Global Citizen 55

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ALIF BY Alif by Damas is a tribute to every woman. The collection was created and inspired from the majestic first letter of the Arabic alphabet, beautifully signifying strong roots, proud origins and the core pillar as ‘Assel’ in Arabic. To honor all the women in the GCC who inspire and continue to contribute to our life and society within the Arab world, this simplistic and modern collection was designed to honor their strength and achievements as the integral pillars of today’s society, our “Alif’s”.




A closer look at how entrepreneur Daymond John went from waiting tables to amassing a $300 million fortune





Ma’an aims to support a culture of social contribution and participation in Abu Dhabi

The 2021 Porsche Taycan reveals new features for Porsche’s first electric sports car



Exclusive tips on how to navigate success in 2021

The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand



7 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours

Tiffany & Co.’s initiative to share the origins and full craftsmanship journey of its diamonds

The supercar for those who want to cover great distances in great comfort, at great speeds




Exclusive interview with luxury interior designer Kate Instone


An exclusive interview with Caha Capo founder and serial entrepreneur Donna Benton about her latest swimwear venture


Top 5 ultra-luxe experiences at bucket-list destinations

A Q&A with Secret Skin Founder Anisha Oberoi

An insider’s perspective on the increasing need for ethically made school uniforms.

The Hummer EV SUT will be an all-new model for the GMC lineup









Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Concept gets a touch of colour.


Blancpain - Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition


The LV 408 Trainer by Louis Vuitton gets a Denim Update


A selection of exceptional watches to help you create the perfect seasonal look.

Blended in ways that defy the standard rulebook, get your wardrobe ready for the cooler months with the season’s hottest trends




Jacob & Co.’s opulent diamond face mask proves to be the most extravagant modernday accessory


Jacquie Aiche’s men’s jewellery collection is all about stepping away from the expected and into the wild

The all-new GoPro Hero 9 Black


The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G brings the night to life



Dubai’s e-scooter program will make urban transport greener and smarter


A collection of fragrances that hit all the right notes


TUMI’s 19 Degree collection is an evolution in travel


The season’s must-have gadgets

Joël Robuchon’s Michelin-starred L’Atelier finally opens in Dubai







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hat a year 2020 has presented us with. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe we’ve finally arrived at our last issue of 2020. I’m not one to wish time away, but this time, I think it’s safe to say that many of us are truly excited for this year to be coming to an end. For us here at Global Citizen, we’ve tried to offer a place of refuge and escape from the COVID-19 storm by curating inspiring topics and personalities from the global stage. So, as we step inside this last issue of 2020, let us be motivated by the people, places and things that may help us find the strength and fortitude as we continue to navigate our way through uncharted territory. One who is all too familiar with forging her own unique path is Donna Benton. Find out how this standout serial entrepreneur is quickly carving her name into the ultra-competitive world of beachwear on page 30. On page 96, we chat with Chef Axel Manes, who leads the charge at Joël Robuchon’s Michelin-starred L’Atelier, which has recently opened its doors for a new and exhilarating culinary adventure in Dubai. Our candid Q&A with Anisha Oberoi, the creative force behind Secret Skin, gets up close and personal as she shares her incredible journey from a health crisis to changing the world of beauty (page 44). For the global citizen, we share the top travel destinations that will have your passport at the ready (page 40). For those staying close to home but missing culture abroad, we bring you the world’s most notable must-see virtual art galleries and exhibits that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own space (page 36). Finally, on page 22, we delve into the remarkable life of celebrated fashion pioneer, best-selling author and branding guru Daymond John, who went from waiting tables to amassing a $300 million fortune and inspiring the lives of other aspiring entrepreneurs. As always, stay safe and enjoy the read!

Andrea Antal

GLOBAL CITIZEN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Andrea Antal COPY EDITOR Sameer Denzi ART DIRECTOR Omarr Khattab CONTRIBUTORS Teresa Esmezyan MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208

FIERCE INTERNATIONAL FZ LLC PUBLISHER Dubai Internet City Business Central Tower A - Office 2803 T: +971 4 421 5455 - F: +971 4 421 0208 Copyright 2020 Fierce International. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of Fierce International. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial views of the publisher or Global Citizen. All information in Global Citizen is checked and verified to the best of the publisher’s ability, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.



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An inside look at how celebrated fashion pioneer, best-selling author and branding guru Daymond John went from waiting tables at Red Lobster to amassing a $300 million fortune


eing a successful entrepreneur is no walk in the park. It takes dedication, motivation and focus. At least, that’s what helped entrepreneur, Shark Tank investor, TV personality and author Daymond John. And today, John uses his own personal entrepreneurial experiences to help others grow and achieve their own. Daymond Garfield John was born on February 23, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. He spent his childhood in Hollis, a neighbourhood in Queensland and was brought up by his mother and grandfather after his parents divorced when he was 10. His success story may not have been possible if John had let his difficulty with dyslexia define him. Instead, his entrepreneurial talents were exhibited at an early age; he sold everything from pencils to reconditioned cars. Realizing that traditional academics were not his strength, John enrolled at Bayside High School under a special co-op programme, where students alternated working full-time one week and attending school the next. John’s time working at First Boston, a New York-based bulge bracket investment bank, enabled him to make money, spend time in the city putting his finger on the pulse of everything cool, and gain valuable work experience, all while cutting his school work in half. Upon graduating from high school, John worked as a server at Red Lobster, a casual dining seafood restaurant chain, to fund his entrepreneurial pursuits in the clothing industry. “My mother always said, ‘It takes the same energy to think small as it does to think big,’” he says. “So, dream big and

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think bigger.” In 1992, while still waiting tables at Red Lobster, he mortgaged his mother’s three-level home for $100,000 and set up shop in the basement with three of his childhood friends. They started sewing the FUBU logo on hats, jerseys, sweatshirts, and T-shirts, which they would then sell at concerts, festivals and tradeshows. This was the beginning of FUBU, an acronym for For Us, By Us. The brand came into the limelight when entertainer LL Cool J wore a FUBU T-shirt and a FUBU hat for some advertisements in 1993. From that point, FUBU quickly became one of the leading urban clothing lines, setting fashion trends for young African Americans. However, FUBU's popularity soon extended beyond the inner city, from suburban malls in the Midwest, quickly transforming into a true international powerhouse. Since its inception, FUBU became a fashion game-changer and has grown into a $6 billion empire, expanding into entertainment and professional sportswear. Unfortunately, John’s success came at a hefty price in his personal life. While John is now happily married to his second wife, with whom he has a daughter, he has two daughters from his first marriage, while creating his FUBU brand. John told CNBC that his first wife “literally saw me on TV more than she saw me in person because I was in commercials all the time and other than that, I was hanging out.” After the tumultuous break-up of his marriage, his wife


Daymond John speaking at a Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship event, Nairobi, Kenya 2020 NOV / DEC



Shark Tank’s ‘sharks’ (L-R) Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban

Daymond John with Sesame Street's Grover and Abby Cadabby at the red carpet before a US Open opening night ceremony in New York. 24 NOV / DEC 2020


Daymond John at a speaking event. pledged not to take away his daughters completely if he would begin to use his accomplishments by paying it forward and helping others — a non-negotiable deal, according to his wife. So, he began supporting under-served entrepreneurs and mentoring young men of colour through programs such as President Obama’s initiative, where he was appointed as an ambassador to promote underserved entrepreneurs. John is also one of the star investors in the award-winning American hit reality TV series Shark Tank, which first aired in 2009. Alongside his fellow “sharks” and business moguls, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec, John gives his own input, advice and money towards budding entrepreneurs. “I really do enjoy giving worthy people an opportunity of a lifetime” he says. To date, John has invested over $8.5 million in over 60 entrepreneurial pitches throughout the show’s 100 episodes. Some of his favourite investments on record were Al "Bubba" Baker's boneless ribs and Bombas socks. John, a thyroid cancer survivor, is also a passionate spokesperson for the Starkey Hearing Foundation, following his personal struggles with hearing loss. “I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I realized I had trouble hearing, but I can remember always thinking that other people were mumbling or that a TV wasn’t on loud enough. But honestly, I didn’t think it was a problem until I was invited to a Starkey Hearing Foundation event and had the chance to try on a hearing device. That’s when I knew. It was like night and day and I knew that I needed to get tested and figure out what was going on,” he explained.

“I was suffering from tinnitus (ringing-ear syndrome) in one ear and something else was going on in the other." John cites listening to music loudly while growing up as the major cause of his hearing loss: "I'd also been on music tours since I was 14 years old, so I was always too close to the speaker," he said. John also serves on the Board of Overseers and volunteers as a host or judge at events hosted by NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship), a global organisation with chapters in 10 countries that teaches the value of entrepreneurship and core competencies to students in low income areas. His drive and determination to effectively translate his insights into entrepreneurship, marketing and branding have led him to be an in-demand motivational speaker as well as the author of four successful books, landing him on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-sellers lists. John has received numerous awards, including Brandweek Marketer of the Year, the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year Award (twice), the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, the Essence Award, Crain's New York Business Forty Under Forty Award, Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Brandeis University International Business School's Asper Award for Excellence in Global Entrepreneurship, Details 50 Most Influential Men, and the Congressional Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship (twice). “My mother always said, ‘It takes the same energy to think small as it does to think big,’” John says. “So dream big and think bigger.” 2020 NOV / DEC




Exclusive interview with luxury interior designer Kate Instone 26 NOV / DEC 2020



enowned luxury interior designer, Kate Instone, takes luxury design to new heights for her coveted clientele across the globe. With a 20-year history in art and architecture, Instone’s natural instinct to combine elegance and beauty with effortless functionality, is what makes her one of the world’s most sought-after designers. In 2007, she founded Blush International, her international design firm with offices in London, the UAE and the US. Blush’s portfolio boasts award-winning projects for a range of high-networth individuals and corporations, including some of the most elegant and sophisticated interiors for private residents, super yachts and private jets. In this exclusive interview, Kate shares her inspiration, creative process, favourite projects, and trends to watch. What seasonal trends have been your favourite so far this year? Colour and pattern! I love that colour is back in fashion. So many people are scared to use bright colours. A colourful room is such a mood lifter, I highly recommend it! With the festive season on the way, our minds tend to think about classic red, green and gold tones. Is this true of how interior colours change with the seasons? Design is like fashion, it has seasons. As you want to snuggle up in a cashmere jumper in the wintertime, you want your interior to take on a cosier atmosphere as the days become shorter and weather becomes cooler. As with fashion, this can be done through accessorising. Think seasonal scented candles (l love Diptyque’s frosted candles), swapping out your throw cushions

This shows a close up of the seating area and my vintage Louis Vuitton trunk that we use as a coffee table. for warmer tones and softer fabrics, such as velvets, faux furs and chenille’s, adding junky cashmere throws; changing your summer floral arrangements to traditional poinsettia’s, or a display of vibrant red roses. As you would dress yourself for a Christmas party, adding a touch of glamour and sparkle, you can dress your rooms for the cooler months by adding touches of seasonal colour and extra layers of texture. One of my favourite places to shop for seasonal accessories is Lux Deco. They have a great selection. What materials are popular this year? Is there anything to keep our eyes on that will be on-trend for 2021? I think sustainability and ethically sourced products have been popular this year and will become even more important next year. Handmade local products from artisans are so unique and interesting, they really bring character and soul to a room. I think it is far more chic to have something that no one else has rather than wanting to follow the crowd! How do you keep up with the current trends, particularly in the current times when events and trade shows have been cancelled? What are your sources, or is it more of an organic process? The design world, much like the rest of the world, has been very successful at keeping everyone virtually updated and connected, and I think we have been more exposed to new products and collections than maybe we were before. It’s almost like everyone has taken more time and more effort to keep connected. We historically source from all over the world, searching out the unusual and the unique; however, due to the current situation,

Hand-blocked wallpaper and serip organic chandelier.

