Open Skies - August 2018

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AUGUST JULY 2018 2018

D UA B NA EI ’W S S W TA RY E TE O T S L IT VYEL E UAE architecture: How the city smarter, becamegreener, a canvasmore for art inclusive






















CONTRIBUTORS Iain Akerman, Christopher Beanland, Emma Coiler, Ben East, Sarah Freeman, Stefan Hottinger-Behmer, Nobuo Iseki, Dom Joly, David Monteith Hodge, Joe Mortimer, Gareth Rees, Tom Saater, Sean Williams. Cover: Abir Mnasria and Zaina Khayyat of The Attic Design Studio




















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

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Cover story Glass is greener


As Kermit says, it’s not easy being green – but a new crop of architects and projects within the UAE is proving eco-consciousness is the way forward for the nation



Experience 14 Stay: London to Cape Town Travel essentials: Sunglasses Dom Joly: Travel like Tintin Dispatch: Coding with Berlin’s refugees 29 Lunch with: Matteo Trentin Neighbourhood: Alcântara Get dressed in Lagos 42 Tokyo’s instinctive skaters



My UAE: A multicultural hub 56 Sheikh Zayed, the man 66 What is 5G, and how will it affect our lives? 68 Taste: The wellness restaurants of Dubai 70

74 Latest news Inside Emirates: Redesigning an aircraft 76 Destination: Prague 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Ronaldinho’s guide to Rio 90


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Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

An impressive panorama of a tranquil sanctuary We should explore, because the universe we live in is a wondrous place, with endless surprises to behold. Some exposed and some hidden, and you can glance at these treasures in Raja Ampat. A pristine archipelago blessed with panoramic views above and below the horizon. Witness a stunning paradise free from view-blocking skyscrapers, concrete jungles and crowded traďŹƒc. A whole new level of sensory indulgence is waiting to be experienced. The tantalizing dishes, ethereal landscapes and exquisite cultures makes Indonesia a perfect destination full of limitless discoveries. Travel and rejoice beyond the boundaries and enjoy the charm of our magniďŹ cent land. Scan our QR code to explore inďŹ nite amazement from Indonesia. Indonesia.Travel indtravel


EDITOR’S NOTE Georgina Lavers, Editor


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August is meant to be a time for what the Italians call la dolce far niente – the act of doing nothing. Not that you’d know it from this issue. Athletes are omnipresent: you can read Ronaldinho’s guide to Rio, how pro rider Matteo Trentin returned to glory after both breaking his back and crashing into a bear (nobody said cycling was easy), as well as see some beautiful images of Tokyo’s skateboarders from local photographer Nobuo Iseki. This dynamism is not only present in sporting pursuits. Berlin resident Sean Williams sends a dispatch from the multikulti capital, where refugees are equipped with programming languages such as Python at the ReDI School of Digital Integration, an education centre tooling new arrivals with the skills they needed to survive in Germany’s new “Silicon Allee”. With an estimated 55,000 open tech jobs on the market currently in the country, it seems a natural fit for both nation and its new arrivals. Last but not least is our cover feature, which details the nascent rise of ecoarchitecture in the UAE. The accompanying cover art has been created by Abir Mnasria and Zaina Khayyat, a local design duo who forage in the desert for local flora and fauna to use for sculpture and illustration. Their dreamscape of a green UAE is both inspirational, and whimsical. Enjoy the issue.











A different side to Lisbon The Alcântara neighbourhood in the Portuguese capital may not be the most picturesque, but vintage trams, Asian art and Angolan nightclubs ensure an ecelectic visit. p.36



Kenny Scharf One of the first artists to bring street culture into contemporary art as part of the famed East Village scene in early 1980s New York, Kenny Scharf’s new exhibition at Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai features everything from imagined creatures to discarded television sets INTERVIEW: BEN EAST

Many of the works in this exhibition are created by letting paint drip. What interested you about that process?

It’s interesting that you’re exhibiting a painting called Petroleumonsters in the United Arab Emirates.

Because it uses gravity, the way paint runs echoes the natural world – and of course it’s a very 1960s aesthetic too. I like to flirt with all the different art movements of the 20th century, including animation and cartoons, pop art, abstract expressionism, surrealism. I’m kind of mixing them up – I call it sloppy style.

I did ask the gallery if it was ok that a lot of my work is concerned about the fear of petroleum ruining the earth. Which I firmly believe. But that was fine with them and for me it has been a really good experience to exhibit in the UAE – I’ve been blown away by Dubai. As for the environmental content of my paintings, I don’t insist the viewer thinks about these things, I offer them beauty, colour, fun and good energy. If that’s all they want to look at that’s fine. But if they choose to look closer, there’s a depth to the work.

It’s not just an abstract idea, is it? You want these colourful paintings to say something about the way we treat our world. Yeah, I’m putting content into abstract expressionism, which is usually an absolute no-no! Whenever you’re not supposed to do something, it always seems like a lot more fun to me. I’m looking for the physical beauty of paint and painting and the joy of it, yet I’m very concerned for our world.

Kenny Scharf’s new exhibition is on until the end of August in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

Looking closer, one can see that sometimes your “canvas” is old television sets or plastic toys. I’ve been making art of out of plastic garbage since the 1980s and people said I was a freak for using that material. But I just

think plastic waste is one of the biggest problems we face. It’s interesting, every discarded plastic object has a story; who played with these toys, who was watching the shows on that old television. That’s kinda cool.

There was a high profile exhibition at MoMA in New York this year about the East Village Art Scene from 1978-83 of which you were a key part. How did that make you feel? The show at MoMA was called Club 57, which was back then a venue for music, film and art exhibitions in the basement of a church. I kept reminding people that we were still in the basement, contemporary art hasn’t let us upstairs yet. But that’s cool. I’m 60 years old and very proud of my past and the mentality of what became our own school of art. But I’m not nostalgic, I feel urgency about what I’m doing right now. Dubai, UAE.





Only the Olympics is a bigger multisport event; this two week festival of Asian athleticism has certainly gone from strength to strength since the first Games in 1951 and now features an incredible 462 events in 40 disciplines (including, intriguingly, e-sports). Jakarta and Palembang co-host in Indonesia, under the apt motto “Energy Of Asia”. Jakarta & Palembang, Indonesia.


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AUGUST 26-30




The incredible amount of cuttingedge new theatre and comedy at the month-long cultural jamboree that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe reaches record levels this year, with 3,548 shows. It’s not just what you see but where you see it: venues include a “pianodrome” comprising 55 recycled pianos and a comedy club hosted in a chicken coop. Edinburgh, Scotland.

The famous pilgrimage to Mecca, the most holy city in Islam, must be performed by all Muslims who are physically and financially capable, at least once. Its spiritual significance is underlined by the holy rituals, which include walking anti-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, journeying between the Safa and Marwah hills, and holding a vigil on Mount Arafat. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

VM World is yet another tech conference, but as it brings together all the big players in the digital marketplace – up to 20,000 of them – it’s effectively one of the best places to see, appreciate and learn how digital technology is driving innovation – and changing the entire way we view the world. Consider it the go-to show for IT infrastructure. Las Vegas, US.



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The archetype of art hotels, Ellerman House in Cape Town is home to South Africa’s most extensive private art collection

A night at the museum WORDS: S. HOTTINGER BEHMER

FROM THE (ART) CONCIERGE Zeitz Museum Located in the V&A Waterfront’s historic Grain Silo, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is the continent’s largest art museum. Spanning over nine floors, it showcases a renowned collection of cuttingedge artworks and installations from across Africa. Eclectica Thought-provoking contemporary African art fills the carefully curated spaces of this art and design gallery located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap. Experimental works and project-based exhibitions will excite art aficionados all year round. Art Route Tailor-made art tours to the city’s fine art establishments, curated by Ellerman’s very own art expert Talita Swarts. Expect exclusive access to the best galleries, artist studios and show spaces in and around Cape Town.

For 25 years Ellerman House has held the top spot as Cape Town’s most exclusive boutique hotel. Situated in the prestigious suburb of Bantry Bay, a mere 10 minutes from the hustle and bustle of central Cape Town, this Cape Edwardian mansion with its immaculate terraced lawns is the destination of choice for those in search of seclusion and privacy. But its main jewel in the crown, is that it is home to South Africa’s most notable private art collection. An in-house gallery of modern African works by young artists pushing boundaries is a major draw of this eclectic sleep-

ery, where periodically changing displays act as a mirror to the country’s political and social state of affairs. Few hotels are able to offer dedicated art walks through their premises, but to view the more than 1,000 works at Ellerman House, a guided tour is a necessity. It comes courtesy of the hotel’s very own art historian Talita Swarts, who shares her expertise with guests to contextualise a collection that spans over two centuries and is spread across the property’s common areas, 11 rooms, two suites and two private villas.

BANTRY BAY Just outside of the lively suburb of Sea Point, perched on the rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is one of South Africa’s swankiest bays on the Atlantic Seaboard. The modish beaches of Clifton and Saunders Rocks are just a short stroll away, and restaurants and quaint boutiques are dotted throughout the neighbourhood.


Artworks span the traditional (Thomas Bowler), to the contemporary (Lionel Smith and William Kentridge)

Emirates operates three nonstop daily services to Cape Town with the Boeing 777-300ER.



51.5074° N, 0.1278° W


The Pilgrm is a characterful and cleverly conceived boutique hotel just a few steps from London Paddington

Making Paddington cool WORDS: GARETH REES

The Pilgrm’s primary selling point is undoubtedly its proximity to one of London’s major transport hubs: just a one-minute walk from Paddington, you can arrive by overground without facing a potentially hellish schlep across London. There is, of course, a lot more to recommend this 73room boutique property. The team behind The Pilgrm describe it as a “considered reinterpretation of a traditional hotel”. What that means is that it has been designed with the needs of its target clientele in mind – the sort of entrepreneurial, stylish and well-travelled individuals who frequent The Frontline Club and Monocle’s Kioskafé, just round the corner on Norfolk Place. Taking the place of several Victorian buildings on Norfolk Square, The Pilgrm has retained its period character and charm,

thanks to lovingly restored original features such as the lobby’s timber staircase and reclaimed parquet flooring. With large sash windows and cast-iron radiators, the rooms are the epitome of understated style. The lounge offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus created by talented head chef Sara Lewis (formerly of Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store), and an impressive cocktail menu. If you want a midnight snack, there are communal pantries on every floor. The Café – a quiet spot to enjoy an espresso and thumb through the carefully curated selection of independent titles in the well-stocked magazine rack – takes the place of a traditional reception, with guests encouraged to check in and check out online. It’s a bold and refreshing touch that contributes to a seamless guest experience.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Paddington’s cultural stock is finally rising Paddington is one of London’s best-known neighbourhoods, home to Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s London Paddington – the station where the Brown family discovers Paddington Bear in Michael Bond’s well-loved books – and St Mary’s Hospital, where Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. But it has never been cool. Thanks to an ongoing multi-million pound regeneration, that is starting to change. It boasts Floating Pocket Park, London’s first floating park; Kerb Paddington, a fortnightly street food market; and Pergola Paddington, a two-floor summer hotspot boasting pop-up restaurant and bars and a rooftop garden.


