THE LANGUAGE OF DANCE In the UAE, movement that seeks to transcend borders
EXPLORING SOUTH AFRICA WITH ANDY SERKIS THE WONDER MATERIAL FROM MANCHESTER
SIMPLY THE BEST CASHMERE IN THE WORLD
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CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Beanland, Emma Coiler, Ben East, Alicia Fischmeister, Dom Joly, Marina Kay, Emily Manthei, Leah Simpson, Louise Tam, David Taylor, Liza Zhitskaya. Cover: Model: Giselle Farahat wearing Haute Hippie. Photographer: Karan Kumar Sachdev. Falcon provided by Dubai City Stable.
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CONTENTS SEPTEMBER 2018
61 DUBAI Shaking it up From belly dancing to Dabke, Al-Youla to Contemporary – see how the dancers of the UAE are blending disciplines to create their own genres 62
The Year of Zayed Sheikh Zayed, the leader 70
Experience 20 Stay: Barcelona to Mauritius 22 Travel essentials: The diving watch 28 Dom Joly: On Canadian politeness 30 Dispatch: Manc’s super material 33 Lunch with: Google’s Sophie Diao 36 Neighbourhood: Highland Park 42 Can Russia become a fine dining haven? 50
Latest news 74 Inside Emirates: Wines and spirits 76 Destination: Edinburgh 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Andy Serkis’ guide to Durban 90
Expo 2020 The role of technology in Expo 2020 68
7 FOR ALL MANKIND ADIDAS ARMANI B A L LY BOSS B O T T E G A V E N E TA BURBERRY CA LV I N K L E I N J E A N S COACH CONVERSE DIESEL DOLCE & GABBANA ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA ESCADA ETRO FALKE FURLA GUCCI HACKETT HOUR PAS S IO N JIMMY CHOO JOOP! LA PERLA LACOSTE LEVI'S LINDT LORO PIANA MAMMUT MARC O'POLO MAX MARA MICHAEL KORS MISSONI MONCLER MÖVE N A PA PIJR I NIKE OAKLEY P E T I T B AT E AU PUMA REEBOK S.OLIVER SAMSONITE SCHIESSER SCHIESSER KIDS SEIDENSTICKER SIGIKID
EXCLUSIVE SHOPPING DESTINATION O U T L E T C I T Y. C O M
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EDITOR’S NOTE KEEP THINGS WEIRD, NOT JUST IN AUSTIN
Behind the scenes of our August cover, featuring classically-trained contemporary dancer Giselle Farahat alongside a falcon provided by Dubai City Stable. The pair were photographed in Dubai by Karan Kumar Sachdev.
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The first time I visited Moscow, strangeness reigned. Monkeys travelled on the metro, curled in their handler’s arms and clad in Swarovski tracksuits. Strict facial recognition controlled access to vast barges that doubled up as nightclubs, pulsing on the city’s river. In the dusk of one morning, a girl nonchalantly rode her horse up Tverskaya, one of the busiest throughfares in Moscow. As for dining, “go to Georgian restaurants”, it was advised. The fact that even locals were recommending their neighbours’ cuisine made it evident that the restaurant scene needed some rejuvenation. But the city, and country, is changing. Louise Tam travelled to her grandmother’s hometown to find out how chefs are driving forward fine dining whilst still retaining their weird and wonderful joie de vivre (p50). Elsewhere, Emily Manchei’s Neighbourhood guide (p42) looks at what she calls the ‘wise elder’ of LA, Highland Park – replete with beloved local landmark, Chicken Boy. “In the past few years, celluloid archeologists have pulled back the neighborhood’s layers and exposed long-dormant cultural gems,” she says. It is a reminder that uniqueness in neighbourhoods, in countries – even in nations – must be preserved. Enjoy the issue. Georgina Lavers, Editor
Pockets of loveliness Barcelona’s Eixample district – designed in 1855 to solve the city’s need for growth – is a bastion of culture, containing institutions such as Sagrada Família and La Pedrera. p.22
20 / GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE
The Plan EVENTS TO AIM FOR THIS MONTH ZAYED CRICKET STADIUM AND DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CRICKET STADIUM, SEPTEMBER 13-28
The ACC Asia Cup As the biennial cricket tournament is set to be held in the UAE for the very first time, Matthew Boucher, Acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, explains why it is a must-see INTERVIEW: GEORGINA LAVERS
The Asia Cup’s location was changed from its original location of India. Why should people come to the UAE to watch it? One of the main reasons is that it’s rare to see India play Pakistan, a game that is one of the great jewels of world cricket. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are thrilled to be hosts, especially for the marquee match, which will be India vs. Pakistan (the teams last faced each other in the UAE 12 years ago). We don’t see India’s participation in the UAE very often as they have a huge fanbase back home, so when they host matches it will obviously be at home to capacity crowds, and away from home they’ll usually be visiting South Africa, Australia, or the UK. It’s hugely exciting for Indian cricket fans that their national team will be coming to the UAE.
Any players to look out for? The number one batsmen in the world
Matt Boucher is Acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket
is undoubtedly the Indian captain, Virat Kohli. He’s the main superstar, and is leading this new and very successful phase of Indian cricket. Captaincy in cricket is usually more calculated, and Kohli does that but he also has a very aggressive and excitable style we don’t see too often in the game. They have more incredible players: legend MS Dhoni, and the spinner Ravi Ashwin – but Kohli is the figurehead and the team follows his leadership.
The Cup reverts to its 50-over ODI format this year. What does that mean for the spectator? There are three main formats of world cricket. The traditional five-day test match, the eight to 10 hour One Day International, and the most fashionable current form, the three to four hour T20. The Asia Cup is a One Day format, and as a viewer this is such a welcome format, as you can get involved in the ebb and
flow of the game far better than when watching T20. One man can’t make such a significant difference in this format – it’s the whole team that has to impress and perform. This year, the Asia Cup is looking to start at about 4pm, and when the sun sets the game will play out under the evening skies.
What do you expect this tournament will do for cricket in the UAE? The two hosts are the Dubai International Stadium and Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and we’re expecting a sell out crowd of 25,000 in Abu Dhabi, certainly for the marquee games. I think the UAE has done a brilliant job of hosting bilateral matches with the Pakistan Cricket Board for the last six years or so, and if we’re successful in hosting the Asia Cup, of course we hope that more international cricket comes to the UAE. Dubai, UAE.
GLOBAL / EXPERIENCE / 21
BANGKOK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
PHOTO: FT WEEKEND FESTIVAL
Unconventional and emerging cinema is not so much encouraged as essential in this niche festival. Submissions are asked to be “bizarre, specific, and to broaden the boundaries of cinema.” Expect anything from documentaries on Myanmar punks to silent films with live scores. DAFDA, Bangkok, Thailand.
MODERN PENTATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
THE FT WEEKEND FESTIVAL
The oarsmen that pepper Venetian canals in their iconic monochrome stripes are not just for tourists: to train in the traditional sculling style known as voga takes years. In September, a full day of rowing races allows the gondolieri to dress up in full 15th-century costume, with Venice seeming to breathe the magic of the olden days. Venice, Italy.
A celebration of the passions of 2018, the Financial Times festival features hot debate from columnists, artists, and adventurers. In what the FT describes as “an age of disruption”, a new stage will host tech powerhouses and provocateurs. The other stages are split like the sections of the paper, including Books, Food & Drink and How To Spend It. Kenwood House Gardens, London.
It may have been been an Olympic sport since 1912, but the pentathlon has often flown under the radar. With disciplines of fencing, swimming, riding, shooting, and running – originally chosen to determine the best cavalry soldier – the very best multidisciplinary athletes in the world will head to Mexico for the World Championships. Mexico City, Mexico.
22 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
41.3851° N, 2.1734° E
PRICE: FROM US$150 PER NIGHT
The Alexandra Barcelona offers a chance to experience the city’s venerable Eixample district
In the old town WORDS: CHRISTOPHER BEANLAND
NEIGHBOURHOOD The Eixample district of Barcelona is like a meal of never-ending architectural tapas, with each dish more delicious than the last. There are, of course, the famous houses by Antoni Gaudí and his unfinished Sagrada Família cathedral. Also look for the work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner – such as the Hospital de Sant Pau, and buildings by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.
FROM THE CONCIERGE Ruben Fernandez, guest relations Casa Vicens Casa Vicens is the first important commission Antoni Gaudí received, and sowed the seeds of all his architectural modernist work. It has been open to the public for just three months. Gràcia neighbourhood A little bit outside the centre, this neighbourhood has managed to keep its local charm. A relaxed and bohemian atmosphere makes you want to spend hours walking around, discovering the alternative side of Barcelona. Gràcia is trendy but it still holds a charming, village-kind feel.
The best place to be in Barcelona is the Eixample district, which wears its 100odd years with elegance. These rectilinear streets, akin to Manhattan’s city blocks, teem with chic offerings from Le Creuset and other, as well as a vast range of tapas bars (both hole-in-the-wall and gourmet). A perfect place, then, for a hotel. The building the Alexandra sits in is emblematic of the district – a storied Modernisme villa once occupied by a wealthy family. Choose a room with a balcony overlooking the junction of Calle Mallorca and the pedestrianised
Rambla de Catalunya to fully envelop yourself in the atmosphere of the area. Simple mid-century pieces enliven minimalist bedrooms, while a gloriously verdant patio with outdoor pool offers guests an ideal place to breakfast. In the same place at night, the romantic Solomillo restaurant caters to carnivores, offering steak and sauces, Iberian ham and Catalan sausage. A short stroll to the Diagonal Metro stop lends access to the rest of the city, with a range of sights just outside one’s doorstep.
Emirates operates twice daily A380 service to Barcelona.
