feature documentary Sharp Tools (2017), a tribute to late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif. 2019 MAR / APR
Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith, founders of the App ‘Calm’ 20 JAN / FEB 2019
MINDFULNESS OVER INSTANT GRATIFICATION
Listed as one of the hottest apps of 2018, we look at what’s behind the world wide trending app ‘Calm’
ith over 40 million downloads and over 300,000 five-star reviews, Calm is the number one app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Calm is Apple’s ‘Best of 2018’ award winner and ‘App of the Year 2017,’ Google Play’s ‘Editor’s Choice for 2018,’ and the Center for Humane Technology’s ‘The World’s Happiest App.’ On February 9, Calm announced that it had raised 88 million dollars in investment, which took its valuation to one billion US dollars, thus making it the World’s First Mental Health Unicorn. What is causing all the excitement about an app called Calm? Imagine listening to the soothing voice of Stephen Fry while he reads you a bedtime story for grown-ups, or maybe you prefer southern drawl of Matthew McConaughey or the sultry softness of Leona Lewis. Sleep Stories by Calm are soothing tales read by well-known voices to help people unwind and fall into a deep sleep each evening. Helping people sleep through story-telling is not its only service offered by Calm. It is one of four in fact. Calm offers over 100 guided meditations to help people manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better. Its collection includes offerings that are suitable for beginners, intermediates and advanced users. Calm Body is a new service that offers ten minute guided video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching designed to release tension in the body and recharge the mind. It also includes audio programs taught by world-renowned mindfulness experts. Calm also offers hundreds of hours of exclusive music tracks, including original
compositions, nature sounds, white noise and much more, all of which are engineered to help listeners focus on work or study, relax or sleep. The app is free to download, but a paid subscription to Calm Premium gives access to over 100 hours of premium content, including an ever-growing library of advanced meditations, soothing Sleep Stories, calming nature scenes, a breathing tool and Calm Masterclasses. The most popular feature on the app is a 10-minute meditation called ‘The Daily Calm,’ that explores a new mindful theme and inspiring concept each day. Calm is also expanding offline in various ways that bring more peace, clarity and perspective into people’s busy lives. It has partnered with Penguin to publish a popular book; developed a natural sleep aid called Sleep Mist and has plans to create Calm clothing, home-ware, hotels and more. Recently Calm has partnered with XpresSpa at major U.S. airports to offer Calm users exclusive deals and gifts. “Like everyone else, I’d heard about meditation and mindfulness, but like everyone else, I was too busy to try it. I was CEO of my company, Mind Candy, and had created the online world of Moshi Monsters. We had 80 million users and were expanding all the time. I had also joined my friend Alex Tew in creating a new venture – calm.com. Alex, who created the website Million Dollar Homepage in 2005, and had made a million dollars in a few months, had been into mindfulness and meditation since he was a teenager. I was interested, but more as a bystander,” said Michael Acton Smith, Calm’s co-founder. 2019 MAR / APR
22 MAR / APR 2019
“For a long time, I’d been put off by the hippy image. But as I started reading more, I came across this incredible wealth of science backing up the many claims. Not only were major multi-million-dollar sports teams in America using it, but there was an increasing body of evidence that this practice could actually rewire your brain.” For those wondering what on earth is mindfulness; it is the psychological process of giving greater attention to one’s experiences occurring in the present moment. This process is developed through a combination of meditation and other techniques derived from Buddhist traditions. For example, everyone eats, but mindful eating requires one to pay complete attention to the act of eating by focusing on chewing properly
while also being cognizant of every taste and texture. With well over 1 million paying subscribers already, Calm’s top priorities in the near future, according to their website, will be to expand into more languages internationally, grow the in-house team which is currently at 50, and to create more content which means more Sleep Stories, meditations, music, and Calm Masterclasses. “We started as a meditation app, but have grown far beyond that,” said Smith. “Our vision is to build one of the most valuable and meaningful brands of the 21st century. Health and wellness is a $4 trillion industry, and we believe there is a big opportunity to build the leading company in this fast-growing and important space.” 2019 MAR / APR
Milken delivering a lecture at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. 24 MAR / APR 2019
THE MAN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
A look into Michael Milken’s philanthropic contributions and their global impact
ome narratives on the life of Michael Milken follow the myth that he is ‘the Junk Bond King who became a philanthropist.’ Many overlook the fact that financing with high-yield “junk” bonds was only one of many ways Milken helped his clients grow their businesses and create jobs. More importantly, most narratives tend to overlook the fact that his philanthropy began, not in the 1990s after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but in the early 1970s. In 1972, just three years after Milken began his career on Wall Street, his mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. This tragic news was the spark that ignited his philanthropic streak, particularly in the field of medical research. Then in 1976, when Milken was reaching new heights on Wall Street, he was devastated by the news that his father’s melanoma – a deadly skin cancer – had become terminal. The seriousness of the news was such that he moved back to his native California so that his two young sons could spend more time with their grandfather in the time he had left. In 1979, following the death of their father from cancer, Milken and his brother Lowell began planning for an organisation that would consolidate their previous private philanthropies to have a greater social impact. As a result, the Milken Family Foundation (MFF) was established in 1982, when he was still relatively unknown to the general public. It was endowed with several hundred million dollars. In the field of education, in 1985 MFF initiated the Milken Educator Awards, which has since given cash prizes to more than 2,800 teachers; the Teacher and Student Advancement system works to attract, develop, motivate and retain highquality teachers for America’s school system; the Milken Scholars program provides four years of college financial assistance and lifetime guidance to outstanding high school graduates; Mike’s Math Club introduces inner-city elementary school students to the practical and fun side of mathematics; and Festival for Youth is a school-based community program designed to build vibrant communities. MFF launched the Milken Institute as a non-profit, non-partisan economic think tank whose scholars lead an international dialogue on solutions in the areas of economics, health, ageing, human capital, philanthropy and capital markets. The Institute’s scholars publish research papers with a special emphasis on job creation, while the organisation also hosts more than 200 annual events worldwide including its famous “Milken Institute Global Conference” in Los Angeles and other major conferences in London, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Washington, DC. In the 1980s the foundation began a series of grants
supporting medical research that over the next decade contributed to a number of breakthroughs. Among those who received awards are: Dr. Dennis Slamon, who discovered a revolutionary treatment for one type of breast cancer; Dr. Steven Rosenberg, whose gene therapy research successfully harnessed the body’s own immune system to shrink tumours; and Dr. Owen Witte, whose research led to the breakthrough drug Gleevec. Milken founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 1993, which is today the world’s leading philanthropic organisation funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. PCF has raised more than $765 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 210 cancer centres and universities. The PCF global research enterprise extends to 22 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. Milken is always personally involved in the fundraising activities. In 2003, Milken launched FasterCures, an action tank that works to speed and improve the medical research system, by participating in efforts to modernise FDA drug review programs for all diseases and spur cross-sector collaborations. The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network or TRAIN, a FasterCures subsidiary, is an online platform for venture philanthropy in medical research, where foundations that fund research share best practices, exchange ideas and find relevant tools and resources. In 2012, Milken in collaboration with Dr Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, jointly hosted a three-day conference attended by senior medical scientists, patients, activists, philanthropists, regulators, and members of Congress to shed light on the return on investment in medical research. Each year since, Milken has hosted a Washington summit on “The Future of Health.” Fortune magazine in the article titled “The Man Who Changed Medicine,” observed: “Milken has, in fact, turned the cancer establishment upside down. [His] multi-pronged approach has been a significant factor in reducing deaths and suffering.” In 2014, George Washington University renamed its public health school after the Milken Institute to honour $80 million worth of donations for research and scholarship on public health issues. Milken and his wife Lori have joined with Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in The Giving Pledge, which commits them to give the majority of their assets to philanthropic causes during their lifetimes. Further information is available at www.mikemilken.com. 2019 MAR / APR
THE CROSS-ATLANTIC AFFAIR
A look in the acquisition of Italian fashion powerhouse Versace by the New York based Capri Holding’s Group
n December 31, 2018, Capri Holdings Limited, released a statement which stated that “it has changed its name from Michael Kors Holdings Limited, and beginning on January 2, 2019, it’s New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol will be CPRI. The company is also pleased to announce that it has completed its acquisition of Versace.” John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Capri Holdings said, “With the acquisition of Versace, we have now created one of the leading global fashion luxury groups in the world. The new name for our group, Capri Holdings, is inspired by the fabled island which has long been recognized as an iconic, glamorous and luxury destination. The island’s spectacular three rock formation, formed over 200 million years ago, is symbolic of the timeless heritage and strong foundation that is at the core of each of the three founder-led brands.” With regards to the new acquisition, he added: “Versace has long been recognized as one of the world’s leading fashion luxury houses, and is synonymous with Italian glamour and style. We are thrilled that the house of Versace is now part of the Capri Holdings family of luxury brands.” He also said: “We are committed to investing in its growth. With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over US$2.0 billion in revenues.” To achieve these objectives, the group plan to increase Versace’s global retail footprint from 200 stores to 300, building on its e-commerce potential and expanding the men’s, women’s, accessories and footwear lines. Based on the current figures, Versace contributes about 35 percent of Capri’s revenue, which the group would like to increase to 60 percent. The acquisition cost Capri US$2.12 billion including debt, which amounted to about two-and-a-half times Versace’s revenue and 22 times its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). This deal brings three distinct, high-value brands under one roof. The New Yorkbased Michael Kors is the founding entity and best known for its aspirational luxury products that are sold at mid-tier department stores. The London based Jimmy Choo was acquired in 2017 for US$1.2 billion and was the group’s first venture into the high-end luxury market. As with all acquisitions, the opinion among analysts and investors was divided on the valuation. Some felt that the price tag was too high for a company that had low growth figures and suffered from frequent losses. Others were not sure how the Michael Kors brand would co-exist with and effect a brand like Versace. This sort of pessimistic outlook coupled with the Michael Kors brands’ poor performance figures sent Capri’s stocks on the NYSE on a slide between late September, when the deal was first announced, and till the end of December. Since then the stock price has been on a steady incline slope. Those who agree with the purchase price point to Versace’s brand value; one that is known and admired globally with a noticeable
26 MAR / APR 2019
presence in popular culture. Besides, Capri was not the only bidder for Versace. There were reports of interest from European behemoths like LVMH and Kering, to the US rivals of Capri: PVH Corp. which owns Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, and Tapestry which owns Kate Spade New York, Stuart Weitzman, and Coach. According to capriholdings.com, the acquisition of Versace is expected to deliver a number of benefits for Capri Holdings which include: A group that now includes three iconic founder-led brands that will function as independent brands. An opportunity to grow group revenues to US$8.0 billion in the long-term, of which, Versace would contribute two billion, Jimmy Choo one billion and Michael Kors five billion. Geographic expansion, particularly in the growing Asia region where the group expects to increase its revenue share from 11% Asia to 19% while in Europe it projects a growth of 23% to 24%. These increases are expected to come from a decline in the Americas from 66% to 57%. There is also the potential to create long-term operational synergies along with cost-saving on real estate and media deals because of the prestige of having the Versace brand in the group’s portfolio. Donatella Versace along with her daughter Allegra and brother Santo had collectively owned 80 percent of the brand, for which they mostly received cash, the balance was in the form of 2,395,170 ordinary shares of Capri Holdings. The cash portion of the purchase price was funded by a combination of cash on hand, drawings under its revolving credit facility, and bank term loans. Under the new structure, Capri has announced that John D. Idol will continue as the chairman and CEO of Capri Holdings, and as chief executive of the Michael Kors brand. Jonathan Akeroyd will continue as the CEO at Versace and, more importantly, Donatella will continue as the luxury brand’s Creative Director. The family shareholding in the group and the fact that Donatella is to continue as the Creative Director adds an essential element of positivity to the deal; because it “demonstrates our belief in the long-term success of Versace and commitment to this new global fashion luxury group,” said Donatella. “Santo, Allegra and I recognize that this next step will allow Versace to reach its full potential.” Donatella, who took over the creative reigns of the Versace brand after the death of her brother and founder Gianni Versace in 1997, has overseen the growth of the group’s luxury clothing lines along with its expansion into accessories, home furnishings, and hotels, thus turning Versace into a luxury lifestyle brand. Some have suggested that Capri may grow to become a future challenger to the likes of LVHM and Kering. To begin with, there aren’t many independent luxury brands left to acquire. Secondly, the gap between Capri and the likes of LVHM and Kering is substantial. Kering’s Gucci alone generates more revenue than Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace combined. So the road ahead for Versace and Capri looks promising, it will be a long one and not without its challenges.
Left to Right - Jonathan Akeroyd-Gianni Versace S.P.A. Chief Executive Officer , Donatella Versace-Gianni Versace S.P.A. Vice President, Artistic 2019 MAR / APR Director and Director and John D. Idol-Michael Kors (USA), Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
ARMENIA REINVENTS ITSELF
The nation once shadowed by a history of struggle for survival now enters a renewed era driven by optimism, innovation, and democracy
here is a sense of warmth and comfort that radiates within Armenia; infants and elderly walk hand in hand, the young are loud and lively, the families affectionate and welcoming—and once immersed into the day to day, it feels as though the entire population is part of one big family. In a distance, the scenic hillside of the region’s fertile vineyards adorned by apricots and pomegranates lay beneath the majestic Mount Ararat. Armenia is known to cherish the many layers of its past. A once-ancient empire that stretched from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea, Armenia has since seen the horrific face of genocide, natural disaster, and civil war. But despite the decades of turbulence, its people have never been more fiercely proud of their nation’s history, as a promising future rises to conquer another day. This is the new Armenia. One minute, it feels as though you have time-lapsed into the past, and the next, you are wandering about the city streets flooded with modern cafes, art galleries, upscale restaurants, and luxury hotels. Within the last year, the nation is glowing again. There is an
28 MAR / APR 2019
evolving elegance and richness that incites a newfound energy to the land—and the world is taking notice. Its population is celebrating the end of a month-long peaceful protest that led to the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan and consequently, an end to the autocratic government that had controlled the former Soviet republic since 2008. In his place, Nikol Pashinyan, a prominent journalist, activist, and former parliamentarian, was elected Prime Minister. This model of democratic engagement and the series of opportunities and fortunes it has brought to the nation since has prompted The Economist to name Armenia the ‘Country of the Year’. Today, Armenia and its ‘Velvet Revolution’ have become as a testament to the rest of the world that bringing about political change and positive renewal through peaceful protests is not only possible, but promising. The Armenian people are a prime example of the belief that migration sparks innovation, uncovers potential, and facilitates adaptation to the evolving challenges of our world. Though
2019 MAR / APR
involuntary, the migration of Armenians as a result of the atrocities of genocide in 1915, also created a movement of unity and hope for the future of their diaspora. As the month of April becomes a global dedication to the commemoration of the 1.5 million Armenians lost, this time is also served to demonstrate the power of perseverance, and the emergence of global citizens that have changed the world as a result of it. Sharing that same vision, Founder of the Global Citizen Forum (GCF), Armand Arton, decided to host the next GCF in Yerevan, Armenia in October 2019. “I am delighted to be hosting such an essential gathering in this beautiful nation and incredibly proud to advocate my Armenian heritage,” shared Arton. “With a mission to empower unity through dialogue, this year’s Forum will focus on technology to achieve the transformation that the next generation of global citizens deserve.” Armenia was already given a golden opportunity to shine on the world stage, as it recently hosted French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among
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many other high-ranking dignitaries for the opening of the Francophonie Summit in the nation’s capital of Yerevan last October. The summit, which was initially created as a platform to promote the use of the French language and cultural affinities, has since developed its mission to include the promotion of human rights, sustainable development, and gender equality. Yerevan is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, celebrating its 2,800th anniversary—making the city even older than Rome. Embodying an open-air museum, Yerevan beautifully weaves modern cosmopolitan with thousand-year-old history, connecting East to West with its rich cultural heritage and traditions that have evolved to fit the modern age. It’s compelling hospitality and vibrant culture is celebrated amongst its lively streets, historical landmarks, rich harvest, unique architecture, and natural attractions. As Armenia continues its journey to rebuild a stronger, united, and prosperous nation; voices of optimism, fortune, and freedom grow louder and louder for the world to hear: Armenia has been reborn.
