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Visiting the V&A’s Jameel Prize 3 exhibition

Enjoying a day out on San Francisco’s Valencia Street


57 48

Berlin DJ Alex Barck shares his favourite tracks

We explore a geek’s paradise in Tokyo



Eating, Stockholmstyle



We trace the rise of DIFF and the Emirati film industry

Noah Davis explains why he’s ditched hotels for a new form of travel pit stop

contents / DeceMber 2013


The Crash

Front (25) Calendar The Grid The Question The Street Skypod The Room

27 36 38 40 48 50

Consume BLD Mapped Local Knowledge Place Column

Main (89) TV Is Dead. Long Live TV Our Woman In Everybody Loves Brutalism Why Do We Still Work? Take A Hike In LA The Crash

53 64 67 72 80 83

brieFing (153) 90 98 104 114 125 140

News Comfort Visas & Stats Route Map Fleet Last Look


Open skies / December 2013

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Emirates takes care to ensure that all facts published herein are correct. In the event of any inaccuracy please contact the editor. Any opinion expressed is the honest belief of the author based on all available facts. Comments and facts should not be relied upon by the reader in taking commercial, legal, financial or other decisions. Articles are by their nature general and specialist advice should always be consulted before any actions are taken.

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98,776 copies – June 2013

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Let us spread seasonal cheer with that bubbly feeling.

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Let us set the evening aglow with a candlelit dinner. Let us imagine a feast that’s soothingly nostalgic or decidedly not. Let us create a new holiday tradition that fills you with joy.

Make this festive season one to remember and celebrate it at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa. Imagine the exploration of an unusual place, the excitement of an unexpected adventure, and the indulgence in luxury. For information, please call us at +973 1758 0000 or visit

©2013 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.



Gareth Rees, Editor


y wife and I have a copy of a Richard Avedon photograph of Bob Dylan on our living room wall. I’m a fan. The reason that my taste in home décor is relevant to this issue is that Bob Dylan is often hailed as ‘the voice of his generation’, which is an epithet also bestowed upon the young man on our cover, Jamal Edwards. Bob and Jamal couldn’t be more different. The notoriously difficult to interview 72-year-old folk singer from Minnesota, who cemented his status as a musical icon in the 1960s, and the 23-year-old social media entrepreneur and shameless self promoter from Acton in West London who likes to hang out with Richard Branson, have little in common. But they both deny that they are the voice of anything, other than themselves. Bob said in 1964, “I’m not part of no movement,” and Jamal isn’t either. There is no easily definable demographic that can be labelled ‘the youth’. Everybody is his or her own person (Jamal and Bob certainly are). But there’s no denying that young people like Jamal’s You Tube channel, SB.TV, which has 200 million views and has made him millions, or that British politicians are falling over themselves to be associated with this former ‘troubled youth’ from a social housing estate who made good using, not a new style of folk music, like Dylan, but an internet TV channel that started out as a platform to promote UK rap artists. As you will discover, Jamal agrees with Dylan about one other thing: The Times They Are a-Changin’ – especially for traditional television. Another young man with an astounding story to tell is 20-year-old US triathlon star Lukas Verzbicas, who has gone full circle from Olympic medal hopeful, via a horrific crash that left him in a hospital bed unable to walk, to the verge of making the triathlon team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. American sports journalist Matt McCue spoke to Lukas,



ON THE COVER / Photographer Geoff Brokate has completed several successful assignments for Open Skies. This month he put down his camera for an hour to interview 23-year-old multimillionaire social media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, but he also shot the image of Jamal that appears on our cover. Our art director, Olga, has, once again, worked her magic, producing a cover that I think manages to convey the intriguing personality of the street smart and tech savvy young subject who says he was “born in a digital space”.

his family and his coaches, and has done a superb job of relaying the details of Lukas’ dramatic accident and inspirational fight back, which I’m sure you will enjoy reading as much as I did. Returning to Bob Dylan for a moment. Bob once said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” Jamal Edwards and Lukas Verzbicas fit into that category. But in his latest feature for Open Skies, regular contributor Paddy Smith struggles to understand why many people don’t, instead remaining committed to the nine to five grind. Why Do We Still Work? I’ll leave that one to Paddy to answer. But I work because I love my job, as do all the members of the Open Skies team. I hope that comes across in this issue. As Bob Dylan said, “The radio makes hideous sounds” (not the stations on ice, obviously), so it’s best to read a magazine. Why not start with this one?






Matt has contributed to ESPN The Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and He is the author of An Honorable Run, a coming of age story of the coaches who changed his life through the sport of running. In this issue, he charts American triathlete Lukas Verzbicas’ miraculous return following a horrific crash. “I get to know my subjects in up close and personal ways, but with Lukas Verzbicas that happened literally,” says McCue. “The first thing he sent me were copies of his X-rays from right after the crash.”


Australian native Marina has worked in Sydney, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, where she is currently based. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Find Bliss Los Angeles, LA Yoga and The Writer. Marina hit the trails for our feature on hiking in LA. “The Los Angeles experience includes being outdoors and in the wilderness. Many people don’t realise that LA is an excellent hiking destination,” she says. “About a year ago, a local photographer recommended I hike Topanga State Park’s Los Leones trail. It was as if I was seeing the city for the first time.”



“Having lived in Birmingham, my interest in concrete buildings and what the architects and planners of 1960s Britain thought the future would look like have long fascinated, even obsessed, me,” he says.

“Producing the illustrations for Open Skies’ feature on hiking in LA was such an enjoyable project that I have added LA to the list of places I want to visit... eventually,” he says.

CB writes for The Independent, The Guardian, Telegraph, Gulf News and South China Morning Post, as well Condé Nast Traveller and National Geographic Traveller. His writing touches on a range of subjects, but buildings and cities are his passion. In this issue, he explores the English country’s newfound love of concrete.



An avid observer of contemporary fashion, Serena takes photographs in an attempt to highlight what she feels constitutes style. Her aim is to capture and translate the sounds, smells, streets, shows and clubs synonymous with a world in flux. She currently works in Milan and Rome and has produced streetstyle features in Dazed Digital, Daily METAL and ASOS. She hit the streets of Milan to find a subject for our Last Look page. “My Last Look page was shot in Milan’s Navigli district, a place where you can easily spot interesting people like my subject, Elena,” she says.

A freelance illustrator based in the UK, Paul illustrated our feature on hiking in LA. He has created work for clients in the UK, US and Dubai, including Open Skies, What’s On Dubai and Gulf Business. He is able to turn his hand to various styles, and has produced illustrations for magazines, websites, children’s books and corporate clients.

24/7 enjoy shopping at SWAROVSKI.COM


Fun And Games Discovering a well-hidden Tokyo store known only to hardcore geeks and gamers


front SAN FRANCISCO: Taking a stroll down Valencia Street SINgApORe: An independent bookstore owner doing things his own way DubAI: Dubai International Film Festival and the state of Emirati film

40 54 72



December 1 to 15, Moscow, Russia

contemporary Dance Festival

December 1 to January 1, 2014 Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Christmas Market Prague’s Christmas Market comprises a variety of stalls situated around the city’s Old Square and Wenceslas Square. Popular during the festive season, you can pick up local gingerbread or a hot drink to warm you up while browsing the Czech toys, candles and jewellery on offer.

Moscow is holding its 13th Contemporary Dance Festival during the first two weeks in December. For this year’s festival there is a unique focus on Dutch contemporary dance, in celebration of RussiaNetherlands Bilateral Year. The event will see the winner of the Best Choreographer award at the 2013 Russian Golden Mask Award, Guy Weizman, headline the festival along with award-winning choreographer Ann Van den Broek and 2009 winner of the prestigious VSCD Mimeprize, Nicole Beutler. TSekh.Ru

December 3, Glasgow, Scotland, uk

Basement Jaxx December 3 to January 26, 2014 Shanghai, China

phantom oF the opera The longest running Broadway show in history, Phantom Of The Opera, will be performed in Shanghai Culture Square this December. Twenty-eight years after Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical was first performed, it will be showcased in the Chinese city for the first time in 10 years as part of a 60 show Asia-wide tour.

The electronic dance duo’s first tour in two years, which coincides with the release of their new single Back 2 The Wild, will include appearances across the UK, starting with a gig in Newcastle on December and ending with a show at London’s Brixton Academy on December 7. The Glasgow gig at the city’s 02 Arena will be the pair’s third of the tour. BASeMeNTjAxx.CoM


Open skies / December 2013



December 5, Doha, Qatar


A free Beethoven concert will be held at the Museum Of Islamic Arts in Doha this month. The performance will include the Beethoven classic Three Movements: Septet in E Flat Major, Op. 20, and will be performed by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The show is part of a monthly initiative that will see the orchestra perform a range of classical music, including Schubert Octet, Weber and Verdi, on the first Thursday of every month until June 5, 2014. MIA.ORG.QA

December 5 to January 27, 2014 , London, UK

Bradford Washburn Exhibition

Twentieth-century American explorer and photographer Henry Bradford Washburn documented the landscapes he explored from the Grand Canyon to the Matterhorn. This new exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery will showcase a large collection of Washburn’s work alongside diaries and notebooks, providing a unique insight in to his career. Fellow 20th century photographer Ansel Adams described Washburn as a “roving genius of mind and mountains.” MICHAELHOPPENGALLERY.COM

December 10, 2014, Barcelona, Spain

Converses a la pedrera: Tom Wolfe As part of its literary series this winter, the Catalonia Foundation will be holding a public conversation with American journalist and author Tom Wolfe. Wolfe, whose journalistic work is associated with the New Journalism movement of the 1960s, has written a number of popular books, including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) and The Bonfire Of The Vanities (1987). The talk, which is to be held at the Auditorium at La Pedrera, will explore Wolfe’s thoughts on contemporary social and political ideas along with discussing his literary career.

December 6 to 9 Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is showing a collection of films dedicated to the memory of the prolific Malian actor and director Sotigui Kouyate this month. Films that will be shown include The Courage of Others, Genesis and London River. All films will be screened with Turkish subtitles. ISTANBULMODERN.ORG


Skypod 28

Alex Barck page 48


Absolute tranquillity is just a weekend away.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Visit a world that exists beyond the imagination. Where every step is an adventure. Every sight, a discovery. And let the serene surroundings unravel before you. Here time is forgotten. Relaxation is found. And you think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen it all? Abu Dhabi. Travellers welcome.

Discover more.


December 11, 2013 to April 21, 2014, London, UK

Jameel Prize 3 Shortlist Exhibition

Victoria And Albert Museum senior curator, Middle East, Tim Stanley, has curated an exhibition featuring the work of the ten candidates shortlisted for Jameel Prize 3

What is Jameel Prize 3? Jameel Prize 3 is the third edition of a biennial competition we inaugurated in 2009. The second was in 2011. The concept behind the prize is simple. It is for artists and designers whose current work is inspired by Islamic tradition. The artists and designers can be from anywhere in the world, but their work has to be based on an idea that comes from Islamic civilisation. Why did the V&A create the Jameel Prize? The V&A has one of the world’s greatest collections of art and design from the Middle East in the Islamic period, and in 2006 we opened a new gallery devoted to this subject. The gallery development was funded by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, and is called the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art. The V&A’s collection was created from 1852 onwards, because the founders of the Museum, which opened to the public in that year, were convinced

that the Islamic tradition in art and design could play a positive role in the reform of British industrial design. There was a perceived crisis in British design from the 1830s onwards because we had no proper design education system (unlike the French), and the V&A was set up as one way of improving British design. It had precisely this effect, so that later in the century, Britain was considered a leading design country. Mohammed Jameel was

healthy progress / calligrapher Nasser Al Salem’s exhibition work, Guide Us Upon The Straight Path


Open skies / December 2013

inspired by this story to show how Islamic craft, art and design are still inspiring artists and designers in the contemporary world. This is the third Jameel Prize. How has its profile grown since the first prize was awarded? The growth in the profile of the prize is shown by the number of people taking part. In 2009, there were 69 submissions from 23 countries. In 2013, there were 185 submissions from 34 countries. How would winning this prize benefit the winning artist’s career? The first winner, in 2009, was Afruz Amighi, who is at an early stage in her career. It gave her a great boost, bringing her wider attention. The second winner, in 2011, was Rachid Koraichi, who is an established artist working in Paris, and the prize gave him recognition, showing his status beyond the Francophone world of Paris and the Maghreb. I think the exposure has been a positive thing for both of them. What qualities do the works of the shortlisted artists posses that tie them together? There are a couple of things that tie the works together. One of them, paradoxically, is their diversity. They all show such a different and original response to such varied aspects of Islamic tradition, which is itself a very rich and diverse culture. This is the other main thing that holds them together, of course – they are all reacting in some way to Islamic tradition. Showing work as diverse as haute couture fashion, installations on the floor made of spices and a concrete carpet emphasises how rich Islamic tradition is, and how rich the contemporary reaction to it is. When will the winner be announced? At the prize giving ceremony on December 10, 2013.

CHRONO CLASSIC 1/100 FROM A 1/100TH OF A SECOND CHRONOGRAPH TO A PERPETUAL CALENDAR 3-year warranty I Swiss Made I 41 mm I Water resistant to 100 meters I Scratchresistant, triple-coated anti-reямВective sapphire crystal I Ref. 241618




December 11 to 15 Durban, South Africa

InternatIonal FeDeratIon oF beach Volleyball open

the International Federation of Beach Volleyball (FIVB) will hold the final open championship of 2013 at Durban’s New Beach this month. the event will feature teams from all around the globe, with 64 teams taking place in total. South Africa will be represented at the event with one male and one female team.

December 11 to April 6, 2014 New York, USA

Ink Art

The full title of this exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art is Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, and it will feature work by 35 Chinese contemporary artists, working both in China and internationally.

December 12 to 13, gothenburg, Sweden

Lucia In The Vasa Church

December 13 to 14, Singapore


The concerts held in the Vasa Church during December are a much-loved local tradition in Gothenburg and have been performed annually since 1935. The Härlanda Chamber Choir is a central feature of the concerts, and the money from ticket sales goes towards helping the Gothenburg Rescue Mission’s work for the homeless.


Afrojack, Ferry Corsten, example and DJ Wire will headline this year’s Zoukout dance festival. the annual festival, held on Singapore’s Siloso Beach, is due to attract 30,000 music fans. ZoUkoUt.Com

Christchurch page 67 32

Open skies / December 2013



December 21 to December 27, Delhi, India


December 31, New York, USA

New Year’s Eve In Times Square Broadcast across the world, the December 31 Times Square celebration has come to symbolise New Year’s Eve for many New Yorkers and visitors to the city. To ensure a good spot, wrap up warm and head down to the square in the early afternoon. Various entertainers are set to perform before the infamous New Year’s Eve Ball descends over the crowds at 11:59.

Delhi joined the world’s other major capitals in 2012 with the launch Delhi International Film Festival (DIFF), held at the city’s Siri Fort Auditorium and NDMC Convention Centre. This year’s DIFF promises seven days filled with more than 100 films, including world cinema, student films, short films, documentaries, animated films and a special Indian showcase. The second DIFF will be held at the NDMC Convention Centre at Connaught Place, New Delhi. DELHIINTERNATIONALFILMFESTIVAL.COM

December 31, San Francisco, USA

Streets of San Francisco NYE 2014

December 27, Melbourne, Australia


Grammy Award-winning hip hop trio De La Soul, best-known for their 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, featuring the hit single Me Myself and I, will perform a one-off show at The Esplanade Hotel in Melbourne, Australia this month.

The fifth Streets of San Francisco NYE, held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in the city’s Bay Area, will be headlined dance DJ Moby, supported by DJs A-Trak, Craze and Sam Isaac. The festival also promises views of San Francisco Bay, fireworks and midnight champagne toast.



Home sweet home page 83 35



THE GRID December 6 to 14 Dubai International Film Festival Dubai, UAE This year marks the 10th anniversary of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), which continues to provide a showcase for Arab filmmakers, as well as screening a number of new international movies. The event will take place across a series of venues, including the Madinat Arena, Souk Madinat and Mall of the Emirates.

December 13 Creamfields Abu Dhabi, UAE British rave group The Prodigy and DJ Calvin Harris will headline this year’s Creamfield’s festival at Abu Dhabi’s du Arena. Local UAE acts Above & Beyond, Hollaphonic and maDJam will also perform.

December 26 to 28 Mubadala Tennis Championships Abu Dhabi, UAE Some of the World’s top tennis players, including Rafael Nadal (pictured), Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Andy Murray will compete at this year’s Mubadala Tennis Championships at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex.

, December 10 Dubai, UAE

Toko Dubai

Ni Lenette is head chef at Toko, a new Japanese restaurant in Dubai’s Vida Downtown hotel, which opens this month

What can diners expect from Toko Dubai? Kyoto inspired izakaya. We’re bringing a unique Japanese grill, different to your usual robata, and using Japanese yakimono (grilling) techniques and marinades, as well as focusing on a diverse range of seasonal seafood from Australia, Japan and even local fish from Dubai. Seasonality will be a very strong focus. We have worked with Sasaki-san, our head sushi chef from Japan, to create a six-seater edomae sushi counter, where you can experience a very authentic but newly interpreted sushi that is usually only available in Japan. You trained under Nobu head chef Nakumura. How has that affected your style of cooking? Nakamura-san was a very special chef. He was a true omakase (“I’ll leave it to you”) chef, who performed



omakase in the moment, in the here and now, with what was in season, and was able to create a very special bond with the customer that I have never ever seen from any chef ever since. Omakase has been with me ever since my work with Nakamurasan, but I also made sure to expose myself to the real Kyoto tradition and many Japanese cooking styles in Japan, as well as working in different Michelin restaurants, mainly in London, Spain and Japan, to get as broad a perspective as possible. You write a blog, Why? I wanted to connect with other people that may be feeling alone out there trying to do something different. I also wanted to share my experiences with younger chefs. There is no handbook to teach a young chef how to cope.


