SPRING / SUMMER 2019
KIM JONES DIOR HOMME
GOOP BY GWYNETH PALTROW
AUTOMOTIVE AUDI Q8
FERRARI F8 TRIBUTO
PNC MENON SOBHA REALTY CHAIRMAN, A HIGH ACHIEVER AND A GENEROUS GIVER
ROLEX YACHT MASTER 42
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CONTENTS 18 BUSINESS
Metito providing total intelligent water management solutions
20 COVER STORY
The ‘Wish’ app – Shopping Made Fun
Citizenship-by-Investment Program (CIP) by Montenegro
PNC Menon, the Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty
Omar Al Busaidy, the Emirati best-selling Author, Optimistic, Opportunist and Futurist
Carsten Bender, Managing Director at Audi Middle East ‘Creativity In Residence’ programme by de Grisogono
Francesco Pavoni, Regional Head at PA Consulting Goop – A modern lifestyle brand
Soylent, the future of food
Bugatti applauds its own history with the “La Voiture Noire” Ferrari F8 Tributo celebrates the tripleaward winning V8 powerhouse A review of the new face of the Q family: Audi Q8
GC meets Erik Linquier of COFREX to talk about the French pavilion at EXPO 2020
Armenia enters a renewed era driven by optimism, innovation, and democracy
Rolex pays homage to its relationship with the world of sailing with the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42
Some watches tell time. Some tell a story
Architectural interpretation of an icon, letting light filter through the heart of its mechanics. Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic
JAQUET DROZ BOUTIQUES GENEVA - PARIS - MOSCOW - DUBAI - TOKYO - HONG KONG - MACAU - SHANGHAI - BEIJING - XI’AN - SINGAPORE - NEW YORK Discover our official point of sales on www.jaquet-droz.com
BRV394-R.S.19 - Bell & Ross’s tribute to the Renault Sport Formula One team
Fashion Selections for Spring/Summer
Chef David Myers, the man behind BASTA!, Bleu Blanc and Poppy
Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000 – Conquering the Everest
Gulf Craft launched the Nomad 95 SUV yacht, the flagship of its Nomad brand of yachts
What’s new in the market
Kim Jones, Creative Head at Dior Homme
The Muraka by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island James Bond Collection by Orlebar Brown
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Baku, the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan NYC’s Highest Outdoor Observation Deck, The Edge The ‘Ahlan Lounge at B’, Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport is the best in the region
MASTER OF MATERIALS
RADO CAPTAIN COOK INSPIRED BY OUR VINTAGE ORIGINAL. SERIOUSLY IRRESISTIBLE.
2018 NOVT / DEC 15
EDITOR’S LETTER A
s our summer issue coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, we shine the spotlight on philanthropist and entrepreneur Mr. PNC Menon, Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty (p.20). He tells us about his journey that started with seven dollars in his pocket in 1976 to making Sobha Realty the industry giant that it is today. Despite the extraordinary success, he stays true to his humble beginnings and the hardships he faced early on in life – the primary motivation behind his exceptional commitment to philanthropy. Closer to the ground, we speak with Omar Al Busaidy, the 33-year old Emirati who has had quite an interesting journey in life (p.38). A Fulbright nominee, he is a best-selling author, talk-radio presenter, social media influencer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, futurist and a member of the US and UAE Public Affairs Committee. We reviewed the new Audi Q8 which is a combination of the best of two worlds – the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe and the convenient versatility of a large SUV (p.62). This makes it a perfect companion for business and leisure. In the world of timepieces, we dig a bit deeper into the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht Master 42 (p.66). This watch is Rolex’s dedication to its close relationship with the world of sailing – an alliance that can be traced back to the 50s. We also bring to you the impressive story of Chef David Myers (p.94) who carved a path of his own and went on to earn the Michelin star in addition to other numerous accolades for his very first restaurant Sona in Los Angeles. Then followed a number of restaurants in various parts of the world, including 3 venues in Dubai that he launched on the very same day. Speaking of food, we go back in time to chart the founding story of Soylent (p.48), the meal replacement brand from Silicon Valley that seems to be the next big thing in the food industry. In our travel section, we explore the beautiful city of Baku that has been quietly making its way up the urban holiday destination chart. The capital city of Azerbaijan is rich in history offering an eclectic mix of old and new architectural treasures as well as beaches and retail therapy. It has also been ranked among the world’s top 10 destinations for urban night life. Turn to p.98 to read some of the highlights on things to do and the places to stay at. Sit back and 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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Publisher Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208 email@example.com Copyright 2019 Fierce International. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of Fierce International. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily reﬂect the editorial views of the publisher or Global Citizen. All information in Global Citizen is checked and verified to the best of the publisher’s ability, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.
Sunaz Sunaz Sharaf
By Amir Saeed
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2018 NOVT / DEC 17
One of Metito’s groundbreaking projects in Egypt showcasing the reverse osmosis desalination technology.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE
Bridging the gap between depleting natural water supply and the increasing demand for clean and safe water, Metito combines commerce, education and philanthropy in its commitment to sustainable water usage and recycling
etito is global leader in total intelligent water management solutions with a focus on innovation, while also being a leader in raising awareness related to water scarcity and water conservation. The 60-yearold company, initially founded in Lebanon, has built up an impressive project portfolio of more than 3,000 projects in more than 46 countries worldwide and employs over 3000 personnel. Last year, it was named ‘Desalination Company of the Year – Distinction' and awarded the ‘Deal of the Year' at the prestigious Global Water Awards. Metito operates across the full spectrum of its industry, from providing clean and fresh drinking water to purifying wastewater. Metito also specializes in desalination, wastewater recycling and reuse, water purification up to hyper-pure water, and investing into water and wastewater assets as well as structuring both Greenfield and Brownfield schemes under project finance structures. The Metito story begins in 1958 when Lebanese entrepreneur
18 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
Farouk Ghandour founded the first specialist water and wastewater treatment company in the Middle East. Farouk's brother, Mutaz Ghandour joined Metito in 1966 and would go on to become its Chairman and CEO. In 1976, with the start of the Lebanese civil war, the company was forced to move its manufacturing facility to Houston and its operations to the UK. By the late 1970s, Metito had grown to become the leading provider of reverse osmosis desalination technology in the GCC and MENA. In 2007, the International Finance Company, a subsidiary of the World Bank acquired shared in the group. However, the founding family still helms the Metito Group with Mutaz Ghandour as the Chairman and CEO of Metito Holdings. The Group oversaw a steady and sustainable growth model which combines an intricate business model with a focus on developing and retaining human capital. Today the company's operations fall under three categories: ‘Design and Build' specialises in custom design, manufacture
and maintenance of water and wastewater treatment systems, as well as desalination systems. ‘Utilities And Investments' offers project finance, consulting and management services as well as utility services for both water and renewables. Under ‘Chemicals,' the company develops environmentally friendly chemistries for their water and wastewater systems, as oilfield solutions, other cleaning solutions and cleaning equipment. In addition to its focus on human capital, Metito has also made innovation an area of focus. This has yielded some impressive patented technologies that are more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives, ranging from engineered membranes to water quality monitoring systems. One example is the ‘Biopipe', the world's first fully in-pipe biological wastewater treatment technology that can recycle wastewater without creating any waste by-products. Biopipe, which can be operated with solar energy, was most recently utilised by the Sharjah City Municipality's Agriculture and Environment Sector. ‘EventLab 2.0,' developed in collaboration with Optiqua Technologies, provides online and sample-based water quality monitoring in real-time through an optical ‘Lab-on-Chip' sensor technology. ‘Metito 4' integrates advanced sensing, instrumentation, fluid handling, and data communications technologies to control virtually any water treatment process. Over the years, Metito has delivered some noteworthy sustainable projects in Africa and the GCC, such as the recycling and reuse wastewater plant that produces feed water for district cooling system of the Burj Khalifa and makeup water for the Dubai Fountain; the first bulk surface water supply facility in Sub Saharan Africa that delivers 40% of the potable water needs for Kigali and other towns in Rwanda; the King Abdullah Economic City seawater desalination mega plant that is partially powered by solar energy; Al Galalah mega seawater desalination plant in Egypt with a capacity of 150, 000m3/d , the largest desalination plant in Egypt.
Montong Tangi, a rural village in Indonesia, is the beneficiary of the AquaTower, a water filtration system, installed by Metito and Planet Water Foundation.
Metito’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond the realm of commerce and into philanthropy. Its CSR program focuses on information dissemination and knowledge transfer on water scarcity, water safety and security among school and university students. Through this program, Metito hosts workshops, presentations and site visits where students are introduced to the latest water statistics and the concept of water recycling and reuse. The program also challenges these youth to become part of the solution by changing their personal water consumption habits. “We believe that knowledge is the most effective driver able to bring about positive change. Tapping into the youth, their unrestricted thinking space and fresh energy, is the focal point to our CSR agenda,” says Mutaz Ghandour, Chairman and CEO at Metito. In the GCC, Metito recently organised educational trips for students and teachers from Dubai's Nord Anglia School, Hartland International School and India's SIES CollegeMumbai. They were taken on a tour of GCC's first wastewater concession at Dubai Investment Park (DIP) as an exemplary project for water recycling and reuse. Metito even conducted a ‘Bring Your Kids to DIP' event for its employees. In addition to raising awareness, Metito also supports direct action. It has partnered with Planet Water Foundation, a leading non-profit organisation that delivers clean water access via AquaTower - a water filtration system - to distraught areas such as Montong Tangi, a rural village in Indonesia, where contaminated wells impose extreme hardships for the locals. PWF also indulges in hygiene education programs. “This continued initiative reinforces both our and Metito’s commitment to ending global water poverty and to supporting organisations who share the same vision of bridging the gap between depleting natural water supply and the increasing demand for clean and safe water,” said Mark Steele, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Planet Water Foundation.
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PNC Menon, the Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty
20 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
A HIGH ACHIEVER AND A GENEROUS GIVER
GC met with PNC Menon, the Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty to unravel his story and his philanthropic drive “
had only seven dollars when I started my interior business in Oman. This was in 1976. Then I got an opportunity to do the palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. That was my biggest achievement, the main milestone in my life thus far. But my dream project is always in the future. There are no challenges in the past because you’ve already done it. I always believe that I can do better than what I have done before. It's an endless pursuit, until you are packed and sent out of this world," says Mr. PNC Menon, the Founder & Chairman of the Dubai-based, privately-held Sobha Realty. He spoke to GC recently about his adventures in the construction and real estate industry as well as his acclaimed commitment to philanthropy. Mr. Menon began his professional career by setting up an interior decoration firm in the Sultanate of Oman in 1976. His business gradually expanded to include the UAE, Bahrain and India. The growth was based on his commitment to quality, both in construction and interiors. Mr. Menon's ability to deliver on quality was primarily due on his effective backward-integration within the group. "When You do a building,” explains Mr. Menon, “there are multiple agencies, starting with design, followed by construction, woodwork, metal work, interiors, and so
on. I felt that if you have your own set up to deliver all of these, then you'll have better control of delivery time, and more importantly, you have control of quality because you are directly involved in each and every element of the building.” Tod ay, S obh a is one of the few real est at e a nd construction companies accredited with ISO: 9001, ISO: 14001 and OHSAS: 18001 certifications. It has delivered over 95 million square feet of residential and commercial projects thus far, while 71 projects are ongoing with a developable area of 101 million square feet. Menon has delivered such landmarks as the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, the Kempinski Hotel at Mall of the Emirates, the Infosys campuses in India and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, to name a few. Menon is also building District One, an ultra-luxury residential project bein g developed as a joint venture with the Meydan Group in Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. Then there is Sobha Hartland, the group's 8-million square feet mixed-use flagship project comprising of uber luxurious apartments and villas. Sobha Hartland, launched in 2014, is a $4 billion-dollar, mixed-use development spanning 8 million sq. ft. of area, 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Sobha Academy, an initiative by Mr. Menon that provides education for underprivileged children of which 30 per cent (2.4 million sq. ft.) of the community will be reserved for green spaces. It will comprise ultrac o n t e m p o r a r y v i l l a s , t ow n h o u s e s , m i d t o h i g h r ise apartments, a clubhouse, two international schools, three boutique hotels, premium restaurants, retail, spa, community mall and leisure activities. Sobha has become a major player in the Indian market as well through its Bangalore based subsidiary - Sobha Limited. Established in 1995, it has thus far delivered over 5.74 million square metres in 90 residential and 242 contractual projects all over India. The latter includes some of the most reputed corporate houses in India, such as Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Dell, Bosch, Taj Group of Hotels, and ITC Hotels. It currently has 45 ongoing residential projects and 34 contractual projects with a developable area of 3.35 million square metres. The Sobha empire is very much a family affair. The company is named after Mr. Menon's wife, Sobha (which means brilliant or illustrious in Sanskrit) as a tribute to the woman who, according to Mr. Menon, has been his pillar of strength through difficult times. Mr. Menon has three children. His eldest daughter, Ms. Bindu, is a Director of 22 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
the Sobha Group in Dubai and her husband is the ViceChairman. His son, Mr. R avi Menon, was appointed Chairman of Sobha India in 2012. His youngest daughter, Ms. Revathy is the Director of Hanox shoes and she along with her husband live in Dubai. To get a true scale of Mr. Menonâ€™s achievements, we have to travel back in time to his origins. Puthan NC Menon was born in the Palakkad district of Kerala in 1948. His father owned a successful goods transportation business until his sudden demise when Mr. Menon was just ten years old. Given that none of his siblings were old enough to take over the business, it collapsed, leaving the family with an uphill struggle. Menon did manage to enroll in a Bachelor of Commerce programme but quit in the middle of his second year following a chance meeting in a Kochi hotel lobby with Captain Sulaiman Al Adawi, of the Omani army. Al Adawi, who would go on to retire as a Brigadier General, had come to Kochi to buy a fishing boat. The young Menon, who had dabbled in furniture making and had learnt the nuances of the interior business from a local businessman, was in search of an opportunity. â€œI have always
Interiors of Sobha Hartland Villas
Sobha Hartland Villa 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Sobha Hermitage, a senior citizens’ and widows’ home been ambitious,” says Mr. Menon. Al Adawi invited Mr. Menon to Oman to start an interiors business together. “Back then, I thought everyone from the Gulf had an oil well in his back yard, so I agreed," he says with a giggle while reminiscing at his own youthful naivety. Mr. Menon never forgot his humble beginnings nor the hardships he had to face as a child. This has been the primary motivator behind his exceptional commitment to philanthropy. "I committed 50 per cent of my wealth to charity 35 years ago;" he says, dispelling the notion that he did it as part of his recent commitment to the Giving Pledge initiative launched by Warren Buffett. Elaborating further, he said: "I come from a country where we have at least 20 per cent people who are extremely poor. I feel that the best thing to do in India, or for that matter any country, is the empowerment of women, because if they benefit the whole family benefits. So, I have decided that in my own little way I would get 9,000 to 10,000 girls educated up to college level. We don't look at religion, and we don't look at caste. The only criteria is that they are from extremely poor families.” He then adds: “You don't just educate them and leave them, just like you cannot leave your own child. You 24 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
have to make sure that they get established in life as well.” The funds donated by Mr. Menon are managed by Sri Kurumba Trust. It allocates funds to the education initiative mentioned by Mr. Menon, called Sobha Academy. Other initiatives include: Sobha Hermitage, a senior citizens’ and widows’ home with exceptional amenities; Sobha Health Care, a primary health centre with high quality amenities for medical treatment; Sobha Icon, an initiative to improve the standards of Government run schools; Sobha Vocational Training Centre trains individuals from the economically weaker sections of the societ y to develop as skilled tradesmen; and a social rehabilitation scheme for the people of Mr. Menon’s home district. Mr. Menon has contributed to charitable causes in the UAE as well. The most recent and high profile one is his joining the Board of Directors at Rashid Centre for the Determined Ones. “Over the years, I have visited the centre many times, and every time I have been inspired by the level of development that the centre has achieved. This is because of the selfless efforts of its management, as well as its employees, who work as one team,” said Mr. Menon in his usual self- effacing manner.