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Michel Abchee and Pascale Abchee at the newly remodelled ground floor of Galeries Lafayette
THE BIGGEST MEETS THE BEST
Galeries Lafayette in the Dubai Mall recently celebrated the completion of its first decade by unveiling a refreshed ground floor. GC spoke to Pascal Abchee, the General Manager to find out more
overing a total area of 215,000 square feet, Galeries Lafayette is the biggest shopping destination in Dubai located in the largest shopping mall in the Middle East, The Dubai Mall. Size is not Galeries Lafayette’s claim to fame, it’s what they offer: a “360-degree shopping experience” which includes womenswear, abayas, eveningwear, menswear, jewellery, kids wear, lingerie, accessories, footwear, beauty, and homeware by some of the most reputable luxury brands. There is also Le Gourmet: an international food hall and dining experience. This year marks the completion of a very successful first decade in Dubai, and to commemorate it, the department has entirely remodelled its ground floor. While it already houses Valentino, Givenchy, Celine in The Dubai Mall, this new floor now offers Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi Gucci, Chloe and LOEWE. The brands are housed adjoining each other around the perimeter of the accessories department, with each capsule designed to conceptualise the discreet essence of the respective brands. The Galeries Lafayette heritage dates back to 1895 when Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened a fashion store in a small corner shop on rue La Fayette in Paris. The following
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year they purchased the entire building. In 1905, they acquired buildings on boulevard Haussmann which became the brands 70,000 square metre flagship store, a Parisian landmark. Galeries Lafayette in the Dubai Mall is managed by MEDS ever since it secured the master franchise rights in 2009. MEDS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lebanon based ADMIC group headed by the Abchee brothers: Pascal, Michel and Gabriel. Their first venture was the BHV department store in 1998, in Jnah, Beirut. ADMIC quickly became one of the leading and fastest growing multi-format retail operators in Lebanon. In 1999, they launched Monoprix, a renowned chain of French supermarkets, followed by Citymall in 2005, the biggest commercial centre in Lebanon with a variety of over 150 retail boutiques and a multitude of entertainment outlets. MEDS was established in 2008 as a Dubai based subsidiary to cater to the GCC market. Le BHV Marais at City Walk is its most recent introduction. During the inauguration of Galeries Lafayette’s new ground floor, GC had an exclusive conversation with its General Manager Pascal Abchee. Born in 1972, Pascal holds an MBA in Finance from George Washington University. He began his professional
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career with a consultancy firm in Paris, but his passion was always for business. So Pascal joined forces with his brothers Michel and Gabriel Abchee to establish ADMIC. Galeries Lafayette has revolutionised the department store concept in the region. What is the secret formula? When we opened in 2009, the Dubai market was quite developed, and almost every international brand had already arrived here. However, we still managed to offer about 30 per cent of the product mix at Galeries Lafayette exclusively. We introduced new blends and new designers that people didnâ€™t know much about. Also, we quickly realised that there was a lot of burgeoning local talent everywhere around us, and nobody was looking at them. We knew that this was a tremendous potential to tap into. So, while we kept developing the international brands and designers, we also worked hard on bringing out local talent and launching them using Galeries Lafayette as a platform. Today we are very proud to say that ten years after, three of our top five fashion designers or brands, in terms of volume and sales, are local. We are talking about a multimillion-
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dollar business in a very limited space and in a very short time. How were you able to achieve these impressive numbers with the local talent? First of all there is real talent in Dubai, and thatâ€™s undeniable today. You also have an environment in Dubai that allows these talents to focus on their designs and on their business. All they needed was for somebody to allows them to get access to the clients. So, by putting this recipe together, the talent and the positive environment with our know-how in launching brands, we delivered a success story. So, to succeed you have to be different. If you look at the last ten years, you will see that we are always changing and always trying to bring something different to the market. How has the changes in the market dynamics of the past decade affected your business model? The shopping experience has definitely changed in the last decade. We look at it as a two-dimensional thing because we have two parallel lines that we have to keep our focus on. On the one hand,
we have to adapt to the ever-changing customer profile in Dubai given that it is a tourist hub. At one time the big focus was on the GCC market, then we had lots of Russian tourists visiting, then the Chinese tourists and so on. So the store had to adapt to the changing profile of the clients. On the other hand, we have to create a seamless experience between what we call the brick-and-mortar channel and the digital channel. Greater access to digital technology is accelerating these changes. Nowadays clients walk into the store with their phones in their hands. The population in the Middle East is mostly young. So they know what theyâ€™re looking for, they are well informed as they are able to compare prices online and are always looking for new products and new fashion trends. Accordingly, we have to adapt and respond to this challenge. We have to find a way to mix the department store model with the digital. What would you say is the biggest challenge in the coming years? The biggest challenge in the coming years is how do we adapt our fundamentals to better understand our client needs and to better serve them, to create the best customer experience by combining
our real-world know-how with the data that is available in our CRM systems while also ensuring that it is not used against them or to exploit them. We believe that if we set a data mining culture that is customer-centric, then this data becomes a positive tool. It should not be about what we want to offer. It should always be about what the customer needs. The challenge is to keep an open mind. Galeries Lafayette in the Dubai Mall has achieved some impressive milestones in the past decade. What can we expect in the future? I think along with reaching internal milestones you have to get some kind of an external validation as proof of success. Today we are happy that we are welcoming so many major brands to our renovated ground floor which was the final instrument in our current repositioning. It shows that they believe in our vision and they believe in the changes we have made. For us, this was a very important milestone. Now it becomes the base for the next milestone going forward, which is to become the reference department store in the Middle East. When people think about shopping, we want them to have on the top of their minds Galeries Lafayette. 2019 MAR / APR
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A FEARLESS MIND
Boyan Slat - a young boy with a great vision started ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ project that promises to make history in tackling a global catastrophe “
hy don’t we just clean it up?” was the question that lingered in the mind of a 16-year old Boyan Slat. He had been scuba diving in Greece and was “surprised to see more plastic than fish,” he tells anyone interested in his story. His curious mind led him to dig deeper into the problem of plastic pollution but was left even more disturbed to learn that no one had made a serious attempt to combat this issue. Like most idealistic teenagers he decided he should do something about it. Maybe he was the catalyst that the solution was looking for. A young mind not hindered by the burden of failure. A young mind not afraid to think big to solve a big problem. With his steely blue eyes and long flowing hair, he is a marketeer’s dream. In the age of social media, he is adept at using these virtual tools to spread his message, attract talent and raise
capital. His greatest quality, however, has been his foresight to envision a solution that is not just achievable but also profitable. His journey to find a solution began soon after the Greek holiday when he used a high school science project to better understanding the problem, as well as researching why a cleanup was considered impossible. There are five major zones in the world’s oceans where currents converge to form circular currents. These zones are called “garbage patches” because it is where a vast majority of the ocean’s drifting plastic accumulates. Here, through collision and the effect of UV rays, they break down into small and micro particles which are consumed by marine life and work their way through the food chain to be eventually consumed by humans. Since plastics are organic compounds, they adversely affect
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the health of humans and wildlife in a number of ways. It is believed they may have directly contributed to the extinction of several species. Even if we completely stop the disposal of plastics all around the world today, the plastics already in the world’s oceans will continue to affect the environment for hundreds, if not thousands of years. While it is essential to work on improving the consumption and recycling of plastics, it became apparent to Boyan that the world’s oceans need to be cleaned, and to do it, he would have to come up with an entirely new approach which also had to be energy neutral, and financially self-sustaining. All through high school, he experimented with different ideas and eventually settled on a passive concentration system that would use the ocean currents as the driving force. Instead of going after the plastic, Boyan’s plan was to let the plastic come to the collector. “It’s simple really,” is how Boyan likes to summarise his idea. He contacted about 300 companies for sponsorship. “Just one replied,” says Boyan, but the reply was only to turn him down. After graduating from high school, he was invited to present his initial idea at a TEDx conference in 2012. It did not gain much traction. Boyan began his Aerospace Engineering course at TU Delft while continuing to work on his idea. He soon realised that he had to choose between his project and his studies. So he dropped out of college after six months to focus on the project full time. He founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013, with just 300 euros of his savings as a starting capital.
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The decision soon paid dividends. In March 2013, Boyan’s TEDx video was aired by several news sites, and it went viral, viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. In a matter of days, Ocean Cleanup was able to recruit an initial team of volunteers, as well as raise the first $90,000 through crowdfunding. The first objective was to produce a broad-scoped feasibility study, covering areas including engineering, oceanography and recycling by a voluntary team of close to 100 scientists and engineers. The result, a 528-page study, explored a broad range of related topics and was published in June 2014. Its most important find was that, in most weather conditions, most of the ocean’s plastics are found within the top three metres, and therefore, the premise on which the project was founded was viable. The study was also the base for the second round of crowdfunding which raised over two million USD in 100 days from over 38,000 funders from 160 countries, making it “the most successful non-profit crowdfunding campaign in history” at the time according to ABN AMRO’s SEEDS, who facilitated the campaign. In August 2015, Ocean Cleanup assembled the largest ever ocean research expedition to better understand the plastic pollution problem. Sailing between Hawaii and California, around 30 vessels crossed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch parallel to one another. The expedition mapped an area measuring 3.5 million square kilometres and collected more
data on oceanic plastic than had been collected in the past 40 years combined. Also in 2015, Ocean Cleanup began a series of scale model testing at the world-renowned maritime research institutes Deltares and MARIN to determine the loads and dynamics of the cleanup barriers when exposed to waves and currents. This led to the development of the first large scale structure in 2016, which was deployed in the North Sea, 23 km off the coast of The Netherlands. In late 2016, Ocean Cleanup conducted the first-ever aerial survey of an ocean garbage patch with a series of reconnaissance flights across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Covering an area larger than the earlier ocean expedition, the objective was to accurately quantify, among others, discarded fishing gear, the ocean’s biggest and most harmful debris. A combination of experienced human observers and advanced sensors were used. The expedition confirmed that 92 per cent of the plastic mass is still to be found in objects larger than 5mm. In October of 2017, an order was placed for the manufacture of the first full-length floater comprising 51
sections and was delivered in early December. After nearly a year of further design tweaks and trials, System 001, the first full working prototype was dragged off to its test site off the coast of San Francisco in September 2018. After successful testing, it reached the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on October 16, 2018. On December 29, an 18-meter end-section had detached from the rest of System 001. The presumed cause was stated to be “material fatigue combined with a local stress concentration,” requiring it to be towed to Hawaii where it is undergoing a complete above and underwater inspection. In typical pioneering fashion, Boyan is undeterred. He sees this setback as an opportunity to learn, improve and return to the Garbage Patch with a much better system. Whatever the future holds for The Ocean Cleanup project, the research that has already been done so far has contributed tremendously to our understanding of a major global catastrophe that was far out of anyone’s sight and mind. It has also demonstrated that large self-sustaining and profitable models can be developed to tackle our waste if we have the vision and collective will power to do it. 2019 MAR / APR
A CHEF IN EVERY HOME
Robotic hands that can cook your meals like a Michelin star chef – meet Moley, the Robotic Kitchen
r Mark Oleynik’s inquisitive mind was being pricked by a persistent question: How can I have any delicious food that I want, at home, at any time? Dr Oleynik is a London-based computer scientist, and robotics and healthcare innovator, who also happens to be the CEO of Moley Robotics, founded in 2014. Moley Robotics aims to produce technologies that “address basic human needs and improve day-to-day quality of life.” The Moley Robotic Kitchen, the company’s first product and a world-first is, not surprisingly, a fully integrated automated kitchen, designed for regular homes, that cooks “with the skill and flair of a human chef.” The Moley Robotic Kitchen which went on sale in 2018 was created within six months, from concept to the first robotic kitchen prototype. It was launched at Hannover Messe in April 2015 and then exhibited at the CES Shanghai in May 2018, where it won the ‘Best of Best Award.’ Since its debut, the Robotic Kitchen has performed hundreds of cooking demonstrations, delighting audiences and
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the media alike with its fusion of human-like skill and cutting edge technology. The Robotic Kitchen is a module comprising of kitchen cabinets, a sink, refrigerator and dishwasher along with two highly complex, fully articulated hands with the ability to faithfully reproduce the movements of a human hand, and an integrated motion capture system. The robotic hands move at human speed, rather than that of a machine to make it easier for clients to feel comfortable with the system. In other words, it was intentionally designed not to feel like a piece of industrial technology. It was taught to cook like a human by the use of motion capture technology; the motion of Tim Anderson to be exact, the culinary innovator and winner of BBC’s Master Chef competition in 2011. Tim’s every motion and nuance was captured, from the way he stirred the liquids to the way he controlled the temperature, which was then translated into digital movement using bespoke algorithms created in collaboration with teams from Shadow Robotics (UK), Universities of Stanford (USA) and
the Sant ‘Anna School of Advanced Studies (Italy). Several other renowned chefs from around the world have contributed recipes and movements since then, which are being added to an ever-growing digital library of recipes for the robotic kitchen to use. The library will also allow consumers and professionals to record and share their recipes on an iTunes type platform. These recipes can be used an unlimited amount of times and even across generations. As Dr Oleynik says: “Imagine your grandmother’s dish that you love. Now you can have it cooked by the robot anytime you want. And also your great -grandchildren can watch the ‘grandmother’ preparation and taste the same dish. I think it’s a nice option to save family traditions for the future generations.” Once the recipe is chosen, pre-portioned ingredients will be delivered to the home of the client, which they then only need to place onto the special containers in the kitchen for the robot to begin cooking. The kitchen module as a whole is the product of another collaborative effort that includes Sebastian Conran, DYSEGNO and the Yachtline company. The design is modern without being too science-fiction-ish and has a clean, ergonomic workspace. Being modular it can be configured to fit most regular kitchen spaces. The kitchen can also be used by human cooks as the utensils were designed for human hands. When not required, the robotic arms fold away and
out of sight. Moley Robotics says that its robotic kitchen is designed for the mass-market and that by 2021, it will be sold for $35,000, a price; “comparable to an average sum spent on kitchen refurbishment. This creates a potential market of 5.95 million homes in 17 countries.” Moley also claims that some of the world’s biggest property developers, major restaurant chains, hotels and airline catering firms have expressed “great interest” in the robotic kitchen. The system can even be used as a teaching aid by showing users how to prepare a recipe far more effectively than a book or video. Starting with the first engine-powered vacuum cleaner in 1901, and followed by the likes of refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, toasters, microwaves and many others, the world of mechanisation has had a particular and consistent obsession with automating the kitchen. Some were little more than fantastic fads while others have become indispensable. The robotic kitchen, if Moley’s claims prove to be true, has the potential to cause a paradigm shift, especially if it and other similar kitchen robots become commonplace. Working professionals who have to rely on packaged foods or fast foods will be able to enjoy a variety of delicious, healthy dishes cooked to world-class standards in their own homes; and this is just one of Moley Robotic Kitchen’s innumerable uses.