University City is the most modern of academic hubs
24 / GLOBAL / WHERE TO STAY
20.3484° S, 57.5522° E
PRICE: FROM $480 PER NIGHT
Home to royalty and movie stars, the Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa epitomises discreet luxury
A Mauritian film-star retreat WORDS: DAVID G. TAYLOR
Princess Stephanie of Monaco has a home there. Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway stayed during filming for their neo noir thriller, Serenity. But Maradiva, the Mauritian resort situated in the tranquil Rivière Noire district, is about more than just people spotting. Just off the east coast of Africa, one of Mauritius’ closest neighbours is Madagascar, and visitors will find the island similarly rich in rare plant and animal species. This year is a particularly special time to visit, as Mauritius celebrates 50 years of independence. Owned and run by a prominent local family, this resort is an obvious choice for anyone seeking privacy. All guests enjoy their own secluded villa, complete with a private infinity pool and verandah for outdoor lounging and dining. The resort boasts 65 such villas, arranged in sleepy avenues
across 27 acres of lush landscaped gardens. Guests awaken to the perfume of hibiscus and frangipani and the mellifluous calls of the red-whiskered bulbuls that inhabit the island. For beachgoers, Flic-en-Flac is one of the island’s longest and loveliest, while the mystical Tamarin mountains lend a breathtaking backdrop to holiday snaps. Away from the beach there are many incredible sights, from a day trip to bustling capital Port Louis to the waterfalls of nearby Black River Gorges National Park. Since 1994, the nature reserve has protected many endemic species from the fate befalling the island’s famous former resident, the dodo. With year-round sunshine, a superb sports and sailing pedigree and an emphasis on excellent service, Maradiva is perfect for castaways seeking that something extra.
THE EXTRAS Board the hotel’s private boat to snorkel with a pod of leaping spinner dolphins as the sun rises over Tamarin Bay, or take a private cookery lesson in the resorts’ two-acre kitchen garden. Among the okra, chillies and beehives, chef Warren teaches guests dishes such as his mother’s Mauritian chicken curry. After preparing each course you get to feast on your creation at a finely dressed table, shaded by fig, palm, guava and lycée trees. Meanwhile, a souvenir cookbook allows you to recreate the recipes at home.
Emirates operates a twice daily A380 service to Mauritius.
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26 / MY DUBAI / WHERE TO STAY
25.2048° N, 55.2708° E
PRICE: FROM US$185 PER NIGHT
At Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, soak up the atmosphere of Dubai’s most famous island whilst also enjoying a laidback beach retreat
Both beach and city break
NEIGHBOURHOOD There’s plenty on Palm Jumeirah for those looking to venture outside the hotel – especially for the watersports enthusiast. Take a kayak tour around the island, try out some SUP Yoga (yoga on a paddleboard), or take a sailing or windsurf lesson at one of the schools dotted around the island.
WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS
Beach or city break? Usually, the tourist must decide between a whirlwind sightseeing tour in a busy centre, or a secluded beach retreat, often on the outskirts of a city. For those looking to combine both pursuits into one holiday, Sofitel the Palm is an attractive proposition. The hotel, which has 381 guest rooms and suites, lies just off the main trunk of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, the man-made palmshaped island that features in almost every tourist snap of the city. The retreat combines amazing coastal views with a short walk to the private beach to experience the Arabian Gulf up close.
There is a family-friendly feel throughout, with facilities including a dedicated kids club and four temperature-controlled swimming pools. Adults can head to the fitness centre and health club, as well as an award-winning spa. For dining, ten restaurants and lounges offer diners a culinary journey from Arabia to Europe and South America: visit Porterhouse for some of the best steak in the city. The location is an ideal jumping-off point to explore Dubai. Take the monorail to stroll around the populat Dubai Marina, or golf enthusiasts can tee off at championship courses just a short drive away.
For more on Dubai’s world class hotels check out the Dubai Hotels podcast on ice channel 1905.
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28 / GLOBAL / TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
The retro timepiece that offers a new way to experience the ocean’s depths
The deep dive watch (2)
NEW DEPTHS Three of the best diving locations in the world
1. Tulamben, Bali
• Water-resistant up to 300 metres • Limited release of only 500 pieces • 42.7mm stainless steel case with helium valve The DOXA diving watch has its roots in 1960s America. Previously a hobby for the uber-wealthy or the military, the Aqualung democratised diving and saw the public start to take up the sport in droves. DOXA, a Swiss company, decided to capitalise on the growing trend, their resulting timepiece containing a number of features that were a first of their kind. Take the orange dial, tested in the waters of nearby Lake Neuchatel and considered to be the most “readable” colour below water. Or a minute hand substantially larger than the hour hand: a seemingly obvious decision for divers who see air
time in minutes, not hours. This year, the company has recreated a collectable piece from the 1970s, the Sub 300T Divingstar ‘Poseidon Edition’. With a vintage case and new bright yellow dial, the timepiece has undergone a makeover: the crystal is scratch-resistant sapphire, water resistance is up to 300 metres, and dial markings and hands are coated with layers of afterglow pigment for optimum legibility in murky conditions. The ‘70s may have been the era of discovery of scuba diving, but this watch ensures a valiant return to the golden age. From US$2,490, doxawatches.com
One for wreck lovers, this dive site is home to the USAT Liberty, a WWII cargo ship hit by torpedoes while crossing the Lombok Strait. The wreck is awash with coral and hundreds of species of fish that dart in and out of its nooks. At night, flashlight fish cover the wreck like stars
2. Lake Þingvallavatn, Iceland
Straddle two continents at one time at this site in Iceland, which descends between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Trout and arctic char may be your only companions, but eerie rock formations and some of the clearest water in the world will ensure for an unforgettable dive.
3. Great Blue Hole, Belize
Not for the faint of heart, this giant marine sinkhole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it to be one of the best dive sites of his lifetime. It is 124 metres at its deepest point, dark, and full of stalactites, midnight parrotfish – and the occasional hammerhead or bull shark.
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30 / GLOBAL / COLUMN
MUSKOKA 45.1841° N, 79.4085° W
Canada, eh? Marrying into the culture has introduced Dom Joly to the joys of the polite Canadian
In 2007 Emirates launched its first flight to Canada with a nonstop service from Dubai to Toronto. Today Emirates operates flights to Toronto five times a week with the Airbus A380.
Summer in Canada… it’s my happy place, but don’t tell anybody, as I want it all to myself. I was lucky enough to marry a Canadian and visited her homeland three times in the mind-numbingly freezing winter before she gently suggested we might spend a summer there. I was on board even before I discovered Muskoka. Two and half hours north of Toronto are Canada’s Hamptons: three large, interlinked lakes – Muskoka, Rosseau and Joseph – peppered with wooded islands, staggering scenery and jaw-droppingly enviable homes. All summer the temperature hangs at thirty degrees and I live by the lake, zooming around in my speedboat in a state of almost permanent bliss. But this is Canada – the Ned Flanders to America’s Homer Simpson – so there are some rules you need to abide by if you want to enjoy your Canadian vacation to the max. When passing another boater, you must wave frantically at each other as though you are old friends. Try not to do this to passing waterskiers as they will feel obliged to wave back and fall in. Ditto with jet skiers. Do not wave at them, first with one hand, then with both. That would be wrong and it’s unfair to Canadians as they legally have to respond, often with tragic consequences. When exiting a building, say a supermarket; be decisive. Make the first move. Otherwise you can end up in what is known
as a “Canadian stand-off” whereby somebody trying to enter the building meets somebody trying to exit and both refuse to go first. Everything comes to a halt and you can apologise to each other for up to an hour before a Frenchman barges past you and breaks the deadlock. When entering a public space, make sure to say, “Good morning, lovely day isn’t it?” to every single person in the place. It’s also good form to shake everybody’s hand and ask whether you can pay for anything as “it’s really no bother.” Warning – do not do this when back home, especially if you live in the UK. You are likely to be punched for even attempting conversation with a stranger. I was once invited to stay at a Canadian friend’s cottage on a remote island. “It’s always unlocked,” she said, while giving me directions. We got there, settled in and spent three lovely days in the place before a confused family turned up and asked us what we were doing in their cottage. It turned out that we were in the wrong place. This being Canada however, the family insisted we stay on as they had another place down the road. We had to almost force them to let us leave. Canada really is a special place full of special people. It’s absolutely stunning, there’s lots of room and nobody voted for Trump. Frankly, it’s heaven (and did I mention what a lovely day they’re having today?)
Smile all the stay.
Welcome to the new LUX* Grand Gaube, a totally reimagined retro-chic tropical retreat in Mauritius. What’s Next? MAURITIUS
I TA LY
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 33
Below: Coin celltype graphene supercapacitors in a laboratory at the National Graphene Institute
In 2004, scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov discovered a wonder material in Manchester. Incredibly strong, yet just a single atom thick, graphene is now on the brink of revolutionising every part of our daily lives – and Manchester itself WORDS:BEN EAST
Graphene City Imagine a lightbulb that lasts longer and uses less energy than any current LED. Or a pair of trainers with soles that have the most powerful grip in the world. They sound like interesting products – useful, even – and you can order them right now. But how would you feel if your mobile phone battery could charge to 100 per cent in 12 minutes, while also holding its power for longer? If seawater
could be turned into drinking water by just using a sieve? Or if the aeroplane you’re in right now could use less fuel and create fewer emissions? All of these innovations use graphene, the miracle material many times stronger than steel, yet incredibly lightweight and flexible. It’s also electrically and thermally conductive, transparent and one million times smaller
34 / GLOBAL / DISPATCH
1, 3, 5. The US$77m Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre in Manchester has benefitted from investment by Abu Dhabi firm Masdar 2. Running shoe brand inov-8 has tapped graphene for its grip potential 4. Soviet-born Professor Andre Geim was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on graphene
than a human hair. Its discovery won the University of Manchester’s Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010, which led to the city becoming something of a worldwide hub for graphene research. And yet, it seems like people have been talking about graphene’s potential for years, without it really breaking through into the mainstream. “I like to think of graphene as being a teenager, so 14 is still quite early in the lifecycle of a new material,” counters James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, which leads the business development of the super-material at The University of Manchester. “It took much longer for carbon fibre to make it into the first Formula One car. Maybe we set expectations too high,
but I now firmly believe Manchester, as a Graphene City, can be as synonymous with innovation as Silicon Valley.” Strong claims, but Baker can make a persuasive case. He’s overseeing the fitout of the aptly-named GEIC (Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre), a new US$77m building right in the middle of Manchester that is benefiting from major investment by Masdar, the UAE renewable energy company. When it opens in October, it will immediately become a major international research and technology facility, bringing together scientists and companies to accelerate the pace of graphene product development. It feels important that it’s in the centre of Manchester, too, rather than out in some bland office park. This is
the city that was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the modern computer, a hub of innovation across science, art and music. “What we’re trying to create here is a whole ecosystem of acade-mics, large corporations, small businesses, startups, researchers, students,” says Baker. “What we’ll be able to do at GEIC is rapidly prototype and develop a graphene-related product with a commercial partner. The excitement about this building is that rather than just talk about an idea, we can develop it, test it, validate it and then if it works see how we can scale it up to manufacture. “I’m expecting this building will help accelerate the journey towards a tipping point where graphene is genuinely commercialised”.
