Open Skies September 2019

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RUNNING FOR GLORY In Sydney, the world’s richest turf race comes to town



































CONTRIBUTORS Iain Akerman; Helena Amante; Emma Coiler; Ben East; Sarah Freeman; Maryanne Haggas; Lauren Jade Hill; Dom Joly; Ben Mack; Conor Purcell; Chris Round; Michael Stoneman.




















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

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60 FEATURES Trackside





Horse racing: An Australian love story 60

Better than the Colosseum? Can Italy’s rural villages attract the Rome-going tourist? 38

The peril of ascent Should we still climb Everest? 42 Experience 14 Stay: From Lyon to London 16 Dom Joly on finding a French meal 24 Zambia’s canine poacher trackers 26 Neighbourhood: Hamburg 32 Expo 2020: The global pavilions 68 Ben Lyttleton believes football can strengthen our cognitive skills 70

Latest news 74 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Zagreb 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Hugh Bonneville’s guide to the UK 90

Southern sushi A gooey cheese treat in New Zealand 48

Photo essay Australia’s secret seas 52

Discover Sharjah's natural beauty

The emirate’s beautiful natural landscapes call to adventure seekers looking for the perfect journey. Explore Sharjah’s winding waterways for rare wildlife, breathtaking views and remarkable experiences.




In Zambia, handlers hold back a pair of enthusiastic German Shepherds straining at their leashes. Released, they bound toward a ‘nose wall’ – a training tool studded with traces of ivory, ammunition, bushmeat and rhino horn. Finding all the contraband planted by staff from Conservation Lower Zambezi – an NGO tasked with protecting the animals of the national park – gets them a treat prized more than any ivory horn: a muddy rubber ball. Journalist Sarah Freeman spent time with the counter-poaching team, and their latest canine additions, for our dispatch on p26. “It’s worth remembering that Zambia is a relative newcomer on the safari scene, its wildlife industry valued at US$16m compared to South Africa’s $795m,” she says. “There aren’t the same tourist numbers (yet!) to drive money into counter poaching projects, which aren’t cheap.” From potentially fatal tsetse fly bites to covering a patrol area of 20,000 square kilometres, the unit has some serious ground to make up, and signifcant hurdles to overcome – much like the modern climbers of Everest. The type of mountaineer that has scaled the near-thirty thousand feet of rock and ice has shapeshifted over the last fifty years – from the scarce and “rugged, slightly bonkers men” of the Fifties to a plethora of wealthy climbers who must queue – and pay – to make it to the summit. On p42 the recent and tragic issue of overcrowding is tackled, as well as the question – should we still be climbing Everest? openskiesmag openskiesmag openskiesmag

Georgina Lavers, Editor







Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

Gallery A & S, Manarat Al Saadiyat



(For the first time in the Middle East!)



Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

MEGA SHOPPING DEALS HOTEL OFFERS AND ENTERTAINMENT EXTRAVAGANZAS! Abu Dhabi Calendar Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi


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“It feels like people come out in awe at the sheer feat of it” As Invisible Cities opens at Brisbane Festival, playwright Lolita Chakrabarti discusses adapting Italo Calvino’s seminal 1974 novel How did you set about trying to adapt a Italian book about fantastical cities? Yes, it’s a strange book, which doesn’t really have a narrative. I can see the wonder of it sometimes and then I can see why people don’t know about it because it’s a very particular, esoteric kind of piece. I knew it was going to be a magical production with 22 dancers and music. It was obvious to me that it had to be a conversation because there are only two characters in the book: the 13th Century Mongol emperor Kubla Khan and Venetian Marco Polo. But the conversations are quite static, still, existential, floaty. You can’t have an hour of that!

But you found a story that would work?

It’s visually spectacular – there are projections, dancers, massive structures, even Venetian canals. How did you map out the story beyond the words? As it went along I started to think what could be dance, what could be digital. I don’t really think in pictures, but words. But dancers think in movement, projectionists work in images I guess, so it was a very different discipline that I was following. It was a multicoloured, boldened, italicised script.

What was it like to see your story realised at the Manchester International Festival in July?

When the curtains part and Khan says “our imperial hands have been washed in blood since childhood”, well, these are things that I have imagined in my office on my own. So to see the journey on the curtains before they part, the journey I’ve written, is amazing. To see the dancers as the court, Khan on the ziggurat. It’s extraordinary. It feels like people come out in awe at the sheer feat of it. The ambition, the size, the scale, the skill, the story.

At the same time, your adaptation of Life Of Pi was playing in Sheffield to rave reviews. Do you hope that show will tour as well? I’m sure it will. Life Of Pi was magic – the designer and director are maestros. It’s funny, you’d never equate Invisible Cities and Life Of Pi but actually they are both philosophical texts asking great existential questions about how we survive. And they’re both in water!


I went into history, but lightly so, to give it some backbone and story and try and not overload Calvino’s ephemeral feel. So there are some basic facts from this giant of history; Kubla Khan did have a favourite wife called Chabi, who died. She was an advisor to him, was key in his court

and gave him his favourite son, who also died. So that was an interesting character point – if you had a hugely powerful man who not many people would say no to, who listens to his wife (which in those times I think was quite progressive) and then she goes too. It leaves him at a time of life where he’d be questioning the purpose of everything.


Chakrabarti has also adapted Yann Martel’s Life of Pi into a stage show


RUGBY WORLD CUP The ninth Rugby World Cup is the first to be held away from the heartlands of the game, in Asia – a huge chance for rugby union to expand into new territories. Twelve stadia across Japan host the Emirates-sponsored tournament featuring 20 hopeful nations: current holders and three-times winners New Zealand are favourites but Australia’s victory over their neighbours in a warm-up game has raised questions, and it will be Wales who might be best placed to take advantage. Venues across Japan.





With a line-up of electronica acts including Four Teta and Jordan Rakei, it would be easy to categorise Nova Batida as just another dance music festival. But last year’s offering really did provide the “three days of music, art and culture” promised; there’s a chance to try surfing and supper clubs, as well as gallery guides for quieter moments in the city. Lisbon, Portugal.

Launched in 2016, the annual Xposure Festival has swiftly become one of the best forums to celebrate the power of photography, its educational arm attracting award-winning global photographers. Highlights this year include work from Ami Vitale and North Korean images from Dutch photographer Alice Wielinga. Sharjah, UAE.


OKTOBERFEST Oktoberfest takes over Munich for a fortnight in late September; where landlords, brewers and marching bands in traditional dress proudly walk the streets. Later in the month the mayor conducts a massive public music festival, with plenty of rousing Bavarian anthems. With carousel rides and family days, Oktoberfest is now an inclusive and welcoming festival. Munich, Germany.



51.5074° N, 0.1278° W


At The Dorchester, heritage is not a catchphrase – it is the essence of this Mayfair institution

Can you feel the history? WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS

FROM THE CONCIERGE Show time On The Dorchester’s theatre desk, staff typically visit the theatre once a week, giving validity to their recommendations. A recent tip is the unique staging of Agatha Christie’s ‘Witness for the Prosecution’, which plays out in the historic council chamber of London’s County Hall. China Tang With a secret entrance inside the hotel, the pre-war romance of Shanghai is on display in this authentic, upmarket Cantonese eatery. Try the dim sum, served all day at the bar or the Peking duck, served over three imaginative courses. 45 Park Lane Nip across the road for after-dinner cocktails at 45 Park Lane, The Dorchester’s contemporary sister. Bar 45 celebrates the Negroni – first made in Florence’s Caffè Casoni in 1919 – with a dedicated drinks trolley.

Asking the bartender at the Dorchester if he might regale you with a story or two is an ill-advised idea if you have any other plans in London that afternoon. From those that have been at the institution since the 1970s – including head barkeep Giuliano, who has even created his own gin – tales of celebrity encounters, wartime scandals and secret tips are aplenty should you visit this 1931 establishment, sat on the eastern tip of Hyde Park. Myth still wields a near-magical role at the property, starting at the entrance – where huge urns with flowers spilling over their tops are said to be changed in the dead of night by the florist Philip Hammond. Walking into the long lounge, one might catch a glimpse of the Foyle’s Literary Luncheon. The gathering of literati at the hotel began in 1930, still continues today

and was the event at which John Lennon famously delivered a curt speech taken as a snub (he later said he was “scared stiff” at the intelligence of the other guests there). Take a sharp right before the lounge and head into the bowels of the hotel, where war ministers fled to underground Turkish baths during WWII air raids. Now, an inhouse spa offers Manuka rose honey facials. It is these traditions and quirks that epitomise the hotel, with rooms also living up to a storied heritage. Opt for The Stanhope Suite to see pieces by prominent British artists, the theatrical Oliver Messel Suite should you require a butler, or the Deluxe Queen rooms for a (slightly) more modest experience. All have gleaming white marble bathrooms, with tubs that fill to the brim in seconds – a perfect way to unwind after a long walk in Hyde Park.


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



45.7585° N, 4.8346 E


InterContinental Lyon - Hotel-Dieu brings new life to a landmark steeped in history

Spirit of the city WORDS: LAUREN JADE HILL

CAPITAL OF GASTRONOMY In 1935 the famous food critic Curnonsky described Lyon as the ‘world capital of gastronomy’. Eminent chef Paul Bocuse then went on to elevate this city’s culinary reputation with his innovative approach to cuisine – visit his eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant by the Saône to try the dishes he won such acclaim for. Seek out a bouchon such as Café Comptoir Abel for a traditional Lyonnaise dining experience and try local delicacies at new indoor food market Les Halles Grand Hôtel-Dieu.


Hôtel-Dieu has played a prominent role in Lyon since the 12th Century. Located between the Rhône and Saône rivers in the Presqu’ile, or Peninsula, neighbourhood, this landmark operated as a hospital for more than eight centuries before closing in 2010. Since then, it has undergone a complete transformation, with more than 800 craftsmen making it one of the biggest private renovations of a classified site in France. Now the historic complex has officially entered a new era with the launch of InterContinental Lyon - Hotel-Dieu following the phased opening of several boutiques, restaurants and bars. The hotel spans the building’s river-facing 360-metre façade with the soaring Soufflot dome now home to Le Dome bar and the courtyards behind coming to life with places to eat, drink and shop, pockets of lush greenery, and Le Tigre Yoga Club & Spa, along its shaded walkways. To honour the landmark’s history, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel combined

the building’s original architecture with sensitively curated modern design, paying tribute to Lyon’s prominence in silk with the printed fabric of silk houses such as Maison Verel de Belval. Silk screens, soft furnishings and thoughtful lighting add warmth to the natural stone floors and beamed ceilings. But the dome’s new bar is the focal point of the hotel, with plush furnishings, gold-leafadorned artwork and a backlit cocktail bar now beneath the 32-metre-high rotunda. The hotel’s luxurious rooms and suites overlook the river, inner courtyards and Fourvière district – river-facing duplex suites come with double-height windows – and they’re all complemented with patterned silk panels and silk curtains that change colour with the light. An indulgent breakfast is laid out in the restaurant Epona and later in the day this is the setting for the fine dining plates of chef Mathieu Charrois who pays tribute to Lyon’s gastronomy with an added touch of creativity.