Emirates offers 10 daily flights between Dubai and three different London airports: Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow.






31.2304° N, 121.4737° E


The Middle House, downtown Shanghai’s new kid on the block, conceals a world of artistic wonders behind its dark façade

For the media darlings of Shanghai WORDS: JOE MORTIMER

OLD SHANGHAI Modern Shanghai fades away amid the low-rise structures of the city’s traditional neighbourhoods, where community life plays out against the backdrop of shikumen-style buildings. Wandering along passageways criss-crossed with bicycles and birdcages, you’ll get a glimpse of real life in Shanghai. Although many neighbourhoods are being flattened to make way for modern developments, a handful are being awarded protected status.

FROM THE CONCIERGE See The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre charts a visual history of 20th century Chinese propaganda through 6,000 original posters. Do Take a cycling tour of the nearby French Concession and look out for Art Deco architecture as you pedal down quiet roads lined by plane trees.

As the newest member of Swire Hotels’ The House Collective, The Middle House had instant cachet when it opened in Shanghai earlier this year. An outpost of Café Gray Deluxe, the oh so stylish restaurant at The Upper House in Hong Kong, gave further cause for pause among Shanghai’s inner circle. Italian architect and designer Pierro Lissoni has created a moody homage to Chinese culture, with bamboo-effect walls laid in vivid emerald-coloured tiles, black staircases up-lit by hidden lights and 111 guestrooms imbued with a decidedly masculine ambiance. Dark polished marble bathrooms with deep, free-standing tubs look out towards the traditional shikumen houses of Shanghai’s Jing’an district, while details like vintage speakers create a sophisticated residential quality in the understated ‘Studio 70’ room.

Playful touches abound: a thick tasselled cord called ‘Mr. Goodnight’ hangs next to the bed (give it a gentle tug and all the lights go out) and in the residential tower, an abacus made from tiny porcelain dim sum hints at the importance of both food and math in China. The 3,760-piece Venetian chandelier that hangs above the lobby is one of 680 artworks on display; and artistry is fundamental at Chinese restaurant Sui Tang Li, where cocktails are served in antique vessels. Like its sister hotels in Hong Kong, Beijing and Chengdu, The Middle House is an instant classic, whose sleek proposition has already earned the affection of Shanghai’s scenesters. Though different to its siblings, it’s clearly one of the family; a suave young upstart that creatives will clamour to mingle in when visiting the city.

Eat Head chef Tony Ye runs a tight ship at Sui Tang Li, where Shanghainese, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines are fused in beautiful small plates.


Emirates operates two non-stop daily A380 services between Dubai and Shanghai.


Pristine, picturesque and perfect. Surrounded by turquoise waters, the island of Mauritius offers an idyllic getaway with lush green mountains, white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts.

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Mauritius, an award winning tourist destination, will enthrall you with over a hundred land and sea based leisure activities. A paradise to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul and also making you feel one with nature. Mauritius is a blend of the past and present, welcoming every visitor for a memorable breathtaking experience.



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The Address Downtown has reopened after two years. What’s new for the mall-centric property?

Rebuilding an institution WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS

FROM THE CONCIERGE Eat At Em Sherif, the menu-less Lebanese restaurant where waiters warn you to prepare yourself for the onslaught of dishes. Or the Katana Robata and Sushi Bar, an LA/Japan transplant. See The fountain display, obviously – and look out for the clever light displays on periodically at the Burj Khalifa. Do Take a cycle ride around Burj Park, or La Mer seafront is just a 20-minute cab ride away.

Starting again is no mean feat, especially in Dubai, oft-quoted as unquenchable in its thirst for the new. For The Address Downtown, a stone’s throw (literally) from Dubai Mall and an institution for the majority of tourists passing through the emirate, rebuilding was an admirable achievement. The process took two years, with the finished result a luxe, pared-back offering that is primed for its second life. The biggest draw to the hotel is undoubtedly its location, something that it makes the most of. A 20-second walkway leads into the mall, while the majority of suites offer the classic view of the Dubai Fountain. Meyer Davis and SSH were in charge of the new-look interiors, and their refinement is felt throughout. Rooms are luxurious without being excessive, with appreciated touches such as Dyson hairdryers.

Dining options are extensive, from the Californian snacks in the lobby at Zeta, robatayaki-style cuisine at Katana, or the popular steakhouse chain STK. The in-house restaurant on the 6th floor, simply called The Restaurant, is designed in the style of a French salon. Prices are reasonable, and standouts include the ribeye and aubergine starter, flavoured with labneh and sumac. The much-loved Calabar is gone, but in its place are a variety of other lounges, from a cigar bar open til 2am, to the re-vamped Neos, a self-described “ultra-luxury” lounge on the 63rd floor. Five interlinking infinity pools circle the ground floor, with the highlight being deck chairs that seem to float atop the water. It may be quiet now, but The Address’ success is virtually guaranteed by its proximity to tourist hotspots.


For more on Dubai’s world class hotels check out the Dubai Hotels podcast on ice channel 1905.

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The sunglasses A voice-controlled, Bluetoothconnected offering from California WORDS: SEAN WILLIAMS Think your rose-tinted Ray-Bans are a modern phenomenon? Consider Nero, the 1st-century Roman emperor, who according to historian Pliny the Elder wore glasses with emerald lenses to watch bloodsoaked gladiatorial combat with a green-tinted backdrop. Sunglasses, however, have stayed strong ever since, whether in the form of John Lennon’s ethereal round frames, Dirty Harry’s toughguy Wayfarers, or Audrey Heburn’s cat-eye Oliver Goldsmith’s. Seeing in stark sunlight isn’t enough for today’s connected world. What you need is a pair of sunglasses that reflects your cutting-edge tech taste, in addition to harmful UV rays. Enter the Zungle Viper, a model far less Miami Vice than its name suggests. Each pair has powerful inbuilt speakers and a 5.0 Bluetooth wireless connection: perfect for those struggling to wear both glasses and headphones on holiday. With the Viper, sound conducts through your cheekbones into your ears. This may sound creepy, but it means your eardrums are free to fo-

The Viper can play music, take phone calls and connect to A.I

Each pair is lightweight (50g) and sweat and weather resistant

cus on noise around you – meaning you won’t accidentally get knocked down by that tuk-tuk/taxi/tram rolling up behind you. And while other tech/glass mashups have been less than de-


You can give it voice commands: “Play music”, “Is it raining?”

sirable in the style department (yes you, Google Glass), the Viper is a pleasingly chunky and classic design. Embrace them; for no one can hear you stream. From $120,



BRIGHT SPOTS Three places where you’ll definitely need sunglasses


This ancient city near Delhi, thought to be Vishnu’s birthplace, is arguably the best place to witness the Holi festival, when revellers celebrate spring’s arrival by coating each other in brightly-coloured paint. Festivities start in mid-January at the time of Makar Sankranti.


Sin City’s famed neon lights have enjoyed a recent upgrade – cementing the destination as one of very few places it’s acceptable to wear sunglasses at night. If all the neon on Vegas’ strip was laid end-to-end, it would be 15,000 miles long: enough to get to Tokyo, its neon cousin, three times.


Iceland’s piebald capital is the northernmost in the world: during the summer solstice in June, the sun doesn’t set until a few minutes past midnight – and rises again three hours later. Which means that wearing sunglasses might not just be cool, but a vital way to get some sleep.


BELGIUM 50.8503° N, 4.3517° E

Travels with Tintin Why this Belgian cartoon character has inspired some of Dom Joly’s most epic travel adventures to date

Emirates offers twice daily Boeing 777 service between Dubai and Brussels.

The reason I travel can be reduced to one name: Tintin. Most of you must know the adventures of the young Belgian reporter, the creation of Hergé – a genius and one for your list when you are asked to name five famous Belgians. As a boy I had a map on my bedroom wall and I put a pin in every place that Tintin visited, swearing that I would do the same. I have finally done it. My last trip was to the Congo where, in true Tintin style, I was trying to find out more about a supposed monster that lived in a remote and perfectly circular lake in the north of the country. The monster was known as the Mkele M’bembe (“the blocker of rivers”) and although I’m sad to report that I did not find him, I was tied to a tree by an angry group of villagers who threatened to finish off my travelling once and for all. It didn’t matter though, as with Tintin, it’s the adventure that is the story and I managed to escape to tell the tale. It was like when I went to the Himalayas looking for the Yeti. I felt almost at home in Kathmandu as it was so similar to what I’d seen in Tintin in Tibet (even though he was in Nepal). I trekked up to Everest Base Camp, actually found some Yeti footprints and felt very pleased with myself. I decided against an actual ascent of the mountain – even adventurers have their limits, and besides, Tintin didn’t do it, so why should I?

My favourite Tintin moment however, was when I made a documentary on him for Channel 4. To get into the spirit of things, I dyed my hair ginger and donned similar-looking clothing to the boy reporter. Frankly, I looked like Tintin after a mid-life crisis. Of course, Tintin was always accompanied by his dog, Snowy, a white wire fox terrier. We were filming in Brussels and my production team found someone who would rent us such a dog. We were about two hours into filming when the rain started. After about 10 minutes, something very strange happened – our Snowy started to change colour. It soon became apparent that the owners, in an attempt to make some quick money, had unbeknownst to us, dyed the poor dog white for our filming purposes. The Belgian rain was rapidly reverting him to his original colour. We were down a little alley in the centre of Brussels and, as we wondered what to do a police car drove past. It slowed down as it reached the entrance to the alley and the policeman looked down. Who knows what he thought as he spotted an out of shape Tintin, crouched beside a bedraggled Snowy dripping white dye onto the alley floor? I think it was too much for him as he gave the scene a second glance, shook his head and drove on. There are some things too surreal for even a Belgian policeman.


