NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019
THE ALPINE EAGLE COLLECTION BY CHOPARD DUBAI WATCH WEEK - NOT TO BE MISSED THIS MONTH
DUBAIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BURGEONING FINTECH SCENE
PHILANTHROPY DUBAI CARES
THE MERCEDES-BENZ VISION EQS
KARL-FRIEDRICH SCHEUFELE A MAN DRIVEN BY PASSION
2 NOV / DEC 2019
2019 NOV / DEC
We craft watches not to meet expectations, but to surpass them. SeaQ Panorama Date Dive into the Original
Beijing 4 NOV / DEC ·2019 Dresden
Vienna · / DECXi’an 2019 NOV 5
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The Aviation Pioneers Squad SECTION NAME
Scott Kelly Rocio Gonzalez Torres Luke Bannister
SUPER AVENGER NIGHT MISSION
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2019 NOV / DEC
William Barron Hilton, a serial Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
22 COVER STORY
An in-depth interview with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard
Dubai Cares partners with ‘Save the Children’ in support of Early Childhood Development (ECD)
Global Citizen chats with Mark Chahwan, Co-Founder and CEO, Sarwa Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) recent milestone strengthens its commitment of reinforcing Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs
A brief summary of the highlights in KPMG’s CEO Outlook Report for 2019
A look at Facebook’s global cryptocurrency, Libra, coming into existence amid much controversy
The rise and dramatic fall of WeWork’s cofounder Adam Neumann We look at the growth of Ganni, a Danish brand, that has been making waves in women’s fashion and is set to go global
The unusual success story of ‘The Row’ by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
The impact of the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons partnership with WatchBox on the luxury watch collectors’ market in the region
We review Chopard’s recent Alpine Eagle collection Inspired by Alpine Beauty
Fashion Selections for Fall/Winter’19
The all-new PanoMaticLunar by Glashütte Original
Marco Vidal, CEO of the Merchant of Venice perfumery
Breitling’s new Aviator 8 Mosquito
We dive into an exclusive with artist Uğur Gallenkuş whose Parallel Universe series is stirring a vast reaction from millions around the world
Richard Mille’s newly refurbished flagship boutique in The Dubai Mall is a fine Swiss watchmaking gallery
Rado CEO, Matthias Breschan, talks about Rado’s all-new Le Corbusier collection, the 2019 Captain Cook watch and its relationship with designers
Some watches tell time. Some tell a story
Black high-tech ceramic case Silicon balance spring and pallet horns Double barrel, 18K white gold rotor Sapphire dial, 18K white gold indexes Grande Seconde Skelet-One
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
Bentley’s all-new Flying Spur - the Ultimate Four-Door Grand Tourer Mercedes-Benz’s Vision EQS show car gives us a glimpse of the future of mobility
BMW M’s much awaited third installment of the BMW X5 M and the new BMW X5 M Competition
Justin Wu and Todd Krim, the drivers of the initiative World Is In Our Hands (WIIOH), tell us about their story and how the campaign stormed the web within just few weeks
Greta Thunberg - The Drive To Make A Difference What’s new in the market
Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland – A Dramatic Little City
Dr. Jacqueline Hill of Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie on the science of ageing skin
Luštica Bay development at Montenegro offers natural beauty, luxury and greenfriendly living
Neyk, the latest underwater accessory for superyacht owners from Dutch specialist Ocean Submarine
A review of Abu Dhabi’s Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel
Montegrappa’s tribute to Emirati Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori’s historic space mission
BOSS The Scent Absolute by Hugo Boss for a heightened sensory experience
ALPINE EAGLE With its pure and sophisticated lines, Alpine Eagle offers a contemporary reinterpretation of one of our iconic creations. Its 41 mm case houses an automatic, chronometer-certified movement, the Chopard 01.01-C. Forged in Lucent Steel A223, an exclusive ultra-resistant metal resulting from four years of research and development, this exceptional timepiece, proudly developed and handcrafted by our artisans, showcases the full range of watchmaking skills cultivated within our Manufacture.
EDITOR’S LETTER Sustainability and technology are two threads that seem to weave their way through the 50th edition of the Global Citizen. Our cover story is an in-depth conversation with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard (p.22). A man driven by passion, he shares insights into his past, his brand’s commitment to environmental and ethical responsibilities as well as the back story to their latest creation – the Alpine Eagle. Staying with Horology, we explore the implications behind the Ahmed Seddiqi x Watch Box partnership (p.66) and the refurbished Richard Mille boutique in The Dubai Mall (p.62). Rado CEO, Matthias Breschan, shares with us what’s new at Rado (p.76). We take a look at some of the regional and global tech disruptors with an in-depth conversation with Mark Chahwan, Co-Founder and CEO, Sarwa (p.28), DIFC’s position as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs (p.32), Facebook’s global cryptocurrency Libra and the story of the dramatic rise (p.36) and fall of WeWork’s co-founder Adam Neumann (p.46). KPMG’s CEO Outlook Report for 2019 is dominated by the subject of sustainability and tech-disruption (p.34). We take a glimpse at how technology will alter the future of mobility with the Mercedes Benz EQS (p.84) and return to the present with the much-awaited BMW X5 M (p.88) and Bentley’s all-new Flying Spur (p.80). Greta Thunberg’s (p.94) drive to make a difference gets the spotlight as do two women-driven fashion brands that are doing things differently: ‘The Row’ by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (p.52) and the Danish brand Ganni (p.48). Our travels take us to the Luštica Bay development in Montenegro (p. 110) and the dramatic city of Reykjavík in Iceland (p.100). We then go underwaters with Neyk’s latest superyacht accessory (p.114), and finally to space with Montegrappa’s tribute to Hazzaa Al Mansoori (p.120).
GLOBAL CITIZEN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sunaz Sharaf FEATURES EDITOR Shama Moosa JUNIOR EDITOR Almas Salman 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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2019 NOV / DEC
Baron Hilton, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
A SERIAL PIONEER
We recall a few highlights from the life of serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Barron Hilton
illiam Barron Hilton passed away this September, aged 91, having committed 97 per cent of his wealth to the humanitarian work of Conrad N Hilton Foundation. The biographical page of the foundation’s website states: “Throughout his life, Barron Hilton was a study in contrasts: conservative, yet daring; competitive, yet compassionate; generous, yet frugal. His hard work and resilient spirit led him to build a dynamic and exemplary career as an entrepreneur, sportsman and philanthropist.” Barron, born in 1927, was the second son of Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton brand. Barron was the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Hotels Corporation and the chairman of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. As the original owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, he was the last surviving member of the Foolish Club – a nickname for the eight founding members of the American Football League. He was a lifelong aviation enthusiast and outdoorsman, as well as being a successful serial entrepreneur. Barron was born in Dallas, Texas, to Mary and Conrad Nicholson Hilton. The Hiltons were not natives of Texas, but San Antonio, New Mexico. Following a stint as a representative in New Mexico’s first State Legislature and a career as a banker, Conrad went to Texas in 1919, in the midst of its oil-boom, to buy a bank. When the deal fell through, he ended up purchasing a 40-room hotel in Cisco instead. The high demand for rooms meant high earnings with which Conrad purchased 18 NOV / DEC 2019
other hotels in the state. The Hilton hospitality brand was thus born. The group suffered severe losses and contracted to just eight properties during the Great Depression. However, the group managed to survive and set off on a nationwide and international expansion once the depression was over. The Hilton family home in Dallas was a short bike ride away from Love Field, where a young Barron would go to watch the pioneering aviators of the day take off and land. This ignited a lifelong passion for aviation. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1937. However, like his father, Barron chose to attend the New Mexico Military Institute. When he was 17, he sought a waiver to enlist in the Navy despite being underage. He was deployed to Pearl Harbor as a photographer’s assistant during World War II. While on deployment, Barron took flying lessons and earned his private pilot’s license. Barron returned to Los Angeles after his discharge and enrolled at the University of Southern California’s Aeronautical School where he earned his multi-engine credentials. In 1947, Barron married his childhood sweetheart, Marilyn Hawley. The two remained faithful to their vows until Marilyn’s death in 2004, having raised eight children and 15 grandchildren; Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton Rothschild being the two most well-known. Barron did not join his father in running the Hilton brand straight out of school. He spent the first two decades of his professional life as a serial entrepreneur. He began by
acquiring the distributorship of Vita-Pakt Citrus Products for the Los Angeles-area and then co-founding the MacDonald Oil Company. He then tapped into his love of aviation by founding Air Finance Corporation, a pioneer in the aircraft leasing business. In 1954, Barron was elected vice president of Hilton Hotels, responsible for the company’s franchise operations. He also transformed the group’s travel and entertainment card into the independent Carte Blanche credit card - another pioneer in its field, and would eventually become a part of the Diners Club network under Citicorp. In 1959 came Barron’s most high-profile venture. Lamar Hunt, the now legendary promoter of American football, soccer, basketball, tennis and ice hockey in the United States, had failed in his attempts to start an NFL franchise for Texas. Exasperated, he contacted others who had also been rejected by the NFL to form a brand-new football league. Barron was among the eight founders with a team based in Los Angeles. Nicknamed Chargers, his team won five divisional titles and one AFL Championship during his six years as president of the club. In 1965, as the president of AFL, Barron was instrumental in the AFL-NFL merger which was formally announced in 1966. The merger also led to the establishment of the Superbowl. Barron’s successful venture into sports was short-lived because, in 1966, he was asked by the directors of Hilton Hotels Corporation to succeed his father as president and chief executive officer of the company. However, they had one
Barron Hilton with his son Steven M. Hilton
condition; that he relinquish his ownership of the Chargers who had, by then, moved to San Diego. Barron sold a majority of his holdings in the Chargers franchise for $10 million, a record for any professional American sports franchise. As the head of the Hilton brand, Barron’s standout contribution was taking it into the Las Vegas gaming scene in 1970 with the acquisition of International and Flamingo casinos; later renamed Las Vegas Hilton and the Flamingo Hilton respectively. With this move, Hilton Hotels not only became the first company listed on the New York Stock Exchange to venture into the gaming industry, but it also blurred the lines between the hospitality and gaming industries. The move into gaming proved highly lucrative for the company. Within two years of their acquisition, the two Las Vegas properties were contributing around 45 per cent of the company’s operating income, nearly matching the income generated from the other 160 Hilton hotels in the United States. Barron not only introduced innovations in the gaming industry – such as CCTV surveillance and slot machines – but also realised Las Vegas’ potential as a convention and entertainment destination. Elvis Presley headlined at the Hilton properties, as did the most televised event up to that time - the Muhammad Ali versus Leon Spinks in 1978. Barron’s 30-year reign of Hilton was characterised by numerous innovative real estate transactions, diversification, divestments, acquisitions and expansion in the US and international markets. Between 1966 to 1996, he generated
2019 NOV / DEC
an average annual rate of return to shareholders of 15 per cent with dividends. In 1996, Stephen F. Bollenbach, Barron’s hand-picked successor, became the CEO. Barron continued as chairman of the board for another decade during which the group grew to include 2,800 hotels or 480,000 rooms in 76 countries. In 2006, the gaming part of the company was sold to private equity funds and was eventually acquired by the Caesar’s group. The hotels were sold to The Blackstone Group in 2007. Barron’s father, a devout Catholic, wrote in his will: “Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.” Conrad had established the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in 1944, and before his death in 1979, left nearly all of his estate to the foundation. Barron helped grow his father’s bequest of $160 million in Hilton stock into an endowment of more than $2.9 billion. In 2007, Barron announced that he would follow in his father’s footsteps by leaving 97 per cent of his wealth to 20 NOV / DEC 2019
the foundation. It increased the foundation’s endowment from $2.9 billion to $6.3 billion and made William Barron Hilton the organisation’s most significant donor. The foundation’s grants in 2018 were nearly $112.5 million, and in the first half of 2019, it was just over $44 million. These grants were distributed among eleven program areas, which included: the Catholic Sisters whose 700,000-plus sisters around the world work in education, poverty alleviation, promoting peace and justice; supporting disaster preparedness, relief and long-term recovery; supporting transition-age youth in foster care toward becoming self-sufficient and thriving adults; working to eliminate chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County; providing access to safe, affordable and high-quality water in sub-Saharan Africa; improving the lives of young children affected by HIV and AIDS in East and Southern Africa. By the time he died, Hilton’s bequest had surpassed the amount bequeathed by his father and is projected to increase the combined endowment to $6.3 billion.
2019 NOV / DEC
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President, Chopard
22 NOV / DEC 2019
A MAN DRIVEN BY PASSION
An in-depth interview with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard
arl-Friedrich Scheufele is a man who dons many hats. The Co-President of the family run Maison Chopard is a collector of classic cars and rare mechanical objects, an environmentalist and a motorsports enthusiast. Karl-Friedrich is, above all, a man driven by passion. He enjoys driving his 1958 Porsche Diesel Junior tractor as much as he does one of his vintage Porsche cars. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele was born in 1958 in Germany. At the age of 15, he left for Switzerland and enrolled in the International School of Geneva. In 1973, he served as an apprentice with a jeweller in Geneva, before studying at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Lausanne. In 1963, his father Karl Scheufele had purchased the Geneva-based watch manufacturer Chopard which Karl-Friedrich joined
in the 1980s, and in 2001, he became Co-President of the company along with his sister Caroline. While the two work together to formulate the maison’s strategies, Caroline focuses on the ladies’ collections and high jewellery, and Karl-Friedrich on the men’s collections and the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier which he founded in 1996. Karl-Friedrich’s love for vintage cars, particularity Porsches, extends to both collecting and racing them in events such as the Mille Miglia. He has been a participant at the Mille Miglia every year since 1987. In addition, Chopard has been sponsoring the event since 1988. Karl-Friedrich was kind enough to share with GC, insights into his past, his brand’s commitment to environmental and ethical responsibilities as well as the back story to his latest creation – the Alpine Eagle Collection.
2019 NOV / DEC
What is your very first memory of interacting with watches and jewellery? Some of my earliest memories as a kid are of taking my bicycle over to my parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; factory in Pforzheim, Germany. I loved to handcraft collages with watch parts and other materials leftover in the workshops. Then, at the beginning of my twenties, I truly found my passion for fine watchmaking when I designed the St. Moritz watch, which is the inspiration behind the new Alpine Eagle collection. Independent of the fact that you are part of a family that has a rich legacy in the watch and jewellery industry, how inclined were you to join this industry? Was joining the family business something that was expected? After studying at the International School in Geneva, I became an apprentice for a well-known local jeweller before enrolling for Lausanne University to study Business management.
However, I realised very soon that my real motivation was to join my parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; company to learn the ropes of the industry from the bottom up and I thus started to work at Chopard in the seventies. I was deeply passionate and eager to learn, and I had to climb up the ladder to gain responsibilities. In a family Maison such as Chopard, it is fundamental to continually prove yourself; this is part of our philosophy. Later, I was deeply convinced that we should return to the roots of our Maison, which was founded in 1860 by LouisUlysse Chopard in the Swiss Jura. Therefore, I launched a project to become once again a fully integrated movement manufacturer, and in 1996 Chopard Manufacture was inaugurated in Fleurier. Today we control every step of creation from research and development, movement design, machining of movement components, traditional handmade decorations as well as movement assembly and encasing for our L.U.C timepieces.
