Open Skies October 2019

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ONE YEAR TO GO Expo 2020 Dubai – the world’s greatest show – is nearly upon us


Going electric. Staying Mercedes. Enjoy electric. With the all-new EQC.

The all-new EQC. Learn more: EQC 400 4MATIC: Combined electric energy consumption: 20.8–19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km.1 1Electric energy consumption and range have been determined on the basis of Regulation (EC) no. 692/2008. Electric energy consumption and range depend on the vehicle configuration.


























CONTRIBUTORS Adrienne Bernhard; Céline Clanet; Emma Coiler; Ben East; Sarah Gillespie; Gina Johnson; Dom Joly; Emily Lush; Ben Mack; Conor Purcell. Front cover: Dany Eid




















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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AT GLIDING ACROSS THE OCEAN Feel the Joy of gliding across the endless expanse of the Indian Ocean when you stay on the 85 ft Azimut superyacht MY Vittaveli. Let the experienced crew guide you to secluded powder white beaches and hidden spots around the atolls, going beyond the beaten path and discovering your own private Maldives. | +960 664 2020

HOME OF ABU DHABI‘S CULTURE Opening Season The Cultural Foundation at Al Hosn cultural site inaugurates the new state of the art Abu Dhabi Children’s Library, the renovated theatre, and a visual arts programme starting with ‘Luminescence’, a solo exhibition by Emirati artist Najat Makki and ‘The Tribute: A Dedication to Najat Makki’, an exhibition featuring 19 Emirati artists.


62 DUBAI One more year A countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai 62





Experience 16 Stay: From Jaipur to Puglia 18 Dom Joly’s great American roadtrip 26 In Mayfair, no appointment needed 28 Neighbourhood: Xinyi, Taipei 34 Following the hippie trail 42 The resurgence of the scam artist 48 Secret cities in Russian Lapland 52

Latest news 74 Inside Emirates 76 Destination: Cairo 78 UAE Smart Gate 80 Route maps 82 The fleet 88 Celebrity directions: Joker star Zazie Beetz’s guide to New York 90

Are you an author? Greg Mosse on teaching novel writing 70





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Look at old photographs from the hippie trail – a peripatetic journey that meandered through Istanbul, Kathmandu, Goa, Afghanistan and a host of South Asian countries in the 1950s to 1970s – and you will start to see a few recurrent themes. Flooded or overturned buses were a common one, as were travellers’ appearances – clad as they were in tunics, loose trousers and shaggy hair (one consulate sternly warned that visas would not be approved for travellers with “Beetles [sic] haircuts”). Yet evident too in the images are expressions of hope. Much as they are maligned now – and questionable as some of their cultural appropriation certainly was – these young men and women travelled in search of a higher meaning; of lands that believed in something they considered superior to their own Western experience. On p42, their journey to find enlightenment in the Far East is explored. From the East to the North, the Kola Peninsula – known as “Russian Lapland” – has a decidedly different view on life. Céline Clanet photographed the Northwesternmost point of Russia over a five-year period; on p52, one can see in her images the unique infrastructure of the region. From its closed – and somewhat bleak – cities to the natural beauty of the tundra, each community is separated by what Clanet refers to as “invisible borders”. Taken to see the Sámi people by snowmobile, friends in Murmansk told her it was the first time they had ever been to that area, despite living in the region their entire lives. It perhaps serves as proof that sometimes, it takes an outsider to break down those borders – little by little, image by image.

Georgina Lavers, Editor


YOUR JOURNEY TO MAKKAH STARTS HERE Millennium Makkah Al Naseem is conveniently located in Makkah Al Mukarramah close to the holy sites including Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifa. As part of the Al Rajhi Complex in Al Naseem district, the hotel includes (631) modern rooms and (190) spacious suites offering a relaxing atmosphere and lavish experience for those on pilgrimages and on business trips.

BOOK NOW THE BEST AVAILABLE RATE Millennium Makkah Al Naseem T. +966 12 550 9700 | E. | W. Taif Road, Al Naseem, Makkah 24245, Saudi Arabia


Headline Earthly deliti aut glories ulparib udis Lorem ipsum Obit aut asped quasserspel molofrom dolesequam eum nonsequamus amenduciati velit autas Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur. Ninety minutes the city es lies Alila Fort Bishangarh, a 230-year-old ipsandel ipsam a deliquat Ehenihillo il el ium facepe venihil itatiasriding ant volum velecerovid ullesec defensive fortress where guests can experience silversmithing, and carpet weaving. p.24p.20



The men that lift buses When the World’s Ultimate Strongman competition comes to Dubai this month, Jerry Pritchett will be hoping to beat 14 other athletes to the crown in a breathtaking exhibition of superhuman strength Strongman events always seem very pure – a competition to see who is the strongest. Is that why people flock to see it, do you think? The sport of Strongman has always been a spectacle. People want to live vicariously through the athletes and see them perform superhuman feats. It’s entertaining to the average human, inspiring to anyone who wants to pursue strength and of course to the young population Strongmen are almost seen as superheroes: pulling planes, lifting logs and flipping cars. It’s the kind of stuff you can’t imagine a normal person doing that makes it so exciting. On top of that, pit 15 of them against each other and of course everyone will want to know who is the strongest.

There are lots of events in the competition. What’s your favourite, and which one do you dread just a little bit? My favourite would be the deadlift, where a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground. Always has been. And the one

I dread the most is the 700lb yoke and carry, where you have to lift a weight and walk with it. Scares the hell out of me!

It’s your first time at World’s Ultimate Strongman. What attracted you to it? It’s the biggest Strongman show with the highest prize purse and the top athletes lined up for it. That takes things to a whole other level: having the best of the best competing neck and neck. I’m really looking forward to competing, because the sport is taking major steps to improve the athlete’s treatment – and just upping the game in general.

Can you give us some sort of idea of the kind of training regime you have to undergo to get yourself among the 15 strongest men in the world? For Strongman you have to add “event training” on top of your regular gym training routine. In my case, I would average about eight hours a week event training, plus my usual weight and conditioning training. In addition, of course, one has to take into account the feeding that

goes along with it. You just can’t reach that level without enough calories so the eating is pretty constant. Sometimes, it can reach around 10,000 calories a day.

How did you get into this kind of extreme athleticism – and what do you get out of it? I actually started out in powerlifting and transitioned into Strongman. There is something about constantly pushing your body to the limit and always trying to push the envelope that excites me. And of course upon achievement, there is a deep sense of personal satisfaction that is just unexplainable

Do you need some showmanship, too? Trust me, lifting almost half a tonne off the floor is showmanship enough. Having said that, just like any other sport we feed off the crowd and try to get them engaged as much as possible. Usually, they are just staring with their jaws dropped! Meydan Grandstand, Dubai, UAE. The 6’ 4”, 165kg 38-year-old will be competing for the title of World’s Ultimate Strongman in Dubai this October


DIWALI Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists worldwide, Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness. And what better way to celebrate than with literal lights, such as incredible fireworks displays? While India may be where it originated, large public Diwali celebrations now take place across the globe, including Dubai, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland and more. You can even take part in celebrations in places you might not first think of, like Fiji. India and worldwide



OCTOBER 22 – JUNE 2020




October is when leaves begin to change colours in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. One of the most underrated spots to enjoy the changing of the seasons is around South Korea’s capital of Seoul. Though it’s within the limits of one of Asia’s largest cities, visiting Suraksan feels like stepping into another world . Seoul, South Korea.

One of the last races of the year on the F1 calendar, the Japanese Grand Prix is where many championships have been decided, with 13 of the 34 Grand Prix races held in Japan determining the overall winner. While Lewis Hamilton is currently in the lead, a strong showing by a rival could unseat him – and end his streak of two consecutive wins. Suzuka City, Japan.

NBA basketball is second only to football in terms of worldwide popularity, and its latest season is kicking off in 30 different US and Canadian cities. With a number of the biggest stars playing for new teams and no clearcut favourite for the first time in many years, it promises to be one of the league’s most exciting seasons ever. Venues across the US and Canada.



24.4539° N, 54.3773° E


A Marriott brand with Studio 54 leanings finds its home in Abu Dhabi


Appealing to Abu Dhabi’s forward-thinking visitors, the hotel brand EDITION chose Al Bateen Marina as the location of its eighth boutique property. As a completely plastic-free hotel, the property has a fresh outlook on the future of sustainability in hospitality that sets it at a different level to its more traditional neighbours. Attention to detail is evident throughout but particularly in the lobby, with the hotel’s five floors wrapped around a wooden atrium overlooking the dynamic space. The focal point is a kinetic installation, which gently repositions its glass cylinders every few minutes to create a new work of art. Created by Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott, all of the EDITION hotels are designed with sophisticated glamour at their core. This Middle Eastern property is no exception. The 198 spacious hotel rooms offer a modern haven within which guests can un-

wind and recharge. Each has a neutral colour palette, without a single ruffle or tassel in sight. There’s a show-home feel to each room, without coming across as clinical. On the ground floor, a golden pool table dominates the lounge, lending a communal feel to the space. Step outside to find a celestial-blue infinity pool, surrounded by chic wooden sun loungers topped with deep white cushions. All three of the EDITION’s signature restaurants are curated by acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, giving guests fine dining principles in relaxed settings. Each offer a different aesthetic: steakhouse Oak Room is famous for its Galician blonde beef – cattle that live up to 17 years old before being slaughtered – whilst healthy offering Market is all about the buddha and acai bowls. Finally, the EDITION Spa’s seven treatment rooms offer contemporary relaxation. Opt for a room with floor to ceiling windows, and melt into the poolside view.

IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Abu Dhabi’s artistic (inside and out) marvel, The Louvre, is a 20-minute drive away and contains Rembrandt and Mondrian treasures. New experiences have also recently been introduced, such as nighttime kayaking trips around the museum’s moat. EDITION recently launched its own nightclub, Annex – the ground floor offers a vibrant addition to Abu Dhabi’s flourishing nightlife scene.


Planning a visit to Dubai and the UAE? Watch Emirates & Dubai TV on ice, where you’ll find channels dedicated to Tourist Attractions, Dining, Activities, Entertainment, Golfing and Hotels & Resorts.

ALPINE EAGLE With its pure and sophisticated lines, Alpine Eagle offers a contemporary reinterpretation of one of our iconic creations. Its 41 mm case houses an automatic, chronometer-certified movement, the Chopard 01.01-C. Forged in Lucent Steel A223, an exclusive ultra-resistant metal resulting from four years of research and development, this exceptional timepiece, proudly developed and handcrafted by our artisans, showcases the full range of watchmaking skills cultivated within our Manufacture.