Lyon is an easy city to navigate. Borrow one of the hotel’s bikes to cycle along the banks of the Rhône towards Parc de la Tête d’Or and head out on foot to explore the UNESCO World Heritage old town, Vieux Lyon. While you’re here, go in search of the historic quarter’s hidden traboules – these interior passageways from the Middle Ages provide shortcuts through historic buildings and inner courtyards.


Emirates flies daily to Lyon with the Boeing 777-300ER.



31.2304° N, 121.4737° E


This restored, walled village provides a contemplative antidote to the bustle of Shanghai

Serenity in a Ming Dynasty retreat WORDS: MARYANNE HAGGAS

FROM THE CONCIERGE The spa A near-three thousand-squaremetre Spa & Wellness Centre features two heated swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor – a Russian Banya Spa House, and a Moroccan Hammam Spa House.

The story of Amanyangyun begins in Jiangxi, the mountainous, cultural heartland of eastern China. The construction of a reservoir in the province threatened the area’s historical villages and cherished camphor trees, some of which had stood for more than a millennium. Amanyangyun’s owner, Chinese philanthropist and billionaire Ma Dadong, was determined to preserve the history that was about to be destroyed in his native province. He decided to relocate the collection of ancient artefacts to the city of Shanghai in a bid to save the region’s vanishing past. It took over a decade to relocate more than 30 villages comprised of 50 Ming and

Qing dynasty houses and 10,000 camphor trees; the work so painstaking that each brick was numbered to ensure exact restoration. Over a decade later, the project has been realised in Amanyangyun – an Aman property just under an hour’s drive from central Shanghai and close to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town. The property matches the global standards of a typical Aman offering – with amenities including five dining venues, a golf course minutes from the property and an extensive spa – but keeps cultural authenticity at its heart. The architecture, led by Kerry Hill, embodies the essence of Chinese traditional

Lazhu Amanyangyun’s elegant Chinese restaurant serves a menu combining Jiangxi or ‘Gan’ signature dishes known for their creativity and use of spices, fish and tea oil, and local Shanghainese and Cantonese favourites. The main dining room overlooks a bamboo grove, while seven private dining rooms offer garden views. Nan Shufang The spiritual heart of Amanyangyun, Nan Shufang is a space to learn, contemplate and practise traditional crafts. Experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony or try your hand at calligraphy, brush painting or the distinctive sounds of local instruments like the guqin and guzheng.

Suites are designed to complement the serene surrounding woodland

culture, carefully blending the old with the new. Thirteen of the antique dwellings are now four-bedroom antique villas with heated pools and jacuzzis, together with 24 contemporary one-bedroom Ming Courtyard Suites. The suites are seamlessly interspersed throughout Amanyangyun’s expansive grounds, which guests can venture round at leisure; camphor-forested parkland that is starting to incorporate water terraces, lotus ponds and wildlife-rich wetlands. It is this recurring and careful tale of preservation – combined withglobal luxury standards and requisite attention to detail – that make Amanyangyun a destination worth examining.


Emirates flies twice daily nonstop to Shanghai with the Airbus A380.



25.3463° N, 55.4209° E


A petrol station conversion offers a slice of Americana in the United Arab Emirates

Solitude at Fossil Rock

Left: Locally sourced stone and concrete provide heavy thermal mass to deal with extreme temperature fluctuations and sandstorms


A Sixties English petrol station and medical clinic, and a conversion by a London-slash-Dubai design firm. Throw the location into the mix: a conservation reserve on the cusp of Oman – and it’s a trifecta that doesn’t automatically add up to the Americana feel that flows through Al Faya Lodge. Maybe it’s the low-slung, motel feel to the rooms, of which there are only four – compact but fitted out interestingly, with dark faux marble interiors and brass fittings in the wet rooms. Possibly it’s the site itself, whereby a (very quiet) highway separates the rooms and pool from the restaurant, with golf buggies waiting to transport guests across the short strip. Or maybe it’s the Arizona-esque Fossil Rock, a vivid russet monolith overlooking the lodge that punctures clarion skies – and over which a guest may see the odd bird of prey soaring in long, lazy circles.

Set in the crimson desert landscape of Sharjah, the Al Faya Lodge is a new addition to the Sharjah Collection – a group of boutique hotels and eco-retreats throughout the emirate. The architecture and design was taken on by Jonathan Ashmore of Dubai and London-based practice ANARCHITECT, who sought to reimagine two single-storey, stone buildings from the 1960s – previously occupied by a clinic and grocery store – as a new hotel and restaurant. The rooms have touches that speak to their locale; within each is a feature skylight for star-gazing, and a luxe room has the added experience of a private roof terrace and dual aspect. The pièce de résistance is a purpose-built spa building housing an open-air saltwater pool and three salt spa experiences. Shaded by a latticed wall, it is perhaps the most relaxing start to a day in the middle of nowhere.

IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Head to Mleiha archaeological site – those with a 4x4 should brave an 8km off-road track that winds through the centre of electricity pylons and offers unrivalled views of the orange sands synonymous with the area. When there, take a horse, quad bike or 4x4 to the top of Camel Rock – stopping for camel herders and an explanation of the area’s unique geological features.


Clockwise from top: A view of Fossil Rock from the restaurant; Himalayan salt wafts through holes in the steam room; Throughout, design is simplistic and modern

Planning a visit to Dubai and the UAE? Watch Emirates & Dubai TV on today’s flight to see fun things to do including Tourist Attractions, Dining, Activities, Entertainment and Golfing.


FRANCE 46.2276° N, 2.2137° E

French food, and foes An attempt at dinner and an accidental bullfight are all on the cards for Dom Joly

Emirates serves three destinations in France – Nice, Lyon and Paris.

I love the Camargue. It’s an area of Southern France that just about manages to keep mass tourism at bay. I rented a gorgeous house there this summer. We spent most of the time lounging around the pool, soaking in the sun and recharging our depleted batteries. In the evenings, we would head off to explore the area and get something to eat. Our neighbouring towns were properly local and didn’t much cater for outsiders. I found a place online called the Secret Garden. I warned the owner that there were ten of us and he seemed fine with this. First impressions were not great. It looked like a dump. In fact, were it not for the secret garden not being an actual secret, we would have left. Instead we made our way to the back and into said garden. We ordered drinks, then food, and all was well. The drinks arrived as the garden slowly filled up with other diners, mostly local. After an hour or so we noticed that other tables were getting their food and we weren’t. I queried this with the waitress and she said it was just coming. Three quarters of an hour later, with other tables onto their puddings, we gave up. It seemed that the real secret of this garden was that we would not get our food anytime soon. We paid for our drinks and left. I drove us

all to a nearby village where there was a sweet little bar that served food. When we arrived however, the bar was closed, and the entire population was on the streets holding giant boards and standing behind thick makeshift railings. We couldn’t understand what was going on? We got some drinks at a temporary bar and were about to explore when we heard it. First some whooping, then a clattering on stone, followed by the rising roar of the crowd. I turned to look in the direction of the noise to see five long horned bulls rampaging down the street towards me with about eight locals on horseback in rapid pursuit. Everyone else in our group jumped behind a railing but I found myself rooted to the spot, gripped by a combination of adrenaline and stubborn curiosity. I heard my wife screaming at me. I saw light glint off of one of the bulls’ horns. A local man gestured frantically at me. And then they were on me. At the very last minute, some subconscious mechanism forced my body into an arc, allowing the nearest bull’s horn to pass within an inch of my chest. I could smell its sweat. Then it was over. The bulls charged past. The horses surged after them and all was suddenly quiet again. “Shall we call it a night?” Asked my wife. Sometimes it’s best to just stay in.


Zambia is tackling poachers with a new breed of law enforcement: sniffer dogs. Could man’s best friend be the key to cracking wildlife injustice in the Lower Zambezi? WORDS AND IMAGES: SARAH FREEMAN

Scooby doo is on patrol

German Shepherd Bar leads the charge on a morning patrol

On the banks of the mighty Zambezi, a territorial hippo pod is the only neighbour to a cluster of dusty buildings – the headquarters of an NGO that’s leading the fight against wildlife crime in the Lower Zambezi. Being on the western edge of a transboundary national park doesn’t restrict freedom of movement for everyone. “Animals don’t have borders,” says Hanneke Hogerheijde, Conservation Lower Zambezi’s (CLZ) project manager, as a bull elephant confidently strides into Zimbabwean waters. Spurred on by the plight of these great pachyderms, the NGO formed a quarter of a century ago – back then, its iteration was just one beat-up Land Rover and a tarpaulin office. Since 1950, poachers have killed 90 per cent of Zambia’s elephants, whittling down their numbers to just 16,000. These critical tourist assets and ecosystem engineers are just one iconic megafauna that CLZ is tasked with protecting. Black rhinos aren’t on the list any longer – they were poached out of existence in 1998 after two decades of bloodshed.





In partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), CLZ’s conservation approach fires on all cylinders, running environmental education and community engagement programmes, as well as rapid response and community scout units. The latest reinforcements to its counter-poaching arsenal are a fourman, two-dog Detection and Tracking Canine Unit. No amount of boots on the ground can match a dog’s acute sense of smell, 10,000 times stronger than ours. “The nose is a muscle which needs to be trained continuously like an athlete,” Hogerheijde tells me. When German Shepherds Lego and Bar aren’t

out in the field, they’re honing their most valuable asset on the camps ‘nose wall’, planted with traces of ivory, ammunition, bushmeat and rhino horn. The reward for finding this said contraband? A good old-fashioned ball, which Bar retrieves with lightening speed from Adamson. A former scout, he joined CLZ a decade ago, becoming Bar’s second handler in 2016 after rigorous training. Their bond is heartening. “He’s my best, best friend,” Adamson beams. “He knows my behaviour A to Z and vice versa”. No wonder. They’re spending three weeks at a time together (typically four days in camp, six days on operation). One day could be setting up strategic

roadblock cones for spot vehicle checks, the next practicing “tracking” spoor and sweeping houses for cat skins. Patrolling with CLZ’s intel-led, AK47-wielding rapid response unit is more ad hoc. It can involve four-day walk-ins, staying in one location for a fortnight. The GPS is set on Lower Zambezi National Park, but bordering GMAs (Game Management Areas) like Chiawa to the west, Luano (north) and Rufunsa (east) are scouted too, amounting to an area of 20,000 square kilometres. One of the project’s major obstacles is “the size of area, not the capability of the dog,” Hogerheijde asserts. Lego and Bar’s other nemesis are trypanosomiasis-infected



1. A healthy lioness. The unit assists lions that get caught in crude poacher snares intended for antelope 2. Even the car is sprayed with a heavy-duty repellent to protect the dogs from tsetse flies 3. Bar and Peter; the dogs have their own tents to sleep in whilst on operations 4. Contraband ivory 5. Peter and Lego 6. Educational programmes hope to change farmer’s perceptions of elephants

tsetse flies. It’s a military-style operation protecting them from the potentially fatal bite. As well as bimonthly jabs, the dogs are sprayed four times daily with heavy-duty repellent, along with their wheels; a souped-up 4x4 with gauzed AC’d kennels, a bush luxury CLZ’s team aren’t even afforded. All this comes at a price – around US$250,000, which bankrolled the project’s first two years. But already it’s an investment that’s paying off. In 2018, Lego and Bar undertook 202 operations, apprehended 20 suspects, seized 21 firearms, 300kgs of bushmeat and one pangolin – the world’s least-known, yet most-trafficked animal. One of Bar’s early busts,