(L to R) Karl, Karl-Friedrich & Karl-Fritz Scheufele 24 NOV / DEC 2019
(L to R) Karl-Fritz, Karl & Karl-Friedrich Scheufele Chopard is at the forefront of the watch industry with in-house design and production. In terms of sales – how important is the watch division within Chopard, in comparison to the Jewelry and accessories divisions? The watch division represents about 55% of our sales and both activities (jewellery and watches) are important pillars in our business strategy, whereas the accessories remain below 5%. How did being ethical and sustainable become part of the core values of the family and the business? We started our “Journey to Sustainable Luxury” in 2013, and since then, we are aiming to apply our sustainability approach to all the aspects of our business. Today, it is capital that the luxury industry leads the way for more transparency. Social responsibility has always been an important part of our family philosophy. 2018 was a special milestone as we committed to using 100 % Ethical gold for the production of all our watches and jewellery. It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible. We succeeded because more than 40 years ago, we developed a vertically integrated in-house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally; from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the integration of the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers. This is the most significant step for us, hopefully leading the way for the watch and jewellery industry. As an ethical luxury brand, where do you see Chopard in the coming years? What other forward-looking initiatives are you working on now that you can share with us? Our in-house multi-year program the “Journey to Sustainable Luxury,” that started in 2013, led the Maison to achieve a 100% ethical gold supply chain in 2018 and we are looking forward to deepening the work on this Journey and achieving
further goals. With the new Alpine Eagle collection, we wanted our Lucent Steel A223 to comply with as many current sustainability criteria as possible. We collaborate with Voestalpine, a foundry linked to the Responsible Steel organisation and meeting REACH regulation standards, which are now the most advanced in Europe. This foundry is based in Austria, a country close to Switzerland, in order to reduce the carbon footprint resulting from the transport of our materials. In addition, within our Manufacture, we also recycle all steel waste resulting from our production. Please tell us about the Eagle Wings Foundation, of which you are a founding member. What significance does this hold for Chopard? The Alpine Eagle collection reflects the concern for environmental issues that are of strong importance to Chopard. Back in the 2000s, sensitive to the initiative taken by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, we had already joined the Alp Action programme. Today, by unveiling the Alpine Eagle collection inspired by nature, I wanted to go further by co-founding the Eagle Wings Foundation. This innovative and multidisciplinary environmental project is designed to raise awareness with respect to the importance, beauty and fragility of Alpine biotopes. Can you tell us about Chopard’s latest Alpine Eagle Collection? To you, what does it represent? The Alpine Eagle collection is close to my heart as it is the first time that my father, my son, and myself have worked together on a new watch. I believe that it is quite unique in the industry to have three generations of the same family co-developing a new creation. It shows that transmission is a core value for us. Let me tell you the story behind it. When I was 22, I went 2019 NOV / DEC
(L to R) Karl-Friedrich, Karl & Karl-Fritz Scheufele 26 NOV / DEC 2019
to my father’s office with a concept that, in my opinion, was innovative and modern: I wanted to create a stainless-steel sports watch. At that time, Chopard worked exclusively with gold. After hesitation, my father accepted the challenge and the St. Moritz soon became a bestseller and one of our icons. Today, history repeats itself. My son Karl-Fritz discovered, five years ago, a model of the St. Moritz watch in the drawer of my desk. After wearing it for a few days, he was convinced that it could be reinterpreted with a twist, without losing its essence or character. He came to see me trying to convince me about his idea. To be honest, I wasn’t at first particularly interested because I believed that the St. Moritz watch was an icon and icons must be preserved as such. Karl-Fritz insisted and asked my father for help. My son then worked on the first prototype along with his grandfather and introduced it to me… This is how the project started. With the Alpine Eagle, we faced a major creative challenge, because it is a complex process to invent a new timepiece, but it is almost more difficult to reinterpret a great design. We wanted to keep the essence of the St. Moritz but add a modern twist with new and sharper designs to the watch. Key elements that we focused on were the dials, the bezel, functionalities and the aesthetic look of the watch. What was the main inspiration behind the collection? The Alpine Eagle collection is inspired by the high altitudes of Switzerland, especially the Bernese Mountains, where I can recharge my batteries and relax. Recently, it happened that I saw an eagle up there – almost unbelievable, as it is very rare. The Alpine Eagle dial’s texture evokes an eagle’s iris, its second hand the raptor’s feathers and the cold glinting steel is reminiscent of glaciers. I think nature is the greatest artisan. To bring the collection to life, Chopard created a new material Lucent Steel A223. What triggered the need for that, and what were the challenges faced in doing so? Our wish for innovative materials and techniques led to a four-years of research to develop the new Lucent Steel A223. Lucent Steel A223 is as rich, precious and complex as gold, transforming the dream of Renaissance alchemists into glowing reality. It is a steel resulting from a re-smelting process featuring three unique characteristics. First, due to its hypoallergenic composition, the Lucent Steel A223 is comparable to surgical steel, making it highly dermo-compatible. Second, its 223 Vickers hardness is fifty per cent more resistant to abrasion than conventional steel. Third, its homogeneous crystal structure reflects light exceptionally well, thanks to its purity. Its brightness is comparable to that of gold. Working with this new alloy was a real challenge; as its hardness is far greater than that of conventional steel, it significantly increases the production time of Alpine Eagle watches as well as the wear and tear on machining tools. Extremely complex to develop and manufacture as well as extraordinarily valuable, Chopard Lucent Steel A223 in a way belongs to the category of rare and precious metals. 2019 NOV / DEC
ARVING A PATH OF THEIR OWN PIONEERS
An exclusive interview with Mark Chahwan, the Co-founder and CEO of Sarwa
arwa is the first automated investment advisory service (“robo-advisor”) in the region. Mark Chahwan cofounded Sarwa in 2017 with Jad Sayegh, the Chief Technical Officer, and Nadine Mezher, the Chief Marketing Officer. While Mark studied finance & entrepreneurship at McGill University, Jad holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from that university. Jad previously worked as a software engineer at the hedge fund Vigilant Global, a leading player in high-speed trading technology. He built software systems ranging from cloud-based distributed services, to data visualization and manipulation tools, to web applications focused on user experience and efficiency. Nadine has accumulated years of experience in marketing and communication strategy with a string of projects delivered for clients ranging from startups to corporate and government entities. Prior to that, she worked for Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Nadine holds a BBA in Marketing from the American University of Beirut, as well as a degree in design from Esmod Paris. GC spoke to Mark Chahwan to find out what makes techbased investing different from traditional forms, as well as his career, experiences and plans for the future.
28 NOV / DEC 2019
Tell us about your background in finance? After I graduated in finance and entrepreneurship, my first job in finance was as a trainee in Blominvest bank in Beirut. Then, I went back to Canada to join Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - one of Canada’s largest pension funds with $300 Billion in AUM - as an analyst. After that, I moved to Accenture as a Financial Services consultant, where I worked for several years. How did Sarwa come into existence? The idea came to me and Jad Sayegh (co-founder) when we realized that there was a gap in the market. Robo-advisors were transforming the wealth industry in the West by reducing fees and account minimums, and we noticed that the Middle East lacked access to financial services that allow everyone to invest. Around that time, the DIFC announced the launch of the region’s first FinTech accelerator, FinTech Hive. So, we partnered with our third co-founder, Nadine Mezher, who was already living in the UAE to better understand the market and was helping us test the need for such services. We joined the FinTech Hive in September 2017 and launched Sarwa together as the first robo-advisor in the region.
Mark Chahwan, Co-Founder & CEO, Sarwa 2019 NOV / DEC
What does “Sarwa” mean? Our name is derived from the Arabic word meaning wealth or fortune. It’s simple, and it speaks to our mission to make expert investing easy and affordable for everyone, by leveraging technology and proven investment strategies. How is Sarwa different from other traditional investment advisory firms in the region? Unlike traditional advisors, Sarwa offers low account minimums to get started ($500), low fees, no entry or exit fees and no lock-in periods. This allows clients to invest regardless of their net worth. Sarwa is a fully online platform, meaning you can go through the whole process from the comfort of your couch. There’s no need to come and go to get the paperwork done; you can create an account and start investing within 10 minutes! The onboarding is entirely online. We offer free automated rebalancing and access to a wealth advisor, therefore providing expert investing at a low cost. Our platform is global, which means you can use it anywhere in the world, so our investors do not need to worry if they move to another country. How does Robo-advisory work? Tell us about its accuracy and the risk factors involved. Robo-advisory is a term used to describe a financial investment advisory platform with little or no human intervention. Sarwa’s investment approach is based on the Nobel-prize winning research, Modern Portfolio Theory, which shows that you can minimize risk and maximize return by diversifying your investments. Our diversified portfolios are built by a team of financial experts and are allocated to reflect our client’s risk profile and appetite, as well as goals, by the algorithms that we have developed. Sarwa’s onboarding process is fully online and very simple: you start by answering a short questionnaire of 15 questions to determine your initial risk profile, after which you are given a recommended portfolio. As you mature as an investor, your risk profile may change. We also help our client automatically rebalance and reinvest their dividends, complementing the diversification strategy. We pick ETFs in each class that have the best mix of low fees, high liquidity, and best historical performance. We keep our costs low by using smart technology and automation, by keeping our overheads lean, and by focusing on low costs ETFs. This reflects positively on the long-term potential returns of our clients by not eating away their savings and allowing compound interest to do its magic. 30 NOV / DEC 2019
What challenges did you face being the first roboadvisory service in the region? Launching the business was challenging. You needed to balance between working closely with the different stakeholders, from investors to regulators, while focusing on the bigger picture of providing a smart solution to everyone looking to invest and build their wealth. Being part of the FinTech Hive provided us with a lot of support: from being part of a community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The biggest support was being able to sit at the same table as the regulators. After graduating from the FinTech Hive, we incorporated in the DIFC, and we were the first to receive the Innovation Testing License by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which allowed us to launch our platform. One year down the line, we received a full license and were able to serve a broader market. When we started, one of the main challenges we faced was educating the market on the importance of investing for a better future and what is needed to avoid the many traps of bad investment plans. Today, two years down the line, the challenges are different, and now the focus is on how to grow while focusing on the internal culture. As the FinTech industry is maturing and with more and more information being easily available, the investor today is more aware of the options he/she has and of the pitfalls of traditional investments. They can now have a better understanding of the advantages that innovation is bringing to the table. Could you tell us about Sarwa’s growth since its inception in 2017? Sarwa is growing exponentially. We’ve seen a 20% growth every month, and have around 10,000 registered users on our platform. The team is also growing. We started with a team of 4, to now being a team of 17 young entrepreneurs from various backgrounds, mainly divided between tech, marketing, and wealth advisory. What are your plans for the coming year and onwards? Our plan is to scale and grow our market base to expand to other markets in the very near future. With the lack of formal pension funds for expatriates in the UAE, Sarwa aims to work closely with the corporate sector to offer employees saving scheme plans and extend its offering from individuals to companies. At the same time, we are continuously working on bettering our user experience, improving our interface, as well as the service and product provided.
N EW RE S I DE NCY PR O GR AMME S NOW AVA IL A BLE
Select Anguilla is a governmental agency which promotes and supports relocation to Anguilla for personal, business or fiscal optimization purposes. 2019 NOV / DEC All advice is confidential and provided free of charge to individuals.
Amiri,Wertheim CEO, DIFC-Authority DrArif Herbert Optometrist, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist 32 NOV / DEC 2019
DUBAI’S BURGEONING FINTECH SCENE
Leading international and regional FinTech firms choose the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as their preferred jurisdiction from which to scale their business in the region
ubsidised licensing options and access to a dedicated USD100 million FinTech Fund managed by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Wamda Capital, have proven both feasible and attractive for FinTech start-ups in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). DIFC, the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and home to the largest, most developed financial technology ecosystem in the region, marked a significant milestone this September having registered more than 100 FinTech firms in the Centre. This also reflects DIFC’s commitment of reinforcing Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs. With a three-fold growth since end of 2018, the Centre’s enabling environment continues to support the development of the FinTech industry, attracting major global players from across markets and technologies Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said: “The significant rise in the number of registered FinTech firms establishing a presence at the Centre highlights our sustained efforts to transform the region’s financial technology ecosystem and drive sustainable economic growth. We aim to continue this momentum and growth through our evolving regulatory environment and the quality of collaborators we bring into the DIFC, as our vision of driving the future of finance becomes a reality.” Spanning across var ied geographical m arkets a nd technologies, the FinTech firms recently attracted by the Centre include Bankable, the UK-based architect of digital
banking and payment solutions and QFPay, the global mobile payment technology company from Hong Kong, providing backend solutions to the likes of Alipay and Wepay. Furthermore, regulated FinTech firms to receive the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) offered by the Dubai Financial Ser vices Authorit y (DFSA) include Sar wa, the region’s first online financial advisor, TokenMarket, a securitisation and tokenisation platform powered by blockchain, and Wethaq, an investment platform for sukuk and capital markets, demonstrating the Centre’s flexible yet robust regulatory framework. The Centre has already seen a marked increase in the number of firms that make up its dynamic FinTech ecosystem, which more than doubled in size from over 80 to 200 companies in the last six months. For many FinTechs, DIFC’s dedicated accelerator programmes have been witnessed to become a first step towards testing the regional market for many global start-ups. The third cohort of the DIFC FinTech Hive accelerator programme received 425 applications from start-ups operating in the RegTech, Islamic FinTech, InsurTech and broader FinTech sectors, a 42% increase from the 2018 programme. This also marked a three-fold increase from its inaugural cycle in 2017, exemplifying the pace of evolution of this fastgrowing industry. Together, these key components have created a formidable marketplace for FinTech to grow, expand, and experiment with innovations, firmly positioning Dubai to be the FinTech hub for the region and accelerating into the future of finance. 2019 NOV / DEC
A brief summary of the highlights in KPMG’s CEO Outlook Report for 2019
PMG, the global leader in providing professional services (Audit, Tax and Advisory), and operating in 153 countries with around 207,000 professionals, has recently published the fifth edition of its CEO Outlook report. Based on a survey conducted in the first quarter of 2019, the report summarises the inputs from CEOs across a variety of key sectors. According to this report, overcoming technological disruption is the top priority for nearly 70% of UAE CEOs in 2019. As a direct consequence, 74% have committed to making significant technological advances within their organisations, such as AI and cognitive computing, while 57% of CEOs recognise that a strong cyber strategy is critical to building trust with key stakeholders. Nader Haffar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “This year’s KPMG CEO Outlook report shows that UAE CEOs are championing a digital reinvention, while navigating other big issues like economic territorialism and climate change. To weather the challenges that lie ahead, they may have to fundamentally transform their operating models and build an agile, customer-focused and connected enterprise with a strong workforce at the helm.” The UAE CEO report is based on the responses of 35 CEOs based in the UAE. Over half (54%) of them came from privately held companies and 46% from publicly traded firms. Meanwhile, the data published in KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook report is based on a survey of 1,300 CEOs in 11 of the world’s largest economies: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US. Haffar, in his foreword to the report, observes: “One of the most compelling findings in this year’s Global CEO Outlook is that over two-thirds of chief executive officers believe that agility is the new currency of business. If they fail to adapt to a constantly changing world, their business will become irrelevant... This focus on agility is also redefining what we mean by resilience.” While in the past, resilience was primarily about overcoming short-term challenges by scaling up, “the social, economic and technological headwinds we have seen emerge in recent years are no longer short-term,” Haffar continues. The CEOs of today “are set against a potentially complex, volatile and increasingly uncertain environment. To be resilient, organisations need to be comfortable disrupting their business models if they want to continue to grow. This is what we mean by being agile.” To illustrate this point, the report cites the example of the financial services industry where large legacy organisations have
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recently experienced severe disruptions caused by smaller, more agile and innovation driven FinTechs moving into the payments industry. “At the same time,” the report observes “customer needs are changing fast and advanced technologies continue to evolve. To respond, companies need to fundamentally change how they work. This means being more customer-centric, increasing the speed of innovation, and collaborating across organisational boundaries.” According to the report, 63% of UAE CEOs believe that agility is fundamental for businesses to succeed against a challenging economic backdrop. Eight out of ten UAE CEOs are actively transforming their leadership teams to build resilience, in addition to piloting AI and automating processes. Climate change has also been identified as one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today, according to the report. About 76% of CEOs worldwide, and just over half of UAE’s CEOs (52%) say their organisation’s growth will depend on their ability to navigate the shift to a low carbon, cleantechnology economy. As well as being of value to society, they feel that “sustainable business practices can also unlock growth and transform performance.” H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), as quoted in the report, says: “It is crucial for companies to initiate a low carbon transformation policy, seizing the opportunity to optimise resource efficiency, enhance their adaptive capacity and ensure business continuity. Promoting a climate-resilient economy is a prerequisite to realising the transformative change outlined in UAE Vision 2021.” In terms of growth opportunities, 66% of UAE CEOs said their first priority for geographical expansion over the next three years is emerging markets like the Indian subcontinent, China and south-east Asia; as they possess an abundance of opportunities, such as a growing populations, the expansion of their middle classes, and steadily increasing consumption. Despite all the challenges facing businesses today, the overall internal outlook of the CEOs is overwhelmingly positive, with 94% of both UAE and global CEOs expressing confidence in their own business’ growth prospects. However, only 63% fell optimistic about the global economy. This outlook remains mostly unchanged as compared to last year’s survey. “The social, economic and technological headwinds we have seen emerge in recent years are still relevant,” says Haffar. “UAE CEOs today must become disruptors of their own business, and challenge entrenched practices. If they can create an environment where new ideas can be tested and change is encouraged, their organisations stand to benefit tremendously.”
Nader Haffar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG Lower Gulf 2019 NOV / DEC
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIBRA
The global cryptocurrency initiated by Facebook came into existence amid much controversy
n June 18, Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra was formally announced to the world which set off an opinion-storm on social media, mainstream media, and in the real world. It was not the announcement itself that caused such a stir, but rather, the list of names associated with the project. This October, Libra made headlines again, as some of the biggest names associated with the project – especially the payment-processing companies – announced that they were leaving, just days before they were scheduled to hold their first official meeting. Speculation on the “GlobalCoin” or “Facebook Coin” the nicknames by which Libra was known before its official launch - had been circulating since May 2018, when David A. Marcus - Facebook Vice President in charge of Facebook’s Messenger - moved to a newly instituted blockchain division. By February 2019, there were reports claiming that the division had grown to more than 50 engineers and that they were working on a new cryptocurrency.
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A cryptocurrency is a digital asset and a medium of exchange which functions similar to a debit card. However, unlike a debit card, which is a centralised digital currency controlled by an issuing bank, a cryptocurrency uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets through decentralised control. The decentralised control of each cryptocurrency is done through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database. Bitcoin, first released in 2009, was the first decentralised cryptocurrency. Since then, over 4,000 cryptocurrencies have been created. Libra, as announced, is a global, digitally native, reservebacked, permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by Facebook. One Libra will be equal to one unit of the asset held in the Calibra Wallet, which will work either as an independent app or as part of Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. The currency and its network are scheduled to
launch sometime in 2020. The “permissioned blockchain” component of Libra sets it apart from the traditional blockchain architecture because it has an access control layer to govern who has access to the network. In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on a private blockchain network, like Libra, are vetted by the network owner. So, in layman terms, one may say that permissioned blockchain digital currencies fall somewhere in between the centralised e-payment systems like debit cards and the completely decentralised e-payment systems like Bitcoin. Another feature that distinguishes Libra from a majority of the cryptocurrencies on offer is that Libra will be backed by a reserve of “real assets.” The “Libra Reserve” is a crucial mechanism that will be instituted to prevent wild fluctuations in value as experienced by some of the cryptocurrencies. It comprises “a basket of currencies” along with “stable and liquid assets” that “will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is created.” Libra owners will not have access to the reserve. Authorised resellers will be the only entities authorised by the Libra Association to transact large amounts of assets and Libra in and out of the reserve. The Libra Association is an independent, Swiss not-forprofit organisation tasked with “evolving the ecosystem.” It is governed by the Libra Association Council, comprised of representatives from each member of the Association. The Council then elects the Libra board. Each member of the Association will run one of the validator nodes that form the network that operates the Libra Blockchain. Besides Facebook, the “Founding Members of the Association” included payment-processing companies: Mastercard, Mercado Pago, PayU, Stripe, Visa Inc. and PayPal; technology and marketplaces companies: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify and Uber; Telecommunications: Iliad SA and Vodafone; Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase and Xapo; Venture capital firms: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital and Union Square Ventures; NGOs, multilateral organisations and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps and Women’s World Banking. It was the names included in this founding members list first announced in June that caused so many eyebrows to rise, particularly those of the payment-processing companies. Not only were they big names, the inclusion of Mastercard, Visa Inc. and PayPal gave the Libra Project
much needed credibility. With them on board, the project seemed invincible. There was some positive reaction to the announcement such as those from Justin Sun, the founder of crypto network TRON, who commented on Twitter: “I feel a huge #FOMO and bull run for crypto is on its way.” Others, such as Bitcoin guru Andreas Antonopolous, were more diplomatic: “While Facebook’s Libra doesn’t compete against any open, public, permissionless, borderless, neutral, censorship-resistant blockchains, it *will* compete against both retail banks and central banks. This is going to be fun to watch.” Following the damage done to Facebook’s reputation following the Cambridge Analytica saga, it is fair to say that the bulk of the criticism was negative. The harshest criticism and opposition came from three major groups: national regulators who saw it as a potential threat to their national currencies, those invested in rival cryptocurrencies, and privacy advocates. All seemed to be going well for Libra until October 4, when Paypal withdrew from the Association. Then on October 11, over the course of a few hours, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, Mercado Pago and eBay withdrew. Of the six that withdrew, five were payment processor, leaving only PayU still in the Association. It was a shocking turn of events. Although no official statements were issued by the departing parties, analysts pointed to the fact that, except eBay, the non- payment processor members had not left. Also, the date of departure was an important clue. On October 14, the Association was scheduled to convene in Geneva for the very first Libra Council meeting. They were supposed to deliberate on the grey areas within the initial white paper, assign roles to each member and then formalise the charter, with each member being a signatory. In the past, whenever regulators have had issues with violations occurring through cryptocurrencies, they have targeted the payment processors. In the case of any violation occurring through Libra, the payment processors members of the Association would have most likely borne the brunt of the official wrath, which might even have threatened their legacy business. The council meeting went ahead as scheduled on October 14, despite the high-profile defections and intense criticism from regulators and politicians. The Libra Association officially signed into existence the Libra with 21 charter members. 2019 NOV / DEC
Uğur Gallenkuş reveals the paradox of human life in a series of raw and evoking juxtaposed pieces. Teresa Esmezyan
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Editorial Photo: Abd Doumany - Artworks: Uğur Gallenkuş
or some, art is a representation of beauty, intricacy, detail. For others, art is a tool. With over half a million followers on Instagram and thousands more on Facebook and Twitter, Turkish artist Uğur Gallenkuş has shaken the internet with his powerful work. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the Parallel Universe series leaves you speechless. Global Citizen dives into an exclusive with the artist that is stirring a vast reaction from millions around the world. What first inspired you to create this kind of work? I have always done collages as a hobby, but in 2015, I saw an image that triggered a lot of grief; a 3-year-old refugee
Editorial Photo: Wissam Nassar - Artworks: Uğur Gallenkuş
boy, Aylan Kurdi, drowned trying to cross the Aegean Sea. A few months after the death of baby Aylan, I saw the fear and desperation in the eyes of the children in a refugee caravan and I knew I wanted to find a way to express their situation in an artform. This is how I started the Parallel Universe collection. What was the most pivotal piece you’ve created? It’s hard to say. They are all powerful in their own way. I think an important piece in my collection that has made a big impact with the public is the Wonder Girl, a young girl smiling in a superhero costume, contrasted with a wounded Syrian girl at a make-shift hospital in the rebel-held area of Douma.
