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PHOTO: NIGEL YOUNG / FOSTER + PARTNERS

JANUARY APRIL 2020 2019

SHO A ULLI D T EYROAUR G Y OS AV LEOGNA N ? The The best altfestivals, fad that authors became and a worldwide bookshops movement in the UAE

DECODINGMAKES ATLANTA JAPAN’S SPORTING LOVE OF MASCOTS TRACKS GLAMPING A ROMA GUIDE WITHTO MEXICO CITY QUOKKAS IN ROTTNEST


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FF BY ER JA S T N O U B A E RY S U 31 BM ,2 I 0 TT 20 E D

KILLOCHAN CASTLE

ONE OF THE FINEST FORTIFIED HOUSES IN SOUTH SCOTLAND

A CLASS A LISTED HISTORIC SCOTTISH CASTLE FIRST BUILT IN 1338 LOCATED IN SOUTH AYRSHIRE


Killochan Castle is set on the estate which covers 131 acres of land, with inviting forests, a beautiful river fed by smaller streams, and landscaped gardens. The castle has been fully renovated and restored. The castle has full rights for fishing and shooting. The Main Castle: 3 Kitchens including one old kitchen | 12-13 Bedrooms 2 Dining rooms plus a breakfast room | 9 Bathrooms/WCs | 2 Laundry rooms Wine cellar | Plenty of storage space | Also attached to the castle are stables, garages, storage rooms and 2 WCs for visitors. Gate House: Just in front of the castle, also a listed building | Beautifully decorated with 4 bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms/WCs | Large kitchen | Laundry room | Storage room and garage. Killochan Cottage: 5 minutes walking distance from the castle | Beautifully decorated 3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms/WCs | Saloon | Dining room | Kitchen | Garden | Storage Garage and parking space. Bridge Cottage: 10 minutes walking distance from the castle overlooking the river 4 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms/WCs | Kitchen | Saloon | Dining room | Car park and garage.

Prestwick Aviation Services: 30 miles Glasgow Airport: 61 miles In the vicinity of Trump Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort

FOR SALE To arrange for castle visits /purchase offers, kindly contact the following: CONTACT Tarek +44 7778 968 117 | torabi@elseif.com.sa Camilla +44 7914 688 983 | camilla@elseif.com.sa Office Contact mkhalil@elseifholdings.co.uk


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OBAID HUMAID AL TAYER

EDITOR GEORGINA LAVERS editor@openskiesmagazine.com

SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER FIROZ KALADI firoz@motivate.ae

MANAGING PARTNER & GROUP EDITOR

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR

ART DIRECTOR

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IAN FAIRSERVICE

SURAJIT DUTTA surajit@motivate.ae

GINA JOHNSON gina@motivate.ae

LONDRESA FLORES londresa@motivate.ae

CONTRIBUTORS Ben East; John Feely; Sarah Freeman; Biénne Huisman; Dom Joly; Elise Kerr; Sofia Levin; Emily Manthei; Ismail Noor; Mohamed Somji; Laura Studarus. Front cover: Patrick Leger

GENERAL MANAGER PRODUCTION

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MURALI NARAYANAN murali@motivate.ae

EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS FOR EMIRATES

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SHEBA KOONAN

DEPUTY EDITOR

CATHERINE FREEMAN

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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Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai, UAE


Your Ultimate Escape Curated to suit your every mood with perfect bliss and luxurious comfort in mind, Heritance Aarah invites you to a tropical seclusion with a gastronomic offering like no other.


CONTENTS JANUARY 2020

60 DUBAI A literary hub

15

71

GLOBAL

EMIRATES

Experience 16 Stay: From Rottnest Island to Sintra Dom Joly is sharing holiday snaps What’s Japan’s deal with mascots? A guide to Limassol, Cyprus 36 Stargazing in South Africa 42 Amsterdam’s extreme eco measures An outsider in Mongolia 52

18 28 30

46

Latest news 72 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Dubai and the UAE 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Go see this: The extraordinary public art of Sabine Hornig 90

Reading, writing and everything in between 60

More than green Groundbreaking eco solutions to look forward to at Expo 2020 68


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13

EDITOR’S NOTE NATIONAL VALUES

Often, it’s easy to see why a country embraces the things it does. Take Amsterdam, where green measures are more than just lip-service – they are built into the culture of the city’s residents. On p46, writer Emily Manthei travels on plastic fishing boats and explores hotels powered entirely by wind to see how this Dutch capital is embracing eco initiatives that traverse the sectors of food, entertainment, agriculture and tourism. In South Africa, vast expanses of land and soaring mountains seem entirely befitting to house a new radio telescope, the biggest in the world (p42). Sat on rocky flatland, 64 dish-shaped antennas known as MeerKAT are hoped by scientists to show how stars and galaxies formed and changed, provide insight into “dark matter”, allow testing of Einstein’s theory of relativity – and possibly enable the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Yet elsewhere, the proclivity toward certain behaviours or forms seems just downright unusual. Take the mascot culture of Japan, which Laura Studarus deftly unravels on p30. Businesses and prefectures alike have been obsessively snapping up mascots to promote themselves for decades now, with motorcycle-riding bears, dancing foxes and vicious baby sea otters fascinating their public. Whether as a kawaii (cute) response to the values of diligence and responsibility so revered in the country, spiritual messengers or economic tokens – they are a living embodiment that sometimes, it’s best not to take it all too seriously.

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Happy New Year, Georgina Lavers, Editor


© Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi / Photo: Waleed Shah. Architect: Jean Nouvel

MAKE IT A DAY TO REMEMBER

DESTINATION: LOUVRE ABU DHABI Louvre Abu Dhabi is more than a museum. It’s your window to the world. Discover how cultures converge in our galleries and special exhibitions. Book a day away with family and friends.

Admission AED 63. Children under 13 free.

BOOK A DAY AWAY

louvreabudhabi.ae


Global EXPERIENCE ° STAY ° DISPATCH ° NEIGHBOURHOOD ° SOUTH AFRICA ° AMSTERDAM ° PHOTO ESSAY

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16 / GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE

OUTSIDER ART FAIR, JANUARY 16-19

“These artists aren’t even advocating for themselves” The Outsider Art Fair is the world’s biggest art fair showcasing work by those who are self-taught or outside “professional art”. It celebrates exciting creatives from across the continent, according to Fair Director Rebecca Hoffman First of all, can you explain the Outsider Art Fair? It gives a platform to artists and artworks that are created without any influence from academic or mainstream art historical references. It is truly unique in the art world landscape – there are no other art fairs dedicated to the work that we champion.

So tell us about an artist at this year’s fair who epitomises that ethos? Well, the independent Parisian curator Antoine Gentil will be displaying the works of the artist Isidore in the same manner in which the artist shows and sells his work on the streets of Paris. In Paris, Isidore allows his clients and visitors to name their own price, a model that Gentil will extend for Outsider Art Fair visitors.

But is the idea of an outsider artist having to be represented by an established gallery in order to get noticed a bit of a paradox?

Above: Rebecca Hoffman Right: The biannual fair takes place in New York and Paris

Well, outsider art has always had a renegade spirit to it. And I don’t believe there is a paradox: in the majority of cases these artists aren’t even advocating for themselves. It takes a third party to bring the work to the public’s attention.

What are you particularly looking forward to this year? I am very excited for the Creative Growth Presents booth – a booth dedicated to the Aboriginal works from the Mangkaja Art Center in Australia. Also, I am looking forward to seeing the works of German artist, Dietmar Busse, shown by Fierman Gallery. Busse, although trained as a fashion photographer, abandoned his high gloss images for grittier and more expressive works looking at 20th century German history. Lastly, I am very pleased to be working with Howard Greenberg Gallery for the first time on a solo booth of Vivian Meier’s photographs.

The curated project on indigenous

Peruvian art looks fascinating, too. Yes, The Hummingbird Paints Fragrant Songs is an exhibition of the Shipibo artists Sara Flores and Celia Vasquez Yui. Learning that Flores’ works were created by a shaman who utilises her canvases as a means to heal the world – in conjunction with the ayahuasca ceremonies she performs – fascinated me. It’s great to bring light to these two artists who live and work in a region of the Peruvian Amazon where indigenous peoples are struggling for their cultural and social survival.

There are also galleries at the fair from Tokyo and New Delhi. Does it feel to you that the character of outsider art changes from country to country? We at Outsider Art Fair have been working hard to provide a continued expanded global view of the outsider art field – making it clear that raw creativity exists everywhere. New York, US. outsiderartfair.com


THROUGHOUT JANUARY

HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL Established in 1985, Harbin International has slowly grown to become the world’s biggest winter festival of its kind, with literally hundreds of amazing icy landmarks and installations. There are massive illuminated ice castles, snow statues, ice slides and a competitive element with the visit of international ice sculptors. Oh, and you can’t visit Harbin without seeing a snowman. Last year, there were 2019 of them, so you can guess how many we might see this time. Harbin, China. icefestivalharbin.com

JANUARY 24

JANUARY 23-28

THROUGHOUT JANUARY

DUBAI MARATHON

JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL

THE EMIRATES FA CUP

Over 30,000 people now start their running year in style at the Dubai Marathon, and the route past the Burj Al Arab means it has an iconic backdrop, too. The crowd watching the elite and amateur athletes has increased over the years, and additional 4km and 10km runs mean everyone can feel a part of the action. A 7am start means that the weather is not too hot, either. Dubai, UAE. dubaimarathon.org

This year’s speakers at the Jaipur festival include Nobel, Pulitzer Prize and Booker winners – Abhijit Banerjee, Stephen Greenblatt and Howard Jacobson – among over 250 writers from across every discipline and genre. Encouragingly, Jaipur genuinely engages young people to engage with literature, and sees over 400,000 attendees over the five days. Jaipur, India. jaipurliteraturefestival.org

The third round of The FA Cup – the world’s oldest national football competition – is always one of the great days in the sport’s calendar, the time when minnows of the game have their chance against the big boys. This year, major interest comes from semi-professional AFC Fylde, but all eyes will also be on the Merseyside derby, as Liverpool take on Everton. England and Wales. thefa.com


18 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY

ABU DHABI

24.4539° N, 54.3773° E

PRICE: FROM US$190 PER NIGHT

With a unique F1 selling point and new branding, W Abu Dhabi is ready to make a name for itself

THREE EXPERIENCES TO TRY

Onto a winner

Yas Marina Circuit Feel the thrill of Formula 1 for yourself with a Yas Marina Circuit driving experience. The track offers go-karting sessions, or supercar junkies might like to try their hand in the Aston Martin GT4 or a Ferrari 458 GT.

WORDS: ELISE KERR

Spa with a view Nine treatment rooms include a couples room and hammam, all with views of Yas Marina. There are also private steam room and jacuzzi facilities, and a relaxation room with a galaxy of dangling LED lights hanging above. CLYMB to the top Abu Dhabi’s newest attraction, CLYMB, has the world’s tallest climbing wall and the largest indoor skydiving chamber. The asymmetrical architecture of the building can’t be missed as you arrive on Yas Island.