GLOBAL / DISPATCH / 35
Baker cites the recent launch of the G-Series, from running shoe brand inov-8. They had heard of graphene’s qualities, and came to Manchester to explore making a trainer they could say had the world’s toughest grip. Their existing problem was that the stronger they made their grip, the less durable the shoe became. Enter graphene. “They came to us with this idea that they could use graphene to make the soles stronger, grippier, stretchier and more resistant to wear,” he says. “It only took 15 months to get to a prototype by adding graphene to the rubber, and another nine months to launch. That is incredibly quick, and exactly the kind of thing we want to be involved in at GEIC. It was a fantastic partnership; we bring the science, and they bring it to market”.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact inov-8’s G-Series has on the running shoe industry. Inov-8 is not a Nike or an Adidas, but the brand operates in over 60 countries. Baker believes their competition will inevitably want to catch up, when they see what this relatively small company can promise. “There’s that idea of the bleeding edge and the leading edge,” he explains. “Bleeding, as in companies get a bloody nose by being first to market, so they sit back and wait. But they will want to join in when they see what their competitors have done.” Another dynamic at play is economics. Inov-8 will be caught in that classic dilemma of making a product so durable and reliable that people won’t need to spend money with them as
often to replace their running shoes. “That’s the challenge with innovation,” he smiles. “You do disrupt the business model. Take tyres; when you talk to a tyre manufacturer you’re basically saying that with graphene added to improve grip and durability, you’re going to sell less. What you have to convince them is that though they’ll sell less tyres to the user, more users will buy them because they’re better than the competition.” With any game-changing disruption comes doubt, cynicism… and in the end, competition. Not all of the incredible potential for graphene-based products will or can be filtered through Manchester; although GEIC will allow for sheets of graphene to be produced so they can explore its properties (“change the recipe”, as Baker puts it), the material is now available from many different suppliers around the world. All sorts of companies are working on their own products. But the idea that an industry standard, graphene-enhanced mobile phone battery may not come via Manchester doesn’t faze Baker. “The graphene market is still quite small, and I believe if we collaborate to make graphene accessible, we’ll all benefit,” he says. “Graphene City doesn’t mean everything has to be here.” Some of which will be transformational – perhaps even Nobel Prize-winning again, if graphene membranes help solve the world water shortage. That’s the thing with graphene. The possibilities are infinite. “The challenge we have isn’t the science, it’s the focus,” admits Baker. “But I can promise you now, there’ll be no more PowerPoint presentations about graphene’s potential. I want people to come to Manchester and see and touch and use graphene products – and then come up with their own ideas.” And if that sounds a bit like Steve Jobs’s visit to Silicon Valley in the 1970s, then that’s the intention. Graphene City is ready to be durable.
Emirates offers three daily A380 services to Manchester
36 / GLOBAL / LUNCH WITH
Google’s Sophie Diao breaks down the enduring appeal of the search engine’s homepage doodles WORDS: MARINA KAY It’s hard to believe that Google’s homepage has been entertaining us for nearly two decades. What was once a clean white page with the brand’s signature coloured font and search bar has evolved into a space for learning, inspiration – even social change. These commemorative illustrations and interactive games woven into the search engine’s logo are what the tech giant calls Google Doodles. In a first, it recently released a virtual reality animation via a 360-degree YouTube short video “Back to the Moon”, to celebrate filmmaker and French illusionist George Méliès. It took six months to produce, ran on the homepage for 48 hours, and exemplifies how much human creativity, collaboration and effort goes into
IMAGES: VINCENT LONG
continually reenergising what could be a generic search engine. “Doodles started in 1998 when Google was forming and deciding what the design would be. It’s pretty baked in at this point,” illustrator Sophie Diao explains over lunch at the bustling Presidio Social Club in San Francisco. It’s interesting how things have progressed: The first Google Doodle was a human stick figure designed by Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who used it as a kind of out of office message to tell users that they were at Burning Man Festival (and therefore unavailable to deal with server issues). That was 20 years ago. Today, a dedicated Google Doodle team is mostly based in Mountain View and San Francisco in Northern Califor-
nia, with a few working out of London and Los Angeles. Diao works in San Francisco’s Embarcadero District, alongside a group of artists and engineers. In her current role as art director/illustrator, Diao draws and animates as well as managing freelance contributions, which include concept artists at Pixar: Diao provided art direction to Ana Ramirez Gonzalez (who worked on the film Coco) on a Google Doodle honouring Katy Jurado, the first Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award. Over a hotchpotch lunch of oysters, tuna poke, and eggplant fries, Diao tells me that the first doodle she ever noticed was one commemorating Charles Dickens’ birthday on February 7, 2012. Intrigued, she contacted the
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artist, Mike Dutton. “He’s really amazing. I emailed him and asked him if he’d look at my portfolio,” she says. He responded, offered his advice, and in time, helped her secure a three-month internship while she was at college. “It was interesting. My parents live near Google, so I lived with them for the summer and got to draw all day. It was quite an introduction because I was doing all these things on my first day, in my first week,” she explains. “It was 2012, and we were working on doodles for the London Olympics, a series of illustrations for all these sports and games – a soccer game, kayaking game, basketball game, hurdling game. They gave me four Olympic doodles to work on my very own from start to finish, and then I was helping on animation for the games. So, animating the guy jumping over the hurdle, or the kayaker rowing. I would finish it and my work would be live. It was kind of surreal seeing my art for the first time.” After graduating college, she was asked back for an interview, landing a full-time job illustrating and animating. In the last year, “I’ve been doing a lot more art direction,” she says. “Reaching out to freelancers and guiding them through the process of doing a doodle. It’s been teaching me a lot about how to communicate about art.”
Of the challenges presented in directing somebody else’s work, she says: “It’s respecting where somebody is coming from and respecting why they chose to make that decision. And if I don’t agree with it, I try to think about whether I’m disagreeing based on my own taste or because it objectively could be better.” So how is a Google Doodle created? “Google has more than 100 offices around the world, and each of those offices is in different countries, so we have people from those countries help us come up with ideas for their country,” she says. “They submit ideas and we pitch our own, and based on those ideas, my team comes up with the list and assigns people.” Each year, the department has a comprehensive planning session, reviewing all the ideas that come through and deciding which ones would be good for doodle illustrations. “That process lasts a couple of months because there are a lot of moving parts. We’re trying to make sure that we come up with ideas that are inclusive and representative of different groups because history is not very inclusive, so if we
Earth Day doodles followed an eco-conscious fox and his efforts to change the planet
just go by a history book we won’t really achieve that.” She continues: “We have a group of six people on my team who are looking at all the topics and reading everything that’s readily available about that person or event to make sure it’s a good subject to do a doodle for. As in, they didn’t do anything super illegal or offensive in their lifetime that might be questionable. I think that is one of the most time-consuming parts.” Not all doodles are global; many are local or national. “It depends on the topic and how relevant it is to people,” she says. “A topic like Albert Einstein would be relevant all over the world. So even if it comes from one country, we can add it to others. A lot of it is decided by people who work for Google in other countries.” A sense of what has global reach and what is region specific can be understood through a trawl through Google Doodles archives (google.com/doodle). Doodles celebrating International Women’s Day have a wider reach than, say, one celebrating World Cup 2018 champion France, whose illustration was limited to their winning country. Probably the most global of doodles goes to Earth Day, which Diao worked on in 2016 and 2017. “I received a lot of good reactions from those,” she says. “In 2016, I did five random illustrations [about Earth’s biomes]… A lot of people said they were moved seeing the polar bear with ice melting around it.” In 2017, she created a 12-panel slideshow highlighting the issue of climate change that focused on how people can help the environment. Image panels ranged from carpooling to supporting renewable energy to planting trees. “Those were my two favourites that I worked on,” she says. Each year, Google releases around 350 to 400 doodles. “The number of doodles that we’ve been outsourcing has increased in the last year,” Diao says. “For the most part we’re all based in the US… So if there’s a topic that’s relevant and local, we’re trying to see whether a local artist could bring a little of their own perspective to it… We’re starting with four regions and then will expand. We’re also measuring how much work it is for us to art direct and seeing what it’s like for our team to grow in this way. That’s very external, we’re not bringing
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San Francisco’s Presidio Social Club, erected in 1903 as a military barracks
in new people as much, we’re hiring outside the team.” What the team looks for in an artist’s portfolio is their ability to draw. “A good portfolio will have enough in it when you can kind of see what they could do if they were given a different topic,” she explains. “We look for people who have portraits in their portfolios – a lot of the time we’re celebrating people.” Interestingly, any person honoured as a Google Doodle must be deceased. Diao’s mother and father moved to America from China about 26 years ago, hopping from Missouri to Michigan to Pennsylvania before the family settled in Fremont, California. “I was always interested in drawing,” she says. “No one in my family is artistic. My mum is more into performing arts – she karaoke sings all the time.” Her dad, a mechanical engineer, runs a manufacturing business. “My parents were supportive of my taking art classes. I had learned about animation online, Disney, Pixar. My favourite when I was a kid was The Aristocats… I was pretty much consuming comics and TV shows at an alarming rate. In fourth or fifth grade, I was going to an after-sschool programme and a lot of kids were passing around comics. I started reading them and got really into them. They had English translation. It was like a kind of currency… I channeled drawing in this area: those are the types of characters I can draw, these are the types of situations and actions. Things like that.” Introduced to Photoshop in seventh grade, “I mostly just learned from seeing other people’s work and seeing them talk about the technique they were using,” she says. While experimenting with different artistic mediums, she consistently drew for pleasure in her own time. “I think I was six or seven when I took my first art class. I went to this woman in Michigan. She had an art studio that she ran out of her house and she taught me how to draw with pencils and then paint with acrylics. She was so supportive and my parents were really
happy,” she says, adding, “I also had to learn piano and go to Chinese school every week.” She continued with art classes until middle school, when her parents wanted her to concentrate more on academic pursuits. “They wanted me to focus on studying hard but I was drawing. I can’t even remember doing my homework.” She was editor in chief of the school newspaper, also contributing a few graphic opinion pieces akin to political cartoons. After finishing school, she applied to Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts, which is basically like a film school, she says. Completing that four year diploma parlayed into her fulltime job at Google. Ten years ago, Google launched “Doodle 4 Google,” a competition for school students to create their own illustrations. They’re voted for by the public and the winner has the opportunity to gain a college scholarship, a monetary award for their school, plus travel to Google’s HQ. Their winning entry also appears on the search homepage for 24 hours. Not only is this a useful way to get kids involved with a technology brand they’ve grown up with, but it also offers them the chance to travel from home and take part in the wider creative field, perhaps opening doors to a future at Google. It’s a thoughtful initiative by a brand which, inspired by a simple drawing in 1998, started a department that now creates some of the most talked-about illustrations and animations around the world.
