IN EXTREMIS The allure of conquering the desert
A DISPATCH FROM OUTER SPACE THE PROBLEM WITH NEW YORKâ€™S SUPER TALLS
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CONTRIBUTORS Emma Coiler; Ben East; Sarah Freeman; Radha Ghosh; Jess Holland; Dom Joly; Louise Leung; Conor Purcell; Marzena Skubatz; Adrienne Smith. Front cover: Zak Honza
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CONTENTS JULY 2019
62 DUBAI A spiritual quest?
Experience 18 Stay: From Sydney to Singapore 20 Dom Joly: Trouble in the Congo 26 A dispatch from outer space 28 Neighbourhood: Istanbul 34 New York’s super talls 42 In Kenya, widlife watching via train 48 The weather report 54
Latest news 74 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Muscat, Oman 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Ari Aster’s guide to Hungary 90
What are today’s desert explorers trying to achieve? 62
Expo 2020 Four transformative programmes coming out of the mega-event 68
LitFest How the Earth made us 70
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EDITOR’S NOTE THE OUTER LIMIT
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Humans are drawn to emptiness. Consider the moment when George Clooney detaches himself from Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, sending him ricocheting into space. There is something peaceful in this noble act of sacrifice, yet simultaneously terrifying – the image of one human drifting into an infinite chasm of darkness. For millennia the universe has fascinated humankind, in part because we cannot bend it to our will. Manned missions can take us to some of it; but our usual human logic such as the natural order of time, or gravity, are reshuffled in an alien cosmic paradigm. Even recent discoveries are almost unimaginable; in our first dispatch from outer space, Jess Holland recounts the recent feat of the first-ever image taken of a black hole. The collapse of a massive star plays with the very fabric of time and space, “remind[ing] us that the universe we live in is a much stranger and more enigmatic place than day-to-day life might suggest,” she writes (p28). Back on planet Earth, maybe the closest thing that exists to space is the desert. For our front cover story, we examine the motivations of those who venture into the harshness of spaces like the Empty Quarter or the Sahara (p62). Is it just physical exertion they seek? Or something deeper?
Georgina Lavers, Editor
Global EXPERIENCE ° STAY ° DISPATCH ° NEIGHBOURHOOD ° SUPER TALLS ° KENYA ° PHOTOGRAPHY
Australian angles Examine Sydney’s architecture from the ground up in this hip, urban hotel. p.20
18 / GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL, 4-21 JULY
The musician visualising homelessness Karl Hyde of Underworld discusses his project inspired by homelessness – a crucial part of a festival programme that also features Idris Elba, Janelle Monae, and David Lynch How did your relationship with Manchester International Festival begin? Initially, through a play about fatherhood I co-wrote with Scott Graham [Frantic Assembly] and Simon Stephens [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time). It was a beautiful collision of ideas, a bit like the ethos of the whole festival itself, really. You get to rub shoulders with the best artists in the world, as well as the local community.
So how did Manchester Street Poem come about? Well, we’d been talking about doing something for the 2017 festival as Underworld, but we didn’t feel like we had anything that warranted a place in such an important festival. But me and Rick [Smith, Underworld collaborator] did have an idea that sprang out of an installation we’d done in Tokyo, where we’d taken over a department store, covered a room in cardboard, and painted on it stories I’d overheard on the streets. That
Above: Karl Hyde of electronic group Underworld Right: At work on the Manchester Street Poem
has always been the way I’ve collected words for lyrics. So that naturally led to thinking about how we could give a voice to people with experience of living on the streets – I covered the walls again, painted their stories and Rick put together this really powerful soundtrack. He said it was the toughest thing he’d ever done because he really was underscoring people’s lives.
We’re going to have a temporary city centre workshop where more stories will be created on cardboard. These will get photographed every day and printed into billboards for Festival Square. What was amazing last time was that people would come and see me madly painting and listen to the music – and if it moved them then there was something tangible for them to grab hold of.
It actually had a tangible effect on the homeless people who took part, didn’t it?
What does Manchester mean to you now?
We were really clear that it couldn’t be an event which dropped into the festival and then left. We proposed a legacy project and it’s been humbling and kind of life-affirming to see this idea turn into monthly workshops, drawing in the community and giving people the opportunity to tell their stories, express themselves We’re not selling sob stories, and that was key.
How will Manchester Street Poem look in 2019?
Manchester is an amazing city, full of energy and great positivity – and Underworld has always had a really long and happy relationship with the place, going back decades. The support that exists for the creative arts is incredible. You have an idea and people say, come on, let’s do this. It’s a great attitude to have and Manchester Street Poem is a fantastic example of that ethos of giving arts back to the people and throwing opening doors to everyone. mif.co.uk
TOUR DE FRANCE The biggest bicycle race in the world makes its Grand Départ in Brussels this year to honour famous Belgian rider Eddy Merckx’s first Tour de France win, 50 years ago. Following the opening weekend, the 21-day jamboree of cycling wends its way anticlockwise around France to Paris, via the highest paved pass in the Alps, the Col de l’Iseran. After Chris Froome’s horrific recent crash, Geraint Thomas is the favourite to retain the yellow jersey. Brussels, Belgium and various cities around France, ending in Paris. letour.fr
INDIA INTERNATIONAL GARMENT FAIR One of Asia’s most important clothing fairs, the IIGF is crucial for Indian export trade, as well as a fascinating look into the fashions of many parts of the world come S/S 2020. Covering ‘head-to-toe’ garments, from high-end pieces to high street trends, there’s plenty to explore for buyers. Greater Noida, New Delhi, India. indiaapparelfair.com
FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL
An entire global industry has grown up around comic conventions, but San Diego’s Comic-Con International is still the original and the best. Over 130,000 fans, most dressed up as their favourite characters, descend on authors, actors, directors and producers – it’s such an influential event, a Comic-Con Museum is now planned for 2021. San Diego, US. comic-con.org
Fuji Rock is probably the world’s cleanest, politest festival. Nestled in mountains outside Tokyo, it offers a lot more than its guitar-wielding name might suggest; this year Chemical Brothers, James Blake and Sia bolster festival favourites such as The Cure. For those tired by generic European festivals, Fuji is a unique alternative. Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-cho, Japan. fujirockfestival.com
20 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
33.8688° S, 151.2093° E
PRICE: FROM US$134 PER NIGHT
The West Hotel offers an upscale, urban stay in the heart of the city
Sydney sider WORDS: RADHA GHOSH
THREE DINING PICKS Quay One of Australia’s best known restaurants by one of its best known chefs, this recently revamped venue is a must visit. Expect a gourmet menu showcasing rare and local ingredients in complex creations, served up against a backdrop of Sydney’s best views – the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. quay.com.au Tramsheds This trendy dining precinct, housed in – as the name suggests – a converted tram depot, offers a range of excellent options from Japanese to Spanish tapas and Italian. It also hosts regular markets and pop-ups. tramshedssydney.com.au Koi Dessert Bar & Dining It may be best known for its intricate desserts dished up by former Masterchef finalist Reynold Poernomo, but this inner city gem is equally good for delicious degustation dinners featuring modern Asian flavours, at an affordable price. koidessertbar.com.au
As far as locations go, you can’t beat West Hotel. It’s smack bang in the middle of one of Sydney’s hottest lifestyle precincts, Barangaroo (the buzzing waterfront promenade is worth checking out on Friday evenings), and also offers easy access to Sydney’s CBD and Darling Harbour with their many attractions. But even if you come for the location, you’ll stay for the actual hotel. The jewelbox-esque building is home to Australia’s first Curio Collection by Hilton property, which aims to meld luxury with a bit of personality. Combining all the benefits of a large global chain like Hilton with a distinctive boutique vibe, the 182-room hotel ticks all the right boxes. The stellar design combines a botanical theme – you’ll find it everywhere, from the plush floral patterned room carpets to the leafy atrium area – with sleek contemporary styling. Scandi-inspired lines, plush materi-
als used throughout in the furnishings, and jewel-toned accents make the rooms as chic as they are cosy. Thoughtful touches such as USB ports near the bedside tables (because, that’s exactly what an on-the-go-traveller needs) and a free snacks and soft drinks mini bar – plus luxurious Australian-made Appelles bathroom amenities – all enhance the experience. With so many amazing restaurants in town (see our brief guide on this page), hotel restaurants don’t usually rank high in Sydney’s dining scene, but Solander Dining & Bar is an exception to the rule. The stylish street-level venue is not only named after Daniel Solander, the First Fleet’s botanist, but takes its botanical roots seriously – whether it’s in the plant-forward menu, featuring native ingredients, or the horticulture-inspired signature cocktails. It’s one of the nicest ways to get a ‘taste of Australia’.
Emirates operates three nonstop daily services from Dubai to Sydney. Choose from two daily A380 services and a third daily service operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.