50.8503° N, 4.3517° E


A religious, then artistic haven becomes the Dominican

A Brussels creation WORDS: CONOR PURCELL

FROM THE CONCIERGE Grand Place One of the great old squares of Europe, the Grand Place is lined with forty intricate guild houses as well as the Museum of the City of Brussels and the Town Hall. The buildings are spectacular – get there early in the morning before the hordes of tourists descend. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert Less than a minute’s walk from the hotel is one of Europe’s first covered shopping arcades. Built in 1846, this market – comprised of three covered halls – is a throwback to the days when Belgium was a major European power. These days you can pick up everything from Belgian chocolate (of course) to vintage globes. MIMA Step inside an old brewery to find the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art, which focuses on everything from graffiti and digital art to cutting-edge photography and illustration. Its business model is innovative too, relying on crowdfunding – MIMA has been a needed shot in the arm for the city’s cultural scene since its 2016 opening.

“This is the last picture I want to paint, but I want to surpass myself in it.” These were the words of Jacques-Louis David, who lived and created in a former Dominican abbey in the heart of Brussels. The neo-classical painter’s final work may be hanging in a city museum now, but traces of his style – as well as the property’s religious beginnings – can still be seen in design-led hotel, The Dominican. The elegant, pet-friendly property is a short walk from both the Grand Palace and Gallery Noe, and dominated by a leafy central courtyard used as the breakfast area in the morning. Indeed, there are few more pleasant things than sitting in a sun-kissed courtyard enjoying a morning coffee, while one of Europe’s great cities waits outside the door.

At night, the courtyard turns into a bar, one which attracts a significant number of locals – always a good sign. There’s a small but comprehensive wellness centre on the fifth floor, featuring a sauna and steam room, but the star of the show is the boxing room – with vintage boxing gloves and a full size punching bag to let off steam. The service throughout the hotel is attentive without being intrusive, and the overall feeling is of a casual elegance. The hotel is in the midst of many of the city’s attractions, and the area around St. Nicolas Church is filled with bars and restaurants. Should you wish to hop on a train to Paris – Jacques-Louis David’s birthplace – Bruxelles-Nord train station is but a five-minute walk away.


Emirates flies twice daily nonstop to Brussels with the Boeing 777-300ER.



40.7928° N, 17.1012° E


This farmhouse conversion retains a distinctly Puglian charm



Time is clearly delineated in Southern Italy, Puglia being no exception. Mornings are for work: espresso is thrown down standing at countertops; conversation is staccato. Relaxation comes a little later – irrespective of tourists used to 24-hour conveniences. Shops shutter, streets empty and the only sounds are the odd church bell, and the hum of packed beaches along the Adriatic. It stands to reason that one should adjust accordingly and relax in local luxury. Masseria Torre Maizza sits atop Italy’s heel, in classically Puglian countryside. Recently purchased by hotel brand Roccoforte, the 16th-Century property has been refurbished with traditional values in mind. The masseria – ‘farm’ in Italian – still embodies its agricultural heritage, with whitewashed tufo walls and hanging vines . Indeed, walking through the property, the most arresting feature is its scent. Briny olive trees punctuate their sweet orange and fig counterparts, a touch of zest added by an out-

crop of lemon trees – overlaid by heady rosemary and lavender plants that ring the pool. Forty rooms and suites have been decorated with a simple, almost rustic hand to complement their idyllic surroundings. Four have their own pools, and most contain a small private garden with sunloungers. For dining, chef Pierangelini’s artful menus are served by candlelight in the vaulted dining room or open-air in the gardens, under the stone colonnade framing the 20-metre pool. The curation of an atmosphere is clear: whether it be from the no-phone rule instilled pool-side, or the guest musicians, whose sounds drift across the masseria in a summer’s evening. After reading the papers over a breakfast of local tomatoes and cheese, guests may borrow a bicycle to cruise around the private villas in the area, or a set of clubs for a round at the on-site golf course. Or, simply sit by the stone-columned pool and indulge in la dolce far niente – a worthy pursuit in Southern Italy.

Monopoli For church spotters, Monopoli is parallel to none: this oldschool Italian town boasts a baroque cathedral, as well as more humble edifices, around every cobblestoned corner. At its coast, octopi are piled up on the traditional gozzi – blue and red fishing boats. Alberobello Trulli, the peculiar cone-shaped dwellings in Alberobello, may be beloved now – and UNESCO-listed – but they were not so prized by their 15th-Century residents; peasants who were ordered by their Count to build homes that could be easily torn down for tax reasons. Polignano a Mare For that classic clifftop Italian vista, look no further than Polignano a Mare, where sea spray blasts sunbleached villas carved into the rock. After a requisite picture, head down into the bowels of the town: Grotta Palazzese is a fine dining restaurant built into the side of a cave.

From top: Each Friday in summer the pool is converted into a restaurant, with floating lanterns and live music; Rooms were designed in collaboration with local artisans


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



26.9124° N, 75.7873° E


A restored fort, located far from the madding crowds on the conventional Jaipur to Jodhpur trail, offers a cultural experience steeped in luxury

Fortress of fancy WORDS: GINA JOHNSON

THREE EXPERIENCES TO TRY Artisanal tour Bishangarh is known for its unique style and exquisite workmanship of handmade silver jewellery, carpet weaving and pottery. Guests can experience a guided tour of the village, while meeting the locals and learning their crafts. The warrior’s horse Relive the era of the Shekhawati dynasty on a horse-riding adventure that takes you along a trail that traverses the local river bed of Bishangarh. The trail passes a 500-year-old Hanuman temple, culminating in a picnic lunch at an abandoned shelter. Rajasthani Rasosda masterclass Under the eye of the hotel’s culinary experts, master your skills in preparing a simple homecooked Rajasthani meal. The chef will give you the recipe to take away and try at home.

As you approach Alila Fort Bishangarh from the main road connecting Jaipur and Delhi, you could be forgiven for assuming there is much ado about nothing. The surroundings are beautiful, for sure. This far out of Jaipur (90 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on traffic), bustling street markets and majestic palaces are replaced by verdant pastural land, which spreads out on either side of the bustling freeway. Pocked with rolling green hills and little villages, this is rural Rajasthan in all its lucid, earthy glory. It comes as quite a shock to the senses, then, to come upon Alila Fort Bishangarh in the Aravalli hills. Its imposing structure, after farmland for miles, is a site to behold. The hotel is cloistered within the walls of a 230-year-old defensive fortress which took more than seven years to restore. The transformation is astounding and, in the vein of other Alila properties around the world,

plays to a sense of indigenous authenticity, both in its sensitive design and its culturally relevant, off-the-beaten-track location. Guests are encouraged to experience local village life, with workshops on pottery, carpet weaving and silversmithing available. The all-suite heritage hotel comprises 59 guest rooms – all uniquely designed – and is located in the fort which is built in to a granite hill with 360-degree views of the Rajasthan countryside. There’s a separate structure below which houses an arrival pavilion, a sumptuous swimming pool, a kids’ club and a casual Mediterranean restaurant. Another couple of restaurants are located within the fort including the allday-dining Amarsar and the impressive Nazaara. At the latter, guests can enjoy delicious Rajasthan hunter cuisine cooked in traditional sandpits or over a live fire, while dining under the stars.


Emirates serves nine destinations in India – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

In Africa, every valley can be Silicon Valley. Any dream can become a reality, with over 560 million Africans covered by a high-speed digital highway. When you can reach out to the most isolated people amongst you, and connect them from village to village, from nation to nation and from there to the world, you go. When you can use technology to teach, where books can’t reach, we all go. When 30 million people who could never bank before, now have a bank in their pocket, they go. Every day, MTN is inspired by the unstoppable spirit of the people we serve. That’s why,

We’re good together.


everywhere you go


UTAH 39.3210° N, 111.0937° W

The state I’m in Dom Joly’s Great American Roadtrip isn’t without its pitfalls

Emirates serves 12 destinations across the USA – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Orlando and Ft Lauderdale.

I’m just back from America and another potential divorce trip to rival our infamous “Cotswolds to Istanbul and back” tour of 2015. This time, the Joly family piled into a car at LAX and drove around California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. What could possibly go wrong? Well, apart from a seventy-mile road battle with a motorcycle gang, a disastrous night on a Vegas blackjack table with Hank from Breaking Bad, just missing a deadly rockslide in Zion and finally cracking and refusing to leave a 30 per cent tip for a woman handing me a cup of cup of skinny, organic, fair-trade, almond milk, blonde, vanilla, macchiato… not much. Utah, however, is pretty much my new favourite place in the world. We kicked off in Zion where we headed up the Narrows, a vertiginous canyon that we explored by wading up the ice-cold river that runs through it. The further we went, the more people we left behind. This was not always the case for our trip around the Mormon state. In Moab, a town that seems to be exclusively set up for hippies who exercise, we got a local to recommend his favourite ole’ swimming hole, and set off on a gorgeous three mile hike up a canyon. The swimming hole was stunning and a perfect find – except for the group of forty noisy high schoolers who had found it just before us. We didn’t stay long. Sometimes travel is just like Instagram, and sometimes it’s just like IRL.

Monument Valley was a destination that has been top of my bucket list for quite a while. The sheer scale of the place coupled with the uncanny stillness reminded me of childhood trips through the Syrian Desert. We were nervous arriving in Bryce Canyon, a place I knew nothing about – but sometimes travel is better that way. Our initial disappointment at what looked like a hokey, Wild West town made by Disney turned into utter joy when we drove into the park and got our first view of the Canyon itself. It was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip. It’s almost indescribable; like looking down into a massive bowl in which termites have built stone skyscrapers. We just stood and stared for hours. We left Utah on a high and headed towards LA, stopping to spend the night in an oasis in Death Valley. As we pulled up to reception at five in the afternoon the car thermometer registered fifty degrees centigrade, and then promptly collapsed of heat stroke. Back in LA we spent several days in Venice Beach, where the electric scooter has taken over. Everywhere you looked scooters sat abandoned, pleading with you to ride them. About seven different companies are vying for market share at the moment and to say that there is a glut of the things would be an understatement. But they do seem to be the future – maybe not in Death Valley, but in major cities. Should my next family roadtrip be on scooters? Food for thought…


In a harsh retail climate, the most rareified of neighbourhoods looks to rebrand WORDS: GEORGINA LAVERS

