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THE WORLD IN ONE PLACE How Dubai will contribute to the legacy of World Expos





























CONTRIBUTORS Geoff Brokate; Alan Ewens; Sarah Freeman; Maryanne Haggas; Heba Hashem; Mark Johanson; Gina Johnson; Dom Joly; Marina Kay; Vincent Long; Gareth Rees


















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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Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai, UAE



57 DUBAI To the future With just two years to go, this is how Expo 2020 Dubai will put the emirate on a global platform 60





The Year of Zayed Creating a city from scratch 70

Experience 18 Stay: Jordan to Brooklyn, NY 20 Dom Joly: The dark tourist 26 Dispatch: After the fires 28 Lunch with: Octavi Royo 34 Neighbourhood: Budapest 40 New postcodes 48

74 Latest news Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Hamburg and Osaka 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Ian Rankin’s guide to Edinburgh 90

Seaside dining Nautical feasts around Dubai 68



“I have on hand a great project for the World’s Fair in Chicago,” wrote a young man named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. “I am going to build a vertically revolving wheel 250 foot in dia [diameter].” The year was 1892, and the proposed creation was what is now, of course, known as the Ferris Wheel. It seemed a task of overwhelming impossibility, with blueprints depicting a mammoth central axle and arms that could stand the weight of railway-car-sized gondolas, as well as the bracing winds of Chicago. And it was not the only problem paining Chicago’s World Fair. In The Devil in the White City, writer Erik Larson evocatively captured a city in feverish motion – desperate to top the Eiffel Tower produced at the Paris Expo, but with everything working against them. The site was a desolate park on Chicago’s lake-front, beleaguered with muck and mulch. America was on the edge of an economic depression, and architects grappled with the tightest of deadlines. Yet, they prevailed. Amid the concussion of horse-drawn carriages and roar of the coal furnaces, Chicagoans, bundled in their furs, exclaimed with delight at their new city. Expos have created skylines, celebrated cultures, erected monoliths. Now it is Dubai’s turn to show the world what it is capable of. As Chicago’s chief architect, Daniel Burnham, admonished his workers: FOLLOW US

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” openskiesmag

Enjoy the issue. openskiesmag

Georgina Lavers, Editor openskiesmag










After the fires What happens when a community is devastated by fire? In Northern California, residents showed how shared compassion can rebuild a town. p.28





Catalonia’s human towers “Be as a tower, that, firmly set, Shakes not its top for any blast that blows”

In a tradition that dates back to the 18th Century, Girona’s locals unite at the annual Sant Narcis festival to create soaring towers made up of those that are vertiginously-inclined. The human towers can stretch to around 50-feet high and are constructed by barefoot, scarlet-clad castellas (climbers), who sport faixa (sashes) around their waist for support.

Last to scramble up the edifice is an enxaneta (rider), a small and plucky child that completes the picture. Elsewhere are an array of other visual pleasures, from a parade of giant papier mâché figures to the correfoc – a thrum of fire-throwers and drummers that beat a path through the city’s narrow streets. Girona, Spain.

The human towers are comprised of three parts, echoing the Catalan castells





The sight of 750 hot air balloons dotted against an azure New Mexican sky will be an experience that visitors to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta will not forget in a hurry. The skies will continue to host balloon rides, races between the vessels, and a spectacular fireworks show. Albuquerque, New Mexico.







Watch Jia Zhangke’s latest flirtation with martial arts, Ash is Purest White, Gaspar Noé’s French musical-slash-horror, Climax, or Coincoin and the Extra-Humans, from French iconoclast Bruno Dumont, at Istanbul’s hippest film festival. Expect to see the most celebrated films on the festival circuit so far, all in one place. Istanbul, Turkey.

Forget London or Boston – at the Polar Circle Marathon, runners will pass glacier tongues and moraine landscapes atop the vast ice sheets of Greenland. There may not be as many cheers from the sidelines, but the race does promise 42 kilometres of breathtaking ice and Arctic tundra. Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

Which are the most promising halal sectors? What are barriers to growth? Will Dubai become a global hub for the Islamic economy? These questions and more will all be debated at The Global Islamic Economy Summit, which brings together worldclass experts in critical industry sectors across geographies. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE.



31.9454° N, 35.9284° E


Modern glamour meets ancient history in one of Amman’s newest hotels

Cities within a city WORDS: HEBA HASHEM

RAINBOW STREET Stroll along Rainbow Street, Amman’s most famous pedestrian thoroughfare, to get a feel of the city’s rich history. On the hilltop hub of Jebal Amman, the walkway is dotted with sidewalk cafes, bookshops, galleries and artisan shops. Ammanis often come here in the evening to visit the shisha cafes, while shoppers come in the daytime to hunt for local handicrafts. Either way, this narrow one-way cobbled street is best explored by foot.

FROM THE CONCIERGE See Wander around Madaba city and marvel at the world’s oldest map of the Holy Land, an exquisite 6th-century mosaic masterpiece. Then visit the nearby Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land.

Just under a year old, the Fairmont Amman is already the hotel of choice for many travellers including celebrities and politicians. It’s easy to see why. A short distance from Old Downtown and the cultural neighbourhood of Jabal Weibdeh, it occupies an enviable location in the Fifth Circle, one of the capital’s most prestigious areas. Designed by award-winning architecture firm Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo, the hotel oozes relaxed opulence, with live piano in the lobby, local artwork throughout the hallways and panoramic views over the cityscape from its 317 rooms and suites. Rooms are beautifully appointed, with marble bathrooms, rain showers, soaker tubs and every comfort imaginable: from Nespresso machines to pillow menus. The suites, the largest of their kind in the city, feature a fireplace for that romantic glow

and warmth in wintertime, while the Penthouse Suite also houses a sauna, cinema and private terrace. For relaxation, the hotel offers two rooftop swimming pools under the starlit sky and an array of treatments at Willow Stream Spa. Indulge in a soothing lava shell massage, take a dip in the Dead Sea water-pool, then recharge under the ice fountain. When it’s time to dine, you’ll have seven venues to choose from – serving everything from delectable sushi at Tsuki, to Jordanian favourites at Nasim, European grills at Salt, and date-infused cocktails at Caprice. And when you’re ready to step outside, you’ll discover one of the most charming cities in the region; rich with ancient biblical sites, eccentric restaurants, a vibrant streetart scene and locals who are always happy to show you around.

Eat Indulge in a Levant culinary experience in one of the oldest eateries in Jordan. Um Khalil offers a tempting selection of dishes, with an exceptional service and atmospheric setting that has earned this restaurant its reputation.


Emirates operates three daily flights to Amman with the Boeing 777-300ER.



40.6782° N, 73.9442° W


Brooklyn’s gathering place, The William Vale, is an exquisite neighbourhood hotel

Community vibes WORDS: MARINA KAY

MULTIPLE VIEWPOINTS The William Vale is a 10-minute taxi ride from Manhattan, a 30-minute stroll from Chinatown via the Williamsburg Bridge, and a six-minute walk to the East River Ferry, which travels to downtown Manhattan and 34th Street, where you hop off to reach East 90th Street and Soundview, the Bronx, stations – both recent additions to the NYC Ferry schedule.

FROM THE CONCIERGE Brooklyn Bowl This bowling alley boasts 16 lanes, large leather Chesterfield sofas, and food by Blue Ribbon. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 6-8pm. Oh, and it’s a live music venue, too. Smorgasburg Save Saturdays for visiting this open-air market. Featuring over 70 vendors against million-dollar Manhattan views, Smorgasburg in East River State Park offers the best in food.

Upon first sight, The William Vale looks imposing. A commanding presence for its inspired design by Aldo Lamberis, it’s the tallest hotel in Williamsburg, offering vast views of the East River and New York. And yet, the 183-room hotel feels like a neighbourhood hub. The property’s developers were guided by a concept of urban porosity, whereby passageways and piazzas from various European cities inspired their public spaces: At its base, The William Vale harbours the elevated 15,000-square-foot Vale Park whose rolling greens are anchored by a gleaming retrofitted 1974 Airstream serving burgers, fries, and dairy dips. Retailers in the adjoining plaza

include Suit Supply and Du’s Donuts by revered chef Wylie Dufresne. And commanding a line from the get-go is Westlight – hotel guests need not wait – where 22nd floor skyline views serve as a 360-degree backdrop for not only the bar, but also pop ups such as The Turf Club, and Scent + Sound Baths (think meditation and Himalayan singing bowls). Chef Andrew Carmellini pulls crowds to Leuca for wood-fired Southern Italian dishes, also available in snack form at Vale Pool and Terrace (it has the longest pool in NYC). Guest rooms are graced with a lovely, modern aesthetic along with outdoor balconies overlooking New York.


Emirates serves New York JFK three times daily. Choose from two nonstop flights and a service that stops in Milan, Italy. Emirates also operates two daily services to and from Newark, with a nonstop service and a service that stops in Athens, Greece.



