A SEASON FOR ART In the UAE, springtime equals artistic immersion
REVITALISING NEW YORKâ€™S DOWNTOWN THE DEATH OF THE NIGHTCLUB
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OBAID HUMAID AL TAYER
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CONTRIBUTORS Iain Akerman; Emma Coiler; Laura Coughlin; Ben East; Laura Egerton; Bill and Melinda Gates; Dom Joly; Lily Lawes; Emily Manthei; Conor Purcell; Nicole Trilivas Front cover: M’Barek Bouhchichi’s Moroccan Pattern #3. Courtesy of the artist and VOICE gallery. Photo credit: Alessio Mei
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CONTENTS MARCH 2019
50 DUBAI In the clouds Architect Santiago Calatrava on Dubai Creek Tower 50
IMAGES: EDWARD MICHAEL, DBOX FOR MACKLOWE PROPERTIES, GETTY IMAGES, THOMAS HOEFFGEN
An open letter From Bill and Melinda Gates 56
Cultural expression A comprehensive art guide to the UAE 58 Experience 16 Stay: Authentic, green stays – from Amsterdam to the Angolan border Dom Joly, god of rock 24 Dispatch: NY’s Silicon Valley 26 Neighbourhood: Kalk Bay, Cape Town 34 Is disco dead? 44
Latest news 74 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Amman 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Alexander Skarsgård’s lowdown on Prague 90
Expo 2020 What can you expect from Dubai’s Expo? 68
Keith Stuart The trouble with happy ever afters 70
EDITOR’S NOTE BOOGIE ON DOWN, AND THEN OUT
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Do you still go to nightclubs? It seems that worldwide, our collective prevalence to party hard is declining the further we get from Prince’s 1999. Blame it on streaming, a lower disposable income or just plain old weariness – but clubs have been shutting their doors in swathes over the last few decades. In Berlin, 170 venues have closed since 2011. London has seen half of its clubs close in the last decade. Nowadays, industry stalwarts frantically soundproof their thumping bass, with only a select few deemed nostalgic enough to fight for. Conor Purcell makes a case for the revival of the night-time economy on p44. They may close earlier, but equally stimulating are the new galleries, exhibitions and sculpture gardens around the United Arab Emirates. Laura Egerton has a truly comprehensive guide on p58: if you are planning a trip to the Emirates, be sure to consult it. “Where you find the liveliest downtown you will find one with the basic activities to support two shifts of foot traffic. By night it is just as busy as it is by day.” Seminal urbanist Jane Jacobs was talking about midtown (57th street, to be exact) when she made her case for busy cities, but in our Dispatch this issue, it is Downtown New York that is making a revival (p26). The delights of spring may be in the air, but this issue is for the evening creators, the clubbers and the night owls – your city needs you.
Georgina Lavers, Editor
Restored by nature The Marienfluss Conservancy, Namibia. A new wildlife camp on the river, Serra Cafema, promises guests a direct connection with the landscape. p22
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The Plan EVENTS TO AIM FOR THIS MONTH SHARJAH BIENNIAL, MARCH 7 - JUNE 10
A Middle Eastern biennale Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi has led the programming of the Sharjah Biennial since 2003. An artist herself, she tells us why she’s looking forward to the 14th edition of the UAE’s longest-running contemporary art event, which kicks off on 7 March. You’re in a perfect place to tell us how Sharjah Biennial has changed and developed over the years. What’s special about this year? It’s grown substantially, in terms of scale, scope and reputation and ranks among the top ten biennials worldwide, alongside the Venice Biennale. This year, with three curators, nearly 90 artists and over 60 major new commissions, we will break important new ground. Curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons will each present their own distinctive platform under the overall Sharjah Biennial 14 theme. On view at venues across the city and emirate of Sharjah, the three exhibitions will feature works by local, regional and international artists.
Can you explain the “Leaving The Echo Chamber” theme? In popular culture, the term ‘echo chamber’ is a metaphor for an environment in which people encounter only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own.
Existing views are reinforced and never challenged; alternative ideas are not considered or even seen. Sharjah Biennial 14 does not propose ‘how to leave’ this context, but rather will explore how the shape, form and function of this ‘echo chamber’ might be renegotiated. It will ask how people can demand alternative information when news is spoon-fed by a monopoly of sources and explore how and why people can expand their personal narratives and points of view.
How does Sharjah Biennial fit into the international art scene?
What are you most looking forward to yourself?
What do you hope people take away from the Biennial this year?
I look forward to the Biennial’s accompanying education programme, which engages with local community members of all ages and skill levels through a variety of themed workshops, courses and other activities. I love seeing families and children of all backgrounds participate in our workshops, all of which are free and open to the public.
As they come to Sharjah from all over the world, the Biennial artists will bring with them stories that resonate in different ways. They will share their wide-ranging experiences to create means of connecting and sustaining a collective humanity. I hope audiences will reflect on the artists’ works in light of their own and others’ cultural histories.
Every two years, the opening of the Sharjah Biennial occurs alongside the annual March Meeting, a convening of local, regional and international curators, artists, scholars and other art industry professionals who explore topical issues in contemporary art through a public programme of talks and performances. March Meeting creates opportunities for networking and building connections across countries, cultures and practices.
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND GALERIST
L-R: My Mother Playing the Oud (1958), Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi
FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX The global jamboree that is Formula 1 motor racing kicks off for another season at Melbourne. The four-day high-octane extravaganza isn’t just about catching sight of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton as he speeds past – there are fan zones, bands, art installations, a classic car motor show and plenty of entertainment for children too. All of which leads up to the incredible spectacle of the main event on the Sunday afternoon, the Grand Prix – supported by F1 Global Partner, Emirates. Melbourne, Australia. grandprix.com.au
RIO DE JANEIRO CARNIVAL
SOUTH BY SOUTH WEST
LONDON BOOK FAIR
It’s billed as the biggest party on the planet, and with over 90,000 people watching the vibrant parade of dancers, musicians and floats at the Oscar Neimeyer-designed Sambadrome each night, that’s hardly an exaggeration. Across Rio, samba schools rehearse every way you turn and each neighbourhood hosts its own street procession. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. visitbrasil.com
If you want to explore new music, film, technology, comedy or games, then this Texan festival has everything you need over ten days in the beautiful city of Austin. Beginning as a small celebration of new music in 1987, it’s where some huge acts first hit their stride, including The White Stripes. This year’s buzz is for Johnny Cash documentary, The Gift. Austin, Texas. sxsw.com
A book fair might sound more sober than the Rio Carnival, but it is culturally as important. This is where the big deals for new books, television adaptations and film rights are cut, with over 25,000 publishing professionals deciding what we’ll read and watch in the future. Authors such as Caryl Phillips lead a varied programme of seminars and discussions. London, UK. londonbookfair.co.uk
18 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
25.3463° N, 55.4209° E
PRICE: FROM US$620 PER NIGHT
Historical wonders fill every corner of the regal Al Bait Sharjah
In Sharjah, a look back in time
CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS Sharjah Biennial Now in its 14th edition, the Sharjah Biennial is the most prestigious showcase of art in the Middle East. Taking place every two years from March to June, the event brings together artists from all over the world. Rain Room Control the rain with this ultra sensory experience from the Sharjah Art Foundation.
WORDS: LAURA COUGHLIN
Sharjah Heritage Museum Set in a restored 18th-century pearl merchant’s house, Sharjah Heritage Museum explores all aspects of Emirati culture.
Walking through the historic Al Bait Sharjah is like walking through time. The resort is part of an Emirati conservation project built upon the original foundations of old houses that belonged to leading families of the emirate in the 1950s. Unlike most boutique resorts, Al Bait – ‘home’ in Arabic – also houses a library and a museum. Inside are dozens of signposts to the past. Glass display cases exhibit artifacts from Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Midfa, who once lived here. Meanwhile another exhibit memorialises the location of the post office that also once stood on this site. The 53 rooms are compact but beautifully styled with traditional, hand-carved timber furniture, while polished concrete floors replicate traditional clay ones. It’s coupled with just the right amount of modernity in
the form of a TV set and enormous cloudlike four-poster beds. Located by the water in the heart of Sharjah, Al Bait is just 25km away from Dubai and brims with cultural offerings, including 17 museums. Its location makes Al Bait a natural starting point to discover the architecturally-acclaimed heritage buildings in the area After a day of sightseeing, the courtyard lobby will welcome you with plump sofas, burning candles – and silence. Curl up here with a book and ‘galaxy’ mocktail and there is a roughly 95 per cent chance you’ll nod off. When you wake to the sounds of the call to prayer reverberating through the historic spherical wind tower, you might think you’ve travelled back in time. But no – that’s just how it is at the alluring Al Bait.
Planning a visit to Dubai? Press the “i” button on your screen to discover more about Dubai’s attractions, shopping, dining and events.
20 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
52.3680° N, 4.9036° E
PRICE: FROM US$60 PER NIGHT
One of Europe’s most picturesque cities now boasts a boutique hotel that offers a sustainable-chic, Dutch aesthetic
Eco-cool in Amsterdam WORDS: EMILY MANTHEI
FROM THE CONCIERGE Ton Ton Club Inspired by Japanese arcade halls, the low neon lighting and upscale Japanese food make this the perfect adult playground for kids at heart. In good weather, gaming moves outside to the sunny terrace. Troost Brewery Using the factory setting of the Westergasfabriek as a brewing location, young microbrewery Troost, founded in 2014, has become the largest independent brewery in the Netherlands. Visit the taproom and pub, organise a tour to see brewing in action, or simply enjoy live jazz in the factory every Wednesday night. Ketelhuis The home of arthouse cinema and film festivals in Amsterdam, Ketelhuis offers an international film programme and café that’s a favourite among film buffs as well as filmmakers.
A first-time visitor to the Netherlands may be forgiven for thinking that windmills are a mere anachronistic tourist attraction. But at the Conscious Hotel in Amsterdam’s Westerpark, they also provide 100 per cent of the hotel’s power, which is stored using ATES thermal energy. Renewable electricity is just the beginning of the hotel’s stylish sustainability efforts, which they call “eco-sexy.” Located inside the Dutch Neo-classical brick office building of the former Westergasfabriek, which supplied gas to Amsterdam’s streetlights in the late 1800s, the one-year-old Conscious Hotel, one of four by a new Amsterdam hotelier, has lovingly considered all the details of an environmental design in its creative adaptation of the property. Furniture is made from recycled materials, the hotel’s cleaning supplies are chemical-free, all food
and beverages at the hotel restaurant are organic and locally sourced, and the building’s eco-roof is even home to a hive of bees. In each of the 89 conscious-guestrooms, visitors sleep on a Royal Dutch Auping bed and are provided with binoculars for a closer look at the birds in the neighbouring park, or the 19th-century architecture across the way. The hip and minimalist hotel experience at Conscious Hotel is in an ecosystem of its own: the creative-startup and summer festival district, Westerpark. A comfortable five-minute walk from the hotel, electronic music festivals, outdoor movie nights, and strolls in the park make for a lively evening close to home. And, for those long-distance journeys, you can take the city’s favourite modes of transportation. Bike and boat rentals are both just steps from the entrance.
