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LUXURY XCLUSIVES ISSUE 01 | NOV – DEC 2019

Your Definitive Luxury Lifestyle Guide


ALPINE EAGLE With its pure and sophisticated lines, Alpine Eagle offers a contemporary reinterpretation of one of our iconic creations. Its 41 mm case houses an automatic, chronometer-certified movement, the Chopard 01.01-C. Forged in Lucent Steel A223, an exclusive ultra-resistant metal resulting from four years of research and development, this exceptional timepiece, proudly developed and handcrafted by our artisans, showcases the full range of watchmaking skills cultivated within our Manufacture.


WELCOME to A LIFE OFLUXURY

YOUR OPULENT LIVING GUIDE

A very warm welcome to this, the inaugural issue of Luxury Xclusives new magazine. What we have set out to do with the Luxury Xclusives magazine is to bring you an eclectic mix of lifestyle and personal interest stories that we feel will be a reflection of the style and tastes of people aspiring for a Luxurious Lifestyle. We’re devoting this magazine to the finer things in life especially during this festive season, and we make no apology for our policy of celebrating luxury in all its forms. Our professional team of writers and contributors travel the world experiencing all that is luxurious, auspicious and indulgent in order to provide our readers with independent unbiased articles, editorial features and reviews of the best high-end products and services that money can buy.

Happy Reading Rodney Clark Editor-in-chief Luxury Xclusives Magazine

AFRICA’S LUXURY LIFESTYLE ONLINE MAGAZINE

LUXURY MEDIA AFRICA

WWW.LUXURYMEDIAAFRICA.COM

FASHION • BEAUTY • TRENDS • WINE • SPIRITS • TECHNOLOGY • AUTOMOBILE • ART & CULTURE • DESIGN & DECOR • ARCHITECTURE • LIFESTYLE • TRAVEL & ADVENTURE • WEALTH & INVESTMENT

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BE PART OF THE LEGEND EMBARK ON THE WORLD’S GREATEST JOURNEY THROUGH BREATHTAKING SCENERY WITH THE THE BLUE TRAIN. A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME STYLE JOURNEY THAT COVERS THE 1,600 KMS BETWEEN CAPETOWN AND PRETORIA IN THE NORTH. IT’S AN INDULGENT AND UNIQUE WAY TO START OR END A SAFARI EXPERIENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA.

A WINDOW TO THE SOUL OF SOUTH AFRICA


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co nt ent s

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l e t t e r f r o m t he edit o r

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the perfect mix

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b e h e re n o w

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gr and l uxur y

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dinner with strangers

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investing in property in dubai

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luxury escapad es

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the rise of afrocentrism in luxur y

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bentley continental

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upcoming events to look forward to

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cl assic cover : Rolls Royce Phantom

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for luxury xclusives: PUBLISHER - irene peterson EDITOR - rodney clark ART DIRECTOR - stephen thompson COPY CHIEF - ellen hacking CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE - henry mcintosh, waheeda ali, mohammad kamal

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co nt ent s

for luxury media africa: FOUNDER & CEO - grace mumo BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - kristin de burg EVENTS MANAGER - susan swartz MARKETING & CREATIVE DIRECTOR - john papa

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Be Here, Now Exploring South Africa's Culinary Capital and its Epitome of Opulence, La Residence Wine Resort

South Africa’s Western Cape is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wine and is home to more than 800 wine estates.


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outh Africa’s Western Cape is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wine and is home to more than 800 wine estates. Franschhoek is South Africa’s culinary capital and a top oenophile destination that rivals Bordeaux, Tuscany and the Napa Valley. There you’ll find La Residence, Franschhoek’s finest abode, bar none, heralded for its scenic beauty, stunning décor, and providing the quintessential wine resort experience. Franschhoek is Africa’s mecca for the wine lover. This region has a deep wine tradition that began over 300 years ago when Dutch settlers and later the Huguenots from France created what is now one of the most notable of South Africa’s wine regions. This charming country village is home 40 wine estates producing world-class wines, most notably Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines. The area could not be more beautiful with the Franschhoek mountain range as the back drop fronted by miles and miles of vineyards, plum orchards, olive groves and lavender fields creating one of the world’s most scenic wine routes. Past the picturesque vineyards is the quaint rural town with a main road straddled with gourmet restaurants, fancy boutiques, and art galleries in the iconic Cape Dutch architectural design found throughout the region. Just on the outskirt of town is where you’ll find La Residence. This regal estate is cradled at the base on the majestic Franschhoek mountain range and is surrounded by the estate’s working farm of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vineyards as well as plum trees, olive groves and picturesque landscapes. The grounds are lovely with flowering gardens, manicured lawns, beautiful outdoor artwork, strutting peacocks and as well as lovely a pond, and which beg for you to explore by foot during your stay. Past the grand entrance of the hotel is the Great Hall where the gravitas of the experience begins to set in. It is quickly apparent that this illustrious boutique resort cannot be described without such words as elegant, stately, grand, opulent, refined, sophisticated and other such well-deserved flattering labels. Throughout the resort the décor and design is striking, and the aforementioned superlatives begin to loop when describing the decadent design elements created by property’s visionary and owner, Liz Biden of the Portfolio Collection. 13

The Great Hall is similar to what one would find in the grand French chateaux or perhaps a nobleman’s castle in the English countryside where fine crystal chandeliers dangle from 30’ ceilings and dappled light over ornate statues and exotic object’s d’art. The centerpiece is the large fire hearth with a soaring ornate mantle, all around there are bespoke furnishings intermixed with elegant antiques, enormous mirrors in gilded frames and original works of art. There are comfortable spaces to gather for cocktails and canapés with friends or for a glass of wine before dinner with a loved one. Out of doors, beyond the Great Hall, are sweeping open verandas with lounge areas created for guests to take in the fresh country air and panoramic views of the undulating mountainscapes. The atmosphere is opulent yet completely tranquil and serene where the natural views and setting creates a sense of peace and calm. This feeling is further enhanced by the staff of the property that are attentive yet never intrusive and gives genuine care and service during the stay. The opulence continues in the 11 rooms and 5 villas of the resort with lavish interiors reminiscent of a French boudoir with intricate antiques, baroque furnishings, and whimsical objects d’art and a collection of modern artwork, most of which is by talented South African artists. Each of the rooms is unique with indulgent layers of art and antiques creating an exquisite décor. This is the work of resort’s matriarch Liz Biden who carefully picked each piece of art and bespoke furnishings to create a masterpiece of function, vibrant in color, style and design. Nowhere does her design prowess come to the fore than in the palatial Victorian bathrooms with elevated ceilings, crystal chandeliers, antique dressers, grand armoires, a chaise lounge and double vanity. The focal point is the claw tub bath in the center of the room begging its guess to languish, soak, and relax while taking in the views of the outdoors or the equality as attractive surrounding of the space. Outdoors of the suites features extensive wrap around porches giving panoramic views of the vineyards, mountains, and resorts grounds.