22 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
1.3521° N, 103.8198° E
PRICE: FROM US$300 PER NIGHT
Robot butlers and jungle cabanas at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre
A botanic twist WORDS: ADRIENNE SMITH
Singapore is proud of its diversity, and none epitomises it more than Tanjong Pagar – an area nestled between the city’s central business district and the heritage of Chinatown. In the heart of this cultural confluence, a lift delivers guests straight up from the street and MRT (metro system) levels into the Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Converted from an empty parking lot barely two years ago, the Wallich Street location provides the hotel with its glass and gold design inspiration, while a floral theme pays tribute to Nathaniel Wallich – who designed Singapore’s botanic garden in 1822. The latter plays out in the flourishes on staff jackets, six larger-than-life floral paintings by Italian artist Arianna Caroli in reception, and the lobby’s vast ceiling sculpture, made of 700 hand-blown glass leaves. The botanical theme continues in the hotel’s 223 rooms and suites, each accented with purple in homage to Singapore’s lav-
ender-toned Miss Joaquim orchid. Regular travellers will find the reassuringly luxurious rooms spacious, a rarity in Singapore’s dense urban jungle. More unusually, the hotel commissioned local artist William Sim to design a colouring book – the whimsical illustrations of the lion city’s landmarks will appeal to kids – and two robot butlers (currently on trial), which deliver minibar refreshments to your door. Cabanas situated on The Lawn (a five-floor high patch of grass) and the mid-air pool and jacuzzi shaded by frangipani trees and skyscrapers, both offer respite from the bustle below. Not to be outdone, the bar offers herbal flourishes too. Cocktails feature herbs such as mint and thyme grown on the hotel’s own balcony, and the restaurant Racines (“roots” in French), where dishes of locally-farmed frog legs come in parsley butter or Szechuan-style, for example, reflecting the hotel’s twin origins and diverse inspirations.
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD First a sleepy fishing village, the arrival of the docks in 1864 transformed Tanjong Pagar into a heaving mass of rickshaw haulers and rich traders. After decades of decline, it became the first area to be designated for conservation in the 1980s. Today the historic shophouses are home to the highest number of Michelin-recommended restaurants in the city making Tanjong Pagar a premier foodie destination.
Emirates operates four daily services from Dubai to Singapore. Choose from two daily A380 services and two daily services operated by the Boeing 777300ER. From Singapore, Emirates offers nonstop flights to Dubai, Brisbane and Melbourne.
50 WOOSTER, RESIDENCE NO. 5N Soho, NYC
Concept Design by Sara Tecchia Built by Daryl Wugalter - Figure Ground Inc. Custom lighting by Hervé Descottes - L’Observatoire International 4,800 sq. ft. | Private Elevator Entrance | Balcony Terrace | EcoSmart Fireplace Burner REPRESENTED BY:
Susan Meisel, Meisel Real Estate meiselrealestate.com | 001-917-330-3033
24 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
24.8204° N, 56.1354° E
PRICE: FROM US$900 PER NIGHT
Updates to Jumeirah Al Qasr offer a refreshing luxury in the heart of coastal Dubai
A palace for the modern age WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS
THREE DINING PICKS Khaymat al Bahar Pick a view – pool or sea – and settle back for an authentic Lebanese feast. Try the kibbeh, lamb makanek and battata harra (fried potatoes). Hide At this American meatery, guests can select their choice of steak from a glass-fronted cube, where cuts are carefully aged by the chef. Aboretum The largest dining space at Al Qasr and the most grand; the Arabian Gulf acting as a backdrop to mosaic fountains and metres of white marble.
As a concierge leads me to my suite at Jumeirah Al Qasr – the palatial 294-room property set within the canals of Madinat Jumeirah – we pass three families happily lost in a warren of corridors and water features. Though swiftly redirected by attentive staff, their confusion only seeks to illustrate the sheer breadth of this Dubai mainstay. First opened in 2004, Al Qasr was known in the city as a bastion of traditional Arabian luxury – its name, after all, a direct translation of ‘the palace’. Undergoing a refurbishment in 2018, that vibe is still very much in place, but with the addition of considerably updated suites. There are nine categories of room, ranging in size from a cute 55sqm to a 115sqm Royal Suite, which – as my abra captain solemnly informs me – usually hosts celebrities.
As comfortable as the lodging is, the real draw of Al Qasr lies outside. Set in 40 hectares, golf carts will whiz guests across the property to one of a myriad number of options. Families can play a life-size game of chess, head to the Wild Wadi Waterpark for a day or to an impressively diverse kid’s club; whilst couples should check out the three private pools – one is adults only – or the outdoor massage cabanas at Talise Spa, an award-winning, frangipani-scented slice of tranquility set amidst semi-tropical gardens. All of the activities above are included in the room rate, allowing guests to switch off and enjoy everything the property has to offer. And on a balmy evening, perhaps nothing beats cruising Madinat’s waterways, an abra slowly making ripples in the canal’s inky waterways.
Planning a visit to Dubai and the UAE? Watch Emirates & Dubai TV on today’s flight to see fun things to do including Tourist Attractions, Dining, Activities, Entertainment and Golfing.
THE FEWER COMPONENTS, THE MORE EFFICIENT AND FASCINATING THE PRODUCT. LESS IS MORE! VITROCSA HAS REINVENTED THE PIVOTING DOOR FOR A RESULT THAT IS BOTH TECHNIC ALLY AND AESTHETIC ALLY SUPERIOR .
26 / GLOBAL / COLUMN
CONGO 4.0383° S, 21.7587° E
Dom in the Congo Hunting a Congolese myth puts Dom Joly in a dangerous spot…
I’ve often travelled to supposedly “dangerous” countries. Coming home I get statements like: “It must have been very scary”, and I nod and look thoughtful for a second as they absorb my incredible bravery. The truth, of course, is that most of the “dangerous” countries are a joy to travel in. They have no tourists, no budget airline flights and their people practically roll out the red carpet when you visit. I use the word ‘most’ as this is not always the case. Take the Congo, for instance. I visited what is known as the “good” Congo, the one whose capital is Brazzaville and sits on the banks of the River Congo directly opposite Kinshassa, capital of the “bad” Congo. I was in the country to hunt monsters. I was trying to see if there was any truth to the legend of the Mkele Mbembe, a dinosaur-type creature that supposedly inhabited a remote lake in the far north of the country. After three days of hard travel I got to the village, whose inhabitants were the unofficial guardians of the lake. I needed to get both their permission and their help to get me to the lake. I thought this would be fairly easy. How wrong I was. The villagers called a meeting and it was explained to me that we should communicate through a man known as Porte-Parole who
would relay our discussions so that we never directly spoke. This was supposedly to avoid any heated exchanges, but it didn’t work too well. The villagers wanted a fairly eye-watering sum of money to help me find the lake, and it was money that I didn’t have. Discussions went on all day until finally, after eight hours, a figure was reached that I could afford, and the deal was done. To celebrate the villagers threw a party at which I was the guest of honour. We partied all night until my intended guide to the lake took a sudden and violent disliking to me and tried to attack me with a machete. He had to be held down and then tied to a nearby tree. I quickly realised that I was never going to see the lake and slipped out of the village and off in a canoe at dawn before even worse things happened. I felt like a coward, but I also felt happy to be alive. Having made my way back to Brazzaville, I spent a couple of happy, unexciting days being a tourist. To my surprise and delight there was a large and flourishing Lebanese community in town. I therefore unexpectedly found myself feeling a lot more at home by the banks of the Congo than I’d anticipated. I should have taken some hummus on my trip to Lake Tele – hummus solves everything.
Stay for aed 199 with theme park tickets!
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GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 29
Scientists have captured the first-ever image of a black hole, an achievement that has mammoth implications for the future of science WORDS: JESS HOLLAND
A dispatch from outer space
The first recorded image of a black hole, taken by eight radio telescopes at once
At the heart of an elliptical galaxy called Messier 83, located 53 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Virgo, there’s a whirling cosmic object billions of times more massive than the sun. Its mass is so disproportionate to its size that it has bored a hole into the fabric of spacetime: get too close and it will suck you into a pit from which nothing – not even light – can escape. This chasm is surrounded by a radiant ring of particles whipping around it almost at light speed, formed from matter being ripped to pieces by gravity and heated to a temperature of billions of degrees. This isn’t the kind of hot and hardto-reach destination usually covered in Open Skies’ pages, but it’s one that has grabbed the attention of the world’s media in recent months. That’s because, on 10 April, scientists unveiled an unsimulated image of this supermassive black hole; the first such image that has ever been produced.