Adamson reveals, was uncovering two ivory tusks in the luggage hold of a bus on Lusaka’s Great East Road. “They were smothered in baby powder and stuffed into a rucksack.” Fish, charcoal and maize are commonly bundled with smuggled items to try and throw dogs off the scent. Bushmeat (which commands $5 a kilogramme on the black market) is particularly pungent, and, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, its illegal trade represents the single greatest threat to Zambia’s wildlife. “With something you’re buying out of the back of the car, you’re not really sure what animal you’re eating. It could be kudu, lion, zebra,” a representative from Zambia’s

Wildlife Crime Protection tells me. “The meat can carry diseases (like anthrax) and it’s often not known its illegal.” Culturally rooted and difficult to police, subsistence poaching presents its own set of problems. CLZ’s chief driver and longest serving employee, Dick Karidza, 58, is a reformed poacher from Muguloamena (a village 33km away) who hunted bushbucks and warthogs “just to have meat for the family”. It’s estimated three quarters of Zambians live on less than $1.25 a day. He hunted with 10 dogs (his only interaction with man’s best friend before CLZ) and wire snares, which indiscriminately maim big cats, often leaving abandoned cubs. Lower




7. A Baobab tree in Lower Zambezi National Park 8. The dogs’ acute sense of smell is used to find contraband such as muzzleloaders, lion paws, bushmeat and ivory

Zambezi is one of the country’s strongholds for lions, as well as endangered species like Wild Dog. Karidza admits; “now wildlife is part of my family.” The two worlds of poachers and conservationists are messily intertwined. “Some may have a relative who is a poacher,” CLZ’s Besa Kaoma tells me, referring to the 150 children who attend their Environmental Education programme annually. Many come from farming families whose livelihood is at the mercy of crop-raiding elephants or hippos. With some 30,000 people inhabiting areas abutting the National Park, wildlife conflict and retaliatory killings of game is a reality. Overturning this negative perception of animals un-

derpins the programme. One of Kaoma’s more memorable pupils from his outreaches was the daughter of a notorious poacher, nicknamed “Macabbage.” Now (ungracefully) retired, he was probably one cog in a poaching syndicate. “They see animals as theirs to harvest, no different to picking a berry from a bush to eat” British Army trained Jay Crafter tells me. The co-founder of Invictus K9, which trains and deploys canine units for anti-poaching and law-enforcement, piloted the first programme in Zimbabwe, his motherland. In four short years they’ve established seven similar dog units in sub-Saharan Africa, including CLZ’s. But there’s still a long way to go. “It’s lawless, it’s the Wild

West,” Crafter says of Africa’s multibillion-dollar illegal wildlife trade. In Zambia, if you’re caught in the possession of trophies you can do ten years of prison time and 25 for illegally hunting an elephant. Penalties aside, Lego and Bar’s presence alone is a deterrent, Crafter points out. “Everybody knows that the dogs are capable of finding stuff. That in itself is a psychological threat.” Since writing this story, Lego tragically lost his life to poisoning. The matter is under investigation.

Emirates flies daily to Lusaka with the Boeing 777-300ER.




53.5511° N, 9.9937° E

Grand Wilhelminian-style townhouses, a down-to-earth cafe culture and plenty of hygge are three good reasons to hotfoot it to this lively hood


Right: Former gas plant and current design hotel, Gastwerk; where Minis are free to rent

Historically speaking, Ottensen is more Danish than German. Up until 1864, the humble craft village was ruled by the Danes, and only annexed to Hamburg in the 1930s. Bordered by the River Elbe in the south and the Altona Station in the east, it is located west of the city centre, in the Altona district. The neighbourhood survived World War II remarkably unscathed, with many of its pre-war Art Nouveau buildings now protected historical monuments – not that you would know it. Few places do grand and grunge better. West of Altona town hall, Christianskirche drips in Baroque splendour, whilst worker houses-turned-antique shops cram into Felde Street. Meanwhile on Friedensallee, red brick turnof-the-century architecture transports you to NYC’s West Village, with a menu to match. It’s the place to feast on next-gen Lebanese mezze, ramen hotpots, and hole-in-the-wall falafel joints – a reflection of the hood’s immigrant population. On Wednesdays a popular farmers market wakes up sleepy Spritzenplatz, whilst down the road, Fabrik’s weekend tacos and tapestries lure a local crowd to the concert venue’s nave-like central hall. The repurposed ammunition depot is one of several masterfully restored industrial ruins, harking to a time when shipbuilding, tobacco factories and glassworks flourished here. Some have been razed to the ground and reimagined as multi-use parks like Kemal-Altun-Platz, where a crumbling steam excavator marks the entrance. Ottensen’s residents are hardly nature starved, thanks to ivy-clad buildings,

overgrown courtyards and liegewieses (lawns) for sunbathing. For serious tanning, follow the neighbourhood’s winding cobweb of streets down to Elbe beach. Or, alfresco café-hop along the hood’s pretty pedestrianised main drag: Ottenser Hauptstraße. This is boutique shopping par excellence, with speciality stores peddling everything from rocking chairs to organic cosmetics. It’s also the address of vermilion hued Reh Bar, which props up the neighbourhood on cappuccinos and US$5 caipirinhas morning, noon and night. Drink up, then drink in some culture at Ottensen’s quintet of theatres, including Altonaer, known for its rousing page-to-stage performances.



GASTWERK HOTEL Dubbed the city’s first design hotel, this goliath former gas plant lit the city’s streets 130 years ago. Where 5,000 tons of coal was once stashed is now 600 square metres of light-flooded lobby, accoutred with water features, an Apple workstation and some very sinkable Chesterfields. Whilst its 140 lofts aren’t technically all lofts (for that you’ll need to splurge on one of the ‘L’ category rooms), their exposed brick, earthy furnishings and polished steel will still put you in a New York state of mind. Check out the duplex art room, where Greek artist in residence, Georgios Engonidis, creates the hotel’s signature bold canvases. And if time permits, take one of the hotel’s Minis for a spin (it’s on the house). Beim Alten Gaswerk 3, +49 408 90 620,




ALTONA MUSEUM Marvel at ship figureheads, whaling artefacts and 17th Century ornamental tiles at this unsung museum, which charts Altona’s evolution from a once-Danish ruled fishing village, to thriving trading hub. Museumstraße 23, +49 404 28 13 50,


The former Danish fishing town of Altona derives from allzu-nah, meaning “all too near”, a 16th Century moniker given by Hamburgers to an Altona inn deemed too close to their border



TIDE CAFÉ Between its stylish clientele and tables spilling out onto the pavement, this deli-coffee shop wouldn’t look out

4 of place in a leafy Copenhagen suburb. Inside, the scandi vibes continue with mismatched salvaged furniture, a chequered blue-white floor (laid by owner Frank) and three-metre-long towers of driftwood, sourced from the Danish coastline. Its hands-on owner, a hobbyist sailor from Münsterland, takes his 4x4 right onto the beach to collect these washed up treasures, which sell for an eye-watering US$900. If you like your souvenirs a little kleiner (smaller), there’s Portuguese Flor de Sal, urban-foraged fruit jams and locally-made strawberry ketchup. Or, go full hygge and order the Sumatran coffee and lemon cheesecake, sweetened with allotment-grown elderflower syrup. Rothestraße 53, +49 404 11 11 499,


MOTTE This muralled former chocolate factory hosts a busy calendar of community-minded cultural events, from screen-printing workshops to stand-up comedy. Get your green fix at its nearby garden (abutting Eulenstraße playground), complete with chicken coop and beehives. Eulenstraße 43, +49 403 99 26 20,




BONSCHELADEN Inspired by a Danish candy factory, this cheerful store-cum-workshop has been Ottensen’s favourite sugar hit for 15 years. Despite processing 50kg of organic sugar a day, its vegan bonsche (sweets) are surprisingly healthy, made with all-natural flavours and veggie dyes like violet carrot. Turn up at 4pm and you can watch two metres of candy being rolled into a giant stick of rock. It’s quite the show. There are blowtorches, bubbling copper cauldrons and (worth the wait) – a still warm ‘drop’ that melts on your tongue. Their mind-boggling artisanal flavours include salted lemon, chilli mango and plum with black pepper, priced at US$4 for 110 grams. Friedensallee 12, +49 404 15 47 567,




MAßSCHUHE KEIL “I always wanted to work with my hands,” says Thomas Keil as he taps nails into the sole of a tan leather brogue at his wonderfully worn workbench. With family roots in Pirmasens (Germany’s oldest shoe city), the great

Hamburg has over 100 weekly markets – more than any other European city

grandchild of a master cobbler was destined for the craft, which he’s been honing for two decades. Everything about his made-to-measure fittings is oldschool, from the inky trays customers press their feet into to the basement’s antique shoe-stretching machine. Prices start at US$2,775. Keplerstraße 20, +49 151 44 23 51 92,




ZEISE KINO Cinema settings don’t get much more atmospheric than this neighbourhood arthouse movie theatre, housed in a former 19th Century ship propeller factory. Its Tuesday sneak preview nights are exactly that (even the genre is a surprise), whilst its weekly “zeise latenight” music and film specials attract 200 backsides to its velvet seats. The popular series started a decade ago with poetry slams (still a crowd pleaser), which launched the career of Michel Abdollahi, now a household name in Germany. Skip the popcorn and snack on wood-fired pizzas at the hall’s inhouse Italian bistro, Eisenstein. Friedensallee 7-9, +49 403 06 03 682,



KARL’S CAFÉ & WEINE Bandana-wearing Ethiopian owner Alex welcomes you like a guest to his own home at this Ethiopian and Eritrean eatery, where roasted coffee beans scent the air. Soon enough, guests are wafting their faces in the caffeinated plumes – an anti-ageing ritual Ethiopians swear by. It’s an evening full of ceremony. Next, an ornate copper jug and bowl does the rounds, preparing diners for the three-course set menu’s “hands only” main course: injera, Eithiopia’s national dish. The fluffy fermented flatbread doubles as a utensil to scoop up spicy mouthfuls of lentils, green beans and hearty doro wot (chicken stew).


There’s also a head spinning bottle list and bottomless popcorn-like fendisha for dessert, if you have room. Keplerstraße 17a, +49 171 12 47 497,

Emirates flies nonstop twice daily to Hamburg.