Mayfair: open to all

Shepherd Market in Mayfair, 1956

Walking through the terracotta grandeur that epitomises much of Mayfair is an undeniably London experience. Cobblestoned pathways snake between backs of shops, emerging onto large, handsome plazas, churches and verdant squares. Pedestrians clip down the streets smartly, dashing into one of the neighbourhood’s haunts. Perhaps Scott’s, for a business lunch – the theatrical fish restaurant first opened as an “oyster warehouse” in 1951, and has a private agate-tiled dining room lined with Pissaros and Chagalles. Or the Dorchester, where suites hit the £5,000-per-night mark and the bartenders seem to know everyone’s name. Or to one of the various niche stores that seem to exist only in Mayfair: James Purdey and Sons for shotguns; Mercury or Ventura for a luxury yacht broker; the secretive Goyard for a logoed, £2,000 canvas tote. Accompanying these swathes of wellheeled pedestrians that flit in and out of historic establishments is, perhaps, a sense of outsiderness; the feeling that one does not quite fit into this rarefied world. It is this feeling that Grosvenor Estate – which owns most of Northern Mayfair – would like to dispel. Mayfair has not always been such a society lady, having had something of





an Eliza Dolittle transformation over the centuries. Originally marshland next to the River Tyburn, it was in the 17th Century that King James II decided a fair to celebrate the beginnings of summer was in order, to take place at the start of May. The name Mayfair was thus born, but was not immediately synonymous with prosperity. The fair was a slightly disorderly event, with bareknuckle fighting and semolina eating. It didn’t do much to endear itself local residents, and was summarily dismissed to East London, where it was thought to be a better fit. The district only started to gain major traction when acquired by Sir Thomas Grosvenor through marriage, who be-

gan to develop Hanover, Berkeley and Grosvenor Squares. Aristocracy followed, and quickly became the driving force behind the area’s high-society reputation. When they were replaced by embassies and hotels, the idea of Mayfair as an exclusive locale had been cemented. Much of the area is now owned by the Grosvenor Group, one of the largest privately-owned property companies in the world, with £11.8bn in assets under management and the 7th Duke of Westminster – 28-year-old Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor – at the helm. For them, the wheels are in motion to redefine the area once again. “The historic and – to an extent current – perception of Mayfair and Bel-

gravia is that they are exclusive, high price point areas. On the one hand that’s a great strength, but on the other hand it’s a real weakness,” says Joanna Lea, the director of retail for Grosvenor Group. “It makes it feel like you have to be a certain kind of person to come, and that’s something we are really trying to fix.” Why would an exclusive neighbourhood want to relinquish that title? For the last few decades, numerous districts in city centres have been accused of gentrification – gussying up their streets in order to make them more “attractive” to a certain kind of resident. Recently in the press was the rather excellently-named Pigtown, in Brooklyn – whose renaming



1. Brown Hart Gardens, a public garden on top of an electricity substation 2. Comptoir is a café by day, wine bar by night 3. Mount Street is characterised by its independent luxury fashion 4. Scottish-based accessories brand Strathberry recently opened their second store in the area 5. Italian pasticceria Marchesi 1824, owned by fashion house Prada 6. Fish and chip shop, the Mayfair Chippy

as Wingate by developers (perhaps assuming that people wouldn’t want to live in a place called Pigtown) caused outrage in the community. It would seem contrary, then, that Mayfair is looking to somewhat dampen down its reputation in a world where “attractiveness” is a worthy aspiration for a locale. Yet, rarefication does not go hand in hand with profit. Researcher Local Data Company has documented the closure of 1,588 women’s clothes stores, 861 shoe shops and 698 fashion shops between 2013 and 2017 in the UK. In a report last year, it indicated that “2018 was one of the toughest periods in recent years for retailers… evidenced by



the number of openings slowing down to a five year low of 43,278.” Mayfair – especially North Mayfair – has been coveting foot traffic from Oxford and Regent Street, two of the most successful retail streets in the entirety of the UK. Part of Grosvenor Group’s strategy is to convert this intense pedestrian activity onto North Mayfair’s smaller streets. In this era of accessibility, when most purchases can be desired and then acquired on online platforms, retail has to be experiential enough to lure shoppers away from e-commerce – but not so exclusive as to put people off. Mayfair’s historic “appointment only” shops, where one rings a bell and waits anxiously to

be granted access, have no place for the landlord. Says Lea: “Essentially, if you do not keep your shop door open and are not welcoming to everybody and anybody that wants to come in – there is no place in our strategy moving forwards.” To shift the attitude toward Mayfair, the group is set on changing its retail experiences, says Lea. “You change a place by changing the retail because that’s what they see and that’s what they experience. If I had a pound for every time someone said to me, ‘I don’t understand shopping,’” she adds. “I tell them all the same thing: “Do you go to the supermarket? Then you shop.” In North Mayfair, gone are the




7. Online store MATCHESFASHION opened its first brick and mortar store in Carlos Square last year 8. Public event Summer in the Square has been held for the last eight years

overpriced boutiques, in their place more accessibly-priced, inclusive tenants. There’s French Connection Studio, home to fashion and homeware, or Duck & Dry, where a blow dry starts at £15. Food is a major focal point, too: St. Mark’s Church is being converted into a home for Mercato Metropolitano, an affordable Italian market. Public events are another vital way of making areas more inclusive: the spirit of the 17th-Century May Fair (perhaps without the semolina eating) has been revived with Summer in the Square for the past eight years, and a recent activation of a butterfly-filled biosphere – where visitors could sip nectar and learn about the plight of the insects – was both whimsical and environmental. This in-

dependent spirit can be seen in the area’s choice of events, as well as the brands it allows to lease in the district. “Sixty-six per cent of our estate is let to independents. I think that would surprise some people,” says Lea. Having independents has somewhat sheltered the estate from retail downturn – they cannot decide on a whim to shutter a number of stores, as a chain can. Moreover, independent stores mean a return to a more traditional type of retail experience. The decline – and homogenisation – of the British high street is an emotive subject: many see it as an unavoidable fatality in a new world of e-commerce. But on wandering around Carlos Place in North Mayfair, it appears as if is one is back in a retail renaissance.

A curved row of houses contain ethereal wedding dresses from UK designer Jenny Packham; the only MATCHESFASHION store in the UK; minimalist grunge from the Row… all fringed by public art piece ‘Silence’, a tree submerged in an infinity pond by Tadao Ando. It may not be inclusive for every wallet, but there can be no denying that Mayfair’s high society roots are becoming just a little more accessible.

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 777-300ER service to Stansted.




25.0330° N, 121.5654° E

A lively arts scene, luxe shopping and untouristy street food are three reasons to join the cool kids in this dynamic ‘hood



On setting foot in Xinyi, you would be forgiven for thinking you had arrived in Manhattan. Yellow cabs whizz by with little regard for pedestrians; a browse around the shops suggests a fondness for high-end brands. And as Taipei’s financial district, it glitters with skyscrapers – the 508-metre, bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 was once the world’s tallest. In 2020, it will be joined by the US$1 billion, 280-metre Taipei Sky Tower. Home to two luxury hotels and a shopping mall, the tower is a bold statement to potential visitors: come on in, we’re open. It’s remarkable considering that Xinyi officially came into existence less than 30 years ago. A 1920 map of the

Left: Taipei 101. The tower’s observatory is open daily from 9am-10pm

area shows nothing but undeveloped marshland – after the land was annexed by Taipei in 1938, it was mostly used to grow crops. In 1981, work started on the Xinyi Planned Area, intended as the city’s new governmental and financial centre, but it wasn’t until 1990 that the city government founded Xinyi district, carving out parts of neighbouring Da’an and Songshan districts to do so. Today, Xinyi’s high-rise properties rank among the world’s most expensive. Despite its wealth, at ground level Xinyi retains a kooky charm that is quintessentially Taiwanese. Canteen-style “lunchbox” restaurants serve garrulous locals crowded around boxy CRT televisions, and incense emanates from the Buddhist and Taoist shrines at every storefront. A journey from north to south reveals manicured gardens with tall trees and koi-filled ponds. Head east along Xinyi Road, past the buskers and street-food stalls on Xinyi Plaza, then south to find the trailhead leading to the deep forests of Elephant Mountain, which has superlative views of the skyline. It’s best to time a visit to the mountain with sunset – which is crowded but picturesque – or New Year’s Eve, when fireworks launch from the tiers of Taipei 101.


SONGSHAN CULTURAL AND CREATIVE PARK This sprawling cultural complex epitomises Taipei’s transition from manufacturing hub to design capital. Originally a 1930s tobacco factory, Songshan closed its doors in 1998, reopening in 2011 as an arts centre championing local talent. Check out inBlooom, founded by Taipei University of the Arts graduate Qiuqiong Yu, where you can browse printed gifts from 100 Taiwanese suppliers. They also offer a 30-minute print-your-own experience, where customers can customise their own tote bag or T-shirt. When you’ve finished shopping, sip an Instagram-worthy coffee at Café Sole before taking in the neo-Baroque Eco-Pond outside – the statues are based on the tobacco factory’s female workers. No. 133, Guangfu South Road, +886 2 2765 1388,




SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL Western-educated doctor Sun Yat-Sen was instrumental in ending dynastic Chinese rule, becoming the first president of the Republic of China in 1911. Though his ruling Kuomintang party were eventually overthrown on the mainland, they retained power over Taiwan and it is for this reason that many see him as the father of the nation. His

neoclassical memorial hall, designed by local architect Wang Da-Hung, cuts an imposing silhouette, even against Xinyi’s busy skyline. Arrive on the hour to watch the smartly clad guards perform an elaborate changeover. The surrounding gardens are prime people-watching territory, especially in the late afternoon when groups of elderly Taiwanese practice tai chi and giggling teens dance to Mandopop. No. 505, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, +886 2 2758 8008







TAIPEI 101 OBSERVATORY On a clear day, the views from this 89thfloor observation deck stretch beyond the city boundaries, where the suburbs knit into the surrounding forest. Its rear view is even more impressive – the “damper,” a 660-ton steel sphere, steadies the tower during earthquakes and high winds. In April this year, the damper recorded the largest movement in its 15-year history, moving 20 centimetres during a 6.1 magnitude quake. The tower’s elevators are also an impressive feat of engineering, with a top speed of 38mph. Zoom downstairs to get your luxury shopping fix at the five-storey mall, which stocks international brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. 110, Section 5, Xinyi Road, +886 2 8101 8898,


For a different sort of architectural oddity, check out the semi-abandoned pod of Futuro houses on Wanli Beach, also known as the “UFO Village”

Located in the basement of the ATT4FUN shopping mall, this interactive gift store is dedicated to Japanese animation behemoth Studio Ghibli. A life-sized plaster tree sprouts from the floor, covering the ceiling in a sparkling canopy of pinecones and baubles; press a button on the trunk to illuminate a snoozing animatronic Totoro (of “My Neighbour Totoro” fame). Photo opportunities abound – pose inside a grinning Cat-Bus or next to the sinister masked No-Face from “Spirited Away.” For kids, kawaii treats abound: from backpacks to plush toys. 110 Songshou Road, +886 2 7736 1005,