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“The level of interest has been amazing,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Kramer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, in Bonn, Germany, and a key member of the team behind this accomplishment. He’s speaking via Skype right after a small and belated celebration with colleagues, a couple of weeks after they first shared their finding with the world. “It’s much more attention than we ever expected,” he adds, “not just from colleagues, but also from neighbours and people on the street. It’s almost become iconic.” The black hole image was captured by a team of more than 200 researchers from Europe, East Asia and the Amer-
icas, who used eight radio telescopes located in remote and high-altitude spots across the world, including the volcanoes of Hawaii and the icy peaks of the Antarctic. Thanks to the way data recorded by these telescopes at the exact same moment was combined, they functioned like one giant virtual telescope as big as the Earth. The size of this data was so vast that it had to be physically transported rather than digitally transferred. When this information was eventually processed into a final image, Kramer says, he was “just totally blown away.” Not by the image itself, he adds – a dark circle surrounded by a fuzzy, glowing
ring – but by what it means for Einstein’s theory of general relativity. According to this theory, time and space are directions in a single object called spacetime, which can be warped and curved by the matter and energy in it. One consequence of the theory is that a massive and ultra-compact object could create a hole in spacetime that not even light could escape. Although such a phenomenon was a mathematical consequence of Einstein’s own theory, it seemed so outlandish to the scientist at the time that he argued that these holes couldn’t possibly be real. Now, as Kramer points out, “we know for certain that black holes ex-
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1. Arguably the most famous space telescope: The Hubble 2. Event Horizon Telescope Director Sheperd Doeleman reveals the image at a conference 3. Arizona’s Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) was one of eight telescopes used to capture the image 4,5. Scientists from MIT’s Haystack Observatory were part of the 200-strong astronomer team 6. Schoolchildren discuss the finding in Zhuji, China
ist, because we can see them. We have indisputable evidence that this is the case.” He adds, “The fact that we can now use technology that wasn’t known to Einstein when he wrote down his equations, and yet what you see is completely consistent with the predictions of general relativity, that is an important milestone. Textbooks before and after the image will be different, because new textbooks will always have that image inside.” Although the image shared in April was the culmination of years of work by hundreds of people, Kramer adds that “this is only the beginning” of a new era. “We’ve just opened a new window
that allows us to look at many more black holes in other galaxies,” he says, and more and better images will follow. “Maybe in a number of years it will be boring and accepted. If that’s the case that’s great. But with a little bit more effort we can do so much more.” The team behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), as the network of linked telescopes is called, has already set its sights on a new target: the black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*. Researchers have already begun gathering observations of this object, and hope to produce an image in the next “year or so,” according to an EHT statement.
This black hole is much smaller than the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, which makes it more difficult to capture, but it is also much closer, and it has other properties that are better known by scientists. Creating an image of Sagittarius A*, Kramer says, may not light up the public’s imagination to the same degree as the first black hole image, because it won’t be the first of its kind. However, “from a physicists point of view, it’s even more exciting,” he says, because of the way this extra information can be combined with the visual data. “I’m very much looking forward to that.” In the meantime, experts and non-scientists alike continue to marvel at the
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7. The South Pole Telescope in Antarctica 8. Workers maintain a telescope at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, Germany
black hole image that has already been unveiled, and what it means on multiple levels. Part of the reason it became so instantly iconic, Kramer says, is because of its connection to the famous name of Albert Einstein, and the fact that black holes “are almost a part of pop culture” because of their role in science fiction. But there is also something deeper going on. Black holes remind us that the universe we live in is a much stranger and more enigmatic place than day-today life might suggest. Theories ascribe properties to these phenomena that overturn our perception of every reality: the fact that time and space are fixed
and constant, and that cause always precedes effect. It’s still a mystery what happens inside black holes, where spacetime is warped to an incomprehensible degree. We are living in a golden age of interest in astronomy, with a new commercial space race getting underway, the world celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the moon landing, and the first direct observation of gravitational waves happening just a few years ago. But people have always stared up in fascination at objects in the night sky, Kramer says, and ascribed special meanings and mystical powers to them.
He mentions the existence of Stone Age structures that seem to be built with the guidance of astronomers, to line up with celestial bodies in certain ways. They suggest, he says, that “[we have] always looked up at the sky asking where we come from, where we’re going to – basically the fundamental questions for humanity. That’s what makes us human.”
Space Movies on ice brings you some of Hollywood’s greatest-ever movies about space exploration including First Man, Apollo 13, Gravity, The Martian and more.
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41.0082° N, 28.9784° E
Vestiges of old Turkey rub shoulders with vintage fashion boutiques, politically-charged graffiti and new wave coffee houses in this sea-sprayed Anatolian neighbourhood
Kadıköy-Moda, Istanbul WORDS & IMAGES: SARAH FREEMAN
DID YOU KNOW?
Archaeologists have uncovered artefacts dating as far back as 3500 BC in this historic hood.
Istanbul’s once-sleepy Asian side is undergoing something of a renaissance thanks to Kadıköy-Moda, a dynamic neighbourhood positioned on the Bosphorus Strait’s southern tip. The best way to arrive here is by ferry, still one of the city’s cheapest thrills at less than a dollar, and a transcontinental commute for many over the Bosphorus, the city’s raison d’être. Much of Kadıköy hugs this arterial strait, and nowhere competes with its three-kilometre-long waterside park (otherwise known as Moda’s seaside) for sunset views of The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Linger in its promontory Çay gardens and backgammon houses and you’ll soon realise life here is about sea, tea and more tea. Even the hood’s docile stray cats, beloved by the city’s residents since Ottoman times, have embraced Kadıköy’s easy-going milieu. Beyond the beach, which you’re never more than a 15-minute stroll from, are flea markets full of curios, raw juice bars, spice sellers, and cultural-bar hybrids like Arkaoda, pushing the neighbourhood’s creative envelope. Boarding Bahariye streets’ historic, rattling tram (that circles in a clockwise loop), is a good way to get your bearings. Hop on and off at streets like rainbow umbrella-shaded Ziyâ Bey, Bağdat Avenue – the Champs-Élysées of Istanbul – and Kadife Sokak, lined with pubs, tattoo parlours and live music haunts. Then hit up a vintage fashion storm on Leylek Sokak, which more than lives up to Kadıköy Moda’s moniker.
Long before the bearded baristas moved in, Armenians and elite Ottomans were renaming the neighbourhood formerly known as Chalcedon, ‘Moda’, meaning “trendy”. Alongside the popup galleries and art-house cinemas sits thousands of years of history. In 685 BC Kadıköy Moda became the first settlement on the Bosphorus, and it claims the city’s oldest mosque, built 100 years before the Fall of Constantinople. Its no wonder residents call themselves Kadıköylu rather than Istanbullu; there’s plenty to be proud of here.
BARIŞ MANÇO MUSEUM The chances are you’ve never heard of Barış Manço, despite him ranking as one of Turkey’s most internationally successful recording artists, whose death provoked an outbreak of national mourning two decades ago. You don’t need to be an Anatolian rock fan to appreciate the national treasure’s wonderfully wacky 19th Century mansion-cum-museum, though. Its here the Turkish Elvis recorded over 200 songs and edited his popular children’s TV shows. Between his flamboyant concert outfits and jewellery designs, there’s prized collections of Belle Époque glassware and Napoleon III furniture, spread over three floors linked by a keyboard staircase. Don’t skip the basement’s Knight’s Room or Winter Garden, chock-full with instruments that include a 1905 harmonium. Caferağa Mahallesi, Yusuf Kamil Paşa Sok. No:5, 34710 Kadıköy, +90 216 337 94 13
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Near to Moda Pier you’ll find mouth-watering midye dolma stands peddling Turkey’s favourite street food; lemon-doused mussels stuffed with herbed rice, pine nuts and currants.