Emirates operates 19 weekly flights to Amsterdam. Choose from two daily A380 services and 5 weekly services operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.
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22.9576° S, 18.4904° E
PRICE: FROM US$660 PER NIGHT
A well-dressed eco-retreat and oasis for the adventurous
Splendid isolation WORDS: NICOLE TRILIVAS
THINGS TO DO Quad biking Chase down the sunset over dusty, red-gold dunes on modern quad bikes designed to handle the rough, ancient terrain and otherworldly landscape forged of basalt, sand, volcanic rock, and granite. Tiptoeing above the rushing Kunene River that slashes a border between northern Namibia and Angola, Wilderness Safari’s Serra Cafema camp in the Marienfluss Conservancy is just about as remote as it gets. The recently revamped hideaway can be reached via Wilderness Safaris’ airstrip set some two hours away by 4x4 through the kind of mind-bending desert landscape that looks right out of the Paleolithic Era. As far as neighbours are concerned, there are none to speak of – lest you count the silvery oryx, Namibia’s national animal; dazzles of desert-adapted mountain zebras; and the nomadic Himba tribespeople. Since reopening in 2018, this chic camp operates on 100 per cent solar power and has an extremely light eco-footprint. Superfluous mod cons like WiFi, television, and air conditioning are swapped for connections with the beyond-friendly, almost entirely local staff and indoor-outdoor living spaces that make the best of the fresh river breezes and send the camp’s handsome slate-grey mosquito nets aswirl.
The eight-key riverside camp is connected via elevated decks that form tree houselike paths. Seven near-identical ‘tents’ are palatial in size, unanimously boasting soaring thatched-roof ceilings; outdoor living areas; and colossal photographic portraits of the Himba that hint at the tribe’s ancient mystique and spirit. There is one family tent, which is larger than the others with two rooms and two bathrooms. Indoor-outdoor showers cast clouds of scented steam care of local Mbiri toiletries made with Marula oil, Kalahari melon seed, and heady Namibian myrrh hand-harvested by the Himba. Complimentary laundry service is offered daily, and there are a handful of spa services available. Meals are served al fresco on a gently curving deck under a feathery green canopy of winter thorn trees. Local game and fish often make an appearance on the plates, though there are plenty of options, and the menu changes daily. There’s no better place to stargaze than on the deck’s over-plumped couches in the cool blue-green glow of the beguiling plunge pool.
Cultural excursions Wilderness Safaris leases their land for the camp from the Marienfluss Conservancy, chiefly owned by the Himba people. Spend a morning learning the customs of the people, who are also employed as guides at the camp. One of Africa’s most fascinating tribes, they speak Otjihimba, a click language that requires the removal of the four bottom teeth for proper pronunciation. Boating Go for a nature-packed boat ride down the river where you may spy Nile crocodiles that can grow up to six meters in length, along with a variety of dazzling birds like the Goliath heron painted with a shock of coral pink along the underside of its wings. Wilderness Safaris guides can also arrange sundowners on the Angolan side of the river.
Stripped-back rooms offer ambience rather than mod cons
Emirates Skywards members can earn and spend Skywards Miles on South African Airways flights across their network of over 35 destinations. Learn more at emirates.com
24 / GLOBAL / COLUMN
NEW YORK 40.7128° N, 74.0060° W
Rock tourist Dom Joly looks back at his very own Sliding Doors moment – his brief foray into rock ‘n’ roll
Emirates operates five daily services to the New York metropolitan area, with three flights daily to New York JFK and two daily services to Newark.
I’m just back from a quick trip to New York. Like everywhere else, it’s changing fast, but there are always certain places that you hope might last forever. One such is the legendary CBGBs. This was a grungy biker bar at 315 Bowery that was turned into an extraordinary music venue in 1973. The letters CBGB stood for “Country, BlueGrass and Blues” although the place really took off when it became the punk/new-wave venue for The Big Apple. Bands like Blondie, Television, Patti Smith, Ramones and Talking Heads were regulars. In the late Eighties, I was the singer in a band called Hang David and we organised a small North American tour. After doing a couple of colleges in New York State we ended up in New York and were booked to play at CBGBs. We were beyond excited. This was it. We had hit the big time. We checked into our cheap hotel and filled out the registration form. Under “occupation” I wrote “Rock Star.” Things had already gone to my head. On the day itself we cruised down to the East Village (walked) and arrived at the venue stupidly early. It was a beaten-up, authentic looking place with graffiti everywhere and a couple of tough looking dudes sitting around. We adjourned to a nearby restaurant for lunch and soon got talking to the waiter, something it’s almost impossible to avoid in New York. “You guys tourists?” He asked. “No, we’re in a band.” I replied casually.
“You playing CBGB’s?” He asked incredulously, looking at us in a manner that indicated that this might be a mistake. “Yup…” I answered nervously. “Well, good luck guys. I hope you kick ass because if you don’t, you’ll get your Limey asses kicked.” He laughed, and we joined in, but weren’t sure why. An hour or so later we soundchecked. I found the Sex Pistols’ autographs scrawled on the wall. It was all very exciting. I don’t remember much of the gig. The drummer from Blondie was in the audience. We were very nervous. We finished our set with a fifteen-minute cover of the Cure’s A Forest, which in hindsight was probably about thirteen minutes too long. But we’d done it, and nobody had thrown anything at us. In the seedy dressing room backstage, we high-fived each other in relief. Then a man in a suit entered. He was a big-wig from MTV and wanted us to come and see him at his office. This was our big break… but we were flying back to London the next day and couldn’t make the meeting. It was most un-rock n’ roll and I still wonder what might have been. I made a little pilgrimage back to the place for old time’s sake. It was gone. Just like my brief attempt at rock stardom, it had disappeared. It was now an upmarket make-up store. Another physical landmark in my life wiped away by time. Ah well, it was only rock ‘n’ roll… but I liked it.
Dubai World Cup Celebrate at Meydan March 30, 2019
Get ready for an unforgettable night of world-class horseracing, fine dining and fashion at the 24th Dubai World Cup, the worldâ€™s richest race day. Watch spectacular entertainment unfold during Dubaiâ€™s biggest sporting and social event at Meydan Racecourse. Book now at store.meydan.ae or call +971 4 327 2110
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 27
Below Chambers Street, at Manhattan’s tip, financial powerhouses are making way for techies, creatives, families and a new night-time economy. This is the rebirth of Downtown New York. WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS
The new, New York
The historic Battery Park: once home to the first immigrant depot, now one of many attractions encouraging residential growth in Downtown Manhattan
Wall Street has started to move, and that’s quite alright with lower Manhattan. As powerhouse financial firms from Deutsche to BlackRock take their leave, empty spots are quickly being filled by the new crop of tech and creative heavyweights helping to Downtown shift from quiet financial centre to dynamic, liveable district. This shift in industry can in part be attributed to purposeful action – New York, oft-cautious of the cyclical boom and bust of the financial industry, has been aggressively wooing tech firms since the 2000s – but in other ways, a natural consequence borne out of two decades of upheaval.
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1. Governors Island, now a spot for picnickers and daytrippers 2. The World Trade Centre Memorial, which commemorates the 11 September, 2001 attacks
When the Dutch settled in Manhattan in the 17th Century, a stockade was built in order to protect their settlement, now known as Wall Street. Brokers signed an agreement under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street that would organise securities trading in the city, which eventually morphed into the New York Stock Exchange. With that, Wall Street was established as the beating heart of New Yorkâ€™s Financial District for the next three hundred years. It was only in the 1990s that things began to shift. A brief recession in 1990, alongside a downtown revitalisation
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plan that incentivised the conversion of commercial properties to residential, started to bring about the movement of financial firms to Midtown. Then, 9/11 happened. On 11 September 2001, when 2,996 people were killed and 6,000 injured in the terror attacks, the ensuing damage to the district sped up what was already a steady migration of institutions to Midtown. Nearly two decades later, after US30+ billion of governmental and private sector investment into the area, it has transformed into tourist must-see, and tech hub. Andy Breslau is Senior Vice President of The Alliance for Downtown New York, a non-profit founded in 1995 to enhance the quality of life in Lower Man-
hattan. “When we started, commercial vacancy rate was close to 20 per cent,” he says. “Back then there were very few places to eat, shop – live. It was moribund after 5pm; an employment and corporate monoculture.” Since then, the area has blossomed. General population has more than doubled and the number of children living in the area tripled within a fifteen-year window. In 2008, financial firms occupied 55 percent of office space. Now that number has dropped to 35 percent, with FIRE’s (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) historical dominance in the area replaced by those in the TAMI industries – technology, advertising, media and information.
One of the biggest recent developments that epitomises the area’s transformation is One Wall Street. Originally built in 1931 for investment bank Irving Trust, the 56-storey art deco building lived and breathed finance: intersecting Wall Street and Broadway and adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange. That is set to change, as Macklowe Properties acquired the building in 2014 and has since set about converting it into 566 condominiums, as well as ground floor retail space that includes Life Time Fitness and Whole Foods. The development has generated significant buzz – not just for its prestigious location, but also for its status as the largest office to condominium conversion in New York’s history.