2020 NOV / DEC



we have been looking closer to home and discovering amazing craftsmanship right on our doorstep. We love the fact that we are supporting small local businesses and reducing our environmental impact at the same time. What are you working on at the moment? As always, we are creating beautiful and functional family homes for our clients around the world. We are so lucky to have such wonderful clients who trust in our professionalism, creativity and experience. We are also currently working with Lindsay Lohan on her new apartment in Dubai, which is lots of fun! I love that sustainability is incredibly important to Lindsay, instead of stripping out the existing features in the apartment, she wants to restore and reuse wherever possible. She is very conscious about unnecessary waste and the environmental impact that this has. We are totally upscaling the existing elements, painting, renovating and updating. It’s incredibly exciting to take what is old and to transform it into something new. With a little more thought and LL’s creativity, we have managed to transform so much of the apartment without simply ripping it out, throwing it away and buying new. I am really inspired by Lindsay’s passion for sustainability. It was so refreshing to experience as we live in such a throw-away culture. What is your favourite project to date and why? I have two favourite projects that are very different. A few years ago, we worked with a children’s hospital in London, helping to re-design the family apartments to create calming and comforting spaces. I felt very honoured that I was able to play a very small

Entrance hall showcasing my leaf chandelier By Luum Lighting, a cascade of aluminium discs pierced with a sunray design. Inlaid floors with an art deco-inspired pattern. part in hopefully bringing some element of peace and comfort to families during stressful times. My second favourite has to be working with my client and friend, Alon Zakaim, designing his London home. Alon owns a famous art gallery on Dover Street in London, specializing in impressionist, modern and contemporary art, and consequently, has the most spectacular collection. It was such a joy to work with Alon, creating interiors around his world-class and ever-evolving art collection. One of the most stunning and interesting homes I have ever worked on. What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten for a job? Gosh, now that would be telling! Where do you find your inspiration? Inspiration is everywhere. My father is a renowned architect and, from an early age, my father would search out the most beautiful and interesting buildings in the world to explore. From historic treasures to brutalist monuments, he would take us on tours to discover their individual beauty and cultural influence. These buildings have been imprinted in my memory, and I always draw inspiration from these memories and experiences. You’ve created quite the career for yourself. Do you have your own personal philosophy? I very much believe that design and life are aligned—intertwined. I believe a room, a building, talks to you, and if you listen to a space, it will tell you what it needs. It is not my preference to work off a plan. I like to stand in a space to experience and observe. You 28 NOV / DEC 2020

Hand-blocked wallpaper and serip organic chandelier.


Poppy’s pink bathroom, I needed to create a pink bathroom that she wouldn’t grow out of! Blush pink mosaic tiles and pink and gold terrazzo printed wallpaper. Pink, but timeless. must consider the light, the surroundings and the energy. I do not believe in a cooker approach of one style for all projects. I believe that each area/room/space deserves its own identity; each area should be carefully considered and respected. This philosophy is true in life: Life is always talking to you, giving you signs and turning you in the right direction. If you allow yourself to stand still, to experience and observe life, the answers to your questions will come. In both life and design, you should always follow your instincts. What do you see for the future of design? As the late Terrace Conran said: “Good quality design improves

the quality of people’s lives.” I believe that wellness and sustainability will play a huge role in the future of design. We will keep creating sanctuaries for our clients, homes that exude a sense of calm and safety. Different zones for each member of the family and creative spaces that allow us to switch off from technology and reconnect with our inner selves. I believe the future of design is to help improve our clients’ wellbeing, and in turn, their quality of life. I believe that design must also play its part in protecting the environment. We must make informed decisions when selecting and sourcing materials. 2020 NOV / DEC



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An exclusive interview with Caha Capo founder and serial entrepreneur Donna Benton about her latest swimwear venture


eet Caha Capo. If you haven't heard about this swimwear line yet, you're in for a real treat. Serial entrepreneur and founder Donna Benton founded the brand with the hope of giving women, men and children of all shapes and sizes the option to choose swimsuits that fit into their lifestyle and offers the opportunity for everyone wearing the brand to feel positive and confident. Benton is no stranger when it comes to venturing into unknown territory. She is one of the most successful and stand-out entrepreneurs in the Middle East and founder of The Entertainer, which launched back in 2001, and has since covered more than 40 destinations across 15 countries. This homegrown brand has contributed $1.3 billion to the economy each year and experienced 25-30 percent profit growth every

year under Donna’s leadership. The landmark sale and final exit for Donna, reached a nine-figure mark in USD—an extraordinary achievement that marked one of the largest start-up sales in the region to date. Under The Benton Group label, Caha Capo joins a bevy of brands in TBG’s portfolio, covering many industry segments including beauty, entertainment, fashion, hospitality, leisure, property, sports, technology and travel. Some of the key companies include Dawson Sports, Sunset Hospitality Group and Chloe’s Hair Beauty and Nails. In this exclusive interview, we had a chance to talk to Donna about her latest innovative swimwear venture that recently celebrated its global launch and find out what sets Caha Capo apart in the world of swimwear. 2020 NOV / DEC



How did the idea for Caha Capo come about? Caha Capo is a swimwear brand inspired by the most glamorous beach destinations and a lifelong love of travel. In terms of why I was motivated to delve into the swimwear industry and why now, it was simple. There was a lack of good, well-priced swimwear options in the market, not just at a local level, but also globally. With renowned Australian swimwear brand Seafolly announcing voluntary administration

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just a few months ago, Caha Capo was perfectly placed to launch into this space. As a business owner, you have to be poised to spot new trends and act, so knowing your sector and reacting to it is key. What does the name Caha Capo mean? Caha Capo stands for CAring, HAppy, CAsual, POsitive, with the brand’s ethos firmly rooted in these core values.


What can we find within the collection? Caha Capo’s debut collection, available in sizes 6-16 (in the coming months this will expand to a size 18), encompasses mix and match bikinis, flattering swimsuits, resort wear and accessories in 11 rich, bespoke colourways. Split into two distinct categories —Fashion and Essentials, the core swimwear collection offers a wide variety of styles, support and coverage for every body type. Caha Capo enables a refreshingly modern mix and match approach, which, when researching the brand and talking to women, we realized was extremely important to consider and work into the range. With the brand launching globally, we were also very aware of the need for sun protection, especially in countries such as Australia, so every piece of the collection boasts in-built UPF50+ sun protection—again, something that is often neglected in the swimwear market. Signature styles include the Donna One Piece, a swimsuit that balances a supportive structure with flattering cut-out detailing, and the Aidy and Cherie Set. The Aidy top is a bandeau style with a v-wire providing the ultimate in versatile bikini tops; the Cherie bottoms offer the classic tie-side option. Must-have accessories include simple sarongs; in stretchy, bikini fabric, the Marina sarong is the ideal throw-on piece. Extremely lightweight, the sarong won’t take up valuable space when travelling or when packing your beach bag. The Lorne Neoprene Pouch is a handy waterproof zip-up pouch designed for wet swimwear, sunscreen or valuables. The Sandy is the perfect beach towel, made of 100% cotton, it features multi-coloured stripes; and the Burleigh Cap is a Caha Capo unisex signature. Mini Capo, the brand’s children’s wear range spans ages 3-12,

with girls’ pieces consisting of one-pieces, rash vests, sun hats and bikinis. Boys can choose from rash vests in different prints. Girls favourites include the Chloe One Piece, a nautical, striped swimsuit with a fun off-shoulder design, and the Mila Bikini Set, a striped design, featuring ruching to the front and ruffles on the sleeves with bow detailing at the back. How does Caha Capo support sustainability and reduce carbon footprint? Caha Capo focuses on two main areas of sustainability, which are the fabrics we use and the factories we manufacture in. We utilise sustainably produced Italian fabric of the highest quality; a specific example would be that one of the fabrics we use to produce the swimwear is recycled Nylon. In terms of the production, all our factories are either GRScertified (Global Recycled Standard Certificate) or Green Sustainable factories. For example, we harvest rainwater and recycle it to avoid wastage. We also put an immense focus on the operating conditions of the employees. Working hours are strictly regulated, there is fair pay scale, no child labour, and creches for working mothers with children. This goes alongside a healthy environment with regular medical check-ups conducted, and no hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing. Overall, we follow the highest ethical standards for our manufacturing. How would you describe your own style? For work, I like to keep it smart and sophisticated, with something of a tried and tested uniform. At the weekend, I tend to be much more casual with a few trend-led pieces incorporated – overall everything I wear has to be comfortable.

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Growing up on the beach and being a beach lover yourself, do you have your own Caha Capo favourite design? A bikini lover at heart, my favourite Caha Capo set is the Ainsley top and the Cherie bottoms. In terms of one pieces, the Donna is versatile and incredibly flattering. Where do you find inspiration? Being Australian, I grew up on the beach, with long, sun-drenched summers, so I have always been passionate about swimwear, and would consider myself something of a swimwear lover. Inspiration for me comes in many forms, it could be the way colours appear together, a print on a dress, or the mood of a beach club here in Dubai. Of course, travel is rich with inspiration, but inspiration can be found everywhere and anywhere. You are passionate about supporting other start-ups and entrepreneurs. How do you and TBG support other businesses in this mission? As a lifelong entrepreneur, I remain passionate about giving back to those just starting out, so part of The Benton Group’s profits will go back into the startup community to give other entrepreneurs much-needed opportunities and a platform to launch themselves. I understand the challenges of launching a new venture first-hand, and would encourage all budding entrepreneurs to remain resilient when starting out.

Do you have any advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own brand? It is important to start something you love and are passionate about – because there will always be challenges along the way, but your innate passion for your brand or business will ensure you are able to take on those challenges. One of the key skills for any entrepreneur is understanding your strengths and development areas. Having the intrinsic ability to recognize these will benefit the business at multiple stages, from the key decisions you make, to the partners you bring on, and the employees you hire. Finally, patience truly is a virtue in business. Nothing of value is easily won and as quick-thinking as entrepreneurs need to be, patience should be valued. What’s next for Caha Capo? The brand will launch board shorts for men and boys within the coming month, and a standalone Caha Capo store is set to open within Mall of the Emirates in December 2020. The women’s resort wear collection is also set to expand in the coming months. To shop the brand visit: Women’s one pieces start from AED 650 and women’s bikini sets start from AED 675. 2020 NOV / DEC



VIRTUAL EXPLORER Experience the best galleries and museums from London to Sao Paolo in the comfort of your own home THE LOUVRE - Paris The world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, it houses approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century throughout its 782,910 square feet (72, 735 sqm). In 2019, the Louvre was the most visited museum in the world with over 9.5 million visitors. The museum opened in 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second

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French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. Virtual tour highlights: With seven virtual tours available, visit the museum rooms and galleries, admire the palace architecture and enjoy the views, including The Advent of the Artist, Power Plays, The Body in Movement, Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader, Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and Garlier d’Apollon.