A SIX-MINUTE WALK
VINTAGE ROOM Upgrade your wardrobe with hand embroidered clutches from Kyoto, nineties Fendi sunglasses and French taffeta cocktail dresses at this justopened boutique. Its proud Kadıköylu owner, Zelig Toplar, is a former industrial engineer who now scours ateliers from Singapore to Berlin for vintage treasure. The interior; a vision of crystal chandeliers, antique armchairs and walnut sideboards – is as gorgeous as the apparel. Not for sale but worth the visit alone is Zelig’s Great Grandmother’s 200-year-old velvet bindallı, an Ottoman wedding gown – framed like a museum piece on the wall. Caferağa Mahallesi, Leylek Sk 8a, 34710 Kadıköy, email@example.com
AN EIGHT-MINUTE WALK
KADIKÖY ANTIQUES STREET A multi-century journey in one short street, eye up Persian carpets, dusty gramophones and porcelain tea sets between steaming cups of Turkish tea with convivial shop owners. Tellalzade Sokak, Kadıköy
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A SEVEN-MINUTE T3 TRAM
ASUMAN We recommend you leave calorie counting at the door of this temple to chocolate. Decadent desserts like feraye (a Belgian waffle with molten chocolate) and Müjgan (a posh éclair drenched in steaming coffee) are worth the 20-minute table wait, but for an instant sugar hit, follow your nose to its Wonka-styled chocolate room. Belgian-sourced with novel Turkish flavours is Asuman’s M.O. – think rose petal-studded tablets and tahini-flavoured truffles, which fly off the shelves. Die-hard chocoholics can even smell the part with their
namesake cologne, layered with subtle chocolate aromas. Caferağa Mah Şair Nefi Sokak 9 9, D:a, 34710 Kadıköy, +90 216 338 69 54, asuman.com
A FOUR-MINUTE TAXI
MODA AILE ÇAY BAHÇESI Shaded by old sycamore trees, this open-air tea garden’s westward facing views of the Marmara Sea make it the perfect sunset perch. Do as locals do and BYOS like street-stall-bought Simit (Turkish bagel with sesame) and mastic ice cream from Ali Usta, a local institution. Then let veteran waiters settle your Turkish tea and coffee bill the old-fashioned way, by counting up your glass empties. Caferağa Mahallesi, Park İçi Yolu, 34710 Kadıköy, +90 216 337 99 86
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AN EIGHT-MINUTE TAXI
SÜREYYA OPERA HOUSE Built by a Turkish politician and designed by an Armenian, this stateowned, art nouveau opera house’s charm is its eccentricity. The city’s first musical theatre on the Asian side has spent most of its 92 years as a movie house, only raising the curtains on its first operetta in 2007. Making up for lost time, the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet now wows an unstuffy, sneaker-wearing crowd, with thrice-weekly performances and nosebleed seats starting from as little as 40 TL (US$7). Arrive early to toast a few pre-theatre drinks to its art deco foyer, modelled on Paris’ Champs-Elysées Theatre. Osmanağa Mah., General Asım Gündüz Cd. No:29, 34714 Kadıköy, +90 216 346 15 31, firstname.lastname@example.org
A FOUR-MINUTE T3 TRAM
RITA MODA With past lives as an iron sculptor workshop and painters studio, this three-storied Anatolian mansion has been reborn as an elegant new restaurant-slash-cocktail-bar. Its creative spirit endures thanks to an experimental drinks menu and eclectic décor of mid-century furniture, art deco detailing and lashings of petrol blue and dusky pink velvet. Bow-tied barmen whip up hot pomegranate margaritas and pumpkin spice espresso martinis at its ceramic-tiled bar, whilst upstairs, a stylish crowd dig into sharing platters like topik, a traditional Armenian meze. Feeling adventurous? Order the grilled lamb intestines with chilli pep-
per jam, and (for added kick) their ‘Oh Eliza’ cocktail, blended with Jalapeno-infused Tequila. Caferağa Mah. Şair Nefi Sokak No:14 Kadikoy, +90 216 338 72 72
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SHORT ON FOOTPRINT, LONG ON SKY, NEW YORK’S ‘SUPER TALL’ SKYSCRAPERS STAND ACCUSED OF ZOMBIE URBANISM. CONOR PURCELL EXAMINES THE CLAIMS
WORDS: CONOR PURCELL
44 Right: 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the world
THE SUPER TALLS CHANGING MANHATTAN’S SKYLINE
CENTRAL PARK TOWER
ities change all the time, usually slowly and usually imperceptibly. It’s hard, however, to miss the new generation of super tall skyscrapers that are changing New York’s skyline. Stand in Central Park and you can see them: some finished, some not, all of them pencil thin and incredibly tall, casting long, narrow shadows over the park’s southern end. While New York has always been a city that built upwards and has never been shy about large-scale urban development, this new breed of skyscrapers seems different somehow; a by-product of a neo-liberal fantasy where apartments are ‘assets,’ and where air is something to be bought and sold. Take one of the first super talls: 432 Park Avenue. Described by one critic as an “elongated toothpaste box,” it rises more than 1,400 feet into the air, yet has a footprint of only 93 square feet. It’s ‘slenderness ratio’ is just 1-15 (the ratio of the width of its base to its height), and looks from a certain angle, almost too narrow, as if the inhabitants on the highest floors should fear for their safety. Or, witness the rising form of Central Park Tower, which will be the tallest residential building in the world when it’s completed, a vast glass monolith, looming over the southern section of Central Park. These are towers for the ultra-wealthy; glossy structures filled with luxurious apartments costing anywhere between US$10 and $90 million, places for the global elite to park their assets as much as places to live. Aside from the morals of such naked capitalism, the aesthetics of this recent push upward have also been called into question. The city’s architecture critics, never shy in voicing their opinions, have not held back. The renowned New York architect Steven Holl said: “If we rewind to Manhattan in 1934 and buildings like
the Rockefeller Center, thin and vertical architecture marked great public urban space,” he told Dezeen. “The Empire State Building’s vertical dominance offered a public observatory deck. No such public space will be offered by our present privatised spires. Not only do they deny public access to the top and cast long shadows on the street, they will seldom be occupied, as their $90 million apartments are financial instruments, not really apartments for everyday life. Many of these profane spires have been built with tax abatements from our once public-oriented city government.” So are these buildings just the inevitable result of America’s hyper-capitalist society, the obvious outcome of trying to squeeze as much ‘value’ from every new development? That’s part of it, but it’s also down to improvements in technology, which allow such feats of engineering to be built, partly it’s down to developers wanting to make as much money as possible, and partly it’s down to the fact that developers can transfer ‘air rights’ from adjacent buildings and build higher than ever before. “The current epidemic of out-of-context as-ofright development is many years in the making,” says Tara Kelly, Vice President of Policy and Programs at The Municipal Art Society of New York, an advocacy group that focuses on the public realm. “But it’s the result of a combination of two factors: engineering advances that allow towers to rise higher and skinnier than previously possible, and market conditions that make these properties profitable enough to justify the enormous construction costs.” Another driver has been the development of the condominium form of ownership, which allows developers to start booking sales off-plan, vastly reducing their risk. Condos can also be bought and sold without anyone’s approval, unlike new co-ops, in which new
This 95-storey tower has been beset by issues (both financial and construction) since work began in 2014. It’s set to open next year and will be the tallest residential building in the world when finished. With Central Park views, the few available units left range from $6.9 to $63 million.
111 W 57TH STREET
Another luxurious residential super tall, 111 W 57th Street (also known as the Steinway Tower), looms over Central Park, at a mammoth 1,428 feet tall. Some analysts believe the tower will feature the first $100 million sale, and given its location on ‘Billionaire’s Row’, who would bet against it?
432 PARK AVENUE
The tallest residential building in the world when completed in 2015, 432 Park Avenue was the first of the new era of super talls to hit Manhattan. It was also revealed that more than 50 per cent of the building’s apartments were owned by foreign investors, most of which are unoccupied more than 10 months of the year.
Designed by Jean Nouvel, 53W53 is a 1,250 feet-tall skyscraper adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. The mixed-use tower will feature offices, apartments (ranging from $3 to $80 million) and is one of the more visually interesting of the new breed of super talls.
Slated for Fifth Avenue, this tower would become New York’s tallest skyscraper by roof height upon completion. Consisting of 1,556 feet of office space, it would dominate Midtown Manhattan (at least until a taller building is approved), provided it can get past the New York zoning laws.
Left: The One57 skyscraper, also known as The Billionaire’s Building
buyers need to be approved by a tenants’ board. Ultimately, though, these towers are about wealth, and what better way for the ultra-wealthy to maintain their assets? “People are parking their money in New York and London,” says the architect A.M. Stern, “because they seem safe in comparison to the instability in the rest of the world.” They are also, crucially, anonymous. You won’t find entry buzzers with names at the entrance to 432 Park Avenue or 111 West 57th Street. The ownership of these apartments is often hidden behind arcane offshore companies, and even the physical apartments themselves, floating high above the city, cannot be seen into by any of their neighbours. The apartments themselves are filled with curated libraries, yoga studios, dog bathing facilities and professional kitchens. The interiors, as luxurious as they are, are almost beside the point. “If you have to pay six to eight thousand dollars per [square] foot,” says the architect Rafael Viñoly, “and you design a unit for someone who has that kind of money… you’re wasting your time. Who wouldn’t want to do whatever they want with that space?” And as the towers get taller (and thinner), the number of apartments shrinks. The developer Bruce Eichner built CitySpire in 1987; it had 300 apartments on 50 floors. He built Madison Square Park Tower in 2017 – it has 83 apartments across 65 floors. Putting just one apartment on a floor promotes a sense of exclusivity, guarantees 360 degree views and ensures no useable floor space is wasted on corridors or elevator hallways. While the super wealthy might love these towers of excess, others are less than happy. The architecture critic Michael Sorkin wrote in Architectural Record: “The rise of the horrible, steroidal collection of towers near Central Park, with their absentee oligarch owners... their limp starchitect designs, their shadows over the park, their public sub-
sidies, and their preening San Gimignano competition for the most vertiginous views has launched a thousand critiques of the city’s rampant up-bulking.” While it’s easy to blame rapacious developers and the greed of faceless overseas investors, the role of city authorities has also come under a lot of scrutiny. Elizabeth Diller, another New York-based architect, and partner in the architectural firm Diller Scofidio and Renfro, believes a large part of the problem is due to a lack of planning. “I believe in planning logics where you have neighbourhoods, and you don’t just do one building at a time,” she says. “We need more planning vision in the city than there is now, where there’s no thinking of the effect of tall buildings. Every property owner is in it for themselves, building into outer space.” New York though, has had a succession of gilded ages and arguably has always been a city that looked upwards. The city’s first ‘skyscraper,’ the Tower Building at 50 Broadway, was eleven storeys high when it was completed in 1889. That was surpassed the following year by the 20-storey, 308-feet New York World Building, which was the tallest building in the world at the time. By 1931, the Empire State Building opened, all 1,250 feet of it, a giant leap, literally and metaphorically, from just a few decades before. The reason towers grew so much in height over the intervening period was due to improvements in technology, specifically, steel frames replaced load-bearing masonry walls, which were difficult to use on small plots of land. Another technology that helped the advent of the skyscraper? The elevator. New York built upwards around its financial centre in Downtown, before moving towards Midtown, clustering towers around Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. But this new generation of skyscrapers is not just about New
York, but a story about every global city where the ultra-wealthy buy property. “These towers are the most visible symbol of inequality,” says Carol Willis, the founder and director of New York’s Skyscraper Museum and adjunct associate professor of Urban Studies at Columbia University. “The sales price of most of these towers is now about $5,000 or $6,000 per square foot and it can go up to $10,000 per square foot. There is an enormous amount of resentment, about this type of ‘zombie urbanism’ such as Billionaire’s Row.” Pressure groups are not giving up on New York’s skyline without a fight however. Most want similar things: more public reviews of the planning decisions, and less leeway given to developers. “We would like to see the public review process made more robust and more effective, with a greater role for local stakeholders whose neighbourhoods are affected by these changes in development,” says The Municipal Art Society’s Kelly. “New York is currently involved in a revision process for our City Charter, the document that defines the functions of the New York City government. As part of that effort, we have called for codifying a comprehensive planning process that addresses issues such as infrastructure, schools, open space, transit, historic preservation, resiliency, and sustainability alongside the factors of building density, bulk, and height that our current Zoning Resolution considers.” It will remain to be seen who wins the battle for New York’s skies.