Presidio Social Club
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HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES
34.1158° N, 118.1854° W
Since its earliest days as a suburban bedroom community in the 1920s, Highland Park has been imagined and remade – both for film appearances and its community – many times over
Highland Park, Los Angeles
PHOTO: CHON KIT LEONG / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
WORDS: EMILY MANTHEI IMAGES: ALICIA FISCHMEISTER
Start your Highland Park neighbourhood tour with a vegetarian brunch at Kitchen Mouse
Los Angeles is a city of constant evolution. Its neighbourhoods, like famous film stars, transform and redefine themselves for each new role, as if they’ve lived a thousand lifetimes. In the past few years, celluloid archeologists have pulled back the district’s layers and exposed long-dormant cultural gems. Today, Highland Park plays the role of a wise elder, returning to the curiosity and charm of her youth. Follow the winding freeway a quick ten minutes out of the forest of cranes in Downtown Los Angeles to a neighbourhood where historic restoration refuses to make way for demolition, and the ostentatious early 20th-century architecture clashes with 1970s concrete commercial blocks. While the Highland Theatre boasts a Spanish Colonial Revival facade and the restored 1927 Highland Park Bowl’s vaulted skylights recall dreamy Hollywood scenes, colourful street art covers the less presentable exteriors, and most commercial buildings house vintage boutiques, hip record stores and small art galleries. A monthly open studio night, Northeast Los Angeles Art Walk, is headquartered under the neighbourhood’s most recognisable landmark: Chicken Boy. The kitschy statue features a chicken’s head atop a human body wearing a red t-shirt and blue jeans, clutching a KFC-style bucket. Walk through streets lined with single-family Craftsman homes and palm trees to discover hidden murals and track down Salvadoran street food. A few of the earliest Angeleno homes from the late 1800s were rescued from certain destruction by the historic preservation society and live at Heritage Square Museum, where docent-led tours take you back to an otherwise invisible era of the city’s history. Atop the neighbouring hill, Mount Washington, a peaceful garden and sweeping views give an overview of the entire neighbourhood. Back on the boulevard, ethnic restaurants and coffee shops serve
up everything from Mexican pastries and Vietnamese comfort food to classic Italian and perfect California salads. Today, the neighbourhood has perfected an Angeleno style of multicultural fusion, and visitors can see all the layers of Highland Park’s past exposed for a deep look into the rich art, ethnicity, and cultural traditions of Los Angeles.
KITCHEN MOUSE The crisp, bright vegetarian cafe contains just enough macrame, hanging plants, and vintage cookie jars to make Grandma feel comfortable eating foods of which she’s never heard. Although the brunch menu features meat-free spins on Mexican breakfast classics found elsewhere in the neighbourhood, the abundant herbs and clever uses of tempeh, jackfruit and tofu are thoroughly modern California cuisine. 5904 N. Figueroa St, 90042. +1-323 259 9555. Kitchenmousela.com.
GLOBAL / EXPLORATION / 45
GOLD LINE METRO FROM HIGHLAND PARK STATION TO HERITAGE SQUARE STATION (2 STOPS), THEN FIVEMINUTE WALK.
HERITAGE SQUARE MUSEUM Los Angeles has spent most of its history demolishing the past, but since 1978, conservation efforts have halted much of the wanton destruction of 19th and 20th century city landmarks. Unfortunately, most of the Victorian homes that tell the story of the city’s early settlement were destroyed to make way for freeways and commercial centres. A few of the remaining structures were purchased by the museum and moved anywhere from two to eight miles across the city to take their
place at the historical park of Heritage Square. Tours are offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon. 3800 Homer Street, 90031. +1-323 255 2700. Heritagesquare.org
GOLD LINE METRO FROM HERITAGE SQUARE STATION TO MOUNT WASHINGTON STATION (1 STOP), THEN 20-MINUTE HIKE. ALTERNATIVE: SIX-MINUTE TAXI/UBER
SELF-REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP Some of the city’s steepest hills and, consequently, some of its greatest vista points, are found in and around Highland Park. The district’s biggest hill,
DID YOU KNOW?
A prominent bike scene has existed in the neighbourhood since 1900. Today, volunteers at Bike Oven repair bikes for free to lessen reliance on cars
Mount Washington, is almost its own independent neighbourhood, where cliffside bungalows inhabited by urban hippies are nestled between desert foliage and hiking paths. A quick 20-minute climb up the small, winding streets from the metro station leads to a monastic yoga centre with lush public gardens perfect for lounging and admiring the view, or meditation classes and devotional chanting for the spiritually-inclined. If you’re not afraid of heights, try climbing back down the hill from the end of Cross Avenue, on the northeast end of Mount Washington, where an impossibly steep set of stairs descends down to Eldred Street, one of Los Angeles’ steepest roads. 3880 San Rafael Ave, 90045. +1-323 225 2471. Yogananda-srf.org.
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10 MINUTE TAXI/UBER
GALCO’S OLD WORLD GROCERY A vintage deli that’s been owned by the same Highland Park family for more than 100 years, the third-generation owner stocks a fizzy wonderword of rare, vintage and small-batch sodas and beers from all over the country. Whether
it’s a step back in time to childhood or a curiosity for new carbonated flavours that piques the imagination, Galco’s has been the subject of many foodie TV programmes, as well as a location for fictional films and music videos. But most of the time, they’re just selling funky sodas to nostalgia geeks. 5702 York Blvd, 90042. +1-323 255 7115. Sodapopstop.com.
EL HUARACHE AZTECA A beloved hole-in-the-wall for more than 25 years, El Huarache Azteca’s namesake dish is a thick masa-based tortilla soaked in salsas and cream, with marinated meat or beans on top. The unique regional speciality is not available in most of Los Angeles’ ubiquitous Mexican restaurants, but the concentration of Mexican eateries in Highland Park inspired the local entrepreneurs behind El Huarache Azteca to get creative, adding to the special texture of Highland Park’s restaurant scene. 5225 York Blvd, 90042. +1-323 478 9572. Elhuaracheaztecalive.com
Left: The retro stylings of York Corridor SIX-MINUTE WALK
YORK CORRIDOR For two solid blocks between Avenue 52 and Avenue 50, art galleries, eateries, vinyl shops and vintage clothing stores have replaced the auto repair shops and hardware stores that used to define York
Boulevard. Although this is ground zero for Highland Park’s gentrification, many long-time business owners have also thrived amidst the new upscale, trendy entries. An amble through this commercial route, coloured by murals and street art, shows a sort of coexistence between neighbours new and old. 5000 - 5200 York Blvd, 90042.
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DELICIAS BAKERY Discover a favorite pan dulce at another of Highland Park’s vintage Latinx establishments, the family-operated Delicias Bakery. Try the famous la concha, a sweet bread painted in pink, shaped like a conch shell, or ask for a fresh-blended vegetable or fruit smoothie, made to order at the counter. 5567 N. Figueroa Blvd, 90042. +1-323 259 9306. deliciasbakeryandsome.com.
HIGHLAND PARK BOWL When the Highland Park Bowl’s owners bought the building in 2015, it had spent 40 years as a beloved dive bar and punk music venue anchoring the neighbourhood. Although transforming it from the iconic “Mr. T’s Bowl” was controversial, they managed to strip back the venue’s layers and find the original 1927 bowling alley, restored to its original facade and interior. They also discovered a prohibition secret about the doctor-and-pharmacy combination the building once housed, which prescribed and filled “medicinal whiskey” requests. Today, the meticulous historical details, including displaying original bowling pins and club team banners, make it a glamorous reimagining of the past, complete with bowling lanes, local craft beers, and yes, whiskey. 5621 N. Figueroa St, 90042. +1-323-2572695. Highlandparkbowl.com.
HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES
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RUSSIA CAN A FINE
WORDS: LOUISE TAM
PHOTO: LIZA ZHITSKAYA
Below: Offerings from LavkaLavka. The restaurant is a spinoff from an online farm shop selling produce from Russia’s remote regions
Right: Vladimir Mukhin of White Rabbit. The chef also appears on Netflix’s Chef’s Table
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, tourists slowly started to return to Russia. This enigmatic land famous for its Lada cars and iconic space programme was opening up, and the world wanted a taste. Guidebooks from that era – while making great noise about Moscow’s palatial Metro stations and winter sunbathing at a famous fortress in St Petersburg – were suspiciously quiet about restaurant recommendations. And for good reason.
“Seventy years of Soviet power, unfortunately, left an imprint on the kitchen,” laughs chef Vladimir Mukhin. Russian cuisine, to many people back then, was blinis, herring and cabbage “drowning in mayonnaise,” he adds. A lot can change in a few decades. Today, Moscow’s restaurant scene is undergoing a thumping renaissance, with innovative eateries across the city pioneering a New Russian cuisine that pivots gracefully around traditional ingredients and recipes that had for years been forgotten. Mukhin is a driving force of the movement and head chef at White Rabbit, a central Moscow restaurant currently ranked number 15 on the World’s Best 50 list. Named after its hard-to-find location – diners must pass through a shopping centre, then take two lifts to the 16th floor of Smolenskiy Passage tower – the restaurant presents traditional dishes from the pre-Soviet era of the Russian Empire, such as swan liver, mousse lip dumplings and oysters from the Black Sea, reincarnated for a modern audience. “My father and grandfather instilled a love of Russian cuisine in me,” Mukhin says of his chef relatives. “We lived in the small southern town of Yessentuki ... Only what was sold at the local market could be used.” In 2013, Mukhin opened White Rabbit, a lavish space with panoramic views of Moscow, to present Russian food with Russian ingredients, at a time when post-Soviet diners were craving fine French food, Italian pastas, sushi from Ja-
pan: the delicacies they had been denied for so long. At first Mukhin opened a farm near his hometown to supply his restaurant, but soon realised it was “not profitable to do so in the Russian climate… as it will yield only three months a year.” Instead, Mukhin began working with “several farms in different regions – Tver, Saratov and Sochi – which constantly provide me with the best products.” His direction was prescient. In August 2014, almost all food imports from the European Union and the United States were banned, in retaliation to import sanctions placed on Russia. In July 2018, the ban was extended to May 2019, signalling that Russia cannot just survive without foreign products, it can thrive that way, too. With Italian olive oil, American beef, and French cheese all off the menu, Russians were forced – once again – to look inwards. This time, the results were mouthwatering. Bjorn had opened in
Right: Boris Akimov of LakvaLakva, a hip co-op on Moscow’s Tverskaya Street Below: Cafe Pushkin, open 24 hours a day and renovated in the style of a 19th-century Russian aristocrat’s home
PHOTO: LIZA ZHITSKAYA
2013, after its owner ate at the renowned NOMA in Copenhagen and was inspired to bring the New Nordic food movement, which emphasised local, natural and seasonal produce, to Moscow. The restaurant’s decor is an oasis of calm, with live moss carpeting the windowsills and art installations of bears, moose and deer on the walls, created from twigs found by local lakes. Once the embargo kicked in, Bjorn took the New Nordic concept a step further: the smorgboards, clean Scandinavian design principles and dedication to environmental care remained, but now all the ingredients would be from Russia. “The sanctions inspired many people to start their own farms,” says Nikita Poderyagin, head chef at Bjorn and originally from Stavrapol in southern Russia. “Because of the new rules everyone started to create their own unique handcrafted produce.” Farmers from around Russia approached the restaurant with their produce, while the kitchen team – which features just two Moscovites – was dispatched back to their home provinces to research local delicacies. “Today, we have farmers in Siberia who gave us meat such as deer, and others in the north of Russia who provide wildfish,” says Poderyagin. The menu changes every three months, to ensure ingredients are seasonal.