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 31
3. Battery Park 4,6,8. Artistic renderings of One Wall Street, the largest commercial to residential conversion in New York’s history 5. The shift to residential district has brought with it public art, such as Jean DuBuffet’s ‘Group of Four Trees’ 7. Industry Kitchen, in South Street Seaport
It will accommodate, says Macklowe’s Director of Marketing, Richard Dubrow, the area’s increasing creative population. “We have Spotify here, Google, Condé Nast, Time Inc., Harper Collins – as well as the secondary and tertiary companies to support them. It becomes a clustering effect. Now that there is this concentration of young people with a good salary and perhaps more of a creative focus, there are a lot more restaurants, bars and nightlife opening up.” It was just a few blocks south that first gained tech hub status – Midtown, or ‘Silicon Alley’. The area enjoyed a heady period of growth for about a decade, only to be unceremonious-
ly stripped of its nickname when the Dot-com bubble hit. Now Downtown is the new epicentre of a booming industry, thanks in large part to Google. In December 2018, it began an estimated US$1 billion construction on offices occupying three separate buildings in the Hudson Square neighbourhood – two on Hudson Street and one on Washington. They serve as a significant expansion of the tech group’s already considerable presence in the city, which includes the US$2.4 billion purchase in March of Chelsea Market, a former biscuit factory-turned shopping mall and office complex. As TAMI cements its foothold, gone are the silent skyscrapers and streets
that empty out of a weekend. Now, office workers dress in jeans, rather than suits. Tourists may come to tick off the must-see landmarks – the Woolworth Building, the Oculus – but they, as well as locals, stay for the influx of new restaurants and designer boutiques. Eater designated the humble Joe Rong’s US$10 rice rolls in Canal Street Market as one of its hottest dining spots, while upmarket options like Il Buco, Wolfgang Puck’s CUT or Italian market Eataly NYC throng of a weekday evening. South Street Seaport, a former merchant’s port at the island’s tip, has made concerted efforts to both preserve its original architecture as well as attract tourists. Internationals that include
32 / GLOBAL / DISPATCH
Milan’s 10 Corso Como have put down roots, as well as local design houses. The area is still fairly subdued, but watching tourists browse through Sies Marjan knitwear and Flos lamps, there is the feeling of a quiet, design-led resurgence. “It’s so cool to see how much this area has flourished,” says a sales associate at Cynthia Rowley, a local designer that has a boutique on Seaport. “It feels almost like a rebirth.” Now home to a 61,000-strong population, Downtown’s residents and tourists are well served in terms of transportation; US$6.4 billion of the US$30bn sum was spent on expanding the area’s transit infrastructure, which includes 30 bus routes, 20 ferry routes and 28 Bikeshare
stations. At its core is PATH, the beating heart of Manhattan that connects the island with popular commuting areas like Hoboken and Jersey City by train. Back on One Wall Street, construction reigns omniscient. Currently the property is in what one could generously call its tabula rasa stage – rooms are stripped rooms and service lifts clank up and down the 56 floors endless times a day. Although the interiors will bear little resemblance to their former incarnation as offices, Dubrow explains that the team have been conscious of the building’s 1930s heritage. Originally designed by Ralph Walker, The New York Times’ ‘Architect of the Century, “We’ve been careful to main-
tain as many of its original features as possible,” says Dubrow, pointing to the retention of the limestone façade and a 5,000sqft, floor-to-ceiling mosaic by muralist Hildreth Meière. Elsewhere, amenities stretch the limits of one’s imagination. An enclosed pool, co-working space, roof deck overlooking New York Harbour – even, it is rumoured, a dog groomers. Up in the rafters in a soon-to-be built penthouse, the views are historic. The Woolworth Building; Staten Island ferries chugging along the Hudson; the Statue of Liberty glinting in the distance. In their midst, the creatives, the toursists, the techies – all creating the future history of a new Downtown.
IMAGES: DBOX FOR MACKLOWE PROPERTIES
9. Pier A, a 28,000sqft, freeflowing space on the Hudson River 10. Hotels such as The Beekman have helped to boost tourism in the once-quiet district
Ronald Codrai © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi
DISCOVER T H E S TO R I E S O F O U R N AT I O N ’ S P R O U D PA S T.
ABU DHABI’S LEGACY AND HISTORY. Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi. It includes the city’s first permanent structure, a coral and sea stone watch tower built to protect the settlement of Abu Dhabi established on the island in the 1760s. Qasr Al Hosn became home to the ruling family, a seat of government, and it now stands as our nation’s living monument, telling the story of Abu Dhabi and its people.
Learn more at qasralhosn.ae
34 / GLOBAL / EXPLORATION
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
33.9249° S, 18.4241° E
Go by rail to this former fishing hamlet, populated by bohemians and Cape Fur seals
Kalk Bay, Cape Town WORDS: LILY LAWES
An offering from Olympia Café, which also contains an upstairs gallery
What sets Cape Town apart from other major cities is how its extraordinary geography has dictated its urban growth. Ultimately, the city is more a series of individual settlements strung around an outrageously beautiful coastline, and each turn around Table Mountain and down towards Cape Point arrives at a new district with its own unique vibe. The village of Kalk Bay sits to the south of the city, nestled between a steep mountainside and the great expanse of False Bay, on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape peninsula. Once a sleepy fishing hamlet, Kalk Bay is now a quietly buzzing hotspot that draws Cape Town day trippers, who arrive on the train to soak up the relaxed seaside atmosphere, peruse the boutique stores and enjoy the best fish and chips in town. But there’s a lot to little Kalk Bay and its unique character, which can be traced back through its multicultural heritage. Settled by Europeans in the 18th Century (‘kalk’ means ‘chalk’ in Dutch, referring to the lime that was produced from burning mussel shells), the village developed into a busy whaling station and fishing harbour. It became a refuge for the freed slaves that were able to establish a fishing trade here alongside immigrants and pirates in the mid-1800s. The cosmopolitan population hailed from as far as Indonesia and Malaysia, with a surprisingly large Filipino community in the mix. By the end of the 19th Century, however, the arrival of the railway had transformed the village, along with neighbouring St James, into a desirable holiday destination for wealthy city dwellers. Fast forward to the 1960s. As South Africa was in the grip of devastatingly divisive Apartheid policies, Kalk Bay managed to resist the full brunt of enforced segregation to remain a racially mixed neighbourhood. In the decades that followed, the tight-knit community continued to stand up against these policies in support of the fishing families that been here for generations, and attracted artists, musicians and other nonconformist types.
Today, the artsy set are still here, as are the weather-beaten fishermen, and together they’ve imbued the area with an upmarket bohemian feel that’s rooted in a down-to-earth sense of graft and craftsmanship. The soy-milk-swilling hipsters, the Cape Town day trippers and the local population of Cape Fur seals have known it for a while now – Kalk Bay is one seriously happening haunt. But the secret’s getting out, and the suburb was recently named by Forbes as the one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods.
OLYMPIA CAFÉ & DELI Dive straight into the laid-back, bohemian charm that characterises Kalk Bay at this top-notch breakfast spot that is, as one Capetonian puts it, a ‘total vibe’. You can’t book a table, but it’s worth queuing for – the menu is devised daily, and dishes are crafted with love and tasty, ethically-sourced ingredients. Before you go, pop upstairs to Kalk Bay Modern Gallery. One of several superb galleries in this arty suburb, Kalk Bay Modern is a bright, beautiful space offering a glimpse into the calibre of emerging local artists. The gallery also holds a large collection of indigenous San art from across southern Africa. 134 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 21 788 6396, Olympiacafe.co.za
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A ONE-MINUTE WALK
KALK BAY BOOKS Nothing typifies a bohemian neighbourhood like the calibre of its bookstore. This independent booka is bursting with great titles, including local authors. Housed in a gorgeous old stone building, it’s something of a hub for the community, hosting regular literary events, and a cosy spot to hang out and read up on your new favourite Cape Town suburb (and the resident ghost is friendly, apparently). 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 21 788 2266, Kalkbaybooks.com
4 DID YOU KNOW
The foundation stone for Kalk Bay Harbour was laid in 1913. It continues to be a working fishing harbour, and one of the few left on the Cape Peninsula.
AN 18-MINUTE TAXI RIDE
BOULDERS BEACH While you’re down in the south peninsula, a trip round to Boulders Beach is a must. It is an extraordinary spot at the edge of Simon’s Town that’s home to an adorable colony of African penguins. You’ll share sunbathing space
with the little guys that waddle past to frolic in the shallows, for the most part unperturbed by their human companions. The further into the boulders you venture, the more penguins and more peace from the crowds you’ll find, but this spot does get very crowded in the (southern hemisphere) summer. Secluse Avenue, Simon’s Town.
A SIX-MINUTE TAXI RIDE OR 40-MINUTE WALK BACK TO SIMON’S TOWN STATION, THEN A 17-MINUTE TRAIN JOURNEY ON METRORAIL, THEN A FOUR-MINUTE WALK FROM KALK BAY STATION
KALK BAY HARBOUR Return to Kalk Bay on a scenic train journey that takes you round this incredible coastline, right along the water’s edge through Fish Hoek and back to the village. Just a few minutes from the station is the fishing harbour that serves as a focal point for life and commerce in the village – one of the oldest free fishing harbours in the area (and for a while, a whaling station). Wander down the pier to the lovely little lighthouse, and watch colourful fishing vessels bring in their daily catch of snoek and yellowtail. It’s a popular hangout for the local Cape Fur seals, and you might also spot some whales in the bay, in the right season. Stop at Kalky’s Fish & Chips for lunch – it’s a Cape Town institution. 7990, Kalk Bay.
INSPIRING WHAT’S NEXT
When everyone thinks you’ve done it all, this is the time to ask yourself, “What’s next?”. Wherever you’re headed, we support you in pursuing your passions, dreams and ambitions.
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A FIVE-MINUTE WALK
CAPE TO CUBA A festive jumble of colourful décor, Cape to Cuba is an indoor beach bar, and the hippest place in the south peninsula for cocktails and, of course, cigars. Snack on an array of tasty tapas dishes and fish fresh from the harbour, a stone’s throw away. Head out to the greenery-strewn terrace for dreamy views out to sea – momentarily obstructed by the train that comes whooshing past, what feels like inches from your nose. There’s regular live music and all-round good vibes. 165 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 21 788 1566
A TWO-MINTUE WALK
THE KWAAI GALLERY
The bohemian flavour of Kalk Bay is evident in the vintage stores and quirky boutiques scattered along Main Street. There’s Catacombes and Casa Boho, and a venture down the alleyways that branch of from the thoroughfare will uncover gems like The Kwaai Gallery. It’s a maze of clothes and jewellery, art, gifts and other cool things, all made by local designers – including the owner, a born and bred Kalk Bay creative. A couple of doors down you’ll find The Ice Café, famed for being the ‘best ice cream shop in town’. Lekker, as the locals say. 80 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 79 496 2862
24x7 Toll Free Helpline 18002121655 (Within India)
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A ONE-MINUTE WALK
KALK BAY THEATRE Round off the day with an evening of live entertainment at Kalk Bay Theatre. The intimate venue is housed in an interesting 19th-century Dutch church building and hosts fun, high-energy productions spanning cabaret, comedy and live music. There’s a lively restaurant onsite serving pre-show meals and a selection of hand-picked South African wines – this is, after all, the Cape, and good wines come as standard. 52 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 21 788 7257, Kalkbaytheatre.co.za
7 DID YOU KNOW
False Bay welcomes thousands of whales each year, particularly during their migration between July and December. Humpbacks, Bryde’s whales, southern right whales and even orcas are known to pass through. The region is one of the best whale-watching spots in the world.
A TWO-MINUTE WALK
THE BRASS BELL Just a short hop back across the road is a very nice spot for sundowners, a seafront gastropub that’s legendary amongst Capetonians. Access is via a graffitied tunnel underneath the train line, and the venue, a sprawling complex with its own ‘beach’ and seawater pool juts out into the ocean. Waves often crash dramatically against the windows of the downstairs dining room, or there’s a roof terrace for soaking up uninterrupted views across False Bay. Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 21 788 5455, Brassbell.co.za
Emirates operates two daily services to Cape Town with the Boeing 777-300ER.