A student showcases her project at the ReDI school. The programme struggled to recruit females initially

Around 1.5 million refugees have arrived in Germany since Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders in 2015. With many heading to Berlin, one school in the multikulti capital is teaching newcomers how to make it in one of the world’s up-and-coming tech hubs WORDS:SEAN WILLIAMS

A new, more inclusive “Silicon Allee”

At the height of Europe’s migrant crisis, Anne Kjaer Riechert headed to a refugee camp outside Berlin and happened upon Mohammed, a young computer engineer grad from Baghdad University. He was stuck, laptop-less, worrying his skills would decay irreparably. Angela Merkel had thrown open Germany’s borders to those fleeing war and destitution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other troubled states, and Germans had responded similarly: flooding camps with clothing, teddy bears and other household items. It was an act of misplaced kindness. “It was out of the goodness of their hearts,” says Riechert, smiling warmly. “But it’s not a long-term solution.” Riechert, a Dane whose own family fled fascism in the thirties, saw an




1, 3. Students participate in a three-month programme taught by volunteers, all professionals in the digital industry 2. Graduates of the programme. There are an estimated 55,000 open tech jobs in Germany 4, 5. The school has been acknowledged by figures including Mark Zuckerberg and Angela Merkel

opportunity. Germany has been suffering from a chronic talent shortfall: 42,000 tech posts went unfilled in 2016. Surely there were far more Mohammeds, Riechert thought, that could contribute to the economy of their new home. That year Riechert and co-founder Fadi Zaim founded the ReDI School of Digital Integration, an education centre tooling new arrivals with the skills they needed to survive in Germany’s tech industry. Open places at the centre filled quickly, helped by international press generated by names like Mark Zuckerberg, who stopped by in the school’s early days. “Dealing with the refugee crisis is a huge challenge, and it is inspiring to see people creating opportunities through technology,” he said. Two years later, with over 500 graduates and a flourishing women’s programme, ReDI is a stalwart of the capital’s

social entrepreneurship scene, and has connected dozens of refugees with startups and multinationals across Germany. Berlin was the perfect place to found ReDI, Riechert says: “The city has a story of social change, and how it can come literally overnight with the Berlin Wall being built, and also falling down. It’s a multinational city, and still relatively cheap and affordable… if it was in London, it would be a different story.” In the past decade, Berlin has leveraged cultural appeal into tech success. Now known colloquially as “Silicon Allee”, it is home to a host of big firms including Delivery Hero, Zalando and N26. Berlin also leads the world in digital integration projects, providing half of all such programmes in the world. Just outside ReDI’s window is a memorial to the Berlin Wall, which cleaved the city in two between 1961 and

1989. ReDI’s own building, a sprawling, magnolia-bricked office block in Berlin’s central Mitte district, was built during an even darker period of the city’s history, in 1934. That is just a year after Riechert’s own family fled persecution in northern Germany. They were pacifist owners of a printing press, and angered the ascendent Nazi regime. After several stints in prison, they headed for the Danish border. “Thankfully I’m here today because they were welcomed in Denmark and given the opportunity to work there,” says Riechert. “That has inspired me.” Not all of ReDI’s students are refugees, but most have witnessed the destruction of war. Syrian Hussam Soufi, 25, grew up in Abu Dhabi and arrived in Germany last winter. But he had no money. The only room he could find was so small that his arms hit both walls when





he changed shirts. First he sold blood, then sperm – then, finally, he underwent the painful procedure to sell his bone marrow. “It felt like your nails scratching the window,” he says. “I thought, this is the lowest point of my life.” Soufi joined ReDI on a friend’s advice. He’d studied IT in Syria but had never heard of (programming language) Python, or the Internet of Things (IoT) – the connectivity of devices via the Web. “I didn’t know what AI stood for,” he says. “I had no idea.” Soufi studied ReDI’s IoT course. He’s now in its second stage, and has job offers from big tech firms. He now has an apartment in which he can change clothes comfortably. “I wouldn’t be able to do all this without ReDI,” he says. “I will always owe them.” ReDI is not simply doing refugees a favour: there are now 55,000 open tech jobs on the market currently in the

country. Firms help fund the school, and receive skilled graduates in return. The school is also keen to onboard female students, and last April roadtested a women’s programme that is now in full swing. Edlira Kasaj is ReDI’s digital women programme director, whose passion for the school is fervent. “I wanted to do something for women in tech, because I’m a woman in tech and I feel like I’ve been the only woman in the room for years,” she says, referencing an industry that, despite protestations of modernity, suffers a yawning gender gap. Bringing women into ReDI hasn’t been easy, says Kasaj, commenting that cultural expectations often mean that women are quieter, less confident and less technically versed than their male counterparts. That has not deterred Kasaj, and 80 women now study on her course. “It be-

comes so personal,” she says. “It’s like a big family.” One of them is Rita, a 32-year-old Syrian telecommunications expert who left Damascus in search of gender equality. “One of the advantages here, is that with your personality and skills you can go a long way,” she says. “In Syria it’s not so fair, and it wasn’t so easy to get where I did. Here, if you have the potential, you can make it.” When Rita first arrived in Germany she worked a litany of low-paid and semi-legal jobs, from dishwasher to bottle collector. Having completed ReDI’s cybersecurity course, she now has a paid internship at Cisco, one of the world’s biggest tech companies. “I travelled because, as a woman, [Syria] is not a place you want to be,” she says. “I deserve much better, and now I have it. Coming here to Germany made me shake my ideas and my horizons. I want to learn a lot of things: ReDI has provided this.” This February ReDI opened a centre in Munich, Germany’s third-largest city. It could have spread its message more quickly, says Riechert, but she and her team want to “nail it before we scale it,” she says. “We’re in the business of hope. And when you’re building hope and expectation with the students who come here, it’s really important that they come and get a high-quality experience.” Next up is a kids’ programme. “Refugee children have a huge opportunity if they’re able to go through this massive change early in their lives,” says Riechert. “They are becoming polyglots… I want to build them up so they have a strong sense of confidence, and that they can use that to overcome the challenges they do have. They have the opportunity to become future leaders.” The migrant crisis is here to stay. So is ReDI. Riechert is bullish about the school’s future. It has been a huge trip for her, personally. But to see the human potential, and see it flourish on a daily basis, she says: “That gives me so much.”

Emirates serves four destinations in Germany – Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf.


Matteo Trentin

Carb-loading with the pro cyclist that came back from a broken back WORDS: BEN EAST Through clouds of dust, bikes can just about be made out, strewn across an unpaved road where bodies lie prone on the cold ground of Northern France. Crashes are a part of professional road cycling, particularly at the famous Paris-Roubaix one-day race, where riders must navigate multiple sections covered in rough terrain and cobblestones. Most of the time, they get up and carry on, dirtied, bloodied. Not for nothing is the race dubbed ‘The Hell of the North’. But the Italian sprinter Matteo Trentin doesn’t get up. He can’t get up, in fact, because he has broken his back. “I knew it straight away, I felt the crack in my body,” he says now, staring at the beautiful Italian Dolomites where he’s from and often trains, and which form a stunning backdrop for L Chimpl, his favourite restaurant in Vigo di Fassa. “I was riding and suddenly, boom! The bike slipped away from me. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t get out of the way. For the seconds I was on the ground I was not only worried my career was over, but that my life would change completely. “But then I saw I could move my legs so it would probably be ok,” he brightens. “You know… this happens in cycling.” Incredibly, just four months after Tren-

tin suffered a compression fracture of his spine, he is contemplating starting the gruelling Vuelta de Espana later this month with his team Mitchelton-Scott. All 3,271km and 21 days of it, from Malaga to Madrid. It would be quite an undertaking so soon after any serious injury, but a broken back? It feels almost astonishing. Not for Trentin. “I couldn’t even bend forwards to start with, but it’s fine now,” he says matter of factly, in between choosing his favourite dishes for both of us. “I needed to sit on the sofa a bit, and respect the recovery plan, so that when I started training it was the right time.” Perhaps there’s also a small part of Trentin that feels he has a reputation to maintain. After all, at last year’s Vuelta de Espana this powerfully fast cyclist won a hugely impressive four stages, joining an elite club of riders such as Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Eddie Merckx to win stages at all three of the famous Grand Tours; La Vuelta, the Giro D’Italia and the Tour De France. The moment he hit the front on the very last stage in Madrid last year he was in that prized zone so many athletes dream of reaching: complete confidence in his own ability. Almost invincible. “No, nobody’s invincible,” he counters. “You

do have more confidence in yourself of course, and you see the team giving 100 per cent to you, which motivates you to do a little bit more. But at the end of the race only one guy can win, and it’s not always you. We are all at a high level. So it’s a kind of relief when you win, actually. You put yourself under a lot of mental pressure, you concentrate so much in the final 20km that a bee can fly past and you follow exactly where it goes. Honestly.” We stop to marvel at Trentin’s favourite dish, typical of the Trentino region, with soft egg, local spinach, cheese, truffles and creamed potatoes given a modern twist by the spectacular Michelin-starred cooking of Stefano Ghetta. Trentin has earned it – he’s already ridden 100km around the mountains this morning – but it’s rich, and I wonder how dining like this matches up with training for a three-week bike race. He passes on the bread, at least. “Well, a rider like me doesn’t have to follow a diet to be super skinny because I’m not a climber,” he explains. “But I still need to be careful; too much of anything is never good. It’s about balance and adapting yourself; in a three week Grand Tour you lose weight for the first two weeks because of the aerobic effort and


then in the last week you actually gain it because the body goes into protection mode and you start to store water.” During the races, all the cooking is by the team chefs, which makes for some amusing cultural and culinary differences. As a part of the Belgian team Quick Step Floors for over six years, he came to realise that Belgians are crazy not only for peanut butter but Sirop de Liege. “I had no idea what it was, some kind of marmalade made from apples, pears and dates, I think,” he laughs. “But it was on every table for every meal. And now I’m with Mitchelton-Scott, an Australian team, they eat tons of coconut butter. Everywhere – in pasta, on bread, in rice. I actually like the taste but not all the time!” Trentin’s move from Quick Step Floors to Mitchelton-Scott at the end of last season was his first change of team since turning professional in 2010. Quick Step had spotted him as a young hopeful and seen him win a lot of races: “When you see you can win, it becomes addictive,” he says – and eventually gave him a test to see if he could cut it

at the highest level. That was when the hard work and the hard miles on the road really started. “But the level of dedication didn’t surprise me,” he says. “I always say if you are a professional cyclist, you love to cycle. If you don’t have that passion you would never be able to ride six, seven hours, in the rain or in the heat. For example, at the Italian championships this year it was incredibly hot. I got a little heat stroke but several riders passed the finish line and collapsed. When something like that happens you have to have the passion to jump on the bike again the next day.” Quick Step Floors was the perfect home for Trentin as he was learning his trade. It’s one of cycling’s many nuances that there are professional teams who don’t specialise in riders who win Grand Tours outright – there are no Chris Froome rivals in the Belgian team. But they do consistently win individual stages and one day races - more so than anyone else - and Trentin, who by his own admission “will never contend for a Grand

Tour” loved how he had to be at 100 per cent every day to contend for victory. And in the chaos of a sprint finish, with competing riders reaching speeds of nearly 80km/h, touching wheels and even elbowing each other out of the way, you certainly have to be at your best to win. “If you watch it on television it looks crazy, and you think that riders must surely crash into each other,” he explains. “But when you are inside the race it’s like everything is like slow motion. For us sprinters it’s like The Matrix. The last kilometre might take only 90 seconds but in my head it’s five minutes, and maybe that’s the same for any fast sport, there’s a slowness of thought you need.” As for an instinct, for being in the right place at the right time, Trentin muses:

Trentin currently races with Mitchelton-Scott, an Australian pro team


Porcini risotto from Michelin-starred chef, Stefano Ghetta

“I don’t think so, its more impulse. Instinct suggests you’re not thinking specifically about what you’re doing, but when you’re sprinting for the line, everything is calculated. Put it like this, the focus is wide, but detailed. You see someone moving and you move somewhere else.” Still, it must be difficult to stick to your team’s plan when the likes of multiple winner Mark Cavendish or world champion Peter Sagan are also making their moves at speed. “You have to have confidence in your team to get you in the right place, and if something goes wrong with that, you then have to understand who the best person is to follow. This is all happening in a matter of seconds. But you know at the start of the race who is pedalling well, just by looking at them. Over a remarkable risotto with figs, mushrooms and blue cheese, Trentin tells me of the time he beat Peter Sagan, cycling’s bone fide rock’n’roll star, in a photo finish at the Tour de France in 2014. It meant a great deal to the Italian; he calls Sagan a “one in a million champion, an icon for the sport.” In his house is a framed picture of that photo finish, which Sagan signed. It says a lot about the camaraderie in the sport and the respect they have for one another. Trentin says he often goes out training with the likes of Philippe Gilbert and Filippo Pozzato; opponents in the race but friends off it. And perhaps, like Sagan, Trentin will be able to count himself as one of cycling’s serial winners in the years to come. He is 29 this month; relatively young in the sport, which made the crash in the Paris-Roubaix race earlier this year so frustrating. After winning in nearly every race he entered towards the end of 2017: “when I started I just couldn’t stop” – the move to Mitchelton-Scott coincided with a definite sense Trentin was not only approaching his sporting prime, but would be leading his new team’s charge for one-day victories and sprint wins at stage races.

