Open skies - April 2020

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I N S P I R E D B Y N AT U R E Ingenious designs from some of the world’s most ancient tribes















































CONTRIBUTORS Helena Amante; Adrienne Bernhard; Finn Dean; Ben East; Sarah Freeman; Dom Joly; Conor Purcell; Julia Watson. Front cover: Amos Chapple/From Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism, by Julia Watson


















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Ermenegildo Zegna

Salvatore Ferragamo





56 GLOBAL Indigenous inspiration





From living bridges to rice terraces, the world contains millennia-old knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature 56

Gavin Thurston

Stay: From a creekside palace to a hip Georgian pile 18 Dom Joly goes off-roading 24 In South India, Chettinad’s mansions are waking up 26 A guide to Carlton, Melbourne 32 The pleasure of sketching your city 38 How did sushi break America? 44 The science behind art fraud 48

Latest news 66 Inside Emirates 70 Destination: The Seychelles Route maps 74 UAE Smart Gate 80 The fleet 81 Go see this: The Edge, New York

From the ethics of saving penguins to the climate emergency, David Attenborough’s Director of Photography reveals all 60


Bright young things 82

Talented students are working alongside Expo 2020 to bring pavilions to life 62

Global STAY












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25.2048° N, 55.2708° E


This creekside, neoclassical hotel sits in the heart of Dubai’s newest cultural hub

A designer palace

Clockwise from left: Neoclassical columns line the foyer; Tropical prints aren’t in short supply at Giardino restaurant; Signature suites are decked out in luxe touches that include bathroom orchids and bedroom chandeliers


FROM THE CONCIERGE When Palazzo Versace Dubai first opened in 2016, it’s fair to say it was an outlier on the sweeping curve of Dubai Creek. Four years later, it’s the centrepiece of a hitherto unheralded part of Dubai. Now, its next-door neighbour is the new Jameel Arts Centre and gardens. Yachts at Jaddaf Marina frame the view from one of the sumptuous pools, and families ride bicycles around the waterfront path. Across the road, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, an eye-catching building designed to look like a book, is set to be another cultural destination of note when it opens later this year. Where Palazzo Versace once looked inwards, it now feels comfortable in its space on the Jaddaf Waterfront. Although, comfortable is probably understating it somewhat. This is, as you’d

expect from a place with the Versace name attached to it, an opulent, glitzy experience from the moment you walk into the lobby, with its massive bohemian chandelier, ornate furnishings and – of course – a 1.5m piece mosaic of Gianni Versace himself. The rooms, with more statement Italian furniture and linens, might look ever so slightly renaissance on a flat image, but there’s a sense of space and calm when you’re actually in them that makes everything feel just right, rather than over the top. That’s the thing about Palazzo Versace. Obviously, there are people here attracted by the brand and grandeur. You might see a Premier League footballer, or Jennifer Lopez – who famously stayed in the “ultra luxurious” Imperial Suite, complete with

Persian paradise When locals hear you’re staying at Palazzo Versace, their next question is without fail, “have you tried Enigma yet?” Michelin-starred executive chef Mansour Memarian offers modern yet authentic dishes inspired by his Iranian origins, and the faludeh created at your table is pure theatre. Ceremonial hammam Palazzo Versace’s relatively close proximity to DXB means its spa is an ideal place to recover from a long flight. The hammam follows a traditional ritual, with black soap application, fullbody exfoliation with Miel d’Ambre scrub, scalp treatments and hair washing – followed by a deep-tissue massage.



private pool, terrace and chef. Yet it never feels unfriendly, fussy or indeed prohibitively exclusive. Guests wandering around the hallowed halls and terraces might be dressed in the latest Versace gear purchased in the ground floor shop, or they might be in shorts and a t-shirt on the way to the gym. They could be meeting friends for high tea to a twinkling piano soundtrack in Mosaico, or heading straight to La Piscina for cocktails at the swim-up bar that’s unafraid to blast out the latest tunes.

Speaking of music, storied producer Quincy Jones’ first ever bar is here too. Q’s Bar and Lounge has won Best Live Music Bar in Dubai in the past; a lush, intimate space that currently boasts a residency from singer, artist and dancer Rogelio Douglas Jr. Four years in, there’s a rare balance between luxury and leisure, destination hotel and base for exploration. J.Lo once told us love doesn’t cost a thing… it costs a bit here, admittedly, but it’s easy to fall for Palazzo Versace.

Planning a visit to Dubai and the UAE? On today’s flight in the TV section on ice you’ll find Enjoy Dubai & the UAE, with channels dedicated to Tourist Attractions, Dining, Activities, Entertainment, Golfing and Hotels & Resorts.



54.7294° N, 1.8812° W


A spa hotel in the heart of Billy Elliot country proves romance isn’t dead

Poetry in motion

Left: Neon stylings at the hotel spa, whose features include a roof terrace, outdoor hot tub and ice fountain



A former colliery town on County Durham’s coast may seem an unlikely location for five-star lodgings, but then Seaham Hall is a master of disguise. Nestled in 37 acres of parkland, this blindingly white Georgian pile has the air of a private country residence, minus the fustiness. Its grand pillared entrance leads to a lobby with stained-glass ceiling, which peels off to a snazzy sports lounge, grand chandeliered restaurant and art-festooned corridor that bridges old and new, opening out to a light-flooded vaulted atrium. Behind the veneer of its dolls house facade and gleaming courtyard wing is a chequered history. From marital home to military hospital – ‘‘mad, bad and dangerous to know” 19th century poet Lord Byron,

wed heiress Annabella Milbanke here in 1815, before the property was turned into a TB sanatorium. More cossetting than clinical, the 1930s wards have been reinvented as 21 stately suites, dressed in swathes of velvet, deep-pile bespoke carpets, textured wallpapers and vibrantly patterned fabric headboards. Their luxurious marble-clad bathrooms, meanwhile, flaunt wall-mounted TVs and ‘made in England’ Temple Spa bathroom amenities. Despite Byron’s doomed marriage, romance ripples through the sprawling site, from the 13,400sqm sybaritic spa, to its decadent Ada Lovelace mezzanine suite. Much like the revolutionary figure’s mathematician daughter, Ada (who wrote the first ever algorithm), the suite has beauty and brains

Subterranean secrets Medieval foundations aren’t all that lie beneath this grand foursquare mansion. During a brief period of dereliction in the 1820s, its cellars were used to smuggle Scottish Spey whisky onto ships at Seaham Harbour, bound for prohibition-era New York. The exclusive single malt is only available to buy in England’s heritage Royal Palaces (or from the hotel restaurant’s mirrored cabinet). Best of British Seasonal dishes that fly the British flag have earned The Dining Room a coveted spot in the 2019 Good Food Guide. Standouts include the Craster kipper tart (smoked 50 miles north up the coast), warm River Test eel and 45-day saltaged Galloway beef grilled over charcoal embers. Sit back and enjoy the view, of Lord Byron that is, dressed in all his finery above the mantelpiece.


Clockwise from above: Named after the property’s original owner, the Ada Lovelace Suite is a mezzanine split-level room; The property has existed since circa 1790; The spa’s 20 metre pool has several massage stations

– with twin slipper baths overlooking a very Jane Austen scene of rolling lawns, as well as impressive gadgetry. For all Seaham Hall’s modern trappings and 18th century opulence, a trip to the seaside is a must. You can take a short rosycheeked ramble to the town’s shingle beach, strewn with multicoloured sea glass worn smooth by churning waves, a century after being discarded by a local bottleworks. You never know, the scene may even inspire a sonnet or two...




59.9139° N, 10.7522° E


A storied address in Norway’s capital has been revived with modern art, jazz and some serious design swag

Ship shape

Left: Mid-century furniture and prints by famed American artists epitomise Amerikalinjen’s 20th century emigrant vibes


FROM THE CONCIERGE Decadent cocktail hour A creative homage to the building’s centenary, Pier 42’s cocktail menu is structured around major events that have defined the past ten decades in both Norway and the US. Now you can take your ‘Vigeland Park’ or ‘Discovery of Oil’ libations upstairs with the hotel’s new floating bar service, which brings the mixologist and bespoke oak drinks trolley right to your door.

Taking pride of place in downtown’s Jernbanetorget Square, this century-old landmark and Oslo’s newest luxe lodging was once the headquarters of the transatlantic liner, Norwegian America. More than just a cruise ship, Amerikalinjen was a one-way ticket to the American dream for thousands of Norwegians. Step inside the boutique hotel’s corner entrance to find New York contained within – from a moodily lit ground-floor all-day brasserie, Atlas (already a local favourite for its Oysters Rockefeller), to its subterranean jazz club’s speakeasy vibes. Meanwhile, the porthole-inspired windows of its glass covered courtyard café, Haven, and hand-blown globe pendants modelled on the ship’s originals, hark to Amerikalinjen’s maritime days.

The seafaring storytelling continues upstairs, where antique maps and vintage photos discovered in the listed hotel’s 16-monthlong renovation, hang. As for views, you can choose from neon-lit Jernbanetorget Square, the city’s iceberg-esque Opera House, or the hotel’s greened courtyard. A past-present amalgam, its 122-rooms vaunt mid-century classic furniture, deepledged windows, a smoked-glass mirrored wall and monochromatic subway-tiled bathrooms, stocked with toiletries by holistic beauty brand Sprekenhus. They’re just one of a handful of homegrown companies, including celebrated Norwegian glassmakers Hadeland (what Wedgwood is to England), tasked with localising Amerikalinjen.

Sweat it out It’s no secret that Scandis love a sauna, and the current Oslovian obsession is the floating variety. A five-minute brisk walk from Amerikalinjen is KOK – a 10-person, clean-burning raft sauna. Docked at Langkaia, the backdrop to your chilly dip in the harbour is Oslo’s Opera House, with its famous marble-clad roofscape. For an extra US$31, you can cruise (and steam) in the Oslofjord. Philanthropic fare Atlas brasserie isn’t all steak and Caesar salad. In collaboration with Oslo’s Red Cross, the kitchen works with one woman in the local community each season to create ‘Mama’s dish’. Taking inspiration from their home country, you might be treated to a spicy Eritrean heirloom recipe or Kurdish rolled eggplants with ground lamb, originating 3,500 miles away in Northern Iraq.

From top: A snug library offers coach-style compartment seating to curl up in; Heated mosaic beds line the hotel’s Finnish sauna, itself annexed to a 24-hour gym.

For every modern turn, there’s a faithfully restored neo-baroque detail, like the staircase’s monastic-like vaulted ceilings or the library snug’s ornate wood cornicing, which turn the clock back 100 years. Striking canvases by American heavyweights like nonagenarian Alex Katz (aptly, the son of an émigré) and social activist-cum-graphic artist, Shepard Fairey, promptly jolt you back to the present day. It’s no accident that his stylised Obama “Hope” poster presides over Amerikalinjen’s Pier 42 bar. This, of course, was the legendary spot where immigrants arrived into NYC, their hopes and dreams bundled into a small suitcase.