Detox, design, fuel and fashion are the four pillars of any W Hotel, and guests are encouraged to partake in all of them when they check into W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Formerly the Viceroy-owned Yas Hotel, Marriott took over the property and redesigned it to create the third Middle Eastern offering from the W, which opened in November 2019. Many of the rooms have views of the Yas Marina Circuit, and this property is the only hotel in the world located atop a Grand Prix racetrack. Love it or loathe it, when a race is on there’s no escaping the electrifying sound of supercars speeding past. The most noticeable redesign is in public spaces; each piece of quirky furniture or art installation in the lobby, or ‘Living Room’, has a reference to the heritage and culture of the UAE. From the abaya-inspired sofa to a wall of pegged noses that pays homage to the country’s pearl-diving history, everything you see is a conversation starter.

The hotel chain is known for its pool parties and the revamped adult-only WET Deck at W Abu Dhabi looks the part, and hopefully will soon create the same vibe. The DJ booth is positioned centrally, with chic daybeds surrounding it, and the rooftop pool is hidden away on a mezzanine level. Garage, the all-day dining restaurant, combines dishes from five different cuisines, each of which has its own dedicated section of the restaurant with open kitchen and executive chef. Cuisines include Nikkei (a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese), ‘Steam House’, which focuses on noodles and dim sum, Middle Eastern ‘Mezza Bar’, a meat house and a tart van, offering freshly-baked pastries. The W Lounge, a signature in each property, has a strong focus on cocktail culture, with master mixologists ready to create a classic, innovative or gin-based beverage to your taste. It’s an ideal space to meet and mingle before exploring the city.

ABU DHABI

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


KILLOCHAN CASTLE S COT L AND U NIT E D K ING DO M


20 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY

LISBON

38.7223° N, 9.1393° W

PRICE: FROM US$312 PER NIGHT

A restored palace in Portugal’s enigmatic Sintra offers an enchanted getaway

Fit for nobility WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS

IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Apple Beach Grab a tram down to the Praia das Maçãs beach – it’s about a 30-minute ride. Locals say eating apples that drift from the river that flows into the sea encourages a long life. As well as preserving longevity, the beach has a saltwater pool, playground and picnic area, as well as rock platforms to fish from. Pena Palace Information placards are fairly scarce at this breathtaking palace, so it’s worth getting a guided tour. Commissioned by King Ferdinand II, the place holds tales of frowned-upon marriages to young opera singers, romantic love stories and interesting pagan-esque symbols – which remain something of a mystery even today.

There’s something about staying in a hotel with royal history that makes guests sit up just that little bit straighter at breakfast. Such is the case of Tivoli Palácio de Seteais, a former palace set in the hills of Sintra, just 30 minutes from Lisbon. This place, of castles and Moorish invasions, where mist swirls and modern-day life can be temporarily abandoned, is the perfect place to indulge any monarchic fantasies. Built by a Dutch consul in 1787, the palace has changed hands over the centuries, now falling under the hotel brand Tivoli’s remit. But you would be hard-pressed to find any evidence of a heavy, company-led hand. A side parlour acts as a check-in for guests,

as well as somewhat of a tourist attraction – it is said that a peace treaty was signed here during the Napoleonic wars. A romantic, sweeping staircase separates the bedrooms from communal spaces, which include a high-ceilinged dining room as well as reading room and conservatory, with views out onto the gardens and tennis court. There are thirty rooms in total, eighteen in the old quarter and twelve in the new. There are benefits and downsides to all –the presidential suite has the grandest living space but a modest bathroom, for example. It is these kinds of idiosyncracies that are encouraged by the property, rather than stamped out. Floorboards are creaky, 19th

Gong healing Savour the charm of Portugal’s mountainside from the Anantara Spa Tivoli Palácio de Seteais. The resident therapist will educate on Reiki and semi precious stones as she delivers massages and other wellness treatments using herbs and oils sourced from Sintra, in a connective treatment practice that feels as spiritual as it does indulgent.

Left: Private events can be hosted in the salon, which overlooks the gardens Right, from top: 19th century art and furniture has been carefully preserved; A deluxe room; An arch separates East and West Wings of the palace


century heritage carpets are left threadbare rather than replaced, and the charmingly roccoco piano is horribly out of tune (it is so rare even their normal tuner won’t touch it, I am informed). The place is pet-friendly – at the time of a stay, a gentleman and his greyhound were frequently found walking the grounds before breakfast – and known for its long-serving staff, some of whom have been at the propety for three decades. Visitors to the property have included Johnny Depp and Agatha Christie, who, one imagines, made full use of the grand salon, which is covered with interesting water nymphs and mythological frescoes. For breakfasts, lunches and dinners, Seteais Restaurant is a useful and high quality experience of elevated Portuguese cooking. In summer, guests can avail themselves of the outdoor pool or tennis courts, or stop to pick one of the lemons that fall so plentifully from the orchard. But on a cold winter’s day, the best place to be is situated as close to the fireplace as possible – coffee in lap, dreams of kings and castles as close-by as the curling mists.

LISBON

Emirates flies nonstop twice daily to Lisbon with the Boeing 777-300ER.


22 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY

ROTTNEST ISLAND

32.0064° S, 115.5073° E

PRICE: FROM US$116 PER NIGHT

Glamping with the happiest animals in the world

The eco island WORDS: SOFIA LEVIN

THREE BEACHES TO VISIT Little Parakeet Bay Soft white sand and sparkling aquamarine water make this the beach of your Australian-postcard dreams. Little Parakeet Bay is shallow, protected and surrounded by dramatic jagged rock formations. The Basin For snorkelling, it doesn’t get much better than The Basin. It can get busy due to its proximity to the main settlement, but with barely any swell it’s ideal for kids and a relaxing dip. If you’re a confident swimmer, head to deeper water for the best of the reef. West End Located at Rottnest’s westernmost point, the rugged coastline here is far from calm and protected, but has stunning views across the Indian Ocean, surf, scuba diving and fishing. Dolphin, whale and fur seal sightings are also common. Take the Island Explorer bus from the visitor centre if the cycle is daunting.

What do Matt Damon, Margot Robbie and Chris Hemsworth have in common? They’ve all Instagrammed a quokka selfie on Rottnest Island. Western Australia’s most adorable marsupial, known as “the world’s happiest animal” for the way it appears to smile in photographs, is only found here and in Western Australia’s southwest. As well as proving his quokka selfie skills, Hemsworth also stayed at Discovery Rottnest Island, the first accommodation to be built on the carfree island in more than 30 years. The AUD$20 million glamping eco-resort opened in March 2019 with 83 tents adjoining Pinky Beach. They’re linked to the relaxed beach club and a guests-only pool by boardwalks that minimise environmental impact. Four tent categories range from standard (56sqm) to deluxe (98sqm), all with private en suites and furnished decks. Superior tents and above feature a simple

kitchenette and eight deluxe tents have walk-in-wardrobes, double vanities and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Five of them also boast unimpeded access to the beach, with views of the Indian Ocean. Each tent is made from sustainable materials and is raised to harness the sea breeze (there are ceiling fans, but no air conditioning). There’s a revegetation plan in place while water, waste and energy are eco-accredited. Plush beds make for a relaxing sleep to the soundtrack of the sea, and guests can self-cater on shared barbecue facilities or dine at the all-day beach club (dinner available between October and March). Come sunset, Pinky’s Beach Club’s grassy lawn is the place to be, with Bathurst Lighthouse a stunning backdrop. Just 45 minutes from Perth via ferry, some visit “Rotto” for a day trip, but if you want to explore its 63 pristine beaches and 45 kilometres of cycling trails, best stay a while.

ROTTNEST ISLAND

Emirates flies twice daily nonstop from Dubai to Perth. Choose from a daily A380 service and a second daily service operated by the Boeing 777-300ER.


24 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY

MUMBAI

19.0760° N, 72.8777° E

PRICE: FROM US$181 PER NIGHT

Mingle with the artsy crowd at Soho House’s first Asian outpost, which is making waves in Mumbai’s burgeoning beach enclave

Left: Designed as a country manor pile, bedrooms are injected with an earthy comfort

Welcome to the Club WORDS: SARAH FREEMAN

FROM THE CONCIERGE Creative credentials Being a hotel guest entitles you to the same privileges of a House member, meaning free rein of its popular cultural programme. The daily schedule spans art, design, film, fashion and tech, with events like an evening with photographer Bharat Sikka and Japanese zombie comedy at Soho’s plush 32-seater cinema.

Framed by breezy palms, this 11-storey white stucco townhouse could easily pass for Miami or the French Riviera. But stepping inside the private members club’s café-cum-reception – resplendent in Rajasthani fabrics and vintage rattan furniture, soon jolts you back to your Indian locale. The informal welcome is very “Soho House” – the brand that famously hates suits and politely reminds its guests to silence their smartphones. That’s not to say networking isn’t encouraged. Bollywood bigwigs from nearby studios and the city’s creative class pile into its rooftop restaurant’s pastel banquettes. Small bites like squash fettuccine, avocado toast and

paneer bao are served under retractable teal awnings with endless Juhu Beach views. The dawn-to-dusk regime here involves breakfasting al fresco in the pool’s candy-striped cabanas, then drinking in the sunset at its marbled bar overlooking the Arabian sea. Guests can chase the waves from pretty much any corner of the hotel, from Italian restaurant Cecconi’s potted plant terrace (which does a mouth-watering crab ravioli) to the sea-facing gym and balconied playroom suites. Spread over five floors, all 38 bedrooms ooze country manor house chic, with four-poster beds, slouchy armchairs and patterned wallpapers. Ruched silk sari lamp-

Drink up The creativity spills over to Soho House’s long list of libations. From low alcohol and low sugar concoctions like ‘the golden route’ (a Martini Bianco with lemon, turmeric and honey), to ‘high tea Hibiscus Kombucha’ – it’s a health nut’s dream drinks menu. Electric dreams You can be whisked around Mumbai’s main sights in the city’s only electric BMW if you book the hotel’s ‘Big Bombay Gateway’ package, which includes complimentary yoga and airport transfers as part of a four-day customised itinerary.


From top: The main dining space, on the eighth floor; The first-floor cinema; Meals can be taken at the rooftop pool

shades and bone inlay teak furniture add local spin that’s offset with retro accents like Roberts Radios and rotary dial telephones. The bathrooms, meanwhile, are a tasteful mash-up of gilded antique mirrors, marble fittings and cement tiling salvaged from Indian heritage mansions. Soho House’s own cult beauty brand, Cowshed, warrants some serious tub time, before whipping up a house Gimlet from the room’s teak drinks cabinet. For the bells and whistles version, head downstairs to the hotel’s chandeliered main lounge. It’s the place to be seen and see a taster of the house’s eclectic 200-piece art collection, including sculptures by Subodh Gupta, Delhi’s new darling of the contemporary scene.

MUMBAI

Emirates offers five nonstop daily flights between Dubai and Mumbai. Choose from a daily A380 service and four daily Boeing 777 options.


26 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY

LONDON

51.5074° N, 0.1278° W

PRICE: FROM US$195 PER NIGHT

American design hotel The Standard exports its space-age-1960s mod style to King’s Cross

Raising the standard WORDS: EMILY MANTHEI

FROM THE CONCIERGE The British Library Among London’s prestigious museums and galleries, the British Library rarely receives a mention, but for those curious enough to visit, pleasant surprises await. More than London’s largest lending library, the building curates exhibitions on literature and culture and displays ancient manuscripts like Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s first folio. Perfect for academics, bibliophiles and casual visitors alike. Dishoom at Granary Square A recent redevelopment around Regent’s Canal in a former industrial shipping hub has become the heart of the King’s Cross neighborhood. One of its most popular restaurants, tapas-style Dishoom, serves sophisticated Indian dishes with a British fusion flair and an alcohol-free cocktail menu every bit as extravagant as the one with booze.