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Did you expect such a response from the online community when you first started this collection? No, I never expected anything like this. It was a surprise for me. My goal is to get people to empathize, so this is proof that more people are sensible to these current issues than we think.
Why do you think your work is able to touch so many people from around the world? We can all be immigrants. Most of us already are. I think my work touches many different people because they can all relate to the message. We have all escaped something to come to the countries we currently live in. And, maybe we’re happy and peaceful right now, but no one knows what can happen in the future.
Editorial Photo: K. M. Asas - Artworks: Uğur Gallenkuş What is your opinion on the future of global issues relating to human migration and the refugee crisis? Mass migrations are likely to be growing further in the coming years, because people will need to migrate to find better conditions. Moving towards a better life is something humans have done for generations to survive, so these issues can continue for many years to come as a result of economic and political instability or mass movements to escape war.
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In your experience, how does art create a movement around the world? I think art is an important tool in awakening societies and raising awareness. Art is the master of all languages. You don’t need to understand Turkish or to speak English to understand what I want to say through my work. It’s a simple technique with a very powerful message.
THE POWER OF
children and young people are currently in urgent need of educational support in 35 crises-affected countries
To make a donation, visit:
2019 NOV / DEC
FLOURISHING YOUNG LIVES
Dubai Cares forges a new partnership with Save the Children in support of Early Childhood Development (ECD)
ince its inception, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be integrated, impactful, sustainable and scalable. “Education is more than a human right; it is an irrevocable asset. It is also one of the most effective tools to break the cycle of poverty, a belief held by our founder His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It was from this belief and the desire to give children - regardless of their gender, nationality, race or religion - the opportunity to become positive contributors to society, that His Highness
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established Dubai Cares on September 19, 2007,” reads a statement from the website of the philanthropic organization, Dubai Cares. Inadequate early childhood development (ECD) exacerbates inequality and denies children their ability to thrive. If every child in their earliest years receives the quality, affordable support and care to develop the learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential, they can be set up for a more equitable and prosperous future. It is estimated that 175 million children are not enrolled in pre-primary education. Dubai Cares is committed to ensuring access to quality ECD for underprivileged children in developing countries. Taking this commitment a step further, the organization has now partnered with ‘Save the Children’ thus supporting
integrated ECD services in crisis and conflict settings. The Save the Children Fund, commonly known as Save the Children was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. For 100 years, they have been giving children around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. The partnership aims to develop a global approach to operationalize the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) by providing early stimulation and responsive care to the youngest children in crisis settings. Launched in 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other partners,
the NCF offers guidance and provides a roadmap on ways to improve early childhood development through integrated policies and effective interventions. The Framework articulates the importance of responsive caregiving and early learning as integral components of good quality care for young children. Dubai Cares announced an AED 7,347,000 (USD 2 million) commitment towards ECD in conflict and crisis contexts at the Strategic Dialogue Roundtable hosted as part of the Concordia Annual Summit, the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly, that brought together decision-makers and opinion-formers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as the next generation of partnership-builders. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our participation in this strategic discussion reflects our
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(Centre) H. E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares steadfast commitment towards shaping the global education agenda, specifically in the ECD stage. We firmly believe that early childhood experiences lay the foundation for success in school and also have a profound impact on health, behaviour and ultimately, adult social relationships and earning power. Through this new partnership with Save the Children, Dubai Cares seeks to develop programmatic priorities and implementation approaches that contribute to young children’s education and development in the most resource constrained settings where children are regularly affected by violence and conflict. Dubai Cares will continue to strive to realize child’s rights as enshrined in international conventions and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, so all children have the right to learn, fully develop, be listened to and actively participate in decision-making relevant to their lives,” said Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, speaking about the successful Strategic Dialogue Roundtable, and sharing Dubai Cares’ good practices globally. His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares in 2009 and has since been responsible for strategically defining and leading the organization working towards providing children in developing countries with access to quality education. He has been a key champion of Education in Emergencies globally, highlighting the critical need to provide education to children living in 44 NOV / DEC 2019
fragile and conflict-affected states and situations. Dr. Al Gurg was also recognized as a “Change-maker” during Save the Children’s celebration of its Centennial anniversary: “Changing the World for Children” held in Los Angeles, for his continued effort in shaping the future of philanthropy in the education sector and speaking up on behalf of the most vulnerable children and young people by providing quality education globally. During the 74th UN General Assembly week, he was also announced as a member of the Advisory Commission of the UNESCO-led Futures of Education initiative. On the side-lines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New-York City, Dubai Cares also celebrated and rewarded the spirit of innovation at the MIT Solve Challenge Finals 2019. During the event, Dr. Al Gurg served as one of the judges for the MIT Solve ECD Challenge whereby he participated in the selection of the 8 most innovative and inspiring solutions. The winners were awarded the Dubai Cares ECD Prize – an AED 918,375 (USD 250,000) funding that will help them further develop their individual solutions. Additionally, Dubai Cares will invest in capacity building of the 8 finalists, who will benefit from invaluable training provided by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. By encouraging innovation, Dubai Cares hopes to find faster and better ways to connect all education stakeholders and improve learning opportunities for the youngest children.
THE POWER OF
children and young people are currently in urgent need of educational support in 35 crises-affected countries
To make a donation, visit:
2019 NOV / DEC
Adam Neumann, Co-Founder, WeWork 46 NOV / DEC 2019
A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ICARUS
The rise and dramatic fall of WeWork’s co-founder Adam Neumann
n August 14, 2019, The We Company filed its SEC Form S-1 as a prerequisite formality to its highly anticipated IPO. With an estimated valuation of $47 billion, the company – operating under the WeWork brand was then the most valuable US tech start-up. When one glances at some of the highlights stated in the company’s prospectus, the valuation seems reasonable. It starts with lofty statements such as “we are a community company committed to maximum global impact. Our mission is to elevate the world’s consciousness.” The company’s underwriters were JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi Group, Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS and Wells Fargo. Eighty per cent of its members (tenants) report increased productivity, 78% enterprise members (corporate tenants) say that WeWork has helped them attract and retain talent, and 65% of start-ups and freelancers that joined them believe they have helped them accelerate growth. In the “Our Global Platform” section, the prospectus states that in 2010 – the year WeWork was founded - it had two locations in one city with 450 members. By Q2 of 2019, the numbers were 528 locations in 111 cities with 527,000 memberships. Over 50% of those members located outside of the United States. However, within 33 days of the publication, even the most optimistic valuation placed WeWork no higher than in the $1012 billion range. This not only represents about a 70% decrease in valuation but is also less than the $12.8 billion the company had raised in private funding since 2010. According to analysts, the dramatic fall from grace resulted from a combination of the disturbing information provided in the prospectus coupled with a more cognisant community of investors following the failure of previous hyped tech-based companies. The WeWork story, in effect, begins in 2008 when Adam Neumann – an Israeli Navy veteran - and American Miguel McKelvey conceived the business model for what would become their first venture: Green Desk, an eco-friendly Cowork space. The word “Cowork” and the business concept behind it is credited to San Francisco native Brad Neuberg. It entails sharing office space and administrative costs by independent professionals or different business entities. Cowork was one of the few growth industries immediately following the 2008 financial crises and has been growing ever since around the world. In 2010, Neumann and McKelvey sold GreenDesk, and with additional investment from Manhattan real estate developer Joel Schreiber, the duo launched WeWork with a commercial space in New York’s SoHo district. By 2015, it was
one of the fastest-growing lessees in the US market with a client list that included the likes of Reddit, Fitocracy, and Meetup. Investments from bigwig names such as SoftBank, Rhone Group and the Chinese Hony Capital, among others were pouring in. By 2017, WeWork began purchasing commercial property, the most notable being the Lord and Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for $850 million. The brand had become the darling of the industry press. Neumann had boldly declared that he was going to be the world’s first trillionaire. WeWork was flying high in entrepreneurial dream-world until the S-1 filing. The list of conflict-of-interest, dubious management practises and astounding losses - directly attributed to Neumann - seemed endless. Here are a few highlights. Neumann had borrowed heavily from the company at below-market rates and against his shares to finance his personal ventures which included prime residential real estate in locals such as Greenwich Village, the Hamptons, and others. He purchased a $60 million Gulfstream for WeWork while withholding bonuses from employees. WeWork was leasing buildings in which Neumann owned an interest. The WeWork brand was owned by Neumann through a holding company for which WeWork had to pay $5.9 million to lease. The prospectus cites more than 100 “Related party” transactions; meaning these translations could benefit a member of the WeWork management or staff. WeWork had accumulated $47 billion in future lease payments alone at the time of filing, with the overall debt at $904 million. This was in spite of revenue nearly doubling yearon-year to $1.54 billion. Neumann’s spending and borrowings were at nearly twice the revenue. The section disclosing risks to investors ran to almost 30 pages. By the end of September, under pressure from the leading investors, the company made a series of announcements to address the issues raised by critics. The Gulfstream had been put up for sale. Unwanted acquisitions were being divested, and around 3,000 people were being laid off, including removing Neumann’s friends and family members from the board. Any profits made by Neumann owned companies through their dealings with WeWork would be repatriated. The “We” trademark is now owned by The We Company. Then on September 24, came the announcement that Neumann himself was stepping down. The Cowork industry holds tremendous growth potential and has proven its resilience across the globe. Will the corrective measures taken by WeWork be enough to put out the fire, or is it a case of too little too late? The coming days will tell. 2019 NOV / DEC
FROM COPENHAGEN TO THE WORLD
Ganni, a Danish brand, has been making waves in women’s fashion and is set to go global
rans Truelsen, a Copenhagen based art connoisseur and gallery owner, wanted “to create the perfect cashmere knit,” so he founded Ganni. A year later, he was struggling to keep the brand alive. He turned to his friends - Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup for help. The husband-and-wife team took over the management of the brand and expanded its product line. A decade later, Ganni has achieved something of a cult status among its band of loyal customers, often selling out their pieces. Its revenue is expected to cross $75 million this year. It is offered by more than 400 retailers worldwide and is among the top 20 bestselling brands on Net-A-Porter. It is one of the pioneers of social-media-based marketing and in the push for sustainable fashion. It has attracted investment from LVHM backed L Catterton and is on the verge of global expansion. The growth of the Ganni brand can be credited to the coincidental occurrence of several favourable factors. To begin with, there are the unique and complementary skill sets of Ditte and Nicolaj which form the foundation of the creative and functional aspects of the brand. To this was added the increasing global appeal for Scandinavian aesthetics, in particular the “Copenhagen Girl” phenomenon in women’s fashion; the company’s appeal to the millennials thanks to its social mediasavvy marketing and sustainability-driven innovation; along with staying loyal to its existing customer base by keeping the brand within its mid-range price point. When Truelsen needed help with the brand, he approached Ditte because of her chic sense of aesthetics. She was at the time working as a buyer for a women’s fashion retailer. She took charge of the creative aspects of the business and implemented her take on the “Copenhagen Girl” aesthetics, which she called “Scandi 2.0.” Elaborating on it, she says: “With Ganni, we wanted to do something different than the typical stereotypes of Scandinavian fashion, which when we started were either high-concept Scandi-style or girly-boho. Aiming to create a third alternative, we sought after a more playful and effortless approach to design,
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that represents how I want to dress and look. Without strict dogmas or rules, but with room for personality, contrasts and experimentation.” Ditte’s experiences as a buyer helped her develop a keen sense for what women want to wear. Furthermore, Ditte and her design team are the first to wear the products they create to experience first-hand how they feel to live in on a daily basis. They then make the necessary changes before offering it to the customers. Ditte’s very first design, an experimental printed cotton dress with smock and ruffles sold out quickly. She has been producing bestsellers regularly ever since. Ditte’s designs have been unconventional, yet distinctly feminine and very wearable. While Ditte’s experience as a buyer helped her formulate Ganni’s distinctive aesthetics, Nicolaj’s experience in the tech industry helped form the technical framework of the company. From the outset, it was not structured like a typical company in the fashion industry but more like a tech start-up company. It was designed to have a flexible structure, an entrepreneurial mentality with a strong focus on product development. For example, to overcome unforeseen hurdles, Nicolaj assembles a team to focus on and expeditiously resolve the issue at hand; as it is done in the tech industry. Another feature borrowed from the tech industry is a willingness to adopt new technologies and innovative business models. Nicolaj employed data analytics early on to extract useful information from sales data, thus enabling the company to better understand market trends and risks. This September, the brand launched its own rental service called Ganni Repeat in Denmark on a trial basis. If successful, it will be introduced in other markets. The rental stream is part of the brand’s “mission to become more circular.” Ganni was an early adopter of Instagram as a marketing tool; a strategy that has proved to be highly effective and has been a key instrument in the brand’s success story. The brand currently has around 700,000 followers on Instagram, which may not seem like much, especially when compared to major brands.