Then he crashed into a bear in California. Trentin rolls his eyes. “I was coming down a hill at 50km/h, and this little bear was eating near a garden,” he laughs. “Some dogs started chasing him, and he ran away the moment I was coming. I clipped his bottom with a pedal and went flying over my handlebars. “The bear was alright, but I wasn’t. My helmet was destroyed. But I was pretty worried because you don’t want to be hanging around when there’s a bear loose. If he started to howl in pain you can be sure that the mummy grizzly will be along soon. They can run at 50km/hr themselves; you’d have to pedal pretty hard to get away!” You’d be pretty confident Trentin could do it, of course, but on this occasion he called his girlfriend – former professional Alpine skier Claudia Morandini – and asked her to pick him up. Not before he’d posted about his experience on Instagram… and swiftly become, as he puts it “the joke of the region.” It’s this kind of story that makes Trentin so likeable. His home town has a Matteo Trentin fanclub which follows him to races and the owner of L Chimpl, Katia, shows me her collection of signed posters in the office, telling Matteo he’d better win again at La Vuelta so she can put another one up. “I’d love that,” he smiles. “Between ‘I can do it’ and ‘I will do it’ is a pretty big gap, but I’d love to be back in the winning mood.”

L Chimpl


2 Uovo soffice di Tamion, spinaci, cuore de Fassa, patata e tartufo (soft egg, spinach, cheese, truffles and creamed potatoes) €17 2 Risotto porcini, fichi e Golden Gel €18 TOTAL: €70

Emirates serves four destinations in Italy – Rome, Milan, Venice and Bologna.




38.7126° N, 9.1816° W

It may not have the postcard allure of Lisbon’s other bairros, but few districts can match Alcântara’s diversity


Pestana Palace Hotel is known for its coffered ceilings, romantic frescoes and ornate ironwork

Sandwiched between Cais do Sodré and Belém in Lisbon’s southwestern corner, this former outlying suburb of farms and palaces is now a bonafide bairro (neighbourhood) of the city. Granted, it is not as picturesque as Alfama or Mouraria, but Alcântara’s charm lies in its diversity. You can find everything from vintage trams and Asian art, to Fado Music Houses and artisan bakeries here, as well as the Portuguese capital’s archetypal terracotta rooftops and blush pink buildings. Old and new converge on streets like Rua 1º de Maio, where azulejo-clad buildings (the city’s famous ceramic tiles) juxtapose with murals by resident sprayers Vhils and Bordalo II. Whether you’re exploring north of the railway track, in Alcântara-Terra, or Alcântara-Mar (the riverside zone), chances are you’ll be in the shadow of Golden Gate-lookalike, 25 de Abril. Fittingly, the bairro’s name derives from the Arabic word al-qantara, meaning bridge. Lisbon’s quaint 19th-century yellow trams that trundle along Alcântara’s Rua Cascais, together with its burgeoning startup community, also recall the Golden City. The spirit of “New Lisbon” is encapsulated in social spaces such as LX Factory, the Village Underground and the district’s crop of creative labs. LX Factory, built on the site of a vast fabric plant and printing press, also serves as a portal to Alcântara’s industrial past. Metal stampers, tanneries, chemical and porcelain factories flourished here until deindustrialisation brought the area to its knees in the mid 1980s. A decade later the working-class bairro underwent a facelift and the old port of Santo Amaro Docks (Lisbon’s second largest marina), catalysed Alcântara-Mar’s regeneration. Known locally as ‘Docas’, its waterfront warehouses

have been reimagined as upscale restaurants like Doca Peixe and superclub Lux, co-owned by John Malkovich. For some cultural diversity and an alternative night out, leave the marina behind for Avenida da Índia and Rua Cascais in Alcântara-Terra. The city’s 13,000 Angolan population has spawned a cluster of nightclubs at this intersection, including Luanda and Mwangolé, where you can experience kuduro, an up-tempo Angolan style of music.



PESTANA PALACE HOTEL The King of Spain, Madonna and Mick Jagger have all fallen for the old-world charms of this restored palace, built by a cocoa and coffee baron. Nestled in the sprawling grounds of a century-old estate, the hotel and National Monument is a 19th century vision of coffered ceilings, romantic frescoes and ornate ironwork. You can breakfast like a king in its ornate conservatory (with a live pianist for company), or dine on chocolate-covered foie gras in Valle Flôr, its ballroom restaurant. Guests transition from old to new in the 177 modern-wing guestrooms, accessed via two glass bridges that snake through its subtropical gardens. For the ultimate palatial stay, splurge US$1,500 on one of the four royal suites housed in Pestana’s original building. R. Jau 54, 1300-312 Lisboa, +351 21 361 5600.






CARRIS MUSEUM Admire horse drawn carriages, vintage buses and the city’s iconic yellow timber-lined streetcars at this eccentric museum located in the Carris tram depot at Santo Amaro. Rua Primeiro de Maio 101, 1300-472 Lisboa, +351 21 361 3087.

VILLAGE UNDERGROUND A hotspot for Lisbon’s new wave of startups and popular brunch destination, Village Underground isn’t just another clichéd cluster of up-cycled shipping containers. Home to 35 or so co-working spaces for creatives, the open-air complex boasts a recording studio, skate ramp and warehouse exhibition space. Hop on board its repurposed double-decker bus (without even leaving its municipal tram yard base) for a DIY ‘Buzz brunch’ of oven baked eggs served up in an iron skillet, and a bottomless supply of Portuguese pastries. R. 1º de Maio 103, 1300-472 Lisboa, +351 21 583 2469.





Throughout the summer months you can sit back and enjoy live Fado performances on trams 18, 25 and 28


A post-industrial stage set with a Brooklyn-esque vibe sums up this achingly hip gastro-shopping hub on the grounds of one of Lisbon’s most prosperous textile factories. The machinery and threads are long gone, replaced by artist studios, home grown boutiques, street art by Lisbon native Bordalo II, and a slew of trendy eateries. You can ethically shop for Portuguese cork accessories at Rutz, get a trim at old-timey salon The Barber Factory, or savour a few ales under the arches of 25 de Abril Bridge at Café na Fábrica. Call in at labyrinthian Ler Devagar, a retired printing press turned temple to literature that has beautiful floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, +351 21 314 3399.




As well as couriering nobility from the Tagus River to the Necessidades Palace, Quimera Brewpub’s storied carriage tunnel was allegedly the last King of Portugal’s escape route in 1910



LISBON SIGHT SAILING There are few better ways to romanticize Lisbon’s rich maritime heritage, than from the water. Setting sail from Alcântara’s Santo Amaro Docks, this three-hour-long trip along the Tagus river takes in Lisbon’s oldest district,


QUIMERA BREWPUB You’d be hard pushed to find a beer hall in the city more atmospheric than this converted 18th-century carriage tunnel, originally built for the Royal Chivalry. Chef and artisanal brewer, Adam Heller, is one half of the American-Brazilian duo behind the city’s second brewpub, Quimera. They offer a full line up of brews from tank to tap, including small-batch experimental beers that Heller yields with wild yeast grains in the basement. Their deli-style pairing menu of New York-style sandwiches, and cold cuts with select beers is no-nonsense but delicious. Try the Pastrami made with cured beef braised in Stout beer, served on sourdough from artisanal neighbourhood bakery, Gelba. Rua Prior do Crato 6, 1350-261 Lisboa, +351 916 926 746.

Alfama, and Belem’s age of discoveries, aboard a stylish 46-foot sailing vessel. You can choose to party or just sightsee, with the Moorish Castle of São Jorge, the serpentine-like MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) and lemon-hued Praça do Comércio just a few of the tour’s highlights. Doca de Santo Amaro, 1350-353 Lisboa, +351 21 605 1078.




VIEWPOINT OF ALVITO It’s no secret that Lisbon is well endowed with miradouros (viewpoints), but few are as crowdless as this one. Make a pilgrimage here at sundown, for an unobstructed panorama of Tagus river, the 25 de Abril Bridge and the city’s Rio-inspired, Cristo Rei statue. Just past the intersection of Estrada Alvito and Estrada Estrangeira, Lisboa



MUSEUM OF THE ORIENT Portugal’s historic ties with the Far East are brought to life under the cavernous roof of this dried cod warehouse turned haven for Asian art. Thankfully, all traces of bacalhau (a Portuguese staple) were extinguished in the heritage building’s €30 million conversion in 2008. Rare artifacts, from Samurai armor and Namban art, to ritual masks and Indian puppet theatres, are showcased in its vast “Portuguese Presence in Asia” and “Gods of Asia” permanent collections. Like the idea of digesting art to an operatic soundtrack? Check out the second floor’s exuberant “Chinese Opera” exhibit, which runs till mid September. Av. Brasília 352, 1350-279 Lisboa, +351 21 358 5200.


Emirates offers twice daily service between Dubai and Lisbon with the Boeing 777-300ER.



A B O U N D S Lagos is becoming a fashion powerhouse – and not just on the catwalk. Changing trends have transformed Africa’s largest city, with young Nigerians being drawn away from traditional tailors or Western fashions and toward a glut of homegrown, high-end stores.

44 Lagos doesn’t do understatement. From graffitied danfo buses that ferry millions up and down its spleen-shaped centre daily, to myriad brightly-painted bars and cafes, it is pandemonium in technicolour: somewhere that, unlike New York, truly never sleeps. With 21 million inhabitants, it should come as no surprise that Lagos is a cultural powerhouse. From Afrobeats to Nollywood, both movie and music industries have taken their place on a world stage. But in the past decade or so, it is fashion that has come to the fore.

Located on Lagos’ upmarket Victoria Island, Alara (which means “wondrous performer” in Yoruba, the city’s dominant language) looks alien from its drab, mid-century surroundings. The red-painted, multi-floored concept store, launched by entrepreneur Reni Folawiyo in 2015, is an attraction in its own right. Visitors are flanked by row upon row of enthralling fashion and furniture, most of which is local, while an adjoining restaurant serves some of the most creative and well-executed dishes anywhere in the region.