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Chop Suey (1929), an Edward Hopper masterpiece became the most expensive work of pre-war American art sold at a record price in November 2018 at Christie’s in New York
A YEAR OF RECORD BREAKERS
Highlights from Christie’s impressive performance in 2018
was record-breaking at Christie’s with several major collections and continued demand across all categories,” according to Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s, in a recently released annual performance summary by the global leader in auctions. Christie’s has a presence in 46 countries, with ten salerooms around the world including London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, complemented by the ever-growing online sales. It conducts around 350 auctions annually, with prices ranging from the hundreds to the hundreds of millions, in over 80 categories, including fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, and collectables, among others. Christie’s recorded $7 billion worth of art sales in 2018, the highest in its 252-year history, which is a 6% increase from 2017. Collections from worldwide auctions, led by the historic Rockefeller sale, contributed $6.3 billion to 42 MAR / APR 2019
the record-breaking bottom line. The other contributing factors included the continued bullish demand for works over £10 million, of which 67 units were sold as compared to the 65 in 2017; private sales were up 7% to total $653.3 million; the 88 online-only sales worth $86.6 million delivered an increase of 20%. First-time buyers constituted 32% of all buyers in 2018. Spending by this group increased by 20% across all regions and price points with the top categories being Luxury sales at 32% and Post-War and Contemporary Art sales at 16%. Online-only sales continue to be the main channel for these new buyers to Christie’s at 41%. Sales in the American markets contributed $3.6 billion to the overall sales, the largest by far and an increase of 12% on 2017 figures. American buyers accounted for 39% of global spend while 40% of new buyers to Christie’s came from this sector. The American auctions were dominated by two benchmark setters. One was the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection which raised just over $835 million,
a new record for any private collection sale at an auction. The other was the Barney A. Ebsworth collection which not only raised a total of over $317 million but also became the most valuable art auction ever to be recorded on a blockchain. Christie’s Americas also held record-breaking sales from an unprecedented number of additional collections including selections from the Tisch, Stafford, Ebsworth, Anderson, de Menil, Newhouse, Bucksbaum, Klapper, Zucker, Thaw, Rose and Perenchio Collections. Records were broken for individual pieces as well. David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) for $90,312,500, more than doubled the previous auction record for a living artist. The gypsum relief of a Winged Genius made for the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, circa 883859 BC, realised nearly $31 million, a world record price for an Assyrian relief and the second highest price for any work of ancient art. Sales in Asia contributed $815.4 million or 25% of total global sales, an increase of 8% from last year. Interestingly, 57% of the spend was for works that fell outside the Asian Art category; such as Old Masters, Post-War and Contemporary Art and Luxury. Asia contributed 23% of new buyers to Christie’s. Headliners for the year included Zao Wou-K i’s 14.12.59, which sold for nearly HK$ 177 million; an “extremely rare” Doucai and Famille Rose ‘Anbaxian’ Vase, Tianqiuping which achieved HK$ 130.6 million; and Wood and Rock by Su Shi became the most expensive object sold by Christie’s in Asia at HK$ 463.6 million. Sales in Europe and the Middle East totalled $1.9 billion, down 5% from last year, and accounting for 36% of global spend. The region contributed 37% of Christie’s new buyers in 2018. London’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale raised over £20 million, the highest total sale in this category. Paris held 40 sales with 17 world auction records. Amsterdam continues to show strong results for Post-War and Contemporary Art. Christie’s 50th anniversary in Switzerland was highlighted by the sale of The Winston Pink Legacy for just over CHF 50 million, while its 60th anniversary in Italy was marked by Achrome by Piero Manzoni selling for €2,97 million, becoming the most expensive work of Post-War Art ever sold at auction in Italy. Dubai set a record for a watch sold in the Middle East when a Patek Philippe reference 1518 made for King Farouk of Egypt sold for AED3.35 million. “While signs of a more challenging macro-political and economic environment increased towards the end of last year, we remain confident of continued success in 2019, thanks to judicious planning and continued focus on curation, selection and pricing,” added Guillaume. Highlights for 2019 include: Christie’s ‘Post-War and Contemporary Art’ evening-auction on March 6, led by David Hockney’s 1969 portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott, from the collection of Barney A. Ebsworth; estimated to be worth in excess of £30 million. Highlights from the personal guitar collection of rock’n’roll legend, David Gilmour, will be offered in New York in June.
Constantin Brancusi’s La jeune fille sophistiquee – a portrait of heiress Nancy Cunard — was offered at auction for the very first time in May at Christie’s in New York 2019 MAR / APR
FINDING PROFITS ON SLIPPERY SLOPES
Winter holiday destinations globally are innovating to stay relevant, to appeal to a wider demographic and to attract visitors year-round
he challenges that have confronted the ski-holiday industry in the past few years are well documented: global warming, changing demographics, political uncertainty and an ever-growing list of competing leisure activities have resulted in a bearish outlook. However, where there is a challenge, there is innovation and resorts are finding ways to stay relevant in a changing landscape. And, where there is innovation, there are investment opportunities. Innovation in the ski tourism industry can be grouped into two general categories: Adding capacity or new services to an established destination, or developing new resorts in previously lesser-known regions. Sophie Chick, Director, World Research at Savills, comments that the industry has added “new lifts, hotels, festivals, sporting events and more to broaden the appeal of (both traditional and new) ski resorts to a wider demographic and to create year-round destinations. This investment is starting to pay off. The number of skier visitors across the globe has increased for the first time in four years.” However, she also notes that “the rise is predominantly being driven by more visitors to emerging markets, such as China, while the
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traditional ski areas have seen little change.” The latter observation is in agreement with Airbnb, the online hospitality broker, whose annual report stated: “Ideal backcountry ski areas and border towns are experiencing more guest arrivals this year.” Furthermore, “as far as accommodations go, both off-the-grid miniature cabins and sprawling chalets are inspiring those looking to plan their next ski-cation.” Here are Airbnb’s top ten trending winter destination of 2018 in declining order of popularity: Karuizawa, Japan; Zhangjiakou, China; Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee; Lombardy Mountains, Italy; San Carlos De Bariloche, Argentina; Poconos, Pennsylvania, USA; Whitefish, Montana, USA; Apennine Mountains, Italy; Eastern Townships, Canada; and Snowy Mountains, Australia. The reason behind this shift towards new destinations according to the Savills’ annual report is the changing demographics. The Baby boomers generation made up a majority of the visitors to the more established ski destinations who are now getting too old for skiing while the younger generation does not have the same enthusiasm for winter sports,
and when they do, they prefer newer destinations. To counter this trend, the established resorts have been implementing measures to attract millennials such as free WiFi throughout the resort and even on the slopes, embracing social media as a marketing tool, introducing winter festivals and newer disciplines such as snowboarding and extreme sports. Of all the innovations taking place in the winter holiday industry, wellness is the biggest buzzword at present and is embraced by all age groups. In addition to established luxury hotels with attached spas, private residences are also incorporating high-quality wellness facilities. There is also a growing trend of combining skiing with yoga and other wellness disciplines. Ski resorts have started offering ‘clean’ or vegan menus. Converting ski-resorts into summer destinations is a costeffective way of increasing revenue and minimising risk from unpredictable winters. Some resorts have therefore introduced a wide range of summer events such as golf tournaments, music festivals, horse shows, classic-car events, zip-line tours, marathons and endurance competitions. According to the Savills report, the North American region with three mammoth ranges, the Rockies, Pacific Coast and the Appalachians saw an overall increase in skier numbers after three years of decline. The Rocky Mountains added the most ‘new lifts’ relative to its existing stock. The Alps continues to expand its vast offering with more than 100 new ski lifts added for the 2018-19 season. Skier numbers in Japan have been on a downward trend mainly due to an ageing population, and therefore, the ski
areas are developed mountain-based villages with residences, as well as a range of dining and leisure options to attract younger clients. China’s ski slopes are comparatively undeveloped and offer the highest growth potential for domestic and international resort operators. There are currently plans to build the world’s largest indoor ski area in Shanghai. New Zealand is another growth story as it is one of the most popular destinations for skiing in the Southern Hemisphere, but remains small by international standards. With 1.5 million ski visits annually, 36% of which are foreign visitors, skier numbers have grown steadily since 2014. South America is another largely underdeveloped region with potential for growth. Sarajevo is an interesting case with respect to the GCC region. It has become an increasingly popular summer destination with this region’s holidaymakers and has the potential to become an excellent winter destination. In the past decade, the Bosnian capital has quietly worked its way up the charts among GCC nationals with an estimated 50,000 or more visitors annually. These numbers were in the low hundreds at the start of the decade. Furthermore, despite facing hurdles, the country has managed to attract developers from this region who have built residential, commercial and tourist complexes in and around the capital city. However, the 1984 Winter Olympics host city’s potential as a winter destination is largely untapped despite boasting excellent venues for skiing and other winter sports; particularly Mount Jahorina which, with its ten slopes, is just an hour’s drive from the Sarajevo city centre. 2019 MAR / APR
SHARING IN THE FUTURE
UAE experiences a phenomenal growth in the sector of sharing economy with Airbnb leading the charts
ike the budget airlines in the 1990s, smartphones and social media in the last decade, sharing economy is the great disruptor to make its mark this decade. Within the GCC, the spending in the sharing economy is estimated to be over the $10 billion mark, with the transportation sector witnessing the highest spending at nearly $3 billion. The accommodation sector, however, is predicted to experience the highest rate of growth, with some estimates as high as 42 per cent. The growth of the sharing economy is driven by a variety of benefits it offers over traditional business models. The benefits for the consumer include lower prices, flexibility, and convenience while for the service provider, it provides a relatively convenient additional source of income, often from assets they already own. For example, Deliveroo carries hot meals between restaurants and diners; Careem and Carpool Arabia facilitate carpooling and ridesharing; mrUsta provides household services; Beehive and Eureeca connect investors with growing businesses.
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Similarly, Airbnb provides short-term rentals of privately owned residences. Property owners in Dubai have been legally permitted to list their property on Airbnb since 2015. Since then, Airbnb has experienced significant growth in the Dubai market in terms of the number of properties listed and in terms of them being rented out. These include apartments or villas located in areas popular with tourists such as the Marina-JBR, Palm, or the Downtown area. As in other markets, owners of popular properties have reported anywhere between 30 to 50 per cent more rental income as compared to regular long-term rentals. From those registered with accommodation sharing sites like Airbnb, the future looks set to be bullish given that the Dubai Expo 2020 is just over a year away. Furthermore, Dubai is increasingly becoming a sharing-economy friendly emirate as it is also working on an initiative called ShareDXB, which facilitates a sharing economy concept across businesses wanting to capitalise on unutilised or under-utilised accommodation units.
Anna Skigin, CEO and Founder of Frank Porter With more than 25 million people expected to visit the Dubai Expo, of which at least 70 per cent will be from outside the UAE, it is estimated that there will be a need for as much as 70 million additional room-nights. Other than the visitors, the six-month-long event will also draw in professionals representing the exhibitors, the organisers, and the contractors responsible for building, covering or dismantling the exhibits. Supplementary accommodation generated using the sharing model can increase capacity quickly while doing away with the need for new permanent developments to meet a short term demand surge. “Those already investing in providing accommodations have seen a strong ROI before Expo has even started – this is only expected to increase during, and after Expo 2020 with non-Expo visitors to Dubai already estimated to be 16 million guests,” says Anna Skigin, CEO and Founder of property management company Frank Porter. The sharing economy is not without its risks and drawbacks, and the litigations related to it have been well publicised. The biggest challenge facing the sharing economy is a lack of understanding of how the model works coupled with ‘perceived lack of need.’ As with all new business models, a potential investor or participant has to spend time and effort to understand how it works and to come to grips with its various nuances, which in itself is a deterrent to conservative, risk-averse investors. The ‘perceived lack of need’ stems from the investor’s inability to realise how this sector is relevant to them or what its true earnings potential is and so on. On top of all this, the e-commerce platform on which the sharing economy is
based tends to be a deterrent for the older investors who have a preference for the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ way of doing things. Several new services have cropped to help investors who are daunted by the above mentioned and other barriers-to-entry into the Sharing economy. Frank Porter is one such entity, specialising in providing premium property management services to Dubai’s accommodation sharing sector. Frank Porter provides existing homeowners with an evaluation of the property and project expected revenue; style, professionally photograph and create property profiles to make an accommodation stand out on multiple platforms such as Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO and others; manage the listed price on a daily basis to maximise occupancy and revenue; provide careful guest vetting and checks, before and during arrival as well as forwarding the requisite documentation to the concerned government portals; handle check-in, check-out and guest communication before and during a stay; provide welcome packs, hotel amenities and fresh hotel quality linens and towels to ensure smooth stays and to help get 5-star reviews; arrange premium cleaning and maintenance service between guest stays. Frank Porter also offers property owners personal access to the property’s calendar, “full transparency” about who is staying at the accommodation and the price listed for the property. They also help potential investors find the ideal property to invest in. Those interested in benefiting from the projected growth in the accommodation sharing industry, particularly in Dubai, are advised to invest early, to build a strong user-rating traction by the time the Expo-related surge kicks off. 2019 MAR / APR
TOWARDS SMART URBAN MOBILITY
BMW Group and Daimler AG have formalised their cooperation in the area of urban mobility solutions
henever the BMW Group and Daimler AG are mentioned together, it is invariably about their fierce rivalry in the luxury automotive sector. However, quite sensibly, the two German giants announced last year that they would pool their substantial resources and know-how to tackle urban mobility challenges. The two companies’ existing mobility services have, between them, a wealth of experience, a highly innovative range of product, and a combined total of over 60 million active customers in Europe and America. Last month, the two companies announced that they are taking their cooperation to the next level by committing more than €1 billion to the cause and by formalising it through five
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joint ventures: Reach Now for multimodal services, Charge Now for charging, Free Now for taxi ride-hailing, Park Now for parking and Share Now for car-sharing. “We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services. We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,” said Harald Krüger, Management Board Chairman of BMW AG. “This service portfolio will be a key cornerstone
in our strategy as a mobility provider. The cooperation is the perfect way for us to maximise our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments.” Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than €1 billion to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility. By creating an intelligent network of joint ventures, we will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalisation, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers. Further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option.” Reach Now through its app, a single multimodal platform, offering its 6.7 million users simple, direct access to a range of mobility services for getting from A to B; such as booking and paying directly for public transport, car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike rentals. Charge Now is a comprehensive charging network that makes public charge points quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both within a customer’s home country and abroad. It is Managed by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH which develops simple, standardised access to public charge points for car manufacturers and fleet operators. With over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries, its white-label solutions are helping OEMs and fleet operators to realise their strategies for electric mobility. Its international charging network, with over 250 charge point operators is one of the world’s largest
and fastest-growing. Park Now is an innovative on-street or off-street parking solutions provider. It uses digital technology to enable its customers to reserve parking slots, manage their parking times, enables ticketless entry and exit at public garages, and enable cashless payment of parking fees. It already has over 30 million customers using its service in more than 1,100 cities in Europe and North America. With the search for parking currently accounting for about 30 per cent of the traffic on urban roads, this service’s contribution to helping towns and cities to reduce their traffic volumes should not be underestimated. Free Now offers a variety of digitally enabled mobility services such as taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles, and e-scooters. It is one of the largest ride-hailing services in Europe and Latin America serving more than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers. Meanwhile, Share Now is a free-floating car-sharing service that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles by smartphone. It has more than 4 million customers currently using the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world. On the innovation front, the joint venture is working on allelectric autonomous fleets that are available on demand, charge and park themselves, and connect with other modes of transport beyond road and rail. However, its immediate focus is to expand its existing serves to new geographical regions. “Our new portfolio for individual urban mobility on demand represents a logical extension to the value chain. Ultimately, we want to offer our customers as many options as possible for getting from A to B. In short, this is about driving, riding or being driven,” said Zetsche. 2019 MAR / APR
Credits: John Armstrong Photography 50 MAR / APR 2019
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
From building a mega-empire that serves over 53 million customers, to leading a lifelong philanthropic dedication, Sir Richard Branson has become one of the most influential public figures in the world
t is said that you measure the success of a true leader, not by their number of followers, but instead by the number of leaders they’ve created. This is, in fact, true for Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, who made a conscious decision to leave his business to help his team improve their leadership skills, build their confidence, and give them their space to thrive. And, while they did, so did the business. Today, the Virgin Group generates over £19 billion in revenue from more than 60 businesses operating in 35 countries. There is, however, much more to Branson than ‘The Serial Entrepreneur with a fabulous head of hair’ showcased in the media limelight. Business mogul, investor, author, and philanthropist, Branson’s life story delivers the true message of hard work, persistence, and opportunity. It all begins with a London boy with a vision, and the power of taking this vision onto the global stage. The eldest of three children, Branson was born in Blackheath, to Eve and Edward Branson, and the grandson of the Right Honourable Sir George A. H. Branson; a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor. From the age of eight, he studied at Scaitcliffe Boarding School in Surrey, before moving to Cliff View House School in Sussex and then onto Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. Hindered by dyslexia, Branson found it difficult to cope with the rigors of school and decided to quit. On his last day, his Headmaster told him that he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. Fortunately for him, his parents were supportive of his
decisions and endeavors from an early age. His mother, who became a noted philanthropist, also carried an entrepreneurial streak in her. Of her several ventures, her most notable one was building and selling wooden tissue boxes and wastepaper bins. While most philanthropists get involved in social issues once they have already made their fortune, Branson’s philanthropic streak has been running in parallel to his entrepreneurial one from a very early age. Branson started his first charity, the ‘Student Valley Centre,’ when he was just seventeen years old. This was only a year after he started his first successful business venture with some of his school friends, a magazine named Student, in 1966. 50,000 copies of the magazine’s first edition were distributed for free with the printing costs covered by advertising. By 1969, the magazine was doing well, and he was living in a London commune immersed in the British music scene. He had interviewed several personalities of the music scene and was advertising newly released music albums. His interactions within the music world led Branson directly to his next venture: a mail-order record company called Virgin, which sold records at discounted rates compared to the mainstream retailers. Initially, the business headquarters was in the same church as the magazine, but it did well enough that Branson was able to open a record shop on Oxford Street, London in 1971. The name “Virgin” was suggested by one of the employees because they were all complete virgins to 2019 MAR / APR
His next venture, which would eventually put Branson on the map, was a natural progression to the recording business in 1973. The following year the fledgling company, founded in partnership with Nik Powell, recorded its first single, “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield. An instant hit, it spent 247 weeks on the UK charts and is since, considered a classic. Success breeds success, as the saying goes, and Branson was able to sign many other talents as Virgin went on to become the world’s largest independent record label. “Entrepreneurs can instigate change in the social sector in the same way that they do in the business world. Entrepreneurs turn problems into opportunities,” Branson said in his 2007 interview with Business Week. Entrepreneurship and philanthropy may seem like two contradictory streams of venture to most observers, but for Branson, they are two sides of the same coin. Branson’s portfolio of philanthropic commitments is as similarly dynamic as his business ventures, with nearly 36 charities and foundations, including the likes of the African
Credits: Visual Eye 52 MAR / APR 2019
Wildlife Foundation to the American Civil Liberties Union, Cancer Research UK, Children with AIDS, Free the Children, International Rescue Corps, and Water.org. Branson also believes that “to bring about radical change, sometimes you have to be audacious.” As per his opinion piece on devex.com in 2018. “Bold innovation has today brought us closer to a new space age. Back on earth, that same daring entrepreneurial spirit can also be a powerful force for social change.” Branson himself has been at the forefront and founding member of some very influential NGOs in the past few decades. By the late 1990s, Branson began an informal dialogue with Peter Gabriel and Nelson Mandela about forming a small group of dedicated leaders from various backgrounds working together objectively to solve challenging global conflicts. These discussions led to the formal announcement by Mandela in 2007 of the formation of a new group called The Elders. Kofi Annan became its first Chair with Gro Harlem Brundtland as the Deputy Chair. The other founding members
Credits: John Armstrong Photography 2019 MAR / APR
Sir Richard Branson and the new Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo – officially christened VSS Unity – at a special reveal and naming ceremony at their Mojave Air and Space Port base in California, USA. Credits: Land Rover MENA 54 MAR / APR 2019
included, in addition to Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter while Peter Gabriel and Branson became its principal member donors. Since then, together with some great partners, Branson has inspired and incubated a number of other collaborations, including Ocean Unite, Carbon War Room, The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship, and ACTAI Necker Island. The many inspiring activities organized by ACTAI Necker Island alone has allowed numerous other organizations and philanthropists to join their mission—including Dr. Michelle Dickinson from Nanogirl Labs Ltd., Founder of the Global Citizen Forum, Armand Arton, and Other World Computing’s Larry O’Connor. In addition to his substantial formal philanthropic commitments, Branson has been involved in impromptu aid projects in response to unusual global events. In 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he arranged to airlift 40,000 blankets for Kuwaiti refugees in Jordan in the face of political objections. He is also credited with persuading Elton John to sing ‘Candle In The Wind’ at Princess Diana’s funeral which went on to raise $40 million for charity. And in 2009, Branson
joined Mia Farrow’s hunger strike to protest the Sudanese government’s expulsion of aid groups from Darfur. In a similar vein, Branson ended up taking the lead in organizing the recent Venezuela Aid Live. Last December, Colombian businessman Bruno Ocampo was visiting Branson at his Island retreat in the Caribbean when, over a game of chess, the subject of Venezuela came up. About six weeks later, Branson wrote to Ocampo to say that he wanted to help, and the two of them decided to host a concert at the Venezuelan border to raise funds for the humanitarian efforts as well as to publicize the issue. The concert raised more than $2.4 million in just a few days. The Venezuela Aid Live concert and how it came about, as well as all of Branson’s other business or philanthropic endeavors, is in a way the personality of Richard in a nutshell. It didn’t take too long to go from a boy with the drive and vision to create a better world, to a man whose influence and dedication is felt by millions around the globe. Branson’s story just goes to show, that being a global citizen does not have to be a birthright, but rather a mindset. And just like Branson’s second biographical work title says, ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It.’