40 Previous pages: National parks cover much of Abruzzo’s verdant interior; Cobblestones and archways sum up the charms of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a fortified medieval village


rom Florence’s magnificent Duomo to Rome’s Spanish Steps or the canals of Venice, few countries in the world bring to mind so many famous landmarks as Italy. Composed of several city-states until the 19th Century, the unified country found itself blessed with a plethora of beautiful, unique cities – so many it almost feels unfair. It’s only natural that Italy’s crown jewels have long guaranteed tourism a massive role in the country’s economy. Steeped in history, forever celebrated in films and literature, and tied to la dolce vita, these cities will never be a hard sell. For holidaymakers in the millions, year after year, the only doubt about an Italian getaway has been the question of where, rather than whether, to go. However, as these emblematic cities were among the world’s first to deal with the pains of overtourism – clear for all to see in the cramped Fontana di Trevi or the crowded Ponte di Rialto – the countryside has been telling a tale of a different sort: one of silence, emptiness and decay, following successive waves of rural exodus. Amid the urban excess and the rural lack, the sharp contrast was already spurring debate in the 1980s. From several attempts to give the countryside a new lease of life, by pulling visitors away from the big city lights and into lesser-known areas, one would develop into a model implemented from north to south. “When I was called to Friuli and came across deserted villages of empty houses, I had no idea what to do”, says Giancarlo Dall’Ara. Bordered by Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region suffered a

Clockwise from right: Simple design abounds in Sextantio Albergo Diffuso; A “scattered hospitality” model is starting to see resurgence in Southern Italy; A bedroom in Matera, known for its Palaeolithic caves; Sculpture at Castello di Reschio – a fitting reflection of the estate’s purebred Andalusian horses

dramatic earthquake in 1976 and was still struggling to get back on its feet in the early Eighties. Dall’Ara, a marketing professor, was brought in to devise strategies for attracting tourists to the area, after funding was made available to reconstruct the devastated region. “At first, given my hotel-oriented background and mindset, I couldn’t see any structure capable of properly hosting visitors. I had this notion of vertical accommodation stuck in my mind; this was decades before Airbnb and other models emerged, and we were firmly attached to the American model of big, multistorey hotels. Little by little, though, I started to think horizontally”. Dall’Ara realised that one restored house would be meaningless, but a network of renovated houses, close to one another and under common management – ensuring room service, restaurants and other hospitality requirements – could have great potential. He would nevertheless have to wait a long while to prove his theory. The alberghi diffusi or “scattered hospitality” model, as he called it, was put on the back burner for legal reasons: its value was not recognised. “Each Italian region has autonomy to regulate hospitality, but at the time none authorised it. I persisted and finally, in 1998, the concept was given the green light by Sardinia”. Pioneered by the beautiful island west of the Italian Peninsula, the model went on to be accepted in every region of the country. There are now nearly 100 alberghi diffusi in Italy, not to mention the many others that share similarities but do not entirely fit the model. The concept precludes new construction, so accommodation always reflects local culture and architecture. The diversity is striking: renaissance palaces in Tuscany, conical roofed trulli houses in Puglia, Palaeolithic caves in Mat-

era. Most of the alberghi have between 20 and 30 rooms, but a few exceptions reach closer to 100. Apart from the alberghi diffusi family, Italian hospitality’s turn to the hinterland has involved several isolated players. On the luxury end, the Castello di Reschio project brought back to life a 3,700-acre estate that had been dedicated to guarding the Umbria-Tuscany border for centu-


ries, before it was abandoned in the 17th century, and had progressively fallen into disrepair. Since it was bought by Count Antonio Bolza in 1994, the property has been undergoing a painstaking process of gradual renewal led by Antonio’s architect son, Benedikt: more than half of the 50 houses scattered over the estate have now been restored. Benedikt created something of an in-house creative hub, together with an interior design brand, and the estate’s renovation has now entered a new phase. Besides restoring houses to buy or rent, the team is working on the medieval castle the estate was named after, which is set to open next summer as a hotel. But if it’s a no-brainer why public entities and private investors are betting on attracting tourists to off the beaten track destinations, it’s perhaps less clear why visitors would favour a secluded hamlet and an olive grove over the Colosseum. For Dall’Ara, a chief reason is the quest for authenticity. “Although this is a worn-out word these days, an albergo diffuso lives off it. We work with villages and hamlets that were considered places without a future, and by creating jobs, an albergo gives them better odds against disappearance. Locals are proud and grateful to have people coming in, and welcome visitors with open arms. It’s easier to keep things running in a 2,000-strong village than in a hamlet of 50 people, but we have good examples of both”. Castello di Reschio’s Benedikt Bolza reinforces the importance of exploring the perks of the countryside.

“We invite guests to fully immerse themselves in nature and free themselves of the stresses of everyday life. We offer opportunities to hike, bike or ride horses; to learn all about pressing olive oil and making honey, or to head out to pick herbs for teas and medicinal plants”. The countryside can claim a heavyweight advocate: more and more scientific evidence confirms that time spent in nature is a powerful balm for body and mind. “There are several studies now that prove how green exposure has a measurable positive effect on well-being, and moreover, that this effect is immediate”, says Markus Reichert, a researcher at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany. However, as the rural exodus continues globally, largely driven by the search for better job opportunities – an even distribution between city and country living was hit in 2010, and UN projections indicate that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050, with Africa and Asia at the forefront of change – the countryside may not have the chance to prove its benefits. Though a growing number of hospitality-focused rural renewals are springing up all across Europe and beyond, the fate of most villages and hamlets does not look promising. If Italy’s alberghi diffusi have revived about 100, there are an estimated 2,000 others on the unofficial “no future” list. Still, if such projects allow some of us to choose a rural life with job prospects, and others to occasionally break away from stressful city living and enjoy the countryside’s delights, it seems worth the trouble. And definitely worth the journey. Sweeping green scenery, an alfresco dinner and an open smile await.

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


After the recent spate of deaths on Everest, what does the future hold for the world’s most renowned mountain?



“BECAUSE IT’S THERE,” is how the British mountaineer George Mallory answered a journalist who asked why he was attempting to climb Everest back in the 1920s. It’s a neat answer, which many doubt Mallory even said, but it’s an apt one. And, as the crowds cluttering up the slopes this May illustrated, as long as Everest is there, people will want to climb her. The pictures of Everest that circulated in May showed lines of climbers waiting to ascend Everest’s peak; Gortex-clad adventurers who had at least US$35,000 to spend (although the average cost is twice that) to complete the climb. The photos were taken close to the summit in May, traditionally climbing season, in which there are usually two weeks of calm weather to attempt to get to the top. Eleven people died that month, partly due to inclement weather: there were fewer days on which to attempt the climb, leading to more people crowding the slopes on the clear days. The overcrowding is nothing new. In the early Nineties the Nepali authorities tried to curb the increasing numbers by raising fees. In 1991, a climbing permit cost $2,300 for a team of any size. The following year, the fee was raised again to $10,000 for a team of nine climbers. That didn’t stem the numbers and by 1993, on the 40th anniversary of the first ascent, 15 expeditions, featuring nearly 300 climbers made the climb. Later that year, the authorities raised the fees again, to an eye watering $50,000 for a five-person team and $10,000 for each additional climber, of which only two were allowed. They also only allowed four expeditions per season. Unfortunately for the Nepali government, there is another way to climb Everest – via Tibet, where there were fewer qualms about allowing as many expeditions in as wanted to climb. They also only charged $15,000 for a team of any size. Soon, under pressure from a Sherpa community dependent on the climbing industry, the Nepali authorities backed down, and cancelled the four expedition limit, but not without hiking the prices again to $70,000 for a seven-climber team, plus $10,000 for each additional climber. And as the slopes got more crowded, and the type of climber changed from the hardy adventurer to the rich fortyand fifty-something who wanted to tick it off their bucket list, so some of the stories got downright bizarre. In John Krakauer’s seminal tale of his own Everest attempt, Into Thin Air, he quotes one Everest guide who recalled that some climbers have sued their guides when they failed to reach the summit. “Occasionally you’ll get a client who thinks he’s bought a guaranteed ticket to the summit,” said the experienced Everest guide, Peter Athans. “Some people don’t realise that an Everest expedition can’t be run like a Swiss train.” Indeed the new breed of Everest climber, even back in 1993, were a world away from the rugged, slightly bonkers men who attempt the first climbs back in the 1950s. The first men – New Zealander Edmund Hilary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay – conquered Everest on the morning of May 29th, 1953. The

news, when it spread around the world, was akin to the moon landing, a ‘where were you?’ event that takes place once a generation. Norgay and Hilary were not the first men to attempt the climb; since the mountain was ‘discovered’ by an Indian civil servant in 1852. It would take more than a century, 15 separate expeditions and 24 deaths, before the successful 1953 climb. What hasn’t changed since those early days is the mountain itself and the dangers attempting to climb it brings: those are myriad. The first and most obvious is altitude sickness, which starts to affect those 2,500 metres above sea level. The most common symptoms are headaches, tiredness, vomiting, dizziness and an inability to sleep. Everest’s base camp is nearly 5,400 metres above sea level, which is why it’s recommended climbers spend at least six weeks acclimatising, moving up and back down the mountain in order to be ready for the summit. The summit and the 1,000 metres below it are known as the ‘death zone’ and it’s here that most of the 308 climbers who have died on the mountain have been. It’s where altitude sickness turns into HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema); where the lack of oxygen means fluid is leaked into the lungs and a cough that can crack ribs. Blood samples taken from four mountaineers in the death zone in 2007 revealed they were surviving on 25 per cent of the oxygen they needed at sea level. At that height, the body stops healing and cuts turn into festering sores, while food no longer breaks down, meaning the body consumes itself for sustenance. In order to combat this, most expeditions establish a series of camps above Base Camp, moving food, equipment and people up and down until the climbers are ensconced on the South Coll, a ridge about 900 metres below the summit. It’s actually possible to reach that summit without oxygen, but it’s happened incredibly rarely.


IN MAY 1978, the renowned Austrian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and another Austrian, Peter Habeler, made it to the top without oxygen (although of course many of the local Sherpas had already done the same). Some in the climbing community hailed the feat as the first “true” ascent of Everest. Two years later Messner did it again, this time alone, from the Tibetan side of the mountain. “I was in continual agony,” he said. “Never in my life have I been so tired.” In 1980, the mountain was still the preserve of the mountaineering elite, but that was all about to change. One of the first ‘commercial’ mountaineering groups was run by Adventure Consultants, founded by the New Zealand climber Guy Cotter, who has himself summited Everest five times. “Prior to that period it was either national teams or sponsored expeditions that were there to attempt Everest,” he says. “In general the leaders on those expeditions had very little or no experience running expeditions and serious accidents and low success rates were the norm. A person who raised the sponsorship often ran the expedition and pulled in a bunch of star climbers who weren’t there as a team but more likely a group of in-


dividuals all vying to be the one who reached the summit.” As more and more companies were set up, the mountain opened up to those other than the climbing elite: wealthy adventurers who wanted to tick summiting Everest off their bucket list. The criticism that these groups get irks Cotter. “Expeditions to Everest have always been commercial,” he says. “Due to some weird reverse-racist type thinking climbing Everest was only deemed commercial when Western climbers started charging for their services while thousands of Nepali were being paid to work on expeditions since the first attempts.” In the Eighties and Nineties, it was still difficult for an inexperienced climber to join a tour – these days anyone can research and choose them online, often with unintended consequences. “People are now internet shopping for an Everest expedition and find it very hard for them to determine the value proposition offered by a professional organisation with experienced qualified guides versus one that offers less,” Cotter adds. “I think many people recognise after they get home and have their hands or feet amputated through frost-bite that the cost difference (of say $20,000) between what they paid for their cheap expedition and a professional outfit is negligible.” Of course, for those that reach the top, frostbite is often the least of their worries. Climbers who spend too long on the summit run the risk of running out of oxygen on the way down: the summit is only the half-way point. Many climbers run out of oxygen between the top and Base Camp and lapse into a dream like sleep on the slopes, never to awake. Somewhat lost among the hand-wringing that took place after the May deaths is the role of the Sherpas themselves, a group of people who rely on the mountain for their livelihood. Indeed, the list of those who have climbed the mountain is dominated by Sherpas, including five who have summited more than twenty times each. The narrative is so often dominated by Western climbers it’s easy to ignore how important the mountain is to the local Sherpa community. “Sagarmartha is a sacred mountain to the local Sherpa communities,” says John Loof, General Manager of the Himalayan Trust in New Zealand, a charity established by Edmund Hilary. “Tourism has brought incredible change for local communities. But climbing tourism has also brought great tragedy. Around one-third of all those who have died climbing Everest are Sherpa. This takes a very heavy toll on families and communities. I met a young Sherpa woman recently who insisted her husband work as a trekking guide, which – while it pays less than a high-altitude climbing guide – also has a fraction of the hazards.” So, what does the future hold? It’s hard to see the Nepali government handing out less permits – it provides much needed investment into the country and keeps the Sherpas happy. This year 891 climbers reached the summit; could we be far off seeing 1,000 make it to the top? And if they did, so what? These climbers know the risks – each one of them made the decision to attempt to summit the peak, knowing that it still is one of the riskiest human endeavours out there. Others say that something needs to be done, arguing local greed is putting people’s lives at risk. “There are too many inexperienced people there who slow everyone down,” Guy Cotter says. “Indian nationals who are in the military or police will get a promotion if they summit