Trendy Lagosians once visited traditional tailors or sought out high-end Western fashions. Now, they are starting to look to a new generation of hip, local designers who are shifting the goalposts of style. It’s a mark of Nigeria’s recent economic progress – and it’s changing the face of Lagos forever.

Amaka Osakwe at New York Fashion Week, 2018. International attention has helped boost local appetite for homegrown brands

Folawiyo wanted Alara to change Lagosians’ attitudes to fashion. Years before, most locals preferred to visit giant, open-air markets, or, if they were wealthy, to hire tailors of traditional styles, such as Aso Ebi, which combines piebald head-wraps with peplum dresses, or Adire, meaning ‘tie and dye’, whereby patterns are created using stitching, or by using chicken feathers to paint cassava paste onto fabric. Edwin Okolo, a fashion designer and writer who lives in Lagos, believes Alara has shifted sartorial attitudes in the city. But the foundations for its success, he claims, were laid many years previous. For decades Lagos was an arts epicentre. Music, from the Afrobeats of Fela Kuti to experimental electro-funk by William Onyeabor thrilled crowds worldwide. When democracy returned, Nigeria’s movie industry boomed: by the mid-2000s Nollywood, centred in Lagos, was the second most prolific on earth behind India’s Bollywood. Most of Nollywood’s biggest stars lived in Lagos. In 2006 celebrity blog Bella Naija, riffing off a patriotic name for the country, was launched. People began taking notice of stars’ style. Designers wanted to dress them. “(We were) about six or seven years into our democracy,” says Okolo. “So the upper-middle class had arrived. They had spending power, malls were coming into the country… people started to gravitate towards the brands.” For the vast majority of Lagosians it was still Western brands like Prada and Moschino that carried the greatest cultural capital. In 2007, that began to change. That year the Arise (shorthand for “Africa Rises”) Fashion Week arrived in Lagos. It welcomed world-renowned designers and models to Nigeria including Grace Bol and Ozwald Boateng. “It really gave Nigeria a taste of fashion weeks,” says Okolo. This year Arise returned to the city after a six-year hiatus. It has been joined by Lagos Fashion Week, founded in 2011, which is now Nigeria’s premier fashion event. Social media platforms like Instagram democratised and accelerated the scene, bringing yet more outside awareness. This year supermodel Naomi Campbell visited, championing the country’s designers and calling for the publi-

45 cation of a Vogue Africa. “It was so much more than a supermodel appearance. It signified international recognition for Lagos, arguably Africa’s fashion capital, and also for the wider African fashion industry,” said Mazzi Odu, founder of style site Magnus Oculus. Among Nigeria’s most exciting designers is Amaka Osakwe, who founded the brand Maki Oh in 2010. In 2013 then-US First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of Osakwe’s chiffon blouses during a state tour of South Africa. It announced Maki Oh on the world stage. Osakwe has joined a number of young Nigerian designers exploring the space between traditional and modern tailoring techniques, including Kenneth Ize, Lisa Folawiyo and Deola Sagoe. The result is often bright, and lurid, and unmistakably Nigerian. “To me, it’s not about modern contrasting with the traditional,” Osakwe said recently. “They go hand in hand. It’s about making sure the traditions in my culture don’t die.” Design success on the international stage, however, does not mean an automatic change in the buying habits of Nigerians. Many still favour high-end clothing from Europe and the US, with other middle-class Nigerians preferring to call a local tailor versed in the country’s traditional styles. “Seventy per cent of Nigerians prefer to visit Aso Ebi tailors to make made-to-fit outfits for them, than pay some ridiculous amount to foreign brands,” says Badaru-Atoyebi Modupe, editor of website The Aso Ebi Junkie. While Lagos’ heightened interest in fashion has fuelled an increase in the number of traditional tailors, experts worry the market is being flooded by low-end work, creating a dearth of skilled practitioners. Modupe wants more tailors to travel west and follow the trend of Nigeria’s famous designers. Uju Lilian Ikegbune, of Lagos-based co-sewing space 360 Creative Hub, admits that the lack of skilled tailors is an “issue plaguing the fashion industry.” Her space, which incubates young brands and teaches tailoring skills, is trying to change that at grassroots level. 360 runs “training aimed at improving and orientating tailors toward adhering to excellent work, commitment to job completion and delivering on time,” she adds.

Nigeria, with a population of 186 million and by far Africa’s largest GDP, is unmistakably the continent’s fashion capital. Elle South Africa’s fashion editor is Nigerian Dimeji Alara, and so dominant is the country’s scene that many Africans now complain the industry is being “Nigerianised”. Creating a truly Nigerian scene is something that drives WAFFLESNCREAM, a skate shop and fashion brand located above a nondescript row of shops on Victoria Island. Its walls are

LAGOS’ TOP FASHION HAUNTS A piece by Edwin Okolo. The designer and writer believes the arrival of an uppermiddle class in the ‘00s paved the way for contemporary fashion in the country

Five years ago, when Yegwa Ukpo founded Stranger, a fashion boutique and coffee shop in Lagos’ upmarket Lekki neighbourhood, he favoured rare foreign brands like Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons. As the store matured, and Nigerians studying at fashion houses abroad began to graduate and come home, he changed tack. “Bluntly, the expertise for training and critical thinking… here is not so robust, so it’s good when people trained in England, Germany, America, Japan, whatever, are now coming back here and trying to figure out what we can do with locally available materials,” he says. You’d barely recognise Stranger among Lekki’s large, barely-finished homes. Inside it’s a Tardis of top-line clothing, leather goods and artwork. Once grungy, it is now decked out like a Parisian boutique. “There is a real fusion between Western styles and local styles,” says Ukpo. The global fashion industry is now worth over $2.4trn. Africa’s own portion of that is reckoned to be around $31bn, just 1.3 per cent of that total. But with designers flourishing, and local e-commerce sites like Fashpa, Jumia and Konga beginning to thrive, this figure is expected to rise considerably.


This giant, red-and-black box-shaped concept store is the premier stockist of top-line Nigerian designers. Home to clothing, accessories, jewellery and home furnishing, its eponymous restaurant and bar serves incredible African fusion dishes – and cocktails. 12a Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos +234 909 685 2076.

Stranger Lagos

A sleekly designed store and café home to Nigerian and international menswear, accessories and local artwork. Cool collection, and the filter coffee is fantastic. 3 Hakeem Dickson Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos +234 1 295 7665.

Grey Velvet

A chain of retailers all in Lagos and Abuja, that offers a wide range of Nigerian designers alongside international brands. Great for exploring some of the country’s most exciting young fashion names. Two locations in Lagos: Centro Lekki Mall and Ikeja City Mall +234 808 058 6477.

46 Right: Yegwa Ukpo, founder of Stranger, prefers local designers to have trained abroad Bottom right: The Lagos fashion scene includes creatives from a variety of fields

lined with black and white photos and multicoloured skateboards that give away its status as the ground zero of Nigeria’s first skate crew. The brand, which designs shirts, hats, pins and boards, began a decade back, when a few friends ran a skate tour from Leeds to London. But they began getting more interest in Nigeria, so they came home. Despite Lagos’ size it is still difficult to find good spots to skate, says Bai Joiner, a model and skater with the team. But a culture is brewing. “When you’re in a country like this that doesn’t really have much of a community, you just have these little dots of skateboarding happening,” Joiner says. “But what we’ve done is started connecting those dots.” Now WAFFLESNCREAM is pushing for Lagos’ first proper skate park. “Look; we exist and this has positive effects on people,” Joiner adds. “We are forming these communities of people who are not just into skateboarding but more than likely into other creative fields.” Ukpo sees fashion as a way for Lagos to compound a cultural dominance it has been building relentlessly since 1999. Decades before, you came to Lagos “as your entry point to Africa: black culture, black excellence,” he says. “Then we had a military government so that changed. But now Nigerian athletes, musicians, writers being out there, there’s interest in what is happening in this country that’s producing all this culture. “We’re definitely getting there as a source of creative energy.”

Emirates offers twice daily service to Lagos with the Boeing 777-300ER.

47 Right: A designer works in the studio at skate shop WAFFLESNCREAM

Bottom right: Customers of WAFFLESNCREAM. Locals are slowly coming around to high-end homegrown brands, say designers


skateboarders Tokyo

their made




Their pavements are busier, their surfaces are rougher, and their guards are stricter. This is how, against all odds, Tokyo’s skaters have created their own explosive scene, set under a Olympic backdrop apan is a country that places a high value on quiet and order. People queue with the patience of monks, don’t speak on their phones on public transport, and diligently carry their rubbish until a bin is found. Yet here we are, in Tokyo, immersed in bedlam. Bodies are flying in every direction, moving to a cacophonous soundtrack of sugoi! (awesome), as well as fair bit of banging, crashing and yelling. In this moment, the strict rules of Japanese society have evaporated. It is Saturday afternoon and Komazawa Skate Park is heaving. The 1964 Olympics are the reason this skate park exists, but the upcoming Tokyo Games in 2020 help explain why it is so packed today. Skateboarding was


The influence of American culture, which began to take root amid the Japanese youth in the ‘90s, influenced local fashion and music as much as skating

nowhere near the ’64 menu, but two years from now, the sport that Tokyo’s security guards so desperately try and expel from the streets will be making its Olympic debut in the city. There is a quid pro pro apect to its inclusion. While the Olympics wants to capitalise on the immense popularity the sport has gained outside of any structured setting – skateboarding will be looking to leverage the mega-event to boost its own reputation. From its infancy back in the ‘70s the sport has grappled with negative stereotypes, becoming associated – rightly or wrongly – with rebellion and vandalism. These stereotypes have made it hard for skateboarding to be accepted in a city as neat and organised as Tokyo, says local skater Shodai Baba. Tokyo residents are so accustomed to the city’s peaceful, orderly environment that they are perturbed by the chaotic nature of skateboarding. “In the parks is ok but if you want to skate on the street, which is easy to do in other countries, it causes a lot of problems,” he says behind the counter at Stormy, Tokyo’s oldest skate shop.

Above: Shodai Baba Right: From Komazawa Park to Murasaki – with its giant 14-foot vert ramp – a spate of skate parks opened over the last few years have allowed skaters to hone their skills off the streets

52 Opened in 1977, Stormy has long been a magnet for Tokyo skaters. In the early days, it quickly accrued a near-ecclesiastical following, as the only space for the city’s tiny community. Now, Tokyo is considered one of the world’s leading skating cities, known primarily for its instinctive, talented youth. Skaters as young as 30 fondly reminisce about travelling all over the city as a teenager, searching for new skating spots. There were a few deterrents: a lack of dedicated parks in Tokyo meant boarders had to use streetscapes as their apparatus. Security were especially strict, with skaters constantly on the lookout for guards as they navigated the city by kerb, bench, wall, or stairs. Instead of becoming phased by these Far from the easy cruising roads of Los Angeles, Tokyo’s street skaters have had to adapt to rougher, more uneven surfaces

obstacles, the young skaters adapted. Travelling at night when the streets were quieter and guards asleep allowed them to hone their tricks, with rough surfaces making them sure-footed and hardy at increasingly young ages. A serious scene started to develop in the city. Photos and videos of elite Japanese skaters started to get exposure in the Western media, and professional skaters from the US and Europe began visiting the city to film their own exploits. The 2020 Olympics may just be the event that finally makes Tokyo a true global skateboarding capital. That would be just fine with Shodai. As opposed to other cities across the world where local skaters are infamously territorial, Tokyo’s skate scene can’t wait to grow. “We want more of everything – more skaters, more parks, more shops. “Tokyo is ready. We want to be like a skating heaven.”