Emirates offers three daily A380 services from Dubai to New York JFK. Choose from two nonstop daily services and a third daily service that makes a stop in Milan. To Newark, Emirates offers a nonstop daily service from Dubai and a second daily service via Athens.
T R A P,
U N L I K E LY
LU N AT I C
N O W,
49 WORDS: LOUISE LEUNG PHOTO: YASUYOSHI CHIBA
Revival of the Mombasa-Nairobi line has been financed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to bring back trading routes connecting China with Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe via networks of upgraded railways and ports
“Please look out of the window to your right, to see elephants as we pass through the Tsavo National Park,” a polite voice advises over the loudspeaker. As we glide through the arid, yellow grasslands of one of Kenya’s oldest national parks, all eyes are peeled for big game trundling between the iconic baobab trees that define typical postcards of African plains at sunset. The Tsavo is home to the classic big five game animals: lion, black rhino, cape buffalo and leopards, as well as the elephants. Any of them could be spotted from our seats. But this isn’t a safari. Rather, it’s a ride on Kenya’s new high-speed railway that links the
cosmopolitan capital of Nairobi in the north, with its hipster cafes, bourgeois boutiques and high-rise towers, to the Indian Ocean oasis of Mombasa on the West coast of Africa. Built and financed by the Chinese, it was conceived by the Kenyan government as a faster way to move cargo from the city to the port of Mombasa – the train line was never meant to be a tourist attraction. But since opening in May 2017, it’s become exactly that. The Kenyan Railways Corporation has had to lay on extra services to meet passenger demand (there are now two passenger trains per day in each direction), and says that it has moved 2.7 million passengers to date. The service regularly sells out at busy periods. The safari-esqe announcements were added as a response to the tourist demand and have become a staple of the journey, delivering interesting snippets of historical and geographic information as the railway zooms through Nairobi National Park, then bisects Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks, with the bluish peak of Mount Kilimanjaro visible in the distance just after half way through the ride. Dazzles of zebras regularly trot along beside the tracks, casually eyeing up this modern new beast as the train pulls into various stations along the route. Before the Madaraka Express tourists travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa by land had two options: they either braved the treacherous, single-lane road that snakes down the country and is regularly besieged by sandstorms and held up by freight trucks overturned while trying to overtake – a journey that takes 16 hours, on a good day. Or they could have bought a ticket on the storied Lunatic Express, the single-gauge railway line built by British colonialists at the turn of the 20th Century, which became something of a legend among travellers and historians alike. The Nairobi Railway Museum, opened in 1971, tells much of its legendary history. This dusty corner of the capital, which looks like a junkyard for old steam trains (you can easily climb inside trains from more than 100 years ago without being spotted or stopped)
Clockwise top left: Commuters make their way through Mombasa’s station; Rhinos in Nakuru National Park; Engineers and workers on the original railway line, circa. 1890
in by the Queen of England when she rode the train remains in the museum, utterly unprotected and unmanned. By the end of the 21st Century, however, it was tourists who were being driven crazy by the British line. It regularly left Nairobi hours behind schedule, and could take as long as 24 hours more than scheduled to finally pull in to Mombasa, leaving travellers stranded in obscure stations
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; AFP
and where the gift shop is only sometimes staffed, images and relics from the now-retired line give a glimpse into Kenya’s colonial past. The Uganda Railway, as it was officially called, was built by 32,000 workers, many of whom were shipped in from India, and newspaper cuttings at the museum reveal just how many men were savaged as lions attacked their tented camps at nighttime – and sometimes even climbed into the train cabins. In total, about 2,500 men died building the line – more from the back-breaking work than the hungry wildlife – but this phenomenal engineering achievement succeeded in joining the British protectorate of Mombasa to the colony of Uganda, uniting the disparate tribes in between as the country today known as Kenya. The Lunatic Express – so named for the mental state it drove the labourers who built it to – was a matter of British pride. The now-threadbare seat once sat
such as the mountain village of Voi while engineers were called to repair a patch of century-old track, or scrape big game road kill from the line. It undeniably had a romantic charm, but for anyone on a schedule it was an enemy to timekeeping. The Madaraka Express, by contrast, has never once been late, according to the Kenyan government, and takes just four and a half hours to reach Mombasa, costing passengers 1,000 Kenyan shillings for a ticket in first class – that’s four times faster than the Lunatic Express, when the British train was having a good day. Seats can be booked in advance online. If the Lunatic Express was a symbol of Kenya’s past, the Madaraka Express is what the government wants visitors to see as its future. The comfortable cabins are spotless, being mopped and swept every 30 minutes, there are phone charging stations by every window seat and friendly staff dressed in flight attendant-style uniforms regularly bustle down the aisle
with a packed food and drinks trolley. As the train sweeps through the countryside, you get a sense of how vast Kenya is and the modernising effect the train line is having at everywhere it stops. Huge, glass spaceship-like stations have now landed in previously small rural outposts such as Voi, a jumping off spot for those going on safaris in the East Tsavo where the long grass now grows over the old train tracks. Locals say that since the trainline began stopping in Voi the town has swelled, with high-rise apartment blocks springing up and new restaurants and hotels to cater to the tourists who pile in twice a day. As the train pushes further south and nearer to Mombasa, the land becomes more lush – fertile hills stretch out like inviting green gardens as the twinkling blue sea of Mombasa comes into view, illustrating just what a diverse nation Kenya is geographically. The government has plans to showcase that botanic brilliance and ecolog-
ical excellence even further when the next section of the line opens later this year (the exact date is currently unconfirmed, but the line is built). The next phase will take tourists north of Nairobi through the big blue skies of Kenya’s Rift Valley, zooming past the huts of Maasai Mara people all the way up to Naivasha, famous for its geothermal hot springs and the jumping off point for Hell’s Gate National Park, home to the famous rock formation that inspired the opening scene of the Disney animated classic film The Lion King. With so much new scenery to take in at 120 kilometres an hour, this definitely isn’t a train ride you’ll be wanting to sleep through.
Emirates operates two nonstop daily services from Dubai to Nairobi with the Boeing 777-300ER.
THE WEATHER REPORT
A PHOTO ESSAY BY MARZENA SKUBATZ
Most photographers come back from location after capturing their subject. They might stay for weeks, or months, but onwards they must travel – in search of their next muse. Not so for Marzena Skubatz, whose series in Iceland drew her inexorably into the country. Her photo series, The Weather Report I, follows Billa – who runs a weather station and farm in one of the most inaccessible regions of the country. “I fell in love with the place the first time I saw it,” says Skubatz. “I was looking to spend time at one of the most remote places I could find, and was interested in helping with the farm work and learning about the weather reporting process.” Thought at first wary – Billa took one year to agree to be photographed –
a friendship slowly blossomed between the pair that, Skubatz says, made the farm “feel like a second home.” As well as building an emotional collection to her human subjects – Billa’s daughter Heida also returned to the farm after studying in Reykjavik – Skubatz also started to develop another relationship: one to the location itself. “The weather station is at the end of the fjord, which means I can watch and listen to the sea all through the day and night. The experience of being so close to the sea all by yourself, all the time, shifts something within you,” she says. “It throws you back to your most inner thoughts and emotions.” Though starkly beautiful, with frequent northern lights streaking across
winter skies, the work is demanding, and the climate often excruciatingly bleak. Billa sends temperature and data from the weather station every three hours – even throughout the night. “I mostly come to this place in the wintertime, when everything is more challenging and exhausting,” says Skubatz. “The sea can get really wild, and the northwind really strong. Sometimes it feels like the storms are going to wash away my face. But it also makes me feel alive and reminds me how small I am as a human being at the same time.” At first overwhelmed by the surrounding nature, Skubatz learnt to curate her approach – shooting quickly due to limited light, as well as reconciling her photography work with the manual labour she also took on. “I’ve al-
most broken my equipment a few times, running down the hills trying to catch a sheep, or climbing up a mountain. “At some point I decided that I cannot do both at the same time, and left my camera at home to help with farm work, photographing the project as much as possible in my free time.” The series examines both emotional and physical landscape – the geography and people simultaneously imbued with feelings of isolation and independence, of dedication and belonging. It is why, says Skubatz, she has been returning for the last seven years. It is lonely and often thankless work, but for these women, something unspoken exists in this wild place; keeping them there day after day, month after month – year after year.