Sir Richard Branson at the 100% Human Event in Australia Credits: Joyce Ong, New Heights Media 2019 MAR / APR
Reception Area 56 MAR / APR 2019
ONE OF A KIND
A look inside the super-exclusive Nasab, Dubai’s first members only workspace cum social club
asab in Arabic has the root meaning of origin, with derived meanings that include one’s link to the past and the future, a connection to a tribe, or a source of identity. Now, it has a new meaning: a workspace and social club bringing like-minded creatives, entrepreneurs and artists together to connect, collaborate and create. Nasab, however, is not open to everyone. It is Dubai’s, and the region’s, first members-only workspace; and membership is by invitation only. Nasab plans to nurture a new breed of professionals who travel in style, appreciate upscale environments, work remotely and have a smaller division between their personal and professional lives; a new generation that prefers to create over a coffee or a casual meal rather than the previous generations preference to meetings in offices.
The workspace cum social club opened its doors in February 2019, was launched by KOA, the unique real estate concept created by Mohammed Zaal, who said: “Our main aim throughout the development of Nasab has been to develop a space where creatives, entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals have a place to set up homes-away-from-home. We believe balance is everything, that’s why wellness facilities and event spaces play an intimate part in our environment. We wanted to create a space that works as a refuge where great things can happen for our members, a place in which they can effectively work as well as dine, attend events, meet likeminded individuals and form collaborations.” Designed by award-winning Dubai based firm, T.ZED Architects, Nasab is a mixed-use marvel spread over three floors of open-air loft house architecture featuring quiet alcoves 2019 MAR / APR
Library Lounge 58 MAR / APR 2019
Shared Workspace that dot the property. The interior, designed by the renowned British designer Fran Hickman, echoes elements from around the region but in a subtle and distinct manner. The two have created a space that seamlessly merges old with new, the natural with urban, the age-old desire for exclusivity with a more relaxed atmosphere suited to contemporary creative lifestyles. Nasab will offer a range of creative spaces including private offices, open desk spaces, meeting rooms, a photography studio, and a high altitude studio. Amenities include members-only fitness studio, meditation room, spa facilities, and three food & beverage outlets; for open social settings there are multiple indoor and outdoor event spaces such as a screening room, library, gallery space and an event-friendly roof space with an infinity pool. The club will also offer a schedule of curated programming that functions as an immersive cultural magazine, where members can expect film screenings, musical performances, political talks, and art exhibitions. With complete freedom to work in a way that works for each individual member, Nasab hopes to be a home cum social club for creatives who weave
leisure and entertainment seamlessly into daily life. Membership applications are carefully handpicked, rather than granting admittance on a first-come-first-serve basis. Successful applicants are allotted into one of the four tiers of memberships. The club’s founding members, handpicked to represent the ethos of the Nasab community, include interior designer Linda Dekkers, photographer and DJ Fatma Al Bakry, founder of Raw Coffee Kim Thompson, set designer and stylist Lauren Haslam, singer & musician Layla Kardan, fashion photographer Moez Achour, and founder of T.Zed Architects Tarik Al Zaharna among others. With the club’s commitment to privacy and exclusivity, it is set to be a who’s who of the well-connected. “Nasab is uniquely positioned and the first of its kind in the UAE. Our hope is that it provides a much-needed space for those who shape and contribute to the creative industry - entrepreneurs, leaders in tech, art, design and fashion. The team have worked extraordinarily hard to create an incredible space; we can’t wait to now see the community grow within it,” said Mohammed Zaal. 2019 MAR / APR
MONTENEGRO Citizenship by Investment Program
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MONTENEGRO IN MOTION
Montenegro’s Citizenship-by-Investment Program (CIP) hits record-high interest from investors looking for unique and extraordinary opportunities
ome to one of the world’s most exclusive superyacht sanctuaries and Europe’s most abundant array of unspoiled mountains, forests, and canyons; Montenegro has been Europe’s best-kept secret. That is, until now. There is a growing interest in Montenegro; notably in developing its captivating Northern regions, as well as nurturing the momentum of international interest that followed its successful closing of negotiation chapters with the EU. With a mission to meet and optimize these needs, the Montenegrin government introduced Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Program, with the aim of attracting foreign investments. This initiative aims to intensify projects in the tourism, agricultural, and industrial sectors, and further progress the expansion of under-developed municipalities in the nation’s northern regions. Officially named “The Special Investment Program of Particular Importance for the Business and Economic Interest of Montenegro” the program has become one of the most unique and attractive options for investors both within and beyond Europe. As part of the program, the Montenegrin government will grant citizenship to 2,000 foreign investors from non-EU countries that invest in development projects throughout the country. The program, which is set to officially launch in the coming months, will run for three years. The government currently offers two investment packages which include a contribution of €100,000 in the form of a government fund donation, in addition to a real estate investment. Depending on where the selected real estate projects are located, applicants will have the choice of either a €250,000 investment in an undeveloped region in the north or a €450,000 investment in a developed region, primarily in
the south of the country. What makes the program even more attractive is the speed of its application process, which allows permanent residence status within 3 weeks, considering its thorough and stringent due diligent processes. Citizenship is then granted within a period of six months as permanent residents. According to the World Bank, Montenegro is one of the fastest growing economies in the Balkans and is quickly becoming a key destination for some of the most important industries around the world due to its strategic position. As a young state, it offers a unique potential for investors seeking mobility, safety, security, opportunity, and increased quality of life. Boasting one of the fastest-growing passports, Montenegro currently ranked 36th in the world by The Passport Index, allowing citizens visa-free travel to 118 countries. Its ranking is expected to rise significantly with its upcoming accession into the European Union. In addition to being at the forefront of focus and support from the European Union over the past few years, Montenegro has also become the recipient to generous investments from other countries seeking new opportunities. The UAE, being the largest foreign investor in Montenegro, contributed €92.8m to the nation in the last 11 months alone, in addition to previously investing an estimated €200m in Porto Montenegro in Tivat and €140m in Capital Plaza Centre in Podgorica. Russia ranks second as a foreign direct investor with €54.7m and Italy following closely with a €47.5m investment. From its lavish riviera in the South to its enchanting mountaintops in the North, Montenegro gives ‘paradise’ a whole new meaning to both locals and visitors. With landscapes and coastlines that are as seemingly perfect as a postcard, this tiny Balkan nation embodies a massive fountain of culture and history, yet to be discovered by the masses. 2019 MAR / APR
GOOD GOVERNANCE THROUGH INFORMED GOVERNANCE
A review of some of the highlights from this year’s World Government Summit
he Seventh World Government Summit was attended by delegations from more than 140 countries, 30 international organizations including UN, IMF, WHO, and UNESCO, ten heads of state and governments, 600 global thought leaders, and four Nobel Laureates that participated in over 200 sessions, 20 roundtable meetings and 16 forums. Five internationally-recognized awards were given and 20 reports published based on the exchanges that took place during three-day event held between February 10 and 12 at Madinat Jumeirah. His Excellency Mohammad Al Gergawi, chairman of the summit’s organizing committee and minister of the UAE Cabinet Affairs & The Future, kicked of this year’s event with his opening address in which he listed, among other details, its Seven Key Pillars, all aimed towards “shaping a better future for the global citizen.” The pillars were: technology and its impact on future governments, health and quality of life, environment and climate change, trade and international cooperation, education and its relationship to the labor market and future skills, media and communication between governments and peoples, and the future of individuals, communities, and policies. Al Gergawi also highlighted that “the event has become the world’s leading global platform for the brightest policymaking minds to come together and create positive government impacts on society. The summit, now in its seventh year, fully reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to shape a better future for humanity.”
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What’s more, regional and international development and civil service forums have started viewing the summit as a global platform to launch their dialogues and host experts from around the world. For instance, this year’s summit witnessed the first-ever hosting of the Astana Civil Services Hub outside Kazakhstan. This may be the first in a growing trend in the coming years. The 16 forums held on the sidelines of the summit covered a wide range of issue from the Global Dialogue for Happiness and Wellbeing to the Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence Forum, the Sustainable Development Goals in Action Forum, the Gender Equality Forum, and the Future of Humanitarian Aid Forum, among others. Al Gergawi emphasized that the underlying focus of these forums was to explore world-leading ideas, initiatives as well as the latest innovations that can best serve humanity in the future. Another first for 2019, was the hosting of three Guests of Honor countries across the three days rather than just one, as was the case in previous editions. The three countries were: Estonia, recognized as the best country in a digital transformation in the EU; Rwanda, a pioneer in the development and adoption of modern technology in African; and Costa Rica, a leader among Latin American countries in the implementation of peaceful and sustainable practices. With AI being such a hot topic today, the summit brought together, on the sidelines of the Global AI Governance Forum, some of the world’s leading data institutions to draw up plans for the world’s first data-sharing platform for global AI standards at the Global Data Commons (GDC) meeting on February 8. GDC, as proposed, will provide
Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, UAE Cabinet Minister and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future on stage with Professor Klaus Schwab at the World Government Summit Opening. a decentralized cyber-infrastructure for data collection, classification, preservation and analysis, and will fit into the overarching theme of “AI for Good”, which forms the central emphasis of the Global AI Governance Forum this year and aims to meet with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, said: “The importance of AI and its potential to transform the global economy, the functioning of all institutions of society, and the professional and personal lives of citizens cannot be overestimated. However, while we are used to seeing daily technological advances in AI, ethical advances lag far behind. This needs to be addressed, especially with some applications already attracting negative attention, such as those that risk intrusions on privacy.” “Governments across the world are in a prime position to lead the way when it comes to the future ethical development of AI to ensure its progress is harnessed for the benefit of us all. Leading the development of an AI data-sharing platform is a
significant step both for the nation and for the industry that will undoubtedly change the way we live in the future.” Figuring out how best to collect and manage the staggering multi-quintillion bytes of data that are reportedly being generated daily is no doubt an immense challenge. However, it is equally important to present these insanely large collections of data in a manner that is engaging, educational and enlightening. A new eye-catching initiative called The World Data Visualization Prize took data presentation to the level of an art form while also showing how “governments can improve citizens’ lives with the best use of data.” The result of a partnership between WGS and data visualization experts, Information is Beautiful, the competition received over 200 submissions from 29 countries in one of three categories: The Future of Government, What Makes a Good Government, and Small Countries are Beautiful. These works of art “transform data into easily grasped graphics enable decision makers to design services and programs that impact the lives of individuals positively,” said Al Olama. 2019 MAR / APR
The Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility 64 MAR / APR 2019
BESPOKE STARS STEAL THE SHOW
A review of Rolls-Royce’s first ever full-model-range exhibit at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show
was another exceptional year for Rolls-Royce. We set a histor ic b u s i ne s s record, achieving our highest annual sales in our marque’s 115-year history. We delivered 4,107 cars to customers in over 50 countries around the world and in doing so achieved year-on-year sales growth in all regions. The Americas remained our largest market,” beamed Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars during his presentation to the members of the press on March 5, the first Media Day of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. He added: “But at Rolls-Royce, it’s not all about volume. Our unique and successful business model focuses on preserving the rarity of our products, which is a key demand of our customers, while at the same time achieving record levels of profitability. This, we believe, is the real hallmark of how a true luxury brand should be managed. In this regard, I am happy to report that the Rolls-Royce business generates pleasing profits and we continue to contribute to the bottom line of our shareholder, the BMW Group.” The luxury marque looks to be in the mood to continue its bullish stance into this year as evidenced by the fact that Rolls Royce, for the first time, has brought its complete family of models to Geneva. Each model also highlights what MüllerÖtvös referred to as “the real hallmark” of the marque: customization. The star of the show in this regard is the stunning Phantom Tranquillity: “an expression of Phantom’s standing as the rarest and most desired object in the luxury world,” said the marques CEO. He went on to highlight some of the details: “Look into the car and see the tasteful integration of wafer-thin shavings of the Muonionalusta meteor that fell to earth in Sweden over a hundred year ago. And enjoy the highly reflective stainless steel, 24-carat gold plating and space grade aluminum elements in the car.” A Wraith coupé represents the Black Badge family: “the marque’s bold alter-ego” aimed at “younger, more dynamic patrons” who desire highly personal bespoke commissions.