UNITED KINGDOM 54.1963° N, 2.1632° W

Miserable weather Off-roading in the Yorkshire Dales leaves Dom Joly’s wheels turning

I’m on a 56-night tour of the UK. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t knackering, but the touring life is curiously exhilarating. Last week, I was in the Yorkshire Dales and passing through the wonderfully named village of Starbotton when I spotted a winding track leaving the village and heading straight up the steep hill behind it. I’m a sucker for a spot of off-roading and I just couldn’t resist the chance of a wonderful view of my surroundings. I found the start of the track and made my way up it in my vehicle. It quickly became clear that it was more of a footpath, but the steep walls on each side did not allow me to rectify my error and turn around. I bumped and ground my way to the top where – with the walls no longer there – I was afforded a glorious view of the dale below. Whenever I get snobby about travelling around England, I shall remember this moment. Then things went wrong. I tried to turn my Chelsea tractor around but mud started to suck me in and a large, selfish rock appeared from nowhere to impede any further progress. Before I knew it, I was stuck and a blizzard was coming in fast to boot. Fortunately, because I was so high up, I had one precious bar of signal on my mobile. I found the number for the local pub (if in trouble, always ring a pub) and spoke to the barmaid who was very sympathetic. To

be fair she was a touch confused as to why I was up the top of said hill in a car but duly rang the local farmer, who very kindly took his enormous tractor up to where I was stuck. When he got out, there was no doubting his private view of my situation but he also kept his counsel, save to say; “I’ve seen a lot of idiots get stuck in these parts but nobody has ever got this far.” I know it’s wrong, but I was curiously proud of myself. The farmer, who looked like Alan Bennet’s rural cousin, was a godsend as he found the towing hook that had been carefully hidden by my car’s manufacturers. As in most of the rest of my life, I stood around uselessly as the farmer hooked chains to my car and pulled me out of my idiotic predicament. Once freed I thanked the farmer profusely, mumbling apologies as best as I could. “You’d best be off back to London before you get into any more trouble,” he said, smiling in a mildly sympathetic manner. I couldn’t help thinking of that scene from Withnail and I: “Are you the farmer? We’ve gone on holiday by mistake.” I turned the car round and disappeared off the mountain as fast as I could in a heightened state of shame. Note to self – do not wadi-bash in the Yorkshire Dales again.

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everywhere you go


At constant risk of death by demolition, unique merchantowned properties in South India are starting to reopen their doors WORDS: ISABEL PUTINJA

The mansions of Chettinad

Enormous keys of heavy brass are among the many relics that can be found at Karaikudi’s antique market. Their size hints at the grandeur of the palatial mansions they once unlocked the doors of: doors that have since been reduced to rubble. But others have escaped this sad fate; their ornate facades preserved as surviving architectural testaments to the heyday of the Chettiars, a wealthy merchant community. With over 10,000 of these time-weathered mansions still standing, Chettinad may be home to one of the largest concentrations of heritage architecture in India. Built from the mid 19th century, the 73 villages that make up Chettinad – located 400km south of Chennai – were meticulously planned. Compared to the often-haphazard configuration of many Indian towns and cities, the urban layout of these settlements is astonishingly orderly, with streets arranged in a neat grid plan of perfectly aligned rectangles. In between these arteries stand grand mansions, all of them arranged on an eastwest axis according to the rules of the Vastu Shastra – an ancient Indian ‘science of architecture’ intended to marry the natural with the architectural.

Owned by wealthy teak and marble merchants from the 1850s to the 1940s, once-grand mansions in Chettinad fell into disrepair when their owners moved into main cities


The Chettiars are a prosperous merchant community of traders and financiers who expanded their businesses and sought international trade opportunities in South East Asia in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Amassing wealth across Burma, Indochina, Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies and Ceylon, they put it towards the building of family retreats in their home of Chettinad. The imposing two-storey structures create a sense of grandeur commensurate with the wealth of their owners. The monumental, ostentatious facades are often embellished with painted sculpted figures of Hindu deities, rajahs and ranis (kings and queens), British soldiers and hunters. Elaborate plaster balustrades, parapets, stucco cornices, colonnades and loggias were designed to add to their opulence and splendour. Inspired by their travels, a variety of architectural and decorative elements were integrated into their homes’ exteriors and interiors. With the Great Depression and Japanese invasion of South East Asia, the Chettiars experienced a drastic turn in their fortunes. Hastening a return to India, many decided to settle in big cities that offered business opportunities. Unoccupied, their homes were left to slowly decay with the passage of time. Meenakshi Meyyappan was two years old when her father left for Sri Lanka. “They started to return after World War II,” she says of the Chettiars’ homecoming. “When they came back to their ancestral homes, they had to move on because they couldn’t make a living here. Some started businesses, while others found employment in Chennai and other cities. But they would always come back for Pongal, the harvest festival, and for important family functions like weddings.” Now an author of several books on Chettiar heritage, Meyyappan also opened Chettinad’s first heritage hotel in Karaikudi, the economic centre of the region, in 1999. “The Bangala was the family club,” she says of the heritage building the hotel occupies. “My father-in-law would take his friends there to play cards or tennis, and





host concerts of South Indian Carnatic music.” While the hotel is not an example of a typical Chettiar mansion, its guests have the opportunity to visit a few in the area, including her own ancestral home, which has been impeccably maintained. Today the upkeep of Chettinad’s mostly uninhabited heritage buildings, brimming with valuable materials and artefacts, poses a challenge. Shared ownership among several family members can complicate decisions on how they should be maintained. Many have been demolished for the tidy windfall that can be made from the sale of

decorative elements such as teakwood pillars, carved wooden doorways and heirlooms to antique markets. Others function as informal museums, welcoming visitors to explore their opulent interiors for a small fee. In the village of Kothamangalam, one of these crumbling properties was transformed into a hotel in 2010, 100 years after its construction. The meticulous restoration of Saratha Vilas was a labour of love for Bernard Dragon and Michel Adment, a pair of French architects fascinated by Chettinad’s rich history and unique architectural style.

“These palatial homes combine a blend of architectural styles and influences which is unique to Chettinad architecture,” explains Dragon. “You can see Italian, English and French influences in their facades. But as soon as you step inside, there are traditional Tamil elements, such as wooden pillars and the central inner courtyard, which is the family sanctuary and found in every home. Equally fascinating are the different materials used in the interiors. Here at Saratha Vilas, we find marble tiles from Italy and Belgium, tilework from England and Japan, Burmese teak



1. An elephant foot stool and tusks inside the home of the Raj of Chettinad 2. Burmese teak and Sri Lankan jackwood pillars taken from various Chettinad mansions stand in a salvage yard in Karaikudi 3. Kandakuthan, a once-prosperous village in Chettinad 4. Colourful enamelware was imported from Europe 5. The Chettiars were often referred to as the “Money Lenders of the Empire” 6. A Hindu temple in the village of Karaikudi

and satinwood from Sri Lanka. The terracotta tiles are from France and Italy, while the mirrors come from Belgium.” Dragon and Adment had spent years studying and documenting Chettinad’s cultural heritage when, in 2012, they were asked by the Ministry of Culture’s Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters to assist with the application process to add Chettinad to UNESCO’s tentative list. Submitted as a site of outstanding universal value by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO in 2014, it was added to India’s World Heritage list soon after.



In addition to its spectacular architecture, the region also has many examples of heritage beyond its houses: cultural practices and traditional skills, but also objects and artefacts. Sivagamasundari Thavamani is a conservation architect and conservator with roots in Chettinad. In 2016, she founded the association Muttram, with the objective to preserve and promote Chettinad’s heritage. “I’m interested in material conservation – how to conserve materials like textiles, metal, wood and paper,” she says. “Through workshops, I teach people from the Chettiar community how to

preserve the antiques they have in their homes. This includes metal and wooden objects, but also the conservation of paper materials like letters and photos.” Permanent exhibitions of these heritage objects, many imported from South East Asia, are on display at the Chettiar Lifestyle Museum in Koviloor and Alagappa Chettinad Museum in Karaikudi. The plethora of items includes relics commonly found in Chettiar homes: colourful enamelware; Burmese fans made of cloth and leather; coins from the Dutch East Indies; rosewood carvings; Burmese teak trays and spice boxes;



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7. Bullocks enjoy the shade outside the art deco mansion turned boutique hotel, The Bangala 8. A typical house key in Chettinad 9. Ceiling tiles at Athangudi Palace

kitchen tools; copper pots; oil lamps and bronze sculptures, to name but a few. Craftsmanship is another strong example of intangible heritage in the region. Visitors can see artisans at work in their workshops making handmade floor tiles, weaving the region’s typical kandanghi saris made of cotton in bright hues, or colourful palm leaf baskets called kottan. Crafts and objets d’art are all well and good, but local food always remains one of the biggest reasons to visit a city or region. Luckily, the distinctive Chettinad

cuisine is a strong draw for travellers. Traditionally vegetarian, the cuisine evolved as the Chettiars travelled across India and South East Asia and adopted new tastes. To the South Indian staples of rice, coconut and vegetables, they added meat and spices such as Tellicherry pepper from the Malabar coast, cardamom from Ceylon, Indonesian nutmeg, and galangal from Indochina. One of the best places to sample Chettinad fare is at The Bangala, where meals are served on a traditional banana leaf. A signature dish at its award-win-

ning restaurant is uppu kari, made with lamb, shallots, tomatoes, Sri Lankan cinnamon bark, turmeric and its most essential ingredient: flavourful and potent dried goondu milagai chillies. A tireless promoter of Chettinad culture, Meyyappan also does her part for its cuisine through cooking classes at The Bangala. “We started residential cooking classes seven years ago,” she says. “We offer three-day and seven-day courses during which participants visit the local market and bazaar to source ingredients and learn how to prepare dozens of authentic


10. A statue inside Chettinadu Mansion, a century-old mansion converted into a hotel in Kanaduthaka 11. The dry region incorporates sundried meats and salted vegetables into its cuisine



Chettinad recipes. We’ve had participants from all over the world, including a Japanese group that comes every year.” With the growth of heritage tourism has come developments such as increased transportation links. Accessibility has improved with newly paved roads and better signage pointing the way to the main towns and villages on the heritage trail: Karaikudi, Kanadukathan, Athangudi, Pallathur, Kothamangalam and Kadiapatti. Chettinad’s growing popularity has brought economic opportunities for lo-

cal communities, says RM. N. Karuppiah, the former head of the town council of Kanadukathan. “Tourism to Chettinad began 20 years ago, but has increased over the past decade with more foreign tourist arrivals,” he says. “An awareness programme launched by UNESCO brought attention to the region. With government support, there was road and water development and street lighting was improved. In the past few years there have been more shops and hotels opening as part of tourism development, which has

brought financial flow and increased livelihoods for the local community.” Today, Chettinad can stand confidently on the heritage map. With a historical and cultural value recognised both locally and internationally, more and more visitors are interested in exploring its architectural, culinary and artistic traditions. The next step for the conservation of its rich heritage would be measures to preserve and protect it. Having stood the test of time, the majestic but fading mansions of Chettinad deserve a breath of eternal life.