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The accommodations are over generous in size with a four poster canopy bed and all of the mod cons one would expect. The indulgence continues with a fully stocked mini bar with snacks, spirits and of course the wines of the estate, as well as laundry, are all complimentary during the stay. For another level of luxury, the resort offers it Vineyard Suites which are self-contained cottages ideal for groups of friends or families. As Franschhoek is renowned as the culinary capital of South Africa, its finest hotel has a tall order to fill and La Residence does not disappoint. Dining is exclusive for the hotel’s guests and presented by the talented culinary team that focuses on doing a short list of options extremely well and uses fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from the surrounding environs. The food and wine pairing are exceptional with the sommeliers perfectly selecting the ideal wine from their extensive wine cellar of regional and international wines. There’s plenty to do on and around the property from taking in some sun in between dips in the pool, spa treatments of a visit to the gym. More active guests will enjoy tennis nearby as well as horseback riding, mountain walks, a bike ride or round of golf.

One of the oldest and most prestigious wineries and cellar door experiences is offered by La Mott. It is owned by one of South Africa’s wealthiest families, the Ruperts so no funds were spared in turning this into a top-notch experience complete with a heralded gourmet dining experience, and art gallery. The estate is known for their MCC / sparkling white wines as well as their Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Bordeaux style blended reds. La Residence offers the ultimate wine resort experience - bar none - with endless accolades from the purveyors of luxury travel such as Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure, Andrew Harper, and the World Travel Awards to prove it. In fact, La Residence was voted the number one hotel in the world by Conde Nast and ever since is always been designated among the top of the world’s finest hotels. The luxury boutique hotel even draws a steady list of VVIPs from royalty and heads of state as well as a list of celebrities from Elton John to Lionel Richie and Richard Gere among many others. For an ideal stay in the cradle of South Africa’s wine region, La Residence offers the epitome of accommodation sure to impress as well as a tranquil and rewarding stay while enjoying the best that this grand wine region has to offer. 14 Luxurious Magazine H

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Autumn 2016


PrestigiousPiaget,telling the time in atimelessway F Traditional watch is asupreme demonstration of technical expertise, says HenryMcIntosh

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OUNDED in 1874,it’s a bit of

an understatement to suggest that Swiss luxury watch brand Piaget has a fine tradition of crafting the most luxurious timepieces. In 2014, Piaget presented the world’s thinnest mechanical watch in the form of the Altiplano 900F. The watch measured just 3.65mm thick and showcasedPiaget’s immense skill as one of the finest luxury watch manufacturers in the world. Such innovation has been made possibleby Piaget’s rare ability to control the entire production processof its timepieces. Within its two Swiss-basedwatch and jewellery manufactures, Piaget designs,crafts and finishes all of its watches to its legendarily exacting standards. Owning a Piaget brings with it a certain prestigethat many brands yearn for – and the Traditional collection is no exception. The refined aesthetic and classic style of timepieces in the Traditional range ensure they will remain in fashion,while the watch is a supreme demonstration of Piaget’s technical expertise. This is most readily apparent in the Traditional range. Utilising Piaget’s thinnest mechanical movement, Traditional watches fit seamlessly to the wrist and afford exceptional performance. The finely crafted bracelet is recognisable as Piaget’s own, thanks to its twisted thread composition. There is an elegant variety in the Traditional range, from watcheswith dials showcasing 290 diamonds to those utilising the precious stone more sparingly. Enclosed within casesof 18-carat gold, Traditional watchesare nothing short of the epitomeof luxury. The pictured GOA37042 may not house290 diamonds, but the refined eleganceof the watch makes it a highly attractive proposition,albeit an expensive one. To own any Piaget isn’t cheap,and for this particular model you will need to splash $45,388. Still, it’s hard to put a price on craftsmanship of this excellence. piaget.com

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REMONT is on a mission to

createthe ultimate aviation-inspired timepiece. It’s a journey that has seenit produce collections in partnership with Boeing and Martin Baker, not to mention countless cutting-edge military timepieces. In spite of this, the closest Bremont has cometo perfection has seenit forego high-tech military innovation in favour of aviation’s humble origins. Namely, the Wright Brothers’ 1903 creation, the Wright Flyer. The first ever powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer is undoubtedly one of the finest innovations known to Man. Later in the 20th Century, in another great advance,Neil Armstrong highlighted the Flyer’s importance by carrying a piece of the original canvas in his pocket as he took Man’s first steps on the Moon. Over the years, pieces of the original canvas have been donated to various aeronautical friendsand establishments. Partnering with the Wright family, Bremont was among those granted the honour of accessto the fabric. The result is the Bremont Wright Flyer. Available in rose gold, white gold (pictured) and stainless steel, each of the timepieces contains a piece of the Wright Flyer’s original canvas. Visible through the sapphire crystal case back, the priceless material sits elegantly between a propellor bearing the Wright Brothers’ initials and the

Love at first flight Fancy owning a tiny Piece of the Wright Brothers’ aircraft? Thanks to Bremont, you can, writes Henry McIntosh The elegant white dial is adornedwith gold numerals, blue hands and a small secondssub-dial inscribed with 1903 to complete what is a stunning timepiece watch’s movement. It’s easy to get and a fine testament to one of Man’s caughtup in thehistorical narrative, but greatest achievements. taking the watch on its own merit, you A luxury watch incorporating an will find a beautifully crafted timepiece. artefact of such importance, the Aesthetically,it’sincredibly easyonthe Bremont Wright Flyer is a triumph at eye, but performance-wise, this time$39,800. pieceis more harrier than Wright Flyer, That may burn a hole in somewallets, with Bremont’s first-ever proprietary but how many of us can boast possession movement offering seamless perform- of a watch with such a connectionto the ance. Wright Flyer, let alone a tangible piece Flip thewatch overand thebeautifully of history? refined aesthetic of the watch becomes apparent. bremont.com

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Oh, Manolo! Fêted designer Manolo Blahnik has the world at his feet – and believes shoes transform a woman. It’s easy to see why. SHOES SK MOST people to list all the world-class shoe designers they’ve heard of, and they could probably count them on the fingers of one hand – or the toes of one foot. But the one certainty is that they’ll have heard of Manolo Blahnik, arguably the most influential shoedesigner on the planet. Whether he first came to their notice when Carrie Bradshaw raved about his shoes in Sex And The City, or they stopped in their tracks and stared with pleasure at the windows of Manolo Blahnik’s new store in the Burlington Arcade in London, there must be barely a stylish woman in the world who hasn’t craved a pair of them – or an Imelda Marcosian walk-in wardrobe full of them! With the new Autumn And Winter Collection 2019 just coming out as Luxury Xclusives Magazine was going to press (see three examples, right), we had to put our foot down and insist on featuring them. Anyone who knows their shoes would immediately recognise the shoe in our main picture as a ManoloBlahnik – the style, the decadence and the glorious adornment being a dead giveaway. The Tradi pump, at $984 a pair, is a burgundy and gold fabric covered court shoewith a fabulous gold buckle and a 105mm spool high heel. There isn’t a palacein the world that it wouldn’t look perfectly at home in.