The example on display features Galileo Blue with Mandarin coachlines on the outside with Arctic White and Navy Blue leathers inside with Mandarin accents on the seat piping, veneer pinstripes, and bold hexagon patterns between the two rear seats. A Ghost in Gunmetal with an Iced satin finish upper and deep gloss lower is the other example representing the Black Badge family at Geneva. A bespoke Dawn christened Genève 2019 has a cockpit trimmed with Selby Grey leather afore and Navy Blue leather astern. The line up is completed by the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, the first publiclyrevealed Bespoke Cullinan commission in Petra Gold hue and fine Navy Blue coachline. As part of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, a new work by artist Tomás Saraceno previews at the show. The artwork created in collaboration with social and semi-social spiders aims to show that we co-exist on multiple levels with nonhuman beings. Following the show, the artwork will reside permanently at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex. AGMC, the authorized dealer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates was also in a celebratory mood as it won the Regional Marketing Dealer of the Year award at this year’s Rolls-Royce Regional Dealer Conference. Mamdouh Khairallah, General Manager of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars at AGMC said: “This title is a much-deserved... our marketing team are highly creative, driven consistently to deliver exceptional work and extend Rolls-Royce’s status as the leading automotive luxury marque in the region and beyond.” The current optimism within Rolls-Royce seems set to continue if we are to go by what Müller-Ötvös had to say: “We are imagineering and already engineering an exciting future for Rolls-Royce. A future that will be fully electric, digital and technologically innovative while never overlooking our commitment to the custodianship of the great RollsRoyce brand. This is what our customers and the world expects of us and rest assured, this is what we will deliver.” 2019 MAR / APR
THE SLEEK PIONEER RETURNS
The new AMG CLS 53, the latest flagship of the Mercedes CLS class that started the four-door coupé trend more than a decade ago
ercedes has recently launched the third generation of its CLS, the car that started the four-door coupé trend back in 2004. It induced competitors to create their own four-door fastbacks for a share of the commercially successful new segment. Mercedes has sold over 375,000 units of CLS models around the world since its introduction. The CLS slots in between the S-class and the E-class in terms of price and range while appealing to those who prefer a more sportier performance and styling. The CLS is based on the E-class platform but delivers a sportier performance and styling while featuring several of the luxuries found on
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the S-class. The AMG CLS 53, the current top of the range, is part of AMG’s new 53 model designation which also includes the E-Class Coupé and the E-Class Cabriolet. At the heart of these models lies a new, electrified 3.0-litre engine boosted by an innovative twin-turbocharging mechanism by means of a single turbocharger and also by an electric auxiliary compressor. The 6-cylinder in-line engine generates 320 kW (435 PS) and delivers a maximum torque of 520 Nm. “With the new 53 series models, we are extending our portfolio in a first step towards a hybridised future with a leading-edge combination of sporty design, performance
and efficiency. The basis for this is a contemporary drive configuration in the form of a six-cylinder in-line engine with electric auxiliary compressor, EQ Boost starter-alternator and 48 V onboard electrical system. The very spontaneous response to accelerator pedal input, the precision and the design focusing on driving dynamics are hallmark features of AMG. As such we are providing an additional lifestyleoriented customer group with a further attractive offering from Affalterbach,” explains Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The EQ Boost starter-alternator is the technological centrepiece of the car. Fitted between the engine and transmission, it functions as a starter motor and as an alternator in a powerful electric motor. It works with the car’s electric auxiliary compressor and its turbocharger to
enhance performance and driving dynamics, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions. EQ Boost supports the electric auxiliary compressor to deliver 16 kW of output and 250 Nm of torque without any delay during acceleration until the turbocharger is deployed. As a result, the CLS 53 accelerates from zero to 100 kmph in 4.5 seconds, and with the Driver’s package can achieve a top speed of 270 kmph. EQ Boost also enables the engine to be spontaneously responsive without turbo lag while maintaining a high level of refinement. The EQ Boost starter-alternator is also a key component of the 48 V system, is responsible for recuperation, shifting of the load point, gliding mode and the nearly imperceptible starting of the engine. The new 3.0-litre in-line engine is coupled with the
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AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission that can operate as an automatic or as a “manual” using the steering wheel shift paddles. The ‘9’ in the ‘9G’ stands for the nine-gears available to the driver. It delivers extremely short shift times, fast response to shift paddle commands, double-declutching function and multiple downshifts. The shifting seems particularly responsive in the “Sport+” and in manual driving modes. The power is transferred to the road by AMG’s fully variable Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. The CLS 53 is rear-wheel drive by default, but can transition into an all-wheel drive and back seamlessly, because the intelligent controls are integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture. The fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axle not only ensures optimal traction, but also high handling stability in dry or wet conditions. The exterior of the CLS 53 sports a twin-blade on the grille in silver chrome, previously reserved for the V8 Performance models. Instead of the diamond radiator grille pattern with individual pins, the car features a black lattice pattern. The rear features a redesigned apron and high-gloss chrome on the
round twin tailpipes. The mud flaps have been redesigned to facilitate better airflow around the wheel arches. The spoiler lip on the boot lid is painted in the body colour but is optionally available in carbon-fibre. The interior of the new CLS 53 is dominated by the innovative “control and display concept” which combines two 12.3-inch screens with bright, high-resolution displays under one shared glass cover to function as a single “Widescreen Cockpit.” The other standout feature is the visually appealing air vents in a pattern resembling turbofans. The seats carry the sport and luxury synthesis concept of the CLS with AMG-specific seat upholstery layout and AMG badge, red seat belts plus trim elements in carbon fibre or glass fibre in matt silver. The new, standard-fit AMG Performance steering wheel is covered in Nappa leather with individualisation options such as wood inserts in piano lacquer or Dinamica microfibre in the grip area. While the competitors might not be prepared to take on a grand touring performance saloon, powered by a hybrid powertrain, the consumers are no-doubt ready for the next level of comfort and performance. 2019 MAR / APR
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THE BEAUTIFUL BEAST
Velar, Range Rover’s new model that is turning heads and winning awards for its beautiful design
t the 2018 World Car Awards, the Range Rover Velar won the ‘World Car Design of the Year’ title for being the most beautifully designed vehicle on the planet. Released in the summer of 2017, Velar is the fourth model in the Range Rover line and slots into the space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. It is longer than an Evoque and about three inches shorter than a Range Rover Sport. “The continued evolution of our design philosophy is driven by a relentless focus on creating highly desirable vehicles our customers will love for life. The Range Rover Velar brings a new dimension of modernity to the Range Rover family with an abundance of innovative technologies, all making this vehicle a joy to drive and be driven in. We’re honoured that the jury recognised the tireless endeavours of our designers and engineers in delivering a vehicle with
compelling design, tailored technology and relevant innovation which come together to create a vehicle of instant desirability,” said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover. The design language found on the Velar is an evolution from that found on the Evoque and will be, according to Land Rover, the basis of the design language for future models: clean, elegant, distinctive and contemporary. The silhouette is dominated by the long hood and the coupé-like sloping roof line. A single character line flows the length of the SUV, all the way from its headlights to its tail lights, uniting its profile. A crease at the bottom flows in an upward slope in an apparent counter to the downward slope of the roof which accentuates the fastback profile. In between, there are smooth, uncluttered body panels with the slightest hint of curves around the wheel arches. These features give the Velar the confident stance of
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an SUV as well as the elegance of a fastback. Copper accents are found on the hood and the front fenders. The black roof and roof-arches contrast with the lighter shades of the body panels. The flush door handles and an integrated rear spoiler, while contributing to the clean profile, also improve aerodynamics. The foil stamped grille give the vehicle’s front profile the distinctive Ranger Rover look. The wheels range between 18-inch and 20-inch depending on the variant. As is typical of all Range Rovers, Velar’s cabin exudes elegant simplicity. The front ‘bucket’ seats have ample cushioning, are adjustable in as many as 20 options, and have built-in massage, heating, and cooling. The Velar range
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comes with three seat-cover materials. The base model offers synthetic leather, upgraded to natural leather in most variants. At the top end is a woven seat that’s perforated with a ‘cutdiamond’ pattern. This is another design feature, we are told, that will become a hallmark of future Range Rover models. In a nod to its British heritage, Range Rover now offers premium wool as an optional material for the interior. The back seat, because of the sloping roof on the Velar, has lesser headroom that the Sport, particularly for taller individuals. However, the seats can recline and can be heated. The Velar does have a third row of seats in the cargo bay but is more suitable for children. The cargo bay can accommodate close to 1,000 litres, and can be doubled with the rear seat
folded down. Other interior highlights include an upper dash covered in leather, a dash that features aluminium brushes in beautiful accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eightspeaker audio system, keyless ignition, automatic dual-zone climate control, and panoramic roof. The twin 10-inch touchscreens for infotainment and vehicle controls, or “Touch Control Pro” according to Land Rover, made its debut on the Velar. The top screen tilts toward the driver, and hosts displays for navigation, cameras, vehicle settings, and for music and smartphone connectivity. The lower screen takes over climate controls, seat massage, front and rear defrosters, and terrain-traction systems. It’s flanked by twin rotary dials that change functions depending
on what’s on the lower screen. The menus on the system are now more readable, and the swipe-touch controls give easier access to a generous list of functions. In terms of power, at the top is the supercharged V-6, capable of producing 380 hp, 450 newton-meter of torque and capable of towing up to 2,500 kilos. It has posted a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5.3 seconds. The second petrol option is the turbo-4 producing 247 hp, 364 newton-meter of torque and with a towing capacity of up to 2,400 kilos. The transmission is through the 8-speed ZF automatic coupled with flappy-paddles. The suspension is double-wishbone in the front and integral-link in the rear. The air suspension can raise the Velar to 25 centimetres off the ground.
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SOMETHING FOR THE TRAVELLING MAN
A review of Moritz Grossmann’s GMT
he GMT by Moritz Grossmann, is the independent Gl a shütte ba sed m anuf actory’ s fir st watch model with two time zones. Designed for watch connoisseurs who travel a lot, it can tell the time in two different time zones in an extremely stylish way. For the first time zone, the time is measured with the regular 12-hour scale displayed on the inner part of the dial. It is read using the hour and minute hands as in a regular watch. For the second time zone, time is measured using the outer 24-hour scale featuring Arabic numerals. The time is indicated by an arrowhead-shaped revolving hand that runs along the outer circumference of the dial. This method allows the user not only to tell the time at a glance but also whether it is day or night. A second crown at 10 o’clock allows the time indicator of the 24-hour clock to be adjusted in hourly increments either forwards or backward while the 12-hour display in the center of the dial remains unaffected. Once set, the 24hour clock runs in accordance with the 12-hour clock. The latter is set in the usual manner using the crown at 3-o’clock. The GMT’s dual time mechanism is realized with the calibre 100.8. Its elaborate mechanics have a high-artistic finish that can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback. It features the characteristic components of the Moritz Grossmann movements, such as the 2/3 plate with the raised gold chatons, the Grossmann ratchet, the separately removable winding unit with pusher mechanism and the cantilevered balance cock with a micrometer screw, as well as the mass-optimized balance. It has 253 parts in total with 26 jewels and three screwed in gold chatons. Other distinguishing features include the hand-engraved balance cock and escape-wheel cock; broad horizontal Glashütte ribbing; three-band snailing on the ratchet wheel; and separately removable clutch winding mechanism. It can run for 42 hours when fully wound. The mechanism for the second time zone is integrated into the movement on the dial side. The 24-hour display is transmitted via the hour wheel of the 24-hour time to
another hour wheel and an intermediate wheel to the ring of the second time zone. A ratchet wheel with ratchet spring is used to adjust the time in the pre-defined hourly gearshifts. The GMT is available in either a rose or white gold case, and both are coupled with an argenté opaline dial. A third model features a dial in champagne tone for a warm color accent which is coupled with white gold. Both have a diameter of 41.0 mm and height of 11.85 mm. The 24-hour scale with its blue Arabic numerals stands out from the 12-hour scale on the dial because of the difference in their shade. The hour markers of the 24hour clock are made from the same gold as the case while the hands are manually crafted steel, annealed in brown for two variants, and silver for one. For the white gold model with the argenté opaline dial, the entire set of hands are polished stainless steel. A sub-dial at six-o’clock indicates the seconds. The strap is hand-stitched alligator leather with prong buckle in precious metal. Moritz Grossmann will present the new GMT models and other innovations from the manufactory as part of its international roadshow in 2019. It kicked off in Dubai on January 30, 2019, with further stops in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and London between March and June. 2019 MAR / APR
Hublot has unveiled its latest collection of One-Click interchangeable straps for ladies Big Bang models
t. Gallen embroidery and watchmaking, the two fields of Swiss expertise that has reigned supreme over the years, have been brought together for the first time by Hublot to offer women a new accessory that would give their wardrobe more options in the area of self-expression. Hublot has teamed up with Bischoff, the St. Gallen based embroiderers par excellence, to create six embroidered straps in a range of patterns and colors to add to its One-Click interchangeable strap collection. To these are added two new Cuddly Cuffs in Orylag. T he O ne - C l ick s t r a p i s a p a t ent e d w a t ch s t r a p attachment system that allows wearers to change their strap with a single click. It is ideal for women’s fundamental need for versatility and to assert one’s uniqueness. The current collection, for the Spring-Summer 2019 season, was put together for Hublot’s ladies Big Bang models. The six new embroidered straps, created with the help of the Bischoff workshops in St. Gallen, are available in two patterns - a tweed and an ethnic design - and both are available in three color schemes: fuchsia-Bordeaux, green-pink, and turquoise-blue. The tweed pattern strap
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was designed using a very narrow bourdon stitch, while the ethnic design uses a bean stitch, which gives the illusion of a braid. The two embroidered patterns were created on silk organza fabric from Como, Italy. The Bischoff workshops produce signature fabrics for use by some of the biggest names in fashion and haute couture. The textile tradition in St. Gallen dates back to the Middle Ages when it was renowned for its linen fabric. However, in 1828, with the invention of the embroidery machine by Joshua Heilmann, St. Gallen became the global hub of the mechanized embroidery industry. By the late 19th century, Switzerland’s biggest export was embroidery. The Hublot straps were manufactured by one of the latest iterations of mechanized embroidery, the Lässer 2-yard machine. For the Spr ing-Summer 2019 season, Hublot has also extended the range of colors for the Cuddly Cuff in Orylag rabbit down to complement the new straps. Through the expertise of an artisan fur r ier, Hublot is offer ing t wo new “on-trend” colors: Fuchsia and turquoise straps are lined with soft black or white down.
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A NAUTICAL MARVEL
Ulysse Nardin’s new timepiece, Marine Mega Yacht,stays true to the brand’s legacy while highlighting true innovations
passion for all things nautical has been a constant feature of Ulysse Nardin’s timepieces, which s hou ld c ome a s no s u r pr i s e g iven t h at t he watchmaker has specialized in making timepieces for sailors since its foundation in 1846. The latest offering, an extension of the Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon watch launched by Ulysse Nardin in 2016, is a 30 piece limited edition model christened the “Marine Mega Yacht.” The watchmaker considers its new timepiece to be a perfect allegory of a voyage by sea, and one that epitomizes the contemporary spirit of nautical luxury. The 44 mm diameter Platinum case, attached to a bracelet made of navy-blue alligator leather, houses a truly unique and graphically rich face that features some impressive mechanisms.