Right: Tenzing Norgay, 1953. Everest, and their state will The Sherpa mountaineer, give them land or money if along with Edmund Hillary, they succeed, so there is a fiwas one of the first two nancial incentive as well as individuals to reach the the prestige they will earn summit of Mount Everest back home if they do summit.” The way local tour operators sell packages has also changed, Cotter says. “In years past a local operator would provide services to national teams or guided expeditions such as ours but many of them now sell ‘tickets’ on their expeditions to anyone who will pay without having a duty of care for their well-being and they have the highest number of accidents and fatalities. What needs to change is that climbers need to have proved themselves on progressively higher mountains before they get accepted onto an Everest expedition. As it stands the situation is similar to what it would be like if anyone could climb into a Formula 1 car and race with no prior racing experience.” The Himalayan Trust would like to see the focus move from just Everest to the entire local region. “While it is understandable that climbing Everest is on many people’s bucket list, well-managed tourism could see other spectacular trekking routes developed and serviced, to spread the tourism dollar to more communities,” says John Loof. “[We would like to see] more support for well-managed, community development work in the region such as support for education as a route out of poverty, investing in health and income-generating opportunities for local communities.” FOR THE HUNDREDS OF CLIMBERS WHO RISK LIFE and limb to summit Everest every year, there is little mood to stop climbing, and there’s no sign that the Nepali authorities – or the Sherpas – want to reduce the numbers either. It doesn’t add up to a happy ending. Jon Krakauer’s book doesn’t have a happy ending either. The expedition he was part of encountered a vicious storm, which left eight people dead. Krakauer survived, but the events left their mark, and left him questioning his own motives for wanting to reach the summit. As for the then record number of people who died on the mountain in 1996’s climbing season, and the clamour to change, Krakauer wrote this: “Analysing what went wrong on Everest is a useful enough exercise; it might conceivably prevent some future deaths. But to believe that dissecting the tragic events of 1996 in minute detail might actually reduce the death rate in any meaningful way is wishful thinking. Truth be told, climbing Everest has always been an extraordinarily dangerous undertaking and doubtless will always be, whether the people involved are Himalayan neophytes being pulled up to the peak or worldclass mountaineers climbing with their peers.” Sadly, Krakauer’s analysis, more than 20 years later, is on the mark. More climbers than ever will attempt the summit next year and it’s almost a guarantee that some of them will die. As long as Everest is there, people will want to climb her, and, as George Mallory found out to his cost (he died on his third attempt to make it to the top), believing you can climb Everest and making it back down alive are two very different things.



Gooey inside, crunchy out, and with a dash of zesty onion: cheese rolls from Southland, New Zealand might be the world’s tastiest snack food. But there’s far more to “southern sushi” than meets the eye – just like the communities at the bottom of the world it binds together



everal years later, residents of New Zealand’s Southland region are still cheesed off. The brouhaha dates to 2015, when Tourism New Zealand claimed Dunedin and Oamaru were the best places in the country to get cheese rolls – and didn’t mention Southland at all. What happened next was a period of serious soul-searching in southern New Zealand. Local politicians weighed in to express their outrage. A poll in the Southland Times newspaper gave Invercargill – the largest city in the region – the edge for the title of the home of New Zealand’s best cheese rolls, mollifying the community somewhat. It helped, too, that the Tourism New Zealand web page about

cheese rolls that had kicked up the controversy in the first place was edited to give Southland at least some of its due. To understand why cheese rolls are such an important part of Southland’s culture is to understand the social fabric of the largely rural, southernmost region of New Zealand that’s closer to Antarctica than the Equator. “Most people in Southland have grown up eating them, whether it be a treat or a cheat day thing or potentially just some comfort food on a cold winter’s day,” says Mark Heffer, owner and head chef of Invercargill café Industry. “The cheese roll is a very multi-purpose thing. It can be an accompaniment to a soup or a snack or even a meal of


its own. I think the greatest thing about cheese rolls is the fact that everyone has their own recipe, but one thing they all have in common is they’re toasted to perfection, smothered with lashings of butter, and dripping with creamy cheese.” The largest commercial centre for hundreds of kilometres in any direction, Invercargill is a hub for the farming community in a region where agriculture – particularly dairy farming – has been a key economic driver for decades. With more cows (there are a lot of sheep too, but that New Zealand stereotype isn’t quite as prevalent as one might think in the “Deep South”) than people, the roots of cheese rolls run almost as the deep as the ferns or rimu (a type of conifer) trees that blanket Southland’s great temperate rainforests. “Everyone wants them” says Donna Hamilton, who co-owns The Batch café with husband Gareth in Invercargill’s city centre, which often feels busier than the centre of a city its size (it only has about 50,000 people) should be. “A tradition that dates back to who knows when, these are part of our heritage. They are one of the most social foods Southland has.” In decades past, cheese rolls were kept in fridges and freezers to be heated up when company came around, or when there was a crew of hungry dairy workers, sheep shearers, loggers or kids back from rugby practice to feed. But Hamilton says the connection between Southlanders and the humble roll goes deeper. “Women have been gathering for decades to roll hundreds of these cheesy delights as part of fundraising drives for their local schools, churches or their favourite charities. Bakers would donate bread, cheese would come from local suppliers, and they would gather, create and roll for most of the day. Cups of tea and gossip would be plentiful, and at the end of the day hundreds of packs of ‘six bagged, uncooked rolls’ would be sent out for sale – there was money to be made from these humble rolls. There wouldn’t be a kindergarten or school that hasn’t benefited from cheese roll drives. And yes, they still happen to this day. Every Southlander has a pack for emergencies in their freezer.”


Previous pages: Milford Sound, in the Southland Region; The community of Invercargill gathers for a beach motorcycle race; Notso-humble rolls at Zookeepers, an Invercargill institution; A lighthouse overlooks the Tasman Sea From top: Cheese rolls at The Batch; Annette Matheson, who knows a good cheese roll when she tastes one

Today, a good cheese roll recipe can make or break a café or restaurant in Southland. Hamilton knows this well. “As a café, we thought we were ‘above’ serving cheese rolls. How wrong we were! Our customers let us know their thoughts,” she laughs. One of those customers is Annette Matheson. She may be more than 80 years old, but she still comes into The Batch every other day with her husband for a cheese roll. The reason: as she says, she knows a good cheese roll when she tastes one. Industry’s Heffer has a similar story of dedication. “We have had a customer from up country that buys around 20 to take back home whenever they come down to share with friends and family.” Like the deep green rolling hills, snow-capped mountains and dramatic coastline (more than 3,400 kilometres of it, with penguins not-infrequent observable wildlife) of Southland itself, Hamilton says part of the appeal of cheese rolls is the feeling of simple comfort they inspire in an area that can feel like visiting the edge of the map. “Pulling the cheese roll apart, it’s obvious – it’s a basic food. It’s bread and cheese with a touch of onion – yet it’s not that simple to get it right. Consistency, heating, toasting and serving are key. Southlanders living overseas have been known to phone home in desperate need of the recipe so they can share their heritage with newly found international friends, and we have heard of videos being sent home of young Kiwis (as New Zealanders are commonly known) watching a YouTube clip as they try their best to replicate these delicacies.” Heffer chimes in on the enduring appeal. “Being that we have a colder climate most of the year, we find that having a cheap, delicious, cheesy treat for people to enjoy is stock standard. Long story short, if people are selling them they won’t hang around long.” Still, the secret of the deliciousness of cheese rolls seems to be mostly confined to Southland. Hamilton has some advice for anyone who ventures down to try some. “You must have the roll served hot from the grill with butter dripping over it. You must eat it straight away, and you


Fancy some cheese rolls yourself, without the journey to the bottom of the world? Here’s a common recipe Southlanders use Ingredients: 1 loaf of sliced sandwich bread 1 packet onion soup mix 1 can of evaporated milk 1 finely chopped onion 2½ cups of grated cheese (cheddar or Edam are usually good choices) 25-30g butter or margarine Instructions: • Combine onion soup mix, evaporated milk, chopped onion and grated cheese in a saucepan on a stove on low heat until mixture begins to melt • Spread mixture on bread slices • Roll bread slices tightly • Spread butter or margarine on outside of rolls of bread slices if desired • Place on trays and bake in oven at about 180 degrees Celsius for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread begins to turn golden brown • Alternatively, cook on grill and turn over rolls when they begin to turn golden brown • Allow to cool slightly, and enjoy Alternatives: You can add Worcestershire sauce to the mixture to spread inside the rolls if desired. Similarly, you can also use reduced cream in place of evaporated milk, and vary the amount of cheese and onion used to suit tastes

must take a moment to appreciate how fabulous the humble cheese roll really is” But given its importance to the region’s culture and the pride Southlanders feel – is “humble” really the right word? Hamilton reconsiders. “The ‘humble’ Southland cheese roll is by no means humble. It’s proud, and it’s loud.”

Emirates serves two destinations in New Zealand – Auckland and Christchurch via Sydney.