UFFIZI GALLERY - Florence The Uffizi was designed in 1560 for Cosimo de' Medici, who had entrusted his favourite architect, Giorgio Vasari, to create a grandiose building to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany. The museum is organized as a long labyrinth of rooms with amazing works of art displayed roughly in chronological order along a U-shaped Renaissance building. The Uffizi Gallery has a comprehensive and voluminous collection of Florentine paintings from the Late Gothic through the Renaissance and Mannerist periods. Its holdings of works

by Sandro Botticelli are quite extraordinary, and the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florence. It also has antiques, sculpture, and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. Virtual tour highlights: Take in the art and history behind a number of famed works, including Piero di Cosimo’s scenes from Ovid's tale, Perseus Freeing Andromeda; The Santa Trinita Maestà, Cimabue; The Creative Process Behind Federico Barocci's Drawings; and Amico revisited: Drawings by Amico Aspertini and other Bolognese artists.

THE VATICAN MUSEUMS - Vatican City The Vatican Museums are the public art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by the Catholic Church and the papacy throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display throughout its 54 galleries. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century.

The Sistine Chapel with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. In 2019, they were visited by 6,882,931 people, which combined made them the third most visited art museum in the world. They are one of the largest museums in the world. Virtual tour highlights: Take an exclusive 360-degree tour through Raphael’s Room, the Sistine Chapel, the New Wing, Pio Clementino Museum, Salone Sistino, and the Profane Museum.

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RIJKSMUSEUM - Amsterdam The Rijksmuseum is situated at the Museum Square in the borough of Amsterdam South, near the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw. and is dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. It was founded in The Hague in 1798 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The museum displays 8,000 pieces from their total collection

of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in its Asian pavilion. Virtual tour highlights: A free app enables visitors to visit 14 different multimedia tours and explore many great routes created by visitors using Rijksstudio.

SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - Washington D.C. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of over 145 million samples of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. It is also the national collections and research facilities. The main building home to about 185 professional natural history scientists—the has an overall area of 1.5 million square feet (140,000 sqm) with largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and 325,000 square feet (30,200 sqm) of exhibition and public space cultural history in the world. and houses over 1,000 employees. Virtual tour highlights: Visitors can take self-guided, roomIt contains the world’s largest natural history collection, boasting by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum.

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THE MUSEU DE ARTE DE SÃO PAULO - São Paulo Founded in 1947 by Assis Chateaubriand and Pietro Maria Bardi, MASP is situated in São Paulo, Brazil. It is internationally recognized for its collection of European art, considered the finest in Latin America and all Southern Hemisphere. It’s architecture alone, designed by Lina Bo Bardi, makes it world-renowned landmark and a main symbol of modern Brazilian architecture. In addition to playing an important role in important initiatives concerning museology and art education in Brazil, as well as a pioneering cultural center, it was also the first Brazilian museum

interested in Post-World War II art. It houses a robust collection of Brazilian art, prints and drawings, as well as smaller collections of African and Asian art, antiquities, decorative arts, and others, amounting to more than 8,000 pieces. Virtual tour highlights: Discover Art in Fashion: MASP’s Rhodia Collection; Art from Italy: from Rafael to Titian; Art from Brazil until 1900; Art from France: Delacroix to Cezanne; Histories of Madness: The Drawings of Juquery, and the Picture Gallery in Transformation.

THE BRITISH MUSEUM - London Located in the Bloomsbury area of London, UK, the British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Established in 1753, its permanent collection is considered among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, boasting some eight million works. Widely sourced during the era of the British Empire, it documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. No stranger to controversy, there has been dispute regarding its ownership of some notable pieces originating in other countries,

namely the Elgin Marbles of Greece and the Rosetta Stone of Egypt. Virtual tour highlights: Explore a broad selection of Western graphic art from the 1400s until today. The Oceania Collection is also available for virtual visitors to view some of the world’s most important collections of art and artefacts from Oceania, a vast region of the world that includes Australia, New Guinea and the many islands spread across the expansive South Pacific Ocean.

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Top 5 private experiences at destinations now open for GCC travellers

EXPLORE THE ETERNAL CITY OF ROME AT A DISTANCE IN A VINTAGE CAR WITH ROME CAVALIERI While tourist spots and activities are reopening cautiously in car is parked next to the hotel entrance and from here guests can Italy, with strict measures in place and welcoming only a sizable start the driving experience. Visitors can explore Rome’s millennial number of visitors, this is the perfect opportunity for travellers to treasures while comfortably seated onboard the Spiaggina get an exclusive experience of Rome, and imbibe that famous la (meaning “little beach” in Italian). The hotel Concierge is always dolce vita through once-in-a-lifetime luxury experiences without available to give valuable insider tips for a truly customized having to queue in line for hours. discovery of the Eternal City – from the Coliseum, the Baths of Rome Cavalieri savours the best of the eternal city with Caracalla, or the Castel Sant’Angelo, to the highest hills for an ultra-private luxury experiences perfect for a socially-distanced amazing sunset experience. Alternatively, guests can enjoy more discovery of Rome. Rome Cavalieri’s new “Spiaggina Experience” modern attractions such as the MAXXI Museum, Eataly or the invites guests to explore the beauties of Rome while wandering Auditorium. A one-off experience that’s hard to beat as it allows the city in a zero-emission electric Fiat Spiaggina vintage car; the the opportunity to stop and savour local delicacies.

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EXPERIENCE THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE ENDANGERED MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE WILD IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST EXCEPTIONAL NATURAL LOCATIONS Cushioned in the foothills of the breathtaking Virunga volcano watching the playful human-like mountain gorillas interact, feed range, One&Only Gorilla's Nest offers an exclusive front-row and play. seat to observe endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, a truly In addition to the iconic gorilla trekking, guests of the resort can unique experience for visitors. also immerse themselves in both the wildlife and the history and The rare opportunity to see endangered mountain gorillas in culture of Rwanda through a curated selection of unforgettable the wild is often described as a life-changing experience. It begins yet private experiences, such as hiking to spot golden monkeys with a bespoke briefing at the resort with one of the Experience through the jungle canopy, birdwatching, traversing the ancient Guides the night before the trek, followed by an early morning Mount Bisoke in a challenging 8-hour hike, or exploring the colourful departure for the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters, where fragrant rose garden at the resort. guides explain fascinating insights into the family dynamics and The resort also offers a wide range of complimentary activities, personality traits of the 12 habituated gorilla families in the area. for guests to truly enjoy the outdoors, ranging from early morning The hike takes between 30 minutes to over 4 hours, depending trail runs to fascinating nature walks, calming yoga overlooking on the current location of the family, and the reward is a full hour the wild vistas, and outdoor movie screenings under the stars.

EMBARK ON A JOURNEY OF HEALING BODY & MIND ON A BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINSIDE OVERLOOKING THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA At the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain, relax and rejuvenate the immune system and reduce inflammation to improve lung with an experience of learning and disconnection in an ideal function. Different studies increasingly confirm that residual lung environment. SHA’s team of professionals impart an approach lesions are one of the most persistent effects left by COVID-19 to new healthy habits with a personalised nutrition and wellness in some people. Dr. Mayorga carries out these treatments by plan, blending natural therapies, technological treatments, and applying stem cells by nebulisation, which act directly on the activities that enable new lifestyle habits. Guests can opt for affected cells and tissues producing cell regeneration. SHA has also implemented numerous measures to safeguard a 7-day Rebalance programme, including medical services, a general health examination, laboratory testing, a consultation guests’ health and well-being, whilst adhering to the standards with a health and nutrition expert, and personalised health plan. of excellence and sustainability that inspire their brand. Among Natural therapies include acupuncture, traditional massages, these includes the requirement of a PCR or IgM/igG test before cryotherapy session, and aquatic therapy session. Minds & body arrival at SHA, a medical check-up upon arrival, including an sessions are also available, such as yoga or meditation, and an antibody test, heat sensitive cameras throughout the facility, and health kits for all guests. The facility is now also offering introductory fitness evaluation with a personal trainer. The programme can be personalised according each guest’s medical and healthcare for guests during their stay, as well as wellness needs. Currently, at SHA Wellness Clinic, Dr. Oscar full coverage of repatriation or medical transport of injured or Mayorga is working on regeneration treatments for post-COVID-19 sick patients, and covering extended stay expenses due to patients with secondary lung damage. Stem cells help modulate medical quarantine.

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GIVE IN TO YOUR ADVENTUROUS SIDE WHILE EXPLORING THE MALDIVES CROSSROADS is redefining the Maldives as a world-class and emerald coloured islands await. Participants are securely lifestyle, leisure and entertainment destination. Located just a strapped into a parachute attached to the back of a speedboat. 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport and The speedboat accelerates and you gently glide up into the air the Maldives capital of Malé, airport transfers and daytrips are behind it as the parachute catches the wind. As you rise into straightforward and quick, ideal for GCC travellers who wish to the air, you can admire the stunning views of the Maldives from embark on an adventure amongst the breathtakingly exotic South a bird’s perspective before safely touching back down again. Despite the high speeds involved, you hardly feel the force of the Malé Atoll and Emboodhoo Lagoon. Best Dives Maldives is operating at CROSSROADS, so guests wind as you float high in the sky behind the boat. can book an array of leisure activities and private experiences while staying at its two stylish resorts; SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Semi-Submarine: The SEMI SUBMARINE is completely new, Collection by Hilton, and the iconic Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. different and exciting, allowing guests to go on a dive without even Activities and experiences bookable through the hotels include getting wet. While the upper body of the vessel remains above diving to discover an incredible world of colourful marine life and the sea surface at all times, the bottom part is 1.3 meters below vibrant coral reefs in crystal-clear water; watersports, yachting and and, through large windows of the underwater hull, enables you excursions, such as big game fishing, semi-submarine, snorkel to enjoy spectacular views of the underwater ecosystem, thus creating the illusion of a real submarine dive. This is the only excursions and dolphin watching. Parasailing: Head up, up and away and experience the Maldives vessel where you sit below the sea surface and feel like you are from the air. Spectacular 360-degree views of the turquoise lagoon actually diving.