24:47: 20.97S, 31:21:21.14E


A private game reserve and luxury lodge, Ulusaba offers a safari experience with celebrity ownership status


It should surprise no one that Sir Richard Branson’s beloved slice of the Sabi Sand Reserve, in South Africa’s sprawling Kruger National Park, invokes the essence of adventure tourism. From your arrival at the property’s private airstrip, a stunning 80-minute flight from Johannesburg across the scrubby plains of South Africa’s renowned heartland, the action begins. Early-morning and late-afternoon expeditions are led by experienced guides and local trackers, with the abundance of wildlife in the park – itself around 20,000 square kilometres in area – ensuring some of the best game driving on the planet. While authenticity abounds, there’s no shortage of luxury trimmings. As well as a day spa, there are silver service bush breakfasts, and all-inclusive fine dining – either served communal style in the main lodges,

or as a private dining experience at secret locations around the property. Ulusaba comprises of two separate luxury lodges: Rock Lodge, perched on top of a ‘koppie’ (small mountain) and Safari Lodge, constructed above the dry Mabrak river bed and connected by swing bridges. It’s not unusual to spot an elephant taking a quick splash by one of the private plunge pools. For the complete out of Africa experience, opt for the Treehouse Suite that overlooks the Xikwenga Dam, the largest natural water source in the Sabi Sand Reserve and teeming with a local population of hippos, crocodiles and birdlife. Branson himself is in residence several times a year. When he’s not, guests can sleep in his bed – literally. The Safari Suite with viewing deck, fire pit and hot tub plunge pool – dubbed his ‘Necker in the bush’ – is ideal for family gatherings or special events.

THE EXTRAS Guests can experience authentic village life and meet members of the local community. Tours and curated experiences are run through Pride ’n Purpose, the charitable arm of Ulusaba, which is committed to helping disadvantaged communities living around the Sabi Sands Reserve. Whether your experience involves teaching children at a local school, taking a village tour, or a helicopter flight over the Blyde River Canyon (the third deepest and greenest canyon in the world), 100 per cent of donations go directly towards community sustainability projects.



Emirates serves three destinations in South Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Dreaming of a safari? Explore a range of tailor-made safari adventures and more at


GUYANA 4.8604° N, 58.9302° W

Dark tourist

For Dom Joly, the cricket vacation has unexpected benefits

If you’re planning your next adventure to or from the Americas, enjoy a seamless travel experience with Emirates’ partnership with JetBlue. Book your entire journey with Emirates and connect to the US, Caribbean or Central America – all on one ticket.

There can surely be nothing more designed to confuse the non-devotee than cricket? This is the game, as my Canadian wife never stops reminding me, that can go on for five days and end in a draw. There’s a famous piece explaining cricket to a foreigner: “You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out and when he’s out the next man to go in goes out…” The explanation goes on forever (as does the game, according to my wife). Yet, I have to admit to being a bit of a cricket obsessive, with the sport often shaping my travel plans. You see, cricket is almost invariably played in rather wonderful destinations. You can follow the England team round Sri Lanka in a tuk- tuk, island hop across the West Indies, drive across Australia, take a train across South Africa… you get my drift? Going on a cricket tour is just a fabulous holiday with a little bit of cricket thrown in. The place I really want to go to watch a game, however, is Guyana. If you don’t know – this is the only English-speaking country in South America and forms part of the West Indies in terms of cricket affiliation. For a comedy show I once rang various embassies round the world pretending to be a prisoner who, having won the lottery was planning a world tour upon his release. I got embassies to pitch to me why I should visit

their country? The man for Guyana didn’t have much to offer. He said his country was full of “swamps and snakes” and suggested I try somewhere else. It’s possible he didn’t like the idea of a convict visiting his country, but this would be strange, because Guyana has a dark history. Ten years ago I wrote a travel book called The Dark Tourist (recently shamelessly stolen by Netflix) in which I visited unusual travel destinations. I got the idea from an article I’d read about Guyana. The country was clearly having trouble attracting tourists, so the Minister for Tourism got creative. As well as being the site of Devil’s Island – the infamous prison in Papillon – the country was also the site of the Jonestown Massacre, where 900 members of the followers of cult leader Jim Jones had built and lived in a mini-town in the Guyanan jungle – a place that has lain dormant since the tragedy. The Minister for Tourism was now proposing to turn the place into an “experience” hotel. The UK newspapers all tut-tutted about the crassness of the idea. But I remember thinking that, if I could combine this with a Test match in the capital, Georgetown, then it might just be an interesting holiday. This spurred me on to write my book, but I never visited Guyana. England are playing there this winter, however, so it might be time to start working on the wife…


How does a community rebound after the devastation of fire? WORDS: MARINA KAY


The stoicism of Sonoma

A year on, Ledson Winery and Vineyards is bustling with tourists

Driving along State Highway 12, you cannot miss the signs. “Thank You! First Responders and Dispatch Heroes,” reads one in red, white, and blue; “Sonoma County Strong,” states another. Along this main thoroughfare between Napa and Sonoma are banners posted by a community thankful to those who kept them safe during the devastating October 2017 North Bay fires. Described as the deadliest and costliest in California’s history, the inferno started on October 8 and raged as 21 major fires, claiming at least 44 lives and thousands of structures, including homes. It took over three weeks to contain the 245,000-acre destruction, which stormed through Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties – California wine country. Sonoma took the hardest hit. Its tourism industry is one of the largest, private employers, contributing US$2.1


A palpable sense of community is on display in areas most marked by fire

billion to the economy annually. The backbone? Wine-related tourism, which brings in US$1.2 billion. Furthermore, according to a 2014 study by Sonoma County Winegrowers, in 2012 the region’s wine production generated US$13.4 billion. While winemaking takes up just 6 per cent of Sonoma’s one million acres – 93 per cent of the county’s 495 wineries were unaffected by the fires – the tragedy weighed heavily on some: In Santa Rosa, Paradise Ridge Winery was destroyed along with its Russian River tasting room (its 15-acre vineyard, outdoor art sculptures, and satellite Kenwood tasting room did survive); the owners of Gundlach Bundschu winery lost their century-old home. Around 85 per cent of the vineyards in Sonoma County are family-run.

To get to Gundlach Bundschu, the GPS will direct you off Highway 12, onto Denmark Street, then right into a long dirt driveway. Rows of green, leafy vineyards, sunflowers, and sandstone structures greet you prior to your taking to the tasting room on foot. This is California’s oldest family-owned winery, established in 1858, and situated at the intersection

of four American Viticultural Areas: Carneros, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Sonoma Coast. Cooled by the San Pablo Bay and Pacific Ocean breezes, the winery’s Rhinefarm estate specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot, and believes it has “all the right ingredients to produce the best Bordeaux varietal in California.”





On a weekday in late summer this year, the tasting room was busy pouring Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir; groups sat at picnic tables overlooking a reservoir. Last October, this outdoor area was the centre of attention for a different reason. Then, helicopters buzzed overhead, filling buckets for water drops to quell the fiery landscape. The resilience of this sixth-generation business was tested; the winery reopened to the public just two weeks later. The immediacy of digital media sought to predetermine the region’s fate. Wildfire photography ignited dramatic headlines; rumours on social media swirled of wineries burning down, including Chateau St. Jean. This, of course, proved untrue. Visit the Chateau’s grounds today and you’ll

see its vineyards flourishing, historic landmark building still standing, and palms swaying, if not singed a little by the flames. Charred hillsides end at the estate’s vineyards, vibrant and inviting. Being live plants, they serve as natural firebreaks, resistant to the flames, surrounded by low-cut grass cover in between and around the vine rows. Had the wildfires burned earlier, the wine country’s situation would have been direr. The issue of smoke taint – smoke’s impact on the flavour of wine grapes – would have been more widespread. But because of Sonoma’s slow ripening process, its harvest season is later. And here’s the silver lining: damage to harvest was lessened. President of Sonoma County Winegrowers Karissa Kruse stated that in October

2017, already 90 per cent of the wine grape harvest had been completed in Sonoma County, meaning “concern of smoke taint on the grapes currently on the vine is low.” At the time of the fires, the majority of Ledson Winery and Vineyards’ harvest was stored away in a winery warehouse complex in Sonoma, which, unlike its main tasting room in a Gothic castle in Kenwood, was accessible and with power. Ledson’s Australian winemaker Andrew Bilenkij explained that managing individual staff and ensuring that their families were safe was the main concern; also, monitoring the winery’s indoor and outdoor atmospheres, where carbon dioxide was picking up inside, and smoke outside. The remainder of the harvest constituted