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Carsten Bender, Managing Director at Audi Middle East 26 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
THE MAN AT THE FOREFRONT
GC speaks with Carsten Bender, the Managing Director for Audi Middle East
arsten Bender has been the Managing Director at Audi Middle East since June of last year. Based at the AVME regional office in Dubai, Bender leads a team that is responsible for Audi’s growth across 9 active markets in the GCC and Levant, which includes 10 importers and 25 dealer facilities. The 46-year-old German national, who has been with Audi for over 19 years, had previously been the Audi Middle East Sales Director between 2009 and 2011. His past responsibilities at Audi include Sales Manager for Australia, New Zealand and Japan as well as the Director of After-Sales for the European markets. He was kind enough to sit down with GC to give us an insight into what is happening at Audi.
We start that experience in the showroom where we have a fully digital ‘silent salesman.’ Instead of the static printout next to a car, we have a digital display, which is linked to the dealer’s management system, so you can easily update it and even play videos. The second area of focus is the online platforms. Audi will be unveiling more of its virtual reality and augmented reality products not only in the new cars but also on the after sales side. The ‘Car Configurator' and our ‘used car search' are examples of two new tools on our website. Our objective is to find the sweet spot for Audi's Middle-East customers and not just copy and paste the solutions which are being used in other regions. It is important to implement what is relevant to our customers and their buying needs.
What is the essence of your second stint at Audi in the ME region? It's very exciting to be back. It's really impressive how cities in the Middle East have developed, particularly Dubai. It's also impressive to see how the strategies that we talked about when I was last here, have now been materialised by our investors in the region. My team's role at Audi ME is basically to come up with a strategy on how we can grow the business in the region, a sustainable long term growth, not a rapid growth with negative consequences like reduced car values. We are one of the youngest brands in the region, so there is a lot of room for growth. The complete new line up of exciting models to be launched in the coming years will help. We will also have a new focus on the Audi brand in the region, which will be achieved by improving the customer experience and developing our network further with our partners. Our long term vision is to be the most innovative and progressive premium brand in the region.
Audi is a founding member of the urban mobility platform. Tell us a little bit about this initiative. This platform is all about finding and defining future mobility solution for the cities, and how these solutions can work together to improve the quality of life for the people living in them. It is the first initiative that brings together city authorities with automotive manufacturers and suppliers. So, in the case of the major car companies for example, we are all aligned. It's about defining the right standard for the future together and then recommending it to the government. So this approach will help to develop specific technologies and solutions quicker while also giving the government a better direction on where they should put their focus and investments. Trial projects have already started in some cities in Germany. The Platform will act as an umbrella for these individual projects and make it easier to exchange information between projects. One objective of the Platform is to turn German cities, in partnership with industry, into experimental areas for future mobility and therefore develop solutions for other cities around the world. Germany could therefore become a pioneer for future urban mobility.
What does digitalisation mean for Audi and how will it transform the end user’s experience? Digitalisation is a buzzword that everybody is using these days, but at Audi, it is one of the key pillars of our overall strategy. We want to digitalise all the touch points that our customers have with the brand by merging the offline and online experience together to create a seamless digital experience. In the Middle East, our focus is primarily on digital retail.
Will the Audi mobility concepts such as ‘Audi on demand’ or ‘Audi shared fleet’ services be available to customers in the GCC? Absolutely. I am a strong believer in these services, and we see a lot of initiatives at the moment here already. However, when we look at mobility solutions in the premium segment, there is 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Audi e-tron currently a gap, and we are very interested in closing this gap. We have held workshops and spoken to partners that already have Audi mobility solutions in Singapore and Hong Kong to understand how their business model works, the customer experiences and what can be improved. It is essential to run this intensive customer research program because we have to understand the customers in this region and then produce a tailor- made solution for them. You are one of the judges for this year’s Audi Innovation Award. Could you tell us what it is about? Audi stands for progressiveness and stylish design, and this is why there is almost a natural link between designers and us. This award is all about motivating and inspiring designers from the Middle East to innovate and to become future change makers. Since the programme was launched in 2016, it has grown in popularity in the region. Each year we give the designers a theme. This year's theme is 'simplification', which relates to Audi's global brand value of 'personal freedom'. The objective is to stimulate ideas on how to make things less complex, or to make things more efficient by using fewer materials or energy, or through a simpler use of transportation. The future, what are you looking forward to with Audi? In terms of products, we are very excited about the e-tron because it signals a new era of driving. It stands for efficient mobility, for performance, range and quietness in the car. It combines the premium comfort, which you would expect from a full-size Audi car, with zero-emission sustainability, not only in terms of performance but also because it is built 28 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
in our Brussels plant, which is the world’s first CO₂-neutral certified volume production facility in the premium segment. In terms of drive train technology, Audi will focus on a mix of various technologies. We already have very efficient TDI and TFSI technologies in the market. I think there will be more development in this area given the very tough CO₂ legislation. We will also focus on new technologies like the e-tron and fuel cells. Our loyal partners in the region are onboard and prepared for these future trends. Currently, we are setting up the infrastructure for electric cars. They are also one of the most important touchpoints for our customers in our digitalisation program and will be part of our mobility solutions. Future mobility, I think, will be strongly driven by technical innovations and individual choices. Autonomous driving will fundamentally change the role of cars in society and mobility behaviour. The focus will be on efficient mobility and safety. The Audi AI:ME [an automated driving compact car concept] which we have shown recently in Shanghai is a good example of what we understand to be the future of mobility. There are others such as the Aicon which is a large car concept with a lot of room for long distance travelling. In the Audi Aicon the advantages of door-to-door individual autonomous transportation are combined with the luxurious ambiance of a first-class airline cabin. We also have smaller concepts which are made for inner-city traffic, as well as the PB18 electric super sports car concept. So there are a lot of changes taking place and a lot of exciting new concepts, but at the end of the day, the customer will decide in which direction we go.
2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Céline Assimon, CEO of de GRISOGONO
IN SEARCH OF INSPIRATION
de Grisogono has recently announced a new three-part programme to unearth disruptive inspiration and fresh talent
or de Grisogono, founded in 1993 in Geneva by Fawaz Grousi, “creativity is as precious an asset as the magnificent stones.” The maison has made its mark as a free-thinking and highly creative force in jewellery over the past 26 years. It has dared to defy convention and turn the rule book of high jewellery on its head by constantly injecting a vibrant burst of fresh creativity; resulting in outsized, highly colourful and sensuous jewellery, featuring the finest materials. All of them spawned in the mind of a designer and materialised in the hands of an artisan. Breaking boundaries and disrupting the status quo has always been part of de Grisogono's DNA. To keep this tradition alive, the maison has recently announced an innovative programme they call 'Creativity In Residence.' It is the brainchild of de Grisogono's new CEO, Celine Assimon, whose mission is to take the brand into the next chapter of its development.
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"Today de Grisogono launches a three-faceted platform to invigorate its unique creative approach which gives life to its famously audacious designs. The genius of 'Creativity In Residence' is that it transforms our in-house Creative Studio into a hub that is both challenged, nurtured and enriched by all three facets of the programme and in turn opens up its enviable skills and heritage to fresh eyes, outside talent and inquisitive young minds," said Ms. Assimon in a statement. The first part of the three-part programme, called Unleash Creativity, is a one-year residency programme with a guest designer, who will propose his or her interpretation of the maison's codes. With fresh eyes, the guest designers will work closely with the ateliers and immerse themselves in the world of de Grisogono and share their unique perspective. The result will be a capsule collection. The second part, called Inspire Creativity, will be a collaboration with an artist from another creative discipline
de GRISOGONO, Head Campus who, like a modern-day Muse, will be an inspiration for the in-house Creative Studio. Thus far, no details are available on who the “muse” will be. The third part, called Foster Creativity, is a scholarship programme with Geneva's HEAD, one of Europe's leading schools of art and design. The scholarship programme will be with HEAD's jewellery design department as part of de Grisogono's CSR programme. The selected young designer will benefit from experiencing first-hand the creative process at de Grisogono’s ateliers during a year-long internship and training. The student's design will be made into a piece of jewellery. Jean-Pierre Greff, Director of the HEAD said: "At a time when graduates and recent alumni are entering the professional world through various channels, the support of companies and brands whose mission is to follow and encourage up-andcoming designers and creative talents is precious. A long-term internship such as that offered by de Grisogono proves decisive in taking them a step further by confronting them with the professional realities of their discipline." Ms Assimon added: "This is a truly exciting project for everyone at de Grisogono. It rings true with our core values and we look forward to announcing the incredible talents who will be enriching our story as we write this new chapter. De Grisogono is a young and vibrant Maison, willing to explore new ways of fostering creativity and intrepidly to do things our own way... This new programme is a striking new way of continuing of our legacy of absolute creativity and freedom." 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for France at Expo 2020 and President of La Compagnie Franรงaise des expositions (COFREX) 32 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
SHEDDING LIGHT ON MOBILITY
GC meets Erik Linquier of COFREX to talk about the French pavilion at EXPO 2020
onstruction has begun on the French pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020, less than two months after it was unveiled in France. Christened ‘Lumière Lumières,' it was designed by a new collective comprising of architects and visual artists of light. It has a budget of 28 million Euros and is scheduled for completion in September 2019. The 4,200 square metre pavilion will be located within the exhibition's Mobility area. It is designed to generate more than 80 per cent of its power from solar and reduce the demand for fresh water by 30 per cent by incorporating a micro water treatment plant. Élisabeth Borne, the French Minister of Transport and Ecological & Inclusive Transition, laid the foundation stone. She was joined by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Expo 2020 Bureau, Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the UAE and by Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for France at Expo 2020 and President of La Compagnie Française des expositions (COFREX). Erik Linquier was kind enough to chat with GC to give us some insights into the French pavilion at Expo 2020. How important are the world expos in general for the French government and the French people? Is this perceived more as a cultural event or as a commercial event? I would say it's a mix of both. We place great importance to such events. We have participated in all the universal and international exhibitions right from the beginning. This emphasises the fact that we clearly consider these expos as unique events which is a mix of cultural, scientific, economic and academic interests. We can use this mix to show our innovations, to bring our solutions, to showcase our companies etc.