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Shoe Sighs Hot-foot from the catwalks, the stars of Manolo Blahnik’s Autumn And Winter collection include the Honoria in white (top), the Eidotea in grey (centre) and the Sepulcrusin pink (bottom). 21

manoloblahnik.com

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gifts LUXEHoliday Luxury HON Curated

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Hermes Available online at Picto and Moss. www.pictoandmoss.co.za

Gear up for the Christmas season with our favourite gifts.

Bvlgari for Her

Width: 26” Depth: 20” Height: 28”

Available at Bvlgari Sandton city. www.bvlgari.com

The Emerald Ring Jewellery that is the epitome of casual luxury for the stylish, confident woman by Bvlgari. Available at Bvlgari Sandton City. www.bvlgari.com

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Ebel - Beauty Marries Function The EBEL Sport Classic collection stands for iconic glamour, featuring unique and perfect integration between the case with its five signature screws and the distinctive wave links of the bracelet. The watches from this collection are true statement pieces that reflect a new twist for this iconic line – a luxurious, sport-chic inspired addition to any woman’s designer collection.

Frederique Constant These new models boast a 42mm stainless steel case and convex sapphire crystal powered by the MMT-285 smart caliber with all the functions adjustable by the crown with a 2+ year battery life. The light grey or light blue dials are finished with delicate Sunray decorations and applied silver indexes with white luminous treatment. Hands are hand-polished with white luminous treatment making the watch look like a traditional luxury analog Swiss watch. www.pictoandmoss.co.za

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5. .6 7. Ulysse Nardin

Executive Skeleton X Watch Available online at Ulysse Nardin. www.ulysse-nardin.com

Messika

Discover the range of diamond rings by Maison Messika. www.messika.com

www.pictoandmoss.co.za

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Fine Dining, Epicurean Living: Dinner with Strangers

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Dinner with Strangers at Z Kitchen, Lagos

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Dinner With Strangers. Nothing binds people together like food. Even the word ‘companion’ comes from Latin and means ‘with bread’ – someone friendly with whom to share a meal. Upscale finedining restaurant Z Kitchen recently introduced a new dining experience with a different twist to Lagos called Dinner With Strangers. Shared Plates. Family Style. 6 people. Shrinking the city. Not networking. Just for fun. No press. Come as you are. The exquisite dining experience converged six strangers together; all captains of industries and renowned leaders in their respective fields, strategically handpicked to dine together. The first edition took place at the cosy and contemporary restaurant; Z Kitchen is situated in the heart of Victoria Island and is reputed for an extensive menu, a great wine selection, a mature audience and an impeccable waiting staff offering fantastic customer service. 25

Elements of unpredictability and surprise heralded the night as the guests had no clue who they were to dine with or what unique dishes they would enjoy. The theme of the night was ‘Chef Ziad’s Culinary Milestones’, and the sampled menu interpreted Chef Ziad’s (co-Founder of the restaurant with his wife, Zeina) life experiences through culinary art. The menu consisted of 5 impressive courses which were prepared, plated and presented by Chef Ziad. It was a shared-plate dining experience where the passing around of food had a special effect on the guests, creating a warm and endearing ambiance. Each dish was delicately paired with the right selection of wine that flowed merrily throughout dinner. The essence of this special culinary experience is to bring people together over great food and make Lagos even smaller….one meal at a time. On this, it certainly delivered.


escapades

escapades And cuisine and culture in Kigali have upped their game in tandem. At bustling nightspot Repub Lounge, locals gather on the open-air patio above the city’s twinkling lights to sip Virunga beer and feast on coconut curry fish, beef brochettes and liboke chicken in steamed banana leaves. At sleek Pili Pili, an urban lounge with a chill party vibe, it’s hard to decide what to focus on: the breathtaking view, the turquoise pool, or the solid bistro fare of pizzas, pastas and tapas, all served under pink and purple lights. Sushi lovers now have two duelling hotspots from which to source their sashimi: terrace-style Sakae and super-authentic Kiseki, while Sol E Luna and Brachetto offer top-notch Italian. The Inema Arts Center sponsors workshops, dance performances and happy hour events in addition to housing 13 resident artists and a women’s craft collective; their mission of nurturing Rwanda’s next artistic generation is echoed by fellow creative spaces Ivuku Arts and NIYO Art Gallery.

Rwanda the next luxury hotspot

And at Heaven Boutique Hotel, which locals point to as the spark

that started the

movement, Owner Alissa Ruxin says she is just getting started.

Heaven

Over 20 years on from the devastating genocide, pockets of Rwanda have found their groove, providing a mix of luxury and adventure for discerning tourists

Boutique Hotel, a charming 22-room lodging house with bright,

eclectic

Change has since come swiftly to the land of a thousand hills, whose plucky capital city, long relegated to pilgrimages of grief and airport stopovers on the way to see mountain gorillas, is emerging as East Africa’s greatest success story. In Kigali, a slew of gleaming new luxury hotels, an international restaurant boom and sparkling-litter free streets are luring travellers who might otherwise have overlooked the city in favour of rural safaris. Rwanda, which was ranked as the ninth-safest nation in the world (and number one in Africa) by the World Economic Forum this year, is changing its narrative.

restaurant in 2015, and this summer, Ruxin welcomed the first

rooms and soft, mosquito-net covered beds, opened adjacent to the guests to The

Retreat, an 11-room wellness-themed property offering bespoke

luxury

experiences on a level never before seen in Kigali. “I think we are on the cusp of something so exciting in Rwanda,”

Ruxin says,

noting that the price for a permit to view Rwanda’s sought-after mountain gorillas has

A Radisson Blu opened in 2016 (Radisson Blu)

increased to $1,500, and the jungle lodges that house gorilla tourists routinely charge $800 a night or more. “There is a niche, there is a market; [gorillatourists] have to fly in and out of Kigali. I want to be their first night

Radisson Blu launched a new Kigali complex in 2016 which consists of a 292-room luxury hotel whose exterior is lined with colourful metal ribbons, and the egg-shaped glass-and-steel Kigali Convention Center, which was unveiled just in time for the 2016 African Union Summit last July. Marriott followed suit three months later, launching its first-ever property in subSaharan Africa on the opposite side of the city.