37.8136° S, 144.9631° E

From aperitivo bars to Aboriginal art, there’s a whole lot to amore about Melbourne’s “Little Italy”


Founded in 1851 during gold rush era Victoria, it was the influx of post-World War II Italian immigrants – and, more precisely, their love of food – that’s shaped the identity of Melbourne’s inner northern suburb. After a lengthy stint in customs, Australia’s original espresso machine was installed on Carlton’s Lygon Street, which extends from Brunswick all the way down to Victoria Parade in the south. The neighbourhood’s iron-awninged thoroughfare, which stretches for five kilometres, is also where Melburnians got their first taste of pizza in 1961. Here you’ll find decades-old Carlton stalwarts like the kings of biscotti, Brunetti, bow-canopied Lygon Court (with its 28 specialty stores and beloved arthouse cinema) and local literary legends,


If you want to delve deeper into Lygon Street’s Italian heritage, watch the documentary, Si parla Italiano, narrated by Golden Globe winner Anthony LaPaglia.

Readings. Reminiscent of New Orleans’ French Quarter, its Victorian-era shop fronts are a vision of filigree balconies and ornate stuccoed facades – housing sake bars, bespoke jewellers, vintage fashion, retro toy shops and even an artisanal German spice seller. As one of Melbourne’s foodiest streets, you won’t go hungry. Carlton may be the ancestral home of the city’s world-renowned café-coffee culture, but it wasn’t always la dolce vita spilling out into its plane tree pavements. This was once the turf of Melbourne’s very own Peaky Blinders, the Italian-Australian trench-coated “Carlton crew”, whose bloody gangland wars spanned two decades until the early 90s. Strike out from their former Lygon Street stomping ground and you’ll be rewarded with the enclave’s other European charms, like verdant garden squares and an alternative theatre scene, spawned in the 70s. There aren’t many cities, let alone neighbourhoods, where you can tour one of the oldest exhibition pavilions in the world (located in Carlton Gardens), then watch stand-up in the first ever workers parliament (Trades Hall on Victoria Street). Come for the coffee, stick around for the culture.


IMA PROJECT CAFE Straddling the border of bohemian Fitzroy, this convivial café is the food baby of ex-Sake chef James Spinks and Japanese interior designer Asako Miura. Carltonites squeeze into its blonde timbered benches for Aussie brunch classics with a Japanese twist, like baked eggs in miso tomato sauce, and avocado toast with nori and seaweed paste. Its founders’ ardour for all things sustainable is impressive, even by Melbourne standards. Everything from cooking oil to coffee grounds is upcycled, whilst the beautifully turned-out lunch sets (accompanied by rice, miso soup and pickles) use “ugly” veggies and sustainably farmed trout versus salmon. If you order just one side, make it the onsen egg – poached to runny perfection at 63°C. 169 Elgin St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9348 1118,




RPM MELBOURNE Shop for sharp Danish tailoring, modern tribal jewellery, exclusive fragrances and fine Scottish knitwear at this closeddoor boutique, which hangs its rails with new collections every fortnight. Melbourne’s well-dressed and well-heeled come here for its personal styling – a service offered every Monday and Tuesday (by appointment only). 162 Elgin St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 1300 351 851,


One in six arrivals during Australia’s post-World War II immigration boom were Italian, and by 1980, over a million Aussies had either been born in the boot-shaped peninsula or had parents born there.




Framed by Melbourne CBD’s soaring skyscrapers, this 64-acre Victorian-era landscaped oasis is Carlton’s answer to Central Park. Just be prepared to share its ornamental palace gardens and babbling fountains with some of the city’s local wildlife, like brushtail possums and 60 species of chattering birds. 1-111 Carlton St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9658 9658




MELBOURNE MUSEUM Walk through a living, breathing rainforest and then in the skeletal shadow of a 25-metre-long blue whale in this post-modernist glass beaut. Official-

ly the Southern Hemisphere’s largest museum, the emphasis here is on crowd-pleasers: like the mini model museum with a Colosseum made out of cork, as well as a dedicated gallery for toddlers. The latter comes complete with fossil dig zone, a cultural centre honouring Victoria’s Aboriginal roots, and some 600 taxidermied birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The standout is Australia’s champion thoroughbred, Phar Lap, who became an unlikely beacon of hope during the Great Depression in the 30s. 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 8341 7777,




ZAGAME’S HOUSE Renovated to the tune of AU$18 million last year, this unloved budget motel has been reborn as a fur-friendly, boutique bolthole. Keeping the SoCal-influenced Googie architecture, but swapping out prim for playful, has been a masterstroke by Melbourne pub owners Victor and Robert Zagame. Think muralled stairwells carpeted in rose-tinted leopard print (worth forgoing the lift for), neon signage and retro knick-knacks in its reception loungecum-co-working space. A Feng shui master was consulted for its 97 rooms, so expect good Qi as well as velvet ottomans, French linens and Scandi-styled bathrooms provisioned with toiletries from celeb favourite, Cowshed. Its waf-


Catch your next art-house flick in a colonnaded library or bamboo forest at Cinema Nova’s four boutique theatres, designed by Australian architect Aidan Halloran.

fle weave robes were made with latenight truffle cheese toasties in mind, which you can order from the hotel’s tapas bar, proffering biodynamic wines from Barossa to Burgundy. 66 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9084 7777,


A 5-MINUTE BUS (THE 200 OR 207)

READINGS Proving there’s still a place for print in our ever-digitised world is the flagship store of this award-winning independent book retailer, that’s been bowing the bookshelves of Carltonites for five decades now. With a 56,000 inventory, packed events calendar, 11pm weekday closings and raft of new-release vinyl, this Melbourne mainstay has earned its legion of fans. 309 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9347 6633,




CINEMA NOVA A Carlton institution, this 16-theatre Lygon Court auditoria screens everything from Aussie-made documentaries to animated feature films, as well as stage productions from the likes of the Metropolitan Opera and London’s National Theatre. Its discount day Mondays ($5 for sessions before 4pm) are wildly popular, as are its house-made artisanal choc tops (chocolate-dipped ice-cream). 380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9347 5331,



JOHNNY’S GREEN ROOM From its Roma rooftop vibes and repurposed terrazzo banquettes, to the Neapolitan thin-crust pizza and old-school Aperol spritzes, Johnny’s is a patio

bar with molti Italian swag. The Veneto-born Valmorbida family have transformed one of the city’s oldest groceries into a temple for epicureans – with a 50-seater cellar-bar, gelateria, espresso café and, of course, Johnny’s, named after Lygon Street’s all-night pool hall and former gangsters hangout. Join Carlton’s after-work aperitivo crowd at its canopied bar for Victoria-grown Italian varietals on tap and cheese-charcuterie boards from the downstairs deli. This is unfussy eating at its best, with city skyline views to boot. Level 2/293-297 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 9347 1619,


Through travellers’ eyes

Taking inspiration from the 19th century, an analogue, global community is sketching their travels as they go WORDS: HELENA AMANTE



couple take a seat on a bench in a bustling city square without exchanging a word or a glance. From a distance, they seem the perfect incarnation of modern society’s technological isolation. On closer look, in fact, not so much – instead of tablets or cell phones, they’re holding sketchbooks. While they observe the surroundings with an attentive eye, vivid sketches quickly fill the pages. In times when youngsters play on touchscreens from the cradle and everyone carries a camera in their pocket, walking around with a sketchbook and a handful of pencils can look like a nostalgic pastime. However, the urban sketching movement (USk) arose in the digital

From left: NYC from Lapin’s eyes; João Catarino’s renders of Lisbon and Portgual

era, and is very much connected to it. Initiated by Gabriel Campanario (@gabicampanario), a Spanish-born journalist working on the Seattle Times who began to illustrate his pieces instead of conforming to the industry standard of photography, the movement developed from a blog back in 2008. In a well-rounded and successful strategy, Campanario set a date for the blog to air and promoted the initiative beforehand in the press, while simultaneously contacting illustrators from all over the world to contribute sketches. “It was madness, back then. You would post a sketch on the blog, and ten minutes later, you had to scroll and scroll if you wanted to see it,” says João Catarino (@joaocatarino65), a Portuguese illustrator who was among the first to be contacted. From day one, the manifesto was clear: all sketches should be drawn on-site, without previous study, and the movement should be all about sharing in an inclusive and non-judgemental atmosphere.

Even though USk is, in essence, analogue, it wouldn’t exist in its current form and international scope without the help of the digital. Since the launch of the international blog, many countries have also created national ones, and due to the swift changes in the internet landscape, a big part of the action has since moved away from the blogs and into social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. “It’s curious how the digital revolution has fostered the movement, because in many senses USk is about experiencing the world without technology,” says Catarino. “In a way, USk is a response to the massification of tourism and the hustle of cameras. There’s this wistfulness associated with old travel diaries, like Delacroix’s Carnet de Voyage au Maroc, that permeates the visual expression of most sketchbooks.” The appeal of the archetypal explorer and adventurer who documented their travels in sketchbooks has had a global influence, and even brands have real-



“There’s something enlivening about drawing, and the interaction it establishes with the world around us” ised its value. Louis Vuitton was among the pioneers of the trend, inviting illustrators around the world to create branded carnet de voyages about multiple places to be displayed alongside suitcases in shop windows and adver-

tising. On the other hand, Moleskine developed a hyperbolic brand narrative associated with a romanticised link to Picasso, Hemingway and Chatwin’s notebooks, despite the company’s foundation in 1997.

ineteenth century and earlier travellers didn’t have the option of a camera, though. Besides nostalgia, what’s feeding and filling sketchbooks the world over? “Our times engender a certain passivity; our devices that make things happen in front of our eyes convert us into witnesses. But there’s something enlivening about drawing, and the interaction it establishes with the world around us – it’s curiosity embodied,” says Douglas B. Dowd, Professor of Art & American Culture Studies at the Washington University in St. Louis and author of the book Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice. “Somewhere along the way, we’ve mistaken drawing for a professional skill instead of a human capability. Because drawing is connected to painting (which I think is a mistake), people got to think that the purpose is to reproduce reality, which implicates professional techniques. But in human history, drawing has always been about consolidation and dissemination of knowledge. What makes an insect an insect? How does a machine work? From natural sciences to engineering, all types of disciplines used to be taught through drawing, because the intersec-


draw better, and they are open to drawing anything,” says Suhita Shirodkar (@suhitasketch), an Indian-born and California-based illustrator. Like many professional illustrators who have also embraced urban sketching, she is an active member of the community and often teaches workshops. “People often come to a workshop to learn how to draw postcard-pretty images, but I like to think that the experience of drawing is more valuable than a particular kind of result. I teach techniques like focusing only on outlines, on a particular colour, on high contrasts, yet the goal is having people looking differently at what’s in front of them, more attentively, more present,” says Catarino. “The beauty of urban sketching is the rawness and immediacy that drawing on location has, and that’s hard to capture in a studio setting. It’s an unfiltered impression that captures the energy and vitality of the place. You can put a bunch of urban sketchers at the same spot and have them draw the same scene, and each one will capture a different aspect of the scene in a different style,” adds Shirodkar.

“People who have never drawn are the easiest to teach: they have no assumptions of things they can and cannot draw” tion between hand, eye and brain facilitate knowledge, namely through a more profound understanding of proportion and detail. Our brains became larger after our thumbs became opposable; how we use our hands is part of how we learn and engage with the world. If we get rid of the idea of drawing as illusion-making, we are freed of the aesthetical anxiety that seems to universally descend around puberty.”

