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Valley of gold

Mallorca’s secret oasis

The world of caviar A connoisseur’s guide

Art Dubai

Shining a spotlight on the UAE’s artistic evolution


WALLIAMS A literary success story

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MARCH 2018

Jumeirah Magazine Jumeirah Corporate Office, Al Sufouh Rd, PO Box 73137, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 366 5000, Fax: +971 4 366 5001. Website: Jumeirah is a trading name of Jumeirah International LLC. A Limited Liability company. Registration Number 57869. Share Capital Dhs 300,000 fully paid up. Jumeirah International LLC its affiliates, parent companies and subsidiaries (“Jumeirah Group”) and the publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this publication for whatever reason, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of Jumeirah Group or of the publishers. Readers are advised to solicit advice before acting on the information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. Jumeirah Group and the publishers take no responsibilty for the goods and services advertised. All materials are protected by copyright. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form (Including photocopying or storage in any medium by electronic means) without the written permission of the copyright owner, except as may be permitted by applicable laws.


Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Managing Partner & Group Editor

lan Fairservice Editorial Director

Gina Johnson Senior Editorial Assistant

Cecilia D’Souza Senior Art Director

Olga Petroff Art Directors

Clarkwin Cruz, T Prasadan Contributors

Rachel Silvestri, Gareth Rees, Ann Marie McQueen, Iain Ackerman General Manager – Production

S Sunil Kumar Production Manager

R Murali Krishnan Production Supervisor

Venita Pinto


Chief Commercial Officer

Anthony Milne Publishing Director


Carlos Pedroza Group Sales Manager

Ziad Saleh

14 City watch Discover the exciting events, news and previews happening this month

For Jumeirah

Charlie Taylor, Claire Hill

Featured 20 All booked up Stepping into the world of escapism with children’s author David Walliams

Head Office: Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, PO Box 2331, Dubai UAE, Tel: +971 4 427 3000, E-mail:

26 A digital world Must-have gadgets to get you through the year before they fly off the shelves

Dubai Media City: Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE, Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, E-mail: London: Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai


30 Pearl perfect Show off in some of the most exclusive pearl jewellery from Mikimoto


MARCH 2018


Lifestyle 38 Word on the street Literary figures tell of their experiences at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 42 Creative force Myrna Ayad, Art Dubai fair director, talks about the evolving art scene


46 The art of shopping Retail is about more than just shops – it’s becoming a lifestyle choice

Travel 54 Island paradise Luxury awaits at Bahrain’s first Jumeirah jewel – The Royal Saray Bahrain 58 Find your place Upscale Casual, a new kind of Jumeirah experience for the curious traveller 60 Valley of gold Travel to Mallorca for some awe-inspiring views, luxurious stay and signature fruit 68 The black stuff Why is caviar so popular? Jumeirah digs deep into the history of black gold 76 Wakeboarding into the blue Extreme athletes take a giant leap into Madinat Jumeirah’s waterways 80 Featured spaces Ember Bar and Lounge, Jumeirah Frankfurt


82 The high life Cu-ba, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai



Key dates for your diary


Good craic March 15 DXBLaughs, the promoter responsible for bringing comedy stars such as John Bishop, Kevin Bridges, Jack Dee, Adam Hills, Eddie Izzard, Michael McIntyre, Al Murray and Josh Widdicombe to the UAE, brings Irish comedian Dara O'Briain to town for St Patrick’s Day weekend. The gig at Dubai World Trade Centre is part of O’Briain’s Voice Of Reason tour and will be his second performance in the UAE. O’Briain is one of the UK’s best-know comedians. Winner of the Chortle award for best headline act in both 2003 and 2004, boasting the biggest-selling solo comedy show of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005 and placing 16 on Channel 4’s list of the 100 greatest stand-ups in 2010, the comedian is also a television personality and has hosted shows such as Have I Got News For You, Mock You’re Fired!


Dara O’Briain – Voice of Reason takes place at

March 15 to 17

The Week, The Panel and The Apprentice:

Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai.

Dubai Fashion Week returns after a seven-year break. Following five successful editions held from 2006 to 2011, Dubai Fashion Week was temporarily on hold but is now back and more glamorous than ever. Now under the patronage of Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, the three-day event held features runway shows and a trade show. Dubai Fashion Week, Dubai.

Yoga Festival March 16 to 17 Against the picturesque backdrop of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, XYoga Dubai will be gathering over 10,000 participants of all ages and fitness levels alongside the 99-year old Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga instructor. The festival will

Soul Lady March 16


feature more than 60 yoga sessions

Virtual Van Gogh

free of charge, offering therapeutic,

March 11 to 23

clinical and other popular yoga styles.

Van Gogh Alive allows audiences to experience

Healthy food stalls, yoga

the work of Vincent Van Gogh like never

Mica Paris performs at Dubai Opera for

equipment, entertainment, and

before. The exhibition in Dubai Design District

one night only. The British soul singer will

much more will also be available

(d3) uses motion graphics, surround sound

perform the songs of legendary vocalist Ella

on site. So grab your yoga mat

and 40 high-definition projectors to create a

Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song and one of

and head down.

multi-sensory experience celebrating the work

the greatest jazz singers of the 20th century.

XYoga sessions begin from

of the celebrated Dutch painter.

Mica Paris Sings Ella Fitzgerald, Dubai

8am at Kite Beach, Dubai.

Van Gogh Alive, d3, Dubai.

Opera, Dubai.

OUTDOOR CINEMA March 15 to 24 Yas Island presents Yas Movies in the Park, two weekends of free outdoor cinema in South Gateway Park. Yas Movies in the Park promises movies in Arabic, Indian and English. Pixar Animation Studios’ contemporary children’s classic Finding Nemo and The Fast and The Furious, the first film in one of the highest-grossing action series of all time, will be screened on family movie night on March 15, followed by classic 1970s musical romantic comedy Grease on back to the '50s night on March 16 and then Bollywood romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge on Bollywood night on March 17. The second family movie night on March 22 will feature screenings of The Lion King and Jurassic Park, followed by a second back to the '50s night screening of Grease on March 23, before the event closes with viewers' choice night on March 24. Food and drink will be available throughout Yas Movies in the Park, with special Greasethemed activities on both back to the '50s nights. Yas Movies in the Park takes place from March 15 to 17 and March 22 to 24 in South Gateway Park, Abu Dhabi.

Race Day March 31 Meydan Racecourse hosts the Dubai World Cup, the highlight of the year for the region’s horse racing enthusiasts. Known as "the world’s richest horse race", due to the $30 million prize money on offer, the Dubai World Cup is also one of the most anticipated events on the Dubai social calendar. Dubai World Cup, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai.

Hoop Dreams

District Art Show

March 30 and 31

March 17 to 26

Abu Dhabi’s Du forum. With a star-studded roster of former members, including basketball

The ninth edition of the annual Sikka Art Fair takes place in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice chairwoman of the board of directors' office in Dubai Culture, the fair is part of the

The world’s most famous exhibition basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, perform in hall of fame stars such as Wilt Chamberlain and Connie Hawkins, the Globetrotters have been entertaining audience around the world with their unique combination of athleticism, theatre and basketball high jinks since the 1920s. Harlem Globetrotters, Du forum, Abu Dhabi.

Film Fest

fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, an annual

March 8 to 10

celebration of culture in Dubai that includes

NYU Abu Dhabi hosts the fourth edition

the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

of the annual sci-art extravaganza

(March 1 to 10) and Art Dubai (March 21 to 24),

Imagine Science Film Festival. The

showcasing the work of artists from the UAE

theme of this year’s festival, which

and the wider GCC region.

features a programme of short films, is

The 10-day event will feature exhibitions,

Hybrid Futures and includes a series of

installations, live music, film screenings,

talks by artists from countries including

poetry readings, painting, photography and

Kuwait, New Zealand and France.

sculpture, as well as a schedule of workshops.