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The two new international brands have brought competition to a market once dominated by the Serena, a former InterContinental property that for a decade was considered Kigali’s only real luxury bolthole; and the grand Hotel des Milles Collines, made famous by the film Hotel Rwanda. The sparkling new Ubumwe Grande Hotel, which also opened just in time for the 2016 African Summit, newbie The Manor, and Swiss International's Villa Portofino are also now in the mix.

and

their last night.”

Where to Stay Heaven Boutique Hotel (doubles from $145) offers 22 bright and spacious

rooms

featuring cushy, mosquito-net draped beds; local artwork; a gym and heated saltwater pool; and complimentary breakfast at the adjacent Heaven Restaurant. Service is friendly; other perks include yoga classes, an on-site organic garden and a concierge happy to arrange gorilla treks, market tours

and

more. On the same property, the ultra-luxe Retreat by Heaven (doubles from $675), with 11 plush rooms and a focus on wellness, takes pampering to the

next

level. The brand-new Radisson Blu Kigali (doubles from $240) opened in 2016 in conjunction with the Kigali Convention Center, a striking multicolor glass

dome

that has quickly become a new icon of the city. But with five-star service, extra-large rooms, six restaurants and bars and an Amani spa, this amenity-packed hotel is not just for business travelers. More information: www.rwandatourism.com

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escapades

Here Are 5 Reasons Why The Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya Must Be On Your Travel Map Kenya’s lush heartland continues to be one of Africa’s most bio-diverse regions, where ancestral ways of life still prevail. Presiding over an unspoiled 1,510 sq km tract of African savannah, Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve in the Rift Valley Province, is an untamed frontier where the African continent’s majestic ‘Big 5’ game animals (the lion, African elephant, African leopard, rhinoceros, and African buffalo) roam freely and uninhibited. The largest-known habitat of the African lion, the Maasai Mara is also home to a plethora of biodiverse species like the cheetah, hyena, hippo, gazelle, jackal, zebra, warthog, and wildebeest.

The gutteral roar of lions and leopards, or the nimblefooted cheetah travelling up to 120 kms in a silent yet deadly chase across the grasslands alerts every living creature that their future existence is anything but certain. Kill or be killed, the dance begins between hunter and prey. The Maasai Mara’s vast savannah has scattered acacia (umbrella thorn), and kigelia (sausage) trees that merge seamlessly with the horizon, while the bright orange hue of sunrise and sunset ignites a magic fire over all. The Mara River – the river of life and death – runs its meandering course through the reserve. A migratory route of wildebeests, its banks are a hunting ground for apex predators and a relaxing zone for the hipposthough every vigilant footstep cautions the next. The awe-inspiring Maasai Mara is nature’s playground, its killing floor, its wonderland that never fails to amaze those fearless enough to venture into it.

Luxury Xclusive’s favourite place:

Filled with natural charisma, this sprawling grassland follows an unpretentious rule – survival of the fittest. Named for the Maasai tribe who made their ancestral homeland on the savannah, and the Mara River meandering through this plain land, it’s an expanse of breathtaking vistas, while its flora and fauna have made many a celebrated appearance through the lens of wildlife documentarians. The Maasai Mara National Reserve shares a border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to form the Serengeti-Mara eco-system. Here, its wildlife demonstrates their restless march which, every year during the ‘Great Migration’ from July to October, is a spectacle to behold.

The Angama Mara Lodge overlooks the savannah and its wandering herds of animals. Inspired by the traditional Maasai ‘manyatta’ house, its design and interiors reflect the essence of the Maasai people. The bush barbecue dinner arranged by the lodge around the campfire is cheered on by fearless Masaai dancers. And it may be be one of the only resorts to offer breakfast by the hippo pool – a secluded spot on the banks of the Mara River where you can take your morning meal against a backdrop of bathing and basking hippopotami (albeit a safe distance away).

Far from the madding crowd, in the lap of nature, a sudden cacophony of roars, trumpets, bleats, growls, purrs, laughs, bellows, brays, and grunts play out in a constant bid for dominance. 29

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escapades

New booking portal makes high-end Maasai Mara lodges affordable for last minute travel Last Minute Mara is a new travel platform enabling travellers to seamlessly book all-inclusive package deals to the leading lodges in Kenya’s Maasai Mara at the best-possible value, for travel within 30 days. In a first for the country, the platform aims to ensure steady demand for the Mara’s best lodges year-round, and is aimed at East African residents, or those who are visiting Kenya for business and would like to include some last-minute leisure travel plans.

A 280-km drive from the capital city of Nairobi, the Angama Mara Lodge in the Maasai Mara National Reserve can be reached by car or aircraft. The six-hour drive from Nairobi will take you along the bumpy and dusty roads of the Great Rift Valley, where you can experience Kenya’s countryside and, as soon as you cross the Reserve’s Oloololo Gate, be ready to encounter wildlife. To minimize the travel time, you can also take a flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Mara air-strip that will take you around two hours, with the resort a five-minute drive away once you land. Highlights - A quintessential Maasai Mara safari is the ultimate opportunity to view the reserve’s wildlife closely in their natural habitat. Be it through 4X4 safari jeeps or in a hot-air balloon flying over the savannah, the grassland looks spotted with cloud shadows and animals, and is dotted with acacia trees and well-built termite mounds. Every resort or safari camp operates guided tours from dawn to dusk. The annual ‘Great Migration’ of 1.5 million wildebeest from July to October is a life-changing experience to see as the great herds cross the Mara River, continuously circling the Serengeti-Mara eco-system for breeding and in search of food. The migration season is when the big cats ‘kill for thrill’ and watching their frantic chase is nail-biting.

“The platform uses custom-built technology to pull live room availability and flight connectivity, subject to certain restrictions, making some of the best properties in the Mara accessible to price-sensitive travellers who are willing to sacrifice booking far in advance in exchange for better value,” says Nicole Hankar, General Manager of Last Minute Mara. Handpicked accommodation partners with deals on Last Minute Mara include Angama Mara, Alex Walker’s Serian, Asilia, Saruni, Kicheche Camps and Speke’s Camp. To make these lodges easily accessible, Last Minute Mara has also partnered with airlines such as Air Kenya, Safarilink and Mombasa Air Safari, allowing users to easily book flights between Nairobi and the Maasai Mara at the click of a button.

“Taking a spontaneous break and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for the vast open plains of the Mara has never been easier or more affordable,” concludes Hankar.

Lowlights- Carry insect repellents and take malaria precautions. Yellow fever vaccinations are not mandatory, but advisable while travelling to Kenya. Souvenirs- Shuka or the Maasai robe, colourful beaded jewelry, and carved wooden artifacts.

