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Winter 2012


En UdA itio E


Green Heaven PRoperties

The environment and quality of Al Barari sets a benchmark for Dubai, says Paul Christodoulou, a Luxury Sales Specialist at Luxhabitat page 35


Great Drive


This F ox Rock s


Sta rts With Stone

page 9

page 31


Wilderne s s Delu xe page 35

www.thejournal . ae

page 5


the journal

Winter 2012

Contents 3


Culture, style, connoisseurship

Comment sandra lane Editor, The Journal

Lanvin menswear’s creative chief The sparkling story of Harry Winston Stylish new accessories



Spaces, design, fine living

African art meets Danish style

Poltrona Frau hits a century

Great finds for stylish interiors



The finest homes in the UAE offered

for sale and rent



Special places, best-kept secrets

Aston Martin’s new Vanquish

A passion for 20th-century design

Tanzania in the finest style

Scent, yoga and fine flavours

Business, economy, markets

Khalaf Al Habtoor on leadership

Tourism rises again

China in our sights

Why Formula 1 is good for business


The Hub

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Why Beauty is Timeless “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” So wrote John Keats in the early 19th century and, 200 years later, the beauty of his poetry continues to bring joy. Or, perhaps, the fact that his poems continue to bring joy is proof of their beauty. Either way, those words encapsulate the reason why ‘old’ or ‘classical’ things continue to bring pleasure. Whether it’s the perfect proportions of a 2,000-year-old Greek temple (so ‘right’ that there’s no need for embellishment) or the exquisite detail of a hand-engraved jewel, timepiece or crystal goblet (the product of skilled human hands and countless hours of work), or even a pair of classical Oxford brogues (made to measure, by hand) we cannot help but feel good when we see them. Even if we don’t know quite why. This – the existence of beauty on a fundamental level – is the essence of what we mean by ‘timeless style’. And it’s also the difference between luxury and fashion. Granted, of course, that some ‘fashion’ items are made to a high level of luxury, those that endure beyond a season’s trend are those that have an intrinsic beauty in their proportions, their detail or both. That applies as much to the Hermès Birkin bag as it does to Yves Saint Laurent’s original le smoking and much of Miuccia Prada’s work. Some her ahead-of-fashion pieces that can look slightly ‘odd’ at first glance still look right (and, with time, look even more so) because the proportions are beautiful. I don’t know if Mrs Prada consciously applies the Golden Mean to her work (the mathematical ratio that defined the Parthenon, was celebrated by Leonardo da Vinci, and today still guides everyone from photographers and architects to plastic surgeons) but it must be in there, somewhere, for it to look so ‘right’. The other kind of beauty – that of detail and refinement – is what inspires people like Pascal Raffy, a former industrialist who now owns Bovet and Dimier, two historic Swiss companies that produce timepieces of the highest order. Why did he decide to buy and revive the

For the love of the beauty: even tiny parts that live hidden inside a Bovet timepiece are decorated with exquisite engraving

almost-moribund Bovet? “Because I love everything that is art,” he says, “and to have nearly two centuries’ worth of beauty as part of your daily life is pure pleasure.” Spend a little time with Mr Raffy and the words beauty and beautiful occur again and again – whether it is the beauty of things, ideas or the human spirit. And, while it may seem

that the expression of that beauty is taken to extremes – the parts of a Bovet timepiece movement are decorated not only on the visible surfaces but underneath. Why? “Pour faire plaisir au propriétaire – et l’horloger.” To bring joy to both the owner – and also to the watchmaker. Being able to create beauty is as much of a joy as recognising it.

Up Close with the Stars Having captured the rich and famous through his camera lens for more than 50 years, London-born Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most accomplished photographers. The One Fusion gallery is hosting a selling exhibition of some of his most remarkable portraits from now until January 4. More than 30 numbered and signed, limited-edition archival prints will be on show, featuring rare shots of Sammy Davis Jr (taken in London in 1961 when O’Neill was just starting his career), Frank Sinatra (1968), Sean Connery (in Las Vegas in 1971), The Rolling Stones, Bono and Faye Dunaway.

Pictured here at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1977, the morning after winning the Best Actress Oscar for Network, Dunaway was O’Neill’s girlfriend at the time and they were married during the 1980s. Therein lies the essence of O’Neill – he has not only been a photographer of the stars but also counted many among his friends. As a result, they gave him trusted access to some of their more private and relaxed moments, allowing their characters to shine through in his images. The One Fusion, Sheikh Zayed Road, near Al Manara interchange. +971 4 346 8977

Winter 2012

the journal


Th i n gs t o C o ve t . P ass i o n s t o P ursue . C ul t ure , S t yle a n d C o n n o i sseursh i p


Quiet Dynamo The creative force behind Lanvin menswear, Lucas Ossendrijver is taking the brand to new heights, as his latest collection for the Parisian Maison amply by Jola Chudy


Above: Ossendrijver taking a bow at the culmination of the autumn / winter 2012 show for Lanvin menswear and, below, highlights from his collection, which revisits the classic suit, playfully reimagining it with exaggerated silhouettes

“Evolution, not revolution,” is the quiet mantra of Lanvin’s lead menswear designer, Lucas Ossendrijver. This idea of carefully nuanced innovation fits the essence of the Lanvin style as well – as it always has since Jeanne Lanvin founded the fashion house in 1913. Ossendrijver, a 41-year-old Dutchman, cuts an elegant yet inconspicuous figure, exuding a modesty that belies his achievements (he had previously waltzed from Kenzo to Dior before taking the helm of Lanvin menswear in 2005). His personal style is casually studied and, to a degree, defines the Lanvin look: a classic silhouette that has been softened – or roughed up, if you prefer – around the edges. It’s the trousers and jacket in fabrics that don’t quite match; the formal jacket teamed with an irreverent sneaker; the statement accessory you can team with a pair of sensible shoes; the suit, made lighter and more playful. It’s the joy of dressing up, without formal stuffiness. Lanvin’s creative hub is surprisingly modest, occupying the seventh floor of a narrow Parisian building in the 8th Arrondisment, with a Lanvin store on the ground floor. Not many designers, have access to such a ready source of commercial feedback and Ossendrijver admits that he relishes being close to the store. “I see my studio as a laboratory where we try out, experiment and play. There’s a lot of freedom. Gradually we translate ideas, which

might seem quite wild at first, to the customer. I like the contact with customers; I like to see how and why people buy our clothes.” In his white-walled studio, a team of five young assistants works with Ossendrijver. “[The studio is] really like family, because the work you do, you spend so much time together. We’re not businessmen. We don’t work in finance. Everything we do is intuitive. We talk about a process, yet everything is very personal. It’s really about chemistry and communication.” Ossendrijver’s mentor, Alber Elbaz, the Creative Director of Lanvin and head of womenswear, works in the opposite building. “Alber comes in when we do fittings and we exchange a lot, we talk,” says Ossendrijver. “We make sure the collections are under the same umbrella, but it doesn’t mean we share the same colours, fabrics or techniques, because menswear is a different language.” He says that the most valuable thing he has learnt from his mentor is to step back and look at his work from a distance. “It is easy to get caught up in all the technical problems. Alber taught me not to get too attached to pieces; they can always be changed. Nothing is ever finished until the show.”

to read more see

Embracing a juxtaposition of the classic and the contemporary, Lanvin’s new collection by Ossendrijver segues cleverly from sporty, urban elements such as a puffa jacket and outsized boots to an almost cartoonish take on the men’s suit


Winter 2012

the journal

Culture Aficionado

This acrylic on canvas with video projection, part of the Silence Series by Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi, was sold for USD$35,000 at the recent Christie’s auction in Dubai

The Art of the Matter A new generation of art buyers is driving the regional market, says Christie’s Hala Khayat

by Jola Chudy

Regional art is in the midst of an Arabian Renaissance: the works of emerging artists have populated the global arts scene like never before while the paintings, sculptures and installations of artists active in the latter

part of the last century are being voraciously rediscovered by a new wave of cultural connoisseurs – with soaring price tags to match their popularity. Antiquities from the Gulf and surrounding areas – Iran in particular – are more prized than ever before. This reemergence of Mid-Eastern art is not just something that’s happening here in the UAE – it’s a global phenomenon. Indisputably, buyers from the region are helping to drive this growth: nearly ten per cent ($456m) of Christie’s annual turnover last year came from Middle Eastern buyers.

A tour de force at the epicentre of this artistic tsunami is Hala Khayat, Christie’s specialist in contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art and their regional spokesperson. Khayat oversees evaluating, pricing and researching art works, writing essays, overseeing catalogue production and producing condition reports for the art. The renowned auction house has been holding sales in Dubai since 2006, explains Khayat. “Our Dubai office actually opened in 2005, and today Dubai has become a key selling centre on the international auction calendar.

Christie’s hold twice-yearly auctions of modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art. Since our first sale in 2006 we have achieved sales of more than $225 million.” It’s a staggering figure that represents the robustness of the region’s appreciation for culture as well as its formidable spending power. “We are not complacent,” says Khayat. “We constantly innovate and change according to the needs of our marketplace and our clients. For example, our team of specialists collectively speaks Arabic, Farsi, Hindu, French and English – a reflection of the diversity of the collectors who we look after.” Sales take place in April and October and, reflecting the growing interest, the company recently introduced a complementary third event. “The part II sale allows us to offer more variety of contemporary works with prices from $2,000, which has encouraged a new generation of buyers to attend the viewings,” explains Khayat. In order to secure the very best works for the sales, Khayat and her team will have scoured the region, visiting private collectors and galleries to gather works. “Once we have the works, we arrange shipping, photography and – my favourite part of the process – research and write about the works. This is where my passion lies, in spending time with a piece, learning more about the artist and examining the condition of the work.” Christie’s maintains a dialogue with its buyers, in order to remain abreast of current buying trends and demands. Part of this includes holding a pre-sale viewing, which is free. The viewing includes guided tours for children. “They have such innocent reactions and their interpretation of the works is so unique,” says Khayat, “it’s one of the nicest parts of my job.” It looks as if Christie’s has got the next generation of Middle Eastern buyers firmly in its sights.

to read more see

It all Starts With the Stone by Sandra Lane

Great art and great men can both come from humble beginnings – and the world of high jewellery is no exception. Take Harry Winston: the son of a Ukrainian immigrant who had a small jewellery shop, Harry was just 12 years old when he spied a ring with a green stone in a pawnbroker’s window and bought it for 25 cents. It turned out to be a two-carat emerald and young Harry re-sold it for a handsome profit. This eye for stones – and for a deal – later became the foundation of a business that is woven into the fabric of 20th-century culture.This is celebrated in a stunning book that celebrates Harry Winston’s 80th anniversary. Its lush pages trace key moments in the story of the jeweller, from those humble beginnings to toda’y’s global business, with an innovative watch-making division that shares equal billing with the fine jewellery.