1, 2. Both Healdsburg and h2hotel donated to a local fire relief fund 3, 6. Ledson and its winemaker Andrew Bilenkij 4. The Glen Ellen fire department is largely made up of volunteers 5. Gundlach Bundschu was one of the wineries affected; its owners lost their 100-year-old home

some Cabernet blocks that were affected by smoke taint and couldn’t be used for bottling. Today the castle stands stoic, busy with visitors thanks to the fire brigade who worked tirelessly to stop it from burning down. Firefighters from across America and Australia responded to the emergency. Healdsburg, a short drive north of Santa Rosa, is home to the sustainable h2hotel, which provided food and shelter for a community in need. Circe Sher, co-partner of Piazza Hospitality, said that through October 2017, over 150 room nights at their h2hotel were occupied by first responders, including members of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Together with nearby Hotel Healdsburg, h2hotel donated US$100,000 to both the North Bay Fire


Relief Fund and Sonoma County Resilience Fund. Specially priced meals were served in h2hotel’s Spoonbar and Hotel Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen and Pizzando restaurants. The wildfire blaze has amassed around US$12 billion in insurance claims. While the economic impact to the tourism sector is yet to be determined, the effects were immediate. Many hotels, restaurants, and tasting rooms faced cancellations by those fearing the worst, thinking the wine country was in ruins. This is not the case. Fire scars can be seen on the hillsides, residents are rebuilding homes, and wineries are replanting vineyards; and just as Sonoma kitchens are turning out worldclass menus made with top California produce, so too are cellar doors pour-

ing wine produced from the region’s best grapes. On the upside, the region recently enjoyed thriving summer and harvest seasons. Back in 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced they’d be the nation’s first 100 per cent certified sustainable wine region by 2019. They’re still on track to meet that goal.

Emirates serves two destinations in California with non-stop daily A380 flights from Dubai to San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Octavio Royo

In Barcelona, lunch with the founder of an app that aims to be the Uber of photography WORDS: KAYE MARTINDALE Within the saturated world of tech startups, to be successful, you need to offer something that will genuinely change lives for the better. Agora is a Barcelonabased photography app that also has the somewhat lofty aim to benefit humanity and be the catalyst for positive change around the world. The app has users in 190 countries and, at its heart, aims to bring together photographers to create an online community that gives power and control back to creators. In two years, Agora has gone from an idea to a US$16.8m (€14.5m) company, with over two million users and an upload every four seconds. Hoping to do for photography what Airbnb and Uber have done for hospitality and transport, founder and CEO, Octavio Royo, is aiming for nothing short of a revolution. The CEO arrives at Barcelona’s Flax and Kale Passage restaurant bubbling


with easy confidence. With his casual manner, tattoos and a hole in his nose from a former ring, Royo doesn’t look – or behave – like a typical businessman. His attitude has hallmarks of the more prophetic, or as he calls it, “dreamer”-esque leadership of Steve Jobs, who infamously dropped out of college and was drawn to San Francisco’s 70s counter culture in creating Apple. Royo’s enthusiasm for Agora is palpable – he has barely taken his seat before he begins to sketch out a diagram of the app’s structure. The site operates via three main pillars: firstly as a photography-based social network; secondly as a contest-based platform, where users can win thousands of euros or photography mentorships; and finally, as a space where photographers can sell their work. As a former creative professional in the field of film and photography, Royo

is determined that Agora be a way for photographers and, in the future, filmmakers, to take control of their images. With Agora he aims to create a democratic platform that levels the playing field between multi-billion dollar stock photography agencies and photographers. The advent of digital photography ushered in a challenging time for professional photographers; with a huge increase in the volume of images produced, coupled with a huge drop in budgets. The sudden and definitive change had a detrimental effect upon professional photographers, which continues to ripple through the community today. While agencies are of great benefit to their shareholders, many photographers are frustrated by their monopoly and poor payment system. Prestigious, long established agencies – such as Getty Images – take an 80 per cent commis-


Flax & Kale has become known in Barcelona for healthy ‘flexitarian’ cuisine

sion on all images, while smaller, Internet-based stock photography agencies take anywhere between 80 per cent and 45 per cent of the profit. On average, the photographer is left with a paltry 25 cents per image. Apps such as Markedshot and Foap also utilise the power of brand-led photography assignments, yet Agora is the only image marketplace that doesn’t take any commission. Royo insists that Agora can only succeed by offering a win-win situation for everyone involved. Working on a film project in Columbia gave Royo the beginnings of the idea for Agora, when he searched for an easy way to ask local people for videos from their phones to help with the documentary. The idea quickly germinated and soon enough he was back in Barcelona, persuading a small group of skilled friends to work on the app. The team created Agora from scratch, working around the clock for three months without pay. Like the initial Apple team who started out in the garage of Jobs’ parents, Agora’s small but dedicated

group worked out of Royo’s garage for a year and a half. As a newcomer to the world of startups, Royo sought guidance from industry professionals. With the support of Agustin Gomez, CEO of virtual marketplace Wallapop, Agora began to become a global possibility. The only thing standing in the way of progress was finance. With no business or tech experience, it was hard to find investors. Buoyed by the encouragement of his friends and family who loved the idea, Royo gathered everyone he knew in his garage studio and formally introduced them to Agora. He raised US$197,000 (€170,000) that day, enough to get the company off the ground. Agora has come a long way since that afternoon almost two years ago. Now, with its own dedicated office space in Barcelona’s hip Poble Nou neighbourhood, it has an ever-growing team. Finances are no longer an issue, as a steady stream of international investors clamour to get involved. As a lifelong Barcelona FC fan, Royo can barely


contain his glee as he shares that Gerard Piqué, the football club’s centre-back, is a major investor. While the investors are undoubtedly thrilled by the progress Agora is making, Royo is more measured. For him, he states, “It’s not about the money, it’s about realising the dream of creating a space where people can come together and share the way they see the world.” He continues in his heavily accented English “My dreams are big, big, big. I believe utopia is possible and this is at the heart of Agora.” Seemingly worried that Agora will be compared to Instagram, Royo defines the difference that with Instagram the focus is very much on the user: my meal, my holiday, my enviable life. With Agora the intention is, he explains, “to turn the camera around and show that the world is amazing”. I have hardly touched my delicious Vietnamese soup as his enthusiasm demands my full attention. “What will make the app a unicorn,” Royo continues – using the startup term for a company that will reach the value of a billion dollars – “is the contests”. Contests offer companies an opportunity to sponsor photography competitions, enabling companies to market themselves and create brand affinity with millions of creative, tech-savvy young people around the globe. Although winners have been awarded just a few hundred euros so far, some contests have received submissions of up to 150,000 images. Royo plans to increase the prize money to the tens of thousands before the year-end. Royo is keen to promote the work of NGOs and to create opportunities for people to see the world, a passion he charts back to a contest he won when was 15. An inter-cultural project in Mexico showed him the capacity of travel to help us to celebrate rather than be suspicious of difference, he says, and opened his mind to the power of other perspectives.

Royo regales me with the list of his previous jobs, which include a hotchpotch of international film assignments, prison projects, market trading and youth work. The list brings Steve Jobs to mind once more, who, in an infamous viral video, explained that it is the seemingly disparate parts of one’s life that equip you for the present. It’s easier to imagine Royo at a hippie music festival than in a boardroom making deals. I wonder out loud how he steered Agora to this point. As Royo answers, there is no trace of self-doubt. “It’s not necessary to be anything to make it,” he says, looking me square in the eye. Its necessary to only believe in yourself.” To realise Royo’s vision, there is still some way to go. His dream is to have Agora in every country and in every language. “It’s an epic journey,” he admits. “We are not in Silicon Valley. We have little infrastructure here, and no one knows who we are yet.” He likens it to a World Cup final between Germany and Senegal. “Whose side would you be on?” he asks. Senegal, I reply. “Well,” he laughs, “we are Senegal.” Polishing off the last of his flatbread and returning to his earlier sketch of Agora, Royo explains that behind the three tangible pillars of Agora – the social network, the marketplace and the contests – is the most important idea, one of a united community. “I know one person cannot change the world,” he says fervently. “But when we all share our ideas and points of view – we can.”

Flax and Kale Passage


2x Rejuvenator smoothies €5.95 1x Superfood pho soup €9.95 1x Zucchini & kale pesto flatbread €11.50 TOTAL: €33.55

Emirates operates a twice daily A380 service to Barcelona.