The dial features a 3D reproduction of the bows of a luxury vessel in white gold as if it was cutting through an agitated dark blue sea made of “grand feu” enamel. The hands are inspired by the past marine timepieces of the manufacturer. At the six-o’clock position is the distinctive flying tourbillon whose cage is decorated with a three-blade propeller. At the center of the propeller is Ulysse Nardin’s anchor logo. At the three-o’clock position is a true innovation. An anchor, featuring a contemporary design fashioned in the form of a ploughshare, is linked to a chain by an anchor ring. The chain and anchor system is more than just a decorative piece; it is entirely functional. It moves up and down to indicate the power reserve. The chain is coupled to a polished miniature windlass,
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a system used to wind up the ropes on a yacht, which is located at the 12-o’clock Position. To simulate the raising of the anchor as on a ship, the windlass turns with the movement of the power indicator anchor as it is wound up. The windlass is powered through the action of a set of wheels in contact with the winding mechanism. The windlass is seen rotating even when the winding process has been fully completed. At the nine-o’clock position is a moon-phase display featuring a precise 3D miniature reproduction of Earth’s satellite. The Moon’s sur face, reproduced using an “ultra-precise engraving process,” comprises two halfspheres: one sphere is treated in blue PVD for the period of the new moon while the other half is rhodiumized to replicate the sun’s illuminating effect. Around the moon-phase display, in a semi-circular shape, is the dial indicating the tidal coefficient; the height difference between consecutive high tides and low tides. Below the moon-phase is a small cut-out that shows tidal volume; the difference in water between low tide and high tide. The setting for all of these complications, as well as the winding, is done through the crown. To indicate to the user which position of the crown does what, there is a small window on the side of the case, adjacent to the crown. The design of the indicator is based on the
Chadburn Telegraph; a device used on ships to indicate to the engine room whether more or less thrust is required. This indicator shows three settings: S for setting the hands, TM for setting the tide and Moon position, and W for winding the movement. In the TM position, the Moon phase and tide volume indication are regulated by turning the crown counter-clockwise; one turn of the crown represents four days. The level of the tide is regulated by tur ning the crown in the clock wise direction; one turn of the crown is equivalent to 9.5 hours. The power is generated by the m anually wound UN-631 calibre, developed in conjunction with the Chr istophe Claret manufacture, a brand recognized for designing innovative watch complications. The movement is designed to resemble the engines found in a vessel’s engine room and is completely visible through its transparent Sapphire crystal case-back. It has a diameter of 37 mm, features 504 components, and guarantees a power reserve of 80 hours. It vibrates at a frequency of 21,600 per hour, with the tourbillon mov i n g at 6 0 rot at ion s p er hou r. I t c ont a i n s t he mechanism that produces the tide indicators in relation to a specific location on Earth, in addition to indicating the seasonal coefficients. The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters. 2019 MAR / APR
A BURST OF ORANGE HUES
Introducing the 2019 models of the Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date by Glashütte Original
he German watchmaker, Glashütte Original, has recently presented the second edition of its Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date models. The first edition, released last year, impressed enthusiasts and collectors with its emerald green dial. This year’s sequel features rich and multi-faceted orange dials. In the 1960s the world experienced changes inspired by bold visionaries and unprecedented freedom. New ideas in art, culture, politics, and society thrived. The dynamic decade continues to inspire artists, designers, musicians even today, including those at Glashütte Original. The Sixties line by the watchmaker is an amalgamation of the spirit of the 1960s design language and manufacturing techniques to produce a watch th at is very much contemporary. Contained within a stainless steel case, the ‘orange’ dial of the 2019 model is golden yellow at the center, which gradually changes to fiery orange and red as we move outward, towards the black perimeter. The result is a luminous vivacity, a feeling of warmth and energy. Credit for this impressive spectrum of fiery hues, also known as the dégradé effect, goes to Glashütte’s in-house experts at its dial manufactory in Pforzheim. The dial manufacturing process begins by creating the low-relief pattern found on the surface of the dial using the original tools and methods that have been in use at the Pforzheim manufactory since the 1960s. Each dial blank receives its embossing with the aid of a 60-tonne press. Then a galvanic bath gives the dial its golden yellow hue. The dial-makers then carefully apply a series of layers in red and black lacquer. The result is a color gradient that renders each dial unique. In a final step, the dials are heated in a kiln to burn in the colors. The partnership between Glashütte and Pforzheim coincidently beg an in the nineteen six ties for the
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manufacture of the Spezimatic models. Cross-border cooperation allowed the Pforzheim manufactory, then located in West Germany, to deliver dials to Glashütte, located in Saxony, which was then in East Germany. This working partnership of more than 50 years culminated with the integration of the Pforzheim dial-maker into the Glashütte Original manufactory in 2012. Today, Pfor zheim once a g ain pl ays a decisive role in the development of the Sixties line. T he 2019 models’ watch f ace h a s the sign ature curvature, from the dial and the hands to the sapphire crystal. The latter being anti-reflective on both sides. Sapphire cryst al is also found on the see-throu gh caseback. The Arabic numerals, diamond-cut indexes, manually applied hour markers and hands are highlighted with Super-LumiNova to add harmonious accents. The two three-hands timepieces are powered by the Glashütte Or iginal’s automatic movements: the 3952 in the Sixties and the 39-47 in the Sixties Panorama Date. Both developed in-house, they are mounted in polished stainless steel cases: 39 mm in diameter and 42 mm respectively. With the date function being the only other exception, both complications have a power reserve of 40 hours, automatic winding, central hour, minute and second hands, and second-stop. The movements are exquisitely finished with polished steel parts and screws. They also feature parts with the Glashütte stripe finish and bevelled edges. The skeletonized rotor has a 21-ct gold oscillation weight and swan-neck fine adjustment. The strap is brown Louisiana alligator leather coupled with a pin-buckle. The watch is waterproof up to three bar. As the Sixties is an annual edition, the 2019 Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date models will be available only for a limited period of time in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected authorized dealers worldwide.
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SIHH 2019 HIGHLIGHTS Here are GC’s favourite picks from the newcomers at this year’s SIHH
VACHERON CONSTANTIN LES CABINOTIERS IMPERIAL TIGER The Imperial-Tiger forms part of a trinity unveiled in November 2018 under the exclusive range of “Mécaniques Sauvages,” one-of-a-kind models crafted by Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department. The dramatic 3D rendering of the tiger, majestically poised on a rock gets the pride of place on the dial, uninterrupted by hands or markings. The watch demonstrates the Maison’s two-fold mastery of watchmaking techniques and artistic crafts. The dial is encased in a 41mm 18K pink gold case. The bas-relief 18K pink gold Majestic Tiger and the 18K white gold rocky backdrop were hand-engraved and are comprised of more than 200 pieces. Blue wood marquetry was employed for the background landscape and foliage, using a multitude of tiny, individually hand-cut wood veneers in various shades and shapes. One of the challenges that faced the master-watchmakers was how to display the time without obstructing the decorative 86 MAR / APR 2019
artwork on the dial. So a hand-free display layout was chosen using four apertures arranged along the dial’s circumference. The hours are displayed between 11 and 12 o’clock, minutes between 1 and 2 o’clock, days between 7 and 8 o’clock and the date between 4 and 5 o’clock. These indications are provided by a quartet of four independent discs. The hours and minutes employ the dragging type mechanism while the days and date use the jumping variety. The self-winding 2460 G4 calibre, entirely developed and crafted by the Maison has been chosen to drive the four displays. Endowed with a 40-hour power reserve, the calibre is decorated in keeping with the highest standards of watchmaking finishing. It can be viewed through the transparent caseback. The strap is hand-stitched dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with large square scales and saddle-finish. The buckle is 18K pink gold with polished half Maltese cross-shaped buckle.
DE GRISOGONO NEW RETRO STEEL First introduced in 2015, the Art-Deco inspired New Retro models blend a retro look with modern style. The latest version a 50.6 x 44.1 mm rectangular case and bracelet made from matching non-magnetic and non-allergic 316L polished stainless steel. The case is wider than it is high and the angles are rounded for a comfortable fit while also contributing to the overall balance of the design. It has two double-domed sapphire crystal glass covering, one on the front and the other on the back of the case. The crown that sits discretely embedded into the case at 12 o’clock. The dial, glowing in a sunburst satin finish is available in either light blue or luminous grey. The rhodium plated Arabic numerals are paired with dauphine hours and minutes hands. The New Retro Steel is powered by the selfwinding calibre DG 10-01 at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours.
MONT BLANC 1858 GEOSPHERE The 1858 Geosphere combines a regular dual timezone display with a more complex pair of world time displays. The Geosphere complication first appeared in 2015, but this is the first time it has been utilized in a watch with a bold, sporty appeal. The case, 42mm diameter by 12.8mm, is stainless steel for the regular variant or bronze for the limited edition. The visually rich dial is rendered in black. There is a sub-dial at nine o’clock with a 12-hour display to keep time in the second timezone. There are two identically designed hemispheres, one at 12 o’clock depicting the northern hemisphere and one at six o’clock depicting the southern hemisphere. They show the local times across the globe all at once. The graphic on the two hemispheres plus the indexes and Arabic numerals are finished in beige Super-LumiNova. The bi-directional rotating bezel, with ceramic insert, is graduated like a compass. 2019 MAR / APR
BAUME & MERCIER CLIFTON BAUMATIC PERPETUAL CALENDAR Baume & Mercier’s Perpetual Calendar combines the Baumatic BM13-1975AC-1 movement with a perpetual calendar module. The movement has a five-day power reserve, requires maintenance service only once every seven years and requires no date correction before March 1, 2100. The bright whiteporcelain finish of its dial is enhanced by the faceted hour markers and the gold-tone hour, minute and seconds hands. Three counters are dedicated to the perpetual calendar: at 9 o’clock for the day of the week, at 12 o’clock for the month and leap year cycle, and at 3 o’clock for the perpetual calendar. The blued hands of these sub-dials accentuate the calendar functions. The moon phase indication appears at 6 o’clock. A domed antiglare sapphire crystal protects the dial and is contained within a 42 mm satin-finished 18K red gold case that is 12.1mm thick.
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 SELF-WINDING CHRONOGRAPH Something fresh is a phrase one hears often but breaking away from nearly forty years of reliance on the octagon, one of the most iconic designs in watchmaking history, certainly fits the bill. This is what Audemars Piguet has achieved with Code 11.59. Six original new models split into 13 references and featuring three entirely new movements. One of which is the Selfwinding Chronograph based on the much awaited 4400 all-new mechanism. The Chronograph has a minimalistic round case encircled by, what appears to be, a thin bezel at first glance. The 41mm diameter case is broad enough to fit comfortably on most wrists. The lugs are open worked and are not soldered to the central case or bezel. The baton style hour and minute hands are elegant. The raised logo with a brushed finish below the 12 o’clock indicator is an achievement in artisanal dexterity. The watch is available in 18k pink gold with a white or black dial, or in 18k white gold with a black or blue dial. 88 MAR / APR 2019
CARTIER SANTOS DE CARTIER In 1904, Louis Cartier made a watch as requested by his aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont which could be worn on the wrist. Most historians regard it as the first men’s wristwatch and, because of its distinctive square bezel, it is also one of Cartier’s most enduring and influential timepieces. The new Santos, at first glance, looks very much like its predecessors: the square-shaped bezel, the bezel‘s eight visible screws and the dial’s elegant Roman numerals. However, at closer inspection one notices a more ergonomic case and bezel design, and more seamless integration between the lugs, straps, and bracelets. It also features Cartier’s new patent-pending QuickSwitch system which enables the wearer to quickly remove and replace each bracelet or strap with the press a button. SmartLink is another patent-pending mechanism available with the new Santos’ metal bracelets which allow the wearer to re-size the bracelet without using a tool. The movement inside is Cartier‘s self-winding Caliber 1847 MC.
IWC BIG PILOT PETIT PRINCE To honor one of its favorite ambassadors, the late pilot, and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, as well as his most famous character, ‘Le Petit Prince,’ IWC has unveiled the 1,000 pieces limited edition. Based on its Big Pilot model, the 46mm case is made of stainless steel with a diamond-shaped crown. The dial is finished in a pleasant midnight blue with a sunburst pattern. The hands and indexes are rhodium-plated and coated with SuperLumiNova. The minute track has numerical indications every 5 minutes and ruler-like graduations for the intervening minutes and seconds. The watch is driven by the in-house Calibre 51111 automatic movement which boasts seven days of power reserve as indicated on the dial. The typical pilot strap with rivets, in this case, is made from brown calfskin. The caseback features an engraved sketch of ‘Le Petit Prince’ along with the number of the watch. 2019 MAR / APR
DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE LACES Nike recently launched the Adapt BB, the latest incarnation of the brand’s self-lacing obsession
hirty years ago, Marty McFly, in Back to the Future II, put on a pair of Nikes, which to his amazement, laced itself. It didn’t really. The mechanism was remote controlled by special effects personnel. However, Nike has persisted with the idea over the years, and it yielded HyperAdapt 1.0 in 2016. This year witnessed the launch of Adapt BB, Nike’s latest version of the self-lacing concept, and it is not a mere exercise in a cosmetic upgrade, but rather, something completely new. Adapt BB is a Bluetooth-enabled sneaker that not only ‘self-laces’ but also conforms to the wearers’ feet. It does not have anything that resembles a lace on the outside but can be tightened or loosened with a phone app, and even choose which colour is emitted by the sneaker when being tightened or loosened. The HyperAdapt 1.0 was developed as a proof of concept rather than an actual performance sneaker. They could be worn as casual wear and even used as a running shoe, but they were not suited for half-marathons or a basketball game. With a limited production run and a price tag of $720, they were obviously targeted at the collectors and enthusiasts. The Adapt BB, however, was designed for mass production with a reactively more affordable price tag of $350. Moreover, Adapt BB, where ‘BB’ stands for Basketball, made its real-world debut on the NBA court on January 16, on the feet of professional basketball players Jayson Tatum and Luka Dončić. This was done to press home the point that these sneakers are built for everyday realworld punishment, unlike its ‘collector’s item’ predecessors. In fact, Nike chose basketball as a sport and recruited Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum to test the Adapt BB during the development phase because basketball player’s feet are subjected to more dramatic changes throughout a typical game than any other sport. A basketball shoe has to support quick-cut lateral movements, provide fore-aft traction, accommodate a foot that might swell over the course of a game by as much as half a size, and has to avoid hot spots and blisters by locking the foot in place. If the shoe proves successful in coping with the demands of a basketball player, N i k e c a n t h e n e a s i l y adapt the technology for other less demanding sports. When the wearer’s foot slips into an Adapt BB, the lacing mechanism automatically tightens the shoe until
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it wraps snugly around the foot. The wearer can also manually adjust the fit by pressing a button on the side of the shoe’s midsole or by using the accompanying Adapt app. The app will allow users to pre-program specific settings for different scenarios like warm-ups, actual game time and breaks. Nike states that other features and digital services will follow. The lacing mechanism, or the brains of the shoe, is housed in a 40x50-millimetre completely sealed, waterproof and dust-proof casing; which is itself held snugly in a cavity under the insole. Inside the casing are a three-axis gyroscope, an accelerometer, a capacitive copper layer that registers foot force, a Bluetooth sensor, a 505-mAh battery and the motor behind the lacing mechanism. The battery can be charged wirelessly by placing the shoes on a plugged-in Qi-compatible charging mat. It takes about three hours to charge and can last anywhere between 10 to 20 days depending on usage. Nike spent three years to transform the lacing motor from the HyperAdapt 1.0 into something smaller, lighter, more durable and mass-producible. It was christened EARL, or Electric Adaptable Reaction Lacing, and is automatically activated by the built-in sensor as soon as the wearer’s foot slides into the sneaker. It also triggers a string of lights built into the back of the shoe and remains illuminated as long as EARL is active. The motor is capable of exerting 240 Newton-meters of force which is more than enough to tighten the sneaker and hold its position. The ‘laces’ are thin, braided lines similar to parachute cords that tighten the instep and the area around the back of the shoe’s collar behind the ankle. The cord is not a lace as in a traditional shoe, but one that cinches t o g e t h e r i s a n i n t e r n a l l a y e r o f a material c a l l e d Q u a d f i t , w h i c h w a s first used in football shoes and which now makes its first appearance in a basketball shoe. The patented Quadfit is a material knitted with a mesh that looks like overlapping diamonds and is, therefore, able to flex along four axes rather than two. This quality allows it to tolerate higher and sudden horizontal shear forces caused by sudden changes of direction. The visible outer layer of the shoe is Flyknit, a material found on several Nike running and basketball shoes. The Adapt BB officially went on sale at Nike stores, online, and through the SNKRS app on February 17.
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Billionaire Spring Summer 2019 collection 92 MAR / APR 2019
SPRING SUMMER FASHION PICKS
The major fashion houses continue to take cues from streetwear and are blending this into the prevailing chic colors and modern tailoring. We bring you the prevalent trends and the deconstructed looks from the runways of Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019.
PHILIPP PLEIN BAG
SANTONI SHOES 2019 MAR / APR
LONGCHAMPS POUCH BAG
PHILIPP PLEIN JACKET
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ERMENEGILDO ZENGA SHOES
PHILIP PLEIN JEANS
Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2019 DG Force Collection 2019 MAR / APR
KISSING BRILLIANCE The new ‘Kissing’ collection from the house of Boghossian
‘Kissing’ Green Beryl and Green Tourmaline Detachable Necklace and Earrings The centrepiece of the 18 Karat yellow gold detachable necklace is the 128.65 carats pear-shaped green beryl, topped by a 23.84 carats briolette drop green tourmaline. The supporting cast includes five 49.01 carats oval-shaped mint tourmalines, seventy-seven 83.12 carats mix-shaped green tourmaline and 21.41 carats small brilliant diamonds. The two earrings each feature a 47.48 carats briolette drop green beryl, 7.16 carats pear-shaped green tourmaline and 3.20 carats small brilliant diamonds.
Chameleon Heart Shaped and Diamonds ‘Kissing’ Necklace The pendant features a 13.60 carats fancy dark grey-yellowish green “chameleon” diamond, an 8.04 carats fancy light yellow diamond briolette, one 4.93 carats white jade, three triangularshaped diamond between 4.83 and 5.48 carats, and Three tulipshaped diamonds at 1.64 carats. The chain is 18 Karat white gold with diamond beads at 85.02 carats.