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CELEBRATE MISSED MOMENTS WITH YOUR LOVED ONE AT A PRIVATE BEACH SIDE DINING EXPERIENCE ON THE PALM As this year has seen the cancellation and postponement of arranged table in the secluded cabana. A bottle of Champagne many engagements, weddings and other key moments, One&Only and soft background music create the perfect ambiance to enjoy The Palm invites guests to celebrate their love in ultimate privacy a delectable three-course meal curated by three-Michelin-starred and idyllic seclusion, with a romantic dinner next to their sparkling Chef Yannick Alléno, who oversees the resort’s culinary offering. turquoise pool, available to book for guests staying at the hotel and Crowning a private apex of Dubai’s exclusive Palm Island, for external guests through reservations. One&Only The Palm is an elegant retreat wrapped in golden sands. Lapped by warm Gulf waters, the resort’s beautifully manicured Poolside Private Dining: A romantic candlelight dinner overlooking grounds showcase low-rise architecture with a glittering cityscape the sparkling Grand Pool is the perfect culinary experience to treat beyond. Known for its renowned, traditional Arabian hospitality, the a loved one. Guests follow a trail of glowing candles to a beautifully resort warmly welcomes visitors within the Middle East’s cultural hub.

2020 NOV / DEC




A Q&A with Secret Skin Founder Anisha Oberoi


ecret Skin connects mindful consumers to conscious beauty products which are natural, organic and sustainable. With a powerful mission to raise awareness about clean beauty, mindful consumption, and women’s health in the region, the beauty tech start-up carefully curates products from marquee brands from England, USA, India, South Africa, Australia and the UAE. “We need to move from vanity to

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humanity; conscious consumption is indeed the need of the hour,” says Secret Skin's trailblazing female founder, Anisha Oberoi. In our exclusive Q&A with Anisha - a former Hospitality & Fashion executive and alumna of INSEAD and Columbia Business School – we learn about how Secret Skin came to be and what sets Secret Skin apart from other clean beauty platforms.


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Have you always wanted to run your own business? Had you told me this time last year that in 12 months the world would be in the throes of a pandemic, and I would start my own digital beauty platform as founder and CEO, I wouldn’t have believed you. I always wanted to become a powerful C-suite female executive in a Fortune 500 company like Indra Nooyi or Sheryl Sandberg. That’s what ‘good’ looked like when I was growing up. Though I never dreamed of being a businesswoman, I’ve been entrepreneurial in everything I’ve done professionally. I launched ‘start-ups’ within the construct of larger organisations, be it the fashion e-commerce vertical for Amazon, or a new geography for Ermenegildo Zegna when they entered India in my luxury retail days. I always wanted to spearhead an organisation, but I did not think of Secret Skin until I came to a personal crossroads in my career progression path in Dubai. How did the idea for Secret Skin begin? Even as I was exploring corporate roles after I moved here to match the scale, thrill and scope of Amazon, the effort felt restrictive in its opportunity to contribute and limited in its sphere of influence. I had started to lean more towards ‘meaning vs. money,’ and the attraction towards building something personal from scratch that would have social value began to grow within me. I was already a crusader for clean beauty in my personal life having dealt with breast cancer a decade ago. I was unhappy having to pay 55 to 85 percent overage in shipping and customs duties to buy a clean product

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from outside the UAE and then have to wait at least seven days to receive it. I saw a gap and a sizeable market opportunity given the significant appetite for beauty and personal care here in the MENA region. No pure-play beauty platforms that sold global green brands existed (like Credo in the US, for example), and the market was fragmented. How did the name Secret Skin come about? One factor was data: ‘Skin’ is a highly searched keyword in beauty e-commerce, so I knew the word had to exist as part of the brand identity. The other factor was authenticity; our secret skin is the deepest, purest part of us - it’s also the strongest. Yet, we hide its truth from the world, afraid of being judged. I wanted a name that portrayed self-love and strength of purpose beyond socially conditioned restrictions; something that made you stop and think of the underlying philosophy; a name that would carry a legacy. How do you go about finding like-minded brands to partner with? I research global brands in the clean beauty space, many of which I use or endorse myself. I read up on their underlying philosophies and product lines, how transparent they are about their sustainability processes, ingredients, formulation processes, claims, press coverage, awards, customer testimonials, etc. I then connect with the founders on LinkedIn or Instagram and set up Zoom meetings to present my vision with the hope that they will partner with us and support


our mission, providing the synergies are aligned and the unit economics make mutual sense. Since our launch, we have signed on more names using the same strategic approach of becoming their on-ground partner. It certainly became easier as our portfolio increased with notable brands trusting us to introduce them to the Middle East. Can you tell us more about the ethos behind your brand? Secret Skin’s origin is really my own story, born out of desperation and helplessness that dates back to when I fought an aggressive form of breast cancer. I knew back then that I would one day work for the benefit of women, such as myself, in some form or manner. Today, this need is even more amplified from a cultural perspective. We want to build an inclusive, gender-neutral community of beauty lovers that embodies the virtues of conscious consumption and pro-environment behavior, in the hope that within that journey they can influence a collective change that benefits our ecosystem and the world at large. Secret Skin is my platform to channel this ethos and authentically work towards making the world more aware about the importance of mindful living, one customer at a time. Why is clean and toxin-free so important to you? I am alarmed at the ingredients that are legally used in personal care products targeted at female consumers. Legality cannot be a proxy for ethics. Formulations can contain potential carcinogens, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc., which are linked to hormone disruptions and may negatively impact

fertility. As a young adult, I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) – a common condition found in many women and was prescribed contraceptive medication to regulate my menstrual cycle. Many years later, the pathology revealed that there may have been a link to the breast cancer since the mutation was hormone driven. There is no proven direct correlation, but we need to do everything possible to ensure that we are not ingesting toxins, whether through our consumption of food or the products we apply on our body. Do you have favourite brand(s) or product(s) in your portfolio? Very tough to answer as Secret Skin is really in essence, a collection of my favourite things. Products that I use compulsively every day in my own routine are the Bitter Apricot Body Oil from Purearth, Luminous Ceremony Face Cleanser from Ranavat, Vitamin C Serum from KJ Skincare, Amly’s Radiance Face Oil, and the Grow Strong Shampoo and Conditioner from Mauli. What sets your beauty platform apart from others? Secret Skin presents as a value-driven discovery platform that connects mindful consumers to conscious beauty brands from around the world but built differently than a traditional beauty business model. Instead, it is structured on a triple-bottom-line framework that focuses on social and environmental impact, not just profit. As a beauty tech start-up incorporated locally in the UAE, we are committed to meaningfully disrupt the beauty landscape to raise awareness about clean beauty, mindful consumption and women’s health in the region. Our mission is 2020 NOV / DEC



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to use beauty to engage our audience to discuss social change as part of a larger narrative focusing on holistic wellness for the women in the region. You are keen to practice and promote sustainability. What are the key ways in which you are doing this at Secret Skin? Our brands have sustainability practices across the flywheel of shipping, sourcing, and packaging. By virtue of integration on the platform, this also has a down-stream impact on our own operations. We provide the consumer an opportunity through our recycling app interface to recycle their plastic to earn eco-rewards to shop on the platform. With one single click, customers can support small sustainable businesses, provide microeconomies to indigenous tribes that wild harvest the ingredients found in their products and reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. We fulfill locally with free shipping for you to receive purchases in two days. Our customer packaging is also made locally with 100% recyclable material and ecofriendly foil stamping. What are you most proud of? I feel in a way we won 2020, which has been such a hard year

for the whole world in general, but we were able to build so much value in a short period of time. I incorporated the business on the 26th of February, and we went live with the platform on the 8th of October. This could not have been possible without the right team committed to ensuring its success, despite many personal commitments. I was able to find the right brand partners to boost our efforts and the right investor to support that vision. I was able to passionately inspire everyone along Secret Skin’s journey without missing a beat. That’s what I give myself most credit for. What’s next for Secret Skin? We went live with our MVP model recently and are in the process of fundraising at the moment, looking for impact investors who can help us expand. We will roll out our AIenabled app that integrates interactive tech for our customers to experience AR/VR product encounters as the next step. Currently, we are focused on nailing the basics to provide a world-class online customer experience, scaling with stronger logistics and operational efficiencies and a wider product assortment. Next stop will be worldwide shipping and expanding to the rest of the GCC with a few more surprises along the way. It’s always day one! 2020 NOV / DEC




Ma’an aims to support a culture of social contribution and participation in Abu Dhabi


a’an, an Abu Dhabi-based social investment fund and tech-for-good organization, recently launched its new digital donation platform that empowers local businesses and citizens to do good. Founded in 2019, Ma’an aims to drive the future of social impact and philanthropic participation in the third sector by making donating easier, more effective, and more rewarding, and ultimately nudge charitable organizations towards improving their performance. An initiative led by H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Ma’an’s Director General of Ma’an, it is one of the first platforms that offers nonprofits research, fundraising tech and storytelling tools – all in one place. Through its new platform, the Ma’an Contribution Platform aims to tackle the most pressing social challenges identified in the Emirate, including health, employment and education, family and community, basic human needs and environment. The initiative follows the model established by the Social Investment Fund’s first highly successful programme, “Together We Are Good,” inspiring Abu Dhabi residents and public and private companies to contribute more than AED 1 billion, serving people with educational assistance, medical supplies and food and basic needs. The first active campaign, Social Investment Fund, will provide the financial foundation for funding for future social service groups, non-profit organizations, volunteer groups and social enterprises. Ma’an will allocate contributions through

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relevant partners, with priority given to community-oriented programmes. H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “Through this new Social Investment Fund, we are providing a long-term foundation for us all to work together to bring the vision of our leaders to life to ensure everyone in Abu Dhabi can participate in and enjoy a healthy, sustainable and prosperous society.” Fahad Al Ahbabi, Executive Director, Social Investment Fund at Ma’an, added: “We are capitalizing on the technological solutions, ease of access to such platforms and the generosity of Abu Dhabi citizens and residents, which we have felt in the previous programmes launched by Ma’an. Today this platform will be at the disposal of the community to give more and be part of an integrated ecosystem that will help overcome societal challenges that the emirate might face.” The philanthropic enterprises and individuals who work alongside government entities and the private sector bring the experience, expertise and resources to address critical social challenges and priorities. Working together, these powerful entities can unleash meaningful and sustainable change for good. H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, said: “We have proven that, together, we can strengthen the core fabric of our society to make a positive impact for those who need our support, and for everyone who shares a common vision for the future of Abu Dhabi.”