A Scandinavian restaurant without ingredients from that region might sound strange, but when it comes to dishes such as Scandi quail with green-sprouted buckwheat, “Finland’s climate is very similar to ours,” explains Poderyagin. The restaurant, he adds, is able to source exactly the same species of fish in Russian waters. With an influx of new ingredients, chefs and farmers across Moscow started to cooperate closely. Over on Tverskaya Street, Moscow’s main artery that snakes down to the Bolshoi Theatre and Red Square, chef Boris Akimov opened LavkaLavka. Billed as a co-operative between the restaurant and Russian farmers, the four-year-old space was a spinoff of an online farm shop selling produce from Russia’s remote regions, which had proved wildly popular. “At LavkaLavka, we cook modern and gastronomic dishes from local, seasonal produce,” says manager Alexandrova Julia. The menu of this hipster hangout features deer carpaccio, profiteroles with smoked cherries stuffed with duck pate, and mullet caviar, with the farms that supply the produce name checked beside each dish. “On our website, we list all farm members of our cooperative. You can read about them, talk to them, find out where to visit them,” she says. Perhaps one of the most inter-
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esting menu listings is a Russian cheese board served with four organic honeys. Russia? Cheese? Those two words should appear in the same sentence more often, it turns out. Produced in the western Smolensk region of Russia, which rubs cheeks with Belarus, these smoked cheeses are up there with the best of the French and the honeys – especially a mysterious green variety – are from Uryupinsk, north of Volgograd, and divine. “Do we know anything about our cheeses?” asks Mukhin. “Sochi suluguni, from which cream oozes when you press on it, is very similar to mozzarella. And we have all sorts of smoked cheeses. This is also our story.” With more creative ingredients has come more innovative presentation. Delicatessen, a decadent basement joint in a sleepy part of north Moscow, was the brainchild of Russian bartender Vyacheslav Lanking, who looked to bring an upmarket gastropub vibe to the city. But with a menu that includes horsemeat tartare seared with a hot metal iron at your table, its menu offerings exceed its humble brief, as does the live jazz band that entertains its stylish guests at weekends. At Bjorn, the salmon gravalax is served in a glass terrarium, the smoked fish is buried with a dollop of Russian sour cream in a heap of dark brown bread crumbs, topped with seaweed. The idea dates back to farming in Finland, when cooks without fridges would bury their fresh catch in the frosty ground to chill them during the winter months. Even over at Cafe Pushkin, one of the city’s most storied restaurants,
From L-R: One of the offerings from Bjorn; Moscow lounge Delicatessen combines cocktails and live music with a gastropub vibe
housed in a building with a history running back to the 1790s, Russia’s vast geography is creatively on display, with dishes such as sheets of frozen muksun from the Siberian Arctic waters, its icy presentation a physical reminder of Russia’s vast geography. According to Poderyagin, of Bjorn, this surge in creativity and national pride
in cuisine has only surfaced in the past five years. It represents, he says, merely the beginning of what Russian chefs have to offer. “We are a really young country. Our chefs before were from the Soviet culture, and didn’t know how to cook. Now we have so many people willing to create something special and make a point.” Travelling to Russia in 2018, particularly as national pride soars after a successful World Cup, is like experiencing a brand new country. The grey Moscow of the 1990s, overcast with depression, bad memories and worries for the future, has matured. Today, this metropolis of golden spires has ditched the sour flavour of its Soviet past and is dreaming up a new future in the kitchen. It tastes good.
Marcin Öz used to play bass for The Whitest Boy Alive. But at the height of the band’s fame, he felt like a radical change – and started making organic wine WORDS: JAN WILMS/SABINE NEDDERMEYER
IMAGES: PHILIPP WENTE
We’ve arrived at a vineyard in the south of Sicily, a verdant triangle between the late Baroque towns of the Noto valley, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Syracuse and red wine stronghold Avola. It might not sound like the most obvious place for a well-known hipster, but here is Marcin Öz, formerly of indie band The Whitest Boy Alive, tackling a stretch of stubborn vines. Here, he’s swapped the tour bus that took him across 40 countries and four continents, for a simple mechanic’s overall and an old tractor. Four years ago, when Öz decided to quit his successful career as a bassist, DJ and songwriter, he also left buzzing Berlin behind. “Basically, we had said everything we wanted to say with our music, so once the band realised this, we all agreed to split,” he says.
To Öz, rural Sicily seemed the ideal place for his next plan and life goal: to make his own organic wine. Or rather, to find out if he could meet the challenge of learning one of the world’s oldest crafts. “It was a new adventure, a new challenge”, he admits. “I had no idea what I was putting myself into, not knowing the difficulties. But it was too exciting not to try.” For his experiment, Marcin Öz picked a place with more than 2,500 years of viticulture tradition. In Contrada Buonivini, on seven hectares of limestone soil, he cultivates his grapes using a blend of traditional techniques and high-tech help. And his Vini Campisi label has become known for organic boutique wines of the local Syrah and Nero d’Avola varietals.
“We want to drive the transformation of winemaking”, Öz adds, anticipating several key trends like a global newfound desire for countryside tranquility; the way DIY has started to trump consumption; and the growing preference for a limited range of high-quality choices, rather than an endless selection of interchangeable products. Values that are mirrored by mobility brand Mercedes-Benz, which champions trends like sharing over owning, assuming local responsibility and developing new, sustainable technologies. Öz’s journey from music labels to bottle labels involved even more radical readjustments. “I switched from bouncing to the beat to stomping on grapes, from a basement club to a wine cellar. Instead of falling asleep at 5am, to getting up at 5am”, he explains. Without any background in business or oenology, he dove headfirst into his new career. It doesn’t have to take years and a career change, however, to experience the excitement of a radical reboot. For Öz, all it took was a ride in the compact electric Concept EQA to his vineyard. At sunset, the EQA accelerates – whisper-quiet, but extremely powerful – towards the coastal road. A little later, he reaches Marzamemi, one of Sicily’s magical fishing villages famous for its Arabian past. Narrow alleyways snaking away from the market square offer wonderful glimpses of the turquoise sea to the East. Öz loves these fleeting moments. “From end to beginning. Any moment, something could go wrong. But at the same time, any moment, something great could happen.” It’s a great time for changes and a great one for Mercedes EQ, the Mercedes-Benz e-mobility brand currently creating a comprehensive ecosystem for e-mobility. By 2022, the brand plans to launch more than ten fully electric vehicles – and to shape this new era of mobility, which begins in the mind and with the right attitude – as this musician turned winemaker proves. Learning from Marcin Öz means understanding that any new adventure starts with following your passion.