About Last Minute Mara

Getting there- Most airlines offer direct flights to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Last Minute Mara is an online booking platform offering last-minute deals to Kenya’s leading nature reserve – the Maasai Mara. The portal makes the Mara’s most exclusive camps and lodges available at affordable prices when travellers book within 30 days of travel. Deals are all-inclusive, with travellers having the option of booking return flights between Nairobi and the Maasai Mara, as well as including relevant park fees and optional activities, all at the click of a button. Last Minute Mara features more than 10 handpicked lodges and three airline partners, unlocking great value without compromising on the safari experience.

Where to stay- Remain connected to nature by opting for an authentic bush camp or luxury lodges within the reserve . Top 5 things to do 1. Watch the wildlife on the savannah below from a hot air balloon. 2. Go on a safari drive with a highly-trained guide. 3. Witness the incomparable beauty of the wildebeest’s ‘Great Migration’. 4. Visit the Maasai village and explore its living cultural history. 5. Indulge in a sumptuous resort ‘hippo-pool’ breakfast beside the Mara River.

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lastminutemara.com

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Who says a Bentley is just for the boys? D

RAGON Red. Deliciously sexy. I’ve wanted to drive this car since I could walk. And catching sight of the incomparable Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible on my driveway was electrifying. So where to take my ultimate dream machine? The Cotswolds have always held a special place in my heart. The golden-hued stone and the undulating landscapes were the perfect backdrop to test-drive one of the most coveted motor cars on the planet. This sleek, sophisticated Bentley Grand Tourer 6.0-litre W12 took my breath away before I’d even opened her door. Those of you with equal Bentley bias will understand my visceral reaction to such an iconic British marque. It was lust at first sight for this beautiful four-seater that will cost you a basic $238,130.

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Waheeda Ali wafts around in a quarter of a million pounds worth of British craftsmanship to see what the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible has to offer to women MOTORING The model I tested had every option imaginable, taking the price tag up to $287,754. At this price point, you’d expect a lot of bang for your buck – and Bentley provides it. Exterior aesthetics have been streamlined in this latest GT Speed Convertible: a new front bumper, combined with more pronounced fenders, make for a more aerodynamic line as it sweepsto its muscular

haunches. It’s a sexed-up revision that gives the GT Speed a more assertive stance,especiallywith its full-width brightware and twin oval exhaust tailpipes for added va va voom. She’s a sturdy yet refined beast – boasting a steel monocoquewith aluminium front fendersthat give a definitive look. I especially love the Bentley lattice grille and covetedBentley badge. Wheels are eye-catching sporty 21-inchers and the rubber is pure Pirelli. Sliding into the Beluga leather-bound

haven of 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged luxury was orgasmic. The two-door GT Speed oozesclass and sophistication. Ergonomically improved front and rear leather seats – with their diamond quilted pattern – are easy to adjust and feel snug and comfortable. All the seats are hand-stitched, as is the heated sports steering wheel. Noting the small but perfectly formed analogue Breitling clock on the dash, it was time to start the engine. The exquisite sound of 12 cylinders bursting into life is one of life’s greatest pleasures (yes, I do need to get out more). The way this purring lioness begs you to notch up the revs and take her on an open road is breathtaking. A few hundred miles of autobahn would have provided the perfect location to test her top speed of 203 mph. Alas that will have to wait, as I had

to make do with the rather more sedate M1, M40 and a multitude of Cotswolds country roads that were calling this marvel of British engineering. I found all the controls easy to reach and loved the racing cabin feel and the

TheBentleyContinental GT SpeedConvertible is the ideal supercarfor womenof all ages round retro dials. The circular theme is echoedin the air vents, which are all individually controlled and delightfully cooling. Alloy pedals, plush carpet – the kind of luxury you’d expect from Bentley –

it’s all here. And visibility is excellent, especially when you have such a great rear camera on board. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe my euphoria as I accelerated on to the M1 that sunny afternoon. This red GT Speedrocket launches from 0 to 60 in just 4.1 seconds. I took her from 20 to 70 on the motorway with a mighty G-forcethat gave my rear passengersan instant Croydon facelift. The thrill was visceral and totally life-affirming (yes,I definitely need to get out more). Overtaking and moving lanes is a dream when you have this much power under the bonnet. I’ve never enjoyed cruise control, but it’s there when you need it, handily situated on the steering column. Suspension is firm yet comfortable, thanks to the Bentley’s air springs with continuous damping control. Alarmingly, though, such is the

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GT Speed’sgrace and carriage that you can easily feel like you’re cruising at 70 when, in fact, you’re nudging the ton. The middle eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system is clear and easy to operate, and there’s a mini-digital display between the speedoand rev counter to help keep your eyes forward. The Bentley GT Speed has an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles behind the wheel for semi-automatic drive. And you’d better get used to the admiring glances… and the reverential comments from both gentleman and lady admirers. The GT Speed demands attention wherever she goes– and quite rightly so. She is damned hot! Bentley has traditionally been more of a “man’s ride” – even our file picture shows a man at the wheel – so we were very excited to smash that notion, and loved the attention. The GT Speed is the ideal supercar for women of all ages.

There was a look of genuine surprise when they saw two ladies emerging from what is generally considered a gentleman’s car

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And it has all the bells and whistles. While looking for the seat lever, I accidentally turned on the heater and massager – a most heavenly interruption that was better than some spa massages I’ve experienced. Fortunately, this soothing option comesto a natural halt after 10 minutes, otherwise I’d have lost concentration completely – not ideal at high speed.I also found the neck heater. What an ingenious design! Heading for Champneys, we’d loaded the Bentley (aka Bertie) with two medium suitcases, which meant leaving the windbreaker behind. At 260 litres, the boot isn’t huge, but this is hardly a family vehicle. Playing with the extras on the way to our next port of call, my companion found a phone in the centre console armrest plus a digital TV tuner, an iPod and CD changer. All potential distractions for the driver, but perfect for passengerswho have succumbed to scenery ennui or, as with my front-seat friend, are forced to endure regular cries of “I love this car!” The Naim music system provided

a great accompaniment (the bass is superb) for our fast drive on the M40. Once we’d left the motorway, I slid Bertie into Sport mode and instantly felt the harder, more responsiveride. The throatier engine growl is perfect for impressing bystanders as you cruise by at 20 or 30mph – somewhat childish, perhaps, but the sound is thrilling; I simply couldn’t resist. Of coursethe whole point of the Continental GT SpeedConvertible is the ability to lower her soft-top roof. Mechanical mastery in motion, the operation is complete in seconds – perfect for unpredictable British