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Scott Cairns, MD of Creation Business Consultants, offers inside tips on how to navigate success in 2021


his year’s economic landscape has been nothing if unpredictable, with the last nine months affecting different businesses in different ways. Many experienced severe lows and persistent challenges as others moved fast, making bold decisions to maximise opportunities that always arise during a crisis. But whichever side of the coin you fall on, 2021 is about bringing an element of stability back into the picture. Companies suffering losses need to rebuild strategically while those who made gains should shore the foundations before the market shifts again. As we look ahead to 2021, the four areas we would urge business leaders to focus on are: OPERATIONAL AGILITY During the pandemic, we witnessed an increase in entrepreneurs leaving large firms to set up independently, with many in a good position to succeed. Start-ups are known

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for their flexibility, adapting to customer needs quickly. Whereas, bigger players can get left behind by being slow to make changes because of opportunities and threats. From a systems perspective, it might cost large companies more to integrate new products and processes that increase agility, but these changes represent significant value in the longterm. Less costly ways to speed up decision-making include giving fewer employees more authority and controlling digital communication so that only the relevant parties are included in the discussion. Setting an efficient example from the top also means building a senior team adept in change management, to cope with an evolving environment and motivate employees on the journey. RESTRUCTURING FOR SUCCESS There has been a big rise in the number of group entities restructuring across the region. Some commentators see it


as a negative indicator, yet restructuring is often a positive strategic move in any economic climate. Analysing structure for potential cost-saving and inefficiencies helps to reduce overheads, lessen risk, improve profitability, and streamline operations. Depending on the company set up, options can include migrating to a different freezone, combining trade licences, consolidating divisions, renegotiating sponsorship agreements, and liquidating certain assets. Mergers and acquisitions are an area where we’ve seen a lot of activity. Combining with a complementary business is a good way to share costs and expand resources. Plus, it’s a salient time to look for distressed sales and consider acquiring smaller competitors to strengthen your position. UPSKILLING AND SUPPORTING STAFF It’s natural to examine personnel costs when times are tough; however, redundancies should be the last resort. Now is the time to retain and retrain talent to expand their capabilities based on new working practices. For example, increased automation was already affecting the execution of certain roles and the pandemic has only accelerated the move towards digital transformation – an area not everyone feels comfortable. Talent strategies should cover practical training needs, as well as softer skills, such as resilience and emotional intelligence, which are critical for building high-performing teams in

uncertain times. As well as investing in upskilling, an easy way to reduce risk is to make sure employees are skilled in multiple areas. That way they can share roles and responsibilities in the event that one individual is sick or incapacitated. Many business owners will have spent time fighting fires in recent months. Still, with the right planning and empowerment measures they can maintain a broader perspective the next time problems arise. EXPECT THE NEXT CRISIS No one wants to anticipate more obstacles ahead, but if there’s one lesson we’ve learnt in the past year, it’s to expect the unexpected. And, planning for the worst is a must. The widespread global fall-out from COVID-19 might be unique, but crises large and small can put organisations at risk daily. Natural disasters, technology failures, financial instability, and employee negligence are just some of the potential catastrophes you need to plan for in order to mitigate their effects. In PwC’s 2019 Global Crisis Survey, 41% of companies that emerged stronger after a crisis had allocated budget to crisis management beforehand — and 39% saw their revenue grow as a result. One of the main aspects to future-proof is your contracts, specifically with extraordinary events such as COVID in mind. This applies to both client contracts, as well as internal employment contracts. 2020 NOV / DEC



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Tiffany & Co. takes sustainability to new heights with its industry-first initiative to share the origins and full craftsmanship journey of its diamonds


orporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly salient concept in the world of retail. More and more companies are focusing on how they can make the world a better place—an initiative that not only benefits the company, but also the greater community. In 2019, Tiffany & Co. launched its Diamond Source Initiative, sharing with consumers the provenance (region or countries of origin) of its newly sourced registered diamonds. Now, the renowned jewellery brand is taking diamond traceability to new heights by disclosing the full craftsmanship journey of each newly sourced, individually registered diamond (0.18 carats and larger), including where it was cut and polished, graded and quality assured, as well as set. “Our customers deserve to know that a Tiffany diamond was sourced with the highest standards, not only in quality but also in social and environmental responsibility. We believe that diamond traceability is the best means to ensure both,” said Anisa

Kamadoli Costa, Tiffany & Co.’s Chief Sustainability Officer. In an industry that is notoriously elusive about its supply chain, Andrew Hart, SVP Diamond and Jewellery Supply for Tiffany & Co., said, “Sharing the craftsmanship journey of Tiffany diamonds reflects decades of investment in our supply chain. Directly sourcing responsibly mined rough diamonds and crafting and setting those diamonds to our standards in our own workshops, is unique to Tiffany among luxury jewellers.” Tiffany has long been recognised for their commitment to upholding highest standards of craftmanship, safe and healthy working environments, community economic development, and supply chain traceability. As a forerunner in sustainable luxury, the company’s foundation has also invested more than $70 million in grants for impactful initiatives that support responsible mining, gender equality in their workforce and supply chain, minimising climate change, as well as wildlife conservation efforts both underwater and on land.

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Q&A WITH ANISA KAMADOLI COSTA, TIFFANY & CO.’S CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER Why does Tiffany & Co. invest in sustainability? The company truly believes it has a responsibility to influence culture and set the standards for excellence—not only in fine jewellery and craftsmanship but also in what it means to be a responsible corporate citizen. We are committed to not only minimising our impact as a business, but also using our brand to advocate for important issues that positively affect communities and protect the planet. From taking bold action on climate change, to supporting organisations that protect biodiversity and precious land and seascapes, to investing in opportunities for the people who create our products, we will continue to use the full power of our brand to bring attention to these critical issues.

have made after more than 20 years investing in social and environmental responsibility, we are continuously innovating our approach in response to the changing business context and evolving stakeholder expectations. One of the things I love about the work that I do is that it is constantly changing. We want to make sure that we’re continuing to evolve and improve as the world changes. There’s always an opportunity to improve practices, set more ambitious goals, and collaborate with new partners to achieve our vision of a sustainable world. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on the issues that matter to our company and the world and apply that lens of innovation that will surprise and delight people.

How does Tiffany ensure responsibility throughout its supply chain? Knowing the origin of our precious metals and gemstones is key to ensuring that the mines we are sourcing from are operated in environmentally and socially responsible ways. That goes further than where a diamond was unearthed and continues until it makes its way to the Blue Box. We go above and beyond the Kimberley Process to source our diamonds with even greater respect for the environment and human rights. In fact, we’re the most vertically integrated company in the luxury jewellery space. We know more about the provenance of our diamonds than anyone else. We do not mine ourselves, but we have direct supply agreements with particular mines or suppliers. We have our own diamond cutting and polishing workshops, and we have our own manufacturing facilities, which helps us maintain safe, healthy, and welcoming work environment, contribute to local economies, and improve traceability. So, we have not only this transparency throughout the supply chain, but we’re setting high standards for the way we operate those workshops. What are Tiffany’s major plans for future investments in sustainability? As our CEO Alessandro Bogliolo has said: “Sustainability lies at the heart of the Tiffany & Co. brand—it’s both our legacy and our future.” So, while we are proud of the progress we 2020 NOV / DEC



SUSTAINABILITY: WALKING THE WALK & TALKING THE TALK An insider’s perspective on the increasing need for ethically made school uniforms. 58 NOV / DEC 2020



limate change and pollution have become the greatest threat to humankind and our environment. Overconsumption and overproduction are now the biggest factors depleting our natural resources. According to the Global Footprint Network, an international research organization promoting the science of sustainability, in 1961, humanity used only 73 percent of the biological resources that Earth could renew that year. In 2020, humanity currently uses 160 percent of what Earth's biocapacity can renew - that's as much as if we lived on 1.6 planets. But, alas, we only have one and it requires us to have an urgent shift in people’s behaviours by raising environmental awareness and acting responsibly as a whole to save our planet. Sustainability has been reverberating for years, yet fast fashion and ephemeral styles have created a wasteful trend resulting in damaging environmental consequences. To tackle overconsumption, we must educate and empower the next generation to become more conscious consumers. We can start by giving products a second life, or by introducing the idea of sustainable clothing and school uniforms, for instance. Recent

studies, in the UK, have shown that increasing the active life of all clothing by nine months would reduce the annual carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing by 20 to 30 percent each, and cut resource costs by an outstanding AED 23 billion. School uniforms are often an overlooked part of the retail and sustainability industry, despite the fact that between the ages of five and 18, the clothing worn the most is a school uniform. Furthermore, due to the fact that children grow out of them so quickly or wear through them, the environmental impact is huge. These garments, typically made from virgin synthetic fibers, like polyester, end up in landfills where they can take hundreds of years to decompose. Today, conscious consumers are transforming their behaviours and encouraging second-hand buying. It may be the most responsible way to consume clothes; it requires less energy; its resources are used to their full potential and the clothing doesn’t go directly to landfills after one-time use. With better regulation and consumer awareness, the current landscape in fashion and the textile world, in general, will certainly improve. Taking school uniforms as the main example,

“Uniform suppliers have a responsibility to focus on sustainability and transparency, but schools must vote for the change they want to see with their wallets” ~ Matthew Benjamin uniting parents and educators and educating children will drive much needed change. At Kapes, that is exactly its mission: empowering children to become change-makers by encouraging them to be more connected to the things they buy, the people that make them, and the places they are made. Developing school uniforms using sustainable materials, it can also be a key tool for educating the current and future generations about sustainability. According to a recent survey conducted in the UAE, 64 percent of 250 parents surveyed, with children aged between six and 16 who attend private schools, had purchased second-hand school uniform items for their children. However, in the same study, 22 percent of parents had not purchased second-hand uniform items for their children simply because they did not know where to find them. Finally, out of the 250 parents surveyed, over 86 percent felt that sustainability is important to them and

shared a common goal with Kapes – take forward the agenda, reduce emission and support the community. Therefore, it is clear that awareness of sustainable school uniforms is evolving and demand for pre-worn clothing is increasing. All it takes is the right education regarding availability and quality for parents to be more inclined to support such eco-friendly initiatives. An embodiment of this principle is Kapes’ recycled uniforms service whereby parents are motivated to return uniforms once they’ve been outgrown. The goal here is to create a secondary market that can generate additional revenue for schools while reducing costs for parents and helping to save the planet by extending the life of each product. By returning a piece of clothing or a child’s school uniform, not only are we diverting waste, but we are backing up the importance with which we regard sustainability with actual sustainable action and setting an example within our community. 2020 NOV / DEC



MORE TECH, MORE SPEED The 2021 Taycan reveals a number of updates and new features for Porsche’s first electric sports car


fter debuting last year as the first all-electric vehicle from Porsche, the Taycan is back for 2021 with several exciting new updates. The Taycan, Porsche’s first foray into the electric vehicle market, is already one of the most high-tech electric cars available. Now, the 2021 model introduces a number of upgrades for the sleek sports sedan that may that are in line with the brand's formidable performance and long-standing reputation. The electrified Porsche Taycan is powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors and 93.4 kWh performance battery plus paired with an advanced two-speed transmission. Total power outputs for the Taycan lineup are up to 522 HP (Taycan 4S), 670 HP (Taycan Turbo), or 750 HP (Taycan Turbo S) using Overboost Power with Launch Control. Taycan Turbo S models can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in a blistering 2.6 seconds using Launch Control on their way to a top speed of 161 MPH. Porsche Active Aerodynamics features including the adaptive rear spoiler and adjustable cool air intakes help boost both efficiency and performance. Optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) help slow the astounding power of the all-electric Porsche Taycan. It has also been upgraded to support cardless/appless charging through ‘Plug & Charge’ charging stations, which means the vehicle will automatically start charging without the need for any payment cards or mobile apps. In response to battery degradation, which happens with repeated fast charging, Porsche has introduced the option to charge the Taycan more slowly. This feature comes in handy for those using a rapid charger but plan to leave the car plugged in for an extended period. Buyers can also specify a 22kW onboard charger instead of the current car’s 11kW charger.