Imagine Science Film Festival,

Sikka Art Fair takes place in Al Fahidi

Black Box, the Arts Centre,

Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai.

NYU Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi.



Boat Show Until June 17 The V&A’s Ocean Liners: Speed and Style exhibition celebrates the design and impact of some of the world’s great ocean liners, including the Titanic, the Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra. Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, V&A, London.

Child’s Play March 29 to April 7 The Royal Opera presents British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s operatic adaptation of fantasy British writer Neil Gaiman’s multiple award-winning children’s novella Coraline. The opera will be performed in the Barbican Theatre.

Class Act Until April 7 Academy award-winning British actor Jeremy Irons returns to the stage for the first time in more than a decade to star in Eugene O’Neil’s Pulitzer prize-winning play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Directed by Olivier award-winning director Richard Eyre, the play will be performed in the Wyndham’s Theatre in the heart of the West End. Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Wyndham’s Theatre, London.

Performance Pioneer March 14 to August 5 Tate Modern presents the largest exhibition of the work of trailblazing American artist Joan Jonas. Originally a sculptor, Jonas went on to become a pioneer of performance and video art. The exhibition will show the artist’s best-known installations, such as Organic Honey, The Juniper Tree and Reanimation, alongside some of her most recent work. Joan Jonas, Tate Modern, London.



Japanese Art Until March 3 Leo Gallery presents Ryuta Suzuki – Reflections of the Layer. The exhibition explores the work of Japanese artist Ryuta Suzuki, which combines the techniques of screen printing and Japanese ukiyo-e (floating pictures) woodcut prints. Ryuta Suzuki – Reflections of the Layer, Leo Gallery, Shanghai.

Classic Opera Until March 8 Oper Frankfurt presents one of 19th century Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpieces, Rigoletto. The opera in three acts, first performed in 1851 in Venice, tells the tragic tale of the Duke of Mantua, his court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda. Rigoletto, Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurt.

Flemish Master Until May 25 Staedel Museum’s Rubens – The Power of Transformation exhibition explores the work of the 17th century Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. The exhibition features paintings,

Light Entertainment March 2

drawings, prints, sculptures and objets d’art by Rubens as well as some of the artist’s forerunners and contemporaries, including Titian, Tinoretto, Elsheimer, Giambologna,

The Lantern Festival, a tradition stretching back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, marks the

Goltzius, Rottenhammer and Van Tetrode.

last day of the Spring Festival and the first full moon in the Chinese calendar. The biggest

Rubens – The Power of Transformation,

lantern show is held in Yuyuan Garden.

Staedel Museum, Frankfurt.

Lantern Festival, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai.





FEATURED 20 All booked up

David Walliams will be thrilling his young fans at Dubai's literature festival

26 A digital world

Get the lowdown on the high-end tech gadgets you'll need this year

30 Pearl perfect

Fotograf Sigurd Hoeyen

Delicate, subtle and utterly gorgeous pearl jewellery from Mikimoto

Children's author David Walliams at a book signing



ALL BOOKED UP Between his wildly popular writing and his regular acting and presenting gigs, David Walliams is proving to be one of the UK’s foremost talents. But how did a risque comedian end up as one of the most popular children’s authors of all time? Jumeirah puts on some reading glasses to find out

Words: Rachel Silvestri


urreal, suggestive and at times close to the bone, David Walliams and comedy partner Matt Lucas had a nation guffawing when, in 2003, they launched the sketch show Little Britain. The series had sides splitting all over the UK, spawning numerous catchphrases and making stars of the duo behind the hilarious – and at times, hilariously repulsive – caricatures. It was unmissable TV – and quite rightly aired at night, after impressionable children were safely tucked in bed. It would have been unthinkable back then for Walliams to go on to become not just one of UK television’s best-loved primetime stars with his role as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent but that he would also smash the children’s literary charts with his bestselling books. But it’s a transformation that he has made seemingly effortlessly. He is now the best-performing children’s author to emerge since the year 2000. With his books published in 46 languages and with more than 12.5 million copies sold worldwide, chances are that if you have a school-aged child, you’ll have heard a Walliams tale. Of his 18 children’s titles – 12 novels and six picture books – the latest is Bad Dad, another roaring success, topping the charts as the UK’s Christmas number one book. Walliams was the UK’s

top-selling author of 2017 – not just in children’s books but in all categories and set a new record as the first children’s author to spend 100 weeks at the top spot. With illustrations for his first two books by Quentin Blake – best known for his partnership with legendary author Roald Dahl – and latterly by the renowned artist Tony Ross, Walliams has certainly set himself up to sit alongside the greats of children’s publishing. “The book has to be 99 per cent finished before Tony Ross the illustrator comes in,” Walliams recently told the Radio Times magazine. “Occasionally I make notes for him if the illustration has to be a certain way to tell the story but otherwise, I just let him get on with it. Quentin Blake recommended him. Quentin illustrated my first two books but then said: ‘I can’t keep up with the pace you’re doing them. I think you’ll like Tony.’ I didn’t want to suddenly have a different aesthetic because it would have been disorientating for kids but Tony’s work is in the same universe as Quentin’s.” And with TV adaptations of his bestsellers now rife, the Walliams wit is reaching a whole new audience too. But as such a prolific writer – he has produced 18 titles in less than 10 years – how does he keep up the momentum and the quality?


David Walliams has become one of the bestselling children's authors of all time

“I love it,” Walliams said on the BBC’s The One Show last year. “I’m always having ideas for books. It’s always just [a case of] do I have the time to write them? I’m working on my new books at the moment and I love it. “I bring out a new book and on that day I get a tweet from a kid who says: ‘Just finished your book, when’s the new one coming out?’ And I think: ‘I’d better write another one.’” he laughs. “But it’s a real thrill. It’s something I never thought would happen in my career. “You trust your instincts more when you’ve had a little bit of success with something. I’ve realised that you can take the story anywhere. The only limit is your imagination and that was something I had to learn really because I was used to writing for television, where you turn up and they say: ‘Oh we can’t do that, it’s too expensive’ and we can’t do this, that or the other. So I’ve started making the books a little bit more epic.” As the father of a young son (he shares custody of four-year-old Alfie with ex-wife Lara Stone) and a dedicated uncle to his nephews, Walliams has plenty of life experience to put into his books. He has jokingly cited Britain’s Got Talent co-judge Simon Cowell as inspiration for his villains, while a particular BGT contestant was behind one of his most successful books, Ratburger. “As a children’s book writer, one of the most important things you need is an evil villain for your stories. So whenever I am creating a villain, I think ‘What would Simon do?’” Walliams told The Mirror. “Often the books come from real life. We also had this contestant on Britain’s Got Talent and he came on with greasy black hair, a wheeze and false teeth and his first line was: ‘I know what you are thinking. They have dug up Roy Orbison.’ He told us he was going to eat live cockroaches and true to his word, he did. He got buzzed off very quickly and it got me thinking, what else would he do? Would he turn rats into burgers? That is where my book Ratburger came from.” David’s literary achievements aren’t his only significant successes – he has made huge contributions to charity, swimming the 35 kilometres of the English Channel in aid of Sport Relief in 2006 before going on to swim the Strait of Gibraltar in 2008 and the length of the River Thames in 2011, raising more than $2.8 million with the Thames swim alone. In the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours, Walliams received an OBE for services to charity and the arts. He has appeared in numerous Hollywood films and TV dramas, as well as comedies and theatre work his books are what he is now most feted for.


The bestselling author with some of his fans



As a children’s book writer, one of the most important things you need is an evil villain for your stories. So whenever I am creating a villain I think: ‘What would Simon do?’