Ditte & Nicolaj Reffstrup, Co-Owners, Ganni 2019 NOV / DEC
Ganni store in London 50 NOV / DEC 2019
Ganni Fall-Winter’19 Campaign However, among its early band of loyal followers were regional fashion models, industry insiders, and influencers such as Thora Valdimars, Jeanette Madsen and Pernille Teisbaek - co-founder of influencer marketing agency Social Zoo. Their significant followership reached beyond Scandinavia, and therefore, collectively had a multiplier effect that reached far beyond Ganni’s Scandinavian base. Ditte is adamant that the brand has never done paid partnerships, but only gifts its clothes to influencers and then sits back and watches what happens. As a result, the brand’s social media growth had been largely organic. However, in 2015, it received a massive boost. Actress Kate Bosworth posted a picture of herself and Danish supermodel Helena Christensen on Instagram. They were wearing Ganni’s winter outerwear with the hashtag #GanniGirls. Four years later, there are nearly 30,000 posts under the hashtag which has evolved into a “tribe” of diverse individuals which includes influencers such as Susie Lau and Camille Charrière, buyers Tiffany Hsu and Net-A-Porter’s Elizabeth von der Goltz, Moda Operandi’s fashion director Lisa Aiken and artist Phoebe Collings-James. This platform helped boost Ganni’s profile and introduced it to international buyers. Not surprisingly, the brand’s social media marketing strategy was perfectly complemented by the brand’s early adoption of online distribution channels. In addition to Ganni’s own online portal and the aforementioned Net-A-Porter, Ganni is also available on Nordstrom and Farfetch among several others. The online channel, which contributes around 15 per cent of the overall sales – the second biggest for the company after its home
market of Scandinavia – enabled the brand to sell in markets even before it was physically present there. Ganni presents its creations at the Copenhagen Fashion Week but has in the past few years presented itself at the catwalk of New York, London and Paris. However, it has not been unrestrained growth and expansion. Given Ditte’s experiences as a buyer, the brand has intentionally dropped some distributors to prevent overexposure and resisted the temptation to move to higher price points, as several other upand-coming brands have done in the past to their own detriment. Another aspect of Ganni that resembles a tech start-up is the fact that Ditte and Nicolaj always had the intention to take the brand global, and therefore, were aware that at some point would have to bring in fresh talent and funding to manage the brand. In 2017, Nicolaj began his search for an investor who would not only inject funds into the brand but also provide its expertise and experience to take the brand to the next level. He chose to partner with L Catterton, the private equity firm, whose shareholders include LVMH and Groupe Arnault, the family holding company of LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault. L Catterton now controls a 51 per cent stake in Ganni. In October 2018, Ganni announced that Andrea Baldo - who had held management positions at Coccinelle, Marni, Maison Margiela and Diesel would be the new CEO of the brand. These changes seem to be paying dividends. Ganni’s revenue has experienced an average growth of 50 per cent in the last three years, while its wholesale accounts have spiked by 86 per cent since 2017. The brand now plans to open stores in the major fashion centres of the world. 2019 NOV / DEC
Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Founders, The Row 52 NOV / DEC 2019
DISCREET AND ORGANIC GROWTH
We delve into the rather unusual approach that the Olsen twins have taken to build one of the most successful American fashion brands - The Row
n 2004, the Olsen twins - Mary-Kate and Ashley moved from their home of Los Angeles to The Big Apple to attend New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. The following year, they began working on a project which they have described as a “charity project;” to make the perfect T-shirt for themselves, having the perfect fit and using the finest fabric. They tested their design on different women of varying body shapes and age groups. As time passed, the “perfect T-shirt” was joined by a blazer, black leather pants, a pair of cotton sateen leggings and a cashmere wool tank dress to form a seven-piece collection of exquisitely tailored clothes that were classic and minimalist. Encouraged by the positive response they got for the collection; the twins founded their fashion label, The Row in 2006. The personal collection they had assembled became the DNA of the brand: timelessness and uncomplicated aesthetics combined with quality fabrics, attention to details, and precise tailoring to create a brand that is discreetly highend luxury. The twins’ designs are neither trendy, nor do they age. The sense of timelessness is accentuated by a palette dominated by neutrals, greys, deep blues, whites and blacks. The very first collection offered by the twins was bought out by Barneys New York. The brand has been on an upward trajectory ever since, both in terms of commercial success and its growing band of loyal clientele. The brand has expanded to include, in addition to ready-to-wear, handbags, sunglasses, and shoes; which are sold through some 170 retailers, in around 40 countries. As a private company fully controlled by the twins, The Row does not publish its financials, however, analyst estimate that its annual sales should be around $50 million. The Row, a brand name that pays homage to London’s Savile Row, and based in New York, is a departure for the twins from their previous Los Angeles based and celebrity-driven ventures. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born in June 1986, in Sherman Oaks, California. The Olsen twins began their acting career just nine months old when they shared the role of Michelle Tanner on the hit television sitcom Full House, which aired between 1987 and 1995. In 1993, to capitalise on the twins’ popularity with preteens, Dualstar Entertainment Group was launched to produce and manage Mary-Kate and Ashley-branded merchandise which included clothes, books, fragrances, magazines, movies, posters, and fashion dolls. It also produced a string of TV-movies and direct-to-video releases. By the end of the nineties, the twins were the biggest brands in the preteen market. In 2004, aged eighteen, they took control of Dualstar by becoming its co-presidents. They also began to wind-down their appearance in front of the camera while simultaneously
increasing their involvement in fashion, encouraged by the positive responses from critics and fans to their personal – casual chic - sense of style. There is even an Instagram fan account that documents the twins’ personal style history. However, there was one blemish, as far as high-fashion is concerned, which is their collaboration with Walmart on a clothing and beauty line for girls between ages of four to fourteen called Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real Fashion for Real Girls. To regain some credibility in the fashion industry, they became the brand ambassadors for Badgley Mischka. It may have also impacted their approach to promoting The Row. They went contrary to the industry norm in many respects. To begin with, the twins intentionally stayed out of the spotlight, allowing their designs to do all the talking. In fact, for the first three years after the launch of The Row, the twins did not give any interviews in which they spoke about their brand. The relationship with the press with regards to the brand is still quite elusive. They have stated that their creative process does not begin with a sketch, but with the acquisition of rare and exquisite materials, followed by figuring out how best to present them. They did not bother with runway presentations until fall 2010. They avoid overphilosophising about their design inspirations, and they keep their photoshoots strictly inhouse. The twins are adamant that the brand’s growth is purely organic and by word of mouth. There are no five-year plans etched in stone. There are plans, but if something better comes along, they change course. The opening of their first store in Los Angeles in 2014 is a case in point. They were looking for real estate in New York when the location in Los Angeles became available, so they opened there instead. The store in New York opened in May 2016 and this year in London. They have not spent on add campaigns focusing instead on the quality of their products and letting word of mouth to do the promoting. They resisted taking the business online because they found it challenging to translate the quality of their creations into two-dimension. This year, The Row went online to cater to the needs of its customers. The twins first presented on a menswear collection for the Spring 2011 season, with every intention to expand. Last August, The Row formally launched a complete menswear collection that included suiting, denim, and knits. The Row is now considered the most successful American fashion brand to come from the twins’ generation, both commercially and critically. Every year between 2012 and 2019, The Council of Fashion Designers of America has nominated The Row for its annual awards, which the brand has won five times: twice the ‘Womenswear Designer of the Year’ and thrice the ‘Accessories Designer of the Year.’ 2019 NOV / DEC
Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Collection
KENZO Spring/Summer 2019 Billionaire Spring Summer 2019 collection 54 NOV / DEC 2019
FALL WINTER FASHION PICKS
As the weather turns cooler, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our compilation of fashion trends for your fall-winter wardrobe
HACKETT 2019 NOV / DEC
TOMMY HILFIGER HACKETT
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Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Collection
2019 NOV / DEC
Marco Vidal, CEO, The Merchant of Venice
REDISCOVERING CLASSICAL FRAGRANCES GC meets with Marco Vidal, the CEO of the Merchant of Venice perfumery
he Merchant of Venice, the renowned Venetian artistic perfumery, stems from the prestigious perfume museum in Venice at Palazzo Mocenigo. It reinterprets the perfumes from the early Renaissance and ancient Venetian periods that were formulated through an amalgamation of spices and aromas brought into Venice through different trade routes. This system enabled the Republic of Venice to acquire the knowledge and raw materials that otherwise it could not directly attain from within its own mainland. Through master perfumers and soap makers, new techniques of production were invented that made the Venetian perfumes and cosmetics highly sought-after products in all the Royal Courts of Europe. Last year, the Merchant of Venice perfumery opened its first
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venue outside of Italy at Perfumery & Co in the Dubai Mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fashion Avenue. It offers formulated and custom perfumes, bodycare products and home fragrances. The brand also offers a selection of luxury accessories. The retail space in Dubai was conceived by Pier Luigi Pizzi, the internationally acclaimed theatre set designer who also redesigned the exhibition space at the Perfume Museum in Venice. Like his family members, the perfumeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CEO, Marco Vidal, is actively involved in the management of this unique approach to creating perfumes. The Vidal Family has been involved in perfumery for more than a century. Marco was kind enough to chat with GC about himself, his passion for perfumes and his beloved perfumery.
What inspired the birth of The Merchant of Venice? It was the art of Venetian perfumery that inspired the birth of The Merchant of Venice. Venetian perfumery is an ancient tradition, and I wanted to interpret it by bringing it into the contemporary with a strong cultural approach. In 2013, I oversaw a major cultural project, the realization of the first perfume museum in Italy. In November of that year, we inaugurated it in Venice. This museum presents the great tradition of Venetian perfumery, and from that, The Merchant of Venice was born.
Despite being highly sought-after, how has the perfumery still managed to retain its complete independence as a family-run business? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that we make our work a unique and unmistakable work of art to be able to emerge and thrive in perfumery. However, staying independent in such a competitive industry is possible because of the experience and legacy passed down in our business family for generations, and without a doubt through the ability to renew or reinvent themselves and proceed with a certain level of creative freedom.
The Merchant of Venice boutique at The Dubai Mall 2019 NOV / DEC
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Was perfumery always your field of interest? On my father’s side, I represent the fourth generation of a family of Venetian perfumers, and on my mother’s side, I represent the last generation of one of twelve noble families who founded Venice more than 1500 years ago. I believe this union is the reason for The Merchant of Venice because it combines the perfumery and entrepreneurial traditions with the history of Venice, a mercantile city, therefore naturally projected towards the world.
How does the designing of bottles take place? The shape of the bottle was created by Arturo Ricci, one of the greatest perfumery designers and above all a very cultured person who had the sensitivity to interpret Venice in a round, contemporary, clean but unmistakable bottle shape. The decorations are a process of internal inspiration between me, my collaborators, and my relatives, with the City of Venice, the city in which we live and love, our main inspiration.
In addition to the CEO of the company, you are also the International Sales Director of Mavive, the Curator of the perfume department at the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo and a member of the National Executive of Cosmetica Italia. How are you managing to play so many roles with such efficiency? In addition to all that, I am the father of three children. I am 38 years old, and I am at the height of my energy. I am being careful not to lose sight of my priorities and focus on what I can do without neglecting any others. To do this, it is essential for me to have a team of trusted collaborators who help me and make it possible to be active and work on different projects at the same time.
Can you tell us about one of your latest fragrances Red Potion? What was the inspiration behind it? Together with the talented perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, we wanted to create a red fragrance, a symbolic colour of Venice that recalls red notes like the Immortelle, red-orange, marigold, honeysuckle and sandalwood. Red Potion is an unexpected fragrance with an extraordinary mix of sweet and seductive notes.
What makes The Merchant of Venice perfumes so special? I think it is perhaps the only cultural luxury brand in the perfumery industry, which means that every perfume has a cultural and historical background, with carefully researched and sourced content, making it much more than a perfume. The approach we take in the development of new products is always culturally motived, and without a doubt, innovative. For example, we use raw materials that have never been used before in modern perfumery; such as the Rosa Moceniga, which is a unique botanical species found only in Venice, and Blue Tea, a very precious tea cultivated in the high mountains between China and Japan from which we created a refined eau de parfum. What is the process of sourcing ingredients and how important is ethical sourcing to The Merchant of Venice? We collaborate with the most renowned fragrance houses in the world, adopting protocols aimed at obtaining excellent results in the quality and sustainability of processes. For example, for a new line, we want to launch in 2020, we want to adopt a protocol that involves the support of local farmers’ communities on different continents which in turn gives us access to natural raw materials of the highest quality.
In terms of expansion, what plans do you have for the Middle East region? It is currently the market we are focusing on, and we want to grow here because we find expert consumers and passionate connoisseurs of perfume, and that gives us great satisfaction. Last year, we opened our first boutique in the Dubai Mall with the goal of building our presence and establishing ourselves as one of the best perfumeries in the entire region. But there is still a lot to do, and there’s room to grow. We are sure it will be a success, thanks also to the professionalism of our local partners. In a sense, we also want to re-establish a historical tradition of commercial relations between Venice and the Middle East that has lasted for many centuries. What is next for The Merchant of Venice? We are effervescent and committed to developing this wonderful project on several levels. Next year we will be bringing The Merchant of Venice to Asia, and we look forward to this great cultural challenge since we will be facing a very different clientele than the one we have been dealing with until today. We are also working on three other projects, the skincare, which will be especially important for the Asian market, a new Museum Collection characterized by a philosophy of sustainability and quality, and a perfume customization project that will begin from our single-brand stores. 2019 NOV / DEC
THE NEW HOME OF LUXURY
The Richard Mille boutique space in Dubai has been tripled in size to create a fine Swiss watchmaking gallery inside the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest premium shopping mall
he Grand Atrium in The Dubai Mall houses some of the most prestigious brands in the world, featuring exclusive international watch and jewelry houses. Richard Mille, the watch manufacturer at the pinnacle of watchmaking has announced the official re-opening of its
regional flagship boutique in The Dubai Mall Grand Atrium following a significant refurbishment and expansion. The reimagined 133 square meter boutique is a reflection of the Richard Mille design ethos. Contemporary, cutting edge and an experience that builds on the finer details. Setting
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar 62 NOV / DEC 2019
The Richard Mille Boutique in The Dubai Mall
The RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone
The Tourbillon RM 58-01 World Timer Jean Todt Limited Edition 2019 NOV / DEC
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foot through the door of the boutique, visitors are greeted by exotic woods, fine black leather and rich fabrics that provide the warm welcoming expected from the world of luxury. This cocoon of warm earthly elements is layered within a play of ceiling height shattered glass and directional lighting. The juxtaposition of contrasting layers serves as a constant reminder that all touchpoints with Richard Mille, including the boutique, represent technology, innovation, savoir-faire and above all mastery of elements. This modern boutique serves as a backdrop to showcase the brand’s comprehensive portfolio of horological creations. Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille Europe, Middle East and Africa comments: “As one of the world’s most luxurious destinations, The Dubai Mall continues to be a key location for us that caters not only to our strong Middle East clientele but also to a growing number of international visitors. Together with our long-term partners, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, we aim to provide our clients with a more immersive brand experience and a wider range of timepieces they can choose from.” The range includes Ladies’ and Gents’ collections of automatic and high complication models as well as exclusive and limited-edition timepieces that will keep Richard Mille enthusiasts satisfied. On display during the unveiling of the
boutique were rare limited-edition pieces including the RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone (limited edition of 20 timepieces), and the Tourbillon RM 58-01 World Timer Jean Todt Limited Edition (limited edition of 35 timepieces). “We are proud to announce the expansion of the Richard Mille boutique in The Dubai Mall. This is a great milestone for the brand, and we are looking forward to inviting our clients to experience the extraordinary world of Richard Mille. The expansion of the boutique guarantees an elevated in-store experience and unique timepieces on display which are sure to appeal to our discerning clientele” – says Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, CCO Seddiqi Holding. The boutique space features a lounge for guests to sit down, relax and enjoy while trying out pieces on display at the boutique, or alternatively go through the selection of brand literature and art books by Éditions Cercle d’Art, the Parisian publishing house of Picasso and Braque, under the ownership of Richard Mille Group. Amongst some of the latest additions to the new boutique space is the on-site watchmaker’s workshop, which is set behind a glass wall allowing guests to take a sneak peek into the world of fine watchmaking. The newly re-opened Richard Mille boutique is located on the Ground Floor of Grand Atrium 1 in The Dubai Mall and is open daily from 10 am until 12 am.
2019 NOV / DEC
Danny Govberg, Co-Founder & CEO, WatchBox 66 NOV / DEC 2019
UPCYCLING LUXURY WATCHES
GC evaluates the impact of the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons partnership with WatchBox on the luxury watch collectors market in the region
hmed Seddiqi & Sons, a major player in the luxury watch market, recently signed a partnership agreement with WatchBox, the world’s leading platform for the buying, selling, and trading of luxury pre-owned timepieces. Founded by people with years of experience in the industry, WatchBox is not a marketplace, but can be better described as a stockist because it owns and curates every watch that it offers for sale. It also offers personalized client services and is committed to enhancing the knowledge of those passionate about watches. WatchBox operates under the premise that “time is your greatest luxury, and pricing transparency is paramount to establish trust.” The company actively purchases pre-owned watches from individuals, private collections, estates, and dealers worldwide. The company traces the history of every watch that enters its inventory, making it easier to maintain and repair the watch, if necessary. Each watch is brought to “mint” condition before being offered for sale. The company is responsible for the authentication and the proper functioning of each watch and has developed a verification system to certifying the provenance and authenticity of the pieces. This approach is WatchBox’s most significant differentiator. There are a lot of platforms that offer authentic watches, but there may be a wide variance in the condition of the watches. There are also a number of platforms that specialize in consignment, or listing other dealer’s inventory, and therefore, have no control over the condition of the watches on offer. WatchBox’s services are offered across multiple platforms, including an online portal at thewatchbox.com, via the WatchBox mobile app, through the concierge phone service, by visiting one of the buying offices worldwide, or by visiting one of its stores worldwide: in the United States, Hong Kong,
Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore and now in Dubai at the Dubai International Financial Centre. Currently, the number of watches offered online for sale by WatchBox is in excess of 2,000 examples with another 2,000 watches in stock which are not represented online; making it one of the largest pre-owned watch inventories. The total worth of WatchBox’s inventory is in excess of US $80 million. The company has plans to increase the value of the inventory to around $120 million in the next 3 to 5 years, which would mean having around 9,000-12,000 units. Collectors who wish to sell or trade-in their watches have to furnish details about the watch through simple forms. One of WatchBox’s expert Client Advisors will then offer a preliminary valuation and give advice on what to do next. These Client Advisors are equipped with the knowledge needed and proprietary tools to assist clients with all of their watch-related needs. If the client is using a courier, then WatchBox provides a pre-paid shipping label, and covers all insurance and shipping expenses. Once the watch is received, it is inspected, and a formal valuation is offered. In case of a trade-in, the chosen watch is shipped within 48 hours. WatchBox provides a 15-month warranty with every preowned watch purchased. Thanks to WatchBox’s partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, collectors who sell their watches to Watchbox can redeem the credits they get towards the purchase of a new watch at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. WatchBox was founded in 2015 by three men: Danny Govberg, the company’s CEO; Liam Wee Tay, the chairman, and Justin Reis. Danny Govberg owns Govberg, a Philadelphia-based retail shop which he nurtured into one of the world’s premier authorized dealers of both new and pre-owned timepieces. In 2019 NOV / DEC
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the last 35 years, he has also been involved with several other ventures including a watch distribution company, a media and publishing company, and a web-based watch repair operation, watch and jewellery boutique, and co-founded BSD Code and Design Academy’s North American division. As CEO of WatchBox, Danny’s vision includes “a seamless customer experience from every point across the world, with goals to educate, inspire and entertain watch enthusiasts.” To this commitment, the company has published more than 4,000 videos chronicles, watch reviews, interviews and creative films. Tay Liam Wee was instrumental in transforming Sincere Watch, his traditional family-owned company, into a panAsian luxury watch retail and distribution group that was publicly listed on both the Hong Kong and Singapore Stock Exchanges. He exited Sincere Watch in 2012, and in 2015, began working on the concept that became WatchBox with his co-founders. He raised close to $100 million in capital for the project. Justin Reis is an investor-entrepreneur with experience across diverse sectors, including luxury goods, real estate, food, retail, mining and cosmetics. He was a co-founder and former partner of Presidio Capital, a private investment group with over US$ 1 billion in capital deployed throughout Asia Pacific and beyond.