WHY IS THAT BABY CRYING? Is there a wailing baby in the seat in front of you? If there is, don’t be quick to anger; take a moment to ask yourself why the tot is bawling. Researchers from the University Of Valencia, the University Of Murcia and the National University Of Distance Education, who conducted a study of 20 babies aged between three and 18 months, concluded that babies cry because they are either angry, afraid or in pain. And, if you pay close attention, you can tell which emotion the nipper is feeling. The cry of an angry baby will become increasingly more intense, while its eyes will be half closed and its mouth half open; a baby in pain will launch straight into its loudest shriek, with its eyes closed and a frown on its face; while a scared baby will keep its eyes open with an inquiring look and explode into an episode of caterwauling after its fear


Dubai’s @ GreyNoiseDXB gallery explains itself in 140 characters or less

reaches tipping point. It seems scientists love this question. A team of French and German scientists led by Dr Kathleen Wermke of the University of Wurzburg in Germany recently released the results of a study that showed that babies cry in their mother’s accent, her voice having penetrated the wall of her womb during the last three months of pregnancy. Trying to guess the babies complaint and its nationality should distract you from the hullabaloo.



@OpenSkiesMag: We would like to conduct a Twitter interview with you for our December issue. @GreyNoiseDXB: With pleasure. @OpenSkiesMag: Marvellous. To start with, what is Grey Noise? @GreyNoiseDXB: Grey Noise is a contemporary art gallery representing artists who respond and refer to conceptual art and its aesthetics. @OpenSkiesMag: Which artists do you represent? @GreyNoiseDXB: We work with artists from South Asia, Middle East and Europe. Our aim is to foster art that is non-region specific. @OpenSkiesMag: You are based in @Alserkal Avenue, close to lots of other galleries. How is the art scene in Dubai progressing? @GreyNoiseDXB: Super positive! We are proud to represent Dubai globally, and the standard of exhibitions speaks quality and is contextually apt. @OpenSkiesMag: What can we expect to see if we visit Grey Noise in December? @GreyNoiseDXB: Berlin-based Italian artist Ingrid Hora, her site-specific work on paper and three-dimensional objects. @OpenSkiesMag: You have just returned from the @FriezeLondon art fair. How did that go? @GreyNoiseDXB: @FriezeLondon was fruitful and great exposure for our artists and a proud moment to represent @AlserkalAvenue and Dubai. @OpenSkiesMag: What have you got planned for 2014 in the run-up to @ artdubai in March? @GreyNoiseDXB: We are showing a solo of Lahore-based painter/sculptor Fahd Burki, and launching his monograph published by @SkiraEditore @OpenSkiesMag: When will that exhibition open? @GreyNoiseDXB: The art week begins second week of March, we are planning to open the show on the weekend between 14 and 16 of March. @OpenSkiesMag: Thanks.

the street

Valencia Street, San Francisco

Words by Brittany Shoot and images by Christine Zona


wenty years ago, Valencia Street was a stretch of rundown auto repair shops, seedy bars and taquerias selling burritos the size of your forearm. The barbell burritos remain, as do the guitartoting mariachi musicians who roam the historic Latino Mission district. And the seedy bars have since earned reputations as hipster dives by keeping Pabst on tap and pool tables in the back. But tech-sector prosperity in the Bay Area has trickled down to every sector, bolstering retail, restaurants and everything in between. These days, the stretch of Valencia Street that begins at 16th Street and extends on past 24th Street continues to evolve as a vibrant corridor of quirky boutiques, epicurean delights and alleys filled with colourful graffiti. Mexican bakeries and shops selling lucha libre wrestling masks are tucked between rehabbed storefronts and renovated cafés. Strolling down the wide boulevard, the convergence of Valencia old and new is quintessential San Francisco, the once and always boom town that never forgets its heritage.

Paxton Gate & Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids There’s something for science students of all ages in this eclectic, adultfriendly children’s shop. Toys and games range from standard to strange: wooden Tegu blocks, silk dress-up capes and plush trophy mounts. Shopkeepers dress as fanciful storybook characters. A block farther down, the original Paxton Gate is a 22-year old oddity emporium most notable for its taxidermy animals, assortment of fossils and a fully for-sale outdoor garden


Open skies / December 2013

overflowing with exotic succulents and air plants. Unless bat skeletons and carnivorous plants freak you out, plan to linger. Paxton Gate 824 Valencia Street Tel: +1 415 824 1872 Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids 766 Valencia Street Tel: +1 415 525 9990

Craftsman And Wolves Since spring 2012, the Craftsman And Wolves bakery has been specialising in creative pastries such as ginger scallion scones and savoury filled muffins dubbed ‘The Rebel Within’. The drink menu packs a punch with a selection of tisane and oolong teas, dark roast drip coffee and Abita Turbodog ale. On the shelves, you can purchase homemade condiments to take home, including honey cultivated in the café’s rooftop beehives. Afternoon tea, an array of beverages and treats for two for US$40, is served weekdays from 1pm to 5pm. Reservations are recommended and can be made 24 hours in advance. 746 Valencia Street, Tel: +1 415 913 7713


Open skies / December 2013

Pacific Controls wins the Middle East’s most prestigious “Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award 2013”

Dubai, UAE: H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, presented the annual Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award to 16 winners from a crosssection of business establishments for their exceptional performance in fostering growth and innovation and a culture of corporate social responsibility and excellence in the country. Organised under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the 7th cycle of the high profile award, initiated and organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry under its strategy of celebrating business excellence, was held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The prestigious event was attended by over 1,200 guests including heads of Government departments, dignitaries,

board members of Dubai Chamber, representatives of business councils, groups and trade centers, a large number of businessmen and members of the media. The 16 winning organisations, whose representatives received the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award 2013 for their top scores were: Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence PJSC, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, DP World, Barakat Quality Plus LLC, Drydocks World, Al Mansoori Specialized Engineering (MSE), National Fire Fighting Manufacturing, Unilever Gulf, Intercoil International Co LLC, Procter & Gamble, Palm Utilities LLC, EPPCO Aviation, Pacific Control Systems LLC, Huawei Tech (UAE) FZ-LLC, Valtrans Transportation Systems and Services LLC and Eros Group.

the street

Range This Michelin-starred restaurant is something of a modern Mission institution, a popular spot where the vibe is casual but the cuisine is anything but. Range features an aperitif hour and locally sourced menu that changes daily. The space is small, and demand is great enough that reservations are recommended. Cocktails like the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Black Hatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pay homage to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hacker culture and tech sector and the menu features dishes such as mendocino sea urchin and seared California yellowtail. Save room for a semifreddo of concord and kyoho grapes and pecan shortbread. 842 Valencia Street, Tel: +1 415 282 8283

Dandelion Chocolate A recent addition to the neighbourhood, this bean-to-bar small batch chocolate factory and storefront is the only one of its kind in a city besieged by contemporary confectioners. In the open kitchen, chocoholics in training can observe chocolatiers roasting, sorting, grinding and tempering small batches of beans by hand. In the shop, lengthy descriptions explain the signature elements of each batch

and offer tips on chocolate tasting. Small saucers of samples are bookended by whole cocoa pods. While a few small tables offer a quiet place to enjoy


a luscious snack or read a magazine. 740 Valencia Street Tel: +1 415 349 0942

Open skies / December 2013

the street

Therapy Twenty years ago, Therapy was a family-owned antique store struggling to stay afloat. Now offering an eclectic collection of goods in eight locations around the Bay Area, Therapy’s original Valencia Street store fills two neighbouring boutiques with furniture and housewares on one side, and contemporary men’s and women’s fashions and gifts next door. The clothing emporium stocks brands including Ben Sherman and Original Penguin and a wide array of jewellery crafted by local artisans. Visit the furniture outlet for rustic industrial tables, mid-century modern chairs, vintage light bulb signs and aluminium and birch plywood replicas of iconic Sutro Tower, a massive TV tower atop Twin Peaks that can sometimes be spied from Valencia when the fog recedes. 541 to 545 Valencia Street Tel: +1 415 865 0981 (clothing), +1 415 865 9758 (furniture)

The Chapel This Tudor-style former mortuary turned concert venue, restaurant and bar spans half the block between 18th Street and 19th Street. Through multiple entrances along its coal-black exterior, you can enter the performance space, bar or restaurant and outdoor patio. In the year the club has been open, performers, including comedian Dave Chappelle and singer-songwriters Steve Earle and Bill Callahan,

have graced the stage under the vaulted ceiling. The Vestry Restaurant features a French-Mediterranean fusion menu, and The Chapel Bar, open nightly from 5pm, serves a selection of tapas and morbidly named craft cocktails such as ‘Nail in the Coffin’ and ‘Altar Ego’. 777 Valencia Street Tel: +1 551 5157


Open skies / December 2013

the street

826 Valencia Behind San Francisco’s premier pirate paraphernalia shop is 826 Valencia, a welcoming non-profit writing lab for kids age six and up. Educator Nínive Calegari and Dave Eggers, best-selling author and founder of the McSweeney’s publishing house, founded the centre in 2002 and named it for its location. In the past decade, 826 Valencia has expanded nationwide with chapters in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. In SF alone, the organisation serves upwards of 6,000 students every year. The Pirate Supply Store is open every day from 12 to 6pm; the volunteer-staffed writing workshop is open on Thursdays. 826 Valencia Street Tel: +1 415 642 5905

Dog Eared Books Opened in 1992, Dog Eared Books has since spawned two sister stores in the Bay Area. The flagship store remains known for its large windows that allow the sun to light the wide aisles, charming window displays that showcase local history and a wide selection of new and used books and periodicals spanning the spectrum from photocopied anarchist zines to literary journals and glossy fashion rags. Don’t miss the bargain bins out front, filled with back issues of McSweeney’s culture quarterly The Believer. Inside, the remainder table is often stacked high with titles by awardwinning Bay Area writers including Rebecca Solnit, poet and author Michelle Tea and Daniel Handler, author of the popular Lemony Snicket children’s books. 900 Valencia Street at 20th Street Tel: +1 415 282 1901


Open skies / December 2013

A festive extravaganza in the depths of the desert.

Rediscover the magic of the festive season and join the celebrations at the unique oasis of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Escape to the rolling sand dunes for a decadent December packed with festive fun for all the family. Whether you choose to celebrate at Masala, Al Hadheerah, Al Forsan or Al Sarab you are guaranteed great entertainment in stunning surroundings. Celebrate desert style this December at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. For more information or to make reservations, please call +971 4 809 6100 or email


ALEXAndEr BArCK Genre: nu-jazz AGe: 42 City: Berlin

Alex Barck is a founding member of Berlin-based DJ collective Jazzanova, A&R for Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label, one half of DJ duo Prommer & Barck and a radio host on Berlin’s Radio 1 and WDT Funkhaus Europa. After a year living on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, he is back in Berlin. Here he shares his favourite tracks


02. 03. 04.

Love International Airport Of Love

Quintus Project Night Flight

Kevin Harrison Fly

Steve Miller Band Fly Like An Eagle

A big tune on the Italo scene, but it’s actually from France. It still sounds so fresh. Funny, cheeky and with a very nice bass line – very Giorgio Moroder.

I found this in a flea market. I think it’s rare, as I haven’t seen a copy since. Walter Quintus was an engineer for Kraftwerk, and he made this record with a fantastic jazz pianist named Joachim Kühn.

Another 1980s tune, released on a UK label, Glass Records. I often play this when I DJ – it’s a funky, boogie track, a little bit rocky but very good to dance to.

A classic. I first played this out as a DJ 25 years ago, and I still play it out from time to time – it’s just one of those tracks that everyone knows.


Open skies / December 2013

05. 06. 07.


Laid Back Fly Away

Luduvico Einaudi Fly

Neve Naïve How I Learned To Fly

Whomadewho Keep Me In My Plane

On the b-side of this Danish band’s US hit White Horse is a song called Fly Away, and it’s one of my favourite songs to fly to – very mellow, beautiful, Balearic.

I heard this track in a movie called The Untouchables and immediately had to find the soundtrack. He’s an Italian composer, and this is a nice experimental piano track – sort of modern Erik Satie.

She is well known in Berlin as a very extroverted soul singer. We released this on our label Sonar Kollektiv back in April. A beautiful radio track, very uplifting.

Where else would you want to be on a flight? I especially like the DJ Koze remix.



the Room

TexT: giNa joHNSoN iMageS: THe ST RegiS New YoRk

RooM 1215

THe ST RegiS New YoRk, New YoRk

The St Regis New York has just undergone a glamorous restoration. Reimagined guest rooms, suites and public spaces marry original design elements – Waterford chandeliers and antique mahogany bureaus: check – with some swanky new features such as the New York City-themed large format art work by photographers Janet Arsdale and Hampton Hall. Founded by John Jacob Astor IV – the wealthiest man to have gone down with the Titanic – more than 100 years ago, this Fifth Avenue icon is within stumbling distance of Central Park, the sleek boutiques of Madison Avenue and the elegant neighborhood bistros of the Upper East Side. Rock stars and royalty have roamed its hallowed halls for decades, paving the way for today’s bright young things. Brand connoisseurs Nacho Figueras and Jason Wu – darlings of the international polo set and catwalk, respectively – have helped up the ante among the young luxe crowd who are happy to share the limelight with the ghosts of society past in the King Cole Bar while sipping cool cocktails (this was the birthplace of the Bloody Mary), listening to live jazz and being served by a new brand of St Regis butler who has hung up his silver tray in favour of a smartphone.


Open skies / December 2013

INTERNET SPEED: 100 MB PILLOWS: 4 BEDSIZE: 180cm x 200cm CLUB SANDWICH DELIVERY TIME: 18 minutes COMPLEMENTARY SNACKS: Fresh fruit, inroom tea or coffee served on arrival by the butler TOILETRY BRAND: Remede EXTRAS: Bose sound system with MP3 and iPod connections, HD television, pressing of up to two items of clothing per guest on arrival. TV channels: 91 VIEW: 3/5 RATE: From US$1,695





The second property from Dutch design hotel group Qbic Hotels, Qbic London City, located in London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood, has 171 double rooms and offers free WiFi. Its rates start from £59 per night.





ADELPHI HOTEL Melbourne, Australia



The Adelphi Hotel in Melbourne, Australia recently reopened after a redesign by local practice Hachem, which took its inspiration from dessert. The property has 34 rooms and, although it won’t open until mid-2014, boasts a cantilevered swimming pool, extending two metres beyond the side of the building and suspended nine storeys above the street.


This 361-room five-star property on The Palm in Dubai has seven restaurants, offering cuisines ranging from French to Chinese, Italian and seafood, and five bars. The property also has a spa and 124 suites with a private lounge and 24-hour butler service.




2:44 PM

consume albums


YOU WERE RIGHT Brendan Benson

Indie The sixth solo album from the American singer-songwriter, who also performs with The Raconteurs alongside Jack White, will be released on Benson’s own Readymade Records.

LIVE FROM KCRW Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

alt rock This radio session, recorded for California’s KCRW in April 2013, is the Australian band’s fourth live album and features classic tracks, as well as tracks from their latest album, Push The Sky Away.

BRITNEY JEAN Britney Spears

Pop Britney’s eighth album is her first since 2011’s Femme Fatale, which was a number one record in the US.


Comedy-drama Winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the Coen brothers’ latest follows a young folk singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), finding his way on the 1960s Greenwich Village scene. It also stars Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake.



The second installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy sees martin Freeman’s bilbo baggins and his merry band of dwarves travel through the Kingdom Of Erebor to do battle with the dragon smaug.

Nine years after the success of Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, news anchor Ron burgundy (Will Ferrell), pining for the success of the 1970s, returns to set up a 24hour news channel.

Fantasy adventure



S. Doug Dorst and J J Abrams

Fiction Ostensibly a book, entitled The Ship Of Theseus, recounting S’s adventures on a pirate ship, this postmodern novel also includes margin notes left by students Eric and Jennifer, which tell their own story.


music critic Robert Hilburn was at Folsom Prison in January 1968 when Cash played his infamous gig there. This 600-page biography covers the singer’s life from boyhood to his death in 2003.


Open skies / december 2013

PARIS. PORTRAIT OF A CITY Jean Claude Gautrand

History In Taschen’s Paris. Portrait Of A City, photographer and historian Jean Claude Gautrand presents a photographic history of the City Of Light.


Books Actually

TRUE LOVE / owner co-founder Kenny Leck stocks Books Actually’s shelves with his own favourite reads

Why did you decide to open a bookshop? I grew up reading. My mum flooded me with books in a bid to get me to stay still. Around 17 or 18 I took up part-time jobs in bookstores, which evolved into full-time work. You’ve diversified in order to grow and survive. What’s been your greatest failure and biggest success? The biggest letdown was trying to set up another bookstore specialising in non-fiction. We let our egos get in the way and thought we could do everything. The biggest success perhaps was learning from that failure and recognising that as a character-driven bookshop there can only be one. The business started with two founders. How many staff do you employ now, and how important is it to have the right staff? Originally it was Karen Wai and myself. She left the business mid-2011 to pursue her first-love, which is telling stories through photography and filmmaking. At the moment we have four full-timers. Anyone who works here must love books and love working as a bookseller. A lot. Has the local community supported you? They have been key to our success and understand the core reason we exist. How do you choose your titles? It’s personal. Basically we stock books we’d buy ourselves. What kind of atmosphere do you try to create? A ‘home’ that customers can always come back to. For example, we have friends who have left Singapore for studies or work and, two to three years later, when they return, they’re happy to see us, and we’re especially happy to see them. You tend to avoid stocking best-sellers. Why is that? Retail chains already sell them in high volume. We complement the book trade by selling different titles. How did your in-house stationery brand Birds & Co come about? Through our love and hoarding of vintage stationery. Can you explain the concept of Math Paper Press? We approached publishing with the same off-beat attitude we take with the bookstore. We print the voices we think should be heard. The surprise success is our poetry volumes. Poetry is supposed to be a tough sell, but not for us. Who’s the most famous person to walk through your doors? By far the person we always remember is the Taiwanese film director Tsai Ming Liang. You collect vintage typewriters. Which is your favourite, and do you ever use it? We use all the typewriters for our handmade Birds & Co notebooks. I love the Olivetti Valentine. Who is your literary hero? For now, Paul Auster.