There are the great stones that so captivated Winston, from the 726-carat Jonker diamond he bought in 1935 to the Lesotho, 601 carats in the rough, which he bought in 1967 and had cut live on national television and, of course, the Hope – a diamond of intense steely blue first recorded in the 17th century, which Winston bought in 1949. There are Winston’s celebrated clients, including the Duchess of Windsor, the Shah of Iran and Richard Burton – who bought the 69-carat pear-shaped diamond for Elizabeth Taylor that has become known as the Taylor-Burton. And there are Winston’s connections with Hollywood. In 1944 the producer David O. Selznick asked Winston to lend jewellery to his leading lady Jennifer Jones for the Academy Awards. The photographs of her, draped in diamonds, receiving the Best Actress Oscar, were a Hollywood

first – and set the scene for what has become the red carpet norm. Selznick put Harry Winston jewellery on screen too – as worn by Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946). And then, in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe underlined Winston’s fame with the immortal line from the theme song Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend “Talk to me Harry Winston...” The book pays tribute to the designers who executed Winston’s vision such as Nevdon Koumrouyan who brought mastery to Winston’s idea of using lighter settings, with less metal – along with the technique of clustering to catch as much light as possible. Indian jeweller, Ambaji Shinde, worked under Koumrouyan and then was creative director until retirement in 2001 – long after Winston himself had died, in 1978. Shinde made lifelike drawings of his designs and

Beloved of celebrities and A-list clients, the sparkling trinkets of Harry Winston are the brilliant legacy of a master jeweller

several of these – never seen outside the jeweller’s walls – are featured in the book. So, too are advertisements from the 1940s to the present day – a wonderful record of Harry Winston’s place in history.



the journal

Winter 2012

Aficionado Covet

most wanted

JOLA CHUDY chooses things of great beauty that make life more pleasurable to live

A Perfect Pearl Paspaley, purveyor of fine pearls, recently unveiled a stunning collection of one-off jewels. The pieces in the Fleur collection, which was created for Paspaley by Schreiner of Munich, include drop earrings, studs, pendants and rings created using rarefied gems. Each piece centres on an exquisite pearl from which long, fine, narrow-cut baguette diamonds radiate. The delicate diamond lariat (pictured, right) echoes the floral motif in tiny, linked mini-fleurs. It is available in the UAE at Paspaley, which partners with Damas Jewellery.Prices start from AED132,000 for a ring.

Spirit of the Union

Ring The Changes This bright beauty will dazzle even the most jaded of magpies. From high jewellery artisans Van Cleef & Arpels, this white gold cocktail-style ring comprises diamonds, turquoise, coral, chrysoprase, onyx and a magnificent oval-cut mandarin garnet of 15.77 carats. Its design, evoking a scarab beetle, symbolises good luck, with the wearer’s abundant fortune reflected in every facet. Also incorporated into the design are papyrus flowers in red coral and diamond, which were used by the ancient Egyptians as divine offerings, signifying spiritual accomplishment.

Great Endeavour Our favourite purveyors of fine Britishcrafted leather goods, apparel and accessories have come up trumps again. Who could fail to be charmed by this eminently elegant weekender in luxurious buffalo leather? Robust enough to take a bit of a battering yet smart enough to complement the sartorially-minded traveller’s attire, each bag is finished with cowhide leather handles and solid brass hardware. Lightweight yet durable, it’s the ideal gift for the top-tier traveller in your life who wishes always to turn left in impeccable style. The 48-hour size, ideal for a weekend, costs AED7,700.

It is the 41st birthday of our beautiful nation this December and what more charming way to mark the moment than with a special-edition Capeland timepiece from Baume & Mercier. The sporty-chic flyback chronograph from the Swiss watchmaker features a red tachymeter and green telemeter along with a black alligator strap accented with red stitching. Flying the flag for the UAE, the watch also features a commemorative ‘UAE edition’ engraving, which is numbered one to 100, denoting the exclusivity of this limited-edition timepiece. Available at Baume & Mercier in The Dubai Mall (04 339 8880) and at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons boutiques

Driven to Attraction We’re confirmed devotees of all things Prada, from our Saffiano Lux totes right down to our satin Mary-Jane pumps. While words like ‘comfort’ and ‘practicality’ aren’t at the forefront of most fashion designers’ visions, beauty and function go hand in hand at Prada. Thus, it’s interesting to note that Car Shoe has been under the umbrella of Prada Group since 2001 – its genesis, like that of Prada, being a passion for fine Italian craftsmanship. The original driving shoe, patented in the 1960s, has become a design icon, with its studded rubber soles and moccasin-style top. Only the finest materials are used in crafting the shoes: the best leathers for the uppers, a rubber mix identical to that used in tyre manufacture for the ball-studs on the sole, and 4.85 metres of English-produced pitchtreated cord for the base. Then, just like the best of Italian leather goods, the shoes are hand-crafted and finished by skilled artisans. Prices start at AED1,650.

Winter 2012

the journal

Aficionado Style

This Fox Rocks

Foxy and fashionable, this charming cufflink reflects one of the year’s surprise trends in jewellery and accessories

Adrian Azodi’s lifelong passion for fine dressing has culminated in the birth of Monsieur Fox, an irreverent range of accessories for the fashionable fox about town

A new collection of men’s accessories, born and made right here in Dubai, combines rakish style with a dash of class

by Sandra Lane

When it comes to style, Adrian Azodi has always been of the view that if you can’t find quite what you like, make it yourself. And if you like what you’ve made, make some more. Because it’s fairly certain that if you like it, others will too. Not the whole world, but enough people who share a similar style sensibility.

That, in a nutshell, is the genesis of a very dapper collection of men’s accessories that goes under the name of Monsieur Fox. It’s as stylish and witty as the name suggests, with fox-head cufflinks and paw-printed silk scarves and pocket squares. With a successful career in the oil and gas industry and a love of all things sartorial, Adrian says that back home in Boston he “tried a few ways to start some kind of clothing project”. But it was being posted to Dubai gave him the opportunity to dive in deeper: “Here, I saw straight away that there was access to a lot of resources not available in the US.” He began by focusing on high-quality blazers and shirts, with the accessories just a sideline but, he says, “I

realised that, with no tailoring knowledge myself, I risked making a lot of mistakes.” Meeting Dubai-based jewellery designer Clare Pardoe proved to be the catalyst for Monsieur Fox, which made its debut in the VIP Room at the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Not a bad start. “That was through a contact of Clare’s,” says Azodi. “And, just as importantly, it gave us a target to work to. It was good to have a deadline.” At centre stage were the cufflinks – the fox heads with suitably beady eyes and what could almost be taken for a rakish grin. That’s the default look of a real fox, of course, and couldn’t be better suited to Azodi’s approach: his conversation is peppered with the words irreverence, humour

and panache. It also helps that the fox was a huge trend this season, but jewellery for men? Cufflinks? Isn’t this a bit surprising from a man who says that he was never a great fan of double cuffs, finding them “ungainly”. He laughs: “I have always liked clothing that is rather classical, European but has an exuberance, an unexpected twist. I’m also a big fan of heritage and craftsmanship. The accessories embody all of that.” As for the very fine line beyond which men’s ‘jewellery’ must never stray, he says, “There’s not much around in the market that’s fun and also well crafted; even from the high-end designer names most of what you see is fairly bland and unimaginative. It’s not bad, just not interesting. In my view, if you’re going to spend a certain amount you will want something that has had more thought and care put into it, not a piece that has been milled by a machine.” The chances are that you’ll also want a piece with a dash of originality – that says something about you. Something along the lines of Azodi’s favourite saying, perhaps? “Mischief is more easily forgiven when it is well dressed.”

These Pearls of Wisdom by Sandra Lane

Angelina Jolie loves the lustre: she is pictured here at the Venice Film Festival wearing a three-strand set

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but a pearl necklace is her most chic accessory. From Coco Chanel’s rule-breaking layers of real and faux pearl strands in the 1920s, to the Parisian chic of Inès de la Fressange (now ambassador for Roger Vivier) wearing hers with a t-shirt and jeans, multi-strand pearls have an ineffable, nonchalant cool. Audrey Hepburn’s four strands of pearls and black Givenchy sheath dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s made her a style icon. Five decades later Angelina Jolie combined pearls with tattoos, wearing three-strands

with a revealing black lace gown, at the Venice Film Festival. Now pearls are having a fashion moment with pop-culture divas such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga. However, pearls transcend fashion. Even before Cleopatra’s time, natural pearls were the most highly prized of all gems – remaining the preserve of the very rich until Kokichi Mikimoto co-discovered the secret of making cultured pearls early last century. Suddenly, pearls became affordable. Then along came Mademoiselle Chanel – and pearls have never looked back. For much of last

century, a string of pearls was the definitive coming-of-age present for young ladies of a certain class. Today, though, a single string looks prim. Instead, think multiple: Jackie Kennedy (three) versus Michelle Obama (one). Unless, of course, you’re Carolina Herrera – a woman for whom the word ‘classy’ could have been invented. Her single strand – paired with a crisp white shirt – is a little longer than usual, a lot larger than usual….and made of irregularly shaped baroque pearls. Proof that one of the first rules of style is to break the rules.


the journal

Autumn 2012

P ort folio

arch i t ec t ure , d es i g n a n d i n t er i o rs . Objec t s a n d spaces t ha t i n sp i re

The Space

out of africa A villa in Emirates Hills provides the canvas for a family’s love of design and mementoes of a life well lived by Alexandra Duchemin

The layout of this superb villa flows from the spaces indoors to the reflective central pool (top) with its view of the lake

The main rooms are all arranged around a series of courtyards, with huge areas of glass allowing the natural light to flood in

What constitutes a good house? A yardstick might be this: one that lends itself to different owners, adapting itself to their life and style and, for each, becoming a real home. By that measure, the Emirates Hills villa that has been home to Lene Dewji, her husband and family, for several years now, is a good house. Blending the cultures of Scandinavia and Africa, with many years spent in Tanzania and Congo, the couple has amassed a fascinating collection of tribal art, as well as some notable examples of modern Danish design. The two styles, and the cultures and times from which they come, could hardly be more different – and yet, in the large and light-filled spaces of this contemporary villa, they com-

ing pool that runs the entire width of the house, and draws the eye out to the garden. Lene has divided this space into two seating areas – one is cosy, with a wall lined in heavily laden bookshelves, the other more open. The furniture is clean-lined and contemporary – a neutral foil for more African artefacts. Texture and colour is provided by beautiful, quilted throws made by Lene herself. To one side – with folding doors that can be close it off if wished – the living room flows into a large dining area and open-plan kitchen, ideal for both family living and informal entertaining. A long, solid wood table dominates the dining area, with modern Danish chairs providing contrast.