This trio brings together exceptional watch industry experience with the application of innovative technology, sophisticated data systems, business acumen and financial strength; a recipe that has taken WatchBox, in a very short time, to the pinnacle of an estimated US $15 billion preowned luxury watch market. When we take into account the number of watches that have been produced and sold, but not traded, in just the last 15 years, this market has the potential to reach US $500 billion. This potential may not be as distant as it may seem because, with the emergence of reliable traders such as WatchBox, the industry has undergone a legitimization; which has, in turn, resulted in an exponential growth of the market in recent years. One key driver of this growth are the entry-level customers who may have been previously unable to afford or reluctant to buy a pre-owned luxury watch. Most are priced lower than new retail. The growth of the pre-owned watch will also have a direct positive impact on the primary luxury watch industry as collectors now have greater confidence to invest in new watches more frequently than they would have earlier. Also, they no longer feel compelled to hold onto a watch that they may no longer be passionate about. With all things remaining equal, the pre-owned watch market looks set for a bullish run, and WatchBox seems to have secured for themselves the premium seats. 2019 NOV / DEC
A TIMEPIECE INSPIRED BY ALPINE BEAUTY
We review Chopard’s recently unveiled all-new Alpine Eagle collection comprising ten references
arl-Friedrich Scheufele, the co-president of Chopard, has created a new collection: Alpine Eagle. The collection is an updated interpretation of St. Moritz, the first watch created by Karl-Friedrich in 1980. It was also Chopard’s first sports watch and the first timepiece made of steel in its workshops. It went on to become one of Chopard’s best-sellers for the next decade. The collection was personally designed by Karl-Friedrich, drawing on his passion for the Alps. He embarked on the project, we are told, on the insistence of his son Karl-Fritz, and secretly supported by his grandfather Karl. Alpine Eagle is dedicated to “contemporary eagles, the aspiring men who outperform in their daily lives and whose vision inspires and elevates. With foresight and determination, they act on the challenges of tomorrow and are innately aware of the importance of environmental issues,” reads a statement by the brand. Karl-Friedrich, being a hiking and skiing enthusiast who finds inspiration and serenity in the high altitudes
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of Switzerland, has a long association with ecological conservation, particularly of the Alps region. He joined the Alp Action programme - a Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan initiative - in the 2000s. The launch of Alpine Eagle was used by the maison also to reveal its new commitment to protecting the Alpine environment through the launch of the Eagle Wings Foundation – of which Karl-Friedrich is a founding member. This multidisciplinary environmental project is designed to raise awareness and galvanise the public with respect to the importance, beauty and fragility of Alpine biotopes. The first project of the foundation launched in September with the Alpine Eagle Race, during which participants will be able to observe images taken by a camera on an eagle launched from five different Alpine peaks spread over five countries: Zugspitze in Germany, Dachstein in Austria, Marmolada in Italy, Aiguille du Midi in France and Piz Corvatsch in Switzerland. The race will end in St. Moritz, in tribute to the creation that inspired Alpine Eagle. References to the majestic Alpine eagle and its biotope
Chopard Alpine Eagle Ref. 298600-3001 2019 NOV / DEC
Chopard Alpine Eagle Ref. 298600-6001 abound throughout the collection. Its rock-like textured sunburst dials evoke an eagle’s iris, and the counterweight of the arrow-tipped seconds hand is shaped like an eagle feather. The cold glinting steel is reminiscent of the Alpine glaciers. The flat surfaces, alternatively with a satin-brushed or highpolish finish, aim to replicate how the different Alpine surfaces change their appearance according to the light conditions. The dial colour directly refers to the shades of Alpine ranges: Aletsch Blue for the bluish shimmer of the largest glacier in the Swiss Alps; Bernina Grey for the rock of the mountain chain bearing this name; the iridescent gleam of both - the Frosted White mother-of-pearl dial and Sils Grey of the Tahitian mother-ofpearl dial - evoke the colour of Lake Sils near St. Moritz. Structurally, the collection belongs to a select circle of watches whose case and bracelet are integrated. The gently tapered bracelet comprises a single ingot-shaped link, topped by a raised central cap. The case is distinguished by a protrusion protecting the crown engraved with a compass rose. The round bezel is punctuated by eight screws, grouped in pairs at the four cardinal points. The hours and minutes hands, like the hour-markers, are coated with Super-LumiNova Grade X1 to enhance nocturnal legibility. Alpine Eagle also debuts a new innovative material: Lucent Steel A223. The result of four years’ worth of research and development, it is as rich, precious and complex as gold, due 72 NOV / DEC 2019
to its three unique characteristics, according to the brand. Its anti-allergenic composition makes it highly dermo-compatible and is on par with surgical steel in this regard. Its Vickers’ strength is 223, making it 50% more resistant to abrasion than conventional steels. Its superior homogeneous crystal structure has far fewer impurities than conventional steel which enables it to reflect light with brilliance and brightness comparable to that of gold. These three qualities, combined with its highly sophisticated manufacturing process, qualify it, according to Chopard, as a rare and extraordinarily precious metal. The Alpine Eagle collection comprises ten references in Lucent Steel, rose gold, Lucent Steel and rose gold combination and diamond-set rose gold. The unisex models are available in two diameters: 41 mm for the three Large models and 36 mm for the seven Small models. The Large models are powered by the 01.01-C calibre with a 60-hour power reserve. The seven Small models host the 09.01-C calibre with a 42-hour power reserve. The latter is an 8-ligne movement and is one of the smallest to receive COSC certification. Both calibres, developed in Chopard’s watchmaking workshops, are automatic winding movements and chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control – a rare event for watches in this category. All models have a transparent sapphire crystal back and are water-resistant to 100 metres.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Ref. 298600-6001 2019 NOV / DEC
AN UNMISTAKABLE DESIGN
As convincing as its predecessors, Glashütte Original’s latest model in the Pano Collection is a study in contrasts
lashütte Original had presented a version of its successful PanoMaticLunar with a dark blue dial and red gold case earlier this year. Now, the German watchmaker has made a new addition to the very popular Pano Collection. The new model features a striking, elaborately crafted dial in an unusually sensual rose opaline hue that casts a mysterious, powerful spell on the viewer. The applied hour markers, moon phase display and the sword-shaped hands feature blue accents. The characteristic Panorama Date with its white numerals on blue discs, takes up a rich blue hue. These blues stand in harmonious contrast to the rose opaline of the dial. This special colour is the result of a special galvanization procedure performed in the watchmaker’s in-house dial manufactory in Pforzheim, Germany. The process involves placing the dial for a precisely specified length of time in a galvanic bath under a constant electrical charge in order to achieve the desired soft hue. The dial, with its characteristic off-centre displays, is framed by a polished and satin-brushed stainless-steel case with a 40 mm diameter and 12.7 mm height. The auxiliary dials for hours and minutes and the small seconds dial are aligned along a vertical axis within the left half of the dial, while the Panorama Date is positioned to the right just outside the 4 o’clock marker. The new model is presented in a limited edition of 50 pieces. The heart of the PanoMaticLunar is the Calibre 90-02 automatic movement with 42 hours. The sapphire glass case back offers a clear view of the finely finished mechanism with its traditional elements of Glashütte watchmaking art. The new timepiece is fitted with a matching dark blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with pin buckle or fold fastener. A stainless steel bracelet is also available as an option. The watch is available worldwide from all Glashütte Original Boutiques.
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Glashütte Original’s latest PanoMaticLunar
The Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito
RECALLING THE PIONEERS
Breitling’s new Aviator 8 Mosquito pays homage to a special aeroplane as well as one of the brand’s classics from the 1960s
he de Havilland Mosquito is a British aircraft whose lightweight wooden construction made it one of the fastest planes in the skies in the early 1940s. Its speed and manoeuvrability contributed to its incredible success and improbable range of roles, including unarmed light bomber, day fighter, night fighter, and even photographic reconnaissance aircraft. Around the same time that the de Havilland Mosquito bossed the skies, on the ground, Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department was designing onboard clocks for some of the pioneering aircrafts of the day. Inspired by the designs of these onboard clocks, Breitling released in the 1960s, its renowned reference 765 AVI - the highly legible watch known as the Co-Pilot. The Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito pays homage to the de Havilland pioneer through its name, while drawing inspiration for its design from Breitling’s heritage. It recalls both, the design values of the onboard instruments designed by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department and of the Co-Pilot’s bold look, rotating bezel, and high legibility with oversized Arabic numerals; qualities that made it a favourite among aviators. Black and silver contrast each other, while red and orange accents find themselves at strategic locations on the Aviator 8 Mosquito. Black is the 43 mm stainless-steel case and the
satin-brushed ADLC-coated stainless-steel bezel. The ADLC treatment delivers an even darker tone than the regular DLC coating that has been such a popular feature on special Breitling watches for years. It is truly black in appearance as opposed to the anthracite shade that characterizes regular DLC. A practical, red triangular pointer sits atop 12 o’clock on the bezel while the rest of the indexes and Arabic numerals are in silver. The black dial has contrasting silver subdials. Recalling the night fighter adaptation of the de Havilland Mosquito, the eye-catching orange central hour, minute, and central second hands are coated with Super LumiNova making the watch legible in limited-lighting situations. Its striking red and orange accents recall the roundels and markings featured on the fuselage of the de Havilland Mosquito while adding to the watch’s allure. The hand of the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock features a black varnish finish. The dial is completed with a diagonal date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. The Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01, visible through a transparent sapphire caseback, offers an impressive power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The COSC-certified chronometer is water-resistant to 10 bar or 100 meters. It is presented on a brown vintage-leather strap available with either a pin buckle or a folding buckle. 2019 NOV / DEC
DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE
Rado CEO, Matthias Breschan, spoke to GC about Rado’s all-new Le Corbusier collection, the 2019 Captain Cook watch and its relationship with designers
s the CEO of Rado watches, Matthias Breschan is in an enviable position as far as the Middle East region is concerned, where many extended families would have at least one Rado as an heirloom that once belonged to a beloved elder. Explaining how this came about, Matthias says: “When Rado brought out its very first collection in 1957, most of the Swiss watch brands were concentrating on Europe and the US. Rado went out to countries in the Middle East and Asia. Being the first Swiss watch brand in these regions gave the brand a very big advantage. Secondly, gifting is very important in this region. And if you gift a watch that is made out of a material that never loses its beauty, is ageless and timeless, it gives a very strong emotional message. This is why Rado become a strong brand in the Middle Eastern countries, in India and the region of greater China.” Born in Kärnten, Austria, Matthias holds a degree from Vienna Business School. His nearly thirty-year career spans a number of industries and includes leadership roles in a wide range of positions in sales and marketing. As CEO of Rado, Matthias oversees the global sales and operations of the brand, as well as Rado’s commitment to design, innovation and high-tech materials. Prior to his current role, Matthias served for seven years as the CEO of Hamilton, Rado’s sister brand within the Swatch Group. Matthias was in Dubai recently to oversee the launch of the stunning all-new Le Corbusier collection - part of the True Thinline family – and to introduce the latest limited-edition of the Captain Cook Automatic watch. He took time out of his busy schedule to speak to GC during his recent visit to Dubai. Le Corbusier, known as the ‘Father of Modernism’ or the ‘master of materials’ was an architect, designer, painter, urban planner and writer. Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (18871965) in the heart of Switzerland’s watchmaking country, he pioneered the use of reinforced concrete to create new buildings that became the hallmark of modernism. His designs inspired the Bauhaus movement and the International furniture style. He is also widely remembered for his groundbreaking theory of colour, which led to the development of an architectural colour palette and is the inspiration behind
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Rado’s Le Corbusier collection. Rado’s True Thinline family dates back to 2011 when Rado’s ultra-slim ceramic masterpiece – with a thickness of just 5 mm – was unveiled to the world. It was followed in 2012 by the sporty-chic HyperChrome, which by doing away with the stainless steel “core,” became the first Rado to feature a true monobloc case. By 2015, Rado was offering the Thinline ceramic models in black, white, blue, green and brown. This year, Le Corbusier collection joins the True Thinline family. They are offered in nine colours: Cream White, Iron Grey, Spectacular Ultramarine (blue), Slightly Greyed English Green, Sunshine Yellow, Powerful Orange, Luminous Pink, Grey Brown Natural Umber and Pale Sienna. Each of the nine colours is produced in limited editions of 999 pieces. The nine colours were developed in partnership with, and approved by Les Couleurs Suisse, the organisation exclusively mandated by the Fondation Le Corbusier to license the great designer’s original palette of architectural colours, known as the Architectural Polychromy. “Two of the recent revolutionary technologies from Rado are monoblock construction, which allowed us to attain new geometries in ceramic. The second biggest challenge in ceramic was the development of colours. We asked ourselves: what is the state-of-the-art standard in the world of colours today. To our surprise, we found out that the most relevant colour theory is that of Le Corbusier. He defined 63 colours as being the relevant colours, which he placed in nine groups. Our challenge was to find one colour in each of the nine groups that we could integrate into not only the case but also the ceramic bracelet,” said Matthias, while narrating how the Le Corbusier collection came into being. “Adding colour to ceramic is very high tech because you have to add pigments to the base material, which is zirconium oxide powder, and heat the product up to 1,400 degrees centigrade. Some pigments may destroy the matrix of the base material, and it becomes very fragile. Some of the pigments may cause a toxic reaction on you. Some pigments, like organic pigments, burn when you heat them. So, it’s a very complicated process to obtain different ceramic colours. It is even more complicated to match the colours to the extremely
Matthias Breschan, CEO, Rado 2019 NOV / DEC
The Rado 2019 Captain Cook Collection 78 NOV / DEC 2019
Rado True Thinline Les Couleurs™ Le Corbusier strict specifications as defined by Le Corbusier.” While Le Corbusier collection is all about the future, about appealing to the next generation, the other Rado debutant of this year reminisces a classic from the past. First introduced in 1962, Captain Cook was a 35mm diver watch that was reintroduced at Baselworld 2017 as a 37mm. The 2019 model, also in 37mm and 11.1mm in height, has the closest resemblance yet to the 1962 model thus far, with minor differences. The stainless-steel case has polished sides with a crown that doesn’t screw down. A domed sapphire crystal spans the space between the 120-click, non-luminescent bezel which rotates counter clockwise, slopes inward and features a modern ceramic insert. A bronze sun-brushed dial forms the centrepiece of the 2019 watch. The broad indices sport a faux patina with greenish Super-LumiNova. A sloping red-onwhite minute track spans the outermost perimeter of the dual. The date window sits at 3 o’clock. The hour hand features a triangular head while the minute hand is sword-shaped. Inside is an ETA C07.611 automatic with 25 jewels, 21,600vph (3Hz) and an 80-hour power reserve. The solid, matte surface caseback features an engraving of three seahorses and stars. The 2019 Captain Cook comes fitted with a comfortable brown leather strap with off-white stitching and is mounted to a 19-mm wide lug. The watch comes with a leather carrying
case which includes an additional stainless-steel Milanese bracelet and a green NATO strap along with a tool for the spring bars. The watch is water-resistant to 100-metres and is limited to 1,962 pieces. “Over the past 60 years, Rado has become the leader in bringing innovative materials and designs to the watch industry. I think design, together with the material innovation, is definitely our key platform for defining the brand DNA,” says Matthias when asked about what makes Rado distinct. Not surprisingly, Rado has collaborated with leading designers on the creation of new timepieces - offered under the True Designers’ Collection. It also runs worldwide Rado Star Prize competitions for up-and-coming young designers. Rado is also a sponsor of the Dubai Design Week. “The designers we select for collaboration have nothing to do with watches. They may be known for lamps or furniture or whatever, but they all have a very specific signature. We take this signature as a challenge and integrate it into our watch. Such challenges keep us innovative, and it keeps us awake. The Rado Star prize is actually a platform that we use worldwide to source new design talent. Here in Dubai also we are actively looking for collaborations with young designers who, very often, have crazy ideas, innovative ideas that challenge us to then integrate those ideas in the world of watchmaking,” says Matthias. 2019 NOV / DEC
THE ULTIMATE FOUR-DOOR GRAND TOURER Bentley bridges the gap between those who love to drive and those who love being driven with the latest Flying Spur 80 NOV / DEC 2019
The Bentley Flying Spur 2019 NOV / DEC
4-door Bentley is sure to summon thoughts of an extravagant vehicle meant to be driven in. Bentley attempts to change that very opinion with the unveiling of the latest Flying Spur, a car that is built for those who love to drive, while also made for those who enjoy being driven. It is a perfect unique blend of limousine luxury and sports-sedan performance. Re-imagined from the ground up, the Flying Spur pushes the limits of both technology and craftsmanship to deliver segment-defining levels of performance and sophistication. The external silhouette consists of sharp lines that contrast between the sweeping power line that flows from the headlamps along the side of the car and the more muscular haunch line over the rear wheel. Long and sleek with exclusive new 22” wheels, the front wheel has been moved forward, and the bonnet raised, creating balanced proportions that combine
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the distinctive Bentley DNA with a modern, masterful look. While the profile of the new Flying Spur emphasizes its speed and grace, the front view underlines the more imposing side of its character. A chrome bonnet strip leads your eye to the iconic Flying ‘B’ mascot, the first time this has appeared on a Flying Spur since the 1950s. Completely redesigned for Bentley’s second century, it fuses a classic look with a distinctly modern touch: when the car is unlocked, the mascot is electronically deployed, and the feathers of the wings are illuminated in a carefully choreographed welcome sequence. Lighting up in synchronicity with the mascot are the jewel-like LED matrix headlamps. Chrome vertical vanes in front of the matrix grille add to the car’s commanding presence. At the heart of the new Flying Spur is an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12, mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission for faster, smoother
gear changes. This new TSI engine delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.), 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 333 km/h. The spacious interior of the new Flying Spur combines the most beautiful natural materials with expert craftsmanship. A wealth of intricate details come together to envelop both driver and passengers in an inspiring environment. A dramatic new floating centre console accentuates the graceful lines that run along the dashboard, inspired by the Bentley wings, before continuing across the leather panels on both front and rear doors. This creates a connection between the front and rear cabin that gives the space a unified feel. Jewel-like details catch the eye, such as the beautifully sculpted centre vents on the console in the shape of the Bentley ‘B’ design, available with the signature diamond-knurled finish. Above it all sits a panoramic
sunroof that fills the cabin with natural light. With a fixed panel of glass at its rear, the front glass panel tilts and slides over it to let fresh air in, while electric Alcantara blinds, colour-matched to your interior, provide shade whenever you wish. As well as an extensive list of Single and Dual Veneer wood options, the sedan offers both Bentley’s new fluted leather seating and the unique Mulliner Driving Specification diamond quilting on the seats and an automotive world-first: threedimensional diamond-quilted leather door inserts. The many contrasts of the new Flying Spur create a journey of constant discovery. Its intricate details are based on a century of Bentley craftsmanship – as well as cutting-edge modern techniques. It is an inspiring luxury four-door vehicle, and yet it delivers all the exhilarating performance of a grand tourer. All these elements come together to create the ultimate four-door grand tourer.