JIMMY’S MOON BUS Ideal for those with kids, this lovely public art installation celebrates Taiwanese author Jimmy Liao’s children’s book, When the Moon Forgot. Glimmering gold moons reflect in a still pool; inside the bus, sculptures modelled on Liao’s illustrations tell the tale of the boy who finds the moon fallen from the sky and nurses it back to health. It’s not large, but it’s worth a visit if you’re in the vicinity, particularly when the bus lights up at night. No. 100, Section 5, Xinyi Road, +886 2 2729 2000







XIANGSHAN HIKING TRAIL One of Taipei’s biggest draws is its proximity to nature – few places embody this as well as Xiangshan, or Elephant Mountain, a verdant oasis that cuts right

through Xinyi’s skyscrapers, and offers a fantastic view over the district. Within minutes of starting the 600-step climb to the peak, the jungle closes in and you’re surrounded by fragrant camphor trees and nodding, blood-red hibiscus flowers. Information points explain the medicinal and economic significance of various plants. There are intermediate viewpoints for those without the time or energy to reach the top, including a group of boulders deliberately placed for photo opportunities. Dedicated hikers can turn right just before the peak for a trail that snakes deep into the jungle, taking in numerous temples along the way. Alley 342, Lane 150, Section 5, Xinyi Road

Compared with the better-known night markets in Taipei’s northern districts, Tonghua attracts few tourists, which allows for leisurely browsing of stalls and chatting to sellers. Chow down on juicy, meat-filled steamed bao buns, fried balls of “popcorn” chicken, or try a local favourite: rice sausage. Taipei’s answer to hotdogs, the offering comprises a sweet sausage in a compacted sticky rice “bun,” sprinkled liberally with garlic. For dessert, order an ice-cream roll: neat balls of taro, coconut and pineapple ice cream are placed in a crepe and sprinkled with coriander and peanut brittle shavings. Watching the process is half the fun. Alley 1, Lane 40, Linjiang Street, Da’an District



Taiwan was once the world’s biggest exporter of camphor. Derived from the wood of the camphor tree, it was made into many important products including cough suppressant, perfumes, and film celluloid – the latter proving vital to the prosperity of the Hollywood film industry

Emirates flies nonstop daily to Taipei with the Airbus A380.


THE PHILIPPINES AS CORAL REEF Bangkota is the ancient Tagalog word for coral reef – the world’s biggest organism made up of the world’s smallest organisms. The Filipinos, like the coral reef, grow into colonies; spread out all over the world *, connected by Travel, Migration and Technology. *There are over two million Overseas Filipinos; 679, 819 Filipinos live in The United Arab Emirates of which 450,000 are in Dubai. 2018 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF)

CONTACT US Philippines Expo 2020 Secretariat Email:




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Right: Apart from the odd pair of bellbottomed jeans, practical clothes reigned king in often extreme temperatures

IT WAS, AT ONE POINT IN TIME, a rite of passage: a journey that started in Western Europe and crossed through the Balkans, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. This was a trek that saw tens of thousands of young people attempt to find enlightenment, inner peace, or just a rollicking good time. These were the hippies, the overlanders; young men and women who wanted to understand the world and their place in it. While the tourism revolution in the 1960s saw the majority of travellers head to the beaches of southern Europe, a different breed of tourist had other plans. They would traverse Europe, the Middle East and Asia, spending months travelling across 11,000 miles of terrain in order to find whatever it was they sought. Some yearned to escape the drudgery of their dead-end jobs in Luton or Liverpool or London, heading to Varanasi in India, and Kabul, and Kathmandu, and to Thailand’s then-unspoiled beaches. In some ways they were following in the footsteps of the beatniks: men and women who travelled through America, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road clutched in their hands and an ideal of escaping from the conformity of the post-World War II America. The journey was slow – planes were out, and the majority

went by bus or by train, or by hitching lifts. One company to capitalise on the trend was aptly-named The Magic Bus, which picked up travellers in small, private buses in Amsterdam. Prices were cheap – in 1971, a journey from Istanbul to Kathmandu cost just US$15. They clutched the BIT Guide, a prototype travel guide that was really just photocopied sheets of paper stuck together, filled with information on bus prices, clean guesthouses and the best place to get breakfast in Kabul. The stops along the way became intertwined with 1960s counterculture: Paradise Beach in Mykonos, Chicken Street in Kabul, Freak Street in Kathmandu, The Pudding Shop in Istanbul. These were the original social networks: legions of travellers exchanging currencies, swapping stories, giving advice and updates from the road. “I was eighteen years old when I went,” says Richard Gregory, who made the trip in 1974. “A basic ticket cost £50 from London to Delhi, much cheaper than flying, and it took two or three weeks. I was away for four months in total, coming back on local public transport as far as Istanbul then hitchhiking across Europe.” In Goa, long a hotbed of alternative culture, many travellers stayed – some joining ashrams to attempt to disco-

ver themselves within another culture. “People headed south for the beaches of Goa in winter, based around the village of Anjuna, where there were no other tourists,” says Gregory. Others headed further west, towards Kathmandu, which became the city most associated with the route. “To the road-sore travellers, medieval Kathmandu was a kind of promised land, a paradise lost and rediscovered,” says Rory Maclean. In his seminal book on the trail, The Magic Bus, he wrote: “The travellers checked into the Hotchpotch and the Matchbox, dirty warrens of cell-like rooms with low, head-cracking doorways and debated how best to heal the world and their back. “At the Bakery, many of them sold their jeans for strings of amber and red felt boots embroidered with flowers. Back then, Kathmandu was a place where many believed they could find a new way of living, where they had a chance to imagine a world without boundaries.” The overland route was nothing new, of course – the Silk Road was an important economic and cultural route for centuries, before the the isolationism of the Ming Dynasty shut it down. That so many of the stops along the hippie trail were isolated from Westerners nearly

Guesthouse in HerÄ t, Afghanistan, 1977


Band-e Amir National Park, a series of six lakes in Afghanistan

Below: A flooded highway between Mashhad and Tehran

46 Right: Hans Roodenburg hitches a lift

400 years later, reflects the finality of the Ming Dynasty’s decision. Kathmandu, for example, was completely unequipped to deal with an influx of Westerners; the first group of official tourists only arrived in the country in the spring of 1955 and were greeted by King Mahendra himself. The tourists – all Americans – were part of a round-the-world cruise and spent two days in the country on a stage managed visit. FURTHER EAST OF KATHMANDU the trail ended, blocked by the Himalayas. Some flew to Indonesia or Thailand and then

onto Australia, where they attempted to integrate back into Western life. Others stayed on as long as they could, until they either ran out of money, or went slightly mad. Others still had a more tragic ending, their sense of purpose evaporating as they reached the end of the line. As Rory Maclean wrote in his book, The Magic Bus: “Many intrepids reached Nepal and found themselves at a loss. Was the sacred mountain landscape really their spiritual haven? Could isolated Nepal actually sustain a harmonious fusion of East and West? And if Kathmandu, hidden by a ring of snow-covered peaks, wasn’t para-

dise, then where was it? No one had asked where to go after the End of the Road.” During the 1960s, Nepal had opened itself up to tourists, but the tourists that came were not the middle-aged tour groups that so impressed the king back in 1955. They were young, dreadlocked dreamers, many of whom had no intention of leaving. By the mid-Seventies any idealistic view the Nepalis had about tourists had long since vanished. King Mahendra died in 1972, and in 1975, a few months before his son, King Birendra’s coronation, there was a mass clear out of foreigners. The hippies had outstayed their welcome and had turned the area south of Durbar Square in the centre of the city into a mess. This was the end of Freak Street and a precursor of things to come. Pressure came from the West too. In 1973, some Western governments forced the Nepali government to revoke longterm tourist visas, sick of seeing their


Below: Contrary to popular belief, travelling on the hippie trail involved a certain dedication to paperwork – from visas to road permits or vaccination certificates


citizens return home with fried brains. The same year, Kathmandu’s Chief of Police started demanding a monthly $1,000-rupee bribe to extend a visa. But soon, paying a bribe would be the least of the overlanders’ worries. IN 1979 RUSSIA INVADED AFGHANISTAN, and the country was effectively closed off to Westerners. Later that year, Iran had its revolution and that country too was no longer welcoming to tourists. Little by little the route had become more dangerous, and there were few willing to attempt it. Some did of course, and some died trying. Most others went home or kept going west, ending up in Australia or New Zealand. By the early 1980s, any hopes of a ‘hippie revolution’ had long since died. Neo liberalism economics had taken over the US and the UK and global capitalism had begun to dominate. Idealistic notions of ‘peace, love and happiness’ seemed like what they were: a throwback from another era.

Some even blamed the hippies for the seismic shifts in geopolitics. The legendary travel writer Bruce Chatwin, once said that Afghanistan’s descent into chaos began with the peace-loving hippies who descended on the conservative country, driving “educated Afghans into the arms of the Marxists.” For some, the whole notion of Eastern Enlightenment smacked of ignorance to begin with. Even now, forty years after the end of the trail, those clichés die hard. As the Nepali writer, Rabi Thapa writes: “As recently as 2000, the Let’s Go guide declared that “every romantic ideal you have ever envisaged about the Himalayan Kingdom is fulfilled.” Let’s get this straight, this ain’t no Shangri-La man, it never was. Most Nepalis are poor, some are rich, but we’re all so disenchanted with our Oriental enchantment that we are leaving in droves to nurture our private Nepals of the mind, an irony lost on most visitors. Where are we going, you might ask? Well, we have our dreams too – the siren song of the West is irresistible. Maybe if we meet in the middle, we’ll exchange notes.” Yes, globalisation has ensured that the hippie trail is now just a snapshot of a time before true mass air travel, before the internet, before the sameness that permeates so many places. The stops on the trail were – to Western eyes at least – truly eye opening experiences, experiences that changed the lives of many who travelled the route, as well as those that they met. If some of the ideas spouted by the hippies now sound rather naïve, it’s at least hopeful, and hope is a commodity in short supply in places such as Kabul, Peshawar and Kathmandu these days. “For me, the trail was life-changing in terms of education and personal development,” says Gregory. “I came home with a much better understanding of the world and its people, and a lot more confidence in my own capabilities. Those of us who did the trip are not getting any younger, and the trail will soon become a minor footnote in history at best. There have been attempts to “recreate” it for modern times, but without a peaceful Afghanistan the idea is a non-starter. And – there are very few hippies left.”


As a trading hub for centuries, Istanbul has always been cosmopolitan. The locals barely blinked an eye when wideeyed, tie-died hippies started arriving in the 60s. But the places where the overlanders made their home – the Pudding Shop, for example – have long gone.


This chaotic frontier town has always attracted the more adventurous traveller, at least until the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, when Peshawar became a staging post for Mujahedeen groups. Back in the 60s, it was more welcoming to foreigners, who would crash in flop houses and haggle with stallholders.