As if responding to the extravagant Victorian brick construction of St. Pancras Rail Station across the street, the mid-century Brutalist civic building that has been renovated as The Standard Hotel appears to be all oblong windows and curved concrete at first glance. But on further inspection, a single wink of color in the form of a glass elevator pod enclosed in a red teardrop beckons visitors passing by on the Euston Road. That’s just the beginning of the geometric mod shapes and 1960s-spaceage design that awaits within. The American design hotel brand, Standard International, is known visually for its nod to the psychedelic, futuristic ‘60s as well as its regular social events that draw as many

locals as hotel guests, but The Standard’s first location outside the US takes that playful spirit and infuses something earthy and more practical to it. Rooms with light wood floors and trim give a solid and spacious feel, a nice counterbalance to the curves and concrete outside – and in the “Cosy Core” rooms in the hotel’s interior, those features make clever use of the windowless space. Rooms come with cloud-like bedding and soothing plant life as a given, designed around the building’s special curves and outlets. A breakfast nook facing the City of London skyline and oversized bathtub next to the bed (or built into a window-facing terrace) are sexy yet practical, both made for socialising in the comfort of

Architecture walking tour St. Pancras Station, a Victorian masterpiece built in 1868, is a jewel of the London railway system, filled with sculpture and artwork as impressive as the building itself. Monthly guided walking tours by New London Architecture Tours and Open City Tours share the building’s history and introduce visitors to other creative redesigns of 19th century industrial workspaces around St. Pancras-King’s Cross.

Clockwise from left: The American brand is known for its mod stylings; Cacti and palms breathe life into the decor; Curved windows embody the ‘60s design; Decimo bar, on the 10th floor, has floor-to-ceiling windows


your own party of two. Thoughtful extras like heavy-duty rain macs, a fully-equipped shaving kit and a wireless bluetooth speaker make guests feel right at home. Pets, and even kids, are also welcome. Public space in The Standard is just as enticing and eclectic, offering London residents a trio of new culinary options. The groundfloor lounge and restaurant, Double Standard, incorporates a fairly extensive lending library of books on topics ranging from philosophy and sound design to gardening and biographies, all amidst warm lamps, fireplace corners and a seasonal outdoor garden to keep things cosy as well as fresh. The menu contains equal parts veggie, fish and meat options. The retro Euston-street-facing bar, Isla, serves up cocktails in an upscale ‘40s diner, and that peppy “red pill” elevator visible from the Brutalist exterior takes guests to the 10th floor, where a faux-desert oasis, complete with cacti, hosts DJ’ed parties, special events and big city views. Whether you’re just visiting or a central-city Londoner, The Standard will surely send you back in time over and over again.

LONDON

Emirates offers 11 daily flight options to and from three London airports. Choose from six daily A380 services to London Heathrow, three daily A380 services to London Gatwick, and twice daily Boeing 777300ER service to Stansted.


28 / GLOBAL / COLUMN

Holiday snaps Dom Joly takes a look back at his misadventures

Above: Joly tries his hand on the snow-less slopes of Nicaragua

I’m doing a massive tour of the UK starting this February. It’s called Dom Joly’s Holiday Snaps, and it’s all really just a fit of pique. I do a lot of travelling, and my wife gets more than a little annoyed at my good fortune. This often comes to a head when, returning from a trip with my camera full of exciting and amusing photographs, I make the mistake of enquiring as to whether she might like to have a look at them. The answer is always a strong “no”, and delivered with increasing amounts of venom than the time before. “Why the hell should I look at your holiday snaps?” “They’re not holiday snaps, they are visual documentation of my recent travels for work.” I reply, quietly locking the knife drawer. “Work? It’s not work, you’re on holiday… while I’m looking after YOUR kids…” “OUR children, dear… are you sure you don’t want a quick peek?” Her retort: “Why would anybody want to see your terrible holiday snaps?” typically serves as the finale of that conversation. Well, I like a challenge and so I’ve rolled out my 52-night tour doing just that. I’ve tried to find my best holiday snaps to prove my wife wrong. I’ve got me skiing down a live volcano in Nicaragua. I assumed there would be snow on it. I was wrong; it was just razor-sharp volcanic rock that I’m still picking out of

my skin ten years on. I’ve got me making friends with the North Korean army, a photo that always ensures that I get very special treatment at US immigration. Then there’s the one of me looking very nervous in deepest, darkest Congo as I realise that I am truly out of my comfort zone. The most affecting, to me, is my photograph of a man in Cambodia whom I later learned was the official photographer in the infamous Tuol Sleng genocide camp. Face to face with a genuine war criminal, living his life as though nothing had happened. Such an unremarkable monster, he embodied the true “banality of evil”. I’ve even got my favourite weird signs that I’ve seen in loos. For the record, Ukraine wins this one. I was there visiting the front line in their border war with Russia and stopped at a petrol station for what my wife calls a “comfort break.” As far as I could see, the sign was imploring people not to glue themselves to the toilet seat but maybe I’ve misunderstood? People like my wife just don’t understand the lengths that I will go to get a great photo. I once spotted a family of nine plus a dog on a small moped in Hanoi. For such an overburdened vehicle, they moved fast and it took me twenty minutes to catch up and get the shot I wanted. I do all this and then my wife selfishly refuses to even take a look? Well, I’ll show her… actually, I won’t, but I will show anybody else who fancies it.


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How Japan became an unexpected mascot haven WORDS: LAURA STUDARUS

Part of the furniture

Seemingly no event is too formal for a mascot; here, a Shinto priest leads the Michelin mascot Bibendum to an altar, to pray for the success of a Tokyo Michelin Guide

Japan has achieved a reputation for forward-thinking technology innovations, impressive public transit (with average annual delays of less than a minute), a creative culture that has made anime and kawaii global trends, and a world-record for the city with the most Michelin star restaurants (that’s Tokyo, with 230). With the attention gathered by the forthcoming 2020 Olympic Games, there’s also another aspect likely to gather widespread appreciation – their unprecedented mascot population. With seemingly every city, business, landmark, and cause adopting a character as their spokesperson, the number of anthropomorphic furry friends is readily apparent. Yearly events like Licensing Japan, (where unclaimed mascots attempt to sway interested businesses), and Gotouchi Character Festival (where characters presumably go to schmooze), have only served to solidify this cartoon-friendly aspect as a ubiquitous part of daily life. This arms race for the public’s attention has created exceptionally niche creations, often with Frankenstein-like attributes


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or a wish-fulfilling backstory. There’s Momiji-chan, a pink hunter-hunting deer from Hokkaido, who appears with a shotgun, lest she be called to action. Marimokkori, from Lake Akan, a moss ball with noticeably masculine attributes. And Sento-kun, a deer-like boy created to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of Nara, even at the protest of many who claimed he uncomfortably resembles Buddha. There have been a few breakthrough characters, transcending their original marketing purpose to become stars in their own right outside of Japan. In April of 2019, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver introduced Chiitan to his audience,

an unofficial “Fairy Baby Otter” mascot for the city of Susaki. Its chaotic videos jumping, flailing and hitting things like a sugared-up child caused the city to distance itself from the character. However, Oliver praised the pink turtle-hat mascot, saying that while its antics may raise a few questions, “You’ll notice that ‘Am I bored’ is not one of the questions.” Likewise, Kumamon, a black bear gifted with large ruddy cheeks, has expanded past his role as the mascot of the Kyushu Shinkansen line, achieving international ubiquity with sales of goods bearing his image creating over 150 billion yen in revenue in 2018 alone. His appeal is so strong that when Empress Michiko

met the character in 2013, she reportedly asked if he was single (like most mascots, Kumamon is silent, so his relationship status remains unknown). While it’s impossible to properly identify the number of mascots inhabiting Japan, one British writer and expat has been making an attempt. Since 2016, Chris Carlier’s website Mondo Mascots uploads examples of mascots and their backstories multiple times per day. The website counts Chrissy Teigen, Kristen Schaal, and Paul F. Tompkins among its fans. “Each mascot seems to have its own loyal fan base, but I think for most people [in Japan] mascots are just part of the fur-


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1, 3. The adventurous bear Kumamon has seen sales of goods bearing his likeness top 150 billion yen in 2018 2. The 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games mascot, Ezomon 4. Every year, mascots assemble at the Gotouchi Character Festival 5. Half deer, half Buddha, Sentokun’s image has stirred up controversy 6. Tokyo 2020 mascots, Miraitowa (L) and Someity (R)

niture, and they barely notice them,” he says of the growing population. “Visitors seem to get more excited by mascots, regardless of what the mascot represents.” It’s a position echoed by most Japanese, including Corey May, a YouTuber and Twitch streamer who recently moved back to Japan after 20 years away from his home country. “I think most people are generally unaware of the mascots for all the small businesses and other things that are literally everywhere,” he explains. “People tend to know the big mascots of major companies, just from exposure to them in advertising, like Pikachu and Mario. I think the general public loves those char-

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acters because they’ve been around so long and people have grown up watching their shows or playing their games. But the mascots for, say, the electric company or the local hardware store? Most people might recognise it if shown an image, but probably couldn’t remember where they saw it.” For Rebecca Saunders, a British expat who has lived in Japan for a year, mascots are still a novelty. Even before she moved to Japan, they were her ambassadors, wordlessly communicating culture. “I first noticed Japanese mascots when I came to Japan on holiday in 2016,” she says. “I backpacked around the country for five months and it seemed that every

prefecture, town, organisation or safety procedure had its own character. At first it was funny to me to see mascots like a tiny bear on the metro crying because his finger has been caught in the door. The mascots have become a part of daily life now I live here. It’s nice to see something cute… there is nothing I can compare in Britain right now that is anything like the mascots in Japan.” While the 2020 Olympic mascots – pink and blue checked aliens with super powers called Miraitowa and Someity – promise to be another memorable entry in the Japanese mascot canon (Carlier, a budding character designer, admires the characters but notes that “they’re more


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7. Former Japanese football player Yasutaro Matsuki poses with mascots of the Rugby World Cup 2019, Ren (L) and G (R) 8. A mascot for Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture promotes the opening of a local ski resort 9. A Tanuki badger guards a Shingon temple in Yashima

athletic than the big, clumsy ones I prefer”), they’re only two of a sea of faces. In the wake of Kumamon’s wild success, the field of would-be successors is rapidly multiplying. Japan seems uniquely primed to accept their ever-growing mascot culture. Thanks to the Kawaii movement of the 1970s, cuteness is seen as acceptable counter-programming to the seriousness and responsibility that comes with daily life. And with Shinto and Buddhism claiming the lion’s share of religion in the country, temples like Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, and Gōtokuji

in Tokyo, have trained believers to see foxes and cats as spiritual messengers. As Japan is still very much a country where history is honoured, Saunders hypothesises that might play a role in the modern fascination with mascots. “I also really like Japan’s traditional mascots,” she says. “People often have a frog statue outside their house for good luck, it’s a pun: ‘frog’ in Japanese is ‘kaeru’ and ‘return home’ is also ‘kaeru.’ Tanuki statues are also pretty funny – they wear rustic hats and swig sake from jugs.” Like many aspects of Japanese culture, mascots, whether it’s a character

welcoming you to a local temple, or Ren-G skipping across a Rugby World Cup field, it’s important to remember that these cuddly creatures represent something greater than themselves. But while their greater cause might be linked to commerce, the public enjoyment and levity they offer comes for free.