2019 NOV / DEC
TOWARDS CLIMATENEUTRAL MOBILITY
Mercedes-Benzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vision EQS show car gives us a glimpse of the future of mobility 84 NOV / DEC 2019
2019 NOV / DEC
ince its debut in 1972, the unveiling of a new MercedesBenz S-Class model has been a highly anticipated event in the automotive world. This is because the performance, safety, technological and interior innovations that debut on a new S-Class invariably go on to become the industry standard. At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, in September, Mercedes-Benz unveiled what many believe, to some extent, will be the all-electric equivalent of the S-Class; the Vision EQS show car. “Sustainability is becoming a central component of the brand philosophy, and a major aspect of our corporate strategy. The show car already meets these aspirations today, and provides an outlook on future large, electric luxury saloons. At the same time, it illustrates a vision of purposebuilt electro-design,” reads a statement from the brand. With the Vision EQS, Mercedes-Benz is making a clear statement, not only about sustainability but also about the standard on which its future cars will be built: supreme craftsmanship, emotive design, luxurious materials and individual driving pleasure. The exterior profile features distinctive minimalist curves that create a sculptured yet majestic stance. The exterior innovation is all about lighting. The prominent and continuous 360-degree “Lightbelt,” forming a border between the colour division at shoulder level, creates the impression of a “black panel” lining connecting the headlights and the backlights. The new Digital Light headlamps each have four holographic lens modules. Once the black panel comes to life, the seemingly free-floating stars and pixels create a holographic effect of floating light modules. The digital front grille, which comprises a light matrix of 188 LEDs, is a world first. These combine
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to lend the vehicle a serene gaze so typical of a Mercedes, while also allowing an almost unlimited number of light configurations. The backlight comprises 229 red illuminated miniature brand logos. The vehicle structure is based on a multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre, plus sustainable materials made from recyclates. This mix delivers a structure that is lightweight, strong, cost-effective and sustainability compliant. The interior of the EQS takes its inspiration from the world of luxury yachts. The clear, flowing design idiom creates a sense of serenity; modern luxury interpreted into the future. For the first time, the entire dashboard blends with the body of the front trim section to form a contentious sculpture that integrates the combined dashboard, centre console and armrests. The cockpit, with its deep and open spatial architecture, envelops the occupants. Mercedes-Benz has systematically opted for sustainability in its choice of materials by using both traditional and technologically pioneering materials. High-quality Dinamica microfibre in crystal white is used alongside native figured maple trim. This is made from recycled PET bottles. Also used is artificial leather, with a finely structured surface similar to Nappa leather. The roof liner is a high-quality textile created by adding a quantity of recycled “ocean waste” plastic. Digital content can be experienced by immersion over the entire surface, creating an all-embracing atmosphere. The blending of materials and information illustrates a possible intuitive interaction in the future. The organically emerging displays and projection surfaces provide display space, as does the intelligent Connected Light that surrounds the occupants. Haptic highlights show exquisite craftsmanship,
such as the air vents integrated into the trim element like inlays, the sophisticated speaker covers in rosĂŠ gold, and the fragrance flask encased in a decorative holder like a jewel. The EQS is designed to deliver dynamic high-level performance without compromising on safety. It has electric all-wheel drive courtesy of electric motors at the front and rear axles, with axle-variable torque distribution, and a battery installed deep in the vehicle floor between the axles. With more than 350 kW of output and immediately available torque of around 760-newton metres, the EQS can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in under 4.5 seconds. It has a comfortable operating range of up to 700 km, according to WLTP. Assuming a charging performance of 350 kW, the show car recharges the battery to 80% in considerably less than 20 minutes. With the EQS, Mercedes-Benz has opted for a completely new, fully-variable battery-electric drive platform
that is in many respects scalable and usable on a cross-model basis. While the EQS is designed to be a car for the driving enthusiast, with driver-controlled operations, it possesses a highly-automated driving system that is at Level 3; for example, ideal on long motorway journeys. Thanks to its modular sensor systems, the level of autonomy can be extended up to fullyautomated driving in the future. Mercedes-Benz is aspiring to a CO2-neutral new car fleet in 20 years. This means a fundamental transformation of the company in less than three product cycles. The way towards sustainable mobility, according to MercedesBenz, is a comprehensive approach to innovation with the of evoking customer enthusiasm for climate-neutral mobility and emission-free driving. The EQS, based on the evidence provided, appears to be on track to just that.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS 2019 NOV / DEC
AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
BMW M unveils the much awaited third installment of the BMW X5 M and the new BMW X5 M Competition
MW M, the high-performance subsidiary of BMW group, was initially founded to facilitate BMW’s highly successful racing program in the 1960s and 1970s. Since the early 2010s, the X5 line of BMW SUV has had its own dedicated M version. The high-performance tweaks made to the car have made the model one of the most successful and sought-after in the market and prompted the German manufacturer to continue and create a new generation. BMW M has unveiled the third generation of its high-performance executive-class Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) the new BMW X5 M and the new BMW X5 M Competition. The already large proportions of the X5 get a whole new dimension when the M division does its magic. Although not extensive, and mostly intended to help optimize cooling, air supply and aerodynamics, the M parts fitted on the SUV contribute to making it look unmistakably high-performance on the road. The combination of typical SAV proportions with signature M design features lends the BMW X5 M and Competition models an extrovert appearance exuding supreme authority in any environment. Large air intakes, M gills on the front side panels, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, a roof/rear spoiler, a rear apron with diffuser elements and the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes lay the technical platform required to deliver a standout performance. The Competition models come with distinctive design highlights, among them are exclusive M lightalloy wheels in a 21-inch format at the front axle and 22-inch at the rear. Once inside, the generously sized, variable-usage interior, 88 NOV / DEC 2019
raised seating position, high-quality materials and a level of build quality defined by precision workmanship radiate an aura of luxury. The classy, contemporary style of the cabin is complemented by displays and controls with the familiar M treatment, which helps to sharpen the driver’s focus on the ultra-sporting driving experience at their fingertips. All of the exterior and interior changes made to the X5 M are meant to be telltale signs of the monster engine hiding under the hood. This SUV is powered by a high-revving 4.4-litre V8 that’s more powerful than ever before. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is dispatched in just 3.9 seconds (Competition models: 3.8 seconds) – which is up to 0.4 seconds faster than the outgoing models. The high-performance engine in the new BMW X5 M and Competition models teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, whose gearshift characteristics can be adjusted using the Drivelogic button on the M-specific selector lever. The M xDrive all-wheel-drive system has been specially tuned to transfer drive to the road with characteristic élan and to optimize traction and directional stability on loose ground and in adverse weather conditions. The M xDrive works in tandem with the Active M Differential at the rear axle and already displays a conspicuous rear-wheel bias in the default 4WD setting. However, the driver can also dip into the Setup menu to select a 4WD Sport mode, in which an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels. Be prepared to see these vehicles on the road soon enough as these hit the showrooms in the spring of 2020.
2019 NOV / DEC
THE WORLD IS IN OUR HANDS And so is our future Teresa Esmezyan “
he climate emergency worsens every day. This crisis demands ambitious leadership. This is a race we can win” reads the World Is In Our Hands (WIIOH) campaign, featuring UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador, Aidan Gallagher. Aidan—who is equally an actor starring in Netflix’s highly rated series, The Umbrella Academy—is challenging his fans and followers to shift to a more plant-based diet. With nearly 3 million followers on Instagram, his voice was heard, and the WIIOH movement took off. Co-founded by acclaimed Canadian photographer Justin Wu and celebrity philanthropy attorney Todd Krim, WIIOH not
Justin Wu, Co-Founder, World Is In Our Hands (WIIOH) campaign
only utilizes the influence of the big-screen’s biggest names but displays a great example of what can be achieved through raising awareness, ambition, and action. Ever since its launch, more and more celebrities are joining its mission and sharing the campaign’s signature black-and-white portraits on social media, paired with a caption that reveals tangible daily actions they are taking to reduce their carbon footprints. Whether it’s traveling more sustainably, saving energy, or eating less meat—they encourage their followers to join the movement. GC catches up with Justin and Todd, the drivers of the initiative, to learn more about their story, and how the campaign stormed the web within just few weeks.
Todd Krim, Co-Founder, World Is In Our Hands (WIIOH) campaign
Global Citizen (GC): Justin, you represent true global citizenship with a creative path that has allowed you to travel and live in all corners of the globe. How has this freedom inspired you in your work as a photographer and director?
Seeing and learning from all corners motivated me to have a more global view and perspective in my work—it’s made me consider how art can be a motivator, commutator, and instigator for global positive change.
Justin Wu (JW): It all starts with education and knowledge. I’ve been fortunate that my work has taken me all around the world, so I’ve been able to touch and experience different cultures.
GC: You’ve directed campaigns with major brands including Dior, Chopard, L’Oreal, and Vogue, just to name a few. What has been your most memorable project to date?
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American actor Alec Baldwin with wife Hilaria Baldwin (Picture Courtesy: Justin Wu) 2019 NOV / DEC
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas (Picture Courtesy: Justin Wu) JW: For different reasons, my most memorable project would have to be a short film that I directed and co-wrote, Le devoir. It was a personal story that helped launch my narrative directing career and taught me the fundamentals of storytelling. Because of that experience, I’ve been able to adapt those learnings into necessary tools that help me today. Another one was cofounding a dramatic comedy series that breaks down celebrity stereotypes. It offered me the opportunity to work with a few living legends who helped hone my skills and enrich me; including Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe, Elijah Wood, amongst many others. GC: Speaking of celebrities; Todd tell us how you went from Attorney Krim to Mr. Charity? Todd Krim (TK): It happened slowly and naturally over a 10year period. While I was still practicing law, I began to throw charity events on the side which kept getting bigger and bigger. Knowing Los Angeles and being in the heart of Hollywood I knew that having celebrities involved would help draw press and raise awareness for the cause. With each event, I would choose a different charity to support, a different celebrity to host and invite other celebrities to attend. Eventually I began to get contacted by non-profits just asking for help getting celebrities to support their cause. I don’t remember who first called me Mr. Charity, but it started to catch-on quick and before I knew it, that’s what everyone was calling me! GC: Its interesting how you both come from very different worlds, as an artist and an attorney, but have joined to launch such a powerful campaign. What sparked the idea behind WIIOH? JW: It was over a coffee catch-up. Todd and I met over our mutual interest in solving the climate crisis. After a few hours, we brainstormed a simple way to communicate and educate the public using the power of celebrities. Coming from Hollywood, we both understood the power of their voices, their reach, and their desire to help. Combining my skill set as a photographer and storyteller, with Todd’s network and outreach, WIIOH was born. 92 NOV / DEC 2019
American actress Rosario Dawson (Picture Courtesy: Justin Wu) GC: What was the vision at the earlier stages of the WIIOH campaign? TK: The vision was exactly as it turned out to be – an opportunity for well-known celebrities to bring awareness to climate change and educate the public on immediate and tangible steps they can take to combat climate change. It has since expanded to include policy makers, business leaders and heads of state. GC: How do you foresee its evolution? JW: Although it started as social media awareness campaign, I see WIIOH blossoming into a full-fledged organization. Its mission is to become a cultural focal point to bring awareness to the world’s critical issues including climate change, migration, inequality, and so much more. We imagine a democratic platform where content creators and viewers from around the world can come to us to learn and educate themselves in a new fun, fresh, and engaging way. GC: In what way does WIIOH compliment, or challenge the current non-profit world? TK: I think it mostly compliments the non-profit world because it inspires people to “take action” and do something about the climate crisis. Our hope is that it drives the public to support nonprofits who are doing important work like planting trees, combating plastic pollution, conducting scientific research, and more. GC: In the social eye; there seems to be a fine line between ingenuity and generosity when it comes to involving celebrities in non-profit campaigns or projects. How does WIIOH choose who they work with and why? TK: When we started WIIOH we primarily focused on celebrities like Alec Baldwin and Rainn Wilson who are outspoken climate activists but we’ve since opened it up to all celebrities and influencers who care about the climate crisis and want to use their platform to educate the public on things we can all do now to save the planet. As the name of the campaign states, “the world is in our hands.”
American-Puerto Rican actor Joaquin Phoenix (Picture Courtesy: Justin Wu) The WORDS in Justin Wu’s hands — help us fill in the blanks: In an ideal world; there would be no scarcity of resources, no poverty, no inequality, and there would be world peace. If the world were in my hands, I’d make sure that; everyone is given an equal opportunity, and everyone respects the importance of protecting this planet. I would never want the world to be in the hands of someone
who; e x p l o i t s t h e f i n i t e r e s o u r c e s o f t h i s p l a n e t f o r p r o f i t without considering how it can be replenished sustainably. We all have the power to; use our voice and our choices to take action and help the world be a better place. Being a Global Citizen means; being considerate of our neighbours here and abroad. And truly understanding how we are one species living on the same planet. 2019 NOV / DEC
Greta Thunbreg, Environmental Activist
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Participants of the “Climate Strike” movement during the climate summit (COP24) of Katowice, Poland, on December 14, 2018
THE DRIVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE The fight for climate change has a new front credited to one 16-year-old girl, Greta Thunberg
his September, between 20 and 27, a series of “strikes” were organised around the world. These strikes were unusual in two aspects. For one, people were striking to demand better commitment from their political leaders to the issue of climate change. Secondly, the strike was largely called for and organised by schoolchildren and the young by coordinating on social media. The worldwide strike organised on September 20, three days before the United Nations Climate Summit, was attended by over four-million participants, according to organisers, making it the largest climate-related public mobilisation in history. Countrywise, the highest numbers were reported in Germany at 1.4 million, followed by Australia and the UK at around 300,000 each and 250,000 in New York. The second peak came on the last day of strikes on September 27 with an estimated two million participants taking to the streets, of which, as many as one million may have been in Italy and 170,000 in New Zealand. In Montreal, the school board cancelled classes so that its 114,000 students could go on strike. Overall, it reported that strikes were organised in some 4,500 locations across 150 countries. It was not a children-only affair. Over 2,000 scientists across 40 countries pledged their support to the strikers, as did political and business leaders. Adult participation was estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. The credit for inspiring this global movement is given to a sixteen-year-old Swedish schoolgirl - Greta Thunberg - known for her blunt, matter-of-factly speaking manner in public and to political leaders. She was the keynote speaker at the New York and Montreal rallies in September. As influential as she had become among the young and within the climate change activist communities, it was when a video footage of her outburst at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 went viral that Greta’s name became something of a household name around the world.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here,” she said angrily. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy-tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” Born on January 3, 2003, Greta is a native of Stockholm, Sweden. Her father, Svante Thunberg, is an actor and had publicly stated that he opposed his daughter’s activism in the early days but later changed his mind, and is today, very much involved in her activism. Her mother is Malena Ernman, a Swedish opera singer who represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Malena has a history of environmental activism and was awarded the WWF-Sweden “Environmental Hero of the Year” in 2017 for her contributions. Malena and her husband have co-authored an autobiographical book published in 2018 titled Scener ur hjärtat (Scenes from the Heart). It deals with the matters related to the family, the environmental crisis and sustainability. On her father’s side, Greta’s family has a fascinating ancestor, particularity in commendation with today’s climate change movement. Svante Arrhenius was a physicist and chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1903 for Chemistry. He was the first to discover the correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and the Earth’s surface temperature. This discovery forms the basis of today’s climate change equation. With her mother for so long involved in the environmental movement, one would be forgiven for assuming that Greta was either influenced or encouraged by her mother to become involved in it as well. However, according to Greta’s own admission and as stated in ‘Scenes from the Heart,’ it was the other way around. 2019 NOV / DEC
Greta Thunberg outside Riksdagen, the Swedish parliament building, in order to raise awareness for climate change on August 28, 2018
Greta Thunberg speaking at Climate Kirtag - Austrian World Summit
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Young students participating in a school climate strike in Washington, D.C. on March 15, 2019
Greta says she first heard about climate change as an eight-year-old and found it difficult to understand why the world’s leaders were dragging their feet on the matter. As time passed, and the realities of the world set in, curiosity gave way to depression and lethargy. She stopped talking and eating. She was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive– compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism. Greta has publicly acknowledged her diagnosis and that it has limited her social interactions. However, she has also claimed that her selective mutism only means she speaks when necessary and that her Asperger is her “superpower.” Greta stayed true to her commitment to doing something about climate change by starting at home. She insisted that, as a family, they lower their carbon footprint by committing to such lifestyle changes as becoming vegan and giving up flying. The latter meant that her mother had to forgo some of her international performances as an opera singer. Her parent’s positive response to her demands led her to believe that she could make a difference. The catalyst that led to Greta to taking the next bold step came in the summer of 2018 when Sweden experienced the hottest summer in over 250 years, which resulted in heatwaves and a series of wildfires. In August 2018, she began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament with a banner that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School strike for the climate) and demanding stronger action on global warming. She had decided that she would not attend school until the 2018 Swedish general election in early September. She had said that she got the idea for the strike when, after the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in 2018, the students refused to go back
to school, and instead, organised the “March for Our Lives” in support of greater gun control. After the initial pessimism, other students joined Greta while some others organised similar protests in their own communities. They then banded together under the “Fridays for Future” movement which then spread across Europe and other parts of the globe. In 2019, to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, where she gave her famous speech, Greta and her father set off on a 15 day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York, US, in a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was announced as a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing. Critics were quick to point out that several crew members had flown to New York to take the yacht back to Europe. Critics of Greta, there are plenty. From heads of states to heads of industries and opponents of the climate change moment, some of whom have resorted to personal and even derogatory remarks. Others have pointed out that while it is a positive sign that Greta, and children in general, have taken up the cause of climate change, we must not forget that it is a very complex issue where even specialists in the field cannot come to a satisfactory consensus as to what is going on. On top of that, we have the socio-economic factors on a global scale to consider. They suggest that while pressure should be brought to bear on policymakers on the issue of climate change, it should be left to specialists to work what must be done, how to go about doing it. She is here with a vision and is realistic enough to see the world in black and white. We need voices like hers and must listen to what she has to say. As she says it “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference.” 2019 NOV / DEC
HARLEY-DAVIDSON LIVEWIRE MOTORCYCLE
LiveWire is Harley-Davidson’s all-electric, high-performance motorcycle with the distinct look and feel of a Harley. It is powered by the Revelation powertrain, which delivers acceleration from 0 to 100 kmph in 3.0 seconds and 100 to 130 kmph in 1.9 seconds. In an urban setting, the high-voltage battery provides 235 km of city range or 152 to 158 km of combined stop-andgo and highway range. Harley’s DC Fast Charge technology provides a 0 to 80 per cent of battery charge in 40 minutes or 0 to 100 per cent charge in 60 minutes. The battery has a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. An optimised centre of gravity, rigid aluminium frame and adjustable suspension components contribute to LiveWire’s handling. The front brake callipers and dual 300 mm-diameter rotors are Brembo Monoblock. Braking, through the power regeneration mode, adds charge to the battery, especially in urban traffic. The tyres are co-branded ‘H-D/ Michelin Scorcher Sport,’ designed specifically for LiveWire. The bike is equipped with a full suite of electronic rider aids such as the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) which utilises the Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) and Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) to give the rider more confidence and control in lessthan-ideal situations. It has a 4.3-inch colour TFT touchscreen located above the handlebar that offers the rider a wide range of information on an easy-to-read display. There are seven selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle. 98 NOV / DEC 2019
A pocket-sized, flying, 12-megapixel camera for full HD photos and videos with an 85° field of view and 16 GB memory. The “CaptureMe” function uses proprietary technology to identify, lock-in and focus on the subject while hovering. It connects wirelessly to iOS and Android devices. Its four turbo brushless fans give it a range of over 18m. Its 400 mAh 7.4 lithium polymer battery allows up to five minutes of flight time, and can be re-charged on-the-go after each use. It is about the size of an average smartphone at 9.6 x 7.1 x 1.27 cm and weighs just 85 grams. It has a durable anodized aluminium casing, available in four colours - silver, black, gold and rose gold.