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Additional upgrades include a colour head-up display, as well as a programmable adaptive air suspension, allowing users to set the suspension to automatically raise the car when it approaches a familiar garage or car park. Further to its current over-the-air software updates, Porsche has introduced its ‘Functions on Demand’ feature. These features are subscription-based extras that can be added post-purchase of the vehicle. More add-ons currently include Active Lane Keeping Assist, InnoDrive (adaptive cruise control with speed-limit recognition), Intelligent Range Manager and Power Steering Plus. Iconic design features have been re-imagined and brought into the digital age inside the Porsche Taycan. Simplistic elegance and minimalism are two instantly recognizable features of the cabin design. An innovative instrument cluster consists of a curved 16.8-inch screen with the rounded look that’s typical of Porsche. Drivers can choose between four display modes – Classic, Map, Full Map, and Pure to personalize the way they view critical information. Another sign of the future, interior airflows are now controlled both digitally and fully automatically via Virtual Airflow Control. Features such as Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) can quickly be accessed on the central screen. “Race-Tex” material is used in place of leather for the seat upholstery, offering a high-quality microfibre material partially consisting of recycled polyester fibers. Black-Lime Beige, Blackberry, Atacama Beige, and Meranti Brown are exclusively available for the interior of the Taycan. On the exterior, buyers can choose from seven new exterior colours, including Mahogany Metallic, Cherry Metallic, Coffee Beige Metallic, Chalk, Neptune Blue, Ice Grey Metallic, and Frozenberry Metallic. A color head-up display is also now available across the model range.


2020 NOV / DEC




The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand


he BMW Group is heralding in a new era of driving pleasure with the introduction of its first purely electrically powered model for the premium mid-range market. The BMW i4 combines driving dynamics, sporty and elegant design, premium quality and the spacious comfort and functionality of a four-door Gran Coupé with locally emissions-free mobility. With fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, which also includes the latest innovations in the field of battery cells, the BMW i4 sets new standards in sporty performance, achieving a range of some 600 kilometres, claims BMW. The i4 promises to deliver a maximum output of around 390 kW/530 hp, reaching the level of a V8 engine in current BMW models fitted with a combustion engine. Its spontaneous power delivery gives the BMW i4 outstanding performance characteristics and exceptionally high efficiency. In addition to the sporty, elegant design that is typical of a 4-door coupé of the brand, the BMW i4 is characterised by impressive performance features. The BMW i brand's first Gran Coupé accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in around 4.0 seconds, achieving a top speed of more than 200 km/h.

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The BMW i4 combines the characteristic proportions of a 4-door coupé with the typical design features of a BMW i model. Dynamically stretched lines and a precise surface design go hand in hand with aerodynamically optimised exterior features, as well as sustainability accentuations that are specific to BMW i. BMW says the i4’s interior is more spacious than it looks, but regardless of how big it winds up being, the glass roof is sure to offer even the most claustrophobic passengers some peace of mind. The development of the BMW i4 is part of a comprehensive product offensive by the BMW Group in the field of models with electrified drive. The company currently has the biggest range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid models within the competitive field. By 2023, the BMW Group will have 25 models with electrified drive in its program. With a model portfolio that includes efficient combustion engines as well as modern plug-in hybrid and purely electric drive, the BMW Group as a globally operating company is taking into account the varying requirements and preferences of its customers in different regions of the world. Irrespective of the type of drive selected, all current and future models feature hallmark brand driving pleasure as part of their specific characteristics.


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The McLaren GT is a supercar built for those who want to cover great distances in great comfort, at great speeds

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2020 NOV / DEC




ar enthusiasts agree that McLaren builds some of the most dedicated performance cars in the world. The British supercar manufacturer has a long-standing relationship with motorsport, and the cars it produces embody this. Now, McLaren braves a new class with the introduction of the deluxe GT (“Gran Turismo" in Italian). This is the brand's first foray into the Grand Tourer class, built to go up against the Aston Martin DB11, the Bentley Continental GT, the Ferrari Portofino, and the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The two-seater GT is based on the 720S platform, but an increased body length and the incorporation of a carbon fiber rear deck means you now get more cargo space, perfect for those long-distance journeys. The GT makes use of McLaren's 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, and features interior comforts such as leather seats with power adjustability. Crafted around an ultra-rigid carbon fiber monocoque shell, the body has been extended to give it an even more shapely figure, and

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the overhangs look simply elegant. These overhangs also help the GT to decrease its drag coefficient and increase its interior cargo capacity. Over the rear arches, the GT features functional cooling air intakes for the engine and rear brake assembly. In the front, the GT has LED headlights with discreet McLaren branding. The iconic dihedral doors swing up in dramatic fashion, and the rear is finished off by two exhaust tips emanating from the diffuser. Optional exterior features include a vehicle lift system, soft close doors, and rain-sensing window wipers. Standard McLaren cars are usually stripped-down, putting more emphasis on performance than driver comfort. Slim carbon fiber backed seats, and basic infotainment systems dominate this domain, however, the GT hopes to change that perception with a more sophisticated and elegant offering. The cabin interior provides the same uncluttered space as, for example, a 720S, but there are also several notably refined areas that make the GT feel a bit more in line with competitors such as the Continental GT.


Visibility is excellent out the front, and the optional tinted glass roof opens up the cabin nicely. The rear carbon fiber hood adds an even greater sense of space, and it's clear from the outset that the GT is able to carry more than its more performance-minded peers. The combination of carbon fiber and Nappa leather is as luxe as they come. The GT is available in 30 different paint colours, ranging from conservative to wildly bold. Colour options are categorized into four classes, namely Standard, Special, Elite, and MSO Defined. The only colour in the standard category is Silver. Special colours include Onyx Black, Argon, Quartz, and Storm Grey. The Elite range of colours takes things to the next level with vibrant colours such as Saros, Viridian, and the timeless Pearl White. While more mature colours suit the GT's more laid-back personality, the MSO Defined range of colours crave attention with hues such as Lantana Purple, Helios Orange, and Ludus Blue. The GT's lineup of tech features includes a 7.0-inch portrait-

style touchscreen, and the automaker says its graphics were inspired by those used on private jets. SiriusXM satellite radio and navigation are standard, as well as Bluetooth phone and music streaming and a four-speaker sound system. A 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system is optional. McLaren has equipped the GT with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that generates 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. As one would expect from a vehicle wearing the McLaren nameplate, the GT counts swift acceleration among its strengths. The company claims that the coupe sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. The car comes with launch control and features that work to optimize acceleration from a standing start. The car's ride quality is comfortable enough to make it a pleasant choice for every-day driving, and the GT offers a selection of driving modes that enables the driver to customize handling preferences. 2020 NOV / DEC



REVIVING THE HUMMER The 2022 Hummer EV will be an all-new model for the GMC lineup


eneral Motors' gas-guzzling Hummer—a brand once vilified by environmentalists—is set to make a comeback for 2022 as an all-electric sub-brand of GMC. General Motors stated that the new electric pickup truck will launch in late 2021 as a 2022 model, offering 1000 horsepower and capable of blasting from zero to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Pickup trucks appear to be the next frontier for electric vehicles, as potential rivals from upstarts such as Rivian, Bollinger, and Tesla—as well as renowned truckmakers such as Ford—are readying their own entries in this emerging segment. Standard or optional features are still unknown, although afficionados predict the Hummer EV SUT's cab configurations will likely skip regular- and extended-cab body styles and render the Hummer EV SUT only as a four-door crew cab. If the GMC Sierra crew cab pickup truck is anything to go by, customers can expect two spacious rows of seating and practical touches, such as large storage bins, throughout the cabin. A host of infotainment and connectivity features will likely be standard, including a high-tech touchscreen interface to go along

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with the tech-forward EV powertrain, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and GM's OnStar telematics system. The Hummer EV SUT will ride on GM's third-generation EV platform. The company also said that its truck-based models will have an 800-volt architecture with 350-kWh fast-charging capability. That indicates the Hummer could have a driving range of up to 400 miles. When it comes to safety and driver-assistance features, Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot feature currently rules the EV marketplace, but GM's Super Cruise system is just as capable. Drivers can expect to see this feature available as an option on the new electric truck, with less advanced features such as lanekeeping assist and blind-spot monitoring being available, too. The styling combines hefty proportions with a modest amount of body sculping and creasing—essentially picking up where Hummer left off with the brand’s discontinuation in 2009, rather than throwing it back to the boxy Hummer H1 that started it all in the 1990s for inspiration. Full details on the design will only be available upon the official reveal.


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The deconstructed architecture of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Concept gets a touch of colour


udemars Piguet’s pioneering Royal Oak has a storied history. The luxury steel sports watch, originally debuted in 1972, founded an entirely new genre. It was revisited in 1993 with the Royal Oak Offshore, provoking contrasting reactions to its predecessor. Thirty years later, in 2002, another collection known as the Royal Oak Concept saw the light. This mighty collection with its deconstructed architecture catapults the Royal Oak in the 21st century. Innovative materials and complex openworked architecture are trademark features of the Royal Oak Concept that outfits its Flying Tourbillon GMT in shades of blue and grey. The Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT was introduced two years ago in a darker version with sandblasted titanium and a brushed black ceramic bezel. The latest models are identical in their specifications but come in new colour features; one in monochromatic grey tones and the other with vivid blue accents. The striking case of the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT has a diameter of 44mm, a height of 16.1mm and is water-resistant to 100 metres. The case is made from sandblasted titanium while the hallmark octagonal bezel with exposed – and aligned – hexagonal screws of the blue model is crafted in sandblasted ceramic with polished bevels to accentuate the dramatic architecture. The monochromatic grey model, a limited edition of just 30 watches, has a sandblasted titanium bezel to match the case. The screw-locked crown and pushpiece are also made from ceramic, although the guards are also made from sandblasted titanium. One of the winning concepts behind

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the Royal Oak Concept collection is the integration of all the elements; the case and the grey or blue rubber strap, for example, flow seamlessly into one another and the boundaries between the dial and the movement dissolve. The lack of a conventional dial exposes parts of the movement, including the flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock, a feature that made its debut in 2018 on the brand’s women’s diamond-set Royal Oak Concept. The asymmetric sandblasted titanium bridges are picked out in either blue or grey and give the dial its bold edgy vibe. Two open pentagons, at 12 housing the logo and at 6 o’clock with the crown position indicator (HNR) meet two delta-shaped structures framing the tourbillon. On the right, another bridge features a cut-away area for the second time zone function set on a sapphire plate with an arrow-shaped indicator. The peripheral bezel bearing hour and minute markers is read with semi-skeletonised white gold Royal Oak hands with a luminescent coating. The reverse side reveals another view of the manual-winding AP manufacture calibre 2954 guarded under a complex openworked geometric structure. Beating at a frequency of 3Hz, the power reserve is as mighty as the case and can store up to 237 hours (almost 10 days), thanks to the two large barrels visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. The blue Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT comes with a blue rubber strap with a sandblasted titanium folding clasp and an additional black rubber strap and retails for $198,400. The limitededition grey model comes with a matching grey rubber strap and an additional grey alligator leather strap.