WORDS: BEN EAST
C O N Q U E R I N G
PHOTO: ALEXIS BERG
D E S E RT
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CROSS A LAND MOST CONSIDER UNINH ABITABLE? THESE DAYS, THE ALLURE IS LESS ABOUT CONQUERING UNCHARTED TERRITORY – AND MORE ABOUT FINDING ONESELF
Above: Max Calderan Right: The Marathon des Sables, oft-described as the toughest marathon on earth
s a seven-year-old growing up outside of Venice, Max Calderan used to pore over a muchloved encyclopaedia. One day, he was stopped in his tracks by a page about the Arabian Peninsula’s Rub’ al Khali, known as the Empty Quarter – the largest sand desert in the world. He remembers the moment like it was yesterday. “A place where the Bedouin and camels are scared to move, that migratory birds avoid,” as he tells it, 45 years on. “I drew a picture of it, went to my mother, and told her I would be the first man to cross it alone. And from that day, my last thought before sleeping, my first thought when I woke up, was to do this. In this moment, I became a desert explorer.” Calderan, whose achievements to date include running 360km in 75 hours across Oman’s deserts in summer, 100km in 24 hours across the UAE desert while fasting and following a 437km line of the Tropic of Cancer – also in the desert – is still preoccupied by the Empty Quarter. “The secret of life is precisely here,” he says.
Calderan is not the first to be captivated by the strange allure of the desert. When Bertram Thomas crossed the Empty Quarter in 1930 he did so with 15 camels and their keepers, and talked of being seduced by a forbidden land with its virgin silences and merciless heat; “the last considerable terra incognita”. But while Thomas was keen to discover the geology and anthropology of the terrain, Calderan and the thousands who sign up for gruelling events such as the Marathon Des Sables – the event in the Sahara described as “an extraordinary race for extraordinary people in an extraordinary place” – are arguably embarking on a different adventure these days: the journey to discover themselves. “When I first went into the desert,” considers Calderan, “it was to try and find solutions to the problems in my life – and yes, to achieve something. But what you soon realise is that a sand dune can’t help you with that. It can kill you in five minutes. You have to keep silent, listen to the desert, let it become your
PHOTOS: ALEXIS BERG; MARTA BACARDIT
From top: Ragna Debats, who won the women’s Marathon Des Sables this year; Contestants must carry their own food as they run, and sleep in communal Berber tents
teacher. And then something incredible happens; you see things you know nobody else has ever seen; you are thinking where nobody else has ever thought before. By the end, you’ve got what you needed out of the journey, not what you wanted. There’s a big difference.” Calderan’s thoughtful, almost mystical approach to the desert might at first glance seem a long way removed from the attitude of champion professional trail runner Ragna Debats, who won the women’s Marathon Des Sables in her own range of Merrell running shoes. And yet the pull of the desert is the same. “There’s this great feeling of loneliness, of only seeing sand around you in these wide open spaces,” says the 40-year-old Dutch runner. “You do genuinely connect with nature and yourself in those moments, when you’re out there with your own food, with everything you need to survive. You focus on the puzzle – of running, resting, recovering – and nothing else. It is the ultimate challenge.” The Marathon Des Sables is certainly that. Dubbed the toughest footrace on earth, competitors set off on a six-day, 250km stage race through the dunes, jebels and salt plains of the Sahara. Temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees centigrade, runners have to carry their own food, water is rationed and communal Berber tents are pitched each night. “There were many things which made it into an interesting experience, shall we say,” laughs Debats. “Normally I get to a hotel for a one-day race and everything is optimal. But sharing a tent with eight others, carrying a backpack, dealing with the heat in the day and the cold at night, was as challenging as the actual running
– and I really wanted to prove a woman could cope with this as well.” In fact, by the end of the second day, Debats knew she was probably going to win the women’s race, so set herself a new target of finishing as high as possible overall: impressively, she was already close to the Top 10. But increasing pain caused by her backpack meant Debats ended up in such severe discomfort, she was fighting just to put one foot in front of the other a day later. “I went through some pretty bad moments,” she admits. Most people would have quit. In fact, amateur runner Jonathan Jenkins, who completed Marathon Des Sables last year to raise money for London Air Ambulance, did just that in 2016. “The reasons were justifiable – I wasn’t fit enough – but it was my head which got in a negative spin,” he explains. “As I ran I found myself putting together a narrative about how I would pull out, how I could tell myself this was a glorious failure,” he remembers. “When I did stop half-way through day four, I was relieved for about 15 minutes… and then spent the next two years regretting it.” So when Jenkins returned to the desert last year he made sure he was as mentally ready as he could be. Such psychological preparation, agrees Debats, is key. She’s sure that the work she did with Spanish sports psychologist Maritxell Bellatriu helped her overcome her own dark moments and see a difficulty as a challenge rather than a catastrophe. “Knowing how to redirect negative thoughts is a powerful strategy for difficult times where motivation fails,” says Bellatriu. “Mental preparation is as important as physical preparation, and developing skills such as trust, motivation and concentration allow us to optimise performance and maybe even enjoy the activity.” Even in the searing heat of the desert? “Well, the desert does have an added toughness,” she agrees. “The adverse conditions, the monotony in the landscape, the extreme climate… mentally it does need special preparation and you do need to anticipate helpful solutions and strategies.” But why take on this mental and physical trauma in the first place? The
common consensus is that it takes a ‘special kind of person’ to venture into the desert, up a mountain, or through a jungle. Bellatriu thinks the idea of testing yourself is actually more universal than that. “People need challenges,” she says. “We need to fix goals that give meaning to our lives and help us to disconnect from everyday stress. We need to overcome ourselves.” And while for an athlete like Debats the desert was another challenge to tick off, for someone like Jenkins, it was a life-changing experience. “You feel very, very small when you’re in the desert,” he says. “You’re going not very far for what seems like an eternity. So one time I just stopped with another guy and we looked up at the stars. It really was a magical moment, so far away from all the tiny things that annoy you in your daily life. “And there were a lot of people doing a lot of thinking and talking about what was important to them. Pretty much everyone apart from the elite athletes is doing it for someone else, and it’s their stories which keep you going when it hurts, when you’re hanging on to your running shorts at 3am during a sandstorm…” So crossing the finish line – which both Debats and Jenkins say seemed to be agonisingly close forever, thanks to a cruel heat haze – is a genuinely emotional experience, particularly as everyone gets the same medal. As a solo explorer, Calderan doesn’t have that communal feeling of achievement. But the long-lasting emotions are similar. “Because the desert gives you the right balance and alignment, once I leave I can transfer what I have experienced to the people around me,” he says. “So being in the desert also means I can be a good father, a good friend, a good person in my community. “If you can survive the desert, you can survive anything.”
Held in the city, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon takes place every year in January. Check out the highlights from 2019’s marathon in Emirates & Dubai TV on ice.