Mascots for the Expo 2020 were recently introduced ahead of the global event opening in Dubai this October. You can watch the Expo 2020 Mascots animation in Kids & Teens TV on ice on today’s flight.


Together, we create employment. Across the continent, over 5 million Africans have a job selling MTN airtime and MoMo services. When you can reach out to the most isolated people amongst you, and connect them from village to village, from nation to nation, and from there to the world, you go. When you can use technology to teach, where books can’t reach, we all go. When 30 million people who could never bank before, now have a bank in their pocket, they go. Every day, MTN is inspired by the unstoppable spirit of the people we serve. That’s why,

We’re good together.

TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS 923276

everywhere you go


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NEIGHBOURHOOD

LIMASSOL

34.7071° N, 33.0226° E

Dive into Cypriot history at this pedestrian-friendly hood, well endowed with time-warped tavernas, pretty plazas and open artist studios

Old town, Limassol WORDS & IMAGES: SARAH FREEMAN


Once nothing more than a sleepy fishing village, it was a raging storm that changed the fate of Cyprus’s largest port city. Richard the Lionheart took refuge in Limassol’s harbour in 1191, and went on to conquer the entire island. Exploring the old town’s streets is like peeling back the layers of its embattled history. Beneath Kepir Mosque are the ruins of medieval and byzantine churches, whilst 150 metres away, imposing Limassol Castle sits atop a 5th century Christian basilica. Romans, Franks, Turks and the British ruled here, and what a legacy they’ve left. There are balconied neoclassical townhouses, Ottoman cemeteries, ornate Greek orthodox churches and minarets as tall as the neighbourhood’s swaying palms. Lording over the city’s storied harbour on old town’s southern border is its crusader castle, ringed by medieval industrial mills, where the country’s carob, known as “black gold” was refined. Have a good mooch around the renovated complex’s museum and microbrewery, saving your carob honey souvenirs for Saripolou’s arcaded mar-

ket. Built in 1917, the listed landmark creaks with other Cypriot delicacies like loukoumia (a Greek “Turkish delight”) and olive oil, as well as reed baskets and leather sandals. On adjoining Saripolou Square, gnarled ficus trees shade rickety-seated tavernas where long Mediterranean lunches are de rigueur. Come twilight, its 30 bars reel in the university crowd. You’ll find Cypro-Lebanese eateries, 24hour bakeries and working men’s mayirios tucked into nearby alleys, where rembetika (the Greek urban blues) sounds out. Spilling out onto the sidewalks are traditional lace wares known as lefkaritika – a thriving cottage industry in the city. Getting lost in this neighbourhood can lead to some artistic awakenings, with colourful doorways opening up to secret courtyards where leathersmiths and mosaicists live and work. Old town is flushed with 25 or so of these artisan workshop-cum-galleries. Back on the main drag, Agiou Andreou, there are scores of pavement cafes to fuel your Cypriot coffee habit, before getting wonderfully lost all over again.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to legend, Limassol Castle’s former chapel hosted the first royal marriage and coronation outside of England between Richard I “the Lionheart King” and Berengaria of Navarre, in 1191

1 START

LIMASSOL ZOO Asian otters, flamingos, kangaroos, Cyprus oxen, capuchin monkeys, rare Pygmy hippos and some 300 birds call this spotlessly maintained zoo home. It’s nestled in the eucalyptus-scented Municipal Gardens, which host the city’s 10-day wine festival every September. Vyronos Avenue, Limassol 3105, +357 25 588345


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Homer and Aristotle eulogized them. Shop for other homegrown souvenirs like olive oil cosmetics, loofah slippers, $2 pumice stones, and donkey milk soap that promises skin like Cleopatra’s. Old Port roundabout 3, Limassol 3733, +357 25 871656, apacy.com

AN EIGHT-MINUTE CYCLE (CITY BIKE RENTAL, NEXTBIKE.COM)

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KATIE SABRY ARTIST’S STUDIO Ailurophiles, sun worshippers and art lovers will all enjoy this cheerful open studio-gallery, which doubles as Anglo-Cypriot painter Katie Sabry’s home. Its century-old walls are lined with watercolours depicting Cyprus’s bountiful nature, from the rugged Akamas Peninsula to its swollen pomegranate trees. Step into the suntrap courtyard, adorned with Katie’s mosaics (and several snoozing moggies) upcycled from marble offcuts, broken china tea sets and discarded pottery. Prices range from US$16 for fine art prints to $900 for larger paintings, with mosaics starting at $22. 9 Georgiou Malekidi Street, Limassol 3040, +357 99 571139

A THREE-MINUTE WALK

LIMASSOL CASTLE

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A TEN-MINUTE CYCLE

OLD PORT SEA SPONGES EXHIBITION CENTRE Harvesting sea sponges is a maritime industry that’s been going since antiquity in the Med, and kitschy décor aside, this is the best place to rummage for all-natural ones in every shape and size. Even

A crusader castle with nine lives, the city’s most iconic landmark has survived earthquakes, fires and pirate raids over the course of its turbulent 800-year history. Its also served time as a prison, police station, WWII British Army headquarters and Ottoman fortress. Start in its echoing subterranean crypts, working your way up to it prison-cells-turned-galleries, displaying everything from 13th century jewellery to sacred utensils and Venetian tombstones. Then come up for air on its breezy battlements, which boast 360° views of the city and beyond, from its superyacht marina to the Troodos Mountains. Castle Square, old town, +357 25 305419


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A SIX-MINUTE WALK

GIN GARDEN This Ifigeneias street bar was made for balmy spring evenings. The backdrop: a weathered Havana-esque façade, is an abandoned mansion that belonged to one of the island’s wealthiest men. Strung with twinkling fairy lights, its bamboo-jasmine gardens now hum with conversation and the clink of balloon glass G&Ts. There are some 70 gins to pore over and exotic cocktails like their Written in the Stars, made with pineapple liqueur, gin, coconut syrup and pink grapefruit. Pair with a crispy Margherita or cheese-charcuterie platter from the no-nonsense snack menu, whipped up by its sister bar over the road. 23 Ifigeneias street, Limassol 3036, +357 96 108877, librarybar.com.cy

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A SEVEN-MINUTE CYCLE (DOCKING STATION ON NEARBY PAVLOU MELA STREET)

CONSTANTINO’S CERAMIC CREATIONS Constantinos’s stoneware vessels are the next best thing to coming home with an ancient piece of Cypriot pottery. Don’t be surprised if you find the museum-exhibited ceramicist firing up the kiln or mixing glazes from local seashells in his annexed workshop. 36 Megalou Alexandrou street, Limassol 3041, +357 99 363402


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A SIX-MINUTE TAXI

SIR PAUL HOTEL

SOUND BITE

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A FOUR-MINUTE TAXI

DIONYSUS MANSION For Cypriot fare with a contemporary twist, this handsome manor house on the fringes of old town is hard to beat. Dine al fresco beneath the boughs of age-old olive trees or the vaulted arches of its honey-stoned dining room. Tables groan with orzo risotto, open sheep burgers and kleftiko; slow-cooked lamb raised on founder Yiannis Antoniades’s own farm. Everything is homemade, down to the mayo. Raise a glass of Maratheftiko (a velvety local red) to Cyprus’ 6,000-year winemaking history and Dinonysus, the Greek god of wine. 16th June Street, Nr. 5, Limassol 3022, +357 25 222210, facebook.com/ dionysusmansion

Once off limits to Greek Cypriots, the neighbourhood’s Heroes Square has shaken off its seedy past to become a cultural destination, with art deco Rialto theatre garnering rave reviews

Named after owner Natali Martini’s knighted great grandfather, the former lives of this neoclassical beauty include a bank, town hall, gentlemen’s club and stables. History lives on in its sweeping marble staircase and stone-arched courtyard, now a weekender’s favourite brunch spot. One floor up, the minimalist-makeover takes shape across its 22 high-ceilinged rooms, clad in unfinished Cypriot stone, cypress floors and local bronze. Sleep rituals are taken very seriously too, with menus for pillows and mattresses. Despite being set just one block back from the seafront boulevard, you’ll need to check into room 103 to catch a glimpse of the sparkling Med from your private balcony. 5 Ifigeneias Street, Limassol 3036, +357 25 755454, sirpaulhotel.com

LIMASSOL

Emirates operates a nonstop daily service between Dubai and Larnaca, Cyprus with the Boeing 777-300ER. Emirates also offers a daily service to and from Malta via Larnaca. Check out the Emirates Route Maps on page 82 for more.


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SKY SAFARI SCIENTISTS ARE MAKING THEIR WAY TO SOUTH AFRICA, AS A REMOTE DESERT TOWN HOSTS THE WORLD’S LARGEST RADIO TELESCOPE

WORDS: BIÉNNE HUISMAN


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Heat-seared plains, low buttresses and rutted, never-ending roads. Roughly the size of Germany, the Great Karoo sprawls across central South Africa, a mythical desert landscape dotted with desolate towns. A former seabed, this is fossil land; a countryside echoing with early San-Bushmen footsteps and Anglo-Boer War cries. In the heart of this expanse, etched against the Karee mountains sits Carnarvon, a former missionary station and sheep farming village. It was an unassuming dot on the map – that is, until 2012. Now, the world looks to this humble village to clarify mysteries as old as time. In 2012, South Africa won a bid to host the lion’s share of The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an intergovernmental radio telescope project to be completed in the next decade. First conceived in the early 1990s, SKA is headquartered at the University of Manchester in the UK. With member countries including South Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, and India behind its funding, it will become the world’s largest radio telescope, enabling astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail, thousands of times faster than before. A segment will be constructed in Australia too, with a shared data collection area of one square kilo-

metre. Even in its infancy, the project saw a flurry of research from top minds around the globe. Scientists believe SKA will shed light billions of years into the past, revealing secrets around the origin of the universe. They say it will show how stars and galaxies formed and changed, provide insight into “dark matter”, and allow testing of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Some hope it will even facilitate discovery of extraterrestrial life. Today, eighty kilometres from Carnarvon on rocky flatland surrounded by squat hills, construction is underway. To date, 64 dish-shaped antennas – 13.5 metres in diameter and four storeys tall – peer up into the sky. Collectively known as MeerKAT, they will form part of SKA Phase One. Some 700 kilometres southwest, in a small boardroom in Cape Town, the managing director of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, leans back in his seat. Dr Rob Adam’s face is flushed while discussing the culmination of his passions, but his words thoughtful and precise. A former director general of South Africa’s Ministry of Science and Technology, with a PhD in nuclear physics, no doubt Adam’s political clout steered the country’s SKA bid to success. “After the end of apartheid, academic boycotts against South Africa lifted,” he recalls. “Suddenly the world opened up. It

“SO I WENT AND GOT THE GO-AHEAD FROM MY MINISTER. YOU KNOW, GO LARGE OR GO HOME”