Open skies / december 2013

ImAgeS: BooKS ACtuALLy

Singapore Questions: Andrew Birbeck / Answers: Co-founder of Books Actually, Kenny Leck


Super Potato Tokyo, Japan Words by Joe Svetlik / Images by Antony Tran


okyo’s Akihabara district is a gaming and gadgets heaven. Take a stroll down its streets, which are bustling with otaku (geeks), and your senses will be bombarded by mammoth electronics stores and arcades that span seven storeys. With all the distractions, you could

easily miss retro video games shop Super Potato. But you’d be missing out on one of the area’s highlights. Unless you approach it head-on, you won’t see the sign featuring company mascot Potato-kun along with Mario and Pac-Man. And Super Potato’s unassuming black doorway looks like the entrance to a bank or a hotel lobby. But head up the


Open skies / december 2013

geek street / Tokyo’s Akihabara district is full of stores dedicated to geek culture

staircase, with its walls festooned with games posters from days gone by, and you’ll find nirvana for nerds. Once inside, you will be transported back to the 1980s and 1990s, which is what many


GAME TIME / Super Potato is more than just a shop – it’s a museum housing everything from consoles to gaming memorabilia

consider to be the golden age of home video games. Shelves are filled with box-fresh consoles such as the Nintendo Famicom (known as the NES in the West) and Sega’s Master System, to the Sega Mega Drive and Japanese company SNK Playmore’s Neo Geo. There’s Nintendo’s legendary Game & Watch series, along with

the company’s first stab at a 3D console, the Virtual Boy, which made it as far as America, but not Europe. And an original R.O.B. robot that was designed to play games alongside you, like a second player. As well as the games and consoles, there are statues of characters such as Mario and Sonic, a six-foot-


Open skies / december 2013

tall Game Boy (complete with working screen), and a wealth of other merchandise: badges, toys, key rings and plushies (stuffed toys). The stock is piled high, and everything is in mint condition. It’s no museum, either; almost everything is for sale, and you can even play some of the consoles. Game demos run on loop, filling

consume the shop with the familiar hum of eigh-bit basslines. Of the hundreds of consoles and games on offer, many were never released in the West. Like the Twin Famicom, for example, which is two consoles in one. So, though its stock might be old, you’re sure to find plenty that’s new. Super Potato wasn’t always a video games shop. It started some 500 kilometres away in Nipponbashi, which is Osaka’s equivalent of Akihabara. Originally it was a general store, selling various assortments and knickknacks. Its name derives from this bargain-hunting ethos. “The Japanese translation for a bargain is literally ‘dug-out stuff’,” says 35-year-old Youhei Kitabayashi, manager of the Akihabara store. “So the name Super Potato comes from the idea of digging around and finding lots of nice things.”

Then, in 1983, Nintendo launched the Famicom in its native Japan. The console was a hit, making a star of its main character Mario. Seeing the Famicom’s roaring success, and the potential for home gaming, Super Potato started specialising in video games. As the years went on, demand for the original consoles stayed strong. The Nipponbashi store focused on retro video games, and was so successful that the owners wanted to expand. And where better than Akihabara, the home of Japanese gaming culture? The Akihabara store opened in 2003, and an institution was born. It seems tastes haven’t changed that much in 30 years. “The Famicom and Super Famicom are still our best-selling consoles,” says Kitabayashi. The most popular games series are Super Mario and Rockman (known as Mega Man in the West), both of which will be


Open skies / December 2013

familiar to anyone who grew up with these consoles. So where does Super Potato find its stock? “People come to us from all over Japan to sell their consoles,” says Kitabayashi. “We get somewhere between 500 and 700 people a month, bringing between 5,000 and 10,000 items. It’s not just games and consoles, they sell us the posters, and the statues too. But once we get rare consoles, they always sell out quickly.” To collectors, a box-fresh Famicom is nothing special. There’s no shortage of them on the shelves of Super Potato, after all. No, the real experts are after far more niche finds.

distinguished history / The Akihabara branch of Super Potato has been operating for a decade and has become a gaming institution


satisfied customers / Super Potato’s customers are mostly men, but three in every 10 who walk through the door are females

“Probably the rarest item we have is a set of PC games called Kids Station, with their [own] unique controller,” says Kitabayashi. “They were only available to students in certain Tokyo schools in the early 1990s, so they’re highly sought after.

They’re not for sale, though, just for display. If we did sell them, people say they would be worth two million yen [US$20,200].” You can easily lose a couple of hours exploring every nook and cranny of Super Potato’s first floor. But don’t dawdle, there are two more to go. Up a second flight of stairs, you’ll find slightly more recent consoles such as the PlayStation, PlayStation


Open skies / December 2013

2, Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance, along with what has to be one of the biggest Game & Watch collections in the world. There’s plenty of merchandise besides games on this floor, too. Then the third floor is full of arcade machines, with classics like Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, Astro City and more. As you’d expect, Super Potato attracts more men than women. But its appeal is broader than you might think. “Out of every 10 customers, seven are probably men to three women,” says Kitabayashi. “And the age range is very wide, everyone from teenagers to people in their fifties.” Super Potato is such a success, it now has 10 shops throughout Japan. It’s a popular hangout with Japanese celebrities, too. The other branches sell the current crop of consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4, but only the Akihabara and Nipponbashi stores specialise in retro machines. And only the Akihabara store is right in the heart of the world’s biggest games and technology hub. The ultimate celebration of the history and culture of gaming, Super Potato is right at home.

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Mathias Dahlgren, chef of The Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren in the Grand H么tel Stockholm, shares his favourite places to eat in the Swedish capital


Open skies / December 2013







Rosendals Trädgård hasxs an open garden presenting biodynamic cultivation to the general public. It’s a lovely café where they serve nothing but food made with organically grown ingredients, and all of the breads are from their own bakery, which boasts a wood-fired stone oven. All of the breads are of such a high quality, and are extremely tasty, so when you add the garden and surroundings it is just a magical place to have breakfast. It’s best to visit in the summertime. During winter, I would recommend the newly reopened Wienerkonditoriet (

There is a restaurant in the old town of Stockholm called Gyllene Freden, and it’s perfect for those seeking an authentic place that serves traditional Swedish cuisine. While they like to change the menu daily, you will always find traditional dishes like biffrydberg (diced potatoes, onions and beef ), raggmunkar med fläsk (potato pancakes) and many different kinds of herring. The overall experience and the atmosphere are outstanding. The location is great as well, and who wouldn’t enjoy a stroll through the old blocks of Stockholm before or after lunch?

Dinner is the most enjoyable meal to eat out in Stockholm, and a lot of great new restaurants have opened recently. Furthermore, they are restaurants that are innovative and work with interesting concepts. One of my favourites is Råkultur, which boasts an interesting combination of Swedish and Scandinavian fish and shellfish dishes presented in a Japanese style. It’s a very vibrant restaurant with a casual atmosphere. While the craftsmanship and the food are of a very high quality, it’s not particularly expensive.

Rosendals Trädgård Rosendalsterrassen 12, Stockholm Tel: +46 (0) 854581270

Gyllene Freden Österlånggatan 51, Stockholm Tel: +46 (0) 8249760


Open skies / December 2013

Restaurang Råkultur Kungstensgatan 2, Stockholm Tel: +46 (0) 86962325

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Restaurants 1. Saggio di Vino (-43.521202 , 172.628196)

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Galleries 1. ArtBox (-43.536700 , 172.642415)

4. The Last Word (-43.529118 , 172.638609)

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the snaking River Avon and backed by the Southern Alps, Christchurch remains an Smart Gallery 2. King of Snake 2. Jonathan , 172.629151) 2. Baretta (-43.545043 , 172.638456) important gateway to New(-43.522840 Zealand’s South Island. More than two years after the 2011 Canterbury 3. Otahuna Lodge (-43.536677 , 172.635984) earthquakes centre, New Zealand’s Garden City has slowly been reborn3.with a Museum (-43.659809 , 172.583872) devastated the 3. city Pescatore Canterbury (-43.525717 , with 172.628326) 3. Volstead Trading Co.dens, as well as plenty (-43.530802 distinctly modern edge. Brimming restaurants and trendy drinking of , 172.627169) 4. Peppers Clearwater Resort (-43.529482 , 172.606875) cutting-edge is back with plenty to say. (-43.447909 , 172.596569) art spaces, Christchurch 4. Chillingworth Road 4. Chambers241 (-43.490466 , 172.622685)





01. the George 02. Heritage Christchurch 03. Otahuna Lodge 04. Peppers Clearwater resort

05. saggio di Vino 06. King Of snake 07. Pescatore 08. Chillingworth road

09. Gustav’s Kitchen and Wine bar 10. baretta 11. Volstead trading Co. 12. the Last Word

13. artbox 14. Jonathan smart Gallery 15. Canterbury Museum 16. Chambers241


Open skies / December 2013

mapped HOTELS 01 The George Well known for its exceptional service and central location, luxury boutique hotel The George is no newcomer. Paintings by local artist Ralph Haters make for stylish décor, and the hotel’s spacious suites overlook the River Avon and Hagley Park. 02

Heritage Christchurch Overlooking Cathedral Square, the revamped Heritage boasts a series of swish apartment suites as well as a lap pool. A little slice of Italy in the heart of Christchurch, the hotel is housed in a category one listed building designed in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. 03 Otahuna Lodge A 30-minute drive from Christchurch city centre, this Relais & Chateaux hotel is set in a refurbished Victorian manor originally built for politician Sir Heaton Rhodes. The seven guestrooms are individually themed, and the lush surrounding estate comes packed with lakes, pools and woodland paths. 04 Peppers Clearwater Resort Located a little out of town, this luxury lakefront resort is the perfect spot for those seeking rest, relaxation and stunning views of the Southern Alps. Slick, bright rooms (some with private jetties) have a modern feel, and the golf course hosts the ISPS Handa Women’s NZ Golf Open.

SnOw buSineSS / Christchurch sits below the Southern Alps

rESTauranTS 05 Saggio di Vino Tastefully decked out in warm, dark timber, Saggio di Vino has been a Christchurch favourite since 1991, and specialises in simple, modern European fare such as panfried Hapuka with lemon risotto. An eclectic wine list and a rolling cheese trolley offer the ideal finale to a decadent dinner.

King Of Snake Stylish red surrounds, skull wallpaper and a popular corner bar conjure up a sensual atmosphere at this Victoria Street newcomer, the latest from Tony Astle of Indochine. Tuck into



07 Pescatore A finalist for Cuisine NZ Restaurant Of The Year 2013, local favourite Pescatore looks out on Hagley Park from The George hotel. Gourmet chef Reon Hobson concocts intricate seasonal menus, featuring ingredients such as poached Canterbury lamb loin and herbinfused sashimi tuna, and there’s an award-winning international wine list to match. 08 Chillingworth Road Treat yourself to an eight-course ‘Trust The Chef’ degustation menu at this novel fine-dining venture and cookery school, helmed by twice South Island Chef Of The Year Darren Wright. Look out for signature breakfasts and delicious dinner treats such as Akaroa salmon with octopus terrine.


Open skies / December 2013

modern southeast Asian dishes, perfect for sharing.



bars 09 Gustav’s Kitchen And Wine Bar Part of new boutique retail project The Tannery, in Woolston, Gustav’s is the latest addition to the Cassel family bar empire. Choose from a carefully considered wine list at the vast mirrored bar, where dark oak and floral wallpaper lend an air of English opulence.

CiTy CenTre / Cathedral Square is right in the heart of Christchurch


11 Volstead Trading Co. With well-worn retro furniture, live gigs and original wall murals by New Zealand signwriters JBFX, Volstead takes its inspiration from an American Prohibition era bar. Kick back with an extensive stock of international and local craft beers, including Emerson’s and Epic, and New Zealand Moa on tap.

13 ArtBox In a bid to revitalise the city centre, the ongoing ArtBox project provides much needed exhibition space for local artists. Founded by Martin Trusttum of CIPT, the quirky modular structure will eventually hold 18 gallery ‘boxes’ in four buildings on the corner of Madras and St Asaph Streets.

12 The Last Word From the owners of popular bar The Darkroom comes this discreet whiskey bar and cocktail lounge in the heart of renovated New Regent Street. Set over two floors and decorated with dark green walls, there’s an impressive selection of whiskies on offer.

14 Jonathan Smart Gallery With a keen focus on the best of contemporary, New Zealand visual art, Jonathan Smart has been presenting the work of both established artists and cutting-edge creatives since 1987.


Open skies / December 2013

Monthly exhibitions here cover everything from sculpture and painting to photography. 15 Canterbury Museum Set in a stunning 19th century Gothic revival building next to the Botanic Gardens, this important regional museum explores the story of Christchurch and Canterbury through a series of collections devoted to local history and Maori culture. 16 Chambers241 This unique arts hub was launched in 2011 by Dr Warren Feeney and Ronald Mottram, in collaboration with Creative New Zealand. Intended to rekindle the inner city arts scene post earthquake, Chambers241 is a commercial gallery, music venue and local artists’ studio all rolled into one bright, modern space.

WordS: hg2.Com imageS: getty imageS

10 Baretta In honour of its trendy, but now defunct, SoL Square predecessor, Cartel, Baretta combines comfort and elegance in the style of a swanky Italian bar with a tiled terracotta courtyard out back. Live local music and Italian-inspired cocktails keep things going until the early hours.


Dubai International Film Festival

Twelve years ago Dubai didn’t have much of a film industry, but now, thanks to festivals such as DIFF, Emirati film is on the rise Words by Tahira Yaqoob / Images by Getty Images

the director / DIFF’s artistic director, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, launched the festival in 2001

hen Masoud Amralla Al Ali launched the United Arab Emirates’ first film festival, a group of young female college students who had submitted amateur movies shyly approached him, and asked if he could cut the credits. Their families were in uproar over their decision to broadcast their

Incredibly, that was only 12 years ago – and what a difference a little more than a decade has made. The UAE has evolved from having a virtually non-existent film industry in 2001, aside from a handful of amateur enthusiasts doing the best they could with handheld cameras, to becoming a thriving international hub celebrating cinema from around the world with three major


names on screen – the film industry had little respect or credibility in the country and, for the sake of peace, they preferred to be anonymous. “We did as they asked and screened the films without credits, even though it was only their names and not their faces on screen,” recalls Al Ali, now the artistic director of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).


Open skies / December 2013

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STAR poweR / Hollywood stars Martin Sheen (above left) and Cate Blanchett (above right) will both be attending the 10th DIFF

film festivals –DIFF, Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Gulf Film Festival – and a rash of smaller events year-round. This month, Hollywood stars Martin Sheen and Cate Blanchett will be taking to the red carpet at the 10th annual DIFF, and will be joined by a phalanx of Arab screen idols – proof of a cinema industry that is swiftly coming of age. Among the screenings will be dozens of films made by Emiratis, from documentaries to short fiction films, while there are now pots of cash for would-be filmmakers, giving them a chance to apply for funding from the likes of the US$500,000 Sanad Fund in Abu Dhabi and the US$100,000 coffers of Dubai Film Connection to develop their ideas and bring their projects to fruition. Image Nation, the moviemaking arm of Abu Dhabi Media, has not only funded blockbuster

films such as The Help and Contagion but also ploughed money into homegrown projects, from Nawaf Al Janahi’s featurelength film Sea Shadow two years ago to the recently-released Djinn, the Emirates’ first horror movie, which was helmed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper. “What has happened in the UAE is enormous in terms of understanding cinema and being open to it,” says Al Ali. “When I started, there was nothing. Now there are 70 or 80 short films and documentaries made by Emiratis every year on average. And instead of taking their names off the credits, families are coming into cinemas with their girls to celebrate their films with them.” Al Ali, 45, believes being exposed to great films from around the world and fostering local talent go hand in

mAking movieS / The UAE’s Image Nation has helped fund Hollywood movies such as The Help (right) and Contagion (far right)


Open skies / December 2013

now there are 70 or 80 short films and documentaries made by emiratis every year on average hand. A former poet, he first became interested in filmmaking in 1994, after completing a short course in Los Angeles, and made a 24-minute movie followed by a documentary, but became disconsolate at shouting into the wind. “I did not have any friends to talk to about cinema,” he says. “It was really tough and lonely, so I stopped.” Most of the cinemas in the Emirates had closed in the 1980s, driven out of business by the rise in Betamax videos and movie rental

LOCAL KNOwLEDGE there’ s a glut of upcoming young filmmakers devoted to making the world take note of emirati cinema stores. But Al Ali clung on to the memory of the obscure Italian films screened during his childhood, which sowed the seeds of his passion, even though they were so heavily censored because of their risqué content that often three films would be spliced together as one. “They had so much nudity that by the time they were cut, each one was 45-minutes long,” he chuckles. “But from 1980, people totally forgot about cinemas, and there was nowhere showing art house films any more.” What revived cinemas was the introduction of copyright laws in the mid-1990s, which outlawed pirated videos and drove rental shops out of business. There were still less than 40 cinema screens in 2001, though, when Al Ali had the idea of bringing together other fledgling Emirati filmmakers for a showcase of their work at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi. A total of 58 short films were screened over three days, and by teenage drama/ Nawaf Al Janahi’s Sea Shadow is the story of two Emirati boys coming of age in the UAE

the following year the event had morphed into the annual Emirates Film Competition. Al Ali was joined in running it by Al Janahi and Ali Al Jabri, who is now director of Abu Dhabi Film Festival. What the filmmakers lacked in expertise, they made up for in enthusiasm. As each of the trio of friends has taken his own path in embracing the film industry, one thing they have in common is the importance of imparting knowledge, and not simply plunging cash into productions but also nurturing talent. A strong undercurrent of each of the festivals and projects they spearhead is education, whether it is connecting scriptwriters with producers under the umbrella of Dubai Film Connection, inviting Hollywood directors to give lectures on how to make the transition from shorts to feature-length films or


Open skies / December 2013

Horror flick / Djinn, the UAE’s first horror film, was directed by Tobe Hooper, famous for directing, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

finding an international platform for Emirati talent. That is already having an impact. Khalid Al Mahmood’s 2010 film, Sabeel, has been shown at festivals in Berlin, Miami and Switzerland, and led to him being named by Screen International as one of the 10 most influential Arabs in the film world. Nujoom Al Ghanem’s poignant documentary, Hamama, a homage to the ancient healing rituals still practised in the rural parts of the Emirates, garnered five international awards, and was made with the help of DIFF’s Enjaaz film fund. And there’s a glut of upcoming young filmmakers devoted to making the world take note of Emirati cinema, from City Of Life director Ali Mostafa to Nayla Al Khaja, who founded D-Seven Motion Pictures in Dubai, and Fujairah-born Abdulla Al Kaabi, who won three awards in LA with his short film The Philosopher, starring Jean Reno. “I do not think where the director is from plays a part in the audience’s psyche,” says Al Mahmood, who began making films in 2001 with a small shop-bought camera and is showing the short Don’t Leave Me at DIFF. “At the end, what matters most is the film.”