Left page: Öz with the Mercedes electric Concept EQA This page: The former musician champions organic winemaking
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Dubai MY UAE
EXPO 2020 DUBAI
Dances of history Emirati men perform the Al Ayala, a traditional Bedouin dance that symbolises two tribes locked in a challenge. Now, the UAE combines both the contemporary and ancient in its dance culture. p.62
THE DANCERS OF DUBAI
From viral challenges to heritage dances, the artform has taken off in the city
WORDS: LEAH SIMPSON
64 In June last year an Arabic folk dance – said to have originated from Lebanese villagers stomping dirt – went viral. The #DabkeChallenge hit the Internet in June 2017 after a Lebanese-Australian wedding guest literally drove viewers up the walls with his take on the line dance, where dancers traditionally hold hands and move in a synchronised circle. Hoisted up onto the wall by his fellow guests, social media users reacted with their own over-the-top versions:
Dubai Opera has been instrumental in the advance of ballet in the city, bringing International troupes Moscow City Ballet and Houston Ballet to town
climbing door arches and even trees, to an accompanying techno beat. This evolution of traditional dance for the modern age may be a light-hearted iteration, but it also acts as an embodiment of how dance has evolved in the Arabic region – continuing on valued traditions, whilst simultaneously adapting them for the current day. The UAE is one Middle Eastern country that has eagerly embraced this new climate. The opening of the Dubai Op-
celebrations, the Ayallah is the national dance of the country and is the inspiration for all of those traditional to the UAE according to Ibrahim Juma, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre’s (HHC) Folk Arts Consultant. It used to be exclusively performed by leaders and VIPs, then became a victory dance after pearl diving expeditions or tribal wars. In the role play, two rows of approximately 20 men face each other holding bamboo sticks as symbolic weapons, alongside
era in 2016 put the country on the map when it came to international tours: October will see the Houston Ballet’s Swan Lake come to the city, and September welcomes the quirky stylings of modern dance company Pilobolus to the Dubai World Trade Centre. Accompanying more international genres, such as ballet or contemporary, is a continuous undercurrent of history that is woven through the fabric of the United Arab Emirates. Performed before dusk at the bride’s house during wedding
the sounds of the flute and drums. The largest drum represents a cannon and the smaller ones rifles. While women and men don’t mix in this celebration, females support the winning side by rhythmically swinging their long hair to represent being saved in the battle of defenders and invaders. Aside from the Ayallah, which has been designated as a UNESCO “Intangible Cultural Heritage Item of Humanity”, UAE dance has also borrowed from other cultures. The Liwa dance, historically
65 performed at weddings and special occasions such as the end of the pearl-diving season, came from Zanzibar and is performed to Swahili language songs. Then there’s the gender-integrated Nuban from Western Sudan, originally used to ward off evil spirits, and considered to be a dying dance. The leadership keeps the memory of them alive by including them at events but they’re not a part of mainstream culture, explains Juma’s daughter, Alia. However, she adds that people like her father, himself a renowned composer and heritage dance expert, are working to integrate folk arts into the school curriculum in order to keep their heritage alive. Some traditional dances are still practiced profesionally in the country. Rashid Al Khasouny is a judge for the Fazza Championship for Youla, as well as a two-time former champion. The Youla, also named “the soldier’s dance”, originated in the army and is a deft and highly-physical routine that involves the spinning and tossing of rifles to heights of up to 20 metres. In 2001, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum announced the Fazza Youla Championship, which now offers prize money of AED1m (US$272,000). Entrants are judged by an X Factor-style panel as well as the public watching live on Sama Dubai TV. First entering in 2004 at 15, Rashid was one of the youngest entrants to ever compete. Watch any YouTube video and one might mistakenly think the Youla technique is all about the hands; dancers must throw wooden weapons as high as possible into the air to gain the maximum amount of points. Although catching the rifle smoothly and in-time with the music is important, dancers must also perform rhythmic footwork on a sand floor. Khasouny maintains that the Youla requires a high level of fitness to perfect: at his peak, he would run 4km per day and practice falconry (as well as perfecting his dance for 90 minutes per day), while others opt for riding camels to stay in shape. “People fail to recognise the physical and mental demands that dance has on a person, and that those demands rival that of all professional sports or athletes,” adds Pilobolus’ Creative Director, Mark Fucik. “Being able to kick the perfect arcing
ball over the hands of a goalkeeper, making a perfect drop shot to get the point, and lifting another dancer over your head while running across the stage all seem pretty hard skills to perfect.” Fucik is bringing Pilobolus’s Shadowland production to Dubai after success in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, noting the audiences’ responsiveness to seeing something “new and exciting”. Up to nine dancers appear on stage at any one time, using shadow to draw atten-
From top: A traditional stick dance performed in Sharjah; Palestinian dancers perform a modern Dabke; African dances have become increasingly popular in the UAE
tion to the shapes created with the human body and dynamics between dancers. True to the way contemporary dance draws from many cultures, each person’s background influences what they bring to the production. Fucik believes that dancers today need to be versed in all styles and that learning multiple forms allows for better comprehension of one another’s culture. For some, dance is about perfecting their technique physically, or progressing genres to new levels. For others, the artform has a spiritual aspect. Dubai resident Jalila Jones started practicing ballet aged three, eventually working with singers such as Patti LaBelle and Jennifer Hudson, as well as companies like Alvin Ailey. Moving to Dubai in 2015, she found that barre – a ballet-like exercise developed in 1950 – helped her to
66 From top: Contemporary is one of the most popular forms in Dubai; the Whirling Dervish is best performed using more than one skirt, which are separated and combined to create optical illusions during the dance
recover after a dance-related injury damaged her shoulder and neck. “I gained a lot of weight and I was so down emotionally. Physical therapy was not helping at all, and several doctors told me I would never be able to dance again,” she says. Unable to hold a cup at one point, it was barre that restored her health, as well as love of dance. Owing to Dubai’s multicultural background – it is estimated that up to 200 nationalities live and work in the city – it follows that there has been an embrace of dance styles from all over the world. Gbemi Giwa moved to Dubai in 2010, and ever since has been working on increasing the prominence of African
dance in the city. Currently teaching at FitandBeat studio, she says that for her, dance has been about the acknowledgement of her heritage. “In West Africa alone, there are various dance styles connected to different tribes,” she says – explaining how the jerky shoulder movements of the Bata dance from Yoruba people are vastly different to the Tiv people’s sinuous Swange, which emulates a cat. “Dubai is a very diverse place and there’s a need for Afro dance specifically,” she adds. “People are curious. One of the keys differences with Afro than classical dance is you’re free to express yourself – the movement has to come from within.” Watching the intimate dance of the Kizomba in a rehearsal across town, one can see the influence of global styles across the city. Partners step and sway closely to one another as they perform a dance known as “the Angolan tango” under the close eye of Alex de Smet, cofounder of James & Alex studios. An award-winning salsa dancer, she attributes the explosion of contemporary and Latin styles to shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, as well as social media. This, she says, has then followed onto growth in more niche styles, such as Bachata, which originates from the
Dominican Republic, as well as the aforementioned Kizomba. One thing all subjects can agree on is that dance helps them connect to others, and their own emotions, in a more advanced way than any other sport can. It’s one of the reasons Global Village – the region’s first multicultural festival park – chooses dance as part of their offering, heading to India, the UK and Russia to find talent. “Dance is a great way to showcase cultures as it doesn’t require the spoken word, so can be understood by anyone,” says entertainment director Shaun Cornell. To maintain authenticity, the shows cast dancers from their country of origin, but Cornell has noticed their fascination with connecting with one another’s cultures through the medium. “It’s fascinating to watch a company from Mumbai interacting and learning a Dabke from a Lebanese dance company,” he says. “They are like sponges.” It’s this common thread that will inspire the new wave of dancers in Dubai. Whether it be the celebration of one’s heritage, the progression of their new genre into new styles and artforms, or even something as small as a #dabkechallenge, the new movement of dance in the city looks set to step, sway and pirouette on.
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Expo 2020 Dubai is using cutting-edge innovation to deliver a ‘Smart Site’ that will deliver rich and customised experiences
Experience innovation like never before WORDS: MOHAMMED ALHASHMI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INNOVATION AND FUTURE TECHNOLOGY, EXPO 2020 DUBAI
Imagine a seamlessly connected event with innovation at its core. What does it look like? Does it include smart ticketing services that allow you to arrange transport, accommodation and entry through a single online portal? Does it involve digitally connected volunteers who are on hand to guide you to your personal points of interest? Does it feature smart technology that enables you to navigate the site, avoid queues and order meals to your picnic table? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you may have just im-
agined the next World Expo. Innovation and future technologies will make Expo 2020 Dubai the ‘smartest’ World Expo in history. In today’s connected society, technology is a natural – and expected – part of our daily lives. It permeates our leisure activities, business functions and everything in between. So it is obvious that innovation will be weaved through just about everything we do at Expo 2020, but what exactly will that be? Technology evolves so rapidly today, it is exciting to imagine what will be unveiled in two years’ time.
For more than a century and a half, World Expos have excited visitors by offering a glimpse of how technology will improve their lives in the future. Expo 2020 will go even further by using innovation to optimise all aspects of the six-month event, from engaging more closely with visitors and enhancing their experience to ensuring we are one of the most environmentally-friendly places in the world and creating seamless operations for participants. Earlier this year, Expo 2020 became the first commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to access 5G services, thanks to our partnership with Etisalat. Etisalat’s 5G technology will enable Expo to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to future advances. With applications for autonomous driving, networking vehicles, industrial automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) already in progress, who knows what novel technologies will emerge between now and 2020? Access to 5G services is just one of the many innovative elements that comprise Expo 2020’s ‘Smart Site’, which will help deliver rich and customised experiences to millions of visitors, as well as participants and partners.
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We believe people will be surprised by the level of automation and digitisation across the Expo site, even though much of the technology will not be visible. After all, the best technology is so seamless and easy to use, you do not notice you are using it. Visitors will begin their Expo journey when they purchase tickets online. From the moment they land at Dubai International Airport, we can use the information they provide to help plan their trips to the Expo 2020 site and customise their means of transport, in conjunction with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). This seamless experience will continue once at Expo 2020. Advanced technology will help visitors from all over the world navigate our 4.38sqkm site and identify the pavilions, events and other exhibits that they would like to see. Other unobtrusive systems will also help Expo to make the most efficient use of climate conditioning, utilities and related services. With an average of 150,000 visitors expected each non-peak day, plus participants, volunteers and employees, Expo 2020 and its
partners will use specialist simulation software to model crowd behaviour, and video analytics to monitor visitor numbers and to ensure a smooth flow of people. We will also use smart technologies to get our visitors through the gates and into pavilions as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our 30,000-plus volunteers will be equipped with the latest digital technology to enable them to provide a personalised ‘concierge’ service that will allow visitors to make the most of their time at Expo 2020. Visitors will also be able to save time by ordering and paying for meals and drinks online via a smart phone app. By encouraging our F&B retailers to offer a diverse range of serving sizes and packaging, we can help to maximise customer choice while minimising waste. By harnessing the power of these technologies, we hope to deliver an efficient and comfortable experience for millions of people. Through techniques such as these, our ‘Smart Site’ will help to deliver a unique and memorable visitor experience. Visitors will find themselves immersed in one of the most efficient and engaging events in the world, with innovation enhancing every aspect of the Expo experience. With concerts, dance, food, music and more brought by coun-
tries from every corner of the world, Expo 2020 will have experiences to appeal to every taste. Innovation will help to bring these experiences to life in a way that has never been done before, delivering an imaginative yet meaningful experience that is both tailored to the visitor and enriched with welcome surprises. As well as helping to enhance the Expo 2020 visitor experience, smart technology will work behind the scenes, with digital solutions for energy management, smart buildings, smart lighting and smart irrigation linked through our IoT platform. This will make Expo 2020 one of the most user-friendly and sustainable World Expos in history. Many of Expo 2020’s smart buildings will feature smart metering with digital feedback for energy and water consumption, as well as sensors to monitor the efficiency of utilities, climate conditioning, occupancy and even the level of waste in bins. We would not be able to do this without our technology Premier Partners, including Accenture, Cisco, Etisalat, SAP and Siemens, who are helping us develop and implement the cutting-edge technologies that will deliver a seamless experience. By embracing innovation in all its forms, we believe we can push the boundaries of what a World Expo can deliver, creating a ‘wow’ factor for millions of visitors and exceeding their already high expectations.
For more, check out the Expo 2020 podcast on ice channel 1901.