weather when you might need to raise it again just as quickly. On sunny days, there is nothing quite like driving along British country roads in a Bentley GT; breezein your hair, smile on your face. It’s the ultimate driving experience, and I was making the most of it. If you’re already a Bentley owner, you’ll understand the drooling admiration the beautiful GT Speed attracts from all agesand genders. At several of the hotels we stayed at there was a look of genuine surprise from front of house when they saw two ladies emerging from what is generally

considered a gentleman’s car, but there was also admiration and a definite vibe of “wish that was me”. Parking the GT Speedis easy, thanks to the six sensorsin the front bumper and four in the rear. You get a camera view from the infotainment centre and if you press the PDC button, a visual park-distance graphic appears showing clear zonesaround the front and rear. Select Parking Bay mode and the display shows you guidelines to help you measure your way in. Very useful. Only a couple of times at slow speed did I feel handling could have been better, as I suspectthis thoroughbred

is happier at higher speed.And if the worst were to happen, the driver and front seat passenger are protected by front and side airbags, while the driver has knee airbags, too. The rear seats are fairly snug – perfect for small adults and children – but with legroom at 31.7 inches, it’s a tight fit for a long-leggedsix-footer. Driving Bertie the Bentley was an experiencethat will stay in my heart and mind forever. I’ve driven many supercars, but nothing comesclose to the sheer excitement, enjoyment and pleasure I had in the GT Speed. I’m missing her already.

AT A GLANCE Bentley Continental GT Speed Model: Convertible Power: 633 bhp / 642 PS Top speed: 204 mph / 328 km/h Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 4.0 sec (0-100 km/h in 4.3 sec) Price: $239 154, excluding options Website: bentleymotors.com Reviewer: Waheeda Ali

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cl assic

You Dream.We Create.

C o o L C u s To m e r By now, I’ve grown, seen things, and over time, developed a style. On the grooming side, it includes splashing on (or dabbing on if I’m being discreet, and need to get a loan, or sign a treaty, or something), a very good men’s fragrance. One of my singular treats, especially when I’m offon a wander in some part of the world, is Floris. It’s the name for a collection of graciously insinuating men’s and women’s scents produced by a family-owned business that originated on London’s Jermyn Street in 1730 - and is still there. Just in time for the summer weather, there’s the Floris men’s fragrance called Palm Springs, created by Spencer Hart, the exclusive and very hip English apparel designer. Palm Springs is a reinterpretation of a classic Floris scent created in the breezy 1950s. It’s inspired by California, notably the desert playground of Palm Springs during the heyday of the Rat Pack whose members included such talented tear-abouts (and piss artists) as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. There was only one Sinatra as there is only one Palm Springs, a fragrance that’s full of vigour. It’s seductive, pure and smoky, with citrus-y notes, of course, and a heart of carnation and lavender. By my reckoning, it’s an absolute necessity for inclusion in the shaving kit along with sun block, metal polished Chicago comb, and trusty fusion razor. Bring me the shades, boys. Bring me the shades. florislondon.com

Rodney Papa

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Unique Shopping Experiences Morningside Design Studio Lynnwood Bridge Boutique www.JennaClifford.com


Love it, love it, love it! But howmanyof the things youbuywith your heartturn out to begoodinvestments,too?

Mohammad Kamal Syed of the distinguished private bank and wealth management service Coutts looks at the trends in PassionAssets – the objects we buy because we love them FINANCE OTHEBY’S in London recently auctioned the world’s largest uncut diamond – the Lesedi La more about owning and enjoying those Rona, which is about the size of assets. a tennis ball. It didn’t meet its minimum Over the past decade,classic cars have reserve price of $90 million, so it didn’t been the standout performer. sell. According to the Coutts Index, their Although people are still interested in diamonds, the Sotheby’s auction demonstrates that prices in this asset class are softening. Diamonds are just one example of socalled Passion Assets, which include classic cars, fine art and other collectibles,and featureincreasingly in theportfolios of wealthy individuals. Since the global financial crisis, volatilemarketsand record-lowinterest rates have increased demand for more diverse “alternative” investments, and driven interest in many physical assets that have intrinsic value, particularly where the supply of those assets is limited. While many alternatives have prov- prices rose by 40% during 2014 and ided fairly spectacular returns, there is increased in value almost five-fold over much more to investing in such assets the past nine years. than price appreciation alone. Rarity is another valuable characterIndeed, for many wealthy individuals, istic. Rare, period artefacts with geogalternatives are less about investing and

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Official fuel economy figures for the Rolls-RoyceDawn: Urban 13.2mpg(21.4l/100km). Extra Urban 28.5mpg (9.9l/100km). Combined 20.0mpg (14.1l/100km). CO2 emissions330g/km. Figuresmay vary depending on driving style and conditions. © Copyright Rolls-RoyceMotor Cars Limited 2016. The Rolls-Roycename and logo are registered trademarks.

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raphical resonance are also highly collectable. For example, Chinese artefacts, such as porcelain, are increasingly being bought by Chinese collectors who provide a sizeable pool of wealth to support the market. The overall Coutts Index has risen by 80% since 2005. The Coutts Index is widely acknowledged as a global benchmark for monitoring the performance of Passion Assets, tracking 15 different types including

The idea of paying $50 million for an old car that’s uncomfortably hot, noisy, leaks water and has a turning circle that makes an average tank look agile seems insane. But the happiness such a car can bring is immeasurable. fine art, collectibles, precious items, and trophy properties. Classic cars, for instance, must have fetched more than $500,000 at auction and been sold more than 10 times, such is the thoroughness of Coutts’ approach. While the stunning price performance of many alternative assets could be enough in itself to tempt investors, this is an area best reserved for those with a genuine passion for the objects they are buying. Price appreciation must be viewed as an added bonus, not a pre-condition. Yet alternatives can offer advantages purely as financial assets too – most notably portfolio diversification. Returns from these alternatives often move independently of stock market returns, for example. While alternatives are in vogue, the markets are generally very illiquid. This lack of liquidity can cause prices to fluctuate and makes alternatives difficult to value and sell. This makes it imperative that investors understand their markets. It alsomeans owners must beprepared to hold such assets for the long term. If they are genuine investments of passion, this shouldn’t prove too onerous a task. In fact,it might provemorechallenging

to remain detached enough to recognise the investment potential in your passion and to sell when the time is right! The returns quoted for many alternative assets will almost certainly have beenestimated from relatively few transactions on unregulated markets, where pricing can be sketchy and opaque.