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Nujoom, who has made four feature films and is premiering her documentary Red Blue Yellow at DIFF, based on the life of Emirati painter Najat Makki, says there is still a lack of support for fulllength movies. Only three feature films were produced before City Of Life, and none have been shown widely outside the UAE or off the festival circuit. “The television industry is well established, and there is a good movement for short films, but not feature ones yet,” says the poet and former journalist. “I thought it would be good to establish a film scene here. I feel a responsibility for preserving our traditions. My dream is to produce fiction films, but the business I have chosen is a tough one.” Despite a 75,000-strong audience for his 2009 film, premiered at DIFF that year, Mostafa failed to break even with ticket sales for his US$7 million City Of Life, largely because a

The eyes of The world are now Trained on arab filmmakers, and whaT They have To say abouT The world They live in... a good human sTory will always Transcend borders much-hyped distribution deal failed to materialise. “It was my first feature film and I learned a lot,” says Mostafa, who is poised to embark on his next film after a fouryear struggle to secure funding. “We had sold-out screenings at every international festival we went to, but it was impossible to make a profit, because we do


Open skies / December 2013

Latest modeL / City Of Life directorAli Mostafa (left), Khalid Al Mahmood (top right) and Mahmood on the set of his 2010 film, Sabeel (bottom right)

not have enough cinemas here to recoup that much money.” He and other regional directors have certainly been helped by the success of Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda this year. It has been screened globally to universal acclaim and is now being tipped as a contender for a foreign language Oscar, the first time a Saudi film has been in the running. It means the eyes of the world are now trained on Arab filmmakers, and what they have to say about the world they live in. That, says Mostafa, can only be good news. “I make Arab films, not necessarily for an Arab audience, but for a western audience, so that they can understand and learn about our culture,” he says. “A good film and a human story will always transcend borders.”


Open skies / december 2013


Pushkar / India


Near the centre of Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arid northwestern state of Rajasthan lies the small holy town of Pushkar. The town itself wraps around the shores of Pushkar Lake, said to have formed from the falling lotus petal of Brahma (the Hindu god of creation) himself. Pushkar is a pilgrimage site for Hindus, although it is also popular with foreign tourists, especially during its annual camel fair. Pilgrims come from across India to visit the hundreds of temples or to wash away their sins in the sacred waters of the lake.


Open skies / december 2013


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Hotels are as popular as ever, but New Yorker Noah Davis prefers to stay with strangers when he travels Words by Noah Davis / Images Airbnb


’m lying on a small bed in a sparsely decorated room in a loft in downtown Columbus, Ohio. While the spartan space is perfectly adequate for my needs, it is not a five-star hotel. Or even three stars. But that’s exactly the point. I found the lodging through Airbnb, a San Francisco-based start-up founded in 2008 that allows people to rent out their houses and apartments to perfect strangers for short periods of time. I try to use the service whenever I travel. It’s frequently cheaper than a hotel – although it boasts any price point imaginable – and offers more variety. Plus, it’s a lot more fun if you can stand a bit of uncertainty. Although the site offers pictures of listed properties, you never know the exact details of the place until you arrive. That serendipity is the reason my host put his home on Airbnb. Christophe Le Barbier left France for the United States seven years ago to study at Ohio State University. After



graduating, he secured a job with L Brands, the conglomerate that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. He bought a tastefully industrial two-bedroom apartment in a converted warehouse and found a roommate. But she moved out, leaving Le Barbier alone. “For about a year, I was living by myself, which was fine, but I kind of enjoyed having somebody around every once in a while,” he says. Enter Airbnb. “It’s fun to meet some pretty random people,” he says. Over the past four months, Le Barbier has had six or seven guests.


ChoiCe ACCommodAtion / There are 500,000 properties listed on rental site Airbnb

Most stay for one or two nights while Is It really passing through for a conference or a surprIse another event (I was there covering a football match), but an actor who had a that we’re play in Columbus spent 14 days in the ok wIth extra room. Then, like everyone else who stays, he moved on with his life. sharIng our The success of Airbnb, which apartments charges a six to 12 per cent service fee on every booking, reflects a growing and houses trend in the international culture of our increasingly interconnected planet. We are ever more comfortable sharing photos, status updates and other personal information. Is it really a surprise that we’re OK with sharing our apartments and houses as well, especially if we can benefit financially from the transaction? Sure, it can be strange to have a stranger in your living space, with or without you present – many people vacate their apartments when they are rented – but it also makes perfect sense that travellers would want the comforts of someone’s home. Airbnb isn’t the only site offering this service. Roomorama, founded by perpetual travellers Jia En Teo and Federico Folcia, boasts rooms all over the world. HomeAway has almost 600,000 vacation rentals for travellers everywhere from Manhattan to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. claims 235,000 apartments, holiday homes and B&Bs worldwide, which are, on average, 30 per cent cheaper than a hotel of a


similar standard. is exactly what its name suggests, a website on which people list their couches as alternative accommodation for travellers. But Airbnb is the biggest. The stats prove the model. A total of 8.5 million guests have stayed in a property listed on Airbnb, 4.5 million in 2013 alone. The site boasts 500,000 listings – including 600 castles – across more than 33,000 cities in 192 countries. “This summer, roughly every two seconds someone was checking into an Airbnb listing – and on our peak night this summer, 175,000 people were staying on Airbnb around the world,” an Airbnb executive says. The growth is exponential. The service is not without potential problems. Destruction of property is the obvious one. The company drew negative press in 2011 after a woman had her San Francisco apartment burglarised and vandalised, and she was unsatisfied with Airbnb’s initial

Open skies / December 2013


efforts to help resolve the matter. Another horror story posted on the tech blog TechCrunch featured damage done to a door with an axe. But these tales are few and far between, and Airbnb partnered with Lloyd’s of London to offer US$1,000,000 in insurance to property owners. They have also increased their customer service in an effort to respond more quickly to claims. You also put your faith in a host you don’t know. When I arrived at my Airbnb accommodation during a downpour in Bruges, Belgium, my host, Pascal, greeted me at the door. He was outgoing, gregarious, and armed with a helpful map of the area detailing some of his favourite spots. He also had something to tell me: there would be another person staying in the private room I booked. Something about a mistake with the system. He didn’t elaborate, nor did he offer me a discount. It was an annoying hassle, but not a deal breaker. I stayed out for most of the night seeing the sites, and only crossed paths with my unintended roommate briefly when I returned. There are also legal issues that the company needs to address. To borrow a line from James Surowiecki writing in The New Yorker, the rentals are “not hotels, but they’re not not hotels, either.” A New York state law prohibits people from renting apartments for fewer than 30 days. This only pertains to situations in which the permanent resident isn’t present, but anecdotal evidence suggests that covers most of the Airbnb rentals in NYC. After all, it’s rare for someone in New York to have a spare bedroom sitting around

unused. This situation is unique to the United States’ biggest city, but it’s easy to see how the hotel industry at large would be against the continued success of Airbnb and its ilk. And that’s fair. But there’s room for both. Last year, I travelled to Kiev, Ukraine, with a friend for Euro 2012. It was difficult to find a hotel that wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to charge an exorbitant fee (I’m being charitable here. We are talking hikes of 500 or 600 per cent a night.) And even when we did, how could we trust that the pictures of the place on its own website were real? We turned to Airbnb and booked a two-bedroom apartment for our two-week stay. The owners could have faked the pictures, but we had Airbnb’s feedback system to give us some semblance of a guide. We trusted the service. If the place had been misrepresented, we would have known. It was a leap of faith, and more than a little nerve-wracking when we arrived during a torrential downpour in Kiev and initially had issues contacting the landlord, but our phone call went through on the third attempt. We picked up the keys, and found ourselves in a lovely place with a kitchen, a living room and our own personal space. It looked, more or less, like the pictures. Not too bad for somewhere halfway around the world. In the end, perhaps the question isn’t why should you use Airbnb or services like it, but why shouldn’t you? As a traveller, these sites offer you flexibility, affordability and the opportunity to stay in a hovel or a castle if you so desire. As a renter or owner, you can always say no to inquiries. And if you say yes, you’ll make some quick cash and, possibly, a new friend. Noah Davis is a writer based in New York natural selection / This treehouse in Vermont, USA, is just one of many unique homes you could check into on Airbnb


Open skies / December 2013

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The Crash The young athlete who has fought his way out of a hospital bed and into contention for the 2016 US Olympic team




TV IS DEAD. LONG LIVE TV: Jamal Edwards, the 23-year-old multi-millionaire who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t watch TV Our WOmAN IN: Artist Fauzia Minallah shares her life in Islamabad WHY DO WE STILL WOrK?: Paddy Smith asks why we are still slaves to the nine-to-five

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TV is dead. Long





amal Edwards grew up on a social housing estate in Acton, West London. He did not do well in school. He got a kick out of vandalism and, by his own admission, would resort to violence when pushed. When he was 14, he assaulted one of his peers for saying the wrong thing. The boy ended up in hospital, in a critical condition, and Jamal ended up in a jail cell for 24 hours. “Being locked away for that day was an eye opener, it made me realise that I didn’t want that for my life,” he says. “Nowadays, I look back at it and think I’d be in a lot more trouble [if I hadn’t changed my attitude to life]. When something bad happens to you, sometimes that is a good thing, because it helps you grow into whatever character you want to be.” Today, Jamal Edwards, now 23 years old, is a multi-millionaire – an internet media mogul who rubs shoulders with Richard Branson and Bill Clinton, and has toured with Dr Dre. Following our photo shoot, at lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon, we retire to a nondescript bar in gentrified Fulham in West London – not Jamal’s scene at all. With his trademark baseball cap, which casts a shadow over most of his baby face, he couldn’t look more out of place. Choosing a table by the window, Jamal orders an orange juice – he will nurse the soft drink throughout the interview, taking occasional tiny sips – and takes a seat. He seems distracted, as though he’s already thinking about where he needs to be next. I was supposed to meet him at his London home three days ago, but on my way there I noticed a tweet saying that he was in Bristol on his UK book tour. “Sorry about the other day,” he apologises. “I have two weaknesses: my phone, I can’t live without my phone, and organisation. I’m doing so many things, and I’m always struggling to fit everything in.” As if to highlight his point, he starts swiping the screen of his iPhone – he admits to owning ten or 15 mobile phones, and always carries a Samsung, as well as his iPhone – and continues to speak without looking up.




“You just reminded me, I need to reply to an email from the Bill Gates Foundation. They want to do something together,” he says. The book that Jamal missed our first appointment to promote is Self Belief: The Vision. Recently published by his friend Richard Branson’s Virgin Books, it chronicles his path to success and reads like a guide for young people on how to follow their dreams. Jamal wasn’t a naturally gifted pupil and struggled to achieve average grades. Entrepreneurial skills, he believes, should be taught in schools. His first taste of entrepreneurship was at age nine. He collected football cards and traded them at school. He used to parade around the grounds, seeking out the highest bidder, enjoying the thrill of earning money and being the person everyone came to when they needed a particular card. At 15 Jamal received a video camera as a Christmas gift and started uploading videos to YouTube. “I was just doing silly videos,” he says. “I was going into my back garden and filming foxes, filming my mum making macaroni and cheese.” The videos may have been silly, but Jamal started to feel the buzz of waking up to see how many hits his videos had received. While he studied for a media diploma, he worked part-time in a popular UK clothing store, a job that earned him enough money to follow his real passion – filming the rap artists from the emerging London Grime scene. He established his own YouTube channel, SB.TV, in 2006, at the age of 16, and built it up until, in July 2009, after the third time trying, he finally became an official YouTube partner. YouTube began giving Edwards a share of the advertising revenue raised by SB.TV, and he received his first cheque in the post for £100, setting him on the path to success. It was only then that his mum allowed him to give up his part-time job. “I think my passion for filming came first, and when I started making money from


it, I was like, ‘I can make money from something I love doing’,” he says. Jamal decided that networking was a means to promote SB.TV to an everwider audience, which is a strategy he still follows today. He seems to possess a quality that allows him to see the potential in every opportunity. While he was working in the clothing store he used to take the long way home, because it would take him past the BBC’s London studios. He would to walk by in the hope that he might meet someone who could help him further his career – a celebrity, or even a technician. Eventually it paid off, people started to recognise him, and he managed to arrange a work placement in the BBC’s sound engineering department in 2009. He has continued to be resourceful. In November 2009 he wrote to Daren Dixon, CEO of AAB Talent Management, and by January 2010 he had landed



his first big interview, with US singer Kelly Rowland. It was a masterstroke, which increased SB.TV’s clout overnight. He was completely unprepared for the interview; he didn’t even have a presenter, only managing to find one the day before via a request on Twitter. He is not afraid to take a risk. “I don’t let anything stop me from doing what I want to do; I never say I can’t do it. If I have any doubts I’ll just go and do it anyway,” he says. In January 2011 Jamal scored an interview with US rapper Nicki Minaj. Minaj’s record company had told Jamal that he wasn’t allowed to go down with her in the elevator after the interview. But he was desperate to capture footage of her as she walked out into a crowd of adoring fans. So he jumped into the elevator with her and filmed it anyway. That night he uploaded the video, and the next day he had more than 100,000 views; the record company contacted him to tell him how great the video was. But none of his early successes could prepare him for the furore that was to come after Google chose him to star in their Chrome advert in August 2011. The advert chronicles Jamal’s journey into popular culture, from the early videos of his mother cooking to interviewing big names in the music world. It was the perfect platform to introduce Jamal Edwards the brand. The ad concludes with the tagline: “the web is what you make of it”. “It was the second most popular advert on YouTube that year [with more than six million views],” Jamal says. “It was all over TV, it was on during the first ad break of [UK TV talent show] X-Factor, so everyone saw it. I was sweating, and my Mum’s friends were calling. My parents didn’t really know what I had been doing, because when I’m filming these Grime artists, Mum’s like, ‘Who are all these people? Who’s Skepta? Who’s Chipmunk?,’ and when she saw that ad on the

CELEBRITY FRIENDS / (Clockwise) Jamal with UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, front row at London Fashion Week with models Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne, and Jamal’s mentor Richard Branson

BECauSE I havE a LaRgE FoLLowINg oF YouNg pEopLE I havE To ThRow IN SomE SoCIaL ISSuES, SomEThINg ThaT wILL makE pEopLE aCTuaLLY ThINk

TV, she was, ‘Oh wow!’ My parents actually recognised what I’d been building.” Jamal attributes his achievement to the fact that SB.TV is not a “faceless business”. He claims that contemporary society wants to know the person behind the brand. He refers to his mentor, Richard Branson, noting how people are drawn to his brands because they relate to Branson’s story. Jamal has been open and honest about his life. “It’s important to be honest, I had stories in the book that I’d never told before, but I waited for a certain time,” he says. “If people had asked me when I was younger, ‘Tell me about the time when you got arrested, when you were sitting in a cell, when everything was going pear shaped,’ people could have looked at me and thought, ‘woah!’ But because I’ve done what I’ve done, and I’ve reached a certain stage, now when I tell the story people say, ‘Oh, he’s doing what he’s doing and that’s in the past.’ So it’s about doing it at the right time.” The most powerful tool in Jamal’s promotional arsenal is, of course, social media, which he has used to create a buzz around himself, as well as to promote SB.TV directly. The best example of this is his Twitter flirtation with pop star Rihanna. “Oh yeah, basically I was in Cannes and I found out she was in the hotel next to me, and I started tweeting her, and it trended,” he says, becoming animated and putting down his iPhone, which he has been checking on a regular basis throughout the interview. “People started putting pictures of Rihanna and me together. I think that was a bit cheeky. I was a bit embarrassed when I actually met her, because I didn’t know if she had seen all


Open skies / december 2013

the things I’d done. Maybe she would think I was a stalker or whatever.” When he did meet Rihanna, he just said “hi”, he admits with a laugh, In March 2012 Q magazine named him one of the most influential people in music, hailing him as the next Simon Cowell. The following month SB.TV hit 100 million views, and this year the Manchester International Festival billed him as “the voice of a generation”. It might come as a surprise, considering his flair for self-promotion, but Jamal doesn’t like the label. “I don’t talk for all young people, ‘cause there are loads of different social circles,” he says. “You’ll get people talking about a certain youth demographic, but that doesn’t represent another demographic. I can only talk from my perspective and experience, and then I try to forecast as many young peoples’ opinions as possible.” Whether he feels like the voice of a generation or not, it hasn’t stopped governments and charity organisations approaching him in the hope that working with him will help them reach ‘the youth’. “It’s overwhelming,” he says. “It’s a huge responsibility. I used to only do music, but now I feel that because I’ve got a large following of young people I have to throw in some social issues, something that will make people actually think.” Jamal’s latest hit is a video featuring Prince Charles, outlining the difficulties young people face while living with disabilities such as autism and depression. He has also arranged entertainment for an event for Bill Clinton’s foundation and conducted interviews with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the opposition leader, Ed Miliband. “If I could give something back, it would be transforming politics in a way that young people can understand,” he says. “That’s the bridge

that’s broken at the moment. There’s no connection between young people and parliament.” At just 23, Jamal is now considered one of the early pioneers of online broadcasting. The media has even coined a new phrase, ‘The Jamal Effect’, which refers to the group of young directors and producers trying to follow Jamal’s model. “I was born in a digital space, whereas people from print or TV are trying to move into it,” he says, explaining his success. “SB.TV has shown that it’s possible, and I’m glad to be recognised as someone who has been doing things for a little while… There’s no blueprint for doing online. Online allows you creative freedom, and it allows you to do things much quicker at a lower cost. You can try something out first to see if it works, and then go to a brand. With TV the costs are much higher.” SB.TV will upload a video and promote it on Twitter, allowing users instant access to the content, while television viewers need to wait days or weeks for the scheduled programming. “Everyone’s on [the] internet, they won’t wait around to watch something if they can watch it online,” says Jamal. “I think young people are impatient. If you’ve released something, they don’t want to wait for it.” Major broadcasters’ viewer numbers are in decline. The four big networks in the US all announced profit losses for the first quarter of 2013, with ABC announcing a 40 per cent drop off from the same period last year. Primetime ratings are falling faster than ever, with the most significant drop being between the ages of 18 and 49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers. Broadcasting networks once controlled the advertising market: during its heyday, TV could boast coUrting royaLty / 50 million viewers watching one programme at Sharing a joke with Prince the same time. Now the numbers are closer to five Charles, who features in Jamal’s latest video million. It is a growing concern for companies who


Open skies / december 2013

have substantial advertising contracts with TV stations. Traditional television, an industry estimated to be worth US$9 billion in the US, is now in a very uncomfortable position and, if trends continue, its livelihood will be decimated as companies take their contracts elsewhere. A significant indication that advertisers are starting to look for alternative avenues is the advent of Brand Cast, a new YouTube initiative. Jamal’s channel was one of a handful chosen to show their content to more than 700 companies. Held in a room full of CEOs paying for the chance to have their brands associated with the latest content, the event allows companies to reach target online audiences. Due to the success of channels like SB.TV internet audience numbers are increasing, encouraging major brands to jump ship and move away from television. Jamal is unimpressed with what traditional TV is currently offering. “We will be witnessing the end of [traditional] television, if there are no new ideas. I don’t watch anything on TV these days. What is there to watch on TV? I wouldn’t say it’s dead, but if it doesn’t fix itself it will die.” Meanwhile, as television struggles to adapt to the changing environment created by social media and digital broadcasting, Jamal is sitting pretty. In 2012 The Sunday Times included him on its young rich list, estimating Jamal’s fortune to be £6 million. In October 2013 SB.TV secured funding from Marc Boyan, founder and CEO of Pinterest backer Miroma Ventures, in a deal that estimates that SB.TV is worth £8 million. So where could Jamal possibly go from here? He finally puts his phone away, before enthusiastically reeling off a well-rehearsed list. “I wanna branch out from music and do fashion, comedy, sports, gaming, gadgets and culture, SB.TV USA, get involved in films, live merchandising, e-commerce. I wanna build it into a 360˚ global youth media platform.” He takes a breath. “I’m on it!”

image: geoff Brokate, getty imaheS

i don’t watch anything on tv these days. what is there to watch on tv?

drink responsibly WWW.drinkiQ.CoM Š2013 r & A bAiley & Co. The bAileys Word And AssoCiATed logos Are TrAde MArks.