Tokyo’s reputation as a skate destination grew quickly from the midnoughties; locals say by then it was no longer unusual to see Western skaters cruising through the streets

Smile all the stay.

Welcome to the new LUX* Grand Gaube, a totally reimagined retro-chic tropical retreat in Mauritius. What’s Next? MAURITIUS








Dubai MY UAE





Understanding hardship From the age of eight, Sheikh Zayed lived with his maternal grandfather among the Bani Yas tribe of Al Ain. Through it all, he never forgot the trials that were part and parcel of a desert Bedouin lifestyle p.66

The UAE is undoubtedly one of the most multicultural countries in the world. From attitudes toward migration to population breakdown, here’s how it measures up on a global scale



2.62 million



1.21 million



0.7 million



0.53 million



0.454 million



0.404 million



0.303 million

Sri Lanka


0.303 million



0.202 million

Other countries


1.71 million


Total expat population in 2018: 8.45 million




Nationalities live in the UAE


(only outnumbered by the Vatican)


UAE world ranking for attitudes toward globalisation

3.15 million


number of migrants worldwide as a proportion of the total population

(According to the UN, one of the steepest in the world)

Population timeline

The UAE has the


Annual population growth rate in 2016

9.54 million

UAE residents agree that it is important for people from different nationalities to interact


6.89 million

9 in 10







Say at least half of their circle of friends are from different nationalities


2.45M 2017




UAE world ranking for flexibility & adaptability





UAE world ranking for social responsibility



UAE world ranking for social cohesion

THE MIDDLE EAST’S How green could the UAE really be? With a renewed desire for ecological sustainability and the credentials to back it up, a new breed of architects are slowly turning over a new leaf in the country



This is the stuff of sci-fi. Terracotta walls punched with tiny square windows curve sinuously around paths, and a hedgehog-shaped building curls up against the heat. There are giant wind towers, open plazas that funnel into miniscule walkways, and seemingly random gusts of wind that can blow an unprepared visitor off course.

a subsidiary of state-owned Mubadala Development Company. Created in order to both diversify beyond oil and become a leader in renewable and clean tech, Wan is the head of city design management for the sustainable real estate section of the firm. He is demonstrating how the effects of radiant heat can be counteracted not using any complex technology, but a few simple measures that have existed in the UAE since it was a cluster of tribal communities: the use of shade, of wind, and of sunlight.

spacecraft, and a new kind of evaporator for water desalination. In the city itself is a range of corporates – Siemens Middle East is based there, as is General Electric and Mitsubishi – and it also acts as the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a 158-member community whose mission is to “support countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.” Buildings are backed up by local and international accreditations.

Since 2006, the renewable energy company has separated into three business units including Masdar Clean Energy, Masdar City, and Masdar Capital, and topped off by Khalifa University of Science and Technology, whose current active projects include developing solar cells that can be used on

Siemens Middle East is certified with LEED, the most widely used green building rating system in the world: in its first year of operation, the office celebrated saving 63 per cent and 52 per cent of energy and water consumption respectively, compared to a standard Abu Dhabi office building.

Building work started on Masdar City in 2008. Currently, it occupies 200,000 square feet of land in Abu Dhabi

Amidst this surreal landscape, Chris Wan crouches on the floor, beaming. “You feel this?” he gestures, patting the stone animatedly. “It’s 40 degrees outside. But this is not burning.” This is Masdar City, an urban dreamscape in Abu Dhabi brought (partly) to life over the last 12 years by Masdar,

7 - 9 November 2018

Sandton Convention Centre Johannesburg, South Africa


a r t e v i t innova

Brought to you by:

m u r o f d se a b n o i t c nsa A pipeline of investment-ready projects in energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture Global gathering of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private investors, policy makers and private equity firms Accelerated capital investment with co-financing and co-guarantee opportunities

62 L-R: A reading pavilion conceived by SvenM; minimal intervention at Al Ghurair University; a wind tower in Masdar City, inspired by the traditional Arabic barjeel

The project still has a way to go – of a proposed 3.7 million feet, only 200,000 is built on and occupied – but it is just one example of the proliferation of eco-architecture that has taken place in the region over the last decade.

To consider the UAE’s attitude to architecture, one first must go back in time. Elie Mrad is the head of architecture for Arcadia Middle East, which is currently work on developing the first phase of the mammoth Aljada project in Sharjah. Estimated to spread over 24 million square feet, the team employed Zaha Hadid Architects to design the central hub, a typical Hadidian modernist creation of water droplet-shaped buildings. The most interesting aspect of the project is its adherence to sikka, the pathways used by communities in the Middle East to create shaded passage, and to help funnel windflow. “Al Khan is the oldest part of Sharjah and these are the oldest villas,” says Mrad, pulling out an aerial recreation of the ancient villages that used to pepper the emirate’s coasts. “They aren’t there any more, but what we’ve done is replicate this typeology, and to use it in a contemporary way in our own development.” Similarly at Masdar, ancient Arabic techniques are used to significant effect.

“LEED and Estidama are very important but not the be-all and end-all,” says Wan, referencing the international and local accreditations for green buildings. Working with Foster and Partners, the original master planners to study how the previous residents of Abu Dhabi lived – with no air conditioning, no automatic blinds – helped them develop the passive design that became the crux of the city. “We don’t want huge massive windows that let in loads of heat. We don’t want a window, or a doorway, to face the sun. Buildings must be close together to create shade, and you must understand where the wind is coming

from. This is passive design,” he says. Wan describes how the courtyard – so important in the culturally private background of the emirates – also acts as a cooling system. The optimum angle for the sun hitting the top edge of a building? 35 degrees. Too high a building and too small a courtyard mean the heat is trapped – too low a building and too wide of a courtyard, there is no shade. “If you look at us on Google maps, we don’t follow the same grid as our neighbours. It seems to be, in fact, very arbitrary,” says Wan. “But we are oriented like this to capture the wind coming from the northwest, and going to the southeast.”


Zaha Hadid Architects designed the Aljada project in Sharjah, a sprawling complex estimated to cover 24 million square feet.

The waves of migration into the country, from Egyptian to Lebanese, Russians to Azerbaijanis, created an architectural diversity where every type of project was considered, every kind of national style imprinted. Aesthetically it was somewhat of a mishmash; ecologically, unconsidered. A changed yet cohesive mindset will be an important part of developing a coherent eco-minded typology in the country, agree architects.

Baharash Bagherian is the founder of Baharash Architecture. Involved in the second phase of Sustainable City, as well as plans for eco-resorts across the UAE, he states that the typical thrill-seeking adventures visitors to the country indulge in, can impact people’s perception of the country. “People think eco-tourism can only exist in places like Costa Rica, but there is so much variance in the topography of the UAE, from its wadis to oceans,

mountains to desert. The question then becomes, how do you create opportunities beyond off-roading in 4x4s?” Bagherian describes the efforts of several projects – still in planning phases – to become conservation zones rather than just hotels. “Education is the biggest part of eco-tourism, and it goes beyond reusing towels in the bathroom. How is the food produced? Can it be made by local farmers? Is furniture locally made, are paintings by local artists? Are there activities that represent the culture of the region, such as falconry displays?” Sustainable City is one effort within Dubai to create a truly eco-minded, utopian suburb. Walking around the community, the feeling is of a Middle Eastern eco-utopia. Its biodomes are filled with herbs that residents can take away (with a voucher system: even loyalty is assumed in the City), donkeys graze quietly in the shade, and healthy-looking residents jog past with pushchairs and Apple watches. Atop each of the houses’ roofs is a solar panel, and inside UV reflective paint and insulation cut down on air condi-


Extreme temperatures and an arid landscape make eco-efficient measures tricky. There are no dense jungle canopies to provide shading, blustery sand reduces the effectiveness of solar panels, and any water feature comes at a cost: forget what designers may creatively describe as water features with reuse. Says Wan: “How can water be reused in the summer? The spray just evaporates.” An aerial view of Sustainable City, where residents can live partly off the land

tioning costs. In the outer circles there are running tracks, a ring road for vehicles, even an equestrian centre. The development company, Diamond Developer, has a plan that extends beyond mere comfortable living. The team has been engaging with academic partners such as Herriot-Watt and the American Universities of Beirut and Cairo, as well as green councils and initiatives, with the collective goal of reducing the country’s carbon footprint – in 2010, ranked the highest in the world. There are two major challenges towards the advance of eco-architecture within the UAE, architects tend to agree: the client-side knowledge gap and the physical conditions.

For state-of-the-art living within an extreme environment, air conditioning is undebatable says Sven Mueller, founder of Dubai-based architectural firm SvenM. “There is no other way to achieve that. It comes back to, how do we protect buildings from these extreme conditions to save energy, and how can we produce additional energy to counteract that?” There can also be a presumption that an oil-rich UAE should not need to concern itself with building sustainably, adds Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Masdar’s Sustainable Real Estate division. “When we started designing the project in 2006, that was a big challenge, as this concept of sustainable architecture was not yet addressed in the region,” he says. “We are rich in hydrocarbons now, but we are not looking for today – we are looking into the future.” “Most importantly, the client has to feel the wish to be more eco-friendly,”

adds Mueller. “Someone who has a project that they are looking into building should have this core aspiration first of all: to be aware that they are going to create a carbon footprint here, but that there are measures to reduce the harm. They should be curious about how they can achieve that.” This can be possible. Mueller speaks positively about a project undertaken for Al Ghurair University. Seeing the chance to transform the space using micro-measures, SvenM sought to occupy as little space and noise as possible in a building continually used by students. “Our designs are all a mix of measurements or interventions,” says Mueller. “There are a few elements that we add, a few that we remove and a lot that is modified. There is a large curtain wall glass façade at the lobby entrance which gives a beautiful natural light into the whole building that we want to sustain. We just added large louver structures [angled shutters] in front, to protect the curtain wall from the sun’s direct impact, but to maintain all the light.” Passive design had its birth in Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat in Brno in 1930. It goes beyond modern labels of “eco” and “green”, or any formal accreditations. It is both ancient and modern, but its application is vital for the continued eco efforts of the UAE. It will be the architects of the region who will drive this change. As Peter Davey of The Architectural Review has said: “The environment must remain with those who continue to weave everything together: an essential way of thinking if we are to survive as a species.” Back at Masdar City, one worker pauses at the plaza, where the venturi effect funnels the wind briskly through the space. “I don’t even park my car here in the winter,” she says conspiratorially, glancing from side to side. “It’s way too cold.”