47.4649° N, 19.0916° E

Need an excuse to shun Buda’s hilly streets? Look no further than this eclectic neighbourhood, nestled on the city’s ‘Pest’ side



In 1956, bottles of Unicum were used as Molotov cocktails by thousands of rebelling students during Budapest’s communist uprising

Not to be confused with Hungary’s most successful football club, Ferencvárosi, Ferencváros is Budapest’s 9th district, or kerület, named after King Francis in 1792. Bordered on the north by the fifth district, and to the west by the Danube (which bisects Buda and Pest), this Southeastern enclave is a glorious architectural mashup of red clinker brick buildings, turn of the century facades, trendy “ruined pubs” and waterfront warehouses. Liberty and Rákóczi bridges bookend the kerület’s enviable three-kilometre stretch of riverside, where merchant vessels once disembarked their loads. The embankment’s ship-shaped National Theatre, symphony hall (Müpa) and whale-like shopping hub Balna have all put Ferencváros firmly on Budapest’s cultural map. Traces of gritty urban decay still linger in former industrial pockets like Soroksári Road, where steam mills belched smoke and Hungary’s largest slaughterhouse earned Ferencváros its 19th-century moniker, “the stomach of Budapest.” But, new life has been poured into other dilapidated edifices like Élesztő, a glassblowing factory turned craft beer hall and experimental music and theatre hub, and Trafó, a former electricity station. Reinventing itself is what Ferencváros does best. Ravaged by floods not once but twice, in 1799 and 1838, it is its clutch of urban renewal projects (rather than natural disasters) that are now reshaping the kerület’s cityscape. Its globally venerated rehabilitation scheme to replace pre-war houses in 1990 was even awarded a property development Oscar.

Pleasingly, greenery invades the bricks and mortar with a trio of parks. The most scenic, Nehru, spills out onto the Danube’s banks and affords unobstructed views of Gellért Hill and Buda Castle. A stone’s throw from here is semi-pedestrianised Ráday Street, where art, jazz, bistronomy and craft beer converge. Come summertime, this boho thoroughfare takes on a festival-like atmosphere, hosting a slew of music and food-centric events. For a culture fix all year round, you can rely on Ráday Street’s Púder (Powder) Bar Theatre, a ruin bar meets literary destination located a few doors down from Hungary’s ‘original’ Michelin-starred restaurant, Costes.



GREAT MARKET HALL Part souvenir bazaar, part street-food mecca, this 120 year-old, neo-Gothic masterwork is the city’s largest indoor market and located right on the Danube’s doorstep. Bypass the crowds and enter through Csarnok Tér (the back door), where Háztájtej’s toothless milk vendor grandma sets up daily. Follow your nose down the main aisle (where sauerkraut is still sold by the pitchfork) for a DIY breakfast of lángo, a Hungarian deepfried flat bread, and peach curd strudel from the popular rétes stand. Here you can fritter your forints on Hungarian paprika, pickles and truffle chutneys, then head upstairs for hand-carved chess sets, painted eggs or Rubik’s cubes; interestingly, a Hungarian invention. As well as doing great goulash, the first floor’s soup kitchen is the place to frame a picture of iconic Liberty Bridge. Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary, +36 1 366 3300




PALETTA BISTRO If you can’t make the 80km schlep to Hungary’s most famous lake (and Europe’s largest body of fresh water) the next best thing has to be eating its distinctive regional cuisine, right? You can do exactly that at this charming upscale bistro, run by Balaton-born gastro entrepreneur, Dániel Bezerics. Everything from the Balatonfenyves-reared Angus beef, to the Keszthely-made crockery, family-estate wine and staff, hail from the scenic Balaton Lake region, which boasts a unique microclimate. Standouts include their signature dish of pulled carp langos (Budapest’s answer

You can’t come to Budapest without paying a visit to at least one of its iconic ruin bars, aka crumbling tenement houses-turned-hip watering holes

to the New York bagel), wild boar terrine and red Caesar starter – a twist on the classic, paired with caviar chips. As you’d expect from a third generation vintner, the wine list is exceptional, and also includes some very affordable Hungarian Rieslings. Budapest, 28, Tompa u., 1094 Hungary, +36 70 947 4985







MEDENCE CONCEPT STORE Started by three design graduate friends in 2000, this atelier and gallery upcycles old billboard signs and advertising banners into socially useful, stylish totes. They also host monthly recycling DIY workshops where you can fashion your own backpack, laptop or handbag. Pipa u. 4, 1093 Hungary, +36 1 303 4881

Taking a soak is a rite of passage in Budapest, which sits on 125 thermal springs that have been exploited since Roman times. In 1928, the City Council ruled that every district should have a public bath, and so the humble Dandár was born. What the brick-fronted, Art Deco Dandár lacks in Ottoman-style indulgence, it makes up for with a local crowd and 1,400 Forint (US$5) entrance ticket. Once you’ve mastered its labyrinthine system of lockers and changing rooms, there are three indoor and two outdoor pools to cure your ills. Between the aromatic rubdowns and games of water chess it’s easy to while away several hours here. Just be sure to hold your nose if you drink from its sulphurous fountain of youth. Dandár u. 7, 1095 Hungary, +36 1 215 7084




MESTERBIKE & COFFEE PROJECT Stylish cycling apparel, ambient beats, specialty beans and retro bikes are all on the menu at this friendly new wave coffee shop, also a local favourite for its bike repair service. Mester u. 11, 1095 Hungary, +36 1 218 9986



ZWACK UNICUM MUSEUM A museum devoted to bittersweet Hungarian liquor may sound bonkers, but we can’t recommend this place enough. Unicum’s 200-year-old history, spanning six generations, a World War and Communist rule, is laid bare across the site’s subterranean chambers, factory grounds and exhibits. The national drink’s top-secret formula (made from

40 exotic herbs and spices) remains closely guarded by the Zwack family, however. It honours the same recipe invented in 1790 by Doctor Zwack, royal physician to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. The beautifully curated museum is home to all sorts of oddities, including the world’s largest miniature bottle collection. Make time for a tour of the atmospheric distillery, which wraps up in the factory cellars with a shot delivered straight from the cask. Dandár u. 1, 1095 Hungary, +36 1 476 2383

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A canal once ran through the centre of the Great Market Hall, couriering fresh produce to its traders by barge.



LUDWIG MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Dominated by the National Theatre and Müpa, Ferencváros’ Danube embankment is a good place to tick off

several cultural landmarks in one hit. The Ludwig occupies an entire wing of Müpa, the city’s millennial cultural complex, shared with Béla Bartók National Concert Hall and the Festival Theatre. Its vast 3,300 sqm space showcases international art spanning the past half-century, including works by Pop Art heavyweights Rauschenberg and Warhol, as well as Hungarian painters, Konkoly and Lakner. Komor Marcell u. 1, 1095 Hungary, +36 1 555 3444


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

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MORE THAN A POSTCODE Can the global address system be revolutionised? WORDS: MARK JOHANSON


Mongolia, with its mixture of inner city dwellings and remote gers, has often struggled with a traditional postal system


hen you consider that Mongolia is a country roughly the same size as Western Europe but has just three million inhabitants – many of who live vast distances apart – it begins to make sense why there has never been a proper address system. Even in the capital Ulaanbaatar, where almost half of the population live, swathes of streets remain nameless. When you don’t have a precise address, everything from receiving post, opening a bank account, setting up electricity, applying for a passport or registering to vote all become a trial. That’s why

Below: Ankhbaatar Badamrai, CEO of Mongol Post, with Chris Sheldrick


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Chris Sheldrick (R) and Jack Waley-Cohen, the founders of What3Words

the country’s postal service, Mongol Post, two years ago adopted a pioneering new system that gives everyone from the businesswoman in Ulaanbaatar to the herder living in a ger on the edge of the Gobi desert, a usable address. These new addresses aren’t comprised of numbers, PO boxes or codes. Rather, they’re made up of just three words. This atlas of random terms isn’t unique to Mongolia. The entire planet has been divided into 57 trillion threeby-three metres by what3words in 2013, with the British company deciding to use a unique three-word marker for each square. Want to go to the Burj Khalifa? You’ll find the entrance at perky.ember. escapes. How about the Eiffel Tower? That’d be

What3words co-founder Chris Sheldrick gave a speech about his poetic new coordinate system in 2015 at the “Summer Davos” in Dalian, China. When he mentioned that some four billion people around the world still don’t have an address – and that poor addressing hampers the development of nations – it hit home for Mongolian businessman Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, who was in attendance. “I listened to him talk about this new and disruptive idea for addresses and I thought it was something my country badly needed,” he recalls. “Mongolia is this place that has managed to avoid street names and zip codes well into the 21st Century, and it needed a break.” Ganhuyag introduced himself to Sheldrick as the CEO of Ard Financial Group, which was gearing up to buy an ownership stake in Mongol Post. He invited Sheldrick to visit Mongolia and by the following year, the pair had pushed Mongol Post to implement the threeword address system across the country. Now, in 2018, Mongolia has become a showpiece to demonstrate the potential of the system to fill in countries’ infrastructural gaps. Not only has the project

made it easier for residents to get credit cards and receive packages; it’s also been a boon for the country’s burgeoning tourism industry. “The fact that Mongolia is so remote is a huge part of what makes the country special, but it does present challenges when trying to get around,” explains Megan Eaves, destination editor for North Asia at Lonely Planet. Spurred by the recent developments, the guidebook publisher incorporated what3words addresses into its latest guide to the country, inputting three-word directions for more than 1,000 points of interest. Eaves says it’s made the country easier to navigate than ever before. After a successful rollout in Mongolia, seven additional countries: Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Kiribati, Nigeria, Solomon Islands, St Maarten and Tonga are now in various stages of adopting what3words into their postal services. The system is by no means the first to come up with a better way of connecting digital and physical space. Mapcode, developed by TomTom in 2001, is a predecessor that makes every house on earth addressable by a short code of letters and