Discover the world's leading watch house.

WatchBox is home to the greatest collection of pre-owned luxury watches, all certified authentic and Collector Quality. THEWATCHBOX.COM +971 54 996 2509 DIFC, UNIT 36, GROUND FLOOR, GATE AVENUE, DUBAI, UAE 2020 NOV / DEC




Blancpain - Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition


iscover Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition. Since its 2013 reintroduction into the contemporary repertoire of Blancpain, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe sits comfortably at the crossroads of sporty ruggedness and design sophistication, making it the most versatile (and most accessible) point of entry for the brand. The Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition possesses an esoteric name that immediately provokes curiosity — what’s the connection between a dive watch and a desert? The answer can be found in the rich history of the Fifty Fathoms, going back to a 1962 dive made by Ernest Brooks II (whose black-and-white underwater photography is used extensively by Blancpain) down an aquifer, aptly named Devil’s Hole, under Death Valley, Nevada. While it has a vintage look, the movement inside boasts the most updated standards of watchmaking technology. A chapter ring punctuated with Arabic numerals marks the five-minute intervals. The date and day of the week windows are located at 3 o'clock. The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova and feature the baton-shaped design that can be seen on most Bathyscaphe models. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition is enhanced by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a brown ceramic insert and Liquidmetal hour-markers. Housed in a 43 mm satin-brushed steel case that is waterproof to 30 bar (approximately 300 metres / 990 feet), the Manufacturemade 1315DD movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers five days of power reserve. Its balance is fitted with a silicon balance-spring to ensure high resistance to magnetic fields. Through the sapphire crystal caseback, it is possible to admire the beautiful finishes and the gold oscillating weight coated with a NAC treatment. Limited to 500 pieces, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition is characterised by a ver-brown gradient dial, recalling the scorching sands of the desert environment, beneath which lies an unexpected artery of water.

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These rugged timepieces with striking faces are perfect accessories for your winter look

PATEK PHILIPPE 5231J WORLD TIME The charming and charismatic Patek Philippe 5231J World Time is a quintessential travel watch, with its cloisonné enamel dial center. Patek Philippe’s world time watches have a storied past, giving this version in yellow gold an air of pedigree. For the dial center, which is made entirely by hand, clients can choose between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The watch is powered by caliber 240 HU, which can be admired through the sapphire caseback and features a micro-rotor.

BULGARI ALUMINIUM WATCH The Italian luxury watchmaker celebrated the revival of their aluminium and rubber watch, which was originally introduced in the late 1990s. Bulgari’s pair of aluminium and rubber timepieces include the Aluminium time-and-date and Aluminium Chronograph, which boasts the same aluminum case, rubber strap, and quartz movement. While aesthetically in line with their predecessors, the lightweight sports watches have been given a technical revamp for 2020.

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LONGINES ‘SPIRIT CHRONOGRAPH’ Inspired by the past, Longines released their new collection of watches in a nod to the spirit of aviation and exploration, evoking the names of historical Longines fans Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart. The 42mm steel case, richly textured blue dial and an accurate chronometer-certified movement is a contemporary take on a pilot’s chronograph.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE POLARIS CHRONOGRAPH WORLD TIME A classic watch with a modern twist, the Polaris Chronograph World Time offers two complications housed in a generously sized case of 44mm. Crafted from titanium, the lightweight timepiece is water-resistant up to 100 meters/10ATM. It features two crowns, two chronographs pushers, and a display back. Through here, you can also admire manufacture caliber 752A, which is made out of 274 parts.

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Jacob & Co.’s opulent diamond face mask proves to be the most extravagant modern-day accessory


acob & Co. are known for their artful watches and jewellery dripping with the highest quality diamonds, as well as reimagining everyday items, such as hair accessories, neckties, gloves and clothing. Now, in the time of COVID-19, their foray into the mask market has taken the everyday essential into a world of ultimate luxury. Modeled after a medical-grade mask, Jacob & Co.’s mask is made of white gold mesh and set with 3,040 round-cut top-class diamonds, totaling 73.27 carats and weighing in at 156.9 grams. Priced at a staggering $250,000, the ubiquitous face mask, designed by Jacob Arabo and a team of precious metal artisans, is a fashionable treasure for those who want (and can afford) to stand out in a post-pandemic world.

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Jacquie Aiche’s men’s jewellery collection is all about stepping away from the expected and into the wild


acquie Aiche’s latest ‘Into the Wild’ JA Men’s collection is inspired by the natural power of the earth and designed to enhance positive energy and ignite inner strength. The A-list fine jewellery designer handcrafted each piece in her Los Angeles studio. Raw crystals feature heavily throughout the collection, with their imperfect edges and unique aura to create a reenergising experience for the soul. “We could all use a little extra healing right now so I thought it really important to wrap my guys up in the empowering energy of raw crystals,” said Jacquie. Each motif and mineral used in this collection was consciously 78 NOV / DEC 2020

selected based on the healing properties they inspire whilst each layer is meant to imbue its beholder with the confidence to never stop chasing their dreams. She said, “For this collection, I felt especially drawn to working with stones in all of their forms - raw, polished, and carved and I’m excited to introduce black rhodium, it is known to purify, cleanse and dispel negative energy.” Jacquie wants the tribe to feel a deep sense of connection to the earth and to the power that constantly shines within them. The collection aesthetic is pronounced by a powerful earthy palette of light and deep blues, emerald greens, the shine of clear quartz, black, nudes, brown tones and white.


SPORT MEETS LUXURY The LV 408 Trainer by Louis Vuitton gets a Denim Update


irst revealed roughly a year ago, Louis Vuitton‘s low-top LV 408 Trainer has a new update for the season. It is inspired by retro basketball shoes and perfectly blends the world of sports with luxury. Designed by Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear and hailed as the millennial Karl Lagerfeld, the silhouette plays with the often-referenced idea of sport luxury and is loaded with branded details. This iteration of the LV Trainer is offered in a low-top,

featuring monogram denim on the upper. The shoe is branded with a special shooting star graphic logo that was first unveiled during the FW20 paris Fashion Week runway show, as well as more traditional motifs on the tongue and heel. Monogram flowers then appear on the rubber outsole to complete the look. Though the LV 408 Trainer is certainly no stranger to attention-grabbing makeups, this denim-coated iteration may be one of its most notable styles yet.

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The new GoPro Hero 9 Black has ventured into a very different world to the company's original "re-usable wrist camera" from 2005


etting the industry standard for action cameras since their debut, it wasn’t until a few years ago that brands such as DJI and Insta360 began making action cameras with more features that challenged GoPro’s lead. This year, though, GoPro has created its most powerful action camera to date. The Hero 9 Black hasn't just inserted features for the sake of it – from a webcam mode to its new 'Power Tools' and GoPro Labs, there are genuinely useful tricks that open up new paths beyond its traditional dirt trails. It's no longer just a pocket, waterproof Instagram Story generator. Thanks to its new skills, it has the potential to be your webcam, body cam, dash cam, security cam— basically anything cam—as well as your phone's stunt double. Following dim times in the mid-2010s, GoPro's success went to its head and it overextended itself with launches like the GoPro Karma drone. Still, in what is something of a recurring theme in the GoPro story, the fallout from the Karma, and a subsequent stock market battering, was a blessing in disguise. It set the company on a more focused, sensible path that's led directly to the Hero 9 Black. It might seem incredible that action cams are relevant at all during a year when smartphones were cited by Olympus, a company that's been making cameras for 84 years, as the main reason for its decision to exit the camera business. But there is a flipside to the smartphone's all-conquering rise. They have become so important, with a recent survey's respondents revealing they'd rather lose a finger than their phone, that we wouldn’t dare put them in harm's way. Enter the GoPro, your phone's wingman, the sidekick who's always prepared to try out that unnerving zipline first. While the Hero 9 Black's evolution from earlier GoPros is mainly about adding 'sensible' features like 'scheduled captures' and

a webcam mode, its biggest selling point is still capturing video you can't quite shoot with any other camera. This comes down to its unique combination of three features: its portable size, waterproof durability and class-leading software features such as TimeWarp and HyperSmooth stabilization (now in their third iterations on the Hero 9 Black). A lot of cameras have two of these things, but GoPros are still pretty unique thanks to the development of slick software tricks following their mid2010s uncertainty. GoPro's popularity has always been rooted in its cameras' versatility, but the Hero 9 Black (and GoPro Labs) take this to the next level. The most obvious example is the new flagship's front LCD, which makes it a much more compelling waterproof vlogging camera. The scheduled capture (which lets you set the Hero 9 Black to turn itself on at a certain time), in-camera horizon leveling, and HindSight (which lets you capture video during 15 or 30 seconds before you actually hit the shutter button). A new Webcam mode, a job for which the Hero 9 Black is wellqualified due to its handy wide-angle lens. Finally, the Hero 9 Black also has boosted livestreaming powers, with the likes of Twitch added to its compatible platforms, alongside GoPro's own platform. GoPro also revealed that GoPro Labs will be made available for the Hero 9 Black (and GoPro Max), including motion capture, which means it can moonlight as a little security cam or garden watcher. In the tech world, GoPro is perhaps second only to Apple in the extent to which it's evangelized by its fans. It claims to be the most engaged consumer brand on YouTube and Instagram, which goes some way to explaining why the company has been as rugged and indestructible as the cameras it makes. 2020 NOV / DEC



THE 5G ADVANTAGE The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G brings the night to life with ground-breaking low-light photo and videos

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he recent months have welcomed a bevy of next-generation smartphone debuts, but there’s one smartphone maker that is creating a formidable buzz in the competitive space of top tech due to its impressive value: OPPO. Celebrating the brand’s 16th anniversary this year, the global technology company has made major strides in the smartphone space. Apart from internalising most of its production—reportedly over 85 per cent of OPPO products are manufactured in-house—it has also accumulated over 19,000 patents in the process. OPPO has notably committed $7 billion in R&D over a threeyear period commencing in 2019, resulting in a steady stream of releases. One of the areas where the company has gained much fanfare is its 5G technology. Europe’s very first commerciallyavailable 5G smartphone was launched by OPPO—the Reno 5G—in 2019. Since then, it has built on its 5G advantage and launched other devices with this technology as well. The latest Reno4 Pro 5G offers remarkable night photography and videography capabilities. Living up to its mission of elevating life through technological artistry, the latest model pushes the boundaries of industrial design. The OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G packs a powerhouse of components into a slim and sleek design. It weighs 172g at an impressive 7.6mm thin. Moreover, its 6.5-inch 90Hz 3D Curved AMOLED screen elevates the look and feel of the smartphone.