Long fabled among travellers for majestic buddhas that dominated the valley, Bamiyan attracted hordes of travellers for its climate and incredibly friendly locals. The tragedy of Afghan’s more recent history is that a place that was one of the route’s highlights became inaccessible to all but the most intrepid.


Long a magnet for those looking to drop out, this former Portuguese colony was a popular place to take a break for a few months. There’s still a counterculture vibe today, even if five-star hotels outnumber the meditation retreats.


Head to Freak Street today, once with the highest concentration of hippies on the entire trail, and you’ll see few reminders of that golden era – tie-dye sarongs have been replaced by Gore-tex clad tourists planning trips to Base Camp.

Fly to Kathmandu and to over 250 destinations worldwide with the Emirates-flydubai codeshare partnership that offers greater global connectivity through more destination choices, one integrated loyalty programme, and the convenience of travelling on a single ticket with seamless point-to-point baggage handling.





In 1850 the most famous man in America was not a surgeon, a politician or even the President. Instead, showman PT Barnum was the country’s foremost celebrity, and its original con artist. Barnum keenly understood that what the public wanted was to be flimflammed, and he used this insight to help invent mass entertainment. The pioneering impresario and shrewd entrepreneur organized travelling shows that held the promise of impossibility: ventriloquists, jugglers, living statuary, hypnotists, gypsies, rope-dancers and trapeze-artists, all of whom subscribed to – and exploited – a mythology of profit and reinvention. Barnum may have been a greedy huckster, but in many ways, he was simply repurposing the American Dream. His was a lightning-rod ascent from rags to riches, and he offered the same to his employees: independence, money and the possibility of adventure. In the land of lost boys, Peter Pan, fortune-tellers and snake charmers, Barnum was the Wizard behind the curtain, greasing a machine that ran on spectacle and promotion. After all, running off to join the circus was just a different form of capitalism – one that required a combination of ambition, originality, pluck and wit, like any self-made venture. From the devious bank creditors of pre-Civil War America to the double-dealings of modern-day frauds such as Bernie Madoff, con artists have always been American archetypes: figures who exemplify the land of opportunity. For all their vices, grifters often represent many of the virtues Americans aspire to. More than a century after the first circus came to town, we continue to celebrate the rascal, held rapt by the promise of their success, and the inevitability of their failure. But grifters don’t turn up regularly simply because society is entertained by them; these tricksters are a natural consequence of an economy that favors mobility, individualism and risk-taking. “Episodes of fraud raise fundamental questions about the workings of modern capitalism,” notes Edward J. Balleisen,



History Professor at Duke University and author of the book Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff. “Capitalist societies in which strangers deal with one another all the time depend on trust; deception threatens this key underpinning of capitalist exchange.” American laws and norms have vacillated for decades between consumer protection and relatively permissive regulatory policies that seem to look the other way. Eras of greed are thus nurtured by the constant churn of innovation, institutional policies of deregulation, and a gullible public forever searching for its get-rich-quick-scheme and snake-oil shortcut. The carnival circuit of the 20th Century profited off participants’ willing credulity; later decades, however, saw the rise and fall of dissemblers who were deft at cheating an unsuspecting public. Ferdinand Demara, for example, became infamous in the 1950s for his masquerades, including as a monk, a sheriff’s deputy, even a prison warden. In the 1970s, arch dissembler David Hampton inveigled his way into the lives of New York City’s upper crust by pretending to be the neglected son of actor Sidney Poitier, stealing thousands of dollars from those he wooed and inspiring several Hollywood films. Hucksters like these were able to build emotional connections through storytelling, weaving colourful tales that ingratiated them to their targets. A new century provided fresh formats. In the past few years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of Billy McFarland, the entrepreneur who dreamed up the doomed Bahamas-based Fyre music festival, and Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the spurious at-home blood-testing device Theranos. There was Anna Delvey (née Anna Sorokin), the “Soho Scammer” who freeloaded off hotels and charmed her way into the highest social circles of Manhattan, and Anna March, the literary grifter who posed as a bestselling novelist and cheated many of their writing workshop tuition. Recently, a man was exposed for faking a brain tumor in order to pocket donations from his charity bicycle rides. In many ways, these au-

dacious dissemblers are reincarnations of their predecessors. They take advantage of financial loopholes, swindling investors and the general public through compelling tales of victimhood or meteoric success. But something sets them apart: technology. Holmes, Delvey, McFarland and March were all early adopters of new media, naturally gravitating toward the frontier of innovation. These performers exploited their medium, peddling a product that was, like Barnum’s greatest show on earth, not entirely real. Technology accelerated their schemes, in part because the less people understand of an underlying business proposition, the more vulnerable they are to being taken in by scams. Theranos is a prime example: the company raised nearly a billion dollars from venture capitalists and private investors who were awe-struck by Holmes’ miracle medical device, the “Edison,” which she claimed would offer the first at-home blood analysis – despite the fact that she had no medical background or pharmaceutical expertise. (Holmes recently reached a settlement with the S.E.C., which required her to pay a fine and relinquish control of the company, among other penalties for fraud). People were captivated by an invention that would have altered the health industry, had the Edison worked; indeed, with years of rigorous testing and quality control, it might have. The modern circus is an Instagram “experience” – illusive, curated, entirely flimsy. Even skeptical consumers may find it difficult to distinguish between reality and fantasy, taken in by celebrity endorsements and grifters’ too-goodto-be-true claims. Billy McFarland, for example, imported famous models and promoted Pablo Escobar’s island as a selling point for his $5,000-a-ticket island festival, even though he really couldn’t afford to offer either. When attendees showed up on Great Exuma island in the Bahamas, flown in on private jets, they were escorted to FEMA-style tents on a hastily constructed site and given bread and ham sandwiches, even as headliner musical artists were pulling their act from

the weekend’s lineup. (McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 and ordered to forfeit $26 million). McFarland’s venture, which inspired rival streaming documentaries on Netflix and Hulu, also exposed the foibles of people who paid to party. Fyre festival victims drew less sympathy than scorn, as critics foamed at the mouth about their millennial privilege. “Victims of fraud often seem like fools who get what they deserve,” says Balleisen, “while the alleged perpetrators of fraud elicit considerable sympathy.” Indeed, the most gifted hucksters stake out a claim of victimhood themselves, backpedalling and blaming entrenched businesses or political figures. Others attempt to impersonate legitimately successful figureheads, which only adds to their veneer of authenticity. Elizabeth Holmes promoted Theranos in part by imitating the personal and management styles of previous Silicon Valley wunderkinds – right down to wearing the same kind of plain black turtleneck long associated with Steve Jobs. Anna Delvey used similar tactics to cultivate trust, acting the part of a wealthy socialite who racked up $10,000 in unpaid bills for personal-training sessions and cryotherapy manicures, VIP bottle service and first-class flights. Grifters’ dizzy ascents are matched only by their disastrous falls, but that’s always been part of their allure: they are figures that inspire both schadenfreude and admiration. Scammers are hard to resist, especially when their ventures are revealed to be simply the performance of an attractive life, not the living of it. From stage-magic to stock market manipulation, the wax and wane of the con artist is a cycle on endless repeat. Given that grifters hold so formidable a grasp on American consciousness, the election of those whose business career was built on deception seems a predictable culmination of this trend. The scamp sweet-talks his way into every industry, including the highest offices of political power. While we may find them undeniably convincing, grifters are little more than smoke and mirrors.





This is the place that births chess grandmasters. The place of closed cities that jealously guard nuclear secrets, and where inhabitants wrestle with year-long polar weather. Outsiders know it as the Kola Peninsula, or the Murmansk Oblast, or Russian Lapland; a land located at the northwestern most point of Russia, bordered by the Barents and White Seas. This curious and desolate region became an obsession for Céline Clanet, who spent five years continuously returning to photograph what she calls the ‘Great North Utopia’: where Sámi people settled thousands of years ago

with their reindeer herds. Nowadays, Clanet describes it as a “fragmented land” – parcelled up between miners, military and reindeer herders. Borders are both physical – Clanet could never gain access to the closed cities, where weapons programmes are said to be in resurgence – and metaphorical. “Inhabitants of the Kola Peninsula stay in their own area,” says Clanet, noting that when friends from Murmansk took her to the Sami areas, they told her they had never been there before – despite spending their whole lives in the region. “You come out of a preserved tundra with reindeer in the wild, and in a



couple of hours you’re in a heavily industrialised area with huge chimneys throwing up black smoke,” she says. “This place is crazy.” Practicalities of shooting were challenging: Clanet struggled to avoid lens condensation in temperatures that plunged below -25°C. “In wintertime you can get just a few minutes of light,” she says. “But in summer there is no night at all, and shooting can go on forever…” Basing herself at a friend’s flat in Murmansk and what she calls: “very, very basic guestrooms”, Clanet took five years with the project, travelling by snowmobile to the more remote locations, staying in huts or tents at the reindeer camps. The resulting imagery is at times political, at times beautiful, at times humorous. Though allowing Clanet a glimpse at its practices, one senses that this is a land that will forever remain just a little enigmatic.

Emirates serves two destinations in Russia – Moscow and St Petersburg.




hen the sun goes down in some areas of rural Rwanda, the day is over – an unforgiving reality for millions of people in developing countries that don’t have access to electricity. A lack of electricity at night means the inability to keep studying, working, and a general lessening of safety. It is a disruption to the daily patterns of life that one startup, championed by Expo 2020 Dubai, is tackling head on. Nuru Energy empowers entrepreneurial local villagers with a kit that contains portable LED lights and an innovative solar-powered charging station, used to recharge torches and other USB devices like mobile phones. The entrepreneurs charge a small fee each time they recharge a device – far less than the cost of disposable batteries, which contribute to landfill. In addition to increased productivity and quality of life, the programme keeps a portion of the local economy within the community that would otherwise go to a power company or battery manufacturer, and introduces a valuable new service to the neighbourhood. Rented or purchased lights give villagers up to 40 hours of use per recharge. The startup is supported by Expo Live, an innovation programme with an allocation of US$100 million to support ingenious innovators who have devised socially impactful projects that help push the world towards a brighter future. It has been just one of the success stories in the run-up to the global mega-event that is Expo 2020 Dubai, the first of its kind in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. As well as boosting their host country’s own reputation and standing, the Expo has always had a message of cross-cultural pollination. In the 19th Century, that meant the bringing of different tribes or small communities considered “exotic” to the event. Now, nations from every corner of the planet are coming together as equals to deliver Expo 2020 Dubai – a global destination that will host millions of visitors and hundreds of participants for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress. Nuru Energy is just one of extraordinary feats of creativity and ingenuity


being brought to life by the global event. Architecturally, the pavilions promise to outdo themselves. The Italian Pavilion is to be set under the overturned hulls of three ships; Poland will have thousands of ‘migrating’ paper birds hovering throughout its wooden pavilion; Brazil will lead visitors through a recreation of the Amazon basin. Throughout, three themes will underpin these amazing technological feats of innovation: themes whose wheels have been turning for the last six years.