David Walliams is as much-loved for his children's books as his comedy career



David Walliams is inspired by the characters he meets

“The most bizarre thing that has happened to me is the success of the books. It has outstripped anything else I have done,” says Walliams. “I will know I have made it as a children’s author if someone comes up to me and says: ‘I used to read your books as a child and now I read them to my child.’ I have only been writing for 10 years so that has not happened yet. But I will know I have made it if it goes on another generation.” If his career continues at the current pace he has set, Walliams will undoubtedly be remembered for another generation – and the ones after that too. His unusual moniker is actually a stage name. With his birth name David Williams being fairly common, he ran into difficulty when trying to register it with Equity, the British actors’ union. Rather than come up with a fancy new handle – in what would have been typically creative fashion, considering the colourful names his characters carry – David simply swapped an I for an A and his now-famous name was born. David Walliams will appear at this year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The festival is marking its 10th anniversary and will run from March 1 to 10. See for more details Book a stay in one of Jumeirah's Dubai properties.




A DIGITAL WORLD From digital personal assistants to hyper-cool smartphones, wearable tech and voice recognition, advances in technology and design have opened up a new world of possibilities


Bang and Olufsen Beoplay M3


e have worked hard to get the very best of the premium materials used and the result is a sleek, hyper simple speaker with a precise shape,” says the award-winning Danish industrial designer Cecilie Manz. She is discussing the Beoplay M3, a “tight, compact and powerful” wireless speaker with Bang and Olufsen signature sound. The Beoplay M3, finely tuned by Bang and Olufsen acoustic engineers, is an example of the futuristic fusion of design and technology. Its expressive minimalism and exchangeable front covers, crafted materials and connected audio capability provide immersive sound and design for the modern age. As much as anything else, the Beoplay M3 epitomises the changing face of high-end personal tech – technology that is changing the way we live, work, think and communicate. What’s more, the twin marvels of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the most immersive technologies humanity has ever had at its disposal, are beginning to alter the way we perceive the world around us. Apple Watch Series 3

So what should we look out for in 2018?



With a fashionable form factor, a brilliant display and a broad range of features that allow the user to experience AR at work or play, the Vuzix Blade is the first pair of smart glasses that people would actually enjoy wearing—Paul Travers

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10

Wearables are where most people experience advances in technology firsthand. Of these, the Apple Watch Series 3 is arguably the best out there at present, with an enhanced heart rate monitor, built-in GPS and altimeter, plus the ability to receive emails and messages. It is, after all, primarily a smartwatch, with its own 4G and mobile signal and now the ability to make calls too. Then there are those smartwatches that place an emphasis on fitness. There’s the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music – a GPS running watch that also includes contactless payments, wrist-based heart rate monitor and, for the first time, music – and Fitbit’s first foray into smartwatch technology, the Ionic. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the Ionic builds on Fitbit’s health and fitness expertise with a new relative SpO2 sensor, making it possible to track deeper health insights like sleep apnoea in the future. It also has industry-leading GPS tracking, on-device dynamic workouts, improved heart rate tracking and water resistance up to 50 metres. Taking wearable tech that one step further, however, are the Vuzix Blade AR smartglasses. Able to display notifications, mapping directions, restaurant menus, weather information and other alerts, the glasses overlay information onto the real world using augmented reality technology. “What differentiates the Vuzix Blade from all existing or proposed AR smartglasses and mixed reality, head-mounted computers is that it’s built for today’s user,” says Paul Travers, president and chief executive of Vuzix. “With a fashionable form factor, a brilliant display and a broad range of features that allow the user to experience AR at work or play, the Vuzix Blade is the first pair of smartglasses that people would actually enjoy wearing.” Such wearables can make smartphones appear dated but the iPhone X is anything but. A radical departure from anything that has come before, the iPhone X includes face recognition technology and can respond to a tap, your voice and even a glance. Expensive, but one of the fastest and most powerful devices money can buy. Rumours of an iPhone X Plus rolling out later this year persist.

Two other trailblazing global brands – Huawei and Porsche Design – have joined forces to launch the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10, a luxury phone with high performance driven by artificial intelligence. With a premium diamond black look, the limited edition model features the Kirin 970, the world’s first smartphone chipset with a dedicated neural network processing unit. It also offers the beauty of a Leica dual camera. “The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 is built for luxury aficionados, purveyors of style and the creme de la creme of society, who want to experience the joy of unmatched speed, unsurpassed performance and unrivalled design,” says Gene Jiao, president of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East and Africa. And then there are those household gadgets that are combined with a design aesthetic to die for that help make life that bit easier – gadgets such as the Olie smart lamp, which is able to respond to commands via Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant and doubles up as a wireless charging station for your smartphone. While you’re giving the Olie smart lamp instructions via Alexa, why not sit back and enjoy the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones. With a leather headband and elegantly sculpted ear cups on adjustable stainlesssteel rails, they’re not only noise-cancelling but do so without compromising on sound quality.




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LIFESTYLE 38 Word on the street

Literary figures on their experiences at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

42 Creative force

Myrna Ayad, fair director of Art Dubai describes the evolving artistic scene

46 The art of shopping

Retail is about more than just shops – now it involves a lifestyle


Words: Gareth Rees. Images: Getty and supplied

Since its inception a decade ago, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai has made it a priority to support homegrown talent. We spoke to director Isobel Abulhoul, Emirati poet Afra Atiq and science fiction writer Noura Al Noman about the growth of the UAE literary scene




Isobel Abulhoul



I like to think that I didn't choose poetry – poetry chose me. There was no moment in time when I thought to myself, I want to become a poet. I suppose in a sense, I've always been a poet. Inspiration is everywhere. It can be anything from seeing a painting to having a conversation with a friend. My inspiration comes from so many different places. It is driven by the need to tell our stories in our own authentic voice. If we don't tell our stories, someone else will come along and tell them for us – and it will not be accurate or authentic. The UAE has a longstanding and proud history of poetry. I am blessed to be carrying on that beautiful legacy. It is not difficult, as an Emirati woman, to become a poet. The role of the poet has always been one of significance in the UAE. Poetry is a celebrated art form. It is part of our culture and the UAE is a country where women are encouraged to pursue and excel in all fields. Our leadership, with their vision, wisdom and support, are pillars of this success. Women are in prominent roles across all sectors.


Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

It took two or three years for people to get the idea of a literary festival, which is focused on writers and their works. But anyone who is a writer or an aspiring writer is by their very nature also a reader. So from the very start, [local writers] embraced and supported the festival. We have done our best, increasingly year on year, to make sure that they are centre stage, that we give them a platform and we take particular pride in the growth in Emirati writers appearing at the festival, from six in the first year to 41 last year. I’m sure we will have a similar number this year. Emirati poet and filmmaker Nujoom Alghanem, who attended the first festival and her husband Khalid Albudoor, also a poet, who attended in 2010, will be back again this year. The local literary scene has certainly been enhanced by the literary festival and [especially] by the cross-pollination with authors from around the world. We also have publishers attending because to become a published writer, you do need to shake hands with the publishing industry. There has definitely been an increase in the number of Emirati writers in general. If we were holding the Olympics here, you would see a huge burst of people taking up different sports. Having a focus on literature and bringing in some of the best writers from around the world, these showcase names, makes everyone think: 'Maybe I could do that.' The other wonderful thing is that we have a huge programme for young people. We have competitions for students, short story writing, poetry writing, the Readers’ Cup, a reading competition for schools and Poetry for All, a poetry recital competition. We are hoping we will see some of these young people returning as adult writers in good time. We run creative writing workshops in both Arabic and English for travel writing, non-fiction writing and more, which are incredibly popular. Nujoom and Khalid have appeared at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre and Berlin International Literature Festival. Some of our children’s writers have also been at the Berlin International Literature Nxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx Festival andxxxxxxxxx festivals in other parts of the world. I would like to see more xzxxxxxx xxxxxxxx ofxxxxxxxxxxxxxx that happening.xxxxxxxx