Pakistan’s cosmopolitan capital city is a constant inspiration to the artist and founder of the Funkor Childart Centre Islamabad


was blessed with very progressive parents, who encouraged me not only to achieve academically but also instilled in me a respect for the artistic talent I was born with. They encouraged me to improve my skills, and at 11 years old I was a student of one of the most respected painters in Peshawar. My father was so proud of my artistic talent that I was barely 17 years old when I had a solo exhibition in Peshawar. As an artist, I have concentrated more on exploring different mediums and uses of my artistic talent. It’s more about the enjoyment of art rather than achieving great heights. I don’t have any philosophy as such; my art is closely related to my feelings. It is a medium of selfexpression. For example, when [Pakistani schoolgirl activist] Malala Yousafzai was shot I cried for days, and it was at that time that I made an animation about her. When the centuries old Jehanabad Buddha in Swat was destroyed in 2007, I picked up a hammer and chisel to carve images of the Buddha in stone. When trees were cut down in Islamabad during the so-called ‘development’ process, I painted canvases with images of trees. My work was part of an exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and I have been honoured

to have a retrospective of my work exhibited at the National Gallery in Islamabad. I have exhibited work from projects with children in Hiroshima, Munich and Tokyo. As a mother and a painter, I felt the need to work with children through art and picture books. In 2001, I developed Amai, the bird of light, a cartoon character for children. It is a magical bird made of light and millions of tiny stars. Amai can turn into a shooting star and take children on exciting adventures around the world. Since 2002, Amai, the bird of light, has been used in picture books, which are distributed free of charge among children who can’t afford them. Amai is the vehicle I use to promote values to children that will enable them to be responsible citizens of not only their own country, but also of the world. This is also the spirit behind Funkor Child Art Centre’s work with children. It is not a big organisation; I started it in my studio. We bring hope, through art, to the lives of children who really need it the most. Through Funkor I help children in refugee camps and shantytowns with their ‘healing’ process. Interfaith harmony is what we need the most in Pakistan. It heartens me that if you Google the words ‘multicultural harmony’ the first image that pops up,


Open skies / December 2013


OLD inspiratiOn / When the Jehanabad Buddha in Swat (top left) was destroyed in 2007, Minallah started work on her own Buddha Still Lives In Pakistan fan cLub / Minallah signs one of her books for an admirer at the National Gallery in Islamabad buDDhaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rebirth / For her work Buddha Still Lives In Pakistan (top right), Minallah carved images of Buddha and dancing figures into slate, inspired by chitarkari, a folk art from her hometown in Hazara

whether you are in England or Pakistan, is the image of a mural painted by Pakistani children under my guidance. This image has been used in a number of publications and websites around the world. Working together with friends it has been possible to help internally displaced Christian, Hindu and Sikh refugees. I am happy that I was able to help some of the most marginalised minority communities. The whole world needs interfaith harmony, not just Pakistan, and I am glad that in a small way I am a part of it. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know of anyone for whom being successful is not important, and, of course, it is important for me, too. Although I cannot claim to be successful, I do find happiness and solace in my art. I feel successful when children discover the joy of painting in a refugee camp or a blind child reads what I wrote for them in Braille books. I grew up in Islamabad, where I was always surrounded by nature (Margallah Hills National Park). Growing up in Islamabad meant experiencing the glorious environment of abundant trees and natural profusion. Islamabad is essentially a new city. It was built after uprooting and relocating the inhabitants of the small villages that lived on the land that was to become the capital. To the founders of the new capital, the history and culture of the indigenous inhabitants seemed unimportant. Newcomers to Islamabad from all over Pakistan treated it more or less as a way station en route to the next posting; no one owned it as home.


Open skies / December 2013

Tourists who come here think of Islamabad as a new city, built in 1960 – a city devoid of history and heritage. I discovered the historical side of the capital through eminent scholar and archaeologist Dr Ahmed Hassan Dani’s work. Dr Dani’s insights into the area’s history inspired me to photograph all the heritage sites he had mentioned. The result was my pictorial account of the city, Glimpses Into Islamabad’s Soul. In Islamabad I convinced the local government to save its ancient trees. I felt sad when a centuries old banyan ‘buddha tree’ was burnt down by extremists. I love the stately banyan and peepal trees – they are such wonderful examples of nature’s art. I cannot imagine living in a bigger city with tall concrete buildings. Compared to Karachi and Lahore, Islamabad is smaller, greener and the traffic is much better. It is much calmer and better organised than other cities in Pakistan, so lots of people move here. Islamabad is the most cosmopolitan city in Pakistan. Most of the big politicians are based here. We have a lot of diplomats and NGO workers living here so we have a lot of high end, fashionable places to eat out. The best places to visit in Islamabad are Pappasalis, Usmania and Zeno’s restaurants for Pakistani cuisine. We inherited a culture of high tea from the British Empire, and it’s delightful to spend Sundays at Pappasalis’ with my family enjoying their high tea buffet. Islamabad is surrounded by hills and is a short drive to the Margallah Hills National Park. There are some wonderful restaurants there, and you get stunning views of HOME TOWN / Minallah says that Islamabad. If you visit Islamabad is the most during the day, a hike cosmopolitan city in in the Margallah Hills Pakistan can be nice, followed by lunch at one of the small DINNER TIME/ restaurants run by the Pappasalis restaurant villagers. At night there is a lively festival atmosphere with food stalls and fairis one of Minallah’s ground rides around the main lookout point. favourite places to enjoy traditional We have a happening art scene in Islamabad. Besides the National Art Gallery, Pakistani cuisine there are a number of galleries where you can find good art, such as Gallery 6, Tanzara, Saatrang, Kuch Khaas, Aqs and Nomad. gREEN cITy / Like most Pakistanis, family is very important to me. I like having people around Islamabad is greener than other cities in me, and love to get together with my siblings, nieces and nephews. My teenage sons Pakistan, says Minallah. make fun of me when, like a stereotypical South Asian mother, I tell them I will look She advises a hike in for wives for them. I have lived a beautiful life in Pakistan. I love the rich heritage the Margallah Hills before lunch and spectacular mountains here. Pakistan is my home, my identity and inspiration.


Open skies / December 2013

Christopher Beanland finds out why seven concrete buildings in the UK, once regarded as ugly, are now loved by the public and the architecture fraternity alike


ever in human history has an architectural style been so poisoned by its moniker. Brutalism is not the ideology of brutality at all; the word actually evolved from breton brut, French for ‘raw concrete’. But here was the other problem: people hate concrete, or at least they thought they did. Because now we’re turning a corner. “We’re on the cusp of people accepting Brutalist buildings,” says Catherine Croft, director of the 20th Century Society, a London-based organisation that aims to preserve the best of Britain’s modern architecture. As recently as a couple of years ago, Croft and her colleagues often found themselves fiddling as Rome burned: during the 1990s, and continuing well into the new millennium, Britain became obsessed with ridding itself of what it collectively perceived as “ugly” and “failed” buildings. Now there’s a feeling that these buildings – mostly from the 1960s and 1970s – have architectural merit. This change was confirmed when the British government chose to list Preston Bus Station in September, protecting it from the bulldozers. Three days later, at the Wellington Arch in Hyde Park, central London, architects and journalists gathered for the opening of a new exhibition. It was called Brutal & Beautiful, and it showcased many of Britain’s best post-war buildings. At that launch, Richard Rogers – the designer of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 – spoke about why he loved Brutalism, too. Suddenly it feels like concrete’s time might be here once more: Park Hill flats in Sheffield has been renovated and has received awards, and the Barbican in London is more popular than ever, with apartments fetching a fortune. The architectural writer Jonathan Meades believes that Brutalim’s roots can be traced to the Atlantic defences that Germany built in France and the Channel Islands during the Second World War. But Brutalism’s spell was really cast in the white heat of the 1960s. It

was inspired by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who saw that concrete could be a cheap and beautiful way to create sculptural buildings. The biggest Brutalist project was London’s Barbican. From Birmingham to Glasgow, British cities embraced the style. Many Brutalist buildings have already been knocked down – like the Trident Centre in Gateshead, where the Michael Caine film Get Carter was shot. Many of them are still threatened. “I’m looking at libraries and civic centres that are facing closure and demolition,” says Elain Harwood, who curated the Brutal & Beautiful exhibition at London’s Quadriga Gallery. “It’s such a waste, and their beauty doesn’t seem to be recognised, let alone the fact they’re also useful.” But things are changing. We’re starting to see that something that is rough around the edges can be starkly attractive, too. We’re also appreciating the sheer optimism in the future that these buildings so swaggeringly expressed: they were always for the people, and for the future.


Open skies / December 2013

Cumbernauld Town CenTre IMAGE: ConCrEtopIA by John GrIndrod

Cumbernauld, SCotland 1967

“Cumbernauld Town Centre was intended to provide, within a continuous ‘citadel-like’ structure atop an exposed moorland ridge, the majority of civic, commercial, cultural and recreational facilities for the New Town,” says Ross Brown, an architecture master’s student in nearby Glasgow who blogs about Scotland’s Brutalist buildings at

“Envisaged by its architect, Geoffrey Copcutt, as a ‘gigantic drive-in vending machine’, the centre bridges a dual-carriageway A-road – elegantly expressing the post-war principle of pedestrian and vehicle segregation, upon which Cumbernauld was conceived,” says Brown. For Brown, Cumbernauld Town Centre’s “multi-level, multi-function ‘mega structure’ efficiently integrates


Open skies / December 2013

structure, services and circulation, and influenced later developments, including those in the new towns, Runcorn, in Cheshire, and Irvine, in Scotland.” This strange spaceship structure has had its detractors – including the 2005 UK Channel 4 TV show Demolition, in which various pundits crowded around, each taking their chance to kick it while it was down. “Ultimately, less than a quarter of the original proposal was built, and much has subsequently been demolished or disfigured,” says Brown. “Nevertheless, enough concrete, brick and tile remain to impress the ingenuity and quality of planning and design that brought the centre international acclaim – a town for tomorrow built yesterday.”

Preston, england 1969


Open skies / December 2013

The bus station’s distinctive feature is those curved edges, which soften the look of the whole thing, making it immediately easy on the eye as it stretches into the distance. “Much of the original, simple, tough, spare interior survives, and the slow dance of the buses on the forecourt, and the cars swirling up the ramp to the parking form a hypnotic spectacle,” says Calder. The bus station has won many admirers, despite the local council trying to bulldoze it. It changed its mind after the building was saved at the eleventh hour. The people of Preston will now have their Brutalist bus station for some years to come.


Preston Bus station

“Recently granted heritage protection after a brilliant campaign by the 20th Century Society, led by Christina Malathouni, Preston’s bus station is one of Britain’s most immediately likeable Brutalist buildings,” says architectural historian Dr Barnabas Calder of the concrete monolith in the northwest of England. Calder, a lecturer in architecture at nearby Liverpool University, adds, “The uninterrupted length of the building is heroic in its scale and bold simplicity, but the slender ribs supporting the curving parapets along each deck of parking makes the effect elegant rather than lumpen.”

Balfron Tower London, EngLand 1967

“Though Balfron Tower is less wellknown than its later sibling, Trellick Tower in Kensington, Balfron is in better condition, complete with its original concrete playground,” says Elain Harwood of English Heritage. “Just stay off the concrete slide if you value your trousers!” The building’s designer, Erno Goldfinger, was one of the 1960s’ most enigmatic architects. Ian Fleming borrowed his name for a James Bond villain, and Goldfinger and his wife spent a month living in a flat at the top of the tower when it opened, having residents over for gin slings and vol-au-vents. “The surrounding buildings of the estate add to the impressive sense of a big, monumental architectural statement. The spectacular size and sculptural handling of the building is offset by a quiet attention to detail,” says Harwood. “This is lavished particularly on the perfectionist construction techniques learned from Goldfinger’s time in the 1930s studying with France’s most meticulous concrete architect, Auguste Perret,” he adds. “Balfron’s concrete is of the highest quality, with its neat corners particularly impressive since the texture is produced by hammering the surface cement off to expose the pebbles within.” Balfron is being upgraded and will soon become a desirable address once more. IMAGEs: JAMEs Burns


Open skies / December 2013

Park Hill Sheffield, england 1961

The largest listed building in Europe was a byword for the progressiveness of Sheffield’s council house policy in the 1960s – then it became a watchword for urban decay. “For its early residents, Park Hill worked,” says blogger Municipal Dreams, who writes about social housing at municipaldreams. “‘You think I live in council housing? I’ve got a penthouse,’ they’d say. That remark might sound apocryphal, but the sense of community the flats created, and the quality of accommodation they offered, were real. People loved these ‘streets in the sky’ and Brutalism was just an architectural label.” “What went wrong? Well, there was neglect – they needed money spent on upkeep, and local authority budgets were tight,” Municipal Dreams continues. “But the real problems came from outside – Sheffield’s economic decline in the 1980s and the change in council housing, built for a ‘respectable’ working class, was now used as housing of last resort for the poor.” Park Hill was nominated for the 2013 Stirling Prize – Britain’s highest architectural honour – for its bold refurbishment by Urban Splash architects. But that has come at a price. “Private money is making Park Hill a ‘des res’ [desirable residence] once more. The tragedy is that the working people the flats were built for will be largely excluded,” says Municipal Dreams. IMAGES: JAMES BurnS


Open skies / December 2013

Robin Hood GaRdens


London, EngLand 1972

Robin Hood Gardens is one of the few highbrow projects that the legendary husband and wife duo Alison and Peter Smithson got around to building. The Smithsons’ friend was the critic and TV presenter Reyner Banham, who popularised the word “brutalism” in the 1960s. It seemed like an apt way to describe these flats, whose ‘streets in the sky’ were eventually affected by the problems of crime, poverty and

social neglect, which tarnished this type of living in the 1980s bust. Nevertheless Robin Hood Gardens is an ethereal kind of place, set between Canary Wharf’s millionaires and the scruffy entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames. Residents don’t want to move out for the council to bulldoze it, and it has famous fans, including Richard Rogers, one of Britain’s most respected architects.


Open skies / December 2013

“It is important to keep the best of the past and re-use it, rather than damaging the quality of our cities,” argues Rogers. “This waste of the best continues today with the ongoing destruction of Robin Hood Gardens, one of the greatest buildings by the architects Peter and Alison Smithson,” he adds. For Rogers it is “a decision that future generations will regret”.

The BarBican “Out of the impoverished, austere ruins of the Second World War, rebuilding took Britain many decades,” says John Grindrod, author of Concretopia – A Journey Around The Rebuilding of Post-War Britain. “The Barbican, built in the hole in the City created by the blitz, was not completely finished until 1981.” “So many of these schemes represent Britain’s hopes for a better

future, every bit as powerfully as all that great art by Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and the like,” he adds. “They are, and will increasingly be seen as, a hugely significant part of our island history. Sure, there were bad things cheaply and cynically built, but masterpieces like the cathedrals in Coventry or Liverpool, Trellick Tower and The Barbican shouldn’t be confused


Open skies / December 2013

with the opportunistic trash. They are optimism in solid form.” Grindrod sees the Barbican, with its mix of private and rented flats, schools, YMCA, gym, shops and arts centre, all in the middle of the City of London, as a utopian idyll. “We have so little of that Welfare State sensibility left. Buildings like The Barbican remind us of harder, more generous times,” he says.