plement each other very well. And everything works just as it should, to accommodate the daily life of a family with young children. The front door opens into a space that immediately sets the scene: acting almost as a majlis, pair of contemporary sofas face each other across a polished chrome coffee table stacked with modern art books and ancient tribal artefacts. On each wall is an attentiongrabbing painting by the Danish artist, Kristian Hornsleth. Beyond this is a very large abstract in black, white and earth tones by another Danish artist, Vibeke Tøejner. Two steps down from here, the space opens out into a huge, lateral living area, on the far side of which a wall of glass overlooks a wad-

Upstairs is a family sitting area, with the bedroom suites arranged around it. This arrangement of spaces invites different stylistic treatments for each – in Lene’s case, a lot more scope for mixing the African and Scandinavian, the ancient and the new. No doubt a different family would make a very different kind of home in these spaces. It would be easy to do – and by that measure, this really is a good house. This villa is offered for sale through Luxhabitat. Property ref.999

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Autumn 2012

the journal

The Report Portfolio

The Italian Job The sleek PF Emirates showroom may be the newest design-kid on the local block but its opening coincides with the 100th birthday of its parent company, Poltrona Frau.

by Sandra Lane

It’s a long way from the gleaming surroundings of Dubai’s Emaar Boulevard to the sleepy town of Tolentino in eastern Italy and Poltrona Frau’s factory – and a whole century separates the beginning of one from the other. Poltrona Frau has come a long way since Sardinia-born Renzo Frau opened a workshop in Turin in 1912: some of the century’s greatest designers have signed its products (Gio Ponti, Richard Meier, Ferdinand A. Porsche, Jean Nouvel). Its work is found from LVMH’s New York headquarters to the Reichstag in Berlin. And today Poltrona Frau Group owns a clutch of great design brands, including Cassina, Cappellini and Nemo. It’s by making that journey to the hills of Le Marche that I truly grasp the skill and passion that goes into making emblematic pieces such as the Vanity Fair chair (an archive piece from 1930) and Kennedee sofa (designed by JeanMarie Massaud in 2006) – and why a

70,000-dirham sofa is worth every fil. First, I’m guided to the ‘leather lab’, where the company’s Head of Research gives a crash course on the difference between very good leather and exceptional leather. Poltrona Frau is not only very picky about the provenance of its hides (buying skins only from European cattle) it thinks that good is never quite good enough. The research team is constantly devising ways to improve the hides, re-evaluating its tanning and dyeing processes in a quest for greater softness, character and elasticity. Before a skin even gets into the same space as a furniture frame it will go through 21 production processes (10 is the industry norm). And so to the production floor. On one side is the car interiors workshop, with bits of Ferrari dashboard in varying stages of completion and prototypes of the seats Poltrona Frau makes for Etihad’s First Class cabins. In the sofa-building area a pair of classic Chester buttoned sofas is in the works. This is furniture-making the old way – all by hand. Jute webbing is attached to the solid beechwood frames and interwoven to form the base for the springs. Eight-way steel springs are attached one by one with jute cord. There’s no measuring; it’s all done by eye. When the entire structure has been padded with horsehair, the leather, which has been stitched together (mostly by hand), is stretched over it and the

From top: Workers at the factory in the 1950s; the ‘1919’ chair and a detail of the ‘John-John’ sofa in PF Emirates’ new showroom; making a sofa the traditional way; the new ‘Juliet’ chair marks the company’s centenary

precise capitonné (buttoning) work begins, the buttons sewn in by hand. Again, no measuring. On the arm-rests hundreds of tiny knife-edged pleats are made, all of them millimetre-perfect. The craftsman makes it look almost easy. I ask him how long he has been doing this job. “Thirty-four years,” he says, his face lit by a huge smile. That is passion.

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the journal

Autumn 2012

Portfolio Objects World radio by Geneva Sound Lab AED1,100 at Dubai Audio

Arborescence silver candelabra by OraÏto for Christofle AED272,415

Divine Designs

Coral Reef table lamp by QiDesign AEDxxxx at Dubai Audio

Fabulous finds & gorgeous goodies for the home

Mirlino stool by Giancarlo Mino for Ligne Roset AED4,500 at Bloomingdale’s Home and Aati Harcourt Darkside crystal goblets by Philippe Starck for Baccarat AED10,880 (set of 6)

Branch dining table by Jacon Wagner for Cappellini from AED3,087 at PF Emirates

Mouth-blown crystal vase by Venini for Versace Home AED18,200

BeoLab 12-2 speakers on stands by Bang & Olufsen from AED17,410 (pair) Treasure tall cabinet in lacquered wood by Lambert AED5,960 at B5 Living

Items chosen by Sandra Lane. Stockists: • Baccarat: Baccarat boutique The Dubai Mall, 04 339 8942, Tanagra, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi 02 681 7506 • Bang & Olufsen: The Dubai Mall, 04 362 7500 • B5 Living: Sidra Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Sufouh 2, 04 447 3973 • Cappellini: PF Emirates Downtown Dubai 04 339 7111, Abu Dhabi, 02 653 9393 • Christofle: Christofle boutique, The Dubai Mall, 04 339 8451, Tanagra (as above)• Geneva Sound Lab: Dubai Audio, Sheikh Zayed Road near Umm Amar Rd, 04 343 1441 • Ligne Roset: Aati, Zabeel Road, Dubai, 04 337 7825; Bloomingdale’s Home, The Dubai Mall, 04 350 5333 • QiDesign: Dubai Audio (as above) • Versace Home: The Dubai Mall, 04 330 8697




OVE n & AB millio TIES

Winter 2012



A selec t i o n o f f i n e pr o per t i es ava i lable f o r purchase – a n d t he l i fes t yles t hey o ffer

Pool party

A pool can be many things – from a place for active swimming to a major design statement. Make the most of them when the weather is at its best by Susan James

In this part of the world a private swimming pool is de rigueur for a villa of any quality. Not only is it a given from the lifestyle point of view, it offers tremendous scope for designers. Forget the boring turquoise rectangle of the past, plonked down into a spare patch of ground; a pool should be an integral part of the design of the garden, complementing the buildings and enhancing the

overall style and geometry of the property. Colour is only the beginning: at Al Barari the villa pools are lined with small-format mosaic in variegated shades of dark green and blue, a colour that blends beautifully with the lush vegetation throughout the estate. Paving a terrace in pale limestone and extending it to the pool base and lining is subtle and stylish, turning the water a deli-

cate shade of aquamarine. Conversely, limestone can make a dramatic contrast with a dark cobalt blue or black-lined pool. Colour is at its best when chosen to enhance, rather than clash with, the surroundings – especially for free-form pools that are intended to look more naturalistic. Colour aside, glass mosaic gives the water an almost ethereal quality as it reflects the light.

The positioning of a pool is also key: it can either ‘interrupt’ or enhance the overall plan of a garden, complement or clash with the geometry of buildings, and even make a notvery-special view into something rather wonderful. Photo: the ‘suspended’ lap pool of a Water Villa on Nurai island. The villa is offered for sale by Luxhabitat at AED 24,000,000. Property ref. 653

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the journal

Winter 2012


O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

Green Heaven The environment and quality of Al Barari sets a benchmark for Dubai, says Paul Christodoulou, Luxury Sales Specialist at Luxhabitat Al Barari might not be as high profile as other high-end villa projects such as The Palm Jumeirah, but our target audience knows it well – all of my clients are owneroccupiers, and 95 per cent are already based here in Dubai and looking to upgrade. I’d liken Al Barari to the exclusive Surrey commuter belt in the UK. Eighty per cent of my clients work in DIFC and, while Al Barari feels a world away from the city, it’s only a 10 to 15 minute drive to the financial district, and around 20 minutes to Dubai Marina. When you buy in Al Barari, you are buying into a complete community lifestyle. Only a fifth of the land is being developed; the rest is set aside for landscaping. Six botanical gardens are already complete,

with a seventh under way. They’re all themed: there’s the Woodland garden planted with European species, the Asianinfluenced Balinese garden, and the Contemporary garden, which is my personal favourite. Work on the swimming pool and gym area is very near to completion, and a running track is currently being installed around the development: it will lead through all of the botanical gardens. Al Barari is a beautiful environment to live in, especially at this time of year. It feels very different from everything else in Dubai. Villa prices at Al Barari stabilised over the summer and are holding steady compared with the general upward trend in Dubai, with available properties ranging from about AED11 million to AED20 million.

Al Barari is small, with the focus on exclusivity. There are only 189 villas in Phase 1, with plots sized from 11,000–16,400 sq ft, while Phase 2, The Reserve, launched officially this month, will deliver properties ‘shell and core’ on plots from 20,000–60,000 sq.ft This means that buyers at The Reserve will be able to fully customise their homes within the ‘footprint’ of the property, as well as customising the landscaping of their grounds. With four exterior styles to choose from, they’ll be able to convert existing balconies into workable interior space, for example, and we have one client who is planning to adapt his six-bedroom villa into one with three huge suites. In terms of build quality, Al Barari is the best developer-built villa project in the

New Season comes to The Farm

UAE. Nothing else compares. Both the workmanship, and the quality of the materials used, are second-to-none. You have only to view a property to see the difference – the floor-to-ceiling height is three metres, the doors are solid oak, and the flooring material is also of superior quality. Al Barari is also Dubai’s very first 100 per cent ‘Smart Home’ project. Residents can easily connect to their home from wherever they are in the world – viewing CCTV, adjusting the air conditioning, even turning on appliances. At the build stage, owners can even opt for sensors to be placed throughout their homes’ pipes, which would alert the smart system to any problems such as leaks. It is the next generation of home maintenance.

TENNIS, ANYONE? Al Barari’s Tennis Academy is now

With wholesome, seasonal fare at the heart of The Farm’s eco-conscious philosophy, this Al Barari dining experience has new offerings for the winter. New dishes include starters of a hearty pumpkin and cinnamon soup, and a spicy prawn twister. For dinner, try the honey-glazed duck breast, which is served with a choice of baked russet potato, roasted squash and turnips, sweet potato wedges or the sticky-sweet honey-roast red potatoes. With the restaurant open all day, a selection of Thai dishes has been added to the menu – to be served for both

lunch and dinner. Dishes include Som Tam Thai, a spicy green papaya salad, and Goong Mangkorn Sos Horapa, which is lobster in a Thai basil sauce. The Farm was in the news this autumn thanks to its win against the Rhodes Mezzanine team at the International Fine Food Festival. Led by Head Chef Yves de Lafontaine and Chef Ellewela, the skilled team spent twoand-a-half hours transforming the mystery ingredient, swordfish, into a threecourse fine dining menu, served to 30 lucky diners at the Chef’s Table kitchen.

open. Lessons are managed by ACE Tennis Centre, with group lessons, private classes and fitness training for all abilities and from age three up. Private lessons cost AED210 per hour and are available to non-residents as well.