The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has given me and all the other Emirati writers and artists who are part of it a platform to take our work out into the world. The festival is unique in the sense that it is a meeting place and it allows me the opportunity to interact with writers from across the globe, many of whom provide guidance and spark ideas. Through the education programme I have been able to interact with school age children and bring poetry into classrooms. I am grateful to the festival for its unwavering support, friendship, love and commitment to providing literary opportunities to our community. The Afra Atiq

LITERATURE: FESTIVAL Emirati literary scene is constantly evolving and I am happy to have witnessed it grow in the way that it has over the years. The festival is an integral part of that growth. I could not have asked for a better debut at the festival last year. It was a surreal experience to be part of the festival and to be among the best writers and poets in the world sharing my words. It was a rush of all the best feelings and I have only happy memories of that experience. The festival should just keep doing what it does, keep growing, expanding, keep giving a platform to new voices and ensure that the love of literature, poetry and words endures. My work is mainly in English but I do also write in Arabic. It is incredibly important to reach an audience beyond the Emirati community. Art is powerful. Poetry changes perceptions and creates conversations. It is in those conversations that stereotypes are broken and mindsets shift. I think poetry is for everyone; it is not limited to a single community. The festival has done a great job of taking Emirati poetry to the global stage so more people become familiar with Emirati poetry. I mentor Emirati women writers through Untitled Chapters [an organisation for Emirati women writers] because I feel a deep sense of responsibility to my community. I give back to that community through mentorships. It is important to me to nurture and encourage these writers. Noura Al Noman


Children’s writer and young adult science author

I started writing at the age of 45. I never imagined myself becoming a writer. I was not convinced I had the talent but I decided to start writing children’s stories when I couldn’t find many Arabic stories suitable for children of my daughters’ ages – they adored English language stories, like most of the younger generation in the region. Emirati women were writing stories before the declaration of the union. I don’t think there has ever been anyone who objected to this or prevented women from writing. I consider books to be the saviour of upcoming generations because they encourage children to explore different cultures and help them adapt. Reading also teaches them to be sympathetic to other cultures and to respect the decisions and lifestyles of others. I first participated in the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in 2011. I received an invitation from the festival to read my children’s book Qutta Qutna to a group of children. I wrote to Isobel Abulhoul to tell her that I

had just completed the first draft of a science fiction novel that I anticipated would be the first of its kind in the UAE. I asked her if we could discuss it further. A few weeks later, Isobel informed me that I had been selected to participate in a panel discussion with three famous young British writers. I participated in this panel discussion despite the fact that my novel had not been published at that stage. This was the most wonderful moment in my literary life. The other wonderful thing about the festival is that it includes participants’ biographies on the website so visitors from around the world have the chance to learn more about us before we actually meet. The festival also has a dedicated green room, where we have the chance to rest while waiting for the next session and discuss literature topics with writers of different nationalities. The team organising the festival contributes to shaping a diverse literary community in the UAE. It has managed to transform us into one family. Despite the fact our novels come in different languages, we still communicate with each other during the festival and share our passion for literature.

If you are in Dubai for the festival, stay in one of Jumeirah’s luxurious properties.


CREATIVE FORCE Myrna Ayad, fair director of Art Dubai, talks about witnessing the UAE’s emergence as the cultural capital of the Middle East and how she sees the region’s biggest art fair, now in its 12th edition, evolving

Born In



Claudia Wieser installation from Passing Leap

Art Dubai director Myrna Ayad

Words: Gareth Rees

What inspired your love of art? I grew up in a family that prized the arts. Growing up in Dubai, I was witness to the nascent art scene, when a handful of ambitious and passionate gallerists staged exhibitions in the boardrooms of hotels and brought in young, exciting artists from all over the world – who are now household names – and showed their work. I saw this develop and I got excited. Living here afforded me access to other cultures. I grew up with Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, Palestinians, Indians, Pakistanis – I had access to all these cultures. That access brought knowledge and appreciation of these cultures. It all became familiar to me. This year we have 105 galleries from 49 countries coming to Art Dubai. It acts as a mirror to the UAE. You were an art writer for 15 years before you became fair director of Art Dubai. The art scene must have changed a lot. The art scene then and now? Oh my goodness. It is totally incomparable. The oldest gallery in Dubai is Green Art Gallery, which opened in a villa in Jumeirah in 1995. The founder, Mayla Atassi, who sadly passed away in 2010, was showing Arab Modernism. Then the Courtyard Gallery came along in 2000 with a show featuring work by [masters such as] Renoir and Rembrandt. The exhibition was opened by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Jennifer Ipekel, Raymond

Al Maktoum, who was then Crown Prince and is now Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. For us, this was a massive deal. Slowly things started to change. It was largely led by the diaspora – a handful of determined cultural enthusiasts who ended up opening galleries. Art Dubai held its first edition in 2007. Then Christie’s opened up an office here.Things were happening. It’s sad; in the past we would say the cultural capitals of the Middle East were Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo and maybe Damascus to a certain degree but no more. Now it is the Gulf, specifically the UAE. Today we are a country with three cities that are culturally engaged in their own ways. Dubai is the marketplace: the galleries are here, the auction houses are here, the art fair is here. Sharjah has Sharjah Art Foundation and the Biennial and Abu Dhabi is home to the museums. Each city with its own distinct cultural position but all working harmoniously together . You could visit the three cities in one day if you wanted to. You took over the role of fair director of Art Dubai from Antonia Carver last year. What did you think of the fair you inherited? I had the privilege of watching the UAE art scene develop. I covered every edition of Art Dubai as a writer before I took over the role of fair director. Art Dubai began in 2007 as a 40-gallery fair with an attendance of 8,000,


Rasheed Araeen's Rainbow On The Ground

and the last edition brought together 94 galleries from 43 countries and welcomed 27,000 visitors. Art Dubai isn't just an art fair. It has become a platform, a nucleus, the flame all the moths are attracted to; engaged with the art community, locally and internationally, it is the pre-eminent platform for people to discover the best there is in terms of art from the Middle East, North Africa and south Asia. The diversity is unparalleled and incomparable to any other art fair in the world. How has the situation for UAE artists improved since 2007? Emirati or UAE-based artists definitely have greater prospects. The local art scene has gone through a radical transformation. There are more avenues for exposure and learning.There is significantly more awareness [internationally]. We had the UAE Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Then in 2013 it was announced it was going to be a permanent pavilion. The Sharjah Biennial has become one of the most important biennials in the world. There’s Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Saadiyat Island project in Abu Dhabi and, of course, Art Dubai. We are out there. We have an artistic director, Pablo del Val, based in London, who covers Europe. I focus on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. I travel frequently to these territories. It’s important for us to continue to meet collectors and gallerists and curators and engage with them. What can visitors to this year's Art Dubai expect? We have a new initiative called Residents. We are welcoming 11 artists from


around the world to complete a residency in the UAE for four to eight weeks and the work produced during this time will be exhibited at the fair. We’ve also got another incarnation of [interactive installation] The Room with Khaleeji artist collective GCC taking over and we have another incarnation of Art Dubai Modern symposium that was initiated last year. This year is our largest edition of Art Dubai Modern. The theme for this year’s Global Art Forum, I Am Not A Robot, is automation. These are not all new things but they are new iterations. We want to continues to be a fair that engages with the region. It is not about us becoming a bigger fair, it's about us becoming a better fair – a fair that is very much a place of discovery. What are your long-term aims for Art Dubai? I spent a lot of my first year listening and observing. That was extremely important for me. I had a great time. I have to give credit to the Art Dubai team; our cultural army is amazing and there’s an incredible team spirit. One edition is a learning curve but you don’t learn the ropes with one edition, you continue learning. I hold the UAE in high esteem. It’s a place that’s very dear to my heart, not just because it’s home but also because its given me and many others such great opportunities. It's given us a lot. I like the idea of giving back. I feel that in today’s world there is no better way to give back than to speak with art and culture. It’s a great honour for me to be part of the story. I want to continue to make sure this place stays on the art and culture map. Art Dubai runs from March 21 to 24 in Madinat Jumeirah.