What roles does COFREX play in the organisation of world expos? Very simply put, it's a company set up last year by the French government to be in charge of organising French pavilions and participation in international exhibitions. Our first objective is of course Expo 2020. We'll soon start preparing for the next one in Buenos Aires in 2023 and then Osaka in 2025. It is a model that several countries are using, following the success of the Swiss who set up such a company 40 years ago to keep the expertise on such events within the country. Our purpose is not to do everything by ourselves but to retain what we call strategic expertise. There are several of these that are very specific to universal international exhibitions. We have to select our suppliers, partners, etc., and we have to be consistent and transparent about it; stick to the deadlines and the calendar which is a critical issue in the preparation of such an event; to gather funding, not only from our only shareholder which is the French government but also from private parties, as we are a public-private entity. So what we do is a bit like conducting a small orchestra. We have to make sure that every player works well with the others and contributes to the final tune in the right way. As a former host nation yourself, could you shed some light on the roles played by the host and participating countries in the World Expos? It's a balance between what both parties want to express or want to show during the Expo. So a successful exhibition is an exhibition in which both, the host and the participants find what they are looking for. Expo 2020 is not only a UAE 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Design of the French Pavilion for Expo 2020 event but also about the 190-odd participating countries. As a participating country, of course, we want to have special ties with the organising country which in this case is the UAE. For me, this is the key to success. The Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first one with so many countries participating. Clearly, this is the first success for it. ‘Lumière, Lumières;’ what was the thought process behind the pavilion’s name and how does it integrate with the Expo 2020 theme of ‘Connecting Minds’ and the French theme of mobility? Take us through the decision process. Lumière or light in the singular is the symbol of the fastest and the most impressive mobility that we have on Earth and beyond. Lumières or lights in French also refers 34 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
to enlightenment. What attracted us about the theme of Connecting Minds is the idea of creating a new world, a new way of building cities or developing areas within countries. When the French gover nment decided to sign the participation contract in 2017, there were several debates, both within the government and with French stakeholders such a s business a ssoci ations and companies . T he conclusion was that there was a broad range of topics that could be addressed during the expo because ‘connecting minds' is quite broad as a theme. So we decided on mobilit y, being a key issue for emerging countr ies, particularly for their new metropolises, where we see the problems of congestion, pollution due to traffic. Hence, our vision is to say: if you deal with your mobility issues, you
can deal with, and potentially solve, any other issue you face in your megacities. The pavilion, what are the main challenges in its design and construction and what can the public look forward to? The main challenge in the design and construction of the pavilion was to comply with the requirements of the expo bureau (BIE) and Expo 2020, who wanted to have the most sustainable exhibition ever. This meant that we have had to design the pavilion that can be recycled, a pavilion that can produce its own energy, a pavilion that can reuse wastewater for plants and trees for instance. The second challenge is the timeline. We have less than one year and a half before 2020, which is a very short period
to construct a permanent use building. We also have to install the custom trains. We are aiming to get a LEED Gold certification for the building. The question of what can we do with our pavilion after the Expo created many design constraints but also many opportunities. For this, we are still looking at options in the UAE, in the region and elsewhere. Once it is complete, visitors would first be attracted by the building's exterior design and its lights. There would also be events and illustrations to attract visitors. Inside the building, there will be an exhibition of our mobility solutions including some new prototypes. We will also have space for boutiques and for tasting French cuisine. Overall, the idea is to give the visitors the impression of going on a journey through France while also discovering some of its newest innovations. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Peter Szulczewski, Co-founder and CEO of Wish
MAKE A WISH
Competing with the giants of the e-commerce world, the online shopping app ‘Wish’ targeting the low-income population is definitely one to keep an eye out for
n 2017, the iconic jerseys of the Los Angeles Lakers donned a new sponsor’s logo on the upper left side. It comprised of four stylised letters that read ‘Wish,’ referring to the e-commerce app that has set its sights on challenging established players such as Walmart, Alibaba and Amazon. The sponsorship deal, worth a reported $36 million million for three-years, made the Industry experts sit up and take notice of the latest aspirant to the e-commerce throne. Here are some numbers as stated by the company, founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco: It is one of the top-five shopping apps in 100 countries, of which, in the US and some 40 other countries it has reached the number one slot among Android shopping apps. It has more than 80 million monthly active users, over 1 million registered merchants and sells nearly 1 billion products annually. It is valued at over $8 billion. The San Francisco startup has doubled its revenue every year since it was founded nine years ago, and it crossed the $1 billion in revenue mark in 2017. It was expected that the revenue would double again in 2018, but no official figures have been published as yet. Amazon, the outright market leader, whose 2018 revenue of $232.9 billion with a market capitalisation of $802.3 billion dwarfs that of Wish. The newcomer has a long way to go up
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the hill before it is even close to catching up with the giants. However, making a direct comparison with Amazon or Walmart's online business may be misleading in a way. Wish's business model is built on tapping a greatly underdeveloped segment of online commerce. It wants to become the default platform for "value-conscious" consumers. Wish was founded by two collegemates: Peter Szulczewski, the CEO and Danny Zhang, the chief technology officer. Szulczewski was born in Poland and moved to Canada when he was 11. He attended Waterloo University, Ontario, where he met Zhang. Szulczewski, after graduating summa cum laude in applied mathematics and computer science degree, joined Google as an intern and ended up staying for a seven-year stint. He credits his time at the search and data behemoth for making him a more data-driven entrepreneur. Following stints with other established names such as Microsoft, ATI and Nvidia, Szulczewski reunited with Zhang to found ContextLogic Inc., which built and managed the backend of the Wish website and app. In the original Wish app, users would create personal wish lists for their desired items, and the app would collate the ‘wishes' for an individual item and contact manufacturers to produce and deliver the demanded quantity. In 2013, Wish
changed their business model and became an ecommerce website by enabling merchants to list their products directly on the Wish app. The transition occurred when Szulczewski and Zhang noticed that the buyers were not particular about the brand of the goods they were buying, but were more focused on value-formoney. They realised that this was an untapped and well-defined market segment that they could build their business on. The Wish app, which is now available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Amazon devices, looks and feels more like Instagram than Amazon. It employs big data principles, machine-learning, and search technologies to create a highlyvisual and personalised browsing experience for each user. It lists apparel, consumer electronics, beauty products, home decor and baby products, among other consumer goods offered by manufacturers, predominantly Chinese, at rockbottom prices to anyone with a smartphone. Wish is able to quote extremely low prices because most of the products listed are generic or unbranded, there are no middlemen, and there is no express or overnight delivery. In fact, orders can take several weeks to complete. Wish earns revenue primarily by charging the merchants a percentage of the listed price as commission. So in effect, Wish targets lower-income shoppers by being an entry point for them into the online market place. Thus far, eBay was the most notable brand that listed goods in a comparable price range. However, eBay was not built to specifically target low-income shoppers. Meanwhile, both Amazon and Walmart have their sights set on this segment
and have plans in place to bite into it. Wish is countering this threat by offering more options such as Wish Outlet, launched in 2017, to sell overstocked branded goods well below their listed price; and Wish Express which offers faster shipping. Wish is not without its list of complaints. Some of them seem to stem from a false comparison with vendors that sell at a higher price range or other business models; complaints such as receiving defective or counterfeit products, broken or incorrect orders. These factors are more to do with the vendor than with Wish itself as itâ€™s only a facilitator of trade. One area of common complaint directly related to Wish is to do with the customer service and refund policy. Szulczewski has assured customers through his interaction with the media that his team are working on addressing these issues. Despite its drawbacks, Wish's positives seem to have the upper hand as evidenced by the growing legion of subscribers, some quite loyal ones, and by the positive response from investors who now include Fidelity Investments, GGV Capital, and Founders Fund to name a few. In the last round of fundraising, Wish was able to raise $500 million led by Yuri Milner's DST Global. The e-world is one that moves at breakneck speed, fast growth, fast capitalisation and fast decline. However, it has also yielded mainstays like the Amazons and the Alibabas. Which of these two paths Wish will take, will depend very much on how Szulczewski manages to cope with the challenges - the challenges arising from the systemic flaws within, and from the competition without. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
FINDING A NICHE
Meet Omar Al Busaidy, the 33-year old Emirati who believes in the merits of being a generalist
y life has always been very fluid and all over the place. The only job I ever applied for was for my very first job; every other opportunity just came by itself. I was always in conflict, about whether I was making the right decision or not because society expects you to stay put in one place. But my subconscious was telling me: No, Omar, why be a specialist? Now, I have so much information and knowledge because I know a little about a lot of things. So why not use it?” - Omar Al Busaidy told GC recently. Omar is an Emirati Fulbright Scholarship recipient, whose “fluid and all over the place” experiences include being a bestselling author, talk-radio presenter, social-media influencer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, speaker for the World Economic Forum, futurist and a member of the US and UAE Public Affairs Committee. His self-help book ‘Just Read It’ is a compilation of his life lessons and personal experiences. “I used to give lectures on entrepreneurship at a local university and noticed at the time that no one was keen on taking notes despite my insistence that it was very useful information. When I enquired as to why that was the case, one of the students in the class revealed that they loved listening to my lectures but hated taking notes, and that maybe it would be a better idea for me to write a book about the information instead! So, I wrote the book!” To say the book was well-received would be an understatement. “I’ve lost count of the number of copies I have sold,” adds Omar, “a lot of organisations buy it for their staff as a motivational book and then invite me to speak. DP World alone as an example has bought close to two thousand copies, “says Omar. His second book, titled ‘Why jobs are for robots and life is for people,’ is “80 per cent done.” It is an extension of his talk-radio show called ‘Future Talk’ at Pulse 95. “The book is about futurism,” says Omar. “I am not getting into the technical part of ‘future technology’ because I'm not an expert by any means. I want to discuss the human side of the tech revolution. You can forget about the traditional jobs because they're going to be obsolete, they will be automated. We need to focus on our persona and on our purpose in life. I'm talking about how we need to be agile, how we need to be more creative, to love more. In this book, there are a lot of examples of people whom I've met, who took the leap out to whatever made them special while also making money from it. The book also has interviews with experts in their field who talk about the skills of the future, which will be important for people to adopt from now.” Speaking about his years growing up, he says, “I was educated at a private school here. That's why English is more “
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of a first-language for me than Arabic.” He credits his mother’s foresight for the position in which he finds himself. “My mom said to me: even though you're Emirati, it doesn't mean you take things for granted, because in the future it's going to be very competitive to get a job; which is exactly what we see today. As kids we had to work independently to achieve even the small things. We had to make our beds in the morning, and we had to wash the dishes after lunch. If we wanted money on the weekends, we had to earn it. She convinced me to work and study when I graduated from high school. So, I became a full-time employee and a part-time student. She prepared me for the rainy days.” Omar’s career began with the then National Bank of Dubai as a customer service and business development executive, followed by a short spell with Dubai Shopping Festival, the British Embassy as a senior commercial adviser, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Abu Dhabi Municipality as a project manager, and Abu Dhabi Tourism, “the only organisation I stayed with for five and a half years,” says Omar. He is now wrapping up his final month at ‘Future Talk’ with Pulse 95 before he sets sail for Florida to start off on his Fulbright Scholarship. Driven by his uncle’s advice to “never depend on only one source of income,” Omar unleashed his entrepreneurial spirit on several occasions and failed, which ironically added to his value as a motivational speaker. When invited, recalls Omar, “I was the only one on the panel without a business. Everyone else was running successful businesses and talked about their experiences. I was like: ‘I am Omar, I tried different things, and nothing worked.' I think they appreciated the honesty and that I was the only one talking about things that did not work. So, I was always asked to go back again and again to schools and universities to talk about my life experiences.” Currently, Omar is tasting entrepreneurial success as a partner of Mice International, an event management company with a client portfolio that includes the Dubai Tour, Adidas, Mercedes and BMW, among others. So, what does the future for Omar look like? "I am an educator,” comes the prompt response from the former Global Shapers Community member. “I want to become a professor. So, I'm looking forward to doing my masters in the US. I will also apply for a scholarship to do a PhD.” In addition to that, “I've always wanted to set up a think tank, it would be an advisory one, it would do research and would also have a scholarship fund." It seems, at last, Omar has found his true calling, his specialization(s).