Prior to the Federation, Sheikh Zayed travelled between the emirates in his attempt to attain his dream of unity. Here, he is accompanied by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Mualla, the then Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, during a visit to the emirate in 1969

How a combined Bedouin and royal upbringing carved a deep-rooted respect for the hardships of his people

Zayed, the man


A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry a special ‘Year of Zayed’ livery for 2018. These ‘Year of Zayed’ aircraft have circled the globe to over 90 cities on more than 1,800 flights.

Sheikh Zayed was the youngest of four sons born to Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed. His grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa (known as Zayed the Great), had ruled Abu Dhabi for 54 years, bringing a period of great stability to the emirate through the respect in which he was held by all the tribes. He died in 1909, and over the next two decades, four men would serve as ruler – of which Sheikh Sultan was one. The Al Nahyan family belongs to the tribe of Bani Yas, which is considered the mother tribe for most of the Arabs that settled in what is known today as the United Arab Emirates. The young Sheikh Zayed was raised initially in his father’s home and then at the royal palace at Qasr Al Hosn. He was only seven years old when he began to sit in his father’s majlis, listening to the conversations around him and asking questions. In those turbulent times, Sheikh Sultan was concerned for the safety of his family and sent Zayed and two of his brothers to Al Ain with their mother in 1926. His father’s prescience was not without foundation; he was assassinated shortly afterwards. From the age of eight Sheikh Zayed lived with his maternal grandfather, from the Al Qubaisat section of the Bani Yas tribe, among the Bedouin tribespeople of Al Ain – a significant change from his early years in Abu Dhabi. He would sit in his grandfather’s majlis, where he learned first-hand the day-today issues facing the local Bedouin. He also met people there who had known and fought alongside his paternal grandfather, and came

to know the many good qualities that had defined Zayed the Great, including fairness, generosity and honesty. This laid the foundation of the man he would become, well-loved and respected by his people. Life for most people in Abu Dhabi in those days was relatively hard. On the coast, the men would earn a living from pearl diving and fishing. Pearling was the mainstay of the economy, and the pearl diving boats would stay out at sea for three or four months. There was no guarantee of success – not every crew found pearls, which meant a very difficult winter lay ahead. Inland, hunting was the main activity. As a boy, the young Sheikh was an expert hunter and a skilled marksman, although he later gave up hunting in the interests of wildlife conservation. A strong and athletic young man, he was an accomplished horseman and loved to write poetry about life, love and patriotism. The Bedouin taught him the art of falconry, which became a lifelong passion. Sheikh Zayed was very much one of the tribe, enduring the hardships that were part and parcel of a desert Bedouin lifestyle. He became acutely aware of how they lived and loved being among them, and in later life he never lost his instinct to stay close to his people. He came to understand these independent-minded tribespeople – their ability to cooperate in the interests of survival, their values, their code of honour and their willingness to accept leadership based on respect. He knew that they could be led, but could never be pushed.

68 / MY DUBAI / EXPO 2020

How will 5G affect your future? More than just fast downloads, 5G networks could revolutionise human interaction with technology Fifth generation mobile networks are set to change the way we interact with and consume technology, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. About 20 times faster than 4G, 5G has virtually no latency (which means minimal delay or lag), ultra-low energy requirements, and is set to become a fundamental component of autonomous self-driving vehicles,

which require a constant, guaranteed connection. For consumers, 5G will mean the ability to download a movie in seconds, while virtual and augmented reality, networked vehicles, industrial automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will all be taken to the next level. All of the above will be a key focus for Expo 2020, which has become the first major commer-

A 5G robot mirrors an operator’s movements doing Japanese calligraphy, during the Mobile World Congress

cial customer to access 5G services in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Those 5G services are currently being demonstrated at Expo’s ‘smart site’, thanks to its partnership with UAE telecom provider Etisalat, but will ultimately provide the most advanced digital experiences to millions of visitors and hundreds of participants. Those experiences could include supporting smart tickets, tech-enabled volunteers, smart food ordering, dynamic crowd management, dynamic information on pavilions, and 4K security cameras (which is more challenging on a 4G network). Early access to 5G services means Expo 2020 and its partners can test a variety of next-generation products and services, giving an edge in their respective fields. “Becoming the first major 5G commercial customer in the MEASA region is an important milestone for the UAE and Dubai, and supports Expo 2020’s goal to be one of the most connected places on Earth, both physically and virtually,” said Mohammed Alhashmi, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Future Technology at Expo 2020 Dubai. This significant achievement brings to life Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ more than two years before its gates open in October 2020.

For more, check out the Expo 2020 podcast on ice channel 1901.




Call it the natural conclusion of watching Cowspiracy, or just the city’s embrace of the good life, but the wellness trend is en vogue in Dubai

Chinese healing

Menus at the holistic clinic range from vegetarian and vegan to gluten free

Starting off in life as a centre specialising in Chinese and homeopathic treatment, the Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, just off Oud Metha Road, has been in Dubai for 15 years. They have now introduced food into the mix, with an upstairs restaurant that focuses on ‘good’ eating. With gluten free, vegan and vegetarian menus on offer, there’s something for everyone. Those with fairly standard eating habits should go for


the lamb rack with pistachio and harissa crust, whilst those looking to embrace the plantbased lifestyle should experiment with either the delicious caprese, with a mozzarella made out of cashews and coconut yoghurt, or the signature salad, served in a garden bucket. Downstairs, a variety of unique treatments are on offer, including three types of cupping, facial acupuncture, and ear point treatment. Oud Metha Rd, Dubai.

Eda Gungor transformed a villa in Jumeirah to create a haven in the city

From workouts to wellness workshops THE HUNDRED WELLNESS CENTRE Head to Jumeirah 1 for Pilates classes, physiotherapy, homeopathy, body composition analysis, and wellness workshops. There’s a juice bar, too.

URTH BY NABZ A hip and tiny hideaway in JLT that specialises in vegetarian, vegan and raw options. Opt for bestselling Buddha Burger, made from quinoa and oats.

F45 TRAINING With positive group training, charismatic instructors and dynamic workouts, F45 has become more of a lifestyle than just a gym. There are three studios dotted around the city.

Chi vibes at Life’n One Plant-based café Life’n One has quickly become a fixture in Dubai, where regulars swoon over rooftop yoga and a café hidden in the garden of a converted villa. Owner Eda Gungor explains why a unique space like this is so vital in the city. “I have always been drawn to nature and the elements, where order and straight lines cease to exist. This led me to strongly ensure that Life’n One would really encompass organic material and objects when feasible. When wood is sourced in its more raw form, there are many beautiful imperfections

that bring character to Life’n One. I first spotted the railroad sleepers in my home country – I immediately felt the ‘chi’ energy that it holds. I knew I had to have that exact vibe in the centre and cafe. “As per the initial vision for Life’n One’s layout – the idea for a garden was imperative; as the centrepiece. All the furniture in the ‘secret garden’ creates an inclusive, warm and friendly setting, and its placement came from the team’s inner instinct – no interior design, no landscape... just pure intuition.” Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai.


Get ready for awesome shopping deals, hotel and F&B offers including special summer offers by Zomato, the opening of a brand new world attraction, entertainment and fun for the whole family across Abu Dhabi City and Al Ain ADSS 2018 will unveil an exciting Unbox the Amazing retail promotion every weekend with unmatched-value prizes to be won at more than 10 malls, in addition to malls offering up to 80% summer sale across the emirate Avail special promotions on attractions and city tours with the all-new Abu Dhabi Summer Pass brought to you by Rayna Tours. ADSS 2018 will also feature shows: Pinkfong and Baby Shark, the Nickelodeon Experience, Unite with Tomorrowland, Around the World, Sparkles of India, Al Beit Beit Aboona and All Day Live Make sure you don’t miss a thing...

It’s too fun to miss!

F&B partner


Destination Management partner



Emirates NEWS








New loyalties Emirates Skywards has officially become the loyalty programme of both Emirates airline and flydubai. p.74





3D VR tech on

First-time customers of Emirates who want to learn more about the fleet can now do so in 3D, by using new web virtual reality (VR) technology introduced on its digital platform. Emirates has become the first airline to introduce the technology, which offers a 3D, 360-degree view of the interior of the Emirates A380 and the Emirates Boeing 777. It will give customers a chance to explore their seats, the spacious cabin and the Emirates onboard product. The high-quality 3D-generated graphics offer an outstanding render that is close to reality, and views of the cabins also feature a virtual reality element for a more immersive experience. Customers can enjoy hands-free cabin navigation and seat selection by using any VR headset such

as Google Cardboard, compatible with all devices. The 3D seat models have been created in partnership with Renacen, who were awarded the Crystal Cabin for this particular project. Customers accessing on a desktop or mobile device, or the Emirates app, will also be able to explore their seats before checking in online with the 3D seat map. The tool allows customers to navigate from one seat to another, and even allows would-be customers to book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment. The immersive experience is now available for the three class Emirates A380 but will soon include renderings of Emirates’ entire fleet, including all configurations of the A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

The 3D seat model is a visualisation engine of the interiors of the A380 and the Boeing 777

AN EXCLUSIVE PASS TO DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS Emirates has partnered with Dubai Parks and Resorts to offer its customers special privileges to Dubai’s theme parks. Emirates customers can enjoy a special bundle offer with added value at Dubai Parks and Resorts, the largest integrated theme park destination in the region, when they purchase a two-day entry pass. The pass gives them access to the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park. “Our aim is to offer all our guests an amazing experience and we have joined forces with Emirates to now create an unmatched travel and entertainment option for Dubai residents and visitors,” said Mohamed Almulla, the CEO and Managing Director of DXB Entertainments, PJSC, owner of Dubai Parks and Resorts. “This partnership perfectly ties in with our aim to reach a wider global audience.” Customers with an existing Emirates booking can simply go to the ‘manage your booking’ tab on to book the two-day entry to Dubai Parks and Resorts. A pass to visit any of the four parks over two days is AED495 for adults and AED435 for children.


MORE CHOICE WHEN YOU TRAVEL Emirates has enhanced its service to Luanda and Moscow, increasing the connection between Dubai and the Angolan capital to five flights per week, and introducing a third daily service between Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport (DME).

The increased capacity to Luanda began on 1 July, with customers able to look forward to the commencement of a daily service this coming winter. The third service to Domodedovo is to commence on 25 October. The additional flights will give passengers more travel choices and address the growing demand

for connectivity on Emirates’ global network, especially to destinations in Asia, the US and Europe. Emirates already flies twice daily to Domodedovo and daily to St Petersburg but demand for travel has grown significantly over recent years, leading to the airline’s launch of a third flight to Moscow. Emirates has been serving the Russian market since July 2003. The flights to Luanda will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 310 in Economy Class. The new flights will also offer up to 23 tonnes of cargo per flight. The new service to Domodedovo will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy.