Viktor Ekpuk, Sante Fe Suite

Yasuaki Onishi, Reverse of Volume

Art by Saeid El Adawy

Poonam Jain, Chanting

Art by Faris Alosaimi



Words: Polly Phillips. Images: Getty

How elaborate multi-million dollar design and innovative experiences are transforming the way we shop



Interior of the main hall of the new Oculus, the World Trade Centre shopping and transport hub



HE TRADITIONAL shopping mall is dying. Being able to buy anything from designer clothes to diapers online, anytime, means that shoppers across the globe are abandoning shopping centres, leaving them full of nothing but empty units and unutilised retail space. But while malls all over Europe, Asia and America are being ripped down or requisitioned (of the 1,100 shopping centres currently open in America, more than a quarter are at risk of closing within the next five years), Dubai, already home to world-famous shopping emporiums like the Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall, seems to have developed a winning formula of extra incentives for shoppers to pound the aisles that allows its malls to not just survive but to thrive as well. While Dubai Mall offers one of the world’s largest collections of shops (it has a floor space of 5.9 million square feet), it’s not the mall’s 1,200-plus retail units that make it the most-visited mall. What makes it popular is its ice rink, aquarium and the ability to ascend to the top of the world’s highest building that the shopping experience comes with. Further along the Sheikh Zayed Road, the Mall of the Emirates houses the only indoor black diamond ski slope in the world as well as its own colony of king penguins while the 2020 flagship development Meydan One will offer consumers a 5m metre squared extravaganza with a huge indoor sports facility, a one-kilometre ski slope and the world’s largest dancing fountains. All of these layered offerings combine to make these malls destinations in their own right so that for consumers, the goal becomes extending the time they spend in the mall, not reducing it. “Time in a location directly impacts conversion rate,” says property consultant Jonathan Schley, who represents luxury brands like Byredo and JW Anderson. To the website Business of Fashion, he said: “If you can keep people in the mall for four hours with dinner followed by drinks, versus 30 minutes or an hour just shopping, that’s the correct way forward for malls.”

Exterior of Iluma shopping and cinema complex in Singapore by Woha


Green Planet, Dubai


Dubai Mall

Kidzania, Dubai Mall


Mall of the Emirates, Dubai

Converting shopping malls into entertainment complexes through food courts and film is nothing new. Shopping centres have been home to first dates and family dinners since the very first mall opened in Minnesota in 1956. But in the era of Netflix and Deliveroo, the malls that are succeeding are extending their offerings, innovating with multi-sensory experiences aimed at every age and demographic, all with a view to extending visitor time. From toddlers to teenagers, appealing to family is key when it comes to encouraging consumers to spend time and money in a mall. The comprehensive Kidzania in Dubai Mall, which Dubai-based parenting website calls “a brilliant all-day affair”, recreates an entire city from a child’s point of view. Offering a drop-off service for children over 1.2 metres tall, the centre allows children to participate in one of the 80 careers on offer, earning a wage in its own currency, which they can then spend in the centre. One reviewer noted Dubai Mall was particularly effective at capturing the teen vote by offering an all-round digital experience and lots of opportunities for content creation and social media interaction.


By capturing both ends of the children’s market (Sassymama’s reviewer spent seven hours in the ‘edutainment’ centre), the mall enhances the experience for the entire family, which translates into more time and money spent within it. Away from longer-established centres, newer shopping developments are experiencing success by shoring up their offerings with sophisticated architectural features and a focus on residential units. In addition to the raft of restaurants, shops, cinema, children’s softplay centre and indoor eco system, the Green Planet in City Walk, Dubai, has 34 five and six-storey residential buildings, all developed as “a city within a city, comprising living, shopping, entertainment, hospitality and wellness options in one integrated space”, as developer Meraas puts it. Meanwhile, some of the first residents have already moved into the finished clusters at Meydan One. When completed, the complex will hold 80,000 people. This reimagining of malls as urban spaces with extensive facilities and features to attract residential tenants alongside retail has been championed by


Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, UK

consultancy firm McKinsey, which has long predicted a rise in the proportion of mall space dedicated to residential over retail as the natural response to changing consumer needs. “It is critical that malls be about more than stores,” the company stated in its 2014 retail report. “Mixed-use developments offer consumers an attractive, integrated community in which to live, work and shop. They also serve to generate additional traffic for the malls while maximising returns on invested capital. [But] these expanded public spaces need to be planned and programmed over the year much like an exhibition.” Which brings us to the final tool in the mall developer’s armoury – making buildings so beautiful they become destinations in their own right. Sustainable materials, natural greenery, outside space and clever use of natural light internally all feature highly on a developer’s list of techniques for making shoppers linger for longer. Domed roofs like those seen at Cabot Circus in Bristol in the UK and the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai are good examples of centres using natural light effectively

while Kanyon shopping centre in Istanbul has become known for the sustainable green spaces within it. Architecturally, the arresting designs of malls like Iluma in Singapore, with its curved, crystal-mesh exterior and high-tech illuminations, or Emporia in Sweden with its huge central golden chasm, draw crowds. But perhaps the best example of the impact architecture and ambience can have on our shopping habits is the Oculus building at the tragic site of the former World Trade Centre in New York. The groundbreaking design is formed by a series of white steel ribs with glass in between, allowing the subterranean station and shopping centre to be drenched in natural light, while the exterior of the building is designed to look like the wings of a bird taking flight. Although the centre opened without fanfare in March 2016, already visitors are flocking to pay their respects and take in the breathtaking structure for hours at a time. Meanwhile, the retails units are slowly filling. Just as slowly but surely, our experience of shopping malls is evolving. To experience the best of Dubai’s innovative shopping offering, stay in the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah close to Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall.


TRAVEL 60 Valley of gold

Mallorca ticks all the right boxes for a scintillating vacation

68 The black stuff

We look at why caviar is so sought-after around the world

76 Wakeboarding into the blue XDubai athletes rediscover Madinat Jumeirah in the ultimate wakecation



ISLAND PARADISE The Kingdom of Bahrain, a tiny sundrenched island meaning ‘two seas’ is filled with authenticity and charm. Nordine El Yafi, General Manager at the newly opened Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain invites you to experience a world of modernity combined with traditional touches.


he Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands located on the Arabian Gulf and is mostly over-looked by Gulfseeking travellers, but you’ll find that it is an elegant and warm nation, which although doesn’t mirror the sprawling skylines of the UAE, has unparalleled authenticity and a homeliness that makes you instantly feel like you could live there beyond a relaxed weekend break. Over the years Bahrain has come a long way to fit on the cultural map of the region – there’s a growing music and food scene that, like the island’s boutique size, has a close-knit indie vibe to it. Well traipsed areas like the pedestrianized Adliya, where restaurants of all cuisines abound, is a fantastic nook of the country where the cultural and food scene come alive. From upmarket street food to jazz nights featuring homegrown talents, you’re not short of a lively atmosphere. Of course there's the Formula One Grand Prix, drawing the world’s attention to the prideful country, which year on year grows in prestige and popularity. As does the luxury hotel circuit – the newest property on the block is Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain, which is set to bring a new wave of luxury for the most discernible travellers.