numbers. Google came up with the comparable Open Location Code in 2014, and has recently sought to re-imagine its free Earth mapping service, weaving in storytelling and AI to free it from apps. Each of these geocode systems has a similar goal: to make every location in the world addressable by replacing clunky latitude and longitude coordinates with something simpler, and cleaner. Yet industry experts like Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap (the Wikipedia of the map world), have advocated for what3words because they see it as the only one of the pack that truly succeeds in making geocodes memorable. The system’s co-founder, Sheldrick, isn’t your stereotypical entrepreneur. Before teaming up with a linguist and mathematician to build what3words he worked in the live music industry, organising bands to play at events – which is when the idea for a creative zoning system came to him. “We always had a problem of musi-

cians who couldn’t find the entrance to the event,” he says, noting that even in the developed world addresses can be duplicated, wrong, unspecific or simply not there for places like parks and fields (where many of his events took place). “The average musician is just really bad at typing in GPS coordinates without making an error, so we realized we needed a way to compress 16 digits into something that was not only very human but also memorable and easy to communicate.” Quirky addresses like reform. speech.debate (that’s the British Houses of Parliament) may sound like something made up by kids with word refrig-

Below: Google Earth’s map of Venice, Italy. The company last year unveiled a revamped version of its application

erator magnets. Yet, there’s actually an extremely complex algorithm behind this playful geographic poetry. What3words counts some 40,000 words in its vocabulary, covering both land and sea. It uses shorter words near population centres, removes negative words and homophones (like sail and sale), and relegates similar sets of words to very different locations to make mistakes blatantly obvious (table.chair. lamp is in Australia, while table.chair. damp is in the US). It also works with a range of linguists to adapt the vocabulary to new languages, of which there are currently 26 options. Critics lament that what3words is a proprietary, closed system with a patented algorithm and terms and conditions spelling out all the things you can’t do with it. In a blog post widely shared within the tech community, Leigh Dodds of the Open Data Institute wrote that “the closed nature of the platform makes it a poor foundation for


future growth… the keys to your dataset are tied up with the intellectual property and API licensing of a third party.” Sheldrick counters that being a business (and a heavily-funded one, at that) is the very thing that has allowed what3words to scale and acquire a solid user base, something its open-source predecessors have historically lacked. What3words is free for the general public with a suite of web and mobile apps, the latter of which work offline. This makes it actionable for everyone from a policeman trying to locate a fellow officer to a gig-goer searching for her friends at a crowded concert. And while the company licenses its technology out to businesses for a profit, humanitarian groups like the Red Cross or bodies within the UN can freely tap into its tools to coordinate things like disaster relief (the latter adopted the what3words system for its disaster response and recovery app UN-ASIGN). On the business side, what3words has teamed up with a number of global organisations, including Dubai-based delivery company Aramex. In a recent test of its system, two teams of drivers were asked to deliver 100 packages in two well-addressed Dubai neighbourhoods. Drivers using what3words addresses were found to be 42 per cent faster and drove a 22 per cent shorter route than their companions using normal street addresses. They also made zero phone calls to ascertain locations, compared to colleagues’ 25 calls. Mercedes-Benz became the first automotive firm to integrate what3words voice navigation into its vehicles earlier this year, with four more companies poised to follow suit by 2019. In June, TomTom announced that it would incorporate the system into its navigation tools. The next targets: drones, taxi apps and self-driving cars. When it launched five years ago, what3words seemed like little more than a collection of haikus sprawled across an invisible grid. Yet in 2018, its practical implications – both humanitarian and commercial – are finally coming to light. In another five years, it could well become a – an address one might seek out in the remote wilds of Australia’s Northern Territory.

Mobile mapping increasingly looks to capture needs of the outdoor recreation market – worth US$887bn in the US alone

MAPPING A BETTER WORLD Time Map Let’s say you’re at the office and you want to pop out for a quick lunch. You’re in the mood for pizza, so you search for the closest pizzeria. Problem is, the pizzeria that’s nearest to you physically may not be the fastest to get to by car. That’s where Time Map comes in handy. Recently developed by software engineer Peter Liu, it’s an entirely new way to think about mapping where the physical world is removed entirely in favour of the time needed to move within it. The goal is to make everyday decisions – like choosing where to eat lunch – easier to navigate by listing temporal distances along concentric circles.

Fatmap Hike into the Himalaya, ski off-piste in the Alps or take your mountain bike into the Rockies and you’ll soon realize that Google Maps just isn’t up to snuff. For all the thrill-seekers out there who are plying new paths into the unknown there’s a new 3D global map platform that actually visualises earth in all its

curves. Fatmap was built for the age of virtual reality and emerged from collaborations with several satellite and aerospace companies. Users can not only download offline content in high-resolution (five-times that of Google Earth!) but also upload new routes to share with friends.

AuthaGraph The Good Design Award is the most prestigious design prize in Japan, so when the 2016 winner was declared a new world map aimed at mitigating problems with the commonly-used Mercator Projection, it made waves. Originally devised in 1569, the Mercator greatly exaggerates the size of imperialist powers in the northern hemisphere at the expense of continents like Africa and South America (the latter appears roughly the same size as Europe, when in reality it’s nearly twice as large). This new map turns earth into a rectangle by placing the world’s surface on a tetrahedron and unfolding it. In the process, it corrects an outdated socio-political message.

Dubai °







A tourism destination Over 1,000 hotels, a No. 1 world ranking for tourist marketing effectiveness and a growing number of landmarks – this is why the UAE is fast becoming a tourist haven. p.58

The travel hub Last year, 15.8 million people travelled there. Here’s how the UAE stacks up as a tourist destination

The city where tourists splash the most cash International overnight visitor spend in 2016 (US$ billion)

Tokyo 11.28

London 16.1

Barcelona 8.9

New York 17


28.5 billion




Seoul 9.4

Taipei 9.9

Singapore 15.7



Top 10 source markets for visitors to Dubai (‘000s visitors) ■ 2018 ■ 2017

Direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s GDP (2016) 2027 AED 116.1bn (US$31.6bn) 5.4% of total GDP

2016 AED 68.5bn (US$18.7bn) 5.2% of total GDP


1. India




20 million

15.79 million

14.9 million


(according to Trip Advisor)


74% 4 hotels

390 418



327 319

8. Germany

UAE world ranking for effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists



302 270


1-3 hotels

246 312



212 283



UAE world ranking for sustainability of travel and tourism industry development


Hotel apartments

UAE world ranking for quality of tourism infrastructure

UAE’s Top Three Things to Do



UAE world ranking for government prioritisation of travel and tourism industry



6. Oman

10. Iran



7. USA

2020 target

5 hotels


9. Pakistan 2017




3. UK

5. Russia


(Total: 1,058)


2. KSA

4. China

Visitors to Dubai


Where to stay in the UAE

Dubai Fountains

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Burj Khalifa, Dubai



AN EVENT FOR THE WORLD When Dubai was confirmed as host city for Expo 2020, the announcement kickstarted a massive project to prepare the emirate for the staging of the biggest event ever seen in the Middle East. With two years to go, how is the region’s first ever World Expo shaping up? WORDS: ALAN EWENS



he electronic clock counting down in the lobby of the Expo 2020 Dubai offices is a constant reminder that in just two years’ time the biggest event to be staged in the Middle East will open its doors – and the world is invited. With the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the region’s first-ever World Expo aims to be the most technologically-advanced World Expo in the event’s 167-year history. Dating back to London in 1851, World Expos have produced countless

memorable moments, including the public debuts of both the telephone and television, the world’s first glimpse of an X-Ray machine and even the launch of Heinz tomato ketchup. Since that first staging in Hyde Park – grandly lauded as ‘The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations’ – World Expos have bridged cultural and technological divides by promoting education, innovation and co-operation. Life-changing devices have been launched and revolutionary ideas hatched that have altered the way we

L-R: A render of the Mobility Pavilion in Dubai; the UK pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo live, while the architectural genius behind Expos of the past have left behind monuments and imposing structures that have been as breathtaking as they have been groundbreaking. The Eiffel Tower is a legacy of the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, while the centre piece of the 1958 Expo – the Brussels World Fair – is the Atomium, now firmly established as the most


recognisable construction in Belgium. As you would expect from a city that has contributed more than its fair share of outstanding architecture in recent years, Dubai will unveil several distinctive and ‘smart’ buildings of its own for Expo 2020, although, as is the case with the modern Expo, the focus will be more on how the world can positively affect environmental and social change, as well as educate and inspire. “The architectural part is important, but we are looking far beyond structures as legacy,” says Marjan Faraidooni, Senior Vice President, Legacy Development

and Impact at Expo 2020 Dubai. “Yes, we will have a very unique site, but it is what these buildings will foster in terms of an exchange of culture, discussions and inspiration that is more important. “This is a perfect example of the vision of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who spoke of respecting different cultures and nature and who encouraged the need for dialogue and connectivity. “As the host nation we are committed to educate and inspire using our sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. At Expo 2020, we will provide visitors with a look at how we have progressed as humans, a view of technology today and how it has enhanced the world, and finally, give visitors a glimpse of the tools that will be available in the future. “We want it to be a place to inspire and make the visitor feel they can impact the world if they choose to do something different with the technologies coming their way.” Expo 2020 Dubai will also give the city a chance to showcase its culture and traditions to the world, while at the same time underlining its brand position as a technological hub for the 21st Century. “This will be six months of the UAE in action,” adds Faraidooni. “Beautiful public grounds that have been inspired by the traditions of the UAE have been designed as places to introduce visitors from around the world to our culture. “We have looked at a variety of previous World Expos from The Great Exhibition of 1851 to Expo Milano 2015. These were all great learning opportunities but every city is different. Our legacy has to complement the future vision of Dubai and the UAE.” To be staged from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, the Expo 2020 site covers a total of 438 hectares with preparations well on track to complete the major construction projects by October 2019, a full year before the Expo opens to the public.