Combing the floor of the North Sea off the East Frisian Islands, intrepid “drift divers” go in search of forgotten wrecks. This time, they’ve got the Mercedes-Benz X-Class with them. WORDS: MARC BIELEFELD
IMAGES: MALTE JAEGER
Listening to these friends talking about their hobby, you wouldn’t necessarily conclude that it sounds like a good time. You’re in the dark, cold, wet and it’s “a bit complicated”, Dirk Terbeek tells us. Wilfried de Jonge describes how dependent the divers are on winds and currents, and of the potential dangers involved. Question Dirk Heinemann further and he’ll tell you about the bones and skulls they come across now and then. This morning, four friends have taken a blue Mercedes-Benz X-Class to the harbour of Norddeich, a small village on the East Frisian coast. The Wadden Sea stretches out before them – in the distance, you can make out the islands of Juist and Norderney. The coordinates they’re navigating to will take them to-
wards the North Sea shipping routes: simple points on the sea chart which fail to convey the reality of tumultuous waters that ebb and flow unceasingly. The bed of the X-Class has been loaded with compressed air and gas tanks, crates of diving regulators, buoys and weights, all securely stowed. Next to them are black, trilaminate Kevlar suits; you’d be forgiven for thinking they were for a trip into space. “It does sort of feel that way,” Heinemann nods, as he gathers a good 60 kilos of his equipment from the back of the pickup. The companions can usually get to around 30 metres below the surface, passing through a universe of sediment that limits visibility to around five metres. It’s a journey into amorphous darkness until
a shipwreck emerges like an apparition, encrusted in a layer of mussels. These East Frisian friends do this for fun, but it’s a serious activity that requires them to face powerful North Sea currents. Special mixtures of breathing gas are needed, and the divers go underwater wearing dry suits and heated thermal vests. They’ve even developed their own underwater lamps, which shine eight times brighter than standard car headlights. Considering all the gear required, it’s no surprise that wreck diving up here doesn’t have much of a following. “But it’s a real adventure,” Terbeek says. “We often go where no one has ever been before, and some of the ships we discover haven’t been seen for a hundred years.”
A SHARED DREAM The drift divers met at the local diving club, each already an experienced scuba diver in his own right. Together they wondered why restrict themselves to the occasional diving trip to Croatia or the Red Sea? After all, there are plenty of wrecks to search for in their own backyard. It wasn’t long before they became a team. They took courses on technical diving, learned about underwater archaeology, and fine-tuned their equipment. “We all dreamed of diving in the North Sea and discovering sunken ships,” explains de Jonge. Before long, it wasn’t just a dream. The boat is in the water now, and tanks and flippers are stowed away as we cut through the choppy waves beneath a grey sky. The crew navigates a nautical mile or two further north and consults the sonar. The contour on the screen lets them know that they’ve located a wreck. “Let’s get ready,” calls out Holger Buss, the fourth member of today’s crew. He heaves a tank onto his back and adjusts his mask. After the final commands are given by hand signal, they fall backwards into the water and disappear like seals. In the depths, they’ll have to rely on their own experience, skills and courage – because no one else will be there to save them if something goes wrong. “YOU DIVE INTO ANOTHER WORLD” It’s certainly not just crustaceans and starfish down there. The team has dived wrecks off the East Frisian Islands before, finding sunken motorboats, trawlers, minesweepers, even the 130-metre-long Mongabarra cargo ship. They measure the dimensions of the remains and identify the parts, half-swallowed by mud and vegetation, with detective-like precision. Later, they make sketches of the rusty wrecks to scale – useful to fishermen and the maritime authorities. The divers don’t go looking for awards: their mission is simply to get these sunken ships declared as official landmarks of the sea. Forty-five minutes after they submerged, two red buoys shoot out of the water. The men are soon back on board. They exchange high fives and head back to the harbour, beaming from ear to ear. The cameras have captured an underwa-
ter lunar landscape, with barnacle-covered wreckage on the sea floor: “That’s what we love about this – you dive into another world,” says Terbeek. Free of their breathing apparatus, the adventurers peel off their wetsuits, unscrew their bayonet gloves, and load the gear back onto the bed of the X-Class, where a little puddle of North Sea water collects. An intense diving experience; space travel courtesy of the North Sea. But
Left: The four-man crew prepare for the underwater world that awaits them off the island of Juist
This page: (L-R) Dirk Terbeek, Dirk Heinemann, Holger Buss and Wilfried de Jonge gather their bulky gear from the truck’s spacious load bed; the divers study sea charts on the bonnet of the X-Class
once they’re back on land, it’s all earthly ambitions for these drifters. Holger Buss gets behind the wheel of the X-Class and starts the engine. There’s no place like home, and nothing like a warm shower.
Find out about the X-Class at mbmag.me/ x-class. Learn more about the drift divers in their book, available from their website for EUR 39.95: gezeitentaucher.de
AFTER FROM BERLIN TO LONDON,
NEW YORK TO SEOUL,
IN THE PAST-TIMES
NIGHTCLUBS ARE SHUTTING DOWN
OF YOUTH â€“ OR IS
WORDS: CONOR PURCELL
AT AN ALARMING RATE.
IS IT JUST
4am in Fabric, a cavernous nightclub in London’s Clerkenwell district and the resident DJ, Terry Francis, has just dropped a twisted slab of techno which sends the packed dance floor wild. This is a moment repeated around the world: clubbers losing it to underground dance music, driven by – as the old house classic goes – a basement, a red light and a feeling. It’s a scene that’s been played out in basements around the world for the past forty years. However in recent years, something’s changed. More and more clubs are closing down and less and less young people are going out. So what’s going on? Back in the eighties, most nightclubs were places for frustrated office workers to let loose to the latest chart hits. They weren’t cool, and they definitely weren’t cutting edge. Then something strange began to happen. A new type of black music emerged from the US: house, from Chicago and techno, from Detroit. Those sounds found their way to the UK in the late eighties and acid house was born. By the early nineties acid house had morphed into rave, and by the late nineties it had turned into dance music, and soon it was everywhere. Bands such as Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers sold out stadiums around the world while house, techno and trance dominated the charts worldwide. It’s still everywhere today: hip hop artists embrace house, and the 4x4 baseline is as ubiquitous as the guitar solo. Netflix makes documentaries about Daft Punk and techno producers win Grammies. As this cultural shift became embedded, cities around the world realised just how valuable nightclubs were. Local governments started talking about the ‘night economy’ and Night Mayors were appointed in Amsterdam, Berlin, Toulouse and Gronigen – even London appointed a ‘Night Tsar’ in 2016. A city’s nightlife we were told, was part of its DNA, an integral part of the soft culture that branding experts are so fond
L-R: Fabric on New Year’s Eve, 2018; Canadian DJ B.Traits on the decks at Fabric
down to clubs not turning over enough of a profit and land owners knowing they can make money elsewhere. And it’s not down to these landlords to put themselves out of pocket, they’re allowed to chase money if they’d like, but it’s our government that need to recognise the cultural importance of clubs and protect them.” In 2000, when the Irish government proposed changing nightclub closing times to 1:30am, a pressure group, Give Us The Night was set up to fight back. They gathered 22,000 signatures in just a few days to help defeat the proposal. One of the group’s founders, Sunil Sharpe, is clear about why the city’s clubs are closing down. “Overly restrictive legislation and colossal licensing costs are the main causes,” he says. “The state work against these businesses, not with them. As it’s so difficult to make a decent pro-
IMAGE: ENRICO POLICARDO
of talking about. This was a good thing. For a certain generation, London means Fabric and the Ministry of Sound, Berlin means Tresor and Berghain, Amsterdam means Paradiso and Tokyo means Womb. It makes sense: the people who travel to such clubs are a marketer’s dream: twenty- and thirty-somethings with disposable income and a cultural curiosity; early adopters who will act as brand evangelists for a city. So far, so good. But even with the night tsars and night summits and column inches written about the importance of nightlife, the same thing kept happening: clubs closed. In London and New York and Dublin and Seoul – the very places that were so integral to the night economy were shutting down; their premises sold to developers who could make far more money building a hotel or an apartment block. Add to that local authorities who look dimly on late night noise and large gatherings of young people, and you have a cultural phenomenon that looks increasingly fragile. “We seem happy to celebrate nightclubs in our art galleries, but barely able to tolerate them on the high street,” says Kate Nicholls, the CEO of AMLR, an organisation which represents venues in the UK. “Late licences are routinely met with opposition, pubs and clubs are routinely blamed for anti-social behaviour and local authorities have the power to tax and stifle late-night licensed businesses. Established venues now find themselves at odds with residents, battling against noise complaints and fighting unreasonable planning laws.” Indeed, while club culture is routinely celebrated in books, documentaries and art exhibitions, actually finding a mid-week nightclub to go to in London is becoming increasingly difficult. In Dublin, the same trend is occurring. At the end of January, District 8 – one of the city’s last non-commercial night clubs – shut down. “Big clubs come and go in waves and smaller, underground clubs take over, only for the whole thing to happen again,” says Eric Davison, who publishes District, an alternative culture magazine in Dublin. “But this time it feels different. There has never been a bigger series of blows to club culture than in the past 12 months. It’s 100 per cent
Right: Since opening in 2000, WOMB has brought the latest electronic music to fans in Shibuya, Tokyo
fit, venue owners have found it easier to just take the money that developers are offering, and get out.” If there’s a bright spot, it’s in Berlin, which has always been considered one of the world’s great nightlife destinations. Places such as Berghain and Tresor are etched on the psyche of generations of clubbers, the city itself a byword for house and techno. Last year the local government freed up €1 million to soundproof a number of clubs to minimise the conflict between them and local residents. Still, even in Berlin, clubs are closing – 170 since 2011, which still leaves 500, many of which sprang up in derelict and abandoned buildings in East Berlin after reunification in 1990. 220 of those clubs are represented by the Berlin Club Commission, a pressure group that looks after the interests of the city’s nightclubs. The Commission’s Lutz Leichsenring believes the city’s pull as a clubbing destination has long been underestimated. “For sure the clubs attract tourists to Berlin – they are as much a part of the city as the traditional tourist attractions, so to ignore them makes no sense. We are now making sure they can’t be ignored,” he says. And although Berlin faces the same
pressures of gentrification as other European cities, the authorities seem to value the ‘night economy’ far more than elsewhere. Not without good reason, argues Lechsenring. “Let’s be honest, young people aren’t coming to Berlin at weekends in such numbers because there are nice shopping centres here.”