What marks Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain apart from other five-star resorts? Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain will bring a new wave of understated luxury to Bahrain and the GCC market. Inspiration for its design was taken from traditional Bahraini summerhouses. The hotel blends history and modern culture with a chic dining, spa and pool scene. What are the key features and services guests should know about? Jumeirah Royal Saray features stunning rooms, beautiful summerhouses and royal residences, poolside cabanas and an upscale and trendy restaurant including a fantastic gin bar. There is also The Palm Lounge which boasts spectacular views and sumptuous snacks. The Al Hadiqa pool cabanas will offer guests fresh, blended cocktails in a Mediterranean ambience complete with ancient olive trees that adorn the pool. PLAY Restaurant & Lounge™, a Dubai concept, is also an exciting addition to the hotel. Indoor and outdoor meeting spaces will be able to accommodate over 400 people and the oasis of relaxation, the Talise spa will offer a wide range of signature spa treatments. How have you woven Bahrain’s culture into the hotel experience? This is a bespoke resort created with materials handpicked from all over the world. The design of guest rooms pays homage to the Bahraini pearl diving industry with nacres, silvers, shimmer and ocean blue tones. Across the resort, you’ll find patterns from traditional and royal houses including the Royal Bahraini House of Khalifa, which have also been an incredible source of inspiration in details across the resort. The design includes hand-blown glass chandeliers in every bathroom from the Czech Republic, five different types of Italian marble and gold and silver foiled walls by master French artisans.


The hotel’s private beach in the Seef area is a highly soughtafter location. What activities are on offer for guests to enjoy? The hotel is set in a wonferful location in the prestigious Seef district. It has a stunning coastline and offers luxury living and high-end shopping malls. It is also just a short drive to tourist landmarks including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Qal’at Al Bahrain – ancient harbour and capital of Dilmun, which dates back 4,000 years as well as Adliya, Bahrain’s buzzling art, food and nightlife district and Muharraq Island with its narrow, winding alleyways and traditional and royal houses. On our property guests can enjoy activities on and off the beach – from boat trips and watersport activities, jet skis, paddle boats, extreme sports, volley ball, yoga and fitness classes. Tell us about your favourite outlet and what makes it special? The Palm Lounge which overlooks the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Gulf and serves world class coffee by Colombian baristas and innovative French patisserie. Who are your key chefs and what experience do they bring to the brand? Executive Chef Mathew Goodlet and Chef David Dahlhaus worked together and created a special culinary experience, using locally sourced ingredients for a contemporary lifestyle. Pastry Chef Remi Martinazzo created exclusive French patisseries including the strawberry velvet cake with an Arabic twist. The cake is made with Arabic flavours using locally inspired halwa tahina. Are there any dishes or spa treatments at Jumeirah Royal Saray that are distinctly Bahraini influenced? We offer a Bahraini breakfast with homemade Arabic bread and spices from local Baharat market.



Al Seef

Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah



FIND YOUR PLACE The first hotel in Jumeirah’s new ‘Upscale Casual’ brand opens this Spring, providing opportunities for curious travellers to discover neighbourhoods slightly off the tourist trail


ubai is one of the world’s most visited cities. Visitors flock to experience the most popular sights and experiences such as Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Al Fahidi, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Ski Dubai, and the Emirate’s beaches and desert. But increasingly, visitors are also discovering the parts of the city that don’t make the ‘Top Ten Things To Do’ lists. For tourists, this creates a much more rounded holiday experience. For the city’s tourism leaders, it means more opportunity to attract new visitors, and to ensure they return again and again.

Jumeirah – The Greens. Located in The Greens neighbourhood and part of a completed wider mixed-use development called The Onyx, the hotel will feature 210 guest rooms, two restaurants, terrace dining around the pool area, conference and business facilities, a gym and spa treatment rooms. Get your travel essentials ready – hotel stays have seldom been this adventurous.

It’s precisely for those travellers – the demographic that wants to find their own version of a destination, beyond the pages of a travel guide – that Jumeirah has launched a new brand: Zabeel House by Jumeirah™. The brand is already gaining momentum with five management agreements already signed in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. With the exciting new brand, Jumeirah hopes to create an eclectic collection of hotels located at the heart of interesting and exciting neighbourhoods, at a moderate price point and with a touch of the instinctive Jumeirah hospitality.

Zabeel House by Jumeirah Al Seef

Zabeel House by Jumeirah Al Seef, the first property, will be located on the banks of Dubai Creek. For the uninitiated, Al Seef is the newest destination by Meraas, the creative genius behind The Beach, Box Park, City Walk and La Mer. The first hotel from Jumeirah’s ‘Upscale-Casual’ collection will feature design-led spaces, moderately priced comfy rooms with just enough added extras and, welcoming, but unobtusive staff. The property will feature 200 rooms, four restaurants and bars and a rooftop infinity pool with elevated views over Al Seef and Dubai Creek. Right next door will be the Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah – a hotel that offers much of the same amenities at a lower price point that doesn’t skimp on style or comfort. This property will feature 150 Pocket rooms with a map of Dubai on each bedroom ceiling and two street food inspired restaurants. It doesn’t stop with those two properties either. In January this year, a management agreement was signed with The Onyx for Development, a subsidiary of Ishraqah for Development Ltd to operate Zabeel House by

Zabeel House by Jumeirah Al Seef




Words: Rachel Silvestri

Sheltered from the rest of Mallorca by the spectacular Tramuntana mountains, Soller Valley is a littleknown, sun-dappled oasis of beauty and tradition and ripe for the picking – just like the juicy oranges that give the area its gilded nickname


The Soller Valley is an oasis of calm and beauty



A stunning view of the Tramuntana mountains from Jumeirah's hotel


ith a beautiful sunny climate and a relaxed, traditional pace of life, the Balearic island of Mallorca off the southern coast of Spain is a paradise for travellers seeking understated glamour in the most pleasing of surroundings. However, there were a few years when the average traveller might not have associated Mallorca with quiet, unspoilt luxury. After all, this sunshine isle became synonymous with package holidays during the 1960s, a seemingly unshakeable and completely unfair reputation that conjures images of uninspiring buffets and crowded poolside scuffles for sunloungers.


But just like the fabled Brigadoon, there was an enchanted valley that lay hidden, untouched by time, waiting for the madness to pass before – as if by magic – rising from the mist and showing the world that Mallorca does indeed have upscale luxe and a gorgeous native culture, if you only know where to look. However, it wasn’t witchcraft that kept the Valley of Soller hidden – it was the mighty Unesco-protected Tramuntana mountains that shielded this area from package tourism’s worst offences. And, unlike Brigadoon, it wasn’t the lifting of a mysterious curse that made it accessible to us mere mortals – it

A train runs through it: a scenic route cuts through the Tramuntana mountains

It was the construction of a tunnel in 1997 that connected little-known Soller to the rest of the world Soller oranges turn the region into a valley of gold

was the construction, in 1997, of a tunnel that would connect the region to Mallorca’s elegant capital, Palma. And so, little by little, Soller opened up to the rest of the world. Until this point, Soller’s only meaningful interaction with the outside world had been via a picturesque narrow-gauge wooden railway that transported the local produce – varieties of delicious, juicy oranges found nowhere else in the world – to Palma and then further afield. There was also a winding pass with 50 hairpin bends but any crossing of that would be more out of necessity than pleasure. Then there was trade by sea with France, which led to the exodus of Soller’s young men, by boat, across the Balearic Sea to seek their fortunes, before coming home to the island and constructing the magnificent villas that still stand in the area. And these returning emigres left more than just their art nouveau homes as a reminder of France’s influence – the local Mallorquin dialect is still flecked with Gallic-sounding vowels here and there, a charming nuance that underscores until just how recently Soller was truly isolated.