Perhaps, given the close link between drawing and learning – or, even more, the fact that most of us do suffer from aesthetical anxiety the moment we grab a pencil – the demand and offer of urban sketching workshops rose as the community grew larger. “People who have never drawn are often the easiest to teach: they have no assumptions of things they can and cannot draw, no habits that need to be undone to see and



orkshops aside, gathering to draw – no tutoring or fees attached – is still a pillar of the movement, even if most of the sharing happens online and some of the initial spontaneity has been lost. The Urban Sketching Symposium has been held every year since 2010, and the last edition brought together 1500 attendees to sketch the scenic canals of Amsterdam. Though the community is global, symposiums tend to be expensive and mostly held in Europe and North America, and are therefore less accessible to enthusiasts from the Southern Hemisphere. Naturally, not all countries are equally active, but neither are they equally inclusive, as a glance into several countries’ blogs will tell: some publish all the work submitted, while others appear to do a preselection. Still, the sense of community is most likely the linchpin of the movement’s success; in many ways, it isn’t limited to the interaction between sketchers – drawing on-site attracts people, curiosity, conversation. “While a lens can be intrusive, a sketchbook draws people’s atten-


Clockwise from right: Paris by Lapin; Barcelona by Suhita Shirodkar; A Cambrian symphony by Suhita Shirodkar; Flower sellers in India, by Suhita Shirodkar; Simonetta Capecchi’s Taliouine, in Morocco

tion, especially children. On my travels to Africa, I often find myself losing sight of the subject when drawing because I’m suddenly completely surrounded by kids and, later, their parents. There’s something about the process that feels like magic, especially in the eyes of children: a sketch reveals itself little by little, a mystery that gains new meanings with every brushstroke. They’re hooked to the page,” says Catarino. For most sketchers, drawing becomes a way of travelling. “Drawing connects you to a place. To sketch a city, you have to understand it, to look closer to the surroundings to make it your own. You decide which details to convert into strokes, lines, colours, and your memories become fixed on the pages. Now, if I visit a place without sketching it, I feel I haven’t been there at all,” says French illustrator Lapin (@lapinbarcelona). In addition to a strong sense of place, the sketchbooks convey a temporal dimension, as each page is a reflection not only of the surroundings but also of the sketcher’s attitude on a particular day,

and the materials they had. The resulting differences and discontinuity evoke a feeling of chronological progression. “A sketchbook used like a diary becomes a private, intimate object, and you fill it with all your precious memories. There’s a certain freedom in keeping mistakes and ‘bad’ pages among the sequence. I think I have filled hundreds of them over the years, and losing one is painful,” says Italian illustrator Simonetta Capecchi (@simo_capecchi). The concept of travelling has a broad meaning within the USk community, and is intrinsically related to the idea of seizing the moment. Travel can mean anything from an adventure fit for a Delacroixesque carnet de voyage to a simple commute to work; it can be a ten-minute drawing captured in a short routine break leaning against a wall or a two-hour immersion in the landscape. “Urban sketching has profoundly changed how I see the world. I no longer hurry through my daily life and my travels; I go slower and see more deeply. I try to see both the places I travel to and my everyday world with the fresh eyes of a traveller. Everything is fascinating when you stop to look at it carefully and sketch it,” says Shirodkar. The term “urban sketching” wasn’t coined out of thin air – most of the sketches circulating are indeed urban landscapes. Cities never sleep; there’s no time to waste in the urban jungle. Or maybe, a sketchbook and a pencil is the perfect excuse to slow down the city.


THE UNSTOPPABLE RISE OF SUSHI The story of sushi is the story of Japan, of globalisation and of soft power. So how did this unassuming dish conquer the world?



iro Dreams of Sushi, the 2012 Netflix documentary about a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in a Tokyo subway station, did much to illuminate how we think about the dish both as culinary and cultural phenomenon. Featuring ageing sushi master Jiro passing on knowledge to his son, the chef’s almost mystical reverence for his creations reinforced many of the tropes we have come to accept about sushi as a culinary force: the austere chef, the sacred rituals, the almost religious nature of the preparation and consumption of the dish. It speaks to our idea of Eastern culture too, but is how we think of sushi correct? And just how did an unassuming raw fish creation take over the world? Historically, cultural – and particularly culinary – ideas tended to travel from West to East. From the hamburger and denim jeans to rock’n’roll and Hollywood, it seemed western (and specifically American) ‘memes’ were destined to help project western power across the

globe. But it has not all been one way traffic. From curry (now Britain’s most popular dish) to ramen, there are plenty of culinary staples that have bucked the trend. Yet, at first glance, sushi would seem like an odd dish to do so. It is essentially raw fish, not a food that a western palette would fall in love with. Originally a way to preserve fish in salt (the word sushi is derived from the Japanese term for sour, or vinegar rice), its introduction to the American psyche was tentative at first. In 1929, the Ladies’ Home Journal introduced Japanese cooking to the American public, noting the inherent problem in making raw fish sound appetising: “There have been purposely omitted… any recipes using the delicate and raw tuna fish which is sliced wafer thin and served iced with attractive garnishes. [These]… might not sound so entirely delicious as they are in reality.” Any chance of Japanese food making its way into the American consciousness was put on hold by World War II, and the

subsequent raft of anti-Japanese sentiment. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that sushi started to make inroads again. In 1972 the New York Times reported on the opening of a sushi restaurant in New York’s Harvard Club, while Esquire breathlessly reviewed the city’s sushi scene. Raw fish, it seemed, was hot – not just in New York, but around the world. “One of my personal theories as to why sushi has had such a global impact is that as consumers, we’re attracted to new cultural products that feel exotic and adventurous, but that are also approachable, and that also fit with our times and larger trends,” says Trevor Corson, author of The Story of Sushi. “For many of us, sushi feels so wonderfully exotic that eating it proves how adventurous and open-minded we are, and demonstrates that we’re on the cutting edge of cool new things,” he adds. “At the same time sushi fits in with trends over the past few decades toward more healthy eating and a more cosmopolitan global culture. The actual taste of


sushi is quite friendly to our palates. It’s mostly rice seasoned with sugar, salt, and vinegar – that good old combo of sweet and sour – and we’re already in love with the yumminess of soy sauce from Chinese cuisine, and finally, it turns out that really fresh fish doesn’t even taste all that fishy. So it feels exotic and exciting, but is also really easy to eat.” Of course, there were plenty of food fads that emerged in the 1970s that have been confined to the cliché today (fondue, anyone?), yet sushi endured and has thrived; there are now more than 250 sushi restaurants in New York City alone. Some sushi aficionados insist that its staying power in the West is down to its ability to be all things to all people. In Japan, sushi was traditionally seen more as a treat for special occasions, not the serviceable snack that it is in the West. It’s also adaptable. In the 1970s, two Japanese chefs in in LA, Ken Seusa and Ichiro Manashita invented the California Roll, a sort of fusion mash-up of crab meat, av-

ocados and cucumbers, wrapped in rice. The very American version of sushi was an instant hit. Yet it wasn’t until the 1980s that sushi exploded, which had much to do with Japan’s arrival as a global superpower. The 1980s was the decade when Japan seemed everywhere; from its cars and electronics to its efficient working systems to its music, Japan was loved and feared in equal measure (witness the number of Japanese ‘baddies’ in 1980s Hollywood movies, something unthinkable today). These days, Japanese food is everywhere; just look at the number of celebrity-owned Japanese restaurants in the US (where everyone from Robert De Niro to Ashton Kutcher to Justin Timberlake all at least part-own Japanese restaurants). While Japanese culture is not as dominant as it was in the 1980s (culturally Korea, and economically, China, have stolen Japan’s thunder), there’s no doubt its food is now embedded into the mainstream.

Of course, not everyone is happy with sushi’s increasing ubiquitousness, with some believing it has watered down the craft of sushi making and turned it into just another fast food; something sold on conveyor belts at airports and shrink-wrapped in convenience stores – a world where ethnic food is watered down to cater to the bland taste buds of those in the West, and where Japanese perfectionism is replaced by Western ‘it’ll do’ culture. The renowned sushi chef, Kaz Okochi, who runs the Kaz Sushi Bistro in Washington DC, echoed this in an interview with The Washington Post a few years ago, where he worried about the glut of new sushi restaurants that focused on fun, rather than the obsessive attention to detail that most authentic sushi restaurants are known for. Yet globalisation being what it is, the more American style of sushi has now seeped into Japan’s restaurant scene. “The differences 30 years ago to what you could only find in Japan and in the




One of the hardest restaurants to book in the UK, this seven-seater joint is run by a husband and wife team trained in Kobe. The fatty tuna nigiri gets a lot of attention as does the pickled mackerel roll. There’s a large, curated sake list and the prices are very reasonable. If you manage to get a table (a big if), there’s nowhere better in London. 12 Jerusalem Passage, Clerkenwell, London


This tiny eight-seat bar made something of a splash when it opened, with much of the buzz focusing on its $300 omakase. With a Michelin star and a reputation for its aging and preservation techniques, its chef Nozumu Abe, combines an old-school approach to sushi with the freshest of fish. A must-visit in the Big Apple. 181 East 78th Street, New York 10075


Probably the most famous sushi restaurant in the world and with good reason; it’s won three Michelin stars and was the focus of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It may be hard to get

US have converged,” says Sasha Issenberg, author of The Sushi Economy. “Now there are places in Japan that see themselves as American-style sushi bars; and, of course, there are places in the US that replicate traditional Japanese places. The lines are relaxing.” Of course, sushi’s future may not be plain sailing. While globalisation brought it into restaurants around the world, the current movement towards sustainability could see its star fall. The days when flying tuna in from Japan to serve at a New York restaurant was deemed to be acceptable, are almost certainly over. Another issue is over fishing and habitat destruction. According to the Nippon Foundation-Neu-

a table however, as you now need to be a regular, book through a hotel, or know someone who knows someone. With ten seats, and $300 for the chef’s selection, this is a special place, and worth the effort to get there. 104-0061 Toyo, Chuo City, Ginza, Tokyo


If ever evidence was needed of sushi’s rise into the mainstream, then look no further than Nobu. Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro, the chain is eyeing up a $1 billion valuation as it expands across the world. At its Dubai outpost, you can expect a mouth-watering array of Japanese cuisine, but unsurprisingly, the sushi is the star (along with the beautiful interiors) Although some may scoff at the lavish scale, its undoubtedly made the world of sushi a more interesting place. Atlantis, The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai


A slice of Japan in the heart of Paris, Isami – under the watchful eye of owner Katsuo Nakamura – specialises in sushi and chirashi. Like the best sushi joints, the décor here is simple (aside from the stacks of Japanese earthenware stacked behind the bar), and the stars of the show are the chefs who effortlessly gut, cut and roll the fish with incredible skill. 4 quai Orléans, Paris, 75004

rus Program, which created a guide to which fish stocks to buy and sell, squid, tuna, shrimp and salmon are endangered, which is not only bad for the underwater habitat, it pushes prices up. Bluefin tuna is reaching incredible prices – one sold for $700,000 at a 2017 Tokyo auction. These rising prices have created what one Japanese food blogger calls a ‘sushi bubble.’ The Sushi Geek says: “Loads of new shops are opening every year, some with chefs who are frankly not quite ready to run their own restaurants yet. Ten years ago the most exclusive shops would charge Y25,000 ($220) per person for their omakase course. These days, Y25,000 is considered a bargain, and many shops

charge twice that amount. We’re also starting to see some ingredients becoming scarce. Eventually many ingredients such as bluefin tuna will disappear from menus. And at some point this sushi bubble will burst and a number of restaurants will go out of business.” It’s not unlikely then, that sushi, as we know it today, will become the preserve of the 1 per cent, and the rest of us will have to make do with lower quality fish should we want to keep eating it. Yet, according to Trevor Corson, the sushi we are eating today is not ‘traditional’ either. “At the same time that there isn’t really one authentic form of sushi, it’s also a surprise to realise that the most popular sushi ingredients we’re stuck in a rut eating these days – things like tuna, salmon, hamachi, and freshwater eel – were never part of sushi tradition at all until the industrial age of high-tech globalised sushi,” he adds. “The history of sushi, including the past few decades as well as the past few thousand years, has been a story of never-ending change, evolution, and cross-cultural mixing, often in unexpected ways,” Corson says. “For example, today we are obsessed that sushi has to be super fresh, but not long ago sushi was made by squishing together fish and rice in wooden boxes and letting it sit under piles of stones for days or weeks.” So maybe another, more optimistic version of the future is one where sushi continues to change – as it has done since it left Japanese shores in the middle of the last century. We currently have sushi burritos, Cajun sushi, even sushi donuts. If indeed the mere act of eating sushi as we know it today becomes too politically incorrect, too expensive, or both, then we can expect sushi to adapt to this new reality, as it has done for hundreds of years.

Love sushi? On flights to and from Japan, Emirates offers special Japanese cuisine, including a Kaiseki menu and a premier sushi selection in First Class as well as a speciallyarranged bento box and sushi platter in Business Class, along with Japanese sake available in all classes.


ART FRAUD IS BOTH A SCIENCE AND AN ART These North American experts are on the hunt to stop fakes and forgeries WORDS: ADRIENNE BERNHARD

Knoedler & Co. was the oldest commercial art gallery in the US. Established in 1846, it cultivated a reputation as one of the world’s leading dealers of old master paintings, with Andrew Mellon, John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan among its elite group of collectors, frequenting the institution’s New York City storefront to purchase rare and celebrated masterpieces. But by 2012, the FBI was investigating dozens of dubious paintings sold by Knoedler over the years: forged works marketed as unknown Jackson Pollocks or Mark Rothkos, among others. When it closed in 2011, amid lawsuits for forgery, both art and finance worlds were abuzz. How did such a storied institution – one that had weathered 165 years of American history and changing tastes – give rise to the greatest art scandal of all time? And how can buyers today keep pace with increasingly sophisticated forgery techniques?


It takes a team of experts, including art historians, lawyers, materials scientists and researchers to authenticate works of art, from prints advertised on eBay to multi-million dollar canvases sold at auction. These professionals perform the most rigorous due diligence


to identify fakes and forgeries, protect high stakes bids, and ensure that buyers go home with a bonafide treasure. Their work underscores art fraud’s tremendous financial consequences for both individual buyers and the market as a whole; perhaps more important, it serves to counteract cultural crimes, protect our shared heritage and preserve the art historical record. The art market is considered one of the largest unregulated industries in the world. Art fraud includes a broad range of crimes, from falsified signatures and forged documentation to shill bids. And the market’s lack of transparency harms amateur and experienced collectors alike: anyone can be a victim of art fraud. “I’ve worked with billionaire collectors who have unwittingly purchased fakes and forgeries,” says Colette Loll, an expert in art fraud and the founder of Art Fraud Insights, a company based




in Washington that investigates the sale of fake art. Even the most sophisticated of buyers, she explains, will overlook red flags in order to secure a piece they believe is exceptional or undervalued. The factors that drive such a decision are complex, but art fraud always involves what Loll calls a “nugget of plausibility,” which is used to exploit an eager buyer. “Both the believer and the deceiver play an active role in the fraud.” Sales can be further complicated by a triggering event such as death, divorce or inheritance, and buyers may be seduced by a false sense of urgency created by an auction. “Long gone are the days when a single connoisseur could examine a work of art and say it looks right or it doesn’t,” Loll says. “There are some very clever workarounds.” During several prominent art scandals of the past, for instance, investigations revealed that an art forger had imitated the styles of contemporary masters, then used tea or vacuum cleaner dust to give the knock-offs a time-worn illusion of patina. Dealers who sold them ultimately profited tens of millions of dollars from these counterfeit paintings, banking on this artificial aging process as well as on a keen grasp of the psychology of consumers willing to be fooled. Collectors eager to pay competitive prices for investment pieces must therefore recognise that the complexity and opacity of the art market can also aid fraudsters in avoiding detection. One concern expressed by Loll is the increasing sophistication in fake art tied to advances in art imaging and analysis tools. Indeed, technologies used to authenticate works of art by identifying the artists’ materials and techniques are now being exploited by clever forgers themselves (such as Wolfgang Beltracchi, who admitted to forging hundreds of paintings in an international scam that netted millions of euros). This makes for a heightening arms race between the forger and the scien-

tist. While Art Fraud Insights works at the intersection of art, psychology, technology and the law, the company relies on materials science as the first line of defence to authenticate works of art. “Materials analysis guides us if and when we run into anachronistic materials that wouldn’t have been available at the time,” says Dr Jennifer L. Mass, whose New York-based company Scientific Analysis of Fine Art (SAFA) partners with Art Fraud Insights. Mass uses elemental imaging, molecular analysis

MASS USES ELEMENTAL IMAGING, MOLECULAR ANALYSIS TESTS AND MICROSCOPIC TECHNIQUES TO INTERROGATE WORKS OF ART tests and microscopic techniques to interrogate works of art, from paintings to porcelain to ancient manuscripts. “Even as forgers become more sophisticated about using period materials,” says Mass, “we see trace elements we wouldn’t expect to see in an authentic work, and we don’t see degradation materials that we would expect to see.” Modern paints, for example, often contain fillers and paint-binding media that simply could not have existed in earlier eras, even if the pigments appear to be period-appropriate.

Scientists like Dr Mass work hand in hand with attorneys who draw up airtight sales contracts, as well as related agreements (on behalf of experts accepting submissions for artwork authentication), investigate catalogue listings and closely monitor market disputes. “Sophisticated, high-net-worth clients may want to perform the same level of due diligence prior to an artwork purchase that they would undertake for a different investment, such as real estate, but need help navigating what that diligence looks like for this unique asset class,” says Megan Noh, a Co-Chair of the Art Law group at Pryor Cashman LLP, the firm that represented the Hilti Family Trust plaintiff in the Knoedler scandal. “As a legal advisor, I’m in the position of helping assess risk by asking: was the artwork purchased from an auction house? Is it in the relevant catalogue raisonné (a comprehensive listing of all known artworks of an artist)? Was the attribution warranted, and if so, who assumed liability on that issue, and for how long?” Attorneys in the field also track down connoisseurs (those familiar with the technique, palette and gestural work of the artist in question) and engage art historians to conduct provenance research that may validate an artwork’s history, or provide testimony during trial if a dispute arises. These experts carefully examine consistency with an artist’s oeuvre, considering characteristics that may or may not be in keeping with a master’s general style. Noh is careful to underscore that these cumulative measures are effective at proving forgery, not establishing authenticity. “Science can prove that something is a fake,” she explains, “but science can only support that something is authentic.” In other words, technology can never guarantee without a shadow of a doubt that a Vermeer is in fact a Vermeer. That determination, it seems, still remains less a science than an art.


Winning the global fight against NCDs An often-ignored “silent killer�, could small lifestyle changes help to prevent non-communicable diseases?




t’s a sobering statistic. Forty one million deaths every year – 71 per cent of total deaths worldwide – can be attributed to a category of diseases that, in some cases, are preventable. Their name? Non-Communicable Diseases, or NCDs – diseases that are not passed from one person to another, but develop due to risk factors like genetics, external environment, or a person’s lifestyle and behaviours. Despite significant medical advancements in the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions, NCDs, which include cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, mental health conditions and diabetes continue to be the leading causes of death and disability globally. The category of diseases has adverse impacts across both age and geographic region: more than a third of the 41 million deaths attributed to NCDs globally each year are premature, and nearly 85 per cent of these are seen in emerging markets. In stark terms, the overall figure for NCD-related deaths for Emerging Markets is one premature death every two seconds.

From quitting smoking to getting more exercise, or adopting a healthier diet, day-today human behaviour and lifestyle habits play a vital role in preventing and treating NCDs

In the Middle East, NCDs such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are most prevalent. These statistics highlight the scale of the challenge the world faces: from the direct human toll to the immense strain this puts on health systems and economic development. Despite such significant implications, a raft of innovative ways to raise awareness of these preventable diseases are starting to take root. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), NCDs can be reduced by as much as 25 per cent by 2025. From quitting smoking to getting more exercise, or adopting a healthier diet, day-to-day human behaviour and lifestyle habits play a vital role in preventing and treating NCDs, with lifestyle playing a crucial role in the management and prevention of most chronic diseases. Part of raising awareness comes with partnerships – both the traditional, and the unusual. “The battle against NCDs requires all of us,” says Menassie Taddese, President Upjohn, Emerging Markets. “At Upjohn, we believe part-


nerships are important as they enable various stakeholders to co-create innovative solutions that lead to disruptive change. In this regard, our overarching aim is to drive pro-patient policies and improve patient access that ultimately leads to improved patient outcomes.” Inspired by the heritage of a company known for its pioneering science, Upjohn is a division of Pfizer with experience-proven therapies in the areas of cardiovascular diseases, pain, urology, psychiatry, and other NCDs. With a goal of reaching 225 million new patients by 2025, Upjohn now serves more than 100 markets and has a network of eight dedicated manufacturing sites poised to relieve the burden of non-communicable chronic diseases by providing trusted, quality health solutions. Its solutions require meaningful partnerships that improve patient access and outcomes through various measures – some of them unconventional. One of these is an NCD Academy, a partnership with American College of Cardiology (ACC). The academy provides online courses in disease prevention and screening that may be completed anytime, anywhere from a mobile device. Set to premiere later this year with a course in cardiovascular disease, there are plans to add courses in cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental disorders. The programme will be open-access to reach providers in low- and middle-income countries where the NCD burden has accelerated the fastest and countermeasures are most needed. Another innovative solution is “Health Matters with Dr. Adam”, a campaign that aims to lessen the gap on healthcare literacy and drive public awareness across three core areas: health, wellness and happiness. The campaign, which was done in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and Emirates airline, is an animated series featuring the “ILL Family”: Bill, Jill, Phill & Will and Dr Adam and his team of experts, Dr. Sol, Dr. Aisha and the wise Professor John, who deals with the family’s many health problems and queries. The characters were introduced to Emirates’ 60 million passengers through the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment platform, ice, with the initial seven episodes focusing on blood pressure, diabetes, happiness, smoking, high-cholesterol, cardiovascular health, and pain. Upjohn provided all the medical content, facts and scripts for the episodes, with the research carried out by trusted medical experts and the majority of content stemming from main-

NCDs IN NUMBERS* 41 million

People killed by NCDs every year

25 per cent

Amount that NCDs can be reduced by 2025 *according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)


Of people in high income countries have high cholesterol

1 in 7

Unborn infants affected by diabetes during pregnancy

stream, peer-reviewed journals and articles. All content was then reviewed and approved by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention. This campaign aimed to increase attention and focus on promoting healthy lifestyles, dealing with underlying determinants of health, and early detection and treatment of health problems. All, they say, are all key in managing chronic illnesses. “By collaborating with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, industries and focus areas, we are able to have impact along the entire patient journey,” concludes Chandrashekhar Potkar, Chief Medical Officer, Upjohn Emerging Markets. “We must continue to engage all stakeholders to ensure we capture the voice of patients, healthcare providers, government officials, and others. This will help ensure we are developing programmes that truly provide holistic healthcare solutions.”