The few indices that follow the prices of these assets choose which assets to include, and the indices can be biased by that selection process. What’s more, it’s not possible to invest in any of these indices, and the prices commanded by individual assets may not be representative of the market or index as a whole. Despite these drawbacks, alternative investments (even above the potential financial returns they offer) provide one thing that no index can measure – and that’s happiness. Theidea of someonepaying $50 million for an old car that’s uncomfortably hot, noisy, leaks water and has a turning circle that makes an average tank look agile seems insane. In many ways it is. But the happiness such a car can bring is immeasurable. • Mohammad Syedis Head Of Financial Advice And Investment Solutions at Coutts coutts.com

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Scentof awoman

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OWEVER beautiful your designer clothes are and however expensiveyour jewellery is, there are occasionswhen, temporarily at least, you may be needing neither – and that’s when you’ll berelying on the quality of your perfume alone to help expressyour identity and your personality. While even fake diamonds can look a million dollars to someonewithout a jeweller’s loupe to hand, fragrances are far lessforgiving – and cheapperfume is viewed by even the impecunious as beyond the pale. That’s why the world’s most exclusive perfume houses spend so much time developing ever more luxurious fragrances to help the world’s most beautiful and pampered women win by a nosein the olfactory stakes.

Luxury Xclusives Magazine’s guide to the finest perfumes you can have on your dressing-table – and on yourself…

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With some of the perfumes on these pages costing $2,000 a bottle, the manufacturers are falling over themselves to convince you that theirs is the one. But which is your favourite?

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1 – My Burberry Eau De Parfum 11

Collector’sEdition (900ml, Burberry, $2,000); 2 – Onyx Pearl Sculpture (50ml, Agonist, $810); 3 – Exquisite Musk (80ml, 4

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Yves Saint Laurent, $195); 4 – Exalted (100ml, from The Fire Collection by Boadicea The Victorious, $ 395); 6 – The 1001 Nights Solo Superstar (100ml, Bond No 9), $850; 7 – Les Exceptions (80ml, Mugler, $ 135); 8 – Tan D’Epices (250ml, Andree Putman, $250 ); 9 – Noble Fig (100ml, EssenceCollection from Ferrari, $65); 10 – Velvet Pure (150ml, Dolce & Gabbana, $300); 11 – Solaris Sculpture (50ml, Agonist, $900). And yes, much to our regret, there is no No 5…

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THE

PERFECT MIX The new collection from Versace Home demonstrates a seamless blend of high fashion & design

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tyle-conscious homeowners are sure to find Versace Home’s new collection to their liking. Celebrating the Italian design house’s most famed motifs, you can choose designs centred on three distinct themes: feminine Vanitas; the more masculine Greek Key; and the three-dimensional shapes of Baroque. Take a closer look and you’ll behold colours that marry the best of Versace’s prêt-à-porter and haute couture fashion collections (think acid yellow, lime green, electric blue), while you can paw over opulent materials, from touch-me leathers to plush velvets, sublime silks and precious marble. Our favourite item? That would be the dining/gaming table, the top of which is hand-painted with gold leaf. Every inch Versace, it’s one way to make a fashion statement at home.

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VERSACE HOME, WWW.VERSACEHO ME.COM


gr and

In stores this Fall, this bracelet is elegantly finished with an ingenious saddle nail fastening that snaps on to the wrist. It has the comfort of an articulated bracelet and is available in three finishes and three sizes. Available at Hermes Boutiques. hermes.com

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From the Bravo collection comes this new Monterey leather utilitarian sling design, reimagined in rich leather for urban adventures and travel. Stylish and practical, this upscale backpack makes it easy for any traveller to transition from meeting room to weekend. Available at Tumi. ca.tumi.com

l uxur y

Hero4 Black is the ultimate life-capture solution for those who demand the best. Whether for diving in the clear waters of the Caribbean or for skiing first tracks at Whistler Blackcomb, this videocamera does it all in style with 4K ultra HD video with 240 frames per second. gopro.com

A stylish combination of stainless steel and rose gold offered with a steel or leather band, this watch tracks your sleep with Sleeptracker and activity through its Motion X Technology, and connects to any smartphone in any time zone. smartwatch.frederiqueconstant.com

Marbled down, fur trimmed, Herno padded coat. The finest goose down makes this coat both elegant and chic. Detachable hood with removable fox fur trimming. Available at Holt Renfrew. holtrenfrew.com

These upbeat Berlutti Playtime Sneakers are a breed all their own. They are at once chic and comfortable, classic and cutting edge, embodying the House savour-faire and venerable commitment to innovation. Available at Holt Renfrew. holtrenfrew.com

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Your personal, spacious haven onboard Stretch out and unwind in privacy. Your comfortable First seat converts into a fully flat bed at the touch of a button. Discover more at ba.com/first

Luxurious Magazine H Autumn 2016 11


10 Steps to Take When Buying Property in Dubai Why rent when buying hasnever been easier?

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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Take a drive around your favourite areas of the city and decide which developments you can picture yourself living in. Lenders in Dubai pre-select which development they will finance so before you can talk mortgages it is a good idea to shortlist your mostliked areas.

LOOK FOR QUALITY DEVELOPMENTS Not all developers were created equal. Look for a strong, well capitalised developer such as DAMAC Properties, which has a proven track record for delivering some of the most sought-after properties in the UAE. Choosing a reputable developer can help to ensure you are buying a high-quality apartment in a well-maintained building. It’s your insurance policy for your investment in the future.

MAINTENANCE COSTS TR ANSPARENCY Dubai’s real estate market is mostly comprised of apartments within high and low rise developments. While these types of developments offer apartment owners some spectacular views and a range of facilities including gyms, spas and pools they can also present some challenges in terms of how common areas are managed. Make sure to ask about the service charges or maintenance fees that as an owner you will be liable to pay.

FINANCING YOUR PURCHASE There are different ways of financing property purchases in Dubai, such as off-plan stage payments: Most developers offer off-plan stage payment financing options. The buyer will pay an initial deposit and then the balance in structured payments (which are held in Escrow accounts) through to completion. Mortgage finance: Competition in the banking sector means banks are now offering very attractive mortgage rates below 5%. At DAMAC Properties, we even offer excellent staged payment terms on our completed portfolio.

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The Dubai government has greatly simplified the process for buying and selling. It is well established that the Dubai Land Department only permits registration of property in the names of individuals, companies registered onshore in UAE or offshore within the Jebel Ali Offshore jurisdiction. This clearly affects the foreign corporate purchaser but not individual purchasers. Do your research to be clear on the registration process.

MAK E A VERBAL OFFER

ROOMS WITH A VIEW If your dream is to live in an apartment that boasts sublime vistas of Dubai suchasthese– all of which are genuineviews from DAMAC Properties’ apartments – then call +971800 32622

Once you are comfortable with the amount you wish to spend and have organised your finances, you are now ready to make an offer. It is usually advisable to present the highest offer you can afford to ensure you don’t lose out to another buyer.