As part of OPPO’s efforts to reinforce its smartphone imaging technology, the Reno4 Pro 5G comes with exceptional night videography and portrait shooting capabilities. When faced with poor light conditions, a laser detection autofocus technology quickens the camera’s autofocus—reportedly by over 140 per cent over a standard camera. On the other hand, when bright backgrounds hinder image quality, the Live HDR mode kicks in to separate the shadow from highlight and allows the subject in the foreground to light up. At the heart of the Reno4 Pro 5G, the phone’s flash charge capability gives users up to four hours of YouTube watching in just five minutes of charge and a full charge in just 36 minutes. Additional power saving solutions help with battery efficiency at low percentages and during night respectively. The 256GB device comes with 12GB of ROM, and is available in Galactic Blue and Space Black—the blue version features over a million crystal planes along the caseback that give it a highgloss look with a matte finish, making the phone more resistant to fingerprints and scratches. According to Counterpoint Technology Marker Research, OPPO was the fifth-highest selling smartphone manufacturer in Q2 2020, accounting for around nine per cent of the market, largely due to its high-level specs and design sold at a competitive mid-range price bracket. 2020 NOV / DEC




The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is a video game auxiliary device that draws on a retro design and user experience to provide modern-day players a unique way to play their favourite games. The controller features a set of buttons and a joystick that are positioned into an oversized unit that will provide an expansive area for users to interact with when playing. The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is compatible for use with both the Nintendo Switch and PCs, and will connect to devices via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz receiver.

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The JBL PartyBox On-The-Go portable party speaker is a robust solution for music and karaoke lovers who enjoy listening to their tunes just about anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. The unit is capable of pumping out 100 watts of power and has a series of built-in features, including lights as well as a wireless microphone for a truly immersive multimedia experience. Users can set the mood with the integrated LEDs, while the system also allows for a wired microphone and a guitar to be connected for musicians.


The new Cordless Spill + Spot Cleaner from BLACK+DECKER sets itself apart from traditional vaccums with the dual capability of tackling both solid and liquid messes that would ordinarily need to be cleaned up with a paper towel. The vacuum cleaner has a scrub brush to handle deep cleaning, plus a detachable tank that can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. The Cordless Spill + Spot Cleaner is perfect for handling everything from kid and pet messes to mud stains, and more.using a lot less energy when compared to a laundry machine.


The Bose Frames Soprano sunglasses are a connected accessory to enjoy robust sun protection along with your choice of audio. The sunglasses have a cat eye design that makes them a stylish option for female consumers and are integrated with the Bose Open Ear Audio technology, enabling users to enjoy music without the need to wear regular sunglasses along with a set of headphones. The frames have a built-in battery life of 5.5 hours of use and utilises an advanced beam-forming microphone array for reducing noise when taking calls.


The BoBob Balance Board is a smartphone-powered workout solution for athletes and workout enthusiasts alike that will enable them to enjoy enhanced training from home or on the go. The digitised system pairs with the user's smartphone to let them play games that will make their workout seem like less of a chore and more of an immersive activity. Users can simply tilt on the board to move left to right, which will move their avatar in the game to avoid obstacles, collect rewards and more.


The CoolDrift Versa from Ebb Therapeutics is a wearable sleep device designed to calm restless minds and promote a good night’s rest. The comfortable headband comes with five cooling settings to regulate the body's temperature through the head in order to help users find relief from sleeplessness and an overactive mind. This versatile sleep aid can be worn for 20 to 30 minutes before bed, or it can be kept on throughout the night cordfree. What’s more, it’s travel-friendly and promises immediate results. 2020 NOV / DEC



DUBAI IS GOING ELECTRIC Dubai’s new e-scooter program will make urban transport greener, smarter and more convenient for people living around the city


n a mission to become a futuristic, smart and sustainable city, Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) teamed up with TIER — the leading European micro-mobility provider hailing from Berlin — to launch its first fleet of industry-leading e-scooters around the city. TIER is the first provider in the Middle East to use swappable battery technology, positioning the e-scooter brand at the industry forefront in terms of sustainability. A local team can change empty batteries on-site, eliminating the need to transport scooters to warehouses for recharging on a daily basis. “Sustainability is a core value of our company, which is why we are honoured and excited to be selected as the top choice by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), to support them with their journey for a greener tomorrow, by providing our services to Dubai’s residents and visitors alike, whilst allowing them to move around the city in a more sustainable, convenient and lively way - a new era in urban travel,” said Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of TIER. The e-scooters can be easily accessed via the TIER mobile app - which will operate on a 24/7 basis - and be strategically located at various key locations around Dubai; Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown, with other planned locations in the future. Riders will have the option to use ‘pay-as-you-go’ offered at a rate of AED 1 per minute of usage, or opt for a subscription model which is ideal for frequent commuters. Payments can be made through PayPal, Visa or MasterCard. The TIER app will also enable users to 90 NOV / DEC 2020

conveniently book their rides through a quick QR code scanning mechanism, in addition to renting and parking their scooters hassle-free via an innovative virtual parking system. TIER’s e-scooters have been lauded for their cutting-edge safety features, which include the largest front wheel in the market, a wider foot plate, dual suspension, a double kickstand, and dual drum brakes for a safe yet comfortable ride. Most recently, the company has ensured that it follows stringent safety measures during COVID-19 by carrying out frequent disinfections to its fleet of scooters. “We believe that during these unprecedented times, our business concept will be put to best use as it will reinforce social distancing measures by promoting alternative yet safe and sustainable ways of transport,” added Leuschner. Founded in 2018 by Lawrence Leuschner, Matthias Laug and Julian Blessin, TIER Mobility aims to significantly reduce car traffic in cities by providing people with a wide range of electric vehicles. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company has adopted the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework and has set a clear agenda for reducing and off-setting emissions. Headquartered in Berlin, TIER currently operates in over 80 cities across 10 countries, and recently announced that it had become a climate-neutral company in January 2020. TIER’s emergence in the UAE market comes within the larger framework of supporting the UAE’s 2021 vision to become a world-leading country within the sustainability landscape.


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SCENT OF THE SEASON A signature scent should be timeless and wearable, in any situation and at any age. But of course, with so many fragrances on the market, finding the perfect fragrance

can be a challenge. If you’re attempting a “new year new smell,” we’ve selected a collection of scents set to prove timeless within your line-up.

FOR WOMEN CUPOLA BY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO A new fragrance in the brand’s Tuscan Creations collection, Cupola is nspired by the brick dome that sits atop the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – the largest of its kind ever built – the unisex Cupola fragrance from Salvatore Ferragamo honours the connection between heaven and earth. The scent combines the subtle freshness of tangerine with leathery saffron and smoky gaiac wood. Additional notes include angelica, orris, incense, labdanum, amber and patchouli.

MUGUET 2020 MILLÉSIME BY GUERLAIN The limited-edition 2020 Millésime celebrates the rebirth of nature by gracing the iconic Bee Bottle with flowers: a floral and poetic adornment designed by the Maison Massillon—French jewellers specialising in porcelain and 24-carat gold-plated wire—elegantly unfurls over the rounded dome of the bottle. The fresh and floral fragrance blossoms with a beautifully enhanced lily of the valley note with nuances of bergamot, jasmine and rose that herald the warm weather to come.

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FOR MEN BLACK INCENSE MALAKI BY CHOPARD This luxury fragrance showcases 14 natural essences, all ethically and sustainably sourced from around the world. Crafted by master perfumer Alberto Morillas, the Chopard Black Incense Malaki eau de parfum is an exploration of ancient and sacred aromas. Swirling around a heart of frankincense like a plume of mysterious smoke, notes of green cardamom, cinnamon and French lavandin reveal the dark and faceted nature of the ancient ingredient before giving way to cedarwood, oud and patchouli.

PEGASUS EXCLUSIF BY PARFUMS DE MARLY Pegasus Exclusif is the latest addition to Marly’s Les MÊtalliques collection. Evoking the marks of serene virility and exhilarating power, this unique creation embodies the sensuality of vanilla, fused with an oriental twist of amber, sandalwood, natural oud and guaiac, combined with floral heart notes of jasmine, lavender, bitter almond and geranium and finally, a fine balance of fruits and spices including bergamot, pink pepper, cardamom and heliotrope.

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STRENGTH MEETS STYLE TUMI’s 19 Degree collection is an evolution in travel


UMI’s iconic 19 Degree collection is born from the brand’s unrelenting desire for innovation and exploration of new materials, producing a travel gear that answers to the discerning traveller’s need for utility and style. In a world of indistinguishable luggage, TUMI has considered every detail—from the specific type of aluminium used to its eyecatching and easily identifiable design. The 19 Degree collection embodies the notion that strength may come from unexpected

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places — inner resolve, well-defined structure or sometimes, from the unique perspective of seeing the world at a different angle than everyone else. According to the brand, true strength is more than just physical, it’s a way of understanding the world; an artistic statement on the possibilities of function, form and durability. With this strength at its core, 19 Degree is a celebratory collection designed to awe, inspire and transport.

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Joël Robuchon’s Michelin-starred L’Atelier finally opens in Dubai


hef Joël Robuchon’s renowned eatery, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, finally makes its grand debut in the DIFC — almost a decade after careful planning. The highly anticipated restaurant is one of the most acclaimed fine dining restaurants in the world, adding to the master chefentrepreneur’s portfolio that boasts more than 30 Michelin stars—the most of any chef in the world. The 104-seat indoor and 68-seat outdoor contemporary chic-meets-relaxed atmosphere serves up French haute cuisine, featuring an open concept that provides a fully immersive experience into the heart and action of the kitchen. Diners can also opt to sit at the countertop and watch the chefs work, with the idea being that guests can experience fine-dining food in a lively setting without the pretentiousness of white-glove service. L’Atelier offers both an à la carte selection of small plates, appetisers, and entrées, or guests can indulge in the ten-

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course “Menu Epicure.” The menu features several of L’Atelier’s best-known dishes, including the famed pommes purée that accompanies many of the entrées. On the menu, think classic French fare like crispy langoustine papillote and caramelised quail with foie gras and truffle mashed potatoes. The 10,000-square-foot (1,000 sqm) space, situated in Dubai’s contemporary DIFC district was designed by renowned Milan-based Lebanese architect Gregory Gatserelia. imilar to its counterparts around the world, the interiors feature dramatic lighting, bold colours, walls outfitted with polished red, custom-made seating from Portugal, and rose petals in the ceiling from renowned artist Jacopo Foggini. Leading the charge at the Dubai location is Executive Head Axel Manes, a longtime protégé of Robuchon, who has worked with the Robuchon group for more than twenty years at Robuchon’s Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world.


Carrying on the heritage of Joël Robuchon’s mastery, Chef Axel Manes is proving a worthy interpreter of the legendary chef’s cuisine. “It is my mission to stay true to the foundation and spirit of the the world-renowned gastronomic experience that Joël envisioned, created, and excelled at.” Axel started his culinary journey at the tender age of thirteen in his uncle’s restaurant in Belgium. He later joined the Joël Robuchon group under the tutelage of Robuchon himself and played an instrumental role in the opening of the flagship L’Atelier concept in Paris almost twenty years ago.

“This latest installation in our portfolio is a true masterpiece for the group, because we are always focusing on innovation, not only in our cuisine, but also in terms of design and the overall guest experience.” In the wake of Joël Robuchon’s passing in 2018, Axel does not underestimate the size of the shoes he fills. “The standards of Joël Robuchon are unparalleled. From the sourcing to the preparation of each ingredient, we pay careful attention to protect the integrity of the food and legacy Joël leaves behind.” 2020 NOV / DEC




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