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Francesco Pavoni - Regional Head at PA Consulting
A FOCUS ON HUMAN INNOVATION
Francesco Pavoni, the regional head at PA Consulting shares with GC insights about the company and its projects
A Consulting Group is a privately held company which provides specialist consultancy services in areas of organizational management, technology and innovation. “We are the only player in this sector which operates at the intersection between real consulting, innovation and technology,” says Francesco Maria Pavoni, Head of MENA Region, PA Consulting. “We really believe in this positioning because, in our point of view, there is no real consulting any more in the traditional sense. We have to bundle it with technology as an enabler for our clients, for them to change and move forward.” Pavoni spoke exclusively with GC recently, when he shed some light on this enigmatic company and on the cutting- edge solutions it provides to a wide range of high profile clients, across industries and across the globe. With over 24 years in senior positions within the management consulting industry assisting major international corporations, Pavoni has led numerous projects across MENA and Europe, tackling a wide range of issues in the financial services, energy, electronics, telecommunications, technology
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and media, and communications sectors. Pavoni joined PA Consulting in 2016 and from his base in Dubai, leads a regional team that advises governments, public agencies and private entities on a wide range of issues that range from the strategic to operational matters. “We’re a solid team and growing. We have important expansion plans for the future. We also leverage on a broader team flying in for specific projects from our global offices and locations (PA has 25 offices in 22 cities worldwide and more than 3,000 professionals). In this region, we currently have three offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. We will shortly have a presence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as part of our plan to accelerate our presence in the Middle East,” says Pavoni who was awarded the Cavaliere del Lavoro by the President of the Italian Republic in 2014 in recognition of his “significant impact” in the field of management consulting over the previous years. PA consultancy was founded in 1943 as Personnel Administration by three Englishmen - Ernest E. Butten, Tom H. Kirkham and Dr David Seymour - to train unskilled labour,
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such as housewives, for the production line, as part of the war effort. In the decade following the war, PA went on to become one of the largest management consulting firms in the world by headcount. Following periods of decline and turmoil in the 80s and 90s, the company was restructured and returned to profitability in the early 2000s, and has grown steadily since. In 2015, the Carlyle Group acquired control of 51 per cent of the shares of PA while the remaining 49 per cent controlled by its employees; as per the wishes of its co-founder Butten. Today, PA ranks among the top service providers to the British Government as well as being ranked among the best companies to work for. “Today we are focused on certain industries and businesses such as transport and aerospace for example. We advise on economic development and innovation for public sector organisation and private corporates that are dependent on the market. We help in the implementation of urban transport solutions, especially those focused on the adoption of new technologies such as driverless mobility, integration of planned urban centres and artificial intelligence, which is a very broad topic in itself. The spectrum of artificial intelligence embraces the so-called
Transforming roads in MENA 42 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
fourth industrial revolution particularly in the way it involves data management, data mining, data analytics on a massive scale. These are some of our core competencies,” says Pavoni when asked to elaborate on the services that PA provides its clients. “The team I drive in the Middle East is a very topmanagement oriented team. So we’re able to help our clients on a very broad set of needs from pure strategic development needs to more operation oriented topics. For example, in the re-assessment and designing of operating structures and cost-cutting. This is another area where we’re doing really well. When I say cost-cutting it’s not only business costcutting, it is also transformation and product cost- cutting, it’s manufacturing in a certain way and many other such things.” A glance at some of the major projects that PA has undertaken globally, and in this region, help to confirm Pavoni’s claims. In the UAE, for example, PA has helped the Ministry of Interior operate its emergency services more efficiently, and implemented different solutions to save money in running Dubai Airports. In Oman, PA is strategically supporting the development of an highly efficient electricity market.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, PA has supported a broad range of players, from aerospace to public services to transport in creating better strategies, adapting to evolved market conditions, reduce costs and innovate throughout the business lines. Pavoni adds: “In Saudi, we have been part of several important transport projects with a focus on business efficiency and business rationalization. We have, for example, created shared service structures for one of the largest Saudi transport companies where we have implemented the latest innovative solutions to make them future ready. Innovation is part of this strategic agenda of every CEO I have met in the last 24 months in Saudi.” When asked to identify the one area or project that truly piques his passion, the Italian born regional head of PA animatedly responds: “One of the top trends today that is clearly going to be a game changer in the region is the innovation in transport, by that I mean the future of transport and how it will shape the future of economies, of countries, and of businesses. This means that the different modes of transport we have today - like cars, buses, the metro and others - whose movement will be regulated, integrated and
controlled from centralised command centre and further with the rest of the life of the city. This is a very complex process requiring new regulations, technologies and industries. It is not something that we will see tomorrow morning. We foresee that it may take another ten to twelve years before complete integration is reached.” “Future Transport is one of the areas where PA has significant experience and expertise while the Dubai government and the Dubai Transport Authority are definitely among the most advanced players in the world. RTA has already integrated the command centres of the different transport modes into one single centre which means better integration capability, control, and safety while reducing costs and managing with a holistic, end-toend view of the whole transport value chain and transport strategy vision.” At the end of the day, for Pavoni, PA’s greatest asset is its people. “To make this happen,” he says, “you need people, you need talents, you need competencies, and this you can’t build from scratch. It takes time.” Over 75 years of accumulated human ingenuity and expertise in case of PA consultants.
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BUILDING ON AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
Gwyneth Paltrowâ€™s Goop has attracted loyalty and criticism ever since it appeared on the radar. We take a look at what all the fuss is about
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wyneth Paltrow, the American actress, singer and author who has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and whose films have accumulated over eight-billion dollars in global box office sales, is today making headlines for a completely different reason. She is the founder, CEO and creative director of Goop, a natural health and lifestyle e-commerce company which has a valuation of $250 million. There has been a lot of buzz lately around both Goop and Paltrow because of the fierce brand loyalty shown by her clients on the one hand, and the fierce criticism penned by her detractors on the other. The Goop story begins with a change in direction in Paltrow’s life which occurred after the birth of her first child, her daughter named Apple in 2004, followed by the birth of her son named Moses, in 2006. Paltrow decided to cut down on her acting to become a stay-at-home mother. This left her
with a lot of spare time on her hands. Paltrow says that her friends would often ask her advice on recipes, natural health and wellness related issues. This eventually led to launching a weekly lifestyle email newsletter in 2008. It was addressed primarily to her circle of friends and acquaintances, in which she offered recipes, lifestyle advice, and insight into her daily life. The newsletter became popular enough that it was incorporated in 2011 as Goop. The name comprises Paltrow's initials' GP' with ‘oo' inserted in between based on the belief that successful internet ventures have double-Os in their names. Also, she says that she wanted the name to mean nothing and anything simultaneously. Seb Bishop became Goop’s first CEO when it expanded into e-commerce and overseeing about a dozen employees. He was replaced in 2014 by Lisa Gersh, the former CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. By the end of 2016, the number had grown to about 60 employees, and the headquarters had
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â€œThe Goop website is a cross between luxury goods e-commerce portal and a new-age wellness lifestyle advisor. It acts as a wholesaler for boutique brands, promotes collaborations and launched product lines created by Goop while also providing lifestyle advice.â€?
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moved to Los Angeles after Paltrow's split with Chris Martin. That year, Goop raised US$ 15 million USD in Series B funding from venture capital firms NEA, Felix Capital and 14W Venture Partner. In 2017, after the departure of Gersh, Paltrow became the CEO with the backing of the board. By the close of 2018, Goop had close to a hundred employees, had raised $50 million in Series C funding that included, among others, NEA and Felix Capital once again. This brought the total investments in Goop to US$82 million and its valuation to US$ 250 million. Today, the Goop website is a cross between luxury goods e-commerce portal and a new-age wellness lifestyle advisor. It acts as a wholesaler for boutique brands, promotes collaborations and launched product lines created by Goop while also providing lifestyle advice. The impressive growth of Goop has also invited an everincreasing brigade of critics expressing their disapproval and even disbelief though blogs, articles and tweets. The wide variety of criticisms range from accusations of elitism to that of promoting pseudoscience. Paltrow has frankly admitted that Goop products are pricey as claimed but has also countered that the items cannot be produced at lower
price points at current volumes, and that the non-commercial content is free. As for the more ser ious alleg ation of promoting pseudoscience, Goop is “in the process of building a worldclass science and research team—from the Western and Eastern worlds—who are constructing a best-in-class scientific and regulatory portal for vetting ingredients and claims for every ingestible product that is sold on goop.” This team will operate under the Science & Regulatory Wellness Portal headed by Susan Beck, PhD, who has produced over 300 evidence-based products for the dietary supplement, nutraceutical, functional food/beverage, and cosmeceutical industries. The oddity in this story is that the barrage of criticism has not slowed the growth of Goop; on the contrary, it may have contributed to its growth, with its legion of loyal customers becoming even more entranced. However, even the most hardened critics have to admit that, in addition to Paltrow's natural charm and business savvy mind, the underlining driver of the growth of Goop is the shortcomings of modern allopathic medicine. As long as these factors remain unchanged, the growth trajectory of Goop, as well as other alternative lifestyle and treatments companies, seem assured. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
THE FUTURE OF FOOD
We go back in time to chart the founding story of Soylent, the ‘meal replacement’ brand from Silicon Valley
oylent has become the ‘meal replacement' brand of choice for ‘the techies' of Silicon Valley. Since its founding in California in 2013, the brand has experienced a recordbreaking crowd-funding campaign and a steady growth; in terms of turnover, geographical reach and product offering. It has amassed a legion of loyal customers as well as a legion of detractors who ridicule and show scepticism towards the brand. The Soylent story began in 2012. Rob Rhinehart and three of his colleagues were working and living in a small apartment in San Francisco. They were working on their start-up dream - to design and build inexpensive communication towers. They had received 170,000 as seed fund. However, the desired results were not forthcoming, and their funds were dwindling. They wanted to stretch what they had left as far as they could, so they had to cut cost. The rent was fixed, leaving only food to focus on. They had been eating a repetitive diet of processed foods such as frozen corn dogs and instant Ramen noodles, supplemented by Vitamin C tablets. Even this meagre diet was draining around US $450 a month. Rhinehart, an electrical engineer, had always found the chores associated with eating – the grocery shopping, cooking, eating and cleaning – a waste of time that could be better spent on productive activities. After a failed attempt at living on a diet of McDonald's dollar meals, five-dollar pizzas and a kale diet, he decided to approach the ‘problem of eating' from an
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engineering perspective: Why drink milk when all your body needs is amino acids and lipids? Why eat fruits and vegetables when most of it is water except the essential vitamins and minerals? He began to see eating, in the traditional sense, as a very inefficient method of consuming the ingredients we needed to survive and function normally. So, he proposed instead, that it was better to consume the essential compounds directly. Rhinehart studied textbooks on nutritional biochemistry, as well as regulatory websites such as the FDA, the USDA and the Institute of Medicine. He eventually compiled a list of thirty-five nutrients required for survival, ordered them from the Internet in powder or pill form, and blended them with water. The result was a slurry liquid that he consumed for the next month. He got his reluctant colleagues to get on board. By doing so, they had reduced their monthly food bill to around US $50. Rhinehart tinkered with the formula and when he felt he had the right mix; he gave it a name – Soylent - the name of a food in Harry Harrison's 1966 science fiction novel ‘Make Room! Make Room!'. It also refers to the 1973 dystopian film' Soylent Green.' Rhinehart has said that he chose the name intentionally to pique curiosity. Rhinehart posted about his experience on a blog titled: How I Stopped Eating Food. In it, he has raved that his physique had noticeably improved, his skin, his teeth and his hair
had all shown marked improvement. Soylent had achieved its objective, according to Rhinehart, of being the food replacement he wanted to create - one that tasted good while saving him time and money. Soon, Rhinehart's post had gone viral on Hacker News, a social media and news platform of the tech-world. The reactions were mixed with some ridiculing Rhinehart's claims and others asking for the formula. In the spirit of the opensource culture within the tech-world, Rhinehart obliged. It spawned a community that was attracted by the ability to experiment with different combinations. Realising that Soylent's potential was greater than any app idea they may have had, Rhinehart and his roommates decided to enter the meal replacement business. To raise funds, they turned to crowdfunding where subscribers would receive a week's worth of Soylent for US $65. The target was US $100,000 in a month. It was achieved in two-hours. An additional US $1 million was invested by a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, which included Andreessen Horowitz.
In April of 2014, the first orders of Soylent were shipped to customers, in California at first, then across the whole of the USA. In June 2015, the first Soylent shipments to Canada began. However, it was stopped in October 2017, because Soylent did not â€œmeet the compositional requirements for meal replacement products," according to Canadian authorities. Starting in July 2017, Soylent was offered in 7-Eleven stores, followed by Walmart. Today, Soylent is being offered in the original powder form, as bottled drinks, and packaged eats, all in several flavours. There is also an in-between meal alternative called Bridge. Soylent has a polarising effect on those who come across it. Some in the media have claimed Soylent to be nothing less than the future of food, while others have likened it to medical foods. Words like boring, joyless and bland have been used by some to describe its taste, while others have likened it to various flavoured drinks. Some have complained of gastrointestinal problems after consuming it. How people react to Soylent, it seems, very much depends on the dietary philosophy of the one consuming it. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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 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.
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Though 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 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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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
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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.
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THE BLACK CAR
Bugatti has unveiled the latest one-off coach-build, a beauty in black that pays homage to a mystery
he new one-off “La Voiture Noire,” says Bugatti’s website, “is a tribute to Bugatti’s own history, a manifesto of the Bugatti aesthetic and a piece of automotive haute couture.” For Bugatti’s President, Stephan Winkelmann, “The true form of luxury is individuality. ‘La Voiture Noire’ is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourisme.” With its extended front end and the distinctive Bugatti C-line, t h e " L a V o i t u r e N o i r e " c r e a t e s a n e l o n g a t e d impression. Its elegant waistline defines the contours of the coupé. Its smooth and clear flow lines reflect its purism and elegance. Its carbon fibre body has a deep black gloss, interrupted only by the ultrafine fibre structure. Its materials are harmonised to merge with the glossy finish, leaving the surface with nothing to disturb the optical flow. Its windscreen
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flows seamlessly into the side windows like the visor of a helmet. Its diffuser bumpers and its six tailpipes subtly hint at its incredible power. Its wheels enhance its potent appearance. Its taillights and headlights give it a distinctive signature at night. The hyper sports car has changed its attitude and has become a grand tourisme extraordinaire with the La Voiture Noire. The inspiration for this automotive masterpiece goes back to the early days of the French luxury marques' existence when it enjoyed considerable success not only with its engine and chassis designs but also with the coach-built bodies. Chief among them was the Type 57, designed for various body and engine configurations, including the Galibier four-door saloon, Stelvio convertible, Ventoux two-door saloon, Atalante coupé, and the most famous example, the grand tourisme Atlantic GT model. It could reach a top speed in excess of
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220 kmph. This was over 80 years ago. Jean Bugatti, the eldest son of the company’s founder Ettore Bugatti, was an exceptionally gifted automotive designer who had few contemporaries capable of matching his understanding of automotive proportions and aerodynamics. His pioneering body, engine and chassis designs, starting from the late 1920s onwards, resulted in some of the most extraordinary vehicles of their era. Such was his talent that he had assumed the responsibility for managing Bugatti in 1936, at the age of just 27. He died in a tragic accident in 1939. Jean's most beautiful and most famous design was the Type 57 Atlantic. Today, they are amongst the most valuable classic cars in the world. Only four Atlantics were ever made between 1936 and 1938; each of them created individually for a customer. Three of these extraordinary coupés are still in existence. The fourth one was of such exceptional beauty that Jean Bugatti kept it for himself. The whereabouts of this particular Atlantic for the past 80-plus-years is one of the greatest mysteries of the automotive world. The "Voiture Noire," or ‘the black car,' of the 21st-century is a reminiscence of Jean Bugatti's own "La Voiture Noire;" the missing Type 57 SC Atlantic in an all-black finish. Also, the fin running down the centre of new Voiture Noire echoes the Atlantic's legendary dorsal seam.