Today, Soller retains its magnetic individuality. The town itself is built around a main square, the Plaza de la Constitucion, crowded with lively shaded cafes, restaurants and bars and dominated by the memorable facade of the Sant Bartomeu church. A Saturday market promises leisurely entertainment for shoppers while the local orange juice is an absolute must-try. There is an impressive collection of fine art in the Can Prunera Museum – one of the fine palaces built by Soller’s returning sons – including pieces by greats such as Picasso and Warhol as well as local artists. The Jardi Botanic de Soller is also worth a visit, with its fine examples of Balearic plants. However, a trip to – or even better, a stay in – Port de Soller, a few miles away on the pristine coastline, is unmissable. Whether by car, hotel shuttle or on Soller’s charming century-old tram from the town centre, spending some time immersed in Port de Soller’s quaint-yet-chic vibe is a must-do. Its cobalt blue bay and long promenade assure leisurely evening strolls, while the addition of Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and


Spa in 2012 sealed the village’s status as a destination for those who like a little Mediterranean enchantment with their luxe. Adding to the resort’s exclusivity is its limited opening period – it may not be one day every 100 years like Brigadoon but still, knowing that this year the resort will only be open from March 12 until November 4 adds a frisson of exclusivity to proceedings. Of course, it would be remiss to suggest that the rest of Mallorca is given over to the excesses of the package holiday crowd. From the island’s central planes and picturesque vineyards to the artisan town of Portol with its unique earthenware pottery and the coves and caves that can be found all around the isle’s pristine coast, there is so much to explore. But when it comes to somewhere like the Valley of Soller, it’s difficult to find such authenticity in Europe these days. And it can all be explored from the true luxury of a property such as Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa, which puts the finishing gloss on a truly golden experience.


CLIFFTOP QUESTS Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa’s understated tranquillity has to be experienced to be believed, but it’s not all rest and relaxation. Take your pick of some of the resort’s most romantic and exhilarating experiences to enhance your Mallorquin sojourn.

ORANGE FIELDS EXPERIENCE More than just a local produce, in the Valley of Soller, oranges are a way of life. Discover the rolling vistas of the Sa Vinyassa farm, between the picturesque villages of Fornalutx and Biniaraix, where this golden fruit is grown. A glass of the good stuff awaits you at the end of a tour around the fruit trees but the sensational views and fascinating history is the real reward.

TRAMUNTANA SUNSET BOAT TRIP Feel your heart skip a beat as you watch the sun set behind this dramatic mountain range from the mirror-calm Balearic waters. Dive into the crystal depths, explore the rugged coastline’s coves or simply relax with some canapes and bubbles as day turns to night.

ROMANTIC DINNER UNDER THE STARS As the sun dips and the clear Mediterranean skies put on their finest show of twinklers, Jumeirah Port Soller’s spectacular clifftop location really comes into its own. When the evenings are balmy, nothing could be more pleasant than a romantic tête-à-tête in the location of your choice. From the Tramuntana terrace to beside the sparkling infinity pool, it’ll be a meal to remember, wherever you pick.



Words: Rachel Silvestri. Images: Getty and supplied


THE BLACK STUFF What would you pay for a spoonful of heaven? For lovers of caviar, the sky’s the limit. Jumeirah samples the fascinating and elite world of ‘black gold’


States and China making up the majority of commercially available caviar today. Kaluga Queen, China’s top caviar producer, supplies 21 of Paris’s 26 three Michelin-starred restaurants and is the world’s biggest caviar trader, producing more than 60 tonnes a year.


t’s a gourmet dish as unlikely as it is rare. So sought-after that it’s subject to its own UN rulings and as popular during classical times as it is today, caviar is nothing more than fish eggs – salty, fishy and jet-black – but it holds a magical property so enchanting that fortunes have been made and lost over it. Caviar is the roe of the sturgeon fish, a creature that traces its evolution back millions of years to the triassic period, which preceded the jurassic era. This might explain its somewhat strange and other-worldly appearance. Sturgeon can grow large and are extremely long-lived. The average age is 50-60 years old but they can live much longer and in very rare cases, grow up to seven metres in length. Caviar in its purest sense refers to roe from wild Caspian Sea and Black Sea sturgeon, which are responsible for Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga caviars. However, with the depletion of sturgeon stocks in these areas, other regions have also gradually been getting in on the act, with Canada, the United


Caviar is a product with some seriously elite connotations. In 1324, English King Edward II decreed the sturgeon a royal fish, meaning any found in his kingdom’s waters automatically belonged to the crown, a decree that still stands today. The sole producer of caviar in the UK, the Leeds-based KC Caviar, received confirmation from Queen Elizabeth II that she wouldn’t apply this decree to the sturgeon held by the company so that they could begin production and start their business. And it’s not just European monarchs who were caught up in roe fever. Ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed caviar, as, of course, did Russian tsars and aristocracy. So how should this “black gold” be best enjoyed? There is only one hard and fast rule – no metal spoons. It’s believed that metal ruins the flavour of caviar, so the preferred method of scooping the eggs is with a mother-of-pearl spoon or spatula – although a plastic spoon can also be used in a pinch. Even the famed tins that caviar comes in are lined with lacquer. Purists maintain that the best way to get a feel for caviar’s true flavour is by sucking it off the back of your hand, from the stretched skin between the index finger and thumb. The eggs should be slowly rolled around on the tongue and gently popped against the roof of the mouth to release all their salty glory. But blinis and buttered toast points are other common carriers for caviar, as are accompaniments such as creme fraiche, red onion, capers and hard-boiled egg whites and yolks.


Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade —Noel Coward



TOWERING LUXE Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, as one of the portfolio’s flagship properties, has become synonymous with luxuries like caviar. In 2016 it was the site of a new caviar world record and set a Guinness World Record for the largest tin of caviar with a 17kg container, opened and consumed on New Year’s Eve by lucky guests, who managed to polish off the entire thing. But don’t be sad if you didn’t take your mother-of-pearl spoon to that event – you can still partake in caviar in the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, most notably from a wide selection in Al Muntaha at the top of the iconic hotel. And if all this indulgence is too much, book into Talise Spa for a caviarinfused treatment using products from Swiss brand La Prairie. The La Prairie white caviar brightening and firming facial or the La Prairie caviar body treatment will have you floating on cloud nine – and maybe even coming back for more.

Interestingly, caviar has a sound as well as a taste. Described as a purr, when the eggs rub against each other they produce a particular buzz, which differs depending on size and quality. Caviar graders must have a keen ear as well as eye and tongue when it comes to defining what makes a great caviar. As such an expensive delicacy, it’s reassuring to know that caviar has a long shelf life. Once it is harvested it is carefully mixed with precise quantities of salt, which has a preserving effect. Once opened and kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator, caviar should stay fresh for up to a month – if you can resist it that long. So what about price? It’s difficult to determine the world’s most expensive caviar, especially considering the complex and sometimes shady world of the Caspian Sea caviar trade. However, Guinness World Records quote the world’s most expensive caviar as being Almas, from the Iranian beluga. It’s produced from a rare albino sturgeon that swims in the southern Caspian Sea, estimated to be between 60 and 100 years old. So how much will it set you back? You can expect to pay around $34,500 per kilo – a high price for perfection, but for some, the pinnacle of the gourmet experience. And as it’s high in omega 3 and vitamin B12, caviar is most definitely good for you too – although perhaps not quite so good for your pocket. Still, there are many more affordable types of caviar on the market, meaning that sampling a 30g tin won’t necessarily break the bank. It will, however, put you in the company of some of the world’s richest and most powerful as an appreciator of the black stuff. Is it worth it? There’s only one way to find out.