THE BEGINNINGS Dubai won the bid to host the 2020 World Expo in November 2013. From that day forward, it embarked upon a journey towards the creation of a global collaborative platform that leaves a lasting legacy for both the UAE as a country, as well as all of its international participants. One of the world’s oldest and largest international events, taking place every five years and lasting six months, Ex-

pos are unrivalled among international events in their size, scale, duration and visitor numbers. They are large-scale platforms for education and progress that serve as a bridge between governments, companies, international organisations and citizens. Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’: the belief that innovation and progress are the result of people from different fields and backgrounds, who would not normally collaborate, coming together in new and unique ways to share ideas. The nations and organisations that will take part in Expo, and the millions who visit, will explore the power of these connections across the spheres of Opportunity – unlocking the potential for individuals and communities to shape the future; Mobility – creating smarter and more productive movement of people, goods and ideas, both physically and virtually; and Sustainability – respecting and living in balance

with the world we inhabit to ensure a sustainable future for all.

DELIVERING ON A PROMISE For the first time in the 168-year history of World Expos, every participating country at Expo 2020 will have its own pavilion. With one year to go, 192 countries have confirmed they will take part in Expo 2020, with dozens of nations already revealing the design, theme and visitor experience of their pavilions, and more being announced on a regular basis. From the UK Pavilion and its continuously-changing, AI-generated poem exterior to the innovative rotating cubes (and K-Pop) on offer at the Korean Pavilion – each nation is seeking to outdo itself in the championing of innovative themes through creative and resourceful ways. There will be more than 60 live events each day for 173 days, from music, dance and art to poetry slams and live talks. Al Wasl, the UAE’s first opera set to debut in October of next year, will


surely be a highlight. Site development at the physical Expo 2020 Dubai site began in March 2016, with the construction of the three Thematic Districts completed already, participating countries also breaking ground on their pavilion plots, and all major site construction set to be complete by the end of the year. As for economic impact, in April of this year EY published an independent report that stated that Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy are expected to contribute AED122.6 billion to the UAE’s economy from 2013–31. It is anticipated that Expo 2020 will also support up to 905,200 jobyears during the same timeframe, and contribute approximately 1.5 per cent of the UAE’s annual forecast GDP during the six months of the Expo.

Previous page: Al Wasl Plaza will be the iconic centerpiece of Expo 2020, and its dome will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface

A major focal point of this economic contribution has, and will be, championing and support of SMEs. To date, Expo 2020 has awarded AED 3.62 billion to SMEs, and programmes like the Innovation Impact Grant and University Innovation Programmes are already in full swing – the former having given 120 grantees from 65 countries funding, guidance and exposure. Currently, 55.4 per cent of all Expo 2020 contracts have been awarded to SMEs, some of which are local products already on sale, including artisan chocolate by Mirzam, camel soap by the Camel Soap Factory, and Bateel dates.

THE SITE Historically, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl, which translates from Arabic as “the Connection”, because of how it connected people from all over the region. The Expo seeks to recreate this idea of a cultural meeting point with its location. The site is located within the

Dubai South district, close to Al Maktoum International Airport and easily reached from Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals. On its 4.38 square kilometres are the three Thematic Districts that reflect the subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, as well as the 192 individual Country Pavilions that will showcase the unique architecture, culture and exhibits of each nation. Al Wasl Plaza will be the iconic centrepiece of Expo 2020. It will host major ceremonies and celebrations during and after Expo, and the venue’s steel trellis dome will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface. The main pavilions will reflect their values in both an aesthetic and content-driven manner. The Opportunity Pavilion will take visitors on a journey of self-discovery to understand the global challenges we face as humanity and demonstrate everyone’s ability to


make a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Mobility Pavilion will explore the movement of people, goods, ideas and data, and how mobility has driven humanity’s development from our first steps out of Africa to today’s cutting-edge innovations; and Terra – the Sustainability Pavilion will tell the story of humankind’s relationship with nature. Arguably one of the most important facets of the Expo, it is designed to empower visitors to understand their impact on the environment and become agents of change.

T H E S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y I S S U E The emotive journey through the Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion depicts humankind’s relationship with nature and shows the butterfly effect our actions have on the environment. It begins in a wadi – a dry riverbed – at the beginning of Arabia. Visitors continue their journey through a series of interactive installations: a giant balance maze requires the collaboration of multiple people to put Earth on to an even footing; the Gnasher, an insatiable machine that demonstrates the folly of single-use consumer products; a huge deep-sea fish, its body clogged with discarded plastic. But the focus on environmental solutions will not wait for the event to begin. Expo 2020 Dubai is already making a

sustainable commitment to its creation: for example, the on-site nursery is nurturing 500,000 shrubs and ground cover, and 13,000 mature trees that are either native or adaptable to the Middle East. Through these and other efforts, Expo 2020 hopes to show that it is possible – and critical – to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on our planet.

Left: The construction of Expo 2020’s three Thematic Districts was completed earlier this year

THE END GOALS Expo 2020 Dubai expects to welcome 25 million visits between October 2020 and April 2021, equivalent to welcoming the population of Australia through its gates in only six months. Each of these visits is important in its own right, as they will individually provide the catalyst for mammoth change. That change may be simply the chance to experience a local cuisine never tried before, or see an opera for the first time. It might be a chance for a volunteer to discover their passion for architecture, or a new job opportunity for a university student. It might be a startup’s access to a new source of funding, or a charity’s chance meeting with a new donor. Whatever the change, the simple act of attending will allow opportunities to open up, and access to new knowledge, new markets – new innovations. After all, Expo 2020 Dubai is all about the future.

A VISION OF A WORLD TOGETHER In 2013, when Dubai won its bid to host Expo 2020, it marked an exciting point in the future of Dubai and the vision of the United Arab Emirates. Now, six years on, it is an exciting point in our present. With 12 months until Expo 2020 Dubai brings the world together, we are now just a stepping stone away from the World’s Greatest Show. It is an enthralling journey, working alongside a team of more than 60 nationalities, each one bringing their vision, experience and voice into a bigger whole, and I have been privileged to witness the transformation of the Expo site from barren desert to a global hub of innovation, inspiration and optimism. Now, with just one year to go until the first World Expo in our region, excitement is building to new heights. For six inspirational months, Expo 2020 will bring together more than 200 participants and millions of vis-


itors from all corners of the planet in an unprecedented opportunity to find creative solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will be the ‘be there’ moment of our time, where visitors will enjoy a journey of discovery that not only entertains, but inspires each and every one of us to take action and make a conscious difference. These are ambitious goals. We are not only creating an exceptional venue that befits a spectacular global celebration, but a bedrock that inspires all of us to build a better tomorrow. It is a task we at Expo will continue to embrace with pride, because Expo 2020 is something truly historic, not just for Dubai and the UAE as we approach our nation’s Golden Jubilee, but for the world. We invite you to join us, and look forward to greeting you with an unforgettable ‘hayyakum’ Emirati welcome.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai

EXPO 2020 DUBAI: THE WORLD’S G R E AT E S T S H O W The need-to-know on the region’s largest event ever

WHEN: 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 WHERE: The Expo 2020 Dubai 4.38sqkm ‘smart site’ will be one of the most connected locations in the world. Adjacent to the new Al Maktoum International Airport, it is equidistant between Dubai and Abu Dhabi international airports – and only eight hours’ flight from two-thirds of the global population – 20 minutes from Jebel Ali Port and connected to four major national highways. It is also connected to next-generation 5G. WHAT IS IT? The UAE will welcome 192 participating countries and millions of global visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai

– a once-in-a-lifetime celebration that seeks to build a brighter tomorrow for us all. Celebrating human brilliance and achievement under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Across its 173 days, it expects to attract 25 million visits – equivalent to the population of Australia. WHY IS IT THE WORLD’S GREATEST SHOW? In a nutshell: 60 live performances a day showcasing the best of music, technology, creativity and culture – with concerts from A-list artists, daily parades, cutting-edge architecture, world-famous chefs, special celebrations (including Christmas and Diwali), and more than 200 F&B outlets serving cuisines from across the globe. You will experience robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality in unexpected ways, while innovative journeys will highlight real-life solutions to current challenges, inspiring each and every one of us to help build a better future. These are just a handful of reasons why Expo 2020 will be an unmissable experience. WHY IS IT UNIQUE? Expo 2020 Dubai is introducing a number of firsts in the 168-year history of World Expos. For instance, it will be the first time every participating country has its own pavilion – each featuring a wealth of vivid experiences to showcase that nation, its people, culture, innovations, achievements and aspirations. The 192 Country Pavilions are located not according to geography, as in previous World Expos, but instead by one of the Expo 2020 subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility or Sustainability. Each of these three Thematic Districts is anchored by a headline act: one architecturally incredible pavilion per district that dives deeply into its chosen subtheme with memorable journeys through the past, present and future. It is the perfect opportunity for the UAE to say ‘hayyakum’ (Arabic for ‘welcome’) to the world and showcase the warm Emirati hospitality for which the country is known. OPENING TIMES: Seven days a week, 1000-0100 on weekdays and 1000-0200 on weekends and special days. TICKETS:

MEET THE MASCOTS Representing the true values of the UAE, the Expo 2020 Dubai mascots were officially launched in Dubai last month. The mascots include Emirati siblings Latifa and Rashid. Latifa is an inquisitive eight-year-old who dreams of becoming one of the world’s greatest inventors. The chatty youngster loves playing with her chemistry set and disassembling electronics. She is keen to share her knowledge with others and always looking for an opportunity to learn something new. Her nine-year-old brother Rashid cares deeply for the environment and enjoys poetry, drawing, riddles and family tales passed down through the generations. The two siblings draw inspiration from the wisdom of Salama, a desert-dwelling Ghaf tree who overlooks the Expo 2020 site. Hundreds of years old, the magical character is known for her captivating storytelling, as well as her extensive knowledge of UAE history and culture. She represents the deep-rooted values upon which the UAE was built – such as stability, tolerance and resilience in often harsh conditions – and which continue to flourish. Under Salama’s watchful eye, Latifa and Rashid are guided by the robots Opti, Alif and Terra – who respectively represent Expo 2020’s three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Along the way, they must unlock Salama’s secrets, explore the world-changing inventions revealed at past World Expos and discover all about Expo 2020 and the amazing legacy it will leave behind. To learn more,


BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Dubai Exhibition Centre will provide a solid post-Expo legacy – as well as a significant business opportunity for Dubai

What does it mean to truly build legacy? Bringing the term from concept to actuality is surely the marker of success for any mega-event, with Olympics and World Expos vying for longevity that stretches far past the event itself. In Dubai, Expo 2020’s physical legacy will take the form of District 2020 – a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem that supports the growth of Dubai’s knowledge economy. District 2020 will repurpose 80 per cent of Expo’s built environment, retaining iconic structures including Al Wasl Plaza and the Sustainability Pavilion. It aligns with the vision of the UAE to build a diversified, competitive, innovation-driven economy, and is focused on driving growth in key industries and technologies, including travel and tourism, logistics and transport, education, construction, big data and AI. A key element of the legacy ecosystem will be the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), expected to play a significant role in District 2020’s legacy plans in attracting domestic and international business events. Its location – next to what will eventually become the largest airport in the world – will enable global exchange and foster new partnerships and networks across key growth markets. Opening to coincide with the start of the next World Expo on 20 October 2020, DEC will place delegates at the centre of the world’s greatest meeting of minds, providing 46,080sqm of flexible space capable of staging immersive event formats. One of the standout events will be the World Government Summit (WGS), representing the “intellectual hub” of Expo 2020. With former speakers including Elon Musk and Barack Obama, next year’s event is expected to be the largest WGS yet, welcoming 100,000

participants. Other events include the World Blockchain Summit in November 2020 and the Global Education Summit in March 2021, and will collectively help the UAE build on its thriving MICE sector. “There will be no other place on the planet during Expo 2020 that will provide a better opportunity to network with governments, businesses, educational institutions, thought leaders and industry associations than DEC,” says Shaun Vorster, Vice President of Programming. He adds that the venue’s versatility will also see its hosting of events including comedy shows, music performances and weddings. But even business events should make memories, says Vorster. “The contemporary ‘bleisure’ traveller expects more than typical business conferences; they are seeking meaningful and authentic cultural experiences.” The centre is influenced by the UAE’s unique landscape of design, in particular the salt plains and sand dunes. Inside, the halls are made unique by the

ingenious use of space. “Once the hall dividers are folded away, they wrap completely into the wall structures so that we can have an uninterrupted continuous space without any pillars – for 28,800 sqm in the South and 17,280 sqm in the North,” says Vorster. In a recent independent study, EY placed the economic contribution of Expo 2020 up to 2031 at AED 122.6 billion gross value added to the UAE’s economy, proving that: “mega events are a way for destinations to diversify their economies and drive innovation in industry,” asserts Vorster. DEC has the potential to not only host events; it is also a venue for delegates to connect with Expo 2020’s 192 nations, as well as multilateral organisations, exclusively during the 173 days of the World Expo. And as for the future? “Destinations, industries and communities grow and flourish on the back of the ongoing development of knowledge, expertise and collaboration,” concludes Vorster. “That is the real legacy of business events.”


Left: Opening to coincide with the start of Expo 2020, Dubai Exhibition Centre will provide 46,080sqm of flexible space capable of staging immersive event formats

A PERSONALISED JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD’S G R E AT E S T S H O W Each one of the millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai will enjoy a unique, individually tailored experience

Expo 2020 Dubai will be an endless journey of discovery for visitors – and no two visits will be the same. The millions expected to flock to Expo 2020 over its 173-day duration will not just be enjoying the World’s Greatest Show – they will be immersed in the experience of their lives. The 4.38 sqkm ‘smart site’ will create a unique and memorable experience for each and every visitor, with the digitally-enhanced journey beginning before visitors even reach the gates of Expo 2020. A clever AI-powered chatbot, developed by Expo 2020 and Smart Dubai and accessed through any smart device, will answer visitors’ questions, providing guidance on various services, including Expo ticket reservations, as well as flight and hotel bookings. It will help support the 30,000 Expo 2020 Volunteers and enhance the visitor experience. The Expo mobile app is a core part of the personalised journey, elevating the experience by digitally connecting visitors with their surrounding environment and enriching their interactions. From curated journeys based on personal preferences and recommendations for pavilions and other attractions to seek out, to accessing information on events and finding your way to points of interest around the site, the app will ensure you won’t be lost, or lost for things to do.

Groundbreaking Internet of Things technology provided across the site by our partners also has the potential to create a unique environment for each visitor – such as lights that illuminate or speakers that play music to celebrate the visitor completing a challenge. All of this technology, of course, requires some serious network support – and the Expo site is the first commercial location in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region to experience 5G, which is about 20 times faster than 4G. That means visitors can stream live 4K resolution video at any time, with virtually no lag, and opens up a world of opportunities for real-time virtual reality and augmented reality, further widening the choices and possibilities for each visitor’s journey. That’s not all: we have special plans up our sleeves to showcase the Expo site in ways that must be seen to be believed, for on-site visitors as well as those with internet access around the world. Prepare to be engaged and connected like never before on a personalised journey of a lifetime.

T H E J O U R N E Y S O FA R : HOW WE HAVE A R R I V E D AT O N E Y E A R TO GO UNTIL EXPO 2020 The final countdown has started. Expo 2020 Dubai is no longer a point in the future that is hard to tangibly grasp. This month – on 20 October 2019 – marks one year to go. That is 12 months; 366 days (because 2020 is a leap year); 8,784 hours; 527,040 minutes; about 31.6

million seconds. The clock is ticking and we are continuing to work hard to present 173 days of unprecedented fun. Our progress on the delivery of the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region has already been remarkable. A total of 192 countries will participate, surpassing the 180-nation commitment we made in our bid, and a significant number of those countries have already broken ground on their pavilions. Construction of all permanent Expo-built structures will be completed by the end of 2019, the three Thematic Districts are already complete and the engineering marvel that is Al Wasl Dome – the iconic steel trellis structure that forms the beating heart of Expo 2020 and will become the world’s largest projection surface – had its crown lifted into place last month. To date, we have clocked more than 130 million work hours and, as I write, about 32,000 workers continue to transform our 4.38 sqkm site into a stage fit to welcome an estimated 25 million visits. Those visitors won’t be disappointed. Thousands of members of the public have already caught a tantalising glimpse of the site thanks to our hugely successful public bus tours, fully booked within hours of being announced. The feedback from those lucky enough to secure a seat has been overwhelmingly positive. Our visible, incredible progress is now directly fuelling the public excitement – as it is our own at Expo 2020, as we see the site develop apace, day by day, when we come in to work. We can’t wait to complete the road to Expo 2020 Dubai. We hope you will join us on the final leg of what has been a truly exhilarating journey so far.

Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau

To learn more, watch Expo 2020: A Timeless Celebration in Emirates & Dubai TV on ice.


Can you teach writing? Author, teacher and translator Greg Mosse on pouring creativity into a “story-shaped vessel” WORDS: BEN EAST How do you write a novel? The indefinable, almost alchemic combination of inspiration, creativity, craft and technique that coheres to make good stories means there’s no prescriptive process – or everybody would be publishing the book we supposedly all have in us. But people like Greg Mosse, a self-styled “encourager of writers”, can at least point us in the right direction. The writer and teacher has been holding creative writing courses and workshops at the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature for a number of years now, and for him, all good writing begins in a single moment of drama. “Let’s imagine a distracted parent losing their child in a crush of people at a marketplace,” he explains. “If that is your dramatic moment, it’s important to remember that it’s also not your whole novel; you are just trying to depict that moment alone with as much vividness and intensity as possible. “The mother and father might be buying their shopping and talking. We have established the family group and

taken them into the compelling physical environment of the market. So that means readers – like the parents – suddenly turn around and say: ‘where has our child gone?’ You can see how that is a writerly sequence of events which has made the sudden loss of the child a huge shock – because we have made the reader forget she is there.” The argument against the whole academic industry that has formed around writing courses is that they lead to exactly the kind of prescriptive novels which the romantic idea of creative writing should discourage. As someone who has in the past set up and curated his own creative writing school, you wouldn’t expect Mosse to agree with that idea, but what he does believe is that he can develop in his students an understanding of narrative structure. “Most people who fail to fulfil their inspiration write without any sense of the shape of the play, book, poem or song that they want to end up with,” he says. “I think one of the things I’m good at is that

I can buy into the story a writer wants to tell – I don’t feel the need to guide them towards the play or novel I want to read. Everybody, you hope, has a different creative voice and it’s my job to help them realise that as fully as possible. “It’s about pouring a writer’s creativity into a story-shaped vessel, not just on the desk – because it will end up on the floor.” It’s a technique that applies to any writer, no matter where they come from. Mosse remembers a particularly interesting session two years ago in Dubai where they discussed a story of female liberation set on a building site in Mumbai. “One of the really striking images was women in brightly coloured saris carrying hods of bricks and cement,” he remembers. “I’d never have come across that working with a writer in London, so these experiences are really valuable to me.” These relationships with writers and stories are key to Mosse’s work. Sometimes, there has to be harsh – but fair – advice. He admits that “very often” he has to tell someone that a section of their novel isn’t working. “They don’t always know exactly what they need,” he laughs. “Sometimes the response from them is that I don’t understand because the novel is supposed to be experimental – but there are still structural techniques that apply whatever crazy, wacky form you’re writing.” The trick, of course, is to make sure these techniques aren’t identical in every story. “If we go back to the missing child story, what happens next is fascinating, isn’t it? I might suggest breaking out to another quieter storyline, but we might want to press on too. But that’s their choice; it determines where they are in the novel, how that event fits in the kaleidoscope of dramas that make up the book, its crescendos, its relaxations and finally its unifying climax. “Honestly, I just encourage writers to do the thing they have the compulsion to do. That’s my philosophy.”

For more, listen to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature podcast on ice.

Emirates NEWS










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New seasonal menus on board

Emirates is celebrating Oktoberfest, the Harvest Festival and Diwali in its latest seasonal menus. Until 6 October on flights to and from Germany and in Emirates Lounges in Germany, Bavarian specialities are on offer to celebrate Oktoberfest. Throughout October the Harvest Festival – a celebration of food grown on the land – will be championed by fresh Autumnal produce available on flights from the UK. Dishes will include butternut squash soup, a salt-baked beetroot appetiser with mozzarella; a main course of venison casserole and a dessert of tonka bean pannacotta in First and Business Class; and

strawberry and rhubarb crumble for dessert in Economy Class. To celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, Emirates customers can enjoy treats on flights to and from India from 25 – 31 October. During the festival week, Emirates customers in Economy Class can enjoy gram flour-based Motichoor Laddu. In First Class and Business Class, passengers can look forward to Diamond barfi, made of cashews, and Motichoor Laddu in addition to the dessert menu. A range of Indian snacks and meals are available in Dubai and select lounges.