Watch Health Matters with Dr Adam in Happiness & Wellbeing TV on ice.



From India’s living bridges to the Philippines’ rice terraces, the world contains millenniaold knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature. Open Skies explores the most unique solutions from indigenous communities WORDS: SARAH FREEMAN

ix years ago on Latin America’s well-trodden hippy trail, I made the classic backpacker pilgrimage to Lake Titicaca on the Peru-Bolivian border. Set in the shadow of the mighty Andes, its drawcard (aside from being the birthplace of the sun in Andean folklore) is a cluster of golden thatched floating homes. Here, islanders in derby-style hats and crayola hooped skirts tour travellers around their aquatic lodgings in ceremonial-looking boats, balsas, maybe selling you a few tasselled woven wares along the way. I remember thinking this was like nothing I’d seen before, but gave little thought as to the extraordinary feats of engineering these island communities were. On the world’s highest navigable lake, a millenary South American civilisation named Uros, found a solution to living in this seemingly inhospitable place right under their noses: totora grasses. Built originally as a defensive mobile floating city, everything from boats to cooking fuel and medicine continues to be crafted from the buoyant reed-like totora that flourishes in the lake’s marshy shallows. Days earlier I was trekking to Machu Picchu, built of course by the indefatigable Incas – innovators in agricul-


Left: Farmers in Bali use a onethousand-year-old irrigation system known as subak to maintain their rice paddies


From top: The Uros community uses dried reeds to build homes that float on Peru’s Lake Titicaca; India’s living bridges are constructed by the Khasi people; A woman steers her way through Southern Iraq’s floating basket homes

ture as well as hydraulic engineering, who rendered arable land in the hilliest of terrains. The Uros pre-date Incan civilisation, and yet these living examples are more than often romanticised by travellers (myself included), or labelled as primitive versus innovative. It is a mindset that Australian-born author, academic, activist and designer Julia Watson is seeking to challenge and re-frame with her book, Lo–TEK Design by Radical Indigenism. “We have this view that if you are indigenous then you’re primitive and the ways that you live are primitive,” she says. Bound in Switzerland, the tome – beautiful in its own right – represents two decades of travelling to the farthest reaches of the globe in search of unsung nature-based technologies, masterminded by indigenous communities. Many are remarkable feats of physics and ingenuity, which rely on a reverence for nature and knowledge that transcends generations. Take, for example, the indigenous Ifugao people who carve rice terraces out of sheer mountain hillside, or the elaborate floating basket homes of Ma’dan living in Southern Iraq. Constructed without nails, glass or wood, they have existed for 6,500 years. “There were tons of floating islands that were being built in China and Europe 500 years ago but we don’t have them any more,” says Watson. “It’ll stop if we don’t document it.” Watson’s book, published by Taschen, celebrates some 120 living examples across 20 countries, from Peru to the Philippines, India to Iran. It also encompasses most living ecosystems, from forests and mountains to wetlands and deserts. Rather than taking readers on an anthropological journey, Watson interprets these concepts of indigenous design through an architectural lens. The 42-year-old teaches Urban Design at Harvard and Columbia University and is the Director and Co-Founder of A Future Studio – described as a ‘collective of conscious designers with an ethos towards global ecological change’. Their shared mission is to find Lo-TEK (a term coined by Watson, meaning traditional ecological knowledge) technol-


ogy solutions, underscored by nature and sustainability. Growing up in a progressive suburb in a conservative Australian town, the author’s own “aha” moment happened in the dusty shelves of Brisbane’s University Library, aged 18. “It was like someone just lifted a veil,” she says of reading colonists’ first-hand accounts with indigenous peoples when travelling across the desert during the 1800s. Her long-time fascination with sacred and cultural landscapes was seeded. One sacred place that caught her attention was Bali and its thousandyear-old agrarian system, known as subak, itself steeped in ritualism. Also a complex social system that’s managed by the island’s indigenous leaders, the water that flows from channel to rice paddies (using gravity, rather than fossil fuels), is regarded as a gift from the goddess of its volcanic crater lakes. The island’s 50,000 acres of terraces have been farmed this way since the 9th century, but will depend on the harmony between man and nature to continue into the next one. Despite being inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012, this sophisticated irrigation system is increasingly stressed by hotels and resorts excessively pumping groundwater. “These technologies are not only undervalued by the West, they’re undervalued in the places that they exist,” adds Watson. “We talk about biodiversity as what will be the 21st century’s greatest loss. But I think what the greatest loss will be is all the technologies that we don’t even acknowledge as technology yet. That’s the technology that actually captures and provides habitat for all that biodiversity.” In Iran, underground aqueducts called qanat, which look like giant anthills from the sky, are a time-honoured method for harnessing mountain groundwater, dating back 3,000-odd years. An innovative solution to sourcing pure water in an unforgiving landscape, it’s paradoxical that the country should now be declared a water-bankrupt nation, owing to years of corrupt water management, drying lakes, soil erosion and abuse of the country’s aquifers.

But there are shining examples of where a close kinship with nature reaps economic rewards. Doing their bit to shrink the world’s agro-ecological footprint are the Chaga people of Tanzania, who plant sun-shy coffee plants in the shade of banana trees on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, where biodiversity thrives. “They have a forest food system that’s the size of Los Angeles,” says Watson. “They’re the most educated and wealthiest tribe in that region of Africa.” Another sustainable food production model profiled in the book, this time implemented in an urban setting, is Kolkata’s wastewater-fed aquaculture system, crowned the world’s largest. Known as the “the kidneys of the city”, it filters 700 million litres of raw sewage every day, employs 50,000 fish traders and cultivators and provisions the city’s markets with half their green veg quota. “We think of renewable energy in a certain frame, mostly hi-tech, at this moment in time. This particular system doesn’t use energy or chemicals. What it uses is fish, bacteria and algae. The renewable energy in that system is a chemical reaction and species symbiosis that’s completely free and produces economically,” explains Watson. So successful is the design, which also acts as a natural flood barrier for the low-lying city (and saves Kolkata US$80 million a year), it is now being replicated by other Indian cities like Chennai and Nagpur. Yielding multiple co-benefits like food and carbon sequestration is a hallmark of these overlooked indigenous design technologies. In north-eastern India, 1,000km to the north of the Bangladeshi border is Meghalaya’s Khasi Hills region – where the indigenous Khasi people navigate swollen rivers in one of the wettest places on earth. Knotted aerial roots are twisted and ‘trained’ into living ladders that straddle gorges and 75-metre walkways capable of supporting up to 50 or more people at a time. Proving their sophistication in developing a symbiosis with mother nature, these stunning structures (that take one generation to build), can also withstand monsoon rains and mop up carbon.

With urban landscapes increasingly vulnerable to floods, unpredictable weather patterns and runaway air pollution, now, more than ever, the world needs outside-the-box design thinking. Solutions to an ongoing climate crisis may not necessarily be rooted in new technologies though. There are lessons to be learnt from the complex ecological relationships indigenous communities have nurtured over millennia. Referring to the case studies in her book, Watson remarks, “Some of the top designers that I work and teach with say, ‘how do we understand how these systems work? They are so advanced.’” Take, for example, Rotterdam – which aims to become a sustainable design capital, and a solar-powered floating city. What can it learn from the Uros and Ma’dan? “These islands are floating and buoyant because of multiple types of decomposition,” Watson says of the Uros communities. “There’s talk about using electrified biorock as a device for new, floating cities. Use of those electro magnetic fields, which keep the rocks afloat, disrupts all the electro magnetic fields of apex predators and all the sea creatures that use them for navigation,” argues Watson. In a world where we’re racing towards the future, maybe it’s time to draw breath and observe the inherently sustainable and time-tested practices of the past, which, by all accounts, seem to be holding up rather well.

Lo—TEK Design by Radical Indigenism is available on


The power of nature

For David Attenborough’s director of photography, showing viewers the impact of climate change via awe-inspiring images is the quickest way to enact change WORDS: BEN EAST There’s a spectacular moment in Sir David Attenborough’s new film, A Life On Our Planet, where the camera tracks a herd of animals across a wide plain. It looks like an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon – and it is – but the shot also holds a hidden message. “The thing is,

there used to be millions of, say, wildebeest or caribou in these migrations,” says Gavin Thurston, the director of photography responsible for bringing these incredible images to cinema screens and Netflix. “Now it’s down to 700 animals because they’ve been hunt-

ed. It’s tragic. We’re destroying all these amazing things.” Thurston should know. Over a long and spectacular career behind the camera he’s travelled across the globe, to all continents and both poles, to create some of the most seismic, important and wellloved nature programmes of all time. There have been Emmy nominations for Our Planet, Blue Planet 2, Frozen Planet and many more. He’s witnessed first hand the changes to our natural world in that time – and in the foreword to Thurston’s new book Journeys In The Wild: The Secret Life Of A Cameraman, David Attenborough himself admits that humanity is at a crossroads. For Thurston, that Attenborough has become so outspoken – the film also asks us to think about acting now to put the climate emergency right – says it all. “David’s approach to wildlife film-making was previously always that you couldn’t lecture people, you couldn’t tell them what they must or mustn’t do,” says Thurston, fresh from a trip to an Antarctica that saw a record high temperature. “Our belief was that you show people these amazing things and places with huge passion – and then hopefully that passion rubs off onto the viewer. Put simply, once you care about an elephant, you are not going to put up with the ivory trade.” So now, in A Life On Our Planet, Attenborough couldn’t be clearer. “The way we humans live on earth is sending it into decline,” he says in that inimitable voice. Maybe Attenborough’s change of heart comes from the knowledge that huge nature programmes are genuinely having an effect. When Blue Planet II broadcast its harrowing images of albatross feeding thrown-out plastic to their chicks in 2018, research found 88 per cent of people who watched the ep-


isode changed their buying behaviour regarding single-use plastics. The UK’s environment minister at the time was haunted by the images of plastic bags in another episode. “I feel pretty proud that the television I’ve worked on has changed policy and changed the culture almost overnight,” says Thurston. “Using a plastic straw is about as socially unacceptable these days as lighting a cigarette up in a shopping mall. What I would say is that we have the solutions to fix a lot of environmental concerns; we have solar, wind power, we know to eat less meat, not to waste or chuck plastic in the ocean. We just all need to agree on it.” Journeys In The Wild is, as well as a wonderful adventure story, a fascinating insight into the work of a wildlife cameraman. The craft itself has changed as much as the natural world it depicts – as have expectations. When Thurston says they’re competing with the biggest brands in entertainment, he’s not exaggerating: Our Planet was up against Game of Thrones and Veep in the Primetime Emmys last year. “The cinematography has got better and better,” he admits. “We were still trying to emulate cinema 20 years ago, but it was much more difficult. Now we have cleverer tools – we can track hunting dogs as they race across the plains, fly with flocks of geese through the air – it’s easier to take the viewer on a journey now. Before we had to stop, get the tripod out, put the camera on… it was so different.” And that commitment to excellence extends to deep behavioural science; obviously you can’t script how a bird will lay and look after an egg but Thurston reveals that if a series takes four years to make, the first year is entirely taken up with research and preparation. “Actually, you pretty much know what’s going to happen,” he admits. “One thing in our favour over an HBO drama is that although they can try and fabricate beautiful shots, what we’re filming is the most beautiful thing ever; the natural world in natural sunlight. All of us have a connection with nature but not all of us have a connection with Game of Thrones.”