WELL MANAGED Wojood, Al Barari’s property servicing company, now offers a choice of four maintenance packages or a tailor-made service. These include plumbing, carpentry, cleaning, gardening and electrical maintenance, to keep life trouble-free.

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AED 11,250,000

Dahlia, Al Barari 6 Bedrooms (BUA 12,102 sq. ft.)

Reference 992

AED 16,250,000 Reference 753

Acacia, Al Barari 8 Bedrooms (BUA 16,448 sq. ft.)

Bromellia, Al Barari 5 Bedrooms (BUA 14,918 sq. ft.)

Price on request Reference 505

Bromellia, Al Barari 6 Bedrooms (BUA 14,918 sq. ft.)

AED 15,200,000 Reference 881

Camellia, Al Barari 5 Bedrooms (BUA 6,100 sq. ft.)

AED 13,500,000 Reference 842

Camellia, Al Barari 5 Bedrooms (BUA 13,858 sq. ft.)

AED 14,500,000 Reference 996



the journal

Winter 2012

DIFC & Downtown O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

IT’S ALL UP FOR DOWNTOWN Downtown forges ahead with existing projects and new announcements, says David Terry

It looked as if the biggest news in the Downtown area recently was Emaar’s announcement in November of its new residential and hotel development, to be called The Address The BLVD and due for completion in 2015. Located close to Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, the 63-storey building will comprise a 200-room five star hotel and 542 serviced apartments. That was, until a flurry of excitement greeted the same developer’s unveiling of its planned extension to The Dubai Mall on the eve of National Day weekend. Described by Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the Managing Director of Emaar Properties as a high-end “boulevard-style” retail destination, it will also feature “a modern hotel,

luxury homes and serviced residences”. Few details are available yet of the nature of the homes, and a date has not been set for the sales launch but it will be interesting to see if the rapid off-plan sell-out of The Address The BLVD is repeated. The latter was sold out within hours, bringing back memories of the pre-2008 boom – which may or may not be a good thing. Time will tell. That said, this sale reflects well on the current state of the property market and positive growth trends in Dubai’s real estate sector as a whole – Emaar’s confidence in investing in the project was vindicated by the obvious demand from buyers. The serviced residences, which include

studios, one, two, three and four-bedroom units ranged from AED1.1m (US$299,500) for a studio to more than AED6m (US$1.6m) for a four-bedroom unit. Given the scarcity of family-sized units in Downtown and DIFC, it is good to see that the development includes some larger apartments – although these are serviced residences and the shortage of regular freehold remains. I don’t believe this development will affect the prices of apartments in the immediate vicinity or the serviced residences at The Address Downtown, which is in a great location with excellent views of the lake and Burj Khalifa. However, the new arrival could possibly affect The Address Dubai

A Heart for Art in the City Centre

Mall negatively when completed, as both are in a similar location with similar negative and positive factors. Further along Emaar Boulevard, adjacent to the Burj Residences complex, Burjside Boulevard will be completed in the first quarter of next year. On the resale market, these apartments start from AED2,300 – AED3,000/sq.ft, with prices governed mainly by the view. Being on the street rather than the lake side of Downtown, the location is not as good as that of Burj Residences, so I don’t believe the handover of the new towers will have too much impact on values in their slightly older neighbours. David Terry was talking to Cindy L Bailey

Getting a Grilling With its Latin band playing lively tunes and great view of

With the art season in full swing, the galleries of Downtown and DIFC have an exciting array of shows planned. Among the highlights: The Ara Gallery at Burj Plaza, Downtown has extended its hugely popular show, ‘Modernism’, featuring works by 13 Arabic calligraphers until January 14, to be followed by ‘Letters of Gold’, a solo show by the Omani artist Saleh Al Shukhairi. The Pavilion Downtown will be hosting ‘8 Ties’, an interactive multimedia presen-

tation by Miguel Chevalier and ‘Bursting at the Seams’ by local artist Sara Al Haddad, both from December 11. At DIFC, ‘The Substance of Light’ continues at Cuadro Gallery until January 6, with work by four world-class light artists, and, opening on December 5 at XVA Gallery, ‘Traces of Man’ is a solo show by one of India’s most prominent artists, Rameshwar Broota. Revealing Broota’s interest in the human condition, it focuses mainly on his photography.

the Dubai Fountain, Asado is The Palace Hotel’s Argentinean grill. It serves premium meat cuts prepared Asado Criollo-style – on an open parrilla grill in the centre of the restaurant. For starters I opted for a sweetcorn stew with goat cheese – sweet, creamy and incredibly filling. A specialty dish of Argentina is goat – cooked the traditional way, on a spit over a slow-burning charcoal fire. Asado does it to perfection, juicy and full of flavour. There is a fine selection of steaks and knowledgeable waiters show you the cuts first, so you see what you’re getting. The 250g beef tenderloin steak, accompanied by thick-cut fries and roasted veggies, was succulent and tender. Chicken and fish are alternatives, but the steak is simply too good to miss.

Reviewed by Cindy L Bailey

Winter 2012

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AED 23,000,000

The Address - Downtown Burj Dubai, Downtown Burj Khalifa 4 Bedrooms (BUA 3,850 sq. ft.)

Burj Khalifa Tower, Downtown Burj Khalifa 2 Bedrooms (BUA 2,237 sq. ft.)

Reference 956

POA Reference 731

Burj Khalifa Tower, Downtown Burj Khalifa 4 Bedrooms (BUA 6,430 sq. ft.)

AED 750,000 per year Reference 967



the journal

Autumn 2012


O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

A Market Determined by Quality and Value As Dubai Marina matures into a complete neighbourhood, it can offer good value, says Alexander von Sayn-Wittgenstein, Sales Manager at Luxhabitat Right now, there are two main reasons why people are buying property in the Marina: it comes down to either quality – where buyers are willing to pay extra for something that really stands out – or good value, where it’s all about the best price. For example, we are in the process of selling an apartment in Le Rêve for AED20 million (about AED3,000 per square foot). Le Rêve commands this high price because of the quality of the building and the lifestyle that comes with living there, it is a beautiful place to make a home. Conversely, we recently sold a penthouse in a brand new building with a sea view. Priced at around AED7 million (approximately AED1,200 per square foot), it attracted the

buyer because of the great value it offered. While apartment prices in Dubai Marina are rising in line with other established areas in the city, the current price range for penthouses of between AED7 million and AED20m means that the price per square foot remains favourable compared with Downtown Dubai, even in spite of the Marina’s ongoing issue of under-supply at the upper end of the market. Apartment prices in Downtown start at around AED2,000 per sq ft, whereas in the Marina, properties of a similar standard can be found for around AED1,500 per sq ft. Dubai Marina is also the only high-rise development in the city that is right next to the beach. So, if you’re looking for the kind

of lifestyle that comes with living near the water, this is the only option if you want an apartment, rather than a villa. Luxhabitat currently has a penthouse in Bayside Residence, a unique apartment that combines a great location with the best that the Marina has to offer. With an asking price of AED9.8 million, the 7,800 sq ft property is on the Al Sufouh side of Dubai Marina, within easy walking distance of Grosvenor House and close to Dubai International Marine Club. The fourbedroom duplex has a private lift, and has been refurbished to the highest standard. It also has Dubai’s longest private pool for a high-rise apartment, and the entire upper floor has been dedicated to leisure,

Luxurious Leisure on the Beach

including a gym and bar. More families are now buying in the Marina due to the improved facilities. It is conveniently located near Media and Internet Cities, and is close to Sheikh Zayed Road for commuters travelling both in and out of Dubai. It has become a popular area for pedestrians: The Walk is well-established now, and new residents are drawn in by the great shopping opportunities and extensive array of restaurants, bars and cafes that are available in the Marina’s mall and hotels. Convenience remains an important factor for Marina residents and, in recent years, this neighbourhood has become a complete destination. Alexander von Sayn-Wittgenstein spoke to Safina Iqbal

STREET WISE Part of a Dubai-wide project, the RTA is

While it has caused some controversy among JBR residents who were expecting a free community beach club, Meydan Beach has now opened. The luxurious facilities, in what was previously the Jumeirah Beach Residence sales centre, include two infinity-edge pools, a spa, high tech gymnasium, kids’ play zone, chill-out lounge and restaurant, Giannino. Until annual membership fees are finalised, the club is offering a day rate of AED495 per person, which includes a AED250 voucher redeemable against food and beverages. Children under the age of 13 are free of charge (one child

per paying adult guest), and there are attendants to look after younger guests. Giannino is proving particularly popular. Like its Michelin-starred sibling in Italy, it celebrates Italian flavours that complement the beachside setting: light antipasti such as seared scallops with zucchini blossoms, or bresaola with fennel and red radish salad, are followed by homemade pasta or risotto, then Milanese classics such as pan-fried veal cutlets, or meatballs with asparagus and black truffle.

introducing its street naming system to Al

Main courses are priced from AED160 upwards. For

completed within 18 months.

reservations call: 04 433 3777

Sufouh and Dubai Marina. Aiming to reduce confusion by replacing numbers and letters with real names, it will be complemented by a new signage system.

MALL ON THE SHORE A new low-rise mall and entertainment centre is taking shape on the JBR shoreline between the Hilton and Sheraton hotels. Managed by Meraas Holding, it will incorporate shopping, F&B, leisure and entertainment. It is due to be

Winter 2012

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AED 16,000,000

Emirates Crown, Dubai Marina 5 Bedrooms (BUA 7,600 sq. ft.)

Reference 980

AED 9,000,000 Reference 779

Shams, JBR 4 Bedrooms (BUA 6,156 sq. ft.)

Sadaf, JBR 4 Bedrooms (BUA 6,218 sq. ft.)

AED 9,000,000 Reference 780

Marina 23, Dubai Marina 4 Bedrooms (BUA 5,775 sq. ft.)

AED 750,000 per year Reference 1038

Le Reve, Dubai Marina 6 Bedrooms (BUA 6,100 sq. ft.)

AED 9,500,000 Reference 1011

Marina Heights, Dubai Marina 5 Bedrooms (BUA 5,600 sq. ft.)