“We have applied design principles that will create moments that will live with visitors for a long time to come” Iman Alomrani, Vice President Applied Intelligence, Innovation and Future Technology, Expo 2020 Dubai

While most Expos are held between May and October, Expo 2020 Dubai’s lifespan will see it embrace a wide range of special occasions and memorable dates. “There will be unique content and programming throughout Expo and we will have some amazing holidays to celebrate,” enthuses Gillian Hamburger, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Expo 2020 Dubai. “Not only will we have beautiful weather, we will also be open during significant dates such UAE National Day, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Dubai does New Year’s Eve in such an imaginative way – can you imagine what it will be like on the Expo site in 2020?” Prospective visitors will soon be able to discover more about the ticketing packages available for an event that will undoubtedly require multiple visits to truly take advantage of the sprawling site.

64 Clockwise: Expos have produced monoliths that live on in history, including Chicago’s Ferris Wheel; the Eiffel Tower, and the Statue of Liberty

“We are looking far beyond structures as legacy” Marjan Faraidooni, Senior Vice President, Legacy Development and Impact at Expo 2020 Dubai

“We are finalising our ticketing model and will announce more details in the first quarter of 2019,” adds Hamburger. “We aim to provide ticketing options that allow overseas visitors to get as much as they can from Expo 2020 with a single or multiple-day pass, and will also have a number of offers in place in order to encourage locally-based visitors to come as often as they possibly can.” International travellers on Emirates will also be able to keep up-to-date with the progress of Expo 2020 through the airline’s ongoing partnership with the mega-event. “Emirates was our first partner and has always been supportive from the bid process through this pre-Expo campaign and will be during Expo itself,” says Hamburger. “The airline helps us with global marketing and awareness from Expo 2020 Dubai-branded aircraft to our own dedicated channel on the ice inflight entertainment system where we can communicate what visitors can expect to see at Expo 2020. “We will have many stories to tell along the way – on our partners, ticket-

ing, licensing and retail, basically all the things visitors will experience. For example, the largest group of concessionaires are the F&B operators. We will have more than 200 gastronomy experiences, which will start fitting out their spaces in January 2020… basically, it’s like putting together a giant puzzle. “We are 24 months out but we all know the last six months is readiness testing when we have a lock-down period so really we are talking about being just 18 months away.” Several participating countries have already broken ground on their pavilions, and the Expo team expects many more to commence construction during the coming months. Among the buildings taking shape which will form part of the event’s legacy, the stunning Mobility Pavilion – designed by Foster + Partners – Al Wasl Plaza and the Sustainability Pavilion are set to remain UAE landmarks long after Expo has closed its doors. Featuring a 360-degree projection surface, the Al Wasl Plaza dome will be a unique entertainment piece and one of the event’s talking points, while the Sus-


tainability Pavilion and its cutting-edge architecture will boast a 120m-diameter solar panelled roof with the capacity to generate its electricity and water. “Once Expo is over, the Sustainability Pavilion will remain as the Children and Science Centre, while the Al Wasl Plaza, which sits at the heart of the project, will stay as a unique event location,” adds Faraidooni. “More important, however, is that we create a framework to ensure what we do as an event has social, economic and reputational impact as well as physical.” With 25 million visits expected be-

tween October 2020 and April 2021 – equivalent to welcoming the population of Australia through its gates in only six months – Expo 2020 Dubai is constantly looking for ways to deliver an exceptional visitor experience to people from around the world. Smart technology and the use of applied intelligence will combine to provide those visitors with a truly immersive connection to the Expo. After years of Expos offering a futuristic glimpse into what “could be”, Dubai’s intention is to provide a “here and now” engagement between technology and visitors.

“We have to be future-forward and ensure we are constantly looking at innovation and future technology that we can apply to Expo 2020,” says Iman Alomrani, Vice President - Applied Intelligence, Innovation and Future Technology, Expo 2020 Dubai. “Technology is moving so fast – whatever is mainstream today may not be applicable or may even be completely obsolete by 2020. We have applied design principles that will create moments that will resonate with visitors for a long time to come. We want them to leave thinking: “Wow, I’ll always

67 Clockwise: A rendering of Al Wasl Plaza’s steel dome, which will act as a 360-degree projection surface; the UAE’s pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010; outdoor gardens at the 2015 Expo Milano

remember Dubai because of what I experienced at Expo 2020.” Among these services are essentials – the basics that have to be there – but topped up by “a layer that will give visitors delightful moments” before the third layer, a touch that will provide the “hero moments.” “There is a difference between what visitors will see and what they will feel,” adds Alomrani. “What they will see is the content. What they feel is when they queue, when they want to book something, that all adds to the experience. We have already started working on a project to help profile our visitors and to tailor the experience to make it personal and memorable. “We have also put ourselves in the shoes of every type of visitor and walked through the entire visitor journey to establish what we can do to provide them with those special touches. “We have defined more than 100 services and are now going through the feasibility of each one and their implementation. It’s a constant process – are they still considered new? We might have a level that we think is a “wow” factor now but by this time next year it may only be worthy of the second layer or it may have become essential simply because everyone is doing it. “We have to make sure we are always ahead of the game because it’s our promise to deliver an exceptional Expo. A lot of these designs may not be driven by technology, but they can be enhanced by technology to make them as fresh and current as possible.” Delivering that unique visitor experience is a must – with 70 per cent of Expo 2020’s visitors expected to be from outside the UAE (the largest proportion of international visitors in the history of

World Expo), this is Dubai’s showcase to the world. “If you add together all of the tickets sold for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, the total is still lower than the number of visits that Expo 2020 Dubai expects to attract,” says Hamburger. “A World Expo is not a sporting event. It is bigger in terms of scope, duration, opportunities and magnitude. Expo 2020 Dubai is all about ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’”.

“Dubai does New Year’s Eve in such an imaginative way – can you imagine what it will be like on the Expo site in 2020?” Gillian Hamburger, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Expo 2020 Dubai



Fine dining is accompanied by creek views on the JA Bateaux

Aquatic feasts

In Dubai, dining needn’t be limited to coastal views With over one thousand kilometres of coastline in Dubai, the city’s restaurateurs look increasingly to capitalise on the ambience that coastal dining can provide. But their fare is not limited to coast-side, with the following floating restaurants making an appealing case for dining on water.

JA Bateaux Dubai, Al Seef Whether it’s for dinner à deux or a larger soirée, this elegant glass-windowed vessel gives visitors every opportunity to discover Dubai’s historic Creek whilst indulging in freshly prepared and decadent dishes. Departing from Al Seef, a revitalised district on the Bur Dubai side of the canal, the 56-metre boat offers panoramic views

of the old town to the strains of a piano. Drinks are offered on the top deck before the beginning of a two-hour tour, complete with a four-course dinner and attentive service. Try the ‘lamb three ways’, a combination of cutlet, loin and chop served with a polenta and goats cheese tart. Prices start from AED415 per person.

Aprons and Hammers A restaurant that does exactly what it says on the tin, Apron & Hammers serves seafood to be attacked vigorously, with food accompanied by both apron and a hammer (those shellfish won’t open themselves). Diners messily feast in booths tucked into the innards of a traditional dhow boat, which rocks to the gentle swells of the Gulf. Prepare to feast on generous portions of the day’s catch – everything from mixed seafood buckets, lobster, and a delicious blue crab boil. Prepare to get cracking, smashing and munching at this Dubai institution, soon to open at a new location.