London, EngLand 1973 to 1981

Birmingham Central liBrary


Birmingham, England 1974

If you want to know what the folk of the 1960s thought the future would look like – take a look at Birmingham Central Library. It is exciting, confusing and brooding. Just like the city it sits in. Its upturned ziggurat shape evokes Aztec pyramids and Japanese temples. The fly in the ointment is that Birmingham has just opened a new library, and this one lies empty. The council wants to knock it down, but the city’s residents are rallying around the campaign to save it and turn it into something else. “I am picking up a growing sense of loss for its life as a library and increasing support for the building’s retention,” says campaigner Alan


Clawley, who has also written a book about the buildings architect, John Madin – a local who created many Midlands landmarks. “If nothing else, the Council could hire it out on a short-term basis between now and the end of 2015, when they plan to start knocking it down.” Birmingham was obsessed with knocking things down in the 20th Century, and the decision to demolish the library was taken back in 1999. Attitudes have changed since then, though, and Clawley and his campaign group now argue that the building could be turned into “a hotel, art gallery, climbing wall, museum of music or incubator for small companies”.

Open skies / December 2013


Why DO WE StiLL WORK? WORDS by PaDDy Smith iLLUStRatiONS by hayLEy WaRNham

Expert predictions, numerous selfhelp books, a 1960s cartoon and even empirical evidence suggest that we should ditch the 40-hour workweek, but still we toil. Why?


he last time we had any sort of quantum shift in the pattern of our working lives was more than a hundred years ago. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the industrialised world decided twoday weekends were a good idea, but that was the last ‘big thing’ to rock the average workplace. A good portion of the credit for the existing arrangement is usually given to Henry Ford, who jumped the gun on working week legislation (and, incidentally, the minimum wage) in the early 1900s. His idea to split the week into five eighthour workdays is the pattern most of us still follow. The myth, which still pervades business today, is that more

hours equate to greater productivity. Ford recognised that this was not the case. But he wasn’t – as some like to claim – singularly responsible for ‘inventing’ the weekend. As good a story as it makes (and Ford knew a thing or two about PR), two-day weekends have their roots in the Industrial Revolution, along with almost everything else we recognise from our present-day working lives. Thankfully, things are a bit more civilised now. It might be reasonably common to see the office technophobe having a heated conversation with the printer, but when the spin-


Open skies / December 2013

ning jenny was invented to automate cotton spinning in the mid-18th century, embittered former employees who had been displaced by the new technology set fire to the machinery. Slavery and child labour were common. Pay was dismal, especially if you were a child. Worse if you were a slave (obviously). Unless you have views that differ pretty wildly from the norm, you’ll agree that work for most people is considerably better than it used to be. You’d think we’d be happy about living and working in an industrialised world governed by fair conditions, fair hours and fair pay. But we’re not. The problem is not that we’re spoiled (although try telling that to a nine-year-old labourer in an 18th


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century cotton mill) but that things were supposed to be so much better by now. The trappings of the Industrial Revolution – globalisation, automation, opportunity, mobility, economic migration, outsourced labour – were meant to buy us the biggest house on Easy Street, where we could put our feet up. Far from being grateful for our lot, the feeling that weekends are simply not long enough is starting to set in. Working a four-day week is not a new idea. In 1971, management consultant Riva Poor penned 4 Days, 40 Hours, a book advocating a three-day weekend in lieu of working 10-hour days. Poor’s analysis was that companies could not only save money by closing their offices for an extra day a week, but that productivity could be increased as a result. But where was the evidence? A few years after she penned that thesis, in 1974, Britain was reduced to a three-day working week for two months, when dwindling coal supplies caused by striking miners forced the government to ration electricity supplies to most industries. Despite working hours also being controlled, the fall in productivity was not as stark as most had expected. For a better example, fast forward to Utah. It’s 2008. The recession has hit and the state coffers are looking thin. The governor, Republican Jon Huntsman, puts nearly three-quarters of public employees on a four-day week. They have just one month’s notice. Pretty much anyone with a fair knowledge of public services or political knee-jerk decisions sits back to watch the fireworks. Boy, are they in for a disappointment. Far from being a disaster, the scheme worked. Hundreds of thousands of

dollars were saved by shutting public buildings and garaging vehicles for an extra day. Eighty per cent of workers favoured the new arrangement, and most felt they were more productive. Businesses and people were often in favour of being able to access public services outside conventional

working hours. And there were many fringe benefits, too: faster offpeak commutes for public workers were a boon, but also had the effect of reducing congestion and emissions. Soon the rest of the US had switched to a four-day week… oh, wait. No, it didn’t. Instead, Utah’s four-day week ended in 2011 under a new governor. But it wasn’t without a legacy. Two large cities in the state, Provo and West Valley City, continue to operate on a four-day week, and the idea has also been adopted in pockets elsewhere (Virginia and Georgia have both run department trials; Oregon and Texas talked about it, but decided against it). Gambia (yes, the entire country) announced it was switching to a four-day week earlier this year. As for the rest of us, we are left with small conciliations. Flexible working hours, job shares and the option to work from home are widely offered. ‘Hot-desking’ has become an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. Duvet days, an allowance of a couple of days a year when employees can call the office to say they’re not coming in because they can’t be bothered, are an actual thing. These things are hardly transformative. Are we expecting too much? Apparently not. In 1930, superstar economist John Maynard Keynes reckoned we’d all be working a 15-hour week by 2030. Well, that’s not quite what he said, but he thought it would be attainable to work for 15 hours a week to cover our basic needs. And he was by no means alone. His contemporary, the English philosopher Bertrand Russell, wrote an essay in 1932 entitled In Praise Of Idleness in which he proposed a four-hour day made possible by advances in technology.

Far From being grateFul For our lot, the Feeling that weekends are simply not long enough is starting to set in 118

Open skies / December 2013

Even as late as 1964, sci-fi author Isaac Asimov (a man who had a much better grasp of where technology was going than most) foresaw a future 2014 populated by press-button operatives. “The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind,” he said, “for they alone will do more than serve a machine.” Not only did Asimov think we wouldn’t be doing much grafting, he speculated that in its absence we’d miss it. He was far from alone in this. Even in 1891, Oscar Wilde declared, “Just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself… machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work.” But technology, far from making our working lives easier, has connected us at every waking hour. Many of us are available even as we sleep – with every office around the world capable of dialling into the globalised corporate nightmare on the nightstand. Or whatever you call your smartphone. It’s an idea picked up by Timothy Ferriss, American author of The 4-Hour Workweek, a book that describes reaching working nirvana by outsourcing basic duties and operating in short bursts of hyper effectiveness. One of his clarion calls is for “selective ignorance” – turning our backs on the emails, instant messages and social feeds that clutter our working days and distract us from our primary objectives. Ferriss advocates dipping into these diversions sparingly. For himself, he went further, outsourcing their management to personal assistants in the Philippines and India. Technology has made communication vastly easier, yet it hasn’t changed the world of work as drastically as you might imagine. On a macro level, it has transformed industries, but at Joe Worker’s desk it has simply made number crunching and duplication

Technology, far from making our working lives easier, has connecTed us aT every waking hour easier. There is a broad assumption that using a computer to do something must take less time, but it is often a fallacy. It may be convenient to look up a company’s phone number on their website, but it saves no time on looking up the number in a book and is likely to take longer than calling a directory service on the phone. An email thread comprising several back-and-forth messages is much less efficient than a phone call. Ever run a video call? Chances are it took longer to set up than the conversation needed to be. Quite apart from technology, society has changed. When William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created futuristic cartoon The Jetsons in 1962, they were able to imagine George Jetson working a two-hour week 100 years in the future, yet hadn’t envisaged that Jane Jetson might also have a job. Instead, she was a space-age housewife. It might be flippant to cite a children’s TV show for its lack of social foresight, but it’s a serious issue. Fewer women are content to work in the hidden economies


Open skies / December 2013

of unpaid housework and childcare when they can go out and earn money to pay others for the grunt work. If all of them decide to work, there are twice as many people in the workforce and not enough work to go around. Theoretically at least, the forecast tells us to expect prime conditions for a reduced working week: more people doing more jobs for fewer hours. But let’s back up, because despite fanciful notions of working 20 (Russell), 15 (Keynes) or four (Ferriss) hours per week, the chances are you are working 40 hours or more. The biggest shake-up you can realistically hope for right now is a four-day week (still working 40 hours). And yet that seems too much to ask. Why are we so slow to adopt new working patterns when they are all but proven to have benefits for all or most of the parties involved? Because it’s work. It’s what we spend most of our waking lives doing. It’s the single most popular talking point on Earth. Our specialisms run so deep there is a good chance part of your name refers to an ancestor’s profession. Work defines us. Its cultural importance is unsurpassed. And widespread change does not happen overnight. That’s not to say it won’t happen. A third of Dutch men work either part-time or a full-time four-day week. Many of the more progressive businesses in the Western world offer flexible working hours for employees. But there are too many obstacles for most businesses of any size to commit to a standard four-day week. Unless you have a business that can shut down for three days every week with no adverse results, you will eventually have to process more personnel, a cost which is likely to outweigh your projected savings. Technology will also play its part in the glacial transformation of working life. It already allows us to work effectively

from home, even if for most workers that is more an occasional glitch in their office-based lives than a regular occurrence. More than that, the internet has lowered the barrier for working alone or in small groups, particularly in the knowledge industries (remember Asimov’s creative elite?). Anyone with a bit of nous and a smartphone can set up a broadcasting operation from the living room (YouTube), an online shop from the spare bedroom (eBay) or a record company from the attic (SoundCloud). No premises, no fixed hours, no rules. You might not make much money with any of the above examples, but who needs money? Mark ‘Moneyless Man’ Boyle does not have a job because he lives, as the name suggests, without money. He uses the internet to find free stuff (such as the campervan he lives in), grows and forages for food, and makes his own soap and toothpaste. He cooks on a homemade outdoor stove, burns wood for heat and has acquired a solar panel for his laptop, on which he pens books, blogs and manifestos – about living without money. It’s an extreme approach to getting a longer weekend, but Boyle isn’t the first person to quit the rat race and try living without a job. Other adherents of a truly cashless society are Daniel Suelo, who stopped using money in 2000, Heidemarie Schwermer (1996) and Tomi Astikainen (2009). And he won’t be the last; from Silicon Valley to the Great Barrier Reef a trend is gathering pace. People are slowly relinquishing their possessions. In a quiet way, and possibly without realising it, you’re one of them. Calm down. No one has drained your bank account. Your suitcase will probably be on the carousel at your destination, full of the same

things you stuffed into it before heading to the airport. And, yes, sadly you still have to go to work. But, while those moneyless men are a small and unusual group of people, they are also a useful barometric indicator of the pendulum beginning to swing away from corporations and back towards individuals. Successful businesspeople are beginning to turn their backs on the diminishing material returns to be had from climbing coporate ladders and beginning to reach instead for goals of fulfilment and happiness. As we outsource production and turn our minds to knowledge

conomy – the idea of giving away things you don’t want (like that campervan in the back yard) is gaining traction. And the next step could well be the direct (and untaxable) exchange of services and products. Before the universal exchange of money, the blacksmith would shoe the baker’s horse for a few loaves of bread and a bag of flour. Who says that can’t happen again? Not Matt Monohan, a Silicon Valley start-up CEO who has renounced most of his possessions and started evangelising a lifestyle of reciprocal benefit. He sold his flat and car, preferring to find ad hoc solutions to his needs. He has happily traded spending his money on possessions for a life of free-spirited travel, opportunity and experience. He isn’t living without money, but the drift away from ownership is significant because it represents a much more realistic vision of how life and work – and the oft-cited balance between the two – might look in the future. For now, we are still working too hard. We increasingly work in knowledge industries where the tasks have a more elastic nature than, say, manufacturing. We are still addicted to an ultimately unfulfilling über-boom in consumerism. But we are seeking help – never have Workaholics Anonymous meetings been more popular. If the first step towards helping ourselves work less is admitting we have a problem, we can seek solace in that. We are relinquishing our possessions, slowly but definitely. The pendulum seems to hang at the top of its arc, but if we can get over our fear of abandoning a model that has been in place since the Industrial Revolution and embrace a new one based on flexible hours, multiple roles and the return of the meritocracy, it’ll swing into its inevitable glide towards a happier future.

Money isn’t going to disappear, but the idea of possession is already starting to wane industries, so our love affair with ownership begins to fade. Money isn’t going to disappear, but the idea of possession is already starting to wane. The decline of physical media for storing music and films is well documented. CDs, tapes and records have all but been usurped by computer files. And rather than own those files, people have started to rent access to them via a monthly subscription to a streaming service. The best known is Spotify. The same is happening to video as services such as iTunes and Netflix allow members to rent films and TV shows as temporary downloads. None of this is new, or surprising. But look further and you will see other signs that we are becoming happier with frugality. Home swap holidays are a good example. Free-


Open skies / December 2013

TAke a hike Words by Marina Chetner illustrations by Paul sterry

Los Angeles is synonymous with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, and is so often associated with the words ‘urban sprawl’ that the richness of its wild natural beauty tends to be overlooked. Within the borders of LA County – the most populous county in the nation, it spans more than 4,000 square miles and 272 diverse neighbourhoods – a multitude of hiking trails traverse designated parklands. From the famous Santa Monica Mountains to the westward wilderness of Topanga State Park, navigating a trail through rugged terrain adds an atypical dimension to the LA experience. While out-of-towners exhaust themselves at crowded sites such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or opt to sightsee from a double-decker bus stuck in traffic, the secret to escaping the street-level pandemonium is by stepping off the beaten footpath and on to a dirt trail.

in LA


Open skies / December 2013

The Hollywood Sign Griffith Park


he Hollywood sign is a world-renowned icon, symbolic of LA and its film industry. Erected as HOLLYWOODLAND to temporarily promote a real estate development in the 1920s, it stuck around to become one of the city’s most beloved landmarks. After many repairs and a resurrection (it lost LAND along the way), the sign is permanently at home on Mount Lee, safe under the guardianship of the Hollywood Sign Trust. It’s a pleasant 3.5-mile hike to see the letters up close. Start at the Hollyridge trailhead, located at the top of Beachwood Drive behind the Sunset Ranch sign. After half a mile, make a sharp left at the fork to join Mulholland Trail. At the second fork, go right – the paved Mount Lee Drive gradually inclines to showcase a sprawling view of the valley before it turns to reveal the backs of the 45-feethigh letters, obstructed only by a chain-link fence. To see the sign from above, a short dirt path leads to the mountain’s peak, which also offers panoramic views of San Fernando Valley, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Lake Hollywood Reservoir and the distant Pacific Ocean from a 1,680ft elevation. Parking is available by the trailhead. Note: the fire road accommodates horses from the nearby stables, so watch your step.

GPS: 3400 N. Beachwood Drive, Hollywood


Open skies / December 2013

Culver City Steps

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook


ocated in burgeoning Culver City, this California State Park has attracted joggers, hikers and workout fiends since 2009; not so much for the switchback trails as for the 282-step recycled concrete staircase, which cuts a jagged line down the hill’s grassy face. The steps run a half-mile, with each uneven slab ranging from two to 20 inches in height. The well-marked trailhead begins at the intersection of Jefferson Blvd and Hetzler Road; after a couple of turns, it meets the stairwell’s base. Here, the choice is to either tackle a Stairmaster-like workout, or to continue zigzagging the trail for a mile. Either

way, both roads lead to the 511ft-high viewing platform, where the unique north-facing perspective is akin to looking at a foldout map of LA. Trace a line from the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica, over the tops of Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip, past West Hollywood and Koreatown, and over to downtown’s building cluster. Directly ahead is the Hollywood sign; immediately below, spot the rainbow-crowned Sony Pictures Studios, and the location of UK celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s TV series, Hell’s Kitchen. Parking is available on Jefferson Boulevard. GPS: 6100 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City


Open skies / December 2013


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Runyon Canyon Park Santa Monica Mountains


nly a few minutes’ drive from the Hollywood Strip, Runyon Canyon Park is located in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range. It offers a number of hiking trails, with the path most trodden being the 1.65-mile loop that starts at the North Fuller Avenue entrance. For a medium-level workout and immediate views, follow the right-bearing trail to Inspiration Point – its steady incline allows a leisurely pace, and there’s a place to sit and marvel at the Hollywood vista. Then, a steeper climb up the ridge’s earthen steps leads to a second outlook: Cloud’s Rest. At an elevation of 1,040ft, the view from here sweeps over the Los


Angeles Basin, anchored by the Hollywood sign in the east and Santa Monica to the west. From this midway point, it’s an easy descent along Runyon Canyon Fire Road to complete the loop. Popular with celebrities, runners, tourists, and dog walkers – there is an off-leash policy – the trail is busy at the weekends. Since street parking is a challenge, visit on a quieter weekday morning, or park on Hollywood Boulevard and walk two blocks uphill. Take note of street cleaning signs to avoid a costly ticket. Free daily yoga classes are offered in a shady grass enclave by the park’s entrance. GPS: 2000 N. Fuller Avenue, Los Angeles

Open skies / December 2013

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Eagle Rock Loop Topanga State Park


overing 11,000 acres of craggy peaks, sandstone cliffs and mountain slopes, Topanga State Park is described as the largest state park within a city limit in the US, turning the cliché of LA as an entangled mess of car-clogged highways on its head. The 6.5-mile Eagle Rock Loop starts at the parking lot by Trippet Ranch– a former 19th century homestead – and trails under an oak canopy before opening to a scene of vast undulating mountains and peek-a-boo ocean views. It’s a steady 1.1-mile walk up Eagle Springs Fire Road to Eagle Junction, where a sign-post points to a narrow rocky path that leads to Eagle Rock.


Much of Topanga’s terrain is a product of successive earthquakes, and Eagle Rock, a giant boulder outcrop, is composed of dense volcanic rock. Scale its slanted face to enjoy a panoramic view over Santa Ynez Canyon from an elevation of 1,957ft. To complete the loop, continue to Hub Junction, make a sharp right to meet up with Eagle Junction and head back to Trippet Ranch. On-site parking costs US$10. There is free street parking along Entrada Drive – it’s a short walk from the park’s entrance, and don’t be surprised if you spot a deer or two along the way. GPS: 20825 Entrada Drive, Topanga

Open skies / December 2013

Temescal Canyon Loop Topanga State Park


his 3.5-mile hike is not for the faint of heart. The first half of the trail starts steep and the end is steep, making the Canyon Loop one of the more challenging routes in Temescal Gateway Park. Enter from Sunset Boulevard, walk past the parking lot, and track to the left. The immediate uphill trek begins as the Temescal Ridge Trail, which tapers after ten minutes under an archway of chaparral before resuming its ascent. The sinuous path continues like this for over a mile, with plenty of brown California Towhee birds hopping about as they incessantly forage the trail for food.