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INTO THE BLUE The scenic waterways of Madinat Jumeirah aren't usually witness to double flips and bold stunts – that is, until three extreme sports fanatics came to town

Wakeboarding is attracting a new fanbase in Dubai




he Madinat Jumeirah resort represents everything Dubai stands for. The mini-city sits right on the banks of the Arabian Sea and boasts four lavish hotels, a souk that combines the benefits of modern shopping infused with a touch of heritage, thanks to the architecture and more than 50 restaurants and lounges. And yet there is so much more that even locals and long-term UAE residents haven’t yet discovered. Take, for example, the fact that the area is becoming a go-to destination for wakecations, or wakeboard vacations. We spoke to professional wakeboard athlete JB O’Neill, who navigated his way around the waterways, together with Dubai-based wakeboarders Morgan Carlson and Gerry Blaksley from XDubai as they rediscovered Madinat Jumeirah in the ultimate wakecation.


JB O'Neill How did you get involved in wakeboarding? How long have you been wakeboarding for? I got into wakeboarding about 14 years ago on a wakeboard that came with the family boat. Around 2010, I started to take it a bit more seriously and really got involved. Eventually, I started getting into cable park and winch wakeboarding, which is my main focus now. How did this stunt compare to the others you’ve done? Was there anything particularly dangerous about this one? It must have been an incredible adrenaline rush jumping a gap from the pools to the lagoon. The biggest difference is that we were filming in such a prestigious location where we needed to minimise the impact on the guests and the daily operations. This put a bit more pressure on me of course. It was definitely the most beautiful place I have ever ridden. Funnily enough, it’s like the resort was actually designed for wakeboarding. How do you get inspired? I draw my inspiration from motocross riders because they really go big on jumps. Lately I have been watching a motocross rider named Kyle Katsandris who is jumping between highways and gapping them. Things like that are pretty awesome. How do you build your strength and keep fit? I am actually pretty lazy in this aspect of the sport but while I was in Dubai you could say I ‘trained’ at the Jumeirah Al Qasr buffet! Have you ever visited Dubai before this? What are your first impressions? This was my first time and I was pretty blown away with Dubai. Everything is so nice and the buildings are very impressive.


How was your experience at Madinat Jumeirah. Did you discover anything new during your holiday? My experience was pretty awesome and a lot of it was spent on water. I navigated my way through the hotel by abra boats and took full advantage of Wild Wadi Waterpark™. I discovered some new foods while there and mainly just enjoyed a really luxurious lifestyle. What’s next? I’m currently working on another video project back home in Austin, Texas. The video should be pretty crazy so keep your eyes peeled this summer.

Morgan Carlson Why Madinat Jumeirah? How much research and planning went into this stunt and how long did it take to come to life? Like a lot of the residents in Dubai, I tend to return to Madinat Jumeriah quite often for the restaurants and also due to my work at XDubai. I always look at any destination from a sporting perspective, no matter where I go, so the planning and conceptualising of this project came together pretty naturally. We have been talking about this idea for a few years and we finally had the chance to do it. Have you worked on any wakeboarding stunts before in the past? We have done a few projects with a range of different athletes. What made this one special was the location, the team and the ‘get it done’ attitude from all stakeholders involved. How did you find JB O’Neill and why did you choose him? I met JB a few years back and he had the kind of easygoing attitude I need to work with people. He is known to go really big, take chances and do tricks with style so it was a perfect match for XDubai and what we look for in our athletes.


QUICK FACTS HEIGHT OF JUMPS O'Neill dropped seven metres from the pool to the lagoon

SHALLOWNESS OF BRIDGE The clearance of the bridge was only 68 centimetres

THE SPEED The machine used to pull O'Neill was running at a speed of 34 kilometres per hour

NUMBER OF JUMPS Total jumps done, including all the tries, was 30. A ramp was trialled in five different locations around Al Qasr

HEIGHT OF THE SLOPE The ramp stood at a height of 1.1 metres

CAMERAS CAPTURING THE ANGLES A total of eight cameras were used over two days of filming, each with its own purpose

DEGREES OF THE FLIPS The biggest spin trick O'Neill did was a 540-degree spin over the bridge

What’s next from XDubai that we should look out for? We have a few really cool projects in the pipeline like always – nothing we can talk about until it’s actually accomplished. Working on achieving world firsts is never easy. I guess that’s why we do it.

Gerry Blaksley How did this compare to any other stunts you’ve shot in the past? Anytime you get to shoot somewhere like Madinat Jumeirah, it is always exciting. Pretty much anywhere you point the camera, there is something interesting to see and discover. It was fun to chase JB through the waterways using the abras. What were some of the most exciting angles you’ve included in this? Look out for the slow motion shots at 500 frames per second where you are able to see all the little details. What inspired you most about the resort? The resort is like a giant maze. Around every twist and turn you find yourself lost in the Jumeirah magic. Any scenes you love that we should look out for? GB: My favourite scene is the initial launch from the pool to the canal. I felt just as amazed as the guest reacting to seeing JB flying out of the trees.


FEATURED SPACES EMBER BAR AND LOUNGE, JUMEIRAH FRANKFURT Ember offers the height of sophistication in the heart of the city. Located in the Jumeirah Frankfurt hotel next to MyZeil mall in the financial district, the skyscraper is not only situated within a stone's throw of a shopping haven but it also boasts heaps of culture on its doorstep, with the Old Opera House, the Museum of Modern Art, Goethe Museum and great transport links nearby.

Words: Meryl D'souza

The hotel’s lobby is also home to the elegant Ember Bar and Lounge. Designed in conjunction with renowned champagne brand Veuve Clicquot, the smart cocktail bar exudes intimacy while providing a lively setting.


By day, it serves everything from caesar salads to beefburger and pasta. In the afternoon, it becomes the ideal place to sip a coffee as you sit opposite the Thurn-und-Taxis-Palais. If you drop in between 3pm and 6pm, you can make the most of Ember’s daily Candy Bar and Cake session, which is full of indulgent treats. The best time to visit a cocktail bar, however, is by night. A cocktail and canapes are the ideal aperitif to begin any night out. Ember Bar and Lounge is open from 8am to 1am from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1am from Saturday to Sunday. Call +49 0 69 297 237 0 or email to book a table




Words: Meryl D'souza

Cu-ba, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai


THE LOWDOWN: Sitting pretty on the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel’s

THE FOOD: This is casual, relaxed dining at its finest, without any

eighth floor roof, the Latin-inspired Cu-ba offers stunning, panoramic

pretensions. Cu-ba relies on its wide range of signature Cuban

– and rather unrivalled – views of Downtown Dubai. It’s not just the

cocktails and cigars to keep its patrons’ spirits high. If you would like

concrete jungle that you’ll be Instagramming though; you can also

a nibble, there is a tempting selection of contemporary tapas dishes

gaze at the lush green of the golf club or the creek in the background.

to accompany the delicious cocktails as you drink in the sunset.

THE ATMOSPHERE: The experience starts with the glass elevator ride to

INSIDER’S TIP: If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, we suggest

the top where, even before you reach your destination, you’re already

the private cabanas. Just make sure you carry ID as all visitors must

in awe of the view. The white furniture only helps to instill a sense of

be 21 years or over.

calm as you experience Latin hospitality at its finest. Depending on the time, there’ll be some light English or Arabic tunes playing from the

BOOKING DETAILS: Cu-ba is open between 12 noon and 2am from

Bose speakers all around the venue. Should you feel the need to shake

Saturday to Wednesday and between 12 noon and 3am on Thursday

a leg to the tunes, don’t hold back.

and Friday. Call +971 4 230 8458 or email


Jumeirah | March 2018  

Valley Of Gold The World of Caviar Art Dubai

Jumeirah | March 2018  

Valley Of Gold The World of Caviar Art Dubai