QE2, Mina Rashid The QE2 harks back to the British dining scene of the 1960s

It took nearly 3 million man-hours to transform the QE2 from its golden days in the ‘60s to the 13-deck extravaganza now permanently docked in Dubai’s Mina Rashid port. Meticulously restored with period furniture and art, the ship has reopened a variety of its restaurants over water, the most famous The Queen’s Grill, a British fine-dining experience from 1969. Once frequented by members of the British Royal Family, this unique venue (plus their mouth-watering Black Angus beef tenderloin and braised cheek) is not to be missed. The restaurant is open daily for dinner from 7pm – 11pm.



For Sheikh Zayed, giving Abu Dhabi’s citizens a stake in the emirate was vital to its accelerated development

Rapid creation


WORDS TO LIVE BY “Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to building the individual, and to using the wealth which God has provided us with the service of the nation.”

A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry the special Year of Zayed livery for 2018, the centennial of the birth of the UAE’s founding father.

The contrast between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the 1940s was stark. The latter had a school and bustling markets while the former looked increasingly moribund. Despite the potential wealth from the discovery of oil in Abu Dhabi in 1958, Sheikh Shakhbut remained reluctant to use that money to finance development and modernisation programmes. In 1966, the Al Nahyan family concluded that a change of leadership was needed for progress. Sheikh Shakhbut accepted the family’s decision and stepped down on 6 August in favour of his younger brother, Sheikh Zayed, a change widely acclaimed by the people of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zayed immediately set about a programme of accelerated development, drawing up a budget for the first time in Abu Dhabi’s history and implementing what he saw as badly needed spending on sewerage, hospitals, clinics, housing, education and a new harbour. He also instituted a structure of government to oversee and manage the process, and make the emirate’s development sustainable.

Two years of rapid growth followed, and in 1968 he announced a five-year strategic plan, covering education, training, healthcare, agricultural research and development, and improvements to the system of water supply. There would also be a focus on industrial development, new roads, bridges, airports, ports and houses. He also made it a point to invest in projects so that the country wouldn’t be completely reliant on oil. He had incredible foresight, and always thought about what is best for his people. Central to his thinking was the need to give every Abu Dhabi citizen a stake in the emirate. To each adult male he gave three pieces of land – to build a home, a commercial property and an industrial workshop. He also donated a fourth gift of farmland to the people of Liwa and the surrounding area, as well as the equipment and expert advice needed to make the land productive. The effect was not only to share the government’s wealth with the people, in line with his long-standing beliefs, but also to ensure that the people were invested in Abu Dhabi’s future success.

Emirates NEWS









Behind the menu Want to see what goes into your food and drink onboard? Visit Emirates’ new Food and Wine Channels on ice to see all facets of menu creation, from wine selection to food preparation. p.74




Emirates launches food and wine channels for ice

Giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at how it creates its onboard menus, Emirates has launched its own food and wine channels, available on ice. The channels give an inside look into Emirates’ US$700 million wine programme, as well as regional and seasonal food menus prepared by award-winning chefs. The Food Channel showcases the detail that goes into menu development by Emirates Chefs and ingredient sourcing for onboard meals, of which around 110 million are served each year. From a view of Umbria in Italy, where Emirates purchases its olive oil from Monte Vibiano, to Sri Lanka, to understand how the Dilmah tea is selected – each episode explores how the airline brings the finest products on board through longstanding partnerships worldwide, including local suppliers and artisans. Each episode also features recipes from onboard menus, which can also be found on, so that customers can recreate Emirates signature Prawn Machbous, or learn how to make a classic crepe at home.

The Wine Channel features a documentary on Emirates’ wine buying strategy, and the direct relationships it has cultivated with the world’s finest winemakers to procure some of the most exclusive vintages. Emirates invests heavily in its cellar and has established a robust wine programme in the last 10 years. Each day, it serves over 80 kinds of champagnes, wines and port across its network. A series of wine tutorials have also been introduced on the channel. Oliver Dixon, part of the Emirates wine buying team, leads the viewer through a tutored tasting, giving valuable insight into the history of the producer and the elements that give each wine its flavour. There are currently 10 episodes on board. Both the Emirates Food and Wine Channels can now be viewed on all flights.

The channels take a tour of the leading producers globally who work with Emirates to create extraordinary dining experiences


CODESHARE AGREEMENT EXPANDS FLYING OPTIONS TO VIETNAM A new codeshare agreement with Jetstar Pacific will complement daily flights from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with reach to 14 additional domestic destinations. The new codeshare services from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi connect Emirates passengers to 14 Vietnamese cities beyond Ho Chi Minh City, and six cities beyond Hanoi. Emirates will also operate codeshare

flights with Jetstar Pacific between the latter’s hub in Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, as well as Bangkok, both of which serve as connections for Emirates passengers continuing their travel to Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney. The Vietnamese cities that are covered by the new codeshare routes include Ban Me Thuot, Phuquoc, Dalat, Quinhon, Tamky-Chulai, Hue, Pleiku, Nha Trang, Vinh City, Tuy Hoa, Dong Hoi, Thanh Hoa, Haiphong, and Da Nang, in addition to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Under the agreement, Emirates’ flight number will be placed on Jetstar Pacific’s services to all codeshare destinations. The codeshare partnership will give customers the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights using one reservation, and a smooth ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage check experience during the entire journey.

Four daily services to Riyadh Emirates has boosted its services to Riyadh with the addition of a fourth daily flight to the Saudi capital. Started just last month, on September 1, the addition of the fourth daily service takes the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Riyadh to 28. The fourth daily flight is operated by the Boeing 777-300ER in a three class configuration: Emirates flight EK813 departs Dubai at 1500hrs arriving in Riyadh at 1550hrs. The return flight, EK814 departs Riyadh at 1750hrs and arrives in Dubai at 2040hrs. Dubai’s attractiveness as a destination for Saudi travellers continues to be strong and in 2017 more than 1.5 million Saudis visited the city, according to data published by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also the UAE’s largest trading partner in the region, with non-oil trade reaching an

estimated AED88 billion (US$24 billion) in 2017, according to UAE Federal Customs Authority data. All cabins on the Boeing 777300ER flying to Riyadh are equipped with Emirates award-winning ice entertainment system with up to 3,500 channels of entertainment to choose

from, in addition to over 330 Arabic channels. Emirates operates 91 flights per week to Saudi Arabia, serving four destinations: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medinah Al Munawarah.


In what was the largest commercial air horse charter in history, Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has successfully transported over 500 horses for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. The horses were flown from Liege in Belgium to GreenvilleSpartanburg, USA in an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 freighter aircraft. With each horse weighing an average of 515kg, this was the largest air horse charter that has been executed for a single sporting event. Nineteen flights transported 50-60 horses per flight, 244 tonnes of additional equipment, and 227 accompanying grooms. Emirates SkyCargo worked with leading transportation specialist Peden Bloodstock to execute the charter. Emirates SkyCargo is no stranger to equine transportation and regularly flies horses for leading racing and other equestrian events across the globe. The air cargo carrier provides a calm and comfortable environment for the horses which also complies with regulations set out by national and international authorities.


Emirates and flydubai: A successful partnership Last year Emirates signed a landmark agreement with flydubai – laying the foundation for an alliance that has gone from strength to strength

200+ Number of destinations offered by flydubai and Emirates on direct services from Dubai

314 Combined fleet of aircraft

3,200+ Combined weekly departures

KATHMANDU, ZANZIBAR AND CATANIA ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR CODESHARE DESTINATIONS IN THE NETWORK A timeline t ed u) efi ch n d n n e n s e n e lau gi 7 o b ute ma tw ns be iki io 01 rt t ro Kath r be i t n s 2 e a d a ve 8 na e lo er s st har and ut y no ne dub sa 01 esti b o 7 8 a g s s d r r i r d 2 7 o d 1 t s fly 01 re 01 he em ge de iba 8 The 8 che ry e d 1 nt res ns 20 n d r 2 sha r 2 unc ec sen 9 co anz 01 nd ua har to 8 01 un re ha atio y me an e e r D 2 l n 2 Z a s e a s s b b l 2 a l Ja de ase Ju ree tes Cu de stin ril w to od to ki Pa m ding ne ia ro clu Co cre Ju tan Oc rst c Ap ako Oc elsin Ag ira Co de f in Fi (in Ca Kr H Em 80


TWO WAYS the Emirates/flydubai partnership can help you 1. EXPANDED NETWORK STRENGTH Both Dubai-based airlines offer customers greater choice and flexibility across their joint networks, with codeshares to more than 90 destinations today. The partnership initially began with codeshare flights to 29 cities, and this has quickly expanded to meet growing demand. Benefits: • Increased flight frequencies • Expanded access to global destinations on a single ticket • The convenience of checking in their baggage through to the final destination • Smooth transfers during transit in Dubai

2. ONE LOYALTY PROGRAMME Emirates Skywards is now the loyalty programme of both Emirates airline and flydubai. Benefits: • Emirates Skywards members can earn Skywards Miles and Tier Miles when travelling on both airlines, earning rewards faster • Skywards Miles or a combination of cash and Miles can be used to book flights, as well as to pay for optional extras such as pre-ordered meals and extra legroom seats on flydubai • When travelling on flydubai, Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will be able to receive select benefits New codeshare flights recently launched include Krakow, Dubrovnik and Kinshasa with other destinations including Catania (started June 13), Thessaloniki (started June 15) and Helsinki (due to start October 11).