68 / EXPO 2020
Women try out an electric tricycle from Mobility for Africa that runs on solar power
The forward thinkers who are changing the world Expo 2020 Dubai’s US$100 million innovation and partnership programme Expo Live supports ingenious innovators who have devised socially impactful projects that help push the world towards a brighter future. From supporting refugees to cultivate a tasty income to a cheery robot that teaches computer programming, these ideas prove that innovation can come from anywhere, to everyone…
THE WHEELS ARE TURNING WITH SOLAR POWER Providing transport for our billions-strong global population, while
cutting our reliance on fossil fuels and arresting the alarming climate crisis, is one the world’s next great challenges. In Africa’s remote rural communities, those pressing needs are multiplied by more local concerns, particularly for the women who hold together families, yet often lack basic personal transport. Zimbabwe-based Mobility for Africa has an answer: provide them with solar-powered electric tricycles. As well as adding to the growing tranche of sustainable transport, the scheme is also helping to alleviate poverty for women and their families by enabling those who sell fresh produce to carry much greater quantities on the
tricycles than they could on foot. Mobility for Africa director Felicity Tawengwa says Expo Live’s funding will allow the expansion of a current pilot project to provide electric tricycles to more women, and to explore an affordable leasing model going forward. As the electric-vehicle revolution hits Africa, the benefits will be both regional and global. mobilityforafrica.com
COOKING UP A BETTER FUTURE The fallout of the global refugee crisis has spread far and wide, with implications stretching beyond the immediate concerns associated with the displacement of millions of people. In Malaysia, Expo Live grantee PichaEats is giving refugees dignity, purpose and an income with a scheme that is as tasty as it is innovative. After witnessing the fantastic culinary skills of many of the relocated population, particularly refugee mothers, PichaEats devised a project to sell authentic, home-cooked meals. These
GLOBAL / COLUMN / 69
talented cooks prepare a huge variety of dishes inspired by their home origins, and for every meal sold, they earn 50 per cent of the sales. The remainder is used to cover PichaEats’ operation costs. The project has already sold 100,000 meals since it began in 2016, providing much-needed income to about 100 women and their families and transforming lives so that children can stay in education rather than dropping out early to find work. The next step, thanks to Expo Live, will be to hire professional chefs to help the refugee cooks hone their cooking skills and menus, as well as boost marketing to reach even more customers. pichaproject.com
A ROBOT THAT TAKES YOU TO SCHOOL Putting a friendly face to a serious aim, Marty is a fun, educational robot designed to help children of all ages engage with programming – and solve a looming potential labour crisis in the process. “Computerisation and automation are going to shift the job market, so there’s a big need to get more kids engaged with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths),” explains Alexander ‘Sandy’ Enoch, the founder and CEO of Marty’s maker, UK startup Robotical. Enoch’s eureka moment came when he was looking for a Christmas present for his niece. He found that many smart toys offered little in the way of excitement or educational value, so quickly became boring. Marty, however, can be made to move using a variety of programming languages via a laptop or tablet – from basic expressional eyebrows to more complex dance moves, or even playing football. Children can also customise their Marty with accessories and liveries thanks to free 3D printing files. One clever user even made Marty voice-controlled by linking it with an online assistant. There are already 5,000 Martys, but Enoch says: “Expo Live will help us go from reaching thousands of students to tens of thousands of students.” Such news should put an even bigger smile on Marty’s face. robotical.io
MAPPING OUT AN ACCESSIBLE WORLD Visiting a location for the first time can prove daunting for anybody, but for people of determination, turning up unprepared can lead to insurmountable obstacles. Being able to find advance information about a site’s accessibility can make all the difference. Japanese wheelchair user Yuriko Oda, the founder of WheeLog, knew this from personal experience, and realised that collating accessibility information and presenting it in an easily-digestible format could have a significant impact on people across the globe. The resulting app creates an interactive crowdsourced map that allows wheelchair users to share and see the accessibility of public spaces. Its success is potentially exponential: the more users, the more information is gathered and shared, and as the resource grows, the more wheelchair users are able to plan trips with confidence and clarity. The World Health Organization estimates that about 65 million people worldwide rely on wheelchairs for their mobility. Thanks to Expo Live’s involvement, WheeLog can be expanded across the globe, in more languages, and including input from local governments, providing a vital service to millions of people. wheelog.com
Top and above: Examples from the fourth round of Expo Live’s Innovation Impact Grant Programme. After four cycles, Expo Live now supports 121 grantees from 65 countries, providing funding, guidance and exposure
For more about the upcoming Expo watch Expo 2020: A Timeless Celebration in Emirates & Dubai TV on ice.
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How historically important is the planet? Lewis Dartnell on how understanding the ground beneath our feet is key to understanding the world WORDS: BEN EAST
If you look out of your window right now, the planet you see beneath you might seem like a tapestry of oceans, seas, mountains, deserts and fields that we have shaped and bent to fit our own ends. But think a little deeper – in fact literally go deeper into the earth’s crust and actually it’s the very make-up of the Earth, from plate tectonics to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents – which has made us and the way we are in the 21st Century. That might sound obvious, of course, but actually the planetary processes are more intrinsically linked to the way we live our lives than we have ever imagined, says author and professor of science communication Lewis Dartnell in his new book, Origins: How The Earth Made Us. “Each of the great steps in human history are fundamentally caused
by the planet itself,” he says. “It’s thought all of modern humanity, for example, descends from a single exodus event out of Africa, entering the Arabian Peninsula during a climatic shift to wetter conditions and the greening of the area.” It’s a fascinating book which, in its scientific voyage of discovery into our past – “I only cover 5 million years of history in 300 pages,” he jokes - has huge relevance for our present and future, an important and sobering reminder that we ignore the ground beneath our feet at our peril. Not least during its astonishing section where Dartnell aligns a swathe of Democrat voting counties in the overwhelmingly Republican southeastern United States to a band of cretaceous rocks formed 86 million years ago. That might seem ridiculous, but take a step back and it makes perfect
sense; the rocks eventually led to distinctively fertile land, perfect for cotton growing, which in turn brought slaves to cultivate it, and those African Americans stayed put. When they could vote, they tended to support the policies of the Democrats, traditionally more attuned to problems of poverty that these people were facing. “All from a band of ancient sea-floor mud,” laughs Dartnell. “I loved exploring all these causal changes and links in this book. Here’s another one: the Arabian deserts are formed by atmospheric circulation and within them the camel became uniquely adapted to desert survival. So the camels were essential for the trade in incense, which began 4000 years ago from the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and carried across the deserts into Mesopotamia, the Levant and the Mediterranean. These kinds of routes that we often label as the Silk Roads were not just about trade; they were about the dissemination of ideas, technologies, philosophies, religions. It was the landscape and ecology of Eurasia that created this network – it was effectively the Internet of its time.” And Dartnell’s ideas have genuinely started to disseminate across the globe too. The conversations he’s had since publication – including in Dubai at the Emirates Literature Festival earlier this year – have convinced him that people instinctively understand that “one of the repercussions of humanity’s power and technological capability is that we have started to change the planet”. “I wanted to show the other side of that equation, that features of the environment have had a huge influence on the way we live our lives,” he says. An influence that will, surely, only appear more obvious – and become the great challenge of our times.
Origins: How The Earth Made Us (Vintage) is out now. For more, listen to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature podcast in Radio & Podcasts on ice.
A SERIES OF EXTRAORDINARY STORIES
Discover timeless wonders among the dunes through the eyes of a daughter of the desert WATCH HER STORY AT VISITABUDHABI.AE
UAE SMART GATE
Digital savvy Emirates’ digital channels continue to push boundaries, with the introduction of an Arabic Emirates app, and the integration of AI to improve customer experience planned for later this year. p.74
74 / EMIRATES / NEWS More than 40 per cent of customers checked in online for their Emirates flight last year
Emirates launches app in Arabic All the features in the Emirates app are now available in Arabic, bringing the total number of languages supported to 19. The Emirates app currently receives an average of 600,000 monthly downloads and allows users to search, book and manage their flights as well as their Emirates Skywards accounts. Emirates is the only airline globally to have its mobile app available in 19 languages, including Arabic, English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil & Portugal), Polish, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Turkish. In recent years, the airline has been using analytical and customer behaviour insights to constantly
improve its digital channels. Last financial year, a quarter of all ticket sales were made on its web and mobile channels and over 40 per cent of customers checked in online for their flights. Emirates’ digital channels continue to push boundaries as it explores more emerging technology and prepares to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the customer experience later this year. The Emirates app is free to download on iOS or Android devices.
EMIRATES AND COLLINGWOOD FOOTBALL CLUB RENEW LONGSTANDING PARTNERSHIP Emirates is celebrating the renewal of one of its most enduring and successful sponsorship properties in the Australian market, marking 20 years as the Premier Partner of the Collingwood Football Club. Formed in 1999, the partnership has been instrumental in delivering excellence to one of Australia’s most famous and widely supported clubs in the Australian Football League.
For two decades, the Emirates logo has been proudly displayed on the front
and back of Collingwood’s guernseys and shorts during the club’s match day games. The airline has invested more than $100 million in the Australian market through community initiatives, sports and the arts – including the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Globally, Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio includes the prestigious Arsenal FC, Formula 1 and the Dubai World Cup.
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EMIRATES REDUCES SINGLEUSE PLASTICS ON BOARD
Emirates SkyCargo strengthens its pharma capabilities Emirates SkyCargo has unveiled a purpose-built facility in Chicago to handle pharmaceutical cargo, as part of its Pharma Corridors programme. The dedicated facility is part of a broader strategy to enhance protection for temperature sensitive pharma shipments; not just at Emirates SkyCargo’s hub in Dubai, but from origin to destination. As part of Pharma Corridors, Emirates SkyCargo works with ground handling partners and other local stakeholders at the stations that are important origin or destination points for pharma, in order to ensure a high standard of handling operations for pharmaceuticals. The Chicago facility is spread over 1,000 square metres, with scope for additional expansion and provides comprehensive protection for pharma cargo through temperature controlled zones for acceptance and delivery,
pharma cargo build up and break down, storage and direct ramp access. Developed in partnership with ground handling company Maestro, the facility has a capacity of 15,000 tonnes of pharma shipments per annum. Following up on the success of the Pharma Corridors initiative announced in January 2018, an initial network of 12 pharma stations has been expanded to 20. In Dubai, Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma operations – including the 24/7 trucking operations between its terminals at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central – have been certified as compliant to EU GDP (Good Distribution Practices) guidelines this year. With over 8,000 square metres of dedicated pharma storage and handling space, Emirates SkyCargo operates the world’s largest multiairport GDP certified hubs in Dubai.
Emirates has introduced ecofriendly paper straws and a future commitment for all flights to be plastic straw-free, in a networkwide commitment to reduce single-use plastics. The airline has been working on various long-term sustainability initiatives in addition to plastic straws. Plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers will be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of the year, and from August, plastic bags used for Inflight Retail purchases will also be replaced with paper bags. Fuelled by a cabin crew member’s suggestion, the airline has been segregating large plastic bottles on board to be recycled in Dubai and the rest of the world. The initiative is estimated to divert three tonnes, or about 150,000 plastic bottles, from landfill in Dubai each month. A review of the plastics on board has been conducted and over the next few months, the airline will implement other initiatives to tackle plastic waste. The initiatives are part of the airline’s ongoing sustainability efforts. In 2017, Emirates introduced ecoTHREAD blankets made from recycled plastic bottles for its Economy Class cabin. Each blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles and by the end of this year, Emirates is predicted to save 88 million plastic bottles from landfill from this initiative alone.