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‘Kissing’ Octagonal Shaped Diamond and Fancy Brown-Yellow Diamond Diamond Necklace One 1.07 carats octagonal-shaped diamond is framed within a 6.39 carats fancy brown-yellow cushion-shaped portrait diamond. Above is a 4.13 carats fancy brown-yellow pear-shaped diamond attached to an 18 Karat yellow gold chain.
‘Kissing’ Cushion Shaped Diamond and Rubelite Pendant Necklace A 4.02 carats cushion-shaped diamond fits snugly within an 18.45 carats oval-shaped rubellite, complemented by 0.73 carats small brilliant diamonds and attached to an 18 Karat rose gold chain.
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ANDREW AT THE HELM
We look back at the journey of Paul Andrew, Salvatore Ferragamo’s new Creative head
n February 21, the Board of Directors of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A., under the Presidency of Ferruccio Ferragamo, announced the appointment of Paul Andrew as the Creative Director of the Salvatore Ferragamo brand, whereby all design functions across the brand will be grouped under his responsibility. They also announced that Guillaume Meilland, the Men’s Ready-to-Wear Design Director will continue in his current role but is being entrusted with the additional responsibility of Studio Director, where he will coordinate “the development of all product categories” under the leadership of the new Creative Director. Paul Andrew joined Salvatore Ferragamo in September, 2016 as the Women’s Footwear Director. He was promoted one year later to Women’s Creative Director. The Paul Andrew story begins in the county of Berkshire, England where his father was a royal upholsterer at Windsor Castle. “He had a workshop in our house where he spent all this time with these amazing brocades. So, of course, I’m drawn to those fabrics,” Andrew told the LA Times in 2015. Staying true to his family heritage, Andrew studied at the erstwhile Berkshire College of Art and Design where he was encouraged to focus on footwear. His senior collection attracted the attention of fashion’s bigwigs and led to an apprenticeship with Alexander McQueen. This apprenticeship, of less than a year, proved highly fruitful for Andrew as it led to an invite by Narciso Rodriguez to move to New York to work with him on his shoe and bag line. After several years with Rodriguez, Andrew moved to Calvin Klein where he worked for three years on men’s and women’s footwear. This was followed by a ten-year stint with Donna Karan, where he rose to become the vice-president of Collection Accessories Design. By 2012, Andrew had become well acquainted with the rigour and discipline required to design for the world’s most discerning and fashionable consumers. His reputation was on the rise. Andrew decided to launch his own eponymous label based in
New York. Supported by exceptional manufacturing assets in Italy, the label debuted its collection of luxury women’s shoes in the Spring of 2013. “At the time I was launching my brand, everyone was wearing staggeringly high platforms. Shoes felt so vulgar, and my personal preference has always been for a single sole, light, elegant shoe. I thought: This has got to be coming back. I have to launch it now,” Andrew explained to the LA Times. The risk taken paid huge dividends and the accolades accumulated. Andrew’s collection was picked by Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York in the first year, followed by the likes of Bergdorf Goodman and Lane Crawford along with several other prestigious retailers. Andrew’s custom creations soon graced the feet of Hollywood celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Watson, Jessica Chastain and Emmy Rossum. At the 2013 edition of “Who is on Next?” Paul Andrew was adjudged the “Accessories Designer of the Year” along with being Fairchild Publications and Footwear News’ “Launch of the Year.” In 2014, the brand received top honours from the 2014 CFDA-Vogue Fashion Fund. In 2016, Andrew was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and the “Designer of the Year” at the Footwear News Achievement Awards. Most recently, Andrew was nominated for the 2017 and 2018 CFDA “Accessories Designer of the Year” Award. The Paul Andrew brand continues to operate despite the designer’s commitment to Salvatore Ferragamo in 2016. He has built his reputation on a commitment to quality and innovation; he once conducted a survey of 500 women around the world because he felt that shoes were being constructed based on measurements established in the 1970s. He also thinks that luxury should go hand-in-hand with sustainability. These values have endeared him to the Ferragamo organisation and have brought him to its creative summit. His first significant responsibility as the new Creative Director was to oversee the unveiling of the brand’s Autumn-Winter 2019 collection. 2019 MAR / APR
Lars Skjoth, founder & head scientist of Harklinikken
GC met with Lars SkjĂ¸th of Harklinikken to get a better understanding of a clinical approach to scalp-care
hen it comes to personal hygiene, people tend to pay a lot of attention to their skin, particularly the face. From off-the-shelf products to days at the spa, one spends a fortune for that perfect glow. However, the skin at the very top of our being has often been neglected. Of late, things are changing. Scalp-care is becoming the new skincare as there has been a slow but steady growth in awareness of the importance of taking care of ones scalp. There are salons that offer scalp facials. The growth in awareness has not gone unnoticed by the manufacturers of skincare and haircare products. New shampoos, serums and masks targeting the scalp are available and they feature ingredients such as niacinamide, salicylic acid and even stem cells. The fundamental problem with this approach is: Haircare specialists view the scalp as being similar in structure
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to the hair while skincare specialists view the scalp as being an extension of the facial skin; and they develope their products with this mindset. The skin on the scalp, in addition to being structurally different from the rest of the body, is also some of the thickest found on the body, it carries more blood than the rest of the skin and it contains many sebaceous glands which produce oils that protect the hair. These oils accumulate if not clensed properly and leads to that heavy greasy feel. In addition there are external contributors to scalp build-up such as haircare products and pollution that are left behind after rinsing. Improper clensing and moisturising of the scalp leads to scalpspecific medical conditions such as Scalp Psoriasis, Dry Scalp, Dandruff and others. Apart from such medical conditions, the
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Interiors of Harklinikken in Copenhagen most common cause of scalp related anxiety is hair loss, which is generally divided into three categories based on their causes. First, there is Hair loss due to hereditary factors. Secondly, Physiological hair loss which is caused by factors such as stress, malnutrition, anaemia, scalp disorders, bad water quality, hair product chemicals, hair straighteners, hair extensions, hair pulling and so on. Thirdly, hair loss caused directly or indirectly by disease or medication. Lars Skjøth, the founder and Head Scientist of Harklinikken, a Denmark based scalp specialist, told GC: “The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern - or female-pattern thinning, also called androgenetic hair loss. The definition ‘pattern hair loss’ is used as this type of hair loss develops in patterns from the interaction between genetics and hormonal factors. In genetically susceptible people, certain sex hormones trigger a particular pattern of hair loss. This type of hair loss seems more prominent in the Middle East, and I believe that certain conditions aggravate this type of hair loss, such as the fact that a large percentage of men and women have their hair covered. Other factors that may contribute to hair loss include lack of essential nutrients, lack of sleep, severe heat, severe humidity and constant exposure to A/C to mention a few.” Harklinikken was founded 26 years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1994, Lars made a revolutionary discovery that
enabled the successful treatment of androgenetic hair loss in both women and men. Called the Extract, it consists of Burdock root as the main component of the formula, along with cow’s milk and natural occurring amino acid complexes, sterols, tannins and fatty acids from other botanicals which have been combined in a three-step fermentation process that is proprietary to Harklinikken. Each Extract is then individually tailored for each client and continually adjusted throughout the treatment program, to ensure the most optimal result. During the initial consultation, the specialist from Harklinikken assesses the client’s scalp, hair and hair loss condition, depending on which the formulation of the extract is prepared for the client. Since it was first formulated, the treatment has been credited with re-growing hair in over 100,000 clients worldwide among whom are celebrities, royalty and prominent businessmen. It’s a fact that Harklinikken does not advertise. Word of mouth and recommendations from successful patients serve as a cornerstone for the business. In fact, four out of five clients come as referrals from satisfied customers according to Lars. The New York Times, Town&Country, Bloomberg Businessweek, O The Oprah Magazine and several others have featured the institution which has led to increased awareness of their unique hair loss treatment. 2019 MAR / APR
41’ AMG CARBON EDITION
Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing presented the “41’ AMG Carbon Edition” at the 2019 Miami International Boat Show. Inspired by the current Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupé, the eleventh jointly developed boat in this longstanding partnership, sets new standards in terms of performance, handling and versatility. The Cigarette Racing team engineers’ primary aim in their development work was weight reduction. In comparison to the GT R Performance boat of 2017, the engineers were able to save around 250 kilograms of weight thanks to a mixture of lightweight materials which includes carbon-fibre. The hull of the vessel uses innovative sandwich construction with carbon-fibre structural laminates on both sides of a lightweight core. This allows a more rigid structure of considerably reduced weight. Furthermore, the deck, rudder, roof lining and hardtop are also made of carbon-fibre. This lightweight construction also ensured it was possible to lower the boat’s centre of gravity, thus improving the handling during highspeed manoeuvres. It is powered by four Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines which together generate 1,177 kW or 1,600 hp, giving the boat a top speed of 142 kmph. It can carry eight passengers at maximum speed or up to 20 passengers at cruising speed. The interior is unmistakably Mercedes-AMG. For example, the tailored seat upholstery is colour-coordinated with the exterior and seam patterns exclusively designed for this special edition. Also, the interior features innovative “Cigarette Cool” upholstery which can reflect up to 30 per cent of the absorbed heat. 104 MAR / APR 2019
AIBO ROBOT DOG
Aibo, which means “pal” or “partner” in Japanese, is an artificial intelligence robot designed to be a companion robot for adults from Sony. First introduced in 1999, it was discontinued in 2006 as part of Sony’s cost-cutting measures and reintroduced in 2017 as a new generation robot. The new AIBOs are bundled with a software suite that gives the robot a personality, the ability to sense its environment and recognise spoken commands in English, Spanish, or Japanese. Put all these to gather, and we have a mechanical ‘pet’ that can comprehend a compliment or an affectionate pat or stroke. Each Aibo’s personality develops over time as a response to its owner’s nurturing, and as a result, an Aibo can develop into “a doting partner, a wild, fun-loving companion, or anywhere in between.” It can also learn new tricks through interactions with other aibos, or from the changes in the natural and social environment.
ANKER POWERHOUSE 200 PORTABLE BATTERY
This gadget houses a 200Wh battery pack with a 57,600mAh power capacity. It weighs five pounds, has a length of 12 inches, and a depth of 10 inches. It is capable of charging laptops, tablets, and phones multiple times, or even running small appliances. The power can be accessed through a 12V car outlet, USB-C PD port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a 110V AC outlet. Most smartphones can be fully charged about ten times and about three to five full charges for standard tablets and laptops. It can even power small household appliances. Recharging can also be done in three ways: the most accessible way to recharge using the DC port with an AC adapter, the USB-C port can double as a recharging port and the third source is by using a Solar panel charger. Being an Anker, the overall package has a good build quality to it even though the outer casing is made of plastic.
MICROSOFT HOLOLENS 2
Building on some of the design shortcomings of the first version, the new model of Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset is lighter, has a larger field of view, has improved ergonomics to make it wearable for longer periods, improved holographic engine, and better eye and hand tracking tech. Launched four years ago, as a consumer product as well as being a tool for business enterprises, the marketing of the second version seems to be focusing solely on helping businesses “learn, communicate, and collaborate more effectively.” Microsoft has allowed thirdparty developers to create apps and tools for the device for the first time. Also, HoloLens 2’s performance is “enhanced by the reliability, security, and scalability of cloud and AI services” from Microsoft.
MCINTOSH RS200 WIRELESS LOUDSPEAKER SYSTEM
The newest wireless hardware from McIntosh is designed for the streaming age as it is compatible with a wide range of streaming services including Alexa and Apple’s AirPlay 2. For non-streaming sources there is an audio-only HDMI1 input from TVs; an optical input to connect with sources without ARC, such as CD Players; a USB Type-B to connect with a computer; and even a 3.5mm AUX input for analogue sources. Other tools include Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC, Qualcomm’s aptX HD and aptX Low Latency for better synchronisation with video play; and DTS Play-Fi for whole-home wireless audio connectivity. Its 650 watts of output is delivered through two 4”x6” woofers, four 2”- midranges, and ¾”-tweeters. The subwoofer output can connect with an external subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies. Its minimalist design and use of neutral colours should make it compatible with most decors. 2019 MAR / APR
FLY OVER WATER A look at the Foiler, the innovative “Flying Yacht” from the UAE based Enata Marine
he Foiler, a project by the UAE based Enata Marine, is “the world’s first Flying Yacht.” It has the potential to create a whole new segment in the leisure boating industry. Using four retractable foils, the Foiler lifts itself out of the water like a hydrofoil to give its passengers a sensation that is more akin to flying, while being transported in luxury-yacht like ambiance. The craft’s benefits, when compared to similar sized conventional vessels, include better fuel economy, comfort, stability, speed, safety, and reduction in or absence of seasickness. The Foiler made its world debut at last year’s Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) where it proved to be a crowd puller. Since then, “more than 1,000 hours” of extensive testing have been done on the Foiler’s pre-production model in realworld conditions during the 2018 Mediterranean summer season. Enata has used these tests to make various improvements to the Foiler’s performance and design. The result, according to Enata Marine, is a “client-ready version” of the flying yacht which was unveiled at the recently concluded 2019 edition of the DIBS. Alois Vieujot, Manager of Enata, said: “We are thrilled with the new additions to the design and technology of the Foiler. Thanks to significant test hours on our first Foiler model throughout 2018, as well as continued extensive research and development at Enata, there are some exciting new additions to this latest generation of the Foiler.” The “new additions” to the 2019 model includes the new
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740 hp hydrostatic propulsion system that is 20 percent more efficient at top hydro-foiling speeds, and about 40-50 percent better when compared to a traditional yacht. There have also been improvements to the design of the hull and the hydro-foils. The push-button controlled retractable carbon fibre hydro-foils combine strength, rigidity, and lightness, allowing the yacht to fly 1.5 meters above the water, traveling at speeds in excess of 40 knots (75km/h). The hydro-foiling flight commences at 12 knots and achieves full flight at 18 knots with seven passengers and a driver on board. The Foiler now offers three variants in terms of layout and finish. The Azure, with a large open layout and a large retractable table in the back, is designed for sun worshippers and for enjoying family days on the water. The GT layout aims to recreate “the feeling of driving a race car” with the placement of seats to suit high speeds and ample onboard storage for diving, wakeboarding, and other equipment. The Royale layout is for the demanding patron who wants to be flown around in style. The two front seats with the panoramic window, three benches with retractable tables and storage for luggage adds to the sense of luxury. The Foiler’s modular design platform facilitates a wide range of tailor-made adaptations such as the location of the steering wheel, seating, storage, and specialized equipment to suit a client’s specific needs.
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A NEW SEASON OF DESI DELIGHTS Carnival by Trèsind has recently unveiled its Season Six menu along with other surprises
h u p e n d e r N a t h ’s m u l t i - a w a r d w i n n i n g c a s u a l dine restaurant Carnival by Trèsind has been serving “post-modern” Indian dishes since September 2016 to the cultural melting pot of DIFC. Curated by its award-winning Executive Chef Vinu Raveendran, the restaurant has been serving it’s latest Season – Six - titled Books, since March. Speaking about the new Season, Bhupender Nath, Founder & Managing Director and the visionary behind Carnival said: “Serving Seasons at Carnival is in continuation to and realizing our aim for showing the playful & fun side to Indian food. With each Season at Carnival, we twist the cuisine in its entirety, with the culinary team spending months on research and understanding of the nuances that form the basis of the complex cuisine from India.” The new season offers a wide range of new dishes as a-lacarte selection, a fresh seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, a renewed Friday Brunch experience and a quick Lunch Set menu which can be served up in 30 minutes. Signature dishes from earlier seasons like the Tanga Chaat, Life of Pie, PuliInji, Ram Babu paratha, Moti Mahal Butter Chicken are still served. There is also a change in the service format to make it more casual whereby the sequence of service presents dishes as soon as they are prepared and not necessarily course-wise. Another new for Season Six is the true Delhi-style street food experience, titled Dilli-6, serving old favorites such as bhel, panipuri, and jalebi chaat among others.