AED 12,500,000 Reference 1006



the journal

Winter 2012

Emir ates H ills

O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

Driven by Position and Prestige Emirates Hills continues to be in high demand, especially among owners who crave privacy, says Linda Kuhn, Luxury Sales Specialist at Luxhabitat

As with all of Dubai’s prime areas, sales in Emirates Hills have been rising throughout 2012, in terms of both volume and price, with almost two dozen villas changing hands so far this year. There’s also a healthy demand for rentals but very few properties available for less than AED900,000–1,000,000 per year. It must always be remembered that Emirates Hills is unlike any other area – not only in the nature and style of the properties but the vendors that we find here and the way they like to operate. It’s essential to know them well and really understand what they want. Most vendors

like to be very private and some take that to the extreme of not wanting any photographs taken or even any overt marketing done. While this creates a challenge, it underlines the importance of personal networks at this end of the market. As for the properties themselves, each has been built to a specific owner’s requirements as a home for his own family – or to his assumptions about what like-minded buyers may want. This means enormous variation in floor plans, build quality and aesthetics, with the result that the normal ‘per square foot’ pricing guides don’t apply; each villa has to be priced separately.

The entry level for a home here has now risen to AED17 million for the smallest villas – these are without a golf course view and there are very few of them available. The level at which we start to see a little choice is AED21–25m, while those directly fronting the golf course are a significant step up, in the AED35–50m range, with a few owners asking considerably more than that. By comparison, signature villas on Palm Jumeirah at the middle or ends of the fronds, are now fetching prices in the AED20–30m range and asking prices at Al Barari start at AED21–15m, which remains

very good value, given the quality. That said, Emirates Hills will always have the added benefit of its convenient location close to Sheikh Zayed Road, and the presence of good schools in the immediate vicinity. Indeed, we are seeing some buyers moving here from Palm Jumeirah for that reason, as well as the fact that it feels more settled than the Palm, where quite a lot of owners use their villas only as weekend or holiday homes. And, of course, there’s the prestige of the name; we can’t see a time when any other UAE community will beat Emirates Hills on that score. Linda Kuhn spoke to Alexandra Duchemin

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H Sector, Emirates Hills 5 Bedrooms (BUA 14,000 sq. ft.)

Reference 1024

AED 50,500,000 Reference 529

V Sector, Emirates Hills 7 Bedrooms (BUA 20,000 sq. ft.)

P Sector, Emirates Hills 6 Bedrooms (BUA 12,833 sq. ft.)

AED 29,500,000 Reference 999

H Sector, Emirates Hills 4 Bedrooms (BUA 10,500 sq. ft.)

POA Reference 1001

W Sector, Emirates Hills 7 Bedrooms (BUA 8,616 sq. ft.)

POA Reference 227

Marina Heights, Dubai Marina 7 Bedrooms (BUA 18,984 sq. ft.)

POA Reference 751



the journal

Winter 2012

Jumeirah Golf Estates O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

dubai’s newest haven The last high-end villa project to be handed over in Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates is set to make its mark, says Paul Christodoulou, Luxury Property Specialist at Luxhabitat Even though parts of Jumeirah Golf Estates were completed in 2009 – specifically the Greg Norman-designed Earth golf course and the attractive family-style villas of the Lime Tree Valley section – it is effectively new to the market. As those who bought villas off-plan discovered to their cost, work had stopped for more than two years following the DP World/Nakheel debt crisis, which left the development without essential utilities and infrastructure. Now, with several of the sub-developments close to handover – and attention drawn back to the development by the recent DP World Tour Championship – it’s clear that it will become a much-favoured residential area in Dubai. This is due as much to the

quality of several sub-developments as to its overall concept as a complete golf estate (as opposed to, say, Emirates Hills and Arabian Ranches, which are communities that have a golf course within them). And even if the original plan of four golf courses is never realised, the two existing courses, Earth and Fire (the latter completed in 2010), and their surrounding villas will make a very appealing community. While Jumeirah Golf Estates has an overall Mediterranean theme, each of the villa developments has its own character and each is quite small, creating the sense of intimate neighbourhoods within the wider community. It also means more variety in terms of both style and size of the villas,

with less of a cookie-cutter feeling. Olive Point offers 43 villas with a choice of seven different styles and floor plans, ranging from four to six bedrooms and 6,000–10,000 sq.ft; at Sienna Lakes there are 68 villas in a choice of 12 styles, in the 5,000–8,000 sq.ft range and Lime Tree Valley offers villas of 4,000–7,000 sq.ft in a choice of seven styles. In all three the villas have been planned to offer flexible spaces and built to a high specification with attractive materials and finishes. Developers are quoting prices of AED1,800 upwards per square foot for villas with a golf course frontage and around AED1,400 further back, which translates to the AED11–20 million per villa for Olive Point

and Sienna Lakes. Lime Tree Valley offers great value, with golf course frontage villas at AED1,600 per sq.ft. While the handover of homes will begin within the next three to six months, I don’t expect a sudden flood of properties coming on to the market. I think most owners will adopt a wait-and-see attitude and let the market establish itself before considering reselling. And it’s important to remember that most people bought their villas with the intention of living there themselves. I think their long and frustrating wait will be worth it, as the community will offer good quality homes and the kind of lifestyle that people really want. Paul Christodoulou was speaking to Alexandra Duchemin

Winter 2012

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AED 8,900,000

Lime Tree Valley, Jumeirah Golf Estates 5 Bedrooms (BUA 3,850 sq. ft.)

Lime Tree Valley, Jumeirah Golf Estates 5 Bedrooms (BUA 4,790 sq. ft.)

Reference 486

AED 6,900,000 Reference 558

Sanctuary Falls, Jumeirah Golf Estates 5 Bedrooms (BUA 6,430 sq. ft.)

POA Reference 563



the journal

Winter 2012

Emir ates Livi ng

O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

Still a Family Favourite Stocks are short as more choose to settle in Dubai, says Linda Kuhn, a Luxury Sales Specialist at Luxhabitat With the recent handover of the Jumeirah Park development, and more villas completed in Jumeirah Village Triangle and Jumeirah Village Circle, it was generally expected that a segment of the Emirates Living community would take a hit on prices. However, this has not been the case and there is a significant shortage of stock as rental and purchase demand in this area outstrips supply. The growth has been more than we had anticipated going into 2012, and it was especially noticeable in the past three months after an unusually quiet summer period. This area has always been a popular expatriate community but the nature of the community has changed over the past few years. Compared to 2005–2006, more

people are choosing to settle in Dubai and make it a long-term home, whereas before it was a much more transient community with people staying for a couple of years before moving back home or moving further afield. That meant there was a much quicker turnover of properties and good options became available on a regular basis. Now residents are holding on to their properties for longer and an increased number of people are feeling confident enough to buy in a more mature market. Dominated by owner-occupiers, the Lakes and Meadows communities have stabilised – meaning that, for newcomers looking to this area to rent or to buy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a good property that fits their requirements.

As a result, we see prices being driven higher. A typical four-bedroom villa in the Meadows (Type 6) has risen to around AED5 million, an increase of around 15–20 per cent in the last quarter. We are finding that, as with any mature market, location takes priority and, where the community is well established, people are settling for smaller properties in order to secure a more convenient situation Demand here remains higher than in similar communities such as Victory Heights and Arabian Ranches. This is due mostly to location and the fact that Arabian Ranches, with 6,300 houses in total, offers more larger, high-end properties. In Jumeirah Islands, prices have been slightly slower to climb, but we are still

Emaar takes a Hard Line on Defaulters

seeing some good growth. An Entertainment Foyer type villa is now between AED6.5 and 7m and, again, there are not many coming onto the market. There are people ready to pay AED6m but they cannot find anything available at that price. There are few investors in this area – and, as in the market, unless they can find a particularly good deal they are not interested. And there are not many such deals to be had. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of European expatriates looking to buy here during the last quarter and we have sold several properties to Italian and Spanish families choosing to settle in Dubai, away from the uncertain economic situation in Europe. Linda Kuhn spoke to Samantha Armstrong

ROOT CAUSE Emaar has an initiative in Emirates Liv-

Emaar has decided to name and shame those residents defaulting on service fees in a bid to collect outstanding payments that it can reinvest in the community. At the entrance to the communities there are now signboards displaying the numbers of villas with unpaid fees, which has led to a noticeable decrease in the number outstanding. Additional service fee drop-boxes have been installed throughout the area; previously these were only in the Meadows and Springs retail centres. The move comes at a time when the developer is investing significantly in the

maintenance and future development of the Emirates Living communities. Several of the park and play areas have been extended and upgraded with new play equipment. More community initiatives are also being introduced, such as the recent Halloween Parade. While these communities have always been popular with families, Emaar is taking a more proactive role to enhance residents’ experience, prompted by the completion of new developments such as Nakheel’s Jumeirah Park, which mean that people have more options available to them.

ing and Arabian Ranches encouraging residents to remove trees that they say are likely to cause structural and aesthetic damage to some properties because of their overgrown roots.

SIGN OF THE TIMES Now that the major road works throughout Emirates Living have been completed – after years of disruption – Emaar has announced that it will begin making improvements to the landscaping and signage in early 2013. A little more work, but it will be worth it.

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jumeirah islands 4 Bedrooms (BUA 5,900 sq. ft.)

Reference 1012

AED 6,700,000 Reference 1034

The Clusters, Jumeirah Islands 4 Bedrooms (BUA 5,285 sq. ft.)

Hattan, The Lakes 5 Bedrooms (BUA 6,124 sq. ft.)

AED 11,300,000 Reference 931

Meadows 3, The Meadows 4 Bedrooms (BUA 4,931 sq. ft.)

POA Reference 946

Hattan, Arabian Ranches 5 Bedrooms (BUA 5,443 sq. ft.)

AED 340,000 Per year Reference 1037

La Avenida, Arabian Ranches 6 Bedrooms (BUA 5,600 sq. ft.)