Which is not to say Thurston’s job ever becomes predictable or run-of-themill. He remembers getting up in the morning to film the five-million-strong cormorant colony in Peru for Our Planet and finding it “just mind-blowing, extraordinary… and imagine there used to be 50 million of them!” The idea that you have to have limitless patience to be a wildlife photographer doesn’t wash with him either. “What I’m doing and seeing, very few people on the planet get to,” he says. “All these amazing spectacles and places. I mean, I must have been to Kenya 30 times and each time is an absolute joy. I actually get more impatient with people!” That includes those who complained that the camera crew who saved a family of emperor penguins in the BBC’s Dynasties was somehow interfering with nature. There is a fine line in depicting the natural world and interfering with it, but Thurston says he would have done exactly the same. “Look, there was a natural snow bowl from which these penguins couldn’t escape. These cameramen were witnessing a whole load of penguins about to die. So they trod a path down and the penguins used it to get out. I can’t understand why that caused so much controversy. They made a judgement call and, let’s be honest, helping a few penguins doesn’t even scratch the surface when compared to the impact humans have had on them.” Which brings us back to a cameraman’s responsibility to show the natural world as it is. More so than ever, Thurston feels that keenly. “Dramatic images have an impact; they’re powerful and they provoke thought in these heightened times where we have a responsibility to the planet,” he says. “I’ve still got confidence that human beings are not so stupid that they can’t see we’re knowingly sawing through the branch we’re sitting on.”

For more about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, listen to the podcast on today’s flight. Pick up the ice magazine in your seat pocket for full channel listings of the entertainment on board.

62 / EXPO 2020

Meet the brilliant students designing Expo 2020 pavilions Expo 2020 Dubai has revealed nine Country Pavilions designed by teams of students that will celebrate youth ingenuity as part of The World’s Greatest Show

Alongside a veritable galaxy of starchitects – the rock stars of the architecture world – pouring their collective design genius into the stunning structures of Expo 2020, a new generation of creative minds is also set to inspire millions of visitors to the first World Expo ever to be held in the region. Nine countries from around the world have unveiled a diverse range of Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions, each designed by young, emerging student talent – putting their talents to the test across fields including design, art, economics, technology and sustainability.

Teams from Djibouti, Grenada, Malawi, Myanmar, Saint Kitts & Nevis, San Marino, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Zimbabwe have researched their country’s history, national priorities and development challenges to create their official pavilion designs, before working alongside Expo 2020 to bring them to life. From the futuristic laboratory that is the San Marino Pavilion, where visitors can actively take part in building the country’s future, to experiencing Malawi through the inspiring story of a young child, each offers unique insights into its country, culture and progress.

Djibouti’s funky shipping container-style pavilion, for example, presents the country as a land of trade, tourism and technology, while the enchanting ‘spice isle’ of Grenada will introduce its flourishing chocolate and nutmeg industries with a stunning abstract nutmeg sculpture. “Now I can say that I have been part of putting Grenada’s culture, talents and potential out there for the world to see, showing that we are participants in the global economy,” says student Kerlyn Ariel Anne Frank, who is working on the Grenada Pavilion.

EXPO 2020 / 63

Meanwhile, a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Moratuwa – comprising communications students, product and fashion designers, and students of architecture and agriculture – collaboratively came up with the idea to represent Sri Lanka’s dynamism and adaptability through a sense of flowing water. With the inspiring theme of ‘open for business’, the young designers of the Zimbabwe Pavilion are eyeing a brighter future – portraying their nation as an untapped jewel of Africa rapidly diversifying into new areas of growth; the Myanmar Pavilion takes visitors on a quiet, spiritual journey that promotes a value-based lifestyle. Nature, culture and history are at the heart of the multisensory Saint Kitts & Nevis Pavilion – designed by secondary-school students – where visitors will be able to see, touch, taste, smell and hear the secrets of the islands. After that, try ‘walking through water’ at the colourful Suriname Pavilion, which explores the country’s nature-based beauty and health products. It is among a plethora of initiatives involving young people that will be taking place before, during and after Expo 2020 to engage, involve and empower the next generation – connecting minds and creating the future with inspirational results. The Expo School Programme is providing unique learning opportunities to UAE school students via curriculum materials and visits to Expo 2020. Millions of visits by school students from across the UAE are expected during the event, as they take advantage of dedicated journeys.

The UAE’s 140,000 full-time university students are also invited to experience specially curated tours, while Expo Live – Expo 2020’s global innovation and partnership programme – has provided 47 teams of UAE students with grants, exposure and support to help develop their creative solutions to pressing challenges. All of the above will be among the countless reasons to look forward to Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest event ever to take place in the Arab world. It will open its doors from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, bringing together incredible innovations, amazing architecture, A-list stars, stunning artworks, dozens of global cuisines, 192 countries, thousands of live events, millions of minds and much more in the UAE.

Clockwise from left: Djibouti; Grenada; Malawi; Suriname and Saint Kitts & Nevis have all used emerging student talent to design their pavilions

To learn more, watch Expo 2020 Dubai TV on ice.

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Emirates NEWS










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Emirates wins multiple medals for its wines

Emirates’ stellar wine programme was recognised at the Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards held in London earlier this year. The airline picked up multiple awards including two Gold awards for its fortified wines: Dow’s Colheita Port, a 1992 from Douro Valley, Portugal available in Business Class; and Vin de Constance Klein Constantia 2013 from Cape Town, South Africa, available in First Class. A Business Class Rosé and First Class Red collected two Silver awards: Whispering Angel 2018 from Côtes de

With 7.4 million bottles, Emirates’ wine cellar is the largest of any airline Provence, France; and Les Forts de Latour, 2005 from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, respectively. The winning wines represent Emirates’ varied offering, which come from 12 of the main wine-producing regions including France, Australia, South Africa and Portugal. The Emirates wine strategy is to buy exceptional wines at the earliest opportunity and let them mature

to allow them to express their full potential before serving them on board its aircraft. Emirates’ wine cellar, located in France, is the largest of any airline and currently holds 7.4 million bottles of fine wine, some of which will not be ready for serving on board until 2037. Emirates also recently launched its new set of wines for the Emirates Vintage Collection, a selection of the finest bottles from its cellar in France. These exceptional wines are exclusively served in First Class on selected flights and for a limited period of time. Emirates was also awarded a Bronze award in the First Class Fizz category for Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2, 2002. Dom Pérignon has been a mainstay in the airline’s First Class wine lists for over 28 years and Emirates is the number one global partner of the maison. Over the years, Emirates has served several Dom Pérignon vintages, some made available to Emirates as global airline exclusives. The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards recognise the best wines served in First and Business Class on board airlines around the world. Emirates’ careful wine selection and procurement strategy are highlighted on The Wine Channel on ice – its awardwinning inflight entertainment system.

EMIRATES TAPS INTO THE FUTURE AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY Four hundred students at Carnegie Mellon University worked over a 24-hour period to present 10 extraordinary ideas to Emirates – the lead sponsor of the university’s hackathon. The Emirates Group and Carnegie Mellon University, a private, global research university based in the US, have a history of partnering on various initiatives, including trialling drones for inventory tracking. As part of its internal business innovation initiative, Emirates sponsored two key business challenges for the students

at TartanHacks, the university’s biggest hackathon. One of the sponsored challenges included enhancing the Emirates Skywards member experience through more seamless, personal ways at Dubai International airport. The winning team presented an app that can recognise members, their membership tiers and location in the airport in order to assign them roving service agents. The team won flight tickets to Dubai, hotel stays, and the opportunity to present their winning idea to executives at Emirates’ headquarters.



Emirates app hits 20 million downloads As the race for “share of mobile” continues, Emirates marks a major milestone with 20 million downloads of its mobile app on the back of a strong mobile and digital strategy that has led to solid consumer uptake, particularly in Africa, GCC and Asia. Catering to its global customer base, the Emirates app is available in more languages than any other airline app in the world, with full features set in 19 languages including Arabic and Mandarin. Available on Apple Store, Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery, it is amongst the highest rated airline apps in the world. “Our Fly Better brand promise means that Emirates aims to provide the best possible customer experience – not only onboard and on the ground, but also online, where the vast majority of our customers increasingly want to interact with us at every stage of their journey,” said Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications,

Marketing and Brand. “We’ve seen a huge uptake of our mobile and online services, particularly in developing markets where consumers have really embraced a mobile-first lifestyle.” Innovative features and functions launched on the Emirates app in the past 18 months include the ability to create a personalised ice playlist and to synchronise it with the airline’s inflight entertainment system onboard; the ability to preview the seat and the overall onboard product before travelling via 3D cabin models; the ability to bid on tickets for global sports and cultural events sponsored by the airline using Emirates Skywards Miles; and the ability to navigate through Emirates Terminal 3 in Dubai. Emirates has also prioritised the improvement of site speed, with now among the fastest airline websites globally, particularly when accessed via a mobile device on 3G and 4G.

Emirates Skywards and Namshi have partnered to offer the online fashion retailer’s customers the power to earn Skywards Miles with every purchase. Namshi is the first fashion e-commerce player to launch a loyalty partnership in the Middle East with Emirates Skywards. With this partnership, applicable across all brands and products available on Namshi, shoppers can earn 1 Skywards Mile for every US$1 spent on the Namshi website or app. All Emirates Skywards tiers are eligible and there is no minimum spend required to earn Skywards Miles, which can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards including flights, upgrades, hotel stays, tours, shopping, and event tickets. Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Divisional Senior Vice President Emirates Skywards said: “We welcome Namshi as the first online fashion retail partner to join the Emirates Skywards programme, offering members more opportunities to earn Skywards Miles on their everyday lifestyle spend and allowing them to reach flight rewards much faster.” Download the Namshi app to start shopping and earning Skywards Miles. Download the Skywards Everyday app to earn Skywards Miles anytime, every day at more than 1,000 retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE.