BACK in London – a city which has lost half of its clubs between 2005 and 2015 – the situation looks dire, seemingly not helped by the appointment of Amy Lamé as Night Tsar in 2016. After she was appointed, she told Fader magazine: “What I’m trying to do in my role as Night Czar is change the conversation. For so long people thought, ‘It’s the council versus the venues’, or, ‘It’s police versus revellers’. When actually what I’m trying to do is knock down those very stoic positions that have been in place for so long.” Those words ended up seeming rather hollow after Hackney Council passed
new legislation last year forcing new venues in the area to close at 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends, unless they can prove they deserve otherwise and aren’t posing a threat to the local area. For London’s clubbers, the move didn’t come as a surprise. As NME wrote at the time: “Nightlife has been an essential part of The Borough of Hackney’s redevelopment, the explosion of clubs and venues like Dalston Superstore, Birthdays, Oslo, Hackney Showroom, Moth Club, The Shacklewell Arms and Brilliant Corners making the area one of London’s most vibrant and creative. And now – because said clubs attracted a bunch of city boys to the area, who subsequently complained about those very same clubs being open when, actually, they fancied a quiet night in with Bake Off – that nightlife is being strangled.” It’s a scene repeated in cities across the world. Old warehouses in run-down areas are taken over by enterprising DJs and promoters. The clubs they set up put those areas on the map and propel a wave of gentrification. And once the area is gentrified, there is no place for the clubs that helped turn those areas around. Is just a generational thing? Are Millennials just more into ‘Netflix and chill’? If the media are anything to go by, then yes. There’s been countless articles in recent years about how young people are going out less than ever before. Reasons commonly given include the smoking ban, the relaxation of pub licensing laws and even dating apps such as Tinder – all making a night out clubbing less appealing than ever.
THE STALWARTS Fabric, London Opened in 1999, it was seen as an antidote to the superclubs that had dominated the capital’s club scene. Focused on quality house and techno, it quickly gained a huge following, in large part down to its amazing sound system. Add to that a hugely popular series of mix CDs and a who’s who of DJ guests, and it’s not hard to see why it’s so successful. It was briefly closed in 2016, but following a public outcry (London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan even got involved), it was reopened. Of course, another reason less millennials are going to clubs is that there are less clubs to go to, as more and more of them get swallowed up by increasing rents. This is an issue that doesn’t just affect clubs, but all small businesses that can’t afford rising costs; one of the reasons many high streets in Britain and Europe are beginning to look very similar – lots of chain coffee shops and chemists, little in the way of unique venues that open past 8pm. “We need a 24-hour library, 24-hour workspaces for students and creatives and people whose work means they’re dealing with the other side of the world,” says Mirik Milan, Amsterdam’s first Night Mayor, who was appointed in 2014. “You need shops where you can buy tomorrow’s breakfast, or that cable you need now for that presentation you’re giving at 9am. It’s possible.” Ultimately though, unless 24-hour libraries make sense for developers, it’s hard to see who is going to build them. As Give Us The Night’s Sharpe says: “So much of Dublin has been sold off to [developers] and clearly there’s a grey area in planning regulations that favour them more than it should. It allows them to build, build and build, without having to contribute anything culturally valuable back into the communities they are taking away from.”
In April 2016, Amsterdam held the first every Night Mayor Summit, which was, according to Milan, a success. “We had more than 20 nationalities taking part in the event. We had the right combination of visitors – from municipalities, research centres, creative agencies and clubs – and topics. We covered everything from the economics of the night-time economy to prevention/harm reduction, and how to market it all globally.” It sounds good, but is there anything conferences or roundtable workshops can achieve when faced with the irresistible force of developer dollars? “I’m hoping that we’re just at the bottom of a trough right now and that things will come back around,” says Davison. “But it won’t happen without people doing something. You can’t be selfish just because you don’t go out any more, you have to go support campaigns like Give Us The Night if you ever cared about club culture, because if things implode a lot of kids will miss out on those good times you were lucky enough to have.”
Above: Skin, of British rock band Skunk Anansie, crowd surfs at Paradiso
Tresor, Berlin Opened in the vaults of a former East Berlin department store in 1991, Tresor quickly established itself as one of Europe’s best clubs. The up-for-it crowd and cutting-edge sound system helped, as did the resident DJs and the guests from around the world. The Tresor label was set up in 1991 and is one of the most respected techno labels in the world. The club closed down in 2005 but reopened in a decommissioned power plant two years later.
Paradiso, Amsterdam Located in a converted former church overlooking one of the city’s canals, Paradiso has been hosting parties since it was taken over by squatters in the late 1960s. In the late 1980s it drove the city’s rave culture, and soon became known as the centre of the city’s dance music scene.
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BUILDING THE TALLEST TOWER ON EARTH
Can a recordbreaking skyscraper be discreet? Santiago Calatravaâ€™s idea for a new structure, and resultant city-form in Dubai, pays credence to the theory WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS
Calatrava at his World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in New York
“The first question that came into my mind was, did it make sense to do such a tall building in this place?” Calatrava leaves a pregnant pause after this question. The concept did seem, to some, counter intuitive. Here were plans for another monolith that was at once too close to a preexisting tall tower – the Burj Khalifa sits directly opposite on the other side of the Creek – and at the same time, too far away from the city centre of Dubai: its site a nondescript zone next to a flamingo sanctuary and accompanying marshland. “I thought yes,” he decisively concludes, “and I’ll tell you why”. His resulting reasoning shows why he was perhaps the only architect for the job of designing Dubai Creek Tower – estimated to be the tallest tower in the world on its scheduled completion in 2020. Born in Valencia in 1951, Calatrava is known for his steadfast non-adherence to a single movement or school of architecture, as well as his stuctural background – as well as a doctorate in architecture he has a degree in civil engineering, which some accredit to the resultant structural complexity of his works. Different people know him for different landmarks: to the Swedes, he is the designer of the revolutionary Turning Torso in Malmö, the first twisting skyscraper in the world. To the Americans, the somewhat controversial figure behind the US$4 billion World Trade Centre transportation hub (the New York Times complained it wasn’t gritty enough). To the Spanish, he is city-maker – creating seven distinctive structures within his overarching Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. His choice of structure, too, is diverse. To some, he is best known for a dedication to public transport – see the aforementioned New York station, or Portugal’s answer to Grand Central, Gare de Oriente. To others he is whimsical; creating forms that include two sundials (in Barcelona and California), or a Minecraft-esque winery in the Cantabrian foothills. His structures do have visual similarities. Oft-described as neo-futuristic, they are known for their bright white palette, sinusoidal curves and unique structural idiosyncracies, be that leaning pylons or rotating towers. Big but never ominous, futuristic but never alienating – his latest challenge is creating a new skyline.
53 In Dubai his perception is relatively unformed, but he is keen to assign a clear identity to the city. This structure, after all, will be the defining point of his work in the Middle East. “Many of our historical cities work as a whole, but there are also very different and particular neighbourhoods,” he says. “I can live in New York, but also in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, the Bronx, Jersey City. Creating neighbourhoods with a clear identity is fundamental.” Developed by Emaar Properties, also responsible for the Burj Khalifa, the RFP for the tower was sent out to firms worldwide, with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, selecting Calatrava’s design in 2016. It will be the focal point for Dubai Creek Harbour, a 6km-squared new district proposed in Dubai and will produce, says Calatrava, an “answer” to the other side of the Creek. “It will almost mirror [the Burj Khalifa]. Formally they are very different, but it creates a relation between one side and the other. Dubai is a flat city. Venice is a flat city. I use this comparison because the Venetians built the bell tower of San Marco, an important landmark of Venice, and then on the opposite side of Il canale della Giudecca they built San Giorgio Maggiore, another very tall tower.” As the façade of San Giorgio and all the houses is mirrored by the canal, the flat city becomes a cityscape – just like Dubai, he explains. “Think – almost all of the beautiful cities in the world are of this type. Rome, with its many mirroring hills – if you are in Montechiorio, then you see the Vatican hills... It is these relations that make the city so beautiful. It becomes, to my mind, a kind of internal landscape.” A partner with local knowledge has been useful for the project, which this time has come in the form of his son, Micael. The younger Calatrava, who acts as the operational force behind the project, has an office in design district d3 – just a short drive from the site. He believes that Dubai’s skyline – and its criticism – are part of a natural evolution that has to happen with any city. “Cities evolve and grow and try to outgrow their neighbours and develop their own sense of identity – this has happened throughout history,” he says.
From top: Calatrava’s signature ‘leaning pylons’: Alamillo Bridge, Seville; the WTC hub resembles a bird in flight
From top: A train station in Italy; A project in Calatrava’s home of Valencia; The Bodegas Ysios in Rioja, a stunning lego-like winery in the Cantabrian foothills
“They now have landmarks that we consider not only being part of their body, but really being their DNA. At the time, these were criticized by some, but now they are loved by many. So one needs to look forward. Our clients understand the fabric of the country and of the time and place where they are in life and in the world and where they wish to go and push their country forward.” Of its content, both Micael and Santiago compare the skyscraper to the Eiffel Tower – it will be a day-use building used mainly for observation. “There will be different levels for entertainment, open-air levels, but we have no prospects for any residential,” says Micael. “It is really a symbol for the area.” One of the central challenges of the project was making sure it did not disturb the neighbouring Ras Al Khor sanctuary – natural marshland home to wildlife including flamingos, marsh harriers and grey herons. In the proposed harbour district, lower-rise buildings will be built closer to the mangroves, so as not to alter migratory flight paths. Calatrava’s team also created vibration barriers when laying piles, so as not to disturb wildlife. The building, too, hopes to be an environmental touchpoint in a similar
fashion to another of Calatrava’s structures, Rio’s ‘Museum of Tomorrow’. One of the museum’s defining features is its air conditioning system that uses water funnelled from Guanabara Bay, known for its dirtiness – which is then filtered, cleaned and returned to the bay by way of a small waterfall. “In Dubai Creek Tower, every 100 metres sees the temperature go down by one degree,” says Calatrava. “That light and temperature is almost sub-tropical, so we can grow things like orchids.” Adds Micael: “Even though it’s not a natural environment, you can still educate. Kids will know, when there are subtle temperature changes, what can that now allow us to grow?” Creating a landmark is no mean feat. Dubai Creek Tower has certainly all the hallmarks of a column-inch generating, grandiose monument: it is record breaking, futuristic, and estimated to cost US$1 billion. But behind the headlines is a softer, more discreet kind of undertaking. Perhaps there could be no one but Calatrava to design this landmark: the kind where orchids grow in the dim light of a fiftieth floor in the sky, and flamingos flock nearby on shimmering marshland. The kind of place, as Calatrava would say, where dreams are made.