AED 7,350,000 Reference 975



the journal

Winter 2012

Pal m Jume ir ah

O n se d eum es t , i n n o n se q u o s c o n e t v o lup t am i psa n d a ec t a t em o d i t a n o n e t ur ? Nec t i a

Hotel Villas Offer Best of Both Worlds Hotel residences breathe life into Palm property, says Linda Kuhn, Luxury Property Specialist at Luxhabitat

As the only place in Dubai offering true beachside living in luxurious style, The Palm will always be a big draw for buyers and renters, whether for long-term primary homes, secondary or holiday homes, or short-term lets for holidays or special occasions such as weddings, magazine photo shoots or filming commercials. It’s wonderful that Palm properties remain in such high demand, but the flipside is that once people move in, they don’t want to leave. The result is little movement in the market, with very few high-end villas either for sale or for rent. This is keeping prices around the AED19-25 million mark, edging higher as you get further down the fronds. Until new developments such as Palma Residences begin to wel-

come dwellers, we don’t anticipate huge developments in the market. This makes the hotel residences an even more exciting proposition. We’re certainly seeing increased interest in villa-style hotel residences, and it’s easy to see why. Take the five-bedroom villas at the Kempinski, for example. Arranged over three floors, these stunning properties typically rent out for around AED1 million per year, and for that you’ll enjoy a spacious living and dining area and beautifully equipped kitchen, a large terrace, large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a basement games room or gym and a rooftop pool, Jacuzzi and terrace with spectacular views of the beach and the city skyline. The beauty of properties like these and

similar villas on the Palm is that tenants have their own space, can come and go as they please, entertain at home, hang out in their own garden and, with the wonderfully secluded location, escape the hubbub of the city. Close to the beach, these villas are furnished to the highest of standards, right down to the linens and cutlery (but with a little freedom to create your own homely feeling if you wish) and contain everything required to run a family home, including maid’s quarters. On the other hand, they benefit from being linked to some of the best hotels in the world and all the perks that brings (think community pool, fitness facilities, top-class restaurants where you can dine in or have dinner delivered to your villa, and top-class secu-

A Healthy Start at Sophie’s

rity and maintenance).The Kempinski villas are just one option. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray also has a collection of five-bedroom villas, the impressive Fairmont, of which we recently enjoyed a sneak peek, is set to unveil its residential apartments shortly, and Sofitel Resort & Spa, a Polynesian-style resort that is due to be up and running by February, will also have its own villas for rent. The Kingdom of Sheba promises to be particularly exciting, with a development featuring 34 palatial four- and five-bedroom villas and 28 elegant townhouses – all with their own private pools – as well as duplex penthouses and apartments with their own communal amenities. It looks like there are exciting times ahead for the Palm. Linda Kuhn was speaking to Karen Iley

Turtle Discovery An endangered green sea turtle weighing

For a super-healthy start to the day, we heartily recommend breakfast at Sophie’s Gastro Café. The café has long been sating residents’ cravings for wholesome and nutritious smoothies, salads and main dishes and recently opened for breakfast. It’s located next to Riva Health Club, so fitness fanatics can boost their protein intake with delicious tofu scrambled eggs, served with Sophie’s superb homemade sunflower bread. We tucked into a beautiful bowl of organic Bircher muesli, brimming with fresh fruit and mixed nuts. You can grab a bite on the run or sit back and savour the green and serene sur-

roundings as you tuck into organic oat granola with Greek yoghurt, fruit and flax seeds; eggs served in four different ways; egg-white omelettes bursting with veggies – or Sophie’s ‘Big Breakfast’, with eggs, hash browns, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, turkey bacon and baked beans. Sophie’s philosophy is ‘Eat well, live well, be well’ and the kitchen uses fresh local produce and organic ingredients as much as possible. The breakfast menu is available from 7–11am during the week and 7am–1pm on Friday to Sunday.

around 100kg was discovered on the

Lower floor, Building 8 The Shoreline (part of the Riva

machines and children’s play areas.

complex); 04 332 8006

shores of the Palm. Believed to have been hit by a boat, it was transferred to the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, which has saved hundreds of injured turtles.

Palm Park A long-awaited public park is due to open next summer, covering nine hectares between Shoreline and Golden Mile, with shops and cafés. Residents are already hitting the 5km perimeter jogging track, which features exercise

Winter 2012

the journal

featured propertIES

For more information please call us on +971 50 785 8143

Property Gallery

Scan the QR code with your smartphone to

AED 900,000 Per year

Fronds, Palm Jumeirah 6 Bedrooms (BUA 7,000 sq. ft.)

Reference 1018

AED 24,000,000 Reference 1041

Kempinski Residences, Palm Jumeirah 5 Bedrooms (BUA 6,800 sq. ft.)

Fronds, Palm Jumeirah 5 Bedrooms (BUA 5,000 sq. ft.)

AED 10,700,000 Reference 991

Fronds, Palm Jumeirah 6 Bedrooms (BUA 7,000 sq. ft.)

AED 10,000,000 Reference 1025

Fronds, Palm Jumeirah 4 Bedrooms (BUA 5,209 sq. ft.)

AED 900,000 per year Reference 1020

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AED 25,000,000 Reference 1007



the journal

Winter 2012

Lifestyle Beachfront

Intimately connected to its beach-front setting, with an entire facade of glass, beautifully designed outdoor pools and terraces leading down to the sand, and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, this Shoreline villa offers an exceptional level of luxury, peace and seclusion, thanks to its setting, on the private island of Nurai. Indoors there are more great entertaining spaces and six grand bedroom suites, all designed with great taste and style, using the finest quality materials. AED 44,000,000. Property Ref. 1005

Designed with great style, this outdoor living area is part of a superb Arabian Ranches villa. AEDXXXXX ref XXXXXXX

The private roof terrace of a fabulous five-bedroom villa in the heart of Dubai Marina. Price on Application. Property ref. 852

Outdoors is Always Entertaining With the UAE climate ideal for al fresco living for half of the year, it’s worth creating a special area for entertaining out of doors

by Susan James

Few pleasures can match dining outdoors on a warm, sunny day or a balmy evening. When the temperature is just right conversation

seems to flow so much more easily, time seems to slow down so that we can relax and enjoy it more and food certainly tastes better. So, in the UAE, where the weather is ideally suited to al fresco living for more than half of the year, it’s worth making the most of our outdoor spaces, choosing a home where a dining and entertaining area has been designed and integrated into the garden with real thought – or one with under-developed outdoor space that would lend itself to a redesign. Increasingly, villas in Dubai are being

planned with indoor-outdoor living in mind from the outset, which means an easy and natural flow between the spaces, wide expanses of glass that can be opened right up when the weather is good and very well planned lighting to maximise the drama of the garden at night. The best outdoor dining spaces will have much more than a standard barbecue: outdoor kitchens are what the name suggests, with wet areas, refrigerated storage, plenty of prep space and several cooking surfaces, prob-

ably with different fuel sources. And they won’t just be functional, they will look every bit as good as the smartest indoor kitchen.

Contact us on 050 785 8143 Scan the QR to




9:02 PM


the journal

Winter 2012


H i d d e n G ems . S pec i al P laces . B es t - K ep t S ecre t s a n d R es i d e n t s ’ R ec o mme n d a t i o n s

Lifestyle council

Edwina Viel Director, LCAS Dubai

Biography Edwina Viel was born in Singapore and raised in the UK from the age of 10. After attending Edinburgh University she worked in investment management, for companies such as Coutts, Morgan Stanley and UBS. In 2007, Edwina and her husband, plastic surgeon Maurizio Viel, moved from London to Dubai to establish LCAS Dubai, the Viels’ cosmetic surgery clinic co-owned with Maurizio’s brother Roberto. Edwina, her husband and their three children live on The Palm.

FAST FACTS Favourite holiday destination: Kyoto, Japan during the cherry blossom season. Who makes you laugh? My kids. They just come out with endless remarks. Their perspective on the world is hilarious. Tip for living: Keep it simple. We all have so much going on so wherever you can simplify it, do it. Currently reading: Faith that Overcomes

the World by Pastor Ulf Ekman. Object of desire: the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III. As a keen amateur photographer I love anything to do with lenses and cameras.

Edwina’s Recommendations Restaurants For fine dining: “Stay” at One&Only The Palm is sensational – from the service to the food everything is impeccable and the dessert library is outstandingly creative. For casual dining Mannaland, a Korean barbecue restaurant in Jumeirah 1. It is

Cultural Venue

Food Shop

packed out every evening with Korean

I really enjoy wandering through

Galeries Lafayette in The Dubai

Fashion Shop I like fashion and shopping in Dubai. I

businessmen, which suggests that it is the

the art galleries in Al Quoz and DIFC, and

Mall has a particularly impressive array of

love browsing through the latest collections

real deal. A good, cheap and cheery place.

every year I very much look forward to

international food to take home or eat at

in Boutique 1 on the Walk at Jumeirah Beach

Art Dubai – you really get to see a huge

their dine-in deli, particularly my husband’s

Residence – some of the fashion brands


collection in one place. If I am travelling I

gourmet favourites – cheese, truffle oil and

they feature, such as Halston Heritage, Philip

101 at the One&Only The Palm has

enjoy the Guggenheim and Frick Collection.

prosciutto. What can I say – he’s Italian!

Lim and Diane Von Furstenberg, can really make ‘mummies’ like me look a little bit

breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline and the and boats drifting by – for a few hours, you

Favourite View In Dubai

genuinely feel like you might be on holiday.

From a boat, looking back at Dubai from

only the mornings and earlier parts of the

and Ermenegildo Zegna are among his

On the rare occasions when I find myself

the sea. With all the towers and skyscrapers

day free for leisure, so I favour going to the

favourite designers, especially for their more

out a little later, I like to pop into La Petite

that now dominate the skyline, it’s hard

beach or to a beautiful swimming pool at

formal suits. The quality of their suiting

Maison which is always buzzing and inviting.

to imagine that it was once all desert.

one of the hotels. I like the new Rixos on

fabrics is unparalleled and every design is

The Palm a lot and also enjoy Atlantis.

a classic cut, but featuring a little twist.

Marina. At sunset you can watch the yachts

Generally though, I am not a fan of late nights.


more glamorous on a night out! Otherwise,

As I work most weekends, I have

I love to shop for my husband – Tom Ford

Autumn 2012

the journal

Great Drive Insider

PRIDE OF BRITAIN Invited to the launch of Aston Martin’s stunning new Vanquish, The Journal went to the heart of the great British marque by Sandra Lane

“Now take your hands off the wheel.” Not the most obvious thing to hear from a driving instructor, it’s daunting when you’re in charge of a £200,000 (AED 1.8m) package of carbon fibre, aluminium and hand-stitched leather – in other words, the new Aston Martin Vanquish. And the speedometer reads 93. Miles, not kilometres, per hour. “Seriously?” “You can feel there’s no more pressure on the wheel, the car’s balanced now, so take your hands off.” “O-kk-kay,” I lift each hand a few centimetres. “Come on, just keep your eye on that target and put your hands down on your knees.” Adrenaline mixed with terror, I do as I’m told. Nothing bad happens. It’s all good – unfeasibly, fantastically good: the Vanquish holds its line perfectly as we roar around the high-speed

bowl at Millbrook Proving Grounds, the V12 engine pumping out its thrilling baritone. “OK, a bit more throttle now and we’ll move into the top lane.” 95. 100. 105. 110…. Aston Martin had chosen to launch its all-new Vanquish by inviting small groups of journalists to spend a couple of days in its English heartland – the idea being that not only would we see and drive the car, we would live the life (briefly) and thus understand it better. We were in a house party at Tyringham Hall, a magnificent 18th-century country estate (nothing so banal as a hotel, please note). Clearly chosen for its style, class and utter Englishness, Tyringham is just a few kilometres from the village of Newport Pagnell, where Aston Martins were produced for almost half a century, from the mid-1950s.