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How Sheikh Zayed came to lead the emirate of Abu Dhabi
Zayed, the Ruler
WORDS: ZAYED: LIFE OF A GREAT LEADER / BOOKSARABIA.COM Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Sultan, Sheikh Zayed’s eldest brother, became the new leader of the Bani Yas tribe and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, two years after the death of their father. His rule would last for almost forty years, which brought a long period of renewed stability to the region. During this time, Sheikh Shakhbut continued the tradition of sharing the income from the pearl diving industry with the tribal areas inland. But, the development of cultured pearls from Japan in the early 1930s all but destroyed the pearl diving trade and left him with a greatly reduced income to share. This caused tensions between Abu Dhabi and the tribespeople. Knowing how influential and well-respected Sheikh Zayed was in the area, Sheikh Shakhbut appointed him as the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain in 1946. During this time, he brought about numerous positive changes in the region, which forever changed the lives of the people here. He went on to bring education, healthcare, new roads and a souk to the local tribes. He travelled freely among them, even to those who were hostile to his own Bani Yas tribe, and enjoyed universal respect for his honesty and his leadership. In Al Ain, one of his initial challenges was water. The Al Ain oasis was the only part of Abu Dhabi where agriculture was possible. Water supply had diminished over the years, and in some places, stopped completely.
Sheikh Zayed saw the need to repair and completely overhaul the old aflaj water delivery system, end privileged access to it by a small elite and create a new underground channel to replace those that no longer had water to give. As he would do in future, the young Sheikh Zayed led by example, actually getting involved in the messy work of cleaning the neglected stone-walled channels deep in the sand. Notwithstanding his enormous popularity and prodigious success in Al Ain, Sheikh Zayed remained steadfastly loyal to Sheikh Shakhbut, though they had different opinions on certain aspects of government, particularly the distribution of government wealth. Sheikh Zayed believed that the state’s income should be distributed among the people, whereas Sheikh Shakhbut – cautious by nature – wanted the national treasury to have substantial reserves in case of another economic depression. Sheikh Zayed knew that the money needed to be used for the betterment of people’s lives in the emirate. His outlook was both altruistic and politically astute.
Sheikh Zayed was an eminent public figure and a muchloved ruler, whose people affectionately referred to him as Baba Zayed (Father Zayed)
A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry the special Year of Zayed livery for 2018, commemorating the centennial of the birth of the UAE’s founding father.
Enjoy extraordinary events #InAbuDhabi! Abu Dhabi is an eventful destination with an action-packed calendar featuring international music, heritage and cultural festivals, sports, gourmet, high profile business conferences and vibrant trade fairs
Al Ain Book Fair Sept 23 - Oct 2
Dar Al Zain Festival
Games Con Oct 25 - 27
Taste of Abu Dhabi Nov 8 - 10
Abu Dhabi Art Nov 14 - 17
National Day Celebrations Dec 1 - 2
JA N 2 0 1 9
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi Festival
Formula 2 Powerboat Championship Nov 22 - 23
Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix City-wide Activation Nov 22 - 26
Mubadala World Tennis Championship Dec 27 - 29
Sultan Bin Zayed Heritage Festival Jan - Feb
Mother of the Nation Festival
Traditional Handicrafts Festival
Liwa International Festival â€“ Mureeb Dune
Al Dhafra Festival
Abu Dhabi Classics 2018-2019 Oct - May 2019
Abu Dhabi Food Festival Dec 6 - 22
ADIPEC 2018 Nov 12 - 15
Abu Dhabi International Boat Show Oct 17 - 20
ADIHEX 2018 Oct 2 - 6
NYE Celebration Dec 31
ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi Mar 8
Red Bull Air Race Championship
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Apr 24 - 30
Al Dhafra Water Festival
@abudhabievents Available on
UAE SMART GATE
Relax in style Emirates opens its 42nd dedicated lounge at Cairo International Airport. p.75
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Flights added to Europe and Canada
Emirates has added more flights to Toronto, France and the Netherlands, complementing its existing schedule and providing even more choice and convenience to travellers. In France, Emirates has introduced two additional flights to Lyon and one to Paris per week. The increase in frequency from five to seven between Lyon and Dubai sees the route become a daily service, while the extra flight to Paris brings to the number of flights per week to the French capital to 21, offering travellers three flights per day. Emirates also now flies to Toronto five times a week. The additional flights
operate on a Saturday departing Dubai at 03:30 and arriving in Toronto at 09:30. Emirates recently celebrated 10 years of operations in Canada. Introducing the flagship A380 in 2009, the A380 scheduled service increased passenger capacity on the Toronto service by 40 per cent and since then, passenger occupancy on the route has been consistently full, averaging 90 per cent with demand outstripping supply. Due to market demand, Emirates will also introduce five additional flights per week from Dubai to Amsterdam. These additional flights will complement its existing double daily services.
EMIRATES INTRODUCES NEW RANGE OF TOYS ON BOARD Emirates has introduced new toys from the Emirates Fly with Me collection and Lonely Planet Kids activity kit bags for children travelling in all classes. The new range of toys will come in the top four favourite characters, as voted by customers and fans in a social media competition held last year. Of the 17 characters Emirates introduced onboard in the last three years, the top four characters chosen for the new products are Lewis the Lion, Peek U the Panda, Ernie the Penguin, and Savanna the Elephant. The new collection is available on board all flights across all classes.
Emirates wins 14th World’s Best Inflight Entertainment Award Emirates has won World’s Best Inflight Entertainment award for the 14th year in a row at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018, as well as a service excellence award for best airline staff service in the Middle East this year. The Skytrax World Airline Awards are considered a global benchmark of airline excellence. This year’s results were decided by more than 20 million customers across 100 countries, who reviewed over 335 airlines from August 2017 to May 2018. “We always work hard to stay creative, relevant, and continue to build content that appeals to our multi-national
and multi-cultural passengers. The fact that these awards are based on the direct feedback from passengers is gratifying and wonderful recognition for all of the hard work that’s gone into creating the Emirates experience,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President, and Customer Experience (IFEC). Emirates was the first airline to install TV screens in every seat on every aircraft in its fleet in 1992. ice, the award-winning inflight entertainment system, now offers up to 3,500+ channels of entertainment.
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EMIRATES REVAMPS ITS PREMIUM OFFERING IN FIRST AND BUSINESS CLASS
Emirates opens dedicated airport lounge in Cairo Reflecting the airline’s ongoing commitment to Egypt, the new Emirates Lounge in Cairo represents a US$3.6 million investment to provide premium customers with a seamless and enjoyable journey. Catering to three daily flights, the lounge is now open to Emirates First Class and Business Class customers as well as Platinum and Gold members of Skywards, the airline’s loyalty programme. “Cairo is our first destination in North Africa with an Emirates Lounge – and it underscores our relentless
Emirates expands its network in Italy with Trenitalia A new codeshare agreement will enable Emirates customers from across its worldwide network to discover new destinations across Italy using Trenitalia, the country’s national railway company. With just one easy-to-book ticket, travellers will be able to fly on Emirates and reach
efforts to enhance the travel experience that we offer to customers not online in the air, but on the ground. We are committed to the highest standards of quality in every aspect of our business and the new Emirates Lounge is a testament to that,” said Mohammed Mattar – Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Airport Services. The lounge offers seating for up to 152 customers, and will provide luxurious facilities including LED TVs, showers, leather armchairs, and male and female prayer rooms.
some of Italy’s most picturesque cities and towns using high speed, modern and comfortable trains that leave from Emirates’ four Italian gateways – Bologna, Milan, Rome and Venice. “This codeshare agreement with Trenitalia opens up new possibilities for our customers and complements our current services to Bologna, Milan, Rome and Venice. With Trenitalia, travelling to the Far East from Foggia, or to Padova from Sydney has never been easier,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West. Customers can now start booking their codeshare trips via Emirates’ website and travel onwards to these destination and benefit from the convenience of holding a single ticket. First Class and Business Class passengers will automatically be booked in First Class on board Trenitalia’s trains.
Emirates has refreshed its premium offering with new luxury products in First and Business Class for a more comfortable travel experience. The new products stem from collaborations with BYREDO skincare, Bowers & Wilkins and Emirates’ longstanding partnership with Bulgari for its refreshed amenity kits. Emirates First Class customers will find the European luxury brand BYREDO’s travel wellness range of skincare in their private suites. The allergen-free collection was created exclusively for Emirates for a relaxing and hydrating experience inflight. To amplify the viewing experience on ice, the airline is also rolling out brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones in First Class, created exclusively for Emirates using a unique hybrid noise cancellation technology optimised for First Class cabins. Emirates also continues its longstanding partnership with Bulgari for the latest designs of the airline’s exclusive kit bags, with the new set of amenity kits for both First and Business Class featuring Bulgari’s fragrance – Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert.
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From rare wines to liqueurs from new regions – this is Emirates’ truly global beverage offering
US$10.5m Invested in spirits and beers in the last year
30+ Different spirits offered daily
12 Cocktail options offered on every flight
RARE FRUITS As well as customer favourites, Emirates is also serving regionally-focussed beverages such as Amarula, a liqueur made from the Marula fruit that grows wild and uncultivated in South Africa.
Top five cocktails • Bloody Mary • Mojito • Kir Royal • Cosmopolitan • Aperol Spritz
MOST POPULAR SPIRITS ECONOMY CLASS: JACK DANIEL’S WHISKEY BUSINESS CLASS: SIPSMITH GIN FIRST CLASS: CHIVAS ROYAL SALUTE WHISKY 21 YEARS MOST EXPENSIVE SPIRIT SERVED HENNESSY PARADIS IMPÉRIAL – AN EMIRATES EXCLUSIVE
A REFRESHED CABINET
We’ve been working hard over the last two years to curate a brand new spirits offering Emirates cocktails on board are made with the best spirits products, with a new menu on board that includes a mix of niche, hand-crafted brands as well as popular and well-loved spirits such as Hennessy cognacs in all classes. This includes the exclusive Hennessy Paradis in First Class and, for a limited period on select routes, the extremely rare Hennessy Paradis Impérial.
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EMIRATES SOURCES FROM 12 COUNTRIES In the main wine producing regions of the world
US$700m Invested in wine since 2006
• Argentina • Australia • Austria • Chile • France • Germany
• Italy • New Zealand • Portugal • South Africa • Spain • USA
5.5 million bottles of champagne and wine were consumed on board in 2017
Almost US$100m Invested last year in French wines and champagne
OUR WINE CELLAR IN BURGUNDY, FRANCE STORES 7 MILLION BOTTLES SOME OF WHICH WILL ONLY BE READY FOR DRINKING IN 2027
80 Champagnes, wines and ports offered daily
A PRESTIGIOUS OFFERING
How we built a wine programme that made the world’s most exclusive vineyards take notice Since 2006, Emirates has been buying wines for long-term storage, many of which were purchased ‘en Primeur’ or when the wines were still in barrel. Emirates Vintage Collection represents a selection of our rarest and most premium wines, which are extremely difficult to source. These wines are the top of our offering and have been stored in our cellars for up to 15 years until our sommeliers are satisfied they are ready to serve on our flights. EVC wines to look forward to include Château Haut Brion 2004 and Château Margaux 1998.