“La Voiture Noire is far more than a modern interpretation of Jean Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic. It is a feast of aesthetics,” says Winkelmann. Bugatti’s designer Etienne Salomé adds: “Every single component has been handcrafted and the carbon fibre body has a deep black gloss only interrupted by the ultrafine fibre structure. This is a material that has been handled perfectly. We worked long and hard on this design until there was nothing that we could improve. For us, the coupé represents the perfect form with a perfect finish.” At the heart of the new Voiture Noire is Bugatti’s iconic 16-cylinder engine – unique in the automotive world. “This is not only an engine but the heart of the vehicle and a technical masterpiece. There is no other car in the world with such an engine. It is not only extremely powerful but also beautiful to look at,” enthuses Winkelmann. The 16-cylinder engine with a displacement of 8 litres develops 1,103 kW or 1,500 PS and 1,600 Newton-metres of torque. The six tailpipes at the rear bear witness not only to its incredible power but also pay tribute to the 16 cylinders. With a price tag of €11 million before tax, this one-off car has already been sold to a Bugatti enthusiast making it the most expensive new car of all time. The owner of the new “Voiture Noire” owns not just one of Bugatti’s one-off cars but one that pays homage to the most sought-after Bugatti of all time.
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A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A TRIPLE WINNER We review the recently launched F8 Tributo, Ferrari’s tribute to their triple-award winning V8 powerhouse
l Tayer Motors recently launched Ferrari’s latest offering, the F8 Tributo, at a glitzy launch event at Dubai’s luxurious Bulgari Hotel Yacht Club. Speaking at the launch, Raid Abusitta, Vice-President – Sales, Ferrari at Al Tayer Motors said; “The Ferrari F8 Tributo has made waves internationally since images of the car were unveiled ahead of its official launch at the Geneva Motor Show. Interest in the car has been very strong, and we look forward to seeing the car join the many Prancing Horse models in the UAE.” The F8 Tributo is the new mid-rear-engined sports car that “represents the highest expression of the Prancing Horse’s classic two-seater berlinetta," according to the marque. As its name implies, it pays homage to the most powerful V8 in Ferrari's history. It also replaces the 488 GTB, the model range with the highest performance figures of its generation and one that was acclaimed for delivering exceptional driver involvement. The F8
has, therefore, quite a bit of heritage to live up to. The engine that the F8 pays tribute to is the turbocharged V8 that has won "Best Engine" in the International Engine of the Year awards for three years running: in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2018, it won with more than double the points of its closest contender. Also, in that year, it was awarded the title of the best engine of the last 20 years. The turbocharged V8 has enhanced the typical traits of Maranello engines with a smooth and seemingly limitless acceleration range, unnoticeable turbo lag, and a unique soundtrack. This is particularly true in the case of mid-rearmounted, two-seater layout speedsters which create an optimal weight distribution for the engine to realise its potential. In the case of the F8, the starting point is the V8 found in the 488 Pista, which already has 50 per cent more specific components than the 488 GTB. The challenge was two-fold:
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Ferrariâ€™s engineers had to maintain the performance levels achieved with the 488 Pista while also delivering unique performance and sound that complied with the new, stricter emissions and noise pollution regulations. The result, a massive output of 710 hp at 8,000 rpm and with a record specific power output of 182 hp-per-litre, is the most powerful V8 ever to be mounted in a non-special series Ferrari. Thus, achieving new heights not just for turbos, but for engines across the board. Compared to the 488 GTB, it delivers 50 hp more, and its maximum torque is now higher at all engine speeds, peaking at 770 Nm at 3,250 rpm; thatâ€™s an increase of 10 Nm. The F8 Tributo delivers its impressive output, as usual, without the slightest hint of turbo lag. The V8 is assisted in delivering its improved performance by a design and weight saving regime that includes intake plenums and manifolds, optimised fluid-dynamics that improve the combustion efficiency of the engine, and specific valves and springs combined with a new cam profile. Other lightweight components are derived from either the Ferrari Challenge or Formula 1 such as the Inconel exhaust manifolds, Titanium con rods, and lighter crankshaft and flywheel. Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the F8 Tributo is, in essence, a bridge to a new design language with an emphasis on high performance and aerodynamic efficiency. The F8 Tributo is the most aerodynamically efficient series-production mid-rearengined Berlinetta ever designed.
The front of the car is characterised by the S-Duct around which the entire front end has been redesigned. The horizontal LED headlights are new and more compact with the classic L-shape created by an aerodynamic intake. The car's flanks are dominated by the evident muscular forms of the front and rear wheel arches, beneath which are the new (optional) forged starburst wheel rims. At the rear, the entirely redesigned spoiler is now larger and wraps around the taillights. The cockpit of the F8 retains the classic, driver-oriented look typical of Ferrariâ€™s mid-rear-engined Berlinettas. Every element of the dash, door panels and tunnel has been completely redesigned specifically for the car. It also boasts a new generation steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted controls while the instrument cluster retains its classic look with its central rev-counter. The new round air vents are set in beautifully sculpted aluminium surrounds. The dash now incorporates an aluminium sail panel supporting the central satellite and a sliver of carbon fibre that divides the upper and lower parts, streamlining the whole look. A 7" touchscreen passenger-side display provides an extra sporting touch. It features a new bridge, a prominent sculptural creation that seems to float and thus further streamlines the cabin. New styling also features on the standard seats. Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors will offer the F8 the extended seven-year maintenance programme offered with all Ferrari cars. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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A COMPANION FOR BUSINESS AND LEISURE Audi redefines the luxury SUV segment with it first ever Q8
he state-of-the-art Q8, the flagship of Audi's Q series, combines the best of two worlds: the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe with the convenient versatility of a large SUV. The interior is generously dimensioned and is complemented by intelligent assistance systems, advanced operating and suspension technologies and permanent Quattro all-wheel drive to make the Q8 quite an exceptional package. The Audi Q8 can be ordered now and will be available at all Middle East dealers by the beginning of October according to a statement by the brand. The new Q8 SUV coupe is 4.99 meters long, 2.00 meters wide and 1.71 meters tall with a wheelbase of nearly 3.00 meters. These dimensions not only give the Q8 an assured stance but also make
it a market leader in terms of interior space and headroom. It has a three-seat system in the rear that is longitudinally adjustable. When the seatbacks folded down, the luggage compartment can hold up to 1,755 litres. The rear hatch is power operated. The Q8 is set to be the new face of the Q series with its distinctive Single frame in octagonal design. The brawny radiator grille, together with the spoiler that has been drawn towards the front and the large, highly contoured air inlets combine to add to the self-confident look. The roofline elegantly slopes to become the inclined D-pillars. It anchors over the Quattro inspired blisters above the wheel arches that house the 22-inch wheels. The spoiler, wheel arch trims, door trim strips and diffuser, are in a contrasting colour, to emphasize the off-road look.
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The Quattro look goes beyond cosmetics. The purely mechanical centre differential transfers the forces to the front axle and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 as standard. When required, it transfers the majority to the axle with better traction. This combined with the 254 millimetres of ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control means the Audi Q8 can keep going even after the pavement ends. Audi offers, as optional, allwheel steering that can turn the rear wheels as much as 5 degrees.
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In the new mild hybrid technology (MHEV), a 48-volt primary electrical system incorporates two important technology modules: a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter. During braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. The MHEV technology enables long coasting phases with the engine deactivated and a start-stop range that begins at 22 km/h. In the minimalist interior, all elements refer logically to one
another, from the flat air vent strip to the wide console on the centre tunnel bearing the Tiptronic selector lever. The central element, the MMI touch response display with its black panel, seems to dissolve into a large, black surface when switched off. With the MMI's touch response operating concept, nearly every function can be accessed via the two large central displays. The upper 10.1-inch display is used to control the infotainment and the navigation system. The lower 8.6-inch display controls the heating and air conditioning, convenience functions and text
input. The latter can be done while the driver's wrist rests on the selector lever. Commands can also be given via the natural language voice control. While a four-zone automatic air conditioning comes as standard, optional extras include the contour light that traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlight for the three-dimensionally lasered Quattro badge above the glove compartment; customized contour seats with massage function and ventilation; and the air quality package.
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The Rolex Watch – A Chronometer-Certified Oyster Perpetual – Worn By Sir Francis Chichester During His Solo Circumnavigation Of The World, August 1966 – May 1967
THE WORLD OF SAILING Introducing the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 and the heritage it represents
t Baselworld 2019, Rolex introduced seven creations from its Oyster Perpetual collection. The GMT-Master II was presented in Oystersteel with a two-colour Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black ceramic. The Cosmograph Daytona was presented in 18 ct yellow gold with thirty-six trapeze-cut diamonds. The Day-Date 36 in 18 ct yellow, white or Everose gold. The Sea-Dweller in a yellow Rolesor version. Two Datejust models, the 36 and 31, also made their debut in yellow, white or Everose Rolesor versions. The debutant Rolex that we will be focusing on, however, is the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42; the first time that a YachtMaster has been offered with a 42 mm diameter. The YachtMaster made its debut in 1992 as an 18kt gold wristwatch with a white dial and the calibre 3135 movement inside. While the Submariner was suitable for underwater adventures with its water resistance of up to 300 metres, the Yacht-Master was designed more for the deck of a yacht, which explains its water resistance of 100 metres. Rolex chose to dedicate the Yacht-Master to “the close relationship between Rolex and the world of sailing and regattas,"
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when it was launched. It is a relationship that can be traced back to the 1950s when Rolex began to forge partnerships with the world of sailing on two fronts. One was the partnerships with some of the world's most prestigious yacht clubs and their sailing events, while the other being the support Rolex provided to pioneering sailors in their quests to explore new routes and attempt new records. Rolex's first official partnership with a yacht club dates back to 1958 when it formed an alliance with the New York Yacht Club, the founder of America's Cup. Today, Rolex is associated with a dozen yacht clubs around the world. Among them, there is the Sydney-based Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which organises the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The event brings together more than one hundred boats tussling for glory over a 628 nautical miles course between Sydney and the city of Hobart in Tasmania. The Rolex Fastnet Race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club of London. The event, which attracts over 300 yachts and around 3,000 sailors, is one of the most popular offshore events in the world, while also being one of the toughest because of the turbulent waters of the south coast of Great Britain
Gipsy Moth Iv Rounding Cape Horn In March 1967. Sir Francis Chichester Battled Strong Winds Of Up To 50 Knots During This Dangerous Leg Of His Solo Voyage Around The World Between August 1966 And May 1967 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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In 1969, Seafarer And Writer Bernard Moitessier Made The Longest-Distance Non-Stop Solo Voyage, Clocking Up 37,455 Nautical Miles After 300 Days At Sea and the Celtic Sea. Other partnerships include those with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, nestled on Sardinia's north-eastern Emerald Coast which organises the highly popular Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The two Rolex Swan Cups - held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia (Italy) and the British Virgin Islands – which are organised in partnership with Nautor's Swan, the designers and builders of luxurious, highperformance yachts. The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, is a 606 nm circular race around the island of Sicily. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club hosts the Rolex China Sea Race, Asia's primary blue water race. In 2019, Rolex became the Presenting Partner and Official Watch of SailGP, a new global sports series comparable to Formula 1, which takes place in several stages throughout the year, bringing together one-design catamarans with hydrofoils and wingsails. It is one thing to sail as a team but quite another thing to sail long distances, sometimes around the world, all by one's self. There have been a few of those over the years, and Rolex has been associated with three illustrious names. Sir Francis Chichester wore an Oyster watch on his way to becoming the first man to solo-circumnavigate the globe from west to east. It took 226 days between 1966 and 1967. This unassuming man, who was also an entrepreneur and an aviator, wrote to Rolex in 1968 saying: "During my voyage around the world in Gipsy Moth IV, my Rolex watch was knocked off my wrist several times without being damaged. I cannot imagine a harder timepiece. When using [it] for sextant work and working the foredeck, it was frequently banged, also doused by waves coming aboard; but it never seemed to mind all this.” Bernard Moitessier was leading the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968, the first-ever solo non-stop round-the-world challenge, when he decided to sail east from the Cape of Good Hope along with the southern hemisphere's trade winds instead of going north to England and the finish line. After 300 days at sea, he arrived in Tahiti. On his wrist, he wore a GMT-Master certified chronometer, about which he wrote: "Obviously, your Rolex is [much more] sophisticated in terms of regularity, waterproofness
and robustness and will allow me to make [more] accurate sights since I will be wearing it on my wrist on deck. It is, therefore, one of the most important pieces of equipment on my boat.” The following year, the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was won by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston wearing a Rolex Explorer. By claiming to be the watch that represents these illustrious relationships between the history-makers and the watchmaker, the Yacht-Master 42 Chronometer, has quite a heritage to live up to. Yacht-Masters are distinguished by their bidirectional rotatable bezel with a raised 60-minute graduation. The 42 is distinguished by the matt black ceramic bezel insert contrasted by graduated minute markers. The first 15 minutes of which are graduated minute-by-minute to allow time intervals to be read with greater precision. The bezel can also be turned with ease thanks to its knurled edge, which offers excellent grip. The Rolex pioneered ceramics are extremely corrosion-resistant and virtually scratchproof, while their colours have a rare intensity and are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The black lacquer dial contrasted by the 18 ct white gold of the hour markers and hands perfectly complements black and white of the bezel. The focus on legibility continues with the broad hands and hour markers which are filled with Chromalight, a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting glow. The case is also crafted from 18 ct white gold which is being offered for the first time on a Yacht-Master model. The reflections on the polished case sides and lugs beautifully highlight its profile. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproof system, screws down securely against the case and is protected by an integral crown guard. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant sapphire and is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o'clock for easy reading of the date. The case is held in place by the Rolex patented Oysterflex bracelet, made up of flexible metal blades manufactured from a titanium and nickel alloy. The 42 is equipped with calibre 3235 which powers a YachtMaster for the first time. Like all Rolex watches, the Yacht-Master 42 carries the Superlative Chronometer certification. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg wearing the BR V3-94 RS19 Steel
AN ODE TO PEAK PERFORMANCE
Our review of the Bell & Ross BRV394-R.S.19, part of the tribute to the Renault Sport Formula One team
or the fourth season, Bell & Ross has partnered with the Renault Sport Formula One team to present a collection honouring the colours of a team at the panicle of motorsports. Presented at Baselworld 2019, the R.S.19 collection, dressed in the yellow and carbon fibre of the Renault team, comprises four models: BR V3-94, BR 03-94, BR-X1 Chronograph and the BR-X1 Tourbillon. Since the 1960s, the wrist-worn stopwatch, or ‘chronograph' has been synonymous with motorsport featuring racy aesthetics in combination with precision timing capabilities. That means every petrolhead's racetrack hero has worn one. Given Bell & Ross’ expertise in crafting functional toolwatches for professionals, this year’s Renault F1 Team inspired R.S.19 collection is built on two limited-edition chronographs fit for the uncompromising environment of a modern F1 cockpit. Here we shall take a closer look at one of them. The BR V3-94' chassis' is inspired by the classic circular case of Bell &Ross’ Vintage collection but has been ‘upsized’ to a 43 mm case for the first time. The case is made from satin-polished steel. On the side is a screw-down crown and on the reverse, we have a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The bezel is also forged from steel with black anodised aluminium ring featuring scale and countdown timer. It has a bi-directional rotation for ‘on-the-fly’ timing and is knurled to
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provide better grip even while wearing gloves. The dial is made from carbon fibre for the first time on a B&R watch. It provides a sleek yet dark background to the brightness of the yellow, green, red and orange found on the dial. These colours are inspired by the colour-coding on the Renault F1 team's steering wheel. The dial also features highly legible, luminescent markers; a Bell & Ross signature. The motorsports inspired numerals and markers are filled with appliqué SuperLumiNova. It has central hours and minutes hands in orange grey and white, and are filled with metal skeletonised Super-LumiNova. Also at the centre is the bright yellow chronograph seconds hands. The small seconds is at 3 o'clock in bright green. The 30-minute counter is at 9 o'clock, and the 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock are both in yellow, as is the Tachymeter scale on the flange. The automatic mechanical calibre BR-CAL.301 delivers h i gh -pr eci s i on s topw atch fu n cti on al i ty th an k s t o i t s chronograph mechanics, which can record events to an accuracy of an eighth of a second, over the course of 30 minutes. To fasten the BR V3-94, we have the option of either carboneffect calfskin with satin-polished steel buckle, or satin-polished steel bracelet with folding buckle. The watch is water resistant to 100 metres. The BR V3-94 R.S.19 is limited to just 999 pieces.