At dinner, Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s nononsense CEO, described the Vanquish as “the best car we have ever built”. Quite something, from the marque that has produced the stunning One-77 supercar – not to mention the original Vanquish, made from 2001 to 2007, and its successor, the DBS. At ‘Works’ (Aston Martin’s restoration and customising works) seeing a new Vanquish stripped back to its aluminium-alloy chassis and unpainted carbon fibre coachwork made clear the way Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams work: it’s evolution, not revolution – refining, tweaking, re-thinking then putting it together again in a new package. This Vanquish is unquestionably new, from the invisible (complete recalibration of the power train; moving the gearbox far back to change

the weight distribution; increasing stiffness by 25 per cent over the DBS; reconfiguring the exhaust to ensure the right engine sound – as opposed to ‘noise’) to the very visible – the gorgeous, muscular curves and crisp angles of the coachwork. “We wanted to make it look as if it was impossible to make,” said chief designer Marek Reichman and, thanks to carbon fibre they have done just that: there’s not a single join in the entire rear quarter. As we walked through the historic premises, the roots of this approach – and the company’s deep respect for craftsmanship – are evident. A newly restored DB6 Mark II from




the journal

Winter 2012

Designs of the Times to a set of glamorous 1940s lighting sconces

A love of 20th-century design has prompted Guillaume Cuiry to become a pioneer in the UAE

designed by Raymond Subes. Tastes are evolving quickly in this region as people become more knowledgeable, says Cuiry. “Part of my responsibility is to help with education as the market matures – I’m

by Sandra Lane

not here only to sell things. The two go together.”

It takes a special kind of dedication to spend

Cuiry’s own design education began in the

six years tracking down two chairs in order

early 1980s with his best friend, Jean

to complete a set. But these aren’t just any

Lacoste, who had a stall in St Ouen flea

chairs – and that level of dedication is the

market. Cuiry caught the bug and eventually

normal modus operandi for Guillaume Cuiry

asked Lacoste if he could work for him. “Jean

Cuiry is in love with 20th-century design

said “No, you must buy things on your own

and, once he falls for a piece, will take as

account. You have to lose money a few times

long as it needs in order to get it. And it’s all

to understand’.”

to the benefit of those of us in the Middle

One lesson still guides all of Cuiry’s deci-

East who share his enthusiasm for such

sions: if he feels strongly about a piece he

pieces: having bought, collected and re-sold

should buy it; if not, leave it be. “It’s impos-

design in Paris for a couple of decades, last

sible to showcase an item I don’t love. I am

year he opened the UAE’s first gallery dedi-

not a dealer – I’m a collector who sells

cated to the field, La Galerie Nationale.


In pride of place sit those chairs – a very

Cuiry says that clients, too, should also be

rare set designed by Warren Platner for Knoll

guided by the emotional impact of an object

and produced in 1965. By the time you read

– and if buying from a reputable dealer,

this, they may have gone – snapped up by a

value will be a given. Twentieth-century de-

canny collector. Cuiry found the first chair in

sign has, though, become a good investment,

a flea market in 2005, another in Italy a

says Cuiry: “From 2008-2010 the index for

couple of years later, the third in Paris and,

modern design went up by almost 15 per

finally, the fourth one plus the table in the

cent, whereas for art it dropped by about 30

USA. Then came restoration: it took almost a

per cent.”

year to track down some of the original fab-

Why design in Dubai? And why now? “It’s

ric used by Knoll (Cuiry found it in Sweden)

still early days but I think this region is

and six more months to do the work. True to

ready. And being first here, I will be the first

form, Cuiry had found a tradesman who

to win – or to lose. Either way, I feel that I

worked for Knoll in the 1970s.

should be here.”

Other treasures in the gallery range from

La Galerie Nationale, Al Serkal Avenue, Al

a sunburst-framed mirror (its contemporary

Qouz, Dubai; 04 380 46 52; www.galerie-

appeal belies its 19th-century origins) and

limited-edition pieces by the Italian archi-

Momentum, Marble Walk, DIFC; 04 327 4320;

tect-designer Piero Alessandri (from 2012)

Winter 2012

the journal

Word of Mouth Insider Moonlit Moves With the sound of the sea in your ears, a gentle breeze, and the light of the full moon, yoga doesn’t get much better than this. Add the combined energy of almost 100 other participants moving and breathing in unison and you’re on to something rather special. Full Moon Yoga takes place only once every 28 days and it’s run under the aegis of Talise, the superb spa at Madinat Jumeirah. You arrive at the spa at 7pm and are taken by the resort’s golf carts or (much better for setting the mood) abra to the beach facing Burj Al Arab, where the instructor, Shibashis Chakraborty, leads participants through a 90-minute session. Doing the

Dining, refined

Freshly Scented Proof that there is life after fashion: Kuwait’s Sheikh Majed Al Sabah – celebrated for his groundbreaking Villa Moda stores (and dubbed the Sheikh of Chic) – has launched a new venture, in perfumery. While the name TFK – for The Fragrance Kitchen – and business were inspired by the perfumes his grandmother always mixed at home, a ‘push’ came from Sheikh Majed’s collaboration with Tom Ford on a fragrance in 2009. The scents that we have enjoyed sampling – for both men and women – range from the modern and cosmopolitan to those more obviously rooted in Arabian fragrance tradition. Some have that intriguing quality of evoking memories – but we know not of what – while others are highly original, even challenging … in the best sense. Created by perfumers in Grasse, a new scent will be added to the range every month. Available at TFK in Kuwait or online from

In terms of geography it might not be the ‘fashionable’ end of town but for in-the-know gourmets Table 9 is right in the centre of the city’s culinary firmament. Taken over early this year by Nick Alvis and Scott Price – the protégés of Gordon Ramsay, who ran the restaurant under the name Verre – the restaurant is a winner, with its neat balance of informality and fine dining. The menu descriptions are deceptively simple: dishes such as Lobster with coconut and mango or Beetroot quinoa with horseradish delight the senses with their artistic and painstakingly crafted presentation and then seduce with their exquisitely balanced flavours. Speaking of which, the wine list throws up some real delights and the sommelier’s pairings are a joy. If you enjoy the experience of getting to know the team dishing up your plates, you can even step into the kitchen (if you ask nicely) or view the plating area – all of the action is projected onto a large screen. Foodie heaven. Table 9, Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira, Dubai; 04 212 7551; www.

CHOC HEAVEN Chocolates fit for a king? Why ever not: Debauve & Gallais, chocolatier to the French court from 1816 onwards, now has a branch in Dubai – and the divine chocolates (with up to 99 per cent cocoa solids) are not the only attraction. The shop, based on the 200-year-old original in Paris (now classified as a historic monument) is a captivating and deeply elegant place

to pass time over a cup of gourmet-quality tea or coffee. As well as its famous Pistoles de Marie-Antoinette, created by M. Debauve to disguise the flavour of the queen’s medicine, for special occasions the chocolatier will personalise chocolates with images of your choice. Gate Precinct Building No.2, DIFC; 04 386 8000




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11/22/12 4:00 PM

Winter 2012

the journal

Escape Insider

Wilderness Deluxe A tailor-made expedition to Tanzania reveals a luxurious yet sympathetic approach to the wildlife of Africa

Having vowed that my backpacking days were well and truly over, I was surprised to find myself agreeing to a 19-day expedition across Tanzania. But it was impossible to resist the promise of some of the world’s most exclusive game lodges with transfers by private jet, state-of-the-art 4x4s and a helicopter. Because my partner and I are so rarely able to have extended time together, we wanted to pack in as much as possible without wearing ourselves out, and to be absolutely comfortable and stress-free. So we turned to The Travel Attaché, a Dubaibased company that organises high-end, tailor-made trips based on their clients’ specific wishes and interests. How well did we already know Africa? (Not very.)

How active did we want to be? How much chill-time? Did we ride? Have an interest in any specific wildlife? Want to spend time on photography? Even: What’s your level of creepy-crawly tolerance? (Zero – thanks all the same.) Barely off our international flight into Dar Es Salam, we were ushered onto a gleaming Cessna, bound for the delights of an overnight stay at Legendary Lodge, which set the tone for the next two weeks. After a breakfast-time spectacle of sunrise over Mount Meru, we took off for Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and another night of deepest comfort. Yet even the magnificent lodge, with its roaring fireplaces and lavish cabins, could not compare with our picnic lunch the next day surrounded by the almost-extinct black rhino, followed by an evening with Maasai tribesmen, who enchanted us with their technicolour robes and vivid dancing. As we flew to Serengeti National Park, the spectacular Great Migration unfolded below us: thousands upon thousands of wildebeest crossing the plains to the new

season’s grazing grounds, mingling with huge herds of zebra, running the gauntlet of lion, cheetah and crocodiles. In contrast to the wild and raw nature around us, a night under the stars at the open-air Serengeti Bushtops Camp offered luxury that couldn’t have been more different from the rough camping of my backpacking days. In the northern Serengeti, Saskawa Lodge – nine suites, each with its own infinity pool overlooking the savannah – was a marvel. Dinner was a private affair for two, with nothing between our candlelit feast and 350,000 acres of wilderness. The silence was overwhelming, the sheer vastness awe-inspiring and the whole experience just a little bit frightening. At Greystoke Mahale Lodge, ensconced in a forest filled with chimpanzees on the edge of Lake Tanganiyka, we whiled away three days playing with the chimps, fishing for Nile Perch and exploring the forest on foot before retiring each night to the tranquil privacy of our open-air banda. A private helicopter tour of the Eastern Rift Valley took in the peaks of Mount

Oldonyo Lengai and the depths of Lake Natron, a journey as exhilarating as it was unforgettable, ending with sundowners on the flanks of the Gol Mountains. Another day by helicopter took us to Lake Victoria and the magical Rubondo Island where we spent an afternoon fishing and enjoying some much-needed quiet time. Tranquillity of a different kind came with a dawn hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti: nothing could have prepared us for the beauty and serenity of the savannah and her wild inhabitants from 1,000 feet up. At the end of this magical journey, the private island and lodge of Mnemba awaited us: set amid the scintillating turquoise waters off Zanzibar proved to be the perfect, seductive footnote, giving us much-needed time to absorb the intense and astonishing experience of the ultimate Tanzania. Find out more:;; +971 4 450 4209

to read more see


Winter 2012

the journal

T he Hub

B us i n ess i n s i gh t . L ea d ers a n d Op i n i o n . The marke t s a n d t he ec o n o my