Reaching the summit feels victorious – at 1,000ft, the generous sweep of the glorious Pacific Ocean is a worthy reward. The path adjoins the Canyon Trail at a junction and travels 0.4-mile deep into dense vegetation before reaching a small waterfall (not even a trickle for much of the year). It’s more than a mile along the pebbly canyon floor, and a paved road surrounds Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’s conference facilities and offices before coming full circle at Sunset Boulevard. On-site parking costs US$7, although it’s free to park along Sunset Boulevard. GPS: 15601 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades

Open skies / December 2013

Los Liones and Parker Mesa Overlook Topanga State Park


os Liones is a good introduction to the nature-loving hiking novice. Weaving its way through Topanga State Park, this slim trail is a rocky 1.5-mile climb along a ridge shrouded in grey chaparral, wildflowers and wiry grasses. Glimpses of the sparkling ocean along the way culminate in a panoramic snapshot at the outlook, located at the end of the winding trail. From the 500ft elevation, Santa Monica Pier and Catalina Island are easy to spot, though when there’s fog, the ocean and city are rendered opaque. It’s worth continuing the two extra miles to Parker Mesa Overlook to experience more spectacular views,


though be warned, it’s a lengthy uphill pursuit along the East Topanga Fire Road. Devoid of shade thanks to low-lying sagebrush, the saving grace of this well-trodden trail is the unobstructed vista over the canyon, Pacific Palisades homes and the ocean. After 1.5 miles, bear left at the junction to follow the path to its end, where Parker Mesa Overlook is marked by two benches and an infinite ocean view. From an elevation of 1,525ft, the scene takes in the haze of LA, Santa Monica Bay, Malibu’s shoreline and steep green bluffs. Bring a large bottle of water and a light snack for the seven mile round-trip. On-street parking is available at the Los Liones entrance. GPS: 580 Los Liones Drive, Pacific Palisades

Open skies / December 2013

Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop Griffith Park


ake a day of it and plan this hike around a visit to the Griffith Observatory (free admission, closed on Mondays). Start by walking through Fern Dell Park – a garden of Zen tucked under a canopy of California sycamores, further cooled by a rushing creek lined with lush green ferns, climbing ivy and tropical plants. This area was designated a Historic Cultural Monument in 1973 after archaeologists identified it as a Gabrielino Native American village site. Keep to the right and continue along the dirt trail that leads into Griffith Park’s wilderness. This is when the Observatory finally comes into view. The rest of the way presents excellent oppor-


tunities for photography buffs to capture the rotunda from unique perspectives. The trail ends at the Observatory’s grounds, where it’s easy to spend a few hours exploring the planetarium, relaxing in The Café At The End Of The Universe, and admiring the building’s architectural beauty in between peering at the massive metropolis through telescopes. To complete the three mile loop, keep right at the fork when heading back down. Note: Time your descent well as trails close at sunset, which is when parking tickets are given out on Fern Dell Drive. Movie fans: scenes from Yes Man starring Jim Carrey were filmed here. GPS: Fern Dell Drive at Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Feliz

Open skies / December 2013


h c

by Matt Mccue

r a

e s


At 18, LukAs VerzbicAs wAs the stAr of the us triAthLon teAm, working A

towArds medAL


winning the


London oLympics. then, in JuLy 2011, he suffered A him

crAsh unAbLe

thAt to

Left wALk.

AgAinst ALL the odds, he is now Looking AheAd to the rio oLympics in 2016. this is his story


n the final loop of a 15mile cycle workout in the mountains above Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lukas Verzbicas’s competitive instincts jolted him awake and he rebelliously broke away from his US triathlon teammates, much to the irritation of his coach, and stepfather, Romas Bertulis. Bertulis had instructed the small group of wiry men to ride controlled in a pack – no sprinting. Everyone understood


Open skies / December 2013

that mandate, except for two riders, one of them the newest and youngest member of the team, Verzbicas. With a beanpole physique, a mop of sun-bleached hair and razorsharp cheekbones Verzbicas was an 18-year-old prodigy on the fast track to sporting glory. Considered the future of US triathlon, and a medal contender in the 2016 Olympics, he liked to go hard, whether or not that was the given instruction. The workout of five-kilometre loops took the riders over the undulating roads that cut through Garden Of The Gods, a public park surrounded by jagged, red rocks rising from the alpine terrain. A burst of bright sunshine lit the blue sky this Tuesday, July 31, 2011, just another day in the long line of mile-high training days that blended together for these endurance athletes. Out ahead, Verzbicas and another rider who was disobeying Bertulis’ instructions flew down a steep 300-metre decline at 30mph. “I wasn’t thinking about slowing down because there was a tight 180-degree u-turn that took us right back up the mountain,” explains Verzbicas. The more speed he could gain heading into the turn, the greater momentum he would have to catapult himself up the incline and edge past his teammate. Focused on the road ahead, Verzbicas initially missed the patch of loose sand on the edge of his lane, still wet and slippery from the previous night’s hard rain. At the last second he spotted it and jerked his handlebars to take the turn wide, but, as he veered to the right, his half-inch wide tyres caught the tiny grains and began to slide off the road. “I hit my brakes hard, but they wouldn’t work,” says Verzbicas. He slammed into the guardrail with such force that he doesn’t remember the crash at all. The next thing he knew he was lying flat on his back, a heap of scarred limbs sprawled in every direction. He heard ringing in his ears. He told his teammate that

he was fine – saved by his trusty helmet – and tried to stand. “I got about a foot above the ground and then I collapsed,” he says. “Knowing what I know now, it was probably the wrong move.” He would later learn that he had broken two vertebrae, punctured his right lung, cracked six ribs and busted his collarbone. An ambulance arrived minutes later. The last sensation Verzbicas remembers before he passed out was tightness in his chest restricting his breathing. His lungs were filling with blood. When a dazed Verzbicas came to hours later at Penrose Hospital, he found himself lying under a stack of blankets in a strange hospital bed. An oxygen mask covered his face and plastic tubes snaked out of his veiny limbs. Bertulis stood over him, as did Verzbicas’ mother, Rasa Verzbickiene. A doctor described the severity of his injuries, “but I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying – it

It was crazy, but then I began to accept It. I thought, ‘If I am goIng to dIe, at least I dId It doIng somethIng I love to do’ made no sense,” says Verzbicas, who was hopped up on medication and struggling to breathe. The nurses confided to his parents that it was unlikely he would ever walk again – no one dared share that with Verzbicas. He needed emergency surgery. The trauma surgeon, Verzbicas recalls, explained he would put rods into his back to stabilise his spine, and conceded that there was a 33 per cent chance of fatality during the procedure. “That’s when it hit me: This only happens in movies,” says Verzbicas. “It was crazy, but then I began to accept it. I thought, ‘If I am going to die, at least I did it doing something I love


Open skies / December 2013

to do.’” He matter-of-factly signed the consent form for the surgery and drifted back to sleep. According to Verzbicas, he cried the first time he participated in a road race. Verzbickiene, a Lithuanian distance runner and the country’s onetime recorder holder in the 3,000 metres, talked him into it. She and Bertulis had moved to the suburbs of Chicago in 1999 to seek out a new life in America with Lithuanian-born Lukas in tow. The parents coached club running teams, so they agreed early on that their oldest son would try the sport. Bertulis bought Lukas, then 10, running shorts for his five

The firsT Time i saw Lukas race he crashed, which didn’T surprise me, because he didn’T Look good on The bike

kilometre road race debut. “I cried, I was so embarrassed to go to the starting line in those short shorts,” says Verzbicas. “Then the gun went off, and I couldn’t help myself and went out with the leaders.” He tailed the frontrunners to the two-mile mark. “I collapsed, fell down and couldn’t go on anymore,” he remembers. “I walked the last mile with my dad.” It was a rare defeat for the wunderkind. During his teens, he trained like a triathlete, balancing swimming and biking workouts with running a relatively low 35 miles a week and

became only the fifth American high school student to break the fourminute mile during a race in 2011. A few weeks later, he set the US high school two-mile record of 8:29.46. However, track and field wasn’t even his best sport. He excelled in the triathlon and won the 2011 ITU Triathlon World Junior Championships in Beijing. The victory showed that he was the best triathlete aged 19 or under on the planet. Following high school graduation in Illinois, he earned a scholarship to join the most storied college running programme


Open skies / December 2013

in America, the University of Oregon. He didn’t last there long. After a month of subpar races and an itch to focus on the triathlon full time, he left Oregon in late 2011 and moved to Colorado Springs to join the US triathlon development team. There he continued his rapid rise, winning his first two professional races in 2012. At an event in Banyoles, Spain that June, he beat Frenchman Laurent Vidal, who would go on to finish fifth in the 2012 London Olympics triathlon. The most impressive part of Verzbicas’s whirlwind ascent was that his technical biking skills – vital for steering around the tight turns of a sprint triathlon – were so raw and rudimentary. “The first time I saw Lukas race he crashed, which didn’t surprise me, because he didn’t look good on the bike,” says his manager, Bob Babbitt. “To be honest, his bike handling scared me.” To address that issue, Babbitt, connected his star with Richard Bryne, a guru of cornering who works with many Tour de France riders. Although cornering seems like an elementary skill, there is a real art to it, insists Bryne. Around each bend, a rider must take into account his entry point, speed, visibility, road camber, tyre traction and exit angle, and evaluate all of those data points in a split-second to make a high-speed decision. Technical ex-

spindly legs and noticed something wasn’t quite right. “My left leg was fine, and I could feel a sensation in it,” he says, “but I had no motor control over my right leg.” It was the most pressing of many issues Verzbicas faced. Unable to consistently eat solid food over

pertise is vital because the most efficient way for a biker to take a turn is by pedalling full blast into it, even on a steep downhill. If Verzbicas could develop this component of his racing skills, he seemed to have unlimited potential. Verzbicas and Bryne agreed to work together and, about a week later, Bryne called Verzicas to set up his first lesson. He never heard back. “The day I called him is the day he ended up having the crash,” says Bryne. “In hindsight I would have wished I had gotten to him sooner.” Verzbicas successfully made it through the spinal surgery, but when he woke he looked down at his

the next 33 days he spent in the hospital, his weight sunk to 105 pounds, 30 less than what he normally carried on his bony six-foot frame. “Everyone said I looked like a Holocaust victim,” he says.

I never really cry, but when I was alone at nIght, and no one was around, and It was too paInful to sleep, I dId 146

Open skies / December 2013

The one thing that kept him sane was watching the London Olympics on a tiny hotel TV. “I set an alarm for the middle of the night to watch the men’s triathlon live,” he says. “I was thinking I was supposed to be there.” To boost his spirits, his parents brought in the pair of Nike track spikes that he wore to break the four-minute mile. On the wall, they also hung a white board with Verzbicas’ goals for each day written in thick black marker. The action items included completing tasks like re-learning how to tie his shoes. As Verzbicas achieved them, they were erased. One item, though, always remained up: Rio 2016. Once considered a foregone conclusion, qualifying for the next summer Olympics seemed like a heady dream for a guy who couldn’t walk under his own power. “I usually pick things up fast, and here I was struggling to perform these basic functions,” he says. Verzbicas understandably felt sorry for himself. “I never really cry, but when I was alone at night, and no one was around, and it was too painful to sleep, I did, because it was emotionally so hard,” he says. “I was realising how much more I still had to do.” Rehabilitation began with relearning how to sit up. “That took a couple of days,” says Verzbicas. His competitive mindset carried over into his therapy. “I began tackling rehab,” he says. “I would do it every day, twice a day.” Two weeks following the crash, he was scheduled to have surgery to repair his collarbone. Before the hospital staff

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took him to the operating room, he noticed a tiny twitch in his right leg — an unexpected flicker of life. “It was a miracle,” says Verzbicas. At the three-week mark, Verzbicas reached another milestone: he took his first step, with assistance from a hospital therapist. Then he walked with crutches, then with a cane and then on his own. “Nobody believed that he would walk, but I knew that everything would come back for him,” says

The 33 days in The hospiTal was The hardesT Training i had ever done in my life 148

Open skies / December 2013

Verzbickiene. She had hiked up nearby Pikes Peak to fetch Lukas water from the highest point of the mountain in hopes that it offered a holistic cure for the paralysis and sped up the healing process. After 33 long days, Verzbicas walked out of the hospital under his own power and moved back into the Olympic Training Center dorm. “The 33 days in the hospital was the hardest training I had ever done in my life,” says the guy accustomed to swimming 18 miles, biking 150 miles and running 40 miles every week. To regain the strength in his atrophied legs, he and his dad began taking three-mile walks. The pair always presented a funny sight, with the son wrapped in two different Velcro braces, one for his neck and another for his back. One unseasonably hot morning in the second week of September, they were walking down a dirt trail when Verzbicas began moving faster and faster to see if, maybe, he could run again. He looked at it his dad, who nodded for him to try it. Verzbicas unfastened his neck brace and broke into a trot — 37 tentative, glorious steps that may or may not have been against his doctor’s orders. When he passed his dad, he couldn’t help but flash a wide smile. He knew he would come back. The most frequent words Lukas Verzbicas uses to describe his return to running, biking and swimming are “shortly thereafter”. By all accounts, he is re-discovering these athletic pursuits before most who have suffered a similar fate. He spent 2013 attacking his rehabilitation exercises and graduated from that programme this fall. With the rehabilitation phase behind him, the 20-year-old can begin his twoand-a-half year build-up to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. He can’t completely escape the crash – he still has screws left in his spine and a titanium plate lodged in his collarbone – but he has decided to seek out a new train-

ing environment. Last April, he moved to the US Olympic Training Center outside of San Diego for its year-round warm climate, access to the Pacific Ocean and fresh perspective. Verzbicas works with Richard Bryne, who notes his pupil is a quick study. “If he had known then what he knows now, the crash would have probably been avoidable, and that’s the sad part,” says Bryne. The lessons have included taking Verzbicas to a Go-Kart track to practise zipping around corners at high speeds. “After a few laps, he started smacking into my car and spinning me out, so he was completely catching on,” says Bryne. Besides Bryne, Verzbicas has found an ally in Joaquim Cruz, the 1984 gold medallist in the 800-metres and track coach at the Olympic Training Center. “When Lukas arrived, I avoided looking into his accident because I wanted to work with what I had: a kid who has tremendous potential and a very impatient athlete trying to get back into racing right away,” says Cruz. The challenge now, Cruz acknowledges, is holding Verzbicas back from competitive racing until early 2014, when the qualification period begins for the next US Olympic triathlon trials.

trol of his bowels. “The first time it happened I told him to clean it up and get back to training,” says Cruz. “He told me it was really emotionally draining, and I told him that if it’s a physical ailment,

Verzbicas wants to reconnect with the one thing that gives him purpose – competing to the best of his ability – so badly that he might not see how far he has already come. “A couple of times he told me God

Verzbicas has almost fully regained his muscular strength. His right leg, which was 40 per cent weaker than his left after the crash, is within 10 per cent of being back to normal. The one lingering side effect Verzbicas deals with is a gastrointestinal issue stemming from his nerve damage. Whenever he works out hard, he loses con-

then it’s OK to be done, but if it’s mental, then suck it up.” Verzbicas pushed on. “Looking from an outsider’s perspective it’s very good to know that less than one year ago I couldn’t move and was practically paralysed, but for me it is like, ‘I still have a long way to go,’” he says. Therein lies the mindset of a champion: always focused on improving.


Open skies / December 2013

cursed him,” says Cruz. “I told him it was the opposite. If God wanted to curse him, he would be in a wheelchair right now. He has experienced what he has and it’s his choice as to what he is going to do with it.” Knowing Lukas Verzbicas, the answer is clear: accomplish the last remaining goal written on that white board, Rio 2016.


the challenge now is holding verzbicas back from competitive racing until early 2014, when the qualification period begins for the next us olympic triathlon trials

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Dubai Jazz Festival The line-up for the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival is announced



briefing Dubai film festival: DIFF celebrates its 10th year ian goulD: The ICC umpire talks cricket Routemap: Discover the world as connected by Emirates


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news Jazz Fest line-up announced

star perForMers / Santana, Jamie Cullum, Stone Temple Pilots With Chester Bennington and Olly Murs will all peform at the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival 2014

legendary global Music icon santana (pictured), british pop star olly Murs, the uKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nuMber one Jazz-pop singer JaMie culluM and alternative classic rocK band stone teMple pilots with chester bennington

will perform at the Emirates

Airline Dubai Jazz Festival 2014. The event will introduce A Unique Take On Jazz, Pop and Rock from February 13 to 21, 2014 at Festival Park, Dubai Festival City. Also taking to the Emirates Main Stage will be Grammy Award Winner Colbie Caillat and


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chart-topping British boy-band The Wanted. Jazz enthusiasts will not be disappointed as the Jazz Garden will be back again for its sixth year, offering free jazz performances throughout the midweek nights of the


news coveRed by von RegulaR flyeRs on emiRates and fans of the ice inflight enteRtainment system will have noticed a bold new look foR the ice guides in 2013, wrapped up in exclusive


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cover artwork created by the award-winning London-based artist, Von. For the guides, which contain highlights and listings of all the movies, TV and music available on the ice system, Von’s portraiture is a perfect fit, his blend of traditional painting methods and cutting-edge digital techniques capturing the stars of ice in a striking new light. Since he set up his studio, HelloVon, in 2006, Von’s work has been gaining an ever-higher profile, with an enviable client list including Nike (for whom he covered 17 windows of the iconic Selfridge’s building in London with his portraits of World Cup footballers in 2010, one of his own favourite projects), Penguin, Time magazine, The New York Times and the London 2012 Paralympics promotional campaign. But illustration is only half the story. Von is also an exhibited artist, having shown in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona and elsewhere. He identifies the influences behind his work as nature and popular culture, but beyond that is reluctant to talk about his methods: “I normally just say I draw stuff for a living and change the subject. It’s way too difficult to sincerely describe your own work and not sound like an idiot,” he says. Perhaps the best explanation comes from looking at the work itself, its mix of detail and abstraction resulting in mesmerising images that have been described as “walking the line between surrealism and documentary portraiture”. This month, Von releases a prestigious new collector’s edition box set of his work – you can find out more, and see his other original pieces and limited-edition prints on his website.