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RETURN TO THE TOP
The Favre-Leuba brand, with a long history of technical excellence, is now reclaiming its position as a watch brand for the adventurers amongst us
he Favre-Leuba brand is for those collectors who are just as intrigued by a watchmaker's heritage, as they are by its mechanics. The brand can trace its founding to 1737 by Abraham Favre, making it the second-oldest watch brand in Switzerland. His son, also called Abraham Favre, founded A.Favre & Fils to turn his father's passion into a bona fide business. He is also credited with infusing into the brand its culture of innovation and technical proficiency. He would experiment with different materials to study their properties at different temperatures with the aim of producing watches that had a high degree of accuracy and reliability. The Favre-Leuba brand stayed true to these founding values under the management of eight generations of the Favre family. However, unable to survive the Quartz revolution, the watchmaker was sold and changed hands several times, including LVHM, but remained mostly dormant. In 2011, the Favre-Leuba brand was acquired by the Titan watch company, a subsidiary of India's Tata Group, the conglomerate that owns such luxury brands as Jaguar-Land Rover and the Taj group of hotels. The Tata Group have a proven track record of staying true to the heritage of the brands they acquire, and Favre-Leuba was no exception. In 2016, the Favre-Leuba name returned to the world of haute-horology with a revival of its Raider and Chief collections led by the Raider Harpoon. The unmistakable DNA of the brand was there: the finely wrought tetradecagon inner bezel; the round or the distinct "pillow" shape of the cases; the distinctive, broad hands designed for high readability; and the generously sized, rectangular and elaborately appliquéd indexes that contrast with the often minimalist dial. The following year, at BaselWorld 2017, another heritage name was revived when the Raider Bivouac 9000 was unveiled. It is the only mechanical watch to measure altitude up to 9000 metres.
It was awarded the best watch in the New Star category by WatchStars. That year also witnessed Favre-Leuba revive another one of its traditions - that of supporting extreme athletes and adventurers. The original Bivouac made its debut in 1962 as the first-ever mechanical watch with altimeter & aneroid barometer. Paul-Emile Victor wore it on his Antarctica expedition, while Michel Vaucher and Walter Bonatti wore it on their Grandes Jorasses climb in the Alps. On May 20, 2018, a Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000, while on the wrist of the mountaineer Adrian Ballinger, became the first mechanical altimeter wristwatch to accurately convey altitude, air pressure and time on the peak of Mount Everest. It was harnessed to Ballinger's wrist throughout the preparation and ascent to the top of Mount Everest. It's internal mechanical air pressure and altitude system not only provided accurate barometric readings to Adrian, but when the team encountered a severe oxygen equipment malfunction, and as a result, thought the summit window had closed, the Bivouac 9000 indicated an incoming high-pressure system which was confirmed by base camp. This meant that a weather window had opened and offered just enough time for the team to reach the summit and descend back below the 'death zone' of 8,000 metres. To commemorate this achievement, the case back has been engraved with the defining date and altitude of the summit. On May 12, 2019, Favre-Leuba auctioned off the very watch worn by Ballinger, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going toward supporting the Khumbu Climbing Centre (KCC) which focuses on the development and training of the indigenous Sherpa and other mountain guiding community in Nepal. Recently, Favre-Leuba unveiled the “Black” Raider Bivouac 9000, featuring a Titanium case with a black dial and grey antelope leather strap. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
Credit - Nmoto Studio
BMW NMOTO NOSTALGIA
At the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, BMW unveiled a lovingly restored 1934 R7; a concept bike that was never put into production. It had been mothballed and forgotten for over 70 years. Among those admiring the Art Deco-inspired vintage BMW was Alex Niznik, who resolved to one day build a bike that would pay homage to its exceptional design aesthetics. Over the next few years, Niznik assembled a team of designers, engineers, mechanics and other specialists to bring his dream project to life. The project grew and evolved into the Miami-based NMoto Studio. Their first production motorcycle is the NMoto Nostalgia; Niznik’s tribute to the 1934 BMW R7. It has the distinctive Art Deco feel of the original as well as the signature swooping silhouette that runs almost the length of the bike, from the top of the tank, all the way down to the rear axle. BMW’s classic white-on-black colour scheme, with white coach lines, forms the base colour scheme, although ten other colours schemes are also offered. The bodywork features 96 handcrafted parts, of which 74 are built in-house. The NMoto Nostalgia is based on the mechanical foundation of the current BMW R nineT model. Chosen for its performance and manoeuvrability, the legendary air-cooled 1,170 cc boxer engine delivers 110 hp through a six-speed gearbox. The NMoto Nostalgia also offers such modern aids as traction control and anti-lock braking system. The NMoto Nostalgia is a low-volume production motorbike with customisation options that include adjustable steering, alterations to the luggage box, an additional passenger seat, and seat trim options. These factors combine to ensure exclusivity in addition to being a visually stunning motorbike. The base price for one of these nostalgic looking, modern works of mechanical art is US $ 39,500. 74 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
DJI OSMO ACTION CAMERA
DJI, a leader in civilian drones and creative camera technology, offers its first action camera. It has a compact yet durable design and is constructed to handle extreme conditions with ease. It is dustproof, shockproof, waterproof (11m) and can operate in sub-freezing temperatures. It has two screens, a 2.25-inch rear touchscreen with a water and fingerprint repelling coating, and a 1.4-inch front screen for vlogging and selfies. With a brightness of 750-nits, the camera can be used in harsh lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. The Osmo Action has a seemingly endless list of features: SnapShot turns on and begins recording in under two seconds; a 1/2.3-inch sensor records 12-megapixel photos and 4K video up to 60fps at 100Mbps in stunning detail; the lens cap is finished with two layers of anti-fingerprint coating to keep the shot clean during use, as well as an anti-reflective coating to reduce the unwanted effects of lens glare; RockSteady is DJI’s Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology; recording modes include 8x slow-motion capture, time-lapse and custom exposure.
HALO SPORT 2
Neuropriming uses pulses of energy to signal the motor cortex part of the brain to improve its response to training by putting the brain into a temporary state of ‘hyperlearning.’ The idea is to enable users to learn skills quicker than they usually would because of the more rapid neural circuitry development. Halo Neuroscience unveiled its first-generation neuropriming wearable about two years ago and was initially available only to professional athletes. Halo Sport 2 is the second-generation featuring design upgrades and at a more affordable price. The new model includes built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, improved sound quality, upgraded smartphone app, which now features tracking, reminders and brain training tips. The new Primer band does not need to be recharged, unlike the original.
SONY-LSPX-S2 GLASS SOUND SPEAKER
Winner of the ‘best of the best 2019’ reddot design award, it is a digital flickering LED candle that doubles as a speaker for soft music; to create a relaxing mood with sound and illumination. The 10-inch “glass” tube is a transparent tweeter made from organic acrylic-like resin. When music is played, a circular actuator at the base gently vibrates the glass evenly all around, causing the sound to emit vertically and evenly around 360 degrees. It’s higher surface area, compared to an average tweeter, delivers greater detail and volume. The base is sculpted from machined aluminium. The base also houses a USB-C slot for recharging which lasts eight hours per charge; a 3.5mm audio input from an audio device as well as Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity; hidden volume, mode and standby controls. Even though it weighs just 1.1kg, it stays upright when knocked or bumped.
TRI-ART AUDIO S-SERIES TA-0.5 TURNTABLE
A turntable which features a bamboo plinth, platter and tonearm. It is available in two versions. The #18395 comes equipped with a 9” bamboo tone arm while the #20489 is a fully complete out of the box turntable with standard 9” bamboo tonearm, cartridge and built-in MM phono section. The 9” arm has a unique counterweight system comprised of two craters filled with bronze balls, allowing adjustment without having to take the arm back to the rest each time. Both versions feature a bamboo plinth soaked in hemp oil sealed with beeswax, levelling legs, brass pulley, bronze collar spike bearing with an ABEC7 Carbonized Ceramic Ball Bearing and an aluminium subplatter with a bronze shaft. Both are wired with Cardas #33 AWG wiring from headshell to the RCA outputs. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
BEHIND THE SCENES Kim Jones, the creative head at Dior Homme, has been on a purple patch ever since he appeared on the fashion horizon
hen Virgil Abloh was named the creative director of Louis Vuitton, it caused many within the luxury fashion industry to acknowledge the ever-increasing influence of streetwear. Many had overlooked the fact that Abloh had been brought in not to cause a revolution, but to continue the one started by predecessor - Kim Jones; twice chosen ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ by the British Fashion Council, and twice ‘Topshop New Generation’ award winner, among other top accolades. The Face magazine placed him at 20, in its list of the top 100 influential people in fashion. Kim Jones was the man behind David Beckham’s morning suit at Prince Harry's wedding. Although born in Hammersmith, in 1973, Jones spent his most formative years abroad. When he was just three, his dad's work as a hydrogeologist led the family to Ecuador, then to Africa - Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya – and later to the Caribbean. He was in his teens when his family returned to a more settled life back in London. The years abroad had a significant impact on Jones, evidenced by the fact that he has declared himself a travel addict, particularly for Africa. Not surprisingly, he also developed a deep love for nature. He has on many occasions declared David Attenborough to be his hero, admires the work of conservationist Gerald Durrell and the work of fashion and wildlife photographer Peter Beard. Jones' uncle was also a photographer of some repute having worked for the likes of The Observer, National Geographic and Life magazines. In 1992, Jones enrolled for a foundation art course at the Brighton College of Technology, before going on to study graphics and photography at Camberwell School of Art. He followed that up with an MA in Fashion from the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s where he specialised in menswear. His graduation collection so impressed John Galliano, then the chief designer at Dior, that he purchased several pieces. Jones' decision to become a fashion designer was influenced primarily by two women. One was his elder sister Nadia, who also works in the fashion industry. It was her collection of fashion magazines that filled the teenage Jones with a fascination for the glitz and glamour of the catwalk. When at CSM, Jones was tutored by the late-Louise Wilson, who would go on to become a close friend and mentor of Jones after he graduated. Jones has credited her for making him believe in himself, steering him in the right direction and advising him through his early career. Jones often invited her to his shows. In 2003, fresh out of college, Jones launched his eponymous brand and presented his first collection at that year’s London Fashion Week. The following year, he debuted at the Paris
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Fashion Week. He quickly gained a reputation as a designer who had his finger on the streetwear pulse. Jones credits his affinity to streetwear to his time at Gimme5, the company responsible for introducing streetwear supremos like Supreme and Stussy to the UK. During his time as an independent label, Jones collaborated with a wide range of high-profile brands such as Hugo Boss, Topman, Umbro, Mulberry, Iceberg, Kanye West's Pastelle and others. Jones and West have maintained a close professional relationship ever since, sharing each other’s workspace and even travelling together. In 2008, Jones was approached by Dunhill to freshen up their menswear line. He had said that Dunhill was “a beautiful brand” that had become “a sleeping beauty.” After disbanding his own label, Jones set about reviving Dunhill’s menswear, for which he received his second Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2009. The first one came in 2006 for his own label. In 2011, Jones moved to Louis Vuitton to head their menswear division, one of the fastest growing segments within the global powerhouse. Jones debuted for LV with the Spring-Summer collection of 2012, which proved to be a roaring success with clients and critics alike. He ended with the Autumn-Winter collection of 2018. In the intervening six-odd-years, Jones had not only revitalised LV's menswear line, but had revolutionised its aesthetics by infusing a distinctive streetwear DNA to the brand. This, in turn, paved the way for his successor to be someone from the streetwear school of luxury fashion; cue Virgil Abloh. In March 2018, Dior Homme announced that Kim Jones had been appointed as the creative director. Once again, Jones has lived up to expectations. He debuted his Dior collection in June, at the Men's Fashion Week in Paris. Breaking with tradition, Jones chose to infuse some colour and humour into the presentation. The centrepiece of a circular runway was a giant sculpture by street artist KAWS, made from 70,000 flowers. The dark, sombre and often tight fits of his predecessors were replaced with brighter hues, generous cuts with a distinctive streetwear flair. Among the men on the runway, and unnoticed by most, was Prince Nikolai of Denmark, wearing a cream and blue, double-breasted suit. The likes of Abloh, Karl Lagerfeld, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham, among many others, occupied the front row. In April this year, LVMH announced that it had experienced double-digit revenue growth in the past quarter which the company credited primarily to Kim Jones at Dior Men and Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton. As far as Jones is concerned, it appears to be business as usual.