THE MAKING OF A BUSINESS LEADER For Khalaf Al Habtoor opportunity comes with responsibility by Audrey Walker

The weather in Hungary on 7 May, 2012 was grey and the pavements of the capital were spattered with puddles. But that didn’t deter Khalaf Al Habtoor from raising the UAE flag outside Le Meridien Budapest, his latest acquisition. “I raised the flag in heart of the [Hungarian] capital so that the TV, media, everyone could see the UAE flag raised for the first time in their country. Wherever I go and I have investments I will raise the flag because I am proud. It is the duty not only of our government officials to talk about the country abroad, it is also the citizens,” the founder and chairman of Al Habtoor Group says. Al Habtoor has built one of the UAE’s most successful conglomerates, spanning real estate, construction, education, hotels, motor vehicles and leasing. “My father was not a businessman – he didn’t have a business mentality at all,” says Al Habtoor, “but he built me, shaped me, taught me how to ride camels, how to hunt and live in the desert [from] when I was less than 10 years old.” He went with his father to the majlis, too. “If someone asked why I didn’t like playing with the other children I told them I didn’t know; I said ‘I enjoy sitting with these men’. Thank God, because if I had sat with the children of my age I wouldn’t have learnt anything and maybe I would still be an employee,” he laughs. With very little money but grand plans, Al Habtoor worked at a construction company in Abu Dhabi then quit to establish his own. His firm impressed Dubai’s then-ruler Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum by completing projects ahead of schedule. Sheikh Rashid awarded Al Habtoor several projects, and a 20-acre plot of land on which to build one of the city’s first luxury hotels, The Metropolitan. Four decades on, Al Habtoor sees it as his responsibility to give something back to the country: “Without the UAE I would not be here; it gave me the doors of opportunity to open,” he explains. “Our government promotes the country on a great scale and without them and their investment, we would not be in the position we are in today. As business leaders it is our role to back them; we are creating the facilities. Me and my family, we [do the same as] the official ambassadors overseas; we promote our country everywhere.” “This is the responsibility of anyone loyal to their country but, unfortunately, I don’t see many business leaders doing that,” he adds. “I wish they would. There is no need for them to be officially appointed as an ambassador [in order to do so].”

for the full story see



the journal

Winter 2012

The Hub Economy

The Big Attraction, once Again Tourism is big news again in the UAE – and especially in Dubai, where visitor arrivals, hotel room rates and new hotel construction are all on the rise.

by Emily Lay

Five-star hotels where it’s nigh on impossible to get a reservation and tourists jostling in the malls for the latest designer handbag. It was a familiar scene during Dubai’s five-year real estate boom, disappeared all too quickly during its debt crisis, but is increasingly becoming a way of life for the city again. “Dubai in the aftermath of the Arab unrest got an immediate benefit; Arabs who would normally have gone to Egypt, for example, decided they were going to go to Dubai,” says Farouk Soussa, Citi’s Middle East chief economist in Dubai. “The overall [increasing] numbers also reflect the number of businessmen coming into Dubai… and that’s also been bolstered by Dubai’s status as a safe haven.” For two decades Dubai invested billions of dollars in tourism infrastructure to diversify its economy. Now, post-slump, tourism is flourishing again. Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport increased 13.4 per cent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2011 while average hotel room rates rose more than eight per cent in H1 of 2012, according to Ernst & Young. In Dubai, developers and hotel operators are embarking on new projects. Emaar has announced plans for another hotel in Downtown, and expansion of The Dubai Mall. Al Habtoor Group is spending $1.5bn building three Hiltons on the site of its old Metropolitan Hotel, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is in talks to revive its stalled W Dubai Festival City Hotel, and a Four Seasons is going up in Jumeirah. During 2012 Abu Dhabi has also approved a raft of tourism projects, including a Real Madrid Stadium and a $164m water park. “Our business in Abu Dhabi is really booming at the moment and is a great complement to Dubai,” says Peter Payet, senior vice president at Arabian Adventures. Asia’s fast-emerging middle class is playing a key role in the growth, says Souusa “Asian tourism in Dubai has been relatively small compared to tourism from elsewhere….but it’s a fast-growing market.” Chinese tourists to Dubai increased by 27 per cent from 2010 to 2011, according to DTCM, and TCA Abu Dhabi reported an increase of 89 per cent in the first half of 2012 compared with H1 last year. Tourism represents about 25 per cent of Dubai’s economy and, as Soussa points out, “The direct impact is on things like Emirates Airline, the retail and hospitality sectors but the indirect impact is the tourist dollars that see the real estate market and wider retail market benefit.” This comes in no small measure from the growth in employment driven by the sector. (Payet says that Arabian Adventures has increased its workforce by 10 per cent this year.) This, adds Soussa, means a huge amount of population growth, which is critical to the economy’s long-term health. The newly opened JW Marriott Marquis hotel, owned by

for the full story see

Emirates Airline, adds 1,600 more rooms to the city’s stock

Winter 2012

the journal

Markets The Hub

The new Silk Road China’s influence in the UAE is growing almost as fast as its economy.

by Emily Lay

China’s Wen Jiabao made his first visit to the UAE in January this year. His arrival, the first by a Chinese premier to the GCC for two decades, coincided with the signing of a multibillion-dollar currency swap deal between the two countries. For many, it was the latest sign that long-standing trade ties are morphing into closer political links. “There’s no doubt the UAE is growing closer to China,” says Ayesha Sabvala, UAE analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit. “It’s almost a hedge against the slowdown in the West. China is making huge inroads into the Gulf, and close ties with the UAE make sense.” It’s a new Silk Road: centuries ago traders brought silks and other goods by land and sea from the East to the UAE; today, modern merchants deal in construction, joint ventures and hydrocarbons. The backbone of the relationship is oil. China’s rise from a trading backwater to an engine of the global economy has been fuelled, in part, by Gulf crude. The country imports more than 5 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil for its web of factories. The UAE is a minor player in this mix – it supplied less than three per cent of Beijing’s $195bnworth of crude imports in 2011 – but a strategic one. Abu Dhabi last year agreed to increase oil exports to China to 200,000 b/d by 2014, and signed a deal in January with state-owned China National Petroleum Corp to collaborate on upstream projects. “This will see about a fifth of the UAE’s crude exports going to China by 2014, which is a fairly substantial amount,” says Sabvala, adding that “the other reason is to develop bilateral relations; there is a political element

It’s the biggest Chinese trading centre of its kind outside China; however, Dragonmart barely registers compared with the size of an increasing number of UAE-China business deals

The backbone of the relationship is oil. China’s rise from trading backwater to engine of the global economy has been fuelled in part by Gulf crude

to signing these deals.” Trade between the two countries has rocketed in recent years. As Beijing emerged as a major exporter of cut-price consumer goods, the GCC’s second oil boom created a new generation of cash-rich Arab consumers.

Today, China is the Emirates’ second-largest trade partner, with $15.6bn worth of deals passing between the two countries last year. The UAE hosts an estimated 1,000 Chinese companies, which leverage its location as a springboard to the wider Middle East, and around 200,000 Chinese nationals. DP World, Dubai’s state-backed ports operator, has snapped up stakes in ports in Hong Kong, Qingdao and Yantai, all the better to court this business. Nowhere is this trade better exemplified than in Dragon Mart, the Chinese shopping mall on the outskirts of Dubai. At 1.25km long, it is the biggest mall of its kind outside the Chinese mainland, its cheap goods luring

A good formula for business For Eduardo Leemann, CEO of Falcon Private Bank, sponsoring Scuderia Toro Rosso is a good investment – for surprising reasons

by Sandra Lane

We’re in the garage of Scuderia Toro Rosso, moments before the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Our view of the track is exactly the same as the mechanics have throughout the race. The cars are close enough to touch. The intense focus on final checks and minute adjustments is palpable. There’s a ripping scream as one of the cars is started. It’s felt as much as heard – and it brings an instant adrenaline rush Clearly, this is why, sitting in the team’s rooftop majlis a little earlier, Falcon’s CEO Edu-

ardo Leemann had said that he considers his firm’s sponsorship of Toro Rosso to be a very good investment. Not because, like most sponsors, he wants the bank’s golden logo seen by billions of global TV viewers but because Formula One provides the opportunity to meet his clients and prospective clients face-to-face, giving them access to something they would rarely, if ever, have. “For us Toro Rosso is a hospitality platform – and an extremely effective one,” he explained. “Wealthy people can buy anything they want; what they really like is things they cannot buy.” While Leemann declines to put a figure on Falcon’s sponsorship, he said that after two seasons of involvement the payback has already been much greater than expected. “We would consider it very good to sign up one new client in the course of a season. This year we have already signed up two – each with more

Eduardo Leemann (left) with drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo and (centre) team principal Franz Tost

than $100m in managed assets.” Sometimes it’s months, even years, before a relationship turns into business. Not an issue, said Leemann Leemann, is not an issue. “This is simply a way for us to develop relationships among groups of people where we don’t have natural access – and each relationship can be a gateway to others. It’s not a sales pitch.”

19 million shoppers a year to its 3,950 stores. Nakheel, its developer, plans to double Dragon Mart’s size by late 2013. In the construction sector, Chinese firms have netted billions of dollars worth of contracts in recent years, edging out local and western firms. Abu Dhabi’s Aabar in May signed a $2bn deal with China State Construction Engineering Corp to develop 30 properties in the UAE capital. Such deals are a boon for Beijing, which is anxious to find jobs abroad for its vast and growing workforce. “China has a surplus of engineers, and I think it is one of the largest exporters of engineers in the world,” says Sabvala. “Construction is an industry to watch.”

That would be counter-productive. “People above all want to be respected as human beings and taken seriously when it comes to their business and assets,” Leemann explained. “That’s why they are tired of being sold the same structured product found anywhere in the market. We must offer creative solutions specific to each client’s profile and needs.” Those needs have changed: “In the Middle East money didn’t matter before – it was all double-digit growth and people hadn’t been in the game long enough [to develop much financial sophistication]. It’s different now.” Being a Swiss private bank with Abu Dhabi roots (it is owned by Aabar Investments) is an advantage. “The fact that we are backed by Abu Dhabi and that, over the past five years Dubai has shown real potential to become a financial hub, has changed perceptions greatly. Especially within the region, this provides comfort in people’s minds.” Internationally, too, Leemann added. “This being our ‘home’ Grand Prix, it is a fantastic opportunity to bring people to this country so they can see for themselves what it’s about.”



Skyfall © 2012 Danjaq, United Artists, CPII. Skyfall, 007 Gun Logo and related James Bond Trademarks, TM Danjaq.


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THE JOURNAL - National Edition - March 2013