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Seasonal zest This summer, Emirates menus will feature the sweet and tangy flavours of the season’s fruits. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s onboard
110 million+ Meals served a year
209 Meals a minute
Emirates prides itself on its longstanding global partnerships with local providers and artisans. This emphasis on high quality ingredients stems from Emirates’ focus on simple, well-cooked dishes that highlight their destinations’ regional cuisine.
Seasonal meals Emirates delights customers with special menus year-long for global events like Chinese New Year, Ramadan and Easter and according to the availability of seasonal ingredients. In the last month, the airline also introduced meals around delicacies like white asparagus on flights to Germany, Amsterdam and France, aligning with the European harvest season. Hanami-inspired menus were introduced on flights to Japan during the cherry blossom season in April.
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What can you look forward to this summer? (1)
1. Flights to UK and Ireland This month, First and Business Class customers can sample treats featuring seasonal strawberries including the classic British summer dessert Eton Mess. Strawberry eclairs, a strawberry cream delice and a deconstructed mille-feuille with poached strawberries, white chocolate cream, pastry crisps and basil tuille will also be served. 2. Flights to India Alfonso Mangoes are in season throughout the early summer in India, mainly in Delhi. In July, the tropical fruit is the star of its desserts in all classes. First and Business Class customers will be treated to an Alfonso Mango layer cake while Economy Class customers will enjoy an Alfonso mango and sago kheer.
BEHIND THE SCENES Food enthusiasts can go behind-the-scenes of Emirates’ on board menus and global partnerships with the
Emirates Food Channel available on ice, the airline’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system.
3. Flights to and from Italy Next month, Emirates’ First and Business Class passengers will enjoy an appetizer of the season’s heirloom tomatoes paired with burrata, an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Burrata, whose name translates to “buttered,” has a solid outer layer of curd made from fresh mozzarella, which is then formed into a hollow pouch and filled with soft, stringy curd and fresh cream. The burrata is paired perfectly with the sweet and tangy flavours of the heirloom tomatoes that have ripened in the summer.
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WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS
A diverse, Middle Eastern pocket
Consider this: at Oman’s furthest tip is the imposing Hajar Range, with rocky outcrops and stocky humpback dolphins cruising gently around the bay. Head down the coast and wild beaches take centre stage, with miles of pounding surf and the odd bull taking a prefight dip (typically, a more gentle undertaking than its Spanish counterpart). Head even further south and you’ll find lush banana plantations in Salalah, Oman’s very own jungle. One must consider Muscat in this context, as it gives insight into why its residents are so dedicated to this quiet pocket of the Middle East. Beyond the chain coffee shops and financial centre, there is a historic air to the capital and its surrounding landscape. Digs around the region have suggested human presence as far back as 100,000 years, with the former Omani Empire’s influence also seen in the form of 16th-Century forts, falajes and ancient villages. For a more recent look at the Sultanate’s history, tourists often wander down to Anglicized-slash-Arabic stylings of Mutrah, with lampposts dotted along the corniche and the retro Al Alam Palace showcasing the country’s lengthy relationship with the UK. A permanent and lovely fixture is the Gulf of Oman, which has seen dhows weighed down with frankincense trade along its coasts, and pearl divers scale its depths in the hopes for ecru treasures. Now, divers submerge themselves with schools of fish and the odd gentle whale shark, unseen by the city above.
Starting 1 July Emirates will operate a double daily A380 operation on EK 862/863 and EK864/865 to and from Muscat International Airport (MCT). Muscat will become Emirates’ shortest scheduled A380 flight, flying a distance of 340 kilometres each way.
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CHEDI MUSCAT For an intimate escape, it’s worth checking into the Chedi Muscat – a ﬁve-star garden oasis set over 21 acres. Located on one of the coast’s few private beaches, a ban on children, day passes and watersports mean that the villas are ideal for the more meditative of tourists. ghmhotels.com/ muscat
SHANGRI-LA AL HUSN RESORT & SPA Beyond Mutrah and past the museum quarter is the Shangri-La, equipped with a private beach, as well as 180 rooms and suites. Secret beach coves and inﬁnity pools beckon from scalloped arches, with amenities including a butler service and pre-loaded iPods. shangri-la.com/muscat
ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR A police checkpoint ensures vehicles are ﬁt to take on the 3,000-metre climb to one of the best hotels in the region. Perched above the grand canyon of Oman, the Anantara is a truly singular experience. Breathe in the cool mountain air and dine among stars that blanket inky skies. anantara.com
Rather uncreatively nicknamed ‘The Fish Place’, be prepared to queue at this humble, yet delicious seafood café. Its owner, a former ﬁsherman, aims to showcase the ﬁnest grouper, snapper, jumbo shrimp and local hamour. Dishes are accompanied by mezze platters and studded nigella bread, served warm from the oven.
It can be tricky to get outside bookings, but dining on carefully-sourced seafood just feet away from the Chedi’s 370 metre private beach is worth the commitment. Oysters are gillardeau, the caviar is Iranian, and the lobsters are wild and sourced directly from the Gulf of Oman. ghmhotels.com/en/ muscat/dining
Looking for a ﬂat white in typical hipster ambience, complete with polished steel and requisite reclaimed wood ﬁttings? Copper, just down the road from Qurum Park, is the place. For food, expect American-lite: chicken and waﬄes, prawn mac and cheese, and bagels loaded with salmon and dill. copper.restaurant
SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE
JABAL AL AKHDAR
Whale sharks, moray eels, angel ﬁsh… for some of the best diving in Oman, take a small boat an hour out to these UNESCO-protected islands, its crystal clear waters teeming with aquatic life. May to October sees the islands off-limits to visitors – leaving its rare sooty falcons to nest in peace.
Tour groups will come for the numbers: the 600,000-crystalled chandelier, once deemed the largest in the world, or the mammoth Persian carpet in the main prayer hall. Those looking for calm should just wander in and out of the various mosaicked alcoves, hidden staircases and a fully-stocked library.
A car is a virtual must in Muscat, with Jabal Al Akhdar, or “Green Mountain”, a few hours’ drive away. As you wind around mountain buttresses, stop off at the ancient city of Nizwa before heading to this lush mountaintop. Stargaze, smell the damask roses and hike among still-inhabited ancient villages.
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
La Vie ~ embracing life
by the luxury Emirati brand
82 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
Emirates Porto: four times weekly service starts 2 July
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 / Muscat / New York / Nice / Osaka / Paris / Perth / Prague / Riyadh / 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
EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP / 83
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
84 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
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
Emirates Fleet Our fleet of 270 aircraft includes 258 passenger aircraft and 12 SkyCargo aircraft AIRBUS A380-800 112 IN FLEET
All aircraft 30+ aircraft
up to 4,000+
Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. L 72.7m x W 79.8m
BOEING 777-300ER 135 IN FLEET
HERE’S WHAT CONNECTIVITY, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD EACH AIRCRAFT TYPE
All aircraft 100+ aircraft
Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m
up to 4,000+
Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press. For more information: emirates.com/ourﬂeet
10 IN FLEET
Live TV, news & sport
Number of channels
First Class Shower Spa
All aircraft Up to 302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m 3,000+
AIRBUS A319 1 IN FLEET
Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m Fly up to 19 guests in utmost comfort in our customised Emirates Executive Private Jet. emirates-executive.com
* First Class and Business Class; **Available in all rows in Economy Class, and in all seats in First Class and Business Class
BOEING 777F 12 IN FLEET
The most environmentally-friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably-sized cargo aircraft.
Range: 9,260km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
GUIDE TO BUDAPEST The director of Swedish folk horror, Midsommar, on why Hungary proved ideal to portray a rural idyll not all that it seems INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER Midsommar is set in a small Swedish village, but most of the filming was in Hungary, which has been a very important country in the last couple of decades for filming. Mission Impossible, The Martian, Blade Runner and Robin Hood were all shot here. There are so many fantastic buildings and beautiful locations, it’s no surprise it has become so popular. Budapest is an incredible city – architecturally one of the most stunning in Europe – but we needed a more rural location, and Hungary has that. We were searching for somewhere that could provide this wonderfully beautiful location where people were going for a good time,
47.4979° N, 19.0402° E
and then when things got dark, have that eerie gothic thing going on as well. In the city, Budapest just offers so much architecturally – and the backdrop can’t fail but to be imposing. Those big gothic cathedrals, the Roman Amphitheatres, the traditional Turkish baths and so much more. To have such impressive backdrops allows directors so many options. There are no shortage of hotels in the city – but if you can stay anywhere near Buda Castle I would suggest that. The castle looks so impressive at night – if you can find a hotel and more specifically a hotel room with views out onto the castle at night, then you won’t regret it.
Emirates flies nonstop daily to Budapest with the Boeing 777-300ER.
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