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DINING DESTINATION FOR THE SOUL
Hakkasan at the Palm Atlantis serves its unique take on Cantonese Classics in the midst of tranquillity
akkasan, the award-winning Cantonese restaurant located at the entrance to the Avenues, Atlantis, The Palm opened its doors in October 2018. Comprising an intimate restaurant and a vibrant bar segregated by intricately carved wooden screens and latticing which, along with the soft palette, create a calm, tranquil and elegant atmosphere, true to Hakkasanâ€™s Chinese roots. The menu features signature sharing dishes as well as a selection of dishes exclusive to the Dubai location. The Signature dishes include the Peking duck served with Royal Beluga caviar, grilled Chilean sea bass cooked in honey and the stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef. The Dubai exclusive dishes include crispy roasted chicken with garlic and sesame, osmanthus Wagyu beef rib eye and wok-fry Australian rack lamb with black garlic. Hakkasan Dubai also hosts a range of special experiences and weekly events. One such is the Taste of Hakkasan menu which serves curated dishes such as the supreme dim sum platter, roasted truffle duck with mushroom tea tree, and a decadent dessert selection handpicked by the chef, all with the accompaniment of sake by Tokkuri. Another special is the Hakkasan Friday brunch which offers a relaxed but vibrant atmosphere set by the restaurantâ€™s resident DJ, alongside live entertainment. A team of expert mixologists add to the experience with a selection of bubbles, premium spirits, and cocktails including the Lychee Martini, The Hakka and Green Destiny. 2019 MAR / APR
AN IMMERSIVE PLACE OF WELL-BEING The SHA Wellness Clinic celebrates its tenth anniversary with innovations and residences designed to heal
he SHA Wellness Clinic is a “360-degree wellbeing” destination where health is not simply seen as the absence of illness but rather as the optimal state of physical, mental and spiritual well-being; where guests immerse themselves into a range of holistic treatments and programs based on the curative power of a healthy nutrition, body and mind. The objectives are to improve the quality of life, slow down the ageing process and prevent illness. To take the immersive experience to the next level the clinic has launched the SHA Residences. The multi-award-winning clinic is located on the seaside Mediterranean village of Altea, some 80 minutes from Valencia, Spain. It was born in 2008 from the personal tribulation of Alfredo Bataller Parietti, who had suffered from multiple health problems. He eventually found a doctor who was a leading expert in nutrition and natural therapies, and was thus able to recover his health. He became committed to sharing and disseminating his valuable knowledge and experience. He founded SHA, with the support of his family, with the intention of using a combination of ancient oriental techniques and the latest advances in western medicine. SHA’s “360-degrees” method utilises an incredibly wide variety 110 MAR / APR 2019
of treatments for a wide range of challenges such as antismoking, sleep disorders, capillary health, cognitive stimulation, preventive medicine, fitness, healthy-ageing, dental aesthetics and many others. The clinic has more than 80 cabins and consultations rooms, with over 35 doctors, all located in a building with a modern and minimalist design. The treatments are customised for the needs of an individual patient, and can comprise anything from massages to water therapies, fitness routines, cooking classes, traditional Chinese medicines, and the latest genomic techniques. The clinic prides itself on continually innovating and advancing on its knowledge base, and also adopting the latest advancement in medicine. Pride of place in this regard currently rests with the recently added Live Blood Analysis (LBA); which “constitutes a strong progression within preventive medicine, as it allows us to easily detect risk factors and early alterations within a patient’s body. This then allows us to implement adequate measures to prevent potential risks to their future health,” explains Dr Rosario Garcia, Head of the Revitalising Medicine Unit at SHA. The theory behind LBA testing suggests that a weakened body shows signs of illness in its early stages, making it possible
to discover the origin of the disease, which typically goes unnoticed in standard blood tests. A digital image of the blood droplet taken from a patient´s finger allows the doctor to analyse the movement, morphology and function of the living cells, as well as its interrelation with the others, the characteristics of the plasma and the accumulated toxins. This, in turn, makes it possible to identify important factors such as toxicity, levels of cellular oxygenation, the activity and viability of the immune system, the quality of the transportation of nutrients, the velocity of the patient’s ageing and the effect of stress on the cells. Another ‘new’ from the clinic is the recently launched SHA Residences. The clinic has studied for a long time the relationship between wellness and built environments.
Based on its findings, SHA teamed up leading architects and interior designers to create a space where design, materials and technology actively contribute to an improvement in wellness. The residences, located in the middle of a natural parkland and boasting a comfortable microclimate, are divided into three types: Garden, Premier and Penthouse, ranging from 300 to 500 square metres. All the residences conform to the principles of Feng Shui while also offering the latest in home automation. The interior and outdoor spaces are integrated to take advantage of the natural light. Facilities include spacious gardens, terraces with glass infinity pools, fitness rooms, treatment rooms, and hammams or sauna. The residences are suitable for existing SHA treatments as well as for chromotherapy. They also include air quality measuring and purification systems. 2019 MAR / APR
JAPAN’S ETERNAL CAPITAL Kyoto holds a special place for the Japanese and popular with tourists who wish to discover the essence of Japan
yoto in Japanese means ‘capital city.’ It was the home of Japan’s imperial seat for a thousand years, and is today considered by the Japanese to be their cultural epicentre. Kyoto is not a city frozen in the past for it is home to some of Japan’s global tech-giant like Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, Omron, Kyocera, Nissin Electric and others. Kyoto City, located in the southern-central Kansai region of Japan, forms the northern part of the continuous Kyoto-OsakaKobe metropolitan area. Spread over an area of 828 square kilometres, the city is situated in a valley that forms part of the Yamashiro Basin and is surrounded on three sides by the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. It has a humid subtropical climate with the summers being hot and humid, while the winters are relatively cold with occasional snowfall. The rains begin to fall around the middle of June and last until the end of July, followed by a hot and sunny latter half of the summer. The region is prone to Japan’s notorious typhoons during September and October. In the eighth century, the site was chosen as the new Imperial capital by Emperor Kanmu who renamed it Heian-kyō or literally
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‘tranquillity and peace capital.’ By the eleventh century, it had simply become Kyoto. In 1869, the imperial court moved to Edo, and was renamed Tokyo (Eastern Capital), Kyoto became Saikyō (Western Capital). This did not last long though. While Tokyo retained its name, Saikyō once again became Kyoto, for, in the hearts of the Japanese, the city has always been their spiritual capital. As the Imperial capital, Kyoto had more than its fair share of destruction due to internal wars, but fortunately, it was spared much of the bombing during World War II, and because of which, much of its heritage structures remained intact. They include an impressive list of 2,000 religious places, 1,600 of which are Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. The most valuable of all, however, are the ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto,’ the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spread over 17 locations, they include Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, manicured gardens, places of scenic beauty and of course, the Nijo-Castle. Kyoto has also become renowned throughout Japan for its refined and delicate cuisine led by the local haute cuisine called Kaiseki, and the popular, Kobe beef.
THINGS TO DO NIJO CASTLE
Built in 1603, Nijo-Castle is a beautiful example of the Momoyama style of architecture. It houses numerous cultural assets including 6 ‘National Treasures,’ one of which is the Ninomaru Palace. In 2011, the authorities embarked on a 20-year restoration project of the castle complex, the largest since its founding and is estimated to cost a total of JPY 10 Billion (USD 90 million). As part of the fundraising campaign, any individual contributing more than JPY 1,000,000 (USD 9,000) is invited to become ‘Shogun of the Castle for a day’ and is entitled with rare access to the special areas inside the palace not open to the public. They are also provided with a special commemorative certificate.
ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST
It is one of Kyoto’s most visited and most photographed sights. It is a bamboo grove set between Tenryuji temple and Nonomiya Shrine. It is interspersed by paths which are over 500 meters long. The paths can be traversed on a rented bike or a rickshaw, but if one is able, a journey by foot is highly recommended to truly appreciate the otherworldly essence of the bamboo grove with its interplay of light and shadow. The area is also famous for the photogenic Togetsukyo bridge as well as the Sagano Romantic Train ride through the cherry blossoms in spring or the brilliant colors of its maple leaves in autumn.
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Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” the market is a narrow, five blocks long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. It specialises in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware. It is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialities, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. It has a pleasant but busy atmosphere that is inviting to visitors who want to explore the variety of culinary delights that Kyoto is famous for and almost everything sold at the market is locally produced and procured.
FUSHIMI INARI TAISHA SHRINE
Cyprus Historic & Classic Motor Museum is a 1,000 square metre venue that opened its doors in 2014. It is the only automobile museum in Cyprus and also offers Classic Car Rental Service with a driver for a truly unique tour of the city and its surroundings. The museum is the brainchild of veteran Cypriot rally driver Dimi Mavropoulos and is an ideal venue for events such as exhibitions, fashion shows, photo shoots and weddings.
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WHERE TO STAY
THE RITZ-CARLTON KYOTO
The low-rise building sits on the banks of the gentle Kamogawa River within walking distance of Kyoto’s popular downtown areas and is well connected to the public transport system. The designers have recreated the character and aesthetic of a traditional Meiji house and courtyard by using Zen rock gardens, water features including a four-story waterfall, which are aesthetically positioned in the heart of the hotel. They are complemented by a series of walkways and bridges. The interior, featuring patterned motifs created by local artisans, are designed to make guests feel cocooned in a sea of tranquillity. The hotel’s 134 spacious rooms and suites are large, by any standard, and coupled with floor-to-ceiling windows create an airy space, with soothing colours and light wood furnishings. The rooms are modern with all the tech toys but feel unmistakeably Japan. There are two high-end restaurants: Mizuki serves classic Japanese while La Locanda serves Italian with a contemporary twist. The ESPA spa, nestled at the foot of the waterfall on the hotel’s lowest floor, features seven treatment rooms where signature Japanese inspired treatments such as Acupressure massage, Ryokucha Serenity Ritual and Gyokuro are offered. Each morning, the hotel offers a complimentary bike tour in the local area.
SUIRAN LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL KYOTO
Managed by the Marriott group, the hotel is set along the tranquil Hozu River in Arashiyama, some 30 minutes by car or train from Kyoto Station. It is ideal for those who wish to be away from the urban setting and are looking for an authentic Japanesestyle experience. The hotel is located within 10 km of Kyoto Imperial Palace and several of the region’s other important national treasures. The open layout of the hotel is inspired by traditional Japanese architecture and offers a collection of 39 guestrooms, including six speciality rooms, the best of which are rooms with a river view and a private hot spring. The spa’s two treatment rooms are nestled within a tranquil, secluded Japanese garden. Each features a traditional private open-air bath fed with healing waters cultivated from the Arashiyama hot springs. The hotel also has a full-service restaurant offering traditional Japanese cuisine and a coffee shop serving a variety of gourmet options. Amenities include free train station pick-up, satellite TV, free wired Internet in-room and free WiFi in public areas and 24-hour room service among others.
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WHERE LONDON’S HISTORY MEETS OPULENCE Brown’s Hotel in the Mayfair district has an enviable past, but is not one to rest on its past laurels “
omething old, something new, something else,” reads one of the promotional tag-lines of Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, London. It aptly summarises the hotel where, like the city of London, tradition mixes seamlessly with modern flair. Brown’s Hotel holds the distinction of being London’s first hotel, while also being one of its most illustrious. Since it first opened its doors, it has hosted distinguished guests, from royals and presidents to world-famous authors and celebrities. Staying in one of the suites of this hotel is to share a space with an icon of modern history. The Kipling Suite, for example, is named after the author Rudyard Kipling who stayed at the suite while he penned the words to his Jungle Book. Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker and Stephen King were some of the other literary stalwarts to frequent Brown’s. Theodore Roosevelt, Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians, and King George II of the Hellenes were among the political elite to have graced the confines of this hotel. Brown’s is also the site of the first telephone call in London made by none other than Alexander Graham Bell himself. Brown’s was established in 1837 by James and Sarah Brown, in the same year that Queen Victoria ascended to the throne and thus ushered in the Victorian era. The hotel has since undergone
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successive expansions and ownership changes but has always retained its position as a refuge for the world’s elite. Rocco Forte Hotels purchased Brown’s in 2003 and subsequently closed it in 2004 for a 24-million-pound refurbishment. It was reopened in December 2005 by Margaret Thatcher and quickly went on to accumulate numerous awards as well as commemorating its 175th year anniversary in 2012. The most recent awards include the U.S. News & World Reports awards for Best London Hotels 2016-17 and Best England Hotels. It was also chosen as one of the top London hotels at Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2016, and the 13th Best Business Hotel in the UK in the 2017 edition of the same awards. Brown’s is particularly renowned for its traditional English Victorian sophistication fused with a contemporary feel and exceptional hospitality. The bedrooms, all individually decorated, are designed by Olga Polizzi and combine modern features with traditional furnishing. The hotel offers 82 standard rooms ranging between 30 and 50 square metres in size, while the 33 suites range between 60 and 168 square metres. Within the Rocco Forte Hotels group, the largest, most glamorous signature suite in each hotel is designated the Forte Suite. They draw inspiration from their location and celebrate the history of the building, the culture of the city, or the distinguished
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guests who have resided at the property. Original features are carefully restored, and every item is hand-picked, from the artworks and books that reflect the growth of the cities through time, to the comfortable beds, furnishings and other decor elements. In Brown’s, the Kipling Suite is the Forte suite. Its large sitting room has floor-to-ceiling windows and has a wooden floor. The large bright bathroom has a double shower and wash, an oversized bathtub complemented by Spiezia’s organic bathroom amenities. Some of the services offered to Forte suite guests include in-suite check-in, chauffeur service within a two-mile radius in a Bentley Mulsanne, personalised concierge services before and during the stay, two half-hour treatments in the spa, a welcome bottle of Ruinart Champagne, unpacking and packing service, pressing of up to four garments and premium high-speed wi-fi access. The Hellenic Suites have sitting rooms with high ceilings, wooden floors, a dining table and a fireplace. The bedroom has a generous walk-in wardrobe. For families, the suite can be interconnected with two Classic Rooms to become a threebedroom suite with its own entrance area for up to six adults. The Dover Suites feature a generous sitting room with an ornate ceiling and three floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the space with natural light. A large gilt mirror hangs over the marble fireplace, and a selection of bespoke prints adorns the walls. The Deluxe Suites have a separate sitting room, bedroom and a walk-in wardrobe. For families, the space can be increased by interconnecting with Executive and Classic Rooms to form fourbedroom suites with their own entrance area.
The new Brown’s Suites are spacious at 72 square metres and offer an apartment feel with a courtyard view. It has a spacious bedroom, living room and two bathrooms. The first bathroom features Bisazza mosaics and a marble vanity unit and is ideal for visitors. The second bathroom is of bush-hammered limestone and attached to the bedroom with a capacious bath and walk-in shower. Most suites offer double showers, double wash-basins, television along with Spiezia’s organic suite of amenities such as a candle, body and bath oil, a luxurious body balm and detoxifying bath salts. Queen Victoria loved to take tea at Brown’s. The awardwinning English Tea Room at Brown’s is still the place for the definitive afternoon English tea experience in London. Guests can pick from over 17 teas, including Brown’s own blend, and accompanied by a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. The ambience is a perfect blend of old and new featuring original wood panelling and antique fireplaces that blend with Paul Smith floor lamps and contemporary artwork. The famous Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel has been relaunched after extensive re-design and with a new menu from Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s leading bartenders and a former President of the United Kingdom Bartender’s Guild. For a relaxed dining experience, Beck at Brown’s offers a light menu of Italian classics. The Spa, with three treatment rooms which includes a double suite, draws inspiration from group’s Verdura Resort. It merges Irene Forte Skincare with intelligent design, multi-sensory healing techniques and signature spa treatments for a truly restorative, transformative experience.
2019 MAR / APR
DISINTEGRATING X CAPTURES AN EXPLODING LAMBORGHINI MIURA A fter “Disintegrating” and “Disintegrating II”, the M.A.D.Gallery presents “Disintegrating X,” a stunning photograph of an exploding Lamborghini Miura SV from 1972 by renowned Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner. It took Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner two years to complete. During that time, Oefner and his team travelled to the workshops surrounding the Lamborghini Factory in Sant’Agata, Italy to capture each piece of a Lamborghini Miura SV from 1972 as it was being restored. The final image, consisting of more than 1’500 individual photographs, shows the iconic Italian sports car frozen in mid-explosion. There are no fireballs gushing forth, just every large and small
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component of the car in varying stages of departure. “It had always been my dream to create an art piece with a real car. One day, a friend said to me ‘I have a Miura, and I’m having it restored. Why don’t you take the opportunity to create one of your Disintegrating images?’ And of course he didn’t have to ask me twice to work on one of my favourite cars, to get to touch every single screw and piece of that legend, and put them into a final composition”, said Oefner. Titled Disintegrating X, The image is available at the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery, in two sizes: 140x70cm limited to 18 prints and 230x115cm limited to 8 prints. Both have two artist editions each.
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122 MAR / APR 2019