PORTRAIT IMAGE: THOMAS HOEFFGEN
56 / AN OPEN SKIES EXCLUSIVE
The surprise that changed our lives Does the world today look like what you imagined a decade ago? WORDS: BILL & MELINDA GATES For us, the answer is both yes and no. On the one hand, the world as a whole continues to make the broad progress we hoped and expected to see. Many trendlines from the last decade continue their same positive trajectory: Fewer people are dying from preventable diseases. More children are surviving to adulthood, and more girls are going to school every year. On the other hand, unexpected events have reshaped the world in a way that no one (including us!) saw coming. That would be true for any random year that you pick – but last year, it seemed like unforeseen forces had an outsized impact. From especially devastating natural disasters to the highest levels of
displacement on record, 2018 felt to us like a series of surprises. A benefit of surprises is that they’re often a prod to action. When you realise that the realities of the world don’t match your expectations, it gnaws at you. Twenty-five years ago, a surprise changed the course of our lives. While reading the newspaper, we saw an article that made a shocking statement: hundreds of thousands of kids in poor countries were dying from diarrhoea. That revelation stopped us in our tracks. We sent a copy of the article to Bill’s dad and said, “Maybe we can do something about this.” That surprise was one of the most important steps in our journey to philanthropy. It helped crystallise our val-
ues: we believe in a world where innovation is for everyone – where no child dies from a disease it’s possible to prevent. But what we saw was a world still shaped by inequity. In our Annual Letter this year, we wrote about nine things that have surprised us along this journey. Some helped us see that the status quo needs disruption, like the fact that toilets haven’t changed in a century. Others underscore that transformation is happening already, like the notion that new technology is making textbooks obsolete. Another thing that has surprised us is a shift in the conversation about global engagement. As it turns out, there is a nationalist case for globalism. Nationalism is one of the most loaded words in 21st-century politics. While it’s come to mean different things to different people (and carry different connotations and insinuations), at its core, nationalism is the belief that a country’s first obligation is to itself. As we see it, though, even if you accept that premise, that doesn’t erase the need for a country to also engage with the broader world. There is nothing about putting your country first that requires turning your back on the rest of the world. If anything, the opposite is true. Part of the reason that countries like the US and the UAE invest in foreign aid is that it increases stability abroad and security at home. Strengthening health systems overseas decreases the chance of a deadly pathogen like Ebola becoming a global epidemic. And ensuring that every parent everywhere has the opportunity to raise safe, educated, healthy kids makes it less likely that they will embark on desperate journeys to seek better lives elsewhere. Another reason that countries invest in global health and development is
AN OPEN SKIES EXCLUSIVE / 57
that it works. For example, since 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has provided basic vaccines to more than 690 million children. That’s like vaccinating nearly every person in Europe. In 2019,
governments will need to recommit to funding for the Global Fund, one of the biggest health efforts in the world. And Gavi will need to raise money in 2020. It’s hard to overstate how much good
these projects have done in the world. Still, we worry that wealthy countries are turning inward and will take such a limited view of their own self-interest that they’ll decide these efforts aren’t worth the cost. That’s why we think the surprising nationalist case for globalism is a useful tool for changing the minds of people who might otherwise oppose foreign aid – and why we’re going to be making this case over and over in the next few years. We know firsthand that a surprise can be a powerful call to action – just as the article about children dying from diarrhea was for us. When you first confront a difficult reality, you get surprised, then you get outraged, then you get activated. That’s how the world gets better.
The authors are co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This article is adapted from their 2019 Annual Letter exclusively for Open Skies
Itâ€™s spring, and culture is in the air
From a Creekside ode to the contemporary to monumental sculptures at the Louvre, this is the season of culture in Dubai. Laura Egerton, local cultural commentator and curator, makes a case for why art around the region has never been so vibrant.
Far left: Saad Qureshiâ€™s Scorched Lines
Left: A piece by Studio Zimoun, on display at NYU Abu Dhabi Gallery
WORDS: LAURA EGERTON
“The month of March is a boon for arts and culture-lovers visiting Dubai and the neighbouring emirates,” says Chloe Vaitsou, the recently appointed International Director of Art Dubai. March 2019 sees the thirteenth edition of the art fair and its collateral events and promises to be busier and more diverse than ever. Whether your interest lies in innovative contemporary installations, historical masterpieces or musical performances there are many treats in store. Maya Allison, Chief Curator of NYU Abu Dhabi and Executive Director of its Galleries, is forming a consortium with
leading cultural organisations across the Emirates to align calendars, in an effort to space out events and give some much-needed breathing space between the increasing number of art events. “The scene has blossomed to such an extent, with important organisations such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Art Jameel, Sharjah Art Foundation and Alserkal Avenue hosting year-round programming, we are part of a larger ecosystem that exists out of moments such as art week,” Allison observes. It is still however, the time of the year when art spaces play their A-game. Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first-class permanent collection gets a boost this spring with a spectacular temporary exhibition running from 14 February - 18 May: ‘Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from
The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre’. Presenting nearly 100 artworks from this salient moment in history, the exhibition includes 22 paintings from Rembrandt and his workshop and brings together for the first time in 300 years two paintings by Vermeer cut from the same canvas. The exhibition Allison is curating at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery (‘Zimoun’, 26 February - 1 June) is one she has had in mind for ten years. “As a teaching museum it is important for shows to connect to curricula at the university as well as the wider context of Abu Dhabi”. Swiss artist Zimoun’s sensory experiences have been getting increasingly ambitious, taking over bigger venues internationally: “Essentially they are audio compositions that you can walk
From left: The ‘rain of light’: underneath the dome of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s plaza; Kathleen Ryan’s Diana, participating in Art Dubai Contemporary 2019; Helaine Blumenfeld’s Tempesta is in residence at Jameel Arts Centre
61 into,” Allison explains, “but there is a disjuncture between what you see and what you hear, a tension between natural sound effects and technological visuals”. She sees this as being reminiscent of the striking urban landscapes emerging out of the sand across the Gulf. After ten years of restoration, the historic heart of Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn and its neighbouring Cultural Foundation has recently reopened. Allison has co-curated an exhibition ‘The Early Years’ at the Cultural Foundation, which charts the key UAE artists working in sculpture and painting since the 1970s. A retrospective of celebrated Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais continues at Manarat Al Saadiyat until 23 March. In the same venue, the exhibition ‘Distant Prospects – European Landscape Paintings from
Liechtenstein’ runs from 26 February - 25 March as part of the sixteenth Abu Dhabi Festival. It is a showcase of landscape paintings by Northern Renaissance masters such as Lucas Cranach, Jan Brueghel and Peter Paul Rubens, which come from the Princely Collection. Abu Dhabi Festival’s focus is the performing arts, with 100 events in 25 venues running through until April. This year features 543 international artists and 17 participating countries with Korea as the country of honour, highlights include Giselle by the Korean National Ballet (7 March), the Arab World debut
of the Korean Symphony Orchestra (8 March) and a concert production of Tosca (15 March). Dubai now has its own prominent performing arts space: Dubai Opera. This March Dubai Opera’s scheduling is as diverse as it could be, ranging from Harry Potter (1 - 2 March) and the Gypsy Kings (6 March) to Choirfest (9 March), The Orpheus and Eurydice Forever Rock Opera (14 - 15 March) and the BBC Proms (19 - 22 March). The fourteenth Sharjah Biennial ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ opens on 7 March, featuring nearly 90 artists and over 60 commissions divided into three
62 Farid Rasulov’s ‘Iguana in the Kitchen’
distinct sections spanning the emirate including the East coast city of Kalba, with international curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons taking charge of each exhibition. “The aim of the Biennial is to deepen the context of the trajectory of contemporary art, as well as the condition in which it is made,” said Hoor Al Qasimi, President
and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. The curators have also masterminded the themes of this year’s March Meeting, which is a gathering of international artists, curators and scholars, exploring topical issues in contemporary art through talks and performances. Homegrown talent has the chance to shine in ‘Tashweesh: Material Noise’,
the annual exhibition presented by the satellite platform UAE Unlimited, which rotates from emirate to emirate each year, for 2019 it returns to Maraya Arts Centre, opening 2 March. The six selected UAE based artists come together for a residency working with an artist mentor, this time Nujoom Alghanem, who will represent the UAE at the Venice Biennale opening in May. The local contemporary art ecosystem will be present at Art Dubai this year too, in a new segment titled ‘UAE NOW’. Other new areas of the fair include ‘Bawwaba’, meaning gateway in Arabic, displaying 10 solo presentations, all artworks from the global south produced in the past 12 months. Curated
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes. 1634. Oil on panel, New York, The Leiden Collection. Image Courtesy of The Leiden Collection, New York
Exhibition 14 Feb - 18 May 2019
REMBRANDT, VERMEER & THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE Enjoy a day at Louvre Abu Dhabi and see this unmissable exhibition of Dutch masterpieces. Exhibition entry included in your museum admission ticket. AED 63, children under 13 free. Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Only 60 minutes from Dubai Marina.
BOOK NOW louvreabudhabi.ae
64 by French-Cameroonian curator Élise Atangana, well-known artists such as Hamra Abbas and Shezad Dawood have been selected, alongside an older generation such as Sérgio Sister from Brazil and younger, such as Wanja Kimani from Kenya. ‘Residents’ returns for its second year, bringing artists for a 4-6 week residency in the UAE, all represented by leading galleries from Latin America. This year it is curated by Fernanda Brenner from Brazil and Munira Al Sayegh from the UAE. Al Sayegh also acts as Guest Curator for Campus Art Dubai’s seventh edition, titled ‘Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Contemporary Art and the City’, she will work with the four selected local artists over a six-month seminar
From Dutch Masters to Japanese contemporary. From clockwise below, works from Ferdinand Bol; Chiharu Shiota; Rayyane Tabet; Maimouna Guerresi
and residency programme, culminating in a final group exhibition during Art Week. The roster of contemporary and modern galleries is as top-notch as ever. Vaitsou claims what most attracted her to join Art Dubai was “its commitment to being a place of discovery for art from geographies that are usually omitted from art’s mainstream dialogue, as well as its acclaimed engagement with education and thought leadership beyond the commercial aspect of the fair”. The latter is covered by programmes such
From top: Rana Abdulaziz Ibrahim at NYU Abu Dhabi Gallery; Keita Miyazaki’s White Lake is made out of car parts and paper Director at the Samdani Art Foundation, which presents the Dhaka Art Summit, curates the exhibition. Galleries Night on 18th March will see the launch of an important new permanent space in the avenue, the Ishara Art Foundation, the first non-profit institution in the UAE dedicated to art and artists from South Asia. Established by collector, art patron and entrepreneur Smita Prabhakar, the foundation has as its Artistic Director Nada Raza, formerly of Tate. It opens with the exhibition ‘Altered Inheritances: Home is a Foreign Place” a dual presentation of Shilpa Gupta and Zarina Hashimi. Another regional showcase come in the form of a group exhibition by the Atassi Foundation of artists from Syria. A remarkable range of commercial exhibitions open the same day at galleries across Alserkal Avenue, including solo presentations by key UAE artists Hassan Sharif at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim at Lawrie Shabibi and other leading, well-known artists: Sadik Alfraji at
Ayyam Gallery, Kamrooz Aram at Green Art Gallery, Rana Begum at The Third Line, Bernhard Buhmann at Carbon 12 and Stéphanie Saadé at Grey Noise. There is one other key new venue to add to the ‘mad March’ itinerary, the Jameel Arts Centre in Al Jadaf. Dubai’s new home for contemporary art, exhibitions, commissions and research, the centre is everything the UAE arts ecosystem has been asking for. It opened last November with close to 11,000 visitors in its first week and works tirelessly to reach out to students and new audiences. A series of ‘Artist Rooms’ spotlight leading practitioners, on 7 March three new rooms will open to the public, with work by the artists Seher Shah and Randhir Singh, Hemali Bhuta and Farah Al Qasimi. Its inaugural exhibition ‘Crude’ curated by Murtaza Vali tells stories of the turbid past, present and future of oil through the eyes of 17 leading contemporary artists and collectives from the region and beyond. Closing on 30 March, it’s a must see.