COPYRIGHT: Brett Lloyd 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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A NEW VENTURE FOR A NEW GENERATION Rihanna along with LVMH launches her fashion brand ‘Fenty’
n May 11, singer Rihanna posted an image on her Instagram page of the newly launched Fenty logo. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury conglomerate with some 70 fashion brands, had announced a day earlier that it had penned a deal with Rihanna to launch the Fenty brand. Based in Paris, it will offer a wide range of clothing, accessories, shoes and more. With this announcement, Rihanna became the first woman to create an all-new brand at LVMH, the first woman of colour to head a maison at LVMH, and Fenty became the first house launched by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987. "Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. Mr. Arnault [LVMH CEO] has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits," said Rihanna in a statement. "I couldn't imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I'm ready for the world to see what we have built together." For his part, Arnault said: "Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader. She naturally finds her full place within LVMH.” Fenty Beauty was LVMH's first venture with the 31-year-old singer, actress, designer and businesswoman. Launched in September 2017, the brand offered cosmetics and perfumes. The brand is reported to have generated around 500 million euros for LVMH by the end of 2018. Not only did Fenty Beauty generate impressive figures, but it also carved for itself a niche by offering a broader selection foundation hue for people with darker skin tones. A statement on the Fenty Beauty website explains how it came about: “Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line ‘so that women everywhere would be included,’ focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.” The Fenty Beauty venture came on the back of several other business ventures by the Barbadian pop icon. In 2014, Rihanna trademarked ‘Fenty;' her surname. This sparked frenzied speculation that she would be increasing her focus on her
business ventures. Previously she had collaborated with MAC Cosmetics and released ten fragrances via Parlux Ltd, some of which were highly successful, including the first one titled Reb'l Fleur, as well as Rebelle, Rogue and Rogue Men. In 2015, Rihanna had become the co-owner of the music streaming service Tidal, along with other artists such as Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Chris Martin, and Nicki Minaj among others. That same year, she launched Fr8me agency in partnership with Benoit Demouy. Based in Los Angeles, it was set up to assist Hair, makeup, and styling artists in booking commercials, editorial shoots, ad campaigns and red-carpet appearances. In 2016, Rihanna announced that she would be releasing her music through her own label - Westbury Road Entertainment - which she established in 2005. From the very beginning of her career, Rihanna has been seen as a fashion icon because of her bold and individualistic sense of style. She had often expressed her desire to collaborate with top fashion brands. In 2011, came Rihanna's first opportunity, when she collaborated with Armani. Her second collaboration was with British street fashion brand River Island, for whom she presented four collections and later, collaborations with Dior, Stance and Manolo Blahnik followed. In 2014, Rihanna was announced as the creative director of sportswear brand Puma, where she would oversee the women's line while also working on capsule collections in apparel and footwear. Her first release, a trainer, sold out within three hours of its release. She debuted her first collection for Puma at the 2015 New York Fashion Week. It earned high praise from customers and critics alike, as did her subsequent collections. Fenty Beauty was Rihanna’s first solo venture, funded through LVMH's Kendo Holdings, Inc, an incubator subsidiary, in a deal reportedly worth around US $10 million. It was the success of this venture in particular, on top of those that preceded it, that convinced the likes of Arnault and other top brass at LVHM that Rihanna was a creative and commercial juggernaut worth raising the stake on. Upon the formal announcement of the Fenty brand, Rihanna took to Twitter to give thanks. She wrote: “Big day for the culture. Thank you, Mr Arnault, for believing in this little girl from the left side of an island, and for giving me the opportunity to grow with you at @LVMH. This is proof that nothing is impossible. Glory be to God.” 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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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.
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN LNANOU ORLATO
KENZO HACKETT LONDON
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Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Spring/Summer 2019 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
FOR THOSE WHO PREFER A LEISURELY PACE Gulf Craft launches the flagship of its Nomad brand of yachts
ulf Craft is a UAE based, multi-award winning (for design and build quality) manufacturer of luxury yachts and utility boats. Ranked 7th by the Superyacht Group in a global list of international shipyards, Gulf Craft owns several established brands: Majesty Yachts offer luxury fly-bridge yachts and mega yachts; the Oryx Sport for yachts & cruisers, the Silvercraft offers a range of fishing boats and family cruisers; the Utility Series offers passenger and multipurpose transportation vessels. Responding to a growing demand for long-range, fuel-efficient yachts, Gulf Craft introduced the Nomad Yachts brand in 2015. This year it unveiled the flagship of the brand – the Nomad 95 SUV – in a three-deck configuration. On the main deck is the master suite, surrounded on three sides by curved windows for an uninterrupted 180-degree ocean view. The double bed faces outwards so voyagers can wake up to blissful vistas of the sea. It has a tastefully appointed large shower room en-suite. The main deck also has a spacious saloon which connects to a sizable galley containing a large double fridge, a dishwasher, an oven, and a generous amount of surface space. Below, the boat has a three-cabin layout. One is a generous guest room in the forward section. The second room has twin beds; both of which can be converted to doubles. Each room has an en-suite toilet and shower. The third section comprises the generous quarters for up to six-crew and a captain with separate amenities. On the upper deck is the air-conditioned, enclosed sky lounge with expansive windows and its own en-suite. It can also be fitted out as an additional cabin. The sky lounge opens to the upper deck where there is enough room for sun loungers, tables and easy chairs. A wet bar and grill come as standard. In the front is a
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large, fully enclosed wheelhouse designed to protect the skipper and crew in all weather conditions. Overall, the Nomad 95 SUV can comfortably accommodate unto ten passengers. At the rear is a spacious tender garage offering space for a rib and two jet skis. A tender lift is available as an option, which makes it possible for a fourth water toy or an additional tender to be accommodated on the back. When the garage is open and emptied, it can be converted into a spacious relaxation area close to the water. On the technical side, the 95 SUV has a 100 feet-2 inches (30.55m) long, semi-displacement hybrid Mono hull made of FRP and Kevlar. The superstructure is made from Carbon Fiber and FRP where owners can choose between a four, five or six cabin layouts. The advantage of a semi-displacement hull, which in this case was designed by renowned naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme, is that they are generally more efficient at medium cruising speeds of around 18 to 22 knots, the range most boat users tend to travel at. It is even more efficient at lower cruising speeds, delivering a much greater range than fully planing fly-bridge yachts. This means that the boat can go further and stay out for longer, without needing to refuel. This innovative hull design also allows the yacht to cope well in heavy weather because it's much finer at the bough, with a more rounded bilge, allowing it to cut through heavier seas much easier when compared to fully planing flybridge yachts. The 95 SUV is powered by Two MAN V12-1900s with a combined output of 1,874 hp or 1,397 kW at 2,300 RPM. Its top speed is 25 knots, cruising speed is 8 knots, and maximum range at the “eco-speed” of 10 knots is 1,300 nm.
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UNDERNEATH THE WAVES A unique experience at the Conrad Hotels Maldives, Rangali Island resort lets you sleep beneath the waves surrounded by fish and coral
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nown for its many firsts, the Conrad Hotel Rangali has unveiled a brand-new experience keeping up with its tradition of unveiling new and exciting adventures in the Maldives. The pioneering hotel was the first internationally branded hotel to open in the Maldives in 1997 and It was also the first in the Maldives to perch villas on stilts above water. It followed suit with ‘Ithaa’, the first underwater restaurant opened in 2004. This time around they have created a residence underneath the waves for discerning travelers. The ‘Muraka’, meaning coral in the native language signifies how the latest creation lives and thrives amongst the aquatic landscape of the Indian Ocean. Opened to guests in November 2018, The Muraka is the world’s
first underwater hotel villa. Connected by jetty to the main resort, the two-story structure is an engineering marvel, and a triumph of modern design and technology. Commissioned in 2016, The Muraka cost US$15 million and took two full years to complete. The 600-ton lower level of the villa which sits 16.4 feet below sea level was first built in Singapore and then transferred to the Maldives on a ship. Ten concrete pillars ensure that the structure is stable and doesn’t move during bad weather. The manufacturing required expertise in the design and construction of the 180-degree curved acrylic dome for the bedroom ceiling and features the introduction of the first underwater unit with plumbing and drainage below sea level. Guests can arrive at The Muraka via private seaplane to a
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private jetty or via speedboat from the main resort, which they can use for the remainder of their stay. Its location away from the main resort offers an unparalleled level of privacy. The entire two-level villa can accommodate nine guests, with an upper level looking out across the ocean. It also has a gym and an area for private security detail. In addition to two bedrooms, the upper level has a bathroom with tub facing the ocean. There’s a butler and chef for each suite, an on-call fitness trainer and spa treatments, and two jet skis. Apart from the integrated space for living, dining, entertaining, and sleeping on the upper level, there’s also a deck prime for sunset watching, complete with an infinity-edge pool. Guests can make their way down below the waves via a spiral staircase or elevator. A domed ceiling and expansive windows offer panoramic views of the ocean below. The undersea master bedroom, which fits a king-size bed, offers 180-degree views of sea life for an otherworldly experience. You can even shower
while watching the fish swim by. There, you can get an up-closeand-personal experience with the sea life via floor-to-ceiling windows in the walk-in closet, bathroom and shower, bedroom and a dedicated viewing theatre at the end of the tunnel. There’s even remote-controlled black-out curtains in the bedroom. Even though it is fully submerged underwater, The Muraka offers all the modern amenities that you’d expect from a luxury hotel suite including digital temperature control, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and electricity. The Conrad Maldives is the first resort in the world to introduce “Instagram Butlers” who’ve been trained by professional photographers to help you capture incredible memories at The Muraka. The daily rate of USD 50,000 includes private seaplane transfers, one 90-minute spa treatment per day, exclusive Muraka experiences, access to the private speedboat throughout your stay and automatic upgrade to Diamond Honors Hilton status. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
INSPIRED BY BOND 50 years of style captured in one collection
ot on the heels of the successful launch of the limitededition Bond swim shorts in July 2018, men’s resort wear brand Orlebar Brown are releasing an exclusive capsule collection inspired by iconic looks from seven classic James Bond films. The second instalment expands from swimwear to offer pieces including polo shirts, jackets and espadrilles. Referencing outfits worn by Sean Connery, Roger Moore and George Lazenby as British Secret Service agent 007 in Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun and A View To Kill, the collection fuses Bond’s classic and refined style with Orlebar Brown’s resort wear in signature fabrics. Orlebar Brown’s attention to detail extends even to the
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labelling inside the towelling robe which reads ‘The Property of Dr. Julius No, Crab Key,’ recalling a scene from Dr. No (1962) where Sean Connery as James Bond and Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder are imprisoned on Crab Key island outfitted in similar robes. The campaign has been fittingly shot by English photographer Greg Williams, who has a long-standing relationship with the 007 film franchise and is also known for his film and editorial work featuring stars such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hardy, Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Moss. Shot at Villa TreVille in Positano, Italy, the campaign captures all the adventure and glamour of a typical Bond destination. Available exclusively at Orlebar Brown in-store and online from May 2019, with further styles released in June 2019.