“It’s the most significant engineering project in Australia to date,” explains Chris Round of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, a project that started in 1949 to divert water to some of the driest parts of the country. Via a series of tunnels, aqueducts and reservoirs, water from the Snowy Mountain river systems flows through the Great Dividing Range, irrigating inland Australia and creating renewable energy in the form of hydro electricity. As well as its practical uses, the scheme marked the beginning of a multicultural Australia, whereby thousands of immigrants came here to work on the construction between 1949 and 1972. Round, who has seen various images from his essay appear in exhibitions including the Royal Photographic Soci-

Previous pages: A boat hire pontoon on Lake Jindabyne, New South Wales Clockwise from top: Joyce, the owner of Anglers Reach Holiday Park; Lake Eucembene at Old Adaminaby, NSW; Intake Tower

ety and Headon Festival in Sydney, describes the series as “still technically ongoing... I do need to capture a few more images of people in the area.” With an interest in human-influenced landscapes, the photographer was keen to capture the paradoxical nature of a man-made, industrial project that has encouraged more nature-based

Previous pages: Intake Tower on Blowering Reservoir, NSW; A snowy river in Kosciuszko National Park; Perisher Ski Resort during a blizzard Clockwise from left: Fishing tour operator Steve Williamson; Pipes from Murray Power Station, NSW; The Big Trout in Adaminaby; Hans, a camper in Buckenderra Holiday Park, Lake Eucembene

activities. “Because it’s located within Kosciuszko National Park many people interact with the scheme both directly and indirectly. “During its construction a number of vast water storage reservoirs were created – these offer a variety of watersport activities like boating and fishing, water skiing and sailing. The region is also great place for camping and hiking – both in remote areas and also alongside some of those reservoirs.” Round adds that many new roads were built to aid construction of the scheme, opening up access to the mountains for skiing during the winter months. “I guess for anyone visiting the region, the scheme is very much part of the experience – because without it, many of the activities wouldn’t be so readily available.” Subject to environmental concerns due to reduced water flow in the river systems causing damage to the ecosystems – which has partly been redressed – the scheme, says Round, has mostly been a positive thing for inland Australia. “From a photographic execution point of view, it’s about being objective. But at the same time I can’t help but be fascinated with the visual contrasts that the epic structures within the environment offer up. It was always going to be important to explore other aspects of the region to tell the whole story – local scenes, recreational activity, small details and other quirks. I think that having all these different subjects together helps explain what the region is about.”

Emirates serves five destinations in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.




62 From left: Kerrin McEvoy on Redzel races to a win at The TAB Everest in 2018; Peter Snowden trained the winners of the first two Everest Cup races

Aussie rules football, rugby league and cricket may dominate the Australian sporting consciousness for much of the year, but there is only one sport that can genuinely claim to bring the entire country to a standstill. On the first Tuesday of November, horseracing’s Melbourne Cup – otherwise known as “the race that stops the nation” – sees 100,000 fans flock to the city’s Flemington Racecourse, with millions more watching on TV in bars and restaurants across the country and over AU$350 million (US$237 million) wagered on the outcome. The race is even marked with a public holiday in the state of Victoria, while workplaces throughout the rest of Australia grind to a halt at 3pm, with office-workers running sweepstakes and gathering around screens to watch the four-minute drama unfold, as the world’s finest thoroughbreds contest the sport’s richest two-mile handicap. The event has firmly established itself as part of Australia’s culture since it was first held in 1861, and highlights the country’s love affair with horseracing – a sport that can be traced right back to

the arrival of the earliest colonial settlers in 1788, when the First Fleet carried with it a stallion, four mares, a colt and a filly. That horse population soon grew and by 1810, the first officially organised race was held at Sydney’s Hyde Park, with almost all of the colony’s 11,000 inhabitants reportedly descending on the track to enjoy the action. And as settlers spread throughout the country, so too did horseracing, with Australia now boasting more racecourses than anywhere else in the world – from the regal surrounds of Royal Randwick, which overlooks the glittering Sydney skyline, to the swirling dust tracks of Outback towns such as Queensland’s Betoota, which hosts the annual Simpson Desert Racing Carnival. “Horseracing is part of our country’s heritage,” explains Nick Moraitis, one of Australia’s best-known racehorse owners, whose legendary Might and Power is one of only two horses to have won the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate – three of the country’s most prestigious races. “Right back in the beginning [of British colonisation],

in every country town there would be a church and a racecourse. That’s all people needed – a church to pray in and a racecourse for enjoyment. And people still look for that outlet today. They can get a real thrill if they back a winner and then they feel fantastic. You can seen it on their faces – whether you’re at Rosehill Gardens [in Sydney], or Orange [in country New South Wales], or any other country town, you can see who has won a race just by looking at them.” For Peter V’landys, the chief executive of Racing NSW, Australia’s love of the sport goes even deeper. “It’s a part of our DNA,” he says. “When the settlers first came out here, that was their entertainment. Anyone who had a hard week’s work could go to the races at the weekend and have a good time. Racing continues to do that. It’s a social activity where you go with your friends, have a good time, a flutter and enjoy the day.” Few Australians have horse racing as ingrained in their DNA as James Cummings. The 31-year-old is a fourth generation racehorse trainer and the grandson of record 12-time Melbourne Cup-winner Bart Cummings. Having grown up around the stables and racetracks of Australia, Cummings is able to provide a unique insight into the country’s passion for horse racing, which is the third best-attended sport Down Under, behind only Aussie rules football and rugby league. “I think it fills a different space than those other sports because of its complexity and diversity,” he explains. “Involvement can range from casual onlookers, who maybe only follow one or two races a year, to heavily interested punters who study the form guides and really consider themselves experts. Then there are the owners, who come from all walks of life as well, right through to the breeders, the trainers and the jockeys who make a living out of the sport. I don’t think that’s quite the case with tennis and cricket and rugby union; I mean there are people that make a living out of it, don’t get me wrong, but there’s not quite that diversity of involvement that there is with horse racing.” Cummings began working as a stable-hand for his father when he was just 13 and, in May 2017, was appointed as the head trainer in Australia for Godolphin

65 Morning at Randwick Racecourse: its upcoming race, The Everest, has attracted interest with its record-breaking prize money

– the highly successful stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which has won over 5,000 races worldwide, including the 2018 Melbourne Cup. Despite his tender years, Cummings has already won close to 600 races as a trainer himself, including 15 top-level Group 1 victories, with his horses raking in over AU$55 million in prize money since 2015. And, according to Cummings, the vast sums available from thoroughbred racing in Australia help underline the sport’s popularity. “Horse racing amongst Australians has always been a popular past-time and an enjoyable gambling pursuit,” he says. “From the early days when they gambled on horses at Hyde Park, we’ve now got more racetracks than anywhere in the world, and in the week leading up to the Melbourne Cup, the front and back pages of the national newspapers will be dominated by stories about the race, with form guides so anyone can get involved and have a bet.” And Australians certainly like a flutter. They wagered more than AU$23 billion on racing in 2016-17 – equivalent to over AU$1,200 per person – and that huge interest has helped swell the prizes available. In the 2017-18 season, the prizes paid out to owners across the country totalled AU$733 million, placing Australia behind only Japan and the United States in the racing world. Boosting that prize fund in recent years has been a new event offering a record pay-out of AU$14 million, making it the world’s richest race on turf. First run in 2017, The Everest – held in October at Sydney’s Royal Randwick – attracts a select field of 12 elite horses to compete in the 1,200m sprint. The race was the brainchild of Racing NSW’s V’landys, who was keen to attract a new generation of fans to the track. “Kids don’t like doing what their parents do,” he explains. “When parents


starting using Facebook, the kids went on to Instagram and Snapchat. It’s the same with sport. If the parents follow a particular event, the kids don’t really engage. So The Everest is a new generational event for the under-35s, which was specifically designed and marketed for a younger crowd.” Targeting that younger crowd includes turning race-day into a mini-festival, with international headliners keeping fans at the track long after the race has finished. Last year saw One Direction’s Liam Payne perform, while the inaugural race-day featured Jason Derulo. “That helps attract a younger audience as well, because they stay on after the races and dance away,” says V’landys. “That’s now a new tradition that we’ve started, and now these young people are creating an atmosphere that I’ve never seen at the races before; they just bring a different vibrancy with them.” Other innovativons to help differentiate The Everest from other, more estab-

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE THAT I’VE NEVER SEEN AT THE RACES BEFORE; THEY JUST BRING A DIFFERENT VIBRANCY WITH THEM lished events include the unique entry system. Rather than horses qualifying for the race – as they do with the Melbourne Cup – The Everest offers 12 starting “slots”, available for AU$600,000 each, which then give their owners the chance to either race their own horse or invite another owner to enter on their behalf, with any prize money shared. “It’s a disruptive concept in the Australian racing landscape,” explains V’landys, “but we had to be disruptive in order to capture that attention.”

Critics initially scoffed at the asking price for starting slots, claiming the race would be the sole domain of the rich and famous. But horse ownership in Australia is perhaps more open than anywhere else in the world, with more than 29,000 Aussies experiencing the thrill of watching their own horse race through syndicate ownership. Indeed, the winner of the first two editions of The Everest – Redzel – is owned by a group that includes a police officer, schoolteacher, doctor, taxi driver, electrician, pharmacist, cricket coach and a security guard. “That’s one of the great things about racing – it is an incredible leveller,” explains Moraitis, himself a self-made millionaire through his fresh produce business. “You can be a king or a queen or an every-day battler, but you’re all at the races on a Saturday trying to win.” Among the owners looking to win last year’s running of The Everest was His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his Godolphin stable, led by Cummings.


Having originally selected Home Of The Brave to run, an elevated temperature saw stable-mate Osborne Bulls step in as a last-minute replacement. The gelding proved to be an inspired choice, providing the highlight of the race as jockey Tommy Berry led the exciting sprinter on an exhilarating charge through the field right down the outside of the Royal Randwick straight to finish third. “Osborne Bulls was a dramatic and late inclusion in the race, when our other runner fell ill, but it was amazing how it came together in that way,” reveals Cummings. “We’re a pretty big operation, we win plenty of races, but that was an incredible thing to be a part of. Placing third was obviously not a victory for us, but it really felt like a win and we were simply overcome by the whole aura and spirit of the race.”

From left: Dance acts are aimed at attracting a younger crowd; Thoroughbreds wait to warm up at Randwick Racecourse

As the grandson of 12-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Bart Cummings, James is certainly no stranger to grand racing occasions, and he is in little doubt that The Everest could one day challenge its esteemed Victorian cousin as “the race that stops the nation”. “In some quarters it was maybe looked down a little bit at first, as perhaps a rich man’s sweepstake, but it really has captured the attention of Australian race-goers and it’s bringing people to the track who wouldn’t usually come to the races,” he says. “In such a short period of time it has gained a huge following and really gripped the public attention. That speaks volumes about where the race is heading and as it continues to evolve, bringing the best of the best sprinters together to race, and I’ve no doubt in my mind that it will challenge the special image of the Melbourne Cup.” That is certainly the ambition of V’landys and his team, who plan to continue disrupting Australia’s storied racing landscape. “The Melbourne

Cup has been around for over 150 years, while this October will only be our third year,” he explains. “We have a strategy in place and, if it keeps going upwards like it has been, we think that The Everest will be the premier horse racing event [in Australia] within the next five to ten years.” For Moraitis, who grew up dreaming of owning a Melbourne Cup-winning horse, the allure of The Everest is also tantalising. “I’d like to win one, that’s for sure,” he says. “Even to have a horse running in it would be an unbelievable thrill, and it would certainly put a smile on my face.” With AU$14 million on the line, that smile would likely be even broader than those on the faces of race-goers around Australia who have backed a winner – be it at Royal Randwick, or dusty Betoota.

For more from the world of horseracing on today’s flight, watch the Team Godolphin channel under Sport TV on ice.