IMAGES: JOHN VARGHESE/NYUAD; STUDIO ZIMOUN; ROSENFELD PORCINI/KEITA MIYAZAKI; MOHAMED SOMJI/ART JAMEEL /CHIHARU SHIOTA; SAAD QURESHI /GAZELLI ART HOUSE; MOHAMED SONJI/LOUVRE ABU DHABI; FARID RASULOV/SANATORIUM; MAIMOUNA GUERRESI/ OFFICINE DELL’IMMAGINE; RAYYANE TABET/BEIRUT/HAMBURG; RMN-GRAND PALAIS (MUSÉE DU LOUVRE)/ADRIEN DIDIERJEAN
as Global Art Forum, which this year tackles the urgent challenges and opportunities facing education today, titled ‘School is a factory?’. There is often a disconnect between places of study and the marketplace of art: one bridge between has opened this year, the Zayed University Urban Satellite Space (ZUUSS) in Alserkal Avenue. Acting as an off-campus space for university students, alumni and faculty, it hosts exhibitions, workshops, lectures and community events in the commercial heart of the UAE art’s scene. From 9-23 March, Concrete in Alserkal Avenue will host a group exhibition ‘Fabric(ated) Fractures, presenting work by artists from Bangladesh and the wider South and South East Asia regions. Diana Campbell Betancourt who is the Artistic
68 / EXPO 2020
An Expo for everyone Expo 2020 Dubai is getting ready to welcome millions of people from around the world, but what will they experience once they arrive? Whoever first coined the phrase ‘you can’t please everyone’ clearly had no experience of delivering a World Expo. With 25 million visits expected between October 2020 and April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai is preparing to welcome the world to the UAE – and no two visitors will have the same experience. To bring to life its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the Expo team is creating an unforgettable visitor experience that can be customised to suit every preference. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you are guaranteed to find something to inspire you at this global destination. Want to take in a show? No problem. There will always be something to get excited about at Expo 2020, with everything from world-famous stars and comedy greats, to local talents and touring attractions. Perhaps you are looking for content to captivate curious young minds. Expo has you covered, with plenty of family-friendly events, games and exhibitions, plus areas to grab a bite or take a well-earned rest. In fact, with more than 200 participants from every corner of the planet, the next World Expo is the perfect place to broaden your horizons – no matter what your background is. This is your chance to discuss, debate and discover new ideas in an environment filled with countless cultures, backgrounds and world views. With 190 participating countries already confirmed, Expo offers a unique opportunity to see the entire world in one place. Each nation will have a day to celebrate what makes it great, meaning you will be able to experience a host of cultural events that are as enjoyable as they are insightful. Whether you want to take time out to relax or get your adrenaline pumping, the next World Expo will have experiences to suit your mood. From mindfulness
workshops to extreme sports, there will be plenty to keep your mind and body happy and healthy. After a fun-filled day exploring Expo’s countless attractions, you could be tempted to head back to your room for a good night’s sleep – but you’d be missing out. As the excitement continues under the stars, night owls will be able to enjoy entertainment, exhibitions, global cuisines and more until the early hours, every day of the week. By delivering a jam-packed programme of activities and entertainment, Expo 2020 Dubai aims to offer something for every taste. With so much to see and do, you’ll be planning your next visit before you’ve finished your first.
Above: Expo 2020 Dubai will feature something for every taste
For more, check out the Expo 2020 podcast on ice channel 1901.
70 / LITFEST / THE BIG QUESTION
How do you write a life-affirming story? Novelist and videogame journalist Keith Stuart on the fine line between happy and sappy WORDS: BEN EAST “And they all lived happily ever after”. It might be one of the most time-worn phrases in literature, but actually writing profound, moving fiction without tripping over into sappiness is another thing altogether. “It’s about balance,” thinks Keith Stuart, whose two novels have variously been described as heart-tugging and poignant. “You can actually get away with real extremes of joy and even ridiculous sentimentality as long as it’s tempered by the darker elements of the story. You just need a certain amount of uncertainty and unpredictability.” Stuart, who is talking about the concept of “happy ever after” at the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature this month, admits getting that balance right in his latest book, Days Of Wonder, was incredibly difficult. Full of references to theatre, fairy tales and comic books – which
by their essence have an explicit expectation of a happy ending – it features a young girl suffering from a life-threatening condition who wants to find a partner for her father before it’s too late. “What became really helpful for me was this realisation that people actually do come to stories to experience emotions,” he says. “They do want to feel joy and happiness when they read, but it has to feel realistic, not saccharine.” All of which came together in Stuart’s debut, a brilliant depiction of a family struggling to make sense of themselves and their young son’s autism – which they do via the videogame Minecraft. A Boy Made Of Blocks, inspired by Stuart’s own experiences with his son, has a certain fidelity with Days Of Wonder, and not only in its explorations of parent-child relationships. “Both of the stories are about trying to understand how to live in the present,” he agrees. “It’s become increasingly difficult to do that because life is hard, plans have to be made. People spend hours a day staring at a small screen in their hand. With so much vying for our attention, it’s very easy to dislocate from the world and forget that every second needs to be grasped.”
Stuart completely understands that ‘living in the moment’ is a glib phrase. “Carpe Diem does actually have a complexity to it, it’s about how we think of ourselves, other people and our lives,” he argues. But what’s fascinating about his books is that any life lessons about fulfilment or understanding are learned through the actions of children. “That’s really true,” he agrees. “The young boy, Sam, doesn’t have an enormously loud voice in The Boy Made Of Blocks, but he impacts the story in life-changing ways. He changes his father, not the other way around. And in Days Of Wonder, Hannah is much more together in terms of what her condition means; she has to teach her Dad how to come to terms with her illness.” We can, thinks Stuart, learn a lot about happiness from our children, which is why they are such important protagonists in his books rather than incomprehensible young people constantly jabbing at phones or PlayStations. “Every generation constructs the places it needs and feels safe in, whether that be passionately reading novels in the Victorian era, rock’n’roll in the 1950s, comics nowadays. They find some route to understand the world and make it new for them – and then they grow up and immediately belittle how the next generation acts! The books, really, are asking people not to do that.”
Days Of Wonder (Little, Brown) is out now in paperback. Stuart will be appearing at the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature in Dubai, from 1-9 March 2019.
L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r L e a v i n g T h e E c h o C h a m b e r
Sharjah Biennial 14 Leaving the Echo Chamber 7 Marchâ€“10 June 2019
Exhibitions Performances Films & Workshops
3 curators 80+ artists 60+ commissions
Free admission @sharjahart sharjahart.org
UAE SMART GATE
A working partnership By 2022, the combined networks of Emirates and flydubai are expected to reach 240 destinations. Read more about the airlines’ alliance on p.74
74 / EMIRATES / NEWS
Emirates and flydubai partnership reaches new heights
Exciting new destinations, better and quicker connections and one loyalty programme are just some of the highlights of the strategic partnership between Dubai’s two airlines, Emirates and flydubai. The partnership has delivered a number of benefits to both airlines’ customers, such as offering greater global connectivity through more destination choices, flexibility with flight options when planning trips, one integrated loyalty programme, and the convenience of travelling on a single ticket. The partnership started with codeshare flights to just 29 cities, and has since expanded to 84, including new flydubai destinations such as Catania,
EMIRATES SKYWARDS OPENS NEW ONE-STOP CENTRE AT DXB
Krakow, Dubrovnik and Helsinki. During 2019 the network of codeshare flights will be further expanded, with the launch of new flydubai destinations Naples and Budapest, as well as several others still to be announced. Since 2 December last year, 11 flydubai flights started to operate from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport to help improve the connections between Emirates and flydubai. During 2019, more flights – including Naples and Budapest – will be departing from Terminal 3. Currently, the combined networks of Emirates and flydubai is 216, which by 2022 is expected to reach 240 destinations.
Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, celebrated the opening of its new Emirates Skywards Centre in Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport (DXB). The centre will function as a one-stop customer touchpoint for all new and existing members of the Emirates Skywards loyalty programme and will provide assistance across a wide range of services including programme enrolment, profile creation and luggage tag printing. Emirates Skywards staff will also be available onsite to consult with members on all Tiers and Miles related queries including how to earn, purchase, spend Miles and make optimum use of expiring Miles.
EMIRATES EXPO 2020 THEMED LIVERY AIRCRAFT MODEL COLLECTION TAKES OFF Fifteen highly collectable aircraft model types launched in different scales and finishes are part of the new limited edition collection by the Emirates Official Store. The detailed models are part of an Expo 2020 themed collection, ranging from Airbus A380s to Boeing 777s and featuring the signature Expo 2020 logo in blue, orange and green representing the themes of mobility, opportunity and sustainability.
The models can be found at all Emirates Official retail stores in the UAE, Emirates Store online as well as Emirates Official shops at Dubai International Airport. Select models will also be sold onboard Emirates flights from March 2019. Held for the first time in the Middle East/North African region, Expo 2020 Dubai showcases innovative solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
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Emirates signs deal for 40 A330-900s, 30 A350-900s Emirates announced an order for 40 A330-900 aircraft, and 30 A350-900 aircraft, in a heads of agreement signed with Airbus. The deal is worth US$ 21.4 billion at list prices. The latest generation Airbus A330neo and A350 aircraft, will be delivered to Emirates starting from 2021 and 2024 respectively. In addition, Airbus and Emirates reached an agreement on outstanding A380 deliveries. The airline will receive 14 more A380s from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin
EMIRATES SIGNS FIRST CODESHARE PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINESE CARRIER Emirates and China Southern Airlines, China’s largest airline by passenger numbers, have signed a new agreement that is set to open up new destinations for passengers travelling between China, the Middle East and Africa. The partnership with the Guangzhoubased carrier will cover 18 routes and also allows Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on domestic flights within China, adding eight new destinations to its global network. The Chinese cities covered by the codeshare agreement include Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, Xiamen,
Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The A330neos and A350s that we are ordering will complement Emirates’ fleet mix and give us more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand.”
Chengdu, Nanjing and Xi’an during the initial phase of the partnership, subject to necessary government approvals. Passengers travelling from China will have more choice and minimum connection times when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Middle East network such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Muscat, and Kuwait. The codeshare agreement also includes flights to African destinations such as Cario, Seychelles and Lagos, operated by Emirates. With the UAE’s visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, passengers can also enjoy hassle-free stopovers in Dubai before flying to their final destinations. The codeshare partnership will provide customers with the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights using one reservation.