“Customers now have the best of both worlds when they fly on our extensive joint network, with increased choice, flexibility and convenience” HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai

The airlines flydubai fleet • Boeing 737 MAX 8 • Boeing 737-800 NG • Seats designed to optimise legroom and maximise comfort • In-flight entertainment • Meals on board • Duty Free • Wi-Fi on select flights

Emirates fleet • Airbus A380-800 • Boeing 777-300ER • Boeing 777-200LR • Boeing 777-300 - Multinational cabin crew from over 135 nationalities - 20MB free Wi-Fi on board - Complimentary wines, spirits and cocktails across all classes • Regionally inspired menus • 3,500+ channels of entertainment on ice • First Class shower spa • Onboard lounge


Hamburg Historical nights

Hamburg is home to 1.8 million citizens and some of the biggest financial and publishing powerhouses in the country. Papers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city, as well as Germany’s oldest stock exchange and merchant bank. But it is the string of rivers, lush parks and unique sights that transform this city into far more than a corporate centre. For World War II buffs, St Nikolai church gives reality to the devastation that war inflicted on the city, and up-river is the curious beach of Blankenese, home to submarine and barge wrecks. Shoppers will find a plethora of luxury brands in and around the Neustadt district, and in the evening, all should head to St Pauli to hear the cries of the Marktschreier as they hawk their produce – the Wednesday night market has a party-like atmosphere.

On October 29 the A380 will be deployed on the morning service (EK059/EK060), making it the first scheduled commercial Airbus A380 service to Hamburg. From October 30 the A380 will be regularly deployed on the afternoon service (EK061/EK062).



If you’re considering heading to the restaurant that gained three Michelin stars within just a year of opening, better call now – the 20-seater restaurant books up months in advance. The dining experience is known for its completely open kitchen, no waiters (chefs deliver their dishes straight to customers), and lack of menus.

A glass wave crests just off the Elbe River: not a mirage, but the arresting Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall said to be the most acoustically advanced in the world. Take in a performance from the Hamburg philharmonic or the constantly changing programme – or simply stroll around the interior of the superstructure.

THE FONTENAY It was 1816 when a shipbroker bought a plot of land amidst the heart of Hamburg’s lakes. Two centuries later, The Fontenay hotel brings a sculptural uniqueness to Alster Lakes’ shores. The five-star hotel has an infinity pool, sun terrace and an in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. A true rerflection of the city’s love affair with water.



Very, truly Japan It may not have the cinematic myth of Tokyo, nor Nara’s picture-perfect cherry blossoms, but Osaka offers an alternate tourist experience that is no less special for it. Very much an Asian tourist destination – last year the top three visitor countries were China, South Korea and Taiwan – the Western tourist should not disregard this distinctly Japanese offering, with its recent influx of restaurants, boutiques and bars. Recently deemed the third most liveable city in the world, behind Vienna and Melbourne, perhaps of most interest is the city’s cuisine. Ninety-one Michelin-starred restaurants dotted throughout the neighbourhoods of Tsuruhashi, Fukushima and elsewhere represent local cuisine at its most authentic.

NANIWA KAPPO KIGAWA With a fifty-year history, this celebrated institution specialises in kappo – the delicate preparation of a selection of small plates. The freshest sashimi and local vegetables are presented exquisitely; with the incorporation of French techniques for a unique take on Japanese cuisine. Ask for the omakase (the chef’s selection).

SPA WORLD A theme park crossed with a spa may sound the wrong side of relaxing, but Spa World deserves a visit in order to envelop oneself fully in the Osakan experience. The onsens, or springs, are heated to around 40 degrees centigrade and separated by continental zones (Asia, Europe) as well as gender – for reasons that will become quickly apparent on entry.


Emirates will introduce Airbus A380 services to Osaka in Japan on 28th October 2018. The A380 will replace the 777-300ER aircraft currently operating on the EK316/ EK317 service to and from Osaka.

In Osaka, and indeed large swathes of Japan, some of the best hotel experiences are offered by international chains. Take the Conrad Osaka, just recently opened and a stone’s throw from tourist attractions such as the National Art Museum and a traditional puppet theatre. Contemporary, with Japanese touches, the rooftop bar 40 storeys up offers city-wide views.


Be smart!


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

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



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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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



Routes shown are as of time of going to press


**Seasonal service


Emirates Amsterdam / Auckland / Bangkok / Barcelona / Beijing Birmingham / Brisbane / Casablanca / Christchurch Copenhagen / Dusseldorf / Frankfurt / Guangzhou Hamburg: starts Oct 29 / Hong Kong / Houston Jeddah / Johannesburg / Kuala Lumpur / Kuwait London / Los Angeles / Madrid / Manchester / Mauritius Melbourne / Milan / Moscow / Mumbai / Munich New York / Nice / Osaka: starts Oct 28 / Paris / Perth Prague / Rome / San Francisco / SĂŁo Paulo / Seoul Shanghai / Singapore / Sydney / Taipei / Tokyo Toronto / Vienna / Washington, DC / Zurich

Emirates route

flydubai route


With 23 codeshare partners in 26 countries (21 airlines and an air/ rail codeshare arrangement with France’s SNCF/TGV Air and Italy’s Trenitalia), Emirates has even more flight options, effectively expanding its network by over 300 destinations.

Visit 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 270 aircraft includes 257 passenger aircraft and 13 SkyCargo aircraft

AIRBUS A380-800

This month:

1 arriving

106 IN FLEET All aircraft

up to 3,500+

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

20+ aircraft

BOEING 777-300ER


This month:

1 arriving

All aircraft up to 3,500+

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

For more information:

BOEING 777-200LR

10 IN FLEET All aircraft


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


Live TV, news & sport


Mobile phone

Data roaming

Number of channels

First Class Shower Spa

*Onboard lounge

**In-seat power

USB port

In-seat telephone

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

BOEING 777-300 2 IN FLEET All aircraft


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



The Emirates Executive Private Jet takes our exceptional service to the highest level to fly you personally around the world. Fly up to 19 guests in the utmost comfort of our customised A319 aircraft with the flexibility of private jet travel. Further information at



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

The most environmentally-friendly freighter operated today, with the lowest fuel burn of any comparably-sized cargo aircraft. Along with its wide main-deck cargo door, which can accommodate oversized consignments, it is also capable of carrying up to 103 tonnes of cargo non-stop on 10-hour sector lengths.

Aircraft numbers accurate at the time of going to press

Up to 19 passengers. Range: 7,000km. L 33.84m x W 34.1m


GUIDE TO EDINBURGH The Inspector Rebus author extols the charms of wide-open spaces, convivial bars and great curry houses in the city WORDS: GARETH REES

I love Edinburgh because it is a small city, so very manageable. You can walk almost everywhere. It has all the amenities of a capital city, a fascinating history, gorgeous vistas and landscapes. It has wonderful pubs and places to eat, and much of it is off the beaten track, turning visitor and local alike into an explorer. When I’m away, I miss the plethora of small traditional bars. I miss those regular views of the Castle. I miss the wide-open spaces – there are no skyscrapers in Edinburgh. If you have just 48 hours here, climb Calton Hill for 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Or, for further exertion, walk around Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat. You’re still in the city, but you’ll feel as though you are alone in the Highlands. I love the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. You could spend a whole (rainy) day there. The walk from the Castle to Holyrood is very busy with tourists, but step off the main drag down one of the countless lanes and you will step back in time a couple of hundred years. My favourite neighbourhood is New Town.


55.9533° N, 3.1883° W

It’s great to walk around, filled with elegant terraces and plenty of nooks, crannies, eateries and bars to explore. Don’t miss Ann Street and nearby Circus Lane – both are stunning. My favourite restaurant very much depends on the location. For a slap-up meal there are so many choices: Mark Greenaway; The Kitchin; Ondine; Wedgwood… But every neighbourhood has a good local place, and the fish n chip shops are worth trying, too. I like traditional bars where the focus is on great beer and convivial chat. Inspector Rebus (from Rankin’s detective novels) drinks at The Oxford Bar, but I can also be found in the likes of the Bow Bar, Abbotsford, Blue Blazer and Bennets – to name just a few! We’re not short of curry houses either. Rebus can be found at Pataka (it’s close to where he lives). A great local band right now is Blue Rose Code. The best description of their music may be ‘Caledonian soul’. The Jazz Bar is a great allyear-round venue. But drop into bars such as Sandy Bell’s and you may find folk musicians having a jam.

On October 1, Emirates launched its new nonstop daily service from Dubai to Edinburgh.

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