Copyright EON Productions 2019 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
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Chef David Myers 94 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
THREE DELIGHTS FROM ONE CULINARY MIND
Meet chef David Myers, the man behind the three venues at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel - BASTA!, Bleu Blanc and Poppy
orn in Boston and bred in Cincinnati, now based in Los Angeles, the Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur David Myers has established restaurants in Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong as well. His first restaurant, Sona in Los Angeles, earned him a Michelin star, Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, James Beard nominations for Rising Star Chef in 2008 and Best Chef – Pacific in 2009 and Restaurant of the Year by Angeleno magazine. Sona was followed by Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa; French bistro Comme Ҫa in Los Angeles and Las Vegas; Hinoki & The Bird in Los Angeles; the David Myers Café, Sola patisserie and Salt Water in Tokyo; Salt Water Kitchen in Nagoya; 72 Degrees in Ginza; Adrift in Singapore and AnOther Place in Hong Kong. Myers has also appeared on culinary shows such as Iron Chef America, Top Chef, Master Chef US, Master Chef China and
Hell’s Kitchen, among several others. Recently, during one of his frequent visits to Dubai, Myers sat down for a chat with GC. What made you come to Dubai? When we started this project four years ago, this area wasn't even developed yet, but we found that Dubai was an incredibly cosmopolitan city with exceptional restaurants from very wellknown chefs throughout the world. We can get any ingredient that we want to get in pristine condition here. Then there is a plethora of talent already working here capable of executing a cuisine to exacting standards. This market is sophisticated and the people well travelled, so it's no stretch for them to explore new things. So it was the perfect spot for us. We just had to make sure that the service was there, the cuisine was there, and the ambience was authentic in each of our venues.
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Bleu Blanc by David Myers Why open three venues at once? This is the very first time we launched three concepts at once, on the same day. During the implementation, we were so busy that we didn't get a chance to stop to think: â€˜Oh my gosh what are we really doing. How difficult is this going to be.' Then when we opened, we still didn't have the time to think about it because we were so busy in the mix of it. This is the only way to open a restaurant. You need to have three at once and in the same venue because you can run between them, and what a great way to maximize talent. There are just so many things logistically that make it ideal, even though each restaurant operates independently, just as it should be. We don't have common kitchens. We don't want any leading over into another. The team at BASTA! are fully focused on Roman, Neapolitan and Florentine cuisine. At Bleu Blanc its completely Southern French and at Poppy it's all about the cocktails, and that's it. The one thing that both restaurants, BASTA! and Blue Blanc have is a wood-fired grill, why is that? Cooking over embers using the different flavours of the wood to perfume the meats or fish or vegetables in a certain way, there's something natural about it. There's just no comparison between a steak cooked over an actual wood fire versus one grilled in a broiler using gas. Our wood-fire grill's speciality is that it allows us to manipulate the temperature of the embers. Also, it's angled in such a way that the fat does not drip down onto the embers and create too much smoke which in turn overpowers the flavour
of the meat, which you don't want. The wood itself is flown in from America. What would be for you, the perfect three-course menu? We engineered the menu such that you could come three nights in a row to our venues and never have the same thing twice. So I would start at Bleu Blanc with champagne and our grilled king crab. Then we'd move down to BASTA! and have the Bistecca Fiorentina, that's our classic Florentine T-bone steak. Then we'd end the night at Poppy for a nightcap with one of our fantastically concocted cocktails. How have you been influenced by the important personalities you have worked with, and by Asia? I have been so fortunate to have worked with geniuses like Charlie Trotter and Daniel Boulud. From Daniel, I learnt how to be a good chef. From Charlie, I learnt how to build a business, how to drive a team, how to create excellence, how to do something that no one ever thought was possible. Both chefs gave me the confidence through incredibly difficult and hard experiences while working with them that I am able to do this today. So I'm very thankful to both of them. I had been in love with the idea of Asia long before I even came to Asia; its culture, its philosophies, and its cuisines. I am so thankful to have my restaurants in this region because I learned so much just being here. Right now, home is LA, but Japan is home number two while Dubai and Singapore are becoming homes too. 2019 SPRING / SUMMER
THE WINDSWEPT CITY BY THE SEA
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan has been quietly making its way up the urban holiday destination chartswith tourists who wish to discover the essence of Japan
ocated on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, Baku is along the Bay of Baku of the Caspian Sea. It is the largest city on the Caspian Sea coast and of the Caucasus region. Its altitude is 28 metres below sea level, thus making it the lowest lying national capital in the world and the largest city in the world located below sea level. Officially, about 25 per cent of all inhabitants of the country live in Baku’s metropolitan area, and not surprisingly, it is the educational, cultural, and industrial centre of Azerbaijan. The name Baku is derived from the Persian phrase Bād-kube, meaning “Wind-pounded city;” in reference to the strong winds it experiences. The summers are hot and dry, while the winters are cold, fairly wet and breezy with varying degrees of snowfall. The earliest traces of human settlement go back to the Stone age, but the area became a place of significance in the Shirvanshah period starting in the mid-19th century and lasting until the 16th century. Today, the Inner City of Baku is the remnant of that period and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Baku’s real claim to fame, the one that made it truly significant on the global geopolitical stage is oil. Baku and its environs are the birthplace of commercial oil drilling. The first commercial oil well was drilled in the Bibi-Heybat suburb in 1846. Large-scale
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oil exploration started in 1872 when Russian imperial authorities auctioned oil-rich land around the city to private investors. By the dawn of the 20th century, the oil fields of Baku were the largest in the world. Although they have declined in global significance today, petroleum is still Baku’s largest industry, the largest contributor to Azerbaijan’s treasury and the oil wells still dominate the sparse landscape around the city. Given its long and varied history, Baku offers an eclectic mix architectural treasures – from the Shirvanshah era forts and towers, to Islamic and Christian places of worship, institutional buildings of the Russian Imperial and Soviet eras, and the postmodern architecture that has risen since the early-2000s. The SOCAR Tower, Flame Towers and the Zaha Hadid Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre being prime examples of the latter. In addition to the Architecture, the city offers visitors museums, performing arts events, historical sites, beaches and boat tours. Lonely Planet ranked Baku among the world’s top ten destinations for urban nightlife. For those seeking retail therapy, there are markets for antiques, rugs, traditional dolls created by ladies’ groups. Local treats include apples from Quba, tea and lemon from Lankaran, Halva from Sheki and traditional breads from Ganja.
THINGS TO DO PALACE OF THE SHIRVANSHAHS
No visit to Bakuâ€™s Icheri Sheher (Inner City) would be complete without visiting this 15th-century complex of buildings. Once the seat of the Shirvanshahs, the complex includes what may have been the royal living quarters, a mosque, the octagonalshaped Divankhana (Royal Assembly), a tomb for royal family members, the mausoleum of Seyid Yahya Bakuvi (a famous astronomer of the time) and a bathhouse. Guided tours available in different languages for a fee or one can opt for an audiobased self-guided tour.
Azerbaijanis take great pride from this historic architectural icon. Its origin is shrouded in mystery and legend as scholars and historians have been unable to come to an agreeable tale. It is most likely a pre-Islamic structure that may have served as a fire beacon, defensive fortification, astronomical observatory, or as a Zoroastrian temple. Inside the tower, at each level are exhibits describing the history and myths related to it. It is popular with tourists as climbing to its roof offers views of the entire city of Baku.
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BIBI HEYBAT MOSQUE
A historic 13th-century mosque built by the Shirvanshahs, that was rebuilt in the 1990s after the original facade was demolished by the Bolsheviks in 1936. Known locally as “the mosque of Fatima,” the complex includes the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum, a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, and is today the spiritual centre for the Muslims of the region. It is also a prime example of Islamic architecture of Azerbaijan known as the Shirvan architectural school. The mosque has three domes and two minarets. The domes are decorated with green and turquoise mirrors, which are bordered with gilded inscriptions from Qur’an.
Baku Funicular is the city’s only inclined tram system that takes people to one of the high points of Baku where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. At night, the funicular’s main station, situated inside a modern glass structure, is illuminated for dramatic effect, adding to the cityscape and making riding after dark even more rewarding. 100 SPRING / SUMMER 2019
WHERE TO STAY FAIRMONT BAKU FLAME TOWERS
As part of the iconic Flame Towers complex, the hotel is located within the charming old Inner City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amid cypress-lined boardwalks and café-filled streets, the Fairmont offers 318 well-appointed guest rooms, including 19 serviced apartments with an array of Fairmont Gold options. The hotel offers four suites in one, two or three bedroom layout. All are located at the top of the tower, offering spectacular views of the Caspian Sea and the city through floor to ceiling windows throughout the accommodations. Deluxe Rooms are equipped with spacious bathrooms with luxurious shower and deep soaker tubs. Guests can enjoy some of the city’s most exquisite dining venues at the hotel, ranging from chic bistros to juice bars and finedining experiences. Along with the latest technology, guest can also avail luxury transportation throughout the business district. The spa, covering 3,500 meters, is spread across two floors, offering breathtaking views of the Caspian Sea throughout. The lower level is reserved for revitalisation while the upper is for relaxation, each complemented by the decor - rich tones of warm amber and bronze, bespoke mosaic pool floors, warm anigre woods with highlights of crystal. The spa also features the largest Hamam in the region.
JW MARRIOTT ABSHERON
The hotel is set in the heart of the business, shopping and entertainment district of Baku, with Azadliq Square, Baku Boulevard and high-end retailers, from Dior to Bentley, within walking distance. This stylish, modern hotel offers exceptional comfort and amenities to business and leisure travellers. The rooms are lavishly appointed with some offering views of the Caspian Sea. Luxury bedding and the latest technology, including flat-screen TVs and WiFi, are standard. It offers three suites ranging from one to three bedrooms. The dining options include: Zest Lifestyle Café, an all-day restaurant, offering Mediterranean and Azerbaijan-influenced dishes; Fireworks Urban Kitchen is an upscale steakhouse with an extensive wine list; OroNero Bar & Ristorante offers authentic Italian cuisine; the Razzmatazz Cocktail Bar & Lounge and the Tea Lounge are places to unwind or socialise. The Absheron Spa offers a range of beauty and healing treatments from massages to lap pool sessions and facials while enjoying views of the Caspian Sea. The spa is complemented by a 24-hour fitness centre and a rooftop indoor pool overlooking the sea.
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A NEW POINT OF VIEW The highest observation deck in New York called The Edge is expected to open early next year “
dge invites visitors to walk out into the sky and embrace unobstructed, panoramic views of New York City like never before," Jason Horkin, Executive Director of Hudson Yards Experiences, says in a statement. The Edge is the name of a triangular observation deck that jetties out into the New York sky at a height of more than 1,100 feet; making it the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth highest in the world. The Edge is located on the 100th floor of the under-construction '30 Hudson Yards' tower which is itself part of the Hudson Yards megaproject, estimated to be the largest private development in US history, located on Manhattan's West Side. “The name reflects both the unique structural design, which pierces the sky when observed from below, and the exhilarating feeling of being on the brink of something exceptional -- exactly where you are on edge,” adds Horkin. Although no opening dates have been announced officially, The Edge is expected to open to the public early next year given that its management office has started accepting group bookings for the first quarter. Once open, a 60 seconds elevator ride will take visitors to the 7,500-square-foot outdoor, triangular viewing area whose outer tip extends 65 feet away from the building. In the centre of the deck is a feature that sets it apart from any other observation decks in the city - a glass floor, offering visitors a view of the city streets directly below. The Edge will have an elevation that is 50 feet higher than the observation deck at the Empire State Building. A 10,000-squarefoot restaurant, a bar and an event space form part of the Edge. The 30 Hudson Yards tower, on which the Edge sits, was designed by William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
as one of the towers of the Hudson Yards project, being codeveloped by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group. The project gets its name from the 28 acres of a working New York Metro rail yard over which the project is being built, at an estimated cost of around $28 billion. Partially open, it is already home to state-of-the-art office space, luxury residences, premium rental apartments, restaurants, a high-end shopping complex, a cultural centre, the first Equinox Hotel, and exceptional medical facilities. The eastern portion of Hudson Yards includes five acres of gardens with more than 28,000 plants and public plazas designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz, Landscape Architects with Heatherwick Studio. The open space is expected to become a new gathering place for Manhattan's West Side. At the epicentre of the square sits a structure temporarily known as the Vessel, which the developers claim will be “New York’s next landmark." Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, the Vessel is comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs or 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings that go nowhere in particular. It stands 150 feet in the air and was designed to "lift the public up" and offer a mile's worth of pathways that intersect in a nearly infinite number of ways. When completed, Hudson Yards will include more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space which will consist of more than 100 shops, about 4,000 residences, 14 acres of public open space, a 750-seat public school, and a first-of-its-kind microgrid and co-gen plant. Hudson Yards is designed to be the first LEED platinum neighbourhood and has already achieved WiredScore certification.
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AN OASIS OF RELAXATION
Dubai International Airport’s ‘The Ahlan Lounge at B’ has been voted the best in the region
he Ahlan Lounge at B, Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport, has been crowned the top lounge in the region by Priority Pass, the original and market-leading airport experiences program. Now in its 14th year, the Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards are based on the ratings of 52,000 Priority Pass Members and recognizes airport lounges offering the best service, experience, refreshments and business facilities. Located within an airport that is the third largest in the world by passenger numbers, and which expects to play host to over 90 million passengers this year, the Ahlan Lounge at B provides the perfect oasis for passengers transiting through the bustling airport. It is one of the few independent pay-in lounges operated for passengers who are not Emirates passengers. It is located on the mezzanine floor close to gate B26 or the Cádiz Tapas bar. The
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decor is cosy and welcoming with its peculiar blend of Arabian influences and modern-minimalist take on a wine cellar. Black and shades of beige dominate the palette. Wine barrel shelves act as walls and partitions, creating numerous pockets of seclusion. The roof has been left partly open to create a sense of space and to allow natural light to flood in during the day. The lounge offers buffet dining with traditional Arabic dishes as well as a wide variety of international food freshly prepared by head chef, Sathish Raju. Passengers can enjoy table service, a wide range of beverages, a separate smoking area, and Wi-Fi connectivity. To help guests truly kick back and relax, they can take a seat in one of the lounge's luxurious massage chairs. The lounge also offers shower facilities for those passengers wanting to freshen up mid-journey.
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