LOGITECH - VR INK PILOT EDITION
The world’s first stylus to offer control and precision in virtual reality, on two-dimensional surfaces and in three-dimensional room-scale space. It works with headsets using Steam VR tracking without leaving the virtual world or changing traditional workflows. It features a pressure-sensitive tip that ensures high levels of precision. The main button and grab feature allow the user to sketch and move objects with ease. A mini touchpad allows content to be manipulated and moved around the space. Ideal for people who review, mark up and edit creative process; and for engineers visualizing the interior spaces of designs.
TIMEKETTLE - WT2 PLUS TRANSLATOR EARBUDS
A successor version of the WT2 – the world’s first ear-to-ear wearable language translator earbuds for bilingual conversations. The WT2 Plus offers nearly real-time, live language translations by employing AI-powered algorithms to recognize the speech and translate it into seamless, humanized conversations. The package also includes a stand-alone app that can translate conversations into text. It supports 36 languages and 86 accents across the globe along with various speech modes for different occasions. In appearance, the earbuds are similar to Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones. The charging pod have a unique, award-winning split-up design since the headphone pairs need to be with two different people at the same time.
TICWATCH PRO 4G/LTE
One of the first Wear OS by Google 4G/LTE smartwatches that enables mobile number sharing for instant calls, texts, and data usage anywhere; in addition to all the fitness, health and productivity tools. The watch has a 24hr heart rate monitoring feature with detailed visualizations of the user’s health for up to 7 days, and extreme heart rate alerts in real-time. It offers a 30day battery life in Essential Mode and 2 to 5 days in Smart Mode empowered by Mobvoi’s proprietary layered display technology. Google Pay and Google Assistant are standard. The case is reinforced with a knurled stainless-steel bezel. The watch has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance which means it can be worn while swimming in shallow waters.
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A DRAMATIC LITTLE CITY
Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is earning a reputation for itself as a holiday destination with a difference
here is much more to Reykjavík than being the northernmost capital in the world. It is clean, green, very safe, and uncluttered. It is blessed with striking architecture, is a hub of human ingenuity and a gateway to a unique natural experience. Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, around AD 874. The city itself was officially founded in 1786 as a trading town and is today the national centre of commerce, population, culture and politics. It sits on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay, southwestern Iceland, where the coastline is characterized by peninsulas, coves, straits, and islands. Despite its very northernly location, the temperatures in Reykjavík rarely drop below -15˚C in the winter because of the warm North Atlantic Current. Summers are cool, with temperatures fluctuating between 10 and 15˚C and rarely hitting or exceeding 20. However, the city is prone to strong winds that can reach gale force levels in the winters. Reykjavík has a population in excess of 125,000, while Greater Reykjavík or “The Capital Region” - comprising Reykjavík and six other independent municipalities around it has a combined population of just over 200,000. This makes it
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by far the largest urban area in Iceland, accounting for about 65 per cent of the total population living in an area that is only just over one per cent of the total surface area of the island. The city is spread-out with mostly brightly coloured, low-rise buildings. However, it is small enough to be explored by foot or on a bicycle, and these modes are highly recommended. The city has taxis and a well-planned public transport system if required while rental cars are best for out of city excursions. Despite its small size, Reykjavík is packed with variety. Its dining and nightlife reputations have been on the rise with new restaurants that offer tapas-style dining, fusion concepts, and traditional Icelandic fares. Cafes by day turn into bars at night that serve until four in the morning. The music scene is vibrant from live music festivals to DJ events. Iceland’s heritage is preserved in the city’s numerous museums, while art museums and galleries display the city’s creative side. For nature lovers, there are numerous parks and water features; as a quarter of the city is set aside for green spaces. The city also offers several natural thermal pools and spas. No visit to Reykjavík would be complete without an excursion to the sparse and dramatic Icelandic countryside.
THINGS TO DO LANGJÖKULL GLACIER ICE CAVE TOUR FROM HÚSAFELL
A once-in-a-lifetime experience that lasts for about two-to-three hours. Visitors are taken on specially modified vehicles over the Langjökull Glacier ice cap, followed by a trek deep into a man-made glowing tunnel within the creeping glacier. The tunnels were carved out at a height of 1,200 meters above sea level, and its glow comes from the diffused external light. The guides elaborate on how the tunnels were made, as well as the geology and history of Iceland. The chapel within the caves and the deep crevasses are visual treats in themselves.
Reykjavík’s Lutheran church is an architectural icon of the city. Commissioned in 1937, the church was designed to resemble the mathematical symmetry of volcanic Basalt after it has cooled. It rises 250 feet from a hilltop in the centre of the city to dominate the skyline. It has an observation deck at the top, which can be accessed by the public via an elevator to enjoy a panoramic view of Reykjavík. In stark contrast to the exterior, the interior features traditional high-pointed Gothic vaults and narrow windows. The church is home to the largest organ in Iceland, standing 45 feet tall and weighing 25 tons. 2019 NOV / DEC
THINGS TO DO WHALE WATCHING IN LUXURY
Iceland’s wildlife-rich Faxaflói Bay, just off the shores of Reykjavík City is the ideal place to spot minke, humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and orcas. For those wishing to view these magnificent creatures of the deep in luxury and in as part of a small group, there is the luxury yacht Amelia Rose. Designed as an offshore vessel, it is better suited to take on the turbulent waves off Iceland’s coast. With three panoramic deck areas, there is ample viewing space for every guest. The three decks are connected to allow the guests to move between them to get the best views. The decks are partially covered to offer the guests protection from wind and rain. A well-appointed lounge comes with cosy blankets and onboard WiFi.
NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPERJEEP TOUR FROM REYKJAVÍK
A chance to see the Northern Lights is another once-in-a-lifetime experience but one that is notoriously difficult as luck plays a big part in it. Definitely not for someone who is short on patience or time. However, one’s chances of seeing the Northern Lights can be greatly increased by availing the Superjeep Tour from Reykjavík. Visitors are conveniently picked-up and dropped-off at the hotel on a modified “super jeep” that can handle Iceland’s challenging terrain in any season. The drivers are experienced aurora hunters and take the visitors deep into the countryside where the skies are clearest and the lights most visible.
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WHERE TO STAY REYKJAVIK KONSULAT HOTEL, CURIO COLLECTION BY HILTON
A hotel blessed with history, style and location. The hotel is in a charming building that was once an early twentieth-century departmental store. It was renovated in an eclectic architectural style using natural building materials and offering modern amenities. The hotel is located at a short distance from the city centre, Iceland’s Parliament, Harpa Concert Hall, the Laugavegur main shopping street, as well as the city’s top restaurants and nightlife. The hotel has 50 boutique rooms and three suites. Standard amenities include 49-inch HDTV, complimentary WiFi, mini-refrigerator, espresso machine, tea kettle and a laptop-sized safe. Each of the three suites offers more space and a separate living area, a Kingsized bed, floor to ceiling windows and 24 hours room-service. The Diplomat Suite is a corner room with a private terrace. The spa features an original 19th-century stone wall that reflects Iceland’s tradition of natural bathing. An award-winning chef is at the helm of the hotel’s restaurant and bar, which is open all day.
TOWER SUITES REYKJAVIK
Here, the emphasis is on the view and on luxury. The hotel is located on the 20th floor of one of Reykjavík’s skyline-defining buildings. Each of the eight suites has a distinctive character and offer the highest panoramic views in Reykjavík. One can appreciate a rare overview of the city and its neighbouring mountain range; a view that varies as dramatically as the change in weather and light. The hotel’s “Full Concierge” service offers personal service 24x7, assistance in booking tours and dining, turndown service, serve in-room breakfast, arrange a day pass for a local gym or spa facilities. The “Invisible Service,” meanwhile, offers a hands-off approach to luxury whereby guests can avail the amenities on offer via a smartphone app. Guests can check-in, use a digital Local Guide, booking tours, and so on. However, the hotel’s traditional service staff will be available when required.
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Dr. Jacqueline Hill, Director of Strategic Innovation and Science, La Prairie 104 NOV / DEC 2019
FOR RADIANT EYES
Dr. Jacqueline Hill of Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie takes us deep into the science of ageing skin and ways to achieve timeless beauty
r. Jacqueline Hill is the Director of Strategic Innovation and Science at La Prairie, a global leader in luxury skincare. She holds a Doctorate Degree in Organic Chemistry from Oxford University, and has over 20 years of experience in formulation, research and development, as well as product and active ingredient marketing. At La Prairie, Dr. Hill manages new product development and testing, including safety and efficacy. “It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, and unfortunately, they are also the mirror of age. The eye area is women’s main concern when it comes to ageing,” says Dr. Jacqueline Hill. “The skin around the eye is thinner and more fragile than that of other areas of the face and is thus much more sensitive to ageing factors and therefore concentrates most of the signs of ageing, including gravity’s noticeable effects on both the upper and lower lids and brows, loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles.” Known for using exotic and rare ingredients such as Swiss ice crystals, platinum, gold, caviar and white Caviar, La Prairie has been on a quest for timeless beauty. Elevating science to an art form, La Prairie takes great pride in its savoir-faire. A new film ‘A Glimpse of Craftsmanship,’ produced in-house, takes the viewer behind La Prairie’s closed doors to reveal how its exotic raw materials - through exquisite alchemy and pure artistry - are brought to life by its craftsmanship, and presented in jewel-like vessels. The film not only underscores the brand’s heritage of craftsmanship but also its place in the world of luxury. Caviar, one of La Prairie’s signature ingredients, is a rich source of marine DNA, omega-3 fatty acids, nourishing vitamins
and proteins. It has been sought-after for its power to enrich and regenerate skin. Almost 30 years ago, La Prairie formulated its Skin Caviar Collection for lifting and firming the skin. At the heart of the collection, along with its exclusive Cellular Complex, is the La Prairie’s own Caviar Water, which captures the most delicate components of caviar in a pure and highly concentrated infusion. The Skin Caviar collection comprises: Essence-in-Lotion which prepares the skin, Liquid Lift provides long-lasting lifting and firming sensation, Luxe Eye Lift Cream targets the seven most prominent eye area agers, Luxe Cream nourishes, lifts and firms the skin, and the Concealer · Foundation SPF 15 delivers a fresh, firm, glowing complexion. The brand’s latest addition to the Skin Caviar collection is the Eye Lift, a serum designed to lift and firm the whole eye area, including brows. The serum is a combination of two formulas, each housed in separate chambers to maintain their purity. One is the Caviar Premier encapsulated in La Prairie’s signature golden pellets. The other is La Prairie’s Exclusive Cellular Complex in a tourmaline-pink gel-cream emulsion. With a press of the activating pump, the two formulas are drawn up to a patent-pending mechanism that freshly blends them into a delightfully textured serum for each use. The resulting serum “melts into the skin with a refreshing touch and an immediate tensing sensation. It has been designed to redefine the eyebrows, lift and firm the complete eye area, including the upper lids, reduce crow’s feet and smooth lower lids whilst diminishing under-eye bags and the appearance of puffiness, explains Dr Hill.
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How does ageing affect the skin, particularly around the eye? With age, the skin, in general, loses its firmness and elasticity in view of the loss of essential components in the different layers. For example, the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin in the dermal extracellular matrix decreases and external stress factors such as sunlight degrade these components, eventually leading to a loss of skin firmness and elasticity. This is particularly noticeable in the eye area as the skin is so thin and delicate. The skin around the eyes covers 22 muscles, which are in perpetual motion. We blink around 10,000 times a day, and blink after blink, the skin around the eye loses its vitality. This is why the eye contour exhibits the most obvious signs of ageing; sagging occurs, the eyelids droop, the entire eye contour area starts changing its shape, lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Skin Caviar Eye Lift is referred to as an “eye-opening” serum, could you please elaborate? Sagging eyebrows and a drooping upper lid make the eyes look smaller. Skin Caviar Eye Lift is designed to reawaken the gaze by redefining eyebrows, lifting and tightening the upper lids and firming the complete eye area. This is a non-invasive alternative to blepharoplasty for women who are not willing or interested in undergoing surgical procedures but nevertheless wish to have a revived look. What are the main ingredients used in Skin Caviar Eye Lift? We have included Caviar Premier together with our exclusive Cellular Complex and a mix of sophisticated, active ingredients. Caviar Premier was designed to harness caviar’s full lifting and firming potential of the eye contour area. Our exclusive Cellular Complex gives new life and energy back to the very cells where beauty is born and targets essential cells and components of the extracellular matrix for a rejuvenated skin appearance. We complemented these essential active ingredients with other powerful components specifically targeting the needs of the eye contour area in order to achieve a fresh, youthful-looking and healthy skin. Caviar Premier is a highly innovative and unique blend of seven active ingredients, reflecting and surpassing natural caviar’s amazing skincare potential. To create Caviar Premier, we use a mix of biomolecules (lipids, proteins, peptides, DNA, carbohydrates), their building blocks (amino acids, nucleotides, sugars) and minerals obtained from various sources such as 106 NOV / DEC 2019
yeast, algae, plant and chemical synthesis, complemented by our classical Caviar Extract. Reinforcing natural caviar extract with Caviar Mimetics is our secret to creating the powerful formula of Caviar Premier. Together, the active ingredients capture the full potential of original caviar beads. Why did La Prairie choose to target the whole eye area instead of one symptom such as crow’s feet or under-eye bags? It is important to target the whole eye area because research has shown that a number of characteristics and features of our eyes are implicated in the perception of beauty and attractiveness. These include the upper eyelid exposure and the shape of the eyelids, as well as the smoothness of the skin. Is Skin Caviar Eye Lift a short or long-term solution? Skin Caviar Eye Lift was formulated to work on all mechanisms that firm and lift the skin around the eyes, and it works both in the short term and in the long term. In the short term, it provides immediate lifting by forming an invisible, smoothing and tensing film at the surface of the skin. In the long term, it works through re-densifying both the collagen and the elastin network in the dermis, thus contributing to both lifting and firming of the skin, as well as smoothing the surface. Over time, the benefits were confirmed and strengthened as the skin was noticeably firmer, smoother and more refined, and harmony was restored. How does the Eye Lift compare with the Luxe Eye Cream? Both Skin Caviar Eye Lift and Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream lift and firm the skin of the eye contour area. Skin Caviar Eye Lift places a stronger focus on the lifting action and particularly on the upper eyelids and the eyebrows. Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream places a stronger focus on moisturisation and comfort. Together, these Skin Caviar Eye creations overcome time’s noticeable effects on the whole eye area. Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream offers the following benefits: The skin around the eye appears firmed and lifted, resulting in a total transformation. Features are supported, tightened and toned, while the look of puffiness is diminished. The delicate skin of the lower and upper lids is deeply moisturised, leaving them with a feeling of unparalleled comfort. The iconic sensorial experience features a modern interpretation of Skin Caviar’s signature fragrance and a silky texture that glides on effortlessly before vanishing into the skin.
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BOSS The Scent Absolute by Hugo Boss for a heightened sensory experience
SMR or autonomous sensory meridian response is a pleasurable feeling, sometimes calming, sometimes arousing, and often accompanied by a tingling sensation. ASMR is a response to external stimulation which tends to originate in a person’s head and spread to the spine, and sometimes, to the limbs. A digital film inspired by ASMR, explores the power of stimulating the senses to achieve a heightened sensory experience. The film dramatizes the effect that Hugo Boss’ new fragrance The Scent Absolute is designed to achieve by pushing the senses to the next level. The Scent Absolute is a collection of two new, intensely seductive fragrances for men and women; both being darker, richer interpretations of the original The Scent. Crafted by perfumer Bruno Jovanovic, Scent Absolute For Him opens with a spicy Ginger freshness that meets with the aphrodisiac heart notes of Mondia root and Maninka fruit, while a deeply masculine and ruggedly coarse Vetiver dominates at the base. The dark amber nectar is housed within a dark taupe flacon, topped with a dark metallic cap. Its heavy, faceted glass flacon is set within a metal cage – symbolising the way in which intoxicating masculinity is captured within each bottle. Absolute For Her is crafted by perfumer Louise Turner. It opens with a creamy honeyed peach note, which cuts through the warming essence of roasted coffee. At the base,
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smooth and feminine Vanilla envelops the more masculine Vetiver to create a magnetic effect. More mysterious and darker than its original counterpoint, this rich and intense interpretation offers a degree of absoluteness. The scent is presented in a glass flacon featuring a dark plum gradient and finished with a dark bronze cap. The promotional film for the new fragrance is a follow up to the 2018 campaign of Boss Perfumes, illustrating its transcendental power in the digital age. Set in the stunning Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the film explores the idea of igniting our deepest desire to disconnect from our online lives and connect once again in the real world. “In this fast-paced world full of distractions, we seek stronger connections. Memorable. Lasting. Sensorial. As night falls, it brings more daring, unexpected ways for us to fully explore our senses. Heightened by the intrigue of dusk, the next chapter of #AugmentedSensuality unfolds,” reads a statement from the brand. Jamie Dornan and Birgit Kos come together again to reprise their roles as the fragrance’s him and her; the warmth of the other, the anticipation of getting closer, the sound of their whispering voices and the smell of each other’s scents sending a tingling sensation down their spines. The duo push their relationship one step further by challenging their senses to go deeper and live “an absolute night.