EMIRATES SKYCARGO AND DUPONT CELEBRATE 10-YEAR PARTNERSHIP Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, and DuPont Safety & Construction (DuPont), a business unit of DowDuPont Specialty Products Division and the manufacturer of DuPont™ Tyvek® brand thermal cargo covers, marked the 10th anniversary of their partnership for cold chain solutions in the air cargo industry on January 30, 2019. Emirates SkyCargo and DuPont began their partnership a decade earlier when they released the ‘Emirates SkyCargo White Cover’ – the first pallet cover made with Tyvek® that revolutionised cold chain protection of temperature-sensitive products in air transit. “Emirates SkyCargo operates flights over a vast network, transporting cargo from over 150 destinations across six continents. Even on a single flight, cargo may move through variable and extreme weather conditions from origin to destination,” said Dennis Lister, Emirates Vice President, Cargo Commercial Development. “We are always on the lookout for innovative and cost-effective solutions to manage the integrity of our cold chain.”
76 / INSIDE EMIRATES
Personalise your playlist
Easy, convenient, fun: create your own ice playlist before you fly for the ultimate inflight experience on board
Emirates has introduced an innovative new function on its app so you can create a bespoke playlist ahead of your flight and sync it to your seat once you’re on board. You can plan your trip more effectively, and maximise your onboard experience by using the Emirates app to browse the expansive entertainment catalogue at any time. Here’s how to make the most out of your trip:
What can I watch?
4,000+ Channels of on demand entertainment
And varied content like: • Emirates’ own Food and Wine Channels, which give a behindthe-scenes peek at how we create our onboard menus • Expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses • And uTalk language courses with lessons for beginners
1,000+ Movies (more than any other airline)
325+ Channels with awardwinning TV series
Including: • 157 Bollywood movies • 132 movies from the Middle East • 50+ Chinese movies • 84 Disney, Marvel, and children’s movies
2,700+ HRS OF FILMS IT WOULD TAKE 168 TRIPS ON THE WORLD’S LONGEST A380 FLIGHT FROM DUBAI TO AUCKLAND TO GET THROUGH OVER 1,000 MOVIES ON BOARD
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How do I create a playlist? Download the Emirates app for free on your iOS or Android device It’s a one-stop travel companion that allows you to book: • Flights • Hotels • Car rentals • Tours and attractions As well as the ice catalogue, browse through your flight’s menus and wine lists up to a month before you travel
“This latest functionality on the Emirates app elevates the customer experience even before they step onto the aircraft.” Sir Tim Clark President, Emirates Airline
DID YOU KNOW? Emirates offers the industry’s largest in-seat screens in all classes
The Emirates app also features 3D seat maps, so you can explore the interior of the Emirates A380 and the Emirates Boeing 777 when you pick your seat
Which planes is this available on? The syncing capability is currently available on over 100 Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft and will be made available progressively across the entire fleet, including A380 aircraft in the coming months.
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Amman, Jordan Take the time out to properly explore an intriguing capital Amman doesn’t always receive the appreciation it necessarily deserves. Viewed more as a gateway to the wider wonders of Jordan than a destination in and of itself, most visitors treat the capital as a simple staging post – rather than a city to be cherished and enjoyed. It’s easy to understand why. Jordan has such an embarrassment of riches that the primary urge is to rush out and see them as soon as you land. There’s Petra, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the sweeping cinematic landscape of Wadi Rum, the Roman ruins of Jerash, the resorts of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, and the fortifications of Ajloun and Kerak castles. But don’t let the lure of Jordan’s attractions dissuade you from spending time in Amman. The city has its own spectacle. There’s the ancient Citadel, with its Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Palace, and the 6,000-seat Roman Theatre located just off Hashemite Plaza. Throw in the fashionable neighbourhood of Weibdeh, the cultural delights of Darat Al Funun, the falafel at Hashem in Downtown, the hubbub of Rainbow Street, and the tea and coffee at Rumi Cafe and you’ll begin to understand Amman’s subtle appeal. It is a city constantly in development, but as you chance upon gems such as the ceramics studio Silsal, or the Wild Jordan Center, with its beautiful views over the city – you’ll be glad you made the effort to stay.
Emirates operates three daily Boeing 777 flights between Amman and Dubai. Between 1 June and 26 October 2019, Emirates will operate its A380 aircraft to and from Amman in response to increased demand for travel during the summer period.
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Arguably Amman’s most popular restaurant, Fakhreldin is housed in the former home of Jordan’s ﬁrst prime minister, Fawzi Al-Mulki. With a menu plucked straight from the well of Levantine cuisine, expect a mouthwatering array of mezze, salads and mains. Reservations are recommended. fakhreldin.com
If you’re after traditional Jordanian food, look no further than Sufra. Mixing Levantine treats with a selection of hearty home-made dishes, this charming restaurant takes inspiration from the Bedouin kitchen. Its signature dish is mansaf, a rice-based meal with lamb and a sauce of fermented dried yogurt. romerogroup.jo
There’s falafel and then there’s Hashem falafel. It’s what the majority of visitors to this legendary eatery in Downtown Amman come for. Hugely popular, be prepared to wait for a table. The menu is basic – falafel, hummus, foul, fatteh and moutabel essentially – but it’s more than worth any wait.
LE ROYAL AMMAN
If luxury and stunning views are what you’re after, the Four Seasons could be the ticket. Perched on top of one of the tallest of Amman’s seven hills, this 15-storey stone and glass ediﬁce includes an outdoor pool area with views over the city and large, bright and modern rooms. fourseasons.com
Within strolling distance of the Old City and the Citadel, the InterContinental Amman is also located atop one of Amman’s seven hills and lies within the heart of the diplomatic area. The ﬁrst international ﬁve-star hotel to be built in Jordan, it offers cosmopolitan amenities with a Middle Eastern touch. intercontinental.com
An oval-shaped tower with an illuminated dome roof, it’s hard to miss Le Royal. Visible from various locations across the city, it includes a three-ﬂoor shopping mall, elegant rooms, panoramic views of Amman, and provides easy access to the majority of the city’s main attractions. leroyal.com
The highlight of most trips to Amman, the Roman Theatre is the most spectacular remnant of Roman Philadelphia. Built in the 2nd Century BC and carved into the northern side of a hill, the heavily restored theatre can seat up to 6,000 people and still holds regular concerts and performances.
Far from being a homogenous grouping of buildings, the Citadel is home to remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods and offers great views of the city. Occupied since the Bronze Age, the Citadel’s most impressive attractions are the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace, which dates from the 8th Century.
Amman’s trendiest neighbourhood and one that has avoided gentriﬁcation, it’s here that you’ll ﬁnd the cultural bridge between East and West Amman. There’s the art and food of Jasmine House, the delightful tea and coffee of Rumi Café, and the allure of Fann wa Chai, a gallery and tea bar that hosts regular cultural events.
80 / EMIRATES / UAE SMART GUIDE
NATIONALITIES THAT CAN USE UAE SMART GATES
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 machine-readable 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.
USING UAE SMART GATE IS EASY
Have your machine-readable passport, E-Gate card or Emirates ID card ready to be scanned.
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.
Go through the open gate, 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 will open and you can continue to baggage claim.
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.
*UK citizens only (UK overseas citizens still require a visa)
UAE SMART GATE CAN BE USED BY: • Machine-readable passports from the above countries • E-Gate cards • Emirates ID cards
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Emirates Porto: four times weekly service starts 2 July ﬂydubai Tashkent: ﬁve times weekly service starts 11 March Naples: daily service starts 4 June
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
Emirates Amsterdam / Auckland / Bangkok / Barcelona / Beijing / Birmingham / Brisbane / 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 / New York / Nice / Osaka / Paris / Perth / Prague / Rome / San Francisco / São Paulo / Seoul / Shanghai / Singapore / Sydney / Taipei / Tokyo / Toronto / Vienna / Washington, DC / Zurich
TRAVEL TO ADDITIONAL DESTINATIONS WITH OUR CODESHARE PARTNERS
With 23 codeshare partners in 26 countries (21 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
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Routes shown are as of time of going to press
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AFRICA ï¬‚ydubai route
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ASIA & PACIFIC
EUROPE & CENTRAL ASIA
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Routes shown are as of time of going to press
88 / EMIRATES / FLEET
Our fleet of 271 aircraft includes 258 passenger aircraft and 13 SkyCargo aircraft
109 IN FLEET All aircraft
up to 4,000+
Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. L 72.7m x W 79.8m
137 IN FLEET All aircraft up to 4,000+
Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m 100+ aircraft
For more information: emirates.com/ourï¬‚eet
10 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
EMIRATES / FLEET / 89 HERE’S WHAT CONNECTIVITY, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD EACH AIRCRAFT TYPE
Live TV, news & sport
Number of channels
First Class Shower Spa
* First Class and Business Class; **Available in all rows in Economy Class, and in all seats in First Class and Business Class
BOEING 777-300 1 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 364 passengers. Range: 11,029km. L 73.9m x W 60.9m
AIRBUS A319 1 IN FLEET
The Emirates Executive Private Jet takes our exceptional service to the highest level to ﬂy you personally around the world. Fly up to 19 guests in the utmost comfort of our customised A319 aircraft with the ﬂexibility of private jet travel. Further information at emirates-executive.com
BOEING 777F 13 IN FLEET
Range: 9,260km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
The most environmentally-friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably-sized cargo aircraft. Along with its wide main-deck cargo door, which can accommodate oversized consignments, it is also capable of carrying up to 103 tonnes of cargo non-stop on 10-hour sector lengths.
Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press
Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m
PRAGUE GUIDE Mission Impossible, Casino Royale, The Illusionist: all filmed in Prague. For Alexander Skarsgård, star of The Aftermath, the city still held untold delights INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER Filming of The Aftermath was in Prague, but the film is actually set in Hamburg. Prague is an unbelievable city, and for me there is nowhere else in the world like it. Hollywood can do an incredible job these days replicating places, but you couldn’t replicate a city like it. The buildings, the history, the beauty – it is absolutely one of Europe’s must-visit cities. We shot in Charles Square (Karlovo Namesti), but the city is absolutely full of beautiful squares, steeped in so much history. Old Town Square is the most famous in the city, and what I find so amazing about it is that the square is so unspoiled. The Clock Tower, the churches… every journey to Prague should start here. There is no better place to sit outside with a coffee and watch people go by. It really is a beautiful city to walk in. They say the best things in life are free, and in Prague
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
50.0755° N, 14.4378° E
I think one of the nicest things you can do is take a walk across Charles Bridge. The Czechs like to tell you they have the best beer in the world, and the reality is they are probably right. I can’t think of many other cities that have a beer museum, but Prague does. There are a huge amount of bars in the city, so it’s probably worth going to put their claim they make the best beer in the world to the test. I hear the jazz in the city is amazing. Jazz Dock down by the riverside is supposed to be super cool and attract some of the best jazz musicians there are. Yes it is touristy, yes it is popular, but there is a reason why so many people want to come and visit Prague Castle and that’s because it is spectacularly beautiful. In a city that is so rich in history and stunning buildings, this is probably the focal point.
Emirates operates a daily A380 service to Prague
A SEASON FOR ART IN THE UAE, SPRINGTIME EQUALS ARTISTIC IMMERSION