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Perfect timing Don’t miss your next Emirates flight. Make sure you get to your boarding gate on time. Boarding starts 45 minutes before your flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. If you report late we will not be able to accept you for travel. Thank you for your cooperation.


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which runs from December 6 to December 14, aims to showcase new talent from the UAE, as well as celebrate the very best of film from around the world. More than 170 films from more than 50 countries, including 68 premieres will be shown throughout the week, and movie fans will be able to enjoy workshops, premieres, galas and awards. These will include an audience with actor Martin Sheen, who is this year’s recipient of the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Competition will be fierce yet again for the Muhr Awards, which celebrate excellence in

FREQUENT FLYER PARTNERSHIP EmIRATES ANd VIRgIN AmERIcA have announced a frequent flyer partnership that allows members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programmes to earn and redeem points or miles for travel across the networks of the two airlines. Emirates flies to 137 destinations in 77 countries, including New York (JFK), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Seattle, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in the US. Emirates is also the only airline to operate a First Class service between New York and Milan, and will fly to Boston from March 2014.


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short films, feature films and documentaries from the UAE, wider Arab world, Asia and Africa. For the second year running, Oscarwinning actress Cate Blanchett will head the judging panel for the hotly contested IWC Filmmakers Award. Look out for awardwinning documentary maker Errol Morris’s The Unknown Known and Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. DIFF, in collaboration with Dubai Cares and Oxfam, will also be hosting the ‘One Night to Change Lives’ charity gala at the Armani Hotel Dubai.

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news EmiratEs rEsort wins ConsErvation award EmiratEs wolgan vallEy rEsort has bEEn rECognisEd at thE travEl + lEisurE 2013 global vision awards for its ongoing commitment to

conservation and sustainability. The awards are given in recognition of significant contributions in the travel and tourism industry to protecting the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural and manmade resources. This could be the promotion of cultural heritage, conservation of nature or actively engaging in community outreach projects. The award is the latest in a long line of accolades for Wolgan Valley, which sits in the breath-taking Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area roughly three hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; drive from Sydney. Covering an area of 4,000 acres, the retreat not only provides a unique holiday experience but also ensures the long-term conservation and biodiversity of its surroundings. move open skies english 2.pdf



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Q&A: Kelly RowlAnd The American singer, who performed at the Dubai Airshow Gala Dinner at the end of November, has had two hit albums this year, performed at the Super Bowl and become a judge on TV talent show The X Factor

You flew Emirates to Dubai. What were your impressions of the experience? I was taken care of like a princess. The seats were comfortable, and the flight attendants were very nice. It was a wonderful experience. You performed at the Dubai Airshow in November. What did you think of Dubai? I've been to Dubai before, and it's one of the most magical places I've ever been. You are currently a judge on The X Factor. How is that going? The X Factor is going great, and I love being in a position to help inspire and mentor undiscovered talent. What's it like working with Simon Cowell? Simon is hilarious. He's one of a kind.


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Q&A: IAn Gould Former England cricketer Ian Gould, a member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires since 2006, played 18 one-day matches for his country. He is now one of the game's most loved and respected umpires

How did your cricket career start? While playing for Slough Cricket Club I was asked to attend Easter coaching classes at Lords for a trial for the MCC ground staff. Following this trial I was lucky enough to be selected, along with the mighty Ian Botham. After a year there, I was spotted by the Middlesex coach Don Bennett, and I played for Middlesex for eight years, winning the championship twice and the Gillette Cup once. I moved to Sussex County Cricket Club, where I played for the next 10 years. I was also lucky enough to get selected for England, which was special. How did you get the nickname Gunner? I am a mad Arsenal Fan.

You could have been a footballer, rather than a cricketer, couldn’t you? While playing for Slough youth, I was spotted by an Arsenal scout, and again, like with cricket, I was invited for trials, at the mighty Arsenal. Following the trials, I was invited to join Arsenal at the age of 15; to be playing cricket at Lords and soccer at Highbury, it was a dream come true. My football did not move forward as the cricket did, so it was a pretty easy choice [to become a cricketer]. My professional cricket career then naturally extended into coaching, and then umpiring. What’s the best match you ever have umpired? The World Cup semi-final in 2011, India versus Pakistan, a high-octane event played by 22 passionate people and watched by three billion people. It was a fantastic atmosphere; trying to keep calm and focused was one of the hardest things I have done in umpiring, and something I would love to do again. It must be hard to maintain your concentration over the five days of a test match. How do you manage it? I keep the same routines for all formats of the game. That works for me. There are different playing conditions for each format that require your preparation before the match. On the field, though, your routines need to be the ones that you have always used. Technology now plays a big role in the decision making process. How does it affect the way you go about your business? Technology, in my opinion, has helped the world of cricket, as it helps with getting decisions


Open skies / December 2013

right. The match officials at the international games – the referee, on-field umpires and the third umpire – are one team, and between us we want to make the right decisions. There should be no difference whether there is DRS [Decision Review System] or no DRS. Giving decisions on field requires absolute concentration, and you do not think about the technology. You want to get as many on field decisions right as you can. Pure and simple. You were involved in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, and again 2011. Are you excited about the next tournament in 2015? All World Cups are exciting. The event brings all the greatest players in the world to one tournament. To me this is the pinnacle of the ICC calendar, and I hope to be there in 2015. World Cups have the cricketing world on edge – and I mean the cricketing world. One fascinating statistic is that after India the highest number of TV viewers watching the 2011 tournament was in the USA. What advice would you give an aspiring umpire? You need love and passion for the game of cricket, together with patience and lots of understanding of the laws of the game, as there are many, including daft ones. The real ingredients for good umpiring extend into being a team man, a good man manager. When the game gets tense, the best umpires will perform.


Open skies / December 2013




rich history can be experienced in abundance throughout the city. As the capital of Massachusetts, its story is one of progress and reinvention, from its foundation in 1630 by British puritans, through its integral role in the establishment of the USA, to its boundary-pushing and artistic present. It has been called the ‘Athens of America’, a testament to its cultural offering and many prestigious colleges and universities.

fREEDOm TRail The 2.5-mile (4km) Boston Freedom Trail is a red-brick-lined route taking visitors on a journey

through more than two century’s of the city’s history. Along the way 16 sites of special interest tell the story of the American Revolution and the fight for independence. The route starts at Boston Common (the oldest public park in the USA) and effortlessly mixes the antiquity of the city’s foundations with the vibrant life of a modern metropolis.

team better than the Red Sox, and no place better to see them than Fenway Park. What makes a visit even more special now is that the Red Sox recently won the World Series on home turf for the first time in 95 years. Tours of Fenway Park are available.

faNEUil Hall maRkETPlaCE

Charles River Esplanade, a public park, offers spectacular views of the city and river, and houses the Hatch Memorial Shell, a purpose-built concert and performance venue.

Located in downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been the central meeting point for residents and visitors for more than 300 years. Made up of Quincy Market, North Market, South Market and the prestigious Faneuil Hall, this venue of unique shops, eclectic dining and live entertainment sits right at the heart of city life. Discover the history behind Faneuil Hall and find out why it’s known as the ‘cradle of liberty’.

fENWay PaRk While wars may have been won from Boston’s streets and meeting places, truly epic battles have been fought at Fenway Park for the last 100 years. Just ask any baseball fan (pretty much anyone in the city) and they’ll tell you that there’s no


HaRvaRD yaRD Located in nearby Cambridge, Harvard Yard is the centre of Harvard University. The college was founded in 1636, and is the oldest university in the USA. Nowadays the university educates around 20,000 students and counts eight American presidents among its alumni. Campus tours with a current Harvard student are available.


Kabul: from December 4, 2013 Kiev: from January 16, 2014 Taipei: from February 10, 2014 Boston: from March 10, 2014

POPUlaTiON: Boston City is estimated at 636,479 laNgUagE: English CURRENCy: US Dollar ClimaTE: Continental HisTORiCal faCT: Boston was home to the USA’s first public school and first subway system. mOsT famOUs CiTizEN: Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and noted author, politician, inventor and scientist WHaT is BOsTON famOUs fOR? It is a centre for educational excellence with over 100 colleges and universities DiD yOU kNOW? At 90 feet below ground, Boston’s Ted Williams Tunnel is the deepest in North America WHaT TO EaT: New England clam chowder, Boston baked beans, New England lobster Emirates will fly daily from Dubai to Boston beginning March 10, 2014


Open skies / December 2013



Wellness in the air

To help you arrive at your destination feeling relaxed and refreshed, Emirates has developed this collection of helpful travel tips. Regardless of whether you need to rejuvenate for your holiday or be effective at achieving your goals on a business trip, these simple tips will help you to enjoy your journey and time on board with Emirates today.

smart traveller

Drink plentY of Water Rehydrate with water or juices frequently. Drink tea and coffee in moderation.

travel lightlY Carry only the essential items that you will need during your flight.

Before Your JourneY Consult your doctor before travelling if you have any medical concerns about making a long journey, or if you suffer from a respiratory or cardiovascular condition. Plan for the destination – will you need any vaccinations or special medications? Get a good night’s rest before the flight. Eat lightly and sensibly.

Wear glasses Cabin air is drier than normal, therefore swap your contact lenses for glasses.

at the airport Allow yourself plenty of time for check-in. Avoid carrying heavy bags through the airport and onto the flight as this can place the body under considerable stress. Once through to departures try and relax as much as possible.

use skin moisturiser Apply a good quality moisturiser to ensure your skin doesn’t dry out.

keep moving exercise your lower legs and calf muscles. This encourages blood flow.

During the flight Chewing and swallowing will help equalise your ear pressure during ascent and descent. Babies and young passengers may suffer more acutely with popping ears, therefore consider providing a dummy. Get as comfortable as possible when resting and turn frequently. Avoid sleeping for long periods in the same position.


OPen skies / DecemBer 2013

make Yourself comfortaBle Loosen clothing, remove jacket and avoid anything pressing against your body.

When You arrive Try some light exercise, or read if you can’t sleep after arrival.

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Contract Drafting & Review Business Setup , Offshore & Free Zone Companies Corporate & Commercial Legal Services Litigation & Arbitration Debt Collection Banking, Insurance & Maritime Cases Real Estate, Construction & Labor Cases Trademarks, Patents & Copyrights

‫ﺻﻴﺎﻏﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﻘﻮﺩ ﻭﻣﺮﺍﺟﻌﺘﻬﺎ‬ ‫ﺗﺄﺳﻴﺲ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﻛﺎﺕ ﻭﺍﻷﻭﻓﺸﻮﺭ ﻭﺍﳌﻨﺎﻃﻖ ﺍﳊﺮﺓ‬ ‫ﺍﳋﺪﻣﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻘﺎﻧﻮﻧﻴﺔ ﻟﻸﻓﺮﺍﺩ ﻭﺍﻟﺸﺮﻛﺎﺕ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﺘﻘﺎﺿﻲ ﻭ ﺍﻟﺘﺤﻜﻴﻢ‬ ‫ﲢﺼﻴﻞ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻮﻥ‬ ‫ﻗﻀﺎﻳﺎ ﺍﻟﺒﻨﻮﻙ ﻭﺍﻟﺘﺄﻣﲔ ﻭﺍﻟﻘﻀﺎﻳﺎ ﺍﻟﺒﺤﺮﻳﺔ‬ ‫ﻗﻀﺎﻳﺎ ﺍﳌﻘﺎﻭﻻﺕ ﻭﺍﻟﻌﻘﺎﺭﺍﺕ ﻭﺍﻟﻘﻀﺎﻳﺎ ﺍﻟﻌﻤﺎﻟﻴﺔ‬ ‫ﺍﻟﻌﻼﻣﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺘﺠﺎﺭﻳﺔ ﻭﺑﺮﺍﺀﺍﺕ ﺍﻻﺧﺘﺮﺍﻉ ﻭﺣﻘﻮﻕ ﺍﳌﺆﻟﻒ‬

• • • • • • • •

DUBAI EMIRATES TOWERS, 14TH FLOOR, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD P.O. BOX: 9055, DUBAI, UAE TEL: +971 4 330 4343 | FAX: +971 4 330 3993 | ABU DHABI Tel: +971 2 6394446

RAS AL KHAIMAH Tel: +971 7 2046719

DUBAI INTERNET CITY Tel: +971 4 3900820

SHARJAH Tel: +971 6 5728666

JEBEL ALI Tel: +971 4 8871679

DIFC Tel: +971 4 4019562




VISAS & STATS Guide to us customs & immiGration Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re travelling to, or through, the United States today, this simple guide to completing the US customs form will help to ensure that your journey is as hassle free as possible.


electronic system for travel authorisation (esta) If you are an international traveller wishing to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme, You must apply for electronic authorisation (ESTA) up to 72 hours prior to your departure.

esta facts:

All passengers arriving into the US need to complete a Customs Declaration Form. If you are travelling as a family this should be completed by one member only. The form must be completed in English, in capital letters, and must be signed where indicated.

Children and infants require an individual ESTA. The online ESTA system will inform you whether your application has been authorised, not authorised or if authorisation is pending. A successful ESTA application is valid for two years, however this may be revoked or will expire along with your passport.

apply online at www.cbp.Gov/esta nationalities eliGible for the visa waiver*: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, latvia, liechtenstein, lithuania, luxemburg, malta, monaco, The netherlands, new Zealand, norway, Portugal, San marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom**

* subject to chanGe ** only british citizens qualify under the visa waiver proGramme.


Open skies / December 2013

THE PROCESS HOW TO USE THE SMART GATES AT DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT If you are a citizen of one of the 33 countries that do not require a pre-arranged visa to enter the UAE (see the list below), or are a UAE resident, you can speed up your journey through Dubai International Airport by using the Smart Gates.

STEP ONE Look for the Smart Gates at passport control and have your national ID card, E-Gate card or machine-readable passport ready to be scanned.


STEP TWO Open your passport at the photo page and place it photo-side down on the scanner. Alternatively, if you are a UAE resident you can scan your UAE national ID card by placing it in the ID scanner.

*UK citizens only (UK overseas citizens require a visa) Both residents and tourists who hold a passport with a barcode that can be scanned by the Smart Gates’ e-reader, including children above the age of seven, can check in and out of the airport within 22 seconds – with no passport stamps. The automatic identification system uses an iris scan and facial recognition.

STEP THREE Next, place your index finger on the fingerprint scanner. OK!

Passengers who hold passports without e-readable barcodes can use the existing e-Gates or the immigration counter to complete their entry or exit process.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE SMART GATES The Smart Gates are located on the right-hand side of the Immigration Hall, in Concourse B.

169 169


STEP FOUR Stand in the blue footprint guide on the floor, face the camera straight-on and remain still for your iris scan. Wait until the system matches your photograph and your facial imprint before continuing through the gate.





Kabul: from December 4, 2013 Kiev: from January 16, 2014 Taipei: from February 10, 2014 Boston: from March 10, 2014




Mediclinic Mediclinic Mediclinic Mediclinic Mediclinic

Welcare Hospital Dubai Mall Meadows Mirdif Beach Road

• Mediclinic City Hospital • Mediclinic Ibn Battuta • Mediclinic Arabian Ranches • Mediclinic Al Qusais • Mediclinic Al Sufouh








the FLeet

Our fleet contains 212 planes made up of 200 passenger planes and 12 cargo planes

Boeing 777-300eR

Number of Aircraft: 90 Capacity: 354-442 Range: 14,594km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 64.8m

Boeing 777-300

Number of Aircraft: 12 Capacity: 364 Range: 11,029km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 60.9m

Boeing 777-200LR

Number of Aircraft: 10 Capacity: 266 Range: 17,446km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m

Boeing 777-200

Number of Aircraft: 9 Capacity: 274-346 Range: 9,649km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 60.9m

Boeing 777F

Number of Aircraft: 10 Range: 9,260km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m For more information:


Open skies / December 2013

Airbus A380-800

Number of Aircraft: 44 Capacity: 489-517 Range: 15,000km Length: 72.7m Wingspan: 79.8m

Airbus A340-500

Number of Aircraft: 9 Capacity: 258 Range: 16,050km Length: 67.9m Wingspan: 63.4m

Airbus A340-300

Number of Aircraft: 4 Capacity: 267 Range: 13,350km Length: 63.6m Wingspan: 60.3m

Airbus A330-200

Number of Aircraft: 22 Capacity: 237-278 Range: 12,200km Length: 58.8m Wingspan: 60.3m

boeing 747-400erF

Number of Aircraft: 2 Range:9,204km Length: 70.6m Wingspan: 64.4m Aircraft numbers as of December 2013


Open skies / December 2013

last look



I have lived in Milan since September 2004. I moved here mainly for work, but also because I always loved the idea of living in a big city. I love the secret places of Milan, the nightlife and the infinite list of gigs and events you can choose to attend every week. I work as a sales manager in a multi-brand showroom in this area, Navigli. It’s one of Milan’s most famous areas. It’s particularly nice at sunset, especially in the spring – it looks so romantic and bohemian. The canals, constructed by Leonardo da Vinci, make the area unique. My style is a mix of contemporary fashionista and subculture and vintage details. I just finished a business meeting. I’ve chosen a mix of ironic chic pieces and colourful prints, with a touch of punky attitude by wearing Vivetta shirt, Stella Jean skirt and Corto Moltedo pochette with a vintage leather jacket.

image: Serena BelcaStro


Open skies / December 2013

Discover Luxury

The largest selection of 19th Century French antiques in the region, 19th Century Antiques specializes in rare furniture, bronzes, paintings, clock sets, and vases of exceptional quality and taste.


IN 1969 OMEGA DEFIED ZERO GRAVITY GOING TO THE MOON. IN 2013 OMEGA DEFIES MAGNETIC FIELDS ON EARTH. This OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra resists magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss, solving a problem that has perplexed watchmakers for centuries. More information available at OMEGA Middle East, Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 3300455

Open skies | December 2013