Oktoberfest, the Harvest Festival and Diwali will all be celebrated in Emirates’ seasonal menus

Inflight shopping channel EmiratesRED TV launches on ice Emirates has produced and launched a dedicated inflight shopping channel to provide customers with details and information about the products available in EmiratesRED. EmiratesRED features over 150 duty and tax free products that can offer discounts of 20 per cent or more, compared to the prices in customers’ local markets. On the EmiratesRED TV channel on ice, hosted by British television presenter Andi Peters, customers will be given the opportunity to get insightful information, tips and howto-use advice directly from brand experts and founders. Interviewees include Elvira Distefano, beauty expert at Guerlain; Roja Dove, founder and creator of Roja Parfums; Julien Levy, co-founder of Dr. Levy Switzerland; and David Crisp, CEO of Boadicea the Victorious. You can find EmiratesRED TV on today’s flight in the Emirates & Dubai TV section on ice, and the EmiratesRED magazine with full product listings is available in your seat pocket.



EMIRATES FLIGHT CATERING TO BECOME PIONEER IN SOUS VIDE TECHNOLOGY Quality sous vide products will be distributed to customers across UAE, as well as construction of the world’s largest halal sous vide manufacturing facility in Dubai, in a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Washington DC-based Cuisine Solutions (CSI). Emirates Cuisine Solutions will be the UAE’s sole distributor of sous vide products, with phase two of the joint venture seeing the establishment of a halal sous vide manufacturing facility in Dubai. Emirates Flight Catering is one of the world’s largest catering operations, offering airline, events and VIP catering as well as ancillary services including laundry, food production and airport lounge food & beverage. Headquartered in Sterling, Virginia, Cuisine Solutions services more than

22,000 restaurants, as well as first and business class on the top 10 airlines in the world, retailers and major hotels. Led by an international team of awardwinning chefs, it is also recognised as the authority on sous vide, the innovative slow-cooking technique. The joint venture will start distributing its quality sous vide products to customers, including airlines, restaurateurs and hospitality providers, in the UAE this September. The food manufacturing facility is expected to be operational in 2022.

Emirates wins entertainment award at APEX EXPO

Emirates has clinched its third consecutive award for Best Entertainment at the 2020 Passenger Choice Awards, held during the APEX EXPO in Los Angeles. The airline was also given a FiveStar Global Airline Official Airline Rating, the highest rating in the first airline ratings programme based solely on verified passenger feedback. Emirates’ winning streak has been due to its continual innovations in inflight entertainment, setting the benchmark for customer experience.

The airline has been at the forefront of the industry from being the first airline to install TV screens in every seat in 1992, to allowing customers to create and sync bespoke entertainment playlists on its mobile app since last year. Today, Emirates provides one of the most comprehensive entertainment and communications services in the skies. ice, its award-winning inflight entertainment system, now offers over 4,500 channels of entertainment, including well over 1,000 world movies – more than any other airline. Emirates has also been investing in connectivity for its customers, with over 176 aircraft now equipped with Live TV to watch global sporting events. The APEX Passenger Choice Awards are based on passenger feedback gathered on more than one million flights across nearly 600 airlines from around the world.

Meet Bill, Jill, Phill and Will – otherwise known as the ‘Ill’ family, who are embarking on a health and wellness journey. The characters are part of a series of videos created by Upjohn, a Pfizer division, in collaboration with Emirates and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, that focus on the prevention of chronic diseases. This animated series aims to drive public awareness around today’s greatest healthcare challenges: widespread chronic conditions or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The videos contain simple tips and messages that encourage individuals to adopt preventative health behaviours and habits. The videos are currently airing on ice, complementing the airline’s existing content on its Happiness and Wellbeing channels. Emirates will also be rolling out the videos to its 105,000-strong global workforce as part of its workplace wellness programme.


25 million and still soaring Emirates Skywards has hit a new milestone, and here’s why you should be excited about the award-winning loyalty programme Emirates Skywards – the frequent flyer programme for Emirates and flydubai – costs nothing to join and will change the way you see the world forever

25 million Skywards Members

Miles redeemed (Apr 2018 – Mar 2019) Dubai Duty Free 6+ New Skywards Members every minute

DID YOU KNOW? This year, Emirates Skywards has already won three industry trophies: Best Frequent Flyer Programme from Business Traveller Middle East, Excellence in Management from Global Flight, and Middle East’s Leading Airline Rewards Programme from World Travel Awards.

170 transactions per day 1.2 billion Miles redeemed by members from 185 countries

77 million for 10,344 sports and events tickets by 6,431 members

555,000 Cash+Miles transactions

490,000 upgrades

143,000 reward tickets

“This is a proud moment for Emirates Skywards. We are now working on crossing the next big frontier, one that UAE residents and visitors can get on board with through everyday spends.” Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Divisional Senior Vice President Skywards



157 Partners INCLUDING

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Australia: 1.9 million India: 1.8 million UAE: 1.7 million *Members come from 180+ countries

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Fly to 2000+ destinations with 15 airline partners

Exclusive Platinum privileges (personalised spend-base targets to unlock new benefits)

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Cairo, Egypt


A pulsing city with an unexpected quiet side “Cairo. City of the living. A paradise on Earth,” says Indiana Jones’s sidekick in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But real-world Cairo is far more than the pyramids and things that belong in a museum – not that there’s anything wrong with ticking these staples off, too. With more than half of Egypt’s population under 25, the capital is buzzing with creative energy. As one of the largest cities in the world, Cairo is sprawling. But its sheer size leads to one of its greatest pleasures: wandering down the streets of one of its countless neighbourhoods. Take Muizz Street, in the city’s Islamic quarter – chock-full of medieval architecture, it is a movie set come real. Many adventures, however, tend to take place along the Nile. Cutting through the city like a blue ribbon, along its banks you’ll find a host of upscale eateries, buzzy cafes, intriguing museums and fun shops. Interestingly, it’s quite easy to spend your entire visit in one area (Tahrir Square or Giza are prime examples) because so many things can be packed together. If itching for variety, a short boat ride up or down the Nile will provide ample interest. Despite Egypt being synonymous with the blistering Sahara, temperatures in Cairo are usually pleasant – at least, pleasant enough to make an evening drink at one of the many sidewalk cafés, or on a rooftop overlooking the lively streets, tempting options. Like many parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the climate becomes more comfortable the deeper into autumn and winter the year gets.

Starting 28 October, Emirates will increase the frequency of flights between Dubai and Cairo, adding four additional flights a week to its existing thrice-daily service. The four new flights operating on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, will take the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Cairo to 25.





A Cairo institution, this is now a chain of the same name. The original location, near Talaat Harb Square, boasts eclectic décor, like long wooden tables and aquariums. The Egyptian cuisine is economical yet exquisite, and all the better when washed down with a fresh-squeezed glass of lemonade.

Near Talaat Harb Street, Café Riche’s history is as rich as its coffee. In 1919, revolutionaries met here to plan how to overthrow British rule. Later, future Egyptian presidents and novelists became frequent patrons. Closed for nearly a decade in the 1990s, it has since reopened to welcome a new generation of thinkers and leaders.

It’s claimed this is the boat from Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile; true or not, meet near the El Malek El Saleh Bridge for a dinner cruise with a far tamer ending. The set menu offers Chinese cuisine while gently floating down the Nile – with limited entertainment allowing guests to enjoy the river in peace.




Pool views of the Nile, Tahrir Square and the pyramids? This 28 storey, five-star hotel’s got it all – and is also conveniently next to the Egyptian Museum, as well as the metro station. The half dozen restaurants – from Italian to Thai – aren’t too shabby, either.

A boutique hotel just outside Cairo’s city centre, in the Nile-side suburb of Maadi, the charm of this 1920s villa is its proximity to the big city, whilst feeling a world away. Staying at this stately colonial property, with lush gardens, chattering parrots and pool, feels like visiting friends or family.

If five-star lodgings in a stunning complex flanked by zoological gardens and the western bank of the Nile isn’t enough, this Four Seasons property has serious concierge credentials – they have arranged private tours of the Egyptian Museum for Barack Obama and Beyoncé.




A traditional wooden sailboat, feluccas have been going up and down the Nile for centuries. Usually only able to accommodate a few people, the lack of motor means the ride is sedate, but private. There are no cabins, so prepare to sleep under the stars and experience Cairo from a new perspective.

Visitors tend to flock to the pyramids, but many of the artefacts they once held are actually found in the Egyptian Museum. Adjacent to Tahrir Square, among the 120,000plus items in its collection are treasures from the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, including his famous death mask.

This souk in Islamic Cairo has been buzzing for centuries, luring locals and tourists alike with its exotic sights and smells. A great place to find locally-produced goods (be ready to haggle to get a better price), go there in the evening to see the medieval architecture and narrow alleyways by lamplight.


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 flydubai Krabi: Daily service via Yangon starts 10 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 269 aircraft includes 258 passenger aircraft and 11 SkyCargo aircraft AIRBUS A380-800 113 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 NEW YORK As Joker smashes box office and film festival records, actress Zazie Beetz talks flying biscuits and the spot that’s cool, even for Brooklyn INTERVIEW: EMMA COILER The theatre scene in New York is obviously huge and everybody should go and see one of the big shows, but the improv scene in the city is incredible. In Atlanta (TV show), I do a lot of my improv with my character, Van. It’s so hard to do, but incredibly impressive to watch. The great thing about the city is that you can pretty much find any cuisine you want. I feel like working somewhere kind of kills the experience for you – and I used to waitress at Café Mogador – but I still absolutely love it. It’s the most delicious, fresh Moroccan food you’ll find outside of Morocco. The East Village generally is good to hang out for the evening. There’s an iconic photo of Joker standing at the top of steps on the movie poster – it’s on Anderson Avenue in the Bronx. There’s so much soul there – go and


40.7128° N, 74.0060° W

replicate the photo, then you can hang out in the Bronx for the day. Another cool venue used that is maybe off the normal tourist map is the Archway under Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo Brooklyn. At lunch you can go and eat there, get coffee, and just listen to the street performers. In the evening they have music festivals, movie showings, and screen big sporting events. Brooklyn is cool – but this is cool even for Brooklyn. Atlanta has been a huge hit with the critics – if on your New York trip you have to connect in Atlanta, there’s this amazing place for brunch called The Flying Biscuit. It’s called that because they used to throw biscuits at you, but they don’t do that anymore because I think somebody got hit or something. Still, it’s just amazing Southern food: grits, biscuits, and shrimp.

Emirates offers three daily A380 services from Dubai to New York JFK. Choose from two nonstop daily services and a third daily service that makes a stop in Milan.

Cherish a lifetime of memories with your loved ones this season at Jumeirah

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