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was incredible. We had access to global funding, so we were wondering what types of science to pursue. One of the areas we looked at was astronomy. “Why would northern hemisphere countries want an observatory in the south? Well, first of all, there’s less development. People are the enemies of astronomy, in terms of light pollution and radio interference. But there’s another fundamental reason. If you think about it, and it might sound silly, but you can’t see through the Earth. So if you are in the north, and you’re trying to look at the sky, Earth gets in the way. And so, we saw an opportunity for South Africa to offer itself as a global astronomy destination.” At a workshop to discuss South Africa’s astronomy strategy, the SKA came at a perfect time. “They put it to me that we could either become partners in the SKA – become a member and support it built somewhere else – or make a pitch to have it located in South Africa,” recalls Adam. “And me and the guys, being young and sort of not risk averse, said ‘damn it, let’s bid for the thing!’ So I went and got the go-ahead from my minister. You know, go large or go home.” At the time, South Africa, Australia, China and Argentina were vying to host the project, in what journalists dubbed “The Star Wars”. Beyond a catchy rivalry, there was a serious pragmatism behind South Africa’s winning bid, says Adams. “We decided early on to populate our proposal with both engineers and scientists. You need scientists to provide disruptive influences. But scientists alone don’t get things done; I mean, they have new ideas every morning. You also need engineers who kind-of freeze the specs, who get things started. So that heavily influenced our bid, which I think was appreciated. And we continue in that vein.” Though the main site will be based at Carnarvon, a large part of SKA’s work will be done from Cape Town, which has long been an astronomy hub. The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory offices lie at the foot of Table Mountain, in the aptly-named suburb of Observatory. Just across the road is the British Royal Observatory, originally built in 1820 next to a hippo-filled swamp. Its notable visitors included London polymath and astronomer John Herschel, who published Results of Astronomical Observations in 1847. Interestingly, Herschel was joined in Cape

Left: The Karoo Array Telescope site Right, from top: An outreach project by SKA to create South African future scientists; Former President Jacob Zuma visits the site

Town by the young naturalist Charles Darwin, who would later note him as an influence on The Origin of the Species. A historic past, but one that perhaps is not at the forefront of mind for SKA’s scientists, concerned as they are with creating something similarly groundbreaking in the current day. Downstairs in the Cape Town offices, Dzialwa Ramulongo’s fingers are flying over laptop keys, screens flashing up figures and graphs. She is operating MeerKAT remotely, collecting data for scientists from around the world. “We want as few people as possible on the Carnarvon site, as people create interference,” says Adam. “For example, even the electronics we use on site to process the signals from the stars has to be shielded, as otherwise our own computers would interfere with what they’re trying to process. They are inside a building, inside a kind of a wire cage. You know, a bit like nuclear containment but for radio frequency.” The residents of Carnavon are hoping for a brighter future for this small village. There have already been unexpected benefits; the pupils at Carnarvon High School could possibly boast of the fastest internet in all of South Africa, connected as it is to SKA’s super fibre network. “I feel so blessed, there are so many stories here,” says Pieter Hoffman, who runs the Lord Carnarvon guesthouse. “I mean, it’s been tough, with rural depopulation and the drought. These are difficult times. But yes, the SKA has been good for the community, importing science and maths teachers to the school, giving bursaries. What a journey it’s been: from nothing, to this. In a way, it feels like you’re a part of it.” The site is located on 133,000 hectares of bought farmland, with plans to turn it into a national park. A weekly-chartered flight gets scientists and engineers from Cape Town to Carnarvon in a nine-seater jet, or there is the option of a seven- to ten-hour journey by car. On a long drive, as well as discussing the implications of SKA for the future of astronomy, scientists may well be also regaled with tales of Africa’s own star lore, where stars have been considered to be people; holes in the great vault that is the sky; even tiny porcupines. Whether to prod our past or to guide the future – our gaze remains upturned. All in all, a breathtaking safari in the African sky.

Emirates serves three destinations in South Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.


D O W N

T H E

W H Y

O F

T H E

A R E

S O

A M S T E R D A M

T H E Y

O N E

W O R L D,

A R G U A B LY

G U N G - H O

A B O U T

AT T E M P T

T O

I N

G R E E N

B R E A K

C I T I E S

G O I N G

E C O - C O N S C I O U S

LO C A L S

M O S T


WORDS:

E M I LY

FISHING

MANTHEI

FOR

PLASTIC

WHALES


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Even in nippy winter weather, it’s not so unusual to see boaters out enjoying Amsterdam’s canals on a sunny day. Tourists regularly pile into covered boats to appreciate the city’s grid of 18th-century architecture at sea-level from the water, but few tourists recognise the impact they have on the canals. Trash bags forgotten by garbage collectors, plastic bottles, discarded furniture, uncooperative bicycles and the mobile phones of drunk-texters all find their way to the water with astonishing consistency. That’s what inspired the founding of Plastic Whale, a “plastic fishing” tourism company with a mission to clear the canals of inorganic debris while educating plastic-fishers about its consequences to sea life. While two city dredging boats clear away sunken boats and more than 12,000 bikes from the canal every year, Plastic Whale focuses on the smaller offenders, like plastic water bottles, bags and caps. They hope to

Clockwise top left: Volunteers fish plastic out of the canals; SunGlacier’s off-grid Desert Twins can collect water in the hottest and driest of environments, such as Mali; A communal dinner at Taste Before You Waste; The restaurant Instock offers food that would’ve otherwise been wasted

inspire clients – both local and international – to clean up the “plastic soup” of waterways around the world. Piloted by local Amsterdamers with plenty of knowledge and trivia about the city to share, small fishing boats take groups of school children, business colleagues and tourists armed with nets on an expedition to clear non-biodegradable garbage from the city’s central waterways, recycling the plastic into fishing boats and high-end office furniture. In the seven years since the company’s founding,


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Plastic Whale has built 11 boats in Amsterdam and Rotterdam from the nearly 50,000 plastic bottles the company collects from the water each year. The Netherlands’ commitment to sustainable tourism and conscious consumption extends to dry land, too. It’s related to a larger national climate agreement that the country has been developing to meet European climate commitments, culminating in a target to become fully circular by 2050. This means big changes in the tourism sector, explained Marcel Beukeboom, Climate Envoy for the Netherlands. “In your choices of restaurants, hotels and tourism infrastructure, you have many sustainable choices in the Netherlands. We are increasingly seeing businesses competing on green tourism. And customers are responding, as they feel guilty about wasting things.” The proverbial thrift of the Dutch helps. Since the turn of the millenium,

Dutch farmers have been reducing their dependency on water and chemical pesticides while expanding crop output to become the world’s second-largest exporter of food, National Geographic reported in 2017. However, agricultural production comes with its own challenges, like the carbon output of dairyand meat-producing farms. Beukeboom points out that farmers are rising to the challenge. “We do see some businesses react and come up with different solutions, like one that lowers the emissions of cows. We’re seeing a move towards more circular agriculture.” Another solution, producing less animal protein altogether, is the commitment of Dutch Weedburger, a company using the nutritious properties of seaweed and microalgae to create meat alternatives, served all over the Netherlands. In Amsterdam and other cities, apps like No Food Wasted, Too Good to Go and ResQ tackle food waste. These

companies allow restaurants and supermarkets to offer accidentally-made extra meals and nearly-expired food products at deep discounts to consumers instead of simply trashing those items. The community kitchen restaurants Taste Before You Waste and Robin Food Kollektief each offer meals improvised from food waste scavenged daily at major supermarkets; Instock does this on a commercial level, with restaurants in several cities. Sustainability also implies decolonising trade, as Tony’s Chocolonely emphasises. The company was founded after a Dutch journalist discovered the modern-day child and slave labour used at many cocoa farms in West Africa. With a goal to make the entire world’s chocolate industry “100 per cent slavefree”, the company has developed direct relationships with cocoa farmer cooperatives to ensure fair wages and labour practices with farmers and suppliers. These creative and whole-hearted solu-


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PHOTOS: INSTOCK; HESSEL WAALEWIJN

From left: SunGlacier’s aim is to provide inexpensive drinking water for anyone everywhere on the planet; Pikaplants, in airtight terrariums, stud the walls of guest bedrooms in Amsterdam’s Conscious Hotel

tions, which cross the sectors of food, entertainment, agriculture and tourism, may seem small, but they are significant – especially in an era where “sustainability” and “green” are often used as corporate buzzwords. As Europe’s most densely-populated country, with one-third of its land mass below sea level, the Netherlands has a particular incentive to prioritise quick action, but there are also headwinds. The Netherlands is home to Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, which might explain why less than 10 per cent of the country’s power is obtained from renewable sources, one of the lowest percentages in Europe.

That is despite having a highly developed bicycle and public transportation network, making cars unnecessary for many residents. Nonetheless, it’s hard to balance economy and industry with conservation, Beukeboom admits. “In a densely populated country like the Netherlands, in which we take all perspectives into consideration, it sometimes takes time.” But the country is making progress. The price of wind power from offshore wind farms has been subsidised since 2013, but in 2017, its market price has fallen below fossil fuel prices, making these types of renewables viable on the open market. That, Beukeboom says, will help the Netherlands catch up with other European nations in access to renewable power. Private businesses are doing their part to support renewables, too. Amsterdam entrepreneurs at Conscious Hotels power their four “eco-sexy” hotels in the city completely with wind and solar energy, and proudly advertise their fully organic restaurants. Recycled, second-hand or sustainably-forested materials are used for all hotel furniture, bedding and design. The company’s goal is to cut the environmental impact of travel without sacrificing a hip atmosphere or creature comforts. Their efforts have been rewarded: after ten years in Amsterdam, they have plans to expand to The Hague and Utrecht. Excitement also comes from the unexpected. Ap Verheggen, a Dutch artist based in The Hague, has been developing a sculpture project, Sun Glacier, to produce water from hot air, using solar panels and condensation. His innovation has been tested by the Dutch defence forces, a partnership that Beukeboom sees as an inspiration for other climate activists. “The most excitement on my side comes from the fact that these different people were willing to partner unexpectedly – the military and an artist. That’s a lesson for all of us. We should not look at this issue with conventional eyes.”

Emirates offers 19 weekly flights nonstop to and from Amsterdam.


THE OUTSIDER

WHEN MODERN LIFE IS STRIPPED AWAY – WHAT REMAINS?