Emirates Skywards now to incorporate flydubai Emirates Skywards has officially become the loyalty programme of both Emirates airline and flydubai. The alignment of the loyalty programme now allows Emirates Skywards members to also earn Skywards Miles and Tier Miles when travelling on flydubai. The alignment of the loyalty programme for both airlines builds on Emirates’ and flydubai’s close partnership, which includes code-sharing on an extended global route network and several initiatives including commercial, network planning, and airport operations. Members can also spend a combination of cash and Skywards

Miles to book flydubai flights*, as well as to pay for optional extras like an extra legroom seat or a pre-ordered meal. When travelling on flydubai, Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will also receive additional benefits regardless of their class of travel including extra baggage allowance and priority check-in at flydubai’s Business Class counters. *All flights operated and marketed by flydubai (with FZ flight number).


Emirates is serving complimentary ice cream to all of its customers at Dubai International Airport throughout the summer. Ice cream cups are being given out at the Terminal 3 departure and transit areas until 31 August for customers travelling from or through Dubai. The ice cream, branded Emperor, is made in-house by Emirates Flight Catering and the airline expects to serve millions of cups over the three-month period. The cool treats – available in chocolate, vanilla, date and Arabic coffee, mango sorbet and lemon sorbet flavours – are served during peak departure times every day: between 12am and 3am; 12:30pm and 2:30pm; and 6pm and 9pm. Emirates continually invests in providing an unmatched travel experience and this simple but cool initiative is a reflection of its commitment to delighting customers. The airline’s popular Emperor ice cream is currently also served in premium classes on select flights to Europe and the UK, and in the seven Emirates lounges at Dubai International Airport.


Redesigning an aircraft

How Emirates Engineering reconfigures its Boeing aircraft Emirates Engineering operates modern and extensive technical facilities in Dubai to maintain its fleet of over 260 aircraft. Recently, it successfully completed the reconfiguration of the first two Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in its fleet. The conversion of the aircraft from three to two cabin classes was executed fully in-house at the Emirates Engineering hangars in Dubai

Type Boeing 777-200LR

22mths Time taken for Emirates Engineering to plan and execute the reconfiguration of the first Boeing 777200LR aircraft

March 2018 First reconfigured Emirates Boeing 777-200LR aircraft takes to the skies

Mid-2019 Timeframe by which Emirates will complete reconfiguration on the eight remaining Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in its fleet

Additional features New wider Business Class seats (in 2-2-2 format) New social area in Business Class Fully refreshed Economy class

$150 million Amount invested by Emirates to reconfigure the Boeing 777200LR aircraft in its fleet


Emirates Engineering facilities in Dubai 7 heavy maintenance A380 capable hangars 4 light maintenance A380 capable hangars Spread over 136 acres

THE PROCESS 1. Design and workflow Finalising the design was core to the reconfiguration process and the layout of the cabin that was finally chosen was one of eight proposed blueprints. The engineering team also had to secure approvals from regulatory authorities including the GCAA and the FAA in order to modify the aircraft from its original design.

55 days Amount of ground time to reconfigure the first aircraft

2,700 Number of parts and spares managed by the team at any one time

35 days Time taken to complete reconfiguration of second aircraft

3. Safety testing A battery of tests had to be conducted on the aircraft at various stages to ensure its safe operations. The four major types that had to be conducted included: prototype testing where the design was validated for regulatory compliance; functional testing of cabin components; electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and air-flow testing inside the cabin, and a five hour test flight with the simulation of various flight scenarios and in-flight fire and smoke testing.

30 Number of suppliers

Key suppliers Included Boeing, Jamco, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Zodiac, and ATG

2. Grounding the aircraft The next step in the process was to ground the aircraft for cabin reconfiguration. During this time the original interiors of the aircraft cabin were completely stripped and rebuilt. The reconfiguration not only involved the installation of new seats but also a number of other changes including new wiring for the lighting systems, raising the ceiling height in the business class cabin, and modifying the aircraft galleys to incorporate the new social space in business class.

16,000+ Man hours invested by Emirates Engineering team in the design and implementation of this aircraft reconfiguration project



An architectural delight One of the world’s most beautiful cities, Prague has grace and charm in spades; enough to bewitch even the most cynical of travellers. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque-era buildings vie for a visitor’s attention, while history seeps from the city’s ancient stonework. There are also enough impressive dining options to keep the most discerning of restaurant goers entertained. The city is awash with historical churches, castles and art, but also known for its forward-thinking fashion and design. From the Gothic altarpieces of the Convent of St Agnes, to the art nouveau of Alphonse Mucha and the sculptures of David Černý that pepper Prague’s public spaces, this is a city for the culture buff. Such beauty occasionally comes at a cost for residents and travellers alike. The 14th century Charles Bridge, once the only means of crossing the River Vltava, is frequently jammed solid with visitors. With stunning views of Prague Castle and the Old Town, such a state of affairs is understandable, but even large crowds can’t dampen the spectacle. A compact city of 1.2 million, this “city of a hundred spires” is a year-round treat – although prepare to hunker down in one of the capital’s many cellar bars if you opt to travel in winter.

On July 1 Emirates launched a new second daily flight between Dubai and Prague, after steadily growing passenger numbers on the route during the eight years since launch of operations in July 2010. The new flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER and complements the existing schedule operated by an Emirates A380.





The shining star in restaurateur Sanjiv Suri’s culinary empire, with unrivalled views of Prague Castle. Providing mouthwatering interpretations of Bohemian classics, it embraces the richness of dishes such as veal fillet with saffron potatoes, sweetbread and périgourdine sauce.

In the heart of the city’s Old Town is this modern take on a traditional Czech eatery. Expect homemade dishes such as goulash, dumplings and roast duck with braised red cabbage and apples – all made with fresh ingredients and spices sourced from regional suppliers. It’s cheap, bustling and cheerful.

Just north of Masarykovo Nádraží train station, La Bottega Linka was founded by Riccardo Lucque and prides itself on Italian authenticity. Serving fresh pastas, breads, salamis, cheeses and desserts, prepare to delve into dishes such as carrot risotto with mustard and robiola cheese.



Within easy walking distance of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, you’d never guess that behind the hotel’s outer walls lies a five-star gem. Situated in a series of buildings that once formed part of the 13th-century St Thomas Church and Monastery, this is accommodation at its most inspired.

Located just below the walls of Prague Castle is this plush boutique hotel with 19 elaborately decorated rooms. Once owned by a Habsburg emperor and abandoned during the Communist era, the Golden Well is hidden up a narrow cobbled side street in Malá Strana and offers amazing city views.




A trip to Prague without visiting the fairy-tale vistas of the Old Town would be unthinkable. There’s the Old Town Square, the Prague astronomical clock and more historic buildings than you can shake a stick at. It’s also home to many of the city’s best bars and restaurants and funky streets such as Karoliny Světlé.

Dominating the skyline of the city’s Lesser Town is this ancient symbol of the Czech State. Built in the 9th century, it consists of a series of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it has undergone significant repairs and is a remarkable spectacle.

Also situated in Malá Strana is the 52-room Aria Hotel Prague, with its music-themed aesthetic, private cinema, fine dining and flamboyant interior. Centrally located in a quiet side street away from the main hustle and bustle of the Old Town, it has its own rooftop restaurant.

CHURCH OF OUR LADY BEFORE TÝN An architectural marvel, the Church of Our Lady Before Týn was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and is a Gothic masterpiece. One of the most important religious buildings in Prague, it includes altar paintings by Karel Škréta and also houses the tomb of astronomer Tycho Brahe.


Be smart!


Use UAE Smart Gate at Dubai International Airport Citizens of the countries listed on the right and UAE residents can speed through Dubai International by using UAE Smart Gate. If you hold a 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.



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.


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.


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


Emirates Edinburgh: daily service starts October 1 flydubai Helsinki: daily service starts October 11



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: starts Oct 29 / Hong Kong / Houston Jeddah / Johannesburg / Kuala Lumpur / Kuwait London / Los Angeles / Madrid / Manchester / Mauritius Melbourne / Milan / Moscow / Mumbai / Munich New York / Nice / Osaka: starts Oct 28 / Paris / Perth Prague / Rome / San Francisco / SĂŁo Paulo / Seoul Shanghai / Singapore / Sydney / Taipei / Tokyo Toronto / Vienna / Washington, DC / Zurich

Emirates route

flydubai route


With 22 codeshare partners in 25 countries (21 airlines and an air/ rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.

Visit for full details on our travel partners




Emirates route

Routes shown are as of time of going to press



flydubai route






Routes shown are as of time of going to press


Freighter destinations


Emirates Fleet

Our fleet of 273 aircraft includes 260 passenger aircraft and 13 SkyCargo aircraft

AIRBUS A380-800

This month:

1 arriving

107 IN FLEET All aircraft

up to 3,500+

Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. L 72.7m x W 79.8m

20+ aircraft

BOEING 777-300ER

140 IN FLEET All aircraft

up to 3,500+

Up to 354-428 passengers. Range: 14,594km. L 73.9m x W 64.8m 100+ aircraft

For more information:

BOEING 777-200LR

10 IN FLEET All aircraft


Up to 266-302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m


Live TV, news & sport


Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

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

This month:

1 retiring

BOEING 777-300 2 IN FLEET All aircraft


Up to 364 passengers. Range: 11,029km. L 73.9m x W 60.9m



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



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


GUIDE TO RIO Each month, the great and the good curate a travel itinerary exclusively for Open Skies. This month, Ronaldinho takes us on a whistlestop tour of Rio WORDS: EMMA COILER If you arrive in Rio in the day go straight to the beach, and if you arrive in the evening go out for a nice dinner, have a few cold drinks, and get ready to party like only Rio knows how. To really eat like a Brazilian you need to order feijoada, our national dish and one of my favourite foods. Also churrasco, with a good South American red wine. Copacabana can get crowded. You can go to Ipanema, which is also very beautiful, but it can still get busy in peak season. If you want to play beach football or volleyball then you should head down to Leblon. Brazilians love to party. If you go out for a night in Rio, expect it to be a lot of fun. We don’t allow you to sit down in the corner – it’s a Rio rule that you have to dance the whole night. Copacabana and Lapa are always fun and always busy, but we also have some great little


neighbourhoods that have fun nightlife that should be explored, if you have the time. The best way to recover from your night out the next day is to go and relax with some amazing views of the city at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. There is a reason why people come from all over the world for Rio Carnival. It is one of the most spectacular things you can see on the planet. I have been lucky enough to be involved in it, and if you can go to Rio with your family during Carnival, you won’t regret it. Rio is maybe the most passionate city in the world when it comes to football. My perfect day in Rio, if we’re talking about dreams – then it would be to win the World Cup with Brazil and then go and celebrate by partying at Carnival. Ok, they are not in the same months, but you did ask for my perfect day in Rio, and that’s it.

22.9068° S, 43.1729° W

EAT Feijoada or churrasco SUNBATHE Ipanema and Leblon

PARTY Copacabana and Lapa VIEWPOINT Sugarloaf Mountain

PARTY SOME MORE Rio Carnival WATCH Football... anywhere RIO

Since 2012 Emirates offers a daily Boeing 777 service between Dubai and Rio de Janeiro.

Opening in winter 2018 Luxurious living coupled with exotic extraordinary experiences will unravel in the pristine island of Aarah, at Raa atoll. Have a sneak peak in to our offerings at T: +96 03 323 323 | E :


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