Dutch Model Birgit Kos for BOSS The Scent Absolute by Hugo Boss 2019 NOV / DEC
BETWEEN SEA AND MOUNTAIN
Luštica Bay development at Montenegro offers natural beauty, luxury and green-friendly living
uštica Bay nestles between the emerald waters of the Adriatic coast and windswept hills near the entrance to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Bay of Kotor in southwestern Montenegro. This emerging luxury residential and lifestyle development is the country’s only greenfield investment project, and at 690 hectares, the largest in South-Eastern Europe. It is also marketed as “the ultimate green-friendly destination.” When finished, it will feature a wide range of properties from waterfront residences offering a Riviera lifestyle, to charming hillside townhouses and exclusive, private villas. It is expected to host a few thousand residents in more than 1,500 accommodation units. There will also be seven hotels, a vibrant town centre, two world-class marinas with a total of 225 berthings, an 18hole championship standard golf course, a wellness and spa centre, a conference centre, shopping, dining, schools and health care facilities. The location and landscape also offer ample opportunities for water-sports and outdoor activities.
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“Unlike the other projects here, this project is huge. We have a diverse product line in terms of pricing and design, but each one is of the highest quality. We have something for everyone, from high net worth individuals who come here with their yachts once a year, to the vacationers, investors or residents who are here all long - whether they are local Montenegrins, from the big Russian community here, or from the Turkish community,” Ahmed Zaki, Sales and Marketing Director, Lustica Bay told GC. “Of the 300 units that we have sold, we have buyers from more than 40 different nationalities. Last year alone, we had interest from people living in 84 different countries. Some people are attracted by the ‘citizenship by investment’ program recently announced by the government. We also have serviced apartments for short-term and long-term rentals for which we provide facilities management. From the GCC region, our clients generally tend to be people who want to invest in a property as they see potential returns.”
Luštica Bay development at Montenegro The Montenegrin tax system has become one of the most attractive in Europe with a flat-rate income tax and 9% corporate tax. Buying and registering property, always conducted in Euros, is relatively easy and foreign investors are treated as equals with Montenegrin citizens. Luštica Bay is served by three international airports: Tivat is just 12km away, Podgorica at 92km, and Dubrovnik Airport in neighbouring Croatia which is 63 km away. The coasts of Greece, Croatia and Italy are only a short cruise away. “Montenegro is steadily becoming a go-to destination for those seeking an ultimate luxury Riviera lifestyle and a sound long-term investment,” said Darren Gibson, Chief Executive Office at Luštica Bay. Ahmed Zaki added: “Tourism contributes almost 25% to the Montenegrin GDP. In 2017, we had 2 million visitors, last year it was 2.2, this year it is expected to be around 2.5 million. The country’s population is around half a million. The number of visitors from the GCC region, from last year to this year, nearly doubled.” Montenegro is an adventurer’s playground, and Luštica Bay is the perfect location from which to explore this small country that packs a punch. Its serene coastline contrasts with a mountainous interior. It boasts four national parks, Europe’s last virgin forest, and the world’s second deepest canyon. The undulating landscape offers innumerable hiking and biking trail that pass by remote villages, family churches, medieval settlements and forts. The clear, calm waters are ideal for sailing, paddling, kayaking,
snorkelling and swimming, and underwater are hidden limestone features, caves and archaeological ruins. The first of the seven hotels of Luštica Bay, The Chedi, opened last summer and is one of the largest 5-star hotels in the Boka Bay area, offering 111 rooms; 60 of which are hotel condominiums and part of The Chedi Residences. The hotel has two waterside restaurants, a bar, conference and business centre, a heated outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre featuring an indoor heated pool, gymnasium and other facilities. Set on a coastline that enjoys 240 days of sun per year, the main marina is the “the heart” of Luštica Bay, designed to reflect the style of traditional fishing villages of Montenegro. Centrale, a commercial and administrative hub, is the focal point for Luštica Bay’s community life. Its first phase was completed this summer. The buildings are designed to express the character and cultural heritage of the region by referencing traditional architectural styles and using local materials. The other focal point of the development is the 18-holes golf course to be completed by 2021. The Gary Player designed academy standard facility comprises a practice area is set to among the world’s most beautiful golfing spots. Luštica Bay, beyond aesthetics, makes a strong case for its “green-friendly” credentials. Less than 10% of the 690-hectare site will be developed, thus, ensuring ample wide-open green spaces. The original landscape has largely been preserved to blend into the existing topography. All plant and trees used are indigenous to the Montenegrin coast and have been organically 2019 NOV / DEC
cultivated. The marina was constructed without steel-reinforced concrete. The stone used for its breakwaters were taken from excavations done for the golf course. Luštica Bay has been designed to minimise vehicular traffic, focusing instead on pedestrianised network with vehicle-free streets, sidewalks and green trails for ease of getting around. Alternative transport methods and cycling facilities will also help reduce traffic. The Chedi hotel is home to area’s first Tesla chargers. Intelligent green construction methods and the latest energysaving technologies have been used throughout development to ensure the buildings slash the current regional energy consumption by a third. These measures include natural ventilation through high ceilings and well-aerated roofs, carefully designed windows and doorways to capture and utilise crossventilation, mechanical systems that use geothermal coils to displace heat into the ground, thus eliminating the need for noisy condensing units while conserving energy, as well as renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, have also been installed. A number of methods are in place, working with the natural terrain, to reduce the site’s water usage including extensive use of water-saving technologies through techniques such as smart irrigation and low consumption plumbing fixtures. These 112 NOV / DEC 2019
include utilising natural drainage techniques including infiltration to help treat stormwater and protect the water quality of the bay, greywater reuse for golf course irrigation, and collecting rainwater from roofs via gutters or rain harvest scuppers for non-potable reuse and landscape irrigation. Luštica Bay also works with local neighbourhoods to create a strong community network for environmental initiatives such as community-supported agriculture, a local market and recycling systems. The marina promenade supports local businesses with homegrown boutiques and talented Montenegrin designers. Furthermore, the interior of the villas and The Chedi feature artwork and designs by local artists. Luštica Development AD is the national project company responsible for developing, building and operating Luštica Bay. It was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between the Swiss Orascom Development Ltd. (90%) and the Government of Montenegro (10%). It will mark the biggest investment in Montenegro as yet at 1.1 billion Euros. Luštica Development AD is a subsidiary of Swiss Orascom Development, with the latter having amassed 30 years’ experience in developing self-sufficient, international communities. The Orascom Development Holding offers a diverse portfolio that covers Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Morocco, Montenegro, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
MONTENEGRO Citizenship by Investment Program
Sail to a world of possibilities. Anchor in Montenegro. Invest from € 250,000 in an approved real estate project in addition to a donation of € 100,000 to qualify for residency and citizenship in Montenegro, one of Europe's youngest and most promissing countries. Qualify for citizenship in 6 months.
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Neyk by Ocean Submarine
A REVOLUTIONARY DUTCH DIVER A review of Ocean Submarine’s latest underwater accessory for superyacht owners
eyk, the latest from Dutch specialist Ocean Submarine, was developed to satisfy the stringent construction and performance requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy while being the first luxury submarine to feature an interior from the private jet industry. Built in collaboration with industry leaders such as Rolls Royce, MTU and Bosch, Neyk has a modular construction in high-yield steel to a design optimised by NASA. The submarine offers an exceptional degree of customisation, can carry as many as 20 passengers, reach speeds of up to 15 knots and dive to depths of 150 metres. The Neyk was conceptualised by Martin van Eijk, the founder of Ocean Submarine, eight years ago. His career has involved working for several reputed companies, including ASML,
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Phillips and EASTEC, covering everything from testing satellites in space to some of the most complex diving boats. “My experiences convinced me that we could develop a unique new submarine in partnership with experts from every branch of aviation and underwater vessels,” says Van Eijk. “The project began in 2009 based on a hull that would be suitable for the Navy and coastguard services as well as the luxury market. Having built up considerable expertise in aircraft, spaceships and underwater vessels, my goal was to combine this with the wealth of know-how available in the world today. The result is a new generation of submarines featuring a single multipurpose hull, offering a unique level of luxury and experience in a submarine.”
The fact that Neyk was developed for the Dutch Navy means exceptionally high-quality design and construction, robust systems and the best parts suppliers, each with their own testing facilities. The Navy has also invested in a number of sophisticated applications which have been transferred to the civilian version. Neyk’s fully pressurised and spacious interior overlaps with a private jet interior because it has the same hull diameter as private jets. Therefore, the interior components can be installed in a similar manner as a private jet, including air conditioning systems, furniture, ceiling panels and various types of approved paint. Neyk’s modular construction adds another layer of customisation, including the option to have the same look and feel of the motheryacht or its tenders. Structural customisation options include fitting landing gear so that the sub can come to rest on a beach, adding a dedicated diver lockout chamber, and transforming the nose area into a 270-degree underwater observation room. The teardrop shaped design of the submarine not only adds to its aesthetics, it also enables it to achieve speeds of up to three times that of conventional private subs, as well as a better range. For example, it can travel underwater from Monaco or St Tropez to Nice. Its compact and lightweight structure offers
flexibility in terms of finding the right location on a superyacht. The pilot’s cabin has large panoramic windows and circular acrylic windows on either side in the passenger cabin. Neyk, having been engineered to Navy specifications, has a revolutionary propulsion design. The virtually silent electric engines are placed in pods outside of the pressurised hull, on either side. This layout gives the propellers up to five percent additional efficiency, enables extra cooling at low speed, generates low drag and a very low underwater noise signature. It also enables the submarine to turn on its axis within a few seconds when the engines are running in opposite directions. As the engines are positioned forward of the diving rudders, Neyk can dive ten times more rapidly than the conventional cruciform design. “It’s all about the experience,” says Van Eijk. “Now, when you cruise along the coastline in your yacht and see a beautiful geographical feature, you can head underwater to see them from an entirely different angle and perspective on the way back. Or you might go diving to look at wrecks from the Second World War or other treasures hidden in the sea. The Neyk Submarine allows people to explore the ocean world in comfort and in style. Or you could just put up the periscope and go spying!” 2019 NOV / DEC
CARESSED BY THE MARSHES
A review of Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel
The Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel
he mystique of a mangrove forest, often enchanting, and luxuriant to behold. Found growing in the shallow coastal waters of the tropical and sub-tropical regions, mangroves are hardy trees that act as a natural wind-breaker, protect against tidal surges, purify their surrounding water, are highly effective in scrubbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as providing a safe, sheltered home for innumerable species of bird and marine life. Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coastal area is blessed with an estimated 70 square kilometres of mangrove forests, 19 square kilometres of which make up the protected Mangrove National Park. Running along the northern shore of Abu Dhabi Island, and falling within the city limits, the reserve is populated by grey mangroves. It is home to the likes of the Western reef heron, Greater flamingo and Mottled crab, among many other
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species. The park can be explored with guides by boat or kayak. The mangrove forest is segregated from the hustle and bustle of the capital city by a canal-like narrow waterway. On the urban side of this waterway, with uninterrupted and spectacular views of the entire expanse of the mangrove forest, is Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel. Despite being part of a larger shopping and residential complex along the busy E10 highway - just 10 minutes from the heart of central Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport - the resort-style hotel is an island of tranquillity. This seemingly paradoxical setting of the hotel makes it ideal for both business and leisure travellers. As a result, the hotel tends to attract business guests during the week and high-end leisure travellers during the weekend.
The Anantara Mangroves Pool Suite The hotel’s facade creates a grand first impression with its palm-tree-lined water feature and imposing columned portico. The hotel’s décor fuses traditional Middle Eastern architectural aesthetics and contemporary design to create a tranquil and opulent ambience without being ostentatious. The wide corridors and common spaces are bathed in natural or ambient lighting. The lobby is particularly elegant and spacious with patterned tiling on the floors, creamy marble and lattice panelling on the walls, while Arabian arches support the high roof ornamented by a sparkling chandelier. This smoke-free resort features three signature restaurants, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool with a poolside bar, and a well-equipped fitness centre. Free WiFi is available in public areas and rooms. The hotel has 222 spacious, modern rooms with highlights that give a sense of place. The palette features warm, earthy tones of the desert with gold and teal accents. The minimalist wood furnishings are complemented by traditional Arabian artwork on the walls and mangrove motifs in the carpeting and headboards. Each room opens to private, furnished balconies offering either a view of the mangroves or the city skyline. The centrepiece of each room is a luxurious king-sized bed. The bathrooms are also quite spacious with walk-in rainfall showers, a deep bathtub and a range of signature toiletries which include soap - lightly perfumed with cardamom and clove. In-room amenities include a Nespresso machine, large flat-screen TVs, minibars, and 24-hour room service. Guests staying at the “Kasara” rooms or suites have
access to the hotel’s Kasara Executive Lounge with views of the mangroves and the city skyline in the distance, which elevates to the spectacular during sunset. It also offers a host of personalised privileges such as a private concierge service, laundry service, pre-dinner cocktails, priority reservation and VIP treatment at the hotel’s dining venues. The hotel offers two suites at 180 sqm, and both have separate living rooms with views of the mangroves. The Kasara Mangroves Suite offers a furnished balcony while the Anantara Mangroves Pool Suite offers a private terrace with sun loungers, plunge pool and cabana. At the pinnacle is the Royal Mangroves Suite at 1,320 square metres with three bedrooms. It can be expanded to 2,455 square metres and ten bedrooms if required with King beds in every bedroom. The suite has a private entrance, a living room and dining room capable of hosting up to ten guests, a wrap-around balcony, a private rooftop for elegant soirees, a 50 square metres infinity pool featuring a swim-up bar, and an oversized tub with windows on three sides offering views of the mangroves. The hotel’s signature dining venue, Pachaylen is a critically acclaimed Thai restaurant famed for its authentic cuisine featuring aromatic curries and spicy salads, all presented in a refined setting. The venue also has private rooms for social or corporate dinners. Ingredients, the hotel’s main venue, offers all-day dining, with freshly baked bread, a sushi bar, fresh seafood, Asian street favourites and delights from every corner of the world prepared in interactive live kitchens. 2019 NOV / DEC
The Anantara Mangroves Pool Suite Bedroom
The Anantara Mangroves Pool Suite Living Area 118 NOV / DEC 2019
Ingredients, the hotel’s main all-day dining venue Guests can opt to dine indoors or alfresco on the terrace overlooking the mangroves. Impressions is a stunning rooftop restaurant and lounge overlooking the mangroves. It offers the finest selection of beverages along with such favourites as shawarma, nachos, cheese platter or Asian tapas. For those special romantic occasions, the hotel offers Dining By Design, a private and customised rooftop dining experience with a personal chef and butler. The hotel’s main infinity swimming pool is lined with palm trees and lounge chairs and overlook the mangroves. Adjacent to the pool is a spacious hot tub. The Pool Deck offers a sample of authentic mezze, bistro fare and Mediterraneaninspired cuisine, accompanied by shisha and frozen cocktails. The Anantara hotels are renowned for their spas, and the one in Abu Dhabi is no different. It offers two Signature Spa Treatments. One is the Hammam by Hammamii, curated for a more luxuriously and authentic local experience; it incorporates locally sourced fresh ingredients such as dates from Ras Al Khaimah, mineral-rich camel’s milk from the desert, Arabian coffee, aromatic za’atar and luxurious antiageing Saffron body oil. These natural and organic ingredients have been specifically chosen for their vitamin and mineral inducing properties that benefit the skin, hair, and body. The other is the two-step Hammamii facial starting with a two-step facial cleansing, followed by Noir Black Hammam Soap application, Kessa Exfoliation, Za’atar exfoliation, Dromadaire Camel’s Milk soak, Palmeraie date mask application, cleansing with Atay Mint Tea body wash, Hair
treatment ritual, Safran Anti-aging oil application and finalised with facial application of Cacti elixir and mist. The Hammam can accommodate up to eight guests and includes a rhassoul steam room and sauna. The Hammam treatment is administered on a flower-shaped marble slab, surrounded by an intricate mosaic and topped by a domed skylight decorated with elaborate sculptures. There are a total of 15 treatment rooms, three couples’ suites with soaking tubs and steam rooms, two private Hammam rooms, two traditional Thai massage rooms, a slimming room and separate male and female relaxation lounges. The spa treatments are complemented by several wellness programs comprising a range of gentle and vigorous exercises and revitalising skincare and body treatments designed to help rejuvenate from the inside out; these include Yoga, Zumba, Coolshaping, Hydracool facial as well as slimming and contouring treatments. Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand with a current portfolio that boasts over 35 hotel and properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Portugal, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa and South America. The brand’s premier vacation ownership programme, Anantara Vacation Club, extends the opportunity to own a share in the Anantara experience with a portfolio of 8 luxurious Club Resorts as well as travel privileges at partner resorts and hotels worldwide. 2019 NOV / DEC
HONOURING A PIONEER
Montegrappa’s Exclusive Edition of Writing Instruments pays a tribute to Emirati Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori’s historic space mission
ontegrappa has created a very exclusive collectors’ edition of pens to mark the historic event of Hazzaa Al Mansoori becoming the first Emirati astronaut in space and his safe return from the International Space Station (ISS). It is based on the unique one-piece that was presented to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) earlier this year. “In the spirit of joining the celebrations and commemorating this special moment in the country’s history, we crafted this unique piece and presented it as a gift,” said Charles Nahhas, Middle East Distributor of Montegrappa. “The unique pen was on display in our Dubai Mall boutique during the month of July, but was not for sale, and was presented to the MBRSC in August in the run-up to the September launch.” Shaped in the form of a rocket, the pen featured the UAE flag on the barrel, the logo of MBRSC on the cap and a portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on a solid gold nib. “The response to this has been overwhelming. We have had many offers from customers desiring this piece, but we were sorry to disappoint them since this bespoke piece was crafted for the MBRSC and not for sale to the public. We have instead created a very exclusive production run for special collectors, and without some of the key elements of the unique version,” Nahhas added. The collection, in addition to the original one-piece, is presented in four editions. The Ultimate Edition comprises 50 fountain pens and three rollerballs in solid 18k gold and titanium. The Limited Edition offers 363 fountain pens and 110 rollerballs in resin and sterling silver. The regular edition models are made in aluminium with palladium-plated trims and are available as fountain pens, Rollerballs and Ballpoint. The collectors’ version is available on pre-order as a fountain pen or a rollerball. “We are immensely proud to have been involved in some small way in this historic occasion, and have been following the mission closely,” continued Nahhas. “We are delighted with the success of the mission, and most of all, with the safe return of Hazzaa back to Earth and to the UAE. None of this would have been possible without the great leadership in this country and their vision to empower and educate the people of the UAE.”
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2019 NOV / DEC
TOURBILLON G-SENSOR RM 36-01 SEBASTIEN LOEB
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