A PHOTO ESSAY BY JOHN FEELY INTERVIEW BY GEORGINA LAVERS


“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY SCEPTICAL ABOUT HOW TRUE YOU CAN BE TO A PLACE IF YOU ARRIVE THERE WITH A STORY ALREADY IN MIND”

For many of us, comfort comes with the banality of routine, of living within the confines of a societal structure that we recognise and, if not respect, then at least fairly easily rub along with. But what happens when that security is stripped away? Can we find ourselves, again? Or even recognise one’s self in an entirely new setting? “I was at a point in my life in Australia where I believed I had created some sort of a life or false security for myself and most of it eroded away in a matter of months,” says John Feely. The photographer had worked as an assistant to bigger commercial photographers in the country, as well as stints as a behavioural advisor in education and youth detention. A series of events led him to book a ticket to Ulaanbator, Mongolia – where he stayed for a series of months in an attempt to live in a way that was less about

planning and assurances than Western society. Feely’s methods may have been crude: “I literally picked out a place on a map that I knew was traditional and booked a ticket to the most remote airport possible,” he says – but the payoff was great. The Outsider – a photographic record of his personal journey through Mongolia – was recognised by the jury of the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards and saw him win Australia’s Top Emerging Photographer for that year, also being displayed at the Gaffa Gallery in Sydney. Part of its appeal is the lack of intent behind the project, with Feely instead concentrating on truly immersing himself within an entirely new type of society. “I made a deal with myself not to have any plans after arriving at the airport,” he says. “Before I went to Mon-

golia I knew that people lived there in a traditional way. That was pretty much it. Part of the reason I went there was because I knew nothing about it and because I couldn’t speak the language, so I knew I’d need to just observe what was going on around me. “I didn’t have a particular project in mind, because my reasons for going were not primarily photographic. I don’t think making projects for purely photographic reasons is ever very effective. However it was, and is, photography that creates the situations that allow me to engage with parts of the world I otherwise wouldn’t. So it’s kind of a circular relationship, and the photographs are kind of what happens along the way.” Feely’s approach was one of intuition and observation, leading the series to construct itself as his months slowly unfurled in Western Mongolia. “I’ve always been very sceptical about how true you can be to a place if you arrive there with a story already in mind,” he says. “It automatically filters the way you see and means you spend your time reinforcing your own idea instead of observing and receiving what is around you. It diminishes a place’s capacity to speak to you and for you as a photographer to listen to it.” Elements of a considered mise-enscène are juxtaposed with a more observational style, the contrast of both a comment on the real and fantastic nature of the wild surroundings. “One of the most powerful things about documentary-based work is that you can do this within reality, nothing needs to be created, it just needs to be noticed, so I try to leave objects in and work with layers where I can,” says Feely. “Also, I made this work for a nonMongolian audience, so I wanted to share the euphoria of what it is like to live in nature, how it effects our relationships with each other etc. It felt surreal to me because anything always seemed possible, in every moment. Life up there responds to the environment, it doesn’t try to control it. I feel like this feeling is somehow embedded in the work too.”


TURNING THE PAGES IN THE UAE,

THE FESTIVALS, BOOKSHOPS, READERS AND WRITERS THAT MAKE UP THE COUNTRY

ARE ON FINE FORM WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS


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monk that has spoken at Google on workplace happiness. An Emirati author that has written a searing, evocative portrayal of the father/son relationship in a Muslim community. A surgeon that has revolutionised eye surgery, with implications for entire countries. These thinkers and leaders are not, perhaps, who you might expect to be speaking at a literary festival. But for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which takes place from 4-9 February this year, unexpected has always been part of their genetic makeup. “Every literary festival is unique in its own way,” says Ahlam Bolooki, the Festival Director. “What makes ours unique is one third of the world lives within a six hour radius of us, which means our festival is able to be as diverse as its community. Obviously, we are a non profit, so without Emirates being a title sponsor of the festival, we wouldn’t be able to fly in all the authors. If you compare what we do with other festivals around the world, we have so many global names in one place.” Alexander McNabb is one of the local success stories. An expat to Dubai, living in the emirate has proved formative for his writing, seeing him publish critically acclaimed novel, Olives – A Violent Romance, Beirut – An Explosive Thriller, and most recently, Birdkill. “The reality of the scene is changing, and a lot of that is down to LitFest itself,” he says. “It plays a tremendous role in bringing local authors to the fore, and celebrating the relationship between authors and readers. We’ve had big book events, but they’re very much more trade fairs, about selling books. When it comes to talking books, sharing books, enjoying books, having access to books, it’s what’s made it unique. It played a huge role in expanding the local fiction scene.” “Speaking from the festival’s perspective, it’s been running for 12 years now, and through the evolution of the festival there’s so many things that have changed,” adds Bolooki. “For example, it’s gone from us seeking out authors to us now being contacted, it’s the other way around, it’s a place where now the festival has established itself as a sort of platform for the region so you see a lot of

local authors, when they start writing, it’s a king of goal for them to be launching a book at the festival, or being able to take part and speak at the festival alongside all the global names that come here. It’s been amazing to have been able to give them that platform. It’s just opened so many doors for the region.” The addition of an increasing number of local authors has also proved welcome to the scene. “What we’ve tried to do more and more over the years is to bring Middle Eastern, Arab and Emi-

rati voices and have them on panels with other voices,” she adds. “You will never see these people in this setting ever again, so if you miss that talk then you’ve missed it for good!” Bolooki quickly rattles through some of the 60 Emirati authors involved in one way or the other with the festival this year, including regular names such as slam poet Afra Atiq, to Dr Habib al Mulla, one of the biggest lawyers in the country who has written about restaurant culture around the world.


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The resurgence of a literary scene is down to a few factors. Some of it is government-led; an initiative was launched in 2016 to refurbish the entire Dubai Public Library network, with the plan supporting the UAE National Strategy for Reading. The pilot project was the revamp of the Al Safa Art & Design Library, which originally opened in 1989. Redesigned with masses of natural light, it now serves as a benchmark for all public libraries in the emirate. But one motif that authors or local members of the community regularly pinpoint on is the evolution of how people are living in the UAE. “A lot more people now are writing books in the region,” says McNabb. “Time has had an effect, too. People have put down roots here, they’ve invested in real estate, they have a much more long term view of life, there is much more room for culture to grow and flourish whereas previously you just did two years and then

From left: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has defined the country’s literary scene since its inception; A customer browses Archie’s, a secondhand lending library in Karama

went home. I think there’s now more people with more time on their hands and more inclination to enjoy their leisure a bit more, and so I think that slightly slower pace means you’re less focused on making money and more focused on a more rounded view of life.” Since McNabb’s first novel was published in 2011, he has seen people bed down here and the literary scene feed itself in a virtuous cycle. “LitFest turns

people onto books and because there’s more celebration of books, more people are telling stories and then there’s more local faces to be found.” The festival has been a stalwart of the scene: many growing up alongside it, many seeing perceptions being altered by it. Says Bolooki: “Before I joined I would attend, I would moderate talks, so it’s been a journey for me. To me, the festival is a one week crunchtime where you have – it’s sort of like hundreds of life lessons crammed into one place, and that’s when I would take time off in general and just book myself into the festival.” Whether you know the author or not, just pick a topic you’re intrigued by and go along for the ride, she advises. “You will often be surprised, even if it’s a small session with just 30 people in the room, there’ll be conversations that readers and non-readers can benefit from. Even if you haven’t picked up a book in the last ten years, there will be


64 The Mohammed Bin Rashid Library has been designed to resemble an open book sitting on a rehl – a traditional lectern which holds the Quran

conversations about things that you’re interested in. There’ll be things about family dynamics, relationships, sports, food, travel, and fiction and crime and true crime – there will be something!” Rehan Khan is the author of A Tudor Turk (2019) a historic fiction, described as Mission Impossible in the Sixteenth century, as well as the Tasburai fantasy series. He describes one of his favourite parts of the festival as seeing international authors with no prior knowledge of the UAE become enthusiastic advocated for the country. “I took a fantasy author from Northern Europe down to Kite Beach, after I heard he wasn’t planning to do anything apart from stay in his hotel, go to his panel and then leave,” he says. “As soon as he got out onto the boardwalk and saw how busy it was, how people from every walk of life were co-existing to enjoy the weather, he was amazed.” “Historically, we see quite clearly that culture happens only in times of plenty,” says McNabb. “I’d argue that the first recorded narrative is that on the walls of the caves of Lascaux, where the story of the hunt is retold in cave drawings because the people who created them had full bellies as a result of the hunt that they depicted so colourfully. In the history of the Emirates we also see that societies living hand to mouth had no resources to expend on the frivolity of culture as they were too busy surviving – and often marginally, at that.” But later, as societies evolved and a merchant class emerged, artefacts emerged that went beyond the essentials of weapons and containers. We have seen something of the same process in the modern Emirates, he argues. “We have moved beyond the existential con-


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JAMEEL ARTS CENTRE

Take in the public art and then browse one of the esoteric tomes whilst sipping on artisanal coffee. Views of the Creek won’t cost you extra.

DOWNTOWN

Behind Dubai Snooker club is a hidden gem – with an overflowing library and lively discussions, this is the place to come if you’re desperate to discuss a particular book.

SPILL THE BEAN

In the middle of Sustainable City, an eco community in Dubai, is a café that specialises in vegan, sugar free, gluten free deserts – and also has a small library to borrow from.

cerns of the 1970s and that period where everyone was focused on purely creating wealth, to a society where people have the material means and freedoms to be able to afford to create – you could argue that this is a symptom of a maturing society that is achieving happiness.” For Khan, his inspiration comes from knowing that this is a city and country that – despite its preconceptions – has a rich and tapestried history. “When you go down to the old towns and look at the way they’re designed, they’re so designed for the environment we live in particularly in the summer, those low rise and low tech solutions that people have… as a writer, it makes you stop As you walk down those alleys and put your hands on the walls and feel that elemental history there and think, there is so much richness here, how many people have passed down this passageway. What were their stories? What were their

Browsing at Jameel Arts Centre, one of the first contemporary arts institutions in Dubai

experiences? Their hopes and aspirations? Their journey has finished now, but we are here. Those places in the UAE, or Oman, or Hatta, I always tend to stop and think about that, who were the people that passed through before me. Am I doing something to honour them?”

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

PHOTOS: ISMAIL NOOR / SEEING THINGS; MOHAMED SOMJI / SEEING THINGS

LIBRARY CAFÉS TO WHET YOUR READING APPETITE


NOTHING BE ATS A SIMPLE TECHNIC AL PREMISE; EVEN IT IS DIFFICULT TO BRING TO LIFE. THE VITROCSA SLIDING SYSTEM C AN BE ADAPTED TO SUIT ANY SITUATION, ALLOWING INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENTS WITH AN INFINITE R ANGE OF VERSIONS.