68 / EXPO 2020

The planet in one place at Expo 2020 Dubai If you want to learn fascinating and inspiring facts about the entire world and sample a smorgasbord of culture, Expo 2020 Dubai is a must. From the smallest islands to the global heavyweights, each of the 192 participating countries will have their own pavilion – many for the first time – showcasing their respective cultures, histories, achievements and challenges

Travel across the Balkans’ seas and lakes via AR magic



Look out for Brazil’s recreation of the Amazon basin



6 The Cuba Pavilion is set to explore biotech and renewables

Students will help present Sri Lanka’s ‘Island of Ingenuity’ Art and culture will be a main focus for South Sudan

EXPO 2020 / 69

Expo 2020 Dubai is the most global World Expo of all-time – the 192 participating countries are positive proof of that. For the first time, each participating country, regardless of size, population, wealth or perceived influence, will have its own pavilion. These examples of the ‘one nation, one pavilion’ policy represent six continents, with populations ranging from more than 200 million (Brazil) right down to about 100,000 (Tonga), as well as the world’s youngest country (South Sudan).

4. NORTH AMERICA: CUBA The Cuba Pavilion will showcase the country’s colourful culture, famed – among other things – for vintage cars and eye-catching street art, while unlocking its potential across a range of sectors, from beautiful beaches and sustainable cities to renewable energy and biotechnology. The Caribbean island’s innovative spirit might surprise those keen to learn more about Cuba beyond salsa: for example, did you know it has developed a lung cancer vaccine?

1. AFRICA: SOUTH SUDAN A bright and airy all-white pavilion represents a blank canvas of possibility for South Sudan. Art and culture will be central to this celebration of the world’s youngest country, where visitors can explore how South Sudan plans to move to a brighter phase of development. The attractions include being able to ‘climb’ a seven-foot-tall South Sudanese basketball player.

5. OCEANIA: TONGA Tonga’s contribution to Expo 2020 is a young-at-heart offering that will entertain and educate children on the importance of ocean health and preserving the Earth, highlighting the island nation’s fight against the climate crisis in the Pacific Islands. As well as exhibiting its history and culture, the Tonga Pavilion will promote Tonga as an attractive destination for investment and tourism, building on its position at Expo 2020 in the Opportunity District.

2. ASIA: SRI LANKA The Creative Youth Programme is an Expo 2020-led idea that has seen a number of nations – including Grenada, San Marino and Sri Lanka – open up the design of their pavilions to creatively minded university students. Sri Lanka’s blueprint takes on a water theme, and the pavilion, titled ‘Island of Ingenuity’, is influenced by the South Asian nation’s latest research and development in products, services and creativity. Fittingly, it will be located in the Opportunity District.

Tonga will highlight the importance of ocean health


3. EUROPE: MONTENEGRO Anybody who has visited the Balkan country, home to about 600,000 people, will attest that its Expo 2020 theme – Blessed by Nature – is hard to argue with. Anchored by 1,000 years of history and Montenegro’s flair for hospitality, the Montenegro Pavilion will use the cutting-edge tech of augmented reality to take visitors into the heart of its nature, across seas, mountains, rivers and lakes, showing off its biodiversity. With direct flights from Dubai to Montenegro, Expo 2020 will showcase a tempting travel proposition for UAE residents.

6. SOUTH AMERICA: BRAZIL The planet’s super-economies will be represented at Expo 2020, on a level playing field with the smallest. Brazil has chosen water as its central theme – fittingly, considering it is home to the world’s largest river, the Amazon. The Brazil Pavilion will recreate the Amazon basin via a water feature that visitors can walk through (or around) as they take in the sights, sounds and scents of the country’s riverside areas – the pavilion’s floor will resemble stilt houses common in Brazil’s northern region.

To know more, watch Expo 2020: A Timeless Celebration on the ice channel Emirates & Dubai TV.


Can football improve your brain? Ben Lyttelton certainly thinks so. The children’s author has brought mathematics, geography and history to reluctant readers through “education by stealth” WORDS: BEN EAST As the football seasons in all the major leagues across Europe kick off again in earnest, it’s already become tempting to focus on incredible results, goals and players. Football writer Ben Lyttelton was one of those people. But over the past few years he’s turned his fascination with football into something a lot less passive. Through his Football School series for children and a “grown up” book about football and leadership, Lyttelton firmly believes that the world’s favourite sport has a lot to teach us about the way we learn, think and manage. “I’m passionate about using football as a source for education and inspiration,” he says. “It’s not just about the goals that are scored.” His Football School series was written with Alex Bellos (and illustrated by Spike Gerrell) to encourage children to develop a love of reading, a curiosity about the planet and to show that everything is connected. “If you give kids a subject they’re already passionate about, they’re more likely to read about it,” he explains. “It’s a non-fiction book about football set in a

school, but they’re learning at the same time – it’s education by stealth!” Lyttelton says teachers and parents love the concept: the books explore art through famous kits, science through what it would be like to play football on Mars, history through the formation of the game itself, and so on. “It’s been so rewarding because it’s genuinely inspired reluctant readers – literacy is a big problem for kids between the ages of eight and 12 because of gaming and other distractions. If they start reading again, it doesn’t just improve their educational performance, it can have benefits for their heart, soul and mentality. There’s a social currency in being able to tell people about the man who taught Ronaldo to sleep!” Lyttleton himself remembers learning addition and subtraction from studying the goal difference in league tables, his knowledge of geography from the European Cups of the 1970s and 1980s. “I’ve always known where Zagreb and Hamburg and Bucharest were because I knew those teams in my form-

ative years,” he says. “We don’t realise we’re learning because we’re so passionate about football.” And the lessons from football don’t stop when you leave school. Two years ago, Lyttelton published Edge: Leadership Secrets From Football’s Top Thinkers. Through interviews with some of the biggest names in the game such as Didier Deschamps and Thomas Tuchel, he realised that a lot of the skills that had taken them to the top could be transferable to everyday life. “What I found interesting in the research for Edge is that when you get to a certain level in football – and I think this is applicable to any workplace environment – what really makes the difference is your resilience, adaptability, creativity. Understanding how to improve someone’s mentality is the next frontier of performance development.” Which makes a lot of sense. Effectively, football managers have to gather together a bunch of disparate people, make them work together, gel, and perform to the best of their ability. But what about when they don’t win a trophy? What happens then? “When I spoke to Thomas Tuchel [now PSG manager, formally coach of Borussia Dortmund] he told me something really interesting about measuring success. When he was in Germany, he was always up against the bigger spending power of Bayern Munich. Usually, Bayern won. But to him, that didn’t mean Dortmund had failed. He was focusing on process rather than outcome, which a lot of football teams don’t do – and we often don’t think about in life, either. “When I was writing this book I realised that the Tuchel way of looking at the success wasn’t to compare Edge to the bestselling football books, but to be happy that I’d written a really good book. Sometimes, that’s enough.”

Football School Season 4 is published this month. For more, listen to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature podcast on ice.



Emirates NEWS










Headline A newlab September ilite laut laut menu elecae Lorem ipsum sambar Obit autand asped quasserspel molo dolesequam es eum nonsequamus amenduciati velitAsian autas Mooncakes, sukka – Emirates is celebrating both the Hindu holiday of Onam and the ipsandel ipsam a deliquat il el ium facepe ant harvest festivalEhenihillo this September, with a newvenihil range itatias of meals onvolum selectvelecerovid flights. p.74ullesec p.20



Earn more Skywards Miles when you shop and travel Emirates Skywards members can enjoy extra Miles across retail, accommodation and transport experiences

Members of Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, can earn even more Skywards Miles this year on their travel and shopping spends that can get them closer to their next getaway. Miles earned through Emirates Skywards special offers can be redeemed for flights on Emirates, flydubai and other partner airlines or used to access a range of rewards.

Miles can be earned through a slew of spends, including hotel accommodation, retail experiences and on-the-ground transport. In retail, members can now earn Miles when shopping at more than 1,300 fashion and lifestyle boutiques across The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, located in Europe and China. Members will earn 1 Skywards Mile for every EUR 1, GBP 1 or RMB 10 spent at any of the Villages.

A CELEBRATORY SEASONAL MENU As a global airline, Emirates celebrates events from all over the world and incorporates seasonal and regional flavours into its menus on board and in its lounges worldwide. From the 1st to 13th of September, the airline will be celebrating the Hindu holiday of Onam on its flights to and from Kerala with a special menu of vegetable sambar, chicken sukka and mutton pepper fry. Meals will be served on a traditional banana leaf design and will include appetisers such as banana chips, sharkara varatti and curd chilli, and a dessert of palada pradhaman. September will also see Emirates celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on select flights to Asia. The harvest festival – celebrated mainly by Chinese and Vietnamese communities on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar – will see traditional mooncakes, a staple during the celebrations, served across all classes.

Offers on hotel accommodation include Your World Rewards, Emirates Skywards’ joint initiative with Marriott Bonvoy. This allows dual earning on both brands’ loyalty programmes when flying Emirates and staying at Marriott Bonvoy hotels globally. Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members can also enjoy additional benefits such as 4pm late checkout and enhanced in-room Internet access. Members can also earn up to 10,000 Skywards Miles per night when booking their hotel stays through Emirates. At Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas – in addition to earning triple Skywards Miles – members can also get discounts on accommodation, dining and spa treatments at the hotel, AVANI Hotels & Resorts and Tivoli Hotels & Resorts. At the Dubai Mall, Emirates Skywards members can earn up to 1 Skywards Mile for every US$1 spent on all purchases over AED100.


Above: Artist Abdulla Lutfi Left: a sketch used as his brief

ice magazine features special edition cover Throughout the month of September, Emirates’ ice magazine features a special edition cover with artwork created by Abdulla Lutfi, an Emirati artist represented by Mawaheb from Beautiful People. Meaning ‘talent’ in Arabic, Mawaheb is a Dubai-based art studio for adults with special needs, now known as ‘the determined ones’ following a directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The magazine cover created exclusively for Emirates features a lively depiction of a flight with customers watching different channels on ice, the airline’s awardwinning inflight entertainment system. Abdulla Lutfi has developed his artistic style over the past eight years, his passion for art stemming from his attention to detail, view of the world and sharp sense of humour. As an artist on the autistic spectrum, Abdulla sees and interprets the world in a unique and nonconventional way,

his distinct black and white drawings usually featuring an exaggerated and humorous glimpse of everyday Emirati life. “In bringing this cover to life, we held a short briefing meeting, and I drew a very rough sketch [above] on my whiteboard,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Division Vice President – Customer Experience. “It seems genius to me how he was able to transform such a sparse brief so brilliantly. These days in the business world, it seems few can start work without extremely precise and detailed briefs, yet Abdulla was able to imagine what we wanted and add so much more also.” 2019 was proclaimed to be the “The Year of Tolerance” by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, aimed at promoting the values of tolerance, dialogue, coexistence and openness. Under this central message, the UAE also hosted the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in March.