Emirates SkyCargo and Accuity optimise trade compliance Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has signed a multi-year deal with Accuity, the leading global provider of financial crime compliance, payments and Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions. The partnership will help automate and streamline the cargo division’s regulatory compliance screening operations, increase efficiency and improve the speed of service to its customers. Emirates SkyCargo has implemented Firco Trade Compliance, an award-winning solution from Accuity that was originally developed to enable banks to detect sanctions risks. Cargo operators are responsible for conducting due diligence on the parties and items involved in every shipment they facilitate. This includes verifying the legitimacy of the sender and recipient, checking for dual-use or controlled goods (for example, those that could have a military purpose), and ensuring the shipment is not going to or coming from a prohibited location. Emirates SkyCargo will now be able to screen shipment documentation against a variety of regulatory lists, such as the OFAC sanctions list and the EU dual and controlled goods list.

Firco Trade Compliance also allows the analysis of bespoke datasets so, for example, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to screen goods against an endangered wildlife list, all within the same system. “Emirates SkyCargo is firmly committed to the prevention of illegal wildlife trafficking and with the functionality of the Firco Trade Compliance system, we will now also be able to more effectively identify any wilful mis-declaration of wildlife goods that are shipped illegally,” commented Henrik Ambak, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Cargo Operations Worldwide.

Water project makes a difference to 350 students Supported by donations from Emirates’ customers, 10 Engineers without Borders volunteers from Carroll College in Montana, US, were flown to Uganda to install a solarpowered water pump and two 10,000-litre water storage tanks, and lay a network of underground pipes connected to spigots – providing clean water to key locations for the school of 350 students. The engineers also tested water quality at three other previously rehabilitated boreholes in nearby villages, to ensure their continued safety, and met with members of the communities to check on their satisfaction with the project. “Before the borehole, every day we would have to pick two students and ask them to go and collect water,” says Ivan Kyambadde, a teacher at the Holy Trinity School in Kawango, Uganda. Now, thanks in part to the Emirates Airline Foundation, his students don’t have to miss a day of school.

Learn more about the foundation in the newsletter in your seat pocket. You can donate in any currency using the envelope in the newsletter, or with credit or debit cards – just ask your cabin crew. Visit us online at


Health & Safety

Emirates has taken extra steps that go above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements to ensure its customers’ health and comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic

99.97% Viruses filtered out onboard

36 Trained cleaners disinfect an A380 within one hour

18 Trained cleaners disinfect a Boeing 777 within one hour

248 aircraft Go through a disinfectant process every 24 hours

6-8 hours Disinfectant process in a suspected COVID-19 case


CLEANING PROCESS Emirates conducts a thorough wipe down of all surfaces using seven types of cleaning cloths depending on the area – from windows, tray tables, seatback screens, armrests, seats, in-seat controls, panels, air vents and overhead lockers in the cabin, to toilets, galleys and crew rest areas. All of this is done in addition to other normal procedures, such as changing head rest covers on all seats, replacement of reading materials, vacuuming, and more.

Enhanced disinfectants In line with expert medical findings that the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted by touch, Emirates has placed its greatest focus on surface cleaning. The airline uses an approved, eco-friendly chemical that is proven to kill viruses and germs, and leaves a long-lasting protective coating against new contamination of viruses, bacteria and fungi on surfaces.


For the latest information on flight schedules and waivers, visit

The safety and well-being of customers and employees is the topmost priority at Emirates. Since January, the airline has activated its contingency response team to monitor daily developments on the COVID-19 outbreak, maintain contact with all relevant health and regulatory authorities, and ensure the airline’s response is current and appropriate. Scan the QR code to watch the video on Emirates’ enhanced aircraft cleaning process.


The Seychelles


A pristine, lush archipelago that has been mesmerising travellers for centuries As paradise goes, the Seychelles takes some beating. Over one hundred islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean, this immaculate hideaway off the east coast of Africa has everything a seeker of perfection could ever hope for. White sandy beaches, giant granite cliffs, secluded coves and lush green hills epitomise the archipelago. Throw in oceanside luxury, fabled exclusivity and rare animals such as the giant Aldabra tortoise, and you have the perfect ingredients for a blissful island getaway. Such remote beauty comes with a price tag, of course, but in recent years more affordable options have become available in what is one of Africa’s wealthiest nations. Also one of the continent’s youngest countries, having first been settled by the French in 1770, it includes two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Praslin’s Vallée de Mai and Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll. Other highlights include the mountain rainforests of the Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches such as Beau Vallon. Any visitor’s experience of the Seychelles will begin in Mahé, the country’s largest island and the location of its capital, Victoria. From there, you can either choose to stay at one of the island’s numerous resorts, or head out into the deep blue yonder. Both La Digue and Praslin are a short boat trip away, while Silhouette Island is also within easy reach. Either way, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.




Located on La Digue, this beachfront restaurant serves up some of the finest food in the Seychelles. Don’t be put off by its shack-like appearance, this is a seriously good joint serving a mixture of Cajan and Creole cuisine. Don’t forget to try the freshly made local juices, too.

A Mahé institution, Marie Antoinette has been serving the same Seychellois comfort food for almost 50 years. That means culinary delights such as fish stew, chicken curry, battered parrot fish and aubergine fritters. Overlooking the capital of Victoria, you couldn’t ask for a better setting.



If the Seychelles has always seemed out of reach from a fiscal perspective, the Carana will be music to your ears. A boutique hotel offering affordable luxury just north of Victoria, it has 40 spacious chalets with incredible sea views and dining options just a few metres from the water’s edge.

Frequently referenced as one of the 50 most luxurious hotels in the world, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers once-in-a-lifetime views of the Indian Ocean. Perched on a hillside in Mahé, the hotel’s private villas and residences overlook the bay of Petite Anse.



Located on Praslin, the palm forest of Vallée de Mai remains largely unchanged since prehistoric times. That means some of the last remaining ancient virgin Mascarene forest in the world and the largest population of endemic coco-de-mer – a unique double coconut – in the world. Rightfully, a World Heritage site.

No trip to the Seychelles would be complete without at least a day of diving and snorkelling in any of the islands’ crystal clear turquoise waters. Go to Mahé’s north coast for some of the best waters – where you can swim amongst shipwrecks, colourful parrot and butterfly fish, and a variety of reefs.

LE REPAIRE Located in a boutique beachfront hotel with the same name, Le Repaire’s reputation rests firmly on its menu of supremely well-executed Italian classics. Facing the sea and the hotel’s lush tropical garden, this La Digue favourite serves up treats such as risotto with tiger prawns, passion fruit and parmesan.

LE CHÂTEAU DE FEUILLES If you’re after privacy, try Le Château De Feuilles. With only nine rooms, this retreat is located on Praslin’s Pointe Cabris and sits amidst a stunning tropical garden. The private island of Grande Soeur, just a 20-minute boat ride away, is for the exclusive use of the hotel’s guests every weekend.

COUSIN ISLAND Described as one of the world’s greatest conservation success stories, Cousin Island is a 30- to 45-minute boat ride from Praslin and is home to some of the Seychelles’ rarest birds. With sunbirds, blue pigeons and noddies proving a big draw for twitchers, the nature reserve is closed on weekends and during public holidays.

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**Seasonal service



Emirates route

flydubai route


With 24 codeshare partners around the world (22 airlines and an air/rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air and Italy’s Trenitalia), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.

Visit for full details on our travel partners


Routes shown are as of time of going to press, and do not reflect temporary suspensions. For the latest information, please visit


**Seasonal service



Emirates route

AFRICA flydubai route




**Seasonal service

Routes shown are as of time of going to press, and do not reflect temporary suspensions. For the latest information, please visit


**Seasonal service




Freighter destinations


Be smart!

Use UAE Smart Gates at Dubai International airport Citizens of the countries listed on the right and UAE residents can speed through Dubai International by using UAE Smart Gates. If you hold a machinereadable passport, an E-Gate card or Emirates ID card you

can check in and out of the airport within seconds. Just look out for signs that will direct you to the many UAE Smart Gates found on either side of the Immigration Hall at Dubai International Airport.


*All customers should be registered to use the UAE Smart Gates













Czech Republic







Hong Kong SAR














New Zealand






San Marino





South Korea




United Kingdom


Vatican City



Have your machine-readable passport, E-Gate card or Emirates ID card ready to be scanned.


Go through the open gate and place your passport photo page on the scanner. If you are a UAE resident, place your E-Gate card or Emirates ID card into the card slot.


Stand on the blue footprint guide on the floor, face the camera straight-on and stand still for your iris scan. When finished, the next set of gates opens.


To register for Smart Gate access, just spend a few moments having your details validated by an immigration officer and that’s it. Every time you fly to Dubai in future, you will be out of the airport and on your way just minutes after you have landed.


Remember to bring your Emirates ID card next time you’re travelling through DXB – you’ll be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds, without paying and without registering. Valid at all Smart Gates, located in Arrivals and Departures, across all three terminals at DXB. Smart Gates availability is subject to change. For the latest information please contact Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

*UK citizens only (UK overseas citizens still require a visa)

UAE SMART GATES CAN BE USED BY: • Machine-readable passports from the above countries • E-Gate cards • Emirates ID cards


Emirates Fleet

Our fleet of 270 aircraft includes 259 passenger aircraft and 11 freighters Visual of A380 Orange livery

AIRBUS A380-800 115 IN FLEET


All aircraft 30+ aircraft

up to 4,500+

Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. Visual for Boeing 777 Green livery L 72.7m x W 79.8m x H 24.1 m

BOEING 777-300ER 133 IN FLEET All aircraft 100+ aircraft up to 4,500+

A380-800 2008

Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m x H 18.5 m


Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

A 6 - E XX

BOEING 777-200LR 10 IN FLEET All aircraft

Live TV, news & sport

B777-200LR Up to 302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m x H 18.6 m


AIRBUS A319 B777-300ER 2005



Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m x H 12m

Fly up to 19 guests in utmost comfort in our customised Emirates Executive Private Jet.

* First Class and Business Class; **Available in all rows in Economy Class, and in all seats in First Class and Business Class





The Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre installs a number of eyecatching decals on Emirates’ aircraft. Here are just a few to look out for.

Range: 9,260km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m x H 18.6m




The most environmentally friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably sized cargo aircraft.

Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press. For more information:


GO SEE THIS NEW YORK 40.7561° N, 74.0035° W

Call it the high place phenomenon, or the allure of defying gravity: there’s just something about a vertiginous view that has an enduring allure. In New York, the highest observation deck in the Western hemisphere has just opened: The Edge, on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards skyscraper. Standing at 1,131 feet, with dizzying glass floors, it’s a bucket list item to save for the future.

AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, WHERE THE SKY SWIMS IN SEA BLUE t hi s i s l a nd s a nc t ua r y welcomes you with breeze a nd b i r d s o ng , c a nd l e l i t d i nne r s a nd i nf i ni t e v i e w s . J us t d a y d r e a m s a w a y f r o m t he b uz z o f t he c a p i t a l , y o u c a n l o s e y o ur s e l f i n t he p e a c e f ul l ux ur y o f y o ur o w n p e r f e c t uni v e r s e .


Zaya Nurai Island Resort #InAbuDhabi

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