PAY THE DEPOSIT Typically the prospective buyer and seller enter an MOU, wherein the buyer commits to purchasing the property and the buyer commits to selling the property. The buyer pays an initial booking deposit. However, if the buyer withdraws from the transaction, the buyer will have to forfeit his or her booking deposit. Alternatively, if the seller reneges on the sale the seller refunds the booking deposit. Beware that buying from the secondary market can carry more risk, as the transaction is between the buyer and an individual seller, and if something goes wrong there can be little recourse.

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PAY THE BALANCE

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MOVE IN TO YOUR NEW HOME

COLLECT DOCUMENTS Nobody likes paperwork but it is essential and having all the details clearly laid out in black and white will put your mind at ease. To buy off-plan a developer will only ask for a passport and a booking deposit. While documentation requirements may differ between lenders, generally you will need six to 12 months of bank statements, a copy of your passport with visa page, utility bill or tenancy agreement and a salary certificate from your employer, or minimum of two years audited accounts if self-employed.

K NOW YOUR LEGAL POSITION

If you have purchased a property off-plan from a developer, you will be required to make stage payments, which are generally linked to key construction milestones. One of the major benefits from the off-plan financing model is that it is a bit like an interest free loan for the buyer. Often developers won’t ask for the final payment until months after handover, which can ease the pressure on your finances when you are moving into your home. If you have taken out a mortgage to fund your property purchase, you will be paying incremental monthly payments for the duration of the loan.

On the handover of the property, the new owner will have to register the property at the Dubai Lands Department to obtain a Title Deed. The property purchaser is responsible for paying the fees to the government. The fee for the Title Deed normally amounts to about 1.5-2% of the property value. Finally, you are ready to enjoy the fun part – decorating your new home.

> Property is one of the four main asset classes, along with cash based deposits, fixed interest investments and shares.


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Globalisation of Afrocentric cultures Afro-continentals, Afro-descendants and Afro-diasporans, scattered around the world in their millions, are collectively carrying Afrocentric culture – whether expressed through fashion, art, music, cinema or literature. Africa is of course not a country; but in reality, when we look at Africa from a cultural perspective, Africa is also not a continent, Pézard said. “So when we speak about Africa, are we speaking about the 55 countries with all of its complexities and opportunities, or are we speaking about a cultural phenomenon that has spread to every single continent on Earth.”

The Rise of Afrocentrism and it’s impact On the business of Luxury Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world, a fast-growing middle-class and rising incomes across the continent, and therein lies a tremendous market opportunity for the global luxury and fashion industry. But the Afrocentric luxury opportunity also includes the wider African diaspora. “The Afrocentric population worldwide is more than two billion people whose shared cultural codes, collective consciousness and inclusive influences are defining their relationship to luxury both inside and outside Africa. Understanding them is key to luxury success in Afro societies.” These were the words of Uche Pézard, CEO of The Luxe Corp Group and founder of Luxury Connect Africa, when she spoke at the Conde Nast International Luxury Conference in Cape Town last month.

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The luxury business strategist and entrepreneur said that while Africa’s population is 1.4 billion people, the “real” population of Africans both in Africa and around the world is approximately 2.6 billion people, scattered across more than 120 countries. “This is the Afrocentric Africa that holds enormous opportunities for the luxury industry,” she said. Pézard, who is based in Paris but of Nigerian descent, explained that the definition of being African is multifaceted. “To be from Africa, originating from one of its 55 countries, means to be directly linked to the source of its cultures and to be responsible for its guardianship. But to be of Africa, being a descendant of the continent in the diaspora, means to be a carrier of its cultural expressions and a propagator of Afro cultures around the world.”

The discourse around expanding African luxury, therefore, must also embrace the Africa that is promoted through cultures and settlements abroad. “The globalisation of Afrocentric cultures is already in the luxury space. A look at recent campaigns and collaborations of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel by Afro-descendants and Afro-diasporans confirm this,” said Pézard.

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Afrocentric consumption

Changing face of the luxury consumer

Luxury brands looking to design for and market to what they’d consider ‘African’ consumers need to be mindful of the above distinctions in terminology. What may initially be aimed at consumers living on the African continent, could resonate with Afro-descendants elsewhere in the world, because Pézard says these groups are influenced by similar cultural factors.

Another factor to have a profound change on the luxury business in the coming decades is the growing proportion of people with darker complexions. Skin tones are getting darker, Pézard said, driven mainly by factors such as climate change and population growth dynamics. Other factors like intermarriage and immigration also play a role.

“The same factors that drive Africans to buy luxury is very similar to what drives African Americans or AfroBrazilians, for example, to buy luxury items,” she noted. For those born outside of the continent, this Afrocentric movement is leading them to investigate and connect with their ancestral roots. Pézard said that Africa doesn’t have a luxury market but several markets both in and outside the continent. “About 80% of luxury purchases by Africans living in Africa are done outside Africa. Then add the purchasing power of Afro-diasporans and Afrodescendants and you get the idea.”

Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world, and India and Nigeria – both inhabited by darker-skinned people – will be among the world’s top three most populous countries in the next 30 years. Luxury consumers will look different, and brands must understand that the strategies for beauty, and even fashion, will need to adapt to this change.

7 keys to unlocking opportunity Brands looking to harness the Afrocentric luxury opportunity would be wise to consider the following basic rules, as detailed by Pézard: Unlearn to relearn: Most of what’s known about Africa has been perpetrated by narratives that aren’t accurate. Understand that what we know about Africa is wrong, and relearn what it really means to be African.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2019 Campaign

Master the Afro-diction: Afro-diction is about being fluent in the use of certain terms related to Africa. When do we say Africa, when do we reference specific countries, when do we use cultures to describe people or brands? Avoid cultural appropriation: Citizens are more active than ever in monitoring and calling out brands that are guilty of this. Consequences could be dire. Be Afro-culture literate: Understand and educate yourself as brands and professionals on historical aspects that could potentially cause frictions within consumer groups. Be non-racist, diverse and inclusive: Racism can manifest unconsciously. Make a conscious effort to be non-discriminatory to avoid blunders. Invest in deep market insights: Africa is vast and not homogenous; it has multiple nations, cultures, languages and selling points. Create a diversity pillar: This should form part of your corporate strategy.

Building the African luxury economy The relationship between Africa and luxury is not only linked to consumption, but as a continent rich in creativity and artistic ability, Africa is also producing luxury. 59

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Luxury Xclusives Magazine (Nov-Dec Issue)  

Welcome to the Latest Edition of the Luxury Xclusives Magazine. Our professional team of editors, writers and contributors travel the world...

Luxury Xclusives Magazine (Nov-Dec Issue)  

Welcome to the Latest Edition of the Luxury Xclusives Magazine. Our professional team of editors, writers and contributors travel the world...

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