R AED ABILL AM A ARCHITECTS MORE INFORM ATION ON VITROCSA .CH/PRODUCTS/SLIDING


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Pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai will be physical and philosophical commitments to sustainability The development of the New Zealand’s Pavilion was created by architects Jasmax, through a collaborative process with the local Whanganui Iwi Māori

Dozens of pavilions at the region’s first World Expo will be real-world embodiments of the mega-event’s sustainable aims and legacy A significant part of breathing exciting life into Expo 2020 Dubai’s three subthemes – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – will be literally realising those words in highly innovative buildings across the event site and numerous overarching narratives. Sustainability is particularly embedded within the DNA of Expo 2020 – the entire master plan was designed first and foremost with legacy plans in mind. Expo 2020 will effectively be ‘loaning’ the site for its six-month duration, because the 4.38 sqkm development will live on for decades after Expo’s doors close on 10 April 2021. A total of 80 per cent of Expo-built buildings will remain as the future city

District 2020 – a thriving new business and retail hub. And one of the key structures that will continue as new landmarks on the Dubai landscape will be the remarkable Sustainability Pavilion, which will become a children’s and science centre after Expo 2020. The pavilion is designed to meet LEED Platinum green building standards – the top accreditation for sustainable architecture. It will set the highest standards for efficient use and reuse of energy and water and explore the latest sustainable technologies. Its stunning canopy isn’t just for show: 1,055 solar panels will generate power, with the pavilion using renewable sources to produce up to 4GWh of en-

ergy per year, enough to charge more than 900,000 mobile phones. The Sustainability Pavilion is the anchoring hub of the Sustainability District, which will play host to approximately a third of the 192 Country Pavilions located across the Expo 2020 site’s three Thematic Districts. Among the Country Pavilions leading the way in the sustainability stakes are the likes of Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand and the Philippines. Malaysia is setting the bar high with its net zero carbon pavilion, under the theme ‘Energising Sustainability’. The pavilion’s carbon footprint will be offset via tree-planting initiatives in the South East Asian country, which has al-


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ready made great environmental strides in recent years. Malaysia’s current forest cover is at 55.3 per cent, or 183,000 sqkm of its total land area, exceeding an initial commitment of 50 per cent at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Taking an imaginative approach to the theme ‘Uniting Water, Energy and Food’, the Netherlands Pavilion will use technology that has huge real-world potential in arid climates such as Dubai – capturing moisture from the air using energy from solar panels on the roof that will then be used to irrigate crops inside the pavilion. The scope is impressively large, too: 13,500 edible plants will cover a conical vertical farm that forms the pavilion’s centerpiece. One of the crops – mushrooms – will be repurposed as floor tiles and wall panels, showcasing the viability of sustainable building materials. The pavilion structure will be built using locally sourced materials that will be recycled after Expo, minimising its ecological impact. ‘The Philippines Pavilion, meanwhile, focuses on one of the island nation’s most precious natural resources: the bangkota (Tagalog for coral reef). More than a quarter of the planet’s coral reefs are under threat, endangering vital oceanic ecosystems whose survival is crucial to avoid catastrophic knock-on environmental effects. The pavilion will feature simulated coral atolls made from grey graphite wire mesh sourced from depots, construction sites and sports arenas in the UAE, demonstrating the benefits of used building materials. The New Zealand Pavilion will take a more philosophical approach, reaching back into the traditions of its indigenous history to suggest how humans can become more sustainably in tune with the world around them. Its theme reflects the Māori value of “kaitiakitanga”, which emphasises the deep kinship between people and the environment. In the Germany Pavilion, the first highlight after visitors have ‘enrolled’ will be a huge ball pit. Each of the 155,000 balls will tell a story, present a statistic or spotlight a sustainability champion from Germany. Visitors will simply pick a ball and place it on one

of the scanners in order to see a short presentation. This is merely scratching the surface of Expo 2020’s smorgasbord of sustainability. Every F&B vendor that collaborates with Expo 2020 must sign the ‘Food Ethos’ – a document designed to push forward sustainability and wellness through local sourcing, use of organic produce and environmentally conscious packaging. A total of 53 drinking water fountains around the site inspired by the traditional ‘sabeel’ neighbourhood water fountain will help to reduce single-use plastic waste – millions of visitors will have access to fresh drinking water from the fountains, designed via an open competition with Art Jameel. It will even be the focus of one of the Expo School Programme’s curated educational tours: ‘The Sustainable Planet’ journey will empower students to create a better future for all as they discover how humanity’s actions affect nature’s ecosystems and learn how we all have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment. Combined, it is yet another facet that will position Expo 2020 as The World’s Greatest Show of human brilliance, while creating a future that we can all help to safeguard.

Top and above: Malaysia will offset the creation of its pavilion with tree-planting initiatives; Crops will be grown at the Dutch Pavilion using water captured from the air

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


Emirates NEWS

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INSIDE EMIRATES

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DESTINATION

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UAE SMART GATE

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Headline A future lab iliteinlaut thelaut air elecae Lorem ipsum Obit aut asped quasserspel molo dolesequam es eumExpo nonsequamus amenduciati autas Get a glimpse of what’s in store at the Emirates Pavilion during 2020 Dubai – with 4D velit printing, ipsandel ipsam a deliquat Ehenihilloholographic il el ium facepe venihil itatias volum velecerovid ullesec p.20 biomimetics, aircraft and muchant more. p.72

FLEET


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Emirates offers a sneak peek inside its Expo 2020 pavilion

construction of its pavilion earlier this year. With the foundations completed, the airline is currently finalising the building’s steel structure. Visitors to the Emirates Pavilion will be offered a glimpse into how air travel is shaping up in the next decades, with exciting experiences and activations. Each visitor begins their personalised journey by collecting a ‘seed’, a tactile sphere to unlock all of the experiences at the Emirates Pavilion. As they move

through the site, visitors will interact with various installations covering different aspects of future aviation. These interactions will be captured on the ‘seed’ and stored for playback in the final experience to ensure that each visitor experience is unique. Animations using holographic models of futuristic aircraft will bring to life aeronautical science and explain how aircraft achieve flight by visualising the physical properties of lift, thrust, gravity and drag. Visitors will be able to interact with the scientific narrative to demonstrate how the combination of low air pressure and wing shape creates lift, which when fused with the other elements enables flight. Visitors will also be able to step into the laboratory of the future to test technologies and loop through a series of experiments carried out by robotic arms. Visitors will get to deep dive into experiments with composite materials, 4D printing, biomimetics, generative design and self-healing materials. As the personalised experience continues, visitors will be invited to put their knowledge into practice to design and fly their own futuristic aircraft. Through an ultra-haptic interface, visitors will build their aircraft and run it through a flight simulator.

tonnes. Flight EK588 will depart Dubai at 22:30hrs and arrive in Dhaka at 05:20hrs next day. The return flight EK589 will

depart Dhaka at 08:00hrs and arrive in Dubai at 11:00hrs. The service has been carefully timed to create convenient connections to popular cities, including London, Rome, Frankfurt, Porto, New York, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City. With the new service, Emirates SkyCargo will offer around 1,100 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity every week, finding global markets for Bangladesh’s exports that include medicines, leather goods and fresh produce.

At Future Lab, visitors will get to test out materials and experiments set to make aircraft of the future lighter, faster and stronger Holographic aircraft, personalised aviation journeys, futuristic fuselages, and exciting interactive experiences are all awaiting Expo 2020 Dubai visitors, with just under one year to go. The event is billed as “the world’s greatest show”, and Emirates has been working with academics and its industry partners in aviation and aerospace, to create and carefully curate informative and thoughtprovoking experiences on the future of aviation for all visitors. Emirates began

EMIRATES INTRODUCES FOURTH DAILY SERVICE TO DHAKA Emirates is adding a fourth daily service to Dhaka from 29 March 2020, which will boost Emirates’ weekly services from 21 to 28. The new service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER in a two-class configuration, featuring 42 Business Class and 310 Economy Class seats, and belly-hold cargo capacity of up to 20


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EMIRATES SKYWARDS LAUNCHES SKYWARDS EVERYDAY AND SKYWARDS EXCLUSIVES

Emirates expands reach with SpiceJet and Interjet Airlines Emirates has signed a codeshare and interline agreement* with India’s SpiceJet and an enhanced interline agreement with Mexico’s Interjet Airlines. From early 2020, customers travelling to India can take advantage of many more flight options on routes common to both airlines – Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Cochin and Delhi. Emirates’ customers can conveniently book and connect seamlessly in Dubai on direct services to Amritsar, Calicut, Mangalore, Madurai, Jaipur and Pune – routes served by SpiceJet. In the first-ever codeshare agreement signed by SpiceJet, travellers from across the globe can book a single ticket to any of Emirates’ nine points across India and connect

onwards to 172 domestic routes that are part of SpiceJet’s network. SpiceJet’s domestic network includes popular destinations like Goa, Dehradun, Dharamshala, Jaisalmer, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh, Guwahati, Pondicherry, Port Blair, Shirdi, Tirupati, Udaipur and Varanasi. In Mexico, Emirates will expand its reach via an enhanced agreement with Interjet Airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines in North America. With a single ticket, Emirates’ passengers can now seamlessly connect via Mexico City onto Interjet flights to Leon/Guanajuato, Culiacan, Cancun, Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Merida, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta, Tampico, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Tijuana and Villahermosa. Since December 9, Emirates flies daily from Dubai (DXB) to Mexico City International Airport (MEX), via the Spanish city of Barcelona (BCN). *The codeshare agreement is subject to government approvals

Emirates Skywards has launched new products that will give members more chances to earn Skywards Miles on the ground, as well as access to world-class experiences from Emirates’ expansive sponsorships portfolio. Skywards Everyday is a location based app that gives members the power to earn Skywards Miles anytime, every day at their favourite retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE. Members earn Miles going about their daily routine – whether shopping for groceries or gifts, tucking into their favourite food, having fun at the movies, and much more across 250+ popular brands in 1,000+ outlets in the UAE. Members who live outside the UAE can download Skywards Everyday and earn Miles when they visit the country, or at select outlets when they transit through Dubai International airport. Emirates Skywards has also launched Skywards Exclusives, a unique airline loyalty initiative that offers curated experiences from Emirates’ sponsorships portfolio. Members can redeem Skywards Miles for tickets or bid for exclusive VIP hospitality across 11 sports, which include football, rugby, cricket, tennis, and golf.


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Simple arithmetic The Emirates Airline Foundation helped volunteer teachers reach 12,888 students in Africa With a donation of 58 return flights throughout 2019, the Emirates Airline Foundation helped teams of volunteer teachers from the UK-based University of Warwick reach out to thousands of students in Africa. The ‘Warwick in Africa’ programme helped to transform how maths and English are taught in Tanzania and South Africa. The volunteer teachers travelled on Emirates from the UK to Africa, thanks to Skywards Miles generously donated by customers to the foundation. The volunteers delivered high energy maths and English lessons to 12,888 learners across 23 secondary schools. The volunteers also offered high-quality professional training for over 700 local teachers, ensuring the impact is felt long after the volunteers have returned home. Jonathan Gunaseelan, a Warwick volunteer who travelled to Kayamandi, South Africa said, “I met so many

amazing individuals on the mission, but the one that stood out the most to me was a grade 8 student. He had no parents and was a victim of abuse, but from the start there was a spark in him, and his final exam grade was 91%. Never have I met someone so respectful, hardworking, and funny at the same time. For everyone involved, the experience was unforgettable.”

The Warwick in Africa team hopes to return to partner schools in Tanzania and South Africa in 2020 to inspire both learners and teachers to maximise their potential. Learn more about the foundation in the newsletter in your seat pocket, where you’ll also find a donation envelope. You can also donate online at emiratesairlinefoundation.org

EMIRATES CABIN CREW RECOGNISED AS WORLD’S BEST Emirates cabin crew have been named World’s Leading Cabin Crew 2019 at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony. The event marked the culmination of the WTA’s annual search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world, where winners of its six regional ceremonies compete for the coveted world titles. Emirates also won the world title for World’s Leading Airline – Economy Class. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer said: “We are immensely proud of our cabin crew who have joined us from over 160 nations. Every day, on over 530 flights across six continents, they deliver Emirates’ high quality product

and services with passion, dedication and professionalism, ensuring our guests enjoy memorable, safe, and comfortable journeys. Coming from different walks of life, Emirates cabin crew truly embrace diversity and make it their strength, as they work as a team on every flight to

deliver the best travel experiences. Being named World’s Leading Cabin Crew is a wonderful testimony to their efforts, and we’d like to thank our customers and industry partners for this recognition.” In addition to world-class service by the cabin crew team, Emirates’ travellers flying Economy Class also enjoy generous complimentary check-in baggage allowances; complimentary beverages and meals prepared by gourmet chefs; free Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends and Emirates’ multi-awardwinning ice inflight entertainment with over 4,500 channels of movies, TV programmes, music and podcasts on the industry’s biggest personal screens.