Over 270 wines are offered annually
Wine and champagne consumption 57% in Economy 37% in Business 6% in First
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A medieval haven
Sick Boy bemoans the festival crowds in Irvine Walsh’s Trainspotting. James Hogg’s anti-hero descends into madness in The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Edinburgh novels may be awash with despair, but an undercurrent of wry humour runs throughout the darkness – much like the city itself. It could be argued that the city’s performers and artists are transfixed by this heady mix. Take one of the standout jokes from this year’s Fringe festival, from comedian Adele Cliff: “I have a fear of loneliness. I can’t be the only one” – and you start to get a sense of how the city views itself. For tourists, this combination guarantees an unforgettable visit. Whether checking out any of the numerous performances on offer around the city – there are a vast array of literary salons and open mic nights to satisfy tastes for standup, theatre and poetry – browsing in the many independent boutiques, or ticking off medieval landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle or the Royal Mile, this is a city that appeals to every kind of traveller. Outside the capital, stop at Glencoe to learn the history of the Clan Macdonald massacre in 1692, before journeying onward through the town of Fort William, and to the ultimate Scottish experience of Loch Ness.
Next month on October 1 Emirates will launch its new nonstop daily service from Dubai to Edinburgh. Edinburgh will be Emirates’ second destination in Scotland, after Glasgow, and the airline’s eighth destination in the UK.
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TIMBERYARD Tucked away behind what looks like a garage, Timberyard’s cuisine is as innovative as its exterior. As much as possible is grown onsite, from herbs to vegetables or edible flowers, with the team also foraging for ingredients – seen in outstanding British cuisine served in up to eight courses. timberyard.co
21212 With only four bedrooms, 21212 hotel brings new meaning to the word boutique. Offering views over the gardens to the rear, the city to the front, the location – just behind Carlton Hill – is ideal. As is the dining, with Dishoom just around the corner and a Michelin-starred restaurant downstairs. 21212restaurant.co.uk
LITERARY HAUNTS Just off the main marketplace of Grassmarket is West Port, where a plethora of secondhand bookshops are ripe for browsing. For live performances, head to Inky Fingers at the Forest Café, Elvis Shakespeare or the literary salon at The Wash, to watch fledgling writers and poets nervously take to the stage.
THE WITCHERY BY THE CASTLE
PALM COURT AT THE BALMORAL
Traditional Scottish fare from haggis to venison is on offer in this dramatic setting on the Royal Mile. A flamboyantly gothic interior is scattered with antique candlesticks and crimson velvet as far as the eye can see. For those staying in one of the rooms, try the candlelit breakfast. thewitchery.com
The Scottish high tea to end all high teas can be found at this Edinburgh institution that relaxes you as soon as you enter the glass-domed dining room. Sip vintage champagne and sample warm scones to the gentle strums of a harpist, perched in the heavens of the salon. thebalmoralhotel.com
THE PAVILION AT LAMB’S HOUSE
OLD TOWN CHAMBERS
A six-sleeper lies tucked away just off Leith waterfront, promising maximum privacy in the ultimate foodie’s paradise. Part of the restoration of Lamb House, the space has meticulous period detail, a Renaissance garden and a Michelin-starred restaurant just yards away. lambspavilion.com
The ultimate tourist location, these city apartments lie in the nexus of Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars graveyard, the Scottish National Gallery and a host of historic monuments. Interiors range from 15th-century inspired suites, to high-spec contemporary, and all are pet-friendly. lateralcity.com
THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS
MARY KING’S CLOSE
Home to the Catacol whitebeam, known as the “giant panda” of the tree world, these 17th-century gardens, originally intended to grow medicinal plants, are a must-see. Wander around 72 acres of charming scenery, from Victorian glasshouses to a pagoda-strewn Chinese hillside. rbge.org.uk
Experience what it was like to live in one of the worst times in history with a guided tour through Mary King’s Close, the site devastated by the Black Death in 17th-century Scotland. Long rumoured to be haunted, the narrow winding streets – ghostly or not – are strangely affecting. realmarykingsclose.com
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NATIONALITIES THAT CAN USE UAE SMART GATES
Use UAE Smart Gate at Dubai International Airport Citizens of the countries listed on the right and UAE residents can speed through Dubai International by using UAE Smart Gate. If you hold a machine-readable passport, an E-Gate card or Emirates ID card you can check
in and out of the airport within seconds. Just look out for signs that will direct you to the many UAE Smart Gates found on either side of the Immigration Hall at Dubai International Airport.
USING UAE SMART GATE IS EASY
Have your machine-readable passport, E-Gate card or Emirates ID card ready to be scanned.
Place your passport photo page on the scanner. If you are a UAE resident, place your E-Gate card or Emirates ID card into the card slot.
Go through the open gate, stand on the blue footprint guide on the floor, face the camera straight-on and stand still for your iris scan. When finished, the next set of gates will open and you can continue to baggage claim.
REGISTERING FOR UAE SMART GATE IS EASY
To register for Smart Gate access, just spend a few moments having your details validated by an immigration officer and that’s it. Every time you fly to Dubai in future, you will be out of the airport and on your way just minutes after you have landed.
IF YOU’RE A UAE RESIDENT
Remember to bring your Emirates ID card next time you’re travelling through DXB – you’ll be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds, without paying and without registering. Valid at all Smart Gates, located in Arrivals and Departures, across all three terminals at DXB.
*UK citizens only (UK overseas citizens still require a visa)
UAE SMART GATE CAN BE USED BY: • Machine-readable passports from the above countries • E-Gate cards • Emirates ID cards
INTERNATIONALLY ACCREDITED HEALTHCARE SERVICES AT YOUR DOORSTEP MEDICLINIC MIDDLE EAST OPERATES SIX HOSPITALS, OVER 20 CLINICS AND MORE THAN 700 INPATIENT BEDS ACROSS DUBAI, ABU DHABI, AL AIN AND THE WESTERN REGION.
EXPERTISE YOU CAN TRUST. A MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL COMPANY www.mediclinic.ae MOH MH52817-30.9.18
82 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
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
TRAVEL TO ADDITIONAL DESTINATIONS WITH OUR CODESHARE PARTNERS
With 23 codeshare partners in 26 countries (21 airlines and an air/ rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air and Italy’s Trenitalia), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.
Visit emirates.com for full details on our travel partners
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Routes shown are as of time of going to press
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ASIA & PACIFIC
EUROPE & CENTRAL ASIA
86 / EMIRATES / ROUTE MAP
Routes shown are as of time of going to press
88 / EMIRATES / FLEET
Our fleet of 274 aircraft includes 261 passenger aircraft and 13 SkyCargo aircraft
107 IN FLEET All aircraft
up to 3,500+
Up to 489-615 passengers. Range: 15,000km. L 72.7m x W 79.8m
141 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: emirates.com/ourfleet
10 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 266-302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
EMIRATES / FLEET / 89 HEREâ€™S WHAT CONNECTIVITY, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD EACH AIRCRAFT TYPE
Live TV, news & sport
Number of channels
First Class Shower Spa
* First Class and Business Class; **Available in all rows in Economy Class, and in all seats in First Class and Business Class
BOEING 777-300 2 IN FLEET All aircraft
Up to 364 passengers. Range: 11,029km. L 73.9m x W 60.9m
AIRBUS A319 1 IN FLEET
The Emirates Executive Private Jet takes our exceptional service to the highest level to fly you personally around the world. Fly up to 19 guests in the utmost comfort of our customised A319 aircraft with the flexibility of private jet travel. Further information at emirates-executive.com
BOEING 777F 13 IN FLEET
Range: 9,260km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m
The most environmentally-friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably-sized cargo aircraft. Along with its wide main-deck cargo door, which can accommodate oversized consignments, it is also capable of carrying up to 103 tonnes of cargo non-stop on 10-hour sector lengths.
Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press
Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m
GUIDE TO DURBAN SOUTH AFRICA Filming Mowgli in Durban gave Serkis a newfound appreciation for the “Indian City” WORDS: EMMA COILER
“The location was vital in terms of getting Mowgli right: that was one of the big reasons we went over there. The movie is set in colonial India, and it was important to try and replicate that as much as we could. We took over an entire village in South Africa just outside of Durban. It was a lot of effort and cost, but in my eyes, totally worth it. South Africa has some of the best wildlife in the world, and I’m passionate about the use of animals in film. There is no need for it – with the level of computer advances these days I can’t see one valid reason for it. We hear about the issues wildlife are facing – but when you are in places like South Africa you really get how serious it is. I had no idea of this before I went, but Durban is the largest Indian city outside of India. You see so much of that influence and culture in the city, which is fascinating. Go to the markets in the Indian District, as well as check out some of the exhibits on Gandhi, who actually spent quite a lot of time working in Durban. When you are at dinner order the best wine on the menu. South Africa is one of the leading
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
29.8587° S, 31.0218° E
suppliers of quality wine in the world, and by the time these wines get to London, New York etc you are paying hundreds of pounds or dollars for a bottle. Over here, you are getting it for a fraction of the price. Like so much of South Africa there is such beautiful scenery. I don’t think there is a better driving holiday destination in the world. Rent a car, a convertible if you can, and just keep stopping at the hundreds of stunning views. I was working so I didn’t have much time to enjoy the beach – but they have “The Golden Mile” which is a stunning stretch of beach pretty much in the city. It’s massively popular for surfing, jogging and cycling. Durban has a healthy Tiger and Zambezi shark population, and there are various things you can do there to get close to these magnificent creatures. The KZN shark board is working hard promoting the relationship between humans and sharks, and there are a lot of ethical trips you can do there. Shark attacks are incredibly rare in Durban, and that’s down to all the effort they are putting into education.”
Emirates operates a daily service to Durban with the Boeing 777-300ER.
An exceptional experience
â€Śamidst the powder-soft sand, by the cerulean waves and under the tropical shade of the Maldives; our premier villa resort presents curated experiences in an all-inclusive offering. A sneak peek in to our offerings here, www.heritancehotels.com/aara T: +960 6640375 | E : email@example.com
the new fragrance
THE LANGUAGE OF DANCE - UAE, movement that seeks to transcend borders Exploring South Africa with Andy Serkis The wonder material from Man...
Published on Aug 26, 2018
THE LANGUAGE OF DANCE - UAE, movement that seeks to transcend borders Exploring South Africa with Andy Serkis The wonder material from Man...