Emirates Aviation University has introduced an “international student study package”, offering financial benefits and support to international students. The package includes 20% savings on costs for university accommodation, 15% discount on programme fees, and a complimentary Economy class return ticket per year on Emirates. The package will also offer the students free services for three persons from marhaba, the world’s leading passenger services providers, free hotel accommodation for two adults for three days as well as a waiver for all visa administration charges. Dr Ahmad Al Ali, Vice-Chancellor of Emirates Aviation University said: “Getting your kids settled in a new university and city can be a difficult task for many parents. The special package will give parents peace of mind and ensure a stress-free experience, as they help their children settle in Dubai. With the new benefits, students can easily visit their parents and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while pursuing their academic and career goals at Emirates Aviation University.” Emirates Aviation University (EAU) is the academic wing of the Emirates Group and one of the region’s most prestigious universities, offering more than 35 programmes in various fields of study.


The Rugby World Cup Emirates boasts a rich rugby heritage, with an extensive portfolio of top-class rugby sponsorships. Here’s our rundown on one of the biggest sporting events of the year The backstory In January 2014, Emirates became the first Worldwide Partner to sign an agreement for both Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and 2019 in Japan. We also sponsor the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the Emirates Lions, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, IRB match officials, and the US Rugby Sevens and XVs teams.

Our flights Emirates started flying to Japan in 2002 and currently offers daily services to: • Tokyo-Narita International Airport • Tokyo-Haneda International Airport • Osaka-Kansai International Airport

20 Of the world’s top national teams

48 Matches

12 Japanese cities hosting matches

Where can I watch it?

Every match during the Rugby World Cup will be shown live on ice TV Live from 20 September on the Sport 24 channel. ice TV Live is available on over 175 aircraft, which includes all Emirates Boeing 777s and select A380s.

JUST FOR KIDS DID YOU KNOW? Emirates’ sponsorship includes, for the first time in Rugby World Cup history, the rights to brand the shirts of match officials on the field during the tournament.

Check out the rugbythemed puzzles in our children’s magazine, Fly with Me Animals


Q&A: Nigel Owens One of the world’s best rugby union referees, Nigel Owens will officiate at his fourth Rugby World Cup when the Emirates-sponsored tournament kicks off in Japan this month. He explains why he’s still as excited as he was for his first World Cup in 2007. What are you looking forward to in Rugby World Cup Japan 2019? It’s the first time that a World Cup has been held in Asia, outside of a traditional rugby nation. Japan is a wonderful country, the people are so welcoming, and it really will be a wonderful tournament because for the first time in many years there are probably six to eight teams who are in the running and capable of winning. You took charge of the last World Cup Final, which was won by New Zealand in a thrilling match. Can you actually enjoy a great game when you’re refereeing it? Well, you do and you don’t, really. In 2015, I enjoyed the build up in the week, walking out onto the field, the anthems, and everything afterwards. The game went well I thought; it was one of the greatest finals the World Cup has seen. But during the actual 80 minutes itself, you are so focused on what you’re doing and the pressures that come with refereeing a rugby match that you don’t really have time to enjoy it. Directly afterwards some players came to talk to you, didn’t they? That was a very special moment. [Australian flanker] David Pocock came over to me – remember, his side had just lost and this was a guy who’d seen the Webb Ellis trophy slip through his hands – and said, “thanks very much for a great game.” What a great man to do that. Then [New Zealand’s] Jerome Kaino told me that I could be very proud of what I’d done for many people and the game of rugby – and that meant so much when he could have been off celebrating with his mates. It exemplified what rugby’s all about. Rugby is unique in the respect players show to referees, isn’t it? It’s a hugely important part of the game,

“People expect every single decision you make to be correct – but rugby isn’t that black and white” probably its fundamental value. It’s such a physical, hard sport where big hits are going in all the time, so the discipline for the sport and respect for each other is important. Rugby instills respect into everyone in the game from a young age – and I think that carries over into the personalities and attitudes of people in their lives off the pitch. It contributes to this idea of the sport making its participants better people. How has the game changed since your first World Cup? A lot. It’s faster, the hits are bigger, the ball is in play for longer. So that makes it more difficult to referee. Technology has become a more integral part of the game too. It’s made it a bit easier for referees,

because if there’s a doubt in your mind about a decision, you can check it. But that’s also brought more pressure too as now people expect every single decision you make to be correct – but rugby isn’t that black and white. The replays are played on the big screen, so everyone in the stadium knows when the calls are wrong. You then need to be able to deal with the knowledge you made a mistake and forget that for the rest of the game. As we speak, Wales is the No 1. ranked team. As a proud Welshman, but also a World Cup referee, are you allowed to get excited about their chances? When I’m refereeing at the World Cup, I will be impartial. But when I’m sitting down to watch Wales play, then obviously, I want them to do well. I think they’ve got a really good chance – they’re playing well and confidence is pretty high. But there’s plenty of other teams who are also quite capable of winning games – so it’s going to be difficult. Rugby World Cup 2019 starts on September 20.


Zagreb, Croatia


An artistic, musical, easy-to-explore capital Zagreb has traditionally been viewed as something of a sideshow to the wider wonders of Croatia that include coastal cities such as Dubrovnik, or the natural beauty of islands such as Brac and Vis. Yet despite being a world away from the sun-soaked islands of the Adriatic, an increasing number of tourists are choosing to eschew the country’s overcrowded hotspots and explore instead the red-roofed and cobblestoned glory of historic Zagreb. A relatively small capital, Zagreb is blessed with an abundance of outdoor cafes, museums, churches and restaurants, all of which combine effortlessly to produce a city that is disarmingly easy to navigate. Eminently walkable, it has a solid and reputable art calendar, energetic nightlife, and a dizzying array of live music venues. Most daily life revolves around the city’s central Ban Jelačić Square. From there you can explore the Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the two oldest parts of the city (Kaptol and Gradec). You can also pop to the Lower Town (Donji Grad), which is far busier and less “picture-postcard” than the Upper Town, but filled with interesting public buildings and 19th Century apartment blocks. Zagreb’s location in the country’s northwest also offers visitors easy access to the country’s mountains and national parks. During the winter months the ski resort of Sljeme is just a 20-minute drive away.

Emirates will operates its daily Boeing 777-300ER service to Zagreb until 26 October. Its codeshare partner airline flydubai will then begin to operate the route during the winter season. The strategic partnership between both airlines ensures capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand.





If you’re searching for traditional Croatian dishes then Korčula is a must. Located in the centre of the city on the corner of Teslina and Preradovićeva, it is furnished with details of Dalmatia and the island of Korčula. Try the daily fresh seafood salad or risotto, washed down with a wide range of Croatian beverages.

Situated in a wooded dell between the Upper Town and the Tuškanac woods, Dubravkin put’s decor is all about the beauty of natural materials. With modern furnishings, it is also one of Zagreb’s top destinations for seafood. Expect daily offers of fresh fish as well as Croatian beefsteak, aged for a minimum of 21 days.

Located in the city centre and just a stone’s throw from Ban Jelačić Square, Bistro Fotić is housed in a former Croatian photo club and serves mouthwateringly homey fare. With a menu that changes depending on the season, its dishes may be eclectic but the region’s traditional cuisine is never neglected.




If location and heritage are everything, then Hotel Jägerhorn doesn’t put a foot wrong. Dating back to 1827 and refurbished in 2015, the hotel is five minutes from Ban Jelačić Square, provides easy access to Gornji Grad, and offers 18 elegantly appointed rooms centred around a leafy courtyard terrace.

An exclusive boutique hotel in the very heart of Zagreb, the Hotel President Pantovčak opened in late 2008 and oozes style and luxury. Not far from Britanski Square, it offers a combination of modern finish with heritage touches and backs onto quiet gardens, surrounded by wild cherry trees.

This five-star architectural gem is unquestionably Zagreb’s most upmarket hotel. Restored to its former Art Deco glory in 2004 and close to the city’s main railway station, the Esplanade Zagreb and its 208 rooms offer a level of opulence you’ll find nowhere else in the country.




The central square of Zagreb, pretty much everything you need to see in the city can be reached from here, including the lively Tkalčićeva Street. Built in the Austro-Hungarian style, it stands at the centre of Zagreb’s social life and is also home to Grički top (the Grič cannon), fired every day to mark midday.

Fancy something quirky? The brainchild of artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, this museum showcases mementos of past relationships that include the drawing of a couple made by a stranger on a train, and an empty bag of fortune cookies affixed to a Starbucks cup.

Mirogoj is not quite what you’d expect from a regular cemetery. The final resting place of 300,000 souls, it was designed in 1876 by architect Herman Bollé. The result is a majestic arcade topped by a string of ornate cupolas, containing inside magnificent monuments to Croatia’s most prominent citizens.


Be smart!


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

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



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


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


Go through the open gate, stand on the blue footprint guide on the floor, face the camera straight-on and stand still for your iris scan. When finished, the next set of gates will open and you can continue to baggage claim.


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


Remember to bring your Emirates ID card next time you’re travelling through DXB – you’ll be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds, without paying and without registering. Valid at all Smart Gates, located in Arrivals and Departures, across all three terminals at DXB.

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

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


Emirates Mexico City: Daily service via Barcelona starts 9 December



Routes shown are as of time of going to press


**Seasonal service


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

Emirates route

flydubai route


With 24 codeshare partners in 27 countries (22 airlines and an air/rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air and Italy’s Trenitalia), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.

Visit for full details on our travel partners


Routes shown are as of time of going to press


**Seasonal service



Emirates route

AFRICA flydubai route




**Seasonal service



Routes shown are as of time of going to press


Freighter destinations


Emirates Fleet Our fleet of 268 aircraft includes 257 passenger aircraft and 11 SkyCargo aircraft AIRBUS A380-800 112 IN FLEET

All aircraft 30+ aircraft

up to 4,500+

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



All aircraft 100+ aircraft

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

up to 4,500+

BOEING 777-200LR

Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press. For more information:


Live TV, news & sport


Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

All aircraft Up to 302 passengers. Range: 17,446km. L 63.7m x W 64.8m 2,500+



Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m Fly up to 19 guests in utmost comfort in our customised Emirates Executive Private Jet.

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



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

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


GUIDE TO ENGLAND Downton Abbey’s head of house reveals his favourite filming spots in the UK INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER The main Downton Abbey House is actually Highclere Castle, which is not far from London at all – about an hour, and very accessible. Of course fans from the show are going to recognise a lot of locations like the famous dining room, but as well as having a huge connection to the show, it is steeped in its own brilliant history. If anything it’s even more stunning in person than in filming. When you can see the detail of the dining room, the smoking room, the library and so many other rooms... it’s wonderful to imagine all the conversations that went on there. Another location close to London is Bampton, in Oxfordshire – a village we used for the show, and we’re back there for the film. It’s quintessentially British – and is well worth driving down for the day or getting the train and visiting the


52.3555° N, 1.1743° W

market, having lunch in an old inn, and just walking around and enjoying the quaintness of it all. In Surrey the residence of Dowager Violet, Byfleet Manor, is also open to the public. Like so many of these locations, they have history in their own right – but also reference the big impact the show had on their business. You can go and take tea in the Downton dining room, and it really doesn’t get any more British than that. Just don’t expect to bump into Dame Maggie Smith when you’re there! The families’ London residence is Bridgewater House, on Cleveland Row in Westminster. It’s such a great looking house, and you’re in one of the best areas of London. Green Park, Downing Street, the Ritz hotel – so many wonderful buildings with so much history.

Emirates serves eight destinations in the UK: London (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted), Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.






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