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A new way to buy while you fly Emirates has transformed inflight retail with its all-new offering, EmiratesRED EmiratesRED magazine is available in your seat pocket on today’s flight

What is EmiratesRED? RED stands for Retail, Experiences and Dubai, and Emirates is also famous for its red brand colour. EmiratesRED brings you over 150 duty and tax free products in a range of categories – but one of the biggest shifts in Emirates’ retail strategy is to offer experiences to passengers, helping them to plan their visit to Dubai and beyond more effectively.

EmiratesRED by the numbers

150+ Number of products available on board

9 Number of EmiratesRED offers and experiences available in this issue

23% Revenue increase in the first month of EmiratesRED compared to the previous month

$899 Price of Boadicea the Victorious Valiant perfume, currently the highest value item

13,000+ Perfumes sold per month

3 Number of Expo 2020 products available in EmiratesRED

EmiratesRED EXPERIENCES

EmiratesRED brings you great savings and exclusive deals at some of Dubai’s top attractions

1. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark Exclusive meal deal ticket offer

2. La Perle Seat upgrade offer at Dubai’s #1 show

3. Yellow Boats Original Tour Save on tickets for Dubai’s best views

4. City sightseeing 50% discount on the popular hop-on hop-off Dubai tour


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THE WORLD’S FIRST INFLIGHT SHOPPING CHANNEL

EmiratesRED Top Sellers 2019

Emirates has also introduced a dedicated shopping channel, called EmiratesRED TV, on its award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice. The shopping channel, hosted by British TV presenter Andi Peters (left), introduces some of the experts behind the products available to purchase on board.

Apple AirPods

Routes from Dubai with the most EmiratesRED shoppers Emirates A380 model aircraft

Europe: London North America: New York

Middle East: Amman Africa: Abuja

Creed Aventus

South America: São Paulo

EmiratesRED offers

Maserati Potenza Watch

Twelve South AirFly

DINING DEALS AT THE AIRPORT Keep the receipt from your EmiratesRED purchase and use it for 25% off your total bill at seven different restaurants, bars and coffee shops at Dubai International airport • The Hangar Dubai International airport’s new arrival with family favourites

• Asian Street Kitchen Street-food spot with flavourpacked dishes from the Far East • Jack’s Bar and Grill The all-American choice • Giraffe A world of spices and colours • Pret a Manger Freshly prepared food and coffee • The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck A refined take on comfort food • Costa Coffee The home of irresistible coffee

Asia: Bangkok

Australia: Sydney


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Dubai and the UAE

WORDS: SARAH GAMBONI

Unexpected treasures in a cultural oasis In a vast, azul dam, kayakers glide gently across the surface, their voices echoing around a vast canyon. An hour and a half’s drive away and the scene couldn’t be more different – with a bustling financial centre full to the brim with the suited and booted enjoying an al fresco lunch. Drive twenty more minutes and you’ll hit one of the many beaches, with kitesurfers, swimmers and sunbathers all enjoying their own strip of white sand. This is the paradoxical nature of Dubai and the UAE, which over the last four decades has experienced dizzying growth to become known as a vibrant, diverse and unexpected country. As a tourist, its charms are obvious. As a retail destination it is second-to-none, with premium luxury brands available in malls, as well as niche shopping destinations like Boxpark. For the adventurer, the world’s longest zipline in Ras al Khaimah or numerous mountain hikes may suit, as well as endless options for watersports around the coast. One area that the country has excelled at in recent years is its cultural offering. The revival of Dubai’s historical district Al Fahidi has seen many new museums open, adding to the opera house, industrial arts district and concert venues already dotted around the city. Yet, for all the attractions and experiences, the evocative landscape is never far away in the United Arab Emirates. Spectacular dunes serve as an ever-present motif of a trip to the UAE; beautiful, expansive, and unforgettably unique.

For more about Dubai and the UAE check out the Emirates World podcasts on ice.


EMIRATES / DESTINATION / 79

BULL & BEAR

3 FILS

AL MRZAB

Be dazzled by the views across Dubai’s skyline towards Burj Khalifa at this luxurious 18th floor restaurant in Waldorf Astoria’s New York-themed hotel. The global menu is as stylish as the surroundings, with the black onyx beef from their charcoal oven a particular favourite. waldorfastoria3.hilton. com

An award-winning modern Asian restaurant in the heart of Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Singaporean chef Akmal Anuar cooks his inspired tapas dishes right in front of guests in this small but perfectly formed establishment. It doesn’t take advance bookings, so stroll down to the harbour and wait for your turn. 3fils.com

With so much international cuisine in the UAE, traditional Emirati food can get overlooked. Not at Al Mrzab in Abu Dhabi, where the staples of salty fish, mutton curry and machboos are given a nuanced modern twist in authentic surroundings. The fact it’s always full of locals should tell you all you need to know.

BAB AL SHAMS

ANANTARA EASTERN MANGROVES

THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL

With its unforgettable location in the dunes of Dubai’s desert region, Bab Al Shams is a secluded Arab fort with beautiful swimming pools, eight different restaurants, falconry and fat bike riding and of course, the very best rooms and suites to relax and unwind in – far removed from the pressures of city life. babalshams.com

Set, as the name suggests, on Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove National Park – yet within striking distance of the city – this urban oasis perfectly combines traditional hospitality with modern glamour. An infinity pool overlooks the mangroves, as does the rooftop bar. anantara.com

It doesn’t get much more convenient and exciting than this hotel in the beating heart of Dubai’s premier retail and entertainment destination. Yet this isn’t somewhere just to lay your head; it’s a worldclass, ultra-modern, luxurious retreat with jaw-dropping views of the Burj Khalifa. addresshotels.com

LOUVRE ABU DHABI

DUBAI OPERA

BUR DUBAI

Opened to huge fanfare in 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular building houses a dazzling array of art and culture from pre-history to the present day. The exciting programme for 2020 includes a world-class exhibition on chivalry, and a look at Charlie Chaplin’s connection with avant-garde art. louvreabudhabi.ae

Every great modern city needs an iconic opera house, and, in the shape of a traditional sailing vessel, Dubai certainly has one. Offering theatre, concerts and ballet alongside opera, 2020’s highlights include pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi and, from London’s West End, The Kite Runner. dubaiopera.com

Take a trip to Dubai Creek into Bur (old) Dubai, for a glimpse at traditional Arabic life. Shop for jewels at the Gold Souk, vanilla and cardamom at the Spice Souq and cashmere at the Textile Souq, before grabbing a karak chai tea from a local seller and taking in the city by waterway, in a cheap and authentic abra boat.


80 / EMIRATES / UAE SMART GUIDE

Be smart!

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

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

NATIONALITIES THAT CAN USE UAE SMART GATES*

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

UAE

Andorra

Australia

Austria

Bahamas

Belgium

Brunei

Bulgaria

Canada

China

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong SAR

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Malta

Monaco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

San Marino

Seychelles

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Korea

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

USA

Vatican City

USING UAE SMART GATE IS EASY

1

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

2

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

3

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

REGISTERING FOR UAE SMART GATE IS EASY

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

IF YOU’RE A UAE RESIDENT

Remember to bring your Emirates ID card next time you’re travelling through DXB – you’ll be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds, without paying and without registering. Valid at all Smart Gates, located in Arrivals and Departures, across all three terminals at DXB. We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible; however, for the definitive list, please contact Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

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

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


WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT LAUNCH IN DUBAI DUTY FREE

This limited edition is inspired by the similarities in the creative approaches of crafting whisky and creating music.

#MACALLANCREATES DISCOVER MORE AT THEMACALLAN.COM

Please savour responsibly


82 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP

A380 ROUTES

Routes shown are as of time of going to press

*Suspended

**Seasonal service

GLOBAL ROUTES

Emirates Amsterdam / Auckland / Bangkok / Barcelona / Beijing / Birmingham / Brisbane / Cairo/ Casablanca / Christchurch / Copenhagen / Dusseldorf / Frankfurt / Guangzhou / Hamburg / Hong Kong / Houston / Jeddah / Johannesburg / Kuala Lumpur / Kuwait / London / Los Angeles / Madrid / Manchester / Mauritius / Melbourne / Milan / Moscow / Mumbai / Munich / Muscat / New York / Nice / Osaka / Paris / Perth / Prague / Riyadh / Rome / San Francisco / SĂŁo Paulo / Seoul / Shanghai / Singapore / Sydney / Taipei / Tokyo / Toronto / Vienna / Washington, DC / Zurich

Emirates route

flydubai route


TRAVEL TO ADDITIONAL DESTINATIONS WITH OUR CODESHARE PARTNERS

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

Visit emirates.com for full details on our travel partners

EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP / 83


Routes shown are as of time of going to press

*Suspended

**Seasonal service

84 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP

MIDDLE EAST

Emirates route

AFRICA flydubai route


EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP / 85

ASIA & PACIFIC

EUROPE & CENTRAL ASIA

**Seasonal service


86 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP

AMERICAS

Routes shown are as of time of going to press

EMIRATES SKYCARGO

Freighter destinations


88 / EMIRATES / FLEET

Emirates Fleet Our fleet of 271 aircraft includes 260 passenger aircraft and 11 SkyCargo aircraft Visual of A380 Orange livery

AIRBUS A380-800 115 IN FLEET All aircraft 30+ aircraft

up to 4,500+

HERE’S WHAT CONNECTIVITY, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD EACH AIRCRAFT TYPE

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

BOEING 777-300ER 134 IN FLEET All aircraft 100+ aircraft up to 4,500+

A380-800 2008

Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m x H 18.5 m A 6- EXX

Live TV, news & sport

Wi-Fi

Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

BOEING 777-200LR 10 IN FLEET All aircraft

B777-200LR 2007

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

AIRBUS A319 B777-300ER 2005

1 IN FLEET

2,000+

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

Fly up to 19 guests in utmost comfort in our customised Emirates Executive Private Jet. emirates-executive.com

EMIRATES SKYCARGO

BOEING 777F

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

11 IN FLEET

UAE IN SPACE

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

YEAR OF TOLERANCE

SPECIAL LIVERY

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

UNITED FOR WILDLIFE

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

EXPO 2020 DUBAI

Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press. For more information: emirates.com/ourfleet

2,500+


PRESENTS

A SERIES OF EXTRAORDINARY STORIES

CAMEL WHISPERER

Discover timeless wonders among the dunes through the eyes of a daughter of the desert WATCH HER STORY AT VISITABUDHABI.AE


GO SEE THIS German artist Sabine Hornig’s permanent public artwork, Shadows. Installed at International Towers Sydney, the piece has been created by layering photographs of flora indigenous to the area on glass walkways connecting the three buildings, facilitating a contrast between the precolonial nature and Sydney’s contemporary architecture.

SYDNEY

33.8688° S, 151.2093° E

Emirates offers three nonstop daily A380 services between Dubai and Sydney.


Meeting point for the world’s cultural and gastronomic diversity, the city with bohemian charm, Tbilisi, Georgia welcomes you. www.georgia.travel


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Open Skies - January 2020  

A Literary Salon

Open Skies - January 2020  

A Literary Salon